IN THE MID - 1920's, roughly two blocks from where the Warlock Shop once stood, in Brooklyn Heights, lived a quiet, reclusive man, an author of short stories, who eventually divorced his wife of two years and returned to his boyhood home in Rhode Island, where he lived with his two aunts. Born on August 20, 1890, Howard Phillips Lovecraft would come to exert an impact on the literary world that dwarfs his initial successes with Weird Tales magazine in 1923. He died, tragically, at the age of 46 on March 15, 1937, a victim of cancer of the intestine and Bright's Disease. Though persons of such renown as Dashiell Hammett were to become involved in his work, anthologising it for publication both here an abroad, the reputation of a man generally conceded to be the "Father of Gothic Horror" did not really come into its own until the past few years, with the massive re-publication of his works by various houses, a volume of his selected letters, and his biography. In the July, 1975, issue The Atlantic Monthly, there appeared a story entitled "There Are More Things", written by Jorge Luis Borges, "To the memory of H.P. Lovecraft". This gesture by a man of the literary stature of Borges is certainly an indication that Lovecraft has finally ascended to his rightful place in the history of American literature, nearly forty years after his death.

In the same year that Lovecraft found print in the pages of Weird Takes, another gentleman was seeing his name in print; but in the British tabloid press.

NEW SINISTER REVELATIONS OF ALEISTER CROWLEY read the front page of the Sunday Express. It concerned testimony by one of the notorious magician's former followers (or, actually, the wife of one of his followers) that Crowley had been responsible for the death of her husband, at the Abbey of Thelema, in Cefalu, Sicily. The bad press, plus the imagined threat of secret societies, finally forced Mussolini to deport the Great Beast from Italy. Tales of horrors filled the pages of the newspapers in England for weeks and months to come: satanic rituals, black masses, animal sacrifice, and even human sacrifice, were reported - or blatantly lied about. For although many of the stories were simply not true or fanciful exaggeration, one thing was certain: Aleister Crowley was a Magician, and one of the First Order.

Born on October 12, 1875, in England - in the same country as Shakespeare - Edward Alexander Crowley grew up in a strict Fundamentalist religious family, members of a sect called the "Plymouth Brethren". The first person to call him by that Name and Number by which he would become famous (after the reference in the Book of Revelation), "The Beast 666", was his mother, and he eventually took this appellation to heart. He changed his name to Aleister Crowley while still at Cambridge, and by that name , plus "666", he would never be long out of print, or out of newspapers. For he believed himself to be the incarnation of a god, an Ancient One, the vehicle of a New Age of Man's history, the Aeon of Horus, displacing the old Age of Osiris. In 1904, he had received a message, from what Lovecraft might have called "out of space", that contained the formula for a New World Order, a new system of philosophy, science, art and religion, but this New Order had to begin with the fundamental part, and common denominator, of all four: Magic.

In 1937, the year Lovecraft dies, the Nazis banned the occult lodges of Germany, notable among them two organisations which Crowley had supervised: the A\ A\ and the O.T.O., the latter of which he was elected head in England, and the former which he founded himself. There are those who believe that Crowley was somehow, Magically, responsible for the Third Reich, for two reasons: one, that the emergence of New World Orders generally seems to instigate holocausts and, two, that he is said to have influenced the mind of Adolf Hitler. While it is almost certain that Crowley and Hitler never met, it is known that Hitler belonged to several occult lodges in the early days after the First War; the symbol of one of these, the Thule Gesellschaft which preached a doctrine of Aryan racial superiority, was the infamous Swastika which Hitler was later to adopt as the Symbol of the forms, however, is evident in many of his writings, notably the essays written in the late 'Thirties. Crowley seemed to regard the Nazi phenomenon as a Creature of Christianity, in it's anti-Semitism and sever moral restrictions concerning its adherents, which lead to various types of lunacies and "hangups" that characterised many of the Reich's leadership. Yet, there can be perhaps little doubt that the chaos which engulfed the world in those years was prefigured, and predicted, in Crowley's Liber AL vel Legis; the Book of the Law.


The Mythos and the Magic

We can profitably compare the essence of most of Lovecraft's short stories with the basic themes of Crowley's unique system of ceremonial Magic. While the latter was a sophisticated psychological structure, intended to bring the initiate into contact with his higher Self, via a process of individuation that is active and dynamic (being brought about by the "patient" himself) as opposed to the passive depth analysis of the Jungian adepts, Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos was meant for entertainment. Scholars, of course, are able to find higher, ulterior motives in Lovecraft's writings, as can be done with any manifestation of Art.

Lovecraft depicted a kind of Christian Myth of the struggle between opposing forces of Light and Darkness, between God and Satan, in the Cthulhu Mythos. Some critics may complain that this smacks more of the Manichaen heresy than it does of genuine Christian dogma; yet, as a priest and former monk, I believe it is fair to say that this dogma is unfortunately very far removed from the majority of the Faithful to be of much consequence. The idea of a War against Satan, and of the entities of Good and Evil having roughly equivalent Powers, is perhaps best illustrated by the belief, common among the Orthodox churches of the East, in a personal devil as well as a personal angel. This concept has been amplified by the Roman Catholic Church to such an extent - perhaps subconsciously - that a missal in the Editor's possession contains an engraving for the Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle, for November 30, that bears the legend "Ecce Qui Tollis Peccata Mundi" - Behold Him Who Taketh Away The Sins of the World - and the picture above it is of the atomic bomb!

Basically, there are two "sets" of gods in the mythos : the Elder Gods, about whom not much is revealed, save that they are a stellar Race that occasionally comes to the rescue of man, and which corresponds to the Christian "Light"; and the Ancient Ones, about which much is told, sometimes in great detail, who correspond to "Darkness". These latter are the Evil Gods who wish nothing but ill for the Race of Man, and who constantly strive to break into our world through a Gate or Door that leads from the Outside, In. There are certain people, among us, who are devotees of the Ancient Ones, and who try to open the Gate, so that this evidently repulsive organisation may once again rule the Earth. Chief among these is Cthulhu, typified as a Sea Monster, dwelling in the Great Deep, a sort of primeval Ocean; a Being that Lovecraft collaborator August Derleth wrongly calls a "water elemental". There is also Azazoth, the blind idiot god of Chaos, Yog Sothot, Azathoth's partner in Chaos, Shub Niggurath, the "goat with a thousand young", and others. They appear at various times throughout the stories of the Cthulhu Mythos in frightening forms, which test the strength and resourcefulness of the protagonists in their attempts to put the hellish Things back to whence they came. There is an overriding sense of primitive dear and cosmic terror in those pages, as though man is dealing with something that threatens other than his physical safety: his very spiritual nature. This horror-cosmology is extended by the frequent appearance of the Book, NECRONOMICON.

The NECRONOMICON, is according to Lovecraft's tales, a volume written in Damascus in the Eighth Century, A.D., by a person called the "Mad Arab", Abdhul Alhazred. It must run roughly 800 pages in length, as there is a reference in one of the stories concerning some lacunae on a page in the 700's It had been copied and reprinted in various languages - the story goes - among them Latin, Greek and English. Doctor Dee, the Magus of Elizabethan fame, was supposed to have possessed a copy and translated it. This book, according to the mythos, contains the formulae for evoking incredible things into visible appearance, beings and monsters which dwell in the Abyss, and Outer Space, of the human psyche.

Such books have existed in fact, and do exist. Idries Shah tells us of a search he conducted for a copy of the Book of Power by the Arab magician Abdul-Kadir (see: The Secret Lore of Magic by Shah), of which only one copy was ever found. The Keys of Solomon had a similar reputation, as did The Magus by Barret, until all of these works were eventually reprinted in the last fifteen years or so. The Golden Dawn, a famous British and American Occult lodge of the turn of the Century, was said to have possessed a manuscript called "the Veils of Negative Existence" by another Arab.

These were the sorcerer's handbooks, and generally not meant as textbooks or encyclopedias of ceremonial Magic. In other words, the sorcerer or magician is supposed to be in possession of the requisite knowledge and training with which to carry out a complex Magical ritual, just as a cook is expected to be able to master the scrambling of eggs before he conjures an "eggs Benedict"; the grimoires, or Black Books, were simply variations on a theme, like cookbooks, different records of what previous magicians had done, the spirits they had contacted, and the successes they had. The magicians who now read these works are expected to be able to select the wheat from the chaff, in much the same fashion as an alchemist discerning the deliberate errors in a treatise on his subject.

Therefore it was (and is) insanity for the tyro to pick up a work on ceremonial Magic like the Lesser Key of Solomon to practise conjurations. It would also be folly to pick up Crowley's Magic in Theory and Practise with the same intention. Both books are definitely not for beginners, a point which cannot be made too often. Unfortunately, perhaps, the dread NECRONOMICON falls into this category.

Crowley's Magic was a testimony of what he has found in his researches into the forbidden, and forgotten, lore of past civilisations and ancient times. His Book of the Law was written in Cairo in the Spring of 1904, when he believed himself to be in contact with a praeter-human intelligence called Aiwass who dictated to him the Three Chapters that make up the Book. It had influenced him more than any other, and the remainder of his life was spent trying to understand it fully, and to make its message known to the world. It, too, contains the formulae necessary to summon the invisible into visibility, and the secrets of transformations are hidden within its pages, but this is Crowley's own NECRONOMICON, received in the Middle East in the shadow of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, and therein is writ not only the beauty, but the Beast that yet awaits mankind.

It would be vain to attempt to deliver a synopsis of Crowley's philosophy, save that its 'leitmotif' is the Rabelaisian


Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The actual meaning of this phrase has taken volumes to explain, but roughly it concerns the uniting of the conscious Self, a process of individuation which culminates in a rite called "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel"; the Angel signifying the pure, evolved Self.

Yet, there are many terrors on the Way to the Self, and an Abyss to cross before victory can be declared. Demons, vampires, psychic leeches, ghastly forms accost the aspiring magician from every angle, from every quarter around the circumference of the Magic circle, and they must be destroyed lest they devour the magician himself. When Crowley professed to have passed the obstacles, and crossed the Abyss of Knowledge, and found his true Self, he found it was identical with the Beast of the Book of Revelation, 666, whom Christianity considers to represent the Devil. Indeed, Crowley had nothing but admiration for the Shaitan (Satan) of the so-called "devil-worshipping" cult of the Yezidis of Mesopotamia, knowledge of which led him to declare the lines that open this Introduction. For he saw that the Yezidis possess a Great Secret and a Great Tradition that extends far back into time, beyond the origin of the Sun cults of Osiris, Mithra and Christ; even before the formation of the Judaic religion, and the Hebrew tongue. Crowley harkened back to a time before the Moon was worshipped, to the "Shadow Out of Time"; and in this, whether he realised it as such or not, he had heard the "Call of Cthulhu".



