Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Michael Jackson and Shiva: Part I

On a personal note, I've had a spiritual connection with MJ all my life so it's only appropriate that I was led by the Pop Syncs to make The King of Pop the topic of my first post. Props to Jake Kotze for the inspiration.

My premise is that MJ resonates the Hindu divinity Shiva, especially in the depiction of Shiva as Nataraja (Lord of the Dance).

Shiva Nataraja, the Lord of the Dance. Photo by Thomas Ruedas.

SYNC NOTE #1: The Cosmic Dance

The Cosmic Dance of Lord Nataraja is usually portrayed as a bronze statue of Shiva dancing in an aureole of flames (a stargate symbol) and lifting his left leg. This is meant to symbolize the motion of the universe as sustained by Lord Shiva and is a visual interpretation of Brahman, the representation of reality at the time of cosmic destruction.  

MJ performing The Cosmic Dance of Lord Nataraja in his "Black or White" video.
The left leg kick of Shiva's Cosmic Dance is also mirrored in MJ's classically infamous kick dance move.

SYNC NOTE #2: Lord of the Dance

A Dateline NBC special entitled "The Secret Life of Michael Jackson" (original air date 02/10/10) featured Michael Flatley (the Lord of the Dance from Riverdance). In it Flatley noted that he and MJ were "old friends" and that MJ had even spent Summer 2006 with him at his Ireland home, Castle Hyde. 

Michael Jackson and Riverdance's "Lord of the Dance" Michael Flatley

SYNC NOTE #3: Overcoming the Tiger

Shiva is often also pictured seated on a tiger skin and/or wearing a tiger skin.  The tiger is the vehicle of Shakti, the Goddess of power and force and Shiva is the master of Shakti. The tiger skin that he wears symbolizes victory over every force. The tiger also represent lust. Thus by sitting on tiger skin, Shiva indicates that he has conquered lust.

The original cover of the "Thriller" album folds out to a pic of MJ holding a baby tiger on his knee and wearing a tiger print in his lapel.  In essence, this symbolizes that MJ has conquered the tiger's powerful force by reducing it to a docile baby cub. 

The original fold-out cover of the "Thriller" album (Left). Shiva sitting on a tiger and wearing an animal skin (Right). 

Similarly, in the video for "Billie Jean" the detective picks up a piece of tiger skin (a clue to MJ's identity?) then at the end of the video the piece of skin turns back into a tiger cub and a now invisible MJ walks away (he overcomes/resists his lustful nature by walking away from the temptation of Billie Jean's bed).

Scenes showing a tiger skin transforming into a tiger cub in MJ's "Billie Jean" video.
SYNC NOTE #4: The Whitening (Albedo)

On the Live from the Logosphere blog Indras Net noted that the sublimation of the Animal self is further symbolized by the Alchemical Process of the Whitening, or Albedo, the purification process after the Decomposition of Nigredo (or Dark Night of the Soul). Shiva having completed this process is evolved beyond Animal Nature.

The Albedo of an object is a measure of how strongly it reflects light from light sources such as the Sun.  In Alchemical terms, it is also said to represent the discovery of the hermaphroditic nature of man.

Michael Jackson in "Scream" video (Left). Statue of Shiva in Rishikesh, India (Right)--Photo by Iqbal Mohammed.

The world witnessed the physical transformation of MJ's skin from dark to light caused by his vitiligo affliction (and accompanied by some apparently deliberate asexualization/feminization of his facial features).

But what we may have actually been seeing was a dramatically literal synchromystic manifestation resonating Shiva's purifying journey of transformation through the Whitening to become the archetype of the Sacred Androgyne.

In Hindu mythology this holy completion is represented by the God Ardhanarisvara, who is the union of Shiva and Shakti.

Ardhanarishvara. (Photo by Himalayan Academy Publications).
~ WHEW! That was deep. ~
~ I'm gonna stop here for now before my mind explodes. ~


  1. Saw Megamind today after reading your post.

    At the end the Blue Megamind wears a new White Cloak and Tina Fey's character remarks "You look good in white". This all taking place as Micheal Jackson's "Bad" is playing.

    Gr8 Stuff

    Be well

  2. Wow! Thanks for reading my post Jake! I'll have to go check out Megamind now, too.

  3. Very much looking forward to Part 2 and also your take on the deeper meaning of Michael jackson. He resonated a profound energy on so many people all over the world, from all different backgrounds. He was quite a unifying force.

  4. Hi James, thanks so much for reading. I totally agree that MJ was a hugely powerful symbol of our mass consciousness and I hope I can pull it all together in Part II.

  5. This is good work Sibyl. I haven't paid much attention to any of MJs work since the 80s. But over the past year I felt compelled to reexamine his career. Something about his death seemed strangely appropriate and I couldn't put my finger on why.

    Anyhow...I ended up finding a goldmine of synchs and symbols. I mean enough material to justify a dedicated blog. I came to some loose theories about MJ, mostly dealing with his archetypal role for the late 20th century. I'm looking forward to the rest of your series to see how it fits in with my own findings.

    Have you read the MJ related blogs at livefromthelogosphere from a year or so ago? There's a lot of interesting stuff there.

  6. Thanks, Jim. Yes, I've been reading the material on the Live From the Logosphere blog. I love Indras' treatment of the rainbow imagery surrounding Michael. Very inspiring. MJ was quite a powerful symbol in a lot of aspects.

    And I know what you mean about needing a dedicated blog. I'm almost done with Part II of this post and I still have lots of material left about other MJ syncs from my research. So, I'll probably end up doing a whole series.