26 Replies Latest reply on Mar 12, 2021 8:34 PM by Maddie Tsurusaki

    Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol

    Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

      What does this Mars sign followed by "die" and then a date mean?

      It's in a current manuscript on spiritualism being worked on in the By the People campaign

       

      Thanks.

        • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
          Lauren Algee Scout

          Thanks for this question, Maddie!  I have asked our Frederick Hockley specialist from the Rare Book and Special Collections division if they know what the symbol usage might mean.

          • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
            Alice Lane Tracker

            Hi  Maddie,

            I have a guess, it might mean Tuesday, since May 30, 1854 was a Tuesday.

            Astrology[edit]

            In astrology, Tuesday is associated with the planet Mars and shares that planet's symbol, . As Mars rules over Aries and Scorpio, these signs are also associated with Tuesday.

             

            Alice Lane

            Research Volunteer

            • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
              Lauren Algee Scout

              I recieved the following response from our Hockley specialist in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division:

               

              I’ve been trying to figure this out myself! I’ve come across several of these and other similar notations in Hockley’s notebooks, but am unable to figure out what the word “die” refers to. I have been unable to discover any kind of “standard” notation for scrying experiments from this time period, so this is likely just Hockley’s way of keeping track of his experiments.

               

              I am leaning towards the interpretation that it may be “die” in Latin, suggesting that the invocation or experiment being recorded was done during the day, but I am not positive about that.

               

              I am sorry I couldn’t provide more information for our volunteer; I hope we can crack the code to Hockley’s experiments soon!

              • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                So tonight I transcribed this:

                 

                 

                I looked it up on a calendar, and this "n" like figure is associated with Saturday and sure enough, Sept 16th was a Saturday.  Also, it's recorded at 8:30 pm so maybe the "die" simply means day.  Apparently Saturday is assoc. w/ Saturn.  I've probably transcribed 100 pages all told and this is the first time I've encountered this.  Crazy -- I'm getting to know his schedule! 

                 

                Thanks so much for your help.  I'm enjoying this project.  Maddie

                • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                  Alan Thorogood Newbie

                  I can confirm that Alice Lane's reply is correct. Hockley commonly used the symbol of a planet plus 'die' (Latin for 'day') to represent the days of the week, so [sun]die is sunday, [moon]die monday, [mars]die tuesday, [mercury]die wednesday, [jupiter]die thursday, [venus]die friday, [saturn]die saturday.

                   

                  I have edited six of Hockley's manuscripts for publication since 2012 and read many more, and this abbreviation is  encountered quite frequently in his writings.

                  4 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                      Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                      Thank you Alan and everyone for the help.  Maddie

                      • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                        Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                        I have to say, the more I work with this manuscript, the more impressed I am with Mr. Hockley.  I find myself wondering how all this worked -- with Emma and the crystals & mirrors.  My sense now is that he found a way to engage himself in conversations on topics that fascinated him, presenting arguments and resolving them in his own engaging way. 

                         

                        I cannot quite get a handle on how the visions worked though.  Did Emma see the visions and Fred transcribed what she was telling him?  If so, Emma at ~13 was a phenomenal person. I love how the visions reflect every piece of bad art available in about 1854.  

                         

                        I'm sort of consumed by this in a strange way. 

                          • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                            Alan Thorogood Newbie

                            Hockley was certainly methodical and anxious to obtain accurate answers to what were, for him, important philosophical questions. His record-keeping was exemplary.

                             

                            Your surmise regarding the visions is correct. Hockley described the process when he gave evidence to the London Dialectical Society in connection with their investigation of spiritualism in 1869:

                            ’The person who has the power of seeing, notices first a kind of mist in the centre of the crystal and then the message or answer appears in a kind of printed character. There was no hesitation, and she spoke it all off as though she was reading a book, and as soon as she had uttered the words she saw, they melted away and fresh ones took their place’ (Report on Spiritualism, of the committee of the London Dialectical Society (London, 1871) p. 184).

                             

                            In addition, we have the description of K. R. H. Mackenzie, who participated in some of the later sessions, that Hockley would ’draw towards him some writing materials’ while ‘a young lady of about nineteen should seat herself in a darkened corner of the room, with her eyes fixed upon a silvered mirror’. Once the spirit appeared, ‘a gentle question would be put in a tone indicating respect and affection, desiring to know what should be the order of proceeding. Then below the figure in the mirror would appear a series of words and sentences (at once written down), prescribing the question of the night, and in this manner for perhaps two hours at a time, a conversation would take place’ (The Spiritualist 292 (1878), p. 151).

                             

                            Hockley told Robert Owen that communications would sometimes come more rapidly than he could put them to paper, hence the lacunae in some portions of the records.

                            • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                              Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                              I have become quite attached to the characters of Mr. Anderson and Mr. Dresser.  The imps.  Do they come up in other volumes of his work?  On one occasion, Mr. Anderson jumps from chair to chair and annoys Emma by laughing at her all evening.  They just finally give it up. 

