Archive for H. P. Lovecraft

First Look at Our Next Publication ADEPT’S GAMBIT by Fritz Leiber edited by S. T. Joshi (Signed limited edition hardcover)

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , on April 21, 2014 by miskatonicbooks

We expect these to start shipping in the next four weeks!

To reserve your copy click on any of the photos below.

ADEPT’S GAMBIT: The Original Version by Fritz Leiber edited by S. T. Joshi (Signed limited edition hardcover)

 

Book with dust jacket

In 1936, the young Fritz Leiber wrote a 38,000-word novella entitled Adept’s Gambit and sent it to his new correspondent, H. P. Lovecraft. The older writer was thrilled at this sprawling narrative that mixed fantasy, sorcery, and historical fiction, and wrote an enormous letter expressing his praise and pointing out possible points that needed revision. Overall, however, Lovecraft was enthusiastic: “Certainly, you have produced a remarkably fine & distinctive bit of cosmic fantasy in a vein which is . . . essentially your own. The basic element of allegory, the earthiness & closeness to human nature, & the curious blending of worldly lightness with the strange & the macabre, all harmonise adequately & seem to express a definite mood & personality. The result is an authentic work of art.” 

Foil stamping

 

For decades, it was believed that this version—which contains small but significant references to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos—was lost. But the manuscript has recently surfaced, and it is now being published for the first time. This version differs radically from the later version published in Night’s Black Agents (1947), and represents a landmark in the development of Leiber’s fantasy career. As the first Fafhrd and Gray Mouser narrative, it will be of consuming interest to all devotees of Leiber’s work. 

Custom colored endpapers

This edition contains the complete, unabridged text of “Adept’s Gambit,” along with the complete text of Lovecraft’s letter commenting on it, as well as an introduction by S. T. Joshi providing background on the writing of the story. In all, this volume will find a cherished place among devotees of Fritz Leiber and H. P. Lovecraft. 

Text block

One of only 500 signed and numbered hardcover copies. Each copy is signed by the editor S. T. Joshi and hand numbered. Full color printed custom endpapers, foil stamping, and sewn binding. 

 

Viking Runes Deciphered

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , on February 14, 2014 by chrisperridas

At Miskatonic Books we love old “books” whether they are made from paper, clay, rocks, or bones.

Professor Webb had been engaged, forty-eight years before, in a tour of Greenland and Iceland in search of some Runic inscriptions which he failed to unearth; and whilst high up on the West Greenland coast had encountered a singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux whose religion, a curious form of devil-worship, chilled him with its deliberate bloodthirstiness and repulsiveness. H. P. Lovecraft. Call of Cthulhu.

Now a detective story has been resolved as Viking runes have finally been deciphered and decoded.

It’s like solving a puzzle,” said Nordby to the Norwegian website forskning.no. “Gradually I began to see a pattern in what was apparently meaningless combinations of runes.” However, those thinking that the coded runes will reveal deep secrets of the Norse will be disappointed. The messages found so far seem to be either used in learning or have a playful tone. In one case the message was ‘Kiss me’. Nordby explains “We have little reason to believe that rune codes should hide sensitive messages, people often wrote short everyday messages.” In many instances those who wrote the coded runes also left comments urging the readers to try to figure it out. Sometimes they would also boast of their abilities at writing the codes.

The 13th-century Viking code had eluded scholars. K. Jonas Nordby, PhD student, cracked the mystery. He is a runologist working at the University of Oslo. The “Jötunvillur code,” which is present on over 80 Norse inscriptions had long baffled scholars.

saythesecretword

He believes that the secret messageis: “Kiss me.” The graffiti was on 700-year-old stick on which two men, Sigurd and Lavrans, carved their names and wrote the brief message “Kiss me.”

Nordby acknowledged that there is a playful element to these runes, many of which, when cracked, amount to their authors boasting how difficult their ciphers are to crack.

“People challenged one another with codes. It was a kind of competition in the art of rune making. This testifies to a playfulness with writing that we don’t see today,” says Nordby.

Nine of the 80 or so coded runic writings that Nordby has investigated are written in the jötunvillur code. The others are written in coded runes with the aid of the Caesar cipher, a system involving a shift to letters a few places away in the alphabet. This and another code have been understood by researchers for some time.

Being good at writing and breaking codes ensured a certain amount of status, and people bragged about their proficiencies. On the Orkney Islands, for instance, someone wrote in code: “These runes were carved by the most rune-literate man west of the sea”.

Henrik Williams, a professor at Uppsala University’s Department of Scandinavian Languages and a Swedish expert on runes, says that Nordby’s discovery is important.

 

A Magickal Worldview (1898)

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2014 by chrisperridas

Below is a fascinating pair of articles on now almost lost magickal folklore. It also contrasts the emerging rationalist viewpoint which in bashing the magickal worldview, also preserved it for historians. John Wesley Powell (1834-1902), the subject of the article, was a powerful figure and was notable for founding the National Geographic Society, and thus created a different kind of modern kind of mythology.

In this, case, however, Powell’s book seems to bash the “primitive” sense of magick for the rationalist and scientific worldview. As a professional ethnologist, he preserved many wonderful magickal stories, but he was in essence a folklorist and mythologist with that bent of mind.

What is also fascinating is how the regional newspapers ripped out the essence of the Boston Transcript’s story, and kept the Indian narratives in order to sensationalize and sell newspapers. These papers seemed to relish the chance to bash savages and their “primitive ways”.

Both versions are posted below. Additional references are also listed for your perusal.

Those of you who, along with Miskatonic Books, enjoy contemplating the magickal viewpoint please excuse the prejudices and perjoratives of the era and enjoy the narratives.

Those of you who are Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith fans, note the interesting parallels with Yig and Tsatthogua.

arizona-rock_824_990x742

Boston Evening Transcript
10 December 1898
Page 24

GHOSTS AND THEIR HABITS
—–
Chief of Bureau of Ethnology Prints a Spook Book.
—–
Facts About the Evolution of Phantoms – The Ghost of the Savage, and the Civilized Spectre – Weird House of the Ancient of Serpents in Arizona – A Demoniac Residence in Southern California
—–
Washington, Dec. 9 {1898}
—–

“What I know About Ghosts,” would be an appropriate title for a work that is on the point of publication by the director of the Bureau of Ethnology, Major J. W. Powell {i.e. John Wesley Powell}. It is a book on the theory of phantoms, and it traces the evolution of those creepy things up out of the night time, showing how they arrived at their present condition of development. There is ever so much other wisdom in this admirable volume, which is called “Truth and Error,” but just now it will suffice to speak of spectres proper.

Ghosts it would appear, are extremely ancient. In fact, the people of old, who dwelt in caves and were on social terms with the wooly rhinoceros wee acquainted with a variety of them immensely greater than is known nowadays. Modern spectres are a degenerate breed, quite rare and exhibiting little differentiation. Most of them appear in an aimless sort of way, clad as in life, and glide on and off the scene like magic-lantern pictures, though now and then a comparitively husky spook does turn up in a winding-sheet and drag a few links of clanking chain across the floor.

