AstroGnostic: Witch Mountain and Sirius Rising

Note sunrise and Heavenly Beam

Abstract: Is Witch Mountain simply mindless entertainment or a subversive Astro-Gnostic parable pointing us to deeper truths about our own origins?

In our last installment we looked at the new Witch Mountain film (premiering 3/13/09), which semiotically places "Horus Scorpion" in the role of the alien children's protector. The children are named Sara and Seth, strangely enough, seeing that Seth is a variant spelling of Set, Horus' uncle and rival.

However, many scholars believe that Set didn't become a villain in Egyptian mythology until he was adopted as the patron god of the Hyksos, the foreign occupiers of Lower Egypt who were expelled at the end of the Seventeenth Dynasty (which we recently looked at in relation to the Flight 1549 drama). In fact, "Horus-Set" was a binary god in some cult centers (see above).

It's interesting to note that both Sara and Seth are Biblical names as well, both of which etymologically point to other mythological figures: Saraswati (roughly the equivalent of Hathor, meaning "House of Horus") and Set, respectively. "Sara" also reminds us of Sarah Palin, the cougar queen/Sekhmet resonator.


In any event, I promised we'd look at the original Escape to Witch Mountain, so let's get into it. Here's a short synopsis from a Witch Mountain fan site:
Tony Malone, 13, and his sister Tia, 11, orphaned by the loss of their foster parents, live in a children's home. Their incredible psychic powers attract rich and powerful Aristotle Bolt, who has his assistant, Lucas Deranian, adopt them as wards to exploit them. Terrified, they escape with the aid of a new friend, Jason O' Day, in his camper. Jason agrees to help them find Stony Creek, a cryptic map in Tia's possession.

Pursued by Bolt, Deranian, and the police, the youngsters are jailed but once again escape. As time runs out, the children remember they are castaways from another planet and are soon led by one of their own kind, Uncle Bene, to a flying Saucer that blasts off for the sanctuary of Witch Mountain, leaving their captors below far behind.
Now, this is quite different from the novel. The Bolt character is a new creation and Jason O'Day (played by Eddie Albert) was "Father O'Day" in the novel. The novel took place on the East Coast (Witch Mountain was in the Blue Ridge Mountains) and the movie is filmed in the area around Monterey and Big Sur in California.


The Witch Mountain stories essentially play like Gnostic parables. The two children are aliens who fell to Earth from their home planet in a binary star system (Sirius, surely), just as the Aeons fell from the Pleroma (meaning "the Fullness") in Gnostic theology.

Their one link to their true identity and their return to their extraterrestrial home is the "Star Case," which they don't understand how to use. Another synopsis, from Fantastic Fiction:
Some terrifying experience has blocked Tony and Tia's memory of the past. But because they have supernatural powers, they are sure that they come from another world---and that their people still exist somewhere. Then Tony and Tia find that they must escape from men who want to use their special powers for evil. They begin a desperate search to find their true home---which leads them to the strange and mysterious Witch Mountain.
The Star Case plotline is startlingly similar to the foundational Gnostic parable, The Hymn of the Pearl, in which a prince is given a pearl to take on his travels so that he might remember his true identity. Doubly so in light of the fact that the Escape novel portrays the world in which the alien children travel in similarly bleak terms to the Hymn:

But in some way other or another
They found out that I was not their countryman,
And they dealt with me treacherously,
And gave their food to eat.
I forget that I was a son of kings,
And I served their king;
And I forgot the pearl,
For which my parents had sent me,
And because of the burden of their oppressions
I lay in a deep sleep.
But all this things that befell me
My parents perceived, and were grieved for me;
And proclamation was made in our kingdom,
That every one should come to our gate

The Star Case color-scheme in the film is identical to the classical blue-and-gold of Freemasonry. Which makes sense in context of the Masonic veneration of the Stairway to Sirius. But in the context of the film, it also points to a "lost secret" of Freemasonry, that has also been forgotten and/or corrupted in a quest for temporal power.

