“On November 1st, 1907, there had come to the New Orleans police a frantic summons from the swamp and lagoon country to the south. The squatters there, mostly primitive but good-natured descendants of Lafitte’s men, were in the grip of stark terror from an unknown thing which had stolen upon them in the night. It was voodoo, apparently, but voodoo of a more terrible sort than they had ever known; and some of their women and children had disappeared since the malevolent tom-tom had begun its incessant beating far within the black haunted woods where no dweller ventured. There were insane shouts and harrowing screams, soul-chilling chants and dancing devil-flames; and, the frightened messenger added, the people could stand it no more.”
– H. P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulu, 1926
But I beheld in thee a certain taint, even in that wherein I delighted. I beheld in thee the taint of thy father the ape, of thy grandsire the Blind Worm of Slime. I gazed upon the Crystal of the Future, and I saw the horror of the End of thee. Further, I destroyed the time Past, and the time to Come -- had I not the Power of the Sand-glass But in the very hour I beheld corruption. Then I said: O my beloved, O Lord Adonai, I pray thee to loosen the coils of the serpent! But she was closed fast upon me, so that my Force was stayed in its inception.
-Aleister Crowley, Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente Vel LXV, Chap. III, vv. 8-14
Upon first glance, the above quotations by pulp writer H.P. Lovecraft and mystical madman Aleister Crowley seem loosely connected at best; however, what if I were to add that Crowley supposedly received and conceived these “Holy Books” in a trance-like state between the dates of October 30th and November 3rd, 1907? The same ritual taking place in the bayous of Louisiana on Halloween and the days following in Lovecraft’s fictional work was being experienced by Aleister Crowley nearly 20 year before the writer would begin to craft Cthulhu . If you’re not the least bit intrigued at this point, allow me to try and further raise your brow:
“We know why all is hidden in the stone, within the coffin, within the mighty sepulchre, and we too answer Olalam! Imal! Tutulu! as it is written in the ancient book.
Three words of that book are as life to a new aeon; no god has read the whole.
But thou and I, O God, have written it page by page.”
– Aleister Crowley, Liber Liberi Vel Lapidis Luzuli
Crowley received these messages on October 29th, 1907, and recorded them in roughly two and a half hours. Would you bet that the first phonetic connection to Cthulu referenced thus far appears from Crowley long before the High Priest is referenced in Lovecraft’s work? Isn’t it also a little strange that Crowley references this “Tutulu” in the same altered states that we see from many of the characters in Lovecraft’s universe?
Many of these connections and more are pointed out by Peter Levenda in his non-fiction work The Dark Lord and his debut novel The Lovecraft Code. To those of you that have taken the bait, I would highly recommend picking up these two works and giving them a thorough read.
To anyone still straddling the fence between fact and fiction, I have a few more connective threads to pull on provided by Mr. Levenda himself regarding the significance of April 30th, Walpurgisnacht:
- April 30th 1006, SN 1006, the largest supernova recorded explodes in the Constellation of Therion
- Mount Merapi on the island of Java explodes the same day, burying Borobudur beneath volcanic ash
- April 30th, 1492: The day Christopher Columbus received his commission to set sail for the Indies
- April 30th, 1789, the day George Washington took the Oath of Office as first President of the United States. The Washington monument is exactly 555 feet high, the number for the word Necronomicon in Greek numerology
- April 30th, 1906, Crowley is instructed by “Aiwass” to go to Egypt, where he would write his holy books
- April 30th, 1919: the day seven Thulists– members of the Thule Gesellschaft, the secret society that practiced occult rituals in the Four Seasons hotel in Munich, alongside the nascent German Workers Party- were murdered by Communists. It was the instigation for the Freikorps Revolt against the Communists that introduced Adolf Hitler to the Thule Society and the German Workers Party, which became the Nazi Party.
- April 30th, 1945: the day Adolf Hitler is said to have committed suicide in the Berlin Bunker
- April 30th, 1966: the day the church of Satan was founded in San Francisco by Anton Szandor LaVey
- April 30th, 1975: The day Saigon fell
- April 30th, 1978: the day the Democratic Republic of Afganistan was proclaimed, with disastrous consequences
- May 1, 2003: Operation Iraqi Freedom officially ends. Iraq war begins
- May 2, 2011: Osama bin Laden executed in Abbottabad, Pakistan
As I’ve pointed out in previous post, it’s common knowledge that Lovecraft was very much an atheist, but you don’t have to practice a religion to believe in Aliens. Simultaneously, Lovecraft’s inherent racism is also well-known and apparent in his literature, but what if Howard was experiencing, unbeknownst to himself, the same artistic phenomena that plagued his protagonists? The same trance that Aleister Crowley experienced, nearly to the day, in Cairo all those years before? It’s my belief that it’s at least worth a head scratch and a few days of wonder, but what the hell do I know? Just one thing, I guess.
It’s fucking weird.