Sunday, December 18, 2011

Falling Fruit and More Spontaneous Human Combustion

Apples fall from the sky over Coventry

Mysterious Man Bursts Into Flames At Swedish Train Station

Just a couple of weird news stories for you this week. As the Holiday Season ramps up I'll have less time to work on this blog so it may be 2012 before I can post an update. I wish you all good will into the new year and hopefully 2012 will bring good fortune for us all!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ghost Hunting Apps

I recently downloaded a "ghost detector" application for my Android phone. I had previously heard of these apps and didn't really think much of them but I downloaded one of the many free ones out of curiosity. After looking into how they work and playing with this one for a little while I've decided that it's probably not a reliable tool for paranormal investigation but it is something to get you thinking and hopefully doing.

The particular app that I downloaded has three features. One is a "ghost radar" that uses an algorithm to process faint sensory data and then tells you where spirits may be around you on a classic radar screen, the ghosts represented as white dots. I've noticed that this feature seems to really love background noise and that seems to be the main way it establishes where spirits may be from my observations. I can't say for certain that it doesn't detect ghosts, just that it seems like it would give a lot of false positives.

This app also has an EMF detector. It utilizes the phone's built-in magnetometer to detect fluctuations in the electromagnetic field around the phone. This functions as a basic metal detector as well as a gauge of EMF levels (and indeed metal detector apps also detect changes in EMF). This may be the coolest part of the whole app in my opinion but I found the readout to be really basic. It will only tell you on an arbitrary scale of one to ten how high the activity is. I much prefer a metal detector app I have that gives you the readout in microteslas with a graph of activity over time. That said, the ghost detector app got me interested in experimenting with EMF and paranormal phenomena.

The third and final feature the app offers is an "EVP" mode which appears to show you random words based on some mysterious algorithm. I think it's supposed to function like a K2 meter but I'm not sure. I'm thinking that it just processes subtle auditory data and then churns out something but I don't really know. I've not played around with this feature very much.

All of this from an app that didn't cost me a thing. Keeping this in mind I would encourage anyone interested to try one of these free ghost detecting apps out if they have the interest. Aside from the novelty factor it's got me wondering about what would happen if an EMF detector was set up during an evocation, or the "ghost radar" for that matter. I also wonder if the EMF detector could be influenced by psychic phenomena such as psychokinesis or could be used to test the claims of SLIders. I mostly just want to see if there really is any correlation between EMF disturbances and the paranormal.

Feel free to comment about your own experiences with these types of apps and how you feel about them in general. I'm thinking that some of the apps that cost money probably have more features of better quality but the free ones are all I'm willing to work with at the moment. Happy hunting!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Has the Voynich Manuscript finally been cracked?

Mysterious Manuscript's Code Has Been Cracked, 'Prophet of God' Claims

I find the Voynich Manuscript to be fascinating. It sends the imagination running wild with possibilities of what it says and who wrote it. Now a self-proclaimed "Prophet of God" claims to have deciphered the manuscript. If you don't really know what the Voynich Manuscript is then take a look at this article on Wikipedia.

I have this hope that the Voynich Manuscript contains arcane knowledge from the distant past but I acknowledge that is wishful thinking. Without being able to read the manuscript it appears to be a book on herbalism. However, it seems that most of the plants that are illustrated do not match known species. This leads me to think that maybe the book has a deeper, more intuitive meaning. The "prophet" claiming to have deciphered the text seems to have a similar idea, claiming that the language is a channeled language.

The ultimate test for this translation will probably be whether the information can be corroborated in some way. It would be especially interesting if an eventual computerized translation ended up saying the same thing as this translation by a "Prophet of God". My own views on the Voynich Manuscript as of this time are that the book may be some kind of allegory pointing toward deeper occult truths. I have no real evidence to support this view, only the knowledge that the plants shown don't seem to match known species of plants and the language used (if a language at all) has withstood all attempts to decipher it in any objective kind of way.

Friday, November 25, 2011

More evidence for a 2012 apocalypse?

2nd Mayan Tablet Linked to 2012 Apocalypse

I don't think that there will be a literal end to the world on December 21st, 2012. I think that the Maya were probably using metaphor to describe the cycles of time as they saw them. The cycles of nature are evident all around us and were more important to our ancestors than they are to us now. The imagery of large-scale destruction followed by rebirth shows how seriously our ancestors took the cycles that govern our existence as well as how closely they were paying attention to the world around them.

I can only hope that we enter some kind of golden age at the end of next year. However, Nature teaches us that destruction and creation are two sides of the same coin and one begets the other.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Scientific Mediumship and Weird Stuff in the Desert

Can Mediums Really Talk to the Dead?

This is a transcript published in the Noetic Now Journal that discusses the scientific efforts to determine whether mediums can really talk to the dead. I found it very interesting, especially the part about certifying that the mediums tested have actual ability. This is definitely something to keep an eye on in my opinion.

Why Is China Building These Gigantic Structures In the Middle of the Desert?

I'm not even sure what to say about this particular story of strange structures in the Chinese desert. There seem to be as many theories as there are strange designs cut into the sand. Theories range from targeting grids for weapons to a device like the HAARP array in Alaska. I think that it's probably something mundane relating to satellites but the designs are very eerie indeed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Magical Squares

I had been exposed to magical squares before but only recently have I come to understand their history or their significance. For those of you that don't know what magical squares are there is a decent explanation here.

I'm following author Renna Shesso and making a distinction between magic squares and magical squares here. A magic square is a recreational thing whereas a magical square is used for, well, magical purposes. An example would be using a magical square as a talisman or to produce an abstract sigil. Magical squares have deeper astrological and mythological significance which make them something special when compared to any old arrangement of numbers that do neat math tricks.

The book Math for Mystics by Renna Shesso is an excellent resource for starting out in the area of magical mathematics. I've found it to be helpful in showing me why certain things are the way they are in occult lore and I'm not even finished with the book yet. I will certainly keep reading because this book has shown me that math can be so much more than just equations and frustrations. If you are looking to incorporate numbers into your practice or are curious why certain numbers or geometric figures are so prevalent in occultism then I highly recommend checking out this book.

I'm certainly looking at the world in a new, more numerological way now. Math has a deeper, more esoteric side and I'm loving what I've learned so far. The prospect of using the planetary squares to make talismans or for other mystical purposes opens up new avenues of magical exploration and thought. I encourage anyone interested to explore this fascinating facet of metaphysics alongside me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Broadening Our Horizons

Lately I've been looking into areas of mysticism that I normally wouldn't consider digging into. An example is sacred geometry. I recently picked up a book about sacred geometry and numerology and I've been slowly working through it. I was inspired to look into the subject because it's not something I've been exposed to a lot. In occultism there are a lot of geometric figures and sacred numbers but it isn't always obvious why those are important. I felt that I owed it to myself to gain a deeper understanding of why those things are fundamental to certain practices.

This brings me to something I feel is important in all areas of life whether you're interested in mysticism or not. We should always be broadening our horizons and learning new things. We should always be striving to experience and understand things. Life is about learning and we should never stop learning. Sometimes this means getting outside of our comfort zone or forcing ourselves to tackle something that is difficult for us. In the end we will most likely benefit from the experience of learning a new skill or studying a new subject.

I've found that everything is connected and not just in a mystical sort of way. In academia, fields of study tend to blend into one another. In the sciences everything interweaves to paint a bigger picture of how physical reality behaves. If you study something long enough it's likely it will lead you in unexpected directions. This being true, it's only a matter of time before your studies or practices lead you to something you normally wouldn't bother with or even consider. This is part of gaining a deeper understanding and should be embraced.

Follow your intuition the next time you're shopping for books or looking for a new hobby. You might be surprised at what you're lead to.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Linkdrop

I post a lot of links on my blog. I also save a lot of links with the intention of posting them and commenting on the stories in more depth. Sometimes I just don't get around to it though, life being what it is. So what I'm going to do is post a list of some of the links I've had stored away so that other seekers of the strange can enjoy them if they haven't seen them already.

What if E.T. thinks we're evil?
The aliens have landed: Amazing footage shows 'little green men walking about after UFO touchdown'... but why does it always happen in Siberia?
Fantastic Flying Folk!
"Creature" filmed in Brazilian rainforest
The real-life Blob: Is mysterious translucent jelly found in Cumbrian Fells from outer space?
Sally Morgan challenged to prove her psychic powers on Halloween

Hopefully you enjoy these stories I've been collecting for a few weeks. I'm really interested to see if anything comes from the Sally Morgan test. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Book of Aquarius

I'm going to keep it short and sweet this week. I found this book online a few weeks ago and have been going through it in some of my spare time. I'm not quite finished reading it yet but I wanted to go on and pass it along.

