THE LESSER BOOK
OF THE
VISHANTI


A Companion to
the Dr. Strange Comic Books


compiled by catherine yronwode
with nagasiva yronwode

CONTENTS | PROLEPSIS | INTROIT | VOLUME ONE | INTERMEZZO | VOLUME TWO | APPENDICES


INTERMEZZO: THE RELIGION

Towards a Vishantist Cosmology

by cat [sign] yronwode

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The Marvel Universe, like our own "Real" one, is a vast unknown to the inhabitants thereof. Even though Earth-M's scientific & magical knowledge surpasses ours and contact with extradimensional races such as the Kree, Skrull, Asgardian & Undying has become routine, the central problems which face Marvel-Earth's philosophers are the same as thos e we face: What is the nature of the Universe? How did it come to be? What is life? When, where, why and how did it originate? What is death? What affect does it have on consciousness? There are no proven answers to these questions on Earth-M, any more than there are here, but people on both worlds (and probably on all worlds) have produced an almost infinite variety of theoretical ones, based on years of metaphysical speculation and personal vision.

Historically-speaking, the majority of hypothetical solutions to the problem of existence have been philosophies and religions. There is no sharp dividing line between these two categories, but in general, philosophies can be said to merely propound theories of belief, "answers" if you will, while religions, in addition to supplying "answers, further stipulate the necessity of worshipful behavior toward some greater-than-human entity or force known as "deity"; a goddess, or a god or any number of such theoretical beings. "Orthodox" religions usually emphasize the all-powerful nature of deity and humanity's subservience to It, whereas "magical" religions propose to control earthly events through manipulation of Deity, Its attributes or Its powers.

Because Earth-M and our Earth ("Earth-Real" to all


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you chauvinists) are so similar in other ways, it is natural to assume that many our religious and philosophical systems are analogous to each other. The data found in comic books bears this out -- not only are Christians, Jews, Hindus, Moslems and Buddhists encountered in the Marvel world, but present-day people there recall ancient Norse and Greek religions (whose gods and goddesses bear an uncanny resemblance to the living extra-dimensional Asgardian and Olympian peoples or "gods" -- which in turn raises some interesting insoluable questions as to what exactly constitutes "godhood" in the Omniverse). Virtually every religious system on Earth-Real has its counterpart on Earth-M, from Aztec to Voodoo, and even recent pseudo-philosophies such as Silva Mind Control and the Unification Church and the Yucchies.

In addition to the numerous analogous belief systems which appear on both worlds, there are some religions & philosophies which to date have only occurred on one Earth or the other. Among these are several of Earth-Real's defunct religions -- Scythian reindeer-shamanism and the Cretan Mother-Goddess cult come to mind at once -- however, the fact that these obsolete religions haven't been mentioned in comic books so far doesn't preclude their past existence on Earth-M. After all, most Earth-Real people don't think much about the Scythians nowadays either, yet they once held a territory vaster than the U.S.S.R.

Even if Earth-Real's ancient cults cannot be proven to have never flourished on Earth-M, there are some Earth-M religions which we can almost prove to have never existed on Earth-Real. I say "almost" because the historical and pre-historic records of our world are fragmentary at beast and,


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while it is unlikely that this planet ever possessed a sunken city called R'lyeh or a hidden Himalayan kingdom called Kamar-Taj, these possibilities cannot be conclusively disproven, given the current state of archaeological knowledge. However, it is extremely unlikely that the cult of Cthulhu or the Order of the Vishanti were known on Earth-Real prior to the time when the first stories about them were published, and the fact that both of these magical religions now exist on our world is more likely to be an example of cross-dimensional drift than a recrudescense from our own dim past. The Cthulhoid cult in particular has been found to have spread to a number of worlds for, in addition to its ancient existence on Earth-M and its recent (circa 1927) appearance on Earth-Real, i have also run into references to it in stories set on Earth-DC-I, Earth-REH, Earth-Charlton, Earth-Warren and Earth-HPL, the latter continuum beings its probable point of origin.

The Vishantist Order has not spread as far, cross-dimensionally-speaking, as the Cthulhu cult. To date, with the exception of one fleeting remark made by a wizard on Earth-Warren (in EERIE [[##?]]) and even more obscure reference to Tantrik Vishantism in a rather bizarre little underground comic entitled DR. STRENGE 184, i have only seen mention of this cult on Earths-M and -Real. It is interesting to note that there are Vishantist graffitti in a public toilet in Austin, Texas and an actual Altar of the Blue Elf Vishantist Geek Orthodox Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Earth-Real, for even on its home-continuum, Vishantism is a very esoteric sect, being rarely seen outside pages of STRANGE TALES, DR. STRANGE, and DEFENDERS comics. Luckily, the truths


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inherent in any cosmological belief system cannot be judged by counting the number of its adherents and thus, since no metaphysical theories have ever been proven unequivocally true or false, Vishantism is potentially as valid as any other schema in the eye of the philosophically-detached beholder, and further, if said eye belongs to a poetically-inclined beholder, Vishantism, its demoniac dozens of deities described by strange strings of alliterative adjectives and its doggeral enchantments breaking every known rule of versification, can be seen to possess a quaint and powerful charm not found in the stuffy orthodox canons with which an ignorant populace contents itself.

