H.P LOVECRAFT’S NIGHT-GAUNT WITCH SUCCUBUS
The writer H.P Lovecraft very likely experienced night terrors, otherwise termed as the Old Hag Syndrome when he was a child, which inspired the creation of his monstrous Nightgaunts.
The experience of the Old Hag Syndrome involves an individual experiencing involuntary sleep paralysis, which leads to a sensation of a growing pressure upon the body as well as strangulation, along with being afflicted with terrifying hallucinations.
The initial phase of the experience often involves the sensation of an intrusive presence entering the room at the point of sleep paralysis; whereupon an individual experiencing this invisible presence around him/her feels utterly helpless.
The individual will sometimes experience hearing the creeping of echoing footsteps of the approaching entity before the intrusive presence leaps upon him/her, or to sweep down like some kind of predatory creature blown in on a wind, which leads to a mounting pressure upon the body, usually on the chest area, solar-plexus or navel area.
Sometimes, other sensations are experienced, which is interpreted as being a sexual violation. As the individual becomes absolutely terrified the pressure upon the body mounts in increasing magnitude to the point he/she may also sense being strangled by the presence.
As the fear mounts, the individual might see the presence take on a distinct form, which often looks to be quite monstrous of a usual humanoid form looking like an old Hag; although it can also take on animal or hybrid forms as well, or even to appear, looking like some alien.
In very rare cases this experience of an ‘amphibious’ state of (hypnagogic) consciousness can lead to an out-of-body-experience, or otherwise described astral journey into a vivid lucid dream, whose content will be determined by the individual’s interaction with the presence during the initial phase of the experience.
Lovecraft appears to have attained an out-of-body-experience, which had been induced by his Old Hag Syndrome visitations, which later inspired the creation of his Nightgaunts in the Cthulhu Mythos.
These creatures appear in Lovecraft’s poem, Night-Gaunts as well as his surrealist novella The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.
Lovecraft describes his Nightgaunts as having a vaguely human shape, who are thin, black, and faceless. He also describes the texture of their skin as being slick and rubbery. The Nightgaunts are also described as having a pair of inward-facing horns atop of their heads with clawed hands and a long barbed tail which is used to tickle their victims into submission. They can fly using a set of membranous wings who make no sound.
The Nightgaunts are associated with one of the Cthulhu Mythos’ deities in Lovecraft’s writings, notably, in his story ‘The Strange High House in the Mist,’ lists them as being the servants of Nodens, Lord of the Great Abyss, (a relatively benevolent entity, although still an incredibly alien intelligence among Lovecraft’s pantheon).
The Great Abyss refers to the Cabbalistic hidden sphere of Da’at, which is associated with the reptilian brainstem of the throat area.
Hence the acute sensation of strangulation, which is to do with the activation of the Reticular-Activation-System; whereas the pressure upon the body is associated with the Autonomic-Nervous-System.
However, the experience of strangulation and the associated pressure upon the body can be overcome if the individual does not fear the visitation of the entity, which is then otherwise transformed of an experienced manifestation; whereupon for a heterosexual male it can manifest as a Succubus.
A Succubus is usually seen to be a female demon or a supernatural entity in folklore, which can be traced back to medieval legend. The Succubus appears in vivid lucid dreams in the form of a human woman in order to seduce men, usually through a sexual interaction, which can lead to an out-of-body-experience.
However, the Succubus is usually seen to be rather negative due to a very peculiar religious indoctrination, which has negated sexuality and in turn the feminine (Anima) principle from the spiritual equation.
The Succubus In German folklore is otherwise called, a Drude (pl. Druden) Other names for Drudes include Trutmahr (“Nightmare”) and Walriderske. Drudes typically take on the form of an ugly, old, withered woman, who is, at the same time, very heavy. This old woman creeps into homes at night through the smallest of cracks and openings. Once in the room, the Drude sits upon the person’s chest. Drudes are also shape-shifters and can appear as feathers, clouds of smoke, bumblebees, snakes, toads, dogs or cats.
According to old German belief, Drudes are virgin Witches who have the ability, to split off a Drude from their spirit. This was known as the Drudenfluch or ‘Drude’s curse.’ Sometimes they voluntarily chose to do so, while in other cases it is forced upon them. Although this can have either a benevolent or malevolent effect on others around them.
Women suffering from the Drude’s curse will keep this a secret from their fellow human beings. The only way to free themselves from the curse is by being given a very tame and important domestic animal to pass the Drude onto, which kills the animal in the process. It was believed that amongst seven daughters there would be one Drude.
