Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lovecraft's Necronomicon

Cthulhu

H. P. Lovecraft is a master of Gothic horror and the occult manuscript Necronomicon which he refers to in several of his stories is a literary invention. All works purported to be translations of the Necronomicon are also works of fiction. However Lovecraft drew his inspiration from real sources which go back thousands of years.

The Old Ones

"That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die."
- Abdul Alhazred, Necronomicon
(from H. P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", 1926)

The Necronomicon, tell of the Old Ones who arrived on the primal earth from "dark stars". When land appeared they swarmed from the oceans to build cities at the poles and raise temples to those cursed by the Gods. Their ghoulish spawn ruled the earth until the Elder Lords, appalled at their abominations, acted:

"...casting Them forth from the Earth to the Void beyond the planes where chaos reigns and form abideth not. And the Elder Lords set Their seal upon the Gateway and the power of the Old Ones prevailest not against its might.
Loathsome Cthulhu rose then from the deeps and raged with exceeding great fury against the Earth Guardians. And They bound his venomous claws with potent spells and sealed him up within the City of R'lyeh wherein beneath the waves he shall sleep death's dream until the end of the Aeon."
- Dr. John Dee, Liber Logaeth
(Note: Lovecraft asserted that Liber Logaeth was an English translation of the original Necronomicon, which had appeared in Arabic.

"Lovecraft's myth of the Great Old Ones has much in common with the ancient belief, recorded in the Book of Enoch, that human beings were given many kinds of occult and forbidden knowledge by fallen angels who coupled with women to create demonic entities (Lovecraft recycles this legend as The Dunwich Horror). These abominations were cleansed from the Earth by the first flood (Noah's) and the rebel angels were imprisoned in another dimension awaiting a time of judgement. This legend overlaps with the Book of Revelations, which tells what happens to the rebel angels and humanity at the end of time."
- Colin Low, The Necronomicon and Ontological Pressure

"In all probability Cthulhu is based on the Norwegian myth of the Kraken, a legendary monster thought to live under the waves of the northern seas."
-Philip A. Shreffer, The H.P. Lovecraft Companion

"Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth; faintest sunlights fell
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die."
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, "The Kraken"

In exile with their Master Azathoth, "Lord of All", in the chaotic Void, the Old Ones bide the day until they return to rule earth once again.

"Azathoth is the 'ultimate nuclear chaos', at 'the center of infinity'. It is from the Throne of Azathoth that the aimless waves, 'whose chance combining gives each frail cosmos its eternal law', originate from."
- Parker Ryan "Necronomicon Info Source"

"However, before the complete influx of these elder forces into our present space-time continuum can be facillated, the secret and primal gateways must be located, and opened, to allow access from 'outside the circles of time'. This gateway has been glyphed by Lovecraft as one of the Great Old Ones themselves - 'the noxious Yog-Sothoth who froths as primal slime in nuclear chaos beyond the nethermost outpost of space and time'.
- Tenebrous, "The Aeon of Cthulhu Rising"

"Yog-Sothoth is coterminous with ALL time and space. In Through the Gates of the Silver Key Lovecraft describes Yog-Sothoth thus:'an All in One and One in All of limitless being and self-the last, utter sweep which has no confines and which outreaches fancy and mathematics alike. ' Past, present, future all are one in Yog-Sothoth."
"HPL researcher Philip A. Shreffler states in The H.P. Lovecraft Companion that the acting principles of Yog-Sothoth and Azathoth are 'infinite expansion and infinite contraction' respectively"
- Parker Ryan "Necronomicon Info Source"

Choronzon: "Guardian of and 'Dweller in the Abyss' (Demon of Dispersion) = 333 (Noznoroch). Crowley called him the 'first and deadliest of all the powers of evil', sole inhabitant of the Abyss [Da'ath], capable of assuming any shape, the very Lord of Chaos."
- The Magicians Dictionary

"333 is the Cabalistic number of 'that mighty devil, [Coronzon],' who once afflicted Dr. Dee in the 17th Century and gave Aleister himself a rough time in Bou Saada, North Africa, 1909, as recounted in The Vision and the Voice, by Aleister Crowley.."
- Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati

"As Guardian of the Gate, he [Yog-Sothoth] is synonymous with Choronzon. The 'nethermost outpost', itself an opening or window to the dimensionality of the Great Old Ones (Universe B), is the star Sothis, or Sirius."
- Tenebrous, "The Aeon of Cthulhu Rising"

"It is now possible to see the continous flow and evolution of Aeons occuring simultaenously and passing over into the world of anti-matter. The Yog (or Yug .. an aeon or age ..) of Sothoth is the counterpoint - as the Aeon of Set- Thoth, or DA'ATH - of its Twin, the Yug-Hoor, or Aeon of Horus. Yog-Sothoth is the Gate through the aeons to the Star-Source beyond Yuggoth, the Yug or Aeon of Goth."
- Kenneth Grant, Outside the Circles of Time, p. 214

