Archive for March, 2019

Our Trip to Rosslyn Chapel is Old Enough to Vote

Posted in Alba Gu Brath on March 26, 2019 by Occult Detective

March 26, 2001

We got up early and walked through a light mist and boarded a bus that set out across the Scottish countryside. When Kim and I first made plans to travel to Scotland there was one special destination that was at the very top of our “must see” list. We were excited and passed the time chatting with our fellow passengers, especially with a young Australian college student named Sophie who was backpacking across Europe. As we rolled into the village of Roslin, I felt an electricity in the air. It was a feeling that would become amplified as we disembarked and walked up the gravel lane and laid eyes on one of the most magnificent pieces of architecture ever conceived.

Rosslyn Chapel is well known today, thanks in large part to Dan Brown’s 2003 literary phenomenon The Da Vinci Code. I understand that it has since been overrun with tourists, but when we arrived on that cold, early spring morning, it was a small handful of us that walked the hallowed grounds. In fact, Kim and I spent hours in the Chapel alone, without another soul around.

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The Chapel was enveloped by a network of scaffolding as renovations were underway, but that steel cage did nothing to diminish its awesome beauty. Intricately detailed with Masonic symbols, gargoyles, green men, historic figures, and Norse gods, Rosslyn Chapel was as much art as it was a place of worship. It was the single most impressive structure I’ve ever stood in, and it was all ours… We just didn’t want to leave and we lingered about, gazing in wide wonder and poring over every delicate inch of this monument to the esoteric mystery traditions.

Interior of Rosslyn Chapel - both Master and Apprentice Pillars visible

Interior of Rosslyn Chapel – both Master and Apprentice Pillars visible

We marveled at the Apprentice Pillar, symbol of blessed Yggdrasil, and the inscription there — “Wine is strong, a king is stronger, women are stronger still, but truth conquers all”.

rosslyn1We jumped the rope and descended into the lower crypt and explored the cells. We walked the graveyard and climbed the scaffolding to pore over the roof and the carvings there unseen from below. And we toured the on site Museum of Freemasonry…

It was sweet perfection.

We met up with Sophie in the village and ate a quick lunch of garlic toast and exotic cheeses before catching the bus back to Edinburgh. We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening wandering the city streets and making preparations for our next day’s journey. We ate haddock at Filthy McNasty’s and had sodas at Jenny Ha, then ate supper at the Bad Ass where I took a leap of faith.

You just can’t go to Scotland and not submit yourself to a bit of traditional cuisine. While Kim acquainted herself with the Bad Ass’ version of a chicken enchilada, I ordered the Highland Chicken and Haggis. Haggis is the minced heart, lungs, and liver of a sheep that’s stuffed into its stomach, along with onions, suet, and spices… And it is unbelievable. I loved every bite of it. It had a very unique texture and was moist and savory. It immediately went to the top of my “last meal” requests.

It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

bobkim0301

Occult Detective RPG Update

Posted in Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game on March 22, 2019 by Occult Detective

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I had planned to launch the Occult Detective RPG on May 1. That date now looks a tad bit too optimistic. I’m having surgery in April and that’s going to gravely affect my productivity, so, rather than rush the project (or worse, try to complete it in a medicated state) I am going to postpone the release till Lammas Night, the first of August.

I like the date. I like it a lot actually. To be honest, Katherine Kurtz has been such a huge influence on my work, and her novel Lammas Night in particular has its fingerprints all over my fiction, and thus, this RPG, that it is fitting.

From a metaphysical sense, I like the symmetry of releasing the game during Lughnasadh, especially with a New Moon overhead.

Practically speaking, with these added few months, I can add some additional art and functional graphics to the rulebook that will certainly enhance not only the experience, but the overall aesthetic.

As we move forward, I will strive to produce weekly updates on my progress, and maybe even offer up some sneak peeks of what’s to come.

I have certainly tempered my ambitions and expectations. Without partners, not taking it to kickstarter is the right decision. While I liked the idea of maps and miniatures, they were never a crucial element of the gameplay. It’s the roleplaying that matters, the storytelling.

This game will rise or fall on the strength of the magic system, I suspect. It is different from what many will have been used to. I think it makes for a more vibrant and exciting game. I look forward to seeing what the public thinks…

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Paranormal Retroactivity

Posted in Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error on March 5, 2019 by Occult Detective

Magick, in all its forms and practices, is our attempt to kindle that spark of divinity that is our birthright. We are the children of the gods and we are meant to stride amongst the infinite…

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Each of us has a number, special to us. Mine is 8, though I generally write it ∞. It seems like this year should be my year. It’s my 53rd, after all. 5 and 3 make 8.

Astrologically speaking, Mercury retrogrades in Pisces today. It’s a time to look inward, to reflect, to consider my path forward, and the legacy I hope to leave behind. Jupiter factors into this accord as well. Everything’s lining up.

Tomorrow, Uranus moves into Taurus for the next seven years which should inspire an insane amount of creativity. And with the New Moon, well, this synchronicity of events couldn’t be more timely.

It is a time to become wild and free, to plunge myself into the wilderness, to stalk my muse and harvest it.

In seven years I’ll be sixty. Now’s the time to plot my course.

I have several projects I would like to see completed by year’s end:

  1. Occult Detective RPG for Bordermen Games
  2. No Quarter, a 5th Edition Campaign Setting for Bordermen Games
  3. An anthology of Occult Fiction by Practicing Occultists
  4. Widow-maker’s Apprentice,  a collaboration with Steven Shrewsbury
  5. The sequel to Hallowe’en House, a collaboration with Greg Mitchell
  6. Born Again, the final book in the Liber Monstrorum and Cairnwood Manor series

I also have a couple of other projects I’d like to get off the ground, including an occult detective/sword and sorcery series and what could very well be my final horror novel.

The biggest thing itching at me though is a non-fiction handbook — sort of an occult detective’s grimoire, a grim-noir, if you will.

Time will tell. I’ve a lot of things that need to find their proper alignment, but my goal is to see all these projects, and others unnamed, through by 2026.

I’m not really a planner. I like to spread the seed and let things grow organically, wildly even.

Fingers (and swords) crossed.

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