Greetings, and welcome to Monsters and Magic. My wife, bless her, accuses me frequently of not being concise so I will not blather about some of the reasons that drove me to start this blog. Instead, I will state those reasons simply, right here:
1) I love to write.
2) I feel that there is a distinct lack in the world of paranormal and cryptozoological blogs.
The first reason above really requires no explanation but I believe that the second one does.
I have been a student of the esoteric and paranormal since I was 27. That means that I have been wandering these fields for about twenty five years. In that time, I have been a part of and read extensively on the major streams of the neo-pagan tradition – Wicca, Druidry and Asatru. I’m also conversant with the Zen and Tibetan streams of Buddhism and I’ve worked in ceremonial magic. In addition, I have more than a passing acquaintance with core shamanism. Again, I am trying to be concise but suffice to say that it has been a long strange trip and I am still actively involved in the esoteric world.
Hand in hand with that interest in the esoteric, I have, since I was a child, been fascinated with the paranormal and what has become known as cryptozoology. I am sure my parents worried a little when, at the ripe old age of twelve, I came home from the library with Ivan Sanderson’s 700+ page tome on the “Abominable Snowman”. I also consumed books like Frank Edwards’ Strange World and Incident at Exeter by John G Fuller. I’ve read John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies more than once and I find it interesting every time I pick it up again. My wife is plain in her assessment; she tells me that I am a “paranormal geek”. Believe me, I have been called worse.
Some years back, I blundered into a wonderful book called Monsters: An Investigator’s Guide to Magical Beings by John Michael Greer. For the first time, it occurred to me that all this esoteric material that I had been learning had a place in the paranormal and cryptozoological world of which I was so fond. Greer, who is a ceremonial magician in the Golden Dawn tradition, put forward the idea that, in order to really understand the “monsters” that people kept seeing and reporting, we needed to set aside our predominant Western materialist mind set and look at the world through the eyes of a magician.
So, that is what I will attempt to do in this blog – look at these sightings and stories that have interested me for so long through a different lens. My object in writing this blog is to make people think and to say to themselves “what if . . . “. I am not out to convert anyone or give them instruction on how to become masters of magic. I am simply going to take what I have learned over the course of the years and propose some ideas that I think may help to explain some of the “high strangeness” out there.
Be advised, during the course of my magical career, I have seen people do some really silly things and I will not hesitate to tell you, dear reader, if I think something in the paranormal or cryptid community is really stupid. Rest assured though that I will lay out good reasons for my thoughts and, as I have said, I will leave to your discretion the things that you pick up from this blog.
One of the other things that I will do in this blog is review the occasional book or movie. In fact, a book review will be the first article on the blog since I just finished reading a good Bigfoot book.
Again, welcome to Monsters and Magic. I look forward to a long and interesting relationship with you, dear readers.