Appendix 2: Hegel’s Occult Drawing

Glenn Alexander Magee includes a drawing allegedly by Hegel in his book on Hegel’s hermeticism.1

It is not known when the drawing was made, but it was found among Hegel’s papers and has been attributed to him on that basis.

It is not known whether the triangles are supposed to be pointing up or down. The drawing includes astrological symbols for the sun, the moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn. A planetary symbol appears over each occurrence of “Spiritus”. Magee speculates that some of the other symbols may be variant astrological signs or alchemical symbols. According to Magee, “Hegel regularly employed astrological, chemical, and alchemical symbols in his manuscripts, as abbreviations.”2 Magee goes on to surmise:

“The word Spiritus occurs three times in the midst of astrological and (possibly) alchemical symbols, on each of the sides of the central triangle. This could represent Hegel’s philosophical realization that all reality—whether celestial (the planets) or terrestrial (the elements)—must be understood in terms of the development of Spirit…. Spiritus is the ‘magic word’ that evokes the ‘shape’ of the Absolute, which allows us to comprehend the Absolute in its totality.”3

  • 1. Magee, Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition 2001, 111.
  • 2. Magee, Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition 2001, 113.
  • 3. Magee, Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition 2001, 117.