Monday, 12 November 2012

Barry Lyndon

Just for the reord...this is perhaps my favourite piece from all of Kubrick's is without doubt, one of the most beautiful films that has ever been committed to the medium of celluloid.  Personally I also think that it is one of the most underrated of all Kubrick films and it fully deserves to be more widely appreciated.

The Tarot is undoubtedly a vital element in Rosicrucian symbolism, possibly the very book of universal knowledge which the members of the order claimed to possess. The Rota Mundi is a term frequently occurring in the early manifestoes of the Fraternity of the Rose Cross. The word Rota by a rearrangement of its letters becomes Taro, the ancient name of these mysterious cards. W. F. C. Wigston has discovered evidence that Sir Francis Bacon employed the Tarot symbolism in his ciphers. The numbers 21, 56, and 78, which are all directly related to the divisions of the Tarot deck, are frequently involved in Bacon's cryptograms. In the great Shakespearian Folio of 1623 the Christian name of Lord Bacon appears 21 times on page 56 of the Histories. (See The Columbus of Literature.)

Many symbols appearing upon the Tarot cards have definite Masonic interest. The Pythagorean numerologist will also find an important relationship to exist between the numbers on the cards and the designs accompanying the numbers. The Qabbalist will be immediately impressed by the significant sequence of the cards, and the alchemist will discover certain emblems meaningless save to one versed in the divine chemistry of transmutation and regeneration.' As the Greeks placed the letters of their alphabet--with their corresponding numbers--upon the various parts of the body of their humanly represented Logos, so the Tarot cards have an analogy not only in the parts and members of the universe but also in the divisions of the human body.. They are in fact the key to the magical constitution of man.
 The Secret Teaching of All Ages 

I don't have a tarot version overlaid on the human body, but I do have this one overlaid with the give you an idea.  It is a very fitting image though, considering what you see in the film, below.

It is entirely relevant too...the tarot and the zodiac having much in common, that much can be gleaned merely comparing the same motifs!  Relevant too in Barry Lyndon, because here we'll see clear aspects of both within the film.

Zodiac imagery from Barry Lyndon (Bryan's birthday & the magi-cian).
A square format of the zodiac surrounding the sun.

Stourhead...Barry overlooks The Pantheon (Temple of Hercules) a homage to Hercules and recall his 12 labours of the sun...or the passage of the sun (hercules) through the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Anyway...back to cards.

 "An imprisoned person," writes Eliphas Levi, "with no other book than the Tarot, if he knew how to use it, could in a few years acquire universal knowledge, and would be able to speak on all subjects with unequalled learning and inexhaustible eloquence. " (See Transcendental Magic.)

Barry Lyndon is full of references and scenes of 'card game' playing...

When we're introduced to the protaganist (Barry) he is playing cards with Nora...a game called Killarney.

Barry & Chevalier plying their trade at the card table

The Chevalier playing cards with the Prince of Tubingen.

Lady Lydon playing cards with her maids and Rev Runt.

 Barry & Mother playing cards while he recovers from his wound.

Modern playing cards are the minor trumps of the Tarot, from each suit of which the page, or valet, has been eliminated, leaving 13 cards.

Minor Arcana

 The pattern being the same for the other 3 suits...

Even in its abridged form, however, the modern deck is of profound symbolic importance, for its arrangement is apparently in accord with the divisions of the year.
The two colors, red and black, represent the two grand divisions of the year--that during which the sun is north of the equator and that during which it is south of the equator.

The four suits represent the seasons, the ages of the ancient Greeks, and the Yugas of the Hindus.
It is also possible that they represent the, air, fire & water.




 The twelve court cards are the signs of the zodiac arranged in triads of a Father, a Power, and a Mind according to the upper section of the Bembine Table.

3 * 4 = 12

The ten pip cards of each suit represent the Sephirothic trees existing in each of the four worlds (the suits).

The 13 cards of each suit are the 13 lunar months in each year, and the 52 cards of the deck are the 52 weeks in the year.

Counting the number of pips and reckoning the jacks, queens, and kings as 11, 12, and 13 respectively, the sum for the 52 cards is 364. If the joker be considered as one point, the result is 365, or the number of days in the year.

