Tarot & Rune Tuesday: Fehu

Posted in Runes on June 15, 2021 by Occult Detective

Welcome to another Tarot Rune Tuesday.

When I first imagined marking Tuesdays for divination, I knew the Tarot would be dominant. I’ve been studying the cards since I picked up my first deck in the late 1970s. For the past twenty years, however, I have been trying to branch out and embrace the runes. They are more aligned to my spirituality, but it’s been difficult. I have such an intimate connection to the Tarot, not only from more than forty years of practice, but because of my love for the artform.

Little by little, I feel the runes becoming a part of my practice. Little by little, there are becoming a part of me.

Something I’ve noticed is spotting runes in everyday life, products of nature, especially in trees. I see bindings. The connection is growing. The gods are speaking to me through them… If you’ve not yet embraced runes as a form of meditation and divination, I highly recommend adding them to your arsenal. Maybe, like for me, they’ll begin to take hold and perhaps you’ll bond with them in a similar way.

So, this morning, as I pondered a current project, I drew a single rune for guidance and revelation. I drew form my bag Fehu, a rune with special significance for me as I use it, along with Berkano, as my personal bind-rune.

Fehu is associated with wealth and luck, with prosperity. It can also relate to freedom, to dynamic energy, to fluidity, and to first impressions and sexual attraction.

In the context of my meditation, I see it as a reflection of a successful venture. That my recently completed project will be a success. That’s all I can hope for…

I will try to bring the runes more to the fore on Tuesdays, Tyr’s Day.

Raising a Horn to Robert E Howard

Posted in Writing on June 11, 2021 by Occult Detective

This morning I posted on twitter:

On a Thursday morning, June 11, 1936, the greatest yarnspinner who ever lived, #RobertEHoward, left this world for the next, leaving behind an enduring legacy. His words & characters live on & I suspect shall do so until the last Man draws breath & joins him in the great beyond.

Howard has been gone now for 85 years. Much has been written about the man, by myself and others. That he, in such a short time, was able to create such vivid and visceral tales, that have endured and thrived is a testament not only to his mastery of the pulp yarn, but to the men and women who came after, keeping his legacy alive and in the public eye.

I discovered Howard as a young boy, through his Conan stories with the provocative Frazetta and Boris covers and Marvel’s comic book adaptation. Conan led me to Solomon Kane, Steve Harrison, Bran Mak Morn, Dark Agnes, John Kirowan, and so many others.

See, Howard created authentic, vibrant worlds and populated them with unforgettable characters who lived and breathed as surely as we do ourselves. Too often overlooked are Howard’s occult stories. He was a master of the horror genre, as surely as he was adept at historical fiction, westerns, and the genre he gave birth to — sword & sorcery.

Later this year, I plan to review the Occult Detective fiction Howard left us, in as much detail as I can muster. Hopefully you’ll come along for the ride.

But today, we raise a horn to honor the man who gave us so much in so little time.

Three For Thursday: Guitarist Edition

Posted in Guitar on June 10, 2021 by Occult Detective

GUITAR GODS

So, the picture above is from 1986. I was just a few months past 20 when it was taken. More important would be the guitar hanging from Miami Vice jacketed shoulder.

A 1978 Gibson The Paul Standard with walnut body, neck, and headstock, and exposed humbuckers, this beauty rivaled the1969 Gibson Les Paul I owned in the early 90s. I just loved the sound of this thing and I miss her dearly. So, what happened? I lost her to an unfortunate accident when I’d allowed a friend to play her in 1988. She was replaced by a Lotus Strat-copy, painted in white and black pinstripes. I hated that guitar (and not just because she wasn’t The Paul).

Anyway, I guess this is all just a lead up to listing my TOP THREE Guitar Players for this Three for Thursday. The point being, I do play. Was pretty decent at one time, and can still belt out a tune if my feet are held to the fire. So let’s get to it…

NUMBER THREE
RITCHIE BLACKMORE

From Deep Purple to Rainbow to Blackmore’s Night, Blackmore’s Classically infused style and simplistic but evocative riffs lured me in from the start. It was that synthesis of classical and blues that made him a unique voice in rock and roll, and later in his exploration of Medieval/Renaissance music.

It didn’t hurt a bit that he always surrounded himself with brilliant musicians and some of the greatest vocalists to ever take the stage. The mystical, magical symbology, particularly in early Rainbow and later Blackmore’s Night material, was a huge draw for me.

Top Three recommended albums would be Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Deep Purple: Perfect Strangers, and Blackmore’s Night: Shadow of the Moon

Favorite Song: Stargazer (Rainbow: Rising)

Favorite Solo: Wasted Sunsets (Deep Purple: Perfect Strangers)

NUMBER TWO
LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM

Lindsey Buckingham is a tremendous songwriter, and while other guitarists might be technically more skilled, his playing always seemed so unique and perfect for whatever song he was performing, whether his own work or that of another vocalist. Approaching the electric guitar with folk and banjo sensibilities made his style different from anyone else on the radio.

