Month: January 2016 (page 2 of 3)

Up and Up

At Capricorn 27° we find Pilgrims Climbing The Steep Steps Leading To A Mountain Shrine. Right away we see the Capricorniness here—the sign is symbolized by a mountain and the steep climb is most characteristic. Ruled by Sagittarius in a twelve-fold sequence, we have the notion of travel and seeking, endemic to that sign, in the form of the pilgrims. So many of the Capricorn symbols have been about structuring spiritual practice and this is no exception. Here we have the ascent of the individualized consciousness to the highest realizations reached by spiritual leaders of its culture, or so says our Sabian friend Dane Rudhyar.

The stairway to heaven here is a well trodden path. The meaning being that we are following in a tradition, again a most Capricorn word. We are following in the footsteps of the sages, gurus, teachers who have gone before us. Or at least, we are meant to believe, that this is what will provide us the most peak experience. We needn’t forge a new path. The shrine, so called, will have been structured and fashioned over Saturn-ruled Time, each individual, perhaps over generations and generations of pilgrims, adding to the power of the structure of this monument, this dedication, to something higher. Though every pilgrim will have a unique, individual experience, the shared devotion of the many how climbed there would have made the path hallowed ground.

While the previous symbol portrayed the emanation of a Nature goddess in the descending waterfall, today we have the aspirant wo/man ascending as is his/her nature in spiritual pursuit. We are called to the mountain to receive our revelation and experience ultimate transcendence. Spiritual pursuit is a steep climb and often a slippery slope and we are not, all of us, all of the time, as sure-footed as a goat. But strive we must or else what? I suppose one could live a life of luxury; I dare say I don’t mind a little of that; however it does make one soft over time and, for whatever reason, money-making has never been much of a calling whilst increased spiritual understanding is a bit more my speed. But I wouldn’t say I’m going for modern day sainthood. I do however like the feeling of upreaching. Ever upreaching.

 

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In Spiritus

A Nature Spirit Dancing In The Iridescent Mist Of A Waterfall is the suprising symbol of 26° Capricorn. That said, the figure of the Fairy Queen, echoed in Shakespeare’s Titania, is one and the same as the Titan queen of the gods, Rhea-Cronos, the classic archetype of the Capricorn female. And it’s not the first nature spirit we’ve encountered in the Sabian Symbols. This oracle is hinged on the ability to perceive the hidden and creative spirit of natural phenomena. It is ruled by Scorpio in a twelve-fold sequence; and that sign is concerned with the hidden, invisible, what lies beneath the surface of consciousness and conscious reality. And here we are dealing with the revelation of the spiritual or pyschic forces related to the element of water—Scorpio is the fixed-water sign. Water signifies the constant flow of vital energies and the fluidity of consciousness, which is ever changing and, if we are following these symbols, growing and ascending. Both Capricorn and Scorpio are feminine signs and power signs to boot. We are wont to personify nature as female; she is the soul of the world, the anima mundi.

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In scientific terms, we are speaking about the Telluric currents which are electrical currents that move underground and under the sea. The currents are a very low frequency and travel quite near the surface of the Earth, in its crust and mantle. They are geomagnetically induced from the interplay of solar wind and magnetosphere. Basically we’re talking about how we measure the Earth’s conductivity. I’m paraphrasing from Wikipedia—it’s not like I have this knowledge in my head—where is also found a list of literature and other media that use Telluric currents as a theme, mostly for science fiction and fantasy. In prospecting, the currents frequency is measured and used as a means for finding the best places to mine. Scorpio, fixed-water, is likened to ice, crystals, gems, ore and thus all minerals. I just saw this fascinating Nova on PBS last evening about the relationship between rocks and life; and how rocks actually created life and life in turn borrowed back from the mineral world, to create bones and teeth and so forth. Never will I look at a rock the same again. But I digress. How unlike me. Ha.

We are dealing here with occult energy; and, mind you, occult simply means hidden. As someone who does have a certain sensitivity in this area, I will say that it can sometimes be a mixed bag. I think the same personality who is psychically sensitive is also fairly susceptible to other influences and substances as well. Like the Celtic witches before me, psychic ability seems to go hand in hand with the tendency to be overserved at the bar. I’m not saying this would be true for everybody, but I surely notice it within my own gene pool. Through my work I have developed my talent in perceiving energies, personifiable or not. And surely as a child I witnessed the appearance of certain supernatural beings; but I don’t find this weird or shocking and neither should you. The same Nature that can self-create as millions of life forms on one tiny planet surely has the animating power to be perceived as an entity in her own right, at least to those who are open enough to witness such emanation. Fairies, gnomes, little people, what have you. They can be as real as the rock your standing on. And surely, in the spray of a waterfall, Nature herself might choose to make an appearance.