That a reclusive author of short stories who lived in a quiet neighbourhood in New England, and the manic, infamous Master Magician who called the world his home, should have somehow met in the sandy wastes of some forgotten civilisation seems incredible. That they should both have become Prophets and Forerunners of a New Aeon of Man's history is equally, if not more, unbelievable. Yet, with H.P. Lovecraft and Aleister Crowley, the unbelievable was a commonplace of life. These two men, both acclaimed as geniuses by their followers and admirers, and who never actually met, stretched their legs across the world, and in the Seven League Boots of the mind they did meet, and on common soil . . . . Sumeria.

Sumeria is the name given to a once flourishing civilisation that existed in what is now known as Iraq, in the area called by the Greeks "Mesopotamia" and by the Arabs as, simply, "The Island" for it existed between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, which run down from the mountains to the Persian Gulf. This is the site of the fabled city of Babylon, as well as of Ur of the Chaldees and Kish, with Nineveh far to the north. Each of the seven principal cities of Sumeria was ruled by a different deity, who was worshipped in the strange, non-Semitic language of the Sumerians; and language which has been closely allied to that of the Aryan race, having in fact many words identical to that of Sanskrit (and, it is said, to Chinese!).

For no one knows where the Sumerians came from, and they vanished just as mysteriously as they appeared, after the Assyrian invasions which decimated their culture, yet providing the Assyrians with much of their mythology and religion; so much so that Sumerian became the official language of the state church, much as Latin is today of the Roman Catholic Church. They had a list of their kings before the Flood, which even they carefully chronicled, as did many another ancient civilisation around the world. It is believed that they had a sophisticated system of astronomy (and astrology) as well as an equally religious rituale. Magic, as well in history, begins at Sumer for the Western World, for it his here, in the sand-buried cuneiform tablets that recorded an Age, that the first Creation Epic is found, the first exorcism, the first ritual invocations of planetary deities, the first dark summonings of evil Powers, and ironically, the first "burnings" of people the anthropologists call "Witches".

Lovecraft's mythos deals with what are known chthonic deities, that is, underworld gods and goddesses, much like the Leviathan of the Old Testament. The pronunciation of chthonic is 'katonic', which explains Lovecraft's famous Miskatonic River and Miskatonic University, not to mention the chief deity of his pantheon, Cthulhu, a sea monster who lies, "not dead, but dreaming" below the world; an Ancient One and supposed enemy of Mankind and the intelligent Race. Cthulhu is accompanied by an assortment of other grotesqueries, such as Azathot and Shub Niggurath. It is of extreme importance to occult scholars that many of these deities had actual counterparts, at least in name, to deities of the Sumerian Tradition, that same Tradition that the Magus Aleister Crowley deemed it so necessary to "rediscover".

The Underworld in ancient Sumer was known by many names, among them ABSU or "Abyss", sometimes as Nar Mattaru, the great Underworld Ocean, and also as Cutha or KUTU as it is called in the Enuma Elish (the Creation Epic of the Sumerians). The phonetic similarity between Cutha and KUTU and Chthonic, as well as Cthulhu, is striking. Judging by a Sumerian grammar at hand, the word KUTULU or Cuthalu (Lovecraft's's Cthulhu Sumerianised) would mean "The Man of KUTU (Cutha); the Man of the Underworld; Satan or Shaitan, as he is known to the Yezidis (whom Crowley considered to be the remnants of the Sumerian Tradition). The list of similarities, both between Lovecraft's creations and the Sumerian gods, as well as between Lovecraft's mythos and Crowley's Magic, can go on nearly indefinitely, and in depth, for which there is no space here at present. An exhaustive examination of Crowley's occultism in light of recent findings concerning Sumeria, and exegesis on Lovecraft's stories, is presently in preparation and is hoped to be available shortly. Until that time, a few examples should suffice.

Although a list is appended hereto containing various entities and concepts of Lovecraft, Crowley, and Sumeria cross-referenced, it will do to show how the Editor found relationships to be valid and even startling. AZATOT is frequently mentioned in the grim pages of the Cthulhu Mythos, and appears in the NECRONOMICON as AZAG-THOTH, a combination of two words, the first Sumerian and the second Coptic, which gives us a clue as to Its identity. AZAG in Sumerian means "Enchanter" or "Magician"; THOTH in Coptic is the name given to the Egyptian God of Magic and Wisdom, TAHUTI, who was evoked by both the Golden Dawn and by Crowley himself (and known to the Greeks as Hermes, from whence we get "Hermetic"). AZAG-THOTH is, therefore, a Lord of Magicians, but of the "Black" magicians, or the sorcerers of the "Other Side".

There is a seeming reference to SHUB NIGGURATH in the NECRONOMICON, in the name of a Sumerian deity, the "Answerer of Prayers", called ISHNIGARRAB. The word "Shub" is to be found in the Sumerian language in reference to the Rite of Exorcism, one of which is called Nam Shub and means "the Throwing". It is, however, as yet unclear as to what the combination SHUB ISHNIGARRAB (SHUB NIGGURATH) might actually mean.

There was a battle between the forces of "light" and "darkness" (so-called) that took place long before man was created, before even the cosmos as we know it existed. It is described fully in the Enuma Elish and in the bastardised version found in the NECRONOMICON, and involved the Ancient Ones, led by the Serpent MUMMU-TIAMAT and her male counterpart ABSU, against the ELDER GODS (called such in the N.) led by the Warrior MARDUK, son of the Sea God ENKI, Lord of Magicians of this Side, or what could be called "White Magicians" - although close examination of the myths of ancient times makes one pause before attempting to judge which of the two warring factions was "good" or "evil". MARDUK won this battle - in much the same way that later St. George and St. Michael would defeat the Serpent again - the cosmos was created from the body of the slain Serpent, and man was created from the blood of the slain commander of the Ancient Army, KINGU, thereby making man a descendent of the Blood of the Enemy, as well as the "breath" of the Elder Gods; a close parallel to the "sons of God and daughters of men" reference in the Old Testament. Yet, though the identity of the Victor is clear, there were - and are - certain persons and organisations that dared side with the vanquished, believing the Ancient Ones to be a source of tremendous, and most unbelievable, power.


Worship of the Ancient Ones in History

"Let them curse it that curse the day, who are skilful to rouse Leviathan."
JOB 3:8

S.H. Hooke, in his excellent Middle Eastern Mythology, tells us that the Leviathan mentioned in JOB, and elsewhere in the Old Testament, is the Hebrew name given to the Serpent TIAMAT, and reveals that there was in existence either a cult, or scattered individuals, who worshipped or called up the Serpent of the Sea, or Abyss. Indeed, the Hebrew word for Abyss that is found in GENESIS 1:2 is, Hooke tells us, tehom, which the majority of scholars take to be a survival of the name of the chaos-dragon TIAMAT or Leviathan that is identified closely with KUTULU or Cthulhu within the pages are mentioned independently of each other, indicating that somehow KUTULU is the male counterpart of TIAMAT, similar to ABSU.

This monster is well known to cult worship all over the world. In China, however, there is an interesting twist. Far from being considered a completely hostile creature, dedicated to the erasure of mankind from the page of existence, the Dragon is given a place of pre-eminence and one does not hear of a Chinese angel or saint striving to slay the dragon, but rather to cultivate it. The Chinese system of geomancy, feng shui (pronounced fung shway) is the science of understanding the "dragon currents" which exist beneath the earth, these same telluric energies that are distilled in such places as Chartres Cathedral in France, Glastonbury Tor in England, and the Ziggurats of Mesopotamia. In both the European and Chinese cultures, the Dragon or Serpent is said to reside somewhere "below the earth"; it is a powerful force, a Magical force, which is identified with mastery over the created world; it is also a power that can be summoned by the few and not the many. However, in China, there did not seem to be a backlash of fear or resentment against this force as was known in Europe and Palestine, and the symbol of might and kingship in China is still the Dragon. In the West, the conjuration, cultivation, or worship of this Power was strenuously opposes with the advent of the Solar, Monotheistic religions and those who clung to the Old Ways were effectively extinguished. The wholesale slaughter of those called "Witches" during the Inquisition is an example of this, as well as the solemn and twisted - that is to say, purposeless and unenlightened - celibacy that the Church espoused. For the orgone of Wilhelm Reich is just as much Leviathan as the Kundalini of Tantrick adepts, and the Power raised by the Witches. It has always, at least in the past two thousand years, been associated with occultism and essentially with Rites of Evil Magic, or the Forbidden Magic, of the Enemy, and of Satan . . .

. . . and the twisting, sacred Spiral formed by the Serpent of the Caduceus, and by the spinning of the galaxies, is also the same Leviathan as the Spiral of the biologists' Code of Life : DNA


The Goddess of the Witches

The current revival of the cult called WICCA is a manifestation of the ancient secret societies that sought to tap this telluric, occult force and use it to their own advantage, and to the advantage of humanity as was the original intent. The raising of the Cone of Power through the circle dancing is probably the simplest method of attaining results in "rousing Leviathan", and has been used by societies as diverse as the Dervishes in the Middle East and the Python Dancers of Africa, not to mention the round dances that were familiar to the Gnostic Christians, and the ones held every year in the past at Chartres.

The Witches of today, however, while acknowledging the importance of the Male element of telluric Power, generally prefer to give the greater honour to the Female Principle, personified as the Goddess. The Goddess has also been worshipped all over the world, and under many names, but is still essentially the same Goddess. That TIAMAT was undoubtedly female is to the point; and that the Chinese as well as the Sumerians perceived of two dragon currents, male and female, gives the researchers a more complex picture. The Green Dragon and the Red Dragon of the alchemists are thus identified, as the positive and negative energies that compromise the cosmos of our perception, as manifest in the famous Chinese yin-yang symbol.

But what of INANNA, the single planetary deity having a female manifestation among the Sumerians? She is invoked in the NECRONOMICON and identified as the vanquisher of Death, for she descended into the Underworld and defeated her sister, the Goddess of the Abyss, Queen ERESHKIGAL (possibly another name for TIAMAT). Interestingly enough, the myth has many parallels with the Christian concept of Christ's death and resurrection, among which the Crucifixion (INANNA was impaled on a stake as a corpse), the three days in the Sumerian Hades, and the eventual Resurrection are outstanding examples of how Sumerian mythology previewed the Christian religion by perhaps as many as three thousand years - a fact that beautifully illustrates the cosmic and eternal nature of this myth.

