Saturday, March 09, 2013

Henri Rousseau--Mars trine Neptune

[..] Rousseau is now best known for his jungle scenes, the first of which is Surprised! (Tropical Storm with a Tiger) (National Gallery, London, 1891) and the last The Dream (MOMA, New York, 1910).[..]

   The first thing I noticed about "Sleeping Gypsy" was that it didn't have quite the feel of a 'signature expression', meaning it has some measure of , what should I call it, jadedness (-"worn out or wearied, as by overwork or overuse".). Then noting that "Surprised!" was the first jungle painting, I was immediately reassured of another of my heuristics; the earliest, initiating, work does have more of the undiluted horoscopic expressionism, and less likely to be the result of some kind of self-imposed censorship.

   The closest natal aspect is Mars trine Neptune, and Mars has the most close aspects (orbs of one degree or less):,_Henri

   Having no idea the exact date of the painting's appearance, I used July 1, 1891 as the approximate date, thus just pointing at the middle of the given year.  Here is a natal chart showing the Sun's progressed position:

   A natal and transit projection shows the prominence of t-Uranus during the year of the the first jungle painting, "Surprised!" :

   Here then is the layered projection of the combined natal chart and painting:

   Here I have isolated a portion of his composition (encircled with a white dotted line) to show how Mars trine Neptune presents using a metaphor of active red leaves--a 50/50 blend of the characterists of each planet, at least as I have come to appreciate and or expect their respective appearances in drawings. When the painter is free of the need to project multiple objects of recognition, the planets 'energies' are much less diluted:

   Note the singular presence of a circular object, the 'eye' of the tiger; it of course even has a dot in it.  It is the token of the natal Sun's house position, relative to the area covered by one's visual perception field, or gaze. Because we apparently project our human habit of interpreting spacial relationships like this, as if we were unconsciously guided by the philosophical deconstruction of what we see, the visual positions of house positions is an emergent linguistic phenomenon. If we look at the last formal philosopher's work (/creative self-expression), Hegel's systematic idealism,  his dialectical tensions are easily mapped on to the Zodiac which does serves as something of a Rosetta Stone showing an overlap of visual and natural language (I have substituted Authority and Responsibility for his thematic Master and Slave dialectic). This because, this is apparently how we humans think or at least intuit the holistic system of mind/psyche:

  So, then, the "houses" are in us, so to speak, these generalizing abstracts exist for us to project when we do the intuitive process of perceiving the more image-less relations between idealized concepts--the incomprehensible mind magic of perceptual gestalt, the recognition of wholes as being something other than the mere sum of their parts--parts that we are free to seek out only as a matter of secondary experiences, our habit of post-impression analysis out of pure curiosity I guess.

   What I am endeavoring to show here, in general, is that we can observe persons expressing that which astrology calls a natal chart in their own personal innate dialect--the language of the unique self as it exists, immersed as it is, in its specific experiential social/cultural milieu. Rousseau's tiger is pointed, teeth and claws, at the visual equivalent of his natal Mars astrological house position--a graphic version of the Gauquelin "Mars Effect"....the difference being that in graphic arts we do not need a heavy emphasis on the Gauquelin sectors, we can see Mars as projected into any house position as need be to parallel the internal language of the psyche and its ineffable Self 'image'.

  Basically, the fluffy translucent looking tops of reeds we see at the left hand side of  Rousseau's "Surprised!" --at the visual place of the astrological Ascendantis "Neptune", (likewise all the leafy flowing material)  The tiger's eye is the natal Sun, and the all the movement of the storm's assertive invisible air directs our attention the general location of natal Mars.  "Surprise"  is then, by comparison to Rousseau's oeuvre, relatively much more the signature expression--an instance of horoscopic expressionism has taken place with enough explicitness that one could closely approximate the painter's specific birth time, if it were not already a given.  The trick, now, is to learn how we can recognize a signature expression, so that the objectivity presumed to be totally missing from astrology can be more empirically demonstrated, at least in part, as abstract language and visual metaphors signifying the individual psyche more in a fingerprint manner of demarcation, simply as an expression individuated identity, its relationship to time.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Revisiting Structuralism: its mediated existence