33rd Degree Mason Manly Palmer Hall addressed the motif of the blue and gold in the context of a hidden, inner reality in his tract The Lost Keys of Freemasonry or The Secret of Hiram Abiff. Hall identifies blue and gold with Sirius, the five-pointed star:
This is the Robe of Glory, the garment of Blue and Gold which, shining forth as a five-pointed star of light, heralds the birth of the Christ within. Man is then indeed a son of God, pouring forth from the depths of his own being the light rays which are the life of man. Striking hearts that have long been cold, this spiritual ray raises them from the dead. It is the living light which illuminates those still buried in the darkness of materiality. It is the power which raises by the strong grip of the lion's paw. It is the Great Light which, seeking forever the spark of itself within all living things, reawakens dead ideals and smothered aspirations with the power of the Master's Eternal Word.
Of course, the problem with secret societies is that they often devolve into power-seeking cliques, concerned only with material and temporal power. Though often necessary in oppressive societies, secrecy endows a sense of superiority and entitlement, which lends itself to an adversarial posture towards everyone outside of the group. Which brings us to the next major player in this drama...


We first meet the film's villain, Aristotle Bolt, as he consults with Three Magi (literally). Notice that the floor beneath their feet is a Zodiac, and that they advise that the moon is in Aries.* This shot is crucial, since maps and stars form the basis of the drama.

Bolt is the classic conspiratorial archetype of an "Illuminist"- a wealthy and powerful aristocrat who dabbles in the occult in a quest for total control. It's interesting to note that his surname is the opposite of the novel's author, Alexander Key. "Bolt" represents control and "Key" represents freedom (note that Aristotle was Alexander the Great's tutor).

Bolt is tired of the Magi's song-and-dance, and at 00:13:33 his assistant Lucas Deranian brings him news that he has discovered two genuine psychics, Tony and Tia. Bolt has Deranian adopt the children from an orphanage and sets them up in his mansion (and yeah, the whole situation seems unbearably creepy in this day and age).

While in Bolt's custody, Tony and Tia discover that beneath the top plate of the Star Case is a map showing the location of Witch Mountain.** The two decide to escape and follow the map, even though their memories are not fully recovered.

This is probably the most important shot in the film. After seeing the two aliens discover a map beneath a depiction of a binary star, we see them facing a pack of dogs sent to prevent their escape. However, Tina can telepathically communicate with the dogs and she sends them after Bolt's goons. In other words, the dogs have allied themselves with Tony and Tia.

Following the stellar motifs established by Bolt and the Zodiac, could it be that Tony and Tia represent Sirius A and B, and that the dogs are the other stars in Canis Major? In light of the implied parapolitics of the story, it's interesting to note that Bolt shouts "those dogs will ruin all my plans!" during the escape.


The Masonic parallels continue when the kids meet Jason O'Day, a vacationing widower. Jason ultimately helps the kids reach Witch Mountain, but not before providing us with some (alleged) semiotic gems.

For instance, the name Jason ties into the captain of the Argonauts (which we'll be looking at again here soon) and the theories about the Jason Scholars, a mysterious group who may or may not actually exist. From a UFO conspiracy site:

The JASON Group is a scientific organization formed and hired by the JASON Society and the U.S. Government Founders of the JASON Group include members of the famous Manhattan Project, which brought together almost every leading physicist in the nation to build the atomic bomb during World War II. The group is made up mostly of theoretical physicists and is the most elite gathering of scientific minds in the United States. As of 1987 the membership included four Nobel Prize winners. Today JASON continues to offer scientific help the government cannot find anywhere else. They are probably the only group of scientists in the United States that know the true state of highest technology.

That certainly fits into parable here- could Jason O'Day represent this mysterious group of scientists? If anyone were to have contact with aliens from Sirius, it would be such a group. Perhaps this is a further clue...

Jason's "brother" is named Hiram, as in Hiram Abiff. Jason plans for the kids to hold up at Hiram's house, which is "two miles outside of town, up the north road" (in Freemasonry, the North represents God's throne).

But when the three get there, Hiram isn't home (which coincides with the Empty Chair of the North in Masonic lodges). Semiotically, we're back to Hall's "secret of Hiram Abiff."

How about that?


So, are we in fact looking at the same Stairway to Sirius symbolism again? Is The Rock resonating Barack Obama, who will "preside" over open contact with beings from Sirius? Maybe the filming locations offer us clues. From
Big Sur, California, USA
Carmel, California, USA
Felton, California, USA
Menlo Park, California, USA
Monterey Peninsula, California, USA
Palo Alto, California, USA
Wow. Well, Menlo Park is the home to Google and Stanford Research Institute, which pioneered scientific research into the psychic abilities Tony and Tia possess. Palo Alto is the home to PARC (on 3333 Coyote Rd) which pioneered many of the computer innovations we take for granted today. And Big Sur is home to Esalen, which is no stranger to alien and UFO research itself.†

There are any number of high tech and fringe tech companies in this area, which makes it a fascinating place to film a story about marooned aliens, especially given my suspicions as to the source of it all. And those same companies have allowed all of us a peek behind the curtain as the literature of some of these secret societies is no longer locked in basements, but accessible in seconds. Though we mustn't fool ourselves into thinking we're getting anything more than a peek...


