iamamiwhoami – Evolution of the Dragon – A Dissertation


Category : Food for Thought, art

The dragon was primarily a personification of the life-giving and life-destroying powers of water.

Keywords: evolution, dragon, civilization, mankind, placenta, fravashi, foetus, birth, re-birth, burning incense, libation, Great Mother, King, Knight, warrior, weapon, time, moon, sun, Aphrodite, Argus Panoptes, fertility, goddess, myth, archetype, water, blood, sap, murder, end of man, God, Trinity, good, evil, immortality, shell, cephalopod, mummification, embalming, tomb, statue, petrification, death-mask, totemism, soul, vital principle, culture,  reproduction, maternity, cow, goat, animism, deification, reanimation


This post is based on The Evolution of the Dragon, by G. Elliot Smith. The text is used for educational purposes only and, even though I would like to post a great quantity of it in here, it would be impossible to follow. Hence I have chosen the most eloquent paragraphs and added my annotations in order to connect them to the topic of our discussion.

I shall start by telling you that you should look at the dragon as a metaphor of civilization, Elliot Smith’s book trying to explain the evolution of mankind by linking it to the evolution of the archetype of the water and the myth of the dragon. If you want, it’s something like the evolution of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, only closely related to the way iamamiwhoami is presented.

It’s hard to begin with something in particular, but I shall keep the order of the author’s dissertation, even if it doesn’t strictly follow the order of events in the iamami videos.

I. Incense and Libations

This chapter is concerned with the genesis of this biological theory of water and its relationship to the other germs of civilisation.

As I have mentioned before, water is the ultimate archetype and this is what the author begins with.

In the earliest records from Egypt and Babylonia it is customary to portray a king’s beneficence by representing him initiating irrigation works. In course of time he came to be regarded, not merely as the giver of the water which made the desert fertile, but as himself the personification and the giver of the vital powers of water. The fertility of the land and the welfare of the people thus came to be regarded as dependent upon the king’s vitality.

As expected, the author begins with a view upon water as the basic element of life in the form of the amniotic fluid. From here, he is developing on the terms of  the fravashi, and that of the ka, who are suggested by the placenta and the fœtal membranes. In his opinion,

The fravashinourishes and protects” (p. 57): it is “the nurse” (p. 58): it is always feminine (p. 58). It is in fact the placenta, and is also associated with the functions of the Great Mother. This is the term we shall refer to when we’re speaking of our beloved MO. Great Mother is the inaugurator of the year, and in virtue of her physiological (uterine) functions the moon-controlled measurer of the month.

In connection to the dragon, fravashi is the divine and immortal spirit that possesses a man and shapes his conduct and regulates his behaviour. The foetus membrane is connected to the masculine and the feminine elements because it is the product of both. The child.

Continuing the idea of nourishment, the author speaks about two Egyptian customs encountered in the process of mummification. Yes, you heard me right, I will talk about mummies, but you’ll be surprised, as iamamiwhoami does too! As the author explains, the practice of mummification is very important to the development of civilization, however, I have in mind not merely the influence it exerted upon the moulding of culture, but also the part played by the trend of philosophy in the world at large in determining the Egyptian’s conceptions of the wider significance of embalming, and the reaction of these effects upon the current doctrines of the meaning of natural phenomena.

You see, Egyptians believe the corpse is the means of securing a continuance of existence, thus the process of mummification representing that corpse receiving the quality of immortality. This is why ancient kings were mummified, and even more, turned into stone, as special care was taken to protect the dead and this led to the invention of coffins, and to the making of a definite tomb. The road looks quite simple: human being/mortality>>king>>mummification>>deification>>God/immortality.

Embalming plays a very important role in this transformation, because it basically enables the body to be preserved, therefore immortal. Once mummified, the body no longer became desiccated and preserved by the forces of nature as so often happened when it was placed in a simple grave directly in the hot dry sand (’rest in the quick sand’). The dead king also became more real when he was represented by an actual embalmed body and a life-like statue, sitting in state upon his throne and holding in his hands the emblems of his high office.

To me, the wrapping scene in N is actually an act of mummification, that is of body preservation, of a try to make the body immortal. The fact that MO really looks embalmed (treated with all sort of substances) comes to sustain my opinion. Also, Egyptian kings/gods are presented both laying down, like the MO on the table of six or on the shrine in N, or sitting up, like MO in Y. Petrified mummies. This belief of kings dwelling in stones merges with the Knights turned into stones from “.”, and it is, of course, connected to the idea of immortality and rebirth.

Later on, this practice developed of substituting for the real things models, or even pictures, of animals or vegetables and these objects and pictures were restored to life or reality by means of a ritual. Hence the concept of animism (which comes from animus, soul). This concept is very important if we think of the use of animals in the iamamiwhoami videos, especially in the concert scene at the table, where animals are literally animated. The idea is yet connected to the dead restored to life – animated – via their totems, the animals.

