In Memoriam

Extracted, with permission, from

Diana K. Rosenberg , Karl Ambjornson , Mary Downing , Charles Emerson , Margaret Emerson , Bill Land , Rory Mercato , Sylvia Sherman , Dr. Edgar Wagner , Grant Weisbrot

Diana K. Rosenberg was born on April 9th, 1933, 10:13am, in New Rochelle, NY and passed away on June 1st, 2012. She is mourned by her family and her friends and colleagues in The Uranian Society.
Recent recipient of Saptarishis Astrology’s Lifetime Achievement Award, author and lecturer, Diana has been acclaimed as the world’s foremost authority on Fixed Stars. She was a founding member and a long-time Vice-President of The Uranian Society. Diana wrote articles for the Mountain Astrologer, NCGR Journal, Geocosmic News, The Traditional Astrologer, Astrology Quarterly, Ingress, Heliogram, Urania, Dell Horoscope & American Astrology magazines. She is the author of the acclaimed book Secrets of the Ancient Skies (published days before her passing away) on Fixed Stars and Constellations, is the culmination of 30 years of research. Diana also published The New Fixed Stars Workbook, Nakshatras, Manzils and Hsiu: Hindu, Arabic and Chinese Lunar Mansions Research Workbook, a Correspondence Course in Fixed Stars and Constellations.

American professional astrologer in San Francisco, CA, who specialized in Uranian astrology. Author of “Delineation of Mundane Events,” 1974 and “Uranian Astrology Handbook.” His AstroDataBank record, rated A, says that according to his memory, given by the Astrological Pioneers of America, he was born on March 29, 1914 at 2:20 AM in San Francisco, CA. Died September 18, 1981, in San Francisco.
Andrew Homer adds, “Karl Ambjornson was an electrical engineer with a thorough understanding of Johndro and geodetic charts. He taught Uranian Astrology at Fritzi Armstrong’s Metaphysical Townhall.”

Mary Downing, an astrologer and author lived and practiced in Connecticut and in Southern Maryland. She died on March 9, 2005, at age 67.
Mary’s approach to astrology was as a practical tool in the proper timing of events both personal and financial. She practiced astrology for over 40 years and was a featured lecturer at many conferences. She lectured on such topics as Cosmobiology & Uranian techniques, business and employee compatibility and mundane events. She was a member of AFA, AFAN, ISBA, NCGR and The Uranian Society SIG.
Mary worked on the NCGR Board for more than twenty years and served two separate terms as NCGR Executive Secretary from 1981-1990 and from 1994-1998. She also served as a Director of NCGR from 1990-1994 and from 1998-2001 and oversaw Public Relations and Publications. Mary was instrumental in the Uranian Society’s becoming the first NCGR SIG (Special Interest Group).
Mary was a gifted graphic artist and for years she used this talent as Production Editor of the NCGR Journal and other NCGR publications. In addition to her NCGR involvement, Mary served a number of terms on the AFAN Steering Committee, was a Co-Editor and Designer of their newsletter and served in a variety of capacities for UAC. She was the only astrologer to receive both the NCGR Sisyphus Award for Dedicated Services and the AFAN Jim Lewis Community Service Award.
Mary authored one book and her articles appeared regularly in the NCGR Journal, Geocosmic and Aspects. On StarIQ’s website, Mary stated that Combination of Stellar Influences by Reinhold Ebertin was her favorite astrology book, and said, “Everybody should buy one early on and wear out at least six copies.”
Mary authored one book and co-authored another: “Financial Astrology”, published by Llewellyn New World Astrology Series, and “The Essentials of Intermediate Astrology”, published by NCGR Publications
Birth & Death Data: Mary stated her birth data on StarIQ: January 28, 1938, 08:03 PM in St. Louis, Missouri. She died at the age of 67 on March 9, 2005 at 10:40 PM in Owings, Maryland.

