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Self in 4 Directions: MC

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

The final image from this workshop (Embodied Astrology, Self in 4 Directions, taught by Gabz404) is about the Midheaven point, or MC, in astrology. It marks the brightest/highest point in the sky, and is thought to represent your conscious contribution to the world, like your passions or your career. It was also described as the way people might see you in public or professional spaces, like your public persona.

My MC is in Capricorn in the 9th house, conjunct Saturn (also sextile Pluto and trine the Sun). I think the most obvious way this placement appears in my life is through teaching. I've been a teacher in some capacity ever since I was a teenager. I was a Sunday school teacher, then aftercare assistant, then an art teacher, then an afterschool STEAM teacher. I explored the teaching role of art early on as well, on topics like psychology, philosophy and politics. (for example, this piece I made during my degree at FAU, called Just Mist) Teaching is still one of the main goals of my work, as I create paintings to be used to enhance things like trail signs, guides, coloring books, videos and other teaching tools.

The Saturn/Capricorn/9th house element I initially decided to represent by looking up and out, and by collaging my most recent bird paintings around me. Like the sea-goat, I'm looking toward the mountain to climb. My first batch of photos was taken standing up, but I really wanted my hair and clothes to look more wind-swept to connect with the birds. I decided to accomplish that by taking photos laying down.

Check out the evolution!:

I brought the second and third images to a similar level of finish, because I like them both. The third image captures more of the forward momentum I was hoping for, pairing nicely with the birds and flowing hair/fabric. I think it also captures the quality of time I feel like I'm in with my art and contribution. I very much feel like I'm moving enthusiastically forward. (I'm also in a 9th house year, soon to be tenth! My b-day is coming up)

The second one started from an experimental shot that I really liked. Instead of looking up and to the side, I'm looking up and sort of beyond the camera, which I think also works metaphorically. The plants at the bottom are a nod to my IC portrait (which you can read about in this blog post) After working on it a bit, I realized something else that's fun, the pose reminds me of an illustration from my favorite childhood book!

I loved the illustrations in Charles Santore's The Little Mermaid. I would repeatedly check it out from the library just so that I could look at the pictures. (Maybe it was an early inspiration towards the use of watercolors?) I didn't like the story so much, it was really sad, but there is an interesting parallel between the mermaid loosing her voice, and with my IC portrait about "not feeling heard". Also, if you ask me, a mermaid who goes up on land is a pretty spot on parallel with the Capricorn symbolism of the goat with the tail of a fish, who leaves the ocean to climb a mountain.

The birds are from a mural called Birds at Play, which will be installed at the Mandel Library in West Palm Beach soon! Check out the blog about that here

The plants at the bottom are from a series called Plant Portraits completed last year, in collaboration with the Miami nonprofit Bound by Beauty!

Check out the other angle portraits from this series:

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