Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Linda Goodman

American astrologer Linda Goodman was born this day, 9 April, in 1925. She's the astrologer who lit the fuse under Sun sign astrology with her book
Sun Signs, first published in 1968. Sparks of inspiration from her book still fly far and wide, long after the author's demise in 1995. Back in England, I bought that book in the mid-'70s, enjoyed it a lot, due to her writing style and sense of humour. I passed it around work friends to spread "the word"; it was never seen by me again!

Most Sun sign astrologers, in spite of their continued popularity, and position as "gatekepers" to astrology proper, still receive a bad press. There are bad ones, some very bad ones, but those with a flair for writing in a style accessible to interested but low-information readers, who can show a modicum of humour and insight into the human condition, while tempting readers to find out more about their subject, continue to survive unfair ridicule and denigration. Linda Goodman was one such astrologer. In preparing this post I discovered more about her. Whether what has been published is 100% accurate only those closest to her will know, but it makes interesting reading, and paints a (possibly exaggerated) picture of a rather eccentric, driven, intense but very generous character.
Ms Goodman chose never to reveal full detail of her birth data, what she did reveal turned out to be inexact, once detail from her birth certificate became available.

I'll quote excerpts from each of the links below as samples, then take a peek at her natal chart.
Astro.com:Linda Goodman

Conscious Evolution - piece by Maria Barron about Linda Goodman (2000)

People.com - piece by By Sarah Moore Hall, Richard K. Rein originally published 1979.
From astro.com - notes regarding time of birth:
LMR quotes Kathleen Johnson for the date, from Goodman; confirmed by Frank C. Clifford by phone from the records bureau. Time deduced by LMR from her statement that she had Neptune right on the ASC. For the most part she concealed her own data, only dropping hints and clues to her colleagues.
According to Wikipedia, the magazine 'Today's Astrologer' writes on February 6, 2008, p. 11:
According to her birth certificate, on file at the American Federation of Astrologers in Tempe, Arizona, she was born on April 9, 1925 at 6:05 a.m. EST in Morgantown, West Virginia

From the Conscious Evolution link above:
...............Although Linda never revealed the full contents of her own birth chart publicly, a chart cast for around 8:23 a.m. on April 9, 1925, in Morgantown, West Virginia, matches all the aspects she did reveal about her natal chart and the circumstances she believed about her birth.
(NOTE: This time of birth is some 2 and a half hours later than the time on her birth certificate)
In Gooberz, Linda says she was born in the morning and that she always had a hard time really reconciling who she was because of her "somewhat afflicted planet in Libra." That kind of identity conflict fits the astrological description of a person with the Sun and Moon in opposite signs. In the chart as cast, it is the Moon, representing the emotional nature, which shows up as Linda's "somewhat afflicted planet" in gentle, beauty-loving Libra. It opposes her natal Sun in the fiery, independent and combative sign of Aries. The "graceful conjoining" of the stars Spica and Arcturus, which Linda mentions in the same description as a blessing in her chart, is there as well. The two stars are conjoined with her natal moon.

Linda also says her chart was blessed by trines from Gemini, Neptune and Mars. In the chart as cast, Linda's ascendant shows up at about 9 degrees Gemini, and indeed there are trines emanating from the point of her Gemini ascendant as well as from Neptune and Mars. Neptune, the planet of dreams, trines her Sun and Venus. The ascendant and Mars, both located in quick-thinking, communicative Gemini, trine the mid-heaven point in the chart. Suggestive of how one might be remembered in the world, Linda's mid-heaven point is in the New Age sign of Aquarius.
Also, in the chart as cast, Linda's ruling planet, Mars, sovereign of Aries, is conjoined with her ascendant, providing an explanation for why Linda would refer to herself, in newspaper articles and with friends, as a triple Aries. Only two planets -- the Sun and Venus -- are in Aries at any time that morning. But with Mars located at the point of the ascendant, the third dose of Aries Ram energy is added, conspicuously, to the personality...............................

Linda told interviewers that she began her career writing for newspapers in the eastern and southeastern United States. She also said she had written speeches for black American civil rights leader Whitney Young, who served for several years as president of the National Urban League. Her political activism re-emerged at various times throughout her life. In 1993, she whipped off political letters on both the national and local level. One, to President Clinton, advised him to study a particular experimental fuel additive as he formed his environmental policies. The other, a letter to the editor of Cripple Creek's little weekly newspaper, The Gold Rush, advised local voters to return incumbent city council members to office.