 

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Plush

If you’re one of the handful of people who actually reads the Cosmic Blague then you’ll know that the Capricorn symbols over nearly the past month have all dealt, in some way or another with Time and Tradition which are two keynotes of the sign whose overall theme is that of Structure and Containment—did you know Capricorn rules the skeleton and skin? Well it does. So there. Myaaaah. (Sticking tongue out at you.) I’m in a weird mood today. I have been quite structured and contained myself and I think it’s making me a little cuckoo. Anyway, the next symbol up is A Store Filled With Precious Oriental Rugs at Capricorn 25°, ruled by Libra in a twelve-fold sequence. As is typical, whenever Libra rears its beautiful abstract head we are talking about artistic and aesthetic influences. The rug symbolizes a basis on which we stand or build, the cultural and artistic process involved in the creation of the rug enhances personal comfort and appreciation. In the case of prayer rugs, they can have spiritual significance as well, art and spirituality often being linked in civilization.

Unlike the previous symbol where renunciation of comforts was a prerequisite to spiritual transcendence, here a little Libra pleasure seeking and comfort goes a long way to afford the devotee a basis upon which to pray or meditate without the need for asceticism. Perhaps we needn’t strip away everything to find this transcendence; although, admittedly and ironically it might be more difficult to focus solely on spirituality when on a lush carpet. Then again, maybe not. Or maybe the added challenge (of comfort) will be an obstacle of sorts to overcome.

I can’t help thinking about a magic carpet ride, which might be metaphoric for the use of these rugs for prayer. Surely flying through the air speaks to Libra’s cardinal-air assignation; and mixed with Capricorn energy, both signs seek a certain ascendency. Oriental rugs feature abstract patterns—human figures never appear in Islamic iconography. As the only non-organic sign of the Zodiac, the scales also speaks to the notion of thought forms being made alive, whether one is casting spells or uttering prayers, one uses both mind and spirit in the process of this particular means of transendence, without having to eschew the cultural richness on which the petitioner stands.

 

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Goodbye To All That

A Woman Entering A Convent could only occur during the sign of Capricorn at 24°, as with this sign we treat the theme of renunciation. You might say Capricorn puts the nun in renunciation. Ba-dum-bum. And it makes perfect sense this symbol is ruled Virgo, the virgin in service, whether as Christian or Buddhist nun or, back in the day, as Vestel Virgin. The former may be wedded to Christ, while the latter would have had some serious sex magic happening with the god as priest. All in all we are looking at “total commitment to a transcendent goal.” Convents and monastaries speak to humanity’s belif in the possibility of leading a transcendent life of service.

There may be any number of reasons we would enter into such service. I have to say that as I child I wanted to be a priest—I think because I thought the altar was a stage; but every once in a while I think, screw it, I could totally leave this rat race and head for the hills and take a vow of silence and just make Chartreuse all day. Indeed for some, the nunnery might be an escape—of family or society—to others, it represents the peaceful pursuit of a spiritual ideal to which the whole being aspires. Capricorn is the sign of aspiration and ascendence after all. And the world can be so bloody distracting when one is trying to achieve a totally spiritual state. Those stone walls, plank bed and assigned chores, and no questions asked, could make it easy to concentrate on what’s really important. The point is, it’s there if you need or want or crave or are called to it. It’s just one more type of relationship that we individuals might have with society, albeit a rather removed one.

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The soldier in the last image was also in the service. The nun takes that italicized phrase to a new level. She has transcended the give-and-take, action and consequence, punishment reward dichotomy out of her equation, no matter how noble (the soldier’s) life might be. Here we find acceptance of the fact that beyond daily normal patterns of behavior and responsibility, there exitsts another way to experience life which has social significance too, but on a higher spiritual level. In Hindu culture, the renunciation of worldly life and the taking up of the begging bowl is not a cop out but a culmination of the social process. We herein see the complex parodox of the human, being able to transcend its self and surroundings for a life consecrated to a higher state of consciousness. In the rigid, ascetic, disciplined life of the nun (Capricorn structure at its most austere, with the purity of Virgo virginity at its core) the individual finds boundless inner freedom and an oxymoronic transcendent security.

