"The half human Father of Serpents ... the Snake God of the central plain tribes - presumably the main force behind the myth of Quetzalcoatl and Kukulcan, he was a strange anthropomorphic demon."
H.P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop
The Curse of Yig
The Serpent is one of the oldest representations of evil and wickedness. Venomous reptiles are seen with a mix of fascination and primitive fear by the earliest civilizations. Some ancestral religions venerated serpents as mystical creatures, the favorite beasts of Gods and Demons, their agents on Earth and faithful servants.
In the Cthulhu Mythos universe, the Serpent has enormous importance, not only by the atavistic Race of Snake People who once ruled the Land of Valusia. These bipedal vipers left basalt ruins in certain undeveloped parts of the planet before setting off into the depths, seeking a refuge where they could hibernate and protect themselves from humans. There are several other scaly beings among the ancients, creatures who suggest a reptilian heritage, such as the Lloigor, Bokrug, and the Servants of the Outer Gods, to name just a few.
No creature or entity of the Mythos, however, is as intimately attached to snakes as Yig, who is not by any chance, called the Father of Snakes.
The Great Old One is known in various parts of our planet, seen as an extremely enigmatic God, sometimes a wise and benign deity, at other times, as a perverse being, who exerts influence over all snakes and uses them to spread death , chaos and his relentless vengeance.
The Cult of Yig had come originated in K'n'yan, at the heart of a mythical pre-human society, which conquered both science and magic, and built a vast empire deep in the earth, bellow the desert of Okhlahoma. The mysterious K'n'yanni venerated Yig as their central deity. They built in his honor temples adorned with snakeskins and altars in which they lay sacrifices. From there, the cult spread among the antediluvian civilizations of Mu and Valusia in the form of sects of serpent worshipers. In Mu the cult was forbidden, considered blasphemous and dangerous by the caste of the priests, the cultists were banished and their temples destroyed.
In the ancient Kingdom of Valusia, they found greater acceptance, becoming a popular cult between nobles and aristocrats. Secretly, the high priests of Yig were members of the Serpent-People and conspired to dominate Valusia. When the conspiracy was revealed, the people of Valusia came together to expel the cult and expose the leaders as non-human monsters. The rebellion ended with a great bloodshed and with the sect being outlawed. Centuries later, when Valusia had established itself as one of the most powerful nations of its time, the Cult resurfaced. Once again he tried to gain influence among the high castes. At the time, the mythical barbarian King, Kull of Atlantis confronted the cultists and defeated them once and for all.
Cataclysms and natural disasters eventually destroyed Valusia, but the cult of Yig continued to exist, entangling itself in the societies of the so-called Hiborian Kingdoms. In the proud nation of Stigia, Yig was venerated with the name of Set and among his followers were several wizards like the legendary Thoth Amon, one of his favorites.
But the Hiborian Era would also go through calamities that would dictate its decline and consequent forgetfulness. Yig and his cult would once again survive this ordeal, crawling into darkness like a viper. The Cult returned to North America, where it originally appeared and once again sought out followers there. Its cultists settled in Mexico where they probably inspired the myths of Quetzalcoatl and Kukulcan. Some tribes of Native Americans on the Great Plains also absorbed the cult that was carried southward, settling in the Amazon region. Yig may also have been the inspiration for African cults that later gave rise to the voodoo belief, carried to the Caribbean by slaves in the form of the Dambalah. There are indications that the cult also found its way to Southeast Asia and Australia, for some time, settled in the British Isles, where it was carried by refugees from the Serpent People.
Some theorists believe that Yig's cultists are among the most numerous today, losing in numbers only to Cthulhu and Shub Niggurath, rivaling many sects that follow the Avatars of Nyarlathotep and Hastur.
Unlike other Great Ones, Yig sometimes demonstrates a degree of surprising benevolence toward humanity. When autumn arrives, tribes of Native Americans promoted festivities with dances and other ceremonies designed to appease the wrath of the Serpent Father and secure their favors. In exchange, Yig guaranteed the growth of corn and promoted the rains necessary for the rich harvests. On the other hand, when he is in disgust, God sent his serpents to invade the plantations and poison the soil.
Throughout human history, Yig continued to gain and lose influence over various peoples and civilizations, never disappearing completely. And it is likely he will never do it ... Cultists believe that just as the snake changes skin, they also undergo changes and transformations.
Many sorcerers serve the Serpent's Father, receiving in return power and magic, which are taught by God. Not by chance is he held by some mystical traditions as a patron of magic, especially those spells that deal with plagues and curses. Rituals involving Yig's name always take place at night, in deep recesses, when the moon hides in the sky. In caves that serve as temples of obsidian rock, cultists promote blasphemous celebrations and profane orgies. They lie on living carpets composed of sinuous snakes, ingesting toxic mixtures to obtain visions, and speak the secret and hissing language of reptiles.
During these diabolical celebrations, the Yig Crims, immense serpents marked with a silver crescent moon on their crotalic forehead, are invoked to represent God. They bless the rites with their terrifying presence. Crias also protect the temples, consecrate rituals and produce the poison used in various rites of passage. Cultists consider these Serpents as sacred creatures and it is forbidden for any devotee to raise a hand against them. Sometimes such beings act treacherously, they invest against their own ranks, especially when the sacrifices are insufficient or when they detect some doubt in the hearts of men. Yig's Crims have a lethal poison and their boat, with the speed of lightning, kills within seconds. The victim is then completely devoured and the serpent returns to darkness to digest the wicked.
