Monday, December 28, 2009

When All Of Your Wishes Are Granted Many Of Your Dreams Will Be Destroyed...

So if you're a huge MM fan you might have noticed the phrase at the end of the "Man That You Fear" song, "when all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed."

It seems that we don't dream all the time. Many have described the journey into the unconscious mind as similar as going to bottom of the sea, like Freud (see Iceberg images below). Sometimes our slumber is too deep that we are able to reach a level that we never experienced before. But not all the time does it have to do with being slightly or extremely tired.

So basically I think the phrase above is referring to the fact that when many of your existencial and crucial problems in real life have been on the outside there will be a very little chance to dream...but that's not the case.

Throughout our lives we will always dream; sometimes they might be cool episodes, some embarrassing, some even frightening and some lame and boring. But I can tell you this; no dream has to be taken for granted because we might overlooking an aspect of our own lives that needs to be taken care of.

Back To Holywood Part 3: Playing the Cards Where They Lie

The previous interpretation of the Holywood songs is just an experiment. You know how you always watch a movie the first time it's released and later on when you find on DVD you notice that they show the deleted scenes? That's the way I perceived this album. With the addition of the "Diamonds and Pollen" which I labeled as a lost track there's a whole new meaning.

The album can be pretty much played in the original order of the tracks and it would still be the same story with the same outcome.

From here I'll post my version. More revelations soon...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Back to Holywood Part 2: The Tarot Songs

Going further into this rabbit hole I find that there are other coincidences in the cards laid out in the Holywood booklet.

As an experiment I assigned a song to the order of the cards to help us tell a story. As it unravels we find our main character who longs for inmortality; Adam. When he was placed on Earth he lost his power so his mission will be to return to God or even to destroy him for his doing.

This is my interpretation of Holywood using the Tarot Card sequence. Manson always said that this is the first part of the Triptych and is a story told backwards.

Let’s take the first card that was shown as in the previous spread; the Hanged Man, compare it to this lyric, “ dear God can you climb off that tree you made into the shape of a T…” The Hanged Man is tied not to a cross, but into a T shaped tree. This card is all about sacrifice and it is the current self that is described in the Celtic Cross Spread described earlier. Apparently this isn’t a personal experience, the songs includes several references to JFK and how he was elevated into the status of a martyr.

Now if you pay closer attention, the last song of the Mechanical Animals album, “Coma White” has a video where there is a recreation of JFK’s murder scene and how he dies in Jackie Kennedy’s lap. This may have been a hidden reference to how Jesus Christ died in Mary’s arms, but what’s more shocking is that Manson plays in the video a character like JFK/Jesus as if they where all tied and went through the same situation. Thus, history repeats itself. But it’s also an introduction of what’s about to come.

Now, the next card should be Death, number 13. This is a bit harder to figure out. The card speaks about changes, sometimes groundbreaking. If we go back to the spread this would be assigned to the second position; Challenges.

In Kabbalah, the Adam Kadmon loses its eternity after reaching Earth and becomes human, someone ordinary. Death is also about rebirth. A loose interpretation of the song would be that, “ a series of changes and challenges await as soon as we step into the Valley of Death, the future is uncertain.” This makes sense since most of the album was written in California, and it also makes sense to the comparison to the strong references to Hollywood and all its decadence described in Mechanical Animals. This is only the beginning of a perilous journey.

Confused about his mission on Earth, Adam finds a beautiful being in the shape of a woman;the High Priestess, a sort of fortuneteller, since he has lost all faith in God, and is now tempted by her ways, as in, “the Love Song.” In fact, he speaks about his creator in a highly sarcastic manner, “Do you love your God, your Guns, your Government? Fuck yeah!”

The next card would be assigned to the High Priestess. She has profound knowledge and mysteries waiting to be revealed, however her facade changes to that of a man, very similar to Adam, but more sinister. Which song fits into the picture? After careful analysis I chose “Diamonds and Pollen”, observe this lyric, “die like flowers too”. This might as well be Death because it washes away and brings change, the first flower is the beginning of a new day. But this can also be speaking of a prophecy, as in,The High Priestess advises Adam that Holywood is full of temptation and he must go there no questions asked if he wants his dreams to come true.