Therefore, the Goddess of the Witches has two distinct forms: the Ancient One, Goddess of the Dragon-like telluric Power which is raised in Magical rituals, and the Elder Goddess, Defeater of Death, who brings the promise of Resurrection and Rejuvenation to her followers those who must reside for a time after death and between incarnations in what is called the "Summerland".



Another hallmark of the Craft of the Wise is evident within the NECRONOMICON, as well as in general Sumerian literature, and that is the arrangement of the cross-quarter days, which make up half of the Craft's official pagan holidays. These occur on the eves of February 2nd, May 1st, August 1st, and November 1st, and are called Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain (or Hallows), respectively.

The name Lammas has a curious origin in the dunes at Sumer. It is not less than the name of one of the four mythological Beasts of the astrological fixed signs, Lamas being the name of the half-lion, half-man Guardian of Leo (the sign governing most of August, when the feast of Lammas takes place), and USTUR being that of Aquarius (February), SED that of Taurus (May) and NATTIG that of Scorpio (November). I do not believe that this is a fantastic assumption, the Sumerian origin of the Feast of Lammas. Indeed, it seems just as valid as the ideas of Idries Shah concerning Craft etymology as presented in his book, The Sufis. It is also not far-fetched to assume that these four beasts were known to the entire region of the Middle East, as they appear on the Sphinx in Egypt, and have become the symbols of the Four Evangelists of the Christian New Testament - an ironic and splendid result of the ignorance of the Greek religious historians concerning the ancient mysteries!

Probable the most inconsistent concept the Sumerians possesses with reference to the Craft is the naming of the Goddess as a deity, not of the Moon (as the Craft would have it), but of the planet Venus. The Moon was governed by a male divinity, NANNA (like INANNA but minus the initial 'I'), and was considered the Father of the Gods by the earliest Sumerian religion. It should be noted, however, that all of the planetary deities, termed "the zoned Ones" or zonei in Greek, and indeed all of the Sumerian deities, had both male and female manifestations, showing that the Sumerians definitely recognised a yin-yang composition if the universe (the "male Moon" idea is, the Editor is given to understand, common to so-called Aryan mythologies). There is also evidence to show that every god and goddess also had both a good and an evil nature, and evil gods were banished in the exorcism formulae of that civilisation as well as the lesser forms of demon.


The Horned Moon

As mentioned, the God of the Moon was called NANNA by the Sumerians. By the later Sumerians and Assyrians, he was called SIN. In both cases, he was the Father of the Gods (of the planetary realm, the zonei), and was depicted as wearing horns, a symbol familiar to the Witches as representative of their God. The horn shaped crown is illustrative of the crescent phases of the Moon, and were symbolic of divinity in many cultures around the world, and were also thought to represent certain animals who were horned, and worshipped for their particular qualities, such as the goat and bull. They also represent sexual power.

The fact that, in ancient Sumeria and Egypt, horns were solely representative of evil gods, but of many different deities, was used by the Christian Church in their attempt to eradicate pagan faiths. It was a simple enough symbol to identify with the Author of Evil, Satan, which the Church depicted as a half-animal, half-human creature with horns, claws, and sometimes a tail. The Church's use of the horns as a sort of archetype of Evil is quite similar to the feeling many people have today with regards to the swastika used by the Nazis, a symbol which has become the archetype of an evil sigil in the West. The fact that it is a highly valued mystical and religious symbol in the East is something that is not well-known. What is worse, the image of the Devil as perpetrated by the Church is simultaneously representative of sexual energy, and can be safely compared to Jung's archetype of the Shadow, the psychic repository of a man's innate maleness, as the anima represents that part of a man which is feminine. Truly, the pictures painted of a Satanic ritual by the pious Catholic clergymen was one of sexual orgies and "perversions", and the handbook of the Inquisitors, the Malleus Maleficarum - which has been responsible for the deaths of many more people than even Hitler's Mein Kampf - is full of detailed sexual imagery and reveals the nature of the souls of the monks who wrote it, rather than of the innocents it was used to massacre. Eventually, Satanism, Protestantism and Judaism were inextricably woven together to form a patchwork quilt of Evil that the Church attempted to destroy during the Middle Ages, with fire and sword.

As a matter of fact, a certain type of devil worship did exist during those times but, ironically, the acolytes of Hell were usually never brought to trial; something which stems from the fact that many of those who celebrated and attended the infamous Black Masses of the period were Roman Catholic clergymen, many of whom has been pressed into His Service at a young age by their parents, who wished to see their sons brought up well-fed and educated in those uncertain times, where the Church was the sole power and refuge. The frustration at being "condemned" to a life that demanded the abandonment of society and a "normal" life led many priests to express their hostilities through the Office of the Demon, the Black Mass. Often, this was also a means of political demonstration, as the Church controlled virtually all the political life of the period. In a way, as though in a test tube at a philosophical laboratory, Aleister Crowley was brought up under similar circumstances - although ver far removed in time from the days of the Church's immense temporal power. Coming from a fanatically religious Christian family, and suddenly freed upon the neighbourhood of Cambridge, Crowley did, in a sense, turn Satanist. He identified strongly with the underdog, politically as well as spiritually, and came eventually to take the Name of the Beast as his own, and expound a philosophy that he hoped would rip apart the worn tapestry of the established moral Christian atmosphere of Victorian England, and expose it for what it really was, a carpet made of many ingenious threads and not God - or eternal happiness - at all; only nap.

Therefore, it seemed almost logical that he should seek in the defeated, Old Religions of the world for the basis of his new philosophy and, some say, his new "religion". He raised the female aspect back up to one of equality with the male, as it was in the rites of Egypt, and of Eleusis. "Our Lady Babalon" (his spelling) became a theme of many of his Magical writings, and he received he Credo, the Book of the Law, through a Woman, his wife Rose Kelly. The lunar element, as well as the Venusian, are certainly accessible in his works. It has even been said in occult circles that he had a hand in putting together the grimoire of one Gerald Gardner, founder of a contemporary Witchcraft movement, called the Book of Shadows.

The Moon has an extremely important, indeed indispensable, role in the tantrick sex Magic rites that so preoccupied Crowley and the O.T.O. There can be no true Magic without woman, nor without man, and in the symbolic language of the occult there can be no Sun without the Moon. In alchemy, ceremonial Magic, and Witchcraft, the formula is the same, for they all deal with identical properties; whether they are called the Sun and Moon of the Elixir Vitae, the male and female participants in a rite of Indian or Chinese tantricism, or the Shadow and the Anima of Jungian depth psychology.

For many years, the Moon remained the prime deity of the Sumerians, constituting the essential Personum of a religious and mystical drama that was performed roughly 3000 B.C. amid the deserts and marshes of Mesopotamia. Side by side with the worship of the Moon, NANNA, there was fear of the Demon, PAZUZU, a genie so amply recreated in the book and the movie by Blatty, The Exorcist, and similarly recognised as the Devil Himself by the Church. PAZUZU, the Beast, was brought to life by Aleister Crowley, and the Demon walked the Earth once more.

With publicity provided by H.P. Lovecraft.


The Devil

PAZUZU was a prime example of the type of Devil of which the Sumerians were particularly aware, and which they depicted constantly in their carvings and statues. The purpose of this iconography was to ward off the spiritual - and psychic - circumstances which would precipitate a plague, or some other evil. "Evil to destroy evil." Although the ancient people of the world were conscious of an entity we might call the :Author of all Evil",

the Devil or Satan, as evident in the Sumerian Creation Epic and the rumoured existences of the Cult of Set of the Egyptians, the more pressing concern was usually the exorcism of TIAMAT, she exists, somehow, just as the Abyss exists and is perhaps indispensable to human life if we think of Her as typifying the female quality of Energy. Although MARDUK was responsible for halving the Monster from the Sea, the Sumerian Tradition has it that the Monster is not dead, but dreaming, asleep below the surface of the Earth, strong, potent, dangerous, and very real. her powers can be tapped by the knowledgeable, "who are skilful to rouse Leviathan."

Although the Christian religion has gone to great lengths to prove that the Devil is inferior to God and exists solely for His purpose, as the Tempter of Man - surely a dubious raison d'etre - the Sumerian Tradition acknowledges that the Person of "Evil" is actually the oldest, most Ancient of the Gods. Whereas Christianity states that Lucifer was a rebel in heaven, and fell from God's grace to ignominy below, the original story was that MARDUK was the rebel, and severed the Body of the Ancient of Ancient Ones to create the Cosmos in other words, the precise reverse of the Judeo-Christian dogma. The Elder Gods evidently possessed a certain Wisdom that was not held by their Parents, yet their Parents held the Power, the Primal Strength, the First Magic, that the Elder Ones tapped to their own advantage, for they were begotten of Her.

It generally accepted in the Halls of Magic that all of the Wisdom in the world is useless without the necessary adjunct of Power. This Power has gone by many names, as the Goddess and the Devil have, but the Chinese symbolise It by the Dragon. It is the force of Will, and relies heavily upon the biochemical matter that makes up the human body, and hence, the human consciousness, to give it existence. Science is coming around to accept the fact that the Will does exist, just at the point where Psychology has determined it does not - in the behaviourists vain attempt to eradicate what has always been known to constitute vital parts of the psyche from their consideration in pseudo scientific experimentation, leaving us with the "white mice and pigeons" of Koestler's The Ghost In The Machine. Science, ancient Sister of Magic, has begun to realize the human potential that resides, inconspicuously, in the spiral-mapped matter of the brain. Just as the magicians, accused of trafficking with the Devil, were said to have developed tremendous power over natural phenomena, Science has ascended to that realm unblamed, and guiltless. The Pope has ridden in aircraft. Cardinals have flown in 'choppers' over battlefields in Southeast Asia, urging technological eco-side, invoking Christ; pronouncing damnation and the Devil on the industrially inferior man. Ecce Qui Tollit Peccata Mundi.

And a rock group from England, home of the Anglican heresy, sings of "sympathy" for the Devil. PAZUZU. TIAMAT. The Seven Deadly Sins. The fear of Lovecraft. The pride of Crowley.

The lunar landing was the symbolic manifestation of man's newly acquired potential power to alter the nature - and perhaps, via nuclear weapons, the course - of the heavenly bodies, the zonei, the Elder Gods. It has a power the Ancient Ones have been waiting for, for millennia, and it is now within their grasp. The next century may deliver unto mankind this awesome power and responsibility, and will leave him knocking on the dread doors of the azonei, the IGIGI, approaching the barrier that keeps out the ABSU.

