Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs – Astrology and Humankind

Astrology, by John Williams Waterhouse

Sagittarians are renowned for always shooting for the stars.

You could say that they are forever optimistic and you will usually find them quietly observing the large group of animated people they are sitting amongst happily and are engaged with.

More than often though you will also find that at some stage they have their foot stuck firmly in their mouth and so for that reason alone, should not be hard to find.

‘Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy—the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth‘ *

Sagittarians are known for being ‘child like’, naïve and brave, usually saying it how it is, although I must hasten to say without malice. Their intent is never to hurt anyone and any type of deception appalls them.

They just love challenges, adore horses and dogs and fear, well nothing at all really. To their detriment sometimes they dream the biggest dreams, aim always for the stars and can help to inspire you and make your spirits soar. Astrologically they are both complex and confident.

Astrology, according to the dictionary, is a study of the positions and relationships of the sun, moon, stars and planets in order to judge their influence on human actions.

Making a study of the sun and star signs for many is a hobby. But now and then there has been some really serious diviners out there.

None more effective in my experience than America’s Linda Goodman (1925 – 1995), aka Mary Alice Kemery, who was a former New York Times bestselling astrologer and poet.

If there is ever a book that I have owned in my lifetime that totally freaks me out it is Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs.

When I had to disperse my huge library back in 2008 it was one of the selection of special books that I retained as I couldn’t bear to part with  it.

Goodman believed there was two things to conquer in life; hate and fear, especially if you sought wisdom. She also observed that those whose star sign is Sagitarrius, like me, have a complete compulsion to speak the truth whatever the cost.

Written in 1968 the year my eldest son was born, my edition published in paperback form in 1972 by Pan Books, London is yellow with age, completely falling apart and much dog eared.

Linda Goodman believed avidly that by learning about people’s natures through their star and sun signs; we would all become far more understanding of each other, certainly more sympathetic toward each other’s behaviour and in turn, far more tolerant of one another socially, culturally, spiritually and on a global basis.

Linda said ‘the stars incline, they do not compel…we’re moved like pawns on a chess board in the game of life…by using free will…anyone can change his character, control his environment and the attitudes of those close to them’.

When we do this we become the movers and shakers, not the pawns.

Lunar eclipses have been associated with superstition for centuries. Mariner and explorer Christopher Columbus is said to have saved his men from certain death in the Americas because he knew that a total eclipse of the Moon would occur on February 29, 1504. So he warned native tribe elders that if they did not help them to leave he would make the moon disappear the following night.

You can imagine how terrified the natives were when it really happened. They begged Columbus to restore the moon – and when it returned they provided the food his men needed until they were rescued on June 29, 1504.

Likewise, perhaps the biblical Moses knew about the strange but natural phenomenon of rapid tides, when he led the children out of Israel to cross ‘The Red Sea’?

In this place he reputedly held out his staff and the sea retreated rapidly. He also repeated the ritual after they had crossed, and the tide again returned rapidly, drowning the Egyptian army.

One unique event relating to the rapid retreat and return of the tides can still be experienced at Mont St Michel in France, where for centuries people who were caught between the island and land on the crossing were swept away and drowned.

The sea comes back so quickly if you are half way you cannot complete the crossing. The timing of the tides also relates to the heavenly bodies, the sun and the moon…enough said.

Sagittarius, always shooting for the stars

A zodiacal band marks the pathway of the sun through the constellations and this results in the phenomena of the four seasons. The ancient systems of measuring the year in the northern hemisphere were based upon the equinoxes and solstices.

The year began with the vernal equinox on March 21 when everyone marked the moment the sun crossed the equator northward up the zodiacal arc.

The summer solstice was when the sun reached its most northerly position, the day appointed being June 21. The sun then began to descend toward the equator, which it recrossed southbound arriving at the autumnal equinox, September 21 with the sun finally reaching its most southerly position at the winter solstice, December 21.

In the southern hemisphere its just a matter of opposites.

The ancients were always warning of the futility in trying to outmaneuver one’s inexorable fate, which they believed to be pre-ordained.

The majority of people growing up in post-war Australia probably learned very little about astrology or the ‘mystical’ world. It certainly wasn’t part of my experience until I was in my late twenties living in the northern districts at Sydney.

Then it came roaring to the fore during the so-called age of Aquarius, which in popular culture in the USA refers to the advent of ‘hippies’ and the New Age movement of the late 60’s and 70’s.

This is when the values held for generations were challenged and overthrown by the generation that put a man on the moon. Many may have worn flowers in their hair and strewn them about with ‘gay’ abandon, but for all those involved in the green movement during its infancy, behind the smiles were a sparseness of resources and support.

Hair the musical, also launching on Broadway in 1968, reflected the 60’s fascination with mystics and a cross-cultural general interest in astrological and cosmic concepts.

I had my first encounter of the mystical kind at a ‘Morning with a Mystic’, a fundraiser for charity held at a friend’s house nearby to where I lived. A group of three friends came with me.

As we arrived we were asked by our hostess to remove a piece of jewelery, we were wearing and place it in a clean white envelope.

These were sealed in front of us and placed into a large basket with no markings. When we had enjoyed tea in her courtyard the ‘mystic’ arrived and sat centre stage. The basket was placed next to her on a low table and she proceeded to hold up each envelope, open it, remove the object, hold it in both hands and then talk about it and the person it belonged to. We were asked not to react, or to let anyone know whose object it was, until after she had completely finished her readings.

