Archive for the Magick Category

My thoughts on Lon Milo DuQuette’s Allow Me to Introduce: An Insider’s Guide to the Occult

Posted in Book Review, Magick on February 4, 2020 by Occult Detective

allow me to introduceIt has been my utmost pleasure to immerse myself in Allow Me to Introduce: An Insider’s Guide to the Occult, the latest from Lon Milo DuQuette and Weiser Books. I enjoyed it so much, I read it twice before coming here to share it with you.

Released on the 1st of February, I received the book a few weeks beforehand, but life got in the way from me diving right in, and more’s the pity.

There’s a short but insightful Foreword by Brandy Williams (author of Practical Magic for Beginners) and an equally short Preface by the author.

What follows is a collection of Introductions Lon Milo DuQuette has written for dozens of books over the years, each and every one a treasure.

babalonDuQuette has one of those voices that is both comforting and erudite, while being filled with compassion, wisdom, and humor. He is self-depreciating in the most charming way, and DuQuette has the ability to make you feel that he is speaking to you alone, that you’re old friends, even as he is shining an illuminating light on the Western Mystery Traditions. It’s a gift that few have… probably because DuQuette is hogging all the best bits of it.

While I have read many of these Introductions before, there is nothing stale about them. And having them all collected together, in one place, is well worth the duplication, even if you possessed every book he’s been the harbinger of.

As for the book itself: I love the cover from a graphic design standpoint. The colors, fonts, and graphics are all brilliant. Inside you’ll find a comfortable typeface, easy on the eyes, which is becoming increasingly important to me.

There are a few typos. Nothing egregious, but they still pulled me out of my immersion. It happens, especially with dropped words. Spell-check doesn’t catch those. Believe me. I know all too well.

Look. It’s only February. Is this the best book you’re going to pick up this year? Probably. It’s worth every penny of the $19.95 cover price (and then some). If this book is not already on your bookshelf, it damn well should be.

Allow Me to Introduce: An Insider’s Guide to the Occult by Lon Milo DuQuette is available wherever books are sold, but as always, I recommend buying directly from the publisher (HERE) if you can. It helps to keep the publisher afloat and puts the most money in the author’s pocket. Always a good thing on both accounts.

Tarot Spell for Removing a Person from Your Life

Posted in Magick on January 4, 2020 by Occult Detective

Wonderful work from Lailoken!

Lailokens Awen

Many of us are inspired by the ‘new year, new you’ mindset, so for those of you wanting to get a head-start on your spring cleaning and want to remove someone from your life, here is a handy little tarot spell that will do just that.

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In this layout, the 2 of Swords bars access to you.  The Ace of Swords represents the forces you summon to drive the person away, and the 8 of Cups represents the person giving up and forced to head off in another direction.

For this post I decided to use the Landon Connors Occult Detective Tarot by author and paranormal investigator Bob Freeman because all three cards depict people, and this spell is all about individuals (you and the person).  The imagery in the first two cards is more than appropriate for the task at hand, guns instead of swords.  The third card may…

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Coming Soon: Liber Mysterivm

Posted in Investigations, Magick on January 2, 2020 by Occult Detective

 

novelidea

I’ve got a lot on my mind as we roll into 2020. Looking for clarity and focus, and for a project that will encompass where I’ve been and where I’m going, I think it’s finally time to embark on something I’ve been threatening to do for a number of years — examine my evolution in the paranormal field, going all the way back to the beginning, to the early seventies here in rural Indiana, and forward into the 21st Century.

The posts under the Liber Mysterivm heading will be raw and honest, and hopefully insightful. Maybe even inspiring. But be forewarned: there will be magic and mayhem and things that will seem altogether unbelievable. All the best stories are.

I had considered publishing this, and who knows, I may still one day, but for now this will be the unfiltered, unedited version of my life peeking behind the veil.

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New chapters and fragments, maybe even some video, will roll out randomly without a lot of fanfare and with little linear focus. Think of it as us sitting by a campfire on a chilled autumn night, surrounded by the sounds of cicadas and bullfrogs, and coyotes just past the firelight. I’ve a mind to chew your ear and there’s no better stories around a campfire than of those things that go… well, you know.

This will be a fun little exercise for me, and hopefully for you.

Watch for Liber Mysterivm to begin later this month and for all the months to come.

 

Farewell 2019

Posted in Magick on December 31, 2019 by Occult Detective

magickal2020

Today is the last day of 2019. Tomorrow morning we will wake to a new year, the last year of the decade, and we will take our first steps into the 21st Century’s Roaring 20s.

I have high hopes and aspirations for 2020. I trust this new cycle will bring with it a clarity of vision, if we might strain the obvious metaphor. I can hear the distant call of the Old Ways, from both ancient times and from my own storied past.

In 2020, I will have stories to tell, lessons to learn and hopefully to teach. 2020 promises the beginning of a new journey that parallels an old one. It is a journey I have been craving for a while now. It feels like it is time to begin the third act.

It is time for us all to become self-realized, to embrace our true will, and make manifest the very best of what can and should be.

It’s time to plant a little magick and see what grows.

Thoughts on A Modern Guide to Heathenry: Lore, Celebrations, and Mysteries of the Northern Traditions by Galina Krasskova

Posted in Book Review, Magick on December 16, 2019 by Occult Detective

I received a complimentary copy of A Modern Guide to Heathenry: Lore, Celebrations, and Mysteries of the Northern Traditions by Galina Krasskova from publisher Weiser Books.

