Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 59: More on planets and bodily organs


To begin this post, we recall that in part 22 of the analysis, an article published in 1913 in a magazine called The Word says that if man is a microcosm of the universe, the planets and visible stars must be represented within him.

Hermetic tradition draws a set of correspondences between the seven classical planets, the seven angels, the seven vital bodily organs, and the seven metals. As listed in Waite's The Hermetic Museum,[a] these correspondences are as follows (leaving out the seven angels): Saturn, the spleen, and lead; Jupiter, the liver, and tin; Mars, the diaphragm, and iron; the sun, the heart, and gold; Venus, the reins (i.e., the kidneys), and copper; Mercury, the lungs, and quicksilver;[b] and the moon, the brain, and silver.

The specific correspondence we are interested in for right now, is the one between the planet Mercury, the lungs, and quicksilver. The reason for starting here is that we know Will Graham is shown smoking in at least two or three scenes, and smoking is a habit which affects the lungs.

Since Will is smoking just prior to his call to Lecktor (see screencap at left), then in accordance with the Hermetic correspondences, the indication is that he is at this point coming under the influence of Mercury, whose Greek 'equivalent' was Hermes. Hermes is the great Messenger of the gods as well as a guide to the underworld. What does either of these have to do with Will Graham? To answer this, we recall the prison conversation between Will and Lecktor, during which Lecktor refers to the Tooth Fairy as a "pilgrim." But, since Lecktor directs the note he later writes at Graham, that is, since Graham is to think that the thoughts in the note are his own, then he is to consider himself as being this pilgrim.

In Dante's Inferno (which we've used before in this analysis, in part 16 when we talked about contrapasso), the Roman poet Virgil is Dante's guide through the underworld. The writer Dante is commonly differentiated from the character being guided in that the former is called "Dante the Poet", and the latter, "Dante the Pilgrim." We can readily see that Lecktor is 'guiding' Will through a metaphorical underworld - a world inhabited by Dollarhyde, whom as we've said represents the 'presence' of Satan. If Graham is taken as a pilgrim in the Dantean sense, then he can be taken in the same way as one who is being guided through the underworld by Hermes; thus we see that on some level, Lecktor represents Hermes (and also, by implication, Mercury). As listed above, Hermetic tradition associates Mercury with the lungs and quicksilver.

Above left: In the scene in which Will is in the Jacobis' back yard, he at one point spots a 'Mars' candy wrapper. This is a clue that Dollarhyde represents Mars (and his Greek 'equivalent', Ares), since it appears that Francis is the person who left the wrapper, while he was casing the Jacobi household. Above right: Since Graham starts to 'imitate' what Dollarhyde must have done at this point, e.g., climb the tree near the candy wrapper in order to see into the Jacobi household, this means that Graham is here under the influence of Mars/Ares.

As indicated above, Dollarhyde represents Mars, and therefore also Ares, the Greek god of war or, more properly, the spirit of battle. Ares represented the distasteful aspects of brutal warfare and slaughter.[c] As indicated above, Hermetic tradition associates Mars with the diaphragm and iron.

As an aside, since Lecktor represents Hermes/Mercury, and since Mercury's father was the god Jupiter, Lecktor also represents the 'presence' of Jupiter.

a. Waite, Arthur Edward. The Hermetic Museum, Vol. 2. Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck. p. 266.
b. Quicksilver is another name for elemental mercury, that is, mercury the metal, as is found, for example, in older thermometers.
c. 'Ares'. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016. URL = https://www.britannica.com/topic/Ares-Greek-mythology.


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