Announcements

Excuse the Dust and Clutter…

…this website is still under construction. That said, welcome to all my readers! Over the next month or so, I expect to finish building and fine-tuning the site, with regular blog posts currently scheduled to start appearing right around the summer solstice. The menu links at the top of the page are already live, and mostly stocked — I have a few more of my nonfiction books to add to one page, and of course the next writing contest (yes, there will be a next writing contest) hasn’t yet been announced. Stay tuned for more details.

As noted in the posts I’ve made on my old blogs, the focus of this new venture is going to be a little different. I’ve said pretty much everything I have to say about the decline and fall of industrial civilization, the theme of The Archdruid Report, and as that process picks up speed around us, saying much more about it is kind of redundant anyway. I do have more to say about the magical traditions central to The Well of Galabes, and some of that will be said here. What I plan on discussing primarily, though, is the need to begin crafting a living spirituality of nature — not an abstract worldview, but a way of life with practical, spiritual, and esoteric dimensions — founded on a recognition of our belonging to the biotic community of the Earth. We’ll be talking about that in various ways and from assorted angles as this project takes off.

For the time being, I expect to do at least one post a month here, though we’ll see what happens when a range of other changes in my life settle out and I can buckle down to serious work. I’ve also established a presence on the social media site Dreamwidth — ecosophia.dreamwidth.org — which will carry shorter pieces such as book reviews, announcements of new publications, catcalls in the direction of absurd news stories, and the like. Those should start appearing during the next month or so.

Thank you again for reading this, and I hope you’ll join me on this new adventure!

204 Comments

  1. I have very much enjoyed reading your other blogs over the last few years. What you plan to write here on your new home on the Internet sounds even more exciting. I can’t wait!

  2. Looking forward to what you have to say.

    Not looking forward to what will happen.

  3. Looking forward to this blog! Excellent timing for me, too – I have been musing on an ecologically based worldview lately (initially as a model for understanding human health, it later started branching out to include ever more of creation).
    Ecology seems like a solid model for almost anything. I can see it ranging from explaining the human body, to economic systems, to esotericism, or even all the way up to cosmology. I’m very much looking forward to see where this blog will go, and I’ll almost certainly be inspired by it.

    Glad you’re back, Archdruid.

  4. Hi Mr. Greer!
    Glad I checked in At the ADR when I did. I am the regular reader who used the alias Kyotomotors in the past. As that “identity” has been put to rest, I present myself as I am generally known: Maclean.
    Before I ever owned a amartphone, I used to print your essays on recycled/ scrap paper and read them on the bus… Then I’d share them with a friend who never bothered with the internet… I look forward to their release in book form – good idea!
    Looking forward to the future essays as well. Will there be a Galabes entry this month?
    Cheers,
    Maclean

  5. Welcome back! I’m looking forward to the new venture. But that makes me wonder–do you draw the birth chart for a blog from the location of the server or location the first post was made from? And is the time from the first post or the domain registration? Either way, sun in Aries seems like a good choice.

    Also, I noticed “An Archdruid’s Tales.” on the side. Thank you for that! The series of stories starting with Christmas Eve 2050 has become rather important to me. A sort of touchstone I come back to whenever I’m unsure how I feel about what the future may hold. It’ll be great to have a print form of that, at least while I’m saving up to buy the 10 volume published edition of TADR!

  6. Bookmarked. Will this blog be building on the ideas explored in “Mystery Teachings”?
    Working my way for a third time through the 7 laws and finding more and more questions to be resolved.

  7. I really like the new format and direction for your on line writing. Fair winds to this new voyage!

  8. hope this site bring what you were looking for in the coming years, looking forward to reading the new posts as I enjoyed the other blogs.

  9. Warren, thank you.

    Dennis, that’s part of it. The other half is that we’ve passed the point at which it’s possible to keep industrial civilization from crashing and burning, and so it’s time to start laying the foundations for what comes afterwards.

    Brigyn, thank you! And of course that’s just it — ecology provides a whole-systems model that can be applied to pretty much everything, with considerably better results than the machine-based metaphors our society has been using so far.

    Maclean, this month’s Galabes post is already up — check it out.

    Aunt Lili, thank you! I hope to put on a lively show…

    Yucca, coming up with a birth chart for a website is a head-scratcher — I tend to use other forms of divination not so dependent on time and space where the internet is concerned. Glad to hear of your interest in “An Archdruid’s Tales” — it’s all my Archdruid Report fiction except for “Retrotopia,” and should be out very soon.

    Shady, excellent! It’s precisely by going through a book like that multiple times that you get all of what I was trying to communicate. Yes, we’ll be talking about the material in “Mystery Teachings,” and then going further.

    Dean and Jah, thank you.

  10. Hey mate, definitely think it’s time to switch it up a bit. Collapse /decile as a topic is played out for sure. Is this going to be akin to the green wizardry book? Saw a documentary called ‘fall and winter ‘ and thought of you. If you haven’t had a chance it’s well worth it. Links practical, spiritual and esoteric ways of adapting and changing. It might be worth linking your blogs to Pateon. Great way from folks to support artist /writers etc.

  11. Love for the home! 🙂
    I am establishing myself as a small scale farmer in Sweden.
    Inspired and influenced by key line design, permaculture and the likes.

    This weekend, I was making some silt dams in a creek, to make tiny tiny waterfalls and to put a check on erosion.
    I usually start a day with some intention and then find myself in a situation I describe to my wife as “dancing with the ecosystem”. I don’t know where and what I will do, but nature will guide me.
    I don’t know any better world to describe this then a dance. 🙂

    Thank you for coming back, the weekly essays have been a tremendous help for me. A sane voice in so much madness.

  12. Billbo, we’ll be talking now and then about the themes I covered in the Green Wizardry book, but going considerably deeper into issues involving spirituality and, ahem, spiritual practice. With regard to Patreon, I’ve looked into that, and it involves hoop-jumping exercises I’m not particularly into pursuing. I’ll have a tip jar up on this site shortly, so that those who want to help support this project can do so.

    Kristoffer, that’s a great metaphor; when I use it — and i will! — I’ll be sure to credit you for it.

  13. The photo of the tree reaching for light amidst relic skyscrapers says volumes.

    At least those hulks of comcrete and steel continue to provide sweet shade. Urbanity less blessed with such structures are becoming sweltering uninhabitable cauldrons of change, accelleration (dint care) of tension and stimulus for departure, as airconditioning fades away.

    Redding Ca.

  14. As to Redding Ca.
    The damn upriver controls former wetlands to death which provided cooling. Add megatons of asphalt and concrete slab over former wetlands to create a living hell, then invite cheese whiz and president cheetoh to come round and save your soul. They’re here, they’re stubborn and they live long with celtic genetics

    Watcha gonna do about such communities who resist sense with every fibre of their being?

  15. I hope the changes in your life are good ones, and I am glad to see you resume blogging. I read the Archdruid religiously 😊.

  16. Hooray! Thank you for adding links to the podcasts on which you been interviewed. Everyone I catch is a rich conversation and you have a great voice.

  17. Thank you John for taking this turn in your writing pursuits. I have been somewhat in a quandary over the past few years as I have migrated slowly from my religious roots in evangelical Christianity to entertaining not only a non-evangelical religiosity, but also a non-monotheist religiosity. I just haven’t felt good about what direction to take. Possibly this direction is what I am looking for. If I can discover how to marry up my ecological interests with a spirituality that springs out of it, or runs alongside it, then maybe I’ve found the answer for me. My other friends that left evangelicalism with me years ago, alas, have been pursuing an abstract religiosity that has finally worn very thin with me, and seems to be divorced from the experiences of this world. Teach me. I’m interested

  18. Troy, yep. I’ve enjoyed them and they’ve yielded an astonishing amount of first-rate fiction, so away we go…

    RW, the best way to deal with such communities is to look for the ways in which you also resist sense — because all of us do, of course. Confucius had good advice: “When I see what is good, I applaud it. When I see what is not good, I examine my own conduct.”

    Pogonip, funny. Thank you!

    Fred, you’re welcome and thank you. That seemed like a good idea.

    David, I’m far from sure to what extent I’ll be teaching, and to what extent I’ll be trying to facilitate a collective journey into territory nobody’s really explored yet; I suspect there’ll be a fair bit of the latter. I’ve also seen, and been less than thrilled by, the sort of abstract religiosity you mention — that’s been tried as a basis for ecological spirituality, and it doesn’t even seem to be able to motivate its believers to get out of their SUVs. Something else is clearly called for!

  19. At last! Dear, dear JMG, I have been going into withdrawal without my weekly dose of Druidical curmudgeonry and esoteric lore. Your new topic also sounds far more relevant to my lifestyle than the wisdom you previously dispensed. So, waiting breathlessly for Summer Solstice . . .

  20. I am absolutely ecstatic that you are moving in this direction with your writing and the focus on spiritual practice is particularly welcome. I have committed to following a nature-based spiritual path (I’m currently working on the first degree in the AODA) and co-travelers are certainly welcome! However, I wonder how much you will delve into metaphysics and philosophy; I recently discovered Australian philosopher Freya Matthews and find her Taoist-infused approach fascinating.

  21. Wow, JMG, just wanted to make my first comment here, nothing profound, but I really do like the direction you are taking. Ever since i’ve discovered your blog, limits and “nature supremacy”, if you will, have been religious touchtones for me, even if my actions have not always lived up to my beliefs (though the cognitive dissonance has been uncomfortable enough at times)

  22. Thank you for this new blog! It sounds exactly like the sort of work I’ve been looking for since the beginning of the year. I’ve appreciated your writing, both online and in print, esoteric and otherwise. I look forward to following your thoughts here and I know that it will inspire my own practice.
    Again, thank you.!

  23. Congrats on the new blog/new direction! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what you’ll be making of things. One thing I’ll be interested in seeing is to what extent an ecosophical view can be adapted to Christianity, since I see that as crucial for a less insane response to the crisis of our times going forward; the Old Believers aren’t suddenly going to pack up and go away, as you well know…

    And may Blogger be cursed with the Curse of a Hundred Thousand Yipping Chihuahuas In The Middle of the Night Or Something(tm) for making you have to take down everything you and the ADR community have created together over the years.

  24. Congrats on the new blog! I’m looking forward to the new direction and I hope this transition goes smoothly for you. And I certainly like the idea of a new writing contest! 🙂

  25. Hi JMG,
    I followed your blog assiduously ever since I discovered it (which was 8 or 9 years ago, if memory serves), and I like this new direction. I had definitely been noticing that some of your commentary on the collapse of industrial civilization was getting repetitive, in that you would begin an essay discussing some current event or news item, and more often than not, I would be able to predict the gist of what you were going to say without needing to go to the trouble of reading the essay. On the other hand, the material you have been presenting in the Well of Galabes is clearly ripe for a great deal more exploration.

    I am busily doing some major reorganization in my life, so I may not be much of an active participant for a while, but I will almost definitely be lurking.

  26. John, I’m so happy about the new direction of your blog! I think “crafting a living spirituality of nature” is one of the most important things we can do right now. In fact, I’m currently hard at work writing a book on some ways one might go about doing exactly that. (You can expect to be quoted in it. 🙂 ) Very much looking forward to reading your ongoing thoughts on the topic.

  27. Been watching for just such an announcement. Will be there, then, along with friends.

  28. Hi John, I’ve really enjoyed The Well Of Galabes and look forward to your new endeavor. Just wondering, have you ever thought of anthologising the monthly posts from The Well and releasing them in book form ? I’ve found them to contain some wonderful insights as you have the uncanny gift of taking the difficult to grasp and placing it in one’s hands. Anyway just a thought, wishing you the best of luck with the new blog. Thank you !

  29. Peter, funny. I’ll probably announce new posts on Dreamwidth, if that helps any. 😉

    Cynndara, thank you. I can certainly promise plenty of curmudgeonliness. Wisdom? Well, we’ll see!

    MJ, I don’t know how much philosophy and metaphysics I’ll be discussing — that’ll depend on the directions the blog takes, and that’s been pretty reliably unpredictable so far. Still, I’m not closed to the idea. Which book of Freya Matthews’ would you recommend as an intro to her ideas?

    Shane, I rather like “nature supremacy” as a phrase, especially given the hackles it’s guaranteed to raise! Welcome to the new blog.

    Coumarin, you’re welcome and thank you.

    James, to some extent whether Christianity can embrace ecosophy will depend on individual Christians. It’s entirely possible to approach ecosophy from a Christian standpoint, or vice versa — I’ve known people who’ve done it — but it requires certain shifts of emphasis and the abandonment of certain popular theological positions, especially those that make human beings uniquely central to the cosmos. Those aren’t necessary for Christian faith — but will Christians see it that way? Good question.

    As for the dread Chihuahua Curse, yeah, I would gladly have kept going on Blogger indefinitely if they hadn’t upgraded it into unusability. Still, it shouldn’t be too hard to rebuild things here — heaven knows the initial response has been encouraging!

    Cathy, thank you! The writing contests have been so much fun, and yielded so many good stories, that there’s no way I’m going to abandon them.

    Roy, the thing I’d point out is that “The Archdruid Report” from beginning to end was the working out of a single complex idea; once you’d been following it for a while, if you grasped the core of what I was getting at, yes, you could predict where I was going. This blog — well, we’ll see; I have in mind less the working out of an idea than the exploration of a sensibility, the new religious sensibility I talked about in “After Progress,” and my guess is that’s going to involve a series of ventures into unfamiliar ground.

    Dio, thank you. I’ll look forward to hearing more about your book — and keep me in mind for a cover blurb, if you’d like one.

    Patrick, glad to hear it.

    Steve, I’ve considered that. For the time being, they’re going to be archived on this site — that should be up in the near future — but we’ll see what happens further on.

  30. I’m a longtime faithful reader of both websites and over two dozen of your books, but was never able to get the right registration to comment on TAR. Will try not to make a pest of myself now that I have the freedom to offer praise and backtalk! You always pursue fascinating trains of thought and I am eagerly awaiting this new journey.

  31. I was very happy to click on my bookmark for the ADR and see you’d given us your update about the new blog! I will, of course, be reading your blog eagerly. Glad you are back!

