the NachtKabarett

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All Writing & Content © Nick Kushner Unless Noted Otherwise

"...I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
Luke 10:18

Anton LaVey wearing a pentagram necklace with a lightning bolt superimposed atop and the Baphomet goat's head pentagram adopted by Anton LaVey for the Church of Satan. Around it the Hebrew letters spell 'Leviathan', one of the names/incarnations of Satan, which also appear around the shock symbol. Anton LaVey, whom Manson dedicated his autobiography to, was ordained as a Minister in the Church of Satan by, wrote the foreword to LaVey's book Satan Speaks and thanked in the liner notes of Antichrist Svperstar, was a large influence philosophically throughout Manson's earlier work.

Left; Manson wearing a similar shock pentagram necklace in the Heart-Shaped Glasses video. Right; back cover for Antichrist Svperstar marked with the Satanic, annotated version of Marilyn Manson's Shock logo. The red color and mysterious allusion to the Leviathan in perfect continuity with the apocalptic bestiary evoked by Manson in the album such as the Red Dragon further in the artwork, and the Antichrist (or Little Horn, the Hydra and the Beast of Revelation with its "bottomless pit", all examined in the Third And Final Beast section of The NACHTKABARETT).

Left;"Vitruvian Antichrist" diagram from the eponymous album's interior artwork, also surrounded by the Hebrew letters spelling 'Leviathan'.
Right; "Destruction of Leviathan", 1865 engraving by Gustave Doré.

The Unicursal Hexagram adopted and stylized by Aleister Crowley in the early Twentieth Century is a derivation of the hexagram commonly referred to as The Star Of David. Just as the symbolism of the traditional hexagram consisted of two interlocked triangles, one pointing up and one pointing down to symbolize the occult principle of balance, "as above so below" the Unicursal Hexagram represents as such but drawn so with an unbroken line to signify continuous movement. And if broken down further the hexagram can be seen to be made up of two intertwined and inverted shock symbols.

Permutations of the Tetragrammaton on the Antichrist Svperstar artwork.

Another facet which the shock symbol is made up of is a permutation of The Tetragrammaton. The principle comes from the book The Tetragrammaton by Donald Tyson which Manson quoted as reading during the recording and molding of Antichrist Svperstar where the four letters which make up the Tetragrammaton, IHVH, are arranged in a polygonal shape known as a tetragram where the order and combination of the letters each correspond to the invoking and banishing of angels. This method is where the symbols within Antichrist Svperstar come from and for those unfamiliar with this may read my essay of The Tetragrammaton in the Alchemy & Kabbalah section of The NACHTKABARETT.

ANGEL: Hazekiah (HTzQ+IH)
Pronounced: Ha-zek'-i-ah
TYPE: Severity
SIDE: Left
SEX: Female
QUALITY: Muteable
SIGN: Sagittarius
HOUSE: Ninth
DIRECTION: West-northwest
STONE: Topaz (yellow-green)
TRIBE: Simeon


APPEARANCE: She is tall and slender, with clear gray eyes, high cheekbones, a high forehead, a long face and straight nose, a golden-pink complexion, and very fine orange-blond hair that falls over her shoulders. Her gaze is intense and searching. Her movements are graceful but energetic.

NATURE: Critical, moralizing, tactless, careless about the feelings of others, always wishing to be on the move, arrogant and boastful. Honest, bust she tends to exaggerate.

FUNCTION: To expose lies, to strike to the heart of issues, to reveal deception and pretense in all intellectual matters, to bring down false prophets, stop mail and communications fraud, to punish falsehoods in media and advertising.

ANGEL: Kazahel (QTzH+AL)
Pronounced: Kaz' -a-hel
TYPE: Mercy
SIDE: Right
SEX: Male
QUALITY: Muteable
SIGN: Sagittarius
HOUSE: Ninth
DIRECTION: West-northwest
STONE: Topaz (yellow-green)
TRIBE: Simeon


APPEARANCE: Tall, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist. Pale gray eyes, a long face, straight nose, small mouth, long neck, large graceful hands. A light complexion touched with highlights of golden pink. Golden-orange hair that falls to his shoulders in loose curls.

NATURE: Benevolent, restless, cheerful, freedom-loving, idealistic, adventure-seeking, reverent, ardent, sincere. His voice is pleasant, but her has a tendency to moralize.

FUNCTION: Matters that expand personal horizons, travel, distant communications, dealings with distant relatives, escape from all forms or prison or bondage. New vistas of thought or experience.

Left; an alternate, arrow only version of the logo on the 'Remix and Repent' CD, likening it even more to the aforementioned Tetragrammaton permutation,
Right; Manson as the Antichrist receiving power from the forces of evil in the Antichrist Svperstar artwork, directly following the Red Dragon reference.

