Every once in a while a movie is made to awaken and save humanity from it's current dilemmas - this is the tradition of story telling of it's original form.
The NeverEnding Story was one of them that some how snuck past the sith-magi of dark Un-Holywood. It is not a childrens movie, per say. It is a movie to help awaken the child so that he/she would grow as an adult remembering the lessons of the story.
This movie isn't chock full of hidden symbols to effect us on a nefarious subliminal level - fairly everything is straight forward, but if you are aware of true history and the magi of Light - then the things they do show will be understood, easily.
There are a few things within it, that suggests the Germans who made this film were trying to hint that the secrets of the Gnostic Cathars lived on.
"The Cathar heresy was a major challenge to the Roman Catholic Church. It combined a tradition of itinerant preachers in the forests of France with a very ascetic quality. The Cathars rejected the Roman Catholic, the entire church structure. They said they were the only true Christians." source
The NeverEnding Story was directed by Wolfgang Petersen, and produced by Bernd Eichinger & Dieter Geissler. It was released in 1984.
Lets take an esoteric walk through The NeverEnding Story
In the beginning of the movie Bastian (played by Barret Oliver) is having a conversation with his father. Bastian apparently hasn't been caring much about his schooling...
While he's being lectured Bastian is making pyramid like hand signs...
Dad: "I got a call from your math teacher today. She said you were drawing horses in your math book" Bastian: "Unicorns. They were Unicorns"
If you read my last movie run through with Blade Runner you are already aware of the symbolism of the Unicorn...
Long considered the stuff of legends and fairy tales, the unicorn—as a symbol—holds a special place in the world of “mystical Christianity” and other esoteric teachings. Manly P. Hall, in his monumental work The Secret Teachings of All Ages, said this concerning the unicorn,
Mediaeval Christian mystics employed the unicorn as an emblem of Christ, and this creature must therefore signify the spiritual life in man. The single horn of the unicorn may represent the pineal gland, or third eye, which is the spiritual cognition center in the brain.
The unicorn was adopted by the mysteries as a symbol of the illumined spiritual nature of the initiate, the horn with which it defends itself being the flaming sword of the spiritual doctrine against which nothing can prevail. Source
This is the only time it's referenced, but it does suggest the role that Bastian plays immediately...
Obviously, if you have seen this movie, then you know it revolves around a special magick book that holds a seal on the front that is called the Auryn.
Auryn is a word that means "golden". The symbol itself is what's called the Ouroboros. Generally it's one snake or dragon eating it's own tail.
Originating in Ancient Egyptian iconography, the ouroboros entered western tradition via Greek magical tradition and was adopted as a symbol in Gnosticism and Hermeticism, and most notably in alchemy. Via medieval alchemical tradition, the symbol entered Renaissance magic and modern symbolism, often taken to symbolize, introspection, the eternal return or cyclicality[disambiguation needed], especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself. It also represents the infinite cycle of nature's endless creation and destruction, life and death. source
Sometimes (like in this case with The NeverEnding Story) the ouroboros is shown with two snakes eating each other. This is a symbol of the union of the pair of opposites - Darkness and Light.
It's all about duality - we are in a dualistic reality - yin yang
When one like me who watches these movies I think along the lines of those who are trying to convey a deeper story. Shortly after Bastian takes the book, he runs to hide with the book. Here he looks as if he's trying to keep it safe, and hidden.
He goes into his schools attic, which is symbolic itself - kind of Free Masonic in the sense of how it's a school, and in the top level echelons of it is where he (a magi character) is there to guard the knowledge. I'm not sure if Cathars had such systems and the Freemasons took it, but I do know that in Freemasonry at this point he would be considered the 32nd degree (for which my grandfather was).
The following is from the book "Morals and Dogma" by Albert Pike:
Perhaps this part of the movie is an allegory for the journey before he reaches the 33rd degree?
Jumping ahead, the next symbolic scene is when the rock biter swears he's not lying about something and gives the scouts honor salute.
You see, hand gestures mean things. In our current PC post WWII climate, certain things have been lost.
In his book, Scouting for Boys, Robert Baden-Powell chose the three-finger salute for Scouts to represent the three aspects of the Scout Promise:
- Honor God and Country
- Help Others
- Obey the Scout Law
This sign is also called the half salute. The full salute in the US prior to WWII was the Roman salute (or Bellamy salute) that was done with the pledge of allegiance.
In The NeverEnding Story, bad things are happening in Fantasia. The Nothing and it's servant G’mork are destroying everything. So a meeting has been called for at the Ivory Tower. This building structure is VERY Cathar.
As you get closer to the structure we see the symbolic tip.
The following is from the book The Iluminator by William Henry
On the walls we see more Cathar symbols, the Fleur-dis-lis
Image from The Illuminator by William Henry
I love the fractal nature of the Ivory Tower top...
Finally, we get into where Atreyu (supposed to be an American Indian) receiving his mission to save Fantasia, and his Auryn to help guide him on his journey.
Off we go onto the adventure, and the symbolism of the rainbow is shown which is a sign of promise.
Now, G’mork is also shown, and we're led to believe he's the main villain, but he's not. More on this later.
In this scene Atreyu loses his White horse in the Swamps of Sadness. An allegory for a strong thriving society collapsing... quite a sad moment in the movie.
And being that Atreyu is an American Indian, they interjected the symbol of the turtle, which is a symbol of Mother Earth. This is why Morla is considered the wisest being of all Fantasia.