  32. Well then, it’s only a short step to the term “nature supremacist” for an even more explosive term 😉

  33. Dewey, Blogger really was a pain in the backside in some ways, wasn’t it? Here it’s simpler — anyone can comment, subject to my usual curmudgeonly moderation policy (and the fact that every commenter’s IP address is logged). I’ll look forward to your comments!

    BeckyE, thank you!

    Shane, heh. Yes, I figured you’d be looking for a way to stir the pot. 😉 BTW, to answer the question you asked on the Archdruid Report, no, I’m not leaving the US — quite the contrary.

  34. As has been noted by many wise writers, the one basic, irreducible requirement for ‘our’ survival is the possibility of our ‘reconnecting’ with Nature, the earth, etc. So glad to see you’ve taken on the challenge of doing just that … an iffy project, but one worth your effort, I think 🙂

  35. It is great to be able to read your writings again, hopefully for many years to come yet! I wish you well!

    One suggestion: May we have a thematic bibliographic list some day on this new website? Thank you!

  36. Nancy, once the reality of our civilization’s decline and fall has been faced, it seems to me that grappling with the primary cause of that decline and fall — our frankly moronic attitude toward the biosphere that sustains our lives — is the next thing to do.

    Forrest, you’re welcome and thank you!

    Karim, thank you. A thematic bibliography — hmm. That would be a huge project, but I’ll consider it.

  37. Nice move to chop off the linear blog and bend that line into a circle Rejuvenation, good for the soul. Also refreshing is seeing people use names and own their comments Rock on brother.

  38. This is so wonderful–I can actually join the conversation now! Like a commenter above, I had often tried to comment on the other blog (which I loved, BTW), but was unable to do so. I have been reading the Archdruid Report for many years, almost from its inception, I think. I believe I found my way there via The Oil Drum, but I’m not sure. Your posts were helpful in so many ways, and I always looked forward to them. I really love it when a writer is able to shed a totally new light on a subject, to challenge my assumptions, to point out a new, less-travelled direction, TADR did that consistently. I am looking forward to that continuing here with a different slant. The last few weeks were an exercise in patience. Welcome back!

  39. JMG, I am so happy that you are back! Very much looking forward to exploring the new direction you are taking.

  40. JMG, I see what you’re doing here, you’re not fooling me! You’re trying to become the Jesus or Buddha of the Ecotechnic Future! “From the evilest generation in the most evil of times, the great Jimgee arose as a light in the darkened world…” 😉 Seriously, are ecosophic monasteries part of your vision? Personally, I think it’s never too soon to begin building monasteries for the coming dark ages, and after having lived on off grid farms w/minimal outside contact, I can personally say that I’m obsessed w/disconnecting from the mainstream and could live quite comfortably in monastic circumstances, it’s just that all the current monasteries are of religions I’m not interested in. An ecosophic monastery would be just the ticket for someone like me. It’s never too soon to have monasteries working to preserve the good of our civilization to be rediscovered by the next.

  41. Dennis, Lydia, Lonnie, and Silent H., thank you kindly!

    Shane, funny. No, I don’t have any interest in messiahdom; twelve years as head of a not particularly huge Druid order was quite enough for me, thank you!

    As for ecosophical monasteries, I expect those in due time, but not yet. As I noted back on the old blog, monasticism works really well, so long as people are willing to accept poverty and a strict rule of life, and there aren’t that many people actually willing to do that yet. That’s par for the course — remember that it wasn’t until the sixth century that Benedict of Nursia kickstarted Christian monasticism.

  42. IIRC, when you moved to Cumberland, you researched it thoroughly and your announcement at the time indicated that you were intending to put down roots there. I was just wondering if you did mean to settle down there at the time? If it was access to healthcare, since you’re staying in the states, I can’t think of anywhere in the US I would trust the medical system, period, but that’s just me. If you want to answer this in your upcoming announcement, I understand…

  43. Oh, I forgot in the last comment. I’ve often thought that Limits to Growth and other similar texts were religious texts, that a whole religion could evolve out of celebrating human limitation. I mean, I could see evangelizing about Limits to Growth and Overshoot and exhorting people to “get right with (Human) Limits”

  44. PS–I keep forgetting things. JMG, if you could respond about your books. If I have all your non-magical books based on the ADR, would the ten volume set be a lot of duplication?

  45. Glad to see this new direction – I’ve enjoyed and learned much from your posts since back on the TOD, and my interests have developed in directions I would not have expected then. I keep learning more about the many different ways people have seen the world and their place in it, including the points you have made about how we perceive that world and even ourselves.

    I’ve come to feel that much of this universe is not as fixed and absolute as once I believed, and that what are now the conventional views of such things are entwined with the problems we are continually trapped in. Perhaps there are better ways to understand the experience here, and something new is needed. And maybe somethings old as well, as others may done things better in the past.

  46. Mr Greer, I am very happy to see the new direction you’ll be taking. Having adopted the essence of Permaculture (work in-concert with nature instead on in-conflict), I look forward to expanding and adjusting my perspective and way of life.

  47. Hi JMG, croeso ‘nôl!

    Re: Benedict of Nursia – he was, of course, acting de novo. Are you familiar with Rod Dreher’s “The Benedict Option”? I haven’t read it myself, but I follow his blog on ‘The American Conservative’. A convert to Orthodox Christianity, he argues that contemporary Western society is beyond saving, so it’s time for Christians to withdraw, and to form their own, self-organizing commmunity, in order to live by their values. I’m not a Christian myself, but it sounds interesting, and applicable to any other value-based community. Ecosophists, perhaps…

  48. I wonder – this is directed to JMG and all – what you think of this Russian essay (in translation) entitled The Age of Concentration? For all the discussion of on TADR, of new political entities emerging, my own attention is drawn to the re-emergence of old cultures, especially Byzantine Russia, Confucian China, and Persia – all in neo-socialist versions of their imperial past identities.

    The article’s conclusion may resonate with many here:

    “With the demise of utopian conceptions, the ­futuristic mindset will probably also depart. ­Postmodernism foreshadows this. Its heightened, often ironic ­attention to the past has served to impress upon society the ­importance of having a retrospective view of things. As it develops, ­postmodernism laughs less and less. At a certain point, it begins to sound a lot like the ­Middle Ages. We are entering an epoch when the phrase “­social progress” will sound unconvincing, and the words “past” and “present” will outweigh the word “­future.””

  49. Hi JMG,

    I like the look of the new place. It’s really coming together. I’m glad to see that you went with WordPress for your new blogging platform. I’ve used it for years and build client websites in it to pay the bills and property taxes.

    I’m looking forward to exploring Ecosophia in the months ahead. I’m also eager to see some more “catcalls in the direction of absurd news stories”.

    I hope you are having a wonderful Spring.

    Best wishes.

  50. Very glad you’re back. I’ve been missing ADR, which I read from post #1 and looked forward to every week. (Can I add to the call for including the comments in the books? They’re about the most intelligent, esoteric, and useful comment sections anywhere on the internet.)

    I don’t think you have to delete the original in order to sell the books; I think we’ll buy them anyway. And I’ll miss being able to point to links in conversations.

    I’ve been casting around for ecological spirituality for years. I’m sorry to lose ADR to get it, but I would choose you as the guide.

  51. Shane, we did indeed intend to settle down here for the long term; it’s just that a number of things didn’t turn out the way we expected, and so we had to rethink and look for other options. That’s one of the things that happens fairly often in a society in decline!

    With regard to “getting right with limits,” I’ll have something to say as we proceed about the way that the behavioral tics of Protestant religiosity have become an unhelpful default option across the board in American spiritual movements, including those that would most angrily insist that they have nothing in common with the American religious mainstream. You’ll notice how little success the Protestant churches have had in getting anyone — even their congregations — to follow the moral teachings of Jesus; this isn’t accidental, and suggests that other options are probably in order!

    With regard to the books, if you’ve got all my non-magical peak oil and future-of-industrial-society books, you’ve got about 70% of the Archdruid Report, albeit in heavily edited form.

    Twilight, thank you! The insight that the universe isn’t as rigid as it looks is crucial, and opens some highly important doors we’re going to explore in the months and years ahead.

    Will, glad to hear it.

    Bogatyr, diolch yn fawr! Yes, I’ve read Dreher’s piece. It’s very promising — but until I see him and other Christians actually doing the thing, rather than writing articles about it, it’s right up there with all those lavishly imagined lifeboat ecovillages that never happened.

    With regard to Vodolazkin’s essay, I think it’s probably a very good description of what’s in store for Russia. If Spenger’s right that the next high civilization will arise in and from Russia and the Slavic world generally, and I think he may well be correct, exactly the kind of withdrawal and concentration he describes is an essential part of that process. I think he’s mistaken about western Europe, and I’m quite sure he’s mistaken about the US, for reasons that will probably require an entire post in the future. The short form? The US isn’t part of the realm of Christendom that Vodolazkin is talking about; it’s got a thin veneer of European/Christian culture over the top of something very different, and that veneer is already cracking. More on this as we proceed!

    Alliemims, thank you!

    Aldabra, the ten volumes of Archdruid Report essays are already a huge publishing project, and doubling it by adding the comments — even if copyright law allowed that, which it doesn’t — would make it unworkable, so that’s not an option. Most of my posts are already all over the internet, though, and I won’t be especially surprised (or perturbed) if a mirror site or three springs up as we proceed. (They’ll have to get a move on, though, because we’re only about a month away from the date when both blogs turn into orphan sites with a single post redirecting people here…)

  52. By the way, I’d like to thank everyone for joining the conversation and keeping it friendly and congenial. The comments pages of my earlier blogs were a delight to me, too, and it’s good to see the same spirit seems to have made the leap to these new digs.

  53. not necessarily for posting.
    Great to be reading your erudite tomes again, and the mostly thoughful commentary.
    A very minor quibble/suggestion.
    Could you include, on both sites, cross-links to each other, please ?
    Thanks, and looking forward to the journey (should make my halting start on the road to Ovate of the DOGD more compelling).
    Andrew in Caledon

  54. I’m actually a bit surprised how many people share my wish that the comment sections from your previous blog ventures could be kept. JMG, you have perhaps the only blogs in the history of the web where readers will miss the comments section going away. Truly astounding.

    The only other comment section I wish I could revisit (I can’t find the page anymore) is one on a page about “Celebrities you didn’t know were Muslim,” and it’s for the completely opposite reason. There was a comment thread that started with “Who is Akon?” and proceeded to host a no-holds-barred multi-way verbal brawl over religion, politics, abortion, the Constitution, and whether one commenter looked like Jesus or Satan (said commenter was also told he “must be Mormon” because of how arrogant he was). It was a real hoot.

    Occasionally when reading particularly venomous comments, I’ve told myself, “Who is Akon?” and left, knowing that I’ve already experience the best the Internet has to offer on that front.

    At least with this new blog I can look forward to more quality comments of the less flamboyant variety.

  55. Speaking of friendly and congenial, might I recommend that the first thing you put up in your new virtual living room is this: “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 so are a good many other things we will have to discover or invent, on the long road to the ecosophical future. Thank you for reading ecosophia.net! — JMG”

  56. You are back! I miss the internal dialog I had with your weekly essays. You could now be writing about Art History instead of spirituality…. still you would challenge me to look at things differently with an accompanying well reasoned view, and it would be welcome. Do you realize how rare new, honest views on any topic are? Good Luck

  57. Andrew, by “both sites” you mean this one and the Dreamwidth account? That’s a good point, and I’ll see what I can do.

    Jjensenii, one of the real tragedies of the internet is that given a little healthy discipline, most of its forums could have the kind of intelligent conversation we’ve had here — and instead, you get an ongoing donnybrook of pointless yelling, because next to nobody is willing to establish and enforce a policy requiring basic civility. I hope that leading by example will eventually have some impact…

    Shane, my IT person has to install a custom plugin in order to put the familiar message in place, but once he’s had a chance to do that, it’s going up. In the meantime, if anybody tries to troll, I’ll simply fling their comments into a flaming pit of pterodactyl guano without warning.

    Faraday, thank you. I tried writing about art history back on the old blog once, and it definitely got some interesting responses!

  58. Oh thank goodness you’re back! So glad to hear from you. And thank goodness it looks like I’ll still be able to contribute to the discussion in pertinent ways. Most of Shinto is all about staying in tune with nature and considering the web of life, both current and through time. And then there is this one minority (which I have not directly encountered yet but I’ve heard about them) that wants to use Shinto for foreign adventurism again, and I suspect that will play a role in Japan’s future response to the decline of industrial society, with the people dragged along not because they believe any of myths foisted on them, but because disagreeing will be illegal.

    Ugh. Hoping to get my husband to agree to moving just a bit more mountainward, though his idea is to flee for Thailand.

  59. JMG, I was a regular reader of the ArchDruid Report for many years, and I’m very glad to find you here on this new platform. I am intensely interested in how religion will adapt to the circumstances of our civilizations decline as we go forward. I rarely comment since my brain works slowly and by the time I have worked out something profound to say the next post has usually been published. Your hints about whether Christianity in America will mutate into some new form, or whether an entirely new religion such as the Blue Lady of the Sea comes to the forefront were really fascinating. Thanks for taking this on—I believe only an ArchDruid can!

  60. Patricia, welcome to the new site! I’m sorry to hear that the specter of “state Shinto” has reared its ugly head again. I don’t imagine it helps much to remind them how that worked out the last time — or how it’s likely to work out a second time, given that China’s the most likely opponent…

    Will1000, thank you.

    Samurai, thank you also — I’ll try to keep it interesting!

    MJ, many thanks; I’ll check ’em out as time permits.

    John, it’s not up yet. As noted in the post, the website is still under construction.

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  62. err, “scratch under the surface of any American, and you’ll find a Puritan”, JMG? Seriously, have you read the ones to pick up the age-old battle against “demon rum” are none other than those pushing to legalize cannabis? Sigh. We may just get rid of cannabis prohibition only to have a second go-around w/alcohol prohibition. Listen to any pro-pot person rant about the evils of demon rum.

  63. Shane, it’s a hangover, pun intended, from Protestant theology. There can only be one devil at a time, remember! That’s why all the diet cranks obsess about the one and only one evil ingredient that’s making you fat, why all the prohibitionists obsess about the one and only one drug that’s the cause of all social problems, blah blah blah. I’ll have something to say about that in an upcoming post about the American macroneurotic diet…

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  65. Welcome back.

