“En Giro Torte Sol Ciclos Et Rotor Igne” (The Spiritual Sun has turned the Ages in a Circle and is their Mover with Fire) are words referred to in the Ogdoadic system of High Magick as the “Clavis Mystica.” Taken all together, they are a palindrome – reading the same forwards as they do backwards. The words are not easy to translate, being a mixture of medieval Greek and Latin, and they form the Sacred Heart of Mysteries and serve as a most perfect Invocation of those Inner Plane Powers.
But what does it mean to “turn the ages in a Circle?” Marsilio Ficino explains: “Eternity is the image of God; the Cosmos, of Eternity; the Sun, of the Cosmos; and Man, of the Sun. People call Transformation Death, because the body is dissolved, but in fact life withdraws into the Unmanifest. I shall tell you, as you are listening with such reverence, my beloved Hermes, that all these things that have been thus Dissolved and indeed the Cosmos, are transformed. Each day a part of the Cosmos withdraws into the Unmanifest, but the Cosmos is never Dissolved. This is what happens to the Cosmos, these are its Cycles and its Mysteries. The Cycles are a continual rotation and the Mystery is the Renewal.”
The daily withdrawal of the Cosmos is the principal concept here, symbolized to the ancients by the setting of the Sun – the well-known journey of Ra and other Solar Gods through the Underworld. This is of course followed by the Dawn: this is the Regeneration, the Rebirth of the Adept after the Sojourn of the Darkness. Thus is this palindrome whose very orthographic structure symbolizes the Cycles of “Continual Rotation” and Renewal.
You can see these eight words in the beautiful marble inlay on the floor of the Baptistery of San Giovanni, where they encircle an image of the Sun, and you can trace the footsteps of the greatest minds of the Renaissance that were quite familiar with this palindrome and still view this sight today inside the eight-sided Baptistery of Florence which is situated in the Piazza del Duomo.