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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1893 Chicago’s Columbian Exposition

If we are connected on Twitter, you are probably aware of my year and a half long obsession with the Columbian Exposition. Well, it goes back even further in time but has recently percolated into a new media project.

This year I released a book on the topic via Amazon. Say what you will about their management practices, they allow small-market authors to release indie books in physical and digital formats. I am also preparing to publish it in audiobook format through Audible as well.

If you’d like to get a look at the book, which is full of commentary, images from the event, as well as my own photography from around modern-day Chicago, here is the link to it. It is available in paperback and for Kindle.

I think it’s important to publish your work – as someone once said “real artists ship”.

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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.” http://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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WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of July 2019

“The Full Moon on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at 24 degrees Capricorn is a partial lunar eclipse. The lunar eclipse July 2019 astrology is powerful and confrontational because of close conjunction to Pluto. Intense emotional reactions, compulsive behavior, and power struggles are likely to result in a crisis. Lunar eclipse July 2019 is also square the dwarf planet Eris which will reenergize the #MeToo Movement. It will strengthen the feminist attack on the patriarchal authority. Other planetary aspects and fixed stars point to scandal, intrigue, public disgrace, and destroyed reputations. But they also give hope that empathy and understanding will lead to lasting changes.”
https://astrologyking.com/lunar-eclipse-july-2019/

featuring Models: Piper Meyers, my Capricorn and Lehla Owens, my Aries from the Personal Universe series, 2018
16 July 2019 during the Full Buck July Moon, a Partial Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn and a Cardinal Grand Cross: Cardinal Fire represented by Lehla as Aries, Cardinal Water represented by the Sun in Cancer, Cardinal Air represented by the Photographer as Libra, and Cardinal Earth represented by Piper as Capricorn
The July Full Moon is known as the Buck Moon, because, “the Algonquin tribes in what is now the Eastern USA called this full Moon the Buck Moon. Early Summer is normally when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. They also called this the Thunder Moon because of early Summer’s frequent thunderstorms.”  https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/995/july-2019-the-next-full-moon-is-the-buck-moon/
Here we used braids to represent the antlers for the Full Moon.
Photographed by Michelle Gemma
Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic, CT  USA

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“Back To The Old House”

 


“I would love to go
back to the old house
but I never will
I never will
I never will
I never will”

Excerpt from the song, “Back To The Old House” is by The Smiths and appears on the compilation album Hatful of Hollow (1984) and on the compilation album Louder Than Bombs (1987).

featuring Model: Caroline Longo
The New Moon of June
3 June 2019
Chez Elle, Mystic, CT, USA

 

WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of May 2019

Just when the thought occurs

The panic will pass

And the smell of the fields

Never lasts

Put your faith

In those crimson nights

Set sail

In those turquoise days

 

excerpt from “Turquoise Days”, Echo and the Bunnymen, Heaven Up Here, 1981.

“In 1981, music magazine the NME described the album as darker and more passionate than 1980’s Crocodiles. The Record Mirror also said that the band sang the blues and devoted themselves to existential sadness. They went on to note that the album offered ‘an anatomy of melancholy, resplendent with the glamour of doom’ ”

featuring Model: Lena Curland
The Full Flower Moon of May
18 May 2019
Stonington Borough, CT  USA

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