Ain't it something, that this deceptively juvenile mythos makes its big-budget return this year, of all years? What it ultimately means and where it's all going is still an open question. Let's return to the topic when the new film comes out.

In the meantime, anyone want to lay odds on some sort of disclosure event, whether real or manufactured, by the end of this year?

UPDATE: The Rock's next role? As the Tooth Fairy. I kid you not.

UPDATE II: Thoth Pavel checks in with some indispensable information on the real-life Witch Mountain in the comments section.


*Note that the Age of Aries saw the emergence of monotheism in Egypt and later in Israel, and that both Judaism and Islam follow a lunar calendar.

**Interesting crypto-etymology- Stony Creek has Masonic echoes and Misty Valley recalls the Mystery Religions.

†Jacques Vallee is closely associated with Esalen and the high-tech industries in this area. Check out Devin's excerpts from Vallee's
Passport to Magonia here and here.


  1. You might be interested in this exchange from the 1975 version of this film, Escape from Witch Mountain.

    Jason O'Day: I wonder... I wonder how I'd handle you kids if you were mine. Well, maybe that's why I never married, eh?

    Tia Malone: But Mr. O'Day. You were married.

    Jason O'Day: What?

    Tia Malone: Long, long time ago. And she was so pretty. And you had a little house.

    Tony Malone: Yeah, I can see it. It was white, with yellow shutters. And there was a big elm branch over the whole roof.

    Tia Malone: Tony knows about people. He can see places they've been.

    Jason O'Day: [Angry] What else?

    Tia Malone: Well, your wife died only a few months after you were married. And you were so sad. You took an oath that you'd never give your love to another woman, or to anyone. And you never have.... I'm sorry, Mr. O'Day.

    Jason O'Day: The name's Jason! If you know so dang much about me you might as well use it. Jason, you understand?

    Now we have Dwayne Johnson (a/k/a "Mathayus the Scorpion King" or "The Rock") playing "Jason" !

  2. Maybe they're trying to drive all the sensitives crazy, Loren. Doesn't it feel that way sometimes?

  3. Hi CK

    Very impressive document. I think you should write a book about this special moment in our planet history, until final disclosure is made.
    I said "final" because to me, disclosure started when Star Trek came to TV screen. Hollywood is still part of the secretive and oppressive societies, A.K.A Government Corporations. So they're telling only a small part of the real story.
    Thank you for those good insights.



  4. Thanks for keeping the promise. Great info. I really wanted a star case after I saw EfWM. It really touched me as a kid, perhaps in ways I'd not been aware of. I do recall being quite moved by a feeling of having been misplaced and lost.

  5. PJ- Absolutely, because I don't think anyone really knows the whole story. And I think all the mystery and secrecy is actually hiding that fact. And we're certainly rushing headlong to a period when there is no demarcation between "governement" and "corporation," aren't we? It's more important than ever to be educated and unattached to dogma.

    Davidly- I think that feeling you describe is what set me on this path in the first place. I'll be explaining in the future how my immersion into Jung got me asking these kinds of questions.

  6. How is Sarah Palin a "Sekhmet resonator"? How did you come up with that one?

  7. "Maybe this is a clue..."

    Chris, I for one would like to see your actual explanation please.

  8. The huntress, my friend- remember the helicopter hunting controversy? Plus, the cougar meme as a bonus.

  9. I misplaced it, hete it goes again ;)

    Something big is taking its time to be with us soon. We have this film but also Angels & Demons, with shows a fractured Catholic Church, just has que recent news about Benedict XVI´s governance are showing. And yesterday (feb 8th) night the Grammys were given to the best of world music, and the award for song of the year was for Coldplay´s Viva la Vida.