"The knowledge and formula by which this gateway can be reopened can therefore be only apprehended through the negative vortex of DA'ATH. In the case of Lovecraft himself, who in waking life vehemently denied the verdical nature of the material with which he was dealing, the process of appropriation was almost completely subconscious, occuring through the medium of dream-experiences. As would be expected, the visitation of such unhuman and ultracosmic revelations took the form of the most hideous nightmares."
- Tenebrous, "The Aeon of Cthulhu Rising"

"That cult would never die until the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild, and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and reveling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom."
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", (1926)

The Occult Secrets of Alhazred

(1) "The Mad Arab"

Necronomicon: "Original title Al Azif being the word used by the Arabs to designate that nocturnal sound (made by insects) supposed to be the howling of demons."
"Composed by Abdul Alhazred, a mad poet of Sanaa, in Yemen, who is said to have flourished in the time of the Ommiade Caliphs, circa A.D. 700."
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The History and Chronology of the Necronomicon"

According to Lovecraft's history, Abdul Alhazred "travelled widely, from Alexandria to the Punjab, and was well read. He had a flair for languages, and boasts on many occasions of his ability to read and translate manuscripts which defied lesser scholars.Just as Nostradamus used ritual magic to probe the future, so Alhazred used similar techniques (and an incense composed of olibanum, storax, dictamnus, opium and hashish) to clarify the past, and it is this, combined with a lack of references, which resulted in the Necronomicon being dismissed as largely worthless by historians."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

"Lovecraft told his colleagues that he stole the name 'Al Azif' from another author as a joke, and that the name 'Al-Hazred' was a pun on his mother's maiden name, Hazard."
- Kendrick Kerwin Chua, "The Necronomicon - FAQ Version 2.0"

"Abdul is a favourite dream-character of mine--indeed that is what I used to call myself when I was five years old and a transported devotee of Andrew Lang's version of the Arabian Nights. A few years ago I prepared a mock-erudite synopsis of Abdul's life, and of the posthumous vicissitudes and translations of his hideous and unmentionable work Al Azif ...--a synopsis which I shall follow in future references to the dark and accursed thing."
- H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Robert E. Howard (August 14, 1930)

"The name 'Abdul Alhazred' is one which some adult (I can't recall who) devised for me when I was 5 years old & eager to be an Arab after reading the Arabian Nights. Years later I thought it would be fun to use it as the name of a forbidden-book author."
- H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Harry O. Fischer (late February, 1937)

Alhazred "is often referred to as 'the mad Arab', and while he was certainly eccentric by modern standards, there is no evidence to substantiate a claim of madness, (other than a chronic inability to sustain a train of thought for more than a few paragraphs before leaping off at a tangent)."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

"HPL wrote that Alhazred's title was 'Mad Poet'. 'Mad' is usually written majnun in Arabic. Majnun means 'mad' today. However, in the eighth century (Alhazred's time) it meant 'Possessed by Jinn' [the Old Ones]."
- Parker Ryan "Necronomicon Info Source"

"Alhazred appears to have had access to many sources now lost, and events which are only hinted at in the Book of Genesis or the apocryphal Book of Enoch, or disguised as mythology in other sources, are explored in great detail."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

"And I proceeded to where things were chaotic. And I saw there something horrible: I saw neither a heaven above nor a firmly founded earth, but a place chaotic and horrible. And there I saw seven stars of the heaven bound together in it, like great mountains and burning with fire. Then I said: 'For what sin are they bound, and on what account have they been cast in hither?' Then said Uriel, one of the holy angels, who was with me, and was chief over them, and said: 'Enoch, why dost thou ask, and why art thou eager for the truth? These are of the number of the stars of heaven, which have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and are bound here till ten thousand years, the time entailed by their sins, are consummated."
Book of Enoch 21:1-7a

"Alhazred may have used dubious magical techniques to clarify the past, but he also shared with 5th. century B.C. Greek writers such as Thucydides a critical mind and a willingness to explore the meanings of mythological and sacred stories. His speculations are remarkably modern, and this may account for his current popularity: he believed that many species besides the human race had inhabited the Earth, and that much knowledge was passed to mankind in encounters with being from other 'spheres'. He shared with some neo-platonists the belief that stars are like our sun, and have their own unseen planets with their own lifeforms, but elaborated this belief with a good deal of metaphysical speculation in which these beings were part of a cosmic hierarchy of spiritual evolution. He was also convinced that he had contacted these 'Old Ones' using magical invocations, and warned of terrible powers waiting to return to re-claim the Earth - he interpretated this belief in the light of the Apocalypse of St. John, but reversed the ending so that the Beast triumphs after a great war in which the earth is laid waste."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

