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Legend: Five of Shields (The Wasteland)

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I agree that there are crap Tarot packs, and also interesting modern art. So you can't make it an absolute comparison.

But I do think the contemporary art world is a Wasteland, on the whole, and its not just famous beds, sharks etc. Its most of the exhibits at the Turner prize in recent years, and the kind of stuff you see at graduation exhibitions in colleges. They all follow the same fashions, and the not-so-young British Artists funded by Charles Saatchi have been the fashion leaders for the last 10 years.

You're complaining about London and the South East? (where I was born). Sheesh, try living in the north. If its a Wasteland down there its a Wet Grim Wasteland up here...
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It's grim up north...


Quote:
Originally Posted by theredfox
I do think the contemporary art world is a Wasteland, on the whole, and its not just famous beds, sharks etc. Its most of the exhibits at the Turner prize in recent years, and the kind of stuff you see at graduation exhibitions in colleges. They all follow the same fashions, and the not-so-young British Artists funded by Charles Saatchi have been the fashion leaders for the last 10 years.
So what you're saying is that it's contemporary art culture that is the Wasteland, not necessarily individual artists. And I agree with you. Also, there are big bucks to be made in the contemporary art world, and I imagine it's difficult for young artists or art students to resist the lure of Mammon...and then of course they end up in a creative Wasteland because their work lacks any dimension of the magical or divine...

So redfox, I guess you were not too upset when Charles Saatchi's warehouse burned down?

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Originally Posted by theredfox
You're complaining about London and the South East? (where I was born). Sheesh, try living in the north. If its a Wasteland down there its a Wet Grim Wasteland up here...
I know, I know! I may be a southern softie, but I have family in the north-west (dad's from Liverpool, mum from Manchester), and I do understand what you mean. Mind you, it's more of an industrial wasteland there, I guess. Here in the south-east, it's just one great big nasty concrete temple to shopping!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
This is must be the card of the week and sort of fitting. Dreams crumbling to dust, the wasteland of realizations that some dreams are illusory and as insubstantial as the mists around the castle in the background.
Seeing the barebones of the situation, the framework of a dream or enterprise and discovering what killed it, why it wouldn't or couldn't survive. The messages that come with it, that it is a loss, but still offer food for thought and encouragement. That with it's death, the process acts as nourishment to the earth itself to support new growth later on.
I'm trying very hard to be philosophical today... I'd submitted for an art show about 3 months ago, to have been my very first show and got my first real rejection in the mail yesterday. I'm dissappointed and relieved all at the same time. LOL

But this card and the accompanying letter returned with my art submissions, really seemed to fit everything going on and gave me a new way of looking at this situation and how to keep on keeping on without giving up totally on my dreams and aspirations. This turned into a bit of a dead end, but I can't dwell on it or feel like I'm the dead horse or keep kicking it or me for that matter, that I'm not quite ready and the only way I will be, is to persevere and keep on and move on from this, discovering ways to improve and grow from this experience.
Waleswoman, I'm sorry - rejection is horrible, no matter what the circumstances. And especially when it's one's creative work that has been rejected - it strikes straight to the heart.

And a weird bit of synchronicity...last Saturday I drew the 5 of Shields as my daily card...the same morning I also received a rejection letter...

Several months ago, I applied to do an MA in creative writing, though I was uncertain if I really wanted to do it. In the last month or two, I decided that I really did not want to do it. I came to realise that doing this course would put me into another kind of wasteland - a creative dead end - and I really did not want to go there... Also became more certain that they would reject me. But the fact that it took them four months to reply to me really p**sed me off, and I had just made up my mind to ring up and give them a piece of my mind when...the dread letter arrived. Even though I no longer wanted to do the course, it still burned. And there I was...back in the Wasteland. But, like you, I am keeping the faith and trying to keep moving through rather than getting stuck

