Moon & Sun

staywild

This week is the waning Moon in Cancer. We finish our emotional self-reflection and turn our energies towards the Sun in Leo occurring this Saturday morning, July 22nd at 7:15am. AND Mars enters Leo Thursday! This is big news.

Mars and the Sun have been slogging through Cancer over the past month, and neither of these planets are happy in that situation. Men in particular have been affected by these transits. Mars, in it’s detriment in Cancer brings up insecurities, introspection and weakness in any person or venture requiring assertiveness. All this changes in the next couple of days with the arrival of Leo! The Lion isn’t afraid to stand out or claim it’s rightful place.

There’s an undercurrent going on too.

Yesterday we had Mars square Uranus which is a restless, electric aspect. Mars gives us the energy and drive to work hard, and Uranus wants to be free and independent – especially at the end of Aries. The actual lightning strike of the aspect occurred yesterday, and today we can start developing a plan to a achieve our freedom. The goal? To fully express our originality and genius!

And now today we have a beautiful vibe of Venus trine Jupiter (along with Moon in Taurus). This inspires us to take that dream and activate it towards joy and meaning. If you require Luck or Love, the next few days are highlighted as a fertile planting time for ideas. Do your Art, burn a green candle and walk in rose gardens – but don’t overindulge in substances or nowhere relationships.

Every month there’s a New Moon where we rebirth ourselves to the Sun’s renewed vibration, and this Sunday is our New Moon in Leo. Tie up loose ends this week, solidify your foundation, and point yourself towards the goals of late July/August. This is important work because next month we have an eclipse over the United States. An eclipse casts a different light over things – revealing situations normally hidden. This could be a turning point for ourselves AND our society.

More to come.

Alejandro Jodorowsky Explains How Tarot Cards Can Give You Creative Inspiration

 

Excellent article and video on the tarot by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

“The practice of cartomancy, or divination with cards, dates back several hundred years to at least 14th century Europe, perhaps by way of Turkey. But the specific form we know of, the tarot, likely emerged in the 17th century, and the deck we’re all most familiar with—the Rider-Waite Tarot—didn’t appear until 1909. Popular mainly with occultists like Aleister Crowley and Madame Blavatsky in the early 20th century, the tarot exploded into popular culture in the new age 70s with books like Stuart Kaplan’s Tarot Cards for Fun and Fortune Telling, and by way of cult filmmakers like Alejandro Jodorowsky.

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Since its relatively recent popularization, “fun” and “fortune telling” have more or less defined most people’s attitude to the tarot, whether they approve or disapprove of either one. But for artists and poets like William Butler Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and surrealist director Jodorowsky—whose film narration is perhaps the most poetic in modern cinema—the tarot has always meant something much more mysterious and inspiring. “The tarot,” says Jodorowsky in the short film above, “will teach you how to create a soul.”

After studying the Major and Minor Arcana and the suits, and puzzling over the symbols on each card, Jodorowsky discovered that “all 78 cards could be joined in a mandala, in just one image.” Learning to see the deck thus, “You must not talk about the future. The future is a con. The tarot is a language that talks about the present. If you use it to see the future, you become a conman.” Like other mystical poets, Jodorowsky’s study of the tarot did not lead him to the supernatural but to the creative act.

And like many a poet before him, Jodorowsky explored the journey of the Fool in his 1973 film The Holy Mountain, a “dazzling, rambling, often incoherent satire,” writes Matt Zoller Seitz, that “unfurls like a hallucinogenic daydream.” Jodorowsky’s cinematic dream logic comes not only from his work as a “shamanic psychotherapist.” He also credits the tarot for his psychomagical realism. “For me,” says Jodorowsky in the video at the top, “the tarot was something more serious. It was a deep psychological search.” The result of that search—Jodorowsky’s singular and totally unforgettable body of work—speaks to us of the value of such an undertaking, whatever means one uses to get there.

Or as Jodorowsky says in one of his mystical pronouncements, “If you set your spirit to something, that phenomenon will happen.” If that sounds like magical thinking, that’s exactly what it is. Jodorowsky shows us how to read the tarot as he does, for psychological insight and creative inspiration, in the video above, addressed to a fan named John Bishop. Spanish speakers will have no trouble understanding his presentation, as he quickly slides almost fully into his native language through lack of confidence in his facility with English. (The video belongs to a series on Jodorowsky’s YouTube channel, most of them fully in Spanish without subtitles.) Selecting a translation on YouTube yields rather garbled results.”

