Authenticity, Bardo, Country, Dreamtime, Milky Way, Prodigal Moon, Sagittarius, Southern Hemisphere Stars, Underworld, Woe
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
Oscar Wilde, De Profundis,1905.
On watch, with travelling sheep, my comrades all asleep,
Neither moon nor star illumed the summer sky:
My eyes I scarce had closed, tho’ I know I must
have dozed When a very strange procession passed me by.
First came a kangaroo, with a “swag” of blanket blue,
With a dingo, likewise loaded, for his mate ;
They saluted me and passed, saying they’d travelled rather fast.
And could not stay, as it was growing late.
An opossum and a crow sung a song,”The long ago,”
A frilled Jew lizard listened with a smile;
An emu, straying near, held his claw up to his ear.
Saying,”The prettiest song I’ve heard for quite a while”
… Just here there came a crash, as if creation had gone smash,
And leaping up I found I’d been asleep.
Twas the boss from ‘neath the cart, who woke me with a start,
Crying -“Charlie! where the blazes are the sheep ?”
From the original “Drover’s Dream”, Folkstream.com
“O Lieb auf grüner Erden.
Ich zieh’ in Krieg auf grüne Haid,
die grüne Haide, die ist so weit!
Allwo dort die schönen Trompeten blasen,
da ist mein Haus,
mein Haus von grünem Rasen!“
From “Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen“, Gustav Mahler, Des Knaben Wunderhorn. See translation at Hampsong Foundation.
Woe to the Sagittarius Moon! At his highest in the Southern sky, yet can he find no human spirit to soar with him. No romantic poet remains to march us gloriously out of our past; in fact, unable or unwilling to identify with the poverty and sins of the past, regardless of where we migrated from, we have wandered aimlessly into a Google dreamtime, uninitiated. Community is a strange label for populism. Who lives in our old bark hut? Who owns our land? What are they going to do with it? We don’t know, do we? Do entrepreneurs and their propagandist administrators whose nest-feathering has betrayed our trust–sold us down the river, as it were–belong in our community?
Cheer up. Yes, Winter’s here, bringing its usual privations, including Seasonal Affective Disorder, to add to those the whole world is experiencing in lockdown, and Jupiter’s gone retrograde. But that’s no reason to be overwhelmed by self-criticism projected onto the casual judgments of those significant others sharing your retreat from the cold. You are not a waste of your birthright if you have been doing what you were supposed to do, and even if you haven’t, isn’t that what you were supposed to do? Who in the visa queue dares know the contribution to carbon emissions justified by the urgent need to conjure their birth country in an eternal present?
The conventional Sign lumped on Sagittarius is partly right. Natives can tend towards withdrawal and melancholy, but not because of single-minded ambition to surmount arduous conditions, rather because their imagination is enthralling. They might actually achieve very little for that reason. Well might you label them prodigal, and deplore their self-absorption and waste of talent. However, at this time of year we all appear to be in Sagittarius, which ought to inspire some circumspection.
Authenticity has people by the tail, provoking narcissistic condemnation of inertia. To whom does it matter whether the Centaur represents an archer with a bead on the Scorpion, or a brew of tea? Is it not just a bunch of invisible stars? What does an implied Pleistocene fascination with the Milky Way matter under a washed-out sky? The morbid anxiety exuded by a prodigal Underworld is dreadfully infectious! Come out! Be someone! Be remembered! Do something! Psst, whispers the Prodigal, shouldn’t you be wondering what you will meet this side of the Acheron? What irrelevant self do you leave back there? No wonder that the ferryman disdains your obol, this desecrated planet, your millions of unhallowed dead. Why do you keep returning here? Welcome to country, he says.