Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Movie ~ The Seventh Sign & Seven Seals

In May 2009 I wrote a post about a movie we'd watched via a cheapo VHS tape:
The Seventh Sign. I began:
Transiting Jupiter and Neptune are now close enough (2 degrees) to be considered conjoined. Jupiter represents religion, among other things. Neptune relates, among other things,to imagination.

It could be coincidental that as Neptune, now transiting Pisces, conjoins my own natal Jupiter at 6 degrees, I should come back to this post. What sent me searching for it were my ponderings on thoughts leftover from the weekend's post on possible future climate catastrophe, with its potential as a path leading to...well, "The End". I feel that hope is something we should nurture in such situations, even in the face of severe threat.

An edited version of the 2009 post, which I still find of interest; followed by some additional information:

Last night I had a kind of Jupiter/Neptune-ish experience watching an old movie, dating from 1988: The Seventh Sign, with Demi Moore. Moore is very pregnant in the movie.

The theme of the movie is apocalypse and Bible horror. Made in the 1980s, its references and flavour are somewhat different from current movies on a similar theme. It's not a preachy film, by any means, I've seen many worse - and recently (and since!)! A certain something in the movie had me feeling goose-bumpy. Towards the end, Demi's character asks if there is any way the world can be saved; the answer: "HOPE".

The movie caused me to do a little research to satisfy curiosity about "The Guf", something mentioned in the movie. The seventh sign of the coming "End" was said to be when The Guf is empty of souls and a baby is born dead. Turns out that this wasn't a concept invented for the movie as I had suspected. Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

In Jewish mysticism, the Chamber of Guf (or Guph or even Gup) (Hebrew for "body" or "corpse") also called the Otzar (Hebrew for "treasury") is the Hall of Souls, located in the Seventh Heaven. Every human soul is held to emanate from the Guf. The Talmud teaches that the Messiah will not come until the Guf is emptied of all its souls (Yevamot 62a).

The mystic significance of the Guf is that each person is important and has a unique role which only he, with his unique soul, can fulfill. Even a newborn baby brings the Messiah closer simply by being born.

In keeping with other Jewish legends that envision souls as bird-like, the Guf is sometimes described as a columbarium, or birdhouse. Folklore says sparrows can see the soul's descent and this explains their joyous chirping.

The peculiar idiom of describing the treasury of souls as a "body" may be connected to the mythic tradition of Adam Kadmon, the primordial man. Adam Kadmon, God's "original intention" for humanity, was a supernal being, androgynous and macro-cosmic (co-equal in size with the universe). When this Adam sinned, humanity was demoted to the flesh and blood, bifurcated and mortal creatures we are now. According to Kabbalah, every human soul is just a fragment (or fragments) cycling out of the great "world-soul" of Adam Kadmon. Hence, every human soul comes from the "guf" [of Adam Kadmon].

I like the legend. It fits well with a Jupiter/Neptune conjunction too.

By the way, the world does, narrowly, avoid apocalypse at the end of this movie - and all because of HOPE!

At FAQs on the movie there's this:

The Bible does not include a definitive list of seven signs. Popular culture and various Christian sects created this concept based on their interpretations of events prophesied to take place before Armageddon, or the final battle of good and evil on Earth. The book of Revelation, which details the Apocalypse, speaks only of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Rev. 6.12 and the seven seals, seven vials, and seven trumpets that will signal the destruction of the earth. The seven seals are ennumerated towards the end of the movie when Abby (Demi Moore) and Avi (Manny Jacobs) figure out what's going on. The seven seals are the four Horsemen, the death of the last martyr (seal 5), earthquakes and a blood moon (6th seal), and the birth of a baby without a soul (7th seal).

More at Wikipedia's page on the Book of Revelation's mention of seven seals.

Regarding the practicality of the mundane seven seals, Alyce McPherson in The Book of Seven Seals explains that in Roman times
The seal of each family was a mark of ownership and served as legal protection and guarantee in many ways, especially in relation to property. The seal belonged to the owner alone, and no one else had the right to it. If a will was written and sealed, it could be opened only in the event of the testator's death. In order to insure the will was opened legally, the testator many times removed the seal himself at the point of death.

According to Roman law, each legal document was sealed by the owner himself, and six witnesses had to affix their personal seal also. In order to be a legitimate witness, a person had to have a close relationship with the testator, and have first hand knowledge of their will and purpose in the disposition of his estate.

When the testator died, the will was opened and each of the six witnesses broke his own individual seal. Therefore, in order to be recognized as a legal document, the article had to have seven seals.

