It’s getting creepy.
Every so often I am getting notes on this book review I wrote in 2010. It was about a spell book titled Book of Spells that I picked up from Powell’s books.. Since it’s an old school occult book it did not have the “proofs of legitimacy” that modern spellbooks do – i.e. some background about the author, bibliography, etc. Since the author claimed that multiple spells were of Romany origin – almost as popular a claim among American fringe types as claiming Native American heritage – I am obligated by the standards of my day to see if I can verify this. I have been unable to.
Once in awhile, I have been getting emails informing me that he was an astrologer (I knew that… it said that on his books. But was he a FULL TIME astrologer or did he, like most magic workers from now and forever have to work a different job in an additional field for steadier income?) and a recent one stating that he was murdered in 1980.
These tidbits are NOT in any way actually helpful. Why? You are not giving me anything I can verify through a third party that we both trust. A personal friend also commented that she knew exactly who this guy was – that he was a famous psychic several decades ago. I can find books on Amazon, Alibris, and so on – but I can’t find any of this once common knowledge about the author. Without that third party verification, it’s not even possible to write a Wikipedia article about this guy.
I am trying to run a responsible blog here. Yes, it’s mostly opinion – but I am still a journalist at heart and in practice. Even those guys are held liable for distributing bad information. (I have often had “opinion” writers argue with me that this isn’t true. This usually happened after they’d done something unconscionable…which, to their surprise, always was legally actionable..) I can’t just take random email notes at their word. I am much too old to accept any kind of authority blindly.
If there are people who genuinely knew and loved Pascal, who might want his memory preserved and have the news clippings etc. to substantiate his story, that would be wonderful.
My interest in de Pascale is strictly a means of checking the veracity of what he wrote in his spell book. By this time I have used a few of his spells … and I’m satisfied that they are constructed in a sound symbolic system and they do work, even if I am unsure of what culture really originated that system.
So far the most verifiable information I’ve got is that he was murdered in 1980. And I actually can’t do anything with that.
1)I do not know if Marc de Pascale was this author’s real name. If there is a public record of his death, as there would be in the case of a homicide, I would definitely need that name. I am told by a personal friend that it happened in the Phillipines which may be part of the problem.
2)It has been intimated but not confirmed that he lived in New York City. OK, are there any well known occultists around now that knew him in the day that could confirm this? Someone I could seek out on my own to say “Hey, did you know this author/astrologer?”
3)1980 is not enough data to verify a homicide. Where did this happen? What was the exact date? Without those two data points plus a real name I have no way of checking that information.
Since most data has come from unsolicited emails, I am leery of responding to any. If you really want me to track this down, please tell me when he was born, who knew him that I might be to speak with directly, the when and the where. I am a stranger to you and you to me – these bits of verification are how we build a bridge.
Please note: this has no relationship to my profound irritation with the “prove you’re initiated enough” crap circulating many Wiccan communities these days. For starters, what I speak of above is verifiable facts – not password encoded human opinion.