Saturday, May 17, 2008

Steranko Saturday: Hercules

The old master has not lost his touch. I'll be picking this book up, that's for damn sure. I'm framing that puppy. Ask your local retailer about this title.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Astronaut Theology: Variations on a Beam

Previously we looked at the use of the Heavenly Beam of Insemination in science fiction poster art and in architecture as well. I wanted to cover some variations on this motif in other films, which may not always put across the same message exactly, but certainly relate to the concept of planetary insemination or human evolution.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Golden Boy: Just Saying, is All

Here's a picture of Golden Boy when he stood vigil outside of AT&T's former world headquarters in Basking Ridge, NJ. The building is now owned by (former Baby Bell) Verizon, whose name is one of those corporate neologisms. In this case it seems to be a contraction of "true (veritas) horizon." Could horizon's true occult meaning be "Horus-Zone?"

It's an interesting question, given that Verizon's logo could be interpreted as containing a hidden 17. If you really wanted to get carried away, you might interpret it as Veritas, 17 (Horus) and On, the biblical name for Heliopolis (cult center of the Followers of Horus).

I may have mentioned this before, I strongly believe that the Mithras known to the Romans was no relation to Zoroastrian Mitra, but in actuality a culturally-appropriate adaptation of Horus himself. This is something I've researched in depth for my upcoming book on esoteric symbolism in science fiction film.

Suffice it to say that conservative Romans held a very dim view of Egypt, seeing it as corrupt and decadent. And they also thought the notion of animal heads on gods was offensive. But the Shemsu Hor obviously had a very strong interest in Rome, and it's my belief that the Mithras cult was created especially for those Romans whom they wanted to bring into the fold, namely those alpha males in business and the military. The Shemsu Hor's fingerprints are all over Mithraism, as we will look at in the future.

All of these figures - Horus, Mithras, Helios, Sol, Shamash, Ba'al, Hercules, etc etc etc - all represent the Sun as a symbol of phallic aggression, technology, hierarchy, and militarism, so any difference between them or their cults is academic, anyway.

There's Gotta Be a Way Out of This Mess


The more I read about the ancient "pagan" world and its practices and beliefs, the more I think that the difference between Christianity and "paganism" is purely a question of politics. Even a casual reading of the actual practices of the Isis cults or Mithraism would hit familiar notes with any modern Christian. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gods, Men and Ritual Androgyny in Pharaonic Egypt

The choice of Jaye Davidson to portray the ancient astronaut Ra in the movie Stargate may have been derided as stunt casting at the time, but it speaks to a recurring motif in Ancient Egyptian history and iconography.


Templar Watch: Cross Purposes

Here's a fascinating sculpture from the British Museum, showing us that the cross necklace long predates Christianity. Here it is identified with the sun god Shamash.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mithras is Alive and Well and Living in New Jersey

Daria Invictus recently blogged on a subject near and dear to my heart- the enigmatic Golden Boy, who has been passed like a torch from corporation to corporation. Daria explored the various connections to a host of pagan deities, but I had a nagging suspicion there was still another figure being celebrated in this composite icon; the Corporate Elite's favorite god, Mithras. We shouldn't be surprised at Mithras' showing up in corporate iconography - his followers were deadly serious, highly disciplined soliders and merchants. And what is the modern corporation if not the ultimate apotheosis of the "Business as War" paradigm? Mithraists worshipped in secret during the First Century, why not in the Twenty-First? Golden Boy was originally known as "The Genius of Electricity" when commissioned for Western Electric, then renamed "The Spirit of Communication" when sold to AT&T. His latest owner is the new AT&T, formerly known as Southern Bell. 

He currently resides on the AT&T campus in Bedminster, Nova Caesarea. You can see him while driving on Interstate 287 South (2+8+7=17). As Daria notes, he originally sat upon a pyramidical turret on the old AT&T building in Masonic Manhattan, giving us yet another depiction of the Heavenly Insemination. 

As you see in this ancient frieze of Mithras, Golden Boy is simply a modern take on the old sun god. The Snake of Time becomes an electrical cable and his staff becomes electrical bolts. The pose is almost exactly the same, only minor details differentiate the two icons. For instance, the globe Golden Boy stands on comes to us from another Mithraic icon...

...that of Aion, the enigmatic figure whom Jung identified as the Imageo Dei- image of the god within. As with so much Mithraic imagery, the meaning of the globe is unclear, but my own interpretation is that the Mithraists had intended to rule the world. It's open to debate whether they are succeeding in that ambition.

Whatever the intended message behind it, it's interesting to note that Golden Boy has been reintroduced in advertising for the new AT&T. Maybe it's simply because it's an amazing work of art with heavy-duty Syncromystic resonance. One thing's for sure- you can add this to the rapidly escalating use of Solar symbolism in corporate and church iconography.