Julian Armistead

1926 - 2008


On behalf of the New York City Chapter of NCGR, I sadly report the news of Julian Armistead's death.  Our community has lost another one of our great lights this year.


Julian served on our Board for nearly 20 years, primarily in the role of Vice President.  Thanks to his expertise from his "day job" in contract negotiations for Y & R Advertising, he brought a terrific business acumen to the chapter, helping us to be more professional, well-functioning and responsible.  Many of his ideas gave shape to NCGR, locally and nationally, as we know it, and those ideas are still in practice today.



One of his major contributions was on the original education committee to create the certification program.  He was also the first astrologer to achieve double certification in consulting and research.


His research project was his proudest professional accomplishment, a monograph on the rectified chart of the United States, painstakingly researched astrologically and historically.  He concluded the US was actually "born" on July 2, 1776.  This chart is proudly published in Nicholas Campion's "Book of World Horoscopes" and the monograph is in the NCGR-NY Library.


(click for larger image)

Julian was ever-the-avid student of astrology, dating back to the days of the Astrological Guild in New York, and studying with the likes of Al Morrison and Charles Jayne.


Although he was a man of great culture and sophistication, he could just as easily don a clown's nose, do silly antics and enjoy quick witticisms.  He also possessed a passion and kindness for dogs, spending some years as a breeder.


Most of all, however, I think Julian will be remembered in partnership with his beloved, Joanna Shannon, another legendary name in the NCGR canons.


Together and individually, they were great astrologers, teachers, leaders in the community and role models from the apartment they called the "love nest."  If there is, indeed, a time and place where souls are reunited, then I'm sure these two are joined together again.



Julian "cared for his own" and had a deep concern for the youth in the astrology community.  So, in his honor, his estate will make a donation to the NCGR's Lucy Titunik Fund and the Young Astrologers' Organization.


Being a great lover of the juniper berry, as he liked to call his gin, I lift my cup to Julian's life and say, "Cheers, old friend --.and thanks!"


John Marchesella






Julian was a major force in NY-NCGR for decades, and was also a brilliant and sophisticated astrological thinker. With his wonderful wife, Joanna Shannon (see her memorial), they brought warmth and vitality to the astrology community of NYC.  This sad event feels like the end of an era.  

Donna Cunningham


I met Julian in the 1980s when he was a customer in my cheese store around the corner from his apartment. I knew he was an astrologer and he interpreted a horoscope for me twice. He also was quite aware of astrologies limitations or, rather when it was unneeded. I asked him to draw up a horoscope for my 11 year old daughter. He asked my why and I could not give a good answer. "Well," he asked, "what do you think her future is?" I said, as I often do, that 'The world is waiting to see what she will choose." "In that case," he quipped, "she doesn't need one." My strongest memories of him are of his wit, sharp and ready, and his humanity. Fortunately, I was the recipient of his thoughts on death and actually called him, before receiving his thoughts, about his time on earth. We had lunch and chatted and chewed while discussing the end or not end. While I had this last time with him, I am still saddened that he died and that I did not hear about the memorial which I would have attended. Thanks for posting this obit for those of us who find out about his death well after his passing.

Richard Kahn


BIRTH AND DEATH DATA: Source: John Marchesella

BIRTH: August 10, 1926, at 1:32 A.M. E.D.T. in New York City.

DEATH: February 20, 2008, around 8:00 p.m.



Memorials A-K,
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More New York City Astrologers



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CREDITS: Written by John Marchesella and created by Liz Houle, using a graphics set created by Word of Mouth Web Design.  Pictures from John Marchesella.