Still Waters Run Deep…
It’s nice to be around people who have a sense of solidity and depth about them. They can be counted on to do what they say they will do, and most of all, you can depend on them to listen. When I first met Alice Kashuba, she exuded all these qualities and more: a disarming charm, a good sense of humor, and a genuine warmth and wisdom. As long as I have known Alice, I have marveled at how she always exhibits an unhurried pace and balance about her that allows others to feel just as calm. Some of you may have met Alice through her role as ISAR conference registrar, a service she has performed for our organization for the past two conferences. Alice is ISAR’s treasurer and a member of our board of directors, and since 1996, she has also been the editor of the Sabian Symbol International newsletter.
Late last November, we met at the Sundy House in Delray Beach to conduct this interview. The weather was still warm here in Florida, so I requested an outside table, which turned out to be nestled amid tropical plants, a cascading waterfall, and a tranquil fishpond. It was also right next to the water. What a perfect place to meet a friend – especially a friend with such strong Neptunian/Piscean qualities – and to do our interview!
I had prepared Alice’s chart (September 1, 1936 at 7:30 AM EDT New York, NY) in advance. It showed 22 Virgo on the Ascendant, with her Virgo Sun in the 12th house. This is often a good indication that the chart owner possesses a knack for working well behind the scenes and has a strong spiritual or religious bent. Along with a Pisces Moon in the 7th house, I began to sense something “otherworldly” about her. In addition, when I noticed Saturn retrograde in Pisces in the 6th house, I realized there was a serious, important theme developing. In fact, with Saturn in Pisces, the Moon in Pisces, and a 12th house Sun, it’s easy to conclude right away that Alice has a great deal of imagination, emotional understanding and humility. She can be the analyst, the researcher, the metaphysician, and the artist – and I personally know her to be all of these. Her art is in her writing, as described by a Gemini Midheaven, a 1st house Venus in Virgo, and Mercury in Libra.
I began by asking about Alice’s parents, since I believe it’s always interesting to explore the ground from whence any seed has sprouted. “My father was a Greek living in Turkey. At 21, he came to the United States because war had broken out between the Greeks and the Turks, putting him between a rock and a hard place. If he went back to Greece, he would be enlisted to fight against the Turks. If he stayed in Turkey, he would have been drafted to fight against the Greeks. So his choice was clearly not between those two countries. Turkey was the crossroads of the world at that time. As a result, my dad spoke several languages: Turkish, Greek, and French. Since he had been working at a hotel as a chef, he had a career that transported easily to other countries. He immigrated to New York City.”
“My father was a Gemini. He seemed to have the ability to communicate with people even though they have a different language. Maybe his Moon in Pisces helped him to do that. He was a chef at a Howard Johnson Hotel for a while. At times he did cook for us at home, but because of his erratic schedule, he was not ordinarily part of the family’s routine. His schedule was always changing. He often worked late hours or weekends.”
“I guess that explains your retrograde Pisces Saturn in the 6th house of service nicely,” I said. “Your father was in a service industry, working behind the scenes and not available for that reason,” I offered, considering her 12th house Sun.
“Tell me about your mother, Alice,” I continued. “Did she also have a diverse background?”
Alice smiled. “Actually, my mother came from a more diverse ethnic background. She was English, Scottish, German, French, and American Indian. She was born in New York City, but grew up in the Hollywood area of California. Back then, in the early part of the 20th century, that area was all orange groves.
My mother was an interesting woman. By day, she worked as a salesperson at Woolworth’s (a department store). The rest of the time, while tending to my sister and me, she and her Aunt Sadie were devotees of astrology and metaphysics. So I feel as though I’ve always had these interests, since they were an accepted and valued topic in our home.”
“Your mother was part American Indian! What tribe is part of your heritage?”
“My mother’s mother had a bloodline with the Mohawk tribe.”
“It’s interesting that your mother has this connection and heritage and such a metaphysical avocation. So that’s where your metaphysical interests began, at your mother’s knee. How did it evolve into astrology?”
“For a long time I studied on my own. The only books I had were from Llewellyn George and Max Heindel. These, of course, are books of the ‘old school,’ which viewed astrology in a very dark, negative, and fateful way. Because of this, I gave up my astrological interest from time to time. Eventually, when some of the newer works began to come out, by Rudhyar, Jones and other significant astrologers, I began to get a more positive philosophical outlook on astrology and my interest was rekindled.”
“That’s interesting that metaphysics and astrology were part of your childhood considering transit Neptune moved from your 12th house and spent a good deal of time transiting your 1st house which also represents childhood years. I am interested to know some other things about your childhood. Where did you grow up?”
“My early life was in New York. I was born in New York City but probably around the age of two, we moved up state to a country setting. I have fond memories of those early days in that big, old house with its large yard. There was a shallow pond close by and I would spend the summers squishing mud between my toes, as I would wade about its edges examining the contents. I really prefer small town or country living. But circumstances called for a move back to New York City; so by the time I was four years old, back we went.”
“Tell me about the horse farm,” I said, thinking of Alice’s Sun in the 12th house of large animals and her Jupiter in Sagittarius.
“That was after high school – during my college years. The farm was in Geneseo in upstate New York near the Finger Lakes region and south of Rochester. The people who owned the farm gave equestrian lessons and participated in a local foxhunt and horse shows. Actually, the experience was twofold. I got the basic farming experience and I also spent a lot of time observing and interacting with a part of society that was a holdover from the old English upper class genre. Upon graduation, I taught physical education for two years. For some reason during this time, I had decided I needed something more in my life. All along, I had been active in the Congregational church. I taught Sunday school and worked with the youth groups. Being very idealistic and wanting to contribute to making the world a better place, in September of 1960, I entered the New York Theological Seminary, where, two years later, I received a Masters degree in Religious Education.”
By the time Pluto contacted my Neptune and opposed my Moon I had separated from my biological family and my church family as well.”
To be continue next week…