The term "Vishantism" is of course unknown on Earth-M. Even on Earth-Real it is merely a convenient misnomer for a whole complex of myths, conjurations, prayers and practises. The affirmation of belief in the existence of a group of omnipotent beings known as the Vishanti is but one facet of this pantheistic metaphysical conglomerate and, while adherents of the system on Earth-M refer to it as "The Mystic Arts" or "Our Occult Order", it could as readily be called Hoggothism or The Faltinian Faith by outsiders, for the Vishanti are not considered supreme deities but are simply the most consistently-benevolent and powerful of a whole host of super-human entities and cosmic forces. A complete catalogue of all the forces, powers and deities invoked during typical Vishantist conjurations would fill almost as many pages as a Catholic hagiography. For the purposes of this short introduction to the subject, i propose to present a brief annotated history of the sect, its major articles of faith and some speculations as to the nature of its gods & goddesses. Every deity or cosmic force is followed by a reference to the comic book in which it first appeared, and subsequent important references are also noted when necessary. Abbreviations are as follows:

ST - STRANGE TALES
DS - DR. STRANGE
MP - MARVEL PREMIERE


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DEF - DEFENDERS

Until his death and unification with the Universe (a.k.a. Eternity) in 1973, the hierophant of the Vishantist Order on Earth-M, the so-called Sorcerer Supreme, was a man known only as The Ancient One. According to his own account (ST148, DS4), The Ancient One was born sometime prior to 1373 A.D. in the remote Himalayan kingdom of Kamar-Taj, where both he and his rival, the wicked Kaluu, practised Vishantism. Although the name of The Ancient One's teacher is unknown, his skeleton and those of several generations of Sorcerers Supreme were seen in the Crypts of Ka-uu, the traditional resting place for leaders of the order (MP10). After the fall of Kamar-Taj in 1466 A.D. (ST148), The Ancient One took up a hermit-like residence in a cave-temple. In ST115 his home is said to be in Thibet, but in DS169 the area is referred to as northern India, so one can assume that it lies along the disputed borderlands between the two countries.

From sometime ("years" -- ST115) prior to 1963, and until his death, The Ancient One's chief disciple was an American doctor named Stephen Strange. When The Ancient One became one with the Universe (MP10), Dr. Strange succeeded him as head of the Order. Strange took as his chief disciple an extra-dimensional woman known as Clea (MP12). Clea, who first appeared in ST126, was revealed, in DS9, to have a most interesting genetic-spiritual lineage. She was raised by her father Orini, a human disciple of the flame-headed demi-god Dormammu, Dr. Strange's sworn enemy but, unbeknownst to anyone save her parents, she is the daughter of Dormammu's half-sister, Umar The Unrelenting. Dormammu (who refers to himself as "a concept, a shared belief") and the half-human "goddess" Umar are children of the Flawless Faltine, a group of deities who are discussed in more detail below. Thus Clea is 3/4 human and 1/4 deity. For a complete biography of Clea, see my article in THE HEROINES SHOWCASE 15, available from Steven R. Johnson, P.O. Box 1329, Campbell, California, 95008.


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So much for the historical and mundane aspects of the Vishantist Order -- for the most part it appears to be a lose anarchic confederation of wizards, magicians, sorcerers and enchanters, not a Church in the usual sense of the word. What follows is a partial list of the deities and places deemed sacred by members of the Vishantist faith. Much of the data given here is speculative, but that is a property common to all philosophies and religions and should pose no problem to the prospective student of the subject.

The Vishanti, known variously as "the deathless", "the eternal", "the blessed" and "the all-seeing", are a group of deities of indeterminate number, first mentioned in ST115. Three Vishanti were seen in MP5 but they stated then that the physical forms they appeared in were donned solely for the occasion and bore no resemblance to their actual visages. Just for the record, one Vishanta took the form of a blue-grey man with faceted insectile eyes, the second attired itself as a flame-eyed orange lion with an ankh on its forehead, and the third came dressed as a crowned green woman with stars for eyes. (See figure 1.) It is important to note that all three Vishanti had abnormal eyes and that each one took on some vivid colouration. The symbolism of the Eye and the magical use of colour are central to Vishantism as a whole and re-appear continually in other contexts. The word "Vishanti" itself is probably derived from the Sanskrit and is related to the name of one of the three chief Hindu gods, Vishnu. Its meaning is "The Preservers" or "Those Who Maintain [Life]". This derivation agrees very well with the "ageless" or "eternal" nature usually attributed to the Vishanti, as well as explaining why the greatest magical text of the Order, The Book of the Vishanti, is basically a compendium of counter-spells or defensive magicks and cannot be used for destructive purposes (ST116, ST148). Whether the Vishanti themselves wrote the book which bears their name is not known, but the volume first appeared on Earth-M in Babylonia at the temple of the priests of Marduk (ST148, ST150).


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Vishantism has its share of paradoxes and contradictions -- no religion is immune from inconsistency -- and one of its worst cases of illogic centers around the deity known as the Omnipotent Oshtur (first for having "hurled a lance" (ST162) and for having a "fearsome isage" (ST170). In addition to Oshtur's fierceness, the "wisdom" of the deity is also mentioned ([[ST]]177) as is "Oshtur's mystic prayer" (ST168). Rather than being a prayer to Oshtur, this invocatin is more likely one of the many ascribed to the hand of the deity and collected in The Book of Oshtur (ST145). The confusion surrounding Oshtur is a question of gender -- in one passage ("Omnipotent Oshtur, Lord of the Skies" -- ST167) it is indubitably male, but in several other references Oshtur is unquestionably addressed as "Goddess" (DEF55). Since "Oshtur" is obviously a cognate of Ishtar, Oestara and Astarte, various names applied to the Middle Eastern and European fertility goddess, it is my contention that the title "Lord of the Skies" was a translator's error and should read "Lady of the Skies". Oshtur may well be the green starry-eyed Vishanta seen in MP5, green representing her fertility and the star-eyes linking her to the skies by reference to the symbolically "green" planet Venus, which was similarly consecrated to Ishtar on Earth-Real.

