Mother (Jenova) == Mother earth/mother nature ?

AlanFletcher

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No jenova is simply an alien that fell from the sky that shinra used in experiments. The lifestream is connected to the idea of mother earth and peoples souls.

In my opinion the word mother only came from sephiroth after he found out about being experimented on with the jenova cells.

I got into the the whole idea of the lifestream jenova and soldier and had a huge tatto on my chest and covering left arm of the whole idea. 😁
 

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I think the big link between mother earth and VII is that it is called Gaia.
 

AlanFletcher

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I think the big link between mother earth and VII is that it is called Gaia.
Gaia spelled as gaea in ff7 is the name of the world in which ff7 takes place.

The Lifestream. That's what we call the river of life that circles our planet, giving life to the world and everything in it. (Marlene quote).

So in short the lifestream is an ethereal force which gives to everything on gaea.

Hope that helps clear things up a bit more.
 

Molosev

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No jenova is simply an alien that fell from the sky
Can you please point me to the piece (evidence) you're referring to ?

In my opinion the word mother only came from sephiroth after he found out about being experimented on with the jenova cells.
This is a good point indeed.

I think the big link between mother earth and VII is that it is called Gaia.
Apparently the name "Gaia" has not been attributed to the Planet in any official Final Fantasy VII media (source see the "Name" section)

There is not much in fact.

Yet it is obvious that the planet was able to survive largely thanks to the Meteor which ended the frenetic exploitation of the Mako by the Shinra. And perhaps by the recovery of spirits through the lifestream, I do not know if many people died during this event (in any case many people died during the Cetras Meteor episode) .
Assuming that Jenova controls, manipulates or influences the Sephiroth that triggered the cataclysm, Jenova participated in saving Mother Nature in a certain way. That could be a clue.

What do you think ?
 

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Source under 'Nature'

Jenova's genetic structure is a two-way conduit: it can both take in the traits of its prey, and insert its own genes to turn other organisms into violent monsters. Once Jenova lands upon a planet it will destroy every form of life it finds. Jenova can absorb its prey's memories and form, hiding as their loved ones to destroy them.

...

Once Jenova has destroyed a planet it uses it as a vessel to travel the cosmos to another planet. Jenova's age is unknown, but since it can lay dormant for millennia if necessary, it might be older than the planet of Gaia itself.
I think Jenova inadvertently participating in 'saving Mother Nature' is like grasping at straws to connect 'Mother' Jenova to 'Mother Earth', and If anything I'd say she was the opposite and would be better classified as a parasite/death. Mothers are symbolic of creating life - Jenova was there to destroy it.
 

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Jenova is quite the opposite of Mother Earth to me.
The Lifestream, or even the Planet itself is its own being. Those attuned to the concerns of the Planet can hear its 'cry' in the game. The Planet is presented as being able to defend itself (maybe not a full consciousness, but a reactionary survival instinct). It generated the Weapon monsters as a sort of defence force against the extraterrestrial threat of Jenova.

Jenova is not autochthonous and had nothing to do with the FFVII Planet originally. She is the 'calamity from the skies'. An alien, who crashed on the Planet and saw the collapse of the Cetra civilisation. Jenova was killed by survivors of the catastrophe and became frozen in the North Crater, only to be rediscovered by Shinra who mistook her remains for the Cetra. Being from elsewhere, her corpse doesn't follow the same laws as other corpses, and her individual cells still possess a sort of life... It gets very Lovecraftian.

The genetic interference by Shinra, injecting Jenova cells into humans, was yet another way Shinra was polluting the Planet. In this case polluting the bloodstream and Lifestream (since alien matter would become mixed up within the Planet's own life force).

This is what Geostigma was about in the Compilation. After the Lifestream flooded the Planet to prevent Meteor from destroying everything (another defence system of the Planet), one side effect was that humans were exposed to the Jenova cells which were corrupting the Lifestream.


