From Pat Deveney's database:
The journal appears to have been primarily an attempt by Sepharial to spread word of the availability of his personal services as a consultant on the stock market, horse racing, and the like. Every subscriber to the new journal was offered a free consultation:
"Every man,woman,or child,who purchases No.1 of THE FORECAST will be entitled to the use of the coupon which will be given away with this number, and will enable them to receive 'Sepharial's' advice, directions, and prognostication, with regard to any particular question upon which the reader may choose to consult him, under the conditions specified on the coupon."
This proved to be so much in demand, however, that the offer was withdrawn two months later, but Sepharial continued to offer somewhat dubious (and more scalable) services, most notably help in playing the stock market on margin, with his recompense being a share of the profits.
"Subscribers to The Forecast will have received a circular in common with many of my old clients, offering them the facility of operating on the marginal system in selected stocks and shares under what must be considered to be conditions of exceptional, if not unique, nature, with an absolute limit of responsibility and prorata participation in profits."
Walter Richard Old (1864-1929), who variously changed his name to Gorn Old or Gornold, was an astrologer with strong occult interests, although he carefully distinguished his "scientific, mathematical" version of astrology and forecasting from the "psychic" version favored by some of his competitors, although he allowed that he was not unfamiliar with psychic powers. "For every statement made from the principles of Astrology a scientific reason is forthcoming, a mathematical calculation adduced, which puts all mere guesswork out of the question and is, more over, independent even of the employment of the 'psychic faculty,' so much talked of in these days, and so widely associated with certain forms of divination which pass under the name of 'fortunetelling.' I do not dispute the existence of this faculty in certain individuals; on the contrary, I have had exceptional opportunities of satisfying myself on the point, but it has no part in astrological practice. From mathematics and experience alone we are able to affirm that celestial phenomena are causative in relation to mundane events."
Old joined the Theosophical Society in 1888 and subsequently became a member of H.P. Blavatsky's Inner Group and an editor, for short times, of The Vahan and of The Theosophist (in India). In the mid-1890s he became persona non grata in the Theosophical Society when he was involved with the publication of Edmund Garrett's Isis Very Much Unveiled, and withdrew from active work in the society. He was a prolific author on occult and mystical subjects (numbers, crystal balls, phrenology, Tao Te Ching, geodetic equivalents, Kabbalah,charms and talismans, etc.) but was primarily interested in astrology, though he advocated somewhat unorthodox views on subject, like his insistence on the influence of earth's invisible "dark moon," Lilith, on horoscopes.
His views on astrology grew out of his convictions on the place of man in the cosmos. In the first issue of his earlier journal Fate and Future in 1890 h opined:
"This we know, that within a certain radius, commonly known as the "field' of action, every atom, and hence every composite body, has a power and influence which may rightly be called its own property. If, therefore, for the purpose of argument, we regard every man as an atom or centre of force, we shall see his true relationship to the east of that body of which he is an integral part. Within the laws governing the whole body he is without doubt fated to come under the influence of certain forces, and to operate within defined limits, but within his own sphere or 'field,' a liberty of action arising out of the ever-changing constitution of that body is attributable to him. This change of immediate association and environment is what we may loosely refer to as the fortune of a man."
The journal consisted of weather and market forecasts, tips on horse racing, and short astrological descriptions of prominent Edwardians like Beerbohm Tree, Theodore Roosevelt, Annie Besant ("a fine artistic sense and no little dramatic ability"), Winston Churchill (for whom Sepharial foresaw an undistinguished future), and the like. It carried advertisements for "Minetta, Telepathist and Cartomante," who gave "psychometric readings relative to financial, social, and personal affairs" (10s. 6d.), and for a complete line of occult and astrological books, including prominently those by the editor, and for devices like the "'Richard Burton' Magnetic Mirror," Thomas A. Eyre's Planetoscope, and the like. The editor also, for varying fees, offered to "calculate" nativies -- careful to say that the fee was only for the calculations, not forecasts. For seven shillings Sepharial offered the horoscope of the charter of any specified company.
The last issue of the journal (2/8, December 1907) apologized for its late appearance, recited the editor's hope for the support of his friends, and promised the continuance of the journal, which would in the future be enriched by a weekly "Special Supplement" to be called Futures: A Weekly Journal of Finance & Speculation, with sections devoted to racing, market forecasts, stock and share outlook, and the fluctuations in the prices of produce. This was to appear "as soon as arrangements can be made for its regular appearance", but hopes for its appearance vanished with this journal.
Old published an earlier journal, Fate and Fortune, an astrological miscellany, in London in 1890 (4 issues only), and mentions Coming Events as another of his failed ventures. Listed in F. Leigh Gardner, Bibliotheca Astrologica, 118.
|Issues:||Forecast V1 N1 Spring 1906|
|Forecast V1 N2 Summer 1906|
|Forecast V1 N3 Autumn 1906|
|Forecast V1 N4 Winter 1906|
|Forecast V2 N5 Spring 1907|
|Forecast V2 N6 Summer 1907|
|Forecast V2 N8 Winter 1908|