Category Archives: Cthulhu

H.P. Lovecraft and Atlantis, Part 2

tdbgzhoafpyztufm4nv3 Sunken Atlantis by Paul Alexander

I would like to start this article with a correction to the first article on H.P. Lovecraft’s thoughts on the legend of Atlantis. In the first article, I stated that Lovecraft cited both Ignatius Donnelly’s account of Atlantis (Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, 1882) as well as W. Scott-Elliot’s Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria (1925) in “The Temple.” This is incorrect. Lovecraft mentioned Donnelly’s book in “The Descendent” and Scott-Elliot’s book was mentioned in “The Call of Cthulhu.” While neither book was cited in “The Temple,” Joshi refers to both of them in his explanatory notes for “The Temple” in the Penguin Classics edition of The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories (2001). I apologize for the error.

In “The Call of Cthulhu” Professor George Gammell Angell, Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages from Brown University was compiling information on the Cthulhu Cult and among the manuscript papers were some citations from W. Scott-Elliot’s Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria. As mentioned in Leslie S. Klinger’s The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft (2014) Lovecraft had a 1925 combined edition of these books. The Story of Atlantis was first published in 1896, while The Lost Lemuria was first published in 1904.

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It is interesting to note that Atlantis was supposed to represent a high point of human (or related species) civilization. While the destruction of Atlantis is frequently associated with the Atlanteans meddling with science and / or the power the gods, there are a variety of hypotheses attempting to link some real-life catastrophe to the legend of Atlantis. For example, the land of Thera, now known as the Greek island of Santorini, was partly destroyed by a volcanic eruption about 3,600 years ago. The destruction of Thera is thought to be basis for the idea of Atlantis (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160118-the-atlantis-style-myths-of-sunken-lands-that-are-really-true). However, is the extremely unlikely the Atlantis will actually be directly linked to a real location on Earth.

There have been attempts to link Cthulhu’s sunken City of R’lyeh to Atlantis but as Jason Colavito has stated:

“The imagined “fall” of Cthulhu, however, bears only a superficial resemblance to Atlantis, and even that was intentional. Lovecraft tried to create a (fictional) analogue to Plato’s Atlantis narrative as an answer to the Theosophists and their silly claims about Venusians running occult schools on Lemuria. Plato’s Atlantis sinks because of the Atlanteans’ sins… Cthulhu and R’lyeh sink beneath the waves—just because. Geology happens. There is no moral good or evil implied. It just happened.” – from http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/was-cthulhu-a-king-of-atlantis.  While in “The Strange High House in the Mist” Lovecraft mentions “…how the kings of Atlantis fought with the slippery blasphemies that wriggled out of rift’s in ocean’s floor…” there is no evidence to indicate that these blasphemies were the spawn of Cthulhu.

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R’lyeh Rising by Welsh Pixie (www.deviantart.com)

Coavito’s statement agrees with Joshi’s statement that Lovecraft saw Atlantis as a myth and liked to incorporate it into his tales.  Additionally, and more to the point, Atlantis was supposed to sink somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, while R’lyeh is located somewhere deep in the Pacific Ocean. Thus, even if there was some sort of correlation between R’lyeh and some mythic sunken land it would have a slightly better chance of it being Lemuria.

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In a few of Lovecraft’s revision tales such as “The Last Test” co-written with Adolphe de Castro and “Medusa’s Coil” co-written with Zealia Bishop there are several references to individuals being descended from the primal race of lost Atlantis and how the Atlantean civilization delved into evil and forbidden knowledge. For example, in “The Last Test” Atlantis was apparently a “hotbed” of evil cult activity and it is hoped that “…no one will ever drag up that horror from the deep.” This may be a possible reference to the Atlantean’s attempting to contact the Old Ones from outside of our Universe. There is a reference to this in “Medusa’s Coil” where “…the frightful secret that has come down from the days of Cthulhu and the Elder Ones – the secret that was nearly wiped out when Atlantis sank…”

medusa_s_coil_by_mrsfish-da4hgua Medusa’s Coil by Mrs. Fish (www.deviantart.com)

In the tale “The Mound” written by Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop, the underground civilization discovered by the Spaniard Zamacona was said to occasionally receive visitors from the upper world. According to the individuals who Zamacona met, the last time they encountered someone from the outer world was when “…refugees straggled back from Atlantis and Lemuria aeons before.” If these refugees straggled back from these sunken kingdoms, is it possible that the Atlanteans and Lemurians were of the same decent as those who live under the mound? If this is the case, the various technologies that the mound civilization possess (e.g. dematerialization and dream-projection) may has also been possessed by Atlanteans.

