In the literature of our religion, Tsathoggua dwells in a cave beneath Mount Voormithacheth*, far beyond the Earth, and in this He lives simultaneously in another dimension. Whilst this statement about Tsathoggua is delivered by fiction, it is our belief as part of the R’Lhey, that such statements are derived from the blasphemous texts, and this is therefore our accepted belief. Either way, the daemonic reality of the Toad God as represented by The Devil, is justified as we regard our Gods as Astral reality.
We have hereby moved through this Tarot to define The Ghoul as representative of the body as the vehicle for the soul, and the Old One as representative of material human expression. We now encounter Tsathoggua as the Card for psychology and the human mind. In the recesses of the human mind, Tsathoggua is known to all of us. But is should be said that the description of this Card in the Lovecraft Tarot is heavily orientated around the psychological. I did not want to spend too much time with this Card dwelling on the issue of the psychological, but due to the strongly psychological nature of Tsathoggua, then this may have to be the case. In this description of the Card that relates to the Toad God, we are still quoting from the Introductory Book that explains the HP Lovecraft Deck. But with this Card it has been necessary to quote more from the Introductory Book than we have had to with the previous Cards.
“Sitting at the base of the spine”, states the Lovecraft Tarot, “under the… layers of cerebral tissue which are the… map of our development… sits what is called the reptile brain.” With this Card being defined as such, it explains what is meant in terms of defining the roots of the human subconscious and our unknown mind. Tsathoggua starts with this statement, and the definition goes on to speak of Card 15 in these terms until the end. Of course, Card 15 in whatever Tarot is always the Card of The Devil*, and with this equation of the Toad God having been defined, it is my decision to continue to follow this psychological line, and to define these terms to define these terms to describe human psychology in this sense, in terms of the darker side of human nature.
So, having hereby defined our terms, the HP Lovecraft Tarot continues that “[T]he reptile brain operates in a… dream state… brooding over its instinctual need for security & pleasure.” Our dream state is where most of us Worship Tsathoggua; in the subconscious of sleep state we are not fully aware of the mentality of dream. It is in this state that we are unaware of our innermost attitudes to security and pleasure, but we do not in our waking state acknowledge these attitudes to ourselves, and it is he need we have for security and pleasure that drive the evil deeds of men. These are “precisely the… instincts which are… perverted into excesses of violence, intemperance and avarice.” Are these not exactly the human failings that would be fed from by a God that is usually represented by the Tarot as The Devil? These are the human emotions that are excused when we accept “our territorial and sexual subconscious.”
“The reptile brain cannot speak” continues the Tarot, “it does not think in words, but only in images, colours and sounds.” Again this refers to the religious truth that is known to us only in the darkness of our dreams. Therefore Tsathoggua is part of everybody’s subconscious, known in terms of fragmented images of childhood fantasies and the shattered interpretations of our lives that we access in dream state. Such is the nature of Tsathoggua. “[I]t is these impulsive reactions we spend all of our childhood and adolescence learning to suppress” states the Tarot. It is this part of the mind that is kept in our unknown subconscious, should any of us become completely insane. “[T]his part of ourselves is often labelled… ‘evil’.”
But Tsathoggua goes beyond our acknowledgement of the Great Old Ones as the back-brain when we are asleep. Card 15 goes into how this works with humanity as a species, and continues to discuss this dream state and how humanity has learned to live as a massive community as led by our subconscious awareness. “Temperance and rational thinking before action [happens]… because… we have moved beyond purely selfish considerations into working in groups.” But humanity is fragmented because the will of the subconscious brain spoken of, “undermine[s] the dynamics of… healthy communal relationship[s]. [T]he higher aspect of our… selves… operates on a level which transcends language and verbal consciousness.” Although this does not say a lot about Card 15 and its meaning to us in a reading, it does make a statement as to Tsathoggua and His relation to us as a God of The Necronomicon.
The Tarot continues in this statement that, “This is the reason why spirituality is often dismissed as ‘instinctual’.” This meaning is defined that our view of the supernatural in our lives is known to us through our subconscious mind and through sleep, and the Gods of The Necronomicon most often speak to us in the form of the many bizarre and fragmented fronts that constitute the insight behind all other religions held by the societies of man. “It [spirituality] cannot be defined”, states the Tarot. It is the chaos and confusion of the supernatural disorder of The Necronomicon occult. “But [this] is precisely [the] rationalism which is now an obstacle to our spiritual survival.” If we are to continue into this post-modern fallacy which is our own creation, then we are in danger of failing as the Astral Race.
But the HP Lovecraft Tarot ends the main statement by putting the emphasis back onto the individual. Society may be heading in one direction, but it is up to us to take the initiative on our own. “This is a journey which always starts with a journey through the Underworld and a confrontation with the reptile brain”, says the Tarot. This Card when drawn in a reading, most probably indicates that it is this journey which we should now make.
