elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Gavin Arthur (March 21, 1901 - 1972)

Gavin Arthur, an astrologer and occultist, was born Chester Alan Arthur III, the grandson and namesake of the 21st President of the United States. He grew up in wealth, but did not pursue a career in the professions, choosing instead to join the Merchant Marines. He later panned for gold and sold newspapers.

In the 1930s he travelled widely and came to know many of the counterculture elite of his day. Among his acquaintances were pioneer sexologists Edward Carpenter, Havelock Ellis and Alfred Kinsey.

Arthur is a key figure in what has come to be called the gay 'apostolic succession' from Walt Whitman through Allen Ginsberg, via Carpenter, Arthur, Neal Cassidy and on to William Burroughs and beyond...

He was unashamedly gay and a forerunner of gay activism. He helped Kinsey with his groundbreaking research into male sexuality.

In the 1950s he settled in San Francisco and devoted his time to astrology. He began to move in the alternative spirituality and sexuality community that first became known for its identification with beat Zen, and he became well-known as an astrological counsellor. He began to develop a perspective on astrology that, contrary to the mainstream of astrological writing, took account of homosexual and bisexual gender preferences. His ruminations culminated in 1966 with his major writing, The Circle of Sex.

Arthur moved beyond traditional observations on sexual roles (that continue to dominate astrology books) that treat issues of sexual attraction and compatibility to argue that each person possesses a distinct combination of Yin and Yang. We attract and repel others as they tend to balance our own combination of male/female attributes. He then placed this under-standing that allowed for women with much Yang and men with much Yin, into a complex system of correspondences that involve the astrological signs, the planets, and houses of the horoscope.

Drawing on his reading of gay writers, Arthur concluded that sexuality needs to be separated from the single need to procreate. Heterosexuals need to be free of the constraints of marriage, for only then will the transgendered, homosexuals, and bisexuals be liberated. Or something .

Source: http://gayfortoday.blogspot.co.uk/2007/03/gavin-arthur.html

Further Readings:

The circle of sex by Gavin Arthur
Hardcover: 151 pages
Publisher: University Books (1966)
Language: English
Amazon: The circle of sex

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics

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Tags: essayist: gavin arthur, gay classics

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