Friday, July 29, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Vali Myers

It's good to find an artist who is likely to have a very distinctive astro-signature, to discover whether that, in fact, is the case. This lady could fit that description:

Vali Myers, an Australian visionary artist, dancer, bohemian and muse of the 1950s and 60s in Europe and the USA.

Born: 2 August 1930, Canterbury, Sydney, Australia. Died: 12 February 2003 (age 72).
A website dedicated to this lady is HERE, and contains biographical material, with examples of her paintings.

From that website:

Vali Myers was a unique spirit born out of time. She lived her extraordinary life like a bright flame, cutting her own unique path and living on her own terms: a tightrope walker - one foot in this world and one in a dreamworld that we can only glimpse in her profound artwork.

Artist, dancer, shamaness, muse and powerful creatrix, Vali left a body of work which started with her early drawings in the cafes of Paris in 1950 and spanned till her death in 2003.

"Let it all be animal, my life and death, hard and clean like that, anything but human... a lot I care, me with my red heart in the dark earth and my tattooed feet following the animal ways."

(Diary entry: 1963)

From the blurb at Amazon about Vali Myers: A Memoir by Gianni Menichetti :

The Australian artist, Vali Meyers, was a legend in her own time. Premiere danseuse of the Melbourne Modern Ballet at seventeen, she left home and spent ten years in Paris, living much of the time on the streets but never ceasing to draw. Ed van der Elskin famously put her on the cover of his Love on the Left Bank, that manifesto of Paris in the 1950's and her work was praised by George Plimpton in his Paris Review. Then, saying good-bye to all that, she spent forty years in semi-seclusion in a wild canyon in Italy, where she continued producing her minute, mystical, and passionate drawings. Tough as nails, she fought the local authorities who wanted to introduce loggers into the valley, after a long struggle succeeding in having it designated an Environmental Oasis. Finally, Vali returned triumphant to her native Melbourne, where she was recognized as an artist sui generis. In this brilliant memoir by her friend and lover, Gianni Menichetti, her art, times, and personality come through unforgettably.

There's a post about this artist at a blog called Roses and Vellum. The blogger has read the Vali Myers' biography mentioned above. Mention of the artist's positive and negative characteristics there could highlight other parts of the natal chart shown below.

A taste of her style - more at Google Image or the website linked above.

 The Golden Toad

ASTROLOGY (briefly):

Born in Canterbury, Sydney, Australia on 2 August 1930. Time unknown, chart set for noon.

Her natal chart, it turns out, is not as dramatically representative of her as I'd hoped it might be. I'd suspected Sun conjunct Uranus, or some prominent Aquarius planets. What she had was Leo Sun trining Uranus in Aries. Uranus could have been in a strong area of the chart, close to an angle, but that's not possible to establish without time of birth. Aquarius might have been rising, I guess.

Moon's position cannot be pin-pointed without time of birth but would have been somewhere in Scorpio. If within orb of sextile to Venus (planet of the arts), a Yod with Uranus at its apex would emerge, throwing more emphasis on planet of the unexpected and of eccentricity.

Perhaps the conjunction of creative, dreamy Neptune and Mercury, planet of communication (though in adjoining signs) is more representative of this lady's art style and bohemian lifestyle.

The Saturn-Jupiter opposition, a push-pull between planet of seriousness and restriction and planet of joviality and excess, might reflect the balance in some of Myers' more negative characteristics, as described in the post at Roses and Vellum.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Zodiac Sign Leo Considered

 Leo by Erté,

In his book, Astrology published 1964, Louis MacNeice, not an astrologer, but a poet and scholar, gathered together much of interest from a variety of sources, ancient and modern. On zodiac sign Leo, through which the Sun now travels, he wrote the paragraphs below, quoting from a variety of professional astrologers. This extract was not copied and pasted from elsewhere, but copy-typed by my own fair fingers; the Mussolini illustration comes from the book; additional illustrations were added by me.

Leo the Lion
July 23 to Aug 23.
A fixed and fiery sign. With Leo, Ingrid Lind begins by picking on the apparent paradox "or the thought of fixed fire ". The answer, she says, lies in "molten gold", but she could also perhaps have used her cookery ingredients analogy. She goes on to contrast Leo with the first Fiery sign, Aries, who is anything but fixed. Aries is impulsive and restless; Leo, like the Sun, stays put on his throne. People born with Leo rising include Bismarck, Garibaldi, Huey Long and Picasso. Among those who had Leo as their Sun-sign were Lorenzo de Medici, Louis XIV ("le Roi Soleil"), Napoleon and Rubens.

