Scorpio Rising: Lee McQueen’s astrology, again

Note: Please see comments by alexandra3465, a fashion journalist, in the prior post below.

This is turning out to be bigger news than I imagined — but I had not heard of Lee Alexander McQueen till yesterday. [See related article, below.] Lee killed himself just as Fashion Weeks were opening in London and New York; he will now be a growth industry. While we may not have known of Lee by name, we’ve all seen either his work or what it’s influenced. In every business there are people known mainly in that field, who are the idea generators that seem to spark off everyone else. In fashion, that was Lee. Unfortunately, most of his ideas were taken by enterprises more interested in selling than in commenting on, or responding to, our culture.

I described Lee’s chart to Dominick, my friend with the cafe, who is one of those hobby astrologers I always get the hint knows a lot more than I do. Of McQueen’s Scorpio rising, Pisces New Moon chart, lacking any significant earthy placements and dominated by water, he said that he wasn’t really ever on the Earth plane fully. Then he had three planets in Aries: Chiron, Saturn and Venus. The combination of fire and water counteracted one another; the water put out the fire and the fire evaporated the water.

“But he was probably really good in bed,” Dominick added. I would agree, but his 8th house Nessus-Vertex cautions of the kind of ‘good in bed’ that comes from a history of being abused as a kid: the real thing. He was attractive in a way that a bleeding child is attractive to sharks. And this emotional tenor came out in his work. His images of the feminine are likely to have been images of, or responses to, his own inner feminine. what else could he be commenting on?

Consider somebody with Scorpio rising and Mercury, Moon and Sun in Pisces. My own thought: Lee was held here by an umbilical cord, and when his mother died about 11 days ago, there was nothing left to ground him.

For reasons unrelated to Lee McQueen, for the past few weeks I’ve been pondering just how gay men feel about women, and how they perceive them, based on some personal experiences that set my thoughts in motion.

In the case of gay men running the fashion industry, which in many ways controls female image and self-image, there is some strange erotic and gender calculus going on in there. I have not gone all the way into that particular shadow; my own connection to women is cosmic to a depth that to explore rejecting the feminine, or keeping her as a dress-up doll or strictly as a material object, would be about as appealing as cutting my own wrists. This is not to disparage the friendships that some gay men have with women; I am not part of those so I cannot comment on them specifically. My own homoerotic side embraces women, though of course that would seem a contradiction to most gay men.

But let’s consider: gay men, who in theory are distinct because they lack sexual attraction to women, create a female image that is then intended for other women and heterosexual men to respond to. In a sense they create a model of how women are supposed to feel about themselves. If that image is based on a rejection of the feminine, or a battle with the feminine within themselves, we naturally end up with the highly contentious, hateful and fragmented images of women that we so often see in the media.

Notably, it was McQueen who introduced the violent imagery to the fashion business in the early 1990s: women who looked like they had been beaten, covered in blood or had escaped from a mental ward. Yet if you read the interviews and quotations, you can assemble a context for these ideas that seems more than anything to be a response to society rather than an attempt to create society.

However, with that much Pisces and even more Aries Point (and the two related) the feedback loop goes in a full circle; creating and responding are nearly identical, which is where consciousness has to enter the picture if we’re ever going to break the cycle of violence or the loop of destructive thought.

54 thoughts on “Scorpio Rising: Lee McQueen’s astrology, again

  1. I find it confounding when someone tells me that men have all the power. Anybody who thinks that never met my grandma. That woman still has all the power and she’s been dead for twenty years.

    Lack of purpose and the right to exist — identity — is not a feminine problem; it’s the problem of all humanity. The belief that your problems lie in some sort of historical disempowerment is the same as the belief that they are due to not being a millionaire, or because your father was absent, or because you didn’t get to do the thing you wanted to do in life, or because you were an only child, or because you were one of eight kids and you always got last the last piece of cake.

    We meet each other with this trembling hope that we can find out who are from each other, since gazing in the mirror and surfing the internet ain’t working out. I feel a lack of purpose is code for; please tell me my purpose because I don’t know it. I feel I have no right to exist is code for; please tell me that I do exist because I don’t accept the evidence I’ve got so far.

    It’s all a veil over our longing for God.

    In Afghanistan beauty parlors were outlawed at least at the start of the US invasion. Women were running a Lipstick Underground, risking their own lives for hot curlers and lingerie. Take the right to adorn ourselves *away* from us and see what happens.

  2. Eric,

    Thanks; again that makes sense. When you said, “…I have finally learned how to refuse to become the second sex so that women can have their place” I wanted to agree whole heartedly. I am so tired of my women friends making every man in their lives “pay’ for the “sin” of being male. I think we, as a society, have become so used to polarizing dichotomies that we miss the fact that there is a middle ground where women can have their place and men don’t have to humble themselves for that to happen.

    I see it this way, if I expect a man to assume second sex position in order to elevate myself, I am still playing the victim. As a woman, why would I need a man to do that in order to feel more like a first class person? Why can’t I just believe in my own worth without a man doing anything? Men are not my mirrors of self, I am my own mirror of self and until women get that…that we are our own mirrors of ourselves and we must change what we mirror to ourselves, nothing any man can do will make a damn bit of difference. I say this not to belittle men’s efforts but to remember the charge of the Goddess which in essence says that if we keep looking for the mystery outside ourselves, we will never find it for behold, the mystery is within US.

    I too had to realize that I cannot “help” or “lift up” anyone…I can only have compassion and patience for them; they may lift themselves up or not but I will be patient either way. Is that what you meant when you said you have patience? If so, I am really glad you have it. No one should have to demean themselves in order to heal/help another.

    Edible paint? Raspberry! I love raspberry! But not too sweet…a bit on the tart side. :::laughing::::

    Oh and just think…on Monday the 22nd I will be the big five-oh! Half a century….yeah! Break out the whipped cream and strawberries!

  3. FS,

    I love this statement you made:

    “I cringe at the idea that in order to understand women you must look at our bodies first, because that is primarily what we are.”

    When I was a teen, I was called “fat” and no guys looked at me so I was invisible. After Ilived in a foreign country and lost a lot of weight, men looked at me and had desire for me. The problem was, I knew they wouldn’t have looked twice at me had I still been “fat.” Their attention was not flatering but in fact sometimes felt threatening. I slowly got used to it and even used it to get laid when I chose the ones I wanted but I never forgot that these men only saw my physical looks but had no care for who I was inside.

    This issue brings me to the side note; while I lived in the Occupied West Bank area, I was in a village full of Muslims. When I veiled and wore the loose clothing, I felt like the men that talked to me talked to ME, because they could not see my body so they couldn’t know what I really looked like. I began to understand why Muslim women actually CHOOSE to veil and defend it against feminists that decry the veil as a symbol of male control. The Muslim women I met saw wearing the veil as their own way of taking control of the interactions between themselves and the men around them. They forced the men to look at them as people instead of as this or that body shape or type. To them, it places them on a more equal footing; no Muslim woman ever has to worry that her husband married her for her body or looks; she knows he hasn’t.