Much feared is the treacherous Curse of Yig, an evil ritual reserved for those who dared defy the Serpent God. Also those who injure or kill a Yig Girl incur this grave punishment. Through this evil, the sorcerer begs the Serpent Father for vengeance and performs a complex ritual. If heeded, the curse is completed and in the following months, a horrendous transformation begins by striking the victim of the curse. In fact, his skin gradually becomes scaly and cold, his hair falls, his eyes become glassy, his tongue bifid until he has the repulsive appearance of a reptile. The Curse continues to alter the body and within a few years the limbs begin to atrophy until legs and arms become short and fragile, forcing the individual to crawl across the floor. Despite the dramatic changes, the mind preserves its consciousness, imprisoned in an abominable body, half man, half serpent. This misfortune can continue for years, and being irreversible, it is not surprising that most of the afflicted prefer to abbreviate their poor existence by taking their own lives.
Another variable from the Curse of Yig strikes women and involves the birth of children with horrendous congenital deformities whose striking features date back to snakes. Such children, when they survive, after birth end up becoming Yig's Crias devoted to serving their Master and Lord.
Among the volumes with ancient knowledge that refer to Yig, the very rare Scriptures of Ssathaat tell their story even though the texts may be a mere fable. It says the text, written in sinuous characters of the Aklo alphabet, that Yig would have been born in an obscure world called Zandanua, where his reptilian brother Rokon still lives. Yig's arrival on Earth, thousands of years ago, would have motivated the evolution of reptiles and their development as terrestrial animals. The tome states that Yig lives in Ngoth's Cave inside the Yoth Caves, one of the subterranean recesses of the Land of K'n-yan. Compelled to hibernate until the day the stars are aligned in the firmament, Yig awakens from time to time for short periods; when invoked by their cultists or on specific dates.
The infamous Necronomicon claims that Yig and Nyarlathotep are rivals who tend to fight each othar using their mortal agents. In the Middle East, this rivalry gave rise to bloody disputes. The same was repeated centuries later in Mexico and Peru, with retinues that worshiped these deities in direct dispute. Finally, the legendary Book of Skellos, a work written in the Hiborian times, was supposed to reveal details about Yig. But since no copy of this book has survived, there is no way to attest to whether this is true or not.
Yig is described as a terrifying abomination, an entity that takes the form of an immense man with hideous ophidian characteristics. Measuring more than two and a half feet tall, its sleek, compact body is covered by gray-green scales that run down the thorax and scatter through the limbs. Since the coloration varies significantly, it is assumed that it changes skin often assuming different shades ranging from black and dark brown to red-copper. Sometimes Yig wears a ritualistic costume woven with human skin and carries in his hands an obsidian scepter spit with the face of a great serpent with crimson eyes. On formal occasions, a jade ornament appears on his head representing a hideous spiral viper. This mythical piece, called the Serpent's Crown, is recognized as an artifact of great power that concentrates vast mystical energy.
The Father of Snakes moves gracefully, yet most of the time he simply slides on a rug of living snakes, thus avoiding touching the ground with his feet. The snakes that accompany him defend and attend to all their pressing needs as if they were an extension of his body.
Yig's face is an amalgamated nightmare of man and serpent. The grotesque profile causes disgust in the most sensitive and causes unexpected reactions of fear that often trigger a severe herpetophobia (the uncontrollable fear of snakes). Some claim that it is the primal fear of the prey before the predator. Scales cover the face that has glassy eyes that never blink and a wide mouth that extends from side to side, panting in a kind of sardonic and malicious smile. The musculature of the jaw is capable of distending itself in such a way that an adult man can be swallowed whole. A long black tongue and bifid darts between sharp fangs that pour a yellowish poison. The snakes' father exudes a characteristic scent of snake oil that accompanies him wherever he goes and hangs in the air for hours after he leaves. Even devoid of nose and ears, he has sharp senses and is capable of capturing movements and being alert to everything that happens around him.
The statues of the Father of the Serpents that are found in the temples do not live up to the majestic experience of finding God in person. Yig is able to communicate in all languages known to mankind, even those who have not spoken for millennia, the timbre of his voice is sibilant and hypnotic. Those who hear his words feel a relaxation in the body and a paralyzing terror that prevents them from speaking and moving until he decides to break the trance and allow mortals to blame.
It is probable that Yig has several avatars, always obeying the principle of being entities with serpentine characteristics. One of these supposed avatars would have a long reptilian body, with the upper abdomen and head of a woman with long green hair hanging like living snakes. Some theorists believe that this avatar gave rise to the myth of the Greek Gorgons. Another conjectured avatar involves the form of an immense dragon like those of the oriental legends, a serpent crawling beast and many meters long. This form according to the Japanese folklore would be the son of Mappo in Ryūjin. In South America, the M'Boitata the dreaded giant snake present in the folklore of the Tupi-Guarani tribes is also one of its avatars. It is likely that the legendary Nordic entity known as the Midgard Serpent is also somehow associated with Yig and his specific mythology.
Revered, placated, and equally feared, Yig is one of the few Great Old Ones who has a close relationship to mankind. Whether for sacrifice or worship, Yig has always been intimately associated with the human species and is likely to preserve this bond until the end of time.
Yig, the Father of the Serpents is a deity created by H.P. Lovecraft and part of the Mythos of Cthulhu. His first appearance was in the tale "The Curse of Yig," which was conceived by Zealia Bishop and almost completely rewritten by Lovecraft. In this story he is described as "a human form, unless you look closely". According to Lovecraft, one of Yig's main characteristics is his devotion to reptiles, especially snakes - his "children." He usually punishes those who wound reptiles with terrifying curses.
In Lovecraft's history, some tribes of Native Americans consider Yig as "an evil name." However some traditions have it in the highest account, considering it one of the oldest and most powerful deities. which may be the origin of countless religions based on serpentine gods. Some autore only identify as the serpent god of the Stygia, Set, present in the histories of Robert E. Howard involving Conan, the Barbarian and King Kull.