Archive for the Wyrd Category

A Wistfully Wyrd Wednesday

Posted in Wyrd on July 21, 2021 by Occult Detective

Let’s tackle the day with some bullets, shall we?

  • I re-released the Tarot Card editions of my Cairnwood Manor and Liber Monstrorum series this past week. You can find links to their amazon pages in the Occult Detective Store in the side menu. All four books are freshly edited (though far from perfect, I’m sure) and there are some new tales in First Born to account for two omissions. Gone are the comic book entries. One story in particular that was added, Printer’s Devil, was written specifically to accommodate the page count and it ended up being one of my favorites in the collection.

  • My pal Greg Mitchell (not to be confused with the spectral Outrider found in my Landon Connors stories) has a new book out — Night World. Volume 2 in his Hit Men series, Night World is available via amazon.

  • Invisible College, an Authentic Magick OSR RPG I was commissioned to do art and layout on for Well of Urd Press, is doing well. I retained the rights to all the work, so you’ll find a lot of familiar art in this, including things from Landon Connors and Wolfe & Crowe. It’s a solid game system. Some of the magick was altered by the author so as not to be construed as a legitimate grimoire resource, but if you’ve a hunger for this kind of gaming, it’s available via amazon and drivethrurpg.

  • Connor and I are working toward wrapping up the rulebook for the tabletop skirmisher Bordermen Games was tapped to develop and write for a legendary intellectual property. We’re hoping to finish the work by August 31, give or take. It’s consuming most of my time right now. Hopefully we’ll be able to share more this coming Fall.

  • This August, I’ll be posting daily as I once again take part in RPGaDay, the annual event from brainchild David Chapman (Autocratik) and Anthony Boyd (Runeslinger). Most of the posts will appear at our Bordermen Games site, but related material will drop here as well. If you’re into gaming, I suggest you follow along, or better still, take part.
  • Beginning in late September, as a part of my annual Hallowe’en celebration, I will be reviewing/discussing several of Robert E. Howard‘s occult detective tales, such as Dig Me No Grave, The Black Stone, The Haunter of the Ring, and Graveyard Rats, to name a few. I will also be revisiting #Occult30 throughout October.

  • In addition to writing reviews for Red Wheel/Weiser titles, I have recently joined the stable of reviewers for Llewellyn, so be on the lookout for my insights into some exciting new works in the paranormal and occult fields.

  • Last Writes will be returning for another season soon.

.:.

Alright, Sleuths, that’s all for today.

As always, stay Wyrd, my friends.

Love Is The Law

Posted in Magick, Wyrd on July 5, 2021 by Occult Detective

I hope all my American friends survived their celebration of Independence Day, and with all their digits.

I’m relaxing today with the family, ELO’s Greatest Hits adding to the general calm.

A lot on my mind, mostly related to magick and faith, two things intertwined for me but far less so for many.

There’s a struggle in the circles I move within, a cultural and subcultural war over identity, tribalism, politics, weighed down by virtue signaling and intolerance on all sides.

I try to stay out of the worst of it, but I see a day coming where a line will have to be drawn, not in the sand, but with salt.

I leave it for now, but remember, to love takes so little effort. We can sympathize and emphasize with one another, even when we disagree… All it takes is a kind of magick, a magick that lives inside each and every one of us.

Every man and woman is a star.

Three For Thursday: Norse YouTube Edition

Posted in Wyrd on June 17, 2021 by Occult Detective

NORSE YOUTUBE

A busy day in a busy week. How about I post my three five favorite Norse YouTube Channels? Let’s get right to it…

NUMBER FIVE
JACKSON CRAWFORD’S OLD NORSE CHANNEL
Dr. Jackson Crawford

NUMBER FOUR
DIMICATOR
Roland Warzecha

NUMBER THREE
SURVIVE THE JIVE
Tom Rowsell

NUMBER TWO
BJORN ANDREAS BULL-HANSEN

NUMBER ONE
NORSE MAGIC & BELIEFS
Thor Elptirdalr

Wyrd Wednesday: Ancestry

Posted in Wyrd on June 9, 2021 by Occult Detective

A quick post today, but a weighty one. I want to bring up for discussion the idea of metagenetics.

Yes, I know. Steve McNallen and the AFA are an anathema in the greater pagan and heathen communities. I certainly have my problems with them, but the idea of metagenetics has always had the ring of truth buried in it for me.

