Jayj Jacobs

In Memory of Jayj Jacobs (1949-2011)


By Jack Fertig

JAYJ JACOBS PASSED AWAY on July 3, 2011 shortly after 5:00 PM in Oakland, CA surrounded by his family. A fierce champion for the legal rights of astrologers; for professionalism, clear thinking, and collegiality; and a founder of AFAN, Jayj was always a fighter. He had been struggling for years against heart disease and diabetes. After some strokes that left him mute and paralyzed while alert and attentive, he chose to leave the body that had become a prison.


James Parks Jacobs was born in Poplar Bluff, MO on February 1, 1949 at 3:54 AM, an Aquarius with Pisces Moon and Sagittarius rising. When Jayj was a child his family moved to Hawaii. At the University of Hawaii, J.J. became Jayj. His father Don Jacobs was a Methodist minister, screenwriter, author, and an astrologer, famous in that field as Moby Dick. Jayj was always very proud of his dad and followed closely in his footsteps, starting his study of astrology in 1966 and working with Moby in 1970.

He started his own practice two years later, but continued through the 1970s to work with Moby, including the first presentations of the Annual Prediction Seminars beginning in 1972. In 1973 Moby and Jayj started systematizing the techniques and approach of Experience Astrology.

Early on Jayj took an interest in the legal status of astrologers, testifying before a California State Senate Committee on Licensing Astrologers in 1974. Strong divisions among astrologers on the issue killed the effort to establish licensing, but Jayj stayed in the fight, always keeping his ears open to news about local laws impeding astrologys practice. He supported and gave testimony to many astrologers fighting those laws in many towns and cities throughout the U.S.

In 1975 Jayj opened an office in San Francisco with Tom Davidson, a student who became a professional and Jayjs partner for several years. The Center of Time hosted clients, classes, and social events, and the weekly Astrology Coffee Hours were an early form of networking, publicized around San Francisco and bringing together people with all levels of interest in astrology.

For a while Astrology Coffee Hours were hosted at Lewins, a metaphysical book store in Berkeley, to help draw people to the new story. It would also be the headquarters of P.S.H.A.W., the Professional Society of Humorous Astrologers Worldwide, a reminder for astrologers to take our craft seriously, and ourselves not so much. As Captain Color, Jayj appointed himself President for Life.

At a presentation on astrological compatibility in 1977, he met professional astrologer Paula Hook, who became his business partner and his wife. In 1981, their daughter Jinnifer, who they planned astrologically, was born. Jinnifer, however, came on her own schedule, but she inherited Jayjs Pisces Moon, her mothers strong Scorpio, and a strong appreciation for astrology.

In 1982, Jayj along with other members of the American Federation of Astrologers (AFA) including Richard Idemon, Jeff Jawer, Jim Lewis, Marion March, Neil Michelsen, Erin Sullivan Seale, Angel Thompson, Noel Tyl, and many other notables, protested AFAs lack of democratic transparency in elections and finances and demanded accountability. They formed AFAN (AFA Network), and also raised money for fellow astrologer Johnny Lister, who was suffering from leukemia.

Jayj paved the way to help astrologers who faced legal challenges under anti-astrology laws. Even without a law degree, Jayj was very astute on the laws concerned and how to challenge them. Despite successes against anti-astrology laws, AFAN couldn not succeed in reforming the AFA so in 1984 Jayj was one of the leaders who transformed AFAN into an independent organization called Association for Astrological Networking. The new group was devoted to open networking among astrologers, and mutual support including the Johnny Lister Fund to help astrologers in medical and financial emergencies, scholarships, and Jayj’s favorite crusade: knocking down antiastrology laws, usually local ordinances.

Over the years, Jayj put in many hours on the AFAN Steering Committee as Legal Chair, helping astrologers and astrology to become legal in towns across the country. In 1995 Jayj suffered a heart attack requiring a triple by-pass. Then in 1999 a traffic accident permanently damaged his back. Diabetes complicated those health problems which altogether forced Jayj into early retirement. In 2001 he married his second wife Scofie who was his devoted lover, partner, and caretaker for the rest of his life. Jayj is survived by his wife Scofie, daughter Jinnifer, mother Jeanne, sister Judith May, and brother Jerry Jacobs.



TRIBUTES:

It was some time in the mid-90s when I called Jayj to help us in Salinas, CA with an ordinance problem. The city was requiring astrologers to pay an enormous sum for a license and also required registering with the police department. I registered a complaint with the city council and asked one of the council members what a counselor pays for a license. She replied $50. I said that is what an astrologer should pay as that is what we do, counsel. The item of astrology licensing was placed on an upcoming agenda. Jayj came down prepared to argue on behalf of astrology during the public comment period. In fact, we had quite a group of astrologers prepared to speak including Rick Tarnas who lived in the area at the time. Jayj spoke eloquently as did others who accompanied him. There were so many lined up to speak that the council member finally placed the motion to charge astrologers $50 for a license before all could finish their comments and the motion carried.
Bonnie (Parker) Svardal



BIRTH DATA

Source: Jack Fertig

BIRTH: February 1, 1949 at 3:54 AM Poplar Bluff, MO

DEATH: July 3, 2011 shortly after 5:00 PM in Oakland, CA

 


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Memorial written by Jack Fertigand created by Liz Houle.