Open Post

August 2017 Open Post, Plus Eclipse

As noted more than once here already, readers of my blogs have asked for the occasional venue to ask me questions, along the line of Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” sessions. This is this month’s contribution to that series—with an additional feature. Over the last month or so I’ve fielded a number of inquiries about what astrology would make of the recent solar eclipse over the United States, and I took some time while the eclipse was happening to cast and delineate a chart. That’s below, for those who are interested in such things. For the rest of you, this is an ordinary open post. Ask me anything, and discuss among yourselves—subject to the usual rules, of course.

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Okay, on to the eclipse. Traditionally, solar eclipses are seen as harbingers of trouble, and the standard texts of mundane astrology—the two I use these days are both titled Mundane Astrology, unimaginatively enough, and were written by “Raphael” (Robert Cross) and H.S. Green respectively—give prognostications based on the point on the ecliptic where the eclipse takes place. It’s worth noting, though, that there are three to five solar eclipses every year, so those who expect this one to predict the end of the world or anything equally colorful are going to be disappointed. A solar eclipse, rather, predicts a limited period of ordinary trouble affecting the regions from which the eclipse could be seen clearly. Here, given the path of totality, that means the United States.

Here’s the chart of the eclipse, cast for Washington DC—that’s traditional, since eclipses are a factor in mundane (that is, political) astrology, and mundane charts are always cast for the capital of the political unit under consideration. (If you don’t know what any of this means, see this essay introducing astrology from one of my old blogs.)  See the symbols for Sun and Moon near the top, both marked with the position 28 degrees 52 minutes of Leo? That’s the eclipse.

The signs of the zodiac are divided into cardinal, fixed, and mutable signs, and Leo’s a fixed sign. Eclipses in fixed signs tend to predict enduring effects, and often—though not always—those effects begin with a bang. The signs are also divided among the four classic elements, and Leo’s a fire sign; eclipses in fire signs predict discontent and dissension among the people, as well as violence, fires, fevers, pestilences, and agricultural failures. The eclipse was in the ninth house of the chart; this can indicate trouble over religion, on the one hand, or trouble relating to a foreign country far from the US, on the other—or it can mean both. Finally, the eclipse was in the early afternoon; this indicates that the effects will begin to be felt about four months after the eclipse itself, peak between six and eight months after the eclipse, and fade out thereafter.

So that gives the basic outline. It’s when we factor in the rest of the planets that things get more specific. A really thorough delineation would discuss the position and implications of every planet, and then pull those together into an overall synthesis. Since this isn’t an astrology blog, I’m going to let that pass for now, and talk about the important stuff.

The first thing to notice is that the eclipse is conjunct Mercury, on the one hand, and Mars on the other, but these two are too far away to be conjunct each other. Thus it’s very likely that both the traditional meanings of a ninth house eclipse apply: there will be trouble with a foreign nation during the time the eclipse has its effect, and there will also be religious turmoil. Let’s take these one at a time.

Mercury, the planet of mind and communication, is opposite Neptune, which is the planet of spirituality in its higher expressions and of confusion, deception, and addiction in its lower manifestations. Mercury is in the ninth house of religion and foreign relations, so we can expect the trouble to surface in one, or more likely both of these areas.  What’s more, Mercury and Neptune are both in the signs they rule, and both retrograde—strong, in other words, but not in a good way—and Mercury rules the midheaven while Neptune rules the nadir, thus having a major influence on the chart. (The planet ruling the sign on any house cusp is the ruler of that cusp.)

In a mundane chart, Mercury opposite Neptune predicts notable frauds, mass delusions, and highly public scandals, as well as endless disputes and recriminations in the press. The presence of Mercury alongside the eclipse in the ninth house suggests that at least one explosive scandal dealing with religion will seize the public imagination during the time the eclipse has its effect, and it’s also very likely that a new and very controversial religious movement will become a focus of public attention and debate during this time. More broadly, the media (ruled by Mercury) in the US will be even more of a basket case than it is now, full of confusion and misinformation; when dealing with foreign countries, in particular, you’ll be able to assume that anything that appears in the US media is basically nonsense.

Mars is in a very different condition, supported by favorable aspects—a trine (120 degrees) with Saturn and a sextile (60 degrees) with Jupiter. If Mars was angular—in the first, fourth, seventh, or tenth houses—we could count on a war, but the ninth is a weak, cadent house, so we can most likely expect threats of war rather than an actual outbreak. The threats will be directed against a country that doesn’t border the USA (the ninth house influence again) and will be more or less successful (as shown by the favorable Jupiter and Saturn aspects), but a great many people in America and elsewhere can be expected to freak out about the situation as it unfolds. Look for impressive amounts of overheated rhetoric and plenty of loud emotional meltdowns here in the US (that’s the Mercury-Neptune axis again).

A variety of other details can be extracted from the chart as it stands, but I’ll limit myself to one: serious economic trouble, slow and grinding rather than sudden and sharp. Saturn in the first house is a reliable indicator of impoverishment among the mass of the population.  It warns of unemployment, loss of trade, public health crises, and discontent. That’s not going to blow up during the period governed by the eclipse, but it’s going to fester, and feed explosions later on.

Okay, on to the last thing I want to talk about on this subject, which is the importance of the eclipse in terms of the overall trajectory of the United States. You determine that by comparing the eclipse chart, or any other mundane chart you’re assessing, with the foundation chart of the country you have in mind. For the United States, that’s rendered complex by the fact that there are a range of competing times. The most widely used one, which I also use, takes the time as recorded by the astrologer Ebenezer Sibly in England, who got the data from friends in America; that’s 5:10 pm local mean time, July 4 , 1776, which matches other sources such as Jefferson’s own comments in later years.

What makes the Sibly time controversial is simply that it puts Saturn in the tenth house, which is a widely recognized indicator in astrology: it predicts a sudden fall from great power. John F. Kennedy and Adolf Hitler, for example, both had it in their natal charts, and very few US astrologers have wanted to deal with the implications of its presence in our national horoscope. That’s not a habit I find praiseworthy—particularly when the eclipse forms an aspect with the location of Saturn in the Sibly-based US foundation chart.

It’s not a strong aspect, mind you. It’s a semisquare, which is a mild negative aspect, implying that the events following the eclipse will contribute something to the future collapse of the US—the kind of thing historians talk about when they discuss causes and consequences. Far more significant is the hard opposition between the eclipse and the US chart’s Moon.

The Moon represents the ordinary people of a nation. The eclipse opposite the foundation chart Moon foretells that the events predicted by the eclipse will have a major negative impact on ordinary Americans, and will inspire even more disgust with politicians and the political system than we already see. This could well be the point at which the crisis of legitimacy that’s been building in this country for decades now breaks into the open once and for all.

There are plenty of other things that could be read from the relationship between the eclipse chart and the US foundation chart, but that’s a matter for a lengthier essay; this has already gone on longer than I had in mind. We’ll discuss more of these matters in later posts.

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Whenever I post something about astrology, I can count on fielding at least one email asking me if I actually believe in “that stuff.” I like to point out in this context that belief is overrated. I’m far less interested in believing things than I am in trying them out and seeing what happens. If astrology works, it should be possible to demonstrate that by making predictions based on the standard methods of astrological analysis, and seeing how they turn out. I’ve just made a set of predictions. Now we’ll see…

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Finally, I’m pleased to announce that Founders House Publishing is now offering a couple of special offers on deindustrial fiction. Those of my readers who don’t happen to have Retrotopia and An Archdruid’s Tales on their bookshelves can now get both of them at a 25% discount off the cover price. Those who didn’t collect the set of After Oil deindustrial short stories anthologies, or who lent them out and haven’t seen them since — I’ve been told that this has happened to more than one of my readers — can buy all four volumes, also at a 25% discount. If you’re short on reading material, I can heartily recommend either or both. 😉

With that said, on to the discussion!

370 Comments

  1. I’m wondering why or why not you think it is worthwhile to pursue scrying using tattwa images as taught by the Golden Dawn. Also, Also, I’ve seen cards with white backgrounds, black backgrounds, and flashing color backgrounds specific to each element. What sort of background would you recommend?

    Thanks,

    Pierre

  2. Loved the astrology info, and particularly the fact that you went on record. As you point out, this exercise will certainly help me assess astrology’s value as a tool. It isn’t so much that our experience on planet earth may be connected/influenced by other heavenly bodies that I question, but rather the accuracy of the human interpretations of these influences. I went a-surfin’ for a decent astrological interpretation of the eclipse, and had found little of substance till your friendly neighbourhood Archdruid … Have you written a book on Astrology too? If so … could you provide the link?

  3. Hi JMG,

    I’m so relieved to learn that you don’t “believe” in Astrology! You’ve probably heard the story about a meeting long ago of the British Royal Society wherein Edmund Haley castigated Isaac Newton for “believing in that stuff”. Apparently Newton’s reply was something along the lines of: “But I have studied the matter carefully Sir, whereas you have not.” I studied Astrology avidly for quite a few years (albeit quite a long time ago) and, while I do not practice it currently, find your predictions to be astute and credible. Nevertheless, I would also remind everyone of the wonderful wisdom of the great Yogi Berrananda who said “It’s difficult to make predictions…especially about the future!”

    On a different topic entirely, I’m recalling you mentioned at some point that it might be possible to purchase a digital, fully searchable copy of the Archdruid Report archives. Is that still in the works?

    Thanks for all you do.

    Jim

  4. Thanks for this post, JMG! Very interesting, and like having an extra full blog post this month :).
    I have a question for you, unrelated to astrology….I am wondering if you are familiar with the work of Leopold Kohr? I recently discovered his 1957 book, “The Breakdown of Nations”, and it seems to harmonize with your thinking. He was born in a small village in Austria in I think 1907, left Austria with the rise of Hitler (he was Jewish), and subsequently lived in England, Wales and Puerto Rico, and died in 1994. He was an Economist (2 PhDs) and political philosopher who had a great influence on E.F. Schumacher. One of Kohr’s most famous remarks was that “If something is wrong, then something is too big”. He believed that nations should not try to unify and become larger, but instead should “dis-unify” and become numerous smaller states, and that by doing so they would eliminate large, destructive wars and other problematic political events,such as tyranny and large economic crises. I am finding the book very interesting; it is a small book (of course!), but rather dense reading at times.

  5. Small business owner here.
    Had one of those, “Hey, you can DO that?” responses to the concept of making taxes friendlier to hiring and less friendly to capital investment (section 179, anyone?). Blew my mind to think of those positions as intentional choices (that they obviously are) being made.

    Korea recently floated the idea of “robot taxes.” A very very mild version that will be shouted down quickly. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/tech/2017/08/133_234312.html
    But I think it’s an inflection point. I think the next wave of politicians looking to make a stink should keep an eye on this front.

    To quote you on attempting Burkean conservatism processes: “Any proposed change in laws and institutions thus needs to start by showing, first, that there’s a need for change; second, that the proposed change will solve the problem it claims to solve; and third, that the benefits of the change will outweigh its costs.”

    From my view, the current tax setup (as regards simply the cost to hire an employee and the benefits of buying equipment) has more than met the first part, showing a need for a change.
    The actual questions:
    1 How do I go about thinking through the 2nd and 3rd bits in a complex system? And
    2 I’m not very well versed in history of this sort – are there some historical parallels you could recommend I look up to help with the first question?

  6. Hi JMG & everyone
    I have a couple of questions concerning gardening: I´m currently growing peppers and chilis in my greenhouse; unfortunately they are infested with aphids. In despair, I´ve now ordered lacewing larvae online. Are they any good? Does anyone know of any other (reliable) methods to get rid of aphids and others parasites? After 6 years of trying to grow things, I still feel I know far too little about pests and diseases and, crucially, how to prevent them or to get rid of them. I´d be grateful for recommendations of books and general advice about the topic. Along the same lines: does anyone know what to do about voles? They´ve killed most of the fruit trees and shrubs I´ve planted over the last few years (I didn´t know that they´re here and what damage they can do), and before I try again I´d like to know how I can protect what I´m planting.
    greetings
    Frank from Germany

  7. It may interest the astrological skeptics to know that a statistical analysis of stock market data over several decades shows a subtle but likely-not-random correlation between astrological cycles and market cycles. An easy experiment to replicate for those who want to see for themselves.

    I recently came across an animistic explanation of astrology – the author opined that if we believe our planet can be usefully envisioned as possessing a single consciousness, why not other planets, and why wouldn’t consciousnesses of such magnitude have effects down where we are? It seems like a reasonable explanation, but I know very little about astrology outside my own statistical experimentation. Does this theory seem plausible to you?

  8. Hi,

    Two questions and a request:

    1. Why isn’t the next financial crisis happening?

    It’s been nine years since the 2008 meltdown, which as I understand is a very long time in terms of the average length of boom-bust cycles. Like many others I expected the economy to be more fragile in its strange state that’s become the new normal in the last decade. But somehow it seems that the opposite is happening. So – any thoughts on why?

    No boom – no bust? Or maybe after a major breakdown it takes many people a longer time to buy into the next bubble? or special (deflationary) conditions around peak oil? Or something else? I’d appreciate any thoughts you have.

    2. Do you feel that connection to the Moon gets overemphasized relative to connection to the Sun in the last decades’ spiritual/magical scene (Wicca etc.)?

    3. I think you mentioned in one of the comments an alternative (non-progress-oriented) approach to understanding human prehistory. I really want to hear about that more. Requesting a post!

    thanks,
    Omer

  9. Hi John
    Thanks for talking about the eclipse. This one split the country north and south. On April 8 2024 we get another total eclipse splitting the country east to west. Do these eclipses kind of act as bookends for dramatic change in the USA?

    On a more personal note, what is the meaning of eclipses for individuals?
    For me, I have been feeling deeply unsettled / unsatisfied with my daily life for a while but last week or so has really intensified it.
    The eclipse in 2024 is only a few days from my birthday and will be almost a total eclipse form where I live (Cincinnati) so I am really curious about what it could mean.

  10. Dear JMG,

    Are you at all familiar with the writings of late US author Harold Waldwin Percival? His work seems to cover a lot of esoteric/occult/metaphysical ground, particularly his magnum opus ‘Thinking and Destiny’.

    Thanks for doing as you do!

    Tim

  11. Hullo John Michael,

    A request rather than a question, if it’s all right: Assuming your new blogging platform allows threaded comments, would you be willing to respond to comments inline rather that your long-standing anthologised method? The latter has always been deuce difficult to follow, but I figured you must have gone that route because it was the best option available at Blogger. Much appreciated if you’d be willing to give it a try!

  12. I read an article on The Archdruid Report called something like “Renewables the Next Fracking.” it was about the dangers and delusions of “green capitalism.” Can you please post that article on here if you still have it?

  13. I live in Salem Oregon, and was able to watch the Eclipse from the comfort of my backyard. It was quite the sight to see, and I am thankful I at least got to see one in my lifetime.

    I haven’t purchased Secrets of the Temple yet, and plan to do so, but was wondering if you found through your preliminary research on the subject if the building material used to construct a temple had a specific effect in addition to the location in which the temple was built?

    -Dan Mollo

  14. Why didn’t Bernie Sanders run as an independent? Why didn’t he realize that the Democratic machine would not allow him to be nominated as the Democratic candidate, even if he received the most votes –which he did?

  15. Hi JMG,

    Not so much a question as an affirmation of a good idea shared by you with your readers. That idea – Dissensus. Based on that idea, the following is proffered for consideration as the present industrial age unwinds along with the power structures and processes seeking to maintain control of their power end entitlements.

    The Power Of Political Dissensus – An Idea Rarely Discussed

    Instead of relying on traditional Consensus building to form and shape society, embrace the benefits of Dissensus. Dissensus becomes very effective when a society disengages from accepted norms and each societal member expresses their dissatisfaction through independent action.

    Over time, as each member becomes more disengaged, the society becomes ever more ungovernable by the consensus of accepted norms and practices. The ruling classes overcompensate with various forms of propaganda and fascism. However, that overcompensation can only be maintained for a limited time. Eventually, the ruling elites become irrelevant and retreat since their protestations and exhortations are no longer effective.

    At an individual level, Dissensus can take any form that subtly undermines the ruling elite and their power structures. In the present environment, these actions are probably best directed at undermining large corporate structures dominating the world today. What might that look like? Here are but a few examples:

    – dispose of the TV which is a direct pipeline for propaganda to each citizen
    – shop locally whenever possible or feasible
    – only purchase what is really needed
    – grow your own food if you can
    – make, repair or recycle as much as possible to meet individual or family needs
    – use cash for as many purchases as possible
    – never use credit cards unless absolutely necessary
    – avoid debt at every turn

    Each of these actions reduces the hegemony and control of corporate power and can collectively have a dramatic impact without the need for formal organizing or consensus building. Each societal member slowly begins the disengagement process that best fits their situation, capabilities, and resources. Over time, Dissensus becomes a destabilizing force without a locus that can be controlled and leaves the elites neutered and defenseless. Continuing to press for Consensus while at the same time encouraging Dissensus will inevitably ensure the political system’s fracture and collapse.

  16. Last month you mentioned that you are a unrepentant meat-eater, which prompts me to ask this question. Almost all of my meat-eating friends and relations have in some fashion constrained their meat-eating in recent years, either by restricting the quantity, or the variety, or the source of the animal products they consume. Some will only eat meat and cheese from the farmer’s market, others won’t eat fish, some will only eat fish, and one man I know confines himself to Ahimsa meat (yes, that’s road kill.) When I ask about the reasons for their choices, most are concerned with health or the environment, and less frequently with animal welfare. So I’m wondering whether you’ve adjusted your dietary habits in any way, and if so, for what reason?

  17. “For the United States, that’s rendered complex by the fact that there are a range of competing times.”
    Why isn’t the United States actually one of the simpler countries for that? It seems to me, without much of an education in astrology, that the USA is far from alone in having a number of competing times to choose from, but, being younger than most other countries, it would have fewer of them than many.
    Or did you just mean that it’s complex for the United States, without saying anything about what it is for other countries?

    Thanks for casting and interpreting the chart and sharing it with us.

  18. John, I love your new book, “The retro future. You have spoken many times about the concept of “diminishing” returns, and increased complexity as characteristics of our declining industrial system. I recently saw an example of increased complexity in my area. They recently just changed the way we make phone calls locally. It used to take just a 7 digit number to make a local call, now we have to use the area code as well to make the same call. They said the reason is that there are so many cell phones now that there arent enough to go around. So even phone numbers are in short supply. So using the phone increased complexity for the average person. Would this also fall under the category of diminishing returns?
    Keep up the good work.

  19. Do you, Mr. Greer, or anyone else here have any practical experience with green (or simply off-grid) refrigeration? Exercise 19 in Green Wizardry made me realize that this would be one of the more difficult functions to replace without electricity or natural gas. My further research lead me to the old Crosley IcyBall, which would be a good option but is no longer manufactured. I found a reference to instructions for building a clone out of an old propane tank and a fire extinguisher (http://crosleyicyball.com/index_files/Page1030.htm), but the link to the instructions no longer works, and the website admin has not returned my emails.

    We might tend to think of refrigeration as a luxury, but it saves lives. While the “homes of the future” might not each have their own refrigeration units, I think community-scale refrigeration co-ops could really work.

  20. Mr. Greer,

    Out of pure curiosity, are Archdruids considered clergy? If so, do they have pastoral duties in the way other clergy people do? Are there liturgies to preside over? Family counseling? Etc. I personally am a member of the Roman Church so forgive me if these questions seem off base or parochial in their misunderstanding.

  21. Dear JMG,

    The other day I watched, by accident and curiosity, a video from one of those self-appointed experts on relationships giving advice on understanding women. His particular approach was heavy on power and control, and very low on affection, or what might be considered love or compashion.

    I see ample evidence of what he describes, but it seems superficial to me. Is this one of those “live by the sword and die by the sword” type situations? In other words, those who seek and cultivate affection, tend to attract those who are like them, while those who base their relationships on games of power and money, tend to find their own crowd?

    In turn, does this happen also in non-material realms? Those who focus on, lets say, using magic to understand nature better, attract beings with the same priorities and inclinations? Alternatively, those using such tools to seek safety from violence in the physical realm, might attrat “angels” who want to be helpful?

    Clearly, I want you to answer yes, but the real question is, does our attitude and interests shape our reality? So, this is not so much about positive thinking, but on focus and interests. I hope that made sense.

    Curious

  22. Very Interesting and thank you. It’s quite interesting to see what a traditional approach gets.

    A couple of comments from a more modern perspective. The first is the Mars – Jupiter – Saturn configuration. In this, Jupiter is on the Mars – Saturn midpoint, in Libra, which is cardinal Air, meaning that Jupiter , the significator of government, is the initiator of whatever is going to happen. Continuing on, we have Jupiter square Venus in Cancer in the 8th house of other people’s money. In a mundane chart this may well mean something having to do with either the credibility of the US debt as a safe investment for other countries, the balance of trade or International exchange rates. This isn’t helped by Venus itself being in a tight square with Uranus in Aries, Uranus being the planet of sudden and unpredictable (or at least unplanned) events.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t agree that Ebenezer Sibley ever drew up a conventionl birth chart for the United States. The story as I’ve heard it, and this can be checked in Sibley’s textbook if anyone can find a copy and look, is that Sibley did what any competent astrologer of the time would have done: he drew up a chart with the planets for noon at Philadelphia and placed them in the houses of the preceding Summer solstice at London, and then proceeded to delineate it from the perspective of Britain. In Sibley’s time, national charts were not even a thing. Most nations that existed then simply did not have a birth time.

    Given the current political situation, I don’t think any of this is all that surprising.

  23. Some time ago, you participated in a round table discussion with several guests, for the CFPUP. One of those guests was Frank Morris, a name I hadn’t heard of before. Can you (or anyone reading this) point me to resources or interviews or books by or featuring Mr. Morris, as this round table and discussion of it have been the only places I can find him referenced.

  24. I’m thinking the 9th house-centered eclipse might also spell trouble re American college campuses. (9th house = higher education). There’s been plenty of turmoil on campuses lately, but I can easily imagine it getting worse.

    Also, to continue with the Mars-astrology idea – this is a bit of a far out, spacey notion, but just as humans on Mars would be obligated to live under a wholly different set of astrological principles on Mars, what of a Martian etheric and astral plane? I take it that the etheric and astral planes on earth are essentially native to earth, and thus are suited to human habitation, so to speak. Would this, I wonder, be the case on Mars or any planet other than earth?

    I get a little spooked when I think of someone shucking off the mortal coil while in deep space – we don’t belong there physically and maybe we don’t belong there in others ways as well.

  25. Greetings all,

    I am currently reading Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas’ book: The Hiram Key

    What do you make of their thesis that certain aspects of Free-masonry incorporate King making rituals of Ancient Egypt that some how got rediscovered by Templars during the crusades period?

    Thank You.

  26. Would casting charts for the several states crossed by the eclipse be likely to make any useful predictions, as common folks seem, at least to me, to be identifying more with state history than national these days? The eclipse happened in the morning here, and of course Idaho is rather younger than the USA.
    It’s interesting how many of those post eclipse predictions could apply to pre eclipse.

  27. First up, I want to say it seems like Charlottesville is just the start of a major mess. Given the number of people who are having lives ruined, in quite a few cases for the crime of looking like someone at the rally, it won’t surprise me if this blows up again in a few months: say, four or so…..

    Second, relating to Charlottesville: In theory, I have nothing against criminalizing certain kinds of speech, but in practice it seems almost always to be over broad. I also don’t like vigilantes deciding who can or can’t speak, under any circumstance, thus I don’t like antifa. This apparently makes me a Nazi….

    Third, if I may revive a discussion I saw here on an earlier post about men without girlfriends, I find it amusing next to no one, not even these people without dates, discuss what seems a very plausible reason for some people getting dates later in life: maybe it’s just not a major priority for everyone (I say this as someone who has consciously turned down several relationship opportunities for various reasons).

    Fourth, I have a request to make: for people discussing clueless upper class liberals, please remember these are people. I say this as someone who’s entire immediate family is composed of them… I get they seem clueless, and ridiculous, and they really, really are, but I worry about the way they may be treated in the not to distant future if things work out the way people here expect it to. Personally, I don’t like the thought of my parents dangling from lampposts….

    Fifth, astrologically, does the myth of progress count as a religion? Because I can think of a few potential scandals that could produce massive issues there that may occur in a few months. If anyone’s interested I can share some.

    Sixth, I had a stunning realization recently: if me from a couple years ago met present day me, I’m pretty sure he’d hate me. I don’t know what to make of it, but I’ve certainly changed a lot…. Not all of it necessarily for the better, but I’m not sure how to tell what’s positive and what’s negative.

    Finally, I’d like to apologize for so many disparate ideas. I have quite a few things I’d like to say but can’t most places for various reasons. Being able to share ideas in a place where I don’t risk being punched in the face Or the virtual equivalent) for saying the wrong thing seems fairly rare these days….

  28. Dear JMG and other readers,
    I have to say I find it curious that much of the hysteria in the States seems to be bleeding into Canada. It is as if we do not have enough to do and focus on the disturbing soap opera going on to the south. I do not have a television or radio and do not pursue the news much on my computer. My life is quite serene.

    I used to work as a newspaper reported and was disgusted when my editor explained that a newspaper was adds strung together with stories. She would never print a story that would upset one of our add customers and the media, both print and electronic functions on this basis.

    When I look at news stories now, I find them simplistic, sensationalized and puerile. Journalists write this way, not because they are incapable of better journalism, but because this sells more papers or sustains a larger viewing audience and this makes their add space more lucrative to sell. Perhaps we could all do civil society a good turn by refusing contact with the news media?
    Max Rogers
    Denman Island, British Columbia

  29. Dear Mr. Greer,

    I was wondering if you have any advice or ideas on how to deal with the sadness and loss, basically weltschmerz, that results from the collective stupidity of our species? I find it difficult to not feel despair when I read about all the environmental destruction and species extinction going on in the world. I don’t have much hope for things getting better in my lifetime and I expect they will probably get much worse.

  30. Following on from/clarifying the question I asked earlier, what technologies/uses (cars and trains don’t exactly use different technologies – if you can build one you can build the other) do you think will be kept after the first/second/current phase of catabolic collapse, and which will be discarded? What do you see a mature post-collapse technological civilisation looking like – printing presses, railways, rifles etc?

    Also, I read your article “How Civilizations Fall: A Theory of Catabolic Collapse”, and it strikes me that the main resource is effective energy available to the civilisation. Civilisations which depleted their soil fertility, such as the Maya, collapsed because the effective energy available to them through food was significantly diminished, even though the same amount of sunlight was falling on the fields. I would probably categorise, then, consumables such as food as a resource (a form of stored energy) rather than as capital. Perhaps it would be more accurate/clearer to say civilisations have a certain maintenance energy, call it E(m), that is dependant to a large part on how they use it (one using trains rather than cars would have a lower E(m), ceteris paribus) rather than production maintenance. Even a closed loop system, with no matter entering or leaving, needs to use energy to stay alive and maintain things which wear out. Even if the amount of energy entering the system (say, from sunlight) stays constant, it maybe be able to increase it’s effective energy by improving efficiency (such as using more efficient crops), and lower it’s maintenance energy by getting rid of less productive uses. Which seems to be what you’re saying, only focusing on energy as the most important thing…

    Also, I’d add in information as another element, related to but separate from capital – a civilisation can only expand to the limits of it’s information processing ability to handle the additional entropy, something you’ve written about before. So if it increases it’s ability, say by replacing hand copying by printing, it can expand (provided it has the energy available).

  31. Pierre, I still have the set of tattwa cards I made back when I was originally working through the Golden Dawn system; they’re made of colored paper on black backgrounds, and worked very well. I know other people who’ve used other colors of backgrounds with equally good results, so it seems to be a matter of personal preference. As for its value, I see it as a very important exercise, both for developing the ability to use imagination as a vehicle for perception, and for coming to understand the meaning and application of the elements and sub-elements.

    Marco, I haven’t yet published anything on astrology, though I have a proposal for a book sitting on the desk of one of my publishers right now, and I expect to be writing other books in due time — it’s a major subject of study for me just now. (Back when I was in my twenties and considering the options, I decided that astrology was the kind of thing I should study after I hit middle age. It was right around eight years ago that I looked at myself in a mirror and said, “Yeah, I’m ready for astrology.”)

    Jim, the thing to keep in mind about astrology is that it predicts trends, not certainties. It’s a very sensitive gauge of collective consciousness, but how collective consciousness works out in specific events is quite another matter! As for The Archdruid Report, the ebook version of the collected essays should be fully searchable, and yes, it’s still in process.

    Lydia, no, I hadn’t encountered Kohr yet. Hmm! I’ll have to read that as time permits.

    Runeworker, it’s part of the toolkit. If I’d wanted to do a complete delineation I’d have gotten into that in detail. As it was, you’ll notice that I mentioned the essential dignity of Mercury and Neptune, and the accidental debility of the eclipse as taking place in a cadent house…

    Stinkhornpress, excellent. The first step is in many ways the most important one. Now you need to come up with a specific proposal — the devil is always in the details — and rough out its likely consequences in terms of your own business, as that’s the example with which you’re most familiar; go on from that to a couple of other businesses at different scales. For historical examples, I’d suggest turning things around and looking at what happened as the various subsidies for automation and penalties for hiring were put into place; that’ll require some research into the history of laws and regulations, and then into employment numbers, to give you a rough sense of how these things worked out in reverse.

    Frank, hmm! In my experience effective treatments vary dramatically depending on the details of your local ecosystem, so you may want to talk to organic gardeners in your area and see what they suggest.

    Christopher, as I recall, it was J.P. Morgan who said, “Millionaires don’t use astrology, billionaires do.” (He was a client of Evangeline Adams, one of the leading early 20th century US astrologers, who made a fortune of her own advising Wall Street clients.) As for your animistic theory, it seems reasonable enough; I use a different conceptual model, but the universe is far too complex for any one human model to represent…

    Omer, first, there was never a recovery from the 2008 bust. What happened instead was that governments around the world cranked up their manipulation of the whole range of capital markets, to the point that they’re basically puppet shows rather than reflections of the wider economy. Here in the US, at least, if you get outside the coastal bubble you’ll see an economy in freefall; the ongoing contraction of retail and restaurant industries is one measure of just how bad things are getting. The stock markets et al. can be expected to lurch around aimlessly, quite possibly for many decades to come, while the real economy comes unglued; eventually some external factor will intervene, but that could be quite some time from now.

    Second, yes, with bells on. Of course I’m prejudiced; Druidry traditionally works with the polarity between Sun and Earth, with the Moon a mediating factor rather than a primary principle.

    Third, I don’t recall saying that, but it makes a great deal of sense, so I suppose I must have. 😉 Duly noted, and I’ll put it on the list!

    Jim, again, remember that solar eclipses happen all the time. It just so happens that two of them cross the US in short order. The effects of this one, again, will start around four months from now and wind up maybe another four to six months later, so it’ll be long past when the 2024 eclipse happens. As for personal effects, it depends on your natal chart; if the eclipse makes an aspect with anything in your birth chart — say, a square with your natal Moon, or a trine with your natal Uranus, or what have you — then yes, you’ll feel it! Otherwise, not so much.

  32. I’m wondering whether your mention of religion in this chart refers to only theistic religion, or if it includes civil religions such as Progress?

  33. Some question. Is the United States threatening another nation with war, or are two foreign nations threatening one another? Also, is there any way of predicting which ones? Let´s say North Korea threatens Japan, or Russia threatens the Ukraine. Can that be seen (perhaps dimly) in the US chart, or would an astrologer have to make special charts for these particular nations?

    Also, is there any way of seeing if the crisis of legitimacy is because of Donald Trump, or despite Donald Trump? For instance, can an astrologer somehow synch Trump´s horoscope (he´s Gemini = Mercury) with the eclipse?

    Finally, since the Sun is the ruler of Leo, doesn´t an eclipse of the Sun in Leo have a stronger effect than usual?

  34. As I promised I would, I’m going to ask about Charlottesville: how far does it go from here?

    One thing that’s hung heavy on my heart is my inability to get even appropriately (let alone fashionably) outraged at what happened. It was too easy to predict that the violence was going to escalate. Part of me expects that we’ll see it escalate until the National Guard has to be called in, and that will simply throw a new wildcard into play.

    One factor that might limit the damage is that many of the protesters still have something to lose. Many of them were college students, for goodness’ sake. And I still have hopes that the vast majority of protesters are saner than to kill over statues.

    Interesting times.

  35. Here´s the real question I wanted to ask. 😉 I know it´s a yuge one!

    What´s your take on Rudolf Steiner´s Anthroposophy? I believe you said once that you studied it before finding the Golden Dawn tradition. What made you decide “against” it, so to speak? Also, what´s your present take on it?

    My take on Anthroposophy (briefly!) is that it seems to be a virtual smorgasbord of interesting or intriguing angles, and a lot of dross or even bunk. For instance, Owen Barfield is interesting, and Steiner´s analyses of Goethe, but he also said a lot of strange stuff, much of which can´t be verified independently of his own spiritual experiences…

    There´s also a peculiar Christian angle. David Spangler seems inspired by Steiner, but he has made the system more “clean” and logical, somehow…

  36. To Frank Hamm, Re: Voles. A few good outdoor cats will be more than happy to help out with the vole problem!

  37. Tim, Thinking and Destiny was one of the more interesting offshoots to come out of the New Thought movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I read it, and Percival’s study of the symbolism of Masonry, many years ago; it didn’t become central to my own work, as I went in other directions, but I don’t know of any reason not to study it if it appeals to you.

    Eddie, it doesn’t. What you see is what you get; sorry.

    TheK, I have every word I wrote for The Archdruid Report backed up on multiple media, and it will all be in print soon! Fortunately, you don’t have to wait; “Renewables: The Next Fracking” is online here, among other places.

    Dan, yes. Paramagnetic materials — you can find a basic introduction to paramagnetism here — seem to have been important in the old temple technology, as well as its precursors, such as megalithic technology. Those kinds of stone that are strongly paramagnetic seem to have been used preferentially in temple building, as in stone circles and other megalithic sites.

    Gwk, you’ll have to ask him.

    Prole, I’m in favor of it! I’d suggest, though, that you whisper to those people who take up your project that dissensus also has another name: “freedom.”

    Liz, fair enough. First of all, I roll my eyes at the term “unrepentant” — the borrowing from religious language suggests that what’s behind many of the current dietary fads, the plant-based food fad among them, is a faux-religious worldview in which you’re supposed to repent your dietary sins and parade your dietary virtues in order to achieve some kind of ersatz salvation. I’m not in that market, thanks.

    With that out of the way, let’s proceed to the main points. First, omnivory is natural for human beings; that’s why we have carnassial teeth, which obligate vegetarian animals don’t, and why we depend on meat for vitamin B-12 among other necessary nutrients. There has never been a human society anywhere on earth in which eating only plants was common to all members of that society; outside of modern industrial societies, plant-based diets have always been a special dietary habit, usually reserved to religious ascetics practicing specific kinds of disciplines. I don’t practice those disciplines, and in fact, Western occultism doesn’t combine well with a plant-only diet — I can point you, if you’re interested, to discussions by such writers as Dion Fortune, who explain why a balanced diet including animal and plant foods is healthier for you if you’re practicing my kind of spirituality.

    From the point of view of Druid spirituality as I understand it, furthermore, all things are alive and conscious, plants as well as animals. All things live by eating the bodies of other living things — that’s as true of plants as animals, as you’ll find out if you watch the way that tree roots in old cemeteries seek out the sites of unembalmed corpses. I eat chickens, pigs, and cattle, among other things; in due time, I will be eaten by worms, bacteria, and fungi, and I wish them a hearty appetite and a pleasant meal!

    With regard to the environment, digging up natural ecosystems to grow plant foods is highly disruptive to the biosphere, you know, to say nothing of the immense impact of water use, fertilizers, chemical poisons, and the like used to grow plant foods. With plants, as with animals, there are more and less disruptive ways to produce food for human beings; vegetables mass produced in chemically saturated monocultures via current agribusiness methods are just as bad for the planet as meat produced in CAFO facilities, and if someone insists on condemning the latter while ignoring the former, I’d suggest that something’s wrong here.

    Finally, I haven’t changed my diet much in recent years, for the simple reason that I found out about ecology and nature spirituality a long time ago — back in the 1970s, in fact — and made those part of my lifestyle choices back then. I get as much of my food as possible — plant as well as animal — from farmers markets and other local sources, focusing on those options that minimize my impact on the biosphere; this is what I’ve done throughout my adult life, and expect to do so until I die and get fed to the worms et al. Does that answer your question?

  38. Recently I saw 2 dueling political explanations of the eclipse, both recognised that the eclipse happened over mainly white areas. The Altright said it was the rebirth of esoteric Hitlerisms”s Black Sun, while the left said it signified the eclipse of White America, by multiculturalism.

  39. Frank: Re: Aphids: Here in NW New Mexico aphids can destroy our peach tree in short order. I usually watch for them in the spring as leaves are forming, then spray with alcohol (not the drinking kind). It works, but it usually requires several applications. We only have two trees.
    Secondly, here green house businesses sell boxes of Lady Bugs for just that purpose, I used a box this spring when an infestation showed up in the lower vegetation around the trees, but had not yet gotten into the trees. It seemed to work very well. Best of luck!
    Michael Clark

    PS: in proof reading I noticed I had written: “prey with alcohol”. Hmmm… At least it wasn’t alcoholic wine.

  40. JMG, I want to tell you that I have been reading the Archdruid Report regularly for years and I have enjoyed it.

    I have a question about it: why did you take it down? If you don’t have the time or interest to come up with new posts, that is understandable. But why were the old ones removed?

    I am aware that I can still read your old posts by using services like archive.org or sites like https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/, or by ordering the paper books. But I miss being able to access them conveniently using the old site.

    I would really appreciate it if you would tell me why you made that decision, even if only to satisfy my curiosity.

  41. Your eclipse reading suggests something happening in the religious sector. I’m wondering if you are aware of the growing problem of child abuse in the evangelical churches. A pastor or youth worker abuses one or more children then the church works like crazy to cover it up. I have been following a blog in which their primary focus is uncovering this abuse. I think it is only a matter of time till someone in national church prominence is caught. Don’t know if this would be big enough for your prediction but I do believe it is coming.

  42. That rule about ‘what you resist, persists’ – does that mean you strengthen anything you oppose? Disagreeing with someone is kind of resisting them, and it can make them cling even harder to their view. On the other hand, sometimes people do change their mind when they encounter disagreement. Or in war, if people resist an invasion or occupation successfully then what they resisted didn’t persist. Does it apply differently on different planes maybe or what does it really mean? Thank you!

  43. @Reese

    The basic problem with the US chart is that none of them work very well. Now, I know I’ll get pushback from a lot of astrologers that say the chart they use works quite well – and then they’ll point to very different charts, with very cogent arguments for why the other charts that “work very well” actually don’t.

    Some countries are simple, especially countries that emerged from colonial status: there’s an official date when they became independent. Those charts work tolerably well. On the other end, there are, or were, countries where there is no date: they were just there from time immemorial. When was classical Greece founded? What’s the formation date of the Mongol Empire?

    The US is sort of in-between. If you need to make a chart for a company, there’s a hierarchy of considerations. At the top is when the corporate charter or business license was issued. For the US, that would be when the US got official recognition as an independent country. That would be the Treaty of Paris in 1783. I’ve seen it advocated, but nobody uses it. It probably doesn’t work because it’s after-the-fact, rather than permission to proceed.

    Moving down the hierarchy, next would be when the plans were drawn up and agreed to by the company’s founders. That would be the Articles of Association, superseded by the Articles of Confederation, superseded by the US Constitution.

    Moving further down the hierarchy, the next would be when the company opened its doors for business. For the US, that would be the first meeting of the Continental Congress, superseded by the first meeting of the US Congress. I use the former with tolerably good results, but I’m in a very small minority. I particularly like the Sun-Moon trine and the very close conjunction between the Moon and Neptune.

    Among all of this there is nothing about revolutions. The reason is actually very simple: The chart of a company or a country has to do with an independent entity that’s running its own affairs. The governing body of the United Colonies was the Continental Congress. It was that body that passed the Lee-Adams resolution on July 2nd and the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. Those acts did nothing to change the situation, either legally or in fact. The Continental Congress was running the part of the country that was in rebellion before it, the same Continental Congress, with the same delegates, was still running it afterwards.

    As far as I can tell, the reason that July 4th charts work as well as they do is that the Declaration is a declaration of ideals, and the ideals are quite important.

  44. Hello JMG

    You’ve agreed with Winston Churchill before, as do I, that “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others”. What, then, would you say are the greatest flaws of democracy, and do you have any proposals for overcoming them?

    SMJ

  45. Hello, I am getting into solomonic/grimoire magic and am wondering if you have made any forays into it, and if you have K&C with your Holy Guardian Angel or some other spirit go-between, and if you know of a good way to do this besides the Abramelin rite. I can’t do the 6-18 months of isolation as I’m a touring musician, though I have and will continue to do isolation retreats when able. I also have been practicing rune magic for over a year and a half (every day) and am wondering if you think that’s enough time to start a new magical path (I would do it at different times of day and not mix) thanks!

  46. Reese, for mundane astrology, the chart that matters is the one for the founding of the current system of government, and the US is actually one of the oldest governments around just now. China’s current foundation date is 1949, for example; Germany’s is 1945, and so on; most of the world’s nations have had one governmental system replaced by another within the last century or so. Britain is one of the few exceptions, and the question of its proper foundation chart is even more vexed than that of the US.

    Mark, yep — that’s a good example.

    Anthony, I don’t have any personal experience with it. I hope that some kind of refrigeration technology can be kept going through the deindustrial dark ages; you’re right that it will be a lifesaver.

    Herbert, depends on the Druid, and the specific Druid organization. Some follow the same model of clergy as your church, others don’t. I don’t.

    Curious, excellent! Yes, in fact, that’s one of the basic principles behind magic. The way you approach the world strongly influences what you encounter, on nonphysical as well as physical planes. It’s not the only thing that has an influence, but it’s a powerful part of the mix. The example of the video you cited is a good one; men who behave like jerks toward women, which is basically what the expert in question was suggesting, are going to land themselves in situations where women treat them accordingly. (Note that this doesn’t mean that men ought to make themselves into punching bags for their female friends, or pillows for said friends to sob on; the opposite of one bad idea, as noted here fairly often, is reliably another bad idea. There really is a middle ground.)

    John, yes, I spotted the Jupiter-Venus-Uranus square! If I’d been doing a complete delineation I would have spent quite a while on that, but again, this was just an overview, with the eclipse itself and the two planets conjunct it as the main factors I wanted to discuss. As for Sibly, the detail in his chart that matters is the time, which he’s believed to have gotten vie Masonic connections, and which isn’t explained by your theory. (There’s a very good article on Sibly here, which shows the chart from his book and quotes a great deal of the text that went with that plate.)

    As for foundation charts, yes, they were a known quantity in Sibly’s time and long before it. The Picatrix, which dates from the tenth century, discusses them in a magical context; if you know the details of a city’s foundation chart, according to the Picatrix, you can work various kinds of nasty magic against the city. In Sibly’s time, the Picatrix was still in circulation in its Latin translation, and I suspect that part of the point behind Sibly’s chart was to see to it that anybody who tried to put a whammy on the new American republic would use inaccurate data and thus get no effect. On the other hand, Sibly’s occultist friends would have been able to take the time, erect a chart for Philadelphia, and have the correct chart.

    Still, all of that is speculative; the point I’d make is simply that a chart cast for Philadelphia with the Sibly time yields a foundation chart that does a better job of representing the American character than others, and progressed charts that give a better match for important element of US history than any of the rival charts. That’s why I, and most other mundane astrologers, use it.