This card has so much resonance for me - I think it describes something fundamental and necessary about the creative process. Something that has to be gone through. And I think it's the reason why many people get so far with creative work and no further...or give up completely...because, really, it's much easier and less scary not to enter the wasteland. Much easier to stay in one's comfort zone, and not face the challenge of ego death and risk failure and rejection...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leo62
This card has so much resonance for me - I think it describes something fundamental and necessary about the creative process. Something that has to be gone through. And I think it's the reason why many people get so far with creative work and no further...or give up completely...because, really, it's much easier and less scary not to enter the wasteland. Much easier to stay in one's comfort zone, and not face the challenge of ego death and risk failure and rejection...
This is so very true... I knew when I sent my submissions that it was... not going to happen, but made myself take that risk, rather than dwell in the fear of success and sabotage myself. But after looking at the CD I sent in, now I'm also seeing why they see the promise of what I can do and why they weren't as impressed with some of my stuff... I didn't use high enough resolution and the images were real crap when viewed on a large screen rather than my monitor. Shoot Darn!!!
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Originally Posted by leo62
So what you're saying is that it's contemporary art culture that is the Wasteland, not necessarily individual artists. And I agree with you. Also, there are big bucks to be made in the contemporary art world, and I imagine it's difficult for young artists or art students to resist the lure of Mammon...and then of course they end up in a creative Wasteland because their work lacks any dimension of the magical or divine...
The creative Wasteland... when you can't create or what you do create is geared to markets rather than inspiration and unique voice... I think it's something everyone goes through and has to learn from. What I did learn is something I knew deep within, the real appeal is when the artist's soul is revealed even more than the content of subject matter. They don't want more of the same, they want originality that comes from the soul.

Amazing what this card evokes within us.
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(Art: No, I also mean that much of the work of "modern" artists" is meaningless and depressing -not just the overall culture, because the culture is made up of the individuals within it! However I dont want to pursue that because its going off topic).

Interesting relating this to creativity. It also relates to action and power - think of Arthur, when he's temporarily beaten and thoroughly p***** off, and Camelot becomes a Wasteland. Its when he gets his inspiration and power back that the land starts to become fertile again.

Hmm is there an astrological correspondence here? Its not a direct or exact correlation with a planet or sign, but it will amplify the meaning of this idea.....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
I'm trying very hard to be philosophical today... I'd submitted for an art show about 3 months ago, to have been my very first show and got my first real rejection in the mail yesterday. I'm dissappointed and relieved all at the same time. LOL

But this card and the accompanying letter returned with my art submissions, really seemed to fit everything going on and gave me a new way of looking at this situation and how to keep on keeping on without giving up totally on my dreams and aspirations. This turned into a bit of a dead end, but I can't dwell on it or feel like I'm the dead horse or keep kicking it or me for that matter, that I'm not quite ready and the only way I will be, is to persevere and keep on and move on from this, discovering ways to improve and grow from this experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
I didn't use high enough resolution and the images were real crap when viewed on a large screen rather than my monitor. Shoot Darn!!!...The creative Wasteland... when you can't create or what you do create is geared to markets rather than inspiration and unique voice... I think it's something everyone goes through and has to learn from. What I did learn is something I knew deep within, the real appeal is when the artist's soul is revealed even more than the content of subject matter. They don't want more of the same, they want originality that comes from the soul.
Hi WalesWoman

I'm sorry to hear that too. Unfortunately these decisions often don't have all that much to do with the quality of one's work, but whether or not its perceived as suitable to the market of the art show - or publisher or distributor for that matter. Originality often isn't rewarded either, because when its really original they don't know whether it will fit their markets or not. Yes, its certainly another wasteland experience!

But you did find out something about the presentation, as far as using high resolution images. And there may be a way to create that is still artistically satisfying to you but also appeals to the market.

Blessings!
David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo62
And a weird bit of synchronicity...last Saturday I drew the 5 of Shields as my daily card...the same morning I also received a rejection letter...

Several months ago, I applied to do an MA in creative writing, though I was uncertain if I really wanted to do it. In the last month or two, I decided that I really did not want to do it. I came to realise that doing this course would put me into another kind of wasteland - a creative dead end - and I really did not want to go there...This card has so much resonance for me - I think it describes something fundamental and necessary about the creative process. Something that has to be gone through. And I think it's the reason why many people get so far with creative work and no further...or give up completely...because, really, it's much easier and less scary not to enter the wasteland. Much easier to stay in one's comfort zone, and not face the challenge of ego death and risk failure and rejection...
Hi Leo

Sorry about this frustrating experience! I can understand your reservations about the Creative Writing program. I was enrolled in an undergrad Creative Writing program as a minor when I was in university years ago. And yes, it was very much a wasteland and I dropped it. I imagine that there are good programs out there, but they are probably exceptional. It would depend very much on the creativity and teaching skills of the faculty involved - for example, what would it have been like to be taught by JRR Tolkien?

I loved your description in the last paragraph, the risk and cost of ego death, failure and rejection that is part of the wasteland experience! But its all part of learning to be truly being alive isn't it?