GES continues with a very beautiful remark: our own children talk in an animistic fashion. But is not this due in some measure to the unconscious influence of their elders? This is very interesting, because it is connected to the pageant video linked in one of the pre-vids description. Those little girls are the embodiment of the primitive man, who has no notions whatsoever, just an instinct. Hence: The child certainly resembles primitive man in the readiness with which it attributes to even the crudest models of animals or human beings the feelings of living creatures. Was the final scene of the animals sitting at the table a return to the primitive man? Yes, it was, because this is what rebirth is all about. Starting from zero, re-building notions.

Moving on… The Egyptian embalmer was clearly inspired by two ideals: (a) to preserve the actual tissues of the body with a minimum disturbance of its superficial appearance; and (b) to preserve a likeness of the deceased as he was in life. If the first problem is solved through the use of certain substances, the second was solved by the use of masks. Death-masks to be more precise.  A life-size portrait statue of the dead man’s head placed along with the actual body in the burial chamber. These “reserve heads,” as they have been called, were usually made of fine limestone, but Junker found one made of Nile mud. This definitely reminds me of the 6 masks at the end of O.

The corpse of the deceased is dry and shrivelled. To revivify it the vital fluids that have exuded from it [in the process of mummification] must be restored, for not till then will life return and the heart beat again. This, so the texts show us, was believed to be accomplished by offering libations to the accompaniment of incantations. This is why the masks at the end of O look like they had fluids poured over them. It’s part of the process of mummification. Just as water, when applied to the apparently dead seed, makes it germinate and come to life, so libations can reanimate the corpse. The general fertilizing power of water when applied to the soil found specific exemplification in the potency of the seminal fluid to fertilize human beings. And isn’t this what the six CUs are doing in concert during u-2? They’re performing an act of offering libation. As both the earth and women could be fertilized by water they were homologized one with the other. The earth came to be regarded as a woman, the Great Mother.

Directly linked to the idea of fertilization, ancient cultures believed that the external organ of reproduction from which the child emerged at birth was the actual creator of the child, not merely the giver of birth but also the source of life. This is why we see MO emerging from the tree (which happens to resemble the feminine external organ of reproduction and not the… uterus), as Aphrodite emerged from a shell (which happens to resemble the same thing, but by no means is the source). Thus, the cowry-shell having life-giving and birth-giving virtues.

Following the evolution of this symbol, GES shows us how the Great Mother stops being identified with the cowry-shell and, as she embodies Hathor (the form of a real woman), she’s later identified with a cow. A cow? Why, yes, of course, MO seems to have hooves in the last Pre-vid!

The cow is really important in this context, if you ask me. I mean we have the hooves MO, but we also have the milk-lady MO in N, it’s clear, they’ve portrayed her literally milking herself. So the first connection I made after reading GES was that MO does stand for a cow metaphorically. Now the only cow with a great meaning in Greek mythology is Io, a young priestess (!!!) who was Zeus’ mistress and who was turned by jealous Hera into a cow. Now the interesting thing comes, because Argus, the 100 eyes monster was the one who was supposed to watch her. To me, the bottle man in N is the embodiment of Argus, all covered in ‘eyes’.

The two processes, the burning incense and the libation, are both linked to the use of water, or should I say source of life. According to GES, incense is not merely the ‘odour of the god,’ but the grains of resin are said to be the god’s sweat. Both rites, the pouring of libations and the burning of incense, are performed for the same purpose—to revivify the body [or the statue] of god and man by restoring to it its lost moisture. Among the most obtrusive evidences of death were the coldness of the skin, the lack of perspiration and of the odour of the living. The burning of incense before a corpse or statue was intended to convey to it the warmth, the sweat, and the odour of life. As the grains of incense consisted of the exudation of trees, or, as the ancient texts express it, “their sweat,” the divine power of animation in course of time became transferred to the trees. The reason why the deity which dwelt in these trees was usually identified with the Great Mother. Sweat? Resin on the trees? Sap? We do have MO licking the trees in search of nourishment in one of the pre-vids and we do have her ‘sweating’ the source of life in T. Even more: Taoist seekers after immortality transplanted that animation into themselves by consuming the resin of those trees, which, apparently, they looked upon as coagulated soul-substance, the counterpart of the blood in men and animals. What more could you ask? Iamami’s interpretation of this was perfect!!!

That’s probably the reason for which CU himself has a taste of his own god-like fluid. The sap of trees was brought into relationship with life-giving water and thus constituted another link with Osiris. The sap was also regarded as the blood of trees and the incense that exuded as the sweat. Just as the water of libation was regarded as the fluid of the body of Osiris, so also, by this process of rationalization, the incense came to possess a similar significance.

Fluid is what runs through all living things on this Earth, this is why it is considered the source of life. According to several Sanskrit texts, this vital principle flows out of women in their monthly period under the form of blood (we have that with iam, blood on snow), out of men in the process of ejaculation, as their seed (CU and his happy moments), out of water in disgusting foam (we have that in the ‘whale’ pre-video), out of trees in their sap (in the ‘owl’ pre-vid and under the form of milk later on) and out of the earth in salt soil.

