From John Uri Lloyd's "Etidorhpa",
with CQC By The Editor, and Illustrations by Augustus Knapp.

One of the classics of American occult literature is "Etidorhpa" (Aphrodite spelled backward). For those interested in the Shaver Mystery and the Cavern World interior of the earth it is must reading. It is the story of The Man who was member of an occult fraternity (Rosicrucian? Freemason?) in upstate New York in the 1820s. He violated his vow of secrecy. Rather than destroy him it was decided to push him on through the Veil, a forced initiation via the Path of the Inner World.

The eyeless guide holding the Man firmly as the latter tries to escape, captioned as AN UNCONTROLLABLE, INEXPRESSIBLE DESIRE TO FLEE,  illustration by J. Augustus Knapp, from Lloyd's "Etidorhpa" (1895), page 229.

"Etidorhpa" is the story of that successful journey during which, among other important things, he learned the secret of the cause of volcanic eruptions. The Man's guide and teacher was an earth elemental god or adept, eyeless and unclothed, as depicted below by the pen and imagination of a first-class artist and 33rd° Mason, Augustus Knapp.

Volcanologists admit their total ignorance of the basic causes of the eruptions of volcanoes such as Mt. St. Helens in Washington, and their unpredictable behavior; so here is another point of view, 150 miles below the surface of the earth, as The Man's guide escorts him to the shores of a vast lake, and produces a metal boat with which they skim over the surface at his will and direction.


The Man and his eyeless guide aboard the boat on the underground lake, passing near a deep chasm, captioned as THE WALL DESCENDED PERPENDICULARLY TO SEEMINGLY INFINITE DEPTHS, illustration by J. Augustus Knapp, from Lloyd's "Etidorhpa" (1895), page 229.


"Be seated," said my eyeless guide, "and I will explain some facts that may prove of interest in connection with the nature of the superficial crust of the earth. This crystal liquid spreading before of us is a placid sheet of water, and is the feeder of the volcano, Mount Epomeo." (Italy, near Naples)

"Can that be a surface of water?" I interrogated. "I find it hard to realize that water can be so immovable. I supposed the substance before us to be a rigid material, like glass, perhaps."

"There is no wind to ruffle this aqueous surface, why should it not be quiescent? This is the only perfectly smooth sheet of water you have ever seen. It is in absolute rest, and thus appears a rigid level plane."

"Grant that your explanation is correct," I said, "yet I can not understand how a quiet lake of water can give rise to a convulsion such as the eruption of a volcano."

"Not only is this possible," he responded, "but water usually causes the exhibition of phenomena known as volcanic action. The Island of Ischia, in which the volcanic crater Epomeo is situated, is connected by a tortuous crevice with the peaceful pool by which we now stand, and at periods, separated by great intervals of time, the lake is partly emptied by a simple natural process, and a part of its water is expelled above the earth's surface in the form of superheated steam, which escapes through the distant crater."

"But I see no evidence of heat or even motion of any kind."

"Not here," he replied; "in this place there is none. The energy is developed thousands of miles away; but since the phenomena of volcanic action are to be partially explained to you at a future day, I will leave that matter for the present. We shall cross this lake."  . . .


And cross it they did, the motion of the boat "constantly at the will of my guide . . . (and) finally reached a precipitous bluff, that sprung to my view as by magic, and which, with a glass-like surface, stretched upward to a height beyond the scope of my vision, rising straight from the surface of the lake . . . black as jet . . . yet seemingly emitting the brilliant hues of the rainbow, and colors hitherto unknown to me . . . we skirted the richly colored bluff with a rapid motion, and at last shot beyond it into seeming vacancy. I was sitting with my gaze directed toward the bluff and when it instantly disappeared I rubbed my eyes to convince myself of their truthfulness. As I did so are boat came gradually to a stand on the edge of what appeared to be an unfathomable abyss. Beneath me on the side where there had risen the bluff, as far as the eye could see, was an absolute void . . . Our boat brushed a rim, a narrow ledge, a continuation of the black, glass-like material, reached only a foot above the water, and beyond this narrow brink the mass descended perpendicularly [4] to seemingly infinite depths."