  4. Care Care,

    I love people, but more to the point, I am devoted to existence. I am a regular guy who takes care of himself and needs a lot of help, most of which I get; and who deals with many people on the closest thing to equal terms that I can get to: their talents and their shortcomings and lots of their hangups with themselves. I tend to see far more potential in people than they see in themselves. That’s why I’m a good astrologer.

    My biggest conflict with women is being frequently confronted by their general lack of a sense of purpose and belonging and deserving to exist. I’m not talking about my girlfriends, only — I’ve done thousands of astrology readings. In that, my main job is high-tech psychological cheerleader. “Here’s why it’s not true that you don’t deserve to exist. Now, what do you want to do with your existence?”

    I love people and I love women, on the whole, a little more. Maybe I understated my own position to you. I have compassion for that plight: that of being the second sex. However, I have finally learned how to refuse to become the second sex so that women can have their place. I believe, I have seen, that I have incredible patience, above all else.

    You can all get over yourselves and I will get over myself. Let’s do it together. It’s twenty fucking ten already and we’re still waiting around for Jesus. I say break out the body paints.

    Edible.

  5. Eric.

    Ah. Thanks for that clarification. I misunderstood the things I have read in PW, BoB and your e-mails to me. It makes more sense now that you have explained it. I think I may have been projecting my own compassion and “wonderful feelings” about men into your writings about women; sorry about that.

  6. FS,
    You said:

    “Gay men are noted to be leaders in the fashion industry because they really aren’t supposed to have any investment in how women look, because women look they way we look to attract men, and that’s why we have fashion. So why would a bunch of men who aren’t even attracted to us try and tell us how we should dress to attract other men?”

    The reason gay men design clothing for women is because women dress to impress other women. Oh sure, they also dress to attract men but the painted nails and toe nails, hairsprayed up hair, lipstick, and the fashionable outfit isn’t what men are usually looking for and women know this. Most men I have asked have said they don’t notice so much the clothes on the woman but the woman in the clothes. Most men I have talked to say they detest lipstick and don’t even see the painted nails or purses. Women dress to outshine other women and to belong with their own social group. Every time I have had a new outfit on, it was the women that noticed first. The men were too busy thinking about breasts…any breasts. :::laughing:::
    Gay men know this about women and design for them accordingly.

  7. My take on the discussion of sexuality being on PW or BoB and the viewer’s consent to art is that PW is a site that includes sexuality and by clicking one consents to view a site. It would be very limiting to have everyone self edit so that no one is ever uncomfortable, which would dampen all creativity and cease to be challenging. It is not important whether the sexuality presented matches my preferences or tastes. PW is a sex positive site and that I can fully support. On the rare day that I might not be feeling it, I appreciate being confronted. It makes me question and enlarges my world.

    As for Lee, it must have been so lonely. I keep waiting to hear if pharmaceuticals were involved.

  8. Thank you Brother E,

    As always you pay me a grand tribute, that by the way, I do feel I’ve earned. Once we can agree on a correct name for the female sex organ we will all be better off. Again I repeat myself, the “vagina” is the birth canal and the clitoris in our sex organ for pleasure. It’s sad to think a young woman today would object to a beautiful image of the female sex organ. Even worse is all the uninformed girls who so hate their vulvas they have their inner lips surgically removed. We have NOT come a long way, Baby!

  9. It’s the way the rich treat the poor
    the way the psychopath treats the lover
    the way a master treats a slave
    etc.
    Why is anyone surprised? Oh yeah, it’s the culture of NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

  10. I guess I haven’t exactly stated my position though I indicate it through everything I write. I don’t give a shit about how dazzling a person’s art is if their life is a mess. The art I’m most interested in presently is integration, homeostasis, art as an organ in a garden of a healthy life. I’m sorry but Lee’s art (from the universe I create with my thoughts and practices) looks like the side effects of a severe emotional conflict one might call a disease. I’m sick of all the energy given to this superficial shit because the way that world leaves one of its own to lose himself during an experience when a human really needs a group of loving support in order to get through it is the same thing as how humanity in general treats the homeworld, the way most human identities trapped in the forebrain treat the rest of their bodies.

  11. Wow. I just read the article Musicman linked. That whole culture, the party people exists in a universe of its own where the humans making that universe are inducing states in themselves that make the veil between life and death a lot thinner than it is when you’re not blasted on cocaine, alcohol and whatever else. It’s the pinnacle of our capitalist society. Brits in the post colonial wasteland of corporate capital skipping off to the old colonies at will, getting bored, aw heck let’s throw a party. 500 roses for my love!

    Let’s look at this through an astrological lens for a moment. In the astrological sub culture it’s recognized that each planet’s function (even the itty bitty ones) plays a vital role in the homeostasis of life forms like humans and societies. Saturn is a big one. The old devil of astrology corresponds to your inner sense of integrity, the constitution of your pattern. Saturn is left entirely for someone else to deal with by these people. When you lose your anchor and leave it to the wind to decide there’s plenty of predatory humans who will use you any way they can to make a profit…if you sparkle just right…who will be delighted to provide you with an anchor. The world of profit doesn’t give a shit about how to deal with the difficult experience of losing your mother (probably another external anchor he left up to to someone else instead of cultivating awareness of his own).

    Emotion, the consequences of the direct experience of BEING an animal is irrelevant in this fashion universe unless you can poop out an artistic expression of it that can make your owners some more money. As Eric said, sharks~bleeding child. Why is anyone surprised that this fragile creature went to follow his anchor to the other side of the veil? There wasn’t anything at all in the dream world of his career, his party friends to keep his mind from blowing away with the wind. The paper people can barely hold themselves together much less provide a stable foundation for a friend undergoing a deep inner transformation. They turn off awareness of the parts of the animal that hurt with all those drugs and all that money. Pain is a valuable teacher who can elongate your lifespan if you pay attention. If you don’t expect an early exit.

  12. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250830/Alexander-McQueens-ex-partner-throws-disturbing-light-hangers-lionised-truly-knew-him.html

    This highly informed and far reaching debate started with the issues of Lee Alexander McQueen’s untimely departure from this mortal coil.

    Todays UK Mail on Sunday carries the above article….which is basically a plea from his ex marital partner George….. to embrace the private man Lee….and not just the business man Alexander!

    This is in itself the microcosm of the debate. Is the Artist in need of permission from the Viewer? Does the motivation of the Artist count for anything in the Viewer’s response? Do we identify with Lee…or with Alexander?? It would appear that his own inner conflict about that issue is at the root of his neurosis! Of course ultimately the answer is both. Yet there can be no censorship! Publish and be damned has always been the rule of thumb! When I look at a piece of Art….I consent to look….experience….and also to process the sense data. Whether that is an honest experience is more in the realm of the Viewer than the Artist, although I have had to stretch a little to accept McQueen’s Highland Rape collection as inoffensive. But I cannot ask for a parental guidance certificate. I can only honour the integrity of the experience by committing the full thrust of my intellectual process to reach out and digest the vision. We will all ultimately stand or fall by our own conclusion.

