Patricia Louise White 22 December 1938 - 6 July 2016
Pat was an unsung hero who enabled and stood behind many of the 20th century developments in astrology that we take for granted today.
She started her working life as a female jingle writer in the early Sixties in New York City on Madison Avenue. Gary Christen characterises her as “the original Peggy from the TV show, Mad Men”. He tells us that “Her interest in astrology and the occult led her to mingle in the East Village astrology scene in the late Sixties and Seventies. The social crew that formed at that time included so many of the people that became well known and influential in astrology”.
As well as editing his Horoscope Symbols, Pat’s personal partnership with Robert Hand (from the late Seventies through the rest of the century and their friendship with Gary) led to the early development of the NCGR Journals and the foundation of the AGS Software company which became Astrolabe in 1987. Its elected chart with the five inner planets in Virgo in its 11th house, trining Neptune in Capricorn, but about to square the Sagittarian Saturn, suited Pat’s Capricorn nature. She assumed the underlying responsibility for the
high standards Astrolabe set itself, editing and often writing the extremely detailed instruction manuals that were the key to mastering the operation of early-1990s astrology software. Her contributions to the improvement and marketing of Solar Fire, when Astrolabe took over its publication in the mid 1990s, played a crucial role in it being recognised as today’s market leader.
Friends who knew and worked with her closely over many decades write:
“Pat was often stubborn and difficult to argue a point with because she was so often right. She demonstrated a wisdom that transcends material desires or needs and lived her life accordingly. It is often said that when
a person dies an encyclopaedia of human knowledge vanishes with them. In Patricia’s case, astrology lost the equivalent of the Library of Alexandria. I lost a dear friend.” Gary Christen [Astrolabe CEO]
“One of the best parts of my day would be our frequent office chats which would morph from something work related to talking about all sorts of things – the latest movie or restaurants, politics, books, TV, the current astro gossip, our past and present lovers, family, health and nutrition, and even fashion… it was from Pat that I learned that there was such a thing as a backless bra! When it came to health issues that you or a loved one was suffering, Pat would absolutely deluge you with information on alternative treatments or therapies. She was never pushy about it but she made sure that you were informed so that you could make your own decision. It was this kind of devotion and passion that she showed her partner of 20 years, Alan Dodge, as she became his care giver and advocate. She nursed and loved him back from many health crises in the last few years.” Madalyn Hillis Dineen [Astrolabe’s Marketing Director].
Carolyn and I first met Pat at the height of a 1984 New Zealand summer, when on 19 January, Jupiter conjoined Neptune at the very first minute of Capricorn. Pat was there with Rob to play a major part in the nation’s astrology conference.
The sense of recognition and friendship was immediate and has developed and lasted ever since. In the late 1980s, Pat recognised Roy’s potential to distribute and support software.
He became Astrolabe’s British representative; enabling him to contribute to the vital software developments that are transforming today’s astrology.
It was a natural ability of Pat’s natal Capricorn New Moon in her 12th house that enabled her to see potential in others, give them opportunities and encourage their development. This played an important (behind the scenes) part in creating the astro-tools we depend on today. Combined with Mars-Venus North Node and MC all in Scorpio, it made her an important transformative person in the growth of astrological excellence.
Pat was a tireless perfectionist, devoted to constant improvement. She always had time for one more consideration. Yet, it never felt that she was putting you ‘on the spot’; rather she gathered people into her world of ever-deepening understanding that deserved all the time and effort we could muster.
So she left us at a special time for her with progressed Moon in Scorpio near an exact trine to progressed Jupiter in Pisces, both making a grand trine to transiting Sun and Mercury in Cancer. As, in these trying times, we rest in the quality world she worked so hard to create for astrology, may we remember her by dedicating our lives to making the best use of it for the benefit of as many people as possible.