The Blue Beetles : DC Rebirth Gets Egyptian (Take I)

The Blue Beetles : DC Rebirth Gets Egyptian (Take I)

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After bonding to the mysterious scarab entity, Jaime Reyes is granted extraordinary powers that make him a living weapon.

 Jaime was a typical teenager until he came upon the mysterious blue beetle scarab. Originally possessed by Dan Garrett and then Ted Kord, the parasitic scarab attached itself to Jaime’s spine.  Bonding permanently with the entity, Jaime was able to tap into new powers that his predecessors never dreamed of.  Though its origins are obscure, Jaime has formed an unusual partnership with the alien creature and is the now the latest hero to call himself  the Blue Beetle.

As fate would have it, I downloaded the game DC Legends for my Droid mobile phone, and have been playing it since last November.  The idea of the game is simple enough: build up characters in terms of strengths and skills, and use your characters in a campaign mode that eventually leads to conflict with Nekron, aka the prophet of universal death or the Blackest of Nights. The game also features a team versus team mode, wherein your characters face off against characters built and improved upon by other gamers.  Surprisingly, (or maybe not so surprisingly?), I have been addicted to it since last year.

Each month, new heroes and villains are rolled out to the game in order to tempt the impatient gamer to spend money on building up each new character to a level that lets them compete against other Detective Comics’ fans.  From a marketing perspective, the game ties well to both the ongoing DC comic movie arc, as well as to the new DC Rebirth mythos within the most current written comics universe.

Of special interest to me are the characters in the game and the DC Rebirth series categorized as being “mystical” in nature.  This category includes characters such as Wonder Woman, Zatanna, and Swamp Thing.  As luck would have it, July saw the emergence of DC’s “mystical superhero” Blue Beetle, the Living Weapon.  Hinting of supernatural/superhuman powers attributed to a potentially Egyptian scarab beetle, I was hooked, and knew another article was required of me.

This article will attempt to define the following in context to the DC superhero known as the Blue Beetle.  I will examine:

  • A high- level analysis of the scarab per Egyptian mythology
  • The scarab per Crowley-vision (more on why, in a bit)
  • The scarab per Jung’s synchronicity
  • The Blue Beetle as an archetype of the Tarot
  • Finally, a hypothetical Blue Beetle character analysis in the DC Rebirth Series
    • And how it may tie in to the overall story

First, let’s take a look at the fictional origin of the superhero known as Blue Beetle.

Reyes is the 3rd fictional character to don the Blue Beetle mantle.  The Blue Beetle was originally created by Charles Nicholas Wojtkowski, and appeared in 1939 as the superhero alter ego of Dan Garret (later changed to Dan Garrett).  Steve Ditko later handed the title over to the alter ego of Ted Kord.  The third and current alter ego of the Blue Beetle is the previously mentioned Jaime Reyes.  A simple breakdown of the Blue Beetles:

  1. Blue Beetle # 1 – Dan Garret version I – the police officer archetype : the Blue Beetle was superhero dependent upon a bullet proof costume and a Vitamin 2x which provided super hero energy
  2. Blue Beetle #2 – Dan Garrett version II – the archaeologist archetype  : the Blue Beetle received superhero powers by discovering a mystical scarab beetle fund during a dig in Egypt, where it was used to imprison a mummified Pharaoh
  3. Blue Beetle #3 – Ted Kord –: the genius inventory /gifted athlete archetype: given the mantle of Blue Beetle upon Garrett’s death;, however, the scarab only reacted and gave Kord superhero powers if he was attacked
  4. Blue Beetle #4 – Jaime Reyes – the teenager archetype : living in El Paso, Texas, he discovers the scarab in a vacant lot, brings the scarab home, and later finds that the scarab has fused with his spine

