Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stairway to Sirius: Look at It This Way

Here's an antique Masonic Tracing Board depicting the Stairway to Sirius. The juxtaposition of the twin columns of Jachin and Boaz and their proximity to the Stairway is eerily reminiscent of the pre-9/11 Manhattan skyline that we looked at earlier...

... but the motif of heavenly beings descending a stairway or ladder from what looks more like a hovering UFO than a star is pretty stunning, particularly to an old school sci-fi/comics geek like myself.

In the context of Ancient Astronaut Theory, this iconic 70s painting by Neal Adams depicting a hawk-headed alien descending a ramp certainly ties into the whole nexus of alternative history and secret societies that we've been speculating on here. Note the Von Daniken-esque font. 

Interesting to note how AAT burst onto the scene through pop culture. It's even more interesting to note how everyone seems to forget how it captivated the public's imagination- Chariots of the Gods? was a monster bestseller all over the world and the documentary version of it was nominated for an Oscar (come to think of it, that shouldn't surprise us).

This version of the Stairway to Sirius caught my eye because of the over-rendering of the star's rays. You may notice that Sirius doesn't throw off that much light, at least in our skies. And that vision of beings descending from a burst of light will be familiar to most people... way of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And again, let's remember that Steven Spielberg also brought us some hardcore AAT in this year's Indiana Jones installment and is a patron of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (aka SETI)

This year we're also seeing another big-budget UFO extravaganza coming to a theatre near you- the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring Gnostic icon Keanu Reeves. Not exactly AAT, but a nice shot of that alien/ramp icon here. I gotta say, the trailer to the remake struck a strange nerve with me. 

We should be used to alien invasion iconography by now, but the political context of the film (in short: we're being wiped out for our own good) adds a disturbing new wrinkle to this matrix of aliens, politics and symbolism.

But of course, not all alien/ramp imagery is entirely benevolent, is it?