Marsilio Ficino and Spirit Cooking



[1] Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise? [2] And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat: [3] But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die. [4] And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. [5] For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3.1-5

Dear Reader,

Another hiatus, another apology, another incomplete sentence. I have been knee deep in the muck of Renaissance occultism as part of my “scholarly” academic research, but I have resolved to share the most interesting information on my blog and have determined to write for one hour (and one hour alone) for my blog every day. Thus, please forgive any errors in the text or a lack of polish to the style you have come to expect from your humble author.

You, dear reader, are, I assume aware of the “Spirit Cooking” and “Pizza Gate” scandals that ultimately sunk Hillary Clinton’s campaign. I, for one, believe the scandals, but I am open to the possibility that some of the stories are exaggerated, twisted, or even ironically down played. Certainly, the Spirit Cooking scandal as well as Pizzagate could very well be attacks strategically launched by Roger Stone and the dirty tricks department of the Trump campaign. Nonetheless, it was shocking and disgusting to many Americans that the campaign manager of Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, may have been drinking human bodily fluids with the performance artist and honest to goodness witch Mariana Abramović.


However, interestingly the Renaissance Neoplatonist, Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) (who famously translated Plato for the West), calls for a similar recipe as Miss Abramović in his Three Books on Life (De vita libri tres), a medical-astrological guide book for scholars. In Chapter XI of Book II, Ficino reflects on the need for those who over seventy or, for some, after sixty-three to replenish their youth by stealing from the bodily fluid of the young, for “this human tree must be moistened by a human, youthful liquid in order that it may revive.”

The first source of rejuvenation is, you guessed it, breast milk. Ficino instructs his aging scholar to “choose a young girl who is healthy, beautiful, cheerful, and temperate, and when you are hungry and the Moon is waxing, suck her milk: immediately eat a little powder of sweet fennel properly mixed with sugar.”

Now, not only is breast milk an essential ingredient to Crowley and Abramović’s rituals; there is also a need in Ficino’s spell for harnessing the power of the moon, which is worshipped as Diana-Artemis by contemporary Wiccans. Also, the need for a pretty young girl present sounds strangely apropos to the accusations of child sexual abuse and human trafficking that have surrounded the Podestas and Clintons.

Even more gruesome, Ficino recommends the drinking of human blood as well—this blood drinking, of course, does not come up very often in scholarly literature:

Careful physicians strive to cure those whom a long bout of hectic fever has consumed, with  the liquid of human blood which has distilled at the fire in the practice of sublimation. What then prevents us from sometimes also refreshing by this drink those who have already been in a way consumed by old age? There is a common and ancient opinion that certain prophetic old women who are popularly called ‘screech-owls’ suck the blood of infants as a means, in so far as they can, of growing young again. Why shouldn’t our old people, namely those who have no recourse, likewise suck the blood of a youth?—a young, I say, who is willing, healthy, happy and temperate, whose blood is the best but perhaps too abundant. They will suck, therefore, like leeches, an ounce or two from a scarcely opened vein of the left arm…

It should sound very weird that a Catholic priest is recommending the drinking of human blood. It should sound even more weird that this Catholic priest is one of the seminal fathers of the Renaissance. Finally, what is most weird are Ficino’s qualifications that the youth be willing and that only a little bit of blood be taken from a little wound. Ficino is definitely hiding something with his careful assurances that he is not a mad pagan witch himself, which are found throughout his works.

This view of desiring eternal life is not just as old as the Garden of Eden; it is integral to the occult tradition, which has now become mainstreamed and normalized in the 21st century. Ficino’s views also parallel those of another critical early modern, Rene Descartes, who wrote in his Discourse on Method:

It is true that the science of medicine, as it now exists, contains few things whose utility is very remarkable: but without any wish to depreciate it, I am confident that there is no one, even among those whose profession it is, who does not admit that all at present known in it is almost nothing in comparison of what remains to be discovered; and that we could free ourselves from an infinity of maladies of body as well as of mind, and perhaps also even from the debility of age, if we had sufficiently ample knowledge of their causes, and of all the remedies provided for us by nature.

These ideas clearly sound like Ficino’s desire for increasingly life even to the point of immortality–thus overturning one of Adam’s punishments in the Garden of Eden.

We thus are faced with a deeper hint that more than just being a useful idiot for the Lucifer in the construction of modernity and the reintroduction of occult ideas into the west, Marsilio Ficino could very well have been part of a secret society (like Descartes who was attracted by Rosicrucianism), and he knew exactly what he was doing when he introduced it. We also see a much deeper pedigree for Abramović’s Spirit Cooking than simply Aleister Crowley. What the ultimate big picture is I hope to find out.


5 thoughts on “Marsilio Ficino and Spirit Cooking

  1. An interesting read, Dr. Russell. Was bleeding a medical practice in Ficino’s time, and mightn’t someone obtain blood in that way rather than surreptitiously?

    1. Yes, bleeding was common with leeches; what is weird about Ficino was that he seemed to be describing some sort of magic ritual–which he probably did not think as being any different than other medicine or science. Remember the Enlightenment springs from these Renaissance magicians.

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