Another entity whom i believe to be one of the Vishanti, although this is pure speculation, is the All-Seeing Agamotto. "All-Seeing" is a phrase often encountered in Vishantist circles, due to the extraordinary value the cult places on eyes. It can be a purely honourary term, as when The Ancient One is called "All-Seeing" (ST117), or it can have literal meaning, as in the case of deities such as The Vishanti and Agamotto. Agamotto is renowned as the creator or former-possessor of two of the cult's most important power-objects -- the Amulet (or "Eye") of Agamotto (ST127) and the Crystal ("Orb", "Eye") of Agamotto (ST118). Both the Amulet and the Crystal have been called Eyes because,


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in addition to their several other functions, both can be used for scrying. (See figure 2.) Within the Orb of Agamotto there is a subjective and "unreal" dimension (DS1-5) and it is here that Dr. Strange meets Death and dies. When he is born again, an ankh, the symbol of Life, blazes on his forehead -- in the same position that the Amulet-Eye is placed when in use. I believe this points to the conclusion that Agamotto is one of the Vishanti ("Preservers of Life") -- the flame-eyed leonine Vishanta with an ankh on his forehead!

The Hosts of Hoggoth, usually called the "Hoary" Hosts (ST116), are forces for good, like Oshtur & Agamotto. It is said that Hoggoth "aids not the wicked" (ST125). In ST123 there is a confusing statement to the effect that "every little Hoggoth grows up to be a Vishanti." Because these words are part of a last-panel teaser by Stan Lee and do not purport to be spoken by a member of the Vishantist faith, i have chosen to interpret them to mean that there is but one Hoggoth -- and every little member of Hoggoth's Hosts grows up to be a Vishanta (the singular of Vishanti). If Hoggoth's Hosts are larval Vishanti, it logically follows that Hoggoth himself is one of The Blessed Ones, presumably the blue-green lens-eyed man. Hoggoth and his Hosts live in "a shadowy dimension" from which Dr. Strange once conjured a Hoary Hand. The "Mists of Hoggoth" reveal dimensional doorways and the "Path of Hoggoth" guides trans-dimensional travelers to safety (ST116).

The most enigmatic entity in the Vishantist pantheon is a being known as Eternity, about whom endless speculations and contradictions have been voiced since his first mention in ST134. In ST137-8 the situation is rather straightforward: by chanting "one of the most potent spells of all time -- in words so secret, phrases so soul-shattering, that we dare not reveal them here to your mortal gaze!!" and thus causing the Amulet of Agamotto to enlarge


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and create a dimensional doorway, Dr. Strange enters another dimension. He encounters a microcosm there which soon grows to superhuman proportions and assumes "the image of a man" formed of suns, planets, nebulae and other galactic detritus. It is this cosmic man whom Dr. Strange addresses as "Eternity." Since that time, Eternity has come to be known as "the All-Being, the Universe" (DS13). If this means what it seems to mean, the implication is that the Universe is a microcosm embedded in another Universe which is reached by leaving the Universe -- a somewhat paradoxical state of affairs, to say the least. Eternity has had numerou encounters with humanity -- he gave The Ancient One the Amulet of Agamotto which Dr. Strange now wears (ST138), he caused world-wide memory-changes to create the short-lived "Stephen Sanders" secret identity for Dr. Strange (DS182) and, before his cataclysmic clash with Dormammu (ST146), he and the Dread One were allies in league against the monstrous Zom (ST157). When The Ancient One became "one with the Universe" it was Eternity he became part of (as seen in DS13) and when Dr. Strange faced Death within the Orb of Agamotto, it was Eternity's vacant form which kept him alive (DS4). It has been explicitly stated that Eternity is not "God" (JHVH, the Judeo-Christian deity), although he was capable fo recreating the Earth after Nightmare caused him to destroy the original model during a bad dream. It was also stated at that time (DS13) that Eternity's dreams are as reality to the inhabitants of Earth (Earth-M, that is). The questions this raises about the subjectivity of the Universe, the nature of human consciousness, and the possible existence of the human soul have never been satisfactorily answered. Frankly, speculation as to the true nature of Eternity is a bootless task, given the vast amount of irrational and contradictory data which has been written concerning


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him. Suffice it to say that he has been identified with Adam Qadmon, the Macrocosmic Man of the Hebrew Kabala, and leave it at that.

There is another link between the Kabala and Vishantism in the persons of The Seraphim, a group of six-winged Hebrew angels which the Vishantists invoke in the form of a magical "shield." Typically the Vishantist emphasis on magical manipulation of power sources, rather than worshipful subservience to godhead, results in the Seraphim's demotion from Jewish Holy Spirithood to the rank of mere "Shades."

Judeo-Christian overtones can also be found in the name of another Vishantist deity, The Supreme Satannish. Although the names are similar, this entity, a monstrous flaming humanoid, is not to be confused with Satan, a.k.a. Lucifer or Beelzebub, the Devil of Christian myth. According to Dr. Strange, the reality of Satan and his habitat, Hell, is entirely subjective (DS16) while Satannish, to the best of my understanding, is the "evil" but objectively real denizen of another dimension (DS174). The similarity of names may have originated in translation, as so many errors do.