"He [Alhazred] visited the ruins of Babylon and the subterranean secrets of Memphis and spent ten years alone in the great southern desert of Arabia-the Roba el Khaliye or 'Empty Space' of the ancients and 'Dahna' or 'Crimson Desert' of the modern Arabs, which is held to be inhabited by protective evil spirits and monsters of death. Of this desert many strange and unbelievable marvels are told by those who pretend to have penetrated it. In his last years Alhazred dwelt in Damascus, where the Necronomicon (Al Azif) was written and of his final death or disappearance (738 A.D.) many terrible and conflicting things are told. He is said by Ebn Khallikan (12th century biographer) to have been seized by an invisible monster in broad daylight and devoured horribly before a large number of fright-frozen witnesses. Of his madness many things are told. He claimed to have seen the fabulous Irem or city of Pillars, and to have found beneath the ruins of a certain nameless desert town the shocking annals and secrets of a race older than mankind. He was only an indifferent Moslem, worshipping unknown deities whom he called Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu."
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The History and Chronology of the Necronomicon"

(2) Barbarous Names

"Alhazred is said (by HPL) to have journeyed to Egypt in search of occult secrets. This is consistent with the time frame that it was supposed to have ocured in. Between the fourth century and the tenth century Near Eastern scholars interested in magickal matters viewed Egypt as an invaluable source of information. During this time many corrupt Egyptian words and phrases entered magical writings. Gnostic, Coptic, and Greco-Egyptian word formulas were incorporated in great number into existing Arab magickal systems.....It has been suggested that some of the Barbarous names used in Lovecraft's fiction might indeed be corrupt Egyptian word formulas. Particularly Yog-Sothoth, Azathoth, and Nyarlathotep are said to have an Egyptian origin. (Note the obviously Egyptian endings 'hotep' and 'thoth'.)"
"Azathoth is said to be derived from Asa-thoth. The Rites of the Gods states that Asa translates as 'source' from ancient Egyptian and Thoth (Tehut) is of course the popular god name. Asa is an alternate name of Thoth....(He is considered the "source" because of his association with the beginning of time). Ausaa-Thoth or Aasaa-Thoth is translated as the intelligence of Thoth."

"Cthulhu is very close to the Arabic word Khadhulu (also spelled al qhadhulu). Khadhulu (al qhadhulu) is translated as 'Forsaker' or 'Abandoner'. Many Sufis and Muqarribun writings make use of this term (Abandoner). In Sufi and Muqarribun writings 'abandoner' refers to the power that fuels the practices of Tajrid 'outward detachment' and Tafrid 'interior solitude'."
- Parker Ryan, "Necronomicon Info Source"

"Mankind, Shaitan is Khadhulu."
- Quran 25:29

"By the time Mohammad was writing Shaitan was being called 'the Old Serpent (dragon)' and 'the Lord of the Abyss'. The Old Serpent or Old Dragon is, according to experts such as E.A. Budge and S.N. Kramer, Leviathan [Hebrew]. Leviathan is Lotan [Canaanite]. Lotan traces to Tietan. Tietan, we are told by the authorities on Near Easern mythology is a later form of Tiamat. According to the experts the Dragon of the Abyss called Shaitan is the same Dragon of the Agyss named Tiamat."
- Parker Ryan , "Necronomicon Info Source"

"The dragon is an abandoner for he leaves all that is sacred. The dragon goes here and there without pause."
- The Book of Annihilation (an Arabic text on magick)

One of the titles of the Dragon is Lord of the Abyss. "The title Lord of the Abyss translated into Sumerian is 'Kutulu'. Kutu means 'Underworld' or 'Abyss' and Lu is Sumerian for 'Lord' or 'Person of importance'.... Indeed the ruler of the Abyss (kutu) in Sumeria was the Old Dragon Mumu-Tiamat."
- Parker Ryan "Necronomicon Info Source"

"Some...link Kingu (Qingu) with the Ancient Ones by assigning him the status of general for the Ancient Ones in their war against the Elder Gods (which this myth supposedly represents.) Though these groups claim to be servants of the Elder gods, they worship Tiamat as a benevolent creatrix, ignoring the fact that it was Tiamat who appointed Kingu HER general in the Enuma Elis [the Babylonian Epic of Creation], leading to the conclusion that Tiamat was an Ancient One and therefore that this group worshipped the Ancient Ones while claiming to serve the Elder Gods."
- Adapa, "The Necronomicon and Ancient Sumer: Dubunking the Myth"