1.) A method of interpretation and analysis of aspects of human cognition, behavior, culture, and experience that focuses on relationships of contrast between elements in a conceptual system that reflect patterns underlying a superficial diversity
2.) The doctrine that structure is more important than function

Web definitions
__ linguistics defined as the analysis of formal structures in a text or discourse
__an anthropological theory that there are unobservable social structures that generate observable social phenomena
__ a sociological theory based on the premise that society comes before individuals
The Zodiac of Astrology simply reflects the idea of unobserved structure as it occurs in language, art, and philosophy; it did not invent hidden or "occult" structures.
___Though while young I may have been somewhat unaware of my own preferences for a more structured life, it is true that a more predictable or understandable one has come to be much more desirable than a more rebellion-inclined, happy-go-lucky, chaotic one. And, I kind of like my ideas to be more like me in that respect. I would rather brood a little on a regular basis and feel a little boxed in than to feel always left adrift and or all at sea. The reality we should then hope for, the one I actually want to live in, should be one of strong but adaptable forms, persistent but amenable, like the structure of language itself. So eventually it did come to my mind, as if in the case of a truth by way unwilling belief, that the above mentioned idea--that there indeed are "unobservable" structures tending to dictate how one thing, concept, or idea ,relates to another, actually does play an important part in my personal philosophy, my world view. Due to having no particular interest in extreme positions or absolutist's dogma, I see the pragmatic incorporation of structuralism and its mediation--the de-structuralising oppositional forces of intervening individualistic chaos--the presence of mold-breaking inventiveness in the world, as being both beneficial and essential to my imagining the state of reality the best I can. Faith, in this respect, is an unyielding belief that I too am entitled to a somewhat agreeably formed and dependable vision of a workable 'reality'.

What does the most general form of this structuring-of-everything look like? Say, if it were condensed to a circular graph composed of all the potentials for a harmonized plurality of life's expressions ?
__This is were all the fun begins. Having searched life experiences for a suitable circular graphing idea candidate, it is hard to miss that astrologers may have already attempted this organizational chart in the forming of the Zodiac concept. Though it is probably part revelation or inspiration, what if it is also 98% perspiration as well. What if the ancients were at least as intelligent as moderns? Could they have been at least as seriously working at philosophy and psychology, not merely dogmatic theology, with the same highest of intentions that most of us would so willing ascribe to the academic scholars of our own day? In contemplating the apparent relationships between major concepts of Western culture; how we are logocentric, meaning a word stands for a thing's existence, and how we tend to value reason with an appeal to a logic with its categorical forms, how we state what is included or excluded from a given word or statement. I here began with the plotting position of "Up" as being most authoritative and purpose-driven place of any such attempt at graphing our collective thinking habits or nature upon a circle:

__It wasn't too long after constructing this graphic, I began reading about the topic of Linguistics, and so encountered the works of one Steven Pinker. Lo and behold, he had already created a similar graph:

__Steven Pinker's graphic places his idea of purpose on top, "up," because the mind's unltimate goal, ala Pinker, is to converse--to emit speech form the mouth and detect it withe the use of the ears. But notice that "Semantics," our personal meaning, is likewise subject to the exact same motives that I cited in my graph, "Belief and Desires." I don't mind saying that seeing this did tickle me pink. I had used the traditional associations of the Zodiac Signs of Sagittarius (belief) and Scorpio (desire) to cite the same implicit structuring or coordination of motives. So, how does Steven Pinker's graph reconcile with my suggestion? Being that we came at this graphing task from two different purposes; mine more philosophical, his more biological and psychological, it turns our we are nearly upside-down mirror images in terms of the background of the unflinching pattern of the Zodiac. Note that because we ended up with a mirror image, Pinker's labels need to be reveresed to an awkward sounding "Desires and Belief" and "Ears and Mouth," in order to be technically correct Zodiac-ally. This reversing of terms phenomena we see here just stands to show that the Zodiac was traditonally conceived the way in which I show it, and that Pinker, himself totally unfamiliar with the Zodiacal frame's "unobserved" structuralism, nevertheless silently adheres in principal to basic notions of what-goes-with-what quite naturally!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Long-handled Spoons; an allegorical tale selected from the public domain for its Self-similar properties.
[ see the text of this fable at the bottom of this page ]

