We have him to thank for the western tradition to gain access to "pure" hermetism through his translations of Plato and The Hermetic Corpus.
This does not mean Hermeticism didn't exist in Europe at this stage, it did in its Islamic, Christian and alchemical forms.
The influence of Ficino's ideas on the Medici family was enormous. La primavera for example is commissioned as a massive hermetic talisman. When we look at the beauty of those times, and the ideas and streams of thought that have been passed down, it is hard to think how the hermetic magick they performed in those days is linked to what we do today.
In the renaissance, playing specific scales on the harp whilst singing an Orphic Hymn was seen as one of the heights of magick, and rightly so.
Therefore, without further waste of space, I will offer a Hermetic ritual for understanding the love of oneself. This is a Thaumaturgic ritual utilising the planetary signature of the Rose.
The ritual is self-explanatory and does not need a 777 or other mostly useless books as reference.
A container of seawater, collected yourself
7 white candles
7 rosebuds, 28 red roses and 49 white roses
Pure beeswax incence and something to burn it on
White wine mixed with honey, and 7 white peppercorns
A dove, to be eaten. This you should order from a good butcher.
Choose the day of the ritual with as much thought as you would plan a wedding. This is an expensive ritual that you perform for the sake of yourself, to infuse the positive forces of the planet Venus into your very being. The effects will not be permanent, not on their own at least. You will have to work to keep the feeling alive and to incorporate it permanently into your being. However the rite will temporarily sever forces from your being that, among other things cause self-loathing.
If you look in yourself you will realise how many things you do due to the fact that you do not fully truly love yourself. You might treat others as you would want to be treated because you want desperately to be loved, not because you give selflessly, for example. There are many ways this particular archon holds us prisoner.
You fast and refrain from all company for 24 hours and abstain from any form of sexual act for 7 days. You do not read or watch tv, you are only to look upon images of a sensual nature, not sexual mind, sensual, that express love. You may walk in meadows or flowery parks
The ritual proper:
Perform all acts with the understanding that you are immersing yourself fully in the transcending aspects of Venus, that this beneficent planet may help you love yourself.
1 remove all your clothes.
2 You will boil the dove for 5 minutes rapid boil, then simmer it for 20. You take it out and fill the inside cavity where the stuffing would go, with the red rosebuds and honey. Then glaze the bird with honey and in the oven it goes. Say about 40 minutes on 120-150 C. You know your oven the best.
3 You will clear your bed, put on new sheets, or sheets that have been washed recently. Everything has to be perfect.
4 repeat: Venus, holy all-mother fountain of life and love great mother loved by all, who cannot do evil in the world, you turn the wheel of time and give beauty. The tear in the eye, the waters of the life giving ocean, you are the womb from where we all came yet ever virgin. I do not know you, I am a mortal who truly have never experienced you. All I say are words. For what is love? Let me know you. I invite you. Let your influence descend unto this holy altar, please mother, Goddess of love come."
5 Rip off the petals of the 28 red roses and spread them on your bed showering it in petals covering your bed in it.
6 You then arrange the candles on the dining room table and light them. Again, inviting Love to come into your light
7 In your bathtub you run a bath. (aim for a warm, not a hot bath).
Take the container of sea water, hold it up and say:
As the great goddess was born out of the sea she blessed it with her presence. The water is her beginning. Lord of all, that which is beyond all you have blessed this water, as I now pour it into my own waters may I rise from it as Aphrodite herself rose.
Pour in the water
8 Take the white roses and crush their petals into the water. The planetary energies living in the rose will infuse the water.
9 Make a whip of some of the discarded rose-stalks. Now, you may strike yourself seven times. No more. These seven strikes should be everything you hate about yourself. one for every strike. Too fat? Too slim? Ugly? Self-loathing? Addicted? Try to chrystalise the self loathing in seven exclamations (good to think about before).
Lash yourself once per exclamation. This should hurt. there might be blood. It is OK to hate oneself.
10. Take the mirror. Look into it. Look at yourself. Praying to the Forces of Love and venus (do not add syncretic deities of lists of gods here, just the personification of love) ask her to heal you and teach you so you may understand love.
Truly ask her and pray.
11 with the honey cover your genitals until you feel arousal. Continue praying for Venus to come. The moment of arousal, move your hands all over your body. Offer everything you touch to Love. This nipple I offer to Venus so she may transmute it into pure Love, this mole I offer to Venus... etc.
once every part of your body is covered sink into the Bath with the roses in it. Be sensual. Touch yourself, not sexually, just knowingly. You are now in the presence of the Venusian forces that are truly present. Not much more need to be said as you will feel the presence descend into your very being. Drink the goblet of wine and light the incence.
12. step out of the bath, dry yourself and serve yourself the bird. Eat it, placing some on a separate plate as an offering to Venus.
13. In the bed you will now offer thanks to Venus by making love to yourself. Do not think of anyone else, do not use toys. Just your on hands, and the petals. After the climax, stay in bed and have a good nights sleep.