                               

                              On another occasion, Emma is cold and is not being warmed up by the fire.  Hockley honors her dedication.  I'm so taken with the humanity in these transcriptions.  It's evident so often -- especially in the transcriptions from the man who is fighting in the Crimean War. 

                               

                              I'm not saying I believe anything about this - but gosh, I do wish my CA could let me know just who my Guardian Spirit is!.

                               

                              Thanks LOC for this opportunity. 

                                • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                                  Alan Thorogood Newbie

                                  I think Anderson was a source of irritation when he first appeared, but Hockley came to enjoy his company and Dresser later took on the role of irritant. Many years later Hockley told a friend that Anderson became his 'favourite companion' in the crystal. He also gave the following brief account in 1880:

                                  'In April, 1852, the atmospheric spirit of a military officer of rank at Court, a Spaniard and a Roman Catholic (who afterwards served in the Crimea) appeared for the first time in my Crystal. I never knew him in the world, but we formed a mutual attachment, assisting each other in our occult studies, and communicating our experiences. He possessed the faculty of seeing spirits, and was a constant visitor in my mirrors and crystals for eight years. He would never tell us his name, and we dubbed him Captain Anderson.' ('Evenings with In-Dwellers of the World of Spirits', The Spiritualist v. 17 (2 July 1880), p. 4).

                                  • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                                    Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                                    In the same vein as above: how easy it is to relate to Hockley.  I get a kick out of his not always remembering the "i before e" rule.  He consistently misspells "receive".  Sometime, he does it correctly, but for just as many entries, it's incorrect.  Who can't relate to having to mentally double check that spelling when writing?

                              • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                                Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                                Here is another little Hockley mystery.  He was a member of a lodge that used this symbol

                                 

                                 

                                Any ideas? 

                                Maddie Tsurusaki

                                • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                                  Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                                  So here's a tiny mystery.  What do these little A's & B's mean?

                                   

                                  They seem to be associated with these propositions from Robert Owen. 

                                  • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                                    Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                                    On an unrelated subject to the actual transcription.  Waaaay off topic....

                                     

                                    What do you think was the conception of Nature as truth for Hockley? And how does he intertwine this reverence of Nature with his Christianity? 

                                     

                                    In contemporary terms, (and for myself) I think of it as the "church of the sky."  In other words, being out at a beautiful location like a waterfall is Nature at an atomic level.   That is, the beauty and power of that location represents all of the factors that need to come together to have those falls appear at that location at that specific moment as representative of the organization of life.  But I don't get the sense that Hockley is talking about this kind of nature. 

                                     

                                    What is it for him?

                                      • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                                        Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                                        I've started replying to myself now. 

                                         

                                        Here's a quote from what I transcribed today.  I don't know the source because it comes from the Spirit World and I'm moving around without context right now, but of course it is Hockley himself.

                                         

                                        7541

                                        1841  Heavy is it on the Shoulders of the

                                        High for while they preach goodness, they are

                                        withholding the means of attaining it - The

                                        Almighty did not intend that one class of men

                                        should take all the wealth, and the Rank and

                                        crush other men beneath them because they had

                                        not that wealth and rank. -

                                         

                                        Just to say -- the world seems to always have the same social problems.  Hockley often seems current to me.

                                      • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                                        Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                                        Here's a question.

                                         

                                         

                                        It looks like the MA is crossed out but it's not.  That is some type of Hockley shorthand.  How do you want us to transcribe that! 

                                          • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                                            Lauren Algee Scout

                                            This one has us stumped as well! Our recommendation is to transcribe it either as [MA] or[?].

                                             

                                            Perhaps someone else transcribing will be able to enlighten us all as to its meaning!

                                            • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                                              Maddie Tsurusaki Wayfarer

                                              So I transcribed this today.  I think it  clarifies what the letters with the dramatic strike through mean. 

                                              The C is for Crystal and the M is for Mirror.  (Still not sure about the MA above)  Unless you object, I'd like to just transcribe them as C or M, but it could also be Crystal or Mirror.  Would that help with the readability. 

                                               

                                              I often think about the readability of this thing once it's done.  A good example is his use of abbreviations.  If transcribed as written, with a period, it is impossible to enter them into the notes box at the bottom of the page because it doesn't accept periods.  If entered with an apostrophe to mark the missing letters, its meaning can be entered into the bottom box, but it corrupts the text a bit.  Yet for readability when all is completed, the apostrophe makes the most sense for modern readers. 

                                            • Re: Help needed deciphering Hockley symbol
                                              Lauren Algee Scout

                                              Thanks for all your work and insight on the Hockley campaign, Maddie Tsurusaki ! This thread is both interesting and inspiring! I'm hoping you might be up for an interview about your volunteering. Send us an email at crowd@loc.gov if you're interested!