In Lovecraft’s novel At the Mountains of Madness the Elder Thing’s Antarctic Palaeogaean megalopolis was compared to both Atlantis and Lemuria, as well as other ancient civilizations. Additionally, in Out of the Aeons, co-written with Hazel Heald, Lovecraft mentions that cults of the Old One Ghatanothoa were established in Atlantis. Finally, as previously mentioned, the Shining Trapezohedron sunk with Atlantis, only later to be found by a Minoan fisherman in his nets.

64-ghatanothoa                               Ghatanothoa by Michael Bukowski (www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

In conclusion, it is extremely unlikely the Cthulhu’s R’lyeh and Atlantis were the same place, simply based on the fact that one is located in the Pacific Ocean and the other in the Atlantic Ocean.  Additionally, there is no evidence to support that R’lyeh was Lemuria. However, the people of Atlantis may have been related to the people who live under the Earth as documented in “The Mound.” Also, the Atlanteans may have been attempting to contact the Old Ones or harness their powers in the manipulation of matter, energy, time and space. These attempts of communication (e.g. the Shining Trapezohedron) may have failed miserably and resulted in the downfall of the civilization and the destruction of their Island paradise.

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Next time we will discuss how the concept of what a galaxy is changed over the course of Lovecraft’s lifetime. Thank you – Fred.

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The Dimensionality of Cthulhu

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Cthulhu at R’lyeh by Steve Maschuck

H.P. Lovecraft has cited a number of times that Cthulhu and its associated spawn are not residents of our space-time as are Elder Ones, shoggoths, the Great Race and humans.  For example, in “The Call of Cthulhu” one of the captured cultists states that the Great Old Ones [referring to Cthulhu and its spawn] are not flesh and blood and that while they have shape, there were not made of matter.

In “At the Mountains of Madness” it is stated that , “…both the Cthulhu spawn and the Mi-Go seem to have been composed of matter more widely different from that which we know than was the substance of the Old Ones [here the term Old Ones is being used to refer to the Elder Things or Elder Ones].  They were able to undergo transformations and reintegrations impossible for their adversaries, and seem therefore to have originally come from even remoter gulfs of the cosmic space.”

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R’lyeh by Jonny Hex (www.deviantart.org)

Based on these citations as well as other references made by HPL, Cthulhu and its spawn are not from our space-time continuum.  This explains how these entities can function beyond the confines of our physical laws, such as its fluid movement and apparent plasma-like structure.  Indeed, further study of Cthulhu and its spawn may provide the evidence needed to support the M-theory.

Based on M-theory, which is actually a network of theories, each component or individual theory describes certain physical phenomenon within a given range of scale.  When these scales overlap, different theories agree.  However, when the scales do not overlap, different theories describe certain phenomenon (e.g. Newtonian mechanics describing the influence of gravity on a planetary scale vs. quantum mechanics describing sub-atomic interactions).   Given this proposed network of theories, M-theory allows for the existence of different universes with different laws of nature (e.g. the charge of the electron, the actual strength of gravity ).  All of this is dependent on how internal space is actually shaped and curled (The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow; 2010).  As shown below, and previously described in the earlier articles on “The Music of Eric Zann”, more than one universe is possible but the one we live in obviously has the highest probability of existing.

Demonstration of Hawking’s wave function of the Universe (from universe-review.ca)

However, M-theory describes a reality of vibrating strings, point particles, two-dimensional membranes, three-dimensional blobs and other multi-dimensional objects we can not perceive (Hawking and Mlodinow; 2010).  In fact, M-theory allows for many different internal spaces – as many as 10500 different universes, each one with their own particular set of laws of nature.  Is Cthulhu and its spawn from one of these universes?  Did this entity find a means of exuding itself into our universe, bringing with it R’yleh, with some of its native laws of nature seeping into our universe?  This would explain the disorientation and confusion when experiencing Cthulhu and R’lyeh.  If Cthulhu does originate from another universe the question then is how is this accomplished.

Cthulhu and its spawn more than likely do not originate from a higher dimension, but instead from another universe with laws of nature very different from our own.  However, it is possible that they have utilized these higher, yet folded or curled in, dimensions to get to our space-time.  To be able to travel through these higher dimensions to get to another universe would require extremely high amounts of energy.

