“If” is a heavy word. It carries the weight of the multiple consequences of a mental fork in the road.
“If You Believe #1” was created by Seibetsu-Hakku on March 11, 2021. Because of the emotional authenticity behind its creation, it encapsulates a portion of the energy of that point in time in an incredibly impactful way.
It was the first token I ever bought (view it here), for a number of reasons:
- the studio’s superb portfolio
- the intricate technical fluidity of the composition
- the story behind its creation
It’s difficult to write about masterpieces such as this one — works such as these exist much more purely on their own.
To describe abstract art is to enter into an ongoing conversation about relative meanings.
As astrology is a symbolic language at the intersection of data and mystery, we can use it to make observations about digital tokens that are fixed to a certain moment in time (such as the final save, or the first mint).
The chart of the creation of this piece features mid-Cancer (♋︎) rising, with the ascendant ruler (the moon ☽) waning in Aquarius (♒︎), conjoining Mercury (☿) after separating from Jupiter (♃). The sun (☉) is at 20º45' Pisces (♓︎), just separating from its conjunction from Neptune (♆) at 20º38' Pisces. The ruler of the MC (“medium coeli,” where our local meridian intersects with the ecliptic) is Venus (♀), also in Pisces at 16º57’.
The rising sign is the section of the zodiacal belt in the sky that intersects with the horizon line on Earth. The specific degree that is rising, in this case, 9° Cancer, is one of the four “stakes" of an astrology chart. It is what we use to define a particular snapshot of time and it sets the symbolism of the moment in stone, to thoroughly mix metaphors.
Cancer is a cardinal (initiatory) water sign, ruled by the moon. Right away we can see how appropriate the timing is for this piece since it is the first in a series playing on the NASA moon landing.
We look to the sun sign and placement for topics of truth and identity, and in the case of art, the primary subject matter. As it is in Pisces, we could say that the primary function of this piece is to serve as a representation of our myths, memories, and the vast depths of the unknown. Its cazimi (solar conjunction) with ethereal Neptune further highlights the dreamy theme of this piece. We are invited into a space where illusions and fantasies merge with blurred lines for the higher purpose of sharpening our sensitivities and expanding our awareness. Not only does this series play on the NASA moon landing, but it also plays on the controversy surrounding its authenticity.
An additional factor in this chart is a subtle Venusian theme. Venus represents art (of course) and unification. As the MC is in Taurus, a sign Venus rules, we look to where Venus is placed to tell us about the public impression of this piece. Venus is traditionally “exalted” in Pisces, suggesting an overall positive, albeit mysterious, public reception.
Returning to the lunar narrative, we look to the ruler of the ascendant (in this case the moon) for more details on the manifestation of the theme of the life of any given entity, such as a person, event, or art piece. The moon in Aquarius expresses itself more atypically, as Aquarius signifies where we push our limits.
In this chart, the moon in Aquarius is in the eighth house. If signs are energies, houses are manifestations of those energies. The eighth house signifies taboo subjects such as death, debt, and taxes, which are all related through the common thread of being hidden transfers of energy. Most relevant to this piece is the taboo subject of occult topics, including conspiracies, which are secret power games.
The moon’s placement here is a suggestion of experiencing collective paranoia. The word paranoia has two roots (thank you etymonline):
1. “noos,” mind
2. “par-a,” which in Greek means “alongside, beyond; altered; contrary; irregular, abnormal.”
in Latin, “para” means “defence, protection against; that which protects from.” In Italian, “para" refers to “warding off.”
When we experience paranoia, what does our mind associate with? What does it want us to ward off?
The colour palette of “If You Believe #1" is inspired by acid trips. IYB1 is a silky smooth oil-slicked evolved distortion of the famous Buzz Aldrin photo referenced above, A Man on the Moon. It raises questions of perception. That’s the essence of this piece as the moon leaves its conjunction with Jupiter, the symbol of faith, and tightly conjoins Mercury, the symbol of data, information, messages, and questions.
In Vedic astrology, the moon is associated with the mind and emotions, and many traditions associate the moon with the concept of motherhood. Could the moon be a symbol of a metaphorical shield in our lives?
Have you ever wondered about the science behind the lighting on the footage of the moon landing? Have you ever recognized the coincidence of how the moon is the perfect size and distance to eclipse the sun? Have you ever felt like you were being tracked? Watched? Taken care of?
Our relative receptivity towards alternative narratives is sometimes labelled as a deficiency. Sometimes it can lead us into danger. Perhaps at the same time, our ability to entertain extremely contrary thoughts and remain composed is an indication of intellectual bravery as we continue to explore the mysteries of life.
Be sure to check out the rest of the incredibly detailed and thought-provoking pieces by Seibetsu-Hakku at Seiku Studio on OpenSea. Connect with them on social media via Twitter (@seikustudio) and via Instagram (@seiku.nft).
What are your thoughts on the nature, origin, and/or purpose of the moon? Let us know in the comments!