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The Serpent and the Dove

30 October 2002...December 02
(32 pgs)


The cover shows 8 doves descending and a serpent ascending. Promethea's 3rd or ajna eye is more prominent depicted as the Eye in the Triangle. She is standing in front of a sort of stained glass effect but everything is only white and gold wit no other colors shown. This is a good depiction of the first 15 pages in this issue. There are stars and whirls all around her.
Inspired by Mucha.

Invoke me under my stars! Love is the Law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well!
Crowley's Book of the Law [I,57]
Comment by Lawrence Sutin:
The law of "the dove" was viewed by Crowley as repressed and hypocritical Christian love-a false choice.
Do What Thou Wilt pg 127

Dove and Serpent Oasis, OTO

Fourfold Word Song - read line 6.
Thomas Vane wrote a book called "Wisdome and Innocence or Prudence and Simplicity in the examples of the Serpent and the Dove, propounded by our Lord" (s.l. 1652).

Christian Occult Symbols

Promethea and Barbara finally reach Kether. They experience what it is like to become God.
All born/all fed/all grown/all led/all helped/all harmed/all cursed/all charmed/all brutal/all holy/all wisdom/all folly//all knowing/all seeing/all suffering/all being/all doing/all done//all one.
Eventually they find Steve Shelley and having ascended like serpents up the Tree of Life they now descend like doves back to Malkuth. Barbara and Steve are reborn as boy & girl twins while Sophie reconciles with her mother.

"Something from nothing." ,pg 1
"Here we are again."
"Always here. Always now." , pg 3
"One from none." , pg 4
"Just the idea of one, of something for that to even exist...where there was only nothing. This is God." , pg 4
"God is one..and all. God is all. One perfect moment." ,pg 5
"Are we God?" , pg 5
"God is everything. Everything is God. God is all." pg 6
"God, I hope I've lettered this right..." pg 11
"When we climb up the tree, winding from sphere to shpere, then we're serpents. The serpent is the will to climb, and rise. The will to live. But when we choose to descend from this sacred purity, back into the turmoil and suffering of the world, then we're doves. The dove is the will to sacrifice, to descend. The will to die. The will to die to this glorious world of spirit, and live again in matter...the will to take a little more light back down into the world, where it needs it. Back down there." pgs 14-15
"Any life, sweetheart, any venture...It's always a fool's leap." pg 17
"Barbara, wait! Am I ever going to see you again?" pg 21
"It's beautiful. And everything's just what it is, without having to mean something. Like you. You're not a ... a sphinx or anything."
"Ha ha. No I ain't but my husband reckons I'm a mystery all the same." pg 27
"If appointed I promise increased public spending, an improved transport system, and hand relief." - Uvula Cascade pg 29
"I've done some growing up while I was away, Mom." - Sophie pg 32

Notes and Annotations

Reality Creator Workbook Series

First of all the first review put online about this issue from the Fourth Rail.
Secondly the Barbelith Underground commentary on this issue.
E Randy Dupre there comments that the illustrations in Kether remind him of Botticelli's Illustrations for Dante's Divine comedy.
Finally a quote from Alan Moore about the colors used in this issue
The strict kaballistic colour schemes, as an example, while they looked very dubious and unworkable on paper, have turned up some beautiful and often startling effects in practice. Issue 23, the issue dedicated to Kether, the godhead of the kaballistic system, had a magical palette of four colours, these colours being "White", "Brilliant White", "White-flecked-with-gold", and most unhelpful of all, "Brilliance". Despite how hopeless this sounded, we decided to stick to our guns and attempt the issue using only white and gold, and apparently the first few coloured pages do indeed look celestially beautiful." - interview from Eddie Campbell's Egomania #2

Page 1; Very nice. From nothing (empty circle) to something (Boo-boo and Promethea(6) in all their glory.
Also zooming in effect from full stick figures to upper part of body.
Panel 1: Blank circle, good representation of nothing.
Panel 2: stick figures will remind readers of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 2 Issue 2 of the Invisible Man communicating with the Martians using stick figures.
Panel 3: A bit more substance as the figures are filled in like an early drawing from how to do human bodies in art class. Caduceus now appears too.
Dialogue here notes but what that dialogue is is not yet shown.
Panel 4: Proper dialogue at last. Boo-boo and Promethea now visible but not yet in final detail.
Stars in background.
Panel 5: Final version. Proper dialogue balloons but "...from nothing" dialgoue still has caduceus visible behind it.