So is Jenova Mother Earth?
I think to Sephiroth (and to the clones and to Kadaj and co who idolised her) she did become a sort of Mother Goddess figure. But not 'Earth' in the sense of her belonging to the Planet.
Instead, Jenova is the Planet's arch nemesis and opposite. It is possible that Jenova could have been a 'Mother Earth' on her own planet, but we never learn anything about her origins. All we know is that she fell from the sky some day. The mysterious nature of this silent menace whose existence nearly destroyed the Planet two thousand years after her 'demise' is what the strong cosmic horror themes in FFVII rely on. I love it.
 

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I think I understand that you do not wish to hear more about this idea. Am I wrong ?
No no, not at all. I wasn't shutting it down. I'm open to any ideas being discussed - so go ahead.

I was just saying what my opinions were on this topic and how I interpret Jenova, but there is certainly a benefit in exploring any number of different angles. It is healthy to do this because it makes you look at things in a different way and you can learn more in the process.

All I meant was that the idea could only marry with my image of Jenova if we separate the concept of Earth from the FFVII Planet. If she's a 'Mother Earth' from another planet invading FFVII's world and slowly corrupting / terraforming the Planet to suit her own needs, then I can get behind the idea. I find it curious that Jenova was a lone traveler - which means that she must have been a very, very powerful, godlike being. Not unlike the unthinkable monsters of the Lovecraftian Mythos.
 

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Ok, I ask because a similar thread has been closed on TheLifeStream.Net
I had no complete theory when I started this thread, only hypothesis.
I build it along the way with their help, but now they are arguing that I am trolling.

I like the way you see this thing and I think that our visions are quite close.
If you can take some time to look at this thread, I'd be pleased.
Some thougts I exposed are now wrong in my mind, but I think I get to an interesting conclusion about my initial question.
Something about a difference between earth and life.

What do you think ?
 

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It looks like they’ve said very much the same sort of thing I’ve said here (with regards to the official lore at least).

There seems to be multiple aspects to your theory which could be separated. One compares Jenova with ‘Mother Earth’, and another to Biblical Jehovah (God).

The latter is an interpretation I can agree with. Metaphorically speaking.

Since we don’t know where particularly in space Jenova came from, I suppose there is room for interpretation there. More loosely imagined, it could be that the being simply fell from the sky. As a ‘Sky God’ Jenova has, appropriately, more in common with deities including Zeus, Thor and Yahweh (Jehovah) than with chthonic deities of the Earth. I have to stress loosely, though. I guess if we roll with this for a moment, Sephiroth (Jenova’s corpse in the form of Sephiroth) killed the Midgar Zolom (Midgardsormr, the Norse world serpent) which was something which Thor, another sky god, accomplished (before being killed by the defeated serpent himself).

With the interpretation of Jenova being a portmanteau of Jehovah and Nova (thus possessing the meaning ‘New God’) there are certainly Abrahamic allusions in her name. To a greater or less extent this is true of those that emanate from her: Sephiroth’s name relates to the Hebrew Kaballah; Genesis is, of course, the first book of the Bible; Lazard is sometimes interpreted as a reference to the Biblical Lazarus, who was revived from the dead by Jesus. If Jenova represents the anger of an Old Testament God and the decimation of the Cetra represents the Biblical flood and other massacres, then that is an interesting angle. But the Cetra at that time appear to have been living at peace with the Planet (unlike when some settled and became the humans of the modern day). I guess that argument rests on when that split occurred. Did the Cetra in the Knowlespole (Northern) regions settle there instead of migrate? The existence of the Forgotten Capital might support this, unless this was purely a site of religious significance – which it may have been.

But the potential divine punishment angle would be independent to the Mother Earth angle as the actions of this ‘New God’ did the Planet more harm than good, and we know that the Planet itself generated Weapons to fight the invader. Whatever force or spirit represented the Planet, it was at odds with the very presence of Jenova. This would be self-harm on a planetary scale.

