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Moving On


This is the introduction to my blog from the About tab:

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.

In the time that has passed since I wrote those words, I have done my best to follow through on that simple mission statement. I have presented magically aligned theories about a number of phenomenon and I have even presented information from my various spirit contacts about certain aspects of the paranormal and Fortean that I felt disturbed enough about to explore in more depth.  I have even given some psychic impressions of places where I have lived.  I have also never claimed, in all that time, that mine is the only or even the right explanation for a particular phenomenon.  As I say above, I have never sought to convert people to my way of thinking and, though I have had strong words for certain actions taken by people who pretend to be experts, I have, for the most part tried to keep an even keel in writing about this topic.  My strong words have come for those things that I have seen as patently dangerous.


Unfortunately for the sake of the blog, I am working hard at getting a writing career in fiction going in addition to my day job.  I have short stories coming out in anthologies this fall and winter and my book is tentatively scheduled for publication in November of 2017.  My time is extremely limited as I work a 40 hour week and put in hours at the keyboard drafting book 2 and beginning to think about book 3.  I know, from looking at the stats, that this blog gets a few visitors every week who rummage through the files and then move on to other things.  I find myself in a position where I have to prioritize my time and I simply can not continue to pour the time and effort that I have into researching and then writing several hundred words a week that I could be putting into my books or stories.

As I did when I took a hiatus a while back, I will leave the blog up for anyone interested in looking at the articles and I will respond to comments as I am able – so, if you have a question or want to know something more about a topic, drop a note in comments and I will see it and be happy to respond.  I want to thank the core group of people who appear to keep coming back to see what I have written.  Your support over the years has kept me going.  I hope that you will find other interesting places to continue your research.


A Great Graphic of the Spirit World


This is a graphic that I spotted on Facebook the other day and could not resist grabbing for the blog; it is the work of Ian Corrigan, a long time member of the Druid order, ADF.  If you have not heard of him, I strongly encourage you to look him up; he will shake up any ideas you might have about what it means to be pagan.  I get compelled to put this up (despite Mr. Corrigan’s protest that it needs more work) because so many people seem to be confused by what spirits are what and where they reside.  This graphic takes the simple cosmological structure of an Upper World, Lower World and Middle World and orients the spiritual presences accordingly and leaves room for spirits that might not appear in this particular list.

Interestingly, I had a dream last night that transitioned into my waking state as my alarm went off.  I have paraphrased Orion Foxwood on a number of occasions – spirituality is discovering one’s place in the spirit world – but, in this dream, I was challenged to identify not only where I belonged but actually what I was.  It is easy for us to give the pat answer, “I am a human being”.  But, really, what is a human being?  What is it that makes us a separate tribe from, say, the Faery?  Why do we think we are so special (other than the brainwashing of the Abrahamic religions)?

Perhaps, if we spent more time looking at graphs like this and considering our place in the great scheme of things and less time justifying ourselves as superior beings who have dominion over this planet, we might find the solutions to a whole host of problems.

Opening the Way


In my last blog, I talked about an episode that occurred back in 2012 when I gave a Fortean researcher some advice on how to open a way for possible manifestation of the Sasquatch phenomenon.  That person, even though they did not follow my instructions specifically, seemed to have some limited success.  I mentioned, too, that if I were giving a researcher such instructions now, I might do things differently.

Orion Foxwood, author of several interesting books on Faerie Seership, Southern Conjure and Traditional Witchcraft, defines spirituality (and I am paraphrasing slightly) as finding your place in the world of the spirits.  I have become more and more animist in my views as I get older; my world, when I pay attention, is a rich melange of spirits, ranging from the dead and ancestors to the spirits of place that might be called faery by some to spirits of animals and other Powers that I have been privileged to meet in my wanderings.

