Every year as soon as daylight saving hits, I fall back into my Bob Fosse obsession. This month, in addition to mainlining his films, interviews, clips, I’m rereading Sam Wasson’s excellent Fosse biography and feeling new empathy for the dancer/choreographer/director’s struggles. Many, many people are boozers, pill poppers, cheaters, nihilists. What distinguished Fosse was the depth and charge of his creative solution to those shadows.* It’s a solution I crave.
In Fosse’s works flowed the brass tacks of vaudeville, the flourishes of the MGM musical, the liquid grace of jazz filtered through his uniquely from-the-hip economy. All of it—from the depressive cheer of “We Got the Pain” to the death drag of “All That Jazz”— paved the way for the 21st century’s “irony-is-the-new-black” ethos, eros, aesthetic. Every major icon of the last 50 years owes Fosse – from Michael Jackson to Liza to Madonna to Britney to Lady Gaga and even Beyoncé. Fashion would not be fashion without his exposed garter belts and fishnet stockings. The world is still catching up with his matter-of-fact-jack on sexuality and race.
Just look at this Little Prince (1974) scene, possibly Fosse’s last dance on film. The gloves, glasses, black ruffles, hip and neck swivels, pelvis thrusts, flexed fingers, shoulder shimmies, heel-to-toework is all so modern—so timeless, really. It’s Michael Jackson a decade later. Bojangles 50 years before. And something delightedly, self-consciously Fosse that will always charm us.
*The downfall of most biopics is an overemphasis on the demons of seminal talents rather than their unique achievements.
In nearly every intuitive reading I’ve given lately and a surprising number of Weather Reports, I’ve drawn the inverted Knight of Cards. When a card so persistently shows up, it is communicating to the collective as well as to the individual, so I felt moved to share my interpretation.
In addition to its more personal applications, The Knight of Cups is about leading from the heart rather than the ego–a yearning, a spiritual quest. When inverted, it indicates the blockage of such qualities–cynicism, dissociation, and a sensuality tipping into sensation-mongering. AKA “fill this void.” Anything can become addictive when used in this vein. Not just booze, drugs, media, and sugar, but exercise, work, “healthy” eating, and relationships. Even—ahem—spirituality.
The truth? The desire to check out—to bury our heads in some sort of sand—is profoundly understandable these days. We are living in what even a few years ago would have been perceived as a dystopia, and it’s hard to think utopically when every element of our world is in such upheaval. The dreamer in each of us wants to drown in this knight’s cups. But as long as we are lucky enough to be alive, we may not check out forever. Virgo Season asserts the holiness of moderation and an economy borne of love. Such values may not jibe with the more-is-more, pendulum-swinging prevailing ethos, but they allow us to more fully inhabit every moment and embrace the resources we still have.
As we prepare for a new week and a new month, let this Knight serve as loving reminder. “Enough” is the most sacred form of abundance–a salute to our shared heart.
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