I was inspired to share this with you all after reading a well thought out & logical editorial about Harry Potter (YES, f-ing Potter, I like the books okay? :blink: ) and the story's relationship to Alchemy. What I'm going to do is cut and snip the relevant pieces of this editiorial and afterwards relate it to Marshall D. Teach (Blackbeard), Edward Newgate (Whitebeard), Shanks (Red-Haired), and Luffy's struggle to become the Pirate King.
Alchemy is not, as many believe, a crude and foolish predecessor to modern chemistry. It is the process of transforming our human selves into our Divine selves - of awakening our spiritual nature and reconnecting it to our physical selves, thereby transforming our soul from its heavy, earthbound, unfinished form to its "golden" potential: Divinity. The physical discipline associated with this journey involves chemical elements and the purifying of base metals into finer metals (gold) and the ultimate creation of the Philosopher's Stone, which offers immortality to its creator. Thus, by the time one has transformed oneself into a "Philosopher's Stone," one has overcome the limitations that bind us to earth and to our mortal selves. The result is real immortality. The Hero Journey is a metaphor for the Alchemical transformation. The processes involved have specific names, symbols and characteristics associated with them, and these characteristics mirror the process of a human being's transformation: the growth of a Soul. Various texts list and describe the processes slightly differently. However, there are three basic stages which are always mentioned: Black, White and Red.**
Luffy's ultimate goal is to become the Pirate King, and by doing so his name and his legacy will become immortal.
**Nigredo - The Black Process
The Black Process is the first and, in many ways, most painful of the Alchemical journey. It is a "dark night of the soul" and feels very hopeless. It is literally the process of putrefaction or decomposition. The old, false self must be broken down and destroyed in order to find the light within. In most alchemical stories, the Seeker will be seen encountering shadows and demons, undergoing painful rituals, cleansing of impurities, and a journey deep into the emotions to confront one's inner reality.
Symbols associated with the Black Process include: decapitation, imprisonment or confinement, and hot, parched, dryness. The Black Process is marked by suffering, depression and a journey to the center of the emotions. It is ruled by Saturn, a God who can cause melancholy and demonic visions.
At the core of the Black Process, after the pain and desolation of blackness, at the very center of his being, the Seeker finds a kernel of light: the flame from which he can begin to grow his Soul. he Black Process involves digging deeper into our mysterious selves than we ever have before, and facing things about ourselves that can be devastating. It also requires sacrifice… loss. It requires us to give up our ideas about who we are, and to face the emptiness that follows.**
Teach and his crew are like a looming cloud waiting to engulf the Straw hats. The Blackbeards are lured by the crew's combined 160 million bounty, and I have a feeling that the Marines are going to tell the Blackbears that if Teach is to be the next Shichibukai he needs to eliminate Luffy (especially after Eines Lobby).
**Albedo - The White Process
The Albedo, or White Process, signifies the dawn of a new possibility for the seeker - the beginnings of the light of consciousness. It is often symbolized by the earliest hours of the dawn, when the sky begins to whiten after the darkness of night. The process involves transforming this new, inner self from form to spirit. It includes washing, purifying, burning, and repeated immersions in water.
During the White stage, the Seeker is becoming more and more aware of his own inner guidance. He listens to the deepest parts of himself, learns to trust himself and the White Process. He transforms his old negativity, heals old wounds and learns to love this inner voice, which will carry him through the remainder of his transformation. .
At some point during the Alchemical process (accounts vary about when and how), something called the Peacock's Tail occurs, which has two meanings. It can signify the coming together of all the colors to create White. The other meaning is a failure of the Alchemical Process, where the Seeker's perceptions are not correct, even though he has gained a new trust in them.
Symbols of the White Process include the union of masculine and feminine - making union of duality, or opposites. Another symbol of the White Process is the lily.**
Edward is somehow going to help Luffy reach another level. I can't even begin to imagine what his part is going to be, but we know that the Marines don't want him and Shanks to get together.
Rubedo - The Red Process
The final process in Alchemy is the Rubedo, or Red Process. Rubedo - Rubeus. The Red Process is characterized by the making permanent of the transformations that were begun during the Albedo. The Christian equivalent is the Resurrection. It is seen as a continuation of the Albedo. In order to achieve the Rubedo, the Seeker must become aware of everything within himself, even that which continues to lie hidden. He has developed a great deal of understanding during the Albedo, but there is more to learn – he cannot be dragged backwards and miss the fulfillment of his quest.
Shanks was there at the beginning, and it is only fitting that he and Luffy will either be side by side or the last two standing in a winner take all battle roayle at the end.
Now, I know i'm not getting that in-depth with my own analysis, but thats cause I've worked all day and my brain hurts. Throw your own ideas around, or totally blow this one out of the water. Discuss!