Category: art

Zenobia And The Temple of Bel
The warrior queen Zenobia passed under that Zodiac dozens, maybe hundreds, of times. By the start of her reign in the 3rd century BC, the Temple of Bel in Palmyra was already 200 years old. Its fabulous portico with the seven planets personified, surrounded by the signs of the Zodiac, would [...]
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On Pisces
Sadko In The Underwater Kingdom by Ilya Repin (Wikimedia Commons) From Tunisia to Elizabeth Taylor, you never know who you’re going to swim past down there in the blue, blue sea. With the Sun still in Pisces, visit or revisit these OA posts on or about the sign of the Fishes. A Fortnight [...]
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Bitter Lake
Adam Curtis’ extraordinary and beautiful documentary, Bitter Lake, mesmerises. Archival footage from the BBC, overlaid with a textured, eclectic soundscape creates an experience that leaves you breathless, wondering at the new world order that you sense, and at a new art form for the [...]
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Astrology of Now: The Disappearance of Manannan Mac Lir
A statue of the Celtic sea god Manannan Mac Lir was stolen from an Irish mountaintop on January 21, the day Mercury, the planet of thieves, went retrograde. Although Manannan is the “son of the sea” and a deity of storms, but he has more in common with Mercury than Neptune. [...]
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Dr Zhivago: Venus In The Midst Of Mars
Like flowers the ice crystals on the window sparkle in the winter sun, transform into a sunny field of daffodils. Spring. Early-morning, low sun between rows of straight, rough-barked pines flashes as the camera moves. Treeless, snowy, dead flat land with a horizon straight as a ruler. A [...]
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A Bit Of Shakespeare And Some Bean
  “The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre Observe degree, priority and place, Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, Office and custom, in all line of order; And therefore is the glorious planet Sol In noble eminence enthroned and sphered Amidst the other; whose [...]
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Lights, Camera, Roar
It’s silly to guess a profession by Sun sign. But this is the silly season – and there are an awful lot of film directors born under the sign of the Lion. Creative, passionate, theatrical, charismatic – and with a big vision — it figures. So this week’s birthdays [...]
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Do We Need Narcissus?
Narcissus (suddenly): “Have you ever been in love? I mean really in love?” You: “Well, obviously, I marr—“ Narcissus interrupts: “Me – I’m super sensitive so when someone like me falls in love, well it’s probably unusually intense. I mean I [...]
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A Fortnight (or so) Of Visionary Artists
Detail from the Stigmatisation of St Francis. Tiepolo (March 5) Tiepolo, a vivid conjuror of imaginary worlds, painted ceilings. So did Michelangelo. It was the fashion in those days, of course, to paint visions of heaven… What follows are works by artists born between March 5 and 21 [...]
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Love Conquers War: Mars in Libra
Mars and Venus by Sandro Botticelli (c.1483) The god of war –- naked, defenceless, vulnerable – sleeps with his mouth half open, exhausted by lovemaking (we suppose), while Venus, the goddess of love, with not a hair out of place, fully clothed, regards him quite coolly, stroking his ankle [...]
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Venus in Art: Rivera and Freud
Dona Elena Flores de Carrillo by Diego Rivera. (1952) The Mexican muralist Diego Rivera was born on December 8, 1886. The British painter Lucian Freud was born on December 8, 1922. The sign of Sagittarius – half-man, half-beast. Centaurs were notorious for their brawling and rapine. Animal [...]
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Ancient Symbols of Power
The four gospels surround the lamb of god. When a medieval craftsman lovingly carved a representation of the four gospels for the cover of this book, he was using symbols that had been sacred for thousands of years before the birth of Christ. The four gospels – Luke, Mark, John, and Mathew – [...]
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A Brief Look At Virtue and Vice
Francesco Pesselino – The Seven Virtues (male and female personifications To live a moral life, according to Plato, you needed the following qualities: justice, temperance, courage and prudence. These are the “cardinal” virtues and the foundations of a civilised society. But [...]
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Rothko
In case you missed this post in celebration of the great Rothko.  
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Suzanne Valadon
This terrific self-portrait dates from 1927. Just as a supplement to the Satie piece: here is Suzanne Valadon’s chart. She was a wonderful woman, a free spirit, single mother, great painter and an inspiration for many other artists (Neptune in the 7th), in particular Renoir. For a while [...]
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The Impressionists: The Power of Friendship (Part One)
Monet by his friend Renoir (1875) When a grocer’s son from Le Havre and a young factory worker from central France met in a studio in Paris in 1862, one of the most important friendships in the history of art was born. Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were in the midst of torrid, [...]
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Damien Hirst Redux
The art establishment’s favourite entrepreneur is on the radio this morning, so I thought I’d repost a piece I wrote about him. It made me laugh again, but that is part of Hirst’s charm. To read it, click here.
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Astrology of Now: Deep Prayer, Inner Vastness
Blue, Green and Brown by Mark Rothko I do wonder how much astrology is used in the Vatican. The timing of Benedcit XVI’s resignation and then the papal conclave that starts today, on the day of the Pisces New Moon, is perfect. This Pisces energy is well-used in prayer, contemplation and [...]
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The Zodiac at the Heart of St Peter’s
Nuns in St Peter’s Square, Ash Wednesday 2013. On Ash Wednesday several thousand people queued around St Peter’s Square in the slanting afternoon sun. Above pulsed the blue dome of the a perfect Roman sky, ahead the pearly dome of the St Peter’s, mother church reaching out [...]
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Astrology of Now: Bright Ideas, Shiny Synapses
The Moon from De Sphaera As I write, the Moon is running the gamut of an opposition to Pluto. She’s in her own sign, Cancer, so she’s no pushover, even for the lord of the Underworld. But as she slides through the sea of Cancer, she brings into action all kinds of interesting [...]
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