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Unread 04-18-2009, 12:50 PM
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The_Sundance_Kid The_Sundance_Kid is offline
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Narnia, C.S Lewis and the Planets

I just watched this documentary and recommend it for those who can view it:

It explains how someone cracked the 'Narnia Code', that has mystified critics for 50 years. The code explains the random and erratic imagery in the Narnia books, imagery that Lewis' friends like Tolkein thought was rubbish.

The Chronicles apparently have the following meanings:

Layer 1 is the literal meaning, the fairytales themselves.
(Tolkein disliked mixing imagery-eg the inclusion of Santa Claus in Narnia)
Layer 2 is the Christian meaning, full of allegory
(Tolkein himself disliked allegory)
Layer 3 is the newly discovered layer, that each of the 7 books corresponds to a traditional planet.
(Tolkein might have liked this if he had known- he spends a big chunk of the Silmarillion discussing the cosmic song of harmony at the beginning of creation.)

The point of including the planets as a more secret layer is supposed to be a sign by Lewis that the universe is infused with meaning, and that the language of the planets is beautiful- it appears he was a great lover of astrological symbolism.

The guy who discovered the third layer published a book called Planet Narnia,
Reviewed here:

There are some interesting things to note:

Firstly this explains the often random use of characters and imagery. Thus Santa Claus HAD to appear in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe because that book was about Jupiter, planet of redemption, and the melting snows of Saturn. And Santa Claus is a most Jupiterian figure. And likewise the use of trees in Prince Caspian is not random, but because that book is ruled by Mars, who in medieval symbolism ruled the trees, and war, and men, and Princes. And the Voyages of the Dawn Treader is ruled by the Sun, as the characters try to sail as far East as possible, to find the sun, and there they encounter Aslan the lion.

Secondly, the imagery may be lost even to modern astrologers as it is focused on medieval symbolism- ie I didn't know about Mars and trees, or about the sun and dragons.

Thirdly, they only seem to mention Lewis as an astronomer, and not an astrologer. I guess the key difference is that there is no use of birth charts or houses or the like. But the language of the planets, the archetypes and symbolism I regard as the primary mover of astrology, so I would say it is astrological. A literary astrology.

Anyway, hope everyone is well


EDIT: Good link
*Witty Comment*

Last edited by The_Sundance_Kid; 04-19-2009 at 01:12 PM.
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