48 thoughts on “Scope-O-Rama

  1. Why does the Fish looked pissed? Like they’d just got done with cards and someone gypped him?

  2. Rather be a fire breathing dragon, but alas I’m a squirrel..never mind, we’ll just gather and suck it all up, digest, and put it all out again.
    They all look bewildered…doesn’t look like a teapot to me and why are there only 3 babies and a beetle. too many questions about this pic.

    • Assuming you are a fire girl too Ruth? – if so, yep, with ya on the dragon. Are we fire people really sposed to be a squirrel – or – my guess – an elk, given the red hair, and red dress??

      Cannot, but cannot, see fire (spirit, spunk, dangerous heat/horns/roar/or hooves) adequately represented anywhere in this insipid cutesy little picture (Saggo Sun/Merc, Aries Moon and Leo Mars talkin’ here!).

      Doh!, Mr Dryden, if you can fit a bloody elk on top of a young girl’s head, then you can also fit a ram, a dragon, a tigress, a lioness, a centaur or pegasus up there, OK???!!!

      (Oh dear. Think Mars just moved into Saggo….)

      • Dear Fi,

        No I’m just an aquarius, air sign, but need more firey force!! Odd colour of tea don’t you think?

  3. ummm. isn’t air the little birdy and the squirrel is earth?

    although personaly I would prefer the squirrel as air….

    I confess that the smug look on air’s face probably suits.

  4. Their face expressions and body language is fantastic. Check out fire’s face, she is so many people that I know right there in that face expression. Only the earth sign could wear white to a tea party. THese are all asumptions as to whom each element is.
    So what has just happened? could be anything really to get those reactions:
    Maybe the gardener has just walked by:
    Water – Wow he is so dreamy
    Air – He did a splendid job on that, maybe though he could of added……
    Fire: He didn’t even look at me, what is he blind!
    Earth – Oh I think that he could of cleaned up the edges of the mulch a little better, I will just have to do it myself later.

    Checked out her gallery – Wow – the wood nympths are cute, amazing eyes.

    Three babies (or dolls) in a nest??? not sure about that yet.

  5. I agree with Crabby Gem.
    It looks much more like the white one with the bird is air and the yellow one is earth . . . the squirrel . . . hoarding/banking/wealth/pentacles

    and the 3 babies might be cardinal, mutable, fixed???

    It’s an old-style teapot. . . victorian or earlier??? I’ve seen them in museums . .. but can’t place time period because I’m shocking at that kind of thing. The beetle looks like a bee, and may represent industry. . . or wealth, again.

    • agree maybe the animals yeah, but the faces, posture and the hair dos scream opposite. I don’t think I know any air signs that can sit like that or would ever get a straight accross bob hairdo like

      • I don’t know. I’m not sure he’s coming at it from an astrological perspective. If he were, he would have gone air water fire earth in that order. I think he’s trying to portray the elements as they actually are.
        Air is cold and light – and she’s white like a cloud, or snow. Fire looks hot, biting. . . a little fierce. Earth looks soft, but strong, like a supporter of life. Water looks soft and sad, like a river or a tear. . . at least that’s how I interpret it.

        A lot of the symbols used here are present in his other paintings and may have personal significance, particularly bees and babies.

        I often find there’a a coldness to air-signs. . . the way they look . . . the cool eyes. Clear, not dreamy like a water sign. . . not as overwhelming as fire signs. . . just clear, bright, and a little cold. Scorpios, from my experience, have clear, cold and dreamy eyes . . . somehow.

          • Also it looks like the babies have letters on their chests: C, F, M.

            Can’t see them v. clearly but goes with astrology thing – Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable.

            The teapot is labeled Mercury and air has drunk hers all up. (Ideas). Makes sense to me!

            Where they are each gazing is very interesting.

            Air’s leg showing but Water’s not… Air and Earth’s ears showing, the other two’s covered…

            The different landscapes behind each…
            the placement of the knot on the stump…
            and on and on, so fascinating!

        • The air sign girl is a spot-on cartoonish replica of my small Gemini self, right down to the colouring. It’s not coldness in her eyes, it’s intense shyness. She’s watching everything but is scared that everything is also watching her. She’s frequently accused by older people and other children of being standoffish and prissy, which hurts a lot as she would love to join in, but she’s too shy. Instead, she becomes adept at observing others’ behaviours, in an attempt to understand intellectually what she wishes she could just do naturally.

          These days she’s very very good at blending in. But only in small doses and only if she can disappear – into the ether.

          I always thought that a squirrel or an otter would be a very appropriate air-sign animal. Birds seem to me, some of them, to be rather earthy, although swallows are definitely air-birds.

          • Birds are little dinosaurs really, so I can grok that. Dinosaurs seem quite earthy, don’t they?

          • They sure do, those dinosaurs. Swallows don’t seem to bear any relationship whatsoever to dinosaurs and neither do honeyeaters. But seagulls…

          • The air sign girl so so so reminds me of my Gemini – Uranus dominated elder sister!