    Finally I would have to say that although I understand the basic premise of Fashion as an industry, it seems to feed only of off itself, produces a culture that requires a daily infusion of Class A drugs to get by, is completely irrelevant to the daily nutritional needs of 70% of the planet, and is actually obscene in its generation of ridiculously large sums of money that are squandered on a daily basis and it also justifies the ongoing use of sweat shop labour around the world…exploiting the children whom we should be educating!

    It is also an irony of ironies that Michelle Obama has on this day had to call for America to Get Moving on the Child Obesity Program….31% of American children are now obese…. while we idolise wafer thin, heroin riddled women dressed as fantasy spectres of an uncivilised and nihilistic age gone by!!

    Wakey wakey…..!!

    George Forsyth’s words in the above article are a testament to this truth!

    Perhaps the metaphor of the crucifixion….will bring some light to this tragedy. For that is what it truly is!!

    PH

  13. Planet Waves regularly covers astrology, sex and politics. I make room for all of it. We make room for all of it. You can read what I have to say about Betty Dodson, Seven-Up or cunnilingus and clover. You get lots of astrology, which is metaprogrammed to be sex positive. You can read Fe’s takes on congressional antics and Jude’s articles about social movements and Len drawing pictures in the sky. This scheme follows Planet Waves back to its first days on the Internet: that’s the invention; what makes us the on-fire, one of a kind thing that we are, and me the hot whatever-it-is that I am.

    The image you’re speaking of was presented with an article about the 80th birthday of Dr. Betty Dodson, a woman who gave tens of thousands (if not many more, as her book has sold over a million copies in all translations, and then there are her videos, and the children and grand children and great grandchildren of her readers and students) women awareness of and ‘permission’ to experience, and information to know about their clitoris.

    That you, a woman born in a recent generation, have freedom to exist orgasmically and organically is in key, documentable ways traceable to Miss Dodson’s activities on the planet. Ladies, maybe you don’t get it, but female masturbation (in particular), until recently, was basically illegal. You may ask how the heck that is possible, but that’s how the heck it was and many places how it is: but not here, in our particular sphere of consciousness.

    When I write a birthday tribute to this cosmic babe and let you know what her Chiron is all about, I’m gonna dress her up nice.

  14. Eric, I note your perspective of your sexual posts and photos as art. Here is my thought. Art is not usually imposed on viewers without their consent. Your forum for sexual content is the Book of Blue, which you are comfortable discussing and advertising as such.

    You say: “It is indeed exhibitionist to exhibit your creative work and the contents of your emotions and mind, be it a song or a painting or a photograph — no matter how humbly presented.” But you conflate the terms “exhibitionist” and “exhibit”. Is your point that anyone who exhibits their work is an exhibitionist?

    I think the term “exhibitionist” is used distinctly to reference uninvited exposure. The Book of Blue is your artistic forum for sexual material, and those who decide to view it may or may not agree with your perspective, but it is a discussion in a legitimized forum. But I think it is altogether a different kind of experience to visit an astrological site and be greeted by an enlarged picture of a women’s vagina, as well as various other explicit materials–that is imposition without consent or invitation, and that is what makes it exhibitionist and not yet in the category of art.

    Consent is involved in the relationship between the artist and viewer.

  15. Wassily Kandinsky http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/kandinsky/

    “I am glad that I travel to the wasteland….for it is only there…that the transformation can take place”

    Kandinsky, himself an accomplished musician, once said “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” The concept that color and musical harmony are linked has a long history, intriguing scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton. Kandinsky used color in a highly theoretical way associating tone with timbre (the sound’s character), hue with pitch, and saturation with the volume of sound. He even claimed that when he saw color he heard music.

    PH

  16. I have so many random thoughts and images reading these blogs today….

    McQueen was truly an artist…he transcended the product our society of commercialism and exploitation and imaging creates. Why touch down on earth inhabited with fierce images posing as human beings, when you can create terrible beauty showing vulnerability, allow people to mull it over, then leave? Because he could.

    I was reared by southern women. My grandmother was a preemie. She had no eyelashes for a long time and felt diminished in her looks until she discovered makeup. She was a blue eyed petite blond…a true beauty with a huge heart. She put on makeup every morning, and felt that she might be lacking if she didn’t. But I, being her first grandchild, was the most beautiful bundle of joy she had ever seen. It was the look of sheer admiration that came through from the first encounter. She always made over my copious wavy hair, pampered me and sewed lovely dresses. I could always go and spend time with my grandparents even if I had been an ass all week, and they would shower me with acceptance and interest in me and my feelings. I was a treasure to them.

    Every day I put on makeup and groom myself before I go out. I do it because it is a way of treasuring their treasure. It gives me time to look at myself in the mirror and to take care of me. I do not fall for fashion that does not suit me. I do not look ‘made up’, as I learned how to enhance my genetic inheritance to allow my inner energy show through. I look cared for. I like beauty around me more than most, and being a part of the beauty around me by my presentation of myself is some expression of my creativity.

    REgarding the sexuality aspects, I do have some thoughts to share:

    First, though: Eric, I think many of you should have a ‘summit’ at your place. It seems many could be ready for meeting and with dispersing the barriers that keep us all from really connecting as “‘we” and experimenting with being comfortable in our own skins around people we can learn to trust.

    Those random thoughts:

    Fall in love with someone’s mind before you have sex with them. Become a mind worth exploring and love that we are always in transformation.

    If you are not truly relating with someone, accept them as they are with no expectations. Do not infringe on others’ rights and emotional well being, and do not allow anyone to infringe on yours.

    Know the difference between heat and passion. Know what mode you are in when you ask someone else to experience it with you. Do not deceive.

    Enjoy the beauty and erotic sensual beings we are. This experience as humans is exquisite. That is why we keep coming back again and again.

    Treasure you. Treasure us. In honor there is wonder.

  17. My last thoughts on this are directed to young artists, or any artists who are emerging into your voice or your desire to create.

    If you express yourself, if you’ve succeeded, you will get a response. You will like and agree with some of that response, you will have no clue what to make of other parts of it, and other responses will annoy you or worse. In the end, none of it matters, as long as you stay true to your process and your vision. It helps if you can draw information from anything and everything that is said to you. This is never really an orderly or neat process and it’s always full of unexpected developments.

    Once you start making or presenting your work on the basis of what might potentially be offensive, or what you fear might be offensive, to some people, or to seek their approval, it ceases to be art and becomes another thing.

    To actively make art is to push back against something, always something within yourself, often something in society: in particular what you’re not ‘supposed to be’ or ‘allowed to be’ no matter how much you are that thing.

    Any discussion or depiction of any sexual or even vaguely provocative image or theme, no matter how mild, will to some extent be considered degrading and be accused of being pornography. This is the story of the expression of these ideas in the Biblical world, where sex itself is considered profane: that is, unless it is used to sell something else. No matter how honest you are, you will be appreciated for that honesty and may simultaneously be told you’re being deceptive or that the ‘opposite meaning’ is coming across. That cannot be the thing that stops you, and all the better if it emboldens you. The challenge is that to express your most vulnerable self requires sensitivity which is entirely contrary to taking that expression and placing it in the public eye. What they have in common is a risk; but they are two different risks. In the face of one, you must take the other all the more.