If Oshtur, the Vishanti, Eternity, Satannish and the Seraphim can be seen as analogues to known figures of Earth-Real religions, the Flawless Faltine surely cannot. First mentioned in ST142, the Faltine are said in DS181 to dwell in a "bitter blazing land", presumeably a far-off dimension similar to that inhabited by the green felinoid Tazza (ST144) where the very landscape burns in eternal twilight. Tazza is an ally of the Faltinian demi-god Dormammu, part-time ruler (with his rival-sister Umar) of the Dark Domain. The combination of darkness and fire is the


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embodiment of "evil" in Vishantist circles, especially when contrasted with the "good" symbols of the Eye and light. Evil or negative attributes of deity are invariably seen as subjective -- Dormammu, son of The Faltine, states that he is "a concept" brought to life by "the masses' cry of 'Dormammu'" -- and his reality is oddly reminiscent of Sir James. M. Barrie's Tinkerbell who also depends for her existence on the collective will of her audience. Umar, who is half human and half Faltine, is the result of some unknown person mating with his or her own "concepts" -- an unusual but not unique, metaphysical trick. As stated above, the chief disciple of the head of the Vishantist Order is Clea, unacknowledged daughter of Umar by the extra-dimensional human Orini -- a woman who is 3/4 human and 1/4 subjective deity. This is not so bizarre as it might seem, for at the core of all Vishantist philosophy there is a firmly subjectivist worldview, perhaps most thoroughly explored by author Steve Englehart in MP8-14 and DS1-17, particularly DS1, DS2, and DS4 (the "Death" issues) and DS10-13 (the "End of the World" saga). The Faltine are also interesting to the student of Vishantism for another reason -- they are prime examples of the unusual Vishantist practise of invoking the power of one's enemies, or of evil spirits, for the purpose of good. Not only have The Ancient One and Dr. Strange routinely called up the Flames of the Flawless Faltine, but in times past, they regularly implored th aid of the Dread Dormammu (ST115). To this day, Clea still


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swears oaths in Umar's name (DS15).

The remaining Vishantist conjurations may or may not be addressed to deities. Some, such as "the Twelve Moons of Munnopor" (ST120) obviously refer to a sacred place. "The Seven Rings of Raggadorr" (ST124) may be the finger jewelry of some cosmic being, but most likely, due to the fact that mention is made (in ST148) of a "dimension of Raggadorr," the "Rings" are those which encircle a planet similar in appearance to Saturn. The Rings are said to range in colour "from indigo to deepest black" (DS9) and these are, not-so-coincidentally, the colours assigned to Saturn in the Hebrew Kabala. The Crimson Circles of Cyttorak (ST125), more commonly referred to as the Crimson Bands (ST126) are likewise most probably not the possessions of Cyttorak, a super-human entity, but rather some cosmological landmark from The Crimson Cosmos [of Cyttorak] (DS182). A good case can be made that The Images of Ikonn (DS172) and The Forbidden Ritual of Ikonn (DS145) refer to an otherwise unknown deity, but Denak, whence come Demons (ST149) is obviously a non-Earthy dimension, not a god.

Other lesser lights of the Vishantist pantheon include Farallah, an entity with fangs (DS1); Watoomb, the namesake of a dorje-like wand (SP.ANN2) and the force behind some agical winds (DS173); and Valtorr (ST11[[3?]]), in whose vapors dwell The Nameless (ST155) and from whence come Vipers (ST144). This list is by no means exhaustive.


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Simply knowing the names and attributes of a pantheon of goddesses and gods tells the reader very little about the religious practises devoted to them. Basically, Vishantist magicians do not worship, they conjure. Although countless magically-oriented cultures, from the Assyrians on down to the Assinboine, have independently originated similar methods, only Vishantism and European Ceremonial Magic have developed such rigidly exact formulas for the production of supernatural egvents. The best Vishantist conjurations are spoken in rhyme. A classic and oft-used spell of banishment may run as follows:

DEMONS OF DARKNESS
IN THE NAME OF SATANNISH
BY THE FLAMES OF THE FALTINE
LET [---] NOW VANISH!
[SP.ANN2 -- STAN LEE]

All that is necessary for the performance of the feat is to insert the name of the vanishee in the appropriate space. Some Vishantist verses are rank limping doggeral:

O BEAM OF PUREST LIGHT
HEIGHTENED BY AGGAMON'S DISTANT MIGHT
SMITE THIS ENTITY OF EVIL
AND REMOVE HIS SUBSTANCE FROM MY SIGHT!
[DS33 -- RALPH MACCHIO]

-- but others have a genuine poetic majesty in spite of their functional nature:

MIGHTY OSHTUR, TOWER OF TOWERS --
WITHOUT LIMIT ARE THY POWERS!
TO YON DEMONS NOW REVEAL THEM --
INTO ONE MASS NOW -- CONGEAL THEM!
[DS181 -- ROY THOMAS]

Traditionally, the cantrips are accompanied by specific hand-gestures (or mudras as they are called in Sanskrit). The importance of these mudras is such that a sorcerer whose hand


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are bound is rendered virtually ineffective (ST143). By far the most ubiquitous gesture is one known in Sanskrit as the Karana Mudra (see figure 3). There is hardly an issue of STRANGE TALES or DR. STRANGE which doesn't depict some Vishantist making what Steve Ditko once called "The Sign" [in BLUE BEETLE comics, of all places!]. The Sign seems to have the same degree of importance to Vishantists that crossing oneself does to members of the Catholic cult, although the former is magically-aggressive, while the latter is religiously-protective.

