The new series of Battlestar Galactica – based on the original 1978 series – is one of the most intricate shows currently on TV. In this article, I will be taking an in-depth look at a few aspects of the show, including some of its symbolism and a few of its many underlying themes.
Even though examining the nature of the plotline will necessarliy form a part of this article, it is not the main objective of what I am attempting to do.
What I do want to show is that the manner in which reality works within the show has many allusions to how our reality works. In many cases it is a mirror of many of the hidden things in our world that are not commonly accepted by mainstream beliefs.
In addition I am not setting out to draw any conclusions; firstly reality is an open book. And secondly it is better for you to come to your own theories. I am just trying to highlight some of the possibilities.
Finally as with many of the recent big-budget Hollywood movies, not everything is that clear cut. Throughout the entire series there is an undercurrent that attempts to sway the beliefs of the unwary viewer. Some of these are fairly well hidden whilst others are a little more overt. I will therefore be covering a few of these as well.
Due to the nature of this article, it contains a number of spoilers for the show. Some of these spoilers may enhance the viewing of the show as it gives you clues of things to watch out for. But beware if you enjoy surprises in your TV shows – because many of them will be commented on from here-on in.
Symbols are everywhere in our world, many of them are millennia old (if not older still). Strangely they appear in everyday places – one of the more well known symbols is the all-seeing-eye capstone atop a pyramid (also know as “The Eye of Providence”). This symbol is used all over the world in official government capacities, by the Church as well as by seemingly unimportant organistations and objects.
Two places that many people will have seen this before:
There is an ancient history to this symbol, and it is worth researching into if you have not done so before. What is often surprising with many symbols are the historical connections they have, and in many cases such connections extend back to older cultures or civilisations. For some reason such symbols carry over from one culture to the next.
Other researchers go into far more depth on this topic, so I won’t go into any sort of detail here. However there is a relationship between the use of symbols in reality and the use of symbols in Battlestar Galactica.
Below is the seal for the Twelve Colonies, in this case displayed on the Battlestar Galactica seal;
Note the layout of the reefs on the seal – in particular the centre-most reef. Next take a look at the design of the Cylon Raider…
Symbols play an important role in the show. The similarities between the Twelve Colonies seal and the design of the Raiders have not been mentioned in the show yet. But no doubt will form an important aspect of the story; there have already been a number of other hints that Cylon history is not what we think it is.
In our world this is one of the truths behind symbols; their usage and their history does often not match with so called official-history. To put it plainly what the symbols historically represent often does not relate with what they are supposed to represent in modern times.
Why does the reef of the Twelve Colonies match almost exactly the design of the Cylon Raider?
Why is an ancient Egyptian symbol used again and again by institutions and governments all over the world?
My point is not to try and find an answer – or even suggest a direct connection between Galactica symbols and our symbols. What I am trying to do is suggest that sometimes we need to question what is blindly accepted. It is often surprising what is hidden in plain sight.
Symbols and the Future
Another aspect to symbols is that they can sometimes have a way of foretelling the future. In most cases this happens on a mundane everyday level…patterns that appear in a frosted window for example, may have personal meaning to someone that chances upon them. Or sometimes symbols may merely appear to show us the way on our personal journeys.
In the second season of Galactica we see Starbuck return to her home on Caprica – scrawled on her wall is a symbol she has painted (along with a lot of other seemingly frantic writing).
Years later in season three, we get to see the same symbol again. This time thousands of light-years away in a Temple on a planet that Galactica just happens to stop at. Synchronistically this Temple turns out to be “The Temple of Five” from colonial scripture. Etched into a strange pillar in the middle of the temple is the following symbol:
Synchronicities can work on a grand scale as well as a mundane everyday level, more on this in the Synchronicities section.
Interestingly the following photos were taken by NASA of a new storm that formed on Jupiter about a month before the broadcast of this episode:
I am not saying that it means anything, but it is a very interesting connection. As Lieutenant Gaeta mentioned, what are the chances of that?
Try as we might, science is still unable to pin down exactly what consciousness is. That doesn’t mean we as individuals cannot know what it is. The difference is that science tries to analyse it, whilst we ourselves can experience it. Yet that means our interpretation of consciousness will be subjective – there can obviously be no “fits-all” definition. But what about when others try and tell us what we are, what we should feel and what life is about? Likewise are we being reasonable when we as humans try and set the parameters of what we believe others can and cannot experience?
