Here Bjork is seen wearing her famous Swan Dress at the 2001 Oscars. Next to her is a painting of Lilith by Pre-Raphaelite John Collier. Lilith was a Mesopotamian storm demon, as well as being the first wife of Adam. She was banished from the Garden of Eden following a dereliction of her duties. She became an unseen, yet detectable presence and bore Adam and Cain many demonic children after the Fall. Lilith is also the name of a song Bjork recorded with electronic group Plaid.
The position of the snake's head in Collier's painting is almost identical to that of the Swan's head on Bjork's dress. Even Bjork's downward glance is reminiscent of Collier's model. Another quality that both images share are their innate sexual qualities. The main difference, it appears, is hair colour. The moon goddess, Lilith, is often depicted as have black or blonde hair according to the alternating cycles of the moon.
The swan is a symbol of great complexity. The dedication of the swan to Apollo, as the god of music, arose out of the mythic belief that it would sing sweetly when on the point of death. Bjork performed a duet with Thom Yorke at the 2001 Oscars called "I've Seen It All" while wearing the swan outfit. It is a song about the relinquishment of desire and the acceptance of death. This is, no doubt, a Swan Song.
The white swan is sacred to Venus. It is the image of the naked woman, of chaste nudity and immaculate whiteness. The swan and the sacrificial serpent, along with the death-ships, are key symbols in the journey to the underworld. The Betelgeuse, the Shadow V, the Arctic Sea and the Banana Boat are all death-ships. This is why Day O(The Banana Boat Song) was used in Beetlejuice, it is about the afterlife and about the need to return there.
Other names for Lilith are; Hecate, Nemesis, Nana, Ishtar, Anu, Annis, Diana, Aphrodite and Venus. Lilith, Hecate and Nemesis are all names for the dark star that lurks about the edge of the solar system eating up large chunks of rock and periodically spitting them at earth. She appears in the Fifth Element as Apophis, the Great Rebel. The next four names are all Goddesses of the earth, moon and flowers. Venus and Aphrodite are both goddesses of Love and beauty, born out of a shell.
The Babylonian ziggurats known as Etemanaki ('the house of the seven directions of heaven and earth') were built of seven layers of different coloured bricks. The fifth layer was yellow and dedicated to Venus. The yellow bricked road in the Wizard of Oz is the sacred path of Venus. The path of Venus will transit the sun, for the last time in the next 200 years, on June 6th 2012.
Dean Corso, from The Ninth Gate, is contacted by a mysterious green-eyed woman who guides him towards his goal. This is another meaning of the Valknut, Vala is a beautiful woman, knut means destiny. The green-eyed women is often seen in association with the shell emblem. Venus was born out of a shell. Another name for Venus is Lucifer. In the below image a yellow shell sign can be seen behind Corso as he is exiting a taxi on the streets of Paris.
The yellow shell is a symbol of Venus, or Lucifer the Devil.
The Hecate Triformis
This symbol known as the "Hecate-Triformis" is found on the coin of Mesapotamia and is one of the earliest symbols that pretains to the threefold aspect of the moon. It is related to the triskele, the swatika and the Valknut.
At the very beginning of The Fifth Element we see a stylised version of the Hecate-Triformis. According to the film, every three hundred years, three planets come into alignment. When this occurs the dark star Nemesis, Hecate, Lilith (what you will) appears.
The transition between the ancient hieroglyphs and the computer screen is a joke about how things never really change. The Fifth Element, itself, epitomizes this humour by its recycling of the "Hecate-Triformis" in cellular form.
The rest of the Fifth Element hieroglyph is interesting. From the alignment comes the Great Evil. It is watched over by the eyes of Horus, as if this god has some vested interest in what happens next. Then the snake comes out and strikes down 9 figures of men. The nine men could be the nine worlds or ages of man, as in Hebrew Tradition. Luke Perry is seen automatically drawing a boat; the boat of Ra. Aziz, the Egyptian helper boy, is supposed to be holding aloft a great bronze mirror, reflecting light onto the scene from the exterior. But he is bored and falls asleep a total of 9 times before the visitors arrive. I suspect this is in reference to the light of the sun fading 9 times in 9 epochs. Aziz is an Arabic name meaning 'powerful', 'strong', 'respected', and is a cognate of Hebrew oz - "might," "strength," "power." Aziz is one of the 99 names of God, in Islamic religion.
Return to OZ
At the beginning of The Fifth Element and Return to Oz a shooting star falls from heaven. Although these stars appear to be falling in opposite directions, the one on the right is actually being viewed through a mirror. Mirrors are a very important symbol in Oz mythology as it is only in mirrors that people/artifacts from OZ can be seen. Indeed, the entire dimension of Oz exists in a parallel or mirror world to our own.
In the Fifth Element stoic mechanical aliens arrive on earth by 'shooting star' in order to bestow a key to a worthy priest. The key can only be be given to a priest or one who is an initiate in forbidden knowledge. The key unlocks the door to the Sacred Chamber and must be inserted directly into the mortar between the stone blocks of the temple. Likewise, Dorothy is sent a key in a shooting star by her friend the Scarecrow. The key is of simple cast iron design and incorporates an amalgamation of the letters 'O' and 'Z'.
Dorothy's key, like the one in the Fifth Element, fits into a stone wall that reveals a secret chamber. The chamber holds a mechanical man similar in shape and design to the alien visitors in the 5th Element.
The chamber in the Fifth Element holds a strange statue that looks permanently towards heaven. It is not looking towards heaven the way you or I would, rather its anatomy is such that its head is inline with its body in the same manner of a dog or a fish.
Dorothy uses her key to reach the safety of the chamber and escape her pursuers the Wheelers. The Wheelers are servants to Mombi and are equivalent to the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. The wheelers wear a mask on top of their heads that has the same characteristics as the Fifth Element statue, they are one and the same.
There are 12 Wheelers in total; eleven plus the lead Wheeler. The Wheelers are Mombi's equivalent to the flying monkeys and are therefore monkey like creatures. The twelve monkeys/wheelers represent the twelve lunar months in a year. The word month is derived from the word moon. The Buddhist wheel or chakra represents the circular path of the moon in the heavens. In the Brahamical series the wheel is also stated to be the moon.
When Dorothy arrives in the ruined Emerald City she notices a sign scrawled in red paint on a wall. 'Beware the Wheelers" is another way of saying "Beware the Moon," as Wheelers equal the moon. Another film that resonates with all this monkey business is of course Terry Gilliam's sci-fi adventure Twelve Monkeys. This film also stars Bruce Willis as a mentally unstable inmate from the future, called James Cole. On one of his recce missions Cole sees the symbol for the Army of the Twelve Monkeys spray painted on to the wall of one of the buildings in the now abandoned City of New York. This looks very much like the warning Dorothy sees in the Emerald City.
An early Buddhist text reads: "The heavenly treasure of the Wheel . . . appeared to the king on the day of the full moon." The Army of the 12 Monkeys symbol is in the form of a wheel. What is the heavenly treasure of the Wheel and what are the twelve month/moon-keys that open it?