I walked downtown to my sewing studio today, and ripped my pants. It was the start of a day dominated by the Saturn-Pluto conjunction (with Mercury and the Sun in close proximity). It was a pretty Saturnian thing to have happen, on a day when Saturn and the Sun, Mercury and Pluto were all so close together that my constellation-finder app couldn’t separate them in the sky.
And then I got to work, ripped pants and all. Throughout the afternoon, from the Hour of the Sun about 1:30 pm, until the end of the Hour of Saturn around 4:35 local time, I worked on the robe in these pictures. It’s a haori, like other haori I’ve made, in other sizes, and for other people. But it also wasn’t like other haori I’ve made.
For one thing, I live-tweeted it. From pinning on the pattern until I sang the Orphic Hymn over the finished haori (including the little “Orion” patch on the left sleeve over a tiny rip), I consciously worked this project under the eye of Saturn, and completed the work in time to sing to Saturn at the ending of the work.
And so the work is now completed. In one sense it’s a very ordinary garment. It’s not marked out in any way as a thing of power. It doesn’t feel special, and I don’t think even a magically sensitive person would notice that it was consciously composed and created under a once-every-thirty-to-fifty years conjunction of two planets.
And yet here it is. It’s a Men’s Large, about a 38-40″ chest.
For now, it’s hanging in the studio. And it’s also up on my Etsy site, without fanfare, for $105 like all the others. Maybe it’ll be $108.00 I like the number 108, it has a new resonance for me this week, for reasons that eventually I’ll get around to explaining. But some people are going to read this and think, “ye gods, I have to have that robe, it’s the most powerful robe that could have been made this year!” And some will read this and think, “what a crock of sh*t. It’s a cotton robe made by a barely-professional sewist,” and they’ll ignore it. And someone might think, “My Aunt Hattie in Binghampton might like that.” And it’ll go out into the world, eventually.
Some might think, What a thing to make under such an evil conjunction. Maybe they’ll criticize me. Some might think Why didn’t he make it for himself? Why is he just selling it? What does he know that I don’t? Some may think, Did he really know what he was doing when he made it? Some may think, He knew HOW to do what he was doing, but did he stop to think “should I really do this?”?
And now it’s here. A robe crafted for a magician, or maybe an Uncle Fred in Piqua, OH, under a Saturnian conjunction with the lord of the riches of the underworld. It’s an object of genuine enchantment, 100% cotton sewn into a garment under a malefic planetary event of some significance. But what is it, really?
Is it cosplay? Is it art? Is it a leisure-wear garment for a destroyer of nations? Is it silliness?
There may not be any good way to answer any of these questions, except perhaps, “Is that for me?”