cthulhu mythos

Origin Of The Term Elder Gods Part 1: Evidence of H.P. Lovecraft’s Occult Initiation?



Greetings!

Since the publication of the Simon Necronomicon the historical authenticity of the term “elder gods” has been greatly misinterpreted by critiques of the tome. For example, in a Wikipedia article, which is the most inaccurate description of the Simon Necronomicon, we read the following:

The Elder Gods also created mankind from the blood of Kingu (an Ancient One). Other Ancient Ones are imprisoned beneath the Earth or beyond the Heavens. With the exception of the terms “Elder Gods” and “Ancient Ones” (which were first popularized by the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft), many of these stories are derived from authentic myths.”

Once again we discover a misconception about the origin of the term “elder gods” being spread throughout mass media.  It is not to say that Lovecraft did not make this term popular, it is how this term is interpreted in the Wikipedia article that is inaccurate. I must say before we continue that I should remind the reader that we have already uncovered evidence showing Lovecraft’s initiation into the Back Brotherhood in the following articles:

https://warlockasylum.wordpress.com/the-black-brotherhood-part-1-authors-of-the-cthulhu-mythos-and-the-necronomicon-tradition/

https://warlockasylum.wordpress.com/historical-evidence-of-the-simon-necronomicons-connection-to-the-works-of-h-p-lovecraft-part-1-the-mysteries-of-azatoth/historical-evidence-of-the-simon-necronomicon%e2%80%99s-connection-to-the-works-of-h-p-lovecraft-part-2-asaru-nyarlathotep/

https://warlockasylum.wordpress.com/the-black-brotherhood-part-1-authors-of-the-cthulhu-mythos-and-the-necronomicon-tradition/

We will now proceed to go a little deeper into the subject about Lovecraft’s association with the Black Brotherhood ,as we will see that the Simon Necronomicon is not a hoax, but defines the reality of Lovecraftian lore, and when it is use with this intent, the beauty and secrets of the Necronomicon Tradition begin to unfold.  We see another misconception in the Wikipedia article in the words that follow:

Simon’s introduction claims that Lovecraft’s mythos tell of the struggle between good and evil, as personified by the good Elder Gods and the evil Great Old Ones. This is incorrect. Such a “cosmic war” does indeed appear in August Derleth’s contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos, but it is not in Lovecraft’s own stories. (See Cthulhu Mythos for more information on the complex family tree of this fictional history.) The theme of “cosmic war” derives instead from the apocryphal Book of Enoch, cited by Lovecraft in his essay Supernatural Horror in Literature.”

The above statement does have some truth to it concerning August Derleth’s insertion of the “cosmic war” idea does derive from him, but the theme is not derived from the Book of Enoch, in regards to the Simon Necronomicon’s usage of the term “elder gods,” as we shall shortly see. The Wikipedia article continues:

“According to Simon, the Ancient Ones now lie “not dead but dreaming”, awaiting a day when they may return to life. To do this, they are dependent upon the positions of the stars as well as the sacrifices of their mortal followers. These ideas largely run parallel to the Cthulhu Mythos, so much so that critics claim that this is an obvious attempt to reconcile the Simon Necronomicon with Lovecraft’s well-known stories such as The Call of Cthulhu.”

We can see a build up wherein the Simon Necronomicon is made to appear, as if it was written in the modern era to comply with Lovecraftian lore.  Is it possible for us, however, to find a record of a “cosmic war” and similar use of the term elder gods before the writings of H.P. Lovecraft? The answer is yes!

Origin of the term Elder Gods

It is important for us to look at how the term Elder Gods is used in the Simon Necronomicon. The term Elder Gods first appears in the following passage:

“Let all who read this book be warned thereby that the habitation of men are seen and surveyed by that Ancient Race of gods and demons from a time before time, and that they seek revenge for that forgotten battle that took place somewhere in the Cosmos and rent the Worlds in the days before the creation of Man, when the Elder Gods walked the Spaces, the race of MARDUK, as he is known to the Chaldeans, and of ENKI our MASTER, the Lord of Magicians”

We next find use of the term in the description of the Three Seals of MASHU:

“Of the three carved symbols, the first is the sign of our Race from beyond the Stars, and is called ARRA in the tongue of the Scribe who taught it to me, an emissary of the Elder Ones. In the tongue of the eldest city of Babylon, it was UR. It is the Sigil of the Covenant of the Elder Gods, and when they see it, they who gave it to us, they will not forget us. They have sworn!..Spirit of the Skies, Remember!..The second is the Elder Sign, and is the Key whereby the Powers of the Elder Gods may be summoned, when used with the proper words and shapes. It has a Name, and is called AGGA…The third sign is the Sigil of the Watcher. It is called BANDAR. The Watcher is a Race sent by the Elder Ones. It keeps vigil while one sleeps, provided the appropriate ritual and sacrifice has been performed,: else, if called, it will turn upon you.”

