Archive for the Archive Category

“…the lamps expire.”

Posted in Archive, Sword & Sorcery, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags on June 11, 2017 by Occult Detective

Robert E Howard81 years ago, Robert E. Howard left this world, leaving behind a legacy of visceral and kinetic prose that has inspired millions.

Howard has been my favorite author since I was ten years old. Living in rural Indiana, with a clear running stream, fields, and woodlands as my backyard, it was Howard’s tales that fired my imagination.

When I took up a stick (or hammock pole) and it transformed into a broad sword, I became Conan of Cimmeria, fighting for survival in the Pictish wilderness.

To this day, I am still overwhelmed by Howard’s words. They still speak to me in much the same way they did more than forty years ago on the edge of that small farm I called home.

Robert E. Howard was larger than life. He single-handedly created the sword & sorcery genre and left an enduring mark on fiction.

As his mother slipped into a coma she would never wake from, Howard, in the early morning hours of June 11, 1936, chose to proceed her in death, but it was his life and the yarns he spun that we celebrate.

Robert E. Howard is immortal, his words destined to be read, studied, and enjoyed for as long as there are humans to do so.

The last words he wrote — “”All fled, all done, so lift me on the pyre; The feast is over and the lamps expire.” — are sad and mournful, but reflect the eternal fire lit, heralding his place in the pantheon of literary legends.

That burning pyre became a shining beacon to all those who would follow in his footsteps.

Rest In Peace, Two-Gun.

Comically Distracted

Posted in Archive, Occult Detectives with tags on June 8, 2017 by Occult Detective

No, this is NOT a project I’m working on. It is, however, a rabbit hole I fell into today while working on something else entirely.

I thought it was far too fun to not share, so here you go… Something that might have been, could have been, but isn’t —

ocg comic

Rex Quondam, Rexque Futurus

Posted in Archive on May 5, 2017 by Occult Detective

A bittersweet remembrance.

occultdetective.com

terry as arthurBack in March I posted about the love affair Brent and I had with John Boorman’s Excalibur. This past weekend came the news that Nigel Terry, King Arthur himself, passed away at the age of 69 due to complications from emphysema. We were, Brent and I, huge fans of Terry’s work, not only of his turn as Arthur, but his roles in movies such as The Lion in Winter, or the criminally underrated television series Covington Cross as well. But, it was Terry’s Arthur that drew us in.

Brent had an affinity for Arthurian Legend, perhaps surpassing even my own. It was Brent who turned me on to Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon and Paxson’s Hallowed Isle series. I returned the favor by leading him to Stewart’s Merlin series, as well as Gil Kane and John Jakes’ take on Excalibur.

I remember vividly when he returned from his first trip…

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The Occult Detective’s #LastWrites Season Finale featuring Julian Vayne

Posted in Archive on April 10, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Welcome to the twenty-third installment and season finale of LAST WRITES.

The premise is simple. My guests face their final rest, but before Death claims them they are granted a few earthly pleasures, the memories of which will travel with them into the great unknown.

Julian_VayneOur final guest of the season is Julian Vayne, an occultist and the author of a number of books, essays, journals and articles in both the academic and esoteric press. He is a freelance consultant, often working in museum and heritage settings, and lives in Devon. His name is most closely associated with the approach to occultism known as chaos magick. Julian is also an initiated Wiccan, member of the Kaula Nath lineage and Master Mason.

LAST MEAL

Well the last meal, like everything else in this list, would be influenced by the nature of my death (assuming I know it’s about to happen – of course I could die at the end of this interview!). Had I suffered from the heat a sorbet of cucumber and crunchy salad would be great. Were I to expire from the cold I guess I’d want a hearty bean and beef stew or similar before my final moment of awareness. In general if I had to select something as an all purpose pre-mortem meal it would probably be a great British curry.

LAST BOOK

A last read before my last rites? We’ll perhaps something inspirational like the Tao Te Ching or an text or two such as the Heart Sutra or Poetic Edda. Something nice and long would of course allow me to cheat death for a while such as À la recherche du temps perdu. I might choose one of my own books which are, in many places, quite autobiographical which might give me a chance to focus a few last reflections on my life before it’s lights out. I suspect if death turns up at the end of this interview and I have to make a selection toot sweet I’d go for a browse through my favourite (and handily potentially endless) book, the tarot. (Probably the Coleman-Smith aka Rider-Waite or Crowley-Harris ‘Thoth’ decks.)

LAST MOVIE

The last movie I suppose could be the wonderful cinematography of something like Baraka or even 2001 if I was feeling in the mood for a retro death. I might go for something like the gruesome but also deeply spiritual Holy Mountain by Alexandro Jodorowsky or my favourite cult-pagan-cult movie The Wickerman. I might choose a deeply human story such as the wonderful Inuit produced movie Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (which is also handily several hours long) or go for a few laughs on my way out with some classic comedy – Carry on Screaming anyone?

LAST SONG

Last song, oh Gods, the humanity! Too many! Assuming we mean a song with lyrics (to exclude favourite tunes without words such as much of the classical or weirdy electronic music I love). I probably have to select a track by my late musical idol David Bowie, something like Heroes or even perhaps Rebel Rebel But maybe I’d go back to another old time musical hero and take my final bow to the strains of When the Music’s Over or The End by The Doors.