Milton Pottenger believed that the United States of America was laid out according to the conventional deck of playing cards, and that the government will ultimately consist of 52 States administered by a 53rd undenominated division, the District of Columbia.

text from - Manly P Hall - The Secret Teaching Of All Ages

Tarot Major Arcana - Barry Lyndon

 The Fool 0
 Barry Lyndon - The Fool's Journey

Our very first shot of Barry, after about 2 minutes.  The statue embodies the gesture of the fool (now a common Kubrick hallmark) and is on the precipice (of the journey) via the base, ready to step off....just like the card.  This is also the beginning of Barry's journey.

 The Magician I
 Bryan's 8th Birthday

A youthful figure in the robe of a magician has the face of the divine Apollo, the sun god, with a confident smile and shining eyes. (Bryan under the zodiac sun as a youthful magician) Above his head is the mysterious sign of the Holy Spirit, the sign of life, like an endless cord, forming the lemniscate of infinity. About his waist is a serpent-cincture or girdle, the ouroboros, the serpent devouring its own tail. (loop-like about Bryan's waist)

He is associated through the cross sums (the sum of the digits) with Key 10, The Wheel of Fortune, picking up on Hermes as a Trickster figure and a god of chance, and Key 19, The Sun, (see the stage that Bryan is on) bringing us back to Apollo (Bryan/Sun) and to enlightenment.
You'll see how this relates to the 'Wheel of Fortune' later.

The High Priestess II
 Nora Brady 'secreting' the ribbon.

Narrator: "First love! What a change it makes in a lad. What a magnificent secret it is he carries with him!" 

Commonly this card is associated with the card reader or the querant, because it is also focused on 'secrets' it also interpreted when a secret is kept or revealed, when you are holding on to the truth or revealing it, the card associated with mystery, when powerful feminine influences and support currently in force for the querant. It can also represent the perfect woman in a man's life.

 The Empress III 
Barry's Mother

She is the Great Goddess, the consort of the dying god. She’s associated through her cross sum with Key 12 The Hanged Man, the Dying God, her Son (or daughter) and Consort. The Empress is mother, a creator and nurturer. The Empress can have a very strong influence on a mans life, whether inverted or upright.
 She is associated with Isis, both as the mistress of heaven and as the Ur-Poisoner. The Empress may also represent the Object of Desire. Most obviously, the love of the beloved, the love and approval of parents, especially (but not solely) mothers. While this may be healthy, over attachment to the object can be a danger sign. If the Empress is the Object of Desire, the Hanged Man is the one who desires. This can inspire Great Works, or trap the Querent in pathology. Attachment can lead to death, metaphorically or otherwise. When The Empress kills (again, metaphorically or otherwise), it is usually by consuming, suffocating, or poisoning.

Barry's mother is a widow, who lost her saint (and Isis is the widow, literally).
Narrator: "But she refused all proposals of marriage......declaring that she lived for her son only and the memory of her departed saint."  
She stays a widow and is seemingly over protective and possessive of her son, as per the narration. You'll see her association with 'the hanged man' later, and her suffocating ways will lead to his metaphoric death as a consequence.

The Emperor IV
 Barry's Uncle & surrogate Father

The father figure. The Emperor symbolizes the desire to rule over one's surroundings, and its appearance in a reading often suggests that the subject needs to accept that some things may not be controllable, and others may not benefit from being controlled.  Barry's Uncle rises from his throne to announce the engagement.

The Uncle has been like a Father to Barry and he has also been of great help to his widowed Mother. Barry cannot control the destiny of Nora and John/Jack Quin and their impending marriage. It will all be for the benefit of the financially pressed Brady's, who need this pairing to happen. On his journey, Barry will be fooled by the family (the staged duel to secure the marriage) and this will take him away from Ireland and allow the partnership to happen unimpeded.  All this will send Barry on a very different course.

The Hierophant V
John/Jack Quin

It also represents traditional education or a “Man of high social standing”.
Ideally, the Hierophant prepares the Querant spiritually for the adventure of life. The card also represents individuation or the point where a child starts to understand the boundaries between Self and Other, family and the community. The Hierophant is usually Key 5 of the Major Arcana. Five represents the essence of things as they are, as in the word “quintessence” (Capt Quin!) from the Latin words for five and for nature.
 When reversed, the Hierophant can represent a person, often a leader of some kind, who stands in opposition to the status quo, and/or is likely to take action against it. 