"Another race is the Deep Ones who are a type of amphibious creature resembling a mixture of a fish, a frog and man. The Deep Ones worship a god called Dagon. Dagon is a deity resembling a giant Deep One. Dagon and the Deep Ones seem to be Allied in some way with Cthulhu."
"Arab myth mentions mysterious fish-men from the sea of Karkar. These fish-men are probably derivative of the myths related to the actual Near Eastern god Dagon. Dagon is a Philistine deity that appears as a giant fish-man. Dagon is a later version of the Babylonian Oannes."
- Parker Ryan "Necronomicon Info Source"

Oannes was a repulsive amphibius being who came from space in an egg shaped vehicle. The fragments of text that survive are a Babylonian retelling of a much more ancient Sumerian tale. Six thousand years ago or so, the Vela supernova was an awe inspiring sight from the earth. It was then, according to legend, that powerful beings or "Watchers" came from the sky, taught humans the arts of civilization, then made them their slaves.
According to Robert Temple in his Sirius Mystery, astronomical knowledge imparted by the Oannes is preserved by the tribal Dogon people today.

"The Greek and Latin Translations"

"In A.D. 950 the Azif, which had gained a considerable though surreptitious circulation amongst the philosophers of the age, was secretly translated into Greek by Theodorus Philetas of Constantinople under the title Necronomicon."
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The History and Chronology of the Necronomicon"

"The name Necronomicon ...occurred to me in the course of a dream."
- H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Harry O. Fischer (late February, 1937)

"This title [Necronomicon] is translated as 'the Book (or image) of the Practices of the Dead'; Necro being Greek for 'Dead' and Nomos meaning 'practices', 'customs' or 'rules' (as in astronomy) ."
- Parker Ryan, "The Necronomicon and Ancient Arab Magick"

"For a century it impelled certain experimenters to terrible attempts, when it was suppressed and burnt by the patriarch Michael. After this it is only heard of furtively, but (1228) Olaus Wormius made a Latin translation later in the Middle Ages."
"The work, both Latin and Greek, was banned by Pope Gregory IX in 1232, shortly after its Latin translation, which called attention to it."
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The History and Chronology of the Necronomicon"

"A Latin translation was made in 1487 by a Dominican priest Olaus Wormius. Wormius, a German by birth, was a secretary to the first Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, Tomas de Torquemada, and it is likely that the manuscript of the Necronomicon was seized during the persecution of Moors ('Moriscos') who had been converted to Catholism under duress; this group was deemed to be unsufficiently pure in its beliefs. .
"It was an act of sheer folly for Wormius to translate and print the Necronomicon at that time and place. The book must have held an obsessive fascination for the man, because he was finally charged with heresy and burned after sending a copy of the book to Johann Tritheim, Abbot of Spanheim (better known as 'Trithemius'); the accompanying letter contained a detailed and blasphemous interpretation of certain passages in the Book of Genesis. Virtually all the copies of Wormius's translation were seized and burned with him, although there is the inevitable suspicion that at least one copy must have found its way into the Vatican Library."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

"...The Latin text was printed twice - once in the 15th century in block letter (evidently in German) and once in the 17th (probably Spanish); both editions being without identifying marks, and located as to time and place by internal typographic evidence only.
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The History and Chronology of the Necronomicon"

"It was written in seven volumes, and runs to over 900 pages in the Latin edition."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

"Of the Latin texts now existing one (15th century) is known to be in the British Museum under lock and key, which another (17th century) is in the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris. A 17th century edition is in the Widener Library at Harvard, and in the Library of Miskatonic University at Arkham; also in the library of the University of Buenos Aires.
"Numerous other copies probably exist in secret, and a 15th century one is persistently rumored to form part of the collection of a celebrated American millionaire. A still vaguer rumor credits the preservation of a 16th century Greek text in the Salem family of Pickman; but if it was so preserved, it vanished with the artist R. U. Pickman , who disappeared early in 1926. The book is rigidly suppressed by the authorities of most countries, and by all branches of organized ecclesiasticism. Reading leads to terrible consequences. It was from rumors of this book (of which relatively few of the general public know) that R. W. Chambers is said to have derived the idea of his early novelThe King in Yellow."
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The History and Chronology of the Necronomicon"

Dee's Liber Logaeth

"They have walked amidst the stars and They have walked the Earth. The City of Irem in the great desert has known Them; Leng in the Cold Waste has seen Their passing, the timeless citadel upon the cloud-veiled heights of unknown Kadath beareth Their mark. Wantonly the Old Ones trod the ways of darkness and Their blasphemies were great upon the Earth; all creation bowed beneath Their might and knew Them for Their wickedness."
- Liber Logaeth (translated by Dr. John Dee)

"The Latin text came into the possession of Dr. John Dee in the sixteenth century. Dr. Dee made the only English translation of the Necronomicon known."
- Parker Ryan, "The Necronomicon and Ancient Arab Magick"

