This blog post is being created to gather my thoughts and collect links to the multi-layered show, The OA. I believe it to be more than just a work of Sci-fi fantasy fiction. It is a complicated puzzle and a work of art in itself. I want to explore the different facets of the show to influence a future painting and figured I would make that process visible to others. If you have not watched the Netflix show, The OA, you may not wish to read this blog post because there will be lots of spoilers and part of the fun is having the show reveal itself slowly.
THE OA - Some have posited that it stands in for "DOA," as in "dead on arrival," an indicator that Prairie's imagining the whole of the show from beyond the veil. Others suggest that it could refer to the omega and alpha. Twice when the phrase "I am the alpha and the omega" appears it is further clarified with the additional phrase, "the beginning and the end". One viewer floated the notion that Prairie could be some manner of cult leader, with OA as her title of authority in the group. Alpha et Omega, an occult order initially named the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Mathers renamed the branch of the Golden Dawn remaining loyal to his leadership to "Alpha et Omega" sometime between 1903 and 1913 (Similar timeframe to the writing of Rilke's Duino Elegies). By 1913, Mathers was presiding over at least five Temples of the Alpha et Omega; the original Isis-Urania Temple No. 3 (with 23 Inner Order members by 1913), presided over by Dr. Edmund William Berridge, the Ahathoor Temple No. 7 in Paris led by Mathers himself, the Amen-Ra Temple No. 6 in Edinburgh, presided over by John William Brodie-Innes, the Thme Temple No 8 in Chicago, The Thoth Hermes Temple No 9 in New York, presided over by Michael Whitty, and the Neith Temple No. 10 in New York. Famous member of the Alpha et Omega, Dion Fortune, was the pen name of Violet Firth, (Purple Fifth?) Her novels in particular proved an influence on later occult and modern Pagan groups such as Wicca.
BRAILLE: I will start with what I 'discovered' last night, since it is fresh in my mind and seems at first glance to be very important. It started with the question, "If the braille in the FBI therapist's office says 'RACHEL,' what do the other braille references say, specifically the braille on Khatun's face?" At first I only found fragments of translations or guesses, but then in this post on Reddit, U_Nomad_Bro says "I believe, based on the fragments that are legible, that Khatun's face contains the first line of the first poem in Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies: "Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel Ordnungen? ("Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the hierarchies of angels?")" The entire poem contains 10 Elegies and at first glance contains a lot of references that could tie it to the creation of this story, i.e. gardens, angles, rivers, references to being between life and death, etc. I plan to look it over in more detail and update this post.
COULD IT BE MMMM...SATAN? - I have read where some think The OA, in reference to the Original Angel is suggesting that Prairie could be Satan. The OA was "cast out" by Hap once he had the Five Movements. They suggest that this is connected to Luciferianism and that those who practice believe that Lucifer, "The Bringer of Light," or "Morning Star," is a positive figure. From wiki - Sometimes mistakenly associated with Satanism due to the Christian interpretation of the fallen angel, Luciferianism is a wholly different belief system and does not revere the devil figure or most characteristics typically affixed to Satan. Rather, Lucifer in this context is seen as one of many morning stars, a symbol of enlightenment, independence and human progression, and is often used interchangeably with similar figures from a range of ancient beliefs, such as the Greek titan Prometheus or the Jewish talmudic figure Lilith. They support the protection of the natural world. Both the arts and sciences are crucial to human development, and thus both are cherished. Luciferians think that humans should be focused on this life and how to make the most of it every single day. The ability to recognize both good and evil, to accept that all actions have consequences, both positive and negative, and to actively influence one's environment, is a key factor. For Luciferians, enlightenment is the ultimate goal. The basic Luciferian principles highlight truth and freedom of will, worshipping the inner self and one's ultimate potential. Traditional dogma is shunned as a basis for morality on the grounds that humans should not need deities or fear of eternal punishment to distinguish right from wrong and to do good. All ideas should be tested before being accepted, and even then one should remain skeptical because knowledge and understanding are fluid. Regardless of whether Lucifer is conceived of as a deity or as a mere archetype, he is a representation of ultimate knowledge and exploration: humanity's savior and a champion for continuing personal growth.