I prefer to see most Bible stories as symbolic, so found the following an interesting idea; it's on a message board HERE. : The seven seals can be seen as symbolic, and related to the seven Chakras. The message details each seal individually then summarises thus:

So now we have the ingredients. We have humans (spirits) falling to Earth (connecting to Earth as in the 1st Seal and Chakra) and are left without the arrow to point our way. This results in the breaking of the Second Seal and Chakra to manifest. With the arrow missing (most now call this the Veil) we desire to conquer and war in attempts to find the 'arrow'. The Third Seal is broken and the Third Chakra manifests. The result of war is death and famine. And in order to survive we must procreate and hope through sex and love. The Third Seal and Chakra is the duality of the first two seals and chakras. The Fourth Seal and Chakra allow us to begin thinking about what is after death, resulting in the belief that their is life beyond the Veil. Which breaks the Fifth Seal manifesting our longing for 'spirit'. We begin realizing that in order to do that, we need to break the Sixth Seal and allow the Sixth Chakra to open our Third Eye. And this glimpsing, through the Third Eye, of HOME, makes us long to break the Seventh Seal to FULLY and permanately open ourselves to the Divine, to reach HOME while remaining physical. One of the blocks, the reasons, why the Seventh Seal hasn't opened, is that we think HOME is outside ourselves, like we need to bring Heaven down to Earth. The Seventh Seal will open when WE ALL realize that HOME we need not search outside ourselves for it, for it is inside of us.

A comment further down the page points out that the seven seals "Can also be compared to the seven classical planets." Any thoughts?


Jefferson's Guardian said...

As a practitioner, and teacher, of yoga for many years, the comparison between the seven seals and the seven chakras certainly caught my eye -- and I concur, "Home" (enlightenment) will never be found on the outside; it's within us all. Always has been.

I suppose all religious traditions -- and teachings of the spiritual aspect of our being -- understood this to be true, but like anything else that becomes westernized and sanitized, and distorted over time, the essence of the message tilts toward dogma and the satisfaction of the ego.

Interesting stuff! Thanks!

By the way, I've always loved this quotation attributed to Augustine of Hippo:

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.

mike said...

"According to Kabbalah, every human soul is just a fragment (or fragments) cycling out of the great "world-soul" of Adam Kadmon."
I am inclined to believe that all life on Earth is a fragment of consciousness collectively held by Earth, itself...we are all one...what we do to others is what we do to ourselves. We humans have self-appointed ourselves as god's special souls that have dominion over Earth while waiting for the glories of heaven. Membership in the right club is essential toward gaining entry, too. Let's see...there are twenty major clubs in the world and as many as 4,200 total clubs, not counting the non-denominational. (

Your mentioning the seven seals and apocalypse reminds me of the "Left Behind" series and "The Da Vinci Code"...or, of course, the Christian bible...all best sellers.

“Hope springs eternal, unfortunately it springs from a well poisoned with Jim Jones’ Kool Aid” Dean Cavanagh

Twilight said...

Jefferson's Guardian ~ Yes, I think perhaps that the concept of "within us" might have been, at some point long ago, too mystical for many to accept or understand clearly, so something more in line with mythology - stories, metaphor, allegory took over, and stuck.

That's a super quote. Thanks!

Twilight said...

mike ~ We're of Earth and we're also of the stars, "star stuff" as Carl Sagan put it. So we're of the universe. (Best not to become nationalistic about Earth - wink).

Yes - I saw one of the "Left Behind" films, and two of the Da Vinci movies - all a bit hokey I thought. I have enjoyed some of those straight ahead Bible story films of decades ago though. Good stories, well done, akin to myth, usually with messages.

We seem to be in quote mood so:

“History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme”

― Seamus Heaney

LB said...

Twilight ~ My thought is what an amazing coincidence it is that when I opened my Bible this morning to a random page, hoping to find some spiritual inspiration, I turned to something in Revelations about the "seven spirits of God".:) That was before I even turned on my computer.

So I spent part of my morning googling it, trying to understand its meaning, which I still don't completely, though I like the idea of 7 being a symbol of completion, wholeness, spiritual perfection made real.

And then I saw your post. This isn't the first time something like this has happened. Must be our Sun-Moon connection, or maybe your Jupiter trine my Mercury-Neptune-Jupiter conjunction.

Whatever it is, it validates how connected we all are in ways that can't be explained away by science or logic.

I loved the movie "The Seventh Sign". It's *hope* that encourages us to keep on trying even when there's nothing in it for us and no one is looking - and even when our efforts seem as small and insignificant as drops in the ocean.

Hope, like love and compassion, is more than a feeling, it's a verb. "Faith without works is dead."

Twilight said...

LB ~ Hmmmm - now entering the Twilight! I do like these synchronicities though.

I almost included stuff about the number 7 in the post, but it was already too long, so decided against it. Wiki's "7" page has a breathtaking number of instances of the use of 7 (the number) in all kinds of contexts and eras.

I wanted to watch the movie again, but now can't find the tape, even though we have our stash catalogued - I must have passed it on, or Goodwilled it.
I intend finding a replacement.

Bible quote coming up (St Paul I think -to the Corinthians)

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Alternative translation

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

(A very close second (or even first of the 3) is hope, in my opinion!)