And one day, without the benefit of NECRONOMICON, the Race of Man will smash the barrier and the Ancient Ones will rule once more.

An alternative possibility exists: that, by landing on the Moon, we have come to reinstate the ancient Covenant and thereby assure our protection against the Outside. Since "the gods are forgetful", buy treading on their celestial spheres we are reminding them of their ancient obligations to us, their created ones. For, as it is said in one of man's most ancient of Covenants, the Emerald Table, "As Above, So Below". Man's power to alter the nature of his environment must develop simultaneously with his ability to master his inner environment, his own mind his psyche, soul, spirit. Perhaps, then, the lunar landing was the first collective initiation for humanity, which will bring it one step closer to a beneficial Force that resides beyond the race of the "cruel celestial spirits", past the Abyss of Knowledge. Yet, he must remember that the occult powers that accompany Magical attainment are ornamental only, indications of obstacles overcome on the Path to Perfection, and are not to be sought after in themselves, for therein lies the truth Death. Lovecraft saw this Evil, as the world passed from one War and moved menacingly towards another. Crowley prepared for it, and provided us with the formulae. The Mad Arab saw it all, in a vision, and wrote it down. He was, perhaps, one of the most advanced adepts of his time, and her certainly has something to say to us, today, in a language the Intuition understands. Yet they called him "Mad".

Accompanied in the ranks of the "insane" by such "madmen" as Neitzsche, Artaud, and Reich, the Mad Arab makes a Fourth, in a life-and-death game of cosmic bridge. They are all voices crying in that wilderness of madness that men call Society, and as such were ostracised, stoned, and deemed mentally unfit for life. But, for them, Justice will come when we have realised that the Ship of State and the Ship of St Peter have become mere Ships of Fools - with Captains who course the seas by stars, ignoring the eternal Ocean - and then, we will have to look to the Prisoners in the Hold for navigational guidance.

It is there, always, and Cthulhu Calls.




The forgotten gods:

Water                                   Cthulu

Fire                                      Cthugha

Air                                        Ithaqua

Space                                  Hastur

The Messenger                  Shub-Niggurath

Fertility                                Yog-Sothoth

Space-Time                       Azathoth

Wind                                    Lloigor

Earth                                    Nyarlathotep


While waiting in R’lyeh Cthulu, dead, is dreaming.

(Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn)



Sussex Fragments

The Pnakotiques Scripts

Le Culte des Goules (Comte d’Erlette)

The Book of Ebion

Unaussprechenlichen Kulten (Von Juntz)

The Sixth Book of Moses

The Seventh Book of Moses

Necronomicon  (Abdul Alhazred)



The editor nor any boards advertised on these files have nothing to do with Black Magic, the Occult, or any Supernatural forces.
I can vouch for the potential of this information because I was a follower in its ways.... A LONG TIME AGO!
Anyhow I just want to remind you that these incantations are extremely dangerous and none of the lines are deleted.





Creation of the Universe

The ancient Middle Eastern people believed that the universe resulted from the injecting of order (cosmos) into chaotic primordial beings or matter, followed by divine acts of creation. Genesis 1:13 says that when God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

The Babylonian creation epic (Enuma elish, When on High) states that at first there existed only the male (Apsu) and female (Tiamat) gods of the deep.

They raised a family of gods that were so unruly that Apsu resolved to destroy them.
Rebellion and chaos ensued. Among the deities was Marduk, the god of Babylon. Since the main version of the epic of creation is the Babylonian, Marduk occupies the role of Creator. (In the Assyrian version, Ashur is important.)

Tiamat, who had embarked on a course of destruction, was slain by Marduk, who cut her in two and used her carcass to create the universe. Out of half her body he fashioned the sky containing the heavenly bodies to mark the periods of time.
The epic culminates in the glorification of Marduk and the establishment of his order.
The Enuma elish was read on the Akitu, or New Year festival, at Babylon, to reestablish order, in accordance with sympathetic transference principles, by reciting Marduk's creation. The function of the Akitu is thus to rejuvenate society for the new year.


Lahmu and Lahamu.

in Mesopotamian mythology, twin deities, the first gods to be born from the chaos that was created by the merging of Apsu (the watery deep beneath the earth) and Tiamat (the personification of the salt waters); this is described in the Babylonian mythological text Enuma elish (c. 12th century BC). Usually, Lahmu and Lahamu represent silt, but in some texts they seem to take the form of serpents, and, because the wavy line of a gliding snake is similar to the ripple of water, some scholars believe that Lahmu and Lahamu may have been only synonyms of Tiamat. Lahmu and Lahamu were rather vague deities who do not seem to have played any significant part in subsequent myths, although they may have been the progenitors of Anshar and Kishar.



The fullest extant text of the Gilgamesh epic is on 12 incomplete Akkadian-language tablets found at Nineveh in the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (reigned 668-627 BC).

The gaps that occur in the tablets have been partly filled by various fragments found elsewhere in Mesopotamia and Anatolia. In addition, five short poems in the Sumerian language are known from tablets that were written during the first half of the 2nd millennium BC;
the poems have been entitled Gilgamesh and Huwawa, Gilgamesh and the Bull of Heaven, Gilgamesh and Agga of Kish, Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld, and The Death of Gilgamesh.
The Gilgamesh of the poems and of the epic tablets was probably the Gilgamesh who ruled at Uruk in southern Mesopotamia sometime during the first half of the 3rd millennium BC and who was thus a contemporary of Agga, ruler of Kish; Gilgamesh of Uruk was also mentioned in the Sumerian list of kings as reigning after the Flood.
There is, however, no historical evidence for the exploits narrated in poems and epic.

The Ninevite version of the epic begins with a prologue in praise of Gilgamesh, part divine and part human, the great builder and warrior, knower of all things on land and sea. In order to curb Gilgamesh's seemingly harsh rule, the god Anu caused the creation of Enkidu, a wild man who at first lived among animals.
Soon, however, Enkidu was initiated into the ways of city life and traveled to Uruk, where Gilgamesh awaited him.
Tablet II describes a trial of strength between the two men in which Gilgamesh was the victor; thereafter, Enkidu was the friend and companion (in Sumerian texts, the servant) of Gilgamesh.
In Tablets IIIV the two men set out together against Huwawa (Humbaba), the divinely appointed guardian of a remote cedar forest, but the rest of the engagement is not recorded in the surviving fragments.
In Tablet VI Gilgamesh, who had returned to Uruk, rejected the marriage proposal of Ishtar, the goddess of love, and then, with Enkidu's aid, killed the divine bull that she had sent to destroy him.
Tablet VII begins with Enkidu's account of a dream in which the gods Anu, Ea, and Shamash decided that he must die for slaying the bull. Enkidu then fell ill and dreamed of the house of dust that awaited him.

Gilgamesh's lament for his friend and the state funeral of Enkidu are narrated in Tablet VIII. Afterward, Gilgamesh made a dangerous journey (Tablets IX and X) in search of Utnapishtim, the survivor of the Babylonian Flood, in order to learn from him how to escape death.

He finally reached Utnapishtim, who told him the story of the Flood and showed him where to find a plant that would renew youth (Tablet XI).
But after Gilgamesh obtained the plant, it was seized by a serpent, and Gilgamesh unhappily returned to Uruk. An appendage to the epic,
Tablet XII, related the loss of objects called pukku and mikku (perhaps drum and drumstick) given to Gilgamesh by Ishtar.

The epic ends with the return of the spirit of Enkidu, who promised to recover the objects and then gave a grim report on the underworld.


Anshar and Kishar:

in Mesopotamian mythology, the male and female principles, the twin horizons of sky and earth. Their parents were either Apsu (the watery deep beneath the earth) and Tiamat (the personification of salt water) or Lahmu and Lahamu, the first set of twins born to Apsu and Tiamat. Anshar and Kishar, in turn, were the parents of Anu (An), the supreme heaven god.
The Chaldean dragon Tiamat had four legs, a scaly body, and wings.



in Mesopotamian religion, the chief god of the city of Babylon and the national god of Babylonia; as such he was eventually called simply Bel, or Lord. Originally he seems to have been a god of thunderstorms. A poem, known as Enuma elish and dating from the reign of Nebuchadrezzar I (1124-03 BC), relates Marduk's rise to such preeminence that he was the god of 50 names, each one that of a deity or of a divine attribute. After conquering the monster of primeval chaos, Tiamat, he became Lord of the Gods of Heaven and Earth. All nature, including man, owed its existence to him; the destiny of kingdoms and subjects was in his hands.

Marduk's chief temples at Babylon were the Esagila and the Etemenanki, a ziggurat with a shrine of Marduk on the TOP. In the Esagila the poem Enuma elish was recited every year at the New Year festival. The goddess named most often as the consort of Marduk was Zarpanitu.

Marduk's star was Jupiter, and his sacred animals were horses, dogs, and especially the so-called dragon with forked tongue, representations of which adorn his city's walls. On the oldest monuments Marduk is represented holding a triangular spade or hoe, interpreted as an emblem of fertility and vegetation. He is also pictured walking or in his war chariot. Typically, his tunic is adorned with stars; in his hand is a sceptre, and he carries a bow, spear, net, or thunderbolt. Kings of Assyria and Persia also honoured Marduk and Zarpanitu in inscriptions and rebuilt many of their temples.

Marduk was later known as Bel, a name derived from the Semitic word baal, or "lord. Bel" had all the attributes of Marduk, and his status and cult were much the same. Bel, however, gradually came to be thought of as the god of order and destiny. In Greek writings references to Bel indicate this Babylonian deity and not the Syrian god of Palmyra of the same name.



