Month: November 2015 (page 1 of 3)

Sticky Wicket

The development of skill in group situations that challenge collective goals is the keynote of the symbol at Sagittarius 6°: A Game Of Cricket. It’s funny, writing this just flashed me back to a dream I had last night. I can scarcely remember it but I remember Michael Imperioli was in it. We did an event with Michael a few years back—a pilot of a TV show that also included Joey Arias and write Paul Auster. And Michael was talking to Paul about how much he loved playing team sports and what it taught him. Funny how the mind works. Anyway it triggered my recall of the dream. I remember thinking at the time how cool team-sport playing sounded, the way Michael put it; but as a kid I was not a joiner, any athleticism I possessed channeled into individual sports. The most team playing I ever really got was tennis. But while the literal interpretation of this symbol might allude me I can understand it in the abstract, which is where I suspect it mainly “lives.”

Society, which I hear is fun to live in, is based on the interplay between groups, any given group being united by a common goal (if only at brief, given times). Somehow we are “assigned” roles (positions to play) within the group—not always to our liking I will add—and then there are all these rules you have to obey, apparently. Sure, you learn sportsmanshiop and fairness and cooperation, just as you might develop some mad personal skills, but, for someone like me, who is prone to isolation, it sounds slightly nightmare-ish. It’s no surprise this is a Sagittarian symbol—patriarchy and good ol’ boy clubs fall under the signs rulership, the grown-up version of the sign’s opposite “juvenile” Gemini’s rule over boon companions and fraternities and such. On the male side of the archetypal spectrum, Sagittarius is all about acceptance within the ruling male paradigm—the planet ruler is Jupiter, named for the chief god, whose son Dionysus, another sign archetype, is not only the only son he “accepts” as his natural successor, but he also “gave birth” to him from his thigh, the body part ruled by Sagittarius. It’s a very foreign experience to a Libra, metaphorically and metaphysically speaking.

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To boot this symbol would be ruled by Virgo in a twelve-fold sequence, which points to the organization and the “well oiled machine” as which a team should function. Was that a sentence? Anyway, let’s face it, cricket is a fucking boring game with too many rules and it’s very wound up and anal and, so too, quite Virgo like. I’m making friends right and left today I’m sure. But I’ve always rebelled against teams and structures and cliques and such. I don’t like to play one part or one position. Shut up. But, seriously, I don’t. As a Libra I might like balance, but I don’t care for rigidity. A Sagittarian is sure not an ordered soul, but they seek to direct all their attention and energy at specific goals. They are archers after all. I do love Sagittarians, for the most part, even though they often feel like a different species from me. I suppose wherever this degree pops up, we might see the need to bend the individual will to that of some collective goal. It’s all about developing group consciousness which, again, makes me very uncomfortable indeed, on nearly every level.

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Give A Hoot

An Old Owl Sits Alone On The Branch of An Old Tree is the comely oracle at Sagittarius 5°, which would be ruled by Leo in a twelve-fold sequence. The keynote is a poised and wise approach to existence based on a clear perception of unconcious factors and their operation. Who doesn’t love an owl? They’re cute, they have eyes in the front of their head (as we do), they make great spokesmen for selling potato chips. No seriously, there is something special about them as if the whole of the physicality is just one big head. Obviously, toy Furbies were modeled on them, and quite possibly Gremlins, of movie fame. And yet this animal, wise Athena’s totem, would seem the fiercest, as well as the wisest, top of the winged nocturnal food chain, whose keen perception symoblizes an ability to see beyond what is natural or normal. They embody a superperspective. Like Leo’s lion, the owl is typically depicted, in tales and even modern cartoons, as a go-to leader of the wild kingdom, but one who needn’t play on the ground but rather stay aloft above the fray of animal (human) interaction. The owl, with its catl-like eyes, plays mentor and, as we saw with the previous symbol, mentorship is endemic to the sage Sagittarian experience.