In elder European lore the Drude was also called an Elf (Alp/Alb) or a Kobold (a Dwarf/Hag), basically the Elves and Dwarves were originally seen to be all female entities.
The Drude are very much associated with inducing the Old Hag Syndrome, which of an experience inspired the word ‘nightmare,’ as in ‘night’ and ‘mare.’ The motif of the mare represents the increasing pressure upon the body, but the mare can also be ridden by a shaman.
A Drude is always female but it is often confused with the Trude, a half-human, half-birdlike being, which shares some features with the Drudes. The term Trude or Trut is thought to be derived from the Middle High German word Trut or the Gothic word mini Trut, both in the sense of, to be Trut. Supporting this are names for Drudes, which are also based on the root to Trut from the Alpine region such as Trut or Romansh Trut and a Bavarian word for a wizard, Truderer.
The Truderer (wizard/sorcerer or shaman) is in fact the Trude who has the ability to conjure up the Drudes as his Succubae.
The (Succubae) Drudes enable the Truderer’s spirit to travel out of his body to fly ecstatic like a ‘bird’ across space and time via an ‘internal’ vaginal-star-barrelled-portal travelled through of a Stargate, which is associated with a particular (Witch) Succubus, who has been conjured by the Truderer from within his lucid dream.
Whereupon you have the half-birdlike being of the Trude. The Truderer conjures up the Drudes amidst a Hexagram, which is otherwise called the Hex-sign or Sexagram whose number ‘six’ of a six pointed star is traditionally seen to be associated with sex, being that of the Coitus Pactum union of a Truderer and a Drude.
The conjuration of the Drudes is of similarity to the techniques used in Western ‘Ritual Magic,’ which enables the Truderer to ride the Drudes as his Nightgaunt night-Mares just as Lovecraft described his Nightgaunts as being used as steeds by the ghouls of the deeper dreamlands.
The symbolism of the mare is associated with the shamans trance horse, which the Mongolian Kams (shamans) call the Himmori, the Tibetan’s call the Lung-ta, Wind-Horse. The Himmori represents the power of trance, which is seen to reside within the chest area of your heart (Central-Nervous-System). Whereupon you have the pressure upon the chest when experiencing sleep paralysis, of an initial phase of trance ingress, which is technically termed as the hypnagogic state.
The experience of trance can be quite terrifying to the uninitiated whose fear will block them from attaining internal ingress into the dream; whereupon, the fear has to be overcome. This understanding led to spiritual techniques being devised by shamans, which revolved around the initial ritualistic conjuring of female entities, the Tibetan’s call Dakinis who are otherwise known as Druden in German folklore.
Basically, the technique involved introverting the sexual impulse in order to transform the terror of trance ingress. The reason why an individual experiences acute terror when attaining trance is because the physical body as well as the ego instinctively reacts to the possibility of its demise. Once the fear has been ‘reined’ in by the shaman, he can then ride the Dakini as his mare into far deeper levels of the dream.
The folklore concerning the Drude is especially prevalent in Southern Germany, where the Druden are also seen to be Valkyries who are the Witch wives of the shamanic deity called Woden (Norse: Odin) Lovecraft otherwise called Nodens. The Druden are said to participate in the Wild Hunt like Lovecraft’s Nightgaunts, who were seen to be a particular class of Demon in Alfonso de Spina’s hierarchy; but what do you expect, Spina was a Christian. The word Druden also came to be used as a generic term for a ‘Witch’ during the 16th century.
The Drudenfuss literally ‘Drude’s foot,’ also Alpfuss, Elf’s foot, is Lovecraft’s Elder Sign of a pentagram, which is believed to ward off (Necronomicon) Demons, as explicitly named in Goethe’s Faust (1808). However, the Drudenfuss represents the (Explicate Order) Macrocosm of the waking world when upright and the (Implicate Order) Microcosm of the (spirit world) dream when inverse; whereupon it was believed that the upright pentagram had the power to dispel the creatures of the dream.
The Drudenfuss has been in use since at least the 17th century, which was recorded by Justus Georg Schottelius (as drutenfusz, glossed omnis incolumitatis signum ). Its use is apparently well-recorded in 18th to 19th-century folk beliefs as practiced in Bavaria and the Tyrol.
Drudenfuss is also the German name of the pentagram used as a heraldic device (alternatively Drudenkreuz drude’s cross, elf-foot” or Alpkreuz, elf-cross, besides the more descriptive term of the Pentalpha or Fünfstern.
