Here, you can find pictures, movie trivia, and everything there is to know about Pandora and all of it's inhabitants.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Eywa & Sacred places

Eywa is the guiding force and deity of Pandora and the Na'vi. The Na'vi believe that Eywa acts to keep the ecosystem of Pandora in perfect equilibrium. It is sometimes theorized by Earth scientists that all living things on Pandora connect to Eywa through a system of neuro-conductive antennae; this often explains why Na'vi can mount their Direhorse or Banshee steeds and ride them immediately without going through the necessary centuries required to domesticate such wild animals.

Some believe that this interconnectedness, which on Earth is merely a spiritual concept, exists in a physical and tangible way on Pandora, in the form of a strange, collective psionic consciousness embedded in the planet, drawn from all Pandoran life. It is, in a way, a bit like a huge biological internet; the trees being computer servers that store information. The Na'vi can upload or download memories from it using their queues and it can even be used for mind transfers in certain cases.

In the Avatar video game, this psionic link can be manipulated by humans as well. If the player chooses to side with the RDA, then the main objective throughout the game is to gather three psionic crystals in certain areas and plant them near specific crystal willow trees, which are said to be where emanations of Eywa concentrate. This is done so that the willow trees emit a beam and signal that activates and points people toward the direction of the Well of Souls. This allows RDA scientists to both find the Well of Souls and build an artificial psionic machine that emulates an aggressive version of the smaller willow trees' signals, which is then planted in front of the active Well of Souls. This allows the RDA to tap into Eywa itself, control the psionic consciousness, and take control of the planet itself to turn it against the Na'vi, thereby giving the RDA a decisive advantage. Eventually, the RDA is successful in these efforts, and is now inevitably on the way to winning the war against the Na'vi and taking absolute control of Pandora. This only occurs if the player sides with the RDA.

    * Eywa is very similar to many of Earth's deities, such as Jörð in Norse mythology who is the personification of the Earth, and is even closer to the Native Americans' religious views of the planet being one living entity.
    * The Tree of Souls grants the Na'vi access to the psychic essences of their deceased, which is how the Na'vi communicate with their ancestors. The roots of the trees are capable of extending above the ground and connecting to the nervous system of any living thing, even humans. That's how Jake's consciousness was transferred to his Avatar.
    * Eywa has been compared to Gaia (Gaea), Mother Earth, Mother Nature or God by those trying to explain the relationship between Eywa and the Na'vi. The Gaia hypothesis follows on that the entire biosphere acts like a single organism or at least a complex system (soft Gaia), or that the Earth is consciously manipulating the biosphere in order to make conditions more favorable to life (hard Gaia).
    * Eywa's embodiment as plant life may be a reference to Yggdrasil, The Tree of Life, a holy embodiment in Norse mythology. Yggdrasil is a tree, said to be the root of all life, sent to keep the natural order of life on Earth.
Eywa is also similar to the Norse god-king Odin in title. Odin in known as the All-Father, whereas Eywa is known as the All-Mother.

The Well of Souls is a bizarre geological formation found in Pandora. The location is hidden deep in the heart of Pandoran forest. It is essentially a mixture of jagged megaliths protruding from the earth and graceful arches, levitated by the rocks' high Unobtanium content. In the middle of the formation is a huge caldera, home to the sacred Tree of Souls. The caldera is 100 meters across. It is ringed with enormous willows whose roots seem to pour down the sheer rock walls like candle wax.

The Tree of Souls (Na'vi Name: Vitraya Ramunong) is a giant willow-like tree that is said to be the closest connection to Eywa on all of Pandora.

The Tree of Souls is located on the ground of Pandora, amidst the floating Hallelujah Mountains, not far from Hometree. After the destruction of Hometree, the Na'vi tribe was forced to make an exodus there on foot to protect their cultural identity.
The tree sits in a basin roughly 60 meters in diameter, shielded by an unusual formation of rock arches that give the impression of a shell encasing it, increasing its sense of security and protection. The tree is difficult to find due to its location right at the heart of Pandora's natural Flux Vortex, caused by strong magnetic and gravitational forces from the floating mountains and the large unobtanium deposit located beneath the formation.

The Tree of Souls, besides being a very close connection to Eywa, also works as a way for Eywa to directly interact with the world through the seeds of the tree. The tree has the capability to connect directly to the nervous system of all living things, and is not limited to the queue that Pandoran wildlife possesses. When Grace Augustine was injured, Jake Sully brought her to the Na'vi and they attempted to save her by using the Tree of Souls to connect to Grace's nervous system and permanently transfer her mind to her Avatar body. Although Grace was too weak to make the transfer, instead she became one with Eywa. At the end of the film Jake successfully transfers his mind into his Avatar, making it his true body forever.

A Woodsprite (Na'vi name: Atokirina') is a seed of the Tree of Souls that lives on Pandora. These seeds, according to the Na'vi, are considered very pure and sacred spirits. Furthermore, these seeds are believed to be auspicious wheresoever they choose to rest. They are similar in appearance to small deep-sea jellyfish, but they float on the wind like dandelion seeds, possibly aided in this by the denser atmosphere on Pandora. Woodsprites also hold ritual importance. The Omaticaya Clan plants one of these seeds with the body of a deceased Na'vi, so the Na'vi's consciousness will become part of Eywa.

Strangely, despite the Woodsprite's omnipresence, no other Trees of Souls appear in the movie. This may imply that the seeds are actually infertile or serve another purpose besides reproduction. This would make the Tree of Souls a truly unique entity, since its seeds could not be used to germinate another one in the scenario that original tree was destroyed, damaged, or captured.

The Tree of Voices (Na'vi name: Utral Aymokriyä) was an important spiritual site to the local Na'vi, so named because the 'voices' of ancestors could be 'heard' there through nerve contact with the tree. Similar in appearance to the Tree of Souls, it was where Jake and Neytiri chose each other as mates. It was bulldozed when the RDA cleared a path to Hometree in preparation for mining the rich Unobtanium deposit there.

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