True Tales of the Strange & Unusual — Beginning June 1st and running all month long #occult30

Posted in #occult30 on May 26, 2020 by Occult Detective

occult30 itinerary

Above you’ll find my itinerary for #occult30 in which I will be blogging every day throughout the month of June, sharing what I am dubbing “True Tales of the Strange & Unusual”.

I like the idea of sharing these personal experiences, some large and with unsettling implications, while others are small stories, perhaps humorous or with a wee bit of whimsy and charm.

All will be true, as advertised, or as close to true as I can recall. Some will touch on familiar aspects, things you’ve heard me mention before, online, or in various lectures, or idle chat, if you’ve had the pleasure of cornering me at a convention or investigation.

There will be things I leave out, here and there, and names and places altered, to protect the guilty and innocent alike, but there will be magic and ghosts and drugs and suspect behavior and all manner of questionable goings on scattered throughout, because that’s what one typically finds in true stories.

Most of the stories will involve my nape of the woods, as they say, especially in those most ancient times, when the world was far less politically correct. I was also coming of age during the so-called Satanic Panic, so, now and then, a bit of bitterness might find its way onto the page.

One last caveat. I am working on a book in which many of these stories will find themselves expanded upon. So, if you are intrigued by some of what I write above, then you’re sure to appreciate the tales told in full, once said book is finished and, perchance, released into the wild.

In closing, I hope for two things: a dialogue between those who read these stories (whether here, on social media, or via email), and for the #occult30 to inspire others to share their own experience, perhaps that relate in some way with the subject of my own stories.

It will begin, Monday, the 1st of June, with an origin story of sorts. Maybe I’ll get to read yours as well.

See you then…

WRITING:Untitled” – An Occult Detective Handbook; Born Again; (Redacted) RPG Handbook (with Connor Freeman)
WATCHING: LOST; Portals to Hell
READING: The Magical Battle of Britain by Dion Fortune; Wotan: The Road to Valhalla
by KveldúlfR Hagan Gundarsson; The Fortean Times Paranormal Handbook
LISTENING: LOST – Season 1 Soundtrack; Loreena McKennitt – The Visit; Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti
PLAYING: A Song of Ice & Fire Miniatures Game; Dungeons & Dragons on Roll20


Posted in #occult30 on May 21, 2020 by Occult Detective


I hope you’ll join me and take part in the conversations as I spend the month of June sharing true stories of the strange & unusual. I’ll be posting daily and hope this will instigate a dialogue and encourage you to share your own related adventures.

It all starts on the 1st of June, culminating on the 30th. I’ll be posting here, and on twitter. If you’d like to follow along, be sure to sub to this blog, and/or follow the hashtag #occult30 across my various social media platforms.


Falling Up Under Down

Posted in Current Events, Writing on April 27, 2020 by Occult Detective


It’s been a little over a month since I last blogged. If you scoured my social media you’d find a lot less of me there too. It’s weird. As we have become more isolated, physically, due to the pandemic, I have pulled further away from online interactions.

I find the misinformation and political maneuvering troubling.

Here’s what I believe:

1. We are in the midst of a pandemic.
2. It is easily transmitted from person to person.
3. The death rate is slightly higher than that of the flu.
4. It is very dangerous for people with auto-immune issues.
5. People lack the common sense to act responsibly.
6. The media is doubling-down on fearmongering.
7. America looks weak and Americans look stupid.
8. Governments will use this pandemic to eliminate paper currency, require tracking and vaccinations, and to infringe on our so-called civil liberties.
9. Freedom, like legal tender, is an illusion — an accepted delusion we humans take part in so that urban society continues to function.
10. The only thing that has value is food, clothing, shelter, and entertainment.

This has all been a horrible, awful mess and my heart goes out to each and every one that has lost someone to this terrible illness. I feel sorrow for those who have struggled to recover from its effects.

I am truly sorry for all the small business owners who have had to endure the government implemented shutdown of the majority of our economy.

