Monday, February 11, 2013

John Dee the Royal Astrologer (1527-1608)

My first psychic of the week is John Dee. He was a mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and geographer. Queen Elizabeth relied on him to for guidance mainly using astrology. It seems John Dee was into it all including alchemy and divination. Back in his day, there wasn’t a line between magic and science. Despite believing in things today’s scientists would scoff at, he graduated from college when he was seventeen, lectured at the University of Paris, and almost completed his doctorate.

He was behind the English naval forces successful trade voyages of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He wrote books on mathematical subjects, and the improvements he made to the science of navigation. He was in good standing with the royals until King Edward VI died and Mary Tudor took the throne. At this time, Mary's half-sister, Elizabeth was imprisoned under house arrest in order to prevent her from trying to become queen. Someone managed to ask for John Dee's help. He prepared a horoscope for Elizabeth that predicted the death of Queen Mary and that Elizabeth would be queen of England. Of course, it had to be smuggled into the house.
Sure enough Mary had a spy in the house who betrayed Dee. He landed in prison on the charges of treason and for writing of the Queen's death. They even accused him of trying to bring it about with magic. After a long legal process, Dee managed to get the charges dropped.

On November 17th 1588, Dee’s predictions came true. Mary died and Queen Elizabeth I took the thrown. She made him a private counselor and royal astrologer. He had many good years until Queen Elizabeth died in 1603. James who succeeded her didn’t like magicians or occult activities.  Dee retired to his home in Mortlake where he died old and poor.
I have to admit, I felt sorry for John Dee at the end of his life. He seemed very talented. I thought his life would make a great story and searched for books on him. Sure enough, some were written, but it seems not much ever became of them.


Meanwhile, I'm on schedule to publish "Visionary of Peace" this Friday. Last weekend, I spent most of my time with final edits and formatting. This meant putting off most housework. At least the laundry got done.




Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you're on track with your book!
That he ended with nothing is sad, but I imagine he left the castle the final time with nothing.

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

I have never heard of this guy before, but he does sound like an interesting fellow.

I'm so excited about your book!

Jay Noel said...

Didn't he learn from Nostradamus? You need to not be so darn obvious with your predictions. Hide them in riddles and such.

Poor Dee.

Rusty Webb said...

Agreed with Jay, you don't come out and make a prediction that can really put you on the spot. You say things as vaguely as you can, leave some wiggle room.

Looking forward to the book release.