Thursday, December 24, 2015


Christmas Eve has often been a time to gather near the fire and tell ghost stories, a la Dickens and other tales of spirits. This year, there is the potential for a haunting of a much different sort.

It started yesterday, with the announcement of a fire in the Scottish Highlands. Boleskin House, once owned by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, was on fire, and virtually destroyed. Back in the late 1800's, it was the home and magical working space of Aleister Crowley.

Crowley had purchased the house for a very particular magical operation, in which demons were summoned in order to force them to obey higher, positive, divine principles. Once started, it HAD to be completed...and in this, Crowley failed. Take a look at the first two parts of a four part documentary on Crowley and Boleskin. It explains the situation quite clearly.

Now, fire has claimed Boleskin House. People think fire merely purges. They are wrong. In the Old Testament, in ancient times, in Paganism, fire was a means of sacrifice. Even early Christians knew burning someone at the stake was more than a matter of destroying the individual and sending them to Hell. It was a purging of inequities or sin, and releasing the spirit of the guilty to God.

Yes, fire RELEASES the spirit; sets it free. By Crowley's own admission, he had captured at least one of the spirits he called forth, and had it bound in the center of Boleskin, which is now mere smoke and embers.

The influence of Crowley's “workings” was already being felt in Inverness and the surrounding area. What fresh horrors might now be released upon the dark, restless shores of Loch Ness?

Happy Christmas, Everyone. Sleep tight.


Thursday, December 10, 2015


This is a highly personal blog. We're owed a little self indulgence every now and then...I think... Well, anyway, here goes....

What's it like, to cut the cord? To have a cord cut? I don't know. I've never given birth, never had the experience of being physically connected too another human being in such a biologically graphic way. Have I raised children? Oh yes, I've had a hand in rearing a few relatives. I helped raise a friend's daughter like my own, even had an adult Craft student with whom I felt a tight, maternal bond. there was never a cord to cut.
Of course, my nieces and nephew are still my blood, but even so – one has left me in her past. My “daughter” has outgrown my usefulness, and the Craft member? Gods only know why she decided to get the hell out of Dodge. She never finished her training, but maybe she felt she had learned enough. Maybe she made enough connections through me to further herself in the community and promote herself . As I said, who knows?

In life, these things happen. People fall away and lose touch, others come in and things begin anew, old friends stand by you for decades. The wheel turns. It's sometimes painful, especially without closure. As you get older you come to realize that some people are just exceptional actors – especially the creative, flaky, ex-hippie, nouveau-hippie types that seem to find me.
All some people have are their internal scripts and a facade. Lasting friendships – where folks just care for each other, without serving each other's agendas – may not be possible for them – and thats definitely sad.


It took me a long time to learn to let these people go. What still deeply bothers me, as a Craft Elder, is when such folks take what I taught them and present themselves as “experts”, or possibly “spokespersons” for the Craft. This is made worse by location – places I use to actually teach. I have often thought, “OK, if you're going to take my bait and my rod, my personal lures and sinkers, and set yourself up as a “fish whisperer”, have at it. But at least have the civil courtesy NOT TO FISH IN MY POND!

I had a nice long talk with a fellow Wiccan, businessman, and teacher. I usually don't run crying to anyone about such things, but it was just the cherry on top of a very sour Sundae. I had been told and have seen where solo credit has been taken for a mutual project, over and over. My creativity and writings are like the only “children” to which I shall ever give birth (sprung, fully formed, from my head...just like Athena!...messy and disgusting as that sounds). Steal my money (what there is of it) but NEVER claim my ideas.

And now- we have the same berk rising on the half-shell as a newly minted Craft spokesperson. (I see a Botticelli forming in my head. Do you?)

My Wiccan friend has been down this path himself. Folks would come to his Circles, not really mix with other participants, attend a class or two to get materials, then go off and set themselves up as teachers and Elders. It's a real punch to the gut, if you deeply care about your spiritual Path.