Primeval man, on the other hand, was surrounded by phantoms; he moved in a world so thickly populated with them that it was only with the utmost difficulty that he could get about in safety. It is the same way, says Major Powell, with the savage of today, by whom all lower animals, stones, bodies of water, the sun, the moon, and the stars are supposed to have ghosts, which can leave their bodies and journey through the world. When a man sleeps, his phantasm, which cannot sleep, goes a-traveling. So, likewise, when the bodies of the rocks are at reast, their ghosts shine in the heavens as the aurora borealis. If you strike one rock with another, you can see the ghost as a spark of fire. When the clouds gather, they are the ghosts of water.

Now some of these spectres are decidedly interesting. For example, fifty miles to the southwest of Tucson, Ar., is a dreary region of desert, a rugged butte of roughly conical shape rises abruptly from the plain and points like a finger toward the sky. Here and there its sides are pitted with caverns, and altogether its appearance is so weird that it is no wonder the Papago Indians of the region regard it with superstitious awe. It is called Rattlesnake rock because the ancient of all the Rattlesnakes makes his home inside of it. This fact is known positively because he has been seen many times. The butte is a sacred place and nobody ventures near it under ordinary circumstances, but candidates for aboriginal “diplomas” as medicine men sleep on it overnight after fasting for a long time, and the big serpent comes out and leads them into the rock, where in an immense hollow chamber all sorts of potent things, such as snakes’ skins, birds’ claws, etc., are hung up. The uses of these for magical and curative purposes he teaches to the novice, who is thereafter regarded by his people as graduated in the arts of healing and sorcery.

On the field of the flight of Wounded Knee there was picked up an Indian baby not more than 3 months old, a little girl. She was found strapped to the back of her dead mother, who was shot in the massacre. General Colby adopted the child, to whom the name Zintka Lanuni (Lost Bird) was given and reared her as his daughter. Although the little girl neither knows nor remembers any conditions other than those of civilization, she has evinced one very notable inherited trait – namely, a fear of shadows. She is greatly afraid even of her own shadow, and this would seem very surprising were it not known that Indians, like most other savages, regard a shadow as the ghost of the person or other object by which it is thrown.

The rules of conduct by which a savage must govern his life are vastly more complex than those which control a civilized man. This is because of the multitude of ghosts which surround him on every side. The civilized man considers that he is doing what is required of him if he does not disturb the comfort of his neighbors, but the Indian is obliged to behave himself in a satisfactory way in respect to rocks, in respect to deer, in respect to the moon, and so on ad infinitum. He has an infinite number of neighbors, all of whom are none the less real to him because they are phantoms to us. For example, a certain line of conduct must be fulfilled by him in respect to rabbits; otherwise he would not be bale to catch any rabbits. The great ancient of rabbits permits some of his representatives to be captured only on the condition that certain forms shall be carefully observed by the captors.

Every tribe of Indians has its ghost places or devil places, which are haunted localities. In the country of the Tulare Indians in southern California is an enormous granite bowlder {sic} which is believed to be inhabited by witches. It is known as Witch rock, and nobody, least of all children, ventures to approach it. In the lower part of it is a curious opening, which has the shape of a cavern, and here the witches are supposed to dwell. Not far distant is a pool which is supposed to be occupied by the Devil. The waters of the pool are dark, being stained with some vegetable amtter, and close by is a mineral spring, which lends additional mystery. That the Devil does actually live in the pool is indisputable, because practically every member of the tribe has seen him. They go, a number of them together, and hold each other’s hands while they watch for him in the water. He is always there, watching for somebody to come along to be gobbled up.

There does not seem to be any evidence to show that a monkey ever saw a ghosty. That is because the monkey possesses no imagination. Without imagination there can be no ghost. The man and the ghost must have begun to exist in the world together, practically. To the primeval savage, as to the Indian of today, everything had its phantasmal essence, so to speak, and the essence was more important than the external properties of the object. From this point of view a thing has a tangible shell, but within it is contained a potency of spirit. This latter is the ghost, which is at liberty to leave the object when it wishes. Of course the savage has a ghost of his own, of which he is vaguely conscious.

Among the most appalling spooks that haunt the Iroquois is a carnivorous ghost in the shape of a skeleton. Particularly malevolent spirits are certain huge heads without bodies that go flying about, their long hair serving them in lieu of wings. The Indians generally believe in supernatural beings corresponding to our fairies and goblins, which have local abiding places well recognized as such. They call them the “little people.”

Near the junction of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers is a great rock, on which is carved the representation of a panther. Up to a very recent period, and until the Indians were driven out of that part of the country, they made sacrifices regularly t this sculptured animal, believing that the rock was the home of the Ancient of all the panthers. This custom of theirs was evidently quite old, inasmuch as it is referred to by Marquette. {Presumably Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, 1637-1675}

Formerly there dwelt under Niagara falls a gigantic snake, which now and then would make its way to an Indian village in the neighborhood and coil itself around the town. It swallowed the people who tried to escape and rendered itself further obnoxious by poisoning the wells with its spittle. Finally the serpent was destroyed by a stratagem. It was so huge that when the people laid its body out in death it stretched over more than twenty arrows flights. Indeed when thrown into the river it was too large to pass the rocks, so that it became wedged in between them, and the waters rose over it, thus fashioning the horseshoe, which remains to this day.

The Cherokees are very much afraid of certain mythical horned alligators which are supposed to reside in several different places in deep holes in the rivers. There is one locality in Oklahoma where a creature of this description has an underground tunnel from one river to another. In the southern Allegheny region on the dividing ridge is an enchanted lake that is the haunt of several monstrous animals possessed of magic powers. One of these is a great snake, which has the power of fascinating its human victim, and it is so poisonous that a single drop of its spittle falling upon a person is death. Equally formidable is an enormous leech which lives in the Hiwassee river, in the same country. Occasionally a certain ledge of rock is exposed when the water is low, and any one who attempts to walk across it is inevitably sucked down.

In the Indian mythology nearly every animal is descended from an ancestral giant of ferocious and dangerous attributes, which was finally destroyed by some tribal hero. The Klowas, for example, say that the deer used to be a terrific creature – more so, indeed, than the panther, being equally fierce and with superior running poers. In New Meico is, or rather was, a lake, now long dried up. When the Indians first came to that part of the country many of them who ventured to approach the lake were dragged into it and destroyed by a mysterious agency. But at length there came along a god who dried up the water and found at the bottom of it an enormous frog, which was responsible for the mischief. There were also a great many little frogs, but they were left uninjured, being harmless, as theya re today.

Near the head of the Savannah River are the famous Talula Falls. It has been well known for centuries that the Thunder Spirit lives beneath these falls, and its roaring may constantly be heard in the noise of the ctaract. Indeed, this is a world full of spooks, from the aboriginal view-point, and yet ghosts of human beings are rarely heard of among the Indians. This is largely because the Indians never speak of the dead under any circumstances, and the phantoms of their relatives and friends would be unpopular with them.

