Monday, March 03, 2014

Music Monday ~ We Need Star-Cult Part 2!

In the penultimate chapter of "The Night Sky" - The Science and Anthropology of the Stars and Planets by Dr. Richard Grossinger, the author wanders into the realm of pop culture, the chapter's title: The Pop Star Cult of the Fifties and Sixties. What he describes was also the start of a culture of youth which, before that point in history hadn't existed. He writes about growing up with the legacy of World War 2 and the atom bomb. Being a War Baby myself I understand where he's coming from. He describes the development of what he calls a star-cult.

Some excerpts:
"The sirens warned us of another holocaust for which the atom bomb was the emblem. For all the times they accidentally went off, we still survived into the sixties..........................the nuclear war we seemed to have evaded, against the odds, was happening to us anyway, as radiation leaked into the rivers and the air, and Joan Baez sang "What have they done to the rain?"

This was the dark Plutonian half of the era, when a star cult began...... ......There was a star-cult because we needed a star-cult, and a star- cult alone would do. We were born into a tremendous heat and a prophecy. We knew that we were going to be something different because the world had become absurd. The passion we felt went beyond anything we could feel the passion for, so we transformed each other into angels and messengers, and we listened to the inter-stellar debris.........................

When the heavens cried out for their "stars above" and tens of thousands of jukeboxes and radios wailed variants of the word "love", didn't we understand that our whole civilization was praying for the return of the gods, the return of those powers within us that had brought us into being?

Yes, it is love which brings us here and love which gives us life.

Yes, we stand, every man and every woman, within the stars. Who else has survived the incredible galactic and atomic violence to be here for a day of song?

Bobby Darin called his "Dream Lover" from a faraway world; a zodiac figure, like Paul Anka's Venus...Frankie Laine "gambled for love in the moonlight", Elvis went to Heartbreak Hotel, as remote as the house of Cepheus. There he dreamed of "a warmer sun" in a world long past his own brief life. The melodies and the dances were otherworldly and exotic......

The baseball cards changed to tarot cards, and they fell like meteors across an older sky. "Do you believe in magic?" the Lovin' Spoonful asked at a cusp of changing times. The Beatles visited India, and they returned with a cosmic instrument. Jimi Hendrix arrived with his songs of the outer Solar System.....other visionaries flocked to the deserts to watch the ancient ceremonies of the Native Americans...........So the new tribes gathered at Woodstock. It was no costume party. The stars were coming to claim their own, as they had with the Sufis and Cherokees for millennia. If the magic was in the music, the music was in us.

When the astral prophecy of the sixties made it to Broadway with the nude dancers of Hair, the message to the stars could not have been clearer: "You twinkle above us, we twinkle below" and in 1980, in a movie called Fame, thirty years after the beginning of the cult, the chorus sang "Someday we'll all be stars". The magicians and astral priests promised likewise...........By the late sixties the star music had disintegrated into acid rock, atomic residue, and things were to get crazier....."
I wonder, was it Neptune's transit through in Scorpio, from the mid-1950s on, that kick-started the star-cult Dr.Grossinger describes? Since that time Neptune has traversed Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius, during those times descendants of the original star-cultists have carried on the tradition in broadly the same way. Now, Neptune is transiting the first Water sign since Scorpio: dreamy Pisces. This transit could bring a far more fertile decade music-wise.

Will some new version of star-cult emerge? One fact that could play into it, loosening up the creaky, cranky muscles of the music scene and bringing in some sweeter, gentler dreaminess: legalisation of marijuana in some states. Colorado has done it, with maybe other states following, in time. Nuclear weapons still threaten, the environment is in even greater, darker danger now. I say we do need another star-cult - star-cult part 2!


mike said...

1952 to 1957 brought a new musical sound and introduced the beginning of rock-and-roll...this coincides with Uranus in Cancer squaring Neptune in Libra those same years. The mid-60s created a multitude of new music, which coincides with the conjunction of Uranus-Pluto in Virgo, both sextile Neptune in Scorpio. The disco style started in 1972 with Pluto's entry to Libra.

Interesting to note that reality TV programming began in the late 70s and early 80s, which when the three planets were equally spaced...Pluto in Libra, Uranus in Scorpio, and Neptune in Sagittarius, all in the last decants. Music wasn't as radical and became softer, with many motion picture themes playing.

The 1990s brought lots of pop, hip hop, rap, urban, and fusion music. These were the Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunct in Capricorn years.

We are currently in Uranus sq Pluto, so music is probably swerving now. The next Uranus square Neptune will perhaps bring a major shift.

Twilight said...

mike ~ It's not easy to differentiate between mundane astrological "atmosphere" of the times in question, and the natal generational astrological similarities of the young generations driving the music scenes is it though? It's that time lag thing, about how a generation with similar outer planet placements reacts to the mundane astro-atmosphere they find around late teens and twenties.

We can see results and shifts, in hindsight, kind of. Nowadays, too, there's the strong element (stronger than ever before) of media pushing certain trends and burying certain others - reasons: which will bring in more $$$$$$$$$

The kids born in the late 1990s when Neptune moved into Aquarius and Uranus was already there are likely to be the ones to bring a shift. Those born 1998 are 16-ish now, maybe in the next 5 years or a little more we'll see results. Uranus will be moving into Taurus then, ruled by Venus (music). Long time to wait!

mike (again) said...

Give and take on this one, Twilight! I believe that the mid-1960s Uranus-Pluto conjunction was a "changer". The music reflected those times, too. There were various radical groups: black, hippie, gay, Vietnam war protests. I doubt that Joan Baez, Edwinn Starr, Credence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, et al would have been popular without the Vietnam backdrop of the times.

I agree that there is a distinctive generational effect...most of the older folks of the 1960s were either appalled or simply not in tune with the music of the youth.

Anonymous said...

Twilight, Venus was recorded by Frankie Avalon, not Paul Anka. I know because Frankie was my favorite in my early teens, we both came from Philadelphia and his aunt worked with my grandmother. When her daughter got married,granny took me to the wedding so that I could meet cousin Frankie, he even sang and played the trumpet. What innocent days!

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Hard to say really, I think it's a matter of the blend of the generational astro with the mundane astro of the times. Sometimes they blend sometimes the two are seriously incompatible, and not much happens that is lastingly memorable. Older generations will always be out of step with the next generation (sometimes 2) backward I guess.

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~ Youre' right - Frankie Avalon diod have the hit with the song - it was written by Ed Marshall and Peter DeAngelis according to Wiki, though one site has Paul Anka as writer.

I wonder if Richard Grossinger (from whose book I quoted)was mixing Paul anka's "Diana" song with "Venus" - easy to do!