This brief survey of the Vishantist faith would be incomplete without one final note: on the letters page of STRANGE TALES 129 a reader wrote to ask whether the deities mentioned in hte stories were "the gods of some long-dead religion" or whether Stan Lee "made them up as [he] went along". Lee offered "a late-model no-prize" to the person who could come up with the best answer to this question -- but apparently no satisfactory answers have been received during the ensuing 13 years, because none have been printed and the prize has never been awarded. I think a genuine uncirculated 1965 model no-prize would look nifty-keen on the dashboard of my 1932 Bugatti, so i am herewith submitting my entry into what may be the longest-running contest in Marvel history.

The Vishantist faith, as documented above, embraces a world-view which can best be labeled "intersubjective." If one were to ask Baron Mordo or Dr. Strange whether their deities had been "made up" or were remnants of an ancient cult, they would probably laugh and


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turn away. To even ask would be to reveal oneself as a cowan, an outsider. Actually, to the subjectivist-magician, the question, as phrased, is utterly meaningless. It matters not at all whether the deities were or were not at one time "made up" because they are now in Dormammu's words, "a shared belief" and, as such, they have become the goddesses and gods of a cult as ancient and as "real" as its collective adherents believe it to be. Furthermore, the zen-Vishantist might chuckle -- you too are only the composite of your own self-conceptions and what others think you are: what we believe is what we get, and a "magician" is simply one whose powers of belief are adamantine and unswerveable in the face of danger.

Of course, this answer will not satisfy the objectivist reader who thinks that Vishantism is a "fiction" which appears in "comic books." In fact, i doubt that any answer will please such a reader, but what the hey -- it's worth a try anyway. The existence of "other dimensions" cannot be disproved by any known objective science, at least not at this time, and the nature of "other dimensions" is open to any interpretation one chooses to make. One theory of "other dimensions", the so-called "Omniversal Theory", postulates that "all 'fiction' is 'real' -- somewhere" and that there are "alternative universes" where "comic books" are "reality." Omniversally speaking, the Vishantist pantheon was neither "made up", nor is it the remnant of "some long-dead religion." Vishantist deities are exactly what they purport to be -- the living goddesses and gods of an active Occult Order on another continuum, the "alternative universe" we call Earth-Marvel.

'Nuff said, Hoggoth-lovers -- and may your Amulet never tickle!




=( DEITIES, POWERS, AND FORCES )=


A

First
Appearance
____

Abyss --- (The Eternal __) ST 162 (M.).

Adam Qadmon --- See Eternity.

ST 115   Agamotto --- First mentioned in ST 115, Agamotto may be one of the Vishanti.

He is the creator of two Power Objects, the Orb (or Crystal) and the Amulet (or Eye).
The latter was presented to Dr. Strange by the Ancient One, who in turn had it
from Eternity.

All-Being --- MP 3. [Note: this may be Eternity.]

ST 154   All-Freeing --- ST 154, 157, DS 172, MP 3, 8, TOD 44. [Note: this may be Eternity..]

ST 154   All-Knowing --- ST 154, TOD 44, DS ANN 1. See also Vishanti.

All-Life --- (The Power of the __) DS 14, DS 16. [Note: this may be Eternity.]

All-Mind --- (The Omniscience of the __) DS 11.

ST 154   All-Seeing --- ST 154, 157, 163, DS 172, MP 3, TOD 44, DS 33.

See also Agamotto, Ancient One, Vishanti.

All-Spawning --- MP 3. [Note: this may be Eternity.]

All-Wise --- ST 162. See also Vishanti.

Almost Seen --- (Mystic Gesture of the __) ST 166. {{??}}

Amtor --- This is the Venusian name for Venus. See Carson of Venus
by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

ST 117   Ancient One --- First seen in ST 110, Dr. Strange's mentor was originally

referred to as "The Master" and he was not invoked in a spell until ST 117.
The Ancient One was born circa 1400 AD in the Himalayan kingdom of
Kamar-Taj and died near there, in the Crypts of Kaa-U in 1973, becoming
one with the Universe, or, to put it more accurately, one with Eternity.
ST 129, 161, 166, DS 171, DS 20, ANN 1, GR 31, DS 34.

Antimatter --- (The Ninth Theorem of __) ST 165 (Yandroth).




B

Balthakk --- (__'s Bolts) DS 32.

Belial --- (The Twin Horns of __) ST 164. See also Satan.

Bromagdon --- (__'s Ruby Rain) DS 19.




C

Chaos --- DS 28. See also Order.

Cinnibus --- (The Seven Suns of __) DS 34.

Cone --- (Conjurer's __) ST 127.

Creators --- The Creators are a group of evil sorcerers from all times who
banded together to control several dimensions by becoming sentient stars.

Crystal --- (The Living __) DS 27. [Note: this is not to be confused with the
Crystal (Orb) of Agamotto, which is a Power Object]

ST 125   Cyttorak --- It has never been conclusively determined whether Cyttorak,

first mentioned in ST 125, is an entity or a place. The most likely hypothesis
is that Cyttorak is a red ringed planet in The Crimson Cosmos, a dimension
which can only be reached by reciting the "Spell of Cyttorak." See also
Raggador for a comparison between these two entries. MP 8.




D

Danak --- See Denak
.

Daranthon --- (__'s Lost Lore) DS 30.

Dark --- (The __) DS 177 (S.ofS.), MP 13.

ST 115   Darkness ---

Daughter --- (The __) DS 16.

ST 129   Demons ---

[Note: there is also a place called the Dimension of Demons (ST 141) which has never been seen. It may be identical with the Dimension of Denak.]

ST 149   Denak --- First mentioned in ST 149, where it was spelled Danak, this

presumed dimension is known only for the fact that it is the home of Demons.
These Demons can be conjured up, appearing in the form of grotesque and
colourful flying entities. All entries for Denak are listed under Demons, since
the word has never appeared in any other connection.