There’s an excellent article in the book Final Fantasy and Philosophy comparing Jenova’s infection of the FFVII Planet with Japanese anxieties of Christianity and the West (alien influences) impacting on Japanese Shinto traditions. There’s a lot more to that article (and it has been some five years or more since I read it), but that’s something of relevance here.

So I stand by the possibility that Jenova could be someone else’s god, or someone else’s Mother Earth, but not the native Mother Earth of FFVII’s Planet. The interests of Jenova were to harm and pollute the nature of the Planet. Whether this was a failed sort of terraforming to try and siphon the Planet’s resources for her own interests, we’re not sure. The same goes for the question of whether she was intending to spread new life on the world before her initial invasion was thwarted. Jenova’s initial plans could have been corrupted by Sephiroth’s own ambitions and his knack for misinterpreting things as he became a fanatic (a Jenova's Witness).
 

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It looks like they’ve said very much the same sort of thing I’ve said here (with regards to the official lore at least).
Yep these guys/gals really know a lot about this game and the compilation, much more details than I will ever know. And I really mean it.
They helped me refine my theory by challenging it and by pushing the official canons to my mind.
What I retain from the results of this first hypothesis is that there may be a similarity in the behaviour between Jenova and the Lifestream in the fact that both seem to travel from planet to planet.
Do you agree with this statement ?

Wow your knowledge of all these mythologies is fascinating. I thank you for offering me this concise overview.

There’s an excellent article in the book Final Fantasy and Philosophy comparing Jenova’s infection of the FFVII Planet with Japanese anxieties of Christianity and the West (alien influences) impacting on Japanese Shinto traditions.
I really need to read this book !

So I stand by the possibility that Jenova could be someone else’s god, or someone else’s Mother Earth, but not the native Mother Earth of FFVII’s Planet.
I think that you're right, there's definitely two separate entites, both bearing life at the origin. One infesting the other.
My mental confusion comes from the discovery of this scene from the movie "Parking" (A modern retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice ) that we discussed on the other thread.
I am convinced that this scene visually influenced the opening cinematic of Final Fantasy VII. But I also wondered if it had inspired other aspects of the game, like the scenario for example. It is clear that this is not at all obvious. However if we draw a parallel between what happens in the two scenes, I think we can deduce something interesting. The scene of the film presents the arrival of the girl in hell. As there is already strong reason to think that Midgar is inspired by the idea of hell (among other references), I thought that this alley could be the gateway that Aerith would use to enter the city. Except that she would come here voluntarily at the right time to meet Cloud (The idea of timing is important in other aspects of my theory). This makes her immediately suspicious and hellish in my eyes, hence my hypothesis that would make her the embodiment of Jenova.
But the scenario of the game tends to make us think that Aerith is an innocent creature close to nature, which makes my observation totally paradoxical. As the game seems to promote the idea of respect for nature by putting us in the shoes of environmentalist terrorists from the start, I then thought that Aerith could have embodied the vengeful hand of mother nature.
But this assumption does not pass validation tests (canons), I realize it now.

However, I remain convinced that Aerith is entering Midgar by this leak in the Mako pipe. This would be the start (well the start of the game)...
(Warning, possible spoilers ahead ! I am being serious here)
...and this would be the end.
 
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Dionysos

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What I retain from the results of this first hypothesis is that there may be a similarity in the behaviour between Jenova and the Lifestream in the fact that both seem to travel from planet to planet.
Do you agree with this statement ?
I’m not sure if the Lifestream has yet made the leap from planet to planet, but I know it is very possible.

That was Omega Weapon’s role (a Weapon generated by the Planet which was introduced in Dirge of Cerberus). The idea behind it was that Omega was a last resort Weapon. If there was no hope for life remaining on the Planet, Omega could gather the Lifestream into itself and then fly off into space to start life anew on a new planet. So that’s not impossible but I don’t think it was meant to have happened yet. If it did, that’ll be in the FFVII Planet’s deepest prehistory (long before the Cetra and, presumably, before any life on the planet).

