Tag Archives: Art

Wearing Black

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My EP from 2005. This picture is from our photo shoot in the Castro in 2002. Chuck Butter and Liz Rose

Black is almost all I wear, honestly. I’ve often wondered why this is the case. Most of my friends wear nothing but black. What’s going on? I like what this article has to say:

“Colors excite our minds in various ways, and how we react to some of them can tell a lot regarding our personalities.

One study states that black is seen as ‘serious’ and ‘reliable,’ which means confident:

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The study states: “Black is Best Most of the Time.”
“Throughout all our survey, black came first or second in most “good” traits (for example confidence, intelligence and sexiness) and barely figured in the “bad” traits (arrogance). It wasn’t a particularly good performer in the “generosity” scale, however, coming second to last after brown, but it’s hard to imagine is being any other way. Try getting your kid to sit on the knee of a black-clad Santa.

Benevolent nocturnal visitations aside, black is the colour to wear when you’re trying to impress, reassure or woo. There’s a certain trustworthiness about it on a person that would make you hand over your life savings and thank them for the privilege.”

More from Maria Hakki:

“Black is generally an indication of “seriousness” and reliability”, so it stands at the top of the list of colors that both sexes find beautiful.

Why?

The answer is simple. Confidence. Almost half of the women and 64% of the men participating in the study think that black emits self-sufficiency. It is the most beautiful, bold, confidence-boosting and calming color that exists.

Those who wear all black are also usually very sensitive, a bit unstable, and want to draw attention on who they are and what they are trying to achieve in life, rather than on their appearance. Another study stemming from color psychology, says that people who love black often have a desire to reclaim their power.

Johnny Cash said: “I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion – against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas.”

 

 

Alchemy

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A red-faced sun rises above a city; stunted trees stand in the foreground; representing either the culmination of the alchemical Great Work or the star of hope that inspires the alchemist through his tribulation.

 

Release any thought, behavior or idea that you’ve picked up on your journey, so you can uncover the pure gold of the spirit within you.

“THE FOUR ALCHEMICAL RULES.
1. Follow (your) Nature.
It is useless to seek for the sun by the light of a candle.
2. First know; then act.
Real knowledge exists in the triangle composed of seeing, feeling, and understanding.
3. Use no vulgar processes.
Use only one vessel, one fire, one instrument.
The door to success lies in the unity of will and purpose and the proper adaptation of the means to the end. There are many roads leading to the celestial center. He who follows the chosen path may succeed, while he who attempts to walk on many paths will be delayed.
4. Keep the fire constantly burning.
If the molten metals are allowed to cool off before they are transformed into higher ones, they will become hard again, and the whole process will have to be recommenced from the beginning. Use the inextinguishable lamp. Its light will not go out unless it is driven away by force.

THE FIVE THINGS NECESSARY TO OBSERVE IN THE PRACTICE OF ALCHEMY.
1. To recognize the true PRIMA MATERIA.
It is to be found everywhere; but if you do not find it in your own house, you will find it nowhere. It is a living substance that can be discovered only in places inhabited by man. It is the only substance from which the Philosopher’s Stone can be prepared, and without that substance no genuine silver or gold can be made. In thirty pounds of ordinary mercury, there is usually not more than one pound of the true substance; and a hundred pounds of ordinary sulphur usually contain not more than one pound of that which is useful. It can only be found above the earth, but not below it. It is before everybody’s eyes; no one can live without it; everybody uses it; the poor usually possess more of it than the rich; the ignorant esteem it highly, but the learned ones often throw it away. The children play with it in the street, and yet it is invisible. It can be perceived by the sense of feeling, but it cannot be seen with the material eye.
2. Use for the preparation of the PRIMA MATERIA only the rose-colored blood of the Red Lion and the pure white gluten of the Eagle.
Let your Will be strong, but without anger, and your Thoughts be pure from that which infects the lower strata of the earth’s atmosphere. Let the fire of the divine Will penetrate deeply within your soul, and elevate your mind to the highest regions of thought.
3. Obtain the sacred Fire.
It is not of man’s making; it cannot be bought, but it is given for nothing to those who deserve it.
4. Then follow Multiplication and Increase, for which purpose weight and measure are necessary. Weigh all things with the scales of justice, and measure them by the rule of reason.
5. The fifth is the Application, that is to say the Projection upon the metals.
This will be accomplished by nature without artificial aid.”