ST 115   Dormammu --- A flame-headed entity, sometimes called a "demi-god", who

dwells in The Dimension of Darkness, also known as The Dark Domain. His
half-sister, who shares one Faltine parent with him, is Umar. His unacknowledged
niece is Clea, lover and disciple of Dr. Strange. Dormammu is first mentioned in
an invocation in ST 115. He was, at one time, an ally of Eternity (and possibly the
Ancient One) in the fight against Zom. He is first seen in ST 126, and from that
time forward has been one of the more persistent enemies of Dr. Strange. See also
Mormammu. ST 153 (U.), 160 (M.), H 126 (V. Nyborg).

Dream --- (The __ That Grew, the __ That Died) DS 18.

Dyzakk --- (__'s Cage) (a "pocket dimension") DS 31.




E

Elder Ones --- (__ of the Universe) MP 7. See also Gods, eldritch. For a further
discussion of these entities, the reader is advised to consult the works of Lovecraft,
Derleth, Von Juntz, et al.

Elementals --- (Low Level __) DS 26.

Eternal ---

ST 134   Eternity --- First seen in ST 134, this one-time ally of Dormammu and friend of

the Ancient One, is never invoked under his own name, but is always referred to
as Adam Qadmon, the All-Being, {{and?}} the Universe when called upon in
mystic rituals. The Ancient One, upon his death in MP 10, became "one with
the Universe", that is, one with Eternity. DS 13, 15, 26 (A.O.)

Evil --- ST 158

Eye --- (Mystic __) ST 137. See also Eternal, Eye of the , and
Agamotto, All Seeing Eye of.




F

Faltine --- First mentioned in ST 142, The Faltine seem to be a group of
"conceptual entities" or gods. They dwell in a "bitter blazing land" (DS 181) and are
parents of Dormammu and the half-human Umar (DS 9). They are often referred
to as "flawless" by both those who worship them and by the enemies of their
worshippers. DS 181.

DS 1      Faralla --- (The Fangs of __) DS 1.

Fear --- (The touchstone of __) ST 152 (U.).

Fire ---See also Flames and Faltine.

Flames ---See also Fire and Faltine
.

Forces --- (Intradimensional __) MP 7.




G

God --- DS 17 (J. Mandarin), 22 (innocent bystander), DS 29.
See also Gods, JHVH and Lord.

Gods ---
  • ([All] the __) MP 13 (M.), DS 1, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18

    Good ---
    • (The Forces of __) ST 117
    • (The powers of __) MP 8
    See also Spirits, good.




    H

    Hannah --- A Jewish prophetess.
    • (Holy __) ST 129 (T.V. Man).

    Head --- (My Father's __) DS 2 (S. Surfer).

    Heavens ---
    • (The __) DS 24 (Apalla)
    • (Good __) DS 15

    ST 116   Hoggoth --- First mentioned in ST 116, very little is known about Hoggoth aside

    from the fact that he "aids not the wicked" (ST 125) and commands a host of
    "hoary" followers. The word "hoary" may either refer to the fact that the HOSTS
    are aged, or to their greyish white or ice-like hue. When the "Hoary Hand of
    Hoggoth" was conjured up in ST 123, it was seen to be grey, humanoid, and of
    monstrous proportions. Hoggoth may be one of the Vishanti. ST 131, DS 28, 33,
    34, 35. See also Hosts.

    Hosts --- (The __) GR 29 (D. disguised as Dr.S.), 30. These Hosts are more than
    likely the Hosts of Hoggoth, and knowing that "Hoggoth aids not the wicked",
    Dormammu attempted to invoke them while disguised as Dr. Strange, carefully
    not mentioning Hoggoth's name.




    I

    ST 145   Ikonn --- Virtually nothing is known about the being called Ikonn., aside from the

    fact that s/he is an illusionist and the author of a "Forbidden Ritual" performed in
    ST 145 by Master Rasputin. MP 8.

    Ikthalon --- (The Icy Tendrils of __) DS 33.

    Infernal --- (The __) ST 160.

    Infinite --- (Icons of the __) ST 156.

    Ishtar --- See Oshtur.




    J

    JHVH --- Jehovah Tetragrammaton is the principle Judeo-Christian deity.
    See also God, Gods, and Lord, etc.




    K

    King --- (The __) DS 16.

    Krakkan --- (The Chains of __) MP 7 (Blondine).




    L

    Light --- There are many forms of Light invoked by practitioners of the Mystic
    Arts. See also Agamotto, whose "Eye" is, among other things, a source of Light,
    and Nirvalon, who is called upon for Light.

    Lord ---
    See also God, Gods, and JHVH.




    M

    Madness ---

    Marduk --- A God of ancient Babylon. Not to be confused with one of the cultists
    known as The Sons of Satannish, who took the name as an alias.

    Mhytorr --- (The Curse of the __) DS 30.

    Mormammu --- It has been suggested that Mormammu, first mentioned in
    ST 118, is a typographical error for Dormammu. There is no real evidence to
    support this contention, however, especially since Mormammu is referred to with
    the alliterative adjective "Mighty", in the typical Mystical tradition of Bardic
    Appellation. It is even possible that Mormammu is one of the Faltine, perhaps,
    being the common parent shared by Dormammu and Umar.

    Morpheus --- The Greek God of Dreams, son of Hypnos, God of Sleep.
    • (The Mists of __) DS 1
    • (The Moon's Mists of __) DS 10, 15

    Mother --- (__ of Mercy) DS 5 (S. Dagger). [Note: this is a common name for
    The Blessed Virgin Mary, a Christian Goddess.]