THE FIRST PERSON YOU’D LIKE TO MEET ON THE OTHER SIDE

The person I’d most like to find waiting for me in the hearafter, another really tough question! We’ll there are loads of folks from history I’d like to hang out with such as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus (who I’d also love to quiz about what went down at the Eleusinian Mysteries), through to folks like psychologist and acid priest Timothy Leary or voudou initiate and cutting edge film-maker Maya Deren. It would be nice to see my Dad who passed away a few years back and of course any close members of my family who had gone into the world of ancestors before me. In this moment (I’m working in a museum with a great collection of pre-ice-age homind remains) I think I’d like to meet a European shaman from before the iron-age.

For more information on Julian, visit The Blog of Baphomet, or follow him on facebook.

Julian’s next book, Getting Higher: The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony, published by Psychedelic Press, will be available the 26th of April. I’ll have the pleasure of reviewing the book for all of you. Watch the Occult Detective  for details…

As for Last Writes, tune in next week as I recap our debut season and look ahead toward possible seasons to come.

The Occult Detective RPG Major Arcana

Posted in Archive on March 14, 2017 by Occult Detective

Dice Upon A Time

Major Arcana

A little something for the Occult Detective RPG…

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The Magician longs to see…

Posted in Archive on February 3, 2017 by Occult Detective

tpfwwm

Through the darkness of future past 

The magician longs to see. 

One chants out between two worlds 

Fire walk with me.

blacklodge

“My people believe that the White Lodge is a place where the spirits that rule man and nature reside.”

“There is also a legend of a place called the Black Lodge. The shadow-self of the White Lodge. The legend says that every spirit must pass through there on the way to perfection. There, you will meet your own shadow self. My people call it ‘The Dweller on the Threshold’… But it is said, if you confront the Black Lodge with imperfect courage, it will utterly annihilate your soul.”

—Deputy Hawk, Twin Peaks

.:.

Order and chaos, in a perpetual dance; it is all light and shadow, black and white, good and evil, life and death. One cannot exist without the other. Its counterpart completes the circuit, the sum of two parts…

Magick is where dualities inmix, sending a ripple through the multiverse, a whisper of esoteric potential. Between stasis and change, we look within and without, folding time and space, in conformity with will and mystic intuition.

A beacon of light in malevolent darkness;  a spark of the sacred fire in a sea of infinite night.

.:.

I am reading: Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane, Adventures in Middle-Earth: Loremaster’s Guide by Cubicle 7, Conan: Jeweled Thrones of the Earth by Modiphius, Magick in Theory and Practice by Aleister Crowley, Three Essays on Freedom by John Whiteside Parsons

I am watching: Deep Space Nine, Timeless, Critical Role

I am playing: Dungeons and Dragons, Skyrim

I am writing: Inferoscrypta (a Howard-inspired Sword & Sorcery novella which serves as a prequel to Enochia, a Sword & Sorcery/Occult Detective novel)

Vicissitude

Posted in Archive, Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error on December 30, 2016 by Occult Detective

Spent a terrific evening with one of my oldest and dearest friends last night. He and his wife were visiting from North Carolina and we met up for some deep conversation in a couple of local haunts. We discussed and dissected magick, religion, and politics over the sound of a jukebox meandering between gods awful rap music and new Metallica (with some old school Suicidal Tendencies mixed in for good measure).

Needless to say, I’m snookered right now. I had trouble getting to sleep and had to get up bright and early. The brisk, pre-dawn air helped somewhat, but not enough. It’s times like these I wish I hadn’t sworn off alchemical stimulants.

astral

But I digress… The reason I found sleep difficult to come by was because my brain was picking at a thread from our earlier conversations. My friend has always been more group oriented than myself. He’s spent far more time in Buddhist Retreats and Shamanistic Circle than I ever have. Not to say I never have or am even opposed to such, but it’s a reality. I am, by nature, a solitary practitioner and seeker. Whether that’s because of location or volition, I can’t say.

A synthesis of our discussions centered on group-think, of human spiritual evolution, of magick and religion’s role in societal change.

What I dwelt on before sleep took me was my belief that individuals are the true agents of vicissitude, not factions of supposed like-minded esotericists. There is an internal struggle born of the friction caused by too much contact.

The ideal, I think, is to make that connection with the divine on a personal level. That does not mean to eschew group work altogether, but that, such gatherings should be a supplement, a support structure used in small doses.

This is your journey, not our journey. We help each other until we hinder each other, spiritually. Finding that sweet spot in the middle is tricky business, but worthy of the effort.

Grounding relationships are far more important. To paraphrase Stan Lee, it’s all well and good to have these cosmic and magical adventures, but you still have to come down to earth occasionally and deal with the material realm.

We cannot solely focus on the spirit. We’re in these bodies for a reason. I think we lose sight of that sometimes.

A new year dawns. I am resolving to be a better husband, a better father, a better friend, and to spend equal time in the heavens and on earth.

.:.

What I’m writing:  An Occult Detective Sword & Sorcery tale.

What I’m reading: King Arthur & the Holy Grail by Richard Cavendish

What I’m studying: Adventures in Middle-Earth Player’s Guide 5E

What I’m drawing: Charles Parnell for Backburner Press.

What I’m watching: Vikings, Deep Space Nine, and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Music I’m listening to: Son Volt, Wilco, and Waylon Speed via youtube, and Led Zeppelin during my commute.

Podcasts I’m listening to: Gordon White’s Rune Soup, Gamerstable, The Horror Show with Brian Keene, Occult of Personality

What I’m playing: Dungeons & Dragons 5E (live & on roll20), Skyrim

What I’m anticipating: New Years and a tooth extraction, plus my Top 10 Movies of 2016 list and the forthcoming Occult Detective and Dice Upon A Time Awards

What I’m obsessing over: Astral Workings

What’s next on The Occult Detective: The Occult Detective’s Last Writes with… Brian Keene

.:.

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