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Solomon's Secret ArtsThe Occult in the Age of Enlightenment$
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Paul Kleber Monod

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300123586

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300123586.001.0001

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A Fading Flame

A Fading Flame

(p.119) Chapter Four A Fading Flame
Solomon's Secret Arts

Paul Kléber Monod

Yale University Press

This chapter describes occult philosophy's state of decline, which translated to fewer works on alchemy, less respect for astrology, and the virtual disappearance of ritual magic among the educated. From 1710 onwards, years passed without any new book or alchemical work coming onto the market at all. Astrology, on the other hand, suffered a somewhat different fate. As with alchemy, it suffered a loss of prestige, but its popularity remained. Public thirst for predictions remained constant, and so did the number of almanacs published in England at the time. A select few bothered to examine whether astrology worked through natural magic or angelic influence, and as a result, serious studies of astrology became rare and hard to come by. John Partridge dominated the field, with his empirical approach that was anti-Copernican, firmly opposed to magic, and fixated on the “Hileg” or predictor of death.

Keywords:   occult philosophy, state of decline, alchemy, astrology, ritual magic, natural magic, angelic influence, John Partridge, Hileg, predictor of death

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