This may well describe Capt Quin (a leader)...who in wanting the hand of Nora, is challenging the status quo of herself and Barry, as a partnership. The pairing of Nora & Quin forces Barry to the side and as a result Barry takes great umbridge to the development, a development that will ultimately start his 'adventure of life'. So in a way, Quin is preparing Barry for his departure.  After being tricked by the staged duel, Barry is sent on his way to Dublin and from here, his adventure begins proper.  This wouldn't have happened if he didn't challenge Quin, but he did.

Quin: I'm an Englishman! And a man of property!  (high social standing)
 Brady Son: What business have you to quarrel with a gentleman of substance? (high social standing)
 Barry: Were you obliged to dance five times with Captain Quin? (a double 5 reference)

The Lovers VI
Barry & Lischen - Lovers in the sun.

This is literally the only time in the film where people openly declare their love for each other (save Bryan), regardless of whether we think it transparent or not.  The cynicism of the narrator during these scenes, imo is not to be trusted...he is not to be trusted most of the time, if truth be told.  Barry begins by maintaing his guise and fake name (Fakenham), but when he departs, she knows that he is Redmond Barry.
Narrator: "A lady who sets her heart on a lad in uniform......must be prepared to change lovers pretty quickly.....or her life will be a sad one." 

I also like the synchronicity of this being the 'lovers', due to the fact that it is a German girl that Barry falls for and many will also remember, that Kubrick himself, was married to a German Girl called Christiane.

 The Chariot VII
Barry & Potzdorf Steeds

The danger of this card is well illustrated by the myth of Phaëton. Among other things, this story illustrates the danger of reaching too high, unprepared.  (Barry absconding and impersonating someone of higher military rank was an 'ad hoc' decision and he is unprepared for Potzdorf. I think he is wearing his boots in the incorrect manner, they should look like Potzdorf's. Barry is wearing infantry gaiters.) It means a union of opposites, like the black and white steeds. (Black & White steeds in opposite directions, Barry & Potzdorf's steeds/horses!) They pull in different directions, but must be made to go together in one direction (this actually happens in the film, they ride off in the same direction together!). Control is required over opposing emotions, wants, needs, people, or circumstances; to bring them together and give them a single direction, your direction.

Strength VIII
Barry rescues his Captain...Potzdorf.

Some refer to it simply as a challenging situation requiring persistence and effort.
 Hercules, the son of Zeus, is an archetype of strength. He is a Solar Hero, as shown by his archetypal 12 labors – each one standing for one sign of the Zodiac.  The Lion in the standard card represents the Sun, making Strength a solar hero, much like Hercules or Herakles, with whom lions are associated.  In the Crowley deck this card is entitled Lust, and receives a different focus, as a sun sign (zodiac), namely Leo, implying a potency that is sexual, creative, and intuitive, which are all attributes of the element Fire. The other Leonine quality of generosity, or mercy, is also an aspect of this power or strength.  When Strength appears in a throw, it may be a signal that The Querent is facing a challenge that requires a strong response, rather than brute force. Occasionally, strength comes by diverting forces, diverting rivers, or fighting on a new battleground. It is a sign that the Querent has left home and needs to start drawing on all of his or her resources to meet the challenges of the exterior world.  Courage is a prerequisite to the attainment of knowledge.  Barry through rescuing Potzdorf (and at risk to himself) finds himself in favour and this eventually leads to him finding a higher station (knowledge) and one that ultimately leads to his partnership with the Chevalier.

Barry with the Temple of Hercules (Pantheon) behind him...Stourhead.

The Hermit IX 
 Lord Bullingdon...withdraws and returns.

There are two possible ways this card can be interpreted:
First, the need to withdraw from society to become comfortable with himself.
Second, the return from isolation to share his knowledge with others.

Bullingdon (withdraws):
"I have decided to leave my home and never return. At least, during his detested life, or during my own."

Immediately followed by...Wendover and this pertinent piece of dialogue.To hammer the point home!

"Will anyone be joining Your Lordship? No, I shall be alone."

 Of course, we know he does return (after his withdrawal), due to the poisoning incident with his Mother.

"Though she only made herself dangerously ill......due to the very small amount which she swallowed... ...this, nevertheless, caused an intervention from a certain quarter......which was long overdue."

