Seven Planes

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Seven Planes (AKA Seven Worlds)

Origin: among the theories of Theosophy, referenced in esotericism, mysticism, and spiritualism; hinted at in the mythos of Camazotz

Description, Geography, History, Landmarks

Elemental Plane (First Plane)

Malkuth; Elemental or Primordial Plane; the natural world; the wilderness. The natural, untracked wilderness of raw natural matter outside human civilization, the strange domain of invisible, ethereal, amorphous nature spirits that inhabit and shape it (such as Elementals, Satyrs, Nymphs, Doels, Djinn, Angels, Poltergeists, Sylphs, Salamanders, Undines, Gnomes, Faeries, Daemons, etc.) Elemental spirits and other beings (including humans) are known to be able to reshape, with effort, areas of other planes into reflections and parts of the Elemental Plane, through the powers of fire, decay, erosion, abandonment, entropy, etc.; by the same powers, human and other sorcerers have reshaped the natural/elemental plane into reflections of dream and waking order, as well as other planes.

Terrestrial Plane (Second Plane)

Netzach; The "Daylands"; Objective, Material, or Terrestrial Plane; "real world", "waking world", etc. A dimension of time-space above mere inanimate matter, of living civilization, and of conscious living things, a world of the various levels of consciousness (ranging from the subconscious to higher states of inspiration, awareness, and alertness), reason, memory, method, and self-awareness, somewhat fixed in its order of time and space and physical laws but nevertheless influenced by the other planes and famously by its own inhabitants, as humans and other beings are able with great ease to reshape, with effort, areas of other planes into reflections or extensions of the Daylands through acts of Will and the application of physical laws, etc., with cities and machinery and great works of art and artifice often representing the greater achievements of human mastery over this plane; permanent structures in the Dreamlands are a similar triumph of Daylands sorcerers over the naturally malleable Dreamlands and by the same powers, the order of the Daylands is often reshaped into reflections of other realms (see the Daylands). Toward the higher end of the Material Plane is the Etheric subplane, located outside of time and space, including the Akashic Records, an immaterial record of all of human history, past, present, and future, accessible to dreamers, seers, cultists, and any of those who are willing to perform the works to access it.

Astral Plane (Third Plane)

Hod; The Astral Plane, Other Side, or Dreamlands. A shadowy "spirit world", hallucinatory plane of dream and the unconscious, and the afterlife. A somewhat malleable in its order of time and space and physics but nevertheless influenced by the other planes. The lower Astral Plane hovering close about the material, objective plane is shrouded in shadows and darkness projected from the inner minds - the ids - of dreamers, spirits, and other beings in this region; the darkness here is crowded with dark spirits and sinister creatures of dream; see the Other Side. Above (or "below" or "beyond") the depths of the Astral Plane are the Dreamlands or "Summerlands" carved into the Astral Plane by more powerful, skillful, and developed dreamers and spirits; see the Dreamlands for details.

Causal Plane (Fourth Plane)

Netzach; Ascension; The Light; Causal Plane; Jivic or Devachanic Plane; Universal Life; Animating Principle. "The Light", a world of "divinity" and "magic" beyond the spirit world, where the Spirit Guides, Ascended Masters, "gods", and Ancient Ones dwell. The lower planes are believed by mystics to be ruled and governed by the meddling or guidance of beings on this plane, using an imperfect understanding of the magical rules and boundless energy of higher planes. Beings on the lower planes are believed by mystics to be undeveloped aspects of beings on the fifth plane, often stunted and misled in their spiritual advancement of growth and power by the tampering of more powerful beings, and in that way confined unnaturally to the limitations of the lower planes. Very little is known about this plane as few travelers to this plane have remained human enough to return and describe the experience, but, like other planes, one can perhaps expect to see evidence that The Light has been tampered with by visitors from other planes, with areas shaped by Nature, Dream, Day, Darkness, etc.

Kethur; Nirvana (Higher Planes)

The three Higher Planes, as the outer reaches and mysteries of the spiritual universe and a theoretical distant and difficult-to-attain level of spiritual evolution and energy, are rarely visited, explored, or contacted by mortal beings, and those human and alien beings which have evolved to this level of existence are greatly pained by even temporary projection or materialization onto lower planes, and thus rarely return here willingly. The life-giving variety, creative and destructive force, and rules and formulae of this world can be used by priests and cults, sorcerers and miracle-workers, scientists and inventors, artists and dreamers, plants and animals, dreamers and visionaries, elementals and Great Old Ones alike to alter the reality of lower planes of existence, though few on the lower planes are aware of the power they can and do access through their typically undeveloped and unconscious aspects from this plane, though few beings on the lower planes have aspects on this plane developed enough to be conscious of or aware of the power they can and do access on this plane, nor are they wise, experienced, or educated enough to make the greatest use of the powers available on this plane.

