Saturday, August 28, 2010

Atlantis Rising: Initiation, Revelation and Profanation

Read parts one and two here

Ron Howard's 1985 Cocoon followed hot on the heels of his 1984 commercial breakthrough as a director, Splash. That film told the story of a mermaid who takes human form and takes up with a bachelor played by Tom Hanks. The film ends with the couple swimming to Atlantis.

In this regard, Cocoon can be seen as a sequel to Splash, since the story revolves around an alien rescue operation of hibernation pods from the ruins of Atlantis. As we've seen in the past few years, these memes of Atlantis, the mer-people (or Sirens), and aliens are bleeding into the pop culture and outside of it as well. A lot of this symbolism has revolved around Sirius - see the "Stairway to Sirius, Revisited" megapost and the field report of the Alexandria Harbor excavations.

The aliens in Cocoon don't hail from Sirius but from Antares, a star whose name means "Opposed to Mars." That connection is fascinating, given some of the Atlantis/Mars connections we've seen from some alternative researchers. Wiki states that "many of the old Egyptian temples are oriented so that the light of Antares plays a role in the ceremonies performed there."

Ron Howard is a major power player in Hollywood and his films have featured multiple esoteric thrulines, both hidden and overt (as in his recent Dan Brown films). With Cocoon he wandered directly into ancient astronaut territory, even though the film doesn't make a big deal of it like a Crystal Skull or Revenge of the Fallen does. Part of that might be the fact that's it not a franchise film with need for a mytharc, but it also may be that Howard travels in circles that take it for granted.

Either way, there's a whole host of memes very familiar to regular Secret Sun readers in the film, so let's first dispense with the obvious, plot first...

Cocoon revolves around a group of senior citizens living at a retirement community in Florida. The obvious allegory here is the Fountain of Youth, which was believed to be in Florida by Ponce de Leon (this is deeply-embedded symbolism to most movie critics).

Three friends, Ben (Wilford Brimley), Arthur (Don Ameche) and Joe (Hume Cronyn) try to keep spry and regularly break into a well-kept pool house (built in the style of a Roman villa) on an neighboring abandoned estate to swim. Unfortunately, a new group of tenants then rent the house.

These tenants, led by Walter (Brian Dennehy) and Kitty (Tahnee Welch), rent a fishing trawler captained by the hapless Jack Bonner (Steve Guttenberg). Jack tries to run a fishing tour business, but he's teetering on the brink of insolvency.

Walter’s group takes Jack out to a spot in the ocean where they recover several large rock-like pods, which they store in the pool on the estate. When the new tenants leave, the older men decide to swim in the pool even though the pods fill the pool. The effect of the pods in the water reinvigorates the men and they eventually bring their wives to experience the effects.

The film then follows the men and their wives and girlfriends as they are all physically, sexually and spiritually rejuvenated by the effects of the pool. Ben’s failing eyesight is restored and Joe’s cancer goes into remission. Ben and his friends then try to interest their friend Bernie to try it, but he's terrified of anything but the certainties of aging and death. Bernie also refuses to bring his wife to the pool, though she suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

On the boat, Jack peeps in on Kitty as she undresses and discovers that she's an alien. He panics, but he's outnumbered and out in the open waters. Walter then explains that they are a benevolent race that held an outpost on Atlantis before it sunk. They came back to recover several of their mates who inhabit the cocoons in a state of suspended animation.

Soon, Walter and his group discover the seniors in the villa, who in turn discover that the new tenants are aliens. The group comes to an agreement - Walter will let the men use the pool if they don’t reveal the aliens' mission.

Eventually, Bernie reveals their secret of the pool in the dining hall during an argument with Joe. A mob of seniors stampede to the villa and storm the gates. They deprive the waters of the life-giving force that the cocoons need to sustain their inhabitants. Walter and his group return to see several of the alien beings die within their pods. The rest need to be returned to Atlantis.