The Book of Aquarius is an alchemical manual claiming to reveal the secrets of the Philosopher's Stone. A lofty claim but I suspended my disbelief and prejudice long enough to start reading it. It should be enjoyable to anyone interested in alchemy. Be sure to let me know if you succeed at the process the author gives. I may end up doing a deeper breakdown of the material once I finish the whole thing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Are spirits real?

Spirits are a staple of mysticism and magic all over the world but our modern society tends to regard spirits as fantasy and delusion. This view of spirits and the spirit world tends to come down to the assumption that they just aren't "real." Of course when we say "real" here we mean it in the materialist sense of physical existence, strings and pulleys, visible causation.

What about the mind though? It should come as no surprise to any mystic or magician that the mind is the fundamental tool of the occult arts. The mind is also how we perceive and interpret our world. I think most people would agree that the mind is very real even though it's rather hard to quantify in the materialist sense. Does something happening in the mind or being perceived solely through the mind make it any less real? The mind has a level of "real" all its own.

Most spirit communication relies on an altered state of consciousness or a level of trance in order for it to take place. These very altered states that make working with spirits possible are the same things that make spirit communication seem so improbable to most people. We've been conditioned to believe that our minds are fallible, cannot be trusted, and are prone to leading us astray. All of this may be true to a point but it cannot be absolutely true as we experience everything through our minds and most of us have come to a consensus about things that are true and real despite being perceived through the mind. The fallibility of perception and the mind is an easy way to explain away things we don't want to exist or are difficult to accept while still relying on our perceptions to understand the more desirable parts of our reality or the things that just can't be ignored.

So do spirits need to have an objective material presence to be considered real? I would say not considering that the very label of "spirit" has connotations of an incorporeal existence in the first place. We've just been conditioned to accept anything not solid, material, and objectively verifiable as being false. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, this skepticism toward unverifiable claims or experiences. However, belief in objectively unverifiable phenomena or the belief that phenomena that happen solely in the mind are still real are not threats like they seem to be perceived in some arguments and debates.

In my opinion, just interacting with an entity or intelligence that could be considered a spirit, whether it exists outside of the mind or is just an expression of the mind, makes the spirit real. Charging a spirit with a task and then reaping the desired outcome makes the spirit real. Whether the outcome was coincidence makes no difference from a pragmatic perspective. This isn't going to satisfy staunch materialists but those are the types that usually aren't going to delve into this area of study in the first place.

Believing in a spirit world or in the existence of spirits does not undermine empirical evidence or scientific achievement. The very unverifiable nature of spiritual phenomenon, how illogical it seems to be, means that science and those that tout it as a superior epistemology shouldn't be all that concerned with it anyway. Whether it's "real" or not doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. People will continue to have experiences with spirits, work with spirits, and espouse the existence of a spiritual world whether the materialists like it or not. Hopefully this musing has given you something to think about.

I think it should also be noted that it's been one year to the day since I started this blog. Thank you to everyone that stops by to read my posts. It's the readers that have kept me going with this project whenever I'd thought I'd run out of things to say or when I wondered if it mattered at all. My only hope is that whatever I have to say gets others thinking about these subjects and maybe inspires them to take the information further.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

UFO Alert in Missouri

The strange, glowing object that put Missouri on "UFO alert" this week

I'm not really much of a fan of the extraterrestrial hypothesis as an explanation for UFOs these days so I'm just going to get that out of the way before I continue. My impression of this is that it's some kind of secret aircraft being tested. Why populated highways would be chosen to test it I'm not really sure.

Thinking back on previous UFO tales I'm curious whether there were any radiation readings taken after these encounters. I wonder whether there were any radiation burns on the witnesses or any strange markings on the vehicles. I'm also curious if there are any military bases nearby that could support the secret test flight hypothesis. Maybe if this "UFO alert" continues we'll get some more interesting stories and pictures to scrutinize.

It may be pessimistic to say but I'm not confident that we'll ever really know what's going on with this case, much like most other UFO cases.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Spontaneous Human Combustion in Ireland and Wi-Fi Refugees

Spontaneous human combustion is one of those things that never seems to go away no matter how many "rational" explanations you throw at it. There are a lot of different theories as to what causes the phenomenon but no one seems to be able to explain it beyond a doubt. I bring up spontaneous human combustion because the first case documented in Ireland has apparently occurred.

'First Irish case' of death by spontaneous combustion

In other weird bodily phenomena we have those that claim extreme sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation. This seems quite similar to the phenomenon of electric or magnetic people to me except that instead of manipulating electrical devices or having objects stick to them these people become ill in the presence of electromagnetic radiation. Some have even gone so far as to seek refuge from EM radiation in the "Quiet Zone" that surrounds a major radio telescope.

'Wi-fi refugees' shelter in West Virginia mountains

I find both spontaneous human combustion and sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation to be interesting facets of the human condition. It suggests to me that we are more susceptible to the sea of energy around us and perhaps have something of a literal inner fire inside of us. We are biological beings but it would be ignorant to say that we are not also electromagnetic creatures. Our brains and nervous systems operate with electrical signals, we can look into our own behavior using machines that record our electromagnetic impulses, and our free will can apparently be usurped by moving a magnetic field over certain areas of our brains.

I think that there is some correlation between electromagnetism and the spiritual energy that so many mystics talk about. Perhaps they are just two different interpretations of the same thing? Maybe this plays into spontaneous human combustion somehow? There is a theory that SHC is caused by an uncontrolled awakening of the Kundalini energy within an individual. Hopefully this will give you something to chew on until my next post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Power of Belief

The Dark Side of the Placebo Effect: When Intense Belief Kills

There is a lot of New Age emphasis on thinking positively and believing in things to make them real. While a lot of this moves into the realm of visualizing yourself as rich and famous there seems to be a darker side to belief. Whether we think of it as a mystical technique or simple biology there is little argument that what we believe can affect us on a physical level. The placebo effect is a popular example of belief affecting biology. What about when placebo goes bad?

Depending on the specifics and the depth of belief, the nocebo effect can actually be deadly as is argued in the book discussed in the link above. As little as we understand the placebo effect we understand nocebo even less. Obviously there are ethical problems when it comes to testing the nocebo effect so it may be a long time before we get much understanding of it. I don't think we need to know the specifics to utilize the effect though.

Jumping back to the mystical side now, if we can cause bodily changes with our beliefs then this seems like a very useful ability worth cultivating. I think that anyone that has experimented with the vaguely-named practice of energy work can understand how a belief in an action can produce a physical sensation. This seems most useful in the form of the placebo rather than the nocebo, but these are just two sides of the same coin. If we can actively affect how our biology works with our belief then could we affect other aspects of the physical world? It might be something worth experimenting with.

What you could take away from the above article as well as this article is that what we believe has real consequences. Regardless of how superstitious or illogical a belief may be it can still have an effect on us. I have a feeling this applies to less superstitious and more logical beliefs as well in the sense that they could limit our potential in mystical or spiritual pursuits.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Magnetic Children and Zombies in Ireland

I'm just going to make a quick post with some interesting links this weekend. Hopefully everyone is enjoying themselves. I should have something more in-depth up next week.

Serb Cousins Share Same Strange Attraction

I'm wondering if this isn't just a case of sticky skin. I've seen a lot of these "magnetic people" but I never see where they've been tested for actual magnetism. This kind of thing usually just disappears after it's reported. If these people really do have this ability then it should definitely be studied more closely.

Did Zombies Roam Medieval Ireland?

I thought this was just a new spin on ways of keeping vampires from rising by using the buzzword "zombies" but apparently this find is unique for a few reasons. The whole thing is interesting because it shows that stopping the living dead goes back farther than we thought.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mind-Altering Substances and Spiritual Experience

The use of mind-altering substances in mystical experience has been with us probably since mankind first discovered these substances. I have no experience with mind-altering substances other than alcohol so I will be using that as the primary example. What I have to say most likely applies to substances other than alcohol but that is for you to decide.

Moving through the various literature or communities that discuss metaphysical or mystical experiences you will probably come across those that feel that entheogens and mind-altering substances are tools for experiencing spiritual reality. You will probably also encounter those that feel one should never use these substances because they will hinder ones abilities and progress or they will simply trick the person into believing they are having a profound experience when it was really nothing but the effects of a psychoactive substance. There are more complexities such as the legality and availability of certain substances, the culture that comes along with them, and the possible risks to health but for the purposes of this post I'll focus on the question of whether using substances makes an experience less real than not using substances.