Wheel Of Fortune X
Bryan & The Magician's Zodiac Stage 

On the Waite card shown, though not necessarily on others, there are also four winged creatures in the corners of the card, representing the symbols of the four Evangelists (The Lion, the Ox, the Man and the Eagle). These four Evengelists are also represented the four fixed astrological signs: Leo, Taurus, Aquarius and Scorpio.  (These are all present on the magicians zodiac backdrop). Through its cross sum (the sum of the digits), it is closely connected to The Magician (you saw earlier) and The Sun (cards 1 and 19 of the Major Arcana respectively). Each represents a break with the previously established order: the Magician starting the journey; The Wheel of Fortune introducing random chance; and The Sun reborn from the underworld. (see the sun in the centre and it's the magicians stage.)  It's not easy to find a square/rectangular rendition of the zodiac, as nearly all of them are shown as circular. 

Immediately following this scene we get to Barry's mother suggesting the acquiring of a title, this ultimately leads to Barry going virtually bankrupt. Clearly this suggestion creates many of  his troubles and is the main catalyst for his downfall. The machinations of an unlucky turn on the wheel of fortune.

Narrator: "The striving after this peerage was one of Barry's most unlucky dealings. He made great sacrifices to bring it about. He lavished money here, and diamonds there. He bought lands at ten times their value... ...purchased pictures and articles of virtue at ruinous prices."

A common aspect to most interpretations of this card within a reading is to introduce an element of change in the querant's life, such change being in station, position or fortune: such as the rich becoming poor, or the poor becoming rich.  (ultimately this is what unfolds for Barry).


Justice XI
Demanding satisfaction from Barry....A demand for balance/justice...the scales.

When Justice appears in a throw, it usually signals that some injustice needs righting, that something in the world is dangerously out of balance.  Justice is also connected to Judgment (Tarot card), Key 20, the ultimate weighting of souls.

 The 'duels' that evoke the scales of justice and also Ma'at

 Oh, my God.  If my mother had died, it would've been as much my responsibility, as if I had poured the strychnine for her myself.  For to the everlasting disgrace of my family name, I have, by my cowardice, and by my weakness allowed the Barrys to establish a brutal and ignorant tyranny over our lives, which has left my mother a broken woman, and to squander and ruin a fine family fortune. My friends profess sympathy, but behind my back I know I am despised.  And quite justifiably so. However....I know now what I must do. And what I shall do. Whatever be the cost."

The Hanged Man XII
Barry Lyndon

"In some decks the figure carries under each arm a money bag from which coins are escaping.(Judas' payment)"
This scene is Barry's redemption. Here he forgoes the opportunity to rid himself of Bullingdon, after he having misfired his pistol in the first exchange. It's Barry who proves to be the gentlemen and Bullingdon the beast. Barry decides to spoil his own shot by firing into the ground, the reasons perhaps being not wishing to murder the only remaining son of his wife, who along with Barry have just lost Brian.

The scene plays like a self sacrifice and so therefore, is redemptive in nature. Perhaps Barry saw himself in Bullingdon...a recollection of his own duel with Quin, when he was just a young upstart...Bullingdon is visibly as nervous as Quin was. It was his mother's insistence on gaining a title, that has ultimately led to his downfall...via the domestic war with Bullingdon and this duel that followed.
The film's climactic duel between Barry and his stepson takes place in an abandoned chapel: the bizarre ritual of gentlemanly homicide proceeds in the absence of a supreme parent, between fatherless rivals.
 Abbey Tithe Barn - Glastonbury

 This connects the above scene even more to the 'resonance' of Christianity & the Arthurian Grail Legends and conversely the idea of those 'hanged men' like Jesus, Arthur, Osiris, Prometheus etc. That being in the literal sense (micro) and in the sense of them also being representations of the sun (macro).

Death XIII
 Bryan & The Horse = Death
Death on horse-back literally...Bryan falls from his horse and quickly dies from his injuries...the funeral procession follows, the rams and carriage seemingly representing the 'ostrich feather' and the judgement of the dead...the ram was sacred to hermes/thoth and he guided the souls of the dead in the afterlife and scribed the verdict in the hall of ma'at.
The Death of Barry's Father.
This gives us a little synchronicity too..Barry's father and now Barry's son have both been killed, as a result of horses...the father, in a duel that was a dispute concerning the purchase of horses and now Bryan, falling from one, after Barry had purchased it.