Sometimes we encounter a piece of creativity containing at least some metaphorical elements or components which almost immediately enchant us. We are struck with the impression that we are experiencing a rare specific kind of personal resonance. We identify with whatever it is, either on the whole, or in some very significant portion thereof. Somehow a serendipitously discovered phrase, image, quotation, or story strikes us as being very much like what we feel we in ourselves--something that we also feel we have to say. Going beyond the surface considerations of what the author or artist intends for us to understand about his representation, we may subconsciously attend to the very important manner of how things are said or depicted, perhaps therein lies our first recognition of some uncanny familiarity. The experience is one of a remarkable sameness existing between this symbolic expression, whatever the medium, and something unmistakably like me, rather than just being reminiscent someone we know, or merely akin to our general take on human nature.

This experience of something being suddenly self-similar is probably not a purely passive one, it seems to me that we actively project our personal meaning outward when we perceive a thing, perhaps as if just to see if something of ourselves sticks to it, so to speak. A kind of mirroring seems to take place at such moments and we catch a glimpse of our own subtle self as being strangely similar to something patterned in the words or images. Here before our heightening awareness a curious something seems as if crafted to be a tailor-made fit! Unlike merely clever or witty things, things we might envy for someone having beat us to the performance of it, we feel not left out but recognized in it and gratified by its being there. The appeal is not to our vanity, but to our center, our unique spirit. We feel not prideful, or in any way overly exuberant for having felt personally recognized in this way. The ego is not honored or celebrated, but distinctly feels a little bit more like a whole person, one with all its ineffable parts working harmoniously and in particularly good order.

When first I read this status update of a Facebook friend, this story of the Long-handled Spoons, I saw it as not particularly interesting or especially well done, however it was about the role of a symbolic object, a special large spoon endowed with only limited utility. This then piqued my interest--my admittedly somewhat eccentric personal perceptions of art and its use of symbols. Astrology, as redacted by me for my own purposes, has it that the astrological Moon is often represented by a spoon in literary metaphors. And, not because the words rhyme or that they appears in folksy songs including the word, June. It is because of our way of experiencing and classifying things in general; a thing as a particular shape, with its usual color, and its typical function in a social setting--its meaning. A spoon is very strongly connected to certain social expectations, this even though many cultures may never use them. What, I wondered, was the comparable role of a 'long-handled spoon' in the natal chart of the woman who chose to, at least in part, represent or project her own self metaphorically...was this a case of horoscopic expressionism on her part ? And, if the astrological Moon is ostensibly a literary "spoon," then what is the "long-handle," astrologically speaking? A handle long enough, we see in the reading to the fable, to have the ability to reach across a large round table. I sense the presence of an opposition aspect--the 180 degree angle of separation which reaches across the circle of the chart as a whole. So here the the Moon is probably opposite some planet which symbolizes the property of largeness. That would be Jupiter, traditionally also known as the "greater benific" planet. Now we have an empirical hypothesis--was this woman born with a prominent Moon opposite Jupiter? If you look at the chart illustration above, you will see that this assumption (or hypothesis) was indeed correct. After learning the correct birth date, I wondered if I could test astrology's House and Sign theories of associations by attempting another 'prediction' it possible that she was born with the natal Sun in the Twelfth House, the house most associated with limitations imposed upon the self ? Opposite the Twelfth House we find the Sixth House, which is traditionally considered to be associated strongly with the idea of service, employment, and particularly any tending to the sick or needy. Here then is the purpose of this symbol-crunching exercise: I wanted to test the possibility that this woman chose this self-similar seeming story because it was a special case of natal chart resonance. If she indeed did choose this story as a surrogate form of self presentation--a kind of unconsciously performed abstract self-portraiture, does it follow that is it then possible to 'predict' her unknown time of birth? Given only the correct birth date and the symbolic parallels we find by way of comparing these two different arts, both of which have human intuitions as their foundational source code, we apparently can find support for the folk psychology suspicion that we all curiously are "what we choose" in some respects.