My Top Three recommended albums would be Buckingham Nicks, Fleetwood Mac (1976), and Fleetwood Mac: Tusk

Favorite Song: Stephanie (Buckingham/Nicks)

Favorite Solo: So Afraid (Fleetwood Mac)

NUMBER ONE
JIMMY PAGE

Jimmy Page. Yeah, he’s the guy. From thunderous metal to blistering blues to majestic acoustic folk, Page has been the epitome of “Guitar God” for me since I was a kid. While my list of favorite guitarists has ebbed and flowed over the decades, Page has never been threatened from his place on top of the mountain.

Page’s skills are accentuated by his considerable talents as a songwriter, composer, and producer. He was a trailblazer and a genius. He wrote the best riffs. Delivered the best solos. And when he stole from someone, he made it his own and elevated it.

Top Three recommended albums would be Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti, Lucifer Rising & Other Sound Tracks, and Led Zeppelin III.

Favorite Song — The Rain Song (Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy)

Favorite Solo — Too hard to call, but today it would either be Celebration Day (Led Zeppelin III) or The Rover (Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti). Ask me tomorrow and I might have a different answer.

Wyrd Wednesday: Ancestry

Posted in Wyrd on June 9, 2021 by Occult Detective

A quick post today, but a weighty one. I want to bring up for discussion the idea of metagenetics.

Yes, I know. Steve McNallen and the AFA are an anathema in the greater pagan and heathen communities. I certainly have my problems with them, but the idea of metagenetics has always had the ring of truth buried in it for me.

It’s certainly adjacent to Carl Jung’s ideas of the collective unconscious and objective psyche. The idea that our deepest unconscious mind is genetically inherited rather than shaped by personal experience has an appeal that I cannot deny.

It feels right. The idea that were are connected to our ancestors in such a manner speaks to me on a guttural level.

Metagenetics, as presented by McNallen, holds that religious and cultural practices are encoded in our DNA and are passed down by blood. How is this any different or controversial than Jung’s collective unconsciousness?

Where McNallen and the AFA lose me is the emphasis on using the term white.

I am opposed to that descriptor as a form of identification. I am not white. I am Northern European, of Germanic descent. I am predominately Celt and Norse, not only by blood, but by mindset. I am the product of all my ancestors, from now all the way back to the beginning, but what does that mean?

If modern DNA analysis are to be believed, my genetic soup is 83% British Isles, with another 8.5% from Scandinavia, 5% from Western Europe, and the remainder comprised from a salting of Caucasus, Italy, Greece, Africa, and even some European Jew for good measure.

96.5% or more of me is of European heritage. That has to mean something more than just blood.

Take race off the table, because it’s a misnomer anyway. We’re talking culture here, not skin color.

I am the sum of those people who came before me. Their spirit is in me.

This isn’t about “white power”. The term sickens me. We are not defined by the color of our skin, but we are spiritually connected to our ancestors. If you want me to deny that, then we have a very big problem.


A quick reading for Tarot Tuesday

Posted in Tarot on June 8, 2021 by Occult Detective

Today’s reading is simple. The Star is my past, the card of inspiration. My present is the Three of Swords. representing disappointment. The future is revealed by Partners, the card of trials overcome.

Such are often the readings of creators. It’s a clear path, either to success or failure. Here, the spark of creativity gives way to frustration, but through perseverance, success lies waiting.

If you care for a reading sometime, drop me a line.

*The deck is the Skra Tarot, the first deck I drew several years back.

Monday Magick: My thoughts on THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF THE WISE by Ivo Dominguez Jr

Posted in Book Review, Magick on June 7, 2021 by Occult Detective

My thoughts on
THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF THE WISE
Working with the Magickal Powers of
Earth, Air, Water, Fire
by Ivo Dominguez Jr

Ivo Dominguez Jr is an author I always look forward to reading, primarily because he is a teacher, first and foremost. He has a unique voice that conveys an understanding of what he is presenting, but more importantly, projects his desire to pass that knowledge along. He does not write from a place of arrogance or superiority. He does not talk down to his audience.

He also tends to tackle subjects that most authors of the occult take for granted. Prior to his latest work, I have read Casting Sacred Space, Keys to Perception, and Spirit Speak. All were insightful, delved deeply into their subject matter, and were gracefully penned. The Four Elements of the Wise is no different.

As the cornerstones of magickal practice, exploring the elements of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water seems a logical examination. My first introduction to the occult, Manly Palmer Hall’s Unseen Forces, certainly addressed this, as have every major esoteric book come to market, but whereas most authors add the elements as a part of the process, Ivo uses this as a teaching moment, unwilling to allow this to be rushed through on the way toward other things.

The foundation is the key, something I appreciated about Casting Sacred Space and find so prevalent here.

While your particular tradition or practice may disagree with some of what the author shares here, you will come away with food for thought that will enhance your personal beliefs. The author takes you on a tour of the elements, addressing those entities that interact and are sometimes comprised of the elements in question, and delves into the transitions between these spheres.

I assure you, this is a book you’ll want to spend time with.