Eventually in any such discussion of ideology, God will be thrown into the equation. Many people assume to know the mind of God, but perhaps they are just supplanting their own personality traits onto something external to themselves.
In the episode, “Flesh and Bone” the cylon known as Leoben asked Starbuck the following:
Leoben: “What is the most basic article of faith?”
Starbuck: “This is not all that we are.”
Leoben: “See, the difference between you and me is, I know what that means and you don’t. I know that I’m more than this body, more than this consciousness. A part of me swims in the stream, but in truth, I’m standing on the shore. The current never takes me downstream.”
Admiral Adama said about Leoben, “It’s a very clever machine, manipulative, cunning. The only problem with Leoben isn’t that he lies. That’d be too easy. It’s that he mixes his lies with truth. Just remember, he’s gonna try to get into your head.”
The question then is this; is Leoben being honest, or manipulative? Is Leoben nothing more than a machine just because he happens to be a cylon? One truth I have learnt is to be wary of anyone or anything that claims to know what another being should or should not be feeling. It is also good to be wary of people that claim to know the mind of God – because usually they don’t.
This episode, like a number of episodes from later seasons depicts torture; in this case Starbuck torturing Leoben. The entire premise of this episode is constructed in such a way that you end up feeling for the cylon. He is so cold, yet empathic. So alien, yet human. It is very difficult to actually believe that he is nothing more than a machine – yet repeatedly he is dehumanized. He never gives in though – he never lets go of what appears to be an innate spiritual calmness.
In the end the President discovers what Starbuck has been doing; later Leoben says to her; “Don’t be too hard on Kara, she was just doing her job. The military, they teach you to dehumanize people”
He seems to know Starbuck intimately evidenced by some of the details he mentions earlier, “I know you, you’re damaged. You were born to a woman who believes that suffering is good for the soul, so you suffered. Your life is a testament to pain, injuries, accidents. Some inflicted upon others, others inflicted upon yourself. Surrounds you like a bubble, but it’s not real, that’s just something she put into your head. It’s something you wanna believe ’cause it means that you’re the problem, not the world that you live in. You wanna believe it because it means that you’re bad luck, like a cancer that needs to be removed. Because you hear her voice every day, and you want her to be right.”
What is consciousness, why do we appear to have such a fragile hold on our awareness that other beings and entities can manipulate us with such ease? The thing with Leoben isn’t simply the skill with which the actor Callum Keith Rennie plays the part. Rather it is exactly what Adama mentioned – mixing half-truths with lies, and getting in your head. This aspect of Galactica always does that remarkably well. It is very easy to end up hating the humans for their humanity, whilst liking the cylons for their somehow more than human ideals. That isn’t to say this is always the case with them, but often the show has the ability to portray us in a darker light than our supposed enemies.
Manipulations and distractions are often disarmed once looked upon with a certain awareness. Leoben is correct in that many people are unware of their true nature. His compassion however is not human compassion. Leoben may well be conscious, but it is an immortal consciousness that has no fear of death, no indoctrination by social controls and no experience of human emotional pain. It is beyond our ken and comparable to demonic or negative-entity awareness. Within the constraints of the storyline he has a clear agenda, it appears that he can foresee the future and perhaps even understands that time is not linear. He plays on this ability, creating mind games with Starbuck that don’t play out until years later down the line. Starbuck’s anger and fear blinds her to the manipulations.
Starbuck: “Machines shouldn’t feel pain. Shouldn’t bleed, shouldn’t sweat… See, now, a smart Cylon would turn off the ol’ pain software about right now. But I don’t think you’re so smart.”
Leoben: “Maybe I’ll turn it off and you won’t even know.”
It is easy to be blinded through lack of awareness. Leoben reaches right out of the TV screen and blindsides the unaware viewer. He manipulates us to feel sympathy for him, he manipulates Starbuck into torturing him. He creates mind-games that will take years to unfold. It is very easy to get caught up in what is going on, and that is how They play their games.
Occult knowledge, mythology, religions, and history all show individuals, beings and entities who manipulate humans on an individual level as well as a global level. What is consciousness? Whilst consciousness and awareness may exist for all forms of beings – it becomes apparent that not all beings are capable of experiencing it in the same manner. Just like we feed upon, and use animals of a lower-consciousness than us, so too are humans used, manipulated and fed-upon. It happens everyday, and most the times it is too hard to see. Other times it is in broad daylight – and so hidden right in front of us.
