Edie Custer was editor/publisher for over twenty years of the unique and very popular newsletter, Mercury Hour. It consisted mainly of running correspondance between astrologers on a variety of topics. In bringing Mercury Hour to her loyal readership, she virtually invented astrological networking. Her tireless efforts though that time-honored newsletter went a long way toward turning our field into the tightly linked community it is today.
On this site appear many memorials that Edie wrote for other beloved astrologers who preceded her in crossing over to what she and her great friend, John McCormick, liked to call That Great Conference in the Sky. Just weeks before her death, she mined her collection of decades worth of photos for us to add to the memorials here. She sent along this one of herself proudly holding the Regulus award she so much deserved. When she included that picture, at some level, she may well have sensed that her time was coming.
Mary Downing, writing to the AFAN e-list, June 28, 2000:
Edie Custer died at 2:15 PM this afternoon. She had undergone surgery June 16 for a "mass" in the abdomen which turned out to be an extensive tumor that involved bowel, small intestine and liver. Surgeons were unable to remove it.
Edie had been struggling to keep the Mercury Hour going. This last issue "went to bed" on Wednesday Jun. 14. She kept a doctors appointment on the 15th, went immediately from his office to the hospital, was moved from the Lynchburg general hospital to the Univ. of Va. Medical center in Charlottesville overnight on the 16th.
Edie knew she couldn't afford to keep publishing MH. We had intended to send out an electronic sample of the current edition to everyone with an email address, and do the remaining issues for 2000 in electronic PDF format only. A few days before my deadline to send her the camera ready copy, she called and said she was sending me a new editorial.
Edie had decided to call it quits because she was "too tired." She kept going just long enough to get the copy to the printers, and died as Pam Huang and her sister-in-law Bette were labeling it for mail.
DATA: According to AstroDatabank, Edie Custer was born January 05, 1923, in Whitstone, Queens, New York, 73W49, 40N47. In 1978, she gave Lois Rodden a time from the birth record of 1:00 PM, but told Lois she had rectified the time to 1:19 PM. (Data rated AA.) Mary Downing cites the time Edie gave her of 12:53 PM EST, possibly a later rectification. According to the notice sent out by Mary Downing, Edie died June 28, 2000 2:15 PM EDT, Charlottesville VA.
ABOUT HER CHART: It is entirely appropriate that Edie had Mercury in Aquarius conjunct the Midheaven in the Gauquelin sector in the tenth. A ninth house Capricorn Sun with Taurus rising, she had Moon tightly conjunct Neptune in Leo in the fourth house. She also had Mars conjunct Uranus in Pisces in the eleventh, and the long-running debates in Mercury Hour could get pretty spirited. Edie herself was deeply involved with the Heliocentric astrology groups, and we are sure it would please her to have someone comment on her heliocentric chart.
Arlene Marcia Nimark writes on June 29, 2000, to the AFAN e-list:"It is funny, in retrosect I think Edie was saying goodby to many of us. She called me about a week and a half before she went into the hospital and we spoke for over an hour. She asked me when Mary Downing and I will be coming down to visit her. I promised her that it would be right after I get back from the AFA. There was a profound sadness in her voice.
"I remember the evening Edie won the Regulus award so well. After the banquet a group of us ajourned to the lobby. There was Edie holding court. A little later on Keven Barrett, Edie, myself, Madalyn Hillis, Rob Hand and maybe one or two others were drinking with Keven buying. After a while we noticed that it was 5:00 AM. We figured since we were wide awake why bother going to sleep. So we ordered a pot of coffee. Well, that did us in, after one cup of coffee none of us could stay awake. We all went off to bed."
Barbara Somerfield adds, "Edie also was honored with the Marc Edmund Jones award at the National Astrological Society Conference in Miami Beach Florida, May 1985 for her catalytic role as the original networker."
Alaine Stampler writes:
I too have a fond memory!!!! At the convention in Chicago, I was there the nite before waiting for my roommates. I joined in the laughter and friendship and life essence that emanated from Edie and friends in the lobby of the hotel. It was a beautiful experience that I well remember!!! May she continue to laugh and "party" wherever the universe and her soul chooses to take her!!! Bon voyage Edie!!!" fondly, Alaine Stampler
Pat Geisler writes:
"I was an early subscriber to Mercury Hour and knew Edie as a delightful and witty publisher of that marvelous forerunner of today's internet communication. Her publication was the only thing like it when it was first printed and she was a true visionary who saw the need for a way for astrologers to communicate freely and fully. She gave many years of effort to help astrologers form a community of the heart and her work will pay untold dividends for many many years for all of us."
CREDITS: This background plus exciting mythological ones for all the planets can be seen at Fantasy Graphics. This memorial was created by Donna Cunningham.