Archive for August, 2018

Happy 128th Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft

Posted in Horror on August 20, 2018 by Occult Detective

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Happy 128th Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft

His influence on modern horror and, strangely enough, modern occultism is nearly unfathomable. Lovecraft’s prose is emotionally charged, but in a cerebral way, while still peeling away at the layers of that primordial fear of the other that is so ingrained in our deep consciousness.

I, for one, am grateful  he was able to channel his neuroses in such a way as to leave an indelible mark on American Literature. Lovecraft is the father of cosmic horror. His imagination, his nightmares, have taken on a life all their own.

I leave you with that and Despair to dwell upon…

O’er the midnight moorlands crying,
Thro’ the cypress forests sighing,
In the night-wind madly flying,
Hellish forms with streaming hair;
In the barren branches creaking,
By the stagnant swamp-pools speaking,
Past the shore-cliffs ever shrieking,
Damn’d demons of despair.

Once, I think I half remember,
Ere the grey skies of November
Quench’d my youth’s aspiring ember,
Liv’d there such a thing as bliss;
Skies that now are dark were beaming,
Bold and azure, splendid seeming
Till I learn’d it all was dreaming –
Deadly drowsiness of Dis.

But the stream of Time, swift flowing,
Brings the torment of half-knowing –
Dimly rushing, blindly going
Past the never-trodden lea;
And the voyager, repining,
Sees the wicked death-fires shining,
Hears the wicked petrel’s whining
As he helpless drifts to sea.

Evil wings in ether beating;
Vultures at the spirit eating;
Things unseen forever fleeting
Black against the leering sky.
Ghastly shades of bygone gladness,
Clawing fiends of future sadness,
Mingle in a cloud of madness
Ever on the soul to lie.

Thus the living, lone and sobbing,
In the throes of anguish throbbing,
With the loathsome Furies robbing
Night and noon of peace and rest.
But beyond the groans and grating
Of abhorrent Life, is waiting
Sweet Oblivion, culminating
All the years of fruitless quest.

— H.P.L.
February 19, 1919

My thoughts on Dunwich by Peter Levenda

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives on August 17, 2018 by Occult Detective

dunwichI am an unequivocal fan of Peter Levenda’s non-fiction writings. He is a thorough researcher and is uniquely gifted at connecting dots with an esoteric bent.  In Dunwich, the follow-up to his 2016 novel, The Lovecraft Code, Levenda takes those skills he has honed as a historian and conspiracy theorist to create and engaging occult thriller that merges modern Middle Eastern religion and politics with the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.

While I found The Lovecraft Code intriguing, I thought it suffered somewhat from the actual nuts and bolts side of the of things. I got what Levenda was going for. He wanted to outshine Dan Brown, to beat him at his own game.

While I think the plot was terrific and the material was brilliantly assembled, it was the writing itself that ultimately fell short. It was a little too rote for my taste. With Dunwich, however, you can really see Levenda’s growth as a fiction author.

While his writing is still somewhat mechanical, there is a little more fluidity to his prose. At the heart of this novel, and its predecessor, is an engaging political pot-boiler that takes Robert Anton Wilson-esque twists and turns throughout.

Levenda knows this material as well as anyone, and if you’re a fan of the Illuminatus! Trilogy, Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, or Katherine Kurtz’ Templar books, I think you’ll find this series by Peter Levenda to your liking.

What makes Dunwich work so well is the author’s breadth of knowledge. You believe every word he says, because the research shines through on every page. He paints a picture, not with rich, vivid colours, but with a real and believable palette that brings to life the dull, flaccid reality we are mired in. Levenda gives us the real world, shadows and all, and that makes the rabbit hole he’s presented for us all the more terrifying.

I recommend Dunwich highly and can hardly wait for the third installment in the series.

Dunwich: A Novel by Peter Levenda is available wherever books are sold, including the most Lovecraftian horror of all, Amazon.

 

Magic’s in the air

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on August 14, 2018 by Occult Detective

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These images from this Fall’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina look amazing. Really looking forward to this. I’ve been quite a fan of the comic series, despite its erratic release schedule. I hope it holds up…

In other news, received a review copy of Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic from Weiser Books. Thumbing through it last night, this one’s definitely a keeper. Puts me in mind of Judika Illes’ best works. Looking forward to diving in.

