All Writing & Content © Nick Kushner Unless Noted Otherwise
As can be seen within the artwork of the album, one aspect of the story Manson set out to illustrate with the parable of Holy Wood was told by his personification of 'Adam Kadmon' who, in Kabbalistic tradition, is the Adam of the Garden of Eden, the first and iconic man.
The four sections of the album are delineated each with letters which spell out 'ADAM', likewise was seen within the menu design of MarilynManson.com during this era. The concept of Adam Kadmon has many complex occult, metaphorical, alchemical and Kabbalistic connections which are outlined in very abridged form below. Within the story of Holy Wood however, Manson outlines the semi-autobiographical growth of the character known as Adam Kadmon who sees the hypocrisy of the world, the morbid death worship of religion, the cult of celebrity and sets out to begin a revolution to change the world. The personification of Adam Kadmon was also done so in part to illustrate a degree of naivety and innocence of a boy viewing the world from an objective standpoint, which is often difficult to see when one is wholly immersed in it.
Lyrically, Adam Kadmon is also cited in occasional semi-direct references such as, "The atom of Eden, was the bomb", of 'Cruci-Fiction in Space'. Aside from the obviously similarity of 'atom' to 'Adam' it is also held within the Kabbalistic view of the creation of the world that the Adam of the Bible is actually a metaphor for the creation of the first 'atom', the first building block of the universe. Taken in the context of the Holy Wood story, the '[Adam] of Eden' being 'the bomb' is dually a metaphor for Manson's semi-autobiographical lead protagonist setting out to destroy the world of those who have created the world which has oppressed him his entire life. Additionally, Manson's reference to Adam, within the story outlined by Holy Wood, Mechanical Animals and Antichrist Svperstar, is the progenesis of the transformation outlined by the three albums which make up the Triptych. Adam being the counterpart of Omega, personified in Mechanical Animals, which is who Adam ultimately evolved into; thus illustrating the verse in Revelation:
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the endingRevelation 1:8
As discussed earlier within the section, the Tree Of Life is a diagram, or microcosm, which symbolically represents the progress of the Kabbalist or Alchemist. This progress however is separated into Four sections, or Four Worlds: The World Of Action, The World Of Formation, The World Of Creation and The World Of Archetypes, each designated as a level of progression . As also shown above, the Tree Of Life corresponds to the human body. The lower worlds as shown on the Tree Of Life are denser, more literal and, just as they are represented lower on the human body, they correspond as such and represent the lower senses and states of being. Conversely, the higher worlds correspond higher on the human body, these are more ethereal, divine and spiritual and just as Kether, the top most Sephirah or state of spiritual attainment, rests just above the head, it represents the closest state of existence with "god". And coinciding with this theme, each world is also assigned a letter of the Tetragrammaton, IHVH, (see below) or corresponding, as in the case at hand, a letter of the name 'ADAM' to represent each stage of progression.
These Four Worlds are merely another way of representing the stages of spiritual evolution and transformation. A certain way in which they can also be represented is on Tree Of Life atop another to further delineate them; as each world, each stage of transformation, requires it's own separate facets to be dealt with as nothing is simple and handed down in life. This diagram within Holy Wood is another representation of the perpetual theme of transformation which is so integral to Manson's art.
|"When One World Ends Something Else Begins But Without A Scream...."
The Four Worlds of the Kabbalah as shown within the Holy Wood booklet
|The Tree Of Life and the correspondences of the Four Worlds of Kabbalah. On right, demonstrating continuations from one Tree atop another. Taken from A Garden Of Pomegranates by Israel Regardie|
The Tree Of Life represented or superimposed in human form is often referred to as Adam Kadmon, or The Heavenly Man, "and contains within itself all souls, spirits, and intelligences in every part of the cosmos" (from 'The Tree Of Life' by Israel Regardie).
In regard to the progression and delineations of these worlds, from The Tree Of Life, "The totality of the Sepheroth in the Archetypal World occupies the highest plane of spiritual consciousness, the first appearance of consciousness from the Ain Soph ('The Limitless', a synonym for God - Note by NK). As the process of evolution proceed, Adam Kadmon gradually projects itself further into matter, somewhat more dense, its unity being split up apparently, being mirrored in many facets, forming the Creative World. In this world, the plan contained in the creative imagination of the Macroprosopus is worked upon still further, the separate sparks or ideas being clothed with that condition of the fine substance appropriate to that sphere. Here, too, a complete Tree Of Life is developed through reflection. From the Creative World, the Tree is projected on to a third plane, the Formative World, where the imaginative ideas of the Logos, the spiritual monadic sparks already clothed in the subtle mental substance of the Creative World, are formed into definite coherent entities, the astral models which give rise to, or serve as the stable foundations of the physical world. The Physical World is the fourth and last plane, and as the crystallized projection of the Formative World is the summarization and concrete representation of all the higher worlds."
This which is a theme that goes back to the same concept above, 'It Is Finished When Seven Are One', with all being whole.
|Right; Adam Kadmon: The Androgyne. A correlation which adds another dimension to Manson's identification with Adam and the Androgyne / Mercury throughout the Holy Wood era. Illustration from Book II: 'Theology' of Isis Unveiled by H.P. Blavatsky, the 19th century Russian mystic whom Manson cited as an inspiration for many of the themes and references throughout Holy Wood, specifically her other well known book The Secret Doctrine.|
Alchemy & Mysticism: The Hermetic Museum by Alexander Roob
"The ten Sephiroth not only form the cosmic body of the first man, Adam Cadmon, with the three upper-brain chambers and the seven limbs, but according to the teachings of Isaac Luria, the individual Sephiroth are also reflections of the mystical face, each stressing a particular aspect. The uppermost Sephira, Kether, is called 'the forbearing one' or 'sainted old age' or 'star of the universe.' On him depends the life of all things, according to the Zohar and from the curve of his skull, dew flows incessantly down onto the lower heaven: the nectar of the Rosicurians, the philosophers' mercury.