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The hoot of the owl is the requisite sound effect for any nocturnal setting, itself symbolic for the landscape of the subconcious mind, opposed to that of the oft ego-driven conscious synonymous with the glaring light of day. The owl is endowed with a keen vision that transcends our abilities of perception, like a great flying cat, swooping in on (other) birds and rodents. It has a near 360° perspective, the it turns it’s head, the personification of having gained a full picture. Sagittarius is about the third eye, seeing beyond duality (of its so-called opposite sign of Gemini) to gain a tertiary vision of reality. The self-name Mark Twain, a Sagittarius, means “the point between.” Three points create a circle and, life being cyclical, one might that it is a circular vision that is necessary to completely perceive reality. Our friend Dane Rudhyar slaps the word translucidity on this symbol. I like it.

 

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Ready, steady, go

Is it me or are these Sagittarius symbols pretty boring so far. I haven’t been inspired to write more than a few sentences about them these past few days. And now, at Sagittarius 4° we have A Little Child Learning To Walk With The Encouragement Of His Parents. Great. A million thoughts spring to mind. Not. Remember when people used to say Not? Godz that was bad. Maybe because it’s Thanksgiving and I really do detest holidays I’m just in a mood. But I don’t know. What would you do with this symbol other than say it’s about overcoming certain gravity? And when we do so in life we do need some guiding forces to set an example? This certainly is a right of passage. Taking your first steps. It’s always a big deal. It is a glaring example of growth and entering a crucial new stage in life. I’d like to think that I’ve learned to walk, but I suppose, in some ways, I’m still going at a crawl. Not in all ways but in some ways. The growth here is self-motivated, while there are those waiting and watching. They know it’s a big deal. They also know that you’re now becoming capable of existence outside their control—you could just run off. In future when I encounter a planet on this degree of the Zodiac, I will assume that a milestone is in store.

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Sagittarius (the Sage) is in large part about mentorship, so having guiding forces, or being one, might be highlighted at this juncture. Nurture is endemic here too and this sign is ruled by Cancer in a twelve-fold sequence. I always like the combination of Sagittarius and Cancer because it allows for risk with a careful eye on security. I like couple combinations of Sadge and Cancer peeps too. We need teachers, just as we find ourselves teaching. I have a godchild and I realize that his Sun falls at this degree. That’s a little cool and crazy. Okay, maybe these Sadge Sabian symbols are growing on me. This one is all about growth, after all. I think encouragement is probably a keynote. Think of the word, courage, which is at its root. You know what it really means? A clear course or path, not the leonine emotion which we assign it. It should means a clear shot. Very archer. Just as the archer who shoots might not know where the arrow has landed; so too we’ve no idea where the child will go once it begins to walk. It brings up the same question. What marks will we hit as we move forward and shoot for our goals?

Sagittarius is often about guidance, and we see that point hit home at this degree juncture.

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Your Move

3° Sagittarius brings us Two Men Playing Chess. Seems simple enough. And yet what we are seeing is the most transcendent ritualization thus far in these symbols of conflict or war. It all comes down to strategy and certain manipulation. Wars are first played out in war rooms with pieces moved along a board. Here, through the movement of six chess pieces, we see, as the Bhagavad Gita portrays, that this is also a ritualization of the “battle within” between light and dark forces with the ultimate goal being to check(mate) the ego as represented by the king piece. Civilization depends on the transmutation of raw aggression into sport and game; and chess is, historically, the most cerebral of them all. Simple on the surface, but requiring great complexity beneath it. Gemini, Sagittarius’ so-called opposite, rules this symbol in a twelve-fold sequence and the duality of light and dark, black and white, win and lose are endemic; Sagittarius takes Gemini’s duality and blends them into a third way. In chess one must be equally on the offense as on the defense—too much of either will get the player into trouble. While Gemini represents the lower mind, the bird or lizard brain—the hardware for survival—Sagittarius is the higher mind and third eye. In chess one must think several moves ahead, not only from the objective point of view, but also anticipating what the opponents next many moves would be. Two think out of two heads simultaneously into one vision of what lies ahead. Sagittarius is the archer; unlike his two fellow fire signs Aries and Leo, emblemized by the warrior spear of Mars and the divine sword of the Lion king, respectively, the archer, in warfare affects outcomes from a longrange perspective, shooting far to make his kill or hit his mark. Sagittarius is about seeing with a full range perspective and making moves close at hand to affect that end.

