Howard Phillips Lovecraft - Cults Of Cthulhu (304.0 Kb)
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Cthulhu represents the Abyss of the subconscious or dreaming mind, and astrologically by the sign of Scorpio. Ceremonially, he is referred to the West (Amenta, or the Place of the Dead in ancient Egyptian religion), and geographically, to the site of R'lyeh in the South Pacific (the exact coordinates for which are to be found in 'The Call of Cthulhu'.)Cthulhu is an underlying pattern in Lovecraft's works. In the central theme of 'The Call of Cthulhu', written in 1926, this design is clearly revealed. The subject of the story... More >>>
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Cthulhu represents the Abyss of the subconscious or dreaming mind, and astrologically by the sign of Scorpio. Ceremonially, he is referred to the West (Amenta, or the Place of the Dead in ancient Egyptian religion), and geographically, to the site of R'lyeh in the South Pacific (the exact coordinates for which are to be found in 'The Call of Cthulhu'.)
Cthulhu is an underlying pattern in Lovecraft's works. In the central theme of 'The Call of Cthulhu', written in 1926, this design is clearly revealed. The subject of the story is the suggestion that, at certain times when the conjunctions of the stars assume the correct aspect, certain dark forces can influence sensitive individuals, giving them visions of 'the Great Old Ones', godlike aliens of extraterrestrial origin. These entities exist in another dimension, or on a different vibrational level, and can only enter this universe though specific 'window areas' or psychic gateways - a concept fundamental to many occult traditions. Cthulhu is the High Priest of the Old Ones, entombed in the sunken city of R'lyeh, where he awaits the time of their return. He is described as a winged, tentacled anthropoid of immense size, formed from a semi-viscous substance which recombines after his apparent destruction at the conclusion of the tale. The narrative also gives evidence, drawn from various archaeological and mythological sources, of the continuing existence of a cult dedicated to the return of the Old Ones, its exponents ranging from inhabitants of the South Seas Islands to the angakoks of Greenland, and practitioners of voodoo in the Southern United States.
There is a marked similarity between this passage and the teachings of many actual secret societies of the past, including the Assassins, the Gnostics, and the Templars, but in particular to the 'Law of Thelema', as expounded by Lovecraft's contemporary, Aleister Crowley. The main distinction is one of moral interpretation -- whereas Lovecraft regarded his ancient gods as essentially evil, Crowley saw the return of such atavistic deities as being in full accord with 'the progression of the Aeons".
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 - March 15, 1937) was an American author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, known then simply as weird fiction.
HP Lovecraft was one of the early exponents of horror fantasy, best known for the series of works known collectively as the Cthulhu Mythos. He peppered his books with references to an occult work called The Necronomicon, and, as his fame grew, he was besieged by readers asking where they could find a copy of it. But the truth was that Lovecraft had invented the book and its title. He wrote in a letter of 1937: 'The name Necronomicon (necros, corpse; nomos, law; eikon, image = An Image of the Law of the Dead) occurred to me in the course of a dream, although the etymology is perfectly sound.' So the title came before everything else, and substituted, perfectly reasonably, for the work itself.
This is a game that many writers have played, and the history of literature is full of references to books that don't, in fact, exist. Margaret Atwood, AS Byatt, Dorothy L Sayers, Frank Herbert, Martin Amis, Arthur Conan Doyle and many, many others have all joined in. Some of my favourite fictional titles are from Kurt Vonnegut, who, as Kilgore Trout, writes non-existent works such as The Barring-Gaffner of Bagnialto, or This Year's Masterpiece, which are usually accompanied by helpful plot summaries. Perhaps the most notorious fictional-book-inventors have been writers such as Umberto Eco and Jorge Luis Borges; naturally enough, since their writing often draws attention to literature as itself an artefact.
With the Necronomicon there was a difference, however. Other writers began to treat it as if it really did exist, quoting from the nonexistent work and even composing large sections of it; several Necronomicons were in fact later published, by hoaxers including L. Sprague De Camp and Colin Wilson.
Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror, the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a series of loosely interconnected fiction featuring a pantheon of human-nullifying entities, as well as the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire of magical rites and forbidden lore. His works were deeply pessimistic and cynical, challenging the values of the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Christian humanism. Lovecraft's protagonists usually achieve the mirror-opposite of traditional gnosis and mysticism by momentarily glimpsing the horror of ultimate reality.
Although Lovecraft's readership was limited during his life, his reputation has grown over the decades, and he is now commonly regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century, who together with Edgar Allan Poe has exerted "an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction". Stephen King has called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.