    Though in this world, finding one’s voice is usually an actual challenge no matter what one is saying, in the end it’s relatively easy for someone to offer a theory or express a feeling; it is more difficult to express one’s deepest vision, or to even reach for it. To make art and to comment on art are as different as to live, and be seen living. The question at hand is not just about art or creative process; it’s about existence.

    We are all, each of us, under constant influence to say less, to be less, and face the inner fear of what might happen if we open up and express our existence a little more boldly. Most of us have been since the day we were born, and we got this far. When you’re solid and aligned with yourself — which is a challenge — the views of others will not matter or they will matter less, and that’s a vital part of the journey of reconciling with yourself. In the end, nobody can actually understand what is going on inside of you, and therefore cannot really understand your process. Nobody is your judge and jury.

    It is indeed exhibitionist to exhibit your creative work and the contents of your emotions and mind, be it a song or a painting or a photograph — no matter how humbly presented. To say anything in this world requires a property that some will describe as arrogance: an accusation frequently offered to those who dare to create. No matter what anyone may think or feel, we all depend on others around us being willing to take inner and outer risks in order to have some sense or reminder that it’s actually worthwhile to dare being alive.

    The universe is inherently creative and all creativity involves change. Existence is an experiment in freedom.

  18. I think lapelles matter to an artist. The golden ratio is what attracts any of us to a face, a building, or a painting. I’d venture to guess that most women employ the technique without realizing it, as we style our hair to cover a too wide forehead or jawline, and add eyeshadow to increase dimensions. If you do the math, it almost always comes out to the golden mean. In nature, plants develop in similar fashion, which is why we feel rested looking at a landscape or a flower. It is love. It is self love. When we are young we want to be a beautiful piece of art that is treasured. Even homely children are beautiful. But what happens in the real world? Lust. Fingered at age 2, fucked at 12? Who can you trust? You keep trying to be a art treasure, for people to love and then 7 boys follow you home from school and the old guy goes berserk. Later your best friend’s husband crawls into bed with you when you do a sleepover after a party. At 58 there are still people who think you got a job because you are blonde. There is little love in the world, and few you can call a real friend. This goes for men too. I caught a baby sitter trying to give my 3 month old son a hard on because she thought it was funny. I went berserk. i should ahve reported her but back then i would have been viewed a nut case. She had an ugly life and it still is. I still strive for beauty in all things, and want only to be loved. Is it too much to ask? I feel the artist’ pain. Women and men have been adorning themselves for thousands of years. my husband’s hair is longer than mine and he wears more adornments than I, and he sews more too. We watch project runway and he says he should be on the show because he could outsew and out-create all of them. Art is creating of yourself for others. Is it love? or is it to receive love? It is competitive and that is a fact. Lee wanted to be loved.

  19. By far and away the most forthright and perceptive advance on The Second Sex that has been written….a truly succint debate…..!!

    I would agree that

    Al
    “I myself feel degradation in many of Eric’s sexual posts and pictures about women, even while there is the protestation of the glory of it all. I have felt it is like his personal porn, and the gratification he takes in displaying it to us, sometimes most unexpectedly, is a bit of exhibitionism”

    and

    Ficklestickle
    “I think you are are making a really interesting attempt at exploring something about male sexuality with your project but I would be more excited if the work were more focused on actually being in a woman’s world. To me it seems like your inner women is getting a chance to be queen bee within the context of the artist-muse/model relationship. They are being “themselves” for you. It’s like amature porn.”

    The overall debate is laden with value judgements …..but in essence…/.there are two choices…….courage….and acknowledgement of truth.

    1. The mirror that is presented in Book of Blue is a courageous starting off point for all of us to reflect back our deepest personal truth. It is actually quite difficult for a man to say….well actually all my peers have been corrupted by a constant stream of fantasist bullshit about male and female archetypes…..so I just go along with it….because generally until you can afford a therapist at $1000 per hour….there is no-one to tell you any different. It is always difficult …in a discussion of sexuality….to know on which floor the elevator should head for!

    2.To have women such as Ficklestickle openly focus on women being so much more than the dolls who wear the expression…… and make such straightforward arguements that lead one to the understanding of the issues….and then adjust her position ….in the light of the debate…..suggests to me that power is indeed in the right hands.

    It may be too simplistic for you….maybe not….but imagine yourself to be a balloon! A colour of your choice! Hold that thought and feeling! Now then….you meet another balloon….floating peacefully… or raging upwards in a storm….and you like each others colour….and you can taste each others helium…..yum yum….

    The rest is cultural….conditioned….and possible to recode(using cognitive analogy)

    Perhaps you would also like to go online and take a colour based psychometric test… based on the original colour you chose for your balloon….!!

    Awesome…!!

    Eric you have created a wonderfull forum…..this is the Arena that Socrates and Plato would have struggled in……Women everywhere can claim their space…..!!

    Finally….is it really so difficult for a man to reclaim his inner perspective….?? Perhaps because I spend time in the African bush…..as opposed to the American one…..life is a real simple affair…..making today a success….Will I still be alive tomorrow…..?? Did we make sure the goat was still….and peaceful …..and respected….as we slit its throat and bleed it…!?? Is there enough rice for the rest of the week??

    I really and truly thankyou all…..for finally bringing THE Issues to the table. The Western world can begin to heal itself….

    ” ‘Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.’ The late Mother Teresa said this. She wasn’t talking about romantic love. She was acknowledging the importance of love in the wider sense of the word. Whatever you now seek, you will draw it into your world more easily if you summon compassion, empathy, forgiveness and appreciation. Just as, if you are loving, love will find its way to you – so you will find, if you are generous, that you become the beneficiary of generosity.

    Allow me just this once to quote your colleague Cainer………

    PH

  20. not surprised this has turned into such an interesting discussion. this short video interview with mcqueen might be illuminating for all sorts of reasons: lots of images of his incredibly cinematic and poetic work (which i think will inspire you to think way beyond whether heels are uncomfortable and the width of a lapel), and some glimpses of his personality, his perspective on himself and the fashion business, his obvious loneliness, and his fierce outsider identity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60ibG9kns3Q

    hope you enjoy!

  21. Holy shit.

    What is goin on up in here?

    I have to admit that my eyes sort of cross every time I start reading about the State of Women Today. I just wait around, make toast, go for a walk or something and then check back to see if it’s over. This is actually a matter of etiquette; I don’t speak for Women with the polite expectation that They will never speak for me.

    From what I’ve seen this McQueen dude was an artist who used women as blank canvasses. Some of what he created in this medium is dead fucking beautiful; this goes way beyond the placement of lapels or the length of kneesocks. I don’t think fashion is art generally. I mostly think it’s stupid. I do not and have never really paid much attention ( see above paragraph) but I also know art when I see it.

    In fact, what suddenly occurred to me during a quick digital image shuffle was that fashion might be the last place on the Walmart Tundra that an artist could make some real bank and get decent press.

    I know there are problems with the concept such as the enslavement and starvation of nine year old runway models not to mention the entire female population of Madagascar. On the other hand, artists don’t have many choices and I’ve got no better suggestion about where else a genius like this might trail his tender hand across the fabric of society.

