|David Hayward – An Interview
David, a true Renaissance Man, is a professional trumpeter who has played with such greats as Sonny Rollins and Stan Kenton; a massage and Shiatsu therapist; a consulting astrologer; and author of ‘Shorthand of the Soul – the Quotable Horoscope’ (Flare Publications 1999)
Q: What kind of background did you come to astrology from?
A: The idea of astrological types always interested me, at least as a conversation piece. I developed into a pretty hardcore atheist in my teens, reading Sartre at about 16. By 18, when Solar arc Pluto was approaching within 1 degree my Leo ascendant, I met my wife of 42 years and at 19 we started living together and were married 6 months later. Unlike my family, hers had an ongoing acceptance and use of astrology, and her chart had been cast soon after birth. When my horoscope was first read, I was in my 20’s, found it valid but didn’t pursue serious study ‘til I was in my 40’s, around 1983.
Q: So you were an atheist – but you aren’t now? What happened along the way?
A: I have three planets in the 3rd house: Venus and Mars in Libra, and Mercury in Scorpio conjunct the IC. The other end of this is the Aries-ruled 9th house, with Jupiter conjoined Saturn in Taurus.
The 9th house Saturn Jupiter argument was won eventually by Jupiter – there is a God! In fact, to this day, I can’t find a spot where God is not. Before my Saturn return I was asking, ‘What is God’? Since age 33, I’ve been asking, ‘What is not?’ You could say I’m a ‘Ubiquitarian’. I found a God I could hook-up to at all times, in all situations, that would give me a sense of universal partnership and loving guidance as to the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’, without a blind obedience to dogma. I found the guiding principal is love, and when that is my intent, the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’ flow immediately, and I become the Tao – perfection attained in the process.
Q: In the midst of all this you were earning a living as a jazz trumpet player, including a spell in Sonny Rollins’ band. Could you tell me a little about those times?
A: I’ve only been happy – a tough word for me – when involved in some creative all-consuming effort: music, painting, the arts in general. And few things can pick you up and sweep you along like jazz. I spent many hours of many years practicing, listening, jamming at home, or at friends’ houses and clubs. Drinking and grass with some uppers, methadrine, dexadrine, dexamil, benzadrine (‘whites’) etc., were a daily routine. Booze was my ‘drug of choice’ to ‘get right’.
It was a time of no holds barred. Ornette Coleman with Don Cherry in a piano-less and guitar-less quartet with Charlie Haden on bass and Billy Higgins on drums, had busted through the traditional bebop or even post-bop phrasing and harmonics. By ’63 and the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, Rollins had hired Don Cherry and though playing a lot of standard tunes which he is the acknowledged master of, he was playing way ‘outside’ with a quartet with no chord instrument.
I was 21 in 1962 when I worked at the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas, then at the Crescendo on the ‘Sunset Strip’ in Hollywood with Earl Grant’s band of about 14 pieces. The high note for me was trading sets with Lenny Bruce at the Crescendo.
But this was all before my first gig with ‘Newk’ (Rollins) in December, 1964 at Shelly’s Mannehole in Hollywood. By June 1965, we were at the Village Vanguard in New York. The rest of the 60’s were truly Uranus conjunct Pluto for me, and all of us. We played as many days a week as we could while our ‘old ladies’ worked their day-gigs. I still kept my practice time sacrosanct and then would drink/smoke whatever I could get.
It was always a struggle to keep working. I’d go out with The Righteous Brothers, then several other singers to Vegas or Lake Tahoe. I was with Janis Joplin in 1970 on the road. I replaced trumpeter Luis Gasca with her band of three horns called ‘Mainsqueeze’, the same band that did the Cosmic Blues album. We did all the big venues and ended up at Madison Square Garden. She died about seven or eight months later roughly six months after her Lunar Return.
I think of that 1970 tour with Janis as the closing of the coffin on the 60’s. I’m sorry for her; she didn’t clean-up from drugs and booze (she didn’t like grass), yet I think she would have been quite comfortable in today’s recovery environment. I know a number of very big showbiz folks who, thank God, surrendered as I did and started a new, much happier life ‘with a little help from my friends’. Surrender, not willpower, seems to be the key to transformation for the critical, if not all, issues of Scorpio. This allows the soul’s guiding voice to be heard, and then through trust, to be teachable.