    Back on TAR, you mentioned doing a cycle of posts on Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Parsival, and their model of history. Are you going to visit this material here?

    Lastly, if you can’t keep the old comments, would it be possible for you to keep an edited selection of your replies?

  66. Very excited to see this new project. I have been dwelling in religious thought since the end of TADR. Going back to the Christian tradition that gives my life back drop, despite the fact that I abandoned it years back, and appreciating it as a marvel of evolution. I have even started to think of my self as an Evolutionary Christian, or (if I feel snarky) an Evolved Christian… That being said, viewing Christianity from an Evolutionary perspective, for me personally, reduces it to the path to a particular niche, instead of the end all be all fate of humanity.

    I hope that we can see some of the great achievements of the human soul which took shape under the molding pressure of Christianity, including science and other things, horizontally gene transfer to join with some of the great guidance which can be found in contemplation of non-human communities or in the lore of Non-Christian, especially non-literate, cultures.

  67. Re: ‘earth spirituality’… Richard Rohr (Franciscanism) and Matthew Fox (Creation Spirituality). And names?…. I’m partial to the Mongols’ ‘Eternal Blue Sky’ god (after reading “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World”)… It is always near, if hidden, at times, above our drizzle here : )

  68. Geoff, many thanks. I think there’s an RSS widget that goes on the sidebar, and as soon as I’m sure I’ve got the right one, it’ll go up for the benefit of readers who like to use that.

    Elizabeth, thank you! I’m still settling in to the new online digs, but I think it’s going to work very well indeed.

    Jeffrey, very likely, yes — it would be a great way to ensure I have plenty of spare time, as I suspect maybe half a dozen readers total would be interested in that, but that’s never stopped me before. 😉

    As for the comments, er, where am I going to find the many hours needed to fish through the comments and find every wisecrack I made that’s potentially worthy of preservation? I’ve unbent to the extent of making sure the comments from Well of Galabes are saved — you’ll find all the WoG posts and comments here if you go to the menu up top and click on “Blogs and Essays” — but the Archdruid Report would be a monumental task. Several people have made noises about doing a mirror site, and I’m certainly not going to stand in their way, but it’s not something in which I’m willing to invest the time.

    Ray, as I noted back on the other blog, I think it’s entirely possible that Christianity could rework itself to embrace the emerging nature-centered religious sensibility — and it can certainly do so without discarding any of its core concepts or theological commitments — but it’s going to be a wrench for Christians to let go of the notion that the world exists for the sake of human salvation. I hope they manage it.

    Nancy, I’m not a great fan of Matthew Fox, for reasons that will probably need a post here; those of his writings that I’ve read came across to me as shallow and tendentious, with a tendency to confuse currently fashionable political buzzwords with religious truth. Still, I’m willing to revisit that. I haven’t read Rohr at all yet. As for the Mongols, I tend to distrust sky gods unpartnered with earth goddesses, and I also tend to leave room for earth gods and sky goddesses…

    Degringolade, thank you! So am I.

  69. JMG, I take it you never went hang gliding. I was always chasing after the sky, and do not regret having done so. The sky gods I met were intimately linked with the earth gods (a good hang glider pilot becomes an expert on micrometeorology). Of course, we were never aiming for outer space with our aluminum, dacron and mylar confections. If you went cross country and landed in unfamiliar territory, you had to be fluent in the whispered conversation between earth and sky. The sky gods were more impersonal, less likely to show a human face than earth gods. Same holds for the sea–realm of dragons. They asked me to kick up my heels and enjoy today like there was no tomorrow. When I look back on my life, the finest times were out flying.
    I no longer fly, but the perspective it added to my life was priceless.

  70. Best of beginnings in your new ventures!

    I look forward to reading and ruminating on the themes the new blog will explore.

    I’m just beginning to learn about permaculture as it can be applied to my living situation, and am excited to see what more this blog and its discussions will add to that exploration.

    Off-topic a bit- I just sold my old editions and turned around and purchased the new editions of “Circles of Power” and “Paths of Wisdom”. Those two books probably helped me to learn more about effective and functional magical practice than any others I’d read before. Really enjoying “Circles” so far. Though I’m not entirely convinced that returning to a more Golden Dawn style Hermetic practice is for me, I take all the valuable things I have learned there with me. Thank you for that!

  71. I want to thank you for continuing to write your blog. I also want to thank you for posting the “Narratives Open Letter” in the archives. I really needed to read that! I wish I’d found it a couple of days ago!

  72. Hi John

    Glad to hear you are back after your well deserved break.

    I regularly posted under Lord Beria3 (I think!) under your old blog.

    I’ll be honest with you. For me, it was your writings on the future of industrial civilization and politics which I most enjoyed and it is something I have always found fascinating.

    I fully understand why you are tired of writing about it and feel that most of what you have covered is done and dusted. However, the odd annual review of where we are on the decline of our civilization would be gratefully received, if not the running commentary which you effectively provided, on your old blog.

    Saying that, I have found that I have grown more focused on finding solutions and adapting in my personal life over the last few years and am pleased to note that I have made good progress in my goal of becoming more self-sufficient in food, ale and so on.

    I’ve also become more spiritually in tune with nature and focused on enjoying the simple (and free) things in life… a nice walk on the beach, enjoying the sound of birds and getting away from our hyper-connected modern society.

    Look forward to your posts on your new blog.

    Regards

    James

  73. jmg- i’m looking forward to your new essays, although i have never considered myself an especially spiritual or religious person. nevertheless, a blessing is in order: may all the changes in your life be good ones. there is only one possible change that i can never accept: do not, under any circumstances, shave the beard!

  74. Patricia, nope — one of my oddities is that I don’t enjoy danger sports at all. I have no problem dealing with risk, but I don’t find it pleasant, quite the contrary.

    Hubertus, welcome back.

    Bonnie, glad to hear it. Have you considered taking a look at my book The Celtic Golden Dawn? it’s a fusion of Druid philosophy and spirituality with Hermetic magical technique, and seems to be becoming fairly popular among those who like a nature-centered spirituality with a strong magical component.

    Candace, you’re most welcome. I’m looking around for other old essays of mine that might be added to the “Blogs and Essays” page, for what it’s worth.

    Forecasting, oh, I’ll doubtless do the occasional review of how far down the slope we’ve gotten and how fast we’re accelerating; the news out of Greenland in particular is way ahead of where I thought we’d be at this point, and deserves the occasional raised eyebrow and wry commentary. Still, long discussions of the mechanics of sledding may be a bit too late when you’re already skidding down the snowy hillside…

    Jay, thank you. As for the beard, good heavens, no. This chin last saw the light of day when Reagan was in the White House, and I expect to be wearing it at my own funeral.

  75. Your news is great news! I’ll be reading with keen interest. May I offer this as a contribution to the proposed discussions? It’s about living in a forest garden, “an invitation to wildness”.

  76. Just as a first impression, I must say that I much prefer the more “dense” look of the old blogspot blog. The text is much bigger here, and there’s a big empty space between every line. There is a lot of wasted screen space. Very “modern” and “mobile-phone-y”, but not very cosy at all for me. I’m forced to scroll down very frequently. I just don’t think this format works as well for dense essays of the sort you write, and the resulting discussions, though it’s excellent for Twitter and the like. I wonder if making the formatting more condensed would be possible?

  77. JMG, I’ve enjoyed the Archdruid Report for many years and have looked forward to it every week (although I never posted a comment). Your new direction has me engaged in a way that has inspired me to post for the first time. I must agree with you that the time has come to work to create a more sustainable culture that can hopefully thrive once our current excuse for a culture has unraveled sufficiently.

    One thing that particularly interests me is how we will heal the damage to our collective and individual psyches that results from our current culture of isolation and emptiness, from witnessing all of the damage to our biosphere, and from seeing just how far it has eroded basic competency in practical living skills.

    At least for the near future, I think this damage will be a major obstacle to creating a culture that works. I know lots of others have written on this, but you have a unique approach and I’m eager to see what your ideas are.

  78. JMG wrote: “The US got a thin veneer of European/Christian culture over the top of something very different, and that veneer is already cracking/”

    Fascinating! What could be lurking underneath? Native american cultural concepts? Anything else?
    Any hints?

  79. Robert, many thanks.

    Esn, I’ll look into it, but a lot of people do use phones and other small-screen devices these days, and I’m trying to find a balance between their needs and yours.

    Elisa, you’re welcome and thank you!

    Steve, it’s going to be a rough road there. My sense is that cultures aren’t created, they evolve, and trying to force them along doesn’t do much good. That said, there are stages along the various cycles of history where certain things become possible that weren’t before, and a new religious sensibility is one of the things whose sprouting-time is approaching. My job, as I see it, isn’t to make the seeds sprout — they’ll sprout when they’re good and ready — but to water them and try to see to it that they’re transplanted into the best available soil.

    Karim, some of it’s certainly Native American; Carl Jung, among many others, commented with amazement how few white Americans notice just how overwhelmingly shaped the deep places of their psyches are by Native American archetypes and patterns. Some of it is less easy to categorize, and may be the foreshadowing of something that will take shape in the future. More on this as we proceed!

  80. Oh, and a general note: I’ve got a widget up on the sidebar that gives access to the RSS feeds for this blog and its comments. Also a bunch of other widgets, gizmos, and links that may be of interest to readers. If there’s something else that should be up there, please suggest it — I don’t claim to be particularly internet-literate, and for all I know every other blog these days has a Jammazetzian umbledork Q-feed link up and running and you’re all wondering where mine is…

  81. JMG wrote: “My job, as I see it, isn’t to make the seeds sprout — they’ll sprout when they’re good and ready — but to water them and try to see to it that they’re transplanted into the best available soil.”

    We’re in agreement about that. For that vast majority conscious awareness of that damage (which we can perhaps equate to the seedling poking through the surface) is not there yet.

    On the other hand, as the decline has been picking up speed, there are all sorts of seeds sprouting – and for those who don’t mow them down in denial or scapegoating or something else – this presents an opportunity for those who can see the sprouts (be they the person who needs to heal or someone in their life) to nurture them.

    And there are those – a minority to be sure – who perhaps have somewhat of a more developed young plant. These need nurturing too. There is still a lot to learn about the art of nurturing these types of seedlings.

    A grounded spirituality of nature will by it’s very nature help with the healing. Such spiritualities tend to have tools for moving through loss and grief and isolation and crises of meaning. It might be valuable, however, to do whatever we can to fine tune them to help address this particularly important need that is so prevalent in our time.

  82. For Esn: I also prefer less white space. I have tried reducing the View to 50% (ehh…) and switching it to No Style (better) but it is way wide. So I narrow the window to a 5 inch or so page width. For JMG: If the Style Sheet allows for a line spacing of 95% it might help us Big-screeners without discombobulating the Small-Screeners. Why do Jonathan Swift and religious Eggs pop into mind? Hmm…

  83. This promises to be an interesting but very challenging direction.

    When you speak of ecosophic practices, I have to say that for me the first thing that comes to mind isn’t any form of ritual (at least, not what we usually think of as ritual), it’s walking outdoors. Going places on foot. And not necessarily scenic trails or otherwise designated walking paths. I’m talking about practical pedestrianism, to and from public places and businesses.

    Some of my co-workers, every time I set off for home on foot (a distance of less than three miles, mostly along quiet suburban residential streets) express their concerns and well-wishes as if I were venturing through a perilous otherworld. They’ve convinced me that in their minds, that’s exactly what I’m doing. And these aren’t sheltered privileged people; they’re my fellow just-over-minimum-wage earners.

    While I don’t see it their way, sometimes, such as when walking along the verges of the local highways that connect suburban shopping centers, I do feel isolated, as if I have more in common with the hardy weeds underfoot forcing cracks apart beneath the road sign stanchions than with the near-invisible inhabitants of the machines roaring past. The cars might as well be the driverless variety the Elon Musks of the world are promising as the next of Father’s Big Improvements. Needless to say, I rarely if ever see anyone else on foot in such places between one parking lot and another.

    You walk; you’ve experienced something like this. No wonder you write about ruins. Miles can go by devoid of real human presence, surrounded by hardy nature and by massive artifacts many of which are crumbling at the edges… in an odd sense, many of the practical pedestrian’s landscapes have been ruins for decades, albeit noisily animated ones.

  84. Steve, exactly. I tend to be wary when people talk about creating a new culture, because in practice that’s kind of like trying to invent a tree, and works about as well!

    Gkb, I thought of that an instant before I read your final note… 😉

    Walt, I do indeed get that. A lot of people get quite remarkably flustered when I mention that I’ve walked, or am about to walk, the kind of modest distances (1-5 miles) I do in fact walk all the time. You’re right that that’s an ecosophical practice, and in more than one sense; every action that decreases the mediation separating you from your own actions and experiences is an important part of the work.

    Ormaybehedoesn’t, of course! The conversations are half the fun.

  85. I’d have to say that I, too, miss the “denser” look of the old blog. So much easier on the eyes with it’s great contrast between words and background. This one is not unpleasing, just not as cozy and easy a read for me.

  86. JMG, please tell us the day you are going to take down the ADR, so we can go to our local brewery, or get some Bourbon or Scotch, and celebrate Archfdruidrepocalypse! We’ll do it in full 2012 fashion! Considering how much you’ve discussed fauxpocalypse here, it’s the least we can do! I encourage ALL green wizard guilds to celebrate Archdruidrepocalypse!

  87. Lydia, so noted.

    Shane, hah! It’ll depend on the fine details of relocation, which are still slightly up in the air just at the moment. That said, you can do it at the solstice and be pretty close.

    A pity, really, that deleting a blog just involves inconveniencing some electrons. It would be great to give the Archdruid Report a Wagnerian sendoff, with flames rising above a technocratic Valhalla while a heldentenor and a soprano belt out some verbose variation on “I love you, let’s die.”

  88. Really looking forward to this project JMG. I remember how much I appreciated your Archdruid Report blog, like a drink of clean cold water when I first encountered it, and Ecosophia sounds like just what I want to learn more of now. I’ve been struggling with my tendency to want to skip ahead as if it was possible to work out how to go through the next step down in collapse before I have thoroughly learned my way into this one. I am encouraging myself to embrace the new skills of this phase, and have confidence in what I am doing and planning now whilst I wait to see what the next prompt will bring. In Quaker talk, it’s important not to “outrun the guide”.

