Introduction: Comparative Religion
and the Apocrypha of R’Lyeh on Earth.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” (Call of Cthulhu, HP Lovecraft).
This opening statement is from the short story that is Lovecraft’s that is considered his main classic, and is used here to open The Necronomicon Book of Shadows, as a Black Book in the tradition of his writing. This book is a study of that religious concept that was considered to have been delivered by Lovecraft’s writing, and is written to question whether these ideas were the concept of a writer of fiction, or by a recluse who had been influenced in, by chance, having come across our sacred book of black magick. Certain statements from Lovecraft may have been expressed by him as fiction, whilst some current movements of magick will regard the Great Old Ones of Lovecraft’s study, to be quite real. The vision held by Lovecraft is, then, currently disputed, whilst the Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth stand at this point continuing as forward time, to discuss those rambling and dark works of this writer as something more conceptual than many will currently give credit for.
Despite this statement having been taken from fiction then, the above paragraph has direct meaning to R’Lyeh on Earth. In breaking down this quotation we see the vision held by Lovecraft as having in his lifetime perhaps come across The Necronomicon. To him in these statements, creation is more complex than humanity can imagine, with the Earth being described as a “placid island of ignorance”, with a reality of creation which is beyond comprehension described as being “black seas”. And in saying that “humanity was not meant to voyage far” we are told that, whatever technology may be created by humanity in our knowledge, we can never expect to travel beyond the stars we have travelled already.
To Lovecraft this grasp of infinity was normal to him as a person if he had seen The Necronomicon. As somebody who must have at least seen the book of Al Hazred at some point, the idea of a Mythos of mad Gods and cosmic chaotic confusion was natural. But, beyond this Lovecraft had not yet seen the relevance of this Mythos in actual terms of worship. To him the idea of this astral confusion was something to be seen only as conceptual, whilst still being mad. Whilst the world religions would, to Lovecraft, continue to be the belief of the human mind, he seemed to have no knowledge of the relevance of the religious nature of what he might have seen.
Despite this the Cult of R’Lyeh had existed then as we exist now. Isolated as we are, The Necronomicon has as much truth to us as a religious sect, as the Bible has to the Christians, or as the Torah to the Jews. The exception to the rule here, however, is that, whilst the world religions seem to recognise only one God, the R’Lyeh believe that all of those Gods spoken about in The Necronomicon are the actual reality of the Gods of our Universe, with Nyarlathotep being the God for human communication, and therefore being the God worshipped by most world religion.
For those of us who regard The Necronomicon as our religious book, then, the religions of human kind are one thing: the insane psychick vibrations of the Great Old Ones in Their silence. Various ideas arrive with the different cultures of humanity, over different periods of time and relating to different cultures, with the influence of Nyarlathotep as the God of communication to humanity being the greatest influence; with the greatest part of human religious thought being – as we see it – the mad, psychotic vibrations of the God who governs human perception*.
So in here defining our belief, it is to us then, religious that the Cosmos and time are vast aspects of a reality that are quite beyond human comprehension. As part of the greater scheme of things, humanity and this planet Earth are, to the system of Gods discussed in this book, completely irrelevant. The Earth is as a speck of dust to the Gods, and humanity, with all of our intelligence, are a tiny part of existence; destined not to travel far beyond our Solar System, and probably destined for extinction before achieving anything that could have any effect of the level of the Gods in this respect. Why, then, Nyarlathotep should be concerned with the futile progress of Man, we cannot be sure? But the history of humanity has been governed, though, by a single God of Necronomicon study; with Nyarlathotep being the God worshipped by the Jews, Islam, Christianity and other major World religions, as He observes us in His insanity and strange perception of our existence. If you can see religion in terms such as this, then you can see the significance of Lovecraft’s writing.
If our views on orthodox religion are so thought out, then, the reader may ask why the worship undertaken by the Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth revolves so much around the Tarot and related use of the occult? The reasons for this are twofold.
The first concerns the lack of actual, serious occult reference as concerns the occult of the Necronomicon system of magick*. Since Lovecraft first discussed such religious ideas as concern The Necronomicon in the 1920s (a book which, we believe, he had come across but never read), a massive amount of literature has been produced which discuss such ideas as regard the Mythos of The Necronomicon; but very little serious work has been written to discuss where such ideas come into the serious study of the occult. The religious views of our secular Cult are based on the small amount of serious work that does exist on the occult religious belief in the Great Old Ones, and being further based on the, much more developed systems which exist, who call themselves the ‘Western Esoteric Temples’ of ritual and ceremonial magick*.
So in this respect, the system of Tarot that is the HP Lovecraft system, is the most direct correlation between the religious ideas here discussed, and other religious / magickal systems that exist. All systems of Tarot are equal in terms of occult belief, and the Cult of R’Lyeh hold it as sacred that all religious views are sent forth by the Great Old Ones*, in the same way that the major religions are sent forth, as described already in this Introduction. As regards this situation that actual copies of The Necronomicon are so difficult to access (and rightly so, as those who study it believe that the original version leads to insanity if properly studied), interest in the religious / occult belief in The Necronomicon and its related systems of magick, has become an issue of interest over the last few decades, probably more now than ever before. This book is written to speak to those who share such an interest in this system of the occult.
