Pan’s Labyrinth

Last night I saw Pan’s Labyrinth at Tom’s film class located in the old Register Guard building in Eugene. Tom was a minor director in Hollywood and only charges $15 dollars a session. I have been going to see Tom’s films for about ten years. Each time I do, I find it increasingly hard to share because I know too much, and am able to see the Wizard of Oz clearly behind the curtain in minute detail.

Tom begins his class with a lecture that says the same thing i.e. the movie defies JUST ONE definition, so don’t try to button hole it. Everyone’s impressions are valid.

Tom said Pan’s Labyrinth is based upon fairytale, but, don’t focus on fairy tales, because, that will bog down your mind – and the Liberal Alternative Group Grope of Faith! However, the creator of this film said he took notes for twenty years! I have my doubts. All he had to do was lurk in some of the yahgroups I belonged to like Dan Brown and his wife did, and, you would have the whole Rose of the World theme I have been giving away to humanity – for free! If my novel is made into a bestselling movie, then i could charge $100 dollars a head to give a half hour lecture about what inspired me. But, until I have millions of followers who paid to see my Vision, I am not allowed to speak for more then 30 seconds before Tom cuts me off. You see, my brain is too big, it cram full of too much knowledge. I must be censored for the sake of Group Grope.

After hearing several folks talk about what the movie MEANT to them, I told the group this is another example of the Rose of the World Myth that King Henry Plantagenet participated in when he put his paramour, Rosamond Clifford in a Labyrinth. Henry was one of the most educated people of his tine. He had a zoo at Woodstock and spent much time in the forest where most Christians feared to tread. He wore a red cap and ragged clothes which suggests he was doing Robin Hood the Faun or Woodrose, a wild man of the forest that Lancelot became. Henry employed Rosamond in reenactments of the tale of Tristan and Isola a Grail Legend. There is a Holy Blood theme in Pan’s Labyrinth, blood from a virgin that restores a lost kingdom that was surrounded by rose thorns. This is Grimm’s fairytale, Sleeping Beauty who was named – Rosamond!

“No, that is not what this movie is about. That is completely something else!”Says Tom, and points to another raised hand.

“I saw a lot of vagina and birth channels!” says a movie goer, and the Group Grope laughs as one.
“Now that’s more like it! This is the stuff I want to hear!” says Tom, as he covertly plants his ideas in the wee people’s head so they can think they are original.
“Ha! Ha! Mr; Big Brain. Your big opinion doesnt count. Tom Terrific has anointed us the Keepers of the True Vision! Ha! Ha!”

Angry, I interrupted Tom several times as he did his momma bird feeding the baby birds – after he got to digest the whole worm

“What about the royalty and the rose on the dress of the virgin princess who has awakened her kingdom with her sacrificial blood?”
“That does not matter. It is not the theme of this movie!” Tom told us.
“What do you mean? It was the grand finale full of import the director wanted to convey!”
“Next!” says Tom.
At Arginy castle neo-Templars attempt to open a portal by drawing chalk doors on the stone wall. Grace Kelly was an alleged member of this Templar group. A gentleman sent me a genealogy of his kindred who are kin to the Duke de Rosemont, and asks if we are kin, Rosamond being my mother’s madien name. Pan’s Labyrinth begins with a sacred rose on a mount (ROSEMOUNT) that is decaying due to the neglect of……………… goers, or, for the want of a person of the Rose Bloodline to come and refreshen it?

Jon Presco

In 1914, the new owner of the castle, Duke Pierre de Rosemont, felt
the time was ripe for a new enterprise. After breaking down the wall
that Anne de Beaujeu had built, the Duke opened the entrance to the
underground caverns. One of his workmen, however, had his legs
crushed when he was hit by two stone balls that rolled out of a wall
another trap installed so many centuries earlier. De Rosemont decided
to change his tactics and opted for safer methods. After some
scouting of his own, de Rosemont discovered a hole that led
downwards, so he decided to try to reach the treasure on his own.

