Dr Walter Gorn Old (Sepharial), born 20 March 1864 in Handsworth, England; died 23 December 1929 in Hove, England) was a notable 19th-century astrologer, who used the nom-de-plume “Sepharial”, after an angel in the apocryphal Book of Enoch.
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 are still highly regarded in some circles 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 public questions, and in 1887 was admitted to the “inner sanctum” of the Theosophical Society. He was one of the founding members of the Theosophical movement in England. Madame Blavatsky (whom he lived with until her death) called him “The Astral Tramp”.
Sepharial became an influential author in the fields of the occult, astrology and numerology, and his writings had a considerable impact on Alfred H. Barley and Alan Leo, who he introduced to Theosophy. He can be credited as the first astrologer to use Waltemath earth’s hypothetical natural satellite in his calculations. Since he considered it to be black enough to be invisible most of the time he call it “dark moon” Lilith. 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. Sepharial also started a number of astrological magazines, all of which failed to establish themselves.
Sepharial wrote many books, most of which are rare and out of print, including the following:
- Dictionary of Astrology
- Manual of Astrology (in four books)
- Astrology Explained
- The Book Of The Simple Way
- The Kabala of Numbers
- The Silver Key
- Cosmic Symbolism
- Eclipses: Astronomically and Astrologically Considered and Explained
- Science of Foreknowledge
- Sepharial and Charubel: Degrees of the Zodiac Symbolised” (on astrology).
- A Manual of Occultism
- Astrology: How To Make Your Own Horoscope
- The Arcana Or Stock And Share Key
- The Law of Values: An Exposition of the Primary Causes of Stock and Share Fluctuations
- The Theory of Geodetic Equivalents