Judy Hall was a force to be reckoned with.
A consummate professional, her dedication to every area of her many-faceted life was clear to anyone who came into contact with her. An infinite source of wisdom and humour, her intelligence and compassion stretched like an elastic band to embrace whatever the situation demanded, be it on a professional or personal level; she never did anything by halves.
I met Judy in 1998, a couple of years after I started The Wessex Astrologer, and we immediately bonded over our Moon/Pluto aspects – hers were in square and mine are conjunct so there were no holds barred; the deeper and darker our conversation went the better it became.
We soon started talking about producing books together. Judy wanted to expand The Karmic Journey, originally published by Penguin Arkana, updating and expanding it into two bigger books, Patterns of the Past and Karmic Connections. As her readers and many clients became aware of the need to work through and heal old connections, in 2008 she wrote Good Vibrations: Psychic Protection, Energy Enhancement and Space Clearing, which was the first book we published under our non-astrological imprint, Flying Horse Books. It was also the book that changed my life. As part of the promotion we had an article booked in the Watkins magazine, and as chance (I don’t think so!) would have it, Stephen Gawtry, managing editor of the magazine, called me to check on the progress, just at the time Judy had popped into the office to do some editing with me. How often do authors physically sit with editors to work through edits? Never, that’s how often. After a fair amount of three-way chat, like good astrologers we asked Stephen for his data, and after a few moments of awed silence comparing his and my charts, Judy suggested that Stephen come to the launch for the book as she wanted us to meet in person. To cut a long story short, he did and we did, and we have been together ever since.
In 2010, again in response to client experiences, Judy wrote The Soulmate Myth, which focuses on the concept of twin flames; her feeling was that far from being a match made in heaven, a soulmate could turn out to be your worst nightmare – someone to push, drag or goad you along the path to greater spiritual development, so not at all the bed of roses it’s made out to be. In contrast, a twin flame is someone with whom there is no difficult karma, a relationship to ease you gently forwards, supporting you in all things. This itself raised a lot of questions so was rapidly followed by The Book of Why – as in ‘the reason all this is happening is…’ as opposed to ‘Why me? Why this? Why now?’ These two themes turned out to be extraordinarily relevant for both of us in the coming years.
I know that others will remember Judy for her compassion and generosity of spirit, and I feel fortunate to have witnessed these beautiful qualities too. In late 2012 I was diagnosed with lymphoma, and within hours of hearing the news Judy exploded through the door to offer all-enveloping hugs and a ton of crystals. She made sure, from that point onwards, that she was closely involved in my progress, turning up on a regular basis with whatever was appropriate. A huge wedge of green calcite to stop chemo-induced sickness, a wide variety of strange-looking foods to support my healing, and a silver pomegranate to remind me of Persephone’s Journey to the Underworld. We engaged in a hilarious bout of muscle-testing one afternoon to help me decide whether the noxious herbs sent by well-meaning friends were any help. She encouraged me to set up a healing circle so I could be supported by friends around the world, stepping in to hold the space for me when the strength of the healing became overwhelming. She encouraged me to pour out my feelings on my blog, and then wrote the most beautiful Foreword for me when the blog was turned into a book. However, Judy’s coolest move was definitely slapping a ‘Do Not Disturb’ notice on the door of my isolation suite on the cancer ward so she could give me some healing without us being disturbed. It caused a few shock waves, but I used it a lot after that to find some peace and quiet.
Judy’s fearless ability to move between the worlds was legendary, and she was insistent that before I embarked on the planned stem cell transplant I should go through the Egyptian ceremony of The Weighing of the Heart. I was terrified, but I trusted her as she had guided me through many past life regressions. She promised it would be a cleansing and nourishing experience. As I approached each gate, she lovingly guided me onwards until I reached the final test, joyfully emerging lighter and renewed in body, mind and spirit, just as she had said I would. I should never have doubted her.
Judy’s support continued in many forms but a particular highlight involved taking a photo of me and Stephen to Egypt on her next trip – where together with Terrie Celeste she petitioned for my complete recovery at the sacred temples along the Nile. Stephen and I were lucky enough to join them on a repeat trip the following year; it was a sobering experience to personally witness the power within those same temples, and giving thanks for my good health and recovery felt an appropriate closing of the circle. Fittingly, our last day in Egypt was the winter solstice, for which we travelled to the Temple of Karnak in the wee small hours to watch the sun rise through the entryway, set between the high walls of the ancient buildings. The resulting video is available on the Wessex Astrologer Facebook page.
In 2014 we published Judy’s next and final book with us, Judy Hall’s Book of Psychic Development. I think she knew her work was done on that level. This last book is like a gift, a compilation of her accumulated knowledge, gained through decades of experience in situations that most of us wouldn’t go near if our lives depended on it. It’s a powerful guide to safely developing your own psychic abilities and protecting yourself, should the need arise.
Judy had no fear of death, and I know that in many ways she had been looking forward to her transition for some time; as far as she was concerned it was another landscape to be explored and she couldn’t wait to get going. We talked several times about the possibility of her channelling a book so we could benefit from her new insights in a different plane, and I would be delighted if that actually happens; I wonder what she’s making of it all.
Writing this dedication has brought me a spark of happiness amidst the sadness; it has helped me to appreciate just how much Judy contributed to all of our lives, and that her love and energy lives on in so many ways. We have countless books and endless memories to comfort us if we miss her physical presence, and her smile will live on in our hearts for eternity.