Archive for the Magick by Trial & Error Category

Infinite Monkey Business — Do Ghosts Exist?

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on February 23, 2017 by Occult Detective

There is an article floating about the internet in which Brian Cox, a media science commentator and an Advanced Fellow of particle physics at the University of Manchester, states categorically that the Large Hadron Collider disproves the existence of ghosts.

Appearing alongside Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on The Infinite Monkey Cage, Cox began the program stating “We are not here to debate the existence of ghosts because they don’t exist.

coxCox went on to explain that “If we want some sort of pattern that carries information about our living cells to persist then we must specify precisely what medium carries that pattern and how it interacts with the matter particles out of which our bodies are made. We must, in other words, invent an extension to the Standard Model of Particle Physics that has escaped detection at the Large Hadron Collider. That’s almost inconceivable at the energy scales typical of the particle interactions in our bodies.

Essentially, what Cox is saying here is that if spirits have an influence on the physical world, then there must be some definable and measurable effect that can  be detected by physicists. So far, no such detection has been verified to Mr. Cox or his colleagues’ satisfaction.

I am reminded of my favorite quote from Dion Fortune, “We live in the midst of invisible forces whose effects alone we perceive. We move among invisible forms whose actions we very often do not perceive at all, though we may be profoundly affected by them.

I have been keenly interested in the occult and paranormal since I was a child. I have dedicated more than forty years to its study. I can promise you, without hesitation, that Brian Cox is wrong. The fact that his science has yet to be able to quantify the existence of preternatural beings does not prove that they do not exist, it merely spotlights that science has not been able to successfully measure the ethereal realm and those who populate it. It may never be able to do so.


I long ago abandoned any attempts at proving the existence of the so-called ‘supernatural’ to non-believers. My beliefs and experiences do not need any sort of validation from the scientific community or by the general populous for that matter.

I know what I have seen, heard, and felt with my own senses. With an open mind and an an insatiable curiosity I have come to my own conclusions.

I leave you to do the same.


Laevisomnus Rex

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on February 17, 2017 by Occult Detective

kenning: a compound expression in Old English and Old Norse poetry with metaphorical meaning.

bind-rune: a ligature of two or more runes, conjoined  to form a glyph.


We are not whole. Unbound, adrift, with the world in turmoil and confusion, we are lost, individually, culturally, politically, and spiritually.

The US Presidential Campaign and subsequent ‘post-election Trump Ascension’ has turned a spotlight on our division. But this is so much bigger than us versus them. It is not black against white, or right against left, or even good versus evil. It’s a far deeper rabbit-hole we’ve tumbled into.

Each of us is a union of the corporeal and incorporeal. We are mind, body, and spirit; three parts to make a whole. Our mind and body are unique to us, but our spirit is linked to that of every other living thing in this vast universe.

We must become whole individually before we can ever hope to heal collectively. Too many of us are avoiding the inconvenient truth—that we are all complacent in the world around us.

We all want something for nothing. Sorry, but that’s not the way it works. There is a reason that we choose to muddy about in these meat suits. There needs to be an acceptance, an understanding, but somehow it all got mixed up and we’ve found ourselves floundering.

The universe is doing its level best to pull back the veil. It is up to us to acknowledge and accept the responsibility that this is the world of our choosing.

The sleeper must awaken.


The thing about Trump is (and you just knew I’d get back around to him), he is a catalyst of change; he is our trial by fire; he is the agent of our awakening.

Nap time is over. We’ve got work to do.


I am reading The Lake House by Kate Morton (Kim’s Water Street Book Club pick) and The Invisibles by Grant Morrison.

I am studying The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa; and Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson

I am working on an untitled sword & sorcery short story or novella; Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game; a new cartography project; and in the planning stages are a revisit to some old Lion’s Den Studios material (our 30 year anniversary is coming up) and a video series.

I am playing Dungeons & Dragons and Skyrim (though far less now than in weeks past).

I am watching Critical Role, Forged in Fire, The Curse of Oak Island, plus the Arrowverse, Riverdale, and, perhaps best of all, Deep Space Nine.

Happy Galatin’s Day

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on February 14, 2017 by Occult Detective


Happy Valentine’s, Lupercalia, and Galatin’s Day to all of you, but especially to my wife, Kim, who puts up with more than you can possibly fathom.

I hope you all get to celebrate the day with someone you love, but if you find yourself alone this year, I trust you’ll find comfort in a good book, because there is no better company in such times than when you are embraced by words of magic…

And speaking of magic, the first person to email me today before 12:00 Noon EST, will get a FREE three card tarot reading.

Email me at for your chance to win.


Addendum (12:26pm)

Congratulations, Francesco Rossi on being the first email received.

Here’s your reading:


The first card reflects the past; something you’re moving away from. The 9 of Cups-Reversed represents Truth and Honesty.

The second card reveals those forces currently surrounding you. The 9 of Pentacles-Reversed is a card of Deception.

The third card symbolizes what lies ahead. Here we find the Ace of Cups-Reversed, which is a card that signifies Instability and Revolution.

My recommendation? Stock up on canned goods and bottled water.


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.

obair ann an adhartas

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error, Writing in Theory & Practice on January 12, 2017 by Occult Detective


Chan eil fhathast, ach a dh’aithghearr


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


God Jul

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on December 25, 2016 by Occult Detective


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