    ST 120   Munnopor --- First mentioned in ST 120, Munnopor, is like Cyttorak and

    Raggadorr, probably a planet in another dimension, although, unlike the
    aforementioned pair, there is no hint as to the name of this realm, nor how to
    enter it. It is obvious that, in addition to having twelve moons, Munnopor was
    once inhabited (and may still be) by a race of maze-builders.




    N

    Nameless --- The Nameless are said to dwell in The Vapors of Valtorr. They
    may be identical with the Nameless Race. They are not to be confused with
    The Nameless One, leader of the other-dimensional Undying Ones See also,
    The Awesome Nameless Race and Valtorr. ST 155.

    Night and Day ---
    • (Demons of __) ST 142 (Demon). See Demons.

    Nihility ---
    • (Ribbons of __) DS 176 (S.ofS.)

    Nirvalon --- DS 30




    O

    Order --- DS 28. See also Chaos.

    ST 120   Oshtur --- There is a great deal of confusion surrounding the identity and gender

    of Oshtur, first mentioned in ST 120. All references in ST, DS and MP are neutral,
    with the exception of one in ST 167 ("Lord of Skies"), whereas in the pages of DEF
    (unfortunately not detailed in this index), Oshtur is repeatedly referred to as a
    Goddess. Four possibilities present themselves:
    1. Oshtur is a hermaphrodite;
    2. there are two Oshturs, one male & one female;
    3. the Goddess invoked in DEF is actually Ishtar, misspelled;
    4. the appellation "Lord of the Skies" in ST 167 is a misprint for "Lady of the Skies."

    Ishtar was a Babylonian and Assyrian Goddess who was identified with both war
    and fertility. In other places she was known as Astarte, Astoreth, Ostera, Oester and
    Easter. The author believes that Oshtur is Ishtar and furthermore, that Oshtur is
    one of The Vishanti. There is also a volume of spells known as The Book of
    Oshtur,
    seen in ST 145. ST 120, 125, 157, 159. DS 180, 181. MP 4. DS 9.




    P

    Pohldahk --- (The Planes of __) DS 27.

    Poseidon --- Greek God of the Sea. (__, Deep Father) DS 18.




    Q

    Qadmon, Adam --- See Eternity.

    Queen --- (The __) DS 16.




    R

    Race --- (The Awesome Nameless __) ST 158. [Note: this may be the same as
    The Nameless who dwell in The Vapors of Valtorr. Not to be confused
    with the other-dimensional enity known as The Nameless One.]

    Raggador --- See Raggadorr.

    ST 124   Raggadorr --- First mentioned in ST 124, Raggadorr seems to be a ringed planet

    located in The Dimension of Raggadorr, one-time residence-in-exile of The
    Ancient One's enemy Kaluu (ST 148). The Rings of Raggadorr are said to vary in
    colour from indigo to black (DS 9) in the same way that Cyttorak's are always said
    to be crimson. Taking these colours in their usual Kabalistic sense, this would
    identify Cyttorak with the Sephiroth of Severity and Raggadorr with that of
    Understanding. Variant spellings of Raggadorr have occured twice: in ST 124 it
    was Raggedor and in ST 128 it was Raggador. Doubtless these were mere errors
    of transcription. ST 137, 139 (M.), MP 8.

    Raggedorr --- See Raggadorr.

    Realm --- (Mystic __) ST 120, 147.

    Rune --- (The Arcane __) GR 31.




    S

    Sacred and True --- (All That Is __) DS 22.

    Sands ---
    • (__ That Time Has Shifted). See Time.
    • (Ikonn's Shifting __). See Ikonn.

    Satan --- In Judaism and Christianity, Satan is the opposer of JHVH or God. He
    has been identified with many Gods of other religious, particularly Baal, Lucifer,
    Pan, and the Priapic fertility Gods found throughout the world. He is often
    called The Devil. See also Belial. (__'s Seven Sins) DS 17 (J. Mandarin)

    ST 144   Satannish --- Despite the similarity of names, The Supreme Satannish is not the

    same entity as the Judeo-Christian Satan. Although Satan lives in a fiery place
    called Hell, he is usually depicted as a humanoid with horns, hooves, and a tail.
    Satannish, on the other hand, is composed entirely of flames and is monstrous in
    size, albeit vaguely human in form. He is worshipped on Earth by a group known
    as The Sons of Satannish, first seen in DS 174, as was Satannish himself. Members
    of this cult have included Lord Nekron, Dr. Charles Benton (alias Asmodeus) and
    many others whose true identities were concealed beneath aliases, such as Marduk.
    Oddly, long after The Sons of Satannish had ceased to be a threat to him,
    Dr. Strange began to invoke them in his mystic spells. Satannish was first
    mentioned by name in ST 144 and he is most often called upon in spells of
    vanishment and banishment. ST 153 (U.), 155 (U.), DS 178, SP ANN 2 (= 179),
    H 126 (Van Nyborg), MP 13 (M.), 14 (M.), DS 12 (M.), 26 (Dr. Stranger Yet), GR 30.

    ST 124   Seraphim --- The Seraphim, celestial beings with three pairs of wings who figure

    prominently in Judeo-Christian mythology, are first mentioned in ST 124, but
    have never been seen. For some reason they are referred to as "sinister" in ST 127.
    DS 174, 183.

    Shades --- (Ghastly __) ST 162 (M.).