One of the Duke’s descendants claims to have excellent evidence
concluding that Pierre de Rosemont was able to gain access to the
tomb of Camus said to be very close to the secret treasure of the
Knights Templars. Apparently, though, having almost reached his goal,
the Duke was struck by violent blows and cries emanating from below,
balls of mauve fire encircling the room and strange odours and
visions. When the water began to rise mysteriously, he decided to
retreat as quickly as he could. Upon reaching the surface, he decided
never to return, so he made sure that no one would ever discover the
hole through which he had reached the underground network.

The oldest part of the castle is a tower, the “Tower of the Eight
Beauties”. Constructed in red bricks, its walls are more than one
metre thick. It appears circular from the outside, but inside, on the
first floor, the tower becomes octagonal. At the top are eight
openings that appear to have no functional use. It is also known as
the “Tower of Alchemy”, for the walls were once covered with
alchemical symbols. Though these symbols are almost invisible today,
but we have photographic records of them in our possession.

In the days of Henry and Rosamond the palace of Woodstock was surrounded with very extensive and beautiful gardens and grounds. Somewhere upon these grounds the story was that Henry kept Rosamond in a concealed cottage. The entrance to the cottage was hidden in the depths of an almost impenetrable thicket, and could only be approached through a tortuous and intricate path, which led this way and that by an infinite number of turns, forming a sort of maze, made purposely to bewilder those attempting to pass in and out. Such a place was often made in those days in palace-grounds as a sort of ornament, or, rather, as an [57] amusing contrivance to interest the guests coming to visit the proprietor. It was called a labyrinth. A great many plans of labyrinths are found delineated in ancient books. The paths were not only so arranged as to twist and turn in every imaginable direction, but at every turn there were several branches made so precisely alike that there was nothing to distinguish one from the other. Of course, one of these roads was the right one, and led to the centre of the labyrinth, where there was a house, or a pretty seat with a view, or a garden, or a shady bower, or some other object of attraction, to reward those who should succeed in getting in. The other paths led nowhere, or, rather, they led on through various devious windings in all respects similar to those of the true path, until at length they came to a sudden stop, and the explorer was obliged to return.

The paths were separated from each other by dense hedges of thorn, or by high walls, so that it was impossible to pass from one to another except by walking regularly along.

It was in a house, entered through such a labyrinth as this, that Rosamond is said to have lived, on the grounds of the palace of Woodstock, while Queen Eleanora, as the avowed [58] wife and queen of King Henry, occupied the palace itself. Of course, the fact that such a lady was hidden on the grounds was kept a profound secret from the queen. If this story is true, there were probably other labyrinths on the grounds, and this one was so surrounded with trees and hedges, which connected it by insensible gradations with the groves and thickets of the park, that there was nothing to attract attention to it particularly, and thus a lady might have remained concealed in it for some time without awakening suspicion.

At any rate, Rosamond did remain, it is supposed for a year or two, concealed thus, until at length the queen discovered the secret. The story is that the king found his way in and out the labyrinth by means of a clew of floss silk, and that the queen one day, when riding with the king in the park, observed this clew, a part of which had, in some way or other, become attached to his spur. She said nothing, but, watching a private opportunity, she followed the clew. It led by a very intricate path into the heart of the labyrinth. There the queen found a curiously-contrived door. The door was almost wholly concealed from view, but the queen discovered it and opened it. She found that it [59] led into a subterranean passage. The interest and curiosity of the queen were now excited more than ever, and she determined that the mystery should be solved. So she followed the passage, and was finally led by it to a place beyond the wall of the grounds, where there was a house in a very secluded spot surrounded by thickets. Here the queen found Rosamond sitting in a bower, and engaged in embroidering.

She was now in a great rage both against Rosamond and against her husband. It was generally said that she poisoned Rosamond. The story was, that she took a cup of poison with her, and a dagger, and, presenting them both to Rosamond, compelled her to choose between them, and that Rosamond chose the poison, and, drinking it, died. This story, however, was not true, for it is now known that Rosamond lived many years after this time, though she was separated from the king. It is thought that her connection with the king continued for about two years after his marriage with Eleanora. She then left him. It may be that she did not know before that time that the king was married. She may have supposed that she was herself his lawful wife, as, indeed, it is possible that she may actually have been [60] so. At any rate, soon after she and Eleanora became acquainted with each other’s existence, Rosamond retired to a convent, and lived there in complete seclusion all the rest of her days.