Q: When and how did you personally end the cycle of addiction?
A: I worked in R&B bands here and on the road until September 15, 1973 when I turned myself in to a recovery program. Needless to say, I put my truly loving wife, daughter, then ten, and mother-in-law (who was always a great support to us) through hell. The progression of alcoholism had led me to a Mr. Hyde existence of promiscuity, black-outs, and ‘pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization’.
I have now been clean and sober from November 1, 1973 – 28+ years. I plan to hold on to this state of grace even if my ass falls off!
Q: I believe you started attending Marion March’s classes in 1986 – what went on, what goes on, in those classes?
A: There we delineated many charts of famous people, both current and historical, from all walks of life without initially knowing who they were. Being a painter for many years, and naturally quite visual, I was struck by the house emphasis in many charts. Not just the famous, but clients in my consulting practice often reveal core issues through occupied houses as well as the disposition of house and chart rulers. Over the 13 years I’ve attended we have studied numerous approaches to delineation including the Huber system, Jeff Greene’s Pluto system of soul evolvement to mention two that come to mind. We just finished 6 weeks with Declinations both personal and mundane.
Q: So you put particular emphasis on the astrological houses?
A: I do have a high regard for the houses. I very much agree with Zip Dobyns’ ‘12 letter alphabet’ concept of synthesizing the symbolism of planet, sign and house. In the introduction to Book 1 of Shorthand I advise the reader that I do consider the mundane rulerships of houses when placing a quote by subject in a chapter. (To this end I’ve included an appendix of mundane keywords both for planets and houses.)
“Winds make weather; weather
This one is clearly a 3rd house-ruled weather issue with winds thrown in for good measure, not to mention the two types of communication from two types of observers. All very 3rd house/Gemini/Mercury to me.
Basically, in Book 1 and Book 2, as in my consulting practice when I’m fortunate enough to have a birth time, I emphasize houses over signs because they are more specific to the person, or event, and signs are more general and collective.
Q: Did Marion March’s classes help to incubate your book?
A: Yes, my concept grew into a book with much loving and fun-filled encouragement from Marion and the rest of the class. I would call her to share my astrological take on a pithy Kafka quote and she would ask me to read it again as she slowly rolled it around in her mind savoring the depth of it as well as the astrology of it. She said, for instance, that Kafka was wonderful in translation but exquisite in the original German. I think she spoke five languages. There you have the love of nuance. She always appreciated that I was not a lock-step modern liberal, but on the contrary a classical liberal with very different views on things political, economic, and sociological than the majority of astrologers we hear from today. She was a European socialist who agreed that that system wouldn’t work here. I think there is a fundamental difference in the American nature as opposed to the European. With this in mind, our talks were greatly enriched.
I was a regular attendee at Marion’s master class for 14 years up to her passing in 2001. I’ll be forever grateful to ‘Madam Fullcharge’ who so encouraged our explorations into astrology. As well as having an extraordinary sense of nuance and respect for the whole chart, she imbued our classes with her living appreciation of universal cultures. She was a generational bridge of cultural appreciation. I loved the stories of her as a little girl in Ascona, Switzerland, sitting on her neighbor’s knee while he spent afternoons talking philosophy with her father in his library. The neighbor was Herman Hesse. We’ll not see the likes of her again. I will always love her and sense her spirit celebrating the ongoing journey. The class goes on, and she is here.
Q: When did you start doing professional consultations?
A: My first paying client was a Sagittarian massage client in December 1988 at, I believe, $60 for natal and predictive. I remember she called about a year later and said it was amazing how things came about as we had discussed on the tape; unexpected long-distance (Florida) move, etc., etc.
In all honesty I’ve heard this for years now and I’m very hesitant to take credit for the accuracy of the events as suggested in a consultation. I simply call it ‘reading the paper’. I love that I love astrology so much. May I always be the child at the foot of the master. For me, the more I learn the more humbling it is.