Pages 2-3: Nice wheel like effect. The more detail the further out you go from the centre.
Eye in the triangle. A quote from this site
The well-known eye in the triangle is a symbol of God's perfection and his constant presence within the flow of life's energy.
The image of the eye in the triangle will be a familiar one to anyone taking a close look at an American Dollar bill.
The eye is known as the "Eye of Providence" and is surrounded by rays of light. According to Webster's New World College Dictionary, "providence" can mean:

a looking to, or preparation for, the future;
skill or wisdom in management; prudence.
a) the care or benevolent guidance of God or nature,
b) an instance of this.
God, as the guiding power of the universe.
The single eye shows up in Egyptian mythology as the Eye of Horus, an ancient god of the Egyptians. The eye represented wisdom, health and prosperity. Some people think that the "all-seeing eye" is a symbol of Freemasonry, a fraternal organization, and they interpret this as proof that the Founding Fathers believed in Masonic principles and wanted to impose Masonic order on the United States.
Quote from this site.
Here is an essay about the Eye in the Pyramid as it is sometimes also known.
Here is a negative view about the Eye in the Triangle.
Finally The Eye in the Triangle is also the title of a book about Aleister Crowley by Israel Regardie:

Page 4 panel 1: "Something from nothing. One from none"
Just to digress a bit this reminds me of an example Philip K Dick gives in one of his novels. I think it might have been The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. His example is how difficult it is to translate especially when the original writing has no punctuation or spaces. If you take the English letters

It could be read as either "God is nowhere" or "God is now here" which gives two totally different meanings.
End of digression
Page 5 Panel 1: "God is all. One is all"
Another digression this time from a Rudy Rucker novel. I forget which one. Quoting the 3 central teachings of mysticism. He says they are:
  1. All is one.
  2. The one is right here.
  3. The one is right now.
End of 2nd digression.
From TL: Barbara says: "Yes, and God is one" - echoes the Jewish creed "listen, Israel, the Lord, thy God, is ONE" (shma Israel adonai elohenu adonai echad, 5. Moses 6,49).
I suppose this is as good a place as any to quote Alan Moore's reaction when The Onion asked him the question "Is there a God?"
[Laughs.] Well, I can't move for them, quite frankly. I'm looking at about 12 of them from where I'm sitting at the moment. I'm kind of swamped for choice. Yeah, there's probably tons of them. There's probably a swarm of gods. I've had sort of passing acquaintanceship with a few of them. Whether there's one definitive one... Yeah, there probably is. But how the celestial-league table stacks up, I'm not sure.
Pages 4/5 show the aspect of unity.
Pages 6-7: If you read in a clockwise fashion around this circle you get:
All born/ baby being slapped on bottom after birth
All fed/ child suckling on a mothers' breast
All grown/ boy playing with toy jet plane and girl reaching out to a butterfly
All led/ little boy being led by the hand
All helped/ girl being taught how to sew
All harmed/ drunken parent or adult hitting a small boy
All cursed/ man sitting alone in a dejected position
All charmed/ young couple gazing lovingly at each other
All brutal/ soldier killing mother and baby
All holy/ nurse tending to a sick or dying patient
All wisdom/ Dr. John Dee gazing at the stars through a lens
All folly/ 0 trump card from tarot. Fool walking over a precipice with a dog at his heels

All knowing/ young boy reading a book in front of a wall of bookshelves
All seeing/ woman watching sunrise or sunset in a tropical setting
All suffering/ beggar seeking alms in a crowded street
All being/ Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Elephant, tiger, bird and flying birds visible
All doing/ Looks like the Mona Lisa being painted
All done/ Angel statue in cemetery reminds me of Issue 2 of Watchmen
All done/ Barbara and Promethea's hands clasped together.
From TL:
These pages show the aspect of God's universality and omnipresence and remind me of the Buddhist "wheel of life" (sanskrit: Bhavacakra). The outer circle consists of twelve fields which show the succession of typical experiences in human life, from birth to wisdom and folly - the Buddhist wheel shows the twelve links of dependent origination running from ignorance, action and consciousness to grasping, becoming, birth, old age and death. The inner circle shows six domains of three pairs of opposites: knowing - seeing, doing - done (producing and product), suffering and being. In the Buddhist wheel, the inner circle represents the six realms of Gods, asuras (titans), men, animals, hungry ghosts and hell-beings. The inner circle shows two joining hands and a shadow with four lotus flowers at the corners. In the center of the wheel of life are the three root afflictions of hatred, greed and ignorance, symbolized by a snake, a rooster and a pig. whereas the Buddhist wheel is entirely negative, the picture shown here is more optimistic: it shows the aspect of universality, everything is an expression of the Divine.

