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Sepharial's Biography (Books)

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Dr Walter Gorn Old (born 20 March 1864, at 2:06 a.m. LMT in Handsworth, England; died 23 December 1929 in Hove, England) was a notable 19th century mystic and astrologer, better known as Sepharial.

An eminent English Theosophist, Sepharial was a well-known and respected astrologer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and wrote numerous books, some of which (particularly those on numerology) are still highly regarded today. He was editor of "Old Moore's Almanac", which is still published in the 21st century.

As a young man Sepharial initially studied medicine and followed this up with studies in psychology, oriental languages, astrology and numerology. In 1886 he started to write an astrology problem page in the Society Times, where he answered the public's questions, and in 1887 at the age of just 23 was admitted to the "inner sanctum" of the Theosophical Society. He was in fact one of the founder members of the Theosophical movement in England. Madame Blavatsky (whom he lived with until her death) called him "The Astral Tramp" because of his nightly explorations into the astral plane (Ref: Kim Farnell's book).
Influential legacy

He became a very influential author in the fields of the occult, astrology and numerology, and his writings had a considerable impact on E. H. Bailey and Alan Leo, who he introduced to Theosophy. He can be credited as the first astrologer to use Earth's "dark moon" Lilith in his calculations. Genuinely erudite, Sepharial had for example a greater knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, and historical methodology than most of his astrological contemporaries and this showed in his writings. Sepharial's "Degrees of the Zodiac Symbolised" (co-written with Charubel) foreshadowed Marc Edmund Jones's subsequent (and nowadays better known) work on Sabian Symbols. However, many of his books and other works were put together in a rather slapdash way, which made his reputation less enduring than it might have been. A colourful character, Sepharial started a number of astrological magazines, all of which failed to establish themselves.

Sepharial wrote many books, most of which are rare and out of print. Here are a few:

* Sepharial: "New Dictionary of Astrology", republished by Arco, New York in 1964.
* Sepharial: "The New Manual of Astrology" (in four books).
* Sepharial: "Astrology Explained".
* Sepharial: "The Book Of The Simple Way" Pub 1904. (Translation of Lao Tzu's Chinese classic, the "Tao Te Ching").
* Sepharial: "The Kabala of Numbers" Pub 1913. Modern edition: ISBN 1-59605-404-2. (on numerology).
* Sepharial: "The Silver Key".
* Sepharial: "Cosmic Symbolism".
* Sepharial: "Science of Foreknowledge".
* Sepharial and Charubel: "Degrees of the Zodiac Symbolised" (on astrology).
* Kim Farnell: "Astral Tramp". Ascella Publications, 1998, ISBN 1-898503-88-5. (biography of Sepharial).

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