Another ritualistic item of interest is the Drudenstein (also known as Hascherlit), which is a pebble with a naturally-formed hole in the centre of its (Earth) sphere. The Drudenstein was used as a means to see the Drude when to peer of singular eye through the hole. In Bavaria, such pebbles were hung in rooms, on cradles or in stables to ward off nightmares, or to protect shamans spider mares against matted webbed manes or twisted-helix tails.
A Truderer would use a (phallic) knife called a Drudenmesser or ‘Drude’s knife’ in his conjurations of a Drude, which has nine half moons and crosses on its blade. The Drudenmesser is said to have the power to collapse a whirlwind when needed, which is one of the initial manifestations of a Drude. The knife is thrown into the whirlwind in order to take control over the Drude, who will then become the Truderer’s most loving Ally.
The term Ally was first coined by the anthropologist and author Carlos Castaneda who said that he had been initiated into the practice of sorcery by the Yaqui sorcerer Don Juan Matus.
The Ally is described as being an inorganic-feminine-intelligence, which enables a sorcerer to accomplish his tasks or deeds however pure or unsavoury just like the Truderer of Germanic wizardry.
Don Juan’s teacher was a shaman-sorcerer known as a Diablero, a powerful occult spell-master who is said to have the ability to shape-shift. In his works Castaneda writes that a sorcerer’s power, is ‘unimaginable.’ Castaneda goes on to say in an interview in Time Magazine (March 5, 1973):
“The full use of power can only be acquired with the help of an “Ally”, a spirit entity which attaches itself to the student as a guide. The Ally challenges the apprentice when he learns to see. The apprentice may duck this battle. For if he wrestles with the ally – like Jacob with the Angel – and loses, he will, in Don Juan’s slightly enigmatic terms, “be snuffed out.” But if he wins, his reward is “true power the final acquisition of sorcery membership, when all interpretation ceases.”
Some twelve years before the Time magazine article Castaneda wrote in his first book The Teachings Of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way Of Knowledge (1968) from information gathered in the field from Don Juan Matus in 1961:
“The idea that a man of knowledge has an Ally is the most important of the Seven Component Themes, for it is the only one that is indispensable to explaining what a man of knowledge is. In my classificatory scheme a man of knowledge has an Ally, whereas the average man does not, and having an Ally is what makes him different from ordinary men.”
An Ally is a power, which is capable of transporting a man beyond the boundaries of himself; that is to say, an Ally is a power which allows you to transcend the realm of ordinary reality. Consequently, to have an Ally implies having power; and the fact that a man of knowledge has an Ally is by itself proof that the operational goal of the teaching is being fulfilled.
You could thereby determine that Lovecraft’s Nightgaunts are one and the same as the Drude and Don Juan’s Ally, which is a spirit entity that attaches itself to the student. The Old Hag Syndrome is experienced when the Ally challenges the apprentice. However, a student is, not a fully fledged sorcerer or shaman at this point, since the Ally is challenging the apprentice to transform his fear, which the student may never achieve. The apprentice is the one that is challenged, who thereby experiences night-terrors; whereas a fully fledged sorcerer or shaman is otherwise enabled to travel into other realities with the aid of the Ally.
As an aside Don Juan’s name is derived from the mythic character of Don Juan, who is usually portrayed as a wealthy, seductive libertine, whom devotes his life to seducing women; he takes great pride in his ability to seduce females of all ages and stations in life; whereupon Don Juan is used synonymously for a ‘womanizer,’ especially in Spanish slang, and is often utilised in reference to hypersexuality.
The sorcerer Don Juan Matus otherwise seduces the feminine-Inorganic-Intelligence of the Allies, who collects (Drudes) Succubae, which refers to the introversion of the sexual impulse to do so. Whereas Lovecraft admitted that he had big emotional problems concerning the opposite sex, who had an avid dislike for the sexual act due to his puritanical religious upbringing; whereupon his Nightgaunts reflected back his fears, which he was unable to transmute.
This invariably led to a development of a physical condition, which eventually brought about his demise. Lovecraft’s Nightgaunts actually indicated within his dreams, what was to occur, many years before when he was a child. Lovecraft described the Nightgaunts clutching him around the area of his stomach. He was later diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine, and as a result Lovecraft suffered from malnutrition.
He lived in constant pain until his death on March 15, 1937, in Providence. His night-mare born work lives on, which has inspired many to dream beyond the Angel-angles of space-time where Nightgaunt Succubae await sorcerers to chose as their lovers. But, once a Coitus Pactum is knowingly entered into with a Nightgaunt of an Ally, a sorcerer you will become, from which there is No Turning Back!