Caption under photograph: Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) was born with Sun in Leo. The planet and the sign have similar astrological character; when combined (as in Mussolini's horoscope) they are said to lead to aggressive ambition and power seeking.
This, then, is obviously an extravert sign; it has produced far more than its share of presidents both in the U.S.A. and in France. As to the physical characteristics of Leo men, Pearce attributes to them "a large, fair stature, broad shoulders; prominent and large eyes; hair generally light and often yellowish; oval, ruddy countenance; of a high, resolute, haughty, and ambitious temper." Varley, less flatteringly describes Leo physiognomy as "most resembling a lion, especially in the nose and retreating chin; such as the profile of King George III." Barbault distinguishes two physical types of Leo - the Herculean and the Apollonian - but they are both athletic and fine figures of men. As for Leo ladies, Barbault notes that they go in for la grande toilette [translation: the full dress. Perhaps indicating a flashy dresser?]

 Leo,  from drawings by Ronald Searle
The Sun in Leo is at his greatest strength, and it is this strength that is the essence of this sign - the strength of a fire that has now been brought under control and is harnessed to useful ends. Morrish (in his psycho-evolutionary scheme) brackets Leo with Cancer as the "fundamental positive and negative polarities underlying everything." Barbault contrasts Leo with Cancer: In Cancer the umbilical cord has not yet been cut; it is Leo who breaks out into independence.

But though independent and very full of himself, the Leo man is far from anti-social: "His ego disappears in his vocation" and he is a great worker. However passionate and ambitious he may be (with him "vouloir c'est déjà pouvoir" [translation: not sure - ? to want something and it's already done - maybe our equivalent would be "no sooner said than done".]) Barbault says, his ruler the Sun acts as a sort of internal gendarme. Not that he always obeys this gendarme. As with any other sign, the types can go wrong. One should specially beware of Saturn in Leo, a sign in which he is "in exile": This can produce people like 'Cesare Borgia.

There seems no need to stress the animal symbolism of Leo - the king of beasts etc. His 30 degrees of the Zodiac are filled with roaring. But when we step over the border between this sign and the next we perhaps hear a typewriter, or a vacuum cleaner, a secretarial voice reading the minutes, a whispered aside of criticism. We have entered territory where everything must be "just so" - floors must be swept, files must be kept, i's must be dotted and t's crossed, beds (in all senses) must be properly made.

Astrologers mentioned:
André Barbault
A.J. Pearce
John Varley
Morrish (L. Furze-Morrish?)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


The establishment Democrats' wish is that once again, all must fall in line. Bernie promised from the start that he would support the eventual nominee, and is doing so, much to the chagrin of some, though not all, of his supporters. After the roll call late yesterday afternoon, most of which I watched online, he conceded the nomination to Secretary Clinton. This is the end of the road for me regarding interest in the campaign. Establishment Democrats are not my cup o' tea, never have been, never will be. I can't wait to regain registration as Independent after 1 September.

Extract from a comment at naked capitalism yesterday, from "JM"
(July 26, 2016 at 11:09 am)

..... As much as I would have loved to see him [Bernie Sanders] stand up there and blast Clinton and Clintoinian politics, that would have been the wrong thing to do. I saw his speech [Monday night] as attempting to tie Clinton to his agenda. The “Hillary knows” phrasing is as much a threat as it is a demonstrative statement of fact. The fact of the matter is that he lost the rigged primary. In the eyes of Clinton’s supporters, he has shown now to be magnanimous in defeat while still working to get some “paper” accomplishments (the platform, etc.).

One can interpret it as him selling out or him compromising his “principles” but I see it as him taking small but strategic steps to win over the other half of the Democratic party. Look, a lot of democratic party members are uneasy with Sanders. And I get it. The language he uses is very forward for the credentialed class and they are not used to it. As much as the credentialed class is lambasted here (and rightfully so), I have many friends in that group and they are not horrible people. They work hard, within a system they will readily admit is unfair and rigged, but they are on the conservative end of the democratic party. For these people, it is not enough to point out the system is rigged. That much is obvious. Had Bernie had more time, I think he could have convinced more of the credentialed class but he ran out of time.