"Involuntarily I grasped the sides of the boat, and recoiled from the frightful chasm, over which I had been so suddenly suspended, and which exceeded anything of a similar description that I had ever seen. The immeasurable depths of the abyss, in connection with the apparently frail barrier that held the great lake in its bounds, caused me to shudder and shrink back, and my brain reeled in dizzy fright. An inexplicable attraction, notwithstanding my dread, held me spell-bound, and although I struggled so to shut out that view, the endeavor failed. I seemed to be drawn by an irresistible power, and yet I shuddered at the awful majesty of that yawning gulf which threatened to end the world on which I then existed. Fascinated, entranced, I could not help gazing, I knew not how long, down, down into that fathomless, silent profundity. Composing myself, I turned a questioning glance on my guide.

"He informed me that this hard, glass-like dam, confined the waters of the slowly rising lake that we were sailing over, and which finally would rise high enough to overflow the barrier.

"'The cycle of the periodic overflow is measured by great intervals,' he said; 'centuries are required to raise the level of the lake a fraction of an inch, and thousands of years may elapse before its surface will again reach the top of the adamantine wall. Then, governed by the law that attracts a liquid to itself, and heaps the teaspoon with liquid, the water of the quiet lake piles upon this narrow wall, forming a ledge along its summit. Finally the superimposed surface water gives way, and a skim of water pours over into the abyss.'

"Accustomed to the situation, I leaned over. 'There is no bottom!' I exclaimed.

"'Upon the contrary,' he answered. 'The bottom is less than ten miles beneath us and is a great funnel-shaped orifice, the neck of the funnel reaching first down and then upward from us diagonally toward the surface of the earth. Although the light by which we are enveloped is bright, yet it is deficient in penetrating power and is not capable of giving the contour of objects even five miles away, hence the chasm seems bottomless and the gulf measureless.'

""Is it not natural to suppose that a mass of water like this great lake could overflow the barrier immediately, as soon as the surface reached the upper edge, for the pressure of the immense volume must be beyond calculation.'

"'No, for it is height, not expanse which, as hydrostatic engineers understand, governs the pressure of water . . . '

"'How can a thin stratum of water give rise to a volcanic eruption?' I next queried. 'There seems to be no melted rock, no evidence of intense heat, either beneath or about us.'



"'I informed you some time ago that I would partially explain these facts. Know then, that the theories of man concerning volcanic eruptions, in connection with the molten interior of the earth, are such as are evolved in ignorance of even the sub-surface of the earth." The earth's interior to mankind is a sealed chamber, and the wise men who elucidate the curious theories concerning the natural phenomena occurring therein are forced to draw entirely upon their imagination. (And the educated guesses of present-day volcanologists concerning the intensity and duration of eruptions of Mt. St. Helens in the State of Washington sustain the observation of The Man's elemental adept guide. RHC.)

"'Few persons realize the paucity of data at the command of workers in science. Theories concerning the earth are formulated from so little real knowledge of that body, that our science may be said to all theory, with scarcely a trace of actual evidence to support it. If a globe ten inches in diameter be covered with a sheet of paper, the thickness of that sheet will be greater in proportion to that of such a globe than the depth men have explored within the earth is compared with the thickness of the crust of the earth . . .

"'In fact volcanoes are of several descriptions and usually are extremely superficial. This lake, the surface of which is but 150 miles underground, is the mother of an exceptionally deep one. When the water pours over this ledge it strikes an element below us, the metallic base of salt, which lies in great masses in some portions of the earth's crust. Then an immediate reaction ensues, the water is dissociated, intense heat results, part of the water combines with the metal, part is vaporized as steam, while part escapes as an inflammable gas. The sudden liberation of these gases causes an irregular pressure of vapor on the surface of the lake, the result being a throbbing and rebounding of the attenuated atmosphere above, which, in gigantic waves like swelling tides, dashes great volumes of water over the ledge beside us, and into the depth below.

"'This water in turn reacts on fresh portions of the metallic base, and the reflex action increases the vapor discharges; and as a consequence, the chamber we are in becomes a gasholder, containing vapors of unequal gas pressures. The resultant agitation of the lake from the turmoil continues. The pulsations are repeated until the surface of the lake is lowered to such a degree that at last it prevents the water from overflowing the barrier. The lake quiets itself. The gases slowly disappear by earth absorption, and by escape from the volcanic exit; and for an unrecorded period of time thereafter the surface of the lake continues to rise slowly as it is doing now.'