The AstroGnostic Rapture

Walter then offers Ben and his group a chance to come back with them to Antares, promising them that the Antareans have the means to prolong the seniors' lives. Jack takes a group of other seniors with them, but the Coast Guard is called when the seniors are reported missing and Jack’s boat is pursued by the authorities. Suddenly the great Antearean mothership appears and takes Walter and his team and the assembled seniors aboard and flies off into space.

The first thing about this film that fascinates me is the use of the villa for the pool. Cocoon's Atlantis subplot brings to mind another doomed ancient city, namely Pompeii. It was there that the Villa of the Mysteries was excavated, a ritual temple for the Dionysian Mysteries that boasted a series of breathtaking mosaics depicting an initiation, which was a ritual rebirth into the cult.

The word “cocoon” itself refers to the rebirthing chamber that caterpillars construct to complete their metamorphosis into butterflies and moths. Hence, cocoons were seen as symbols of rebirth, for obvious reasons.

Within the film's villa there is a statue of a water carrier, which is probably Ganymede. Tying back to the ritual androgyny of the Happy Days episode we looked at in the first part of this series, it's worth pointing out that the aliens in their true form here are themselves androgynous, something that you see not only in UFO lore but also in esoteric texts from antiquity.

The Initiation- The meeting between Ben and Walter has an strongly initiatory undercurrent, signaled by the vaguely Masonic decor of the room, with the checkerboard floor, and the three sunrise windows. It's interesting to note that the Ben character is losing his eyesight in the film and initiates are often blindfolded in these kinds of rituals. It's also interesting that the three older men are sworn to secrecy. But most importantly, the secret here isn't some vague, symbolic flibbledy-floo but a concrete and tangible knowledge and life-changing experience of the alien gnosis.

For reference here's another variation on the Stairway to Sirius first degree tracing board, showing the floor and the three columns, representing the Sun, Moon and Sirius.

The Profanation- The symbolism of the Baptism is unmistakable here. Ben, Joe, Arthur and their wives are essentially are a secret society in league with the aliens, and use their unworldly power towards their own ends. The mob of seniors who crash the villa represent the great horror of secret societies - the profaning of the Mysteries by the greedy, ignorant masses. Note that the profanation of the alien temple depletes the power, both for the aliens and the initiates.

This theme of the Mysteries lending eternal youth to the initiate - and the danger of profanation- is also the theme of Star Trek: Insurrection, another narrative jam-packed with very, very loaded symbolism (as are all of the Next Generation films).

And where there's a baptism there must be a baptist. Interesting that Jack's nemesis is "Kirk," a name meaning church.

More interesting details: ‘Jack’ is a pet form of John. And ‘Bonner’ is a simple anagramatical cipher for Oannes. Here’s how it works: take a letter from B and you get A. Then add a letter to R and you get S. BONNER becomes AONNES, an anagram of OANNES. Coincidence? Maybe, but this is representative of a very basic form of cipher.

And as usual, the mothership strongly resembles a mushroom cap with the heavenly beam acting as the stem (a common icon well familiar to Secret Sun readers). Again, we're square in the middle of AstroGnostic territory - the alien gnosis offering escape from the fallen world that sickens and kills good people, and deliverance to the higher planes where the power of the Demiurge and his archons is broken and the knower is given eternal life.

The real life parallel here is the exodus of the original hippies from habitats like San Francisco -where the counterculture had been commercialized and dumbed-down by later waves of wannabes - to communes and alternative communities in rural areas. But the problem of knowledge and technology - or cultures, even- being exploited and degraded by the greedy and egocentric is a very old problem, and one that shows no sign of correcting itself in the near future.


POSTSCRIPT: I can't help but think of this film- as well as Ron Howard's connection to The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons when I hear "The Stonecutter's Song":

Who leaves Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?

We do! We do!

Who holds back the electric car?

Who makes Steve Gutenberg a star?

We do! We do!

NOTES: There are any number of headers I could have listed this post under. It certainly ties directly in with the themes explored in the AstroGnostic series, as well as the Alien Dreaming and the Widening Gyre posts. The next installment is going to take us straight in Gus Grissom territory.

