“Art is fundamentally tasteless” (Johannes Göransson)
“It’s a good thing I was born a girl, otherwise I’d be a drag queen” (Dolly Parton)
Reporting live from San Diego, where I’m gazing out from my Surfer Beach Hotel balcony at the pale morning moon hanging over the ocean, a footloose guitarist serenading the surfers, salty breeze stinging my eyes a little—if I were a Cancer, I’d be weeping. Instead, I’m merely a Gemini who’s hounded by Cancers, despite what Sarah C says, including the Cancer in question, even if my experience of this hounding is, at bottom, just a fanciful and elaborate distraction, My Own Private JG you might say. And apparently I’m not the only one who takes issue with Cancers: Mary Anne Carter, in “Astrological Noise” (Supermachine #3), claims “Cancers are the most convicted criminals and have the highest chance of becoming serial killers.” So that’s unsettling and maybe even true. Some Cancers, the more evolved ones, know how to mediate these rather more grim aspects of their character in places like colonial pageants, animal bodies, masquerades, blog personae, abandoned bible belt warehouses, guinea pig caves where rodential bachanalia translates as black blood that keeps coming and coming, as depth psychologists, poets, mothers, and so on. Humbert Humbert was probably a Cancer, but so might Gregor Samsa have been: oh meow meow Gregor, woke up as a giant beetle?, wah wah wah, get over it! Glitzy American Quilty got your stodgy European knickers in a twist? Queering up your little knee-socked Lo? Oh boo-hoo-hoo.
But let’s not jump to conclusions; destiny is elastic; any inflexible allegiance to freewill is, I considered the other day, just another way to pretend you’re not immortal. Carter adds that “these irrefutable truths taint the delicate, gentle group of you, who upon us exude as a whole a gentle essence…and bitchin’ determinism.” . And lest we forget, Cancers are the zodiacal mother substance.
Our in-depth and ongoing study into the complex nature of our subject, Johannes Göransson, has preoccupied much of our creative, intellectual, and occult energies over the course of the past 2 months, but the time has come to share our findings and de-hound. Due to the shock and awe we’re certain these revelations will impose upon the Montevidayan readership, we shall mete it out over the course of the next 48 hours or so, allowing you to absorb it gradually while still making some time to take a surf lesson or occupy Wells Fargo in whatever town you currently find yourself. Below we offer a preview, perhaps even an outline (we’ll see how I feel after surfing), with some multimedia treats, and teasers, to blaze our astrotail.
Johannes Göransson, THIS IS YOUR LIFE
1.We are not Astrologers (particularly considering: “Historically the term mathematicus was used to denote a person proficient in astrology, astronomy, and mathematics.” However, “In the United States, the practice of astrology is largely unregulated. Certification is not required by legislation for an astrologer to offer his or her services.”)
2. “Astrology has no need to be nailed to the cross of current experimental practices and scientific models, nor need it be ‘made reasonable’ (Heidegger) according to the criteria of science: it generates a different type of rationality which relates to psychic states; it perceives reality in its global nature and through the agency of psychic-astral operands, in an approach which is transversal, not horizontal. Astrology emerges from a paradigm which is organic, not mechanistic… [and] possesses its own language, a ‘proto-language,’ which gives account of a ‘phenomenon’ in its totality and in its diverse facets, just as it appears to consciousness. It develops its own mode of reasoning, matrix-based reasoning, which cannot be assimilated by the experimental reason of science, nor by the discursive reason of philosophers.” (Patrice Guinard)
3. “go all the way and post whenever u want to!” (JG, email exchange)
It was so much easier to write about Julian Assange. There were no stakes, we could have gotten the whole thing completely wrong and who’d have known or cared? Johannes, you’re not talking about the world and the world’s secrets, you’re talking about yourself and your own secrets. This is Sarah C’s translation anyway of your Virgo rising / 12th house moon aspects. I myself am more interested in your Pluto rising opposing a 8th house Mars (in Aries). We are both inspired by your 10th house sun and its implications as well as the placement of your north node (“destiny this lifetime”)and your 3rd house Neptune, as you’ll see below and in the coming hours / days. Sarah has particular interest in your year of birth (1973) and your Saturn in Gemini concerns. One thing I can say is that, like you, I am Virgo & Pluto rising, 10th house sun, and 3rd house Neptune, so, when it comes to “taking issue” with those phenomena, you can run but you can’t hide. Anyway, let’s get on with it. Sarah, your initial reactions to JG’s chart ?