Example of the Tibetan Wheel of Life
Image Source

Pages 8-9: shown above
Pages 10-11: Many languages in each different circle. English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, part of a music score, Chinese. Just two questions
Can anyone recognize the music score "Do--mi-nu...?" Anonymous pointed out that "Red Right Hand" might be a reference to the Nick Cave song or also to the following lines from Milton's Paradise Lost:
What can we suffer worse? Is this then worst,
Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?
What when we fled amain, pursued and strook
With Heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought
The deep to shelter us? This hell then seemed
A refuge from those wounds. Or when we lay
Chained on the burning lake? That sure was worse.
What if the breath that kindled those grim fires
Awaked should blow them into sevenfold rage
And plunge us in the flames? Or from above
Should intermitted vengeance arm again
His red right hand to plague us? What if all
Her stores were opened, and this firmament
Of hell should spout her cataracts of fire,
Impendent horrors, threatening hideous fall
One day upon our heads; while we perhaps
Designing or exhorting glorious war
Caught in a fiery tempest shall be hurled
Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and prey
Of racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk
Under yon boiling ocean; wrapped in chains
There to converse with everlasting groans
Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved
Ages of hopeless end? this would be worse.
War therefore, open or concealed, alike
My voice dissuades, for what can force or guile
With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye
Views things all at one view?...

Paradise Lost, Book II, Lines 163-190
as to what red right hand means here is some information.
Anonymous who has access to Mr. Moore himself (which is why he prefers to remain anonymous) emailed me to explain that
"I have done 15 for you." is the prayer of a serial killer, even serial killers talk to God.
Now which particular serial killer was responsible for at least 15 deaths?

Here are some translations of the speech balloons.
Thanks to the following people for their help with translating:
Eroom Nala English
Leon Smoliar Russian
Thomas Lautwein German
Gabriel McCann Spanish
jhagglun Finnish
Rodolphe Duhil French and some Italian
John O'Neil Japanese and Chinese
Sabine Stalman Sanskrit
Yim Onn Siong Malay
Jose Crisanto Tano Tagalog (dialect of Filipino)
Forgive me. I'm such a mess. I'm such a mess...
Please God, just this one horse, let it win...
I have done fifteen for you. I am your red right hand...
Oh dear God...
I hate you. How could you let that happen? How...
Our Father Who Art in Heaven...
Oh God. I have been in your holy place but I don't...
...and take care of Grandma. And I hope you're okay...
...shall overco-o-ome, we shall over-
Here we are, Lord, talking again, you and me...
Please if there's anyone...
Kill them, lord, kill our enemies...
I am ready now, Lord. Take me now. So tired...
...lay me down to sleep, I pray ...
Please be there. I need you
(first balloon, above))
rogarto: suffering
mucyate: he is released
rogadvandho: from illness ??? (the last part is not clear)
bhayn: illnesses, anxieties (accusative plural)
mucyate: he is released
bhitastu: he was full of fear
mucyet panna: may the salvation be won (optative)
padah: from misery
Seems to be a prayer for release from suffering, sin, anxiety

The second prayer (down, I already tried to transliterate):
OM Vishvam: Om, omnipresent (= Vishnu-Krishna)
vishpur: Vishnu
vashatkro: the exclamation "vashat" (a ritual call, also personified as a deity)
bhuta bhavya: past and future
bhavat prabhuh: being present, powerfull
bhutakrd: creative, engendering beings
bhutabhrd: earth-supporter (= name of Vishnu)
bhuttma: Soul of all living beings (= a name for Brahma, Mahapurusha or Vishnu)
bhutabhvana: creating the wellbeing of living beings
Seems to be an invocation of Vishnu enumerating various attributes and epithets.

