The Planets Within

The Astrological Psychology of Marsilio Ficino

Thomas Moore; Introduction by Noel Cobb

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A study of the presiding genius of the Florentine Academy.

234 x 156 mm
Lindisfarne Books
Astrology & Cosmology; Mind, Body, Spirit
228 pages
Publication date:
01 Jan 1990


The Planets Within asks us to return to antiquity with new eyes. It centers on one of the most psychological movements of the prescientific age -- Renaissance Italy, where a group of 'inner Columbuses' charted territories that still give us today a much- needed sense of who we are and where we have come from, and the right routes to take toward fertile and unexplored places.

Chief among these masters of the interior life was Marsilio Ficino, presiding genius of the Florentine Academy, who taught that all things exist in soul and must be lived in its light. This study of Ficino broadens and deepens our understanding of psyche, for Ficino was a doctor of soul, and his insights teach us the care and nurture of soul.

Moore takes as his guide Ficino’s own fundamental tool -- imagination. Respecting the integrity and autonomy of images, The Planets Within unfolds a poetics of soul in a kind of dialogue between the laconic remarks of Ficino and the need to give these remarks a life and context for our day.


'The reader turning to this book for knowledge and self-knowledge will be delighted to find it so instructive, enjoyable, and ‘user-friendly.’ With Tom Moore as guide you will feel at home in the marvelous world of Renaissance Hermetism, its psychological and astrological insights, its music, its madness. How much Moore knows and how generous he is in giving it go the reader.'
-- James Hillman, author of The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling and Emotion: A Comprehensive Phenomenology of Theories and Their Meaning for Therapy

'In his presentation of psychological insight and understanding informed by Renaissance astrology and musicology, Dr. Moore’s clarity with complex matters is topped only by his wisdom. To tune the fantasy of a ‘well-tempered life’ with the disharmonic of ‘necessary madness’ is precisely the soulful genius that Dr. Moore’s master, Ficino, would have loved.'
-- David Miller, author of Orestes: Myth and Dream as Catharsis


Thomas Moore was a monk in a Catholic religious order for twelve years and has degrees in theology, musicology, and philosophy. A former professor of psychology, he is the author of Care of the Soul, Soul Mates, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, The Education of the Heart,The Soul of Sex, and Original Self. He lives in New England with his wife and children.

Noel Cobb was born in 1938 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a young man, he lived for almost a quarter century in Oslo before returning to the US. He has published numerous books of poetry and non-fiction. He has worked with R.D Laing, studied various forms of meditation, became a Jungian analyst, and founded a charitable trust, The London Convivium for Archetypal Studies. He is the author of Prospero's Island: The Secret Alchemy at the Heart of The Tempest.

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