Month: July 2015 (page 2 of 3)

Pros and Cons

I’ve noticed that the more esoteric these Sabian Symbols are, the more I enjoy them. Yesteday we saw a Capricorn-ruled image that was all about getting back to Nature and living in a way that preserved the past. Today’s image, ruled by Aquarius in the twelve-fold sequence of the Zodiac, points to moving forward, evolving and melding with collective consciousness. The oracle at Cancer 29° is A Greek Muse Weight New-Born Twins in Golden Scales and it’s keynote is “the intuitive weighing of alternatives.” The Muse represents the highly intuitive part of ourself, our psychic resonance, which sees an alternative to yesterday’s instinct to return to primal nature or sociologically going fetal. Like Dane Rudhyar points out, the opposite can happen: The Indian girl could enter the world of the White Man like Pocahontas—the nature based self could move toward civilization. Muses are all about driving the development of man, forward, via the Arts & Sciences. And that really is one of the major dichotomies between Capricorn and Aquarius, that of Spirituality vs. Science, Nature (inherited) vs. Nurture (evolution), Faith vs. Knowledge and so forth.

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The weighing points to there being any two possibilities. We can retreat or we can move forward. Or, most importantly, there may be a third way. Indeed, there only ever is. We can at once perhaps, “retreat” into the simplest and most primordial part of ourselves, our Soul, “getting back” to our own true Nature, that of our spiritual self as we consider moving forward, evolving both literally as an organism—each generation of the species tending in that direction—and via our acceptance of the inevitability of new orders. It seems to me that for all it’s moving forward Science only seems to discover factually and logically under the bright lights of collective conscious minds that which the ancients knew to be true through retreating into solo meditation or through the receiving of spiritual transmission. Either way we encounter revelation. Physics and Philosophy can make cozy bedfellows. The new, highly conscious Aquarian way might hurl us into outer space whilst the ages-old Capricornian retreat into the primal may provide a vision quest through inner space. Ultimately we might arrive at the same place. We have choices.

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From Here To…Well, You Know

It’s pretty cringey to come across one of these century old oracles when they’re called something like An Indian Girl Introduces Her White Lover To Her Assembled Tribe as it is at Cancer 28°. By Indian, of course, we mean Native American; and, what makes it slightly more uncomfortable is that the girl and her tribe symbolize primordial values manifest in the human experience and even in the human body, its natural functions. Truly it’s about trying to find a real and genuine experience, one of cultural innocence, leaving behind the artificiality and emptiness of the modern world.

This oracle is ruled by Capricorn in a twelve-fold sequence, a contempt for phoniness being very much in keeping with the psyche of that sign. In our book Sextrology the Capricorn Man chapter, for instance, is titled The Stickler which carries the meaning of someone who is tied to old ways, finding the newfangled fatuous. It also points to someone who is something of a dissident. Needless to say Kevin Costner, Mr. Dances With Wolves himself is a Capricorn. But I go back to my old standby, J.D. Salinger whose characters, like himself, retreated from the world of “phonies” in search of genuine experience, largely found outside modern society. Retreating, backsliding, being a dissident in the sense of dissenting with the present time, harkening back to those good-old days, are all part of the experience of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn the god of the mythic golden age. Saturn, for whom the randy Satyrs are named, doesn’t want the present to move forward—he swallows his children to keep the new generation from happening. Old Father Time tries to keep time from marching on. And those Satyrs? Well we know they had a penchant for wild, free, innocent young nymphs, just the way Salinger’s characters Seymour Glass and Holden Caulfield did in their respective ways.

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What it all comes down to is a return to Nature, a sort of re-entering of the primordial womb and we see that here in the “white man’s” wanting to be part of a more primal collective. All we non-kardashians have likely felt that at some point in our lives. But especially the Capricorns and the Leos of the world for whom this is an especial draw. For all our intellect, says Capricorn energy, would good is it unless it can operate in tune with natural, cosmic simplicity. Capricorn is all about renunciation. I like to joke that Capricorn women put the nun in renunciation because ultimately, for all their worldly achievement, they, in particular tend to “leave it on the mountain” of their vast experience. We are speaking here of the soul and our suspicion that it is the enduring part of our own nature—Saturn is about Eternity more than actual Time. And in service to our souls we have to release that which doesn’t nurture it—which is most of what we experience in modern life and it’s emphasis on externals. From the external to the eternal, that is the transformative power of this particular image as it expresses this degree point of our own miraculous Zodiac, as it is ever being revealed to be a perfect mandala for existence.