People really gave the government very little choice. By not utilizing common sense, governments, both local and federal, stepped in to play parent, because people were acting like children.

I get it.

We, the People of the United States of America, willfully surrendered ourselves to the government, looking up and asking them to save us, to give us money and food and medicine, when the power to save ourselves was in our own hands.

We have grown soft. Too few people understand true hardship, true sacrifice and struggle. Collectively, the vast majority of Americans live like kings and queens. Even the ones who bemoan their poverty do so while eating carry-out, watching Netflix on giant tv screens, and surfing the internet on their mobile phones. We are becoming pathetic and it saddens me.

Of course, there are people who really are suffering. People who have fallen through the cracks, who are homeless, who go to bed hungry… But theirs aren’t the voices we’re hearing.


Alright, I’ll step down off my soap box.

WATCHING: The Musketeers
READING: The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly Palmer Hall; Amiculus: A Secret History by Horseman & Caracuzzo
LISTENING: Charming Disaster — Spells + Rituals
PLAYING: A Song of Ice & Fire Miniatures Game; Dungeons & Dragons on Roll20

How about some of that entertainment I was heralding as one of the four things that have true value?

I share with you now a song I wrote, to whom it may concern.

Little Lies (Down)

I hear One Eye’s ravens calling
He’s got the old gods out there stalling
All the while the sky keeps falling down
A little slice of heaven’s waiting
But the Norns won’t stop debating
Find it so exasperating now
Falling up under
Sound and fury
Just another hangman’s jury
Little lies we like to tell ourselves

Magic words as loud as thunder
Lift us from the spell we’re under
Leaving us to all just wonder how
The mystery has come unraveled
Shed your skin and astral travel
One last chance to take a final bow
Falling up under
What’s the hurry
Gone so fast it’s too damn blurry
Little lies we take down off the shelf

Falling up under
No need to worry
Falling back the shadows scurry
Little lies I like to tell myself

There’s a rune carved on your spirit
That won’t let the trolls draw near it
There’s no time for you to be fearing drow
If the sigil’s true then wear it
Let no man nor beast forebear it
Something only the brave would dare avow
Falling up under
Shall we complete the story?
One last verse in all its glory
Little lies we sing softly to dark elves.

Falling up under
Hoarfrost and flurry
Ymir’s breath is so damn surly
Little lies meant for someone else

©2020 Bob Freeman Music

I Watched the Fire That Grew So Low

Posted in Magick on March 23, 2020 by Occult Detective

He not busy being born is busy dying.” — Bob Dylan

All things must pass away.” — George Harrison

Upon us all, upon us all a little rain must fall.” — Robert Plant

“Even at the time that the pebbles are being counted out, be not frightened; tell no lies; and fear not the Lord of Death.” — Tibetan Book of the Dead


I spoke with an old friend this past weekend, our conversation primarily focused on how our respective families were dealing with the social and economic upheaval that the novel-coronavirus (COVID-19) has wrought.

I mean, what else are we going to talk about in times like these, no?

But, as we hadn’t had a chance to talk in a while, other matters crept into the conversation, music and magic in particular.

Brian mentioned he was reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead, a book that I was intimately aware of in the days of my youth, when I lived in a haunted little place on Martin Street, just off campus at Ball State University, a short walk from Papa Lou’s Chug-A-Mug.

This set off a flood of memories, mostly good, but some sad and others, well, frightening.


The picture above was taken in 2006. When I lived there, twenty years earlier, from late Fall of 1986 until Spring the following year, it had a comfortable brick porch, where we lulled away the hours, stretched out on the broad walls, sipping Budweiser or Rolling Rock, and deciphering the mysteries of the universe.

In ’86 I was twenty years old and at the height of my fascination with the works of Aleister Crowley. I had recently been sitting in with a local Alexandrian Coven led by a University Philosophy professor, and my longtime chum and roommate, Brent, and I entertained a small group of magically-minded folk (primarily chaos magicians) on a regular basis.

