The Chapel Feralous


ETIDORHPA @ eye of the cyclone April 19, 2008

Just thought I’d draw your attention to this.  Many thanks to digitalseance– I’d never come across Etidorhpa before…  I downloaded it the other day and have been sucked… right… in…

The Internet Sacred Text Archive has this to say:


by John Uri Lloyd


Take a Victorian scifi premise, say, a trip to the center of the earth, and by the way, it’s hollow. Add a tale of a soul condemned by the Illuminati to a perilous underground quest to find the Goddess of Love (spoiler alert: spell Aphrodite backwards). Top it off with a wild magic mushroom trip. That’s Etidorhpa!

This may be the very source of the ‘adepts living in hollow earth who abduct humans’ meme, later developed by Ray Palmer, and many others. The book is larded with long passages of speculative science. The structure of the hollow earth and the effects of gravitation at various places is much better worked out than some of the ‘nonfiction’ hollow earth books (e.g. Reed or Gardner).

The journey of ‘I-am-the-man’ is a not-so-subtle allegory of spiritual progression to being a disembodied adept. Along the way he loses his youth, loses sunlight, becomes weightless, stops breathing, can hear without ears, then his heart stops, … and still he lives. Each of this steps is symbolic of a progression to a more ethereal plane of existence.

At times, the narrative recursion is three levels deep. This is an acquired taste. L. Sprague de Camp called Etidorpha ‘unreadable.’ Modern readers accustomed to consuming multiple narrative streams at the same time (i.e. channel hopping), with long recursive breaks (i.e. commercials) might do better.

Except for the titular Etidorhpa, there are no female characters. And she only appears briefly in a hallucination. Why such a small part in the book? Other genre novels, such as Atlantida and The Lost Continent, are driven by strong female characters. And once the main character is inside the hollow earth, it just halts. He doesn’t even get to meet Etidorhpa again. Whether the author ran out of steam, or the ending was only supposed to be implied, is unknown.

–J.B. Hare, Dec. 2, 2007


5 Responses to “ETIDORHPA @ eye of the cyclone”

  1. Modelki Says:

    Very nice … 😉

  2. McAfee Says:

    I have found, seen and explored the cave entrance in Kentucky and have found the following inscription on the left hand passage wall:

    Or a depth I dare to hide

    Notice that the first 27 letters of the inscription can be divided into three segments of 9 letters each – and each 9 letter segment can be re-arranged to spell “Etidorhpa”

    Further in the passage my friend found “D.E.” carved deeply into the rock. These letters were the last two letters of the inscription at the entrance. Beneath the inscription was an arrow pointing to the right. Following the arrow about 20 paces we discovered another inscription, written in chalk, that read:

    It had rope. I paid her to leave.

    The “leave” was in larger style and heavier chalk strokes. Oddly enough, if you remove “leave” from the inscription, and break the letters into two halves, the nine remaining letters in each half can be re-arranged to each spell “Etidorhpa”.

    Further along the passage was indeed a rope, but cut into two pieces and unattached to anything visible. Above the rope was a drawing of what looked like trees and above the trees a huge cylindrical object. Above the object was the inscription:

    The Air Pod

    It looked much like an alien object. Oddly enough, you can re-arrange the nine letters of the inscription to form “Etidorhpa”. Looking closer at the drawing of the trees there appeared to be a sort of pathway winding through the trees leading to just below the alien object. An arrow pointed to the path and next to the arrow were the written words:

    The Path I rode

    Strangely, if you remove the “the” from the above, the remaining 9 letters can be re-arranged to spell “Etidorhpa”.

    I became nervous and would not go on. My partner continued. I have never seen him again.

  3. feralbrown Says:

    freaky business!!!

    I’m assuming you’d already read Etidorpha… did you take any pics or anything like that?
    What do you reckon the word “LEAVE” was in place of?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    hee hee… that story was luverly

    PS. have you read or downloaded THE LEGEND OF KAI from digitalseance ? Written in 1976 by an Australian lady…interested in hearing others views about the book…

  5. feralbrown Says:

    No, I haven’t…
    Will check it out!

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