Read more: Article

Biological Influence

 

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I stumbled across an episode of Forum with Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky the other day, and the show was so stunning I HAVE to share it. The influence of our biology on our decision-making is profound, and I find it fascinating.

Apparently, our brains are wired to become aggressive and angry when we’re fearful; to default into “us and them” mentality (which causes a host of social problems), and to make decisions based purely on smell and hunger. You gotta listen to it. We are homo sapiens. It’s so easy to forget while running our errands, getting to work on time, raising our kids. But WE ARE ANIMALS, and our biological impulses have a HUGE influence on our behavior.

Dr. Robert Sapolsky is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University, and has spent a lot of his life around primates and studying their behaviors. He finds interesting correlations with human behavior, and discusses them at length in his new book “Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst”.

Here’s the audio of the show. It really takes off eight minutes in… let me know what you think!

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July Astro

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Astrologically, the first days of July have been emotionally rough, and the best way through it has been to Feel our Feelings. The Sun is in Cancer which is the most emotionally sensitive sign of the zodiac. It directs our attention to unresolved family/home issues that need to be addressed and purged. Also, the Moon has been traveling through Scorpio the last few days – bringing up our deepest psychological knots to be healed. Mercury and Mars have been barreling through Cancer too, adding some extra urgency and heat. PLUS on Saturday, Chiron (the wounded healer) turned retrograde – activating the vulnerable place of old pain each of us carries. I mean seriously!! How much more can we take??!!

Be gentle with yourself this week, and take time for solitude if you need it. I do a lot of journaling during times like these, and often find nuggets of wisdom through reflection and dreams. As a wise friend once told me, “if you treat yourself like a precious jewel, everything will fall into place”. I find the deepest truths can be found in our recurring patterns. Is there something you need to sacrifice in order to release suffering?

 

 

Currently:
Mars opposing Pluto (the warrior faces Death, read this piece by Austin Coppock)
Mercury into Leo 5:20pm Pacific TODAY.
Full Moon in Capricorn this SUNDAY, July 9th (just work all weekend)
Venus in Gemini, Mars in Cancer (not happy) until July 20th.

So basically, next weekend could be the sequel to last… the Full Moon this Sunday is at the same degree as Pluto – so we will have a Full Moon conjunct Pluto which is also intensely emotional – but highly transformational. Pluto wants to help us rebirth ourselves by clearing out toxic sludge; it’s catharsis.

“Catharsis (from Greek κάθαρσις katharsis meaning “purification” or “cleansing”) is the purification and purgation of emotions—especially pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration. It is a metaphor originally used by Aristotle in the Poetics, comparing the effects of tragedy on the mind of a spectator to the effect of a cathartic on the body.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharsis

From Katie Sweetman:

July 2017 Horoscopes
http://empoweringastrology.com/july-2017-horoscopes

Pluto in Capricorn: Sign by Sign
http://empoweringastrology.com/pluto-in-capricorn-sign-by-s…

 

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“Sirens by the Sea” by Victor Karlovich Shtemberg (1863-1921)

The Art of Secret Societies

Did anyone see this exhibition in NYC last year?? Here’s an excellent article by on Hyperallergenic.com:
Mystery and Benevolence
“Installation view of ‘Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection’ at the American Folk Art Museum (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic unless noted)

A strange visual language developed from the 18th to the 20th century behind the closed doors of American secret societies. It’s a languae made up of all-seeing eyes, ominous skulls, hourglasses, arrows, axes, and curious hands holding hearts. Each of these icons was deeply symbolic for the thousands of people — mostly men — who participated in rituals of borrowed meaning, where ancient Egypt, biblical Christianity, and some homegrown amusements like wooden goats on wheels met the rise of American folk art. The American Folk Art Museum’s (AFAM) Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection examines this often hidden history through its arcane artifacts.