    It’s been interesting re-working our family budget in the UK, as many food costs increased after the Brexit vote caused sterling’s devaluation against the other currencies. Of course the difference between back garden and neighbourhood-produced food vs imported goods really stands out with this economic re-adjustment, which is a prompt to move further towards the local and sustainable. In addition our local town Council have decided to charge extra for collecting compost and garden waste which has prompted my family to invest in a Hotbin composter which should be able to make effective usable compost fairly quickly out of the household compostables in the space we have available for it in our (small) backyard. The pattern I am seeing is something around whether I can receive the prompts of the larger systemic readjustments to move closer in engaging with the ecological processes of my walkable locality, so perhaps my family’s ‘collapse now’ might be baby steps in ecosophic living.

  89. If you would like to make a copy of the old blogs for your personal use, you can do this fairly easily from a linux command line or from the Terminal on a Mac. For windows you’d need to install something like cygwin

    This command downloads a copy of the site to your local disk by following all the links from the parent on that site. The little ‘&’ sign at the end runs that task non interactively – which is important if you want to stop the download from becoming massive.

    wget -r –no-parent http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/ &

    The next command deletes multiple copies of each page that are created due to following comments links. You should keep running this every 10 minutes or so whilst the site is downloading to clear out the spurious pages, or if you have many GB of free disk space, then you can run it once at the end.

    find thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/ -type f -name ‘*showComment*’ -delete

    Finally you can then archive it all up into a single compressed file using:

    tar cvzf thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com.tar.gz thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/

    You can repeat the process using galabes.blogspot.com/ for the Well of Galabes site.

    MCB

  90. Alice, many thanks! The sort of changes your family has made in response to recent changes are exactly what Warren Johnson wrote about in his first-rate book Muddling Toward Frugality, about which I’ll be talking further as we proceed. Too many people think in terms of grand plans in which “we” (however defined) remake the world, where — to my mind, at least — what’s needed is a conversation with our circumstances, in which we listen more than we talk and respond to changes rather than trying to impose them.

    Matt, many thanks for this. I’m going to take your word for it that these are computer commands rather than, say, a spell to release Cthulhu from drowned R’lyeh… 😉

  91. So nice to see your return, JMG, best wishes for continuing life transitions (isn’t all of life but a transition).

    Now retired, having been a biologist with primary academic interests in interrelated aspects of marine ecology/evolution/physiology/genetics, the unfolding destruction of and trauma to our beautiful physical world by humankind over many decades has been incredibly depressing to witness. The prospect of “civilized” society evolving into one based on ecological practices in tune with natural processes has been an unrealized personal dream for nearly 50 years.

    Though an “unangry” atheist/scientist with a decidedly data-driven view of a universe primarily determined by laws of thermodynamics, one also learns that truly following the ways of examining the universe by the Scientific Method means never categorically ruling out a possibility, however unlikely. Even theories describing what one likes to think of as immutable constructs like time and gravity are in flux. So with open mind, learning here how a future society might embrace ideas of ecosophic spirituality promises to be fascinating indeed.

    Having primarily Abenaki American Indian (many of us prefer that term) ancestry, I’ve always been intrigued by, if not a practitioner of, the ancient Spirit and Nature based traditions, so look forward to explorations in that vein. Best of luck with the new endeavor, many former readers will no doubt be along for the ride!

  92. Hi JMG,
    I am so happy to have your blog back. I re-read Green Wizardry and have finally made a hay box. I lined a cardboard box with wool from my ram and put a wool-filled pillow on top. My first experiment was a pot of dry beans which I did not soak but just boiled in salted water and put in the hay box in the morning. I went to get the pot out in the evening and it was too hot to handle. The beans were perfectly done and my kitchen was not heated up which is a real benefit in the hotter months of the year.

    I have also taken to soaking my laundry in hot soapy water and a dash of borax overnight. Then I wash then on the quick cycle the next morning and get a much better result than a longer cycle with no soaking.

    Being a Druid is such fun! Thank you for including me.
    Yours under the red cedars,
    Max Rogers

  93. Patriciaormsby mentions the spiritual dimensions and possibilities of low-speed flight, and I heartily second her observation. JMG, you respond quite reasonably in identifying hang gliding as a sport for risk-seekers, which is very much the popular view of observers and practitioners alike. The odd thing is: some of us, a minority, did hang gliding (I’m also pretty much retired from that activity) not because of the risk but in spite of it. The same attitude now permeates my bicycling and hiking.

    It’s an odd place to be, to take part in something that most people see as an egotistical statement of bravado when one is very much interested instead in artistic expressiveness and inner exploration. The WWII-era poem “High Flight” is an accessible example of the seldom-understood dimensions of flight, written by a fighter pilot (who soon afterwards met his maker.) Risk management is a critical aspect of many pursuits in life, and to me can hone one’s appreciation for the incredible qualities and forces of the natural world.

    My wife and I over the last few weekends day-hiked a couple of portions of the Pacific Crest Trail here in SoCal, where we met and chatted with some dozens of long-distance hikers headed north to Canada. My personal experience is that hiking in the wilderness can be a powerful yet humbling spiritual experience, but I venture to guess that at least some, perhaps many, of those PCT hikers are not motivated AT ALL by the spiritual possibilities of their journey. This does not mean they will not come face to face with spiritual lessons and experiences! Woven through all this comment is the notion of pilgrimage, something that I hope you will have discussions of in this new blog.

    Bravo for your new endeavors!

  94. gkb and JMG (or Geoff the IT Guy, I suppose): print and web line spacing are measured differently. I tried a couple tweaks and found that a CSS rule along the lines of the following looks nice to me, including when I shrink the screen to the size of a smartphone:

    .comment-content p, .entry-content p { line-height: 1.4; }

    MCB: Something that’s perhaps a bit simpler…

    $ apt-get install webhttrack

    And then just use that. It’s a program that grabs a copy of an entire website and makes it available to you on your computer. It’s also available for Windows. Here’s the site: http://www.httrack.com/

    And on fronts less laden with gibberish…

    You and I seem to have decided on similar changes of focus in life at about the same time. I seem to recall that once in the ADR comments, someone suggested that blog could be viewed as an exercise in magic, in that you were working on changing the consciousness of your readership—and you gave them something akin to a wink for getting it. That given, I think there’s a distinct possibility that that 11-year working found one of its marks in me, and that’s why I’m moving in the same direction you are.

    I’m two months into a year-long hitchhiking journey in search of deepening my connection to nature. My sweetheart and I are visiting off-grid communities, wise people, First Nations, and places where there are no people and we can learn to hear the rest of nature speaking. And just this week I completed a four-day fast in the Anishinaabe tradition—during which I took a step that is bigger than I realized and that will take me a while to fully understand: being given a name. As I’ve been taught, getting a name means committing to *living* this path; it means accepting a real, deep responsibility for living right with the Earth.

    (JMG is quoted in the blog post I wrote where I first grappled with understanding what spirits could mean.)

    Whenever I have the ability (my life is moving rapidly more off-grid) I expect to be here reading. Thanks for taking your writings in exactly the direction this recovering exclusive-materialist needs to make sense of what he’s found himself doing.

  95. Better late than never! Stumbled across your new home while working my way through the archives of the Archdruid Report. I’ve just about made it to my starting point over there, some 8 years ago, and not a moment too soon. I’m looking forward to the new topic, one very close to my heart.

  96. JMG said: A pity, really, that deleting a blog just involves inconveniencing some electrons. It would be great to give the Archdruid Report a Wagnerian sendoff, with flames rising above a technocratic Valhalla while a heldentenor and a soprano belt out some verbose variation on “I love you, let’s die.”

    It’s possible, you know. What you need is to delete the blog page by page, preferably in random order and random intervals, and have “404 Not Found” page prepared, which will say something like: “Bad luck, the world is falling apart and the Entropy came here before you.”

  97. Welcome back, JMG! Looking forward to the new discussion. (Until then, I have my copy of “Kingsport” to digest …)

  98. What an excellent focus for the new blog: “the need to begin crafting a living spirituality of nature — not an abstract worldview, but a way of life with practical, spiritual, and esoteric dimensions.” Having immersed myself in the works of Albert Schweitzer, a modern pioneer in crafting a practical form of mysticism based upon the instinctive human bond with all living things (and infused with the universal, elemental principle of reverence for life), I will be looking forward to adding my occasional two cents to what promises to be an exciting exploration of what a genuine 21st Century spirituality might look and feel like. Hats off to JMG for initiating this vital dialogue, so often neglected in current social commentary.

  99. Hi John,
    So good to hear your voice again along with those of whom I consider long time partners on a magnificent journey of discovery; I can’t think of a better guide to walk with. I can almost hear you say “Don’t follow me I’m lost too!” 😉 but I’d take your lost over anyone else’s “Trust me, I know what I’m doing”. I’m really grateful you share your journey with us and let us play a part in it.
    Planting seeds, nurturing sprouts, pulling weeds (remembering that some weeds are friendly); a wonderful metaphor; we don’t know what the final crop will be but we will know it was the best we could do.
    Best wishes for the new blog and the new digs; moving is such a to do, it looks like I’ll be doing it again soon and we’ve not even settled in here but change when change is indicated and all that.

  100. @gkb, You’re right, choosing “View>Page Style>No Style” is an improvement in readability despite being rather ugly. It’s the large amount of empty space between lines that bothers me the most about the default style. However, the smiley-faces are now enormous and take up the entire screen!

  101. JMG–you should really do up the apocalyptic aspect of ending the ADR, perhaps a few end of days prophesies for the faithful on the day of Archdruidrepocalyspe, a Book of Revelations tie in, and definitely an astrological consult and disconnecting the ADR on a particularly astrologically dark, auspicious time w/as many retrogrades/bad omens as possible.

  102. Dear JMG, glad to see you are up in running with the new blog, I will be following along with great interest! I’m currently reading the book Animate Earth by Stephan Harding (closely associated with James Lovelock). He writes that the term ‘ecosophy’ came from Arne Naess – out of curiosity, will you be touching on Arne Naess, or work by writers such as Harding, David Abram or Andreas Weber? There is a college in the UK called Schumacher College, who run postgraduate programs around some of the topics these writers address – will you be discussing any of these writers’ work?

  103. I am just dropping a virtual calling card as a sort of placeholder “I was here today.” I only discovered ADR and WOG late last year. I started at the beginning and have been absorbing them at the most blistering pace I can manage. I was in such a rush because your words filled all the gaps in my thinking that I couldn’t seem to identify and fill by myself: a profoundly satisfying and almost psychedelic experience that I couldn’t get enough of! Now, my pace has increased further as I’ve discovered the ADR is on its way to oblivion (for now), and I only have till the solstice to get through 2014-2016 in the current format before the blog takes the big Poof. Well, I am happy to be over here in this new spot from the very beginning, and I can’t wait to see where this leads. I am overjoyed at the new direction you will be taking us.

  104. @Esn: yes, I too get the Huge Smileys. On the plus side, the painting of the tree amid crumbling skyscrapers is also huge and feels like it transports one into another world. It is possible to Save Page as a text file to avert the attack of the Monstrous Smileys and read at one’s leisure off line. Lots of transforms, I know, but easier on the eyes.

  105. MCB and all,

    Just a note: you can avoid the duplicate downloading and the need to periodically delete the comment link pages by using:

    wget -r –no-parent –reject-regex ‘.*showComment.*’ http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/ &

    instead. (For the pedantic: -R ‘*showComment*’ doesn’t seem to work.)

    Two more notes: you can add -b after wget instead of the & at the end of the line to run it in the background, and you probably want -m rather than -r, since that doesn’t arbitrarily limit the depth it will follow links, though it doesn’t seem to make a difference in this case. All together:

    wget -b -m –no-parent –reject-regex ‘.*showComment.*’ http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/

  106. @gkb and esn, Interesting. I get a light green header with the title “Ecosophy–Toward an Ecological Spirituality” and sparse text below that in dark gray. The side bar has some of his book covers in color, but otherwise very spare. Which is fine with me! I’m here to read, and to facilitate scrolling, you can click the text once, and then after that use the space bar to scroll. (Or at least I can.) Different computer, totally different world view.

  107. @Walt (Myriad), I so agree with you about walking. As a woman, though, who is an unmistakable “broad” at a distance, I’ve had differing experiences in different places. In Japan, the worst thing is the occasional molester (but that died down the very instant I turned 30, as though my expiry date were stamped on my forehead). In America, I’ve been accosted repeatedly by men getting out of their cars if I try walking or jogging alone on a public roadway. Because I could point out a guy within view and call him my husband, they left me alone, but decided America’s roads are too dangerous. Too many predators. Siberia, no problem. Malaysia–deranged druggies in the shrubbery, but perhaps I was just unlucky. Thailand–fine, but dog packs will find you interesting, man or woman.
    Siberia was in a post-collapse situation, so that is not necessarily “the end of walking.” Indeed, collapse may provide you more companions who cannot currently be interested. I’ve walked across Japan at the middle (Honshu) and hope to walk it lengthwise to at least Kyoto (from Tokyo). You stop in at local shops, get accosted for a chat, hear about local features worth a side trip. People don’t know what they are missing!

  108. Hi JMG,

    “Have you considered taking a look at my book The Celtic Golden Dawn?”

    Yes, After borrowing it via interlibrary loan a couple of times, I’ve bitten the bullet and am perusing a copy of my own now 🙂 I think part of my puzzle is sorting through so many options available to me for study and practice, and feeling perhaps a bit overly-precious about choosing.

    I’m strongly attracted to the exercises in Mystery Teachings of the Living Earth (which I find myself coming back to repeatedly as well), as well as the system described in The Druid Magic Handbook, particularly the wheel of life as a map of experience and exploration. The thing I’m most hesitant about is its emphasis on Ogham. I just have no feel for the system at all. Coelbren, on the other hand, I’m finding intriguing.

    I’m also reviewing the Philosophers of Nature curriculum that’s been warming my shelves for a few years, and have just made my first read through the first 2 Bardon books along with Rawn Clark’s commentaries. So there’s a good bit to digest.