In the “Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom” by Franz Hartmann

Empowerment

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It’s (past) time to treat women with respect.

To believe them when they speak out.

To let them live their lives as they choose.

To let them make decisions regarding their own bodies.

To pay them as much as men are paid.

To consider them for positions of power.

To let them love whoever they choose to love.

It’s time to treat women with respect wherever the go.

The new feminism is here.

image: from the artist Karen Hallion.

Here’s her shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/khallion

Mountain of Truth

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Monte Verita, Ascona Switzerland

I came across the most amazing piece of history the other day: the free spirits of the art community at Monte Verita in 1915. These people created an open society of artists and philosophers; people that wanted to explore the potential of the human spirit.

What strikes me are the huge similarities between this story and our current society in 2018. These people that escaped to the mountains of Switzerland were rebelling against mass consumerism, war, intolerance, and celebrity culture. They created the first alternative community, assimilating all groups of people under the banner of pacifism and free thought. Many accomplished philosophers and radicals joined them – including Hermann Hesse.

This movement is one of the catalysts for the original hippie movement in 1967. It’s not about obliterating your mind with drugs, or trying to escape reality, it’s about creating a free, human, utopian society on earth. Article below.

There’s a movie about it that came out in 2014 called “FREAK OUT!” if you’re interested in learning more about it!

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Article:  “Monte Verità: “The place where our minds can reach up to the heavens…
In the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth, the Ticino republic became a gateway to the south, and favourite destination of a group of unconventional loners who found in the region, with its southern atmosphere, fertile ground in which to sow the seeds of the utopia they were unable to cultivate in the north.
The Ticino came to represent the antithesis of the urbanised, industrialized north, a sanctuary for all kinds of idealist. From 1900 onwards Mount Monescia above Ascona, Switzerand, became a pole of attraction for those seeking an “alternative” life. These reformers who sought a third way between the capitalist and communist blocks, eventually found a home in the region of the north Italian lakes.

The founders came from all directions :
Henry Oedenkoven from Antwerp
the pianist Ida Hofmann from Montenegro
the artist Gusto
and the ex-officer Karl Gräser from Transylvania.

United by a common ideal they settled on the “Mount of Truth” as they renamed Monte Monescia. Draped in loose flowing garments and long hair, they worked in the gardens and fields, built spartan timber cabins and found relaxation in dancing and naked bathing, exposing their bodies to light, air, sun and water. Their diet excluded all animal foods and was based entirely on plants, vegetables and fruit. They worshipped nature, preaching its purity and interpreting it symbolically as the ultimate work of art: “Parsifal’s meadow”, “The rock of Valkyrie” and the “Harrassprung” were symbolic names which with time were adopted even by the local population of Ascona who had initially regarded the community with suspicion.
Their social organization was based on cooperation, and through it they strove to achieve the emancipation of women, self-criticism, and new ways of cultivating mind and spirit with the unity of body and soul.

The intensity of the single ideals fused in this community were such that word of it soon spread across the whole of Europe and overseas. Gradually over the years the community itself became a sanatorium frequented by theosophists, reformers, anarchists, communists, social democrats, psyco-analysts; followed by literary personalities, writers, poets, artists and finally emigrants of both world wars: Raphael Friedeberg, Prince Peter Kropotkin, Erich Mühsam. They declared Ascona “the Republic of the Homeless”: Otto Gross who planned a “School for the liberation of humanity”, August Bebel, Karl Kautsky, Otto Braun, even perhaps Lenin and Trotzki, Hermann Hesse, Franziska Gräfin zu Reventlow, Else Lasker-Schüler, D.H Lawrence, Rudolf von Laban, Mary Wigman, Isadora Duncan, Hugo Ball, Hans Arp, Hans Richter, Marianne von Werefkin, Alexej von Jawlensky, Arthur Segal, El Lissitzky and many others.
After the departure of the founder for Brazil in 1920 there followed a brief bohemian period at the Monte Verità which lasted until the complex was purchased as a residence by the Baron von der Heydt, banker to the ex-Kaiser Willhelm II and one of the most important collectors of contemporary and non European art. The bohemian life continued in the village and in the Locarnese valleys from then on.

