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Elysium: Social Inequality, Sacrifice and Saturnalia


Yes, I rented Elysium because frankly the $1.20 rental from Redbox is much cheaper than the movie theatre. This movie makes the obvious social commentary of income inequality, even going so far as to have the Elites speaking French, and the lowly Earth-dwellers speaking Spanish. I found this contrite and frankly unnecessary, but that is my opinion. It is also a commentary on what lengths the Elite will go to withhold healing technology from the masses; how they will not hesitate to betray one another, and the preference of “cyborg-ism”. Elysium also makes a statement of the dangers of a police state, with very little human involvement. The preference of machine over man.


Elysium tells the story of Max and Frey, 2 children raised in a Spanish ghetto in Los Angeles, dreaming of reaching Elysium; the space station that is visible from Earth. The occult message is that the space station of Elysium is a pentagram contained within a circle. The pentagram is the sign of man, the 4 elements of earth, air, fire, water and the fifth is spirit. The fact that the pentagram is not inverted means that the spirit rules the elements. So the elite of Elysium are those that have “risen” above the baser dregs of society and ascended. The circle around the star means unity and wholeness infinitum. This is certainly the “illusion” of Elysium. As discussed previously, the Elite would betray one another for their own personal gain. Quite ironically, the Pythagoreans referred to the pentagram, or pentad, as “Nemesis” (punisher of overweening pride and hubris) or “Justice”. The Five erupts beyond the ordered bounds; the Crisis shows another world surrounds.” Indeed, Max intends to disrupt the Elites way of life, for his own selfish reasons at first.


Frey, Max’s childhood friend, moves out of the ghetto, becomes a nurse, and has a child with aplastic leukemia. Frey, or Freyr in Norse mythos, is the god who who dispenses peace, good weather, prosperity, and bountiful crops. He is also the brother of the goddess, Freya. Freya was the goddess of love and fertility; so naturally she would be the patroness of crops and birth. Clearly, Max’s childhood friend embodies both of these deities. These two are reunited at a hospital where Max needs treatment for a broken arm; which he acquired by the robot police. They meet again after Max has been made a cyborg of sorts and is stabbed. There is this little important detail that Max was severely irradiated at his work and only has five days to live. This, of course, occurs prior to Max’s cyborg-transplant.


Apparently, healing for the Elite occurs in what appears to be super tanning beds capable of scanning the body for any and all ailments; and then administering treatment. But, you must have an ID tattoo that actually merges with your DNA; so none of those nasty dregs can use an Elite’s ID for healing. In one of the first scenes, one Elitist has the head of Medusa at the foot of her super-duper tanning bed. This is the other blaring occult symbol. Most people know the story of how Perseus beheaded Medusa, and her head was placed upon the shield of Athena by the goddess herself. But most do not know how Medusa became a gorgon, as she was the only mortal among the three. She was a devout acolyte of Athena; chaste and pure. Poseidon coveted and lusted after Medusa and raped her in the temple of Athena. Athena, after realizing this rape had occurred in her temple, cursed Medusa for the rape. Poseidon was never blamed for the act. This curse turned Medusa into one of the gorgons. In ancient Libya, Medusa ruled over the regenerative mysteries of sex and death. In modern times, Medusa represents beauty, art, philosophy, and most interestingly; determinism and nihilism. In Elysium, she clearly is a symbol of regeneration.


The hero Max, dying of severe radiation poisoning wishes to go to Elysium to heal himself. As luck would have it, a rather nasty military-type goon with a South African accent kidnaps Frey and her sickly daughter Matilda; and is taking them to Elysium. So, our hero, who has downloaded all kinds of interesting “state destroying” information from his boss, hitches a ride with the nasty military types to trade the information in his brain for healing. Of course things go to hell in a handbasket, and our hero Max, at the end, sacrifices himself for the good of Matilda, and all those dregs of Earth. And so, the cycle of death, birth and rebirth, as in the case of Matilda, begins anew.


What does Elysium have to do with Saturnalia? Saturnalia was a Roman holiday that began celebration on December 17th [using the Gregorian calendar] and continued through December 3rd. Saturnalia was a celebration of all the aspects of Saturn, the god of agriculture, who is often depicted carrying a sickle; the reaper of the fields. It is this depiction that associates Saturn with death. Saturn is also associated with the Greek Titan Cronus, so he is quite complicated. Saturnalia was marked by carnival, exchange of gifts, feasting, license and misrule, and a cessation of all public works. Masters served slaves; kings were chosen by lot, usually from among criminals or slaves, to preside over the feast, given ass ears, and then slain. A sacrificial victim was chosen to represent both the god himself and the king-surrogate. It is this last aspect that relates to the movie Elysium as Max the ex-convict car thief, that is “elected” to represent the peoples of Earth and is sacrificed upon the altar of “The Greater Good”. In fact, one scene in the movie depicts Max as a child, being told by a nun that he has been “chosen” for a great destiny.


It was actually quite good timing for my viewing of Elysium, as it is now the time of Saturnalia. Saturnalia was also known as the festival of light. Most of the aspects of Saturnalia were incorporated into the Christian celebration of the Christmas season. In closing, have a blessed Saturnalia, Happy Yule, and Merry Christmas.





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