Linda Goodman & the Secret of the Hollywood Cross
March 15, 2011
Linda Goodman & the Secret of the Hollywood Cross
What Does the Body of an Ancient Egyptian Deity Have to Do with Tinsel Town Magic?
BY PHILIP COPPENS
Some stories are weirder than anything Hollywood screenwriters could dream up. But then, facts are often stranger than fiction. How would you react if you were told that the phallus of the Egyptian god Osiris is possibly located underneath a buried pyramid in the very center of Hollywood—Los Angeles? Doesn’t this sound like something from a movie? Well, it isn’t.
The site where Osiris’ phallus is supposedly buried is known as the Hollywood Cross, which sits on a small hill next to Interstate 101, at Cahuenga. The site is notorious, as the cross can clearly be seen from the 101, especially at night, when it is illuminated and sometimes—depending on visibility—seems to be suspended in mid air.
So, how could a legendary Egyptian artifact ever end up beneath a very natural looking hill in lala-land? It seems absurd, even impossible, as the Ancient Egyptians, according to all historical accounts, never made it to America, let alone the “left coast.” But however illogical it seems, this was the firm conviction of one of the greatest astrologers of the twentieth century, Linda Goodman, who spent a small fortune in trying to prove her point.
Goodman was a New York Times bestselling author, whose books on astrology—including Sun Signs, published in 1968—sold millions. Though a well-known public figure, less known was that her life was defined by two major preoccupations: finding out the fate of her eldest daughter Sally, who had disappeared under mysterious circumstances; and proving the presence of the phallus of Osiris in Hollywood.
The phallus’ purported location was underneath the Hollywood Cross, which may be found on Pilgrimage Drive, in Cahuenga. Cahuenga is the Spanish name for the Tongva village of Kawengna, meaning “place of the mountain”— etymological evidence that the mountain was important to the Native Americans who lived there.
Today, the hill overshadows the Ford amphitheater. But it was the hill’s purported interior that obsessed Goodman. From the early 1970s until her death on October 21, 1995, she believed that there was a subterranean structure underneath the hill, which contained the phallus of Osiris. From 1990s onward, she laid out a considerable sum to have many tests performed using the latest available technology—short of physical digging—to map the hill’s interior. Realizing that no one was going to believe her, or allow her to excavate without virtually concrete proof that something manmade was indeed underneath that hill, she, nevertheless, persisted for the rest of her life in the strange quest for her Holy Grail.
But those who knew Goodman during the 1990s and saw the scientific material she compiled—in futile efforts to rally support—confirm that the surveys unanimously supported her supposition that there was indeed something underneath that hill. Some speak of a buried pyramid, while others mention clear evidence of a manmade structure, or chamber. With each survey, Goodman became more convinced that one of the greatest mythical artifacts—thought to exist only in legend—was, in fact, buried beneath Hollywood.
How did a bestselling author become convinced that such a thing existed? Goodman tells the tale in her book Star Signs. It began on New Year’s Day 1970. While promoting her bestselling Sun Signs, she stayed in room 1217 (later renumbered 1221) of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, then, as now, one of Hollywood’s iconic landmarks. Unexpectedly, a stranger knocked on her door and identified himself as “Nahtan.” He was invited in. During the discussion which followed, he made a number of extraordinary claims; he could, he said, bilocate, walk through walls, and other things. He was, apparently, an initiate of some advanced order, who had lived for more than thirty years in a monastery in India. Anyone not present could be forgiven for concluding that Nahtan was a charlatan, but Goodman was not naïve. Whoever he was, he left a lasting impression on her. Indeed, it would be a life-changing experience for her.
Nahtan also had a clear mission: He instructed Goodman that she should go to the mountains, where she would meet her twin soul. The “Twin Soul” concept is similar to that of “soul mates” but more specific. The definition of twin souls is a pair of souls made from the same soul, halved at the beginning of time, who reunite in the flesh during their time on Earth, to become whole again. It is this specific concept that appears time and again in many myths, including the legend of Isis and Osiris, themselves twin souls. In mythology the concept is often presented as “brother and sister, and lovers.” Indeed, their love story is arguably the greatest ever told. It certainly inspired generations of ancient Egyptians. Goodman, who had worked extensively in applying astrology with this concept, subsequently redoubled her efforts.
What Goodman left out of the published account (in Star Signs) were the details on how Nahtan had provided information on Hollywood Hill, though the published account does include an oblique reference to it. After Nahtan left, Goodman writes how she sat in the suite of the hotel, “by the window that looked out on the small white cross, planted on the far hill behind Grauman’s Chinese Theatre across Hollywood Boulevard.”