randy_byers: (shiffman)
Today I booked a room at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno for the Worldcon. I was sad that the resort wasn't called the Lemuria. On the other hand, I wonder if the hotel sinks under the pool every night.


Jul. 31st, 2010 11:52 am
randy_byers: (brundage)
'The Lemurians living underground, beneath the mountain, are commonly described as graceful and tall -- seven feet and up -- with long, flowing hair. They dress in white robes and sandals, but they have also been seen in very colorful clothing. They are said to have long, slender necks and bodies, which they adorn with beautiful decorative collars made of beads or precious stones. They have evolved their sixth-sense, which enables them to communicate among themselves by extra-sensory perception. They can also teleport and make themselves invisible at will. Their mother tongue is the Lemurian language, called Solara Maru. They also speak an impeccable English with a slight British accent.'

-- The Lemurian Connection: About Mt Shasta
randy_byers: (brundage)
Lemuria had relatively little interest in Atlantean technology and preferred to experiment with psychic energies to move objects, although they did use ultra-high frequency sonic, solar energy, crystal energy, and teleportation to build and move objects as well. They were egg-laying beings with a third eye that gave them psychic powers and allowed them to function without a brain. Originally bisexual, their downfall came about after they discovered sex. When Lemuria was destroyed its people became the Tibetans, the Eskimos, the Mayans and the Native Americans. They became the Sacred Record Keepers through oral tradition.

Some of the souls came from the stars -- Pleiades and Sirius -- and projected into physical form on Earth. According to Blavatsky, Lemurians communicated by telepathy and could move mountains by sheer will-power alone (Vryl Energy). Scott-Elliot (Lost Lemuria, 1904) revealed that the Lemurians were twelve feet tall, had tamed pleiosaurs and led them around on leashes, like we do our dogs today. Could these be the Venusians of the Lemurian Era? Unfortunately it is difficult to determine, being that most of the alien species had the knowledge of shape-shifting and mesmerization. But regardless of their remarkable powers of nature they were not able to change their final outcome.
randy_byers: (Default)

In Lemuria

Rememberest thou? Enormous gongs of stone
Were stricken, and the storming trumpeteers
Acclaimed my deed to answering tides of spears,
And spoke the names of monsters overthrown—
Griffins whose angry gold, and fervid store
Of sapphires wrenched from mountain-plungèd mines—
Carnelians, opals, agates, almandines,
I brought to thee some scarlet eve of yore.

In the wide fane that shrined thee Venus-wise,
The fallen clamors died... I heard the tune
Of tiny bells of pearl and melanite,
Hung at thy knees, and arms of dreamt delight;
And placed my wealth before thy fabled eyes,
Pallid and pure as jaspers from the moon.

Clark Ashton Smith
August 1921
randy_byers: (brundage)
The cosmic-astronomic element seen here is combined with extrapolations of monsters of classical mythology and with an entire repertory of objects of evil used by Poe, Baudelaire, and the French Symbolists; the whole poem being unified by the central figure of the Hashish-Eater, i.e., "the emperor of dreams" (which figure has its analogies with "the Man-God" of Baudelaire, actually a very ancient concept). This extraordinary poem may have been composed after 1920, but its preview of things to come in later tales owes nothing to Dunsany. Something of its imagery and structure was suggested to Smith by George Sterling's "A Wine of Wizardry", which poem Smith first read in 1907 when he was almost 15, two years after Smith discovered the poetry of Poe.

-- Donald Sidney-Fryer, "On the Alleged Influence of Lord Dunsany on Clark Ashton Smith"

It's amazing what you stumble upon when googling "lemurian sonnets". The title of Sidney-Fryer's article says it all, right down to the "alleged". The Eldritch Dark site also has a huge selection of Clark Ashton Smith's poetry, which seems pretty horribly over-written from what little I've read. Yet there's something almost anthropologically fascinating about it. Who the hell was George Sterling? Was Lovecraft's cosmic horror the product of some vast school of horrible cosmic sonnets? Are the French somehow to blame?

Well, I'm being too glib. I suppose this connects to the Decadents in some way, and I'm just exposing my ignorance. Although I read Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé (in translation) when I was younger! "Generally overlooked is the fact that a great many of Smith's so-called 'tales of horror' are just as much tales of love." There's the Gothic for you in a nutshell. And doesn't it all go back to the Gothic? Weird!
randy_byers: (powers expdt)
We had a Chungatorial meeting yesterday, and at some point our high-powered intellects got themselves focused on the hot topic of Lemuria. In lost continent mythologies, Atlantis goes back to Plato, if not earlier, but my sense was that Lemuria was of a more recent vintage. I think the initial question was whether Lemuria was invented by Madame Blavatsky or whether she got the idea from somebody else. The answer, according to Wikipedia, is quite fascinating: a sunken continent named Lemuria was initially proposed in 1864 by a zoologist named Philip Sclater, who was trying to explain why there were lemurs in both India and Madagascar but not in any of the intervening territory in the Middle East or Africa. This was before the theory of plate tectonics was widely accepted and it was understood that Madagascar had once been a part of the same land mass as India but India broke off and drifted toward Asia. Sclater's theory was that there had been a continent in the Indian Ocean that both India and Madagascar had been a part of and that the bulk of it between them sank under the ocean.

What fascinates me about this origin is that a discarded scientific theory was then adopted by occultists (i.e., the theosophists) and was passed on from *them* to science fiction writers such as A. Merritt and Robert Howard. Blavatsky peopled Lemuria with an ancient race of dragon or snake people who developed a mighty civilization but began to practice black magic, which caused the continent to sink. This is what Merritt picked up on in The Moon Pool, not the idea of a land bridge for lemurs. Blavatsky claimed to have received her ideas from a text called The Book of Dzyan, but it's assumed to be her own invention, and of course some of her ideas about these ancient races with superhuman civilizations came from Bulwer-Lytton's early science fiction novel, The Coming Race (1871). How did she come across Sclater's idea of a sunken continent in the Indian ocean? Her first reference to Lemuria, in The Secret Doctrine, was apparently in 1888, about twenty years after Sclater published a scientific paper proposing his idea. Did Blavatsky read about his theory, or had the idea already spread into the esoteric imagination by then?

One of the other odd bits in the Wikipedia article is that they have recently discovered a large land mass called the Kerguelen Plateau that actually was submerged in the Indian Ocean 20 million years ago. Drilling in 1999 discovered "pollen and fragments of wood in a 90 million-year-old sediment." There are no reports of lizard men wielding ancient superscience and quietly biding their time, waiting for the right moment to take humanity by main force.

Update: Brian Haughton, in an article called "The Lost Lands of Mu and Lemuria" at New Dawn Magazine ("A Journal for a New Consciousness, a New Humanity, and a New Era!" -- ahem), says "Madame Blavatsky never claimed to have discovered Lemuria; in fact she refers to Philip Schlater coining the name Lemuria, in her writings." (There seems to be some confusion on the internet about whether the name is Sclater or Schlater.) The article also indicates that Australian writers at the end of the 19th century latched onto the Lemuria concept, envisioning Australia as a remnant of the sunken continent.


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