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When the sky is equated with things pertaining to the divine.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
DustSnitch on Dec 11th 2017 at 11:41:46 AM
Last Edited By:
DustSnitch on Jan 7th 2018 at 5:03:47 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gods_up_there_sir.jpg
C'mon, Satan, God's this way.

"In your religion and all the religions, as far as I know (and I know everything), the sky is made the symbol of everything that is sacred and merciful."
Professor Lucifer, The Ball and the Cross

The sky is equated with things pertaining to the divine.

Whether it be the Lord, the gods, fate, or the afterlife, nearly any supernatural concept can be brought to mind by mentioning "the heavens," holding one's hands together and looking upwards, or showing clouds flying across a starry sky.

There isn't one single origin of this trope, since the sky's association with the unknowable or transcendent comes from humanity's natural awe of the stars and ignorance of what they truly are. So if you want to indicate something beautiful, distant, and far greater than man, the sky is nigh-universally the best symbol to use.

Related to Light Is Good, since the sky and the light-bearing suns often go hand-in-hand when depicting God. This trope's relationship with the sun can often lend it to be used similarly to Rays from Heaven, Cue the Sun, and Watching the Sunset. This trope will often be used to show a Rage Against The Heaven by having a character rant at the clouds as if God was hiding behind them.

This trope is why the name for an afterlife of eternal joy is called Heaven (hence the redundant article name) and Heaven's most popular sub-trope is Fluffy Cloud Heaven, where Heaven looks just like the heavens. Other sub-tropes include Divine Birds, Stars Are Souls, and other tropes connecting the skyward with the sacred.

This association is also why Winged Soul Flies Off at Death, why people only Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, and why those mad at their fate will generally give a Skyward Scream rather than a Horizon-Oriented Yelp.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The realm of the death gods from Death Note is separated from the human world by a hole, which they can jump into to "drop" into our world. From our perspective, it looks like these monsters materialize in the middle of the sky and fall down. Like angels, these death gods come with wings which both make descent easier and also hint that they come from above.
  • In Dragon Ball, Kami's Lookout ("Kami" meaning god) is located in the upper levels of Earth's atmosphere. The Guardian of the Earth can look down and monitor the state of the Earth below checking for trouble. In times of peril it can also be used as a refuge for the major characters.

    Art 

    Comic Books 
  • In All-Star Superman, Pa Kent's description of how he prayed to God for a son is put against a page-wide panel dominated by the starry night sky.
  • Volume Four of The Sandman includes a description of God's realm as a Silver City "above" the universe proper, which angels can only leave by "falling toward the world." The odd thing about this is that the Silver City isn't just "above" the Earth, but it is also above the psychic realities that makes up the Kingdom of Dreams, Asgard, Hell, and other places that can't properly be said to be "above" or "below" anything else.

    Film—Animated 
  • The bridge that leads to the afterlife of Coco can be easily recognized as such because the bridge arcs up into the misty sky, indicating it goes beyond our mortal Earth.
  • Kubo and the Two Strings portrays the gods as distant, uncaring tyrants with no concept of human life. Naturally, they live in unchanging, transcendent sky like many portrayal of gods, but significantly considering their sinister nature, they are only described as coming from the night sky.
  • The magical fairy who blesses Pinocchio with life lives within the wishing star. The Blue Fairy descends from her home in the sky only when Gepetto prays up to the sky in his petition to be blessed with a son.
  • The song "Through Heaven's Eye" from The Prince of Egypt has a wise old man motion upwards to the clear, night sky when advising Moses to look at life as God would see it.

