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Let me speak first, as a friend. Charles was so dear to me, his friendship was one of the most important in my life, though we were separated by an ocean and a continent. It was an honor to be his friend. He had such a profoundly warm heart, loving and generous; his being in its very essence was magnanimous, great-souled. For one person to have at once such a large mind and a large heart is so rare and precious. For all of us his death is a blow, tangible and sharp, hitting our hearts hard. I share with Suzi, and with his children and family and friends, a deep sorrow at his passing. His death is a great loss; and yet, in the mysterious way these things work, we know that he has entered into the interior of our lives, perhaps to bring his irreplaceable gifts to and through us in ways we cannot foresee.

But Charles was not only a friend and husband and father. He was, in his quiet but highly effective way, an important and even essential figure in our culture and in the spiritual awakening of our time. Certainly he was one of the most brilliant, technically masterful, encyclopedically knowledgeable astrologers of our age, and his great synthesis of the British and the German astrological traditions at their best is one of his most important contributions. And he accomplished that synthesis within a profound Platonic and Neoplatonic philosophical framework that greatly expanded and deepened the meaning of the astrological perspective and discipline.

But that is only a part of his legacy. If I can speak as an American looking from afar at the world of British astrology, it seemed to me that Charles was the most recent representative of a certain great lineage within the British astrological tradition, which began with Alan Leo, was passed on to Charles E. O. Carter, thence to John Addey, and finally to Charles, who oversaw the Astrological Association for most of his adult life. And from that position, in his extraordinary care for the whole, Charles served more than perhaps any other single person to unify the international astrological community. For all his intellectual brilliance and technical competence he was a visionary: he deeply recognized not only astrology's potential influence but its rightful place in our civilization's future world view. He believed that astrology would someday move into the very center of the life of our culture—and I believe he was right. And like all great visionaries, he not only saw, he gave himself to the task of incarnating that vision.

Finally, if I can speak very personally for a moment, I always felt as if Charles and I were united across the Atlantic by our common goal to help open up our civilization's eyes to the sacred intelligence of the cosmos and to the human being's special role within that cosmos. Our friendship was rooted in this shared aspiration: I hope to spend the rest of my life—and Charles's death poignantly brings home to us all how unknown and mysterious is the allotted span of our years—I hope to spend the rest of whatever years are given to me working to fulfill what Charles saw and felt so fully. More than anything I will remember how much Charles cared—for astrology, for the divine cosmos, for the human community—and his caring had the tenderness of the Mother for a precious newborn, or, perhaps I should say, reborn.

Goodbye noble Charles, we have been beautifully blessed by your living amongst us.

Rick Tarnas

February 27, 2000

Return to Roy Gillet's memoriam to Charles Harvey


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