It’s certainly adjacent to Carl Jung’s ideas of the collective unconscious and objective psyche. The idea that our deepest unconscious mind is genetically inherited rather than shaped by personal experience has an appeal that I cannot deny.

It feels right. The idea that were are connected to our ancestors in such a manner speaks to me on a guttural level.

Metagenetics, as presented by McNallen, holds that religious and cultural practices are encoded in our DNA and are passed down by blood. How is this any different or controversial than Jung’s collective unconsciousness?

Where McNallen and the AFA lose me is the emphasis on using the term white.

I am opposed to that descriptor as a form of identification. I am not white. I am Northern European, of Germanic descent. I am predominately Celt and Norse, not only by blood, but by mindset. I am the product of all my ancestors, from now all the way back to the beginning, but what does that mean?

If modern DNA analysis are to be believed, my genetic soup is 83% British Isles, with another 8.5% from Scandinavia, 5% from Western Europe, and the remainder comprised from a salting of Caucasus, Italy, Greece, Africa, and even some European Jew for good measure.

96.5% or more of me is of European heritage. That has to mean something more than just blood.

Take race off the table, because it’s a misnomer anyway. We’re talking culture here, not skin color.

I am the sum of those people who came before me. Their spirit is in me.

This isn’t about “white power”. The term sickens me. We are not defined by the color of our skin, but we are spiritually connected to our ancestors. If you want me to deny that, then we have a very big problem.


Wyrd Wednesday: Wyrd. Orlog. True Will.

Posted in Wyrd on May 12, 2021 by Occult Detective

I almost wrote about this on Monday, but saved it for today instead. Don’t worry. I’ll be brief. Wyrd is a difficult concept for some. I don’t know why. Wyrd is one’s personal destiny, one’s fate, in a sense. But it goes deeper than that. Why? Because to me, it is obvious. Wyrd is to the Heathen what True Will is to the Thelemite.

I believe this to be true.

The word itself is a feminine noun, born of an earlier verb which meant “to become” as I understand it.

Wyrd is a journey. But that journey is on a road leading you toward your purpose. Like all roads, however, there are divergent paths, and few ever fulfill their True Will. The universe wants you to align with your Will, with your Wyrd. But we fight it.

This is where one’s orlog comes in. Orlog is that cause and affect tug-of-war all tied up in karmic-like debt. Wyrd is your intended fate, but your orlog can get in the way to keep you from your special purpose, your True Will, because you have accumulated so much baggage along the way.

I believe this to be true.

Wyrd is us in harmony with nature, fulfilling our destined course. Orlog are the road blocks and detours along the way. When our Wyrd and our Orlog are in sync, our True Will becomes manifest.

I believe this to be true.

Wyrd Wednesday: Althingi

Posted in Wyrd on May 5, 2021 by Occult Detective

ALTHINGI

In November I backed a card game from Joshua Gillingham & Outland Entertainment called Althingi: A Viking Game of Strength & Influence. Featuring gritty art from Lada Shustova, Althingi allows each player takes on the role of a powerful Chieftain. The player’s goal is to use bribery, coercion, and intimidation to take control of the annual gathering known as the Althingi.

Sounds fun, right? Once it arrives (any week now), I’ll post a review. So, why bring this up now? Well, Outland and Joshua have a new Kickstarter set in the Althingi universe.

Althingi: The Crescent and the Northern Star
An Intersectional Anthology of Viking and Muslim Historical Fiction

While the term “intersectional” is an unfortunate choice, playing into Critical Race Theory advocacy, the anthology seems well intentioned and puts me in mind of the “interfaith” work that Indiana Horror Writers were involved in through Maurice Broaddus’ Mo*Con a few years back.

Bringing together a diverse stable of authors to tell stories of Norse/Muslim interactions has the potential to be tremendously entertaining and I truly look forward to getting my mitts on this.

The Kickstarter is currently underway. If you’re interested in historical fiction, particularly centered around the Norse, then Althingi just might be for you. Give it a look HERE.

Three for Thursday: Wyrd Edition

Posted in Media, Wyrd on April 29, 2021 by Occult Detective

No Wyrd Wednesday post yesterday. I am almost exclusively devoted, during my daylight hours, to the OSR Authentic Magick RPG I’ve been tapped to illustrate, edit, and orchestrate. So, how do I make amends? Well, we bring a little Wyrd into our Three for Thursday.