My greatest joy with astrology is that it is completely ubiquitous; at home in all seasons. As a poet chooses words, astrologers choose planets, signs, houses, configurations, signatures, derivative houses, etc., etc., to capture the tone and texture of the questions we came here to ask ourselves.
Q: What drives you?
A: My passion and obsession has been art as an expression of one’s spiritual, emotional, intellectual, sexual, etc., nature. My greatest and most constant mental obsession (Scorpio Sun in 4th house in mutual reception with Pluto in Leo in the 12th house) is music. It truly almost never stops when I’m alone, in fact, I love to converse with the lyrics of tunes (Sun sextile Neptune in Virgo with Mercury in 3rd house). So you see, words are also a strong fascination for me. My musician’s ear delights in the sound of words, whether alone or in phrases. This has a great deal to do with the evolving concept of Shorthand as a symbolic bridge connecting verbal and astrological concepts.
Q: You mentioned your book – well, I guess it’s a brace of books now, threatening to become a series – ‘Shorthand of the Soul’ (Vols 1 & 2). What got you started on writing the first one?
A: My initial interest was piqued by the quality of thought in the quotations, combined with a pungent, poignant, witty use of words. I’ve tried to extend this to the way they are set out on the page. Almost instantly I then translate to astrolog-ese, i.e., planet, sign and house, or simply a Sun sign identification. The same process goes for Book 2 except I’ve taken it further into aspects, configurations and, occasionally, derivative houses.
Q: How do you write?
A: The two books I have produced have mostly been done in the early morning (sadhana) on my bathroom (library) floor (Sun Scorpio in 4th house, Pluto Leo in 12th). This ritual of ambrosia has been for 28 years my most precious time of each day. I make it clear to spirit that I am joyously looking forward to our daily get-together on my bathroom floor; my commitment and my pleasure in our universal partnership, to meet in the sand and play.
My first book Shorthand of the Soul: The Quotable Horoscope came out November 17, 1999 – my second Saturn return and natal birthday. Note: it was published by Flare Publications in London – I live in Malibu. A 9th house bingo – foreign publisher. Also, I have Saturn less than 2 degrees from Jupiter in the 9th (Jupiter rules my 5th and Saturn my 6th: excitement pursued in a habit of daily discipline manifested in a unique work personal to my own expression and inspired by many thinkers on many levels). (The 6th is the 2nd of the 5th, thereby it became the repository of my values and resources expressed in the 5th as fun and joyous expansion).
Q: You obviously see great importance in the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in your chart?
A: I can at 61 say that without my Jupiter Saturn conjunction ruling my 5th and 6th houses respectively, I might never have survived my own indulgences, especially in Taurus. Ultimately it has given me the dogged persistence to give manifestation to my excitements, whether through the trumpet or producing books. The fact that they are in the Aries-ruled 9th house reminds me I have immediate assistance from this and other dimensions simply by asking: Mars is in Libra in the 3rd. I simply stay in hot pursuit of what excites me within my integrity.
“But things that fall hopelessly apart in theory lie close together without contradiction in the paradoxical soul of man…. as if they were fated by an inner necessity.”
(Sun in Scorpio in 4th house opposing Uranus in Taurus in 10th)
Now you see the value of my concept of Shorthand of the Soul: The Quotable Horoscope as a teaching/thinking tool. Yes, it is subjective to a great degree but steadied by the oldest set of accepted and proven principles in the history of occult studies – Astrology.
Q: Maybe it would be interesting to look at how people can use the book by seeing how it plugs into your own chart. For instance, I see you have Pluto in Leo in the 12th. In Shorthand there are many quotes for this (as for every) combination, but I was particularly struck by this one for Pluto in 12th: “The wound that does not heal can be a well of cures.” (p. 177). Could you explain what that means to you?
A: My whole life is Pluto in Leo conjunct Chiron in the 12th. You could leave out Chiron and not change a word of my biography. Put it in and the ‘cookbook’ student gets it quicker, especially if you note that the zero degree Cancer Moon rules the 12th in the 11th: Nurture, respect, and share your wounds, joys, and your process of experience with others.
