Archive for the Liber et Audax Category

For us, there is no spring

Posted in Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error on February 2, 2017 by Occult Detective

I shall and will know thee, Unknown One,
Who searchest out the depths of my soul,
And blowest through my life like a storm,
Ungraspable, and yet my kinsman!
I shall and will know thee, and serve thee.


Mistral wind, chaser of clouds,
Killer of gloom, sweeper of the skies,
Raging storm-wind, how I love thee!
Are we both not the first-fruits
Of the same womb, forever predestined
To the same fate?


Stretched out, shuddering,
Like a half-dead thing whose feet are warmed,
Shaken by unknown fevers,
Shivering with piercing icy frost arrows,
Hunted by thee, O thought,
Unutterable! Veiled! horrible one!
Thou huntsman behind the clouds.
Struck down by thy lightning bolt,
Thou mocking eye that stares at me from the dark!
Thus I lie,
Writhing, twisting, tormented
With all eternal tortures,
By thee, cruel huntsman,
Thou unknown-God!

—Friedrich Nietzsche

The Allfather

Nietzsche wrote “To the Unknown God” in the 1860s, and “The Mistral Song” and “Ariadne’s Lament” in the 1880s. They are powerful words and have always felt like parts of a whole to me. Merged as one, I read them, like a kenning.

They resonate with me now.

Outside my window, all I see is madness on both sides of the political spectrum and I fear that our shared delusion is crumbling. Our society is built on lies, on false currency and the illusion of wealth. What will we do if all that is swept away?

I’m not calling on everyone to dig fall-out shelters, to stockpile canned goods, guns, and ammo. Or maybe I am?

Outside my window, I see the dream turning into a nightmare. I see the right and left clawing at our fragile reality like frightened and petulant children. Neither realize that the real world out there is a hungry beast. It has no use for gold or paper. No, the real world values food, water, shelter and nothing more.

When the right and left tear it all down, the weight of reality will crush them and the Unknown God with his grim visage will look upon us without pity or remorse for this is the world we’ve made for ourselves.

Maybe then we’ll understand, but too late. Always too late.

For us, there is no spring. Just the wind that smells fresh before the storm.

I Sit and Think

Posted in Liber et Audax on January 27, 2017 by Occult Detective


Has it really been two years? It seems like yesterday and a dozen years all at once. The sting has not lessened, it remains like a splinter plunged deep under flesh, a constant reminder of how fleeting and fragile life is.

In our youth, Brent and I were inseparable. We shook the pillars of heaven and defied the gods with our every breath. We took impossible chances, had amazing adventures, and left a trail of tears and laughter in our wake.

We were part of a band of brothers and sisters who were at times outlaws and free thinkers, scrappers and literati, hooligans and heroes.

We were most at home beside a fire, in a secluded wood with water nearby, a ready supply of cigarettes, cheap alcohol, and mind-altering contraband on hand.

We believed that there was more to the world than what we could see, that most people observed it like glimpsing through a peep hole in a door. We wanted to kick that door in, to unveil the mystery, to plunder the secrets of the universe, to experience the fullness of  this world and so many worlds beyond…

The secret we discovered was that there is no door.

I miss you, my friend, and I don’t miss you, because you’re gone and yet you’re still here.




I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been;
Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.
I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
and people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.

—JRR Tolkien

Liber et Audax

Posted in Liber et Audax on January 20, 2017 by Occult Detective

Inauguration Day. There will be a lot of hand-wringing and clothes-rending before this one is through. There is a heavy pall across America, an oppressive weight bearing down on not just the citizens of my birth country, but on the world at large.

This is what fear looks like.

We have abused the planet without mercy. Industry has become so automated that the common man is all but obsolete and those slots above common are few and far between. Technology has relegated the artist to a hobbyist at best.


The simple truth is, our evolution as a species is at a critical point. This is the fulcrum.

I can’t help but feel that the further removed from our cultural heritage we travel, the more fractured we shall become.

We are mired in a fear of the future, of the other, because we have lost our sense of self, our sense of purpose. We have lost our connection to the earth, to our kith and kin. We have lost.

Look, I have lived through Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, other Bush, and Obama. I think I can manage to survive four years of Trump.

The Donald’s ascension to the loftiest office on this rock is a clear and present message.

The gods have not abandoned us. We have abandoned them. These next four years shall afford us the chance to reevaluate our world. They say ‘it’s always darkest before the dawn‘. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is our dark hour. Let us see our way through the black and press on to the light.

This is our wake-up call.



I’m reading: The Lovecraft Code by Peter Levenda and The Poetic Edda

I’m watching: Deep Space Nine, Forged in Fire, The Curse of Oak Island, and Critical Role.

I’m listening to: Heart and Led Zeppelin.

I’m playing: Skyrim and Dungeons & Dragons


Free & Bold — Gods Bless America

“And then quite suddenly in another flash, as if lifted by a new strength and resolve, he leaped.” —Tolkien

Posted in Liber et Audax on January 7, 2017 by Occult Detective

I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions. It’s always seemed to be a fruitless enterprise, setting one’s self up for failure. That being said, last year I did post a list of resolutions at the behest of some of my friends and peers.

And then I forgot I’d made them, stumbling by sheer accident upon the list just yesterday. Let’s see how I fared.

1.) Write a minimum of 730,000 words this year.

Not even close.

2.) Prepare First Born for publication.

Nailed that one.

3.) Finish Shadow of the Wolf and Born Again for publication.

Nowhere near either.

