1. What made you decide to discuss occult symbolism through the prism of pop music, and particularly music videos?
My two passions in life are music and occult history. If I’m not focusing on one, I’m most probably focusing on the other. The more I gain knowledge on western occultism, the more I understand its importance in pop music. The weird or strange symbols I saw on album covers or music videos become easily readable. I collect old vinyls from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and I’ve noticed a great number those groups integrated this knowledge in their songs and artwork. It was done in an artistic way. I’ve however noticed a different type of occult symbolism in recent videos: it is used by mainstream pop artists, insidiously hidden and aimed at a young crowd. Far from being artistic, the imagery used in videos pushed by international media corporations is often deceptive and inherently sinister. I felt the urge to discuss those taboo issues so I’ve created Vigilant Citizen.
2. Do you feel the prevalence of occult symbolism found in pop music comes from the artists and video directors, or is it a coincidence stemming from occult symbolism seeping into the general consciousness?
I believe there are two types of occult symbols: the “artistic” ones – emanating from a desire to express one’s reality through symbolism – and the “corporate” ones – which often come from elite secret societies. A true artist using symbolism to in his/her art will be inspired by his/her surroundings and his/her inner being. Occult symbols are extremely powerful and are believed to be embedded in our subconscious so it is only normal for them to appear in artistic expression.
However, “corporate” occultism takes symbols from organized secret societies such as Freemasonry, or Illuminati and “plants” into mass media in order for them to become the norm. Confucius said “Symbols rule the world, not words nor laws”. In other words, you can recognize who is truly in power by identifying the symbols in popular culture. During the Middle Ages, almost all of popular art was religious and Christian. The Christian Church ruled the Western World.
Now, occult symbolism is increasingly apparent in popular art. Who rules the world? Occult secret societies.
3. I loved your interpretation of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video. Did you see dream analyst Carolyn Wills’ discussion of the video on Leslie Gornstein’s “Answer B!tch” blog? Thoughts?
I’ve read a couple of interpretations of Bad Romance and I can’t say that any of them is flat out wrong. Good art can have multiple layers of interpretations and, I have to say, this video is good art. When it came out, many readers of the site bombarded me with e-mails, pointing out symbols I’ve discussed in other videos. Bad Romance is definitively part of a bigger “movement” in music videos.
4. Often times the occult symbolism you find in music videos paints a dark and ominous picture. However, your analysis of The Black Eyed Peas “Meet Me Halfway” is actually quite uplifting. Does this mean that occultism doesn’t automatically equal bad?
Occult means “hidden”, not “bad”. Occult schools believe esoteric knowledge is too powerful for the profane to dabble with it. So it is kept hidden, the same way mothers hide knives from young kids. It is for their own safety. According to occult schools this knowledge can lead you to two extremes and everything in between: it can liberate you from the shackles of materiality, put you in direct contact with divinity and make you nothing less than immortal… Or it can also make you deal with demons, black magic and leave you into eternal torment.
“Meet Me Halfway” seemed to portray this positive side of esoteric knowledge. It is indeed quite uplifting.
5. In your post “The Occult Roots of The Wizard of Oz” you say, “the entire story of the Wizard of Oz is an allegorical tale of the soul’s path to illumination – the Yellow Brick Road.” However I feel that it could be argued that the concept of the “hero’s quest” or “hero’s journey” can be found before the Theosophical movement. Is this a what came first, the chicken or the egg kind of debate? What came first, the spiritual concept or the basic storytelling device?
Theosophy is nothing more than an attempt to find the common underlying knowledge found in ancient religions. It did not create any new concepts; it tried to put them together in a cohesive way.
Almost all ancient civilizations had allegorical tales which could be fully understood through the glasses of esoteric philosophy. Whether we look at Egyptian mythology, Greek epic poems or Native American legends, there is a “face value” meaning and a hidden meaning that can only be understood by initiates. The Wizard of Oz is what we can call an American allegorical tale.
6. Was there any nefarious occult symbolism in Miley Cyrus’s 2009 Teen Choice Awards performance? Because honestly, that was just evil.
Didn’t watch that, sorry.
7. Do you look at books and film with the same eye towards recognizing occult symbolism? If so, the Twilight series…discuss. Obviously werewolves are rife for the teenage males confronting puberty analogy, and vampires originally reared their fanged heads as a nifty way to confront sexual themes in repressive societies, but did Mormon author Stephenie Meyer accidentally push any big occult buttons?
I’d have to read the books to give a definite answer on Twilight’s underlying meaning (it there’s any). I’ve however watched both movies and I can say there is a definite use of “occult lore” in the movie but it is all done in a very superficial matter.
I think the movies focus on tapping into the primal needs of young girls (and not so young) such as: fascination with the mysterious and dangerous, feeling protected by a strong man, attraction towards the “forbidden fruit” and….oh yea, watching a bunch of shirtless guys.
8. Lady Gaga and Rihanna have both been big on your website as of late. Who is going to be the next artist trending heavy with occult symbolism?
Taylor Swift and Adam Lambert. They are definitively next.
9. I’m going to be honest with you, and in turn, some honesty for me. I love Lady Gaga and own both “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster”. Does Lady Gaga ever make its way onto your CD player?
Honestly, not in my CD player…I…I..just can’t. But I can’t say I get mad when one her songs come up in a dance club. Her music is has better production value than most of the crap out there.
10. Parting shot! Ask us at The Magical Buffet any one question.
OK, you’ve asked for it! Have you ever witness true magic resulting from a magical spell or ritual? If so, can you describe the event?
Alas, I have never witnessed what I would consider true magic.
About The Vigilant Citizen:
My quest for knowledge led me to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Politics. I’ve mainly studied the way power uses mass media to shape and mold attitudes of the general public. My education was perfect to hold a job in marketing or PR but did not satisfy my thirst for truth.
My efforts to further understand the forces governing the world lead me to study secret societies, mystery religions, esoteric sciences and ancient civilizations. I’ve spent the last five years researching Theosophy, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, the Bavarian Illuminati and Western Occultism. These schools of thoughts have many things in common: they are based on Hermetic teachings (Hermes, Thoth, Enoch, Mercury), they attach EXTREME importance to symbolism and they recruit within their ranks the most prominent people of all fields of society, especially politics, law and public service. The natural result of this phenomenon is the display of occult symbolism in all aspects of society, whether it be music, movies, buildings or else. My goal is to bring out the meaning of those symbols in a clear, concise and entertaining way.
I am also a music producer who has composed music for some fairly known “urban” artists. My work in the music business has led me to deal with talent agents, video directors and record companies. Through my experiences and my contacts, I have discovered some of the darker aspects of the entertainment industry which I found were in direct connection with my studies in occultism. My understanding of the state of mind that prevails in the higher levels of the ladder makes it probably easier for me to decifer the symbolism in music videos than it is for everyday people.
Learn more at The Vigilant Citizen’s website.