    It may be time for me to apply a double list to all this information- a list for “what makes me hesitate” and another for “what makes my heart give a little leap”. I don’t know. That may be veering even further into overthinking it.

    For now, I’m continuing with a reliable and basic daily ritual and even more basic short meditation, and asking my guiding Star to help me recognize what the best way to go will be.

    thanks, as always!
    Bonnie

  109. I could never leave a comment on thearchdruidreport from my AOL email address. Your discussion about the book “Overshoot” prompted me to, over time, buy several copies, one of which I won’t loan. I didn’t have the language concepts in the book at the time I ran for congress in 2006. Most thought the concept of 30′ of sea level rise incomprehensible and looked on me as a lunatic. It’s only a matter of time. I may be dead, but there is the 7th generation and those to follow.

    I have heard several interviews with you, at least one on KPFA. I wish we were neighbors and could converse often. We are all cousins. Our true family isn’t biological, it’s our kindred spirits. A question I infrequently ask anyone is: “If your spirit is enduring and your body is mortal, which one are you?”

    My favorite quote is from Marx, that would be Groucho, not Karl…”Always learn from other people’s mistakes. You’ll never live long enough to make them all yourself.”

    Thank you for your work, your lead to the Green Wizards and your mentorship of so many…including me and I’m no youngster. Those here are likely all old souls.

    Not that it is likely in this context…there is an old saying…”To exceed the master is to repay the debt”. One must try, in one’s own way!

    When I leave this dear earth, I want to know that I did my best to be a wise and good man. I’m 1/8 Cherokee… and to leave it better for the 7th generation. We are all cousins. There is no “Planet B”.

    Thank you, from my heart, soul and mind.

  110. @JMG
    ”Ray, as I noted back on the other blog, I think it’s entirely possible that Christianity could rework itself to embrace the emerging nature-centered religious sensibility — and it can certainly do so without discarding any of its core concepts or theological commitments — but it’s going to be a wrench for Christians to let go of the notion that the world exists for the sake of human salvation. I hope they manage it.”

    I think the concept of stewardship and how the creation that is given to man for dominion is not for destruction but for cultivation and prosperity to the Glory of the Creator. would mesh quite well with Christian Theology.

    On to another string of thought.
    Apparently its been in the news lately that there is now technology that will convert plastic into fuel. So I’d imagine there will be many other such inventions that involve catabolising our current waste and abandoned buildings as well as infrastructure. That would ensure that industrial decline will be slowed down as much as possible.

    I will be also interested on your thoughts on how much of our current military technology will survive the industrial decline and what wars will look like in the post-industrial future.

  111. RAnderson, welcome to the new blog! I share your frustration; as someone who still remembers the Seventies, and the ecocentric and ecosophical ideas that flowered then before the boot of the Reagan counterrevolution came down, the last forty years have been a very bitter experience. Still, once more into the breach! With regard to the relationship of science and religion, yeah, that’s going to be a major theme as we proceed; I think there’s grounds for a rapprochement, or at least a truce, though it’ll require both sides to back off some unjustifiable claims. More on this as we proceed!

    Maxine, huzzah! Those are fine and classic bits of “being the change you want to see in the world” — a concept which is going to be central to some of the discussions ahead.

    Bryan, I get that. For me, though, once I’m in a high-risk situation I’m locked into crisis management mode, which leaves zero space for enjoyment — all that matters is identifying threats and neutralizing them, and my overriding reaction is to get out of the high-risk situation as quickly as possible. I admire those people who can enjoy such things.

    Chuck, glad to be of help! I think a lot of people are moving in new directions just now; the lurch in collective consciousness around the recent election may be part of it, but I’m sure there’s more as well.

    Mary, you’re still ahead of the crowd — regular posts on this blog start in about two and a half weeks. Welcome to the new site!

    Pavel, sure, if I had the spare time! It wouldn’t provide the heldentenor, though. (I’ll have to see if I can find a good YouTube video of the final scene of Wagner’s Gotterdammerung, and post that on the blog as it goes down.)

    Chris, thank you — and I hope you enjoy Kingsport.

    Newtonfinn and Y. Chireau/NuttyProf, welcome to the new digs. I’ll look forward to our conversations.

    Jeff, thank you. I’m pleased that so many people want to share their journeys with me!

  112. Shane, funny. Nah, I may stick the aforementioned clip from Gotterdammerung on the site, but other than that, I’ll leave the wailing and gnashing of teeth to others.

    Jbucks, good question. I haven’t settled the direction this new blog will take — just the starting point — and what resources will end up central to the discussions that follow, well, that’s still in the clouds of the future.

    Environmentalist, if it’s any consolation, Well of Galabes is permanently archived here — you can find it via the “Blogs and Essays” page linked on the top menu bar — and The Archdruid Report will be published in its entirety. In the meantime, though, welcome to the new blog!

    Bonnie, fair enough!

    Stevan, you’re welcome and thank you. The way things are going — and we’ll certainly be discussing this in upcoming posts — a lot of us now breathing will likely see serious coastal flooding in our lifetimes. More on this soon!

    Infowarrior1, the problem with the concept of stewardship is that it presumes that human beings are smart enough to manage the complexities of the biosphere. It’s pretty clear at this point that we’re not. A serious dose of humility may be in order!

    The plastics-to-fuel thing is a stopgap; you’re right that it’ll stretch things out a bit, but I’d like to see solid figures for the net energy of the process. My guess is that it’s pretty low. As for military technology, hmm. That wasn’t something I really wanted to get into here; if it becomes of interest, I may do an article or two and find some other venue for them.

  113. Well, this is cause for celebration! Welcome back, teacher!

    Reading through the first series of comments at Ecosophia, I can’t help but feel a bit like a breathless fan in the mosh pit, waiting for the opening chord to electrify the crowd. After watching the CFPUP panel recently, I wondered if moving on to the “doing something about it” phase wasn’t in the offing in your next venture. Not that you haven’t had a good many worthwhile things to say on the subject already!

    Currently re-reading “Mystery Teachings” and “A World Full of Gods” as a tuneup, hoping to be even remotely prepared for what’s to come. Man, I’m glad you’re back on the air.

  114. Brother Greer: I am very excited about your new project. Like many others, I have been a long-time reader but never commented before. I am also excited to tell you that due partly to you and your teachings, I have become a 4th-degree Granger here in Maine. Since reading the book “Bowling Alone in America” I have been thinking about community and what that means. Our local Grange is/was on the brink of extinction and I believe in the original agrarian mission. Yeah, I’m not big on bean suppers, but I did have fun hand-washing dishes with folks I otherwise might never have met. And, who knows? I might even learn to bake a pie. Change doesn’t happen automatically, you have to join in with the gang and work together. Anyone here considering such an idea should act fast, especially in Maine. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

  115. Glad to see you back online, JMG. The direction you’ve proposed here looks very promising, and I look forward to reading your future posts.

    One topic I was hoping you’d cover in greater depth on the ADR is that of education, especially adult education. It’s something I’d like to become involved in; there’s a variety of topics I’ve learned over the years that I fancy might be worth learning, of the sort that are not likely to land one a teaching position in academe as currently composed. I hope you’ll be touching on the theme at some point, as I’m sure you’ll have much good food for thought.

  116. Tripp, that’s high praise — not to mention, er, a source of flashbacks… 😉

    Sister Sue, delighted to hear it! If I ever get up that way I’ll have to stop in — I’m still a Granger in good standing, though it’s been a good many years since I lived somewhere with a Grange. You’re right that anybody interested in the old community organizations needs to act fast, though — it really is now or never.

    Kevin, that’s a subject I intend to discuss, though it’s going to take a lot of study and thought as well. Finding a way to preserve learning through the twilight of a civilization is always a tall order, and many civilizations don’t manage it. Still, I think there are possibiltiies. More as we proceed!

  117. James M Jensen II – thanks for your tips! After a bit of digging around I got them working with a few other useful switches which make archival much more useful. For example the following command prepares the site for offline viewing by correcting some of the URLs to be relative and also makes the unterminated addresses work much more effectively. I also initially had an issue with the –regex-reject since it is a new addition to wget and I had to get the latest version (i.e. version >= 3.14) to make it work.

    wget –mirror –convert-links –html-extension –reject-regex ‘.*showComment.*’ -o tadr.log http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com &

    wget –mirror –convert-links –html-extension –reject-regex ‘.*showComment.*’ -o galabes.log http://galabes.blogspot.com &

    You can see the live download progress with the following commands (press ^C to escape)

    tail -f tadr.log
    tail -f galabes.log

    I believe this should also work as incremental backups.

    I ran these on an F1 micro server from cloud.google.com and it took WoG less than 5 mins to archive TADR about 30 mins to archive at a price of < $0.01 per hour.

    My copies came out at 6.7MB for WoG and about 97MB for TADR when zipped up.

    Matt

  118. @MCB

    Thank you for the script, but when I put it into the console in my little puppy linux I don’t think I got the results I sought. A single page of TADR is all that I seem to find saved. I am poking around to understand what the issue is, but I am very much out of my element.

  119. For Matt & James Jensen: For those of us who cannot spend the bandwidth $$$ or have enough local storage on our computers, will either of you consider offering limited access to the TADR comments online at some point–perhaps sporadically or as a special treat on St. Ignatius’s Day? That is, with permission from the contributors, of course. I gather that the commentary will not be included in the print edition of TADR, and the copyrights belong to the contributors themselves. If this is not possible or feasible, then ave atque vale and vade in pace to that collective conversation.

  120. Hi all,

    First, there’s a lot of comments already. I’m glad to see much of the community seems eager and willing to move here.

    Second, I’m currently spending some time in a third world country (India), and would like to share a few things: first, even people without running water have smart phones. I’m a little surprised, but internet access is apparently cheaper and easier to get than clean water. Its also higher priority for a lot of people.

    Next, without a lot of energy things get dirty. Both pollution sense (thank God I’m not in Delhi), but also in the dust, flies, and stray dogs sense.

    Finally, I’m here doing research on a religion (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness), and it will not surprise me if they play a large role in our future. They are a missionary tradition, have powerful rituals, brilliant rhetoric, and I think their ideas will be appealing for a lot of people. They currently have about nine million members, but I can see that rapidly increasing in the near and middle future.

    They view meat eating as evil, embrace an old fashioned view of gender norms, state we are living in an age of decline, and embrace austerity as spiritually purifying. Most importantly though: they claim advanced technology is at best “not benign”.

    Since meat eating may become a luxury of the rich, gender equality is fast becoming an ideal of the dominant minority (as far as I can tell), decline and austerity will soon be realities for most people (to a larger extent than is the case now), and it seems likely a lot of people will think that the pursuit of technology is to blame, I can see all these ideas catching on.

  121. gkb,

    One thing to note is that if you run the commands with the –reject-regex ‘.*showComment.*’ option I gave, the download for ADR is less than 500 MB.

    As for hosting it, I probably won’t as I don’t have a hosting plan at the moment; I hope someone else will.

    As for permissions, while it would be infeasible to get explicit permission for hosting everyone’s comments, they have consented already to them being online and hopefully no one will object to someone simply changing the location so that they can stay online. (And if they do, it’s a lot easier to delete some comments you were publishing for free than to reissue and reimburse for a print edition.)

  122. Will,

    That’s fascinating. Thanks for sharing this.

    I’m still hopeful that a substantial amount of gender equality will make it through the Long Descent, but we certainly live in interesting times.

  123. Hello JMG and everyone else,

    Firstly just on mirroring the ADR.

    I managed to download the whole of the ADR this morning with the “wget” command mentioned above, but in case anyone else is having trouble what did it for me was to list the URL not as http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk, which only downloaded an index page (same as Ray Wharton), but to give a starting year/directory such as http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2006/. Doing so made the wget programme start searching for all posts. It took a few cycles but it seems to have downloaded all comments pages as well.

    I found the following tutorial helpful for this:
    http://programminghistorian.org/lessons/automated-downloading-with-wget
    and…

  124. @Ray Wharton,

    I had the same problem, the reason being that the option keywords that are more than one letter long (such as “mirror” “convert-links” “html-extension” and “reject-regex”) have to be preceded by two dashes. This comment system here appears to be automatically converting the double dashes into single longer dashes (in everyone’s posts) for appearance’s sake. (To test that theory, I’m typing two dashes following the space following this colon: –). One dash instead of two confuses the computer demons, causing them to ignore those options. One of those options is the option to archive more than just the top page, so that might explain the result you got.

    Two other issues: perhaps because I have an earlier version of wget, my system didn’t recognize (dash)(dash)html-extension as a valid option. I simply left that out, but you might try (dash)(dash)adjust-extension instead. And my version insisted on an equal sign between the x and the first single quote mark in the reject-regex part, that is: (dash)(dash)reject-regex=‘.*showComment.*’

    With those changes, I’ve managed to archive the ADR on my computer, the only flaw being that in my archive page 2 (and page 3) of comment threads after June 2011 aren’t properly linked to the rest of the archive or readable in my browser, though they are present in separate files that are legible in a text editor. (The problem seems to be caused by muddled extensions on the names of those files, which makes sense given I had to omit that extensions-related option.) That’s good enough for me; I’m quitting while I’m ahead (and before I release Cthulhu, if it’s not already too late).

  125. …my main comment:
    I’m very happy to see you’re heading in this direction also. I’ve been reading the ADR since about the time your Green Wizardry posts began (I remember my first post was “Two agricultures, not one”) but it has been your speculations on religion that have hit me deepest and kept drawing me back.

    I’m a lurker, but preserving the ADR comments as above was important to me; there are a great many gems there from yourself and others.

    If I may give what for me is a sterling example, your conversation about Traditionalism with one Matthew/esther (from A Christmas Speculation), where you summed up your problems with Traditionalism’s Manichean flattening of the spiritual realm…including the insight:

    “the older vision makes it clear that there are a great diversity of equally valid, equally transcendent spiritual principles, the human representatives and vehicles of which can and do come into mortal conflict.”

    …that wee comment really helped me by flagging up my assumption that a valid religious path must be characterised by not seriously conflicting in its depths with other valid paths that interest me, my assumption that such conflict must be based on somebody’s superficial misunderstanding (mine as it turns out probably).