    Film—Live-Action 
  • Batman V. Superman uses Superman's Flight to make his role as a Messianic Archetype obvious, leading to scenes where Superman is floating above a flood victim covered in sunlight while the two stretch their arms out to each other like they're in the Sistine Chapel. And if that wasn't explicit enough, Lex Luthor goes on a rant about how Superman reminds him of God, describing them both as "a man in the sky" while questioning why either allows evil in the world.
  • Bruce Almighty:
    • Bruce starts his journey with God by cursing and yelling at the sky as if God's hiding behind a cloud. When He does meet Bruce, he does so by climbing down a ladder (implied to go directly into Paradise) and then teleporting the two to Mt. Everest, which is so high up Bruce thinks he's died and gone to Heaven. When he does die and briefly go to Heaven in the third act, the camera rapidly zooms up and away from Bruce's body. When he's revived, the camera rapidly zooms in and down onto Bruce's face.
    • When Bruce begs God not to leave him, he appeals to a need for answers. Morgan Freeman's God laughs and says that the problem with humanity is that they keep looking "up." Up here seems to refer to the divine plan for each person that only God can know, meaning God is saying to focus on what is rather than what should be.
  • Death Note (2017) kicks off with the titular Artifact of Doom dropping from the sky, implying that the death god that created it lives in the sky, looming above humanity.
  • The Green Mile: One of Tom Hanks' urination scenes ends with him struggling so much he has to lie on his back and look him to the sky and say, "Oh God, why?" It also foreshadows the weirder events from later in the movie.
  • Hail, Caesar! ends with the narrator describing how the protagonist's story is "written in light everlasting," as a choir plays and the camera shifts up to the sky. Along with the film's use of the Confessional and an In-Universe Passion Play, the ending shows the essential role the protagonist's relationship with God plays in his life.
  • Whenever Clarence the angel talks to distant superiors in It's a Wonderful Life, the audience will know he's not just talking to himself because he's looking straight up at the sky, which is where angels are supposed to live.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe repurposes Asgard, city of the gods, as a pocket dimension that can access other realms through a wormhole called the Bifrost. Even with this sci-fi twist, the Bifrost wormhole conveniently always opens up so that the gods enter into other realms by falling from the sky and leave said realms by being shot up into the air.
    • Thor has on odd scene where the titular character angrily demands to be returned to Asgard by yelling into the night sky, even though he should know the people operating the Bifrost aren't actually floating above him.
    • Thor: Ragnarok introduces another wormhole that can lead to Asgard, the Devil's Anus, but of course, this entrance to the god's realm is located in the sky, forcing anyone who wants to visit the gods to literally ascend far above the realm of mortals.
  • Crudely, Monty Python and the Holy Grail depicts God as a giant Sky Face who rips open a cloud to start a conversation with King Arthur.
  • The genocidal villain of Noah frequently looks to the sky and yells for God to reveal himself to him, only to find the sky shrouded in the clouds that will flood the world. The skies only clear and allow humanity to see the light once Noah realizes God's desire for humanity: for them to be merciful to each other.
  • When The Passion of the Christ ends with His death, the camera angles above the crucifixion scene to show a lone tear drop falling down towards Jesus's corpse. The effect is similar to a Single Tear, as if the Father in Heaven is crying for His Son.
  • Stations of the Cross ends with the camera (which hasn't moved the entire movie) ascending into the clouds, but in contrast to the church's dogmatic view of religion, the sky is hidden and unclear.

