Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Why Aren't We There Yet?

Some ten years ago on this blog I mentioned a book titled "The Night Sky" (The Science and Anthropology of the Stars and Planets) by Richard Grossinger, Doctor of Anthropology. The book was originally published in 1981.

Chapter 22 touches upon astrology. It was a relief to realise that, although Dr. Grossinger doesn't exactly "endorse" astrology, he doesn't try to discredit it either. He puts it into context. He has such a pretty turn of phrase too! Look:
"Astrology is patient and long-standing. It tries to coordinate large dynamic blocks of time, space, and personality. It is an attempt to say the impossible, a system for measuring the immeasurable. If it fails, it fails in the biggest task of all: to define the simultaneity of life, thought, creation, and space time. It is better to attempt such a measurement than to pretend it could have no relevance at all."
After explaining the two zodiacs, sidereal and tropical (or, in his terms Constellation Astrology and Zodiac Astrology) he writes:
"The zodiac stays within Earth history and tries to hold onto its meanings, but the sky rushes ahead into new time. Eventually, though, the Earth "adjusts" to its actual place in the heavens, and the two astrologies pull together. The continuous pattern of pulling away and pulling together produces a moire pattern of effects, so that the truth of any situation lies somewhere between the two, depending on how true a given culture or era of history is to its absolute meaning in an objective perspective in the stars."
Dr. Grossinger's final words on astrology:
"Astrology is our rune on the hollow surface of infinity, or we are the shadow play of astrology upon the dream of cosmic night".

In the penultimate chapter of "The Night Sky", Dr.Grossinger 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's also talking about early Baby Boomers. He writes about growing up with the legacy of World War 2:the atom bomb. Being a War Baby myself I understand where he was 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...

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, still, ten more years later, if it is yet time for a new star-cult, more appropriate to this ever more digital age? Nuclear weapons still threaten, the environment is in even graver danger, now.

Annual music festivals survive, Glastonbury festival in the UK is still going strong. The Bonnaroo in Tennessee, Woodstock and others - merely left overs from that old star-cult Dr. Grossinger wrote about. Aren't we ready yet for something new - something slightly different and more appropriate to 2018?

I like to think that it was Neptune's reign in Scorpio, from the mid-1950s on, that kick-started the star-cult Dr. Grossinger recalled. Neptune's stay in Airy Aquarius was perhaps a tad too intellectual to spawn its own star-cult. In 2013 Neptune entered its own domain of Watery dreamy Pisces. That's when I'd have expected a new version of star-cult to burst upon the scene, different in many ways from the old one, but retaining some common factors. I haven't yet been able to identify it! Neptune is around halfway through Pisces.
Why aren't we there yet?


R J Adams said...

I think perhaps the star cult of the fifties was nothing more than a very romantic time musically when songs were about love and desire, but had'nt evolved into the raunchier more direct lyrics that came later. In the sixties I think the music and the ethos of the period had more to do with the drug scene than the stars, though the space race was probably another factor. Richard Grossinger certainly had a fine style of writing.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Well, yes, LSD and various other substances fed in to it all for sure, possibly even began it and sustained it.

Yes, Dr Grossinger draws one in - I'm willing to believe whatever he tells me. :-)