This weekend I was in Philadelphia for a lecture I gave on Astrology & Your Health: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Understanding. (I’m hoping to have it posted online by Thursday, after I listen and edit it.)
The room for lecture was packed. One of my closest friends was there (I’m in her car above), my mentor came with his family and a host of newer and old friends were there, including my good friend and photographer Zamani Feelings. (One of his photos is below.) Overall, it was an awesome experience.
On the way to Pollock’s Herb and Vitamin Center, where the talk was held, and on the way back to my friend’s house, we passed Kofi’s Bookstore, shown above. This is where my journey with astrology really began. It was there, one autumn night in 1990, that I had my first astrological consultation.
The “bookstore” part of the store I remember as small, like one bookcase. I suppose Kofi started off with the space being a bookstore, but considering its North Philly environ, I suspect it was hard to sell folks any more than dreambooks and a few occasional titles. In fact, when I first saw him, he looked bored out of his mind as he barely fit in his open storefront window to take people’s lottery picks for the night. I was up there looking for an obscure book called “The Sixth and Seventh Book of Moses,” a book I came to discover is a mishmash of kabbalistic-like lore, magickal incantation and gibberish.
I wanted the book mostly as a statement of my own adulthood and independence. I had been denied the book by my mother when I was 14 because I was too young and would likely do something stupid. I had snuck and scored her copy–a falling apart, golden leafed heirloom from her grandmother. She caught me as I tried to sift through its pages for secrets and rituals that, in retrospect, would have led me to do something dumb, like choke while trying to swallow a spell-bound hard-boiled egg down whole.
I had called around several bookstores in the city to find it. He was the only one who had it, so I trekked up to N. Philly from Temple University, where I was in graduate school, to get it. He asked me if I had gotten my astrological chart done. I hadn’t, but a friend had made me curious about such a thing. I had some extra money after scoring an assistantship and a better financial aid package, so I agreed. I got much more than a book. The rest has been told here, minus a few details here and there.
So it was fitting that I would pass this store on my way to give my first major astrological talk in Philadelphia. It was kind of like a reminder and blessing all in one. I suspect Saturday’s talk may be the first of many talks, including the one I’ll be giving here in August. So it may really be Square One. We’ll see.