35,000 years later, a team of scientists discovers a series of cave paintings on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, that portray a “giant” pointing to a star system which happens to predate the same image found on numerous other steles from Babylonian, Egyptian and Mesopotamian antiquity. Perceptive readers will immediately recall the purported Stele of Revealing through which Aleister Crowley claimed to have received revelation of his Thelemic religion of our era, the new aeon of Horus. In this view of history, there are roughly delineated ages (or aeons) that correspond to human development, the first era corresponding to Isis and goddess worship in antiquity, the second to Osiris, for the patriarchal worship of a self-sacrificial masculine Deity of the Middle Ages, and Horus, the crowned and conquering child of our age, where supposedly individual man comes to self-realization and self-actualization. This fact is particularly relevant to the film because Prometheus is also the ancient myth of the Titan who challenged father Zeus and stole the fire of the gods, bringing it down to mankind. In the film, the “Prometheus” is the name of the ship that takes the Weyland Corporation’s exploration team to the distant planet the alien engineers appear to have arrived from. Among the crew, however, only Dr. Shaw (Noomi Rapace), Dr. Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) and the hidden Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) are actual believers in the theory of the ancient alien engineers, and only Dr. Shaw is a Christian.
As is the norm with the Weyland Corporation, an AI humanoid is also aboard to safeguard company interests – the Mao-garbed, T.E. Lawrence/Peter O’Toole obsessed “David” (Michael Fassbender). It is interesting that David is obsessed, or programmed to be obsessed, with T.E. Lawrence and/or the film Lawrence of Arabia, who was a British secret agent responsible for securing Imperial interests in the Middle East, particularly with the Saudis. Already, we have four curious references to Nordic/Aryan elements, with “Weyland” being an old Nordic poem about a prince of the elves, David as a nordic-featured robot, and the engineers as something akin to a “Great White Brotherhood” of “secret chiefs” and alien visitors, reminiscent of the the theosophic fables of Madame Blavatsky, and the origin of man, or the “root race,” from the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner universe also features this same “Aryan” theme with Roy Batty, as well as corporate socialism destined to steer our future. This suggests an influence of theosophic sources for the mythology of the Alien series, as well as many more occult ideas, as we shall see. Consider the image of David with the two skulls, or “death’s heads,” as heads appear constantly in the film, both as plot devices and symbolic signposts. Amongst the Nazi S.S, the Totenkopf held a special significance as a the bringer of death. Personified death is even mentioned several times in the film, as we discover the planet is not actually the alien home world, but a terraformed weapons laboratory where the alien DNA bio-weapon is housed.
It is also significant that the journey takes place on Christmas of 2093 as we discover Dr. Shaw is barren, yet due to the dastardly machinations of David and the Weyland Corporation she was chosen as a test subject for alien fertilization, with the intent of Shaw giving birth to a new alien god, mimicking the virgin birth of Christ. As we might expect, the Weyland Corporation happens to be much more interested in genetic cross-species hybridization and advanced bio-warfare technology than honest scientific inquiry into human origins. We can see an analogue to reality here, as the military industrial complex’s amazing technological advances are primarily fueled by warfare weapons research, while fronts like NASA give the appearance of the advancement of human knowledge. In fact, the recent threats of NASA losing its funding resulting in the shutting down of the space program are a complete farce, as the real space program, part of the black budget of over 50 billion dollars, has not ceased. As with Weyland Corporation, the real shadow technology complex is private, not some public, government institution. Like the well-meaning, compartmentalized scientist Dr. Shaw, our scientists and tech wizards rarely discover they are serving a much deeper, darker agenda of the shadow government. Dr. Shaw even discovers that she was chosen for the Prometheus mission resulting in her becoming a test subject like Ripley in the original Alien series.
As it turns out, Dr. Shaw is correct, and the alien engineers are our creators. The creation of man by “engineers” is curiously similar to both the gnostic mythology of creation, as well as the masonic view of God as the “Great Architect,” since engineers and architects work with preexisting matter, and do not create ex nihilo. Like the deity of so many Hollywood storylines, the “god” is merely an immanentist deus ex machina that arose from some primordial chaotic happenstance. In this regard, the panspermia myth is made to blend with the “science” of Darwinian aeons, where any kind of higher beings must have also been the result of chaotic material interaction and process. If there is any kind of single Supreme God, he is the hidden, unknown God (Acts 17). It should also be mentioned that the idea of giants in ancient civilizations that were the result of some kind of unnatural genetic manipulation is also mentioned in Genesis 6, where the sons of Seth are conjoined with angels to produce strange offspring, detailed at length in the Book of Enoch. The gnostic apect of the film’s theology thus fits well with the occult aspects posited earlier, as the theme of the death of the father is repeated several times.
