Getting into musicals is so weird cos you start out with something relatively normal like Wizard of Oz or something from Disney and you’re like “ok” and then you move on to ones about newspaper boy strikes or the founding fathers and you’re like “…ok” and the next thing you know you’re watching a musical about an alien man eating plant that may or may not represent Satan’s temptations and you’re like “…how the fuck did I get here”
Dorothy’s imagination is much like Cancer’s, becoming lost in a dreamy daze of lullabies and wickedness. On her journey through Oz she meets her many forms, the beautiful Godmother, that being her spirit guide, dwelling in her 4th house. Cancer is of course, the fairy god mother, the divine mother, when I am with some Cancer mothers I know I do feel them approach me in a pink orb, holding a wand of psychic prophecy and guidance. And the wicked witch emanates through Cancer, the dark mother coerced with jealousy. The individual can be intrusive, possessive, and unwilling to let friends, family, or children carry out lives independent of their own. Along the yellow brick road she meets her many children, the munchkins, that which she mothers over all, innocent and vulnerable. Through imaginary lands she meets her counterparts, seemingly the zodiacs cradling her side by side. The Scarecrow who is searching for a brain, the Gemini who she must integrate, that who has burned and lost their mind through overthinking. And then the cowardly lion, preparing for Leo, learning courage, faith, and bravery. To the Great Wizard of Oz she searches, knowing this magic would find her home. All Dorothy wanted was home. She finds the great wizard, nearly dazed by poison poppies, that of her toxic fantasies. The Great Wizard is forbearing, all powerful, or so it seems. This can be her duality, her shadow Capricorn, the great and the accomplished, triggering her fears of insufficiency, her knowledge that tremendous authority rests within her, that which she is scared to wield. What the Cancer doesn’t know worries her- especially when it comes to herself. The Great wizard is her, she balances on the zodiac’s most ascended axes. She is the Great Wizard, the Great Mother, the People’s Princess. When she realizes all is not what it seems - she returns home. Much like the inner and outer Jupiter journeys the Cancer makes, internally restless, externally homely.
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, He’s a brainless, heartless coward With no power, It’s just another trick of his He ain’t no wiz
Don’t fear his fire, Jump in my balloon, I’ll take you higher, Take you somewhere over the rainbow, Get your ticket to the show Heels click and here we go Cuz you already know
There’s no place like home.”
Todrick Hall’s “Straight Outta Oz” hit me like a punch in the gut sometime last year, and I started this piece a few days after he released the visual album, I had just been so taken by it. I put it aside for a while because I was having difficulty with it and I was very frustrated.
I saw him in concert a few weeks ago and it was beautiful and I picked it up again for the first time in a while. Been chipping at it for a couple hours every few days or so and I’m finally just going to call it done. I have so much to do these days, but I’m glad that I at can at least take this out of the “WIP” folder.
All my love and thanks to Todrick Hall, who made a beautifully vulnerable piece of art.
7 Moments In ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ That Still Make Us Howl And Clap And Buy Land And Go To Sleep
Almost 80 years later, this film classic still gets us hooting and slapping and purchasing and dozing!
1. When the color kicks in: No one who’s seen The Wizard Of Oz will forget their first time watching vibrant Technicolor bloom across the screen when Dorothy finds herself in Oz. Even watching today, it’s impossible not to start screaming and applauding and bidding on tracts of Alaskan hinterland and nodding off as she takes her first steps into that fantastic land.
2. When Dorothy oils the Tin Man: The chemistry between those two still pops off the celluloid, and watching their first scene together, we just can’t help but let loose awful window-rattling whoops as we frantically bat our palms together and pour our inheritance into acre after acre of worthless property and then promptly lie facedown and faint dead away. No matter how many times you watch it, it still has that effect!
3. When the trees start hurling apples: As soon as that first apple is hurled, we’re already hoarse from the involuntary animal cries tearing out of our throats. The callouses on our palms have been torn back open from blow after blow after blow, and we’re tearing splinters out of the floorboards with our knees as we clap and howl and writhe. We sound like an a cappella group freaking out on salvia. Not only that, but we’ve also bought up every foreclosed farm we can get our hands on and capped it off by plunging deep into a dreamless void we’ll have to claw our way back out of if we ever want to escape.
4. When the flying monkeys show up: If you ever see us snoozing on the floor of the bank, clutching dozens of land titles to our chests in throbbing pink palms or hear our guttural roars wafting out of long-vacant lots, chances are we just caught a few frames of flying monkeys. That’s really all it takes.
5. When the real wizard is revealed: The moment when Dorothy & co. reveal the man behind the curtain is a stone-cold classic, and just like it must have for audiences in 1939, it never fails to start us screeching and windmilling our arms and bowing and mortgaging our homes and burying documents and discovering inner stillness and getting shot by rifles and overheating and sinking. If anything, watching it with modern eyes just makes us buy land and sprint and pulsate and crawl under our bed and pass water and declare bankruptcy all the more! Any Oz fan knows the feeling well!
6. Whenever Toto’s on screen: No one put this better than the late, great Roger Ebert in his Wizard Of Oz retrospective: “Whenever Toto comes trotting on by, I find myself having fallen fully asleep, and yet I’m shrieking and shrieking so hard that my head freely whips around on my limp body. It’s not long until my hands begin pouring every cent I’ve got into deeds for uncultivated French hills, stopping only long enough to slam into each other over and over and over, the dry thwack of flesh on flesh commingling with my increasingly ragged yelps and yawps, and god help me, but I’m not stopping till Toto’s long gone!”
7. When Dorothy sees her family again: Gets us loud, thrashing, prosperous, and comatose Every. Damn. Time.