    Literature 
  • In Alexis Carew: HMS Nightingale, the neo-Luddite Cult Colony Man's Fall believes darkspace (an alternate layer of space-time equivalent to hyperspace) is in fact Heaven. The belief is backed up by darkspace's ability to shut off technology, but the fact that darkspace is only accessible by flying into a Lagrange point in normal space, meaning one has to fly past the Heavens to reach it, helps reinforce the divinity idea.
  • G. K. Chesterton's The Ball and the Cross has Professor Lucifer discuss the sky's divine association to a monk he kidnapped as he ascends through the heavens in his flying machine. The point Lucifer is making is that the skies are as physical and dour as the underworld and expects the monk's faith to shatter, only for the monk to point out that Lucifer's rambling has distracted him from flying the ship. The Professor screams like a girl and nearly dies in a crash.
  • In The Berenstain Bears when Goldie the fish dies, Papa Bear says that she went to the a big castle in the sky, a metaphor for the afterlife.
  • The Divine Comedy of Dante plays with the association of the sky and the realm of God by assigning each type of saint a planet, which would also be divine places under this trope's logic. The closer they are to Earth, the farther they are from God, who is portrayed as a sphere outside the physical universe who moves everything else. In Dante's imagery, God is the sky to the ground of the universe.
  • Although The Great Divorce avoids portraying Heaven as a cloud-filled candyland, it does demonstrate the radical distance between Hell and Heaven by having the bus between those two realms have to fly miles and miles and miles above Hell before it can reach the doormat of Heaven.
  • The original fairytale has The Little Mermaid describe Heaven as "that glorious world above the stars." This description of Heaven as sky also furthers the distance between the mermaid and the eternal realm, since land-dwelling humans are closer to the sky while the soulless mermaids are hopelessly far from those same stars. The story also describes angelic spirits as "Daughters of the Air."
  • Our Dumb Century, a book by The Onion, features a spoof headline from the week after the airplane was invented, about the government planning airplane expeditions to Heaven. The story reveals that within ten years, it will be possible for the average American to vacation there.
  • Whenever Mr. D from Percy Jackson and the Olympians swears, the sky either clouds up or thunders to let him know the gods are displeased, forcing Mr. D to look straight up and apologize. This is all a formality, as it would be ludicrous for the gods to live above D's camp on Long Island; they live above the Empire State Building instead.
  • In Survivor Dogs, dogs and wolves have many gods; however, the Sky-Dogs are their supreme gods.
  • In Warrior Cats, the cats' afterlife is the StarClan, which is said to be located within the collection of stars above, locally known as the Silverpelt (we'd call it the Milky Way).

    Live Action TV 
  • Michael from Arrested Development wistfully ponders how easy life would be if there were instructions sent from "on high." He then tells his son to watch his head as they duck under a memorial to the Ten Commandments being brought down from on high by a crane.
  • The Crown (2016) episode "Act of God" focuses Queen Elizabeth's lack of clarity on the relationship between the monarchy and God, a theme that is visualized by the Great Smog that blocks out the London sky for the entire episode.
  • The characters on How I Met Your Mother occasionally pray for help (though only to "the universe) in tough spots, and they always do this by looking up and begging. In the case of the first season finale, a prayer to the sky even leads to a uniquely heavenly miracle: a heavy rain inexplicably appears and keeps the protagonist's love from leaving with the wrong man.
  • Whenever God appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, He's always peaking over a cloud on the ceiling, forcing Stephen and the audience to crane their necks up to have a conversation with the guy.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • In the season 5 episode "Nimue," a young Merlin looks into the clouds and asks permission to drink from the Holy Grail so he may live. Unlike the man who failed to ask whatever god may be listening, Merlin does not disintegrate and is blessed wiith eternal life and unparalleled magical power.
    • Whenever a character in the Underworld "finishes their business," a bright light will appear over the Underworld's fires that they can follow upward to join almighty Zeus in paradise.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Bajoran religion states that their gods, the Prophets, live in the Celestial Temple above the skies of Bajor. In the pilot episode "Emissary," the Temple turns out to be a wormhole that terminates in the Bajoran solar system that Sufficiently Advanced Aliens traveled through.
  • Heaven is a regular setting on Supernatural that's often referred to by pointing upwards or talking about what's "above." The only really consequential use of this trope comes late in the show when the Darkness attacks Heaven, which causes Earth's sky to be ravaged by thunderstorms.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • In Greek, Latin, French, German, and English editions of the Bible, the word for sky is also used as the word for the Kingdom of Godnote .
    • Even though God preceded and created the sky in the Book of Genesis, Nimrod and the rest of humanity still believe they can reach God just by building a really, really, really big tower. For their arrogance, God creates the original Curse of Babel to keep humanity from organizing and attempting the impossible task of invading Heaven. This example makes the trope Older Than Feudalism, if not Older Than Dirt.
    • God is frequently described in the Old Testament as emerging from storms, whirlwinds, or other heavenly disasters to demonstrate his power, most famously at the end of the Book of Job. There, God's appearance as a massive storm uses the violence of the sky to demonstrate his power and expansive nature.
    • The Four Gospels
      • Some confusion has arisen due to Jesus calling the afterlife the Kingdom of Heaven, which is therefore assumed by many to mean the good afterlife is in the sky. What the Bible actually says, however, is that the afterlife will be immaterial until the Kingdom is established on Earth-a second Paradise, more or less-after the end times and the Resurrection of the Dead.
      • When Jesus returns to the spiritual realm of the Father, how do the Gospel writers describe it? Oh yeah, he was taken up and he ascended. So, unless he's actually supposed to be flying around in the clouds waiting to come down and burn the sinners, the reader is supposed to associate going up with entering the realm of God.
    • The Book of Revelation describes the evil angels who follow Satan as "fallen stars" that were "thrown down to Earth." This story of angels being thrown down to become demons is where the term Fallen Angel comes from.
  • Of all the places in Greece they could have lived, the Greek Gods decided to seat their thrones on the highest mountain in the nation, Mount Olympus, placing the gods on the point closest to the heavens.
  • In Norse Mythology, Asgard, the realm of the gods, is said to be one level up on the world tree Yggdrasil from Midgard, the realm of mortals (i.e. Earth).

