Twilit Grotto: Archives of Western Esoterica

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In 1453, Constantinople fell to the Turks, ending the Byzantine empire. This date also marks the beginning of the Renaissance, since the waves of Greek refugees spread knowledge of Greek throughout Europe. Included with the newly available Greek manuscripts were the Corpus Hermetica, Plotinus, and the works of the Neoplatonists.

Shortly thereafter in 1492, Isabella and Ferdinand expelled the Jews from Spain. This sent waves of Jewish refugees throughout Europe, spreading knowledge of Hebrew and of the Kabbalah.

Renaissance philosophers sought to integrate these traditions with the view of unifying the rapidly disintegrating religious factions and also ending the constant political strife. Thus they are the forerunners or prophets of the Rosicrucian and Illuminati movements.

Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516)
Master cryptographer and magician, Trithemius was the mentor of Henrich Cornelius Agrippa.


Heinrich Agrippa
The most influential writer of renaissance esoterica.



Athanasius Kircher
Dr. John Dee (1527-1608)
Another influential Renaissance figure, Dee was Queen Elizabeth's scientific advisor. In later life, he became disillusioned with pure science and started experimenting with occult techniques of the day. Many of his esoteric writing were kept secret and only discovered by accident long after his death.
Giordano Bruno (1548-1600)
Bruno was one of the most original and colorful thinkers of the Renaissance. The Inquisition considered him a dangerous heretic, and had him burned at the stake in 1600.

Classical Grimoires

Black Magic

Sigillum Dei Aemeth

Miscellaneous