Well, what can you do? Nothing.

Ah, not so”, said my friend. “Cut the cord.”

Cut what cord? I already did that emotionally, and I don't physically ever see them any longer. What's left?”

The cord to your traditions and knowledge. They may have learned a few things on their own, but what you imparted, you can reclaim. Cut the cord they have to your wisdom and family workings. It will slowly leave them. They will have to re-learn on their own, but hey! It won't hurt them, and review is good for the soul”

...and he was right.

I have done the required meditations, and could actually see myself cutting that cord. It genuinely made me feel lighter, healthier. Will the person or persons on the other end notice anything different? I don't know and it's not important. They may be about them, but this operation was about me.

This technique can be used in so many situations, especially in matters of relationships. Is your heart broken? Is it patched together with chewing gum, Elmer's glue, and old J&J band aids? I've been there. You're happy just to keep it ticking, but fear to expose it to anything else hurtful. Cut the cords. To the people who hurt you, take from you, use you, lie about you -cut the cords to you wisdom, your vulnerability, your sense of worth. Let them go be whoever/whatever they are.
Let them learn for themselves while YOU go take a walk in the fresh air and sunshine, secure in the knowledge and wisdom and truth that you developed honestly. Give yourself a better holiday season, a happier Yule, a more Joyous Xmas and New Year.

This is my gift to you all. And – dear friend – if you happen to be reading this – you'll never know how much power your words have set free. Blessed Be.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Recently, Claude's husband Jack showed me an article in the news. A woman was allowed to have her driver's license photo taken with a colander on her head.

Apparently, she is a “Pastaferian”, a member of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. 

This isn't just a domestic “religion”but appears to have international members, if the licenses are any indication.

What fresh Hell is this?” you may ask. It is the “spirit” of political correctness running willy-nilly over our sense of reality and common sense.

Rather than sit in judgment, Jack suggested that we develop our own cult, complete with specialized head wear and beliefs.

People should learn not to give my mind such tasks. It distracts from the writing of articles I have promised my Editor. Alas, it has run amuck (yes – sing it – amuck, amuck, amuck, amuck) and so, I am leaving the Wiccan faith in order to follow my true spiritual and intellectual path:

Introducing a new religious community in Monroe Township, NJ:


We believe in the following tenants of Faith:

Sherlock Holmes is our Master

Logical Deduction is our Creed

Dr. John H. Watson is our first Prophet

Mycroft Holmes is our first High Priest

Our Cannon is “The” Cannon, with 56 sermons and 4 sacred gospels according to Doyle.

Our first commandment:

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth

Our second commandment:

'There is nothing like first-hand evidence.'

We are a three degree belief system, requiring religious head gear to mark our passage through doctrine and wisdom.

The head wear of the first degree, the neophyte:

Because you know nothing and will look like a fool.

The second degree head gear:

Doctor Wattage” - smart enough to be a conductor of light, but not enough to be a full deductionist.

The third degree hear gear:

The blessed deerstalker of all knowledge, which allows the believer to assume the title of “Consultant”

There is one higher degree..part of the Holy Mycroftian Priesthood. It is called “Aluminum-nati” with the following head gear:

All holy days of obligation shall be held in a spot known only to the brethren of Deductionism…in short, whomever has the most room. Services will always take place in the “realm of Baker Street” created by the High Priest when casting a “cone of consultation”. He/She shall do so with the “wand of the Elder Holmes”, hereafter to be called “The Holy Brolly”.


The Cone of Consultation will always be sealed with the following chant:

HP: The game is afoot

All: Blessed be the game.

HP: The Holmes be with you.

All: And with your Watson.

HP: Let us now sit and deduce.

All: It is Elementary that we suss out this day.