"Dr. John Dee, the famous English magician, and his assistant Edward Kelly were at the court of the Emperor Rudolph II to discuss plans for making alchemical gold, and Kelly bought the copy from the so-called 'Black Rabbi' and Kabbalist, Jacob Eliezer, who had fled to Prague from Italy after accusations of necromancy. At that time Prague had become a magnet for magicians, alchemists and charletons of every kind under the patronage of Rudolph, and it is hard to imagine a more likely place in Europe for a copy to surface."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

Dee and Kelly's "Enochian system" has many parallels with HPL. Schueler asserts that the Enochian tradition proposes the existence of a God or Force which is the manifestation of Infinite Space similar to Crowley's Nuit and HPL's Yog-Sototh. Schueler also contends that The Divine manifestation of the nuclear point at the center of infinity (equivalent to Hadit or Azathoth) is also important to Enochian magick. The Enochian Keys state that the wold is nearing an eon spanning Cycle in which Ancient Gods will return to there throne and the world will be forever changed. These keys also mention an imprisoned dragon (Cthulhu?)"
- Parker Ryan , "Necronomicon Info Source"

"The Necronomicon appears to have had a marked influence on Kelly; the character of his scrying changed, and he produced an extraordinary communication which struck horror into the Dee household...Kelly left Dee shortly afterwards. Dee translated the Necronomicon into English while warden of Christ's College, Manchester..."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

"An English translation made by Dr. Dee was never printed, and exists only in fragments recovered from the original MS."
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The History and Chronology of the Necronomicon"

"...The manuscript passed into the collection of the great collector Elias Ashmole, and hence to the Bodleian Library in Oxford."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

"Dee's cipher manuscript was called Liber Logaeth, and was evidently "a portion of a larger manuscript, the origin and nature of which is not known. Due to its history and the similarity in content to the Cthulhu Mythos, this document has been presented...as being, at least a portion of, the document which was the inspiration for HPL's Necronomicon."
- Ken Ottinger

COMPARISON OF TEXTS
Dee's Liber Logaeth HPL's Necronomicon

Of Ye Old Ones and their Spawn
The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are and the Old Ones shall be. From the dark stars They came ere man was born, unseen and loathsome They descended to primal earth.

Nor is it to be thought that man is either the oldest or the last of Earth's masters, or that the common bulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be.

Beneath the oceans They brooded while ages past, till seas gave up the land, whereupon They swarmed forth in Their multitudes and darkness ruled the Earth. At the frozen Poles They raised mighty cities, and upon high places the temples of Those whome nature owns not and the Gods have cursed.

The ice desert of the South and the sunken isles of Ocean hold stones whereon Their seal is engraven, but who hath seen the deep frozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed and barnacles?

Great Cthulhuis Their brother, the shaggoths Their slaves. The Dholes do homage unto Them in the nighted vale of Pnoth and Gugs sing Their praises beneath the peaks of ancient Throk.

Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he spy Them only dimly. lŠ! Shub-Niggurath!

Beyond the Gate dwell now the Old Ones; not in the spaces known unto men but in the angles betwixt them. Outside Earth's plane They linger and ever awaite the time of Their return; for the Earth has known Them and shall know Them in time yet to come.

Not in the spaces we know, but between them. They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen.

And the Old Ones hold foul and formless Azathoth for Their Master and Abide with Him in the black cavern at the centre of all infinity, where he gnaws ravenously in ultimate chaos amid the mad beating of hidden drums, the tuneless piping of hideous flutes and the ceaseless bellowing of blind idiot gods that shamble and gesture aimlessly for ever.

They walk unseen and foul in lonely places where the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. The wind gibbers with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Their consciousness. They bend the forest and crush the city, yet may; not forest or city behold the hand that smites.

The soul of Azathoth dwelleth in Yog-sothoth and He shall beckon unto the Old Ones when the stars mark the time of Their coming; for Yog-sothoth is the Gate through which Those of the Void will re-enter. Yog-sothoth knowest the mazes of of time, for all time is one unto Him. He knowest where the Old Ones came forth in time along long past and where They shall come forth again when the cycle returneth.

Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again.

After day cometh night; man's day shall pass, and They shall rule where They once ruled. As foulness you shall know them and Their accursedness shall stain the Earth.

Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, and after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again.

The quotes from Lovecraft were taken from his short story "The Dunwich Horror" ( 1928). Lovecraft attributes the source of his material to Olaus Wormius' Latin version of Abdul Alhazred's Necronomicon, as printed in Spain in the 17th century. Note how Dee's Liber Logaeth places the return of the Old Ones at some indeterminate future while in Lovecraft's version, They are coming soon (and in his stories have already arrived.) For the text of Olaus Wormius' version click here.

