There have been many debates and contributions to the familiar reference to the Devil and I would like to add a few ideas of my own. As has been accurately pointed out, there might be an evolution of the description “old” when specifically related to the Devil. The Jewish description of the Devil as the Spirit of Adversity, that could have eventually turned into the familiar idea of Satan is useless here because depictions of age are notoriously absent from the relevant paragraphs in Job, dedicated to the grandeur of God more so than to his minion, “the Adversary.”
We have to refer to the Christian translation that first designated the Devil as the source of all Evil and described him based on the Eden associations as the “old serpent,” as has been stated on the quora site, the word used in Greek to describe the Devil as old, was archaious and my immediate association with it was of “arche,” the principle of primordial matter, the essential element, used by the pre Socratic philosopher to account for the creation of the universe itself.
With that in mind, is it not possible that the Devil could have been seen at times as an ancient entity in his own right, familiar with the first principles of Creation and participating himself in the process of Creation.
It is a small stretch of imagination but such figures have been known in mythology. Prometheus of course comes to mind, punished for his sins, ancient, a participant, according to some versions, in the construction of mankind, and a rebel to boot.
As far as the relation to the name Nicholas, a comparison to Santa Klaus comes to mind, especially when his dark assistant Black Peter is considered as the distributor of retribution.
Further, the reindeer have been compared to the goats of the god Thor, who is perceived by many scholars as the god of the people, which could correlate to the meaning of the name Nicholas itself, as “off the people.”
Interestingly enough, Thor, through his domain of lightning, could be partially related to fire, and is even portrayed with the red hair and beards in some myths, going back again to the idea of Prometheus who also had fiery connotations.
It might seem counter intuitive to some readers that the image of the Devil, much like the concept of Satan, can only be conjectured in its entirety, based on several disparate sources. At the same time, the idea of Aleister Crowley comes to mind, that the so called Black Brotherhood lacks cohesion.
I personally think that it makes perfect sense for the idea of the Devil to be composed of various elements. Taking into account that for many the Devil represents conflict and adversity, unity, when established and successfully conceptualized, must be the purview of the other side.
If any of you reading this are wondering what the video embedded below has to do with the article, well, it features the Living Dead Dolls rendition of the Devil figure, Nickolas, that actually inspired this entire article.
It is never an easy feat to step into some big shoes, and few shoes are bigger than those of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. Tin Man, a 2007 miniseries, manages the job fairly well.
Zooey Deschanel, best known for playing Jess in the New Girl, had both her good and her bad moments of playing the Dorothy equivalent, D.G. but overall, even the cliches did not detract from the overall pleasing impression.
The Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow, are all reimagined in creative ways, and the Wicked Witch of the West part was simply breathtaking. The producers wanted to have something evil and diabolical, and I think they managed it exquisitely well. This is not your kid friendly witch who can be even laughable with passage of time, she means business, and is very dark even by my gothically inclined standards.
An interesting family dynamics, inner journey, different, unusual but not too crazy settings, with some visual effects thrown into the mix. I am only sorry the mini series ended so soon, four days after watching it, the unexpected twist is still very much on my mind, and that kind of an impact has to imply a great show, even it if was short lived. Currently available on Netflix and highly recommended for lovers of fantasy and horror alike.
House of Dracula is one of those horror classics that don’t lose their charm entirely despite the advance in visual effects the big screen is spoiling us with.
It brings back together some of most memorable Universal monsters: Frankenstein, Wolfman and Dracula, not necessarily in order of appearance.
The actors make their characters believable, Dracula is not simply evil but is also dedicated; Wolfman cannot control his transformation but does not excuse his actions.
The kindly old professor does some fascinating research in the movie and is more reminiscent of the gentler Bulwer image from Dracula 1931, than the less appealing, to my mind at least, militant vampire hunter, Van Helsing, who seemingly has been getting only younger with each Hollywood retelling.
I must say that the kindly old professor image is more appealing to me, and the way he was portrayed in the House of Dracula, less stereotypical, more divided, was an even more brilliant stroke.
Yet another striking feature I found memorable in this movie, is its usage of the Christian cross. It is known in the vampire lore of course to defend against vampiric hypnosis and direct physical attacks. But I felt upon watching the 1945 horror movie that its usage was almost ironic, with a certain person rather unconsciously touching the cross to protect themselves against who they actually were(I am using the gender neutral description to avoid spoilers of course!).
The movie presented a few delightful twists, with the minor characters, understandably receiving lesser development. Though even among the lesser characters, one was charmingly reminiscent of the conspicuously displaced Renfield.
Overall, I would recommend at least for some of the scenes in the movie to be watched and it is available for free on youtube.
Kerkaion was the staff of power associated with the Greek god Hermes(we are all more familiar with its Latin translation, caduceus). There are several interesting stories on the origins of this staff but the one that appears to represent it well is of prophet Tiresias who was forced to carry out the dual existence of a man and a woman.
Although Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson stories, brilliantly depicted the entwined snakes on the rod as George and Martha(suitable names for their mythological associations) I personally think of the two serpents as the transformed Kadmos and Harmonia of the Theban cycle.
I deduce the symbolism of the Hermetic rod to contain such diverse ideas as synthesis, reconciliation of opposites, the whole being greater than its parts, and proper responsibility as means to self realization.
Beachside is a seller on ebay from whom I have bought the caduceus(inexpensively) and enjoying expending my rod collection ever since. Below you can find another, perhaps less familiar but equally delightful sample of the Beachside jewelry with which I was very pleased. I discussed several other pieces in my collection in a youtube review(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKrilitLb_M) for those who wish to see more details, but my general motto is: there can never be too many caducii. LOL and beachside has many more jewelry pieces to offer for fans of the mythological/supernatural or simply quaint.