Now, the track was unofficially part of the album, in the single of Disposable Teens which is tied to these lyrics in “I saw that pregnant girl today…” It is, “America bled to death, electric and pregnant.” I assigned this card to the Empress who would count as the product that is being created in her womb; horrible visions, but full of bright lights and glitter. The song can also be considered the second part of the High Priestess’s revelation, as in this lyric, “a million scars, a million promises,” or “and all your sad endings are planting in the gardens, and they’re waiting to grow, and to die like flowers too.”

Let’s continue the story, so far our adventurer is about to face the atrocities of Holywood. It’s no secret that there are several references to the actual Hollywood scene, and it is where Manson went to live years ago. So you can imagine that his perspective of the industry was more shocking than his own music.

The next card would be the Justice. Because it is placed on the Major Arcana it has a higher rank than the authority of Man. It is a force that makes decisions that are highly questioned sometimes. In my spread the card was intentionally reversed to mean false accusations or huge misunderstandings. Which song fits here? Probably “Target Audience” The High Priestess revealed to Adam his fate; he would be revered as a king but also would become a martyr. The promise of inmortality is strong but there is a huge price to pay; the beginning of a personal discovery.

So the once powerful Adam is about to enter Holywood as this is a journey where forces are about to collide. The next card is the Fool and it makes sense since our character has been reduced to a being that must find himself and defy the prophecy. Right after “Target Audience” comes “President Dead”. This would be considered a chapter between Justice and Fool. Adam. He’s seen the actual demons of Holywood and will surely not end as the previous president. In real life, probably Manson was trying to find a close example to his experience in order to feel some sort of empathy or connection that in the story could probably mean Adam’s actual mission. Again the parallels are evident. A song that could be subsequent would be “The Fight Song”, since other things have been revealed to Adam; Holywood is a society that is obsessed with the media and worships violence.

The next card is the Hermit; the being who must withdraw from society or close friends and family to seek wisdom and higher knowledge in other to return to God, as most of the time is done in the Tree of Life. Adam has witnessed an eerie example of a martyr and meditates. He has a plan and learns from the past. This is also similar to the creative process, since in order to design or redesign we search for known examples and try to point out its weak and strong points. Which song fits here? The next song in the album of course! “In The Shadow of the Valley of Death”.Adam meditates about who he wants to be, “I wish that I could be a king, then I’d know that I am not alone.” The song echoes the word ‘alone’, which is one of the qualities of this last Tarot Card.

The next songs that still follow the path of the Hermit are “Cruci-fiction In Space”, “A Place In the Dirt” and “The Nobodies”. As the story unravels Adam still cannot avoid his fate as he saw in the High Priestess’s vision. However, in his case things will probably have a darker outcome, as these lyrics describe, “dress me up and make me your dying god.” This last term ‘dying god’ has no definition, but it could also mean that there will be a man considered as high as god but at the end is mortal with no chance of resurrection. Adam is still optimist and knows for sure he will be born again, against all odds and prophecies.

The next card is the Emperor, and of course the previous song does mention openly the word “king”. What song fits in here? Hard to tell, however the Emperor is a strong masculine force, but also the Devil interferes in this picture; the human passion. The song that comes to mind is “Disposable Teens”, why? Well, Adam has come out of his retreat and has revealed to all that he is, “the black rainbow, the Ape of God.”

Now he is ready to conquer Holywood using the force and wisdom of the Emperor. In the original video made for this song Manson emerges from a lake, like a monster, but also as a pope and a character bearing similarities. With this identity he will face the inhabitants of Holywood, like an exterminating angel. However, Adam lacks divinity, he will only use what he can work with, and that leads to the next card in the spread; the Magician.

