420, Lovecraft, Crowley, and Hashish Connections!

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420, Lovecraft, Crowley, and Hashish connections! By Chris Bennett

 H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) the oddball impoverished writer of pulp horror fiction, whose work only came to know success after his untimely demise, left a curious story about a time shifting plant and 4:20.

As noted by occultist Victor Cypert,  a passage from the story from Lovecraft could be another possible origin for the number “4:20″ being code for smoking “marijuana”. In the story is titled In the Walls of Eryx. written in 1936 by the pulp horror author H. P. Lovecraft, published in 1939 in Weird Tales Magazine, Lovecraft refers to the “mirage-plant” which from the description looked very much like cannabis, and psychoactive effects:

“I had encountered at last one of those curious mirage-plants about which so many of our men told stories. Anderson had warned me of them, and described their appearance very closely – the shaggy stalk, the spiky leaves, and the mottled blossoms whose gaseous, dream-breeding exhalations penetrate every existing make of mask.

And then Lovecraft goes on to have his main character have the following experience on the plant at precisely 4:20

“Although everything was spinning perilously, I tried to start in the right direction and hack my way ahead. My route must have been far from straight, for it seemed hours before I was free of the mirage-plant’s pervasive influence. Gradually the dancing lights began to disappear, and the shimmering spectral scenery began to assume the aspect of solidity. When I did get wholly clear I looked at my watch and was astonished to find the time was only 4:20. Though eternities had seemed to pass, the whole experience could have consumed little more than a half-hour.”

It has also been loosely suggested that the drug filled grimoire the Picatrix may have played a role of inspiration for Lovecraft’s conception of the Necronimicon, ‘The Book of Dead Names’:

“In his ‘Cthulhu Mythos,’ H.P. Lovecraft created The Necronimicon, a fictional book of the occult that appeared in several of his stories. Lovecraft introduced Abdul Alhazred, the ‘mad Arab,’ in his 1921 story ‘The Nameless City,’ and The Necronimicon in his 1922 tale ‘The Hound.’ He married the two in his 1926 classic, ‘The Call of Cthulhu,’ in which he revealed hat Abdul Alhazred, an opium and hashish user, had written Al Azif, as the book was supposedly known in Arabic. The author’s fictional 1927 treatise, ‘The History and Chronology of the Necronimicon,’ led many readers to believe that the tome was genuine.” (Lamberson, 2001.)

The ingredients of the Mad Arabs incense is listed as “olibanum, storax, dictamus, opium and hashish” and all but dictamus can be found on the pages of the Picatrix, (and conceivably it too could be there under another name).

Read the full article here.

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