'Terima Kasih'. means 'Thank you'
God force the ambulance to hurry up
Take her away. Not away. Don't take my baby away from me.
* I am so weak, but I want...
* Please, if there is anybody
* Praise the Lord! Blessed be his name!
We thank you for our daily bread (from the Pater noster)
"May the sinners burn, may the homosexuals and the indecents burn."
"Please God please..."
* Glory to the father, and the son, and the holy ghost
* Mother saint(?) hear my plea...
* angel of La Guarda (the guard), sweet companion
"Tuhoa heidt, Herra. Tuhoa vihollisemme."
"Destroy them, Lord. Destroy our enemies."

"Kiitn sinua <.....>"
"I thank you <.....>"

"Polta synnintekijt. Polta homot ja siveettmt..."
"Burn the sinners. Burn the gays and the indecent ones."

"l vie hnt. l vie lastani."
"Don't take [him/her]. Don't take my child."
(Finnish pronouns have no gender. "Hn" means both "he" and/or "she".)

"Hyv Jumala, en kest enէ..."
"Dear God, I can't take it anymore..."

Nej. Det er unmuligt. Gud, vi du ikke nok -
No, that is impossible. God, don't you want any more...
Kom nu, Gud, bare denne ene Lad den vinde... -
Come on, God, only this one, let him win...

all of the following from TL:
beginning from left to right:
Greek: pater hemon, ho en tois ouranois... Agiastheto to onoma sou - Our father who art in heaven, thy name shall be sanctified (Matthew 6,9)
Italian: Dio, che dolore, non lo sopporto, falli smettere - O God, what pain, I don't bear it, make it cease.
French: Nous mourrons de faim et nous avons besoin de ton aide - We starve and need your help
Hebrew: achalno ha mazon le era nodeh - we have eaten the meal, thank you (thanks to Abraham Rosenthal)
Portugese: Deus do Ceu = God in Heaven
German: Nimm sie mir nicht weg. Nimmt mir nicht mein Baby - Don't take her away. Don't take my baby away.
Sanskrit: (right from "I have done fifteen for you"): OM vishvam/ vishpurvashatkati/ bhutabhavyabhavatpra bhuh:/bhutakudhrata bhudravi - (I can't translate, but I recognize the words "bhuta" = beeing, "bhavya" = good, beautiful and "bhutatma" = a title for Brahma or Vishnu - the last line could mean: "O Lord thou art present in all beings"
Classical Greek: Thee mou, ti ekana? - My God, what did I kill?
Luxembourg: Merci, datt s de mech gerett hues. Oh merci - Thank you, that you saved me, thank you.
at the right side: Chinese - right from there:
Japanese: above, right:
Korean: page 11: "Te iubesc, doamne, te iubesco"
Rumanian: "I pray thee, o Lord, I pray"
"lodate Dio per questo bel matino" - Italian, "praise the Lord for this wonderful morning"
Hebrew (page 11, right beside "deus do ceu"): ani awi imcha abba ima we adonai" - Me, your mother, your father, will bless you, by the Lord" (? not totally sure)
page 11, on top, right besides the Arab and above "nisaidie, Fatadhali!": it's Thai (Siamese)
page 11: "ltfen affeder siniz inallah" - Turkish, "ltfen" means "please" - the signs left from it are again Korean
"Doamne, Durerea, nuo pot suporta, fa sa se opreasca" - again Rumanian, "O Lord, I can't bear it, make it cease"
"Seit azoi gut" - Yiddish, "please be so kind" (it's similar to German "seid so gut")
Greek: "thee mou" - "O my God"
Vietnamese: "Toi hy vong co giup anh"
French: "Eh bien, on a eu chaud mon dieu" - Well, it has been very hot, my God"
Hebrew: "shmo baruch adonai baruch" - "The name of the Lord is blessed" (shmo - his name is, baruch - blessing, blessed, adonai - God)

Notre Pre qui tes aux cieux (p.10)
it's the translation of the central ballon : Our Father who art in Heaven
Nous mourrons de faim et nous avons besoin de ton aide (p.10)
the translation is correct.
Eh bien, on a eu chaud. Mon Dieu (p.11)
the translation is incorrect (by my knowledge of english !) : chaud (hot) is not meant in the sense of weather. It's a french _expression meaning "Well, we were scared stiff" or "Well, we had a narrow escape".
Je te dteste. Comment as-tu pu laisser cela arriver ? Comment... (p.11)
I hate you. How could you let that happen? How... (exact translation from an english balloon p.10)
Grazie per il cibo che mangiamo (p.11)
Italian for "Thanks for the food that we're eating..."
Japanese and Chinese
Origin is the lower left hand corner of the 1st page, and from there the coordinates are all positive, in American/English Inches.
(3.5 inches to the right, 1.5 inches up) Japanese balloon reading: "You're not there are you? You don't exist."
(5in,5in) Japanese balloon reading: "Please take care that they don't die."
(9in,2.5in) Chinese balloon reading: "Please, if there's anyone there..."
Tagalog Diyos, ang sakit, hindi ko na kaya, tama na...
God, it hurts so much, I can't take it anymore, no more... sambain ka, Panginoon, sa napakagandang umaga...
...and worship you, Lord, on this very beautiful morning...