The history of the scarab is interesting to note.  As mentioned above, Dan Garrett discovered the scarab during an archaeological dig and superhero powers were granted upon him per the magical scarab.  Later, in a bit of comic book timeline mischief, it was revealed that the scarab was actually extraterrestrial technology that belonged to a group of aliens known as the Reach.  After some confusing plot lines, it appears the scarab is a living, hive- conscious type creature that was modified to be used as a weapon by the capitalistic conquerors known as the Reach.  Long story short, the scarab was an object of Egyptian magic, and then converted to a piece of alien weapon technology.  Where does the scarab stand now, in terms of the DC Rebirth mythos?  Fortunately, we have Doctor Fate to share the wonderful news:

Analysis of the Scarabaeus per Egyptian Mythology: A Symbol of the Great Demiurgic Principle

As noted previously here by Desiree and by a fantastic comment by Joki, the scarab beetle was extremely important symbolically to ancient Egyptian culture.  The Egyptian word for existence, or “to come to be,” or “to happen,” is identical to the name of the scarab beetle: khephr.  The ancients believed that only male beetles existed, and that females were not required for reproduction purposes.

The scarab was the first living creature seen to come to life from the fertilizing mud of the Nile River, due in course to the influence of the rays of the Solar Sun upon the River’s banks and swamp lands subsequent to the retraction of the river’s flooding waters.  The Egyptians held the scarab beetle to be sacred to Amen-Ra, “the mystery of the sun god.”  The scarab was symbolic of the “creative and fertilizing power, of the rebirth, resurrection, and immortality of the soul, and was, through this, connected with their astronomical rites and knowledge”

The scarab was a symbol to Ptah the Creative Power and Khepera, the demiurge agent or maker of our universe; the creator of the world through form.  An alleged ancient quote attributed to a writer called Horapollo, states in respect to the scarabaeus,

“To denote an only begotten, or generation, or a father, or the world, or a man, they delineate a scarabaeus.  And they symbolize by this, an only begotten; because the scarabaeus is a creature self-produced, being unconceived by a female; for the propagation of it is unique and after this manner; when the male is desirous of procreating, he takes the dung of an ox, and shapes it into a spherical form like the world; he then rolls it from him by the hinder parts from East to West, looking himself towards the East, that he may impart to it the figure of the world.  Then having dug a hole, the scarabaeus deposits this ball in the earth for the space of twenty-eight days (the lunar cycle).  Upon the nine and twentieth day after, having opened the ball, it casts it into the water , for it is aware, that upon that day the conjunction of the moon and sun takes place, as well as the generation of the world.”

Therefore, Horapollo states, the scarabaeus is representative of:

  • Generation – the male beetle deposited its semen into the dung ball
  • The Father – antiquity thought no female was needed
  • The World – generation is fashioned in the form of the world, or the cosmic egg
  • Man – the female race is nonexistent

“So there is little doubt but the egg of the beetle, miraculously produced as they believed, had a reference to the sun, the great manifestation of the creative power of the universe.”

 Crowley and Scarabaeus : Crowley-Vision of the Sun in the Earth

I believe it is important to note the influence of Crowley on the current DC Rebirth Universe.  Again, the idea of the DC Rebirth story-line is that some agent exists outside of what we define as time.  This agent has used an apparent opening in the foundation of time to reset the world 10 years; existing relationships have been lost, personal memories and experiences have vanished, and the universe’s reality has been intent

When reading the first pages of DC Rebirth issue 1, the reader can see quite a bit of possible Crowley symbolism.  We see references to the numbers eleven, eleven-eleven, seven hundred and seventy seven (and then even more sevens).  The material also gets into ideas such as Saturn Girl, ABRACADABRA, and other magical elements.  Aside from some serious numerology in the first few pages, there also appears to be extremely important associations made between the Sarah Richard’s DC Tarot deck and Crowley’s Thoth Tarot analysis.

From a fictional narrative, the story is predicated on this manipulator of reality utilizing a Crowley/Qabalistic method to exploit the Tree of Sephirot program to “reset” reality.  I could be wrong, but I again feel like the writers are drawing upon the “alleged” esoteric philosophies of the Great Beast, for whatever reason.

