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Dr. Aaron Cheak
Director, Ars Hieratica
Editor-in-Chief, Rubedo Press

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Sacred Arts and Sciences

Usually associated with the schools of Neoplatonism in antiquity, the sacred arts and sciences were deeply rooted in the temple practices of the Egyptian ‘house of life’ (per ankh). Here artisan and hierarch, alchemist and metallurgist, worked hand in hand to shape culture through a unity of art, science, and sacred philosophy. These traditions informed and transformed the esoteric practices not only of the ancient world, but also of its Byzantine, Islamicate, and European inheritors. 

Tracing the eternal golden braid woven through the fabric of the world’s sacred lineages, Ars Hieratica seeks to nurture the critically neglected Ariadne’s thread of hieratic philosophy. Operating principally through what Henry Corbin called a “comparative spiritual hermeneutics”, Ars hieratica exists as a bridge between two disconnected worlds: qualitative academic research and embodied esoteric practice.

Art and artifice. Craft and cunning. Knowledge and gnosis. The Latin term ars, like the Greek word technē, evokes a simmering range of meanings. When qualified as “hieratic”, however, it becomes, properly speaking, the science of the hierarch—the ruler of the sacred. Temple priests, philosopher kings, lovers of wisdom. When metallurgy and medicine breathe the same air as metaphysics, the fires of Heaven and Hades form one circuit. 

Inspired by the unity of the traditional sciences in the ancient world, the purpose of Ars Hieratica is to open up the presence of this ever-living fire through the arts of the concrete world. It is to reforge thereby the forgotten bonds between the hieratic, the technical, and the fine arts. Under the aegis of Ars Hieratica, the present endeavour exists primarily to educate, but ultimately to reinvigorate.