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Books by William Lilly

It's William Lilly's face you see, above, and all the other pages in the astrology section of our website. He was one of the most outstanding astrologers who ever lived, and without doubt the most outstanding English astrologer of all time. Most people have heard of his masterpiece, Christian Astrology, though few have seen it. It has attracted publishers throughout the centuries, but the first complete reprinting of this great work occurred only in 1985.

In addition to Christian Astrology, Lilly wrote numerous pamphlets & broadsides as well as his autobiography. Below is what we have available, below that, his portrait in oils and the famous black & white woodcut. Be patient while they load, they're a treat.

Indicates a book on our Top Ten list. If you would like to find more books like it, click on the star.

CHRISTIAN ASTROLOGY, Book 1: An Introduction to Astrology; Book 2: The Resolution of All Manner of Questions - William Lilly, $39.95

Synopsis: Named "Christian" to avoid hassles (some things never change), this is the most famous, the most celebrated astrology book in the English language. It has been prized by students ever since its first publication in 1647. The Horary Astrology in these pages is demanding and precise, combining science and art. Properly used, it will give answer to any well-defined question. William Lilly, famous throughout England for his almanacs & forecasts (he predicted Londonís Great Fire of 1666), lived during the English Civil War & was a minor historical figure in it. Into his studio came the rich and poor, the noble and ignoble, with problems great and small.

This new edition restores Lilly's original page layouts, with marginalia. Modern spelling throughout, this edition includes Lilly's bibliography, his original index & a new glossary. Also includes his original woodblock charts, and their modern versions. This is Lilly's great work as he himself knew it. Click here for a PDF of Chapter 22 (first chapter of Book 2).

Contents, comment.

Astrology Classics, 552 pages, paper.

CHRISTIAN ASTROLOGY, BOOK 3: An Easie and Plaine Method Teaching How to judge upon Nativities - William Lilly, $32.95

Synopsis: The long-awaited finale to Lilly's great book. Here is the finest of 17th century English natal astrology, which remains to this day the very apex of western astrology. Newly reset, page by page, table by table, to match Lilly's originals. Spelling and verbs modernized. Glossary of obscure terms, including Latin words and phrases. Calculations in modern format. All 24 solar returns and all 12 profection charts in standard wheel format. Fixed star positions updated to 1 January 2005. Modern symbols for aspects (including minor aspects) used throughout. Primaries untangled, as much as possible.

Contents, Comment.

A PDF extract on the fortune of the native.

Astrology Classics, 388 pages.

THE ASTROLOGER'S GUIDE, also known as ANIMA ASTROLOGAIE - William Lilly, with Henry Coley, Guido Bonatus & Jerome Cardan, $18.95
Contents: Editor's preface to the 1886 edition; Address by William Lilly; Henry Coley's address to the reader;

The considerations of Guido Bonatus

Choice Aphorisms from the Seven Segments of Cardan:

  • General aphorisms
  • Aphorisms relating to nativities
  • Aphorisms concerning revolutions
  • Aphorisms relating to decumbitures, diseases, physic
  • Aphorisms concerning elections
  • Aphorisms relating to eclipses & comets
  • Aphorisms touching weather, meteors, etc.
  • Some aphorisms relating to husbandry
  • Aphorisms relating to general accidents

Fifty of the principle fixed stars (positions as of 1700, eg, not updated)

Comment: Late in his life, Lilly wanted to revise his Introduction to Astrology (Book 1 of Christian Astrology, above), but pressed for time, he made do with this priceless translation of extracts from Guido Bonatus & Cardan. The selection is Lilly's, the translation was by Henry Coley, his adopted son and amanuensis during the last years of his life. Bonatus deals with horary issues. Cardan deals with natal charts & has fascinating sections on return charts, diseases, electional charts, eclipses & comets, weather, farming & accidents.

The book is newly reset & replaces the earlier, poorly-printed wire-bound edition. This belongs in every astrologer's library, the insights of Bonatus & Cardan are essential. (In fact, there are moves afoot to translate & publish the entire opus of these two men, which I expect will take at least a full decade.) The AFA's text was taken from the 1886 edition by Wm. C. Eldon Serjeant. He is the author of the unattributed Editor's Preface, as well as of the notes throughout the text. Despite the blurb on the back of the book, The Astrologer's Guide, aka Anima Astrologiae, was first published in London in 1676. I am disappointed the AFA made no effort to decipher & update the fixed star positions in the back. Some of these stars are the same as those given in Christian Astrology, book 3 (above), which I attempted to disentangle in mid-2004.

AFA, 132 pages.

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Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

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