 

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We Can Be Heroes

The keynote of Capricorn 23° is recompense. A Soldier Receiving Two Awards For Bravery In Combat would be ruled by Leo in a twelve-fold sequence. Again, unsurprisingly that makes sense: Leo is the sign of the divine right of all we kings and queens. Such notions as trial by combat, or rather the Arthurian one that saw might is right morph into might for right is central to the sign. A good king uses his divine right to benefit his subjects, just as the Capricorn tenant sees us using our sway and authority for the uplifting of all. With this image we don’t know if the soldier indeed won. The fact that he has received two medals might indicate a medal for some achievement and one for having taken some blows. The point is that the soldier and society are in a give and take relationship. We are all soldiers and we are all in this relationship. What is our right, and divinely so, is compensation for that which we have given.

Whether we succeed or fail at our endeavors, we are entitled to the respect and admiration of the collective. Yoda was wrong. Trying is valid. The attempt is what it’s all about. The results should have no bearing on the validation that we receive from others. I a world where everyone is seeking constant validation, a sickness that has been spread by social media, we no longer value the attempt. We are focused on the result. Oh, you’re being pictured with a celebrity…score!…you get three-hundred Hearts. Oh, you got a Tony nomination, that equals 776 Likes. Oh you didn’t win? Oh well, better luck next time, you still get 82 Likes. You won? You should get your own Page, you needn’t associate with we the hoi poloi anymore. Where are the celebrities of cancer or AIDS curing. Where are the Instagram mavens of alternative energy. No. These people don’t warrant as much respect and admiration as your new pink hair color or portable puppy you just rescured. You’re amazing.

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In the perfectly balanced cosmic world in which these symbols live, you get a medal for even attempting to do something valuable for society. You don’t get a medal because you crowd sourced to afford a new chest to pin it on. That’s not really how it works. And this whole emperor’s new clothes society in which we now find ourself living is all going to come tumbling down to the soundtrack of Taylor Swift’s 1989 or the latest immediate cover of Adele’s Hello. Hello, indeed. Hello, there are other people than just a handful of thirty celebrities doing stuff in the world. Even I who live in a supposedly skeptical society of independent artists have found said society exactly parroting that of the red-carpet society who practice their smiles in the mirror and have a team to dress, tailor, groom and polish them. Is that really what you’re aiming for? Celebrity. Well that’s all take, my friend and no give.

You need to have been in the trenches in my mind. You need to have a few battle scars. You must have had a cause more connective and sweeping and inclusive than your own adoration propelling you to get yourself a medal from this jaded Q-bag. I’m not handing out any medals because you’ve sprayed your hair to look like Stanley Tucci’s in The Hunger Games. It’s not happening. Give to society and do so without thought of reward. I see right through all you marionettes going through the motions of caring for some cause when all you really want is the pat on the back for retweeting a post. You’re not fooling anybody. You are not my heroes. You don’t know who my heroes are. Hell you don’t even know who your heros are until it suddenly dawns on you that it might be popular on any given day to say your hero is a Warhol Factory alum or recently deceased rockstar. You aren’t a hero by association, meanwhile. And ammassing followers is not an accomplishment. It’s a disease. But this is the hinge of the sign of Leo:

Are you a benign leader who gives back and thus deserves the receipt of our love and admiration or are you a tyrannical mess in a dress-code, a two dimensional cut-out with a plastic smile sitting idly by your computer or staring into your phone waiting for the next tiny shred of worship. If the world is hinged on recompense, than bitch you owe the world something.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Major [Tom] General

The sign of Cancer, which rules this 22° of Capricorn image in a twelve-fold sequence, represents the introspective part of the self, the fourth house portraying the most private sector of self. So, fittingly, we find that By Accepting Defeat Gracefully A General Reveals Nobility of Character. Capricorn and Cancer are so-called opposite signs, really they are higher septaves of each other along an upward spiral; Capricorn’s tenth house points to the public self, the worldly self, the most aspirant self, which must be, in fact, renunciated in order to achieve true spiritual ascendence. Capricorn’s motto is “I use”, the hope being that one would use their worldly power and sway and influence for the spiritual good of all. Here we have a general that has indeed risen to the height of Capricornian power; while, in admitting defeat, he achieves even greater nobility—the inner kind—which belongs to the Cancerian estate. The sign of Cancer is hinged on “the fall” personal or otherwise. The buzzy, often babbling (tower of Babel) of Gemini, with its wheely dealy worldly ways, leads to a Fall, while Cancer (cardinal-water) is akin to the flood, real or emotional, that washes away all the fraught machinations of the reptilian Geminian mind.