I am having trouble finding where it is written that Satan, or Lucifer, is the Original or even the First Angel. I did find - The word "archangel" comes from the Greek ἀρχάγγελος (archangelos), meaning chief angel, a translation of the Hebrew רב־מלאך (rav-mal'ákh) It derives from the Greek archein, meaning to be first in rank or power; and angelos which means messenger or envoy. The word is only used twice in the New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Jude 1:9. Only the Archangel Michael is mentioned by name in the New Testament. Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel, once as a "great prince who stands up for the children of your people". In the New Testament Michael leads God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation, where during the war in heaven he defeats Satan.
PI - Why did they show a Google search for Pi?
CERN and KALI - CERN uses the Large Hadron Collider to prove the existence of the "God Particle" has a stature of Kali in front.
PEACE or V SIGN - "V" is the Roman sign for the number five and Adam Weishaupt used it in the Illuminati to symbolise the "Law of Fives,'' but there's more. In the Cabala: "the meaning for the Hebrew letter for V (Van) is 'Nail.' Now, 'The Nail' is one of the secret titles of Satan within the Brotherhood of Satanism. Satan is letting us know that this is one of his favourite signs. Why else does he like the PENTA-gram (Penta = five!) and the FIVE-fold salute used in Masonry and Witchcraft?'' "The symbol's origin in history proves it to be the visual mystic character for 'Aum' (the split 'Y'). This is the sacred word to the Hindu. Chanting 'Aum' is supposed to help awaken 'the serpent power of Brahma' at the base of the human spine. Occultist Albert Pike also identifies this symbol as mystical in his book on Freemasonry Morals and Dogma. The peace symbol (also called the "broken cross," "crow's foot," "witch's foot," "Nero Cross," "sign of the 'broken Jew,'" and the "symbol of the 'anti-Christ''') is actually a cross with the arms broken. It also signifies the "gesture of despair," and the "death of man.''
PENTAGON AND PENTAGRAMS - The number 5 is a repeated symbolism throughout the show. The basement lab cages are forming a pentagon as well as the fish tank that Homer finds his Movement in his NDE. The glass where Prairie is shot has cracked in five sections forming a pentagram or a 5-pointed star. The pentagram - In early (Ur I) monumental Sumerian script, or cuneiform, a pentagram glyph served as a logogram for the word ub, meaning "corner, angle, nook; a small room, cavity, hole; pitfall". Here, the "five corners" are where the seeds of Chronos are placed within the Earth in order for the cosmos to appear. A Pythagorean "Hugieia Pentagram"In Neoplatonism, the pentagram was said to have been used as a symbol or sign of recognition by the Pythagoreans, who called the pentagram ὑγιεία hugieia "health". Eliphas Levi wrote "A reversed pentagram, with two points projecting upwards, is a symbol of evil and attracts sinister forces because it overturns the proper order of things and demonstrates the triumph of matter over spirit. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns, a sign execrated by initiates." The pentagram was used in ancient times as a Christian symbol for the five senses.
BIRDS AND OTHER ANIMALS - Prairie eats a bird to get the 1st Movement. The Sheriff's wife mentions a white moth flew into her mouth for the 5th Movement. Hap mentions he is a rat in a dream.
WOLVES - Prairie’s wolf sweatshirt shows up every time something significant happens in the plot. It’s there when French finds the books beneath her bed; she wears it at the end as she rushes to the school. It could be symbolic, as the wolf is connected with the Slavic god of the underworld. Homer has a school mascot sweatshirt that features a wolf.
MINES - Nina's father became rich because of mining. "Angels" kept in abandoned mine.
FLOWERS, PLANTS AND GARDENS - The Sea Anemone that Homer eats to acquire the 2nd Movement are named after a terrestrial flower. Plants in the cells, Rachel's are dead. Reference talking to them. The idea of regaining a garden popped up several times in the series. Prairie and Homer discuss wanting to grow a garden when they get out, and Prairie is working in a garden with Abel at the end when she is back home. Abel was also the son of Adam and Eve, who tended the Biblical Garden of Eden. They also all go out to eat the Olive "Garden."
