Shub-Niggurath, the Mother of Matter

As previously mentioned Shub-Niggurath is frequently cited by HPL but was never directly featured in his tales.  Also, as shown below and described in the previous article, the union between Yog-Sothoth and Sub-Niggurath may be one of the few examples of sexual reproduction among the Old Ones.


As shown above and previously described, the sexual union between Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath gave rise to Nug and Yeb. After this a series of subsequent asexual fragmentations or budding occurred where Nug gave rise to Cthulhu and Yeb gave rise to Tsathoggua. However, this article explores the relationships from Azathoth to Shub-Niggurath and to a lesser extent Yog-Sothoth. Azathoth will be discussed in greater detail in a future article but at this point it can just be stated that Azathoth is the beginning of universe or reality. Azathoth gave “birth” to three entities or properties of matter – Nyarlathotep, The Nameless Mist and Darkness.

We have discussed Nyarlathotep in some previous articles and will continue these conversations later. Here we have Nyarlathotep not as the prophetic showman from “Nyarlathotep,” or as the hooved Black Man of “The Dreams in the Witch-House” or as the howling, mad, faceless god in “The Rats in the Walls.” Instead, here Nyarlathotep is a distant ancestor of HPL himself! This may represent more of a cultural relationship or linkage as opposed to one related on a genetic basis, similar to the way in which Nyarlathotep is thought to have been a pharaoh of Egypt. If there is some type of direct genetic relationship, how this comes into play relative to what we know about the creation of eukaryotic life (animals, plants, fungi and protists) on Earth by the Elder Ones is not known at this time. Thus, the leading hypothesis at this time is the connection between Nyarlathotep and humanity is more cultural and not genetic.


Nyarlathotep, the black pharaoh by Girhasha (

Moving to the other two progeny of Azathoth, literally nothing is known about The Nameless Mist or Darkness so the hypotheses suggested here are simply based on the names of this entities or forces. If Azathoth can be equated to the birth of our universe / reality (or in more distinct terms, possibly the Big Bang), The Nameless Mist and Darkness must represent in some capacity matter and/or energy. The Nameless Mist may be a manifestation of our space-time (3 spatial dimensions and one of time) as well as the other seven dimensions that are necessary for String Theory to be verified. In turn, Yog-Sothoth is described as being a congeries of iridescent spheres and “the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet.” This description could mean that Yog-Sothoth is the structure of our universe and other universes. Or that possibly Yog-Sothoth is the offspring of Azathoth that gave rise to the “multiverse” and the associated dimensions. At this point, this is all supposition with no testable hypotheses. However, as we use partial physics to delve deeper into the intra-atomic nature of matter, string theory may provide some clues as to the true nature of reality and the role of Yog-Sothoth.

Yog-Sothoth by Hvergi (

While The Nameless Mist gave rise to Yog-Sothoth, Darkness gave rise to Shub-Niggurath. Since Shub-Niggurath is thought of in more tangible, biological terms, in contrast to Yog-Sothoth being thought of as a gate, Darkness may represent Dark Matter.

Various methods can be used to measure the amount of mass in a galaxy. However, when such calculations are conducted it appears that up to 90% of the matter that should exist (given the influence of gravity) is non-detectable. This undetectable, missing mass is called “dark matter” (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension by Michio Kaku, 1994). In addition to being undetectable or represented on our own electromagnetic spectrum, dark matter itself may actually exist in a parallel universe but still have the ability to influence our universe through gravity. So even though we can’t detect it may still impact our reality!


Thus, Darkness may be a representation of matter and Shub-Niggurath may be a portion of this matter that passed through Yog-Sothoth into our space-time. Shub-Niggurath may not be the direct “mother” of live on Earth, but she may be the “mother” of matter in our universe! Meanwhile dark matter exists in other parallel universes and impacts our reality, possibly by gravitons passing through Yog-Sothoth. However, giving birth to matter in our space-time does not mean Shub-Niggurath’s work is done. It seems as if she is always attempting to generate more life or matter in the form of the “thousand young.” Next time we will discuss the fecundity of Shub-Niggurath, her thousand young and how this has had a direct impact on humanity and other species.


Shub-Niggurath by Borja Pindado (

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6 thoughts on “Shub-Niggurath, the Mother of Matter

  1. When I first looked at that genealogy chart, I came to a slightly different conclusion – that is, that the “Nameless Mist” corresponds to matter or substance, and “Darkness” refers to the void, or space itself, which runs somewhat counter to your idea (with the Mist being a “manifestation of our space-time” and Darkness being the more tangible of the two “offspring”).

    Admittedly, I don’t know much about Shub Niggurath, so I don’t know how to reconcile this idea with the tangible, biological terms that Shub is described in.

    An idea I had is that the first three offspring of Azathoth form a triumvirate of existence; while Darkness and the Nameless Mist are space and matter respectively, Nyarlathotep is consciousness

    1. Hey Jack:

      Initially I came to similar conclusions. It makes sense that the Nameless Mist would correspond to matter and the Darkness would correspond to something immaterial, like a gateway. However, thinking upon it more and focusing more on the progeny of the Nameless Mist and the Darkness (Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth, respectively), it makes more sense that the Darkness is the source of matter (and possibly) antimatter. Another point is the fact that approximately 95% of the stuff in the universe is either Dark Matter or Dark Energy, so calling this “stuff” Darkness makes sense.

      I do like your idea of the triumvirate of existence! Very interesting idea – thanks for the comments! Fred.

      1. I love this article a lot, especially since it discusses about two obscure “outer gods” (if I’m gonna use CoC games categorical system), Nameless Mist and Darkness.
        And just like Jack, I also like to think of Nyarlathotep as the personification of information, representing the potential of complex thought and action.

      2. Some excellent points! I wrote a few articles on Nyarlathotep but need to write some more since he appears in so many of Lovecraft’s tales and plays such varied roles. I do find the idea of Nyarl representing the personification of information of the “ID” of sentient beings! Thank you. Fred

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