  6. In alchemical symbolism air is the upward triangle with the line – the birdie and earth is the squirrel. It is a wee bee and I suspect the industry D refers to is the logging industry – old growth forests, California Redwoods – the stump they are all taking tea on. Maybe the 3 babes in the nest are the holy trinity? Allegorical paintings are all about the triad and the lessons. The jug has the alchemical symbol for mercury on it – symbolic in that system/code of the transition from material to spiritual – base metal to gold. That plus the communication angle of mercury’s symbol = a need to educate the young about the environment? Or maybe learn from them…

    • I meant industry as in hard work. . . industrious. That’s the traditional symbolism of the bee, I believe. . . the worker.
      I believe it’s also traditionally one of the attributes of Athene.
      I don’t know the alchemical significance of the bee.

      Thanks for clearing that up whatevs. That’s pretty interesing.

      In the light of his other paintings, whatevs’ interpretation sounds spot on. He has one of the devil driving a logging truck. . . but another of a tree eating a girl. . . a nurse holding a wounded mandrake root (at least it looks like a mandrake) . . . another of a mandrake being operated on, in pain.
      He’s got a lot of paintings with meat – carved, raw. . . one called ‘incarnation’ with one of those doll-like girls dressed in meat. . . or ‘become meat’. It almost looks like he wants to portray it as unappealing – or perhaps he’s just fascinated by it. He reminds me of Bosch, and a little of Patrick Woodroffe.

  7. yeah…all of the above….

    Mars into Saggo tomorrow.
    Who’s smiling like a cheshire cat with a grin from ear
    to ear?
    This pix is sooo Alice in Wonderland.
    This painting shows the true meaning (of that overused & mostly out of contex word)

    I put Minks my beloved beautiful (now gone with a tuberose planted over her)
    fancy rat on my head once, but she preferred my shoulder.

    • Mine used to like to sit on my head. I also had a parrot who used to like to stand on my head . . . biting me. . . a fisking lovebird. . . little savage.

  8. Water looks bored shitless and can’t wait to leg it off into the woods or the pond to commune with … anyone other than these three
    The squirrel is definitely Air and a Libran determined that everyone-has-a-pleasant-afternoon-OR-ELSE
    Earth, a Virgo, is terrified that Fire is going to upend the entire table and have a humungo hissyfit any second now.

    Those babies on the table are disturbing … are they like .. afternoon tea??

    • lol, your posts always make me a chuckle, prowln. a regular tonic, you are. my vote goes to your take on this….

  9. such beautiful weirdness in every way! Sometimes some things are so intense that they turn your stomach a little like jasmine for example or too much musk, and when it fades a little you come back for more…I keep wanting to look at it.

    • Couldn’t agree more, ana. Ryden is one of my favorite artists – his images feel like they were taken right out of my dreams, intimate, homey & disturbing all at once. I love your comparison to scents – I’ll think about jasmine & musk when I look at his paintings in the future.
      Have you seen The Meat Show paintings? Beautiful, compelling & nauseating – you want to go live in that world & run from it screaming all at the same time.

      My only thought about the symbolism in the painting above is the obvious one – why would air be a squirrel & not a bird?

      • I couldn’t agree more : o)

        He’s known for using the symbols of western hermetic magic.


        But I always think the upshot is art is all about what the viewer sees and groks and it’s an opportunity for dialogue so it’s serving its purpose whatever his coded system was. People who are into astrology will make a negotiated reading of the text based on their system. People who are into native herbs will make another – I suspect those plants are all endemic to the forests he’s visited. I love it no matter what he meant when he painted it. He has daughters and his ability to capture their fragility as well as their intensity is unsurpassed. I like the way he references historic styles of painting too. Layers of meaning. Sublime.

  10. love how the animal colors to girl colors draws your eye around in a zig-zag. so effective!

  11. Yeah, the white dress and bird is Air, she has the symbol for air on her chest. Like what whatevs said. Squirrel is earth.
    Anyway, I loooove Mark Ryden. He is my favorite artist everrr. All his artwork is so weird, creepy and pretty.

  12. Hmm – well something is seriously bitching on my chart today: lift to work forgot to pick me up so I’m a two hour bus trip away, pay didn’t go through as promised, subs to Mystic cancelled / pay pal refusing to accept my deets…

    Abundance theory. Abundance. Abundance. Abundance.

  13. Love this particular piece. As for the rest of his work I agree with Odette, loathe it on one level also.

    The Fish Girl looks so earthy to me and the Bird Girl so watery… Very amusing art.

    I thought they were fighting over the triplets, being that there were four of them?

