Over Under Sideways Down

Posted in Magick on March 5, 2020 by Occult Detective

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Stan Lee said something to the effect of, “Thor can have all the adventures he wants in Asgard, but every once in awhile he has to return to Earth to take a trouncing from the Absorbing Man.”

I don’t believe there’s ever been a better metaphor to explain the life of a magician than this. For all the wondrous explorations into the multiverse, all the magic and fellowship, and esoteric shenanigans one is a part of, the “real world” comes a-calling.

We are spirits, to be sure, but we have chosen to wear these uncomfortable and poorly engineered meat-suits, as we wallow in the material plane as beings of matter. For all the weighty, philosophical, and metaphysical gymnastics we perform in the imaginative spaces of other planes, we are still beholden to this one.

And when we delve into the mysteries, peeling that esoteric onion — when we engage in unseen forces — we do so in frail physical forms that are emotionally connected to others of our ilk, and sometimes we falter.

Such is the marriage of spirit and flesh, of being a slave to the biological processes that govern our physical forms. But, I have long held that one should deny neither, for spirit and flesh are in a symbiotic relationship.

We have to remember, we chose to descend into this plane for a reason, perhaps many times over, because for all the wonders of the heavens, it is this world of matter where we can interact with creation in ways unimaginable to those solely spirit.

Or so I tell myself, when the body fails, or the weight of financial concerns rear their heads. It’s all part of the process, part of the dues for being able to be a part of something instead of above it and transcendent.

We’re here for a bloody reason, to express our True Will, and to embrace life in all its peaks and valleys.

Will Wright’s Yggdrasil — “Everything is alive.”

Posted in Magick on February 21, 2020 by Occult Detective

“I like this poetic way of seeing the similarity and connectivity of everything, through the rune shapes, as a simple description of animism. Everything is alive.”
— Will Wright

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My friend, artist and filmmaker Will Wright, has been blogging about the Northern Mysteries, with three posts in the past week. Will is a rare breed. His art is inspiring and evocative. It is contemporary, yet evokes ancient wisdom. His insights are enlivening, heartfelt, and a welcome respite from the inflammatory rhetoric that seems to make up so much of fringe thinking these days, from both liberal and conservative voices.

Will is honest and fearless. He’s exactly the sort of wizard we should all aspire to be.

I highly recommend these short essays on Yggdrasil, and the accompanying art he has created.

He begins with The Universe Inside, exploring his artistic examination of the inner journey and the World Tree as a portal between worlds.

The second, Symbolism, sees Will dissect his art, breaking down the symbolism of the piece and displaying systemically his thought process and the myriad influences that shaped the design.

His most recent post, Runes, delves into the interconnections between us and our ancestors, the symbolism of the runes and how they are ever-present, visible in a myriad of natural habitats.

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Will’s thought-processes mirror my own. His journey has been my journey, and I hope to find my way back there again.

 

Paragnosis

Posted in Investigations, Magick on February 17, 2020 by Occult Detective

 

DisembobiedThere are a number of things that hang around the neck of paranormal research and investigation like a proverbial albatross, not the least of which is the veritable legion of amateur thrill-seekers that muddy up the field.  That the majority consider themselves “professionals” and “science-based” investigators only adds salt to the wound, especially when you consider their educations to have largely come from watching every episode of Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, or some equally loathsome para-entertainment programing.

But I don’t want to paint them all with the same wide brush. I have met a number of investigators who are diligent and thoughtful, adverse to parroting the techniques displayed on late night Travel Channel mockumentaries.

Bob Pastorella, co-host and columnist for the This is Horror podcast, tweeted:

Paranormal is not the same as supernatural. The former suggests phenomena science hasn’t explained yet, while the later are things which cannot be explained by any means. There’s overlap, of course, but researchers using objective scientific methods to contact ghosts is silly.

Using sensors to determine the smallest variations in light and sound yield few results other than those shifts in light and sound that could possibly be anything, really.

I’m really enjoying Hellier on Amazon, because they tend to use subjective methods to test phenomenons based on eye-witness testimony. The real drive of the series for me is the continuous synchronicities they uncover, which is also very fascinating.

