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Morrison, Richard James (1795-1874)

Morrison, Richard James (1795-1874)

The contemporary revival of interest in astrology reversed a trend that saw astrology almost disappear from Western culture by the end of the eighteenth century. Astrology began its slow return in a format capable of existing in the scientifically-oriented world due in large part to the efforts of a series of nineteenth century British astrologers, most of whom wrote under pseudonyms. Richard James Morrison was one of the important writers and publishers who kept astrological knowledge alive.

Morrison was born on June 15, 1795, in London. He joined the navy at the age of 11 and rose to the rank of lieutenant in 1815 during the Napoleonic wars. He retired in 1817, still a young man. He became interested in astrology through R. C. Smith, better known under his pen name, Raphael. Morrison adopted the pen name Zadkiel and began an astrological almanac, The Herald of Astrology (later Zadkiel's Almanac ), modeled upon Raphel's The Prophetic Messenger. In 1835 Morrison completed his major literary contribution to the astrological revival, an abridged edition of William Lilly 's Christian Astrology.

Zadkiel's career was punctuated by a series of incidents that began in 1861 when his almanac predicted a bad year for Prince Albert, the popular consort of Queen Victoria. When Albert died unexpectedly at the end of the year, many gave Zadkiel credit for an accurate prediction, but Edward Belcher, a writer for the London Daily Telegraph, attacked Morrison for spreading superstition to the gullible. Morrison countered with a libel suit and won, but was awarded only 20 shillings. His real reward was the publicity the case attracted, which substantially increased his sales. Morrison continued to publish his almanac until his death on April 5, 1874, after which it was continued by his students for many years.

Sources:

Morrison, R. J. An Introduction to Astrology by William Lilly, being the whole of that Celebrated Author's Rules for the Practice of Horory Astology London, 1835. Reprint, Hollywood, Calif.: Newcastle Publishing, 1972.

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"Morrison, Richard James (1795-1874)." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved June 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/morrison-richard-james-1795-1874

Zadkiel

Zadkiel

Pseudonym of Richard James Morrison (1795-1874), one of the pioneer British astrologers of the nineteenth century. He was born in London, England, on June 15, 1795. He joined the navy when only eleven and eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant by the time of his retirement in 1817. He developed an interest in astrology in the 1820s and became a friend of Robert Cross Smith ("Raphael") who published Raphael's Astronomical Ephemeris. Morrison modeled his own successful Zadkiel's Almanac, begun in 1836, on Smith's work. Morrison calculated horoscopes for the Prince Consort and the Princess Royal that were gratefully accepted, but Queen Victoria later expressed concern about predictions for the Prince Consort, possibly because they were so accurate as to cause some disquiet.

Morrison's name made reference to one of the angels in the Jewish rabbinical legend of the celestial hierarchies. He was the ruler of Jupiter. Through him pass grace, goodness, mercy, piety, and munificence, and he bestows clemency, benevolence, and justice on all.

Sources:

Lewis, James R. Astrology Encyclopedia. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1994.

Morrison, R. J. An Introduction to Astrology by William Lilly. 1835. Reprint, Hollywood, Calif.: Newcastle, 1972.

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"Zadkiel." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Zadkiel." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zadkiel

"Zadkiel." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved June 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zadkiel