 Temperance XIV
 Bryan's Funeral
In some traditions, Temperance does the judging. In those schools, the cups in Temperance’s hands are the functional equivalent of scales, and Temperance, like Maat, an Egyptian goddess of wisdom, judges the soul’s worth before passing it on to the beasts of the underworld. In some stories, Maat both judges the souls against a feather and protects the scale from being tipped by Set. If the soul is heavier than a feather, it will be fed to the eater of souls.
In other traditions, Temperance is the remixing of life, accepting the dead into the underworld, into the blessed lands, and deciding what to send back into the fray. Every atom in our bodies has passed through thousands of forms, and will pass through thousands more. Temperance reminds us of our connection to the greater forces.

Rev Runt:
"'l am the resurrection and the life,' saith the Lord. "'He that believeth in me, though he were dead... "'...yet shall he live. "'And whosoever liveth and believeth in me... "'...shall never die.' "l know that my Redeemer liveth... "...and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. "And though after my skin worms destroy this body... "...yet in my flesh shall I see God. "Whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold... "...and not another. "We brought nothing into this world... "...and it is certain we can carry nothing out. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. "Blessed is the name of the Lord."

 XV The Devil
 Barry Lyndon

The Devil is the card of self-bondage to an idea or belief which is preventing a person from growing or being healthy—an example might be a belief that getting drunk each night is good for you. On the other hand, however, it can also be a warning to someone who is too restrained and/or dispassionate and never allows him or herself to be rash or wild or ambitious, which is yet another form of enslavement.
The Devil is the 15th card of the Major Arcana, and is associated with earth and Capricorn. Though many decks portray a stereotypical Satan figure for this card, it is more accurately represented by our bondage to material things rather than by any evil persona. It also indicates an obsession or addiction to fulfilling our own earthly base desires. Should the Devil represent a person, it will most likely be one of money and power, one who is persuasive, aggressive, and controlling.

Barry's aggression...
666 ?

XVI The Tower
Barry's regiment assembles at Swords Castle to embark for the Seven Years War.

This Tarot card is popularly associated with the traditional fall of man. The divine nature of humanity is depicted as a tower. When his crown is destroyed, man falls into the lower world and takes upon himself the illusion of materiality (Barry in the lower material world).  Epiphanies, transcendental states of consciousness, and Kundalini experience may result. In the Triple Goddess Tarot, the card is named "Kundalini Rising".  

Inverted: To be currently in a harsh and chaotic situation but exiting in a good manner. Indeed you are falling but landing with your feet over the soil.  This could explain Barry's a chaotic situation, but he does exit in a good manner, albeit dishonestly, by stealing off with Fakenham's dispatches and identity.

The Patriot March of the Redcoats (Barry Lyndon) British Grenadiers music  
March of the Templars

Triple Goddess Tarot

In the Tarot of Paris (17th century), the image shown is of the Devil, beating his drums (fife & drums of the tune Lilliburlero), before what appears to be the mouth of Hell; the card still is called La Fouldre. The Tarot of Marseilles merges these two concepts, and depicts a burning tower being struck by lightning or fire from the sky, its top section dislodged and crumbling. (see crumbling top section of Swords Castle).

Lilliburlero March - British Grenadiers - Barry Lyndon

The Star XVII
The Adoration of the Magi

I've gone for a slightly cryptic one this time and I thought the 'Magi' reference might be an angle. The painting and the card share quite a few key similarities imo. Back at Stourhead again...the reason is that the painting is housed there, so Kubrick did some Stourhead interiors too.  Barry is actually looking at the real painting by Cardi! (tarot cardy, lol)  This is Barry Lyndon, not 2001...where else was I gonna find a star...ha, ha!  The card is predominantly blue and Barry here makes reference to the artist's use of the colour blue.
There is the dog & the star in the Cardi picture (dog star/canis major/sirius) and some claim that the main central 'star' in this tarot card, is actually a depiction of sirius.  The reasons perhaps being that the card is heavy on the 'water and the star' elements, an allusion to sirius' helical rising that preceded the inundation of the Nile, the other 7 stars representing the planets of the ancients. The Madonna & Child is an obvious allusion to Isis & Horus...the woman in the tarot card being arenditioin of Isis, according to Gébelin. The 3 Magi (or Kings) are also sometimes claimed to represent the 3 belt stars of Orion, in some cultures the belt stars are known as 'the three kings'.

 "We three Kings of Orion-star/Orient-Are (sirius is the dog of orion)...bearing gifts, we travel afar."

There are also Bauvals claims about the belt stars having a counter part on Earth, the 3 pyramids at Giza, as above, so below.