With all that said, let’s take a very high level view of Crowley’s opinion of the scarab.  Influenced by the romanticism and intellectual curiosity of his time on Egyptian mysticism, we see that he too devotes much interest to the demiurgic principle known as Khepera. To Crowley, the scarab also represented existence from nothingness.  Crowley wrote that:

The sacred beetle, Khepera, is the sun at midnight, or the sun in the Earth.  Khepera is “he who becomes” and is “self-created.”  The beetle is representative of the only begotten son, as it was apparently born of a single parent.

Crowley’s use of the scarab appearing from the sea is also witnessed on his interpretation of Tarot XVIII.  The artist Lady Fried Harris depicts the Moon card as being guarded by two towers and twin Anubus gods, with the blood of Luna dripping into the ocean below.  The scarab is once more depicted carrying the Sun from the waters, signifying that, no matter how horrific the darkness of the abyss may be, the darkness will eventually end in the brightness of the birth of the Sun.

Jung and Scarabaeus

Finally, to tie this all together, let’s take a look at Jung’s statements regarding synchronicity and the experience of the scarab beetle.  For Jung, the concept of synchronicity was used to denote remarkable, meaningful coincidences between an external, independent event and a person’s internal, mental processes.  To Jung, synchronicities are established between the psyche and a distant or future event.  The meaning that the individual infers from this event (or name, or object), per the individual’s current mind set, represents the manifestation of a synchronicity.  This idea was demonstrated by the famous Jung story about the golden scarab beetle.

According to Jung, he was working with a female patient who was “stuck” in her therapeutic process.  Resisting any progression forward through previous sessions with Jung, she discussed a dream she had had in which she dreamt of a golden scarab beetle.  It was at that point during the patient’s session  that an identical scarab with golden hues began to tap at the window behind Jung’s back.  Jung opened the window and caught the beetle as it flew in; both Jung and the patient were startled by this event.  The coincidence turned out to be a meaningful event to both Jung and the patient, and the patient was no longer “stuck” in her therapy, and moved forward positively with her treatment.

To Jung, the event demonstrated the importance of synchronicities as a form of psychic catalyst; to encounter a meaningful synchronicity brings about a new mind-set or condition in the person who comes into contact with it.  In the case of the golden scarab, it had deep, genuine symbolic meaning in the context of the patient’s dream as well as  the relationship between Jung and his patient.  He defined these occurrences as being acausal in nature; that is, they are attributed to psychic orderedness.  Events of psychic orderedness (i.e. synchronicities) occur independent  of the space – time constraints of classical physics.  He went on to state that “general acausal orderedness…have existed from eternity and occur regularly, whereas the (narrower) forms of psychic orderedness are acts of creation in time.”

I have again touched based with the work of Carl Jung to help demonstrate the significance of the collective unconscious, the power of symbols, and their influence on the material and spiritual world.  From Jung’s perspective, the symbol of the scarab represented a pivotal point in his understanding of how the universe reveals reality.  The scarab represented some type of symbol of creation from the abyss of the collective unconscious within the context of the mystic Jung’s epiphany.  This implies a type of preternatural element to creation, much as the Egyptians and Crowley attributed to the scarab, per the above discussion.

I think it is also important in the context of the Blue Beetle.  Again, the DC Rebirth is a existence that has been reset by some unknown “hacker.”.  A reset may possibly lead to unexpected consequences such as synchronicities experienced by the characters of the DC universe.  These synchronicities, much like Jung’s experience with the scarab beetle, may tease the characters with the idea of what ultimate truth lies behind the experience of physical life.

Moreover, these synchronicities experienced by the characters of the fictional universe of Detective Comics will likely lead to a great discovery of reality in the upcoming storyline.  Will the synchronicities we experience day over day also lead us to the unveiling of what is behind the great curtain?  I highly doubt it – if only it could be that easy!