Today, let’s have my list of the three best “Viking” movies.

NUMBER THREE

THE VIKINGS

Adapted from Edison Marshall’s novel, The Vikings. If you thought the Viking’s tv show was inaccurate, hold onto your horned helm because this tale of Ragnar Lodbrok is a doozy. Oh, we’ve got Ragnar and Aella, Egbert, and the like, but we also have Eric, Ragnar’s secret bastard and Einar Ragnarsson, and let’s not forget the Welsh Princess Morgana.

For all its playing fast and loose with history, the cast more than makes up for it: Ernest Borgnine, Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, and Janet Leigh are all spectacular in this epic sword and sandal production.

NUMBER TWO

VALHALLA RISING

Where do you even begin with this Mads Mikkelsen tour-de-force? Mads plays One-Eye, a mute thrall who escapes his captivity with a young boy and is taken in by cruel Norse Christians intent on sailing for the Holy Land on Crusade. Blown off course, they end up in North America, where One-Eye sacrifices himself to the natives there.

Oh, yes, I have opinions about this film and its meaning. More than happy to discuss with anyone brave enough for an earful.

NUMBER ONE

THE THIRTEENTH WARRIOR

Adapted from Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead, The 13th Warrior is loosely based on Beowulf, merged with the chronicles of Ahmad ibd Fadlan. The cast is spectacular, particularly Jahn Dennis Storhøi who manages to steal every scene he is in.

“After my small role in The 13th Warrior, I said to myself, ‘Let us stop this nonsense, these meal tickets that we do because it pays well.’ I thought, ‘Unless I find a stupendous film that I love and that makes me want to leave home to do, I will stop.’ Bad pictures are very humiliating, I was really sick. It is terrifying to have to do the dialogue from bad scripts, to face a director who does not know what he is doing, in a film so bad that it is not even worth exploring.” — Omar Scharif

Well, Omar, I disagree. John McTiernan was the original direstor, and while he was responsible for films like The Hunt for Red October, Predator, and Die Hard, by all accounts he lit a lot of money on fire and delivered a wretched film. Crichton took the reins himself, reshooting the ending and delivering what I consider an exhilarating adventure film.

Wyrd Wednesday: Snowfall

Posted in Wyrd on April 21, 2021 by Occult Detective

Winter is magic… especially when it visits us in springtime. I have always felt a deeper connection to the gods in wintertide. I suppose pop culture has a hand in that, but it’s been there for me since I was a child.

The snowfall was a welcome distraction from the news of the day.

While I stand by my conviction that the Aesir and Vanir are not patrons of philosophies, seasons, or elements in the same way other pantheons, such as the Greco-Romans, are venerated, I cannot think of winter without having both Skaði and Ullr in mind.

It is not that I see them as the Goddess and God of Winter, but that they are both associated with that season through their personalities and interests. And that’s the crux of it — the gods are living, sentient beings, not the anthropomorphic representations of storms, the sea, the hearth, or what have you. I understand it’s easier to think of them in that way, but for me, I find it limits them, reduces them to a representation rather than acknowledge that they have their own agency.

I appreciate the gods as individuals, not as aspects of nature.

That said, we all worship in our own way. The challenge for the reconstruction of our ancient folkway has always been building from the scant information that survived the Christian conversion. So much of it is tainted, forcing us to recreate our faith with intuition, extrapolation, and personal gnosis.

I believe the gods speak to us at all times, though it is often hard to quiet our minds that we might hear them. For me, I hear them best when the world is covered in snow…

Wyrd Wednesday: Folking Around

Posted in Wyrd on April 14, 2021 by Occult Detective

I just spent the better part of an hour writing about white supremacy and neo-Nazis. I then deleted the mess of it. Why? I don’t want to feed the negativity, and that’s the path it was taking.

Heathenry is a beautiful faith. Travel far enough back my ancestral tree, and those forefathers and mothers lived harsh existences in a cruel and dangerous world, and they did so with the stories of Odin, Thor, Freya, Loki, Sif, and others on their lips. In their hearts were these gods and goddesses of fabled Asgard, who were prone to struggle against horrific odds, much like the people who worshiped them.

