Earth’s self upholds this monument
To conquerors who won her when
Wooing was dangerous, and now
Are gathered unto her again. Brian Fitzpatrick.
Now there’s a dog on the v’randa, for his master he waits
But the boss is inside drinking wine with his mates
He hurries for cover and he cringes in fear
It’s no place for a dog ’round a pub with no beer. Gordon Parsons.
The Artisan, schooled in a time-honoured tradition, has practised his craft so often that design and method have become innate. Ornament is often idiosyncratic but his guiding star is utility, and the artefact he produces is ever used in the same way. We don’t need an instruction manual to place and sit on a chair, or hold a cup the right way to drink out of it. Conventions needs no description. To be inside them is enough, until they no longer work. The patriarchy no longer works, and we have laboriously deconstructed it, or in places begun at least to recognize its negative influence in traditional societies evolving connection beyond the village. However, the belief that a convention has lost its utility becomes another convention, which no instruction manual can market. Inclusion takes time and immense care to avoid violence and hurt as a new authority attempts to confront an old one.
Fortunately, the convention of map reading has not reached that position, or even revealed its existence to more than a handful. (See McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World.) Southern stargazers take it for granted that North is at the bottom and that we are looking at traditionally represented asterisms upside down, but the cartographical convention that North is up cannot be ignored when the Moon’s perspective attempts to align with ours, or to put it another way, when the Artisan attempts to make something we can use. How can we in the South possibly get inside a Moon in our Zodiac who is looking at the Earth upside down?
We will get to an explanation presently, but first consider the Constellation, Cetus. What is the basis of the attributes I have given it? Had Babylonian, Greek or mediaeval European taxonomers seen Cetus our way up, they would possibly have called it Vespa, the Wasp, because that’s what it resembles in the South, with a stinger to the west and a proboscis to the east, in celestial context which only came to make sense when Southerners began to ride horses, and the Fishes revealed themselves as a presumptuous rider on Pegasus whose moomba in jodphurs was worth investigating. Diphda is antagonistic and Menkar is intrusive, but the industry of the Potter Wasp, an artisan if there ever was one, is both beguiling and inspiring. It is difficult to assess the impression we make on others, though convention has it that there are those who ‘get’ us and those who don’t. The passage of the Earth through Vespa (Cetus) depends on where the Moon’s nodes are. This orbit we Earthlings are giving the impression of both positive and negative characteristics of waspishness, whichever way up we ought to be viewed, between 15:28 on the 28th and 08:25 on the 29th UTC, and after a day and two hours in Pisces, 10:45 and 15:14 on the 30th UTC. Know your time differences? Then mind how you go!
Your selfie over Nepal is a Northern tour de force, Artisan! You have created an image in the tradition of ancient maps of the world showing it surrounded by ocean, while giving your position the authentic offset from the Zenith which proves you’re not a robot. Most helpfully, your projection of the sky, first mapped onto paleolithic cave walls, demonstrates the root of the conventional orientation of north and south on a map. But you know, the Packers Prize goes to another.
The sky can be dragged down to the vertical from any direction. To see the Zodiac the Southern way up, drag it down from the North, but then North will be at the bottom, the opposite of our maps, in which the South is always behind us. Let’s view the Honourable Mention.
To see the Emu right way up, drag the sky down from the South-East. The Emu at Zenith is always above a North-up Earth. How’s that for a Treaty? And every artisan leaves a signature: today the upper transit of the Southern Cross was at Solar Midnight. Only happens once a year, on this day. Nice one.