The other day, as I walked my dog on the nature trail behind my apartment, I detected movement and looked up in time to see a raptor unfurl its wings and take flight.  The bird soared from trees some distance from me to land on a bare branch about 20 feet over my head, then sat looking down at me with some interest.  I moved slowly until I was standing directly below this juvenile red tailed hawk and stood for a moment savoring the experience.  As my dog was restless to be on his way and do his business, I could not stay long but, as I walked away, I thanked the hawk for showing himself to me and asked that any lesson he wanted to teach me come to me in an obvious way.  I am still not sure what I was to glean from that meeting but I know from long experience that I will smack myself in the head in the next few weeks and say, “Oh! That is what Hawk was trying to tell me.”

If I were going to instruct that researcher today, my first step before discussing any sort of ritual would be to ask them who the crossroads figure or opener of the way is in their culture or belief.  Whether we are speaking of a being as obvious as Legba Atibon (whose veve is above) in the spiritual practices of Haitian Vodou or Hekate in the work of some pagans or Saint Peter in the beliefs of some Christians (the keeper of the keys to the kingdom and opener of the door to heaven), every culture had gods and spirits that serve to open the way into the spirit world and who must, in some sense, be passed if we are to work there.  So important is this function in Vodou, that no ritual or ceremony can begin without first offering a prayer and perhaps a cigar, rum,coffee or food to “Papa” Legba so that he will open the way to the world of the lwa (spirits).

Going a bit further afield, in spiritualist practice, which focuses heavily on communication with the dead, the medium is trained to contact and work with a spirit guide often known as a gatekeeper.  This guide’s job is to allow solid contacts with spirits that will be helpful the medium and to deflect ‘negative’ spirits away from the medium.  In essence, this being opens a safe path into the spirit world for the practitioner.  In neo-shamanic practice, this place is taken by a power animal who guides the practitioner in his or her journeys and, again, acts to keep the practitioner safe from spirits that might not be wholesome or which they are simply unprepared to deal with.

So, now, before providing any ritual structure, I would want a researcher who was interested in taking the step from observer to practitioner to cultivate a relationship with one of these way opening spirits.  Much would be dependent upon the soul of this new practitioner but I would always counsel them to begin with the spirits that they grew up with unless they (like me) simply could not abide that belief system.  In that case, things become trickier since the person will have to find a way opener that appeals to them and who is willing to work with them.  Just because one thinks that the Dark Rider at the Crossroads of conjure fame is a cool concept does not mean that the Dark Rider is particularly anxious to work with that person.  The person who wants to be a practitioner needs to patiently and respectfully experiment until he or she finds the way opener who will work with them.

The important thing to remember, when looking at any of these way opening spirits, is that your beliefs about them are irrelevant.  Thinking that you are protected because Hekate is simply a part of the collective unconscious is a recipe for having Her demonstrate to you how wrong you are.  Even if you have this belief, it is imperative that you act as if Hekate or whatever being you are trying to work with is a real and separate person and personality existing in a realm other than the one you normally live in.  Then, approach that being with respect (no need to grovel), ask if they would be willing to work with you in your endeavors and ask for a very clear sign of that willingness, one that you can not miss.  I guarantee that if you keep sincerely putting the energy out there, you will find what you are looking for (assuming that you are not a power tripping idiot looking to order spirits around like pawns on a chess board) and the relationship with this way opening spirit will take you to the crossroads where a whole new world will open up for you.




Desecration of Sacred Ground


Standing Rock Sioux Tribe condemns destruction and desecration of burial grounds by Energy Transfer Partners

I can only think of a couple of times that I have felt moved to post a news item to the blog but this morning, as I made prayers to my ancestors, some of whom are First Nations people, I got a definite message to get this word out since the mainstream media coverage of this sickening event has been all but non-existent.  From what I have seen on social media, this is turning into one of the largest Native protests in decades and the corporation that is responsible of this pipeline has responded against the protestors with violence.