These outer worlds include a plane of Divine Animation/Vitality (Sushuptic/Fohatic Plane), a living plane of cosmic vitality from which all lower planes gain their life, evolution, and chaotic animate force of creation and fecund life and variety (see Shub-Niggurath); a plane of Universal Formulae of higher reasoning and Cosmic Mind (Mahatic Plane), a world of the ultimate laws and formulae and wisdom of the universe, the keys and the doors to unlocking the laws of all reality and unreality such as time, space, electromagnetism, entropy, etc. from which all lower planes gain their order and reality (see Yog-Sothoth); and, a plane of unbounded and unrestrained potential and energy (Alayic Plane), from which all other planes draw their creative and destructive power, the limitless energy of all creation and destruction, used in conjunction with the Sixth Plane of Formulae and Laws to alter all of reality, to create and destroy and shape worlds and the laws that govern those worlds (see Azathoth).

Atmic Aura, Auric Envelope, Akashic Film

An aura, membrane, or cosmic "egg" or "skull" containing the personality or reincarnating ego, with layers or organs extending from and through the aura into the Seven Planes, allowing access and existence from the ego to each of the planes, and unifying the ego's aspects from each of the planes into a unified being or entity.

Or, imagined another way, it is a seed or egg planted in the greater cosmos, with a healthy living ego being a whole entity with its roots in the Terrestrial Plane, its stems and branches and leaves extending through other planes, blooming into the ultimate reality of Alayic Plane.

The envelope extends into the Seven Planes at various points - the living, animated body of the Material Plane, for example, or the Astral body of the Dreamlands; it is through these "projections" that animate beings (spirits, intelligences) experience life on the seven planes - effectively being "windows" through which a spirit experiences existence or awareness.

Heresies and Controversies

  • The above organization of planes is mostly based on esotericism and Theosophy, adjusted slightly to make room for a few Lovecraftian concepts.
  • from fan theory, from esotericism, and from hints in Lovecraft's later Dream stories such as "The Silver Key (fiction)" and "Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (fiction)":
    • It is often claimed that beings on lower planes "evolve", "develop", or "master" themselves over time, "ascending" to higher planes when suitably prepared, and eventually reaching higher planes in a way that can be compared in metaphor to an infant reaching childhood, a child reaching adulthood, an adult becoming elderly, etc.
    • This is a deception: each distinct being exists on all planes simultaneously, where aspects on each plane should (according to mystics) be developed in a balanced way to become masters of the universe over all of the planes.
    • Beings in various states of development on any given plane can range from being little more than the equivalent of moss on a rock, to being virtually god-like beings unbounded by the limitations of that plane and able to wield great power and influence over the matter and energy that each plane is constructed from.
    • In practice, most "lower" beings have been misled and limited in their growth by stronger but similarly misled and limited beings on every plane, and thus serve as the equivalents of "lower" forms of life, to be exploited by "higher" ones, the "higher" forms being more developed, but still short of complete mastery over the sixth and seventh planes.
    • Even the likes of Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu are ultimately spiritually weak and undeveloped beings who, though more powerful than humans, still exist in undeveloped and comparatively child-like forms on some planes while wielding terrible and god-like power on other planes, and like wheat or cattle or humans theoretically subject to similar exploitation and deception from other still more powerful yet also undeveloped and flawed ascended beings; powerful and formerly human dreamers may even now have risen to great heights of power in spite of their still childlike imperfection on multiple planes, to torment, terrorize, lie to, control, and feed on Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu in the guise of great and wise Ascended Masters over these mythos beings....
  • Note that, though theoretically (according to the guidance of unreliable Ascended Masters) lower levels are more "primitive" and "base" than higher levels, powerful "dreamers" and "sorcerers" and such can be inferred to have carved equally mighty and complex and sophisticated worlds into all of these planes, miracles and wonders great and small can be discovered by mystics and explorers in all realms, no single plane is complete without connection with the others, and no one plane is more or less "real" or "complete" or "advanced" than the others....

Keeper Notes

Associated Mythos Elements