When it comes to the creative act, there really can’t be half measures. One must invest total spiritual and vital energy in it, if it is to yield something true and meaningful. Such is the lesson of today’s image at Leo 9° Glass Blowers Shape Beautiful Vases With Their Controlled Breathing. Breath is life, so what we are being told here is that we must put our total being into our creation, our full spirit, inspiration being close to respiration. For a work of creation to be considered vital, we must suffuse it with our own full vitality. There is also fire, as well as air (breath) involved in the glass blowing. And fire does translate to spirit in astrological terms—this 9th degree of Leo being ruled by the 9th sign of the Zodiac, Sagittarius, in a natural twelve-fold sequence. For many reasons, most of which I go into in the Sagittarius chapters of our book Sextrology, Sagittarius is associated with the stream-of-consciousness, as, along with its two preceding signs, it comprises the mental/intellectual quadrant of the Zodiac—Libra=Consciousness, Scorpio=Subconsciousness and Sagittarius, the mutable third sign of that quadrant, blends the two. Beat poets, jazz musicians, improvisers of all sorts, stream-of-consciousness writers are all channeling this Sagittarian energy, spontaenously employing a breath of fire. Cue: Ethan Hawke extemporaneously spouting verse in Dead Poets Society. Likewise, you can’t stop the action while blowing glass, it happens or it doesn’t all in one stream of exhalation cum expression.
Glass is made from sand. The sands of time. Past incarnation and order which we are now transforming into something new. In Chekhov’s The Seagull, the young playwright Treplov calls for “new forms, new forms!” (as coincidence would have it, I was in a B’way production of that play in which Ethan Hawke played Treplov). This is the artist’s cry. All else is rehash. Not that doing an album or performance of cover songs, for instance, can’t be creating new forms, it’s all the spirit of the thing. Imitation is suicide. Those of us who do things others have never done before (the curse of the cardinal signs, especially—you Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn people know what I’m talking about) are likely, like Treplov, to live in a sort of artistic Siberia, killing ourselves for the creation of something good. Hopefully, not literally. Do I really need a spoiler-alert for Chekhov? If we’re fortunate, or stick to it long enough, or both, we might reach an audience, which is fulfilling, but it can’t be the end in itself. The true goal must be to create that vessel, that vehicle, into which we can pour our full spirit. That is the only goal. Unfortunately we mostly live in world where so-called artists are wardrobed in the Emporer’s new clothes. There is a difference between having talent and creating art. People on “The Voice” might have talent; just like the award-winning downtown performance artist might have talent. But are they creating something new or rehashing (even if from obscure forms and references most people won’t recognize, which, to me is really cheating)?
You’re either putting your all (spirit) into it or you’re phoning it in. Even great artists have the experience of phoning it in, only for them that experience is excruciatingly painful. When you’re good you know when you’re bad. A genuine form of aristic creation comes very much from the same place from which procreation stems. Putting a package together, with a ton of glitter bells and sequins whistles, playing some attitude of an “ahdist” isn’t creation but approximation, better known as faking it; something I can see through, in an artistic context, if not a sexual one. I said that for effect…or is it affect…it’s probably both. I am thinking of your amusement, trying not to forever stand on my Libran soapbox which can so often seem to be made out of the pulp of sour grapes. I’m not that person. As an artist I am content with being perceived as so-so or even lousy, so long as I am giving my original form of creation my all. I have an Aquarius Moon. I know what it feels like to be ahead of ones time, a perceived second-rate cabaret John the Baptist feeding the people what they mightn’t be in the head (yet) to chew on. It’s cool. It’s not about you. And it’s not about me. It’s about the connection. It’s about giving voice to that which hasn’t been said or heard before. It’s actually quite a relief not to care about so-called audience reaction. So long as you are honestly connecting and coming up with new goods—you’ll see—people will ultimately get it. You may be dead, but they’ll get it.
What artist do you know of would be content nowadays to fall on deaf ears, never mind cut one off from sheer madness? Who does anything anymore without thinking about how it will be perceived. If that glass-blower thought about that then piece of work wouldn’t be conceived to be perceived. The presence of mind, body and spirit necessary to create a true work of art must be total. Otherwise you’re just performing; and any wind-up toy monkey with a drum can do that. People used to want to be artists. Now people pretend they’re people who want to be artists when really they just want to be popular. Or make a comeback from a career they never had in the first place. That’s one of my favorite cultural occurances. This way you get to be the victim and the victor. How about you stop trying. How about you just spontaneously do it without thought of praise, perk or peso? I fucking dare you.
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