" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

April 11, 2018

Downside Up: The Golden Bough and Fraser/Frazer?

I read Lovecraft's short, but famous story 'The Call of Cthulhu' yesterday for the first time in my life, and he mentions George Frazer's 'The Golden Bough' -
"...with references to passages in such mythological and anthropological source-books as Frazer's 'Golden Bough' and Miss Murray's 'Witch-Cult in Western Europe'.
The cuttings largely alluded to outre, mental illnesses and outbreaks of group folly or mania in the spring of 1925. 
"The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion (retitled The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion in its second edition) is a wide-ranging, comparative study of mythology and religion, written by the Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer.
The Golden Bough was first published in two volumes in 1890; in three volumes in 1900; and in twelve volumes in the third edition, published 1906–15.
It has also been published in several different one-volume abridgments.
The work was aimed at a wide literate audience raised on tales as told in such publications as Thomas Bulfinch's The Age of Fable, or Stories of Gods and Heroes (1855).
The influence of The Golden Bough on contemporary European literature and thought was substantial."
I've never read Frazer's 'The Golden Bough' and the only reason I started reading Lovecraft's stories was because I've just read Peter Levenda's 'The Dark Lord', where Pete makes a pretty interesting argument that even though Lovecraft by all accounts was an atheist, he was perhaps unknowingly tapping into something deep in his subconscious apart from sea monsters.
Something the likes of Crowley and Grant were deliberately trying to drag out from the depths of their's, and as Jung might imply in his theory about the "unconscious collective", everybody else's as well.
      And since I've been reading Chris Knowles's musings about Elizabeth Fraser at his blog 'The Secret Sun', whenever I see the name Frazer/Fraser connected with mythology, religion, witchcraft and the sea, it grabs my attention, because I do think Chris is on to something with the Elizabeth Fraser thread, even if Elizabeth, like Lovecraft is tapping something deep without really knowing what
I'm coming at it from a Jungian angle and have no real interest in Biblical mythology.
To me The Bible is just another human work of mainly fiction mixed with history, and not very accurate history at that.
But still the authors of that much manipulated and edited book would have been tapping into the "unconscious collective", as well, to some degree, so it remains relevant in a pop-cultural sense just as much as any other work of humans.
Personally, I think 'The Call of Cthulhu' is a bit of a yawn of a story, but the third section 'The Madness from the Sea', grabbed my attention, because it centered around the Australian city of Sydney and its harbour, where the ship 'Alert' was towed to by the 'Vigilant' after being found on April 12th.
Interesting names for the ships I think (Alert/Vigilant?).
Lovecraft gives the coordinates of S. Latitude 34'21, W Longitude 152'17 and when I put those coordinates into Bing search, I got the above location where the 'Alert' was found in the story on April 12th.
The 'Alert' was from the town of Dunedin, New Zealand in Lovecraft's tale, which is the country 'Lord of the Rings' would be filmed in later on in the same century to kick off the whole Tolkien mythos again in the beginning of the next century.
And with Chris Knowles linking sirens to Elizabeth Fraser's work as well, there does seem to be something dark swimming just below the surface of our pop-cultural imagination methinks.
Coffee and the Siren's Song
But if not, it all makes for a good story, and we all like good stories, right?-)
Hmm ... Psalm 93 sounds very Thelemic to me for some reason.
Make of it what thou will, I guess:-)

UPDATE: 13th April, 2018
"The search was launched late yesterday afternoon when the woman was seen plunging from the top deck of the P&O liner, 150 nautical miles from New Caledonia."
This happened on April 12th, too.
Same date as the 'Alert' was found floating in Lovecraft's story and in roughly the same waters.

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