    See also Seraphim, Shades of the, Shadows, Shades of the and Demons, Shades of the Shadowy.

    Shadows --- (Shades of the __) ST 158 (Anon.).

    Shumagorath --- A monstrous prehistoric evil, worshipped as a deity,
    Shuma Gorath may be related to The Great Old Ones of ill-repute in the works of
    Lovecraft et al.

    Son --- (The __) DS 16. See also Satannish, Sinister Sons of

    Spirits --- (Good __ in the Astral Plane) MP 7 (C.)

    Stone --- (The Power in the __) MP 5 (C.)




    T

    Tetragrammaton --- See JHVH.

    Tiboro --- Ruler of the Sixth Dimension (code no. number 10), first seen
    in ST 129 and DS 178. DS 31.

    Time ---
    • (The Sands That __ Has Shifted) SUB 22. [Note: may be Ikonn's Sands, which see.]
  • (The Tendrils of __) DS 174.

    Tree --- (Darkhold's Foul __) DS 32.




    U

    Umar --- First seen in ST 151, Umar is the half-sister of Dormammu, and like
    him, lives in The Dark Dimension. She is half human and half Faltine, and is
    sometimes referred to as a "Goddess." Her unacknowledged daughter by Orini is
    Clea, disciple and lover of Dr. Strange. Although she is known as "The Unre-
    lenting", she has occasionally been invoked by those who have most reason to
    distrust her.

    Undead --- (The Power of the __) DS 14.

    Unmanifest --- (The Great __). See JHVH, for whom this is another name.




    V

    ST 115   Valtorr --- This place, first mentioned in ST 115, was said, in ST 155, to be the

    home of The Nameless (who are perhaps the same as The Awesome Nameless
    Race). ST 155 refers to "The Valtorr", but this is not a title -- rather it is used in
    the same sense as we do when speaking of "The Matterhorn" or "The Sahara".
    Valtorr is a region of mists, inhabited by reptiles (who may in fact be Nameless).

    Vipers --- (The __) ST 129 (Tiboro) See also Valtorr, the Vipers of.

    ST 115   Vishanti --- If the Mystic Arts can be said to have supreme deities,

    certainly The Vishanti hold the highest warrants in respect of the claim.
    First invoked in ST 115, they are best known for their treatise on Magic,
    The Book of the Vishanti a tome so powerful that its mere physical
    presence repulses evil spells. The Vishanti were seen in MP 5, and
    although their forms were explicitly said to be created for the occasion,
    they are still worthy of note. The first was a blue-skinned man with
    compound eyes, much like an insect's. The second was a green-skinned
    woman who wore a jewel on her brow and whose eyes were stars. The
    third was a golden lion, bearing an ankh on his brow and having flames
    for eyes. It is of note that all three had singular eyes, the EYE being the
    most prominent symbol in the tradition followed by .Dr. Strange. It is
    the present author's contention, supported elsewhere in lengthy
    argument, that the Vishanti are none other thanHoary Hoggoth,
    Lord of Hosts; Omnipotent Oshtur, Lady of the Skies; and All-Seeing
    Agamotto, Lion of the Truth. ST 142, 143, 146, 152, 153, 154,
    MP 5, 14,
    DS 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 16, 27, 28, 29, GR 30, 31 {{(W.?)}}, DS 31, 32,
    34 (C. Black), 36.
    • (The All Knowing __) DS 169, 170. See also All-Knowing.
    • (The All Seeing __) DS 169, 170, 23. See also All-Seeing.
    • (The All Wise __) MP 5. See also All-Wise.
    • (The Beard of the __) ST 167. [Note: this refers to the leonine Vishanti.]
    • (The Deathless __) ST 159, DS 176, 178, AV 61, DS 180
    • (The Deathless Chants of the __) ST 152
    • (The Divine __) ST 159
    • (The [Dread] Powers of the __) ST 115, 117, 118, 131, 133
    • (The Enchanted realm of the __) ST 149
    • (The Eternal __) ST 125, 128, 130, 131, 135, 136, 142, 145, 146, 155, 157, 158, 159, 160, 163, 166, MP 3, 4 (Wong), 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, DS 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 16, 18, 19, 20, Ann. 1, 23, 24, GR 31 (C.), HTD Treas.
    • (The Ever Watchful __) DS 175
    • (The Fury of the Ageless __) ST 120
    • (The Hosts of the __) ST 125. [Note: if Hoggoth is one of the Vishanti, these would be the Hosts of Hoggoth.]
    • (The Light of the __) ST 127. See Agamotto and Light.
    • (The Mighty __) DS 183
    • (The Undying __) ST 159, MP 5
    • (The Unresting __) DS 169
    • (The Venerated, Everlasting __) ST 153, 164




    W

    ST 147 Watoomb --- First mentioned in ST 147, Watoomb lives in The Dimension

    of Watoomb and is "retired from mystic affairs" (DS 34). He is to all
    appearances human, and was once the owner of the famous Wand of
    Watoomb. The Wand first appeared in SP ANN 2 as a Power Object.
    Oddly, it was never used in an invocation until long after its power had
    been drained into The Amulet of Agamotto! MP 8, DS 34.
    • (The Curse of __) ST 147 (M.), DS 177
    • (The Wand of __) ST 150, 158, 163, 164, DS 183
    • (The Winds of [Wild] __) DS 173, 180, 181, 182, SUB 22, H 126, MP 9, DS 20, 29, GR 31.

    Wisdoms --- (The Dark __) MP 6.

    Wood --- (The Power in the __) MP 5 (C.).

    Word --- (The Misbegotten __) DS 177 (S.ofS.).

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