Greetings young trainers, Professor Pinkie here , after a two week Hiatus I am finally back to teach you a bit about pokémon again. Today we will talk about religion in the pokémon world.. and the single deity everyone in this world worships. The Alpha and the Omega of the Pokémon world Lord Arceus.
Good day dear sir/madam/person do you have a minute to talk about our lord and saviour Arceus? There really is a lot to talk about. Introduced in the fourth generation of Pokémon as a mythical Pokémon. At first it seemed like a bit of a generic pokémon that tied in heavily with the so called creation trio. The creation trio were the Pokémon Palkia , representing space, Dialga representing time and Giratina representing chaos or antimatter. These represented pokemon Pearl, Diamond and Platinum respectively. Yet we found out there was a pokémon above them Arceus, the creator of Sinnoh. In retrospect it became clear that people .. rightfully so were worshipping this pokémon. Yet it wasn’t that strange to find out that a Pokémon was responsible for the creation. Yet on a closer look, this had a much larger impact than people initially had thought. In subsequent games it was revealed that people in Johto also worshipped Arceus and in ancient times Arceus also created the island of Ransei.
Ransei was a region shaped entirely like Arceus itself and housed 17 kingdoms of samurai warlords including the great Nobunaga. If Arceus was worshipped throughout the world and it could even create islands in it’s own image.. perhaps he was more than JUST the creator of Sinnoh It does make sense that the being that created time and space created everything. The theme of being all-powerful is quite interwoven with Arceus from the get go. Arceus depending on how it’s depicted either is said to have every type (it’s depicted in it’s own movie as such) being able to switch types (the anime) or being every possible type depending on a held item (the video games). An argument is easily made to disqualify the view of the games due to technical and balancing limitations. After all, Omni Type Arceus would have seven immunities and would only really be weak to rock type moves, which aren’t THAT present in the battling scene. Most mythical pokémon are only released after a movie about them triggers an event or the event promotes the movie so it is a safe bet to take the movie’s depiction as their intended vision of the actual character. Reinforcing the belief of an almighty pokemon. The games , though bound by balance try to confirm this in their own way by giving Arceus the highest base stat total (let’s compare it to a dragon ball power level) at 720. Respectively Mewtwo .. the runner up has only 680. Though the latter can overpower god with his mega evolution and moveset. Arceus is also the only pokémon that can learn the move Judgement. Now that seems like some divine intervention to me. In the anime it’s shown watching from above in dangerous situations when it needs to .. wielding several typings.. to intervene if it has to.. choosing an advantageous type.
Now Giratina might be a pokémon that is older than Arceus itself but things get a little vague. Cynthia and a nameless hiker that can be found exploring Sinnoh on multiple occasions are our biggest source of exposition on our one true god. Pokémon at least answers the question what came first the chicken or the egg. Answer THE EGG. At first the wonderful world of Pokémon was nothing but pure and primal Chaos… which may or may not be Giratina already existing, when suddenly an egg appeared in the midst of it. When the egg tumbled from the vortex it gave rise to the original one. Since Arceus here is referred as the original one it would seem like it is the first pokémon yet chaos already existed so it’s somewhat unclear. To create Order.. from itself Arceus created two beings.. (though unnamed in this story they refer to Palkia and Dialga) as time began to flow and space began to expand (Palka represents space and Dialga is the pokemon of time).
Later Arceus created 3 living things.. that wished for it and so spirits came to be. These three living things would be identified as the lake guardians Azelf, Mesprit and Uxie.
Even though the story the hiker tells us ends there as it states that Arceus went to sleep after creating the Lake Trio iit is pretty commonly accepted, if not confirmed, that Arceus also created Mew (who created all non legendary pokémon) as well as other creation pokémon like Groudon and Kyogre and Rayquaza (who created land and water and air). Arceus is believed to have created all legendary (and mystical) pokémon or at least created the legendary every pokemon can be traced back to Arceus… with the exception of Ultra Beasts which are like the eldritch beings of the pokémon world. Cases can be made for Time, Space Chaos and Spirit creating the rest yet the limited typing of the 5 Arceus factually created makes people more inclined to think Arceus had a bigger hand in this.