Virgin & Child (Jesus/Mary - Horus/Isis)....3 Magi-(cian)/Kings (Orion's belt) The Dog (canis) & The Star (sirius)

"17. The Star, Dog-Star, or Sirius, also called fantastically the Star of the Magi."
A E Waite - Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Ludovico Cardi evokes Alex's treatment (Ludovico) in A Clockwork Orange (the sun).

XVIII The Moon

18. The Moon. Some eighteenth-century cards shew the luminary on its waning side; in the debased edition of Etteilla, it is the moon at night in her plenitude, set in a heaven of stars; of recent years the moon is shewn on the side of her increase. In nearly all presentations she is shining brightly and shedding the moisture of fertilizing dew in great drops. Beneath there are two towers, between which a path winds to the verge of the horizon. Two dogs, or alternatively a wolf and dog, are baying at the moon, and in the foreground there is water, through which a crayfish moves towards the land.

In Greek Mythology, They believed that the Sun and Moon were pulled through the sky in chariots. The Sun drawn by Apollo's Golden Horses, and the Moon by Artemis' Silver Stag.

XIX The Sun
Barry coming out of the White Hart, after his recuperation. 

"It was not long before Christianity managed to appropriate the white hart for its own purposes: the white stag came to symbolise Christ and his presence on earth."

The most ancient legend of the stag revolves around the “great hunter” (the constellation of stars known as Orion), who hunts the heavenly stag (Ursa Major), killing it around what is now Christmas time, in late December. When the stag is killed, the sun, which the stag holds in its horns (see pic), escapes and becomes stronger, signaling the beginning of spring. The stag’s offspring repeat the cycle every year.
This legend is found in records and paintings from ancient cultures in Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylon, and even in the art of the Mongols, Chinese and Huns. Some cultures added the motif of the twins (the constellation Gemini) hunting the stag.

The Meaning of the White Stag
The deer, of course, was a source of life, an important natural resource for early man who relied on hunting for survival. Because of its star origins, the stag is associated with the sun—it is often shown with the sun between its horns (see pic) –and so symbolizes warmth and the renewal of life in the spring. In the early Scythian mythology, which underlies the Persian and Hungarian legend of the stag, the stag represents the cosmos, which carries the stars, sun and the moon in its horns. Scythian stags are often shown with horns in the shape of flames.

Orion & Ursa Major and the Great Pyramid

XX Judgement
Wilton House 'Angel' (horn of judgement) & Barry immediately after the debacle with Bullingdon and the watching peers. (see pic below)

A close-up

Barry gets a literal judgement here, after his attack on Bullingdon, all in front of his peers, including key Lords & Ladies.  The scene where he overlooks the water, follows immediately after the chaos and violence of his attack on Bullingdon. The angel blowing the 'horn of judgement', the relief figures and with Barry below, at the waters edge. Barry is now exposed and the result is that he is practically ostracised from these very peers, in whom he has so much faith. 

Card 20 also stands for the feelings that come with salvation. When the angel calls, you are reborn - cleansed of all guilts and burdens. The past and its mistakes are behind you, and you are ready to begin anew.

XXI The World

The World represents an ending to a cycle of life, a pause in life before the next big cycle beginning with the fool. The figure is at once male and female, above and below, suspended between the heavens and the earth. It is completeness.  The signings taking place here, occur in December, the close of the yearly cycle.

The ceiling 'wreath coving' as the ouroboros loop

Graham = Human Head 'Aquarius' , Bullingdon (Bully as Bryan affectionately called him) = The Bull 'Taurus', Lady Lydon is the woman in the centre, Feather = Eagle 'Scorpio' and Rev Runt (runt is a small animal) as the Lion 'Leo'...the Lion is a common Christian symbol and Runt is a Reverend.  The feather also evokes Ma'at, of course.

A naked woman hovers or dances above the Earth holding a staff in each hand, surrounded by a green wreath, being watched by various creatures. In older decks, these are usually a human face or head, a lion, an ox, and an eagle, the symbols of the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Or astrologically speaking, the human head represent Aquarius, the lion represents Leo, the ox represents Taurus and the eagle Scorpio. (these four signs are the fixed signs in terms of astrology - which can allude to the four corners of the earth, the four element, etc)

According to astrological tradition, the Lion is Leo, a fire sign; the Bull or calf is Taurus, an earth sign; the Man is Aquarius, an air sign; and the Eagle is Scorpio, a water sign.[3] These signs also represent the classical four elements.