    Nicholas, he’s a friend of the person who put on the event — a very pleasant and interesting man, with a lot to say, but I don’t know that he has anything in print or online.

    Will, that’s also a plausible interpretation! I could see Mercury in the 9th opposing Neptune in the eclipse chart, and the Moon in the US foundation chart, representing a situation in which the academic industry plunges deeper and deeper into self-referential delusion and, in so doing, loses its legitimacy with the American people. As for the Martian astrology details — yes, those are also possibilities, and I’d hate to see people finding that out the hard way.

  47. I found your comment on eating animal or vegetable matter really interesting and much ignored. Plants don’t like us eating them either. Totally agree about the disruption caused by plant farming. Most of our good agricultural land in Australia has been sown to houses so this will become a real crisis in the future. I try to eat food generally that has had a fair life and won’t disrupt its environment too much. There is always some disruption. Apparently there is some uncertainty about whether fungi are actually plant or animal which gives an interesting twist to the ads saying that mushrooms are meat for vegetarians. Thank you as always for your interesting and even-handed take on things.

  48. I’m interested to see what you have to say about Charlottesville, JMG. For all the legitimate concern about genuine white supremacists, etc, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in the media, maybe just a temporary shift with Charlottesville less than two weeks behind us, but maybe not. The terms “far-right, “alt-right”, “nazi” are being used as increasingly interchangeable words by talking heads and the media. This conflation is occurring alongside thinkpieces justifying political violence or government censorship against “nazis”, using the death at Charlottesville & the content on The Daily Stormer as a justification for these policies. The never-explicitly stated drumbeat of “if you’re not with us, you are a Nazi and we ‘punch’ Nazis” is terrifying.

    It seems like the center has broken loose and only those with the worst convictions are allowed to speak, which was bound to happen, but the deafening silence in most of the media about what feels like the early days of the Cultural Revolution is worrying me far more than I’ve worried about any of the crises of our time. Of course I knew there was always going to be an end to ordinary politics, but the way in which it’s happening is not how I imagined it. But that’s true of most things these days.

    The question is, with the emerging Academia-Media-Multinational-Antifa-Tech coalition rising out of the muck, assembling itself out of dead communists, millionaires, the dispossessed and ideologically possessed, and shambling forward on its warpath, what coalition can form to oppose them? Do these revolutionaries not know that if they succeed they are likely to be killed by the hierarchy they will create to oppose hierarchy?

  49. JMG, re: vegetarianism!

    This is something I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while now, as someone who’s mulled over the issues quite a bit.

    First, I’m a bit confused why you say humans have carnassial teeth, because we don’t. Were you thinking of premolars, which many (though not all) non-carnivores lack? (You might also have been thinking of our pronounced canines, but they’re not as indicative of meat-eating as they seem like they should be.)

    More generally, I agree that humans are naturally omnivorous, but to my mind that may just mean that we have wider options than strict carnivores or herbivores, and vegetarianism is an option with some desirable features. B12 can be gotten from milk or eggs (while drinking the milk of another species is unusual, many species are egg-snatchers), or from insects (many vegetarians/vegans consider their nervous systems too primitive to count as truly sentient, though others take a harder line). And as I’ve said in a comment on a previous post, I suspect that extracting B12 from feces is something an ecotechnic society can manage, though not a dark age society.

    Second, doesn’t seeing all things as persons erase the distinction not just between eating plants and eating animals, but between either of those and eating other humans? It seems to make drawing the line anywhere doomed to a bit of inconsistency.

    That said, vegetarianism still seems appealing on the “least-harm” basis: given that livestock have to be fed several calories worth of plants for each calorie we get from eating meat (up to 16:1 in the case of beef), eating plants directly actually ends up killing fewer plants, not to mention animals.

    Third, while I agree that ignoring the harm done by a favored sort of activity while excoriating the harm done by a disfavored sort is hypocritical, I’m skeptical that the harm done by growing plants for human consumption is really comparable to the harm done by raising livestock. Since livestock have to be fed plants, it seems likely (and I think I’ve read) that raising livestock requires a good deal more land than simply growing plants. I seem to recall reading that much of the devastation of the rainforests has been for the purpose of growing livestock feed.

    Fourth, I’m quite interested in knowing where I could find Dion Fortune’s argument, as someone with an interest in both Western spirituality and vegetarianism.

    (Just so it’s clear, I’m not here to shame anybody for eating meat; I’ve just been thinking about all this for a long time and this is the one place I know I can discuss this without it turning into a shouting match.)

  50. jmg, I’ve accepted your “change of conciousness” definition of magic but I don’t see how deities or demons or other invisible creatures fit into the scheme of things nor how to begin “trying” to safely approach the subject. Can you recommend a book or other resource? Have you written or can you write something more explicitly helpful?

  51. Karim, I found their thesis completely unconvincing. It’s not hard to find scores of other historical figures that fit the Masonic ritual equally well, and plenty of other explanations that make at least as much sense, if not much more.

    BoysMom, you could certainly try casting an eclipse chart for the state capital of Idaho and comparing it with the foundation chart; that’s also a classic mundane technique.

    Will, I’m going to be suspending judgment about the Charlottesville fracas for a bit; it’s too early to say how that’s going to play out. With regard to progress as a religion, it’s a good question whether that would be a ninth house matter; one way to begin settling the question is to watch whether we get any really big religion-of-progress scandals blowing up four to eight months from now! (I’d welcome news about any such scandals you see as imminent issues.) As for your other points, so noted.

    Max, I think we could all do ourselves a big favor by ignoring the mainstream North American news media! It really has become today’s equivalent of the Soviet-era Pravda.

    Marcu, that’s a tough one. I find it comforting to remember that nature is profoundly resilient, and will have weeds growing over our ruins in the not too distant future, but I know that sort of reflection doesn’t help everyone.

    Cassandra, your first question would require not merely a post but an entire book to answer; the short version is that nobody knows yet. As for information, I include it ion the catabolic collapse model as a form of capital; the total information stock, and the various technologies and mechanisms for processing it, are all forms of capital, requiring maintenance, and subject to catabolic collapse once maintenance costs exceed income.

    Jim, thank you!

    Kashtan, as noted above, that’s a good question to which the answer is not yet clear. What determines whether something belongs to this or that house isn’t abstract considerations, but whether the thing in question is reliably affected by astrological influences on that house or its ruler in a relevant chart.

    Tidlosa, since the chart’s cast for the US capital, it would either be a war in which the US was one of the participants, or a war that affected the US significantly even if this country wasn’t directly involved. Trump’s role in it would depend, not on his sun sign, but on the exact placement of planets in his chart, which I don’t happen to have. (Sun signs all by themselves mean very little in serious astrology.) As for the Sun’s placement in the eclipse, it would, except that the fact that the eclipse is in the cadent ninth house weakens it, and so it works out to an ordinary eclipse.

    James, getting outraged is a cheap buzz, and that’s all it is; I’m glad you’ve avoided it. The cultivation of outrage, self-righteous indignation, and other emotional drugs has become all too widespread in American society these days. How far will things go from Charlottesville? Good question; a lot depends on whether moderates of all political factions are willing to reject the assault on constitutional liberties by the violent thugs on both extremes.

    Tidlosa, yeah, it’s a yuuuge question. I decided against it at the time because I found the affirmation of magic as a spiritual practice in the writings of Dion Fortune, WE Butler, and Israel Regardie, among others, more convincing than the condemnation of magic I heard from Theosophists and Anthroposophists; it didn’t help that the Anthroposophists I met at the time were all angry, rigid, unpleasant people. (I called them “Anthroposophagi.”) Later, I came to have serious questions about the attitude toward visionary experience found in Steiner among many others, which failed to exercise a necessary skepticism toward the material-plane meanings of inner-plane experiences, and routinely ended up demanding belief in historical and scientific claims that are pretty clearly nonsense. There’s a lot of value in Steiner — I find The Philosophy of Freedom worth close study, and his handbooks on spiritual development are very solid — but I wouldn’t recommend his work to beginners, and my impression of the Anthroposophical Society at present is that it’s a Steiner fan club, too caught up in hagiolatry to engage in the kind of substantive critique that would make Steiner’s work actually useful to future generations of spiritual scientists.

  52. Mr. Jensen, there are areas where plants suitable for humans simply do not grow well or at all. A previous locale of residence had at most thirty consecutive frost free days: my garden consisted of rhubarb and Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, neither of which minded. Cattle and bison were the big crops there, with plenty of wild mule deer and antelope, and somewhat fewer elk and moose. It is not so simple as turning rangeland into fields.

  53. Your comments on Steiner are interesting. There is one article, translated by Owen Barfield in “The Case for Anthroposophy”, where Steiner seems to suggest that his visions shouldn´t be taken literally, that they are attempts to “translate” spiritual realities to mundane earthly language. However, in most lectures Steiner seems to take a literalist approach, and so are most of his followers! Was Steiner adapting himself to the level of his followers, perhaps?

  54. From the August horoscope guide, courtesy of Jean Lamb. The article notes that the path of the eclipse traces out the north/south divide, shown in red and blue. It makes much of the Pluto in Capricorn aspect. As someone born in 1939 (Pluto in Leo, a.k.a. wannabe Boomers) I should probably take that into account for personal matters. Other than that, it’s a bit bare-bones.

    http://www.collective-evolution.com/2017/08/01/the-great-american-eclipse-an-astrological-analysis/

  55. I’m experiencing something which has me puzzled and I wondered if you knew of anyone else who has also experienced this. When I prepare myself to do the SOP or to cast a divination, I very often feel a strong shiver go up my spine. I’m not cold or anything, and it seems directly related to the practice I’m about to do. It only lasts momentarily, and it doesn’t bother me in the least. It just is.

    Just plain weird?

  56. I’m kinda curious why you decided to stay in the US, unless you thought Sara’s health problems would make it too hard to get a visa…

  57. Hi JMG. I don’t have a particular question, just a hello. I hope New England is working out better for you than Western Maryland. I’ve been through a change of address too recently, though not so far. (Northern Virginia). I’m liking the new blog project and I expect to spend a bit of time here.

  58. Hi! I know from your writing that you have given thought to preserving knowledge in the coming dark age. Is this something you feel could be organized in a somewhat formal fashion at this time? Is it too early? Or is it something that may come about more organically? Is this something you have thought about being involved in? Do you think tying that preservation with religion, similar to the monks in the middle ages, would help that effort? Thanks in advance for your thought on this!!!!

  59. Many thanks, JMG, for giving monthly opportunities for folks to ask you questions! I was “too slow on the draw” last month, so I’ll give it a try this month.

    Much to my delight this summer, I chanced upon a new (mint condition) copy of The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic at the local branch of my library. Very informative. But Levi’s style is definitely too much “fire and air” for my taste (I guess he wasn’t a druid )! Regardless of my views about Levi, a couple of questions crossed my mind while reading the book, which I hope you can answer.

    First, Levi made a statement in which he advised that divination not be practiced regularly (i.e., daily); given your advice to beginners (at least) to practice daily, it would seem that your views differ from Levi at least in this regard. My question is: what reason might Levi have in advising against frequent use of divination?

  60. Mr. Greer, Might you be willing to say a few words about why you left Oregon and moved to the East Coast? I ask because a group of us are strongly considering moving to the Ashland area. It has a lot of what would seem like parts of a positive seedbed for thriving through the collapse: like-minded people, a permaculture network, and a thriving community of herbalists, brewers, and metalworkers, as well as artists and others with valuable skills. But I trust your wisdom and ability to see what others have missed, and if your reasons for leaving had to do with geographically specific challenges that you believe may make Oregon unsuitable in the coming future, I’d be so grateful if you’d share a few. (And my apologies if you’ve addressed this in your old blogs–I believe I read all the posts, but I could have missed it.) TIA

  61. Umm, I know you said it’s too soon to tell, but seeing as I’m in Lexington, KY, and was @ the Urban County Council’s meeting with the SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans) when they unanimously voted to remove the monuments (still has to go before a state military monuments commission), I’m wondering where this whole SJW (Social Justice Warrior) McCarthyism is headed. Considering that you’ve written two fictional accounts where the South does indeed rise again, I’m very keen to preserve Confederate monuments in a state that did not properly secede the first time around. Personally, considering that 2/3 the population nationally supports leaving the monuments alone, I think the SJW’s are woefully out of touch and misjudging the silent majority, but with our smartphone attention span, things could always blow over tomorrow. Still, the efforts to remove our local monuments have been ongoing since Charleston (in ’15)

  62. A note: solar salutations are getting easier! (Helps also that, as I timed it once, my original “counting to sixty” one minute is more like two minutes ten, so I’ve adjusted accordingly.) Thank you for the advice! A follow-up question: Paths of Power mentions “direct sunlight,” so does that imply that I am not a giant slacker if I don’t do the practice when it’s seriously overcast/raining/etc? Or is it a place where direct sunlight would be if it existed? (Still looking for a place to do the lunar ones where my neighbors won’t bug me–all my windows face exactly the wrong directions, it seems.)

    In re: eating meat, I also try to eat locally and ethically, and try to have more veggies than meat as a general rule, though that also has a lot to do with my wallet and waistline. I would probably have second thoughts about eating anything with a human-like level of sapience, myself, so octopi and corvids are out–though I admit the former makes more of a difference than the latter. 😛 (I probably wouldn’t have an intrinsic problem with eating humans either, but it seems detrimental to society except as a funeral custom. My mom, I will note, mentioned in a passing discussion of funerals that if eating her liver at the time makes us feel better about things, we should go to. My mom is awesome.)

    @Curious, from what I’ve seen of the dating world before I left it, and secondhand, I think that people who play mind games like that tend to attract a) suckers, for whom I feel sorry, and b) the kind of people who play their own games and have their own agendas, as you describe. There’s almost a prisoner’s dilemma going on in some ways: being decent with a decent person works out best for everyone, but being decent with a jerk doesn’t work out well, so…

    @Will on relationships: yes, very yes. And one of the things I have Issues with re: modern society is that it doesn’t seem to make a respected place for people who choose to remain unpartnered–there’s an assumption that turning down potential romantic interests is symptomatic of some other problem, whereas often it’s just that single life works better for some people, either temporarily or for good.

    @JMG, second question: as a Mason, are you more amused or annoyed by the “time-travelling Masons killed JFK/were Jack the Ripper/etc” conspiracy theories? (Relatedly: have you read From Hell, and if so, do you have thoughts? I found it neat in a well-this-sure-isn’t-what-happened-but-it-makes-a-good-story kind of way–Crazy British Comic Writers of the Eighties and their brand of mysticism kind of fascinate me.)

  63. Regarding Charlottesville, I was reminded of JMG’s posts on the Hate That Dare Not Speak its Name & the Rescue Game–the unmentionable class divide that no one wants to admit, vs. all the fashionable SJW -isms it is okay to talk about. I noticed that the overwhelming number of people at the Urban County Council meeting were professional class white liberals, and that the few people of color were similarly educated. Mind you, only two counties, Jefferson (Louisville) and Fayette (Lexington) were blue in the presidential election, the other 118 were solid red. The overwhelming take away listening to the speakers was FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, along with a total disconnect from the reality of life outside the urban professional bubble. Since the election, there’s been incessant talk amongst these upper 20% professionals of racism and other fashionable -isms, and since Charlottesville, the fear seems ratcheted up 110%, with a constant drumbeat of demonization of “racists” (the other)

  64. JMG
    My current run of discursive meditation (which is part of my meditation tool kit thanks to you) has taken me down a rabbit hole that has raised a question for you.
    In your often stated purpose for magic of changing consciousness according to will. I assume that you are using will in its common definition of personal strength. My current run of discursive meditation led me to a place that wondered if our personal will is not just our way of harnessing Schopenhauer’s “Will” by taking part of the energy we experience as Will and incorporating it into our personal tool kit to be able to make changes beneficial to us.
    Over my years of meditation I have gotten better at appreciating the concept that what we experience is mostly representation. By careful observation it seems to me to be practical to shift those representations to create adjustments to my experience. I am just wondering if on some level we use some aspect of the Will we experience to assist in those shifts.
    On the other hand when I have meditated on Will I find it to be plural and to potentially flow through me sometimes impacting me and sometimes not so much. But it does make sense to me that just as my personality seems to emerge in the moment from a great many pieces, some having major influence and some very minor that part of me would find a way to use Will or at least borrow some of its energy and direct it for my benefit.
    Tomxyza

  65. To Frank Hamm: Re: Aphids. Regarding the earlier comments about spraying aphids with alcohol, while this would be okay with a tree, I would hesitate with a small plant like a pepper, given that alcohol is a plant poison if it gets to the roots. The standard advice in this case is to mix some dishwashing liquid (aka dishwashing soap, dish detergent, dish soap or washing up liquid) with some vegetable oil and water, shake it to mix throughly, and then spray it on the aphids. A small amount of dishwasher soap won’t harm the plants. This will suffocate the aphids – they breathe through their skins. There will probably be ants farming the aphids, so you may have to re-apply after a week or so. If any plant is heavily infested, then remove it and throw it far from the rest of the plants. Don’t apply the liquid in the morning of a hot day (the same as watering early on a hot day) since the sunlight may cause the leaves to burn. Evening is the best time to apply.

  66. Honestly, I think the SJW’s are chasing the ghosts of bigotries past–they’re fighting the good fight of the mid-20th century, when there are other, more pressing issues

  67. JMG in the last posts on the archdruid report and other places you talk about how the world isn’t quit real. Philosophicaly and scientifically what we see is not really what there is. I find this idea fascinating and what to learn more but I don’t know where to look. Could you point me in the right direction. Thanks

  68. @John Roth:
    Ah, thank you for the explanation.

    @JMG:
    And thank you for the same.
    In combination with what John Roth said above, is it correct that the current system of government for these purposes is counted to start with the Declaration of Independence rather than the Constitution because the latter was just a restructuring of the government, from one form of democracy to another, under the same ideals?

  69. BoysMom,

    Oh, I happily recognize that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the ethics of eating some living things and not others. I know some people can’t properly digest planet proteins (I believe our host mentioned being among them), and there are some societies in extreme latitudes where their options are an all-meat diet or starvation.

    However, I admit I have consistently found the arguments for vegetarianism among financially-comfortable temperate-zone-dwellers who want to lessen our impact on both the biosphere and its inhabits to be at least somewhat stronger than the arguments against it.

  70. Two things, first one about the astrological predictions. I think it’s worth pointing out that retrograding Mercury and forward-moving Mars will converge at roughly the point where the eclipse took place and then march away from that point together when Mercury goes direct again shortly after that. I wouldn’t be surprised if the direction of events you predict gets rolling with things that occur during this converging conjunction.

    And since this is an open post, I don’t want to ask a question so much as present an assessment of what happened in Charlottesville a week and a half ago that might not be very popular but should still be considered, in the form of YouTuber Sargon of Akkad’s recent video Weimar America. The tl;dw of the video is that President Trump wasn’t far wrong when he said that there was no shortage of people looking for a violent showdown on both sides of the melee in Virginia on August 11.

    Sargon may be oversimplifying some things, but I think there’s a definite element of truth in what he has to say in his video. And I think this is germane because of the hysteria on the left on social media that is occurring over what happened in Charlottesville. Uniting against white supremacists and their detestable ideology is something behind which everybody should be able to get, but the authoritarian left in this country is managing to drive people away from even that.

  71. Thanks JMG for these open posts!

    1 – In your view, how does one effectively campaign to make change? For example, in Retrotopia, how did political campaigners convince others in the Lakeland Republic to embrace retro technology? You’ve written before about how advertising/thaumaturgy can backfire on its practitioners, is this unavoidable when campaigning to introduce, say, light rail?

    2 – I’m currently reading the Black Swan by Nassim Taleb. Early in the book, he writes that making predictions on the basis of historical events is impossible, because, to paraphrase heavily, humans retroactively find patterns to explain historical events that are often false. Based on your previous writings, I’m sure you would disagree, but I’m wondering how you would respond to that?

  72. Dashui, that’s typical of the problems with a lot of modern astrology; if you just pull whatever interpretation appeals to you out of whatever orifice you happen to have handy, all you’ll get is a reflection of your own prejudices. Attention to the traditional lore is a good way to avoid that.

    Elias, I took it down because Blogger’s latest round of security updates made it impossible for me to use. I don’t choose to use a cell phone, and the way their security system works, once I moved out of my former house in Maryland, I would have been unable to access any of my Blogger sites without getting an access code via a cell phone. (They won’t let you use a land line, btw. Why? Nobody’s saying.) So I shut the sites down, walked away, and got a blog on a paid platform where I can actually reach a live human being if there’s a problem.

    Linda, what is it with organized institutional Christianity and child molestation? Most other religions don’t seem to have that problem, though the gods know there are plenty of problems shared by all religions, including mine. No, I wasn’t aware of that — I’d heard about the Catholic church’s ghastly problems along those lines, but not the Evangelical equivalent. Something like that could be it.

    Dot, it applies differently on different planes, and “resistance” can take many forms, some smarter than another. A good general doesn’t oppose the other side’s advance by marching at them and going head to head; he sends his troops around the side to threaten their supply lines and cut them off, or does some other bit of elegant trickery, just as a good martial artist lets the other guy’s punch go whistling by into empty air, and then lands a fist in a vulnerable spot. In the same way, if you want to convince someone they’re wrong, you don’t just deny what they’re saying — you find arguments that appeal to them, and draw them to your side of the question.

    SMJ, did I say that the problems of democracy are solvable? Nope. The mere fact that it’s better than any other system doesn’t mean that it can be made perfect; it just means that, with all its glaring flaws and severe problems, it’s better than the alternatives.

    Joseph, thank you!

    Isaac, first, I don’t do grimoire magic; my background is mostly Golden Dawn, with forays into a couple of other varieties of Hermetic magic, Renaissance astrological magic, traditional Southern rootwork, and radionics. Thus I can’t really advise you there. Second, like most serious occultists, I make it a practice not to discuss my personal spiritual life. Third, the whole notion that every serious occultist has to do some equivalent of the Abramelin operation is hogwash; that’s one way to go, but there are many other options. Fourth, that’s something only you can judge; if you feel you’ve gotten as much out of rune magic as you can for the moment, then by all means try something else.

    Jill, you’re welcome! Fungi actually aren’t plants or animals; they’re a third kingdom of life, radically different from both plants and animals, so vegetarians who want to eat mushrooms would have to redefine themselves as vegefungitarians or something like that. 😉

    Justin, I’m considerably more concerned that the Antifa will succeed in making actual fascism credible again. It’s the same thing that happened in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s: the Communists fielded mobs of bullies and thugs to try to get their way, and mostly succeeded in convincing millions of moderate Germans that anybody who opposed the Communists must be a better option. The rise of Hitler followed promptly. More on this in a future post!

    James, yes, we do have carnassial teeth. Look at the skull of a cow, a sheep, a rodent, or most any other obligate herbivore, and you’ll find a gap between the front teeth and the molars. Look at the skull of a carnivore or an omnivore and you’ll find teeth filling that gap. In us, it’s the canines and bicuspids — those are our carnassials. The reason they’re not as large as in dogs, say, is that we don’t kill with them — our ancestors evolved thrown and thrust weapons instead.

    I’m glad to hear you recognize that humans are naturally omnivorous, and that this means we have many options. Of course we do, and meat is among those options; it’s a very concentrated source of highly digestible protein and many other nutrients. Cannibalism is a problem for reasons having to do with infectious diseases — most mammals don’t eat members of their own species because that makes it far too easy for diseases to pass from one to another. (You might look into kuru, a brain disease common among certain New Guinea cannibals.) Jews and Muslims don’t eat pigs, similarly, because in the ecosystem of the Middle East, pigs very often carry really nasty diseases.

    All living things eat other living things, and most of them kill to do so. Nearly all living things are killed and eaten at the end of their lives. Thus there’s no “least harm;” the plant you spare by not eating a cow will be killed and eaten by something else. It seems more sensible to me to accept with gratitude that all things have died that I might live, and be ready to take my own place on the menu when that’s appropriate. That’s the beauty of the food chain: everything gets to eat many times, and only has to be eaten once!

    The essay by Dion Fortune is in her book Sane Occultism, which I heartily recommend in general.

  73. To Frank Hamm, Re: Voles. Plant permanent hedges and you will attract permanent predators (think garden snakes). I like the “outdoor cats” idea but I don’t know how you will effectively keep them from wandering the neighborhood. You might also try planting trees within “gopher cages” — wire mesh which protects the roots.

  74. JMG, yeah, that’s part of it. Here in Canada a bunch of antifa recently celebrated successfully temporarily shutting down a conference of center-right university professors (the professors in question have booked a larger venue in response), but the antifa got lots of photos of them posing in masks with hammer-and-sickle banners on a campus in Canada.

    But yeah, imagine there was a collectivist horde who was ready to destroy what you valued most. Would you vote for a dangerous man like Hitler to stop them? Germans were well aware of what the communists did in Spain. Antifa/BLM types are digging up confederate war dead and desecrating their corpses. I have no love for the confederacy, but the parallels between revolutionary Spain cannot be ignored.

    And for frack’s sake, statues are one thing, but the desecration of graves, especially if they were conscripts, is beyond crazy.

  75. Gnat, when Dion Fortune suggested that magic is the art and science of causing change in consciousness in accordance with will, you’ll notice she didn’t say whose consciousness. Your consciousness? That’s one option, but only one — and nothing in that definition prevents there being other conscious beings that don’t happen to have dense physical bodies like we do. As for instructional materials, my book The Druid Magic Handbook is a good introduction to this and other basic magical principles.

    Tidlosa, I tend to think that Barfield was adapting Steiner to the level of Owen Barfield, and that Steiner — especially in his latter years, when he said a lot of really batty things — was convinced of the objective truth of his visions.

    Patricia, that’s not half bad — I note that there’s actually a reference to what happened the last time a similar eclipse happened. Thank you!

    Liz, you’re welcome. 😉

    Myriam, yes, a lot of people have experienced that. It’s a mild form of kundalini awakening. Try to relax into it and let it flow, and you should be perfectly fine — and the long-term results in relation to your personal spirituality will likely be very welcome.

    Shane, unpopular though this notion is, this is my country, and I’d like to do something to help get it through its current mess, if I can.

    Michael, hello as well! Did you get the email I sent with my new address?

    Daniel, yes, it could be organized now, if there were people willing to invest the time, money, and hard work that would be needed.

    Ron, obviously I disagree with Levi on that issue. I’m not sure why he insisted that regular divination was a bad idea; it may have been a cultural thing.

    Environmentalist, the cost of living was a major issue — the west coast is very expensive. Another difficulty, in some way the major one, was that Ashland is very much a bubble inhabited by privileged, well-to-do liberals of the sort who hire illegal immigrants at sweatshop wages to tend their organic gardens, and parade their Priuses to justify annual vacations by jet in third world countries. My wife and I both come from a good deal further down the social ladder — both of us, curiously enough, are the children of schoolteachers who came from working class backgrounds, and clawed their way into the very bottom end of the middle class — and we found Ashland’s air of pretensiousness and insufferable superiority asphyxiating. A scruffy mill town in the Appalachians, followed by a scruffy multiracial neighborhood of a not very large New England city, is a lot more our style.

  76. Shane, at this point I expect the social justice movement to go to the kind of extremes that make their opponents look reasonable. Give it ten years, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see statues of Confederate generals being put back, twice as large as before.

    Isabel, a Giant Slacker sounds like a critter out of some forgotten late-1970s Dungeons and Dragons knockoff! It’s not necessary for you to do the practice every day without fail; it’s simply a useful habit. If you need to strengthen your will, you can set yourself the task of doing it every day, but other than that, do it when circumstances are favorable.

    With regard to Mason-bashing, mostly I roll my eyes, but it hasn’t escaped my notice that the rhetoric being directed at Masons from fringe groups in North America and Britain these days is almost identical to the rhetoric that was directed at Jews by fringe groups in central Europe in the first three decades of the twentieth century…

    Shane, it’s all about class. When privileged liberals say “racist” or “fascist” what they mean is “social inferior” — you know, “those people.” Every time I mention this I get a flurry of denunciations that are exquisitely careful never to address the fact that I said something about class issues, which is one of the reasons I know that the people who are yelling about “fascists” know perfectly well that they’re just trying to defend their privilege from hoi polloi.

    Tom, good. Keep at it and see where it takes you.

    Will, I got that material mostly from Arthur Schopenhauer; if you’re up to some serious philosophy, see if you can score a copy of the English translation of his book The World as Will and Representation, and take it a little bit at a time.

    Reese, traditional mundane astrology isn’t particularly concerned with ideals. The Declaration of Independence was the legal document by which the Continental Congress declared national independence from Great Britain, and established the US as a nation under a federal government. The Constitution simply reformed the method by which that federal government operated, replacing the original Articles of Confederation. If we ever get a new governmental system that discards the federal structure for, say, a hereditary empire, or a socialist or fascist state, or what have you, we’d have a new foundation chart from then on; ditto if the country falls apart and two or more new nations are formed from the fragments.

    Mister N., the movement of the planets in the wake of the eclipse is another thing that would go into a full delineation, and yes, that’s a good point. With regard to the Antifa, I was bemused to see Trump, of all people, stepping up to the plate as a defender of the rule of law and constitutional rights. In a sane society, you do not get to ignore the laws against assault and battery just because you insist that the people you’re hitting are Nazis.

    Jbucks, for your first question, the spell I offer you is “communicate, don’t manipulate.” Don’t treat your fellow voters as machines to be programmed to perform a desired behavior; treat them as people with their own needs and ideas, and figure out how giving them what they want will get you what you want. For the second, I’d simply point out that those of us who’ve used historical examples as a source of guidance have been scoring accurate predictions over and over again, while those who dismiss historical examples as a source of guidance have not.

    Justin, I hadn’t heard that they’d stooped to desecrating graves. They really do want to turn the majority against them, don’t they?

  77. Tidlosa,

    Having a son attend an aspiring Waldorf school, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with a few different Anthroposophists. It does seem to have developed some different, competing branches. One branch seems to be made up of a bunch of people with 60s hippies mindset that world peace is achieveable and only possible through the works of Steiner. This branch encouraged me to take a job teaching at a Waldorf school which would only pay enough, if I saved every penny of it, to pay for my airfare back to the USA for the month I was required to stay out of the school provided apartment. Apparently this was considered generous.

    The other branch, which does seem to be more European connected, seemed to delve in spiritual things a bit more and provided a lot of interesting information. But in the end, all the communication seemed to revolve around opportunities for money and less about wanting to help people on their journey.

    All in all, I wasn’t left with a very favorable impression with the institution. I do value the opportunities for change they are helping to create in the field of children’s education though.

  78. Thank you! And on a kind of related note… following up from what Daniel Judy asked about preserving knowledge – I think anyone publicly aiming to preserve parts of western culture and grouping with others for that purpose would be attacked by those parts of the left that simply oppose western civilization in its entirety (either consciously or, in most cases, unintentionally and ignorantly). The likes of Antifa or the SJWs are only the tip of the iceberg of that ideology. If logic is an oppressive instrument of the patriarchy then aiming to conserve some classical text about it would be considered more than a micro-aggression.

    When you talked about cultural conservers before, you sometimes defined what needs to be conserved as the useful parts of modern industrial society, sometimes as parts of western culture, sometimes in other terms. It seems to me that it’s western civilization as, I think it was Spengler dated it – from 1000AD on in Europe and our diaspora cultures – that’s currently going down. And that in turn is the main (though obviously not only) inheritor of the legacies of classical civilization. So it’s the past 1000 years of western cultures that needs sifting through and preserving right?

    But if one were to set up such a group – first how could one avoid being attacked by those who actively seek the destruction of western civilization and will deem anyone who dares to value parts of it, to place limits of any kind of what is and is not included in it and who doesn’t seek to conserve every other culture on the planet equally, to be a racisty fascisty reactionary all-round baddie?

    Second, how could such a group allow individuals to follow their own personal passions in choosing what to conserve while allowing for the fact that no culture is a monolith – so you’ll get people saying that antisemitism is part of western culture (that’s kind of unarguable) and perfectly compatible with it, so they’d like to conserve the tradition of regular pogroms. Someone else will say that the more recent adoption by western cultures of religious liberty and the rule of law is also now a cultural tradition worth preserving. Something like that. So there’ll be conflicts, just as there were throughout the history of western civilization.

    When you’re dealing with physical stuff, like books or technology or buildings, say, it’s different. People might support the conservation of the physical book ‘Mein Kampf’ simply from a historical record perspective. But cultures are firstly a set of ideas, a worldview, right? How could a group both support individual choices, however quirky, while also requiring that a process of sifting of, say, ‘useful’ from ‘non-useful’ legacies happens?

    I guess if it’s a religion that takes on the job of conserving, the worldview of that religion is the self-evident filter that’s used to make those choices. But then such a religion would, like Christianity, have to kick out a monk that had tried to preserve brothel graffiti or bawdy Roman pagan musical lyrics. Individual conservation efforts don’t face that problem, but in the end it’s religious groups who do the long haul, and by their nature they must impose limits on what is and is not conserved by their adherents mustn’t they?

  79. JMG: “there will be trouble with a foreign nation during the time the eclipse has its effect, and there will also be religious turmoil.”

    Might that include the Religion of Progress(™)?

  80. Just saw that Kashtan beat me to that last question so no need to reply twice.

    Can you add a little more to:
    “vegetables mass produced in chemically saturated monocultures via current agribusiness methods”

    Like hydroponics or something else?

  81. Interesting. What is an Archdruid, then? Is it a private wise man or wizard? Sorry if you have delineated what that office is… I came late to the Archdruidreport, and am just taking advantage of the AMA format. Therefore, again, forgive me if these questions are tedious or obtuse.

  82. Hello JMG

    Re: Democracy’s Flaws

    Oh I fully agree that democracy is preferable to other options despite its problems, and I fully agree that its problems are probably not solvable. My question, though, was: What do you regard as its greatest flaws?

    SMJ

  83. I have several questions, some maybe more answerable than others…
    1) How important are given names? My brother and I fought constantly as children, and as I have begun to study more of the non-material world, I have come to wonder if the relationship was influenced by the fact that my name derives from the Hebrew Archangel in charge of the army of (the judeo-christian) heaven, and his name derives from the Roman god of war?

    1b) also on names – tropical depression maybe storm maybe will be hurricane Harvey is proving terribly tricky and difficult to predict. Is it just coincidence that the storm is named after one of the most well-known pukas in the western world? (Harvey the giant, invisible rabbit, for those who don’t get the reference)

    2) I notice that asking the right question figures prmonently in many of your works. Right now I have Star’s Reach in mind, where Trey fails to ask the right question and like Parzifal, wanders for 5 years before he finally gets it, finds the grail, and the wounded king (a.k.a. Sharl sunna Sheren) is restored. Is it legit to ask you “what question should I be asking?” or is that sort of like using the third wish to ask for more wishes?

    3) also in Star’s Reach, where is the concrete chair? if the Spire is slightly to the south of east, is Trey sitting at the Marine war memorial, or is that under water (sea level maps vary…) I notice google maps places a masonic lodge in a spot that might work (steet view says it is a hardware store, but the building appears old and the right shape to have previously been something else) . I tried googling “esoteric maps of Washington DC and that led me to the edge of a rabbit warren of conspiracy theories I did not want to face. Or am I taking this too seriously/literally?

    4) There’s no link to “A world full of gods” on your list of books on this site. Deliberate or an oversight?

    whew. I think I’ll stop there

  84. Hi Archdruid, thanks for the reply to my comment. I guess I’m a fan of the stories and the unfolding of the ideas and I don’t fetishise the fancy characters enough to go and play dress up in some soulless conference hall in Birmingham or some such hole of a place. But nonetheless I do have a second criticism albeit quite minor. There are stories from medieval times that feature giants who could walk great long distances super quickly with little effort, bottomless porridge/oatmeal pots and so on. These stories were fantasies that, from the point of view of a fourteenth century peasant, were unlikely to come to pass in just the same way as the supposed predictions of the pulp sci fi you’ve written about; but none the less who would have predicted massive flying machines and telephones, never mind super nintendo static bicycles. I’m just as doubtful about all these things like fusion power, AI, etc as you are but I still don’t want to dismiss out of hand these super duper ideas about the future. Thanks again for the quality blogging.

  85. I have to admit I don’t really like the vegetarian debate. It feels to much like ideology. My grand parents have used animals to process watse and turn it into eggs, meat and fertilizer. Leaving the waste to be eaten by rate is a pity.

    Only the rich, the local barons, showed of by eating meat with every meal. That became an issue when society became richer and people started to emulate the eating habits of the rich. Entrepreneur jumped at the chance and became the modern food industry.

    So to me there is a good way to eat meat but modern society mostly doesn’t really like it.

  86. JMG, I’ve happened to just read this article over on Dark Mountain: Conjuring Yew Trees and Mountains (http://dark-mountain.net/blog/in-other-tongues-conjuring-yew-trees-and-mountains/).

    One of the people profiled, an English woman who became a Medicine Woman apprenticed to a mountain in Calgary. The article observes “What had begun to happen, in communities around North America, was that indigenous peoples were reporting to each other how some of their sacred mountains themselves were, for the first time ever, starting to show symptoms of perhaps something like Alzheimer’s; a lack of coherence, a confusion setting in, with the consequences being that they were sometimes having a hard time giving protocols and teachings to the human communities who looked to them as sources of wisdom and inter-species elders. What the various communities suspect is happening is that as the earth’s living systems are increasingly destabilised and compromised, the ability of the very land itself to maintain coherence and lucidity is starting to show signs of unravelling.”.

    As a Druid, this would seem to be on your territory. What’s your view on this? Have we humans finally, fatally, wounded the spirits of the earth? Is this a phenomenon of the Americas, or global?

  87. Also, you’ve mentioned the pathologies of political religion before. But when the Second Religiosity chooses what to save and what to burn through the Dark Ages, aren’t those also political choices? Christianity was in a political as well as religious conflict with the civil religion of Rome.

    Our civil religion of Progress is also both political and religious at the same time and its attitude to the past is inherently opposed to a project of cultural salvage. So the very act of conserving culture is both a political and religious one isn’t it?

  88. JMG,

    Good on you for making falsifiable predictions. I don’t know bunk about astrology, but I know I’ll be watching this as a test case. (Fully aware that a negative result means ‘JMG’s astrological prediction did not work’ not ‘astrological predictions never work’.) In that spirit, I’d love to see an ‘I told you so’ linking back to this post in a Stormwatch-type update a few months down the line.

    I wonder if, given the current hysteria against so-called Nazis, we might get a media panic if someone at CNN discovers folkish heathenry. That would match your prediction of a religious-focused media panic in perhaps the least-desirable way, given the likely splashback on other pagans from the media’s use of the broadest possible brush. (Then again, it might set out a candy bowl full of red pills for falsely accused asratu, which would not be all bad.)

  89. JMG – if you were homeschooling a child, what skills or mindsets would you want the child to acquire as end goals?

    Many thanks,
    Matt

  90. @JMG: Thanks, and ha! I like that–I’ll have to include it with Spice Wuss (which I am, and which one of my friends noted sounds like the larval form of a sandworm) in the list of monsters I’ve inadvertently made up when self-describing. 🙂

    Re: the suspicion toward Masons, absolutely. There’s a video from 1940something making the rounds on FB, actually, in which they’re one of the groups that the Nazi agitator names as Trouble, so it goes back a while. US society seems weirdly suspicious of people doing anything at all private or weird, at times. (Albeit I’d almost rather people think I ate babies than think the modern stereotypes of pagans apply to me. Lord.)

    FWIW, as someone who is slightly involved with the SJW types and follows some antifa stuff, I’ve not heard of anyone desecrating corpses or graves, or advocating same, though of course I could always have missed things. I think most of the people I know would find that a waste of effort, especially as any kind of organized movement. (And it’s not like there’s any central organizing body for these things, so one totally-fringe group could well be for it.)

  91. Here in Canada, I’m finding it fascinating the difference in how the French and English language press is handling events in Quebec City involving La Meute. The English press is fairly consistent in either blaming them or making it very very clear that it is a minority of the counter protestors who went violent, and all others are good people (some even going so far as to state the violent ones were La Meute infiltrators without evidence) while the French press is calling out the counter protestors. It’s like English and French Canadians live in two different worlds here….

    JMG,

    There are probably others that could happen that I can’t think of, but here are three I can:

    The first big scandal I can think of involves Elon Musk’s Mars mission, which is currently starting training. I’ve often wondered about what will happen there, particularly since it doesn’t seem likely sane people would be likely to want to go on a one way trip to Mars, even if they believed in the myth of progress….

    There are some studies linking all kinds of “advances” to illnesses, so maybe something like that would occur. I can’t see this one getting through the media filter though.

    Last one: I heard about yesterday from someone who used to work on self driving cars is that those things apparently have a hard time recognizing pedestrians. If true, this could definitely cause scandal if true, since they’re being tested. Granted, they have someone in the car, but from what I’ve heard the person there isn’t always paying attention….

    Isabel,

    I’m speaking from personal experience here, so I know exactly what you mean about modern society refusing to make a spot for us. I personally don’t value dating or sex as highly as other things in my life, so I often will decide it’s not worth while, even though I find someone attractive. For example, I don’t want to risk major friendships, so quite a few people are off limits as far as I’m concerned. Additionally, a lot of men will lie (whether overtly or by omission) to start relationships, and I don’t want to do that.

    And I think if more of us were out there saying “I could have a date but I don’t need one”, instead of quietly sitting around, or worse, complaining about it, maybe more people would stop viewing us so poorly.

  92. @ Daniel Judy

    Yes, please, save books NOW. I quit my job last year working at the local for-profit, corporate-owned thrift store (the big one currently operating in the US, Canada, and Australia.) I ran the book department where policies such as pushing books through as fast as possible resulted in over 3/4 of the books donated ending up in the landfill. All textbooks automatically were discarded regardless of age. Not recycled for paper, even. It was distressing because I had students coming in asking for those same textbooks that I was required to throw out. I sneaked some through, but mostly could not. Books often sat on the shelf for less than two weeks before they were discarded. Brand-new books!

    Over the 3 and a half years I worked there, I sent hundreds of thousands of books into the landfill, many fine, like-new, precious books, enough to make a book-lover go catatonic with grief. I was not allowed to take any of them unless I bought them, and finances being what they were, had to let most go. I fought to find other venues, but the store refused to pass the books on, afraid it would hurt their sales. Multiply the lost books that went through my hands by the hundreds for all the stores of this particular chain, and the result is that books are being destroyed by the millions every year.

    It wasn’t the current mass-market books I had a problem with, but buried in the pile were the kinds of books that would be welcome in a monastic, time-capsule-sent-into-the-future, library. In response to my experience there, I’ve started a small, online bookstore hoping to convince my community to let me have a look at the books in order to take out the precious ones before they are destroyed. I’ve started squirreling some away as they go through my hands, with the thought, like you, that one day they would be welcome in a budding monastery or abbey (I don’t like the Christian image) or some new religious community’s library. Unless one of my kids wants them.

    So, please, the books are being destroyed now and the more people who can save the good ones, the better.

    @JMG

    Hmm…your answer was unexpected. I don’t know much about kundalini beyond the bit I read on the Well of Galabes in the comments, and the two-page mention in The Druid Magic Handbook. I searched online but am afraid I might be muddying the waters with misinformation.

    I’m still in the beginning stages of learning the rituals so feel this shouldn’t be happening yet, if at all. Do you have any recommended books I could read about it that would be helpful? Or maybe just let the process that has started continue on, obviously guided by something other than me?

