Two Famous Astrologers Depart
The date and the birth place of Linda Goodman are probably accurate, but Lois Rodden considers Linda’s birth time to be highly questionable, so consider the chart “dirty data.” Still, even though we can’t be sure of the house positions, it is interesting to look at the chart of someone who wrote a book on astrology which sold more copies than almost any book in print other than the Bible. According to Rick Levine, who got the information from Linda’s two sons, Linda Goodman was born on April 9, 1925 in Parkersburg, WV, 39 N 16, 81 W 33.7. Her tentative birth time is 13:30 EST. Her best-selling book Sun Signs is reported to have turned many people on to astrology with its combination of humor and keen insights into the 12 zodiac signs. I do not have much information about her personal life, but know that she had the two sons and one daughter. Linda’s life became tragic when she refused to believe that her daughter had died and spent the rest of her life searching for her. Though Linda’s books had made her wealthy, she spent it all on the futile search or gave it away to parasitical “friends” that she supported. Her last years were spent in Cripple Creek, CO where she ended her life nearly destitute and ill with diabetes. She died of a heart attack on October 20, 1995 in Colorado Springs, CO, at about 11 P.M.
Linda’s chart is strongly fire with a very close grand trine including Neptune rising in Leo, Juno in Sagittarius in the 5th house, and the Sun in Aries in the 9th house. She also had Pallas, Venus, Chiron and Vesta in Aries and East Point, north lunar node, and Ascendant in Leo. Mercury in early Taurus was in the 9th house with the Aries stellium. The lady had a creative mind and major dramatic potential. Her verbal fluency was supported by Mars in Gemini, Moon in Libra, and the south lunar node in Aquarius. In addition to Mercury, Ceres was in Taurus and its position in the 10th (Capricorn) house added to the earth. Jupiter was in Capricorn in the 6th (Virgo) house, putting two primary keys to learning and communicating in the element which wants tangible results. Writing is a natural expression of such combinations. Water was represented in Linda’s chart by the Antivertex and Pluto in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio, and Uranus in Pisces. Saturn and Uranus were also in water houses to emphasize the potential for intuition and sensitivity. Also, P Pluto held a lifetime trine to Saturn to reinforce the water even more. Water can be dependent and/or nurturing. Linda was reportedly very generous, providing for many, probably including some who took advantage of her generosity.
At the same time that the Pluto trine to Saturn showed the potential for security by indicating harmony at the subconscious water level, Saturn is always a lesson in realism, in learning the limits of our own power. Linda’s Saturn was closely square the lunar nodes in Leo/Aquarius. The fixed signs are a key to issues involving the handling of power. The nodes, as surrogate Moons, will usually be expressed through relationships since most people look to their fellow humans to give or receive emotional security. When our giving ends up weakening others who should be learning responsibility or when it is carried to the point of personal sacrifice, we have failed to learn the practicality symbolized by Saturn. The placement of Capricorn in an earth house (the 6th is the natural house of Virgo) may also point to a lesson in practicality if there are conflict aspects. Letter ten in any form, planet, sign, or house, shows where we have to learn the “rules of the game” of surviving in this physical world. Harmony aspects show the individual was born with previously developed practicality. Linda had the ability to cope with material world but her intense emotional relationships were in conflict with her common sense.
Capricorn is also in the 5th house, a key to procreation and children, so some of Linda’s lessons were centered there. The message is repeated by the placement of the midpoint of Saturn/south node in the 5th house. As the midpoint of our two keys to major lessons, it can be a really important area for learning and then giving to the world the fruits of our growth. Sagittarius in the 5th connects idealism to the area of love and creativity which includes the capacity to procreate children. As always, there are innumerable ways to manifest the life principles. We may express letter 5 idealism by turning our ego into God, by trying to be a perfect parent, by expecting perfection of our kids, by “worshipping” kids, love, sex, our own self esteem, etc. through making any of these so important that our whole life is centered there and it is the source of our faith, our trust, our meaning in life. Often, such idolatry leads to losing the idol to force us to find a bigger god. Probably Linda’s astrology did not include enough psychological understanding to grasp that principle, though even with insight, it is always possible for past habits to be so strong that we are unable to change them and we suffer their consequences. A satisfying expression of Linda’s 5th house would have been sharing the Sagittarian search for Truth with her children and working with them to share it with the world. I do not know much about her personal life and it is possible that she did this. If she was doing this with the daughter she lost, it would certainly have intensified the impact of that event.