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Some Ancient Horror by Morriperkele (www.deivantart.org)

Conventional chemical explosives convert only one part out of a billion of matter into energy, in processes that involve the electrons in the outer reaches of atoms.  In contrast, nuclear reactions can release about 1% of the trapped energy from matter.  Antimatter reactions with matter would release a far greater amount of energy.  However, the problem for us is there is no stable amount of antimatter left in our universe.  This means we would need to make antiparticles as a source of antimatter, which is an extremely inefficient process (Antimatter by Frank Close, 2010).  While the utilization of antimatter as a source of energy is not feasible for us in our universe, it may be possible for entities from outside of our space-time continuum, particularly if they have the ability to travel from one universe to another through the higher, unseen dimensions.

In conclusion, the strange biology of Cthulhu may be the result of it being from another universe where the laws of nature are slightly different than ours.  However, the presence of these outside entities in our universe may be the result of their ability to harness and utilize antimatter from another universe as a source of power to create a path through the higher dimensions.  From a theoretical standpoint such inter-dimensional travel to other universes may be feasible but the limitation to this is the amount of energy needed to accomplish this.  While this is a huge obstacle to us, maybe Cthulhu and its spawn can harvest the energy from antimatter and travel to other universes – and one of those universes may be ours.  But such travel to other universes with different physical laws of nature may pose some limitations onto these inter-universal travelers.  It is these potential limitations on entities from outside of our space-time continuum we will be discussing in the next article.  Thank you – Fred.

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Cthulhu Rising by Jason Juta (www.jasonjuta.com)

The Entity Cthulhu

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Original sketch of the Cthulhu sculpture by H. P. Lovecraft

Cthulhu is probably the most well known entity described by H. P. Lovecraft.  I will not spend too much time describing the appearance of Cthulhu.  HPL described it in great detail and even make a sketch of the small sculpture found in the backwaters of Louisiana (see above).  Hundreds if not thousands of artist have drawn, painted or sculptured their interpretation of what Cthulhu looks like.  While a very small sampling of some of this artwork is included here, this article focuses solely on HPL’s text in its discussion of Cthulhu.

Essentially, Cthulhu was presented as a conglomeration of an octopus, human, bat and dragon.  More importantly, the description of the sailors’ experience in their encounter with Cthulhu is more telling than the sculpture, which is a feeble attempt to convey what the entity looks like.  When the aperture to Cthulhu’s tomb is opened, Johansen states “that tenebrousness was indeed a positive quality.”  There are three definitions for the word “tenebrous” and I believe all three apply to this situation.  First, the word can mean to “shut off from the light.”  Indeed, Johansen says that the inner walls of the tomb were in darkness and that when the thing emerged from the tomb it visibly darkened the sun.  Second, the word can mean “hard to understand.” Obviously applicable to the situation.  The size of Cthulhu, its shape and associated sounds and odors make it very difficult to understand.  Additionally, as will be described later, Cthulhu does not even adhere to our known physical laws on Earth, which adds to the difficulty in understanding it.  Third, the word can mean “causing gloom.”  Again, this is very applicable to the sailors’ attitude and perception of Cthulhu, as documented by Johansen.

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Cthulhu (www.dybiz.com)

As has been previously discussed, the City of R’lyeh appeared to be of a confusing, shifting, non-Euclidean nature to human perception.  The same can be said of Cthulhu.  It was difficult to determine what exactly Cthulhu is made of – is it gaseous, solid, liquid or a combination of these states of matter?  Is it made of the same matter we are?  For example, phrases such as “burst forth like smoke from its aeon-long imprisonment”, “flapping membranous wings”, “lumbered slobberingly”, “gelatinous green immensity”, and “…slid greasily into the water…” give Cthulhu a fluid semi-corporeal appearance, shifting through the various states of matter, possibly being a form a plasma.

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Three forms of matter found on Earth (www.fcwa.org)

So what is plasma?  In our everyday life, atoms are stable, each one composed of various combinations of protons and neutrons in the nucleus with a various number of electrons orbiting the nucleus in a quantum haze.  Using water as an example, at room temperature water is liquid but as the temperature declines the water will freeze at zero degrees Celsius.  On the other end of the spectrum, as the temperature increases the water will evaporate becoming water vapor; at or above the boiling point of hundred degree Celsius steam is produced.  These various states of matter arise due to the movement or “agitation” of the water molecules.  Ice forms a lattice structure but as the temperature increases it melts into fluid water and eventually becomes water vapor where the water molecules are highly mobile and moving around with a considerable amount of energy.