The three people I was with were totally freaked out by theirs, including one girl who was told her father kept his wartime slouch hat next to his bed. He did as it turned out; on a nail above it. She was completely overwhelmed a few weeks later when he died, because the clairvoyant had told her to be sure to spend as much quality time together as she could.

Mine was not read out until near the end. Every aspect of the reading she delivered, has without exception proved true, except for the last prediction, which today I remain optimistic that it still might happen.

Linda Goodman said ‘out of astrology grew religion, medicine and astronomy, not the other way around‘.

This is perhaps easier to believe if you have not been to the Hathor Temple at Denderra in Egypt, which I have. It was a venerated place of pilgrimage for centuries where miraculous cures were reputedly effected by the goddess.

It was also a place where various physiological, psychological and magical therapies were practiced and a scene of great processions and festivals that took place throughout the astrological cycle.

The temple remains that are there today date from the Ptolemaic Period of Egypt with later Roman additions, although there is known to have been a temple on the site for over four thousand years.

Those who have seen first hand the copy of a bas-relief sculpture of a star chart engraved on the chapel ceiling are usually in awe. The representation, in circular form, is unique in ancient Egypt, indeed in the world.

This large representation of the zodiac came to the attention of the western world after 1802 when it was first sketched by artist, writer, diplomat, author and archaeologist Dominique Vivant, Baron de Denon (1747-1825).

Eclipse over Sydney December 21, 2010

He was appointed first director of the Louvre Museum at Paris by Napoleon, following his Egyptian campaign of 1798-1801 of which Denon was a member.

The sculptured zodiac was removed to France in 1820 and is now in Le Louvre Museum at Paris.

Egyptologists have dated it to the first century BC.

The ancient Egyptians did not use the positions of the stars to produce astrological readings, although they did believe certain constellations could have a negative effect on events.

The Zodiac at Denderra is fundamentally a star map and according to scientists and archaeologists depicts the position of the stars in the night sky 50 years before Christ was born.

Goodman said of the sculpture.  ‘Wherever it is from and whoever carved its symbols, its message is eternal: You are endless galaxies and you have seen but one star’.

Her ability apparently unnerved those who knew her.

A Virgo she said was born to keep their hair straight and was meant to untangle issues by examining every minute detail.

A Gemini man enjoys the security being  in love gives him. His is a restless unpredictable spirit, who likes people, the more the merrier.

He loves parties but has an inner core that belongs only to him. Wherever he hangs his hat he is at home.

And, she said putting up with a Libran, their free advice, endless arguments, and hesitations is far more bearable when you have their sun sign knowledge.

Then you will know that really all they are desperately trying to do is reach an impartial decision. Libra will always have the perfect solution to all your problems and an answer for every question asked. Libra is the judge, who needs harmony to remain stable. His home has to be a quiet oasis from the jangling discord of the outside world.

Linda Goodman, ultimate optimist

When I came to Melbourne to live, I placed my old flea bitten copy of her book next to my bed. My eldest son spotted it and so I gave it to him to read about himself.

He was flabbergasted about how accurate the sun sign attached to his personality and persona was. He then read his two brother’s sun signs, and joined me in the totally freaked out zone.

The ‘know thyself’ knowledge has led to him becoming far more relaxed about his shortcomings, and certainly far more generous and tolerant about mine, which are far too numerous to list.

He read up on us Saggo’s, who incidentally, rock, and now accommodates my frankness and left handed optimism. He also knows it’s best to ask me to do something, not tell me!

My copy of Sun Signs

This is the mistake many of the men in my life have made. If they would have only asked I would have gone to the ends of the earth for them.

However the cave man technique went out with Tarzan and Jane as far as I am concerned.

While I enjoy being protected, having doors opened for me and flowers delivered, I don’t respond at all well to my spirit being constantly crushed. Although just to be contrary from time to time I like my men to make a firm stand, and…well, there is so much more.

As it appears I am a contradiction in terms and often misunderstood because to get the words I want to say out of my head and into the air through my mouth is continually difficult.

But I haven’t given up trying yet. Best for me perhaps to write it down.

When Linda Goodman set out her book about sun signs she listed the sign generally at first, then specifically for a man, then a woman, for a child and finally for the boss (very handy).

She devised what is a very lively guide to help everyone understand the fundamentals of reading the stars, and by exploring the signs of the Zodiac one by one, with ease, humour, and remarkable accuracy.

She revealed just how to recognize people born under various signs, what to expect from them, and how to deal with them.

The happier world she imagined as the ‘Aries dreamer’ she was, would only come about if we all took the time to really know the people we know.

Their hidden dreams, their secret hopes and true characters.

Through an understanding of the twelve Sun signs Linda Goodman challenged everyone to change their life.

My recommendation is if you are able to lay your hands on a copy of her ‘Sun Signs’ you will find, it not only makes compelling reading, but also expounds a wisdom quite literally out of this world.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2010-2014

* Quote: Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (1694–1778), French enlightenment thinker in his work A Treatise on Toleration.

Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs – the secrets of Astrology revealed for every sign of the Zodiac by America’s most famous astrologer. © Linda Goodman 1968.

First published in Britain in 1970 by George G Harrap & Co Ltd. Published by Pan Books Ltd, 1972 at London by which time it had sold over a million copies. No mean feat in those days.

Click to read another great article about Linda Goodman



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