Salamat sa pagligtas ninyo sa akin, salamat po...
Thank you for saving me, thank you...

English (song) = We shall overcome adopted as a sort of anthem by American Civil Rights Movement
As I'm sure Todd Klein must have felt as he did this work

God I hope I've lettered this right...

On the Promethea Message board Todd Klein writes that:
That balloon was, indeed, all my idea. Interesting that so many people have commented on it, here and elsewhere. I actually wrote quite a few of the other smaller balloons as well, as Alan's script had "only" 32 entries, and even with the many translations I used of those, I needed more.

Pages 12-13 shown above: They say one picture is worth a thousand words but I'll try and not use that many words describing each of the images I can make out in the circles/bubbles/spheres on these pages:

Bottom left
1) girl on sofa with shorts and sock reading book
2) Jorge Luis Borges looking at his Aleph
3) Two men kissing on a dance floor

Top right
1) hand reaching for a flower
2) Dog looking at its' reflection

Bottom right
1) Dead malnourished bodies pushed into a pit by a tractor
2) woman(?) staring at us
1) couple fishing
2) breakfast or dinner scene with mother father son and daughter
3) Woman in middle eastern garb opening her coat.
JHW3 explains "she is actually wired with plastique explosives and about to become a suicide bomber. Sorry this wasn't more clear due to all of the white and gold coloring"
4) Cat sleeping placidly outside a window. This is actually JHW3's cat Sammy who loves to sleep.
5) Famous Pulitzer prize winning photo. See lower down.
6) mouth opening.

and now starting at 12 o'clock and moving clockwise from the outside in we have:
1) Soldiers running in front of an explosion
2) Man holding an umbrella waiting in the rain for a bus on route 17
3) Tank in front of rubbled buildings
4) Man hugging small child in front of car
5) Man being electrocuted
6) Hand stirring home made lemonade
7) Man holding a baby who has just been born in front of his/her mother
8) Sept. 11, 2001
9) Doctor performing open heart surgery operation
10) Dog being patted
11) Atom bomb exploding
12) Couple having sex
13) couple walking away from dead or dying relative in hospital bed
14) Two drug addicts in a room. One smoking.
15) Girl painting a picture
16) Couple holding hands in park in front of bench watching birds flying away. Woman could be the bird lady we see later on in this issue

Next circle in
1) McDonald's sign beside some buildings and next to electricity wires
2) Stripper dancing with pole. Reminds me of the Dance of the Gull Catchers epilogue to From Hell
3) Man in glasses staring right
4) Man sitting on toilet reading book
5) Man buying magazine at newstand
6) Turtle or tortoise
7) Bird (eagle?) flying
8) Man taking stand at Alcoholics Anonymous meeting
9) Woman wearing hat in front of fence
10) Someone writing. Only total words visible are and/she/her/horse.
11) Fish swimming. They look much like the emotion fish seen in Issue #16 pgs. 14-15
12) Priest's(?) hands holding rosary
13) someone in a swimming pool
14) close up of girl looking at us
15) hand puting basketball into net
16) Mother duck with 2 baby ducks behind her

Next circle in:
1) Woman clasping her face in her hands
2) Close up gun pointing left
3) Man in front of podium
4) Adult suckling someone's nipple
5) Crescent moon in the sky
6) Silhouettes of people walking down a street
7) Close up of smile. Could be from woman seen in previous circle #14
8) Tree
9) Man in skullcap(?) pointing right. Large pot behind him
10) Raindrops falling on a leaf
11) Man running a marathon
12) Couple looking at us (Campervan behind girl)
13) Man in suit and tie looking at us
14) Man playing American football wearing #10
15) woman putting on lipstick in front of mirror with lights
16) Doorman with his back to us

Last circle in with contents visible:
1) Close up woman's crossed legs
2) Ant
3) Close up eye and eyebrow
4) Close up woman's pubic hair
5) Sneaker with laces undone
6) Close up tea or coffee cup
7) Spider in web. Could be same spider seen later on page 26
8) Blonde woman with sunglasses looking right
9) Man with beard and glasses looking left
10) Glider in front of clouds
11) Mother bird feeding her chicks in the nest
12) Rocks in front of sea and clouds
13) Can't make this one out properly. Looks like man in profile looking right
14) Silhoutte of bicycle moving left
15) Birds flying upwards
16) Can't make this one out. Any ideas anyone?

