Monday, June 10, 2019

2016 - Netzach - The Arrival

Let's say I taught them chess instead of English.  Every conversation would be a game.  Every idea expressed through opposition, victory...
Louise Banks, the Arrival

  • TITLE: Netzach, Victory
  • NUMBER: 7
  • COLOUR: Green
  • ALCHEMICAL METAL/ORE: Copper, Malachite
  • MAGICAL IMAGE: A Beautiful Naked Woman
  • OTHER TITLES: Firmness, stoicism
  • ARCHANGEL: Haniel
  • ORDER OF ANGELS: Elohim [Gods]
  • VIRTUE: Unselfishness
  • VICE: Lust, promiscuity
  • MUNDANE CHAKRA: Venus, Nogah
  • CORRESPONDENCE IN MICROCOSM: Loins, hips, legs [importantly in the Zohar, these areas and therefore Hod and Netzach are both associated with prophecy]
  • SYMBOLS: Lamp and Girdle.  The Rose.

The Arrival released in 2016 is associated with  Netzach [1 + 6 = 7] and is replete with the imagery and themes of this Sefira.  As in previous Unifying Colour Theory posts we will go through the standard associations of the Sefira in question [see above] and then show how these associations are directly transferred to the film as if the project managers are Painting by Numbers.  As we moved further into the decade, this project became more sophisticated [inc. more detailed path-working] as the various stakeholders began to develop specific production skills and pathways to embed this esoteric knowledge in their work more precisely but never less blatantly.  As in 2015 we may see that it is beyond the scope of one film to deal with all the symbolism comprehensively [although they try] and we may see one film focusing more on path-work and another more on core symbolism. I will argue, that the Arrival is more of a path-working towards Netzach with the development of the core symbolism of the Sefira prob. better explored in another work of that year.  I'll investigate that with another post.


So before we go through the Painting By Numbers part of this post we need to familiarise ourselves with an extra bit of information.  As we have seen before in Star Trek Into Darkness this film also relies on a [admittedly much longer] establishing sequence where we journey from the Orange [Hod - Splendour, Glory] into the Green [Netzach - Victory].  As you can see we pass the Hebrew letter Pe, which within the Golden Dawn Tarot stands for ''The Tower'' or ''House of God'' - and this is the path we will be ''working''.  Have a look at the Tower image below and bear in mind the associations - danger, crisis, disaster sudden unforseen change, Babel... - and bear in mind we will be linking the alien ship itself to the Tower.


If you watch the Arrival again you will see the repeated contrast of Orange and Green within the lighting and or set design especially in the beginning of the movie - the example provided below are not exhaustive.  Its worth also reflecting on the standard meanings of Hod vs Netzach here: Hod, associated with Mercury in the Golden Dawn system is representative of logic and science; Netzach, associated with Venus is representative of emotions and art.  Amy Adams character is a linguist [scientist] and is forced into a situation where she challenges the very basis of science itself - philosophical presentism and causality.  You will see that her university lecture hall is reminiscent of an orange sphere [indeed the whole university is full of orange motifs], showing us where she begins and this is juxtaposed with the green until she reaches the Arrival point in the Green field.  The orange and green hazmat suits that are used throughout also show the duality of this path.







A direct connection to 7, the numerical value of Netzach, our Heptapods with their 7 ''fingers'' and non-linear thinking are effectively Gods.  In fact Albert and Costello could just be the ''hands'' of a larger being [Elohim] teaching humans to talk and think in circles: ''The End is in the Beginning and the Beginning is in the End'' Sefer Yetzirah 1:7 [Gra Version].


When the characters reach the base of the alien ship they see that there is a gravity defying shaft leading upwards, showing that the craft is a tower.  When they reach the ''top'' of the Tower they can communicate with the Heptapods or Elohim, i.e. it is the Tower of the Gods.  A terrorist attack against ''God'' within the Tower causes an explosion which ejects the heroes.  Paint By Numbers.  As above, so below.


This one amused me - The Shang were a dynasty of China particularly noted for their bronze work, i.e. copper - nice touch, guys, Great Work!  In the original post on the Unifying Colour Theory I surmised that Amy Adams character represents the copper which is extracted from the ore, the alchemical metal representing the Virtue of the Sefira, and the dross of the ore, the Vices, i.e. she ends up embodying stoicism.


As is written in the Zohar, the Prophets receive their future knowledge from Hod and Netzach so the deterministic aspects of the movie are well reflected in these Sefirot.  Within Sefer Yetzirah there is an instruction to arrange the letters in a circle and then draw associations across the circle, which is precisely the way the Heptapods do it.  This way the end can communicate with the beginning and vice versa and we get into the kind of non-linear thinking that leads ''out of time''.  Its also worth noting that with this circular speech it is a form of ''girdle'' or belt in itself one of the symbols of Netzach.




One of the concluding messages of the film is that since the future already exists and you cannot change it that the only option is to reconcile oneself with it, to make your peace.  In the movie this is revealed by the apparent flashbacks having been flashforwards and Louise's decision to go ahead with having her daughter [Hannah] who ends up with a terminal disease regardless i.e. she resigns herself to the fall of her daughter.  The absolutely determined nature of the future throws selfishness into sharp relief.


During a moment of insight, Louise Banks points out the nature of a non zero sum game which is win-win or lose-lose, and, in this sense, the ''Victory'' that is being ''played'' for is as total.

We're so bounded by time, by its order. But now I am not so sure I believe in beginnings and endings.  There are days that define your story beyond your life.  Like the day they arrived.

Louise Banks, The Arrival


  1. I think you're spot on about the choice being whether or not you're going to reconcile yourself to the flow of time. However, I think that choice is supremely important and confers the ultimate agency.

  2. Just curious where you get Malachite for Netzach? Ive seen Emerald correlated before...


    1. Its not as a crystal or precious stone its as an ore for the traditional alchemical metal of Netzach/Venus. Malachite is a copper ore which is green, the colour of Netzach and produces copper like Mercury Oxide is red-orange, which is the colour of Hod and which produces Mercury the alchemical metal of the planet Mercury. This is all within the Golden Dawn system but based on ancient classification - the Zohar has different metals. I've put the relevant ores on the main Unifying Colour Theory page at the top of each year:

      Chesed (Jupiter) - Tin
      Gevurah (Mars) - Iron
      Tifereth (Sol) - Gold
      Netzach (Venus) - Copper
      Hod (Mercury) - Mercury
      Yesod (Silver) - Silver

      The Saadia Tree which I use does not conflate metals with Sefiroth so these metals would be on the relevant vertical double letter paths. This is the Tree on the top right of the blog.

  3. Thank you so much! I see now that you wrote metal/ore.

    Love your blog

    1. No worries - any questions feel free to ask