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Joscelyn Godwin

Joscelyn Godwin

Professor of Music, Emeritus


BA, MusB, MA Magdalene College, Cambridge (England) 1965, 1966, 1968; PhD Cornell University 1969

Teaching Experience

Cleveland State University 1969-71


Music History, Esotericism, Transdisciplinary courses


Speculative Music; Western Esoteric Traditions; Forteana


Godwin has authored the following books:

Robert Fludd: Hermetic Philosopher and Surveyor of Two Worlds. London: Thames & Hudson; Boulder; Shambhala, 1979; also published Grand Rapids: Phanes Press, and in French, Greek, Spanish and Japanese.

Athanasius Kircher: A Renaissance Man and the Quest for Lost Knowledge. London: Thames & Hudson, 1979; also published in French, German, Spanish, and Japanese.

Mystery Religions in the Ancient World. London: Thames & Hudson, 1981; San Francisco: Harper & Row; also published in Greek and Japanese.

Harmonies of Heaven and Earth. The Spiritual Dimension of Music from Antiquity to the Avant-Garde. London: Thames & Hudson, 1987; Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions; also published in French, German, and Japanese; partly published in Spanish.

Music and the Occult.  French Musical Philosophies 1750-1950. Rochester: University of Rochester Press; London: Boydell & Brewer, 1995. Originally published in French as L'ésotérisme musical en France, 1750-1950; also published in Japanese.

The Mystery of the Seven Vowels in Theory and Practice. Grand Rapids: Phanes Press, 1991; also published in Italian; forthcoming in Czech.

Arktos. The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival. Grand Rapids: Phanes Press, 1993; London: Thames & Hudson; Kempton: Adventures Unlimited; also published in German (2 different editions), Japanese, Greek, French, Italian, and Spanish.

The Theosophical EnlightenmentAlbany: State University of New York Press, 1994; also published in Italian.

Johann Friedrich Hugo Von Dalberg (1760-1812): Schriftsteller, Musiker, Domherr, co-authored with Michael Embach. Mainz: Gesellschaft für mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte, 1998. (In German)

The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance. Grand Rapids: Phanes Press; London: Thames & Hudson, 2002.

The Real Rule of FourNew York: The Disinformation Company, 2004; also published in French and Portuguese.

The Golden Thread: The Ageless Wisdom of the Western Mystery Traditions. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 2007.

The Forbidden Book, a Novel, co-authored with Guido Mina di Sospiro. Published in Spanish, Danish, Russian, Greek, Bulgarian, Polish, and Romanian (but not in English!). 

Athanasius Kircher's Theatre of the World. London: Thames & Hudson; Rochester, Vt: Inner Traditions, 2009; also published in French (Imprimerie Nationale) and Italian (Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato).

Atlantis and the Cycles of Time: Prophecies, Traditions, and Occult Revelations. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, to be published January 1, 2011.

He has edited the following books:

Alessandro Scarlatti, Marco Attilio Regolo. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975 (Series: The Operas of Alessandro Scarletti, vol. 2).

Schirmer Scores. A Repertory of Western Music. New York: Schirmer Books, 1975.

Music, Mysticism and Magic: A SourcebookLondon: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986; Harmondsworth: Penguin Arkana.

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: an Edition of the Fugues, Emblems and Epigrams. With an Introductory Essay by Hildemarie Streich. Tysoe: Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks, 1987; Grand Rapids: Phanes Press; also published in Spanish. These editions of Maier's work included a cassette tape of the first complete recording of the fifty Fugues, sung by Rachel Platt, Emily Van Evera, Rufus Muller, and Richard Wistreich. The recording has been remastered and issued on compact disk by Claudio Records. 

Marius Schneider, Rudolf Haase, and Hans Erhard Lauer,  Cosmic Music. Three Musical Keys to the Interpretation of Reality, translated by Marton Radkai and Joscelyn Godwin. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions International, 1989.

Paul Brunton: Essential Readings, co-edited by Randall Cash and Timothy Smith. Wellingborough: Crucible Books, 1990.

Harmony of the Spheres. A Sourcebook of the Pythagorean Tradition in Music. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions International, 1993; also published in Spanish.

The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor. Historical and Initiatic Documents of an Order of Practical Occultism, co-edited with Christian Chanel and John Patrick Deveney. York Beach: Samuel Weiser, 1995). Also published in French and Italian.

Ésotérisme, gnoses & imaginaire symbolique. Mélanges offerts à Antoine Faivre, co-edited with Richard Caron, Wouter J. Hanegraaff, and Jean-Louis Vieillard-Baron. Leuven: Peeters, 2001. 