    Please watch the video, I sense some kind of Templar feeling here... The red painture in their t-shirts, the lyrics and even Isis appears some seconds (3:32, 3:33, 3:34) as the image of Liberty guiding the World by Delacroix, the famous image of the masonic french revolution.... but does CHRIS (Christ?) Martin sang in place of the Papacy or the Templars? And it has a very present echo "my missionaries in a foreign field" ad thousands of Americans are in Iraq now.... maybe does Martin (Martin-Martian?) sang too as a nostalgic American Empire in decline, as were in the past the Papacy or the British Empire? But interesting to see this as the song of the year... Christ Martian, woow, the Messiah that comes from Mars. I love scrabble as you may guess. Cheers

    Viva La Vida

    I used to rule the world
    Seas would rise when I gave the word
    Now in the morning I sweep alone
    Sweep the streets I used to own
    I used to roll the dice
    Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
    Listen as the crowd would sing:
    "Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"
    One minute I held the key
    Next the walls were closed on me
    And I discovered that my castles stand
    Upon pillars of salt, and pillars of sand

    I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
    Roman Calvary choirs are singing
    Be my mirror my sword and shield
    My missionaries in a foreign field
    For some reason I can't explain
    Once you go there was never, never an honest word
    That was when I ruled the world

    It was the wicked and wild wind
    Blew down the doors to let me in.
    Shattered windows and the sound of drums
    People couldn't believe what I'd become
    Revolutionaries Wait
    For my head on a silver plate
    Just a puppet on a lonely string
    Oh who would ever want to be king?

    I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
    Roman Calvary choirs are singing
    Be my mirror my sword and shield
    My missionaries in a foreign field
    For some reason I can't explain
    I know Saint Peter won't call my name
    Never an honest word
    But that was when I ruled the world

    (Ooooh Oooh Oooh)

    Hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
    Roman Calvary choirs are singing
    Be my mirror my sword and shield
    My missionaries in a foreign field
    For some reason I can't explain
    I know Saint Peter will call my name
    Never an honest word
    But that was when I ruled the world

  10. Yet again I find that one of my favorite childhood flims had a symbolic meaning.

    Speaking of blue and gold, I wanted to ask you if you've read any of the new Booster Gold run? Boosters costume is blue and gold with a single star on his chest, he is teamed with his sister, who has returned from the dead,and his adult son who is a time traveller named Rip Hunter. They travel through time (sometimes to the silver age) to prevent time tampering.

  11. You know, Ed, I haven't been reading much in the way of new comics lately. Even for me it's very difficult to get up to speed with all of the interlocking storylines. Very esoteric, in their own way. I'll look up BG at the DC site, though...

  12. Awesome post!

    I think Sarah Palin has a face like a cougar's, oddly enough...

    Chris, where did you find the Bolt = Control connection? That was really interesting to me, considering all the bolts we seem to be running into.

    The "Horus/Set" combo is fascinating! Red/Yellow, or the colors which commonly represent the "Luciferians" (or McDonald's, same thing) and which you'll find on flags of Royalty...

    For some weird reason, "Dwayne Johnson" reminds me of "Duane Chapman", (same number of letters in last name) known on TV as "DOG The Bounty Hunter".

    I agree that this surge in mind-freakery seems to be intended to drive those of us "holding clues" completely mad... Gives me a mad giggle, but other than that I'm fine.

  13. Sorry, I should have given a link. DC does have a free preview available, it's in pdf form.

    Booster meets Joe Kubert creation "Enemy Ace".

  14. Christopher-delighted with this post-Aristotle Bolt and the 3 Magi-wow! I am writing note to myself to come back tomorrow when I am not so tired to read more with better understanding-best to you as always!


  16. Hi Chris

    timely piece; I just posted an interview about my book SECRET LIFE OF MOVIES (coming out later in the year), which may interest you and your readers - as suggested, here's the link:

    def. intersects nicely with what you are talking about here

  17. on the jungian tip,,cronenberg's next flick is the talking cure, about jung's relationship with freud

  18. i just want to add a little crazy :)

    "witch mountain"=170


    it also is quite an interesting anagram....

    Unchain twin titanic titian touch nation intact antic manic watch nacho match AITCH china tunic count ion twitch tau minnow woman amount mutant chi atomic hunt "mutation winch" "Toucan Whim Tin""Math Tunic Wino" "What Cut Minion" "Wham Con Intuit" "Twin Action Hum" "Twin Tau Inch Om" "Twin Aitch Mu On" oh and of course "Twin Nacho It Um" is yum! lol .. "Twin Can Mouth I"

    anyway... that was fun! there was more in there i played with but you all can do that yourself ;p

    i figured since they scrambled up so many friggin words to make new ones so would i :)

    which is witch mountain


  19. Hello Christopher
    An intriguing post, i have fond memories of the 70's and this movie as a kid.
    I always found the 'Witch Mountain' part as the key to Disney in a way.