David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theredfox
Interesting relating this to creativity. It also relates to action and power - think of Arthur, when he's temporarily beaten and thoroughly p***** off, and Camelot becomes a Wasteland. Its when he gets his inspiration and power back that the land starts to become fertile again.
Hi RedFox

Actually, at least in Anna-Marie's account, it is King Pelles of the Nine of Cups who was accidentally wounded by the Ace of Spears Grail Lance and became the Maimed King. The health of the Land depended on her king, and so she became a Wasteland. But perhaps there is another tradition which involves Arthur and the Wasteland?
Quote:
Originally Posted by theredfox
Hmm is there an astrological correspondence here? Its not a direct or exact correlation with a planet or sign, but it will amplify the meaning of this idea.....
Neptune in Scorpio comes to mind. He can be quite depressive, emotionally charged, but confused and lacking direction, sinking slowly into decay and death from which he at last regenerates in a transcendently radical artistic and spiritual awakening. Thus the Empress Reversed - creativity blocked and delayed - progresses through the Hanged One until Death comes at last. Perhaps passing through a blissful readjustment and respite in Temperance, we must still deal with our internal naysayer or Devil, until we accept the ultimate breakdown of our Tower. Apart from the beautiful synthesis of Temperance, in any of these dramatic "Why Cards" the Wasteland may become manifest. Then we realize, the creative journey is not an easy one, and a good dose of the Star would be really wonderful right about now!

David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophie-David
I can understand your reservations about the Creative Writing program. I was enrolled in an undergrad Creative Writing program as a minor when I was in university years ago. And yes, it was very much a wasteland and I dropped it. I imagine that there are good programs out there, but they are probably exceptional
David - thanks for your comments. Your experience confirms what my intuition was telling me all along - it was jumping up and down, warning me not to go there...!

This brings me back to the element of water - astrologically the element of water is associated with intuition; the planet Neptune and the water signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Water is crucially lacking in the wasteland and without water the land cannot regenerate and nurture life...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophie-David
Neptune in Scorpio comes to mind. He can be quite depressive, emotionally charged, but confused and lacking direction, sinking slowly into decay and death from which he at last regenerates in a transcendently radical artistic and spiritual awakening.
...perhaps Neptune in Scorpio is both the wasteland and the healing of the wasteland...
I'm very interested in your description of Neptune in Scorpio, as I have this placement in my natal chart (as many of us do who were born in the Sixties...). This has given me much food for thought - thank-you.

I might also associate getting stuck in the wasteland with a lack of water astrologically, along with an over-emphasis on Saturn in the fixed signs. Saturn in Taurus (or perhaps Capricorn) as the polar opposite of Neptune in Scorpio. Also - there is Capricorn's association with the Wounded King who cannot regenerate either himself or the land...(Liz Greene's book The Astrology of Fate has a fascinating chapter on this, linking the Grail myth, and specifically the character of the Wounded King, with Capricorn...)
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Dealing with the Wasteland


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo62
This brings me back to the element of water - astrologically the element of water is associated with intuition; the planet Neptune and the water signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Water is crucially lacking in the wasteland and without water the land cannot regenerate and nurture life...
...perhaps Neptune in Scorpio is both the wasteland and the healing of the wasteland...
I'm very interested in your description of Neptune in Scorpio, as I have this placement in my natal chart (as many of us do who were born in the Sixties...). This has given me much food for thought - thank-you.
Hi Leo - thanks for focusing my attention on this. I had really written the comment about Neptune in Scorpio intuitively and not given it much conscious thought. I also have Neptune in Scorpio and he is the only water connection in my chart. I was born in 1956, not long after he entered Scorpio, he's at natal 0-19'-51". The influence seemed to result in a generation which was alienated from the establishment, from Saturn values, from parents and materialism. It was self-destructive and socially-destructive, but also the source of a wonderful awakening of consciousness and artistic activity - plunging the previous Libran order into decay so that society could be reborn.

It was only within the last year that I began to integrate his energy into myself, and I believe I still have a long way to go. Luckily my Aquarian Venus is trine Neptune (a very sixtyish couple don't you think?) and I have the very good fortune to have Vesta in Libra conjunct with Neptune across the cusp.

Vesta is a wonderful source of balance, especially when in Libra - I was looking for definitions of her power, but I don't think I can do better than to include a quotation from my meditational cycle on the Majors in October of last year (WalesWoman groans). In order to communcate its core truths, the psyche seems to have modeled itself as internal characters or entities fashioned after the Tarot and astrological archetypes.