  93. Thanks for giving the eclipse run down! Quick question about the eclipse and its effect on herbs. During the eclipse I was volunteering at a master herbalist’s garden. He asked me if there were herbs I wanted, and let me harvest them. Some I got during the eclipse.

    Do you know if the eclipse energy would make the tinctures I’m making from these plants unusable? My thought is, from reading M. Wood’s Vitalism and his other works on Paracelsus that the bad energy spelled out with the eclipse would help people who are later dealing with that same bad energy. It would carry a bit of the astrological signature, which could, I reasoned, be used homeopathically. This thinking, however, was definitely half baked, perhaps intuitional and utterly without study from history or the like. I want to be responsible with my herbal practice, and so if there are any strong traditional prohibitions and taboos around taking medicinal plants during an eclipse I’d love to know and could easily give the tinctures to my compost. Otherwise I’d use them more or less regularly, especially starting about four months from now…

  94. Hi JMG,

    Hope you enjoyed the eclipse? Thanks for the chart too and my brain needs to ponder that. Fascinating stuff.

    I wanted to ask you a question that was posed to me on my blog that I was unable to provide a meaningful answer too. I was hoping you could please shed some light on the matter?

    Anyway here goes. As a bit of background to that comment, I was banging on this week in my own rambling story telling style about the book “The Big Short” – you know already that I am a fan of that work. The comment I received was:

    “I beg to differ somewhat on the aftereffects of the 2008 crash. In poorer areas such as where I live, many communities are still suffering from the loss of tax revenues. In this area the subprime mortgage market put a lot of people into houses which the folks could no longer afford in the wake of the crash and the loss of jobs following it. After the crash, too many houses became vacant, house sales slowed and prices went down, and thus property tax revenues have gone down. Communities and tax districts which budgeted based on property tax revenues in place prior to the crash found expenditures exceeding incomes, including the fire and school districts where I live. Our fire district closed one of its two fire houses. Some houses around us are still vacant and others are not being well maintained, so in fact the crisis has affected the physical stock of housing in this area. Illusory wealth has real effects on real stuff when people who acted out of a belief in it find themselves kicked in the rear end when the illusion evaporates.”

    That comment was outstanding and it started my brain wondering whether the decline was already baked into the cake before the Global Financial Crisis hit. For example, did the dubious paper wealth founded on debt and other financial instruments allow a sort papering over of underlying structural problems. Or did that crisis merely trigger a series of unfortunate events which took the community infrastructure down to a lower level than before the crisis? Then negative feedback loops set in as declining revenue bases led to declining services, which increased unemployment which then led to declining revenue bases (it has a sort of cyclical nature that decline until sooner or later it stabilises at a lower “new normal”).

    And do you reckon that such a decline is consistent with your theory of catabolic collapse? It certainly looks like it does to me, but I was curious as to your opinion.

    Thanks very much for providing this forum.

    Cheers

    Chris

  95. @marcu

    I was moved by your simple, poignant request for assistance in dealing with “weltschmerz” – with gratitude for introducing me to the richly unique german lexicon. I doubt there is anyone alive who doesn’t feel this with varying degrees of intensity. I, for one, remember it being part of my inner landscape from the very beginning, before I could verify this sense of loss with some personal experience of the degradation of the natural world in our times.

    I don’t have definitive guidance to offer, but I can tell you how I handle my own feelings when weltschmerz threatens to morph into panic, and immobilise my creativity. The first thing I tell myself is that there is nothing wrong with the feeling itself. It doesn’t require purging simply because its uncomfortable. I’m not alive to feel only some socially-approved range of feeling. It does signal however (as any emotional burst) that my recollection of what/who I am is warranted. I will focus quietly on my breathing for as long as I can master, gently reeling back my thoughts as they wonder away … but without altering or blocking them. Quite rapidly I begin to gain awareness of other dimensional realities, and from that altered perspective of self, I realise our planet’s infinite resilience, and unfathomable capacity for adjustment. Events that may turn out fatal to whole species, including ours, are not existential issues for the planet itself. I belong. I fit here, just like a tree. I don’t need to do or prove anything to anyone. I don’t need to justify my existence any more than that tree. Life is absolutely indomitable, and I’m that.

    At some point, while taking stock in this way, I realised that what tricks my perception is my acquired bias toward light versus dark. Sounds glib, but as an artist/painter I face light/dark issues daily. People like bright, cheerful, decorative stuff, and avoid darker, more emotionally challenging representations. We all have white supremacist tendencies in that sense, and we don’t like/trust dark people, probably for no other reason than they are dark. Dark is lower, its less complex, and certainly less productive, if not outright evil. That’s the bias. I have come to believe that that we live in a society that is ultimately consumed with one foundational struggle against darkness, where in fact nature teaches there is ample (equal actually) space for both. Light and dark are necessary to life on planet earth. Consider that we spend one third of our lives asleep, and without it, we’d die. I die each day, and I trust each evening that I’ll wake in the morn. The trick for me is to consider the same is most likely true with regards to life and death – I will fall asleep “big time”, and I have no clue what happens beyond. Yet, if I’m honest, my observation of life in general suggests that something will. I call it the big bungee jump! The minute I allow an inkling of genuine wonder to break the monotony of programmed fear, is when I quit living as if the only objective is to postpone the inevitable for as long as possible. And I start perceiving the dark as the gestational space for the manifest. The dark, safe, womb of the unformed, rather than the oblivion of nothing. At some juncture I realised that most of my active life was dedicated to avoiding death with most conscious and unconscious efforts. I worked to earn money without which I was sure I’d die … sooner. Yet … upon reflection … does it actually matter for how long I avoid death? Is it not more important that I live while I … do? If I stay in this moment, I’ll know how to handle the next, including the Big Bungee.

    Yes, I am alive in certain, peculiar times in historical and perhaps cosmic terms. But the objective, in good and bad times, remains to suck every taste from the marrow of this experience. In those moments when I feel that life-force coursing through me, something “other” than conditioning, and external impulses, are affecting my consciousness. More of that I say. If anything can be trusted to change the way I perceive the world out there in a constructive manner, its those moments of immanent presence. In these dark times … the new is gestating, preparing. Good thing it is in the dark, or I’d screw with it. 🙂

    Ultimately, in those moments of “clear” I know its my choice to either live or become a slave to my (or other people’s) “good intentions” to “fix the problem”. There is no problem. I live. There are eclipses. Systems, and people come and go. Life goes on. Please don’t think I’m a-preachin’. Your words reminded me of a condition I know intimately well, and often plagues me too. Your openness touched me, willed a response, and so my heart goes to you.

  96. Hi Anthony DuClare,

    Way back in the day down under we had a device called a Coolgardie Safe. It is very effective at keeping insects off food and also keeping that food reasonably cool.

    Chris

  97. Justin+JMG: Nobody has called for the desecration of graves. That was a hoax started by one of the many fake “Antifa” accounts. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-40444786

    In any case, enough about that. I’m curious about this alternative astrological reading of the eclipse, from this author:

    https://wadecavesastrology.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/great-american-eclipse.pdf

    This author agrees with you that the effects of the eclipse will take place 6 to 8 months later. He says that there are strong implications for Trump personally and that he expects either health failure or an internal revolt.

    It’s interesting how many charts he draws up. It seems like computers make it very easy to do these days, so he can happily glance over a dozen or more charts at once. With the I Ching, though, I find I get better results working by hand with coins.

  98. JMG,

    Thanks for clarifying your perspective. You’ve given me some things to think about.

    I think I might actually have a copy of Sane Occultism lying around; I’ll try to find it.

    Just one quick note: your use of “carnassial teeth” seems to be non-standard. Everywhere else I have seen them discussed, the term refers to a specific type of tooth that wolves etc. have and humans don’t. That’s why I was confused.

  99. JMG,

    I’m anxiously awaiting your Charlottesville thoughts, but I say “anxiously” because I fear we are going to get a “both sides do it” essay and that seems too naive when one side (the far right) has a near monopoly on fatal violence so far (James Alex Fields, Sean C Urbanski, James Harris Jackson, and Adam W Purinton are all perpetrators within very recent memory). I hope that I am wrong, and there is a reason I’ve been a reader here so long, you often surprise me.

    That said, let me get to the relevant question…

    Being familiar with your work, particularly the last year or so of writing, I wouldn’t expect you or many others in the comments here to explicitly support antifa. That is fair enough as even I’m not convinced their tactics are the best idea except in particular cases.

    What I am wondering is, how would you propose preventing neo-nazis and other white nationalist groups from gaining power in this country?

    I’m not sure that ceding the public square to them is a good idea, I dont thinkt hey should be allowed to feel comfortable openly chanting racist slogans. Please note, that not being allowed to feel comfortable is not the same thing as not being allowed to do it at all.

    As for the rumor about grave desecration, it appears to be a hoax. The only recognizable website reporting on grave desecration is breitbart, so thats a news story that is immediately suspect. BBC is reporting that that “story” is a hoax that originated from a facebook page.

    This Fakenews garbage cuts both ways, I’d stay skeptical for now. If it was a real story, you could be sure that Foxnews would be running with it and the president would have tweeted about it already.

    Justin and Shane feel free to chime on my post since your comments have been relevant to this discussion.

  100. Hi JMG,

    not exactly a question, but I’m wondering if you or any of your readers would be interested in sharing stories of ‘adaptive responses’ they’ve been using with success at their homes, gardens or farms, like you outlined in ‘Green Wizardry’ and ‘The Ecotechnic Future.’ You used the example of compost as a strategy to make the transition from our current industrial society to an ecotechnic one – something scalable, resilient, modular and open. I would share one very small example I’ve been using that I think qualifies – a ‘heirloom’ yogurt culture that can be used over and over again indefinitely, with a bit saved from each batch to be added to the next batch (unlike the little dried packages of yogurt starter bacteria you might find at the store, a heirloom culture is a diverse mix of bacteria that are very resilient to disease, so can be used over and over).

    @ Frank in Germany: about peppers -just wondering if you have ever tried growing them out of the greenhouse? Are you practicing good greenhouse ‘hygiene’ ie. cleaning very well between growing seasons? The comfortable environment for plants is also very nice for pests and disease to overwinter and build up. There’s a lot of info about that online. As for building skills, I have benefited by reading a lot, both general info and books by people in the same type of climate and conditions. There’s a great resource of books on agriculture and other topics online called the Soil and Health Library, at https://soilandhealth.org/ . It’s maintained by Steve Solomon, a gardener I was reading when out on the west coast of Canada, and contains a wealth of older, foundational titles, many of which are out of print. (I think he does request a small optional donation to gain access, but I can’t think of a better type of cause to support). And definitely, ask the other gardeners around you – is there a local organic farm you could volunteer on? Since you already have quite a bit of experience, you could come prepared with a list of targeted questions!

  101. Hi JMG, as you know from my favorite Acronym, I am a Robert Heinlein fan. I read almost everything he wrote. He had quite a bit to do with my worldview as it is today. And from what I read about him, if Vonnegut had not been cremated, he would be rolling in his grave at being lumped with SF authors. LOL. I think he and Harlan Ellison have that in common. Thanks for all your good words and efforts!!

    mac

  102. JMG, Justin
    Desecrating graves touches some ancient responses. I read this morning about the removal of 60,000 graves in London to make way for a rail project. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/23/hs2-service-exhumed-euston-burial-ground
    This seems a pretty straightforward accommodation between ‘Utility’ and ‘Custom’resolved in part by a ‘Memorial Ceremony’. I am frequently these days indebted to JMG for pointing out a while ago, if I paraphrase adequately, our frequent modern re-enactments of fragments of previous philosophy.
    For Utilitarianism google Jeremy Bentham who made his point by having his dried and dissected corpse, with clothes and hat, sat on a chair in a glass case in London for well over 150 years. I saw it in the busy Foyer of University College many years ago. The head is wax, the real head being kept elsewhere in preservation – a nice touch. It is referred to as an Auto-icon.
    So in general these days it’s ok to bring in the bulldozer with due ceremony, but something else to disturb a war-grave. Interestingly, going back to the particular British HS2 rail project, the latter cannot be described as a rational idea in terms of ‘Utility’. Like our new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, something else is going on.
    best
    Phil H
    PS JMG knows the last-century writing of American historian C. Van Woodward. I seriously recommend getting and reading CVW’s essay “Search for Southern Identity”. It is pretty good on the struggle to distinguish ‘me’ from ‘other’. I like Woodward’s quoting: “place opens a door in the mind”. And the essay helps me distinguish and appreciate Americans.

  103. Hi JMG,

    In the Appendix to The Druid Magic Handbook, you mention that most accounts of the deities revered by Welsh and English Druids in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are long out of print. I am particularly interested in studying the lore of Niwalen of the Flowers / Elen of the Ways. Apart from the few recent books in print, can you suggest sources I can go in search of to dig deeper?

    You say that ‘most of the occult systems that focus on the telluric current bless and heal as effectively and as often as any system of solar magic.’ Could you suggest any systems that you recommend as a point of exploration if I was to look deeper into the magic of the telluric current? I realise that I am naturally inclined towards solar influence, so I would like to create more balance by consciously working with the telluric current.

    In gratitude under Liverpool skies,
    Gavin.

  104. Re the horrible incidences of child molestation in institutional Christianity, which seems to have proliferated in the past several decades – as far as the Catholic Church goes, many have pointed to the Second Vatican Council in the late 50’s and early 60’s as being the source of the problem. Among the various liberalizations that the SVC wrought – including Pope Paul 6th’s cozying up to Liberation Theology – there was a certain laxation re the admission requirements to seminaries, resulting in a lot of psychologically impaired guys becoming priests. I should mention there are some who are convinced that that there was and is a Satanic cabal within the Vatican who engineered this degradation by playing on Pope P and Pope John the 23’d genial naivety re the great winds of cultural change in the early 60’s.

    I’m not catholic, I’m hardly even Christian in the nominal sense, but it does make sense to me that if there is a force of “metaphysical evil” in the world, it would seize any opportunity to subvert and destroy a great religion from within.

  105. Hi John & others. Hope you are getting settled in nicely to your new digs in Providence.

    What are your thoughts or opinions, if you have any, on the Lindy Effect as proposed by Mandlebrot and later Nassim Taleb? I first encountered the idea in Taleb’s book Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder.

    Here is an example from the book:

    “If a book has been in print for forty years, I can expect it to be in print for another forty years. But, and that is the main difference, if it survives another decade, then it will be expected to be in print another fifty years. This, simply, as a rule, tells you why things that have been around for a long time are not “aging” like persons, but “aging” in reverse. Every year that passes without extinction doubles the additional life expectancy. This is an indicator of some robustness. The robustness of an item is proportional to its life!”

    He applies this idea to technology. For instance radio has been around for 140 years approximately. So according to the Lindy Effect it can be expected to be around another 140 years. What this doesn’t take into account is limitations imposed by natural resources, etc. Just curious what you or others might think about this.

  106. @Will J: Absolutely, and more-or-less the same boat here: if new partners happen along, cool, and there are a few I’ll tactfully pursue if that’s possible and fun, but I feel no drive to get out and find anyone specifically. (Once in a while I’ll tart up and go to parties, in the same spirit with which I browse clothing racks and/or farmers’ markets–not specifically looking, but if a cute dress or tasty melon presents itself, so much the better for my day. As it were.) I’m fond of the old feminist “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” saying, and feel it applies to all genders–romantic partners can be nice*, but the more anyone feels they can’t be single, the more they *should* be for a while.

    That said, yes–“Hey, I’m just chilling out over here, date not necessary” visibility is, IMO, the way to go with that. (Although I engage in my share of more vocal eye-rolling at media that’s all Single People Are Damaged and Unfulfilled.) One of the things I’m very glad about over the last five years is that, for the most part, the single women my age that I know have stopped with the Woe Is Me and Valentine’s Day Is A Personal Affront to My Being and general Cathy-style desperate mopeyness that seemed to be going around when I was in my twenties, and which I always found rather tiresome.

    One of the things that makes me optimistic about the growing prevalence of different identities–asexual, demisexual, etc–is that it seems to be carving out a place for the notion that people can be complete without a romantic partner.

    @Tony: Agreed, entirely. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from being yelled at/judged/etc, especially when one’s doing it out in the middle of the street. I don’t necessarily support physical attacks, but I have a hard time getting upset over punching in general. (I understand why it’s outlawed, you gotta have a society, etc, but…if A and B were in a bar, A said something nasty about B’s mom, and B decked them and then walked off, I would probably be on Team B, and maybe chip in for their bail. Same difference as far as I’m concerned.)

    * Mostly for folks who aren’t me, for anything intense–I myself am Henry Higgins with a rack.

  107. [For your IT guy]

    Comments RSS feed is useless, it seems it’s limited to last ten comments and you approve them on bigger batches, so when the agregator goes to fetch them there are many that don’t show up. May you fix it? Thanks!

    (It seems that you generate the RSS file hourly, so it should include all the comments approved during that hour)

  108. @Reese, JMG
    Re: astrology

    First, I have to agree with JMG – I was focusing too much on national charts to notice that in Sibley’s time a lot of cities, as well as guilds and similar organizations, would have had Royal Charters and similar, which would serve exactly the same purpose.

    I also have to thank him for getting me to think the issue through on the independence charts. The Lee-Adams resolution (“These united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states…”) on July 2nd was the start of a three-day process of establishing a national government, culminating with the vote on the Declaration on July 4th. In between the Continental Congress did things like create a national seal, appoint George Washington as General of the Armies and Benjamin Franklin as Postmaster General.

    Since this is the intention as well as taking the formal steps to establish a nation, it falls fairly high up in the hierarchy. That’s why neither the Articles of Confederation nor the US Constitution charts are effective except for limited purposes: neither of them changed the fact of nationhood.

  109. Re: taatwa images and flashing colors. W. E. Butler mentions their use in passing in The Magician: His Training and work but gives no references for their further study. Could you name a resource or two that could provide a detailed introduction to this technique?

  110. JMG, concerning foundational charts, wouldn’t be possible, and interesting, for scientific purposes, to cast a foundational chart of a defunct nation and compare that chat with how that nation’s history unfolded ?
    There are some defunct nations whose foundational date we do know, after all, like the Confederacy and the Soviet Union.

  111. Tony, I’ll try to break this to you gently – yeah, both sides do it. Body counts are meaningless in determining what side is worse in terms of violence. If that Bernie bro had succeeded in murdering scores of republican congress people as he had intended to do at the softball game, then the left would be ahead in body count, and by body count reckoning, you’d have to change your perspective, no?

  112. JMG-

    I heard recently on a radio show that the US was heavily influenced by the fact that it was English Protestants that coloized and settled this nation. Had it been Spanish, French, or Portugeuse settlers, we would be Mexico, Quebec, or Brazil. In that vein, what impact do you think that the Enclosures had on our nation, if any? Many settlers and colonists were either victims or perpetrators of Enclosure. I have had a theory that this led to certain American quirks (fierce defense of property rights, anti-communitarinism and so on) and has impacted our outlook even thouh it is forgotten.

    What is the difference between naturilized and invasive species? I worked at DNR and they lumped autumn olive and purple loostrife in with teasel and hemlock. The first two will “take over” crowding out native species and disrupting the ecosystem. The latter don’t seem to, but rather are just part of the system, although eating the hemlock ranks right up there with a “bad idea”.

    We also raised pheasants for the controlled pheasant program. Of those realsed, abour half are killed by hunters, half are preyed on by coyotes, hawks, foxes and such and 1% survive in the wild. They displace greater prairie chickens, but we have virtually none left here anyways. So is naturalized just a term for desirous non native and invasive is non desirous?

  113. I’m thinking about how to prevent the type of white supremacist stuff seen at Charlottesville from coming north. Thus far, my thinking is that one method of action is to get more involved a regional political party I am already part of, and try and make sure they use their new position of power in BC to deal with the housing crisis and poverty issues that are badly affecting huge numbers of people in BC. So I turned up at the BC Greens AGM that I hadn’t been intending on going to, gave the greens some money, pestered my NDP MLA about housing and thanked her for the NDP’s action on income assistance and disability, and am trying to think of other things to do.

    Does what I’ve done so far sound like it is a useful direction to take? It seems useful to me, and like something worth doing for its own sake, but feedback would be useful.

  114. My most significant observation about the eclipse is not an astrological one. What disturbed me, and what I take as an ominous sign for the future was the hucksterish money grubbing that sprang up around the eclipse here in Oregon. I am not really sympathetic to those who were scalped for $900 a night hotel rooms, or $500 backyard camping spots as often this was a rare opportunity for working class folks in Salem and Albany to overcharge the salary class tourists. But the way it became a kind of contest for money as opposed to trying to share the experience. The other thing that ruined it was our societies reliance on the private automobile to provide most transportation. In addition to their other sins, cars are terrible at moving large volumes of people in semi rural landscapes. The projected and real traffic jams, road rage, etc that came along with the eclipse convinced my wife and I to stay where we were ,outside the totality, and just ride our tandem bike to a park to watch.

  115. I enjoyed your recent appearance on Kunstlercast. You discussed something I have been thinking about a lot lately: I believe you called it democratic syndicalism. It usually goes by other names which I’m reluctant to write because I don’t want to give it away, but I think you have done a good job rebranding it. I remember you commenting to someone on the old blog that this kind of name change would help overcome the stigma around discussing the subject. It frustrates me that when someone brings up alternative economic arrangements they are often met with some version of, “we tried that. It will lead to the gulags, huge deaths tolls, and bread lines. You must be stupid or evil.” I have no interest in communism or economies under the control of state central planners. But some of the ideas that sprang from or ran alongside marxist/socialist ideas have some value as long as they are entered into voluntarily. Worker owned collectives are one of them. I think they make a lot of sense and are the example I use when trying to introduce this concept to people who are usually hostile to such things. Nobody can really object to the kind of free association that takes places when joining such a venture. I use King Arthur flour which claims to be owned in such a way.

    What other ideas do you think will make a comeback? Could you expand on what kind of regulations might promote worker owned business?

    Discussion of the communists behavior in Germany also made me think of their role in squashing the anarchists in Spain. I also worry about antifa and how a lot of the most ridiculous views on the left have become mainstream. Noam Chomsky has voiced similar concerns about antifa and has been met with criticism. Whenever someone makes a “might makes right” argument, I want to hit them while they are not looking and rob them. Whenever someone makes a “it is ok to punch nazis” argument I want to tell them they look like a nazi to me and ask them if they still think that is a good idea. Of course I never do, but it goes through my head every time.

    I have similar feelings about anthroposophists (I’m glad I just had to type that not say it). I have taken a lot from Tomberg who grew out that tradition and found Steiner’s How to Know Higher Worlds useful. As someone who grew up catholic Tomberg’s work on the tarot has a lot for me. But his aversion to visionary experience, while helpful in keeping me from falling for every disembodied con man, would relieve me of one of my most useful tools if I adopted it.

  116. JMG wrote ” It’s not hard to find scores of other historical figures that fit the Masonic ritual equally well”

    I would be grateful if you could, off hand, quote a few such figures. I am quite interested by occult history and so your comments would interest me! (I am NOT challenging you on that point by the way!)

  117. Tony,

    I have a few suggestions for preventing neo-Nazis from gaining power:

    1. Actually consider and research this: “ It’s the same thing that happened in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s: the Communists fielded mobs of bullies and thugs to try to get their way, and mostly succeeded in convincing millions of moderate Germans that anybody who opposed the Communists must be a better option. The rise of Hitler followed promptly.” That happened. So not doing that again would be a good idea.

    2. Therefore don’t go out trying to ‘make people feel uncomfortable in public spaces’ because you’ve judged what they’re saying to be racist. That’s called vigilantism, intimidation and bullying when you cut the euphemisms. No one appointed you judge, jury and executioner you know.

    3. Apologize to every wage class American you meet for supporting, or at least failing to effectively oppose, capitalist mass immigration policies that have impoverished them, as well as the policing of their dissent as racist. Then show remorse for the harm caused by making it up to them.

    4. The next time the lunatic fringe go out to no-platform ‘fascists’ like Jordan Peterson and Gad Saad, you organize a counter protest in favour of the rule of law and constitutional rights. Go out and actively oppose the bullies and thugs of the left. How about a placard saying ‘Say No to Show Trials!’ just to remind those present of their less than stellar track record on the justice front.

    5. Stop conflating racism with fascism with neo-Nazism with white nationalism with white supremacy with the right wing etc. There was a good series of posts on the old blog about fascism as a totalitarianism of the centre.

    6. The ideologues of the far left do not believe in parliamentary democracy or the rule of law as contained in your Constitution. That’s why they will not permit disputes about public statues to be resolved through the democratic process. If the rest of the left does support resolving such disagreements with their fellow citizens through democracy, then now would be a very good time to show that.

    That’s how you prevent neo-Nazism from gaining power. Easy.

    There’s good reason these Antifa spoof sites have such an easy time coming up with ideas. They almost write themselves. You say ‘one side has a near monopoly on fatal violence so far’ – there’s a lot more than two sides and they didn’t just appear when Trump got elected. Antifa has existed for almost a century now.

    Anarchists in Spain (Antifa at its core has always been made up of an uneasy alliance of communists and anarchists) in the 1930’s did exhume the bodies of dead nuns, pinned them to walls and mocked them. And I guarantee you, there were anarchists across Spain who either fully supported that, sympathized with it, minimized it, denied it, said it must be a setup, played apologist for it, avoided knowing about it, considered it unimportant and trivial, mocked those upset by it, said ‘those aren’t real anarchists’, ‘that’s some fringe group – nothing to do with us’ and by one means or a dozen chickened out of confronting the lunatic fringe about it. You would have done exactly the same if you’d been there. And that’s why you get Franco.

  118. @JMG
    “When privileged liberals say “racist” or “fascist” what they mean is “social inferior” — you know, “those people.” Every time I mention this I get a flurry of denunciations that are exquisitely careful never to address the fact that I said something about class issues…”

    Some may place me in that category; I have below-median household income but a graduate degree and a job that uses it, and I haven’t voted for a Republican since their post-9/11 excesses. When I say “racist” or “fascist” I certainly I do NOT mean “blue-collar/rural white,” which includes many of my own and my husband’s kin. Before the 2016 election, I repeatedly pointed out that the economic suffering of the working class made it very dangerous for the Dems to run a BAU neoliberal against a fake populist.

    When I say “racist” or “fascist” I mean rather: individuals who say they want to live in a country free of black people or who march, bearing guns, torches and Nazi flags, chanting “Jews won’t replace us”. Not only have such people been responsible for more extremist violence than any other subgroup in the U.S. over the past decade, they now are cooperative and emboldened enough to publicly field a private paramilitary force that is larger and better armed than the local police departments who are tasked with keeping their behavior orderly. And according to the FBI, since at least the late 1990s they have been deliberately infiltrating the military, police and corrections.

    I do not think I am being an “SJW” to find this all very frightening. If we are to learn from history, we have to be able to say that a group is in some way Nazi-like – especially when some are literally parading swastikas and sieg-heiling! – before they have actually seized power and started trucking people they dislike off to concentration camps. Today’s ultraright may never achieve that aim – but if they did, it would be too late to stand up and point out the ominous historical parallels. Point them out while there’s still time to avert such an end, though, and you risk being accused of hysteria and bigotry yourself.

  119. Hello JMG,

    Hail Cthulhu! Thanks again for hosting this fascinating discussion.

    I am wondering if you could elaborate on the best uses for the remaining petroleum we have left. It is incredibly powerful, concentrated energy, and as we all know…when it’s gone, it’s gone. Here are a few of my thoughts:

    1) Construction of gravity-fed irrigation infrastructure. These could be roman-style aqueducts or excavated irrigation ponds at high points

    2) Maintenance and retrofitting of low-energy transportation infrastructure. I’m thinking specifically of the Great Lakes canal system and bringing back passenger rail service

    3) Construction of housing and small-scale commercial buildings in the walkable centers of towns and small cities. My impression is that most development is happening in auto-dependent suburbs and big cities, not smaller communities. I would avoid arid Western states and low-lying costal spots for this

    Of course, any of these things could be done without petroleum. The Pyramids and Colosseum were constructed with solar power, so it is possible.

    By necessity, everyone will have to rely more on skills and ingenuity in the future. I am trying to think of ways that industrial tools and methods could be put toward a gentler transition to a low-energy future. What other uses would you put at the top of the list?

  120. @James M Jensen I wouldn’t have got stuck in, except you departed somewhat from questions of dietary ethics (on which I’m agnostic) to questions of dietary impact on the environment (on which, as a small farner, I’ve developed views).

    You said this: “vegetarianism still seems appealing on the “least-harm” basis: given that livestock have to be fed several calories worth of plants for each calorie we get from eating meat (up to 16:1 in the case of beef), eating plants directly actually ends up killing fewer plants, not to mention animals.”

    This equation is not at all obvious where I live, which is pasture land suited pmarily for grazing (Northwest Ireland). If your equation held, we would just need to clear away the sheep and cattle to grow enough food for three times the human population, but this does not hold. In fact, there was a brief moment in Ireland when the introduction of the potato led to massive human population growth, massive ecological destruction, and together with the most destructive type of laissez faire politics, this bubble of overshoot burst in the well recpgnised famine, death and emigration.

    Other than the potato, there is no grain crop which grows reliably enough here to create the massive ecological destruction (allowing for the masdive transfer of human population to vegetarian ways) you’d suggest.

    What is interesting, though, is that for countries able to express themselves hegemonically using their grain stores (according to some anthropologists, the necessary basis for any civilisation) the degree to which your equation has *become* true AFTER THE FACT. That is to say, the degree to which livestock are weaned off of pasture (sheep & cows), or off of “the odds & ends” (pigs & chickens) which suit them, onto GRAIN foods, which don’t. This process follows, like night follows day, upon the fact that Big Ag has already produced all these subsidised grains and now needs somewhere to store them, and let’s them go cheap to livestock farmers (who otherwise wouldn’t want them).

    An equation like yours, which can only arise in the context of the hegemony of grain, needs to be approached from the grain end, rather than the meat end. I would advise you to consider it from that angle in your thoughts.

  121. JMG replied “…magic is the art and science of causing change in consciousness in accordance with will, you’ll notice she didn’t say whose consciousness…..nothing in that definition prevents there being other conscious beings that don’t happen to have dense physical bodies like we do…”

    Oh my; doesn’t that just open a whole new world and make so much sense. I really need to work on my depth of thinking (he says with some embarrassment at being so thick).

    Just one of the many services you supply here John; thanks for that.

  122. Do you happen to know any book recommendations on how one would cast a natal chart? Or perhaps it would be better to have a professional do it, since astrology is way outside any of my current occult practices.

    P.S.

    I have to apologize. I cracked open one of my bottles of this year’s Dandelion Wine a few days ago, and somehow it’s not as good as previous years. More like Dandelion Water 🙁 I’m sorry if the bottle I gave you fell below expectations! I’ll have to rectify it next time I see you!

  123. Dear JMG,
    regarding “The secret of the temple”: in a German magazine: GEO no. 4 2017 there is a very short picture article about the Sorbs an national minority in Eastern Germany who still uphold much of their old traditions, among them a “Johann” a certain knight who wears cornflower/hurtsickle/centaurea cyanus as an amor during “Johannisreiten” in June. But they also have a ceremonial “withburning” – would such a thing fit into your research? The pictures show mostly the traditional garbs, some quite remarkable – the “Christkind” or someone in a “Zamper”-costume (looks a bit like a hedgehog-coat) who drives out winter gosts.

  124. Isabella,

    You’ve managed to touch on why I hate Valentine’s Day: it’s really, really hard to avoid people moping, or worse, thinking I should be! I’ve lost count of the number of times when people are absolutely confused by the fact I’ve got no plans for Valentine’s Day and it’s fine with me.

    Tony,

    With regards to your one side has monopoly on violence, I can counter with the case of Representative Steve Scalise, who was shot just in June. One thing I noticed trying to find the details was the case in Arizona in 2011 with Gabrielle Giffords. I personally would have thought the 2017 shooting would be more memorable and important, but I had to spend more than a little while trying to find it.

    My point is the bias in the media makes it really, really hard to tell exactly what’s happening. And to be completely honest, I’m biased myself. I’m sure I’d feel far more sympathetic to the left leaning side of things if asking how Antifa’s tactics differ from the fascists they claim to oppose hadn’t resulted in me almost getting punched in the face…

  125. Dewey, you want to stop fascism? Stop doing things like this: “Not only have such people been responsible for more extremist violence than any other subgroup in the U.S. over the past decade”

    Why choose 10 years? Because 9/11 – and everybody on the other side of the fence knows it. You don’t get to play statistical games like that and then expect to live in a society with a healthy political culture.

  126. J. M. Greer, you mentioned the possibly deleterious astrological effects for people living on Mars. Do you happen to have an idea, what would be the astrological effects for people who tried to establish a colony on Mars? And if it were possible that people establish a colony on Venus (which is in reality not possible at all with its present surface conditions), how would Venus influence them?
    A further question regarding the decline of western civilization is, if one has spare money on a savings account, is it a good idea to keep it there? The near future cannot be known exactly, and the banking system of Europe may or may not fail.
    Regarding the events in Charlottesville I found it strange that there were the usual criticism against right wing extremism, nazism, white supremacy and the like, but no deeper-going analyses in the mass media about why there is contemporary right wing extremism came to be.

  127. @Anthony DuClare,
    Re non-electric refrigeration: I lived off grid for many years with a Sweedish made Servile reefer which ran on propane. It also had the option of using kerosine. This was an “absorption” type of system. Basically it uses heat instead of a pump to power the process. You could use methane gas from a compost heap. These reefers are totally silent in operation and have no moving parts to wear out.
    I agree that refrigeration is one of the most useful pieces of technology. Without it, we would have to go back to all the many systems of preserving food that were developed over thousands of years of trial and error: drying, fermentation, winter ice, underground cool rooms, etc.

  128. I viewed the eclipse on Monday with some of my family. We trekked to a friends place near Idaho Falls and found the best place to view the event east of the town. We really enjoyed watching this fantastic occurrence. We had never seen a total eclipse before and it was fabulous.

    On to a question. I am curious as to how you organize your time each day to cover the myriad things you seem to do especially the differences between the Maryland house and garden and the East Providence apartment. It is wonderful you find time to answer each email sent you, I would just like to know how you fit everything else you do into 24 hours.

    Thanks

  129. Dear WillJ, if I may respond to a couple of your points:

    1. Like a lot of organizations in the news lately, Antifa is in no way a grassroots coalition of concerned citizens. The Democratic Party badly needs distractions from a raft of scandals which are slowly edging their way into mainstream consciousness, so is resorting to staged “events” like the recent one in Charlottesville. Ever wonder why statues of people neither you nor I can even remember didn’t offend last year?

    2. About the unpopularity of leftist liberals, it is probably cold comfort but I do believe that the angry right is well on its way to making itself just as much disliked. Us crunchy granola do it yourselfers are pretty darn hardnosed ourselves, only we don’t wave guns around or stage angry confrontations with our neighbors, we just plain don’t spend a cent we don’t have to spend, and that includes on stuff like cosmetics, the latest fashions, cable TV, and fast so-called food. Much of the right, IMHO, has the same problem as the angry SJWs of the left, which is that selling crap to dummies is no longer a viable business model. The SJWs go on about ‘privilege’, while the alt-right gripes about disappearing manhood, but what I think is eating both is that there no more easy fortunes to be made.

    3. As for dating and people being unpartnered, all I can say is maybe try behaving like a lady or a gentleman if you want to attract an opposite sex partner. If someone didn’t manage to stay with their earlier spouses or partners, that is hardly the fault of their present acquaintance. Marriage these days is expensive, so someone who aspires to the married state really needs to bring something to the table which makes the expense worthwhile.

  130. I’ve been practicing the rituals/meditations in your book Celtic Golden Dawn. I’m only at the meditating on water section, so I don’t know where it’s going later in the book. I thank you for getting me to finally start meditating, which ended my 6 month anxiety attack related to stress about politics, GMOs, environmental destruction, etc.

    I’ve also just started rituals from the book Ancestral Medicine because I went to a lecture by the author. And it has also been very helpful/wonderful to connect with my ancient ancestors and work on healing family traumas. I’m not sure if you include ancestral communication/rituals in Celtic Golden Dawn, but I think it is a very important practice.

    My question: Can I use the same table for the rituals in Celtic Golden Dawn as for Ancestral Medicine rituals? I would be changing all of the items and cloth on the table for each ritual. The question came to mind because Ancestral Medicine is emphatic about not having the ritual table in the bedroom and I don’t have anywhere else private to do this. Do you also recommend not having a ritual space in the bedroom? Thanks.

    As a follow up to all the comments about vegetarianism. I was raised vegetarian due to my father’s belief in reincarnation. And I have chosen to become a meat eater. I think being vegetarian did have a negative impact on my health as a child. I was nearly mute and crippled by social anxiety. Since becoming a meat eater I am much more vigorous and less fearful. I have also noticed many vegans having serious health problems after about 10 years, often nerve problems, which could be linked to chronic b vitamin deficiency. I do respect vegans choice of ethics over health, though I don’t choose that myself. I feel the ethical thing for a meat eater to do is only eat free range, which means no restaurant food, because factory farmed animals live tortured lives. Of course that is easier said than done, but it is a worthwhile goal.

  131. “nothing in that definition prevents there being other conscious beings that don’t happen to have dense physical bodies like we do…”

    @JMG I’m feeling as if there is a break between my former existence and my current one. It is very possible that the eclipse gave shape or impetus to the entity that removed me from my bicycle (and purpose) last Thursday on my way to work, interrupted my attentiveness, and placed me in a new state of being hyper aware of the denseness (and slowness and painfulness) of my physical body.

    I feel it difficult to establish connection with who I was – the memory of the accident itself is gone. For the time being slow, daily practices – with longish breaks – are all I can manage.

    I am touched by the mention above (sorry to have forgotten right acknowledgment) of sacred mountains with Alzheimer’s.

    I feel drawn to reestablish connection with the local mountain – did it throw me off my bike to get my attention?

    There is no specific question here except, if you were offered the chance to start again, taking account of your own denseness (as life seems to be offering me) what would you be listening for?

  132. Scotlyn,

    Thank you for the informative reply! Your comment is a great example of why I’m really glad to have this forum; anywhere else this topic tends to turn into personal invective and childish insults within the first few responses.

    One tiny nitpick, if I may: the passage you quoted from me was not about environmental impact per se; I was thinking more along the lines of number of living beings killed, and the argument was of an “even if” characters, since I don’t necessarily agree with the view that everything is a person. (I’d prefer to say “nothing is entirely impersonal.” More like a person than we customarily suspect, but not necessarily a person per se.)

  133. One more comment re: vegetarianism(!)

    In my current line of thinking, my hierarchy of preferences–given my understanding and values–goes like this:

    1. Only plants (and perhaps milk, eggs) grown in an ecologically-sensitive manner.
    2. Plants grown in an ecological manner plus meat raised humanely.
    3. Only plants (etc.), including those grown in an ecologically-damaging way.
    4. Plants and meat grown in an ecologically-damaging or inhumane way.

    Note that not all of these options are practically available to all people at all times and in all places. For one thing, some game animals will overpopulate and destroy the ecosystem if we don’t hunt them, since we displaced their natural predators. This is regrettable, but the needs of the whole system have to be taken into account.

    Now, that said, it seems to me that the move from 4 to 3 is often considerably easier than the move from either of 3 or 4 to either of 1 or 2. Vegetarian meals are fairly easy to come by, even in fast food joints (Burger King has a veggie burger that’s not bad in the rare instances they don’t burn it), even in the Deep South (I live in Alabama), while transitioning away from industrially-produced foods is somewhat difficult even here.

    By contrast, the move from 3 to 1 is not necessarily any harder than the move from 4 to 2 (or 3 to 2). Thus is makes sense to my mind to make the move from 4 to 3 now, then move from 3 to 1 (or if that becomes an issue for my health, from 3 to 2) as I can.

    Anyway, that’s my thinking.

  134. First of all, regarding the grave desecration, I read about it on a far-left website which covers local news in my city: http://archive.is/bGgAA. I didn’t do my research – I figured, given the ideological leanings of the person who wrote the article that she had checked the claims – which was just about Nathan Bedford Forrest. In any case, the author of the piece still presented it as a good thing, rather than minimizing it, or not mentioning it.

    But I apologize to Tony, Avery, Sister Crow, and everyone else nonetheless – I wouldn’t have believed the stories either if I hadn’t seen a local far-left writer talk about it as if it were true and a good or at least neutral phenomenon. I wouldn’t have posted it here if I read about it on Breitbart.

    Regarding freedom of speech, well, in Western countries there is an extrajudicial censorship apparatus that has been ramping up it’s activities recently. Even though I could write a considerably more reactionary memo than James Damore (the guy who got fired from Google) about diversity in the workplace, for instance, and face no legal repercussions, I could also become a subject of faux-outrage and fired and effectively blacklisted for writing a considerably more liberal memo if I were unlucky. Of course, this mostly effects salary class folks like myself – it doesn’t apply to people who drive trucks, for example. If I got to make the rules, we would have Canadian-style hate speech laws, but an explicit right to speech which falls outside the category of hate speech. For instance, California law (and many other states) considers it a crime to fire someone for their politics.

    On the other hand, I see the appeal and logic of American-style free speech laws. Something bad always finds a way to hide inside speech protections. And of course, there will be hurtful speech, and perhaps real crimes committed as a result of that speech, but maybe that’s better than the alternative. Examples of societies where you are not permitted to tell the truth are abundant and usually not so nice.

    Justin Moore,

    That formulation seems a little off, if a technology like radio gains an additional year for every year it exists, then radio will last forever. It’s of course statistically correct, given no other information, to assume that any phenomenon is halfway through it’s lifetime – but the ‘no other information’ doesn’t apply with something like radio. A book is a better example – nobody really knows what consequences a really good book will have in the real world.

  135. @Frank in Germany Best way to rid yourself of aphids is a super strong stream of water. Knocks down the population 90%. Best done in the morning so the plants can dry off.

  136. Back on the previous blog there popped up a small side discussion about the enactment of Sharia law in communities in the United States. This seems to have fallen by the wayside in mass media coverage because it is all Trump all the time now, but I do wonder in communities with a majority Muslim population if there are people at work to pass Sharia in that community. It’s an anything goes kind of world these days.

    What are the broader implications of localized Sharia? Will it spread? Will it become a flash point of conflict?

  137. What do you make of the 3.5 million registered voters on the rolls than in the eligible adult population? http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450413/election-fraud-registered-voters-outnumber-eligible-voters-462-counties

    I worked the polls a few times in my county in PA. The question of how do people get off the rolls came up in training. The county election director said there is no link between the PA state department of vital records which processes the death certificates, and the county election boards. The election office can not look up or get a report on who died. People get off the rolls after not voting in 4 general elections in a row or if they informed the county they moved to another precinct.

    At one time the election director got creative and used the obituaries in the paper to get people off the rolls. In a few instances they purged a voter whose name was the same as an alive voter and people got angry.

  138. JMG,

    Thanks for your response to my last question. I have one more.

    I’ve just started reading Paul Kingsnorth’s collection of essays, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist. I’m so far finding it substantial, and it’s provoking my heart and mind in a worthwhile way.

    I’m wondering to what extent you are familiar with his work, and in what ways you see things like he does, and in what ways you think your perspectives might differ.

    Thanks,

    Pierre

  139. What do you think about the number of generals in high ranking positions in the White House? It personally makes me nervous that we are one step away from a military take over of the government. Although with Trump all over the place on every issue drawing 95% of the free press to cover him, we probably have had a military take over and just not been told.