4.) Write and submit more Landon Connors short fiction.

Nope. Not a one.

5.) Write a sword & sorcery/occult detective novella series.

Started it. Threw it away.
More details to come…

6.) Increase my presence in the gaming community.

Somewhat, but nowhere near
where I need to be.

7.) Read more and write more reviews.

About half.

8.) Write more about spiritual and metaphysical matters.

Far less than I’d hoped.

9.) Be true to myself and actualize my potential.

Fell short on that goal, I think.
All a matter of perspective.

0.) Make Magick. Every day.

Some days, assuredly.
Others, far less so.

Yeah, well, I knew there was a reason to steer clear of New Year’s Resolutions. I feel downright wretched about it, to be honest. That list was very doable. Maybe if I hadn’t bloody well forgotten the list altogether within a few weeks of scrawling it, I might have made some real headway.

But alas, didn’t happen.

I am tasking myself in this coming year with two goals, one to share and one to keep private. I resolve to see them both through. The one I’ll share is simple: I resolve to be the best I can be, each and every day, knowing full well that some days I will falter, but it will not be for a lack of trying.

The other, well, it can be accomplished, and I hope to see it through, but I’ve a start date in mind and a bit of chaos magick to perform to see it’s birth proper.

See you around this time next year and we’ll see if 2017 is a more successful turn than 2016 was.


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.


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


If I had a Hammer…

Posted in Archive, Liber et Audax on December 23, 2016 by Occult Detective

In 1985, my best friend, Brent Smith, and I went to Indianapolis for a Gun & Knife Show. A dealer there, a local Silversmith, had an impressive display of handcrafted jewelry, a couple of Norse Hammers among them. I talked to him about commissioning a Mjolnir necklace. He agreed and I took his card. A week later I mailed off a photocopy of a Hammer found near Romersdal, on the island of Bornholm.


In 1986, Brent and I returned to the Gun & Knife Show and the dealer had my necklace. He charged me less than $200 for the silver work and even incorporated an ouroboros Jormundgandr  as the ring.

I’ve been wearing this necklace for just over thirty years now. If the gods are willing I will wear it for 30 or 40 more.

It is a symbol of my faith, of my reverence for my cultural heritage. It represents protection, strength, and power.

It is NOT a symbol of white supremacy, racism, or hate, as so many SJWs would have you believe. I have no room in my heart for intolerance of any stripe.

The Thunder God wields Mjolnir as a protector of all the people of Midgard.

While I revere my Northern European ancestors, particularly the Norse, Celts, Anglo Saxons, and Germanic tribes, it is not at the exclusion of other cultures.

We all share the same rock.

I will raise a horn to you and yours and ask that you do the same for me and mine.



What I’m writing:  Catching up on some Nightstalkers/C.O.D.A. case files.

What I’m reading: Robert E. Howard’s Conan RPG Corebook by Modiphius

What I’m studying: The Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley

What I’m drawing: Encounter maps.

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

Music I’m listening to: Listening to classic Heart via Youtube; Badlands and Led Zeppelin during my commute.

Podcasts I’m listening to: Gordon White’s Rune Soup, Gamerstable, The Horror Show with Brian Keene, Buttercup of Doom with Kelli Owen

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

What I’m anticipating: Kim’s Birthday, the Walkway of FrLights, Christmas, and Blessed Yuletide

What I’m obsessing over: Old Ghosts and Haunts

What’s next on The Occult Detective: The Occult Detective’s Last Writes with… Maurice Broaddus


…staying home to watch the rain

Posted in Liber et Audax on December 16, 2016 by Occult Detective


It’s just five days until the solstice, eight days till my wife’s birthday, nine days till Christmas, sixteen days till 2017…

Time is a social construct, an invention of the human mind to put convenient labels on change like mile markers stretching backwards and forwards in our material journey.

But just because it’s an illusion doesn’t mean it’s not real. Oh, believe me, it’s very real.

We feel the weight of it every day, on our mind, our body, and on our soul… Our spirit gets to remain apart from the crushing load of the passage of “time” and we hate it just a little bit for it.

Time is always there. Sometimes faster. Sometimes slower. But usually faster. It is an ever flowing conflict of perception. My son is alternately a boy and man. The calendar tells me he’s thirteen years old, but his birth seems forever ago, while his childhood but days past. His manhood seems mere minutes away.

Time may be nothing but an ignus fatuus, but its teeth are sharp and deadly. The spiritual side of me says “let it be”, but the father and husband in me says “not yet” and “slow down”, begging “let me live in these moments a little longer”.

Never forget: time is a four letter word.


What I’m writing:  Today? The introduction to tomorrow’s D&D session on roll20. Otherwise? I’m working (slowly) on that round robin story for Occult Legion and hoping to get back to Born Again and the Occult Detective RPG.

What I’m reading: Halls of Undermountain

What I’m studying: The Art of Longsword Combat, Book I by David M. Cvet

What I’m drawing: No pressing commissions at the moment, just a bit of doodling and sketching around.

What I’m watching: Deep Space Nine with the family, Critical Role, and Shut Eye.

Music I’m listening to: Listening to The Doors via Youtube; Badlands and Led Zeppelin during my commute.

Podcasts I’m listening to: Gordon White’s Rune Soup, Gamerstable

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

What I’m anticipating: The Winter Solstice, Christmas, and Yule

What I’m obsessing over: Divination, Meditation, Astral Projection…and a possible new project for next year.

What’s next on The Occult Detective: The Occult Detective’s Last Writes with… Kelli Owen.


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