Archive for October 8, 2019

93rd & Blackstone? An excerpt from Descendant, for your reading pleasure.

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 8, 2019 by Occult Detective

31 day blog challenge

As the release of Descendant is fast approaching, just 23 days out, I thought another glimpse inside its pages was due:

frraineyRainey stepped out of the Yellow Cab on the corner of 93rd and Blackstone in front of the dark Victorian that set nestled in a copse of ancient ash and oak. Time had taken its toll on the Star & Garter, but its reputation alone drew the knowledgeably curious, as well as the serious student of the esoteric. The priest knew that if he were to unravel the mystery that was born this night, born upon a bloody Catholic altar, the road to understanding would begin here. He made his way across the uneven walk, climbed the porch stair and knocked upon the faded door.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” a frail man, bent and twisted, welcomed.

“Love is the law,” Rainey responded, finding the discourse distasteful. “Love under will.” The traditional Thelemic greeting was required to gain entry and each time he was forced to say it, he felt that a little piece of his soul were dragged into Hell.

The attendant took the priest’s hat and coat and hung them within the coatroom, just off the small foyer. The priest waited impatiently for the old retainer, eager to put this night’s dark work behind him. With a wave of a withered hand the old one directed Rainey toward the Drawing Room where the sounds of animated discussion emanated.

The room was filled with a magical blend of exotic aromas. Three men sat in Elizabethan chairs drawn together in a semi-circle about the fireplace. The stream of smoke from their pipes mingling with the cedar logs in the hearth; it was a scene that could have been cut from the eighteenth century. Their period dress was perfect in every detail, as were their accessories. A fourth gentleman, the proprietor of the Star & Garter, stood above the others, a cryptic tome held in his well-manicured hands.

middle pillar“Rubbish,” the largest of the three seated gentlemen bellowed, “there has never been an exact Thelemic equivalent to the Middle Pillar Rite as conducted by the Golden Dawn.”

“Surely you’d agree, Kline,” another responded indignantly, “that the vertical and horizontal enchantments of Reguli seem to be a form of it.”

“Feh,” the large man huffed, “then why is Nuit attributed to Kether in the vertical enchantment? I know, I know “lady of the stars”, etc., but in the Star Ruby, Nuit is used in the North and attributed to Earth. In Reguli, Nuit is again found in the North but attributed to Air, while Kether is traditionally associated with the fifth element of Spirit.”

“That would lead one to believe,” the third man, a bookish twenty-something who had probably not grown his first beard, sat forward and stated, “that the vertical enchantment component is to be conceptualized from a solar perspective.”

Rainey shook his head. “Excuse me, gentlemen,” he interrupted, “but who says that Nuit is equivalent to Earth in the Star Ruby? In the original version of the ritual, as found in The Book of Lies, the direction of North is attributed to Water.”

“Father Rainey,” the proprietor said, turning to greet the priest, “welcome to the Star & Garter. It has been too long.”

“Indeed, Mr. Buckland,” Rainey responded, accepting the hand offered, “it has been far too long.”

“What is this about the original version of the Star Ruby?” Kline demanded.

“Oh, Father Rainey is quite correct,” Buckland replied to the larger man’s query, “Around the same time that Crowley wrote Reguli he edited the Star Ruby. It makes sense that the elemental directions follow the same scheme.”

starruby“It’s interesting to note that in both versions of the Star Ruby,” Rainey added, “the position of the guardians stays the same.”

“But that would mean,” the young scholar mused, “that they are not elemental.”

“Precisely,” the priest quipped, impressed by the young man’s deduction.

“As always, Father Rainey,” Buckland said, placing a hand on the priest’s shoulder, “you are a fount of wisdom. Come… let us talk. These gentlemen can continue their discourse without further interruption by us. We have some catching up to do.”

The youngest of the three men rose and offered a hand to the priest.

“My thanks to you Father,” he said with a soft boyish voice, “it is rare to be in the company of one so well versed in the esoteric. I am in your debt. You have given me much to think about.”

“I am glad that I could shed some light on your discussion, Mister…?”

“J’Adoube… Andre J’Adoube, Father. And it my pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

“The pleasure is mine,” the priest responded. “God be with you.”

break

There are a lot of Easter Eggs to unpack in this excerpt, many that will be revealed later in the text, but I thought I should clarify that there is a corner of 93rd and Blackstone in Chicago, but you’re not likely to find the Star & Garter there, any more than Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum is to be addressed at the actual 177A Bleecker Street.

Or is it?

To be honest, when I wrote the address for the Star & Garter I had no idea these two streets existed within the confines of the Windy City. let alone actually converged.

The 93, as reference to Crowley, was obvious enough, while Blackstone was an allusion to one of my favorite Robert E. Howard stories, The Black Stone.

It was only mush later that google maps showed me that such a place existed, albeit in a far different form from that found in my imagination.

93rd and Blackstone

break

Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum is available in trade paperback and ebook on Hallowe’en, October 31. You can preorder the kindle version now via amazon.com.

DescendantCover

%d bloggers like this: