New Moon in Gemini

“The numerology on this NEW MOON in Gemini is beautifully dyadic, as we have lots of Gemini in the chart and lots of 2’s; the Sun and Moon are both at 2 degrees in Gemini, and Venus and Mercury are at 20 degrees in Gemini on the 22nd in 2020.
We can see how this reverberated dual reflection aptly plucks the strings of the polarizing vibrations of the times.
But Gemini encompasses more than just the dual nature, and reflects a wide spectrum of perspectives, possibilities and communications.
The Gemini archetype shows us how we can create a kaleidoscope of inclusion with the multiplicities of form, just as is reflected by the very diverse nature of our natural world.”
https://www.mysticmamma.com/new-moon-in-gemini-may-22nd-2020/

featuring Model: Caroline Walz
Watch Hill, RI  USA
Photograph by Michelle Gemma
for the series “Personal Universe”

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International Dylan Thomas Day 14 May 2020

An international day to celebrate the life and work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, held each year on 14th May, the anniversary of the date when Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Center, New York in 1953.
“International Dylan Thomas Day gives us a chance each year to celebrate Dylan Thomas’s achievements. There is still the enthusiasm for a national day to mark my grandfather’s life and legacy and we want to keep May 14th as a prominent date on the literary calendar.
Dylan Thomas’s writing has travelled through time – it is as relevant today in our troubled times as when it was written sixty-five years ago. It continues to travel across the globe reaching new audiences everyday. His poetry lives on.
We invite you to tell us about how you are going to mark the day and encourage you, wholeheartedly, to get involved and to love the words.” — Hannah Ellis, Granddaughter of Dylan Thomas
https://www.discoverdylanthomas.com/news-events/international-dylan-thomas-day

The photographer Rollie McKenna was at this 92Y reading of Under Milk Wood, to photograph Dylan Thomas, and she writes this in her autobiography, Rollie McKenna: A Life in Photography (Knopf, 1991),
“Dylan Thomas’s career didn’t truly take off until he ‘hit’ the United States. Readings at the Poetry Center and tours throughout the country where–in his own words–he ‘boomed and fiddled while home was burning,’ all but devoured him. The money he made, so necessary to support his family, passed through his fingers like water. The praise, so addictive, was fleeting. Still, he wanted to read again to his vastly appreciative American audiences and, above all, to write the final ending to his play for voices, Under Milk Wood
Frenetic reading tours, sycophant-laden parties and late-night bar-hopping exhausted him, and just an hour before rehearsing the actors for the first New York performance of Under Milk Wood, Dylan was in particularly bad shape.  On arriving at the Poetry Center, he vomited, declared that he could not possibly go on and collapsed in the green room. After half an hour, he was shaken awake.  Pulling himself together, he directed for an astonishing three hours, urging the actors over and over:  ‘Love the words.  Love the words!’  I was so dumbfounded by his recovery that I almost forgot to shoot.
When the night of May 14, 1953, arrived, the theater was packed.  The audience, silent at first, then tittering, finally exploded into laughter on realizing that this was no highbrow affair but a loving, ribald tribute to a village.  Dylan took fifteen curtain calls as tears slipped down his face.”
https://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/17/books/pictures-from-a-life.html

In celebration:
featuring Model: Liz Walz
Stonington, CT  USA
Photograph by Michelle Gemma
for the series “Personal Universe”

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NEW MOON in Aries 24 March 2020

New Moon in Aries 24 March 2020
featuring Model: Lehla Cheyenne
as my Aries
First Sign in the Zodiac
First Shoot in my astrological series Personal Universe.
Welcome to the Terrordome:
“I got so much trouble on my mind
Refuse to lose
Here’s your ticket
Hear the drummer get wicked”
Photograph by Michelle Gemma
Stonington Borough, CT  USA

 

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Fade Into You

featuring Model: Morgan Vail
as my Cancer
from the Personal Universe series
water signs in Pisces season
15 February 2018
at the Farm, North Stonington, CT USA
Photograph by Michelle Gemma
“You live your life, you go in shadows
You’ll come apart and you’ll go blind
Some kind of night into your darkness
Colors your eyes with what’s not there”
lyrics from “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star, from their second album, So Tonight That I Might See, released in 1993.

 

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WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of January 2020

Spacecraft escaping the Solar System

Distance from Sun (AU)      Pioneer 10: 125.220      Pioneer 11: 103.732      Voyager 2: 122.804      Voyager 1: 148.103      New Horizons: 46.357                                                                                                                                  

Speed relative to Sun (km/s)      Pioneer 10: 11.934      Pioneer 11: 11.224      Voyager 2: 15.326      Voyager 1: 16.967      New Horizons: 13.975       
Ecliptic latitude      Pioneer 10: 3°      Pioneer 11:  14°      Voyager 2: -37°      Voyager 1: 35°      New Horizons: 2°

Declination      Pioneer 10:  25° 57′      Pioneer 11:  -8° 57′      Voyager 2:  -57° 58′      Voyager 1: 12° 2′      New Horizons: -20° 28′
Right ascension      Pioneer 10:  5h 10m      Pioneer 11:  18h 52m      Voyager 2: 20h 2m      Voyager 1:  17h 15m      New Horizons: 19h 12m

    Constellation      Pioneer 10:  Taurus       Pioneer 11: Scutum        Voyager 2:  Pavo        Voyager 1:  Ophiuchus        New Horizons: Sagittarius


Distance from Earth (AU)      Pioneer 10: 124.471      Pioneer 11: 104.650      Voyager 2:  123.581      Voyager 1: 148.694      New Horizons: 47.317

 One-way light time (hours)      Pioneer 10:  17.20      Pioneer 11:  14.51      Voyager 2:  17.13      Voyager 1: 20.61      New Horizons: 6.5

    Brightness of Sun from spacecraft (Magnitude)      Pioneer 10:  -16.2      Pioneer 11:  -16.6      Voyager 2:  -16.3      Voyager 1: -15.8      New Horizons: -18.4

 Spacecraft still functioning?      Pioneer 10: no      Pioneer 11: no      Voyager 2: yes      Voyager 1: yes      New Horizons: yes
Launch Date      Pioneer 10: 1972-Mar-03      Pioneer 11: 1973-Apr-06      Voyager 2:  1977-Aug-20      Voyager 1:  1977-Sep-05      New Horizons: 2006-Jan-19
We discuss the five spacecraft which are leaving the Solar System on escape trajectories – our first emissaries to the stars. On this scale, the nearest star to the Sun would be approximately 100 meters away, and it would take Voyager 1 about 70,000 years to cover that distance.
https://www.heavens-above.com/SolarEscape.aspx?lat=33.448&lng=-112.073&loc=Phoenix&alt=343&tz=Arizona
featuring Model: Caroline Longo
all photographs by Michelle Gemma
The Full Wolf Moon of January,
and Lunar Eclipse in Cancer
10 January 2020
Mystic, CT  USA

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Just Like Heaven

“Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick?
The one that makes me scream.” she said
“The one that makes me laugh.” she said
And threw her arms around my neck

“Show me how you do it,
And I promise you,
I promise that
I’ll run away with you,
I’ll run away with you.”
Spinning on that dizzy edge
I kissed her face and kissed her head

And dreamed of all the different ways
I had to make her glow

“Why are you so far away?” she said,
“Why won’t you ever know
That I’m in love with you,
That I’m in love with you.”

You
Soft and only
You
Lost and lonely
You
Strange as angels

Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You’re just like a dream
You’re just like a dream

Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe her name
I opened up my eyes

And found myself alone alone
Alone above a raging sea
That stole the only girl I loved
And drowned her deep inside of me

You
Soft and only
You
Lost and lonely
You
Just like heaven”

featuring Model: Emma Rocherolle
as my Scorpio
from the Personal Universe series v2
v1
https://michellegemmaphotography.com/personal-universe-2/
Photographs by Michelle Gemma
Lords Point, Connecticut USA
inspired by https://www.thecure.com/lyrics/just-like-heaven/

“this is what makes us girls” https://vsco.co/emmarocherolle/images

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Waiting in Sagittarius for the Last *FULL MOON* of the year and decade in Gemini

GEMINI 20
A bull stung by a scorpion.
The elaborate ritual of putting yourself through life or death crises to determine what you are made of and how far you are willing to go in this life.
Choosing from expanded faculties the optimal situations to enact this battle royale.
Selecting what is karmically familiar. Variations on old themes involving bondage and freedom.
When you are trapped, caught, stuck, a furious inner force asserts itself and can reconfigure everything. But it is a high-stakes ritual drama and loaded with real dangers.
You must check yourself out in ultimate ways, for there is surging in your blood an impulse toward liberation, which cannot be distorted in any way.
An extraordinary journey through radical tests and trails of an initiatory intensity.
It is all about guts, and stripping away everything but the true inner direction.
And if you must slay and move through illusions on every front, that is just how it is.
You cannot survive any longer on old ways to do it–it is time to welcome the enemy into your very midst and discover that there are no enemies.”
Text  by  ELLIAS LONSDALE © Copyright 2019 published on https://www.mysticmamma.com/full-moon-in-gemini-december-11th-12th-2019/

Photographs by Michelle Gemma
All clothing by Susan Hickman
Models: Caroline Walz, Liz Walz, Alycia de los Santos, Vicki Rock, and Julia Farrar.

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Qui Transtulit Sustinet

“They Who Transplanted Still Sustain”

“The brand’s beleaguered design team, accustomed to a spreadsheet mentality—churn out X chinos in Y colors, repeat—were suddenly given what felt like creative carte blanche. Drexler “put the product and the design before the business, in a way,” recalls a former employee. “He made the creative drive the business.”
Drexler once told a roomful of employees that he’d passed on a hire because the candidate didn’t know the meaning or origin of her high school’s name. How could you go someplace every day and not be curious enough to figure out where the name came from? Drexler stayed five steps ahead, and for those who could keep up, the sky was the limit: invent a new product, a new category, a new business within the business. And if you can’t keep up, get the hell out of the way.”
https://archive.vanityfair.com/article/2019/6/j-who

“The original Fitch High School (now the former location of Fitch Middle School) was built in 1928 next to the Town Hall on Poquonnock Road, and was funded in part by the will of a local merchant, Charles Fitch, with the stipulation that it be named after his son, Robert E. Fitch. In the early 1950s, the district enrollment was larger than the school could handle. The school district decided to split to a junior high and senior high system. In 1954, the school district built a new school, the current Robert E. Fitch Senior High School, in its current location at the top of Fort Hill Road, and renamed the existing school Robert E. Fitch Junior High School.”

Notable alumni and faculty:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitch_High_School

If you have not checked out the music of Samantha Urbani, I urge you to do so forthwith:  https://luckynumber.bandcamp.com/album/policies-of-power-ep

 

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Caroline’s Supposed Demon

featuring Model: Caroline Walz
as my PISCES
for Personal Universe, an astrology series
26 September 2017
Watch Hill, Rhode Island, USA
Photograph by Michelle Gemma

title from the song, “Caroline’s Supposed Demon” by His Name is Alive, from their album Livonia (1990). Lyrics by Warren Defever
“Caroline’s supposed demon
Caroline they say she’s haunted
We may only once divide the
Pain and darkness deep inside us”

“Defever began recording in his basement in 1985, while still in high school. His initial work consisted primarily of Defever alone recording the music to a 4-track recorder, with friend Angie Carozzo providing vocals. After Defever went off to college and met Karin Oliver, she became the band’s primary vocalist.

The group’s work resulted in a self-released cassette. Defever sent the tape to 4AD in hopes of being signed to the label. Despite label president Ivo Watts-Russell‘s rejection of the band, Defever continued to send him tapes, with improved versions of the songs appearing on each new tape. Ivo signed the band in 1989, believing that (along with his This Mortal Coil partner John Fryer) he could re-mix the songs into a proper album 4AD could release. Livonia appeared in the summer of 1990, and became one of the label’s biggest sellers of the year. ‘He took it apart, and he didn’t put it back together,’ Defever would later comment on Ivo’s production style.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His_Name_Is_Alive

When I was on social media (June 2013-June 2019), I came to the attention of Warren Defever, because, on occasion, I posted a variety of his lyrics, mostly from Livonia (1990), and  Home Is in Your Head (1991) to illustrate my photographs.  I used the hashtags   #hisnameisalive   and   #hnia and   #warrendefever
and soon enough, I found that he would “like” the posts. His user name was “xoxowar” and one day I realized what his name meant!  I thought, oh he must sign his letters with the fond and cheerful “xoxo” which means hugs and kisses (I had many Italian aunts who used this signature for all correspondence). And his nickname must be “war”. I was so excited that I decided to message him on Instagram. He responded soon after, telling me that I was correct! That was the extent of our correspondence.