 

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A Gale

At 2° Sagittarius we see White-Capped Waves Display The Power Of Wind Over Sea. Air is masculine and water feminine in astrology, and, despite the natural aspects of this oracle, it is also a metaphorical symbol of war stirring up. With what’s being played out on the world stage right now, and what energetic undercurrents one is feeling, it definitely points to a storm brewing on that score. The air represents the super-personal, here, while the water connotes unconscious energies; overacrching movement is making our individual consciousness quake with rather uneasy anticipation. We sense the inevitable. The prevailing winds are whipping us into some kind of froth, whether it be by historical shifts beyond our control or puppet mastering by secret manipulation.

Those Were The Days

At 1° Sagittarius the symbol is: Retired Army Veterans Gather To Reawaken Old Memories which our friend Dane Rudhyar says is about the will to reaffirm the value of the struggle upon which civilization and group-achievements are founded. When one of the planets alights on this degree, we might see a reunion is in the stars, while there will definitely be a need for, or an event signalling, validation of past experience as having created the right kind of present and future. Power is always a keynote of any of these symbols involving the military; and as you can imagine, that power stems from alignment of consciousness on a common goal, pledge, ideal. So we might ask ourselves what we have fought for in the past, in common with others with whom we share experience, and is it serving to protect us in the present and does it still open onto a bright future. Oftentimes, we find these images being ruled by Aries in a twelve-fold sequence, a sign ruled by Mars, named for the war god.

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Healing is also an aspect of this symbol. Surely not everybody made it, and some of us bear the scars of our struggle. We will reawaken old memories and they won’t all be good ones. Recently, Stella and I gathered in Scotland with a number of old friends from our days in Paris in the 1980s. Mostly it was a jolly time and reminiscences mainly inspired laughter. Also, each of us had bits of memory that others had forgotten; and so we really ended up filling in gaps for one another, which was healing in its own right. However, there were key members of our tribe who didn’t survive the times between creating and becoming memories. And, there, too, we had holes in the story of what happened filled in and gained some increased sense of peace I suppose. Mostly everybody has a success story to tell. I like to think I’m one of them but sometimes I slip into comparison; but my friends will remind me how much I have achieved and why it is I should feel proud and blessed. I mainly do because of the good people in my life with whom I served in the trenches of a war for a life as a self-starter who lives by his wits with nobody telling him what to do and when to do it. So, I salute my friends and I salute my life.

 

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Up To No Good

The legally blind seer Elsie Wheeler, who randomly divined these images without knowing which day of the year was already (written on the back of the blank card she was shown) assigned them, might not have got the exact day right but at least she got the right sign, though this is its last day, the holiday falls into. At 30° (aka 0° Sagittarius) we find that Children In Halloween Costumes Indulge in Various Pranks. This marks by 240th consecutive Blague entry, meaning I am two-thirds the way through the year. Time flies when you’re an obsessive compulsive. Anyway, this oracle is something of an escape valve for still-immature energies; it speaks to a ritualized outlet for unevolved feelings, instincts, actions, etc. If we ritualize what we, in Wyckoff, New Jersey, used to call “goosie night”—actually the night before Halloween—we can get our ya-ya’s out, throwing eggs at people’s houses, toilet-papering their trees, smashing their pumpkins, or, what was my personal favorite, switching people’s lawn decorations (people deserve having their garden gnome switched with a far-off neighbor’s black-face lawn jockey (for the very reason they own a garden gnome or a black-face lawn jockey). Anyway, if the “offspring” of the previous image had just waited until the ritually appointed time, they might not need the squaw to intercede on their behalf with the chief. Ritualizing our worst behaviors can be a very healthy thing to do.

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If a society, or other collective, is allowed this kind of outlet, they are less likely to rebel or revolt. I think of the ritual, too, of the “downstairs” servants having one day when they are waited on, at table, by their so-called betters “upstairs.” So patronizing that. The rules of the game must be observed, of course. We can’t break windows on goosie night; it’s bad enough owners have to scrape the (often rotten) egg off. In simple terms we are blowing off steam, providing ourselves and others a relief from tension, although it might be the kind of tension, that if allowed to mount, might actual result in a much needed revolution, of thought, perhaps. On this cusp of Scorpio and Sagittarius, which is ruled by Pisces in a twelve-fold sequence, we are seeing the dissolution of said tensions so to keep the collective intact. On the individual level, say, with someone having this degree point highlighted in their individual chart, we might be looking at someone who periodically “acts out” in ways that are frowned upon as a means of keeping themselves, basically, within an otherwise more socially or morally accepted frame work. I see the costumes here as pointed to a certain closetedness. We must disguise ourselves in the doing of our prankish (bad) deeds that let off steam for awhile so that we can otherwise stay in the swim of mainstream society. It is, therefore, very much on the theme of compulsion of obsession or repression, finding a way incognito to indulge in behaviors that are normally suppressed.