    Equally valid principles can nonetheless clash mortally at least through their human representatives…I mean of course, because they do all the time. And yet it being stated so simply like that removed some mental blocks for me.
    Waiting eagerly for the starting gun,
    Best,
    Morfran.

  126. I’ll come aboard, it’s been interesting so far.

    It may amuse you to learn I made a small fortune in the past month with “meme money” – ie cryptocurrency. Should be interesting to see if society lasts long enough for me to be able to turn it into something genuinely useful.

  127. Off topic, but I made an exception to watch the Megan Kelly interview of Vladimir Putin. (Paraphrasing) Vlad: “have you all lost your minds over there?!” Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Yes, Vlad, we have lost our minds over here, and this will become all too apparent in the following years…

  128. First of all, many thanks to everyone who’s contributed an incantation to Yog-Sothoth — perhaps extracted from the Technonomicon? — in the form of computer language. 😉 That’s entirely outside of my competence, which is why I have a hardworking IT guy (waves to Geoff) to take care of it for me.

    Will, interesting, ISKCON had its major flowering in the US some decades ago and ran into a cascade of troubles after Swami Prabhupada died; it’s entirely possible that they’ll pull out of it — but I’m far from sure that either vegetarianism or traditional gender roles are going to be especially helpful as we proceed. More on this in future posts.

    Morfran, we’ll be discussing that at quite some length as we proceed. Conflict is part of nature — not the whole of nature, but an inescapable part — and attempts to insist that it’s unreal or unnecessary are just as mistaken as attempts to insist that it’s the only reality. More on this later!

    Dammerung, I was wondering if you and the other Kek-worshippers among my readership were going to follow me to the new blog. Congratulations on the small fortune; grab a beer, pull up a chair, and welcome to the conversation.

    Shane, I always knew Putin was a smart cookie! 😉

  129. @MCB — thank you, thank you, thank you — I’m sure all the other semi-computer-literates will also thank you — works like a charm

  130. I propose a meetup in Providence, the home of the late H.P. Lovecraft, to mourn the passing of the ADR and welcome the birth of Ecosphia. The Summer Solstice is at 12:24 AM EDT on June 21, 2017, which is a rather inconvenient time for wage slaves and other unfortunates who have to rise early. I think 7 PM the 21st might be a good time to meet. My suggestion is the Wild Colonial tavern, 250 S. Water Street, Providence. I’ll be nursing a glass of bourbon, neat, with a side of water, wearing a fedora, and reading one of JMG’s books.

  131. Dear JMG,

    I stumbled across your blog in 2007, when I was 17 and a college kid. I had been raised in a small town as a true conservative, in the material, cultural and religious matters (Something like Spengler’s ‘provincial’). When I came into contact with the outside urban, globalised world, everything seemed so alien and strange. The habits of thought, beliefs, attitudes towards the past, the present and the future, and the frantic rush for material goodies, all these clashed forcefully with the beliefs I had held securely till then.

    And even more baffling was that next to nobody even felt it necessary to step back and contemplate about the big picture. Everyone seemed to be rushing towards something; what that ‘something’ was, no one seemed to be sure of. (Most of them are still doing these). Finding your blog was literally a godsend. Your blog helped me understand the many roots of contemporary culture and get prepared for the inevitable future we are facing.

    Even today, I find myself surprised that nearly everything you have written always made intuitive sense to me. I have commented only a handful of times, but I have read everyone of your posts. The breadth of ground you have covered in the last 12 years is truly amazing. The routine of reading your weekly posts, pondering about and applying them in my life has become second nature to me.

    A million thanks for everything.

    And I (and many of the readers) will be eternally in your debt for introducing us to Giambattista Vico, Oswald Spengler, Arnold Toynbee, JK Galbraith, William Catton Jr, Edmund Burke, Nietzsche and EF Schumacher. Modern industrial civilization, for all its faults, can preen itself for having produced these visionaries.I am a little sad that you will no longer be posting in The Well of Galabes. Each of those posts is worth its weight in good compost! I hope that you will continue some discussion on occultism in this blog also. I am very excited.

    I have been doing some research on reviving the pagan aspects of original, almost-forgotten, nature-centric Hinduism in my life. There are a lot of sound, reality-tested, eco-religious practices languishing in forgotten wisdom. I hope to contribute more actively in the discussions in the future,and learn. I look forward to the new blog in the spirit of this motto I fashioned based on your writings: There is no brighter future ahead, but it is still worth living.

    Regards
    Ramaraj

  132. Hi, John.

    As with others, I am truly excited about the new journey you are on. Brilliant!

    The first time I came across the term ‘ecosophy’ was reading Arne Naess and the deep ecology folks. While this tends towards philosophy, it appears to barely touch upon the spiritual. Are you drawing on Naess’ work at all?

    An odd novel published by one deep ecologist, Alan Drenngson, is titled ‘Doc Forest and Blue Mountain Ecostery: A Narrative on Creating Ecological Harmony in Daily Life’. Sound a bit like your own venture?

    Finally, Dolores La Chapelle, another deep ecologist, explores the sacred in her wonderful work, ‘Sacred Land, Sacred Sex’. She is one writer who seemed to treat life (meaning life on earth, NOT human existence) as being sacred. I feel we need more thinking, and living, like that.

    I’ll be a willing joiner of this conversation, and am really looking forward to future posts.

    From the Irish midlands,

    brian

  133. Peter, I’m sorry I’ll have to miss it!

    Ramaraj, you’re welcome and thank you. Yes, we’ll be discussing occultism here — one of the things that, to my mind, an ecosophic spirituality needs is the practical dimension of spiritual practice that occultism provides.

    Brian, I’m probably going to have to revisit Naess et al. No, they aren’t really talking about the same thing I have in mind; for what it’s worth, I sketched out my sense of the term “ecosophy” in a post on The Archdruid Report that, for the next two weeks or so, will be accessible here.

  134. @JMG
    ”Infowarrior1, the problem with the concept of stewardship is that it presumes that human beings are smart enough to manage the complexities of the biosphere. It’s pretty clear at this point that we’re not. A serious dose of humility may be in order! ”

    True we need humility. Although its unfortunate however that in Christian theology it is a duty from the creator to hold dominion over nature(Genesis 1:28) and do so well to his glory.Therefore if human beings are not smart enough to manage the complexities of the biosphere then humanity will have to make themselves able to do so well. Its squarely on the shoulders on mankind for failing to do so and doing so badly as you have mentioned previously.

  135. Looking forward to your posts here John. I’ve been reading the Archdruid report since the beginning and can’t wait to see where you go next. I’m not one for replying usually so I’ll just wish you the best of luck from the Low Countries.

    Cheers
    Matt

  136. I’m glad to hear you’ll be active again soon! This seems as good a time to ask as any – I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how an ecospiritual society would approach community defense. It’s almost taboo to discuss violence in a lot of ecological or spiritual circles though, so I’ve found it tough to exchange ideas. Will those sorts of questions (when relevant) be welcome here? Or would you prefer I pose them elsewhere?

    Regardless, I look forward to future discussions and reading your work. Thank you for changing my perspective.

  137. JMG,

    I have almost never been commenting on either of your blogs but I wanted you to let you know that, like a lot of other people, I was basically considering you one of my teachers for the last several years. I read and reread all the posts on both of your blogs. Some of them more than five times.

    After finishing my school and uni education I was a firm believer in scientism. It took almost a decade after uni for this worldview to start cracking and I discovered The ADR at a time when I started pursuing my serious doubts about the ways we approach life. Of course, there were other sources of information in form of books, other blogs, podcasts and conversations with people. There is one thing in my education that I attribute squarely to you though – it is the optimism that I have about this unfolding change. I did go through some desperate depression patches where I saw no hope in what’s coming. However, now I’m looking forward to the future despite the hardships it promises and it is mostly inspired by your posts.

    I used to be in the camp of people who would dismiss any problems by “Oh, but they will surely come up with something.” It took me a while to understand that there are no “them”. This “coming up with something” business is quite different to how I would have it imagined 15 years ago and more than anything it has to be done by “us”. You helped me to understand that people who are already “doing something about it” look more like druids than lab scientists.

    All the best with this new undertaking!

    Cheers,
    Val

  138. @Christopher Henningsen Yup, community defence is one of my own hobby horses. I’ve read so much Transition material about how to prepare a lovely community to weather the end of the hydrocarbon economy without considering what they’ll do if someone decides to take it all away from them – in a period which is likely to have no public policing, and likely a predatory government…

  139. JMG
    I have just re-read your 2009 essay on ecosphia after you provided the link in reply to Brian (above). There is a lot to discuss in there and to take on board but not a lot, in my case, to argue with. It’s a while ago now, but for some years I was called on to do scientific investigation and to make practical judgements on what we knew and what we did not know, affecting sometimes important practical actions. (I was involved with molecular diagnostics in crops.)

    As a retired ‘scientist’, ‘scientism’ appears full of holes, offering plausible logic in order to ‘explain’ realities in the absence of sufficient knowledge.

    It is as if a ‘world view’ demands that one can offer correct wisdom even when the limited data tells us that we cannot. (There remains of course a judgement call for which we will be held to account.) Importantly perhaps for ecosophia, I note that evolutionary theory easily elides into Social Darwinism. For example, the need to explain everything in terms of evolutionary selection can even infest popular Natural History, offering a competitive political economy as an explanation for every instinct and behaviour, both plant and animal. I link this with what you termed ‘unconscious assumptions’. It has been pointed out, I forget the source, that ‘reductionism’ can be a useful tool for scientific thinking, but ‘constructionism’ (for example, an explanation argued from ‘first principles’) is usually scientifically impossible.(As a footnote, I have come to regard many medical explanations as superstition, given the inadequate science and methodology.)

    I liked your point in 2009, re-industrial / technocratic civilisation: “The power we claimed was never really ours.. “, A man of English Gypsy origin whom I once knew, suggested that we ‘borrow the earth’, which might be one way of saying it. Yes, life seems like that.

    best
    Phil H

  140. I just read Root and Branch, and it was painful to think of such a dystopia. I do hope you’ll write a rejoinder.

  141. I should probably check out Naess myself, but the mention of deep ecology reminds me of the late Bill Mollison and his particularly straightforward sense of humor.

    After sitting through a chewy lecture on the subject he was introduced to the speaker, of whom he asked, “do you drive a car, and do you garden?”

    To which the speaker replied, “yes, and no.”

    And then Bill said, “well, then you’re just part of the problem.”

    And he turned and walked out and I doubt he gave the subject another thought…

  142. After having my brain exercised (and exorcized?) for years by the Archdruid Report, it’s a no-brainer to follow along to this new place. Keep making me think.

  143. Hello Mr Greer,
    I’m a lurker on your previous site and to my surprised I felt brave enough to post my thoughts here. Thank you for writing so many insightful articles and looking forward to your future posts. Now I’m going back into lurker mode. Once again thank you.

  144. Good to see you back in the ring, JMG. Your writings are going to take interesting new turn. Building religiosity and spirituality of tomorrow… I imagine that late Roman philosophers, facing doomed structure of state and thought, made same kind leaps into the dark. Certain Augustine of Hippo comes to mind. We will see whom of your old readership shall make that same leap. It is one thing to describe and predict crisis situation evolving around us all. All prescient persons can see that your prognosis is spot on, and give their own ideas into the conversation about Decline and Fall. But to suggest new way of thinking and being and relating to reality… well, history of religions show that this divides those same intelligent persons into competing camps.

    When I found ADR about six years ago, many persons around me had quite clear impression that industrial civilization was on it’s way down. I was born and raised about thirty kilometres from Finnish-Soviet border. My community and family witnessed firsthand in 90’s what it is when industrial superpower collapses.

    It was crazy. That unraveling of basic presumptions of reality cannot be understood if you have not either lived it or witnessed it from close distance.

    Subsequent rise of old, pre-modern Russian identity and Orthodox Christianity was also something I saw and predicted long before it was registered into collective consciousness of progressive West.

    As crisis of ’08 started, similarities between Soviet collapse and the collapse of the Western house of cards were hard to miss. Lyrics were different, but the tone played was the same.

    We should not be moving “backwards”, shouldn’t we? So Western observers, blinded by their own religious blindspots, cannot truly grasp the biggest and baddest change in historical winds after the Fall of Rome: whole cultural spheres have started to shed away modernist veneer. They are turning back to their collective, pre-modern identities and religions. This evolution is most pronounced in Russia and Islamic world, but it is also happening in India and China. As Westerners cannot grasp this evolution, they are hysterically throwing terms like “patriarchy, misogyny, racism, fascism” around.

    This simple observation was main theme of my comments in old ADR. You JMG described things very, very sharply. More sharply than I ever could do. You teached me to think outside the box I had build for myself. Thank you for that.

    Yet I believe that you and your general readership underestimate and underestimated hugely this great pre-modern revival sweeping around the Old Continent. Cultural sea change as deep and impressive as this cannot be rolled back. Ancestral religions are coming back with vengeance in most parts of this planet. With them come back old ways to see gender roles, legitimacy of governments and meaning of family and morality.

    The change is already here. In Islamic world, gender roles are more conservative than ever during last three hundred years. In Russia, very Old School Christianity is back. And it is masculine Christianity. not much groveling before competitors seen there. In China, under VERY thin veneer of Communism, old dynastic and Confucian thinking has made comeback of the century.

    So I don’t know how I personally can relate to any new spirituality. I believe that riding the big wave of deep flood tide of religious and social conservatism is the best option for the future. Past is the future.

    Thanks, Bogatyr, for a very good link. You know what I am talking.

  145. @patriciaormsby, yeah, I understand how those personal safety concerns could alter the experience of utilitarian walking. I’m imagining (in the U.S.) the most frequent threatening scenario would typically be a lone male in a car stopping and saying something like, “Hey, need a ride?” with the implicit threat of becoming aggressive if refused (or worse, if accepted). I’m large and male and not reassuringly normal-looking (even on my good days) so I don’t see that; I’ve dealt with random shouted insults (at least I think they were insults; only about two syllables are ever audible from a car speeding by); and, only twice in my life so far, ineffectually thrown objects. As long as a car keeps moving I don’t see anyone in it as much of a threat (even shooting from a moving car is a doubtful proposition) because they’re not mobile. (Ironic, yes.) For all practical purposes they’re stuck to the road. It’s like being threatened by someone in a wheelchair. (Okay, a very fast and heavy wheelchair. So unless you’re a movie character and therefore can’t possibly know any better, don’t try to flee from them by running along the road!)