It might be that there are comparisons to be made between Omega Weapon / Lifestream and Jenova in that regard. They may represent two sides of the same coin. Just hailing from different planets.

FFVII is part of an era when Square Enix was fascinated by the Gaia Hypothesis (the idea that the planet can resemble a sort of lifeform in its own right by being self-regulating with complex interwoven systems – I’m not a scientist, so there'll be a lot more to it than that). In fantasy this easily lends itself to becoming the ‘spirit’ of the planet itself, and both in FFIX (where aliens from the planet Terra attempted to merge with the planet Gaia, both physically and in terms of the planets' spirits) and in the movie Spirits Within (where alien phantoms end up polluting and overpowering the spirit of our planet Earth). I can imagine that Jenova might have had something similar in mind. She probably wanted to tap into the FFVII Planet’s lifestream (which itself is connected to the Planet considered as a lifeform) and hijack it. Maybe her own world had died and she needed to start over somewhere else. Her origins remain obscure.

Wow your knowledge of all these mythologies is fascinating. I thank you for offering me this concise overview.
Thanks. :argor:
I live for this stuff. I plan to post a new Mythology Manual forum article soon.

I think that you're right, there's definitely two separate entites, both bearing life at the origin. One infesting the other.
My mental confusion comes from the discovery of this scene from the movie "Parking" (A modern retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice ) that we discussed on the other thread.
I am convinced that this scene visually influenced the opening cinematic of Final Fantasy VII. But I also wondered if it had inspired other aspects of the game, like the scenario for example. It is clear that this is not at all obvious. However if we draw a parallel between what happens in the two scenes, I think we can deduce something interesting. The scene of the film presents the arrival of the girl in hell. As there is already strong reason to think that Midgar is inspired by the idea of hell (among other references), I thought that this alley could be the gateway that Aerith would use to enter the city. Except that she would come here voluntarily at the right time to meet Cloud (The idea of timing is important in other aspects of my theory). This makes her immediately suspicious and hellish in my eyes, hence my hypothesis that would make her the embodiment of Jenova.
But the scenario of the game tends to make us think that Aerith is an innocent creature close to nature, which makes my observation totally paradoxical. As the game seems to promote the idea of respect for nature by putting us in the shoes of environmentalist terrorists from the start, I then thought that Aerith could have embodied the vengeful hand of mother nature.
But this assumption does not pass validation tests (canons), I realize it now.

However, I remain convinced that Aerith is entering Midgar by this leak in the Mako pipe. This would be the start (well the start of the game)...
(Warning, possible spoilers ahead ! I am being serious here)
...and this would be the end.
I think, on a metaphorical level, we could take Midgar to be like Hell. It is a living Hell for many, and I think there is some symbolism at play with Aerith's introduction in that scene with the Lifestream.

But, as you now concede, the idea of Aerith being aligned with Jenova is paradoxical. Aerith represents the will of the Planet rather than Jenova. She's a Christ-like figure who dies for the sins of the humans on FFVII's Planet (with the most prominent sins being due to Shinra's ambitions), but through her sacrifice she's able to become a part of the Lifestream and help prevent the apocalypse (Meteor).

In terms of the game's plot, we know that Aerith was raised by an adoptive mother who cared for her in the slums of Midgar, and we later learn about her real mother (a Cetra). So in 'reality' Aerith has just popped out to sell some flowers when we see her in FFVII's introduction, but I do believe in the power of symbolism regarding the splash of lifestream and her face emerging before she walks down the busy streets of Midgar. This is a powerful scene, and we can read into that what we like.
 

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This is a powerful scene, and we can read into that what we like.
I like that.

I am sure of nothing. But I now have convictions about it. I will not try to further develop my arguments.
I really am looking forward to seeing how the Remake will confront this theory :geek:

Peace and love.
 