Sarah C: Well, he’s so internal. Which is, like, Virgo below the horizon (remember Paul McCartney had someone walking around him–when he got high once–writing down all the words he said just in case poetry came out). This is why it’s a bigger charge for us, because we can’t just talk about a global idea [Julian Assange] that has some “global ramifactions” but is more personal. Julian Assange’s stuff is implicitly about him but explicitly about the world. Johannes’ stuff is explicitly about himself, so it’s a different kettle of fish. Someone could write a random biography (don’t say this) about Julian Assange, but I mean who knows what he ate for brekafast? With Johannes, someone probably knows what he had for breakfast. Miss World knows what he had for breakfast. “Every morning he had a boiled egg. He hated eggs over easy, they made him sad.” That’s why this one is so much more taxing, I mean the Julian Assange thing, it was like, whatevs. But this is like a murky swamp of a pond. We could be so wrong.
Thence it was that Thales of Miletus, and Hesiod concluded that Water was the beginning of all things, and said it was the first of all the Elements, and the most potent, and that because it hath the mastery over all the rest. For, as Pilny saith, Waters swallow up the Earth, extinguish flames, ascend on high, and by the stretching forth of the clouds, challenge the Heaven for their own: the same falling become the Cause of all things that grow in the Earth.–From Three Books of Occult Philosophy, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Counfeller to Charles the Fifth of Germany (misspellings are Ye Olde English not mine)
The scariest thing is the figure without an interior. Like puppets or movies. And the sexiest.–JG, Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate (CP)
Sarah C: Okay, he’s got a very balanced chart… Cancer in the 10th house, though, and that’s uncomfortable… His sun placement suggests he is totally about public, I don’t know if we need to tell anybody this, but his very essence of being active is in the public eye, in a creative way. And then he’s got Saturn in Gemini, in the so public 10th house, along with his sun—though they’re not interacting. He’s probably known for being “Saturn mind,” for communicating paradigms, laws, patterns…but also the environment in which he encounters the PUBLIC feels Saturn in response to HIM, about his mind and mutability and how he easily he moves in his neighborhood. All that he sees is scrutinized by the crowd, his complete public life—as Jung would say “the crowd is also the mystery that needs to be solved.” Whenever you’re seeing the crowd in your dream it’s what everyone else knows that you don’t know. Along with “city” being the “mother”—city symbolizing mother—whenever the city is represented in dreams, it is “the mother.” The city has become a whore and we have to destroy it. His whole shame or whatever about mental processes in early life then translates to being the father of these processes in later life, because you have overcome them with your will (“Saturn,” also in 10th). While his very public accomplishment of being, like, “the big stern father of mental processes” (Saturn) to everyone, he’s also seen as very creative, watery.
Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, is the great task master, Cronus, the killer of his own father Uranus, bidder of Gaia, Father Time. JG’s Saturn in Gemini (ruled by Mercury, the mind, communications) slows Mercury’s silver, makes him a thorough and almost plodding thinker—Hermes with ankle weights. He doesn’t nibble at concepts or ideas, he swallows them whole and digests them slow. His intimates may feel like he “goes on a bit,” and may be faulted for not letting ideas drop or for being a pedant at times. And, this thoroughness of thought is rooted in the external world, in rationality, in objectivity. BUT! Oh, things are never that one sided or that easy. The most subjective, creative, internal of world signs, Cancers don’t necessarily care about your or the external world’s “objective truth” or the policeman’s laws or what makes an “ordered society.” They care about THEIR FEELINGS! THEIR CREATIONS! THEIR OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES! That is the only “truth.”
