Archive for the Magick by Trial & Error Category

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.

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.

I see a bad moon a’risin’ #Tarot

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on July 27, 2018 by Occult Detective

It’s been a rough month, but I’m slowly trying to regroup, reassess, and recuperate. I’m told a total lunar eclipse arrives tonight bringing with it a blood moon. Coincidentally, Mars will also be at its brightest this evening. All makes for a spectacular astrological convergence that I need to take advantage of.

I decided this morning to try the new tarot spread I’ve been working on and thought I would share my results with you. This is a six card read, with a variable. Let’s give it a run.

First, you determine how many cards you will need to draw. Do this by adding the day’s date as follows: 7/27/2018 = 7+2+7+2+0+1+8 = 27 = 2+7 = 9.

So, nine cards. Six are your read, with three that are discarded. Cards that are drawn and set aside represent aspects of yourself that you need to cast aside for the day.

Here’s how the cards laid themselves out for me:

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The discards were the 3 of Pentacles, the 4 of Wands, and The Hermit. These cards represent collaboration, harmony, and introspection, three things I should expect to be without today.

Next, the first card of the read is crossed above you, representing you in the present. I drew the King of Wands. This focuses on my generosity and leadership.

The following card is my opposition, my challenge. It is laid over the top of me. I draw Temperance, which is balance and moderation.

The next card in the spread, the 5 of Pentacles, represents what’s coming, being poverty, insecurity, and worries. Great.

It is followed by the Queen of Pentacles which should reflect the source of the problem — a mother-figure and grounded, down-to-earth, practical energy.

The next card in the spread should reflect where I need to look for answers. In this case, I draw the 3 of Swords, a card that represents the negative actions of an outside party. This is a tricky one and requires some thought. Are the cards telling me I’m on my own, or advising me to accept bad advice?

Maybe the final card will help clarify? It represents what I need to do to resolve my problem. For it, I draw The Moon. Talk about synchronicities. This card represents illusion and deception, but also dreams and intuition.

The cards are telling me to trust my instincts in navigating what is to come.

Now that’s some advice I can get behind.

 

My Second Favorite “Holiday”!

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on July 13, 2018 by Occult Detective

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Today’s a special kind of day, full of all kinds of alignments.

Closest to home, it’s my mother’s birthday. She was born on a Friday which makes this solar return celebration a little more special, I would think. Unfortunately, she is weighed down by my father’s cancer. He is in “hospice care”, though they’ve been of little true help. It has been my mother’s burden to look after him. My brother and I have helped out as best we can, but it is she who is with him day in and day out. Today will be no different.

1974

This is a picture of the Freeman clan, circa 1974. That’s my little brother Bret on the left, followed by me, my dad, and mom. I guess that would make Bret 4, me 8, dad 27, and mom 23 in the photo.

That was an important year for me, the year I mark as the beginning of my occult and paranormal obsession. It was also the year I discovered Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. The journey toward the person I am today began with the eight-year-old kid in that picture.

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Speaking of which, I am on my second read through Jason Louv’s John Dee and the Empire of Angels. Today is John Dee’s birthday, born Saturday, the 13th of July, 1527, by Julian reckoning. The Gregorian calendar would not take precedence until 1582 so I think it fair to acknowledge it as such.

Louv has delivered the thus far definitive magical biography of Dee. It is an important work and I will be posting a review soon.

I have always had an unnatural attraction toward Friday the 13th. Folklore is a powerful thing, especially on impressionable children. Of all the superstitions that were bandied about the schoolyard, Friday the 13th was the most compelling. It seemed to be of only secondary importance to Hallowe’en as a day when arcane forces were at work, at least to my eight-year-old imaginings.

Thus it has always been my “second favorite holiday”.

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