Okee. The Argento Three Mother’s mythology has been something of a fascination of mine for a number of years. I’ve done a lot of research on it as of late, so’s I figured I would share what I have discovered so far.
To start from the top. While some of the material I will be sharing here is certainly up for speculation whether or not Argento ever meant for there to be a connection to his work, this first item most assuredly is not. Thomas DeQuincy’s LEVANA AND OUR LADIES OF SORROW was an opium inspired missive that, without question, is the initial inspiration for the Three Mothers mythology. I have included some selections from DeQuincy’s essay:
The eldest of the three is named Mater Lachrymarum , Our Lady of Tears. She it is that night and day raves and moans, calling for vanished faces. She stood in Rama, where a voice was heard of lamentation,—Rachel weeping for her children, and refused to be comforted. She it was that stood in Bethlehem on the night when Herod's sword swept its nurseries of Innocents, and the little feet were stiffened forever, which, heard at times as they tottered along floors overhead, woke pulses of love in household hearts that were not unmarked in heaven.…
“…This Mater Lachrymarum also has been sitting all this winter of 1844-5 within the bedchamber of the Czar, bringing before his eyes a daughter (not less pious) that vanished to God not less suddenly, and left behind her a darkness not less profound. By the power of her keys it is that Our Lady of Tears glides a ghostly intruder into the chambers of sleepless men, sleepless women, sleepless children, from Ganges to the Nile, from Nile to Mississippi. And her, because she is the first-born of her house, and has the widest empire, let us honor with the title of " Madonna."
The second sister is called Mater Suspiriorum , Our Lady of Sighs. She never scales the clouds, nor walks abroad upon the winds. She wears no diadem. And her eyes, if they were ever seen, would be neither sweet nor subtle; no man could read their story; they would be found filled with perishing dreams, and with wrecks of forgotten delirium. But she raises not her eyes; her head, on which sits a dilapidated turban, droops forever, forever fastens on the dust. She weeps not. She groans not. But she sighs inaudibly at intervals. Her sister Madonna is oftentimes stormy and frantic, raging in the highest against heaven, and demanding back her darlings. But Our Lady of Sighs never clamors, never defies, dreams not of rebellious aspirations. She is humble to abjectness. Hers is the meekness that belongs to the hopeless. Murmur she may, but it is in her sleep. Whisper she may, but it is to herself in the twilight. Mutter she does at times, but it is in solitary places that are desolate as she is desolate, in ruined cities, and when the sun has gone down to his rest
…She also carries a key; but she needs it little. For her kingdom is chiefly amongst the tents of Shem, and the houseless vagrant of every clime. Yet in the very highest ranks of man she finds chapels of her own; and even in glorious England there are some that, to the world, carry their heads as proudly as the reindeer, who yet secretly have received her mark upon their foreheads.
But the third sister, who is also the youngest! Hush! whisper whilst we talk of her! Her kingdom is not large, or else no flesh should live; but within that kingdom all power is hers. Her head, turreted like that of Cybèle, rises almost beyond the reach of sight. She droops not; and her eyes rising so high might be hidden by distance. But, being what they are, they cannot be hidden; through the treble veil of crape which she wears, the fierce light of a blazing misery, that rests not for matins or for vespers, for noon of day or noon of night, for ebbing or for flowing tide, may be read from the very ground. She is the defier of God. She also is the mother of lunacies, and the suggestress of suicides. Deep lie the roots of her power; but narrow is the nation that she rules. For she can approach only those in whom a profound nature has been upheaved by central convulsions; in whom the heart trembles and the brain rocks under conspiracies of tempest from without and tempest from within. Madonna moves with uncertain steps, fast or slow, but still with tragic grace. Our Lady of Sighs creeps timidly and stealthily. But. this youngest sister moves with incalculable motions, bounding, and with a tiger's leaps. She carries no key; for, though coming rarely amongst men, she storms all doors at which she is permitted to enter at all. And her name is Mater Tenebrarum, -Our Lady of Darkness. The essay in its entirety can be found here: http://www.blackmask.com/books57c/dequi
The name Levana [as Levanah] also comes up in Kabala studies, as the Lunar beam, bestowing change, increase and decrease upon created things and it rules over the Sphere of Action of the Moon and the nature of mankind. Am I going out on a limb in saying that The Moon is a symbol for witchcraft? Hope not. : /
Plus! The Three Mothers themselves appear in the Kabala as: Aleph (Lachrymarum) , Mem (Tenebrarum), Shin (Suspiriorum) which correspond to Air, Water, Fire.