John Michell, Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist. Waterbury Center, Vt.: Dominion, 2005. 

Petrus Talemarianus, Natural Architecture, translated by Ariel Godwin. Sacred Science Institute, 2006.


He has translated the following books:

Werner Walcker-Meyer, The Roman Organ of Aquincum. Ludwigsburg: Musikwissenschaftliches Verlagsgesellschaft, 1972.

Salomon Trismosin, Splendor Solis. Edinburgh: Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks, 1981; Grand Rapids: Phanes Press; Barcelona: Moleiro.

René Guénon, The Multiple States of Being. Burdett, NY: Larson Publications, 1984.

Fabre d'Olivet, The Secret Lore of Music. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1988. Originally entitled Music Explained as Science and Art.

Johann Valentin Andreae, The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. Grand Rapids: Phanes Press, 1991.

Antoine Faivre, The Eternal Hermes. Grand Rapids: Phanes Press, 1994.

Francesco Colonna, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili: The Strife of Love in a Dream. London & New York: Thames & Hudson, 1999 and re-editions.

Julius Evola, Ride the Tiger, co-translated with Constance Fontana. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 2003.

Hans Kayser, Textbook of Harmonics, co-translated with Ariel Godwin. Sacred Science Institute, 2006

Marco Baistrocchi, Agarttha: A Guenonian Manipulation? Fullerton, Ca.: Theosophical History, 2009 (Theosophical History Occasional Papers, No. XII).

He has published the following articles, forewords, and minor writings         

            1. “Boethius’ Three Musicians.” Studies in Comparative Religion 4 (1970): 246-50.

            2. “Spiritual Currents in Music.” Studies in Comparative Religion 5 (1971): 110-25.

            3. “The Renaissance Flute.” The Consort 28 (1972): 70-81.

            4. “Robert Fludd on the Lute and Pandora.” Lute Society Journal 15 (1973): 11-19.

            5. “Robert Fludd’s Symbolic Recorder.” American Recorder 14/1  (1973): 17.

            6. “Instruments in Robert Fludd’s Utriusque cosmi...historia.”  Galpin Society Journal 26 (1973): 2-14.

            7. “The Survival of the Theorbo Principle.” Journal of the Lute Society of America 6 (1973): 4-16.

            8. “Eccentric Forms of the Guitar.” Journal of the Lute Society of America 7 (1974): 90-102.

            9. “Early Mendelssohn and Late Beethoven.” Music and Letters 55 (1974): 272-85.

            10. “Playing from Original Notation.” Early Music 2 (1974): 15-19.

            11. “Quest and Protest in Popular Songs.” The Golden Blade 26  (1974): 96-106.

            12. “Where is Music Going?” The Golden Blade 27 (1975): 122-36.

            13. “Mains divers acors: some instrument collections of the Ars Nova.” Early Music 5 (1977): 148-59.

            14. “Layers of Meaning in the Magic Flute.” Musical Quarterly 65 (1979): 471-92.

            15. “The Revival of Speculative Music.” Musical Quarterly 67 (1982): 373-86. German translation in Musiktherapeutische Umschau 7 (1986): 25-41. Dutch translation in Harmonisch labyrint (Hilversum: Verloren, 2007): 149-166. Spanish translation in La cadena aurea de Orfeo. El resurgimiento de la musica especulativa, tr. Carlos Varona Narvion (Madrid: Ediciones Siruela, 2009).

            16. “Tolkien and the Primordial Tradition.” Temenos 3 (1983): 27-37.

            17. “The Rosicrucian Event in Perspective.” Journal of Rosicrucian Studies 1 (1983): 18-22.

            18. “Pythagoreans, Today?” Homage To Pythagoras: Lindisfarne  Letter 14 (1983): 135-42.

            19. “The Golden Chain of Orpheus: a Survey of Musical Esotericism in the West.” Temenos 4 (1984): 7-25; 5 (1984): 211-239. Reprinted in Sudhamahi Regunathan, Song of the Spirit... the World of Sacred Music (Delhi: Tibet House, 2000): 71-92. Spanish translation in La cadena aurea de Orfeo. El resurgimiento de la musica especulativa, tr. Carlos Varona Narvion (Madrid: Ediciones Siruela, 2009).