Hebrew Livyatan, in Jewish mythology, a primordial sea serpent. Its source is in prebiblical Mesopotamian myth, especially that of the sea monster in the Ugaritic myth of Baal. In the Old Testament, Leviathan appears in Psalms 74:14 as a multiheaded sea serpent that is killed by God and given as food to the Hebrews in the wilderness. In Isaiah 27:1, Leviathan is a serpent and a symbol of Israel's enemies, who will be slain by God. In Job 41, it is a sea monster and a symbol of God's power of creation.



also spelled Yam, ancient West Semitic deity who ruled the oceans, rivers, lakes, and underground springs. He also played an important role in the Baal myths recorded on tablets uncovered at Ugarit, which say that at the beginning of time Yamm was awarded the divine kingship by El, the chief god of the pantheon. One day, Yamm's messengers requested that the gods surrender Baal to be a bond servant to Yamm. El finally agreed, but Baal refused to go and instead engaged Yamm in battle. After a furious fight, in which the craftsman Kothar supplied Baal with two special weapons, Yamm was finally slain and the kingship given to Baal. According to some scholars, Yamm was the same deity as Lotan (Hebrew: Leviathan), who was represented as a hydralike dragon or serpent.



god worshiped in many ancient Middle Eastern communities, especially among the Canaanites, who apparently considered him a fertility deity and one of the most important gods in the pantheon. As a Semitic common noun baal (Hebrew baÅal) meant “owner” or “lord,” although it could be used more generally; for example, a baal of wings was a winged creature, and, in the plural, baalim of arrows indicated archers. Yet such fluidity in the use of the term baal did not prevent it from being attached to a god of distinct character. As such, Baal designated the universal god of fertility, and in that capacity his title was Prince, Lord of the Earth. He was also called the Lord of Rain and Dew, the two forms of moisture that were indispensable for fertile soil in Canaan. In Ugaritic and Old Testament Hebrew, Baal's epithet as the storm god was He Who Rides on the Clouds. In Phoenician he was called Baal Shamen, Lord of the Heavens.

Knowledge of Baal's personality and functions derives chiefly from a number of tablets uncovered from 1929 onward at Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra), in northern Syria, and dating to the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. The tablets, although closely attached to the worship of Baal at his local temple, probably represent Canaanite belief generally. Fertility was envisaged in terms of seven-year cycles. In the mythology of Canaan, Baal, the god of life and fertility, locked in mortal combat with Mot, the god of death and sterility. If Baal triumphed, a seven-year cycle of fertility would ensue; but, if he were vanquished by Mot, seven years of drought and famine would ensue.

Ugaritic texts tell of other fertility aspects of Baal, such as his relations with Anath, his consort and sister, and also his siring a divine bull calf from a heifer. All this was part of his fertility role, which, when fulfilled, meant an abundance of crops and fertility for animals and mankind.

But Baal was not exclusively a fertility god. He was also king of the gods, and, to achieve that position, he was portrayed as seizing the divine kingship from Yamm, the sea god.

The myths also tell of Baal's struggle to obtain a palace comparable in grandeur to those of other gods. Baal persuaded Asherah to intercede with her husband El, the head of the pantheon, to authorize the construction of a palace. The god of arts and crafts, Kothar, then proceeded to build for Baal the most beautiful of palaces which spread over an area of 10,000 acres. The myth may refer in part to the construction of Baal's own temple in the city of Ugarit. Near Baal's temple was that of Dagon, given in the tablets as Baal's father.

In the formative stages of Israel's history, the presence of Baal names did not necessarily mean apostasy or even syncretism. The judge Gideon was also named Jerubbaal (Judges 6:32), and King Saul had a son named Ishbaal (I Chronicles 8:33). For those early Hebrews, “Baal” designated the Lord of Israel, just as “Baal” farther north designated the Lord of Lebanon or of Ugarit. What made the very name Baal anathema to the Israelites was the program of Jezebel, in the 9th century BC, to introduce into Israel her Phoenician cult of Baal in opposition to the official worship of Yahweh (I Kings 18). By the time of the prophet Hosea (mid-8th century BC) the antagonism to Baalism was so strong that the use of the term Baal was often replaced by the contemptuous boshet (“shame”); in compound proper names, for example, Ishbosheth replaced the earlier Ishbaal.



also spelled Dagan, West Semitic god of crop fertility, worshiped extensively throughout the ancient Middle East. Dagan was the Hebrew and Ugaritic common noun for “grain,” and the god Dagan was the legendary inventor of the plow. His cult is attested as early as about 2500 BC, and, according to texts found at Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit), he was the father of the god Baal. Dagan had an important temple at Ras Shamra, and in Palestine, where he was particularly known as a god of the Philistines, he had several sanctuaries, including those at Beth-dagon in Asher (Joshua 19:27), Gaza (Judges 16:23), and Ashdod(1 Samuel 5:2–7). At Ras Shamra, Dagan was apparently second in importance only to El, the supreme god, although his functions as a god of vegetation seem to have been transferred to Baal by about 1500 BC.


Ogony (account of the origin of the gods)

Though the “Eridu Genesis” may have come close to treating existence as a whole, a true cosmogonic and cosmological myth that deals centrally with the origins, structuring, and functional principles of the cosmos does not actually appear until Old Babylonian times, when Mesopotamian culture was entering a period of doubt about the moral character of world government and even of divine power itself. Yet, the statement is a positive one, almost to the point of defiance. Enuma elish tells of a beginning when all was a watery chaos and only the sea, Tiamat, and the sweet waters underground, Apsu, mingled their waters together. Mummu, the personified original watery form, served as Apsu's page. In their midst the gods were born. The first pair, Lahmu and Lahamu, represented the powers in silt; the next, Anshar and Kishar, those in the horizon. They engendered the god of heaven, Anu, and he in turn the god of the flowing sweet waters, Ea.

This tradition is known in a more complete form from an ancient list of gods called An: Anum. There, after a different beginning, Lahmu and Lahamu give rise to Duri and Dari, “the time-cycle”; and these in turn give rise to Enshar and Ninshar, Lord and Lady Circle. Enshar and Ninshar engender the concrete circle of the horizon, in the persons of Anshar and Kishar, probably conceived as silt deposited along the edge of the universe. Next was the horizon of the greater heaven and earth, and then—omitting an intrusive line—heaven and earth, probably conceived as two juxtaposed flat disks formed from silt deposited inward from the horizons.

Enuma elish truncates these materials and violates their inner logic considerably. Though they are clearly cosmogonic and assume that the cosmic elements and the powers informing them come into being together, Enuma elish seeks to utilize them for apure the ogony. The creation of the actual cosmos is dealt with much later. Also, the introduction of Mummu, the personified “original form,” which in the circumstances can only be that of water, may have led to the omission of Ki, Earth, who—as non watery—did not fit in.

The gods, who in Enuma elish come into being within Apsu and Tiamat, are viewed as dynamic creatures, who contrast strikingly with the older generation. Apsu and Tiamat stand for inertia and rest. This contrast leads to a series of conflicts in which first Apsu is killed by Ea; then Tiamat, who was roused later to attack the gods, is killed by Ea's son Marduk. It is Marduk, the hero of the story, who creates the extant universe out of the body of Tiamat. He cuts her, like a dried fish, in two, making one-half of her into heaven—appointing there Sun, Moon, and stars to execute their prescribed motions—and the other half into the Earth. He pierces her eyes to let the Tigris and Euphrates flow forth, and then, heaping mountains on her body in the east, he makes the various tributaries of the Tigris flow out from her breasts. The remainder of the story deals with Marduk's organization of the cosmos, his creation of man, and his assigning to the gods their various cosmic offices and tasks. The cosmos is viewed as structured as, and functioning as, a benevolent absolute monarchy.


The gods and demons

The gods were, as mentioned previously, organized in a polity of a primitive democratic cast. They constituted, as it were, a landed nobility, each god owning and working an estate—his temple and its lands—and controlling the city in which it was located. On the national level they attended the general assembly of the gods, which was the highest authority in the cosmos, to vote on matters of national import such as election or deposition of kings. The major gods also served on the national level as officers having charge of cosmic offices . Thus, for example, Utu (Akkadian: Shamash), the sun god, was the judge of the gods, in charge of justice and righteousness generally.

Highest in the pantheon—and presiding in the divine assembly—ranked An (Akkadian: Anu), god of heaven, who was responsible for the calendar and the seasons as they were indicated by their appropriate stars. Next came Enlil of Nippur, god of winds and of agriculture, creator of the hoe. Enlil executed the verdicts of the divine assembly. Equal in rank to An and Enlil was the goddess Ninhursag (also known as Nintur and Ninmah), goddess of stony ground: the near mountain ranges in the east and the stony desert in the west with its wildlife—wild asses, gazelles, wild goats, etc. She was also the goddess of birth. With these was joined—seemingly secondarily—Enki (Ea), god of the sweet waters of rivers and marshes; he was the cleverest of the gods and a great trouble shooter, often appealed to by both gods and men. Enlil's sons were the moon god Nanna (Sin); the god of thunderstorms, floods, and the plough, Ninurta; and the underworld figures Meslamtaea, Ninazu, and Ennugi. Sin's sons were the sun god and judge of the gods, Utu; the rain god Ishkur (Akkadian: Adad); and his daughter, the goddess of war, love, and morning and evening star, Inanna (Akkadian: Ishtar). Inanna's ill-fated young husband was the herder god Dumuzi (Akkadian: Tammuz). Thedread netherworld was ruled by the goddess Ereshkigal and her husband Nergal, a figure closely related to Meslamtaea and Ninurta. Earlier tradition mentions Ninazu as her husband.

Demons played little or no role in the myths or lists of the Mesopotamian pantheon. Their domain was that of incantations. Mostly, they were depicted as outlaws; the demoness Lamashtu, for instance, was hurled from heaven by her father An because of her wickedness. The demons attacked man by causing all kinds of diseases and were, as a rule, viewed as wind and storm beings. Consonant with the classical view of the universe as a cosmic state, it was possible for a person to go to the law courts against the demons—i.e., to seek recourse before Utu and obtain judgments against them. Various rituals for such procedures are known.


Human worst fiends:

devil, demons, fallen angels, ghosts, goblins, daevas, n(rakas), oni, hybrid creatures, hinder man, Angra Mainyu (Ahriman), Druj, AAshma daeva, Liama, Iblys (ash-Shayan), and all your bad dreams…


The archdemons:

Lucifer                        pride,

Mammon                    avarice,

Asmodeus                 lechery, (king of demons)

Satan                          anger, (after Lucifer fall)

Beelzebub                  gluttony, (Prince of the flies)

Leviathan                   envy,  (the snake)

Belphegor                  sloth,

Legion                        all above together.

I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe, I am the Lord, who do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)

Belial, the angel of darkness and the spirit of wickedness, appears as the adversary of the prince of luminaries and the spirit of truth.


The lost name of God:

The personal name of God probably was known long before the time of Moses. The name of Moses' mother was Jochebed (Yokheved), a word based on the name Yahweh. Thus, the tribe of Levi, to which Moses belonged, probably knew the name Yahweh, which originally may have been (in its short form Yo, Yah, or Yahu) a religious invocation of no precise meaning evoked by the mysterious and awesome splendour of the manifestation of the holy.



And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
(Genesis 1, 2)



stars, gods and waters...


  Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn



also called Alpha Canis Majoris, or Dog Star brightest star in the night sky, with apparent visual magnitude -1.5. It is a binary star in the constellation Canis Major. The bright component of the binary is a blue-white star 23 times as luminous as the Sun and somewhat larger and considerably hotter than the Sun. Its distance from the solar system is about 8.6 light-years, only twice the distance of the nearest known star beyond the Sun. Its name probably comes from a Greek word meaning sparkling, or scorching.

Sirius was known as Sothis to the ancient Egyptians, who were aware that it made its first heliacal rising (i.e., rose just before sunrise) of the year at about the time the annual floods were beginning in the Nile River delta. They long believed that Sothis caused the Nile floods; and they discovered that the heliacal rising of the star occurred at intervals of 365.25 days rather than the 365 days of their calendar year, a correction in the length of the year that was later incorporated in the Julian calendar. Among the ancient Romans, the hottest part of the year was associated with the heliacal rising of the Dog Star, a connection that survives in the expression dog days.

Sirius is a binary star was first reported by the German astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel in 1844. He had observed that the bright star was pursuing a slightly wavy course among its neighbours in the sky and concluded that it had a companion star, with which it revolved in a period of about 50 years. The companion was first seen in 1862 by Alvan Clark, an American astronomer and telescope maker.

Sirius and its companion revolve together in orbits of considerable eccentricity and with average separation of the stars of about 20 times the Earth's distance from the Sun. Despite the glare of the bright star, the seventh-magnitude companion is readily seen with a large telescope. This companion star, known as Sirius B, is about as massive as the Sun, though much more condensed, and was the first white dwarf star to be discovered.


red dwarf:

Because of their instrinsically low luminosities, white dwarf stars can be observed only within a few hundred parsecs (1 parsec = 3.26 light-years) from the Earth. They are occasionally found in binary systems, as is the case for the white dwarf companion to the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius (q.v.). White dwarf stars also play an essential role in the outbursts of novae and of other cataclysmic variable stars.



one of the eight large, regular satellites of Saturn. Essentially composed of pure water ice, Tethys has a diameter of 1,060 km (657 miles). It orbits Saturn at a distance of 294,660 km (182,689 miles) and is involved in an orbital resonance with Mimas such that it completes precisely one orbit for every two of Mimas' orbits. Tethys possesses two noteworthy features. The first of these is a long crack extending along three-quarters of the satellite's circumference and forming 5 to 10 percent of its surface. It is theorized that the crack was produced by freezing and expansion of the water that composes the satellite's interior. The second notable feature is a crater that measures 400 km (250 miles) in diameter and has a large central peak.


The constellations and other sky divisions:

The decans

Two other astronomical reference systems developed independently in early antiquity, the lunar mansions and the Egyptian decans. The decans are 36 star configurations circling the sky somewhat to the south of the ecliptic. They make their appearance in drawings and texts inside coffin lids of the 10th dynasty (around 2100 BC) and are shown on the tomb ceilings of Seti I (1318-04 BC) and of some of the Rameses in Thebes. The decans appear to have provided the basis for the division of the day into 24 hours.

Besides representing star configurations as decans, the Egyptians marked out about 25 constellations, such as crocodile, hippopotamus, lion, and a falcon-headed god. Their constellations can be divided into northern and southern groups, but the various representations are so discordant that only three constellations have been identified with certainty: Orion (depicted as Osiris), Sirius (a recumbent cow), and Ursa Major (foreleg or front part of a bull). The most famous Egyptian star map is a 1st-century-BC stone chart found in the temple at Dandarah and now in the Louvre. The Zodiac of Dandarah illustrates the Egyptian decans and constellations, but since it incorporates the Babylonian zodiac as well, many stars must be doubly represented, and the stone can hardly be considered an accurate mapping of the heavens.



ethnic group of the central plateau region of Mali that spreads across the border into Burkina Faso. There is some doubt as to the correct classification of the many dialects of the Dogon language; the language has been placed in the Mande, Gur, and other branches of the Niger-Congo language family, but its relationship to other languages of the family, if any, is uncertain. The Dogon number about 600,000, and the majority of them live in the rocky hills, mountains, and plateaus of the Bandiagara Escarpment. They are mainly an agricultural people; their few craftsmen, largely metalworkers and leatherworkers, form distinct castes. They have no centralized system of government but live in villages composed of patri-lineages and extended families whose head is the senior male descendant of the common ancestor. Polygyny is practiced but reportedly has a low incidence.

Each large district has a hogon, or spiritual leader, and there is a supreme hogon for the whole country. In his dress and behaviour the hogon symbolizes the Dogon myth of creation, to which the Dogon relate much of their social organization and culture. Their metaphysical system-which categorizes physical objects, personifies good and evil, and defines the spiritual principles of the Dogon personality-is more abstract than that of most other African peoples. Dogon religious life is heightened every 60 years by a ceremony called the sigui, which occurs when the star Sirius appears between two mountain peaks. Before the ceremony, young men go into seclusion for three months, during which they talk in a secret language. The general ceremony rests on the belief that some 3,000 years ago amphibious beings from Sirius visited the Dogon.


The Egyptian calendar:

The ancient Egyptians originally employed a calendar based upon the Moon, and, like many peoples throughout the world, they regulated their lunar calendar by means of the guidance of a sidereal calendar. They used the seasonal appearance of the star Sirius (Sothis); this corresponded closely to the true solar year, being only 12 minutes shorter. Certain difficulties arose, however, because of the inherent incompatibility of lunar and solar years. To solve this problem the Egyptians invented a schematized civil year of 365 days divided into three seasons, each of which consisted of four months of 30 days each. To complete the year, five intercalary days were added at its end, so that the 12 months were equal to 360 days plus five extra days. This civil calendar was derived from the lunar calendar (using months) and the agricultural, or Nile, fluctuations (using seasons); it was, however, no longer directly connected to either and thus was not controlled by them. The civil calendar served government and administration, while the lunar calendar continued to regulate religious affairs and everyday life.

In time, the discrepancy between the civil calendar and the older lunar structure became obvious. Because the lunar calendar was controlled by the rising of Sirius, its months would correspond to the same season each year, while the civil calendar would move through the seasons because the civil year was about one-fourth day shorter than the solar year. Hence, every four years it would fall behind the solar year by one day, and after 1,460 years it would again agree with the luni solar calendar. Such a period of time is called a Sothic cycle.

The Egyptians did not date by eras longer than the reign of a single king, so a historical framework must be created from totals of reign lengths, which are then related to astronomical data that may allow whole periods to be fixed precisely. This is done through references to astronomical events and correlations with the three calendars in use in Egyptian antiquity. All dating was by a civil calendar, derived from the lunar calendar, which was introduced in the first half of the 3rd millennium BC. The civil year had 365 days and started in principle when Sirius, or the Dog Star-also known as Sothis (Ancient Egyptian: II Sopdet)-became visible above the horizon after a period of absence, which at that time occurred some weeks before the Nile began to rise for the inundation. Every four years the civil year advanced one day in relation to the Julian year (with 365 1/4 days), and after a cycle of about 1,460 years it would again agree with the luni solar calendar. Religious ceremonies were organized according to two lunar calendars that had months of 29 or 30 days, with extra, intercalary months every three years or so.

Four mentions of the rising of Sirius (generally known as Sothic dates) are preserved in texts from the 3rd to the 1st millennia, but by themselves these references cannot yield an absolute chronology. Such a chronology can be computed from larger numbers of lunar dates and cross-checked from solutions for the observations of Sirius. Various chronologies are in use, however, differing by up to 40 years for the 2nd millennium BC and by more than a century for the beginning of the 1st dynasty. The chronologies offered in most publications up to 1985 have been disproved for the Middle and New kingdoms by a restudy of the evidence for the Sothic and especially the lunar dates. For the 1st millennium, dates in the Third Intermediate Period are approximate; a supposed fixed year of 945 BC, based on links with the Old Testament, turns out to be variable by a number of years. Late Period dates (664-332 BC) are almost completely fixed. Before the 12th dynasty, plausible dates for the 11th can be computed backward, but for earlier times dates are approximate. A total of 955 years for the 1st through the 8th dynasty in the Turin Canon has been used to assign a date of about 3100 BC for the beginning of the 1st dynasty, but this requires excessive average reign lengths, and an estimate of 2925 BC is preferable. Radiocarbon and other scientific dating of samples from Egyptian sites have not improved on, or convincingly contested, computed dates. Recent work on radiocarbon dates from Egypt does, however, yield results encouragingly close to dates computed in the manner described above.

The fact that neither months nor years occupied a whole number of days was recognized quite early in all the great civilizations. Some observers also realized that the difference between calendar dates and the celestial phenomena due to occur on them would first increase and then diminish until the two were once more in coincidence. The succession of differences and coincidences would be cyclic, recurring time and again as the years passed. An early recognition of this phenomenon was the Egyptian Sothic cycle, based on the star Sirius (called Sothis by the ancient Egyptians). The error with respect to the 365-day year and the heliacal risings of Sirius amounted to one day every four tropical years, or one whole Egyptian calendar year every 1,460 tropical years (4 × 365), which was equivalent to 1,461 Egyptian calendar years. After this period the heliacal rising and setting of Sothis would again coincide with the calendar dates (see the section below The Egyptian calendar).


Dog days:

periods of exceptionally hot and humid weather that often occur in July, August, and early September in the northern temperate latitudes. The name originated with the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians; they believed that Sirius, the dog star, which rises simultaneously with the Sun during this time of the year, added its heat to the Sun's and thereby caused the hot weather. Their belief that dogs were subject to spells of madness at this time also may have contributed to the name. Because people tended to become listless during the dog days, Sirius was held to have a detrimental effect on human activities.




Egyptian Aset, or Eset, one of the most important goddesses of ancient Egypt. Her name is the Greek form of an ancient Egyptian word that is perhaps associated with a word for throne.

Little is known of Isis' early cult. In the Pyramid Texts (c. 2350c. 2100 BC), she is the mourner for her murdered husband, the god Osiris. In her role as the wife of Osiris, she discovered and reunited the pieces of her dead husband's body, was the chief mourner at his funeral, and through her magical power brought him back to life.

