Open Post

August 2018 Open Post

It’s been a couple of months now since the last open post — the Kek Wars sequence pushed that aside in July — but here we are again, at the usual fourth Wednesday, and it’s time to host an open space to field questions and encourage discussion among my readers. All the standard rules apply — no profanity, no sales pitches, no trolling, no rudeness, no long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic.

Next week’s post will be another astrological interlude. Several of my British readers asked, with varying levels of anxiety, what’s likely to happen early next spring when Brexit happens, with or without an agreement between the British government and the EU. Fortunately the tools of mundane astrology are well suited to answering such questions in advance. I’ve already cast and delineated the relevant chart, and I suspect some of my readers will be at least a little surprised by what it has to say.

With that said, have at it!

404 Comments

  1. Hi JMG, I caught up on the KEK Wars sequence last week. I’ve been following you for about 11 years, and I have to admit that your recent posts have been the first time I have given serious thought to the power of the occult. To your knowledge, has there ever been a concerted effort to focus “magic” on unveiling the “truth” (without expecting a particular outcome), versus a preconceived agenda? A sort of exercise in collective, rigorous honesty? I know that brings up the question of objective reality, but let’s set that aside for the moment.

    >>> Caveat for JMG: I did not expect to ask you a question today, so please forgive me if this is not post-worthy, I’ll understand! <<<

  2. John–

    Many lessons of late re limits and the acceptance thereof. I sent in a late comment to the previous post yesterday, but it didn’t go through (the connection burped just when I hit “submit”). Just as well, as I was being rather whiny in retrospect.

    An interesting energy industry article this morning:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/12/15/why-energy-is-a-big-and-rapidly-growing-problem-for-data-centers/#41e6b5815a30

    The article is worth reading, but I’ll summarize and give a few quotes that leaped out at me. The upshot is that the energy requirements for computing and data centers is enormous and growing, as projected efficiencies (e.g. Moore’s Law) fail to materialize with current technologies. Therefore, major technological breakthroughs must be in the offing (because our need must of course be satisfied).

    Two quotes:

    “Given there are currently 10 billion internet-connected devices, doubling that to 20 billion will require massive increases to our data center infrastructure, which will massively increase our electricity consumption. How on earth can we possibly build all the power plants required to supply electricity to twice as many data centers in the next four years? The simple answer is that we can’t. We must find another way.”

    “It’s either a breakthrough in our compute engines, or we need to get deadly serious about doubling the number of power plants on the planet.”

    Notably, the option of *ahem* living differently, within the limits of the biosphere, isn’t mentioned.

    Lest I become too self-righteous, it occurred to me as I read the article and observed my own reactions to it that this attitude mirrors my own with respect to the metaphysical discussions (and quests!) we’ve been having here. Logic, truth (or, more to the point, Truth), understanding the divine reality, etc. The need to accept the limits of this incarnation on this plane of existence and the focus on my particular contribution to the Dance, rather than attempting to comprehend it in its totality (which I cannot do) and indeed to embrace the limits rather than see them as imprisonment or denial or something to be accepted begrudgingly. Essentially, I just need to get over myself 🙂

    Much work to do yet!

  3. This is more of an observation but I am curious about the magic involved here..

    Recently I’ve acquired a t-shirt which uses the now infamous motto of the Stark family in Game of Thrones “Winter is Coming.” It has at first quite startled me the reaction I’ve gotten from this shirt, although now I’ve come to expect some similar comment of “I don’t agree with you” or “I don’t like your shirt.” I was quite taken aback by the idea that somehow my wearing this shirt means I like winter. It simply says “Winter is Coming”, a cycle which history has shown to be quite the norm. In the end, I get the feeling that people don’t like being reminded of things which they don’t like, regardless of how real that reminder may be. Is this dislike of the reality of cycles of seasons, and thus cycles of life, connected with the myth of progress which we’ve become so embroiled in? Or where do you think this disconnect with reality stems from?

  4. I have a question relating to dark ages: Afghanistan has now been for 17 years in a state of civil war, where local warlords have power in their respective districts, increasingly successful raidings by the Taliban occur, and the power of the government is more or less confined to Kabul. The chaos in Afghanistan began quite a while ago, maybe with short interruptions, in the Seventies, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.
    How similar are the conditions in Afghanistan to dark age conditions and where are the differences?

  5. You said recently (on this week’s MagMon, I believe) that the mental and spiritual body are what gets reincarnated afyer death, and different parts of the astral go to their respective places on the astral plane. At some other time you replied to someone that, in the example given, a person who is very fit physically, will not be taking his muscles with him, but the discipline he develops through working out . This means that discipline (or virtue un general) resides in in the mental plane, right? Also, if I plug the planes into the kabbalistic tree, to me they correlate as: physical with malkuth, etheric with yesod, astral with spheres eight through six, mental with five and four, and spiritual with the supernals. Is this accurate?

    On another topic, a couple questions regarding ritual: on the LBRP, should I visualize the name of God I am vibrating? What about the kabbalistic Cross? Also, by the end of September i will have two months of daily banishing (with a couple skips here and there). What is something testable that I should know or be able to do for me to know i’m ready to start learning the middle pillar exercise?

    Finally, this seems like a stretch but, If someone (me) wanted to have a face to face conversation with you to discuss occult theory and practice, but has not the means to get to Maine, how willing would you be to have a Skype session? 🙂

    Hugs from the land of the Olmec!

  6. JMG, Are you getting a printing press lined up for the newsletter version of Ecosophia as it seems the push for the establishment to get rid of dissenting forms of information on the internet has begun with the takedown of Alex Jones, Telasur and Caitlin Johnstone among others.

  7. What are your thoughts on Michael Cohen? I’m fairly sure he broke a law, he may even have broken the laws being used against him. I don’t know, but it still looks bad.

    What scares me the most though is the possibility he’s lying in order to protect himself. I can’t think of anything to disprove it, and it seems like he’s going to be key to the entire investigation. And if something comes out showing that’s what’s happening it’ll be a full on crisis.

    This is to say nothing of how sleazy and corrupt it looks that they went after Trump’s lawyer in the first place. I can’t be the only one who thinks this helps prove Trump’s arguments about being treated unfairly. Imagine the response if this was done to any other president…..

  8. I have been so instructed and encouraged by the posts I have read here since I came on a few weeks ago. I am now so over the stereotype perpetuated by my own liberal bubble, of Trump supporters as brainless denizens of opoid-addled red states. I have been increasingly alienated by the extreme manifestations of Trump Derangement Syndrome I see daily.

    However, this said, I am also a child of the earth, and have always been deeply sensitive to and aware of its energies. I have never felt alone on this planet, seeking and reveling in places where more-than-human energies operate. So here I am on a site called Ecosophia–a beautiful name. And here I am under the regime of a president who is doing everything in his power to undo what little regulation we have been able to impose to protect and preserve the larger body that is our ecosystem. Global warming is denied by this administration even as more and more extreme manifestations of it occur every day.

    So please, JMG, and other regular denizens of this site, or just anyone who wants to chime in: I have seen so many positive statements about Trump and some of his policies on this site. How do all you feel about the environmental policies? Is it too late for it to matter? Do you think there’s any difference between what this administration and what Obama did, or what Hillary or Bernie would have done? I don’t want to start baiting people and I don’t like operating under a bunch of prebundled assumptions. I am really trying to understand this.

  9. Regarding your recent series of essays, “The Kek Wars”, I couldn’t help but notice some parallels with George Orwell’s “1984”, especially in regards with class and language. Namely:
    – You have the Inner Party, who form the Elite, who run everything.
    – You have the Outer Party, who are the Flunkeys and Lackeys of the elite. They are the most earnest and eager believers in Elite orthodoxy, they are the most desperate for approval from the Party. Occasionally, the most ambitious and loyal are rewarded with membership in the Inner Party/ Elite. They are also more than willing to stab each other in the back for personal advancement, and are thus constantly policing each other for the slightest sign of deviancy from party orthodoxy.
    The Inner Party heavily polices and fears a revolution coming from disaffected and ambitious members of the Outer Party, They are no doubt well aware of the consequences of having too many losers in the competition to become a successful flunkey. What separates the Inner Party from our elite is that the Inner Party has zero qualms about using torture, brainwashing, and murder to secure and defend their position in society.
    – Lastly, you have the Proletarians, who form the Working Class. They are largely unpoliced by the Elite. They have minimal loyalty towards the Elite, they are most likely aware of the true nature of the Elite order, and they are unafraid to voice these unorthodox ideas amongst themselves.
    This brings us to the matter of Newspeak, which forms the Political Correctness of this novel. In the novel, the Elite makes no attempt to have the Working Classes learn and use Newspeak, while here, in our world, there is some attempt to force political correctness down the throats of the working classes. For the most part, Newspeak/ Political Correctness is used as a class marker, to prove “our” superiority to the Proles? Working Classes, while also proclaiming everyone to be equal.
    There is also the debate about the Newspeak Appendix, which, because it was written in the past tense, has caused some to argue that Big Brother ultimately collapses, and that the Newspeak project is a failure. Working off of this theory, one could propose that the Proles/ Working Classes, having had enough of the abuse and neglect that they receive at the hands of the Elite/ Inner Party, toss out Big Brother. A group of disaffected Outer Party members could form the leadership of this revolution.

  10. I know this sounds like an urban myth, and perhaps it is, or is it plausible? This is attributed to the father of a friend of my brother. See? Urban myth setup. This fellow was a long time meditator and was sitting doing some sort of energy meditation when he heard a crackling and noticed that the ceiling above his head had caught on fire. So he stopped doing that particular meditation. Is this plausible? I apologize if this is a frivolous question.

  11. According to Michael Cohen’s attorney, Cohen is willing to tell prosecutors all about the Trump campaign’s supposed collusion with the Russians. Do you suppose there was actually some collusion, or do you think Cohen is just telling the people out to get Trump what they want to hear in return for a lighter sentence for his own crimes?

  12. Could you please give an example (if there are any) of civilization collapse that was not followed by a dark age?
    And an example (if any) of civilizational decline that was consciously and successfully managed in a controlled manner in order to avoid collapse?
    I would like to read and learn more about both of the above.

  13. Hi,
    Regarding your views on gods and spirits, what do you think about Allah? Is he just another god who has more stringent requirements?
    I assume that you think it’s likely that Muhammad had a true revelation, just not from a god that is the only god, since that doesn’t exist?
    Also, since the Muslim world is so big now, would that mean that different Muslims technically worship different gods that they worship by the same name? I know that grave worship is a big thing among Muslims in the subcontinent even though it’s basically forbidden in more orthodox interpretations.
    Finally, Islam seems to be more vital right now than Christianity, so does that mean it’s god(s) is (are) still alive and has a while to go yet?
    Sorry, I appreciate that’s a lot of questions and you don’t have to answer them if you don’t want to, but I was just curious, I’ve been a long time fan! Thanks!

  14. Yesterday morning I emailed a link to this article titled The Metaphysics to Our Present Global Anguish by Alastair Crooke ( https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/08/20/metaphysics-to-our-present-global-anguish.html – which you’d probably already seen). I thought it was a worthwhile article and quite compatible with views you’d shared in your writing.

    In the evening I had a chance to read it again more carefully, and I now see there are an awful lot of familiar ideas in there. I strongly suspect Mr. Crooke has been reading Mr. Greer. Nevertheless I think there are good points made, and I guess you can at least see that you’ve been making an impact.

  15. Dear David by the Lake. There is all the more reason for those of us who are involved in rescue of worthy books to not cease our efforts. I began cataloging last winter and I would be grateful for ideas about book cataloging. NOT Dewey Decimal, please. For one thing, I haven’t the time or willingness to look up DD numbers for each volume I have.

    Dear Mister Cohen, I doubt there was much Russian direct influence in the 1916 election. For what it might be worth, I think the ongoing hysteria is a massive misdirection intended to avert attention away from actual involvement by such foreign powers as Israel, Saudi Arabia and China (by laundering money through Sheldon Adelson, who made his fortune in Macau, and Mitch Mitchel, whose in-laws are a Chinese billionaire family) My opinion only, I can’t prove it, but neither can the anti–Trampers prove their assertions. Also obscured is Trumpian involvement, not with Russia, but with formerly Russian gangsters in NYC.

  16. Will you also be posting a secular analysis of the current Brexit situation, along the lines of your ‘Archdruid Report’ essays? That is something I think a lot of readers would like to see. Although it’s understandable that you may wait longer, as so much is up in the air at the moment. There is a great deal of talk, and various political shifts, but nobody can be sure what will happen – and that in itself is one of the biggest problems.

  17. I just finished reading the kek wars. So today I downloaded on kindle “the cosmic doctrine” and shall begin to study it, with the help of your posts on this subject. I am living far away, in Andalucia, Spain and would had never the oportunity to know your writing without Internet! I am also studying linear algebra to try to understand Quantic Physic, but I still feel there is also another reality (Space?, Dimension?) beyond the teaching of official science. Amicalement, Alain

  18. A while back you mentioned plans to do some post on updates to the climate change and peak oil situations. I’d really like to read those.

    Entirely too much BC’s forests are on fire again this year, and the air here is choked with smoke, as it has been for almost all of the past two weeks. We’ve had days like this for three years running, and people seem to be making noises about this being the new normal. I do not remember this at all from growing up in southern BC. The climate is drier in summer now, and the vegetation isn’t adapted to it, hence giant fires. I understand much of the west coast has the same issue.

  19. Hi Roberta

    As someone who identifies as a libertarian socialist – my political leanings are definitely pretty far to the left. And I also struggle with the massive group-think I see on both sides of the coin these days – right and left (*present host and commenters most definitely not included)

    I can tell you that while I try to keep my focus on policy and what’s actually happening in the ‘real’ world…the assault on the environment is an area I very much struggle with in regards to both parties. I’ve found that the left is just as willing as the right to throw the environment under the bus when it suits them, but the latest admin does take things to a new level – and yes, as someone who identifies strongly with nature and earth spirits it’s painful to deal with at a very deep and personal level.

    Almost every day it’s like a new assault on my entire being, seeing what environmental laws we’ve decided to roll back this time while red tide washes up in Florida and the west burns. However, having lived in flyover country, close to an ocean and in the desert southwest – I also know these issues are extremely complicated and there isn’t really going to be a good regulatory fit for a lot of this from the federal level. More and more I’m feeling like it’s the local level that counts – and each area of the country needs to address their local concerns as best they can. I’ve seen this in action in the desert southwest, where conservative ranchers and liberal environmentalists are – in some cases – very much starting to work together to solve serious ecological issues in a responsible manner.

    Also, it’s good to keep some perspective – much of what this administration does today will be reverted or changed up in the future – similar to what’s happening now. As the earth reacts to humanities long-term misuse and negligence with crazier storms and natural disasters – well, it’ll force those who are left to take a new direction either way. Time is most definitely on *her* side 😉

    PamB

  20. @ Nastarana

    Re book preservation

    Without doubt! I see the usefulness of the current trend of digitalization (e.g., the Gutenberg Project) more as a bridge — getting the texts into many hands, who can then create physical copies to be archived — than as a long-term solution, which it is clearly not.

    As to cataloging systems, why not create your own? If nothing else, it’d be functionally designed for your needs and it might be research fodder for future scholars to puzzle over centuries from now 😉

    @ Roberta

    Re Trump’s environmental policies

    There is much I do not care for, but the Democrats are generally more sound-and-fury than substance. Where the substance does exist, the result is often the pushing of costs onto others, particularly the working classes.

    As one who works in the energy industry, I will say the the demise of the Clean Power Plan is not greatly lamented. It was going to be a horrifically complex, Rube-Goldberg, inefficient, and costly nightmare to administer. And on top of that, it would have missed entire sectors of the economy which contribute mightily to CO2 emissions. A straight-up carbon tax, applied far upstream when the resource comes out of the ground or over the border, is what needs to be done. (And then a per-capita refund of those proceeds right back to the citizenry, less administrative costs.) But then suitable tariffs need to be constructed to protect domestic manufacturing from poaching by foreign manufacturers who are not paying those higher energy costs. This is one way the environmental and economic class issues intertwine.

    I tire of folks on the left who advocate for electric and hybrid vehicles, for example, but then balk at the notion of paying higher registration fees to offset their lower gas-tax funding of the very road infrastructure they wish to keep using. “Let the plebeians pay for the roads!”

    Personally, I am waiting for the Democrats to present a better alternative. I’d have voted for Bernie in the general election, despite policy disagreements I have with many of his positions, but I wasn’t given that opportunity. As it was, I went Green in 2016, but will likely not be doing that again in ’20.

  21. What would you say to someone who is feeling like an old woman at odds with the world? Asking for a friend.

  22. JMG,

    Thought I’d share this interesting little sync. In regards to Kek Wars Part the Fourth and the Changer:

    I don’t know how familiar you are with the table top miniature wargame Warhammer or its brother Warhammer 40K, but within the lore of that grimdark universe there is a pantheon of four Chaos Gods. One of them is known as Tzeentch, the Lord of Sorcery and Entropy, a God of Fate and most interestingly, Change. One of his many titles is the Changer of Ways. In fact, the highest Daemons in his army are known as Lords of Change; giant humanoid birds that wield fantastic magical powers (of the Hi-Def, IMAX variety).

    Here is a picture of Tzeentch, by the way:

    http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Tzeentch?file=Tzeentch_Changer_of_Ways.jpg

    If this portrayal reminds you of a giant, crossed legged frog looking down on his deplorable servants, then that means I’m completely sane and totally not projecting Pepe onto a cold, uncaring universe that echoes with the cruel laughter of hungry gods. Right?

    By the way, has anyone else been seeing Pepe or frogs pop up everywhere lately? I sort of expected it after reading all about Kek, but now it’s getting weird.

  23. Prizm – where did you get a Winter Is Coming T-shirt? I live within 60 miles of George R.R Martin and regularly attend the local s/f con and have never found them available! If you have a source, please let me know. It is SO apropos! (I take a Size Medium).

  24. JMG, Your predicted collapse of the Higher Education Bubble seems to be nigh. In a recent edition of the local Portland Rag ( the Oregonian) they put together a report on the percentage of kids from the graduating classes of local high schools going on to college. This is viewed as some kind of metric of educational success in many circles ( the higher the better of course.) The percentage of kids from poor rural or urban school districts did not change much ( low) and the percentage from wealthy schools did not change much either ( high) but the percentage from many of the more middle class ex-urban high schools dropped drastically ( -25%). This was met with great puzzlement from the reporter doing the story and local school officials interviewed. It is of course obvious to most people in these areas as the benefit to debt ratio is not proving itself out for what is left of the former middle class living in places like Sherwood, Clackamus or Oregon City. I would guess this will start showing up in the enrollments and finances of Higher Education Institutions in the very near future.

  25. JMG, I seem to remember some time back you make a remark to the effect that the word “evil” is not one you find particularly useful.

    If so, I should like to put in a word for poor old Evil as a sort of “atomic” concept. I suggest it has its place as a “buck stops here” irreducible qualitative term – you might say a “qualis” (i.e. equivalent of a quantum).

    That’s to say, it marks the point where a further search for explanation becomes futile. Examples, fortunately, are fairly rare in ordinary life – or so I hope – but we all know of them. Gratuitous cruelty or wanton vandalism. Torture as a form of recreation. History does contain examples, alas.

    The “atomic” approach implies that when we use the word “evil” we should not try to define it by reference to its own nature – that particular “atom” can’t be split – but rather we should define it with reference to our appropriate reaction to it. Then we can say, “evil” is what we shun with absolute horror.

    Of course there’ll never be consensus on what the “atoms” of evil are. Consensus of content is unobtainable in the qualitative domain. But some people who disagree on where to slap the labels might yet agree on a consensus of approach – i.e. on what the labels are for.

    The hunch which has led me to say all this, is that avoidance of the term “evil” has a whiff of wishful thinking.

  26. “We tend to say that something is only a symbol, essentially separate from the more mysterious reality that it represents. This was not so in the premodern world [where] a symbol was seen as partaking in the reality to which it pointed.” (Karen Armstrong, Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, p. xix)

    I have been searching for a way to introduce the magician’s view of the universe to my scientific materialist, secular humanist friends. Somehow I think there is a key in the idea of the Symbol as a gateway to other worlds.

    We are taught to think of symbols as only symbols, divested of any power except perhaps as literary references. But at one time, symbols (such as the Grail) were seen as artifacts of actual contact with an intelligent and responsive universe. This is the art of Magic, and the soul work of Alchemy. It is also the path of psychological healing, in which self-limiting core beliefs are identified and transformed creatively.

  27. Craig, I don’t know of such an effort in the past, but it’s certainly workable. If you’re thinking of something of that kind, just remember that one result will be that if there’s any truth about yourself that you’re hiding, it’s going to end up right out there in public. It’s the Raspberry Jam Principle again — whatever magical energy you work with will inevitably show up in your own life as well. If you’re good with that, go for it.

    David, that’s fascinating. I wonder how the economics of soaring electricity cost will impact the problems the internet has with paying for itself…

    Prizm, got it in one. Especially now, when it’s becoming painfully clear that progress isn’t happening any more and the evidence of accelerating decline is becoming harder and harder to ignore, anything that reminds believers in progress of the facts they’re trying not to face is going to get a disproportionate emotional reaction.

    Booklover, that’s a good topic for a 50,000-word book. I’d encourage you to read up in detail on a couple of dark ages — the one that followed on the fall of Rome is of course a convenient example — and do the compare-and-contrast thing yourself.

    Juan Pablo, (1) not quite. Malkuth is the physical plane, Yesod is the etheric, Netzach through Chesed are the astral, Chokmah and Binah are the mental (expressed to our consciousness through Daath), and Kether is the spiritual plane. (2) Try it and see what kind of results you get. (3) If you’ve been doing daily banishings for a month or more, you’re ready to take up the Middle Pillar exercise. (4) I use recycled computers to cut down on my contribution to the e-waste problem, and those, being old, are way too slow for Skype. I also prefer to avoid that sort of thing when I can — a function of my Aspergers syndrome, I think — and also avoid phone calls if at all possible.

    Clay, why do you think I moved my blog off Blogger, and onto a server that’s not subject to the manipulations of the big-money boys? The thing is, the more blatantly the establishment moves to silence dissident voices, the more inevitably they’re going to drive the emergence of alternative social media and decentralized communications networks. If the 2018 elections go the way I expect them, furthermore, it’s quite possible that once the dust settles, the big tech companies will be facing serious blowback from the political sphere — for example, Facebook and Twitter could be broken up the way AT&T was broken up back in the day.

    Will, it’s another tempest in a teapot. There’ll be a week of so of shrieking in the media, then Trump will say or do something else, and the media — which has the attention span of a gnat — will be yelling about something else instead. (How many people are still paying attention, for example, to Trump’s Supreme Court nominee?)

    Roberta, no question, Trump’s environmental policies suck. The Democrats are nearly as bad; they’re great at giving lip service to environmental issues, handing out cash to the already rich (cough, cough, Elon Musk, cough, cough) and piling on regulations that benefit huge corporations and squeeze out small farmers and small businesses under the pretext of the environment, but every measure of environmental well-being I know of worsened just as steadily under Clinton and Obama as it did under Dubya and (so far) Trump. There was a time when the GOP actually had a better environmental track record than the Dems — the National Park system, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act were all the products of GOP administrations — but that was a long time ago, and environmental issues have become so bitterly politicized that I don’t expect any serious attempt to address them until things start getting really bad.

    The Trump administration has done, and no doubt will continue to do, a lot of things with which I disagree profoundly. I still think, though, that Trump’s presidency is probably the best chance we’ve got to avoid a sustained domestic insurgency or an outright civil war, fought along class lines, which could kill millions of people, shatter what’s left of our national economy, and put any kind of constructive response to the problems we face off the table more or less permanently. Since neither major party is prepared to do anything useful about the environment, other factors need to be taken into account.

  28. Hi Craig,

    I made a related commenta few weeks ago in response to an earlier JMG post, through which I hoped to have John clarify some of the criteria which make magic “magic” instead of something else. John responded that the exercise of will was one such essential ingredient and element of demarcation. The “unveiling of the truth” which you describe seems to me to involve a radical openness, thus more a surrender of the will than its deliberate exercise. Of course we’re getting into somewhat paradoxical territory here, given that surrender can be construed as a passive mode of the same faculty of volition that also expresses itself actively and outwardly along more narrowly defined vectors.

    Regarding your comment about the nature of objective reality, Craig, it seems that the truth you talk about being “unveiled” is one that exists prior to and independently of our multiple human subjectivities, which at best provide a limited and distorted reflection and approximation of that greater truth. This then leads to the next question, namely, “to what extent does ‘magic’ rely on a subjective construction of ‘reality’ or truth’?” Or can one perform “magic” apart from the context and support which this sort of subjective mapping provides— perhaps as a simple exuberant release of energy into the environment or the spontaneous radiation of an innocent and unconditional good will? Could either of these impulses have the same kind of effect, perhaps through a similar mechanism and set of dynamics, as deliberately engaged and directed magic? TSW too, in other words?

  29. JMG – Jean, a friend of mine who practices astrology introduced me to the concept of the progressed sun. That is, a born Capricorn’s sun will progress into Aquarius arund the time of her first Saturn return, then into Pisces around the second, etc.

    Long before I heard of the concept, I went into rational-materialist-recolutionary mode some time in my mid to late 20s, since straightforwardly trying to understand the physical, social, or religious world on the bases I was taught didn’t seem to be working. Even after finding the massive holes in what the religion-of-reason guru du jour was teaching (let alone the unrecognized evil thereof, though, being heavily oversocialized from childhood, the Virtue of Selfishness came as a liberation – “fine philosophy, wrong species”, since humans are NOT solitary big cats!) – I hung onto a lot of it for some time, and it seemed to work, since it did push me into thinking mode.

    Then on my 50s, And having been told by a shrink to go looking for the Goddess (still good advice), leaving the ex, finding a faith I could love, and learning something about magic, elementals, the tarot, etc, it came to me slowly that I had the body of a water mammal (heavy but buoyant, loved swimming) and the coloring associated with water and cups – And another astrologer told me Uranus (in Taurus) was a false spirit guide,whatever that meant.) and then on retiring from work, where I had been operating as a thinking type throughout and thinking of myself as such, near the tail end of the second processed sun, realizing I really wasn’t – now! – I was starting to be very sure that there was a lot in Jean’s theory, because for me, This Stuff Worked! Without me even knowing it most of the time!

    And now she tells me my progressed sun is in Aries. Instead of feeling fiery, I feel like I’m in the middle of a fire-water no-win conflict, and Herself has hit me over the head with a very long string of clue-by-fours climaxing in a broken right wrist that turned my lifestyle upside down for two entire months plus. Which sure does feel like an enforced new beginning (albeit of the last phase of my life, or at least second-to-last) being rammed through.

    This is not really a question but further commentary from you and anyone else, and further enlightenment, would be quite welcome.

  30. How common is it, in your experience, to see people who have become pagan, or polytheist to experience a homesickness of sorts for their birth religion, even years later? I don’t necessarily mean residual fear of damnation, though I know it happens, but just a longing for some aspect of it they miss or still hold to at some level?

  31. I’m wondering how hypnotism fits into occult theory. I’ve held off asking for a bit, hoping I could work it out on my own, but I’ve had no luck so far. I am familiar with the basics of occult theory based (mostly) on your digital and print writings, and I’m aware of what Dion Fortune said regarding magical practice and autosuggestion. I’m mainly wondering about the mechanism of hypnotizing other people, and if occultists have any insights beyond a materialist explanation. Am I barking up the wrong tree here? Thanks!

  32. Signs of the Crazy Years:

    From the Daily Lobo Help Wanted ads: “Babysitter for 13 year old boy and 16 year old girl.”

    From the Chicago Tribune “Mom investigated for letting 8-year-old walk dog around the block”

  33. Greetings JMJ,

    I noticed that what seems to be the worst day for Trump’s presidency so far (perhaps you disagree) was yesterday on the one year anniversary of the big North American eclipse. What bearing, if any, does this have on your astrological analysis?

    Thanks (=

  34. A recent post re the Trumpian drama du jour:

    https://politicalwire.com/2018/08/22/an-illegitimate-president/

    Regardless of how one feels about the outcome of the election (and as I said previously, “I’m not ecstatic he won, but I’m relieved she lost”), I have an issue with the term “illegitimate” being tossed about so freely. Doing so saws away at the very branch on which our society is perched and which separates a functional democracy from a non-functional one — namely, the acceptance of the outcome of the process. If we start arguing that a sitting President is illegitimate, that his/her election was not valid, then our Constitutional mechanism goes out the window and the stability of our society goes with it. We either work within the bounds of that agreed-upon framework or else it is merely lip-service. And if it has truly become lip-service, then at some point a little boy in the crowd is going to point out the fact that the emperor is indeed naked. This is short-term thinking and utter foolishness.

  35. Great timing! I just wrote down a question in my little notebook to ask you on my first participating visit to Magic Monday next week.

    Getting on with it ahead of schedule, is the concept of the Days and Nights of Manifestation a cross-cultural concept, or specific to western esoteric practices? I get the feeling it’s the prior, but I just want to make sure that when I’m planning my business approach according to the cycles that the Hindu or Taoist shopkeeper will respond according to the same pattern.

    Will they Create-Maintain-Adapt-Let Go on the same schedule I’m on? ‘Twould be awkward to move in the Creation vein when my opposite number was Letting Go.

    Thanks!

  36. Roberta, Both sides of the climate change debate have a range of perspectives including ignorant, self-serving, and well informed. Many of the well-informed on opposing sides are not on the same page; they’re not even reading from the same book. Those questioning that the earth climate is currently warming believe cycles of solar activity is the primary cause of climate change, and CO2 and other planetary conditions are secondary, not unimportant, just secondary. The best book I’ve read on this topic is, The Neglected Sun, by Dr Fritz Vahrenholt. He does not say we should do nothing. His last chapter focuses on how we humans must clean up our act and stop polluting. We cannot truly understand any controversy without sincerely considering the best arguments on all sides. Simply dismissing opponents as “deniers” is not helpful. I find both sides of this arguments compelling; time will tell which side is correct.

  37. More a comment than a question, in light of last week’s post, my wife and I are going back through major business moves over the previous several months, and, so far, discovering an uncanny correlation between our successes and failures according to whether we attempted the thing in the right quarter of the cycle or not! Amazing.

    Quick example, we’ve only been turned down by one wholesale retailer this season (the local Ace Hardware), and, out of ignorance, we approached the manager during the “ending and letting go” quarter of the moon cycle. And the successful new accounts were won during the “new beginnings” quarter! (Glad we seem to have a somewhat natural feel for that!)

    You can bet we won’t be self-sabotaging our efforts in the future…

  38. John–

    If I’m understanding your classification of the spheres with respect to the planes and your response to Juan Pablo correctly, then Kether (spiritual plane) is inaccessible to us, as are Chokmak and Binah directly (mental plane), but with work we have the ability to ascend from the physical through the etheric to the astral plane and experience a reflection at least of the mental plane via Daath?

  39. I’ve been watching #walkaway videos. It is gaining momentum. There is an awakening against the fanaticism of the left. So many people said they voted for Trump and have no regrets, or that they wish they had. I don’t see a blue wave coming this year.

    While watching these videos, many of them made the disclaimer that they are not Russian bots. It occurred to me that the media have moved from the usual and typical lying accusations against Big Daddy (Trump) and have now thrown all of the Deplorables under the bus. This is kind of big actually.

