Book: Cults Of Cthulhu by Howard Phillips LovecraftCthulhu 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”.
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