Ever since Zack Snyder split ways with the DCEU, he's been teasing details of his original plan for Justice League and answering fan questions about the Snyder Cut and Justice League 2, but the whole picture hasn't been completely clear.
As a part of a t-shirt campaign to benefit suicide prevention, Snyder revealed a shirt with a cryptic design revealing the concepts and plot of his plan for the Justice League in live action. Naturally, there's a lot to break down and fans are rushing to find meaning in its myriad symbols ranging from Kabballah to Freemasonry to Tarot to Arthurian Legend and more.
Many of these concepts can be vague and fluid and we won't know the "right" interpretation until Snyder confirms them (which he's already done in a few instances), so instead of diving deep into the definitive meaning of each we'll look at a variety of themes communicated with each bit of symbolism and how that ties back into what Snyder was doing with the Justice League.
- This Page: The Tree of Life, Aequitas, The Pillars, and The Sword
- Page 2: AC23 & 3:5, The Earth, and The Roundtable
- Page 3: The Characters and Meaning
The Kabbalah Tree of Life
Kabbalah is rooted in a mystical interpretation of the Bible, taking a number of Jewish and Christian principles and infusing them with more esoteric philosophies, many of which are contained in the Kabbalah Tree of Life.
The image on Snyder's design is a deviation from the traditional Tree of Life. While the Tree of Life has 10 "nodes," Snyder's depicts a hexagon with his original Justice League characters at each point, and appears to only have 8 nodes.
The top of the image is emblazoned with the word "aequitas," which is a Latin term that is often translated as "justice," but the true meaning is a little broader. It's the root of the English word "Equality" and the word is actually the concepts of balance and symmetry or fairness.
The "justice" translation is obviously key to the whole image because it represents the Justice League, but balance, fairness, and symmetry are key concepts not only in the imagery but in the dynamics Snyder envisioned for the members of the League.
The Tree of Life includes 3 pillars, representing many sets of 3 things, including Justice, Mildness, or Mercy; negative force, balanced force, or positive force; and Form, Conciousness, or Force. Every character on the tree slots into a different one of these pillars, and we can explore that more individually when we examine the characters.
There are another set of pillars on the image, though. The Masonic Pillars of Jachim and Boaz said to have stood to the left and right of the entrance to King Solomon's temple, but there's a long tradition of two pillars guarding the entrance to sacred places. The pillars are said to represent a number of different things, but the most basic of which is an equilibrium between two opposites. This is often shown as a sun and a moon, and in the context of DC, it's easy to assume that also means Superman and Batman.
The towers themselves also strike opposite tones from one another, with the left tower bearing a more classic Greco-Roman design with a bundle of wheat at the bottom and an 8-pointed 8-rayed star with an eye in it, while the one on the right is a modern skyscraper and has a cog with a moon in it. This disparity represents a number of dichotomies, including ancient/modern, mystical/mechanical, day/night, and rural/urban at a minimum. There are a number of symbols that could represent any of the members of the Justice League, but mostly it follows the theme of opposites for the pillars. Since these pillars classically represent a gate, it's no mistake that it's also framed by the words betwixt/between and onward/inward.
Then, of course, the world is pictured in the middle, with cones appearing to represent each of the pillars keeping watch over the world.
The sword going through the middle has Superman's crest at in the place of the pommel. The pommel of a sword traditionally had 2 purposes. One, it was large and prevented the sword from slipping out of the bearer's hand, and two, it served as a counterweight to the blade to ensure balance.
On the crossguard, the sword is inscribed with a set of greek symbols with a number of possible translations, the most direct of which appears to be "I will come." The meaning of this isn't clear, and a better translation may be needed, but based on this translation, there are a couple of possible Biblical implications:
Matthew 10:34: "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
Revelation 2:16: 'Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.
The sword runs through the length of the image and seems to be the focal point, just like we know Superman was supposed to be at the center of Zack Snyder's 5-part story.
The sword is also double-edged. Depending on your interpretation of the symbols along the sword, they can be read as both the Knightmare timeline version of events or the prime timeline version. Superman unites the Justice League against Darkseid and Batman sacrifices himself to save Lois, or Superman loses Lois, blames Batman, succumbs to the Anti-Life equation, destroys the League, and kills Batman. The sword striking the coffin (marked W for Wayne) seems like a callback to the way Superman kills Batman in the Knightmare scene by hitting his chest.
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