When the Sabian Symbols were first, shall we say, divined, the one associated with 13° Aries mightn’t have had the same import, on the surface, as it does now. An Unexploded Bomb Reveals An Unsuccessful Social Protest is the oracle for the day; and it’s impossible for us to ignore the real and terrorizing correlations associated with this image and the sense of real relief that stems from such a crisis being averted. But let us turn the clock back ninety years when these symbols were first produced and the world wasn’t universally gripped by terror. Not to say that, in 1925, there wasn’t upheaval and that bomb scares didn’t happen—it’s just that the impetus was more localized and isolated to specific, not globally sweeping, causes. It’s more difficult to read this symbol metaphorically today than when it was originally meant to be. It now seems in bad taste.
For, to get the most out of this symbol, one needs to identify in large part with s/he who placed the bomb in the first place. We are all of us revolutionaries in part. Today, we’re reminded of that fact and, by extension, we might see if those who are actually born on this day personify that particular spirit. I found it personally prophetic that this was the symbol waiting for me to explore and expound upon this morning; because I’ve been feeling pretty itchy, lately, for some radical change. I feel that I am every element of this symbol. I am s/he who put the bomb there, and I am also s/he who discovered and dismantled it. There is a part of me that wants to overthrow the entire regime of my own existence, one which I’ve painstakingly cultivated into place; I want to blow it all up and start a completely new order and way of life. Unsurprisingly, the number thirteen is that of new order—I suspect it might be why it can be seen as unlucky. It would be for those steeped in the old guard. The number twelve is that of cosmic order, not just in terms of astrology, the zodiac consisting of twelve signs; but there are twelve apostles; twelve gates to the celestial city; twelve tribes of Israel, twelve years until adulthood in Judaism; twelve superior angels; twelve stations of the cross; twelve articles of the creed; twelve simple letters in the Hebraic language—the initials of the zodiacal names in Hebrew!; twelve labors of Hercules; twelve supreme court justices; twelve semitones derived from the seven notes of a scale; and twelve gods in the Greek and Roman pantheon—when the thirteenth god, Dionysus hit the scene, the goddess Hestia offered him her throne and thereafter sat at the center of the circular thrown room, tending the fire. But I digress…
The point is that when you get to thirteen, you’re at a new number one. No suprise that this symbol carries a double Aries energy, you might say. We are talking more than a spark, we are looking at a potential explosion. And yet, it is averted, begging the question: How are you an unexploded bomb?; and how are your social protests unsuccessful? Let’s talk impersonally for a moment. In post-Patriot-Act America, one does have trepidation taking a stand, as I always seem to do, on touchy subjects on social media. It’s very meta, but sounding off about Edward Snowden and what a true patriot he is, whether on Facebook, or in this Blague, does, as he has shown us, leave one open to scrutiny if not real consequence. It’s the same thing with sounding off about Scientology and their “Fair Game” policy of harrassing anyone who criticises them. This holds true for or any entity with access to retaliatory muscle. Anna Wintour—it’s all the same.
Ten years ago when Stella and I would perform shows and describe, with tongue in cheek, how it is we descend from a long line of mystics who were forever antithetical to the Lizard Kings who’ve controlled everything for eons, from the banks, to governments, to all the media, people would laugh in that sort of-you-guys-are-so-wacky type of way. Fast forward to the present and those same jokes aren’t as ha-ha funny because they ring more absolutely true. So, why does the bomb go unexploded? Fear. Fear that a motorcade of shiny black American made cars all being driven by Hugo Weaving with an earpiece is going pull up outside your house and you’ll be gently but firmly escorted away. It’s not going to happen. Probably. But, just a hair’s breadth of possibility of something like that happening is enough to keep most people’s revolutionary spirits in a perpetual state of nondetonation. Thus the metaphor of social protest isn’t just a metaphor at all, but let’s take a closer, personal look at today’s oracle:
Most of us live in a regime of our own making. If we’re lucky. I mean, we all know people way richer and way poorer, for starters, and yes, no doubt, people living in poverty or boxed in by societal limits of race or socio-economics are subject to a lifestyle largely not of their own making; so some of us have more restraint put upon us than the confines of a career and a lifestyle we’ve carved out for ourselves. The rich and famous have their own problems, and I don’t say that in an off-handed manner; from experience, with very few exceptions, the richer, more famous the person the more miserable s/he is. For real. It’s people who have enough, but not too much, who tend to be the happiest. But even they have undetonated bombs. And just because the bomb didn’t go off, it doesn’t mean it didn’t still point out the unrest, the upshot of which is going to be inevitable. We live under an order we created for ourselves and yet there will always be the seed of a new order in us. An undetonated bomb might be likened to an ungerminated seed. Dionysus is knee-jerkedly called the god of disorder, but not so; he is the god of a new order, the one to whom are given the keys of the kingdom. He just has a bad-ass party atttitude that belies the serious power he is divinely packing. But that makes sense, too.
Oftentimes, when we want to break out and break down our own old orders, such urges are often accompanied by visions of dancing on the table tops in a Parisian restaurant, well past closing with a bacchanal of wildly imaginative artists and intellectuals and fashion models and a winning football team, and of course Bryan Ferry is there, paying the tab, and hailing us cabs to whisk us off to a club privé for more dancing or to a gleaming all-night Champs Élysées brasserie for tiered platters of lobster, crab, oysters and assorted winkles . Okay maybe that’s just my vision but, when we get itching for a new order, we don’t often experience our desire for change as a safe, slow, barely perceptible shifting of a paradigm; we envision it as explosive and entailing a good blow out to mark our revolutionary change. That is how Dionysus archetypally lives in us. And this is why the detonation is thwarted. Our revolutionary motives are wildly inspiring, and they will inevitably surface in establishing a new order, but it does have to happen slowly over time, in fact. A violent reactionary move against the present order we’ve set up for ourselves would be retaliated upon by the police-state part of our own psyche, and it might actually set back our cause. The explosion is an adolescent bucking of our own inner authority; we don’t need it; we have more mature ways of instituting change, even the radical kind.
So what’s the message here? Maybe: Know where you’re going but don’t be in a rush to get there. Use your radical vision as the framework for a new order and then see what steps you can take, now, toward making it happen. And do be quick about it. It is still totally rad to create a total paradigm shift in your life over the next three to five years, say. Maybe you can do it within six months or a year. Depends on how practical you wish to be, and how itchy you are for change. Just don’t do nothing. That is the only possible crime. So ask yourself: What for you constitutes being a radical right now? How pressing is it to give that spirit life? And what you can do right now, in your present regime, toward setting the wheels of a new life into motion.
Oh and do remind me to tell you the stories, sometime, of when I was whisked off, on separate occasions, by different football teams, one Italian and one French, to some crazy doings at some wild establishments, both of which were on the Champs Élysées!
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