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WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of August 2019

“Give me your eyes
That I might see the blind man kissing my hands
The sun is humming
My head turns to dust as he plays on his knees
As he plays on his knees

And the sand
And the sea grows
I close my eyes
Move slowly through drowning waves
Going away on a strange day

And I laugh as I drift in the wind
Blind
Dancing on a beach of stone
Cherish the faces as they wait for the end
Sudden hush across the water
And we’re here again

And the sand
And the sea grows
I close my eyes
Move slowly through drowning waves
Going away
On a strange day

My head falls backs
And the walls crash down
And the sky
And the impossible
Explode
Held for one moment I remember a song
An impression of sound
Then everything is gone
Forever

A strange day”

“*FULL MOON* in Aquarius alchemizes the cauldron of our humanity. Within this axis, Aquarius (humanitarian) and Leo (Self), we become the change. It’s easy to focus on others, but if we keep our focus on our Self and do what we feel moved to do, we create space for others to be informed and inspired by our actions and be led by their own free will, rather than through any kind of pressure or intimidation. This Aquarius FULL MOON encourages us to witness what is being illuminated and unhinge from the ties of public opinion to continue to unfurl who we truly are. We are in an evolutionary time that is encouraging us to embody our true essence. Everything is shifting right now, and it is a time to access higher mind and take a broad wide view. These are the keys that open the doors to new perception. Our thoughts create our world. That is the frontier.” https://www.mysticmamma.com/astrology-full-moon-in-aquarius-august-15th-2019/  

“The Full Moon in August is called Sturgeon Moon because of the great number of this huge freshwater fish that could once be found in lakes and rivers in North America. Other names for this Full Moon include Grain Moon, Green Corn Moon, Fruit Moon, and Barley Moon, all inspired by various crops that can be harvested in August. The lake sturgeon has a greenish-grey color and a pointed snout with two pairs of whisker-like tactile organs dangling near the mouth. It is sometimes called a “living fossil,” as it belongs to a family of fish that has existed for more than 135 million years. Lake sturgeons are extremely long-lived. The males can reach 55 years, while females can live up to 150 years! And they can grow to be enormous. They are the American continent’s largest fish and can grow to over 2 meters long (6 feet) and weigh around 90 kilos (200 pounds). Lake sturgeons do not only live in lakes; they also live in rivers, but not in the ocean. This monster fish used to be a major part of the ecosystems in North America’s Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and in the Mississippi River, and they were once found all the way from Canada to Alabama. Today, the lake sturgeon has become one of the rarest fish in North America because of intense overfishing in the 19th century, pollution, and damage to their habitat and breeding grounds due to agriculture and lumbering.” https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/sturgeon.html

featuring Model: Hadlai Palmerone
15 August 2019 during the Full Sturgeon Moon of August
Barn Island, Stonington, CT USA
Photographed by Michelle Gemma

featuring lyrics from “A Strange Day”, by the Cure, Pornography, (1982).