    My question is this. You said above that you think Trump is a chance to avoid civil war. But it seems from the outside that the civil war is ramping up. The amount of hate and violence and vitriol coming out of the left is astonishing, and being egged on by the inner Elite of course. In my opinion we are already in a civil war, but it has not yet gone beyond news, internet and some protests. But the arousing of dehumanizing and hatred toward the Other (one’s fellow citizens) is new. It isn’t being pushed by Trump – it is being pushed by his enemies in the civil war.
    How do you see him as a force to avoid it? His enemies seem to have no bottom beneath which they will not go.

  40. I think we’re safe from a sustained domestic insurgency as long as two conditions obtain:

    1). Sportsball continues and does not become much more politically correct than it already is
    2). No attempt is made to limit Americans’s driving in any way.

  41. PRIZM, you wrote: “Is this dislike of the reality of cycles of seasons, and thus cycles of life, connected with the myth of progress” I’d say they are hand-in-glove. “Progress” as a philosophy, conscious or unconscious, is based upon the rejection of limits—for certain humans, that is, and certain non-human “legal persons”, ie corporations.
    Fear of and denial of death seems to simmer under most human woes, as far as I can tell.

    JMG: Have you read Stephen Jenkinson’s Die Wise, or the latest, Come of Age? What do you think of it/them, if yes? T(hanks being frequently unpredictable in your replies!)

  42. Waffles, a good crisp analysis! Remember that Orwell was basing his novel in large part on the Marxist and Fascist dictatorships of his day, so had very solid models for the way such things work out; thus it’s not at all surprising that his story fits our reality so precisely. I’d point out another parallel — political correctness, like Newspeak, is meant to make it impossible to talk about the failings of the current regime.

    Hapigreenman, you’re most welcome.

    Phutatorius, I’ve never encountered any system of meditation that will do that, or anything like it.

    Linda, not bad. Toddler stage or not, if you can get your opponents to talk about you so incessantly that they lose track of the fact that they need to present themselves as a viable alternative to the voters, you’re doing a very clever sort of magic.

    Mister N., my guess is that it involves some mix of plea bargaining and graft, but we’ll see.

    Your Yoyo, I know of no examples of either.

    Ahmad, my Muslim friends tell me that they have every reason to believe that Allah exists and answers prayers, and I have no reason to doubt their sincerity, so on that basis, yes, I believe that Allah is a god, and that those who worship him will receive his blessings. It seems quite reasonable to me, likewise, that Muhammad did in fact receive a series of true revelations from Allah; gods speak to prophets fairly often, and the gods of the Middle Eastern desert peoples seem to do it more often than others.

    I really don’t know enough about how Islam is practiced in different places to be able to tell for sure whether different sects worship different deities under the same name, though it seems pretty clear to me that the takfiri sects that engage in atrocities worship something that is neither merciful nor compassionate! As for the vitality of Islam, well, it got started six hundred years later than Christianity; religions have a life cycle, and 600 years ago Christianity was very vital indeed. It’s not at all surprising to me that Islam, being so much younger, still has the vigor and enthusiasm of youth, while Christianity is getting noticeably old and gray these days…

    Twilight, yes, I got that — thank you! I simply hadn’t had time to respond to it, as there’s a flustered cluck going on with one of my publishers. 🙁 I’d also noticed a certain definite similarity between the ideas in that article and the ideas I’ve been putting into circulation. That’s very often what happens with a successful intellectual on the fringes; his or her ideas get picked up by others and splashed about, with all references to their original source carefully removed.

    Matt, souls run in groups — “swarms” is the term Dion Fortune uses — and a given swarm stays on a given world until it’s finished working through the particular stages of evolution assigned to that world, then head on to another. The time frame for staying on a given world is in the tens of millions of years. So eventually you’ll be somewhere else, but until then, Earth is where you’ll be reborn.

    Antonomasia, I’ll consider it, but I’d be happier to see people who are on the ground in Britain, and thus have more access to the details, apply the kind of analysis I’ve been using here and elsewhere.

    Alain, delighted to hear it. We’ll be covering a chapter a month, so there’ll be plenty of time to ask questions.

    Pygmycory, I suspect it’s not the new normal; it’s part of the transition to a new normal that’s going to be even more different. I wonder how easy it would be to find out what the climate of British Columbia was like before the beginning of the last ice age; that may be a fair guide to what we’re facing. I’ll consider the posts you’ve suggested, btw.

    Elbows, well, is your friend an old woman at odds with the world? There’s nothing wrong with being old, or with being opposed to the way things happen to have turned out, you know.

  43. David,

    Regarding the Trump drama, this is the sort of thing to which I was referring when I said that they are willing to stop at nothing. It is indeed short term, destructive thinking.

    The voices of sanity are on youtube.

    Of course, there was a fair amount of this sort of thing when Obama won, mostly over the birth certificate, but the forces allied against him were not nearly so huge and mainstream.

  44. I’m still finding my way in mundane astrology and am looking forward to your Brexit special. I examined the chart myself a couple of weeks ago as it is much more interesting to look at something that is about to happen rather than only the historical charts.

    Anyway, at first glance I was shocked with this chart as there, dab in the middle of the 7th house was Mars, which is usually a slam dunk indication of war, but then I noticed Mars is in its detriment in Taurus. I would then normally dismiss it, but Mars is the ruler of this ingress, so somehow it’s still important.

    I don’t want to steal your thunder for next week, but that’s what I would have asked a question about. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see!

  45. ROBERTA, you wrote: “I have seen so many positive statements about Trump and some of his policies on this site. How do all you feel about the environmental policies? Is it too late for it to matter?”

    I hope there is no assumption here that all people who read this column are DT supporters? Or the opposite? Or any such similar categories? Personally, I am extremely unhappy about the environmental harms being actively pursued as pro-industry policy, such as slicing away at pulic lands, opening them to mining/drilling, abolishing the acts meant to protect water and air, etc.

    But. How could it ever be too late? I share your Earth spirituality orientation. There is always something, even if extremely small, or even invisible, that we can do to express, contribute, protect, the planet and its denizens.

  46. Actually, I have to correct what I said above. The mainstream media are not throwing the deplorables under the bus with accusation of being Russian bots, they are throwing those who dare to defect from the Democratic party, since #walkaway is by definition those who were liberal democrats. It is like a soft accusation of treason. I wonder if communist party members could safely drop it?

    The war is on, but so far it is a war for the psyche, and those who are walking away have not simply changed policy preferences. They have awakened to the reality that they were fed a narrative.

    It’s ugly, but I think their power will diminish and their numbers are not nearly as big as they think. They are going to lose and the goodwill of Americans toward one another will become more solid. My prediction.

  47. A straightforward response to my question. It certainly rules out the “middle pillar” then. I forgot to suggest that what was reported may have been a hallucination related to meditation (known as “makyo” in Zen practice). Years ago I took some classes from a Russian woman on the West Coast who was leading us through some meditations that I thought might be risky, if one really had the concentration to do them right, and the story my brother told me reminded me of those.

  48. @ Onething

    Re bipartisan foolishness

    No argument here! The issue of short-term thinking and mind-numbing foolishness is certainly not a monopoly of either side, and the birth certificate nonsense is an excellent example of that.

    With respect to your other comment re the #walkaway movement, I’m not on Twitter or FB (though I do use youtube, so perhaps I can check out some videos there). I historically voted Democrat, as I leaned left socially, but I began noticing divergences in my thinking — which evolved as I grew older — and the Democratic party, particularly in the Obama era. To the extent that I was a Democrat, I left after the 2016 primary. At this point, I’m trying to decide whether or not to allow myself a purely emotional vote this midterm and cast a ballot against Baldwin simply b/c she’s a Democrat, regardless of policy considerations — the commentariat on PoliticalWire really, really, really (really, really) @%#*!! me off when I left and deleted my account those months ago. If I can contribute to the blunting of any force from the Blue Wave (TM), then I may well do it.

  49. JMG: “Trump’s environmental policies suck”

    JMG: “The Trump administration has done, and no doubt will continue to do, a lot of things with which I disagree profoundly”

    Whew, finally! I’ve been waiting for words like these from you JMG, for a long time. Lately it has seemed like Ecosophia (+commentariat) and Naked Capitalism (+commentariat) have been occupying two different universes! I appreciate how nobody is spared a good sound whipping if they deserve it over on Naked Capitalism, whereas on Ecosophia it seems that lately whippings are only administered to the left/liberal faction.

    A question for all: Do you think Political Compass is a useful tool for evaluating ones views? Is there something better online? My PC scores are: -7.5 Economic (far left) and -6.05 Social (fairly far libertarian), not that those terms are particularly useful, but the scores might be. Anyone else want to share their scores or thoughts?

  50. StarNinja, I wasn’t familiar with that at all. Thank you.

    Clay, many thanks for this. That’s one of the signals I’ve been waiting for, and it’s right on time:

    “There shall be shown a token
    That doom is near at hand,
    For Academe’s bane shall waken,
    And the trade school forth shall stand.”

    Robert, hmm. I’m curious: why do you think it’s useful to have a label that bars any further quest for understanding?

    Jade Dragon, one distinction I find useful here is between signs and symbols. A sign is something that stands for something else, the way a letter stands for a vocal sound. A symbol, as you’ve pointed out, is a point of contact with another realm of being. Modern thought insists that there are no symbols (in the sense I’ve given the word here), that everything is a sign. I’ll be interested to hear how your attempt to talk to your scientific materialist friends goes; my guess is that they’ll back away in a hurry, but I could be wrong.

    Patricia M, it’s a useful concept, but there’s more to it. You can progress your entire chart; most astrology programs can do it at the touch of a button, or you can simply count as many days after your birth as the number of years you’ve lived, take the places of the planets at that date, and put them into a chart in which all the house cusps have been moved in the same direction, and the same number of degrees, as the sun. Your progressed chart gives you a good snapshot of a year of your life. For one very simple additional hint, take the ascendant from your birth chart, and advance it the same number of degrees your sun has moved from your birth chart to this year’s progressed chart: that’s your progressed ascendant, and it tells you as much about the year as your progressed sun does.

    Steve, based on the people I know, it’s fairly common. Nostalgia for the things we knew in childhood is hardly unusual, especially as middle age sets in! Me, I wasn’t raised in any religion, and have no sense of nostalgia for the sort of apathetic agnosticism of my birth family, but I can well imagine if I’d had at least some good experiences in a childhood faith, finding those memories appealing.

    Peter, from an occult perspective, hypnotism works the way Mesmer said it does — by the life force (“animal magnetism,” in Mesmer’s term) of the hypnotist temporarily overriding the life force of the hypnotic subject, so that the hypnotist’s focused intention takes control of the subject’s thoughts and perceptions. If you can find some of the old literature on Mesmerism, you’ll learn plenty there.

    Patricia M, stark staring crazy.

    TreeFrog, yes, I disagree. The media’s having another meltdown, is all.

    David, I ain’t arguing. The thing is, as the losing side circles the drain, it’s going to keep on doubling down on rhetoric.

    Tripp, by “Days and Nights of Manifestation” do you mean the daily and lunar cycle? If so, I’m sorry that I was unclear. “Days and Nights of Manifestation” is the term for the really big umpty-billion-year cycle by which universes come into being and return to the void. The other cycles are simply daily and lunar cycles, and as far as I know, they’re pretty cross-cultural — and as you’ve noticed, they really do work! Combine the two — start something in the morning during the first lunar quarter, etc. — and you can get a further boost.

    David, got it in one. Daath is our link to the timeless worlds.

    Onething, I haven’t been watching the videos, but I’ve been tracking the phenomenon, and yeah, it’s picking up steam. As far as a civil war is concerned, ask yourself this: who has the guns? The rank and file of the US military voted overwhelmingly for Trump; so did US police force personnel; so did National Guard members — and you probably know that people on the right are far more likely to own guns and have done time in the military than people on the left. If the left tried to start an insurgency or a civil war, they’d be crushed in a matter of days.

    On the other hand, imagine that Clinton won the 2016 election, and in response, desperate and impoverished working class people in the flyover states, having no other hope for any improvement in their lives, picked up their guns and headed for the hills to begin a guerrilla war against the US government. It’s pretty fair odds that if National Guard or Army units were sent to fight them, the troops would frag their officers and join the insurgents — and then it’s game on for civil war. Even if that didn’t happen, the hill country of the South, the Rocky Mountains, and a variety of other regions are a guerrilla warrior’s dream, and the insurgents would have the passionate support of the local people — the one thing a guerrilla insurgency needs to have to thrive, and bleed its opposition dry. That’s what we’ve dodged — so far.

    Pogonip, see my response to Onething directly above. I think you’re massively underestimating the degree of impoverishment, immiseration, and despair that forty years of free trade and mass illegal immigration have created in the middle states of this country.

    Maiabythesea, no, I haven’t read either of those.

    Reloaded15, which chart did you use? I’m working with the Aries ingress chart, which has Mars in the late 4th house.

  51. Poblano

    Re Political Compass

    I’m smack-dab in the center of that same quadrant at (essentially -4.5,-4.5) — economically left and socially libertarian.

  52. What are your thoughts on Rojava/Northern Syria, and their attempted implementation of a version of Murray Bookchin’s “Libertarian Municipalism” if any?

    I know your political leanings are of the Burkean Conservative variety, however I get the feeling that Burkean Conservatism is more of a political thinking tool rather than an ideology per se.

    For example, I lean libertarian socialist, and like Bookchin’s views (although as a follower of your work, I cracked up laughing when I read of his “Post-Scarcity Anarchism”), but I also grok Burkean Conservatism. I realized that my ideal could be libertarian socialism, however my approach to practical implementation could be Burkean conservatism. Any thoughts on this?

  53. Onething, I think you’re quite correct. Did you see the recent poll about Trump’s support in the African-American community? From around 9% at the time of the election, to 19% this time last year, to 36% now; that’s a demographic the Democrats can’t afford to lose, and they’re losing it.

    Phutatorius, it could indeed have been a meditation-induced hallucination.

    Poblano, hmm. I thought I’d been administering regular beatings to the rightward end of things as well. It’s certainly true that I haven’t seen any point in joining in the chorus of indignant squawking about Trump, but my views concerning him are what they were during the election campaign: there are easly 10,000 American citizens better fitted to serve as President than Donald Trump; unfortunately the Democrats found someone who isn’t.

    I don’t find the political compass particularly useful, because politics isn’t actually about beliefs and values — it’s about who gets power, and the wealth that comes with power. Watch liberal Democrats insisting that we all must trust the CIA implicitly if you want evidence of just how little beliefs and values really matter…

  54. Thanks for the answer, John! I’m somewhat familiar with the post-Roman dark ages and observed some similaritites between it and failed states like Afghanistand (and Somalia, and others). I can already say that one difference between a true dark age and a modern, failed state is, that comtemporary complex technologies and artefacts and some of their infrastructure can be imported into a failed state and be used there, like, for example, pickup trucks, whereas in a real dark age the whole economy and technology of the former civilization has collapsed and is not viable anymore, with the exceprion of orphaned technologies like still-functioning aqueducts.

    Yoyo, Ancient Egypt and China were civilizations which managed to contract and expand in a somewhat more non-catastrophic way than other civilizations. To my knowledge, in both cases this was due to a unusually sustainable agricultural resource base. And there were cases of civilizations, like the civilization of the Aztecs, which didn’t end in a dark age because they were conquered by another civilization before they could decline and fall.

  55. JMG
    .’Science’ 20 – 30 years ago told the politicians that change would be very slow in human terms and likely there would be relatively small pros and cons for the USA in any ‘foreseeable’ period. I put my head on one side when I read your take ages ago that sudden and quicker was more likely. I think you focused on Greenland. Well, the old ice on the North Shore is getting broken and large masses likely pushed out of the arctic ocean to melt their fresh water right where it matters on the Overturning Circulation for the North Atlantic.

    It is going to be a wild ride.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/21/arctics-strongest-sea-ice-breaks-up-for-first-time-on-record

    best
    Phil H

  56. Thank you JMG! Another reincarnation question, Are there soul mates or connected souls? Do you bump into souls that you have seen in past lives?

  57. David, by the Lake, you wrote:
    “economically left and socially libertarian.” I’d like to know more about this combination, could you give examples or details so that the words are not just words with so many ways to interpret them? THanks.

  58. Roberta – How we feel about President Trump is only of interest if you want us to choose sides in a shouting match. The choices we make in our individual lives can actually influence the quality of the lives of those who live around us, and the environment of our future. Reasonable people can argue that individual actions will never be sufficient, but individuals who argue for environmental-preservation policies while going about their environmental-destruction ways “in the mean time” squander any moral authority that they may have once had. (I’m lookin’ at you, Al Gore. And Sierra Club, trying to sell me “eco-tourism” in far-off lands.) Live as if others are looking to you for an example, and you’ll know that your efforts have not been entirely futile. And that’s more than you can say for most political “actions”.

  59. @Onething, JMG:

    I’m not altogether convinced that the left would be crushed in a civil war, but I also don’t think anyone would win. I especially don’t see why it would look like the original American Civil War – that is, two sides that happen to be geologically congruent with a border in between.

    Isn’t it more likely to look like the Long Hot Summer of 1967, when Civil Rights tensions and riots were at an all time high? Or to look like the Weather Underground bombings? Something more like large-scale gang warfare than a war as we commonly understand it. In his autobiography, Nixon himself wrote that the nation “bordered on insurrection” during the Long Hot Summer.

    In a modern civil war I can see various gangs fighting one another, all claiming responsibility for letter bombings they didn’t nescessarily commit, but I can’t see a repeat of the Civil War classic happening in a climate that bears even a passing resemblence to the present.

  60. (How many people are still paying attention, for example, to Trump’s Supreme Court nominee?)

    Me, and everyone I know, continue to pay attention to both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

    We’re aware of how Gorsuch’s mother did similar work for Reagan, as Scott Pruitt did for Trump, and we’re worried about how the effects of his future rulings on both the environment and the franchise. We understand that “fascism forever” was a joke on his part, but we understand that jokes tend to have at least some serious content, and we’re worried about exactly how much.

    We know the circumstances of Justice Kennedy’s resignation, and his influence over the short list of candidates to be considered. We’ve heard that Kavanaugh regards Roe v. Wade as settled law, but are also aware that the frontier has now shifted to TRAP laws and other means of making abortion inaccessible.

    We’re willing to live by the precedent that SCOTUS appointments shouldn’t proceed while a presidential campaign is underway, and we note that Trump filed FEC paperwork to begin his 2020 candidacy on Jan. 20, 2017, and formally announced that his campaign was beginning Feb. 27, 2018, holding quite a few campaign rallies in between.

  61. @Robert Gibson

    Evil is a JudeoChristian concept that does not explain any phenomena in a Pagan worldview.

    As you say, when something is labelled “evil” the analysis of it comes to a grinding halt. It is irreducible, as you say. But when that same behavior is labeled something else, like “unhealthy” or “imbalanced” or “damaging to society” whole avenues of study and discussion open up. It’s possible to understand why someone chose that particular behavior (without blaming any demons or devils) and then address it, and prevent it in the future. It’s possible to look at behaviors and events that benefit some and harm others.

    In a world with many gods, all behaviors become more nuanced, and all behaviors are understood from the perspective of the individual person who acted on their personal motivations.

    Morality still exists but it becomes something more like internal personal virtues and vices rather than absolute and universal law from the ultimate authority. People are more likely to have a deeply personal code of honor that values certain individual virtues very highly.

    Before Christianity reached pagan England, the word “good” did not mean virtuous. It meant “able” as in “John is good at teaching difficult concepts.” There was no concept of universal good or evil. One of the highest virtues was to excel in a wide variety of difficult-to-acquire skills. You could say that achieving excellence was a virtue.

    There are many ways to look at the world, and each is useful in its own way. It benefits us all to learn how to see the world as Christians do, as an epic battle of good vs evil; as progressives do, as an eternally evolving and improving universe, and as pagans do, as a multifaceted and nuanced place of incredible complexity where nothing is understood until it is understood from many angles (like from the eyes of a variety of gods). If we understand each viewpoint, then we can talk to eachother across our cultural divides. But it’s not helpful to go around saying “My worldview is superior to yours” because it’s divisive (even if your view actually is superior… like mine is lol).

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  62. The military wouldn’t frag their officers: the majority of officers come from ROTC units and are of rural origin. The Captains and Lieutenents would be on the side of their folks-who by far and large would be the same folks feeding the gorillas, if not being the gorillas. Justifiable by the fact that the Oath isn’t to the President but to the Constitution, and the administration ordering them would fall under enemies domestic . . .

    We’re coping badly with a massive influx of deer here-not our household personally, but the whole neighborhood. Fish and Game decided we’re a nursery a couple decades ago, eliminated doe hunting, and severely restricted buck hunting. It’s a preferred wintering area, with year around creek.
    Probably over two-hundred deer die on this eight mile stretch every year. The latest casualty was a motorcyclist, a young man, father of two little girls.

    At some point, obviously, Fish and Game will lose the authority to tell people not to shoot. In the mean time, I can see several possible solutions: decrease the highway speed from 45 mph to 25 mph (which would be cheap but extremely unpopular) allow greater hunting (decreased availability of deer across the region over time), massive fencing to block deer from the road (expensive). The first would maintain Fish and Game priorities, but make residents very unhappy, and I suspect from how bad the surviving deer look by spring we’re pushing carrying capacity. The second would irritate the trophy hunters-and they’re the loudest voices. The third is probably just too expensive, but everyone would like it.

    So, as I’m talking to folks, and no one knows what ought to be done, I wondered if anyone here might have a fourth idea, or some way to make solution one or two of mine more palatable to those negatively impacted by it. I certainly don’t want to decrease my speed when I have to go to town! It’s not pleasant to spend so much time in the van. Perhaps there’s something ecologically that the property owners (the creek is all private property along this area) can do to make the deer leave?

  63. Hi John,

    I do live in the middle of the country, and I don’t think they’ll fight any time soon. You can see the door slam shut if you even broach the subject of real change. They anxiously inform you that this is the greatest country in the world and that only Americans are truly free. When they really get going, they remind me of what I’ve read about North Koreans, most of whom reportedly believe everyone else is much worse off than they are.

    In a way this is good, no one wants to see a civil war erupt, but then again, when the impoverished and immiserated finally cannot lie to themselves any longer, when they finally do blow, it’ll be like Krakatoa. If sportsball and driving large vehicles (until the vehicles are repossessed) put that day off, then we’d better hope those things continue.

    I think we are in agreement about what’s coming, we only disagree about when. You think it’s close, I think it’s not. And of course both our opinions could be rendered irrelevant if the ruling class would only develop about 5 minutes of foresight.

  64. JMG, yes, I meant the daily, lunar, and annual cycles. I saw that you referred to the grand sweep of time specifically with the “Days and Nights of Manifestation” label, but mistakenly assumed that title applied to all the fractal levels below it too. My mistake.

    Thanks for the clarification! And for answering the unasked part of my question as well. My wife and I are accordingly in a heavy “strengthen and consolidate” mode with our business this week (especially between 06:00 and 12:00 each morning), working under that assumption. Homeschooling efforts too. And it’s going quite well! Pretty amazing stuff.

    So, if I want to add the layered power of the daily cycle to starting something new, do I really need to be up and at it before 6am??

  65. Onething:
    I’m a much bigger fan of Scott Adams now than I was yesterday! Thanks for sharing that.

  66. JMG, you said (to Matt): “…souls run in groups — ‘swarms’ is the term Dion Fortune uses — and a given swarm stays on a given world until it’s finished working through the particular stages of evolution assigned to that world, then head on to another. The time frame for staying on a given world is in the tens of millions of years…”

    I always find some of these indicators regarding incarnation from various sources fascinating. Rudolf Steiner said somewhere that it takes around 1,000 years or so between incarnations, since the landscape needs to change sufficiently for the soul who comes back in to have a new playing field in which to successfully experience challenges; so for him, a hundred years was probably not enough time for such a difference. On that note, however, I had an astrologer who once read my chart (she was in her late sixties if I recall) say that she came “right back in” after leaving because there were so many things going on which she just wouldn’t miss out on, and I suppose the 20th century was chock-a-block with churning energies.

    I happen to like the Michael Teachings system for this kind of overview. It says that the Tao operates by fragmenting itself and then merging the fragments, and provides a somewhat systematic layout of the various levels of soul development and affiliation. A cadre is a group of about seven thousand souls. It is divided into seven entities of about a thousand souls each. Each person is a member of an entity and its cadre. A cadre contains essences of all seven roles, but within an individual entity, two to four roles are usually represented. Other members of our entity could be likened to our brothers and sisters, while members of other entities of our cadre could be compared to our first cousins, or our peers in the local community.

    “Michael” happens to be the name provisionally taken by the “entity” — it was the earthly name of the last person in the group to complete his cycle of lifetimes. There are said to be a minimum of 35 lifetimes, with at least seven lives developed in each of successive stages: infant, baby, young, mature, old (incarnational), followed by two higher soul levels, which are discarnate: infinite and transcendental souls.

    I find it equally interesting that the earliest occurrences of channelled communications between incarnate humans and the Michael entity took place in a small group of Gurdjieff disciples (back in the 70s), who were struggling to keep the “Work” going, even though various practice groups here and there were diminishing. And some features of the Michael system are also found in the G-work, such as the centers (and parts of centers), body types, the laws of Three and Seven, true and false personality, chief feature; there may be other things, but I am not well-versed in Gurdjieff’s teachings to know…

    I am wondering if you, or others in this comunity are familiar with this system.

  67. @JMG/Patricia M—Speaking of progressed charts, it’s worth noting that for most commonly accepted U.S. “birth chart”, the progressed Mars turns retrograde around 2006-07 (possibly coincident with peak conventional oil?) and will remain retrograde for many decades to come. Incidentally, it entered the shadow period circa 1940-41…

    @StarNinja—I saw a creature that *might* have been a frog yesterday, in a small glade attached to my apartment complex. It wasn’t a dog, cat, or squirrel at any rate (the sort of animals usually present in the area), and the leg structure and the way it moved seemed to match, but it was dark, and I can’t be 100% certain.

  68. @Roberta I agree. The assault on the natural world depresses the **** out out of me. As a result, in myself there is a growing defiance against the consumer culture as I realize there is so much stuff I don’t need, driving I don’t need to do, air conditioning I can live without, clothes I can wear several times before washing etc. etc. Hopefully others will be moved to consumer civil disobedience too.

  69. Clay Dennis,

    In the past few years I don’t think I’ve talked to a teenager who even comes close to the minimum standards for college entry! For that matter, I’m not sure I’ve met all that many who seemed ready to start high school. Even if they’d already graduated.

    At the grocery store the other day I paid my bill to the maybe 17 y.o. young lady behind the counter. My change due was 38 cents. Being a bit finicky about the weight and bulk of useless pennies in my pocket I dug out 2 that I already had and handed them to her in an effort to avoid 2 more. She was baffled. She started fumbling in the ones for change, and I gently said, “you don’t owe me any bills, honey, just 40 cents.”

    Her coworker of roughly the same age who was bagging the groceries said, “that’s a Gilmer (County) education for you.” I told her I didn’t think it had anything to do with the local school district, that I thought it was the fault of the Common Core, and sadly, no one else these days seems to be able to do basic math either. (And no wonder, have you seen the new methods they’re using for teaching math??) I told her when I was in high school we weren’t allowed calculators until trig, and then just for graphing complex trig functions. She looked at me like I had two heads.

    I wish I could say that this was an isolated incident. But this is the 3rd time this year that something equally ludicrous has happened over the cash register. I hope the situation is better in Oregon.

  70. Anthony, I haven’t looked into it. Politics in the US are complicated enough!

    Booklover, good! Another major feature of dark ages is mass migration; I don’t happen to know for sure that that isn’t under way in Afghanistan, but I haven’t read of it. That might be worth factoring into your analysis as well.

    Phil H., yep. The scientists 20 and 30 years ago were still stuck in a gradualist paradigm, and were ignoring the evidence for fast climatic change in the distant (and not so distant) past. Now it’s getting hard to ignore…

    Matt, I’ve never seen any reason to believe in the “twin souls” business as anything other than a New Age pickup line. On the other hand, you’ll tend to run into souls in this life if you have unfinished karma with them from a previous life. It’s not uncommon for two or more souls to end up in an entangled relationship, in which each of them works through a variety of different roles in the other’s lives — this time around you’re siblings, next time parent and child, and so on. Eventually you work the karma out and go on.

    Spicehammer, I didn’t say it would resemble the civil war of 1861-1865! I think it would be much more like the Syrian civil war that’s winding to an end right now, with different insurgent forces claiming territory where they can, and using a mix of terrorism, guerrilla methods, and open warfare against the government forces and each other.

    Joel, well, you’re certainly welcome to insist that the precedent you have in mind ought to be followed, but you’re pretty much spitting into the wind, you know; the Constitution gives the President and Congress the right and the power to ignore you. I expect to see Kavanaugh confirmed this autumn, before the midterm elections.

    BoysMom, I didn’t realize that the percentage of officers from West Point had fallen that far. In that case there’s a good chance it would be game on for civil war pretty much from the get-go. As for the deer, if they’re pushing the limits of carrying capacity, you may see some serious dieoff shortly. Other than that, I’m not sure what to suggest.

    Pogonip, no, I don’t think it’s close. I think it might already have started if the 2016 election had gone the other way, but a lot of people I know in the flyover states, including the military vets with gun collections that could outfit a couple of platoons, all seem to be ready to give Trump the benefit of the doubt and to see if things keep getting better.

    Tripp, au contraire — dawn is the equivalent of the New Moon. You know the kind of stillness you sometimes feel at four in the morning when everything seems to have run down once and for all? That’s the solar equivalent of the fourth quarter of the Moon. So If you want to strengthen and consolidate, work between noon and sunset when the Moon is in its second quarter. If you want to begin things, work between dawn and noon when the Moon is in its first quarter.

    Petrus, I imagine John Roth will chime in shortly — he’s our resident Michael Teachings person. I’m not into the MT, as my interests lie elsewhere. I think Steiner was right about the thousand-year interval back when the human population was much smaller, and souls had to wait their turn; these days it tends to happen much more quickly, since there are so many more bodies to fill.

  71. @AV

    Oh Dang! I remember that one!

    “This Imperium of Man is going to be Yuuuge, people. And listen… we gotta get these Xenos outta here. These Orks and Eldars and sending over killers and rapists. Can’t have it. And remember, an open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded, folks.”

    Thanks for sharing. I had a great laugh at that, then and now.

  72. Hi John,

    That lovely, waiting hush at false dawn, right before the new day—what’s that analogous to?

  73. I don’t think our moral and intellectual betters are going to give up until they find some excuse to jail Trump—John, how do you think your veteran friends would react in that event?

  74. @BoysMom says:
    August 22, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    “The military wouldn’t frag their officers: the majority of officers come from ROTC units and are of rural origin. The Captains and Lieutenents would be on the side of their folks-who by far and large would be the same folks feeding the gorillas, if not being the gorillas.”

    It can be rather dangerous to feed the gorillas. And then on top of that you have the whole problem of guerillas. 🙂 (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

  75. What was your writing routine when you first started writing? How did you develop the discipline of doing it? Best advice you received about writing for a living? Was it books first or blog first? Do you have a vision/goals for the number of books in your future? How has it changed since you started?