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Bolt From The Blue

In a twelve-fold sequence, Sagittarius would rule today’s oracle. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, named for the unpredictable power god of thunder and lightening. A Violent Storm In A Canyon Filled With Expensive Homes is the symbol, here at Cancer 27°. Yesterday we glimpsed a Plutocratic enclave, a private library, filled with guests who have the luxury of knowing just enough, set apart, protected, by their supposed wealth and influence. Today we see how even the socio-cultural elite are subject to larger forces. Even those who lead a charmed, sheltered, rich life are subject to natural and cosmic occurance—nothing in our education or careful cultivation can keep certain powers at bay. All must rise to the occasion and, perhaps those who feel most impervious, go through the greaest metamorphosis, because they must change the most when faced with any great equalizer.

The forces may or may not be karmic. That’s something we possibly can’t side-swipe. It’s how we weather that storm that makes all the difference. Do we resist or do we let the experience trigger some kind of catharsis. You have heard of people who have become ill or hit the skids living to say it was the best time of their lives, because it galvanized them and they dropped all the unnecessary externals (pretty much everything) and focused on themselves and their relationships to their own life. We don’t invite crisis to bring this about, but it is important to keep such things in mind. Just as there is benefit, in life, to meditating on death. It is inevitable and, sure, we shouldn’t make it a preoccupation. But it could inspire prolific creativity, just as it might, on the shadow side, inspire rampant self-servingness. These extremes can, indeed, be traits of that outsized sign of Sagittarius. Hello, Woody Allen.

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The Library Is Open

Today we discover Guests Are Reading In The Library Of A Luxurious Home which is the kind of image that automatically makes me happy. At Cancer 26° we are seeing the “transerence of social privilege to the level of intellectual enjoyment”; which is a wonderful thing to do with the grace of such privilege. We recently watched an old Greer Garson film, Mrs. Parkington, which is amazing on many levels. The writing is fantastic. And the theme hits you right in that yankee spot in the center of your being–even if you’re not an American you probably know what I’m talking about. In it the self-made individual is to be celebrated, while the lazy inheritor is a lout. In my experience, of the big silver screen, I find this largely to be true.

What better way to celebrate your wealth than in the exercise and development of your mind. I suppose, if ever I was jealous of peers who grew up with a trust fund, it was because of the grace of time and space it could afford to focus, with fewer obstacles, on what was most important in life. Surely, I would have stayed in school as long as possible instead of slinging hash to make ends meet; and I would have used all that free time, as a younger person certainly, to devote to my first and greatest love: the Theatre. I am very fortunate that I’ve managed, coming from very humble beginnings, to carve out a life where I work for myself, living by my wits, and, well, as you can see I, or in case you didn’t know, I do spend a lot of time exploring ideas and notions that expand my conscious mind—not to mention underaking certain endeavors that give other parts of my brain a bit of a psychic workout; and I’m never very far from at least producing for some stage or other.

I am perfectly aware of the paradox: because I’ve had to make my own way—Major and Mrs. Parkington would have liked that—I can say that I would have used my time to devote to my callings would I have been bankrolled; but really, if funded as such, I might have been the biggest slacker on the planet, going, as Joni put it, from cafe to cabaret. Ah but that was a song about freedom. And David Geffen. I’d like to meet David Geffen. I’m friends with him on Facebook and I think he’d dig what I am trying to do in the arts, but I’ve gotten off the subject. If you see David just tell him to call me. He seems to be someone who might have sunk a bunch of dough into creating a fabulous personal library where his guests could hang out and just read. I read two chapters of two different books last week. That’s the last time I had a moment to read. Well, I suppose I could make time, but this time of year is so much about doing the next most pressing thing. In precisely eight weeks, my labor of love, the Afterglow Festival, will take to the stage in Provincetown. It’s a lot of work, which I don’t mind doing. So long as people like and support it, which can be an uphill battle. I often wonder why it is that, I of the no trust fund and minimal material trapping, spend so much time not making money. I think the answer is that it seemed like an if-then equation. If I have money, then I’ll do what I want. If I have money, I’ll live by the sea. If I have money, I’ll travel. If I have money, I’ll buy art. Well, I think I’m the sort who goes directly for the then. I would build the library first. I do have a butt load of books. I just need to read more of them.

