We Get (More) Necronomicon Questions

Warlock says, in response to my last post:

I strongly disagree! Many of the individuals who use the Simon Necronomicon aren’t too much familiar with Lovecraft’s work. I have not met one person today, who read Lovecraft and then ran out to purchase the Simon Necronomicon, in view of what Loveraft had mention about the book.

I still stand by my statements.  First, it’s not whether people today who buy the Simon Necronomicon know Lovecraft; it’s whether the science fiction-reading NYC occult community at that time knew about it, which would seem to be the case.  If it hadn’t sold well among them, it likely would never have been picked up by Avon and reached its broader audience.

Second, composing a text as the Necronomicon brought with it different qualities than you’d see in a work on reviving Mesopotamian religion.  For the people of that region, the great cataclysms and wars in heaven happened in the mythic past, not in the time to come.  Demons, exceptions like Lamashtu and Pazuzu aside, were faceless and barely differentiated entities who did the bidding of the gods.  Turning to Lovecraft brought in his own demonology of beings that would some day bring about the destruction of all human life, putting the book more in line with 20th century Western society’s notions about the End Times and the presence of evil.  Even if this is a misinterpretation of Lovecraft, it moved the book toward modern sensibilities more than a book based on the interpretation of Mesopotamian material would have.

And to answer his other question regarding rituals requiring multiple murders – just re-read the Necronomicon, pages 160-61.

Published in: on September 8, 2008 at 10:35 pm  Comments (8)  

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  1. “For the people of that region, the great cataclysms and wars in heaven happened in the mythic past, not in the time to come.”

    Thank you!!

    This (not really so) subtle fact about mythological time and ontology is majorly misunderstood by shallow-end-of-the-pool occultists. Every practicing magician/sorcerer/green slime slinger should read Mircea Eliade’s “Myth of the Eternal Return” to begin to understand the differences between mythic and linear time. Empowering as well as enlightening.

    *rant over*

    As for the referencing of ritual deaths: I guess it depends on how much one needs to rationalize the literal nature of the ritual. The common arguements I’ve heard usually seem to be about Crowley-esque ‘blinds’ or ‘glosses.’ With the incredulous assumption that the text (purported to be insanity inducing remember) couldn’t *really* be promoting 12 deaths just to summon up an ancient diety.

    Maybe the use of metaphor is what is so blasphemously unholy.

  2. I have never read anything by Lovecraft and ran into the Necronomicon in my expanding quest for knowledge of ceremonial and Goetic magic. Looked into the psychological basis for the use of the entities mentioned and found them just as valid as those from the Book of Solomon, just less strength given to their existence due to less evokations of their system over the years in comparison.

  3. I guess Mister Dan Harms has forgot a few points:


  4. Hey Dan,

    I would think that the marketing strategies regarding the Simonomicon would be telling regarding how much Lovecraft ‘fans’ were being targetted for the book.

    On the back of my Avon copy there’s the very prominent blurb “H.P. Lovecraft himself denied the Book’s existence, but the dreaded NECRONOMICON has finally surfaced.”

    I tried checking out the Library of Congress info but it’s not in the online public database.

    Have you, using your super librarian powers, come across how the Library of Congress description portrays the book? Any mention of Lovecraft? According to my copy the LCCCN is 79-56778.

    If HPL was prominently listed in the description could that be considered conclusive of what Simon/Levenda/Slater, etc. considered their core audience to be?

  5. Hey there! Congrats on the Encyclopedia!

    Dunno about this. A friend who used to own an occult bookstore was frightened to death of the Necronomicon being published, even though he’s never even seen it. When Hew saw me reading it, he asked me what kind of bloody sacrifices there were in it, with a look of morbid awe… I told him about that bit, and he was incredulous: “What -that’s all???” I showed it to him and he exclaimed, “But that’s nothing!!”

    Meanwhile, there are detailed instructions of bloody murders in Tyson’s Necronomicon, even worse in Chaosium’s Book of Eibon, in Sergio Basile’s Necronomicon 2: La Tomba di Alhazred there are several pages of gruesomeness, in Pizzari’s Vatican Necronomicon (where the mad Arab details the sacrifice of a goat and Pizzari suggests that the goat is an euphemism for a human offering), even in Lin Carter’s and Fred Pelton’s versions there is talk of boodshed -and what of the russian De Vermis Mysteriis, Book of Dagon and pseudo-Red Book of Appin so popular online? And the blatant publication of all these (except for Pizzari’s book and the three later titles) as straightforward fiction is no excuse when Cthulhu believers are convinced that fiction is channeled from the astral Necronomicon and now Tyson’s is the basis for what looks like the newest Llewellyn New Age religious franchise; ALL of these books are undoubtedly being used as the basis for actual occult praxis by somebody out there, let’s face it.

    But ole Simonomicon gives two lines alluding obliquely to a murder weapon and we hear endless ohnoes??? Give. Me. A. break.

    All in all, the debate has been worthwhile in that some interesting tidbits have popped up; at this point I’m not even sure you guys are even sure what each other is arguing about, but what the hell, it’s a fun ride.

  6. Hi Luis,

    For me, the reason all of this matters, is that the intent and motives behind an author’s work is at least as important as the content and the perception by the readers.

    Tyson, while his mouth is shut and his tongue firmly against his cheek, isn’t trying to con anyone (his Foward in “The Necronomicon Files” supports that) and would fall far more into the Phil Hine “Pseudonomicon” category than the Simonomicon category.

    This seems to be a big difference between the more academic audience vs. the occult audience: The academic audience actually cares about things like lying and authenticity of research and claims. Many in the occult audience feels this can be waved away with only ‘chaos’ magic like concerns of whether the system works or not – or whether people use it or not.

    As a reconstructionist rune-worker, I straddle both camps but find as much, if not more, practical ‘secrets of the universe’ from a rigid Ph.D. thesis than in most loose modern occult texts. Any magician worth their name should be able to distill incredible praxis from solid research. Far more than made up crap or U.P.G.

    I’m ranting again, aren’t I?

  7. […] Get (More) Necronomicon Questions, Part 2 In response to a previous post, Luis Abbadie says: Meanwhile, there are detailed instructions of bloody murders in Tyson’s […]

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