October 29, 1925-April 14, 1989
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Joseph Goodavage was born on October 29, 1925, at 10:36 AM EST in Philadelphia, PA. Joe was a brilliant and unique individualist with a genius intellect as one might expect with a 3rd. house Uranus. Joe exuded a warm personality, an incredible wit and profound wisdom. He was a fascinating man with a deep innate intellectual prowess, great communication skills and a fabulous sense of humor. He was a prolific writer and journalist, a remarkable astrologer and a gifted painter.
I had the privilege of knowing Joe for the last five years of his life. Initially, we met in an oil painting class where we became acquainted when I recognized his name and asked him to autograph his best-known treatise Write Your Own Horoscope. Joe and I frequently spoke about science, metaphysics and astrology.
Like so many mainstream people, Joe became interested in astrology in order to debunk it. Instead, he became entranced by it and became an extraordinary astrologer. I have in my possession a copy of a letter written by Joe to a US Senator warning him only a few months before John F. Kennedy was assassinated that a serious attempt would be made on JFK’s life.
Knowledge was a quest for Joe as his Sagittarian ascendant indicates. Many of Joe’s works were science oriented and he was particularly interested in astrometeorology. Joe’s first book, Astrology: A Space Age Science, was published in 1966, and Write Your Own Horoscope followed in 1968. Write Your Own Horoscope was updated and re-published in 1975, 1979 and 1990. The Astrology Guide and Almanac for 1970 followed. In 1973, Joe’s next work The Comet Kohoutek appeared.
Magic: the Science of the Future was published in 1976 and, like so many of Joseph’s works, was ahead of its time. I have personally seen this work listed in the bibliography of numerous current works and seminars regarding the merging of science and spirituality.
In 1978, Joe’s Our Threatened Planet and Seven by Seven were published. Following in 1979 was Storm on the Sun. Additionally, Joe had extensively researched similarities in the lives of "time twins" and was contracted to write on this subject.
Write Your Own Horoscope, Joe’s most well-known and popular treatise, has a distinct honor. It has been available since 1968 and was the first astrological book to sell over a million copies. When many practitioners of astrology recall their first exposure to serious astrology this work often comes to mind. It brought real astrology into the hands of the general public. This was indicated by Joe’s third house Moon in Aries suggesting his efforts in communication would be popular and quite pioneering. Additionally, Uranus in this same house suggests Aquarian mental interests such as the occult and, in specific, the Aquarius/Uranian art and science of astrology.
Joe would often recount insightful and hilarious stories about very famous astrologers such as his friend, Linda Goodman, Al Morrison, and others from his personal interactions with them. He’d describe various astrological conventions he attended in which fist fights over "the preferred house system" were commonplace.
All of Joe’s works were written on a typewriter. When he got a computer it was a hilarious event for many times he threatened to throw this "artificial intelligence" off the roof of his apartment building in Queens, New York where he lived for many years. Joe was "a character," and, like most geniuses, he was talented in many arenas of life. He was a fabulous cook and he could tell a joke or a story in a way that no one else could. His imagination was phenomenal and he put it to use in a fabulous spellbinding science-fiction tale that unfortunately remains unfinished.
Shortly before his death Joe was working on a book exploring the electro-magnetic field(s) and/or aura surrounding any living being. I received a copy of a chapter from this work at Joe’s funeral from his wonderful family. Its title was: "Is Dead Dead?" True to his Scorpionic nature Joe investigated similar subjects such as the after-life and those persons who spontaneously combust.
Joseph passed away on April 14, 1989, after battling heart disease for many years. Intuitively he knew his time to pass over was approaching. He made his own funeral arrangements and scripted his own graveside memorial. Joe requested that we, his family and friends, sing The Mickey Mouse Song before his burial was completed. We honored the wishes of a great man. Even in death this gifted, exceptional and unique soul made those of us who love him smile. To know Joe was to love him for he compelled us to laugh hard, reflect often and contemplate deeply.
"There was a huge ingress of people into astrology during the Sixties, while Pluto and Uranus were conjunct in the sign Virgo. Many of us began our studies and research with dog-eared copies of Joseph Goodavage’s Write Your Own Horoscope. Along with his friend, Linda Goodman, Joseph Goodavage was responsible for introducing many of todays’ most accomplished astrologers to the field. I personally clutched that small volume in my hands as I went to the three astrology classes a week I attended in my first year. The house and sign placements from each chart I laboriously calculated of a friend, family member, or romantic interest were dutifully scrawled in the margin so that I could begin to discern the patterns. Joe’s interpretations were conveniently brief but accurate."
These are my remembrances of Joe Goodavage.
I am John Dolan. My father, also John Dolan, was a friend of Joe. They met in night school after the war. My dad was in the Navy too. They both had a great deal of intellectual curiosity. They also liked to drink. Although they lived in different places, they were friends for many years.
My earliest remembrance of Joe was him surprising me as a child by hiding treats in the spruce tree that was on the front lawn of our NE Philadelphia row house. He was a regular overnight guest. He would have candy and ice cream and small toys. In my younger years, when Joe came to visit, I always went out and looked in the tree for a surprise. It was great. Joe always had a gift for me. I remember him giving me sea shells, sand dollars, and star fish- all treasures to a young boy in the 60’s. He was very generous. I still have an 1883 Morgan silver dollar that Joe gave me. Joe gave me my first $2.00 bill, and one time I remember that he brought me a huge piece of raw sugar cane supposedly from South America. Joe was my childhood hero.