Again, I speak only from the perspective of using alcohol but alcohol is considered to be psychoactive so what I say should be relevant to those that use other substances. I find that using alcohol for mystical purposes simply makes it easier to enter certain states of mind. If I am drunk then I am drunk whether I am being mystical or just watching TV. There is a certain baseline to the experience of drinking alcohol. Alcohol typically affects memory and motor function and usually will not make you experience profound spiritual truths without a little effort on your part. This has been my experience at least.

What I am trying to convey is that simply being inebriated has a character of its own just as being sober has a character of its own. One can choose to perform mundane activities or mystical activities in either state and aside from the obvious effects on memory and motor function there will not be a lot of difference in the experience. I have found that alcohol makes it easier to access the states of mind required for mystical experience, probably because of alcohol's famous ability to lower inhibitions all around. Alcohol also allows a person to relax which is, in my opinion, a fundamental prerequisite for altered states of consciousness.

Broadening the example a little bit we could ask the question: Does a mind-altering substance cause you to have a mystical experience or does the substance allow you to have a mystical experience? I'm sure there are as many opinions as there are people that possess them. I think that if a person has experience with a substance outside of a mystical context then they will be able to tell when they are simply under the influence and when something a little more out of the ordinary is going on. Just as we notice a difference from everyday consciousness when drinking alcohol because we are sober most of the time we will begin to notice when something goes beyond the effects of a substance if we have enough experience with that substance to know how it normally affects us.

This is not to say you should run out and buy drugs or alcohol because they might help you into altered states of consciousness. I'm writing this only to give my perspective on the entheogen debate. One does not have to use mind-altering substances to have spiritual experiences. I have had profound experiences while absolutely sober and to date nothing I've experienced while intoxicated has compared to my sober experiences. I only observe that alcohol helps me reach a calmer, more receptive state faster. It does have its drawbacks in that being inebriated can be distracting to ritual or other relatively complex mystical contexts. There seems to be a "magic" amount that gives you all the benefits with few of the drawbacks and this is probably different for everyone.

There you have it, my views on the use of mind-altering substances in a mystical or spiritual context. I could go on about the symbolism of alcohol or whether using these substances will actually hurt your spiritual progress but those are perhaps topics for another time. I do feel that some people probably should not use mind-altering substances because of personality flaws that could make them more susceptible to addiction or other problems. Not everyone is capable of controlling themselves and even the best of us can still fall prey to substance abuse so before using mind-altering substances for any reason, mystical or recreational, one has to examine themselves closely.

Ultimately the decision of whether to use or not is up to the individual and they must take responsibility for their choices and their actions. I'll say again that you can have intense spiritual experiences whether sober or intoxicated. For some people the use of mind-altering substances may be something they wish to explore. For those that want nothing to do with it then more power to you. I'm a firm believer that there are several paths to any destination and that all roads eventually lead to the same place.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hang on to your feet.

Human foot washes up on beach near Vancouver for 11th time in four years

While not necessarily paranormal, I have a feeling Charles Fort would have found it amusing. I certainly do in a morbid kind of way. It brings to mind thoughts of portals to other universes through which a human foot occasionally slips through. Or maybe it's a reality glitch which causes a severed foot to spawn in that area every so often?

In all likelihood the explanation is probably much more mundane, but this whole thing is just odd enough for me to put it up here. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Devil's Hole and the Story of Mel Waters

Mel Waters and the Devil’s Holes

The story of Mel Waters and his mystery holes is a modern legend. (Go on and get the snickers out now because there are lots of funny phrases in that link). This story has all kinds of bizarre elements that flow together in a way that makes you want to believe this story whether it's true or not. It also ties together everything from UFOs to government conspiracies to spiritual experience brought about by bizarre creatures. If this is a total fabrication then it's as engaging as any fiction I've read.

There's really not much to be said about the story that you can't get from just reading it. It's fascinating and really does make one wonder if holes like this exist in isolated places on the planet. Are they alien constructs from the distant past? Geographic features as old as the earth itself? Where do the holes go and why do they have such bizarre properties? It's very fun to think about.

So regardless of whether you believe Mel Waters' story or not I do think it is worth the read. It's as good as any science fiction you'll find and it does a good enough job of blending the fantastic with the mundane that there is still a part of you that wonders "Could this have really happened?" It's almost enough to make someone want to go looking for odd spots on Google Earth in an attempt to find the Devil's Hole(s).

Enjoy the tale and let me know what you think about it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Scorpion-shaped UFO seen in the skies over Los Cristianos, Spain

Scorpion-shaped UFO seen in the skies over Los Cristianos, Spain [photos]

There's something that bugs me about the look of these photos but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. I also think that it's a little suspicious that no one but this subscriber to the UFO Global Reporting Center saw this unique UFO. I know that I tend to be very skeptical of UFO photos and videos but that's because I just don't like hoaxes.

What do you guys think? Is this the real deal?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Orange goo in Alaska is fungal spores.

Orange Goo At Alaskan Village Found To Be Fungal Spores, Not Eggs

The orange goo in Alaska that I posted about here and here that was initially thought to be the eggs of an unknown species has now been determined to be rust fungus spores. It is not known if these spores are from a currently known species of rust fungus though.

It's a pretty anticlimactic conclusion from a paranormal standpoint but it is cool that this could still be a previously unknown species.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I don't usually get intentionally involved with otherkin. This is not because I have a prejudice against the belief but because the otherkin community, much like a lot of related communities, tends to create a great amount of drama and I just get burnt out on that after a while. However, I do end up encountering those that identify as therians or otherkin by virtue of the subjects I'm interested in and the circles I travel in. Without making any attempt to flatter or offend I'll muse a little on the topic of otherkin.

The majority of otherkin I encounter are of the belief that they are other than human in soul. The dominant theory I come across is that they have been reincarnated into a human body when they originally inhabited the body of another species. I'm not perturbed by this sort of belief and I'm unconcerned if the people around me subscribe to it. To each their own. I believe some relatively strange things myself.

I do occasionally encounter individuals that claim to mentally shift. They claim that their mentality or mind will shift from that of a human to that of their original species. This is an interesting concept to me but this is another belief that doesn't really bother me one way or the other. I seem to recall reading about other types of non-physical shifting at some point but I can't say I remember them right now. This idea of shifting could probably also be elaborated on a lot if the particular otherkin claims to have multiple souls residing in the same body (as I have seen before in the past).

Then we get some people that claim to be able to physically change their form. I almost immediately disregard these claims for a number of reasons, chiefly because it seems to defy quite a few physical laws to an extreme degree. Most of the time when confronted with this kind of belief I'll just listen to what the other person has to say and I may ask questions. I would like to see them physically transform, of course, but I'm not going to demand they do so as that would be rude even if they are capable of doing it.

In some cases it's not really a total transformation from human to animal that is claimed but simply an augmenting of human senses or abilities that would seem to coincide with what the otherkin's original form would be able to do. I think we're all capable of some extraordinary feats when we set ourselves to them and whether one attributes this to the human mind or having been some other species in a past life doesn't seem to matter from a practical standpoint.

Something that I do see more than one would think is a belief among otherkin that eventually some great event will occur and everyone will assume their "true form" again. This may be tied to some story of war on the astral planes, the veil between worlds becoming thinner, or variations on these themes. I don't see this as much different than a belief in the Rapture or the Apocalypse and in comparison it's not necessarily that "out there."

My final thoughts on the subject of otherkin are that they have beliefs just like anyone else. Some of the beliefs are more "out there" than others, even within the otherkin community, but given the whole of world beliefs they really aren't that strange. I think some people may take it too far but this can be said of anything that people are wont to do. Overall, otherkin are (currently) people just like anyone else and are susceptible to human foibles just like the rest of us regardless of what species they may have originally been. With this in mind I try not to treat otherkin any differently than people that identify totally as human and I hope you'll attempt the same should you encounter anyone that claims to be otherkin.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

UPDATE: Orange Goo in Alaska

Mystery almost solved: Orange goo near remote Alaska village ID'd as eggs of unknown species

The mysterious orange substance that washed up in Alaska (story posted here) has been identified as the eggs of an unknown species. I find this interesting because normally these kinds of things have a pretty mundane explanation that quickly comes to light but this time is a little different. This is an example of the answering of one question giving rise to another question.

