The news of McQueen’s death a few days ago hit me like a brick. He was my all time favorite designer and I owe so much of my earlier inspiration to him as a young art student. His style was one of a kind and always on the cutting edge. I fell in love with fashion because of his designs which were filled with epic drama and themes that went beyond just fashion. He was so much more than just a fashion designer but an artist in the highest sense of the word. He created a magickal world of fashion, symbols and mood which enveloped you entirely in his fantasy.
His death seemed to me highly strange, with too much synchronicity to be dismissed as a normal suicide. They count the numbers by 11s after all. I feel his death was a ritual sacrifice symbolized by the archetype of the Hanged Man card of the Tarot as he was found hanged in his closet(a nod to his homosexuality perhaps). Instead of regurgitating all the reasons why I think this, here’s a great research article into the occult behind McQueen’s work:
“When I’m dead, hopefully this house will still be going. On a spaceship. Hopping up and down above the earth.” -Alexander McQueen in LOVE
Ahhh my favorite number. Cloaked in mystery and for a reason. It is the number of the completion of a cycle, the cleansing and purification as something dies and is reborn.
“Having left the tree from where he hung, the Fool moves carefully through a fallow field, head still clearing from visions. The air is cold and wintry, the trees bare. Before him, he sees, rising with the sun, a skeleton in black armor mounted on a white horse. He recognizes it as Death. As it stops before him, he humbly asks, “Have I died?” He feels, in fact, rather empty and desolate. And the Skeleton answers, “Yes, in a way. You sacrificed your old world, your old self. Both are gone, dead.” The Fool reflects on that, “How sad.” Death acknowledges this with a nod. “Yes, but it is the only way to be reborn. A new Sun is rising, and it is, for you, a time of great transformation.” As Death rides away, the Fool can feel the truth in those words. He, too, feels like a skeleton, all that he was stripped away. This, he understands, is how all great transformations start, by stripping things to the bone, and building fresh upon the bare foundations.”
Perhaps the stigma associated with the number 13 stems from the suppression of the of the sacred feminine by the power hungry patriarchal church as there are thirteen moons in a year, the moon being a reflection of the female cycles and the Earth. The Gregorian calendar is mechanical and divorced from True Nature, the real calendar has thirteen months.
May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989
Ahhh, Dali! The sound of the name alone is a magical invocation!
More than a man, he is a myth, a universe all in himself. Daring to travel to the razors edge facing over the abyss, he swan dived into the Endless Enigma, emerging from the weird depths of the subconscious to the roaring applause of millions of devoted initiates, praised for upholding the outrageous in a world where it is never enough!
An epitome of the Artist as Shaman, Dali traveled to the world in-between, a place of madness and paradox to bring us back artifacts of the journey. For what else is there in this world but to travel to the edge and return?
Dali resonates most strongly with the Magus archetype of the major arcana in the Tarot. He even painted himself as the Magician in his own alchemical deck featuring Hebrew letters on the trump cards to reference the Jewish Kabbalah. The 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet synchronize with the 22 trumps of Major Arcana and the four worlds of existence with 10 stations on the Tree of Life synchronize with the four suits of the Tarot, each with 10 numbered cards.
Dali once proclaimed that “the only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.” Truly then, there was a method to his madness which was behind his hyper-real enigmatic paintings. He dubbed it the “paranoiac critical method” and it was championed by the Surrealism movement.
His method required one to enter a trance, a paranoiac delirium where perceived reality was spliced and dissected to reveal the mysterious connections between seemingly disparate archetypes existing in the subconscious mind. This technique is a superb tool to stimulate creativity for it is a net allowing one to dip deep into Dreamtime during waking life, catching the fish that will nourish, discovering hidden treasures below and even bumping into the occasional deep sea monster.
Paranoia is a “personality disorder characterized by systematic delusions.” What are our archetypes but man-made artifacts fashioned by our own delusions? As Dali wrote, “The paranoiac mechanism whereby the multiple image is released is what supplies the understanding with the key to the birth and origin of all images, the intensity of these dominating the aspect which hides the many appearances of the concrete.”