In his attempt to explain the concept of totemism, GES continues: The soul of a human being is generally conceived [by the[Pg 39] Chinese] as possessing the shape and characteristics of a human being, and occasionally those of an animal. But plant spirits are never conceived as plant-shaped, nor to have plant-characters … whenever forms are given them, they are mostly represented as a man, a woman, or a child. Amongst the stories of souls of men taking up their residence in and animating trees and plants, the human being is usually a woman, accompanied by “a fox, a dog, an old raven or the like”. Hence the Aphrodite cult, the animation of the anthropoid plant, its human cry, its association with a beautiful maiden and a dog. We’re getting closer.

Moving on with his dissertation, GES tried to explain what I called the myth of androgyny with iamamiwhoami: Mother “Goddess” and the more distinctly anthropoid Water “God,” which originally developed quite independently the one of the other, ultimately came to exert a profound and mutual influence, so that many of the attributes which originally belonged to one of them came to be shared with the other. Many factors played a part in this process of blending and confusion of sex. Do we have this with MO? We do. And we even have it materialized, not just in the myth itself. Read my analysis of u-1.

GES continues his book with a subchapter called The Breath of Life. After the body has been embalmed, mummified, petrified and watered, it only needs one more thing to become immortal: the breath of life, the presence or absence of which is the most obvious distinction between the animate and the inanimate, the “ghost” (GHOST?!!!!!) which a man “gives up” at death. Soul. It’s the only thing that ensures re-birth. The inception of this breath is done through a ceremony called ‘the opening of the mouth’. GES mentions something which you are all familiar with: The god Ptah created man by modelling his form in clay. Similarly the life-giving sculptor made the portrait which was to be the means of securing a perpetuation of existence, when it was animated by the “opening of the mouth,” by libations and incense. The modeling his form in clay is a reference to the masks in O and… I could easily look at the holes in the trees as mouths being open in order to receive life. Also, CU is opening his mouth right after he loses his fluids. He’s self sustained. He’s self sufficient God (by will or by circumstances).

Since we’re talking about the soul, the idea of the ‘soul’ was based upon the attempts to interpret the phenomena of dreams and shadows. A man’s shadow or his reflection in water or a mirror has been interpreted as his double.

When an infant is born it is accompanied by the after-birth or placenta to which it is linked by the umbilical cord. In this case, the placenta functions as his other. His alter ego. After the birth of a king, he is accompanied by a comrade or twin exactly reproducing all his features. Their destinies are closely linked. The placenta, or rather its ghost, would have been supposed by the Ancient Egyptians to be closely connected with the individual’s personality because the placenta was composed of blood, which was regarded as the material of consciousness and intelligence. The placenta is credited with all the varieties of life-giving potency that are attributed to the Mother-Goddess. It therefore controls the welfare of the individual and, like all maternal amulets ensures his good fortune. May all good things come to you!

Since we’re at a point in which we are talking about one’s self and one’s other self, it’s time to see GES’s opinion upon the yin and yang. According to the ancient Chinese, man has two souls. One is the material soul, which emanates from the terrestrial part of the universe and is formed of yin substance. In living man it operates under the name of p’oh, and on his death it returns to the earth and abides with the deceased in his grave. The other is the immaterial soul, which emanates from the ethereal celestial part of the cosmos and consists of yang substance. When operating actively in the living human body, it is called khi or “breath,” and hwun; when separated from it after death it lives forth as a refulgent spirit. They are both represented in iamamiwhoami.

Carrying oooon… now that the body also has a soul, it needs to communicate to the exterior. Hence the next chapter of the book: The Power of the Eye. The embalmer paints the eyes on the mummy. That would really mean it has been enliven. The appearance of living eyes, to create a living image of a god/king. Did you ever consider the black Mandragora as resembling a mummy with painted eyes? Why do you think they stress so much upon the eyes with iamamiwhoami? It’s the animating power of the eye. As death was regarded as a kind of sleep and the closing of the eyes was the distinctive sign of the latter condition the open eyes were not unnaturally regarded as clear evidence of wakefulness and life. Isn’t MO suddenly opening her eyes in Y, right after she has become black and died? It’s like the restoration of the eyes to a mummy or statue, equivalent to an awakening to life. Add that to the analogy between the closing and opening of the eyes and the changes of day and night and you have the entire picture. The act of crying in concert, when she gathers the ashes is again, moisturizing the body. I cannot leave the eyes aside until I mention the fact that the use of the same objects to symbolize the female reproductive organs and the eyes may have played some part in transferring to the latter the fertility of the former. I am talking about the shape of the trees when they seem to have eyes. That’s a direct connection between eyes and fertility, the first enabling the latter. That’s why trees come to life, opening their eyes in the hut. Because the large lumps shaped like eyes on trees are tree-tears, therefore an act of incense (bringing to life) is performed.

GES pays a special tribute to the archetype of the moon, which is connected to fertilization and woman in general. All goddesses were connected to the moon. Special attention was first devoted to the moon when agricultural pursuits compelled men to measure time and determine the seasons. The influence of the moon on water, both the tides and dew, brought it within the scope of the then current biological theory of fertilization. (Wanting higher/‘Til the moon forces us to climb back down, I’d rather stay, I’d rather let us drown – duality high-down, as the movement of fertilization). He moves forward and explains the sun and the stars as well, in short the Sun being Horus, and the stars the spirits of the dead. Iamamiwhoami makes reference to the stars many times: Throw my body at the stars, Underneath the stars her body’s sinking etc.Now that we’re talking about stars, isn’t this what the ‘asterisk’ (etymologically ‘little star‘) tag could be referring at?