Central image looks to me like a combination of an atom and a spirograph

Here are the more famous images
On left 2nd bubble from top timaximus thinks this might be Jorge Luis Borges looking into his Aleph. JHW3 has confirmed that it really is Borges.
3rd bubble from left is taken from the very famous Pulitzer Prize winning Eddie Adams photo of a South Vietnamese Police Chief exectuing a Viet Cong officer on Feb 1, 1968.

These are the closest images I could find that look like the bubble of the attack on the World Trade Centre, September 11, 2001 seen on the page:

Both images come from this site.
Pages 14-15: Finally we get to meet the real Steve Shelley and not just a ghost image of him. He seems like a pretty decent bloke.
Color finally starts to appear in this issue as he explains what the serpent and the dove refer to.
Another possible reference sent in by Christine Hoff Kraemer comes from the New Testament Matthew 10:16
"See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves;
so be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves."

This interpretation fits so well with the theme of new incarnation -- a newly incarnate soul is, in a sense, being cast out among wolves, and must be both innocent and wise to survive.
Pages 16-17: If they ever make a movie of Promethea this would make a great shot and the descent back to Malkuth could be a wonderful segment.
Meanwhile back to the comic book.
Here we see the tree of life from the perspective of Kether just as they are about to jump off and fly back down to Malkuth. Each of the sephiroth is an image taken from a panel in the issue that dealt with that sephiroth.
Here are the panels being quoted in each of the sephiroth
2) Issue #22, page 15, panels 1&2
3) Issue #21, pages 14-15 top half/page 13 bottom half
DAATH) Issue #20, pages 22-23
4) Issue #19 Page 7, panel 1
5) Issue #18 Page 7, top panel
6) Issue #17 page 17, top panel
7) Issue #16 pages 18-19
8) Issue #15 page 13, top panel
9) Issue #14, page 17, top panel
Note that if you turn the comic upside down you will notice an X-ray of someone sitting on a chair between Binah and Geburah. The image is in blue. Look at the space triangle between Tipereth, Geburah and Hod with Tipereth as the apex and a reverse mirror image of this same image but much smaller is visible in orange.
Thanks to John O'Neil for pointing out that:
The image is an x-ray of a middle aged man wearing a bra and panties. The image was from a recent "Dockers" commercial, in which a woman, using a pair of x-ray specs, looks around a lounge (at an airport?) She sees the older man is wearing a bra under his suit, laughs, then stands amazed that another, younger man is holding so many things in his spacious dockers pockets. A description of the commercial in the issue is at:
TVC storyboard for Dockers Mobile Pants
Here is the image in question

I'm sure there's no specific meaning to the inclusion of this image, but I had meant to mention it, since sometimes these images re-occur.
Interesting that an image which is comical in its original version is made to look slightly sinister here.
Turning the comic right way up again we notice that those whirly designs are emanating from Kether. There is also some sort of map between Netzach Yesod and Malkuth. All I can read on it is AE and RS and what looks like a small amount of geographical detail. JHW3 writes
the cosmic dive down the tree of life was a tricky thing to pull off. Most of the fx were done through digital means by Jeromy [Cox]. I just asked him to go crazy with the space back drop. So all of that strange cosmic stuff is things he thought to put in there. They don't have any particular meaning to the story but they might mean something to Jeromy. Where and why he culled these particular images in the space backdrop you will have ask him some time.
And I did in my Jeromy Cox interview
Browsing through the last chapter of Stephen Hawking's The Universe in a Nutshell I thought the sephiroth depicted here look like examples of Brane Bubbles. Here's a longer explanation about Brane
And here again is the map of the Tree of Life for making naming all the Sephiroth easier.