In unembarrassed pleasure
and forgetting I was fighting,
I wandered off into the flowers
at the edge of the terrible field.
Absent David Hayward
Note how this theme is reiterated with the Scorpio Sun in the 4th in mutual reception to Pluto in Leo in the 12th.
Q: Sticking with that theme, I wonder if you could throw some autobiographical light on some other quotations that are in the book. I particularly like these two, which are both for 12th house Pluto in Leo:
“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” (St. Peter, quoted p. 187)
“The preservation of dignity requires transforming a situation of constraint into one of freedom; where the constraint is extreme, such a transformation can amount to choosing to do something one is forced to do.” (Tzvetan Todorov, p. 76)
A: For many years I’ve reminded myself I’m not my body or ego – they are but a small part of the real me. We all have a 12th house, and the disposition of its ruler and any planets that are involved describe our shadow self and (along with Pluto) much of the necessary dark side of our nature. My daughter Heather, a talented astrologer, masseuse and poet, says, “The whiter the lace, the darker the leather.” You don’t need Pluto (obsession, oppressor, devil) in Leo (the devouring lion) in the 12th (unconscious, gulags, mobs, missionaries, monsters and manias) to experience the subtleties and seductions of the 12th. As to sober and vigilant: I’ve been given ‘a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition’.
As to the Todorov quote: Change is the only constant. I can go with the flow or push the river. Emerson said; When a dog is chasing after you whistle for him. My effort and my loving are what count. I realized many years ago I don’t have to like this go-round, but I do have to make the best of it. I thank God for my Leo ascendant – hammered as it is – for I do understand as my spiritual teacher Ann Ree Colton said, “Humor is the rainbow over suffering.” I believe humor helps to make what little we know of truth bearable. Can you imagine a Leo ascendant without a sense of fun and a certain childlike quality? Because the numbers are so tight, I look at my ascendant set-up as = Sun/Uranus.
[Garry: the above underlining is to lift out, or quote from, the text as an eye-grabber blurb]
Q: Could you say a little about which of the astrologer’s tools you find yourself using most?
A: Rex Bills’ The Rulership Book (Macoy Pub.) has been my bible, along with Michael Munkasey’s Astrological Thesaurus: House Keywords (Llewellyn Publications – out of print) I keep two dog-eared copies of each, one in my office at the front of the house, and one on the all important bathroom floor. I do use references other than of U.S. origin, but these are my stand-bys. Both cry for updating. I’ve been in close contact with Munkassey who has at least 4,000 new keywords which should be in book form. These days it’s hard to get a book of that necessary size published.
Speaking of publishing, I must thank my angel, Frank Clifford, for immediately seeing and appreciating what I’ve attempted to do with Shorthand of the Soul. That was his first book. What giant cajones! And what a superb publishing job. This can be said of all his books.
I’ve run Shorthand, Book 2, past Michael Munkasey, as he is such a stickler for accuracy. This new book of mine includes Derivative House concepts. I’d love to see Munkasey revise Rex Bills’ book and get an enlarged, updated, version of Astrological House Keywords out there.
Q: How do most your astrological clients get to hear of you in the first place, and, what kind of work do they generally ask for?
A: I think my clients hear of me in the typical word of mouth way. This seems haphazard but is almost without exception an act of serendipity. The soul knows it is at a crossroads and simply waits for the ego to acknowledge it. Then we hear what we need to hear in the form we need it and from a mediator, or messenger, appropriate to that time and place. As a result both client and counsellor receive a blessing. I guess it’s about openness.
I’m not much of a self-promoter in terms of advertising. I do however love to talk about Shorthand of the Soul and my work in general. There’s so much esoteric “New Age” self-hype out there. I’m too busy living a full, passionate life one day at a time to promote. I let the universe reflect back to me what and who I need and when I need it.
Q: You just mentioned your body work (DH is a masseur and practitioner of shiatsu). I wonder, can you feel the person’s chart with your hands when you work on their body? So does a body that’s ruled by Saturn feel very different to one that’s ruled by Venus, for instance?
