Critical Trilogy

a critic's millennial journey

PAN

"Pan" self-portrait by Lisa Paul Streitfeld, from "Kundalini's Daughter: Critical Trilogy, Vol. I"

I had a surprise call from John Knowles last Saturday.  I was driving back from the beach when he called and I pulled into a parking lot to speak with him, and before I knew it, I was an hour late in picking up my mother from a party!   He told me about his new  “Pan” project and I was surprised that he didn’t know that Pan and Saturn were inextricably link.  And, my complete loss of time, in fact, revealed the connection.   Giving oneself over to Pan is a defiance of Saturn, the father of time.  But truly, Saturn as Time, meaning linear Time, is an invention of the patriarchy.

In explaining the relationship, I recalled the role that  Pan played on my journey to bring the Ouroboros back into art, recounted in Kundalini’s Daughter: Critical Trilogy, Vol.I:

Freedom!  Psyche ventures out of the castle for the first time.  As she runs to embrace the wind, a path to the mountain beckons and she follows her instinct to climb.  She sees a figure by the stream.  Human or animal?  It is both.  Could it be Pan, the bearded goat-god?

It is unmistakably Pan.  She has seen images of his colossal hairy phallus.  And she hears the shrieking of the nymphs in the water.  One by one, they come to the shore and playfully stroke and lick his penis.

“My dear, lovely Psyche, what brings you to my magical spring on this stunning day?  Come and tell how you managed to survive the death curse of that wicked Aphrodite.”

He points to the footbridge and Psyche crosses over.

The footbridge is significant.  It is the crossing point between the real and the mythical.  Indeed, as I prepare for my “homecoming” talk at Silvermine Guild Arts Center on November 21, I am tracing back over the myth of Psyche and Eros as my bridge to embracing, and therefore overcoming, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle,   Here I read, while creating the Wikipedia link, that the ancient Greeks considered Pan to be the god of theatrical criticism.  Indeed, I started writing theatrical criticism when Pan crossed me over the bridge from making the psychopomp (below), to becoming one!

"La Parca, the bridge" by Lisa Paul Streitfeld, from "Kundalini's Daughter: Critical Trilogy, Vol. I"

Pan appeared, in fact, under the Full Moon that I learned I was going to have to self-publish the book.  It was in the physical form of bricolagekitchen’s “Pan-demonium”  at AC Institute.  So, for me Pan, the lusty god of shepherds and the flocks, was integral to the bridge I had to cross, again and again, between an artist devoted to the unconscious energies and a critic shepherding a new movement from the grassroots.

So, it was in the natural order of things that John, who was just out of college when we met in 2005 at his family’s Roger Smith Hotel, would adopt Pan as his mascot during the course of our collaborations, eventually resulting in his Panman Productions.  John has been participant in popularizing my art theory from the moment I met him and his ever-present video camera in the storefront Lab Gallery of the Roger Smith Hotel, whose director,  Matt Semler, made me a open guest at the weekly banquets which provided the rectangular structure for a new art dialectic, and later hosted by year-long shamanic project,  The Alchemy of Love: In Five Elements.

John is one of those fortunate souls who was born in 1982, when Jupiter aligned with Saturn in Libra, also known as the Reagan era.  This group is now coming into their Saturn Return and long ago I was given hope, as I was struggling through the obscurity of my underground labyrinth, that this group would be my readers.  Thus, the creative experiment of John’s new collaborative project, “Pan.”  I agreed to participate by writing this post.

I was surprised at his surprise when I told him that Pan was actually Saturn.  He was the mythological impetus for chaos and the breakdown of structure, which is where the word pandomonian comes from.  Indeed, when Pan entered my book in the physical form of Aaron Olshan, I was faced with the opposing forces of chaos/structure rolled into one package, an artist of a new Ouroboric era who lives his creation.

Now, having read all of Nietzsche as well as Camille Paglia’s Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickenson, I was aware of the Apollonian vs. Dionysian cross impulses in art as the dynamic tension in which a new order arises out of chaos.  The challenge before me was to navigate a center between these opposites, Uranus and Saturn, the co-rulers of my Aquarian sun sign. This required traveling the shamanic path, as taught to me by the masters and I knew it meant a frequent embrace with…

The cookie I chose from Kate Latona's "The 'Eat My Problems' Bake Exchange." at AC Institute on the eve before my Saturn driven breakdown of October 16; The agreement was to exchange the cookie for a card with an obstacle to be removed; my obstacle was "Obscurity."

To do that, I had to turn to my training as a shaman, entering into the future via the fourth dimension, to make it happen.  It was Susanna Cuyler,who presented this as words of wisdom “defying the gods” as well as a physical synchronicity.

Suxanna Cuyler's "Juxtaposition" of October 17, which brought our nearly year-long collaboration to a resounding close.

She handed me one of her signature “juxtapositions” she was creating as I went through the breakdown in her apartment, the very spot where I initiated my Winter Solstice book launch in an obscure, sparsely attended, reading with Susanna and my most rapt reader, Aaron.  This full circle with Susanna came right on the heels of my Devil’s pact — the exchange of my written wish (to remove my obstacle of “Obscurity”) for the DEATH cookie.  It was indeed a full scale psychic release that took form, as is typical at this stage, in an art project.  This was so appropriate that it immediately lightened my dark mood.

"A Dutiful Scivener" Angel Nevarez and Valerie Teveke's video interview with Bill McDonald, Obituary Editor of the New York Times, installed in The Last Newspaper at the New Museum.

But, as I told John, I couldn’t have successfully achieved this without Saturn, which in my

chart is about understanding the very structure that is now revealed by the planet itself, written into a my September 19 post of blackmadonna2009.

To do this, I discovered the hard way, is a Promethean act, defying the gods, as my Capricorn friend, Susanna reminded me when she handed me the work she had created(above), when I was experiencing the crisis which led to the leap I just made, blogging for the Huffington Post, and therefore bringing this year=long experiment in blogging as the bridge to deliver a new movement my personal consciousness to the collective consciousness.  The sign appeared in a tarot reading before I left for Dublin, to deliver my paper, “Applying the Heisenberg Principle to 21st Century Art.”

Saturn is the birth canal.  It creates pressure, the crystalization of structure that has been growing with the birth of a new seed.  Everything that is born must come from a seed, whether it is human life from the semen or organic life.  The Greeks understood this, which is why they made the sign for Capricorn, the ruler of Saturn, the sea goat.  The quality of the body and its dissolution, forming and reforming, is what establishes the new structures.  Capricorn is a feminine sign, as the Pagans well knew, ruling the end of the growing season as well as the death and rebirth of the Sun at the Winter Solstice.

Aldo Tambellini, from "The Seed" series; four rules the quaternity, stability and structure

The Mercury Ingress chart for Sagittarius was key, as it had the Moon EXACTLY conjunct my natal Saturn on the descendent.  Well, I have always heard astrologers say that the Moon is the trigger for fated, or conversely destined, timings.  And this certainly was the case here.  I sent an e-mail to the arts editor of Huffington Post at this precise moment:

And the response was immediate.  Her magical words: “What are we waiting for?”

Two days later, I was launched as an official Huffington Post blogger, the fulfillment of a wish made  in exchange for the devilish cookie, I had to write down an obstacle to be removed.

And so it is.

Susanna Cuyler's final "juxtaposition" of October 15, which represented for me the final card of the tarot, the World.

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November 11, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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