  76. JMG said:
    ” I’d also noticed a certain definite similarity between the ideas in that article and the ideas I’ve been putting into circulation. That’s very often what happens with a successful intellectual on the fringes; his or her ideas get picked up by others and splashed about, with all references to their original source carefully removed.”

    Mr. Greer, I have been feeling guilty about doing this very thing in the run-up to the ’16 election on my own blog. When you say stuff like this I always feel like you’re talking directly to me. I don’t know why it took so long for me to do this, but as of 7 pm tonight I have removed all of my blog posts permanently from the internet (my last post was in March ’17 anyway).

    I’m sorry. I’m very proud to be your follower, and I deeply regret that I ever mistreated you or your intellectual property.

    My last and only remaining blog post reads:

    I have removed all of my mediocre rantings from this blog site. If you want to get a clearer picture of what’s going on in the world today I encourage you to go read John Michael Greer’s blog.

    Cheers, and best of luck in the future!

    Tripp out. Permanently.

  77. If souls usually have to wait around a thousand years, and now are coming in much, much more rapidly, then this seems to suggest a few things:

    First is that it really seems to imply that even fairly “long” intervals may not be long enough to be healthy. This would seem to imply that effects where past life memories, personality traits, etc that weren’t fully processed will appear in the present life. This does not sound healthy, and it could potentially lead to a large number of mental issues.

    Second is that it would seem to imply that the pace at which souls are going to move on is much, much higher now than it will be later. It thus seems plausible that a large number of souls who are at the end of what being human can teach them will move on. Add into this the fact that a large number of human souls are probably going to go back to being large animals again, and it seems likely that the advanced souls will have moved on leaving behind fewer souls ready for the mysteries, and more in need of just learning how to be human.

    Third is that if normally there’s that much time to wait and choose the best body, in the right situation, at the right time, while now it’s down to a mere fraction of that, with most of that spent processing the last life, quite likely the next incarnation will happen before the individuality has even had a chance to figure out where it should go, and even if it has, the chance for whatever life it needs may not have presented itself.

    I think I may have meditation themes for a while…

  78. What is the reasoning for the assignment of the goddess Eriu to Belteinne in the Druid Magic Handbook? I’ve only found reference to her being chosen as the namesake of Ireland by Amergin on Belteinne, otherwise, I’m not sure of her relevance to the Station. Also, I find her to be particularly vague (and that’s saying a lot about a Celtic deity!), except for her association with Ireland itself.

  79. @ StarNinja and AV:

    I suspect that if Hillary had won and an insurgency or civil war had broken out, Khorne, AKA the Blood God, would have been very pleased…

  80. @ Poblano – I feel that the commentariat here (and sometimes JMG’s commentary) have skewed a bit to the right over the last few months.
    I’ve taken the political compass quiz a few times, and my most recent score was -5.25 to the left and -3.74 to the libertarian side. I’ve been more or less solidly left/libertarian for most of my adult life.

    @JMG – re Islam – I’d had the thought that since Islam is a younger religion, that explains some of the zealous energy present among it’s practitioners, as compared to Christianity. I had not heard anyone express the idea that religions have life cycles. How do longer lasting religions like Hinduism and Taoism (not to mention Judaism or Zoroastrianism) fit with the ‘religions have life cycles’ hypothesis, given that both belief systems have been around much longer than either Islam or Christianity?

    @ Prizm – I’m a fan of house Stark too!

    @ Will J – What if Trump and his associates are being taken to court because they broke laws, and not because Trump is supposedly being treated unfairly?

  81. Hello BoysMom

    I have some suggestions, but they would require a lot of political work. Deer will only stay in an area if there is food to eat. Deny them that food. May I suggest that your local government is persuaded to hire a cowherd, give them a budget to purchase a herd of store cattle each spring and take them all over your neighbourhood clearing out the fodder the deer would eat over winter. The fattened cattle can then be sold in late fall to avoid over wintering costs. The profit hopefully would cover the hiring cost of the cowherd, or alternatively license a freelance cowherd who finances the operation themselves. Yes cattle can also be hit by cars, but they will have a cowherd to herd them, who can also pen them up at night, and they can have florescent belts fitted to reflect light from car head lights. Schemes like these have been used in the UK for habitat restoration and maintenance on heathland and commons.

    Secondly hunting packs of hounds. They do not have to be of large size, and the followers can be on foot. The idea is not to catch the deer but to deter them from loitering in cover near roads by regularly hunting through said cover. Look up the change in behaviour of deer in Yellowstone when wolves were re-introduced. Is there a hunting season for hounds, if so use a muzzle on the hounds. Hunts were great country social events, you may able to establish some, Balls and all (the dancing kind).

    Lastly and easiest is to have Deer warning signs every 100yds or so along the roads erected to remind people of the deer hazard and so to keep their speed down. In Ireland road fatalities often have a road side shrine erected as a reminder of the dangers. In the UK we often have flowers for months or occasionally years afterwards at the spot of a fatality. In the UK deer warning signs are used in deer hazard spots, a white triangle with a red border, with a black leaping deer in the centre, made of reflective material.

    Yes, I have deer problems, but mine are roe deer, small enough that physical barriers generally work.

    To tell a story, and that deer aren’t daft, I was working outside my barn one Autumn afternoon when the gamekeeper from the neighbouring estate walked up for a chat. He was complaining that he had not seen a deer for six months, and I said that I sore them most days, but I do not hunt. A few minutes later a deer poked its head from around my charcoal kiln not ten metres from us. I looked at the deer, the deer looked at me, I looked at the deer, the deer looked at me. I quietly told the gamekeeper to turn round slowly, and as soon as the deer sore the gamekeeper’s face it was off over the fence and 150 metres across the field. The deer then made the mistake of stopping and looking back and the gamekeeper plugged it straight between the eyes. The Deer know us personally.

    Best to all Philip Hardy

  82. Let’s say the 2016 election went just barely the other way. Instead of winning Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania by less than 1% each, Trump loses them by the same margin; everywhere else is unchanged.

    Do you think it is likely that a significant domestic insurgency, or outright civil war, would have broken out between Election Day 2016 and today? Or would it be more that the amount of pressure would just keep building over a period of several more years, only to blow catastrophically upon some trigger (e.g. a disputed reelection in 2020, or the downturn following the bursting of the current market bubble)?

  83. @Lathechuck and Roberta

    Lathechuck, I agree with you that personal actions are powerful, and it’s quite appropriate to make fun of Al Gore and eco tourists. However, at the level of personal action we are still constrained by the society we live in, and this can cause people to make sub-optimal choices regarding the environment. For example, I live 6 miles from work and even at my age I could cover the distance on a bicycle. But, the roads I must travel have speed limits of 45 (which means everyone is going 55) the bike lanes are non-existent and the shoulders narrow. Bluntly I’m unwilling to risk my life to “save” the environment. (as if my riding would outweigh all the other car commuters) I have to be at work at 5am so I can’t take the bus. I could walk and it’s certainly a fair thing to say that I’m not sufficiently committed to environmental protection to walk 12 miles a day. (I also have bad knees) So, do I just remain silent on environmental issues because I don’t make every possible sacrifice? Or do I support environmentalism knowing that my commitment is limited and compromised? I suppose at times I sound like a hypocrite complaining about greenhouse gases (or whatever) while contributing to the problem myself. As an individual who happens to live in a low density area with limited public transport, and as somone who works unusual hours, I can only do so much. I think we should do more to protect the environment, but the “we” implies a societal commitement not just individual actions.

    @Roberta

    For what little it’s worth, I don’t think Trump, or most republicans, actually believe their claims that global warming is a hoax. It’s in the interests of the Republican backers to fight environmentalism because regulations reduce profits.

    Despite what I said to Lathechuck, I think the Dems have become expert at feel good environmentalism that doesn’t ask much beyond basic recycling. Recycle your pop cans and you’re given a pass on using an SUV. To get virtue signaling points one could drive a Prius, or at least somehtiing with “Hybrid” in chrome letters on the trunk. But then again, as individuals we are constrained by the larger society we live in.

  84. I thought you might like to have another set of data points on declining life expectancy, principally in the United States:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50096.htm

    Apparently a bad flu season affected other “wealthy” countries in 2014-2015, but only the U.K. and the USA have continued to experience falling lifespans across a broadening demographic spectrum since then. Not exactly cheerful news, but it looks pretty real to me.

    Kevin

  85. @maiabythesea

    Re Political Compass and “economically left, socially libertarian”

    That is how Political Compass classified me based on my answers to the questionnaire: the horizontal economic axis (left/right) and the vertical social axis (authoritarian/libertarian). As I ranked negative on both, I ended up in the lower left quadrant.

    I’m a bit confused as to how to describe myself in my own terms, but when I try it usually comes out as “an environmentally-conscious, small-government, non-imperialist, democratic socialist civil libertarian.” If that makes any sense at all.

    I can provide a few examples of my positions, to the extent they may clarify (or muddle):

    —The purpose of the US military is the protection of the territorial integrity of the nation and it should be sized solely for that task.
    —There should be some level of basic health care provided as a public service; however those programs should be designed, managed, and paid for at the state level, with states with similar designs cooperating as they deem fit.
    —Government generally should be done at the lowest level possible, with federal powers limited to those explicitly authorized by the federal charter. Allow people to disagree, rather than everyone fighting for control of the central levers of power so as to be able to force their particular view onto everyone else.
    —Marriage under civil law is a contract between private parties of consenting adults, recognized by the state and imparting a fixed bundle of rights and responsibilities to those parties, whose membership should not be limited by gender, race/ethnicity, creed, or number.
    —A carbon tax should be imposed on all fossil fuel resources at the point when that resource is extracted from the ground or brought over the border, allowing market forces to operate from that point onward. Revenue from this tax, less program administration costs, should then be refunded to taxpayers on a per-capita basis.

    I don’t know if that helps at all, but there you go!

    Like the handle, by the way 😉 Took me a second to parse it.

  86. “that’s a demographic the Democrats can’t afford to lose, and they’re losing it.”

    Tee hee. Hadn’t seen that poll, but after watching those youtube vids, that is exactly what I would predict. The left overplayed their hands and irritated some black people to the extent that they began to do some research. I learned some interesting things. It is the democratic party who has the history of racial abuse, and the Republicans who have a history of enacting good amendments. And Trump was apparently well loved by blacks because they loved watching his show. So it was only as good little reliable democrats that the blacks turned on him. He also apparently has quite a good history with minorities! Hiring gays, got some sort of recognition award about blacks, Jesse Jackson or someone like that praised him and he hired a woman to be the architect for Trump Tower, making her the first female to build a skyscraper. Now, this is all things that black walkaway people said, so I don’t know for sure.

    I don’t see the democratic party surviving much longer. Just a little more time and most blacks will be out, I think. The party has perhaps 20% of voters since so many people have been defecting to the independent party, now the walkaways, and then the blacks.

    I’m so impressed with the black people I see on those videos. Many of them are obviously not ‘educated’ and have the poor grammar and all, one was an ex-con, but they get their points across in a well organized manner and exude good will. And they’re funny!
    They also get heckled and name-called by their brothers and sisters, but those will come around in time. The facts are too damning. The democratic party was only pretending to be their friend.

  87. JMG,

    Over the years of your having hosted this blog and the Archdruid Report, I’ve had my eyes opened to some aspects of life that I’ve willingly blinded myself from or chosen to ignore, and to other aspects of life which I’ve had no guidance in life for and so have not really understood or been aware of. Through these years I’ve gleaned a good many ideas. One recently, a connection I’ve made, seems really important. It’s the idea that our realities are made up of a great many forces. Some of those are within our head, some of them are within our environment, and some are deeper spiritual forces. Those forces are woven together and help form our worldview. That worldview can become conflicting and tangled from the reality around us. Some of the most instrumental tools in helping people can be the stories, myths, and legends which help bind and connect us to our place. These often consist of the experiences and wisdom learned from generation after generation of a people in a place, or places. When we lose that connection with place, we lose connection with reality. In America, because of the relatively short history with the place that most of us have here, we haven’t really developed deep myths from which the wisdom that comes from those experiences which create myth can be gleaned. In short, this makes me realize the importance for those of us living here to have real life experiences, and to create stories, whether fictional or non-fictional, which can be passed on for those who come after. You’ve given me some good inspiration to write. Now I just, obviously, need some practice. Thank you!

  88. Dear BoysMom, I don’t know what state you live in, but I remember from when I was a child in the Willamette Valley that the Oregon agency which oversaw hunting, fish and wildlife service maybe, used to have special doe seasons when the deer herds got too large. Or, some years, they would sell extra hunting tags. Or extend hunting season. Surely it is the job of Fish and Game to manage the herd, which is done by managing how much of what kind of hunting will be permitted. Since there are no, or few, large predators anymore, the herds have to be culled by hunting, whether or not vegetarians and similar folk like it.

  89. BoysMom,

    I was just reading up on Lyme disease, which is now in all 50 states. It is probable that it is largely due to the increased deer population, but they also say that the coyotes are crowding out the fox, and foxes kill rodents, and rodents also carry Lyme. If we don’t keep the deer populations down, coyotes will take the job, but it would be better not to be infested with coyotes, and they kill dogs and cats, too. Best to have a balanced ecosystem.

    Can’t people shoot deer on their own land?

  90. Dear Mr Greer,

    I was wondering if there was any news on when we might expect the next installment in the Weird of Hali series? I’ve really been enjoying the series so far!

    And then a bit more abstract question. Based on an answer you gave to another reader in a past Magic Monday post I was wondering if you had any advice on how to cultivate a hopeful outlook, or how to remain positive when it feels that so many things in the world are going wrong and it is only likely to get worse.

    Thanks for providing this forum.

  91. @JMG – Thanks, and I fully agree on your point about Steiner’s take; the MT currently has souls re-appearing at a much closer rate, an average of 70 years or so after a break, for many souls (although not all), and for mostly the same reason. (My own investigation into the 70 year window has produced some surprising insights into my life.) I kindly respect your making MT a non-option. For myself, while I’ve explored many different paths, I was always on the lookout for the kind of “big picture” that contextualizes everything else, and I feel the MT has a good purchase on that claim, since it still leaves all things open to play out and happen as they do…

  92. Hidey ho JMG,

    Re: the Heathen Golden Dawn, have you considered incorporating hnefatafl, a board game with religious significance for the Norse? Perhaps it could substitute for Enochian chess. Of note:

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-hnefatafl-viking-board-game

    “As described by Linnaeus, tablut [hhnefatafl] pit an offensive player against a defensive opponent. The latter placed a king piece in the central square of a checkered board and surrounded it with defenders. This player attempted to win the game by maneuvering the king to one of the four corners of the board. The game’s rules awarded the opposing player a superior number of pieces, which were placed in formation around the king’s defense. This player won by occupying all four squares around the king. All pieces in the game moved horizontally and vertically, like the rook in chess.”

    http://www.lutanho.net/play/hnefatafl.html

  93. John,

    In “The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center”, you wrote “There’s a complex and sordid history behind that stunningly counterproductive strategy [of the Democrats in regards to Trump], but that’s a theme for a different post.” I would love to see that post if your Muse is willing. You have already hinted at bits of that history, I’ve made some guesses about other parts, but I would be delighted see more of what you think about it.

    I’ve suspected that some portion of the self defeating actions of left-wing protests, especially ones that become violent, might have been influenced by people in the FBI, CIA and similar agencies as a way to neutralize the effectiveness of the protest in the eyes of the public. I felt that was possibly the case with the black garbed predecessors to the Anti-Fasc movement, but if that is also the case for this current crop, the government group pulling those strings are either stunningly clueless or a clever pro-Trump fraction.

    As far as the current brouhaha with Cohn, I do hope you are right for the very reasons that you outlined.

    Do you really think there are only about 10 thousand or so people who might make a better President than Trump. That is a depressing thought. 😏

  94. JMG, Using the Crowley/Fortune definition of magic as “change of consciousness in accordance with the will”, it seems to me that modern advertising/marketing/public relations is a form of magic. This would seem to fit especially with the Chaos Magic notion of “results based” magic (the result being the consumer will buy my product or the voter will vote for the candidate I want).

    This makes some intuitive sense as the father of modern advertising, Edward Bernays, was Freud’s nephew and would have had some knowledge of these things.

    If true, this would mean Trump’s victory was a victory of a “new” magic against the established magic. And Trump’s long experience using mass media for his own benefit would have given him the perfect apprenticeship in the old magic to use in his campaign.

    This idea makes a lot of sense to me as the way anti-Trumpers talk about Trump is almost exactly the same as one would talk about an evil wizard.

    Any thoughts on this idea?

  95. Hi JMG,
    I asked a question on the Dreamscape page magic Monday about the type of training the founders of the Findhorn Garden had taken in order to communicate with the nature spirits. The one book I have read about Findhorn is The Findhorn Garden, Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation that is produced by the Findhorn Community. It doesn’t say much about the training the founders undertook, but it does say it was rigorous. Do you (or anyone else reading this blog) know what that training consisted of?
    Thanks

  96. I wouldn’t be quite so sure that the (literal) firepower is entirely on the right; there is a raft of left-wing groups that believe in exercising their second amendment rights in service to fighting the Right – and probably anyone they consider insufficiently woke – and it’s not only Antifa:

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/antifa-movement-anti-trump-politics-nazi/

    Tripp:

    It’s everywhere.

    Some years ago I was at a local drugstore shortly after Christmas when everything was on sale. The checkout line was long and the earnest young clerk was struggling to figure out the price of something marked down 75%. He called the manager, also young, and the two of them worked diligently for many minutes with a calculator to come to the correct answer, using twice as many steps as needed. Hint: it’s not necessary to calculate 75% of the price then subtract it; it’s faster to just multiply the price by 25%, something I thought was obvious even though I’m really lousy at math. And forget about anyone knowing how to make change anymore without the register telling them how much is due; nobody seems to know how to ‘count up’ these days like we did back when cash registers were essentially adding machines with a cash box, not computers.

  97. JMG,
    I’ll have a look for pre ice age BC climate info; that’s a good suggestion. Thanks.

    re: the climate change and peak oil update posts, I believe you were the one to suggest them initially… I’m just saying I really hope you write them.

  98. If a genie offered you three wishes to improve America’s political system, what would they be? (Assuming the genie is benevolent and you’d take the offer)

    An Amendment to protect the environment? Revamping Congress into a multi-party system with proportional representation? Changing how government relates to the military? Something with the Electoral College? Abolishing public education? Or something more modest?

  99. JMG my questions this month are how many people do you think read this blog (how many individuals post, any idea on the over all geographic spread)? Second question. Are we going to get any more post on self education in a time of decline. Those have been unusualy useful for me.

    Regarding the civil war I also think we avoided. A old high school friend of mine who was a lifer NCO was ready to start shooting if Hilary won (for real). I am pretty sure we dodged a bullet this time

  100. I’d like to follow up your comments about the spiritual benefits of reading and reflecting on sacred religious texts.

    You mentioned that the best time for the practice was soon after rising. What is the advantage of doing it then?

    For those who don’t subscribe to a particular faith, would this method work using secular philosophical texts, such as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius? Or could one still derive spiritual benefit from reading the Bible or the Baghvad Gita without being a part of a faith-based community to which one could turn for assistance with interpretation of nuances or ambiguities within the text?

  101. Speaking of insuregencies , the Taliban launched a “Tet Offensive” this week that has gone unreported in the western media, they attacked a major city on the Peshawar – Kabul road
    After seventeen years and a gazillion dollars, this one is still raging and bleeding the Empire dry.

    “This week, Taliban forces occupied the important strategic city of Ghazni on the road from Peshawar to Kabul. It took three days and massive air attacks by US B-1 heavy bombers, Apache helicopter gun ships, A-10 ground attack aircraft, and massed warplanes from US bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar and the 5th US Fleet to finally drive back the Taliban assault. Taliban also overran key military targets in Kabul and the countryside, killing hundreds of government troops in a sort of Afghan Tet offensive.”

    Afghan regime police and army units put up feeble resistance or ran away.

    https://orientalreview.org/2018/08/21/afghanistan-the-war-that-shames-america/

  102. Hi JMG. I’ve been thinking about your (well, I guess Dion Fortune’s, really…) descripton of Magic lately, and it’s really changed the way I think about the subject on a whole.

    The question that’s been popping into my head recently is this: what kind of magic is the Insane Clown Posse using? I’ve known several people to get completely swept away by them and it really seems like they’re under some sort of spell.

  103. Not finding exact numbers for annual commissions for most years, 5880 commissioned from Army ROTC in 2012 per army.mil (Specifying a date in the search engine got me each individual school’s announcement. My search engine abilities are not good enough, apparently.)
    West Point has about 4200 in all four years, per wikipedia and should be roughly even across the years, though some will wash out.
    OCS at Ft. Benning has about 650 graduates per year, according to their own site. (This is enlisted and warrent to commissioned officers.)

    I think, from my experience in ROTC, that about a fifth of ROTC grads first enlisted out of high school, served their first hitch, got out, got their degrees, and went back in as officers. So the OCS numbers, I suspect, are less than half of the total officers with prior enlisted experience.

    These numbers all appear to include Active, Reserves, and National Guard.

  104. Pogonip, the dark of the moon, of course, just before the New Moon.

    Dashui, thanks for this.

    Denys, (1) when I first started writing I didn’t have a routine yet. Some years passed before I buckled down and assigned myself a certain word count per day. (2) Discipline’s easy if the alternative is working at jobs you hate. (3) Never edit while writing; they use two different parts of your brain, which jam each other up. That’s where writer’s block comes from. (4) Blogs didn’t exist yet when I started writing books. My first book was published in 1996; my first blog went live ten years later. (5) Nope. I’ll doubtless keep writing until they pry my cold dead hands off my keyboard.

    Tripp, oh dear gods. No, that’s not what I meant at all! It’s by getting my ideas into the general conversation by way of other authors, acknowledged or otherwise, that they have their effect; what you were doing was the kind of thing I want, not anything I object to.

    Will, I think you do indeed have meditation themes for a while. I’ve wondered whether the prevalence of gender dysphoria these days comes partly from the fact that people get reborn into a body of one sex when they still remember very clearly being of the other sex.

    Anthony, I honestly don’t remember. I don’t have much of any resonance with the Irish pantheon; I did a bunch of research to put together an Irish version of the symbolism for that book and The Druidry Handbook, but it was well over a decade ago and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.

    Ben, look back over the history of long-lasting religions and you’ll find that they went through major transformations at long intervals. Taoism as we know it today was reinvented by Zhang Daoling, who was born right around the time Jesus of Nazareth died; Hinduism went through a massive revival and reshaping between 350 and 650 CE. The same is true of other long-lived religions.

    Grebulocities, I’d have expected the beginnings of an insurgency by Inauguration Day, though how things would have unfolded from there and how big it got how soon would depend on complex and unpredictable factors.

    Kevin, many thanks for this.

    Onething, here’s a news story on the poll. Of course the Democrats immediately came out with a flurry of articles insisting it just ain’t so. This and the #walkaway movement are big red flashing warning lights telling the Democrats that they’ve catastrophically misjudged how people are reacting to them, and their reaction is to stick green tape over the lights so they can go on pretending that everything is fine. This will not end well…

    Prizm, excellent! Yes, exactly.

    Marcu, (1) I was told by the publisher last month to expect an announcement this month; I’m still waiting. (2) I wish I had a good answer to that one. What works for me is to stay in touch with the cycles of nature and remember that all things human are temporary.

    Petrus, I’ve been told by other students of the MT that people are either drawn to it or they’re not, and that makes a lot of sense to me. If it works for you, by all means!

    Bori, funny you should mention that. I’ve been familiar with that game in its various forms — the Welsh version is gwyddbwyll or talbwrdd — since encountering them in Nigel Pennick’s excellent book Games of the Gods, and the thought of an equivalent of Enochian chess using one of the tafl family of games has been on my mind for years. The difficulty is simply that you’d need something on the order of the Enochian tables as an underlying pattern, and that’s going to require either a lot of work or some inspiration from the gods.

    Rob, good question. Depends on the gods in question, and what role you have “in the middle.”

    John, I’ve been wondering for some time whether somebody or other is messing with the anti-Trump forces, feeding them increasingly absurd and counterproductive tactics and strategies. As for the 10,000, oh, granted, that’s a very conservative estimate!

    Matt, I’m not familiar with the podcast, but if Rogan invites me I’m game.

    Juan Pablo, yes, of course. Thank you — and thank you also for the article.

    Simon, good. Sometime, if you haven’t done so, read at least the first few chapters of Ioan Culianu’s Eros and Magic in the Renaissance — he makes exactly that point about advertising and marketing. That is to say, it seems to me that you’re definitely on to something.

    Kay, I don’t happen to know, but you ought to be able to find that in some of the other Findhorn literature.

    Beekeeper, I know there are some left-wing armed groups, but what I’ve seen suggests that they amount all told to a few per cent of what’s on the other side.

    Pygmycory, so noted! That’s correct, of course.

    SpiceIsNice, I’d have to spend some hours, or perhaps weeks, thinking about that.

    Will, these days I get between 100k and 150k readers a month — less than the Archdruid Report did, but that’s understandable, since my subject matter is a little more specialized on this blog. (And of course that’s not counting the people who read posts that appear elsewhere.) As for posts on learning, oh, probably, but my muse is an opinonated lady and has her own notions about what I should write.

    Dirtyboots, (1) first thing in the morning means that it shapes your thinking for the entire day, since you get to it before anything else. (2) good question — try it and find out!

    Onoda Hiroo, yep. The US is great at fighting insurgencies but very, very poor at defeating them…

  105. @Matt
    Re: Past Life Connections

    In the Michael Teaching, there are several types of connection. There seems to be a bit of romanticism about terms like “twin souls” or “twin flames,” etc. While there are “built-in” connections, they don’t normally share vary many lifetimes. It gets boring having the same people around all the time.

    In most lifetimes, there will be souls you’ve met before and have agreed to share another lifetime for various reasons. The largest number tend to be from a group of roughly a thousand souls we call an “Entity.” Then there are a smaller number from a groups of 7 Entities that are related. There will usually be souls you have never seen before, and some of them you may never see again.

    @Spicehammer, etc.
    Re: Civil War

    I don’t see that kind of civil war happening, for a number of reasons. One of them is the 80-year cycle. We’re coming to the end of the crisis/collapse period, and should be moving out of it to the high/stability period. If you look at Generation Z (or whatever you want to call it – it’s the people who are just now 20 years old and younger,) the first wave is moving out of childhood into coming-of-age, and they have a very specific viewpoint on the culture wars: “A pox on both your houses.”

    In other words, the younger generation is saying: settle it, or we’ll settle it.

    @BoysMom
    Re: Deer

    Deer are pests. Is anyone focusing on what they’re doing to the environment, etc.?

    @Petrus
    Re: Michael Teachings

    Holds hand up. I’ve been a student of the MT since the mid 80s, and conduct a twice-weekly chat (mostly nobody shows up, sigh) on IRC (IRCSTORM, #michael_teachings) from 7 to 9 pm Sundays and Wednesdays, Mountain Time. I’m also active on both major sites.

    @Will J.
    Re: Reincarnation

    As I may have mentioned before, the “standard model” of reincarnation is very different from the model I use, which comes from a Michael Teachings channeling.

    That said, time is not linear. It branches and merges like an old river in a delta. It only appears to be linear because that’s the way the Physical Plane is designed to appear. That said, it is quite possible to jump back into the fray before taking the “time” to properly digest the just finished lifetime, and that undigested material may well cause problems.

    Your second question works from the “classic” viewpoint, but makes no sense from the MT viewpoint. There is no restriction on the resources available for reincarnation, and I’m not going to explain why not.

    Your third question. Time on the astral is not the same as on the physical. There is plenty of “time” to plan the next lifetime, even if it’s going to start before the body has begun cooling from the last lifetime.

  106. Have you read “here on earth” by Tim Flannery?
    It is , in my opinion, a great book on environmental issues.

  107. @BoysMom,

    The fences actually won’t work, unless they are something like 12 feet high.

    I’m a former resident of Port Mansfield, TX, where deer outnumber humans 3:1. You might do an internet search and come across the photo of the doe walking into the convenience store, or the photo of the doe that jumped into a boat with two very shocked humans.

    You might be surprised how long the town residents can argue with eachother about the deer while nothing changes except the size of the whitetail population. Changing the speed limit might not make a difference, but there will come a point when half the town has hit a deer and everyone drives slower, especially at night.

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  108. @Will J http://ulrichboser.com/how-many-felonies-did-you-commit-today-an-interview-with-harvey-silverglate/

    By pretty conservative calculation the average American commits more than three felonies a day. How many tens of thousands of felonies did Clinton and Obama commit — with knowledge aforethought — including felonies which harmed or killed other people? How much time did they do; how much time will they do? How much money will they collect as payola for their criminal activity? These three are all lawyers, keep in mind.

    I never mistook Trump for being a a goody-two-shoes; hopefully you didn’t either. Who else could have taken on the swamp creatures, head on, and survived this long?

  109. @WillJ

    You are probably right, however, there will also be a high number of souls who *just* finished all their human incarnations, and I have heard that some or all of these spend their first disembodied lifetimes helping living humans in their spiritual development. These are the spirits that manifest a pretty feather on the ground at your feet when you have a particular type of thought, and they are the ones that dump all kinds of fire and brimstone on you when you make that same mistake *again*. They are really good for this because their memory of humanity and pain and suffering is still really fresh. I have the impression that pain and suffering are the experiences that fade the fastest on the other side.

    But these are just my impressions, I could be REALLY wrong 🙂

    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  110. @Roberta I don’t feel too good about Trump’s environmental policies. On the other hand, what FACTUAL basis was there to feel the least bit good about Obama and Clinton environmental policies?

    The amount of planetary damage cause by manufacturing outside the United States, in countries which generally don’t have anti-pollution laws and equipment in place to anywhere near the level we have in the US, AND THEN SHIP THOSE PRODUCTS ACROSS TEN THOUSAND MILES BY MEANS WHICH ARE ILLEGAL IN THE US is not environmental. It is, in fact, hypocrisy and environmental cruelty on an stunning scale.

    Logically it should be obvious that pollution and other environmental damage is VASTLY reduced by doing our industrial production LOCALLY. Again, we have the best pollution control equipment, standards, and laws in the world.

    That doesn’t mean I feel good about it. But I feel much better about doing our pollution LOCALLY where we can, at least see it directly and deal with most effectively.

    What do you dislike about Trump’s environmental policy versus hiding our shameful activities under cover of virtue signalling and offshoring? That, I think, is a better — and more honest — question.

    Most of the evil done in the world is done by proxy. If you are going to do evil, do your own evil. Evil (pollution) by proxy doesn’t absolve you of anything and is, I expect, particularly damning in the afterlife and particularly brutal on the ecosphere.

  111. I’ve following the blog in it’ various forms for about 8 years now. Only commented once, rarely find time to get through the comments but love it when I do. The kek wars and all the comments were fantastic.
    Thankyou so much for the regularity and the discipline.
    My question is about the birth chart. I am ok with most concepts. Just one thing has really thrown me over the last 26 years. I don’t have an exact time of my birth, my mother says it was around 5am 06 Nov 74. The moon was on the cusp and depending if you were a little earlier or a little later seemed to significantly change the chart. The problem is that I could relate to both scenarios (the cusp!) but subsequently never felt comfortable using the birthchart as a reference point for any kind of progression.

