Friday, February 27, 2009

U2: No Line on the Horus-Zone

u2 pose by an obelisk in the publicity photo for their new album

Well, ubiquitous Irish rockers U2 have a new album coming out (on 3/3) called No Line on the Horizon. It's shaping up to be a big year for U2- we heard their new single "Get On Your Boots" in an ad for the NFL(im) in the recent Templar Bowl and just before that we also saw them play at the Obama Inauguration on the first day of the month of Aquarius. How interesting that they are front and center in this semiotic chain reaction of a year.

I'm fascinated by the title because, like Michael Tsarion, I've always taken the word "horizon" to mean "Horus Zone." Horus is identified with the horizons in his Re-Horahkty incarnation, and it is also my strong belief that the Greek horae is derived from Horus.



And then there's this video. You know all that crazy sh*t I've been yapping about for a year and change now? There it all is. The stars, astronauts, the gods, the goddesses, androgyny, pyramids, militarism, and on and on and on. Again, 2009 is the Year of You Gotta Be Frickin' Kidding Me, and this video is no exception. Do these guys still claim to be Christians? Fascinating.

The last song on the album fascinates me as well. It's entitled "Cedars of Lebanon" synchs perfectly with the Masonic organization called The Tall Cedars of Lebanon. As Loren Coleman reminded us, the Cedars sponsor the Muscular Dystrophy telethons that Jerry Lewis was honored for at the Oscars on Sunday Night. The term "Cedars of Lebanon" comes from the Biblical passage concerning Hiram of Tyre and King Solomon that Freemasons incorporated into the myth of Hiram Abiff.

Following that line, U2 are Irish Protestants who attended the Mount Temple School in Dublin.* And Mount Temple recalls the Temple Mount, which served as the headquarters of the Knights Templar during the Crusades.

U2's school days were a bit shizophrenic- they fell in with a Charismatic prayer group called Shalom (led by a British missionary named Chris Rowe) and were mentored/inspired by a flamboyant transvestite named Gavin Friday, who later formed Goth legends, the Virgin Prunes.


And sure enough, Friday would call on Horus (Heru in the Egyptian) in this 1983 performance video to grant him "the secret longings of my heart." Would this have any effect on his best friend Bono, as did the Friday-tribute persona of MacPhisto? First, a history lesson...

Few people remember this today but U2 found themselves embroiled in controversy in the early days for using a naked boy named Peter Rowan on their record covers. Island Records forced the band to change the cover of their first album Boy in order to avoid controversy in the US. However, Rowan reappeared on the cover of their breakthrough LP War, although his torso was mostly cropped. One wonders though- the connection with Boy is self-evident, but what does this boy have to do with "War?"

Could there be another inspiration lurking behind this imagery, one not of a sexual nature? Call me crazy, but the "Boy" can't help but remind me of The Book of the Law, with its "crowned and conquering child." Crowley defined him as Ra-Hoor-Khuit, more commonly known as Harpocrates (Horus the Child). In light of Rowan's appearance on the cover of the War LP, it's instructive to note that Crowley quoted Horus as saying "Now let it be first understood that I am a god of War and of Vengeance."


Leaving aside Crowley's somewhat unique interpretation of the ancient myths, it should be remembered that Harpocrates was seen as the embodiment of the rising sun in the Egyptian mystery tradition. We've certainly seen the rising sun manifest itself repeatedly in the media lately, but there can't possibly be any explicit reference to Harpocrates in any U2 songs, can there? Sure, we have the boy and war, but that's taking things a step too far, surely.

Not really. U2 cut a track for their Unforgettable Fire LP called "The Three Sunrises," that began with this verse:

Spirit of the rising sun lift me up
Hold me there and never let me fall
Love me till I die, my heart won't wait
Soon I will be down in this love song

U2, The Three Sunrises

Now, I'm sure a lot of people would argue that this could be a reference to Jesus, but there's nothing in the lyrics to support that. Harpocrates was worshipped as the "spirit of the rising sun" exactly as the lyric reads. Coincidence? Maybe, but it's worth noting that The Unforgettable Fire had an interesting album cover- an ancient castle drenched in sunlight.

Well, fascinating stuff, but I didn't feel the need to pull the trigger on these Horus synchs until that whacked-out video crossed my screen. Maybe all that hobnobbing with Tony Blair and the gang at Davos is rubbing off on them.

Certainly a self-described group of Christians couldn't possibly have intended any of this consciously, but by the same token Crowley always claimed that Liber Al was a work of automatic writing.

And then again, there is MacPhisto...

UPDATE: Reader Tommy wins catch of the night with his observation that U2 corresponds to "Utu," the Sumerian sun god.

* Another MT alum was the Irish poet Christopher Nolan, not to be confused with the cinematic sorcerer of the same name.

SECRET SUN READING LIST