Dee's Liber Logaeth is also known as the Book of Enoch and is preserved in the following manuscripts:

"London, British Library: Sloane MS. 3189. Dee's 'Liber mysteriorum sextus et sanctus' in Edward Kelley's handwriting (1583). The clean copy of 'Liber Logaeth', 65 folios containing 101 complex magic squares, 96 of which comprised of 49 x 49 cells containing Latin letters and Arabic numerals, and 4 of 36 x 72 cells containing only Latin letters (these in Dee's hand), plus 2 blank 49 x 49 grids.
"London, British Library: Sloane MS. 2599, art. 1. A partial transcription of 'Liber mysteriorum sextus et sanctus' in at least two different hands. One of them may be Ashmole's.
"London, British Library: Sloane MS. 78, art. 11. An excerpt from Dee's 'Liber mysteriorum sextus et sanctus'. A partial transcription of the first few leaves of MS. 3189 without any tables. The same material is also to be found in 'Mysteriorum Liber Quintus' in Sloane MS. 3188."
- Introductory bibliography of Enochian and diary MSS of John Dee

"No one as yet has made serious attempts to use it, or to understand its nature beyond what is recorded in the diaries. According to the angels, 'logaeth' means 'speech from God'; this book is supposed to be, literally, the words by which God created all things. It is supposedly the language in which the 'true names' of all things are known, giving power over them.
"As described in Liber Mysteriorum Quintis, the book was to consist of 48 leaves, each of which contains a 49-by-49 grid. The book as actually presented to Kelly is somewhat different. It contains 49 'Calls' in an unknown language, 95 tables of squares filled with letters and numbers, two similar tables unfilled, and four tables drawn twice as large as the others. Two 'leaves' are recorded in Liber Mysteriorum Quintis, these are not included in the final book, and apparently serve as an introduction or prologue to the work."
- Benjamin Rowe, Enochian Magick Reference

The leaves in "Liber mysteriorum sextus et sanctus" comprise strings of unintelligible words supposedly written in "Enochian" language " that had been revealed to Dr. John Dee by the Angels". Below is a selection from the text:

Leaf 4a Zvbla ox arnogan Algers aclo.
Leaf 4b Danfal gest Axamph acrosta.
Leaf 5a Gonzahoh alch arge oho Adanch.
Leaf 5b Zvchastors plohodmax argednon acho
(Click here for the full text.)

"On the surface, the 'Calls' of Liber Logaeth do not appear to be a language as humans understand the term. There are no translations by which this might be judged in detail, but the text lacks the repetitiveness and consistent word-placement that is characteristic of the 48 Enochian Calls given in the next year. There is no apparent 'grammar' to the text. Donald Laycock remarks that the language is highly alliterative and repetitively rhyming, while Robert Turner calls it 'glossolalic'. The angels said that each element of each table could be understood in 49 different ways, so that there were that many 'languages' in it, all of them being spoken at once.
"The purpose of Logaeth was said to be the ushering in of a new age on Earth, the last age before the end of all things. Instructions for using it to that effect were never given; the angels continually put it off, saying that only God could decide when the time was right."
- Benjamin Rowe, Enochian Magick Reference

David Langford claims to have deciphered the Liber Logaeth and his translation in English appears in a book called Necronomicon, co-written with Robert Turner and Colin Wilson. This book, however, was an admitted spoof of Lovecraft's Necronomicon. (Click here for details.)

For real correspondences between Lovecraft's mythos, Dee's angelic writings and the apocryphal Book of Enoch, see:

The Missing Texts

"No Arabic manuscript is known to exist; the author Idries Shah carried out a search in the libraries of Deobund in India, Al-Azhar in Egypt, and the Library of the Holy City of Mecca, without success."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

"The Arabic original was lost as early as Wormius' time, as indicated by his prefatory note (there is, however, a vague account of a secret copy appearing in San Francisco during the present century but later perishing by fire); and no sight of the Greek copy - which was printed in Italy between 1500 and 1550 - has been reported since the burning of a certain Salem man's library in 1692."
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The History and Chronology of the Necronomicon"

"Nathan of Gaza precipitated one of the most profound events in the history of Judaism. In 1665, while only 21 or 22 years old, he proclaimed that Sabbatai Tzevi was the Messiah."
Nathan also wrote the Sepher ha-Sha'are ha-Daath, a commentary on the Book of the Alhazred. "Nathan's purpose appears to have been to develop a methodology for a systematic exploration of the realms of the Klippoth [husks or shells of materiality which ensnare the spirit], as part of his mission to redeem the sparks [concentrated shards of the original creation], using some of Alhazred's techniques. It is an extraordinary development of Alhazred's work, identifying the Klippoth with the primordial Old Ones."
"Nathan developed a huge following and for many years Judaism was riven with charges of heresy. Many prominent Rabbis and community leaders sided with Nathan, and it took most of a century for the drama to unwind. Eventually the Sabbatean movement went underground, and while it is a certainty that a copy of the Sepher ha-Sha'are ha-Daath exists in a private library somewhere, no one is admitting that they have it."

