The Wizard of Oz

Why has viewing this Hollywood film become one of our treasured holiday traditions?

It’s simply a wondrous experience to follow Dorothy on her way to the Emerald City. Since 1950 this film has been broadcast regularly on network TV, most often during the winter holiday season. According to the Library of Congress the Wizard of Oz is the most watched film ever made. In addition it won as many prestigious awards as were available.

The Wizard of Oz contains many of the same plot elements as classic fairy tales but they are played out in midwestern American setting. It tells the story of the seeker, the wanderer or the pilgrim.  First of all we learn that Dorothy is an orphan living on a bleak Kansas farm. She finds herself experiencing hardships and rather than putting up with it, she decides to leave. Along the way she meets a fellow traveler who convinces her to return home. She follows his advice but just as she gets back she is caught in a ferocious tornado, hits her head and blacks out.

Shortly, in either a dream or a vision, she finds herself transported to a strange world composed of remarkable companions, tiny munchkins, flying monkeys and an assortment of witches. When she reaches her destination she discovers that the object of her quest, the supposedly sublime Wizard, is of actually of little help. Having developed her own kindness, clarity and courage she discovers that she is capable of navigating herself back home and handling her life.

The Wizard of Oz film is almost 80 years old. A little known fact is that L. Frank Baum, the author of this children’s classic, was a member of the Theosophical Society. This organization based on esoteric research and the comparative study of religions. “Baum had a deep understanding of Theosophy and, consciously or not, created an allegory of Theosophic teachings when he wrote the Wizard of Oz. The story is an allegorical tale of the soul’s journey toward enlightenment. The same concept of The Yellow Brick Road, for example in Buddhism is referred to as the Golden Path is an integral concept in theosophical beliefs.” Even Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, provided this spiritual reminder “There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer, there is not trial that a spotless purity cannot pass through; there is no difficulty a strong intellect cannot surmount.” It’s up to each individual to become what it needs to be.

Let’s see how the masterful casting of this classic film reflects the spiritual identities of its four major characters: Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. Using Dayology we will describe the qualities these actors drew from within themselves to give these performances. Keep in mind that it is these particular qualities in each actor that brought their role alive.

Judy Garland

Ray Bolger

Jack Haley

Bert Lahr

Judy Garland was born on a Saturday in the zodiac sign of Gemini. Saturn is her INNER Ruler and Mercury is her OUTER ruler. This combination helps her to accept hardship and make it look easy.  She gave the character of DOROTHY the strength and fortitude to make it safely through her adventure. Garland herself had a difficult life despite her immense talent.

Ray Bolger was born on a Sunday in the zodiac sign of Capricorn. He has the Sun as his INNER Ruler and Saturn as his OUTER Ruler. He did an extraordinary job in portraying the floppy SCARE CROW particularly using the “physical awareness” of a extremely professional dancer. His limber body and improvisational skill were developed earlier when he performed in vaudeville.

Jack Haley was born on a Wednesday in the zodiac sign of Leo. Mercury operates as his INNER Ruler and the Sun as his OUTER Ruler. Although he was a full-voiced actor, it is said that he spoke his TIN MAN lines as if he was reading bedtime stories to his children. This was Haley’s way of expressing Leo “heart energy” into the gentle character that he was playing.

Burt Lahr was born on a Tuesday in the zodiac sign of Leo. His INNER Self is ruled by Mars and his OUTER Self by the Sun. He was known for his roars of laughter which he added to his COWARDLY LION role. When Lahr was warned about becoming type-casted as a lion, he laughed and said  that he had no fears because how many parts are there for lions?

The Wizard of Oz owes most of its success to its cast dynamic. First Dorothy and her best buddy, the Scarecrow both have Saturn energies, showing they are both gaining deep insights from this experience. Judy Garland was born on a Saturday and his Sun Sign is Capricorn which is ruled by Saturn. Likewise Dorothy is also having a Mercury learning experience with the Tin Man. She is a Gemini ruled by Mercury and he was born on Wednesday also ruled by Mercury. Then the Tin Man and the Lion are Leos, giving them both warm, entertaining natures. Finally the four Day Rays (Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and Tuesday) offer lots of color and sparkle.

Group Dynamics

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