We recently sat down and watched Jordan Peele’s US and being mythologists and symbologists wanted to explore the meaning of the number 11:11 that is repeatedly referenced throughout the movie. We can’t do this without spoilers… so you have been duly warned… but we’d also highly recommend watching it – it is a fascinating exploration of themes of privilege and society – though that isn’t going to be our focus.
The most prominent display of the numbers 11:11 are on the boardwalk when a young Adelaide walks past a man holding a sign reading “Jeremiah 11:11”.
Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. Jeremiah 11:11 KJV
While this sign can easily be interpreted as a preemptive warning as to what is coming -the tethered rising and destroying those that live above – there are many more instances of the number 11, and 11:11 appearing. As well as repeating through the figure on the dock, his older incarnation and his tethered double below, we also witness 11:11 on the bedroom clock as Adelaide puts her son, Jason, to bed.
So, what looks exactly like 11:11 on Jason’s digital clock? Our first sighting of the Tethered as they stand in the driveway holding hands.
If you google the meaning of 11:11 there is a veritable goldmine of new age and esoteric blogs and videos on the meaning on 11:11, especially as it relates to seeing it on a clock. Most of them point back to the idea of synchronicity, a term coined by Psychologist Carl Jung to explain repeated patterns that we witness in our lives that occur too frequently to be random happenstance:
The problem of synchronicity has puzzled me for a long time, ever since the middle twenties, when I was investigating the phenomena of the collective unconscious and kept on coming across connections which I simply could not explain as chance groupings or “runs.” What I found were “coincidences” which were connected so meaningfully that their “chance” concurrence would represent a degree of improbability that would have to be expressed by an astronomical figure. – Carl Jung Structure and dynamics of the psyche
Adelaide herself notes the increasing frequency of co-incidences she has been noticing, and the ominous feeling she has been getting from them:
“Do you know how sometimes things line up, coincidences? Since we’ve been up here they’ve been happening more and more. It’s like there is this black cloud hanging over us” – Adelaide US
So back to 11:11 and the videos and blogs that litter the internet: many claim the numbers point to duality – mortal & immortal, self & higher self -not to mention the waking up and the revealing of the true or higher self. Consider it a sign for lifting the veil, ascending the path; encountering 11:11 has been claimed to signify that the person experiencing it is on that journey, a process Jung called Individuation.
We see this idea replicated in the fun house where little Adelaide first meets her double – the Shaman’s Vision Quest advertising that a trip inside can help one find themselves, something that Adelaide quite literally does.
Now one of Jung’s favorite quotes on synchronicity was from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, in which the White Queen says to Alice:
“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards”
This movie is about Adelaide remembering herself and her past. Her return trip into the fun house (now noticeably reappropriated as Merlin’s Forest) as an adult has her following rabbits – just like Alice she is going down the rabbit hole (Many of the 11:11 synchronicity believers also use the movie The Matrix and the catalyst of Neo seeing the white rabbit tattoo as his first sign to wake-up in conjunction with 11:11).
When it is finally revealed that Adelaide is actually the tethered, that she swapped places with the young Adelaide in the fun house and trapped the real Adelaide below, we can see this movie as a journey of the tethered Adelaide waking up and finding her higher self – the real Adelaide – now Red- that she trapped below all those years before.
And what does she do to her true self?
Let’s just say, Jung probably wouldn’t call it Individuation…