    Of all the things Trump has said and done, the staying in Afghanistan has been the most disappointing. It made me think Michael Ruppert, may he rest in peace, was right when he claimed the government was distributing drugs into the US. Although I did see an article that there was be valuable minerals there and that is why we are staying.

    What do you place as the chances we will intervene in Venezuela? Feels like those war drums are beating.

    The naval accidents in the Pacific had me shuddering and thinking of your book Twilight’s Last Gleaming. Feels like the someone is messing with the navigation of those ships and trying to attack them without making it obvious. Taking out a naval fleet, which they essentially did when they took it all offline for days to run checks, is quite an accomplishment!

  140. Like a lot of people who think about these things, I have pretty mixed feelings about eating meat & dairy. I’ve reduced my consumption quite a lot and buy from local farmers, and eat far tastier animals that, whatever inequities they suffered, never saw the inside of a CAFO.

    Factory farming is horrific and it’s products don’t even taste that good. If I had to choose between tofu and lousy, hormoned-up chicken, animal welfare aside, I’ll take the processed soy, please.

    I give Derek Jensen a lot of credit, it would probably be a good thing if agriculture never happened, but here we are, talking about this on our computers.

    Jordan Peterson put an interesting spin on some of the lines from the Bible about how “Man shall have dominion over the earth” and so on – he presented them convincingly as fatalistic expressions of the problems of civilization rather than the words of triumphant conquerors of nature.

  141. Just a general comment about the neo-Nazi thing. No neo-Nazi’s are going to take over anything in this country. There isn’t a family in this country that doesn’t have a homosexual, an addict to drugs/alcohol, a disabled person, a person of color, or person of a different religion within that family’s immediate relations. All those people would be eliminated to purify the bloodline. The only group with “pure” bloodlines are the elites. Just look around and observe what you see in reality without watching the news. The media is trying to bait us into a conflict to up their ratings.

    Are there people saying things that follow Nazi thinking? Sure. Doesn’t mean they are recruiting followers. There is the Westboro Baptist Church going around for years and they didn’t pick up hardly any new people. Doesn’t mean that they aren’t trying, but heck there are people who believe in UFO’s, flat earth and all manner of things. Let freedom ring.

  142. Will M,
    Okay fair enough, how are you judging all this? In case it is not clear I don’t support violence. I just hate how the “both sides do it” argument implicitly blames Heather Heyer for her own death instead of putting the onus on the far-right idiot who chose to imitate ISIS and plow a car through a crowd of random people. Calling these two groups the exact same is baldly disingenuous if we are looking at who is inflicting the most violence, more often and more effectively. Let alone the ideological underpinnings of the two groups…

    Dot,
    Thank you for the reply, I have a few thoughts about some of your bullet points. Please keep in mind I have no malice here and I’m in this for the open discussion.

    1. Fair enough, JMG brought this up, so I’m guessing he will expound on it in his future posts on this topic, I’m willing to listen. I will say that from my perspective it is the far-right “fielding mobs of bullies and thugs” since they are the ones organizing these rallies and it is the left responding to that after the fact.

    2. I think I have the biggest issue with this one. Your suggestion is to just let them have their rally unopposed. I don’t see how that in any way reduces their power in the public square? Furthermore your concern seems to be “not judging” them.

    I’m sorry, if some one is holding a torch in a direct and intentional homage to lynchings and is chanting “the Jews will not replace us” I don’t think it is a rush to judgment to assume that person is, at a minimum, anti-Semitic if not much more broadly racist. Maybe I’m missing the tactic underlining your suggestion, ignore them and they’ll go away? Seems like wishful thinking. Punk spaces learned long ago that you can’t keep neo-nazis out by debating them. A specific Dead Kennedy’s song comes to mind.

    3. I have no argument with the general sentiment of this one (I was raised by a wage class family), I am uncomfortable with the unstated assumption that all wage class Americans are white (I’m referring here to your statement “policing their dissent as racist”).

    There are other forms of wage class dissent that recognize the majority of minorities in this country are wage class themselves and that don’t involve a call for white nationalism. Its called solidarity and it is what lefty groups like DSA (democratic socialists of America) explicitly want. I wish the far-right would stop scapegoating minorities long enough to focus their attention on the wealthy elite who make the decisions that are destroying their lives.

    Furthermore, I think the class discussion is being badly oversimplified. The existence of left-wing working class people is widely denied or ignored here and that completely flies in the face of my and many others personal experience. Again I was raised by wage class union folk.

    Just one example, I have no affiliation, is Redneck Revolt which is a left wing working class militia that doesn’t scapegoat minorities and is explicitly anti-white nationalism.

    They had boots on the ground in Charlottesville and provided armed security for a faith leader prayer meeting. That’s a lot better than the torch wielding idiots who marched on that same church with the intention to intimidate the people of color praying inside.

    https://www.redneckrevolt.org/principles

  143. @Will J: Precisely. That’s the thing that annoys me about the holiday as well–that, and Necco changed its candy hearts to be some disgusting approximation of “fruit flavor”. Otherwise, other people’s happiness in a relationship configuration that’s not mine is no skin off my nose, because I occasionally try to approximate a functional adult. 😛 And hey, cheap candy on the 15th.

  144. Fred, I agree – that being said, fascism is not necessarily racist. To quote Mussolini “Race? It is a feeling, not a reality. Ninety-five per cent, at least. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today.… National pride has no need of the delirium of race.”

    Evola, although he thought that one’s ethnic heritage did tilt the deck a little, believed in a spiritual aristocracy, not a purely heritable genetic superiority and pointed out that lots of perfectly Aryan Germans did exactly the same sort of greedy, perverse, nasty things they accused Jews of. The SS didn’t really like him.

    And also, regarding Sharia law, well, it would probably be implemented in the same way that groups of Hasidic Jews take over communities and expel others: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/03/opinion/when-a-school-board-victimizes-kids.html?mcubz=0.

    We’re also far more likely to see openly imposed Sharia in the UK or France, where there are far more people who believe in that sort of ideology.

  145. Dot, I have one piece of urgent advice to offer anyone who wants to pursue the work of preserving the legacies of our civilization: secrecy is your friend. Don’t make it public; start doing the work, and sound out people carefully before you recruit them to help you. Aim toward the creation of a secret network, or even a secret society, with plenty of deniability in place. That way you’re much more likely to stay out of sight of totalitarians on either end of the political spectrum, and get the thing done.

    Doing it on a religious basis is one option. I tend, because of my biases and interests, to think of it in terms of occult knowledge: the preservation of forbidden secrets from the unhallowed past, etc. Beyond that, dissensus and a good deal of trial and error are my only suggestions…

    Earthworm, look into the way that crops are grown by big corporate farms these days: genetically engineered seeds, massive doses of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, no attention to soil conservation or anything else. That’s what I was talking about.

    Herbert, depends on the Druid order and, to some extent, on the individual Druid. One immense difference between my faith and yours is that we don’t have a sprawling bureaucracy telling everybody what to do; people figure out what works for them, and then go do it.

    SMJ, pervasive corruption and equally pervasive short term thinking. There are plenty of others, but those are the ones that usually make it collapse.

    Michelle, some people take names very seriously. I don’t tend to — my given names mean “God’s beloved” and “Who is like God” respectively, and neither of those meanings fits me particularly well! — but your mileage may vary! As for Star’s Reach, good heavens — you know, I had never thought of the Grail element in the plot, but you know, you’re right. The concrete chair is nowhere in particular; I simply imagined a bit of beach where the sea rolls over the ruins of drowned Deesee, and put the chair in that imagined landscape. Finally, the omission of A World Full of Gods is entirely accidental — I’ll have to get that one added. I think I may have a few more books out there that aren’t listed, either.

    Michael, I don’t dismiss extravagant technofetishistic predictions out of hand. I dismiss them after I’ve looked into the details and found out that there are good reasons to think that those particular predictions will land flat on their nose, the same way that predictions of perpetual motion machines and the Fountain of Youth did.

    Tim, oh, granted. The only reason I tend to get in people’s faces about it is that I’ve been on the receiving end of so much smug, self-important, self-righteous, self-serving vegan evangelism over the years. I decided to stop shutting up and rolling my eyes over the issue the time when, in a Seattle organic co-op, I put a free range Thanksgiving turkey in my shopping cart and had another customer, whom I didn’t know and who didn’t know me from Hu Gadarn’s off ox, go into a spit-slinging, earsplitting, full-on tantrum at me because she didn’t like my food choices. I think I mentioned here on this blog that I was bullied quite a bit as a child, and I tend to react very harshly when somebody tries to do the same thing now. If people want to eat a plant-based diet, by all means — everybody has the right to choose the diet that works best for them — but when they start trying to bully other people into following their diet, I don’t tolerate that well.

    Bogatyr, fascinating. I haven’t encountered that effect at all; I’m not sure what it means that the people in question have.

    Dot, whenever two people get within shouting range of each other, politics inevitably happens. The goal, to my mind, is to keep the kind of politics that deals with governments of nations out of the mix.

  146. I’d like to better understand the difference between the idea of the will versus that of the soul. I have come to believe in reincarnation – that some core of who we are is eternal and exists outside of this universe. But that part is mixed with the characteristics from the nature and nurture of this life, so comprehending it is of course difficult. Traditionally I guess that it what is meant by a soul. I don’t feel that I have grasped what is meant by will. It seems like simply using a different word for the same thing, but I expect there is more to it than that, or perhaps it is not intended to be a similar concept at all.

  147. Tony, I like Redneck Revolt. If they added “small, local government”, “free speech”, “free religion” and “gun rights” to that list of principles, I’d probably be a card carrying member. The real American dream was “neither to serve, nor to rule” after all.

  148. Dusk Shine, I could definitely see a moral panic getting going over folkish Asatru. The result, of course, would be to make them more attractive to those who feel disenfranchised by the cultural mainstream, the way that all the yelling about Dungeons and Dragons back in the day made Gary Gygax a very wealthy man.

    Matt, enthusiastic literacy, the ability to handle practical reasoning, and a keen esthetic sense are the goals I’d pursue. I’d start very early on by reading the child lots of stories, finding out what kinds of stories he or she likes best, and concentrate on those, preferably with kid sitting in my lap and watching me move a finger along the words as I read them. I’d bend over backwards to make sure that literacy was a delight rather than a chore — and by the way, I’d use phonics methods to teach them, since those allow you to sound out new words rather than restricting you to the words your teacher wants you to know. I’d bring in the natural sciences and the arts early on, and leave mathematics for a while — most schools start teaching math way too soon — and I’d also introduce old-fashioned logic at the same time as math. One other thing, no TV in the house. Television is a drug; it’s bad for anybody’s mind, and it’s especially bad for children’s minds. That’s the short form.

    Isabel, I like the Spice Wuss! I’d think of that as a small, whiny sandworm; it doesn’t devour you, it just sits there giving you a morose look and snivels about how awful life is on a desert planet. As for Americans being suspicious of anybody who does something in private, absolutely. Americans like to think of themselves as bold individualists; they’re actually some of the world’s most cringing, servile conformists, utterly terrified of the possibility that the people whose opinions define their self-image will think badly of them, and full of hate (because full of jealousy) of those who do something they don’t dare to do, like meet in private and then not talk about what happens once the lodge door is shut.

    Will, here in the US, as far as I know, the media hasn’t even gotten around to mentioning anything involving La Meute — whatever that is. Can you point me to a French and an English article? I read both languages, for what it’s worth. Also, thanks for the scandals; those will bear watching.

    Myriam, don’t worry about it! As I mentioned, what you’re getting is a very mild form, which is in fact one of the things that often happens with this practice; it’s deliberately designed not to generate the more intense and potentially more dangerous form. Just keep doing the practices and you’ll be fine. If you work on relaxing the muscles along your spine, that’ll facilitate the process, but other than that, let it happen; it’s wholly natural.

    Violet, I wouldn’t use those herbs for certain delicate magical or alchemical processes, but for ordinary medicinal use, they should be fine.

    Chris, ding! We have a winner. Yes, this is a classic example of catabolic collapse in action, and yes, the crisis of 2008 and the crisis that we’re heading toward just now are both simply the outward consequences of massive systemic imbalances that have been papered over by an assortment of gimmicks.

    Avery, I tend to put more trust into intensive study of a single chart than a splatter effect with lots of charts. Still, he’s made his predictions, I’ve made mine, and we’ll see whether either, both, or neither of us are right.

    James, interesting. I’d encountered the term “carnassial” as a generic label for the set of mammal teeth that, in omnivores and carnivores, fit between the incisors and the molars. Still, my terminology may be out of date.

    Tony, I’d encourage you to take a look at history. During the years when American fascists were permitted to parade in public, and defended by the ACLU when they did so, they were a joke in terms of actual political influence; it was after the first rounds of social justice activism forced them out of the public square, that they began to gain power. Fascists — the real thing, that is; we can have a long conversation sometime about the current social-justice habit of using the word “fascist” to mean “anyone we want to bully” — are like cockroaches; they flourish in dark corners. In point of fact, if you want to fight fascism, the best way is to bring it out into the public square, debate it fairly, and show just how little it has to offer. The worst thing you can do is trash constitutional liberties and the rule of law, as the Antifa movement is trying to do, because that simply creates the conditions under which organized fascist movements thrive best.

    Oh, and insisting that everyone they disagree with must be a fascist is a strategy guaranteed to drive as many people as possible into the arms of the fascists. I know this is unpopular to mention in social justice circles these days, but you win a campaign for social change by winning over the hearts and minds of the majority, not by screaming abuse at them and insisting that those who don’t measure up to some rigid ideological standard are allied to your enemies. Honestly, if the social justice end of the left were to set out to make as many people as possible think that maybe fascism deserves a second chance, I don’t know that they could have come up with better ways to do it than the strategies they’re pursuing now.

  149. JMG et al:

    A brief comment and link on the meaning of being an omnivore. As you note, humans don’t make their own B12 – they need to get it from animal protein or brewer’s yeast. But a little quantity can last as much as 2 years so you don’t need to eat a lot of animal protein nor very often. Also, I stipulate that facing starvation / malnutrition as an option, I’d vote for eating insects, fish and meat — probably even a human corpse if necessary. But just because humans CAN eat meat (an evolutionary advantage in a famine, no doubt) doesn’t speak one whit to how much animal protein we should eat when we are not starving to death.

    So how much animal SHOULD we eat for optimal health if starvation and B12 deficiency isn’t an issue (which it surely isn’t in most of the modern world)? Very, very little appears to be the answer supported by reams of studies. And the studies just keep rolling in.

    Every heard of diverticulitis? It now affects perhaps 70% of the the modern world by age 60 … and scarcely existed a century ago in America. It appears to be a side effect of not nearly enough fiber:
    https://nutritionfacts.org/2017/08/24/9-out-of-10-that-die-from-it-never-knew-they-even-had-this-preventable-disease/?utm_source=NutritionFacts.org&utm_campaign=4d425ddf64-RSS_BLOG_DAILY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_40f9e497d1-4d425ddf64-23871417&mc_cid=4d425ddf64&mc_eid=f6a5941368

    Perhaps meat is best thought of as an emergency food — a junk food with a lot of calories and not much other merit. Yes, we crave it — as we crave other junk foods such as fat and sugar. Keep in mind that in DNA terms we are redundant once we procreate. Humans CAN live to an old age but historically they haven’t — so the question of health food (nutrient dense) vs. famine food (calorie dense) never got proper consideration until recently. There are all sorts of things that come into play, including biological magnification of toxins, once you start eating further up the food chain.

    If you are right about peak humanity being here and the importance of preparing now for what comes soon, I’d suggest a key part of preparation is learning to eat a lot more veggies when you can…and a corpse or two in case of starvation.

  150. My prediction about the religious scandal indicated by the eclipse is that the mainstream media will somehow find out about the worship of Kek, and proceed to completely flip out over it, meanwhile the fact that they’re throwing such a tantrum will cause the religion to gain somewhat of a following over the American proletariat, which will make the media scream even more loudly, and so on and so on.

    While I’ve been reading Toynbee’s Study of History, one question that’s constantly nagged at me is: Where is the West’s “universal state”? Though the United States would seem a likely candidate, given its massive foreign military deployments, It’s only been that way since the end of WWII and is already showing very noticeable signs of strain, which would give it probably the shortest lifespan of any of the “universal states” covered in the book. Also, while the US does have massive influence over other Western nations, it doesn’t have the type of direct political control over them the way that the Roman Empire, the Qin Empire, the Inca Empire, etc had. This creates a further question, regarding the fact that in volume IV Toynbee talks about how the formation of a definitive frontier between a civilization and its external proletariat is something that almost inevitably happens when universal states form. Since the US’s less rigid approach to world domination means that such a barrier does not really exist for it, what does this mean for its potential status as Western Universal state? I’m aware that Toynbee’s considerable allowance for variation in his models means that the West may not even ever have a universal state. But still, what about our civilization made it turn out so differently in that respect?

  151. Another SOP question for you, JMG:

    Been doing the SOP daily for almost two years, and a few months ago noticed that the “elder goddess” area to the right took on a rosy pink hue, and the “younger goddess” area to the left took on a golden hue. It was all white light previously, and this change seemed spontaneous. I mix them together in the sphere, and like it. Just curious what, if any, significance this may have. Thank you!

  152. Stefania, if my spouse wasn’t violently allergic to cow’s milk, I’d be asking you about the source of the heirloom culture; I used to make my own yogurt, and very good it was, too. (These days I’ve settled for making kimchi.)

    Mac, Vonnegut and Ellison both spent a lot of time pretending that they didn’t basically get their start as authors turning out science fiction for the magazine trade. Ray Bradbury made the same transition from the pulps to fine literature, but he never pretended otherwise!

    Phil, okay, now you have me intrigued. What irrational purpose is being served by the new rail line and Britain’s new, hopelessly vulnerable carrier?

    Gavin, Ross Nichols’ The Book of Druidry and the writings of Lewis Spence on British mythology and mysticism are accessible sources; other than that, you’re going to be chasing down rare books from late 18th and early 19th century sources. With regard to work with the telluric current, RJ Stewart has probably the most readily available system, which he’s presented in various forms; the one I’m most familiar with can be found in The Way of Merlin and his other books on the Merlin legends.

    Will, fair enough, but it’s interesting that there’s apparently also an epidemic of the same thing in evangelical Protestantism. You’d think that the Prince of Darkness would display some imagination, and use different gimmicks to drag such very diverse branches of the Christian faith down into the abyss…

    Justin, it strikes me as a typical misuse of statistics, but I haven’t looked into it and so can’t offer a considered response.

    John, exactly. From a more traditional standpoint, the Declaration of Independence was the legal act which crystallized the far more diffuse movement toward independence in a single moment. It’s like the coronation of a king, which typically comes some time after the new monarch has actually become king, but becomes the starting date astrologically as well as in other senses of his reign. That’s why Elizabeth I had John Dee elect a time for her coronation — and to judge by the results, you’ve got to admit he did a fine job. 😉

    Dirtyboots, you can find the original Golden Dawn papers in Israel Regardie’s The Golden Dawn, which is the go-to source for this as for most other GD techniques.

    Bruno, yes, that would be an extremely useful experiment.

    William, I think you’re right about the enclosures! As for the difference between naturalized and invasive species, I think a species is called invasive if a herbicide company can make a profit off selling poisons to try to kill it.

    Corydalidae, that strikes me as a very good idea. One of the things that’s given the alt-right so much appeal to so many people is that the ctrl-left has made it very clear that if you’re a wage class white person, they would be delighted to see you and your children beaten half to death and then left to starve in a gutter — which is also what the Democrats and the Republicans have to offer them, of course. If the only people who take their concerns seriously are fascist parties, then yes, that’s who they’re going to join — and the best way to make sure the fascist parties don’t get a following is to address the needs of those who might otherwise join them.

  153. JMG,

    You know, I remembered you mentioning your encounter with the vegan bully in the supermarket, and I saw in the comments of “Hate is the New Sex” where you mentioned being bullied and hating bullies, but I never put the two together.

    I feel like I can somewhat relate since there are topics that set my teeth on edge to talk about, mainly due to a long string of arguments I’ve had over them with my father that become emotionally superheated. (Briefly and abstractly: I noticed a double-bind and spoke out about it. Dad took that as insubordination. It took years for either us to stop bringing up the topic and fighting about it any time we spoke for more than five minutes, and it poisoned our ability to disagree peacefully about anything.)

    Given your discomfort, I won’t push the topic any further. Thanks for putting up with my ramblings so far!

  154. JMG, this isn’t particularly relevant to eclipses etc but, as a comment on the value of the Religion of Progress, ie that we are constantly improving and the knowledge of today’s society is therefore superior to that of our ancestors, I offer this link from the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/24/mathematical-secrets-of-ancient-tablet-unlocked-after-nearly-a-century-of-study

    It seems that the Babylonian system of trigonometry has been reverse-engineered from clay tablets, and it works better than ours. I wonder what other lessons from Babylon lie waiting to be discovered?

  155. Tony, again you’re using the “body count” measurement to determine which of the two groups are the most troublesome, which I don’t think is really valid for the reasons I stated. In any event, I don’t really think that the “both sides” perspective leads to blaming Heather H for her own death, not any more than it would lead to blaming Steve Scalise for his being shot by a fanatical left wing Bernie supporter. I think we can agree that both the white nationalist who murdered HH and the shooter James T. Hodgkinson are both murderous slimeballs, yes?

    There are differences, tho – for the most part, those who commit violence in the name of white pride, the Confederacy, whatever, tend to act alone without affiliation to a larger group (the murderer of HH is an exception, but probably only because he attended the rally). Antifa on the other hand, and other left wingers who are attempting to crush civil liberties are organizations who travel en masse from one event to another. Here’s another difference – the violence committed by Antifa has for the most part been sanctioned by our Ruling Elite, courtesy the MSM. Just last week the WaPo had an editorial in support of Antifa and left wing violence. This will only embolden Antifa to go on with its thuggery, and could, as JMG and others have pointed out, lead to a massive, very ugly, possibly fascist backlash. If you ask me, the current visibility of white nationalists is directly due the lawlessness of Antifa in the past year. It could get worse, much worse.

  156. Nastarana, Antifa is most certainly grassroots in nature. It is not an organization at all, but rather, something that certain leftist radicals come together to do when they perceive the threat of organized right wing violence or intimidation. I have known of Antifa for almost fifteen years, and it is a global phenomenon. The cost is minimal, mostly obscuring clothes and a mask or bandana, a banner or flag, perhaps some makeshift weapons like poles, and travel costs for those coming from other towns. Agree with it or not, but it pains me to see such disinformation going around.

  157. JMG >> … it’s interesting that there’s apparently also an epidemic of the same thing in evangelical Protestantism. You’d think that the Prince of Darkness would display some imagination, and use different gimmicks to drag such very diverse branches of the Christian faith down into the abyss…<<

    Heh, yep. Not sure if I believe in a POD per se, but I do buy into the existence of a metaphysical evil that's always busy at trying to undo Creation in some manner or another. In any event, would a POD be noted for much of an active imagination? Not sure. Maybe re the technique of destroying a religion and its diverse branches via child molestation, the POD just figures if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  158. JMG is quite correct that most people regarded the neo-Nazi scene with disdain when they conducted their abominable display in the past.. Another factor in their decline was infiltration and then prosecution of these outfits by the FBI and Justice. By the 80s and 90s most Klan outfits were bankrupted due to RICO prosecutions. Can we trust Sessions to continue that, I wonder.

    My politics lean left and anarchic, but even I find Antifa and Black Bloc occasionally distasteful and counter productive- tossing trash cans through Starbucks windows does not encourage criticism of the excesses of capitalism, it guarantees a backlash.

    But, they do not have a history of blowig up churches, burning mosques, lynching people, dragging people behind cars with tow chains, blowing up Federal Buildings, or running people over with cars, the alt right, neo-nazis, KKK, and such, um, do.

    So if you are a white working class person and you show up to support keeping your local statue or protest lax immigration policy and you find your self next to a bunch of dudes with hoods, or swastikas, the prudent thing to do is walk away.

  159. Hello John Michael,
    I have received an anonymous invitation to attend an introduction session by the local Gnostic Society. I have a read a bit about Samael Aun Weor and looked for a reference to him in your publications, and am wondering if this is a good doorway toward group practice when B”N I complete my Learning Ritual Magic course book. Thank you and all the best to you and Sara.

  160. I’d like to ask your opinion on the following: in one of your most shocking posts of the past few years, you talked about the unthinkable: the death of the internet, or at the very least how the internet as we know it is a very temporary thing that will quickly change from a totally free source of fun to an something far more expensive, inconvenient, and inaccessible than anyone today could imagine. This is of course due to the fact that the internet is extraordinarily expensive to maintain but the bill is being paid currently by investors and cheap credit, creating the illusion that everything on it is “free.”

    That situation, of course, won’t last much longer, since a spectacular technology stock crash is well overdue. Could I ask your opinion now on whether you think that will equal the 2008 crash (that one driven by real estate) or whether it might be even more devastating, and whether you think it will be the start of the age where sending an email or reading a news article online will cost start to cost the consumer money that the investors are no longer footing.

  161. Regarding the alt-right and the ctrl-left (ha!) the Democratic Socialists of America seem to be getting some traction over there. I heard about an event they were holding, possibly in Los Angeles, where they invited people to attend and get their car’s tail-lights fixed. Since broken tail-lights are a source of expensive tickets, I think that this would be a very popular event and more relevant to anyone’s life than the DNC’s emails screaming about defeating Trump.

    I’m glad to see that someone other than Golden Dawn (the Greek version) has picked up on the idea of recruiting by improving marginalised people’s lives.

  162. Hi Myriam,
    I too often get a pleasant shiver at the back of my neck when I am doing the SOP. It also happened to me while I was studying prayer in the Catholic Church. I think it must have to do with changing one’s receptivity or mental focus.
    Max

  163. JMG,

    When it comes to an access code, maybe their system just wants to send a text to a cellphone – which of course can’t be done with a landline. However, my banks allow an email option, and it certainly wouldn’t take much to set up an automated system to read the codes in computer voice when sending to a landline. Costs must be part of why they don’t do it.

    Was shocked to hear on your recent podcast on “authors on the air” that Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep” is in your reading queue. My favorite author, though of course total escapism. My favorite novel of his is “The Little Sister” where Marlowe’s really a wise guy, and my favorite short story “Goldfish” takes place in your old neck of the woods of Olympia and Westport, WA.

    Thanks for the Astrology analysis. Even though I used to be in the “eyes rolling” crowd when it comes to that, as I’ve gotten older I now realize just because I don’t understand something doesn’t mean it can’t be useful. And as a horseplayer and recovering meteorologist, I’ve made plenty of predictions that have gone awry, so any new angle is worth looking at.

    Finally, I’m a little surprised how people are looking at these political groups like atifa, nazis, KKK, redneck revolt, etc. It’s pretty clear to me that the true core percentages have been infiltrated to achieve various goals of the elites, and with the control of the mass media are simply keeping Americans divided and distracted by racism, violence, and misinformation. Of course their manipulations don’t guarantee success, and Murphy’s Law can certainly apply to politics. After all, it was the German government that paid Hitler to first spy on the Nazi party back in 1922 – and we know how that turned out.

  164. Clay, welcome to America. By all accounts the frantic quest to make a quick buck off the clueless has been hardwired into the national character since before independence.

    Greg, democratic syndicalism is its own thing; it’s not the same as anarchosyndicalism, if that’s what you’re thinking of — democratic syndicalism accepts government by representative democracy as valid, and also uses democratic processes to manage employee-owned businesses. The sort of regulations that could foster it include, for example, changes in the tax code to tax dividends at a lower rate than capital gains — useful more generally to discourage speculation — and dividends from stock owned by employees at a lower rate still. As for other things — distributism and guild socialism are two other very workable systems that might be worth bringing back into the collective conversation of our time.

    Karim, Jacques de Molay, the last grand master of the Knights Templar, and King Charles I of England are among the candidates who have been discussed at length in Masonic periodicals.

    Dewey, I’m glad to hear that. I’ve heard way too many salary-class people use terms such as “racist” and “fascist’ as a dog whistle for “white person in the wage class,” and even more people talk about wage class Americans using nasty stereotypes with an intensity of obvious hatred that would make a Klansman blush. I’ve also seen the frantic pushback I got when I talked about why people I knew in the north central Appalachians voted for Trump — that it wasn’t because they were evil racists, it was because Clinton offered them nothing but the same policies that had been slamming their faces into the gravel for decades — and I’ve also noticed, as I’ve pointed out here, that every single time I talk about the class dimension in US politics, people in the privileged classes wig out and start shouting, while being exquisitely careful not to talk about the point I’ve just brought up.

    Samurai_47, nothing you or I can do will influence how the remainder of the world’s petroleum resources will be used. That decision will be made on the basis of economic and political interests, not rational factors. That being the case, I’ll decline.

    Jeff, glad to be of help! 😉 The thing is, our entire culture works to convince us that we’re the only conscious beings that matter, so it’s not surprising that the existence of other conscious beings comes as a surprise to so many people.

    Daniel, there are websites that will do it for you if you have your birth date and time, which you’ll need one way or the other. Any of a couple of hundred books currently in print can teach you how to cast and interpret it, too. As for the dandelion wine, Sara and I thought it was pretty good; if your usual is a lot better, why, I’ll be very interested in trying that as well!

  165. Greetings JMG,

    Thank you for all the ideas and knowledge you have shared over the years. I’ve been a reader of yours since around 2014 and intend to write you at greater length one of these days. For now, however I happen to have a question that is fresh, having to do with something that came up in last week’s discussion, and, given the open post, actually on topic. You happened to mention that the agricultural and industrial revolutions have reduced leisure time; I’ve heard this a number of times, and it seems intuitively like it’s probably true, but I haven’t been able to track down any actual data to support the assertion. Do you know where one might find this information?

    And while I’m here, I may as well ask about something prompted by a comment above from Michelle (I think it was), who made mention of Hebrew archangels. Supposedly there was a correspondence of seven archangels to the seven days of the week. Do you happen to know the early sources for this correspondence? I recently read the book of Enoch and don’t remember it, but maybe I missed it.

    Also, regarding Vonnegut, I was never under the impression he tried to deny or hide the fact that he was part of the sci-fi milieu. To my recollection it was more the case that his references to his status in that regard were typically self-conscious/self-deprecating, in trademark manner. Not denying such status, but suggesting that perhaps it didn’t necessarily preclude some literary value to his work, or sci-fi in general. Of course that dynamic is all parodied in Kilgore Trout. And his later novels tend to forgo the sci-fi elements, but I don’t know that it’s something he ever came to regret. Although he certainly may have made some statements to other effect for all I know.

    Thanks again,

    Aaron

  166. William,

    You find Antifa and the black bloc just ‘occasionally distasteful and counter productive’ and you give the example of a bit of mild property damage. That’s what the entire left is basically doing too – minimizing, ignoring, trivializing the problem. You and everyone else knows perfectly well that they don’t restrict their activities to smashing Starbucks windows. Keep up that dishonesty and see where it leads.

    “But, they do not have a history of blowig up churches, burning mosques, lynching people, dragging people behind cars with tow chains, blowing up Federal Buildings, or running people over with cars, the alt right, neo-nazis, KKK, and such, um, do.”

    You’re doing that American thing about now knowing anyone’s history but your own (and doing that badly too). Antifa and the Black Bloc are the far left and are supported when it’s convenient by the rest of the left. They’re international movements so why did you limit your shoddy crime comparison to the US alone? I know why. The far left has existed for 150 years or so and it’s racked up quite the history of atrocities around the globe itself. Including, as you should know, the anarchist end, which massacred priests and nuns in Spain. Was that also merely ‘occasionally distasteful and counterproductive’?

    “you are a white working class person and you show up to support keeping your local statue or protest lax immigration policy and you find your self next to a bunch of dudes with hoods, or swastikas, the prudent thing to do is walk away.”

    So it’s guilt by association is it? And, I notice, only for those who happen to have white skin. There’s the real face of the ever so ‘anti-racist’ left.

    And the punishment for the imprudence of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong skin colour according to the left is…what? Violence? Because cut the euphemisms, that’s what you mean: if innocent people are caught standing beside the wrong people and your Antifa friends violently assault them or kill them, you’ll shrug your shoulders and say, meh, that’s what you get for your imprudence. Seriously, keep this up if you want people to start seeing the fascists as the least worst option.

  167. Nastarana and Taraxacum,

    It’s not quite as simple as genuine totally grassroots movements vs. paid Democrat brownshirt mercenaries. The vast majority of Antifa and Black Bloc are there voluntarily and are ideologically motivated. Most actually hate the Democrats. Even Bernie Sanders is nowhere near far left enough for them and, anyway, they view parliamentary democracy as a tool of capitalism. The anarchist end opposes the state, the Constitution and the rule of law itself. The SJW contingent are closest to Maoism. When they hold up placards saying ‘One Solution: Revolution’ and ‘Socialist Workers Party’, they don’t mean that metaphorically.

    They were opposing statues a year ago. And 50 years ago! Seriously, there’s nothing new about Antifa and the SJWs share ideological roots with them. Their ideological prececessors simply focused on religious statues, Orthodox icons, churches etc. Their war was against ‘superstition’ and religious oppression. That’s fallen out of fashion in favour of the current race obsessions, that’s all.

    However, many of these protests globally are organized, coordinated and publicized by ‘anti-racism’, migrants rights type ‘NGO’s, and sympathetic media and academics – like the Berkeley professor who assaulted someone with a bike lock. Many Antifa and Black Bloc are also employed by such NGO’s and in academia and can use their day job to organize their extracurricular activities. Those NGO’s get funding from political parties, from networks of connected associations and thinktanks, from states themselves and from oligarchs who want to silence opposition to their supply of cheap labour and slum tenants and who better than a bunch of self-motivated ideologues to do it for them?

    In Germany, for example, the SPD (left) very openly funds such NGO’s, those NGO’s then provide free buses to supporters to travel to ‘anti-racism’ protests. Obviously Antifa and the Black Bloc also take up the free ride. The same thing happens in the US, you just have less onerous regulations about making such funding public. And everyone else on those buses at minimum turns a blind eye to them and their masks and bicycle locks – because they pretty much agree with the likes of William above that if you’re white and imprudent enough to stand beside swastika guy, meh, whatever…

  168. Hey hey JMG,

    I’m curious how far back past lives go. You said that people who do your type of meditation tend remember past lives and I’d like to know the time frames. Is it ten previous lives or a hundred? Do your folks go back 1,000 years or a million? Do you remember being a fox before a woman killed in a car crash, etc?

    Thanks,
    Tim

    PS answer this in the way you find most informative. I have no experience of pas lives and so I don’t know how to properly ask the question, but I’d like to know how it works as best as you can explain. Imagine that you’re explaining it to a high school science teacher.

  169. Here’s something…

    A while ago– I mean a few years back, on one of the old blogs– I asked how you manage to respond so quickly to people who challenge you from multiple different angles. I find that when I try to debate somebody or even encounter an idea that I disagree with it’s a difficult process. At first all I know is that I disagree, but I’m not sure why. I usually have to sit with it for a while– an hour, a day, sometimes longer– before the answer pops out at me, and very often it’s something that’s extremely obvious upon reflection.

    If I recall correctly, at the time you said you’d consider a post on the topic. Would you consider a shorter comment on it now?

  170. Dewey,

    You want to avoid the spread of nazism, facism, et al? Near as I can tell, those are snarl words for various white identitarian movements. So, identity politics for white folks. Want to avoid white folks taking up identity politics? Then for the love of god, stop pushing identity politics!

    It’s as simple as that.

    Identity politics right now gives everyone a uniform they cannot take off, and assigns them a role to go with it. As I’ve said before (after looking over my shoulder, twice, and making sure I trust who I am talking to) if you insist I play the role of villain in your little morality play, sooner or later I’m going to actually start acting it out. If I am inherently sexist and racist in thought and action, even when I am trying to be the opposite, (as I have been told my category of humans are) why should I bother trying to be anything but? Why not just give myself to the role I have been assigned, and sew runes on my collar? I look darned good in black, after all.

    Why not start looking out for the interests of MY people — as defined by the left’s identity politics — the way every other group seems to be?

    Frankly, my ideal of nationalism is civic and I’m pretty sure most supposed racial characteristics are bunk ; economically, I lean distributist to democratic socialist. That doesn’t matter, though — I’ve been cast a role, and if y’all don’t stop pushing me into it, I’m going to learn to goose step and heil Schicklgruber.

    Why not? If I am to hang, as is the traditional saying of my people –I might as well hang for a sheep as a lamb.

  171. @James M Jensen “One tiny nitpick, if I may: the passage you quoted from me was not about environmental impact per se; I was thinking more along the lines of number of living beings killed, and the argument was of an “even if” characters, since I don’t necessarily agree with the view that everything is a person. (I’d prefer to say “nothing is entirely impersonal.” More like a person than we customarily suspect, but not necessarily a person per se”

    Nitpick accepted. I do not normally get stuck into the ethics around “living beings killed” – since to me all are living. That said, if a person has a view that they prefer not to kill in order to eat, then whatever justifying morality they come up with affects only them, and I have no problem with it.

    However there was a later comment you made where you did enter into the question of environmental impact. And we all have skin in that game, so I thought…

    Anyway, the quote I used from you is a meme that originates with “Diet for a Small Planet” by Frances Moore Lappe, and in it she basically treated industrial food production as if it was a livestock enterprise. She points out that if we (people) ate all the corn we grow instead of feeding it to, then eating, CAFO beef, we could live on a lot fewer acres.

    There was certainly a point to her case, but the point was to realise that the industrial food system is poisoned through and through. You cannot separate the corn part from the beef part.

    I think its fundamental flaw is the question: “How are we going to feed the world?” (That this question still strikes people as “normal” is a sign of how wrong we’ve gone).

    It helps to turn this around and ask:”What stopped the world feeding us?”

    It is the world’s job to feed each of us, by creating local biodiversity, the more complex, the richer, and our job, perhaps in a Makuoka-style way, to get out of the way.

  172. Hi JMG. I know next to nothing about astrology, I’ve always found the newspaper astrology corner “Sagittarius: You will receive an important letter in the post” thing a little off-putting. Obviously, what you do differs greatly from that. If we look at the predictions that you’ve made, and then look at the current state of the US, I have to ask how much of what you can see in place and the likely arcs of that, shapes what you see in the chart?

    The big thing that stands out for me in your predictions is the religious one that has no immediately obvious parallels currently in play. I notice that a number of other commenters have asked the same question that first popped into my head, “Progress” i.e. non-religious beliefs – by religious I mean organised as opposed to unstated societal beliefs. Though I went a little further with that to ask about belief in the importance of free speech, necessity of US government, or the US as the “indispensable country” or that its an international force for good. Would the Social Justice Warrior set be considered a religion? Some of its adherents certainly seem to behave that way. You also mention that Mercury covers both religion and the media, is there the potential for overlap there? I guess I just don’t know enough to know where the borders are or how the definitions apply.

  173. @JMG: It’s a good perspective in that regard. As a thirties-ish person in the urban Northeast and on social media, the Trump/Johnson voters I run into tend to be middle-class brogrammers who read way too much Ayn Rand in college and/or feel deeply hurt because girls don’t like them and fiction includes main characters who aren’t white dudes; Every Sperm Is Sacred fundie types; or whatever is behind the ZOMG EMAILS crowd, none of whom I think are worth engaging in any way, any more than is that guy with a sandwich board in the Common who constantly yells about Jesus. The people you describe sound much more rational about things, even if I disagree with the “solution” they went with*, and certainly we need to address their problems as well.

    *Although at this point, if we don’t end up in either the Handmaid’s Tale or a nuclear winter because Ivanka Has a Sad or whatever, I’m willing to let bygones be bygones on that front.

  174. Hi JMG,

    Many thanks for the reply and outstanding and clear answer. I have long wondered whether people fear the long, winding and ragged way down the road of decline because of the inevitability of it all? Certainly I can’t see the escape and so I just adapt in place because it takes so much time to learn all of the skills that you need to get you through. What do you reckon about that? Certainly you have covered that ground in Apocalypse Not (an excellent title too).

    On a funny note, I read your account above about being harassed because of your food choices and mate, I felt your pain and may have contributed something less than gentlemanly to that particular conversation. You know, I have had to laugh about a similar situation when I ordered a rather meaty dish and was scolded for avoiding the side serving of salad. Internally I was thinking to myself: Ours is not the common salad! (thought you’d appreciate that joke, but it really did happen and unfortunately I had to be gentlemanly because I realised I would see this person again in the future).

    Anyway, there is a dark side to radical vegetarianism! And at least nobody has mentioned bicycles for a while (I may have missed that one though ;-)! )… Bad Chris…

    Cheers

    Chris

  175. Regarding evidence of troubles in the church of progress – I came across a minor but telling and amusing example of its internal tensions recently. It seems that with all the interest in the eclipse, Niel Degrasse Tyson felt compelled to inform the unwashed masses that one occurs every few years and that it is unscientific to get excited over the chance to see one. Someone posted his comments to Reddit – a very progress-friendly community – and pointed out that one A. Einstein spent years chasing eclipses to prove his theory of relativity. The general consensus in the discussions was that today’s cardinals like Tyson and Nye do not at all measure up to the standards set by past heroes.

    As someone who studied engineering and expects to work with technology for most of his adult life, I spend quite a lot of time in the church of progress. From what I’ve seen I doubt there will be large battles in that community – a system with no human authority seems unlikely to generate a decent showdown. But I expect to see increasing balkanization and skirmishes, and that might ramp up quickly. Biology and Anthropology are one example of disciplines with lots of public conflicts, but I think they’re just an early indicator highlighted by the politicization of gender and racial differences.

    A side note – when searching for news of troubles in the church of progress, the major watchwords seem to currently be ‘scientism’ and ‘pseudoscience’. These are insults hurled almost exclusively by believers at other believers, though I wouldn’t say they identify any firm ideological position. Despite the parallels I see to the Protestant Reformation, I don’t expect a binary split this time around, though that doesn’t mean I expect there not to be one.

  176. I hope it’s not too late to get in a question for this week. I have a series, actually, regarding comments you made that people tend to have the easiest time practicing a magical system that corresponds with their heritage (e.g. Native American, Celtic, Jewish, etc.). Having done a DNA test recently, it got me thinking of metemphyschosis as well.

    1) While working through human incarnations, does Druid thought hold that we stay within certain groups (such as the same haplogroup) or do we bounce around in successive incarnations to any and every group we might need?

    2) If it’s the latter, as I suspect, does that mean the system we choose to work this time around need only correspond to the current genetic ancestry? I thought I was Celtic, but learned I am I1 L22+ which is called the Ultra Norse haplogroup, Scandinavians who ultimately settled Britain. Yet CGD seems to work splendidly for me, even though my ancestors likely didn’t touch Britain until around 1100 A.D. at best.

    3) Any thoughts on what DNA might be in terms of metempsychosis? It seems like it certainly fits the bill of a material trace of experience over many generations.

  177. What are your thoughts on accelerationism? If you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to efforts to resist something by trying to increase the rate and intensity at which that something happens until it destabilises itself or a backlash occurs.

    For example, a communist trying to crush capitalism by becoming a banker and implementing austerity on a target population.