Unidentified Man in Independent Order of Odd Fellows Regalia, Artist unidentified (United States, 1840–1860), quarter-plate daguerreotype, 4 3/4 x 3 3/4 inches (courtesy American Folk Art Museum)
Unidentified Man in Independent Order of Odd Fellows Regalia, Artist unidentified (United States, 1840–60), quarter-plate daguerreotype, 4 3/4 x 3 3/4 in (courtesy American Folk Art Museum) (click to enlarge)

Mystery and Benevolence was curated by Stacy C. Hollander, chief curator and director of exhibitions at AFAM, and Aimee E. Newell, director of collections at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library. It features over 200 objects recently donated to the museum by Kendra and Allan Daniel, who spent three decades buying up the once-secretive art. Installed in the museum, the objects are an exuberant display of the “golden age” of Masonic and Odd Fellows objects, when American decorative and folk art merged with the need for a sense of belonging in the new country.

“After becoming an independent nation in the 1780s, America was seeking to establish its own cultural identity; Freemasonry offered a source of images that resonated with the new nation’s values of equality and liberty,” Newell writes in the accompanying catalogue. “Freemasonry’s visual language and American style began to intersect almost as soon as victory over the British was declared, and continued to adapt as the nation grew and the fraternity evolved. ”

Much of the exhibition contextualizes this long-hidden art in the history of the societies, such as their charity work. The Odd Fellows, formed in 18th-century London, were organized as a benevolent group to support the sick, orphans, and those who died without money for a funeral. One of their mission statements is proclaimed in red and gold on a large wooden sign: “Bury the Dead.” There are also axes indicating how the Odd Fellows saw themselves as “pioneers in the pathway of life”; staffs topped with a heart in the hand were a reminder to be open to others.

Similarly, even the more ghoulish imagery had some meaning connected to charity, and selflessness. The skulls, hourglasses, and skeletons holding shields painted with the word “fidelity” were all reminders of mortality, and how one’s brief time on earth could be better dedicated to others. Reverend Aaron B. Grosh wrote in 1853’s The Odd Fellow’s Manual: “Only the good or evil of our lives will survive us on earth, to draw down on our memories the blessings of those we have aided, or the contempt and reproach of those we have injured.”

Installation view of 'Mystery and Benevolence'
Installation view of ‘Mystery and Benevolence,’ including items related to funerary traditions
Mystery and Benevolence
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Archway for Ensenore Lodge No. 438, signed “W. C. Baptist” (Auburn, New York, 1919), paint and gold leaf on wood with metal
Mystery and Benevolence
Installation view of ‘Mystery and Benevolence’

“The outward form of each symbol offers a different point of access, but in its context within the lexicon of the fraternity, deeper meanings are revealed to those for whom the symbols are signified,” Hollander writes in the catalogue. “In this, the art of fellowship is not dissimilar to the art of alchemy, its secret knowledge also protected by its practitioners.”

Independent Order of Odd Fellows Banner, Artist unidentified (United States, 1900–1920), paint on canvas, with wood and metal, 88 1/2 x 71 inches (courtesy American Folk Art Museum)
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Banner, Artist unidentified (United States, 1900–20), paint on canvas, with wood and metal, 88 1/2 x 71 in (courtesy American Folk Art Museum) (click to enlarge)

In As Above, So Below: Art of the American Fraternal Society, 1850–1930, recently published by the University of Texas Press, it’s noted that from 1890 to 1915, an “estimated one in five men belonged to at least one society.” Fraternal societies still exist, although their numbers have greatly dwindled. According to the Masonic Service Association of North America, there were 1,211,183 members in 2014.

The Masons are the country’s oldest established fraternal order, with numerous lodges founded in the 18th century across the US. In one painting on view at AFAM, their most famous member, George Washington, stands proudly at a Masonic altar. The Odd Fellows soon followed and quickly gained an important membership of their own, as did other societies like the Knights Templar, Shriners, and Junior Order of United American Mechanics. All were mostly white, male, and protestant, albeit from across different economic classes.

The objects in Mystery and Benevolence are seductive with their strangeness and feel somehow accessible through the ordinariness of the materials. I remember visiting the Masonic Hall on 23rd Street in Manhattan, and the tour guide (a Mason) pointing out that all the grand architectural flourishes were fancy fakery. The Corinthian columns, the Renaissance murals, and the Gothic arches that adorned different meeting rooms were all plaster — beautifully painted, but mimicry of the exotic and ancient all the same.

