Ingrid's Quest, Part II

Ivy Jacobson

This will be another of those mainly personal e-mails but there are some technical and other matters in the second half of this post.

First, I would like to describe a bit about my own early steps into medical astrology. It's a little hard to establish exactly where the beginning actually was, but let's start in 1972. I had been living on a yacht in England, interesting crowd of people. I wanted to sail to remote places and was trying to forge connections when a letter arrived saying that my mother was dying so I should return to Hawaii as soon as possible. She was fine by the time I got home; but her chiropractor told me that she had been trained to work with a medical astrologer, and she wanted my input on some cases. I told her I didn't know an arm from a leg. That was, of course, a bit of an exaggeration. She, however, took me very literally and said she could explain all that. We worked together for seven and half years. I learned a lot from Dr. Tucker because she really took the time to consider why I asked the questions I did.

The first case was a little boy with a brain tumor who had been given a week to ten days to live. In those days, there were very, very few books available on medical astrology so I was relying fairly heavily on the Cornell Encyclopedia and later on a handful of other books, mainly by Charles O. Carter and William J. Tucker, not to be confused with the chiropractor whose name was Nathalie D. Tucker. D.C. I told Nathalie that I could not explain this in medical terms but the wiring was reversed so anything she did that would normally affect the right side would actually affect the left side. She said she knew exactly how to proceed and the boy kicked the moment she made her first adjustment, something he had been unable to do before that. Years later, the patient became a professional football player.

The second case was of a four-year old schizophrenic. I said she had fallen from a great height at age one and half and had damage to two vertebrae in the neck. Nathalie insisted this was incorrect because the parents would have told her if there were such a history. My response was simply, "Well, you can ask them." It turns out she had indeed fallen from a second story balcony onto pavement at exactly that age; but, since she had not cried at all, the parents felt she had not been injured. Needless-to-say, Nathalie was astonished.

Each time she gave me a case, I said, "Okay, but this is the last one." Here we are some ten thousand patients later, and it is clear this work will go on for many incarnations. I have always told my students who are worried about making a living that what they learn will last them many lifetimes, and it will be quite difficult to take down the shingle.

As the cases were referred to me, mainly children and therefore very difficult to refuse, I began ordering books from Dorothy Hughes in Seattle. In those days, she was the equivalent of what the Astrology Center of America is today. I am certain I ordered every single astrology book Dorothy had, but it didn't take very long to study them because most were plagiarized, often verbatim the same as a book I had just read. The difference between the books was often token. Dorothy visited Hawaii and when she looked at my bookshelves, her eyes rolled. She wanted to know what happened to all the books she had been shipping to me. I said, "I got rid of all those that were not original."

I asked Dorothy lots of questions but she said she was not qualified to answer them. She referred me to Ivy Jacobson and thus began a very long and precious relationship that lasted until her death. Ivy was born in Brisbane, Australia, in 1893. She had Sirius exactly on her ASC and was a truly extraordinary person. She was very proud of being a Jewess and was Sephardic, originally from Spain. In the present climate, I think this detail is important since Ashkenazy people have a totally different cultural history.

Being quite far from any famous shopping places, Ivy's father allowed her to request one item a year from London. At age three, she asked for Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos. It took rather a long time to arrive, but she had it completely memorized by age five. Her mother died when she was ten and she took care of her younger siblings, twins. Her father was extremely protective and did not allow her to attend school for fear of how she would be influenced by others. She learned foreign languages, music, and architecture completely from books. Around age 20, she went to San Francisco and entered a classroom for the first time in her life. She was overwhelmed with feelings about what it might be like to sit in a room with others one's own age and study together. For all intents and purposes, that never happened because she married a man who protected her as zealously as her father had done. Years later, after her beloved died, she began to write. She was 65 and managed to write about one book every year or two from that point on, including a correspondence course that she licensed a few others to teach, myself included. Days before her 97th birthday, she wrote that her hundredth birthday was only three years away. Right before the start of my lecture at an astrology conference, I got the news that Ivy had died. I could hardly fight back the tears. After one letter a week for 18 years, that was the last I heard from Ivy in the flesh.

There were two immense influences on my own publishing career: Prof. Dr. Lokesh Chandra in New Delhi and Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson. Lokesh Chandra once compared the publish or perish scholars who were constantly picking his brains with pundits of his own culture. He said that Westerners write tomes of books based on the work of other authors whereas Indians write a few sentences of original work after they are at least 70 years old, those being the only worthy additions to a vast literature that goes back thousands of years. I thus feel that late as I am compared to my peers, I am right on schedule in terms of my own writing.

In the meantime, in trying to find some books for students who lack the basic skills to begin the course, I looked around at what is new. What is perhaps most impressive is the research on forgotten traditions in the West. There are only a handful of scholars to thank for this work, but hats off to them. In the East, not as much was lost. Knowledge went a little underground but not nearly to the same extent as in the West. Ivy knew many of the ancient Egyptian and Greek traditions, and I spent a bit of time with those as well as what Hildegard of Bingen was doing in the 12th century. It is important to keep in mind that medicine and astrology were absolutely inseparable until around the 17th or 18th century so we have to do a lot of digging to put the discipline back together again. I did most of my work by borrowing heavily from the East instead of moving to the basement of British Museum!

As astrologers, we all know that everything is for a purpose. I majored in Asian Studies and was therefore better equipped to approach my work in exactly the manner I did. Nick Campion et al have different proclivities and training.

What has changed enormously in the 42 years since I did my first medical astrology readings is the quality of writing. Obviously, there is still a lot of rubbish out there, but there are some very serious thinkers whose work cannot be easily dismissed.

Part Two

So far as I can tell, there is nothing actually wrong with the technical part of the web site. A few people did not confirm their e-mails. It seems the database required this confirmation in order to display the application to me and facilitate the rest of the process. My technician has manually confirmed those people. The uploads are quite challenging to me because, believe it or not, only two people put their names on the pages I requested about the reasons for wanting to take my course.

As a reminder, I am not asking for any deposits at this time. All I want is to study the backgrounds and motivations of the applicants. Also, since there are so many applicants, please take this request for additional information seriously. I know some of you do not know where to start or what to emphasize. I am going to leave this to you to decide because the more structure I create, the less freedom you have!

Many have asked about work-trade arrangements. I do not have a complete list at this time, but here are a few possibilities:

  • Editing and Proofreading, Chicago Style
  • Managing the Chat Room and Muting of the Podcasts
  • Helping with Web Work (shopping carts & fulfillment)
  • Layout (InDesign Software Proficiency)

I am also open to some kind of exchange of energy with a very competent aromatherapist.

Finally, there are a few applicants with really sincere interest in the healing arts who lack firm astrological footing. If any of you would like to mentor these students, I can pair you up, and it would be between the two of you to figure out the value of the exchange. Please contact me privately if this interests you, both the tutors and students. In the meantime, I have begun uploading some books to the site:

Please note that there are four pages of books. Those shown are ready to ship and about 50 more are being added as we speak.



Part III, Cancer Research




Poulsbo, Washington

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