“Following the band’s previous album, 1981’s Faith, the non-album single “Charlotte Sometimes” was released. The single, in particular its nightmarish and hallucinatory B-side “Splintered in Her Head”, would hint at what was to come in Pornography. In the words of Robert Smith, regarding the album’s conception, “I had two choices at the time, which were either completely giving in [committing suicide] or making a record of it and getting it out of me”. He also claims he “really thought that was it for the group. I had every intention of signing off. I wanted to make the ultimate ‘fuck off’ record, and then sign off [the band]”. Smith was mentally exhausted during that period of time: “I was in a really depressed frame of mind between 1981 and 1982”. The band “had been touring for about 200 days a year and it all got a bit too much because there was never any time to do anything else”. The band, Smith in particular, wanted to make the album with a different producer than Mike Hedges, who had produced Seventeen Seconds and Faith. According to Lol Tolhurst, Smith and Tolhurst briefly met with the producer Conny Plank at Fiction’s offices in the hopes of having him produce the album since they were both fans of his work with Kraftwerk, however, the group soon settled on Phil Thornalley. Pornography is the last Cure album to feature Lol Tolhurst as the band’s drummer (he then became the band’s keyboardist), and also marked the first time he played keyboards on a Cure release. The album was recorded at RAK Studios from January to April 1982. On the album’s recording sessions, Smith noted “there was a lot of drugs involved”. The band took LSD and drank a lot of alcohol, and to save money, they slept in the office of their record label. The musicians usually turned up at eight, and left at midday looking “fairly deranged”. Smith related: “We had an arrangement with the off-licence up the road, every night they would bring in supplies. We decided we weren’t going to throw anything out. We built this mountain of empties in the corner, a gigantic pile of debris in the corner. It just grew and grew”.  According to Tolhurst, “we wanted to make the ultimate, intense album. I can’t remember exactly why, but we did”.  The recording sessions commenced and concluded in three weeks. Smith noted, “At the time, I lost every friend I had, everyone, without exception, because I was incredibly obnoxious, appalling, self-centered”. He also noted that with the album, he “channelled all the self-destructive elements of my personality into doing something”. Polydor Records, the company in charge of Fiction Records, the label on which the album was released, was initially displeased with the album’s title, which it saw as being potentially offensive. Regarding the album’s musical style, NME reviewer Dave Hill wrote, “The drums, guitars, voice and production style are pressed scrupulously together in a murderous unity of surging, textured mood”. Hill further described it as “Phil Spector in Hell”.  Trouser Press said about the track “A Short Term Effect”: It “stresses ephemeralness with Smith’s echo-laden voice decelerating at the end of each phrase”. Ira Robbins observed that “the song closest to basic pop” is “A Strange Day”: It “has overdubbed backing vocals plus a delineated verse and chorus wrapped in some strangely consonant guitar figures”. The journalist also commented: the song “Cold” “gets the full gothic treatment”, with “grandiose minor-mode organ swells”. Describing the title track, writer Dave McCullough said that it “tries to copy Cabaret Voltaire, all shuddering tape noise”.

Smith said that “the reference point for the record was not Joy Division at all but the first Psychedelic Furs album which had, like, a density of sound, really powerful”. Smith also cited Siouxsie and the Banshees as “a massive influence on me […] They were the group who led me towards doing Pornography. They drew something out of me”. In 1982, Smith also said that the “records he’d take into the bunker after the big bang”, were Desertshore by NicoMusic for Films by Brian EnoAxis: Bold as Love / Are You Experienced by Jimi HendrixTwenty Golden Greats by Frank Sinatra and The Early Piano Works by Erik Satie.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography_(album)

This post is dedicated to Dan Curland, owner of the Mystic Disc and sponsor of the music-film series showing at Mystic Luxury Cinemas.  The Cure’s “Anniversary 1978 – 2018: Live in Hyde Park London” played at the Mystic Cinema on 11 July 2019, and Curland’s attendance that night introduced him to the Cure for the very first time. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-cure-40th-anniversary-concert-film-841494/
He was moved immensely seeing the film, and the record store has had “Disintegration” and “The Head on the Door” playing on repeat ever since that night. I asked Curland about his recent fascination with the Cure.
MG: What were your first thoughts seeing, hearing and being immersed in the Cure’s anniversary film?
DC:  Even though it was a movie I could feel that opening, the love of the crowd for Robert was so real and immense and the same for Robert to the audience. He just seemed so damn real, humble and then, I did not even know he played guitar, he plays so uniquely, throw into it Simon who is also so charismatic, the power of the drummer, I could not take my eyes off of them obviously Robert is the focal. On stage, one mic, no harmonies, no need for that, he is a troubadour, totally unique. The amazing thing was I knew none of their songs, no lyrics ( Although the way he sings and his emotion I felt like i knew what he was saying) usually I know a song or two, I knew nothing, amazing that he could grab me like that.

MG:  After being convinced for yourself, of the mastery of the sonic and lyrical content of the Cure, what keeps you coming back?
DC:  The incredible songs, lyrics that just blow me away, again even on a record he exudes this beautiful authenticity. I keep going back because once Robert has you that’s it.

MG: I find it really fascinating that you are so into the Cure and I think that your insights are so fresh and refreshing. I think it reminds all of us to give something a chance that you might not initially think is for you. And when you said that your rock band is learning some country songs, that’s pretty interesting. I guess it’s the essence of being human and I’m glad that you’re here to teach us all a little something!!
DC:  We all learn from each other.

 

 

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