While I don’t believe in the supernatural, I do think that a way to access that reality is through subjective means, which also means kicking science to the curb for a bit.

There is a lot of truth in Bob’s stance, in my opinion. Far too many “investigators” approach the so-called paranormal as a “science experiment” that they are recreating based on what they’ve seen on television. K2 Meters, Thermal Cams, REM Pods, and the like are fun toys, but not really very useful in the field, at least not as they are typically used.

The very best tool you have is your own senses. All those fancy gadgets do is put up a barrier between you and the phenomena you’re hoping to connect with. And that is what we’re doing out there — trying to connect with and understand these unseen spirits. In our most gracious moments, we may even be there to help them understand themselves, or to provide solace and understanding for the people who live amongst these entities.

At the end of the day, we look to define ourselves and our place in the multiverse. By interacting with paranormal phenomena we learn more about the worlds we are a part of and the worlds outside ourselves to which we will one day cloak ourselves in. We commune with these intelligences in a hope for mutual understanding and a lifting of the veil.

We seek gnosis.

So, if I were to offer a single piece of advice to paranormal adventurers, it would be this — think outside the box. Be silent. Be still. Be open… And be prepared.

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Seven ( memes ) to Understand Me

Posted in Media on February 14, 2020 by Occult Detective

We are a culture of memes, and to be perfectly frank, most border on the ridiculous, but every once in a while, a meme strikes at the heart of something, offering an interesting exercise, and sometimes a glimpse into what a person, if nothing else, thinks of themselves.

Seven Films to Understand Me: The Whole Wide World. The Razor’s Edge. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Excalibur. The Devil Rides Out. The 13th Warrior. A Dark Song.

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Seven Books to Understand Me: The Secret Hide-Out. The Children of Odin. The Adept series. The Illuminatus trilogy. Foucault’s Pendulum. The Lord of the Rings. The complete Conan stories.

Seven People to Understand Me: Robert E. Howard. Frank Frazetta. Jimmy Page. Hans Holzer. Aleister Crowley. Katherine Kurtz. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Monday Morning Tarot Reading

Posted in Magick on February 10, 2020 by Occult Detective

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I usually start my work week by looking to the cards for guidance and thought I would share this morning’s reading. Usually I just do a quick three card draw, but I’ve got some weightier decisions to make this week so drew six instead.

The first thing I took note of was having drawn all major arcana. This tends to mean the universe is trying to hit you over the head with its biggest stick, so I’m taking this reading to heart.

Without going into detail, the general gist of what I was asking is business-related, but from a creative framework, not necessarily financial.

How I feel about myself: THE FOOL (discontent and uneasiness)

What I want most right now: STRENGTH (strength and willpower)

My fears: THE EMPEROR (elusive success, lack of support from an important male figure)

What is in my favor: TEMPERANCE (calm confidence)

What is holding me back: THE MAGICIAN (someone is being deceptive)

What is to come: THE HERMIT (a warning to not make hasty decisions)

I used my oldest deck for this reading, the Pixie/Rider-Waite deck I purchased when I was in junior high school (back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth). They’re bent, chipped, beat up, and worn, but for a forty year old deck, they’re still pretty spry.

 

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.

Raising a horn to the memory of Dr. Hans Holzer on the 100th anniversary of his birth

Posted in Investigations, Occult Detectives, Paranormal on January 26, 2020 by Occult Detective

holzerOn of my most cherished childhood heroes was Dr. Hans Holzer, whom I discovered in the 1977 In Search of…Ghosts episode of the popular docu-series hosted by Leonard Nimoy. I would go on to read dozens of books written by the famed parapsychologist and his imprint on me in my own paranormal adventures has stayed with me the past 40+ years.

For my generation, he defined what a paranormal investigator was. He opened up a multiverse of possibilities.

He was one of the defining figures in my life. Today, we raise a horn to his memory, on this, the 100th anniversary of his birth in Vienna, Austria, January 26, 1920.

The paranormal community owes him a tremendous debt.

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