There are reasonable aspects at the time Linda died to support the birth time we are using, but they are certainly not conclusive. The Sun (and its sign and house) are keys to the heart, so we would expect aspects involving them. P Sun and P Mercury were both opposite the Saturn/south node midpoint and square the Saturn/north node midpoint. P Mercury was still in orb of an octile/trioctile to the lunar nodes and a square to P Uranus in the 8th house. P Sun had just reached a trine to the Moon. P Moon was sextile/trine the P lunar nodes, quincunx the IC, and trioctile Jupiter. P Mars squared Vesta, a common key to health issues, but it also trined P Uranus and was semisextile P Mercury. P Mercury was sextile Vesta and P Sun was sextile P Chiron. If Linda’s birth time was just a fraction of a minute earlier, her P MC would still have been conjunct P Pluto and trine Saturn in Scorpio in the 4th house. Also, her P Ascendant would have been on her local IC. All water, especially all forms of letters four and eight, can be associated with endings, with letting go. The mix of harmony and conflict aspects is normal. To individuals with chronic health problems as well as financial worries, death is a release. One of the most striking aspects if this birth time is accurate was P Mars conjunct the local Ascendant. That is like a double Mars, showing the potential for new freedom, with added emphasis from the trine to Uranus. Linda’s major emphasis in fire, especially with Aries in the Sagittarius house since those are two of the three sides of life which most want freedom, suggests that the limitations on her body and her finances would have been almost intolerable.
I will just mention a few of Linda’s asteroids, including the ones associated with death. I was most curious to see where the asteroids were placed which could be associated with astrology. Astrologers were once called Chaldeans for the near-east country which was famous for the study. Linda’s N Chaldaea was in 2 Taurus conjunct her Mercury, Amun (an Egyptian god with Mercury connotations), and Phaethon (overreach and a deadly crash when he tried to drive the chariot of the Sun). P Chaldaea when she died was in 7 Gemini sextile P Ptolemaeus which was named for Ptolemy, the famous astrologer in Alexandria, Egypt. Both P Chaldaea and P Ptolemaeus were quincunx P Saturn, fitting her separation from her work on earth. N Ptolemaeus was in 0 Pisces quincunx Linda’s East Point, trine her Antivertex, and octile Venus. N Sumeria, another ancient country in the near-east where astrology may have originated, was in 20 Taurus in the 10th house, fitting her financial success in her career with a trine to Jupiter in Capricorn in the Virgo house. But Sumeria was also square Neptune in Leo and quincunx Juno in the Leo house, repeating Linda’s problems with loved ones. When Linda died, P Sumeria was in 21 Gemini opposite Juno, which, like Pluto, can mark endings.
Other aspects when she died included P Libitina (death) on P Gaea (earth) and quincunx N Sun and P America opposite N Sun. Both the opposition and the quincunx can mark separations and the Sun, as indicated above, is a key to the heart. P Hel (death) was on P Mercury, square P Uranus, sextile Vesta, and semisextile P Mars. P Fama (fame) and P Urania (like Uranus) were on her Ascendant, and after her death Linda was featured in a variety of media publications for her astrological work. P local Part of Death was on Hela (death) and the East Point. There were more, of course, but we will end with one of my newest additions to my list of asteroids. Taranis was a sky goddess worshipped in several countries in the ancient Mediterranean world. She was pictured with the signs of the zodiac around her head and holding the Sun and Moon in her hands. Linda had P Taranis on her 8th house cusp when she died.
Another recent death of an astrologer occurred on October 8, 1995. Patric Walker was famous for his Sun sign columns which were read all over the world. Patric was born on September 25, 1931 in Hackensack, NJ, but he grew up in Whitby, England. His parents had emigrated to the U.S. but they returned to Yorkshire when he was four and he grew up as part of a large Roman Catholic family. He had a variety of unsatisfying jobs before he was introduced to an American astrologer named Helene Hoskins at a London dinner party in 1960. She blew his mind by predicting an immanent crisis, and he studied astrology with her for six years. In the late 1960s, he started writing a magazine column on astrology, and in 1974, after Hoskins died, he took over her column. In 1976 and again in 1982, he changed the papers for which he was writing, but his career really took off in 1980 when syndication stretched his empire around the world.