“Truth and Error,” as major Powell’s book is entitled, is by no means devoted wholly to ghosts. the author considers all delusions and mistakes in thinking under the head of ghosts, and his work is a sort of résumé of the condition of the human knowledge up-to-date. It is, in fact, an epoch-making series of philosophical essays.

Rene Bache

{Presumably this is journalist René Bache, 1861-1933}

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2249&dat=18981210&id=Pgs0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=ESMIAAAAIBAJ&pg=6326,4687308

_____

(A typical reprint. Much has been excluded, including any reference to the John Wesley Powell book. Only the folklore is preserved, and that in a sensational way once divorced from teh context. Some liberties and abbreviations were taken in the reprint, as can be seen below. This article was the one originally located, and then subsequently the original was uncovered.}

Aurora Daily Express *
20 March 1899

ODD INDIAN BELIEFS

Every Tribe Has Its Own Devil Places and Ghosts

Witches and Spooks Play a Prominent Part In the Lives of the Savages – The Gigantic Snake Which Formed Niagara Falls

Fifty miles to the southwest of Tucson, A. T., {i.e. Arizona Territory} is a dreary region of desert – a rugged butte of roughly conical shape rises abruptly from the plain and points like a finger toward the sky. Here and there its sides are pitted with caverns, and altogether its appearance is so weird that it is no wonder the Papago Indians of the region regard it with superstitious awe. It is called Rattlesnake rock because the ancient of all the Rattlesnakes makes his home inside of it. This fact is known positively because he has been seen many times. The butte is a sacred place and nobody ventures near it under ordinary circumstances, but candidates for aboriginal “diplomas” as medicine men sleep on it overnight after fasting for a long time, and the big serpent comes out and leads them into the rock, where in an immense hollow chamber all sorts of potent things, such as snakes’ skins, birds’ claws, etc., are hung up. The uses of these for magical and curative purposes he teaches to the novice, who is thereafter regarded by his people as graduated in the arts of healing and sorcery.

On the field of the flight of Wounded Knee there was picked up an Indian baby not more than 3 months old, a little girl. She was found strapped to the back of her dead mother, who was shot in the massacre. General Colby adopted the child, to whom the name Zintka Lannui (Lost Bird) was given and reared her as his daughter. Although the little girl neither knows nor remembers any conditions other than those of civilization, she has evinced one very notable inherited trait – namely, a fear of shadows. She is greatly afraid even of her own shadow, and this would seem very surprising were it not known that Indians, like most other savages, regard a shadow as the ghost of the person or other object by which it is thrown.

The rules of conduct by which a savage must govern his life are vastly more complex than those which control a civilized man. This is because of the multitude of ghosts which surround him on every side. The civilized man considers that he is doing what is required of him if he does not disturb the comfort of his neighbors, but the Indian is obliged to behave himself in a satisfactory way in respect to rocks, in respect to deer, in respect to the moon, and so on ad infinitum. He has an infinite number of neighbors, all of whom are none the less real to him because they are phantoms to us. For example, a certain line of conduct must be fulfilled by him in respect to rabbits; otherwise he would not be bale to catch any rabbits. The great ancient of rabbits permits some of his representatives to be captured only on the condition that certain forms shall be carefully observed by the captors.

Every tribe of Indians has its ghost places or devil places, which are haunted localities. In the country of the Tulare Indians in southern California is an enormous granite bowlder {sic} which is believed to be inhabited by witches. It is known as Witch rock, and nobody, least of all children, ventures to approach it. In the lower part of it is a curious opening, which has the shape of a cavern, and here the witches are supposed to dwell. Not far distant is a pool which is supposed to be occupied by the devil. The waters of the pool are dark, being stained with some vegetable amtter, and close by is a mineral spring, which lends additional mystery. That the devil does actually live in the pool is indisputable, becuase practically every member of the tribe has seen him. They go, a number of them together, and hold each other’s hands while they watch for him in the water. He is always there, watching for somebody to come along to be gobbled up.

To the primeval savage, as to the Indian of today, everything had its phantasmal essence, so to speak, and the essence was more important than the external properties of the object. From this point of view a thing has a tangible shell, but within it is contained a potency of spirit. This latter is the ghost, which is at liberty to leave the object when it wishes. Of course the savage has a ghost of his own, of which he is vaguely conscious.

Among the most appalling spooks that haunt the Iroquois is a carnivorous ghost in the shape of a skeleton. Particularly malevolent spirits are certain huge heads without bodies that go flying about, their long hair serving them in lieu of wings. The Indians generally believe in supernatural beings corresponding to our fairies and goblins, which have local abiding places well recognized as such. They call them the “little people.”

Formerly there dwelt under Niagara falls a gigantic snake, which now and then would make its way to an Indian village in the neighborhood and coil itself around the town. It swallowed the people who tried to escape and rendered itself further obnoxious by poisoning the wells with its spittle. Finally the serpent was destroyed by a stratagem. It was so huge that when the people laid its body out in death it stretched over more than 20 arrows flights. Indeed when thrown into the river it was too large to pass the rocks, so that it became wedged in between them, and the waters rose over it, thus fashioning the horseshoe, which remains to this day.

The Cherokees are very much afraid of certain mythical horned alligators which are supposed to reside in several different places in deep holes in the rivers. There is one locality in Oklahoma where a creature of this description has an underground tunnel from one river to another. In the southern Allegheny region on the dividing ridge is an enchanted lake that is the haunt of several monstrous animals possessed of magic powers. One of these is a great snake, which has the power of fascinating its human victim, and it is so poisonous that a single drop of its spittle falling upon a person is death. Equally formidable is an enormous leech which lives in the Hiwassee river in the same country. Occasionally a certain ledge of rock is exposed when the water is low, and any one who attempts to walk across it is inevitably sucked down. In the Indian mythology nearly every animal is descended from an ancestral giant of ferocious and dangerous attributes, which was finally destroyed by some tribal hero.

{* Note. There are many reprints of this item in newspaper archives in 1899. Some are abbreviated versions. The Boston Evening Transcript of 1898

Also see reference at: http://www.devilspenny.com/2010/08/some-native-american-ghosts/

_____

Other references

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1928&dat=18990210&id=waogAAAAIBAJ&sjid=SmkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=684,1584018

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=142&dat=18990414&id=FSENAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Q2cDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1448,3617908

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2329&dat=18990320&id=vIEoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=uwUGAAAAIBAJ&pg=4899,6438136

https://archive.org/stream/truthanderroror00unkngoog#page/n194/mode/2up

New, Rare and Interesting Items This Week at Miskatonic Books

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2014 by miskatonicbooks

To get ordering information on any title just click on the picture.

Many of the books we carry are rare and we have a very limited quantity. All books are sold on a first come first serve basis.  All books are available for layaway.

We are always interested in buying Esoteric, Occult, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Witchcraft, Religious, Philosophy classic horror and Lovecraftian fiction. Feel free to contact us at miskatonicbooks@me.com

MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF OUR LAND 2 vol set by Charles M. Skinner (1986 custom half bound leather edition) One of Lovecraft’s Favorites!