Because we can see that the Moon is indeed opposite Jupiter, my first hypothesis is confirmed by learning the woman's correct birth date and erecting at natal chart for noon. Our second hypothesis--that the Sun is probably in the Twelfth House--we can quantify by stating the time frame of this 'predicted' Sun position. As a matter of astronomical calculation, the Sun could be could be in astrology's Twelfth House at any time between, say, 6:30 and 8:15 AM. I pragmatically chose 7:30 AM on the basis of the overall look of the chart, always paying attention to what house the other planets would be found at a given time. Upon seeking confirmation, I was informed that it could have been 6:30 or 7: 30 AM , that two memories of events featuring similar times of day were competing with one another. Feeling somewhat more resolute she stated that the strongest impression was that of 6:30 AM , but admitted a lack of certainty, and that it could have been one or the other specific time.

There are many synchronisitic details in this chart-v-story comparison, instances in which the planets in specific aspects, signs, and houses, exquisitely parallel the story's use of metaphoric analogy with parallel frames of relational structurings, corollaries which I find infinitely more interesting that the actual tale itself. These extraordinary examinations of this otherwise somewhat dreary tale, does give me a sense of the term spiritual insight, whatever that term may really mean. Though an astrologist's particular thematic apperceptions are probably a prerequisite for the nuanced details here, one can experience in these comparisons a wonderfully unique way to find the sacred residing securely in things most mundane. Apparently we have a way of finding god(s) in the details by way of this astrological semiosis. I think the natal chart of astrology is our artistically inspired creative search for a way to address the issue of human individual identity by way of a disciplined divination. Art, not Science, is where the founding principles lie; the comparisons between astrology and Art in general seem best to hold the keys to understanding the spirit of astrology's unparalleled gifts.

The Long-handled Spoons

A Holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.'
The Lord led the holy man to two doors.
He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in..
In the middle of the room was a large round table...
In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew,
Which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.
The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.

They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.
But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.
The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell. They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.

There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water.
The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.
The holy man said, 'I don't understand.
It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill.
You see, they have learned to feed each other.
The greedy think only of themselves.'
When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you.
Its estimated most won't forward this.
If you are one who will, forward this with the title.
I will always share my spoon with you.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Nicolas Camille Flammarion

(26 February 1842—3 June 1925)

An example of one whose natal chart is strongly 'influenced' by a very prominent Moon position:
( chart illustration from; text quoted from Wikipedia )

"What intelligent being, what being capable of responding emotionally to a beautiful sight, can look at the jagged, silvery lunar crescent trembling in the azure sky, even through the weakest of telescopes, and not be struck by it in an intensely pleasurable way, not feel cut off from everyday life here on earth and transported toward that first stop on the celestial journeys? What thoughtful soul could look at brilliant Jupiter with its four attendant satellites, or splendid Saturn encircled by its mysterious ring, or a double star glowing scarlet and sapphire in the infinity of night, and not be filled with a sense of wonder? Yes, indeed, if humankind — from humble farmers in the fields and toiling workers in the cities to teachers, people of independent means, those who have reached the pinnacle of fame or fortune, even the most frivolous of society women — if they knew what profound inner pleasure await those who gaze at the heavens, then France, nay, the whole of Europe, would be covered with telescopes instead of bayonets, thereby promoting universal happiness and peace." — Camille Flammarion, 1880

Flammarion was a French astronomer and author. He was a prolific author of more than fifty titles, including popular science works aboutastronomy, several notable early science fiction novels, and several works about Spiritism and related topics. He also published the magazine L'Astronomie, starting in 1882. He maintained a private observatory at Juvisy-sur-Orge, France.

In 1907 he wrote that he believed that dwellers on Mars had tried to communicate with the Earth in the past.[2] He also believed in 1907 that a seven tailed comet was heading toward Earth.[3] In 1910 for the appearance ofHalley's Comet, he believed the gas from the comet's tail "would impregnate [the Earth's] atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet."[4]

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Expressive Art of David Lynch

Some people are just more expressive than others, and David Lynch is one of those people for whom the phrase, "really out there," seems true in both senses of the word. He's both really weird and personally very present, perhaps more psycho-semantically on display in his artwork than most. We are probably justified in wondering, just how demonic is this man's muse?

