Andy McDonald
Traditional Astrology
Selected Essays
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An artist’s philosophy is the foundation of ideas upon which his work is built. I believe that there is no such thing as ‘art for art’s sake’, because an artist’s philosophy is always present in his work, no matter how hidden or nihilistic that philosophy might be.
We search for the exotic, yet all the while there are mysteries aplenty in our own back yard.

It is the beauty in the commonplace, the everyday, which we fail to see, fail to wonder at. This is not the elevation of kitchen sink drama or soap opera, where the normal is exaggerated, but the recognition of those fleeting moments where the transcendental touches the commonplace - where eternity is seen through the everyday. It is that which is worth reaching out for; that, which we should wonder at.

Life in its simplicity calls out to us all, but instead of listening to this call we constantly strive for the sensational or the bizarre, as if we need to prick ourselves awake. Yet the sensational thing is this: that life is full of mysteries, right where we are, right here. We are unable or unwilling to see this, feeling perhaps that excitement and wonder are always somewhere else, never here, never in the right here now. It is what is, and the fact that this exists, which is truly miraculous. This is where true mystery lies, and it is through this that we may have a chance of glimpsing the truth - through this that we may chance to peer through the veil and render the invisible visible.

I felt abstract art was always moving away from what it is to be a person within this life, journeying through this world, so I turned to the figurative. The abstract fails to relate to us in our struggle to understand our presence here, our journey, and, ultimately, our story.
Medieval thinkers saw man as homo viator: man as traveller. Travelling within time through this world of matter back to the Source from which we came. Exitus was the journey outwards and reditus the journey back. The Source and the Goal are the same thing: the Alpha and Omega. The journey back cannot be the same as the journey out, so this must all take place within time. The medieval philosophers and the Neo-Platonists before them, saw this total journey as a circle, its beginning joining its end. This journey can only be adequately described as a story, and the medieval saw this journey as a gift. As it is a gift, then logically there must be a Gift Giver.

So we are all part of a still unfinished story. Despite the recent idea that we are at liberty to make up this story for ourselves, making it up as we go along, in reality the greatest thrill happens when we realise in a glimpse of the world or within an image that this story already exists and has its own sense, its own internal logic. The narrative is there waiting to be discovered rather than be invented. It has its own intelligible meaning, order and harmony; it is its own unsolved mystery.
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