Birth & Death: AstroDataBank gives the following birth information, rated A, quoted in the NCGR Newsletter from Charles himself. He was born July 26, 1923, at 9:19 AM, in Omaha, NE. He died at the age of 69 in New York City on September 19, 1992. One of Charles’ students says that the time of 9:19 is a rectified time. At one point, she was working with Charles’ chart, but called him and said, “Charles, this cannot be your actual time of birth, there are too many discrepancies. He said, “How did you know?” She told him she could tell by parameters she uses and confirmed by certain personal facts she knew about he and Margaret, and at that point, he admitted that he had used a rectified time (his rectification) and not the time of birth given on the birth certificate. He then gave her the recorded birth time of 9:30 AM, from a book at home.
Charles Emerson was one of the founders of the NCGR, both the national organization and the New York City chapter. He served as president of the national organization. He was deeply interested in Uranian Astrology and was one of the founders of the Uranian Society. He also served on the editorial staff of the Astrological Review and In Search. A high school math and science teacher before entering astrological practice full time, Charles was a professional astrologer for over 25 years and did a great deal of diligent and original research into Uranian, medical, and mundane astrology. Rectification was another of his specialties, using the 90 degree dial and other Uranian techniques. A courtly and social man, Charles, along with his wife Margaret, delighted in hosting dinner parties and events for the New York Chapter.
Betty Lundsted, writing in Mercury Hour, 1/93 Issue:
“There are many of us who pay tribute to Charles Emerson. As founder of the National Council for Geocosmic Research, he brought hundreds of people together. He found me and introduced me to my good friend Nancy Hastings, and to Carole Winters (later Jones) who also was on the NCGR board for a while.
He had a knack for knowing that he could get people to work, to build this organization, to keep the study of astrology alive. He brought together such diverse people as Dr. Donald Wharton, and Charles Jayne, and Dr. Mario Jones, and Robert Hand, and Joanna Shannon and Doris Hebel. He united people from all over the United States. He kept working even when the organization tottered and almost folded. He and Dan Livingston put in untold hours before I first became involved with the education program in New York City. And I was not the person to be dealing with the education program as anyone who knows me will attest! But he saw the “workhorse” part of me–and even though wasn’t into Uranian astrology, let me do my thing. He let everyone do is or her thing–and we all gained from the experience. We gained for ourselves, for our various careers, and we gained for the NCGR because it became what it is today.
I think that Charles lived an important life, a life that had meaning and value for thousands of people. If it wasn’t for him–with his irascible ways–lots of people would not have the chance to study the diverse astrological techniques made available because Charles kept his interests going. If each of us can live a life that offers so much to so many, we will all have reason to be very proud of ourselves.
And lest we wax too maudlin about Charles–he was definitely human! It’s not my place to discuss his foibles here–it’s enough to say that he was a human being. I remember hours of driving with Charles with my heart in my mouth as he smoked his Robert Burns and turned around (while he was driving) to have eye contact with the people in the back seat. No accidents–someone or something up there took care of him, we all agreed on that. He fostered a lot of astrological car trips to various conventions in the ’70s–trips full of fun and pathos and Uranian astrology. He bickered back and forth with Charles Jayne and let me know that I had “made it in astrology” when Charles Jayne finally yelled at me and hung up the phone. Charles was supportive. He came with dial and slippers. He was a Leo. He was a character. He was a star. Or was it a Sun? If we are to do anything for Charles, let’s work to keep the NCGR alive–to keep astrology alive.”
Joan Abel wrote in the 1/93 Issue of Mercury Hour:
“When Margaret Emerson called with the news that Charles had passed away, twenty years of memories came flooding back, starting with my first visit to the cozy apartment in Chelsea, a “rectification” class that turned out to be my introduction to Uranian. I was the first to arrive and found a tall, smiling, professorial looking gentleman organizing the coffee things. We chatted till class began and I found myself in a strange new world where I didn’t know my Cupido from Vulcanus. But thanks to Charles’ enthusiasm and patience, I soon found myself twiddling the 90-degree dial with the rest of them, amazed at the accuracy of this “weird” system! I took more Uranian courses. Once, when I was the only student to show up at the last session, Charles did a Uranian number on my chart, zeroing in on personal secrets no one else could possibly have known. Lucky for us, he was honest and ethical–what a potential for blackmail!
He was Leo through and through in his cheerfulness, vitality and generosity in giving of his knowledge and himself. He and Margaret hosted annual New Year’s parties where astrologers (and other enlightened people) met informally and got to know each other. Once I was invited to a meeting of the NCGR Research Committee, wondered why, and all was made clear when a birthday cake appeared. Charles had given me a surprise party, the only one I’ve ever had in my whole life!
His last years were difficult, but, like the true lion, Charles met adversity with courage and good humor. We mourn his passing but are glad at least that it was quick and without pain. His warm, caring and vital presence will be sorely missed by his friends as well as his colleagues of the astrological community.”