Then his Virgo moon is in his 12th house, the psyche, behind the scenes. So the ruling planet of his sun sign, THE MOON, appears in the 12th house, THE DARK. He’d rather be super subjective out in the world and have everybody look at his world and tell him that it’s a rational, smart, public world. It’s not. Because it’s backward (Cancer sun in Cancer’s opposite house). I mean, as a Cancer, his ego should be expressed through a very subjective private world. But, 10th house is where we know if the Dow is going up or down. I mean, in his chart, this has nothing to do with it–this is about stuff that’s outside of market, you can’t put it on a test strip and look at it, make predictions on future behavior or market science. 4th house is more like, “this drug will work if I love you” and 10th house is “the drug will work because of science, because we can predict the effects…”
Sarah F: As a 10th house sun person myself (in Gemini, but Cancer also appears in my 10th house), I can attest to the pressure to divulge one’s life plot, to dutifully draw the gaze of the crowd—not so much to serve / nourish / gratify the self as to appease the expectations of the polis (can I say that?) 10th house seems related to the Father, performing for the father, acting as vehicle for the father’s ongoing power—”I am a product of my father, his status rests solely on my appearance of exceptionalism.” I mean, that’s part of it. But my actual father is also a 10th house sun, which probably swells my sense of this paternal Saturn nearness. And, like JG, Saturn appears in my father’s 10th house as well. Which is Saturn’s natural house, belonging to Capricorn (Cancer’s opposite sign, and Cancer is mother so Capricorn, in a sense, is father, that’s their polarity). Maybe I mistake JG for my father. Maybe for those of us whose sun signs naturally fall below the horizon (interior) but appear in the chart above the horizon (exterior), suffer more discomfort— “I feel like I’m meant to be processing all of this discreetly, but I can’t stop enacting it all before a live audience, perhaps even at the Colosseum, all my own animals externalized and trying to eat me, the whole lot of self manipulated by invisible strings.” Geppetto, for example. Of course Pinocchio lies! He’s probably Gemini and is only trying to please. Meanwhile, his father not only controls the strings but injected into P’s DNA a mechanism that would alert the father and everyone else on the planet whenever Pinocchio lied / (disobeyed). “I will know, so don’t fuck up, don’t you dare misrepresent your maker!” I guess I experience this myself, at present, as more of a gender problem: why do I have to signify my father, out here in the global marketplace? I’m opposed to the global marketplace! Get out of my headspace, go back to your war games and such so I can bleed in private!
Technically, then, what I suffer is more like “My Own Private 10th house Saturn-Sun-Father-Tyrant.” Some simply refer to this as the male gaze. I know you, Sarah, want me to try embrace Saturn, look at Saturn from both sides now—maybe if I didn’t resist him I wouldn’t always be late, or disorganized, and I’d quit smoking… You’re Capricorn, you would say that. He’s shown you where all the trapdoors are, you’re his little pet goat. But Saturn hurts! He’ll take that sickle and amputate whatever he wants without warning, so one is constantly looking over one’s shoulder, even sitting poolside on a Friday morning in San Diego one senses him (JG? My father? “The Public”?) behind one in the palms, poised to pelt one’s head with coconuts while observing, with disdain, one’s endeavor, such as writing a blog post, which also, this problem I’m referring to, can be added to the list of obstructions that have delayed our reportage of the mysterium tremendum et fascinans that distinguish JG’s astrological profile. But enough about me. Except first, one more me-related item: Virgo / Pluto ascending. JG and I also share this aspect, although I also have Uranus conjunct my Ascendant, and I’m not Cancer. I find the Pluto placement, in JG’s first house, with that 10th house Cancer sun, a very compelling contamination of JG’s predestined “maternal proclivities” let’s just say. Pluto is about “unmasking,” transformation on a large scale (Death scale), radioactivity, identity (when ascending) as power, controlled “otherness,” explosion. Plus, did you notice his grand trine of Pluto-Sun-Mars, all fire! Yikes! The video below—with its screeching crow, howling (jaguar?), live birth, butt-fucking babies, the “vestal Virgin,” etc.—has oft crossed my mind during our investigation as exemplifying a Plutonic “Americanized” Mother, á la JG—
(A live horse is brought on the stage. A “birth” is performed using the wrong props.)—CP, 53
During courtship, the girl will form a doll of sorts by fusing the thorax which was removed from her optic tract when she was born to various less valuable materials…—CP, 73
A foreigner must always be ornamental, stand in for Death, transform death into discourse. The rags used to wipe off my body will later be used in the ‘first outfit for the execution,’ ‘the foreigner’s disguise’…—CP, 31
Sarah C: I LOVE THIS VIDEO—Pluto unmasking…the immigrant trying to “lip-sync” or whatever but dressed in such a bizarre wary, how do you place this person, not a drag queen, not any refined performer, not gendered exactly, both demonic and charming, “foreign.”
Sarah F: I tend to view this performance as, potentially, shamanic, even if unintentionally. What is it unmasking? The American dream? The cult of romantic love and its climax in procreation? An internal, dark, pansexual shadow mother? But…you know, such a kitsch version of a quintessential Cancerian lyric (“I will always love you,” I mean, Cancers just CANNOT GIVE IT UP!) This performer is clearly not just offering up a parody, but commits Plutonic violence upon the song.