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We all know people in recovery. Perhaps we are there ourselves. What must first be admitted is our powerlessness over whatever might be our addiction or affliction—including greed and power itself—which might make us a blackheart à la the Grinch or Scrooge or Mr. Potter or…fill in the blank with your favorite holiday season villain. Capricorn can point to becoming high and mighty, and my how hard they mighty may fall; unless, that is, they admit defeat, whether knowing or not, that they might very well grow more through their defeats than through continued success. Inward growth that is. The previous symbol of the relay race referred to ambition toward success in an organized collective; this one considers that the race might have ended in outward defeat, which can nonetheless be an inner (spiritual) achievement. Obi Wan was defeated and made the force stronger in the process. After WW11, Dane Rudhyar points out, in the near wake of it, Japan and Germany ultimately thrived. If we accept defeat we find dignity and nobility. If we reject it with an air or flurry of defensiveness, we shan’t grow. It is all so much making excuses. Capricorn’s motto “I use” can be poignantly applied to defeat. Capricorn people have their scars, which tend to make them stronger; and they keep going, using the lessons learned to further their ascent. What might be considered the ultimate defeat? Death. But even that can be accepted and used as a source of dignity and ascendence. Our Dearly Departed David Bowie Was/Is, Of Course, A Capricorn.

 

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Ready Steady

A Relay Race is the image at 21° Capricorn, a sign we seem to be speeding through. Fittingly this symbol is ruled by quicksilver Gemini in a twelve-fold sequence and it hinges on the value of competition in developing group consciousness. This isn’t a competition between individuals but teams of individuals, and Gemini, via the third astrological house, governs such teamwork and boon companions working toward a common goal. Remember the original Twins of the Zodiac are half-brother (quadruplets rather than) twins who were inseparable in battle. Life is something of a relay race in that each generation passes the baton to the next, typically within small family groups or communities, which again fall under third-house rule. We say how major achievements result from the total sum of our collective striving—group performance is what is on display here. The individuals, as in the choir of the previous image, are working in concert, but here, in a series or solo exhibitions which will be tallied collectively. Still the total is greater than the sum of the team’s parts—and only as strong as its weakest link.

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When we encounter this degree point in chart readings we see the emphasis on the value of group cooperation and the need for give-and-take. Interchange is the theme of this symbol, just as it is the theme of the sign of Gemini, which is preceded by Aries (active) and Taurus (passive) energies, combining the two into this dual dynamic. We speak about the dexterity, the flexibility, the versatility of Gemini; and here applied to a Capricorn symbol, it is given lofty significance, elevated from the street level of interchange in the form of deal-making or bargaining or marketeering, which is the usual Gemini estate, to something more noble. Cue Chariots of Fire or Breaking Away, both of which films depict racing for a spiritual win of sorts. I think that’s what’s at stake here, for again, the individual ego is sacrificed to the team, or whole, here, in an expression of soulful solidarity. And, like the choir coming together to lift their voices (Taurus) in tuneful expression, here the collective body must use their skill, their nerves, their speed, their alacrity and their fleetness a foot, all of which are a nod to the Mercury ruled sign of the Gemini. Makes you kind of wish you had a spiritual body of close friends, a team, with whom you can work, move, act, function, perform, live, as a team.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

On High

At Capricorn 20° we see (or don’t) A Hidden Choir Is Singing During A Religious Service. This symbol is ruled by Taurus in a twelve-fold sequence and, as many know, Taurus rules the voice. In truth, in churches and cathedrals, choirs were typically hidden from view to hit home the notion of this being a heavenly chorus to which one is harkening—a group activity or performance consecrated to a transcendent realization of unity. The music of the spheres, immutable. The earth sign of Capricorn is spiritually ascendent; it’s symbol is the mountain from whence one petitions god or receives revelation. A hidden choir is also meant to be a host of angels, I imagine, musicians of said spheres.

What we see in this image is social contract and congregation elevated to its highest manifestation, the choir also symbolizing any social group, parish, community in its most exalted form. We are being told that, though individuals, it is natural and cosmic for us to exist in harmony with one another. Singing parts, with no solo, signifies the transcendence of any ego, a necessary factor in the achievement of such transcendence. We are, together, combined into a super-personal state of consciousness. The choir can be a metaphor, too, for the individual self, with all of our elements thereof working in perfect concert of mind, body and spirt. “Hello Claw? You’re Welcome.”