In her personal life, Linda endured the pain of loss time and time again. She had children who died in infancy and a daughter, Sarah, nicknamed Sally, who died or disappeared as a young adult.
........... during her final years, as she faced declining health caused by diabetes -- when her belief in the benefits of physical immortality would occasionally give way to a desire to move on from this earthly plain of experience -- she would call to the love of her middle years, her second husband, Sam Goodman, who had preceded her in death.
From the People link above:
As dawn breaks over her remote aerie high in the Colorado Rockies, Linda Goodman shakes off sleepiness, feeds wood into the stove against the chill and sets about a bizarre daily ritual. To the low recorded music of a Gregorian chant, she lights candles on a handmade altar and recites a mystical litany she created six years ago as a message to her departed loved ones. It begins with the prayer of St. Francis: "Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace..."

Goodman's life defies imagination. On the one hand, she is a very rich woman, made so by her wildly popular books on astrology. Her 1968 explanation of the zodiac titled Sun Signs sold four million copies, and paperback rights to her current best-seller, Love Signs, went last year for $2.25 million, equaling the record held by Mario Puzo's Fools Die. By any standard, Goodman at 54 is the most influential astrologer in the world. But she has also become a recluse, hidden away in Cripple Creek, Colo., haunted by the disappearance of the two most important people in her life within the space of 20 months. One was her lover, Robert Brewer, a marine biologist of 22 who fled to Mexico without explanation in the spring of 1972 and has not been seen since. The other was her daughter, Sally, officially listed by the New York medical examiner as a suicide just before Christmas 1973, a casualty of liquor and barbituates at 21.

Goodman believes Brewer will return soon of his own accord; she keeps a place set for him at the dining table. Her grief over Sally, a budding actress and drama school graduate, has taken a more obsessive turn. "I know Sally is not dead," says Goodman. "I've done her chart over and over again. An astrologist can't predict death, but I can foresee non-death. I don't know exactly why she was taken, but I feel the time is right for her to reappear. The only reason I'm talking now is hope that I'll find some lead to her." ........................................
.....................A well-known astrologer on the East Coast, provided (by PEOPLE) with the date and place of Linda's birth (West Parkersburg, Va., April 9, 1925) but not with her identity, describes "an Aries who has a tendency to spin dreams. She is not a liar—she just dramatizes things. She tries to make her fantasies come true." Indirectly, Goodman's explanation seems to agree. "I admit that to be an astrologer you live a great deal in the imagination," she says. "But about Sally I'm like any distraught mother. I just want my daughter back."

Natal chart using data from Astrodatabank (AA rating, confirmed by birth certificate)

Linda Goodman's birthname: Mary Alice Kemery. Born on 9 April 1925 at 06:05 AM in Morgantown, West Virginia.


The chart differs in detail from the time of birth Ms Goodman gave to interviewers, but doesn't differ a lot in spirit. (See the snips from the Conscious Evolution link above). The Sun-Moon opposition is here. Her rising sign isn't Gemini though, but Aries, resulting, as she had stated, but for different reason, that she was "a triple Aries".
Neptune isn't on the ascendant, but it forms a nice close trine to Sun on the ascendant. Her mid-heaven was Capricorn, not Aquarius - and Capricorn underlines the kind of business sense she must have had, in spite of her seeming eccentricities and quirks. Jupiter close to mid-heaven reflects her reported generosity.

8 comments:

DC said...

Really interesting

mike said...

