Hildegard of Bingen

On the Planets and the Firmament

Introduction by Victoria Sweet

Hildegard says: "There are also five other planets, and they have light from the fire and from the ether and they are sturdy and the support of the firmament. And they have they have orbits of as much height as depth in the firmament, that they shine there, where the sun does not shine and its luster hardly reaches; where they are they rush and are slaves to the orbit of the sun and they maintain the speed of the sun and they make its fire dwindle away, so so thus because of them it does not emit so much heat from its fire, as it would do, if they did not restrain it. And like the five senses of the human body they form the basis of its body and they are ornaments of it, thus indeed those five planets contain the sun and are its ornament. But the firmament is also revolving quickly, and the sun, with the other planets, rushes little by little against it and opposite to it and restrains its speed; because if the sun did not restrain it by slowing it or if, along with the other planets, it rushed with such speed against the firmament, that it turned around, everything would be mixed together, and the firmament would be completely shattered."

Original Latin