Pan's Labyrinth - Path 15

Ayin, Eye

Ayin, Eye

Ofelia first steps on the wooded path, and finds an ancient stone eye. This corresponds to the Hebrew letter Ayin, meaning eye. In particular, the right eye. If you have read Israel Regardie's A Garden of Pomegranates you will recognize this as the symbol carried by the magician into the 15th Path connecting Hod to Tiphareth. This is Key 15 of the Major Arcana of the Tarot - The Devil.  It corresponds to Capricorn, the Goat, and is ruled by Saturn. 

The Sphere of Binah. Saturn. Key 21 of the Major Arcana of the Tarot - The World. 

Capitan Vidal is a cold and heartless man who takes pride in the shine of his boots, the smoothness of his shave, culture, class, order, structure. He is a devotee of Franco's fascist ideas and he carries them out mercilessly. He married his tailor's widow. His only concern however is the son she carries for him. We know that his father's cracked watch pushes him to strive for greatness and at the same time is a heavy burden to him. It is obvious to me with the lie at the dinner table that Vidal's father is Uranus. We may find insight into their relationship in that myth.

In the Captain's quarters we see the large cogs in the background. Vidal in Spanish means "Life". The Capitan is the embodiment of Saturn and Mars, the greater and lesser malefics.  Vidal is the Adversary, The Devil, the God of This World. He binds all people unto his will. 


Ofelia's first quest from the faun is to retrieve a golden key from a horrid and monstrous toad living in the root system of an ancient tree. The director made a comment that you can even see the ovaries, pertaining to this tree. To my understanding it is a symbol of The Abyss. The dark womb of the Mother. Note it is sickened, as is the womb of Ofelia's own mother. 


The monster Ofelia must face in her second quest looks to have once been an old man. We know del Toro was inspired by an image he once saw of Saint Lucy - again with eyes. The monster's hands are pierced. In the stigmata it places its eyes, and sees forth from its hands, at that which it may grab and consume, which, are children... and fairies. The great feast set before the monster parallels the great feasting of the Capitan. During the Spanish Civil War people were boiling roots to eat among other things. This is why Ofelia could not resist the plump and juicy grapes. Two of them. Again, eye symbolism. The director had said that this pale monster represents the Catholic church, devourer of children. He also is known to be a fan of Goya. 


What is our fascination with fantasy and fauns? I think of C.S. Lewis' The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the faun Mr. Tumnus. Lewis had said that the image of a faun carrying an umbrella in a snowy wood came into his mind's eye. That's how it all started. Guillermo de Toro said the faun is not Pan. Pan is a very horny fellow and Ofelia would have been in trouble with Pan. No, this faun Ofelia deals with is neutral, much like nature we are told. He serves as a guide in the initiation of Ofelia. One thing to note is that the faun grows younger as the movie progresses. From whence cometh his youth? It's almost as if the interaction with Ofelia makes him MORE REAL. I'll say something Jungian about archetypes and the experiencing of them and move on...


Early on we are told of the ancientness of the ruins. The faun tells Ofelia that it is the last of the portals. It is a portal to the Cthonic realm, where the faun tells Ofelia she was a princess, but that she has forgotten. There is a great mystery here. Path 15 is a labyrinth full of illusions and wrong turns. The faun tells Ofelia she is born of the Moon, of Yesod. She has a lunar birthmark. Yesod is the Sphere of living water. To me, this movie is about the quest for eternal life, for the blue rose at the top of the mountain covered in poisoned thorns. Men do not contemplate eternal life, because it requires sacrifice of self. Of an individual journey, alone, through the poisoned brambles. Initiation is death. The labyrinth is the Golden Gate of the Gods. You're welcome.



And remember, the clockwork eye. This is the moment the clockwork eye is broken.