Archive for December 3rd, 2008

Mysteries of Osiris, Day 6
Procession of Hathor and Horus the Elder

Yesterday the DVD of X-Files: I Want To Believe was released, and of course I raced to rent it as soon as I was finished with work and my volunteers’ meeting.  It’s a compelling movie, far too introspective and dark to have made much of a splash during the summer blockbuster season in which it was originally released; a pity, really, because for all its flaws (and it does have a few), it’s a rarity that deserves to be more widely seen and considered: a quiet, contemplative examination of the concepts of faith, belief, and redemption, and of the bonds of love that govern them all.  That’s what I took from it, at least; your mileage may vary. 

Some of the conflicts seem a bit forced, but others ring heartbreakingly true.  Dana Scully still walks the line between skeptical scientist and woman of faith; in her I’ve always recognized elements of myself, and her struggles for balance resonate strongly for me.  Fox Mulder still wants to believe in nearly everything except any sort of god or deity, and yet he remains honest enough to admit to those “extreme possibilities” when confronted with them.  To a non-X-phile, Scully’s reactions to Father Joe, the convicted paedophile priest who castrated himself rather than continue to act on impulses he couldn’t control, might seem overly priggish–particularly for a woman who’s lived unmarried with her former FBI partner for several years and borne his son out of wedlock!–but to me they seemed entirely right and perfectly in keeping with her character.  Scully was raised Catholic, and her faith has informed her personality even as it has challenged and on occasion troubled her; the priesthood has a meaning to her, and seeing someone who has betrayed his position in the way Father Joe has fills her with disgust and loathing.  An outraged Scully is a thing of rare beauty, an elemental force to be reckoned with.  When Scully tells you to pick up the phone and make it happen (that’s from the first movie, but work with me here), you make it happen or else. 

But I digress.

At any rate, having watched IWTB, I went Googling for a while in true fangirl fashion, and in so doing I came across a site called An X-Files X-Egesis”.  The author has gone to great lengths to describe the parallels between the show’s mythology as it developed over seasons seven through nine and the Egyptian story of Isis and Osiris, some of which I’ve been focused on for the past few days.  I instantly expected the worst, but dove in anyway, and was pleasantly surprised with what I found.  This is no tinfoil-hatter seeing Illuminati hiding behind every bush; rather, he appears to be thoroughly conversant with both the X-Files‘ characters and mythos and the Isis-Osiris legend.  I had myself noticed certain parallels in the past, and evoked them briefly in a fanfic I wrote years ago (yes, I am a big geek, why do you ask?), but this essay takes it much farther than even I ever dreamed.  Some parts of it are a stretch, granted, but the overall picture is a fascinating and convincing one.

You have a couple, intensely devoted to one another; he is lured and betrayed, dies and is restored to life.  She conceives a child when it should have been impossible for her to do so, then flees to bear the child in secret.  The couple is reunited, but he is forced to go underground.  And so it goes.  Just read the article, if you have an interest; the author spells out the comparisons quite efficiently. 

And I will say this: it wasn’t until I saw Scully’s chillingly primal howl of grief and loss in “This Is Not Happening” that I could viscerally imagine/understand the grief of Isis when she came upon Osiris’ corpse.  It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who caught a glimpse of the connection.


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