passage from: “dagon rising”

However, in “The Shadow over Innsmouth” (1931),Lovecraft writes of the isolated and decaying, Massachusetts seaport of Innsmouth as being the home of The Esoteric Order of Dagon, “a peculiar secret cult which had gained force there and engulfed all the orthodox churches”.

The Order is in fact the organized basis for a clandestine traffic with the Deep Ones,amphibious, frog-like, fish creatures of great age and intelligence.

“Father Dagon” appears to be regarded as the progenitor of these beings, of whom it is said that “some day,if they remembered, they would rise again for the tribute Great Cthulhu craved.

”The role of Dagon in the so-called Cthulhu Mythos is finally rationalised by August Derleth in “The Lurker at the Threshold”, (1945).

Here it is established that the Water-Being Cthulhu “was greater than Dagon, that Dagon and his Deep Ones served him.”Nevertheless, the presence of Dagon among the more outré Disciple of Dagon entities of Lovecraft’s writing has both puzzled and intrigued Lovecraftian scholars and enthusiasts.

For example, both Robert M. Price and Will Murray have recognized in Lovecraft’s early representation of Dagon, a prototype for the later manifestation of Cthulhu. As regards the purpose of the esoteric order bearing his name, Price believes that, “Dagon”is simply a familiar and appropriate name from the Old Testament chosen to mark the secret worship of unknown Cthulhu”

Murray, noting that Lovecraft describes the order as “a debased, quasi-pagan thing imported from the East a century before”, acknowledges “that Dagon worship was often mentioned in derogatory fashion in the Bible”, and that this was the most likely source for Lovecraft’s use of the idea ofDagon2.Perhaps the key passage to all of this occurs in “The Shadow over Innsmouth”, where the main informant of the town’s secret worship, the aged, half-crazed Zadok Allen, raves about;

“Wrath o’Jehovy – I was a mighty little critter, but I heerd what I heerd an’ seen what I seen – Dagon an’ Ashtoreth -Belial an’ Beelzebub – Golden Caff an’ the idols o’ Canaanan’ the Philistines – Babylonish abominations – Mene, menetekel, upharsin...”

There are in this passage a number of themes that have obsessed the western consciousness, inculcated as it is with the literature of the Bible. They have infiltrated into the subconsciousness of even the most avowedly rationalistic and anti-religious of individuals, and Lovecraft himself, crystallised some of these obsessions to an exceptional degree.

By the use of the term “Babylonish abominations” it is uncertain whether Lovecraft had in mind a specific reference re – Disciple of Dagon to the Deep Ones, but it does evoke the entire panorama of strange gods and ancient nightmares, embodying forbidden spheres of experience that are outside the established boundaries of Judeo-Christian practice and authority.

It is the nature of such authority, that it continually strives to suppress and eliminate the validity of the ancient deities, it seeks to mock them and render them null; the names become dead, but the energies which they embody remain sentient within the deeper levels of the subconsciousness of humanity.

Lovecraft encapsulated this awareness in the famous ritual expression of “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

On this basis it becomes clearer to recognize that the relationship between Cthulhu and Dagon is much closer than has been considered previously.In the First Book of Samuel, chapter five, there is an account of how the magical power of Yahweh overcomes that of Dagon.

The Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant and take it to Ashdod, to place it as a trophy in the temple of Dagon. Next morning, the statue of Dagon is found prone on the ground before the ark; it is replaced, but on the following morning it is found not only prone before the ark, but with its head and hands cut off and lying on the threshold of the temple. The“Wrath o’ Jehovy” falls upon the Philistines, their god is shown to be impotent, and they suffer various plagues and calamities before they are able to return the ark to the Israelites.

.. interesting book...

— a happy spirit