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The arrangement of atoms (or water molecules) in the three state of matter on Earth (www.trivedichemistry.org)

However, at non-Earth bound temperatures, say a few thousand degrees, the atoms become so agitated and full of energy that the electrons are no longer bound by the electromagnetic forces between them and the protons in the nucleus and thus break free.  At this point the gas is described as being ionized.  Such conditions occur in the sun; temperatures are so high that both electrons and protons are freely moving and no longer simply bound in the formal atomic state – this strange state of matter is called plasma (Frank Close; Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction, 2004).  Ironically, while plasma is very rare on Earth, it is the most common state of matter in the universe (Michio Kaku; Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universe, Time Warps and the 10th Dimension, 1994).

Heating the plasma even further can give rise to stranger states of reality, which can include, among other things, the appearance of ten-dimensional superstring symmetry.  Essentially, there is so much energy that the very geometry of space-time will distort and the dimensionality of space-time could actually change (Kaku, 1994).  Again, more on this in an upcoming article.  Bringing it back to Cthulhu – is this entity a “plasma” or “super-plasma” being?  Having such a plasma-like state would explain the difficulty in trying to describe it as solid, liquid or gaseous.  Also, the energy needed to move such a being with such fluidity in both our atmosphere and in the ocean could easily be conducted by a plasma-being.  However, wouldn’t this mean that Cthulhu could only exist within a star where a plasma environment exists?

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Cthulhu by Joel Harlow (www.deviantart.org)

Possibly, but I believe this is where the dimensionality of Cthulhu comes into play.  As previously mentioned the true form of Cthulhu can not be perceived by humans since we do not have the proper senses to do so.  Additionally, if Cthulhu’s true home is in a plasma environment we would not be able to survive entering his true home.  However, maybe Cthulhu uses the vast amounts of energy at its disposal (as a plasma being) to project part of its essense into our reality, guided by the dreamers who function as some type of biological, space-time beacons.

HPL’s attempt to convey what Cthulhu looks like or, more importantly how it is actually experienced and perceived by a human, is the gist of his philosophy of Cosmic Horror.  The sculptures and artwork of Cthulhu are what is conveyed to dreamers as to the entity’s appearance but the true reality of experiencing Cthulhu is far more complicated and difficult to interpret and hence describe.  This complexity associated with direct contact with Cthulhu may be at least partially attributed to the distortion or warping of space-time and dimensionality around Cthulhu.

Next time we will go into a little more detail  on the dimensionality of Cthulhu and why many of HPL’s biological discoveries from outside our space-time appear weak or easily defeated in our reality.  Thank you – Fred.

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Awakening of Cthulhu by Obrotowy (www.deviantart.org)

A Tale of Two Lovecraftian Cities

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R’lyeh by the artist Mr. Loach.

H.P. Lovecraft used the term non-Euclidean in a few of his stories including  “The Call of Cthulhu” and “Dreams in the Witch House.”  In specific reference to “The Call of Cthulhu” the term non-Euclidean geometry is used to describe Cthulhu’s sunken City of R’lyeh.  However, the term non-Euclidean was not used to describe the great cities of the Elder Ones in “At the Mountains of Madness.”  This article compares these two alien cities to one another and discusses the non-Euclidean nature of R’lyeh.

I have already discussed what Euclidean and non-Euclidean means in a pervious article but for the sake of this discussion these terms will be briefly reviewed.  Simply put the term Euclidean refers to 2-dimenional (squares, triangles and circles on a plane) and 3-dimenional (cubes, pyramids and spheres in space) realities.  Human architecture is almost entirely based on Euclidean geometry (see below).

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Euclidean three-dimensional space (from http://www.wikipedia.org)

While human architecture may be heavily Euclidean, other components of our lives are dependent on non-Euclidean geometry, such as the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology due to the curvature of the Earth (see below).  In addition, much of nature is non-Euclidean in design.

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A comparison between Euclidean and non-Euclidean (elliptic and hyperbolic) Geometries (www.blendspace.com)

From a Lovecraftian perspective this may seem a little disappointing, however, shown below is an example of non-Euclidean architecture.  Such designs can be a little disorienting but as will be discussed in more detail below, based on HPL’s text I hypothesize that the non-Euclidean description of R’lyeh is only a partial attempt to understand the truly alien aspect of the city.  However, before we discuss R’lyeh in more detail, I want to briefly review the Elder Ones cities in “At the Mountains of Madness.”