    There are no Kings anymore to commission paintings of themselves on horseback; or actually the kings of this world are apparently packed into those tents or whatever they hold runway shows in. These appear to be a profitable venue to gain a genuine Patron. It’s probably much easier to convince the denizens of Richistan to buy a 100,000 dollar cocktail dress than some abstract sculpture meant to depict Manic Depression or Capitalism or Humidity or whatever.

    Music Videos, television commercials, photojournalism, video games and runway fashion. Participate or sell photocopiers, it’s a free country sortof.

    There’s nothing about runway fashion that makes me insecure. I am not nine years old, I am not a size zero, the stuff is clearly not for me and often not for anyone. I have never personally gone into convulsions of self hatred because I beheld a preadolescent girl in lipgloss teetering down a runway dressed to resemble a coral reef. This is all to be viewed and too fantastic entirely to be envied. That’s what makes it art, not commerce.

  22. Wow, I commented without reading where the discussion went tonight. Thanks ficklestickle for your clear intellectual perspective on the sexual dynamic of women in society. I don’t mean to make your words mean something that they do not, but speaking for myself (and perhaps to Eric now) I myself feel degradation in many of Eric’s sexual posts and pictures about women, even while there is the protestation of the glory of it all. I have felt it is like his personal porn, and the gratification he takes in displaying it to us, sometimes most unexpectedly, is a bit of exhibitionism. I feel it is lacking in a genuine respect, and while I’ve loved the astrology I’ve felt very conflicted about continuing to read the site. I think this dialogue has clarified few things for me–and I feel that you’ve brought a greater maturity to the sexual perspective than I’ve been able to find within my thoughts over this past year.

    Also, I’d like to acknowledge the courage it took to put forward the friendly critique. I feel many commenters, while showing courage in exploring their own lives, acquiesce to the indignity…and/or play along. This increases my discomfort. So, if you’re still reading, thank you.

  23. He was known as Lee, from what I understand; the business was called Alexander McQueen.

    I’ll check with my techs about redirecting to a different URL, though the piece one uses his full name.

    thanks —

  24. He was known as Alexander McQueen, one of the greats. If you want this material to show up in Google searches, you might want to consider updating his name. I was perplexed when you referred to him by the unknown first name..

  25. Wow, this has been a provocative and courageous exchange to read along with. That’s rare and commendable. Thank you. The dynamic is poignant. We, the living, have so much in common. We all come into this world the same way. We all leave the same way. The needs, experiences, desires in between are, in perponderance, the same, from one human being to another. How can this be overlooked in favor of the few differences? How can it be that we focus on the nuances? Power? Please. The concept of power diminishes to meaninglessness where love prevails. Please, let love prevail. It’s got to start somewhere. Every moment of human existence holds the promise to reach our potential of being one-with. It’s going to happen someday. If we want it, we can have it. Mars is in retrograde four more weeks. What do we want?

  26. Oh and also. I don’t think there is anything disgusting about being a man. I think men are wonderful (for a lot of reasons) But I do think it is sad and disgusting how men are often taught to see the world and the women around them.

  27. The reason I would consider them to be dolls is because they are acting out, and playing along with your internalized drama/conflict around sexuality. The women you featured are your canvas for investigation, you are not theirs.
    You may feel that you are creating a space for them, but you are doing it to create a space for yourself.

    I think you are are making a really interesting attempt at exploring something about male sexuality with your project but I would be more excited if the work were more focused on actually being in a woman’s world. To me it seems like your inner women is getting a chance to be queen bee within the context of the artist-muse/model relationship. They are being “themselves” for you. It’s like amature porn.

    The gaze is always there. I would be interested to see the gaze on you. I would like to see you invite women to photograph you, and write about you and share your experiences from their prospective and allow that to be a portrait of invitation and investigation. You would be swallowing your own projection, not just your own cum.

    Women don’t need to be in the picture to be there, we don’t need to be seen or shown or stimulating, what we need is our voice and our space to exist. I think when a lot of men talk about their inner women they are talking about the parts of them that don’t have voice, or space to exist. The parts of them that desire what they have been taught to do to others, and the parts of them that want to know what ti feels like to be on the other side of what their power feels like. So the inner women is fear and vulnerability the inner women is that little small quite voice inside, the receiver.

    In my reality as a women being a grown up and being in control have been a lot about dancing with the act of submission and at the same time acting like that is my own will. The inner women is maybe what confusion feels like, the will to be true to oneself and the need for control at the same time.

    Turn the camera on you, and let others use you as their canvas be who they want you to be like your life depended on it and then maybe you will get a little more of your inner woman mojo on the go. I think we too often confuse the teenage excitement of discovering a new body with being a woman, while in reality being a women starts way past the age most models hit the runway, unfortunately women don’t actually get much airtime, and teens don’t have much agency.

    I feel happy to have said so much tonight, thanks for reading, and goodnight.

  28. Now that is an interesting commentary on Book of Blue, particularly given the context of the photographs: my own exposition and exploration of myself; my own confrontation with the biological residue and karmic pattern of my own maleness. Every model who enters the project is aware of this. Every model who touches one of my mirrors knows exactly, precisely what she is touching.

    The theme of Book of Blue is, you are female, I recognize your incredible power, I honor your self awareness, I accept the reaction I have to you, I search for that awareness in myself as an internal thing, I embrace my own feminine side, including how disgusted I might be with myself, or how beautiful I might see myself, or how vulnerable; I am willing to reveal the results of that reaction to myself and to the world: and I take those results on, myself, and I don’t put them onto you personally or onto women as a class. I openly use the process to see the beauty that I see in women within myself, and to embrace the feminine side of heterosexuality within myself to the deepest level that I can.

    In one manifestation this requires that I bring my consciousness into some morph of humility/humiliation and complete emotional submission/subjugation of my male ‘side’.

    Somewhat hilariously, this is not seen by most feminists as a feminist statement; as a statement of willingness to open up and embrace the freedom and humanity of women by exploring taking back my own projections.

    However, as one feminist who was entirely unsympathetic to the project said, honestly (to her credit), if you’re a man, you cannot escape the accusation of the male gaze; you’re trapped, even if you try to comment on it.

  29. The exploitation and objectification is not a one way thing, but the power stream goes in one way. Women use men, yes, but we do not profit from that use without having to actively participate in it.

    There is nothing wrong with appreciating and enjoying the erotic reactions we have to others, the problem is when we start to define a whole sex based on, and rooted in those reactions.

    I am not talking about individual people, or feeling like I am treated like or seen as a full person by certain individuals in my life, I am talking about power. I am talking about being able to see depictions of women around as more than just stimulants.

    Men experience everything and all the hardships and all the insecurity and erotic insecurity that people who aren’t men experience. The difference is that men as a group have more power, and we live in a system that is designed to maintain that.

    I can complain about the state of the world all night, but what I am trying to say from the start is that it’s offensive to read such a shallow statement as “gay men running the fashion industry” with an attempt at the analysis of the state of women today, and how that might be effected by the fashion industry and the so-called gay men running it. It reads like you are trying to say that you really really respect women too much to make them parade around a stage as dolls, or reject their femininity, but at the same time if you look at your book of blue. The women featured are not exactly the puppet master themselves, they are your dolls, and it’s unfair to place such a heavy criticism on a group of people and within a context you clearly and addmitedly don’t have much information about or first hand experience with.