One thing of great importance might be the fact that the sun god was represented as an obelisk (a phallic symbol, like the bottle in u-2) which pointed to heaven and “drew down” the dazzling rays of the sun, reflected from its polished surface, so that all the worshippers could see the manifestations of the god in his temple. If you watch u-2 again, it makes sense.

The image of the sun is held up by a man whose body is partly hidden, and two men, seated opposite to each other in the foreground. This rings a bell of the O representation in the concert with MO sitting on a ‘pillar’ in front of a ‘sun’, having a hidden body and two men, seated opposite to each other etc etc etc

The next subchapter of the book refers to The Worship of the Cow and I am linking that to the Welcome Home pre-video. The cow is considered a foster-mother of mankind. The fundamental factor in the development of this association of the cow and the Mother-Goddess was the fact of the use of milk as food for human beings. Also, the use of cattle blood as sustenance for the dead. Cattle blood was used in the act of libation: Libations are poured out (SAP); incense is burnt (SUTS); the bleeding right fore-leg of a buffalo constitutes the blood-offering. When the deity is reanimated by these procedures and its consciousness restored by the blood-offering (blood in welcome-home pre-vid), it can hear appeals and speak. The ‘I AM written in blood is this ‘I am animated, I have come to life’. It’s that level of the I that I was talking about in ‘Identity in iamamiwhoami’.

I won’t go further into this, I’m just interested in explaining the presence of the hooves, you can read the book if you’d like.

II. Dragons and Rain Gods

I know… this is a long road. It’s been a year since the beginning, thought, it might just be like this. But I am telling you the rewards won’t cease to appear, so if you’re not bored yet, go ahead. Here’s how this chapter starts:

An adequate account of the development of the dragon-legend would represent the history of the expression of mankind’s aspirations and fears during the past fifty centuries and more. For the dragon was evolved along with civilization itself. The search for the elixir of life, to turn back the years from old age and confer the boon of immortality. (A backwards march, my back against, meadows of fear, where it all began)

Could you ask for more? How about something about dreams since that’s the way we can aspire towards our highest desires?

In his waking state man restrains his roving fancies and exercises what Freud has called a “censorship” over the stream of his thoughts: but when he falls asleep, the “censor” dozes also. The men entering a state of dream in B is what this is all about. Breaking the boundaries, bending time, eliminating censorship.

The dragon has been identified with all of the gods and all of the demons of every religion. Remember that you are to think of the dragon as to civilization itself. Doesn’t it make sense at all times? It has been homologized with each of the members of the earliest Trinity, the Great Mother (MO), the Water God (CU), and the Warrior Sun God (BABY).

The weapon with which the hero slays the dragon is also homologous both with him and his victim, for it is animated by him who wields it, and its powers of destruction make it a symbol of the same power of evil which it itself destroys. This is the Knight and his self destruction action. He is both the slayer and the slayed, his weapons destroy both the enemy and himself. That’s why he’s one with the forest trees, yet he destroys them. Because, in the end, evil has the same power as good. A paradox of contradictions. Hence all three members of the Trinity were identified, not only with the dragon, but also with the hero who was the dragon-slayer. Isn’t it clear now what the Knight stands for? The early Trinity as the hero, armed with the Trinity as weapon, slays the dragon, which again is the same Trinity. Perfect way to summarize it!

The fundamental element in the dragon’s powers is the control of water. (water as the ultimate archetype) Both in its beneficent and destructive aspects water was regarded as animated by the dragon, (we have both instances in the iamami videos: beneficent, in the form of sap, milk – goddess’ sweat, foetus fluid etc; and destructive: the water in which the body drowns)

But if in the West the dragon is usually a “power of evil,” in the far East he is equally emphatically a symbol of beneficence. He is identified with emperors and kings; he is the son of heaven the bestower of all bounties, not merely to mankind directly, but also to the earth as well. This West vs. East distinction is connected directly to the evil vs. good, left vs. right dualities. It has been settled by convenience that the right side of anything is the good side and the left side is the evil side. That’s what I was talking about with u-1 and the broken mirror, where the MO is portrayed on the right, while CU sits on the left.

Hell in medieval art is a dragon with gaping jaws, belching fire.” If you think of it, what the concert does is to draw an imaginary dragon, where the tail is the beginning of the concert and the mouth is the end, as it is ‘belching fire’. This is also the faith of mankind. World would end by fire. Again, the series of events in the pre-vids – from birth to re-birth – can be considered as elements forming this dragon, the animals presented in the vids providing certain parts of this creature. Even the sequence sent to MTV James looks like a dragon if you want. Meaning this plus this plus this made civilization as it is nowadays. As these parts construct the dragon, the links of the BOUNTY videos come to deconstruct it, each of them sending towards a negatively charged event. Thus the dragon – the world, the man, the culture, the civilization – is made both of good and evil, a balance being vital for the dragon’s existence.