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 A truly non-Euclidean view of R’lyeh (www.jennytso.com)

HouseinAbiko_RenovationsofNationalExhibitionCentre6 House in Abiko, from Renovations of the National Exhibition Centre – an example another variety of non-Euclidean architecture.

The cites of the Elder Things in “At the Mountains of Madness” were truly strange and alien, being described as “…curious regularities of the higher mountain skyline – regularities like clinging fragments of perfect cubes…” and “…no architecture known to man or to human imagination, with vast aggregations of night-black masonry embodying monstrous perversions of geometrical laws and attaining the most grotesque extremes of sinister bizarrerie.”  Other terms used to describe the alien Elder Ones cities included truncated cones, tall cylindrical shafts bulbously enlarged and often capped with tiers of thinnish scalloped discs. multitudinous rectangular slabs or circular plates of five-pointed stars, cones and pyramids either alone or on top of other cubes or cylinders some of which were flatted on the top, and needle-like spires in clusters of five.

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At the Mountains of Madness by Stephan Mcleroy (www.stephenmcleroy.com)

While the descriptions of the Elder Ones cites are indeed alien, they are primarily Euclidean in nature (e.g. cubes, cylinders, etc.) but with some small inclusion of non-Euclidean architecture.  More importantly, they did not give the impression of a geometry being “all wrong” as Wilcox described R’lyeh in his dreams or the dream-place geometry, extra-dimensional impression Johansen had when he landed on the island.

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R’lyeh by the great artist John Coulthart (www.johncoulthart.com)

R’lyeh appears to be more “alien” to us relationship to the cities of the Elder Ones, which corresponds with our biological relationship between the Elder Ones and Cthulhu (including its spawn).  Essentially, HPL was very explicit in stating that the Elder Ones, while being very alien, were still made of the same matter we are; we are residents of the same universe.  In contrast, Cthulhu and its spawn are well known to be extra-dimensional entities.  They are not of this universe and are not composed of the same matter we are.  Thus, their manifestations into our reality is more than likely not their “true” form – simply an interpretation of their appearance in a three dimensional / one time universe.  Sort of the way you can draw a representation of a cubic on a sheet of paper.  It is an interpretation of a three dimensional object on a two dimensional plane.

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This is a drawing of a cube, interpreting what a 3-dimenional object looks like on a 2-dimensional plane.

Since Cthulhu and its spawn are extra-dimensional, their architecture is more than likely extra-dimensional as well.  This would explain why the geometry of the R’lyeh just does not feel “right” to humans.  Being creatures of 3 dimensions and 1-time scale, our senses and previous experiences are making an attempt to perceive Cthulhu and R’lyeh.  Sometimes our senses clearly get this extra-dimensionality wrong such as when Parker was swallowed up by an angle of masonry that was acute but behaved as if it were obtuse as documented in the end of “The Call of Cthulhu.”

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R’lyeh by Pal Carrick

To conclude, while the cities in Antarctica are clearly alien, they were built by the Elder Ones, creatures of our universe and reality.  In contrast, R’lyeh seems more alien and “wrong” since it is only a representative manifestation of what it looks like in our reality.  Thus, our perception of what is looks like is very different than what is actually looks like in its own multi-dimensional reality.  In fact, since we are limited to 3 dimensions and 1 time we can never know what this multi-dimensional city truly looks like.  This goes for its extra-dimensional denizens, which includes Cthulhu and its spawn.  However, if we could somehow alter, expand and/or increase our senses, maybe we could then see the true form of both Cthulhu and R’lyeh.

Next time we will expand on the concepts of extra-dimensionality, with specific discussions on Cthulhu itself.  Thank you – Fred.

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R’lyeh by Decepticoin (www.deviantart.com)

The Call of Cthulhu – The Louisiana Bayou Connection

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The large, white, polypous thing in a Louisiana lake, worshipped by Cthulhu cultists (from Mr. W.H. Pugmire’s site http://www.lovecraftianhorror.blogspot.com)

As previously cited, “The Call of Cthulhu” is very similar in many ways to the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  One way this is the case is how a sub-set of humanity is being affected through visions, thoughts or dreams; another is the overall global view or perspective both stories take.  This article will focus on one of these global scenes in “The Call of Cthulhu” and occurs in the Louisiana swamplands.