"In the years from 1933-38 the few known copies of the Necronomicon simply disappeared; someone in the German government of Adolph Hitler took an interest in obscure occult literature and began to obtain copies by fair means or foul. Dee's translation disappeared from the Bodleian following a break-in in the spring of 1934. The British Museum suffered several abortive burglaries, and the Wormius edition was deleted from the catalogue and removed to an underground repository in a converted slate mine in Wales (where the Crown Jewels were stored during the 1939-45 war). Other libraries lost their copies, and today there is no library with a genuine catalogue entry for the Necronomicon. The current whereabouts of copies of the Necronomicon is unknown; there is a story of a large wartime cache of occult and magical documents in the Osterhorn area near Salzburg.
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ."
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

Sorting Fact from Fiction

(1) Spoofs, Jokes and the Magickal Tradition

"In their spoof Necronomicon, authors Langford, Turner, and Wilson suggested that Liber Loagaeth was actually a cipher version of the Evil Book, which they had managed to decode. Neither of these ideas is supported by the records.
"Colin Low has perpetuated and embellished these fictional excursions in his 'Necronomicon Anti-FAQ' and other writings. Some modern readers, lacking a sense of humor and irony, have taken his work seriously; as a consequence, the myth of Dee's connection with the book has taken on an air of Utter Authority among certain gullible portions of the magickal community."
- Josh Norton, "Enochian Magick Reference Document 2.0"

"Lovecraft denied that the book existed, and wrote as a joke a paper titled 'A History of the Necronomicon', giving a chronology of the book, names, and places. The name of the book is supposedly bastardized Greek and Latin, which roughly translates into 'The Book of Dead Names' (i.e., ikon = book, necro = die or dead, and nom = name)."
- Kendrick Kerwin Chua, "The Necronomicon - FAQ Version 2.0"

"Regarding the solemnly cited myth-cycle of Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, R'lyeh, Nyarlathotep, Nug, Yeb, Shub-Niggurath, etc., etc.- let me confess that this is all a synthetic concotion of my own, like the populous and varied pantheon of Lord Dunsany's Pegana . The reason for its echoes in Dr. de Castro's work is that the latter gentleman is a revision-client of mine--into whose tales I have stuck these glancing references for sheer fun. If any other clients of mine get work placed in W.T., you will perhaps find a still-wider spread of the cult of Azathoth, Cthulhu, and the Great Old Ones! The Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred is likewise something which must yet be written in order to possess objective reality."
- H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Robert E. Howard (August 14, 1930)

"Regarding the Necronomicon--I must confess that this monstrous & abhorred volume is merely a figment of my own imagination! Inventing horrible books is quite a pastime among devotees of the weird, &...many of the regular W.T. contributors have such things to their credit--or discredit. It rather amuses the different writers to use one another's synthetic demons & imaginary books in their stories--so that Clark Ashton Smith often speaks of my Necronomicon while I refer to his Book of Eibon . . & so on. This pooling of resources tends to build up quite a pseudo-convincing background of dark mythology, legendry, & bibliography--though of course none of us has the least wish actually to mislead readers."
- H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Miss Margaret Sylvester (January 13, 1934)

"When we then turn to the text referred to as the Necronomicon by H.P. Lovecraft, we are hard-pressed to render a 'verdict' as to its legitimacy. If indeed the text preceded Lovecraft, then this does not guarantee that it has come down to us unedited. If the idea and title were used by Lovecraft as a result of suggestions from others without an extant text, then perhaps its 'source consciousness' hid the text until a later time. If Lovecraft fabricated even the IDEA of the tome along with its title, then perhaps he was simply a 'third party' to a state of consciousness which we may never assess."
- Kendrick Kerwin Chua, "The Necronomicon - FAQ Version 2.0"

It is possible that Lovecraft was concealing an occult source of information for his writings.

"The books of the The Order of the Golden Dawn, "The Equinox and The Golden Dawn, are important to a study of H. P. Lovecraft for several reasons. First, they are the closest thing to Lovecraft's Necronomicon to be produced in this century. Second, in his study of occult material, it is not impossible that Lovecraft may have come into contact with The Equinox. In fact, the Widener Library at Harvard owns Volume 1, Number 5 (March 1911), of The Equinox, which was received at the library on December 31, 1917, placing it easily within Lovecraft's reach. And third, there is a kind of peripheral connection between Lovecraft and the Golden Dawn in that several of his favorite weird fiction writers belonged to it. Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood, both of whom Lovecraft praised (albeit to different degrees) in 'Supernatural Horror in Literature', were prominent members of the order, as were Sax Rohmer, Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, and Robert Louis Stevenson."