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • At the end of Bo Burnham's "what." routine, he points his finger in different directions to prompt different people to talk. When he points down, he hears an ungodly "I am Satan, Lord of Darkness!" He hopefully points straight up to hear... crickets.
  • George Carlin has described God as both "the man who lives in the clouds" and "and invisible man, living in the sky" in different routines, mocking Christians under the assumption they believe in a vertically-inclined Physical God.

    Theatre 
  • The Clouds presents Socrates as an atheist who denies the existence of a god who throws thunderbolts in favor of worshipping the clouds who shit out the thunder. As a parody of Socratic philosophy, the idea of worshipping clouds, the sky, and other objects of study in place of the actual gods is Played for Laughs.
  • Just before the death of the titular character of Hamilton, time freezes and he talks about seeing his dead friends and family "on the other side." As he says their names, his best friend, his son, his mother, and his father figure all walk across the balcony across the stage, implying this "other side" is above Hamilton. This upwards view of heaven is further emphasized when Hamilton desperately cries "Rise up" just before he is shot.
  • King Claudius from Hamlet uses the sky twice as a metaphor to explain how horrid his soul has become:
    • He starts off his remorseful prayer by saying his offense is so rank that "it smells to heaven." Obviously, if something can be smelled from the sky, that is way too strong. So Claudius is saying his sin is as strong as that smell and as difficult to get rid of.
    • As the King begins to think his remorse is futile, he asks of his sin, "Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens to wash it white as snow?" He seems to think the answer is no, since he did something infinitely evil, and like rain in the earthly heavens, there can only be so much forgiveness in the celestial Heaven.
  • In the Heights: Abuela Claudia has a habit of saying "Alabanza" and holding up whatever she has in her hand. In act 2, we learn she does this to "hold it up to God's face and say, 'Praise to this.'" Turns out God's face is in Heaven with the Abuela's birds, alongside Abuela herself in Act 2, which prompts all the characters to sing "Alabanza" to the skies.

    Video Games 
  • If you became a god, say, in Final Fantasy VI, how would you let people know? If you were a magical, misanthropic Monster Clown, you might build a tower taller than any mountain, put yourself right at the top, and turns yourself into a winged creature surrounded by clouds and sunlight. This strategy tells visitors about your divinity without chit-chat, so when they fully ascend your Dante-esque ladder of writhing flesh and confront you, you can smite them without much monologuing.
  • The angelic protagonist of Kid Icarus and Kid Icarus: Uprising serves Skyworld and its good goddess, Palutena. The realm is overflowing with clouds, brave soldiers with wings, and glowing white temples dedicated to Palutena. In case you forget where the good guys work after all that, every level in Uprising ends with the protagonist being surrounded by Rays from Heaven and flying straight up towards the realm of Palutena.
  • Unsurprisingly, the sky in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is quite the godly place.
    • Whenever Link needs to call upon the Goddess's magical power into his sword, he aims it right into the sky.
    • Story-wise, the Goddess Hylia sent the last bastion of humanity into the heavens to protect from evil as the ground was consumed by darkness.
    • The association of ascension and divinity is presented in Link's battles with the Imprisoned, where that monster will rise up from underground and climb up a spiraling pathway up to a towering temple. Link must force the monster back into the ground, or else the rising evil will be high enough to destroy the power of the divine. Essentially, Link must do whatever he can to keep evil out of the sky, which becomes much more obvious once the Imprisoned learns to levitate.