Tarot Equivalency – The Page of Pentacles

Moving back into the world of the Tarot and the Qabalah, let’s return to the Richard’s Tarot Deck.  We have the following image attributed to the Blue Beetle.

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Most who happen to read this likely need no introduction into the esotericism of the Tarot.  A high level from a Qabalistic standpoint, the Tarot contains:

  • 56 cards of the lesser arcana
  • Four suites of 14 cards each, moving from Ace, One, Two…Page, Knight, Queen, King
  • The four suites include
    • Wands
    • Cups
    • Swords
    • Pentacles
  • 22 cards of the greater arcana, or the major trumps
    • These cards move from zero to twenty one

The idea is that the four suites represent the four ideal worlds, or planes, of manifestation into which the universe is divided.  It is also been noted that the four suites represent:

  • The four elements of the ancient world
  • Four living creatures mentioned in Ezekiel and  Revelations
  • And the occult mean of a letter of the sacred name, Tetragrammaton, Yod, Heh, Vau, and Heh
    • Yod = the divine essence, or Air (the Wand)
    • Heh = the Mother, or the Water, the divine condensation of Air (the Cup)
    • Vau = fire, or the link between the two first principles (the Sword)
    • Heh = manifested substance of the prior three principles, or Earth (the Pentacle)

Of course there is much more to the analysis of the Tarot and its relationship to the structure of the universe, but let’s keep it simple for the time being. (And let’s not forget about our beloved Blue Beetle!)

The House of Pentacles (or Coins/Disks) represents the alchemical element of the Earth. As Cavendish’s The Tarot states, the Pentacles “are principally concerned with money, property, earning a living, status, worldly influence and security.”  The Page of Pentacles, more specifically, Cavendish states is “a careful, hardworking rather solemn person, who is slow and deliberate in thought and action, responsible and conscientious, thrifty but not ungenerous.  Generally, sound management and administration, economy, thrift.”  The reversed Page of Pentacles is “bad news, a waster, a prodigal son or daughter.”

Waite calls him a sturdy apprentice; Papus symbolizes him as a fair child, a messenger, signifying a letter.

Returning to Crowley-vision, and his Book of Thoth, we see the idea of the Page of Pentacles being transformed into a symbol of ultimate womanhood.  Crowley went so far as to state that the Page of Pentacles actually is representative of the Princess of Disks.  Crowley expressed that “she is strong, beautiful, with an expression of intense brooding, as if about to become aware of a secret wonder.”  Being the last of the court cards, she represents the beginning of a new cycle or new physical creation.  Continuing in his Book of Thoth, the Princess of Disks is depicted as such:

“Her crest is the head of the ram, and her sceptre descends into the earth. There its head becomes a diamond, the precious stone of Kether, thus symbolizing the birth of the highest and purest light in the deepest and darkest of the Elements. She stands within a grove of sacred trees before an altar suggesting a wheat sheaf, for she is a priestess of Demeter. She bears within her body the secret of the future. Her sublimity is further emphasized by the disk which she bears; for in the centre thereof is the Chinese ideogram denoting the twin spiral force of Creation in perfect equilibrium; from this is born the rose of Isis, the great fertile Mother.”   

Finally, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s fantastic treatise on Tarot hypothesizes that the Page of Pentacles would state that :

“I identify with the Earth, the entire planet.  I move toward countless paths. I can head just as easily toward action as toward reception. Like all sacred terrain, I contain a treasure that can prevent me from advancing as long as I keep it secret, buried, and untapped.  Like the weight of the entire past, of all traditions, it can transform the ball and chain on the ankle of the prisoner I am.  But at the same time I am raising toward the heights the best of myself, which is nothing other than the best of matter: the gold that is the essence of Being.  The riches I collect remain unused and do not bear any fruits.  The riches that I lift toward Consciousness promise the transformation of matter into spirit.  You could say that the alchemical work begins in me with its two simultaneous processes: materialization of the spirit and spiritualization of matter.  I am the dawn of action, but not the act itself.”