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This oracle would be ruled by Scorpio in a twelve-fold sequence, the sign ruled by Pluto whom we know as the god of the underworld but whose name has worked its way into the English language based on his dual role as the god of riches. Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy and so, once again, these randomly derived oracles seem to fall right into light with the endless loop of the Zodiac signs correlating rather seamlessly. Dane Rudhyar, the real expert of these Sabian Symbols, feels it important to stress that this image is not about the leaders of the intellectual world. We are dealing with the rich, if not the idle variety, who are only reading out of obligation to keep up with social and cultural trends as just one of the many ways they strive to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses and the Parkingtons never did mix.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Well Endowed

At 25° Cancer we find A Will-Full Man Is Overshadowed By A Descent Of Superior Power. This is ruled by Libra in a twelve-fold sequence, and we see how spiritual forces respond to the now-integrated personality (from the disparate parts of yesterday) in its positive expression of will. On this day we isolate the energy of the individual who uses his will and imagination in facing any obstacles or issues. He is in receipt of some form of holy spirit, or as Dane Rudhyar puts it the grace or baraka in Sufi philosophy. We might call it simple providence. We are not experienceing success, here in the worldly sense, but a more transcendent form, an endowment of spiritual power. Hey, that’s the best kind.

I should probably explain, at this juncture, how these esoteric images might practically influence one’s astrology. Say you have a particular planet in your birthchart located at 25° Cancer, well that planet might well channel the energy of this very degree point in such a way that is endemic to that planet. For instance Neptune at this point on the wheel might see a dissolution of this energy, or an imaginative expression of this particular power, if not a magical one. Pluto here might suggest a certain transformation on this theme whereby the individual experiences a sense of regeneration or rebirth via some unearthing of this power in his own psychology. And so forth….

Well on to the next image. Hopefully it’s a “talkative” one!

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

No Man Is One

Pornographic implications aside, with today’s oracle A Woman And Two Men Castaways On A Small Island Of The South Seas, we move from interplay to interdependence. Symbolically the three individuals represent the emotional (woman) intergrating with the mental and the spiritual (men), or so says Dane Rudhyar. I can dig that. Although I am flashing back to those Italian brothers in the film Mediterraneo who together form a love bond with a beautiful Greek island girl. Interestingly, this image is to remain in question, the form of such integration remaining unclear. The symbolism of the South, here, suggests the realm of one’s passions, which is both the setting and the drive of this image. Coming off the yesterday’s scene, ruled by Leo, the sign associated with passion: we now question how passion, as the prime mover, will put the pieces together. For beyond integration, today’s metaphoric scene points to a formulation and overall composition, dynamics of Virgo, the sign that rules today’s symbol in a twelve-fold system.

It is unclear how this threesome will cohese. So long as we follow the honed emotion of our passion, it will forge a perfect union of three parts. Virgo, mutable earth, is associated with the smithy god of the forge, Hephaestus (Greek: Vulcan, from whose name is derived that earthly forge of the volcano). In the symbolic fiery landscape of some volcanic South Sea island, we will find our emotions, mind and spirit falling into composition. Curiously, the myth of Hephaestus is one of being a reluctant member of a threesome, a third wheel: He is the ironic consort of the goddess of love herself, Aphrodite, who is notoriously involved with the ubermasculine god of war, Mars. Again we don’t know how the pieces of this relationship will fall into place, we only know that some three-fold marriage must take place.

We are being asked to work out a modus operandi—we have to make this interdependent relationship work. There will be ground rules, maybe, and certainly much compromise. As regards our own emotions, mind and soul, we all know how these don’t all seemlessly work together; it takes some negotiation within ourselves to get these metaphysical ingredients working as a recipe that serves us on the whole.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

On The Table

I pretty much decided that whatever the oracle was for today that I would allow it to trigger some pressing thoughts. Interestingly, the Sabian Symbol for today, at 23° Cancer, is The Meeting Of A Literary Society, the objective of which is a critical approach to common factors in our culture and to its psychological problems. Bingo. Just the sort of stuff I’m inspired to tackle. And, as a quick aside, in the application of a twelve-fold sequence, this degree would be ruled by the sign of Leo and the fifth astrological house, that of authority, especially as it is akin to authorship.