I remember visiting Joe in Atlantic City in the summer of 1960 or 1961. Joe worked as an artist and did charcoal sketches on the boardwalk. I also remember him doing skin-diving off a jetty in Atlantic city during that visit. He told me that he had done some stunt diving for the popular Lloyd Bridges TV show Sea Hunt. My father, now deceased, later told me that Joe fabricated all of the educational degrees and most of his other resume items that appeared on his book jackets and that he embellished many of his claims in life. But they were still good friends.
Joe had this cool convertible that he would leave open and unlocked parked in front of my house – It was a different time. I remember me and my friends sitting in it and working the electric windows. You didn’t need a key to work them in that car. That was the first car that I remember that had electric windows. That must have been 1963.
I remember a story that my dad told me about Joe. Years ago, in Pennsylvania, drivers would get new license plates each year. Dark blue letters with yellow background and yellow letters with dark blue background the next. So one year, Joe decided to paint his own instead of renewing his registration. He didn’t get too far before he was caught – so said my dad.
Joe liked the ladies. I remember that he brought some of his lady friends to our house while he was married to Evelyn. For many years we had a drinking glass that he gave me from the Mount Airy Lodge in the Pocono mountains. I just checked, and it’s still in a medicine cabinet in one of my bathrooms. I was later told that it was a souvenir from one of his many trysts. My hero.
I recall one attractive woman that had ties to Broadway producer David Merrick . They were guests at our house and were partying and drinking. I was an impressionable lad of nine or ten and I recall this beautiful woman with the low cut dress hugging me and having me sit on her lap. She was encouraging my dad to give her a copy of one of the plays that he wrote so she could give it to David Merrick. Nothing ever came of it, it was just a few people drinking and having a good time. But I remembered it well.
We stayed at Joe’s apartment in Flushing in 1965 when we went to the NY World’s fair. I recall seeing Evelyn and his daughter. I think that her name was Maria, inspired from West Side Story. I’m not sure if his son Danny (I think from Oh Danny Boy) was born by 1965.
The only other time that I remember being with his family was when they visited our Philly house. I remember that it was on Memorial Day because I recall decorating my bike with red, white, and blue streamers and going to the ceremony at the nearby cemetery and Maria was in a baby coach.
Something happened to my Mother’s coffee pot during that visit and Joe and Evelyn sent my mother a brand new pot right after their visit, It was one of those double glass vacuum type pots. They were extremely generous.
I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my mother and Joe. I must have been in 7th grade- 1967 because that was my first year in middle school. I was spinning a knife on the table and when I stopped, Joe told me that he was telepathically signaling me to stop spinning the knife. Very impressionable. I’ll bet that he was hung over and I was quite annoying.
Later in life I thought about this. Knowing that Joe had a reputation as a lady’s man, I later asked my dad if he had any reservations about leaving Joe alone with my mother. He didn’t seem to mind. My mom did say that Joe made a pass at her, but there were no details that she shared with me.
I remember once when Joe came to visit, he was in town to promote his Astrology The Space Aged Science book on the radio show in Philadelphia. I believe that it was the Jack McGinnis radio show.
Background- My dad and Joe used to argue about what bullshit Astrology was. I remember the two of them sitting in the dining room of that little house deep in discussion. Joe liked to lean back on two legs on the wooden chair while engaged in discussion. The next morning he had ruined the wallpaper and bruised the plaster wall. There was a golf ball sized divot in the wall. My mother was very upset.
The radio show was a call-in format. So when Joe was on the radio show, my dad called anonymously to mess with him and liven things up. At one point during the call, Joe slipped and called my dad “Jack” (he always called my father a Jack) and may have tipped it off that he was not speaking to an average caller. Joe later told us that the radio host Jack McGinnis looked up at Joe with a funny look during that moment of this heated exchange during my dad’s call. After the call the radio host Jack McGinnis laughingly commented that he was able to eat two slices of pizza during that call.
My mom embraced and learned a lot about Astrology because of Joe’s influence. One time, when the famous astrologer Jean Dixon phoned our house looking for Joe one would think that my mother had a conversation with God. She was in seventh heaven.
As the astrology gig kicked in for Joe, we saw a lot less of him. I remember hearing that he spent some time in Canada.
We moved to Maryland in the summer of 1968. I specifically remember visiting Joe at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC on the same day as Super Bowl III. That’s the first one where the AFL was incorporated into the NFL for the championship. The AFL NY JETS upset the favored establishment NFL Baltimore Colts. My dad and I listened to the game on the radio during the trip but we were more concentrated in visiting Joe. That was Jan 12, 1969. I remember Joe visited our house in Marlyand once. I specifically remember coming down to the family room early in the morning and Joe was sleeping on the hide-a-bed sofa and he still had the TV on from the night before. Back then, TV was not 24 hours so I recall wondering how he slept with the test pattern going all night. I thought of that moment for the rest of my life when I awoke to a TV that had been on all night while I slept. That was the last time I remember seeing Joe. I remember hearing that he had heart trouble after that, but I don’t think that I ever saw him again.
He enriched every one of our lives. I used to use his next book Write Your Own Horoscope as a way to connect with women. Just like my hero, I’m sure. I’ll never forget him.
BIRTH AND DEATH DATA:
AstroDatabank gave the following information, rated A: According to the ISAR Membership list, he said he was born October, 29, 1925, at 10:36 AM EST in Philadelphia, PA, 75W10; 39N57.
Joe died in Flushing, NY while undergoing treatment with chelation therapy on April 14, 1989.
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CREDITS: The photo came from one of Joseph’s out of print books, Our Threatened Planet. The background, part of a set of the twelve signs, was designed by Robin’s Web. This memorial was created by Donna Cunningham.