    How can I get over this block philosophically?

  112. @JMG I’ve suspected for probably a decade (once I realized you were serious about being an archdruid/mage) that WE were all part of a magical working you were actively doing. Is that basically correct? That is, are you actively using magical techniques, “according to will” along with your blogging in cultivating this community?

  113. @Christopher Hope,

    You certainly don’t have to be perfect. We ALL have blood on our hands. No one expects you to risk your life, humanity needs you to live, as a blazing pioneer with one foot in “modernity” and the other in our future.

    It is no easy task, but if you care about the environment it is your duty to do what you can. I drive to work, too, but I worked long and hard to buy a cheap, fuel efficient car (and it took a while, before that I was stuck in an SUV that I had inherited and no source of income steady enough to justify a car payment). But even when I was stuck in that awful SUV, I still made all my own cleaning supplies out of castile soap, baking soda, vinegar, borax, and washing soda (except dishwasher detergent… I CAN NOT get a recipe that works… I wash by hand instead most days).

    I garden and eat lots of wild meats to reduce the impact of factory farming. I recycle (the least helpful of the 3 R’s) but I also Reduce my waste by avoiding plastic packaging as much as I can and Reuse my glass bottles and jars and reuseable shopping bags. I just recently started carrying a tupperware in my purse, I’m hoping to get in the habit of using it instead of the styrofoam ones at restaurants. I am also working my way through our host’s book Green Wizardry, which gives a LOT of helpful advice on reducing your environmental impact. I am also reducing my use of home heating and AC.

    You don’t have to do any of those things. Instead, you can, if you like, you can examine your life and look at what changes you can make, and just pick one at a time, and see how it goes. Everyone has the power to reduce their harm to the planet.

    There was a recent study that found the single strongest predictor of your environmental footprint is your income, not your environmental beliefs. This means that there are A LOT of people who choose not to change their behaviors enough to make a difference. But it also means this: one of the very best things you can do for the planet is stash as much money as you can under your mattress, or bury it in the back yard. It’s never too early to start saving for retirement! 😉

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  114. Can anyone recommend a place to buy old technology and learn how it works? I’m reading Retro Future right now, and my husband loves the idea of receiving a high-quality slide rule for his birthday. He wants one that can do complex math and not just basic functions. I myself would be interested in learning about all kinds of devices: how to repair old typewriters, for example. I remember the floor fan my grandparents had was solid metal, really heavy, and had a hand crank that you could wind up and the fan would work for a while. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  115. JMG, re “evil”, you say, “I’m curious: why do you think it’s useful to have a label that bars any further quest for understanding?”

    I find this hard to answer, because I’m struggling to formulate what my instinct is telling me… but I suppose, at the back of my mind is a hunch that the ‘quest for understanding’ is sometimes not the open-ended attitude it purports to be. To embark on it is already to presuppose that the quest is worthwhile. Fine, if that’s true, but what if it isn’t? What if it’s a trap, that leads us into formulating excuses for what cannot be excused? e.g. you may find out certain steps which lead someone like the Yorkshire Ripper to carry out his murders, and this may be useful practical knowledge, but the gap between mechanistic explanation and real understanding will always be there, so why not allow the term “evil” to fill that inevitable gap? The reason for allowing such a term is, I suggest, honesty, plus – see my next paragraph – realism.

    @ Jessi Thompson: “Evil is a Judeo-Christian concept that does not explain any phenomena in a pagan world view”. True, I dare say, but as a Christian I would maintain that it doesn’t explain anything in a Christian world view either. Semi-jokingly, let me say I doubt whether Lucifer’s rebellion could be put down to his having had a difficult childhood, or to complex socio-economic conditions of deprivation in his area of Heaven. Why then should he have had such a chip on his shoulder whereas (say) Gabriel and Michael did not? The style of the modern theological objection to the “God of the Gaps”, whereby supernatural explanations keep shrinking their scope as scientific knowledge advances, could just as well be transposed to what I shall call the “Understanding of the gaps”, whereby the scope of rational explanations always recedes before the stubborn mystery of evil. No sooner do you find out that X had a fondness for disembowelling people because he watched too much TV, than you find that Y watched even more TV and yet became a saint… and so on, and so on.

  116. re: hypnosis I don’t know how it relates to occultism, but I can share that it is being used all the time in the media, along with other persuasion techniques as Scott Adams would call it. Repetition is one obvious technique – put a multi-syllable less used word into the news by having it repeated over the course of days into weeks by multiple people – like, let’s say what was brought up here in the comments, the use of the word “illegitimate”. Show me another place in people’s every day life they use the word illegitimate! You can’t because its been removed from the language by political correctness. We used to talk of illegitimate children but that is no more.

    Another example would be “authoritarian”. Another word no one uses in everyday life, but people will whip it out and use it to describe Trump. Why? Because they heard it or read it used by the media over and over again.

    Asking questions is another technique used to mind frack people. Journalists have been writing pieces all through Trump’s candidacy and presidency “just ask questions that we have a right to know”. What is the presidents mental state? Did he talk with a Russian? What are his income taxes? Did he have affairs outside of his marriage?

    Then write a piece or go on TV, give a few facts, and then ask a bunch of questions. Saying “These are questions and it leads to some troubling answers.” At which point honestly I shout at the TV saying “You are a journalist – so go find out the answers and report on those you moron!” which is shocking to people in the public place playing CNN because I don’t watch TV at home.

    So people watch TV or read the news and their minds are filled with thinking the worst of the president because this is where our minds go when we go into question mode. Its human nature and the media is using it to manipulate us.

    Lastly re: Cohen – if you asked if Cohen is going to ruin the President, I urge you to go read the actual court documents. Trump is not named in them. Cohen gave up info on a “candidate.” Cohen worked for the RNC. Everyone is just “connecting the dots” (another of my favorite media phrases) and saying it is Trump because Cohen worked for Trump. And even it is Trump, it all happened well before the campaign started. If adultery is fireable offense then most of DC and most of the journalists will have to resign too.

  117. Ah, should’ve seen that coming. 😉

    Well, the genie’s not here just yet so no need to pin anything down. What do you make of my suggestions? Anything good? Do you think the Electoral College should be abolished or should the power of less-populated states be expanded?
    When it comes to electing a President it’s always a mixed bag for one because there’s so many roles they need to fulfil. Hmm, what if people could vote separately for a national spokesperson, a CEO for the government agencies, and a commander-in-chief?

  118. I have some stuff I would like to write, but I don’t have enough time now. Instead, I will reply to some comments that appeared in this open post.

    @Simon S.:
    You will probably like to read these comments on the subject that Greer made when he reviewed a book called Globalize Liberation. The text is long, and it has an introduction not written by him, but you should be used to long discussions by now, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

    @Rob C.:
    What happens when two gods fight and humanity is on the middle has Christianity as a good example. This would be nice fodder for meditation.

    @John Michael Greer:
    Tripp overreacted to the cur- sorry, work you made in your books to avoid piracy. It is manifesting its power in other aspects of your life. People, you are free to comment on anything, but it is proper, yes, to provide the sources. I shoot down my students when they don’t provide sources for their statistical data or obviously borrow quotes without providing the authors in their dissertations. I sinned here too–I stated to my brother that the English word predicament is an unsolvable issue that you have to deal with, and a problem was something that had a solution and could end. Now, as an English teacher here in Brazil, he most likely is teaching his students about this dictionary definition, which I suspect was at least stressed by you, and now the genie is out of the bottle.

  119. Pogonip, interesting that you mention North Koreans. The propaganda situation in the United States and in the larger West reminds me, too, of North Korean propaganda. And there is the piquant fact that in North Korea itself, due to the collapse of its economy in the late 1990s and the economic changes thereby precipitated (marketization from below, more information flow from the outside world due to weakening of ideological control), the North Koreans themselves mostly don’t believe any more that their government can do much for them. They now know that China and South Korea are better off than them. This reminds me of a saying that people can be left successfully in the dark only for so long, and it is not possible to keep everyone in the dark forever.

    By the way, the cultural changes regarding the belief of the North Koreans about their country and their government are a good example how a civil religion meets its end; in this case, the civil religion of Kimilsungism, which has / had heavy religious overtones of Christian origin. In the early 20th century, there were many Christians in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula, so much, that Pyongyang was called the Jerusalem of the East. North Koreas first president, Kim Il Sung, came from a Christian background, and the aforementioned ideology, Kimilsungism, served him well for a long time to govern the country and to keep his power more successfully than many other Communist governments. In other words, what he had done, was to successfully practice magic on the North Koreans.

  120. For SpiceisNice’s genie: first, a Constitutional amendment clarifying the 1st Amendment protection of free speech so that corporations (legally regarded as “artificial people” since the 19th century) would have no 1st Amendment freedom of speech rights. This would more than nullify the Citizens’ United Supreme Court case – a very good thing! Second, switching to a parliamentary, multi-party system. Third, trivially perhaps at that point, abolishing the Electoral College. It’s really difficult to locate the keystone that would have the best shot at “making everything right” short of some sort of millenarian thinking, like a “second coming,” or perhaps the “comet” in H.G.Wells’ novel. Maybe small really is beautiful and we are simply too big and powerful. Maybe it has more to do with the nature of time, the Hindu “yugas” or some such.

  121. About the inability to make change: this is more about the dehumanizing effect of standing in one place punching numbers into a machine, reading the display and having the exact same interaction with hundreds of people without pause, then it does with the education system.

    When suddenly somebody hands you two pennies and asks you to do something different, it is like waking up from a trance to find somebody staring at you expectantly with their hand out. I have been there and failed to do that, despite the fact that if you took the register away I could make change for people all day with no problem. That is to say, I can add and subtract as well as anyone, and was shocked to find myself dazed and incompetent.

    I’m sure there is plenty of evidence about the failings of the education system, but this example is more like prying a cog out of a machine and expecting it to be able to do whatever the machine was doing.

    The human cog could snap out of the trance and wake up to her capacity if, say, the power went out.

    But undoubtedly the store would then shut down because management would not trust mere humans with such a complex task as counting out pennies.

  122. David, by the lake: you point out the Forbes site article on data center energy use. My first impression is that the article is complete crap.

    A Google search (“us electricity consumption”) seems to confirm my reaction. First, US data center use is about 1.8% of total use. It would still be a minor fraction even if it doubled.

    From https://eta.lbl.gov/publications/united-states-data-center-energy
    “usage grew by only 1% per year from 2010 to 2014.” This is predicted to continue thru 2020.

    Furthermore, https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=35612
    says “U.S. retail electricity sales fell by 80 billion kilowatthours (kWh) in 2017, the largest drop since the economic recession in 2009. ”

    Our host is frugal and uses old computers. I hope he’s done the math on that. A popular thing among the crowd I hang out with is to use an old computer running OpenBSD as a home firewall. I calculated about $125 per year for non-stop operation. Or they could buy a new EdgeRouter Lite (12 watts) for $80 and pay for it with 14 months of electric savings.

  123. Will J – when you said “a large number of human souls are probably going to go back to being large animals again” I could not help but think of novelist Kerry Greenwood’s comment on an episode in The Odyssey: “Circe turned Odysseus’ sailors into pigs. Not a big change for most of them, I’m sure.”

    Phillip Hardy – The Irish custom of roadside shrines to mark a fatality is also a New Mexico custom. They’d called descansos, and are usually quite pretty.

    Christopher Hope – “Against Necessity, even the gods fight in vain.” Simonides of Keos.

    JMG – I would buy all your Weird of Hali books if they were affordable. Shakes head. Any publisher persuasions possible?

  124. John–

    Some battlefront political polling data.

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/08/22/marquette-poll-results-wisconsin-u-s-senate-governor-races/1061177002/

    Baldwin’s Republican challenger, state senator Leah Vukmir, has closed to within the margin of error among “likely voters,” with Baldwin still commanding an 8-point lead among “registered voters” (down only slightly from 9 points). Things tend to narrow as election date grows closer and the primaries complete — and this is only one poll, in August — but if this trend continues, it is looking to be no shoo-in for the Democrats. The gubernatorial contest has also tightened apparently, so it is going to be an interesting fall. Very glad I’m not watching television! (I’m paying less attention to the local House race, as my district is pretty solidly Republican and I expect no surprises there.)

    Given the state-wide nature of senatorial contests, the African-American turnout makes a difference in Wisconsin, as it did in 2016 presidential election. A reduced turn-out or swing toward the Republican candidate can tip the balance, certainly. As you pointed out, that is a portion of the Democratic coalition which the party cannot afford to lose.

    One interesting factor here is that the Republican Senate candidate is also a woman, so the standard gender card is taken off the table. I’ll be curious to see what develops in that contest as the election nears.

  125. To JMG: If you were to write The Long Descent today, is there anything in the book that you would change? It’s been out for 10 years now, so that sparked my curiosity. Thanks! 🙂 And my apologies if this has been asked before.

  126. Maiabythesea,
    Fear of and denial of death seems to simmer under most human woes, as far as I can tell.
    Ironic that a lot of those people hate the winter, which is often equated with death in the seasons of a life. The idea that death can be beaten has been gaining a bit of traction in the news at least, with the rich thinking they can freeze their brains in order to be brought back to life when technology becomes available. One of my brothers, and many who have bought into the myth of progress definitely think it is all a matter of time, science, and technology. Reminds me a bit of the idea that alchemy could be used to turn anything into gold..

  127. Re: cashiers-in-headlights– No doubt math standards are slipping but I think some empathy for cashiers is often due.

    A stream of customers with a range of communication skills wants emotional performance and machine-like correctness and individual attention and they want it NOW. There are those who savour the rare privilege a $2.37 purchase gives to belittle you. Working cash is an etheric barrage.

    I’ve won international math contests and when I worked at Starbucks, I sure as heck relied on the computer. It’s foolish not to. 🙂

  128. Re: insurgency and where the guns are

    Just based on my own experiences, but most of my right leaning friends have permits to carry, and carry on a routine basis. A few of my conservative friends have as JMG alluded to, enough firepower to arm a platoon, with well over 100 rifles, a couple of machine guns, some hand-guns, and a cannon, along with over 40,000 rounds in reserve, with plenty of ability to quickly make more if the need/desire arose. On the other hand, a good many of the leftward leaning people I know cringe because “you killed the mouse by stepping on it! That’s so inhumane!” As long as the responsibility to doing the deed can be farmed out to someone else, there won’t be a problem, but if that responsibility falls into the hands of the left, thus far they haven’t convinced me they could be counted on to do much with it.

  129. One of the founders of Findhorn, Peter Caddy, wrote an autobiography, “In Perfect Timing: Memoirs of a Man for the New Millenium” (1996), published by Findhorn Press. In it, he says a little about his early training in esoteric teachings and magic. He highlights one of his early teachers, a certain George Alexander Sullivan, who was also known as Alex Matthews and as Brother Aureolis.

    Sullivan, curiously enough, was also the founder of the Rosicrucian Order Crotona Fellowship and (somewhat later) the Rosicrucian Theatre (in Christchurch, UK). It was among the circle of Sullivan’s followers in Christchurch that Gerald B. Gardner first encountered a group of people who called themselves Witches/Wiccan, practiced a tradition of Witchcraft, and initiated him into their practice. No doubt their practice, by that time, had already incorporated some of Sullivan’s esoteric and magical teachings.

    Wheels within wheels here …

    There is a good wikipedia article on Sullivan. A collection of his writings and papers is held by the Hartley Library at the University of Southampton, for which there is an online guide:

    http://library.soton.ac.uk/rosicrucians

    A fair number of Sullivan’s printed booklets and papers have been made available online by the Internet Archive (archive.org). The Hartley Library page also provides links to them.

  130. I’ve been fascinated by the Vine Deloria part of the Kek Wars part 4, regarding “the spiritual importance of place” and the relationship to the Archetypes or (possibly Gods.) I was wondering what roles they play in regards to each other, perhaps in the context of a ritual. For example in my mind it is a series of lenses, with the magician being the smallest and then place and then the deity. Does the order seem right? Am I even onto something? The relationship kind of goes like this in my mind, the preferred deity would use the powers of place to affect change for the mage(s) in question. If that is true, could you improve your abilities by understanding place? or just what to look for in terms of feedback if things were working? Could you pick the most appropriate archetype to work within the spiritual importance of place, thereby increasing chances of success?

    As usual I ran away with a tangent.

  131. First meditation on the subject of rapid reincarnation, and I’ve already gotten some rather interesting thoughts. It’s not just gender dysphoria that it might explain, but also “cultural dysphoria”, where someone strongly identifies with a culture other than their own. I know someone born in a white family, who was raised in a majority white community, where even the minorities were culturally white, who from a very young age displayed all sort of odd traits, but that would make perfect sense in the context of black culture.

    It could also explain a very odd phenomenon as well: “body integrity disorder”, where people seem to be unhappy with not being disabled. I had other thoughts, but if they had gotten used to being disabled in their last life, having a limb again could be uncomfortable, in much the same way that if I suddenly sprouted a third arm I’d probably want to get rid of it, even if it was useful and no one else thought it an issue: it would just feel far too weird.

    All in all, this is shaping up to be a very good theme for meditations.

  132. For the political head-count: I’m pretty darn left-wing–socialist, pro-gun-control, pro-choice, pro-LGBTA rights, sex-worker-positive feminist, opposed to the death penalty in most cases*, SJW-esque in most contexts, etc. This blog has been a reassuring reminder that not everyone who votes GOP is a Christian dominionist or a Randian, and it’s also kept me calm about the long-term effects of the current administration. Much as I dislike Trump personally** and disagree with most of his decisions, I am considerably less worried that it will be the literal end of the world–for a bit in 2016/early 2017, I thought there was a genuine possibility of some kind of “On the Beach” scenario happening.

    I’ve not gotten involved in the discussion of late when politics are involved, both because some personal (long-term minor, I’m not dying or anything) setbacks have put me in a mental place where, if I get in a debate, I’m going to get really angry about things that aren’t what I’m *really* angry about, and because I am currently in the midst of an orgy of job applications, which is the least fun kind of orgy you can have, and I don’t have time to get sucked in to the extent that I know I will. ;P

    * With perhaps-systematically-impossible exceptions where guilt and malice are both sure things: in the case of a Dahmer or a Cruz, I’d say hang ’em high and slow, but I’d rather they live than have innocent people executed, or people die for situations that got out of control.
    ** Although frankly the mainstream GOP leaders upset me more. And I wish people would drop the “ZOMG PORN STAR” bit of the Stormy Daniels scandal–yes, it’s more evidence that the Don’t Look Down In the Shower portion of the Right is willing to make certain moral compromises, to say the least, but it’s also pretty insulting to sex workers, and I would like us as a nation to collectively get over clutching our pearls at the notion that powerful men commonly have side-pieces. (As would/do powerful women, when the social and biological consequences are less severe.)

  133. I wonder if anyone has looked into the Democrats disapproval ratings among black community. I tried looking but can’t find anything yet, but it could easily be pretty bad, from the way things sound right now.

  134. As a former cashier, I’m also seconding what Wooler and Stuart said. The only way to cope with eight hours of either extremely repetitive interaction or standing still with absolutely nothing to do is indeed a sort of self-trance, and anything that disrupts that takes a little while to handle. When I worked in a college bookstore during orientation, I would’ve taken a minute or five to name the author of the Lord of the Rings books, I’m sure.

    (I also can’t do mental math to save my life, admittedly–but I figure, if the descent is rapid enough that in my lifetime I no longer have a calculator at hand, it’s the sort of scenario where we’ll also be using bottlecaps and human femurs as currency, so it doesn’t worry me much.)

  135. Ecosophia Boston Meetup update:

    It appears that there is very limited interest in the Sept. 22nd Ecosophia picnic in Boston. Also, to be totally honest and forthright, I’m seeing my own sharp limitations with online communications/organization. While a few people have indicated to me that they want to come, no one besides myself has signed up on the sign-up sheet.

    So I’m posting this here to say with disappointment that I don’t have the emotional energy to organize this event given the apparent general lack of enthusiasm, my own limitations with technology and my aversion to social media. In all honesty, I vastly underestimated how draining trying to organize a party online to occur IRL would be. Given divinations I’ve done, cancelling makes the most sense for me right now. My sincere apologies to those who were interested in attending.

  136. Hi again, I know that you typically claim that no one is fully in charge of the US and that is why things don’t go very far in any direction, but do you have any thoughts on QAnon and the information they are trying to bring out in the open?

    Thanks

  137. Dear Phutatorius, about abolishing the electoral college, I don’t think I want to live under presidencies selected by the citizens of New York City and Los Angeles.

    About civil war, it seems to me that in addition to having local support, successful insurgencies have to select correct targets. Whomever you happen to be mad at is not necessarily the person or entity you need to bring down. Various Identity groups on the left have made themselves ridiculous, and alienated former supporters, by angry denunciations of persons who have about as much political influence as a goldfish, while at the same time angling for favors from the folks who really do need to be forcibly retired. See the Clinton campaign of 2016 for lots of examples.

    The fear I have about civil war is that it might well trigger foreign intervention “to protect our citizens”. I rather think, without evidence, my own opinion, that factions on the left are counting on just that.

  138. Hi JMG,

    I’m curious if you would be willing to expand on this comment: “If the 2018 elections go the way I expect them, furthermore, it’s quite possible that once the dust settles, the big tech companies will be facing serious blowback from the political sphere — for example, Facebook and Twitter could be broken up the way AT&T was broken up back in the day.”

    Does that have to do with some of the recent moves toward censorship, or a further ratcheting up of the Russia hysteria? I do have a gut feeling that we’re moving toward some tech breakups, though I’m not sure exactly what the path there will be–it would be a very shrewd move on Trump’s part to take this on with some flashy anti-trust actions, though I’m curious to see if he actually will. I’m also curious at this point if you simply expect Republicans to do better than conventional wisdom suggests by limiting their losses in the House so as to maintain control, or if you actually expect them to gain seats by the time all is said and done?

  139. J.L.Mc12, no, I haven’t.

    Reloaded15, hmm. Fair enough; I’ll take another look at it.

    Samuel, first of all, if a planet’s on the cusp, it’s on the cusp, meaning that it’s heavily influenced by the sign it’s entering, even if it’s not quite in it yet; you can therefore treat it for most purposes as being in the later sign. Second of all, if your rising sign or one of the other house cusps changes during the period of uncertainty, you can rectify the time using that. Your rising sign has some influence over your physical appearance, and the other house cusps also make significant differences depending on what sign they’re in; if you have, let’s say, good financial luck, and the second house cusp passed from Aries to Taurus at 5:12 am, you can be pretty sure you were born after that time. Finally, if you know or can find a competent astrologer, they can do what’s called chart rectification, and take the various things that have happened in your life so far and read them back into the chart. You can usually get the birth time within four minutes or so that way.

    Gnat, if I did, would I talk about it?

    Charlie, I don’t know what to suggest in general, but I can help you with slide rules! Slide Rule Universe has plenty of slide rules for sale, from inexpensive learner models to the kind of high-end models that put human bootprints on the Moon, and also has books and downloadable manuals.

    (It occurs to me that somebody could set up and run quite a decent online business gathering various kinds of retro technology and selling them to those who want to use them. Just thinking…)

    Robert, fair enough. In response, I’d say that understanding does not equal condoning, nor is it necessarily focused on the origins of a behavior pattern. I think I have a pretty fair understanding, for example, of what led people across the industrial world to cash in their ideals at the end of the 1970s, abandon the promising steps toward sustainability, and condemn their great-grandchildren to a miserable future in order to wallow in absurd extravagance today. I don’t claim to know the origins of the failure in the collective psyche that made that choice happen, but I understand what happened, and that knowledge has helped me craft arguments that have jolted a significant number of people out of the collective trance that resulted.

    In the same way, understanding the Yorkshire Ripper (to use your example) doesn’t mean being able to say exactly what factors in his childhood (or, in my way of seeing things, in previous lives) drove his actions. It means understanding the way he thought — and if you do that, it’s a lot easier to recognize similar patterns in another, which is no small help to police detectives or to a court-appointed psychiatrist trying to decide whether or not somebody needs to be permanently institutionalized.

    To my mind, the problems with a label such as “evil” are twofold. First, it’s too vague to be of any use — it reminds me, in a sense, of the way that toddlers refer to all four-legged animals as “goggie.” (Which is not to say that you or other people who use the word “evil” are toddlers, by the way, or thinking like them; it’s simply the best example I can think of right now of a generalization too broad to be of any use.) Second, it fosters a habit of binary thinking that obscures far more than it reveals. When people use the word “evil” (or one of its synonyms — these days, “fascist” is one of these) they pretty consistently treat it as a global label; Person X is evil, therefore everything about that person is evil, and everything that opposes him is good…and down we go. More precise terms, less freighted with extreme dualism, seem more useful to me.

  140. For what it’s worth, here’s my take on Trump’s environmental “policies”:

    Regrettable but necessary. I think at this point most of us agree that he is simply doing openly what his left-leaning predecessors did quietly, right?

    Just like bringing jobs home, Trump is bringing our impact back to us as well. As long as we offshore our impact it will be hidden from us. This way we’ll see it, and then maybe we’ll do something about it too. We certainly won’t if we don’t see it…that much we’ve proven.

    So IMHO, he’s doing us all a favor. Ugly as it seems at first glance.

  141. Do you think that now is, generally speaking, a reasonable time to buy a house? That is, do you expect another real estate crash or sudden massive job loss event to occur in the next few years? After graduating into the last crash and finally building up a career significant enough to handle a house purchase, we are a bit shy of that whole economic sphere.

  142. @ SpiceisNice

    Re constitutional genie wishes

    1) An amendment providing for proportional election of federal Representatives within a state’s delegation to the House. (Thus abolishing congressional districts and gerrymandering, while providing for multi-party and minority representation.)

    Proposed Amendment #4 (Proportional Election of Representatives)

    Article 1. Seats of a State’s delegation to the House of Representatives shall be allocated proportionally among the political parties registering in that State for the election, according to the proportion of the total vote within that State for that party.

    Article 2. Each political party shall be awarded a number of seats equal to the whole number of its proportion of the total vote. Any remaining seats shall be awarded singly, beginning with the party with the highest proportion of the total vote and proceeding to the next-highest, until all remaining seats have been awarded.

    Article 3. Each political party shall publicly register a slate of candidates with the State, with the awarded seats being allocated according to the ranking of the candidates within that slate.

    2) An amendment creating a legal pathway for secession, providing a state accept a pro-rata portion of the national debt.

    Proposed Amendment #7 (Secession)
    Article 1. A State may elect to secede from the Union established by this Constitution.

    Article 2. A State shall affect its secession by a resolution of a two-thirds majority of its legislature, subsequently ratified by a two-thirds majority of a State referendum.

    Article 3. A seceding State shall assume its proportion of the national debt as of the date of the ratifying referendum, that proportion being equal to that State’s proportion of the national population as calculated by the most recent decadal census.

    Article 4. Any property of the United States within the territory of a seceding State as of the date of the ratifying referendum shall become the property of the seceding State.

    Article 5. Any former State, upon seceding, that desires to reinstate its membership in this Union must request admission as a State by Congress.

    3) I’d hold this one in reserve, to reinstate the Electoral College after others had abolished it.

    @ justjohn

    Re the electricity use article

    Certainly, I ought to have given some context, as yes, the author was speaking of a particular segment of power use. Right now, over-all electric consumption is flat-lining or even declining. (This has implications of its own, given the fixed costs of transmission and distribution facilities, which must be spread over those smaller volumes.) The current cheapness of raw, wholesale power (roughly 3 cents per kWh) is being driven by low natural gas prices. We’ll see what happens, but I can tell you it ain’t your grandfather’s industry, that’s for sure.

  143. >I expect to see Kavanaugh confirmed this autumn, before the midterm elections.

    Me too.

    I’m still paying attention to what’s happening in SCOTUS, as they dismantle voting rights and quite a few other important protections.

    I only mentioned the precedent as a joke at the expense of the Senate, where raw exercises of power often have some sort of genteel fig leaf attached. Like how I mention that Shelby v. Holder was decided with the full expectation that congress would repair the damage the judges were doing (wink, wink).

  144. @ SpiceisNice

    Re that third constitutional genie wish

    I’d still hold it in reserve, as I stated, but when I reinstated the Electoral College, I would in fact modify it slightly.

    Proposed Amendment #5 (Electoral Votes)

    Article 1. With respect to electors for President and Vice-President, each State shall award two electors to the candidate with the highest number of votes within that State. Remaining electors shall be allocated to each candidate in proportion to the total vote for that candidate within that State.

    Article 2. Proportional allocation of electors shall be accomplished by awarding to each candidate a number of electors equal to the whole number of that candidate’s proportion of the total vote within that State. Any remaining electors shall be awarded singly, beginning with the candidate with the highest number of votes within that State and proceeding to the next-highest, until all remaining electors have been awarded.

    Article 3. For purposes of this amendment, the District of Columbia shall be treated as though it were a State.

  145. John Roth,

    The model of reincarnation I’m using as my base for meditation is the “Standard Druid Model”, which is quite different from the Michael Teachings. It’s interesting to hear another perspective on it though.

    Gnat,

    I’m under no impression Trump or his lawyers are clean. My issue is that it seems very selective to enforce the laws against Trump/his lawyers, while ignoring that other people also broke the law, or even shrieking about how it’s irrelevant. That seems fairly problematic to me.

    Jessi,

    Hmm. I wonder if the prevalence of minor gods in the late stages of decline and fall and dark ages are related to this. It may be that the minor gods are the souls who just finished being human. Or maybe they are the souls between incarnations, and disappear as populations grow, and the number of souls out of incarnation shrink. Either way, it’s interesting.

    Patricia Mathews,

    That’s pretty good! I know some people who I don’t think would notice either…

  146. John–

    Re WoH vol 3

    I’ve decided to gift the extra copies of vols 1 & 2 I recently purchased to my daughter. When vol 3 becomes available, I’ll probably go ahead and buy 2 copies — to help prod those numbers up, as well as to keep her up-to-date. I will, of course, quite shamelessly keep the lower-numbered copy for myself 😉 Still trying for #1!

  147. I used to think the Electoral College was created to protect the rich from the rabble. The following linked image caused me to reconsider. http://www.michaelpramirez.com/without-the-electoral-college.html
    Without the Electoral College the four most populated states would control the country. When the Constitution was ratified, states with low populations would have been craze to join the union without the Electoral College provision.

  148. @ All

    Since this is an open post, and given the weight of the political discourse to this point, I thought I’d share (what I think to be) a humorous anecdote in an attempt to inject some levity.

    Pertinent to generational gaps, language, symbols, etc.

    Over the years, it has become tradition for my daughter and I to visit family each summer — namely my parents, and my brother and two nephews. The elder of my nephews is two years older than my daughter and at the start of each visit, the two of them synchronize their brains and enter into a completely different dimension for the remainder of the week. (We have taken to referring to them as “the twins.”)

    Anyway, they are both fully immersed in the world of Yu-Gi-Oh, cosplay, and the like. When we’re not doing anything else, they are usually camped out in my parent’s study, watching and discussing the various versions of the series, the virtues of the manga versus the show, and/or dueling on-line. I would occasionally hang out in the doorway, both to remind myself what my daughter looks like as well as to toss a random, ill-informed comment or two into their discussion (as I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about most of the time).