I'm curious as to whether we'll ever know what this unknown species is.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

UPDATE: Crashed UFO found?

Following up on this post, it appears as if we may never find out what that strange object on the bottom of the ocean is.

UFO found on ocean floor?

The article says that the team that found the object have no plans to explore it further. If it is actually a crashed extraterrestrial craft it could have incalculable value but if it's just a natural formation then it would probably be a huge waste of time and resources.

It seems that what I was afraid of will be the case: This will be one of those very interesting things that falls by the wayside and that never has any definitive answers, essentially making it a permanent mystery. I'm sure this lack of further exploration will fuel the fires of conspiracy theory.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Benevolent Space Brothers? Maybe not.

Some new tinkering with Drake's equation suggests that we could be alone in the universe.

Are We Alone In the Universe? New Analysis Says Maybe

Can you imagine how profound it would be if we were the only intelligent species in the entire universe? I don't really think we'd ever be able to determine that for certain until we were able to investigate every inch of the universe and I don't think that's likely anytime soon (if ever). Our galaxy alone presents a daunting challenge for anyone hoping to get in touch with other intelligent life. Isn't it still interesting to think about the implications of either outcome though?

I'm not sure if it would have a humbling effect to discover we were the only ones here or if it would push our hubris over the edge.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Magical Education

I'm going to keep it short today as I would rather you be reading the link I'm about to provide. I came across a lecture called "A Magical Education" by John Michael Greer that I think anyone interested in the magical arts should read at least once.

A Magical Education

Friday, July 22, 2011

Drop me a line.

And if that submerged circular goodness wasn't enough for you this Friday night, I have finally set up an email address for the blog. You can find it in the "Contact Me" section on the right margin but I'll go on and put it here for even more convenience:

So if you have a story you'd like to share, a tip on an interesting paranormal topic, or just need to get in touch with me for some reason you now have a way to do so. I can't promise I'll reply to everything but I'll do my best to stay on top of any mail I get. I look forward to hearing from you.

Crashed UFO found?

Explorers find bizarre, spaceship-like object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea

I really hope that this isn't one of those things that falls by the sidelines and we never find out what the object actually is. The fact that it's circular makes it really interesting as that shape wouldn't be expected to occur naturally. This doesn't mean that it's a crashed flying saucer but, in my opinion, it does make it interesting enough to take a look at up close.

It could even shine some light on the phenomenon of unidentified submerged objects (USOs). These are reported to be similar to UFOs except they are seen in the oceans, sometimes coming out of or going back into the water with seemingly no difficulty at all. USOs add a whole new dimension to the UFO phenomenon. Since this unknown object has tracks leading up to it there is the implication that it has moved at some point.

I really am excited to see what it turns out to be.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Lizard Man of South Carolina

Searching the Web for "lizard man" will most likely give you The Lizardman, a sideshow performer, or it will give you the Lizard Man, a humanoid cryptid that seems to have resurfaced recently.

The cryptid in question is described as being seven feet tall with scaly skin, glowing red eyes, and three fingers on each hand. Alleged footprints are three-toed. Without going too deeply into the back story (which is explained by the link above) I can't help but see the resemblance to the reptilian humanoids or the Reptilians that pop up a lot in conspiracy theories and UFO lore. As it happens, lizard people pop up rather often in regards to the paranormal as can be seen by this search on

I can't help but find myself wondering if the Lizard Man might be an extraterrestrial or an extradimensional, assuming it's not a hoax or misidentification. Considering how it likes to maul automobiles, the only thing that it could be besides an actual seven-foot-tall lizard would be a bear. I'm not really sure how someone could misidentify a bear to such a degree but I suppose anything is possible in the dark.

If this is a bear, I suppose one would also have to ask why it likes to destroy automobile fenders. Bears and other animals have been known to break into cars to get at some food that's inside, but I'm not sure why a bear would bite through the chrome bumpers or other outlying metal parts of a car. It just seems exceptionally odd to me. Even in the case of a Lizard Man biting the cars it's still very odd.

A humorous bit of speculation I have to offer is that perhaps this Lizard Man is a stranded alien and it is attacking cars in the hopes of salvaging material to repair whatever it used to get here in the first place. Not understanding Earth technology, all it manages to do is result in repair bills and scary stories for the people that encounter it. So then it sulks off, homesick, waiting to try again another night or perhaps hoping that someone will send a damn rescue mission. This is the stuff of science fiction, but if there really is a Lizard Man running around South Carolina and attacking cars in incidents decades apart then why else would it be doing it? I suppose the creature could just not like cars.

Anyway, here's a recent article from the Huffington Post that suggests the Lizard Man may be back:

Lizard Man Reportedly Mauls And Bites Through South Carolina Couple's Car

Friday, July 8, 2011

io9 is offering $2000 for authentic cryptid shots.

io9 Offers $2000 Bounty For Authentic Photos Of Cryptids

io9 is looking for submissions of authentic pictures or videos of cryptids and I'm curious to see what they end up getting. They've already put up a few of the submissions for voting and you can find and vote on those here. In my opinion, most of the critters on that page are insects that could probably be identified by a competent expert. Another looks like a decomposing sea turtle to me. Overall, I think that the white cheetah is the most compelling and the reasons for that are outlined in the description accompanying the photo.

The folks at io9 also have a contest for the best fakes that are submitted but all you'll get are some books and DVDs. All of the authentic submissions will be judged by a panel of experts that will make the final decisions. Submissions also have to be original and submitted by the person that shot them. All of these factors should make for some really interesting submissions.

I'm really glad to see a website doing something like this in what seems to be a lighthearted manner. Sure, there may not be any groundbreaking scientific discoveries coming out of it but for those that are interested in cryptozoology this is definitely something to keep an eye on. Is there incentive to try to pass off a hoax as the real deal? Sure. Will it make this entire prospect any less interesting? I doubt it. If anything, I think it will be even more interesting to see if anyone is able to pull one over on the panel of experts.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

More Dowsing

Today I used dowsing for a practical application and had some success. I won't go too heavily into why or how dowsing works, just that it worked for me today.

I used my L-shaped rods to pinpoint the location of a water pipe that was leaking, buried approximately three-and-a-half feet underground. We knew the general location of the pipe and the leak, but when digging a hole that deep with a shovel it's a good idea to be as sure as you can be. So, not thinking much of it, I went and got my rods and just walked perpendicular to where we had an idea the pipe was a few times. When I crossed the pipe the rods spread to line up with it, giving me a general idea of where the pipe was. Using this, I was able to determine that the hole we had started was maybe slightly to the side of the pipe, but still suitable.

Not terribly impressive, but it was enough to add a little strange to my day. Later on, after the leak was fixed, I was walking around with the rods and testing them out a little bit. A neighbor mentioned that if the water wasn't running then the rods wouldn't work. I didn't agree with this at the time and I still don't. I did mention to him that some people believe that dowsing can be used to find more than just water; things like minerals, oil, gold, and bodies. Out of curiosity, before going inside I checked the water meter after testing my rods. The meter at the time I checked it showed no water was moving through it, suggesting no moving water in the pipe. Because of this I don't think that water absolutely must be moving to find it through dowsing.

There are a lot of factors that could have played to my relative success with dowsing today, more mundane factors. I acknowledge this. However, the leak was found and repaired and that's all that really matters.

Here is more information on dowsing:

All About Dowsing
How To Practice Dowsing
Dowsing: Subconscious and the Paranormal

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ghost Photos

Photographs of ghosts are perhaps the Holy Grail of ghost hunting. That being so, there are lots of attempts to fake ghost photos. There are also a lot of photos that show natural phenomena that has been misidentified as paranormal. Someone with enough experience in this field can usually pick out when a photo has been tampered with or when the "ghost" is just a trick of light and shadows. For skeptics and believers, knowing how to pick out a fake or misidentification makes it a little easier to determine what is the real deal. To that end, I give you the following link:

Photos That AREN'T Paranormal

To give a taste of what real ghost photos may look like there's this:

The Best Ghost Pictures Ever Taken

And finally, if you're the type that likes to find things for yourself:

How To Photograph Ghosts

I've never been much of a photographer and ghost pictures have never really done it for me, but it's a facet of the larger phenomena that I thought should be explored. Hopefully you find these links interesting, even if all you get out of them is learning how to spot hoaxes or misidentified natural phenomena.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Synchronicity, Destiny, and Free Will

I'm sure all of us have had times in our lives where events come together in a way that makes us look up and take notice. "Hey, that's strange," we might say and then think nothing of it. You're thinking of a particular song and then that song comes on the radio. You're interested in a particular subject and then in the near future a documentary or other show about that subject comes on television. A lot of people will pass these off as just coincidences, but sometimes they stand out so much that it's impossible not to say "Maybe something strange is happening here."