The main scene should be full of ornaments and crime. The words attributed to the characters do not necessarily have to be spoken; they can be acted out, or played on an archaic tape-player.—CP, “Notes on the Production”
Sarah C: This song was written in 1973—the year of JG’s (and my) birth. That year, the birth rate dropped dramatically in the U.S., and it was also the year of Abortion rights, and all of this is tied together astrologically. So, very infertile year. Saturn is transiting Gemini, that’s a point that I feel personally attuned to. In 1973, Roe v. Wade also got legalized. We could say, “and that’s why there were lower births.” But abortion has been even more legal since then, in more states. (This info will have to be APA size…. with links or whatnot.) Again, he’s Cancer, the sign of the mother. But with Pluto sitting so heavily on his ASC, forcing him always to encounter the underworld, to get hit with people’s deepest darkest selves the minute he meets them, seeing death and renewal wherever he goes. And, conversely, this is how “the crowd” actually sees him: the underworld, dark self, etc. Heavy shit. You would know, with your own Pluto ASC. I have to admit that the more we learn about our subject, the more I am getting tingly about vivisection. OF COURSE! Remember how he talks about the immigrant’s body? Is he exaggerating what he felt people said about him in Middle School (“Fucking faggot! Why are you wearing tight capri jeans and why do you shake your hips when you walk? What’s with your hair?”) So he’s internalized this American masculinity and is now “bullying himself” for his European masculinity before anyone else can with all of this Lady Gaga/Alexander McQueen/Mommy Must Be A Fountain of Feathers. What he is prompted, astrologically, to do in this lifetime is super boring, simply to “be at home,” privately (his north node in his 4th house, house of Cancer/Mother/Moon/Home, plus Cancer sun),where really nothing happens, and to epitomize stability (Virgo, prominent public Saturn). So he is caught in the tender trap (not out riding the rails, leaving a woman crying with more mouths to feed.) I don’t know, I have nothing to base this on but a strong feeling I get, and also that he is contained, but is looking for expansion. I don’t know why I mention this, I’ve been wasting a lot of time lately looking through Pamela Des Barres’s I’m With the Band, there’s a part where a couple has a beautiful toddler boy whom they dress as a cupid or something and he falls to his death during a drug-fueled photo shoot…
When I saw that poetry is ‘dead,’ I am by no means saying that I don’t like poetry. I am very much interested in the ‘corpse language’ of poetry and what we might find there.’—JG
Sarah F: So Dolly Parton wrote “I Will Always Love You” in 1973, the year of JG’s birth. Let’s look at Dolly’s astro stats:
Wow, who’d have guessed such a mirroring? Is Dolly Parton our missing link? Can we actually bring her into this? Do you think we’ll ever get around to the House of Usher? DP & JG as Roderick & Madeline, Sun & Moon, alchemical wedding, the brother eating the sister who then returns to eat the brother, Ouroboros, yin-yang. Then also, I don’t know, maybe even “the immigrant’s body”??— Don’t you think the similarities here are sort or stunning?
Sarah C: OMG, why are you such a GENIUS?
Dolly & Jo: They both have the exacting Virgo moon (critical, aesthetic sensibilities, perfect for an artist, not so much for lover, queasy about fluid exchange, needs sheets changed right after sex, all the mess, all of JG’s “pig/meat” talk, the rutting around, the slop). But, Dolly’s moon is right on her ASC (thus, the breasts, the exaggerated, cultivated femininity, the lunacy of the ditzy blonde) while JG’s is centrally located in the 12th. His is a private, behind-the-scenes femininity (publishing/advocating of feminine/feminist works? Supporting others who write cultivated, perfect moon-powered works? He will support the Dollies from behind the scenes, service to the dollies).
One other thing I want to write about now (way more later…a lot to say about comparing their charts) is the 7-9 houses, which represent the “Us” parts of the chart, where we encounter and merge with the Other. Dolly is “quiet” here. No planets at all. Every other section of her chart has planets, most notably her 5th: love affairs, creativity, pets, children, expression, art….Sun, Venus, Mercury. All her “personal” planets. JG has lucky lucky Jupiter in the 5th. Expansion. Luck. Overestimation. GENEROSITY. His wife’s ruling planet (Gemini Sun, Sagittarius rising). Maybe JG feels trapped in such an internal, personal house? Jupiter prefers to be “out in the world.” Dolly has, ostensibly, a husband, and this “quietness” in her “merge with the other” sector of her chart is manifested in this marriage, which is also quiet.
On May 30, 1966, Dolly Parton and Carl Thomas Dean were married in Ringgold, Georgia. She had met Dean at the Wishy-Washy Laundromat two years earlier on her first day in Nashville. Carl Thomas’s very first words to her were: “Y’all gonna get sunburnt out there, little lady.”
