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Technologies of Conjuration in Weird Fiction

“What to my mind forms the essence of sound weird literature today is not so much the contradiction of reality as the hypothetical extension of reality.”             —H.P. Lovecraft, in a letter to Clark Ashton Smith, 1932 Ancient Examples An interesting episode in Homer’s Odyssey is when Odysseus visits the Kingdom of the Dead.  He conjures the souls ofContinue reading “Technologies of Conjuration in Weird Fiction”


Receptivity to Egregoric Influences in Lovecraft

“The Haunter of the Dark” is one of H.P. Lovecraft’s most memorable stories. Sadly, it was one of his last.  When it was published in the December 1936 issue of Weird Tales, Lovecraft was having second thoughts about his career as a writer.  S.T. Joshi, in his two volume biography of the famed horror writer1,Continue reading “Receptivity to Egregoric Influences in Lovecraft”


When I began writing this post, I was following the Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, as was much of the nation.  The jury deliberated for several days, a measure of the gravity of their task.  (A sign of the times: the judge had to instruct the jury to ignore what President Biden and President Trump eachContinue reading “Kenosha”

Revisiting Lost Carcosa

A prized possession of mine is a 1902 Harper & Brothers edition of The King in Yellow, by Robert W. Chambers.  Much has been written about this book, a collection of short stories linked by the appearance and impact of a forbidden text, a play called “The King in Yellow”.  The stories remain influential overContinue reading “Revisiting Lost Carcosa”

Vox Populi

I’ve recently discovered, a social media platform similar to Facebook, though smaller and more focused on local concerns.  Each neighborhood in my town has their own nextdoor group, comprised of nearby households and businesses.  Every third post is an advertisement; interspersed among these are notices of lost dogs and cats, used items for sale,Continue reading “Vox Populi”

Egregoric Imagery in Clark Ashton Smith’s “Genius Loci”

Even without the benefit of hallucinogenic drugs, many of us perceive—in the random arrangements of clouds, trees, rocks, grass—faces and figures both familiar and strange.  If the breeze is a bit more spirited, we may even see, up in the tree tops, animals stalking each other, faces conversing or grimacing, and oddly distorted figures standing over us orContinue reading “Egregoric Imagery in Clark Ashton Smith’s “Genius Loci””

Isms and Egregores

The suffix “—ism” is a useful word ending, transmuting all kinds of words into abstract nouns—names for things we cannot experience through our five or more senses.  Think of all the isms you know or have heard of in academia, in media, in politics, in religion. Webster’s1 offers numerous meanings for this familiar word segment,Continue reading “Isms and Egregores”

Egregoric Imagery in a Story by Thomas Ligotti

Among contemporary horror writers, one of the most interesting is Thomas Ligotti, whose oneiric style seamlessly melds nightmarish imagery with unsettling social commentary.  He has authored several discomforting collections of short stories, among them Songs of a Dead Dreamer (1986), Grimscribe (1991), Noctuary (1994) and Teatro Grottesco (2006).  Egregoric horrors occur in several of hisContinue reading “Egregoric Imagery in a Story by Thomas Ligotti”

“I Will Tell the Audient Void…”

One of H.P Lovecraft’s most memorable short pieces is the 1920 prose poem, “Nyarlathotep”.  An early work, it contains possibly the first appearance of the eponymous entity.  Nyarlathotep abandons his humanoid form at the end of the tale, and loses a recognizable form altogether in the author’s later fiction.  Some have described him as aContinue reading ““I Will Tell the Audient Void…””

A Child’s First Egregore

When I was very young, perhaps 5 or 6 years old, I slept in a room down a short hallway from my sister’s bedroom.  The door of her room was always shut; mine, always open.  In the hallway was a pale green night light, pathetically dim, the color and intensity of bioluminescent bugs. This wasContinue reading “A Child’s First Egregore”