  178. William F & JMG – Re: Enclosures
    I’m a Brit and looking at the US I have a theory around some of the psychology regarding land, borders and identity. Britain has been settled for thousands of years. Where ever you go in this country you are tripping over evidence of some kind or other of human activity. I was talking to a National Trust warden and he mentioned that there’s a theory that there is zero true wilderness in the UK. Every single piece of land has been shaped at some time or other by human hands. As part of that, we’ve become very good at defining borders, parcels of land that are “ours”, “theirs” and “shared”. Travel 30 miles and you will find another city and another regional accent. Despite, or because, of all of this, we’ve had to learn to get along, just not necessarily very well at times.
    The US is large and comparatively new. The nations and people that previous lived there were largely exterminated or driven off. Instead the country has seen rapid, large, successive waves of immigration. Every time a new bunch of people turned up, those who couldn’t live with each other just moved somewhere else, West, North or South and found an area to call their own. Now you’ve run out of areas to move to and are having to learn to craft and maintain your internal borders and identities. That’s always going to be a massive source of conflict and I wouldn’t be surprised if it took the US tens or possibly hundreds of years to really settle down. Britain had the advantage of being comparatively small, Europe has taken thousands of years to reach a point where all the different groupings aren’t fighting each other and its an open question as to how long that state of affairs will last.

  179. Regarding the antics of the contemporary left, I have come to the idea that the whole thing might have, among others, something to do with a divide et impera politics from the elites. It is interesting how the SJW phenomenon and gender and diversity issues are used not to unite, but to divide different groups against each other.
    That leads to a third question: Since the western world is still much more affluent than the Third World, one could aver that the critic against unregulated mass immigration is there just to keep hoarding the wealth of the world and not sharing it with others. Yet, there is something wromng the whole immigration issue is handled in the western world, but it is not easy to put my finger on what exactly is the problem.
    A part of that may have to do that the left does the opposite of the right. Whereas the right tends to nationalism and antagonism against non-natives, the left tends to the mirror-image of this, i. e. antagonism towards one’s own country and toward natives.

  180. Given the amount of mutual hatred and increasing violence seen between parts of the far right and parts of the identity politics far left, how likely is the USA to see one or more sizable insurgencies come out of this in the next few years, and from which end(s) do you expect it to come?

    The situation makes me feel sick watching from the country next door, but that doesn’t make it go away. From where I stand, the KKK and other white supremacist and/or fascist groups look like a fast way to producing hell on earth.

  181. Hello JMG

    Re: Democracy’s Flaws

    Short term thinking is definitely a major problem. Corruption I would say is common to all forms of government, my guess is that it stems from some aspect of being social primates.

    I agree that there’s pretty much nothing to be done about them. Societies, governments and civilisations will just keep rising and falling, expanding and contracting. Everything else in nature does that, no reason why humans should be any exception. At best we’ll one day learn how to fall nicely.

    SMJ

  182. Dear Taraxacum, if you say so. I remain skeptical, but can admit you probably know more than I do about the phenomenon. I recall reading during the Occupy period, a black activist who had been involved with various organizations for years saying that anyone in your group who is advocating violence is almost certainly a paid provocateur from FBI or similar.

    Greetings, drhooves, The Little Sister is my favorite Chandler novel also. Too bad Hollywood had to change the script for the movie. There is some good acting from Garner and co-stars–this was back in the day when even bit players knew their craft–and a superstar in the making performance from Bruce Lee, whose character had no business in that story, and the movie is well made and enjoyable, but even so, I find the book to be far better.

    Dear Dot, thank you for the explanation about Antifa, et al. It is my personal impression that the Charlottesville incident began as a staged provocation on both sides, although I doubt anyone planned to kill people. It is getting to the point where you can’t distinguish the real events from the staged ones anymore. I would urge anyone to do google and or you tube searches for ‘Seth Rich’, ‘DNC fraud lawsuit’, and’ Awan Brothers scandal’ to find out why the Democratic Party is badly in need of distraction at the moment.

    Garsh, Mr. Greer. those free range turkeys don’t come cheap, and if you buy one you are supporting good people doing good work. Not to mention that one uses the whole bird, including the bones for excellent soup, and the frozen leftovers can last through the winter. I wonder if you might consider doing a blog post about Democratic Syndicalism and the other alternatives to capitalism you mentioned, with reading lists if possible?

  183. About pederasty and the Christian Churches.

    Rest asured, JMG, that the Prince of Darkness has been soiling the well of the Church from the very begining; and he must be an equal oportunity employer too, with all the diferent Cardinal Sins in the bullpen geting their chance. Lust just gets to be at the limelight in this day and age. Back when Dante was writing his Inferno, it was all about Greed and her kissing-cousin Simony, – you know, charging money for doing the Lord’s Work. Give it a century or two, and we would get to see Gluttony in action, with those pesky fat bishops daring to eat meat, of all things, while preaching a vegan diet to their flock.

    Not that there will be any less abused children by then, but people will probably not thing much about it.

  184. Archdruid,

    I’ve been lurking for the past few weeks because I’ve been too busy with work to get near an internet connection. I hate posting through my phone, so I spent the time reading the discussion.

    As I’ve been following the discussion between your readers about the right-left conflict, and I must say that the center seems about ready to break. Events have gotten so murky that it is largely impossible to tell who is doing what, and the propaganda efforts from every side is too intense to figure out the details of a story without hours of research.

    I’m doing my best to keep my head down and go about my work, but it’s really difficult considering that it is my nature to push back against nonsense. Of course in a society that has taken leave of it’s senses, everything is nonsense.

    I’ve mentioned several times on your previous blog that creating a third front is the best option I see available to those of us who don’t support either faction. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find people who aren’t influenced by the propaganda on one side or the other, and who are also willing to form an active defense against these two very violent factions.

    How are we supposed to organize against this madness?

    Regards,

    Varun

  185. JMG WROTE
    “Phil, okay, now you have me intrigued. What irrational purpose is being served by the new rail line and Britain’s new, hopelessly vulnerable carrier?”

    I Phil HAD WRITTEN
    “Interestingly, going back to the particular British HS2 rail project, the latter cannot be described as a rational idea in terms of ‘Utility’. Like our new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, something else is going on.”

    It is actually hard to tell. Purchasing the US F35 warplane, for example, seems obvious enough. We had an offer from Uncle Sam we could not refuse.
    I suppose the simple answer is that nobody could think of a way of cancelling them, and there was a fair bit of opportunistic political posturing as well. But I tend to think it’s more serious. We have reached the stage of ‘needing’ our National Delusion. Being British, it looks more like a historical re-enactment show.

    Shrinking the manufacturing sector and replacing it with Financial Services does not seem so clever after 2008. ‘Modernising’ is not what it was. We are at the cusp of much forced change that is going to re-arrange our face, and I am conservative enough not to welcome that.

    best
    Phil H

  186. general question for everyone: has anyone here read a good retrospective of the 1960’s counter culture? I’m especially curious about the larger historical patterns of counter culture in the united states and the larger context of the hippies. Any help is much appreciated!

  187. Another thought occured to me. When did the old adage, don’t discuss politics or religion, fall out of favor?

    Danielle stopped by to drop off some cherry tomatoes. First of all, how many people freak out nowadays when neighbors just show up and knock of the door?

    Secondly, although I am economically a “wage class white” and politically a left leaning Anarchist (those people) I didn’t bat an eye at her “Make America Great Again” shirt. This is Danielle. I’ve known her since she was 4.

    We just don’t talk politics. We talk tomatoes, fishing, hows Allen doing nowadays, you know, BS.

    I think the art of BSing needs to be preserved

  188. @JMG
    Well, that makes sense. One of the things I am doing as preparation is to stand a little straighter (I tend to slouch a bit), and then relax my whole body. This probably triggers the energy that causes the shiver. Is that correct?

    I’ll take your advice and not worry about it.

    Now, if I sometimes feel detached from my body, watching it go through the motions of the ritual, should I be worried?

  189. Before I start responding to comments, a general note. I have just deleted a flurry of angry attempted posts by various commenters on the two ends of the current US political spectrum, each of whom had crossed the line of civility into angry diatribe. We do not behave that way on this list. Since too many people apparently can’t discuss the violence being perpetrated by both sides without descending into a shouting match over whose thugs are worse than whose, I am declaring that topic closed for this week, effective right now.

    The one exception I’ll make is that those who want to talk about how to define and defend a middle ground in the broad space between the extremists of the left and the extremists of the right are welcome to do so. I make that exception because the voices of moderation and common decency have been pretty thoroughly ignored of late. Those readers who don’t like the fact that this is my virtual living room, and I make the rules, are reminded that there are plenty of other places on the internet where they can get into as many virtual fistfights as they like.

    Enough said.

    Now, onto specific comments.

    Emily, that’s fascinating! Yes, it’s possible that there may be elements of the temple tradition surviving among the Sorbs, though it would take careful research to find out one way or another. That’s exactly the kind of work that I hoped to inspire with The Secret of the Temple.

    Booklover, nobody knows yet what the astrological influences on other worlds might be, so it’s all speculation. As for keeping your money in a savings account, it’s a gamble, but so is everything else.

    Kay, I don’t have a television. It really is that simple. People a hundred years ago used to write lots of letters, pursue hobbies, visit friends, play musical instruments, join lodges, get active in local political caucuses, hang out at the local saloon, etc., etc., etc. These days, people watch television instead. I’d rather have a life!

    Radha, glad to hear the Celtic Golden Dawn work is useful to you! No, ancestral work doesn’t have a place in that book’s study program, so if ancestral workings are important to you, by all means do the ones from the other book. Yes, you can use the same table as long as you have different altar tools for each kind of work. As for doing magical work in your bedroom, with the Celtic GD work that’s actually a good idea — performing banishing rituals in your bedroom means that you sleep in a space that’s cleansed of hostile influences and brought into balance, and that’s good for mental and physical health.

    Scotlyn, in your place I’d concentrate first of all on getting enough rest and nourishment to recover fully on the physical plane! Beyond that, I’d simply pay attention in general and let things unfold according to their own logic.

    James, and if that works for you, great. I’ve noticed that with diets, as with religions and technologies, the more frantically people push then on you, the more certain you can be that whatever they’re trying to push on your isn’t actually satisfactory to them. Call it the Criterion of Inverse Evangelism: the louder and more insistent the propaganda, the worse the thing being promoted generally is…

    Will, because Wednesdays are ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication, of course!

    Cassandra, it probably had some effect, but the main reason we have Donald Trump in the White House is that Hillary Clinton ran the most incompetent presidential candidate I’ve witnessed in my adult life. As for the article, gosh, I wonder where the author got that idea… 😉

    Fred, election fraud is as American as apple pie. US elections have been a corrupt mess since very early in the nineteenth century, with every political party an enthusiastic contributor to the mess. Look up the term “graveyard vote” in any history of American politics sometime.

    Pierre, I’m moderately familiar with Paul’s work, though I haven’t read all his many writings. (I’m sure he could say the same thing about me.)

    Fred, Trump has had the backing of the Pentagon all along; you can probably understand the current fracas in Washington DC best by seeing it as a power struggle between the CIA and its bipartisan allies in Congress and the media, on the one hand, and the Pentagon and its ally in the White House, on the other. As for the recent naval embarrassments, it’ll be interesting to find out whether the cause was enemy interference or rank incompetence on the part of the Navy; either way, not a good sign.

    Justin, there I won’t argue at all. CAFO meat is a pallid, mostly nutrition-free travesty of actual meat; we’re fortunate to be able to get something better here.

  190. (Trying to keep this in the vein of defending civility, or at least nonviolence, and/or being dubious about extremists–totally do understand if it’s too close to the contentious bits, though.)

    @Nastarana: FWIW, I’ve heard similar when I’ve gone to protests or marches. Certainly there are some people on the left who genuinely want to get super-violent (generally more in the burn-it-all-down/angry-young-man camp than I’d like*), but the general rule was that anyone saying “hey let’s go throw a trashcan through a window” or similar was probably acting from an agenda the organizers of said march didn’t intend, one way or another. “Probably a fed” was the general opinion.

    *Although, I don’t know, I’m Generic Cishet White Chick, so on some level I can afford not to be angry about a lot of things, and I try to keep that in mind.

  191. Twilight, that’s probably best left to next week’s post on reincarnation, since I’ll be talking at quite some length about the traditional teachings concerning what reincarnates and what doesn’t.

    Gnat, you’re missing the most important point, which is that people vary in what kind of diet benefits them most. One size emphatically does not fit all! Instead of trying to tell everyone else what amount of meat they ought or ought not to eat, here’s my suggestion: figure out what diet makes you healthy, eat that, and let other people make up their own minds without pestering them about it.

    Ezra, one of the reasons I tend to rely on Spengler rather than Toynbee is that Toynbee’s theories don’t always fit historical reality. There is not always a Universal State. The thing to keep in mind is that Toynbee wanted the US-British alliance to become a Universal State for the western world; his writing is as much a work of advocacy as it is a study of history — the guy spent his entire career working for the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the UK wing of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was the mouthpiece for a large and influential set of power centers in the 20th century Anglo-American world, That doesn’t make his work useless, but you’ve got to read it in context, and remember that he was trying to push the future in a particular direction.

    OtterGirl, good. That’s probably due to the awakening of your own clairvoyance; you might see if you can see auras sometime. Have somebody hold their hand, palm toward you and fingers spread, a foot or two away from a white or off-white wall; see if you notice a colored zone surrounding it, and if so, what color it is. W.E. Butler’s book How to See the Aura is a good practical introduction if you want to follow up on that.

    James, thank you. I don’t think it’s just that I’m overly sensitive to bullying, though; a lot of people are desperately sick of being proselytized by the adherents of this or that dietary fad. I plan on doing a post down the road on diet, focusing on what I call the American Macroneurotic Diet — that is to say, whatever you eat, you have to get utterly obsessive about it, and positively frantic because there are people in the world who disagree with you about what to eat…

    Bogatyr, thanks for this! (And a thank you to the three other people offlist who pointed me to the same thing.) I’m not at all surprised that it’s a better way of doing trigonometry, since it’s based on proportions. Proportions are central to the old Pythagorean sacred geometry, and thus have been badly neglected of late, but those are the tools that allowed Newton to work out the Principia Mathematica. I read a while back that somebody in the late 20th century decided to redo all Newton’s proofs using modern methods, convinced that of course he’d be able to do them much more elegantly; in every case, he found, the older proportional methods Newton used were simpler, more elegant, and more intuitively clear than modern proofs.

    Corydalidae, yep.

    Will, maybe so. I don’t pretend to know what a POD would do!

    Mrs. Jarvie, I don’t know a great deal about the current status of the tradition set in motion by Weor. I’d say do some research, see whether it seems to fit what you want out of an occult tradition, and make your decision.

    Rahul, exactly how Peak Internet will play out is a heck of a good question, which I don’t know enough to answer. That said, if you’re dependent on some internet service you currently get for free — the way my blogging used to be dependent on the free blogging platform provided by Blogger — now might be a good time to find a paid service that’s not caught up in the current stock market frenzy, and make the switch.

    Kfish, I was very pleased to hear that the DSA was doing that. They’ve understood the basic rule that all politics is local and personal, and that you win the loyalty of voters by actually doing something to help them from time to time — a little detail that the Dems and GOP have both forgotten.

    Drhooves, I’ve got Chandler sitting on the coffee table right now, atop Hammet’s The Maltese Falcon. I’ve had a lot of fun riffing off weird fiction from the early 20th century, so looking into another genre from the same period seemed like a good idea! As for the murkier end of the current pressure groups, well, yes — and Murphy’s Law is the one enduring reality in politics…

  192. JMG,

    Defining a centrist common ground will become more and more difficult. My guess is that populism *is* the new centrism, or at least the new normal, either right-wing populism (think Ted Cruz or Steve Bannon) or left-wing populism (think a more old fashioned Bernie without the “SJWs”). After all, Trump and Cruz were the two most succesful candidates in the GOP primaries, and Bernie Sanders mounted a serious challenge to Queen Clinton within the Dems.

    I think both forms of populism will be anti-immigration “economic nationalists” and anti-intervention, but they will differ on various “class” issues (such as single payer health care, etc). I also suspect Hispanics and Blacks may develop their own forms of populism and nationalism, unless they can hang on to the left-wing version.

    But perhaps I´m subjective – I have certain sympathies for the left-wing populist option!

    I assume your option is more like a decentralist, democratic, “Green” centrism, with a few traits considered “leftist” today (such as worker co-ops, etc). A bit like “Retrotopia”, maybe?

  193. Herbert, thank you.

    Aaron, I got the details originally from comparing information from social histories of the Middle Ages with current details on hours, vacations, and pay, and I’ve seen the same thing referenced repeatedly in the more erudite corners of the media from time to time — see, for example, here. As for Vonnegut, glad to hear it!

    Steve, because you don’t take notes?

    Tim, one estimate has it that we average around thirty human lives, over a few millennia at most, before moving to more complex and interesting forms of being, and we’ve all had a vast number of nonhuman lives before then. I’ll be discussing all this in great detail in next week’s post on reincarnation.

    Steve, at this point it’s mostly practice. When I first started blogging, I used to have to sit for a while with the more challenging comments before answering them, but after getting on for a dozen years of blogging, it’s become pretty easy to marshal my thoughts and get a response together right away.

    Gavin, any astrologer worth his or her salt combines the indications of the heavens with a good general knowledge of whatever aspect of everyday affairs the kind of astrology in question deals with. Your working astrologer who fields questions from people about their lives, careers, relationships, etc. has learned a great deal about people, and can give very good advice even without the additional help of the stars! So, yes, I’m integrating what I know about politics and history with the indications of the eclipse chart. With regard to the religious implications of the chart, well, we’ll have to see. It might be some secular ideology instead — but the US tends to cough up religious frenzies from time to time, and it might manage the same feat again.

    Isabel, I’ve met the type, and find them insufferable. That’s one of the reasons I keep on advising people from inside the bubble to get out and meet Trump voters in the flyover states, and find out that most of them are ordinary, decent human beings who are reacting to the mess the last fifty years of bipartisan policy has made of most of the country.

    Chris, oh, the slow decline is much scarier than the fast collapse, not least because it’s more real. People love horror movies because they know they’re not actually going to be chased by zombies on the way home from the theater, and in the same way, I think everyone knows there won’t actually be a sudden apocalypse, so it makes great entertainment. Slow decline is too real, not least because it’s visible all around us!

    Christopher, thanks for the heads up! I suspect those of us who aren’t members of that church are going to get to see plenty of colorful fireworks in the years ahead, one way or another.

    Kyle, all that will be better answered after my post on reincarnation next week. Stay tuned!

    Synthase, in theory it might work. In practice, my experience is that it amounts to selling out. I recall all those hippies who got haircuts, put on business wear, and insisted that they were going to change the system from within…and of course nothing of the sort happened.

    Gavin, that makes a great deal of sense. It’ll be interesting to see how long the current interval of European peace lasts, though; it wasn’t that long ago that Europe was busily producing some of the most destructive wars on the planet.

    Booklover, yes, that’s almost certainly involved.

    Corydalidae, if it comes, it’ll be from the right. The violent end of the left is great at trashing windows but very poor at organizing, and it’s also got a serious shortage of guns, ammo, and people who understand the military realities of running an insurgency. The right doesn’t have those problems.

    SMJ, corruption is actually worse in democracy than in most other systems, because in most other systems, the rich run things directly, and don’t have to worry about using the political system to get richer. In democracy, you start out with people with money but no power, and people with power but no money, and the market takes care of the rest!

    Nastarana, I’ll consider such a blog post — and yes, when I get a turkey, the broth from the bones does not go to waste!

  194. @Frank and Lydia,

    We have lots of cats in our field–and lots of voles too. Snakes would be better, but they don’t stick around. One of the few things we have found that has worked a little is to fashion windmills out of PET bottles or aluminum bottle-cans and set them at intervals, each atop a length of thin aluminum pipe (we have old hang glider battens) so that they rattle and clang every time the wind blows. This frightens voles. They got to my stevia despite that, however. (They really love stevia.) Ultimately, what I have to do is go through the field about once a week and crush their tunnels. Barefoot is best, you can feel the difference and selectively crush them out of existence. That definitely discourages them. If the soil is too compacted, you might need to dig them out. One thing that might help is to grow a row of stevia, since they seem to love it so much, it might draw them away from more valuable plants and allow you to attack them more effectively, since stevia is not as vulnerable to disturbances near its roots. I keep one or two stevia plants in planters to protect them from burrowing pests and set them in a warm place to overwinter. The early shoots can be taken and planted in a row. If you can get a little root with each shoot, that is best, but even if you can’t, keep watering them until they pick up and look happy again.

    Regarding aphids (which I’ve never seen on stevia BTW), they are almost impossible to deal with in a greenhouse environment, but I will be curious to hear how the lacewings work out. Some plants will take quite a load of them and just shrug them off. A really bad infestation will kill off my cardoons and artichokes, so when they get too heavy I go out once a day with a toothbrush and a little jar of garlic in water (whirl a good amount in a blender, then add a little dish-washing soap. Wet the toothbrush with this and gently stroke the backs of the little beasties with it. If you have too many ants guarding them, you’ll have to discourage the ants. I am growing tansy between the artichokes and cardoons. Ants don’t like it. I still see lots of ants, but it seems to make a difference to the fauna that prey on aphids. So once the crisis is over, I just let the latter do their job, with ladybugs humping away happily on the leaves.

    I take it your growing season is too short for peppers to do okay outside. Same here, but row covers work when frost is still an issue once the deep cold is through. Then, when it gets warm enough, just take off the row covers. I find aphids don’t stick around too long on most plants outside. Things may differ where you are, but I hope this information will give you new useful ideas

  195. JMG, this is just fascinating and fun to speculate over who will attack whom, for example. North Korea just launched missiles again, three at the latest count, about an hour ago. Are they suicidal or what? I have no idea what provocations are going on in the background that got Kim to resume that. Thank goodness for Mt. Fuji between me and Tokyo.

    I had a lovely friend as a teenager who introduced me to astrology in its complex form, but I abandoned that completely in college. I had as hell of a time trying to be a Leo when I was much more suited to Pisces.

  196. On the topic of maintaining the civil middle ground: one of the first steps is to acknowledge other people can disagree with you and it does not make them evilly evil with a side of evil. It seems far to many people are unwilling to at least consider that maybe other people are, well, people. I’m not sure how to make other people get that, but I don’t think things will improve unless and until people get that.

    JMG,

    I’ve come across something I find fairly disturbing: many of the English articles about La Meute have been changed! I think I have access to some print copies for some, but sadly I’m not sure how much it matters: I doubt too many people will listen…

    Here’s a link to an English article on the topic anyway: http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/quebec-police-say-strong-possibility-of-arrests-following-sunday-protest

    Finding a French one will have to wait, as the sources I’ve come across have mostly been behind paywalls and I don’t feel like trying to dig through to find ones that aren’t right now. However the difference appears to have disappeared regardless.

    Nastarana,

    1: I’ve wondered about why those statues offend now. I don’t want to go into that too much in light of the ban on the topic JMG has put in place (as is his right in his virtual living room. Personally, I’m happy he’s willing to let so many people squat in it :P)

    2: That analysis, that both the right and left are upset about no more fortunes to be made, seems a little off to me. I think it has a lot more to do with the way that standards of living are dropping. But yes, it would show up as no more easy fortunes to be had. I think it goes deeper than just that though.

    3: My big issue is that there are people (currently myself included) for whom being single for a while makes the most sense, and our society does not accept that. Quite frankly, I think a big issue here is that quite a few people will pursue relationships that they shouldn’t because being single is viewed as unbearably awful.

    Isabel,

    At least I’m not the only one who sometimes tries to pretend to be a functional adult! 😛 The day after Valentine’s is one of my favorites of the year for exactly that reason: I love super cheap candy! Sadly though the quality of a lot of it seems to be dropping quite rapidly (or maybe my taste buds are getting used to a diet with a lot of fresh produce, homemade bread, and even home made candy)

  197. “Here in the US, at least, if you get outside the coastal bubble you’ll see an economy in freefall”
    JMG, you just went back INTO the coastal bubble.
    I’m not sure if this falls under the comment ban, but I’m going to try to respond to local conditions here as people have asked. Kentucky is something of a “reverse California”, if you will. It’s population is overwhelmingly rural, and it’s urban areas comparatively small, therefore, the political clout lies with the rural areas, particularly Eastern KY/Appalachia. So just as far Northern and Central Valley Calif. get the short end of the stick in Calif., so Lexington, Louisville, and Northern KY get shortchanged while pork flows into the rural parts of the state, particularly Eastern KY. Rural legislators dominate state politics. People in rural KY already have a dim view of urban KY, and considering the politics, it’s not really good for the urban areas to alienate the rural, considering they’re already getting the short end of the stick. That’s why the whole monument business is bad optics and bad politics. The old saw is that KY joined the South after the Civil War, but there is history behind that that I didn’t know until I joined the SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans) and found out the real story. KY was under Union martial law under the “butcher Burbage” during the War Between the States, and suffered a lot of indignities, including extrajudicial executions. A lot of original Union supporters in KY opposed the Emancipation Proclamation. By the end of the war, after Union occupation and summary executions, most Unionists hung their heads in shame, and I’ve heard it said that Lincoln didn’t garner 50 votes in all KY in his reelection bid in 1864. So, fast forward to today, and KY has 65 or so Confederate monuments, and only roughly 5 or so Union monuments. The 118 counties outside Jefferson (Lou.) & Fayette (Lex.) have no intention of removing their Confederate monuments. All this monument business serves is to further the rural/urban divide in an overwhelmingly rural state. (Now, JMG, you see why I so strenuously object to you placing us outside the Confederacy in the same country as Sherman’s Ohio) It’s an open question whether the state will remove Jefferson Davis’s statue from the capitol, but FWIW, our Yankee governor supports leaving it in place. Interestingly enough, both Abraham Lincoln and CSA president Jefferson Davis are native sons to KY, though both left at young ages. Back to the rural/urban divide–like most of the South and Midwest, Lexington, Louisville, Covington & Newport have seen more than their fair share of California (and other coastal state) refugees fleeing the high cost of living and general mess that Calif. (and other coastal states) have become. These hipsters have gentrified a lot of the urban core of these cities, and make up the mass of SJW’s agitating for the removal of the monuments. Of course, these hipsters have set about remaking the urban cores they’re gentrifying in the fashion of Portlandia, and Confederate monuments in the public square don’t exactly fit with the whole Portlandia meme. We even have our own mini-Asheville–Berea. Now, our cities, being smallish, and in KY, have their own insecurities, particularly Lex., and so their civic leaders are more than willing to jump on any bandwagon that will help their “progressive” cred. So there’s the back story of the whole monument issue in KY.

  198. Again, not sure if this will be put through, but don’t I remember you saying on the old blog, JMG, that the hysteria and publicity surrounding white supremacist groups doesn’t match their numbers or their clout? That these groups, particularly the Klan, have shrunk down to practically nothing and are a mere fraction of what they once were? I just don’t see it, I think these groups are just so anathema to what most people consider decent nowadays, that scaremongering about it really does remind me of McCarthy going after Communists in the ’50s. I’m also thinking back to the post about “Hate is the New Sex” and thinking that there is no effective way to totally eliminate these groups that won’t cause a worse backlash–that accepting their existence may be the sanest way to deal with them.

  199. So, on to something more cheerful:

    Do you take the sect (whether the moment was during the day or night) of a chart into account when interpreting it, such as by swapping how the Part of Fortune and the Part of Spirit are calculated, and whether the Moon or the Sun is more significant?

    Also, how important do you take the parallel and contra-parallel aspects to be? Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson seemed to consider them extremely important, but most astrologers don’t seem to use them. Do you happen to know when those aspects started being used? I’m pretty sure Alan Leo didn’t use them, and I can’t recall reading about anyone using them before the 20th century.

    OK, three questions are enough. Thanks!

  200. Here’s a nice middle-ground topic that I think we all agree on: cats. 🐱 We all love cats, right? Did you know, JMG, that more mummified cats have been discovered than mummified people? Yes, of course you knew that.

    What is it about cats? I’ve met people who can’t stand being in a room with a cat, are actually frightened of them, and this is not due to an allergy (which in any event, my cats assure me is a just karma for having mocked cats in a previous life).

    So do cats dwell partway in the astral plane? Camille Paglia believes the Egyptians venerated cats because cats seem to be metaphorically poised between earth and sky, but perhaps this is more than metaphor. I find that my cats can conduce a nice contemplative mood, good for creativity. They’re also fairly easy maintenance.

  201. JMG,

    Thank you so much for this blog and for this Ask Me Anything open forum. I was introduced to you via the Archdruid Report due to my fascination with politics, peak oil and civilizational decline, but am now much more interested in magic, and have a question about affirmations and willing things into existence.

    Specifically, how does it work?

    When I was younger, I became interested in occult spirituality and am largely self taught. In my early twenties, I spent a lot of time doing daily meditations, energy exercises, playing around with kundalini, placing crystals at different chakra points along my body while meditating, and learned Reiki, although I always felt something off with that practice. As I aged and after a really bad experience, I mainly stuck to doing daily Qi Gong exercises and affirmations. Per this blog, I switched to focusing on one affirmation a day.

    I admit I have little understanding of how any of this stuff works, as I picked up things from random books in the occult section, a smattering of teachers only of whom I clicked with, who has now passed on, but I know very well that it works.

    I have had a ton of “coincidental” experiences and instances where it feels like I either willed something into existence or just knew what was going to happen months before it did. This includes most of my jobs over the last 15 years, some of which were really prestigious, most of which I wasn’t really qualified for in any meaningful sense.

    In the case of the jobs, I would attend a conference, meet a person, or see something, there’s always some trigger, and I would suddenly know where I would end up and events would line up right to get me there. I’m just not sure if it was a case of willing it or getting a glimpse into some predetermined fate.

    What’s your perspective on how this works? Thanks.

  202. @ Lydia and Jim Weed…JMG??

    I read Kohr – and his arguments make sense. At this juncture in time, we are going to be forced into a world that will resemble the one he speaks of – smaller states. I think that his main argument, that big societies require a lot of time, people and work to simply maintain, is accurate.

    I pay $6000 per year just in property taxes, and I live in a 45 year old house made of wood. When one tosses in income tax, licenses, insurances and all the other things that the state requires us to pay, tax freedom day is almost in December. That doesn’t leave much room for personal anything. This cannot stand in a non-growth society, which we are currently swimming in already.

    It may take wars and social upheaval, but downsizing will be forced by reduction in cheap energy. That will be the great equalizer, and will force us into not just thinking smaller but in living smaller. It does not mean we cannot communicate and cooperate over distances, but moving resources and people about the earth will not be something that is either cheap or easy. When things have to be done locally to be more economical, it is easy to see some initial growth, and then something near steady state, if there isn’t much to upset things other than those seen in medieval times of small states.

    I would be very happy to see that, although at my age it is unlikely. I would be fine with a dictatorship, if the dictator were not in my daily business and taking a cut of my every move in business or travel (which is where we exist today in this ‘democracy’) or forcing my kids into his army for spurious warfare. What I am doing in current times is trying to enmesh myself in local business. Not to expand and conquer the world, but to earn enough to pay taxes and eat. When you have that accomplished, and are not in debt, then there does exist a lot more personal time. And in living in a small town a lot of the time (my farm), things do self-regulate, even to the point of everyone knowing who the thieves are and who will lie to you in a business deal.

    His argument regarding the arts and smaller states rings true, as do his references to medieval states and their relationships to one another. So while everybody cannot be right, and other things do figure in, I believe he is correct that SIZE has a bearing that is denied altogether in many discussions. And it is denied because it does not serve, well, “bigly-ness”…

    OK – off to watch the hurricane hype for a bit…

  203. Omer- To work toward understanding the global financial system’s response to the Great Financial Crisis, with more detail than JMG’s brief (and accurate) statement that the crisis persists though papered over, I recommend reading Prof. Steve Keen of Australia. He has a mathematical model (and entertainingly strong opinions) which introduces “debt” into the discussion that usually turns on “supply and demand”. His equations are just slightly beyond my mathematical ability, but they guarantee that when the current popularity of debt (private and public) turns sour, … well, from my perspective, the manure’s going to hit the spreader. We can’t say exactly when, unfortunately.

    https://www.patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen — is a good place to start. He has videos on YouTube.

  204. Of course, as someone who hopes to see KY join the Confederacy this time around, I’m so glad the UDC erected so many monuments around the state, and glad that all this discussion of Confederate monuments and their removal is cementing Confederate identity among our rural majority.

  205. @ Isabelcooper…

    I was taught that it was better to be able to be alone and content and happy before trying to engage anyone in romantic or intimate escapades. Now, I am 60, so this isn’t anything new. I view it as part of “elder knowledge” that has been mostly lost. Looking and finding within ones own is mostly discouraged today, being viewed as “wasting your life”, when you may be actually saving it and making it richer, in the event you do meet someone you just can’t seem to swim away from…

  206. JMG, following up you comment about staying in the US, you’ve often mentioned how wretched things are in America right now. How do you deal with the wretchedness without being affected by it? Especially with the people. Does this have something to do w/your magical practice?

  207. I guess my comment was one of those you removed. I thought that it was forceful but not over the top. In retrospect, I was angry when I was typing it, and it probably did come out as an “angry diatribe,” rather than the reasoned comment I thought I was making. And of course it’s your blog, and I respect your judgment and apologize for having crossed the line.

  208. Ramon, so noted! I’d be a little less concerned if the church hierarchy weren’t apparently so eager to give the guy with the horns and tail a helping hand…

    Varun, I’m still working on that! Before organization is a possibility, it’s necessary to get out the word that there’s a moderate option. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, and will keep on doing it as we proceed. Just as it took a while to get past the blank looks and get people in the peak oil scene to notice that perpetual progress and instant catastrophe weren’t the only options, I expect it to take a while for even the most forthright discussion of a moderate position — a position that defends everybody’s constitutional liberties against attempts by both sides to deprive those they hate of freedom of speech and assembly, that supports equal enforcement of the rule of law against the violent on both sides, and that affirms equality against attempts by both sides to privilege some against others — to get some traction. Once that happens, and we start surfing the inevitable pushback from both sides, the fun begins.

    Phil, so noted. I wish you the best of luck riding the changes.

    William, an excellent point. That’s still standard, and enforced, in fraternal lodges.

    Myriam, it doesn’t trigger it, but it facilitates it. The sense of watching the ritual from outside is also normal, so yeah, don’t sweat it.

    Tidlosa, my stance is that of a moderate Burkean conservative with the kind of green leanings that used to be standard on the right before conservatism lost its mind in the William Buckley years. I’m in favor of employee-owned businesses because they’ve been shown to work, and moving from a corporate toward a syndicalist economy involves very modest, incremental, and non-disruptive changes — the kind of constructive reforms, in fact, that Burke thought were a good idea.

    And yes, I rather like the system I sketched out in Retrotopia — that was my utopia, after all. 😉

    Patricia, no, they’re not suicidal. They know that the US likes to invade other countries and overthrow their governments, and so they’re doing everything in their power to say, “Try it here and it’s going to cost you.” Given that more bombs were dropped on North Korean territory during the Korean War than hit all of Europe during the Second World War, with cataclysmic loss of life and property, it’s not surprising that they’re feeling edgy about US pressure….

    Will, many thanks for this! Interesting that the news is being edited retroactively…

    Shane, yep, but I still have a lot of friends outside it and expect to move back and forth. If anything productive is going to come out of this mess, it’s going to be the work of those who are ready and willing to work with people of good will on both sides of that divide.

    As for the Klan et al., it’s not the old-fashioned groups like the KKK who need watching at this point. There are significant new organizations that, having been told over and over again by the left that anyone who disagrees with the left is a fascist, took the obvious hint, learned plenty from the successes and failures of 20th century fascism, and are following that game plan with considerable vim. Watch this space…

    James, I don’t use sect, as it’s not used by the astrologers whose practice mostly guides mine. I haven’t yet integrated parallels and contraparallels into my work, but I’ll be giving that a try and seeing what the results are in the near future.

    Will, if you’re intending that as satire, it didn’t work very well. If you seriously think that the only alternative to screaming tantrums over politics is to talk about cats, er, you might want to get out more…

  209. Amber, nobody knows. It really is that simple: nobody knows. We’re in the same position as people working with gravity before Einstein showed why it works; Newton’s formulae allowed scientists and engineers to model gravity exactly, but nobody knew what it was or why it behaved the way it did. I’m sorry to say that funding for a National Science Foundation grant to do research to explain why magic works isn’t very likely, either!

    Shane, yes, magical practice helps quite a bit, and so does Aspergers syndrome — I don’t get caught up in the swamp of collective emotions very easily.

    Steve, thank you; I understand how easy it is to get caught up in anger. It’s my job as host to shut things down before they get out of hand, is all.

  210. I live in central Illinois, and I noticed something. My scientific training has taught met to ignore this as a meaningless coincidence, but I can’t help but feel there may be something else going on. Since this is an astrology safe space, let me pick your brain.

    In 2024, the path of totality for the second US solar eclipse will cross that of the first at the Mississippi River, where far southern Illinois and Missouri meet far western Kentucky. Carbondale, IL; Cairo, IL; Paducah, KY; and Cape Girardeau, MO will all experience two total solar eclipses within a seven-year period, the probability of which is unfathomably small for any one location.

    That one location happens to be the heart of the New Madrid seismic zone. As you know, the 1811-12 quakes were of magnitude 7.3-8.1 (estimates vary; one source even gives an estimate of 8.8 for the biggest one). It has been suspiciously quiet since, with only very minor quakes recorded.

    The geology of the region is such that seismic waves propagate a very long distance; the 1811-12 quakes caused severe damage in Cincinnati and were felt as far as Boston, where it rang church bells. They also shifted the path of the Mississippi, making a bunch of oxbow lakes, and severing a little chunk of Kentucky (the Kentucky Angle) from being connected to the rest of the state by land.

    There is virtually nothing in the way of seismic codes in the entire lower Midwest and upper South, and an 8.0 event (never mind 4 of them) would utterly devastate the whole region. Nobody here has really prepared for an earthquake, even though we all know we have the biggest intra-plate fault in the country. It and a ~9.0 Cascadia earthquake are considered by FEMA to be the worst possible US natural disasters that are fairly likely to occur sometime this century, with an eruption of Mt. Rainier (with a lahar taking out Olympia) in third place IIRC.

    Do you think the intersection of the eclipse paths portends a higher probability that the New Madrid fault will wake back up?

  211. Well, no, JMG, I didn’t intend my cat comment as satire, and I surely didn’t think of it as the *only* alternative to political tantrum exchanges. However breezily I put it, I was hoping you might say a few weeks words re Egyptian veneration of cats and the general reasons why cats seem to play a role in occult lore. If you think too minor if a topic, no prob. I find it interesting anyway.

  212. You are so absolutely right, JMG! Sitting up so close to the center of the storm, I lost my perspective temporarily. Any fool could see after what happened to Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi and nearly happened to Bashir Assad that it would be suicidal not to have weapons of mass destruction and good way of delivering them. I suspect Iran has other ways of making sure America regrets invading it, if it comes to that, or it would not have given up its nuclear program.
    Every time North Korea sends up a few missiles, something deep inside of me cheers up, and I suspect I am not alone in Japan in that feeling despite real concern about perhaps being on the receiving end of that in what would be even a bigger blow to the Beast than obliterating Seoul.

  213. Btw, JMG, as a relatively new cat owner, I’ve spent some time observing and meditating on them, seeing if I can’t catch a glimpse of their essence, their cat-ness, how they perceive life. I find them mysterious, so that invites meditation. I think if we’re going to honor and treat with respect all life forms, we have to see them in their distinctiveness, beyond our projections, seeing them as they really are, which is how I think they’d love to be seen.

    For cat owners out there – any kind of pet owners – I think you have an opportunity for a worthwhile meditation.

    And that’s it for me and cats.

  214. Hi JMG,

    I have been trying the discursive meditation. So far I think I am getting the hang of it. I have tried with the first round of meditations from “Mystery Teachings” and have recently, as per your Druidry Handbook, been breaking the Taliesin story into little bits for a series of sessions. I love the sense of perceiving something in the theme with the awareness that I would not normally do so; it’s like applying a magnifying glass.

    My question is a continuation of what I asked in the June open post: I am a beginner to Discursive meditation and I am not yet doing it as part of any wider religious practice. Between the very simple instructions you give in “Mystery Teachings” and the very technical and detailed ones in “The Druidry Handbook” I am wondering what level of discipline to aim at in bringing my attention back to the theme when it wanders.

    I am not practicing the “meditation target” or the breathing techniques of the Handbook at the moment; I am basically relaxing a little then turning to the theme.

    Would you say that the “Handbook” method of exactly following the train of one’s distracted thoughts back to where they left the theme each time is an “advanced” technique, to be done in an all-or-nothing way, or is it still useful to just TRY to do that as best one can, but not be too strict? Sometimes I can remember exactly how I got away from the theme, sometimes not, and I am wondering how far to push it. I don’t want to be getting frustrated during sessions when I have no idea exactly how I ended up thinking about whatever.

    Am I overthinking this? Any tips would be welcome. A quick bonus question if that is acceptable: in your knowledge do people use this kind of technique for strict philosophical or historical themes? I am reading Schopenhauer slowly (currently re-reading The Fourfold Root with an eye to WWR volume 1); I find his clarity breathtaking and have considered applying the practice to some favourite passages.

    I’m very grateful for the opportunity to ask you these things,

    Best,

    Morfran.

  215. Typically, I’d consider myself to be a conservative-leaning moderate, while my husband is a liberal-leaning moderate. We’re both concerned about the anti-white rhetoric coming from so many on the left. The Democrats and their media buddies use anti-white rhetoric (fear) to whip up their base, while those Republicans who deserve the “cuckservative” label (IOW, most Republicans) won’t stand up to them. If the radical left decided to start mass murdering white children, most Republicans wouldn’t do or say a thing about it, for fear of being called racist.

    We’re white and have three white children. So where does all this leave us? You have one political party that hates us and our children for the color of our skin and blames us for pretty much everything bad that happens, and the other political party, when it comes down to it, sides with the people who hate us. Then out on the fringes, you have the neo-Nazis, who seem to be the only group that doesn’t hate us for the color of our skin or side with those who do. Of course, there are other problems with the neo-Nazis.

    So again, where does this leave us? More and more, we’re being viewed as Nazis anyway, just because we’re white. I mean, “punch a Nazi” obviously means in practice “punch a white person who disagrees with the far-left”. It doesn’t seem to matter if the white person in question doesn’t even agree with Nazi principles. When “punch a Nazi” is obviously meant to apply to me and my family if we happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I suddenly have a lot more sympathy for actual Nazis and a lot more concern for their physical safety, even though I previously detested them.

    What is wrong with the left in this country that they seem to want to push half the country into becoming the American version of actual Nazis? Why on earth won’t they just stop demonizing half the country? And why on earth won’t the Republicans GROW A PAIR? Won’t the reasonable adults from either party please stand up, or are there none of them left?

    Is this going to end as badly as I think it will? Is there any way out of this mess that might actually work?

  216. Hi John Michael,

    Agreed. I see decline all around and it doesn’t look to me like it is going away anywhere soon. That makes it infinitely more scary than zombies.

    On the recent violence over in the US I thought I’d just chuck in a few thoughts from a person out-of-country so to speak. I’ve heard individuals from both sides talking up their points of views on the radio recently and one conversation current shines through to me: Both sides are looking to blame the other side for the violence. Then they were both pedaling the debating tool of plausible deniability. That doesn’t look good to me. After short consideration of the matter, I felt that both sides were looking for a fight as a way to relieve the increasing tensions that exist in their own lives. The palpable excitement with which they spoke about the violence was obvious to me. It was disturbing to hear as they wielded power without realising that it could be turned against them. I felt a bit sad for them.

