Elder Sign

Innsmouth's version of the Elder Sign

Lovecraft circle Seal The Innsmouth's Elder Sign is the first existing version of the Arcane Symbol. However, it would be the version of Derleth that would become better known.


Zadok Allen described it as the Old Ones sign used to defeat the Deep Ones and resembled a swastika. (HPL: "The Shadow Over Innsmouth")

A farmer and his wife "make the Elder Sign" when questioned about the Great Ones by Randolph Carter, and rather than giving any information briefly indicate the way to the town of Ulthar. (HPL: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath)

The Elder Sign was also represented as a six-pointed "branch" as drawn Lovecraft in his letters alongside the Seal of N'gah, referencing the fictive Dark Cycle of Y'hu. (HPL: "Selected Letters of H. P. Lovecraft" 3.439)

The Hay Necronomicon also represented the Elder Sign as a gesture which consisted of joining the tips of one's thumb and little fingers. It also described the sign of Voor, of Kisk and of Koth.


Zadok Allen, the drunkard from Innsmouth, is the only character to give a description of this version of the Elder Sign. Apparently, it is an original emblem of Polynesia with the power to protect against the Deep Ones, as they are unable to attack anyone who wears it.

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