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(X.) HISTORY - Towards the Dark

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Author Topic: (X.) HISTORY - Towards the Dark  (Read 771 times)
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2007, 08:01:22 am »

There is not much information about the practices of these American astrologers, but a contemporary diary reveals at least that on Rhode Island privateers were consulting astrologers about the time at which they should set sail (though two of them, advised to sail on Friday, 24 December, did so in the middle of a snowstorm and went down with all hands); merchants seem to have employed astrologers similarly - and even Franklin himself did so, on one occasion.

In general, although there were several different emphases, astrology in America (like much else) was broadly imitative of astrology in Britain; there, as in the mother country, astrologers relied on the popularity of their almanacs to keep them afloat.

Since the earliest days of the printed almanac, it had been the case that the livelier an astrologer's pen was, the more success he had; Lilly's popular success was in a very large measure due to his pawky, roistering style.

At the end of the 18th century, when natural scepticism made the simple provision of predictions unacceptable, it was even more important for astrologers to entertain their readers, and the tradition of the astrological journalist became much stronger - to reach its apogee a century and a half later, in the newspaper astrologer.

In the early part of the 19th century, the most popular almanac in Britain was the Vox Stellarum, which by 1839 was selling over half a million copies - rather surprising, perhaps, when one considers that it was editorially very much on the side of the Americans in the War of Independence, believing that the result 'paved the way for freedom', and positively welcomed the French Revolution with its 'glorious and happy spirit of liberty'. It did, however, take England's part in the war against France.
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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