I’ll cut right to the chase:
Pepe the Frog isn’t a white nationalist symbol.
Pepe the Frog isn’t a harmless meme propagated by teenagers on the internet.
Pepe the Frog is, in fact, the modern-day avatar of an ancient Egyptian deity accidentally resurrected by online imageboard culture.
Does that sound like the most b@tsh#t crazy thing you’ve ever heard?
Strap in, friendo. You’re in for one hell of a ride.
(UPDATE 11/9/16: Well memed, America, well memed. A post-election follow-up to this article has been added here.)
When Memes Collide: The Origins of Pepe the Frog
The precise origins of Pepe the Frog are, like all imageboards memes, obscure and unimportant.
All you really need to know is that sometime around 2010, a sad-looking cartoon frog began to trend among posters on 4chan.org and similar “underground” imageboards.
Shortly after, the age-old piece of online vernacular used to express laughter—”LOL”—fell out of favor on these sites.
In its place a new slang term of synonymous meaning rose to common use: “KEK.”
The origins of this trend are much more important. It comes from an odd technicality involving the Korean language and the popular video game World of Warcraft.
Keep that in mind for later.
And so, just like that, two seemingly unrelated elements that would later give life to a deity were arranged in piecemeal fashion. But they remained dormant for several years, up until…
Donald Trump and the 2016 Election
By this time, Pepe the Frog had become the unofficial mascot for 4chan’s political discussion board (a highly despised corner of the Internet fittingly entitled “Politically Incorrect”).
/Pol/ is a place where the unspoken outsiders of Millennial culture gather en masse. Here you’ll find the lonely and depressed, the socially inept, the generational dropouts, and all shades of disenfranchised youth—every one of them united with an unshakable underdog mentality that pervades the forum’s every kilobyte.
To call this place a “white nationalist” or “alt-right” message board is categorically incorrect. /Pol/, above all else, is place where our society’s status quo is mercilessly challenged. It’s a melting pot for well-meaning free thinkers and misguided mad men alike.
It is a place of chaos.
So when Donald J. Trump strolled onto the political scene in 2015, it was a match made in heaven. He immediately became /pol/’s candidate of choice.
And it wasn’t long before Trump was mated with /pol/’s beloved mascot, in typical imageboard fashion:
And then, something very strange began to happen…
The Digits Declare a Deity
One last thing you need to understand about imageboard culture: dubs.
Every post on 4chan and similar venues comes with an 8-digit numerical stamp. This number represents that post’s entry position in the entire posting lineage of the imageboard.
With the amount of traffic these sites get, the last couple digits of this number are essentially a random roll. When a poster gets repeated digits, its called “dubs”, “trips”, “quads”, and so on.
Since a poster can’t know their post number until after they’ve submitted the post, its common for people to “bet” the contents of their message on the occurrence of repeating digits, like so:
When that endeavor proves a successful, a “GET” has been made and the stroke of luck is celebrated.
Out of this practice, a strange phenomenon began to take place on /pol/: discussion threads associated with Trump displayed noticeably frequent GETs.
It wasn’t long before all of these seemingly random elements discussed so far became irreparably tied together within imageboard culture:
- Pepe the Frog (now /pol/’s unofficial mascot)
- Donald Trump (/pol/’s overwhelming candidate of choice)
- Repeating digit post numbers (“GETS”)
- “KEK” (used as an expression of delight, particular in response to Trump’s “trolling” of the establishment, as well as in reaction to unlikely GETs in general)
…and a god was born.
Here’s Where It Starts To Get Weird: The Queer Coincidence of Kek
Soon, it became all the rage on /pol/ to hail Trump as nothing less than god’s chosen candidate.
But which god’s chosen candidate exactly?
The answer is obvious: Kek.
Remember how we learned that “kek” the meme came about from an obscure Korean language onomatopoeia, completely independently from Pepe the Frog?
Well, it turns out Kek is also—and always has been—an ancient Egyptian deity…
A frog-headed one.
Quite the coincidence, wouldn’t you say? “A little,” perhaps you reply.
“A little” indeed, but that’s just the very tip of the synchronicity iceberg. That’s just where this unfathomable string of “coincidences” begins. And where it ends? We just don’t know. Day by day this all getting stranger…
The second major (“little”) coincidence can be found when one looks into what Kek stood for among the ancient Egyptian pantheon:
Kuk (also spelled as Kek or Keku) is the deification of the primordial concept of darkness in ancient Egyptian religion…
…Like all four dualistic concepts in the Ogdoad, Kuk’s male form was depicted as a frog, or as a frog-headed man, and the female form as a snake, or a snake-headed woman. As a symbol of darkness, Kuk also represented obscurity and the unknown, and thus chaos. Also, Kuk was seen as that which occurred before light, thus was known as the bringer-in of light.
And who else, at this point, had been declared a “bringer of light” into the world by enthusiastic supporters (mainstream and imageboard alike)?
It gets even weirder.
Kek’s hieroglyphic spelling in ancient egyptian? It bears an undeniable resemblance to a certain something:
A person using a computer. Like say, to post on an imageboard?
And so, the Cult of Kek—AKA “Meme Magic”—took concrete form. This new digital “faith” is summed up neatly in this image passed around on all the major imageboards of the day:
It Gets Weirder: Pepe/Keke “Emerges” in Plain Sight on September 11th, 2016
Now, /pol/’s users were—quite seriously—directly attributing all strokes of luck for the Trump campaign (and likewise, all strokes of misfortune for the Hillary campaign) to their benevolent frog-headed deity that spoke to them in dubs.
That all came to a head on September 11th, 2016, when three major, mind-blowing events transpired within 48 hours of each other:
- Hillary Clinton fainted or nearly fainted in New York. The overwhelming sentiment of /Pol/ —still reeling from the event—is captured two days later in this post:
(Note this person’s post number)
- Hillary Clinton literally declares Pepe the Frog an enemy of the state with paper-thin reasoning:
Here’s the short version: Pepe is a cartoon frog who began his internet life as an innocent meme enjoyed by teenagers and pop stars alike.
But in recent months, Pepe’s been almost entirely co-opted by the white supremacists who call themselves the “alt-right.” They’ve decided to take back Pepe by adding swastikas and other symbols of anti-semitism and white supremacy.
What can I or anyone else hope to add here? How bizarre does reality get? How deep does the rabbit hole go?
Oh, I see how deep…
- (REALLY F#CKI’N WEIRD)Kek/Pepe’s musical anthem is discovered on YouTube:
Now get a load of this one.
While all of this was happening, one or a few anonymous 4chan contributors discovered an old track from the 80’s on YouTube. A track stamped all over with a very familiar face:
That’s right folks. A B-side vinyl by performer “P. E. P. E.”, sporting a frog with a magic wand.
And what’s P. E. P. E. stand for?
“Probably.” What are sweet repeating digit GETs all about? Probability.
What is this “gist” of Kekism on /pol/? He speaks to them through dubs. Their ancient egyptian god of obscurity and chaos “emerges/enters” at “points” of “probability.”
Feel like that’s a stretch? Check out what the full-length vocal version’s album artwork is adorned with:
Don’t see the significance? Let 4chan help you:
(Again, note the post’s number)
And—hey—who’s that fair-haired man pointed towards Trump Tower’s clock in the artwork?
Gee, I wonder who.
Okay, What The Hell Is Going On?
Most likely? Chaos Magick.
You see, one of the core tenets of Chaos Magick practice (the only mainstay, really) is the creation of magic sigils (also called “glyphs”) to “codify and project one’s Will into the Universe.”
Basically, you make an image that represents your “will” (desire fueled by powerful emotions or altered states) and the universe will take care of the rest.
When a lot of people pool their united willpower towards a single sigil, its called a Hypersigil, and its exponentially more potent.
Pepe/Kek is 4chan’s hypersigil.
Millions of the “little people” that browse 4chan have embedded the image of Pepe with their hatred for Hillary’s alleged corruption, and their hope for Trump’s victory over her in November. Whether they did this consciously or not, its exactly what has happened.
And so far, their hypersigil seems to be working.
Hold Up: You’re Seriously Telling Me Magic Is Real?
Absolutely I am. But you must understand, “magic” probably isn’t what you think it is. It’s not about wand-waving or pentagrams or sacrificing babies.
Magick is actually much less involved than that. As a matter of fact, you’re casting magick right now. You pretty much always are, whether you like it or not.
That’s because the REAL magic comes from plain and simple human attention. How you look at reality shapes it in ways that we’re only now beginning to fully understand. Ironically, the science of quantum physics is rapidly bringing the reality of magick to light (shadilay).
In my book You’re Imagining Things, I’ll tell you how it works–and WHY it works–in plain-spoken English. I’ll also explain how you can use your attention to alter your own little pocket of reality in extraordinary ways. Right now you can pre-order the book off Amerzon by clicking on the image below.
Because I mean, hey, this whole magic(k) thing sure worked out for 4chan, didn’t it? Get used to hearing “President Trump” for the next four years (eight, if the memes stay strong).
So What Happens Next?
Most likely? Kek will continue to grow in power and continue to oppose Hillary Clinton and the corrupt political establishment. Will the Lord of Light win out over the powers that be? We shall find out very soon. (We found out what happened, didn’t we?)
This is awesome.
What can I do to help?
(And spread this around on social media.)
(More questions? Click the triangle at the bottom of the page.)