Someday… #RobertEHoward

Posted in Liber et Audax with tags on May 5, 2018 by Occult Detective

howard days

Unless I happen to win the lottery in the next couple of weeks this will be yet another year I won’t be attending Howard Days in Cross Plains.

I keep telling myself that I’ll make it “someday”, but we all know that someday never comes. So I’m making myself this promise, if not before, then I will attend Solomon Kane’s 100th Birthday Event. That will be 2028. I’ll be 62. Absolutely. But I’m hoping for before…


May the 4th Be With You…Always

Posted in Liber et Audax on May 4, 2018 by Occult Detective

Star Wars is not what it once was, at least for me. There was a time when it was everything to me. Like most pre-teen kids in the late 70s, I was well and truly obsessed.


Turn back the clock forty years  and Star Wars was almost a year old. Marvel was knee deep into the comics and really hitting their stride. That run of issues throughout 1978 was a real highlight for me and now, in the order of my ranking all-things Star Wars, it is those comics that come in second only to the first film.

1978 also was the beginning salvo of Kenner toys.While I really waish MEGO would have gotten the license, my love and affection for those toys was boundless. Unfortunately they came just I was nearing the age when I would be too cool to play with them, but there was a brief window there when they were the subject of countless hours of fun for me and my kid brother.


And then, there was the Holiday Special.

The Star Wars Holiday Special aired on November 17, 1978 and, somewhat blissfully for me, tv reception on CBS that night was abysmal. We lived in the country and received our television via a thirty foot tv antennae with a rotor attached. Often times tv reception was pretty bad and this night, at least as far as CBS was concerned, was about as bad as it got. But my little brother and I still watched. Even through the crackle and snow and rolling picture, I could tell this show was a disaster. Its one saving grace was the introduction of Boba Fett.


The animated segment, during which was the clearest the tv got that night, thankfully, was pretty solid. While I didn’t love the animation style (it’s grown on me through subsequent viewings) it did feel like a continuation of the movie universe and was akin to the comics I was reading.

The rest of the program was ridiculous. I don’t know what CBS was thinking. I can only hope that Lucas was paid well for allowing his characters to be so soundly abused.

Star Wars turns 41 this year. It’s been a bumpy ride. Like I said at the beginning, Star Wars as a whole doesn’t mean the same to me as it once did, but I have never lost the sense of wonder and excitement that I felt when the opening scrawl debuted back in 1977.

No matter where the franchise goes, the Star Wars of my childhood remains firmly entrenched in my mind, untouched and unsullied…



Happy #NationalParanormalDay

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives with tags , on May 3, 2018 by Occult Detective

In honour of National Paranormal Day, I thought I’d share a pic of my favorite familiar, Boo. Boo was named after a friend of mine who passed back in 2007, Bruce “Boo” Smith. Just before he shuffled off, he sent me a “going away” present — an officially licensed Hellraiser cube. The least I could do was pay homage to him in some way, hence Landon Connors’ lifelong companion.

We later named a stray cat that was hovering around the house, one of many black cats that seem to take an interest in our country home, after Connors’ familiar. He was a special cat and we really took a shine to him and he to us. Boo hung about for several years and he is sorely missed.


Another black cat has taken up residence of late, a young lady we call Tiny, but we recently learned our neighbors call her Magic, so now, Tiny Magic it is. I like to imagine she is one of Boo’s offspring.

Anyway, rather than wax poetic about a litany of paranormal cases I’ve experienced or a list of paranormal books or movies I adore, I bring up Boo, because he was a good guy, a good cat, and, fictionally speaking, a spectacular familiar.

Happy Paranormal Day.


My review of Italian Folk Magic by Mary-Grace Fahrun

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on May 2, 2018 by Occult Detective

fahrunNot exactly my cup of tea, or aperitivo if you will, but I found Italian Folk Magic a fun and insightful read just the same. Mary-Grace Fahrun has a terrific authorial voice — deadpan serious when she needs to be, but mostly energetic and humorous, perfectly capturing the essence of what one would expect from someone completely immersed in the kitchen witchery of her ancestors.

You’ll find recipes and rituals, spells and meditations that encapsulates the folk experience. This is “the craft” in its most simplistic and sublime. What you have is a fine and glowing example of “real magic”, that is, everyday magic, the magic of the folk, looking to make their lives more manageable, more productive, and, overall, safe and protected from outside forces.

The author has a gift for weaving the story around each bit of magic, making it personal and evocative, which is the heart of the country craft. I believe you’ll find Italian Folk Magic a wonderful journey, filled with Old World charm mixed with modern sensibilities…

Italian Folk Magic: Rue’s Kitchen Witchery by Mary-Grace Fahrun is well worth the price of admission and readily available wherever books are sold. I leave you now with this obligatory link to amazon, but challenge you to instead purchase from Red Wheel/Weiser if you can. While the price might be slightly askew, supporting the publisher direct is an altogether different kind of magic…

Variation on a Theme, #OccultNine

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on April 28, 2018 by Occult Detective

We’ve covered the books. Eighteen years worth. But something else that kept creeping up on my as I revisited my magical mystery tour through my early days delving into the mystic, that music was always there, and still is. So, rather than address a time period, I thought, why not compile an #OccultNine of the music that has and does inspire me, then and now and for always.


Very hard to limit it to just nine, as I’m sure you’ll find. So, who made the cut?

They’re in no order, so from left to right, the top row features Pentangle, Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Ronnie James Dio (Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio); the middle row contains Stevie Nicks (Buckingham Nicks, Fleetwood Mac), Jimmy Page (The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin), Loreena McKennitt; the bottom row spotlights Ian Gillan (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Gillan), Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention), Wardruna.

So, can you pick nine musical acts that have influenced and enhanced your spiritual journey?

What were your #NextOccultNine?

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on April 27, 2018 by Occult Detective

Yesterday I invited you to share your #OccultNine. The idea was to take the first nine years of your interest and study in the magical arts and pick nine books that were a heady influence. That time period for me was 1974 -1983.

Today, I’m asking for your #NextOccultNine. For me, the next nine years of my studies, from 1984 – 1993, were a whirlwind, to say the least. I worked part time in a “New Age” bookstore on campus, read tarot cards for drug money, and generally had a brilliant, mind-expanding time that, admittedly, descended into dependency issues. But I came out the other side of that the better for it.

Anyway, here are the books, for better or worse, that were a major influence during that chapter of my life.



Posted in Archive, Magick by Trial & Error on April 26, 2018 by Occult Detective

Was thinking about those early books that influenced my journey into the strange and unusual corners I now often find myself in. These were there in the beginning. Not necessarily the best, but each was an important stepping stone just the same.

What were yours?


So how does #OccultNine work? Take the first nine years of your interest and study in the magical arts and pick nine books that were a heady influence. That time period for me was 1974 -1983.

%d bloggers like this: