Sunday, March 17, 2013

China Girl (Oz: The Great and Powerful)

In the religion of Thelema, it is believed that the history of humanity can be divided into a series of Aeons, each of which was accompanied by its own forms of "magical and religious expression". The first of these was the Aeon of Isis, which Thelemites believed occurred during prehistory and which saw mankind worshipping a Great Goddess, symbolised by the ancient Egyptian deity Isis.

In Thelemite beliefs, this was followed by the Aeon of Osiris, a period that took place in the classical and mediaeval centuries, when humanity worshipped a singular male god, symbolised by the Egyptian god Osiris, and was therefore dominated by patriarchal values. ("Aeon")

Hypatia was said to have died at the hands of a Christian mob; some say that her murder marked the end of Classical Antiquity. Revolting as the Christians have become by the end of the film, Hypatia’s treatment at their hands (as they taunt her with “Witch! Witch!”) foreshadows the Burning Times of the Middle Ages. ("Film Review: Agora")

Heh and Heh

Binah and Chokmah (the Lightning Flash)

The name Chavah (Eve) is based on the same root as the word chai which means ‘life’. This is a reference to what the nefesh really is: the Shechinah. Eve is literally the mother-space of phenomena. The truth is that the nature of the nefesh is equal to Elohim. Therefore this designation of ‘mother of all living’ is quite important.

It suggests that no matter how severe the domination of conceptuality might be, the innate essential nature of the nefesh can be understood for what it truly is. We can obscure it, but there is no way to ‘ruin’ it. (David Chaim Smith, The Kabbalistic Mirror of Genesis)

The Mother-Space of Phenomena

Prof. Marvel invites Dorothy into his wizard’s sanctum [complete with a skull over the door- shamanic motif: entrance to the place of the dead]. He lights a candle and encourages Dorothy to indulge in a brief meditative moment (“to be better in tune with the infinite”), before he scries into a crystal ball. This ball Marvel claims to be the “same genuine, magic, authentic crystal used by priests of Isis and Osiris in the days of the Pharaohs of Egypt.”

The whole sequence is meant to underscore Prof. Marvel as a fraud and a phony. However, by essentially invoking the spirits of Isis and Her husband Osiris (the Egyptian Gods of life and death, the Parents to all that live) Marvel symbolically does something very interesting. The mystery cult of Isis and Osiris was actually one of the most vibrant in the ancient world, which had a number of secretive religious sects that explored the transitions of reality through the mythologies of Cybele and Attis, Venus and Adonis, Demeter and Persephone, Isis and Osiris. Prof. Marvel’s brief ceremony is but an example in minor of what would otherwise be counted in the ancient world as a serious mystical rite. From this moment on, Dorothy essentially functions as one newly initiated into the occult mysteries. ("The Shamanism of The Wizard of Oz, Part 1")

  • Pope Francisco I.
  • Wizard Franco as the Hierophant of Oz.

At the beginning of Oz the Great and Powerful comes into play the story of the Garden of Eden. Oz (James Franco), as our archetypal Man Who Fell to Earth, emerges from the waters of the Abyss as the demiurgic Son of Chaos, the Vav of the Tetragrammaton, the only-begotten of his Mother Binah (the first Heh of the Tetragrammaton).

Here he is greeted by Theodora (Mila Kunis), the terrestrial Eve and lower Shekinah, the Daughter (the second Heh of the Tetragrammaton, mystically at one with the first). He is identified as the Hero-Messiah who will effect the restoration and repair of the worlds, as for this reason only was he created. If he were now to unite permanently in holy union with her, making the Vav and Heh as one, then redemption would be immediate. Instead, he will fall further:

(Lawrence Fine)

The relationship between energy and space is referred to in terms of a marriage. The six sefirot are referred to as Zer Anpin, which is the aspect of the ‘husband’. The bride is malkut, referred to as his Nukva. The relationship between the partners is characterized by degrees of maturity. In a state of complete maturity the pair are described as inseparably bound in the sexual reproductive union called Zivug. A mature zivug perfectly reflects the primordial union of chochmah and binah (the father and mother union of luminosity and basic space). Either this supernal unity is realized within the play of Zer Anpin and Nukva or it is not. In a state of immaturity the marriage partners only relate to each other in degrees. Later kabbalistic texts calibrate gnosis through the degree of intimacy Zer Anpin and Nukva display, whether they are ‘face to face’, ‘back to back’, or whether they ‘kiss’. . . .

The zivug of vav and heh is a stainless mirror that reflects the primordial purity of yud heh. This is why Adam’s forthcoming relationship with Eve will be so crucial. If the complete expression of YHVH is actualized, the mind becomes a merkavah of the full flowering of Ain Sof. In this sense the essential nature of mind is synonymous with its gnosis. Adam is the pivot between wholeness and fragmentation. This is the nature of human creative free will and its power of choice. . . .

The Edenic zivug is reflected in the name ‘Garden of Eden’. The name has two parts: ‘Eden’ corresponds with tiferet and ‘Garden’ corresponds with malkut. As stated, Eden is synonymous with Adam himself and his focus at tiferet. The garden aspect is implicit within him for the time being (as his vital presence), but it will finally emerge to face him. Adam’s Edenic state is only potential until the test of cognition alchemically puts it ‘through the fire’ of actual perception. As mirror reflections of the same primordial essentiality, Adam’s interaction with his garden will present the basic question: what will the mind do when it is faced with the prospect of phenomena that seem to be real and independent? Both aspects bear the consequences of the question.

Bringing malkut out to face Adam is the first stage of his maturation. This will be offered as his wife emerges for their zivug. At this point we should appreciate how these symbols reflect our own minds. The aspect of malkut is latent within Adam as he stands at the threshold of action. There are two possible directions it can take: gnosis or egoism. We all have the capacity for Edenic gnosis, but it is latent. It has to be brought out, cultivated and realized or it remains a wasted opportunity. Recognizing the brilliant vividness of perception, by acknowledging the space that manifests it, is a stage in our own maturation. (David Chaim Smith)

I will be king, and you will be my queen: the zivug of Vav and Heh

Theodora desired to be Queen--and though the King and Matrona must never be separate, yet they did so, due to the force of Oz's own egotisim, and Glinda took her place--meaning that the exterior illusion came to be valued more than the interior ground of being. But it is hinted that Michelle Williams' other character is Dorothy's mother--the Alpha necessarily gives birth to the Omega. The Fall is, after all, in consequence that Adam (Osiris) is only a Beast, and Eve (Isis) is a shattered Goddess.

Franco in San Francisco

The Demiurge, having received a portion of power from his mother, sets about a work of creation in unconscious imitation of the superior Pleromatic realm: He frames the seven heavens, as well as all material and animal things, according to forms furnished by his mother; working however blindly, and ignorant even of the existence of the mother who is the source of all his energy. He is blind to all that is spiritual, but he is king over the other two provinces. The word dēmiourgos properly describes his relation to the material; he is the father of that which is animal like himself. ("Demiurge")
Here we must also understand that these figures exist both Macrocosmically, within the span of human history, and in the Microcosm of the individual. The Wizard of Oz is the Valentinian Demiurge; he means well but he doesn't have any real power. He is ruler only over the flying monkey, i.e. those things of an animal substance. Most of the criticism towards the themes of this film would be addressed by understanding that Oz is not truly the hero at all, which was certainly the message of its "sequel." The Gnostic inversion of the narrative becomes the only logical option. 

Glinda is dressed as the Empress; the spirit infused into external Nature. Oz places the Handmaid (Glinda) in place of the Shekinah (Theodora = Dorothy). This is another simulacrum of creation, endlessly repeated as the Great Sorcery. Belief is required by all involved.

"Lilith, Adam's first wife, whose fatal charm lay in her golden hair. Cold to all, her lovers wasted away, and around the heart of each was found a thread of golden hair. "

Glinda as "Lilith" the Handmaid was not actually wicked, either; this was merely a bit of superstition told by the Jewish witches, who nevertheless understood that she was to be their ruin. Michelle Williams is Marilyn Monroe, who enters into an adulterous relationship with the King--his true wife is Jackie, the name of Mila Kunis' character in That '70s Show.

"I may not be a practicing Jew, but why we gotta talk about Jesus all the time?"

Theodora wears the lemniscate hat seen on the Strength card. "Dorothy: familiarization of the Greek Dorothea, meaning 'Gift of God'- Theodora is essentially the same name, with the two syllables reversed." It is hers to burn up all things contrary to herself; but her fires can turn infernal when not quenched.

(The Girl on Fire)

Theodora eats of Snow White's apple; the qliphothic husks of matter proffered by EVA-nora. In True Confessions, the Dahlia is found with "Chinese food" in her stomach, having eaten of the fruits of Assiah and proclaimed them to be real.
The woman eats the fruit of duality . . . the nefesh encounters raw sensation before the ruach formulates its perceptual reaction to it. An ordinary nefesh fabricates a reactive stance to whatever phenomena it encounters (such as physical sense data, emotional stimuli, or imaginative concepts). Whatever arises becomes dualized on contact, as raw sensation is assimilated into the presumption that there is ‘someone’ feeling the sensation. The ‘someone’ becomes directly identified with the body’s capacity to feel the sensation, thus the body-identified ego is born. . . .

When the ego defines itself as ‘real’ everything else becomes an ‘other’ which confronts it as a threat. This confrontation is always hostile, which is the root of the competitive survival instinct of the animal world. The underlying motivation for competition is fear, which is imbedded deep within the mechanism of conventional perception. This threatened position is the manner in which the ruach and nefesh confront each other and all phenomena. . . . As a result of their ‘nakedness’ Adam and his wife manufacture ‘coverings’ for themselves, which expand to cover all things. These are the ‘klipot’ (shells) that mask the true nature of phenomena as they are reified and fixated upon by conventional percepton. They make all objects appear solid and tangible. They are formed as the open dynamic play of tzimtzum is taken to be concrete and real, which arises as the ego’s vulnerability is asserted. (David Chaim Smith)

Wicked Witch Theodora is Dorothy's Shadow-Self, her twin sister (cf. Tin Man), the totality of the qliphoth accrued while she slept, which is why only Dorothy can correct her.
The castle is representative of the Place of Death, where the battles between Good and Evil are waged. Dorothy’s abduction by the winged monkeys into the castle is like the abduction of Persephone, the Maiden-Goddess of Spring, into Hades, or the Descent of the Life-Goddess Inanna into the Underworld, to confront her sister, the Hag of Death Ereshkigal. ("The Shamanism of the Wizard of Oz, Part 2") 
Inanna was the original sacrifice before Dumuzi her consort took over the role, thus marking the transition between the original goddess cult and that of the crucified savior god--"the myth may be described as a union of Inanna with her own 'dark side', her twin sister-self".

Helena and Anti-Helena, Dorothy and Theodora. Mila Kunis was in Black Swan playing much the same. In both films we see Mila in a mirror, having broken her reflected self to pieces.
With the disintegration of Tetragrammaton we sink into the carnal, or mundane, aspect of the mystery, the immediate consequences of this disruption being the birth of Love and Power, which before were united in a close embrace. The first is the feminine, or passive, quality in humankind, the Venus force; and the second the active and masculine quality, the Mars force. Mystically their separation is evil, because it causes striving to reunite; but humanly these qualities are not wicked in themselves, though they may become sinful, for out of love can emerge lust and hatred, and out of power fear and cruelty. The demoniac can consequently become the diabolic. . . .  Thus mankind sank into the Qliphoth, the reflection of the world of Assiah upon the chaos of human passions, and Hell is created - the materialized mental pit. (The Secret Wisdom of the Qabalah)

It's full of stars

When Israel used to make the pilgrimage, they [i.e., the priests] would roll up for them the Parokhet [the veil separating the Holy from the Holy of Holies], and show them the Cherubim which were intertwined with one another, and say to them: ‘Behold! your love before God is like the love of male and female!’ (Rabh Qetina)
Though at the end we see Oscar and Glinda in embrace, the true Shekinah has departed from the Sanctum Sanctorum of Oz. 

The Snow Queen is in exile, and will be until Dorothy returns to overthrow the Wizard. When Ego obscures the Truth (Eve's apple of phenomena), we forget and someone becomes ruler over us.
There was separation between the King and Matrona in respect of the outer world and so came about a separation in the Divine Name, for the final He was detached and came down on earth, the source of graces coming with her. Though it is forbidden to separate the Heavenly Bride and Bridegroom, even in thought, it is this which has come to pass by reason of the sufferings of Israel, with whom Shekinah was destined as we have seen to endure even from the beginning. (Arthur Waite)

Before Israel went into captivity, and while the Shekinah was still with them, God commanded Israel: “thou shalt not uncover thy mother's nakedness” (Lev. xviii, 7), and this captivity is the uncovering of the nakedness of the Shekinah, as it is written, “On account of your sins your mother has been put away” (Is. 1, i), i.e. for the sin of unchastity Israel has been sent into captivity and the Shekinah also, and this is the uncovering of the Shekinah. This unchastity is Lilith, the mother of the “mixed multitude”. (The Secret Wisdom of the Qabalah

To a highly intellectual and speculative mind God is a mystery subject only to symbolic explanation; but to the crude, sensuous masses of mankind He and His symbols are one. To the first He is a metaphysical ideal; to the second - a physical fact. As from the Qabalistic mind is evolved an androgenous being whose very existence depends upon the balance of passive and active forces, similarly from the primitive mind of the masses is evolved an anthropomorphic deity who can accomplish good and evil, and who consequently is to be loved and feared. As the mystical Adam Qadmon is the measure of the one, so is the physical Adam, that is man himself, the measure of the other. As the one is explained by symbols, the other is asserted in words. (Ibid.)

[F]rom time to time in the world's history something happens: a man appears, be he prince or pauper, who throws the masses into such a state of religious fervour that all reason and with it all doubt is obliterated and a spiritual condition is produced which closely resembles physical drunkenness. Such men were Orpheus, Oedipus, Osiris, Zoroaster, Krishna, Odin, Buddha, Christ, Mahomet, and a host of lesser names, mythological and historical, many of which have passed into oblivion. . . . Self-preservation, self-sacrifice, self-assertion, pugnacity, love, hate, fear, greed, and all the other instincts in man in an instant become slaves to this tyrant. . . . the power of the demagogue is well known, and the most dangerous of demagogues is he who is fervently narrow in his opinions or faith, that is single-minded. How much more, then, is he who believes that his voice is God's voice, the veritable Logos, God being symbolized to him according to what his sentiments, intellect, and education make him, and God to his listeners being fashioned according to their level of intelligence! If the symbols are accepted as realities by his followers, and if his darkness, lit by his spiritual frenzy, finds a sympathetic and passive partner . . . Then will the surroundings of his followers be turned into a physical hell. . . . 

Not one of the great historical religious Masters was a true Messiah; because no man, however sublime may be his nature, can redeem mankind. There is no short cut to heaven, for mankind will find deliverance only when it creates the power which can deliver it; and when it does so, then spontaneously will the Messianic Age be born. (Ibid.)
The final scene in the Emerald City is the spitting image of St. Peter's. Francoz creates the Outer Church because the profane do not wish to know these things, to know the nakedness of Shekinah in her dazzling darkness; they would prefer exiling her to the edges of consciousness and having Big Brother watch over them. ("One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious," etc.) 

Put on your red shoes and dance the blues

Are you the great "hero" I've been waiting for?

  • January 8, 1947 - David Bowie is born
  • January 15, 1947 - Elizabeth Short dies
  • 19 February 2013 - "China Girl" Elisa Lam found dead in a water tank, echoing the film Dark Water
  • 7 March 2013 - Birthday of Rachel Weisz (bride of Major Tom in The Fountain)
  • 8 March 2013 - David Bowie releases The Next Day
  • 8 March 2013 - Oz: The Great and Powerful released
  • 13 March 2013 - Pope Francis I elected
I think we know who's still the real Hierophant of this Mirror Ball. Ziggy, the Duke, the Minotaur . . . all Hierophantic figures that dazzle one with light and sound and present themselves as Messiahs.

A crystal Moon (the mother-space of phenomena)

One of the main characters in Oz is the "China Girl" . . .

Mona Lisa in green?

ZA & Nukva

I stumble into town just like a sacred cow, visions of swastikas in my head, plans for everyone

Saw the stars crashing down

Eidolon doll

The fragmented girl with broken legs in China Town. Joey "King" (the Joyous "Kingdom" of Malkuth) also played Young Tahlia/Dahlia in The Dark Knight Rises.

Asia = Assiah

Assiah or the Assiatic World, the World of Action, also called the World of Qliphoth, that is the World of Shells or Demons. In its ten Sephiroth lives the actual material substance of the universe. . . .  It is subject to change, birth, death, corruption and re-birth, yet not anything in it is considered as ever totally annihilated or destroyed in essence or atom. (The Secret Wisdom of the Qabalah

One of Elisa Lam's Tumblr posts was an image of the Hermit. Malkuth in Assiah is the Shekinah in her lowest form, after she has tumbled down through the spheres.
Virgo represents the lowest, most receptive, most feminine form of earth, and forms the crust over Hades. Yet not only is Virgo ruled by Mercury, but Mercury is exalted therein. Compare the Ten of Disks, and the general doctrine that the climax of the Descent into Matter is the signal for the reintegration by Spirit. It is the Formula of the Princess, the mode of fulfillment of the Great Work. (The Book of Thoth)

In Cloud Atlas the Asian "hostess" girl (= Malkuth-Assiah) gets recycled and fed back to the "consumers." The eucharistic host is again implied; no wonder that Sonmi later becomes worshiped as a goddess of vegetation (Demeter and Kore[a]). Strange that the overriding theme in this film is cannibalism. Reality is eating itself.
Here, the cadavers of the fabricants are stripped, skinned, and cut apart, providing material for the fabricant wombanks, making food for the fabricants, and for use in the Papa Song food products. (Cloud Atlas Wiki)

"And because she hath made her self the servant of each, therefore is she become the mistress of all."

The 12 years of service are the 12 Aeons. "Papa" Song = the word of the Hierophant, who divides her for the multitude. And just who is the emblem of Papa Song? The Buddha on the Road, of course. From this comes one who will free her from slavery--in actuality, and not merely on the silver screen.

Church and Hierophant

The Church in toto is Dorothy as Sophia-Achamoth (the Community of Israel). "Feed my sheep," says Christ to Peter. Hungry girls vs. beastly Fathers. Everything is upside-down when bats eat cats.

Angels and Demons climaxes with Man Who Fell to Earth Obewan McGregor (Mathers) pretending to messianically save the world from an antimatter explosion (tikkun olam), just as Batman does at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. He, however, is a charlatan; a false messiah; a Very Bad Wizard. The Dark-Haired Jewish-Italian girl holds all the daggers. This is precisely the same as the ending of the Oz movie. The visual echoes are unmistakable. Herein is hinted the Lie of the Outer Church, which is why the movie theater is murder. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith came out one month after Pope Benedict XVI's election. The ending of Oz mirrors that film; the Empire triumphs but we know that it will fall in the next films in the sequence; it has already been written.

Dorothy and her friends return to the Wizard, where they learn that he has been a Trickster-Wizard all along. This is one of the lessons of the movie and of life in general- sometimes that which we seek lies not in the shape in which we sought it. The Wizard still and all “repairs” them by bestowing upon them their missing parts; he rewards them for the successful completion of their journey. At the same time, Dorothy and her friends learn that they have been deceived in their perceptions (as the Wizard puts it, they have been the “victims of disorganized thinking.”) They learn the greatest lesson of the Initiate into the Mysteries: if that which ye seek, ye find not within- ye shall never find it without. If you ever go looking for your heart’s desire again, look no further than your own backyard- because if it isn’t there, you never lost it to begin with. ("The Shamanism of the Wizard of Oz, Part 2") 

(Face to face)
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