All content & writing by Brad Jaeger © The NACHTKABARETT

The Machina era website most richly marked by occult imagery, once located at, with a great portion of the imagery contained within two very similar flash files. Both flash files contain numerous alchemical images and references to Christian, Hindu, Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, and Norse mythology, along with a host of other influences. The NACHTKABARETT shall tackle them one at a time. For your reference, the two images in question which will be incessantly referenced hereafter are the images immediately above and below this introduction.

*NK NOTE: We are seeking any and all flash animation files or site archives from The Smashing Pumpkins Machina era secret websites. If you've saved any of these yourself or have any original files in your possession which you do not see in this section, please contact if you can help. You will be fully credited for your assistance*

Click to view original flash

Black Wings over the World takes its name from the script of Things to Come , a science fiction film produced in 1936 by Alexander Korda and directed by William Cameron Menzies. The screenplay itself was written by H.G Wells, and adapts two of his prior novels, The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind (1931), and The Shape of Things to Come (1933).

Set in the fictional backdrop of Everytown, London , it tells the tale of a war which envelops the nations of Earth for decades, until a point in history comes where all have forgotten the events that spurred forth the initial war. Total war is all mankind succeeds in, as all of humanity suffers and civilization is effectively destroyed. The Dark Age makes another appearance, as medicine and technology reverts to the medieval times, and a manmade viral plague, known as the wandering sickness kills all in its wake.

The plot advances when an airplane, seemingly from the future, lands on the outskirts of town. The pilot who emerges from the plane, John Cabal, tells of a group of scientists who have created a new society known as "Wings over the World", which is being built in Basra, Iraq . War and independent nation states are deemed illegal. The chief of the city takes the pilot as his prisoner, but his mechanic steals a plane and alerts Cabal's friend of his capture.

In retaliation, Wings over the World carries out an attack on Everytown, gassing all of the inhabitants with a powerful sleeping gas known as The Gas of Peace. When Everytown attempts to counter with several biplanes, they are all shot down. When Everytown awakens they find their town occupied by the airmen of Wings over the World, and their chief dead. John Cabal proclaims the death of the old world with the chief, and heralds in the dawning of the New World. While mankind makes much technological advancement in the years to come, it is not without its fallbacks. Should this intrigue you, I encourage you to purchase yourself a copy.

The title "Black Wings over the World" is likely taken, verbatim, from the following passage:

GORDON: "The job is more difficult than you think. Half your machines are hopelessly old. You haven't got twenty sound ones. To be exact, nineteen. You'll never get the others off the ground. The thing cannot be done as you imagine it. I want assistance."

BOSS: "What assistance?"

GORDON: "Your prisoner."

BOSS turns to him. "You want that fellow in black - Wings over the World? You want him released?"

GORDON: "He knows his business. I don't enough. Make him my--technical adviser."

BOSS: "I don't trust you technical fellows."

GORDON: "Then you won't get an aeroplane up."

I'm sure many fans will notice that in this scene we have the verbatim name of the flash (black wings over the world), and that the scene heavily revolves around the discussion of an aeroplane. The close proximity of black wings and aeroplanes may likely make more than a few fans look to a particular song for an added connection. I’m inclined to agree. In the song “The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right), Billy says, “the black wings reach out to me over a distance”, and later, “black wings carry me so high”, once again furthering the concept of black wings and its relation to the sky.



Enki, Nabu, Thoth, Djehoti, Hermes & Odin


One of the original flash files of (depicting Lucifer, the alchemical treatise and a plethora of other occult symbols) shot a rapid succession of deities directly under the eye of providence: Enki, Nabu, Thoth, Djehoti, Hermes and Odin. While all of these Gods are seemingly distinct, Billy Corgan must have been aware of their unifying concepts, as all six of the following are directly or indirectly linked to one another.