The four directions should also be honored. In the East, the Watchtower of Hudson is the Earth, for she is maternal and bakes a lot. In the South, the Watchtower of Lestrade, is the fire. Let's face it: he's hot. In the West is the Watchtower of Hooper, the wind. Well, she is a bit airy-fairy. Finally, in the North is the Watchtower of Anderson, the Water. (I know, but I needed another male figure and frankly, as a copper, he's all washed up.)

Every service is required to include a cuppa-and-biscuit ritual, but not an actual feast, as that is all transport. The tea shall be Earl Gray, and contain a 7% solution of whole milk (or a whole solution of 2% milk, which shall be henceforth called “a cup of milk”, allowed for family members under 5 years of age). The biscuits should be Jammie Dodgers. Just sayin'.

The service shall always end with the following:

HP: The spirit of Holmes be with you

All: And with your Irregulars, Homeless Network, and Yarders

HP: The service is ended. Go incognito.

All: Ya think? No sh*t, Sherlock!

Brethren of all degrees shall greet each other in the following manner:

The proper response is a cold glare, or a clipped, “Fine”.

The following are the holy days of obligation:

January 6th, the feast of the birth of Sherlock

August 7th, the feast of the birth of John

May 22nd, birth of Doyle, the Scribe

July 1st, birth of Lady Katharine of Buckelew

(I make-a the game, so I make-a the rules)

Beyond the Holy Brolly, there is only one other sacred tool, the “Instrument of Scrying”:

The Three Degrees shall wear the following ritual garb:

1st Degree: the tartan of tentative learning:

2nd Degree: the blue robe of enlightenment:

3rd Degree, the red robe of consulting:

All those wishing to be considered for the Brethren shall wear the sheet of seekership:

The Holy Mycroftian Priesthood shall wear Westwood.

Collections shall be taken up each service, if only to see if the Brethren can tithe enough to order Chinese take-away for those assembled (provided there are no active “cases” . If there are, the “it's all transport” rule applies.)

Cases” shall fall into the following discussion categories:

Interesting unsolved murders via Nancy Grace

International criminal actives as seen on CNN

Mischief as reported by the local news

Cluedo – if it's been a slow week

Once a month, the High Priest will conduct the “Initiation of the Dead”. Any of the Brethren can bring forth the name of a deceased friend or family member, and they shall be initiated into the Temple by proxy. Henceforth, those individuals who were not Sherlockians or Holmesians in life will become, in death, members of the Temple, and a Baker Street Irregular scion here named “The Must-in-Grave Ritual League”.

Other religious practices and observance will be delineated once our Temple charter (and tax free status) is approved by the state.

Where there is no imagination, there is no horror”


..”Put on your clothes and come!”

Oh!...gee...Were you expecting me to do something about Thanksgiving and all that?  Huh...OK. Here you go. ..

(HP: The Body of Sherlock?
ALL: Bite me!)

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Samhain-tide. Next up: Yuletide. Just blink. It's going fast! It's time to consider holiday shopping, both for Halloween and beyond. With that in mind, I offer my first ever holiday blog, featuring my favorite on-line and “brick and mortar” stores, catering to fandom, Pagan, New Age, and offbeat interests!


First up, a great ETSY shop called “Losing The Thread” (

Katy is French born and raised, now living in Ohio. She fell in love with quilting on her first visit to the States. I came upon her shop when I was searching Etsy for Sherlock quilts. Since then, I've made suggestions for her already wonderful shop, and the diversity of her products has grown! She has non-fan things as well, and custom makes many items. She has great skills...and great prices! Here is my custom made Sherlock/John quilt, Sherlock pocketbook (she also does other fan bags), an owl blanket bought for my Great Grand nephew, and the holiday stockings she's created so far. (There are new fan stockings on the way!)

I always wanted to do a celestial blanket, made from squares of my pouch material. Due to the neuropathy in my hands, I couldn't do such a large project. I approached Katy about it...and this is the brilliant result:

Trust me, she is the queen of quilting!