Here’s some more:
“… The Three Mother Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet; Aleph, Mem, and Shin. Mem is silent, Shin is sibilant, and Aleph is the tongue of a balance between these contraries in equilibrium, reconciling and mediating between them. This is a great Mystery, very admirable and recondite. The Fire produced the Heavens, the Water, the Earth, and the Air is the reconciler between them. In the year, they bring forth the hot, the cold, and the temperate seasons, and in man, they are imaged in the head, the chest, and the trunk. “—from The Golden Dawn as revealed by Israel Regardie
More Sephir Sephiroth stuff:
Aleph: The Holy Ghost — Fool — Knight-Errant. Folly’s doom is ruin.
Mem: The Man drowned in the “womb” flood. The Secret is hidden between the waters that are above and the waters that are beneath. (Most definitely personified in Inferno)
Shin: The Stélé. Nuit, Hadit, their God and Man twins, as a pantacle. Resurrection is hidden in Death.
Further correspondences: Mercury, Sulpher, Salt — Sattvas, Rajas, and Tamas
Also, another corresponding point that I noticed. In Suspiria the color red is dominant. Scarlet (fire) is the corresponding color for “Shin.” As in, Inferno blue is the dominant color and Deep Blue is the corresponding color for “Mem.”
But don’t mind me. I find all that sort of Kabala crap to be superneat. : /
Daria Nicolodi grandmother’s witches tale which was the inspiration for Suspiria. I’m going to assume most people are familiar with this and not go into it as this post has already gotten quite lengthy.
Architect. Confined to a wheelchair. Quite literally a prisoner and ‘nursed’ by one of the ‘wicked step-‘Mothers. I found this particularly interesting as in some Masonic and/or occult lore, “God” is referred to as an Architect—The Master Builder—and the world we live in is the House he has built. In the Three Mother’s mythology, the Architect built Three Houses to the specifications of the Mother’s and then was summarily imprisoned. As if God has been usurped and imprisoned by three evil witches who rule over the world in secret through sorrow, shadows and … . For some reason I find this idea…fascinating.
In most Argento films, there are all sorts of obscure occult references noticeable by people that are into that sort of ‘stuff’ or whatever. For instance, In Inferno there’s a plaque on the New York city House stating that G. Gurdjieff stayed there during 1910. Gurdjief is a rather well known occult philosopher. Stuff like that.
I haven’t really come to a decision if Verdi’s Nabucco has any significance to the story. And I don’t want to come off too fruity reading WAY TOO MUCH into some ‘silly’ horror movie. eh. yah.
I guess I’ll wrap this up then. I will note that I think Mater Lachrymarum makes an appearance in Inferno. I think she’s the witch in the music lecture hall—the cute chick with the cat.
Also the name Kazanian might be worth researching. It may explain a lot of the REPTILE imagery in Inferno as well.
Wait wait! One last thing! There’s a cute little joke in Inferno as well. You’ll notice that a couple of characters make seemingly sexist comments in regards to women being the ‘weaker’ sex and how they need men to take care of them. I got a chuckle out of this, considering the story is about a trio of women who have had MANkind enslaved for centuries.
Just cute. idunno.
In summation: I think this is a neat idea for a livejournal community. And I look forward to seeing how it progresses. Personally, I’m not very into posting in communities, because I have a rather odd way of looking at the world and whatnot and would rather not force myself or my opinions upon other people. I do like to lurk though.
Thanks for the opportunity to share.
P.S.: I just remembered. There's also the "Three Lost Fathers" in the Kabalah. Which is just a neat little thing. I noticed. idunno. It's just sort of an imaginary dreamscape to play in. Very rich.