PURPLE - It is more than just the school colors. Purple items and lighting are used throughout the series. Purple combines the stability of the blue color and the energy of the red. Through the ages, purple has always been associated with royalty, nobility and prestige. The color purple can symbolize mystery, magic, power and luxury. As civilizations developed, so did clothing and colored dyes. The earliest purple dyes date back to about 1900 B.C. It took some 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye - barely enough for dying a single garment the size of the Roman toga. It’s no wonder then, that this color was used primarily for garments of the emperors or privileged individuals. Today, science has revealed much more about purple than our ancestors ever realized: Purple is the most powerful visible wavelength of electromagnetic energy. It’s just a few steps away from x-rays and gamma rays. Perhaps this explains why purple is associated with supernatural energy and the cosmos than with the physical world as we know it. The negative meanings of purple are decadence, conceit, and pomposity. Purple is the color of mourning or death in many cultures (U.K., Italy, Thailand, Brazil). Myths about the Effects of Purple on the Body: Purples have been used in the care of mental of nervous disorders because they have shown to help balance the mind and transform obsessions and fears. Most psychologists view these claims with skepticism. No valid studies have been conducted to confirm them.
MUSIC - When Prairie gets to Hap's house, she plans to call her parents and the song Operator by Jim Croce is playing. The lyrics can speak to elements in the show and it is interesting that Croce and five other people died when their plane crashed into a tree.
MOVEMENTS - A nice description of The Movements. FINALLY! Some good tutorials by Jess Grippo, Movements 1&2 and Movements 3, 4, 5. Kenzo Purfume Ad - I like having a quick reference to this since the person who choreographed it also created the Five Movements.
RACHEL - Rachel stands apart from Prairie’s fellow captives for several reasons: She is the only one who does not access one of the Movements they use to travel between dimensions, her name appears in braille in the FBI therapist’s office, and the plants in her cell are dead. Some fans are theorizing she’s secretly an FBI agent herself in disguise. While there’s nothing to definitively prove this, the plants are certainly a sign that Rachel is different.
HOMER - Right before Homer’s NDE, he sneaks into Hap’s office and listens to a tape. In it, a man’s voice says, “Your name is not Homer” and, “Do you know Dr. Roberts?” Prairie regains her sight when struck by Hap, which is reminiscent of what happened to Eve when she interacted with the snake in the book of Genesis: "Suddenly their eyes were opened..." (Gen 3:7)
SCOTT - Definite references to Jesus. He is resurrected by Prairie and Homer while appearing to wear a cloth and his dreads look like a crown of thorns. Acquires the Third Movement. “Are you a regular co-median? Why don’t you take a bow for your fans?” says Scott. Notice how he says co- median, not comedian. Co median implies a medium or psychic. So one with psychic abilities is implied. Also with her seemingly asleep but doing everything he says, they soon discover that the drug given was not to put them to sleep, but to make them forget and to be compliant. It is called Scopolamine. also known as Devil’s Breath.
HAP - There is a suggestion that Hap could also represent Satan with a serpent over his bed and his underground (hell) lab. Maybe he is Eve with the serpent? Ha! Prairie regains her sight when struck by Hap, which is reminiscent of what happened to Eve when she interacted with the snake in the book of Genesis: "Suddenly their eyes were opened..." (Gen 3:7)
NANCY AND ABLE - "Able to see?" Point of reality? Truth through their eyes?
Sites with fun observations/theories for future reference:
MoviePilot 'The OA' is Absolutely Loaded with Easter Eggs - This page points out the color purple and how it runs throughout the show. The bullet mark is 5-pointed like the fish tanks and jail cells. Their reference to art is really interesting... Redditor ColorMySoul88 discovered an intriguing link between the paintings of Russian artist Kasimir Malevich and the events of the show. His paintings include 'House Under Construction', 'Airplane Flying' and even 'Painterly Realism of a Football Player- Color Masses in the 4th Dimension'. His style of art was inspired by an artistic movement called the Fourth Way, which was invented by another Russian: George Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff once suffered a near-death accident, and taught "sacred dances" to groups of his students.
Reddit - Seeminglygood wrote some great observations!
Inverse 12 Important Details You May Have Missed in 'The OA' This site is a good reference for location themes such as the mines, gardens, fish tanks, etc.
MoviePilot 8 Mind-Boggling Theories That Explain 'The OA' - References to Rachel and her possible FBI involvement. Theories on Homer and his connection to French.