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I think you're all over-analyzing. Jenova's just there to tie together the themes of environmentalism. Shin-Ra, Sephiroth, Jenova--they're all just foils to get the playable characters to find a personal stake in putting the well-being of the Planet above their own. If the name chosen for Jenova resembles the Tetragrammaton, it's because Japanese culture just generally sees the Catholic God as the enemy, because of the way the Jesuits famously tried to economically exploit the country. But you're wasting your times speculating about all this hidden symbolism. Good writers write for the effect on the audience, not to telegraph arcane codes.
 

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Sorry not uploading pics here. U can see them on Instagram thefletch89 is my username
Dude, this must have hurt ! Great result though

I think you're all over-analyzing. Jenova's just there to tie together the themes of environmentalism. Shin-Ra, Sephiroth, Jenova--they're all just foils to get the playable characters to find a personal stake in putting the well-being of the Planet above their own.
I find it difficult to conceive that "Jenova" can be used to connect the themes of environmentalism if we consider that it is foreign to the original life of the planet. Environmentalism is by definition a flood of political ideas that aims to preserve the nature of human action, which should therefore be considered a private matter to the planet. To say that "Jenova" is responsible for the degradation of the planet would be to remove any responsibility of the human race for this degradation. Which would rather tend to kill a possible ecologist message in my opinion. But I admit that I have for some time tend to question the primacy of this message in the game. I see more and more the human race in this game as an army of puppets.

If the name chosen for Jenova resembles the Tetragrammaton, it's because Japanese culture just generally sees the Catholic God as the enemy, because of the way the Jesuits famously tried to economically exploit the country. But you're wasting your times speculating about all this hidden symbolism. Good writers write for the effect on the audience, not to telegraph arcane codes.
This reference that you are commenting already represents an important example of hidden code I find.
 
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Molosev

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I recently thought about another behavioral similarity between "Jenova" and Lifestream.

First, "Jenova" is said to be a shape-shifter. Well so is the Lifestream. Yes that's right the Lifestream takes the shape of any living entity on the planet, that's its definition. A tree that dies returns to the lifestream and can become a human or any other living entity.

Secondly, it is said that every cell belonging to "Jenova" will seek to rejoin it if it's separated. That's basically what's happening with the Lifestream either, every living entity (life is cells) returns to the Lifestream at some point.
 

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I recently thought about another behavioral similarity between "Jenova" and Lifestream.

First, "Jenova" is said to be a shape-shifter. Well so is the Lifestream. Yes that's right the Lifestream takes the shape of any living entity on the planet, that's its definition. A tree that dies returns to the lifestream and can become a human or any other living entity.

Secondly, it is said that every cell belonging to "Jenova" will seek to rejoin it if it's separated. That's basically what's happening with the Lifestream either, every living entity (life is cells) returns to the Lifestream at some point.
That’s a very good observation.
On that point they aren’t so different. Both Jenova and the Lifestream can be compared by the way that both contain cells (or essences) which will seek to be reunited in certain conditions. With Jenova it is also post-mortem, just as with the Lifestream.

The main difference I can see is that with the Lifestream it appears to only be spiritual energy which rejoins the Lifestream rapids under the Planet’s crust and then is later recycled as a new lifeform with a new consciousness, etc (and thus the Lifestream as FFVII’s afterlife relied on reincarnation rather than an eternal existence, but the spirit would live on in new life). Whereas with Jenova the energy never transcended into a spiritual form at all and remained corporeal, like a decaying, yet changeable, alien zombie.

If we use the gnostic theological comparison we discussed in another thread, that would make Jenova appear to be impure and unable or unwilling to leave behind the lesser form of the physical body and transcend as an enlightened spiritual being.

In the game’s lore it is likely that Jenova (being an alien) has a really bizarre and incomprehensible form which doesn’t follow the same rules as terrestrial lifeforms. Thus what to us appears to be her death and refusal to die and give up her body to the Lifestream might be something entirely different, entirely alien, which humans can’t understand. Or it could also be that the Lifestream is rejecting Jenova, or maybe the Lifestream recognises in Jenova a rival with the potential for similar abilities.
 
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