    The really crazy thing to me is that they probably have more in common with the other (another mental tool that is being used) than they realise and the differences are perhaps not as great as they would appear. I would have to suggest that there is something lacking in their general abilities (or perhaps mental toolkit may be a better way of phrasing that? Dunno) as to know when to open a dialogue with people who you may otherwise disagree with and then how to go about doing that. The thing is, the more that the various individuals consider that their opinions and beliefs are immutable, the more those individuals are themselves played by their beliefs and opinions. I often wonder whether they would benefit from taking time out to consider where those opinions derived from in the first place and who benefits from those? Dunno.

    Cheers

    Chris

  217. BTW, if my previous comment doesn’t fit your guidelines above, please feel free to delete it. I consider myself a moderate, but what does that even mean now? I feel like I’m being pushed out of a middle that doesn’t exist anymore. Is there a moderate position when it seems like everything depends on the color of your skin now, and not on what you actually do and stand for? I don’t want to get another big argument going though, so I’ll understand if you delete that one and this one.

  218. As a metaphysical troglodyte, I have a lot of trouble understanding much of what is discussed here, but I’d really like to. So for starters, if I may…
    1. For anyone who cares to answer: What is a good definition of “spirituality?”
    2. How would I go about commissioning a good astrological birth chart? (Is that even the right terminology?) I would prefer online if possible.
    Thanks so much for the freedom of this forum!

  219. @Phil Harris and JMG,

    My own view of the HS2 rail line in the UK, for what it’s worth, is that I think it has been insisted on by the Chinese, and it is Chinese pressure that is ensuring that it is going to happen.

    This is of interest:

    http://www.railway-technology.com/features/featurehs2-the-uk-looks-to-china-4730716/

    China’s new economic imperialism is very predicated on railways, e.g.:

    https://qz.com/955455/new-silk-roads-freight-train-to-china-from-the-uk-just-set-off-for-the-first-time/

    Much of what is going to happen in Britain over the next few decades will make little sense to the inhabitants, but a great deal of sense to the Chinese politburo.

  220. @Oilman2: Oh, precisely. Plus, even if you meet your perfect mate right away and are happy together for the rest of one of your lives…odds are fifty-fifty that you’re going to spend *some* years alone, so knowing how to be content in that state seems pretty essential. My sets of grandparents on both sides married young and stayed married–and apparently happy–and each had five kids, but my maternal grandmother spent ten years on her own, and my paternal grandfather’s going on four by himself now. She did a lot better than he’s doing, and I think part of that is because his wife and his work were basically his entire universe.

    @JMG: It helps to visit my folks in western PA, I think–interestingly, I went to church with my mom this time, and the visiting pastor (from a SC Christian university, I think) gave a long lecture about how US law totally no really was based on all the Ten Commandments (which…no, not really) and got all snotty in defense of that woman who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples…and nobody said anything about that *specifically*, but the general consensus afterwards was that the dude was awful. My impression is that most people there are very live-and-let-live, even if they don’t like you.

    Actually, that brings up something that I, in my curmudgeonly way, think contributes to the lack of a center in modern society–many of us have lost the concept of “cordial dislike,” that it’s entirely possible to hate someone’s guts, hope they get a messy stomach flu before an important presentation or date, not invite them to anything you organize, etc, and yet think they have a right to do their thing over there and even work with them for a common cause. Too often, I think, we conflate “that guy is a reprehensible jerk and I don’t get why anyone puts up with him” with “that guy is Hitler Mark 2” – or, conversely, we think that we should admire and love anyone who’s not actively advocating genocide or kicking puppies.

    @Will J: It’s true! I’ve hit a very odd point where most of the discount holiday chocolate tastes waxy to me. Alas!

    On smaller states in general: this corresponds interestingly to a theory that’s officially Dunbar’s Number, but which I’ve heard called “the monkeysphere”–basically, that there’s some upper limit (between 50 and 300, roughly, though Dunbar put it at 150) of people any one person can have stable relationships with and actually care about the well-being and opinions of. The further up from that number your society (whether family, company, or country) gets, the more restrictive your laws have to be, and the more force you need to back them with.

  221. “Scotlyn, in your place I’d concentrate first of all on getting enough rest and nourishment to recover fully on the physical plane! Beyond that, I’d simply pay attention in general and let things unfold according to their own logic”

    Very sound advice, given with kindness, and without agenda, thank you!

    “The one exception I’ll make is that those who want to talk about how to define and defend a middle ground in the broad space between the extremists of the left and the extremists of the right are welcome to do so. I make that exception because the voices of moderation and common decency have been pretty thoroughly ignored of late”

    This might be the time and place to reveal that I have always felt safest in the midst of contrarian curmudgeons, that is to say, people who are willing to disagree, using their own brains, both with the prevailing view and with my own. It seems to me, on the other hand, that the people *most* likely to take me to the ovens are those who too easily “go along” without thinking overmuch.

    That said, I would like to thank you, JMG, for fostering as goodly a bunch of contrarians as ever one could see, with yourself among the many fine examples to be seen here week after week. I would also like to express appreciation for the charming way in which each and every one of you is an individual. I deeply love the diversity, the passion, the contrarianism that finds its way here.

  222. JMG,

    Just one more question, if you don’t mind. Am I right to assume that if what I do during preparation and ritual is merely facilitating the flow of this awakening energy, then it would flow into any part of my day if it were allowed to do so? That other, mundane behaviour, might also facilitate it without my being aware as of yet which behaviours would do that?

    Thanks for your guidance. I’m wondering if at this point it would be helpful to join a group so I’d have someone to talk to about this.

  223. I’m not practicing magic, and at this juncture, not sure if it is for me or not. Certainly don’t mind what belief most people practice, as long as it isn’t cast into law or damaging the commons or others.

    I think one needs to believe in something more than what is before your immediate eyes in order to not lose sight of certain things, so as to get angry or confounded or depressed as we all move through changing lives. One thing is that most of nature moves in cycles. Another is what was recently discussed – wholeness – everything is related and changes come and go and bounce off one another. Yet for me, and maybe for many atheists, a sense of time is very important.

    There is immediate history (yesterday or last week), recent history (last couple of years), history (a few alive remember it), generational history (nobody alive to remember it), deep history (a few records and lots of artifacts, many with no backstory or context, which we must assume or create in effort to understand), and finally there is geologic history. When one takes either of these latter types of history, and uses it as their POV, it sort of slams perspective into you in a way that stabilizes things by revealing your insignificance to the force of time.

    The advantage of this is it relieves one of immediacy, and allows one to see things in a different light. Meditation can accomplish this, as can prayer and likely other things. Inherent in fully realizing how deep time is, that it seems to be the single constant, is a sort of ‘placitude’ and a sense of where humans actually belong on the Earth. At least for me, this seems to work whether I am “feeling it” spiritually or not.

    Update for those interested: hurricane Harvey is currently appearing to be vastly over-hyped; damage is not catastrophic in the storm path. Yes, some homes destroyed, many trees uprooted and such, but nothing to match the adjectives used on all the TV and media coverage. As of now, the rain here north of Houston is coming and going in bands, allowing the drainage systems to handle it. My farm 80 miles north of here is getting light drizzle. The only places currently flooding in Houston are those that always flood. Like much of southern Louisiana, we are in a coastal plain – drainage will always be an issue. Beware of newscasters in rain gear standing near intersections or in boats – we see quite a lot of staging things for the camera down here by media A few years back they put a reporter in a boat next to a flooded street, only to have a pedestrian walk through knee deep water in the background…

    I wish there was a way to get facts and honesty back into journalism and news coverage

  224. Oilman2,

    One of my favorite hobbies is reading about history, and another, in the past, was sitting on seaside cliffs staring into the ocean, especially during storms.

    I never related the two before, but now I see that they are the same thing: relaxing by realizing your place in the grand scheme, and recognizing that all things, ultimately, are insignificant.

    As for your question, the news media will not return to facts and honesty so long as it remains nationalized and ratings driven. Local newspapers, grounded in the concerns of the community, staffed by members of the community, and funded by the community, have a stake in the outcomes on which they report.

    Facts and honesty are necessary to drive good decision making. When you have a media that’s focused entirely on ratings, outcomes be damned because everyone involved is, personally, in a good place in their lives.

    The media has become a hype-driven ratings game, not an arbiter of truth. So what can we do? Don’t click.

  225. Here´s a question both for you and others: what´s your take on Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies? Is it just a artificial financial bubble (like fracking!) or does it have some kind of subversive, liberatory potential?

  226. @ Isabel Kunkle…

    Dunbar’s Number, from my travels in remote areas of South America and Africa, seems to be reasonably solid. Villages operate at around that number, give or take a hundred, depending on local food and water resources. When I first read about it, I went through my cardfile (that would be “contact list” for the digital version) and it was 175 people whose card I had actually kept and used for phoning them within the last year. That surprised me, as I thought the number would be lower.

    In my transitioning out of suburbia and into ruralia (?), it seems that the working number for a functioning town is about 3000-5000 local residents. That number seems to depend on if their government is loosely enforcing things or tightly enforcing things. The larger population towns seem to be more loosely enforced, and doing better. Granted, this isn’t scientific, but when there is no “big town” nearby, you have to find people to do things, like repair tractors or treat animals or simply give advice. That has led me into a lot of towns around where my farm is, and meeting a lot of quite eclectic types of people.

    Which brings me to “cordial dislike”, which is alive and well in small towns. I know a local alcoholic that most find reprehensible, yet he always has work and does a fine job at putting up fencing and decks and such. He just goes on benders whenever he has the chance, and generally makes an ass of himself regularly. I think “cordial dislike” is in full functioning effect, but it gets lost in large groups or cities, and in the anonymity of the internet.

  227. Hi John,

    Doctor Westchester here. I want to extend a belated congratulates to you for inviting one and mostly all to your new digital living room. It’s quite nice.

    It been quite busy for me, so I have a chance now to ask a few questions, so here we go:

    You have spoken often of pseudo-conservatives on the right and also of the death of Liberalism. In view of what you describe as Burkean conservativism, would it be accurate to describe much of what is on the Right, especially the more religious end, as Right-wing Liberalism? While white-supremacy and similar movements would not be part of this, a lot of the more religious-oriented movements against gay rights, abortion and other hot-button social issues do. This occurred to me in your discussion of the gay scene in New York City in the 1920’s and how it was crushed. I wonder if one could argue that Liberalism may have split into Right-wing and Left-wing fractions during the 1960’s and 70’s.

    B.T.W., it seems easier to leave comments (so far), on this platform than your previous one. I’m using a PC and the comments box is bigger and easier to review.

  228. In terms of defining a middle ground between extremists – and no cats involved here – I’m thinking we could glean something from de Tocqueville’s observations on America. My impression is that T had the advantage of the keen eye of an outlier who could see observe America’s good aspects as well as its follies in a fairly detached manner. What T seemed to think best about America was its sense of community, its lively come-together-ness found in town hall meetings, churches, barber shop and the like, taverns, clubs and organizations that eventually became the orgs we know as the Elk Club and Moose Lodge, etc. T certainly seemed impressed with the American willingness to rush to a neighbor’s aid in times of trouble.

    Now of course we don’t live in 1820’s America, but I like to think this sense of community is still still inscribed in the American DNA, however moribund it may currently be. It’s full resurrection may indeed require a Retrotopia scenario. I don’t think that a greater sense of community will alleviate all social ills, but at least people of varying political dispositions could get to know one another, talk with one another. I think it’s considerably harder to hate someone when you actually hang with them socially. Today, society seems so atomized into bubble-like units that face-to-face social discourse hardly exists.

    I realize that this is a very general overview, but I think it might be worthwhile to review de Tocqueville – it can be an inspiring reminder.

  229. Violet – you might find the book Uncovering The 60’s: The Life and Times of the Underground Press, author Abe Peck, to be helpful. Mr Peck, who was a professor of mine at one time, was hip-deep in the counter culture back then, and as one of the founders of the Chicago underground newspaper, The Seed, he covered just about everything the counter culture had to offer, hippies, music, drugs, the politics of Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, Charlie Manson, etc. He also wrote for Rolling Stone. Uncovering The 60’s is a sober-minded retrospective of that decade that I think you’d enjoy.

  230. Here’s a sign of “people getting a clue”. In the Washington Post magazine for Aug 27, 2017, the weekly humor column by Gene Weingarten has us consider (in a whimsical way), which is the lesser of two evils. For example, “garlic salt vs. Old Bay seasoning”, and “Facebook vs. LinkedIn”. The part that caught my attention was “nuclear annihilation vs. a slow slide into national mediocrity, fascism, and, ultimately, barbarism.” How he weighs these options is irrelevant; the important thing is that he presents the second option at all.

    Come to think of it, though, I look forward to reading the responses by readers who are offended that he’d choose fascism over annihilation.

  231. @ Phil Knight
    Thanks indeed for links to China’s interest in English HS2 rail.

    I did not want to complicate matters too much, but it is noteworthy that Britain is going to renew its nuclear power, with a large element of foreign investment, including Chinese.

    Other parts of our utilities already are owned by Chinese holding companies – our house regional water supply for example is owned by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings in Hong Kong.

    UK manufacturing these days makes only 10% of our GDP, roughly on a par with financial services. Our ‘successful’ car industry has long been dominated by foreign owners, particularly Japanese and American, so there was considerable precedent for George Osborne to claim his as the obvious way forward for his projects, without compromising his restrictions on government borrowing. (His borrowing restrictions for infrastructure are now supposed to have been abandoned, but we will see.)

    I tend to regard ‘iconic’ decisions such as the aircraft carrier and high-speed rail link, and probably nuclear power, as owing much to what I call National Delusion. If I am right about being on the cusp for much forced change, nationalisation might be an option for mitigation. I guess the past ideological cum party-political privatisation of water and Royal Mail,could be rectified. (We have a vote which might mean something.) The real rail network looks a ‘maybe’ for re-nationalisation. Eventually, late in the day,the Channel Tunnel (Groupe Eurotunnel) has turned a profit. HS2 seems very much a question mark. Could be a different world by then. I googled just now and see discussion of the car industry industry. “New petrol and diesel cars banned from Britain’s roads by 2040” and “Why we might have to nationalise the British car industry after Brexit”.

    Well … its all talk just now. I guess somebody in Beijing must have an office to keep tabs on us and where we might fit in a logical future. Lop-sided smile.

    best
    Phil H

  232. If we have an alt-right and a ctrl-left, can we also have a shift-neutral and fn-center? Perhaps that way we can avoid caps lock and someone else can pay the TAB.

  233. JMG, do you think Bill Buckley was in part responsible for conservatism losing touch with its former green aspects? The Reagan years certainly saw an abandonment of green principles, but Buckley was an influential conservative long before that – and did have an impact on Reagan’s overall political outlook, I know.

    Buckley had some good things going for him, I think – he shared a dismay at crass modernism with his friend Norman Mailer, though their solutions were often at variance. Buckley also kicked the Birchers and anti-semites out of the mainstream conservative mvt. And he couldn’t stomach Ayn Rand. I would have thought that as a guy who tried to hue to traditional virtues as Tolkien did, he would have been more attentive to green issues.

    I admit I didn’t always like his writing style. Someone once called it a “Look it up, serf!” style.

  234. Hello, Archdruid John Michael –

    Thanks so much for this blog! I followed the Archdruid Report blog for its last couple of years or so of existence and really enjoyed it, as I do this one.

    I’ve been interested in metaphysics most of my life (I’m 58 now). I became very excited when you began to discuss astrology, since I, too, have been a student and practitioner of astrology for many years, and I look forward to more of your insights in this area.

    I notice that the eclipse point (28 degrees Leo) is conjunct President Trump’s ascendant, and would be very interested in anything you have to say about how Trump’s chart relates to the eclipse chart and to the US chart.

    Here’s a link to his horoscope:
    https://www.astrotheme.com/astrology/Donald_Trump

    Thanks again and best wishes,
    Tony

  235. @Grebulocities

    Astrologers have been trying to predict earthquakes for quite a while, with very little success.

    Having eclipse paths cross over the space of relatively few years is a common occurrence, in the same sense that it’s a common occurrence that someone wins the lottery. It’s just not likely to be you.

    And yes, the area likely to be hit the next time the New Madrid fault lets loose isn’t prepared. Feeling some urgency to prepare for a disaster usually requires that the people in an area have some personal experience with that kind of disaster. That’s missing in the Midwest, and in the current political climate they’re likely to reject any advice from areas that have actual experience with earthquakes, like, say, California.

    @Garden Housewife

    Yeah, there’s a very well justified sense that there are people attacking whites for being white. When you remove the actual racist component (which is there, but relatively small) it’s a group that’s trying to make a point about privilege, and using means that are, at best, counterproductive.

    The point they’re trying to make is that the race, socio-economic class etc that you’re born into has a great deal to do with your life possibilities, and most people are completely blind to this. The top flakes of the upper crust will usually tell you they got where they are in terms of wealth and influence by hard work, while in fact they’d have had to work hard to avoid getting there.

    This group wants to reform society to eliminate, or at least reduce, the effect of unearned privilege. They way they’re going about it is vastly counter-productive. It’s similar in effect to a slice of the feminist movement who seems to think that having a Y chromosome is the root of all evil. There are other examples.

    @MizBean

    Spirituality is the recognition that you’re part of something both larger and non-human, and that it’s well worth understanding the relationship.

    A chart itself you can get from lots of on-line services, all of which will give you essentially the same thing. http://www.astro.com is good. The difficulty is interpreting what it means, which either requires a relationship with a good professional astrologer or several years of study learning the subject.

    @oilman2

    As far as Hurricane Harvey is concerned, the clue was that the Weather Service estimated it would make landfall as Category 3. The hurricane that hit New Orleans a few years ago was Category 5.

    From long experience, most people don’t know how to handle anything between “it’s no big deal,” and “prepare to meet your doom.” It’s also impossible for a media news show to tell each and every person in an area of hundreds of square miles how it’s going to affect them personally.

    I handle this by learning how to locate what’s important in news stories efficiently. Some news sources simply don’t provide enough good information in the noise to be worth it: like JMG, I don’t watch television at all, nor do I take a newspaper. My internet “Home Page” is a handwritten piece of HTML that gives links to the hundred or so sites I’ve found useful.

  236. @ garden housewife, I share your concerns. The anti-white rhetoric on the left has gone way too far. While I don’t know what to do on any larger scale, I talk with my leftist peers about the implications of their ideology, how it evokes actual real National Socialists. I go into detail how the white nationalists benefit directly from the identity politic that is so pervasive on the left. I try to explain how if you accept the logic of black lives matter you have to in turn accept the premises of Richard Spencer. They’re both racial advocacy groups that claim to be against violence and hate. Both raise points which are factually true. Both are divisive and can only exist when issues are framed racially, with race being viewed as an objective, mythic identity. Both play the same game of identity which places the sacred aspect of the individual in the *identity group* rather than in the *individual soul*. Both seem unaware that people behave much worse as a part of a group than as an individual, so indeed both whip people up towards mob violence against perceived enemies. When people argue they say that they feel like nazis are okay to punch because fascists are in a different category altogether, I try to explain that to be down with someone getting punched for their ideas or identities opens the door for anyone to get punched for their ideas or identities. So far, I’ve gotten away saying these things as a visible minority. My points are at least considered. I imagine if I went more public with my critiques of identity politic I’d almost certainly be doxxed and harassed so I do my best to play it safe.

    Some people can hear it and others don’t want to look at it closely, and prefer to mouth their slogans. I believe that talking with people is the only way to go about trying to make a difference. It may be a lost cause at this point. Enough of a majority of citizens may not be able to think clearly enough to prevent some really horrific political futures in the years. But it seems worth it to try, to try to actually engage people about how badly the left is playing its hand and how catastrophic its failings are. To attempt to talk about principals and ethics and give some spells to help a few more cool heads to, gods willing, prevail.

    @ Scotlyn, I’m so sorry to hear about your bike accident! I’m sending you my prayers

  237. JMG- Besides not wasting time watching TV, you also can productively use the hour or so each day that many of us spend commuting. If Sara plans, provisions, and cooks your meals, there are even more hours each week that many of us use to take care of ourselves, and you can use as you see fit.

  238. Archdruid,

    Part of me wishes that building a solid middle involved some brawling, I’ve got plenty of anger stored up to throw down against both alt-right and ctrl-left, but I know there’s not much point in more violence.

    Still I want everyone who believes in the center to know that there are those of us who will fight for them. Is that worth anything?

    I like your plan though, define the center then defend it. What can we do to help the definition take shape? Obviously this about more than just words, our actions are powerful and they need to speak for us.

    Rehards,

    Varun

  239. Lydia Grey says:
    August 23, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    “To Frank Hamm, Re: Voles. A few good outdoor cats will be more than happy to help out with the vole problem!”

    And a few good outdoor cats will also decimate the local wild bird population. Just sayin’.

  240. John–

    Like many others here, I find myself despairing the deterioration of civic discourse. There seems no place for reasoned conversation in so many cases. One wants to stop saying anything.

    One a separate note…do Radiance adepts experience fear?

  241. Just a question-I was re-reading The Secret Teachings of all Ages today, and I noticed Manly Hall seems to really not like Ceremonial Magic-his chapter on the subject seems to equate it purely with black magic and advises against it. I know you have cited Hall as a major influence on you, so I’m guessing your ceremonial magic is different from what he was talking about?

    (I’m the same Tolkienguy that commented on Well of Galabes-I practiced magic out of the Gareth Knight book for a few months, but then the subject came up with an Orthodox priest I knew and trusted, who told me that I had committed a mortal sin and opened myself up to demons, and I needed to get rid of all the books I’d purchased on the subject and have him perform the prayer of exorcism over me. He sufficiently scared me in the moment, but thinking about it in the months afterward, nothing I did really seemed demonic or evil-quite the contrary, it seemed kind of sacred. So I decided to buy another copy of Hall’s book and read into tge Occult again, and found that chapter on ceremonial magic.)

  242. Thanks everyone for your responses!

    JMG – I´ll do that; I´ve already met someone recently who I could ask!

    Lydia Grey – I already have two outdoor cats, but usally they don´t get to catch them. Our local woodworker says it´s because these critters hardly ever go overground and so the cats go for easier prey first, a bit like we humans go after the lowhanging fruit first…

    Michael Clark – I´ll try both those things (I´ve already thought about getting ladybirds. I even tried to gather some; so far without success but I´ll try again today).

    Nancy Sutton – I´ve bookmarked the website and will read it tonight!

    C Heale – makes sense; I´m using diatomaceous earth to keep my chicken coop pest-free, and it works the same way. I didn´t want to use that in greenhouse though because it´s areal mess to work with and gets everywhere (it´s a very fine powder). So I´ll probably try the alcohol only on an ´experimental´ plant first to see what happens.

    Gnat – I live on what´s called a ´rest-farm´in Germany – meaning an old farmhouse with a remnant of the land that once belonged to it, in my case about two acres. I have planted a bramble/elder/evrything else that turns up on it´s own-hedge around it, but I´m afraid snakes don´t live in this area (anymore?), and other predators will probably have the same problems as my cats.
    I´ll try the wire mesh next time I plant a shrub, though; with trees I´m a bit hesitant to use this method because I´m afraid the mesh might hurt the roots as the tree gets bigger. Maybe another experiment is in order.

    Stefania – Lots of good advice there,thanks! I´ve bookmarked that site as well, and I´m more than willing to donate something for the cause. I do clean the greenhouse every winter, but I haven´t changed the soil because there are a few perennials in there as well and the greenhouse is rather long (7.5 metres, attached to south of my house and accessible from there through a door). Would you recommend to change the soil? It´s in a raised bed that is as long as the greenhouse. As for volunteering – to finance my ´project´ I have to work a fulltime job so I´m away from my garden, coppice and animals for 9 to 10 hours a day five days a week and my ´limiting resource´ often is time. In case you´re wondering – it was not planned like this, but my marriage broke down and now, for the time being, I have to manage on my own.
    Fortunately, in Germany you still get 6 weeks of paid holidays and I use most of that to keep up with the work. As a loan I have is payed off next year I am planning to go part time then, maybe that´ll give me time for some volunteering.

    Fred – Hmmm, wouldn´t that damage the plants as well? The pressure of an ordinary plant sprayer is not strong enough, I´ve tried that.

    Patricaormsby – thanks for your extensive advice, lots of things to try there! I have a commercial version of the tubes (they´re a foot long and need batteries, so I like your version better), but they seem at best to only lessen the problem a bit. The stevia sounds interesting, since I´ve long wanted to grow that anyway, and adding garlic to soapy water is definetely worth a try! I have one pepper plant growing outdoors in front of a south wall, and so far it is doing reasonably well and I was able to harvest 1 pepper already and, yes, that plant is not as badly infested as the ones inside the greenhouse, so maybe that´s an option for next year. I´ll let you know how the lacewing larvae worked out in the next open post.

    Apologies if I forgot anyone and thanks again!
    Greetings
    Frank from Germany

  243. @ Rita Rippetoe, many thanks – I just put a hold on Fault/Lines at my library and look forward to checking it out soon!

  244. @Phil Harris

    I hope Corbyn, if he gets elected, does re-nationalise the railways and utilities, but I’m a bit sceptical that he will do it. He will be simultaneously up against powerful vested interests, and a lot of his own parliamentary party.

    One of the reasons that our politicians are so keen to go after racists and homophobes these days is that they are comparatively easy targets – they are bitter, isolated, powerless individuals. Taking on corporations is a whole different ball game.

    I suspect that Corbyn will make a failed attempt to nationalise the railways, and we’ll end up with a compromise – say a fare freeze on certain routes. Then Corbyn will spend the next four years doing the usual PC virtue signalling, because that’s all he will be able to do.

    The public will then have to decide whether they need to make an electoral decision even more radical than Brexit and Corbyn. We’re in a world where the pressure from below is becoming unstoppable, but the media-political class are simply incapable of accepting real change. Hence we get pseudo change focused on minorities, but I don’t think this can go on for ever.

    I have to say I can’t really understand the aircraft carriers at all, so your national delusion explanation is better than anything I can come up with.

  245. As a side note, with the recent coming of the likes of Go-gle, IC4NN and Cl0udflare getting involved in c*ns*rship of the web, I acknowledge that you are quite correct in that the free and open internet is doomed in the near term.

    The horror. What now?

    #As a side note, this comment took six attempts to post. I do apologise for the salt.

  246. If any of these is too long to answer here, consider it a request for an article on the subject:

    Do psychic abilities and magic work on the same principles? What I’ve read treats them as completely separate – I’ve never seen any single work talk about both remote viewing and the Golden Dawn, for example.

    You had problems from combining tai chi and Golden Dawn (and according to Internal Alchemy adding shamanism as well can make it much, much worse), are there any other combinations that are known to be bad? Not just occult systems but for example a form of magic and a physical training regime that conflict with each other?

    You said that since Pluto got demoted it has become less important in astrology. As interest in the moons of the outer planets has increased, have they become more important?

    As I understand it, systems of divination like tarot, runes and astrology started as ways to get knowledge, but then developed a ‘push mode’ where they could be used to do magic and make changes as well. Is this correct?

    If magic can only change conciousness, how does it affect things like the weather and crop fertility? Is it like shamanism and you’re convincing spirits that can make those changes to do it, or is it something else entirely?

    You described occultism as being broad and varied, what categories would you divide it into?

    If you could go back in time and study with any magical orders and mystery schools in history, which ones would you choose?

    This one is definately a request for an article or a book; can you write something about alchemy? One specific question I had about alchemy you may be able to answer here is you defined it as being different from operative magic. I can see how astrology is different because you don’t have to be in an altered state to do it, but doesn’t the alchemist practice willworking similar to the mage?

    On the question of refrigeration, the common low-tech solution is an evaporative cooler, commonly called a zeer pot. It consists of one pot inside another with wet sand between them. The evaporation cools the contents of the inner pot (often medicine as well as food). It requires you have enough spare water to use for evaporation (doesn’t have to be drinking water but does have to be clean enough to be near your food) and low enough humidity for evaporation to take place (works in a desert but not a jungle). Zeer pots are usually combined with solar cookers, efficient wood stoves and insulated cookers in an integrated and efficient cooking system.

    Also on the subject of cooking, the risk of kuru and other prion diseases from cannibalism can be minimised by not eating the brain, spinal cord, bone marrow and small intestines. It’s not like human sausage was going to be a best-seller anyway. 🙂

  247. One thing I happened to think of regarding the local reactions to monuments, and the way state politics works in KY, if you’re a transplant from, say, Berkeley or Los Angeles to, say, Louisville, Lexington, or Covington, you’re used to getting your way in Sacramento, and not having to bother with what the hayseeds in Redding or Yuba City think. Now, however, it’s you and your cohort that’s on the outs in Frankfort, while the hayseeds in Somerset and Bowling Green are in the driver’s seat. This must be very disconcerting for a entitled, privileged bunch who think they’re on the right side of progress, so I can see why it would generate such a tantrum. (Of course, it goes without saying that our current false binary, faux left/Dem/faux right GOP leaves a lot, both rural and urban, out in the cold.)
    Regarding the SCV, the thing that strikes me attending meetings: these are literate people. These are well read men who read a lot of books. In this digital age of visual media, it’s very refreshing to be around literate, well read people, and a rarity.
    Regarding the SCV, and other organizations I belong to or have tried to belong to: I don’t really feel “at home” anywhere I go anymore. I feel like I must conceal some part of my identity in almost every group I’m a part of. Now, I try to practice good, old fashioned Southern discretion, which means I don’t discuss BDSM at church or the SCV, and I don’t discuss my membership in the SCV among left minded friends, but, in this day and age of the false binary, faux right, faux left, “you’re either for us or against us”, I feel that I generate suspicion wherever I go, and that I belong nowhere. The only people I feel truly accept all of me are friends in rural Ontario, and it’s telling that they’re outside the US. Of course, as a pro-dissolution secessionist, I’m advocating for a third option that both faux sides find anathema.

  248. Growing up here, I used to get so offended when people would think ALL of KY was Appalachian. I lived in Central KY, where we have no mountains, horse farms, and an established, old money gentry class. How dare they think we’re in the mountains!
    Coming back here after being gone for a long time, I’m very shocked and dismayed at how much society and social organizations have frayed, and just how clannish people here have gotten. I’m thinking that our Scots-Irish roots are not as far from our mountain brethren as I once thought. There seems to be a pervasive attitude here that the only people that matter are the ones you are related to, and that the others don’t matter, and that you should regard them with suspicion, and can do whatever you want to them. For someone with very little family, it’s very disconcerting.
    JMG, perhaps the class difference is also why you don’t feel the wretchedness as much? I say this knowing that you are not likely to be offended. I’m working class, and I experience the wretchedness of my coworkers lives daily, and it seems like all I can do to keep my little spirit above water and protected among all the nihilism.

  249. Are you aware of any notorial techniques for augmenting and accelerating one’s ability to learn foreign language? If so, what resource would you recommend as a starting point?

  250. Hello JMG

    Re: Democracy’s Flaws

    Hmm the reasons for corruption in a democracy hadn’t occurred to me before!

    Would you say, then, that democracy has played a significant role in the current breakneck extraction of resources? The death of of the appropriate tech movement being an example.

    SMJ

  251. @Frank – I’ve never damaged plants with a stream of water from the hose, but anything is possible I guess.

    If you are going the ladybug route, I suggest they get distributed via a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop or some like organization to spread the effect. Years ago for Earth Day we ordered 50,000 ladybugs and had 100 girls make ladybug “homes” out of recycled cardboard. They each took a couple of ladybug homes, shared one with a family member, and released them. The south eastern part of our county hasn’t had an aphid issue for 4 years now!

  252. Anthony asking after off grid refer info……….
    We have lived off grid for fifteen years. Refer is the central use of power if it is run on solar electricity and is fairly expensive and uses fossil fuel if run on propane.
    One great solution is to buy a smallish chest type freezer (under $200) and a temp controller from Northern Brewers http://www.northernbrewer.com/johnson-refrigerator-thermostat. This combo will allow you to convert the freezer to refer and to have a refer for under $300 which will only draw approx 15 watts…….FYI………..works very well, we have used this system for many years………this will work with a fairly small solar system.
    Max

  253. @Violet
    Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers! You will be pleased to hear that comfrey from the garden is playing a big part in my recovery.

  254. When people with “white” skin, or male chromosomes, are assumed to be irredeemably evil (because that’s how people like that ARE), then there’s no reason for them to compromise, and no prospect for peace. For a counter-example, study the life of Daryl Davis, a black jazz musician who has engaged with KKK members and persuaded hundreds of them to renounce it. (He’s in Wikipedia, and findable in various other media.)

    This morning, on Krista Tippet’s program (“On Being”), the (black, female, elder, poet) guest from the Virginia Tech (university) expressed such vigorous agreement with the phrase “Hokies Don’t Hate”, that she said she was thinking of having it tattooed into her skin. (I don’t know why affiliates of VT refer to themselves as “Hokies”, but that’s their nickname.) The interview was recorded in 2015. In 2017, I wonder whether she would be challenged to deny hating “the haters”.

  255. Grebulocities, eclipses that take place in fixed signs are traditionally seen as predictors of earthquakes. That said, so far, the success rate of earthquake prediction by astrology has been no better than chance — in fact, it’s been just as unsuccessful as the scientific attempts to do the same thing. I would encourage you to have a look at the last century or so of solar eclipses in North America, and compare it to any good source on where and when earthquakes have happened; that should give you some idea of how much weight to put into the possibility you’ve raised.

    Will, it’s not something I know anything about. I like cats rather more than I like dogs — I was mauled as a dog when I was a small child, and still have an instinctive distrust of any canid much larger than a teacup poodle — but I’ve never looked into the lore surrounding them.

    Patricia, exactly. I’m quite sure that Iran has “suspended” its nuclear program in some technical sense, while it’s quietly stockpiled enough uranium-235 to put together half a dozen basic fission bombs and has the gear to make more, and if the US starts doing any significant muscle-flexing, a test warhead will go off in some isolated corner of the Iranian desert to draw a glowing line in the sand.

    Will, I’d be surprised if cats want to be seen as they actually are. The cats I’ve known generally wanted to be seen as they wished themselves to be. “No, really, I meant to fall off that couch!” is a quintessentially feline sentiment…

    Morfran, nothing in meditation is to be done in an all-or-nothing way. You’re trying to relax, remember? 😉 The trick of tracing stray thoughts back to their origins is a useful habit to cultivate, because once you make it a habit, your mind will run just as enthusiastically back along the track to the theme of your meditation as it ran off from the theme, but it’s not something to stress out over. Nothing in discursive meditation ought to be stressed out over. If you find you can’t trace your thoughts back to where they left the theme, just go back to the theme and proceed from there.

    As for subjects, you can use discursive meditation on absolutely anything. Schopenhauer would be an extraordinarily rich source of themes for meditation — I could probably spend a decade going through The World as Will and Representation, line by line, and end up understanding the nature of lived human experience a lot better than I do now. I knew someone once who used the lyrics to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heavenas a source of themes for meditation, with good results. If it makes you wonder, it’s a source of themes for practice…

    Garden Housewife, as I’m sure you know, there are millions of white Americans who feel exactly the way you do. There are millions of Americans with brown skin who feel exactly the same way in reverse — they’re as scared of the rise of the alt-right as you are of the rise of the social justice left, and they’re wishing that the Democrats would grow some gonads! The thing I’d like to point out is that you and those brown-skinned Americans are each other’s natural allies. Unite around a centrist platform of respect for constitutional government and the equally enforced rule of law, and the rejection of the poisonous doctrine that you can judge a person’s moral worth by their skin color — a doctrine embraced with equal enthusiasm by the extremists of left and right — and you’ve got a position that most Americans can support. If, as Martin Luther King urged, we judge people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, your children and those of your nonwhite neighbors can both count on something closer to a livable future — and I’d encourage you to consider embracing that view publicly and encouraging others to move toward the same strong center.

    Chris, you get today’s gold star for raw perspicacity. I suspect you’re dead right that one driving force behind the violence on both sides is precisely the monumental stress of life in the US today, to say nothing of the corrosive boredom and frustration engendered by the current realities of economic contraction and half-papered-over technological failure. There’s a real temptation to chuck the whole modern cult of niceness and go head to head with somebody who’s trying to beat the crap out of you while screaming out all your rage and hatred. It’s a pity they can’t find some way to do that that won’t wreck what remains of civil liberties in this country…

  256. Garden Housewife, political positions don’t just exist out there in the void; they’re made by people who choose them. A moderate position of the sort I outlined earlier is just as valid now as it was two hundred years ago, and I’d encourage you to consider it as an option.

    Mizbean, spirituality is your personal relationship with the metaphysical realm — the realm of gods, spirits, transcendent principles, and the like. It’s distinct from religion, which is a community’s relationship with the metaphysical realm. As for a natal chart — that’s the technical term — you’ll need to get the exact date, time, and location of your birth. You can then go to http://www.astro.com or any other free online horoscope site, enter the data, have your natal chart calculated automatically, and get a rough-draft version of what it means. Give it a try!

    Phil, well, that’s what you get when you’re a colony. A lot of people down through the years have had to hop to London’s tune, so turn about is fair play…

    Isabel, a very good point. Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s famous dictum — “I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it” — is still a worthwhile choice for those who’ve gotten past the political equivalent of toddlerhood!

    Scotlyn, you’re most welcome. I agree about curmudgeons, and those who think for themselves too much to fall in behind the banners and the jackboots of either side!

    John, I’m planning on hunting down that book. The old sacred geometry is a longtime interest of mine, very nearly amounting to an obsession; if mathematicians are finally beginning to circle back around to it, that strikes me as really good news.

    Myriam, the energies you’re awakening will flow into your entire life, and that’s exactly the point. As you practice this kind of magical ritual, you become a center of light which ever so slowly and subtly radiates throughout everything you are, everything you do, and everything you encounter. That’s what the mystery schools have been trying to teach people how to do all these years! It’s perfectly normal and natural, so don’t worry about it. If you decide to join a group, by all means; alternatively, of course, you can post questions here. 😉

    Oilman2, magic isn’t for everyone. The perspectives you’ve mentioned here — recognizing that everything is part of a whole, that everything moves in cycles, and that our lives are a very small part of a vastly larger process, and therefore we might not want to take ourselves as embarrassingly seriously as we so often do — are among the lessons that the mystery schools try to teach to everyone, whether or not they belong to the minority that’s interested in and suited to magical practice. As for getting integrity back into journalism, I tend to think that no news medium will ever have more integrity than its audience actually wants…

    Tidlosa, all currencies are simply systems of tokens that manage the distribution of real goods and services. When a currency gains drastically in value while the supply of goods and services remains flat, those who know their history recognize that sooner or later what goes up with the rocket will come down with the stick…

    John B., excellent! Yes, exactly. The core of classical liberalism is the fond belief that it’s possible to make people behave like plaster saints if only the right set of abstract rules is imposed on them. The core of classical conservatism is the rejection of that belief, and the corresponding recognitions that human beings are going to behave like human beings no matter what set of rules you impose on them, and that those systems that have evolved over time are more likely to work in practice than those that have been cooked up by a bunch of half-baked idealists. There are very few classical conservatives in the modern industrial world, and a whole spectrum of liberals extending from the far right to the far left, with hubris to match. Glad you find the new site pleasant!

  257. Another great set of discussions here at Ecosophia. It’s turned into one of two places that I feel comfortable and at home (Ecosophia online, and the zendo I participate in here in Sacramento).

    @JMG, thank you for sharing the astrological reading. It has inspired me to buy a notebook to record my castings, get out my yarrow stalks, and re-engage with the I Ching. I am interested to see what the I Ching has to say about events (personal and beyond) at this moment in time. Also, I’ve made a decision to start a Commonplace Book. (The commonplace book, for some reason, is connected in my brain with the I Ching and the journal, so I’m just going with it).

    As for skills worth passing on: My visual art pivoted, then rabbit-holed into writing systems and book making, as well as glyph creation and ciphers and manuscript copying. In the context of the discussion here at Ecosophia, I’m thinking that this could be knowledge worth passing on to future generations. A way to pass on knowledge…

    (I’m also trying to de-Google my brain, so I will be memorizing poetry and passages to rebuild my enfeebled memory. That is the original way to pass on knowledge, in the form of compelling narratives, poems, and songs…)

  258. I was going to say: I’ve heard mirrored fear of anti-POC (and anti-LGBT) rhetoric from my friends on the left, and not a lot of anti-white/straight/etc stuff being put about even by the more ardent leftists*–which makes me think a lot depends on what news sources you get, and how they spin things, on both sides. Most of what I hear that angers me as direct quotes and so forth from politicians has nothing to do with race; it amounts to “the poor should just miraculously stop being poor and/or gladly work eighty hours a week for the basics of life while CEOs get multi-billion dollar bonuses, you can totally pay insurance premiums by not owning a cell phone, and school lunches degrade your souls something something FREEDOM”. (Also the standard Adam-and-Eve-not-Adam-and-Steve malarkey.) (And anti-woman, anti-sex stuff, but that’s also a class issue–even if they overturn Roe v. Wade, rich women will be able to get safe abortions the same way they did beforehand: you take a quick trip to Canada or you find a doctor who’s not above a little illegal side money and maybe a police officer who’ll look the other way–suffice it to say, the women bleeding to death in back alleys in the fifties weren’t Rockefellers.)

    I don’t think Sanders ran the perfect campaign, but I think the idea that a *lot* of our current problems can be linked to economic inequality (greater than ever before) is a sound one in a lot of ways. And I really wish the US as a country would get over this weird Pavlovian fear of socialism, first because I think it has some concepts that’d do us good and second because aforesaid fear makes me think people are going to start talking about Reefer Madness and the dangers of sharing malteds.

    FWIW, I come from a long line of very pasty individuals, and while I think we’ve benefited from that in a number of ways–as I have from my class and outward religion in a number of others–I’m far from likely to be on board with being against anyone for their skin color. Same, including whiteness, goes for a number of the other leftists I know.

    @Oilman: That makes a lot of sense! I grew up in a series of small towns (my father isn’t much for cities) and it really did seem like public reputation took care of a lot–gave everyone an incentive to stay at least on the right side of “a jerk, but harmless/useful” and to more or less get along fairly, even with those that they wildly disliked in private. (Sarah D. Bunting has a concept called “car talk”–stuff you don’t say *at* the party, but save for your spouse or whoever once you get in the car to leave. I’ve always called it “why God made brunch,” but same deal.)

    Of course, there’s the potential downside for those whose harmless activities go against the prevailing mood–Harper Valley PTA and so forth–and as a very bookish girl in a very non-bookish small town when I was growing up, I couldn’t wait to get away, nor do I think I’d have done at all well for myself if I had stayed.** But I think there’s a lot of value in the core concept.

    *Though, commie mutant traitor that I may be (to continue with the obscure RPG references) I don’t hang out with the separatist-feminists or their equivalent in the broader left, so it’s entirely possible I’m missing stuff.
    **By eighth grade, I’d already been in trouble five or six times for fighting…

  259. @ Will M, thank you for the book recommendation! It’s exactly what I was looking for. I’ve requested it from a neighboring library and look forward to reading it.

  260. Will, I think that that’s a good starting point. I also like to encourage people to join one of the surviving voluntary social organizations that de Tocqueville talked about — a fraternal lodge, a church, a social club, or what have you — and get some sense of what’s actually involved in that much-ballyhooed and much-ignored thing called “community.”

    Lathechuck, bright gods. That appeared in the WaPo? In the unhallowed pages of Pravda on the Potomac? I’m glancing out the window to see if there’s a blue moon. 😉 Seriously, if that recognition’s starting to trickle into the mainstream media, we’ve almost won.

    Gkb, funny. No, as we’ll see in an upcoming post, to the alt-right and the ctrl-left, I suggest countering with the esc-center.

