Friday, July 10, 2009

What's Been Called Magic

Entertain: To hold the attention of
Entre: between
Tenir: to hold
Between what? This world and that? Illusion and concrete reality? Heaven and earth? Daily life and special occasion? Is it meant to amuse and divert or is it serious? One definition appeals to me: anything that restores strength and energy for serious work .... recreates.
Sometimes I think everything is entertainment in an attempt to find a focus for attention. The world stage does seem a bit scattered, though, and not always inspiring.

Neptune and Leo are associated with drama and illusion as dramatists weave fantasy into experience, probably a healing potion for human ills, though it sometimes works to increase the illness, I've found. Neptune dissolves the boundaries that separate dimensions and Leo provides the illumination and grandeur. It's an interesting tango with ego and dissolution of said entity. Great dramatists know about this.
Jupiter is associated with Thespians, and this conjunction has brought to attention the condition of the public stage. The central idol involved made special and literal use of wounding, probably a part of Chiron's information. So is entertainment painful? I've found it so quite often, although I believe it should be otherwise. And sometimes it is. But mostly, for me, it's disconcerting following the flashing frantic chaotic pace and the upsetting angles. Plus the constant presence of the same images on multiple screens, kind of like a drunken seeing-double thing. Triple and quadruple. I had a little trouble with the three ring circus as a child when that became popular. One ring was plenty for me. With three rings I always felt shortchanged. Too much eye-darting. It was hard to pay full attention to anything.
My first formal experience with the stage was at the age of about seven in a Camp Meadowbrook musical production. My bunk did Me and My Shadow and I was Me. My bunkmates were my shadow. It was wonderful. I like the tune and I love to dance.
The next memorable one was The Crooked Man in my Girl Scout troop. I was the Crooked Man and a convincing one at that. Old and bent. I was 11.
Over the years I was in many productions of this and that -- Gilbert & Sullivan, Mary Warren in the Crucible in HS, a weirdo in my ballet recital, and a Russian peasant -- until I finally settled on filmmaking. I was set to attend NYU but in a last minute change of mind, I decided to develop my considerable musical talent and become a professional. I headed for Woodstock to join Tim Hardin's production.
So it's been from the perspective of knowledge that I've watched this South Node in theatrical Leo come to an end with the grand Jupiter-Neptune finale. And, of course, with some interest.
The players on the public stage today are not our best. The first great tragedian was thought to be Thespis, and actor who lived in Dionysos. I mentioned earlier the connection of Neptune to these ecstatic rituals. As history progressed, actors were not respected but were watched, needed, and meagerly supported. Then they became part of the elite as money became the object and the price on actors' heads became a gauge of their talent and worth. Their personal melodramas and failures became more entertaining than their stage performances, but that's no wonder, as the cream has thinned markedly.
Ordinarily entertainers put on a show separate from the audience; a spectacle imposed on the situation rather than born of it. The people witness the effort and work to arrive at satisfaction. They cheer, yell, then scream to achieve it. In classical cases, they merely cough and sneeze. They applaud in relief when the end comes, hoping the next number will do it. But when magic begins, the separation ceases and the people become full participants, the point of Neptune dissolving boundaries. There's no barrier between the mind, the body, the floor, the walls, the stars, the crowd, the sounds, and the sights. They become one undulating organism. As a performer, when it happens a sort of click comes and I'm no longer expending any effort. I'm no longer playing music, but the music, instead, is playing me. That's what I call entertaining. Holding between.
The first time I experienced it formally in public came during a Tim Hardin concert in Carnegie Hall. The late Colin Walcott (a member of the group Oregon) was playing conga and someone else was on the trap drums. Tim was at the end of his days and not performing well, but in a flicker of a moment, the two drummers connected in a groove that transfixed and transported the audience. Back and forth they rocked in perfect slap, snap, thump and brush harmony, barely able to contain the smiles on their faces. The hall paused and life moved in a serpentine path wiggling easily in and out of our bodies and minds. It was not the personalities. It was the feeling. And the genuine strokes of the artists in unexpected pleasure. 

In an added drama, the Capricorn Moon eclipsed the light of the former main attraction. It wasn't supposed to happen that way, but the cold steppes of Russia have not warmed up to the actor as was hoped. In fact, they've been perplexed, wondering why the rest of the world was so weak in the knees. Pluto in Capricorn is opposite his Venus in Cancer, restricting the emotional outpouring. The conjunction is on his South Node in Aquarius representing further isolation. His coldness is showing. Added to that is the transiting Leo South on his Mercury, causing relative communication problems in terms of adulation, and the Aquarius North is on his withdrawing 12th house Jupiter. It could be a time for a bit of retreat from the spotlight, and perhaps a time for humble work considering Saturn leaving Virgo. And if we're lucky, some fresh and different entertainment.
I love American popular music and now that we have a permanent king, I am not completely happy with the choice. I'll live with it. I am happy, however, that music continues to exist in human consciousness. It can be grasped occasionally, and that's probably as it should be. It actually hooked me tonight in Safeway. A funky jazz number in the cleaning aisle. Very funky. I danced by the detergent, although I didn't find the copper cleaner I was looking for...Kleen King. LOL! Life is okay. Amazon's got it.
In great entertainment the real stars descend as the little human stars remain humble enough to receive the light as vessels. Magic moments. Ample seating, and not necessarily expensive. I'll even be around for Neptune in Pisces and maybe that undulating wiggle will come get me again. Or maybe next year with Jupiter in the area. That would be perfect timing. I do so love to dance.