What song fits into this card? Probably “The Death Song”, since it’s a follow-up to what the irate Adam said. However, his identity has changed. Instead of being a figure from which all will grow they will wither and die. He will just magnify their decadent lifestyle with the truth; a weapon that manifests in the form of music, highly corrosive. “We sing the Death Song kids!” We got no future.

The story gets exciting; the new Adam gathers his young followers into his concerts for more songs that seem like anthems, “Born Again”. The Magician card is also about mutation, transformation, being reborn. The next song is “Burning Flag” and though it doesn’t have a card assigned we could compare it with the Chariot, which comes right after the Lovers. From a deep and introspective communion comes a new breed of young people who will revolt to the Holywood lifestyle; they are fed up with it.

Sadly, as the story continues Holywood is still a place of excesses and somehow the human side of Adam has been tarnished. Even in a city full of despair he stumbles upon Coma Black and has a dilemma. He is free to be the Emperor and have it all, except for the one thing money can’t buy; love. It seems to be the High Priestess in disguise. She is now a woman, the most pure woman on Earth and she has been mistreated.

The song Coma Black, in its first division, The Apple of Discord, the lyrics mention, “this was never my world...” A false sense of victory arises. Notice that ‘flower’ is mentioned again as in “Valentine’s Day”? So this can tell us that there is a possible connection between the High Priestess and the Empress. They meet again and she says, “you abused what you had, but I will give you a second chance, carry on this journey diseased from what you already spread amongst the population.”

The inhabitants of Holywood will become his slayers...

The next songs, “the Fall of Adam”, “King Kill 33” and “Count to Six and Die” are the climax of the story. Adam refuses help and is ready to move on and be born again; Holywood was just the beginning and is ready to enter a new destination. His fate was just the same as JFK’s; he is shot, but he asks to be killed. The digits in King 33 are also a direct reference to the dead president…was history repeating itself in Holywood? But one day, he would meet the High Priestess in a different form. This paves the way for the next album; Mechanical Animals. And it makes sense because the song Coma White mentions a girl “from a perfect world, a world that threw me away today.” Adam has become more in touch with his emotions and is wants to feel to redeem what he did in Holywood. But what he didn’t know is that this new place, Hollywood was about to change his life completely…

There is one last card that would count as a prelude, but also could have been a requiem for Adam, “Lamb Of God”. He is cast out of Holywood. But they find that they did wrong as well.

Once again the order of the tracks goes like this:

2.The Love Song
3.Diamonds and Pollen
4.Target Audience
5.President Dead
6.The Fight Song
7.In The Shadow of the Valley of Death
8.Cruci-fiction In Space
9.A Place In the Dirt
10.The Nobodies
11.Disposable Teens
12.The Death Song
13.Born Again
14.Burning Flag
15.Coma Black
16.Valentine’s Day
17.The Fall of Adam
18.King Kill 33
19.Count to Six and Die
20.Lamb of God

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Back to Holywood Part 1: the Holywood Spread.

Let’s face; I have two great passions in my life right now; reading the Tarot and following Marilyn Manson.

I had my first Tarot session in 2001 when some girls at work took me to see this dude who seemed like the low-profile version of Walter Mercado (a famous Latin astrologer). It wasn’t so bad really, but then they always act like they know you from ages ago. Nothing of what he told me came true; the only thing that seemed to match was what he said about my personality.

The second time I had the Tarot read was voluntarily. It was done by and old lady who still hangs around at a local coffee shop. I remember well that most important thing she told me was that I was born to be a leader.

And my third time was just a few ago at a convention. This was to be my most surprising reading of all because I felt bold enough to ask about my unique connection to Manson. And then she said, “you have a huge empathy for this person, and I think you have a chance of achieving great things with him. But you know he’s very strong.” And then she pulled the Strength Tarot Card. How true was that.

Just a few months ago, ever since Manson began touring a little innocent question popped into my head, “could we be actually psychically connected?” you know the kind of bond twins sometimes have when one feels the same thing as the other?

And so I began an intimate and personal journey. I even joined his My Space a few months ago to see if I could actually know how things were developing. But I have to admit it; it’s been exciting, painful and touching.

