Minerva column: at SF chronicle website
When Stan Arnold, the San Francisco Chronicle's late great feature editor, asked me to do a Sunday astrology column, I was nonplussed. What did I know about astrology? Just my sign, (Scorpio), that was it. Still I wanted a Chron affiliation, had pitched them a number of ideas that went nowhere. Maybe this was a foot in the door opportunity. "Shall we use your name?" Stan asked, realizing that he had me. "No!" I'd overheard conversations at parties, things like "four planets in the first house" or "Mars ascendant." It was an exotic, unknown world. What if someone asked me a question?
To avoid making a fool of myself, I'd keep my identity a secret while studying the stars. Witty Minerva, a no-nonsense goddess, would be my standard bearer. Minerva's a deity who calls the shots as she sees them. An astrologer has to do that too, I soon learned. There's nothing airy-fairy about this science.
Hiding behind Minerva's shield, I learned astrology as I wrote it and was often surprised to see people pouring over the Sunday pink. "Minerva says this." Minerva says that." That was me they were talking about!
It was several years before I gained the confidence to reveal myself, but here I am!
Do I believe in it?
You bet. Astrology is merely finger pointing at reality. Get with the program. Stargazers have been doing it for thousands of years.