| up a level
from the mons-best-friend dept.
Inspired by the tale of the Miller's Daughter/Handless Maiden about the emotional wounding and healing of girls, corresponding to tale of the Fisher King for boys -- as explained by Robert Johnson in his book She. The invocations are from Crowley's poems "Venus" and "Venus Callipyge" from The Collected Works.
A copper metallic Venus symbol on a green banner hangs on one side of the stage. Around it are green cardboard pears with emotionally charged words painted on them. On the other side, behind the altar, is a banner entitled, "Praise the Whore."
The audience is purified with rose water prior to the beginning of the rite.
Lights dim with a spotlight in the foreground to the side, and a green spotlight shining through a white veil.
Hierophant/Taurus (in black with red scarf) approaches the altar, smells the roses, lights a rose-scented candle floating in a glass bowl containing salt water, and lights the red candle. He begins the "First Invocation," gazing at a statue of Venus on the altar. As he reads, he takes up his lance from behind the altar and begins slowly stroking it and turning towards center stage.
Venus, with roses in her hair, clad in a long green slinky dress, takes up her perfumed dance veil, glides over to Taurus, encircling him, and caressing him. Full body contact. Non-verbal interaction. By dancing around Taurus and stroking him with her veil, she hopes to awaken his senses, and is delighted by every word and action of invocation and lamentation throughout the rite. All drama and sensation delight her.
Taurus succumbs to Venus. She takes the lance to help him wound his thigh, while holding him in a loving embrace and kissing him passionately.
Venus: [lovingly lowers Taurus to the floor and, circling him, provocatively hisses] Needs. Desires. Drives. Feelings. Moods. Emotions. Victory to each new desire! [Pause]
Taurus, crawling off-stage and dragging wounded leg, does not hear Venus.
Venus: [speaking to audience, smiling sweetly] Ahhhhh, sweet Love. [She slowly whirls off into the background, letting go of her scarf, taking up tree branches, becoming a pear tree.]
Pisces/Luna appears behind Venus.
Taurus discards red scarf and dons green scarf for next act.
Venus, as Virgo/Pear Tree, stands holding branches laden with pears, representing orchard/abundance/nurturance.
Daughter, a little girl in a nightie, enters the orchard and sits cross-legged with coloring pencils/crayons/art pad under tree, drawing.
Venus/Tree bends to caress little girl.
Daughter responds with innocence, blissfully, to the loving caresses.
Orchard Owner/Dad enters with notepad/palm pilot, pen and cell phone. He talks into his cell phone, conducting business.
Daughter, still seated, tries to show her Dad the drawing.
Dad turns away, still talking into the cell phone.
Daughter stands, holding up her picture for her father to see.
Dad kisses his Daughter on the forehead and turns away from her as she tries to show him the picture. He continues talking on the phone as he exits.
Libra strolls to and fro across the stage with his scales tipping. He exits and dons his red scarf as Taurus in Act 4.
Daughter pouts, trying to hide her tears.
Venus/Tree bends to caress Daughter, offering Love.
Daughter hangs her head, then goes to the opposite side of the stage and exits.
Luna exits on her heels, gets ready to play music for Act 3.
Venus: [Laying down branches, picks up scarf and slowly, sensuously dances toward audience, smiling.] Ahhhh, serenity! tactfulness! Generosity! Self-sacrifice! Dutifulness! Sympathy! [Exits dancing.]
A recording of "Feelings" plays.
Dad and Daughter are behind the veil. A green spotlight pointed forward from behind the veil projects their shadows onto white draperies. Dad lifts the meat cleaver and chops, severing Daughter's hand. Daughter screams as Dad tosses fake bloody severed hand into audience.
Daughter changes into Catholic school uniform for Act 5.
Hamadryads/Trees enter, arranging themselves in front of the veil behind Venus' "throne" (a step stool draped in green, since Venus is a pear tree in an orchard), their arms waving slowly so that people can read the words on the pears.
Taurus facing Venus, recites the "Second Invocation."
Venus gleefully responds to all the words.
Venus and Taurus circle each other lovingly, then dance offstage from opposite sides.
Taurus removes red scarf, dons Libra's green scarf and holds scales for Act 5.
Teenaged Daughter, in a Catholic school uniform, enters (strutting provocatively for audience) and talking on cell phone with a friend.
Daughter: He never has time for me.
Dad enters, annotating in his notebook/palm pilot. He looks up, sees his Daughter, then looks at his watch.
Libra crosses the stage twice carrying weighing scales. He pauses to allow the scales to tip. He exits, and dons red scarf for Act 6.
Dad tries to get Daughter's attention.
Dad: [into his phone] She never listens to me.
Daughter: [into her phone] Hang on a minute. [Looks at Dad, tapping foot testily.]
Dad crosses the stage, holds Daughter's shoulders, and while looking earnestly and pleadingly into her eyes, tries to embrace her.
Daughter responds with a cold glance, breaks free of the embrace, turns away, and continues her phone conversation.
Taurus recites the "Third Invocation."
Taurus turns and is trapped in Venus' vice-like grip.
As Venus goes to the audience, the Hamadryads/Trees rush forth to different audience members, embrace them, sway them, hand them a pear and whisper the word on the pear in their ears. We don't need no stinkin' spectators. Everyone participates in this rite! When they are out of pears, they serve Bailey's Irish Cream and strawberry mochi ice cream (which look like mini pink breasts). Lastly, they hand out green condoms.
Venus responds with emotionally-charged words, whispered, screeched, growled, howled, moaned, running the gamut of verbal expression, while all the while grinning with delight and caressing herself.
Venus: Emotional, intuitive, aesthetic, non-rational
Taurus recites DH Lawrence.
Taurus: [looking at audience]
Taurus winks and grins at audience, then breaks free from Venus' grip.
Venus circles Taurus. They both slowly whirl offstage from opposite sides.
Taurus changes into Mercury costume.
Daughter, in a business suit, enters with a cell phone to her ear.
Dad enters with a notebook, counting pears on the trees.
Venus, trying to get Daughter's attention, circles her.
Daughter turns away, then nods a friendly hello at Dad.
Venus flings herself at Daughter's ankles and desperately clings to her leg, trying to get her attention.
Daughter ignores Venus and looks at the audience.
Daughter: [talking loudly into cell phone]
Venus lies there for a moment.
Luna, in a crimson smoking jacket and silver turban with pipe in hand, steps over Venus, yawns, stretches, and recites Swinburne.
As Luna reads, Venus gets up and tries to seduce Luna, in vain.
Luna ignores her, yawns, stretches, and continues to recite poetry all the way down the long hallway to the back door.
Mercury and Venus slowly whirl onstage from opposite sides, encircling and eyeing each other.
Mercury, circling, with caduceus in hand, prepares to leap upon Venus.
Mercury: Give me thy life and strength
Venus shrinks back with hands crossed over her face in a protective, frightened pose.
Mercury: I foam and live and leap!
Mercury leaps up in the air and down upon Venus, straddling her with caduceus in hand, then laying it down behind her so that audience cannot see it but it is readily available.
He stabs with the caduceus. Venus curls up, holding upright caduceus in place.
Mercury: [on bent knee]
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