Recovering from a cold at the moment. I’m working on a longer post, but wanted to put this old bit of tongue-in-cheek funniness up as a great example of how easy it is to find Significant and Meaningful Hidden Meanings in ANYTHING AT ALL. This was originally published on the old Fantastic Planet blog back around 2004, subsequently in Running Towards the Bomb.
… the [Scooby-Doo] Gang represents a group of symbolic Seekers on a [Kabbalistic] Path. Their names and colors give us some basic correspondences to archetypal symbols (it’s not a one-to-one ratio, but they’re there.
Fred represents the Perfected Man; his name comes from the Old German for Perfect Ruler (Frederick), illustrated by the two most notable colors in his outfit, the blue of Chesed on his pants representing Jupiter or the Benevolent Leader balanced by the Red of Geburah on his bandana representing the Martial Leader. Fred corresponds to the element of Fire.
Daphne, whose name comes from the Greek for “Laurel,” although not highly intelligent or analytical, often stumbles across clues which open the Way by “accident,” intuition or inspiration. The laurel represents Victory (laurel wreaths were awarded to the winners of the Olympic games) and also denotes prophetic power. Daphne is an inspiring intelligence who, with her purple (Sphere of Hod, or Mercury– initiation/intellect) and green (Sphere of Netzach, or Venus– intuition/inspiration), represents Sophia as the fallen consort of the Perfected Man and corresponds to the element of Water.
Velma’s name comes from a word translating to Butterfly, a symbol of resurrection (think cocoon), especially relevant given that her prominent color is orange, the color of Tipharet, the Sphere of the crucified God. With this in mind, it’s also pretty obvious that Velma is the “intellect” of the group, illustrating her correspondence to the element of Air.
Shaggy, the element of Earth, wears the olive and russet of Malkut, the corresponding Sephirot. Shaggy is the imperfect man, the lowest reflection of the perfection symbolized by Fred. His essential aspects are Fear and Consumption, the two anti- virtues which trap one within the Black Iron Prison. If Shaggy is Humanity trapped within the illusion of the material world, then Scooby represents the fallen Deity. Using Hebrew Gematria, the name “Scooby Doo,” or “SKUBIDU” has the numerical value of 96, the same value as “AL ADNI,” the name given to God at its lowest manifestation within the world of matter. Further proof of Scooby’s nature as the Unredeemed God can be found in the simple fact that GOD spelled backwards is DOG. Scooby represents “Spirit” within the pentacle.
Note that Shaggy is Imperfect because his fear and consumption are essentially imitations of Scooby’s. Fear and consumption are to be expected from a dog, or a fallen God, but when copied by Humanity, they keep one from the path of Knowledge. This process creates a feedback loop, as Scooby then begins to act like a Human.
So, in each episode, this symbol-laden gang are distracted from their path by Dark Doings and, during the course of an episode, are forced to re-equilibrate their various aspects. They venture into a situation in which everything seems illusory, and using their various symbolic aspects and ritual items (Fred always has a flashlight, Velma always has her glasses, etc.), begin to locate remnants of the greater Reality behind the overall appearances of a situation.
The gang has to deal with “monsters,” generally supernatural or paranormal entities who deal in Fear. The gang usually splits up at this point, usually into Fred/Daphne/Velma and Shaggy/Scoob, though sometimes Velma ends up with Shag and Scoob. Each member performs ritual functions during the process of solving the mystery, but there is a necessary revelation that the illusion cannot be defeated until the gang gets back together after having split up, a returning of the energies to their equilibrium.
At this point, Fred, as the High Priest, occasionally assisted by Daphne, the Temple Virgin, dispenses Eucharist in the form of the Host-like “Scooby Snacks,” the name of the biscuits reflecting the presence of the divine within. Thus “activated” via the Holy Sacrament, Shaggy and Scooby transform into the higher symbolic correspondences and, usually via the process of inspiration, reveal the entire situation to be illusory. The “Monster” is apprehended and unmasked, the veil of Maya is lifted revealing the Archonic power underneath. The Archon is always someone familiar to the gang, someone who they’ve known since the beginning of the episode. Although we can argue about whether turning the Archon over to Authority Figures has positive or negative connotations, it’s worth noting that the Authority Figures in question usually aren’t typical city cops, but rather small-town sheriffs or more independent authorities.
Oh, and it’s also worth noting that there is usually an innocent soul at stake, usually one of the gang’s friends who owns or is due to inherit something valuable that is currently desired by the Archon. In defeating the Archon, the gang has symbolically saved the innocent soul from a symbolic “rape.” And thus, the Way is opened for the Soul in question, and the gang retires to the Mystery Machine until next time.
Too bad the whole thing went to shit when they brought “Scrappy Doo” into the mix.