I’m already sensing a pattern within a pattern. That is to say that I think the twelve signs of the zodiac might very well impact these 360 degress of Sabian Symbols in turn. I just read brief synopsis of the first twelve, and I can easily see how each of the zodiac signs, Aries through Pisces, influence the first twelve interpretations, in sequence. So, without jumping too far ahead, I’m going to be looking for that pattern to repeat. If this turns out to be the case, or just the signature basis of my interpretation, well, I’d be happy either way. I’d like to feel, of course, that I’m not just doing a Julie & Julia, serving up recipes of interpretation by rote, but rather taking the title of the recipe, free-styling. and dishing up something new. But yes: 1° Aries was all about birth and emergence and objectivity (all very Aries stuff) while 2° Aries was about self-reflection and our nature and subjectivity (so Taurus) and today, moving into 3° Aries, the Sabian Symbol for which is The Cameo Profile of a Man Suggesting The Shape of his Country, the themes are intersection, identifying with community, sussing up immediate surroundings, and understanding the playing field (very Gemini indeed).
As I communicate this theory I realize how laborious it would be to do this every day in my interpretations, so I will leave off it moving forward, keeping the notion in the back of my mind. A cameo is a quick rendering, an outline, an immediate encapsulation and likeness. It speaks to our ability to know where we are and to what we belong. It is associated with the Logos, our ability to name and identify and give life to our identity within a context. Here, today, we identify with some whole and the larger life it expresses. Spiritually speaking it is the connection of our Atman with Brahman—also very Geminian considering that sign’s duality on the theme of divinity. Stop I said. Here we identify so much with a group or even a notion that we become it’s life. When we are representing some whole, acting as it’s agent, and I am borrowing, now very heavily, here, from my hero (and my Julia Child, if I were to have one), the great humanist astrologer Dane Rudhyar, whose birthday it is today (I just realized!), in saying that this Sabian Symbol touches upon leading a transpersonal life. That is to say that we are not mere spokespersons for our surroundings but the conduit through which the whole expresses itself. When we give ourself over to cause or country we do take on a Christ-like nature. We are the face, the “cameo”, of the larger portrait, the collective “country” or environment.
I’m kind of freaking out because, in my calendar, I had set aside this past weekend to work on the cause which I profile: The Afterglow Festival and The Glow Theatre that I founded in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It’s a non-profit arts organization and yet it’s so much more than that; and my assignment this weekend was to communicate, in written form, how much more it actually is so that I might inspire increased support and fundraising in an environment of increasing greed and obstacles. I know my boss (me I thought) is going to have me work nights this week accomplishing this task. But this Sabian Symbol meditation has inspired me and, as I say, it sort of freaks me out. As if the cause of what I’m doing is the real boss. That somehow it found me and made me its agent and I’m the conduit it through which it is finding expression and life. Because, really, it is so much bigger than just a weeklong festival in Provincetown or the starting of a sustainable new theatre company, it’s the spirit of the place that is seeking salvation: Provincetown is the birthplace of the modern American stage; this is a fact. And though it’s also noteworthy fine-arts heritage has remained intact for over a century, its theatrical legacy hasn’t been so fortunate. People buy fine art because they can own it and it lasts. When it comes to the seeming ephemeral nature of a theatrical experience, people can be short-sighted perhaps. In any case, what was once a haven for artists living among the local mainly fisherman community has become an enclave of realtors selling second homes to people who barely inhabit them or who bought them for the sole purpose of renting them out to tourists to whom nearly the entire town and its businesses cater. Some establishments cut and run, making bank enough in the summer months to justify their existence; others complain that there isn’t enough year round business and they want more, more, more.
The glare of the on-season is rife with gimmicks and themes to attract collectives of tourists under the guise of diversity whilst really its just serial homogeny that’s being served up. Provincetown is like a great aged actress turned out to turn tricks. It’s artistic theatrical soul is in danger and in need of saving. And, for whatever reason, I’ve become a cameo for this country. Dane Rudhyar says this symbol characterizes “Participation in a Greater Life”. I’ll buy that. I feel as if my campaign for Provincetown’s theatrical heritage is akin to that of “Save Venice”. But instead of saving the town from literal rising waters—although something tells me those are coming too—I seek to rescue it from its baser nature and the voracious sea of mediocrity, mendacity and greed. I see a Provincetown, with all its lamplights glowing, all the year round, hotels and inns filled with audience gathered together to experience the creation of theater. And I see theatre as the single most profitable and sustainable industry that Provincetown can foster. The Afterglow Festival and The Glow Theatre themselves are just avatars championing what can be this whole industry. Sundance migh have started as a film festival, but it has defined an entire city and revitalized both it and our independent movie industry. I know Afterglow can do that for Provincetown and for the American theatre.
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