Zoltan S. Mason
Astrologer & Teacher
Zoltan Mason taught that the practice of Astrology encourages leading a moral and ethical life and provides a means to offer others social and emotional help from a practical viewpoint.
He was a kind and humble man. Zoltan Mason was also a gifted and very well known Astrologer who practiced his art for almost seventy years. He knew he could have had a successful career as either a chessmaster or a rare book dealer, but he choose to counsel and teach others as he felt he would be most helpful in those capacities.
He is remembered as the foremost practitioner of Morin de Villefranche's system of horoscope synthesis as set forth in Morin's monumental work Astrologia Gallica. It is primarily through the efforts of Mason and Mason's publication of Morin's 21st Book under the title of ASTROSYNTHESIS, (New York - 1974) that Morin has become known in the United States.
Mason, through his successful practice, gathered an ocean of practical experience. He built upon Morin's foundation and greatly expanded and refined his system. Morin always stressed the necessity of viewing the horoscope as a unit. Mason continued this relentless drumbeat in his weekly classes that he gave year after year.
He taught that analysis of a horoscope was an elementary and necessary step for the new student of Astrology, but in the end, the horoscope would remain lifeless without proceeding to a synthesis.
Mason practiced and taught the medieval astrologer's credo: "Life is short, Art is long, Experience hard to obtain, and Judgment highly difficult."
Zoltan Mason was born Zoltan Schnitzer on January 18, 1906 in Velka Bytca, Austro-Hungary (now Slovakia). His father was from Germany and his mother from Austro-Hungary. He was the middle child of three children, with a brother who was about a year older and a sister about a year younger.
He received a rigorous classical education in childhood that included studies in Latin. He went on to attend Charles University in Prague from 1924-1928 where he studied medicine with the intention of becoming a psychiatrist. Unfortunately, he had to quit his studies due to a severe thyroid problem. While seeking the reason for his illness, for which there was no family history, he discovered astrology and fell in love with it.
In 1929, he started to work at the French Consulate in Galatz, Romania. He was also a great favorite of both French and German diplomats who were part of the International Commission of the Danube with whom he socialized and played chess from 1932 until the outbreak of WWII. He spoke German, Hungarian, French, Romanian, and English fluently. During the war, he remained in Galatz. In 1945, he moved to Bucharest where he became self-employed as an astrologer and astrologer teacher.
Due to the spread of Communism, he left Bucharest in 1947 for Monrovia, Liberia where his brother, a physician, had moved years earlier to escape the war. In 1948, after only a year in Liberia, Zoltan Schnitzer moved to the United States because he was unable to practice astrolgy in a country where birth times were seldom recorded. He settled in New York City and added the name Mason to his birth name. He opened Mason's Bookshop in 1950 at 789 Lexington Avenue, one flight up, between 61st and 62nd Streets.
Mason's Bookshop became internationally known for its metaphysical books, new and rare. Mr. Mason traveled yearly to Europe buying books to bring back to the United States for his bookstore. In addition, he assembled for himself an outstanding private collection of rare astrological and metaphysical books. Mr. Mason gave private astrology consultations and taught astrology classes on Monday and Tuesday evenings and on Saturday mornings. He had many well-to-do and prominent clients. A number of his students went on to become successful astrologers.
He appeared on American radio and television, was invited by the Canadian government to appear on Canadian television, and was interviewed by the Italian press. His name has been mentioned in a number of books on astrology, including "Astrology" by Louis MacNeice (Doubleday - 1964). He also wrote a chapter for the revised edition of "The Coffee Table Book of Astrology" by John Lynch (Viking Press - 1967).
Mr. Mason was a strong advocate of Morin de Villefranche's system of astrology. He had one of his students translate from the French, the 21st Book of Morin's Astrologia Gallica. He then edited and published the translation under the title "Astrosynthesis".
Zoltan Mason closed his bookstore in 1986 but continued to interpret horoscopes well into his late eighties when he finally retired. On July 14, 2002, Zoltan Mason passed away.
New York - September 2002