Book Description: J. P. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, 1896. First edition. Two small octavo volumes. 318; 335, [1] pp. plus eight full page photographic illustrations (including one of Yellowstone and one of a Moqui village). Title pages printed in red and black. Of special interest is the chapter in the second volume called “On the Pacific Slope” in which myths on “The Cascades and the Columbia”; “The Queen of Death Valley”; and “Bridal Veil Fall” are explored.

A copy of the set was much loved by the American author H.P. Lovecraft who used it as a guide and resource for many story ideas.

Both books are in very good condition: Free of markings or marginalia. Handsomely and skillful rebound at some point in the past. Never a library set.

THE SCORPION GOD by Mark Alan Smith (Signed Limited Edition Hardcover) Import

The standard edition is bound in shimmering mahogany silk and embossed in gold with the seal of the Book of Forbidden Wisdom and limited to only 999 signed and numbered copies. Printed on thick high quality paper and finished with black endpapers. Twelve powerful full page illustrations. Each copy of this edition will be individually consecrated by the author in order to open the gateways within the book through which the spirits of the Atlantean current may once again flow, unbound, in the world of man. Book is in new unread condition

2012 marks the changing of the aeon. It is the dawn of the Age of the Lightbearer. The Forbidden Gnosis and Power of Belial is manifested within the pages of The Scorpion God to herald this era of Re-Awakening and the return, in full, of the Primal Atlantean Current which empowered the Ancient Witchcraft, the First Faith of man.

The third volume of the Trident consists of the Six Books of the Forbidden Wisdom of Belial, which open the gates of the Depths to the soul who follows the Path of Flames in search of the Three Great Crowns of Divinity. As Lord of the Heights and the Depths, Belial grants keys to the hidden power of the Atlantean realm. The Gates of Amenta are opened both within the soul and throughout the inner planes, allowing the adept to follow the Path of Lucifer’s Flames as it descends into the realm of the Gods of the first incarnate race. Assimilation, at soul level, of the power of the Scorpion Godform of Belial is granted in order to facilitate this transition. This is the culmination of the Path of Flames which leads the Godsoul, forged from the spirit of man, beyond the Gate of Souls and back to the throne of Hecate.

THE ALTAR OF SACRIFICE by Mark Alan Smith (Signed limited edition hardcover) Import

One of only 999 signed and numbered hardcover copies. Book is in new unread condition

The First Volume of The Way of Sacrifice

Bound in black faux suede with copper lettering to spine and copper seal to upper board, 6 full page artworks. Over 150 seals and glyphs of the Arte, Note pages at rear. The Blood Pact edition, limited to 999 copies hand-numbered & consecrated by the author. This copy also signed by the author on the limitation page. “The Altar of Sacrifice” is the first volume of Smith’s new trilogy “The Books of the Way of Sacrifice”, a closely woven trilogy which consists of three inner books, “each revealing legendary power of the Olde Ways, attained through the Arte of Bloody Sacrifice. This is not solely a book of the Sacrificial Arte. It is the first gate, manifested and opened in blood, through which the Trident Kin reveal the Apocalyptic Keys. Created from flesh in bloody sacrifice, these keys unleash the Wrath of the Gods. The Volumes of Sacrifice are forged from a practice that was born of gnosis received beyond the Gates of the Final Judgment of the Soul, a pact undertaken in free will by the author with Lucifer, in the name of Hecate.

KEYS OF OCAT by S. Connolly (SIGNED Leather Bound Devotee Edition)

The Keys of Ocat reveals the never before published Saturn rites, seals, and theophantic gate opening rituals of Ocat, the abyssal gatekeeper of the dead. Behind His gates dwell the Daemons of death including Euronymous, Balberith, Bune, Hekate, Frucisierre, and many others. These blood magick rituals, talismans and seals will aid the advanced magician in conjuring Daemons to speak with the dead, commune with death, and discover the true meaning of mortality and spiritual immortality. Be forewarned, however, Ocat is not known to be a friendly gatekeeper to all magi who approach Him, and the Daemons behind His gates are some of the most terrifying of their nature.

The Keys of Ocat DEVOTEE EDITION is 6″x9″, heavy cream, smythe sewn, archival quality paper. It is bound in Red Leather with a shallow embossing of a necromantic formula on the cover. Limited to 200 copies, contains a silver place marker ribbon and each one was autographed by the author during a special consecration ceremony.

A GATHERING OF MASKS by Robert Fitzgerald (Limited Edition Hardcover)

Aleister Crowley’s obscure Liber 231 remains one of his most enigmatic received magical texts, and one whose genesis directly concerns the workings of astral magic and trance-mediumship. A Gathering of Masks is the summation of direct magical workings with the Genii of the Domes, the spirits governing the revealed mystery of Liber 231, and serving as the wards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Fulfilled by the author over a period of a decade, the twenty-two evocations of the Genii of the Domes reveal a patterning of power and gnosis heretofore little-explored in the practice of the Art Magical.

The book commences with the author’s Introduction, entitled “By Seal and Sphere: A Treatise on Astral Magic”. The heart of the work is comprised of twenty-two oracles, each of which is accompanied by a commentary and a unique Queen Scale sigil derived from the Work. The book also includes several illustrations by artist-author Barry William Hale of Fulgur Limited. Of interest to scholars of Thelema and practitioners of ceremonial magic, Gathering stands as an outré magical record of the Divinatory Art.

The book is 128 pages, octavo format, with three full-page illustrations and 22 magical diagrams. It was published in two editions:

Standard hardcover cloth with letterpress dust jacket, limited to four hundred sixty-two copies. Book is in unread condition.

IDOLATRY RESTOR’D: Witchcraft and the Image of Power by Daniel A Schulke (Limited Edition Hardcover)

Cloth bound hardcover of only 396 hand numbered copies. Book is in new condition.

The translation of magical power to image is a matter well understood in so-called ‘primitive’ sorcery, in which occurs a mutual embodiment of re-presentation and the Represented. The Fetish, for example, apprehends a reciprocal process between Object and Creator that often begins long before chisels and adzes are set to wood, participating in its own reification. Many of these eldritch forms of image-making were concerned with accessing power, and it was only later, in the context of religious devotion, that their forms densified into ‘mere’ idols. With increasing levels of religious control over art, a Moiré pattern arises between the Artist and the forces of the Divine, which may either suppress individual visionary power in favor of canonized icons, or, when correctly accessed, give rise to an ‘heretical creativity’.

Witchcraft, because of its syncretic nature, partakes in multiple infusions of traditional image-making lore, including not only sorcery and religious iconography, but also science, craftsmanship, and the fine arts. However, because much of its images are used privately, and indeed created for a limited set of observers, they participate in a concentrated alembic of exposure wherein all who experience them do so in the context of magical practice and devotion. This intensity of private magical interaction provides a locus which enables the image to transcend its medium —and indeed that fetish known as ‘icon’— and generates living numen.