By continuing to organize Bernie has a shot at winning these people over to his side. By verbally demonizing Clinton in a primetime address, his chances of bringing them over to his side would have decreased substantially. So my guess is Bernie is holding out for Clinton to lose (though he would never admit it) and then go aggressive to further capture the national party apparatus. Will it work? Who knows. Though it is incontrovertible that Nader did not cost Gore the election, Bernie must at all costs avoid having that label hung around his neck. Given the low information voters that follow Clinton, that is a tremendous risk he should not be willing to take.

Of course, the establishment media will likely try to pin a loss on him anyway but with that primetime address I don’t think people will buy it. Before Bernie’s speech, Jane Sanders was on NBC countering the nonsense that Bernie must deliver his followers. The NBC people sounded ridiculous to Jane’s straightforward explanation that they cannot force their supporters to do anything. If Trump wins the election and Bernie is seen as not doing anything major to subvert Clinton’s run, my sense is people will come around and the progressive wing of the party will be emboldened. As it is now that outcome is looking more and more likely and I think that is the best possible outcome given the circumstances.

"hreik" responded with: Good comment. Nuanced and imho correct. However, I think the fix is already in with the voting machines. [Presumably in the November election]

I agree with "JM". Bernie has needed to make the best of a bad lot. He'll be a continuing asset in the Senate, until retirement. He should go down in history as the man who, in 2016, tried very hard to turn things around but, in the end, was steam-rolled by the establishment.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Driving by Charles Bukowski, poet.

A poet new to me: Charles Bukowski. He had Sun in Leo His natal chart is at astro-databank HERE. Wow! Look at all those aspects zooming in on Uranus, planet of the unexpected, and the rebel.

A 2004 article by William Booth in the Washington Post, Charles Bukowski, Bard of Booze
A Filmmaker Toasts the L.A. Writer Who Poured Over His Work
begins like this:
LOS ANGELES -- One of his old haunts still stands, a cement hangover in the smoggy sunshine, the courtyard apartment with dead plants on De Longpre Avenue in East Hollywood where Charles Bukowski lived and wrote and drank and wrote some more. He was literature's most prolific boozer.

The self-styled "dirty old man," besotted and beatific, lived his life in Los Angeles, the poet laureate of sour alleys and dark bars, of racetracks and long shots. "LA was the end of a dead culture crawled west to get away from itself," he once wrote. "LA knew it was rotten and laughed at it."

Bukowski wrote about men and women as beaten down as a crunched beer can, about endurance, rage, longing, sex and, mostly, about himself. He was a bestseller in Brazil; his poetry is taught to high school students in France; in the United States, in his day, he was a symbol of rebellion, but is probably best known for the 1987 film "Barfly," where he was portrayed by Mickey Rourke (alongside Faye Dunaway), the screenplay written by Bukowski himself for a movie he didn't really like very much.

Today, Bukowski remains a cult favorite, though the critics aren't exactly sure whether to consider him a modern Walt Whitman or a minor misogynistic poet in the post-Beat tradition.....

Two of Charles Bukowski's poems, plus a few more of his words:

The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don't let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Beasts Bounding Through Time
by Charles Bukowski

Van Gogh writing his brother for paints
Hemingway testing his shotgun
Celine going broke as a doctor of medicine
the impossibility of being human
Villon expelled from Paris for being a thief
Faulkner drunk in the gutters of his town
the impossibility of being human
Burroughs killing his wife with a gun
Mailer stabbing his
the impossibility of being human
Maupassant going mad in a rowboat
Dostoyevsky lined up against a wall to be shot
Crane off the back of a boat into the propeller
the impossibility
Sylvia with her head in the oven like a baked potato
Harry Crosby leaping into that Black Sun
Lorca murdered in the road by Spanish troops
the impossibility
Artaud sitting on a madhouse bench
Chatterton drinking rat poison
Shakespeare a plagiarist
Beethoven with a horn stuck into his head against deafness
the impossibility the impossibility
Nietzsche gone totally mad
the impossibility of being human
all too human
this breathing
in and out
out and in
these punks
these cowards
these champions
these mad dogs of glory
moving this little bit of light toward us

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”

“For each Joan of Arc there is a Hitler perched at the other end of the teeter-totter.”
― Charles Bukowski, Factotum

“We are
Born like this
Into this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes”

Monday, July 25, 2016

Music Monday ~ Kumbaya (or not!)