Sushumna, Harikesa, Visvakarman, Visvatryarchas, Sannaddha, Sarvavsu, & Svaraj


The animation which was viewable upon clicking Lucifer in the 1st flash file of the main page.

Upon clicking the image of Lucifer in the center of the alchemical treatise on, a new flash file was displayed, sharing much of the same imagery as the former flash image. However, the center depiction of Lucifer was noticeably different along with another set of names which could be read under the eye of providence; this time in relation to the seven principle rays of the sun, a concept taken from Hinduism.

The seven rays of the sun convey a range of various occult divine forces, and so are personified as Sushumna, Harikesa, Visvakarman, Visvatryarchas, Sannaddha, Sarvavsu, and Svaraj. All of the seven rays bring about transformational and regenerative change, being principle elaborations of the Trimurti of Visnu, Brahma, and Siva. Much like Kaballah, Alchemy, and Hermeticism's focus on the permutation of lead into gold, so too does the seven rays represent a spiritual path of transformation, life, death and rebirth, with the ultimate goal of transcending the material and flawed shell of physical existence and ascend to a higher level of spiritual and conscious understanding.

diva tapati adicco rattim abhati candima
sannaddho khattiyo tapati jhayi tapati brahmano
atha sabbam ahorattij buddho tapati tejasa
During the day shines the sun, at night shines the moon.
The Kshatriya shines when armed, the Brahmin shines when meditating.
And the Buddha shines with splendor all day and night
DhP 387



Glass and the Machines of God


A synopsis of the driving concept behind Machina: The Machines of God was told through the story of Glass and the Machines of God. Billy's summary of the site, originally on the old Smashing Pumpkins website, partially resurfaced in the Black Wings over the World flash files, where a portion of the text was located in the upper left hand corner.

The story tells of a not so distant future, where humanity has been disillusioned and numbed through impersonal technology and self interest, and a conflicted individual listens to a voice he perceives to be God before undergoing an arduous personal and spiritual journey. To view the story in full, check out The Machines of God section

Original image reciting the story. To see the story in full, head over to The Machines of God.



Emblazoned Hands


Close up of the lower portion of the Black Wings central image used by the Smashing Pumpkins

One of the subtler esoteric nods of was contained within the 1st Black Wings over the World image. In the bottom left and right hand corners of the image are two hands, palms facing outwards, emblazoned with many symbols.

The symbols present on the hands are that of the seven classical or ancient planets, recognized at the time as: the Moon, the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Mars and Venus. The symbols are also displayed within the alchemical treatise, present in the very same image.

A left and right palm, display the customary location of the seven classical planets.

The reading of lines along with the assignment of classical planets to various positions of the palm was once an esoteric art and divination tool known as chiromancy, an ancient Indian astrological tool of mysticism, used for everything from personal insight to prophecy, but today largely diluted and reduced to trickery for material gain. The act of chiromancy is now commonly known as palmistry, or palm reading.

Zoomed in on the left hand, adorned with the symbols of the classical planets.

Friday Press writes:

Venus is thumb fertility & abundance. The fleshy base is Mount of Venus, area of love, sympathy & passion, the life-line curves around it.

Jupiter is forefinger self-confidence, faith, ambition & social prestige, heart-line begins at its base and extends to outer edge of hand.

Saturn is middle finger sobriety, self-discipline & self-respect, the fate-line extends from base straight down to the wrist.

Sun is ring/gold/leech finger healing & ruler of the heart, the sun-line extends from the base straight down to the wrist.

Mercury is pinky/ear finger learning & teaching, conductor of dead souls, the health-line follows the angle of this finger diagonally across the palm.

Moon is fleshy mound below pinky intuition, imagination & subjective knowledge, below and supporting the realm of Mercury, line of intuition is found in this section of the hand.

Mars is central palm area strength & vitality, the strong head line crosses diagonally through this area.