In this little play, the key players are David the integrating self or ego who has become the Regent of his soul, the Fool progressed; the Empress Eirian is the social, artistic, but manipulative Aquarian Venus; the Emperor of the Inner World is Saturn in Sagittarius; and we are about to meet Valerie. This is the meditation on Temperance, met following a willingly sacrificial but torturously shadowed ego death through Hanged One and Death.
Quote:
Eirian continues, "But the Emperor really needs some feminine intuition to guide him. Ah, here is Sophie, and someone you haven't met. My Lord David, Regent of the Inner World, I present Lady Valerie, holy priestess of Vesta."

I rise and greet a healthy, graceful woman in her early forties, her hair red and wavy, extending a bit beyond her shoulders. She wears a long dress of deep burgundy; she has vibrant laughing eyes and a gentle smile. Valerie takes her place on a couch next to Sophie, and I see James is watching her somewhat curiously. I notice now that Valerie wears a substantial emerald on a silver chain, perhaps a symbol of her faith.

Eirian resumes, "As you can guess, I would like you to consider appointing Lady Valerie as the Emperor's counsellor and Deputy. In fact, if the Emperor is not available for any reason, perhaps you would consider having Lady Valerie automatically assume his role."

I respond diplomatically, "You must regard the Lady Valerie very highly, Empress."

"We have been friends for quite some time. Valerie has been... watching the Emperor for quite some time also. I'm sure they would make a fine team, if that is your will Regent."

"Will Valerie be acting for herself, or for you Empress?"

"Perhaps Valerie can answer that."

Valerie responds with quiet dignity, a beautiful melodious voice that is both sensual and spiritual, "I have my own ideas, Regent. I would like to bring harmony and balance to the World Within. As artists, the Empress and I have been good friends, but I have always been independent in my views. I have dedicated my life to beauty, balance and harmony, and these are what I most desire to bring to the Emperor, and to the Inner World. What do you think of art, Regent?"

"Art and love are the keys to life."

"The two together are what I want to teach. The sexual and the spiritual are one, are they not?"

"Yes, I believe they are."

"Can you trust me to guide the Emperor and your world?"

"Yes, I see that I can. Eirian, perhaps we should meet with the Emperor."

Eirian quietly smiles, "I think you will find he is waiting for us in my council room. And then we can all have dinner together."

"Empress, I think you must be quite the chess player."

"Perhaps, but the world doesn't need another chess player trying to run it, my Regent. The Lady Valerie does not play chess, do you Valerie?"

"No, Empress. I have never found it necessary."

The meditation ended. The Major Arcana's Temperance card - the archetype of artistic realism, health, healing, moderation, synthesis, and the balancing of body, mind and spirit - is highly congruent with the archetype of Vesta, which also includes sacred sexuality.
I've included this long episode to show how through one particular form of inner work, natal shortages in the elements can be adjusted for, even when the only elemental influence is a generational one. The outer three planets were not accessible to me as persons, which seems logical since they appear to reside in the collective unconscious, but by tapping the Neptunian source of water energy through the conjunct and personal Valerie of Vesta there was a great release of healing water within the soul. So much so that in water's excess my wasteland of earlier this year was in fact a stagnating swampland, but one gradually frozen over by winter snow. Only in the last few weeks has a rebalancing come, the fiery emergence of a vital new Mars in Sagittarius, personified as The Lord of the Rings Aragorn, the perfect wilderness guide.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo62
I might also associate getting stuck in the wasteland with a lack of water astrologically, along with an over-emphasis on Saturn in the fixed signs. Saturn in Taurus (or perhaps Capricorn) as the polar opposite of Neptune in Scorpio. Also - there is Capricorn's association with the Wounded King who cannot regenerate either himself or the land...(Liz Greene's book The Astrology of Fate has a fascinating chapter on this, linking the Grail myth, and specifically the character of the Wounded King, with Capricorn...)
Well, Leo, you must have been reading my chart. My Saturn is actually conjunct Mars in Sagittarius, tending to nail my masculine energy with conventional passivity. I have Capricorn Sun and Ascendant, and the Wounded King has been a very apt description of a good portion of my life. This looks like a another book I will have to read!

What I intended to ask everyone yesterday was, how do you visually perceive this Five of Shields? To me it could be either a swampland covered over in toxic fog, or a frozen winter wasteland. In considering it this morning, I believe that I have a hybird view, that is it is a swampland that is frozen over under winter snow. Although it is not my personal connection, I also see that it could be a parched Land of Shields (Pentacles), dying for lack of water. In short, is your personal wasteland arid, oversaturated, frozen, or containing some other imagery I haven't thought of?
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