Saturday, May 23, 2009


Symbolism seems to be following me around just now, I'm coming across mentions of it every whichway I turn. Synchronicity is at work!

Yesterday, an article by John Hammelton, "The Power of the Symbol" appeared in Astro Dispatch. This dealt with symbolism in astrology.

On Thursday evening we saw the movie "Angels & Demons" in which Tom Hanks plays symbologist Robert Langdon. The movie's theme dealt with ancient religious symbology.

A comment made in an American Idol blog (mjsbigblog) by the writer of another blog: "The Fat Lady Sings" dealt with cultural symbology. I realise that not everyone was as invested in American Idol as I and many others in the USA, but the point made by this writer is significant, whether you watched American Idol or not. The comment impressed me so much, I'm copying it in full, below.

In a strange way the cultural symbolism The Fat Lady Sings talks about links both the astrological and religious symbology, to which my attention was recently drawn.

The comment, copied here, written by The Fat Lady sings:

"After a great deal of thought on the subject - there’s something I’d really like to say about what the symbolism of an Adam (Lambert) win would have been. Symbols bear great societal importance. We rely on them as a species to convey connectivity; how we think and feel. Words become unnecessary. Communication with a glance. We are visual creatures after all. Adam represented the outré – society’s margins – a place he’d occupied most of his young life. He was the fat kid in school – into the arts. Oddball, unusual – definitely not mainstream. He was castigated for it – as all who march to that different drummer often are. Just watch his graduation video. There he is – that incredible voice soaring to heaven – and when the camera pans across the stage or into the audience – you see his classmates talking behind their hands, pointing and snickering. Adam was a joke.

So here he is, 10 years later – a fabulous creature of his own design. That glorious voice honed to perfection. He was ready. But America was still in high school, still snickering behind their hands. Elect the gay kid class president? Not on your life! But more than that – more than rejecting someone so beautiful he made your heart ache – underlying the rejection was a truck load of fear. Why? Because Adam was a symbol; a great rainbow flag announcing America had changed. If Adam Lambert had won American Idol in spite of being gay and Jewish – then others who existed on society’s margins might try and step forward into the light as well. And we’d be forced to reckon with them – to take them seriously. That’s why this was important – why it went beyond one supremely talented performer. Adam Lambert would have won for all the disenfranchised. There’s your symbol. America’s first openly gay Idol.

And Adam’s win would have been a legitimate one – not manufactured as some kind of comfit or an appeasement to silence loud voices. The man’s madly talented – a true superstar. Now I’m not saying Kris Allen isn’t talented, or that under other circumstances (such as an Adamless Idol) wouldn’t deserve the win. He is; truly - he just doesn’t compare to Adam. No one on that stage did. Adam was and is in a class by himself. So his not winning (despite all that talent), points to other things – especially when you look at all the fear-driven hysteria of the last few days. I’m not saying Bill O’Reilly’s hit piece was solely responsible; but when you couple it with all the other anti-gay, heavily political folderol that accompanied it – a pattern emerges. I live in the south. In my area - some local DJ’s exhorted listeners to not vote for the gay guy. Seriously. They didn’t even mention Kris by name – just hated on Adam. Ever since his ‘Ring of Fire’ performance – Adam has been regularly dissed on local radio. From what I’ve heard – a few local churches spoke out against him as well. Danny Gokey’s pastor wasn’t the only preacher to bring religion into the mix. As many people voted against Adam as for Kris.

So Adam’s loss is devastating for a multiplicity of reasons. He really deserved that win. Not just for his fans – but because it would have stood for something. In a way - Adam represented anyone who felt disenfranchised. That’s added an extra layer of unhappiness over the whole thing. He lost for reasons other than singing. I cannot tell you how sad that makes me feel. And please understand I am not intending to diminish Kris in any way. As I said before - any other year his talent would have been formidable. But Adam’s special. He really is all that and a bag of chips. Why did other issues have to contaminate the voting? Such a pity……"