By Nona Gwynn Press (appeared originally in Memberletter April/May 1999)
Margaret McGregor Emerson was born January 23, 1928 in Coupar Angus, Scotland. As an adult, she came to America, where she and Charles Emerson, one of the founders of the NCGR, met and were married in 1957.
I met Margaret shortly after hearing Charles speak at NYU December 7, 1972. At the end of his lecture, Charles called for volunteers to help the NCGR, the organization which he and several others had founded just the previous year. I, who never had before, volunteered. Soon there were gatherings at their Chelsea apartment, where Margaret always graciously welcomed the numerous astrologers Charles had invited for various meetings and mailings.
Margaret was a dedicated teacher, who taught at Professional Children’s School and Grace Church School. She retired after the onset of manic-depression February 22, 1979. However, even when she pursued her own career, her life revolved around Charles and his work. When he died September 19, 1992, she found living alone too difficult. She moved to a senior residence, and then to a nursing home. Margaret died December 7, 1998 at Calvary Hospital. Those of us who worked with Charles will always remember Margaret as a devoted helpmate who supported him in his creation and nurturing of the NCGR.

Born May 10, 1944 12:00 PM Cleveland, OH. Died: August 21, 2003 in Cleveland, OH (information from Charmain Aston)
Bill was from Cleveland, Ohio but had worldwide astrological contacts throughout the Internet. He excelled in Uranian astrology and had a special place in his practice for Algol. Bill was a long-time member of The Uranian Society.
Charmain Aston writes that over the 20 years of friendship with Bill, they would gather in a small group and astrologically attempt to solve crimes. As a result of the power outage experienced on August 14-15 , 2003 in Cleveland, his loss of air conditioning facilitated respiratory failure. He had suffered from respiratory problems for many years. Bill was a very gentle soul who will be missed by many.

Nona Gwynn Press, who knew him for years in the New York Chapter of the NCGR, writes: “He gave us the information that he was born April 19, 1943, at 1:40 AM EST in Manhattan, NY. I believe he served in the armed forces, was married and had a son. After his service he became a motion picture projectionist. I met him in the early 1970’s when he joined the NCGR and research committee of which I was chair. He was involved with the NCGR NY chapter suicide research study and later became research chair of the Uranian Society.
On July 31, 1986 Rory had a liver transplant. He continued his research and wrote a book about his findings. He suffered a stroke October 21, 1994, because of the medications he took for the transplant and died January 13, 1995 in a hospital in Austin, TX.
According to Michelle McKee, his editor and an NCGR member, his book, Patterns of Pathology: the Use of Astrology in the Diagnosis & Prognosis of Personality Disorders, was essentially finished and she and Rory’s second wife, Cecile, hoped it would be published soon. To my knowledge, it has not been published, which is unfortunate since it represents the fruits of a life dedicated to the art and science of astrology.”

AstroDataBank says he was a German-born astrologer, “credited with successfully introducing an American form of the Uranian system. NCGR’s first lifetime Honorary Member, he was also a gifted speaker.” His data is ranked AA: Born on March 22, 1891, at 7:00 AM GMT in Paderborn, West Germany. Died at age of 94 on September 1, 1985, in the Bronx, NY.
Sylvia Sherman was born R. Sylvia Teltser, the daughter of Ida and Wolf Teltser. She was raised in New Jersey, and received her Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University. In 1942, she married Nestor Sherman, and together they raised four daughters.
As well as being a world-renowned astrologer and educator, she founded the American School of Astrology in West Orange, NJ. Mrs. Sherman co-wrote two books on astrology, Uranian Astrology Guide and Symphony of the Planets, with her daughter, Jori Frank-Manske, and traveled the world, lecturing and teaching. Always an adventurer, she was a politician, a pilot, and a realtor. She moved to Albuquerque, NM in 1992 and, subsequently to Jacksonville, FL in 2003.
Her continuous love and guidance will be missed by her daughters and sons-in-law, Arlyse (Gill) McDowell and Wendy (Max) Jean of Fernandina Beach, FL, Jori (Jim) Manske of Albuquerque and Karen Schnauffer of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Mrs. Sherman was predeceased by her brother Milton Teltser of Hollywood, FL, and will be lovingly missed by her sister, Margaret Sharfstein of Hollywood, FL. Her two adoring grandchildren, Jaya Manske and Jiva Manske, will miss their wonderful grandmother in their lives. Sylvia passed away on December 4, 2008 and was interred next to her loving husband.
A Tribute to Sylvia by Jackie Slevin, MA, C.A. NCGR:
I was saddened to read in the March memberletter of the passing of Sylvia Sherman. Sylvia was a prominent astrologer in the 50s, 60s and 70s in New Jersey and throughout the United States. Her New Jersey School of Astrology was both a bookstore and a school of astrology, serving as a Mecca for astrologers and New Age enthusiasts. Located over a bakery called The Bagel Factory in West Orange, the fragrances wafting up during classes were as heady as the mathematical formulas Sylvia wrote on her blackboard. Sylvia was one of my earliest teachers and I took every course she offered, from Basic Astrology to the Uranian System. Sylvia studied Uranian astrology with Hans Niggemann himself in the Bronx and was, in all probability, the only professional Uranian astrologer in New Jersey in the 60’s and 70’s until she taught this system to her most advanced students. I had the privilege of working as her assistant as she wrote her book “Symphony of the Planets”
In the days before computers, Sylvia, who taught business math in her 20’s, devised her own unique method of chart calculation, particularly when calculating the progressed Moon. Comparing the machinations of the Universe to the operations of a retail store, she called progressions Planetary Inventory and the Adjusted Calculated Date the Midnight Fiscal Date. Her rationale was that the fiscal date was the date of a new year of planetary inventory, which then “progressed” to planetary bookkeeping, followed by planetary timekeeping. She also referred to the natal chart as the face of a clock with the progressed Moon serving as the second hand, triggering events as it moved toward angles and the conjunctions of natal planets. Her nifty methodologies baffled some, but Sylvia’s streamlined approach worked every time.
Despite having computer software to now display synastry charts and grids in every shape and size, I still use the method Sylvia taught me to analyze compatibility between charts. Much like calculating a chart by hand, the dynamics of the two charts become internalized as you draw the aspects between the charts in two columns. This technique of zeroing in on the interaction of synastric aspects and highlighting the results is foolproof for clarity and accuracy.
In 1980 I bought my first ephemeris and Table of Houses in Sylvia’s bookstore. They have been constant companions on my reference shelf ever since. As of this writing in July, 2009, it is a full Saturn return since I began my formal study of astrology with Sylvia Sherman. This says it all. Today I proudly call myself a professional astrologer, just as Sylvia did, and I am honored to follow in her footsteps. Thank you, Sylvia, for your pioneering professionalism to this noble study, your guidance, and friendship. I’ll see you in the stars.

