Devil’s Advocate, Charmed and Things in Threes

In all societies and religions, there are particular symbols and representations that apply to spirituality. Everybody can identify with the meanings of a statue of Buddha, or a Crucifix. But many movies and TV shows seek subtle representations and symbolism to evoke the strong feelings we have with all things spiritual. As authors of Biblical FanFic, we strive to reach that goal and evoke those feelings even if the reader does not identify that it is happening. Where else can we find symbolism to seek a deeper meaning from the entertainment we experience?

Take a look at the shapes, colors and layout from this scene in a Catholic church…


And compare it to the colors and shapes in this scene from The Devil’s Advocate.


There’s a similarity in the colors, shapes, and layout of the scene that immediately punches close to home with anyone who has experience with Christianity and church. The desk is laid out like an altar, with sculpted artwork (that later comes awesomely to life) behind it and there are even three candles in each sconce on the wall, as seen flanking the altar in the church scene picture above. Granted, the colors in The Devil’s Advocate are darker, but it adds to the mystique and the anti-Christ feel of the whole movie (and with a title like that, we’d expect nothing less).

Going even further than the three candles, we can see symbolic representation in shows like Charmed, with the logo/symbol of the Triquetra:


…which can represent anything threefold, but in Christianity represents the Holy Trinity: A loop for each the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. While Charmed was not a “biblical” show, it had a lot of representations with which people could connect based on the subtleties. Piper, Phoebe and Prue (later Paige) kept their Book of Shadows on an altar upstairs, surrounded by historical memorabilia and meaningful objects, which is often the same as in a Catholic church:


The reason for this similarity is not always intentional by the producers of such a show, but rather simply historically accurate. Pagan rites have many similarities to Christian rites, and are often handled in the same way. Spell-casting in such shows (and in actual Pagan/Wiccan ceremonies) clearly mirrors the blessings done over the Eucharist in Catholic churches with the use of incense, bells, blessings, kisses, motions and songs… Everything has roots in the same purpose: to bring the power of an entity higher than ourselves into something we can tangibly use, express and interact with.

Because of this, Biblical FanFic serves a similar purpose and follows a similar path. Even if a story is entirely fiction and treated as such, reading a fictional story with Biblical influence helps bring the feelings we have about spirituality and the importance of higher beings, written history and power-infused objects home. These symbols also represent our fear of evil, because really, what good is a story without some kind of bad guy/entity? When we read about these things, we recognize the similarities between the fiction and our histories as human beings.

In truth, all our beliefs are not truly so different, just spoken in a different language and represented with varying tools. Imagery in The Devil’s Advocate reminds us of church. The Book of Shadows in Charmed reminds us of the Bible and the invoking of spiritual elements in television shows even as light-hearted as Sabrina The Teenage Witch are representative of the inborn desire we all have to connect with higher beings, higher powers and remember how the histories became ritual and practice. Everything is connected, and for that reason, Biblical FanFic is an amazing way to be in touch with your spirituality through recreation.

I’d love to hear your comments on where you’ve recognized symbolic representations of spirituality in movies and TV shows!


About Nola.Sarina

I am an author of dark fantasy, horror and paranormal romance books. My dark fantasy series, The Vesper Series, is a twist on Original Sin. The series is represented by Michelle Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency. I find my favorite books with new takes on all things supernatural, paranormal and biblical, including vampires, angels and demons, and am an advocate for the New Adult market category for fiction.

Posted on December 11, 2012, in Movies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. No comments yet? I’ve not been feeling well or I would have commented sooner. 😉 As usual I love this post and it is cool to me how all altars seem to mirror one another, no matter who they were built for. It shows me that we are all one, at the core, even if our beliefs are different. I hope that makes sense. Of course everyone is different but at the same time we are very much the same. After all, Lucifer was a fallen angel who once served God so it makes sense altars built to him would mirror those built to God.

    I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of Charmed but I definitely see what you’re talking about. It’s all very interesting to me. Also, it’s cool that my home church had the same table as the one next to the pic of the Charmed girls. 🙂

    • Are you feeling better now, Amy? Coffeepocalypse averted? 😉

      Yes, the altar is a specific platform for elevating an object or practice above the normal, and it is a space designated specifically for that purpose which makes it sacred to us, exclusive and special. You said exactly what I was intending to say with this post, though you said it better than I did: We are all one at the core. 😀

      • Yes the coffeepocalypse has been avoided but I may yet succomb to the coughocalypse 😦 Going to the doctor tomorrow, begrudgingly.

        I don’t think I said it better than you did in your post but thank you. 😀 I love the idea that we are all one at the core. I wish people focused more on how we’re alike than how we’re different. Or at least that people still didn’t think different means bad or wrong.

  1. Pingback: Devil’s Advocate, Charmed and Symbolism in Threes | Nola Sarina

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