    It’s hard to predict how that might change in a collapse scenario where a lot of people who don’t want to walk and aren’t used to walking are forced to do so. Foot traffic that’s mostly people just trying to get through their day could become safer, as it already is in many towns and urban neighborhoods (by day at least). Genuinely friendly offers of a ride might also become more common (though that also creates more opportunities for predators).

  146. Dear Mr Greer

    Thank you for allowing the arch Druid Report to be copied and survive in other parts of the internet. Personally I don’t need it myself as I have been reading it for 9 years and am currently half way through Toynbees Study Of History. However there will be thousands who may benefit from it over the coming years before the internet finally goes west.

    We’ve had another shock election result here in the UK which shows that the neo liberal consensus is on its death bed. Saying this might seem strange to people outside the UK, given the fact that the Tories still won. But what you have to remember is that it has become a truth universally acknowledged that a left wing party could not possibly be elected into government. This meant that even those who agreed with Corbyn’s policies didn’t want him as leader of the labour party as they thought he could never get elected and events seemed to prove them right. In the local council elections in May 2017 labours performance was dismal and when Theresa May announced the election 6 week ago labour was 20% to 24% behind the tories in the poll and most pundits thought May would end up with a 100 to 200 seat majority and Labour would be decimated. But then a shock happened. The Tories lost their majority and now can only hold onto power by having an alliance with the DUP. Labour on the other hand increased their vote by 9%. This is the biggest swing to labour since 1945 and has certainly killed off the idea that a left wing leader could never get themselves elected. One great thing about this is that the right ring tabloid press have been crucifying Corbyn and people haven’t been listening. They’ve lost their power to swing elections. Another great thing about this is that there is now a real gap between the policies of the two big parties and it is in this gap that democracy lives. I think the Brexit vote have given people back a sense of their power and this might just save our democracy. And yet another great thing about this is that the next crash is likely to happen on the tories watch. The only place neoliberalism goes after that is the grave. They won’t be able to blame labour for that.

    Peak oil and the limits to growth will put a damper on any dreams of a socialist utopia. However Corbyn will be better than the neo liberals and at least we might get to keep of democracy and thats something.

    Anyway I better stop there. This isn’t something you will be covering on your new blog

  147. “Every action that decreases the mediation separating you from your own actions and experiences is an important part of the work.”

    Weeks after first reading this reply, it’s dawning on me how deeply and into how many dimensions that simple-sounding principle might extend. It seems likely we’re going to be spending some time examining and exploring it, and I look forward to that.

  148. It was so great to see you at The Morrigan Retreat! And thank you for putting up with me and my incessant questions!

    Here’s what I mentioned to you earlier on Friday, and I think you and the readers of Galabes (and Ecosophia) may very well enjoy.

    https://walkingtheworlds.com/

    Walking The Worlds is a “print journal devoted to an exploration of spiritwork and polytheism from a variety of traditions, ancient and modern.” It is published at each of the solstices.

    Upcoming themes include:

    Divination and Oracles (Summer 2017)
    Text and Tradition (Winter 2017)
    Prayer (Summer 2018)
    Pilgrimage (Winter 2018)
    Icons and Idols (Summer 2019)

    I’ll be submitting an article for the Summer 2018 Solstice on Stoic Prayer, and examining Cleanthes’ famous Hymn to Zeus.

  149. Well, I have followed over here, of course. I expect this new project will require more thoughtful discernment than the old projects did, for me, as a Christian, as I’m not interested in any new religion, however, I’m sure there will be much of value to be gleaned from it.
    Take care and best wishes.

  150. JMG,
    I hope you’re well! I’m very much looking forward to the beginning of your new project.
    You’ve mentioned at least once before Jung’s comments about North Americans’ distinctly North American psyches. Can you, or anyone else around here, point me to where I can find Jung or others talking about this?

  151. Infowarrior1, unfortunate indeed. I hope that Christians in time to come will take a more nuanced view of that particular passage.

    Matt, thank you!

    Christopher, when it’s relevant, sure. We’re going to be talking about very different issues for a while, though.

    Val, delighted to hear it.

    Phil, I’ve noticed that a lot of people who’ve done actual experimental work with living things tend to have no trouble understanding the limits to scientism, so this doesn’t surprise me.

    Shane, did you mean to post this to the discussion on Dreamwidth?

    Tripp, a great anecdote, and far too close to the bone for the comfort of many.

    Themisanthrope, that I can certainly do!

    D. Bishop, you’re welcome and thank you

    Juhana, that’s why I’ve pointed out repeatedly that I’m talking primarily about the future of my own nation and culture, rather than other parts of the world. How exactly things will play out in Europe is interesting to me, but I’ve never lived there and don’t have a clear personal sense of how things will unfold there. On this continent, things are moving in other directions — as indeed one would expect.

  152. Jasmine, oh, I’ll cover the political scene from time to time, and I’m also looking for a paying venue for political writing from my own erratic perspective. Yes, I noticed how well Corbyn did, and I’m also reminded of a comment from a British friend of mine: “The only way I’d be willing to tolerate a hung parliament is if it’s a public hanging.” Your system of government is highly resilient; I hope it can survive the gathering storm.

    Walt, excellent! Thank you for getting it. Yes, we’ll be talking about that as this blog proceeds.

    Daniel, thank you! I’ll give it a look and see if I have anything to contribute.

    BoysMom, welcome to the new blog! For what it’s worth, I’m not going to be preaching a new religion; one of the things I hope to clarify as we proceed is the difference between a religion and a religious sensibility, and the role of spiritual practice and esotericism in response to both of these.

    Jonathan, I’ll have to go digging through my Jung library to find it, and that’ll have to wait until said library is unpacked, which will be a while yet. If anyone else remembers the passage, by all means cite it here!

  153. (Used to be UrbanHarvester) Welcome back JMG, I’m looking forward to the new blog and the new conversation, thank you! I’ve been mourning your weekly essays, but seeing that so many are coming along to continue the discourse is heartening! I’m finally going to get around to reading A World Full of Gods (though what I know about if from your conversation has already influenced me quite a bit), and as I wait eagerly I’m wondering (hoping) that some Goethean weltanschauung will be found in the discourse! Best of luck to you and Sara in your relocation, uprooting and transplanting a life can be challenging!
    -Oliver

  154. @Juhana,
    as JMG has said in the past, we’ll probably return to a pre-Christian, cyclical, nature based polytheism more in tune with the ecosphere. The middle eastern sky God religions are a relatively new introduction in much of the world from the perspective of deep time, and certainly a foreign, imported religion to the West. It’s interesting to me that that seems to be in your blind spot, as I always thought that Scandinavia was the last of the West to convert to Christianity, and, as a result, Norse polytheism is one of the most intact, and well recorded, of the old pre-Christian polytheistic religions. Still, as JMG has said, things are different on this side of the pond, and maybe Christianity won’t implode as quickly in Europe as here in the US. Our Western roots are quite shallow and ill fitting.

  155. Umm, JMG, your old blog made it easier to delete comments. I would have deleted that post if I had the option…

  156. @Juhana, relating to your observation of the revival of conservative religious traditions after decades of suppression, I noticed in Siberia that they really wasted no time reviving Orthodox Christianity despite its near total obliteration over a span of time so long that very few would have a living memory of it in practice. Despite a lack of funds in the towns I visited, with not even enough government money flowing in to pay salaries to families depending on them, the sturdy old church buildings that had been converted deliberately to barns during the communist years were cleaned up and restored, with icons brought in from somewhere and priests with wonderful voices showing up as if by magic to lead the faithful in song. In one case I noticed on the shores of Baikal with only a scattering of houses in the vicinity, it took ten years, but they restored it. In the meantime, the young were terribly vulnerable to missionaries to whom we in countries where they are common have evolved immunity. While that may have been part of the hurry to revive the local religions (also Buddhism, Shamanism, a few Islamic folks), I really don’t think so. I am reminded of the “wave properties” of electrons, for example, that in the course of travel exist in one place, then do not exist, and then reappear, perhaps disappearing into a dimension we cannot perceive. Perhaps that is how Christianity came through, becoming invisible to authorities while still serving its need.

  157. @patriciaormsby: That is exactly my point. As you have actually been there, instead of reading opinion pieces by writers who have maybe been there, you understand what I mean by that revival. It is real change in cultural sphere, and one that has ALREADY HAPPENED. It is not my opinion, or yours. It’s reality.

    You have probably heard about starovets..? About “old believers”, as they are known in English language..? Meaning people who during 17th century did not accept changes to church liturgy and customs introduced by Czar Aleksei Mihailovits..?

    They live in the countryside. They do not use a lot of electronic devices, computers or even cars. They live off from the land, by homestead farming and animal husbandry. They hunt and trap animals. They take over abandoned farmland around Russia and rise big families with traditional gender roles.

    They are taking over long-neglected Russian countryside, especially in Siberia and and Russian Far East, very rapidly. And their take on Orthodox Christianity is as old schools as it can be. Their communities are extremely strong, and have became even stronger after Stalinist terror against them. Big guns don’t conquer. Faith does.

    Future belongs to people like them.

    @Shane: I observe reality, things that are really happening.. There is no pagan revival in Scandinavia or Russia. There are not even signs of it. There are two groups which roleplay with idea of Paganism. First group is among well-read middle-class ecologists living comfortably in urban areas and daydreaming about equalist, totally fictional Pagan past. They are, to quote JMG, not ready to give up their lifestyle to walk the walk. Unlike starovets are.

    Second group of neo-pagans is made of far-right activists, who use well-preserved Scandinavian mythology/folklore (Edda, Kalevala, Kanteletar, Norse sagas) to achieve and elevate their political agenda. Politics is ALWAYS in the center with them, “religion” is only a vechile toward that political destination. So it is not real, living religiosity at all. Most black metal bands using pagan setting fall into this category also.

    So living religion of paganism is just not happening here.

    There is your typical bunch of academic misfits and dropouts dreaming big dreams with minuscule following and budgets on the one corner, and somewhat bigger bunch of far-right nationalists using national heritage to achieve their political goals on the other corner, That’s it.

    Old School Christianity instead has deep following, penetrating through all social classes. In Russia and Finland alike following is concentrated on the countryside. You know, among those people who actually know how to live off the land, how to hunt, how to fish and how to gather useful berries, mushrooms and herbs from the nature. In Finland we have our own Bible Belt, stretching from Ostrobothnia to Lapland. In Russia, neglected and devastated countryside and agricultural centers serving those aras are witnessing big religious revival.

    That is how it is. I do not hope for things to happen the way I want. I observe events as they are unfolding around me.

    I have personally read most of written heritage from Scandinavian pagan past. In Finland, our tribal oral traditions were gathered into written form at the eleventh hour, during early 19th century AD ,as that tradition was already breaking up. Long oral tradition was written down, in the form of Kalevala and Kanteletar. Yet, even those folklores have blended with Old School Christianity.

    Good example is our musical tradition with kantele. Kantele, as an instrument, is strongly associated with tribal, pre-Christian past before 12th century AD. Yet the most famous songs with kantele carry with them almost animistic memories of early Christianity. This song is good example. These haunting melodies describe how Finns experienced the bells of ancient Konevitsa monastery, build during 13th century AD, as their sound was carried over great lake of Laatokka, in now lost Carelia. These melodies are both Christian and Pagan, as they cannot be separated from each other. Not any more.

    Traditional version with kantele as an instrument:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LixNxSGzlGA

    More contemporary version:

  158. I am not sure if it is too late for this kind of requests but I’ll ask anyway, I believe I might be not the only one who would benefit from this change and to my understanding it should be rather easy for the IT guy to do it.

    On both of the old blogs the ‘comments’ link on each post was taking my browsers to the last comment of the post. It is very handy when it does that particularly when there are already a lot of comments and especially on a mobile phone where it saves me a lot of scrolling. Is there still room for a change like this?

    I’m talking about the link at the header of each post on the homepage. The one for this post links to http://www.ecosophia.net/excuse-dust-clutter/#comments

  159. JMG. Congratulations on this new site. Look forward to your work. My son is now reading your book, soon to read others. That is a small in road to the thirtysometings who need information. Thank you for your work. Bob.

  160. Oliver, thank you! We’re hip deep in cardboard boxes at the moment, but all’s going well, and I have a draft of next Wednesday’s post pretty much ready to roll. As for Goethe, why, yes, we’ll get to him in due time — though I’m going to have to wait until I can unpack my collection of his scientific works!

    Shane, duly noted. Think of it as a fringe benefit — now your most embarrassing moments can be preserved for posterity! 😉

    Juhana (if I may), when you insist that there’s no Pagan revival in Scandinavia, I have to scratch my head in perplexity. I know people in several Scandinavian countries who don’t belong to either of your two categories, but are sincere worshippers of the Aesir and Vanir, end of sentence. Maybe that’s not common in Finland, but it does seem to be a going concern in at least three of the other Scandinavian countries…

    Val, I’ll consider that. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Bob, delighted to hear it. Which of my books is he reading?

  161. @JMG: My knowledge is of course limited. I do not know what is going on in many places, and I do not claim to have anykind “universal vision” of how things are. But I have been in many places, and met people from four corners of the Earth. My sincere opinion, which is not the whole truth of course, is that neo-paganism in Scandinavia is found mostly from big urban centers. It is practiced, but as “lifestyle accesory” by many. There certainly are hard core of true adherents, who walk the walk. But I think their number is relatively small. Or then I just have not met right people, and this neo-pagan revival has somehow happened under my nose without me seeing it.

    Far-right neo-paganism is actually relatively bigger phenomenon, as I said. Outlaw biker clubs, football firms (=hooligan confederations) and just ordinary Identitarian nationalists seem to be attracted to it. Odinism, Wotan, old Indo-European gods are their bread and butter. But to my eyes, it is more about politics. Identity politics, to be specific. They do not, as far as I can observe that kind of things, really BELIEVE that Thor (or Ukko) is throwing thunderbolts down from heavens. Neo-paganism is them just an identity marker, boundary between Us and Them

    Maybe I am wrong in this. Maybe not.

