Minneapolis, MN: Wizards Bookshelf, 1973. New Edition. First printing of this edition, a facsimile reprint of the first edition of 1822-23 printed by R. Walker, near the Duke's Palace in Norwich. Square 12mo. Original blue cloth, silver gilt design and titles on front, titles on spine. 200 pp.+  pp ads, with plates and two rotating planispheres (the Sphinxiad and the Cyclobthiad) at rear. Pages 181-200 print the NOTES TO THE WIZARD EDITION, with Bibliographical Notes. French bookseller's ticket on front pastedown, a near fine, bright copy. The first edition is rare, and this facsimile reprint is extremely difficult to locate. Item #310770
¶ Originally issued with the two rotating planispheres as frontipieces, they are her reproduced at the front as printed blocks but inserted at the rear as moving planispheres printed on heavy card stock. "This book constitutes a single piece of an enormous philosophical jigsaw puzzle, a puzzle that doesn't exist for the majority of mankind, because they choose to belive that nature is unfathamble." Samson Arnold Mackey, Shoemaker (1765-1843), the Self-Taught Astronomer of Norwich. Mackey was a source frequently cited by H.P. Blavatsky, primarilly in relation to his theory pertaining to the zodiacs of the Egyptian temple of Dendera, and his interpretation of them. Mackey was of the opinion that, during the millennia through which equinoctial precession occurs, the path traced by the celestial north pole of the Earth is not a closed circle, as is commonly held, but a spiral. What this means, is that Mackey held that the inclination of the Earth's axis constantly shifted in a mostly regular pace, changing inclination by about 4 degrees in the duration of time encompassing one precessional cycle (or "Great Year", considered to very roughly constitute a period of 25000-26000 years). This gradual change of axial inclination was assigned by him as the cause of periodic and very intense climatic changes that took place on the planet's surface, and thus drastically affected the modes of life upon it. Mackey considered that mythology was essentially a descriptive medium meant for communicating important occurrences of a celestial, astronomical and geological nature, by converting the observed phenomena into "sublime incomprehensibilities", as he himself described it. David Pratt writes: "He was one of the first writers to publicly challenge the biblical dogma that the earth was no more than about 6000 years old, and argued instead that the earth, and humanity too, was millions of years old. He was invited to join the Freemasons, but refused to do so as he wanted to preserve his independence. He died in an almshouse. Issued as a volume in the "Secret Doctrine Reference Series"