The True Garden Of Time

This year’s Met Gala was held on the Dark Moon and the dress code was The Garden of Time – a short story by the ultra-Plutonic Scorpio surrealist J.G. Ballard. If you’ve read the short story – it’s only a few pages long and absolutely brilliant – you can easily tell which of the celebrities or their stylists have also read it. 

J.G. Ballard was obsessed with time, as reflected by his Saturn-Uranus square. (Saturn = Chronos Time and Uranus Kairos Time.) One of his most poignant pieces, The Garden of Time is about two long time lovers who’ve clearly managed to thrive in their luxurious sanctuary garden via rare magic…but it’s running out.

It would be easy to say they’re privileged and that the story is about some economic uprising against them but I think it’s sadder than that. It’s about the end of their exquisite crystalline bubble of love – the mob is not a protest. It’s normality.

I’ve always loved this story and out of the pics I’ve seen, I think just three of the guests got it.

I don’t begrudge performers for saying ‘fuq it’ to the code and opting to turn up more or less naked. Or clearly snapping at their stylist to put them in their go-to, all-purpose-terrain gala-thing regalia.

But the quadruple Libran Kim Kardashian was – once again – super-aligned in the weirdest way. Read the story here if you haven’t and then reappraise her silvery flower frock, too tight to breathe correctly, with the bobbly gray cardigan thrown over the top.

Also ultra-apt: the racing car driver Lewis Hamilton (Capricorn, Scorpio Rising), singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey (Cancerian, Scorpio Rising. I see Cardinal signs in command.

And Scorpio Ascendant people are often either ‘zero fashion – I reject all artifice’ or fashionably fearless, style avatars to the cogniscenti.

Hamilton’s outfit was both fabulously Count Axel – from the story – and a homage to John Ystumllyn. Abducted and enslaved as a child in the 18th Century, he became known in the UK for a series of ‘firsts’ – the first “black gardener” in Wales and first interracial marriage in the UK, for example.

The jacket component included a few casually beautiful lines from Alex Wharton’s The Gardener: “I hope the sun pours light upon our skin. And we melt into each other, into everything. Maybe the trees will speak, as they sometimes do. Whispers from the shade — Run, run away…”*

I know this was planned for ages and yes of course, the machinations of publicist’s whatever, but SO super-apt for a Dark Moon in Taurus AND The Garden Of Time. People are saying Lana Del Rey went to the Gala dressed as a tree but no she was a nymph, obviously as was the Countess in the Ballard story  – she never wanted to leave the garden, grow up or make her own reckonings with the mob of mundanity.

Del Rey, whose natal Lilith in Cancer is conjunct McQueen’s Lilith, would have been that designer’s super-Muse, had he lived. I was going to say she’s probably connected with him in some spooked up scenario but I’m sure Kim Kardashian has all the seance hook-ups with elite designers secured.

Like her mother Kris Jenner, she has nearly all of her birth chart energy in the witched-up Via Combusta and while I personally think people’s clothes should allow for healthy, diaphragmatic breathing, it’s not like the Met Gala is a venue for one’s comfort-tees.

Anyway, please read the story and share your thoughts – is it about love or socialism? And who else at this Garden of Time themed gala pulled it off? I am late in thinking/commenting about this because it’s one of my favorite short stories AND a fashion event yet most media showed an infinite array of nearly naked girls and women, with no context.

*The last bit makes me think of one of the scariest scenes in Get Out– the movie – when the not just enslaved but zombified character temporarily breaks free of his trance to warn the hero to flee.

The Garden Of Time

24 thoughts on “The True Garden Of Time”

  1. I found this years Gala grotesque, truly a let them eat cake mashed panem et circences event with roaring silence at the ongoing monstrosity of Netanyahu et al #blockout2024

  2. I love the story; it is so steeped in meaning, and I love how beautiful their slow demise is – elegant to the end!

    Segue – is everyone watching #blocked2024?
    A direct Fall Out of the Met, via the culmination of the extreme displays of wealth and 1% behaviour as they moved through the Pro Palestinian demonstrators outside, timed with what went on in Rafah whilst attendees arrived and then partied at the Met.

    TikTok influencer Hayley Bailee triggered it with her Marie Antoinette costume and tone-deaf ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ post, which was filmed literally in the middle of the Anti-Genocide rallies.

    Her apology videos made it worse, but #blocked2024 was viral by then. An entire generation rebelling against celebrities and brands who’ve said nothing about the Middle East. I spent most of Saturday slow cooking while glued to TT, watching this go viral.

      1. It’s so perfect! I love that the arms move, such a beautiful appreciation of nature channeled through fashion ✨

  3. I was super fortunate as a JG Ballard fan that I was living in London & saw him in a bookstore doing a reading when Super Cannes came out
    I remember somehow in our brief interaction he must have intuited that I was about to have my Saturn return & his words even now 20 years later were profound & insightful for a book signing meeting

    Also I agree with your suggestion for next year – on point as always thank you

    1. I haven’t read it lately but I loved Super-Cannes! What a cool anecdote – can you share the words?

      Also what was my suggestion?

      And, my daughter is aghast that I somehow missed her fave for this event – Elle Fanning and okay, yes; that glassy dress is also ultra-apt.

  4. On the Weeklies, if you click on your sign it takes you previous posts about your sign…did you know that?
    Something new to discover constantly.

