Because Actaeon the hunter has seen the proud virgin Diana naked while bathing, she turns him into a deer, and he is then torn to pieces by his own bloodhounds. 

Giordano Bruno interprets this legend in his last work Of the heroic passions (1585) as a parable of the drama of the process of knowledge. 

"Here Actaeon represents the intellect, on the hunt for divine wisdom at the moment of grasping divine beauty." Just when he thinks he grasps Sophia in the glass of outer nature, and lifts the veil from her lunar mystery, he himself becomes the victim or subject of his own striving." He saw himself transformed into that which he sought, and realized that he himself had become a much-desired prey for his hounds, his thoughts. Because he had actually drawn the godhead into himself, it was no longer necessary to seek them outside himself."

Actaeon is Bruno's new heroic man who, killed by his many large hounds, is radically inverted. "Here, his life in the mad, sensuous, blind and fantastic world comes to an end, and from now on he leads a spiritual life. He lives the life of the gods."

 - Alexander Roob, Alchemy & Mysticism




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