"The time has come it is quite clear
Our Antichrist
Is almost here."

Marilyn Manson, Antichrist Superstar
Center; the most recognizable version of Manson's shock logo, emblazoned on podium and banners displayed for the Antichrist Superstar performance since the Dead to the World tour. Its simple view, consisting in a Nazi insignia "blitz" symbol (left, on a Nazi military pin) hidden within a representation of electric shock in use in some countries (right, on a photo took in Romania), is enough to evoke Marilyn Manson's character, as well as his attributed "shock rocker" label.

Live performance of Antichrist Svperstar which echoes of the Nazi Nuremberg rallies of the 1930's, with Manson tearing pages from the Bible portraying religious evangelists as fascists. Chaplin and Bowie reunited around Satan's table for a nightmarish dystopian mass Manson would continue to reenact and reinvent throughout his whole live carreer, until its ultimate parody in the 2009 video for Arma...Geddon. Right; Heinrich Himmler speaks to the SS troops.
Left; Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) logo made of two 'sieg' runes, a similarity that would feed the hate of Manson's narrow-minded opponents, failing to see the ambiguity for what it's worth : a brilliant alchemy of fascism and expressionism revealing the society to its own paradoxes, a concept fully examined in our "Degenerate" Art section. Right; Boyd Rice's infamous nazi-connotated Wolfsangel rune used as a logo for his project NON, and on similar banners during his performance of 'Total War', referring a 1943 Goebbels speech. Both symbols would also inspire Manson's Golden Age Of Grotesque diamond-shaped logo.
Still frames from Pink Floyd's film "The Wall", with the infamous crossed hammers logo adorning a Nuremberg-esque decor and podium. Another memorable example of Nazi imagery in pop culture and a major influence on Manson, who later mentionned "Comfortably Numb" in an interview as what he'd pick as a funeral song and played 'The Wall' before each show in the Fall 1998 Mechanical Animals minitour. See "Degenerate" Art & Fascism for more.
"We will no longer be oppressed by the fascism of [Christianity],
and we will no longer be oppressed by the fascism of beauty."
Marilyn Manson, introducing The Beautiful People
1997 MTV Video Music Awards
Left; Manson's apocalyptic performance of 'Antichrist Svperstar' during the Dead to the World tour. Right; an alternate version of the podium mimicking the US Presidential Seal during Manson's MTV performance of 'The Beautiful People', for the 1997 Video Music Awards, with military parade and Chaplin-ized US flag.
"The world spreads its legs for another star"
Marilyn Manson, Little Horn
Antichrist Svperstar
Reappropriation of the American flag raised for the performance of "Irresponsible Hate Anthem" during the Dead to the World tour, and its resurrection for the 2008 US leg of the Rape of the World tour, coinciding with Twiggy's return. The band would continue to use it on 'We're from America' in 2009.


Also in a context of reappropriation, Manson would later continue to affix the shock symbol within signature designs, often perverting pre-existing Christian graphics :

Church of the Antichrist Superstar,
'Smells Like Children' era.


'Eat Me, Drink Me' artwork with a double-hearted
version of the arrow between Manson's initials.


Anti-Christogram on a 1997 shirt,
'Antichrist Superstar' era.

MM15 logo on the 'We're From America' single
back cover, evoking Manson's fall from grace.

'Flag Crown' aka 'Crowned Ruins', June 2009
new shirt design for 'The High End Of Low'.

The shock arrow itself was prominently used in merch designs and other documents through Marilyn Manson's different eras, such as the examples below :

Superimposed shock arrow with an inverted crown of thorns and three nails of crucifixion on the back of a 1997 t-shirt, on Marilyn Manson's face and pentagram on the 2006 'Pentashock' tee, and atop Charles Manson's hypnotic eyes on a 2008 Print Mafia poster for the Rape Of The World tour.
Hey Mr. big rock star, "I wanna grow up just like you."
Marilyn Manson, Mister Superstar
Antichrist Svperstar
Still frames from 'Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture', a 1973 movie documenting David Bowie's eponymous tour, during which similar banners were displayed with flashing lightning bolts representing Bowie's character of Ziggy Stardust, who would continue to inspire Manson, notably for his own androgynous alien character Omēga and his fictitious band of the Mechanical Animals, during the era directly following Antichrist Svperstar.
A newer, more notorious version of Bowie's bolt on the 'Jean Genie' single (1972), 'Aladdin Sane' album cover (1973), and its 1982 reappropriation by Bauhaus.
Note that the central lightning bolt on Evan Rachel Wood's black heart tattoo unveiled in the "Heart-Shaped Glasses" video was also directly referring to Bowie.
The bolt/sieg rune used in the imagery and logos of several other famous satanic-connotated rock bands and alleged crucial influences on Marilyn Manson.