Archive for the Wyrd Category

My thoughts on @BruteNorse’s Love Spells & Erotic Sorcery in Norwegian Folk Magic, ed. by Eirik Storesund

Posted in Book Review, Wyrd on April 26, 2022 by Occult Detective

Love Spells & Erotic Sorcery in Norwegian Folk Magic (translated by Eirik Storesund) is described as “A curated selection of charms, spells, and sorcerous recipes from Norwegian grimoires and vernacular tradition on the topic of love and eroticism. 50+ pages chock full of terrible ideas and (mostly) bad advice for your love life. A fascinating glimpse into the magically infused boudoir of pre-industrial Scandinavia.

Well, it most certainly delivers on its description.

Putting one in mind of German Folk Traditions found in works such as Der lange verborgene Freund and Hohman’s translation Pow-Wows; or, Long, Lost Friend, Brute Norse has delivered a sensational little pamphlet that is a must-read for those heavily invested in the study of cunning ways.

The book, slight and but 50 pages, is adorable and lovingly put together. The design sense is impeccable and I’m tickled senseless to have the thing. Simply put, it’s fun. A quick and entertaining read, it is easy to imagine these remedies handed down for countless generations.

Highly recommended, and at only $9.00, you’d be foolish to pass it up. Order here.

Speaking of foolish, many thanks to Foolish Fish for bringing Brute Norse to my attention.

Mythologically Speaking

Posted in Magick, Wyrd on February 16, 2022 by Occult Detective

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” 

― John Lennon

I had a peculiar moment when I was a small boy. Growing up in the Midwest, there’s a staple to that upbringing that is prevalent for most — church services on Sunday. While I must assume the vast majority of children buy into whatever religion the adults in their lives is selling, it never clicked with me in any meaningful way.

I enjoyed Sunday School well enough. Was never much more than story-time, really. During sermons I was armed with tiny tablets of paper from my grandma’s pocketbook, drawing Universal Monsters, alien spaceships, and super-heroes while some old man rattled away about original sin and the passion play.

The kicker was some innocuous reference to the Christianization of Heathens, usually by the sword, that triggered a thought in me that this desert religion being fostered upon me was not the faith of my ancestors, but one saddled upon them by conquering forces. My ancestors, those who called Northern Europe their home, believed in an altogether different pantheon of deities, deities I read about in books by Hamilton and Bulfinch and the like, that I found in picture books and comics, and in movies on Saturday afternoons.

I went into the school library and checked out a book by Padraic Colum called The Children of Odin and devoured it, realizing as I immersed myself in this tales of the ancient Norse, that these were the stories my forefathers told around the campfire — stories of Odin and Thor, Loki and Frigga, Sif and Freya, Balder, and more.

It occurred to me, as a boy not yet even ten, that these stories should mean more to me than those found in the Old and New Testament.

The myths of a culture are defining references that speak to a greater truth, that showcase virtues that a people held in high estimation. This was cemented even more once I had discovered the Havamal and began adding Celtic tales to my growing obsession.

Myths were the attempt of our ancestors to answer difficult questions about te world around them. They were teaching tools, disguised as colorful stories, that spoke of mighty beings and devious creatures that were as important to their daily lives as their flesh and blood.

These ancient gods were a real and vibrant force. Before philosophy and science, mythology defined the universe for those who came before us.

As these mythological entities were stripped away from us, so too was the magic that held us together as tribes and communities. The common bong was severed, as we lost our ties to the gods that breathed life into us and to the very land from which we sprang, then slowly over the centuries we became unmoored and lost.

Recapturing those tales that spoke so eloquently to our ancestors, reminds of of those ties that bind us. They call out from beyond the pale, life breathed anew into their lungs.

Why do I study mythology? Because they are my roots and without roots, a tree cannot stand.

Bob Freeman
occultdetective.com
writing from the banks of
Little Pipe Creek

My Thoughts on @LlewellynBooks’ Norse Divination: Illuminating Your Path with the Wisdom of the Gods by Gypsey Elaine Teague

Posted in Book Review, Magick, Wyrd on February 10, 2022 by Occult Detective

Journey into the Norse Pantheon to Uncover the Secrets of Your Past, Present, and Future

Reveal your life’s path in a brand-new way with Norse Divination, the only book designed around the Nordic gods themselves rather than the Futhark. Through concise yet enlightening analyses of these deities and their relationships to each other, you’ll unlock answers to your deepest questions and find more happiness and success.

An excellent primer on Norse mythology, this book teaches you how to easily create your own thirty-six-piece divination set and use it to explore the gods and goddesses’ beliefs, customs, loves, and deaths. Each deity, along with important mythological items, has a dedicated chapter outlining who they are, what their role is, and how they can help you divine the best course of action in any scenario. Featuring clear and thorough instruction on how to read all thirty-six pieces in their past, present, and future positions, Norse Divination helps you harness hidden knowledge and forge a unique practice.