Theorycrafting is more Detective Pinkie’s thing.. so we will not delve to much further into who created what. I simply wished to highlight two fairly common streams of belief. Now the mythos of Arceus seems very similar to the shinto religion. Arceus is said to have created everything at the location of the spear pillar. In Shinto religion there is a god named Amenominakanushi, whose name is much too to type again, was the first god that came into existence by itself. The name roughly translates to something like divine ancestral deity that is the originating heart of the universe. So yeah… I am nicknaming it First-First. So when First-First plopped into existence he created Izanagi and Izanami.. a brother and sister who ‘loved each very much’. Aside from playing with her brothers spear..Izanami actually had another spear, which the two used to stir the chaotic sees to create the many islands of Japan though this required some more incest and pillar building for some reason. I guess it’s wincest after all. She ended up dying and becoming an evil deity after though ..so unsure.
While there are definitely some similarities with Shinto religion arceus connection to theology goes a lot deeper. If the player in the fourth gen Pokémon games has an Arceus on their team the man reveals he is actually a philosophy major who is researching the creation story. On several locations he gives you the type changing plate items as well as some insight to Arceus story. At one point he says “When that spirit came to be, there followed awareness about the world. Within the Newborn spirit, time and space were intertwined as one, People and Pokémon where but the same presence’ Unlike Shintoism Arceus seems to have a lot more in common with a monotheistic views. There are a lot of hints towards christianity and judaism in their lore and symbolism. For example the Judaistic principle of Kabbalah has a symbol known as the Kaphtziel.
Some people of faith wore this symbol as a tribute to Cassiel, the angel of Saturn. Saturn the planet as you know is known by its rings. Arceus currently typing is depicted by it’s ring. Even more so followers of arceus carry their own symbol that looks A LOT like that symbol the Kabbalah used. Too much to be purely incidental.
Yet this is not the only symbol that is used to identify Arceus with. There is also a circle inside a triangle that is seen in the Pillar.
Cynthia has her visions on how these symbols symbolize Arceus and the creation trio.. as well as the roles the lake guardians play in the story, and of course she is not incorrect. The gear symbols refer to space and time.. which was later reestablished in the pokémon mystery dungeon games. Leaving the third one to be giratina represented by the triangular symbol.
Yet once more this symbol is eerily similar to a thing tied to yet another religion. Christianity! The symbol is a spot on match for the Shield of trinity. Depicting the holy trinity of father son and holy ghost with god sitting in the middle. Though it might be inverted it still is pretty much spot on. I would be willing to believe it was a coincidence if but one religion shared some symbology, but three separate cases of religion? That seems a bit unlikely.. but you can judge for yourself.
Alchemy and Philosophy.
Pokémon HEAVILY relies on a few alchemic concepts throughout their mythos and Arceus is no different. Let’s begin with kicking in a open door it’s golden ring. Arceus literally has the ability to turn his circle gold. Now.. Arceus ring.. is a circular shape with crosses on it. This has nothing to do with christianity but everything with alchemy. Ladies gentleman and other readers let me introduce you to the alchemical symbol for lead.
Pretty right, though it might not be directly linkable to Arceus ring.. their shape is kind of similar. Now before you crucify me for overreaching here.. because the symbol is not THAT similar.. Lead in alchemy is considered as the original metal.. the first into existence.. like Arceus. Still reaching for straws? Well remember that jewish symbol that looked a lot like Arceus religious symbol? The Kaphtziel.. that represents Saturn.. and guess what planet in alchemy is connected to lead in alchemy? That is right Saturn!
Now I will come back to the links with Alchemy in a bit, but saturn returns once more in the mythos about our divine pokémon and to explain that we will have to delve into some greek philosophy first. Alchemy is part of what is called Western Esoteric Tradition a collective name for many doctrines which also include Astrology and Kabbalah for example. Like pokémon all come from Arceus every doctrine in the WET share roots in the Neoplatonic Philosophy works of Plotinus. This philosopher described The One in his work as someone consisting of three aspects. The divine mind which was the impulse for creation, the physical reality in which matter and multiplicity exists and the Soul World or Anima Mundi which is quite complex but basically can be described as the force that actual makes things happen.
