It was November 1966. I was sweet seventeen and lying in bed recovering from a tonsillectomy. Transiting Neptune was one degree from my Ascendant. One effect of that transit was that I’d just had my first and only experience of knock-out anesthesia. Another far more important one was that I was about to discover serious astrology.
As I lay there in my bed nursing my sore throat, my Scorpio mom came in and asked me if she could get me a book to read. I asked her for an astrology book. I think she was a little surprised, but she didn’t have a problem with that – I was blessed with an open-minded family. A couple hours later, she returned with a paperback. It was silly Sun Sign astrology aimed at the sorts of teenagers who weren’t destined for careers in rocket science. I won’t name the book because I try to avoid blaspheming against other astrological authors, but it was truly terrible. I devoured it anyway. I could tell that there was something real going on behind the obvious pandering and stupidity. If I were a fish, I’d have been toying with the worm, not quite sure if I was actually going to chomp down on it.
In for a penny, in for a pound – I finished that book and asked my mom for another one. This time she picked a winner. She brought me one of the dozen or so books that have actually changed the direction of my life. It was called Write Your Own Horoscope. The author was one Joseph F. Goodavage. I never hear anyone refer to it today – as a contribution to the astrological vocabulary, it’s mostly forgotten even though it was actually the first astrology book to sell over a million copies.