The name of this convent was Godestow. It was situated near Oxford. Rosamond became a great favorite with the nuns while she remained at the convent, which was nearly twenty years. During this time the king made many donations to the convent for Rosamond’s sake, and the jealousy of the queen against her beautiful rival, of course, continued unabated. It was, indeed, this difficulty in respect to Rosamond that was one of the chief causes of the domestic trouble which always existed between Henry and the queen. The world at large have always been most disposed to sympathize with Rosamond in this quarrel. She was nearly of the king’s own age, and his attachment to her arose, doubtless, from sincere affection; whereas the queen was greatly his senior, and had inveigled him, as it were, into a marriage with her, through motives of the most calculating and mercenary character.

Then, moreover, Rosamond either was, or was supposed to be, a lady of great gentleness and loveliness of spirit. She was very kind to [61] the poor, and while in the convent she was very assiduously devoted to her religious duties. Eleanora, on the other hand, was a very unprincipled and heartless woman, and she had been so loose and free in her own manner of living too, as every body said and believed, that it was with a very ill grace that she could find any fault with her husband.

Thus, under the circumstances of the case, the world has always been most inclined to sympathize with Rosamond rather than with the queen. The question which we ought to sympathize with depends upon which was really the wife of Henry. He may have been truly married to Rosamond, or at least some ceremony may have been performed which she honestly considered as a marriage. If so, she was innocent, and Henry was guilty for having virtually repudiated this marriage in order to connect himself with Eleanora for the sake of her kingdom. On the other hand, if she were not married to Henry, but used her arts to entice him away from his true wife, then she was deeply in fault. It is very difficult now to ascertain which of these suppositions is the correct one. In either case, Henry himself was guilty, toward the one or the other, of treacherously violating [62] his marriage vows—the most solemn vows, in some respects, that a man can ever assume.

The idea for Pan’s Labyrinth came from Guillermo del Toro’s notebooks, which he says are filled with “doodles, ideas, drawings and plot bits”. He had been keeping these notebooks for twenty years. At one point during production, he left the notebook in a taxi in London and was distraught, but the cabbie returned it to him two days later. Though he originally wrote a story about a pregnant woman who falls in love with a faun,[11] Sergi López said that del Toro described the final version of the plot a year and a half before filming. Lopez said that “for two hours and a half he explained to me all the movie, but with all the details, it was incredible, and when he finished I said, ‘You have a script?’ He said, ‘No, nothing is written'”. López agreed to act in the movie and received the script one year later; he’s said that “it was exactly the same, it was incredible. In his little head he had all the history with a lot of little detail, a lot of characters, like now when you look at the movie, it was exactly what he had in his head”.[12]

Ofelia with a fairy.
Del Toro got the idea of the faun from childhood experiences with “lucid dreaming”. He stated on The Charlie Rose Show that every midnight, he would wake up, and a faun would gradually step out from behind the grandfather’s clock.[13] Originally, the faun was supposed to be a classic half-man, half-goat faun fraught with beauty. But in the end, the faun was altered into a goat-faced creature almost completely made out of earth, moss, vines, and tree bark. He became a mysterious, semi-suspicious relic who gave both the impression of trustworthiness and many signs that warn someone to never confide in him at all.
Del Toro has said the film has strong connections in theme to The Devil’s Backbone and should be seen as an informal sequel dealing with some of the issues raised there. Fernando Tielve and Íñigo Garcés, who played the protagonists of The Devil’s Backbone, make cameo appearances as unnamed guerrilla soldiers in Pan’s Labyrinth. Some of the other works he drew on for inspiration include Lewis Carroll’s “Alice” books, Jorge Luis Borges’ Ficciones, Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan and The White People, Lord Dunsany’s The Blessing of Pan, Algernon Blackwood’s Pan’s Garden and Francisco Goya’s works. In 2004, del Toro said: “Pan is an original story. Some of my favourite writers (Borges, Blackwood, Machen, Dunsany) have explored the figure of the god Pan and the symbol of the labyrinth. These are things that I find very compelling and I am trying to mix them and play with them.”[14] It was also influenced by the illustrations of Arthur Rackham.[15]
Del Toro wanted to include a fairy tale about a dragon for Ofelia to narrate to her unborn brother. The tale involved the dragon, named Varanium Silex, who guarded a mountain surrounded by thorns, but at its peak is a blue rose that can grant immortality. The dragon and the thorns ward off many men though, who decide it is better to avoid pain than to be given immortality. Although the scene was thematically important, it was cut short for budget reasons.[16]
There are differing ideas about the film’s religious influences. Del Toro himself has said that he considers Pan’s Labyrinth “a truly profane film, a layman’s riff on Catholic dogma”, but that his friend Alejandro González Iñárritu described it as “a truly Catholic film”. Del Toro’s explanation is “once a Catholic, always a Catholic”.[15]

