Caitlynn Abdow, 17 Degrees of Aquarius, 2020

Abdow is one of us narrative painters here in Portland and is participating in an exhibition called ‘Understanding Ourselves: Narrative Painting in the PNW’ that I am curating at the Chehalem Cultural Center for Feb 2021. At a meeting the other night she showed us this painting about her astrological sign under the Janduz system.

Jeanne Duzéa (Janduz) was a French astrologist who developed a 360˚ chart of symbols in the 1870’s based on the Zodiac. Each degree has a corresponding symbol to describe the individual. Abdow’s symbol is described thusly: “17 Aquarius: A woman cowers on her stool under a tree, in which an owl is perched.” It goes on to reveal that this person is “withdrawn, envious, and selfish,” would do well in a job that requires discretion like a police detective or investigator, and that this person must not use their shrewdness to sow discord, lest they end up lonely and impoverished. It bears mentioning that this does not describe Abdow in the slightest!

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