Remembering Doris Greaves
29 July 1919 – 11 July 2007
Doris and Max Greaves
The astrological world lost a much loved and respected member when Doris Greaves passed away peacefully in a nursing home in Canberra on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at 9.00 pm.
From the age of eighteen she dedicated her life to astrology after being given ten shillings to buy herself some stockings for her birthday but instead, her road diverged and she found her way to a bookshop in Melbourne where she purchased her first book on the subject. The year was 1937 and whilst everyone else was worried about the looming black clouds of World War Two, Doris was travelling all over Melbourne to attend classes with people like, Rev John Farquarson, Bob White, Francis Drake, William Howell and Satori.
Doris was born in Melbourne, Australia on 29th July 1919 at 2.04 pm and with six planets/personal points in the sign of Leo in her natal chart, these wise old astrologers recognised her exceptional gift and were only too happy to teach her all they knew.
During the 1940’s Doris had her first article published and since has written hundreds of articles for magazines and journals all over the world but she is probably best known for her popular column in Rupert Murdock’s magazine, New Idea, which she continued for 17 years. Doris had studied traditional astrology for 30 years and was becoming increasingly aware of the foibles of the house system. Whilst Coordinator of Astrological Studies at the Melbourne Theosophical Society, she discovered a book called, “Combination of Stellar Influences,” outlining the works of Reinhold Ebertin’s Cosmobiology, which uses a 90 degree dial instead of the usual 360 degree, eliminating the house systems.
She met Ebertin in Germany in 1967 where he authorized her to teach his method of Cosmobiology. Back home in Australia she formed the Regulus Ebertin Study Group, which still continues with regular meetings in Melbourne.
In an interview with a New York magazine, Doris was quoted as saying,
“people see astrology as an art or a science. I teach the German EBERTIN system, which is more of a scientific approach to the subject.”
In 1970 she formed the Federation of Australian Astrologers, (FAA) which has created a universal credibility for Australian Astrologers. Its strict guidelines and “Code of Ethics” has enhanced the credibility of astrology here in this country, for nearly 40 years. In 1972, Doris became a professional member of the American Federation of Astrologers and an Honorary Member of the Kosmobiology Academy in Aalen, West Germany.
Doris’s work as an astrologer took her all over the world and she lectured on countries such as the, USA, Germany, England, Denmark, Switzerland, Thailand, New Zealand and Australia. Her many publications include her last book “Regulus Ebertin, Cosmobiology Beyond 2000” which has recently been republished due to popular demand.
For almost 70 years Doris Greaves has guided and inspired many people in their search for the meaning of life. Her accomplishments, put her above her contemporaries and she never regretted her decision to dedicate her life to astrology and never wished for a different or better life. Doris’s accuracy in predicting life events was second to none and over the years she has made some amazing predictions. There was a time when Melbourne Television News helicopters would land at her property at Red Hill, on the Mornington Peninsula just to get a scoop prediction. She was always willing to embrace new ideas and new technology soon to be followed by others and was one of the first to purchase a Digicomp dedicated astrological computer.
Astrology is a universal language. It reaches all levels of society, rich and poor alike, and her greatest joy was that her family accepted and shared her interest in this unusual subject.
She is survived by her two daughters, Janet and Rosemary and three grandchildren. Her husband Max died in November 1999 and her oldest daughter Gillian, in December 2005. Rosemary’s husband John Wallis died in July 2006.
A page is turned, a chapter is closed and while we mourn the loss of a wise and wonderful woman, there is an additional star that shines brightly in the galaxy of fellow luminaries, whose works continue to enlighten fellow astrologers.
The astrology world in Australia lost perhaps its greatest pioneer recently, with the death of Doris Greaves, shortly before her 88th birthday. Doris had been studying astrology since July 29th 1937 when she bought an astrology book with money given to her by her father to buy stockings for her birthday.
Doris studied hard and did astrology part time for a number of years and considered she should not charge for consultations until she had lived through a full Saturn cycle – in this way she felt she had experience of her personal chart to bring to her delineation. Thus it was not until she had been in astrology for some 30 years that she started to charge for her astrology work. All of that time she had the support of her beloved husband Max.
Best known in the latter part of her life as a Cosmobiologist, she had actually done 30 years of traditional astrology before she discovered Cosmobiology. Unhappy with the house systems she took to Cosmobiology and became internationally renowned as a practitioner, teacher and lecturer on the subject.
How the FAA came to be formed is not absolutely agreed over the years
by those who were involved. All agreed Doris was certainly one of the instigators of conversations about forming some sort of formal organization. Until then, astrologers joined the American organizations. What did eventuate was that 5 people came together and put money up to both form an organization and to start a journal for astrology in Australia. In those very early days all 5 were considered equal executives with no place for hierarchical structures. No person was above another and no state above another and this worked for about the first 6 years of the FAA’s existence. However, this group eventually split and the first committee system was put into place.
No chart was “chosen” to start the FAA, it was pretty much left to chance. Doris felt that if you try and manipulate the gods it probably won’t work, so she simply satisfied herself that the basics of the chart would be ok. Doris remained involved with the FAA as a voting life member until a constitutional change in about 1988 took away her (and the other life members) voting rights. The FAA had finally grown up and with this act it left home. Her pride was always in the 3 fundamentals she dreamed of – a strong organization, well educated teachers/astrologers, and a high class journal. That is her legacy to the FAA.
The first ever FAA Journal (Vol 1, Number 1) was published in April 1971 and was edited by Doris Greaves. In her editorial, Doris thought it might be of interest to readers to know how the Federation was formed. She wrote:
“For some time the teaching astrologers throughout Australia have been concerned that we have had no National Association to set the standards required for astrologers in this country. We also felt the need for a publication based on Southern latitude research into this subject. However, owing to the tremendous distances involved, it was hard to see at first how we could achieve Interstate cooperation yet still maintain state independence. This was made possible last year when, after speaking to representatives of the 2 main Sydney groups, I travelled to Brisbane to discuss the possibility of an Australian Association with leading astrologers there.”
It might be of interest to readers of this Journal to understand why we honour Doris so highly, and why she is often called ‘the mother of Astrology in Australia’ because that was the start of our Federation, and those leading astrologers were Clifford Beal of Brisbane, Maurice Champion and Allan Johnson of Sydney and Doris Greaves, and later Robert White, of Melbourne. Doris was able to see the fruits of her labour of love throughout her life, and many a conference in the past was filled with laughter and stories she told about the early days.
Goddess Bless, Doris – and thank you very much!
The day I met Doris in 1978 my life changed. I was a real sceptic knowing very little about astrology. Having an Aquarius Moon and Scorpio rising in my chart, I gave nothing away about myself when I went to Doris for a reading, having never met her. I was astounded as to what she could see about me and even my family in my chart – very specific things and not generalities. Within weeks I enrolled in her school with Pamela Rowe being my first teacher, Gillian (Murray) Helfgott my second teacher and Doris my advanced teacher. I am a trained psychologist and discovered the horoscope to be a better guide than almost any psychological test. Ursula Le Guin said, “It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
Thanks Doris for giving me a new and exciting journey in life.