Given my prior involvement in TempleCon and helping to shape people's view of the future through explorations of Cyberpunk and Biopunk in particular (among other and sometimes temporarily more noisy genres of retrofuturism), I've been exposed to a lot of dystopian imagery and thought. But that has not previously shaped my artwork much, which has been dominated by imagery and symbolism from the fairy tales and folk tales and great mythic cycles that I grew up reading as well as fantasy and science fiction.
In the wake of the news from Standing Rock and the mainstream media's response to it, along with the news from DC regarding the Trump transition and bonafide Nazis there debating whether Jews are people, and the rise in hate crimes, and the serious discussion of a Muslim registry, the imagery dominating my head is not my usual fare. Maybe these images will continue to show for me and maybe they won't. I've tended to keep my art away from the socio-political realms for a long time, being long in agreement with Camille Paglia that the artist makes art not to save society but to save him/herself. But enough of my creative compatriots say otherwise to make me reconsider, and in this case, the elemental combination of earth and fire repeating throughout the astrological aspects of the day called out this specific image, reinforcing that reconsideration.
In astrological terms, Pluto in Capricorn is approaching my natal Venus, Sun, and Mercury in short succession over the next four years and that's been reinforcing the feeling of monolithic institutions encroaching on my core sense of self for a while now, and I suspect that feeling is going to get more intense as the conjunctions become exact. Uranus squaring my Sun from my 7th house is leading me to feel as though there is a rebellious urge coming from my contacts with other people. Since I have Uranus natally conjuncting my Libran Ascendant (how I present myself to the world), I find it hard not to project a certain anti-authoritarian streak when confronted with institutionally-induced claustrophia, even while I desperately try to keep the peace.
We've all been moving through the generational influences of Pluto in Capricorn (institutions and control, operating in a determined but conservative manner) square Uranus in Aries (sudden change and rebellion, operating in a bold and decisive manner) from June of 2012 until earlier this year, overlapped with Saturn in Sagittarius (restriction and boundaries, operating in relation to truth and ideals) square Neptune (dreams, illusions, and dissolution of boundares, operating in relation to emotional and spiritual sensitivity) from last Thanksgiving until this September, and now Jupiter in Libra (expansion of social concerns) squares Pluto (heightening control issues), and with today's Mercury/Jupiter sextile, communication is definitely needed to ease some of that tension. With the Virgo Moon void-of-course for half the day though, this is not a time for bold new action, merely recognition of what is facing us. 2012 through the beginning of 2016 set the stage for what we are experiencing now, forcing so many of us to face serious disruption in our own lives that in turn have shaped our responses to our rapidly-changing society, and with Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto all moving to converge in Capricorn in 2020, there is a distinct possibility of the dystopian corporate megaplex becoming a totalitarian reality.
Given the ambiguity of the image and the corporatocracy within which we already live, it is hard to say if the woman in this drawing is aligned with or against those monolithic institutions and the future they are driving us toward. The more that I learn about who wields what influence, and who is paying whom, the less I think that any of us are blameless, nor capable of hiding from the consequences of our inevitable entanglement with the forces hastening dystopia and our eventual destruction. How we choose to go forward from here may well make a difference in the end, but right now the future looks neither clean nor pretty.