The link above is from the tribal website and focuses on the damage done to tribal burial grounds but also note the paragraph that says:

Thousands of people from across the United States have joined the Standing Rock Sioux to protest Energy Transfer Partners’ building of the 1,200-mile Dakota Access Pipeline. If built, a half-million barrels of crude oil would pass through the line daily.

This pipeline, amongst other things, represents a threat to the drinking water of the tribal people in its path.  Despite oil company protestations of safety, we have only to look at the record of environmental devastation wrought by oil spills to see that the Lakota people of Standing Rock have a very real concern.  These are only the spills we hear about – there are more, smaller spills that never reach the news but that could have a devastating impact on a group of people who are already amongst the poorest of the poor in the US.

Please read the above, do some research and spread this news so that more people will be alerted to another group trying, yet again, to take advantage of Native people.

Sasquatch and the Otherworld


Last week, I wrote about the excellent book Enoch: A Bigfoot Story by Autumn Williams.  In that post, I talked about how, over the course of writing this blog (203 posts!) I have referred to the creature that I call Sasquatch (Bigfoot seems derisive to me) many times and have held, since the beginning of the blog, that Sasquatch is something other than a North American wood ape.

One has only to look at the work of researchers like Stan Gordon or read books like Hunt For The Skinwalker to see that at least some of the manifestations of Sasquatch fall outside our consensual reality.  Apes, to my knowledge, do not go poof when you shoot then, nor do they simply disappear into thin air as a witness watches.  Add this to the near legendary hide and seek ability of the creature, lack of physical remains, reports of people hearing the being walking near them but being unable to see it, the panic that often ensues in a sighting, even when the ‘monster’ is some distance away, the reported cases of Sasquatch and UFO’s together and tracks that are clearly delineated in a line until they simply vanish and one begins to see a pattern of things that are quite out of the ‘normal’.

Open minded researchers who ask witnesses if they have ever had anything else out of the ordinary happen to them will often find that the percipient has, indeed, experienced other Fortean or paranormal events.  Native peoples have a variety of legends about these creatures and, as I mentioned in the blog last week, they tend to regard the Sasquatch (or whatever they call it in their language) as a separate tribe of ‘people’ in much the same way as they view the Little People (what Celts might have called the Fey).  To them, these beings exist but you are not necessarily going to be able to go out into the forest and grab hold of one and bring it back to camp.

The primary reason that I do not think Sasquatch is a simple bipedal ape wandering our forest though is personal.  I discovered a while back that Sasquatch is actually a being that one may be able to evoke magically.

The tale is a rather convoluted one and one where I can not reveal identities but suffice to say that I had contact with a certain researcher back in 2012 or thereabouts.  This person was interested in all manner of Fortean phenomenon and was preparing to go out with another friend, who happened to be a Sasquatch researcher, on a forest expedition.  We had talked about my theory that Sasquatch were more aligned to the Fey than to orangutans so this individual asked what it might take to summon a Sasquatch.  I considered this for a couple of days, not sure if it would work for someone who was not a practicing magician, but decided that it was worth a shot.

I sent the person very detailed instructions on how to open a way between the worlds based on Jason Miller’s rending of space in The Sorceror’s Secrets and issue a Call for the being known as Sasquatch. My acquaintance took my advice to heart but, in their later report to me, stated that they just felt too silly doing some of the things that I recommended (the rite that I set up was pretty over the top ceremonial magic and I would likely do things differently now, should I have the chance).

Despite not having followed my instruction completely, what this person did do seemed to work.  The researcher reported that, all through the trip, the party felt watched and that they had a couple of instances of unexplained bipedal footsteps in the night, a rock throwing incident and one of those corner of the eye sightings that could have been anything but appeared to be the shadow of something upright and bipedal.  Given that the pair were out in the unmarked wilderness, it was unlikely to be another person.

While I could not call the experiment an unqualified success, it was successful enough to make the novice researcher decide that being a witness might be neat but that actually trying to pursue a Sasquatch was likely not a great idea.  Although this person did not feel really threatened, their psychic senses told them that whatever was out there was ambivalent to them at best.