    So one time this past visit, they were engaged in a discussion re the various merits of the different cards and the question of which card was the absolute worst arose. I happened to be in the doorway at that time and called out “Pikachu!” At which point my daughter totally face-palmed, muttering (with a smile) “Oh my god, Dad,” while my nephew turned to her exclaiming, “But he’s not wrong!”

    Just a bit of parental fun.

  149. “Do you think it is likely that a significant domestic insurgency, or outright civil war, would have broken out between Election Day 2016 and today? Or would it be more that the amount of pressure would just keep building over a period of several more years, only to blow catastrophically upon some trigger ”

    I think the latter. I do not think the mood of most of the country is close to civil war. I think they would have taken the loss and pressure would have kept building.

  150. I am reading, in the last few days, Paracelsus’ book on Elementals, in the edition translated from German and with a preface by Henry E. Sigerist. Then I reached this section:

    “They are to man like a monkey which is the animal resembling man most in gestures and actions. And as a pig has man’s anatomy, being inside like a man, yet a pig and not a man—in the same way these creatures are to man as monkeys and pigs, and yet better than they.”

    It was impossible to not remember the human hybrid origin theory you mentioned on The Well of Galabes, about bonobos and pigs. How did he know this already before 1566, when the Book on Nymphs, Sylphs, Pygmies, and Salamanders, and on the Other Spirits was first posthumously published?

    That aside, I will ask a couple of questions about something that appeared on the comments. I will use the Hermetic names of the spheres for convenience. The Druidical Golden Dawn uses a different scheme for the planes, where there are three realms, Ceugant that comprises Kether to Binah, Gwynfydd that is made of Chesed to Tiphareth, and Abred with Netzach to Malkuth. My uneducated guess is that the difference is due to the difference in the inner workings of the Hermetic and the Celtic magic systems.

    Considering the Hermetic one, I would guess that the harmony of Tiphareth plays a role similar to Daath, integrating the four spheres of the astral. It is interesting that Tiphareth is also a path leading to Kether. Regarding the three realms of the CGD, I remember you mentioning in the two posts on nature spirits about the etheric and the physical realms being one–that would make sense, “the planes are discrete”, if an etheric being can leave marks in the mud then it is kind of “here” too.

    My questions are:

    1. Is there a name in the Celtic Golden Dawn for Daath?

    2. Each of the four spheres of Abred is mapped to one of the elements. I imagine that Malkuth is Earth, and Yesod water. I am struggling to think of Earth elementals (or whatever is the correspondence) as Malkuth beings, that is, as with the consciousness focused in the physical world, just like us. What am I missing?

  151. On the electoral college (if this isn’t getting too far afield). When I was in public school in the 50s and 60s, teachers spoke of abolishing the electoral college as a “no-brainer” that would probably never get done. I see some new abuses involving the electoral college on the horizon. Here in Michigan, where we have a GOP controlled legislature and a moderate Republican Governor, there was a move to apportion our state’s electoral votes per our gerrymandered legislative districts. Gov. Snyder said something like “it’s not the right time for that yet.” He’s term limited out this year so we’re electing a new Governor in November. The GOP candidate, Bill Schuette, is more conservative than Snyder has been. Under Schuette, is suspect, this idea might get real traction. So we’d be extending the corrupt practice of gerrymandering into the Presidential election.

  152. Christopher L Hope,

    I want to reassure you that your work situation relieves you of the ability to not drive to work. People should not agonize over what they cannot do. A whole lot of people could do better, but as you pointed out, it is very hard for individuals to go against the tide of a whole society in which everything is set up a certain way. I’m sure you do what you can.

    On the other hand, I don’t know whether to be amused or bemused by your statement that you doubt most republicans actually believe global warming is a hoax even when they say so. It really is hard to believe that other people don’t agree when one is sure of one’s opinions! Since I came out on this blog a couple of months ago, I will admit that I mostly think it is a hoax. I find myself mildly surprised when I look up every now and then and see that other people seem to still be afraid of it. I am quite sure that there are many people who have informed themselves to the best of their ability and who think it is a hoax, and some are politicians and some are republicans.

    But calm down and breathe again – because I actually have a lot of environmental concerns that move me very much and I think if I do say so myself that I do more than average to sacrifice and conserve so as not to contribute. (I just don’t think CO2 is a big player.)

  153. JMG
    You write: “In the same way, understanding the Yorkshire Ripper (to use your example) doesn’t mean being able to say exactly what factors in his childhood (or, in my way of seeing things, in previous lives) drove his actions.”

    Attributions are what we do – witness so many ‘scientific explanations’ that are not even really ‘hypotheses’ that I read for example often enough in medical or psychological texts, let alone those we make daily in our domestic lives. But … I like your word of caution if we want useful knowledge.

    I reserve more than a lot of caution about reincarnation. However, you have talked in the past about meeting people you were fairly sure were not ‘human’. Matt’s question and your answer about reincarnating elsewhere – 10s of million year time scales between such opportunities – and then the mention DF’s ‘swarms of souls’ – makes me wonder about our present 7 billion earth souls and the shortening of the waiting list. There could be a fair chance perhaps that given the astronomical numbers of opportunities a few souls from elsewhere are turning up here? And I keep thinking of the genes we carry of Denisovians and Neanderthal and wonder whether any of the originals have made it back after hundreds or thousands of years with another dimension of inheritance? Ain’t memory a funny thing? Smile.

    best
    Phil H

  154. Hi JMG,

    Regarding the following reply to Matt:

    “Matt, souls run in groups — “swarms” is the term Dion Fortune uses — and a given swarm stays on a given world until it’s finished working through the particular stages of evolution assigned to that world, then head on to another.”

    …For clarity, and to help me sort this out amongst the various traditions and influences that guide your thinking, might I ask what the source or provenance is for this view of spiritual evolution tied to particular planets? Is it Dion Fortune’s view, or your own, or something from Revival Druidry, or something else, and is it something you think we might hear more about from you?

    Also, I’m not sure how answerable this is, but when you say “assigned” I think “Assigned in what sense?” and “Assigned by whom/what?”.

    Perhaps I have missed something in your previous discussions of reincarnation; apologies if so.

    Many thanks,

    Morfran

  155. I’m descended in part from a line of Quaker pioneers and so have an interest in Quaker history in both Britain and North America.

    Is there any good magical analysis of Quaker practice out there? Of course the official line (as I understand it) was that practicing magic was strictly forbidden in Quaker communities, and that’s what my searches on the subject have turned up so far; but of course there’s often little connection between what’s said and done.

    Thanks, JMG and all!

  156. @BoysMom: There is a perfectly simple and straightforward solution to your deer problem which I haven’t seen anybody else mention, but it’s unlikely to be popular: re-introduce wolves. The fundamental problem is that no ecosystem can be balanced in the absence of a top predator, and unless that is addressed, you’re always going to be trying to push water uphill.

    (I saw a related joke recently: There’s no problem that can’t be solved by introducing wolves. Too many deer? Introduce wolves. Bad service in a restaurant? Send in some wolves. Boring meeting at work? A couple of wolves will sort that right out…)

  157. At Your Yoyo- I can think of a parallel collapse that shows how to avoid a dark age. During the Roman Empire paved roads wide enough for an ox cart covered most of the region, allowing trade in specialised goods so long as the bandit numbers were kept in check. During the collapse first banditry then neglect of the roads saw land based trade collapse during the dark age. At the same time as Rome an empire spanned much of China, and it went through a similar decline around the same time (climate change may have been the final straw for both). They also had a road network suitable for ox carts, but during the collapse instead of abandoning it they changed it to a network of narrow paths that were much easier to maintain. Instead of ox carts they shifted to using Chinese wheel barrows, a very efficient transport device that could be pushed by one person over the relatively flat Chinese terrain, sometimes with attached sails for assistance in the windy places. This maintained a trade network and allowed China to bounce back from the decline while Europe stayed in a relatively disconnected state for hundreds of years. Local geography played a big part, and the push for sea based trade gave Europe an advantage later in exploration and colonisation.

  158. I’d love to know your overall view of Gurdjieff and your thoughts on the implications of the following quote:

    “Every cause occurring in the life of man, from whatever phenomenon it arises, as one of two opposite effects of other causes, is in its turn obligatorily molded also into two quite opposite effects, as for instance: if ‘something’ obtained from two different causes engenders light, then it must inevitably engender a phenonmenon opposite to it, that is to say, darkness; or a factor engendering in the organism of a living creature an impulse of palpable satisfaction also engenders without fail nonsatisfaction, of course also palpable, and so on and so forth, always and in everything.”

  159. To JMG- How do you feel discoveries in neuroscience/behavioural science about how the brain isn’t a single unified and isolated entity relate to understandings of spirituality? Basically our mind has clear divisions in function between left and right sides, and within regions in the brain intercommunicating. Split brain experiments reveal utterly amazing insights into what a brain is. If a brain and consciousness are divisible, then perhaps it is infinitely divisible or alternatively there is some kind of undividable atom of consciousness. Personally I think it points toward the idea that consciousness of a sort is present in all matter since it is simply the transmission and processing of information, and any clump of interacting particles possess this property. That brings up the interesting idea that different clever forms of organised matter could possess different kinds of consciousness that we cannot easily imagine (especially since we don’t have a clue about how our own bodies manage the trick of creating our form of consciousness). I also see the brain as more of a filter than a computer- it is only by excluding 99% of the buzzing world around us that our simple brains have a chance of picking out and responding to anything useful to us.

  160. David, btl

    You said:
    “—A carbon tax should be imposed on all fossil fuel resources at the point when that resource is extracted from the ground or brought over the border, allowing market forces to operate from that point onward. Revenue from this tax, less program administration costs, should then be refunded to taxpayers on a per-capita basis.”

    I am not sure I understand how this would work. If you tax the drill company or whatever, they will then pass that cost on to their product.

  161. Patricia Mathews (August 22, 2018 at 1:57 pm) –
    Your question re where to buy ‘Winter is Coming’ t-shirt (sorry, haven’t had time to look at all the comments yet, so your question may have already been answered)
    I couldn’t find anything available through local stores (probably out there, just not found searching the internet. Sigh.) I did see that they are available through several online vendors including Etsy and (gasp choke, gag) Malwart. Good luck in your search.
    PatriciaT

  162. Booklover, modern failed states are not like most states in the Dark Ages.

    Modern failed states continue to fail because of foreign intervention. Left to themselves for a bit, some sort of order arises – it’s never a benign order, but it’s order. The bandits loot, and sooner or later it occurs to the bandit leader that if he keeps looting there’ll be nothing less to loot. So he now loots just a little bit. It also occurs to him that if he takes some of his loot and he gives it out to people who support him, then he can be stronger in his looting with far fewer men and effort. And because he has loot and the ability to give it out, and has armed men, people start coming to him to adjudicate their disputes. And the men under him replicate this pattern in their areas of control.

    Small regular looting, regular spending, and settling public disputes, with men under him doing the same on a smaller scale – the bandit leader has now become a feudal king. There are many variations on this, of course, for example a feudal king may have so many men under him that it’s easier to just have them all in a large speaking hall to hash things out – a place to parley, you might say. A parliament. And over time some of those men will be chosen from among their people. Elected, you might say.

    The Taliban has established a government over most of Afghanistan, and then we Westerners came in and kicked over their tent. Al Shabab had established a government over most of Somalia, and then we Westerners – or Ethiopia and Kenya acting as our proxies with an interest in the matter as neighbours – came in and kicked over their tent.

    It’s telling to compare the fates of Somalia and Somaliland. The southern chunk used to be run by Italy, the northern by Britain. They actually became independent separately, then federated into one country within a few months. When there were protests against the regime in Somaliland, the Mogadishu government bombed the capital, and then promptly collapsed into civil war itself. Somaliland decided that this meant the federation hadn’t worked too well, so they declared independence. The conflict since then has been in Somalia, not Somaliland. In fact Somaliland has a functioning democracy, a government cabinet that is able to meet in an old schoolhouse and needs no armed guards (indicating a certain degree of popularity), has achieved free speech and so on.

    The international community does not recognise the state of Somaliland, because we must respect the integrity of federated states, they say, which would come as a surprise to the people of Yugoslavia, but there you go.

    What distinguishes Somaliland and Somalia is that Somalia has had a lot of foreign help, from armed incursions to large chunks of cash for expat Somalis to return and run the country. Somaliland has had almost no help, just a few little things like UNESCO printing school textbooks for them.

    Left to themselves, people do not tolerate continuous violent chaos for long. In several years they settle down into some sort of order. It may be a relatively benign order like the government of Somaliland, or it may be a malign order like the Taliban, but they do choose order over chaos. Chaos only lasts more than a few years when there’s foreign intervention. The fire dies out unless someone keeps stoking it.

    People are fine so long as we in the West stop trying to help them.

  163. A magic-related question: If “Magic is the art of changing consciousness according to Will” (Fortune’s definition) and reality = Mind/Will at its foundation, isn’t all action magic?

    And by extension, is (applied) materialistic science a form of chaos magic then?

  164. Do you think the gods of monotheism (an odd phrase to write, I suppose) are telling their prophets and priests that they are the only God, or are their followers just misunderstanding? In a polytheistic universe, it might make sense for a god to say, “no other gods before me,” but it seems dishonest to say, “I’m the only one; everything else is lies or demons.”

  165. @ Onething

    “I am not sure I understand how this would work. If you tax the drill company or whatever, they will then pass that cost on to their product.”

    No, it sounds like you understand it perfectly. The product will get more expensive, and will do so across the board. Making it more expensive is what discourages consumption.

  166. Hi JMG,

    Lately, when people complain to me about Trump, I explain to them that Trump AND Hillary are just symptoms of the real problem: The pursuit of infinite economic growth on a finite planet. If you just deal with symptoms you will lose the patient. I get some shouting and many blank looks.

    Thanks for your continued good work,

    Mac

  167. For Escher: I attended a Quaker meeting near me for some years up until a year or two ago without actually becoming a member. (It seemed to be compatible enough with my Buddhist practice.) There was a man there, recently deceased, who insisted that George Fox either knew a lot or actually practiced magic, and that there exists a book by him that the Quakers suppressed. This fellow seemed to have had a lively interest in the subject and claimed some psychic ability of his own that he’d had since childhood. I didn’t know him well enough to get the details. I suppose that if you researched the life and writings of George Fox you’d be able to find some reference to the book to which he was referring; and I’d be interested in what JMG has to offer about this.

  168. Charlie–re repairing old technology. It occurred to me that locating shops in small towns that might have old stuff, inventory, tools, manuals, etc. tucked in the back shed would be one approach. In re. typewriters–it is important to scrounge for the specialized tools made for each brand. The manufacturers were notorious for designing parts that required a special gizmo, available only from them, to repair or remove.

    Elbows –I’d just say “Welcome to the club.”

    Prism — re. freezing brains. The science fiction and weird stuff in general author, Robert Anton Wilson, was a believer in cryonics. His daughter was murdered in a store robbery and he had her brain preserved. However he did not arrange the same for himself–so either he had insufficient resources or had given up hope for the human immortality movement.

    Isabel Cooper — re death penalty. I agree about the possible execution of the innocent damping my support for the death penalty. I think it ironic that the same people who don’t trust the Post Office or the schools or any other part of the government suddenly regard the courts as infallible when it comes to finding and punishing criminals. However, if society falls apart the current penal system will be torn apart. There will be no support for keeping criminals fed and doctored when honest people are starving in the streets or dying of treatable conditions.

    Re. reincarnation and gender dysphoria — I know a transwoman who was told back in the 70s that the condition was caused by too many incarnations in sequence in one sex, making it difficult to make the switch when incarnated in the opposite. She ignored the idea and made the transition anyhow and has been living as a woman for over forty years. OTOH the entire gender fluid scene has changed a lot since then. In the 70s the trans people I met were desperate for the reassignment surgery and would go to great lengths to get it. That doesn’t seem to be the case any longer.

    Rita

  169. Denys, and these things work because so many people basically don’t engage in reflective thinking at all. It’s all “human see, human do.”

    SpiceisNice, I’d leave the electoral college alone. The one thing I’ve thought of so far to ask the genie is to enforce the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, which restrict the federal government to those duties specifically enumerated in the Constitution and its amendments, and reserve all other powers to the states and the people.

    Packshaud, and when I put something like that into an essay posted for free on the internet, not only is it not subject to the working that guards my published-for-money works, it’s there to influence the collective conversation. I was delighted when the problem-vs.-predicament thing got picked up and splashed across the internet, even though it didn’t have my name attached; as a fringe thinker, that’s how I have the chance to influence the collective thinking of our time. I’m frankly aghast that Tripp mistook that as criticism and deleted his blog posts.

    Hans, fair enough. I know very little about current pop culture generally, and even less about the various odd corners of pop culture, so I’m probably safe from crazed clowns.

    JustJohn (if I may), it’s not just about electricity consumption at the point of use. You have to factor in the energy cost to mine the raw materials, process them, transport them to the various factories, produce all the necessary solvents and so forth, make the computer, ship it to the end point, and so on. It takes more energy to make a new computer than that computer will ever use in its working life, not to mention a pretty considerable amount of environmental damage — from the open pit mines used to extract many rare earth elements needed for computer hardware, through the extremely toxic chemicals needed for many of the manufacturing process, and of course all the CO2 generated by the fossil fuels burnt in all these processes, a new computer is quite the little bundle of ecological damage. And shall we get into the problems with the pile-up of e-waste? All these factor into my decision to use elderly, well-used laptop computers rather than buying new hardware.

    Patricia, I’m still waiting to hear back from him. When #3 becomes available in fine and over-the-top editions, #2 should be out in paperback.

    David, thanks for this. It’s going to be an interesting autumn, one way or another.

    Norma, if I were writing it over again I’d amend a lot of the details. I learned a great deal over the course of researching and writing another ten years of Archdruid Report posts! The basic points, though, still seem pretty solid to me.

    Prizm, that’s basically my experience too. I do know some people on the Left who have guns and know how to use them, but they’re a tiny minority.

    Robert, thanks for this. I hope somebody gets around one of these days to doing an anthology of Sullivan’s occult writings; that would be well worth reading, if only to compare it to Gardner’s later work.

    Drakonus1985, good. Very good. I’d encourage you to keep going in this same direction and see where it takes you.

    Will, delighted to hear it.

    Isabel, so noted and thank you! Sorry to hear you’re having to do the job application fandango — it’s been a while, but I always hated that with a bright flaring passion.

    Will, I haven’t heard anything about that at all, which is fascinating. I find myself wondering if pollsters have gone out of their way not to ask about it…

    Violet, well, I’m sorry to hear that, but I can certainly understand — I’d hate to have to take on a project like that myself!

    Matt, the whole QAnon business is a classic US military intelligence disinformation project. Are you at all familiar with the “Project Aquarius” and “MJ-12” hoaxes that USAF intelligence foisted on the UFO scene? This has the same fingerprints all over it. My working guess is that the point of the exercise is to distract the chans and the Alt-Right more generally by sending them scrambling down a rabbit hole of plausible nonsense. Just remember: when somebody claims to be from within the military or the intelligence community, claims to be passing on secrets in violation of security rules, and dumps them onto the public in a way that can be traced back to them — and everything on the internet can be traced back to its source — you are being lied to. Or as poker players like to say: in every poker game there’s a sucker, and if you don’t know who it is, it’s you.

    Joel, the move toward censorship and the blatant suppression of conservative voices on social media. Once the election’s over, if the GOP breaks even or picks up a seat or two — and I think one or the other of these are quite likely — I expect to see Congress take up that issue in a big way, and breaking up the social media monopolies would be an easy way to do that.

    Breanna, that depends utterly on where you’re thinking of buying a house. Some areas in flyover country have relatively sane real estate prices, and you could do very well buying a house there; some coastal areas — well, “stark raving crazy” doesn’t begin to touch the state of the real estate markets there, and you’d be best advised to steer clear until after the inevitable crash.

    Joel, fair enough. I’m glad to hear it — the embarrassingly short attention span of US political chatter these days is not a good sign.

    David, thank you!

    Peter, bingo. It really is a necessary part of the system.

    David, too funny. I suppose I’m showing my total state of detachment from the rest of my society when I mention that I have no idea what a Yu-Gi-Oh might be.

    Packshaud, Paracelsus was a really clever guy; there’s not much I’d put beyond him. As for the differences in Cabalistic structure, bingo — different systems of spirituality divide up the cosmos in different ways. As for your questions, (1) yes — its name is Iau. (2) remember that you and I don’t perceive the material world — we perceive the reflections of the material world in the mirrors of our senses and minds. Elementals in Naf/Malkuth perceive the material world directly, which is a very different thing.

    Phil H., if the magical world view is correct, this world we’re currently inhabiting is also inhabited by various beings who have bodies that aren’t quite material in the same sense that ours are. That’s an important source of nonhuman souls — and of course, so are the larger and more intelligent animals, whose numbers have decreased steeply at exactly the same time as our numbers have increased.

    Morfran, it’s all over early 20th century occult literature, and can be found in detail all through Theosophical literature in particular. Where the Theosophists got it is an interesting question to which I don’t know the answer. We’ll be discussing it in some detail in the monthly book club posts, since The Cosmic Doctrine covers it. As for who assigns things — well, in occult philosophy, there are vast numbers of beings who are far wiser and more powerful than human beings are, and the process of spiritual development is overseen by some of those. Here again, we’ll get to that in the book club posts.

    Escher, I don’t know of any, which is unfortunate — in colonial America, Quakers were constantly getting disfellowshipped for practicing geomancy, summoning spirits, or what have you. Pennsylvania was a particular hotbed of this, since all sorts of German Rosicrucian mystics moved there in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Generally speaking, the magical history of the United States is far more interesting than most people realize!

    Jason, I’ve read a little Gurdjieff and rather more Ouspensky; they seem interesting enough, but they’re not part of the path I follow, so I don’t have any particular opinion about them. The quote you cite is a nice summary of what occultists call the Law of Polarity; Lao Tsu also talked about it in the Tao Te Ching.

    Shane, I haven’t really followed neuroscience of late, but that seems plausible. Me, I tend to think of the brain as being a vehicle — think of it as a bicycle pedaled by the higher aspects of the self.

    SpiceisNice, it seems to me you’ve got an excellent theme for meditation there! 😉

  170. Pogonip, that’s shorthand for a soul in a human body that wasn’t human in its previous incarnations. Some of those are animal souls that are more or less ready for the next step; some of them, however — and this is what the term “nonhumans” generally means in occult literature — are beings of other kinds, such as elemental spirits, who for a variety of reasons end up incarnating in a human body.

    Christopher, good question. You might ask a god of a monotheist faith the next time you meet one! 😉

    Mac, that must rattle their cages good and proper!

  171. Thank you for your thoughts. The city we live in is Austin TX – it is still possible here for my husband’s single income as a competent tech support guy to buy us a modest home but the city definitely has aspirations towards being like the coasts. Our friends are mostly two-income couples and were able to buy about four years ago; their houses all increased about $100,000 in that time (from mid 100s to mid 200s). I’m not sure whether that signifies a bubble or whether it is just because so very many Californians have sold tiny houses for huge prices there and then brought the proceeds with them; many Silicon Valley companies have opened satellite offices here.

  172. JMG- Interesting analogy with the brain being a vehicle that helps transport the spirit. I wonder if the analogy of the brain being a vessel is also useful, which can hold different amounts of consciousness. More interesting is the idea that certain aspects of the consciousness contained within one vessel can change over time as material is exchanged with the wider universe.

  173. @Your pal,
    I still can sing hymns from memory and feel a “warm fuzzy” inside, even though it’s been years since I’ve darkened the doors of a Baptist church…

  174. Dear John,
    The concept of equality was discussed in an Open Post some time ago and by the time I had collected my thoughts on it together it was really too late to post. So here goes now. It is not only about money or education. It is bigger than that. Some things that need to be included might be living in a safe neighbourhood, having a sturdy and suitable home, sufficient reasonable food, clothing that enhances the dignity of the person, access to literacy and numeracy and good health care.
    One thing that seems unrelated but might not be is having elections funded by the government – no donations to political parties. That way the electorate owns the government and removes that possible conflict of interest. Good luck with that last one. But good government is expensive.

  175. @Rita: Oh, for sure. Any society is really a big system of triage, and taking care of criminals is one of the first things to go. I’d *like* to think we’d settle on exile/wergild/etc for crimes short of rape or willful murder, but I am cynical and doubt it’ll happen.

    @JMG: Hey, thank *you*–it has truly been helpful! And thank you for the sympathy, too. I’m not worried per se: I’m fortunate enough that I can likely temp for a while and use my royalty checks to cover my hobbies, or, at worst, move back to PA and live in my parents’ shed, where there’s room next to the toboggan.* I am seriously tempted to answer the “What’s your biggest weakness?” question with some variety of “Pastry, cheap alcohol, and unsuitable men,” next time, though, and this nifty new thing where you submit your resume and then have to type the *same information* into their processing software is inspiring some creative new forms of profanity.

    Oh well–I’m sure it’s a character-building experience!

    * Okay, not really: they have a guest room and a couch. But in the interest of worst-case scenarios and dramatic quips… 😛

  176. Phutatorius, the book your Quaker friend had in view was George Fox’s handwritten “Book of Miracles,” his own record of the miraculous (or magical) works he had accomplished for others. No one alive knows exactly what ever happened to it, alas! Deliberate suppression is the most likely explanation. See:

    http://www.quakerquaker.org/forum/topics/george-fox-s-book-of-miracles-and-the-suppression-of-early

    Not only did early Quakers practice various forms of divination and miracle-working (i.e. magic), but there is some (controversial) evidence that the first Shaking Quakers (Shakers) supported themselves during their early wandering years in North America by Mother Ann Lee’s fortune-telling and miracle-working skills.

    And then there is Jemima Wilkinson, of a Quaker family in Rhode Island, who rose from her coffin after seeming to be dead for three days. But after her resurrection, if that is what it was, her body was no longer animated by Jemima, but by a different being that called itself “The Universal Public Friend” and insisted it was neither female nor male. She gathered a number of followers, the “Jemimakins,” to whom she passed on a body of unconventional esoteric lore (i.e., not to be shared with outsiders). All the manuscripts of this lore were deliberately destroyed by the heir of one of the last Jemimakins, though only after one scholar had had a chance to look through them while their previous owner was still alive.

    As for the wandering Pennsylvania German (“Dutch”) magicians, some of them wandered as far north as northern New England during the 1700s, where they helped shape the wide-spread New England traditions of magical treasure digging, as well as the Rhode Island lore about “vampire corpses.”

    Joseph Smith Jr. was heavily influenced by these traditions of magical treasure digging, BTW. The oldest surviving black-handled magician’s knife in North America was made and etched for his father, Joseph Smith Sr. The sigils etched into its blade display Smith’s familiarity either with Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy or with Francis Barrett’s The Magus.

  177. That Kek series got me thinking about the gods a lot, especially how they can be similar yet different in differing places. One of the things which was established was that location played a big part of how a god may develop subtle differences in culture from another. I was curious if this was a good analogy. The word winter (yes I was thinking about “winter is coming” still!) means different things to different people. Having grown up in Texas and then moving to Northeastern Minnesota, I’ve experienced two very different kinds of winter, and yet they are both winter. When reading about Guatemala, I learned that the rainy season there is referred to as invierno:winter, even though at the time of year known as winter the daily mean was a bit warmer than the time of year known as summer. Winter is a concept we’re all aware of yet based on our own experiences, which often depends largely on locality, winter can have a totally different face. Would this be a good analogy for the gods, specifically ones such as Odin who are well known to have different, sometimes only subtly, faces based on the region/culture they were in?

  178. Re the EC

    One of the reasons we have the Electoral College is that the US was designed as a federal republic of states under a limited central government with explicitly defined powers. (This is also why we have a Senate wherein all states are equally represented, why that equal representation in the Senate is a part of the Constitution that cannot be altered by amendment, and why changes to the Constitution are ultimately decided by the states.) I would like us to return to that notion, from which we have deviated significantly in our march to empire.

  179. @Will J

    That’s interesting! I hadn’t thought about it. But there are a lot of traditions of ancestor worship, so I would say it’s certainly not out of the question!

    Sincerely
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  180. @ Onething (& @ Ray W)

    Re carbon taxes

    Ray stated it correctly. And by imposing that cost immediately, it flows to all downstream uses and products. Tack on $50 a ton CO2 equivalent and let the market operate. We would need, however, appropriate tariff barriers to protect the domestic economy from poaching by those not having to pay that cost, but building national economic self-reliance is a good thing anyway as modern industrial civilization begins winding down.

  181. Re: insurgency and guns

    This isn’t entirely on the topic of insurgency and guns, but it is very related and I think it gets to the root of the importance of the second amendment, the role government plays in security, and definitely helps paint another useful perspective in the voices on gun control.

    http://www.jack-donovan.com/axis/2011/03/violence-is-golden/

    There is one point in particular which I think is very astute:
    “Every time a soccer mom stands up and demands harsher penalties for drunk driving, or selling cigarettes to minors, or owning a pit bull, or not recycling, she is petitioning the state to use force to impose her will.” Basically suggesting that the use of force is farmed out to people in an orderly society, but force is still present. And we all are familiar with how a being reacts when backed into a corner.

  182. Sugested reading: OCCULT AMERICA by Mitch Horowitz. I got mine at Powell’s, used but like-new.

  183. Chutzpah of a high order!

    “Big Oil asks government to protect it from climate change” from the Associated Press.

  184. Christopher Kinyon,

    As I have read through the Old Testament, I do not believe that Jehovah ever said he was the only God. He never denies the existence of other gods. In fact, they are spoken of exactly as if they are real. If the actual Absolute/Source of Existence, big G God were speaking that commandment, I think he would have said, don’t worship gods, they aren’t real or they are demons. There is only one God and that is me.

    There is an account in the Old Testament in which the Israelites are warring against another king, and they are prevailing, and the king becomes desperate, and decides to sacrifice “his son and his heir.” So this was not some puny sacrifice of a newborn as was more common. No, it is clear this is the king’s most precious person. So he sacrifices his son upon the wall and then a terrible dark cloud of something comes and frightens the Israelites and they scatter. This is just one of the many stories that have caused me to loathe the Old Testament. So much for Jehovah being the true God trying to show the world the truth. He couldn’t prevail when some pagan king sacrificed his son.

    Apologists try to say that the reason Jehovah had certain communities completely annihilated was because of child sacrifice. Well, he allowed Jephthah to sacrifice his daughter, and while he decried it via some prophet(s), the Israelites occasionally sacrificed their infants as well and he didn’t wipe them out.

    So I do think that the followers misunderstood, but later, and upgraded their god to the real God. But in my opinion the real God doesn’t write books or engage in the various petty behaviors of Jehovah. I don’t think Jehovah ever claimed that there were no other gods. In the psalms it is said that the gods of the pagans are demons, but that was supposed to be written by King David.

    Christian theology on the matter I think comes from men, and not scripture. As for Islam, I don’t know enough about that. But someone above spoke of Mohammed talking with God but he never claimed such a thing. It was the angel Gabriel who came to him in the cave.

    I regard Hinduism as a monotheistic religion, but they certainly believe in gods and demigods, some of them very great.

  185. But Ray, if they then distribute the money back to the people on a per capita basis, how is it really more expensive (minus the administration costs)?