First published as an essay in the British folklore quarterly The Cauldron in 2009, Idolatry Restor’d drew upon the experiential arenas of magical practice and Image-Artistry which came to inform Schulke’s book Lux Haeresis (Xoanon, 2011). Here substantially expanded with illustrations prepared especially for the work, Idolatry Restor’d is a book of engaging fascinum for both Artists and Beholders alike, and strikes at the heart of magical image-aesthesis.

20% off all in stock items at Miskatonic Books for the next 48 hours!!!

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2013 by miskatonicbooks

 

From now through Wednesday December 4th we will be offering 20% off all of our in “stock items”. Everything is on a first come first serve basis and we cannot be held accountable for prior sale. Layaways are acceptable with this discount just choose “layaway” as your payment option.

There is no minimum order and remember that all domestic orders are $5 shipping no matter what size the order.

To receive your discount please use the coupon code  “winter20” in the coupon code section at check out. This coupon code is not good with any other coupons and is only good for in stock items. No preorders please.

Thanks so much for your continued support!

Here are a few of our latest in stock and very cool items.

Occlith 0: Omniform By Joseph Uccello (Special Antique Brown Goatskin Edition)

Occlith Omniform 0 is 272 pages, printed on heavy art stock, in antique brown goatskin, custom slipcase, satin ribbon sewn in bookmark, marbled endpapers and hand numbered to only 55 copies. Book is in new unread condition. This is number 35.

Since 1992, Xoanon and its sister publishing house Three Hands Press have pioneered the art of occult publishing, their practice driven by the philosophy that a truly magical book transcends the medium of its material embodiment. In part, this has been achieved through sublime qualities of exceptional content and artistry: original text, image, and type design which are undeniably possessed by the inspiring spirits which animate the volume. In the most potent of instances, the book coalesces by a hidden and vital anatomy, whose heart pulsates with life. Historically, the phenomenon of the magical book has appeared at the confluence of magic, mysticism, artistic inspiration and high craftsmanship. Nowhere is this as evident or beguiling as in the corpus of European alchemical texts, created in the ascendancy of movable type, where individual spiritual revelation came to inform both how the Royal Art of Alchemy was understood, and how books were made.

In collaboration with The Viatorium Press, and in the spirit of furthering the modern tradition of the Magical Book, we are pleased to announce Occlith Omniform 0 from award-winning artist, typographer and printer Joseph Uccello. Containing essential texts of the Paracelsian School of Alchemy, the whole serves as an animated sourcebook of essential Hermetic philosophy and Natural Magic, vivified through the letterpress-inspired type design and Uccello’s masterful ink and brush drawings. In addition to the lavishly-illustrated alchemical texts, Omniform includes an essential lexicon of alchemical terms, and an original Introduction by Uccello serves as the portal of ingress into this Corporeal Book.

 

THE AFFLICTED MIRROR: A Study of Ordeals and the Making of Compacts by Peter Hamilton-Giles (Special Turquoise Goatskin Edition)

One of only 66 copies produced. Bound in turquoise goatskin and hand numbered this being number 36.

Measuring the connectivity between the visible and invisible, by using physicality as a signifier, brings another aspect to the fore. There appears to be good reason to believe there is a ratio in physical difference when it comes to observing how the metaphysical manifests partial presences. Exponential distortions correspond to how we retain a level of contact with the Other. When these abnormalities become exaggerated they prompt greater emotive responses, such as fear. By expressing an Otherness in this manner their difference takes on a terrifying dimension which also indicates power.

A shared feature of genuine magical practice and religious experience is the impression of ‘Otherness’, an entic arena of alienation and unfamiliarity. Contrasted with the more comfortable and known spheres of the Self, this ‘state apart’ provides not only inspiration and wonder, it is the dwelling-place of the gods and the prime source of gnosis, direct experience with the divine.

The Afflicted Mirror, based on a research paper presented at the 1996 AAA Anthropology of Religion inaugural conference in Kansas, suggests that for the metaphysical domain to become significant it must distort its appearance so as to attract our attention. This leads not only to validating the existence of the ‘Other’ but also illustrates its influence on how we shape the world. Providing groundbreaking insight on the magician’s actuated relationship with spirits and Gods, The Afflicted Mirror offers a pioneering examination of a topic often overlooked by scholars. As an original phenomenological model, Peter Hamilton-Giles’ The Afflicted Mirror unites such diverse spiritual states as the mysticism of the Seer, the religious ecstasy of the Saint, and the spirit-conjurations of the sorcerer.

 

LAMP OF WESTERN MYSTICISM by Arthur Edward Waite (First Edition Hardcover)

 

This is a first edition hardcover in very good condition in a good dust jacket. Dust jacket is intact with a few very small tears, the dust jacket is rarely found with this book particularly in this condition. The blue boards and stamping to this edition are striking with some shelfwear and light rubbing to boards else fine. A beautiful copy of this rare edition.

‘Lamps of Western Mysticism’ contains a wealth of information on the history and practices of Western mysticism, including the Dionysian heritage, post-reformation mystics, and mystical realization. Arthur Edward Waite was born on the 2nd of October, 1857 in America. Waite was a scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. As his biographer, R.A. Gilbert described him, “Waite’s name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism – viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion.”

Contents: Essays on the Life of the Soul in God. A collection of thirty-two Essays in Three Parts. Lamps of Quest: The Path of Reality: An Ex-parte Statement; Oblation and Service; Consecrations of Life and Thought; The Higher Understanding; The Sense of the Infinite; Life and Doctrine; A Study in Contrast; The Higher Aspect; Spiritism and the Mystic Quest; Official Churches and Spiritism; The Path of the Mysteries. Lamps of Life: Of Crowned Masters; The Dionysian Heritage; The Everlasting Gospel; The Message of Eckehart; Ruysbroeck’s Journey in the Divine Distance; A bride of Christ; Voices from Carmel; Post-Reformation Mystics; Molinos and the Quietists; Later Witnesses to the Life of Life; In the Shadow of Revolution; A Modern Daughter of Desire;. Lamps on Heights: Mystical Realization; Faith and Vision; The Path of Contemplation; The World to Come and the World of the Holy One; Grounds of Unity in Grace and Nature; The Poet’s Glass of Vision; A Study in Christian Pantheism; The Grades of Love; The Inward Holy of Holies.

 

Some Arcane Wisdom Press titles that are back in stock and in very short supply:

THE DEAD VALLEY AND OTHERS: H. P. Lovecraft’s Favorite Horror Stories Volume 2 edited by S. T. Joshi (Signed Limited Hardcover)


Limited to only 150 signed and numbered hardcover copies.  Each story is hand picked by Lovecraftian scholar S. T. Joshi, with introduction.

H. P. Lovecraft was a voracious reader of supernatural and fantastic fiction, and he was continually on the hunt for powerful and stimulating works in these genres. Many of the stories he read directly influenced his own writings

Here is the second volume in the very popular Lovecraft’s Favorite series.

