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Clive Kavan: Publishing the Regulus Edition of William Lilly

Clive Kavan on Publishing the Regulus Edition of William Lilly

Episode 212 features an interview with Clive Kavan about how he published the 1985 Regulus edition of William Lilly’s book Christian Astrology, which helped to spur the revival of traditional astrology in modern times.

Lilly’s book Christian Astrology was originally published in 1647, and it was the first major textbook astrology written in English, because prior to that time most astrological texts were written in Latin.

Lilly himself drew on a wide variety of different Hellenistic, Medieval, and Renaissance sources, and his book became very influential to subsequent generations of astrologers in the English-speaking world.

The book was not widely available in its original form for most of the 20th century though, and that is why the publication of the Regulus edition of Lilly in 1985 was important.

The Regulus edition made the earliest English-language textbook on astrology widely available again, helped re-popularize the practice of horary astrology, and also eventually helped contribute to a wider revival of interest in older or more traditional forms of astrology that has expanded even more in recent years.

For more background information on the impact of the Regulus edition of Lilly, see my previous episode with Lee Lehman on horary astrology.

I met Clive by chance at a pub the first night I flew into London, where a group of astrologers were hanging out after the Monday night meeting of the Astrological Lodge. Someone told me that he had published the Regulus edition of Lilly, and after asking him some questions about how that came about, I knew I had to get this interview with him to capture some of this important history.

The interview was conducted on June 18, 2019 in the research library at the Theosophical Lodge of London, where the Astrological Lodge of London meets each week since 1915.

Clive brought some original documents to the meeting that day, including a first edition of Lilly, which I will post some pictures of in a gallery below.

For more info on Clive visit CliveKavan.com.

This episode is available in both audio and video versions below.

Gallery of Images

Some pictures of books Clive brought to the interview:

Watch the Video Version of This Episode

Here is the video version of my interview with Clive Kavan:

Listen to the Audio Version of This Episode

You can either play this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it as an MP3 to your computer by using the buttons below:

Written by
Chris Brennan
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6 comments
  • The joy on Clive’s face is infectious. The old books are beautiful, and precious. He’s done us all a lot of good through his efforts. I wasn’t aware of Clive’s name before now, but I’m very happy to have discovered one of the key people behind the 1980s revival of Lilly’s and Gadbury’s texts. Thanks Clive, for your commitment to sharing that old knowledge, and for your joy in doing the work.

  • Thank you, Chris. What a great interview. As interesting as it was delightful. I must have passed Clive a dozen times through the rooms at the Lodge, but never spoken to him. I hope to get the chance to change that soon.

  • I’m delighted to learn the backstory of this publication, as I bought it through Weiser when it was first issued and have treasured it ever since – so much so, that I could barely stand to open it for fear of damaging it, so it’s in mint condition to this day (I wince to see the original Lilly handled without archival gloves, and riffled)! My thanks to Clive for his extraordinary dedication in bringing the Regulus edition to print, and to Chris for introducing us to this gentleman and his important work.

  • That was a real interview, thank you. Chris, for making the space for someone so interesting to tell his story, so glad you are gathering up these bits of history for us all to enjoy. I look forward to hearing someone is taking on Gadbury,

  • Great interview subject! Watched this two times already! So gratifying to see his physical enjoyment of old books combined with intellectual appreciation of their content. And I loved seeing his engagement with the magic of astrology triumphing over his frustration with the pscho-theraputic excesses of the day. It’s nice to know their are minds like his – or at least one – in the world of electronics. Also, the Gallery of images on this page is an excellent idea, well executed and very appreciated.

Written by Chris Brennan