"C. Knorr von Rosenroth, Kabbala denudata, Sulzbach, 1684"
For more on Adam Kadmon and Alchemy read TheLambOfGod.com section of The NACHTKABARETT
Respectively, the fourth and third sections of Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death)
"The celestial revolt of arrogant Lucifer, his subsequent banishment to the dark abyss and The Fall Of Adam, casually linked to it, form the staring point of Hermetic Philosophy. For these two cosmic catastrophes produced the 'primaterial' chaos of the elements, which forms the starting material for the Work.
"The artist faces the superhuman task of bringing this 'dark lump' back to its original paradisaical state through complete sublimation. 'It is clear that the Eart as originally made by God was quite complete and perfect and also like the nature and virtue of the philosopher's stone(...). When man fell, God grew angry and curse...
'THE RED EARTH' (Adam derives from the Hebrew : Adama, 'RED EARTH.'
This was seen as a reference to the red of the lapis), he destroyed its intrinsic proportions, turned the homogenity into heterogenity and changed it by taking the elements into an offensive conflation of material: from which follows the corruption and death.' (Julius Sperber, in: Deutsches Theatrum Chemicum II, Nuremberg, 1730)
"According to the mystic Jacob Böhme, writing in the early 17th century, it was Lucifer who had lite the fire in natrue inciting God's wrath with his arrogance, and 'sweet love, which arose in the thunderbolt of life (...) became a sting of death; clay became a hard knicking of stones, a house of misery'. (Böhme, Aurora, 1612)
"The Fall Of Adam drew with it the fall of man from an original, inner unity into the external world of opposites. According to Cabbalistic teachings, taken up by Paracelsus and Böhme,
the Ur-Adam was androgynous: 'he was a man and a woman at the same time (...)
...quite pure in breeding. He could give birth parthenogenically at will (...) and he had a body that could pass through trees and stones.
"The noble lapis philosophorum would have been as easy for him to find as a building stone.' (Böhme, Vom dreyfachen Leben, Amsterdam, 1682)
"The feminine that was essential in Adam, before it was separated from him in sleep, was his heavenly spouse Sophia (wisdom). Blake calls her 'Emanation.'"After Adam had 'imagined' himself into the outside world in the Fall, thus forfeiting his astral light-body for the fleshly 'larva,' his companion and matrix left him. Since then his existence has been shadowy and unreal, a ghost (spectr, the male side).
"The high level of abstraction of Jacob Böhme's ideas and his hallucinatory linguistic form inspired several series of illustrations by the London-based Nuremberg theosophist Dioysos A. Freher (1649-1728), which Blake ranked with the pictorial discoveries of Michelangelo."
"The second symbol of Zoroaster was Senemira - the Bad Principle, represented by an A - Alpha - inside a circle surrounded by a pentagram stressed by lightning bolts"The Complete Book Of Amulets & Talismans by Migene González-Wippler
"Zoroaster or Zarathustra (c. 628-551 B.C.E.) was an Iranian religious leader and reformer, priest, and founder of Zoroastrianism, or Parsiiam as it is called in India. Along with Moses and Hermes Trismegistus (see TRISMEGISTUS ), Zoroaster was considered by Renaissance philosophers as one of the great spiritual teachers of the world - the prisci theogici- who had foreshadowed the teachings of Christ."The Tree Of Life by Israel Regardie
According to Greek mythology, the Horai (The Greek word for 'hours') were revered as Goddesses of the seasons, as well as the heavenly measurers of time. The twelve Horai were tutelary Goddesses who were each associated with a different hour of the day; from just before sunrise to the final moments after sunset. As the ancient Greeks did not have the means to measure time as accurately as we are able to today, the twelve Horai were each allocated a certain hour of the day in relation to the movement of the sun across the Sky. The Horai were thought to have accompanied Helios, who drove his golden chariot throughout the sky, dividing up the day from the night.
The four Horai which Manson made mention of during Holy Wood added yet another element to the already multi-faceted Adam Kadmon. Not only was ADAM the heavenly man, as described by the Kabbalah, and representative as the tangible form of The Tree of Life, but his name was also an acronym in relation to four of the Horai which most served Manson's creative vision. The four Horai identified were as follows:
ANATOLE - The hour of the sunrise
DYSIS - The hour of the sunset
ARKTOS - The hour of the last light
MESEMBRIA - The hour of noon
"The four were greeted by the twelve circling Horai, daughters of Khronos, tripling round the fiery throne of the untiring Charioteer in a ring, servants of Helios that attend on his shining car, priestesses of the lichtgang each in her turn: for they bend the servile neck to the ancient manager o the universe."The Greek Epic "Nonnus, Dionysiaca", circa 5th Century, AD.
Thematically, Manson chose these specific Horai to reaffirm the numerous elements of rebirth and regeneration already present within the Triptych. Humans since the beginning of their time on Earth have been able to trace the apparent progression of the sun throughout the sky by way of the naked eye. This is yet another illustration of the continual theme transformation and rebirth parallels the Triptych.