One of the things I struggle with on this blog is how to present material in a way that won't bore regular readers but also won't completely lose new readers. Part of this kind of analysis relies on the sheer repetition of symbols in similar patterns, and you have to experience that to appreciate the effect.

I've followed back some links leading to this blog and have discovered that a lot of people have absolutely no idea what I'm doing here. A lot of them are your typical kneejerk reductionist/denialist types, whose opinion is important to no one but themselves. But at the same time there are a lot of people who want to grok this arcane constellation of connection and symbol and expand their own consciousness but can't always find a way in. That's a nut I've yet to figure how to crack.


  1. Chris, this was an excellent post. What could this all mean? This is the question that's making life so very interesting these days.

    With Secret Sun you seem to be on to something that's relatively untapped. Even on the internet. So I can see how this can be a little confusing to newcomers. It's interesting that you mention this dilemma because I saw an old friend tonight and recommended he check this site out. But I also found that I had to give him sort of a disclaimer that it might take reading several posts in order to get the jist of things.

    One suggestion that comes to mind is to have a link to click for new visitors. Like a Secret Sun primer button. You can put it where the ufo/pyramids picture currently is. Basically you could include the current description ("What this blog is about") but being on a separate page, you can elaborate a bit more. It would also be helpful to have some links or embedded images that you feel are most important to these topics. Maybe links to key posts would be good here too. I suppose the challenge would be to it keep brief yet informative.


  2. Chris, don't worry about the newbies. I found your blog a few months ago and found it so interesting that I've had a good time since then excavating archival treasure. If folks don't understand something they'll either email you for clarification or do their own research (or both). Whatever you do, please don't dummy down your info!! You're doing great!!

  3. Any thoughts on what BlairObama's about to reveal to the world?

  4. LOL "The Stonecutter's Song"!

  5. great post.... i too like the stonecutter's outro... here's a strange, short post you might like to see re. this subject....

  6. Thought you might like this if you haven't seen it already, google image search "behemoth evangelion"

  7. Good post, and an excellent description of why a secret society would attempt to remain secret. Could Antares be a stand in for Venus - the "opposite" of Mars?

    The "initiation" of Ben is a great way to see that scene, and I note that later, Ben is seen wearing a "Bud Lite" cap, perhaps symbolizing his newfound gnosis or "sight". He is also the one who realizes that he must give up his family and his beloved grandson in order to make the trip. "Counting the cost", I think.

    Looking forward to part 2.




  10. Kirk was the name of a Scottish clergyman sent to Ireland by the Vatican (in the 1690's or something) to investigate the faerie reports. He basicly played theo role of Fox Muleder, and wrote a book on his research.

    There is a movie called KIRK, about his experiences. The director was *17* years old! named Michael Ferns (hows that for a Faerie name!)

    LINK to the BOOK:

    Interview about the movie:

    Oh, and there was that TV show from the 60's with that guy named Kirk too.

  11. And speaking of Happy Days, Henry Wrinkler produced the shows 'So Weird' (a canadian paranormal show) and 'Sightings.'

  12. Heavy symbolism

  13. I know it's way off-topic, but this Glenn Beck/MLK rally is so symbolically charged (and potentially problematic) it's hard for me to ignore...

    “Something that is beyond man is happening,” Mr. Beck said in opening the event as the crowd thronged near the memorial grounds. “America today begins to turn back to God.”

    He told the crowd that he had begun planning his march on Washington a year ago, thinking “it was supposed to be political.”

    “And then I kind of feel like God dropped a giant sandbag on my head,” he said.

    “My role, as I see it, is to wake America up to the backsliding of principles and values and most of all of God,” he said. “We are a country of God. As I look at the problems in our country, quite honestly, I think the hot breath of destruction is breathing on our necks and to fix it politically is a figure that I don’t see anywhere.”


    When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross.