  186. JMG,
    You replied to Pygmycory about the fires and smoke out here in the west and Northwest (including parts of Canada) that it’s more likely that this a transition to a new normal rather than being the new normal. From a geologic time viewpoint, of course that is true. However, how long will this transition last? 3 decades? 3 centuries? Longer? For those of us living in the middle of it now, and being not young (I’m 2 years older than you), even a 3 decade transition really is a new normal for the remainder of my life expectancy and maybe that of several future generations.

    So, from a long term perspective, your conclusion is totally correct. For the less long term, however, it appears that this is a new normal for those of us unlikely to live past the transition. Just a matter of perspective.

    The air quality in Spokane Sunday night/Monday morning was the worst in recorded history. Had it worsened, it would have been reclassified from “hazardous” to “downtown Beijing”. 😉

    DJSpo

  187. Charlie:

    There are so many really useful old things still around, mechanical and otherwise, but finding them is a little time consuming. My husband and I lurk around flea markets and antique stores and we’ve managed to find quite a lot of nifty hand-operated stuff; there’s practically nothing left in my kitchen that needs electricity to work and around here all sewing is done on an 1871 Singer that I restored myself – she runs at least as well as a new machine. Granted, most of what we find is just junk, but it’s not unusual to pick up something in reasonably good shape or still reparable. We’ve also found random parts for things we were fixing or bits of old things that we could refashion into something new that we need. There is no shortage of DIY genius people on the internet who can show you how to make nearly anything, Instructables.com has directions for lots of useful stuff. There are also companies that sell non-electric things (usually pricey), but looking through their website or catalogue can let you see what these things should look like and how they should operate. Companies that carry supplies for the Amish are a good place to check too.

    A really good resource for lots of old-time, nearly-lost information is survivorlibrary.com on whose website you can find reprints of old, practical books and manuals for download, covering everything from medicine and veterinary, Gregg shorthand, shipbuilding, using a slide rule, art, basketry, engineering – according to the FAQ page, “The Library in its entirety is a compendium of the Technological and Industrial Knowledge of the 1800’s through early 1900s.” Here’s a link to the index page: http://www.survivorlibrary.com/library-download

  188. @JMG and everyone over 40

    I barely know what Yu-Gi-Oh is because that’s what the little kids were playing with when I was a teen. It’s one of those games where you collect decks of cards (like baseball cards) and build a deck so if you have a really good deck you have a better chance at winning against your friends, like Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon. I guess now there are probably online versions where you don’t use cards at all.

    I can translate the joke into sci fi for you 🙂

    Two kids are dressing up for the Star Trek convention and they start talking about who is the worst Star Trek character of all time. Then Dad pops in and yells, “Yoda!”

    Daughter says “Dad!! How embarrassing!!”

    Cousin says “He’s not wrong.”

    Lol!!!

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  189. Hello JMG,

    Not a question, but more of a little report.

    In my daily sessions indoors, just prior to ritual I do a certain pattern of bell strikes, and then I walk the circle purifying and consecrating the space. Part of that involves saying “I conjure Thee, O Circle of Power. I purify and I consecrate Thee.” three times total during the course of the action. I say this every day. At first, I had only simple interpretations of that phrase as meaning “I am creating a space with boundaries” and “I am rendering this space suitable for the kind of work I want to do.” But over the course of time, it began taking on much more depth in its meaning. As themes in meditation led to expansion of my understanding of the interrelation of all things in my world, the relation of limits and power, of a magical point of view that embraces participation over separation (I-thou over I-it), flows and exchanges, and many other things, my whole practice and self has been shifting subtly, though the physical actions remain pretty much the same.

    Very recently, I experienced something that really shook me, though, in the best way. I was walking out into the south yard, taking some water to the two little red oaks that volunteered themselves in two years ago. Spontaneously, the phrase rang out in my mind, very clearly- “I conjure Thee, O Circle of Power!” And the whole world seemed to shift. Or rather, more accurately, something within me shifted, like gears adjusting the focus of a lens. And the whole Circle of Power was THERE. Like, ALL of it. All the beings, spirits, personalities. Some of them noticing me, many more not especially concerned with my presence, a couple saying hello. In many scales, grass to clouds. My eyes are tearing up right now remembering it. The conjuring of the Circle of Power in that sense was akin to what the invocation of the Commonwealth must be like. I did it, but I only -shifted part of myself- that point was very important, I remember. Everything else was there as it had always been. I was not expecting that.

    Now when I use that phrase in the indoor workings, it has an added vigor and “aliveness” about it. The experience has both the deliberate act of will which creates the desired kind of space, as well as a kernel of that opening to a larger ecosystem. When I use it outdoors, it seems wrong to also say that I am purifying and consecrating (because really, in the Great Circle, how could I possibly do that?!?), so instead I say “I conjure Thee, O Circle of Power: whole, hale, and holy.” I say it, and there it is.

    I used to be all about massive amounts of baroque detail in ritual- I wanted all the bells and whistles! But any more, I keep being amazed at just how far a few simple phrases and sustained intent can take me. It just keeps unfolding and getting deeper.

    Thanks to you, and Sara, and everyone participating in the discussions here and over on Magic Mondays. I wouldn’t be exploring this way and getting my world expanded so regularly if it weren’t for all you do and have done! I hope to one day be able to give likewise in return (but for now it’ll just have to be the occasional donation 🙂 ).

    Bonnie

  190. JMG,

    Can you give a brief synopsis of the occult view on celibacy? It’s been awhile since I’ve had release down there and there is definitely a change in energy that I can feel. I exercise physically fairly regularly and do daily SoPs based on the DMH curriculum. I feel I’ve stored up a lot of energy (etheric energy perhaps?). Is there a way to use this energy for spiritual exercise/strength and is this part of the reason celibacy shows up in other religious practices?

  191. @Dunc and @BoysMom–
    Actually, wolves are getting to be a more popular solution for deer and other problems. Here’s a link to an editorial about them from the Baltimore Sun–

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/ph-ho-cf-letters-tschirgi-20150423-story.html

    I’m not entirely sure he was joking about this…

    But seriously, re-introducing Wolves to Yellowstone Park has apparently dramatically improved the ecosystem there.

    https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/wolf-reintroduction-changes-ecosystem

  192. @John Roth
    Thanks (if that was an invite to the chat sessions), but I’m not much for online chatting. It’s enough of an effort for me to keep my internet use at a minimum as it is, and the MT material is not something I engage with from day to day, but more on a need-to-know basis, and so as with things like anthroposophy, it tends to remain hovering in the background for reference and cameo appearances…

  193. @Escher re: Quakers and Magic vs. Shakers and Magic

    Quakers are still a going concern. I wonder if there are Quaker/Friends on this site who could answer your questions?

    There IS a scholarly journal article about this topic. I have not read it, but it may be available to read free if you are near a well-stocked large University library;

    The Quaker Cunning Folk: The Astrology, Magic, and Divination of Philip Roman and Sons in Colonial Chester County, Pennsylvania
    Frank Bruckerl
    Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies
    Vol. 80, No. 4 (Autumn 2013), pp. 479-500

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/pennhistory.80.4.0479?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    Your question also reminded me of the practices of the Shaker Community. This was a group that believed in the equality of the sexes as early as 1805, but also forbade the members of its mixed male/female community to marry or to have sex.
    Their worship services included singing and marching or dancing in elaborate figures, like square dances. There had to be a LOT of sexual tension in that environment. I am not sure how all that generated power was directed, or to what end–
    If you have the chance, try to visit the “Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill” in Kentucky. This is a restored Shaker Village which uses mostly their original buildings. You can feel something of the spirit(s) of that place. Here’s a link to their website:

    https://shakervillageky.org/history-and-restoration/

  194. JMG, re “evil” again: you respond,

    “understanding does not equal condoning, nor is it necessarily focused on the origins of a behavior pattern. I think I have a pretty fair understanding, for example, of what led people across the industrial world to cash in their ideals at the end of the 1970s, abandon the promising steps toward sustainability, and condemn their great-grandchildren to a miserable future in order to wallow in absurd extravagance today. I don’t claim to know the origins of the failure in the collective psyche that made that choice happen, but I understand what happened, and that knowledge has helped me craft arguments that have jolted a significant number of people out of the collective trance that resulted.”

    Collective trance is a good term, and I’d apply it to the Euroquisling trance that has gripped my country for the past half century and is only now partially lifting.

    But these instances of dullness, of stupid short-sightedness, selfishness and gormlessness, are not what I mean by “evil”. I refer instead to the evidently demonic love for inflicting suffering for its own sake. That is qualitatively different.

    Having made that point, I nevertheless agree with 99 per cent of what you say – and of what Jessie says in her reply to me.

    Perhaps we could compromise on a definition of “evil” as a predisposition rather than as a cause or explanation. The distinction in a way contains a parallelism with the distinction you make in your writing between “problem” and “predicament”. To give an example using sf terminology:

    Let us say that X has a difficult childhood in a deprived area. Two probability-worlds branch from this, each outcome having its own cause/explanation attached to it. The branches are as follows:

    (1) X’s difficult childhood filled him with an awareness of the importance of compassion and solidarity in the face of the hardships of life. “My dad used to beat me; never will I do the same to my own son.”

    (2) X’s difficult childhood filled him with resentment against his fellows and a determination to look after Number One and to hell with everyone else. “My dad used to beat me, so I’ll do the same to my own son.”

    The explanations are there, attached and inherent in each piece of text. A propensity for outcome (2) with its attached explanations to win out over outcome (1) with its attached explanations, is what I mean by “evil”.

    The instances I give are greatly over-simplified, of course. But given enough space one could be more convincing…..

  195. @JMG,

    >Several of my British readers asked, with varying levels of anxiety, what’s likely to happen early next spring when Brexit happens, with or without an agreement between the British government and the EU.

    So, could you do a chart for the EU i.e. Brussels as well, sometimes in the future?

  196. @Will J re: ” it seems very selective to enforce the laws against Trump/his lawyers, while ignoring that other people also broke the law”. I totally agree. Either we have rule of law or we don’t. But (a) enforcement must be equal (a Constitutional amendment I’d favor is one making it a serious felony and an invitation for civil liability to selectively enforce ANY law; alternatively that proof of selective enforcement in another case should void enforcement in your case…so, for example, nobody could be punished more than Pres Clinton for lying under oath. (b) we have so many “junk” — generally victimless — laws. I have to believe this is an intentional control system to allow ANYONE to be taken out at any time. As Neo said “Just another system of control”.

    So, I rather feel Trump should be charged with campaign finance violation … right after Hillary is rigorously investigated and charged with everything under the sun that can be pinned to her (including tax felonies, felony email disappearance, election law felonies at the DNC, Whitewater, Seth Rich murder,tax law and selling state influence for $250Million of payola, etc. And God knows it should be easy to put Obama away for 100 lifetimes by just doing due diligence of how he got his money; the IRS and “meeting Bill Clinton on a tarmac” scandals, etc.

    One thing all decent people should be happy about: that the US government has been shown to be a massive criminal enterprise from top on down…across both parties and everywhere in between.

    I read that in the early days of the Roman Republic they would appoint a “dictator” during crisis … and “try” the dictator after he stepped down in the aftermath of the crisis…just to keep him on his toes with regard to not abusing his power?

  197. re: violence from the Left – It’s important to remember that 90% of the violence in the country comes from registered Democrats. I’ll give a few modern examples: the KKK, the Weathermen, Black Lives Matter and Antifa. A majority of the mass shooters are registered Democrats too.

    Being a movement based on principles of the left doesn’t mean it will be violent. But when we see a violent group, it is often based on principles of the left.

    Fortunately these groups struggle with leadership and they are busy purity testing their members, so as organized groups I don’t think they will get too far. However the threat of violence is real and continuous and I don’t think they care who they attack – if you look like you could support Trump, ie a white person, than you are a target.

    Personally I respect the fact that the left stands for something enough to do something about it. The right constantly wants to debate ideas, and talk is cheap and gets us nowhere.

  198. @ Onething

    Re carbon tax and revenue redistribution

    The idea is to keep folks (on average) whole, but to impact their marginal decision-making. So now you are getting this check, but are you going to spend it on the now-more-expensive fossil fuel based item or are you going to buy the less expensive non-fossil fuel based item? Food transported trucked long distances will be more expensive than food grown locally, for example. It shifts the relative price of things while not punishing the poor.

  199. @BoysMom,
    keep in mind that a reduced speed limit does not reduce travel speeds unless accompanied by massive amounts of enforcement, which carries a cost in police presence/patrolling, as well as the general ill will people have for getting pulled over.

  200. Onething:
    The idea is that by not taxing carbon government is effectively subsidizing all things derived or powered by oil and coal. If you do tax the carbon you are making all users of oil and coal pay for the full costs of burning it. If you then somehow put the money back into people’s pockets (perhaps by lowering other taxes ) you allow the market to make choices based on comparing the full cost of oil derived options with the full cost of other options.

    For example, if the prices of cars doubled and gasoline quadrupled, and yet you had a lot more money left in your paycheck, the option of moving closer to work or transit might make more sense to you than carrying on with business as usual. Some people will certainly keep their cars : the power oil gives you needs no subsidy to be attractive. But many others will start to make other choices and over time this will change the way people live and should also drive a lot of innovation towards a less energy intensive way of life.

    A less complex example would be that people would finally be able to justify the cost of installing weather stripping on doors and windows.

    The prices of local food raised with human labor might be the same or less than the factory farmed stuff.

    Yes all prices would be higher but you would have more money to begin with and you would ideally be comparing the full cost of one option to the full cost of the other, instead of the oil derived option being subsidized. I think this is what they mean by allowing market forces to work.

    Of course if we just learned to do magic like Harry potter we wouldn’t need oil at all. Since that’s about as likely as instituting a carbon tax in the US, we might as well wish for one as the other.

  201. @Tripp,
    it seems to be the norm w/iGen. I’ve been working w/this very new soul (first human incarnation, I’m guessing) who is not capable of doing ANYTHING, it seems. All of us older people are just totally baffled that someone could exist in the world knowing so little and being capable of nothing. I’m just steeling myself when the compost hits the wind turbine and these new souls inevitably OD and commit suicide en masse…

  202. I’m already wishing I didn’t finish off with a pessimistic throw away. I just wanted to say that I’m not sure a big government solution like a carbon tax could even be imposed suddenly at this point. Maybe if the carbon tax started in the 70s and was gradually increased over the years. ..

    At this point I think the best bet is smaller, locally driven movements in the right direction.

  203. Thanks, Kiashu, for the interesting data points! I have myself come to the conclusion that the various military and non-military interventions of the West are rather detrimental to the countries at which they are aimed. As additional information, I can report that a while ago, there was a book fair in Hargeysa, Somaliland, as an example of the stability inside Somaliland. To prevent spillover from anarchy in Somalia, they have closed their southern border.

    Order is indeed something that emerges sooner or later; but in real dark ages it takes a while longer than in failed states. In the post-Roman West, it took ca. 100 to 200 years before a new order end relative peace emerged for good (the details are considerably more complex, though).

  204. By the way, the propaganda in the mainstream media gets more heavy-handed everyday. It is now Trump, Trump, Trump the whole time. And in the rag of the German town where I live, there was today and yesterday articles expounding how it would be a good idea to do building public housing projects and how it would be a good idea to let rejected asylum-seekers with job further live in Germany.

  205. I have a book title to NOT recommend.

    David A. Barclay’s “Fake News, Propaganda, and Outright Lies”

    Although…if you’re in the mood to exercise your ability to spot logical fallacies, it’s a real winner! Non-stop laughs…bring a highlighter.

  206. Re: integrating the magician’s view into polite conversation.

    I am more of a listener than a talker, but occasionally find that my assumptions about how reality works will meaningfully spill their contents into the conversation of a group gathering.

    Like many people who comment here, I value and consider words very carefully. Assuming that symbols are vehicles of actual contact, I would defend my perspective by pointing out the nature of poetry, the experience of words of power. I would also refer to psychology, which views the psyche as an arrangement of relationships of symbols or archetypes. I would say that psychology and astrology are becoming closely entwined these days, and that astrology serves as a useful psychological map of the myths and hero tales that are so resonant to us psychologically.

    Thank you so much for EcoSophia!

  207. Thank you, (in response order) Phutatorius, JMG, Robert M., and Patricia M.! Much to follow up on.

  208. For Robert Mathiesen: Thanks for the clarification on George Fox. Coming from “Pennsylvania Dutch” ancestry myself (in the 1970s the Allentown, PA phonebook had more people with my last name than it had Smiths), I’d be interested in reading about the Pennsylvania Dutch magical tradition if you have a source to recommend.

  209. JMG,

    Do you have any views on the work of Kenneth Grant? As Grant was deeply interested in the magical aspects of UFO’s and H.P. Lovecraft, I’d be interested what, if anything, you think of him.

  210. Robert M., your comment on magic in colonial times and later surely does give me much to reflect on. Thank you!

    My ancestry includes pre-Revolutionary War Pennsylvania Dutch; a pair of mid-1770’s disciples of Mother Ann Lee; and dozens of early converts to Mormonism. Several were baptized by Joseph Smith; at least one lived with the Smiths for a number of years, during the Nauvoo period. Smith himself is a (very) distant cousin. No wonder magic and things odd tend to draw me!

    I am so appreciative of the knowledge shared on this most excellent forum.

  211. @Jessi Thompson, WillJ
    Re:Past the last lifetime

    “Guides” don’t have to be past their last lifetime, and many souls that are past their last lifetime don’t take up as guides.

    Causing physical phenomena usually requires an etheric body; some souls hang on to theirs when they die. Most don’t.

    Guides do not, let me repeat that, not, cause you problems when you don’t learn a lesson.

    @Samuel Harvest Bouquet
    Re: uncertain birth time

    The usual fix for this is a process called rectification. You need a competent astrologer to do it. You can also keep track of events caused by transits and see for yourself what works and what doesn’t.

    @Will J
    Re: Fast reincarnation

    Most of that can also be explained by having too many lifetimes in a row with the same experiences. It’s hard on the flexibility.

    Gender disphoria is, however, related to fifth level Mature, where souls tend to push the envelope on relationships. We’re seeing a lot of it because it’s coming out of the closet.

    @Will J
    Re: disapproval ratings

    I haven’t seen the polls in question. In this case, the closer you can get to the original data, the better.

    @Phutorius
    Re: Constitutional Amendment re Corporations

    I’d go whole hog and simply say that a corporation is a legal entity, not a legal person, and is only due rights that are explicitly granted to corporations, not to any rights and privileges due to natural persons.

    @All
    Re: State affiliation

    I see that there’s a large amount of credibility to the idea that states are important here. I was born in Chicago, spent some time growing up in Hell (lower Michigan, not to criticize what may be a great state,) then back to Chicago, western Illinois for college, Chicago, Virginia, Chicago, California, Georgia and now New Mexico. Do I really feel any fundamental affiliation for any of them? Heck no. As far as I’m concerned, states are simply administrative provinces, and we should get over the idea that they’re actually sovereign units of government.

    @Will J
    Re: Reincarnation

    Yes, I’m aware there are multiple models of reincarnation, and you’re using a different one than I am.

    The thing is, all the evidence we have for reincarnation comes from material that pops up during some form of meditation, to reasonably advanced meditators. Everything else is supposition that’s based on someone’s or some group’s philosophy.

    As a student of the Michael Teachings, I’m obviously going to be in favor of that particular model, but I’m aware that it’s simply one model, and by no means well known. I think it solves a number of problems is some other models, but that’s a very different issue.

    @Morfan
    Re: Swarms, etc.

    In the MT, this concept is called a Design, and it applies all up and down the scale of evolution, although there are different Designs for the different levels, and there may be multiple Designs on a specific level.

    A Design usually stays on a single planet with a single species (considered broadly, since ours has been here six million years or so). There are exceptions, such as rendering the planet uninhabitable.

    @onething
    Re:Hinduism

    Some varieties of Hinduism regard all the gods and goddesses as expressions of a single source, that is, “God.” A person (Hiddu) I’m currently studying seems to regard gods and goddesses as magical constructs, that is, if you want a certain effect, you construct a god or goddess to represent some essential piece of the working.

  212. JMG said
    ” I’m frankly aghast that Tripp mistook that as criticism and deleted his blog posts.”

    It was just the right statement at just the right time to just the right guilty conscience, that’s all. It wasn’t any fault of yours. It had been coming for a while. There was plenty of material on there that no longer fit well with who I am, and my business shares the same name as my old blog. I didn’t want to lose business because of some mad fringe ramblings from nearly a decade ago.

    I still spread your love far and wide, but I think I do a much better job of it these days – loaning out and gifting your books, getting them into our library’s collection, inserting your ideas in face-to-face conversations, emails, etc. We could probably discuss the merits of holding onto early writings as a reference, and maybe I made a mistake there taking such a permanent action, but I think it was a useful thing to do psychologically.

    Although my physical well-being has been a little off since I did it…

  213. hey boss,

    Fantastic god frog articles, thanks!

    Inspired by your writings and maybe two other people, I have started getting my act together. I was no slouch before, but I started meditating daily and doing some basic exercises like asking the fews “What do I most need to know about the day before me?”, i.e. following your book on Druid magic.

    I was obsessed about science before, so this is all new in my adult life. My daily notes started on June 2 of this year, and overall I am happy with how I feel. I manage to keep an average of around 5+ days/week of these morning exercises, which for me, is fairly remarkable. I also feel I need it, even though I cannot point to any concrete prediction obtained thanks to the divination.

    Don’t get me wrong, I had a few days that felt quite magical and encouraging, but most which were neither here nor there, and then some which seemed to have no connection with what the day brought me.

    Overall, I feel I am on the right track, but this is really lonely and lately I feel I need help. Can you recommend a way of finding inspiration without reaching out to anyone in my own community? Is it just more meditation, more practice?

    I am still in the early chapters of your book. I figured it would be best to get the basics down before getting carried way with more elaborate moves.

    Oh, just one more request:

    I have been getting lots of fews about being in over my head, perhaps self-deception, being over confident and all (inverted onn, inverted ailm, inverted ruis, etc). Can I figure out what this is about by excluding what makes no sense and then trying to face whatever is left? I mean, by definition, if it is self-deception, how can one get a look outside of one’s one deception, assuming the fews are being sincere with me.

    Thanks very much!

    BF

  214. > Will, I think you do indeed have meditation themes for a while. I’ve wondered whether the prevalence of gender dysphoria these days comes partly from the fact that people get reborn into a body of one sex when they still remember very clearly being of the other sex.

    For many its plain old dysphoria, that is, they are depressed in a crazy society, and they try any BS thing they can think of, and since gender issues are promoted, they get the chance to ascribe their problems with life to “gender dysphoria”. These days, they’ll even be celebrated a little for saying that have that, which also helps increase the numbers of those claiming it.

    Meanwhile, actual gender dysphoria, as a medical condition, is as rare as ever was…

  215. The smoke in Seattle is a reminder that I could not survive a natural environment with my chemical sensitivities. Somehow I made it through last summer with little problem, this year I have had to do a lot of air filtering. Seattle had its worst recorded (about 20 years of monitoring) smog a few weeks ago.

    I don’t understand those who complain about how bad the smog is in relation to the amount of energy consumed. My guess is that in the United States the air has been the cleanest in history for at least 20 years.

    From Cliff Mass:

    Northwest Wildfires: Are We Seeing a “New Normal” Due to Climate Change or The “Old Normal”?

    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2018/08/northwest-wildfires-are-we-seeing-new.html

    George Wuerthner on wild management:

    Myths About Wildfires, Logging and Forests

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/24/myths-about-wildfires-logging-and-forests/

    https://www.counterpunch.org/author/stay3/

    If that link fails try this and click on “George Wuerthner – 163 posts”

    https://www.counterpunch.org/search-authors/?as=wuerthner

    <>

    A carbon tariff would make whatever country tries it less competitive. The other countries would have cheaper energy to produce and transport. Tariffs are often an “own goal” of yet another tax on self no matter how they are redistributed. (Where does the money from Mr. Trump’s tariffs go?)
    Most devices of any complexity are produced in and extracted from several nations, all contributing more atmospheric carbons. Would you neglect the fossil fuel resources consumed by the manufacture of a smart phone? Think cradle to grave on any project or device.

    A carbon market would probably quickly turn into yet another financial casino.

  216. Bonnie K Henderson-Winnie, thank you for that lovely report.

    Ben, I would like to support JMG’s remarks about long-lived religions. Judaism has been a frequently stressed but never broken religious tradition for about three thousand years. The tradition has remade itself several times in response to external events without ever completely losing the thread. The internal reforms I’m listing below have varied in scale and thoroughness. The median would be comparable to the Protestant Reformation.

    1. Priestly rewriting of the Torah and purging of Asherah worship from the Temple in Jerusalem. Both of these took place after a segment of the Jewish community which had been exiled to Babylonia returned about two generations later to Eretz Yisrael with a Persian military escort. Judaism would either have become an entirely different religion or would barely have survived as an obscure sect like the Samaritans if these top-down reforms had not happened.

    2. Engagement with Greek thought during the Hellenistic period. This resulted in the development of a new kind of religious leader, the rabbi, and the addition of several books to the Bible.

    3. The writing down of the Oral Law (the Talmud) after the destruction of the Second Temple, transfer of religious authority from the priesthood to the rabbinate, the separation of Jewish Christians from the Jewish People, and the shift of the center of Jewish life from the land of Israel to the Diaspora. Most of this happened in the second century of the Common Era.

    4. Responses to Enlightenment, the Napoleonic conquests in Europe, and modernity generally. These included the development of Reform Judaism and other liberal sects, and Political Zionism.

    5. Developments currently underway in response to the utter catastrophe and three challenges which arose during the twentieth century: the Holocaust, the establishment of the State of Israel, the revival of feminism, and the contemporary ecological/environmental movement with its underpinning of nature spirituality for educated people. Feminism is being handled. The other three present profound difficulties for the Jewish religion and it is too soon to tell how constructively they will be met.

  217. Dear John Michael Greer,

    I find myself reading deep into the comments section as usual. Thank you for hosting and for taking the time to answer so thoughtfully.

    And thank you Robert Mathiesen for your most interesting post: https://www.ecosophia.net/august-2018-open-post/#comment-23960

    My question for you, Mr Greer, and also for Mr Mathiesen if you are still here: Would you recommend Antoine Fauvre’s ACCESS TO WESTERN ESOTERICISM (State University Press of New York, 1994)? The back cover says it is “the first systematic treatment of esotericism to appear in English.” And of course I would be interested to hear from the commentariat as well if any of you are familiar with this work.

    Attentively,

    MILLICENTLY LURKING

  218. @Bonnie K Henderson-Winnie

    I try to get by with intent all by itself.

    Intention can be practiced and strengthened. I notice the difference just tossing a scrap at the trash. If I Intend it is far more likely to go in.

  219. @all

    I see some interest in why Trump is being persecuted while other politicians aren’t.

    My understanding is that there’s a karmic payback involved between Trump and Mueller. To resolve it, Mueller has to conduct the investigation with complete honesty and integrity. Trump could call it off at any time, but he’d still face the payback in another lifetime.

    (Note that karmic paybacks are not necessarily pleasant for the person being paid back, either.)

    @Shane W
    Re: First Lifetime

    I’d have to see the person in question to get a sense of what’s going on (and I’m not offering, just to be clear). I’d be very surprised if this is a case of someone on the first lifetime – I suspect something neurological. (See below.)

    To expand on that. JMG has mentioned that he’s met people who he suspects are on their first lifetime(s), having been something else before. I’d been ignoring the comments, having misinterpreted what he meant (Pleadeans, anybody?)

    It’s quite possible that he did. Any soul has to have a first lifetime as a human, and those tend to have a lot of prior experience as something else show through.

    There are two cases: a first lifetime as a sentient; prior lifetimes were the equivalent of advanced mammals, but not what we would regard as sentient.

    Second case, is the prior lifetime was as a sentient creature on another planet. These might read as aliens.

    In general, these people do well in a foraging society (hunter-gatherer) and do very poorly in any kind of advanced society.

    The reason I’m sort of scratching my head on some of them is that the planet was supposed to be closed to new first lifetimes in 1987. This probably doesn’t contradict JMG’s observations, but it does contradict Shane’s.

  220. @Roberta,

    You can dramatically change your local environment for the better. We bought our 1/4 acre with 1955 vintage house in 2001. The house is small and in-town, within walking distance of some small shops. Our yard was a barren rectangle of hard-packed clay. There was no top soil
    As of today, I have between 6 and 12 inches of top soil, extensive plantings of native trees, shrubs, wilderness areas, and garden beds. I provide habitat for a wide range of critter from microscopic to ground hog size. I changed their lives for the better in every way, providing a safe harbor. Will it last forever? Nothing does but for now, many, many critters make their home here and they spill out into the neighboring yards.
    We also put a huge effort into making our house and our lives as energy-efficient as possible along. We rarely burn more than 200 gallons of heating oil per winter and this is in central PA. Again, a permanent net gain for us and for whoever moves into this house in the future.
    Start where you are. Plant more trees, both at home and in your community. Use less, buy used, and be the example you want to see.

    @BoysMom,

    How closely does Fish and Game track your deer? How can they tell if a deer or two discreetly disappear into someone’s freezer? I’ve always wondered, especially if you can field dress your kill. If enough people get hungry enough, your deer problem will go away, but you’ll have other problems to take their place.

    Mr. Greer, I deeply appreciate your site. You’ve made me think far better. Thank you.

    Teresa from Hershey

  221. Want to know how to do something right? Ask those who have done a good job for 20,000 years or so.

    Aboriginal fire management in Australia.

    Do a WWW search. Too many articles to pick and choose.

  222. Phutatorius:

    Check out the Pennsylvania German Cultural Center at Kutztown University, a really good source for information about the Amish and non-Amish ‘Dutch’, the latter once commonly called the “gay Dutch’, but no longer, for obvious reasons. A few years ago I attended a talk by someone from the Center who discussed “Himmelsbriefe’ (Letters from Heaven), purported to afford protection to the holder, even from bullets, which made them popular with PA German soldiers drafted to serve in WWI.

    https://www.kutztown.edu/about-ku/administrative-offices/pennsylvania-german-cultural-heritage-center.htm

    If you live in or will be traveling near eastern Pennsylvania, a visit to Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum in Lancaster is in order. It is a stunning collection of PA German artifacts and buildings arranged as a village, having started as the private collection of brothers Henry and George Landis. They recognized that their culture was being subsumed by the wider “English” culture and bought artifacts both big and small as craftspeople died off and small local businesses closed in order to preserve them. There’s an exceptional display of Fraktur documents, too, and lots of live demonstrations.

    http://www.landisvalleymuseum.org/

    Booklover:

    I have been hearing from family and friends in Germany and they sound like they’re ready to explode. A lot of them had been quite supportive of Angela Merkel when she invited refugees to flood into the country, but now nearly all of them are so disgusted with the status quo that they’re voting AfD. My cousin sent me a link to 120DB; it would seem that German women have pretty much had enough with the assaults and rapes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt4RBzXVi6Q

    Bonnie K Henderson-Winnie:

    I got chills reading your comment!

  223. I’ve had another rather interesting thought: I’ve noticed an awful lot of people shrieking about reincarnation not being real, but a lot of it seems to be the kind where it isn’t about trying to convince someone else, but rather themselves. I’ve also noticed in my case, past life memories came back way too early, according to the traditional lore I’ve seen from old traditions of spirituality that believe in reincarnation.

    I’ve also noticed some people I know will happily talk about past life memories they have, despite seemingly not being at all spiritual, which according to traditional lore is a prerequisite for past life memories. Some of it is people shoveling smoke, but I doubt that’s all of it.