I really don’t know if he understands the Tarot that well, but I sure am willing to master it because it’s in my blood. My grandmother told me once that her own mother learned to read the cards thanks to a group of Hungarian ladies in exchange to offering them shelter. May I add the fact that I came across a highly devoted artist and writer; Mr. Alejandro Jodorowsky. His ways of handling divination have also inspired me, as well of most of his work.

Thanks to all these events I felt the need to focus and rediscover the symbolism in Manson’s work. While most people will believe that this is a devilish imagery, I see no real harm in analyzing the artwork he did for his 2000 album dubbed Holywood (in the shadow of the Valley of Death.

Mind you, although some have already done their research: see this is my own version.

Now, if you’re a newcomer to Marilyn Manson’s life let me give a crash course. Holywood was meant to be part of the Triptych, out of which Antichrist Superstar was the first album to be released in 1996, and Mechanical Animals in 1998. What do these have in common? Apparently a story, told backwards.

His third album released came out shortly after a series of accusations linked to the killings at Columbine in 1999 in Denver, Colorado. Not only did Manson’s work was considered like a possible mobile of the crimes but also threatening and the band was prevented from playing at the same city. Some people even thought that this album was the rebuttal as well as a brief interview done for “Bowling For Columbine”.

To this day I wonder if these events became sort of like a turning point in his career and personal life. Having the constant reference to the Occult in the Holywood brings me to these interesting findings that I’m about to describe. If by any chance you have a Rider-Waite Tarot as support it would be much better.

My original Tarot Spread as in the Celtic Cross

There are different interpretations of these cards and they’re all valid because that’s the way art is; it’s not absolute, it’s pretty everything that surrounds you.

There are 78 Tarot Cards, divided into the Major and Minor Arcana. Likewise, the Major Arcana or Trumps are divided into 22 cards, out of which 0 is the Fool, the beginner of the spiritual journey.

The Holywood artwork apparently lays down nine cards with no order; the Death, the High Priestess, Justice, the Hermit, the Hierophant, the Emperor, the Devil and the Magician. However the album cover resembles an image of Christ with no cross on the background. The only Tarot cards which bears similarities with this one is the Hanged Man. Therefore, in reality we would have a spread of ten cards.

The most common of spreads is the Celtic Cross. This also is related to the Tree of Life from the Kabbalah. It has ten sephirots or spheres that represent the essence of God and its path towards the Earth.

You may ask, why were these cards chosen? Or could have they come out of a real spread?

Well, here’s how I found out: the Hanged Man counts as the first, which refers to the Present, or his present self. The second; Death, which are challenges. The third, the High Priestess, or root causes. The fourth; reversed Justice or the past. The fifth; reversed Hermit or the goals. The sixth; the Fool, or the future. The seventh, the Emperor, or the contexts. The eighth; the Devil, or the Environment. The ninth; reversed Magician or the guidance. And finally the tenth , reversed Hierophant, or the outcome.

What does it mean all put together? Let’s find out:

The Hanged Man, the present. Keep in mind that this was probably read somewhere between 1999 and 2000, the crucial years. The man in the wooden T in the Tarot stands for while being in a calm, patient mood he awaits for a sacrifice. The beginning of what’s to come. The Death, the challenges. While this card is feared for its image in Manson’s case it would be more about changes, constant evolution; death and rebirth. Sometimes these changes are hard to bear. The High Priestess, the root causes. The High Priestess bears a crown in the shape of a crescent indicating a beginning of a process yet hidden and somewhat hermetic. The fourth, reversed Justice, the past, which would count in this case prejudice, false accusations. The fifth, reversed Hermit, the goal was caution, more willing to receive advice, immaturity. The sixth, the future, the Fool, or could apply errors, ignorance, reflection.

The seventh; the Emperor, the context that surrounds Manson. Since in numerology using his birth date number was 4 it matches the one of the Tarot Card. There is great strength, confidence, intellectual maturity and conviction. The eighth; the Devil, or the environment; violence, lust, vices, the primary human instincts. The ninth; reversed Magician or guidance, destructive, weak and confused. And the tenth; reversed Hierophant, persuadable, weak.

