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A New and Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences: Or the Art of Foretelling Future Events and Contingencies, By the Aspects, and Influences, of the Heavenly Bodies Founded on Natural Philosophy, Scripture, Reason, and the Mathematics. In Four Parts. [2 volumes]. Part I. An Enquiry into, and Defense of, Astrology...Part II. Examples for acquiring a Practical Knowledge of Astrology...Part III. Meteorological Astrology defined and explained...Part IV. The Distinction between Astrology and the Diabolical Practice of Exorcism.

London: Printed for the Author and Sold by Champante and Whitrow, Jewry-Street, Aldgate; and at the British Directory-Office, Ave-Maria Lane, nd. [1780-1804][1793]. Revised. Quarter calf. Ebenezer Sibly (1751 – c. 1799) was an English physician, astrologer and writer on the occult. He studied amongst other things, medicine, alchemy, and history of witchcraft. Sibly's 'New And Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences' is an exceptional work, without a doubt one of the key works on astrology and magic of the period, and one of the earliest significant astrological studies of the American revolution. To say that Sibly was just an occultist and astrologer would be dismissive. The assessments, predictions, and observances are quite scholarly and scientific. He referenced major figures of history including Agrippa, Aristotle, Newton, Paracelsus, Swedenborg, and Culpeper. This set is more scarce than the compiled sets of the 19th century and is complete. [Collation discussion] Opinions differ, but it seems that the first 'volume' of Sibly's New and Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences was first published in 1784, with the subsequent volumes printed over the next few years. The volumes went through a number of printings, but as mixed sets were often issued and the individual parts were themselves often 'mixed' (that is made up using sheets from a number of different printings) identification of them is difficult, such as the case with these volumes. The numbering and arrangement of the plates for example is quite erratic. The majority of the volumes are issued and compiled posthumously (after 1800). Under variant titles, Sibly discusses details of magical procedure, and an account of the spirit world derived from Reginald Scot, in the 1665 edition of Discoverie of Witchcraft and recollects an encounter with "higher life forms" in Part IV (1122-1123). A strange, wonderful, and comprehension occult tome, and should be regarded as one of the most important occult texts on scientific and medical astrology of the 18th century. Issued as such: [Part 1, 1790], [Part 2, 1784], [Part 3, 1792], [Part 4, 1791]; includes a "Dedication to the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons," "To the Young Student in Astrology," "Poetical Invocation to Urania," and "The Author's Preface to this New Edition." Includes the distinguished plates reproduced by magician A.E. Waite in the 19th century: "Signs, Characters, and Magical Knife" and Edward Kelly, a magician in the act of invoking the spirit of a deceased person." Near Fine. Tight, bright, and unmarred. Rebound in quarter calf over marbled boards, 2 volumes (xii; 618; 1126 pp + index) in fine condition with gilt titling and raised bands. Fresh endpapers, the text and plates are clean, with mild foxing/discoloration and trimmed edges, a few pages (title) with basic repairs, small tears, otherwise an excellent text block specimen. Large quartos in four 'parts' bound in two volumes, 29 unnumbered leaves of plates, each part with individual title pages. Numerous tables, diagrams, and illustrations in text. Text is complete and collated with all plates present. Item #11094

Price: $5,500.00

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