At the start of every episode of Galactica the text says of the cylons; “And they have a plan.”
This plan hasn’t become apparent yet. It is multi-threaded, weaved all around the fleet and the remaining humans. It tugs at individuals creating situations in which they must act, and make a decision through freewill. The decision is never made for them, and the moment always comes when each person stands alone and has to decide. But the odds are stacked against them – inevitably through lack of awareness they make a decision that will play out down the line. The repercussions of which tie together to create a tapestry which will serve the agenda of the Cylons – or maybe those hidden faces that are working through the Cylons.
This episode in particular begins an ongoing theme on the nature of consciousness. The Cylons – the enemies – are shown to question awareness, consciousness and spirituality. Surely this is a good thing to be doing, yet it is portrayed as being a trait of beings that are somehow flawed and evil. To me it sounds not too unlike the sort of mind game that Leoben would play…
The word synchronicity has never been uttered in Battlestar Galactica, yet they happen all the time in the show. In the end it gets so blatant that one of the characters even comments on the chances of so many different events and people converging on one location at one time.
Synchronicities can be naturally occurring – and they can also be manufactured. Throughout the series the Cylons have seemingly created synchronicities which often push a character to make a freewill choice that serves the Cylon agenda.
At the end of season one, Six says to Baltar; “Life has a melody, Gaius. A rhythm of notes that become your existence, once played in harmony with God’s plan. It’s time to do your part and realize your destiny.”
The problem is in understanding that not all melodies are natural, some simply lead you to dance to another’s tune.
Here are just a few of the synchronicities in Galactica – I will let you decide which you think are artificially occurring and which are naturally occurring:
• Laura Roslyn dreamt of seeing Leoben in a forest. In her dream she saw him somehow pulled backwards by a suction of air, and disappearing among the trees. When she wakes up, it turns out that a copy of the cylon Leoben has been found within the fleet. Later on under Roslyn’s orders, Leoben is put out the airlock. As he is sucked out into space, it matches exactly what Laura saw happen to him in the forest of her dream.
• Sharon is out on patrol looking for supplies and just happens to chance upon Kobol – the lost home of humanity, as mentioned in scripture. Just as Leoben prophesied to Starbuck.
• Whilst on a mission back to Caprica in order to rescue the survivors, Racetrack’s jump co-ordinates are off – she ends up jumping to a habitable planet. A planet which proves the focal point for Baltar’s winning of the elections. Prior to the planets discovery Baltar feared he would lose the election – Six told him to “have faith”.
• The convergence on The Temple of Five is perhaps the biggest of synchronicities so far in the show. So much so that it come the closest to actually being commented upon as such. Gaeta said; “Sir, I am not one to look for religious signs. But I can’t get my head around these odds. That human and Cylon both converge on this planet at this exact moment just as the star’s about to go supernova…”
For the most part the only one to see these synchronicities is the cylon Six who urges Baltar to take them on faith alone. As she said “Life has a melody”, but is that melody really self-serving?
In our reality there are what can only be termed as “signs” around us all the time – they needn’t be seen as looking for “Religious signs” as Gaeta suggested, but there are there none-the-less. They are simply the manner in which reality works. However without awareness of this basic principle, it is very easy to be misled and manipulated.
So far within the series only Chief Tyrol has come close to comprehending this, based on his inexplicable sense of familiarity within the Temple of Five. Which he just happened to find based on an urge that “called him”. Because he and his team just happened to be in the right location based on site co-ordinates that Starbuck had chosen to set their camp up at. The feeling was right at his finger-tips…a feeling deeper and somehow greater than words can relate – most importantly it was personal to him. To him it tied in with the fact that as a kid he used to dance around his fathers room (whom was a priest) naked and with porn magazines…a seemingly mundane fact to anyone else other than Tyrol. Is this the same thing that Baltar has repeatedly experienced? Could it just be a simple coincidence, or an epiphany in feeling the “melody of life”?
Artificial and natural melodies at first glance are not so easy to distinguish. Whilst Galactica most certainly does contain both types of synchronicities, it doesn’t make a point of separating one from the other.
Right from the very start Galactica has been about manipulation on many different levels. To start with Gaius Baltar was seduced by Six – a cylon which Gaius would intimately respond to. Through Baltar, she gained access to the colonial defense grid, which enabled the cylons to attack.