It is Finished when Seven are One


Close up of the lower portion of the Black Wings central image used by the Smashing Pumpkins

The single most prolific use of any occult symbol within the totality of Machina/The Machines of God would undoubtedly be the alchemical treatise. Contained on the front cover of the album, and found on numerous Smashing Pumpkins affiliated websites and images, it is apparent that the symbol was crucial and perhaps central to the thematic concept of Glass and the Machines of God, as presented by Corgan for the album. As I had the symbol tattooed on my arm, I take pleasure in its description.

"It is finished when seven are one" is an occult concept driven on the seven classical planets (Mercury, Mars, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, the Sun & the Moon), with a single symbol in the center - an amalgamation of all seven symbols. As was the case with most alchemical concepts, the true intent of its teachings were clouded in allegory and metaphor to keep the gnosis hidden from all those who had eyes and ears, but were blind and deaf.

On the surface, the treatise reflected the notion of transmuting base metals and refining them into the divine mixture. But this was only a physical representation of a much deeper spiritual concept.

When the Alchemist discovers the proper mixture and balance of the base elements; Quicksilver (Mercury), Iron (Mars), Copper (Venus), Lead (Saturn), Tin (Jupiter), Gold (the Sun), & Silver (the Moon), he/she will create the divine mixture, symbolic of the ascension and transubstantiation of the alchemist. It is not the elements themselves which bring about the transformation, but rather, the journey and manifestation of the true Will of the alchemist which causes this spiritual ascension. When this occurs, the alchemist becomes one with everything material and immaterial. And so, one can only truly accompany the all, when everything unifies and is reduced to the one.

NK Note: This symbol has also been covered in relation to Marilyn Manson and his album, Holy Wood. See the Alchemy and Kaballah section.





33 has been a longstanding and favoured number among occultists for well over a millennium. Richly intertwined in numerous religious, historical and esoteric events, its power and acknowledgement among occultists has only managed to grow over time. While a true list would be exhaustively extensive, here is but a short list of occult attributes tied to the number 33:

As such, 33 has always been a multifaceted, multidimensional occult number, and has frequently been linked to life, death, resurrection, transformation, the beginning, and the end.



Lucifer & Paradise Lost


Paul Gustave Doré (1832 - 1883)

The two depictions of Lucifer on the Machina Era Smashing Pumpkins' website, Black Wings over the World, were appropriated from Gustave Doré's drawings used for an illustrated edition of John Milton's Paradise Lost . As a seasoned artist and illustrator, Gustave is responsible for trying his hand at many well known works of classic literature, such as Edgar Allen Poe's, The Raven, Danté's The Divine Comedy, Lord Tennyson's, The Idylls of the King, Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote , and countless drawings for illustrated editions of the bible.

One depiction of Lucifer used by The Smashing Pumpkins for and Gustave Doré's depiction of Lucifer in Paradise Lost. The image is paired with Milton's text:

Toward the coast of earth beneath,
Down from the ecliptick, sped with hoped success,
Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel;
Nor staid, till on Niphates' top he lights
- Book III, pg 739- 742

A second depiction of Lucifer, also used for the website and Gustave Doré's depiction of Lucifer in Paradise Lost. The image is paired with Milton's text:

O Earth, how like to Heav'n, if not preferr'd
More justly, Seat worthier of Gods, as built
With second thoughts, reforming what was old!
- Book IX, pg 99 - 101

As with nearly all imagery contained within Machina, the depiction of Lucifer is of esoteric and occult value. When interpreted by artists and occultists Lucifer is often painted in a sympathetic light, paralleling the same inadequacies, drives and temptations that mankind is prone to. While a legion of Lucifer sympathizers is certainly not what Milton sought to accomplish (quite the opposite actually), Paradise Lost remains a work that many turn to when they wish to examine Lucifer through a more honest and balanced lens, rather than through simplistic dichotomist dogma.

We feel sympathetic towards Lucifer, who sought to achieve all of the goals he held for himself - only to be bested by a power which well eclipsed him. In this way Lucifer represents ambition, progression of the self and the refusal to submit to unnecessary authority, all of which are noble pursuits which mankind can relate to.