 The Magician's Stage
The tree (of life) situated centrally behind the zodiac, Barry Lyndon.............and a composite of the tree of life surrounded by the zodiac.

Grand Rosicrucian Alchemical Formula

An Alchemical comparison.

"They produce the colour...white. And there is my own...beautiful white rabbit."

 Follow the 'white rabbit' to the 'end of the rainbow'.

Stourhead as a metaphorical journey...and mirroring the aspects of the journey of Barry Lyndon


The Genius of the Place

Barry Lyndon @ Stourhead

The lake at Stourhead is artificially created. Following a path around the lake is meant to evoke a journey similar to that of Aeneas’s descent in to the underworld. In addition to Greek mythology, the layout is evocative of the “genius of the place,” a concept made famous by Alexander Pope.  Buildings and monuments are erected in remembrance of family and local history. Henry Hoare was a collector of art- one of his pieces was Nicolas Poussin’s Aeneas at Delos, which is thought to have inspired the pictorial design of the gardens.  Passages telling of Aeneas’s journey are quoted in the temples surrounding the lake. Monuments are used to frame one another; for example the Pantheon designed by Flitcroft entices the visitor over, but once reached, views from the opposite shore of the lake beckon.  The use of the sunken path allows the landscape to continue on into neighboring landscapes, allowing the viewer to contemplate all the surrounding panorama. The Pantheon was thought to be the most important visual feature of the gardens.  It appears in many pieces of artwork owned by Hoare, depicting Aeneas’s travels.  The plantings in the garden were arranged in a manner that would evoke different moods, drawing visitors through realms of thought. According to Henry Hoare, ‘The greens should be ranged together in large masses as the shades are in painting: to contrast the dark masses with the light ones, and to relieve each dark mass itself with little sprinklings of lighter greens here and there.’
During the fall of Troy Aeneas carried his father Anchises on his back.

Like Aeneas, Barry carried the dying Grogan (father figure) from the battlefield.

Included in the garden are a number of temples inspired by scenes of the Grand Tour of Europe. On one hill overlooking the gardens there stands an obelisk (penis of osiris) and King Alfred's Tower, a 50-metre-tall, brick folly designed by Henry Flitcroft in 1772; on another hill the temple of Apollo provides a vantage point to survey the magnificent rhododendrons, water, cascades and temples.  

Stourhead's garden and its series of pavilions were laid out to represent a text which had variously political, literary or moral meanings, activated as people moved through the landscape.  In Stourhead, for instance, the spectator walks around an artificial lake...down to a grotto metaphorically representing the underworld...

 As above, so below....from the darkness & into the light.

 ...then re-emerges to walk to  a replica of the Pantheon (Temple of Hercules), symbolizing worldly greatness,

Pantheon/Temple of Hercules

then to the Temple of Apollo...

and to a gothic cottage.
The lake, viewed through various arches, reflects the sky and is the symbolic centre around which the allegory takes place. 
Dan Graham - Pavilions 

Barry...The Pantheon/Temple of Hercules behind him.

Inside The Pantheon...ISIS & DIANA (of the moon) & Hercules (of the sun)

As you can see...all the usual 'Kubrickian' mythological and mystery religion avatars...that we've come to identify and appreciate.  Stourhead is a virtual treasure trove of all things 'mystery religion' oriented.
In fact, it would have been too easy for Stanley to tie-in all the 'mystery religion' aspects via Stourhead.

He didn't even bother putting in the penis of Osiris, that is so prominent there, the one with the 'sun' on it's apex.

Obelisk Stourhead

Barry Lyndon - Blenheim Palace

Barry Lyndon - Atlas & Horn of Plenty - Castle Howard

Atlas & Hercules (left) Hercules & The Horn of Plenty (right)


 Barry & Alex
Note...I'll add loads more comparison shots later 

 Dr Harford's (EWS) mask is a composite of Ryan O'Neal's face.
Both go on metaphorical journey's...Barry over a lifetime and Bill over a night/day and both pose as imposters.  Barry is an imposter on his way to Germany and Bill is an imposter at the 'mansion' where the password is Fidelio, a German opera. 


Potzdorf:  If the Chevalier remarks on your accent, say you are Hungarian.  

Szavost:  My name is Sandor Szavost. I'm Hungarian.