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Get Over It

As you well know, how you feel, and how you value yourself spiritually, doesn’t always translate into your actions. For instance, I’m the best person who ever lived; and yet I have done the shittiest things imaginable. Just this year, for instance, in response to a fucked-up friend acting, well fucked-up, I retaliated to such a degree, akin to France and Russia’s bombing campaign post Friday 13. Was it justified? One can make an argument. Was it worthy of me? Not quite. Ego, you see, has a way of waiting in the wings and unexpectedly taking over command central of even the most evolved being. I believe this is the message of the Sabian Symbol at 29° Scorpio: An Indian Squaw Pleading To The Chief For The Life Of Her Children. Now, we’ve had native American tribes and chiefs (Kings of the Fairies) in the previous imagery; but here, we are meant to view the “squaw”, I believe, as the arguably inner female, the ego-less Self, and her children as her knee-jerk actions that occur in spite of her (Self-) centered spirituality. She knows, at the core, that her “offspring” have been impulsive, impassioned, emotional and that it seems to run counter to the “tribe” and the dictates of the “chief”, whom I believe embodies Mind, both our minds and the minds of others.

I started writing this last night and am now just finishing it and, once again, my actions took on an ego-driven life of their own, errant offspring acting out, while my squaw Self looked on, from inside, powerless to stop these rampaging warriors. The squaw, really, is the Soul, which is perfect and which does try to intercede on our behalf, seeking forgiveness and redemption. We are all dual beings and our actions can be literally divisive. The squaw is an intermediary, like Mary who plays mediatrix, interceding on our behalf. This symbol is ruled by Aquarius in a twelve-fold sequence, the Waterbearer being pictured on the Star card in the Tarot. Stella Marris. If you’ve read your Sextrology or anything I or we have written on the subject, you know that we assign the “descending goddesses” the female archetype of the sign. Iris, the messenger goddess of the rainbow, goddess of sea and sky (her father Thaumas was a marine god and her mother Elektra was a cloud nymph)—people wrongly assume that Aquarius is a water sign whilst its dominion is air. Mary, mother of heaven, is also synonymous with Mari (Aphrodite) her blue gown fringed in white, that of the sea and foam. Iris links the gods with humanity, forever playing intermediary.

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Here we seek to transcend the dictates of karma, the bad kind of which, we can only blame ourselves for ammassing. Through the character of the squaw, Iris, we transcend, via the rainbow, and connect to our higher soul-power. This connector, personifed as female, is something that exists within all of us. The descending goddess is humbly in touch with humanity, as we must all be through compassion and the embracing of diversity (the rainbow symbol); indeed we do our own karma much benefit by the doing of good deeds for those less fortunate, so we become Iris, and descend from our ivory tower and to help the disenfranchised or those in need of an advocate; at the same time, working upward, we must, at times of our own worst actions or rock bottoms, try to get over that rainbow ourself which is always extended to us by our own higher power.

 

 

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You Belong To You

In the Scorpion realm of the we-are, we have seen unifying images of spirit. The native Americans all belong to a spiritual tribe. The military display is a show of national (spiritual) union. Today, we get more personal, unifying ourselves with that which we find to be our own spiritual dominion. At 28° Scorpio, ruled by Capricorn in a twelve-fold, the Sabian symbol is The King of the Fairies Approaching His Domain. There’s a lot to say here, first, metaphorically and metaphysically. Capricorn, the goat, is linked to the horned god who is synonymous with the horned one fairy king. It is an archetype we have explored in our annual Christmas/Solstice show at Joe’s Pub—which is a month from today and I’m currently writing this new one—and he is one and the same with Oberon, of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream—I portrayed Oberon at our last show at Joe’s Pub and I am also producing a series of performances at the famed venue, Oberon, at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge this winter. Of course these might just be “coincidences”; however, since today’s symbol isn’t about being part of a spiritual tribe of guardians, or a spiritual nation of conquerers, but being one with one’s individual spiritual (Self) dominion, it’s not just metaphorical or metaphysical, it’s downright meta, period.

