Our friend Ursi once again delights and amazes with this beautiful article on Renaissance astrology and magic. Ursi tells us that for Renaissance astrologers, the planets were the link between the mundane life on earth and the magical realm of the angelic hierarchies.
For the Renaissance philosopher magic was a spiritual science which, like the Cosmos itself, was arranged in a triple hierarchy: material, celestial and divine.
Natural magic is reliant on the elements and occult properties of material things and required a knowledge of natural philosophy. Celestial magic relies on the spiritual connections and causality imposed by the Zodiacal powers and required a knowledge of mathematics (for calculation) and astrology.
Divine magic, says Agrippa, requires a knowledge of theology, for without this knowledge one, “…cannot understand the rationality of magic.” Three Books of Occult Philosophy Bk.I, Chap. 2 (Tyson ed.) page 6. As the divine and ideal world was the basis of the existence and form of the Universe, so knowledge of the spiritual is the basis of magic.
Celestial magic or magical astrology thus concerns itself with the middle world, that of the Zodiacal powers, which are a universal archetype of Reality and control the generation and corruption of all things in the material realm.