Magick By Trial & Error: Godless Heathens

Posted in Magick on May 17, 2021 by Occult Detective

I spent the morning listening to Shawn Hebert’s reading of The Battle of Blythe Road so have Frater Perdurabo on my mind. As has been repeated relentlessly, Alesiter Crowley defined magick as”the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will“. Thus any act, be it ritual or mundane, is magick. He added that “it is theoretically possible to cause in any object any change of which that object is capable by nature“.

These are very serviceable definitions of magick. It allows for every flavor under the sun and moon to be a viable exercise. It also removes the stigma of the “supernatural” from the equation, after all, what is more “natural” than magick?

However, a troubling trend for me is the atheism I find so prevalent amongst practitioners in recent years. Oh, it’s always been around, but I find the godless ranks swelling throughout the greater magickal community. Even amongst Heathens there is an undercurrent of irreligion. The gods are seen as a metaphor, as symbols of aspects of nature… I find this disturbing.

Granted, I hold firmly that it is your right as a free man or woman to disavow the Holy Powers, but, for me, I cannot see denying the existence of entities beyond the scope of our understanding when the evidence of their presence within the rites we perform is undeniable.

Crowley, regarding his writings in Liber O, said “it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.

I’m a simple man. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck… Well, you get my meaning.

I am not interested in convincing anyone that the gods are as real as you or I, no more than I spend my time as a paranormal investigator seeking to prove the existence of spirits. No matter the evidence, believers will believe and non-believers will not.

Each of us have our own journey. I respect yours so long as you respect mine.

That magick works, so long as we adhere to its laws, is enough.

Ghost Hunting Tales: Okie Pinokie

Posted in Investigations on May 14, 2021 by Occult Detective

As promised, today we will briefly talk about Okie Pinokie. Located east of Peru, off of 124 on CR510E, you’ll find a large section of woods, part of the Frances Slocum State Forest, littered with hiking and horse trails, nestled along the Mississinewa River. Isolated, a road leads deep into the woods, ending in a large barren cul-de-sac. It is a very popular spot for trailriders, geocachers, teenagers, and, yes, ghost hunters.

There are innumerable urban legends surrounding the place. Some of the more popular stories describe it as home to a secret “Indian burial ground”, or where the mob used to dump bodies out of Chicago. Still other tales circulate about settlers being massacred by natives, of a young man named Joey murdered in the mid-70s, or a young woman named Stephanie who was raped and tortured in the 60s.

I enjoy hearing stories like these, urban legends that grow up around haunted places. Every community has them. These paranormal hot spots of activity merge with fanciful campfire yarns and grow in the telling, becoming more charged by the energies that people bring into the forest with them.

I had been going out to Okie Pinokie for years, long before I even knew it by that name. I’ve always taken the name to be a bastardization of Okefenokee, as in the infamous swamp rich in Georgia/Florida folklore.

There is an undeniable presence in those woods, all throughout the area to be fair. The Mississinewa is a conduit of paranormal activity. I know, I’ve been exploring here for more than forty years.

In the pictures I’m sharing with you, from September of 2006, you will see an interesting event captured. Note the time stamps.

In this first image, you’ll note what appears to be a whispy figure standing amongst the trees.

Within seconds, another picture taken and the figure is gone, replaced by ascending orbs. I am not here to debate “orb evidence”. I fully understand that most (as in 99%) of orbs captured by digital cameras are dust, water, and/or insects.

For context, I was with a rather large group, a mixture of seasoned investigators and first-time thrill seekers. Moving along one of the thicker trails, an odd feeling began to pass among several of the investigators, with one person feeling downright distraught. One of my colleagues began taking a series of photographs in response, in the direction that seemed to be the source of the discomfort.

Below is an enlargement of the figure from the first image above.

I will leave you with this, a memorial to my dear friend Jack Hill, who left this world for the next on July 30, 2011 at the age of 52. Jack desperately wanted to believe in the existence of spirits, of aliens, and bigfoot, and all the rest, but he had never had an experience. He joined us on that adventure into Okie Pinokie in 2006, skeptical but eager. It was he who pored over all the photos and evp from that evening. It was Jack who spotted the apparition in the photo above.

He was thrilled beyond measure.

What about Dr. Strange?

Posted in Horror on May 13, 2021 by Occult Detective

Just a quick addendum.

Earlier today I posted my Top 6 Occult/Horror Comics. A friend reached out and asked, “what about Dr. Strange?”

Truth is, as I made the list I was trying to focus on “horror” comics. It’s why Etrigan and Deadman didn’t make the list…

Maybe next week I’ll post my Top Occult comics. Will Promethea make the list? The Invisibles? Tune in next week and let’s find out together.