Image Source

Pages 18-19: Promethea has just passed Daath. Steve and Barbara are right behind her.
Vorlon complained that
One technical quibble: When everybody begins the flight down the Tree, the second splash page shows paths from Tippereth going out into space, rather than connecting to Chokmah and Binah
JHW3's reply to this was:
... the paths are actually correct its just that we are seeing the tree here in 3 dimensions and not as a diagram. It is also at a tilt for a vertigo like effect. If you look at the first spread that it appears on in its whole and tilt the page this becomes more apparent. As the pages move forward the characters get closer and closer to their malkuth destination making it seem like the pathways are going off into space (which in fact they are) but out to the correct spheres that have moved off page due to our closing on the final destination as we moved forward/downward. Hope that makes sense.
Pages 20-21: Steve and Barbara start to lose their bodies as they pass Daath
In answer to a query about Daath JHW3 replied that
Daath on this version of the tree of life is indeed partly Choronzon and partly black hole. This blackhole idea of an imploded sphere or planet or imploded plane of consciousness or whatever you choose to describe it is indeed Daath. To me the Abyss is the edge of Daath. From some of the diagrams I have of the Tree of Life Daath and therefore the Abyss fall along the central path that runs up the middle of the tree placing it between, going upwards, Tipereth and Kether. This is according to some of what I've looked at in the Book of Thoth by Crowley.
Pages 22-23: Barbara and Steve have been transformed into white Doves just as they pass through Yesod where Lucian, John Kendrick Bangs and Baron Munchaussen wave to Promethea as she passes by.
It took 11 issues for the Serpent to climb from Malkuth to Kether but the doves fly back down in only 8 pages.
Now that road trip through the Tree of Life is over I suppose it's safe to point out that according to ryc it bears a strong resemblance to a short story by Aleister Crowley called Wakeworld which can be found in his book Konx Om Pax.
Page 24 Panel 1: "Eisner the movie"
There is no movie called Eisner but no doubt if there was one it would be about Will Eisner whom the comic book awards are named after.
Panel 3: Barbara and Steve are no more. They have reincarnated as Mrs. Atansi's boy and girl twins. Love the knowing/surprised looks they are giving each other
Page 25 Panel 1: Note "Rent A Man" with the appropriate logo.
Panel 2: When you type "" on your web browser address field you just get the following message
The requested URL could not be retrieved

While trying to retrieve the URL:
The following error was encountered:
Unable to determine IP address from host name for
The dnsserver returned:
Name Error: The domain name does not exist.
This means that:
The cache was not able to resolve the hostname presented in the URL.
Check if the address is correct.
TL points out that:
In German we have the saying "to have hand and feet" (Hand und Fu haben), that means "to be solid, to hold water". But more probable is an allusion to kabbalistic anatomy: The ten sephiroth are in relation with the human body. Usually, Kether is placed above the head, Malkuth taking the place of the feet. So "Head and feet" means: from Kether to Malkuth, the whole tree of life. For a picture see illustration 42 in Aryeh Kaplan's "Sefer Yetzirah - The Book of Creation". There, Binah and Chochmah correspond to the right and left side of the head, Geburah and Chessed to the right and left shoulder, Tiphereth to the heart, Hod and Netzach to the loins, Yesod to the sexual organ and Malkuth to the feet.
Panel 4: Finally Sophie gets her pupils back.
Her stance and look duplicate what Mrs. Atansi feels when she gives birth to twins. Something I missed but which vorlon pointed out is that Sophie's hair is now longer than when we last saw her in Issue #13.
JHW3 commented
Sophie's hair is longer now. I felt there needed to be something different about her now that she has returned all the way from heaven. Something to make her seem a little more mature and wiser. The longer hair seems to bring out those aspects. Interesting how the slightest change in someone's appearance can alter a perception of them. Sophie has learned a great deal of things and this is one way of showing her inner change by changing her outward appearance slightly.
Pages 26-27: TL points out that
the defoliated trees show that time has progressed from late summer to fall since issue 13.
Page 27 Top Panels: The bird lady is still feeding birds in the park.
Panel 3: The bird lady is seen out of focus. I wonder who she really is?
Impulsivelad2 pointed out that
She's feeding the pigeons (doves) so she's got to be God, right?
Which is nice cause after being told that "we = God" it's nice to see a concrete image of a regular human going about her business (without supposed symbolism) being, well, divine.