    Web Comics 
  • Ever since God's second appearance in Dinosaur Comics, his text has always been portrayed as coming down from the sky, since of course God lives directly above our two dinosaur protagonists. Also, according to this strip, he used to intervene by reaching down his giant hands from the sky, but reaching that far tired him out and he stopped.
  • The Game Within a Game of Homestuck requires character to build towers starting from their houses that rise miles and miles and miles through the skies and deep into space. Only by ascending this self-created tower can they complete the game, fully master their abilities, and collect the mysterious Ultimate Reward which is in the mystical realm not-so-subtly named Skaia. It is only halfway into the nearly eight thousand page comic that Skaia's Reward is revealed: the opportunity to become the gods of a new universe.

    Western Animation 
  • The Justice League episode "The Terror Beyond" has Hawkgirl, an alien from a planet that only ever worshipped Eldritch Abominations, scares away Hades' minions, beings who work know for a polytheistic god, by pointing up to the sky to she works for capital-g God. Looks like the "sky=God" trope is literally universal.

    Other 
  • The Astrologer trope, and real life Astrology, relies on the assumption that the bodies of the skies are in control of the lives of us mortals down on Earth. Talking about the stars and planets as an astrologer can often resemble how others may take about the gods.
  • Idina Menzel's song "I Stand" includes the lyric "I don't know if the sky is Heaven, but I pray anyway." Menzel seems to find any non-vertical prayer entirely ludicrous, in large part because of this ancient connection between the sky and the divine.
  • There is an Urban Legend that the first astronaut, Yuri Gagarin, has said something along the lines of "I've been in space, and I've seen no God". Most of the reliable sources agree that if something like that was ever said, it was Nikita Khrushchev claiming Gagarin had been in space and saw no God.

Feedback: 50 replies

Dec 12th 2017 at 1:59:50 PM

Gods Live In The Sky? There are plenty of cosmologies with both celestial and chthonian deities (Gods Live Underground), though, so it might be better to lump them together - Gods Above And Below? Physical Hell includes some of the "literal underworlds".

Dec 12th 2017 at 4:40:42 PM

There are definitely some mythologies with gods in the ground, but the idea of the divine being up above is represented far more in art and fiction following on from the emergence of Christianity. Gods Live In The Sky may work for a trope name, although it may be problematic for monotheistic or more ambiguous representations of the divine.

Dec 13th 2017 at 3:15:00 AM

Looks like a How Did We Miss This One supertrope. Image needs help though.

Dec 13th 2017 at 9:30:27 AM

  • In Survivor Dogs, dogs and wolves have many gods however the Sky-Dogs are their supreme gods.

Dec 13th 2017 at 2:27:45 PM

^^^ I agree about the image. Would it be better if the first image was of the character beginning to look up in wonder and the second image was of him looking straight into the camera saying "Almighty five?" The full clip is here, for reference.

^^ That just sounds redundant, since "Heavens" is used more to talk about the sky than, well, Heaven.

Dec 14th 2017 at 3:46:02 PM

Could someone clear this up into folders, please?

Dec 14th 2017 at 4:24:42 PM

^ Done. Any other image suggestions?

Dec 15th 2017 at 3:06:54 PM

Thoughts on this painting as an image? A holy man points upwards to show he's refusing evil to focus on godliness. Is it illustrative enough?