Now returning to our dear hiker’s story.. the chaos was Arceus impulse to create the world. The creation of space can easily be tied to the physical reality, and though the Anima Mundi is way more complex than anything in the pokémon world it is basically the engine that makes things happen.. much like time. Now when we remember the hikers words ‘When the new born spirit came to this world time and space were intertwined as one. People and Pokémon where but the same presence. This does seem to be applicable to Arceus and Plotinus ideas. With the new born spirit resembling the principles of the divine mind very closely and the intertwined existence being a manifestation of both the anima munda as the physical reality. Now this concept has been utilized in both Alchemy as well as the Kabbalah by their Tree of Life. A upside down tree.
Paracelsus (whose name sounds like a battery) was a alchemist in medieval times who also used this tree. The roots on the higher level represent gods coming into existence from nothing.. quite like Arceus. Then in the second phase , whose details I shall spare this tree begins to emanate a light that is slowly moving down the tree.. the life energy leaking into the material realm. Granting it souls.. to make it go round.. making things move as it were.The lower level is just plainly the physical level. But Paracelsus described a plain of existence that as it were is a border between the physical reality and the astral plane. A level of the astral plane that was so dense it can basically manifest in the Malkuth.. or the physical plane. He called this form of existence ARCHEUS. Now Arceus is a pokémon.. it materially exists..sort off not always.. it can cross between those layers. So the intangible pokémon only exists to us.. when it’s in the ‘Acheus’. Now.. since battery-bloke was an alchemist things seem to come together quite nicely yet earlier I told you that before returning to alchemy teachings I still had to tell about a link with saturn right? Well.. the Archeus in a fair few translations or subsidiary works is referred to as the path of Saturn. With so many references to Arceus ring.. we could deduce and hypothesise that the pokémon we know as the god is not goat or quilin like animal in the middle at all. Arceus the Pokémon.. might very well be the ring.. and that what we know was it’s true body might just be how it can manifest in the Archeus. For those who do not know, this is a Quilin vairant. Usualy more dragon like this one came closest to our god.
Now I could go on and talk about the Azoth of Philosophers, the alchemic alphabet and their link to Unown script or the teachings about alchemical shapes, the principles of the lake guardians and Arceus impact on the human spirit and link that to Plotinus and other beliefs but let’s save that for another time, as it would involve a plethora of other pokémon I would need to explain as well, to fully finish Arceus tale. I would rather close off with some rather convincing proof that Arceus is indeed tied to alchemy. In Pokémon Heartgold and Soulsilver you can also encounter the Alpha Pokémon. This time you find him on YET another symbol since linked to it.. this one is vastly more complex.
Many people use this one to figure out which pokémon created which in the pokémon universe. Plopping in Pokémon at all the little dots. Though I have seen many convincing variations of this idea there is something else this picture very much resembles. Those who ever watched fullmetal alchemist might already have an idea what I am talking about. Arceus new symbol looks very close to a transmutation circle.. an insanely complex one but a alchemy circle nonetheless.
Now what not a lot of people know is that the outer circle is required for ritual but the shapes inside tell you how complex the transmutation is. The triangle is the simplest form and provides mind matter and energy… space replacing matter, time replacing energy and the determination to end chaos replacing mind in arceus case. The triangle is outside the circle though symbolising they are infinite power Arceus has.. basically being its own philosopher’s stone, the interior patterns consists fully out of circles so iit is my belief that what we say in Pokémon HG/SS is Arceus transmutation circle for all existence The only circle fit for a god. Oh and Shiny Arceus is gold as well.. if you need more links!
So you see my eager little knowledge students, no matter what religion you follow, from christianity to judaism . From astrology believers too pseudo scientists, much like in the games there seems to be a type of Arceus for you. Explaining a god feels really good after this professor was forced to be absent for two weeks. Would you like to hear more about pokémon connected to alchemy? Do you have suggestions for my next post? Do you want to pat me on the hat for all this research i’ve done? Let me know in the comments and remember!
I am not weird, just very pink!
Until we read again