Published by the brilliant folks at Weiser Books, it includes a wonderful foreword by the luminous Courtney Weber and a pleasant cover by Kasandra Cook. The paper is a step above newsprint with no gloss which makes for easier reading I find. While I did notice several typos throughout, none were grievous enough to distract from my enjoyment of the book. I do generally prefer elaborate illustrations in my esoterica, but their lack here in no way sours me on the overall package.

THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF THE WISE : Working with the Magickal Powers of Earth, Air, Water, Fire by Ivo Dominguez Jr is simply a wonderful book that deserves a place on your shelf, sitting right beside the rest of the author’s catalog. You can purchase your copy wherever books are sold, like, for instance, Amazon, or, better yet, directly from the publisher.

Only time will tell…

Posted in Current Events on June 4, 2021 by Occult Detective

This whole week sort of blew by, like a mystic’s fevered dream.

Truth be told, that old dark cloud’s not done with us yet, and I find myself hooded, awaiting sentence.

Maybe I can get back on track the week after next, when these deadlines and commitments can be abated.

I enjoy the creative rush, but the red tape and bureaucracy of publishing (and printing) can take on near mythic levels at times, like a seething necrotic spirit that feeds on art and magical intent.

What spells or steel are mustered in defense of such adversaries are rarely adequate to the task, but we press on, for Gods and Country, and Kings and Fallen Idols, and that cruel beast that hides in the recesses of the shady bower, a muse neglected and all its servility has been crushed by earthly abuse…

So, I will blog again when I’ve a spare moment, and maybe in theme.

Maybe.

Only time will tell.

Ghost Hunting Tales: Hell Hounds On Our Trail

Posted in Investigations on May 28, 2021 by Occult Detective

HELL HOUNDS ON OUR TRAIL

So, as you readily know, I write horror novels from time to time, and I thought I would share with you the impetus for my very first — Shadows Over Somerset, a novel about hereditary werewolves that lived in a gothic mansion overlooking the Mississinewa Reservoir.

Now, I know you’ve heard me recount its origin story from the actual writing perspective. No? Lightning version is I was recently married and out of work and my wife suggested I use the downtime to finally get off my ass and put words on paper. But why werewolves along the Mississinewa?

Well, the answer to that comes from a true story, something that happened to me and my friends one dark and moonlit night in the Autumn of 1986.

We’d gone out to Goose Creek, the site of our infamous misadventure in conjuring a preternatural entity. To our surprise, the circles were still there, baked into the roadway despite several seasons underwater. The site looked the same, with the spindly corpses of long dead trees pointing upward like accusing fingers of the damned.

To be honest, we were all on edge. The site felt wrong, you know what I mean? As we kicked around the exposed road and stared into creek waters from the edge of the expanse where the bridge once stretched across it, we sensed we were being watched. Then, one of my friends spotted something along the treeline: red, glowing eyes and dark shapes, black against black.

There must have been a half dozen, maybe as many as nine. It was hard to say for sure. It was so dark. Yes, there was a substantial moon, but it was also overcast, and the woods were thick, with a canopy of twisted limbs and branches overhead, and sparse autumn foliage still clinging here and there.

The creatures were big, low to the ground. Certainly canine. They moved silently at first, then you could hear their breathing as they became agitated. We moved slowly, eyes intent on these nocturnal predators, up the road. Our pace quickened… and then the growl came. Fierce. Aggressive. Fearsome.

Suddenly, one of our number bolted, racing up the causeway hill. The growls became a terrifying cacophony, and as these “wolves” gave chase, we all turned tail and ran with the sort of urgency reserved for those facing imminent death. At the road’s headway was a barricade put up by the DNR to keep folks from driving down the lane. We all hurdled the obstruction and dove into our vehicles, but then, looking back, there were no wolves to be seen, only the black maw of the road leading down to Goose Creek, framed by the autumn trees that created a tunnel from one world to another…

The official stance of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is that “there is currently no breeding population of wolves” in the Hoosier State. Hasn’t been in 100 years. I would beg to differ…

Three for Thursday: Three Occult Novels

Posted in Horror on May 27, 2021 by Occult Detective

Has it really been a week since I last blogged. Well, I’ve been busy, to say the least. I just completed a HUGE RPG project and am looking to wrap up another in the coming weeks. I’m also prepping the re-release of my Cairnwood Manor and Liber Monstrorum series and writing some new material for both. Then, Conn and I hope to finally complete the Occult Detective RPG. And all of that is just on the creative side of things. A lot more going on behind the scenes… But, I couldn’t let today’s installment slip away from me, and you can expect a Ghost Hunting Tales blog tomorrow. It’s a special one… So, without further ado, Here are three, scratch that — FOUR Occult Novels everyone should read.

Obviously I could have gone on and on, ad nauseam, but these are a fine place to start…

Three for Thursday: Occult Comics

Posted in Magick, Media on May 20, 2021 by Occult Detective

As promised, to avoid the confusion of last week’s Occult/Horror Comics List (emphasis on Horror), this week I’m sharing my favorite Occult Comics. I’m tossing up 10 and I’m not putting them in any semblance of order…

Enjoy.

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