    Will, I don’t blame Buckley personally, though he was partly responsible for the one-big-tent policy that saw conservatism cash in its ideals for political power and embrace the utopian fantasies of classical liberalism under a facade of respect for tradition. He was mostly a showman, more interested in being seen at the head of a parade than in figuring out where the parade was going.

    Tony, I’ll consider doing the necessary work to coordinate the two charts — Trump’s and the eclipse chart — and compare them to Trump’s inauguration chart and to the current US ingress chart. Serious astrology isn’t something you can do off the cuff!

    Lathechuck, I do most of the cooking and housework these days; Sara’s had some health challenges in recent years, and hasn’t been able to contribute as much as she’d like. As for commuting, back when I had a commute, I did it by bus, and used it as writing time. Most of my translation of Gerard Thibault’s Academie de l’Espee and nearly all of my first science fiction novel, The Fires of Shalsha, were written while commuting to and from work on the bus.

    Varun, there may eventually be some brawling, but we’ll see. As for actions, well, from the standpoint of defending constitutional liberties, equality of opportunity, and the rule of law, what actions suggest themselves? Your personal situation will offer its share of opportunities to further such values, and there are also organizations pursuing these goals that could use some help.

    Rita, thank you! I’ll put it on the list.

    David, that’s one of the reasons that I’ve put so much time into establishing and maintaining a space like this one where people from many different political and cultural positions can have cordial conversations about diverse topics — and it’s a source of delight to me that I so rarely have to whack people upside the head with the Archdruidical Oak Quarterstaff of Doom. I know of several other forums that have adopted similar measures with good results. As for adepts of the Radiance, no; they might at most notice that their material bodies are showing certain minor annoying symptoms of excess adrenaline.

    Vesta, thanks for this!

    Tolkienguy, you might someday want to pick up W.E. Butler’s book Apprenticed to Magic; it has some useful comments about how clueless priests and ministers can be about magic. As for Hall, remember that The Secret Teachings of All Ages was written very early in Hall’s career, when he still derived a lot of his thinking from Blavatsky; his thinking ripened over time, like that of anyone else whose head hasn’t turned to wood at an early age. 😉 (To be fair to both Hall and Blavatsky, there was a lot of really dubious magic in circulation then as now, right up there with The Secret in terms of its moral shoddiness, and it was common for a while to tell students not to have anything to do with magic, and then teach them magic once they’d proved their worth. Hall himself ran, very quietly, a Rosicrucian group that worked with the magical ritual from the famous “triangular book” attributed to the Comte de St. Germain — but again, that was for people who had proved themselves through his correspondence course, and then through advanced work with St. Germain’s “Trinosophia.”

    Glenn, tolerance and forbearance sometimes require a whack upside the head.

    Synthase, use it while you can, and get something else in place as a backup. I’m working on that — and of course moving away from a platform hosted by one of the chief offenders was part of that.

  261. Hurricane Update FWIW

    While Harvey as a hurricane was typical, as a tropical depression it is quite the pain in the arse, behaving a lot like Allison did years ago. Houston is being hit with flooding we haven’t seen in a decade – just non-stop rain bands. Personally, we have escaped for now, but there is no telling what will happen. Ground is soaked, rivers and bayous full, and the rain just goes on. What is saving our bacon is that it is coming in bands.

    Now the TD, while dissipating, is moving again. Looking at windmap, the feeding winds have switched from the south more to the east, so maybe we catch a break. FEMA is trying to squeeze the locals out and our locals aren’t having any of it. You may hear a lot about Texas, but we do help each other out when SHTF, and the fan is on HIGH down here.

    We are used to this, but the widespread nature of this one is unusual and will keep the sheetrock guys, carpet guys and finish carpenters in work the rest of the year. The media is already trying to put the blame on the mayor, but few that have been here for decades would have evacuated anyway. Glad we aren’t seeing looting, and I put the lack of that on the people pulling together and our gun laws.

    Nothing to do but wait and see at this point. Once we get 2 days without rain, things will start moving again. Beware the hype – we have been here before, just not all areas at once. We will pull through just fine.

  262. Regarding Steiner, I was on a biodynamic farm in Ontario, which sold at the farmers’ market at the Waldorf School in Toronto. Once I got back to KY, I found a weekly Steiner group and started attending to get to know more about him and his work. I found it too “progressive”, if you will–it seemed that Steiner believed in the myth of progress, and thought that we were different from the ancients. Having read too much JMG, I couldn’t really reconcile it, especially knowing that the occult is supposed to be timeless wisdom. Anyone else think Steiner is too “progressive”?

  263. I think most people, common people, deep down in their gut know something’s terribly wrong. A big ol X from the solar system, dissected across the USA, ain’t gonna help things. The Gods are telling us what we already know, what we already fear, ourselves , and what we’re capable of. Nothing good. We’ve put goodness behind us and embraced decadence and despair.

  264. Eddie said: “A request rather than a question, if it’s all right: Assuming your new blogging platform allows threaded comments, would you be willing to respond to comments inline rather that your long-standing anthologised method?”

    That form also has its problems, which is that you never know if you have read all the comments. Anyone can add a new one at any time and the thing keeps growing but not linearly. I find it nearly impossible to follow. On the other hand there is a trick I recently learned which will greatly help in keeping up with the style we have here. If you see a JMG response and would like to see what the original poster said, you can input a CTRL F, and a little box opens up that you put a search term in, in this case the name of the person he is responding to, and then you use the up and down arrows to find it.

  265. As an African-American woman, I would like to echo JMG’s response to Garden Housewife about what most people of color really want, and that is equal enforcement of our rule of law. What feeds movements like Black Lives Matter are the disproportionate extrajudicial killings of people of color and its painful to see people equivocate on that issue instead of holding our criminal justice system accountable. (And that’s not even addressing the economic disparities people of color face.) I recall watching a video where a black farmer said it’s not out-and-out white supremacists who frighten him the most, but liberal white women in yoga pants who call the police because they see a black man doing something “suspicious” like walking in an affluent neighborhood. (And the movie “Get Out” did a great job of portraying the deep skepticism some people of color have of white liberals.)

    I did have a specific question for JMG pertaining to Dion Fortune’s book “Sane Occultism”, which he referenced in a comment about vegetarianism. Fortune makes some comments as it relates to the sensitivity of Easterners/Hindus, Europeans and Africans. Although she is speaking specifically to occult training, I find that she makes generalizations that read to me like racist stereotypes. On the other hand, I’m also trying to tease out whether Fortune is speaking more about a person’s cultural context or ancestral heritage. For example, is there a physical disadvantage to an African-American living in America pursuing Western occultism or should he/she pursue a system derived in their ancestral lands? I’m just wondering if you find Fortune’s guidance here relevant or outdated.

  266. Someone mentioned Wm Buckley and Burkean conservatism. Though I’ve been a lifelong Democrat until recently, I spent about six months of this year reading Russell Kirk. His rapproachment with Buckley was known as conservative “fusionism” I think. I also read the excellent book by George H Nash titled “The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America” to which I was led by (of all things) Phillip Mirowski’s “The Road From Mont Pelerin.” I was also curious to know what Kirk thought of Wendel Berry, who seems to me to be very conservative and who works his hobby farm with a team of horses. All I could find was that Kirk wrote a positive review of Berry’s “The Unsettling of America,” which roundly condemns the agricultural methods advocated by Nixon’s appointee Earl Butz. I doubt that conservatives of Kirks persuasion would take kindly to neoconservatism or to neoliberalism.

  267. Thanks JMG for your answer to my question about how your spend your time. Yes, surely the TV can suck time and life out of a person, but I often find that the computer and internet can do much the same ;-D, present blog excepted.

    Since I am making a serious effort to create a “hand-made life” for myself, I find I have become kind of sensitive to the amount of time it takes to do anything I want to do. Do one thing and another goes begging. Prioritization is a must. No surprise there, but I was getting the idea that you and your wife also were expending a lot of energy on a hand-made life and I was just curious on how you allocated your time between writing, spiritual practice, study, household maintenance, gardening, Masonic activities and answering everyone’s questions on this blog. Your comment to Lathechuck kind of indicates the necessity for the move to an apartment so I guess that part of my curiosity has been satisfied. Maintaining a house and garden requires a lot of time and energy that simply may not be available at this time.

    I am always interested in how really busy people allocate their time, but I suppose this could be a rather intrusive question so, of course, answer as you see fit. I really enjoy the ongoing discussions on this blog.

    I wish you and Sara the best as always.

  268. First-time commenter here. I read The Wealth of Nature a few months ago and landed at this site a short time after. Having only that book as my background, the prominence of magic and astrology in the discussion here has been surprising to me.

    Accordingly, I’d like to invite Mr. Greer (or anyone else game!) to give a short “elevator pitch” to someone who’s completely unfamiliar with those practices.

    That’s not a question, but I guess I could reformulate it as one: “In terms that a complete outsider can understand, what is the role and importance of magical and/or astrological practice to your life?”

    Thanks in advance for your thoughtful responses.

    (I realize that this is rather late in the thread, so if I don’t get many responses, I may ask it again next time around, if that’s all right.)

  269. Given the United States has only been around 200 some odd years, how do we the citizens know we are following a genuine set of astrology principles, and not a superficial version? It’s a question I’ve thought about and have no good answer.

  270. A little late to the discussion here, but a well done video on U tube by Ray Gun called “Punch a Nazi”, really sums up the Alt-Left. It should be their theme song. It’s gotten over 1.5 million hits. I know JMG doesn’t like videos / songs, but it’s worth it.

  271. Darkest Yorkshire, the smallest of those is worth a post; the more complex are probably worth a book each. I’ll take that under advisement!

    Dirtyboots, the notory art still needs to be recovered from the medieval manuscripts; I don’t know of anybody who’s yet done the hard work involved in that recovery.

    SMJ, democracy actually has an ever so slightly better track record in terms of environmental issues such as resource extraction than other forms of government — for example, the Soviet Union stripped its territory of mineral and energy resources even more enthusiastically than the US did, as property rights in the US occasionally get in the way of resource extraction. Please note that this isn’t a huge difference, but it exists.

    Lathechuck, exactly — and the sooner people of good will on all sides of the various color lines affirm that skin color is not a determinant of human worth, the better.

    Mark, excellent. I’d encourage you to go back over your readings regularly, and make notes about how your interpretation fit with the events as they actually happened. It’s by constantly checking your readings against what happens that you can become a really capable diviner.

    Isabel, it’s easy to pay attention to the nasty things being said by people on the other side and not notice the equally nasty things being said by the people on one’s own side. Over the last couple of years I’ve read a pretty fair range of writings on the social justice end of things insisting that all white people are racists, that “whiteness” is the problem, that any white person who takes pride in his or her ethnic heritage is by definition a fascist, etc., etc., ad nauseam. I don’t happen to have links at the moment — I don’t keep links to such things — but I’m sure some of my readers can help. I’m sure you’ve seen the way that people on the right minimize the existence of racially bigoted rhetoric on the part of their extremists — it’s just as bad a habit when people on the left do it, you know.

    Oilman2, thanks for the update!

    Shane, that was pervasive all through early 20th century occultism, and even snared minds as sharp as Sri Aurobindo’s. It’s not too hard to detach Steiner from his occasional dips into progressive ideology; it’s some of the other stuff I find harder to deal with.

    Dennis, who is this “we” you’ve spoken of? I find decadence and despair boring, myself.

    MJ, thanks for this. No question, one of the important ways that white people can act to uphold constitutional liberties and the rule of law is to do whatever they can to oppose extrajudicial executions by police, and to call attention to the brutal ethnic disparities in that practice — specifically, the way that black people get shot by police for behavior that gets a white suspect cuffed and taken into the station, if that. The rule of law doesn’t protect anyone at all unless it protects everyone equally.

    With regard to Dion Fortune, she was a woman of her place and time, and absorbed a lot of late 19th century occult notions shaped by European racial prejudices. My experience as an operative occultist has included work with people of many different ethnic backgrounds and skin colors, and from that standpoint, what she has to say about the correlation between race and psychic sensitivity is malarkey. (She’s also clueless when she talks about the relation between polarity and sexual orientation, for what it’s worth.) Fortunately, occult writings aren’t scriptures to be taken on faith! In my experience, again, what form of magical practice works for any given person is an individual matter and can’t be predicted by so blunt an instrument as race. I’ve known some absolutely first-rate African-American Hermetic magicians, and that’s nothing new — to name only one famous example, P.B. Randolph, one of the most innovative American occultists of the 19th century, was African-American — so I know of no reason why Americans of African descent who feel called to the Hermetic path shouldn’t follow that calling.

    Phutatorius, Kirk’s The Conservative Mind is to my mind well worth reading; I haven’t gotten to his other work. Thanks for the recommendations — and yes, I’m quite sure that Kirk would have ripped today’s neoconservatives and neoliberals any number of new orifices!

    Kay, that was part of it. The plans that took us to Cumberland pretty much presupposed that both of us would be in good health, and when Sara’s health problems ramped up, a number of things had to give. Mind you, middle age is also an issue — there are things I could have handled easily twenty years ago that are quite a bit more difficult now that I’m on the far side of 55!

  272. Septimus, fair enough! Back in the early 1980s, when I watched most of the boomer generation cash in its ideals and buy into Reagan’s empty rhetoric, I was far from the only person to use words such as “trance” and “spell” to describe the weirdly disconnected way so many people walked away from everything that they’d been saying about the environment and the future. I’d been interested in occultism before then, but that really brought things into focus for me. Magic, to cite a classic definition, is the art and science of causing change in consciousness according to will; a little more broadly, it’s a traditional set of teachings and practices that explores how to make change in one’s life by working with symbols and ritual drama to do things below the conscious level of the mind. I found that it offered clear explanations and effective tools for working with the deep places of the mind and breaking out of what Blake called the “mind-forg’d manacles” that keep so many people stuck in self-defeating life choices.

    One of the challenging things about magic, in turn, is that once you start paying attention to how it works and what it does, a range of other things that have been dismissed as medieval superstitions turn out to work as well. Astrology is one of those. I don’t pretend to know how or why it works — and I don’t recommend trying to get a National Science Foundation grant to find out! — but if you understand it and pay attention to it, you find that you can make accurate predictions using it. Since I’m interested in what works, rather than what fits current intellectual fashions, I use it and talk about it. How’s that for an elevator pitch?

    Jenniferxyz, because the rules we’re applying weren’t invented when America was, of course. Mundane astrology is the oldest branch of astrology, dating back to sometime well before 2300 BC; the rules I use for it were originally codified before the year 1000, and haven’t changed much since then because they work well.

    Karl, where did you get the idea that I don’t like songs? One of the things I appreciate about YouTube is that I can play music and put another window over the top of the visual stuff.

  273. @Dirtyboots and JMG,

    Sirs, I am intrigued by this ‘notory’ you speak of, as I am currently trying to learn the mandarin, and any technique will be helpful. However google insists on spelling it ‘notary’.

    Thanks in advance

  274. @JMG: That’s true–and as I don’t read many political blogs of themselves, I’m more likely to see quotes from politicians on the right, in a “…can you believe this guy?” way, from various friends. What you summarize sounds like a distortion of some arguments I do agree with (that the system and culture has tended to celebrate whiteness* as a default, and culture influences us all more than we know, especially if we haven’t done a lot of self-examination on that front, essentially) and certainly I could see people taking that way too far, especially in an age where the default is “say the most extreme things possible to get attention.” What I’ve mostly seen from people on the left is more what MJ says.

    I do remember the RequiresHate scandal in the SF world a while ago, and I was troubled by the extent to which some people jumped to her defense simply because she was attacking what people thought were the “right causes.” Similarly, while I’m pretty wildly feminist, there’s a fair amount of rhetoric on that side that I don’t agree with at times (like, wearing a shirt with hula dancers on it is not sexist, calm the heck down), so I see your point there.

    * On celebrating whiteness personally…eh. I’m totally on board with celebrating being Irish or Polish or Welsh or whatever; celebrating generic whiteness may not automatically equal fascist, but it gets a lot of side-eye from me, in the same way that a guy wearing a fedora on a dating site or anyone driving a sports car with personalized license plates does. I’m sure there are people who do all that without being jerks, but those odds are higher than I like to play.

  275. @Oilman I appreciate your perspective on the Houston flooding. Been following on twitter and seeing the local Houston newspaper and TV coverage. It looks like the destruction of a major city.

    There comes a point in the stair step down of decline that we just can’t rebuild what gets destroyed. I think Houston may be it. New Orleans wasn’t rebuilt completely and I think that was as much punishment for their not playing nice with the federal government over the decades as it was lack of funds. The Hurricane Sandy victims got overpaid says the government and now the government wants money back.

    And now this administration which unevenly acts and this president that loves to talk a big game, I’m not sure what you’ll get in terms of rebuild and relief.

    I wonder if the Chinese or another foreign power will offer to come in rebuild for us? Sounds like the kind of deal Trump would make – our sovereignty for some shiny new high rises.

    Praying no more lives are lost and people are able to move our of the affected areas and restart their lives.

  276. @ JMG,
    Thanks for your encouraging reply. I have to admit that I am more reluctant to post questions regarding magic here than I was on Well of Galabes because the focus is a lot wider here, and readers are not necessarily interested in or accept that the forces of magic exist. I could ask about a lot of other weird stuff going on that I am noticing, and will if you think it might benefit others as well as me, but it’s, well…weird.

  277. I repost here a question I sent to the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn.

    I was comparing the trainings offered by the Ancient Order of Druids in America and the new Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn.

    I like the radically ecological approach of the AODA, like limiting your footprint, studying fauna and flora in your area, planting trees and learning an art or craft.

    I would like to know if the DOGD training incorporates some of it too, and if so, how.

  278. ETA: By which I mean a distortion on the part of the people taking “hey, maybe recognize that we benefit from this type of good fortune we didn’t earn and do what we can to remedy that” and extending it to say “all white people are horrible racists”, not any distortion on your part. (I should not post pre-caffiene.)

  279. Are there any barriers, dangers, caveats or admonitions that someone beginning solitary occult practice at middle age should be aware of? Are there any systems that may be better suited to someone getting a “late start”, or should the choice of system be driven more by the results one hopes to achieve?

  280. @ Frank in Germany: I don’t know enough about changing the soil to really give a useful opinion, although it does sound like it would be a lot of work and quite tricky with perennials there. I can share what I do to grow peppers, and other heat lovers, outside the greenhouse though. I am in zone ‘4B’ here in Eastern Ontario (not sure if you use that same system in Germany, but it is not exactly the tropics here – winters can get down to -40C!) . I choose early varieties with the shortest number of days to harvest possible. I start the seeds indoors a few weeks before last frost, and grow them near our wood stove. The extra heat from the stove really helps, and by the time they are ready to go out, the plants are quite big. In the meantime, I use “IRT” (infra-red transmitting) black plastic mulch to start warming up the garden beds a couple weeks before transplanting time, then transplant into those beds. Usually, the yields of ripe veggies are huge with this system, and I have never had a bug even do so much as look the wrong way at the plants! I do view the IRT as problematic for the long term, as it is a petroleum product and I don’t exactly see it being locally produced in the years to come, but that’s a subject for another conversation.

    I struggle with time as a limiting resource too – I guess we all must in some way. All the best with the gardening (and the life changes too).

  281. The saturday before last, there was a very small, primarily anti-islamic protest in Vancouver. There was a very large counter-protest set up in response that attracted some thousands and completely upstaged the handful of people who turned up to complain about a variety of topics related to islam, immigration, and the like.

    As a response to any fascist and white supremacist rallies that may happen, would you say that large, noisy, but peaceful counterprotests are an effective tactic? I’m guessing they are most effective in conjunction with left of center political parties spending a significant portion of their time and energy on stuff like the housing crisis, opiate epidemic, minimum wage and poverty-related issues.

    I find that political developments in the USA tend to spill over into Canada, though they don’t always get very far.

  282. Hi JMG,
    I´m just catching up reading all the comments and I have to admit I am´rather shocked how far and quickly things have deteriorated in the US. I do read other blogs and try to keep myself informed apart from the mainstream sources, but it´s different to hear (read) the thoughts and opinions of so many people that are directly involved in some way. Here in Germany I´m sometimes taken aback by the hatred some people have for muslims, and there is a lot of ill feeling about immigrants, with asylum seeker´s homes set on fire and all, but most people I meet are still moderate ( I get around in the local industrie and businesses quite a lot in my job, and listening in to the worker´s breakfast and lunchtime conversations is quite informative). In the US though it seems to have gone to another level, and I certainly wish every moderate and tolerant person in your country luck to weather the storm. I like your plan of encouraging a `rallying of the reasonable`, I hope it catches on!
    @Kay Robinson: I know exactly what you mean when you´re wondering how some people, our host included, manage to do all the things they do with only 24 hours a day at their disposal – as I mentioned in my earlier response to Stefania, quite often time is my `limiting resource` , too.
    greetings
    Frank from Germany

  283. JMG,

    “the notory art still needs to be recovered from the medieval manuscripts; I don’t know of anybody who’s yet done the hard work involved in that recovery.”

    If you were interested in doing this kind of work, but had never done anything of the kind before, where would you start?

  284. Archdruid,

    That’s a good question to do a discursive meditation upon. I will ponder it and let you know what I come up with next month.

    Regards,

    Varun

  285. @Myriam: don´t be shy! I consider myself an agnostic, albeit an open minded one who might ask some questions about magic in future open posts, so being agnostic or even atheist doesn´t mean one is not interested, and my silence on the topic often just stems from me not having anything meaningful to say. If someone really isn´t interested they can always skip the comment (I sometimes have to do that with comments that are way above my head – I simply don´t know what is being talked about – but that doesn´t keep me from enjoying this venue). I can only speak for myself, but I can´t imagine anyone following an archdruid´s blog who doesn´t tolerate other peoples beliefs, and should it be all too much too bear to read about them they can always skip the whole site…
    greetings
    Frank from Germany

  286. >>“No, really, I meant to fall off that couch!” is a quintessentially feline sentiment… <<

    Ha! Good point. Also, whenever you're in a room with a cat, the cat pretends it's entirely by accident ….

  287. Hi John,

    First time back commenting on the new blog. Been steading reading and thought it appropriate to comment on this week’s thread. It got me to thinking on what brought me here 10+ years ago.

    Life after the oil crash.net was a staple of my online reading starting about 2004. Originally doing some research for a movie script at the time, it sent me down a road I have not been able to return from since. I came across you, Kunstler, Zero Hedge, Dmitry Orlov and my personal favorite, From the Wilderness, RIP M.R.

    One thing that stood out about LATOC above all others was the warning Matt put out at the beginning of 2008 that something big was coming in September. I took heed, tried to warn some and freaked out most others.

    As I’m sure you’re aware, Matt went on to retire from LATOC pursue astrology. I often think that his warning was in direct relation to his astrology knowledge. Needless to say, I find this all fascinating and would love to read more in future posts.

    As always, thanks for all you do.

    Keep The Faith,

    Jeff B’KLYN

  288. I love the idea of cordial dislike! I also agree with the sentiment expressed by quite a few people here about feeling safer around contrarians. However, I also find it hard to respect someone I agree with on everything, so it may just be my general personality.

    Isabel,

    I’ve always found American chocolate tastes kinda waxy….

    Also, currently I’m one of those guys who wears a fedora everywhere. I haven’t worn it on a dating site profile because I don’t have one, but if I ever get one (which won’t happen) I would be wearing it….

    Lathechuck,

    I hold so much respect for Daryl Davis! That’s a wonderful way to handle the KKK. It’s also much, much braver than I think I would be in his place, but kudos to him. Also, thank you for mentioning him, since I have found I enjoy some of the music, and unlike some of the other artists/creative types out there who produce things I like, it seems worth supporting him.

    Oilman,

    Thank you for the update on Hurricane Harvey. I’ve been looking into it, and since I have family in the southern US (and been through a hurricane, or tropical storm at the very least, I’m not too sure), I have a good idea what they can be like. While it did look a little strong, it didn’t look unprecedented to me.

    I hope you don’t suffer too much damage, and everything goes well rebuilding after the hurricane has passed.

  289. @Stefania: I´ve read about that system in a permaculture book but as far as I know it´s not used here. Temperatures drop to about -15 to -20 C at the outside where I live (northern Germany), but more often we get a wet and muddy winter with hardly any daytime frost at all and maybe -5 C some nights (like the last), but you never know in advance. Likewise, the summers are rather unreliable: often it´s changeable mixed with some sunny and some rainy days (like this year). I´m guessing that your climate is more continental (versus oceanic like ours) and that you get rather warm and stable summers? I start my peppers the same way you do before i put them in the greenhouse, and I use black sheet mulch as well (with the same reservations about it), but I never thought about it in terms of warming the soil before you plant…is ´ÌRT´ a special property or is it just because it´s dark ?
    Thanks for your well-wishing; best of luck to you, too!
    Sometimes it´s just nice to hear that other people (even on other continents!) have the same problems – I know the English saying ´mysery loves company´, but I think the German one has a more positive outlook: Shared mysery means halved mysery (geteiltes Leid ist halbes Leid).
    wishing you a good harvest
    Frank from Germany

  290. @Myriam: p.s.: A bit like the vegetarian option in a Scottish restaurant according to Billy Conolly (Scottish comedian): they can go and f… off.
    @ JMG: If you think this is too harsh or tasteless feel free to delete it!

  291. @ Fred and ALL…

    Just got back from shuttling a few families that had to evac. We have a Jeep and an FJ Cruiser, so we can get into places.

    The water is higher than anyone has ever seen it. The reservoirs are over-topping at this point, so they are being forced to open the dams and spillways fully. This, near me, is 75,000 FPS of water entering the San Jacinto river – and the river is rising from this and upstream runoff at the rate of 6 inches/hour – that’s why we helped with the evac. No time to wait with 400 homes in the problem area. Other dams are in similar straits – so our ‘improvements’ are causing additional issues which would have happened much more slowly without the water impounded behind the dams.

    There are not enough rescue people, but most everyone with a boat that isn’t flooded out is jumping into the water to go and get people and bring them to high ground. Others are ferrying them elsewhere. Food will be an issue for some, as most freeways are flooded and impassable except in higher stretches – be a day or two before grocery trucks can run.

    The largest problems are from development – there are developments that should never have been, but were allowed by developers greasing the right palms. After Allison soaked us, there were numerous neighborhoods condemned due to their low-lying situations. This will likely result in more abandoned/condemned areas – which is best. Even if the rain ends, there is a lot of water that we will simply have to wait on gravity to handle.

    Lots of trapped people, but they are getting out with neighbors and first responders.

    FEMA has yet to show up. other than on TV when the mayor is talking. They will show up in a few days – ex-post facto. We are actually seeing people coming to help from Louisiana, some with air boats. It’s kinda nice to see that, since many Texans do the same for them when this stuff happens.

    Watch for the media to blame the mayor, since he did not call for evac. Nobody could have foreseen this much rain, and by the time they did, there was no way that 7 million people from 4 counties could have left, and nowhere for them to go anyway. It’s a shame, but media and math don’t seem to geehaw, as we say here. Just the blame game.

    Going to try and help more – just needed a break.

  292. @corydalidae: As an citizen of European country, I have to say there is A LOT to complain about current immigration policy. A lot. And most of these complaints are perfectly justifiable and not fueled by any extremist ideology. So why are you describing persons voicing their concerns about immigration and Islamic terrorism fascists..? That makes absolutely no sense at all. Maybe conclusion you made tells more about your own extremist position towards immigration (anti-white, Anti-WEST, open borders policy etc.) than it tells about those people voicing their concerns..? Don’t know, and don’t know much about immigration situation in Canada, but here in Europe people who voice your kind of ideas seem to be drones of extreme Left. They are ALWAYS blaming patriarchy (of white men), whites in general, and Western culture for everything. You know the type. Race is just an construction, but if you are White then your race is to blame. Paralogic defined.

    Must say, SJW fanaticism has totally disintegrated European political infrastructure, as there has been zero effort to have honest conversation about actual problems. The trust and legitimacy is gone. Situation is scary, because there really is no legitimacy left. Edifice is rotten, but those in the top don’t understand it…yet. Other commenter, Frank Thamm from Germany, demonstrated it nicely. He was concerned that people in his country do not treat immigrants nice enough anymore. Well, I have visited areas in former DDR couple of times after Völkerwanderung started, and ordinary people there seemed quite pissed. I mean, they were Germans and quite vocal how pissed they were because Völkerwanderung bringing chaos and violence into their orderly towns. If that is not political seismic shift, then what is? Germans talking honestly about immigration, not seen since 1945. I guess Frank doesn’t socialize a lot with “their kind of people”. Workers and non-elite members from Ost, I mean. Hypocrisy is as old as mankind itself.

    Corysomething, your kind of people are killing democracy, because you want to accept only “nice” opinions to political discourse. And you of course want to be unelected judge deciding what is and is not “nice enough”. Is that not a little bit counterproductive? As counterproductive as frankly insane racial rantings of most insane parts of alt-Right. Or Black Muslims, who seem to share curiously similar world view, but don’t get same amount of dirt shoveled to their heads as conveniently white alt-Righters.

    It seems that in US, “progressives” are trying to hate and shame whole white working class and large parts of non-white working class totally outside democratic process. In Europe, they have tried same thing for a long time now. And they are failing, big time.

    Could it just be the case that actually listening and having a conversation with the “hated Other” could be better choice than “noisy counterdemonstration”..? You don’t have to agree, but at least you would have connection to people from other side of political spectrum. That, if I recall it right, is actually the only thing democracy does better than other political systems. Not-so-good compromises and shaky mutual understanding.

  293. A historical note. Early this year, when I heard that D. Trump was one of only four US Presidents without prior electoral or military experience, I was intrigued to learn that Herbert Hoover was one of them. Read Hoover’s biography in Wikipedia, and you’ll see some interesting coincidences, one of which, of course, is that the Great Crash of 1929 started late in the first year of his term. I just realized a new coincidence. How did Hoover get the popular standing to run for President? As Coolidge’s Secretary of Commerce, he was a hero for organizing Federal relief efforts after the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

    Skyrocketing stock market. Extreme wealth inequality. Disastrous flood. Politically-naive President. President with world-wide commercial interests. We’re five for five this year.

    (There was a total solar eclipse visible on the US East Coast in Jan., 1925, but I’m going to call that “not close enough to count”.)

  294. I ran across an interesting link I thought might be worth sharing: “Magic for people who can’t visualize”

    https://thavmapub.com/2017/04/05/magic-for-people-who-cant-visualize/

    Based on the author’s description, it sounds like he has a mild form of aphantasia:

    I can visualize, draw pictures in my mind for a split second before they disappear, and can “see” an entity if it’s talking to me or attacking. But intentional visualization for me is something that’s strained and not natural, the pictures looking like they’re behind a dark screen of some sort and nowhere near the “Technicolor Hi-Def Experience” talked about by books and teachers.

    In spite of being deficient with visualization, I’ve got no problem manifesting things I need or want in a timely manner. If there’s a problem it’s usually on the side of Sphere of Availability or not understanding the thing I’m acting upon, but it’s never been a problem relating to ability with visualization.

    He suggests that visualization in magic can be replaced by feeling. He gives an example from :

    Instead of trying to sustain the visual of blue flame, just stand there and feel the perimeter marked by the flame and pentagrams, or feel the air being purified within the circle, or feel the archangels guarding you from outside the circle. You don’t need to feel all three of these things, but latch onto whichever works better for you.

    I’m reminded of Neville Goddard’s dictum of “assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled.” Neville, for those not in the know, was an early proponent of a variation of the “law of attraction.” I’ve read some of his books, and like a lot of other New Thought teachers, he seems to have dabbled in magic third-hand, taken introductory ideas way too literally, and assumed they were the summum bonus of the system.

    I’m curious of what the more magically-literate think of the article’s suggestions?

  295. @Frank Thamm, I see you are in Germany. The part of Japan I live in, Asagiri Plateau, is said to resemble Southern Germany, with forest interspersed with pastures, villages and small farms. 10 km down the road, a fellow named Stepan has a brewery (Bayern Meister Bier: https://shizuokagourmet.com/shizuoka-beer-2-1-bayern-meister-beer-prinz/ ), and up the road 10 km a local concern has got a winery, which I visited. They told me that what’s holding Japan’s wine industry back is a focus on French varieties, when they ought to be growing German varieties. What I’m getting at is we are climatologically similar enough to share ideas on farming effectively. And I look forward to hearing next month how things work out for you.

  296. @Frank Thamm and Stefania, black plastic mulch has been a big help to us too. My husband uses it very liberally. I try to recycle it as much as possible, using flattened cardboard boxes to cover large tears. One thing to note is it provides a nice warm safe home for the voles, who love love love it. With that caveat and squashing their tunnels regularly, it can be really useful. We’ve had way too little sunshine and way too much rain this summer, but I am getting enough anchos (the most difficult of the peppers I grow) this year to lay away several years worth of dried red pepper and seeds for subsequent attempts. Japan has a variety of large moderately hot pepper called Fukumimi that is great in salads, mostly eaten green, but some will turn red even in this climate. It is typically the quickest pepper to fruit. Probably by growing any variety long enough in a certain place you’ll wind up with something hardy locally. People rave over the peanuts our town has grown since WWII. (So do the voles, BTW.)
    Getting an early start to plants that need a long growing season is, as Stefania notes, critical, and where the greenhouse has the most value. It can also help create a useful arid microclimate. We are using ours for tomatoes, asparagus and watermelons (whose leaves are all covered with sticky aphid juice), but all the tomatoes and watermelons really need is a sort of umbrella to keep the rain off the roots, and the same might also apply to the asparagus, though something seems to kill them off outside–maybe voles! One important thing: I have never encountered vole damage in the greenhouse. I have no idea why. I use peppermint liberally both inside and outside the greenhouse, but it does not deter them outside. My husband says next year he’s going to try his peppers indoors. Let’s see how he deals with the aphids.

  297. Phew, looong read to catch up, and so much to respond to, so I won’t go everywhere…

    1) Cats – in ancient Egypt they were revered as manifestations of a goddess (Bastet, iirc, but it’s too late at night to go looking up relaible sources for the full lore) They probably acquired their status as the coincidence of their presence with reduced rodent depredations of the famous granaries was noted….

    2) Statues etc – imho, whichever side of the argument you favour, attempting to airbrush history will not help your cause. Leave them as a talking point, then talk about it – but try to avoid shouting

    3) Talkiing of shouting, my preferred tactic for ‘counter-rallies’ would be massed silence. A small group of noisy activists faced by a larger group of silent witnesses will be more embarrassed than enflamed…. and of course, if the counter-rally is silent, then its members will also stay calmer

    (to be honest, this idea derived from hearing so many ‘Hey hey.. ho ho..’ chants that just made me cringe – even when I agreed with the chanters’ position, I couldn’t take them seriously, they were so lame….)

    4) Harvey – I hope everyone in its path is keeping safe. But I do wonder where the TV evangelists are this time? How do they decide which natural disasters are some kind of ‘divine smiting’ (like Katrina) and which ones are ‘just’ natural disasters?

  298. JMG, this is mostly in reply to Violet’s request, but I thought I’d flag it for you in light of “Hate is the New Sex” as well as recent conversations on Archetypes, the shadow, and all the ways repression creates whack-a-mole problems (ie. leftists creating fascists, etc etc). Not that you need external validation of the ideas you’ve been covering, but I appreciated seeing the parallels drawn and thought you might be interested.

    Violet, I don’t have anything to add to your reading list (re: counterculture of the 60s etc), but just a few hours before reading your post today, I’d come across this in the book I’m reading (first paragraph sets context, namely the author’s experience as a Jungian analyst for young college students of the 1960s – subsequent paragraphs are of interest in their extrapolation to other populations/times/repressed aspects, etc.):

    “Madness in Academia. It is not the madness of a few “emotionally disturbed” who were bound to be misfits anyway. It is something far more serious, rather like a sinister plague that spreads over a healthy community, gradually weakening the inhabitants in ways that they hardly recognize until they have all but lost the ability to resist it.

    And still, there are ways of resisting. There have always been ways of resisting the attitudes of the establishments, the “collective consciousness.” People have not had to look far to find them. In a milieu where the intellectual values are overstressed, the non-rational elements of the human personality are forcibly repressed. Still active in the unconscious, they offer up ideas which become separated and unacceptable to the ruling elements of the society. Then it is that dissident groups develop, or dissident individuals, whose interests and behavior bring to light the formerly unaccepted and hidden aspects of the group’s or the individual’s nature. These are the people who form the counter-culture.”

    I was struck not only by the ‘harmony’ with what JMG and commentariat have been talking about here but also by the thought that progressives/leftish folk have gotten used to identifying themselves as ‘counter-cultural’ and take the label as a source of pride — and yet, it seems, that ship has sailed by and left them behind. They’re no longer “the counter culture” (which doesn’t deny they might still be in the minority or that they assumed that somehow they’d prevail and that Progress would vindicate their notions. Binary says you’re either counterculture or your ideas are accepted across the board – multivalent thinking would suggest, among many options, that your movement can become despised, as well).

    Today one needs merely to look toward the “formerly unacceptable and hidden aspects” to see where the new counter culture is.

    [Quote from June Singer’s Boundaries of the Soul: The Practice of Jung’s Psychology, published in 1972.]

  299. Hi John Michael. I have read on several internet sites that the solar minimum coming up will result in another little ice age. This suggests that our food supply is in danger and a famine is possible in the northern hemisphere.

    Do you give any credibility to this idea?

    Here are some introductory Concepts …

    To set the stage we must know that the Earth has spent 90% of its time during the past million years in the coldest 1% of the temperatures seen in the past 500 million years. The Earth is locked in a very cold stage known as the Quaternary Ice Age. The reasons for this are unknown.

    So, we don’t know why the Earth is in an ice age, but at least we think we know why 10% of the time the Earth gets a brief respite from predominantly glacial conditions and enters a milder condition known as an interglacial.

    the preceding excerpt is from this link.

    https://judithcurry.com/2016/10/24/nature-unbound-i-the-glacial-cycle/

    Several peer- reviewed papers have stated that we exit a warm interglacial when Earth’s obliquity goes below 23.5 degrees. For our present interglacial, the Holocene, this happened 700 years ago about the beginning of the Little Ice Age. The general global trend going into the normal cold ice age is 0.5 – 1.0 degrees C decline per thousand years. we could probably adapt to this.

    The problem that we face in the immediate future is a Grand Solar Minimum starting in 2020, resulting in another Little Ice Age. From the evidence of the last one the temperature will drop much faster. several papers at the link below suggest the temperature will drop two to four degrees globally in 5 to 10 years. The cold will last for 40 – 80 years. this will destroy our food supply.

    http://notrickszone.com/2017/04/10/a-swelling-volume-of-scientific-papers-now-forecasting-global-cooling-in-the-coming-decades/#sthash.cNPctd7I.6jQ3mg0p.dpbs

    With the mainstream media focused on destroying Trump, promoting several Wars abroad and global warming scare tactics, the general population and government is not aware of this impending disaster. I hope you can help spread this message.

    Regards,
    sandy, Minister of Future

  300. JMG, I’ve read/heard/seen alarming things from both the extreme left and the extreme right. It’s no wonder so many of us stuck in the middle, of all colors, are feeling nervous! You’re right though that maybe that can change if those of us caught in the middle speak up. This week’s blog comments have been a good example. Previously I hadn’t talked to anyone but my husband about this. The replies from reasonable people of different colors and political persuasions who were very nice and non-extreme have restored my hope that maybe we can work this out.

  301. John Roth, I agree that the current method of “fighting privilege” doesn’t work. I grew up in poverty, so to be told that I should feel guilty because of the privilege bestowed on me by my white skin has made me very suspicious of the establishment left in our country. They either don’t know much of anything or they’re being deceitful.

    Was it my white privilege when my parents couldn’t afford to take care of the roach problem in our house? They tried the off the shelf options, which didn’t work, and they couldn’t afford the Orkin man. If any of us went downstairs at night, the roaches were all over the floor and partway up the walls, a writhing mass of cockroaches crawling over each other. It was like cockroach carpet that extended up the walls. There must have been thousands of them. When the light was turned on, they’d all start scrambling for any little crack they could hide in. (This is why some of our politicians remind me of cockroaches – they can’t bear the light.) Finally, my parents found a very powerful bug spray in a big brown jug available at the store. They scraped together the money to get it. When Dad sprayed our house, the heavy chemical smell made me so sick I threw up. I didn’t complain though, because it worked! We started seeing dead bugs before he was even done spraying.

    I doubt the people who go on about my “white privilege” have experienced anything like that. Or had the same one food every meal for a few days because there was nothing else in the house to eat. Or wore second-hand clothes, or had bronchitis for weeks until Mom got worried enough she took me to the doctor even though they couldn’t really afford it, or had to manage with very poor eyesight and no glasses for an entire year of school, or, or, or…

    There’s a bright side to this because I think poverty in childhood made me a stronger, more resilient person, but it’s absurd to say that I was privileged just because my skin is white.

  302. Violet, yes, exactly! I agree so much with your comment, but more than that, I feel a special kindness from you. I’m sure that has an effect on the people you interact with, which is something we need so much right now.

  303. Frank, if you want avoid experiencing the same shock at how quickly Germany can become so polarized, imagine that the people you view as hating muslims, being intolerant and immoderate might know some things you need to learn. Then listen to them well enough that they share it with you. That’s what Americans have been refusing to do for several decades. Germans are doing the same. You’ll get the same results if you don’t change course.

    The belief that industrial civilization is undergoing the normal process of decline and fall is also a minority belief. It doesn’t make it incorrect.

    Corydalidae, the attitude that simply telling people you don’t agree with how much you don’t agree with them a bit louder – through placards or otherwise – and insisting that only the issues that matter to you ought to matter to them, is part of what is creating those ‘fascists’.

    You need to listen to them. No, not to the ones literally holding a swastika flag and shouting Heil Hitler, unless you particularly want to. But those guys are the canary in the coal mine and they’re providing you with a valuable opportunity to actually spend the time to work out why they exist.

    And that will involve listening, not talking, about things that left of center parties really don’t want to discuss: immigration policies, Islam, freedom of speech, multiculturalism. They matter to people and no amount of avoidance is going to change that. You can’t solve a problem you don’t understand, and if you think continuing to push the same old comfortable left of center policies and maybe adding a counter protest is going to solve this problem then you haven’t yet understood it.

  304. JMG, it’s eerie how timely your advice about secrecy was thank you!

    I find it surreal at times to be on a blog where people believe we’re in the middle of the decline and fall of our civilization, yet so many express this shock when the Volkerwanderungen cause problems. With every other aspect of decline people seem to be able to observe it as a process that’s already underway, yet Volkerwanderungen are banished to some far future dramatic apocalypse and all discussion of its actual existence is to be kept within the terms of ordinary political debate until that day.

    Even Germans reading a blog about how civilizations fall, who’ve literally had images of masses of people walking across fields to flee the Huns, are basically just saying ‘it’ll be different this time’. I wonder if the French peasants who objected to the resettlement of Goths in their territories, were also shouted down by the Roman elite as intolerant, immoderate and hating of Goths and told that all would be well as long as they were sufficiently welcoming. And that they just needed educating to understand that their real issues were housing and the cost of pottery. Is this anything but a completely irrational blindspot?

  305. Lathechuck, thanks for mentioning Daryl Davis! I looked him up, and he’s very inspiring. I wish he’d put out a reprint of his book. The cheapest second-hand copy I saw was $145. On the male chromosome evilness, I understand why some of the men in groups like the manosphere or the men’s rights movement are upset. I don’t want the men and boys in my family demonized for their Y chromosomes. So I definitely sympathize with them.

