Rapper and producer Kanye West has always found a way to stand out from the crowd. His video Power is no exception. It differs from the MTV norm in many regards, whether you look at the content or the form. The duration of the video, the filming style and the subject matter are quite distinct from today’s typical rap videos as it is short (1:43), filmed in a single shot (compared to the one-shot-per-second standard of music videos) and is very rich in archetypal symbolism.
Director Marco Brambilla sought to depict the concept of power in the form of a “video tableau”, a moving painting that slowly reveals itself to the viewer with a continuous camera movement. The director seem to have perfected this technique in his previous creation, Civilization, a video mural created for the new Standard Hotel in New-York city. The symbolism present there is simply overwhelming. Here it is:
For Power, Brambilla went for a neo-classic aesthetic, but still created a piece full of symbolic and cultural references. As it was the case for paintings of the neo-classic era, each object, each symbol and each detail in the video conveys an important meaning, a meaning that is needed understand the entire story. As we will see, many symbols in the video have a deep occult meaning and many of them point to Freemasonry and Mystery schools. By doing so, the director clearly states what type of power is being presented in the video. So we will look at the meaning of the symbols displayed in the video as they appear in the shot. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:
Symbols of the Video
As regular readers of this site already know, the occult meaning of the twin pillars is ancient, profound and present in the symbolism of almost all mystery schools of History. There are many layers of interpretation attributed to the two columns, but one constant is always present: The pillars represent the entrance – the gateway – to the world of the initiate. Behind the columns can be found the key to the Mysteries and, consequently, the source of true power. This concept has been used for in many cultures and schools of thought.
- Jordan Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods
So Kanye stands at the gateway between the corrupt world of the profane and the exclusive world of the illuminated, wearing a Horus pendant, an unmistakable symbols of the Mysteries. One might say: “Well maybe Kanye just likes Egyptian things.” Maybe so, but in the context of this video, where all details are important and extremely meaningful, Horus becomes another piece of this symbolic puzzle.
The entrance of the gateway of pillars is guarded by two horned albino girls holding a staff. Their features are very reminiscent of depictions Isis and Hathor goddesses of ancient Egypt, another allusion to Egyptian magic.
Isis and Hathor crowning Queen Nefertari. Both goddesses were depicted with bovine horns on their heads. Isis was the mother of Horus (discussed above) and was the goddess of motherhood, nature and magic. Hathor was also considered as a maternal deity, and also being the goddess of music, dance and fertility. Both Isis and Hathor were known to welcome and protect the dead during their journey to the afterlife, a concept that is particularly interesting in the context of the video.
Kanye, perhaps symbolizing the Pharaoh, is standing at the gateway to eternal wisdom, about to be executed/assassinated/sacrificed under the watchful eyes of Hathor, the “royal goddess.” Are the goddesses welcoming Kanye “behind the veil,” protecting him in this rite of passage to immortality? In occult circles, new candidates must symbolically die and be reborn to complete their initiation process. Is Kanye being killed an allegory for his initiation?
A perfect ashlar in a Masonic lodge. In Masonic symbolism, the candidates start their journeys as allegorical “rough ashlars” and, through knowledge and wisdom, smooth out their edges in order to become a perfect ashlar.
Some occult researchers have stated that the “Killing of the King” is the name of a Masonic rite of passage to obtain the 33rd degree (see “King Kill 33″ by James Shelby Downard & Michael A. Hoffman II). Semi-interesting sidenote: King Kill 33 is also the name of a Marilyn Mason song, with rather interesting lyrics. Another sidenote: Researchers have reported that the Killing of the King rites often happens in public, as more witnesses give more power to the ritual, hence … JFK. (A completely crazy theory? DYOR … do your own research!)
Back to Kanye and his standing … the two swords flying towards him never actually touch him but instead form a triangular shape above his head, possibly hinting to a “symbolic” killing and not an actual one. Notice the position of the crown above Kanye’s head. The combination of those elements form an interesting image.
The killing of Kanye is a symbol of his death and rebirth as an initiatic process. (Pyramid has been added with the magic of Photoshop)
The crown above Kanye’s head, represents illumination, the “crown shakra”, the opened eye of the initiate who achieved perfection.
To sum up the the video, Kanye stands at the border between Masonic wisdom and the decadence of the mundane life, represented by lustful women. Kanye says “goodbye cruel world / I see you in the morning“, as he has been “chosen” to take part in an initiation process that is metaphorically described as a “long night,” followed by a glorious awakening as a new being. In order to accomplish this, Kanye needs to kill his old self and be ritualistically reborn. Once this is done, true power is within the grasp of the candidate.
How long before the complete revelation?
“The clock’s tickin’ / I just count the hours”