Captain Vickers (Charlize Theron) desires the death of her pedophile father, Peter Weyland, the presumed dead old fart who eventually arises from a hold within the Prometheus seeking immortality from the engineers, David desires the death of humans as an AI bot without emotions, and Dr. Shaw, who ultimately wills the death of the (masculine) alien god creators for their discovered plans to annihilate humanity with the alien bio-weapon. Keep in mind Dr. Shaw is also motivated by the death of her father, from whom she obtained her faith. In other words, the Promethean myth is explained by a life of pure Darwinian survival of the fittest, as the quest ultimately becomes an Oedipal struggle for overthrowing the vestiges of the existing patriarchial order through the weaponry of death, as well as the death of God the Father, with the victor obtaining transhumanist immortality. As Captain Vickers explains with hatred to her father, “A king has his reign and then dies. That is the natural order of things,” and as David says to Dr. Shaw, “Doesn’t everyone want their parents dead?” In this aspect, Prometheus is about the new aeon of supposed self-realization of individual self-will, as opposed to obeisance to hierarchical, archetypal power figures like “mother” and “father” (think also of Ripley battling with the on-board computer system “Mother” in Alien).
Exploring more religious themes, the alien planet’s “pyramid” (as it’s called in the film) is revealed to be an entire spacecraft, where within its chambers there is a massive, Easter Island-style head, which appears to have a religious significance for the engineers, as well as murals and paraphernalia related to the worship of the actual alien aliens (the Xenomorph). It would appear the engineers worship death in the form of the Xenomporh, as the only seeming raison d’etre for the Xenomorphs is killing. The universe of Alien/Prometheus is a radically nihilistic one, where instead of a benevolent Creator God of providential guidance, mankind is the accidental DNA experiment descendant of a black death bio-warfare science-worshipping alien cult. The alien on the mural in the engineers’ head chamber appears to be crucified, signifying either worship of, or the conquest of, the Xenomorph hybrid. This would explain why the engineers are intent on returning to earth to wipe out the human race since, as I’ve elucidated many times, in films the “aliens” often represent the eugenics-minded elite intent on depopulating the earth as a ritual sacrifice the angel of death. This could also explain the Nordic/Aryan elements in the film, since strictly regimented breeding and procreation was a key facet of the Nazi version of eugenics.
As mentioned, heads are present everywhere in the film. The head of the first engineer is discovered to be decapitated in the ritual (?) room where the head statue is. David is seen with skulls, there is the skull on the mountain, and near the end, David has his head torn off by the last engineer. My speculation is the head is the source and symbol of reason, but also the highest level of evolutionary development (in that worldview) as the house of the brain. The engineers appear to worship the head, as well as mankind having reached almost the same level of technology as the engineers, with the ability to terraform, cross-species engineer and create AI. David’s head is the highest form of human achievement and fathers are also “heads” of patriarchal societies. Thus, the possession of headship is symbolized by all these noggins everywhere. The battle for the future is presumably granted to whoever has the most advanced reason, yet in a strange twist, the only survivors at the end are Dr. Shaw, who remains in her faith, David’s head, an engineer and a Xenomorph (who has the biggest head!). Reason alone is not sufficient in this nihilistic Alien universe: Pure willpower must be combined. As with Ripley in Alien and the sequels, we find the feminist mythology present throughout that woman is somehow the new “man” that will overcome, without the need of any male. Instead of the ubermensch, it’s the uber-chick, as we see with Hanna, Gravity, Hunger Games, Divergent, and a host of other girlpower pop cinema displays. It is important that Dr. Shaw’s first name is Elizabeth, and in the film she’s called “El” a few times, which brings to mind the biblical name for higher beings, be it El or Elohim. Though she aborts her birth, the Christmas present fetus is the offspring of a new Eve, El.
While Prometheus is visually captivating, I think it falls short of the innovative creativity Scott demonstrated with Alien. What we do have with Prometheus is a revelation of the religious narrative behind the universe of Alien, where man is a genetic accidental offspring of purely finite creators. A rehash of gnostic and occult fables, the new mythology of science is socially engineered by our own very human overlord engineers to seamlessly meld with Darwinism. In modern man’s meaningless universe, it bears repeating – why not worship the black emptiness of nihilism and chaos? That the film has this ultimate point is shown when a dying Peter Weyland exhales to David, “There is nothing.” Like H.R. Giger’s art that formed the basis for the films, the message is there is only the cold, harsh reality of machine-like matter in an impersonal cycle of flux. In such a realm where there are no objective principles, metaphysics, gods or higher goods, there is only war, and the godhead of war is death, the Totenkopf. In such a world there is no more reason for the rise of feminine heroics and strength than there is reason at all. Heads are decapitated, bringing to mind the French Revolution guillotines, where heads were lopped off for anti-hierarchical revolution. In Prometheus‘ revolution, just as in 18th century France, there is no reason for revolution, even when you worship reason, and so the anti-logic logic ends in this: The god of the universe is simply death.