A: I find it difficult to generalize about the feel of a Saturn-ruled body as opposed to a Venus-ruled one. The too-generalized answer would be that Saturn ruling the ascendant (physical body) would be leaner, harder, more bony, tighter. The Venus ruled body is generally fleshier, more nubile, softer skinned, more attractive and better smelling. After all, flowers are usually preferred to goats when it comes to hands on in an enclosed room. I think the attitudes of the massage client with Venus or Saturn ruling the ascendant can vary a lot depending on the signs and aspects between the two planets, their rulers, houses, etc., etc. Certainly a person with 8 fixed (including ascendant and midheaven) such as myself would tend to be tighter and perhaps more muscled because of the power dilemma and a need to process control issues through working out and athleticism in general.
Q: How would you describe your philosophy?
A: My Philosophy? I love this question! Let’s just say I’m a ‘Pessop’ – a combination of pessimist and optimist: the pessimist says, ‘Cheer up, the worst is yet to come,’ while the optimist says, ‘None of us are getting out of this dead’. It’s all a parade of paradox.
Occasionally I agree with John Masefield who said, “Life’s a long headache down a noisy street.” Seriously, I believe I chose this life and had a better perspective then I do now. Ultimately it’s my actions that count, not my opinions. The trick is how to love the garden we’ve inherited, weeds, worms and all. (DH has Sun in Scorpio, 4th house.) I think I might summarize my philosophy with a quote (surprise) by Leo Buscaglia:
“To know, and not to do, is not to know.”
My life is not for the keeping. All of it must be given away ‘for free and for fun’. My job is to embrace the struggle and to find a unity in opposites; to reconcile movement and change with contemplation and being.
For as big (I won’t say strong) as my ego is I have no desire to do this, the dance of duration, alone, or more accurately, just for myself. I’m a very high maintenance vehicle that is passionately involved in life – whether I like it or not. I believe Scorpio must produce. And, after all, we are here to do relationships – of all kinds.
Q: How do you see the purpose of astrology?
A: Astrology – the horoscope is a one-page outline of our potential autobiography and the tale of the soul as a perennial visitor. It captures the intent and language of the soul, while viewing the incarnation from the inside out.
Psychology – looks at the dialogue between the ego and the intellect, thereby viewing our experience from the outside in. These are simplified aphorisms to be sure, but they work.
A competent, experienced astrologer who keeps up with their own inner work can usually tell when someone is living a life of denial. For example, I know many alcoholics and addicts who have hoodwinked shrinks for years due to the extent of their own cunning and manipulating. The astrologer can see in five minutes, let alone an entire consultation, what the inner issues are and what the outer responses may be. Of course, we must take into serious consideration the quality of the choices a client has taken when astrological events have been triggered in the past. Did transiting Saturn square Venus bring a sense of tightening resources? (Or more dramatically – as my daughter Heather said – “I wanted it all, I just didn’t know it would cost me everything.”)
I don’t believe in too specific advice. Many want to be relieved of the burden of choice. I guide them down the hallway, tell them which doors are opened, locked, or ajar, what’s going on in the rooms, and for how long they may be available. The clients that use the information save themselves considerable pacing and doorknob rattling. If I have experience in a particular issue that is showing up for them, I may share what I learned from it, keeping in mind the differences and similarities in our charts. After all, they are coming to you for guidance, clarity, advice as well as timing. This, however, is a burden of responsibility which I take very seriously. This is the reason I start every consultation with a short prayer to invoke assistance from all who work with us in the Light. I ask for right motivation, ethic, and timing in all that we do that we may be better mediators for God in the world. I affirm blessings on all we’re about that we may be blessings to all about us. You may ask, “What if my client is an atheist?” That’s tough, you came to me, this is the way I work. I don’t want to do this alone. Without soul acknowledgement I’m helpless to write a poem, play Monk’s Mood or see you in your predicament with the eyes of love.
Q: Many thanks, David, for making the time for this interview amongst all your activities, it’s been fascinating.
Asking the questions: Garry Phillipson