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For some people there has been little disconnect between who they are and they spiritual dominion. I have a friend who has been a cartoonist since grad school and has worked in his same job now for nigh on thirty years—he and his Self dominion are one. I have a friend who is the most famous children’s book author of all time who found her dominion in her 30s. Success has nothing to do with it, although those first two examples bely that fact. Some of you may love music and pursue your music and have not had worldly (fame) or material (money) success with it; but you are still convinced it is your dominion. Others of you, regardless of age, might feel you have yet to even alight on your dominion. But even the king of the fairies here is just approaching his. We are the bold kings and queens of our own dominion and our fairies are waiting to back us up. Be bold and mighty forces shall come to your aid. We must follow our bliss in this. There is no room for ego. That means our desire to enter into our dominion mustn’t be thwarted by any second guessing on “how good” we are or “what others will think” because that is not humility it is hubris. We needn’t care. We should do it anyway without fear. And if we are thwarted we must take that not as a halting but as a redirection.

Needless to say, the fairy domain also speaks to the realm of pure imagination. Cue Gene Wilder as Willie Wonka. It is your own space. Even if you’re in a band, or working on a creative team, you have total dominion over your own imaginative happy place. Creativity is the doorway to our Spirituality. Only the ego-less capital-S Self may enter in. Nobody else. So go there. And if you don’t know where there is then start going anywhere on hunch or instinct or inkling. Throw a pot, knit a scarf, write a song, draw with pastels, decorate a room, buy a yukelele or kazoo, ride a horse, fly a kite, catch a wave, sing a ditty, start a Blague. You are being asked to show your Inner Allegiance today. You have your own personal god—your own genie—genius—so pledge yourself to him/her.

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Reason is Treason

A Military Band Marches Noisily On Through The City Streets is the Sabian symbol at 27° Scorpio. Just as we can’t explain to a client why it is that life events which have yet to unfold are encoded in their astrological birth chart, so too is the application of these Sabian sybmols rather inexplicable. Their random assignation to signs and days of the year is one thing, but there seems to be a synchronic link to events unfolding. I’m sure that this is in large part connection I am mentally making—the mind is designed to make connections between things, linking dualities with a line of reason—but it does smack of a certain brand of coincidence we find in all our astrological dealings.

Today’s image is about the aggressive glorification of cultural values. And just as in the previous image where we were able to glean the difference between peoples who live peacefully within nature and those who seek to subdue it (and others)—hawks and doves, conquerers or guardians—we see here a display of nationalism and hawkish military power. This kind of display will stem from some vicitimization from an outside entity or agency. The immediate bombing of Syrian targets by the French and Russian for terrorist acts against them would fall under this heading. It as much about taking out targets as it is sending a message to foreign, hostile onlookers.

As we are all culturally rooted, such a display might inspire a brand of patriotism that even some of us didn’t know we possessed. The fact that the French are mostly in favor of having their civil liberties curtailed in order to give their police and military forces more sway is a perfect example, even though Liberté is one of the key elements of their founding triptique of principles. But collective pride perhaps trumps all principles; and nothing mobilizes those feelings inside us more readily than an assault on it; however we mustn’t discount the sadness and vulnerability that comes from suffering any kind of abuse. Hurt people hurt people, whether we are looking at a chain of abuse within families, on a one-to-one scale, or what atrocities an oppressed people is capapble of launching. The lesson is that people who are put down will ultimately lash out. This is a very Scorpio thing. Feelings go underground, the are repressed, lodged in our individual or collective subconscious until they surface, violently, like Pluto exiting his underground lair, and they make an assault on the innocent nature they see around them. Social unity and solidarity is one thing, but threatening displays might are meant for that dual purpose of morale-boosting and intimidation. As westerners we are wont to institutionalize our own repressed feelings into pomp-ous exhibitions. Part necessity part shameful posturing, this is the way our collective works. What is the upshot now in experience with terrorism? Reason is treason.

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