Pages 26-27 Bottom Panel: all looks nice but note the Spider about to attack the (Promethea?) moth caught in its web.
JHW3 writes that
the spider and the moth really has no signficance. It was just something I threw in there.
Pregnant girl and her boyfriend kissing. Another note from JHW3
the couple kissing at the park entrance are the same couple/lovers from issue 13's park scene. Only here the woman is now visibly pregnant.
Cat looking upwards. Part of the 5 Swell Guys equipment lying in the grass. 5X graffiti for 5 swell guys. Just a guess on my part.
Pages 28-29: Good to have TEXTure commenting on the latest news once again.
Uvula Cascade
What a great name for a porn starlet. How long before a real porn actress uses this moniker.
John O'Neil points out that
Uvula spelled backwards is "a Luv U" in addition to suggesting "Vulva" Cascade appears to be a word game and Uvula is one of the scoring words in it.
A definiton of Uvula from yourDictionary is
Middle English, from Medieval Latin, diminutive of Latin uva cluster of grapes, uvula; probably akin to Greek oa service tree, Old English Iw yew -- more at YEW
Date: 14th century
Inflected Form(s): plural -las or uvu.lae /-"lE, -"lI/ : the pendent fleshy lobe in the middle of the posterior border of the soft palate
and a definition of Cascade from the same source is
French, from Italian cascata, from cascare to fall, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin casicare, from Latin casus fall
Date: 1641
1 : a steep usually small fall of water; especially : one of a series
2 a : something arranged or occurring in a series or in a succession of stages so that each stage derives from or acts upon the product of the preceding
b : a fall of material (as lace) that hangs in a zigzag line
3 : something falling or rushing forth in quantity
The Usual Slutsex from the film The Usual Suspects.
Doing John Malkovich from the film Being John Malkovich.
No doubt the inspiration for Ms. Cascade was the Italian porn star Cicciliona. Her real name is Ilona Staller
"We are all of us in Gautier, but some of us look like stars"
The original Oscar Wilde quote can be found here amidst a lot of other famous ones.
Theophile Gautier
"It's all a Midsummer Arabian Night's Dream of Gerontius, lar"
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a famous Shakespeare play. It has inspired a lot of paintings
The Dream of Gerontius is a poem by Cardinal Newman. Here is the text
The Arabian Nights is available online
Here is a resource guide for the collection of tales.
We learn the name of another member of the Evil Eight - Edward "Ed Zepellin" Furniss. Led Zepellin is a rock band. One of their members once owned Aleister Crowley's house at Boleskin.
Queen Bitch reminds me of the character in Top Ten who is going out with a policeman who just happens to be a superintelligent dog.
Tony the Tiger is the mascot for a breakfast cereal
Marketing history of Tony the Tiger
A statue of Tony
His entry at Toonpedia
Tony the Tiger
No doubt he looks different because his image has varied over the years.
Page 30 Panel 2: Note the horses head and tiny elephant statues on the bookcase.
Panel 4:
Now why hasn't someone already come up with a brand name called
Kick Ass Whisky
A defintion of to Kick some arse/ass
1. To beat up someone.
2. To put all one's effort into winning. E.g."OK lads, let's get out on the pitch and kick some ass."
From A Dictionary of Slang
Has anyone else noticed that the shape of the bottle seems to change slightly in panel 4. Most of the other panels have the bottle as slightly pyramidical in shape but in the fourth panel the bottle is definitely in the shape of a rectangle.
JHW3 notes
the kick ass whiskey bottle does indeed change shape. I did that to try to emphasize Trish's drinking problem but obviously no one got that. Oh well.
Some interesting thoughts from Vorlon about this issue:
In many ways Sophie has just begun her descent back down from the Tree. She wakes up as Sophie and in her dialogue with the older woman she's still in Kether.
She reaches Chokmah when she talks to her mom, even though the sexual overtones Moore gives Chokmah aren't present.
We have the one: Sophie.
Then two: Sophie and Trish.
Three would be Sophie and Stacia.
From there, things may deviate from the lightning-bolt path. If all the foreshadowing is right, we are well-reminded that there is a Tarot path from Binah to Geburah
Page 31 Panel 2:Note that Sophie's image appears on the viewscreen in the background looking like the photo images from issue #7. Will have to ask Jose Villarubia if he supplied this image.
Page 32 panel 5: "Everything's going to go right".
But as we can see by checking out under this panel in the next issue:
(Everything goes wrong)


Page (almost) frozen: 13 January 2004