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Speaking of Weiser, I am behind on a couple of reviews which I hope to get to soon, but I’ve been impossibly busy and distracted. My father’s care and eventual passing filled my days for several months. I have let several projects slide, but I’m glad I got to share my father’s last days with him and my family.

78 Days until Hallowe’en

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detectives on August 13, 2018 by Occult Detective

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Just wrapped up a novella, written with my friend Greg Mitchell, and we’re in the editing and graphic design stage of the project. We’ll be sharing the details soon enough, but I thought I’d share a little sneak peak at some of the art you’ll find inside.

Sidereus Materia

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on August 9, 2018 by Occult Detective

We are mere weeks away from Hallowe’en. 82 days as I write this. I have been distracted for more days than we are distanced from my favorite time of year. I welcome this thinning of the veil, this reincarnate beast in gothic dress that slouches toward Converse to be reborn. I need this.

I’ve always been a creature of milestones, of defining moments and red letter days. I put weight on numbers and signs, apotheosis through synchronicity.

signWhen you look in the mirror, do you see what is real or is your imagination such that you give birth to a new and undefinable truth, a reality of your own making,

Is truth malleable?

Is reality what we make it?

It has to be so, or else delusion is the true beast and we its most humbled prey.

The wind whispers its answer to us. It knows the difference between what is magic and mundane. And the words formed of fire and water and earth join those airy utterances and the spirit rises…and falls.

Such is flesh.

Rise again, once more, with clenched fist and open heart. Bleed, bleed upon the grass and make your circle for the dance. Be brilliant, like the moon. Be radiant, like the sun.

Be a star.

Be.

Death is not the end of the story

Posted in Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error on August 2, 2018 by Occult Detective

I’ve a lot on my plate, with several projects in various stages of completion, but my father’s illness and subsequent passing put a lot of things on hold. I’ve also had a lot on my mind, so turning to the cards is a great way to see where my head is really at and what multiversal forces are helping or hindering my path.

I decided to use my own Occult Detective Tarot.

Let’s have a look —

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The first card drawn is The Hanged Man, a spectre from my recent past. The card typically represents sacrifice and I see no need to argue that point. We all make sacrifices. Some large, some small. The key is to make sure they matter, that the blood on the altar is delivering sustenance to the appropriate godform.

Drawing the second card, I reveal my present mood or situation. Here we find the Ace of Earth (also called Diamonds or Pentacles). Denoting intuitiveness and success, this card can also signify groundedness and improving ones physical well-being.

As to what the future holds, Death seems to make a not unexpected appearance. Change. Transition. Transformation. Read as a whole, these three cards tell a story, from sacrifice to self-improvement to successful transformation.

The cards are a window, but they don’t tell the whole story, nor is the story they tell writ in stone. This was a much needed, encouraging reading. Death is not the end of the story. It is the beginning. Everything before it is just prologue.

Lùnastal

Posted in Archive, Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error on August 1, 2018 by Occult Detective

I’ve had a song running through my head the past couple of days. To be honest, it’s usually a soft parade of Led Zeppelin up there, but the earworm that’s caught me is a variant on that theme, more feminized, but no less majestic in its grandeur. The song in question?

I’ve had a lot on my mind the past month or more, especially in the last two weeks. My father’s long illness, that culminated in his passing from this world to the next in the last minutes of Friday, July 20th, has introduced a new thread of introspection.

I am no stranger to loss. I’ve said farewell to family and too many friends. But this was a bit different than those that came before, because when I stared down at my father, when I held his hand, it was me that I saw there, or rather a future shadow of me.

There were moments when I saw myself mirrored there and it made me pause in each instance. I am reminded of that famous Irish epitaph —

Remember Man as you go by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now so shall you be,
Prepare yourself to follow me

So here we are then, with Lùnastal upon us. That which has been sown, it is now time to reap. We’ll be saying our public farewell to my father tomorrow and with it my disquiet will be lifted. It will be time to return to the business at hand.

I’ve been tinkering with a number of things, but it feels time to see some things finished, to be taken to their end and cast like runes upon the wind.

Magic, like the soul, is eternal, but life is a fleeting thing. On Yeats grave, it reads —

Cast a cold eye
On life, on death
Horseman Pass by!

There is magic adrift, enveloping the living and the dead alike. Entwined, it is, this mystic rapture, with all that was, is, and will be. Something wondrous is on the horizon, beyond space and time itself. Magic abounds. While there is still breath to be drawn, live. Embrace your True Will and be that what you were meant to be, free and unfettered. Love and be loved. Live, and let live.

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