Walker never married. He maintained a flat in London but mostly lived in the town of Lindos on the Greek island of Rhodes where he loved to sail. He was a very private person but had friends who were celebrities. He had a lifelong struggle with alcohol and food addictions and finally died of food poisoning from salmonella.
Walker never revealed his own chart to the public, but shortly before his death when he was battling the illness brought on by the salmonella, he was asked whether the planets had indicated this bout of ill health. He answered that Saturn, the planet he referred to as the “grim reaper,” was crucially positioned on his Moon. The London newspaper from which the preceding information was taken, ended their story: “Sunday, it joined the Moon in his birth chart, and called Walker home.” The Times, October 11, 1995.
Based on the preceding statement, it seems likely that T Saturn was on Walker’s N Moon when he died, so he probably had his Moon in 19 Pisces. [Note: AstroDatabank now has a time of 12:18.] That general time would give him Sagittarius rising and a strong 9th house, for the avoidance of marriage (despite several factors in Libra including the Sun), for the love of travel and life in a foreign country, and for the prolific writing. The exact degree is highly speculative since I had a very limited amount of time to work with the chart. I picked it to put P Moon quincunx P MC at his death. P Moon was in Cancer and square P Uranus in the Moon’s natural house, fitting the food problems which plagued him and eventually caused his death. This general time of birth also puts his Vesta-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn in the first house for his identification with work. He was described as rising at 5:30 every morning and writing in long hand the tens of thousands of words a week required by his columns. There is no combination in the zodiac that is more of a workaholic (and potentially a loner or with problems in personal relationships) than Saturn-Vesta in Capricorn or in the tenth house. Remember Jeffrey Dahmer and Jim Jones? Obviously, Patric handled the potentials a lot better than they did.
Addictions are usually found with an emphasis on the fixed sides of life which deal with sensuality and the appetites, or with letters nine and twelve if they are looking for unattainable ideals and have problems with faith. Too much devotion to work and denial of many pleasures in life can often lead to over-doing a limited number of the pleasures which remain. In Patric’s case, these were mostly eating, drinking, and sailing. The Pisces Moon trine Pluto in Cancer would encourage those outlets. If this time of birth is close, Patric also had Mars trioctile N Moon, and regardless of his birth time, his Mars was on Ceres in Scorpio trine Juno (another Pluto) in Cancer. Also, Jupiter, key to ultimate values, was in a fixed sign and house, and he had his south lunar node conjunct Venus and the Sun, the rulers of two of the fixed signs. Chiron, another Jupiter, was in Taurus in the Leo house. When the addictions are related to limited pleasures in a person with a heavy fixed emphasis in the chart, the solution is to increase the variety of pleasures and express them with moderation. If the problem involves faith, as is possible with the south node in the ninth house, the person needs to gain more faith in a higher power, but like all changes, that is easier to say than to do. Habits are not easy to change.
As far as I know, Patric never looked at the asteroids, but we will look at a few in his chart. The three asteroids for death goddesses were dramatic. Patric died with his P Sun on Hela, octile P Hel (two names for the same goddess), and quincunx P Libitina. That looks like a rather decisive statement! P Sun was also square Neptune and octile P Saturn which was square P Hel. The birth time I chose put P Ascendant opposite Neptune and square P Sun, octile P Saturn and trioctile P Hel. That time also put P Antivertex on N Moon and opposite N Hel. P East Point was opposite Mercury and P 8th house cusp square Pluto. P Mars would be on the N Ascendant for his release from the limits of the physical world, holding the same aspect we saw in Linda’s chart. P Ptolemaeus and P Panacea were also on the Ascendant with P Mars. P Karma was on P Venus and P Mercury. The chart is still speculative, but it could be close. Wonder whether Patric and Linda have or will get together and compare notes upstairs?