"'But what has this phenomenon to do with the volcano?'

"'It produces the eruption! The water that rushes down into the chasm, partly as steam, partly as gas, is forced onward and [6] upward through a crevice that leads to the old crater of the presumed extinct but periodically active Mount Epomeo. These gases are intensely heated and they move with fearful velocity. They tear off great masses of stone which the resultant energy disturbances, pressure, gas and friction redden with heat. The mixture of gases from the decomposed water is in large amount, is burning and exploding; and in this fiery furnace amid such convulsions as have been described, the adjacent earth substance is fused, even clay is melted and carried on with the fiery blast. Finally the current reaches the earth's surface through the funnel passage; the apex of which is a volcano -- the blast described as volcanic eruption.'"

The late Ray Palmer called "Etidorhpa" an "inspired novel" and published it as Issue No. A-3 in the summer of 1962 for $2.00. Poor Ray, like all sci-fi buffs, could never quite bring himself to an unhesitating belief in the occult world, which is far more fascinating and inspiring than any science fiction ever written! His widow may still be publishing it from Amherst, Wisconsin 54406.


Writes an Oregon Associate, on the coast west of Mt. St. Helens, whose home and farm were heavily dusted with ash from the second eruption of the now-active volcano. Like other thousands in the area, she and her husband face the agonizing reappraisal of their situation: To go or stay?

There's little comfort in the pamphlet published in 1978 by volcanologists Dwight Crandell and Donal Mullineaux, titled "Potential Hazards From Future Eruptions of Mt. St. Helens Volcano" and referred to briefly in the LA "Times" volcano story of May 27th. As reporter Dave Smith writes, they "batted 1,000 in predicting the possibility of an eruption before the end of this century. The concluding sentence in the pamphlet notes: 'If the next eruptive period is like the last, which continued from about 1831 to 1836, intermittent activity on various scales and of various kinds can be expected over a period of several decades.' Few if any Northwest residents would welcome even one replay of last Sunday, let alone several decade's worth . . ."


"Even among occult scientists it is counted among the most difficult problems to investigate the mysterious construction of the Earth," writes Max Heindel in his book "Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception". "Every occult scientist knows how much easier it is to thoroughly and accurately investigate the Desire World and the region of Concrete Thought and bring back the results into the Physical World than to investigate completely the secrets of our physical planet, because to do that fully, one must have passed through the nine lesser Mysteries and the first of the Great Initiations." The book can be obtained from the Rosicrucian Fellowship, Oceanside, California 92054. Write for list and prices.


  1. Lloyd, John U., and J.A. Knapp. Etidorhpa, or the End of the Earth: The Strange History of a Mysterious Being and the Account of a Remarkable Journey As Communicated in Manuscript to L. Drury, Who Promised to Print the Same, but Finally Evaded the Responsibility, Which Was Assumed by J.U. Lloyd. with Many Illustrations by J.A. Knapp. Cincinnati: J. U. Lloyd, 1895. Print. <http://amzn.to/1AC4gHf> [Digital: <https://archive.org/details/etidorhpaorendof00lloy>]
  2. Lloyd, John U. Etidorhpa: Or, the End of Earth. the Strange History of a Mysterious Being and the Account of a Remarkable Journey. Mundelein, Ill: Palmer Publications, 1962. Print. <http://amzn.to/1roPB1r>
  3. Heindel, Max. The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception; or Christian Occult Science, an elementary treatise upon man's past evolution, present constitution and future development. Seattle, Wash.: Rosicrucian Fellowship, 1909. Print. <http://amzn.to/1nlzIjy> [Digital: <http://www.rosicrucian.com/rcc/rcceng00.htm>]
  4. Crandell, Dwight R., and Donal R. Mullineaux. Potential Hazards from Future Eruptions of Mt. St. Helens Volcano, Washington. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1383-C, 1978, 26 pp. <http://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/1383c/report.pdf>