Posted in Horror on May 13, 2021 by Occult Detective


Last week I showed off my Top 3 5 Black Comic Book Characters. Why not keep the comic thing going? This week, we’ll show off my 3 favorite Occult/Horror Comics. I doubt there will be many surprises, especially when I make this a DOUBLE SHOCK POST! That’s right. I’m not posting my Top 3. Let’s do Top 6 instead.







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.

Tarot Tuesday: A Personal Connection

Posted in Tarot on May 11, 2021 by Occult Detective

I was talking with a friend this past weekend, and the Tarot came up, as it is wont to do. We were discussing them in the context of works of art and the elements of design that goes into particular decks and how that design effects other aspects of the cards when employed for both divination and as vehicles for projection.

I can assure you, all of these have been taken into account whenever I have designed a deck. I have created three complete decks, the most advanced and in depth being the Landon Connors: Occult Detective Deck pictured above.

It’s a deck I’m very proud as I feel it strikes the right balance between the rigors of those three aspects.

They are aesthetically pleasing, at least to my eye.

They have an emotional resonance when used as a divinatory catalyst.

And, as an adjuvant for astral projection, for me, they are most powerful. After all, they are based on my fictional stories after all, which, in many cases, reflect real world events I have been blessed (and sometimes cursed) to have experienced.

Obviously, I’m very proud of the deck and I try to use them for special occasions, not just random daily readings. They’ve got spark, for me, and that’s where it counts. And it’s why I encourage people to design personal decks for themselves, to make them have a connection above and beyond.

Not an artist? How about mixing and matching a deck from various sources? How about cut and paste? They are any number of ways to make a deck your own that doesn’t require you to be the second coming of Pamela Coleman Smith or Lady Frieda Harris. All you need is Will and a bit of magick…

Magick By Trial & Error: Dust My Broom

Posted in Magick on May 10, 2021 by Occult Detective

I had a great chat this weekend about the origins of my occult practices and it really set off a flood of old memories, so many things that while not altogether forgotten, were certainly resting beneath a thick coating of dust. I suppose that’s a byproduct of being a bit longer in the tooth. When one can trace their roots in craftwork back nearly fifty years then I suppose more than a few things slip by the wayside, unpracticed… no longer an integral part of one’s repertoire and routine.

There’s a danger in that, I think. We need ritual in our lives.

While I maintain a daily prayer each morning to Óðinn, the vættir, and folk, and I normally settle in at work and perform a quick Tarot reading to start my day with some foresight into what’s to come, there was a long period when I devoted far more time to my magical and spiritual well-being. I was actively engaged.

I suppose these daily blog sessions have been a way to return to that state of mind where magick and purpose are ever-present.

I find myself to be less experimental than in my youth, which is something that occurred to me as we talked this past weekend. I have become complacent, sort of set in my ways. The thing is, I don’t think it’s a matter of learning new things per se, but rather dusting off some of the old bag of tricks and taking them for a spin now and then.

Magick is a living and breathing art, and if we allow ourselves to become stale, then the art suffers.

Too much theory and not enough practice may be good for the mind, but not the soul. As the title of this blog suggests, we, meaning I, need more trial and error…

Ghost Hunting Tales: Teaser

Posted in Investigations, Paranormal on May 7, 2021 by Occult Detective

Well I spent a good chunk of my day in the ER for tests. No worries. I’m fine. Just some inflammation of the lungs. A byproduct of my youthful decadence. As the morning was spent on an OSR project, I never got around to today’s Ghost Hunting Tales. So rather than dash something off, how about a teaser for next week?

Surely that will entice you back to the Occult Detective hearth, one week from today. See you then, if not before…

Three For Thursday: Black Characters Matter

Posted in Media on May 6, 2021 by Occult Detective


“ORIGINAL black characters remain on
the shelf because of tokenization.”

— Eric July (YoungRippa59)

The internet is ablaze with talk of Black Superman and the casting of a woman of color in the role of Red Sonja. This is nothing new. Both in comics and on the big and small screens, unique characters of diverse ethnicities are often overlooked or downright dismissed unless they get slapped into another hero’s pajamas.

I’ve got to agree with Eric July on this. Taking a traditionally “white” character and putting a POC in the suit is not progress. There are a whole host of great black characters that deserve a seat at the table. A prime example is the demotion of the Falcon from a unique character to a “tokenized” Captain America. We don’t need a black Cap, what we need is the Falcon. Period.

That said, today I thought I would share my three favorite black comic book characters. This was a hard list to make. Why? Because it’s a long list of awesome, unique heroes and villains that need to be propped up. You know what? I’m going to cheat. Were going Top 5, baby!

Let’s get to it…






Wyrd Wednesday: Althingi

Posted in Wyrd on May 5, 2021 by Occult Detective


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.

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