The Blue Beetle, like the Page of Pentacles, sits at the crossroads of a grander decision.  With one pentacle in the air, the other in the ground, Jamie Reyes is questioning his place, purpose, and meaning within the Universe.

Why Am I Writing About This?

What’s the point of this? I started this with some interest in a mystical fictional character from a video game, then tied it into the DC Rebirth mythos, and then I tied it to Crowley, Jung, Tarot, and Jodorowsky.  Does any of this make sense?  I think it might.

We see the writers at DC comics again employing possible Qabalistic and Crowley philosophies to set up a world that might be representative of our own world.  The DC universe, as mentioned, has been “hacked” with a possible regeneration of the Flash of Creation, which in turn has reset the Universe.  Key to all of this is the emergence of “reborn” superheroes and villains, each of which carries with him/her/it missing pieces of their lost, respective consciousnesses.  The DC universe has been altered by intent, yet the heroes of this fictional Earth will undoubtedly solve the Great Mystery of their altered existence.  Vital to the solution of this mystery is the symbol of the Sun within the Earth : the scarab beetle.  Returning to this image:

The Blue Beetle is illustrative of the sacred scarab and possibly an agent of the demiurgic principle.  The symbol of the sacred beetle is the Sun/Son in the Earth, and the scarab attached to Jamie Reyes is possibly this same primordial symbol.  With this great power as a Living Weapon, however, comes the opportunity of personal choice , and I don’t doubt that the Page of Pentacles will be an integral part of the story once the heroes of DC’s universe begin to draw back the Great Veil of reality.  Space aliens aren’t going to save humanity, as Doctor Fate foreshadows above; rather, what will save it is something much more grounded in humanity’s deep unconscious.

Of course, which path this powerful symbol chooses to take in the greater conflict is yet to be seen.

Wild Speculation on the DC Rebirth Mythos as Being Our Own Reality

Much like the DC Rebirth, we too may have encountered an “alteration.”  Call it Gnostic imprisonment, CERN altered time-space, or even artificial manipulation of the collective unconscious, but this alteration was intentional.  We too have lost something of significance and meaning to our lives due to this contrived revision.  Yet despite the attempts of this Demiurgic presence or ill- willed group of human beings who have engineered a change to our reality, those meanings and experiences still exist in the collective unconscious, and may randomly manifest into our own active consciousness whenever the “timing is right.”   The Great Artificer might be able to change the Program, but it cannot completely delete the data that has been buried within the Program’s code.

Say the Word, and You’ll Be Free

More Blue Beetles

These manifestations, whether they might be synchronicities or identifications with the engineered symbol of the Tarot, let us know that there is indeed something behind the so-called Great Veil.  However, to be able to draw it back completely to gain freedom from these bonds, we may very well need something that was with us at the very beginning of our existence.  We may need our very own Blue Beetle, the power of the sacred scarabaeus; we may need the sacred beetle, the symbol of the Earth and the Sun that was with our ancestors at a critical time of transition at some important time in our forgotten history.

John Lennon, where have you gone to…

Please feel free to tear this one apart.  If anyone has any thoughts on the material at hand, please share!  And if one shares by leaving a comment and still encounters error messages on the new site, please let me know.

References

1836-1902 MI. Scarabs. the history, manufacture and religious symbolism of the scarabaeus. Place of publication not identified: Hardpress Ltd; 2013.

Crowley A. The book of Thoth: a short essy on the tarot of the Egyptians. London: O.T.O; 1944.

Jodorowsky A, Costa M, Graham JE. The way of tarot: the spiritual teacher in the cards. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books; 2009.

Johns G, Frank G, Sciver EV, et al. DC Universe: rebirth. Burbank, CA: DC Comics; 2016.

Jung CG, Main R. Jung on synchronicity and the paranormal. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; 1999.