Confucius said (no, seriously!!!): As to the dragon, we cannot understand his riding on the wind and clouds and his ascending to the sky. This, I believe, refers to the inability of the human being to perceive changes as they happen, therefore to SEE evolution as it happens. Only history can portray it, by listing these changes. The giant stepping on our tiny world could be this dragon, evolution itself, which we cannot perceive. Ants are not aware of our existence, to make a comparison. The dragon had the power of hiding itself in a cloak of invisibility. This reminds me of the fog in the concert. If mankind cannot see evolution, it cannot see the end either, for it is foggy. Just like Suts hasn’t seen his death.

The fact that water and through it the dragon has both a destructive and a constructive qualities, only comes to remind me of how water is portrayed with iamamiwhoami: as constructive, in its shape of the nurturing fluids and destructive in how it is portrayed in 20101104, scene in the bathtub. The antithesis between the two aspects of the character of these ancient deities is most pronounced in the case of the other member of this most primitive Trinity, the Great Mother. She was the great beneficent giver of life, but also the controller of life, which implies that she was the death-dealer. (no wonder the way MO is portrayed during the concert, especially during O, when she sheds her giver of life garment and remains in the death dealer outfit.) She is both cow and lioness. Hathor in her cow manifestation is usually benevolent and as a lioness a power of destruction (this makes me wonder whether the wrath of flowers on her green outfit isn’t a representation of a lioness’ mane- which is a rare case and it is caused by certain dysfunctions. Yet we do see her claws very well, when she puts on the gloves. And we see the benevolent MO (cow hooves) in the last pre-vid, where she basically welcomes us in her home).

I suggest you read the chapter The Dragon Myth. It’s too valuable and I cannot post it here entirely. It explains everything. Long story short, the Great Mother changes sides and becomes a murderer because she has to provide the king with the nourishment (human blood), the elixir of life. She was so evil, that the king decided to have her ‘sedated’, placing her under the influence of a mandrake syrup, so that she can see that there’s also another way of providing the elixir besides killing.

The subchapter The Thunder Weapon refers to the weapons of the trinity. They (the weapons)“shine at night” because the original weapon of destruction was the moon as the Eye of Re. They “burn with inward fire,” like the Babylonian Marduk, when in the fight with the dragon Tiamat “he filled his body with burning flame” (King, op. cit., p. 71), because they were fire, the fire of the sun and of lightning, the fire spat out by the Eye of Re. (I am fire I am damage in the making/ I am an army set out to control… – I can clearly see the connection!!!)

In King’s “Babylonian Religion” we are told how the gods provided Marduk with an invincible weapon in preparation for the combat with the dragon: and the ancient scribe himself sets forth a series of its homologues:

He made ready his bow
He slung a spear
The bow and quiver …
He set the lightning in front of him,
With burning flame he filled his body.
(That would be the Knight and his weapons)

Speaking of weapons, the winged disk has been mentioned too many times in this book, not to represent anything in the iamamiwhoami concept. This might be the disk MO’s sitting in front of in O during concert The ‘wing’ characteristic being given by the sheets of paper looking like feathers. The image also appears in B, under the form of the two fans on the wall above Mo’s piano. If you take a look at the visual representations of the term in this book, you’ll see what I mean. It is the commonest symbol of life-giving and beneficent protective power: yet it is the weapon used to slaughter mankind.

One very important aspect of this book is contained in the subchapter Certain Incidents in the Dragon Myth, and I will only mention this: iron is regarded as peculiarly lethal to the monsters. This seems to be due to the part played by the “smiths” who forged iron weapons with which Horus overcame Set and his followers. Thus we have the foil to stand for iron!!!! The appearance of metal played a very important part in the evolution of mankind and it did bring both good and evil with it. It all makes sense now.

III. The Birth of Aphrodite

I am tired too, but I have to finish this.

The main connection between Aphrodite and the Great Mother is the fact that they are both signified by shells, that is they’re both goddesses of fertility. Also, the meaning of the myth of Aphrodite’s birth from the sea—the germs of which are at least fifty centuries old—can be decided by the omission of any representation of the sea in the decoration of a pot made in the fifth century b.c.! (a pot? Hmmmmmmmmm)

Also, the original Great Mother was nothing more than a cowry-shell used as a life-giving amulet; and that Aphrodite’s shell-associations were a survival of the earliest phase in the Great Mother’s history. The mandrake was clearly a surrogate of the shell or vice versa. The problem to be solved was to decide which amulet was responsible for suggesting the process of life-giving. The goddess Aphrodite was closely related to Cyprus; the mandrake was a magical plant there.

The chapter The Search of the Elixir of life. Blood as Life. Is more than eloquent! Man impresses with the persistence with which, throughout the whole of his career, man (of the species sapiens) has been seeking for an elixir of life, to give added “vitality” to the dead, to prolong the days of active life to the living, to restore youth, and to protect his own life from all assaults, not merely of time, but also of circumstance. In other words, the elixir he sought was something that would bring “good luck” in all the events of his life ( may all good things in life come to you). The primitive man refused to contemplate or to entertain the possibility of life coming to an end. That’s why the aborigines have all these customs of re-birth and resurrection.