Hhmmmm...Linda Goodman was quite the eccentric...she rivals Howard Hughes! There are bits and pieces of her odd behaviors on various websites. Some of her quirks derive from her "ability" to channel and then taking action on the information channeled...one could also explain this as a form of schizophrenia...several accounts refer to her extreme behavior:

"Goodman's intensity and generosity drew friends to her: She frequently thanked acquaintances for favors with gifts of cars or expensive jewelry, a habit that led her into bankruptcy in the late 1980s. But they were often driven away by her demands and her temper — a reaction Goodman never seemed to understand. Years after lover Robert Brewer, a 26-year-old marine biologist, left her in 1972, Goodman continued to set a place for him at her dinner table in expectation of his return."
http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20102220,00.html

And this:
"In her later years before she died in 1995, channeled a lot of information regarding Twins, the 14 missing pieces of Osiris, the unification of Twins, and it came out in her magnum opus, “Gooberz”. Some of it was hinted at in her other book “Star Signs”. Gooberz was channeled in 1970 and was not published until 1989.
... Some stories are weirder than anything Hollywood screenwriters could dream up. But then, facts are often stranger than fiction. How would you react if you were told that the phallus of the Egyptian god Osiris is possibly located un­derneath a buried pyramid in the very center of Hollywood—Los Angeles? Doesn’t this sound like something from a movie? Well, it isn’t.
... So, how could a legendary Egyptian artifact ever end up beneath a very natural looking hill in lala-land? It seems absurd, even impossible, as the Ancient Egyptians, according to all historical accounts, never made it to America, let alone the “left coast.” But however illogical it seems, this was the firm conviction of one of the greatest astrologers of the twentieth century, Linda Goodman, who spent a small fortune in trying to prove her point."
http://www.linda-goodman.com/ubb/Forum29/HTML/000009.html


Many of her observed traits could be attributed to bi-polar disorder, too...LOL. This could be the manifestation of her Sun trine Neptune, while her Sun forms a T-square with opposed Moon, both square Jupiter (Jupiter's over-expansion of her conscious-subconscious, with Neptune's surrealism). She also has a sextile between Venus and Mars, with the midpoint exactly opposing Saturn, forming a yod...trouble with male-female patterns in relationships, as I suppose she was dominant (Aries and Mars ruled) and restrictive (Saturn).

She lived life her way, but there was much pain in doing so, apparently.

Twilight said...

DC ~ I'm happy you found it so! :-)

mike (again) said...

P.S. - while I can't deny Goodman's role in popularizing astrology, she had predecessors and contemporaries that were doing their part, too.

Most notable was Carroll Righter for the Hollywood set, Joan Quigley (she was well known prior to her Nancy Reagan association), and Patrick Walker (very popular in Britain in the 1960s onward, then Vanity Fair in the USA), and of course, Jean Dixon was a syndicated astrologer boosted to fame with her prediction of JFK's assassination. This, to name a few.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Yes, I'd had no idea that she had such eccentricities - it didn't come out in "Sun Signs", as far as I recall. I got the impression of an entertaining, lively, rather wordy but never boring character. That was in her early days though. Perhaps the fame and fortune got to her; or perhaps, as you said, some disorder gradually came upon her such as bi-polar. It's hard to say from simply reading articles written for dramatic impact, with examples maybe presented out of a context that would render them less eccentric, more generally "hyper".

There's almost a Grand Cross in her chart - not that it would necessarily incline her towards bi-polar or eccentric, but maybe a tendency to be confrontational, which could well have resulted in her painful experiences.


Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Oh yes, agreed. In fact, Linda Goodman took advantage of the tracks her predecessors had made.

I think it was her ability to engage readers in a different way, on the same subject, that set her apart. Her style was more casual and more easy to relate to by those not particularly into astrology. I suspect she enticed far more "outside" people into the fold than any of her predecessors, and came along at just the right time.

♥ Sonny ♥ said...


I was so young when her book Sun Signs came out.. My aunt Peggy gave it to me for a birthday present and I still have it. badly tattered, but in the bookcase. Next I got Star Signs- I think was the name of it and next Gooberz- wow what a beautiful cover it had. Like a ::sorry bout this spelling:: lol psycedelic trip in the form of art..
it look me awhile to get thru Gooberz and I had to read it 3 times .. Never did get the full message of it.
I loved her wide open writing style.
I got one of her Purple Plates and they really worked for headaches.
I also tried her sun energy water and lost 22 pounds. I had forgotten all about that till I was writing this comment.
I'll take that aas a sign:)
thanks Annie

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Oh good - a real fan of LG!
I didn't read any of her other books, don't know why - I think must, by then, have moved on to learning Tarot and reading about magick and other weirdnesses. :-)

Interesting to hear about results from purple plates and sun energy water!