            20. “Musical Alchemy: the Work of Composer and Listener.” Temenos 6 (1985): 57-75. (Revised version in Harmonies of Heaven and Earth)

            21. “Hearing Secret Harmonies.” The American Theosophist 73 (1985): 182-95. (Revised version in Harmonies of Heaven and Earth)

            22. “A Background for Michael Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens (1617).” Hermetic Journal 29 (1985): 5-10.

            23. “Priests, Professors and Gurus.” Gnosis 2 (1986): 35-8.

            24. “Saint-Yves d’Alveydre and the Agarthian Connection.” Hermetic Journal 32 (1986): 24-34; 33 (1986): 31-8. Partly adapted in no. 69, below.

            25. Foreword to The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, ed. D. Fideler and K.S. Guthrie. Grand Rapids: Phanes Press, 1987.

            26. “Mystery Religions.” Dictionary of the Middle Ages, vol. 10. New  York: Scribners, 1987.

            27. “La genèse de l’Archéomètre de Saint-Yves d’Alveydre.” L’Initiation (Paris), no.2 of 1988: 60-71; no.4 of 1988: 153-166. (In French) Condensed version in English: “The Creation of a Universal System: Saint-Yves d’Alveydre and his Archeometer.” Alexandria 1 (1991): 229-249.

            28. “Facing the Traditionalists: an Approach to René Guénon and his Successors.” Gnosis 7 (1988): 23-27.

            29. “H.P.B., Dorjeff, and the Mongolian Connection.” Theosophical History (London) 2/7 (1988): 253-60.   

            30. Foreword to D.P. Walker, La Magie Spirituelle et Angélique  de Ficin à Campanella. Paris: Albin Michel, 1988. [In French]

            31. Foreword to Iamblichus, The Exhortation to Philosophy. Grand Rapids: Phanes Press, 1988.

            32. “Kircher and the Occult.” In Athanasius Kircher und seine Beziehungen zur gelehrten Europa seiner Zeit (Wolfenbüttel: Herzog August Bibliothek, 1988): 17-36 and plates.

            33. "Prelude to a Fugue. Reflections on Beethoven's Grosse Fuge, Opus 33." Temenos 9 (1989), 69-77.

            34. The Beginnings of Theosophy in France [40-page monograph]. London: Theosophical History Centre, 1989.

            35. “The Hidden Hand.” Part I: “The Provocation of the Hydesville Phenomena.” Theosophical History III/2 (1990): 35-43. Part II: “The Brotherhood of Light.” Theosophical History III/3 (1990): 66-76. Part III: “The Parting of East and West.” Theosophical History III/4 (1990): 107-117. Part IV: “The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor.” Theosophical History III/5 (1991): 137-148.

            36. “Hargrave Jennings.” Hermetic Journal 1991: 49-77.

            37."Opera and the Amorous Initiation." Temenos 12 (1991), 129-140.

            38. “Schwaller de Lubicz, les Veilleurs et la connexion nazie.” Politica Hermetica 5 (1991), 101-108.

            39. Foreword to Basarab Nicolescu, Science, Meaning, and Evolution. NY: Parabola Books, 1991. 

            40. “The Lessons of History.” The Cerealogist 6 (1992): 14-15.

            41. “A Behemist Circle in Victorian England.” The Hermetic Journal 1992: 48-71.

            42. “Speculative Music: the Numbers behind the Notes.” A Compendium of Contemporary Musical Thought (London and New York: Routledge, 1992) vol. 1: 246-261.

            43. “Many Futures.” Voices on the Threshold of Tomorrow, ed. George and Trisha Feuerstein (Wheaton: Quest Books, 1993): 34-36.

            44. Foreword to Antoine Faivre, The Golden Fleece and Alchemy. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993.

            45. “Mentalism and the Cosmological Fallacy.” Alexandria II (1994): 195-204.

            46. Foreword to Paul Johnson, The Masks of the Masters. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1994.

            47. “Annals of the Invisible College.” These articles were expanded into the book The Golden Thread.

                1. “The Hermetic Tradition.” Lapis 1 (1995): 39-41.

                2. “Zoroaster.” Lapis 2 (1996): 37-39.

                3. “Orpheus.” Lapis 3 (1996): 29-31.

                4. “Pythagoras.” Lapis 4 (1997): 41-43.

                5. “The Platonic Tradition.” Lapis 5 (1997): 31-33.

                6. “Roman Mysteries.” Lapis 6 (1998): 41-43.

                7. “Gnosis and Gnosticism.” Lapis 7 (1998): 39-41.

                8. “The Negative Theology.” Lapis 8 (1999): 59-61.

                9. “The Cathedrals.” Lapis 9 (1999): 51-53.