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Paper Or Plastic

Aries rules the ages 0-7 years. In this Aries-ruled Sabian Symobl at Capricorn° we find A Five-Year-Old Child Carrying A Bag Filled With Groceries. To people of a certain age—I myself remember even buying cigarettes for my mother at a very tender age—being sent off to do a little shopping by an agoraphobic mother mightn’t seem so shocking. Today it is absolutely unheard of, here in the modern west. Rising to the occasion when asked to assume responsibilities ahead of one’s normal development is the keynote here; I suppose that might including have to pick up a drunk mother who has passed out at the kitchen table of the parents of one’s own childhood friend and having to will oneself to drive her car, with her slumped body in the passenger side, many years before one would ever even be given a driver’s permit? Yeah. Well, one does rise to the ocassion and one simply mimics the behavior one has witnessed from adults in one’s life. And when a neighbor shouts what’s wrong at seeing you drag your mother’s seemingly lifeless body from said passenger side? You simply say oh she’s not feeling very well.

Having to assume such responsibility so young does strain one’s natural capabilities. It also robs one of a childhood. Role reversal with a parent is not a comfortable thing. It can cause a pattern of “accelerated growth”; lightbulb going off: Perhaps this is why I acted out in so many “adult ways” in any case around that time. If one has a parent who is so checked out; and one spends a great deal on one’s own as a child; it follows that this child might get him or her self into some pretty adult situations, even when their normal means of transportation is a red Columbia no-speed bike with a foot brake. Oh the places you will go when you have no parental support but the opposite—how you might get back at your parents and the world by getting yourself into some sophisticated, even sordid situations. Not to say that there aren’t certain advantages to have lived during a certain time, and under a certain roof, in childhood where I didn’t really have one (a childhood that is). And I know it contributes to my disdain for helicopter parents nowadays who create little Sidharthas out their kids; still, I suppose I could have stayed a child a wee bit longer than I did.

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But it was the 1970s and the Disney child hero, who was already bucking the parental system by being “mischievous” sneaking out at night to solve a crime at the old so-and-so’s derelict house down the street was morphing into underage partygoers hiding their glasses of champagne for photos taken at Studio 54. To be a fast pre/teen, in every sense of that word, seemed to be rewarded by the media. To be a kid was kid stuff. Who knew that my generation would grow up to become somewhat infantilized, wistful for a childhood they never had? I haven’t succombed to that fate as readily as many of my peers who have dressed like Dennis the Menace well into their 40s. For me living fast while young was a symptom of identifying with the bright young things of the 1920s, a time when you were already married with kids by the time you hit the age of 25.

The point of all this is that here we see the sophistication and certain decadence of the sign of Capricorn merging with the energy of Aries which rules the head and the hardwiring which occurs during the human ages of 0-7. If we are hardwired with (another Capricorn word) repsonsibility, and an overage thereof, we will be be wizened before our time. I think this is what has happened to many people who are labelled old souls; I think that tag is just a euphemism for having not had any real childhood to speak of. That is the baggage, perhaps, that the child in this image is truly carrying.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jacked

In our holiday show at Joe’s Pub last month, I reprised a song I used to do about ten years ago—The The’s Armageddon Days Are Here Again—due to its relevance with the chorus line beginning Islam is rising, the Christians mobilizing. There is another line: You’ll thank the good lord, for raising the Union Jack, you’ll watch the ships sail out to harbor and the bodies come floating back. At Capricorn 18° the Sabian Symbol is The Union Jack Flag Flies From A British Warship, the keynote of which is protection afforded individuals and groups by powerful institutions in charge of maintaining order. In its positive form, power must be weilded in order to preserve peace, law and order; but that power easily becomes corrupted. Pisces rules this symbol in a twelve-fold sequence and, as always with that sign, we see paradox, not to mention sea imagery. Apparently, when this symbol appears, a need for protection is highlighted; alternatively, this stands as a warning against using power for selfish purposes.

Capricorn is about status and protection, and it is usually groups and individuals of great status that garner the most protection, along with privilege, unfortunately. We are of course speaking of political power, mainly. That arm of protection can become an expression of exclusivity, creating enclaves wherein even those who live under the same flag can’t enter. Political power is a two-way street, a nod to Pisces’ opposite facing fishes, it provides value and poses danger both.

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