There is an occult maxim that states "Like attracts like." Perhaps this is how synchronicity works. When we have something in our minds that we are focused on then maybe it will manifest in our external reality through this occult principle. This same idea is seen in sayings like "Misery loves company," and brooding on your misfortunes is likely to send you deeper into despair. Listening to upbeat music will put one in a positive mood. We are more likely to find something that we are specifically looking for. These are just basic examples of like attracting like, but they get the point across.

So, we draw to us what we focus upon. What about things that we focus upon unconsciously? Things beyond our conscious awareness? Perhaps destiny is synchronicity taken to the next level.

If we incarnate on the physical plane to have experiences and to learn things, how can we be sure that we will learn the things we mean to learn when we choose (or when someone else chooses) for us to incarnate? Sure, we may be able to choose where and to whom we are born to get us on the right track, but could we really take into account every permutation of reality and plan accordingly before setting our (re)incarnation into motion? This is where a "higher self" might come into play. If there is a correlation between the unconscious mind and the higher self, the part of us that abides outside of our incarnated state, that part that is our link with the higher realities, then maybe destiny is just synchronicity on a larger, deeper, and more complex scale determined by the focus of our higher self.

In this view synchronistic experiences and destiny may be the same process but just orders of magnitude apart, both designed to attract to us what we are focusing on either consciously or unconsciously. What does this mean for free will? If our overall destiny is determined by a higher aspect of ourselves then are we really in control of our lives? How do we reconcile a higher plan with personal free will? Maybe we're given free reign within certain parameters that are set out for us within this lifetime. Maybe this gentle guiding is why we find some things to be so difficult, maybe impossible, and yet other things are effortless even though they don't vary much in general intensity or difficulty.

An example would be a career path that one just cannot break into, everything goes wrong, and it just does not seem to be feasible no matter how much a person may try or seem to desire it on the surface. However, success at another career (or in another area of life) may be smooth and relatively easy. Maybe this is the nudge of our higher self, the superconscious self, the soul, guiding us through the things that it is focused upon, the things that we need to accomplish in this life to learn the lessons we were placed here to learn. In this case it would seem that the higher self's focus overrides the conscious self's focus. Or maybe we were supposed to fail at this thing as part of our learning experience. Without the benefit of insight it's hard to know whether it's a learning experience in itself or guiding us toward a learning experience. Maybe it's both.

Basically, the big picture would be unavoidable but we would be in control of the details. That is, if any of this holds true. This has just been me musing on synchronicity, destiny, and free will as I find myself in my own life feeling more and more like I'm being guided down a certain path by the things that take place around me and my own strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully you found this interesting and it inspired you to give it all a little thought.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

EVP - Electronic Voice Phenomena

Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are voices that mysteriously appear on recording media and they have been a staple of ghost hunting for years now. The idea is that by giving the dead a conduit to speak through they can imprint their voices on magnetic recording media. EVP is typically undetectable at the time it is being recorded and is only noticeable upon playback. EVPs are also usually low in volume, whispery, and can sometimes warble in and out of audibility depending on the quality of the EVP. The specific mechanism that allows for EVP is unknown.

The practice as we know it dates back to the 1950s. The key players in popularizing EVP were Attila von Szalay, Raymond Bayless, Friedrich Jurgenson, and Konstantin Raudive. In fact, had it not been for Raudive's book Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead being translated into English, the phenomenon may have never made it across the Atlantic. Hard to imagine considering how popular EVP is now.

Naturally there are people skeptical of whether these voices are actually the voices of the deceased. There's no scientifically accepted way that the deceased should be able to communicate through audio tape and natural explanations for EVP abound. However, when has that ever stopped me from writing about something before? I'm of the opinion that if the messages have meaning then the hows or whys are not as important and the phenomenon needs to be investigated. Pushing EVP under the rug because it can be explained away naturally is a cop-out, especially when it's something that can be easily tested by anyone with a tape recorder.

The implications that electronic communication with the dead could have are huge. Being able to communicate with those on the other side of death with no special abilities and very simple equipment could lead us into an era of knowing what's on the other side instead of just blindly believing or inferring it. Imagine what effects that would have on humanity as a species. This would of course require that EVP be accepted by the establishment though, and that may be too tall of an order at this point in time. However, that's no reason we shouldn't try it for ourselves if we have the interest.

I've yet to experiment with EVP but I've been studying the phenomenon and how to do it and I hope to begin trying to pick up voices from the beyond in the next few days. I'd like to say that anything I capture will be put up on this blog but I can't promise that. While I consider myself technically savvy, I just might not have the equipment or expertise to put any EVPs I may get on here. I may, in the future, transcribe sessions or share my experiences if I have any that are relevant but again, I can't promise that. I've avoided putting up some profound experiences I've had on this blog before because I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around them sometimes and, quite frankly, if I read them on some random blog on the Internet I probably wouldn't believe them myself.

I can see myself maybe doing an EVP how-to if I find success with it though, so that might be something to look forward to. Until then I've got some links for you:

Electronic voice phenomena at Wikipedia
Electronic Voice Phenomenon Samples
EVP Samples
Ghost Audio at

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Armchair Occultism

In my opinion, armchair occultism is a common trap among the mystically inclined. It's easy to move from book to book, absorbing knowledge but not really doing anything with it. Intellectual and scholarly pursuit alone is worth the time for many but when armchair occultists clash with practical magicians it can sometimes get ugly. An armchair magician might say that something has to be done a certain way, no exceptions, because that's what the books they've read have said. How can they say this with certainty if they've never actually attempted it themselves, especially when a more pragmatic occultist has had success going against the grain? The reality is sometimes very different from what the books say.

Study is a necessary part of occult practice because one has to have something to practice in the first place and we learn about this through study. However, knowledge not applied has the same benefit as reading a novel. It can be entertaining, it can make you think, but it usually has no practical benefit. The practical magician, the one that studies to find new things to practice, is going to have the truer and more fulfilling experience. The practical magician is going to have something that the armchair occultist can only wish for: firsthand experience of the mysteries.

This said, it's a good idea to have a firm grasp of your source material and the knowledge of the past. Very few people have ever said "I'll just go practice magic today," without having picked up a book on the subject before. This is how knowledge progresses; we build upon the knowledge of those that came before us. I'll also tell the truth and say that it doesn't hurt your credibility to be able to throw out a few prominent (or even more obscure) examples of occult literature in discussions with like-minded individuals. Knowing where your practices came from can help you progress them. New material sparks new ideas and this requires study.

The gist of what I'm trying to get at with this post is that you should be mindful not to fall into the trap of armchair occultism if you hope to be a practicing occultist. As annoying as armchair occultists can be in discussions, the only true danger is in becoming an armchair occultist practicing solely in your head with what amounts to vague concepts and ontologies when you really wish to be "out there" doing something, applying the knowledge, and having the experiences firsthand. Study and theory have their place but they only have true value when they're applied. The thought of contacting spirits is perhaps more entertaining than the actual process, but it is nowhere near as awe-inspiring.

Firsthand experience should be the goal of occult study. Otherwise we're just accepting whatever dogmas or cosmologies have been laid out. An experiential approach is pure empiricism and the only way you're going to gain any true insight into whatever mysteries you're looking for. Someone has to try things and actually do something in order to write about it and pass it on to the true seekers and armchair occultists alike. Do you want to be someone that reads about the experiences and practices of others or do you want to be having your own experiences? Do you want to find the truth for yourself or accept it at face value?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dowsing is still kicking.

Divine Business An old-school dowser plies his trade

If only everyone was able to dowse like Vernon G. Bandy then maybe there wouldn't be a water crisis.

I'm keeping this blog post short but expect much deeper material in the near future. Until then enjoy the story of Mr. Bandy and those of you in the United States have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

End of the World?

World will end on May 21 says ex-MTA worker Robert Fitzpatrick, who's putting money where mouth is
2011 end times prediction at Wikipedia.

Those two links should tell you just about everything you need to know about all of this hubbub about the end of the world on Saturday. Technically it's just supposed to be the Rapture, but for most people it'll be close enough. The true end is supposed to be on October 21st.