Let me be honest right out of the gate: this is not the book I was expecting. Now let me explain why that’s not a bad thing.

I suppose I should first interject my obligatory apology for being late to review this. By now, you’re well aware of my bout with the plague. But that’s behind me now and we’ve one last book review to make good on, in this case, something that enters into the magical realm I am most connected to and enamored by — Northern European Heathenry — via Gypsey Elaine Teague’s aforementioned book, Norse Divination.

As stated above, I expected something quite different from this one, something more akin to an exploration of the runes. This is not that. I have read Gypsey’s work before, having read, reviewed, and enjoyed her work on The Witch’s Guide to Wands. I should have known by that work that I would be getting something fresh, unique, and wonderful.

That’s how I found Norse Divination. Teague knows her heathenry and has a special connection to the gods. As a scholar, she acknowledges the scant information we have on the people and faith that sprang out of those ancient climes, but through this connection that has blossomed over time and space, with so many being reunited with these godforms, Gypsey is able to bring the past in line with the present to deliver a remarkable system of divination that honors the roots from which it springs.

Utilizing 42 symbols, Gypsey has developed from her rune work a system that brings the gods into the mix. It is very intuitive, and I created for myself makeshift disks, burning the symbols into the wood. What I found was a very natural and insightful set of divination tools that fulfill their promise.

As always, I find Gypsey’s words meaningful and comfortable and believe you will find them the same. As for the book itself, well, it’s a thing of beauty. The interior design and layout is wonderful, but the star of the show is that magnificent cover. I could stare at that one all day.

If you’ve a love of divination, this book is for you and demands a place on your library shelf. For many heathens, well, this might be too outside the box for them, but I do hope they would be open-minded enough to not dismiss it out of hand. I lean toward more traditionalism as well, but found this to be inspired and worthwhile.

Norse Divination: Illuminating Your Path with the Wisdom of the Gods by Gypsey Elaine Teague is available wherever books are sold. I encourage you to bring this one home.

Three for Thursday: #Norsevember #Survival

Posted in Bushcraft, Norsevember, Wyrd on November 18, 2021 by Occult Detective

I’ve always been fascinated by bushcraft, living (not just surviving but thriving) off the land. I love to build lean-tos, traditional woodland shelters, and, when I was a younger man, I did a lot of winter camping. I was never keen on lugging a tent about, preferring to utilize my natural surroundings.

So, with Norsevember upon us, I was thinking about what items would be most essential for a man (or woman) who was headed out into the bush. So whether you’re talking 1000 years ago or tomorrow, what do I view as essential gear, if I can only snatch three items?

THREE
FIRE

Fire is essential so you absolutely HAVE to have some means of building one, be it through a lighter, matches, or, a ferro rod, or, better yet, all of the above. I carry a fire source with me AT ALL TIMES. Just in case.

TWO
HATCHET

A good hatchet is a versatile tool and just generally an all around handy thing to have in the wild. From building a shelter to chopping and splitting wood to hacking up game or brush, this is something I lean on heavily. I am always shocked when I don’t see this on an essential gear list.

ONE
KNIFE

So, I carry on my person AT ALL TIMES, not one, but two knives: an Old Timer three blade pocket knife and a 9 inch Old Timer Cave Bear lock blade. I don’t know about you, but I use a knife nearly every single day in some way or another.

#Norsevember You Give a Little, You Get a Little

Posted in Norsevember, Wyrd on November 17, 2021 by Occult Detective

The following is repurposed, but perhaps more timely:

“You know why things happen? Because gods make them happen. You wanna know how to make good things happen? Be good to your god. You give a little, you get a little. The simplicity of that bargain has always been appealing.” — Mr. Wednesday, American Gods

[On July 1, 2017], I posted a quote from Janet Farrar, excerpted from an interview she and Gavin Bone gave to Pagan Pages a small handful of years back. It read, simply, “…the most important teachers are yourself and the Gods.

I believe there is a balance there, between ourselves and the gods we honour. Far too often, we sway too heavily toward one or the other, and in many cases, the gods we learn from are inappropriate to our advancement as both human and spiritual beings.

I’m thinking now of these new constructs, the gods of media, commerce, conservatism, and liberalism, and what have you.

But it’s possible to be misaligned to the old gods as well, be they pagan, heathen, one of the Abrahamic faiths, or some other flavor.

How we approach the gods is important, and our minds, bodies, and spirits must be aligned.

Obviously, the majority are led to their faith by their parents, who in turn were led by their parents, and so on, but the past century has seen a change in this. More and more, people are opening up their hearts and minds to more possibilities.

I attended a Presbyterian church as a child, not by choice, but by parental edict. The God of Abraham never spoke to me, even when I was an impressionable youth. My heart always leaned toward the gods of my more ancient ancestors.

Making a connection to the gods is important to our spiritual growth, but it one that must be taken with great care. Trust your instincts and be open to change. More importantly, be honest with yourself.