Dean, who runs an asphalt road-surface-paving business in Nashville, has always shunned publicity and rarely accompanies her to any events. According to Parton, he has only ever seen her perform once. However, she has also commented in interviews that, although it appears they do not spend much time together, it is simply that nobody sees him. She has also commented on Dean’s romantic side claiming that he will often do spontaneous things to surprise her, and sometimes even writes her poems.—Wikipedia
In regards to merging/the other/partnerships……Dolly is Capricorn, JG the opposite sign, Cancer (of the same coin—everything contains its opposite. They are more alike as “opposites” than they are like the signs of Gemini or Aquarius, etc.) Dolly, as Capricorn, may be unconventional and kooky (Uranus in 10th) and a strong, external ego/animus presence, but she is at heart a “backwoods Barbie,” a good ol’ girl and therefore, of course, has a traditional, publicly acknowledged marriage. A Capricorn can be kooky, but never not traditional. It is the “father,” the Pater of the universe. Cancer is the mother: creative, emotional, maybe not rational or will-driven or other things that make science, the market, etc. “go round,” but also interested in “tradition,” as well as, unlike Capricorn, ritual, the personal. A Capricorn could have a marriage in law or public concern only and that would be perfectly fine and, actually, preferable. Esp. if it helped career. I find it hard to imagine a Cancer feeling the same way.
Sarah F: Most of us are familiar with Dolly Parton’s highly cultivated “town tramp” look. She is hyper-feminine. She’s had countless plastic surgeries, wears wigs, high heels, make-up/masks. She is practicing almost commedia dell’arte, her identity is like a stock character…the tumbling whore, one of the “innamorati.” She never shifts her identity despite various different costumes, she is a “woman” (even when “acting” she is essentially this same character— “9 to 5,” “Straight Talk,” etc). She is all woman, but one created, in a sense, by medicine. A contaminated woman, possessed, mediated.
If I see something saggin’, baggin’, or draggin’, I’m gone have it nipped, tucked, or sucked!—Dolly Parton
All you have to do is ask and I’ll tell you where I found the mask I’ve been taping to my face and why I pretend it’s a heartache.—JP, Dear Ra
Sarah C: She is a woman, though not of nature, not participating in nature, only in the theater of gender. She is mammal (oh is she!), so mammary, that when they cloned a sheep from an very big and attractive udder, they named it Dolly. She grew up dirt-poor, with animals, in the dungheap, literally. We can see in her chart that strong, cultivated, feminine identity has much support in the Virgo ASC, Moon on ASC….she has Pluto in 2nd (poverty and riches. Constant death and change of security situation). And then…all of this is very innovative and public energy (Uranus in 10th). She is on the radio (Uranus), connected very publicly with status quo-smashing events (9 to 5? Dolly the ewe? Transgender politics?)
Questions I have many, answers but a fewBut we’re here to learn, the spirit burns, to know the greater truthWe’ve all been crucified and they nailed Jesus to the treeAnd when I’m born again you’re gonna see a change in me—from ”Travelin’ Thru,” the song DP wrote for the film “TransAmerica”
I was born to break and break to be born again.—JG, A New Quarantine Will Take My Place
Does Dolly have any big fears? Yes. She was once locked in a coat closet at school as a child by schoolmates who were jealous that she sang on a local television show. She says that to this day she remains afraid of the dark and sleeps with a night-light on.—Dollymania
Let me tell you a story about being an immigrant. When I first came to this country, I was assaulted by kids my age (beaten up tackled into lockers etc) and teachers (suspended for this and that, such as for being beaten up) because of the way I looked (tall hair, leather boots, pink backpack, black clothes, what can I say I loved The Cure) and talked and the way I walked (apparently I have a very stylized way of walking).—JG, HTMLGIANT
I don’t remember it myself, but my family swears there was a time when I was caught sucking a sow. I was about three years old, and we had a sow who had fewer pigs than she had nipples. Well, she was lying under a snowball bush with her litter and there was an empty place at dinner, so I fell in with the pigs and got myself a nice, plump teat. I was soon discovered and quickly removed from the sow with considerable embarrassment, more to my mama than to me. I don’t know that there’s anything to it, but some have suggested that there could be some connection between that incident and the way I developed later in life. If a sow’s objective is to fatten up her offspring, then she would have been mighty proud of the way her temporary one turned out.—DP, My Life and Other Unfinished Business
When I die you need not bury me at all, just hang me up on that meat wall. I love meat.—JG, HTMLGIANT