Contents

  • Introduction by S. T. Joshi
  • The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O’Brien
  • The Horla by Guy de Maupassant
  • The Moon Pool by A. Merritt
  • Count Magnus by M. R. James
  • The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce
  • The Dead Valley by Ralph Adams Cram
  • The Bad Lands by John Metcalfe
  • Ooze by Anthony M. Rud
  • Fishhead by Irvin S. Cobb
  • The Harbor-Master by Robert W. Chambers
  • Ancient Sorceries by Algernon Blackwood
  • Cassius by Henry S. Whitehead
  • The Spider by Hanns Heinz Ewers
  • Blind Man’s Buff by H. Russell Wakefield

 

THE STUFF OF DREAMS: THE WEIRD STORIES OF EDWARD LUCAS WHITE Edited by S. T. Joshi (Signed Limited Edition Hardcover)

Arcane Wisdom Press is proud to announce our latest project, The Stuff Of Dreams: The Weird Stories of Edward Lucas White, collected and edited with introduction by scholar S. T. Joshi.

One of only 150 signed and numbered hardcover copies signed by the editor S. T. Joshi.

American writer Edward Lucas White (1866–1934) produced a memorable body of weird fiction in his two short story collections, The Song of the Sirens (1919) andLukundoo and Other Stories (1927). The distinctive feature of these stories is that many of them were based on the author’s incredibly bizarre and detailed dreams. The classic story “Lukundoo” tells of a hideous curse inflicted by an African witch-doctor; “Amina” is the innovative tale of a female ghoul; “The Snout” hints loathsomely of a hybrid monster in an old manor house; and “The Song of the Sirens” tells of the latent horror behind the classic Greek myth of the half-bird, half-woman creatures known as the Sirens. These are only some of the potently macabre tales in this book, which shows Edward Lucas White to be a master of the weird tale whose work has been unavailable for too long.

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • The House of the Nightmare
  • The Flambeau Bracket
  • Amina
  • The Message on the Slate
  • Lukundoo
  • The Pig-skin Belt
  • The Song of the Sirens
  • The Picture Puzzle
  • The Snout
  • Sorcery Island
  • Azrael
  • The Ghoula
  • Edward Lucas White on Dreams

 

BOHEMIANS OF SESQUA VALLEY by W. H. Pugmire (Signed Limited Edition Hardcover)

 

The haunted Sesqua Valley lies hidden in the Northwest, surrounded by forested hills.  A region of dream and madness, it seduces the lunatic soul with the dangerous and captivating marvels of the Outside.  Linked to the woodland of this valley is the shadowed forest of the Dreamlands, from which Nyarlathotep and his night-gaunts seep into the world of wakefulness so as to tempt and corrupt humankind.

 

With this collection of new original fiction, Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire investigates his Lovecraftian locality as never before, with new novelettes that take the reader deep into the mysteries of an eldritch land.  Chief among they who haunt Sesqua Valley is its first-born beast, Simon Gregory Williams, who in this book is revealed as a creature of secret feelings and dark alchemy. BOHEMIANS OF SESQUA VALLEY is a showcase of Pugmire’s continual obsession with the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, to whom this book pay homage.

A collection of six novelettes of over 50,000 words

Contents:

  • Introduction by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
  • In Memoriam: Robert Nelson
  • One Card Unturned
  • An Ecstasy of Fear
  • Unhallowed Places
  • This Splendor of the Goat
  • A Quest of Dream
  • The Strange Dark One

One of only 150 signed and numbered hardcover copies, color endpapers, foil stamped front board and spine. With cover art and illustrations by Gwabryel.

W. H. Pugmire has been writing his Lovecraft-possessed weird fiction since the early 1970′s, when he was inspired to write via his correspondence with Robert Bloch, who was himself inspired to write as a young man through his correspondence with H. P. Lovecraft.  Initially writing for the small press magazines, Pugmire then began to collect his fiction with such books as SESQUA VALLEY AND OTHER HAUNTS, DREAMS OF LOVECRAFTIAN HORROR and THE FUNGAL STAIN AND OTHER DREAMS.  His newer books include the stunning illustrated omnibus from Centipede Press, THE TANGLED MUSE, and such collections as GATHERED DUST AND OTHERS and UNCOMMON PLACES.  His finest book, SOME UNKNOWN GULF OF NIGHT, was published in 2011 by Arcane Wisdom Press.  His newest book, written in collaboration with Jeffrey Thomas, is ENCOUNTERS WITH ENOCH COFFIN, from Dark Regions Press.

Arcane Wisdom Press Announces New FRITZ LEIBER Title

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , on November 17, 2013 by miskatonicbooks

 

ADEPT’S GAMBIT: The Original Version by Fritz Leiber edited by S. T. Joshi (Signed limited edition hardcover)

Just click on cover art to get more information on this upcoming title and to reserve your copy.

 

One of only 300 signed and numbered hardcover copies. Each copy is signed by the editor S. T. Joshi and hand numbered. Full color printed custom endpapers, foil stamping, and sewn binding.

In 1936, the young Fritz Leiber wrote a 38,000-word novella entitled Adept’s Gambit and sent it to his new correspondent, H. P. Lovecraft. The older writer was thrilled at this sprawling narrative that mixed fantasy, sorcery, and historical fiction, and wrote an enormous letter expressing his praise and pointing out possible points that needed revision. Overall, however, Lovecraft was enthusiastic: “Certainly, you have produced a remarkably fine & distinctive bit of cosmic fantasy in a vein which is . . . essentially your own. The basic element of allegory, the earthiness & closeness to human nature, & the curious blending of worldly lightness with the strange & the macabre, all harmonise adequately & seem to express a definite mood & personality. The result is an authentic work of art.”

For decades, it was believed that this version—which contains small but significant references to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos—was lost. But the manuscript has recently surfaced, and it is now being published for the first time. This version differs radically from the later version published in Night’s Black Agents (1947), and represents a landmark in the development of Leiber’s fantasy career. As the first Fafhrd and Gray Mouser narrative, it will be of consuming interest to all devotees of Leiber’s work.

This edition contains the complete, unabridged text of “Adept’s Gambit,” along with the complete text of Lovecraft’s letter commenting on it, as well as an introduction by S. T. Joshi providing background on the writing of the story. In all, this volume will find a cherished place among devotees of Fritz Leiber and H. P. Lovecraft.

Monument to “god of Chaos” Mysteriously Appears in Front of Oklahoma City Restaurant

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , on August 31, 2013 by miskatonicbooks

A heavy concrete block appeared on the front lawn of The Paseo Grill in Oklahoma City on Friday. Restaurant owners aren’t quite sure what to make of the monument or its reference to H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional deity, Azathoth.

The bizarre concrete block weighs several hundred pounds. A bronze plaque attached to the monument bears these words, “In the Year of Our Lord 2012 Creer Pipi claimed this land for Azathoth.”

An Oklahoma City restaurant has a concrete problem in its hands.

Staff at Paseo Grill, located in Oklahoma’s historic Paseo Arts District, are still making sense of a mysterious concrete block that materialized on their front lawn last Friday.

The three-foot-high monument to the fictional deity Azathoth is rough to the touch. It appears as if it has been chipped loose from a base.

