Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mithras Presence: Look At It This Way

The closer we get to Christmas, the more I'm thinking about Rockefeller Center. I guess it's a regional thing, but again- anyone even remotely interested in symbolism should at least take a virtual tour of the premises. In many ways, it's the crown jewel of Mithraic Manhattan.

Now, I realize that not a lot of people are inclined to look at our friend Mithras there from that angle, but there's no doubt the placement of that statue is not accidental - this is a character whose origin is heavenly, but whose birth is earthly. The waterfalls also seem to be placed in order to complete or to animate the impression that 30 Rock creates- a beam or shaft shooting down from the heavens.

One of the things I've noticed about that statue is that the golden boy there is not chained to the rock as Prometheus was, rather he seems to be emerging out of it as did Mithras in his birth story. The rock also seems to conform to a triangular shape, giving a pyramidical impression.

 The first thing that that occurred to me after seeing that photo was how much the juxtaposition of elements- the shaft or pillar from Heaven, pyramid form, and Zodiac ring - reminded me of the movie poster for the original Stargate. It then occurred to me that our golden friend may not be Mithras either, but Horus. 

Like there's a difference.

And the same motifs repeat on the poster for this cinematic masterpiece...

Or, more ominously, this one as well...

The movie posters I can understand- designers are always looking at each other's work. But based on the Rockefeller Center thing, I would venture to guess that this particular juxtaposition of elements has some greater meaning. You don't spend millions of dollars building a skyscraper, a plaza and tossing in some statues and a waterfall or three without planning every single detail to the last inch. 

I'm not sure what the latest theories on the pyramids are this week, but for my part I see them as ceremonial wombs, places of rebirth. There's an unsubtle thread of fertility symbolism at play here, with perhaps the Stargate/Zodiac symbolizing Eternity. There are other examples of this little trio at work in other movie posters, but they seem a bit more open to interpretation.

Given his close association with the Rockefeller Family, I wonder what influence Jung may have had in all of this. Certainly, that sub rosa Mithras jibes with Uncle Carl's obsessions. Could the Plaza at Rockefeller Center be Jung's secret masterwork?