  30. Classicism, beginning with Aristotle, so far as I understand the classics. He was certain women were inferior. It is a Greek thing from that era forward; and the Jews are pretty much categorically hateful of women as well.

    I recently got a copy of The Book of Genesis illustrated by R. Crumb and was nauseated at the depiction of women in that work: not the work of Crumb, who is faithful to the text, but the hideous gender bias of Judeo-Christianity at its roots.

  31. FS, This is a reply to your prior post: I didn’t see that you added a follow-up.

    You seem to be suggesting that this is a one way thing: that women don’t make men into physical objects or objectified energy sources; that a woman looks at me and sees me as a person, and not as a man and with all the baggage that comes with that. I have given up on being a feminist. For women to claim their equality to men, women need to claim their projections onto men and to stop being victims of their own passivity.

    I will know I’m in a safe place when I meet a woman who is honest with herself about whether she likes me, and if she does, asks for my number, calls me up and invites me into her company. No matter how much I strive to be a person, I am also a man and I am perceived in thousands of ways as a man that I don’t generally consider because I tend to think of myself as a person. For example, as a man I have to accept the fact that many women simply view me as a potential rapist; as a potential source of cash; as a member of the patriarchy sending the Marines into Afghanistan tonight; as someone who recklessly leaves his sperm in womens’ bodies.

    I have had to learn how to think of myself as a man; “feminism” such as it was did a fine job of (trying to) anesthetize that consciousness and I have gradually claimed it back.

    While I understand and to some degree can empathize with your sensation of being female and seen only as a body, I would add this to the discussion. Many women spend a lot of time time trying to get noticed, a lot of energy and money and artistic effort: and then men have to play a Russian roulette game because many times when we notice, we’re condemned for that. This a serious double bind, and while this game seems to make women the more powerful, this almost always backfires (and is reactionary conduct to a feeling of being disempowered that worsens the situation).

    In any event, the pheromone level of reality would work fine even if we were blind, deaf and if our skin were numb, all simultaneously. My male biology is responding right now to your female biology. If we want to get out of that, we have to get out of our biology. Meanwhile what do we do? In the immortal words of the gestalt tradition, “be aware of it.”

    I have long suspected that if a woman doubts that a man sees her as a person, that must start with her. That is different than someone coming along and being inherently hateful; I am talking about in ordinary social nonmisogynous discourse.

    Even where no little red dress nor impeccable presentation are present, just a woman being human, It feels damning to be condemned for noticing, for engaging with and appreciating that which is entirely natural. I think that most of our struggle with sex is an entirely unnecessary battle with our own biology: a battle that seems to be centered (politically) on the female body but which ends up shattering the whole atmosphere.

    The more we push what makes us human that under consciousness, the further we detach from any sane grounding on this plane of existence.

    ef

  32. I react to people on an erotic level everyday, but I am not obsessed with defining them strictly within that context believing that couldn’t possibly understand anything else about them like most media does in regards to women.

    I am not saying that being erotic or feeling erotic is a bad thing. What I am saying is that is very convenient for a hetro male elite to push an idea of women, (who have been well used in their rise to power) that is very limited, and non-intellectual. In order to create dominance in every field there has to be in inherent imbalance point. For women it is our biology, so that is in constant focus, for non-whites it’s race, so that is in constant focus, and for gays it’s sexual preference and so that is put into focus, and it is always in a limiting or negative light. It is okay to sometimes focus on race and the biology of women and the sexuality of gays but we have to be very cautious about how we do it and really be sure that we are expanding understanding rather than expanding on the same old same old pigeon holed trash.

    I am a women seeking to expand my range of self definition so that it always goes beyond my body and whatever value might be attached to it’s characteristics. I’m sure I share more in common with men and would be more similar to them if I had the power, as I also know that men share more in common with me and would be more similar if they had the space. The point that I am trying to make is that it is the same thing across the board, and the problem isn’t rooted in our difference it is rooted in how those differences are played out, how there is power behind being different in some ways and restriction behind being different in other ways. I think we should address the mechanisms that motivate these power and space imbalances rather than focus what I would consider these 2d points of difference.

    Maybe the anger we see is not at women at all. Maybe it is anger about the condition of women, or anger at a heteronormative society that restricts and relegates any sexuality the goes against the power structure it supports. Maybe designers don’t hate their models, maybe they hate that they can’t always use the models they might want to use.

  33. We can view ourselves in a sexual context in terms of having different genitals and hormones or whatever biological aspects you would consider as the basis of our sex, and that’s fine.

    It’s the values ideas and assumptions that we attach to those things that is problematic. It is the idea that because I have a vagina and have a period once a month, and have breasts that stick out there must be something special or different or unfathomable about me that a person with a penis simple couldn’t understand that resent. The notion that there is something outside of my inherent individuality that makes me somehow interesting from an expeditionary standpoint, and that something being my genitals and other biological aspects that would define my sex, must be explored and focused on to get a hold on that something, whatever it is. And because men (the people with penises) are so entitled and happy to satisfy their curiosity I should allow them to poke and prod at my collective body (strictly for the sake of research). I cringe at the idea that in order to understand women you must look at our bodies first, because that is primarily what we are.

    When I meet someone, and I want to understand them, I talk to them. I create space for them to share who they are however they feel like sharing it, and when I walk away I usually have more to say about them than how their body smelled, look, tasted or felt as if I had just tried a new dish. I too often see women being pinned down what defines us on a sensory level. I am not content with being depicted as a goddess of the unknown or that simply being that spiritual seekers glorify. I want to investigated on my time, in a way that suits me, and for reasons that expand my definition as a whole person, not just something to be experienced by others. Fashion has a way of intermixing the sensory, the intellectual and the psychic. What we wear conveys a multitude of ideas about the way we feel and see ourselves and the world around us as well as how we want to be seen and what we want to see.

    Classism pushes us to deny who we are. Not fashion. Classism creates the internalized violence and sense of not good enough-ness that is often associated with the fashion industry. When I was a teen was really into fashion, I made clothes for myself and tried to really live it up style wise, I was just discovering what it was like to be aware of the fact that I was being seen. To influence that. It wasn’t until I understood how important it was to control how other people saw me, how I dressed, and what class of person I was perceived to be that I started focusing and trying to embody all of the unrealistic things we see on the runways today. Before that I was content to be a wacky fashion scientist surrounded by friends and loving freely!

  34. FS

    So then what do we do about pheromones?

    In other words, even in the most ordinary social or professional environment, we are responding to one another as biological entities.

  35. ficklesticle,

    here is my question to you: if we define ourselves as male and female, we enter a sexual context. so how can we define ourselves as male and female, which are sexes, and have that be a nonsexual context?

    I define sexual as more than ‘sexual acts’. It is the perception of sex as a category. We’re not going to catapult ourselves into non-dualistic thinking in one go (or will we?) but it seems like sex is here to stay, because you say you’re a woman and I say I’m a man.

