In Memory of Jayj Jacobs (1949-2011)
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD? This memorial is interactive, and we welcome your memories and tributes, which we will add to the page in the order received. They may be edited for length, grammar, or suitability. If there are any additional contributions we should mention or any inaccuracies in the memorial, please bring them to our attention. We would also love to have photos to bring back vivid memories. (Photos will be scanned and returned.) To suggest names, share memories, create tributes, or volunteer, send us an e-mail.