RELATED: MYSTERIOUS 13-FOOT SEA CREATURE WASHES UP ON BEACH IN SPAIN, BAFFLES EXPERTS

And it’s so heavy that three strong men could only make it budge an inch.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/monument-god-chaos-materializes-front-oklahoma-city-restaurant-article-1.1439431#ixzz2dZfwzxJu

40th Anniversary of Wagner’s “In The Pines” Debut

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , , on May 3, 2013 by chrisperridas

Ever since Lovecraft and his friend began to introduce arcane and mouldering books into their stories, the idea has been a popular prop for horror stories. One of the best modern practitioners of this style of fantasy fiction was the late Karl Edward Wagner (1945-1994). Beginning in the 1960′s, and usually staying in the low end and limited press markets, Wagner attracted a loyal audience and became a noted celebrity among them.

The Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine debuted (1949) as primarily a reprint pulp magazine, but Anthony Boucher had big plans. He began to create what might be considered a high brow approach to what had been sicentifiction in the 1930′s and was being coined Sci-Fi in the 1950s, and the magazine and the concept were magnificent triumphs ushering in the mature era of “SF”.

F&SF was already venerable and venerated by 1973. This blogger, as a teenager, was grabbing copies at the local drug store as often as he could. But, senior year of High School came and then college and eventually this collection of magazines ended up in a box, and then moved from place to place. The numerous copies from the 1970s began to be jostled and one by one given away to friends, or to some charity, or simply disapperead until only one was left, alone, forgotten, and rotting away in the garage. Until last week.

FSF Aug1973 cover

Note the mildew coating, and the ratted edges where the paper became friable and fell away. The cover, by Don Davis is a take off of the flag planting on Iwo Jima (23 Feb 1945).

Like a forgotten copy of the Necronomicon or a tattered copy of a play about the King in Yellow, there lay at the bottom of a cardboard box a mildewed copy of the August 1973 F&SF. The pages were yellowed, and covered in fungus. A healthy dose of paper towels and lysol, and much of the microbial detritus was removed, and then a quick flip of the pages in a fresh breeze cleared most of the rest of the dirt stuck on the edges of the pages.

Inside, a treasure trove was re-discovered.

FSF Aug1973 TOC

Table of Contents including now legendary writers and artists.

It included the 1973 debut of Karl Edward Wagner’s classic In the Pines, a story by a young David J. Skal, and the results of a “Feghoot” contest.

I suddenly realized that this was a 40 year old magazine. But how could that be? It seemed like only yesterday I had bought it and brought it home. But if I were honest, after 40 years the mildewed copy that was once freshly minted had fared only a little better than my 57 year old arthritic body.

In the Pines has been eloquently reviewed by Stefan Dziemianowicz:

… he published the book’s lead-off story, “In the Pines”, in a 1973 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The tale is a retelling of sorts of Oliver Onions’ classic ghost story “The Beckoning Fair One” (which Wagner references in his story) and it shows how well Wagner understood the mechanics of the horror tale. Onions’ story tells of an author who rents a house and who crumbles psychologically under the influence of a former female tenant whose ghostly presence has imbued the place. In Wagner’s story, a husband who moves temporarily with his wife to a remote cabin in Tennessee to recuperate emotionally following the death of their young child falls under the spell of a ghostly woman who disappeared from the premises half a century before. Atmospheric and laden with portents and foreshadowings, the story builds to a powerful climax in the final paragraphs. It’s the first of several of Wagner’s tales to feature a femme fatale as an embodiment of supernatural horror.

Skal has become a notable scholar of Dracula movies and a legendary film critic. We lost Wagner at a much too young of an age. And the heady days of scientifiction, Sci-Fi, and SF are now mostly reflected by a television network called SyFy.

And a “feghoot”? Now almost forgotten, the original feghoots were penned by Reginald Bretnor under his pseudonym of Grendel Briarton (an anagram), and collected most notably in Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot. We would now call these flash fiction, and they almost always contained or ended with a tortured pun of a notable phrase. (A tradition now carried on by Stephen Pastis in his comic strip Pearls Before Swines).

Here is a Pastis “feghoot” from a Sunday strip, 27 Jan 2013:

Below, a selection of the badly damaged pages featuring “In the Pines”. They were salvageable enough for scanning. Click any image to expand to full size for closer examination.

FSF Aug1973 p 60 KarlWagner InThePines

FSF Aug1973 p 80 KarlWagner InThePines

FSF Aug1973 p 67 KarlWagner InThePines

Don Davis. As noted, above, Don Davis paid homage to the 1945 photograph of the Planting of the American flag on Iwo Jima. In the years since, the photograph has become mildly controversial, but at the time – only slightly more than a generation after the end of WWII – it was still considered a powerful patriotic symbol. Then only 21 years old (b. 1952), Davis has had an amazing career in space art.

FSF Aug1973 cover

WW2_Iwo_Jima_flag_raising

 

 

To see the Karl Edward Wagner titles that we have available just click the Miskatonic Books Banner below

 

Who First Mentioned “Aliens From Outer Space”?

Posted in Miskatonic Books with tags , , , , , , , on March 5, 2013 by chrisperridas

The First Real Extrasolar Alien in Scientifiction

You ever sit around and think up a mystery to solve?  The first extra-solar planet was proposed about 1963, and proven in the 1990s.  But way back, in the early days of science-fiction, who thought up aliens from way our yonder? Who had that kind of amazing imagination when astronomers themselves stared wondering into their telescopes, more focused on Martians than aliens from outer space.

Of course, you might say H. G. Wells, Burroughs, or any number of folks.  But wait!  These were Martians, Venusians, Moon Men, Asteroid dwellers, or people from Jupiter and Saturn.  Even Lovecraft speculated about those from Yuggoth, the 9th planet - when we only knew there were 8.  Well, I guess we’re back to eight planets again, but that is beyond our discussion here.

No, these won’t do to solve our puzzle.  We need a planet around a star not our own, and we need sentient life that can travel or at least communicate with us.

After a great deal of searching, I have narrowed the choices to two. And there may be a connection.

The first is obvious. H. P. Lovecraft in the Call of Cthulhu.  “They had, indeed, come themselves from the stars, and brought Their images with Them.” We know that Lovecraft began to write his story sometime in the Summer of 1926.

The next is The Thing from —  “Outside” by George Allen England written about 1923, and as published in Amazing Stories #1 in 1926.  Almost as the story begins (page 69) he paraphrases H. G. Wells famous line, “…intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us …”, as, “Pale, cold stars watched down from spaces infinitely far beyond man’s trivial world.”

England had sold the story to Gernsback for his forerunner, Science and Adventure renamed in 1920 from its predecessor the Electrical Experimenter . England’s story appeared in Vol. 10, No. 2 of 1923, and was then reprinted in the first issue of Amazing Stories along with reprint stories by Wells, Verne, and Poe and a few others.

England also fictionalized aliens of the fourth dimension “beyond the galactic rim” in a 1914 All Story serialization called Empire of the Air. This is remarkable as Shapley was still piecing together theories about what the galaxy was and how big it was.