In a fairy tale, Princess Moanna, whose father is the king of the underworld, becomes curious about the world above. When she goes to the surface, the sunlight blinds her and erases her memory. She becomes very ill and eventually dies. The king believes that her spirit will come back to the underworld someday.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Faunus was the horned god of the forest, plains and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called Inuus. He came to be equated in literature with the Greek god Pan.
Faunus was one of the oldest Roman deities, known as the di indigetes. According to the epic poet Virgil, he was a legendary king of the Latins who came with his people from Arcadia. His shade was consulted as a god of prophecy under the name of Fatuus, with oracles[1] in the sacred grove of Tibur, around the well Albunea, and on the Aventine Hill in ancient Rome itself.[2]
Marcus Terentius Varro asserted that the oracular responses were given in Saturnian verse.[3] Faunus revealed the future in dreams and voices that were communicated to those who came to sleep in his precincts, lying on the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. W. Warde Fowler suggested that Faunus is identical with Favonius,[4] one of the Roman wind gods (compare the Anemoi).

1 Consorts and family
2 Festivals
3 Equation with Pan
4 Later worship
5 Notes
6 References
[edit] Consorts and family

A Roman imperial bust of Faunus found in 1820 in Vienne (France).
A goddess of like attributes, called Fauna and Fatua, was associated in his worship. She was regarded sometimes as his wife, sometimes as his sister. As Pan was accompanied by the Paniskoi, or little Pans, so the existence of many Fauni was assumed besides the chief Faunus.[5] In fable Faunus appears as an old king of Latium, son of Picus, and grandson of Saturnus, father of Latinus by the nymph Marica. After his death he is raised to the position of a tutelary deity of the land, for his many services to agriculture and cattle-breeding.
Faunus was known as the father or husband or brother of Bona Dea (Fauna, his feminine side) and of Latinus by the nymph Marica (who was also sometimes Faunus’ mother). Fauns are place-spirits (genii) of untamed woodland. Educated, Hellenizing Romans connected their fauns with the Greek satyrs, who were wild and orgiastic drunken followers of Dionysus, with a distinct origin.

The first element of woodwose is usually explained as from wudu “wood”, “forest”. The second element is less clear. It has been identified as a hypothetical noun wāsa “being”, from the verb wesan, wosan “to be”, “to be alive”.[1] The Old English form is unattested, but it would have been wudu-wāsa or wude-wāsa.

Late 15th century tapestry from Basel, showing a woodwose being tamed by a virtuous lady
Terminology in the Middle Ages was more varied. In Middle English, there was the term woodwose (also spelled wodewose, woodehouse, wudwas etc.).[2][3] Wodwos[4] occurs in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (ca. 1390).[5] The Middle English word is first attested in the 1340s, in references to the “wild man” decorative artwork popular at the time, in a Latin description of an embroidery of the Great Wardrobe of Edward III,[6] but as a surname it is found as early as 1251, of one Robert de Wudewuse. In reference to an actual legendary or mythological creature, the term is found in the 1380s, in Wycliffe’s Bible, translating שעיר (LXX δαιμόνια, Latin pilosi) in Isaiah 13:21[7] The occurrences in Gawain and the Green Knight dates to shortly after Wycliffe’s Bible, to ca. 1390.[8]

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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