A political exile talks with the planets
Amsterdam-based author Gary Goldschneider talks to Expatica about his personology approach to charting your future in the heavens, and his life as a 'political refugee'.
Gary is also a composer and accomplished pianist
Some people have very definite ideas about what they will be doing next month and even next year. Many more of us, in contrast, drift from one day to the next, delighted when events sometimes turn out better than we expected, and frustrated at other times when circumstances seem to be conspiring against us.
Wouldn't it be great to have a crystal ball to help navigate through the mysteries of life?
Although he doesn't have a crystal ball, Amsterdam-based Gary Goldschneider offers Personology, a massive coffee-table tome with beautifully illustrated horoscope charts for the years up to 2027.
Personology's blurb says it makes all other "horoscope books irrelevant". Goldschneider achieves this, he says, by creating a unique method which divides each of the twelve signs into five sub-types — such as Aquarius-Pisces Cusp, Pisces I, Pisces II, Pisces III, and Pisces-Aries Cusp — thereby sub-dividing the astrological year into 48 'personology' periods.The precision this allows is far beyond anything available in any other astrology book, Goldschneider says, and provides a ground-breaking new way for readers to look not only at their own lives, but their interactions with those around them.
The author of the best seller 'Secret language of birthdays' and several other books, Goldschneider has studied astrology for 40 years. Though important, it is not his only passion.
Exuding the relaxed confidence of a renaissance man, Goldschneider's curriculum vitae reveals an involvement with the sciences, teaching, music, piano performances, composing, writing and politics. He doesn't do things by half.
Born in Philadelphia on 22 May 1939, within three years he was making weekly appearances on The Children's Hour programme on the local radio station WCAU. He started piano lessons in 1947 with pianist, composer and teacher David Sokoloff, student of Leo Ornsten and Josef Hofmann at Curtis Institute. By the time he graduated first in his class from High School in 1956 he was playing piano weekly with dance and jazz groups.
Goldschneider obtained a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960, and went on to Yale University Medical School to 1963 and did a MA in English from 1963-1965.
The year 1963 must stand out on Goldschneider's - and probably millions of other - personology chart. It is the year loner Lee Harvey Oswald gunned down US President John F. Kennedy. Or, in Goldschneider's words, it was the year of the first coup by the 'military-industrial complex'. Why? "Kennedy was preparing to pull the troops out of Vietnam".
Goldschneider - who describes himself as a socialist or a pure communist - was involved in radical campus politics while he taught English and Music at Drexel University, Philadelphia City College from 1964 to 1970.
After that his music career took prominence. Goldschneider came to Amsterdam in 1985 to play the First Beethoven Marathon, 32 sonatas at one 12-hour concert in the Leidseplein district. A year later he moved here.
It is clear he has not shed the 1960s radical views that many of his peers have. "The majority of the public in the US is apathetic... blinded to the second coup in America history" - the Florida election count in 2004.
Without any bitterness, Goldschneider confirms he is a 'political refugee' in Amsterdam. This status hasn't stilled his creative urges, in fact it has probably enhanced them.
He performed another Mozart Marathon in early 2006 to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. Before that, between 1987 and 2003, Goldschneider composed 'Call me Ishmael', two and a quarter-hour opera based on Herman Melville’s monumental classic of American literature, Moby Dick.
And Goldschneider is still writing and composing prolifically, as he hopes his native land will soon return to 'democratic' government.
Perhaps he should consult 'Personology' to see what 2008 holds in store?
Your planetary guide
Hardcover, 960 pages
Running Press Book Publishers
Available at the American Book Centre and other good English-language book shops.
[Copyright Expatica 2006]
Subject: Gary Goldschneider, Personology, expat authors