Dec 16th 2017 at 1:49:45 AM

  • Touhou:
    • Kanako Yasaka (introduced as the Avatar of Mountains and Lakes) has an "ablity to create heavenliness", generally interpreted as weather powers and lives at the top of a mountain.
    • Tenshi is a Celestial but is portrayed as more of a whiny brat than a goddess.
  • The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter: The Celestials who come to reclaim Kaguya descend from the heavens, including a Buddha-like figure. While they may be of divine nature, they don't seem to care about mortals at all, paying no heed to their efforts to keep Kaguya from putting on a robe that will make her forget all about her life on Earth.
  • Warhammer 40 K:
    • The natives of Fenris believe that the Sky Warriors will come down to young warriors on the brink of death and bring them back to their heavenly domains to feast and fight for all eternity. In fact, the Space Wolves monitor the constant battles waged by the natives and use them to select candidates for Space Marine training and transformation.
    • Similar beliefs are held by backwater planets who witnessed the Space Marines (also known as the God Emperor's Angels of Death) descending to save the planet. Local authority rarely sees any need to disabuse them of the notion (and depending on the level of isolation, it's possible only the government is aware that there is an Imperium to belong to).
  • Chrono Trigger uses Fire, Ice, Shadow and Light as its elements. The original Japanese uses Heaven instead of Light, which is why some of Chrono's ailities involve lightning.

Dec 16th 2017 at 3:21:34 AM

Literature

  • According to Richard Adams book of xenofiction Watership Down, the sun is Frith, creator of the world and progenitor of all Earth's creatures. Supposedly, Frith twice spoke to the Prince of Rabbits. The moon is Frith's liaison to the world, acting both as Muse and as a Grim Reaper. In the Animated Adaptation by Nepenthe Studios, Hazel at one point offers a Heroic Sacrifice to Frith to safeguard his associates from forces of Efrafa, but this is dismissed: "There can be no bargain, for what is is what must be."

Dec 17th 2017 at 5:12:02 AM

Unlaunched, as it was rogue-launched by someone that never took part in discussion.

The discussion page when it was a trope had issues on the name as well.

Dec 17th 2017 at 5:19:55 AM

Since this seems to be back in discussion, I personally prefer The Sky Is Divine as a name. I think it allows more flexibility, since the way it's used now seems to me to imply that this applies to strictly monotheist interpretations,

Dec 17th 2017 at 7:47:56 AM

There seems to be no reason for this to be monotheist-centric. I realize that that was how it basically was written, but that seems to have no purpose. There's really nothing requiring this to be Abrahamic.

Moreover, this predates monotheism by the description's own admission.

That said, "the gods" in the description should not be potholed to Greek Mythology. That mythology is not the only religion out there that's polytheistic. Moreover, "the Lord" should not be potholed to God because other deities have that name, too, such as Freyr from Norse Mythology.

I think the name being a complete sentence makes it a stock phrase, doesn't it? I think Divine Heavens is a more concise name anyways, but the stock-phrase-ness is worth mentioning.

Also, the description seems to be "divinity EXISTS in the sky" rather than "the sky is divine," so the image seems unillustrative. And I do have another example from mythology for "sky is divine" but not so much one for "divinity exists in the sky."

Dec 17th 2017 at 9:50:43 AM

If I say "the Lord," everyone assumes I am talking about God, even if they are aware that some less prominent deities have the title.

The reason I choose the title to be "God" was because most of the examples I found were playing on the Christian association with this. I agree that "The Sky Is Divine" could be confuse people into thinking this is a bout a god that is the sky, but I disagree that the image is illustrative. A dark, devilish figure points to the darkness while a bright color halo man defiantly aims towards the sky? It visually illustrates that what stands against darkness and evil, holiness and light, by using the sky.

Divine Heavens would work as a name, although it would lack the third point of Clear Concise Witty.

Dec 17th 2017 at 9:52:06 AM

Music:

  • The Johnny Cash song "Will the Circle Be Unbroken", the sky is equated with Heaven.
    There's a better home awaiting
    In the sky Lord, in the sky.

Dec 17th 2017 at 12:11:21 PM

Do they? I'm sure most people would, but this being a media wiki where various gods and types of deities are troped, I don't think "everybody" would have an automatic assumption that you're talking about the Christian god. Moreover, my overall comment still stands. This is needlessly Abrahamic, and "the gods" still sinkholes to Classical Mythology. If it potholes anywhere, shouldn't it be Stock Gods?

For the image not being illustrative, it depends on what this trope is supposed to be. If this is "Divinity exists or lives in the sky," then it is not illustrative. If this is "the sky is divine," then I can see how that image illustrates this for the reasons you've just said.

Also, wittiness is fine to sacrifice to clarity and conciseness.