The astrological significance here, I see as coming from the USA's natal Sun in Cancer (born on 4 July). The zodiac sign of Cancer symbolises nurturing, homely, motherly instincts - all apple pie and sentimental cuddles. Is it surprising that the majority of those people in the USA who enjoy American Idol would prefer a singer who offers Kris Allen's safe, sentimental, non-controversial kind of music? Or that of 3rd runner-up Danny Gokey in similar vein?(I suspect that Danny's former voters flocked to Kris at the final). This strongly Cancerian symbolism is part of the homeland, part of the environment. Kris has Sun in Cancer and Danny has Sun in Taurus, so it follows that both are much more nearly in tune with US symbolism than Adam, his Aquarius Sun, and left-field but mesmerising style. Aquarius in the zodiacal circle is quincunx Cancer, symbolically that is a scratchy, irritable aspect - exactly the effect Adam seems to have had on a sizeable proportion of US voters.

So there is astrological symbolism here. Religious symbolism in this context could be seen as relating to the conservative religious-right's anti-Adam attitudes which could also have featured in Tuesday night's voting.

Adam Lambert will find more universal acceptance outside of the USA, away from its pervading Cancerian atmosphere - in other words he'll be an international star. Recalling my own words from a post dated 31 March 2009:
"Whether he'll be 2009's American Idol, I will not guess. I will guess, though, that Adam Lambert will be a familiar name by the time Uranus enters Aries, and transits near his natal Moon in around 2 to 3 years'time."
I'd now amend "familiar" to "internationally famous", and make that a prediction.

Many thanks to The Fat Lady Sings blog for the use of your eloquent comment.


Shawn Carson said...

I give Adam a lot of credit for having the courage to be himself. His natal Mars/Saturn conjunction points to lots of frustration over coming into his own, and it was the transiting Mars opposition to this aspect that seemed to touch off the latest round of difficulty for him. The upside to this aspect is that he will persevere through the long run, and develop lots of "muscle" as a result.

The Fat Lady Sings said...

Thank you, my dear - and I agree. America does tend to prefer safe, packaged items. That's just not my 'thing' if you will. I've always been attracted to the different; probably because I've felt that way all my life. I worked in professional theatre since I was 11 (both actor and director) - retiring (if you can call it that) only after a series of bad accidents and crippling illnesses sidelined me. I've always gravitated towards art in the margins - the kind best experienced on a personal level. And that's Adam, for as social as his art form is. You could stand in a cheering crowd and still think he was singing directly to and about you. 'Strumming my heart with his fingers' indeed.

By the way - I'm a Taurus (April 24th). Yes, I know - Danny's birthday - but there couldn't be two people more unalike. I am his antithesis. I've never competed with anyone other than myself, I practice my art in concert with others (though I do it individually) and I accept all the world has to offer with open heart and open arms.

Go figure!

Twilight said...

Shawn ~~~ I agree. From his attitudes and approach when interviewed, he seems to have a calm inner strength and serene self confidence. I think he has already gone a fair way to developing that muscle.

He'll have other challenges though, once he gets into the whirlwind that'll await him. He's used to the LA show-biz scene already, but he'll be under so much new stress to record, tour, etc. etc. I hope he doesn't get caught in the drug/booze trap. I think he won't, but you can never tell.

Twilight said...

TFLS ~~ Hi - thanks for visiting!

I'm attracted to the different too - sometimes, not in every case. Somehow, Adam seems to be different and yet not so different that he's unreachable (metaphorically). He's strange yet familiar - especially to folks of a certain age who remember Marc Bolan and his ilk.

I'm anxious for Adam's album and to see what happens next. It's going to add interest to the rest of this year - it'll make a refreshing change from worrying about the economy, environment and political wranglings!

Thank you for sharing your background - that's fascinating.

24 April eh? Ruled by Venus, planet of the arts -never mind about Danny! ;-) the rest of your chart is going to be way different from his.

Wisewebwoman said...

Statistics fascinate me, T. (and LOL my daughter's a Stats Prof) and I love what the FLS says in comments, how true all that is but the big statistic missing here is the percentage of people who don't watch TV at all (I include myself in that number) or the people who do watch but don't watch AI. They are surely representative of the pro or con? I'd bet 99% of us would have supported Adam in a heartbeat. I know I would.
PS My point being?
Stats can be skewed and not representative of a country.