Another connection is that S. T. Joshi has noted that in 1914, a youthful 23 year old H. P. Lovecraft praised England’s story telling ability in the 15 August 1914 All-Story Cavalier Weekly.

England has been pegged by historians as almost as popular in the pulp magazines as Burroughs. Lovecraft was known to have followed All Story, and may have followed England into Science and Invention.

The two stories have uncanny coincidences mentioning a creature from another star system that has influenced by happenstance until only madness and mayhem resulted. While Cthulhu is usually seen as an upgraded Dagon, it had to be upgraded from some literary substance percolating in Lovecraft’s mind.

No less a scholar than Robert Price has reclassified this as part of the Ithaqua Cycle of Lovecraftian fiction. Prior to this, August Derleth was so enamored of the story he used it in his 1948 Strange Ports of Call anthology.

Lovecraft is well known, of course, but England’s story is so similar to the modern UFO alien abduction scenario, it could read as if extracted from a Ray Fowler case book.

“Things. Things that reckon with us no more than we do with ants. Less, perhaps.”

“It’ll do any infernal thing it takes a fancy to, yes! If it happens to want us—”

“But what could Things like that want of us? Why should They come here, at all?”

“Oh, for various reasons. For inanimate objects, at times, and then again for living beings. They’ve come here lots of times, I tell you…”

“Superior beings use inferior, for their own ends. To assume that man is the supreme product of evolution is gross self-conceit. Might not some superior Thing want to experiment with human beings?”

“It was observing us while we slept”

“…everywhere they felt that It was watching…”

“there are forms of life as superior to us as we are to ants. We can’t see ‘em. No ant ever saw a man. And did any ant ever form the least conception of a man? These Things have left thousands of traces, all over the world. “

And at last, we see England’s source: “Charles Fort, the greatest authority in the world on unexplained phenomena,” persisted Jandron, “gives innumerable cases of happenings that science can’t explain, in his ‘Book of the Damned…”.

We need to use caution. Fort in 1919 did not necessarily consider aliens and alien ships as coming from other star systems. They may have simply been from the ether, or from some theosophanic dimension. We need to be careful to give England the credit for making this leap of faith that they are creatures from another star system. This seems very much England’s origination, and considering his 1914 story, he predates even Fort’s publication.

If you have opinions or thoughts about this, or wish to offer your own opinion who first wrote about “aliens from outer space” drop Miskatonic Books an email: miskatonicbooks@me.com

 

Esoterica and the Crisis in Ufology

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2013 by chrisperridas

Here at Miskatonic Books, we love a good story, especially if it has horrific elements.  From Little Red Riding Hood to The Horror at Red Hook and beyond, we like it.

We also follow the emerging field of esoterica.  In the old days this would be divided into paranormal, metaphysics, para-religious ideas, exotic philosophy, magick, alchemy, astrology, spiritualism, ghosts, and in modern times, the “flying saucer”.  The latter subject burst on the scene as a series of “flying discs” that skipped along like a saucer on the water, or so said Kenneth Arnold in June 1947.  In a short window that included both Arnold’s sighting and the Roswell incident, the U. S. media was flooded with hundreds of reports of odd flying phenomenon, most of them disc shaped.  The excitement went to the Pentagon and to Truman’s office, before the hammer came down and generals sent to tell everyone to calm down.  But they didn’t – not at first.

If you read the media reports, and study the history of the phenomenon, the disc reports began to slowly subside though outbreaks popped up from time to time.  Interested parties began to publicize in books two branches:  a religio-spitualism where the observers received prophetic advice, and “nuts and bolts” saucer people who believed the objects were coming from mars or another planet.  Remember, in the years between 1947 and 1950, no other planet had been discovered or was suspected outside of our own solar system.  Only in the mid-1950′s did scientifiction ideas of extra-solar worlds become mainstream.  The movie, Forbidden Planet, was the most notable leap in that direction, and highly influential.

While many civilian and military people researched the sightings deep into the late 1960′s, many books were sold but little understanding was reached other than the media becoming more cynical and flippant with those who reported the flying saucers.   Then a game changer.  A nice New England couple named Betty and Barney Hill revealed that through hypnotic regression, they had come to believe they had been kidnapped by aliens.  A best selling book by John Fuller was snapped up by millions of Americans, but civilian UFO agencies who had all but eradicated the paranormal from their “nuts and bolts” investigations were overwhelmed by those coming froward with similar kidnapping stories, and finally with the rise of Bud Hopkins and others, the UFO phenomenon became plagued with tens of thousands of dream-like reports.

The resurrection of the Roswell story by Stanton Friedman brought back the “nuts and bolts” investigations, but instead of dreams and hypnosis sessions being used as “proof” of aliens, they presented “oral histories” as proof of a crashed saucer.  This is not to nit-pick whether any of this is true, or even to discuss what “true” means, because these were rip-roaring good stories, and many of them hair-raising and horrific.

A twin attack in the mid-1990s came.  Neurologists showed that hypnotic regression was not reliable, and that recalled memories were faulty.  At the same time, the Air Force put out a controversial series of reports trying to rip the Roswell story to shreds.    In both cases, the assault had mixed effects, and believers kept believing.

However, the rise of the internet and reality television has exposed the history of the UFO phenomenon to millions if not billions, and now that all those eyes are watching, and books have become less important than instantaneous viral visual media, the same “classic cases” that used to be exciting are now torn to pieces by the media and eager participants at the site Above Top Secret.  In fact, while there are still many believers, cynicism seems to prevail more often than not.

Arguably starting with the work of Jacques Vallee, the idea of an extraterrestrial visit to Earth is becoming less of interest than a paranormal-based extra-dimmensional series of creatures or events.  This has opened the door for a crisis in ufology.

On one side, there are true believers who believe that we have been visited millions of times and as far back as man began to walk upright.  That there are innumerable species from aliens a few centuries smarter than us to Q-like god-beings, the latter many times resembling the gods that Lovecraft and Derleth created.  On the other hand, UFO books and conferences are not drawing crowds, and those who do go are decidedly baby-boomers.  There is buzz whether or not only septuagenarians will attend UFO conferences by the end of this decade.  Young esotericans such as Tim Binnall are openly scornful of ufology, though Coast to Coast AM still has fondness and treats the subject with dignity.

That being said, there seems to be momentum to begin to classify ufology into a broader field now being referred to as esotericism.  This begins to lump everything from folklore to Fortean, from saucers to sorcery, and maybe paranormal to parasailing.   It is a rapid growth market, and may be what has pudhed the CE-5 phenomenon to the forefront.

In the CE-5 technique, through meditation and special techniques, one can come into the presence and even the consciousnesses of the pan-multiverse alien sentience.  In many cases flying saucers and other esoteric conveyances can be called at will to Earth.  Telepathic communication is typical, and multiple possibilities include lucent dreaming, skin-walking, teleportation, out of body experiences, paranormal events, and prophetic messaging.

We could almost say to the past, welcome to the future.  The more we at Miskatonic Books study esoteric trajectories, and more and more we are reminded of the 19th century experiences we read of in the history books.

Ufology may be in crisis, but esotericism seems here to stay for quite some time.

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