Martin Greif (1938-96)
Gay American-Irish Writer
author of the fabulous classic, The Gay Book of Days
"My books are on a wide variety of subjects, almost all of them assigned to me by other people. The pleasure I take in writing a book on factory design after completing a book on Victorian Christmases, or a book on the history of homosexuality after completing a book on nineteenth-century farming is a joy in 'discovery.' I am never bored because I am always learning something new." -- Martin Greif (from Contemporary Authors).

Martin Greif's astro-chart

BORN: 4 February 1938, 05:00 (5am) EST (5hw), Bronx, NY, USA (40n51, 73w54). DIED: 17? November 1996, at "eight in the morning," Cork City, County Cork, Ireland. RR = A. {Death data from Greif's nephew Eric Greif who was with him at his death, plus birth data from Eric via Martin's brother (Eric's father), emailed to Sy Scholfield in 2000}.
FEATURES: PERSONALIZED PLANETS: VENUS (conjunct Sun, semi-square Moon), MOON, SATURN, MARS (conjunct Base), URANUS (conjunct IC). PATTERNS: AQUARIAN STELLIUM (Jupiter, Sun, Venus in 2nd), ARIES STELLIUM (Moon, Saturn, Mars), T-SQUARE (Neptune opposite Moon, both square Chiron). MUTUAL RECEPTION: VENUS IN AQUARIUS (square) URANUS in TAURUS. SHAPE: LOCO-MOTIVE (Mercury in Capricorn leads) CHINESE SIGN: EARTH TIGER. NUMEROLOGY: "9" LIFEPATH.

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A conjunction of Sun and Jupiter in Aquarius in the 2nd House often adds up to a rather individualistic person whose endless curiosity leads them to develop and promote a broad and resourceful variety of specialist knowledge.

And indeed this seems to sum up Martin Greif, who was educated at Hunter College, NYC (B.A. cum laude, 1959), and Princeton University (M.A. with honours, 1961). With Venus also in his triple Aquarian conjunction (ruling his 10th House of vocation), he had a heady career, working as an English instructor in NY universities (1962-68), as managing editor of Time Incorporated Book Clubs (1969-73), and as co-founder and editorial director at Main Street Press (1974-?). Neptune in his 9th House (publishing) ruling his 3rd House (writing) led to Greif becoming a prolific author and editor. His over-a-dozen books range from Depression Modern: The Thirties Style in America (1975) and The Morning Stars Sang: The Bible in Folk Art (1978) which both have very Mercury-in-Capricorn titles, to The World of Tomorrow: The 1939 New York World's Fair (1988), that has a rather futuristic Aquarian theme. A qunicunx (hard aspect) between problem-solving Chiron in the cryptic 6th House and its dispositor Mercury was expressed through the editorship of various chess and acrostic puzzle books. With his Ascendant-ruler saturn conjunct the (femme) Moon and (butch) Mars in his 3rd House, Greif wrote under some rather feminine and masculine pseudonyms including Jean Bach, Frederick S. Copely, Martin Lawrence and Leona Wesley Hunter!

Greif's 1982 The Gay Book of Days: An Evocatively Illustrated Who's Who of Who Is, Was, May Have Been, Probably Was, and Almost Certainly Seems to Have Been Gay during the Past 5,000 Years (written under his own name) lists the birthdays of famous gay, lesbian and bisexual people along with their pictures and witty well-documented biographies. His work on this historic GLBT text resulted from having the Moon (the past) at the base of his chart in the 3rd House (writing). With the Moon ruling his 7th House (of partnerships), Greif co-produced this classic with illustrator, Samuel M. Steward.

According to his nephew Eric Greif, Martin was "a sceptical bloke" who didn't believe in "the stars." However, a summary of the characteristics of each astrological Sign appears at the start of each monthly chapter of The Gay Book of Days. Greif's scepticism is explained by his challenging T-Square to Chiron which is placed in the 6th House at 25° Gemini where astrological Uranus was discovered. If you haven't already got your hands on a copy, then get a hold of The Gay Book of Days! Although some of the data could do with an update, the writing is well-crafted and a pure delight for casual or serious perusal. The Gay Book of Days is utterly brilliant and a "must read"!

Greif spent his latter years with his longtime companion in County Cork, Ireland. Eric Greif wrote to me saying that his uncle was "a romantic who loved his partner more dearly than I have known any human to love another." Venus and Jupiter tightly conjunct the Sun certainly can make for a great love(r), while Pluto in Cancer (in the 7th House) trine and disposited by Moon in Aries (conjunct stable Saturn), certainly indicates one who holds a deep and passionate respect for their partner.


"Eric Greif" Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

"Greif, Martin." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series 25, p. 172.

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Simon Astley Scholfield