Now, I know that my animals (dog and cat) are attracted to the energy when I meditate or do magical work so it may be that a wood ape would be attracted in like manner.  Given the very specific nature of the working (what was done of it) though, I think it very likely that the researcher actually did manage to call the Hairy Ones through.  Either way it made for an interesting weekend for the researcher and confirmed that I will have to try this experiment when I have a chance to explore the North Carolina woods on my own.

Monsters and Magic and the Upside Down

First, if I may, a little businesss.  As I have noted in posts previous to this, I am working on my fiction writing.  As such, I have short stories being published in two anthologies this fall.


From Burning Willow Press, I will be appearing in the anthology Crossroads in the Dark II: Urban Lagends.  That tale is based on an urban legend from Angola, NY, where I lived for a time and is called “Pigman Road”.


From Darkerwood Publishing, I am happy to announce that I will be an author for their upcoming anthology Into The Abyss.  This story is entirely original and is set loosely in the world that I developed for my upcoming novel.  The piece is called “Impetuous Youth”.


Those of you that are fans of the Forteana and/or 80’s sci fi have probably watched “Stranger Things”.  This will not be a fanboy rave or rant.  I enjoyed the show but I kept thinking to myself as I watched, “what if . . . ”  (mild spoilers to follow!)

Yes, on the surface, the events in the show seem implausible.  The Department of Energy somehow breeds a superkid capable of extraordinary psychic abilities in the basement of one of the labs?  Somehow, in working with the child, the DOE actually manages to rip a hole in the fabric of our reality and release a predator that feasts on the local populace?  Young boys (why is it never a group of young girls?) find the superkid and help her learn about friendship so that she is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice when called on to do so?

We have seen it all before but “Stranger Things” did manage to put all the elements into a blender, mix things up and emerge with a show that I will be quite willing to watch if there is a Season 2.

The thing about the show that really drew me though was the acknowledgement, crazy as it seems, that we might not be the only beings in the ominiverse and that this fact does not lead inevitably to outer space but may instead draw us deep into inner space.

I am not a physicist but the science teacher’s explanation of the other dimension that the boys come to call the Upside Down, seemed to me eerily similar to some of my own inner plane experiences where I have ended up in places that were familiar to me but not, at the same time.  This paradox needs to be experienced since, like many otherworld experiences it is quite difficult to describe.  Words literally fail.

I have talked, on several occassions in this blog, about the concept of some beings being able to come through what I call the etheric realm and enter our world, under certain very specific circumstances.  I have also described how those beings may even be able to take physical form in the presence of enough energy (like power of the girl, Eleven, in the show).  While those manifestations may not be as long lived as the thing in “Stranger Things”, they happen with enough frequency to freak nice folks happy in their materialist world straight out and cause them to rethink their previous positions.

Another concept that I talk about in this blog a good bit that appeared in the show was the idea of people actually wandering into the Upside Down and either being lost (Will) or finding their way back out by the thinnest of luck (Nancy).  While, for the sake of drama and the ‘uck’ factor, the entrance into the Upside Down in the show was filled with goo, in the descriptions of people who believe they have accidentally wandered in and then out of the Otherworld, the entry can be as simple as stepping around the wrong corner or between two trees.  In Faerie lore, the realm of the Fey can be entered in certain caves, by standing in a fairy ring of mushrooms at certain times, by performing certain bodily motions (a specfic set of turns in one direction and then the other) or by following a being into that realm.