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Black Bayou Lake (photo from louisianasportsman.com)

In the second part of “The Call of Cthulhu”, titled The Tale of Inspector Legrasse, an occurrence of cultist activities was described deep in the Louisiana swamplands  The cultists were people who were influenced, primarily through dreams, by the entity Cthulhu.  Inspector Legrasse and his men came across the cultists in the deep swamp, while they were worshipping a small idol of Cthulhu made of stone that did not originate from Earth.

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Cthulhu cultists in the swamplands of Louisiana (artwork by the great artist  John Coulthart)

Legrasse and his men stopped the ritual and either killed or captured the cultists.  However, an intriguing component of this tale is the fact that the nearby residents avoid this part of the swamp in general due to stories about “a huge, formless white  polypous thing with luminous eyes; and squatters whispered that bat-winged devils flew up out of caverns in inner earth to worship it at midnight”

After the whispered tales of the creatures, older than “the wholesome beasts and birds of the woods,” one of Legrasse’s men said that as they secretly approached the cultists he heard the fain beating of great wings and caught a glimpse of shinning eyes and a large, white bulk beyond the trees.

What exactly are these things?  They are never mentioned in “The Call of Cthulhu” after Legrasse’s account and they are never mentioned by HPL again.  It is said that the thing in the lake makes men dream and so most people stay away from the area.  If the thing is making men dream and the cultists in the area are worshipping an idol of Cthulhu there must be some connection.    If the thing in the lake makes men dream maybe it does so to open mental channels of communication between those with sensitive minds and Cthulhu.  Maybe there is an entire “net” of these things throughout the lakes, rivers, lagoons and seas of the Earth, collecting and channeling these dreams to Cthulhu.

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White Polypous Thing (art by Michael Bukowski; http://www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

What of the bat-winged devils?  When the cultists are captured and interrogated they say the “Black Winged Ones” were responsible for the deaths of the missing people whose bodies were found at the ritual.  So what is the role of the bat-winged devils?  There may be some type of symbiotic or even parasitic relationship between the white polypous thing and these winged creatures.

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Bat-Winged Devil (art by Michael Bukowski; http://www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

Perhaps the Winged Ones kill and provide food for the thing in the lake.  In turn, the thing can generate the electromagnetic waves to stimulate dreaming in more sensitive individuals, which allows them to be open to dream communication with Cthulhu.  What the Winged Ones get out of this is possibly the “scraps” left by the white polyous thing after its done feeing.  Or, maybe the Winged Ones actually feed off of the dreams or dream communication.  Unfortunately, the specific inter-relationship between the Winged Ones and the thing in the lake is only speculation that requires further study to develop any specific hypothesis.

Another point to consider is the individual in Legrasse’s party who heard the beating of wings and saw a large white thing moving among the trees.  It sounds like the ritual being conducted in the swamp was attracting these creatures to the site.  Was the thing from the lake going to feed on the corpses of the victims so it had more energy to force humans to dream so they were open to communication with Cthulhu who lies deep in the Pacific Ocean?  Possibly.  However, something else to consider is would the white polypous thing and the Winged Ones have fed on the cultists after they were done with the corpses?  Maybe the white polypous thing feeds on the corpses but the Winged Ones feed  on live prey.  If that is the case, this would at least partially explain the strange inter-relationship between the winged-devils and the thing in the lake.

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The White Polypous Thing moving through the Louisiana bayou (by Chris Schweizer)

Next time we will discuss R’lyeh itself, drawing from some previous articles.  Thank you – Fred.

 

Cthulhu and Dagon: Residents of R’lyeh

In the Call of Cthulhu, when R’lyeh rises from the Pacific Ocean, it is hypothesized that the structure that broke the water’s surface was “only a single mountain-top, the hideous monolith-crowned citadel whereon great Cthulhu was buried, actually emerged from the waters.”  If this is true, then R’lyeh itself may be an incredibly huge City populated by millions of slumbering Spawn of Cthulhu and the section that broke the water’s surface may be only a small tip of the entire necropolis.

R’lyeh by Vain138

In the story Dagon the protagonist escaped a German sea-raider and found himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean.  After drifting for days, his boat ends up on a slimy, rotting expanse of “hellish black mire.”  After a few days brooding on the boat, he leaves and travels over the exposed plain to set out for a mound in the distance.

A view of the mound on the exposed plain in Dagon (illustration by Mark Foster)

Once reaching the summit of the mound the protagonist looks down into a pit or canyon.  As he travels down the slope on the edge of the pit, he sees a gigantic piece of stone that was clearly not the work of Nature.  As he is examining the strange hieroglyphs and drawings on the large monolith in the moonlight, a large flabby thing rises from the water.  The thing looks similar to some of the creatures shown on the monolith.  It had a generally human body shape covered in scales, glassy bulging eyes, and webbed hands and feet.  The thing, supposedly Dagon, flung it’s gigantic arms around the monolith and bowed it’s head in almost a religious manner.  At this point the protagonist goes mad and runs back to his boat.

Dagon at the monolith (illustration also by Mark Foster)

Both R’lyeh and the monolith in the story Dagon are found in the Pacific Ocean.  It is possible that they are both part of the same structure?  Is it possible that R’lyeh was the upper part of Cthulhu’s City and that the monolith in Dagon and the top spire of one of the highest structures in R’lyeh?  This would all make sense if indeed Dagon is one of the “Spawn” of Cthulhu.  Maybe Dagon was out “testing the waters” so to speak when it first emerged from the Pacific in 1917.  Was Dagon a “scout” before R’lyeh came up from the bottom of ocean in 1925?

Dagon by Jeff Remmer

Future articles will provide additional analysis of both R’lyeh and Cthulhu.  However, next time I will shift gears a little and talk about how Einstein’s ideas on the Universe impacted HPL and the development of his stories.  Thank you – Fred

The Spawn of Cthulhu, Part 3 – Additional notes

As previously mentioned there is very little information on the spawn of Cthulhu.  We know they somewhat resemble their Master or Parent Cthulhu and that they came down to Earth with him approximately 350 million years ago.  They battled with the Elder Ones and peace was achieved.  The spawn built the great city of R’lyeh, which then mysteriously sunk into the Pacific Ocean around 300 million years ago.  To this day, Cthulhu and his spawn lie entombed in R’lyeh asleep and sending dreams to the sensitive.

City of R’lyeh by the great Lovecraftian artist John Coulthart

Very little is known about the spawn of Cthulhu; however Hiraku Takeoka, a gentleman from Japan who I have met on Facebook, made a very good point (see below).  Lin Carter, a well known writer of fantasy, science-fiction and horror, contributed to the Cthulhu Mythos, which included the Xothic Cycle.  Mr. Carter was well known to flesh out or “fill in the gaps” in Lovecraft’s mythology but I want to focus this article on the spawn of Cthulhu.

Chaosium’s The Xothic Legend Cycle, Lin Carter’s Mythos fiction (edited by Robert M. Price)

Specifically, according to Mr. Carter’s stories Cthulhu brought a number of other entites to Earth from Xothic, a green binary star.   Some of these entities included Cthulhu’s “mate” Idh-yaa, and their progeny – Zoth-Ommog, Ghatanothoa, Ythogtha and Cthylla (The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana by Daniel Harms).  While this description makes it sound like Cthulhu is the father of one happy “Old One family”, this is a very deceptive interpretation.

Ghatanothoa by the talented artist Mike Bukowski

Biological concepts based on sexual reproduction, such as parents, progeny and siblings, more than likely do not apply to Cthulhu and his spawn.  Nothing is known about the reproduction of these entities; however, the prevailing hypothesis is that they reproduce primarily through mitosis.  That is, they reproduce similar to basic cell division.  Once the cell or individual attains a certain size or volume they split.  It is not known if the conventional Darwinian mechanics of natural selection apply to Cthulhu and his relatives but more than likely Cthulhu is the largest, and thus leader of the spawn.

Following this line of logic, Mr. Takeoka made an excellent point that these “family members” of Cthulhu’s may be larger representatives of the spawn.  Again, if Cthulhu is the largest and oldest of the spawn, he is the leader.  The other family members must be other leaders of the spawn (subordinates to Cthulhu) and have grown to such a size to be named, known and worshipped by humanity and other races in our universe.

Another incredible drawing of a spawn of Cthulhu by KingOvRats

To conclude, not much is known of the spawn of Cthulhu.  However, to date, they are the most “alien” of entities that we reviewed on this blog site.  One thing is for sure, the spawn of Cthulhu is very distinct from the next group of entities we will be discussing – the Deep Ones.  Thank you and Happy Holidays!  Fred