    Has anyone read The Second Sex lately? Simone spends the first 75 pages asking the question “what is a woman?” from a biological standpoint. It would be good, I believe, for us to all make friends with that. That really is the starting point of any conversation about the condition of women. Then we can move onto the social construction.

  36. It’s funny how the people who are probably the least interested in being an any given position often end up exactly there. Gay men are noted to be leaders in the fashion industry because they really aren’t supposed to have any investment in how women look, because women look they way we look to attract men, and that’s why we have fashion. So why would a bunch of men who aren’t even attracted to us try and tell us how we should dress to attract other men? Because Fashion is more than that.

    But Fashion and The Fashion Industry are two different things. The fashion industry is a lot about supply and demand, and more about class. Elitism penetrates anything it can get it’s hands on, and the reason why women follow fashion and cover ourselves with paint and feel like hell about the way we look is partly because Fashion or how we dress has been so interlinked with class, and class possibility. And class struggles combined with the objectification of women are what really create the crap situation so many of us are in today.

    People want to blame models for being too thin, or designers for creating such a violent landscape for women to inhabit, but at the end of the day it is the world that tells is how we look is all we add up to. It is the world that reminds us to dress the part and to buy into this or that elitist ideology. Almost all images of people are impossible to live up to, that’s why creating images is so wonderful. The problem is that often times women do not get beyond being images, and if we do we simple become means to reflect on images. What we need is femininity that goes beyond 2D and fantasy. We need the real nitty gritty boring and everyday wonder that is life, and not only women either.

    Last night I saw “A Serious Man” I thought it was incredibly misogynistic, it didn’t focus on objectifying women so much as it created a space where the viewer was exposed almost exclusively to a mans world, in which women are nearly completely unfathomable and don’t even try to be. This is really struggling to me. Fashion uses it’s models as a canvas, womens bodies dominate that space because our bodies are more often used as the start matter for what society wants to shape. When that changes, fashion will change. When a woman’s mind and character becomes genuinely interesting in a non-sexual context then we can talk about progress. And often times that’s what gay men offer with their company.

    McQueens designs have been appreciated by women who are popularly understood to be women who think. Maybe there is something he did that speaks to us.

  37. I would have been one of those ( I guess I still am sometimes) complaining about how difficult it all is. But I think I’ve discovered something~ the only way to undo patterns that have had 20-30 or even 5-10 years to settle in is to be committed enough to undoing them to maintain a daily practice devoted to cultivation of inner sensitivity as in yoga or any of the internally based martial arts with regular contact with flesh and blood teachers who are aware of the deep roots of the traditions of which they are stewards. From personal experience over many years I know that two times per week for a couple of hours as in a Taiji class can do little but soothe a few superficial symptoms. Only a daily practice has the strength to establish itself as the new normal.

    It might be helpful to consider any new state as a plant in your care. Skip paying attention to its needs for a day and it might wither and die. It’s surrounded by the hostility of all the habits that maintain the state you seek to change. After many years of regular but not regular enough to break my hellfire habits I finally managed to memorize an entire Taiji form with the magick of Youtube. I want to stress however that the youtube would do me little good without being in the physical presence of a teacher on a regular basis.

  38. Well, within is the first ritual space, and it’s also the destination of all the others. I think that with the current fear level the way that it is, the incredible fear of one another and of experience that has been foisted on us, yes — we have to open up that inner space. Listening to people, I keep getting surprised how difficult that is for…whoever I hear describing how difficult it is. However…I think we need to start moving into a circle again. Somewhere in one of her late 1980s poems Adrienne Rich says something about: it’s become really lonely with all these high-integrity I-statements. She’s more elegant about it…but she suggests that we need to get back to we. Where We is someone besides the people who want to take way gay marriage or we who want to support it. A more personal we. WE need to get together and see one another’s faces and have these conversations. That said, I suggest that anyone reading this tune in and have a good sense of what you are ready for; what you would not resist, if it were happening within you and around you.

    My space is always, or often, open for this. I live in a place that is convenient to New York City, Boston and Montreal (all within two to four hours’ driving distance).

  39. “We need to be in non-ordinary consciousness to have some of these conversations. Call it what you will: ritual space, altered state, entheogenic state, whatever: our control-oriented space (for which we fear dreaded shame and embarrassment, if we let go of that) is not going to be the space.”

    That’s why we need our shamans (often disguised as artists in this atheistic materialist fundie trip). Flip side~if the emotional plague could be healed I don’t think the consciousness to discuss these things would continue to seem so non-ordinary 😉
    flip~again~states of change~
    What if ritual space is where we cultivate the inner space that gives birth to our intentions?

  40. Eric~ ok, I admit I really oughta do some taiji in the morning before reading things and posting on the web 😉

    I want to point out that I see a distinction between paint and fantasy as play and as an evasion of one’s true emotions about life. Dressing up for Mardi Gras is one thing, fearing the light of day without some product or other covering the light of your body’s chi to avoid offending people conditioned by images that erase all “imperfections” so that everyone on TV looks like a plastic doll is something else. Wikipedia says Andy Warhol wanted to be plastic. Plastic doesn’t feel anything at all.

    Basically I think Wilhelm Reich was right and so much of our overly technological society is a series of compensations for not being able to feel the pulse of the cosmos through our own bodies, direct experience that no one can sell you. Our science denies the validity of direct experience, only trusting information based on proof that obeys the confines of the unexpressed assumptions of individual scientists that can be measured by machines that have already been invented. I don’t know to what extent there’s an actual conspiracy or if there is one at all but this lack of trust in direct experience is really convenient if your perception of reality is tilted towards perceiving that making a profit is the bottom line for everything. It becomes this perception that none of us are worthy of love, but if we buy the right product we can at least ease the pain until the effect wears off and we have to buy something else. We trust what we see on TV more than we know how to trust our interior sensations.

    It’s the bardo of hungry ghosts magnified to the level of a society. What we really want is full body orgasms but we do all this other meaningless shit that doesn’t deliver, but keeps the dopamine flowing enough to forget like fish that the whole capitalist trip is a bottomless pit of dividing ourselves against ourselves lusting after things that don’t exist while some fat cat in a skyscraper is having a stress fit mistaken for an orgasm every time he makes another billion. I mean we went from the first rapid fire machine gun-the Maxim gun- to the atom bomb in less than 75 years. I don’t think emotional plague is too severe a term to apply to what’s up with the uberculture and its extremes of violence.

    I’ve got Libra rising with Uranus in the first house and a Pluto~Vesta conjunction in the 12th, also in Libra. The new moon before my birth was a total solar eclipse on my north lunar node that happened when India unleashed the Smiling Buddha and went nuclear. Saturn retrograde in Cancer (Cardinal Point no less) in touch with Gemini south node 3 degrees away sez…my bones remember the long history of war (my dad was on shore leave in the latter days of Vietnam when I was concieved) and I’m sick sick sick of it. The Uranian buzz in my body tells me that humanity has so much more it can experience if it can break the habit and try something different. I think too much of our society is a mask on a hatred of life, of the sensations involved in the direct experience of being an animal. Treat Gaia like an enemy and you have one formidable foe who will ultimately have you for dinner warfare or no. Treat Gaia like a respected friend, like your lover and she reveals secrets that only lovers can find (organic veggies really do taste better, Taiji really works as an aid to undoing the local effects of the emotional plague, mutual benefit is more widespread in nature than domination and warfare, etc) The emotional state of war prevents perception of any other way to be. Just because we’ve always done it that way, doesn’t mean it has to be our future.

