I’m Ian Vincent, but most folk call me Cat.
I was born in Gravesend, Kent, UK on 2 February (Imbolc) 1964 of the Common Era to very lower-working-class – and rather confused – parents.
From the age of about 7, I was fascinated by what I usually just call ‘weird shit’ – Forteana and the occult – a sentiment which, through one of those coincidences, ended up being directly quoted in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: The Kindly Ones. My interests eventually focussed on ‘combat magic’ – psychic self-defence, counterspells, curse-breaking etc – which led to my founding the paranormal security firm Athanor Consulting in 2001ce. I retired from field work in January 2009ce.
I’ve also been writing and blogging about magic, mysticism, the occult and edge philosophies for some time. Some of my work appeared on the groupblogs Weaponizer and Modern Mythology, and in that most venerable of strange phenomena journals, Fortean Times. I was a columnist at Rending The Veil and Spiral Nature (a series called ‘The Hype’), am a contributing editor to The Daily Grail, and have been published in several volumes of their Fortean journal Darklore.
In 2014, I was made a Fellow of The Institute of Atemporal Studies.
In 2015, I became a member of Anomalous Engineering.
I’m honoured to be regarded as a shaman of the recent Discordian/Robert Anton Wilson revival based around Daisy Campbell’s Cosmic Trigger stage play and the Festival 23 events: one side-effect of this was discovering that Alan Moore defers to me on the subject of magic!
I have given talks on subjects including Slenderman, pop culture occultism, the life and works of Robert Anton Wilson, the fictional roots of modern paganism and the Westernisation of Eastern beliefs at a range of venues including the Senate House Library, the University of Leicester and the Royal College of Art. – some of these can be found on YouTube. Please contact me if you are interested in having me present a talk.
Semi-fictional versions of me have appeared at times: these include the character of Romanov in Diana Wynne Jones’ The Merlin Conspiracy (2003) and (with a gender swap!) in Jason Arnopp’s The Last Days Of Jack Sparks (2016).
My first book, ‘New Gods and Monsters’, on the evolution of pop culture belief systems, will be published in 2017 by Daily Grail Publishing.
My hobbies include a variety of music and movies, much SF, some comic books and far too many awful puns.
The top quote, “Distrust all systems – even this one” comes from the superb Nulapeiron Sequence of SF novels by John Meaney… and it’s the clearest single sentence I’ve ever seen that describes my point of view.
A list of my published works can be found here.