    • WOW that’s a really interesting thought – fighting over the triplets. Will you indulge my semiotic analysis Andromeda? I know you’re a philosophy goddess as well as a domestic one so I figure we can workshop it without you thinking I’m having a go…

      The assumption all girls want a little baby or three and the implication that women aren’t able to share without fighting – a bit sexist? Or just western culture / ideas about childcare, the family unit and motherhood or the relationships women/sisters have? Or could the assumption be a more primal response – on some level the one who has had the litter is higher in the hierarchy of the pack? That’s why they’re fighting? Is it the presence of the triplets that prompts the idea that there is a fight happening? If the triplets weren’t there would they still look like they were fighting? Only fire looks pissed to me and if there was no wood left to burn and I was fire I’d be pissed too… If they are triplets then they only came out of one of those mamas. Maybe they’re all pissed because she’s the promiscuous one and they’re sick of babysitting while she goes out and has unprotected sex again? When I read your words I though fuq it they can have the babies I’m off into the woods to gather mushrooms LOL


      • I guess I hang out with too many two year olds currently… Put three toys of any type on the table and watch them go crazy wanting whatever someone else is holding.
        But sexism aside, the girls like babies, the boys like cars at this age.

        Good luck with the mushrooms sweetie! Bring some back and I will fry them up with butter and garlic for us all ;)

        • Maybe I just hang out with too many art history/semiotics types. Uber if you’re reading this I MISS YOU.

          • hey I’m not sure what your comment means but I get the feeling you may be miffed and I want to let you know my comment re hanging with the word nerds was a reflection on me lovely not you.
            There’s way more mothers in this world than semiotics or cultural studies lovers – I’m the odd one out here is what I meant so please don’t be thinking I was criticising you – that’s why I had a disclaimer in the first post.

            I have mercury conjunct venus in libra – I have a gemini ascendant so my sign ruler and chart ruler are conjunct which amplifies this – I’m all about the words and the art and the analysing thereof and my pluto conjunct uranus and uranus conjunct sun on the IC gives me the ability to observe and analyse the culture I dwell in without feeling uncomfortable about the questions or answers that may pose. I was commenting on our culture rather than criticising you personally – I hope you can accept that cos I actually really like you and I figured with the philosophy degree it was an opportunity for a discussion of the language and the implications thereof but if it has backfired please just know that it wasn’t meant personally. x

          • I do miss that big fuck off tree of feminist knowledge that was uber tho. I seldom agreed with her but she was always up for a “debate” LOL Librans LOVE to debate…

          • No, it’s all good, I was a bit, ‘um, alright’ like it felt a bit pointed, as I am so not Uber, but I can see where you are coming from and I don’t be to be oversensitive!

            Actually I don’t think of you as the odd one out here at all, young (as in the kids, not so much moi) mothers seem thinner on the ground I think!

            I have a Gem asc but 2nd house Merc. in Cancer, so I guess I find that a lot feminist discussion is intellectual jousting for the sake of it tbh. I love words/art/discussion thereof but I am probably in a more pragmatic place currently… I have a BA in Classical History, but not a philosophy degree, maybe I didn’t continue with philosophy because I don’t actually love debating? I never thought of it that way!
            All good and I think you are great. Xx.

          • re feminism = intellectual jousting – ABSOLUTELY – But I was bored and mercury is transiting the 5th which is where my conjunction is so I felt like a joust… sigh : o)

  14. The brilliance of the work aside, the 3 babies give the jeebiest CREEPS!!! WAaaaaarerrghghhh!!!
    *goes to process disturbing image out of head* Damn too much watching horror as a wee one…

    • babies give me the heebiegeebies at the best of times, but his babies are creepy like how the dutch painters give me the heebies! . . . particularly their paintings of jesus where there’s a child’s body, but the face has adult eyes or something. . . the face that’s looking into you and through you. It creeps me out!!!

  15. I am quite taken by this oddly fascinating artwork.
    I was just wondering about all the Earthly animals scopes the other day. My cat must be going through a particularly rough transit, judging by all the YOWLing these past few days ~ (or maybe just wants sushi take out)

    • You’re right, the expressions are just perfect!

      Air just coolly sitting back and observing the others. Fire staring at something so intensely it seems like she’s ready to jump up from the table. Earth looking quite relaxed (even a hint of natural wave in her hair) but with eyes directed straight at the observer. Then Water staring off into the distance at nothing in particular, in a dreamworld.

      And does anyone else think that Water looks like Rachel Bilson?

  16. Bring on the fire. Scopes are spot on MM and will tame my impatience to move on and up at lighteniing speed. Ne crush Gentle cap is in slo mo so I will ahve to go slo mo too. He cannot be gently persuaded in any form and even my most Leonic charm doesn’t work on him…. yet. AND the endings done properly – yes and sensisbly. Unlike my V in scorp actions to stalk and stalk and stalk some more. eeek even looking up the ex’s new gf on the white pages wtf? can’t wait for mars in sagg and the weekend away to get my head together.

  17. Actually, I started reading the weekly Scopes and read “necromancer” instead of neomancer. WTF? A second reading brought me back to earth. I think this mis-reading came from my uni student days when we had a really creepy lecturer on linguistics. He pointed out how the following sentence changed depending on how you read it: “What do you do with a stiff neck?” as opposed to: “What do you do with a stiff? Neck?” Urrgghh. Sorry about the throwback, folks.

  18. The symbols on their dresses are the classic Aristotelian element symbols. The girl in yellow is earth, the girl in white is air.

    Being an Air girl myself, I completely see myself in her facial expression. It’s uncanny.