  5. Weeeell though KK must have had some sort of skin outbreak on her shoulder, & covering it but no it was a jacket thrown quickly on as she left her lover in the garden. The way she was twisting the knot near her boob gave the image she was playing with her boobies, the bare breast look when not barring the breast?
    Lana got on the worst dressed list so obviously they didn’t get it what she was & what she was doing.
    Hunger Games well maybe but it sure employed masses of people to dust & polish everything personages included.
    At least the Gala wasn’t compared to Nero fiddling with someone or something whilst Rome burnt.

  6. I just can’t with Kim K, but it’s good to know she — or somebody — gave the theme some real thought.

    1. Same. I get it. She’s iconic. People love to look at / critique / fawn / hate on her. But I would prefer that she just not somehow show up on every corner of my internet life. LOL.

      1. Same. Mostly what i’m annoyed about is that we share the same birthdate. And a few of the placements (but i can’t recall what). Her and Netanyahu.😬

        I guess the latter makes her actually look quite good as a birthday buddy. Yay Kim K!

  7. Just read the story—and so glad you highlighted it here. I think the wistful ebbing romantic side of the plot is definitely there, but that it is also a very interesting and moving parable in terms of revolution and class war. For that, it’s significant that the world of the count and countess is characterized by savoring high culture – her playing Mozart on a harpsichord, him savoring his manuscripts and conservatory and paintings… while the “laboring masses” / rabble slowly advance over the hills. There’s some classist ickiness in that, e.g. yes the elites may be unjust, but they’re also the ones capable of really savoring culture etc. while the masses are unnamed, burdened, and restive.

    But it’s also a poignant and really in many ways apt vision of entrenched elites holding onto power as long as they can even as it wanes, with the magical time flowers that let them turn the clock back again and again—until they can no longer hold off time or change, and are in fact already ossified statues, their manor ruined, by the time the army does sweep in. So okay, there’s a quality of the Met Gala being self-aware in picking that story while also romanticizing and revelling in their rarified garden.

    I think there is that quality of really clinging to old paradigms, and trying to stretch them out even if the increments for which they work are shrinking and getting shorter and shorter—environmentally, financially, spiritually. That was true when Ballard wrote his story in the early 60s, but is even more palpably, dramatically true today. Evidently security at this year’s Gala was ultra high to prevent the red carpet being interrupted by climate change and Gaza protestors. In general, inequality is incredibly intense and palpable — I live here in NYC, and there’s so many posh restaurants and sort of bougie type spa/wellness centers opening at the same time that pretty much every time I get on the subway at night there’s a least one car and often more where there’s a homeless person sleeping on the seats, just one of the ways that problem is at its most visible. It’s much too easy for people living precariously to fall through the cracks into the drastic shortages with housing (the lowest apartment vacancy rate in half a century)—and even in less dramatic cases the gap between how people connected to tech and finance live compared to most others is intense.

    Bring on the Pluto in Aquarius literature, I say—that helps us imagine new ways of being and structuring things where beauty, creativity, and celebration—along with things like healthcare and attunement to Gaia—are inhabited by all.

    1. Thank you, Embarkons7, for your message from NYC, so interesting to hear an insider’s perspective on society in the city in 2024

    1. Didn’t some of the fabrics enchant you Invicta…the organzas of the finest quality.
      (or is that me the dedicated follower of fashion…haha)

  8. Of course you’re spot on as usual Mystic. Digging a little deeper into the Met Gala looks for this year I found this quote about Kim’s sister Kylie’s ‘fit’. It seems the Kar-Jenner’s were indeed in on the true meaning of the theme. ‘According to Vogue, the silhouette of Jenner’s gown “was inspired by the garden statues mentioned in J. G. Ballard’s short story, The Garden of Time,” as a way to honor the theme.’

    As for Lewis, he’s such a fashionista. I love his look here.

  9. I hadn’t realized that Met Gala themes were based on short stories.

    This year, given the juxtaposition between super-rich celebrities parading in their outlandish outfits and the bombs falling on Gaza, Ukraine (and Syria, and Yemen, and Darfur…) everyone in my social media feeds is comparing it to The Hunger Games.

    For next year’s theme, I nominate The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin.

    1. Penelope Darling

      It depends on the year! Last year the exhibit was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” and the theme was “In honor of Karl.” The year Lady Gaga hosted the theme was Susan Sontag’s 1964 “Notes on ‘Camp'” essay and the exhibit was “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” Zendaya hosted this year and the exhibition is “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.”

      1. Zendaya looked out of this world & into Clara Bows.
        Loved her poses tho’ some bitchy-funny writer called it the Dying Turtle Pose…head back shoulders forward…whatever, loved the fluorite colours she wore & her makeup a performance in it’s own right,

    2. Penelope Darling

      Also, in a way the story reflects exactly what you’re saying. Beautiful, wealthy people clinging to their privileges as war and poverty rage outside the gates… “From the terrace Axel could see clearly the shuffling, straining ranks moving down into the hollow towards the final crests, and occasionally the sounds of their voices carried across to him, interspersed with cries of anger and the cracking of whips.”

  10. Quadruple Cappy

    Thanks for this, it certainly put things in context for Me! And I was quick to put scorn on KK’s super- narrow waist, but now I’ll read the story!

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