The headlines read, “David Bowie dead at 69,” and while we are all mourning the loss of this great, iconic artist who revolutionized pop-art, many fans are finding religious symbolism in various aspects of David Bowie’s death. First, there is the symbolism associated with the fact that David Bowie was 69-years-old at the time of his death. The number 69 is the symbol associated with Yin Yang, which according to Chinese philosophy, is the balance between male and female energy. David Bowie made an indelible mark by playing with gender fluidity decades before it was publicly accepted. If any artist truly embodied Yin Yang or its symbolism, it is David Bowie. The fact that David Bowie died at 69-years-old and the relationship between the number 69 and yin yang did not go unnoticed by fans. While many fans expressed great sadness upon hearing news that David Bowie was dead at 69, some remarked upon the symbolism.
— Brad Meltzer (@bradmeltzer) January 11, 2016
David Bowie’s religious views were not well known. He seemed to be more questioning than committed, but quite possibly he died an atheist, though he had described himself as “not quite an atheist.” In 2002, David Bowie was interviewed and he opened up about his views while promoting his CD Heathen. During the interview he spoke about Nietzsche’s quote “God is Dead.” What David Bowie’s true beliefs about God were in his last, final moments are unknown.
— FFRF (@FFRF) January 11, 2016
In the following interview, David Bowie speaks about many of the songs he’d written up to that point (the interview is from November 1978) and describes the meaning behind the personas he used. He clarified that many of the songs were written from the viewpoint as characters; such as Ziggy Stardust. Still, over the years, many people have chosen to see religious interpretations in David Bowie’s lyrics. Some have suggested that many of his songs were about Christianity. This doesn’t seem likely once you listen to David Bowie discuss the meaning behind his songs.
In February 2004, David Bowie spoke to Esquire and discussed his views on God and religion.
“I’m in awe of the universe, but I don’t necessarily believe there’s an intelligence or agent behind it. I do have a passion for the visual in religious rituals, though, even though they may be completely empty and bereft of substance. The incense is powerful and provocative, whether Buddhist or Catholic.”
“The depressing realization in this age of dumbing down is that the questions have moved from ‘Was Nietzsche right about God?’ to ‘How big was his d**k?'”
Make the best of every moment. We’re not evolving. We’re not going anywhere.”
— Godless Utopia (@GodlessUtopia) January 11, 2016
David Bowie sings the song God Only Knows, written by Brian Wilson and Tang Asher. While David Bowie’s exact views on God are unclear, it is evident from his Twitter account that the last person he followed was the parody “God”account.
While many Christians are hoping that David Bowie followed God before his death at 69, we know that he did follow God on Twitter.
— Peter Agorist (@PAKallman) January 11, 2016
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) January 12, 2016
How David Bowie’s religious views, or lack thereof, coincides with the symbolism in his video Lazarus remain to be seen. The opening lyrics are “Look up here, I’m in heaven,” which seems less appropriate for an atheist to say, but may be in line for someone who is “almost an atheist.”
— Guatón Barraza (@Cristian_barraz) January 8, 2016
few know that david bowie was a committed christian, despite his famous song We Can Be: He Rose
— DougExeter (@DougExeter) January 11, 2016
While some fans have found religious symbolism in Lazarus, others have found Illuminati, Satanic symbols.
This is my favourite new conspiracy. A Christian claims that David Bowie’s Blackstar video is a Satanic Ritual.???? https://t.co/f4dbJQhTnU
— Lamhfada (@Lamhfada) January 12, 2016
David Bowie’s wife Iman posted several messages on her Instagram account. The date of the photos were later revealed to have been after David Bowie had passed away. One was a saying about the struggle being real, but so is God.
— Shaolyn Martinez (@Shao813) January 11, 2016
— Bojosi Gamontle. (@W4Gens) January 12, 2016
What are your thoughts about David Bowie, his views on religion and God?
[Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images]