From then on a copy of Six appeared to Baltar, strangely only he is able to see her. Even at this point it is unknown whether she is somehow a fragment of cylon consciousness within his mind, the result of delusional madness, or something else entirely. (Interestingly she never appeared to him during his time on the cylon basestar). What we do know is that she continuously persuades him to manipulate the situations around him, usually in a bid to gain power for himself. What doesn’t add up entirely is that the agenda of this particular version of Six doesn’t seem to entirely serve the agenda of either humans or cylons. More than once she has helped Baltar help the human fleet destroy cylons. Of this she says only “God does not take sides”
Although it is blatantly obvious that Baltar is being manipulated, are any other characters also being used? Sharon did not know she was a cylon – yet she unconsciously served the Cylon agenda, right up until she shot Adama.
Gaeta again and again has “inadvertently” created situations that put the humans and Cylons alike at a disadvantage. Separating Galactica from the fleet at a critical moment by using incorrect jump co-ordinates. Willingly playing both sides as an “informer” during the occupation. Take a close look at Gaeta’s expression when Adama got shot.
Starbuck seems to have intricate ties with Leoben. She had a painting on her wall that was later discovered in The Temple of Five. She was the only one that could fly the cylon raider.
In Flesh and Bone, Leoben told President Roslyn, “Adama is a Cylon.” He never elaborated on which Adama.
In life, at one point or another most of us have done something that does not appear to make sense. Something that usually results in serving to make our own situation worse, or else causes trouble for another individual or group. When going back over the situation in hindsight, it sometimes seems illogical, though we try and emotionally justify it.
An “entity” whispers in Baltar’s ear, using him to manipulate another’s freewill. Six effectively spoke through Baltar in an early episode, she persuaded him to repeat her words to Adama. Based upon these words Adama made a choice of freewill to give to give Baltar a nuclear device, a device which Baltar later in turn gave to a cylon. The device was ultimately used over a year later to destroy part of the human fleet and alert the cylons to the fleet’s location. Cylon plans are not easy to comprehend and most certainly are not readily apparent at the get-go. They perceive time in a very different way to us humans, and therefore their agenda unfolds in a manner that is perplexing to us.
People are not always aware of the consequences of their own actions – as said, how many times have you done something illogical, or based upon some inexplicable impulse? Maybe choosing a different route home, one you never usually take and then finding that it leads to a traffic jam or accident? What processes of thought or strings had to get pulled in order to get the situation to arrive whereby that other car would be passing that specific location at that specific moment?
How many threads on how many levels are being pulled in order to get Galactica from Caprica to Kobol. From Kobol to New Caprica, and then from there to The Temple of Five? The cylons seem as oblivious to these manipulations as the humans do. So who is pulling the strings? Who are the final five of the twelve cylons?
Twelve models of cylons…twelve colonies. There were twelve Olympian gods, many of the characters names are from greek mythology. Each of the twelve colonies is named after the twelve signs of the zodiac. How far back in time do the threads weave? Galactica threads its fictional mythology into our own real world mythology.
Remember the use of symbols. They date back millennia – how many threads and people had to be pulled and manipulated in order for that to happen?
Maybe many of us have a Caprica-Six whispering in our ears – would it even be possible to know if our thoughts were not our own? I always find it interesting that we can refer to ourselves in third person. In our minds – referring to ourselves – we say; “If you don’t do xxx, you won’t get yyyy.” If we are the “you” in that sentence…than who’s voice is speaking the sentence?
It need not be a case of madness, or visually seeing someone that no one else can see. In Galactica, many of the characters at one point or another have acted on impulse as strangely – if not more so than Baltar. Yet we can see that he has a reason for being the way he is…so what is their excuse?
We measure the level of insanity against those that are sane. So aside from those that are obviously psychotic – who determines what is or is not a correct way to think? Who sets up the role-models of who are to appear as mentally insane?
Manipulation works because our focus is ever outwards, and rarely – if ever – inwards.
“All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.” Taken from scripture within the world of Galactica. This is repeatedly mentioned within the series, and is a belief followed by both the religions of humanity and that of the cylons. The cylon Leoben actually claimed to remember previous occurrences. Whilst being tortured by Starbuck he said: “Each of us plays a role, each time a different role. Remember, the last time I was the interrogator, and you were the prisoner. The players change, the story remains the same. And this time, your role is to deliver my soul unto God. Do it for me. It’s your destiny and mine.”