Here’s how it’s described online, none of which I take issue with:

heathenryAn accessible yet in-depth guide to this increasingly popular pre-Christian religious tradition of Northern Europe

Heathenry, is one of the fastest growing polytheistic religious movements in the United States today. This book explores the cosmology, values, ethics, and rituals practiced by modern heathens.

In A Modern Guide to Heathenry readers will have the opportunity to explore the sacred stories of the various heathen gods like Odin, Frigga, Freya, and Thor and will be granted a look into the devotional practices of modern votaries. Blóts, the most common devotional rites, are examined in rich detail with examples given for personal use. Additionally, readers are introduced to the concept of wyrd, or fate, so integral to the heathen worldview.

Unlike many books on heathenry, this one is not denomination-specific, nor does it seek to overwhelm the reader with unfamiliar Anglo-Saxon or Norse terminology. For Pagans who wish to learn more about the Norse deities or those who are new to heathenry or who are simply interested in learning about this unique religion, A Modern Guide to Heathenry is the perfect introduction. Those who wish to deepen their own devotional practice will find this book helpful in their own work as well.

Now my thoughts:

I reviewed this book when it was originally published as Exploring the Northern Tradition back nearly a decade ago. I did not give it very high marks. Including UPG material in what I felt should have hewn to a more scholarly approach was one of my perceived transgressions, and I was not (and am not) overly fond of the author’s personal brand of heathenry. This colored my views, to be sure.

That said, giving it a fresh read, in a slightly revised edition, I am more accepting of the material, less protective, I suppose you could say.

The fact is, heathenry continues to evolve and grow. I accept that my own heathen beliefs are in the minority and I’m okay with that. All I can do is live my life and speak my words. Each man and woman will find their own path and the gods can take take care of themselves.

The simple truth is, there is value in this book, if you are new to heathenry. It is a fine introduction to modern perspectives on an ancient faith that is still clawing its way back to relevancy.

I can see in this book shadows of my faith, like reflections on a pool of water at night. I trust that those shadows are enough to call people to the gods, if their hearts and minds are open.

A great emphasis on ancestral worship is greatly appreciated as I see it as the most important aspect of the faith.

If you are unfamiliar with heathenry, then I recommend this book to you. Here, the door is opened, just a crack, for you to glimpse the faith in all its glory. This book can be a stepping stone for you, out an across still, moonlit waters, where the gods lurk in the shadowy recesses, calling you home.

Barbarism

Posted in Magick on December 9, 2019 by Occult Detective

“Barbarianism is the natural state of mankind.
Civilization is unnatural. It is the whim of circumstance.
And barbarianism must ultimately triumph”
― Robert E. Howard

DisembobiedI’ve been thinking a lot about ‘civilization’ lately, the pros and cons of society writ large. I have, for the vast majority of my more than fifty years on this rock, lived in the country, or at the very least, country adjacent.

I am no fan of cities. and if I’m being perfectly honest, I can barely tolerate small towns. I am, however, a very social person. I like people. I like intellectual discourse. I enjoy the camaraderie of friends and colleagues. I thrive on the social interactions found in games and sport and ritual.

The thing is, a society breaks down the minute the collective grows too large, when it grows beyond the hunter/gather social construct. We grow and prosper best when we are sheltered in a tribal modality, when the collective is small and sustainable.

We can come together with our neighbors, to feast and celebrate, to test our physical and intellectual mettle, to share ideas, but in the end, we must return to our tribal roots.

That’s where the real magic flourishes, in the tight knit communities, tied by blood and ancestry. Never do I feel more at ease than when I am out in the wilderness, breathing the country air, deep in a secluded wood. That is when I feel connected to the earth, when I feel the magic coursing beneath my feet and up into my body.

No, these cities, with their corrupt and twisted towers, their wasteland of concrete and steel, are not meant for us. And all the voices I hear cry out on social media, why, they’re all city-folk, wanting their cake to devour and choke on. They are a part of the machine, and it’s a machine I am growing more than weary of.

Everyone speaks of tribalism as if it’s a dirty word, especially in magic circles. It pains me to see them so proven wrong. They can’t see the forest for all the trees.

“The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!”
― Robert E. Howard

 

Myth-conceptions

Posted in Magick on December 6, 2019 by Occult Detective

mythsterfreeman

I read a post today by John Beckett over on Patheos. It was titled “An Authentic Foundation for Modern Paganism”, which you can read for yourself here.

I don’t necessarily disagree with anything Mr. Beckett said, but as a storyteller, I must admit, I enjoy a good yarn, especially when its connected to magic.

Does it truly matter whether or not Gerald Gardner was initiated by Old Dorothy Clutterbuck, or Alex Sanders by Mary Bibby? Would we better off knowing the truth of the events in Cairo during Crowley’s reception of the Book of the Law? What of various proclamations regarding Secret Chiefs or divine visitations? For the Christians in the room, what of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus?

The Eddas and Sagas are filled with livid boasts, proclaiming larger than life exploits, all intent on building a vibrant mythology that passes from tongue to tongue, becoming a part of the very fabric that makes up the celestial tapestry of our mundane human existence.

I’m not calling for lies to be the order of the day. We get enough of that from the news media and politicians (and their social media cohorts and sycophants). But don’t be so quick to snuff out the magic. A poetic origin story or fanciful recounting of a ritual might be stretching things a bit, but when one paints a picture, do we favor dull and neutral, or do we look to the bold and vivacious?

Let magic breathe a little. By the gods, let magic be magic.

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