An American astrologer of the Uranian school, he researched and taught the system for decades and was a member of the New York NCGR group. His AstroDataBank record gives this information out of the APA file, from his memory. He was born August 9, 1893, at 1:08 AM EST, in Manchester, NH. Growing increasingly frail and confused, the elderly Dr. Wagner disappeared from his New York apartment and was never found.
In June, 2000, Bill Meridian wrote for this memorial:
“I shall always remember Dr. Edgar Wagner as a very exacting astrologer. He was outspoken and never at a loss for words. I recall him saying, ‘Don’t waste your time with that! I spent five years trying to get that to work.’ He was an expert in Uranian, rectification, and predictive techniques, and fiercely proud of his profession as a chemist. Even in the 1970s, I was concerned about his frailty, and was distressed to hear that no one knew of his fate. He richly deserves to be remembered.” Bill Meridian.

Birth: May 20, 1948, 01:00 PM., Brooklyn, New York. Death: June 8, 2003 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Grant Weisbrot was an astrologer since 1968 and used modern Uranian and Cosmobiology methods. He specialized in charts for self-knowledge, compatibility, synastry and event periods in one’s life. His sister, Jill Stern, states that he was a ‘Renaissance Man’ as he was intellectual, artistic and musical. He also made significant contributions through the UseNet community.

Grant graduated from City College of New York and worked at the New York Post as a type editor and then as a proof reader at the Accountant’s Institute. As an astrologer, he was certified by the NCGR. Grant was a former Research Chair of the Uranian Society and a founding member of alt.astrology.tropical. His articles were also published in Considerations and Uranian Astrologer magazines.

To quote from the Wayback Machine, “Grant sold source code to Halloran Software for the planetary picture and sensitive points list added to Version 5 of AstroloDeluxe Report Writer.” He often suggested ideas for new features in astrology software to John Halloran. Grant also made significant contributions through the UseNet community.

In addition to astrology, Grant was an adept musician and played piano, violin, guitar, mandolin and harmonica. He moved to New Orleans to pursue his love of music. American songwriter, guitarist, singer and long-time friend, Alex Chilton, mentions in an interview, “I fell in with a mandolin player down there and we were good buddies. His name is Grant Weisbrot. He’s the guy who’s on the Lost Decade (1985) album as Grady Whitebread.” In New Orleans, Grant also pursued other artistic media. He discovered a love of woodworking and made many pieces of furniture. He also enjoyed sculpting, painting, writing & illustrating fables and doing gold leaf work, which he used for the small frames that he made.

I was a long time music friend of Grant Weisbrot…we dropped out of touch around 1972…I think maybe he moved around then. I was so saddened to just learn of his passing. I remember him as a really decent guy, a dear friend and a very talented musician. I went to my first Bluegrass Festival in August 1969 in Shade Gap, PA with Grant, his lady friend and one other friend named Cindy. We drove out in a rented car camped backstage in sleeping bags.
My heartfelt condolences go out to his family… Yours Truly, Bill Turner, Old Bridge NJ