Archive for July, 2018

I see a bad moon a’risin’ #Tarot

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on July 27, 2018 by Occult Detective

It’s been a rough month, but I’m slowly trying to regroup, reassess, and recuperate. I’m told a total lunar eclipse arrives tonight bringing with it a blood moon. Coincidentally, Mars will also be at its brightest this evening. All makes for a spectacular astrological convergence that I need to take advantage of.

I decided this morning to try the new tarot spread I’ve been working on and thought I would share my results with you. This is a six card read, with a variable. Let’s give it a run.

First, you determine how many cards you will need to draw. Do this by adding the day’s date as follows: 7/27/2018 = 7+2+7+2+0+1+8 = 27 = 2+7 = 9.

So, nine cards. Six are your read, with three that are discarded. Cards that are drawn and set aside represent aspects of yourself that you need to cast aside for the day.

Here’s how the cards laid themselves out for me:


The discards were the 3 of Pentacles, the 4 of Wands, and The Hermit. These cards represent collaboration, harmony, and introspection, three things I should expect to be without today.

Next, the first card of the read is crossed above you, representing you in the present. I drew the King of Wands. This focuses on my generosity and leadership.

The following card is my opposition, my challenge. It is laid over the top of me. I draw Temperance, which is balance and moderation.

The next card in the spread, the 5 of Pentacles, represents what’s coming, being poverty, insecurity, and worries. Great.

It is followed by the Queen of Pentacles which should reflect the source of the problem — a mother-figure and grounded, down-to-earth, practical energy.

The next card in the spread should reflect where I need to look for answers. In this case, I draw the 3 of Swords, a card that represents the negative actions of an outside party. This is a tricky one and requires some thought. Are the cards telling me I’m on my own, or advising me to accept bad advice?

Maybe the final card will help clarify? It represents what I need to do to resolve my problem. For it, I draw The Moon. Talk about synchronicities. This card represents illusion and deception, but also dreams and intuition.

The cards are telling me to trust my instincts in navigating what is to come.

Now that’s some advice I can get behind.


Godspeed, Dad

Posted in Alba Gu Brath on July 23, 2018 by Occult Detective


One of my fondest memories, sifting through the dusty files that occupy my cranial attic, is of my dad coming home from work on second shift, pulling me out of bed, and sitting me on his lap to watch Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. I was maybe 4 or 5. By the time the windmill was on fire, I was cowering behind his chair, eyes glued on the screen, unsure if I should feel sympathy for the monster or cheer at its destruction..

My dad passed away in the final minutes of Friday, the 20th of July, after a long battle with cancer. He was 71 years old.

When we lose loved ones, we tend to oversell them, attaching adjectives like “great” and “special” to them, by ascribing qualities to them that often times simply don’t reflect the person they really were, but some ideal that you want to project out into the world.

My father was far from perfect, but I loved him dearly. He was hard-headed, opinionated, and a know-it-all. And dang it, that was part of his charm. He was an over-grown kid in all the best ways. He was a jovial guy, always quick with a quip or a joke, and ones that were more often than not completely inappropriate. Dad didn’t have a “political correct” bone in his body.

His favorite president was Richard Nixon.

Dad instilled in me a love for horror and science fiction movies. He bought me comic books and UFO magazines. He taught me how to ride a horse, shoot a gun and bow, how to build a fire, set up a tent, and sharpen a knife. He told me my first ghost stories. He taught me how to swing a bat, get into a three point stance, throw a shot put, and ride a bike.

He loved my mom more than anything in the world.

We went on lots of trips, often with a gaggle of my older cousins in tow: Santa Claus Land, King’s Island, Cedar Point, Disney World, Mackinaw Island, the Piatt Castles, Merrimack Caverns, and State Parks all over Indiana. And lots of trips to Arkansas.

How do you write about a man that was such a huge influence on your life, for so long? How do you capture it all?

You can’t. It’s a surreal flood of memories all slamming into one another. Riding around town with him on his golf cart, buying him cigarettes at the local grocery, hunting deer with him “Indian-style” and getting attacked by a wild turkey, him teaching me how to drive a stick in Wabash, learning how to swim by him throwing me out into deep water, watching Blue Bloods while holding his hand.

There’s an old saying that you don’t become a man until the death of your father.

I don’t think I was ready to become a man quite yet.


My Second Favorite “Holiday”!

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on July 13, 2018 by Occult Detective


Today’s a special kind of day, full of all kinds of alignments.

Closest to home, it’s my mother’s birthday. She was born on a Friday which makes this solar return celebration a little more special, I would think. Unfortunately, she is weighed down by my father’s cancer. He is in “hospice care”, though they’ve been of little true help. It has been my mother’s burden to look after him. My brother and I have helped out as best we can, but it is she who is with him day in and day out. Today will be no different.


This is a picture of the Freeman clan, circa 1974. That’s my little brother Bret on the left, followed by me, my dad, and mom. I guess that would make Bret 4, me 8, dad 27, and mom 23 in the photo.

That was an important year for me, the year I mark as the beginning of my occult and paranormal obsession. It was also the year I discovered Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. The journey toward the person I am today began with the eight-year-old kid in that picture.


Speaking of which, I am on my second read through Jason Louv’s John Dee and the Empire of Angels. Today is John Dee’s birthday, born Saturday, the 13th of July, 1527, by Julian reckoning. The Gregorian calendar would not take precedence until 1582 so I think it fair to acknowledge it as such.

Louv has delivered the thus far definitive magical biography of Dee. It is an important work and I will be posting a review soon.

I have always had an unnatural attraction toward Friday the 13th. Folklore is a powerful thing, especially on impressionable children. Of all the superstitions that were bandied about the schoolyard, Friday the 13th was the most compelling. It seemed to be of only secondary importance to Hallowe’en as a day when arcane forces were at work, at least to my eight-year-old imaginings.

Thus it has always been my “second favorite holiday”.

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