Still not quite getting it? Let me make it easier. Imagine if you were the reader and said these words, “ Manson, there will be a series of important and profound changes that you might find unpleasant at the beginning, (the Hanged Man) but that’s the way life is. We are in constant evolution and this is the time. The next years will bring challenges but also important opportunities to grow (Death). The past it seems to have scarred you due that your work is often misconceived, (Justice) just like many artists over the years, also obscuring your true self (the High Priestess), making it more difficult to figure you out. These accusations that you received recently are not to be overlooked. You will have to grow from what these people show you (the Hermit) so don’t shut the door on them, be ready to receive advice from close friends or family (the Fool).

Now on the other hand I see that you are very confident, you have a born leader, you take matters into your own hands and are very strong even in the hardest of times (the Emperor) But in order to complete your growth you must avoid giving into certain vices or wild mood swings, (the Devil) you tend to often get mad and impulsive for every little thing that goes wrong. So balance this with the Magician because this is the one that makes anything possible and though you have the gift to create amazing and lasting things sometimes you can also weaken and become so lethargic you can drag others to same level as you are in. So control yourself keep a good balance between your virtues and your flaws these coming years, otherwise you might give in easily to bad influences (the Hierophant). ”

So let’s compare this with what actually happened after this reading. Holywood still became a highly controversial album, but less louder than its brother Antichrist Superstar. Around 2002 Manson met Dita and continued a long relationship, along with the promotion of the Golden Age of Grotesque. Her sign was Libra and her ruling Tarot Card the Justice. Now, I knew very little about her back then but during the next few years about their relationship I went into a series of powerful and loud dreams, you know like recurring dreams. Most of the time when they were in the same dream there was tension, prejudice and distance, almost abandonment. I stop here to quote the reading above, “your work is often misconceived, just like many artists over the years, also obscuring your true self.”

I could swear sometimes I dreamt Manson coming to me for advice about his situation but he could never express it with the right words.

Finally it all came to the sad conclusion we all know in 2006 when he divorced. I always knew he was being tested and his companion had little to no tolerance. The day before I found out I had this dream where I met him after a very bumpy journey and explained to me we were just friends and then he hugged me tightly. When he left there was a blond girl sitting in a chair made of glass and then smashed it in front of him. I interpreted some months later and it literally meant that it was an evident sign of a rupture.

The next chapter is impressive, because shortly after this breakup he befriended and later became sentimentally involved with Evan. Mind you, her sign is Virgo and her ruling card the Hermit, the healer, remember this quote, “You will have to grow from what these people show you”, as in the original reading above.

These recent years have been all about the consequences from the lifestyle he’s carried over the years, probably involving drugs and other addictions and though it seems that this is the end of his musical career, still think about this phrase, “Now on the other hand I see that you are very confident, you have a born leader, you take matters into your own hands and are very strong even in the hardest of times.”

So was this a foretelling of the last ten years? The future’s not written, but we have the tools to shape it. Thanks to this spread now I know what can empower or weaken Manson.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Apple of Sodom" Unraveled

"Apple of Sodom" recently surfaced on Joseph Cultice's website and is dated around 1998, back in the Mechanical Animals era, so probably the imagery might seem familiar (white backgrounds, heavy glam make-up, medications and laboratory material)

Although there are not many sequences here, the most attractive character is a woman, which I'd refer to as a mannequin.

Now, before Mechanical Animals came out the song "Apple of Sodom" was included in David Lynch's "Lost Highway" soundtrack. Back then "Antichrist Superstar" was being openly promoted with the Dead To The World tour at the same time.

One of the songs from "Antichrist Superstar" that also makes a reference to a mannequin would be "Tourniquet",(she's made of hair and bone and little teeth...)reinforcing the one we see in this "new" 1998 video.

