Eleanor Bach passed away April 30, 1995 at about 5 A.M. in NY. Ellie led astrology into the study of the asteroids, the minor planets which are playing an incredibly important role in my life at present. She published the first ephemeris in the U.S. which gave the positions of the four asteroids which were discovered first: Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta. I received one of the first copies of her book, started putting the asteroids in every chart I did in the early 1970s, and found them immensely helpful. I really feel cheated if I am handed a chart which does not include them.
Soon afterwards, my son Rique Pottenger was able to calculate more accurate positions for these asteroids, using Neil Michelsen’s computer, and I wrote an introduction for our own published ephemeris. Now, my son Mark Pottenger maintains a computer library to which every newly named asteroid is added as soon as the names are published by the Minor Planet Center.
I am eternally grateful to Ellie Bach for opening that door. Exploring the new asteroids is next only to astrology itself as a source of excitement and awe as the cosmos speaks if we are able to listen. Plus, when we are tempted to get too serious about life, the asteroids demonstrate that the cosmos has a sense of humor. What other experience can top finding that a woman having plastic surgery has her P Ascendant on Makover? That a man getting his alcoholism under control has just had his P Saturn (lessons) reach the asteroid Beer in his eighth house (where we learn to master the appetites)? That a man is having his stomach stapled to force weight loss with his personal name asteroid AND his P Ascendant on Fatme and Mars aspecting the asteroid Russia where this surgical technique was developed?
I can envision Ellie checking out her favorite asteroids on the astral plane and figuring out how to get her new understanding back to her friends who are still here in the earth level. For any astrologers who do not already have her data, Eleanor Bach was born in Kulpmont, PA on January 11, 1922 at 0:17 A.M. (The Rodden databank says the data was published in the Geocosmic News, summer 1985.) Ellie had serious lung problems and died in her sleep. We will miss her!
Note from Mark: Anyone who has used the shadow point option in the CCRS Horoscope Program has been benefiting from her work. She and Roxana Muise independently worked out ways to use previous stations as sensitive points. Ellie’s “hidden aspects” covered that and a bit more. The progressed and transiting degree sort printout in the program was done almost entirely to Ellie’s specifications.
We have just received word from Zane Stein that another of our senior astrologers has passed on. Al H. Morrison, like Eleanor Bach a New York resident for years, was known throughout the world of astrology. Also, like Ellie, he contributed to the growing interest in asteroids. He cooperated with NCGR members to publish ephemerides of several of the asteroids when interest was first being roused in the 1970s. He also published his own astrology journal for a time and he published and distributed tables listing the times when the Moon was void-of-course, when it would leave its current sign without forming one of the five classic Ptolemaic aspects. Astrology will miss his penetrating mind and wit and his efforts to win respect for the field to which he had dedicated his life. The Rodden databank has Al’s data as N. Little Rock, AR; July 8, 1916; 00:15 CST, quoting him in Mercury Hour 7/1978. Zane’s message said Al died May 28.