  14. Gulf Blue Plague Part II: Corexit+Bacteria=Mutated Viruses
    by Gnosty » Today, 09:24

    The Gulf Blue Plague is Evolving - Part II:
    Corexit + Bacteria = Mutated Viruses


    by Michael Edward

    If you haven’t read The Gulf BLUE PLAGUE is Evolving or Gulf Oil Dispersant COREXIT is 11 Times More Lethal than Oil, you should do so in order to better understand what is being presented here. Both articles, along with others related to the Gulf time-bomb biological disaster, can be found at .

    Without a doubt, the Gulf Blue Plague is evolving biologically as you will see factually set before you here. In all probability, this is the primary reason the mainstream media (MSM) has been silenced, especially with regards to local media outlets along the Gulf Coast.

    The Gulf of Mexico is a biological time bomb that is undoubtedly evolving into a chemically induced breeding ground for mutating viruses. All the aspects exist in the Gulf right now and have been established for over three months. Their ongoing manipulated evolution into a viral plague or viral epidemic is evident, yet has been ignored.


    The most prevalent ingredient in Corexit is 2-Butoxyethenol. This compound chemical is especially toxic (poisonous) to the blood, kidneys, liver and the central nervous system of all mammals, including porpoises, whales, and humans. Corexit also ruptures red blood cells. Of and by itself, it causes cancer and birth defects. Oil mixed with Corexit is 11 times more lethal than oil alone.

    The EPA eventually conceded that Corexit is a deadly toxic brew for 50% of any group of test animals that comes in contact with it.

    Yet, despite the obvious inherent dangers of Corexit, it’s being sprayed nightly by boats and aircraft in a foolish attempt to disperse the surface oil and continue with the ruse that the northern Gulf of Mexico is nothing to be concerned about any longer.

    The problem with using Corexit, especially in the insane amounts that have already been applied, is that it has never been tested in such massive quantities; has never been tested for use on fragile ecosystem marshes; has never been tested for depths below 1,000 meters; and has never been tested for use with large quantities of bacteria, such as exist in great quantities in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Gulf fishermen and shrimpers are now speaking out about having sighted graveyards of birds, fish, dolphins and whale corpses floating on the surface which are being secretly removed during the night by unknown third-party contracted vessels.

  15. You have my permission to delete the above. It's too arcane for your crowd. My point here is the gulf is being prepared to sustain life but not the kind of life we are used to.

  16. Jim- Advice well taken. I'm also nursing another solution to the problem as well. At the same time I like the notion that it takes some time to catch on.

    832- Brilliant.

    Oyin- Yes, the archives- I invite everyone to dig in. As to Obama's latest dronings, as we really supposed to care?

    1147- Thanks for the link.

    Thulsa- Damn, that's awesome.

    Michael- I'd love to hear your insights on Beyond the Stars, which is up on today's post...

    615- Interesting- what's the angle?

    Mike C! - Interesting info, as always. Guess the occult detective meme goes back a ways.

    Grey- So Weird- gotta look that one up.

    77M- GAH!

    542- It's odd- Beck is pandering to an audience that thinks his church is a satanic cult. But seeing how even China now is bankrolling Christian churches, it's obvious the power elite are putting their money on religion again.

    Eric- Disturbing. Definitely a story to keep our eyes on.

  17. You forgot Andrew Jackson’s Big Block of Cheese with nary a macaroni in sight.

  18. "Cocoon" gave me one of the first nightmares I still remember, 25 years later.

    The pods turned into octopi, trying to drag me into the pool as I ran away...

  19. Who believes this?

  20. Antares...Against Ares...the God of War...
    the "Antareans" seem to embrace that which is the opposite of war and violence. Much like in Splash, sex is portrayed in a beautiful fashion--a way of bonding, whether you are a human, an alien, or a mermaid.
    Which contrasts starkly with the (realistic) portrayal of Opus Dei in the film The Da Vinci Code, where sex (and even being female) is a sin that should be eliminated, much like all pleasure (hell is heaven and heaven is hell), meanwhile the Priory of Sion engages in passionate rites akin to Tantra that connect the participant to God/dess. Hieros gamos indeed.