Prolonged Crying

Barry/Lady Lyndon & Bill/Mandy



Canes...both tapped on the floor by both characters and played by the same actor Leon Vitali

Rev Runt & The Hotel Receptionist

Women in green bath tubs


  Bryan & Alex

Whipping boys



 Barry Lyndon
Barry : Who's this?
 Bryan : It's a peacock on the wall.
 Barry : What's it say?
 Bryan : I saw this bird yesterday.
 A Clockwork Orange
Psychaitrist : Isn't the plumage beautiful.
 Alex : I just say what the other person would say? 
 Psychaitrist : Yes. 
 Alex : Isn't the plumage beautiful... 
 Female Psychaitrist : Oh yes well don't think about it too long,
 just say the first thing that pops into your mind. 
 Alex : Cabbages, knickers, uh, it's not got a... A BEAK! 

 Drinkies in the face

 Barry travelling through the monolith


Bryan mummified before his death and his journey to the afterlife.


 ACO Alex mummified, as Osiris Risen in the pyramid cinema with all seeinf eye/sun at apex.
In the closing stages of the film...I was 'cured' alright...curing & drying, natron - salt/baking powder) & opening of the mouth/way.


The Heart (ma'at/judgement) Curing (I was cured alright) and Embalming (tube).

Embalming the body
First, his body is taken to the tent known as 'ibu' or the 'place of purification', There the embalmers wash his body with good-smelling 'palm wine' and rinse it with water from the Nile.

 Eat Me - Dates & Grapes - for 'Palm Wine'
The Tears of Mum/Ma (ma'at) the moon goddess, waters of the nile.

 For example it was believed that the Nile River flooded every year because of the tears of sorrow which Isis wept for Osiris. Osiris's death and rebirth was relived each year through rituals."

Isis & Her Tears of the Nile

Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East and parts of South Asia for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around Iraq, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 4000 BCE.  Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to be made into date wine, and ate them at harvest. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia in 6000 BCE. (Alvarez-Mon 2006).

Date Palm

 2001 Sarcophagi...3 of them.
A mummy's resting vessel.

Egyptian tarot...3 mummies rising from the tomb.
The three-fold nature of man.

 The Shining
Jack's process of mummification, he spends a few hours resting on the Holly Salt (eating & sleeping)...Natron (Salt & Baking Powder) for curing/drying, ritual azde/ahnjeter (opening of the mouth/way) and frozen/mummified in the maze (even the immitation snow used throughout the end scene, was actually salt!)  The last words from Danny (or Wendy) in the film are when he runs out of the maze exclaiming "mummy, mummy....mummy......mummy" then when they drive away, the next thing we see is Jack frozen (the mummy). 

The Shining: The snow was made of formaldehyde and salt!

Note: both of these substances are used in preserving the body after death!!!

 Natron...Salt & Baking Powder
  The Brain is smashed and removed with a long hook
 Anhjeter (maker hook) the Hall of Judgement


  1. Awesome! I've been waiting for a BL post.

    Thanks! Looking forward to more, as always.


  2. Hope you enjoy Joe, if that's the right word!

    BTW...I have mailed you again.

  3. Incidental, coincidental, and wishful thinking.

    Given enough time and motivation, you could show that any one of the Transformers films is littered with biblical references. Or Home Alone. Or Twilight.

    1. You do realise that you've written this on the Barry Lyndon post, don't you? The blog discusses the reasons/purposes as to why? 'media programming output' is so heavy ladened with 'religious/mystery religious/gnostic' content (overtly & covert), why it is delivered in this cultural imperialist way and the possible underlying purpose(s), if any? Appreciating this, is dependent on your own POV. I find your comment to pointless tbh. Good day to you...anyway.

    2. Kubrick was well-known for preparing his films for three, four or more years prior filming, that's why there was a huge time gap in his last movies, so, I don't think any of this is a happy coincidence, much less in the case of Barry Lyndon and Eyes Wide Shut, films that exude symbolism in an obvious way.

  4. I would suggest trying an alternative reading - that of the 32 Paths of wisdom.
    The sefira (excluding Kether) start with the Father and the Mother, then carry on until he leaves home and sets out on the fools journey proper. I can't remember the details off hand but its a straight run. The gambling tables being the wheel, The loss of son and fight with his step son being the tower, the Dual being Justice. The final scene where is wife is signing cheques (leaving her mark) may be a reference to the Tau cross the Hebrew symbol associated with the 32nd path.

    1. sorry I meant the Dual being Judgement