Isis hid her son, Horus, from Seth, the murderer of Osiris, until Horus was fully grown and could avenge his father. She defended the child against many attacks from snakes and scorpions. But because Isis was also Seth's sister, she wavered during the eventual battle between Horus and Seth, and in one episode Isis pitied Seth and was beheaded by Horus during their struggle. Despite her variable temperament, she and Horus were regarded by the Egyptians as the perfect mother and son. The shelter she afforded her child gave her the character of a goddess of protection. But her chief aspect was that of a great magician, whose power transcended that of all other deities. Several narratives tell of her magical prowess, with which she could even outwit the creator god Atum. She was invoked on behalf of the sick, and, with the goddesses Nephthys, Neith, and Selket, she protected the dead. She became associated with various other goddesses who had similar functions, and thus her nature became increasingly diverse. In particular, the goddess Hathor and Isis became similar in many respects. In the astral interpretation of the gods, Isis was equated with the dog star Sothis (Sirius).

Isis was represented as a woman with the hieroglyphic sign of the throne on her head, either sitting on a throne, alone or holding the child Horus, or kneeling before a coffin. Occasionally she was shown with a cow's head. As mourner, she was a principal deity in all rites connected with the dead; as magician, she cured the sick and brought the dead to life; and, as mother, she was herself a life-giver.

The cult of Isis spread throughout Egypt. In AkhmYm she received special attention as the mother of the fertility god Min. She had important temples throughout Egypt and Nubia. By Greco-Roman times she was dominant among Egyptian goddesses, and she received acclaim from Egyptians and Greeks for her many names and aspects. Several temples were dedicated to her in Alexandria, where she became the patroness of seafarers. From Alexandria her cult was brought to all the shores of the Mediterranean, including Greece and Rome. In Hellenistic times the mysteries of Isis and Osiris developed; these were comparable to other Greek mystery cults.



Nu, oldest of the ancient Egyptian gods and father of Re, the sun god. Nun's name means "water," and he represented the primeval waters of chaos out of which Re-Atum began creation. Nun's qualities were boundlessness, darkness, and the turbulence of stormy waters; these qualities were personified separately by pairs of deities; Nun, his female counterpart Naunet, and three further pairs together formed the Ogdoad (group of eight gods) of Hermopolis. Various Egyptian creation myths retain the image of the emergence of a primeval hillock formed of mud churned from the chaotic waters of Nun. Since it was believed that the primeval ocean continued to surround the ordered cosmos, the creation myth was reenacted each day as the sun god rose from the waters of chaos. Nun was also thought to continue to exist as subsoil water beneath the earth and as the source of the annual flooding of the Nile River.


Lahmu & Lahamu:

in Mesopotamian mythology, twin deities, the first gods to be born from the chaos that was created by the merging of Apsu (the watery deep beneath the earth) and Tiamat (the personification of the salt waters); this is described in the Babylonian mythological text Enuma elish (c. 12th century BC).


The Dionysiac reliefs are numerous. They show symbols of the religion, such as the shepherd's staff, the winnow (an ancient device for separating chaff from grain), and the phallus; they depict the gay life of satyrs and maenads, shepherds and shepherdesses; and they represent the golden age of the gods with tame and wild animals enjoying a peace that the god had instituted. A great silver dish dating from about the 4th century AD and found at Mildenhall, England, shows the swift and elegant dance of the maenads. Dionysiac sarcophagi represented Bacchic revels and the pastime of the Erotes and Psyches in afterlife. Many reliefs of the Isis Mysteries also survive. They display the mystical cista (a receptacle for carrying sacred objects) with the snake of Horus, the priest carrying holy water in a procession, female attendants with a ladle, and a man in a dog's mask, who represents Anubis (the guardian god). Other Isiac reliefs show Isis riding on a dog, symbolic of her position as goddess of Sirius (the Dog Star).



Chaldean priest of Bel in Babylon who wrote a work in three books (in Greek) on the history and culture of Babylonia; it was widely used by later Greek compilers, whose versions in turn were quoted by religious historians such as Eusebius and Josephus. Thus Berosus, though his work survives only in fragmentary citations, is remembered for his passing on knowledge of the origins of Babylon to the ancient Greeks.

In his first book Berosus described the land of Babylonia, to which the half man-half fish Oannes and other divinities coming out of the sea brought civilization, and told the story of the creation according to the native legend, which led to his account of Chaldean astrology. The second and third books contained the chronology and history of Babylonia and of later Assyria, beginning with the ten kings before the flood, then the story of the flood itself, followed by the restoration of kingship with a long line of kings after the flood, then five dynasties, and finally the late age of history under the Assyrians, the last Babylonian kingdom, and the Persians. Cuneiform texts written in the Akkadian (Assyro-Babylonian) language have corroborated several elements of Berosus' account. The original names of seven of Berosus' bringers of civilization (Oannes and his brethren) are included in a late-Babylonian tablet found at Uruk (modern Warka). His scheme of chronology and history, although imperfectly preserved in quotations, has been elaborately investigated by modern scholars and compared with the cuneiform literature.

Berosus' first book dealt with the beginnings of the world and with a myth of a composite being, Oannes, half fish, half man, who came ashore in Babylonia at a time when men still lived like the wild beasts. Oannes taught them the essentials of civilization: writing, the arts, law, agriculture, surveying, and architecture. The name Oannes must have been derived from the cuneiform U'anna (Sumerian) or Umanna (Akkadian), a second name of the mythical figure Adapa, the bringer of civilization. The second book of Berosus contained the Babylonian king list from the beginning to King Nabonassar (Nabu-nair, 747-734 BC), a contemporary of Tiglath-pileser III. Berosus' tradition, beginning with a list of primeval kings before the Flood, is a reliable one; it agrees with the tradition of the Sumerian king list, and even individual names can be traced back exactly to their Sumerian originals. Even the immensely long reigns of the primeval kings, which lasted as long as 18 sars (= 18 × 3,600 = 64,800) of years, are found in Berosus. Furthermore, he was acquainted with the story of the Flood, with Cronus as its instigator and Xisuthros (or Ziusudra) as its hero, and with the building of an ark. The third book is presumed to have dealt with the history of Babylonia from Nabonassar to the time of Berosus himself.



in Mesopotamian mythology, an amphibious being who taught mankind wisdom. Oannes, as described by the Babylonian priest Berosus, had the form of a fish but with the head of a man under his fish's head and under his fish's tail the feet of a man. In the daytime he came up to the seashore of the Persian Gulf and instructed mankind in writing, the arts, and the sciences. Oannes was probably the emissary of Ea, god of the freshwater deep and of wisdom.



(Akkadian), Sumerian Enki Mesopotamian god of water and a member of the triad of deities completed by Anu (Sumerian: An) and Enlil. From a local deity worshiped in the city of Eridu, Ea evolved into a major god, Lord of Apsu (also spelled Abzu), the fresh waters beneath the earth (although Enki means literally lord of the earth). In the Sumerian myth Enki and the World Order, Enki is said to have fixed national boundaries and assigned gods their roles. According to another Sumerian myth Enki is the creator, having devised men as slaves to the gods. Inhis original form, as Enki, he was associated with semen and amniotic fluid, and therefore with fertility. He was commonly represented as a half-goat, half-fish creature, from which the modern astrological figure for Capricorn is derived.

Ea, the Akkadian counterpart of Enki, was the god of ritual purification: ritual cleansing waters were called Ea's water. Ea governed the arts of sorcery and incantation. In some stories he was also the form-giving god, and thus the patron of craftsmen and artists; he was known as the bearer of culture. In his role as adviser to the king, Ea was a wise god although not a forceful one. In Akkadian myth, as Ea's character evolves, he appears frequently as a clever mediator who could be devious and cunning. He is also significant in Akkadian mythology as the father of Marduk, the national god of Babylonia.



Religions of the Hittites, Hattians, and Hurrians


In Anatolia itself myth seems to have remained on a rather primitive level. Such myths are found embedded in magical or ritual texts, aimed at curing diseases, ensuring good fortune, and the like.

A particularly well-attested type of myth occurs in connection with the invocation of an absent god and tells how the god once disappeared and caused a blight on Earth, how he was sought and found, and eventually returned to restore life and vigour. In one such myth the weather god withdraws in anger and the search is conducted by the sun god (whose messenger is an eagle), the father of the weather god, his grandfather, and his grandmother Hannahanna. In another, it is Telipinu who is angry, and the gods who search are the sun god, the weather god, and Hannahanna, the grandfather being omitted. In both these versions, the missing god is found by a bee sent forth by Hannahanna. In another similar story, the sun god and Telipinu are both missing, not from anger, but because they have been seized by Torpor, which has paralyzed nature. In yet another version, the weather god of Nerik is said to have gone down to the netherworld through a hole in the ground, apparently the hole from which the river Marassantiya (modern K[z[l Irmak) gushed forth, which suggests that this weather god may really have been a god of the underground waters.


Water as primal matter

The conception of a primal body of water from which everything is derived is especially prevalent among peoples living close to coasts or in river areas e.g., the Egyptian Nu (the primordial ocean) and the Mesopotamian Apsu (the primeval watery abyss) and Tiamat (the primeval chaos dragon). The earth may be fished out or emerges from the primeval water; heavenly beings (e.g., Ataentsik, ancestress of the Iroquois) appear on the emerged earth; and birds lay an egg that is later divided into two halves (heaven and earth) on the chaotic sea. Thus, water is viewed as the foundation of all things. A survival of the original primeval sea in such myths is the water that flows around the earth's disk (e.g., Oceanus).



plural Kappa, in Japanese folklore, a type of vampire like lecherous creature that is more intelligent than the devilish oni (q.v.) and less malevolent toward men. Kappa are credited with having taught the art of bone setting to humans. They are depicted in legend and art as being the size of a 10-year-old child, yellow-green in colour, and resembling monkeys, but with fish scales or tortoise shells instead of skin. On the TOP of their head they have hollow indentations that are filled with water; if the water is spilled, they are said to lose their supernatural powers. Legends of encounters with kappa invariably include a reference to their capacity for keeping a promise, extracted from them after forcing their heads down or by tricking them into bowing low, thus spilling out the water. They have a taste for cucumbers, and a standard way of placating kappa is to throw a cucumber into the water where they live.



masculine mermana fabled marine creature with the head and upper body of a human being and the tail of a fish. Similar divine or semidivine beings appear in ancient mythologies (e.g., the Chaldean sea god Ea, or Oannes). In European folklore, mermaids (sometimes called sirens) and mermen were natural beings who, like fairies, had magical and prophetic powers. They loved music and often sang. Though very long-lived, they were mortal and had no souls.

Many folktales record marriages between mermaids (who might assume human form) and men. In most, the man steals the mermaid's cap or belt, her comb or mirror. While the objects are hidden she lives with him; if she finds them she returns at once to the sea. In some variants the marriage lasts while certain agreed-upon conditions are fulfilled, and it ends when the conditions are broken.