As the astrology of art goes, the extremes of expression seemed tied to the extremes of astrological circumstances. The demon muse we suspect in Lynch's art is probably directly attributable to the fact that Mars is nearly exactly conjunct Saturn in his natal chart; their difference in celestial longitude is only 4 seconds of arc. That's a mere .001 degree difference! This Mar/Saturn conjunction is opposite both Sun and Venus(within the margin of a 180 degree aspect).

This piece; Wild At Heart Movie Poster, designed by Rich Kelly for a David Lynch art exhibition, is really odd in that it is not David Lynch's personal artwork, but evidently passed the test of his approval. This selection (or adoption) of images or other things for the purpose of representing the Self in an important way is equally important in the process of signaling the presence of one's individuality as identity. It is probably the most common way art is used by people to 'find themselves,' so to speak. Anyway Rich Kelly has done a masterful job of catching the natal chart pattern of 'david-lynch-ness'. Those of us who do not expressively produce art, and that may be most of us, tend to identify with some recognizable portions of the expressions of others, as if this process actually helps each of us to gather the notions of our selfhood when and where these become available in our social experiences.

More views of this art-v-chart comparison:

Mars is the astrological planet I see more prominently expressed by males, (where as, if I had to pick one, I say the Moon more often for females). Why this is true is not for me to say, its just true that I can seem to find the expression of Mars more easily than other planets, and males express it more often. Part of the reason is due to the fact that symbolic Mars is more closely associated with action. Its presence in depictions is usually found in the guise of red colors and pointed, if not also sharp, objects. These can be soft such flames tips or hard like knives, spears, ect.. My rule of thumb states that a significant pointy thing points to natal Mars' natal chart position as we find it in a chart erected for the correct birth time, date, and location.

The natal chart pattern can be readily found in many of Lynch's works:

This one has a degree of simplicity and it works well for a visual aid here even though it is a photo of a sculpture. Note here that the conjunction of Mars and Saturn are reduce to their brute existence--confined to the mere admixture of a black object (Saturn) attached to a red pointed object (Mars), and Jupiter is expressed in the form of a rectangular structure (Jupiter is often found in the form of a box or rectangular container of sorts).

"Light Fire Boy": (Note Jupiter is here another form of rectangular container)

"Eat My Fear" ( projecting red organ points to Mars)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Visual Frame of Reference for Astrological Houses:

House 12 versus House 1

Advertising images are created to be psychologically effective. This studied art of touching just the right human nerves also shows us that there is little or no separation in the unconscious mind concerning the art of horoscope graphic projection and the more common experience of visual metaphors upon which these graphics of ad-men apparently rely. From the Wikipedia article describing astrological House 'meanings' we find the parallel ideas, the shared poetry, of these two often unappreciated-ly similar graphic projections of symbolized human expectations of 'reality'.

House 1:
"House of Self -- Physical appearance, traits and characteristics. First impressions. General outlook into the world. Ego. Beginnings and initiatives.

House of Self-Undoing-- Mysticism. Places of seclusion such as hospitals, prisons and institutions, including self-imposed imprisonments. Things which are not apparent to self, yet clearly seen by others. Elusive, clandestine, secretive or unbeknownst matters. Retreat, reflection and self-sacrifice. Unconscious/subconscious. Unknown enemies."

Why humor 'works' is because it relies on something acceptedly true but as yet not clearly revealed. The "self-undoing" of our poor file clerk is foreshadowed first by simply positioning his paperwork project in the visual space which astrology calls House 12.

The graphics used in advertising are not confined to merely Freudian-styled seductions appealing to the sexual libido, as was popularly discussed at length perhaps in the 1960's. When we want to tap the intellect of the ad consumer , the observer of the graphic metaphor, we need to stimulate the naturally occurring relationships between visual information and language proper--need to bridge the pre-consciously construed and manipulated language productions which emerge as conscious awareness, impressions and thoughts, with our intended spin on "truth" relations...what-goes-with-what-and-why. Our most common notions of how everything is related to everything else probably remains a silent sort of half-unconscious 'knowing'.