    But in Russia these starovets, old believers, are truly colonizing Russian agricultural backwaters, which were abandoned first time during horribly inefficient central planning of farming, and second time after great migration wave to big cities after Soviet collapse. They live largely ungoverned in small agricultural villages that gods of progress have forgotten. When Soviets put their spy satellites to close orbit during 70’s, they found hundreds of starovet villages that they did not know to exist at all. During current political climate their re-populating of abandoned villages is strongly encouraged by both local and central government machinery in Russia, and their numbers are growing fast. Their numbers are now between 1-10 million souls, with conservative estimate being around 2,5 million souls.It is incredibly hard to find any information about them in english language, but here are couple of videos about them. THEY ARE INCREDIBLY RESILIENT AGAINST COLLAPSE OF INDUSTRIAL CIVILIZATION.

    I just believe that this revival movement of Christianity has more power than paganism or competing secular religions, at least in eastern part of Europe. And Western Europe… well, it probably wakes up to adhan prayer calls by muezzins after couple of decades. They have no religion, no will to fight back, no common culture anymore. They are truly lost.

    No room for paganism in either scenario. You probably know how Mohammedans treat those they see as “idol worshippers”…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS2w1ICj2Zw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzzmhckeiXQ

  162. JUG. When I try to research Ecosophy most of what I find is of the Needs variety. I did order Nollman’s book and also got his Why we garden as per your recommendation on the AODA sure. Any other recommendations for study as we wait to read your new blogs??

    Thanks

    Mac

  163. That should have been JMG instead of JUG. And Naess instead of Needs. Gotta beware the spell corrector

    Thanks

    Mac

  164. @Juhana, I think you know more about the Starovets (Old Believers) than I. I visited one of their communities south of Ulan Ude about 15 years ago and they were doing quite well comparatively as you say, but I have no recent knowledge of how things have shaped up. A lot of their sacred relics were confiscated during the Soviet era, lamented particularly by the people around them who would not want to partake in such a strict lifestyle, but had real admiration.
    Fifteen years ago, there was no drift to the cities yet because there was no way to make a living there either. Rather, the urban folks were reliant on relatives farming in rural areas to survive. I take it from what you are saying that the economy under Putin has turned around enough that young people are being attracted into urban life. Young and old, they seem to be learning English, and the isolationism I witnessed before may not be so extreme now, in which case they may be aware that a certain amount of farmland, even if it is just a dacha on the outskirts of their city has real value that may be realized in the near-term future. They would also see the value in somebody–anybody–taking over disused farmland and maintaining that sort of infrastructure. Somebody that won’t poison the land and export the takings. (more below)

  165. @Juhana some more: From what little I know of the Starovets, they along with the exiled prisoners picked up a lot of knowledge and a certain amount of culture from the Shamanists. The revival of religion was not limited to Christianity, but included Buddhism, Shamanism–a hereditary, deeply rural sort–and any other local religion that helped people find joy in life or at least meaning during their darkest hours. This is a case much like the Native Americans’ religions, that have survived despite severe oppression and are in addition seeing some appreciation from outside these days. I think very little of the old polytheistic religions survived in Europe (perhaps the Sami of the far north?) I can understand your skepticism regarding paganism in the future where you are. It would depend on how many people perceive it as useful and valuable.

  166. JMG. The book i sent my son is “Dark age America”. He lives in a small fishing community on the south central coast of Alaska. Around here books get handed boat to boat.

  167. Juhana,
    I guess it does go to show you how different things are on this side of the pond. Over here, our Norse and Asatru practitioners are overwhelmingly blue collar and working class folk, and Christianity is collapsing rapidly. (While they no more believe that Thor sends thunderbolts anymore than Christians believe that the angels live above the ozone layer, they certainly have personal connections with Odin, Thor, and the rest of the Pantheon) Mainline protestant denominations are all but dead. I attend a Presbyterian Church with my mother, and I don’t feel any sort of spiritual connection there, and I’m not the only one. I only go for a community connection and b/c it’s one of the few things my mom will leave the house to do. I have no particular qualms w/the Bible’s moral teachings. The evangelicals for which the US is so well known are all over the map with their beliefs, and very fickle. I look for the big evangelical megachurches to implode soon enough, following their Mainline brethren to near oblivion. If Toomas is still here, I’m sure he can tell you just how few Catholics in North America truly practice and believe their faith. You keep repeating old and ancient over and over, but that still doesn’t make Christianity predate the Middle Ages or later for much of Europe…
    Christianity is the handmaiden to industrialism, and as an up-and-coming scarcity industrialism power, to use JMG’s term, Orthodox Christianity fits Russia well, and it’s no wonder it’s flourishing there. We’re much further along the path of decline over here. Our Berlin Wall moment is due any moment now, and it’s an open question just how much of an industrial economy we’ll be able to have once the rubble stops bouncing and we’re forced to make do w/our own greatly depleted resources. So it’s no wonder that Christianity is imploding here and polytheism is flourishing.
    As for Western Europe, I wouldn’t write it off just yet. There was Brexit, and a lot of right wing nationalist movements. Once the US goes, it will take the EU and NATO with it (if the EU doesn’t go first), and it’s still possible that Russia will step into the void and save Western Europe in our absence.

  168. JMG, I don’t know if this is my computer or not, but when I tried to post last comment, all the dialog below, including the “post comment” button, was below my screen and I could not scroll to access it. I had to switch browsers and shrink the zoom to get it to appear. Maybe it’s just me.

  169. Juhana,
    it sounds like the starovets are the Russian Orthodox equivalent of our Amish. Perhaps you have heard of them? If not, you might Google them. They’re descended from German Anabaptists and still mostly speak a German dialect.

  170. @Shane W: Thanks for the update! To stay true, I have to underline that package of scientific materialism/globalist humanism is mainstream religion for whole Western Europe. Period. Religion of progress has replaced all old forms of spirituality, Pagan or Christian. Now the other branch of secular religions, nationalism, is rising it’s head. In Finland, big cities have lost all previous forms of spirituality. Paradoxically (or not) this has meant return of superstition among common folks big time. Sweden and rest of Nordic countries are in the same situation, as far as I can tell.

    There is one important exception. That is migrant population from Islamic countries, which have been swept along the tide of Islamic revival back in their old countries. These communities, not just the extreme ones ready to take up arms, but the silent yet religiously conservative majority. As opinions of this majority slip away from native secular morals, result is that two incompatible world views are occupying same space.

    So upcoming battle between new immaterial world view in the Western Europe shall probably be the one between ethnic nationalism and Islam. This situation is well observed from American point of view in this blog essay:

    http://www.theprimalmale.com/the-mass-awakening/

    Problem with this scenario is that population of Western Europe is extremely heterogenous. White is not an identity. Bavarian or Hungarian is an identity. Ethnic nationalism is very, very exclusive by it’s nature. Winner is not clear, and awful lot of fragmentation and destruction is bound to take place, regardless of to whom goes the victory.

    It is going to be much tighter fight than many seem to believe, and final place where battle lines are drawn is going to surprise many. I recommend you to read Michel Houellebecq, especially his “Submission”. Houellebecq is a prophet of a kind, as is our blog host. He sees, through distorted mirror, where Europe is heading.

    Revival of Byzantine Church is much more inclusive in it’s nature. It also holds with it actual spirituality, which pure nationalism is, again by it’s very nature, lacking. So prophecy of Spengler about the faith of Third Rome is probably close to fruition. And where dominance of imperial Russia reaches, there reaches also power of Byzantine Church. Start to get the picture?

    CCCP was very progressive country. In genocidal, insane way, but still it was. Atheist, industrialist, materialist, scientific. It was id projection of the liberal ideas of progress. You should not underestimate the deepness of collapse, both in material and spiritual levels, associated with the fall of the Union.

    You are not even close to that in the US. Not even close. My relative goes to your country to work trips many times per year, and we have discussed a lot about his observations about land of the free and the brave. You are not even close.

    So stop fooling yourself. Russians, and other nations of former CCCP, know more about collapsing than you can even dream of. Putin and his inner ring of comrades from siloviki ministries pulled Russia back from the edge of total disintegration and humiliation. It was real Dark Ages stuff going on there during 90’s. That is true secret of his massive popularity among ordinary Russians, not any blunt propaganda.

    Material reconstruction is still under way in Russia, and you are right, they are aiming at scarcity industrialism. Point is, for common folks, CCCP was already scarcity industrialism. It’s breakup was the breakup of all logistical chains keeping industrialism together. 90’s in Russia was wild, wild time. You have been merely dragged down. It is nothing compared to what is to come, if your nation truly follows the trajectory of Soviet Union.

    By the way, this almost total withering of living, mainstream Protestant faith seems to be universal phenomenon. Same thing has happened here, and all over Scandinavia. It is those sects that are truly keeping the flame alive. And Byzantine and Roman branches of the faith.

  171. John Michael wrote, ” For me, though, once I’m in a high-risk situation I’m locked into crisis management mode, which leaves zero space for enjoyment — all that matters is identifying threats and neutralizing them, and my overriding reaction is to get out of the high-risk situation as quickly as possible.”

    Mein gott! You have helped me figure out why I am in culture shock living in Pittsburgh. After experiencing culture shock in Indonesia and France, I had no doubt that that was what I was going through here in my own country. What baffled me is how so many other immigrants here are not in shock at the rampant corruption, echo-chamber positivism, and good-old-boy bullying networks.

    Perhaps others simply enjoy high-risk games more than I do. Perhaps they feel comfortable or even thrilled in the competitive speculating frenzy promoted by Pittsburgh’s Wild-Wild-West-like political climate. Meanwhile, I am crouched in crisis management with no space for enjoyment in such a high-risk, lawless environment. If De Tocqueville was right about Americans being charlatans and hucksters at heart, I may not find myself at home anywhere in this country, but getting out of Pittsburgh as quickly as possible is my only concern at the moment.

  172. @Erik the Red, thank you for sharing that link! I read it the other day and found it a fascinating, very thought-provoking analysis germane to the discussion underway. The author noted that despite the pacification of Russia’s Sunni Muslims, they still get an occasional attack from them, but I see no way to distinguish that from the occasional Christian fundamentalist who takes doctrine to its extreme conclusion. That is one of the downsides of valuing faith that atheists are apt to point out. Russia has a keen memory of downsides of suppressing faith. When I embarked on Shinto, with its interesting history, I pondered very deeply how to keep the very real benefits of a world view enhanced by the divine while avoiding the problems it can cause. I won’t go into it here for lack of time and space, but Russia’s approach under Putin has been to exert real violence. In doing that, they won gratitude and loyalty from the believers themselves. A big part of the problem is that you get the occasional leader who does not really have faith him/herself but sees an opportunity to manipulate those who do through their doctrine. Occasionally said leader gets a little financial incentive from somebody or other’s enemies to weaponize the faithful.
    @Juhana and Shane, fascinating discussion you two have started! After I finish a couple of jobs, I’ll reply with a whole bunch of semi-informed speculation.

  173. It seems to me that Juhana, Patricia and Shane all have good observations. Within Eastern Europe, we can already see a revival of Christianity underway and with the resurgence of Russia, it will grow stronger. Spengler predicted the next High Culture would grow out of Russia and the Slavic world, while the next great world religion would emerge out of Russian Christianity. John Michael Greer once said he believed the most likely future for Western Europe is to become a battleground between a nascent Russo-Slavic civilization and a resurgent Islam. It’s been said that three times in the 20th century, the US had to intervene to save Western Europe (World War I, World War II, Cold War) and I suspect Russia will have to take on that role in the not-so-distant future. I wish them luck.

    Here in North America, Christianity put down much shallower roots, while Islam doesn’t have much appeal outside of Muslim immigrant communities and certain black nationalist groups. Christianity north of the Rio Grande is imploding fast. But as G.K. Chesterton pointed out, religion is a fundamental human need. We all have a deep-seated desire to believe in something that is greater than ourselves. During periods of rationalism, intellectuals try to substitute ideologies like liberalism, Marxism and the Religion of Progress, but these make poor substitutes for real religious faith in the long run. Those periods of rationalism generally only last a few centuries and then its time for the Second Religiousness. Incidentally, I have a conservative Christian friend who I introduced to Oswald Spengler’s writings. She told me she thinks that a revival of Norse paganism is at least as likely as Christianity, perhaps more so, to become the dominant religious tradition as the Second Religiousness gathers momentum.

    So the field will be much more open in North America and we almost certainly see new religions arise, many of which will be based on the new religious sensibility Greer has talked about. Shane and Bill Pulliam have pointed out that the various forms of Norse paganism, such as Asatru, Odinism and Heathenry, have put down strong roots in rural and working class communities in throughout North America. I think they will be major contenders for the religious future of North America. Moreover, as the Long Descent/Long Emergency gathers steam, the warrior virtues espoused by Asatru and related religions will become necessary, especially if Western Europe is conquered by Islam and Muslim pirates and naval expeditions start raiding across the North Atlantic.

    (Continued below)

  174. (Continued from above)

    As for Juhana’s point about paganism and those who consider themselves pagan, yes, there are plenty of affluent urban bobos here in America for whom neo-paganism is a fashion accessory. The “California goddess spirituality” that Greer talked about on the Well of Galabes is a good example of that here in the states and I don’t think it has much of a future. But Norse paganism, at least in North America, appears to be a different kettle of fish. It’s true that it does attract more than its share of right wing political extremists. But as I and others have noted, it has established a strong presence among working class whites and its values have a strong appeal to many rural and working class Americans. Asatru, unlike many neo-pagan religions, tends to be socially and politically conservative, which makes it a good match for many rural and working class people.

  175. @Juhana, as a Russian-speaker, I just want to note that the correct name for the Old Believers is “Starover” (with pronunciation emphasis on the “e”), not “Starovet” as you and some other commenters here have used. It comes from the Russian words “star” (old) and “vera” (belief).

  176. Enjoying the new everything, looking forward to whatever comes!

    Regarding blog enhancements, I personally would like to see the text be much darker (black is best!), as I have old eyes that are already foggy enough! Don’t need this faint grey.

    Dave Babcock

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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