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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, 08:07:01 am »

It was Morrison, however, who was the more important of the two men, working under the pseudonym 'Zadkiel'. An ex-naval officer he became a professional astrologer in 1830 and founded Zadkiel's Almanac, sales of which rivalled those of The Prophetic Messenger. Apart from his journalism, Morrison did much to make astrology mildly respectable again; He complained, for instance, about the cheapjack astrologers who would work for as little as five shillings, when 'no man of education would stoop to receive such beggarly remuneration', and recommended that anyone wishing to consult an astrologer should go to one possessing the Diploma of the British Association for Astral Science (founded in 1844 with 107 members, but short-lived).

In his 1861 almanac, Morrison published a suggestion that Saturn's position during that year would be 'very evil for all persons born on or near the 26th August; among the sufferers I regret to see the worthy Prince Consort of these realms. Let such persons pay scrupulous attention to health.' On 14 December 1861, the Prince Consort died of typhoid.

Far from being congratulated on his accuracy, Zadkiel was consequently attacked by a leader writer in The Daily Telegraph, and forced to sue a rear-admiral who blackguarded him in the same newspaper. He won the case, evidence having been given for him by a large queue of titled clients; but the Lord Chief Justice was deeply unsympathetic, allowed continual laughter in court, and recommended low damages. Zadkiel received only twenty shillings and had to pay his own costs. The sales of his next almanac profited by the publicity, but as a consultant astrologer he almost vanishes from sight from that moment.

Morrison/Zadkiel could certainly not be disqualified from the accusation of having an interest in the occult - especially in crystal-gazing, an occupation which was really at the root of his libel case.

But he was a serious astrologer too, preparing and publishing in 1852 a popular abridgement of Lilly's Christian Astrology; and there were others - such as William Joseph Simmonite, elected to the Council of the London Meteorological Society (of which Morrison was also a member), and Richard Garnett (1835-1906), on the staff of the British Museum, an amateur who impressed Samuel Butler with some predictive successes.
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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