Dec 17th 2017 at 6:28:15 PM

^ You're right about the "the gods" pothole, so I changed that. Can you tell me why the image isn't illustrative for "the sky being treated as the abode of the divine?"

Also, I know it's acceptable to sacrifice wittiness, but I feel like nearly every trope name does that. I don't want to do that if I can help it.

Dec 17th 2017 at 8:37:23 PM

  • In The Berenstain Bears when Goldie the fish dies, Papa Bear says that she went to the big castle in the sky.

Dec 17th 2017 at 10:38:55 PM

It's been a little difficult for me to explain, sorry. Kind-of-long post incoming.

I think my issue communicating what I mean is that "divine" can mean a few different things. I mean "being a deity," and now that you've asked me to better explain what I mean, I think you're meaning "pertaining to God." The thing is that I usually mean "deity" when I say "divine" and I've recently come to learn that people don't always, 100 percent of the time, mean the same thing that I do when they say "divine."

On top of that, "abode" pretty much means "where one lives," so when I hear "abode of the divine," I immediately understand that to mean "where a deity (or God, w/e) lives." I'm not sure if the other meanings of "divine" make sense with the word "abode."

So, to bring it full circle to the question of the image: The current image implies that the "pertaining-to-God" thing is the sky itself while the pertaining-to-evil thing is the Earth. So, I think it's pretty clear that the image illustrates the "divine" element well enough. However, it does not — imo — illustrate the "abode of" element.

Maybe it's a life perspective thing. I imagine it's clear that I am not a Christian, and maybe this clearly illustrates "abode of" to Christians, but to me, it illustrates "sky is divine" without the idea of "divide resides in the sky".

To put it another way, the image better illustrates equating the sky with God.

Dec 18th 2017 at 11:41:21 AM

^ Thank you for laying that all out clearly.

What I'm trying to trope is equating the sky with that which is "pertaining to God." Whether that be God Himself, the afterlife, a pantheon of gods, or the home of God/the gods, so long as the work in some way equates them with the sky. I think my "abode" language was an articulation of only one way this trope can be used, so I may make all that more clear.

Dec 18th 2017 at 1:54:52 PM

Animated Film:

  • Hercules: Zeus and the other Gods live in the sky on clouds. But averted for Hades, who doesn't live there but in an "under-realm".

Why is there a Playing With section on this main page, shouldn't that go onto a separate Playing With sub-page?

And maybe start a crowner to pick the trope name?

Dec 18th 2017 at 2:00:24 PM

^ Technically, they live on the peak of Mount Olympus, but the peak is in the sky shrouded in clouds, and generally looks like a Fluffy Cloud Heaven.

Dec 18th 2017 at 4:13:51 PM

^^ Yeah, that may fall under Fluffy Cloud Heaven, so I won't add it for right now. The Playing With stuff will be added to a separate page when this trope is launched. I also want to wait for a wittier option before opening up a crowner.

Dec 19th 2017 at 3:49:14 AM

^, ^^ O, right, forgot about that; the way the movie is shot, it seems like they are on clouds though :-)

Dec 19th 2017 at 4:57:44 AM

There is an Urban Legend that Yuri Gagarin has said something along the lines of "I've been in space, and I've seen no God". Most of the reliable sources agree that if something like that was ever said, it was Nikita Khrushchev claiming Gagarin had been in space and saw no God

Dec 19th 2017 at 9:14:25 AM

  • George Carlin has described God as both "The man who lives in the clouds" and "and invisible man, living in the sky" in different routines.

Dec 19th 2017 at 12:40:06 PM

^ I'll add that plus an example from the Fluffy Cloud Heaven page that doesn't fit that trope.

Dec 19th 2017 at 1:01:48 PM

^ Looks like you broke the Theater folder, FYI.

Dec 19th 2017 at 8:06:20 PM

For a new title, given the previous discussion, I can only think of Sacred Sky or Holy Heavens. Not the wittiest suggestions ever, but they've got at least some alliteration.

Dec 20th 2017 at 3:21:25 PM

What about Heaven Above? As a play on "Heavens Above", which itself references that. Not Heavens Above, since that would break the No New Catchphrases rule.