POSITIVE READING: Who can see inside the mind of the Toad? None of us can, but the Card of the Toad God Tsathoggua may bring us closer. Remembering that Card 15 is usually representative of the Christian myth of The Devil, in a Positive Reading this represents that either a personal ‘Underworld Journey’ will be taken, or that we should take time to ourselves to explore certain personal issues. As a positive Card, this symbolises that this exploration of issues will be productive and beneficial. This journey will, according to the HP Lovecraft Tarot, involve “mythic confrontation with the Shadow & other primal archetypes”. The sequel to this book is planned to explain the ideas of the Psychiatrist Jung as regards the Tarot and the Mythos of The Necronomicon, but one reference to psychology defines Shadow Archetypes as representing a “complex of underdeveloped feelings, ideas, desires and the like” (Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, Arthur S. Reber & Emily Reber, 3rd Ed, 2001). Therefore, these are the ideas that will be focused on most directly, as the Mythos of the Toad brings us towards these and similar emotions. This, as the mentality of the Toad will, as is discussed with the Lovecraft Deck, result in “reclaiming a place in the dark.” This as a Tarot that deals with the dark side of the Cosmos and of human nature, will relate to the discovery or rediscovery of the occult as part of the darker side of the Universe and human nature, of which we are all a part of.
This being the start of a journey of self discovery that will, or should, be taken, will (according to this Tarot), lead us to an “Assimilation of material instincts and impulses as one of many parts of a healthy psych.” If this statement is not definition enough, it starts to make the point that, by taking in such materialistic instincts and impulses, what we are actually doing, is becoming at one with ourselves as a microcosm of the Universe, and this is essential to our balance as such a tiny part of this Universe that was repeatedly defined by Lovecraft. If this seems egotistical, remember that our chosen Mythos of Worship does not revolve around a philosophy that can easily be taken as being ‘good’.
So, as we have stated already, with the Card of Tsathoggua being on a parallel with that of The Devil, this Card also has room to express the ritualistic. “Healthy expression of physical desire & necessity” is now defined; with this being a typical example of the ideas apparent with the religious philosophy of Satanism, which has some similar values, but a different belief paradigm to ours. It is therefore essential here that we define parallel terms, in stating a similar view that the individual is the most important issue to the understanding of the self. Unlike Satanism, however, where this is the most important central principal, to the R’Lyeh the karmic unity with our God system takes the first priority. “Pleasure, orgasm [and] fulfilment” are lastly defined here as Positive. This may have many meanings, but as we here draw a parallel with Satanism, this could (as one interpretation) relate to the rites of self fulfilment, pleasurable drug use, or – to make this point in the most direct manner – may symbolise that there may be some involvement in our lives with sex magick as a form of Worship to whatever Deity that our religious magickal system may concern.
NEGATIVE READING: Whilst most other interpretations of the Tarot are actually quite safe, we must make a point hat Card 15 is, in the traditional sense, representative of a daemonic force for evil and destruction. A Negative Reading here, is, therefore, potentially quite destructive. It must be stated here then, quite directly, that if a Negative meaning is defined with this Card, then it may be best not to be too concerned unnecessarily. Remember that to be forewarned is to be forearmed, and that if we have insight into what may occur, then we can be ready for it.
The definition of a Negative Reading with Tsathoggua starts with a fairly complicated first statement: “Rejection of instinct and natural archetypal patterns in favour of currently popular psychological theories of behaviour.” This has to be one example of how the HP Lovecraft Tarot draws heavily from psychology. In bringing up such issues involving the scientific study of thought, the Lovecraft Tarot is making a point that belief in the Necronomicon system of Gods is largely about the nature of supernatural existence, and the subtle and unconscious waves of thought as the way in which They communicate with humanity.
When broken down, this statement essentially says that our human and instinctual ways of thinking are being distorted by the modern manipulation of our minds by these ‘theories of behaviour’; such as role models enforced by TV in order to create a submissive society. This sort of conflict between the society that humanity has created for ourselves, and our awareness of ourselves as in tune with the Gods, is one that can happen easily. But the significance of this Card is the notion that we should be aware.
Card 15 ends with a warning that we should be in touch with our instinctive human emotions. It goes on to state that “inability to move beyond materialistic and / or instinctive actions or reactions” will become a part of our lives. Again this warns of a barrier between ourselves and awareness of the higher beings of the greater Universe; and, again, the problem lies with ourselves. “Perversion, moral & ethical corruption; greed, gluttony; anger, fear [and] violence” are specific actions or reactions (or emotions) that may be at play, and may be on the part of ourselves or others. These representations are the prerogative of the Toad, and Tsathoggua rules this domain as the equivalent of the Gate of the Christian Hell.
* Other sources say that Tsathoggua now lies beneath N’kai, where He dwells on Earth, after having ‘fallen from Saturn’ (statement taken from resources regarding Mythos fiction). The situation remains, though, that whatever information we may derive from Mythos fiction, if The Necronomicon states the existence of Tsathoggua, anywhere in the Cosmos, then The Cult of R’Lyeh on Earth will regard this as being religious truth.
* Card 15, in the Tarot, is usually representative of The Devil. This book is written as a study of the Gods on a higher level, though, and in terms of astral confusion and spiritual vibration that exists as represented by the Tarot, Tsathoggua stands as a greater God in terms of the study of The Necronomicon. Such concepts are the subject of this book, as the author considers this work to be an expression of the religious principals of the Cults of the blasphemous Tome of R’Lyeh.