How did you become interested in this line of work? (tell us a little bit about your background)
My background is in music, astrology and the culture of the Renaissance, and I wrote a PhD on the astrological music therapy of the Renaissance magus Marsilio Ficino. After a career playing Renaissance and Baroque music, I moved into the academic field, and developed two Masters’ degree programs in Canterbury UK, which seek to bridge the divide between scholarship and spiritual and sacred experience. I was led to the rich cultural ground of the Western esoteric traditions through Plato and the neoplatonic tradition, which saw such an immense flowering in the Italian Renaissance. I have written extensively on Ficino, on symbolism and astrology, music and esoteric traditions, and most of my work can be found HERE.
The MA in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred is now ending in Canterbury, and I am very excited to be co-director of the new Centre for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred (www.mythcosmologysacred.com) with my wonderful colleagues Louise Livingstone and Mary Attwood. We are now reaching a global audience with our transformative learning approach to ‘seeing the world differently’ and cultivating the eyes of imagination and soul.
Please share a wellness tip or word of advice that relates to the workshop you will be presenting.
Just come with open ears and eyes, and an interest in what ‘education’ really means!
What or who inspires you? (This could be anything from your mentor to your favorite quote)
All the great writers of the esoteric imagination, from Plato to Plotinus, Iamblichus, Ficino, Jung – and the contemporary scholars Jeffrey Kripal, Iain McGilchrist, Greg Shaw amongst many others. My greatest mentor is my friend and colleague Geoffrey Cornelius, who has written extensively and powerfully on divination and astrology, seeking to understand the hermeneutics of a worldview which has been denied and pushed underground for the past 400 years or so but which is so necessary and valuable for us today.
What personal or professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am very proud of establishing two successful Masters programs which achieved a unique synthesis of scholarship, personal reflection and spiritual understanding; I am very proud of all the students who have gained so much at both Masters and Doctoral level from our work. I am also proud of championing the astrology of Ficino, and producing a CD recreating his musical invocations to the planetary deities, ‘Secrets of the Heavens’ – mythcosmologysacred.com/secrets-of-the-heavens/.
I am also proud of bringing up two wonderful sons! But perhaps most of all, I am proud of my body of writing, in which I sincerely attempted to become a ‘bridge between worlds’ and bring a deep imaginative, intuitive sense of the power of magical thinking into the framework of academia.
Angela Voss, PhD, was a professional musician for many years, before becoming involved in the academic world. She directed two MA programs in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred in Canterbury UK, and has published widely on Renaissance music, esoteric philosophy, symbolism, Neo-Platonism and transformative learning. She has also created two CDs on re-creating Ficino’s Orphic singing, and the Hermetic influence on John Dowland’s Lachrimae.
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