    These would seem to tie together: if I make the assumption that one of the things time spent out of reincarnation is supposed to be for is eliminating memories from that life, then of course if souls are down to a small fraction of the usual time spent out of reincarnation, these memories would stick around, both at a conscious and unconscious level.

    The irony of this occurring in a society desperately trying not to notice they sold out the future is hard to miss, and it may explain some of the hostility so many people have towards reincarnation: they know at some level or other that they will be coming back into the world they created.

    John Roth,

    What flaws in other models does the Michael Teachings model solve? I’m interested in hearing about other models, since it may help me understand things better.

    Foster,

    I’m not sure I agree with you. I’ve noticed an awful lot of people who get gender reassignment surgery genuinely end up happier. I think there’s something weird going on here, but I’m not sure what it is yet. Past lives may be part of it, but my last life was female and I’m happy with being male, despite a fairly short gap between lives.

    I also think it is being played up well past the point where it makes sense, and frankly I think an awful lot of people who become transgender are ruining their lives, or trying to avoid admitting something else is the cause of their problems.

  224. Gnat,

    I rather like the idea of putting the president on trial for what he did during his term…

    With regards to the campaign finance violations, I wonder how far back you need to go to find a presidential election that didn’t feature major violations of some sort or other….

  225. J. M. Greer (and others), I have a different question: What would happen, if sites like Facebook, Twitter, OkCupid and Tinder were to be shut down? How would people and their habits react?

    And when I try to find a solution for a problem, or an answer to a question, or a new idea about something, I have sometimes the impression that there isn’t anything more what I can find out. Is there any way to deal constructively with this?

  226. Hey jmg
    You talk of radio being able to survive the deindustrial future but what about landline telephone?

  227. @Bradley Lowry A lot of the MSM information on solar power is about the cost of solar panels. Not addressed is the rest of the system, especially storage. Elon Musk’s Solar City Powerwalls would require several times the earth’s entire supply of lithium. Pumped water storage is limited by geography & water availability. Other systems of storage are generally in the “they’ll figure it out” zone.

    Gail the Actuary has a series of posts on the actual costs of renewables. This post analyzes the percentage (somewhere around 10-12%) of renewable capacity which increases instability in the grid, so adding more renewables means more redundant traditional sources have to be built to balance when the sun doesn’t shine nor does the wind blow. The only answer is to cut our use of energy by a lot.

  228. @Bradley Lowry

    “Is solar power now sustainable?”

    That would depend on how you define sustainable.

    The many inputs of energy and minerals required to produce a contemporary solar panel and distribute the energy produced are going to be eventually consumed.

    If solar power is done locally with heat by concentrating the energy with lenses or mirrors it is sustainable – if you have sunshine.

    In Seattle we used to have about the nicest summer in the US including a driest in the country week if you don’t mind summer starting about July 6th. The rest of the year it tends to be cloudy or overcast. I suppose one could schedule solar smelting for the summer. Or let the Eastern Washingtonians do the job.

    The practical is to make hot water. Small simple input, good output. Seldom done especially considering the energy returned on energy invested.

  229. What is your take on microchip implants for performing the daily life tasks that were previously performed with some kind of external physical token? (Papers, electronic cards…)

    Do you think the baroque infrastructure required to run this arrangement will run quickly against the scarcity of electronic manufacturing?

    Or perhaps the social realities will create a context too chaotic to run this level of complexity?

    What about the consequences on the “energy body”? I am not that much into all of the magick stuff, but still distantly curious. Same question for reincarnation… Also interesting, is it altering the destination of one’s worship? Like, one’s prayers would start catching the attention of a different kind of entity than before getting implanted…

    Somehow, I am not sure how this differs from using other electronic machines like smartphones or computers, or from wearing a tattoo, in all those respects.

  230. You’re very welcome.

    I’ll have you know that after your clarification I did my first Middle pillar exercise today! I followed the instructions on Paths of Wisdom

    I think it went well. I had some difficulty visualizing the purple color of Yesod, but I loved the rhythmic nature of the whole thing. After doing it, i even went number two after a couple days of constipation!

    I have a doubt though. I had the idea that the circulation of the Light went around the whole body, but the instructions as i understood them said it goes down the throat, into the blazing center of tiphereth (Quick question, is the spelling ‘tiphereth’ wrong? I have read it like that for very long), out through the ribs downward into malkuth, then up we go, back into tiphereth and out through the windpipe. This makes a teardrop shape of the path the light takes. This doesn’t feel right. What happens with the upper lateral centers? Im guessing Netzach and Hod get energized like this but what about the Upper ends of Jachim and Boaz?

    Thanks as always!

  231. Hi Booklover,

    Probably not much. I work with a lot of women who insist they absolutely, positively could not keep up w/friends and family without Facebook. They cannot live without Facebook.

    10 years ago they couldn’t live without Myspace.

  232. Breanna, Austin’s touch and go. Texas generally is a good place to buy real estate these days outside of a few big overbought markets; as the import economy of the coasts wanes, that’s one of the flyover states that seems to be doing pretty well. Still, if you’re going to do it, do it now, and only if you can afford steadily rising property taxes.

    Shane, that also works.

    JillN, it seems to me that you’ve confused the concept of equality with the concept of prosperity. It’s possible for everyone to be equal, and starving to death on an equally small pittance of food! More generally, the notion that equality involves raising everyone up to a middle class standard of living assumes that this is possible, and it’s not — the resources that would be necessary to do that don’t exist. Let me ask you this: what would be your reaction if equality involved lowering your standard of living to that of the poor, rather than raising their standard of living to yours?

    Isabel, well, my take on character-building experiences may be summed up as “That which does not kill us makes us grumpy.” I hope everything goes well, and the toboggan is good company. 😉

    Prizm, that seems like an excellent analogy to me. As for the essay, of course: every human society uses violence or the threat of violence to maintain its rules of behavior, because nothing else works. Human beings are not angels, and they cannot be made to act like angels, no matter what ideology is applied to them…

    Patricia, yeah, I saw that. Heh heh heh…

    DJSpo, we don’t know how long the transition will take. Human beings were around the last time something of the sort happened — the end of the Younger Dryas cold phase in the waning years of the last ice age — but they don’t seem to have worked out the trick of written records yet, and the surviving legends mostly deal with the cataclysmic flooding that was also an important part of the process. So it’s anyone’s guess right now.

    Jessi, thanks for the translation. Got it. 😉

    Bonnie, delighted to hear it. Yes, exactly.

  233. I’m still here, Millicently. Faivre’s book defines “esotericism” rather narrowly, so that many of the things interesting us here are not really examples of “esotericism” at all. It has always struck me as one of those books written by an academic for other academics to shape the direction of future research within the academy. Although I’m an academic myself, I have always found this sort of academic writing excruciatingly dull.

    At its worst (not true of Faivre) it can even degenerate into rather vicious competition between would-be alpha scholars to see who is dominant, who is the real alpha–rather like baboons or chimpanzees establishing dominance hierarchies in their troops. Fortunately, this sort of behavior is still the exception, not the rule, in academia.

  234. Another shout out for the Pennsylvania Dutch contingent! My grandmother who raised me was born in Ringtown, PA in 1918. I was raised on beef stew and shoo fly pie. She was a coal miner’s widow in 1939 then married my grandfather, a hobo from Los Angeles. I grew up hearing the lost history of the US, it still makes me sad that so few know the real history of so many regular everyday people.

    @JMG, since we have been talking about reincarnation, I have a question along that line. But not about gender…

    When I was a young child I was convinced I was a horse. Then from the age of 5-10 I was convinced I would grow up to be a horse, I would even answer the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” with “a horse”. In my teens, when I was finally around horses regularly, I discovered I could communicate with them. It’s always stuck with me, was this because of my traumatic childhood, or something else?

  235. Charlie- re: slide rules, I hope your husband appreciates their limitations. The only real “calculation” they do is multiplication/division, which is addition/subtraction with logarithmic scales. All slide rules do that. The rest of the scales are just graphical “lookup tables” for the main scales. You can get the same effect with printed tables. You want to know what sin(x) is? Find x on a scale (or in a table), and read across to the sin(x) scale (or column in the table).

    re: typewriters. I found one encrusted with correction-tape residue, oil, and dust in a pile of junk from a neighbor’s house that was being cleaned out. With no tools other than a box of Q-tips and a bottle of light machine oil, I got it back into smooth working condition. So, some repairs will require replacement parts and special tools, but not all. My mother’s (electric) sewing machine was in somewhat better condition, but the oil had dried and gummed up the gears, but a little care made it right.

    The ventilation fan in my bathroom quit working last week. So, I pulled it down, brushed and vacuumed decades of moisture-caked dust from it, removed the blower cage from the motor shaft so I could get access to the oil ports on the motor, and put in a few drops of low-viscosity machine oil (much less viscous than the 20W I use on my lathe gears and shafts). After giving the oil time to soak into the bearings, it, too, is running like new. The only tools needed for this task were a screwdriver, a long-shanked allen wrench for the blower-shaft setscrew, and the oil bottle.

    I’ve been haunting garage and estate sales for years, picking up good used tools for very little cost. Take and preserve what you can, because rust never sleeps. What you don’t use, you may be able to barter for something you do need.

  236. teresa peschel,

    Your response to Roberta describing your creation of habitat for many kinds of creature sounds a whole lot like what my developing life goals are looking like! It’s giving me inspiration and hope. Thank you.

    Bonnie

  237. @jmg You said “…the media — which has the attention span of a gnat — will be yelling about something else instead Hmm. Is that some especially tricky ad hominem attack? :-/

    I am – and have been for a while – very concerned about plastic and, in particular, microplastics which humans are eating because fish are eating because micro plankton are eating. Actually I am increasingly concerned about the whole range of petrochemicals, but plastics probably bother me the most because they are so pervasive and long-lasting and clearly not understood in the least. As everyone here probably knows, but doesn’t seem to be getting much airplay in that media you accuse me of being like, the vast majority of plastics are NOT recyclable at all and have a lifespan of perhaps much more than a thousand years. Chemically they are a mashup of all manner of weird things so it isn’t even possible to study their long term effects on humans … even if we wished to. And we obviously don’t wish to.

    It isn’t even fair to blame plastics on evil corporations since the people overwhelmingly VOTE for plastics every day by refusing to vote for anything else, much less refuse to vote, when they pull out their plastic cards.

    One suspicion I wanted to voice here is that this toxic soup of plastics and their related and associated chemical mashups may be tied up with dramatic declines in fertility in 1st world countries. I think that is going to be a hard thing to prove, as there doubtless also is a social effect of higher wealth in 1st world countries (US, Europe, Japan .. but increasingly China and other places) giving people more interesting things to do with their recreational time than birth more children. And, in a way, its kind of nice if the chemical cocktail we are eating, breathing, and bathing in 24/7 might be contributing to real sterility, as the only thing which REALLY strikes to the root of all the other problems (from “global warming”, to deforestation, peak oil, species extinction, risk of war, threat of pandemic, water shortage, and ultimately — if we don’t address this soon and hard — mass starvation when we can no longer keep “eating oil” for 9/10ths of our food calories) is a massive decline in human population world-wide.

    Anyway, do you think are poisoning ourselves directly with the petrochemicals and plastics in particular? The human life-span seems, on average, to suggest we are getting better and better at being “healthy”. And yet there is this considerable sterility problem I am noticing among those couples who actually want to have a child or more in the US but, for various reasons, seem to be physically incapable of propagating. And I keep coming back to the chemical soup we have fouled our own nests with.

    And, given that some of these things – the plastics in particular – are such unknowns and so long-lived, I’m wondering if even after population adjusts to lower resources we might be stuck with an inability to propagate under any circumstances? Has that thought ever occurred to you? More than a few sf stories have posited that for various reasons. But, while I used to be hopeful sf could warn us of dangers, I find myself discouraged as we make one classic sf/horror mistake after another.

  238. @ Inohuri,
    Thanks for the links to the fire and “old normal” articles!

    Here in Spokane, solar won’t work for most of the year: too cloudy and/or the sun is too low in the sky for 8 or more months. The Yakima Valley and TriCities areas could extend that maybe a month or so, as they’re not as cloudy. Also, all of Washington is too far north for solar to be worth much in the darker 6 months of the year. I’m reminded of the many posts discussing this very topic that Chris from Fernglade has had on his blog, and he’s about as far south as maybe Salem, Oregon is north. So, darn, eastern Washington can use solar for smelting only about the same times as Seattle can.

    DJSpo

  239. JMG,

    I guess the point I was trying to make was “Earth’s transition might be a human’s new normal.”

    I should know better than to have liquid in my mouth when I read the comments. Your “That which does not kill us makes us grumpy” got my computer screen a much deserved cleaning by the time I was done cleaning up the mess.

    DJSpo

  240. @BF

    I too have been studying JMG’s Druid Magic Handbook/Druidry Handbook. I am not claiming any expertise, however, you mentioned the Ogham stuff, specifically: “I also feel I need it, even though I cannot point to any concrete prediction obtained thanks to the divination.”

    Some specific examples of what I believe my Ogham tiles are trying to convey: A recent Ogham reading I drew predicted a weather change from hot, parched, yet humid to cool and rainy. The Ogham tile I drew was Mor, or the sea, which I have come to understand in short as a sea change, or overall shift in seasons.

    Another specific Ogham: Beith ill-dignified, which signifies I am either beginning too many new projects and spreading myself too thin or repeating a mistake from the past. Quiert predicts a relaxing day or much needed time to read and do chores; ill-dignified means having no apparent choice but to work to exhaustion.

    All of this was discovered through discursive meditation, two or three sessions per letter, so my interpretation of specific tree letters likely will not match yours or anyone else’s.

    One book JMG recommends in The Druidry Handbook is Paul Rhys Mountfort’s Ogam: The Celtic Oracle of Trees. I heartily second that recommendation. It’s not a perfect match for JMG’s system, however, the way Mountfort ties Druid, Irish, and Celtic myth to plainclothes analysis of the tree letters has served to train my mind.

    Someday, a day that is probably a long day from now, I fancy writing own book on Ogham interpretation. That is a long, long way off, as I only began studying them a few months ago. Generally, I find Ogham are much gentler in their messages than Tarot cards — I have taken a mini-break from actively working with my Thoth deck while studying Druid magic — however, they can be extremely specific and blunt when needed, and once they’ve even poked fun at me, though that’s a story too long and personal for explanation.

  241. @J.L.Mc12

    Landline phone is easy.

    Back in the day when it was illegal to own your own phone and you had to lease one from Ma Bell I got curious as to how it worked and went to the library about 1970. There was nothing there.

    My understanding is that it requires a low voltage DC for the signal (battery) and a higher voltage AC (hand crank magneto) for the ring. A single wire and a good ground might be enough between phones. For a small network – a few farms – a switchboard is not needed, people would ring in different patterns (and then everyone would listen in). This would be a big boost in communication and security.

    There were womaned (never heard a man do it) switchboards through at least the 1970s and I ran one in the 1980s (and hated it – I was always screwing up and cutting people off – they would get sooooo upset). A telephone operator is a great security device. She would have an idea what needed done and where people were in an emergency. I met a woman who grew up in rural upstate New York and she said all she had to do if lost was pick up a phone and say to the operator “I want my mommy.” and she was connected.

    I read an article that said that Hezbollah used a wired phone network especially in tunnels in southern Lebanon. It is possible to tap such a network but there are ways to detect the tap. It is effective, the Israelis don’t like it and a politician tried to make it illegal (because it wasn’t licensed) and failed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone#Basic_principles

  242. John,

    In your Cancer ingress post you mentioned the possibility of Trump and Congress decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level as a way to split the Democrats from their minority base. I felt at the time that if Trump was to push that, he hold back on it until the right time at the 2020 election. However, given the current evolving situation with Cohn and Weisselberg, I wouldn’t be surprised now that he does do it for this election.

    We shall of course see, but if so, what a great call!

  243. @ inohuri

    Re carbon taxes, tariffs, etc.

    The point of the entire exercise, however, would be to create a self-reliant national economy properly incorporating the cost of fossil fuels and supporting the wellbeing of the citizenry. Slowing down, consuming less, employing humans rather than robots, etc. Disengaging from the broader global economy, which is still dependent on those fossil fuels, would be a necessary step to construct the kind of system we’d need to better navigate the decline of industrialism. Trump is not seeking that goal — to my knowledge, no politician has espoused it — but tariffs are a necessary tool, nonetheless. We wouldn’t need to worry about competitiveness with other nations because we wouldn’t be competing or trading with them to any significant extent. Instead, we’d be producing our own goods and services for our own consumption using our own resources (sustainably) and our own labor (paid a living wage). To the extent we could manage that (and I have few illusions as to its political feasibility), we’d be in far better shape as the rest of the globe battles over the remaining scraps of resources in a frenzied attempt to keep the machine going just a bit longer.

  244. @breanna Hi, Breanna, as someone who has recently visited, I love Austin. There’s a lot of positive energy in that city, even though it’s being turned upside down by the giant money hose that is pointed straight at it right now.

  245. Mike, sure. Energy does indeed tend to build up in the genital center and associated energy channels if you don’t have the opportunity to release it. How much trouble this will give you depends on personal factors — some people have a lot of energy flow in the sexual circuits, some have very little, some have none at all (I suspect this is one of the factors in asexuality). One thing you can do, if it’s problematic, is to sit down on a chair far enough forward that your back doesn’t touch the chair back, hands on knees, spine straight but not stiff. Breathe slowly and rhythmically for a while. Then imagine a channel that runs up the midline of your body, forward of the spine, from your perineum (the area between your genitals and your anus) straight up to the crown of your head. Spend a while relaxing that channel. Then imagine the excess sexual energy as golden light, rising up the channel until it fountains out through the top of your head and streams out and down through your aura, energizing and invigorating it. Keep up the visualization as long as it seems helpful, being sure to keep the channel relaxed — this helps keep blockages from happening. Do it no more than once a day.

    Robert, fair enough, but I’m still not seeing the value of the label. As a Christian, you could make better use of the seven deadly sins as an explanatory framework; they’re attitudes rather than actions, and so give a helpful framework for making sense of what’s going on. Taking your hypothetical person as an example, it’s easy to see how the first probability-world involves the virtue of charity (the Latin word caritas is so much more useful here, but we’ll let it pass) while the second involves the sin of wrath.

    The reason I balk at the term “evil” is perhaps best displayed by the way that the Democrats here are doing their level best not to understand what happened in the 2016 election. As far as they’re concerned, everyone who voted for Trump is evil, and the Democrats’ use of that term absolves them (in their imagination) of any need to pay attention to the real and significant reasons that drove so many Americans to vote for so unprepossessing a candidate! So instead of figuring out what went wrong and then how to fix it, they’ve barricaded themselves inside their own self-righteous rage, and just keep doubling down on the same mistakes. I’ve seen that happen so many times when people say “well, [insert person here] is just evil” that I’ve become suspicious of the concept itself.

    Discwrites, I’ll consider it — but you can also learn mundane astrology and cast the charts for yourself, you know!

    Denys, can you document the claim that most of the mass shooters are registered Democrats?

    Bradley, if it were actually sustainable, people would be installing it right and left without having to be bribed by government subsidies. The fact that solar PV only seems to be financially viable if there are subsidies suggests to me that no, it’s not sustainable, and quite possibly never will be. (On the other hand, using less energy is always sustainable!)

    Booklover, yeah, we’re getting that sort of thing over here too. It’s really quite embarrassing.

    Tripp, and here I thought a book with that title was going to be full of fake news, propaganda, and outright lies… 😉

    Jade Dragon, have you found that that approach works well?

    Phil K., it’s been a long time since I last read any of Grant’s work; since I’m not at all a fan of Aleister Crowley, and Grant’s approach derives from that of the Not-so-great Beast, it’s never been something I’ve been that motivated to look into. I recall that some of his accounts of magical workings read very much like Lovecraft’s short stories!

    Tripp, okay, fair enough. I’m always horrified when somebody does something that drastic in response to what looks like a misunderstanding; still, if you were thinking about that yourself, I won’t be as troubled.

    BF, delighted to hear it! First of all, the training you’ve started is a long slow process, and it’s going to take a while before you get more than very occasional bursts of magic. You literally have to transform the entire way you experience the world, and you’re doing it in the teeth of childhood programming and the entire structure of modern consciousness, so it’s not something that can be done quickly.

    As far as a source of inspiration and guidance, I host a weekly Ask Me Anything session on my Dreamwidth journal every Monday, where people ask me questions about occultism and I answer. Quite a few people who are working with my books take part in that, so you may find it useful.

    As for the Ogham, the most important thing to do with each day’s reading is to go back over it the next day and see whether you can figure out what it was trying to tell you. It may be a while before you figure out much of anything, but keep at it; bit by bit you’ll pick up the knack of interpreting the fews.

    Millicently, I wasn’t a great fan of that book. Like almost everything out of the academic scene about occultism, it’s heavy on assumptions and academic politics. Somebody really does need to do a good basic introduction to occultism, with chapters explaining things like magic, alchemy, astrology, and so on. I have a sinking feeling that it’s probably going to have to be me…

    Teresa, you’re welcome and thank you!

    Will, how fascinating. I haven’t encountered people who insist loudly that reincarnation is bunk — although it’s probably true that they steer clear of archdruids!

    Booklover, (1) I have no idea; I’ve never used any of those sites, so don’t have a clear sense of how people will deal. (2) In some cases it’s possible that you’re right. Not every question has an answer!

    J.L.Mc12, depends on the availability of the necessary raw materials for the land lines. The technology’s very simple, but you need a lot of cable…

    Jean-Vivien, those are good questions I don’t have the necessary knowledge to answer, and I’m unlikely to get it; if someone put a microchip in me, I’d remove it if I had to do so with a pocketknife.

    Juan Pablo, there are several ways to do the circulation, and different people find different versions more or less effective. If you feel that you’d be better off doing the circulations around the outside of the entire body, by all means.

    Justin, I could see it.

  246. Tude, it’s possible that you were one. A hundred fifty years ago there were a lot more horses in the world and a lot fewer people, and the souls that were in those horses had to go somewhere…

    Gnat, my apologies! 😉 As for plastics, yes, we’re doing a fine job of poisoning ourselves. Fortunately natural selection is good at dealing with issues like that; those people who can keep on having babies despite the chemical mess will be responsible for producing the next generation, and those who can’t, of course, will not.

  247. DJSpo, the question is purely a matter of how much change happens how quickly, and that, I think, no one has any way of knowing. Glad to hear I contributed to your computer cleaning! 😉

    John, we’ll see. There’s a bill that would hand over cannabis regulation to the states which will be coming up for consideration this fall, though, so that’s one option.

  248. Dear John Michael Greer,

    Thank you for your response. You write: “Somebody really does need to do a good basic introduction to occultism, with chapters explaining things like magic, alchemy, astrology, and so on. I have a sinking feeling that it’s probably going to have to be me…”

    Indeed, and I hope that you will. It would fill an abyss of a gap. From what I have found, while books on these various subjects are easy to find, there is very, very little literature that is at once authoritative and can provide historical context and perspective.

    And to Robert Mathiesen, Thank you also for your response. (And for the chuckle; I know exactly what you mean about the deadly-dull prose as status badge in certain academic circles. I call it noodathipious fluffer-muffer.)

    Patricia Mathews mentioned Horowitz’s OCCULT AMERICA, which I too can warmly recommend. It is a serious, well-researched, and well-written book.

    Attentively,

    MILLICENTLY LURKING

  249. @John Roth “…all the evidence we have for reincarnation comes from material that pops up during some form of meditation…”

    Actually there is a huge amount of evidence in the parapsychology/psychical research literature, usually referred to as “cases of the reincarnation type” (CORT), which number in the thousands.
    These can be “just” verifiable memories of a previous life, often revealed when a child has learned to speak, and/or they may include birthmarks/birth defects associated with the death of the previous personality.
    For example, from _Irreducible_Mind_ (Kelly & Kelly eds, 2007), pg 233
    Hanumant Saxena from India, born with a large cluster of hypopigmented (ie. LOSS of skin color) birthmarks on his chest. Several weeks before his conception, a man in his village was killed with a shotgun blast to the chest. Hanumant’s mother saw the body, and had an “announcing dream” intimating that the dead man would be reborn through her. “Between the ages of 3 and 5, Hanumant spoke as if he were this man”

    Going from memory here, there’s another case direct from Ian Stevenson’s 1997 2 volume, 2,268 page book on these birthmark/birth defect cases of two Druze brothers were killed in post-election violence. One was reborn 3 days later, and the other a week later. Now the Druze believe in instant reincarnation, so depending on your perspective, this was slow, or very fast reincarnation. One brother had a birth defect and the other a set of birthmarks, both of which matched the wounds that killed them. Dr Stevenson was able to examine the police and hospital records of the dead previous personalities, and the medical records of the birth defect repair (the brain membrane was protruding from the skull of the infant). Both (new) children remembered life in their previous village and people there.

    There are several hundred of these birthmark/birth defect cases.

    My take from these cases is that when/how long in spirit depends on the choice of the soul/spirit.

    From studying these cases, it seems that increased rate of memory of previous personality is correlated with a sudden or violent death, though this is not always the case.

    Again from memory, there is a case in _Twenty_Cases_Suggestive_Of_Reincarnation_ (Ian Stevenson), there is a case where two fairly young (like 6-8 year old or so) boys died of infectious illness, and the higher caste one “stepped into” in the body of the lower caste other, and refused to eat the lower caste food, so a neighbor had to cook for the new personality. He demanded to be taken “home” and they eventually found the parents of his previous body in another town.

    For a good accessible overview, I recommend reading _Life_Before_Life by Dr Jim Tucker.
    http://www.jimbtucker.com/life-before-life.html

    _Irreducible_Mind_ is a good (though large) reference of all kinds of psi and related phenomenon.

    There is also some evidence of reincarnation from mediumship/channeling, though typically not as verifiable as CORT.

  250. Dear JMG, This this an Open Post, so please allow me to step outside my own comfort zone. I recently tripped over the following link: https://logosmedia.com/2013/05/manufacturing-the-deadhead-a-product-of-social-engineering-by-joe-atwill-and-jan-irvin/
    I have no idea if the perspective offered is true, but I find it believable.
    What if the CIA’s infamous Project MK-ULTRA, in which the organization had given LSD to unsuspecting U.S. citizens was also involved in the creation of the “drug culture.” I read Dave McGowan’s book, Weird Scenes Inside The Canyon, it researched the drug and music movement that had come out of Laurel Canyon in the 1960‘s, it showed that many of the “rock idols” who created it were the children of members of military intelligence. For example Jim Morrison of the Doors was the son of George Stephen Morrison commander of the U.S. naval forces in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident of August 1964. If the above linked essay is true, isn’t possible that the opioid epidemic is intentional? I don’t believe in unintended consequence; I assume all consequences are intentional until proven otherwise. Please lay my suspicions at rest.

  251. Dear John,
    Actually if I knew my money was genuinely going to make things better for the poor I wouldn’t mind in the least having a great deal less. Unfortunately I have been around long enough how that would play out. It would become a wealth building exercise for someone.

  252. Hey again jmg
    If it took 2-3 million years for humans to evolve, and the average lifespan for a species is 10 million, isn’t there a chance that humanity will at some point coexist with another developing intelegant species? Kind of like a less biodiverse, less Disney zootopia?

  253. Beekeeper in Vermont, your report about the German acquaintances is interesting. It is not easy to gauge the degree to which the status quo is accepted or loathed, because of the propaganda in the press. In my case, my acquaintances don’t like the AfD; they accept the status quo as the only way things can be. They are not nasty and don’t make hateful remarks about other people and the like, but they are fixated to a certain degree on Donald Trump, especially my father. In my hometown, the AfD got 20% during the last election for the city government.

  254. What are your thoughts on the belief in some quarters that regular practice of the LBRP, without a concurrent use of the invoking form of the Pentagram ritual, actually closes you off from the magical/spiritual plane, and can have a detrimental effect on finances (and other things associated with the Earth element)?

    Ben

  255. re: registered Democrats as mass shooters – honestly this is something I read on Reddit and I would need to do my own research of each person who made the media blitz.

    I’m in an upside down emotional state. My oldest daughter started college Wednesday, and my heart is just breaking not having her here as part of the family. Each day I think “its got to feel better today” and it doesn’t. Between her celiac and her Aspergers, I switch my worry back and forth between her eating well and her making friends. Then I stop the worry enough to land on “she is adult and this is her life and we raised her well-enough I hope she can make good decisions.” My plan today is to just be outside pulling weeds from the overgrown garden and exhausting myself physically so it matches my brain.

    I know how this community view college, so I’m feeling like I shouldn’t be posting here anymore because I’m not really one of you in some sense.

    I apologize for making inflammatory remarks into the comments thread that I can’t back up with facts. Thanks everyone for not lashing back.

    Thank you for your replies about writing. I’ve been thinking about it for what feels like forever and it sounds like just getting to work is what I need to do. We need a second income and I’ve tried various things along the years. I don’t want to be away from the house 8-10 hours a day because its impossible for me to live low-energy, garden, etc if both of us have so little time at home. It will be all meals out and driving.

  256. I was lucky enough not to have anything in my mouth when I saw “That which does not kill us makes us grumpy.” I then saw DJSpo talking about computer cleaning and laughed a bit…..

    “The Not-so Great Beast” sent tea all over my computer. So, anyone else getting JMG’s help with computer cleaning? 😉

  257. Good morning, Mr. Greer.
    Reading the comments on this blog remind me that there is more information on the internet and the sum total of all publications in English than I can possibly read and process. Some of them are wrong, some of them are not, and I could be mistaken about which fact is which.

    An intellectual puzzle: How to assign a “value” to a human being? (I’m afraid this is very much a reaction to the traditional “right to life” Republicans who assign a very high value to unborn children, but are willing to invest little in health care or education as the child grows up.)

    Possibility #1. Humans are valuable based on the work they do. So, if I make breakfast, or chop wood, or come up with a plan for a hostile corporate takeover, I have value, but if I sleep late or spend my time binge-watching Netflix, i don’t have value.

    Possibility #2. Humans are innately valuable, no matter what. So, no matter how obnoxious/violent/inconsiderate/destructive the person…

    Well, I may not be the most diligent student, but I do remember something about looking for a third option even if you start with the understanding that you are looking at polar opposites.

    Possibility #3. Humans are valuable based on their relationships with other humans. So, if I make breakfast for someone, that’s a relationship. If I am kind, or offer good advice, or fix things on request, that’s a sort of relationship. (figure-ground-inversion. The relationship has the value, not the person?)

    I am trying to come up with a mental framework that lets me deal with other people as if they have some value in the grand scheme of things (whatever that is) despite the fact that in a lot of routine social interactions, I feel like I’m some sort of speed bump for the other person.

    What is the next question I need to ask that will have this all make more sense than it does now?