Subchapter Sharks and Dragons explains how the archetype of the shark has slowly evolved into the archetype of the dog-fish and eventually into the archetype of the dog, its connection to the myth of the Mandragora being developed further more. GES also makes a connection of the dog (Anubius) and the placenta, as it is part of the ritual of rebirth.

The Mother Pot speaks about birth. The woman in reproduction was no longer regarded as the real parent of mankind, but as the matrix in which the seed was planted and nurtured during the course of its growth and development. ( remember the keywords in the pre-vids? foetus natal nourish cortex amniotic fluid umbilical cord lay roe nest ) Hence in the earliest Egyptian hieroglyphic writing the picture of a pot of water was taken as the symbol of womanhood, the “vessel” which received the seed. (and there’s the pot in our story too)

Artemis and the Guardian portal of the Dead explains the origin of the Hebrew word for mandrakes and the allusion to “a basket of figs” in the Book of Jeremiah. The life-giving powers attributed to “love-apples” and the association of these ideas with the fig-tree may have facilitated the transference of these attributes of “apples” to those actually growing upon a tree. (these are the fruits that fall from the trees in the previds.)

Another interesting approach is the analogy between birth and the emergence from the door of a house or the gateway of a temple. Artemis, for instance, is a goddess of the portal, and is not only a helper in childbirth, but also grows in her garden a magical herb which is capable of opening locks. (this is very interesting, because we do have many many doors in the iamamiwhoami videos, especially in B, where we also have a cradle and a ‘winged disk’, materialized by the two fans on the walls above her piano.)

The legend of the treasure-house of pearls (as fruits of the shells) which was under the guardianship of the great “giver of life” and of which she kept the magic key. She was in fact the feminine form of Janus, the doorkeeper who presided over all beginnings, whether of birth, or of any kind of enterprise or new venture, or the commencement of the year (like Hathor). Janus was the guardian of the door of Olympus itself, the gate of rebirth into the immortality of the gods.

What is Cu doing in u-2? He’s basically breaching the realm of gods, making a door in the walls of the temple, and he starts searching for the elixir of life. He wants to be immortal. Those white little balls are the pearls, he’s in the treasure house of pearls!!!!

The Mandrake is a subchapter which is also interesting, yet not as explanatory as I would have like. However, I’ve got enough explanations today so I should be grateful!


I hope you saw the sign for the mandrake. It looks familiar, doesn’t it?

And the connection to the Great Mother again: the mandrake was called dūdā’īm by the Hebrews because it was identified with the Mother Pot. The symbolism involved in the use of the Hebrew word also suggests that the inspiration may have come from Egypt, where a woman was called “a pot of water” or “a basket of figs”.

The explanation of the name: the derivation of the word “mandragora” is  compounded of the words mandros, “sleep,” and agora, “object or substance,” and that mandragora means “the sleep-producing substance”. We knew that, we’ve seen it in B.

The last subchapter is called The Measurement of Time and it deals with the Great Mother standing for the moon, the ultimate measurer of time (the six phases of the moon, as the phases a woman’s body goes through etc. The goddess of birth and death controlled and measured the lives of mankind. This to me is embodied perfectly in the last song of the concert, when she sings about TIME. Read about it in The Journey of the Mandragora Officinarum.

The analogy between TIME and the MOON is more than  convenient and it is what ‘.’ portrays in its  lyrics.

The ultimate effect of the moon at night is to  illuminate the things surrounding us in a special  way, giving everything around a surface resembling  stone. This could be the reason for the lyrics  ‘Turns knights into stone’ or even ‘turn NIGHTS into  stone’. If you’ve ever seen the moon reflecting in a  river at night (or any manifestation of water  whatsoever), you must have noticed that the surface  of the water is transformed and looks  metal-like. It’s transformed into a mirror. Also, the  way the shadow is cast upon things in nature is  modified. On one side of a tree, it resembles  metal-like foil, while the other is a growing  shadow.

Same thing in the case of the river. The  moon reflecting itself in a river draws another  river in that river. A river of fire. ‘.’ lyrics make even more sense  now, don’t they? The moon and time are almost one  and the same thing. MO moving through the forest in Y is Great Mother having been born and receiving the qualities of the Moon. Also, this is the explanation  for the foiled forest and the foiled knight.

From a psychological point of view, the moon is said to bring out what’s underneath surfaces through its quality of ‘reflecting’ what’s inside. Transferred to human beings, it’s a reflection of the subconscious and whatever lies inside it. This is why the knight is looking upwards in Y (like he’s afraid of this light) and he becomes confused, afraid of what is being reflected (him actually being the king in disguise), hence him killing the surrounding ‘eyes’ and himself.

All these taken into account, the answer to the riddle in ‘.’ is also MOON.

Is iamamiwhoami based of pagan symbols? Yes

Goat gives birth to this dragon and nourishes it through her placenta, the owl protects it, the whale provides incense and libation, the bee builds its stone coffin, the llama gives it the breath of life, and the monkey animates it. If so, goat is the one who came with the idea and fed it, the owl is his close sustainer, the whale is the financial provider, the llama is the authority/rep who gives it the ultimate boost, the monkey is J, who animates it and represents its image and the bee is the director, because he’s the architect. Or something like that LOL

Is there anything else to come from them? Yes, they’re following the ‘measurement of the year’ and they need to enclose the circle, that is to come back to Yule, to come back to hexagram 17, The Quest.