Now to dream of a mannequin represents an extension of your own self that you are projecting. You may feel that you are not playing an active enough role in some situation. The figure in question in "Apple of Sodom" is femenine but scarcely developed. She is pale white and she sits on what looks like a vanity mirror and separating elements into petri dishes.

Although there is no apparent meaning to dreaming petri dishes they are used to cultivate or culture cells, which could mean clearing your mind of negative thoughts.

The mannequin allegedely mutilates herself. The act of mutilation in dreams refers to that your integrity is put in question, or probably reputation.

She falls into a pool of blood with her left side completely exposed.Where she falls would represent life in general and she's bleeding, not able to withstand the ordeals of life.

Remember Coma White? This girl bears similarities with this mannequin, so this is indeed a recurring subject. An element that would haunt the Manson imagery again and again. Kinda makes you wonder that he still hasn't found the ideal woman.

So, putting this all together this video is just a continuation of the frailty of Manson's relationships, how they wither so easily. Even when they begin (consider the image of cultivating) they are destined to be doomed, as in the lyrics of the song "The Minute of Decay"; "the minute that it's born it begins to die."

What do you think the video means?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Running To The Edge Of The World, unraveled...

If you always thought Marilyn Manson was spooky, you might want to think twice because using careful dream analysis I decided to unravel the secrets behind "Running To The Edge of The World", a video probably mistakened for amateur "snuff" or openly promoting domestic violence.

Let's pretend the images or scenes on the video were actually part of a dream.

The opening sequence starts with a close-up, whereas dreaming one's face means that Manson is showing as its true self or exposes a side to the whole world. A fragile, sad expression it is, profoundly melancholic and nostalgic looking up, although sometimes this gesture would be considered hypocrite. So apparently at this point he's trying to win our sympathy and invite us into his nightmare.

However he hesitates for a while before he actually shows us the rest of his dream. He seems to be constantly trying to suffocate himself with some very thin drapes. This parts means that you are feeling smothered or oppressed by some situation/relationship.

He creeps into a hotel room confused focusing on his crime, which is a young blonde girl drenched in blood.

Of course you might think it's a murder, but let me stop for a moment to say that blood is also a recurring element on dreams. It means life in general. The fact that he's hitting someone covered in it can also mean a deep desire or anger at a certain aspect of life. And we're talking about frustration, mid-life crisis.

The other scene that attracts me the most is where he looks at the bathroom mirror having as only objects or pieces of evidence a yellow bottle of pills and a razorblade. One of those two was probably the weapon used for the crime. The pill means a desire to restore your inner harmony. The mirror is fuzzy so we wipes it out to look better at himself. The mirror is a symbol that suggests that you are pondering thoughts about your inner self. It can also mean how you want others to see you. When it's not completely clear signifies a hazy concept of who you are and questions about your self-identity.

Almost at the end of this video he writes down on a journal something that we will never be able to figure out and he shuts it down firmly . To write in dreams is almost as in real life, confessing a situation that already happened, but sometimes it can also mean that you are trying to correct something from the past. Imagine when you feel guilty for a situation and how much you wish you could take it back.

Now, the word "nostalgic" rings a bell in this video. If we put it all together in my own words it means that there was something that happened in his life that's hard to let go. And you can also consider the questions, "why did this have to happen to me? I didn't ask for this to happen."

You might have heard of posttraumatic stress disorder, which is related to what war veterans called "shell shock". Literally is followed by anxiety, depression and yes in some cases it does require medication.

Now I remember some time ago that he mentioned that an effective way to overcome fears was to embrace them or to become fear itself. Well, if this piece of evidence is actually a representation of a nightmare or a recurring dream to manifest it would be a way to exorcize it. But why tell us this? Is it because no one else might seem to understand it?

Traumatic experiences can happen to anybody, but we always learn from them. In my personal opinion reaching a certain age, like forty let's say it might become harder to regain confidence and engage on a new relationship, specially if you come from one where there was a bit of an age difference (try half your age).

I can see that Manson has a very hard time trusting someone, so maybe this situation is coming from an experience from long ago. But probably we would just be going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole.

What do you think he's trying to say with this video?