Local Heros work found in...Argentina!

While I was away I made a few design related purchases. One of my favourite days on my trip was spent perusing the antique markets of San Telmo in Buenos Aires. The array of well designed books astounded me. Books that, in the UK, would cost upward of £10 purely based on their cover design, I picked up for less than £2. Most of the books on offer were lovingly packaged in plastic wrapping and were in good nick.

I bought 2 books; 'Los Isleros' by Ernesto L Castro, a story of family struggles of islanders living on the Parana river. I haven't been able to find out much about Castro himself but the book was turned into a film in 1951. The second book was 'El Libro de los Numeros' by Sepharial, who turns out to be from Handsworth Wood, just down the road from where I live in Birmingham.

I chose these books purely for their cover design so am suprised and so pleased that one of the authors turned out to be a Brummie! Here's a little bit about Sepharial:

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).

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.

He sounds like an interesting guy and I'm just disappointed that my spanish isn't good enough to read the book!

Here's a photo of my purchases at San Telmo:

1 comment:

  1. merci pour cette sujet bonne continuation