Ward J. Sacred beetle: a popular treatise on egyptian scarabs in art and history. Place of publication not identified: Nabu Press; 2010.

 

5 Replies to “The Blue Beetles : DC Rebirth Gets Egyptian (Take I)”

  1. Can I give this a dozen or so likes??
    Bravo! You tied in the Khepri and the Beatles and Crowley and Jung and even the “Rolling Stone” haha I love it. Since you mentioned synchronicity though, I have to mention that I had my very first tarot card reading just a few weeks ago. Two of the cards that came up…..? Yep! The Moon and the Princess of Disks!! Just had to mention that. Great work as always James, thank you.

    1. Ha thanks Des! Nice synchro too – who doesn’t love the occasional acausal event? And the Tarot, so much to continue to learn about moving forward. all of it fascinating, yet somehow tied together. thanks!

  2. … to gain freedom from these bonds, we may very well need something that was with us at the very beginning of our existence. We may need our very own Blue Beetle…

    Jesus Christ as Scarab Beetle
    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/299/

    Notes on Jesus Christ, Scarab, Dung Beetle, etc.
    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/notes-on-jesus-christ-scarab-dung-beetle-etc/

    Conclusion on Christian Scarab Symbolism
    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/conclusion-on-christian-scarab-symbolism/

  3. Fantastic analysis on all levels. I think you touched on a variety of good points in relation; the fundamental concept of the scarab appears to tie in with birth, formation, & rebirth, transformation &/or transcendence. As you are aware, I highly suspect a direct correlation to our physical reality within the so called ‘cosmic egg’. “World- generation is fashioned in the form of the world, or the cosmic egg”. Hence “from Jung’s perspective, the symbol of the scarab represented a pivotal point in his understanding of how the universe reveals reality”. & “the Blue Beetle is illustrative of the sacred scarab and possibly an agent of the demiurgic principle”.. These tend to suggest that the cosmos are a part of earth & its form… To decipher such an encryption may require us to look directly at the facts between the scarab & our physical realm of existence; the scarab beetle digs a burrow (earth) for the dung which appears to represent the (sun), & for its larvae which seems to represent (life). This directly collaborates with the Emerald tablet of Hermes; “That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one. 3) As all things were from one.
4) Its father is the Sun and its mother the Moon. 5) The Earth carried it in her belly, and the Wind nourished it in her belly”… Greek philosophy also depicts a human existence within “earth, as it is in heaven”. In scripture, Genesis tells us “the spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters, and then the light was created, ALL before the waters separated from the waters”. How? Because it could be telling us about another atmosphere and another light source before the waters separated from the waters. They are likely not talking about god’s spirit, but more about WIND or Aether. Wind/aether blew over the waters, then light was created, then the waters separated, THEN the sun and moon. The lords Prayer tells us they were possibly making a journey to see the Father, past the King-Dome to “Heaven” where they were NOT invited “Forgive us for our trespasses” because they were not welcome there. Several statements tell us Heaven has it’s own evil, although they’re not necessarily good nor bad by any means. Our civilization is modeled after theirs “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”, Earth is not just this place, it is the whole rock. All of it. “He has the whole world in his hands”, they drew us a cartoon. Is “Gods hands flat” and holding the world? Or did his hands form a BOWL? The world is most likely not flat, as nothing in nature is formed in a straight line… I could go on & on about the depictions that relate to the same physical paradigm. However, I’m determined to focus on the facts & repeatable sciences that we can observe & experiment upon. They speak volumes to me personally, yet our initial perception of reality is so skewed, most fail to find any rational reason to investigate the possibility further. Realizing our fragmented perception of this reality is key; “Like a fire that cast light on the walls of a cave, the human condition is forever bound by the impressions that are received through the senses”…. Unfortunately, my personal experiences are too limited to even attempt to decipher the nonphysical or subconscious connections that may be involved here, so my perspective is limited to the physical.

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