The TibetanI had purchased a copy of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, secondhand, after reading The Psychedelic Experience by Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert. Both books had a huge impact on me during that time.

After my talk with Brian this weekend, a lot of those old thought patterns began to resurface.

For those unfamiliar, the Tibetan Book of the Dead is a sort of guide through the journey of consciousness after death, and of that space between death and rebirth. It also has a number of rituals for those dying and for those who have already passed.

There is a beauty in passing when faced without cowardice or fear. But, I feel, the Lord of Death should not be welcomed until the very end, in those final moments when fate’s hand is played.

As I’ve said, time and time again, life in this material plane is to be cherished. Every moment should be savored. Our time here is painfully short. One should not hasten its ending, but neither should it be feared.

“All things must pass away.” But, to borrow from George R.R. Martin, what do we say to the Lord of Death? “Not today.”

Far too many people are being callous with their lives and the lives of others during this pandemic. Modern society, it seems, cannot be inconvenienced, even if it means preserving the lives of those medically challenged or long of tooth.

Too many lack the capacity to care for anyone beyond themselves.

Too many cannot handle being alone with themselves, because it is in those quiet moments that we see ourselves for who and what we truly are. Few can handle revelations such as these.

It was a pleasant stroll through my memories of immersion in the Tibetan Book of the Dead and of that period of self-discovery. Those studious days of my youth, magically alight on a journey of expanded consciousness, are paying dividends in the here and now.

If you get a chance to read it, you really should.

And while you’re out there on the perimeter, remember to take care of yourself and those around you. Don’t be the cause for another’s illness. Be diligent. Be smart. Be safe.




Magick in the Time of COVID-19, Cheap Day Return

Posted in Magick on March 16, 2020 by Occult Detective


“The condition of the people was pitiable to behold. They sickened by the thousands daily, and died unattended and without help. Many died in the open street, others dying in their houses, made it known by the stench of their rotting bodies. Consecrated churchyards did not suffice for the burial of the vast multitude of bodies, which were heaped by the hundreds in vast trenches, like goods in a ship’s hold and covered with a little earth.”
— Giovanni Boccaccio

COVID-19 is not the Black Death. COVID-19 is, however, the first real pandemic that I have experienced in my 50+ years. It is, in a word, surreal. The panic is perhaps more infectious than the corona virus itself. The anxiety is palpable, and yet, too, there is a segment of the population that is utterly unmoved or concerned by the virus threat to the point of malaise.

There needs to be a balance between these two reactions.

Which brings me to magick.


In addition to our social distancing, self-quarantining, hand-washing, disinfecting, and short/mid-term prepping, we should not lose focus on our spirituality. As I have truly believed for as long as I can remember, we are spirits that have chosen to descend into matter to experience material existence. We are made of stardust and magick is our birthright.

Through all of this chaos that the world is choking on, we must not lose sight of the positive energy that flows through us, and we must channel that energy, that positivity, and give it back to our communities.

Our families, friends, and neighbors need us, and we need them.

Now is the time to lift one another up; to embrace this experience; to bend it and shape it to our will that it might feed our spirit and move us onward and upward in service to the divine path each of us walk.

Now is the time to make magick, like we never have before.

Magick is not some impenetrable shield to protect us from the virus, but it is a powerful tool of healing and comfort, and it can be an undeniable influencer, making subtle shifts that create ripple effects through reality.

Whatever flavor you prefer, make magick a part of you. Make the world around you better by force of will.

We can, collectively, make a difference, even in quarantine.

If you need supplies, might I suggest Lailokens Awen, the finest purveyor of occult wares you’re likely to find in the Western Hemisphere. You’ll not find more magically charged and potent candles short of making them yourself.

It’s Friday the 13th (As We Know It) & I Feel Fine

Posted in Magick on March 13, 2020 by Occult Detective

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.