"Since the publication in 1938 of H. P. Lovecraft's essay on the Necronomicon, at least one more copy of this obviously rare book has surfaced and is now in the collection of the [John Hay] Library at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Printed by the Owl's Wick Press at Philadelphia in 1973, this modern edition of the Necronomicon appears to be a facsimile of the original Arabic text that Lovecraft presumed lost by the year A. D. 1050. A problematical aspect of the Brown University copy, however, is that the text, though appearing to the untrained eye to be in Arabic, is actually in a language known to Semitic scholars as Duraic. Unfortunately, there has, to date, been no successful completion of a translation."
-Philip A. Shreffer, The H.P. Lovecraft Companion

(2) The Mesopotamian Connection

The "Great Beast" Aleister Crowley interpreted the horrifying communication by Kelly (under the influence of the Necronomicon four centuries earlier) "as the abortive first attempt of an extra-human entity to communicate thelemic Book of the Law."
"There is no question that Crowley read Dee's translation of the Necronomicon in the Ashmolean, probably while researching Dee's papers; too many passages in Crowley's Book of the Law read like a transcription of passages in that translation."
- Colin Low, Necronomicon FAQ
(Compiled from The Book of the Arab, by Justin Geoffry, Starry Wisdom Press, 1979)

COMPARISON OF TERMINOLOGY
H.P. Lovecraft Aleister Crowley Ancient Sumer
CthulhuThe Great BeastCtha-lu, Kutulu represented in "CTH/\H 666"
The Ancient OnesSatan; TeitanTiamat
AzathothAiwass (?)Azag-thoth
The Dunwitch HorrorChoronzonPazuzu
Shub NiggurathPanShub Ishniggarab (?)
Out Of SpaceThe AbyssAbsu; Nar Mattaru
IA!IO! IAO! IA (Jah; Ea; Lord of Waters)
The Five-pointed star cavernThe PentagramThe AR, or UB (Plough Sign: the original gray pentagram and sign of the Aryan Race)
Vermis MysteriisThe SerpentErim (the enemy; and the sea as Chaos;
Gothic: Orim, or Worm Great

From "The Coroner presents the Necronomicron"

"Succinctly stated: there are no 'Ancient One' in Sumerian Religion or mythology. Similarly, there are no 'Elder Gods'. Additionally, there exists no written record of any god, demon, or lesser figure whose names resemble those of the Chthonic pantheon. Some have advanced the proposition that Cthulhu is taken from the eponym Kutu-lu, a mangled rendering of 'man of Kutha'. This would suggest that Cthulhu is supposedly a title of Nergal, the patron deity of the city of Kutha in ancient Mesopotamia. Yet nowhere in any extant text is this title referred to. In fact, nowhere in any tablet is any god of the Mesopotamian pantheon referred to under the title 'man of...' Such a base descriptive was unheard of as a divine appellation."
- Adapa, "The Necronomicon and Ancient Sumer: Dubunking the Myth"

There is disagreement whether "Kutulu" should be translated as "man of Kutha" or "Lord of the Abyss" as Parker Ryan maintains.

"The Enuma Elis, the Babylonian Epic of Creation...attributed to the mid second millennium in the Old Babylonian period, stands not for the struggle between the forces of Darkness and Light, but rather serves to exemplify the movement from chaos to order in the political arena of this ancient land:"
- Adapa, "The Necronomicon and Ancient Sumer: Dubunking the Myth"

"Just as his observation about the physical origin of his country guided the ancient Mesopotamian in his speculations about the origins of the Universe, so do his memory and his experience of its political organization seem to have governed his thinking about the origins of order in that universe. Politics in Mesopotamia in the Old Babylonian Period, various and unstable, abounded in tribal and urban political forms. It ranged from near anarchy to democratic or semidemocratic forms based on general assemblies to monarchies. Its continually shifting power combinations and frequent attempts at achieving supremacy now by one, now by another, undoubtedly afforded many an object lesson in how to win power when common danger imposed unity and in how to preserve such power by wise and benevolent rule after the immediate danger was past. In the [Enuma Elis] epic, world order is seen as the outcome of just such a successful drive towards supremacy."
- T. Jacobsen, Treasures of Darkness

"In Lovecraft's panthaeon, Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath, and so forth...represent chaos and oblivion....Later on, when the war with the Elders vs. the Others became apperant, Nodens, Bast, and the Elders became represented as deities of order and structure."
- Edmund Wilfong

It should also be pointed out that Zoroasterism, the religion of the ancient Persians who conquered Babylon, teaches about a cosmic struggle between the forces of Darkness and Light.

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