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"...he weighed some eighteen stone, and his huge frame, together
with his mop of white hair and beard, gave him something of the
aspect of a human giant panda...."
(John Addey in his Obituary to Carter in The Astrological Journal,
Charles Carter in the 1950s or 60s
England's most long-lived astrologer Gerald Pitchforth (who
died in February 2005 at the age of 103) remembered Carter well.
In a talk entitled '70 Years in Astrology', given to the Wessex
Astrologers' Group at The Grasshopper Inn in Parkstone in 1995,
he recalled an astrological group back in the 1940s that met every
Thursday evening in a basement flat near Gloucester Road tube station
The group was led by Margaret Hone, and amongst the regulars were
several other 'leading lights' of the time such as Jeff Mayo, Ingrid
Lind, Charles Carter, Jacinthe Buddicom, Roy Firebrace and Joan
Rodgers. Pitchforth described Carter as "a tallish, rather
country type of chap
he wore tweeds and had hair on his face
quite a gentlemanly type." He added "his manner was quiet
and unassuming, and he was happy to talk about astrology when asked
to do so, but never tried to overcome Mrs. Hone."
According to Pitchforth, Carter was very disappointed that he had
not included the opposition aspect in his 'aspect book', and he
was quite worried about this at that time. (Later revisions of The
Astrological Aspects clearly include commentary on the opposition
aspects, so if Gerald Pitchforth's recollection is correct, then
Carter must have remedied the situation. Can any readers confirm
if the first edition was different in this respect?)
It was common knowledge among the group members that Carter had
predicted the date of his own death and Pitchforth affectionately
recalled Mr Carter's embarrassment when Mrs. Hone regularly tried
to tease the information from him. However "we managed to get
it out of him in the end." Margaret Hone was remembered as
"a motherly type, a kind of homely type, the dominant one at
the meetings, but mentally absolutely spot on, and very keen on
When the group met, they would discuss the various problems put
before them by Margaret Hone. Some members were developing their
own special interests, and apparently, Ingrid Lind had a talent
for being able to dowse an unknown birth time through the use of
a pendulum. According to Pitchforth, astrology was booming in London
in those pre-War days, and the Gloucester Road group were far from
alone. One hall in Baker Street regularly attracted huge audiences
every week. When the War came other matters understandably preoccupied
the collective national psyche, and the number of astrology meetings
rapidly declined and all but dwindled away.
Carter in his later years:
"...He would sit on the right hand of the board in the front
row, usually with his corgi at his feet..." (Description of
Carter in his seventies at Monday night meetings at the Lodge).
"My memories are of Owen* sitting by a blazing open fire in
his favourite armchair, attired in his much loved cardigan and carpet
slippers, swapping anecdotes. At home, entertaining his friends
around his hearth, Owen was at his best."
(Douglas Burn, "A Member Remembers" The Astrologers'
Quarterly, Spring 1987)
*Carter was known to his friends as 'Owen' rather than 'Charles'.
He was also known to his astrological friends as 'Libra' - "and
he well exemplified all the pleasing qualities of this favourite
sign." (Ronald C. Davison, Obituary to Carter, The Astrologer's
Quarterly, December 1968)
© The Wessex Astrology Group 2002 - 2010 All Rights Reserved.