                10. “The Arts of the Imagination.” Lapis 10 (1999): 71-74.

                11. “New Gods.” Lapis 11 (2000): 00-00

                12. "The Philosopher's Dilemma." Lapis 12 (2000)

                13. "The Inward Way." Lapis 13 (2000)

                14. "The Religion of Art." Lapis 14 (2001)

                15. "Wise Men from the East."

            48. “Il tempo trasformato in spazio. Riflessioni sull’occhio, sull’orecchio e sulla circolarità del tempo.” In A. Mayr, A. Colimberti, and G. Montagano,eds., L’Ascolto del Tempo. Musiche inudibili e ambiente ritmico  (Florence: MP x2 Editore, 1995): 49-58. (In Italian)

            49. “Athanasius Kircher.” In James Hardin, ed., German Baroque Writers, 1580-1660 (Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 164) (Detroit: Bruccoli Clark Layman, 1996): 185-194.

            50. “The Case Against Reincarnation.” Gnosis 42 (1997): 39-42.

            51. “Taste, Snobbery, and Spiritual Discernment.” Contemporary Music Review 14/3-4 (1997): 47-53.

            52. “Music and the Hermetic Tradition.” In R. van den Broeck and W. J. Hanegraaff, eds., Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times (Albany: SUNY Press, 1998): 183-196.

            53. “Stockhausen’s Donnerstag aus Licht and Gnosticism.” In R. van den Broeck and W. J. Hanegraaff, eds., Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times (Albany: SUNY Press, 1998): 347-358.

            54. “Swastika and Cross: Polar and Solar Symbolism.” Rûna 3 (1998): 8-13.

            55. "Airs and Angels." In BBC Promenade Concerts Programme, 1998: 7-10.

            56. "L'esoterismo evoliano visto dagli Stati Uniti." Studi Evoliani 1998 (1999): 19-25. (In Italian)

            57. “The Deepest of the Rosicrucians. Michael Maier (1569-1622).” In Ralph White, ed., The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited (Hudson: Lindisfarne Books, 1999): 101-123.

            58. “Out of Arctica? Herman Wirth’s Theory of Human Origins.” Rûna 5 (1999): 2-7.

            59. "Lady Caithness and Her Connection with Theosophy." Theosophical History VIII/4 (2000): 127-147.

            60. "The Survival of the Personality, according to Modern Esoteric Teachings." In Ésotérisme, gnoses & imaginaire symbolique. Mélanges offerts à Antoine Faivre (Leuven: Peeters, 2001): 403-413. German translation in Gnostika 22 (2002): 26-38. Czech translation forthcoming.

            61. "Evola, preistoria e teosofia." In Julius Evola, un pensiero per la fine del millennio (Rome: Fondazione Julius Evola, 2001): 37-49. (In Italian)

            62. Foreword to Julius Evola, Men Among the Ruins. (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions International, 2002): vii-ix.

            63. "Western Esoteric Tradition." In J. Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann, eds., Religions of the World (Santa Barbara: ABC Clio, 2002), vol. 4: 1414-1418.

            64. "Julius Evola: A Philosopher for the Age of the Titans." Tyr 1 (2002): 127-142.

            65. "Herman Wirth on Folksong." Tyr 2 (2004): 263-283.

            66.  “Esotericism without Religion: Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.” Tyr 3 (2006): 155-171.

            67.  Introduction to Michael Maier, La fuga de Atalanta (Barcelona: Ediciones Atalanta, 2008): 11-62. (In Spanish)

            68. "Kepler e Kircher sull'Armonia delle Sfere." In Alessandro Grossato, ed., Forme e correnti dell'esoterismo occidentale (Venice: Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 2008): 145-164. (In Italian)

            69. Introduction to Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, The Kingdom of Agarttha, tr. Jon Graham (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2009): 1-27.

            70. "John Michell (1933-2009)." Temenos Academy Review, 12 (2009): 250-253.

            71. "Western New York's Theosophical Enlightener." In Eugenia Victoria Ellis, ed., Claude Bragdon and the Beautiful Necessity (Rochester, NY: Cary Graphic Arts press/Rochester Institute of Technology, 2010): 21-24.

            72. "Is There a Keynote of Nature?" In Arthur Versluis, Claire Fanger, Lee, Irwin, Melinda Phillips, eds., Esotericism, Religion, and Nature (East Lansing: Association for the Study of Esotericism, distributed by Michigan State U.P., 2010): 53-71.


ACLS Grant-in-Aid 1985-86