Though sometimes kindly, mermaids and mermen were usually dangerous to man. Their gifts brought misfortune, and, if offended, the beings caused floods or other disasters. To see one on a voyage was an omen of shipwreck. They sometimes lured mortals to death by drowning, as did the Lorelei of the Rhine, or enticed young people to live with them underwater, as did the mermaid whose image is carved on a bench in the church of Zennor, Cornwall, Eng.

Aquatic mammals, such as the dugong and manatee, that suckle their young in human fashion above water are considered by some to underlie these legends.



also spelled Ondine mythological figure of European tradition, a water nymph who becomes human when she falls in love with a man but is doomed to die if he is unfaithful to her. Derived from the Greek figures known as Nereids, attendants of the sea god Poseidon, Ondine was first mentioned in the writings of the Swiss author Paracelsus, who put forth his theory that there are spirits called undines who inhabit the element of water. A version of the myth was adapted as the romance Undine by Baron Fouqué in 1811, and librettos based on the romance were written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816 and Albert Lortzing in 1845. Maurice Maeterlinck's play Pelléas et Mélisande (1892) was in part based on this myth, as was Ondine (1939), a drama by Jean Giraudoux. Compare gnome; sylph. The myth was also the basis of a ballet choreographed and performed by Margot Fonteyn.



in Greek religion, sea god called by Homer Old Man of the Sea, noted for his wisdom, gift of prophecy, and ability to change his shape. He was the son of Pontus, a personification of the sea, and Gaea, the Earth goddess. The Nereids (water nymphs) were his daughters by the Oceanid Doris, and he lived with them in the depths of the sea, particularly the Aegean. Aphrodite,the goddess of love, was his pupil. The Greek hero Heracles, in his quest for the golden apples of the Hesperides, obtained directions from Nereus by wrestling with him in his many forms. Nereus frequently appears in vase paintings as a dignified spectator.



in Greek religion, any of the daughters (numbering 50 or 100) of the sea god Nereus (eldest son of Pontus, a personification of the sea) and of Doris, daughter of Oceanus (the god of the water encircling the flat Earth). The Nereids were depicted as young girls, inhabiting any water, salt or fresh, and as benign toward humanity. They were popular figures in Greek literature. The best known of the Nereids were Amphitrite, consort of Poseidon (a sea and earthquake god); Thetis, wife of Peleus (king of the Myrmidons) and mother of the hero Achilles; and Galatea, a Sicilian figure loved by the Cyclops Polyphemus.



in Greek mythology, any of a large class of inferior female divinities. The nymphs were usually associated with fertile, growing things, such as trees, or with water. They were not immortal but were extremely long-lived and were on the whole kindly disposed toward men. They were distinguished according to the sphere of nature with which they were connected. The Oceanids, for example, were sea nymphs; the Nereids inhabited both saltwater and freshwater; the Naiads presided over springs, rivers, and lakes. The Oreads (oros, mountain) were nymphs of mountains and grottoes; the Napaeae (nape, dell) and the Alseids (alsos, grove) were nymphs of glens and groves; the Dryads or Hamadryads presided over forests and trees.

Italy had native divinities of springs and streams and water goddesses (called Lymphae) with whom the Greek nymphs tended to become identified.



in Roman religion, a water spirit worshiped in connection with Diana at Aricia and also with the Camenae in their grove outside the Porta Capena at Rome. Like Diana, she was a protectress of pregnant women and, like the Camenae, was considered prophetic. Traditionally she was the wife, or mistress, and adviser of King Numa Pompilius, who established the grove at Rome and consorted with her there.



also called nixie, or nixyin Germanic mythology, a water being, half human, half fish, that lives in a beautiful underwater palace and mingles with humans by assuming a variety of physical forms (e.g., that of a fair maiden or an old woman) or by making itself invisible. One of three attributes may betray the disguises of nixes: they are music lovers and excellent dancers, and they have the gift of prophecy. Usually malevolent, a nix can easily be propitiated with gifts. In some regions, nixes are said to abduct human children and to lure people into deep water to drown. According to some sources, nixes can marry human beings and bear human children.



among the Mordvins, the water mother, a spirit believed to rule the waters and their bounty; she is known as Vete-ema among the Estonians and Veen emo among the Finns. The water spirit belongs to a class of nature spirits common to the Finno-Ugric peoples dependent on fishing for much of their livelihood. Fishermen sacrificed to the water spirit as a personification of their concerns, gave her the first of their catch, and observed numerous taboos while fishing. Ved-ava, however, was also responsible for promoting fertility in humans and in livestock. In appearance the water mother reflected general European traditions of the mermaid: long hair that she may be seen combing while seated on a stone, large breasts, the lower part of the body fishlike. She can often be seen or heard playing music to entice people, but seeing Ved-ava generally bodes misfortune, most often drowning. Ved-ava has also been thought of as the spirit of a drowned person. At other times she is simply a personification of the water itself.



in Slavic mythology, the water spirit. The vodyanoy is essentially an evil and vindictive spirit whose favourite sport is drowning humans. Anyone bathing after sunset, on a holy day, or without having first made the sign of the cross risks being sucked into the water by the vodyanoy. He can assume many different forms that enable him to deceive and trap his victims. The vodyanoy lives alone in his particular body of water and is known to favour rivers with strong currents and swamps.


Types of cosmogonic myths:

Creation by earth divers

Two elements are important in myths of this type. There is, first, the theme of the cosmogonic water representing the undifferentiated waters that are present before the earth has been created. Secondly, there is an animal who plunges into the water to secure a portion of earth. The importance of the animal is that the creature agent is a pre human species. This version of the myth is probably the oldest version of this genre. This basic structure of the earth-diver myth has been modified in central Europe in myths that relate the story of the primordial waters, God, and the devil. In these versions of the earth-diver myth, the devil appears as God's companion in the creation of the world. The devil becomes the diver sent by God to bring earth from the bottom of the waters. In most versions of this myth, God does not appear to be omniscient or omnipotent, often depending on the knowledge of the devil for certain details regarding the creative act details that he learns through tricks he plays upon the devil.

In still different versions of this myth, the relationship between God and the devil moves from companionship to antagonism; they become adversaries, though they remain as co-creators of the world. The fact that the devil has had a part in the creation of the world is one way of explaining the origin and persistence of evil in the world.

Mircea Eliade, a noted 20th-century historian of religions, has pointed to another theme in certain Romanian versions of this myth. After God has instructed the devil to dive to the bottom of the waters and bring up the earth, the devil obeys, diving several times before he is able to bring up and hold on to a small portion of earth. After the creation of the world from this small portion of earth, God sinks into a profound sleep. This sleep is a sign of mental exhaustion, for only the devil and a bee know the solution to certain details of the creation, and God must, with the help of the bee, trick the devil into giving him this vital information. God's sleep, according to Eliade, is a sign of his passivity and disinterest in the world after it has been created, and it harks back to certain archaic myths in which the supreme deity retires from the world after its creation, becoming disinterested and passive in the relationship to his work.


Creation by world parents

Closely related to the above type of myth is the myth that states that the world is created as the progeny of a primordial mother and father. The mother and father are symbols of earth and sky, respectively. In myths of this kind, the world parents generally appear at a late stage of the creation process; chaos in some way exists before the coming into being of the world parents. In the Babylonian myth Enuma elish, it is stated,

When on high the heaven had not been named
Firm ground below had not been called by name,
Naught but primordial Apsu, their begetter,
(And) Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all,
Their waters comingling as a single body;

The Maori make the same point when they state that the world parents emerge out of po. Po for the Maori means the basic matter and the method by which creation comes about. There is thus some form of reality before the appearance of the world parents.

Even though the world parents are depicted and described as in sexual embrace, no activity is taking place. They appear as quiescent and inert. The chthonic (underworld) structure of the earth as latent potentiality tends to dominate the union. The parents are often unaware that they have offspring, and thus a kind of indifference regarding the union is expressed. The union of male and female in sexual embrace is another symbol of completeness and totality.

As in the African myth from the Dogon referred to above, sexual union is a sign of androgyny (being both male and female) and androgyny, in turn, a sign of perfection. The indifference of the world parents is thus not simply a signof ignorance but equally of the silence of perfection. The world parents in the Babylonian and Maori myths do not wish to be disturbed by their offspring. As over against the parents, the offspring are signs of actuality, fragmentation, specificity; they define concrete realities.

The separation of the world parents is again a rupture within the myth. This separation is caused by offspring who wish either to have more space or to have light, for they are situated between the bodies of the parents. In some myths the separation is caused by a woman who lifts her pestle so high in grinding grain that it strikes the sky, causing the sky to recede into the background, thus providing room for the activities of mankind. In both cases an antagonistic motive must be attributed to the agents of separation. In the Babylonian and Maori versions of this myth, actual warfare takes place as a result of the separation.

Over against the primordial union of the world parents, there is the desire for knowledge and a different orientation in space. After the separation, lesser deities related to solar symbolism take precedence in the creation. The sun and light must be seen in these myths as representing the desire for a humanizing and cultural knowledge as over against the passive and inert forms of the union of the parent deities. From the point of separation, the mythic narrative of the world-parent myths states how different forms of cultural knowledge are brought to man by the offspring, the agents of separation. The separation of the world parents is the sign of a new cosmic order, an order dedicated to the techniques, crafts, and knowledge of culture.


Thales thought that the fundamental principle of cosmos was water. The earth floated on water; water was the natura lcause of all things. Anaximander taught that there was an eternal undestructible something out of which everything arises and everything returns. In other words, the fundamental substratum of the world could not be an element of the world. The importance of Anaximander was in his use of the term archA (“beginning” or “rule”) to refer to a principle unlike any other principle or element in the world to explain the cause of all other things in the universe.



in Hindu mythology, the physician of the gods. According to legend, the gods and the demons sought the elixir amta by churning the milky ocean, and Dhanvantari rose out of the waters bearing a cup filled with the elixir. The yurveda, a traditional system of medicine, is also attributed to him. The name has also been applied to other semi legendary and historical physicians and to a legendary king.



in Australian Aboriginal folklore, a legendary monster said to inhabit the reedy swamps and lagoons of the interior of Australia. The amphibious animal was variously described as having a round head, an elongated neck, and a body resembling that of an ox, hippopotamus, or manatee; some accounts gave it a human figure. The bunyip purportedly made booming or roaring noises and was given to devouring human prey, especially women and children. The origin of the belief probably lies in the rare appearance of fugitive seals far upstream; the monster's alleged cry may be that of the bittern marsh bird.