The second concerns the issue of the HP Lovecraft Tarot as the first serious study of Necronomicon magick as delivered as a constructed system of Tarot. In the history of Tarot as a system of divination and access to the occult, the system of the Cards stretches back literally for Centuries, with literally every esoteric belief having a Deck dedicated to its own system of belief, from Decks drawn to represent the system of Ceremonial magick of the Golden Dawn, to the atheist system dedicated to the Psychiatrist CG Jung (ideas from which are discussed in this theory in some relative detail). The idea from which this book is spawned is that when a ‘new system’ of Tarot is created, some literature on magick exists to construct a system of belief based on other magickal systems. The Appendixes of this book go some way towards describing this idea to elaborate on our interpretation of the HP Lovecraft Tarot, as those who worship such a system of Gods as is there defined, to construct a new system of ritual magick based on ideas such as those which were used by those such as Aliestair Crowley, when he did the same in the foundation of his Cult of Thelema.
In issuing this statement, and in putting forward this manuscript as a new form of the theory of ceremonial magick as a new religious statement, I would at this point like to describe the principals and meaning of the term I use to describe those who already use this esoteric system, that being ‘the Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth’. The term ‘R’Lyeh’ has been used throughout history to describe us who worship this system of Gods, but in using this term, we mean something quite specific.
If, then, this book would be written to explain our religion and how it would stand as a belief as part of the occult, one point should be made before we begin. The Gods of our religion, as described by The Necronomicon, are a strange and insane system of reality; being vast and chaotic beings who exist across the Cosmos and between dimensions, who manifest in physical form in so doing. The Gods of which we here speak have little time for the purposes of human kind.
To the Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth, however, there is one important point to be written, and this is where we stand as a secular and esoteric belief. The actual term ‘R’Lyeh’, as described in The Necronomicon, does not describe the religious values of those who worship the Great Old Ones, but the resting place beneath the Pacific Ocean, where Cthulhu lies dead but still dreaming. The Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth, then, use the term to describe this resting place of Cthulhu. The religious statement that we intend to make, then, in using the term ‘R’Lyeh’ in this context, is that it must be relevant in the Cosmic scheme of things that, whilst the Great Old Ones populate such bizarre corners of space and insane dimensions, there is Cthulhu who sleeps here on Earth.
Let us not be deluded, then, if something so powerful as a God of The Necronomicon rests here on Earth. The Pacific Ocean is an enormous place, and sunken R’Lyeh is a colossal underwater city of strange dimensions. It is our statement, then, in calling ourselves the Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth, that this reality once more puts humanity in the picture, as our Planet is here defined as another corner of the Cosmos where the Old Ones rest until a time when the ‘Stars are Once Again Right’, when They will regain control of humanity and the far flung stars of the Cosmos. The Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth are defined in these terms, and we worship the Great Old Ones as it will be ours to control the Earth when They once more awake in Their chaotic madness.
Whilst Lovecraft is often credited with the invention of The Necronomicon as being a fictional book of Black Magick to be used in fiction, the Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth believe it to be real, as this Introduction has gone some way to explain. The fictional literature involved in our form of belief, however, describes many books of magick relating to our religious belief in the Great Old Ones and so forth. Whilst it is very difficult to ascertain which of these books are real and which are inventions of fiction, the book you hold here is an actual and genuine study of the Gods of The Necronomicon and related magick. What you hold here is a grimoir of magick dedicated to the dark and macabre worship of the Necronomicon system of Gods, and the related works of magick, towards such worship that the Cult of R’Lyeh will eventually have control of the World.
One last point is left to be made, as this is a system of the occult and the worship of the Great Old Ones. The Necronomicon is a blasphemous book, and it is pretty much as statute in the current day, that to study this book without serious caution and regard to the book as the religious study that it is, is to call upon disaster and madness. The study of The Necronomicon is quite renowned for this, and as the author of this as a study of the occult, I ask my readers to regard the information in these pages with as much caution as can reasonably be given. And if any example should be given as to how the study of The Necronomicon can result in such disaster, as I was half way through writing this book, the people who I live with started cooking and eating human flesh. Cthulhu F’tagn.
* The concept of Nyarlathotep as regarded as part of the religion of The Cult of ’Lyeh (and how He is regarded in terms of the occult and the Tarot) is described as regards our worship in the proper context of the Cult of R’Lyeh, and in context with the system of worship we uphold, is discussed with Card 1 – the Communicator – below. The further discussion of how The Great Old Ones can be regarded as part of the occult, is discussed in Appendix II of this book. Other religions may refer to the Communicator as Yaweh, Allah or Jehova, although this makes little difference to the religious Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth.
* The reader may question the Cult of R’Lyeh, that if The Necronomicon is the religious book from which we base our religious belief, then why do we not directly draw from it in order to create our system of magick? The answer to this would be that actual copies of The Necronomicon are rare and extremely hard to come by. Despite holding The Necronomicon as religious, it is no more easy to gain access to it as the worshippers of the Gods of The Necronomicon, as it is for anybody else. Whilst it is considered, by us, to be a great initiation into the High Priesthood of the Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth as difficult for us as it is to others. Our Temple stand to worship The Necronomicon system despite this.
* In this we are speaking to all established Temples of ceremonial magick, concentrating largely on the system of the Golden Dawn (as well as some others), and drawing our inspiration from involving the Mythos of The Necronomicon as a direct parallel with established esoteric and magickal belief.
* This idea, in context with the works of CG Jung, is the idea behind another book (in progress), being The Astral Tarot of Starry Wisdom. Some references are made to this work further on in this book.