Happy birthday to Bruce Woodley !
Bruce William Woodley (born 25 July 1942 in Melbourne), Australian singer-songwriter and musician. He was a founding member of the successful 1960s pop-folk group The Seekers.

Then and now images: Bruce Woodley is on the right in the first pic and on the left in the second. Other original group members: Judith Durham, Athol Guy and Keith Potger.

The Seekers' songs were mainly sweet and gentle: The Carnival is Over and A World of Our Own spring to mind first. The group also recorded Kumbaya, my Lord - a little information on that, of which I wasn't previously aware - ain't Google great?

"Kumbaya, my Lord" was first recorded by an out-of-work English professor, Robert Winslow Gordon, in 1927. Gordon went on a search for black spirituals and recorded a song "Come by Here, My Lord", sung by H. Wylie. The song was sung in Gullah on the islands of South Carolina between Charleston and Beaufort. Gullah is the creole language featured in the Uncle Remus series of Joel Chandler Harris and the Walt Disney production of Song of the South. "Come by here, my Lord" in Gullah is "Kum by (h)yuh, my lawd" (see our Gullah dictionary).

American missionaries took the song to Angola after its publication in the 1930s, where its origins were forgotten. In the late 1950s the song was rediscovered in Angola and returned to North American where it swept the campfire circuit as a beautiful and mysterious religious lyric. That is why the song is associated with Angola in many current printed versions.

In the US, however, the song was associated with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other campers sitting around a campfire in perfect harmony. The picture of a warm, cozy community without conflict associated itself with the song and especially that foreign-sounding word in its title, kumbaya. Since the word had no actual meaning in English, cynics eventually converted this harmless connotation into the actual English definition of the word. That definition now seems to be "naive, unrealistic optimism" to many of us.

"Naive, unrealistic optimism"? At this point in the 2016 election season my own naive unrealistic optimism has taken a hike, I can barely see its backpack disappearing over the far horizon - and nary a wave farewell!

This song is striking a rather unrealistic note, as things are right now - but it's a pleasant enough tune:

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday and Sundries

Occasional commenter "JD" in the UK sent me, as a "wonderful antidote to the general madness all around us", a link to a story about one Justo Gallego (right). He is building a Cathedral in Mejorada del Campo near Madrid.

The Madman & The Cathedral
Also a video. More are available at YouTube.

I noticed, in glancing down Wikipedia's list of people, events, holidays and observances for 24 July a note that the date marks the feast day of Christina the Astonishing (c.1150 – 24 July 1224). Curious to know about this lady's ability to astonish, I read further. Christina
first astonished those gathered at her funeral by waking up and reportedly floating to the rafters. From then on her life seems to have consisted of a long line of astonishments - Wikipedia has details; for a lighter read see Ship of Fools, HERE.

I do wonder about husband's photo, snapped in an antique store somewhere on our travels. Did the store owner deliberately set that clock to quarter to 3? It's quarter to three there's no one in the place except you and me....

Okay, that's enough

Not sure whether I've seen one of these on our travels - maybe not, or I'd surely remember it!
Rescuing America's roadside giantsBy Jasmine Taylor-Coleman.
Anyone making a road trip across America will sooner or later run across a giant statue - a cowboy, an American Indian chief or a lumberjack, perhaps...........

On Summer

“I believe someone made a grievous mistake when summer was created; no novitiate or god in their right mind would make a season akin to hell on purpose. Someone should be fired.” ― Michelle Franklin

When I think of Hillary Clinton (I do try not to) I also think of Eva Perón, and The show Evita. Yeah - I know there are massive differences, but.... For me the ultimate definitive version of the show's music and lyrics is the original concept album, recorded long before any stage show or movie had appeared. Below, from the original concept album singing "High Flying Adored": Julie Covington as Eva and CT Wilkinson as Che - accompanied by some nice high flying photography.

Twitter had an amusing theme one day this week:
#Upper-class Beatles. A few of my favourite entries, with, for any Beatles-challenged readers, translation to the originals:

I want to own your land  (I want to hold your hand)

Lovely Rita, meet the maid  (Lovely Rita meter-maid)

Why don't we do it in the Rolls?  (Why don't we do it in the road?)

Hey, you gotta hide your Chardonnay  (Hey, you gotta hide your love away)

Heir comes the son  (Here comes the sun)

While my gardener gently sweeps  (While my guitar gently weeps)

Lucy in Dubai buying diamonds (Lucy in the sky with diamonds).