Like most end of the world claims this one will be pretty easy to test. We just have to wait and see. In all likelihood nothing will happen. I'm by no means a scholar of Christianity but I do seem to remember there being something in the Bible about no man knowing the day or time of the end. I guess we'll find out in a couple of days. I mostly feel sorry for the people that have spent their life savings advertising for this.

Now, for your enjoyment:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

If ETs are coming to Earth then where are they?

I've brought up the similarities between UFO sightings and older, more magical phenomena like fairies before. I have been thinking for a while that these phenomena are one and the same and the extraterrestrial explanation is just our modern take on something that has been happening for a very long time. Pondering the Fermi Paradox earlier today it occurred to me that the evidence of intelligent extraterrestrials visiting us (or existing at all) is severely lacking. Sure, there are lots of things that could be interpreted as evidence for extraterrestrials, but there doesn't seem to be anything really concrete that says "All of these things are caused by aliens."

No doubt the UFO phenomenon is real. People see strange and unidentifiable objects in the skies all the time. Unidentified does not necessarily mean extraterrestrial though. That we jump to the extraterrestrial hypothesis as an explanation for UFOs tells how much our collective thinking has been affected by the times we live in. Science fiction influences aside, we assume that since we can travel into space that an advanced alien civilization should be able to travel much farther into space, bend space and time itself, and generally defy the laws of physics as we know them.

That's the real rub of it: the defying of the laws of physics. To get here from another star in a timely manner, as well as to remain undetected by humans, these aliens would have to have technology that resembled magic to us simply because it would defy all understanding that we have of how the universe works. We're talking faster-than-light travel, wormholes, unimaginable energy sources, etc. Thinking about this, there's little wonder some ufologists have looked at the magical descriptions of strange things in the past and decided that they must be the product of extraterrestrial technology.

There is another possibility though, just as incredible but for some reason treated as infinitely less likely. What if all of these unexplained UFO sightings, alien abductions, messages channeled by contactees, etc. are the product of spirits? I should probably clarify what I mean by spirits here. I mean beings from beyond the physical plane of existence. More modern terms might be extradimensionals or ultraterrestrials. I am not referring to ghosts or the souls of deceased humans, but beings that have never been human at all.

Grimoires of magical knowledge such as the Keys of Solomon discuss at length how to contact non-human spirits. To most people this will seem impossible, but once you've accomplished it for yourself it seems a lot more believable. Beings capable of moving between planes of existence, in some cases capable of affecting events on the physical plane, seem to be on par with how we think of extraterrestrials; especially in some New Age circles and UFO cults. There are also parallels between spirit channeling and the channeling of extraterrestrials. When looking at the similarities, extraterrestrials and spirits could be interchanged in most narratives and the story would remain the same.

The more I ponder this subject the more I think that it's likely that we aren't being visited by extremely advanced flesh-and-blood intelligent extraterrestrials. The odds against them existing, finding us, having enough interest to interact, and then having the ability to get here are just staggering. But what about beings (spirits) that are capable of moving between planes of existence, not bound by the limitations of time or space, that have been interacting with humans since the dawn of our species? Is that any more likely? It bypasses several of the problems in the extraterrestrial hypothesis at the cost of invoking a mystical view of reality that is extremely distasteful to some people.

Personally, after the experiences I've had, I'm more inclined to believe in spirits than extraterrestrials visiting us. I would even go so far as to say that those claiming to have encounters with extraterrestrials through channeling or abduction may actually be contacting non-human spirits (if they are contacting anything at all). Again, it is our modern mindset that prohibits us from believing in spirits but allows us to accept extraterrestrial visitation as a possibility. If UFOs and other phenomena ascribed to extraterrestrials are actually caused by spirits then that could explain why we can't seem to find these mischievous aliens; they simply aren't sticking around on the physical plane long enough to be caught. Not being native to the physical plane, they may even be incapable of truly being "caught" as we might catch an animal in order to study it.

Whether a strange being is an alien or a spirit may ultimately be totally up to the perceptions and beliefs of those encountering it. These are just my ongoing observations and musings on the subject; take them as you will.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To Be Silent

Occultism has never really been in the public eye. However, in this day and age we have the luxury of not being terribly persecuted for an interest in the paranormal or the occult even if it should be made public. We will most likely not be burned at the stake or banished from the community. Even with this relative security there are still reasons why the occult remains a hidden thing.

One reason to keep occult operations a secret is to ensure that they are effective. Letting everyone who will listen know about your recent projects introduces new variables that could cause failure. These people might begin thinking about your occult experiment, they may doubt you or your abilities, or they may even doubt the possibility or existence of anything occult or paranormal. This will not work in your favor as they are essentially devoting attention and intention to your failure, much as you devoted the same to the success of your goal. At best you will still succeed, but this added influence is unnecessary and could cause an operation to be less than effective. I see no reason to risk it.

Another reason to keep your occult interests secret might be the lingering stigma of looking into the "dark arts." Most people will either think you're working with the Devil and going against God or that you're indulging in superstition or dangerous cult activities. This could hurt your social standing and as any outcast will tell you, social standing can be very important depending on what you want to do in your life. To avoid social stigma it may be for the best to keep occult interests a secret from those that don't need to know. Those that do need to know is something you will have to decide for yourself based on your circumstances.

It's important to note that the secrecy surrounding occult pursuits is a big reason why they have to be kept secret from people that think in the above ways in the first place. If these pursuits were not generally hidden then more people would know and understand them and there would potentially be less of a stigma around them. However, not everyone is comfortable with occult teachings and practices and, as I mentioned earlier, telling people about what you're doing can work against you. Esoteric teachings are esoteric because most people are not willing to accept them and are not ready to learn them.

As unfortunate as it may be that not everyone can accept and take advantage of occult knowledge, the relative secrecy around occult knowledge is necessary. Another advantage of living in this day and age is that those ready to seek out the occult can easily find what they're looking for at their local bookstore or on the Internet. I think this shows that the part of the Hermetic Quaternary the title references (To Be Silent) is useful and also not a great barrier to knowledge or understanding for those genuinely seeking it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Breaking Down the Barriers of Doubt

Breaking down the barriers of doubt is a very important process for anyone hoping to achieve paranormal or occult feats. Do not get me wrong; doubt is a very important thing to have. However, as anyone that has ever applied for a job or tried out for a team can tell you, doubt can work against you. This is especially true in the field of the paranormal. Doubt can keep us from even attempting anything at all, let alone actually achieving substantial results.

Complete confidence and belief are a prerequisite for many occult and paranormal pursuits, belief in both the sought phenomenon and in one's own abilities. This really isn't that different than more mundane pursuits like shooting a basketball or jumping a hurdle though. However, like with shooting hoops and jumping hurdles, one has to start at the beginning when it comes to the occult. Many traditions and paths have basic exercises designed for new initiates and future techniques build upon these basic exercises. One has to walk before they can run and this applies to occult pursuits just as much as it applies to everyday pursuits.

I bring this up because not only do these beginner exercises build necessary skills (in both occult and mundane examples) but they also build confidence. These exercises or techniques become easy and the practitioner comes to have little doubt in the possibility or in their own ability to perform a given task. To use an occult example, a neophyte will most likely have doubts about the possibility of and their own ability to perform a physical evocation of a Goetic spirit. If they can push their doubts aside long enough to actually attempt the evocation they will likely fail.

More than one seeker has been stopped in their tracks when a spell they attempted failed or they couldn't perform a certain exercise successfully. This causes people to give up on the occult and move on to some other interest. Those that stick with it come to learn why their initial attempts failed and in my opinion it is because the beginner is likely to try to perform a task that is outside of their capability, both in ability and in belief. They have not done much occult work prior and therefore have not loosened the fetters of doubt through experience of occult phenomena. This doubt causes them to fail because they do not really believe it can be done or do not believe that they are capable of doing it.

I am not just referring to conscious doubt either. Conscious doubt is usually pretty easy to dispel. Subconscious doubt is the tricky thing that one has to deal with. Subconscious doubt plays a very prominent role in the occult as the occult is a primarily mental field. Even with all the wands and robes, the human mind is still the center of all magic and mysticism. If your own mind is working against you then you will surely fail at a mental pursuit. How do we get past subconscious doubt then? As the saying goes, "Seeing is believing."

We do the beginner exercises, we build our skills brick by brick. Greater skills lead to more profound experiences and profound experiences lead to the erosion of the subconscious barriers of doubt. The more "impossible" phenomena we experience, the more we weaken that barrier of doubt that has been built up in our minds and thus the more we open ourselves to more impressive experiences. This is why it is important to start at the beginning and build your skills from the ground up.