Consequently, when Lucifer is smitten, ostracized, isolated and banished from the realm of Heaven, we too can identify with his feelings of pain, desertion, and the sentiment of being unloved and cast from grace.

We forgive Lucifer for his many indiscretions, because, like humanity, he is not infallible. From this perspective, humanity can far more easily identify with Lucifer and all of his bittersweet blights and motivations, rather than to a God beyond comprehension and with the extent of similarity between man and maker being that of wrath and vengeance.



The Septegram


The original image on and the location of the septegram highlighted

A symbol prominently connected to the study of alchemy, Crowley, the Ordo Templi Orientis, and the Coven of the Blue Star, along with other pockets of Wiccans following the practice of Faerie magick.

From an alchemical perspective, the septegram holds itself parallel to that of the alchemical treatise - perhaps the most recurring symbol used during the Machina era- in that it too represents the seven classical planets: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. This only further reinforces the path of Glass, and his yearning to transcend a flawed material existence for one of total spiritual unification with the divine.

To Crowley and the O.T.O which would embrace his teachings, the septegram was drawn in a different manner and known as 'the first heptagram'. More frequently however, it was addressed as the Star of Babylon (or alternatively, the Seal of Babylon).

The septegram is also of special importance to a particular sect within the Wiccan and Faerie traditions. Called 'The Blue Septegram' (and more commonly known as 'The Mystic Star' or 'The Faerie Star' to other followers of Wicca), it was largely appropriated by the Coven of the Blue Star. The Blue Star is notably different from many other branches of Wicca, due to their heavy focus on literary and musical influence on ritual magick, five tier initiatory advancement (as opposed to the customary three), and the use of the blue septegram as their primary symbol of identification, rather than the pentacle.

It is worth reiterating that all of the Gods referenced in the opening flash file of were involved in the arts. Due to the fact that the septegram drawn in the flash file is blue, is it not coincidental that all of the implications of 'The Blue Septegram' would be used by Billy Corgan unintentionally or without purpose.

The seven points of the septegram hold a number of meanings, depending on whom you speak with. As previously stated, the points of the septegram directly parallel that of the alchemical treatise which Corgan used numerous times within Machina. The seven points are also commonly believed to represent seven noble virtues: trust, tolerance, learning, humility, harmony, balance, and reincarnation. Other interpretations point to seven as the divine number of perfection (primarily within alchemical and Christian texts), or even as the marker of seven separate angels. Many followers of Wicca will also readily identify the septegram with the sun, moon, sea, forest, wind, and Spirit.



Twin Orb Flux


Illumination of two overlapping circles contained within and Illumination of the equilateral triangle within a circle (Which in itself is within the greater context of the two overlapping circles)

Perhaps most famously, overlapping circles bring to mind the Yin -Yang (which Corgan also referenced on another Machina website, Like Pain Come From Heaven), which is a symbol identifying the constant flux permeating the universe. Nothing remains stagnant and unmoving, and nothing is in any aspect of existence separate or apart. Rather, all apparent opposites and dichotomies are one in union, no more or less valuable or pertinent than the other. The Yin -Yang moves beyond simplistic interpretations such as good or evil, identifying the flux between them and their true status of being one and the same. It is the flux of this continuum that humans label good or evil.

In the center of the overlapping circles an equilateral triangle within another circle can be found. This symbol is used to demonstrate the material body or plane which reaches and fully extends, just touching the outer realm of the spiritual or divine, represented by the circle. This union of geometric shapes further demonstrates the teachings that may be found in the Yin - Yang. Alchemists would occasionally take this further and place a square inside the triangle and another circle inside the square, further reinforcing the balance of and unity of all shapes and forms. This concept was so important to the alchemists, than the symbol itself became synonymous as a symbol for alchemy.