Back in Bastian's attic they had to show us he's among the wise owl. All of these movies always show the owl (look through my past movie pieces, and you'll see)
G'mork is on the run to kill Atreyu...
Atreyu almost sinks into the Swamps of Sadness...
But then we have a Luck Dragon come along and save him named Falcor.
Falcor is an interesting thing. For one he's a dragon, and dragons are considered a symbol of Luck in Chinese symbolism. Dragon myths are found all over the world too...
Falcor does give a sort of one eye symbolism, as he constantly does this gesture multitudes of times. It makes me think that perhaps the original eye wink was some kind of way to symbolize from one magi to another - you have to remember that secret societies and such happened because the censorship back in those days were often death.
Not only has Atreyu found help from his luck dragon, but he's also in the company of an Alchemist named Engywook, and his healer of a wife for whom Engywook calls "witch".
Engywook, is here working on his alchemical book drawing the two sphinxes that are just outside guarding the Southern Oracle.
Most of us when we think of sphinxes we think of the Egyptian sphinx, but the ones in this movie are more so based around Greek sphinxes, like this one found in Delphi...
Once Atreyu survives making it to the Southern Oracle, he discovers a lesson in spiritual life, which is to "know thy self".
The journey continues... Morning sun scenes are often to signify hope...
But that hope is quickly lost... these scenes make me think of a collapsed Western society due to the corruption of people, and the lack of imagination... Much like what I see happening today.
We are reminded of how close we are in the realm of "reality" and story telling.
This is an interesting depiction of the Ivory Tower, which shows the light around the top having 8 nodes...like an 8 pointed star which is representative of creation... or in this movie's case imagination creations...
The veils of myth and reality fade in this scene
This part is where it is interesting, but is often overlooked. I mentioned before that people assume G'mork is the villain along with this "The Nothing", but if you listen careful we are revealed something more... Check out this conversations.
Atreyu: What is the Nothing?
G’mork: If you come any closer, I will rip you to shreds.
Atreyu: Who are you?
G’mork: I am G’mork. And you, whoever you are, can have the honor of being my last victim.
Atreyu: I will not die easily. I am a warrior!
G’mork: Ha! Brave warrior, then fight the Nothing.
Atreyu: But I can’t! I can’t get beyond the boundaries of Fantasia!
G’mork laughs and Atreyu gets a little angry]
Atreyu: What’s so funny about that?
G’mork: Fantasia has no boundaries. [laughs]
Atreyu: That’s not true! You’re lying.
G’mork: Foolish boy. Don’t you know anything about Fantasia? It’s the world of human fantasy. Every part, every creature of it, is a piece of the dreams and hopes of mankind. Therefore, it has no boundaries.
Atreyu: But why is Fantasia dying, then?
G’mork: Because people have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams. So the Nothing grows stronger.
Atreyu: What is the Nothing?
G’mork: It’s the emptiness that’s left. It’s like a despair, destroying this world. And I have been trying to help it.
Atreyu: But why?
G’mork: Because people who have no hopes are easy to control; and whoever has the control… has the power!
Atreyu: Who are you, really?
G’mork: I am the servant of the power behind the Nothing. I was sent to kill the only one who could have stopped the Nothing. I lost him in the Swamps of Sadness. His name… was Atreyu.
[the ground shakes again and Atreyu is knocked down. He grabs a knife shaped piece of broken stone and stands up, ready to fight]
Atreyu: If we’re about to die anyway, I’d rather die fighting! Come for me, G’mork! I am Atreyu!
This person has a great perspective on what's just been revealed:
Nothing in fact is someone’s tool. It is a power used by someone who wants to control humans. The nothing is not the villain, we haven’t actually met the real villain, only it’s deadly weapon. Gmork, on the other hand, is the closest thing we have to a villain in this movie. He knows the secret of the one using the Nothing – he/she wants the power to control humans. We don’t know who he/she is but we met the destructive force behind it and its representative -Gmork.
One must admit, that revealing the desire to rule over people by exploiting the world of human imagination is a rather severe and deep philosophical thought. What I find mostly intriguing is that it was meant for childrens audience. It embodies a lesson for them to never give up on their hopes and dreams or they will become easily exploited by powerful figures who will turn their inner world into nothing.source
Even though G'mork is destroyed - the journey seems lost...
But it's not - it's the Ivory tower! A sign that even when all hope seems lost - never give up and if you keep trying the Light shall return...
Finally, we meet the "Child like Empress" - Fantasia is gone (almost)
Her head ornament represents the all seeing eye of wisdom - she is the archetypal Earth Mother, which is the meaning of the Tarot card in magick...
Magi Bastian must now give her a new name... He names her "Moonchild".
Now Bastian has succeeded with become the top ranks of the magi - possesses the power and knowledge of the Universe. He now has the choice... let earth continue to crumble into oblivion thanks to the lack of imagination/spirit/art/love, or do what he is and Create his world reality...
Bastian: "Why's it so dark?"
Moonchild"In the beginning it is always dark".
Watch the scene:
Then we're off into the real world - Magi Bastian on his Luck Dragon - throwing his Left hand fist (path) in the air.
This story is great. Very much inspiring. It inspires me now just as much as it did when I saw it as a child in the 80's. However, this is such a deep movie - it's not made for children, I don't believe. Well, it is, but it's also something adults should look into and think about as well.
BTW, here's what Oliver Barret looks like now. He was a star child for a few years then quickly dipped out. He's been hard to find, but there are some photos of him....
I hope you enjoyed this journey within the deeper elements of The NeverEnding Story