Ebenezer Sibly (1751–99) and Robert Cross Smith (1795–1832, better known as the first Raphael’), who helped to reinvent modern astrology, both identified with Thomas Perks, the self-taught astrologer from Kingswood, since Sibly spent time in Bristol and Smith was born on its outskirts and claimed a family interest in the story. Sibly’s ambivalent treatment of conjuration reflected his Swedenborgian theories and his attempt to distinguish astrology from black magic, whereas Raphael embraced unreservedly the Gothic excitement of magic, mixing fact and fiction in his astrological texts, while embodying elements of local and family folklore into his accounts.


astrology Ebenezer Sibly Raphael Swedenborgianism folklore conjuration black magic 


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Copyright information

© Jonathan Barry 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Barry
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ExeterUK

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