There is a vast multiverse that stretches out across the heavens, brimming with incalculable realms of divine and infernal beings. Somewhere, out there, amongst their number is a voice calling to you.

All you have to do is listen… and answer.

Summoning Circle

Posted in Wyrd on November 9, 2021 by Occult Detective

I thought this was an interesting meme floating around the web. When I posted it, I got some interesting responses: Tarot Cards, Comic Books, Frazetta Art, and the like, but what would “I” put in the circle that I feel best represents “me”?

So from left to right we have a guitar pick, a d20, and a Mjolnir talisman. Beyond representing my love for playing guitar, the pick symbolizes creativity and intent. The d20 acknowledges my love of the game, but also is an embodiment of the friendships forged at the table. The Mjolnir is more than a symbol of my faith for it also represents love and family and magick and wonder.

But what is the common denominator between all three items? Storytelling, for it is what attracts me to the guitar, to roleplaying games, and to Northern European spirituality. I tell stories, regardless of the medium. It’s a large part of my paranormal investigations — collecting stories and sharing them with others. It’s why I write, draw, play music… Every hobby, every passion, every fiber of everything I love is centered around stories. And if there’s a campfire involved, all the better.

#Norsevember: Skál and Fair-weather

Posted in Norsevember, Wyrd on November 3, 2021 by Occult Detective

Once more my dragonship, Alba Gu Brath, takes to sea as another Norsevember is upon us.

Here is an excerpt from a short missive I wrote for Alex of Spells & Spaceships, Norsevember’s progenitor:

“…within those stories of Odin and Thor and Freya lay links to those sort of spirits I had come to accept, the land and water wights, and I imagined that the gods themselves did truly exist, but that they were my actual ancestors and they achieved a sort of godhood through our reverence of them, and they became aligned with elemental forces.

What I didn’t know then was that I was embracing animism.”

Hi. My name’s Bob and I’m a Norse Pagan Northern European Animist.

an·i·mism/ˈanəˌmizəm/ (noun)

  1. the attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena.
  2. the belief in a supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe.
  3. a doctrine that the vital principle of organic development is immaterial spirit
  4. attribution of conscious life to objects in and phenomena of nature or to inanimate objects
  5. belief in the existence of spirits separable from bodies

I am reminded of something the late, great Norm MacDonald said, “…we are not superior to the Universe but merely a fraction of it.”

I believe that all things, be they creatures, places, or objects, are imbued with a distinct spiritual essence.

I also believe the gods of the Northern Europeans were, at one time, living and breathing individuals whom many of us revere as our venerated ancestors and who have become the embodiment of natural and preternatural forces.

Your own mileage may vary.

So, for Norsevember this year I am going to post on my heathen spirituality every Wednesday, Odin’s Day, and I will post reviews of “Norse”-related content throughout the month.

Skál and fair-weather, my friends. Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.

OCCULTOBER is coming

Posted in Magick, Paranormal, Wyrd on September 10, 2021 by Occult Detective

Wyrd Wednesday: Aegishjalmur

Posted in Wyrd on August 4, 2021 by Occult Detective

The Helm of Awe
I wore before the sons of men
In defense of my treasure;
Amongst all, I alone was strong,
I thought to myself,
For I found no power a match for my own.

Thor Elptirdalr has some interesting thoughts on the Aegishjalmur (Helmet of Awe) and has initiated a discussion on possible alternative meanings of the symbol. Here is this, from the Galdrabók

Jón Árnason in the book Íslenzk Æfintýri (Icelandic Folk Tales) shared the following “spell” which I think is clearly that. I see the Aegishjalmur as a symbol of power, meant to tap into the hidden resources of your mind.

Make a helm of awe in lead,
press the lead sign between
the eyebrows, and

speak the formula:

Ægishjálm er ég ber
milli brúna mér!

I bear the helm of awe
between my brows!

Thus a man could meet his enemies
and be sure of victory.

Stephen Flowers (Edred Thorsson) connected this, and I think rightly so, to the third eye, or pineal gland. This is the gateway to higher planes of consciousness, the seat of the soul, where the pathways to the inner realms is accessed. I believe it allows us to transcend the physical realm and journey to alternate, parallel dimensions, ie the other 8 realms as described by our ancestors and the gods.

So what do you think?

Monday Magick: Atmospheric

Posted in Magick, Wyrd on August 2, 2021 by Occult Detective

Not much time today, but here’s a quick look at our Converse IOOF Cemetery, properly frog shrouded.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in boneyards lately, taking strolls amongst the dead. The images above, taken this morning on my way to the day job, scream magick to me.

Magick is as much about atmosphere as it is about anything else. This is magick stripped of science, where the heathen spirit resides.

As I’ve said on many occasions, magick and faith are interlocked for me. This is what I’ve learned through trial and error. It does not have to be true for everyone, but it is certainly true for me.

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