In the Hávamál, you’ll not find a better collection of gnomic wisdom and philosophy. These words, preserved in the Icelandic Codex Regius, are the foundation of the revival of the Norse faith. They are its cornerstone, not only because of their inspired advice, but because so little survives from of our pre-Christian culture and religion.

A man is happy
if he finds praise and friendship
within himself.
You can never be sure
of where you stand
in someone else’s heart.

I have read many translations over the years, including Thorpe, Bugge, Bray, and Bellows, but the most recent translation by Dr. Jackson Crawford is outstanding. The stanza quoted above is Crawford’s work.

Compare it to Bray’s translation:

Happy is he who wins for himself
fair fame and kindly words;
but uneasy is that which a man doth own
while it lies in another’s breast.

Regardless, the words are sound and meaningful, covering both practical advice for living and philosophical missives that cut the core of our humanity.

And that’s a large part of the appeal of Heathenry. At its heart lie the Folk, even more than the gods themselves. We honor those Holy Powers, to be sure, but it is because they are our ancestors as much as it is that they are beings on high.

And that’s me rambling to get the sour taste out of my mouth.

Hail the Æsir. Hail the Vanir. Hail the Vættir. Hail the Folk!

Wyrd Wednesday

Posted in Wyrd on April 7, 2021 by Occult Detective

Hail, Óðinn!
Wayfarer, Wanderer,
Allfather, King!
Hail the Æsir!
Hail the Vanir!
Hail the Jǫtunn!
Hail the Vættir!
Hail the Folk!

This is the prayer I say every morning as I place Mjǫllnir around my neck. The necklace is very dear to me. I have been wearing it faithfully for 35 years. I hired a silversmith to craft it for me in 1985, modeled after one found in Rømersdal, Bornholm, Denmark. I requested the ring to be fashioned as Jǫrmungandr swallowing his tail. The craftsman delivered it to me a year later, at a Gun and Knife Show in Indianapolis. In 2001 I added the second ring, my wedding ring, when it became too tight for my finger. I have gone through many necklaces — leather cords, rope chains, and the like — several were gifts from my wife. Mjǫllnir is now born by a dog-tag chain. It’s never been more secure.

I thought it fitting to discuss this on the inaugural Wyrd Wednesday post, Mjǫllnir being the most obvious declaration of my faith. It is frequently commented on, especially at events and festivals (remember when those were a thing).

I embraced the Norse faith as a child, on my own volition, in 1974. I had no scholarship to guide me, no mentors or believers to counsel me on this path. My only resource at the time was The Children of Odin, written by Padraic Colum and illustrated by Willy Pogany. I had no inkling that anyone else in the world heard the call of the Northern Gods.

But it felt right and true to me then, as it does for me today.

I used Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca as a sort of guide back then. I saw Thor and Sif as my patrons. As I said, I was a child with no guidance. I fumbled through my faith, adding knowledge wherever I could find it along the way. In time, I came to honor Odin above all others, as it was his example that led me all along the way, gathering wisdom where I could to incorporate it into my faith and practice.

Now, of course, we are in the midst of a renaissance of Norse culture. The worship of the old gods has risen exponentially in the past decade. Never has there been more scholarly resources available. It is an amazing time to be Heathen. It is also a terrible time…

For all the positive growth in our faith, there has been a near equal amount of negativity. There are some who would use the symbols of Heathenry in bad faith, and others who misappropriate the gods and present them to further their own agendas.

I do not belong to any national or international organizations. I belong to no local kindred. I have been a solitary practitioner for more thirty years and I am fine with doing so for thirty more if the gods are willing. Of course, it is the twenty-first century, so I do interact with a number of Heathens from all facets of the faith, be they Asatru, Aldsidu, or simply Norse Pagans.

I count among my friends those who are Universalists, Folkish, Wiccatru, and all points in between. There is no room at my table for racist, bigoted thoughts and behavior, and I can tell the difference between someone who wishes to honor their cultural heritage from someone who merely maintains hate in their heart.

Personally, I certainly lean Folkish, but I hold no line against any man or woman, regardless of ethnicity or orientation.

As I have said, this is an amazing time to be Heathen, to be sure. We are well and truly blessed.

It is a tremendous responsibility to represent the gods. It is one none of us should take lightly.

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