Speaking from experience, I know that this is not always easy when you first pick up a book on magic or occultism and decide that the basic exercises are boring or stupid. I had this attitude for a long time and that amounted to my becoming little more than an armchair occultist in many respects because nothing seemed to feel right or work right. When I went back and started at the beginning I began to have a lot more success. As I have more successes my doubt erodes, both my doubts in the possibility that these things exist and my doubts in my own abilities to do these things.

These ingrained doubts are no one's fault. Our subconscious mind manages our reality. It keeps track of our everyday concerns, sorts our thoughts and feelings, and makes it so we can function in our mundane lives. Most people are caught up in their everyday societal pursuits and their subconscious minds become attuned to this. Anything paranormal is out of the ordinary and there is a deep reflex to reject these things as they seem to have no place in our everyday reality as we understand it. If you want to become adept at paranormal or occult pursuits then you need to get rid of your doubt, both on the surface and deeper down.

You do not do this by having blind faith or deluding yourself; you do it by having genuine paranormal experiences. This is empiricism in its purest form, an experiential approach to the paranormal (and reality for that matter). Start from the beginning of the book and learn the basics. Do the beginner exercises until you are confident in your abilities. Only then will you be able to progress to truly amazing experiences.

Good luck to all of you out there that are brave enough to try these things for yourselves and get your own proof.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake is a hero.

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist and a well-known figure in the field of parapsychology, recently did an interview at  The interview at first deals with the controversy surrounding Richard Wiseman's latest book and his attempts to misinform the public.  However, the truly interesting stuff is in the discussion that stems from talking about the controversy in which Dr. Sheldrake goes on to give a beautiful and poignant observation of a huge problem in modern science.  What is that problem?  Dogmatic materialism and how it has stifled progress.  Dr. Sheldrake says it so much better than I ever could so I'll just link you to the interview.

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake on the Persistence of Richard Wiseman’s Deception

You can read the transcript, you can listen to the interview, or you can even download the interview to listen to later.  Whichever way appeals to you, I highly recommend that you take a look at this if you love science as well as the paranormal.  It's like Dr. Sheldrake took everything I've had floating around in my head on the subject and laid it down neatly and plainly for all to see.  He is a hero for saying what few seem to be willing to say and he has my respect for that.  I only hope that by writing about this interview here that his views and work get the attention they deserve and we can all move on to finding real answers and truly exploring reality without the limits of a particular philosophical stance smothering us.

I think it's suiting that this will be my one hundredth blog post.  It's the fact that people from all over the world are reading what I write that has kept me going with this experiment for so long.  It's my love for all of the subject matter that I cover that inspired me to start this blog in the first place and I'm very happy that I've kept writing about it.  This blog is for everyone that wonders about the strange things out there and those that want to find answers for themselves instead of just buying a ready-made explanation.  Thanks to all of you that keep coming back to read my thoughts and opinions.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What an apocalypse survival bunker looks like.

When the Aliens Touch Down, Make for This Missile Base

I think that aliens are one of the more unlikely things to cause an apocalypse but this makes me wonder:  If civilians are working on projects like this then what might the government have already?  Continuity of government is something that we know the government takes very seriously and they already have facilities suited to this purpose.

Do these types of facilities tie into the mysteries surrounding Denver International Airport?  I think that they might.  There have been rumors for a while that the elites and governments of the world know something that the general public doesn't know about a future cataclysm and that they are preparing for it.  Are facilities like the one in the above article just the tip of the iceberg?  Are there far more extravagant facilities built by the rich and powerful that will allow them to survive impending disaster?  I think that it is a very real possibility.

The 2012 hype has people buying into projects like the one above; I don't see why the elite of society wouldn't be doing the same, especially if they know something we don't.  Thinking about it, a global catastrophe may not be the biggest of their worries.  Civil unrest has been on the rise around the world and the faltering economies in many countries have a lot of people on edge.  What would happen to the haves if the have-nots began to turn against them?  Maybe that's the scariest possibility that they can imagine.  Regardless, survival bunkers like this seem to be up to the task of protecting people from just about anything.  Let's hope that no one ever has to use them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Worms Falling from the Sky

It's raining worms: Schoolchildren's lesson interrupted by creepy crawlies falling from sky

It's not quite a rain of frogs or fishes but I have a feeling that Charles Fort would have found this fascinating.

Are mind control devices being tested on TV hosts?

Are U.S. government microwave mind-control tests causing TV presenters' brains to melt down?

The ability to use microwaves to cause human beings to hear things inside their heads was established as a real phenomenon in the 1970s.  Has that technology progressed over the last few decades to allow for remote mind control?  I did find a somewhat disturbing patent while doing a little research:  Apparatus and method for remotely monitoring and altering brain waves.

I can't say if devices similar to that are being used to mess with TV presenters but it seems that the concept is not that fantastical.  Conspiracy theorists and people that claim to be survivors of mind control have been saying that the government has mind control capabilities for years.  MKULTRA is perhaps the best known program set up to explore the possibility of mind control.  Project Monarch is alleged to be a program within MKULTRA.

I think that the possibility of mind control has to be considered, but more interesting to me is why this technology would be focused on TV personalities.  Perhaps it's being tested for field operation on live television?  What purpose could the government have for such a capability?  I think it would be useful for a government to have absolute control over TV hosts and newscasters or, barring that, have the ability to cut their reports or presentations short.  This would be censorship and control on a level that has never been seen before.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Internet is apparently contributing to the demand for exorcism.

Surge in Satanism sparks rise in demand for exorcists, says Catholic Church

It bothers me whenever occultism is lumped in with Satanism and devil-worship because it demonstrates that the author does not have much understanding of the scope of occultism.  There are many spiritual things out there beyond the purview of Christian doctrine and many of them fall under the heading of "occult."  I realize that this is the knee-jerk characterization when coming from the Christian perspective though.

I think that it's a good thing that the Internet has allowed virtually everyone easy access to occult resources that were once kept secret or were difficult to obtain.  This is not because I'm a follower of Satan and wish for everyone to corrupt their eternal soul but because I think knowledge is power.  The proliferation of information educates people about what occultism actually is and why it is studied and practiced.  It also gives people alternatives in their spiritual development that they might not otherwise know existed.

Occult study comes with risks, but increased access to information cannot be blamed for those that get into trouble.  The Internet can teach one how to do a lot of very dangerous things; things that are much more dangerous than occult practice.  It is my opinion that people should be allowed to freely study their interests and that the individual is responsible for what they do with the information they gather.

In the spirit of sharing information, those of you that are interested in the occult may wish to check out for most of your occult book needs.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lights Over Colorado and Radioactive Rain in Massachusetts

Triangular formations of light are really nothing new in the world of UFOs.  There's a recent case that seems to fit this pattern very well.

UFO Sighting North of Denver, Resident Films Mysterious Red Lights

My first impression is that this is another one of those videos that shows some strange lights against a black background and doesn't give a lot of points of reference.  Is it the real deal?  Maybe.  If it is then I think it fits more with the descriptions of the alleged TR-3B experimental craft.  I think that this will likely go down as yet another case that never has a satisfactory explanation.

In other news:  Radioactive rain in Massachusetts.  This isn't exactly paranormal, but I'm beginning to wonder if we're being told everything about the dangers of the nuclear disaster taking place in Japan.  The initial scare made potassium iodide a rare and valuable commodity and we were being told everything was fine.  I can't imagine what would happen if the authorities were to come out and say that things weren't okay.  As always, I'm an advocate for being prepared for any disaster whether it's natural or man-made. - A website all about getting ready for disasters.
Are You Ready? - FEMA's in-depth guide to citizen preparedness.

Friday, March 25, 2011

How to make a scrying mirror for less than five dollars.

I remember reading about this somewhere before but I only recently just tried it myself.  I've had just as much success with it as I have with scrying the surface of a cup of water (if not more) so I think it's worth mentioning to those that are getting into scrying or are looking for a less expensive alternative to a crystal ball.

The first step is to get a cheap picture frame.  I don't think the shape or size are very important as long as they are comfortable for you.  I've found that a larger field for gazing works better for me.  The frame that I made my mirror out of is an 8"x10" black rectangular frame.  The cardboard backing of my frame is black on one side as well.  The frame cost two dollars plus tax.  To turn it into a scrying mirror all I had to do was turn the cardboard backing so that the black side was facing out through the glass.  I ended up with a solid black surface.