Historically, it has been the literary set that has been sensitive and given voice to the dynamics and interplay within society. Poets, essayists, novelists and critics together form a special body, holding up a mirror that reflects, often self-consciously, what we are on about as a collective. In so doing, they take a hand in shaping society as it evolves forward—the fifth house is one of creation, specifically co-creation with god (which this humble writer will assert is the only kind there is). As I’m doing here, the purpose is to outline the significance of what is, and thus to imagine what could be from this point. The literary are, as Rudhyar points out, “barometers and thermostats, reflectors and projectors of as yet unconscious images.” Today’s degree points to our ability to intellectualize, which is a process of combining our social objectivity and our emotional longing for something better. One of the main king-archetypes of Leo is Arthur (author) who tried to build his ideal world (Camelot) via the rather democratic means of the round table. Well, mostly that round table has survived in regards to a literary set, has it not? One thinks of early twentieth-century writers at New York City’s Algonquin.

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In yesterday’s image, that sailboat of wishcraft coming in over calm seas, we used the “feminine” (a Moon-ruled Cancerian image) energy to attract to us that to which we aspired; today we use the “masculine” (Sun-ruled Leo image) to establish a creative center to review and reimagine. I will now take my leave of you and spend the day in writing meditation on that score to relieve the pressure I’m feeling, close at hand, from the societal ills as it relates to interplay with others who need schooling in compassion.

 

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Come Sail Away

Two days ago we saw a Venetian gondolier serenading—this oracle being under Taurus rule in a twelve-fold sequence. Taurus governs the voice and the sign’s planetary ruler is Venus for which Venice is named. Yesterday that singing evolved into a prima donna opera star on stage, depending upon audience interaction, that two-way street, ruled by Gemini, taking ones wares (talents) to market, in this case, the opera hall. Today’s oracle would be ruled by the sign of Cancer in said twelve-fold sequence. And of course, this premier water sign, at 22° Cancer sees A Young Woman Awaiting A Sailboat. If you have been reading me lately, or Starsky + Cox’s Sextrology over the years, then you know that Cancer is about the power of wishcraft, waiting for ones ship to come in, which, the sign teaches us, happens over calm seas, when the chaos of our projected emotions settle into a natural rhythm, akin to that of the tides.

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The sailboat symbolizes a sort of transcendent, soulful joy—our spirit opened to the possibility of our manifesting dreams. However dissatisfaction is the rightful core of this image and this phenomenon. Cancer and the fourth astrological house is about passage, moving from ones experience and environment of origins to the life and world one creates for oneself. It is associated with reaching the age of maturity, but really this dynamic is true at any moment in ones life—we may always aspire to our ever-unfolding dreams. And well we should. Even though we know the inevitability of our experience is physical death, life’s paradoxical nature is nowhere best expressed in our continued desire to aspire. This oracle might depict an imaginative youthful person, but even that is metaphoric: for the fresh outlook we must all maintain if our continuing dreams are to come true.

So don’t fight your dissatisfaction, let it fuel the winds of change that will bring that sailboat your way. I have to say that I am at a major turning point. Even though I believe in my heart that so much of what I’m doing is selfless and designed to make my tiny corner of the world a better place, I have to admit that it doesn’t seem to be working, let alone appreciated. I believed in giving myself over, in a volunteer capacity, for instance, to non-profit endeavors that this would meet with success. The truth is, it doesn’t seem to be happening. Maybe too many people are locked in that prima donna depicted in yesterday’s image, determined to make their own mark and own profit, that they cant realize there are some of us who aren’t designed that way. That there are those who sacrifice profit and their own time and energy to preserve a way of life or legacies. But it’s like relationships; if you don’t feel any appreciation in a relationship, or indeed detraction, while you are giving and giving, they love and loyalty to that relationship will be bred out of you. It’s nothing you can force to happen. But you have to know when to cut your losses and pack it in. It’s not so much a matter of sink-or-swim, because I’m planning on doing neither. Not all honest and genuine intentions meet with appreciation. It’s important to recognize this and head for the dock of the bay.

