The Occult Interpretation of the Movie “Black Swan” and Its Message on Show Business
“Black Swan” is an intense psychological thriller describing a ballet dancer’s metamorphosis into the “Black Swan”. Behind the movie’s freaky facade lies a profound commentary on the cost of fame, the sacrifice of artists and the hidden forces behind the shady world of high-stakes entertainment. We will look at the occult symbolism of the movie and its themes relating to the dark side of show business.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan follows shy ballet dancer Nina along her path to success in the demanding world of professional ballet. Black Swan can be considered a companion piece to the director’s previous movie, The Wrestler, which also describes the ups and downs of a troubled person working in a lesser-known field in the performing arts: professional wrestling. Although both movies explore similar themes (i.e. sacrificing one’s self for the good of the performance), the world in which Nina evolves and the obstacles she must endure are diametrically opposed to those of The Wrestler. Randy “The Ram” Robinson is a blue-collar guy living in a blue-collar town and must cope with the physical pain caused by his blue-collar lifestyle. Nina, on the other hand, performs in the refined world of ballet and her struggles are psychological, emotional and even spiritual.
I often point out that great works of art can be interpreted in numerous ways, depending on the knowledge and experiences of each viewer. This movie is no exception … there are indeed numerous ways to interpret the plot of the movie. Through the use of meanings and symbols, however, the movie clearly alludes to many issues previously discussed on The Vigilant Citizen: the dark and occult side of fame, duality, trauma-based mind control, the forced creation of an alter persona and more. The main character, Nina, goes through a metaphysical change – by getting in touch with her “dark side” – in order to become a better performer. This change is imposed on Nina by her “handler”, in this case, her ballet director. The movie uses subtle references to trauma-based mind control to explain the creation of an independent alter-person in Nina’s psyche.
Although Black Swan is fiction, it nevertheless explores hidden realities of high-stakes art and performance. There are numerous examples of artists who have embraced darker alter egos to take their art to “another level” … and many who ultimately are consumed by them. We will look at the occult and mind-control elements of Black Swan and see how they relate to some of the realities of the world of professional entertainment.
Warning: Major spoilers ahead!
Black Swan is a modern retelling of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, Swan Lake. In the movie, the ballet director, Thomas Leroy (played by Vincent Cassel), describes to his dancers the basic plot of the ballet:
“We all know the story. Virginal girl, pure and sweet, trapped in the body of a swan. She desires freedom, but only true love can break the spell. Her wish is nearly granted in the form of a prince. But, before he can declare his love, the lustful twin, the Black Swan, tricks and seduces him. Devastated, the White Swan leaps off a cliff, killing herself and, in death, finds freedom”.
Nina, a shy and fragile young woman is chosen to play the role of the Swan Queen and must therefore embody both the pure White Swan and the evil Black Swan. Her quest for perfection as a ballet dancer leads her to experience, in her everyday life, the transformation experienced by the White Swan in the ballet’s story. The events of Nina’s daily life therefore mirror the story of the character she takes on as a ballet dancer, ultimately leading to confusion and, as the line between reality and fiction blurs, to apparent insanity.
The director’s use of mirrors and reflections in numerous scenes are a constant reminder of Nina’s altered perception of reality. Mirrors in the movie are often misleading and Nina’s reflections seem to have a “life of their own”. As Nina becomes haunted by the Black Swan, this alternate persona takes a life of its own and acts outside of Nina’s conscious control. We will explain later how this relates to trauma-based mind control.
If you have not read other articles on this site, trauma-based mind control – also known as Monarch Programming – is the process in which an individual is subjected to intense trauma and dehumanization in order to cause a mental dissociation. This causes a fragmentation of the slave’s personality and enables the handler to create an alternate persona that can be programmed at will. Some researchers claim there are occult elements at work in this process.
“Project MONARCH could be best described as a form of structured dissociation and occultic integration, in order to compartmentalize the mind into multiple personalities within a systematic framework. During this process, a Satanic ritual, usually including Cabalistic mysticism, is performed with the purpose of attaching a particular demon or group of demons to the corresponding alter(s). Of course, most skeptics would view this as simply a means to enhance trauma within the victim, negating any irrational belief that demonic possession actually occurs.”
– Ron Patton, Project Monarch
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