The image of the ream of paper being drafted down the wind tunnel is the perfect visual parallel for the meaning of astrology's House 12--of "self-undoing".

Likewise the House 1 theme of self projection and the ardent pioneering of egoistic goals is visually projected by the Ducati rider and his orientation to this scene. Man, bike, and slip stream all working together to hammer away on the the 'meaning' of astrology's House 1.

The more general psychological/linguistic connection of Motion versus Speech , or more correctly the inseparable intellectual experience(s) of Transportation and Communication, is also here very well illustrated. The limitations of foreign language confinements are of course going to be overcome by Xerox, and, as well, any time or distance constraints. Thus the subliminal message here is 'astrological' in spirit--the human unconscious experience of what astrology calls Houses. Unlike an attempt to make the viewer feel thirsty, hungry, or sexually aroused, the creator of this ad wants you to feel the self-confining and almost suicidal nature of your present copying and publishing practices versus the speed and freedom of a Ducati rider. And he does it very well, where I'm concerned...I cannot watch those papers flying without suffering needlessly... ;)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Astro-twins? Patty Hearst and "Armature" --a graphic novel character

For those unfamiliar with Patty Hearst:

"[..] On February 4, 1974, Hearst, the nineteen-year-old daughter of Randolph A. Hearst and Catherine C. Hearst, of the Hearst newspaper chain, was kidnapped by a tiny group of political extremists who called themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). They locked Hearst in a closet for many weeks, where she was taunted, sexually assaulted, and raped repeatedly. The SLA held her for an unusual form of ransom: they demanded that the Hearst family distribute millions of dollars of food to poor and needy people of the San Francisco Bay area. Although the Hearsts complied with this and other SLA demands, the young woman did not return to her parents. Instead, she sent them a tape recording in which she announced that she had decided to become a revolutionary, join the SLA, and go underground. [..]

Patty Hearst's Stockholm syndrome episode is uncannily like the life experience of "Armature," the latter being a totally fictional character and the creation the graphic novelist, Steve Oliff. Patty Hearst also became a, "A chaotic neutral amnesiac, a cross between a doomed kid and an alien."
I only found these existing similarities by making a little experiment, by searching for any artist who may have been born on the same date as Patty Hearst. I was testing out my premise that there are what I call parallel expressions of the "influences" of a given day, and these are manifested in the way persons express themselves 'artistically'. These related expressions can be found in different people, or more often from the same person at different times, are like variations on a theme in music, or in the arts in general.

If there is any truth to the premise of astrology, how come people born on the same day are obviously not the same ?

Well, the answer is really another question--what does the same really mean ?

The better question might be, how much are they alike, and why any likeness at all? Why is it that Patty Hearst 'real life' fictional character, "Tanya," was created in such a way as to be mentally or emotionally similar to Steve Oliff's , Armature--the first character he ever created and wrote for on his own.

I was stunned when I read the description of Armature. I mean, what are the odds that I could intentionally seek out a person born on Patty Hearst's birth date, and get such an eloquently relevant introduction?

The second part of this experiment was to see if I could use Steve's art work to make an educated guess as to what time of day he was born. The following illustration shows how we can use one of his promotional drawings from to identify his birth time.

illustration comparing drawing to birth chart:

Mars, the astrological planet symbol, has its expressed parallel in drawings as a "pointy thing," in male drawings. Birth charts are of course drawings too, of a sort, and I find that artistic (expressive) drawings show the same inspiration, the same something-or-other in the human psyche which finds its way in to language and graphic arts. This character, Stiletto, has such a big sword that it covers quite a bit of angle. At four minutes of time for each degree of the Zodiac, I could only come close to the exact birth time. I did not realize that if we split the sword in this picture (above) we do get nearly the exact Zodiacal degree said to be ascending at the actual time of birth. So, it was a successful anecdotal "experiment", which of course pleases me to no end... : )