Cthulhu’s Law

Skeptical by nature if not practice, I have long considered a staunchly agnostic stance to be my default setting between magickal operations. Nothing is true, and very little is real. In this, I suppose that I am similar to many who once held the chaos current as an ersatz guide. When belief is simply seen as a tool to be adopted and discarded as the need arises there is little room for either worship or dogma unless a direct benefit can be derived from doing so. Yet the further down the rabbit hole that I tumble, the more I experience direct contact with entities that resemble the gods and goddesses of classical folklore.

Ever the iconoclast, I am not happy to simply accept their existence wholesale. I want to dig beneath the obvious trappings of devotion and worship to isolate the process whereby such godforms can find purchase within a modern, more questioning context. It may seem a pointless consideration as long as the results keep rolling in, and were I still a card carrying chaote I would no doubt agree. But I have moved towards a purer postmodernism in recent months, and begun demanding more integrity from my adopted systems of belief. Ultimately, when it comes to magick, I am the one who makes the rules.

If we discard the accepted argument that the deities and demons of classical myth are venerated ancestors, fallen angels, omnipotent creator spirits or just the froth from some great cosmic egg, many alternative hypotheses present themselves. Of these, I have found two to be the most plausible. The first involves internal processes that remain so, leading to something approaching a reductionist or nihilistic view of the unseen world. The second takes those same godforms and flings them with intent forward into the material realm for all to see. Transformative in nature, this latter option is also the more daunting prospect, demanding a greater level of responsibility from those who are aware of its existence.

Under the first theory, we find the gods as sociological constructs appealing to some hidden aspect of our personal natures. They are little better than internalised memes that the skilled mage or blind believer can call upon to adopt those aspects within themselves as and when required. Such a system, which in truth owes much to the Psychological model of magick, demands that said spirits have no finite existence of their own, simply forming one way among so very many that the human psyche defends itself against failure or adversity. My working name for this version of the universe is Lovecraft’s law, as it highlights the fictional nature of such creations.

In line with this naming convention, the second theory I am presenting here today is called Cthulhu’s law. It argues that the gods are projected thought forms, fed by those who are interested in them and gifted an odd, mechanical semblance of life by the continued interest of both believers and the uninitiated alike. What makes this view unique among my peers, and places it firmly within the Information Model of magick, is the lack of distinction between followers and fanboys that it allows. The mental energy, dreams and nightmares of every person who has ever stopped to think about a particular concept is what empowers it, not the purity of their belief system. That their mind stuff oozes into the fabric of reality while focused on a given topic is enough.

All books mentioning a certain entity become a Bible, every fan website apocrypha. What started out of convenience as a simple bastardising of memetic theory soon led me to a world view whereby internal archetypes are capable of gaining purchase in the supposedly real world. As supporting evidence, I cite the many delightfully odd followers of Cthulhu to the witness stand. Few can argue against their success in working with a deity that has no real existence outside of the writing of a shy and starving recluse who himself fervently denied that his sleeping squid faced ball of blubber and fish sticks had any basis in fact. Yet when they call on this spirit of madness, they do get results.

Sadly, the truly devoted followers of the Great Old Ones are nowhere near numerous enough to generate the mental energy required when empowering such a pantheon of gibbering nightmares against the prevailing normality of every day life. But Cthulhu’s Law states that they do not need to be. All they must do is become adept enough at crafting devotional and ritualistic practices that allow them to hijack the existing lakes of thought which are already waiting untapped in the cultural zeitgeist. Thus each fandom becomes a potential magickal current, and every godform nothing more than a creation of the group mind.

5 thoughts on “Cthulhu’s Law

  1. Nice post, man. Interesting ideas.

    I came to an interesting realization as I practiced magick more often: magick works according to the rules the mage accepts it does. That’s why the Energy Model does seem to work, and a mage who uses it and tries testing it will believe it does work. And same goes for Spirit Model, Psychological Model or Information Model.

    The Meta Model says you need to change your beliefs to use different models. But that strikes on a more general concept: the way a mage accepts that magick works CHANGES the way magick works for that mage. In other words, the mage isn’t just subject to the “rules of magick” – he’s the one who writes his own rulebook on the subject!

    Just some food for thought. Cheers,

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    • Forgot to send you a useful series I wrote:

      https://mysticjournal.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/clarifications-part-i-belief-and-magick/
      https://mysticjournal.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/clarifications-part-ii-learning-and-practice/
      https://mysticjournal.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/clarifications-part-iii-the-right-state-of-mind-for-magick/

      That whole series condenses what I’ve learned about magick in the past 10 years into something that’s readable in under 20 minutes (though it may take years to fully understand).

      Hope you enjoy that series. Cheers,

      Like

      • Thanks for the input, and for sharing those links too. You’ve done a really good job of condensing some pretty deep streams of thought into a handful of pages. It’s the sort of work that I would have loved to stumble upon back when I was just starting out.

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        • Thanks. I’d like to know what you see as the limits of your current approach and how to overcome those. It’s always fun to see what happens when people challenge their own world-views earnestly. (For me, at least, I seem to find a few new faults here and there in need of correction or some extra work and thought. That’s usually when I broaden my horizons. Also when I’m exposed to new perspectives. This exchange may check off both boxes.)

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          • Heh, I suppose this is the point where my younger self would have argued that I have no limits. I’ve grown out of all that now though, and take a much more pragmatic view of the weirdness that has become the background hum of my day to day life.

            As for the efforts that I am making to push beyond the limits of my world view, they tend to revolve around moving away from the solipsism that becomes mandatory when working within the chaos magick system. Weaponized belief and self programming are fine, but they also run the risk of cutting you off from the entire reality that you’re swimming through.

            It’s just too easy to get stuck within the boundaries of your own head and lose sight of the rest of the universe, because if you shortsightedly believe that everything is just a tool then why does any of it even matter?

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