 

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The Fat Lady Sings

Is it me or are these images waxing dull of late: A Famous Singer Is Proving Her Virtuosity During An Operatic Performance is today’s oracle at 21° Cancer. It just seems so terrestrial. And I find nothing Dane Rudhyar’s interpretation to inspire me either. Bummer. I’m really in the mood for a good speed type on an image that sends me. All we have here is some kind of talented diva giving forth. That said, opera itself is usually pretty mythic in story and scope. It’s something about which I wish I knew more, but that’s my problem.

I was thinking today about how nobody is pure audience anymore. Everyone is a star, legend in their own mind, taking to social media begging: look at me, look at me. Everyone would be prima donna if they could. The thing is it seems nobody is actually comfortable just being a spectator. As if, somehow, the spotlight has become something necessary like light and air. I’ll go see your show if you buy my painting. I would have come to your book launch, but you didn’t kickstart my podcast so…what do you expect?

I am in an admittedly cynical mood. I try not to have such a dim view of my fellow humans; but everyone seems to be fetishizing themselves to such a great degree. One thinks because she’s a downtown artist or he a counterculture poet that s/he is impervious to the sweeping, insidious trappings of this reality-show world wherein one must be fame-ish. Not everyone can stand center stage and perform an aria to perfection. There was a time when not everybody wanted all eyes on them. At this point, I don’t know anybody who is a pure spectator, audience plain and simple.

We have shorter and shorter attention spans, while, at the same time, we expect others to pay more and more attention to us. It was once enough to create in private, if not in isolation. Forget the solo spiritual trip of an artist such as, say, a Salinger; that just wouldn’t fly nowadays. To be fair, in this financially polarized world, who could afford to have a genuine experience as an artist. Accolades, in so much as they translate into cold hard cash, are now necessary evils I suppose. We must court praise in so much as it affords us an ability to express our artistry—unless, that is, we provide an actual service. Audiences are by nature fickle. The mid-career artist has to reinvent. The diva’s talent will fade; one can only hope she socked some assets away somewhere.

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Even our minds, which can be the last hold-out of talent, may fail us; and we no longer live in a world we one can retreat to some small cottage upstate or down the coast. Everything has been bought and sold. And when it comes to talent, our standards may have slipped. By the same token, we live in a world of created talent, not of the naturally occuring and emerging. Those who were stars fifty to seventy five years ago were predominantly those who emerged dripping with natural ability, with the off created star or starlet. Now we test would-be stars appeal and market them as we would any product. Because someone can sing, we cast them in lived televised musicals even though they can’t act. Because someone sells records they get clothing lines to market as well. This is predominantly an Anglo-American phenomenon, but it spreads like a disease.

One should express themselves for the joy of doing so, without expectation of being worshipped ubiquitously. You want to sing a song then sing a song. You want to design clothes then design clothes. If you want to do what you say you truly want to do then you’ll do it. But would you do it if you weren’t guaranteed an audience? Would you do it for the love of it or as a devotion or an offering, the expression being reward in itself? There are far more gifted people expressing their talents in obscurity everywhere then the same handful of talents being shoved down our throats in multiple media. Can you be happy without anybody looking? Or do you only truly exist when others are watching?

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O Sole Mio

Venetian Gondoliers Giving A Serenade is the oracle at Cancer 20°. Rudhyar speaks of Venice as a symbol of social conciousness rising from the unconscious urges of human nature. He likens the city to a lotus growing from and floating on the surface of a lake. Likewise the gondoliers float on the surface of the canals, serenading the female flowers that appear in the windows. In hetero-normative fashion, the male urges and desires are channeled into song, contributing to the overall social tradition, song rising like perfume. The man-made structure of the city rises, nearly organically, from the natural sea, material from the divine, masculine energy from the feminine. The marriage of man and nature is expressed through jubilance of song. It is a song of self. The feminine is the receptive player and also, in some regard, the judge of the beauty of the expression. It is a simple image, self-conatained and self-evident.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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