In conclusion, this is a very interesting read all the concerned should have, because, even though it does not contain everything about the iamamiwhoami concept, it certainly clarifies many MANY things and it definitely portrays the concept of evolution as seen by the team. This I am sure of.

The source for the text.

The source of the picture.

If you’re interested, you can ask me for my annotations on the entire text by contacting me via youtube channel (Forsaken0rder). It contains highlighted paragraphs and explanations, which will save you reading time.



Category : Entertainment, Food for Thought, Music and Movies, art


- decoding iamamiwhoami – the beginnings
- A Closer Look To iamamiwhoami’s b Video
- iamamiwhoami’s o video
- u-1
- u-2
- n from Nature/Natural
- T – back in the kingdom we were Kings and Queens
- And this is Y all that’s left is Hope

- Iamamiwhoami – Sources of Inspiration
- Identity in iamamiwhoami
- An Archetypal and Mythological Approach to iamamiwhoami
- iamamiwhoami official youtube channel



A quien le coresponda

You gave me life
In return I’ll just pretend
You can watch it burn
In the ashes of your town
In the ashes of your town
We would build it back down

You gave me life
We would build it back down
In the ashes of your town
In the ashes of your town
We would build it back down

The u-1 audio on reverse here.

The big surprise with u-1 is that the iamamiwhoami concept is getting back to its roots. That is we’re not being offered a proper music video, as we have had in the case of b and o, but we’re getting drawn back to the riddle, thus our interest being aroused once more. The greatest thing about this move is that even though we do know the identity of the messenger (Jonna Lee and her band mates – it’s pretty clear to most users hovering around the iamamiwhoami youtube channel), we’re now being given something more, something deeper: the chance to leave the quest for a name aside and get back on board towards a new quest: a strongly encoded journey towards discovering how imagery renders MEANING. Many of us were skeptical with regards to how this glide would be made and how successful the campaign would be after the induced reveal. We were thinking: no one would give a damn about this after a name would appear/ be suggested. However, here we are, still clinging on it, and this – to me – only means that the creators of the concept are after promoting a high-quality product first and then after building a name. It’s a reversed advertising technique which most of the times ends badly, but if done correctly and thoroughly, can generate enormous amounts of success (see Trent Reznor pioneering it with Year Zero).

Long story short, we’re back in the mad house we’ve already been introduced to in the ‘b’ video, this time in the room of one of the patients, easily recognizable by furniture. If at first we’re expecting to deal again with at least two characters, the Mandragora being one of them, in the end we discover that the man has actually manufactured an MO of his own. A treatment of his own. It’s clear he’s disturbed, since his mind is building up an entire dialogue when the only real person in the room is himself.

Judging from this point of view, the woods he’s running through are just a figment of his lost, disturbed mind, a projection of his tourmented soul. He’s probably not even moving from the room he’s confined in (he has no clothes).

A mad man kept under control by drugs. By a certain drug: MO.

Anyway, I don’t think I’ve reached this up to now, but this game of mirrors really draws my thoughts towards the myth of androgyny. This u-1. Many people tend to see it as purely mathematical language applied to the alphabet. As in u minus 1 is T, thus fueling the theory according to which the final video would reveal the name of the project and this name is BOTANY. I don’t disregard this thesis, because, if you think of it, it really makes sense. But I’d like to believe iamamiwhoami is better than this. Botany is predictable. Not wrong, but predictable and it would take away from the mystery of this entire riddle.

Back to the androgyny thing. See the myth says that every being was half man and half woman and after a certain event, one half has been lost, thus the other is forever searching for the part that completes it. It is also known that both men and women have two sides: a masculine side and a feminine one. As far as this short video is regarded, I can relate to this theory. Think of the man as having lost his feminine side, or his half. Here, MO.

Now think of how many explanations you can offer to the use of the mirror in this entire story. A mirror is supposed to reflect the objective reality and offer a virtual image of whatever is mirrored in it. In this case, if the objective reality portrays a (mad, probably) man holding a puppet on his lap, the virtual image is a reversed image of the first one, thus we have the puppet becoming alive and speaking/singing. We cannot forget the fact that we’re dealing with a ventriloquist, a thing which may strengthen my androgyny approach: the feminine side – a softer side which is capable of producing such extraordinary sounds, etc – is actually being given life by the masculine side. The man controls the puppet, even though we’ve initially been made to think the opposite. Thing is that a ventriloquist uses his hand in order to control a puppet. One’s hand is considered to be an elongation of one’s mind. When we speak, we also move our hands, in order to sustain and complete the meaning of what we are saying. Even more, there is never just ONE person in a ventriloquist. You can easily take such a person as being bi-polar.

Another interesting thing with this image is the way in which the man and the woman are placed in those two realities. If in the objective reality the man is placed on the right (when looking towards the objective image) and the woman on the left, suggesting again that the man is in control and he has the power, the virtual image presents the man on the left and the woman on the right (when looking from the objective reality), thus reversing their position and status at the same time. The woman is controlling the man through her hypnotic voice.

