BARBARA SOMERFIELD JUNE 14, 1948 - AUGUST 11, 2015 On Tuesday, August 11, Barbara Somerfield entered the next realm after a long series of illnesses. Dance was part of her life's passion starting at an early age, her father danced with her on his shoulders as a nightly ritual. At 3 ½ she started dance lessons with close family friend, Ruth Benov. In high school she traveled from Queens to Manhattan every day after school to train at the Martha Graham School. Martha's spiritual philosophy implanted in her many of the qualities that would guide her life: falling and getting up over and over again, discipline, and appreciation for beauty in all forms. Yuriko, one of the Graham principles, took her under her wing and took her to workshops at Connecticut College, where she studied with some of the greats of modern dance: Jose Lemon, Alvin Ailey, Tally Beatty, Jean Erdman, Eve Gentry, and others. After high school she entered the New York University Theater Program with the intention of becoming a professional dancer. A spinal injury ended this dream. She drifted for several years until through a strange set of circumstances she was given the opportunity to study astrology. She then joined Henry Weingarten at the New York Astrology Center, which became a leading bookstore for metaphysical and alternative health books and a center for classes in these fields. She and Henry founded the National Astrological Society in 1970, and through this organization sponsored conferences around the country presenting the giants in the field, Dane Rudhyar, Marc Edmund Jones, Reinholdt Baldar, Ronald Davison, B. V. Ramen, Dr. Michel Gauquelin and others, inspiring a new generation of astrologers. After a healing through acupuncture in England, she and Henry founded ASI Publishing to publish the first acupuncture text in America, for several years the only one available. ASI went on to publish other ground breaking books in metaphysics and alternative health. After leaving ASI Barbara founded Aurora Press, Inc. in 1981, now based in Santa Fe. Aurora continues to publish classic books in the fields of astrology and metaphysics. Over the years she has supported many charities working with children, trauma survivors, AIDS patients, women's health, and poverty alleviation. She is a member of Central Synagogue of New York. Barbara was born in June 1948 in New York City to Ralph and Elsie Somerfield, who predecease her. She is survived by her loving husband, John Guffey, and her cousins Joan & Billy Levick and Donald Moskowitz, her long time helper, Joe Jimenez, and her nurses Janet, Nora, & Shauna. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the National Dance Institute of New Mexico and Solace of Santa Fe.
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican from Aug. 14 to Aug. 17, 2015.