    Space was covered by Walt Disney much more convincingly 'for the times' in 1955 with our favorite 'Nazi' rocket scientist Wernher von Braun working on "Man in Space' with Uncle Walt. Uncle Walt's ties to the FBI, CIA, and NASA are well known, but to M.I.B, men in black let's see if i can reasonably 'follow the trail'.

    The first witch mountain film opened some 20 years after W von Braun met Disney. German, and American secret society's go back to even before the second world war. Skull n Bone's club prides itself as an offshoot of German order at least a century old. Project Paperclip and the Nazi-Cia-mind control projects are grist for the mill of paranoids everywhere.

    The German connection to 'witch mountain' is the highest mountain in the Harz range The Brocken. It is literally the 'witch's or devil's mountain because of Walpurgisnacht 'Witches' Night', held April 30 to May 1, on The Brocken, or the Blocksberg as it is called. The Brocken is 3,743 ft high, 3+7+4+3=17, 17 symbolism.
    Our first clue to ancient, forbidden knowledge, is Goethe who mentions the Brocken, and witch's night in Faust written 1808, 1+8+8=17 again.

    Heath Ledger -Joker starred in Brokeback mountain, another 'cryptic' reference to the witch's mountain, and the forbidden.

    What makes this mountain so important in Germany, other than it's occult reference?
    Wikipedia says "It is the easternmost mountain in Northern Germany; traveling East in a straight line".
    The Masons appear here, traveling to the east, and the east being the source of light. For the Illuminati of 1776 this would have been a great mountain to view the 'world' from, or host a hellfire club. The Harz mountains contained silver ore mines with trade going as far east as Mesopotamia.
    Now we can get into the synchromystic value of this 'witch mountain'. In 1936, Nazi Germany built a tv tower on it's summit, this tower broadcast the summer Olympics in Berlin across Germany and for the first time into deep space. Carl Sagan's novel Contact, and the movie variation had the concept of an alien race playing back Adolf Hitler's opening rally with a Nazi flag behind him. Also in contact Ellie is the director of the SETI project Argus, named after the builder of the ship Argo, piloted by Jason and the Argonauts in the quest for the golden fleece. Gold being the metal the ancient astronauts came to earth for.

    Our Gnostic connection Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle saw 'television' as a Nazi invention to keep the population, drugged, and asleep, kind of like the 'real' world to the gnostics.

    Back to the The Brocken 'witch mountain' on it are found two spooky stone formations named witch's altar, and devil's pulpit.

    Following the 'witch' mountain movie, in 1977 came Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, whose 'devil's tower touches on 'witch mountain mythos'.
    The Brocken during the cold war was surrounded by a massive Cyclopean concrete wall, linking back to the Close encounters symbol of 'government' forces surrounding a holy mountain.
    In the Race to Witch Mountain 2009 poster i'm seeing the 'mothership' style design of Spielberg's original alien craft.
    The devil character in Goethe has always been portrayed as a slim dark man in a black suit. The occult's links to UFO lore are the not so secret lost secret. Albert K. Benders 'men in black' episodes happened after 'psychic' experiments. Blazing blue lights in the night, are a sign of 'contact' with ancient entity's.

    Perhaps as Ingo Swann of the Stanford Institute, psychic, researcher wrote in Penetration. Human telepathy, and extraterrestrial contact are the biggest taboo's in 'modern' reality. Race to Witch mountain seems to deal with both, i can't wait.
    Just shared a few thoughts.

  20. Tommy, I think Palin is an old conservative's idea of a hot chick. Not mine. I like the Dog association!

    Cheers, Ed- I was a huge Enemy Ace fan back in the day. I actually was not a big superhero fan when it came to comics, funny enough. Conan and Kamandi and Planet of the Apes were my faves, but I was also a big fan of Cap during his alienated 70s phase.

    Devin- thanks for those Vallee links!

    Jake- thanks for the link- I 'll add to the links section on the front page.

    Anony- Cronie doing the JUng Freud bromance? I'm there!

    Sky- thanks, a little crazy is always welcome!!

    Thoth- awesome stuff- I added a note to the article. Thank you very much.

  21. Citus- that Coldplay thing is sending some interesting signals- I'll look further into it.

  22. The Rock was due to Black Adam in the SHAZAM! marvel movie that cancelled. One of the reasons being the writers strike, another being it was deemed to be "too upbeat". The character was the son of Ramases II, he dressed in Black and Gold and had a thunderflash logo on his chest.


    Brining it to a total of 23 mummies.



    Stump the Westminister winning OLDer dog. From Texas :) Houston.