As mentioned in the previous section, the mythology of Galactica ties into our own real-world mythology. The names Apollo, Pegasus, Athena, Hera, are all from Greek mythology. In one episode Adama is referenced as Zeus. The planet names, Caprica, Aerelon, Aquaria, Gemenon, Leonis, Libra, Picon, Canceron, Satittaron, Scorpia, Tauron, Virgon are all derivatives of astrological names. At one point it is mentioned that these names are from the ancient names that we know today. Presumably then, Galactica is set in our future. Or else on a cycle of time after our own, of course that is all ambiguous as anything is possible.
The final five cylons that are repeatedly referenced to are seen by D’Anna when she enters The Temple of Five. In colonial scripture The Five Priests also reside in the Temple of Five. On a side-note regarding symbols and The Five – take a close look at the wing of the cylon raider in the picture near the start of this article. You will notice a green pentagon there. A pentagon has five sides.
Humans created the mechanized cylons, they rebelled and begun a war. The humans won and the cylons disappeared off to create their own colonies. Supposedly they evolved over the next forty years, and now appear human – but what really happened during those forty years? There are twelve human looking models, five of which are seen in the Temple of Five. The Temple was built 4,000 years previous – Five unknown cylons and Five Priests. Twelve Cylons and twelve Olympian Gods.
“All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.”
The nature of time is very difficult to grasp; as a culture we have decided to view it as linear. For the most part, all viewable evidence supports the theory of linear time. However for the past few decades leading scientific theories have realized that time is anything but linear. Whilst our physical bodies move forward on a linear path, it is possible that our consciousness does not. Synchronicities can only work and be understood when time isn’t factored in as a linear element. Repeating patterns in history – not merely trends – but whole chunks of times and civilizations become understood on a whole different level when viewed from a non-linear perspective. The problem is, much of the “evidence” is subtle, almost impossible to measure, and even when experienced is more or less imperceptible.
In Galactica Leoben understands this from a spiritual perspective. D’Anna begins to understand it from a more literal and physical perspective, but ultimately it leads to her “death”. Six sees it as the workings of God. God is often alluded to by the cylons – but it is never clear whether they are referring to a cylon “higher power” or a true God.
Whilst the subject of time-loops is very interesting to consider within the context of Battlestar Galactica, I am not sure I can see any allusions with reality. Of course there remains the fact that there are many subtle indications in both reality and the TV show indicating that time is non-linear…that events long in the past and even in the future directly affect the present. That maybe beings – in the case of Galactica, the Five Priests – can operate outside the constraints of time. However although there maybe no direct connections from the show – it does give us a few good hints as to where to look, though it does also throw a few curve-balls.
I have really only touched on a few of the most overt aspects of Battlestar Galactica in this article. Overall Galactica is in my mind, an amazing piece of work; it is intricately created, written and produced. Threads formed as early as the very first few episodes tie in directly with episodes two or three years later. This is not just done in a typical plot fashion, but hints at the hidden nature of our reality whilst doing so. Synchronicities pile up, in some cases contributing toward the spiritual development of individuals – in other cases combining over the course of years to accumulate in serving the agenda of hidden powers.
The nature of consciousness is regularly brought into question, as briefly mentioned in this article. However I did not cover the aspects of the show on re-incarnation, the soul, and the interconnectedness of individuals…sometimes across multiple life-times.
Other things to watch out for that are integral to reality that are mirrored within the context of the storyline – are subjects such as spirituality, reality manifestation, love and human-cylon (human-alien) hybrids. There is also a pretty big deal about numbers. I will possibly cover some of these subjects in a future article, depending upon how popular this piece proves to be – as well as my own time constraints.
One other thing worth commenting on is in regard to the original Battlestar Galactica series. From the beginning the creators wanted to portray the Cylons as reptilians – but the studio would not go for the idea, and in the end the series went ahead with the idea of machines instead. More on that here.
The thing to be aware of with these sorts of shows – and Battlestar Galactica has to rate as one of the highest on TV in this regards – is that they contain a lot of references to the hidden dynamics of our reality. In a subtle way various threads are weaved together developing a complex plot, which also echoes our own world. Of course it isn’t all prim and rosy – there are a fair few twists, and so discernment will show that certain subjects are portrayed backwards. Leoben’s character is a great example of this, and in some cases his personality reflects a part of the character of the show itself.
But for all that, Battlestar Galactica is fantastic entertainment. Although I no longer watch TV, Galactica is one of the few things I actually make time for. With a keen eye it is possible to see that a great deal is going on – and that it does in fact have a whole lot to say.
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