    Isabel, I personally have heard anti-white, anti-straight, anti-male, etc. statements from liberals, especially when I lived in a large metro area in another state. If you haven’t, there are tons of examples in YouTube videos.

    I believe you when you say you know minority individuals who are worried from the opposite direction. Not only have actual KKK members and neo-Nazis been grabbing the spotlight lately, but the media has been calling just about everyone on the right Nazis, which makes it seem like their numbers are bigger than they really are. I just realized yesterday that it’s probably the same with Antifa. The attention they’re getting probably makes it seem like there are more of them than there are. I feel a little stupid for not realizing that earlier!

    MJ, I’ll confess that I don’t always know what to think about that. A lot of times, the different accounts don’t seem to line up with each other, and even when there’s video I don’t watch it because I don’t want to see someone die. Maybe that’s a little head-in-the-sand of me. There are some I’m pretty sure were unjustified, like the Philando Castile shooting. It sounds like he did everything right but got shot anyway. I don’t understand why the cop wasn’t found guilty of anything. My husband watched the Eric Garner video and thought the cops were in the wrong.

    One thing that I think would help would be to stop arresting people for breaking nitpicky laws that are micromanaging people’s lives. So Eric Garner was selling loose cigarettes, depriving the government of a few dollars tax money. Why should he be arrested for that to begin with? He hadn’t stolen them, or raped, beaten, or murdered anyone. If the cops hadn’t tried to arrest him for something there shouldn’t have been a law against anyway, he might very well still be alive today. Even if the cops hadn’t killed him, he might have ended up in prison, which would have been unjust too. The whole situation was just wrong.

    I saw that video of the black farmer too. I don’t think anyone should call the cops on someone else without a good reason to believe they’re committing a real crime. Being black isn’t a crime, and selling loose cigarettes isn’t a real crime but was invented by the control freaks in government. Any interaction with a cop can go bad for various reasons. I wonder how the yoga pants liberals would feel if an innocent man was shot as a result of them calling the police on him. I certainly wouldn’t want to have to live with something like that on my conscience.

    Karl, great video! So true.

    Thanks so much to everyone for replying! You were all very kind. I apologize if I missed anyone. I was dealing between sentences with my youngest who was refusing to sleep. He’s still young enough he can’t just be put in his room and told to go to sleep, so…

  306. Hi John Michael,

    Many thanks! I’m not 100% sure, but I have been wondering lately whether the lack of communicated vision in the political sphere is part of the problem feeding into that. Dunno. But certainly people are wondering why they are doing the things they are doing, and the outcomes of those actions certainly don’t appear to be the same as the narrative sold to them. That has to breed tension and fear. And it is not as if our leadership isn’t showing the way with the incessant fighting over relatively minor matters. People see incessant fighting and squabbling and some don’t understand that that can be part show part charade and they end feeling confused and frustrated and may want to escalate matters in order to expedite an outcome – any outcome.

    To everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey – Stay safe and look out for your family and mates.

    Cheers

    Chris

  307. JMG I just finished your book Twilight’s Last Gleaming and I really enjoyed it. I can actually see some of the fictional scenarios that you sketch as plausible realities for the very near future. More, more!! I have never read your fiction before, having basically followed your blog for so many years. I must say that you tell a surprisingly good story! You set up the action so well, I gobbled the narrative up in a single sitting. Can you recommend another near-future novel of yours for me to consume? Something utopian, perhaps? Really, really enjoyed this… thanks! Nutty Professor

  308. JMG, your comment about the “spell” that seemed to come over people in the Reagan era was most interesting to me. I was born halfway into his first term, so my personal experience of that time is quite limited, but I have had the same impression when looking at accounts of cultural shifts around that period.

    There are a couple of events in my lifetime that seem to mark similar shifts in consciousness: 9/11 and Trump’s election. Neither came as a particular surprise to me, and in both cases I was more or less unmoved one way or the other, but surprising (to me) numbers of people seemed traumatized, and a handful of people—I don’t know how else to put this—went insane.

    I’m not exempt from this kind of thing, of course. For all of my adult life until sometime last year I’d held doggedly to an emotional (if somewhat distant in practice) attachment to the radical left; then one day I just decided to let it go. (And, it must be said, I feel rather emotionally healthier for it.) I get the sense I’m not the only one in this boat.

    In general I’ve always been fascinated with how ideas in the collective consciousness arise, and how they can shift radically in short order without anyone seeming to be able to articulate how or why.

    I really do need to find some private space to give the Druid Magic Handbook a proper go.

  309. @Shane W. I do not feel that Steiner is “progressive”, but sees history as a cycle of events and experiences within what is deemed a natural order. I think the occultist views the world as a never ending spiral, so to speak, so that the cosmology is not necessarily a linear movement in time and space, but more of a cycle upon a cycle that expands and contracts. I don’t know what myth JMG prefers. But Steiner was tapping into something that I find very useful and appropriate to this moment, particularly with respect to biodynamic farming and co-creative gardening with the elemental forces. It feels very enlightening, and it works. Like astrology. Try it and see, I guess

  310. “For example, is there a physical disadvantage to an African-American living in America pursuing Western occultism or should he/she pursue a system derived in their ancestral lands?”

    @MJ as another African American woman who has been studying magic, religion, and other esoteric things for about 25 years I think yours a great question and I can’t wait for JMG to respond. I believe that he himself took the correspondence Hoodoo course with Kat Yronwode some years go so as to appropriate the African American magic traditions, as many white Americans did at the time, much to the resentment of many black Conjurers and ancestral practitioners. There remains a strong black American occult and esoteric stream of thought that has not been fully recovered or uncovered.

  311. Very late to the vegan discussion, but I thought I’d add a couple of points. 1) Ovo- or lacto- vegetarianism implies something has to be done with the males, since they produce no milk/eggs. So you can either raise them as “pets” and let them live out their lives, kill them as soon as you figure out they’re male, or raise them for meat. 2) Even vegans are not exempt from having animals killed on their behalf. After all, you’re raising food; everything from aphids to elk is interested in appropriating your production. Enclosure is impractical at any but the smallest scale, so the only practical solution is to kill the “varmints.”

  312. ” From where I stand, the KKK and other white supremacist and/or fascist groups look like a fast way to producing hell on earth.”

    Maybe the religious altercation will be with Islam. From where I stand, an Islamic takeover looks like an equally good way to produce hell on earth.

    Yeah, yeah, I know. But why are the left so sure that Islam is not any longer the expansionist and totalitarian religion that it was through these many centuries? Apparently, polls taken of Muslims in even western countries show that at least half of them hold opinions about how things ought to be that might frighten you, if you knew of them.

  313. In re: Islam: radical Islam and fundamentalist Christianity seem to believe more or less the same things with different names (dominion of a particular religion, nonprocreative sex is bad, women are naturally submissive, elbows are sinful), so by and large I stick to worrying about the radical wing most represented in my particular country, and assume that most general adherents to the religion are normal folks who don’t believe everything the weirdos representing them say. (My part of the world contains an awful lot of Catholics who buy condoms on Saturday night.)

    Re: privilege: this is where I find the concept of “intersectionality” helpful. The system as is screws over most people who aren’t white, straight, salary-class, able-bodied etc. men in one way or another; it’s important to recognize that different groups get hit in different ways. So a white guy living below the poverty line has certain privileges compared to an African-American guy in middle management (not getting hassled by police for “loitering” near his own house, say) but the latter guy has his own privileges (financial security). Both, assuming that they’re healthy and young-adult-to-middle-aged, have privileges compared to people who aren’t. And so on.

    It’s not saying “you have it better than everyone and should feel guilty,” or at least not in its ideal forms, but “hey, our society fails X people in X way and Y people in Y way and maybe the ones who benefit in a particular category could work on making it better for those who don’t.” People being people, this tends to get lost in translation, especially where social media (with its tendency for people to take things to extremes because they’re bored) and college campuses (with their tendency for people to take things to extremes because it’ll get them laid) get involved.

  314. Rays of hope…??

    Houston

    Some people just posted on Facebook (so the wife said) that they saw the sun. This would be day 5 without it; while not a record, it is definitely doldrums for the soul.

    Last night newscaster here pointed out the areas where the Army Corp of Engineers flood survey indicated real flood potential. The flood map was updated 17 years ago, and greasy developers have ignored it, along with city and county officials – in favor of ‘growth’.

    The newscaster LISTED the subdivisions that had been constructed in known flood areas, and the news staff was heard in the background, assenting verbally, when he said that this should never have been allowed in the first place. They went further, saying these homes should be bought for some set price and demolished – or else others will pay this price over again.

    Wow – some truthiness.

    I wonder if this will carry forward?

    Two teenagers were found beaten behind a strip center, in possession of 9 large televisions. This was NOT allowed on the news here, but I got it from a deputy filling up with gas. He was grinning as he told the story. Foreshadowing?

  315. Thanks for the thoughtful forum providing a range of perspectives. I submit this comment in a spirit of respectful conversation, and understand that my views on all this likely differ from those of many readers.

    JMG wrote: Isabel, it’s easy to pay attention to the nasty things being said by people on the other side and not notice the equally nasty things being said by the people on one’s own side. Over the last couple of years I’ve read a pretty fair range of writings on the social justice end of things insisting that all white people are racists, that “whiteness” is the problem…

    It’s a good point to make that nasty things are said from all sides, and that shaming, blaming, and demonizing of white people isn’t helpful or right.

    And as I’m not sure which writings JMG is referring to, my comment is less a response to exactly what he wrote than sharing a couple thoughts I’ve had.

    From my study and experience, when “whiteness” is spoken of as a problem, this “whiteness” spoken of is not the same as “white people.” What I understand to be being critiqued is the idea or concept of “whiteness” as a construct, which, as many commentators have pointed us, seems to have been created in the 1600’s in order to posit a category of people superior to those Africans or Native Americans enslaved or colonized. Race in Europe before that was associated with particular nationality, such as Italian or French, not the larger category called “white.” Also, in her book Playing in the Dark, novelist Toni Morrison argued how important imagining the binary of “blackness” has been to the construction of “whiteness” in the American literary imagination.

    I’m a white guy, but I do think that some concepts of “whiteness” (NOT white people in and of themselves) are problems and in need of examination. This doesn’t mean I hate myself or hate my Scottish and Polish heritage. It means that, to me, something rings false and hollow around this concept, which is treated as something solid, but comes apart upon further reflection, is often defined by what it is not (black, other) that what it is, and historically has sometimes been used to exclude and subjugate.

    Finally, I find it puzzling when some white people decry the so-called “identity politics” of members of minority groups in the United States, when so many of these people of color have been historically excluded from the privileges associated with identifying as white and are fighting back against being not being fully included in the privileged category of “whiteness.”

  316. @Onething

    In the islam there are different interpretations, some are moderates and others not

    The interpretations producing “hell on earth” you are talking about, is very new, from XVIII century and was a “construct” by Ibn Al Wahhab and the Saud House in a counter-Enligthment reaction (to avoid the same fate of the Christian religión and identity they were seen in Europe)

    The wahhabism was until recently a sect derived from the Hanbalí interpretation, much more rigorous than, for example, the Maliki interpretation that was the more important in the North of Africa.

    This dynamic change in the WWI where the english used the wahhabi tribes to get rid of the Otoman Empire in the Arabian Peninsule and give fully support to the Saud House in exchange of some nice rights to extract the petrol after the dismembering of the Otoman Empire (T.A. Lawrence and others)

    The other Big Leap Backward was when Brzezinsky convinced Carter that the wahhabism is the best way to contain the rise of marxism and pan-arabism in the arab world (as was used the fascism in the 1930’s in Europe), to bring down the secular regime of Afganistán, and after that to cause troubles to the soviet forces there. So using the entusiastic help from the Gulf Monarchies there was a huge flow of money to the islamic religious communities all around the world, a lot of this was to Europe, as an example the Big Moske of Brussels built with saudí money and all the imans trained in the wahhabism with the expected consequences
    In the North of Africa even in the saharan campsites in Algeria (formerly strongly marxists) the saudí money is converting them to the wahhabism (I know of people going there to help them in their holidays)

    Even today the wahhabist/jihadis group and his ideology is a “geopolitical toolbox” used by the western governments to destroy the non-friends regimes as everibody knows

  317. Y Chireau –

    Some years ago I knew a Nigerian guy, a medical student at a hospital in Chicago. I had a back problem at the time of which I was always whining about, so one day he took me to a small shop that specialized in African homeopathic medicines. I tried some of his recommendations and what ya know, they really helped alleviate my back pain, so I continued to purchase them. I suppose that this could a form of “cultural appropriation”, as I’m about as Celt-Cauc as you can get. I did in fact tell others about the efficacy of the medicines, so I suppose the store may have had a slight uptick in white customers, … more cultural appropriation. Not a bad thing, is it? People who didn’t own a clue that African homeopathic medicine existed now knew that it did and could appreciate it.

    I think this “cultural appropriation” thing has run off the rails; it’s the worst that identity politics has to offer, and that’s going a distance. What if the current identity-politics climate had prevailed in the 60’s when white musicians began playing traditional blues? They wouldn’t have been allowed to of course, on the grounds that it was blatant cultural appropriation. It was an injustice of course that AfroAm blues had been mostly ignored by white audiences up to that point, but fact is that by recording traditional blues, white musicians drew attention to the great blues artists who finally began to be acknowledged for the musical geniuses they were. I don’t think such a thing could happen in today’s hysterical political climate.

    And of course, while we should honor their origins, it doesn’t matter the origin of a magic or a music or a medicine – what matters is whether it works or not.

  318. Thank you for your astrological interpretation of the eclipse. The charts that you posted are a little bit small and are pixilated when I try to enlarge them. Do you know if there are any larger images available? I tried using reverse image searching, but that turned up completely random charts…

  319. Isabel, the reason you haven’t seen straightforward anti-white racism and calls for violence, up to and including genocide, against white people, is because you don’t pay attention to it and that’s a choice. If you chose to notice, you might have to confront things close to home, like your own lazy equivalence of racism and fascism.

    It’s just as easy for people in the alt right to studiously avoid seeing calls to bring back lynching. Or for muslims to avoid seeing the violent extremists among them. Everyone does it with the social group they identify with. Not knowing is by far the easiest choice.

    When the majority in any group take that ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ thing too far, as it seems to me they always do, that’s all it takes for the violent minority to triumph. And when they do, everyone who refused to even look at the ugliness in their own backyard bears equal responsibility for the consequences.

  320. The civil discussion in this thread between people of diverse political persuasions has been very thought-provoking and had been a great reminder that the simplistic sound bites I encounter on Twitter and Facebook from both sides of the political spectrum aren’t really representative of the way most people think. I think social media has a way of killing nuance that really degrades discourse.

  321. Actually, RPC, agriculture kills far more than just the varmints who want to eat the grain; it kills off whole ecosystems entirely, converting them to just a few human plant foods.

    Whereas the old European, (for instance) multi use farm WAS a whole ecosystem, and with things like hedges and fruit trees, incorporated many wild animals into it as well.

  322. DFC,

    I’m aware of that interpretation of things, and no doubt it has a lot of merit. But I am not sure it is really adequate. Quite a few Muslims say there is only one interpretation of the Koran…maybe they are all Wahabi? At any rate, my point is that this immigration is being accepted by the very people who in my opinion are living in such a reality bubble that one can only barely consider them rational, and they think that just because they themselves have a certain interpretation of what’s going on, that it means that Muslims also do. Islam is a world conquering religion. It divides all people into Muslims and nonMulsims with lower status to the latter, and the imposition of financial taxes to them and so on.

    I do realize that they are not the first group to think of this. All Abrahamic religions are so infected. I shudder to think if any of the three got world dominion, yet still I don’t think the injunctions to openly conquer in the name of the religion exists in quite the same way in the other two.
    In Christianity it has manifested slightly differently, if not much better, in simply regarding other people as not worthy of their lands since their souls are all going to be rejected by God. I’d like to see Christianity undergo a real reformation, not just the little rebellion against authority of the 16th century. Judaism also regards the world as Jew and Gentile, and believes that the God who created the universe and the world, somehow only talked to one little tribe and gave it laws that don’t even relate to many other parts of the world but apparently this god wasn’t interested in other people. It does boggle the mind.

  323. John Michael wrote, ” As for getting integrity back into journalism, I tend to think that no news medium will ever have more integrity than its audience actually wants…”

    That is a very cogent explanation for why you take the time to both moderate and respond to the comments on your blogs. If you did not, you would attract an audience whose lack of integrity would drag down the quality of your contribution.

  324. Thanks onething. I don’t think most people are sure about anything to do with Islam really. The left generally just refuses on principle to learn about it, like Isabel, or they repeat one of the standard mantras about poor old Wahhab being the root of the problem, like DFC. I’ve had people tell me they won’t read the Quran because they’re afraid they might become intolerant.

    Modern western culture is in such a philosophical and religious mess itself, and so unaware of how deep that goes, that maybe sanity about Islam is just too much to ask right now. Decades, if not centuries, of cultural and religious conflict are already baked into the cake, so maybe people are better off continuing to sleepwalk through it. Watching the train wreck unfold and being unable to stop it is not a pleasant experience. And unlike the bigger picture of the end of industrial civilization, it’s pretty difficult to find any upside to it.

  325. Lordyburd, the notory art (the Latin term is ars notoria has gone pretty much untouched by the post-1850s occult revival. How’s your medieval Latin? That’s what you’ll need in order to read the classic texts.

    Isabel, yeah, RequiresHate was one good example, and the entire RaceFail 2009 flustered cluck a little before then was another. Look outside of science fiction and you can easily find far worse, though. As for the glorification of the white race per se, of course there is no such thing as a “white race,” any more than there’s a “white breed” of dog including everything from teacup poodles to St. Pyrenees; for that matter, the “black race,” the “yellow race,” and the other more than dubious products of nineteenth century European ethnography are just as fictitious. When mandatory diversity training classes at US universities insist on lumping the whole wildly divergent range of European-American ethnic groups into a single category of evil labeled “white,” though, it’s probably inevitable that a lot of those so labeled are going to adopt that label for themselves, if only via the Pygmalion effect…

    Myriam, I prefer to think that the author simply suffered a sudden attack of common sense! As for your questions and comments, please do post them in the monthly open posts if you’re willing. One thing I’ve learned as a teacher of magic is that there’s an astonishing number of people out there who’ve had experiences that out culture claims can’t happen, and the vast majority of them are sitting there in silence, wondering if they’re crazy, afraid to mention their experiences in public for fear of being attacked and bullied by atheist and Christian fundamentalists alike. (That’s one of the fun things about magic — very nearly the only thing that evangelical Christian Bible-thumpers and atheist materialist (pseudo)skeptics agree on is that magic is bad, bad, BAD!!!.) Once somebody begins talking about those experiences openly, it becomes possible for many others to recognize that no, they’re not crazy, and these things are a normal part of human experience that our culture just happens to be neurotic about.

    Discwrites, we’ve been fielding a lot of emails at the DOGD office of late, so haven’t had time to get to yours yet. If you want to know what the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn does and doesn’t teach, your best bet is to pick up a copy of The Celtic Golden Dawn, which is the textbook we use, and see. The short form is that if you want your Druidry to focus on ecological practice, you’d be better off joining the Ancient Order of Druids in America or the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, both of which make that a central theme of their work.

    Isabel, oh, I caught that. The distinction between privilege (which everybody gets assigned when they’re born, and therefore is not responsible for) and injustice (which is a matter of individual actions and attitudes, and is therefore a personal responsibility) is too easily elided by a lot of current rhetoric.

    Dirtyboots, middle age is probably the best time to take up magic! Dion Fortune used to say that she didn’t like to see anyone under 25 taking up the serious study of occultism; since I started at the age of 15, I feel a little uncomfortable agreeing with her, but certainly starting later avoids some common problems. Beyond that, so much depends on your personal interests and inclinations, and on how much time and effort you want to invest in the project, that it’s all but impossible to offer specific recommendations.

    Corydalidae, when the Klan came to Cumberland, MD, a few years back to try to hold a recruiting drive, the local churches — white and black alike — turned out in force to protest, stood on the other side of the street, and held a prayer session interspersed with enthusiastic hymn-singing. The Klansmen wilted and crept away. That’s my gold standard for a successful counter-protest. It was totally peaceful and utterly unanswerable, and it succeeded; the Klan hasn’t been back.

    Frank, the US is in a steep economic decline and its political system is hopelessly disconnected from the needs and concerns of most Americans. The anger you hear from this side of the Atlantic is what you get when the great majority of the people here, of all ethnicities and skin colors, have been ignored and maltreated by a well-to-do political class for too long.

    Steve, start by getting a good solid reading knowledge of Latin, and an equally solid familiarity with medieval magical texts in translation. That’ll take you a couple of years if you work at it. At that point, you can track down an ars notoria text — there are quite a few online at this point, on the websites of big European research libraries — and get to work translating it into English; as you get sections translated, use the internet to find people who are willing to field test the methods, and away you go. That’s how I recovered the classical methods of geomantic divination, so I can vouch for the fact that it’s a workable approach.

  326. I should add, not to be picking on the poor old left and liberals all the time, that religious denominations of all political persuasions are equally insane about it. Mainstream Christians, Jews, even Mormons I hear, have all long since signed up to “inter-faith dialogue” and ecumenism and building bridges and basically agreed that little old things like their own theologies don’t really matter anymore. They’ve replaced it with universalist fantasies like all religions being about compassion really, or social justice, or fighting oppression, or whatever’s on the menu today. Of course the fundamentalists stubbornly refuse to play along and keep banging on about the Trinity, the crucifixion and other taboo subjects, but then anyone who doesn’t play by the rules doesn’t get invited to these inter-faith soirees anyway.

  327. Varun, thank you. Meditation is an excellent first step in this as in most other things.

    Will, yep. “No, I didn’t hear the can opener; I came trotting into the kitchen for some other reason entirely my own…”

    Jeff, Matt was better at timing than most of us! He may have called the peak of the housing bubble using astrology, for all I know. I’ll certainly be talking about astrology and other occult teachings and practices as we continue; The Archdruid Report taught me that no matter how far beyond the fringes of the acceptable I go, there are plenty of readers who are ready to meet me there.

    Will, yep again. There was more than one reason I left a blogging platform owned by Google. I gather they amended their slogan “Don’t Be Evil” to remove the first four letters…

    Oilman2, many thanks for the continuing update! Stay safe.

    LatheChuck, hmm! Yeah, I could see it…

    James, yep. Some people find it easy to visualize, others find it easier to audialize, and still others find it easier to tactilize. (I just invented those two terms, btw.) I use a mix of visual imagery (which doesn’t come naturally to me at all, but that’s what the books taught so I learned how to do it) and tactile imagery (which comes very naturally to me) in magical practice.

    Temporaryreality, many thanks for this! I’ll put it on the to-read list.

    Interzonkomizar, you’re shoveling smoke, you know. A solar minimum as severe as the Maunder Minimum wouldn’t even provide enough cooling to counter the warming effect of the greenhouse gases that we’ve already dumped into the atmosphere, much less the additional dumping baked into the cake as a result of the industrial world’s failure to do anything about greenhouse gas emissions to date. What’s more, there’s no evidence that a solar minimum is actually on its way. It’s a source of wry amusement to me to watch so many people desperately scrambling around looking for bogus reasons they can use to convince themselves that the consequences of our species’ brainless maltreatment of the biosphere can’t actually hurt them…

    Garden Housewife, glad to hear it. The extremists on both sides really are a fairly small minority, and if the sane majority in the center unites around constitutional government and the equally enforced rule of law, the extremists will creep back to the fringes where they belong.

    Dot, you’re welcome. If I may take the liberty of promoting one of my own books, Inside a Magical Lodge has a chapter on the uses and value of secrecy that you might find useful. (For that matter, the lodge system outlined in that book might be a useful approach to your project…)

    Chris, one of the things that makes me hopeful from time to time is the mismatch between what officially approved actions are supposed to do and what they actually do. If nobody talks about that, sure, it breeds stress and fear, but if there’s an explanation to hand — and I’m trying to provide that! — it can inspire people to pop out of the mental cages to which they’ve been assigned, and do something more useful with their lives.

    Y. Chireau, long time no see! Welcome back to the blog. I’m glad you liked Twilight’s Last Gleaming. As for other near future novels by me, you might like Retrotopia.

    Escher, it was really eerie, and played a large role in convincing me to follow up on my youthful interest in occultism. You’re right that 9/11 and the recent election had results of the same kind, too.

    RPC, true enough. What’s more, you cannot take a step without crushing dust mites beneath your feet, you cannot take a breath without drawing countless living things into your lungs to drown in the fluids there, and at every moment your immune system is slaughtering countless lives, which would otherwise kill you in short order. All life lives on death; all things have died that you might live.

    James, if you want to criticize the invention of that fictional entity, the white race, you’ll get no argument from me. The difficulty, as I and others have been trying to point out, is that a significant number of extremists on the left haven’t been willing to accept your division between that abstraction and individual people with pale skins.

    Antony, go to astro.com or any other free horoscope site online, enter the date, time and place off my charts, and hit the button that calculates the chart. You’ll have your own copies of the eclipse chart in as much detail as you like. (I’ve tried to figure out how to get better images from my horoscope program, with no luck so far.)

    Lauren, all it takes to create civil discourse is a willingness to establish rules and exclude those who violate them. That’s an old lesson, but it apparently got misplaced on the internet. I hope that more people catch on!

  328. Here in KY, the left has a ready-made alternative to attack that would accomplish way more good than removing Confederate statues: the horse industry. The horse industry is a legacy of slavery: it was founded by gentry class slaveholders using slaves to maintain and race the horses. It opposed factories in the mid-20th century because it feared that factories would raise wages. To this day, horse industry jobs are the lowest paid in the area. Likewise, it is one of the largest sources of undocumented workers in the area. The horse industry takes thousands of acres out of productive use and sets them aside for an unnecessary luxury good (racehorses). The presence of huge horse farms makes the remaining land prohibitively expensive for the working class, and increases the property taxes of those who can afford land. Horse farms create an unnatural, manicured bluegrass monoculture than requires lots of fossil fuels and pesticides like Roundup to maintain. However, attacking the horse industry in KY is like attacking mom and apple pie, and the left will do that when pigs fly–most of our preservationists/conservationists drool over the horse industry.
    Corydalidae,
    sometimes I get tired when I hear Canadians reflexively bleating, “we’re just like the Americans!” As an American who’s spent time in Canada (Ontario) and has a warm spot in my heart for our Northern neighbours, all I notice are the differences. The greater social trust: there seem to be no prepaid gas pumps in Canada, and you never need a key to use the washroom, even if it’s accessible from outside. People seem to know their neighbours and get together with them more often. The poverty is nowhere near as wretched or prevalent, save maybe some First Nations reserves. The foundational myth of the Loyalists is very different than the foundational myth of the Declaration of Independence, and can even be said to be diametrically opposed in that the Loyalists left because of opposition to the Americans. From that Loyalist foundation, Canada has a small-c conservative reputation, and a greater respect for law and order (peace, order, and good government) and social order. The Westminster parliamentary system is very different in many ways from our small-r republican government. Indeed, the cozy relationship with the US only came about with the decline of Britain and the rise of the US, and can be viewed as a wise diplomatic marriage of convenience. For all of the 19th century, British North America/Canada and the US looked at each other with distrust, and actually fought each other in the War of 1812. As decline and fall sets in, Canada has that wonderful self-deprecation, and doesn’t have to shed the whole civil religion of Americanism that the US does, and bids fair to cause a lot of violence and possible fascism south of the border. If Canada can stay true to its foundational myths of small-c conservatism, peace, order and good government, it bids fair to decline more graciously than its southern neighbour.
    MJ,
    I would like to second Garden Housewife: one of the biggest problems we have is the militarization and escalation of policing. My Canadian friends can’t get over how panic inducing a traffic stop or other interaction with police is for even a ginger as pale as me, let alone a person of color. But you never know in the US when the wrong word/look at the wrong time will get you thrown to the ground and hogtied or worse. If we could demilitarize and deescalate policing, this would disproportionately benefit people of color as people of color are disproportionately affected by this. I also think a lot of white people are reluctant to admit that black people are shot and/or killed w/out reasonable cause because of the polarization of our politics, and they’re afraid that opening that door would lead to having to accept all of the SJW agenda because of the false binary/extremism of our politics. I think that explains the whole “thin blue line” phenomena: your either for or against the police/law enforcement, and for a lot of working class whites, if you force them into that false binary, they’re coming down on the side of the cops.

  329. Corydalidae,
    it’s just my observation, but I just don’t see Canadian society coming apart at the seams the way American society is. The national mood in Canada seems much different, IMHO. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that Canadians are totally unprepared psychically and materially for the US to come apart @ the seams as it will probably do in the near future, but that is an external, not internal threat, to differentiate. American collapse may cause Canadian society to come apart at the seams, but there’s nothing I see in the national mood right now to suggest Canada is coming apart at the seams the way the US is.

  330. Regarding the fiction of the white race: People do seem to have a deep need to know where they came from – for instance, plenty of people whose biological fathers were sperm donors feel the need to seek out their biological father. So I think people will always want to belong to a racial/ethnic identity, and I will point out that monoethnic societies are the human norm not the exception. Even though the white race is a social construct (as is the black, yellow, Chinese, Indian, German, French, British, red, etc race) because all of those broad categories can be divided more meaningfully (on a purely biological level) into ethnic groups, doesn’t mean that it means something. I’ll remind everyone that laws, money and human rights are also social constructs.

    There’s a problem, though, that quite a lot of people are professionally and emotionally invested in the insistence that there is a white race and that it is evil. These people outnumber Neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and are far better rewarded by neoliberal capitalism than white supremacists are. The fact that in polite discourse, which is increasingly becoming irrelevant, white people can only ever be assigned a negative group identity.

    And so you have ******** marching with tiki torches.

  331. @Onething, I agree that agriculture kills off more than grain-eating varmints, but I suspect you intended to say “modern agriculture.” Prior to the pesticide era, Japan practiced patchwork farming interspersed with coppice and sacred forests, a landscape known as “satoyama,” currently being studied and emulated to restore a managed sort of biodiversity–probably a lot like the traditional European farms you mention. (The anime film “My Neighbor Tottoro” gives an in-depth view of it.) Managing a biodiverse environment means pitting one species against another, and occasionally rolling up your sleeves and murdering off about a million little sonofaguns of some robust species.

  332. Regarding the Reagan spell: Norman Tebbit used identical language to describe the breaking of the UK miners’ strike (and it did seem like something psychic was broken).

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/apr/09/russell-brand-margaret-thatcher

    QUOTE: Norman Tebbit, one of Thatcher’s acolytes and fellow “Munsters evacuee”, said when the National Union of Mineworkers eventually succumbed to the military onslaught and starvation over which she presided: “We didn’t just break the strike, we broke the spell.” The spell he was referring to is the unseen bond that connects us all and prevents us from being subjugated by tyranny. The spell of community.

  333. JMG, longtime ADR reader here. I’m glad to read what you had to say about mundane astrology and the US chart. I once came across the idea of 36-year cycles in the Chaldean sequence — planets of days of the week in reverse order. So 1909-1945 was the cycle of Mars (two world wars); 1945-1981 the cycle of the Moon (lots of changeability); 1981-2017 the cycle of the Sun (imperial splendor and hubris).

    Next up, Saturn, bringing contraction and karmic reckoning. This seems to track, as 2017 may well turn out to be a major milestone on the long descent. Two questions: do you pay attention to this at all; and if so, what astrological phenomena is the 36-year period a cycle of, exactly? Thanks for all the insight over the years!

  334. @Juhana : Oh dear, things seem have to gone further downhill on this side of the atlantic more than I thought! Anyway, I think there is a lot to complain about current immigration policy too, but I also realize that the immigrants are not the ones making these policies.
    How you arrive at the conclusion that I´m ´concerned about ´people in my country not treating immigrants nice enough anymore´ is beyond me; there is a lot of middle ground between `not being nice` to people and burning down the houses they live in, and I was talking about the latter. Another thing I said was that I´m taken aback by the hatred some people have for muslims, and that´s different from immigrants. As far as I know, most muslims in this country are born here (mostly turks) and not immigrants at all. So please, if you use other commenter´s words for your comments, try not to twist them around to suit your purposes.
    I really had to laugh about your implication that I´m one of ´those in the top´: Officially with my wage I´m ´at risk of poverty´, as they say in the statistics, although I don´t feel that poor and I know I´m still better off than many people here, and no, living in north west Germany I do not socialize a lot with people from the east (if that´s what you mean by “their kind of people”), although one of my best friends is from Dresden.
    greetings
    Frank from Germany

  335. @JMG: True. It occurs to me that one of the worst things college does on those lines is putting the diversity education etc* in the hands of either older undergrads or young grad students: I suppose the theory is that they’re easier to relate to, but I have yet to meet the twenty-year-old (myself included, at that age), who’d know a nuance if it bit them.

    In re: privilege v. injustice, true. I do think people who have privilege bear some responsibility, if only on a personal level, for helping mitigate that for people who don’t in whatever way they can–not out of guilt, but because what Uncle Ben said about great power and great responsibility also applies at the not-so-great levels. So, like, I consider myself somewhat obligated to consider issues of diversity in what I create or who I hired if God forbid I was ever in a position to have employees (multiple levels of privilege), advocate for fairer economic systems (class privilege) and so forth.

    On race, it’s also interesting to keep in mind that a number of my ancestors can remember when Irish or Italian people, say, weren’t considered really “white”.

    * I vaguely remember being impatient with mine. It was about two days before I realized that the administration couldn’t actually do anything to me if I skipped large parts of Orientation, and thus proceeded to do so; would that I’d done it earlier, before wasting multiple evenings listening to some well-meaning nebbish make “don’t rape anyone and don’t die of alcohol poisoning” last three hours. Sigh.

  336. Dot,

    “I find it surreal at times to be on a blog where people believe we’re in the middle of the decline and fall of our civilization, yet so many express this shock when the Volkerwanderungen cause problems. With every other aspect of decline people seem to be able to observe it as a process that’s already underway, yet Volkerwanderungen are banished to some far future dramatic apocalypse and all discussion of its actual existence is to be kept within the terms of ordinary political debate until that day.”

    Belief in onward-and-upward or decline and fall notwithstanding, the people who believe there are no culture clashes or social problems associated with taking in and helping migrants and refugees exist only in the right-wing imagination. Those in favour can reasonably be expected to believe that the alternatives are even worse and/or in a notion of payback or justice for what western governments have done to the migrants’ homelands.

    Now from the perspective of impending decline and fall of Faustian Civilization, I don’t see how the attempt to preserve current economical and political privileges by erecting walls and closing borders can work out well in the long run. Especially considering the accelerating effects of climate change and continuation of imperial foreign policies.

    The environmental, economic and population pressures will go nowhere, so closed borders create a permanent illegal underclass and cause resentment between migrants and citizens to rise. Closed external borders, militarization and fear of external enemies seem to correlate strongly with internal crackdowns on dissidents, hostility towards minorities, criminals and the poor (which, remember, most of us will be), police state surveillance, etc. These are all things that are already happening, and closing borders further will make it worse.

    This kind of society is not one I see as going through decline and fall minimizing suffering, but rather making it worse than it would have to be. I’d rather bet on an immigration policy that recognizes human suffering and gives every migrant a fair chance and due process, social policies that distribute the ever shrinking pie of industrial civilization fairly, restrictions and rollbacks on the excesses of neoliberal capitalism to make sure basic economic life and infrastructure stays viable and working as long as possible and so on. Yes, there will still be suffering, including from crimes committed by migrants, but suffering is unavoidable at this point.

    In the long run, the decline and fall of western/industrial/Faustian/”our” civilization is something I expect to involve the end of nation states as the dominant form of organizing society, the end of parliamentary democracy, the end of state monopoly on violence and “the rule of law”, the end of our ideas of human “races”, a substantial darkening of average skin tone across Europe and whatever else. I feel like those who accept that, change their own ethics to suit, direct their attention towards things like family, friends, hometown, the nonhuman world around them and the people they meet, and stop trying to hold back the tide with fantasy of hanging on to or returning to greatness, are those who have the potential to make changes for the better.

  337. Bless your heart, Shane W, no self respecting affluent leftie is going to shut down the Kentucky Derby, if only because most of these high urbanite poseurs just love picturesque country festivals. And, also, I imagine a good many of the CA transplants you mentioned covet invites to sit in plutocrat boxes for the spectacle. Besides, bluegrass monocultures look just like English country estates of their dreams, which were, as I am sure you will recall, maintained by small armies of the lower orders.

  338. @Fred, Patriciaormsby, Dot, I would have loved to reply to you and say something to other comments, but there´s probably no time for that as I´m not a very fast writer/typer, and English not being my mother tongue I probably have to think about what I write a little longer, too (it´s been a while since I´ve been living in Scotland). I´m not sure If this one´s not already too late, so I just wanted to suggest to continue the discussion next open post.
    best wishes to everyone, especially those that were in the way of Harvey
    Frank from Germany

  339. Late in the cycle, I know, but I saw Will’s link to the piece about protonmail’s experience and your (JMG) reply:

    “Will, yep again. There was more than one reason I left a blogging platform owned by Google. I gather they amended their slogan “Don’t Be Evil” to remove the first four letters…”

    I was reminded of a long-ago lesson on the subconscious mind’s inability to comprehend or integrate negatives. The impression I get from that is that any spell one casts that contains a negative like “don’t” works on the conscious mind one way and the subconscious mind in the opposite way. That would certainly explain a lot, and it also offers a cautionary lesson.

  340. Peter, I don’t even know where to begin with that. I suppose when Toynbee said civilizations die by suicide, this is what he meant. Although it’s not a conscious suicide, any more than an individual descent into nihilism is really. It’s a strange thing. At least there’s hope that eastern Europe might play Byzantium this time around.

  341. I’ve got to say you were right on the money with your ‘Eclipse is a harbinger of disaster’, a week later and the 4th largest US city, just off the path of totality, has apocalyptic flooding. Huge economic impact, mass looting, people displaced and other awful stuff. You were even right about ‘Something might blow up’ as a flooded chemical plant is due to blow up anytime now there as well.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-30/arkema-ceo-no-way-prevent-imminent-explosion-flooded-texas-chemical-plant

    I’d wish the Eclipse was just an unimportant astronomical coincidence instead. Tragedy is still tragedy, may there be a speedy recovery for all those involved.

  342. It strikes me, looking at many of the comments, that many problems arise from defining groups because there is a very human tendency to reduce an ‘out’ group to its worst member, usually ending up in stereotypes if not outright caricatures. Equally, the ‘in’ group tends to be lionized to the status of its greatest heroes. Look at the way, say 19th Century Europeans labelled and demonized Jews, and there will be many parallels to the way Muslims are represented today in certain quarters. Even within societies, the same process arises – the toxic political discourse between left and right are similar.

    The point I’m wibbling towards, is this: once you define a group, the ONLY FACTOR that is shared by its members is the label applied to them. The only thing all men have in common is that they are men. The only thing all Jews, Mormons, immigrants, WASPs, etc have in common is that identity. In all other things group members are diverse individuals.

    There are some commenters making very certain pronouncements about particular groups, and I have to ask myself how many individual members of that group they know personally? My current workplace is very diverse, and I know people there from every continent except the Americas (oops, unless you count Caribbean as American…). So, yes, I know lots of Muslims, lots of East Europeans, lots of Africans – all peoples over whom various moral or cultural panics have arisen here in the UK over recent years. One case in point, a few years ago the panic was over Romanians and how the country was going to Hades in a shopping cart when they all descended upon our hallowed shores. Yet I have yet to meet a single Romanian I wouldn’t be happy to have as my next-door neighbour, what a surprise….

    My experience of Muslims is a world away from some people’s fantasies of a monolithic horde of world-conquering fanatics. Meet people half-way before jumping to conclusions; see people as individuals, look beyond the label, and you might appreciate the diversity within any community. Islam is about on a par with Christianity in its tendency to schism. There is as much variety of belief and practice between Sunni/Shia/Ishmaili/Ahmadi/Wahhabi/Salafi as there is between Catholic/Orthodox/Protestant/Pentecostal yadda yadda yadda. But even within whatever sub-divisions of creed you might like to define, every individual is an individual – there are some I count as friends, others I don’t really have time for. But you know what? The same applies to my neighbours in my own not-very-diverse village. At work or home, though, you have to find ways to rub along, and one big feature of that is by not ‘checking the label’ before you interact.

    Before anyone leaps on the keyboard to denounce me for ignoring the real extremists, I can assure you I’m not. There is an ubdoubted problem, and there are countless threads of history which have contributed to it – perhaps if Helen and Menelaus had a better marriage things might have been different, for instance…. The point is, it does not derive entirely from religion, even if religion has been co-opted as the flag – the label – under which it acts. There is culture, politics (international and domestic), colonialism, resource allocation, education and a hundred other factors. And yes, ‘there is violence on both sides’, to quote someone I’m not in the habit of quoting.

    And as Islam is not a monolith, neither is Islamism or Islamist terror. News coverage of various atrocities has shown up a few features which are rarely commented on. The so-called ‘home grown’ actors are often new converts, former (or even current) criminals, and vulnerable people who are easily manipulated. Looking at groups acting within the Muslim world (ISIS, AQ-affiliates etc), the signs are more coherent with warlordism in general than with Islamic society in general. It is also instructive that problems can be much worse where poor education and illiteracy are prevalent. To that degree, it is as much a symptom of catabolic collapse as the loss of so many jobs across the Amercian Mid-West. The people turning to Islamism in the Middle East probably have far more in common with the people turning to Trump in the US than either would care to admit. And as JMG has often pointed out, groups are ending up in conflict where the individuals would do better to look to each other to see their common cause.

    Anyway, to be clear, in citing what I see as contributing causes, I’m not condoning the resulting actions. Everyone has their own responsibility for their own actions, ultimately. But it is very noticeable in the UK at least, that some people’s response to Islamist terror is to paint all Muslims in a bad light in a way that never happened to the Irish during the years when our big terror problem was with the IRA (mind you, there is a lot to be said about the way the Irish were treated by the British for many prior centuries, but that is getting too far off topic now).

    Finally, a book recommendation: John Brunner’s “Stand on Zanzibar” is worth a reread (or a first read if it’s not yet in your canon) with a special attention to the phenomenon of ‘muckers’ – that’s getting more and more prescient every day.

  343. Tony, you haven’t even noticed that you’ve stereotyped and caricatured the views of those you disagree with. All you’ve done is repeat the standard canned polemics of the Rescue Game. That’s not working, you know, so you might want to try something else.

  344. Thanks for replying, Dot, but I really don’t see where I’ve “stereotyped and caricatured the views of those (I) disagree with”, unless you’re referring to the first paragraph, in which case I should elucidate that I consider that to be a general human tendency in which no-one holds a monopoly – whether I agree with them or not – and not a specific quality of the discussion or any particular individual.

    However, I really can’t follow the mental gymnastics which led to your ‘Rescue Game’ comment. As I see it, that’s very much a team game, and my whole thrust was that you get a better grasp on things if you don’t fall into the habit of treating people purely as members of teams.

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the current post are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views expressed here, and I try to respond to each comment as time permits. Long screeds proclaiming the infallibility of some ideology or other, however, will be deleted; so will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed; so will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flamebaiting and the like -- I filled up my supply of Troll Bingo cards years ago and have no interest in adding any more to my collection; and so will sales spam and offers of "guest posts" pitching products. I'm quite aware that the concept of polite discourse is hopelessly dowdy and out of date, but then some people would say the same thing about the traditions this blog is meant to discuss . Thank you for reading Ecosophia! -- JMG

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