I found the character of Joyce, despite her chain smoking, to be hauntingly familiar.  I think that everyone, when first contacting the real world version of the Upside Down, finds themselves thinking that they have either lost their minds or wishing that they had since it is a whole lot easier to live in a world view where all that one experiences is experienced with the five senses.  I have seen any number of young sensitives (incuding myself at a much younger age) drink themselve senseless to shut down their other senses. In the movies, such abilities are seen as powers but, as Joyce discovered in her shattered and nervous way, being able to talk to the Upside Down, in the ‘real’ world, gets you stares at best and the possibility of padded cells and medication at worst.  It is only the ontinuing horror of the monster and a driven chief of police that rescue Joyce from such a fate and, folks, that does not happen often outside of TV and movies.

While “Stranger Things” made something of a muddle of it, the writers did even manage to pull in the CIA’s mind control experiments (MKULTRA) as an explanation for Eleven’s powers.  I think the scripters might have done better to mention MKULTRA in conjunction with the projects like Stargate (or whatever it happened to be called on a given week) as a way to bring the psychic powers into the mix.  I would have to sit down and rough out a screen play to tell you for sure  . . .

In any event, I found “Stranger Things” to be well worth watching.  It was quite well acted (although Winona Ryder did take Joyce a little over the top, in my opinion) and the Fortean aspects of the show were handled well, taking characters from complete cynicism to forced belief in a pretty believeable manner.  I would be interested in seeing what the producers might come up with for a season 2.



Review: Wood Knocks – various authors


I have made my views on the creature known as Sasquatch plain in other articles for this blog. I have made it clear that I think that at least some of the giants people are seeing in the woods are kin to the Faery and do not belong completely to this world. In the parlance of modern paranormalists, I think Sasquatch is an inter-dimensional being that is capable of walking into our world and back out of it, pretty much at will.

That said, I greatly admire the work of the people who actually go into the woods looking for the creature and who spend their time talking to witnesses, setting camera traps and even flying drones hoping for a glimpse of the elusive ‘booger’. While I think that a lot of them just might be tilting at windmills, it is still admirable that they have the strength of their convictions and are willing to walk their talk.

The new anthology from Leprechaun Press, Wood Knocks, Volume 1: A Journal of Sasquatch Research is a collection of articles from the sorts of people who have devoted their lives to exploring the strange and especially to looking for cryptid creatures such as the Sasquatch. The anthology is an easy read, at just over 200 pages, so do not expect extensive or detailed articles, but it is packed with information that new and experienced Sasquatch aficionados will find interesting and informative.  In my view, the cover art by Sam Shearon is worth the price of the book, all by itself.

The meat of the book is quite good as well.  Whether we are talking Sasquatch amongst the First Nations people (David Weatherly) or hunting the Orang-Pendek in Sumatra (Richard Freeman) or talking about the presence of Sasquatch in Wisconsin and its surrounding areas (Linda Godfrey), the writing is, with one notable exception, crisp and there are cases in the book that I had not heard of, side by side, with some of the old standards. I enjoyed this chance to ‘touch base’ with the work of many authors that I admire and some that I did not know.  Freeman’s article on the Orang-Pendek made me think that the Sumatrans may have a genuine undiscovered species in their midst.

Having said that, there is one article in the anthology that is a confused, rambling mess and could have easily been cut from the line up with no damage to the work. As I noted above, readers will be able to discern this one quickly and will have to decide for themselves whether the tidbits of information in the article are worth the pain of reading the disjointed ramblings of someone with entirely too much research and not enough space to present it cogently.

I would have been quite happy if that article had been cut and the other writers given more space to present their research. I had the feeling, in several of the sections, that the authors had a lot more to say but were unable to do so due to the editorial pen or space limitations or both. This is a real shame since, as I mentioned, there is quite a lot of original research amongst the articles. I would have been particularly interested to see Micah Hanks spin his thoughts on abductions out further and Nick Redfern’s article on infrasound was interesting but too short.

Wood Knocks is noted as volume 1 of a journal of Sasquatch research. If this is going to be a continuing series of works then the series is off to a good start and, with some minor tweaks, I can see such a series becoming a respected reference amongst those Sasquatch researchers willing to flex their minds a bit and look at new ideas, even if they do not agree with them.