In a Sumer Aryan Dictionary, we find the Term AGGA, defined on page 6 of the said work, as meaning command, but on page 7 of the same work it is defined as fiery spirit of the deep, and as watery spirit of the deep. It would seem that the AGGA sign has more to do with commanding the fiery and watery elements of the deep. The term itself, though assigned to the Elder Gods, doesn’t define who or what the Elder Gods are. So we shall proceed to another passage that is found in the Simon Necronomicon’s Book of Calling:

“THIS is the Book of the Ceremonies of Calling, handed down since the time the Elder Gods walked the Earth, Conquerors of the Ancient Ones.”

The above passage helps us to see that besides all abstract correspondences considered the Elder Gods were and are a form of advance men and women. Is it possible to find historical proof of this before Lovecraftian fiction? Yes

HISTORY OF THE MAHATMAS

We find evidence of the Elder Gods existence prior to Lovecraftian fiction in the Greater Mysteries. Written in 1893, years before the Lovecraftian Mythos, The Pacific Theosophist, Volumes 4-6,  states the following on page 65:

“There has existed for tens of centuries in the inaccessible wilderness about the Himalaya mountains a secret  Brotherhood of great souls-which is the meaning of the word Mahatma-or Elder Brothers;  men who after many incarnations have obtained great wisdom; have learned to control themselves and through that control to make the forces of  Nature their servants. These Mahatmas are the repository of wisdom of the ages, which, accumulating century after century, has been entrusted to their keeping.  Nations have appeared and disappeared with their various civilizations; priesthoods have advanced to great power and have been abolished, yet the Brotherhood has continued, and has been made the heir of all which these civilizations and priesthoods have developed. Continents have risen above the ocean, have been made ready for inhabitants, have been occupied by millions, and have been sunk beneath the waves; still the Brotherhood has endured, not as the same individuals, but as successive Adepts possessed of all knowledge and power of their predecessors.  When one Brother has laid aside the body, a neophyte has been advanced to his place, and so the number has always remained undiminished. Not always have all the Elder Brothers remained in the same place; as occasion required they have appeared now in one place and now in another. For not only are they deep students and custodians of the knowledge of myriads of years, bur are Saviors of humanity. Their special charge is to help the human race in its slow evolution process of evolution from the man of flesh to the man of Spirit.”

The  information cited above, which was written in 1893, clearly shows us that the Simon Necronomicon’s use of the term “Elder Gods” is actually more in accord with writings that pre-date Lovecraftian fiction. So what is mentioned in the Wikipedia article concerning the Simon Necronomicon’s use of the term Elder Gods is wrong. Now some who are reading this article may say that it is mere coincidence that the term Elder Gods is very close to the definition of the Elder Brothers, or Mahatmas, in relation to the Simon Necronomicon. The Elder Gods according to the Simon Necronomicon are said to use the following:

“The Watcher is a Race sent by the Elder Ones. It keeps vigil while one sleeps, provided the appropriate ritual and sacrifice has been performed..”

Is there any historical evidence aligning the Watcher with the Elder Brothers in regards to the Greater Mysteries? Back in 1959, W.E. Butler in his book The Magician His Training and Work mentions the following on page 60:

“If our home-made ritual is built up on lines of the true principles of the Egregore of our tradition, then by the process of induction we may draw power from that tradition, and become linked with it. Now behind every magical school, behind the Eastern and western Traditions, and again behind the Planetary Tradition, there are people, who are the Stewards or Guardians of their respective Mysteries, are only too glad to work with and through any earnest student who is working along their line. It therefore happens that an individual group of magical workers is drawn into psychic and spiritual contact with the Guardians of the Mysteries. From thenceforward it becomes a centre though which they may work…Such a great privilege brings with it increasing responsibilities, but also increased opportunity for work in the service of the Elder Brothers of humanity….Each country has its own group of “Watchers” and the normal magical evolution of any member of that country is within the sphere of that group. But to every man his own master.”

The information written by Butler back in 1959, not only show us that the Watcher is an integral part of the work of the Elder Brothers, but validates the fact that the Invocation of the Watcher is a practice that is consistent with the Greater Mysteries, wherein the Simon Necronomicon is unique. In that it preserves this sacred magical rite that has been aborted by watered-down New Age groups and propaganda. This shows us beyond a shadow of a doubt that the term Elder Gods, as it appears in the Simon Necronomicon, is faithful to the Greater Mysteries, and not a compromise to fit into Lovecraft fiction. Now the question remains, how could Lovecraft have known about these rare occult teachings, as they evidently influenced his writing? The answer may lie in the Theosophical Movement’s activity in Providence Rhode Island. We will discuss this further in our next article.

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3 replies »

  1. Thank you, Brother, for writing this article. I was not aware of the Theosophical Movement in RI during Lovecraft’s life, much to my chagrin. There were a number of other sources including Rhode Island’s Jewish population of the period, the Ramantha Society, & Brown University, but I had not considered the Theosophists. This bears looking into.

    Blessings!

    Like

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