That fact that the mirror is broken in two – a larger part, the man part and a smaller one, belonging to the woman) only comes to complete my ideas.

I thought of reaching the idea of the woman getting control over a man’s mind after noticing the past references iamamiwhoami has made for her videos. They all seem to deal with some sort of feminist approach. I can only translate this as Jonna Lee putting an end to solo female singers not being given enough credit or not being allowed to display their creativity and have their efforts recognized. To sustain this idea, think that the virtual image is a crooked one. The mirror is broken. Maybe this is exactly the message: not everything you see on TV nowadays is what you see/good/of quality. Give objective reality a chance!

Back to reality, that was just an approach.

  • The language in which MO sings is English, it’s just distorted. I’ve listened to the audio many times, around 1:05-1:07 I can easily distinguish “You, you gave me life”. Also, the audio starts with “You gave me life”.
  • The man appearing in the video reminds me of Salma Hayek’s character in Cirque Du Freak. The bearded Lady. A clear connection to that androgyny I was talking about.



Similar makeup I guess. However, the references is somewhat Indian, wouldn’t you agree?

  • The materials used to build the puppet is paper, thread and tape (hence, WOOD). Same colors as the room in the house (hence the puppet is one with the house). The same tape is used for the man’s beard. This tells me the following:
  1. - the man states that he’s not actually a man: “I’m using fake beard and eyebrows to make myself look like a man.”
  2. - the man has not reached his maturity
  3. - the process the man is currently undergoing is a reversed process the Mandragora has undergone. She’s been through mud, feeding herself with wood, running bare naked through the woods, she’s suffered transformations until she finally came to flesh and bones. The man is going in reverse, starting to lose flesh and replace it with WOOD (paper is made from wood) and he’s also starting to run naked in the woods, lol.
  • The man does talk. Actually he’s mumbling something throughout the entire audio.
  • This is not the last video in this campaign.

Other opinions to support video analysis:

A big shout out at everybody on iamamiwhoami’s youtube channel and board! I met a couple of very passionate people that trully make sense in their attempts to solve/decode all these visual messages. Because, in the end, all we can do is ATTEMPT to explain.This is what I’m doing here as well.


As some of you have pointed out, the first six videos tell the story of how the Mandragora came to be; from its birth to how it came out after the death of the dogs, etc. as explained in lore. In ‘b’, she’s captured/imprisoned by these men who listen to her songs (or shrieks for that matter), almost siren-like. They leave her to further grow in ‘o’ until she bloomed and ran away. Come ‘u-1′ the man refuses to forget about the ‘b’ girl so he made a puppet. Or maybe, he is still under the trance/hallucination caused by the mandragora as it ran away. Maybe in the next video we will see Mandy running away or something.

Modern medicine gives it the dignified appellation of Bryonia Alba, and accredits the drug with vexatious, vivid dreams and somnambulism. Sounds rather than colors are attendant upon the dreams of mandrake, or BRIONY; now the chirping of locusts in the hedges, and again it is the roaring of a storm, the pealing of an organ or the swinging harmony of the spheres. The flowers sing, the earth speaks and the woes of humanity cry aloud. Besides these there are strange cravings, a longing for that which never existed even in the soul of a dreamer. So upon the whole, despite its marvels as a producer of sounds and despite its high reputation as a soporific with so mighty a sage as Shakespeare, it is perhaps best for moderns not to build their dreams with mandragora.


it’s obvious this is the last video. it was never a “campaign” as some kept insisting. simply a collection of well-produced, and magnificently thought-out aesthetically appealing clips, released one by one to keep us waiting, guessing (some ridiculously far-fetched, but i digress..)
we all tossed and turned for four months until she revealed herself in the second to last video, as a sort of glamorous/ethereal greenhouse siren. and now with this, in my opinion beautifully concluding video, an anxious man in his underwear is running, chasing this voice and vision of a girl. (he obviously represents us, the audience.) he reaches her only to find she is a mirage, a fantasy built up in his (our) mind/s.

we all built her up, but she never existed in the first place. this video should be enough closure.

it’s powerful message, once you let it resonate.


Just looking at Jonna Lees Finally post on her iLike blog. Weirdly, the post isnt called Finally. Its called April 28, even though it was posted on the morning of April 27. I thought April 28 might be significant so I cross-checked it with the usual suspects:
On this date in 1911, Lee Falk, American comic strip writer, was born. He wrote MANDRAKE the Magician.
On this date in 1789, there was a mutiny on the HMS Bounty leaving Captain William Bligh adrift. VANUATU was one of the islands on the ships voyage.
On this date in 1770, Captain James Cook lands at BOTANY Bay in Australia. He charted and named the New Hebrides islands, now VANUATU.




Finally You Won.


The man is a gardener. He’s crazy, driven mad by a mandrake scream he once tried to harvest.. He lives in his bothay.  He specializes in growing mandrakes. When the mandrakes are ripe, he harvests them. Then he makes dolls out of them. He either sells them, or sells time to be with one while they sing.

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