At this point you would be ready to scry but it is recommended that the mirror be cleansed (some recommend consecrating it as well) before use.  To cleanse the mirror you just need to pass the glass under running water while imagining all impurities being washed away.  Dry the glass and then put it back in the frame.  Be mindful that the glass is as clean as possible so that there are no smudges to distract you while gazing at it.  It saves time if you cleanse the glass before actually constructing the mirror.  I did this after construction because I was curious if I would even be able to construct a workable mirror so I didn't want to jump the gun.  It wasn't a big deal considering my picture frame loads from the front and the glass pops out easily.

If the frame you choose does not have a black backing you can use a piece of black construction paper.  If you really want to go all out then you can actually paint one side of the glass flat black but this might drive your cost beyond five dollars.  Regardless of how you do it, the idea is to create the effect of looking through the glass at blackness.  To use your new scrying mirror you need to set it up so that when you place a candle or lamp behind you there is a slight glow on the surface of the glass.  You do not want any reflections of yourself or your surroundings though.  You may need to play around with the setup to get the effect just right.  Remember to take advantage of the built-in stand that most picture frames have.  Once you have the effect right just comfortably gaze at the black surface.

For more information and instruction please see my previous post about scrying.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vampire Watchers and the Kemetic Order of Aset Ka

Recently I was turned on to the idea of researching "vampire watchers."  This is allegedly a group of people that watch the modern vampire community much as Watchers watch the immortals in the Highlander franchise.  I had heard of the idea in the vampire community a few times before but had never paid much attention to it.  Through a bit of basic web searching I found that whenever there was mention of the "Vampire Watchers Group" there was almost always mention of the Aset Ka as well.

The Kemetic Order of Aset Ka is a spiritual order that claims lineage from ancient Egypt and vampirism plays a part in in their teachings and beliefs.  I won't go into too much detail about the specific beliefs of the Aset Ka, but my perception is that it's a bit of a mixed bag of Kemetic beliefs, vampiric beliefs, and some New Age beliefs all thrown into a blender.  It's interesting that even though they claim ancient lineage, no one seems to be able to produce anything concerning them before 2006 or so.  By doing a simple WHOIS search on their domain name one can see that it was created in 2006.

My personal opinion is that the Aset Ka (and probably the Vampire Watchers Group as well) were created to get publicity for the Asetian Bible by Luis Marques (published in 2007).  No one seems to know anything about them aside from very general information that has been rehashed over and over again and most people claiming any association with them always refer to the book.  This book seems to be the only evidence of their structure, beliefs, practices, or very existence and is marketed as the authoritative source on the Aset Ka.  One should also keep in mind that since the release of Asetian Bible the Aset Ka have not been very active except to promote and refer people back to that work.

Maybe the Aset Ka are more than a publicity machine to sell books.  If that's the case, I think claiming to be older than humanity is still a stretch.  Claiming ancients roots to gain some sort of validity is nothing new in the occult world but eventually the truth always comes out.  There's nothing wrong with starting a new organization and picking up ancient ideas but claiming direct lineage is dishonest.  Doing it just to sell books is even more dishonest.

Taking all of this into consideration, I have to say that all of the mystique surrounding the Aset Ka, and the Vampire Watchers for that matter, is all pomp and posturing.  They are trying to start an "ancient" tradition (which has too many similarities to other traditions and practices in the vampire community and the new age community to even count), apparently in hopes of getting rich off of it.  I can certainly see why someone would attempt this as vampires have been very popular for the past few years and "ancient" or "secret" knowledge is always desirable no matter the time period.

So to anyone that may be fearful of the Aset Ka or the Vampire Watchers, all I can say is take a deeper look and read between the lines.  The only thing they are really dangerous to is your wallet.  Their practices and traditions may be just as valid as any other practices or traditions but an ancient occult order the Aset Ka are not.  The Vampire Watchers make convenient bogeymen for the vampire community and this is perhaps why they were created and seem to talk almost exclusively about the Aset Ka.  It's made to get one thinking "Well, if these watchers are watching the Aset Ka then there must be something going on there."  The only thing going on is marketing, I think.

The Kemetic Order of Aset Ka
Asetian Bible at Amazon UK
Compare this entry at with this deleted Wikipedia entry.
Forums for "Vampire Watchers Group"
See this thread on

Hopefully after going through that information you can see what brought me to my conclusion about the Kemetic Order of Aset Ka and the Vampire Watchers Group.  Maybe this will explain a few things or set some minds at ease.  I certainly feel like I now know a lot more about these elusive Vampire Watchers I've heard about.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Supermoon and Earthquakes

I'm sure that by now you've heard of the devastating earthquake and resulting tsunamis that occurred in Japan.  It just so happened that hours before I learned about the disaster I was reading this article about the "Supermoon" that's coming up on March 19th.  Aside from being a potential incidence of synchronicity, the disaster in Japan did make me wonder if there might not be something to the moon setting off natural disasters.

The link above mentions the slight increase in earthquake and volcano activity during certain moon phases.  These are just tidal forces at work.  However, there is potentially more going on here than just the moon as can be seen in this article that describes a March earthquake warning mentioned for the United States.  That article describes other factors at play besides the moon's position.

It might also be worth noting that the magnetic north pole is moving faster now than at any other time in human history.  If this is the precursor to a pole reversal and the disaster theories surrounding the idea of a magnetic pole reversal are correct then this could all mean a very tumultuous time ahead of us from a geological standpoint.

If that's not enough then there's the fact that all of this is being drawn into doomsday theories concerning the year 2011.

Only time will tell about any of this but I'm not really worried about it.  Earthquakes and other natural disasters can happen at any time and all we can do about it is be prepared.  These events are ultimately out of our control and it does us no good to worry about things that we cannot change.  Just in case though, this may be a good time to make sure you have the recommended emergency supplies.  Being prepared can save your life whether it's an earthquake, a tornado, or a fire.  No doomsday scenarios are necessary.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Is the Moon inhabited? - Redux

Giant Underground Chamber Discovered On the Moon

I can't help but notice how this could fit in with the Spaceship Moon Theory or with any number of other theories that suggest that the moon may be inhabited.  This could also explain some of the strange attributes of the moon, such as why it "rings," if there are several of these underground chambers.

There's not really much to be said except that now we know for sure there are places where potential moon inhabitants could be hiding.  For more information on the strangeness happening on our moon see my previous post:  Is the Moon inhabited?

Saturday, February 26, 2011


The image of a mystic staring into a crystal ball and telling someone's fortune is something that has permeated our popular culture.  The practice of scrying, or gazing into a reflective surface for insight, has been around for a lot longer than the pop culture fortune teller complete with carnival tent and turban.  The individual methods for scrying are myriad, but the basic principle remains the same.  You find a reflective surface and you gaze softly at it until you see something.  Some have applied this technique to candle flames and embers as well.

I am increasingly of the opinion that the focus for scrying only helps awaken dormant abilities, similar to how a ganzfeld setup can allow for clairvoyance to manifest when it would normally be overpowered by excess sensory noise.  Unlike a ganzfeld setup, scrying is something that just about anyone should be able to try with just a little bit of preparation.  The main requirements are a reflective surface to gaze into and a relaxed state of mind.

Your reflective surface can be anything from a pool or bowl of water, a piece of glass with one side painted black, a crystal ball, or you can even use a candle flame as I mentioned earlier.  When you set up your device you ideally want no reflections in your scrying surface.  This will probably require a low-light setting and to get the proper softly glowing reflective effect you'll want to try placing your light source (a candle or similar soft lighting) behind you.  Make sure that you can't see your own reflection or the reflection of your light source.

Softly gaze at your scrying surface and don't strain.  Just relax and look at the reflective surface.  After a while you may begin to see clouds or mist, specks of light, or other strange effects.  After a while, your visual field will begin to fill with darkness, clouding out the surroundings of the scrying device.  Don't be alarmed when this happens; it means you are right on track.  After this occurs you may begin to see images, either in the reflective surface or in your mind's eye (most likely in your mind's eye).  This is the effect that you're going for.

If you don't experience anything after fifteen minutes or so then stop and try again later.  It's important not to strain or force anything.  Just let it come naturally.

I haven't really gone further than this with my own scrying practice at present, but it is a very interesting activity if you're looking for a simple occult technique to pick up.  It can also be a launch pad for other occult practices as it helps develop your subtle senses.  Good luck and have fun with it.

Wikipedia on scrying.