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Paranormal Friends with Gadgets

In the last post I reviewed examples of technology used in early 20th century horror fiction to conjure egregore-like entities.  The basic plot of these stories involved a narrator whose doomed friend summons dangerous beings using an invention.  The device augments human visual perception, though other sensory apparatus may come into play. An underlying assumptionContinue reading “Paranormal Friends with Gadgets”

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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”

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”

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…””

Egregoric Monsters in Early 20th Century Horror Fiction

But enough about politics, at least for the moment.  Suffice it to say that an egregoric process may be present in the emergence of game-changing political, religious and social movements.  Indeed, such movements appear guided and empowered by an egregore with a life and agency of its own, sustained by the devotion of its followers,Continue reading “Egregoric Monsters in Early 20th Century Horror Fiction”

Egregores and the Cthulhu Mythos

I first learned about the concept of the egregore from John L. Steadman, the author of H.P. Lovecraft & The Black Magickal Tradition.1  He came to our town not long after his book was published, and spoke to a small but interested group at a local book store.  Steadman attempted to show the continuity ofContinue reading “Egregores and the Cthulhu Mythos”