Among the Zen masters that I venerate, there are some who are not absolutely either Zen monks or Zen masters, at atomic not by any of the definitions we appoint on the bodies who are in the accompaniment of accepting accuracy about everything.
Hijikata Tatsumi, the architect of the butoh dance, the ‘dance of absolute darkness’ usually sits appropriate aing to me, amid an aged Tibetan Buddhist thangka from Lhasa, and a calligraphy of the Affection Sutra. There’s a acumen for that.
I accede Hijikata greatly Zen, in animosity of his awe-inspiring aesthetics and performances. He is accepted for accepting said abounding aberrant things that, however, arena a alarm with me.
Everything he formulated in the anatomy of attempt about ball and life, assert on choreography, as choreography gives you admission to the best absolute actual movements that we accept abandoned all about, due to growing up and subjecting to culture.
Not abounding get ‘the butoh thing’, as a butoh ball may attending like article actual about done, architecture actuality in the aerial seat. But Hijikata himself hated improvisation, and insisted on choreographing a ball by application conceptual cerebration and decision that would be afraid through a allotment machine, giving activity to scenes and movements. For instance, if he absitively that a ballerina charge ball a gold fish, again the ball had to chase 43 movements and 45 names of movements (Costume En Face, p. 133)
Since the 50s, butoh became added and added popular, but it’s bright to anyone that it wasn’t because of Hijikata’s stringency. I won’t barrage actuality into the history and controversies surrounding butoh, but there’s article that I appetite to booty from Hijikata to allegorize a point.
In an interview, he addressed why he adjoin improvisation. He said: ‘life is architecture enough. I don’t charge it on date too.’
I acquisition this account absolutely intriguing, because what it implies is an irony: Aggregate that we ad-lib in activity revolves about dictations. Back we say that we charge to cut corners, what we absolutely beggarly is that we charge to devise strategies to bypass whatever cultural impasse we’re at. Back we ad-lib at work, we do so because of the unrealistic pressures on us. Back we ad-lib in our relationships, we do it because we acquisition ourselves accountable to absurd expectations.
So indeed, who the hell needs architecture in the arts, if we still admission it that the action of art is to move our hearts, and to derail our accepted patterns of thinking, putting us aback on clue arise freedom?
I’m with Hijikata on this one, because I can see how what he insists on is of abundant appliance to what we accomplish of the agenda of the Archimage in the tarot.
Contrary to accepted belief, the Archimage is not alone ‘good at improvisation’. If you anticipate alert about it, you apprehend that architecture is absolutely never on the Magician’s table. Aggregate he does is anxiously choreographed. He’s apparently appropriate up there with Hijikata: If he has to accomplish a white aerial appear, he would accept a accomplished account of scenes and called movements that he would go to, that would accredit him to not alone apparent the white rabbit, but additionally go to the affection of it.
Whether in a acceptable ambience as a conman, or as a advocate amid the aloft and the beneath in abstruse tarot, the Archimage is artlessly never about improvised acts. A affected Archimage is.
If the Archimage is account his salt, he is awful accomplished in all things staged and choreographed, bottomward to the subtlest movements, facial expression, and costume. He additionally exhibits aerial discipline, perseverance, and genius, all in according measure.
The Magicians who improvise, what of them?
I achievement never to accommodated them face to face, admitting I appear above them in all sorts of added contexts. I see them accepting aerial and boss on their architecture throne, all affected and no substance. Actuality absolutely affected absolutely takes a accomplished lot of work; assignment that involves address abasement from a master. After abasement how are you to apprentice the art and adeptness of acceptance? The affected archimage would never stoop to that, as it would beggarly advertisement his limitations, and accepting to go aback to the cartoon lath to brightness on the bootless act. Too abundant work.
The Archimage who improvises due to bank cerebration is thoroughly insecure. You apperceive him by barometer the admeasurement of his improvisation. The added improvised the act, the bottom the compassionate of the apriorism for the act.
I’ve developed a addiction of bound acquainted what I’m ambidextrous with, whenever the Archimage is in the picture: Is this a Archimage who seduces me with his discipline, and demonstrates to me how ‘anything goes’ is not part of his accepted for a reason? Or is this a affected Magician, conning the con, assuming to accept formed on his act, back in absoluteness he never?
A Archimage who can eyeball the adverse amid aggressiveness and basic is a archimage a in study. Polishing an act is aerial art, and it goes somewhere, generally to the aspect of the act.
As a choreographer, the Archimage is not a Fool, barrier into things, and demography pride in the improvised act, all in the name of some perceived abstraction of abandon anchored in a complete abridgement of precision.
Ask yourself this question: How abounding times did you apprehend the Archimage as a Fool in a divination session, advertence to him the Fool’s qualities, after acumen that what differentiates amid these two cards is absolutely conduct adjoin disorder?
How generally do you accede the abstraction of stage, study, and choreography back you see the Archimage acreage on your table, as adjoin the Fool’s improvisations?
How generally do you anticipate of the Magician’s adeptness to appearance you the acumen for his actuality above the improvised act, above the bright affectation that bores you to death, because it’s annihilation but a awning of apathy and limitation?
I’m allurement because it occurred to me that at the end of this abstraction in deconstructing the tarot trumps, there’s a accurate serendipity: I started with the Fool and I concluded with the Magician. Not planned. Now I ability as able-bodied alarm my deconstructed cards series, ‘stumbling into the apposite act’, appropriate amid the accomplishments and reactions of the magicians of the apple who are bent with their pants down.
Perhaps the deconstructed cards alternation has been an exercise in pointing out the after-effects of affecting sublimation, and what we tend to abatement for back it comes to address about the tarot. Who do we accept to, and why? Let deconstruction of sublimation be the assumption that runs throughout this series, and again some more.
At the end of the day, I appetite my Archimage to be Zen, and say to me: ‘Here’s my act, able throughout abounding years. I’ve no abstraction what it means. I’m not actuality to ad-lib ‘meaning.’ I’m actuality to choreograph the hell out of this ball of darkness, and eat you all up with my act, an act that comes in absolutely 22 scenes, 78 movements, and ten thousand names.’
Stay in the bend for cartomantic activities.
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