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Author Topic: THE RENAISSANCE  (Read 4447 times)
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2008, 10:15:40 am »

While the use of astrology was already widespread among its traditional clients - kings, nobles and the wealthy, its popularity gained a tremendous boost with the invention of printing. Inexpensive almanacs flooded from the printing presses of Europe. Almanacs typically contained a calendar, showing the months and days of the week, astronomical events like eclipses, and planetary aspects as well as astrological predictions.
In the mid-seventeenth century, the famous English astrologer William Lilly issued an annual almanac, entitled Merlinus Anglicus (the English Merlin) with an estimated annual circulation reaching 30,000 copies. The total number of almanacs printed in England in this period exceeded the number of Bibles, and it is estimated that one third of all English households had astrological almanacs.
William Lilly also found his almanacs to be a potent advertising tool. Lilly was seeing nearly 2,000 clients each year at the height of his popularity in the mid 1600's. While still attracting the rich and titled, Lilly also served less affluent clients. Over a third of the querents in his workbooks, preserved in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University, are listed as ancilla (female servant). Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1971), p. 319.

As would be expected, querents frequently inquired about their romantic prospects, or about their financial and business outlooks. But as can be seen in his magnum opus, Christian Astrology, Lilly used the techniques of horary astrology to deal with a broad range of questions relating to all twelve houses of the horoscope, including health, the truth or falsity of rumors, buried treasure, the sex and number of children, illnesses, marriage, wealth & finances, which spouse would die first, dreams, career & position, friends and witchcraft.
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