    I mean, those shoes- they’re stilts that squeeze the mind out of the feet and into the head where you can’t feel what you’re doing to your body or the body of the planet of which that body you’re not paying attention to is a part. The planet that’s currently experiencing the ass end of our culture’s contemptus mundi in the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs largely as a direct result of human actions. I think all these things are intimately connected.

    I think it’s the violence our repressed society feels toward sexual “deviants” that fuels the cruelty of the fashion industry (anorexia, bulimia, bones getting damaged from crazy ass shoes, etc.). It all goes back to the function of the orgasm and the widespread inability to drink of that chalice.

  41. I wonder about subtle things, for example, I had a lover recently who would not be seen without makeup. I know what was underneath that. We accept this because it’s a woman. If I told you that I cannot be seen outside my house without my nails done and my unibrow waxed and two or three layers of makeup and exactly the right clothes — you would think I was nuts: because I’m a man.

    I think that makeup and fashion are great, in the spirit of play, but not control.

    Speaking of. A lot of the projection is about control. CareCare, it’s not that I have such wonderful feelings about women as it is that I am determined to explore the equilibrium I want to experience with them, and also to open up full communication. I am powerfully attracted to women and I want to process that power in a constructive way. I am also empathic of as many of the trials of women as I know about, without laying my maleness on the altar of the sacrifices they think they have to make.

    The challenges in this are my own feminine shadow side; my desire to get my needs met in a symbiotic (plus-plus relationship) way and the perception that many women have of themselves of being unworthy of an opinion / of a role / of existence — and it is existential.

    Much of what men project onto women involves how they/we feel about themselves/ourselves. In Book of Blue I’ve written since around mid-2007 using semen as a metaphor for men’s feelings about themselves and how they project this onto/into women. It would be great if more of us could go there, but there are two issues: for all of our talk about empowerment, we seemingly intentionally omit sexual empowerment (as if it doesn’t exist) and second, I’ve observed this. We need to be in non-ordinary consciousness to have some of these conversations. Call it what you will: ritual space, altered state, entheogenic state, whatever: our control-oriented space (for which we fear dreaded shame and embarrassment, if we let go of that) is not going to be the space.

    To get there, we need to be working with a lot of Saturn and Chiron so that we have inner awareness and sufficient self control to be able to let go of that control.

    One last bit. I don’t know what they do in the fashion business, in terms of spiritual practice. I mean, to each his own, but I’m not going to assume that spiritual practice is the norm, the the thing to do. My sense is that Lee had nowhere to go; no sense of his existence beyond a fairly wispy ego structure that was not rooted in this world.

    Lee really cared about how wide someone’s lapelles were. In what sphere of reality does that actually matter? No place I want to go.

  42. I was very very moved yesterday by his death –
    feeling deep sympathy and compassion to Mc Queen
    whose loss of his mum devastated him to the point of suicide.
    As I recently lost my father and was there when he passed away- it reminded me how fragile our minds can be if we are not grounded or prepared-

    I was reminded of the myth of Dionysus the Ancient Greek god of wine, the inspirer of ritual madness and ecstasy, whose followers the Maenads have a connection to some of the themes in his work. Dyonysus’s myth, if one reads the play The Bachae,
    or looks at the history of Delphi, shared by both Appolo – the god of “reason”
    and Dionysus- “the wild one” might give some perspective on Mc Queen’s talent – and the ability to go between two worlds/

  43. ..make-up, paint, is cool! (We’re all here to experience the Massive Play that is reality.)

    …(when our part comes, are we dressed and set for our personal delivery? Our part?)..

    I’ve had a mantra lately, which is: forget about all the mental b.s., exist in being.

    I don’t know anything about this particular dude, I do have thoughts regarding culture and responsible self-aware stewardship though.

    ..So many folk throw their lives down onto society.. I find it all to be a fascinating trip! One where direct, aware thought processes navigate one’s own image of reality, and transpose that through volition. (It’s still a bit funky.. with craziness everywhere, it’s a wonder anybody can function at all!)…..

    ..but alas, my brain is done.

    Wake well!

    Luv ya.

    J

  44. Thanks for covering this, Eric. I appreciate the posts and was especially grateful, Alexandra, to hear your impressions given your proximity to McQueen and the fashion world. If I could afford them, I would have worn his shoes as often as I could, and for me it would have everything to do with how it would make me feel: Vibrant, at once hidden and exposed, & more comfortable in a world where it so often seems that I don’t belong. Born a year before McQueen, also with Scorp rising, under a heavy Pisces influence- including a new moon, and with Chiron in Aries in the fifth (though not nearly the fire nor rebellion that he had), I was devastated to know that his brilliant art could not save him… or so it would seem. I imagine with a bit more perspective I will look at this differently. Today, though, I am wishing he could have stayed a little longer.

  45. Eric,

    Your wonderful feelings about women have been so healing to me. I had not been privy to any man’s mind to the extent that you have exposed yours and my surprise was huge. It isn’t that I thought men were the enemy or anything; I have always loved men in all their complexity. It was my own bad self image that has been such a bane to my ability to love my physical self. Your insights made me see myself and all women in such a different light; a gentle, compassionate, deeply desirous light. I wish more men would be as open as you are about how you see women; perhaps women would stop seeing men as “the enemy” and as adversaries and instead see them the way you see women; with compassion and desire and wonder.

    Who knows how different gay men see women. I had some gay male friends that told me they liked women in their lives because with women, they felt they could be emotionally open and there was not the feeling of competition or attraction to muddy things up. Women nurtured them, they said.

    Your unique perspective on relationships and sexuality is very healing and I am so glad you are out there typing away; pouring your compassion out there for everyone. Thanks again for a great article.

  46. Fashion Show~ the art form of grown up children playing king and queen over pods of life sized dolls. And then a whole bunch of women decide they want to look like dolls and there’s nothing but a whole bunch of grown up children around. Bah. Taiji.

  47. Is that why so many women are willing to smash their feet into back breaking torture devices and paint themselves silly~to look acceptable enough to gain praise and social rewards from people who reject women? Sorry, I really don’t like high heels and makeup. They strike me as a little to anti-flesh, contemptus mundi wrapped up in a Barbie doll image.

  48. you’re right…this is so intense on so many levels.

    from my own standpoint as a designer, he has been one of the few i can honestly say has wowed me, consistently, as a creative force that literally gets into my blood and skin, and terrifies…and yet there is this incredible release.

    Karl Lagerfeld said yesterday, ” I found his work very interesting, and never banal. There was always some attraction to death. His designs were sometimes dehumanized. Who knows, perhaps after flirting with death too often, death attracts you.”

    The bit about the umbilical cord tethering him to earth chilled me.

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