Dec 20th 2017 at 7:35:18 PM

^ I considered that, but I'm concerned it's too close to a Stock Phrase.

Dec 21st 2017 at 3:56:40 PM

In The Simpsons, whenever heaven is being represented, it's always in the sky, with God present. Especially in the episode Homer the Heretic''. Also the final level in the The Simpsons Game, The Simpsons break into heaven, with Lisa using her Hand of Buddha super power to build some sort of tower to the sky confront God on what has been happening in the entire game.

Dec 21st 2017 at 4:14:14 PM

^ Are you sure that it isn't an example of the sub-trope, Fluffy Cloud Heaven?

Dec 22nd 2017 at 8:55:10 PM

I think Heaven Above could still work. I parsed the reasons given on the No New Stock Phrases page, and I don't think any of them hold here. I think the reason for this is that, while it may play on one, it isn't a stock phrase itself, and quite succinctly describes this trope, namely "Heaven" (a holy place) being "above" (in the sky).

If people are still unsure, I'd nominate The Heavens Are Above instead. Less witty, but perhaps more clear.

Dec 31st 2017 at 11:29:38 AM

^ I've had some time to think on naming this and I've come to agree with you. "Heaven Above" is not a Stock Phrase and I don't think anything else is as concise, clear, and witty as it. I think I'll make that the trope name.

Dec 31st 2017 at 12:54:44 PM

Since I suggested some alternative titles above, I might as well comment on the Heaven Above title. I agree that it's a better choice.

Dec 31st 2017 at 10:42:14 PM

Literature:

  • Alexis Carew: HMS Nightingale has the neo-Luddite Cult Colony Man's Fall. Near the climax, a Man's Fall elder explains to Alexis that among their beliefs is that darkspace (the setting's equivalent to hyperspace, where dark matter has physical form and ships sail the winds of dark energy between star systems) is in fact Heaven and forbidden to mortals, hence why it disables electrical technology and seemingly resists all attempts to study it.

TV:

Mythology:

  • In Norse Mythology, Asgard, the realm of the gods, is said to be one level up on the world tree Yggdrasil from Midgard, the realm of mortals (i.e. Earth).

Jan 1st 2018 at 6:16:35 PM

^ That Alexis Carew example describes darkspace as a sort of substance used to do travel, so why is its association with Heaven an example of this trope?

Jan 2nd 2018 at 10:39:30 AM

^It's not a substance, it's an alternate layer of space-time that is only accessible by flying into a Lagrange point in normal space.

Jan 2nd 2018 at 12:20:43 PM

A Justified variant: God is a Sufficiently Advanced Alien from another planet, arriving from the sky in a spaceship.

Jan 2nd 2018 at 2:51:04 PM

^^ Okay, is this write-up accurate to the book?

  • In Alexis Carew: HMS Nightingale, the neo-Luddite Cult Colony Man's Fall believes darkspace (an alternate layer of space-time equivalent to hyperspace) is in fact Heaven. The belief largely derives from the fact that darkspace is only accessible by flying into a Lagrange point in normal space, meaning one has to fly past the Heavens to reach it.

Jan 4th 2018 at 11:24:27 AM

^No, the Man's Fallers think darkspace is heaven because sensors usable in normal space can't study it (because it dampens electromagnetic signals), not because of where it is.

Jan 4th 2018 at 6:29:10 PM

Literature:

  • In Warrior Cats, the cats' version of heaven is called StarClan, which is said to be visible in Silverpelt (the Milky Way).

Jan 6th 2018 at 1:19:14 AM

Before I launch this later today, are there any comments on the description? Can it be cut down, are there bad lines in there, and can anything be added to make it more informative or enjoyable to read?

Jan 6th 2018 at 8:32:36 PM

I'm going to launch this tomorrow assuming no one has anything else to say.

Jan 7th 2018 at 4:53:10 PM

I got one more

  • In Dragon Ball, Kami's Lookout is located in the upper levels of Earth's atmosphere. The Guardian of the Earth can look down and monitor the state of the Earth below checking for trouble. In times of peril it can also be used as a refuge for the major characters.

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