For instance one on one interviews with young Americans today prove that the youth couldn't care less about gay marriage, race or religion and that, according to them, these are old folks' issues.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~~ Hmmmm - this topic is filled with variables and imponderables! Interesting points you raise though.

You know - I think the people who watch AI are a cross section of the population, age-wise, politics-wise, and every other-wise. So the proportion of votes could be said to be representative of the country as a whole.

However - and this messes up the theory - votes are not limited to one per person or one per phone or one per household. Some voters voted constantly for 4 hours!
I voted 70 times. I was trying to make up for some of the right-wing crowd! LOL!

So in this case the votes actually prove nothing, except that Kris's fans could vote faster and with more!

There's also the imponderable that the producers might be messing with the votes. I wouldn't put it past them! I suspect they do it, which makes the whole thing a sham or a marketing exercise - like most other things in the USA.

I doubt I'll watch the show next year - but I've threatened this before . ;-)

My post was really pointing out the symbolism in the USA's astrological Cancer Sun and relating it to the way the competition results emerged.

If the whole population had been asked to vote - one vote per person in American Idol, I bet it would have turned out more or less equally balanced, but with a tip towards one side or the other - as in most general elections.

Poet_Girl said...

I really like your angle on this, taking into account the U.S. birth chart. I've been thinking about the U.S. chart lately, something I haven't done much in the past. Not so much in relation to American Idol :) but starting to look at the essential nature of the USA, almost as I would if it were a person.

And I have to say it is a bit disheartening, because looking at all that Cancer in the chart, for starters ... well, it explains why George Bush won the White House twice. And why so many people respond to Sarah Palin. Guns, God and Grandma! So much feeeeeeeeling. Tearing up at the mere mention of the American flag, Mom, home, family, tradition, babies (think: religious anti-abortion crusaders)(or Bristol Palin and new baby, Tripp).

I know this post was about Adam Lambert (I don't watch Idol but now you have me intrigued, with the whole Queen connection, so I'm going to hunt down some clips). But the outsider, 'Aquarian' energy may NEVER be embraced by the majority here -- could be the cold, hard truth.

Although ... the U.S. chart does have that Moon in Aquarius, so maybe there's hope. And the Gemini rising U.S. chart has Uranus in the 1st house, so that could tip the scale the other way, too!

It's funny, because I live in a very Uranian/Aquarian neighborhood in my city. People are politically left/progressive, quirky, unusual, are early adopters of various green movement ideas, etc. Lots of eccentric clothing and bike-riders, rain, sleet or snow. Which is all really awesome and so much more cool and interesting than living in a stodgy suburb with identical manicured lawns and backyard playsets.

But there is something kind of alienating about this neighborhood, too, in that everything is SO quirky that social networking seems to replace a deeper connection to others. People admire the 'weird' and progressive over even the 'clean' or the 'beautiful.' (My Venus in Taurus/1st house is NOT happy). And there is a judgmental elitism where anyone not visibly, wildly unusual, offbeat, non-mainstream, does not fit in. And is not cool!

With the U.S., I wonder if it comes down to accepting who she is, just like any relationship?

Twilight said...

Poet Girl ~~ Thanks for this very insightful comment. :-)

I had originally written more about the US chart in this post, but deleted it before publishing, in order to keep things fairly simple.

I like the Armistead chart (2 July) because it has such a strong opposition running through it which I see as reflecting the very clear dichotomy in American views. This political/religious divide happens in most countries, but I've found it to be extra noticeable in the USA, and it spills into everything.

I can appreciate your feelings about living in an overly-enthusiastic lefty environment. Socialist-hearted mortal that I am, I'd not particularly want to live among left-wing elitists. Elitism is worse than conservatism for me! Can't abide it!

Yes, that's a good attitude - embrace the country warts and all, as we do with family and friends.
There's space enough for all.

Do investigate a few links to Adam , his music and interviews. I think he'll be an inspiration to his and other generations. He comes over as grounded, savvy, empathetic and very bright - even apart from his singing/performing talent.