The Charming Frog (

I've mentioned this shop before. Wonderful soaps in all shapes and sizes, with seasonal selections as well!  She has some great witch soaps, classic pieces, Yule/Christmas pieces, etc. She also custom made Sherlock soap for me! Here is something terrific...she can even create a gargoyle chess set for soap! Who else does that???




Statues ranging from Sherlock Holmes to Death and the Maiden, ornaments, and so much more! I particularly love the Krampus items he has for sale and, naturally, I had to buy his Sherlock!

Wicked House Merchantile (

I found this neat vendor when I was looking for bee candle holders. They had them, all right, and so much more! Pagan, New Age, Gothic, Mystical, etc. etc. There is TOO MUCH for me to note here, but the selection is vast...and splendid! Here are some examples:


Dragon Star Creations 1 (

Here you will find some of the most creative and affordable boxes I've ever seen! I've bought the dragon box, claddagh, owl..they even sell smaller, round, boxes with inserts, so you can use them as ring boxes. They have other items, as well, including nice smudge fans and sage bundles. Have a look!

Gorey Details (

Yes, they have E. Gorey items, but they also have jewelry, totes, vases, and things from the dark side. I bought myself a silver left foot pendant. My left foot is the one I almost lost through Charcot, so the pendant is a reminder not to take it for granted. That's my excuse for shopping, what justification will YOU use?



Here are shops which I frequent and admire. They each have varied and wondrous items, fair prices, great, friendly, non-judgmental owners and staff. Beyond that, they are delighted to serve you. I've managed to find videos on YouTube for each of them. They will give you a better feel for the stores.

Mystickal Tymes, 127 S. Main Street, New Hope PA 18938

1-215-862-5629 (

My friends Ed Kimble and Eric Lee have been running this New Hope fixture forever. I love these guys, their shop, and their open attitude. I do book signings here, from time to time, and they usually keep my books and Graven Images Oracle (done with Natalie Zaman) in stock. They are my main “go to” folks for all things Pagan. Books, herbs, incense, stones, charms, oils, etc. etc. etc. Oh my Gods! Check out the photos and video.


Cha Cha Gifts & Wellness Center

1300 Livingston Avenue, North Brunswick, NJ 08902

732-249-2121 (

I discovered this wondrous place about a month after the retail store opened. It's in my home town (virtually blocks away from my house). Now that I moved, I still make it a point to shop here. This is my main place for very affordable stones, bowls (singing and otherwise), geodes, tapes, beads, ..yipes! Too much to even list! Again, great prices and people. See below!


The Creeper Gallery, 7W Bridge Street, New Hope, PA 18938

1-484-469-8453 (

also check out Donna L. Marian's web site:

I met Donna when my sister came back from a show, carrying a doll named “Peg”. She had a mop of curly red hair, a round (and rather dead-looking) face, a pug nose, a peg left leg and a parrot headed cane. In! (except I haven't lost my leg, just a lot of its use).

I begged my sister to sell Peg to me. Then, I bought my own altered dolls from Donna, even a “rotten Rufus” shih tzu to go with Peg. (After the holidays, she'll be working on a “Wicked Watson” for me!)

Donna's work is one-of-a-kind art, and priced accordingly On the show “Storage Wars” several of her dolls were found in a  unit. When appraised they fetched a pretty penny! Buying one of her creations is buying an art investment. Check out her Dark Creation website for her dolls.

Creeper Gallery  has some dolls, but also a variety of other cool creations for all pocketbooks. For instance, I just bought this toothy fellow right here:

Here is a  video about the shop. Also! If you are a writer, they are running a writing contest. The topic: their store window. All genres accepted. They will pick their favorites after Halloween, and then let the public vote. Here's their window (for those of you who live afar):

There you have personal picks for a great shopping experience be you into fandom, fantasy, or Pagan Paths. Tell them Kat sent you..and let me know what treasures you find.

Happy hunting!