Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 52: Representation of the classical planets


MESSENGER false color image of the planet Mercury. Mercury is
similar in appearance to the moon: it is heavily cratered with
regions of smooth plains, has no natural satellites and no substantial
atmosphere.[a] [Image from the Wikipedia 'Mercury (planet)' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

In antiquity the classical planets were the non-fixed objects visible in the sky, known to various ancient cultures. The classical planets were therefore the sun and moon and the five non-earth planets of our solar system closest to the sun (and closest to the Earth); all easily visible without a telescope. They are the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.[b]

In part 59 of the Manhunter analysis, it was observed that Hermetic tradition draws a set of correspondences between the seven classical planets, the seven metals, and the seven bodily organs.[c] In specific, it was discussed that the planet Mercury corresponds to quicksilver and the lungs, with Hannibal Lecktor representing Mercury. (In Manhunter, the spelling 'Lecktor' is used, instead of 'Lecter'.) One thing to be discussed in this post, is how several of the other major characters in Manhunter also represent classical planets.

In the following, all material inside quotes is taken from part 1 of Paracelsus's Coelum Philosophorum, as it appears in The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus (Ed. Arthur Edward Waite).[d]

As stated, Lecktor (shown at left) corresponds to Mercury. "Concerning the Nature and properties of Mercury: All things are concealed in all. One of them all is the concealer of the rest - their corporeal vessel, external, visible, and movable...No name can be found for this liquefaction, by which it may be designated; still less can it be found for its origin. And since no heat is so strong as to be equalised therewith, it should be compared to the fire of Gehenna. A liquefaction of this kind has no sort of connection with others made by the heat of natural fire, or congelated or coagulated by natural cold. These congelations, through their weakness, are unable to obtain in Mercury, and therefore, on that account, he altogether contemns them..." As mentioned above, in the system of Hermetic correspondences, Mercury corresponds to quicksilver and the lungs.

In addition to representing Mercury, Lecktor also represents the sun, since, as mentioned in the Manhunter analysis, some of the FBI personnel in Washington are, metaphorically speaking, 'worshiping' him as if he was a sun god (with Washington representing the ancient Egyptian city of Heliopolis, the seat of sun-worship in ancient times). "Concerning the Nature of Sol and its Properties: the seventh after the six spiritual metals is corporeally Sol, which in itself is nothing but pure fire. What in outward appearance is more beautiful, more brilliant, more clear and perceptible, a heavier, colder, or more homogeneous body to see? And it is easy to perceive the cause of this, namely, that it contains in itself the congelations of the other six metals, out of which it is made externally into one most compact body. Its liquefaction proceeds from elementary fire, or is caused by the liquations of Mercury, with Pisces and Aquarius, concealed spiritually within it. The most manifest proof of this is that Mercury is easily mingled corporeally with the sun as in an embrace. But for Sol, when the heat is withdrawn and the cold supervenes after liquefaction, to coagulate and to become hard and solid, there is need of the other five metals, whose nature it embraces in itself - Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, Luna..." The Hermetic correspondences with the sun are gold and the heart.

Finally, Lecktor represents the planet Jupiter, since, as mentioned in part 59 of the Manhunter analysis, he represents the 'presence' of the god Jupiter. "Concerning the Nature and Properties of Jupiter: In that which is manifest (that is to say, the body of Jupiter) the other six corporeal metals are spiritually concealed...He has affinity with the liquefactions of all the other metals. For the more like he is to some other nature, the more easily he is united thereto by conjunction..." The Hermetic correspondences with Jupiter are tin and the liver.

The characters that correspond to the remaining four classical planets are listed below.

Paracelsus describes Saturn as standing outside the other six entities, observing them.[e] Since Bloom is a psychiatrist, he stands outside of, and observes, mankind, indicating that he represents Saturn. In the Hermetic system, Saturn corresponds to lead and the spleen.

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.[f] Hermetic tradition associates Mars with the diaphragm and iron.

As indicated in the Manhunter analysis, Molly represents Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and sexuality, whose Roman 'equivalent' was Venus; therefore, she represents the planet Venus. In Hermetism, Venus corresponds to copper and the kidneys.

Recall Dollaryde's association with the moon - he commits his murders on a lunar cycle. This is why he is attracted to Reba - she represents the moon. In the Hermetic system, the moon corresponds to silver and the brain.

The above discussion brings to mind our discussion of the god Abraxas in part 40 of this unified analysis, in which it was observed that in Gnostic cosmology, the 7 letters spelling the name 'Abraxas' (Greek 'ΑΒΡΑΞΑΣ') represent each of the 7 classic planets. Since Lecktor wants to become Abraxas, he must alchemically 'unite' with the other natures (Luna, the moon - Reba; Saturn - Dr. Bloom; Venus - Molly; and Mars - Dollarhyde).

a. Wikipedia, 'Mercury (planet)'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. Wikipedia, 'Classical planet'. Web, n.d. URL =
c. Waite, Arthur Edward. The Hermetic Museum, Vol. 2. Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck. p. 266.
d. Paracelsus. The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus. Ed. Arthur Edward Waite. Mansfield Centre, Connecticut: Martino Publishing, 2009. pp. 5, 6, 10.
e. "Of his own nature Saturn speaks thus: The other six have cast me out as their examiner." (--Paracelsus, The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus, Ed. Arthur Edward Waite, 2008, Kindle Edition, Kindle Locations 87-88.)
f. 'Ares'. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016. URL =


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