The Mount, now used as a Hotel and park, still maintains its almost magic power of attraction. Along with the proven magnetic anomalies of geological formations underlying Ascona, it is as if the mount preserves, hidden away out of sight, the sum of all the successful and unsuccessful attempts to breach the gap between the “I” and “we”, and the striving towards an ideal creative society, thus making the Monte Verità a special scenic and climatic micro-paradise.

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The Monte Verità is also however a well preserved testimony for the history of architecture. From Adam’s hut to the Bauhaus. The ideology of the first settlers demanded spartan chalet-like timber dwellings with plenty of light and air and few comforts. Shortly after 1900 the following buildings began to spring up: Casa Selma (now museum), […]1, Casa Andrea with its geometrical façade, the sunniest of the buildings (now converted), Casa Elena and the Casa del Tè – Tea House (now demolished) and the Casa dei Russi (hideout for Russian students after the 1905 revolution and now undergoing renovation). The Casa Centrale was built for the community and allowed for maximum natural light. Ying-Yang symbols were worked into windows and balconies. (In 1948 this building was demolished to make way for a restaurant and only the curving flight of steps remains).
Henry Oedenkoven built Casa Anatta as living quarters and reception rooms in the theosophist style with rounded corners everywhere, double timber walls, sliding doors, domed ceilings and huge windows with views of the landscape as supreme works of art, a large flat roof and sun-terrace.

Neptune stations

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This week begins with Neptune stationing (standing still) above our heads at 16 degrees Pisces, and slowly going retrograde (reversing) over the next week.

Neptune breaks up, diffuses and dissipates the place where it lands in your chart. It could also aspect one of your natal planets, dissolving the boundaries of that planet and house. If you are a Pisces, Gemini, Virgo or Sagittarius, you could be very effected by Neptune’s influence in the next few months.

With Neptune, you always have a choice. You can escape your fears by drinking or using drugs, OR you can ask for spiritual strength. I whole-heartedly encourage you to ask for the spiritual strength 🙂 The next few months offer a special time to do deep healing on yourself and your life.

Here’s a great article

from Ronnie Pontiac:  “This can indicate a spaced out but potentially dreamy quality for this week into next. Take care when you commute. For some this may be a time of exhaustion and confusion, if so stop, meditate, get some rest. Dreams may provide useful insights. Inspiration and imagination can be strong so if you’re a creative person make time to receive these gifts of perspective.
Tuesday Mercury trine Jupiter is exact however with Mercury opposition Saturn fading but still an influence this may not be as fun a time as Mercury trine Jupiter can indicate. At worst avoid over optimism, arrogance, over doing, over spending and especially overindulgence. With Neptune stationary the urge to intoxicate and other forms of escapism can be very strong. Use common sense. A good time for meditation with Neptune and Saturn so strong.
Wednesday Mercury trine Neptune one minute before 1 PM is another aspect of inspiration and imagination. Again, dreams can be insightful. Jupiter trine Neptune is still strong and with Neptune stationary the beginning of this week could be a time for profound spiritual insights. Study a spiritual path. Open yourself to mystical exploration. Enjoy some relaxing time by water.
Early Thursday morning just after 3 AM the Summer Solstice arrives as the sun enters Cancer. Can you believe it? 2018 is half over. Look back on the year so far. Are you accomplishing your goals? What would you like to accomplish over the next six months?
Also Thursday just before 10 AM Venus opposition Mars is exact. With Mars going stationary retrograde five days later the Mars side of this opposition will be emphasized. On the negative side it can indicate conflict between the genders and a generalized state of irritation. But on the positive side the tension can be romantic and sexual, and creative. A good time to complete, or turn the corner toward completion, for artistic projects. To get best results find balance between the pleasure seeking appreciation for harmony and beauty that is Venus and the forceful willpower and aggression of Mars.
Friday just before 11 PM sun sextile Uranus is exact indicated possible opportunities for greater freedom. The unexpected may give you a sense of liberation. Look to new tech, new perspectives and new communities for inspiration but be careful as Mercury opposes Pluto just a few hours later.
Very early Saturday morning Mercury opposition Pluto is exact. Expect more ugly secrets and more political power plays. Be careful of saying bitter or hateful things under the pressure of the moment. At worst this can be a time of suspicion, paranoia, and obsession. A time of irritation and arguments that can turn violent. Avoid power struggles and wasting energy on fruitless conflict. At best this can be a time to learn about healing, to communicate catharsis, to repair and reform and to discard where necessary. Pluto favors meditation.