“The canvas is the door to another dimension.”
~ Salvador Dali. 1904-1989.
“The canvas is the door to another dimension.”
~ Salvador Dali. 1904-1989.
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.
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
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.
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.”
“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.”
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: 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.
Stunning creativity! A wonderful representation of the mysterious Minoan culture of ancient Greece.
Here is the The 2004 Athens Olympic Games opening ceremony:
Venus Retrograde 1:09am in Aries, Saturday, March 4th, 2017.
Venus goes into the underworld to reborn on April 15th as the Morning Star. This time is a slow down or withdrawal of issues regarding women, beauty, finances, art and socializing. It’s best to accept it, be patient, journey within yourself and support friends that are doing the same thing.
Old flames could come back into the picture to remind you of lessons learned, or to attain final closure. That being said the best focus is to work on your personal relationship with love and resetting your perspectives. This could be a time of solitude, or rekindling relationships that have become stagnant. The goal is to let go of the past so you can move forward on April 15th when Venus emerges reborn.
Excellent article on the Venus cycle:
The Venus Cycle
Herald of the morning – Venus as Morning Star by Julija Simas
“In ancient Lithuanian star lore, Venus as morning star was called Aušrinė and was seen as a second Sun. as she was the first to lighten the dawn, which is also the meaning of her name . She was also the daughter of the Sun together with her evening star sister Vakarinė. These two stars were the servants of the Sun, Aušrinė would bring fire, water and soup to the Sun and her husband the Moon(the Moon masculine?? Shows how ancient these depictions are) and the evening star Vakarinė would make their bed for the night.
These 2 obvious apparitions of Venus, were often seen as 2 completely different stars, with 2 completely different identities and in many more cultures around the world. As we get to know the Venus cycle we get to see that Venus no longer is Venus just in a sign, or a house, but she is either an evening star or a morning star, and that she is also in one her of her phases as part of that apparition, which all bring much more depth and meaning to our own natal Venus. For example Venus in Gemini in the 2nd house, square Jupiter may not be enough information to describe your Venus. Do you know if you were born with an evening star Venus or a morning star Venus? An easy way to tell is, if Venus is behind your Sun in the zodiac in your natal chart she is a morning star, and if she is ahead in the zodiac in your natal chart, she is and evening star. Say your Venus is 15° Gemini, and your Sun is 10° Leo, Venus is behind in the zodiac, therefore a morning star. Or turn your chart as if the Sun is on the horizon-the Ascendant, if Venus is above the horizon she rises before the Sun and is a morning star, if she is below horizon she is an evening star. To determine what phase she is in your natal chart is a bit trickier. Which I will get to in another update.
As a renewed morning star Venus has many names and associations, as she returns to the skies to shine her light, the Venus archetype becomes one more like a warrior, Aries like, promethean, eager and keen to get on with it, on a mission I like to say.
As a morning star Venus is known as:
Oriental (rising in the east)
Lucifer (the light bringer, the angel cast out of heaven who then becomes Satan in christian bible. The sacred feminine was regarded as too potent to deal with by the patriarchy establishing itself through various religions around the globe, making out that the power of the sacred feminine was dangerous and scary and not to be used, similar to the number 666)
Lights up the morning sky, is up before the Sun
Masculine, Diurnal, Yang
A Warrior goddess
She ascends rapidly – (comes out of Sun’s beams quickly as Sun moves off ), still moving much slower than Sun
She descends slowly – as the cycle progresses she catches up with the speed of the Sun and even doubles it (before disappearing for exterior conjunction) dimming as she moves further away from Earth
Visible 6-8 days after rx conj
Venus is now on a Mission
Gains light,, then loses light -peaks in crescent shape as she waxes to become full. Note we never see Venus in fullness phase, like a full moon, as she is at that stage behind the Sun.
Begins as a crescent then waxes to fullness as she dims from our skies again toward superior conjunction
At each apparition as a morning star or evening star, Venus is known to have 7 phases(this varies depends on astronomer or astrologer) at any particular phase the characteristics of Venus are determined by Venus being either:
Morning – Evening
Earthy – Heavenly – (close to earth or farthest away)
Aphrodite Pandemos(earthy, lusty), Aphrodite Urania(heavenly, divine)
Visible or – Invisible(visiting the underworld)
Fast or Slow
Ascending or Descending
Taurus or Libra
Losing light or gaining light”
I LOVE this day… relationship or not. I just LOVE LOVE.
To everyone out there, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day ♥
I also believe this is true:
“It is Almost Certain that Between Friends There is at All Times, a Silent Communication, a Sort of Unconscious Mental Conversation Going on Subjectively when This Rises to the Surface of Conscious Intelligence, it is Called Mental Telepathy. The Communication with Others is Going On at All Times, whether the Conscious Mind is Aware of the Fact or Not. We are Always Receiving Impressions that are More or Less Vague, and It is Seldom They Come to the Surface; but They are There Nevertheless and are Gradually Building into Our Mentalities Impressions and Forms of Thought that are Unconscious and Silently Perceived.”
~ Ernest Shurtleff Holmes, The Science of the Mind: Subjective Communication (1926)
Born today… Jeanne d’Arc, 6 January c. 1412 Domrémy, Duchy of Bar, France
image: Albert Lynch (1851–1912) ~ Joan of Arc, engraving from Figaro Illustre magazine, 1903 —