SAN FRANCISCO – Few people have heard of Gavin Arthur (1901–1972). Yet, he played a central role in modern astrology, the counterculture, and radical gay spirituality. He cast the horoscope that determined the date for the Human Be-In of 1967. An early advocate for gay liberation, Arthur was part of a chain linking Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassidy, Edward Carpenter, and Walt Whitman. His grandfather was Chester A. Arthur, President of the US (1881-1885).
Every time the planet Mercury appears to move in reverse or becomes what is known as retrograde (It really doesn’t move backward, it just looks like it does.), the internet and social media see a flurry of articles and memes proclaiming the dire pitfalls. The reality is that this astrological “weather” is not much different than navigating every day weather occurrences. If meteorologists tell us it is going to rain, we remember to grab an umbrella and maybe wear rain boots that day. If snow is forecast, we prepare accordingly—ice melt, shovels, purchasing the ubiquitous bread and milk. Those who pay attention to what is going on astrologically, and many Pagans do since moon cycles and other astrological influences play a role in their religious or magical practices.