— William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I, ll. 203–206

Welcome to a world in chaos. In the grip of a global pandemic — a global panic — we watch as civilization slowly crumbles beneath the weight of denial, slow and inept response, out and out deception and criminal malfeasance, and herd mentality. Economies are collapsing, the contagion is spreading, and the political machine is failing.

I have preached since the first strains of this reached our ears through social media that there is no need for panic. And I still believe this. Panic is wasted energy. It literally serves no purpose other than to cause you to make errors in judgement. In situations such as these, a calmness of spirit and careful evaluation of events as they transpire will greatly aid in your navigating these turbulent waters.

Let’s look to the cards, shall we?


The Past – Ace of Cups: Reversed — disharmony, being out of balance

The Present – Two of Wands — a time for planning, difficult decisions

The Future – Death — transition, an end and new beginning


This whole coronavirus scare just seems so… strange to me. Something doesn’t ring true about it. It presents, essentially, as the flu. It is treated, again, like the flu. It is, for all intents and purposes, the flu. Like the flu, it can be terminal for the elderly and those with respiratory and auto-immune issues.

So why the panic?

For one, news organizations are really stoking the fires, and social media is feeding it gasoline. Look at the inane hoarding of toilet paper going on. All of this stems from a shortage in a small part of China. As this went viral, the masses mistook China’s relatively minor issue and conflated it with an international crisis. The fact is, here in the US, there is no shortage. We manufacture more than 90% of the toilet paper we use right here at home. Toilet paper is the least of our worries.

This is the power of social media. This is the power of panic.

Herd mentality is dangerous. It’s what drives the stock market collapse.


I’m not saying this is an orchestrated event, but when the dust settles, pay close attention to the changes that will have been wrought as a result. The world, post-coronavirus, will be very different, I suspect.

This is my mantra:

Relax. Be calm. Be smart. Be safe.

As I stated on twitter, “We will adapt and overcome, because we are resilient. Read. Play games. Make magick. There’s absolutely no need to panic.”

I believe this with every fiber of my being. We will get through this and be stronger for it.

What I’m Reading in 2020

Posted in The Library on March 9, 2020 by Occult Detective


I managed a slim 57 books read last year. As I’ve bemoaned many times in the past few years, there was a time when I devoured books in the triple digits. Tired eyes and other projects have cut into that number, but I’m still on pace to read 52 books this year, which is my goal every cycle…

This year I will be doing considerable amounts of research for some important projects I have in the works, and I expect my reading list will reflect that.

This is my eleventh year tracking the books I read online. It’s been a fantastic exercise and, to be honest, a lot of fun for me to go back a look at the works that have been a part of my journey.

As always, if you’re an author or publisher that would be interested in me reviewing your works, you can email me via bob (at) occultdetective (dot) com

1. John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines by Mike Carey & Leonardo Manco
2. Twilight of the Gods by Scott Oden
3. Crusade of Fire: Mystical Tales of the Knights Templar edited by Katherine Kurtz
4. On Crusade: More Tales of the Knights Templar edited by Katherine Kurtz
5. Barbarian Life Vol 2 by Roy Thomas
6. The Frances Slocum Trail by Otho Winger
7. The Lost Sister Among the Miamis by Otho Winger
8. The Last of the Miamis by Otho Winger
9. The Miami Indians of Indiana by Stewart Rafert
10. Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts by Allen Greenfield
11. Secret Rituals of the Men in Black by Allen Greenfield
12. Torah and Nondualism by James Cumming
13. Miami Indian Stories by Chief Godfroy
14. Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount by Matthew Mercer
15. Dark Hollow by Brian Keene
16. Ghost Walk by Brian Keene
17. The Last of the Albatwitches by Brian Keene
18. Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz
19. The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly Palmer Hall
20. Amiculus: A Secret History by Travis Horseman & Giancarlo Caracuzzo
21. The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide by Noah Tetzner

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