While such attempts display the Western occultists' penchant for building up symbolic metastructures, I feel that such systemizations of the Great Old Ones are a misappropriation of Lovecraft's original sense of them. Their very nature is that they are "primal and undimensioned" - they can barely be perceived, and forever 'lurk' at the edges of awareness.
The most powerful energies are those which cannot be clearly apprehended or conceived of. They remain intangible and tenuous. Very like the feeling of awakening from a nightmare terrified, but unable to remember why. Lovecraft understood this very well, probably because most of his writings evolved from his dreams.
The Great Old Ones gain their power from their elusiveness and intangi-bility. Once they are formalised into symbol systems and related to intellectual metasystems, some of their primal intensity is lost. William Burroughs puts it this way:
"As soon as you name something you remove its power... If
you could look Death in the face he would lose his power
to kill you. When you ask Death for his credentials, his
passport is indefinite." - The Place of Dead Roads
The Great Old Ones can be thought of as primal archetypes of experience, represented in various creation myths as the Giants or Titans. Differing orders of deities throughout history reflect the development of human consciousness - the evolution of a psychocosm. From the zoomorphic animal-human deities of the Pagan Aeon to the Monotheist deity as a reflection of the state's ideal citizen. The Great Old Ones have little, if anything in the way of human attributions; no distinct spheres of influence or human morality. Lovecraft made it very clear that the Great Old Ones have their own purposes, and those that summon them, do so at their peril.
The Great Old Ones are atavisms of the pre-human strata of consciousness, dim perceptions of the era when the primitive 'dragon brain' was the seat of awareness. In his writings, Lovecraft continually alludes to the non-conceptual nature of the Old Ones, and to the primitive methods of summoning them to Earth - blood sacrifice, incense, sexual magick (espec-ially incestuous interbreeding) and Primal, or monstrous speech. All these methods act very powerfully upon the 'reptilian' areas of the brain; the activity of which governs the basic behaviour patterns - sex, hunger and the flight-fight response.
Of particular interest in Lovecraft's mention of primal speech; the kind of glossolalia which can be heard at both Revivalist meetings and Voudou gatherings. When ordered speech is replaced with gibbering, grunting and other non-ordered noises, then patterning, inflection and tone/volume become the means for carrying a message. In ritual, this deliberate 'blocking' of verbal communication with 'static' can be a powerful means of assisting others into a state of possession, during which the body is controlled by 'Nameless' Gods who can only gibber and flail 'their' limbs about - a state somewhat reminiscient of the floppings of lizards, actually Seeing someone in this state brings to mind Lovecraft's description of Azathoth as:
"a blind idiot god... the monstrous Nuclear Chaos."
The value of such an experience is debatable. Full possession by a deity appears to be rare in Western magick, implying as it does, a total disin-hibition which most people seem unwilling to tolerate. These rites of the Nameless Gods serve to hurl the consciousness backwards into a level of awareness where the sense of being an individual 'I' is blurred. Memories of such a state will, of necessity, be at best fractured, or even totally absent, a phenomena not uncommon with possession experiences.
To conclude then, the Great Old Ones can indeed be summoned, but the means of doing so requires an approach which is very different to the established styles of Western magick.
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