Likewise, the objects in this exhibition are visually stunning, from a late 19th-century staff wrapped with a snake to a towering column topped with a globe. There are some truly masterful pieces, like an intricate marquetry table by James J. Crozier, yet for the most part, the artists remain unidentified and the closest an object gets to a precious material is in the application of some gold leaf on the edges.

These are rare artifacts of an occult culture, each a labor of love for their ritual purpose, not originally intended as art, but as a tool of connection through shared rites. The value of these pieces goes beyond their folk art status. They represent a clandestine history embedded within the story of the United States, where for decades a large percentage of its men would amble over to the local lodge after dark, have a drink (or several), don a scarlet robe, then ponder a skeletal memento mori — or take a ride on a wooden goat around the lodge room.

Mystery and Benevolence
Hand staffs in ‘Mystery and Benevolence’
Mystery and Benevolence
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Axe for Newtown Lodge No. 4440 (United States, 1850–75); Independent Order of Odd Fellows skull and crossbones plaque (United States, 1875–1900), paint and gold leaf on wood
Washington as a Freemason, Publisher unidentified (United States, late-19th century), oleograph on linen, 28 1/2 x 22 3/8 x 1 3/8 inches (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Washington as a Freemason, Publisher unidentified (United States, late 19th century), oleograph on linen, 28 1/2 x 22 3/8 x 1 3/8 in (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Mystery and Benevolence
Pair of Cherubim, artist unidentified (United States, 1900–25), metal with traces of gold leaf. They likely were once on a replica of the Ark of the Covenant.
Mystery and Benevolence
Installation view of ‘Mystery and Benevolence’
Mystery and Benevolence
Odd Fellows axes in ‘Mystery and Benevolence’
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Staff with Serpent, Artist unidentified (United States, 1875–1900), paint on wood, 53 x 5 x 4 3/4 inches (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Staff with Serpent, Artist unidentified (United States, 1875–1900), paint on wood, 53 x 5 x 4 3/4 in (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Mystery and Benevolence
Painting of a church and cemetery in ‘Mystery and Benevolence’
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Carpet, Artist unidentified (United States,1875–1925), wool, 61 x 35 1/2 inches (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Carpet, Artist unidentified (United States,1875–1925), wool, 61 x 35 1/2 in (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Mystery and Benevolence
Installation view of ‘Mystery and Benevolence’
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Tracing Board, Artist unidentified (United States, 1850–1900), oil on canvas, 33 1/4 x 39 1/2 x 2 1/8 inches (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Tracing Board, Artist unidentified (United States, 1850–1900), oil on canvas, 33 1/4 x 39 1/2 x 2 1/8 in (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)”
Mystery and Benevolence
Installation view of ‘Mystery and Benevolence’

Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collectioncontinues at the American Folk Art Museum (2 Lincoln Square, Upper West Side, Manhattan) through May 8.

 

http://hyperallergic.com/271755/folk-art-relics-from-the-golden-age-of-americas-secret-societies/

and…

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/08/arts/design/the-art-of-secret-societies-filled-with-codes-and-glyphs.html?_r=4

 

 

 

June Astro Report

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The Sun is now in Cancer, about to catch up with Mercury and Mars which are also swimming through the sign of the Crab. This brings attention to the home front and the deep, vulnerable parts of ourselves. Be generous and kind to yourself for the next month. Focus on self nurturing and the things that bring you a sense of security (and of course straighten up your house). There’s been so much fiery storming through Gemini the last month, this new water vibe feels purifying and refreshing.
Jupiter is moving forward in Libra, giving a huge, fortunate expansion to relationships and partnerships of all kinds. Saturn continues it’s backward trek through Sagittarius, asking us to review the growth we’ve made in our life perspectives over the past several months. Where is your faith and truth?
Uranus is in the last degrees of Aries, about to jump into Taurus. It will be another year or two before the Revolutionary planet trines (throws supportive love) to Pluto in Capricorn, but when it does, look out. We are in the throws of a decaying, outworn paradigm (Capricorn), and something fresh, earth-based and humanitarian is about to take shape. The old way of doing things cannot survive the upcoming radical change.

Although it’s challenging, we need to be honest with ourselves and grounded in reality. There’s simply no more chances for people or situations that diminish you.