  258. JMG
    Kate Raworth (she of ‘doughnut economics’, which I do not understand) sent round an email yesterday about a crowd-sourced 300 entry list for a ‘change the world’ bookshelf. Original idea from British seaside bookshop owner who was thinking of a new shelf for his summer crowd – including Kate. Her twitterati did the rest.
    List closed but you are on it; ‘Wealth of Nature’ is themed (no. 38) alongside Paul Kingsnorth and not far from Satish Kumar.
    The more explanatory pdf link, which includes categorization by theme, has problems but they might get fixed so here it is https://www.dropbox.com/s/pcmjdvox1tj87zn/Seaside%20Reads%20to%20Change%20the%20World%20Fin%20%281%29.pdf?dl=0

    but googlesheets link works https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BR2ZZYQPwi__1xsyjLySzb9GyF6qM6rJKVvbJ1ifyDA/edit?usp=sharing

    best
    Phil H

  259. “Tripp, and here I thought a book with that title was going to be full of fake news, propaganda, and outright lies… 😉”

    Ha! Yeah, the sensational title and cover art, which he posits as a sure sign of propaganda in the book btw, caught my attention on the library shelves, and I picked it up to see just how bad a job Mr. Barclay had done. I definitely wasn’t disappointed…

    I’ve gotten spoiled over the years by your logical consistency!

  260. JMG, I wouldn’t say that this approach works well, no. Uranus has just entered my 11th house and is trine my natal sun — I am expecting changes in my social scene, all to the good!

  261. J.L.Mc12 – re: landline sustainability. As others have noted, the technology isn’t hard to produce or maintain. On the other hand, neither is a paved road. In both cases, you need to have an organization with a span of control to prevent your poles and wires, or cobblestones, from being vandalized or stolen for other purposes. The theft of landline infrastructure is one of the factors in the popularity of wireless telephony in developing countries. Radio, on the other hand, allows communication over a lawless no-man’s-land. Radio also offers communications between parties “of no fixed address”, whether actually on-the-move or seasonally nomadic. Also, even when our local service was provided by twisted-pairs of copper wire, the long-distance links were often carried by microwave beams, so high-quality voice communications may only be sustainable within urban areas.

    BTW: Listening to NPR’s On The Media this morning, they replayed an interview from 2011 with a journalist contemplating various apocalyptic scenarios, and “ham radio” was a part of his response.

  262. JMG – Last night, my wife and I took a stroll on the nicely paved path around a pond in a nearby park. The only graffiti on the trail was a huge, well-drawn face-on image of a sitting frog wearing a crown. Hmmm.

  263. JMG, on this past Magic Monday you made comment on a woman who had remarkably good energy after meditating on the Bible daily for decades. I’m curious, have you known other people who have done the same thing with different texts to comparable effect?

    Could some one do the same thing, say, with a chapter of The Cosmic Doctrine each morning? If so what deity would one invoke to ask for understanding? Would the LBRP and Middle Pillar be workable substitutes for the Lord’s Prayer?

    Likewise, could one do the same thing with a profane text? I’ve considered doing the same thing with Odum and Odum’s Fundamentals of Ecology, perhaps invoking Gaia, or Hermes for understanding. Do you think that this could help develop the sort of spiritual potency that consistent Bible study apparently can? Or is it crucially important to use a more mythic, rather than secular, text?

  264. Have you every heard of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy? I am reading a book of his (“I am an Impure Thinker”) and in some ways he reminds me of your blog. I first heard about him when I took a religious studies class as an undergraduate.

    I am currently reading his essay “Modern Man’s Disintegration and the Egyptian Ka” and I suspect you might like it.

  265. Re: gender dysphoria

    My wife asked me yesterday what the opposite of gender dysphoria would be, and I said that I assumed it would be gender euphoria. Then she said, why don’t we ever hear about that? And I, being me, turned to her and said, well I’m pretty excited about being a man! And I’m pretty excited about your womanhood too! Probably rather more often than you care for!! 😝

    Seriously though, if the gods work through humans, and the planet is officially groaning under the weight of human numbers and impact, isn’t there a good chance that the gods might be monkeying with genders and the prevalence of homosexuality and asexuality, in other words non-procreative lifestyles or attitudes, in a bid to curb and reverse human numbers?

    Ian Stevenson noted from his studies of reincarnation that gender switching between incarnations only occurs about 5% of the time. And those individuals almost always exhibited gender dysphoria in their new bodies.

    If the shoe fits…

  266. @ John Roth

    Re states as administrative districts

    With due respect, I fundamentally disagree. States are indeed separate units of governenment, sovereign within their own spheres. There are aspects of governance where the federal government does not have jurisdiction, areas that lie within state control (retail sales of electricity, for example, or intra-state commerce generally). One example in my industry is ERCOT, the electric reliability council of Texas, which is a transmission interconnection separate from the Eastern and Western grids and which lies entirely within the boundaries of Texas; it is not subject to federal control.

    States have their own constitutions. Their borders cannot be altered without their consent. They are the fundamental building blocks of the Union, a fact frequently overlooked today. As I mentioned previously, their equal representation in the Senate cannot be altered by amendment and they, not a national plebiscite or Congress, have the final say as to constitutional changes. That is how the nation was designed and how the Constitution was written, however disregarded that fact has become as the centralization of empire occurred.

    With regard to personnal affiliations, my experience is quite different. I have a certain fondness for South Carolina, even though I couldn’t live their again. I’ve grown rather fond of Wisconsin, even though folks up here don’t know what grits are. I lived in Colorado for a time, but never felt at home there and realized that I belonged east of the Mississippi. Each state has its unique history, culture, and essence. “Administrative district” doesn’t even approach an appropriate description.

  267. Haven’t read all the comments….maybe this has been addressed somehow, but want to throw it into the mix…a different take on aspects of ‘magic’… from Ran Prieur’s Aug 4th blog post:

    “On a tangent from the last post, a reader mentions that Carl Jung wasn’t much into psychedelics, because “he felt that the more we learn about the collective unconscious, the more responsibility we have to act, and it was perhaps only a few who were capable of action.”

    That reminds me of something I heard, maybe in a Terence McKenna talk, about how there are all these entities around us all the time, and they mostly don’t care about us — but if you learn to see them, then they notice that you see them, and you have to learn deal with them. And that reminds me of my own discovery (through cannabis) that most communication happens on subtle levels beneath words, levels on which I still don’t even feel competent….”

  268. Regarding reincarnation and animals

    I find this thread of conversation rather intriguing. Something I’ve noticed with the kids I had been helping teach, my own children, and their friends, is how many of them exhibit such a strong interest in behaving like animals. Even into their fifth and sixth years they enjoy crawling around on their knees to such an extent that many more pairs of their jeans have holes in them than I ever remember having in my own jeans, and that memory is something my mom shares. The two animals which the kids seem most interested in behaving as are dogs and horses.

    Another thing to note, and I can’t find the article right at this moment but I’ll search for it as time permits, but there was a Waldorf education article posted I believe on Waldorf Today and elsewhere which also had noticed that today’s kids prefer to bend at the knees less, and try harder to put on their shoes with their feet instead of their hands, indicating a bit more interest and familiarity with using their feet. Perhaps some connection to a past animal life?

  269. Hans and JMG,

    If I may hazard my estimation of Insane Clown Posse:

    They represent in (or near) mainstream media an otherwise unrepresented demographic, and champion that demographic, glorifying a culture that is otherwise popular to demonize and ridicule. They themselves are demonized and ridiculed publicly and popularly, and keep making their music despite this, acting as avatars and role models for their demographic.

    Thus I see them, like Trump, as tapping into a potent pre-existing current of energy. Granted I think they were always a part of that current by being part of the culture it empowers, but my point is that their magic is much larger than them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if their success – like the chans’ success in the kek wars – is the product of an archetype’s magic, rather than them being producers of magic themselves.

  270. JMG, Climate change activists say the Earth has not been this warm for 125,000 years. Climate change deniers say it was warmer during Medieval Warm Period (950 – 1250). Who is correct? Thank you.

  271. JMG,
    Thanks for the aura cleansing excercise. While reading it sounds like you’ll be giving yourself a golden shower or ejaculating on yourself, the exercise itself had an interesting effect. I felt a tingling sensation in the back of my neck, up by the last vertebrae and near the base of the skull. It was quite pleasant. Can’t say I felt a huge relief to the genital area, but I’ll do it again after more than a day has passed and see if there is a cumulative effect. Is the sensation at the base of the skull a normal feeling for this exercise? Thank you!

    Mike T

  272. I am foregoing my usual username in this post for privacy reasons.

    I’m a Scorpio – My partner’s Cancer

    How does one reconcile dating/courtship these days when both parties come from completely different social classes? My parter comes from the upper middle/upper class. I mean one of those families that has multiple houses, owns multiple companies etc. and I am just barebones middle class.

    I know it shouldn’t matter. But gold bricks are, I think, the worst kind of brick to have hanging over our heads. And I if they fall I know my partner at the very least will be trapped. I’ll get by no matter what.

  273. Millicently, I’ll certainly consider it. I’ve just finished compiling an anthology of all my magical essays and articles from the 1990s, titled The City of Hermes — it’ll be released by Aeon Books next year, along with a companion volume of my most popular talks and lectures from the magical conference circuit, A Magical Education. Both volumes include a fair number of essays on the history and nature of occultism, so I’m kind of thinking along those lines just now.

    By the way, “noodathipious fluffer-muffer” is a keeper!

    Peter, my general rule is “never blame on conspiracy what can be explained by stupidity.” I’d caution you about the notion that all consequences are intentional; on the one hand, human beings simply aren’t smart enough to foresee more than a few obvious consequences of their actions, and routinely get even those wrong; on the other, the idea that every consequence must be intentional is a ticket to paranoia, and I mean that in the full clinical sense of the term.

    A Reader, there are a lot of tough moral choices in life, and very few of them have simple answers applicable to every situation. I consider abortion to be something about which each woman, when confronted with that choice, has to make up her own mind — and since I don’t have a womb and therefore will never have to face that decision, it’s not something about which I see any point in talking at length.

    JillN, I’m far from sure I agree with that. My wife and I donate a chunk of our income to certain charities that help people who have very little money — for example, the Scottish Rite speech and language clinics, which provide free treatment for children with speech and language problems, and primarily serve poor and working class families — and it’s not too hard to find out, if you’re interested, which organizations are ripoffs and which use the money they receive to actually help people. If equality matters to you, that’s one way you can help further it, you know.

  274. If you can find it—at least in the U.S., it’s 30 years out of print—read Ian Wilson’s look at reincarnation, multiple personality, hypnosis, cryptomnesia, and a whole lot of associated interesting things. He has a lengthy analysis of the case of the two sets of Pollock twins in England. The first set were run over and killed at the age of 6 in the late ‘50’s. Their father insisted they’d be reincarnated—and so they were, several years later. The family was Roman Catholic so it’s not like the 2nd set were coached or primed in any way. Wilson suggests a possible explanation that I have never seen discussed anywhere else.

    The book was published in the U.S. as All In The Mind and in Britain as Mind Out Of Time? (The ? is part of the title.)

  275. JMG — I attended an event at the local Scottish Rite Temple yesterday. Nothing esoteric, it was an organization for older adult education. But I couldn’t help noticing a row of parking spaces reserved for the Speech and Language clinic.

  276. @ Denys

    Re daughters growing up, starting college, and generally not being one’s little girls anymore

    I so totally get where you are coming from. The transition is a process, I can tell you.

  277. Hello JMG,

    There was some mention a little while back of publishing the Dolmen Arch course material in two volumes. Is that still proceeding?

    thanks!
    Bonnie

  278. J.L.Mc12, we already do. All the evidence I’ve seen suggests that whales and dolphins are at least as intelligent as we are.

    Ben, it’s certainly the case that if someone practiced the standard Golden Dawn version of the LBRP all by itself, without the Middle Pillar exercise or any of the other ordinary magical practices of the GD system, they might end up having trouble with things related to the Earth element — but by the same token, they’d be more likely to have access to spiritual and magical realities, not less, since moving away from Earth moves you closer to Spirit. If you practice the LBRP in its classic form with the Middle Pillar exercise, though, you won’t have that problem, because the LBRP moves you away from the Earth element but the Middle PIllar ends by bringing magical energies right back down to earth in the Malkuth center.

    The version of the LBRP that features in my book The Celtic Golden Dawn, and will be included in future books of polytheist ceremonial magic, skips the entire issue by not using a banishing of Earth as a general banishing. That’s something that comes out of the GD’s essentially Christian orientation — “quit the material and seek the spiritual” — and isn’t appropriate to a Druidical or other polytheist approach. Mind you, the version I use could also unbalance you if you practiced it all by itself, without the exercise of the Central Ray (my version of the Middle Pillar) and the rest of the training program.

    Denys, for heaven’s sake, you’re welcome to post here whether or not you agree with everything I (or anyone else here) happen to agree with. Your posts have been uniformly polite and thoughtful, and that’s all I ask. I’m sorry to hear you’re having a rough time of it — I can see how stressful that must be! I’m confident your daughter will be fine, though — I know a lot of people with Aspergers who did really well at college, and some of them I would have expected to do much worse.

    As for writing, I’d encourage you to give it a shot. These days, with the print-on-demand publishing revolution in full swing, it’s much easier to get into print than it used to be, and I can vouch for the advantages of a fifteen-second commute from the breakfast table. 😉

    Will, just one of the services I offer!

    Sylvia, the questions that come to my mind all have to do with the concept of value. For example, is value an objective quality that can be measured in some non-subjective way, or is it a subjective experience that varies from person to person?

    Phil H., fascinating! Thank you for letting me know.

    Tripp, I may have to go look at a library copy one of these days, That sounds fun, in a put-on-your-waders-and-head-for-the-swamp kind of sense. 😉

    Jade Dragon, it should be wild ride. Enjoy!

    Lathechuck, hmm indeed. Hmm very seriously indeed…

    Violet, the only people I know who’ve gotten that result have used a religious text and combined it with meditation and prayer. Still, it may be that they’re the only ones who’ve tried it…

    Ray, the Second, no, I haven’t. I’ll put him on the look-at list.

    Tripp, I rather like the concept of gender euphoria! As for gender switching between lives, hmm. As best I recall, I’ve alternated gender pretty consistently between lives, and I know of other cases of the same kind; on the other hand, Stevenson was mostly dealing with people who were reborn fast enough to have memories splashed over in childhood, and that’s a bit of a specialized subset.

    Nancy, that sounds very much like Terence McKenna! Among the problems with using psychedelic drugs to force temporary clairvoyance, rather than using spiritual practices to ripen your own abilities in a natural way, are (1) that you encounter whatever entities happen to inhabit the levels of being on which you resonate most strongly, and they may not be the kind of entities you want to hang around with, and (2) you may not have the capacities you need to relate consciously with those beings, so the kind of subliminal communication McKenna talks about may be the best you can manage.

    Prizm, interesting. It makes sense that we’d be seeing a lot of former dogs and horses, as there were a lot more of them in the not too distant past than there are today — working dogs, like working horses, are a lot rarer than they were — and their close relationships with human beings might well facilitate moving on into human bodies.

    Alexander, and that’s the sort of thing to be expected when you get the kind of psychospiritual mess we see in today’s industrial societies.

    Peter, it’s actually a complicated question, as there’s some evidence that the Arctic was less thoroughly iced in during the medieval warm period than it was in the 18th and 19th centuries. Just a week ago I read a book by the famous arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Ultima Thule: Further Mysteries of the Arctic (Macmillan, 1940), which presents quite a bit of historical evidence for a relatively warm period in the Arctic during the Middle Ages. All things considered, the evidence suggests to me that it’s warmer now than it was during the medieval warm period, but not as warm as it was during the Eemian interglacial 115,000 years ago.

    Mike, it does sound like that, doesn’t it? Nonetheless, it works. The tingling sensation at the base of the skull shows that you’ve got some tension-related blockage there; try using your thumbs to rub along the base of your skull, starting just behind your ears and working up and back to the place where the spine roots into the skull, to release some of the tension.

    Once you’ve done it once a day for three or four days, if you don’t get any negative results, you can do it several times a day. It’s going to take a while to drain off all the pent-up energy, but you should feel healthier and more vital pretty much from the start.

    (By the way, if any of my female readers want to do this, the instructions are the same, except that you don’t relax the central channel; you imagine yourself squeezing the energy up the channel, like squeezing toothpaste up from the bottom of the tube. The difference here is rooted in physiology; the male orgasm involves spasmodic relaxation of the genital muscles, while the female orgasm involves spasmodic contractions, and you need to echo that in a deliberate way to get the sexual energies moving.)

    Cities, are you and your partner close enough, and honest enough, with each other to be able to talk about that openly? That’s the one thing I know of that can help.

  279. @ Denys

    Are you considering indie writing then? My husband and I self-publish our books (no traditional publisher would go near us). We’ve got eighteen titles now in our line and this month, August, looks to be a winner financially!

    We’ll make $250 bucks. For the entire month from Amazon. We make almost nothing on any of the other e-platforms.

    Yes, people do make money writing. Very few people make piles of money but you can earn some money, enough to keep the lights on. Or you may earn nothing.

    The keys are to write good books; write lots of them; don’t go ultra-niche (our problem but we’re fixing that); keep your expectations low; and, finally, most importantly:

    Pay attention to your cash flow.

    That is, if you spend several thousand dollars on editing, covers, formatting for both e-pubs and trade paperbacks, then you earn nothing until you pay back those costs.

    Do as much as you can in-house, learn to format your books yourself, and do the best you can with your covers. A good cover can sell your book.

    Best of luck to you.

    Teresa From Hershey

  280. Rita, yep. It’s a very lively and, to my mind, very helpful charitable project. Once my wife and I are both gone, the income from most of my books will go to support it.

    Bonnie, yes, it’s in the design and editing phase. I’ve seen the proofs of the first chapter, and it’s going to be gorgeous.

  281. I know a young woman that, in my unauthorized opinion, is going trough a process of autodestruction caused by her own parents. They misvalored her during childhod. And I wonder if a sigilum could erase the hate from the subconciousness that she feels against her self.

  282. Denys – I’m a little skeptical (to put it politely) that there’s any plausible way to divide the commentariate here in a way that puts you on one side of the fence and all the rest of us on the other. How do we feel about college? Well, I have an MS, one of my sons has a BA but isn’t using it in his blue-collar job, and my other son has a community college certificate (which he isn’t using in his job). It’s all fine with me. We could pay for any education they wanted, but didn’t see any point in pushing them beyond their interests or ability… and I don’t how you could have known that! 😉

    Stick around. I look forward to your posts.

  283. Ok, another question
    Since there’s bound to be a huge increase in fire danger for the next few centuries don’t you think future blacksmith will invest in making forges powered by gas , presumably methane, so they don’t risk sparks from a charcoal forge?

  284. Thanks for the response, JMG!

    Also I wish to weigh in on the gender dysphoria/reincarnation discussion. All of my past life memories which have surfaced have been male. What is relevant is that in the one I remember with the most detail, I was a devoted mystic of Mother Mary. When I finally decided to transition in this life, when all doubt was finally resolved, it was after a goddess came to me and settled the issue.

    As Plotinus points out, eunuchs gather around the Great Mother. If Carl Jung was alive today and was able to witness the transgender scene with its undercurrent of religious frenzy, I imagine he would say that the Great Mother has awoken in the psyche of Western man, and would compare the current frenzy’s many salient similarities to the castration cults of the Classical world.

    It is interesting to note, too, that the priests of Aphrodite were transvestites. Being in the queer scene I’ve noticed a subtle energetic difference between the post-operative trans women and the non-operative, which could be understood perhaps, as a difference of patron goddesses.

    Of course, there are many nasty elements to modern transgenderism, and indeed I’m been critical of them, but nonetheless, given my many experiences with trans-folks, I tend to think that there is something rather deep going on. That is to say, something tending towards the archetypical rather than the personal.

  285. John: I have started reading “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” and so far am quite enjoying it. I was reading it on break at work, and was in danger of losing track of time and getting back to my work station! Tonight will be a reading marathon; no doubt I’ll finish it this week end.

    I’m sure you’ve answered this question multiple times before, so I beg for your patience, but I don’t always have the time to read through the many comments and your answers to them. What are a few of your books (or others) you would recommend as an introduction and explanation on magical/spiritual topics? I have read some books on magic in the past, but that was quite a few years ago. In fact, it was in the 80’s, and some of the things I saw scared me off from a magical path so that I veered back into Christianity for quite a while. Namely, there were warnings that following this way could lead to mental disturbances; and some of the fiction I read on magic/witchcraft bordered on the pornographic side, which I didn’t care for. I know now that there are forces that aren’t to be played with casually and must be followed with care and guidance, and also that one must have knowledge and control of one’s own mental and emotional state when engaging with these forces. And I believe you wrote once about the sexual dynamics of the 80’s magical scene being rather toxic, so I have no problem with simply avoiding that now and brushing it off. This means I’m ready to take a second look at this path (which I’ve started with the Cosmic Doctrine).

    Also, note that above I referred to what many call God or the Gods simply as “forces”. I have to admit I am still an agnostic, though in the sense of not claiming to know or understand what is out there rather than claiming that I doubt anything is out there. I struggle with believing in named Gods, and if these entities exist. But I can recognize that there are forces in the universe/multiverse/other dimensions that are beyond our understanding and that can influence us and work in ways that would stump the pure materialist, that maybe we could understand if we were omniscient. Will this hinder my learning experience on magic? Is this view acceptable to the forces (or Gods, if that is really what they are)?

    Joy Marie

  286. “Amid the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, I perceive a path of kindness. That we are each flawed as humans is what unites us in humanity, and forgiving unites us in grace. Except Trump. F*** that guy.”

    I think the above statement is a good example of the word “hypocrisy”. And it was retweeted by a liberal minister to boot. Double hypocrisy at work.

    Joy Marie

  287. JMG,

    In line with the Kek wars 4 post regarding the channeling of energies from the Catholic mass: surely the priests could benefit from the aura shower exercise if it works the way you have indicated 😉

  288. JMG Thank you for your kind words 😊 I’m feeling better after my 3 mile walk and 5 hours working the garden. Sweating helps my brain!

    I’m going to get myself set up to start writing. Making a space for it helps. Then just start on Monday morning and give myself a goal of 1000 words a day or set number of hours. The writing in one session and editing in another you recommended is going to be essential. I’m my own worst critic!

  289. Hi JMG, i have a question about the tenor of the comments on your blogs. Now and again you’ve come up with an analysis of social forces and trends based on what kinds of questions readers are asking (or refusing to consider) or on the subtext under what we commentariat *think* we’re talking about. So I wonder, akin to your most recent DW post, what are you noticing these days and what’s being revealed to you by your sample population here in the comments section?

    Just curious. 🙂

  290. Lately, I have noticed my atheist acquaintances becoming increasingly strident in their denunciations of all things occult as “woo”. It’s reached a level nearing rabid. Supposedly occult stuff like astrology is responsible for all the wickedness in the world, because it follows a slippery slope to believing in intelligent, non-embodied beings. Do they actually think the $10 late night Tarot reader with the neon sign has the power to utterly ruin the world? Even when I was atheist, I didn’t generally see the occult/pagan/Wiccan people as a threat.

    “Somebody really does need to do a good basic introduction to occultism, with chapters explaining things like magic, alchemy, astrology, and so on. I have a sinking feeling that it’s probably going to have to be me…” It’s only because of JMG’s willingness to bring the above subjects down to Earth in podcasts, blogs, and books that I gained any footing at all in my study of magic after getting frustrated with it in my early twenties and turning to atheism for a while. I’m now 45 and have studied Druid magic for about 9 months. It has irrevocably changed my life.

    It occurs to me that JMG has already put a book’s worth of basic magical education on the internet. Maybe a group of Ecosophists can donate our time gathering the material for such a book from pre-existing JMG blogs, Magic Mondays, podcasts, etc., and then try to arrange it so that JMG does not have to do all the work by himself.

  291. John, I’m glad you’re still answering comments, and I thank you for providing this space, I’m sure it takes plenty of time and hard work to keep it afloat.

    What I was wandering about is your thoughts on the US re imposition of energy sanctions on Iran that’s apparently coming this November. If we are to go by the rhetoric of important officials and the moves by large corporations from all around the world there’s reason to be worried and then some, though there are some noises being made about exemptions. I know you make use not only of media sources but also of ‘mystical’ sources such as divination and astrology. How useful are these sources in informing us about the likelihood of a catastrophe like a war, a famine or a natural disaster? In this vein, I’ve also been wondering if you ever took interest in the apparently wide array of auguries there were all across the Americas of the catastrophe that was to befall the peoples living here during the early modern period.

  292. Hi John,
    Perhaps we are looking at this differently. People have built their own houses for thousands of years. I can’t see this as a peculiarly middle class idea. We waste half the food we produce, a newer phenomenon. People used to own 1 or 2 outfits only not the whole wardrobeful we believe we need now. None of this was flash but it was serviceable. Everyone had somewhere to call home when I was a child so why not now? Societies have always provided the education they believed their young to needed. Certainly not the same as we feel the need for but it was what they wanted. Why are we so incapable?

  293. I just got done watching the remake of Papillon and the scenes with solitary confinement got me thinking: could meditation and practices like journeying/active imagination be used to resist the damaging effects of solitary confinement?

    Of course, it carries the problem of not having any outside support, and meditation isn’t the cure-all our current social trends would have people believe. Some people break trying to rein in their minds. But then that gets into ethical problems: given the damaging effects of our current and past prison systems, would it be better or worse to try and resist and fail than suffer without any attempt at all.

    Would teaching these techniques to people behind bars be a feasible form of magical resistance to one set of the demons plaguing civilization?

  294. Anselmo, before doing anything of the kind, ask her permission. You need to get someone’s consent, always, before doing magic for them.

    J.L.Mc12, probably not, because a charcoal forge will be so much more economical to build and run.

    Violet, Jung might well say that, though he’d probably also wonder whether possession by the anima archetype was involved in some cases — he saw cases of that kind now and again in his work as a psychotherapist. Thanks for the data points!

    Joy Marie, glad to hear it! I’d recommend Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth as a very basic introduction, followed by The Druid Magic Handbook. As for your belief or lack of same about gods, don’t worry about it. It’s only in certain prophetic religions that having the “right” opinions is of any spiritual importance at all. In Druidry, for example, nobody cares what you believe, and that apparently includes the gods and goddesses as well; you can relate to them as forces, archetypes, metaphors, conscious divine beings, or what have you and still follow a Druid path.

    As for the liberal minister, well, I wonder if he’s heard of a guy named Jesus — you know, the guy who said: “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”…

    Mike, they’d have to be doing even more intensive work, because when you’re up there at the altar doing the ceremony, with everyone else in the church focused on what you’re doing and pouring out their emotional energy at you, you end up with an enormous charge of magical-sexual energy. If you know what you’re doing, you can channel that into the ritual and accomplish astonishing things with it; if you don’t, you’d better have a fairly lively sexual outlet or you’re going to snap.

    Denys, delighted to hear it — on both accounts. I also tend to walk off stress and troubled thoughts — a nice five mile walk with some hills en route will clear away a grumpy mood like few other things. As for writing, go for it!

    Temporaryreality, I’m frankly impressed by the number of people who rose to the occasion and grappled with the fairly difficult concepts I’ve been presenting of late. Maybe I’ve chased off those who aren’t willing to do that, but my weekly stats are doing very well these days. The one thing that’s clear to me is that a lot more people are open to thinking about spiritual and magical realities than I’d expected — and that strikes me as a very good thing.

    Kimberly, fascinating. I didn’t know that the shrillness level was increasing to that extent. That’s actually a good sign, as it shows that the dogmatic materialists realize, on some level, that they’re losing. As for compiling stuff, thank you, but I love to write, and I’m already starting to think about how a good introductory book on occultism for the general reader would best be organized and written…

    Lorenzo, the sanctions on Iran are part of a broader move to allow the division of the world into competing blocs, in place of the global American imperium we’ve been trying and failing to maintain. China isn’t going to stop buying Iranian crude oil and natural gas, and China’s the world’s biggest market; other nations in the emerging Russo-Chinese bloc will follow suit, and that gives the US an excuse to cut military and foreign aid to those nations. In September, I’ll be discussing the Libra ingress chart, which will provide an astrological snapshot of the following six months; we’ll discuss the rest of the details then.

    JillN, it’s not that we’re incapable. It’s that we’ve allowed our society to divide into a privileged minority — basically, the middle classes and above — who wallow in extravagance, and an increasingly impoverished majority, whose standards of living decline steadily to make it possible for the privileged to indulge themselves. That’s why it’s crucial right now for those of us in the privileged classes to recognize our responsibility to the majority and respond to it by directing a substantial portion of our own wealth to the benefit of those less fortunate. That used to be called noblesse oblige, and it’s well past time that it be revived.

    Jean-Pierre, yes, very much so!

  295. Yes =) I’ve told my partner about this blog and we both read your books and seem to be of a similar mindset there.

    At the very least I know my partners parents are going to have pitchforks at the door one of these days because of a certain company that’s trying to unionize.

  296. Jmg, do you read anything of David brins blogposts? If you ignore the “dross” he does seem to have some interesting ideas, particularly about political reforms.

  297. @Kimberly Steele: I’ve noticed that as well. One example is that my mom and dad both stopped believing in anything like Christianity long before I was born, but they’ve always said grace when my grandparents did, had no issue going to church for family occasions, etc–whereas the Last Ex (a great admirer of Dawkins) always gave the impression of being about to make a scene whenever anyone mentioned God, and only not doing so for my sake.

    I think, as well as what JMG says, the success of the New Atheist authors/speakers has emboldened people to be way more confrontational about this sort of thing, as has an annoying trend in my generation toward “radical honesty” and “being yourself” which tends to translate into getting up in everyone’s faces and not considering the appropriateness of time or place.

    Like, by all means, when actual major-league scams are going on, or when beliefs really are leading to harm, they should be called out for the protection of others. But speaking for myself, getting energy work done for emotional malaise or a backache that has no dramatic medical cause and so forth has made me no less likely to get regular physicals or to take antibiotics for an infected tooth: most people are capable of appreciating context and taking action appropriate to a given situation. As long as the price is reasonable, the worst that happens if I indulge in “woo” is that I get no more than an hour or so of entertainment, or of general relaxation and gentle quasi-massage, and that’s often worth twenty or thirty bucks in itself.

    Given that, flipping out about acupuncture/Reiki/the downtown Tarot reader/etc. as a general thing* actually hurts the cause of protecting people from real scams, in the same boy-who-cried-“wolf” way that the DARE scaremongering techniques of the nineties backfired. If your parents and teachers lose it about a beer or a joint, and you find out that’s not the end of the world, you’re less likely to believe them in re: the actual dangers heroin or cocaine present; similarly, if Dawkins and his crowd believe that all faith is abusive, people are less likely to listen to the atheist who validly points out that there’s something a little off about this Jim Jones character, or that you should probably not give all your money to the guy who says it’s “cursed.”

    * If the Psychic Friends Hotline still exists, and I don’t know if it does, I do think that does harm, but mostly because 1-900 numbers in general tend to be both addictive and easy to run up charges on without realizing it, rather than anything to do with fortunetelling per se.

  298. JMG,
    Thank you for your response. When I said, I assume all consequences are intentional until proven otherwise, I was referring to the actions of governments not individuals; I should have made that clear. I appreciate your caution about paranoia, but I was airing my suspicions not fears. If my suspicions are true, government actions would make a lot more sense to me. I suspect criminal behavior among government officials is more common than stupidity; I guess that makes me a conspiracy theorist
    Thank you very much for your work. I enjoyed the Kek series very much, and love what you’re doing with The Cosmic Doctrine.
    Peter

  299. @ Lathechuck and @ Denys (if I may)

    Re college

    For what it’s worth, my thinking is that the younger people are waking up. I have a Ph.D., not out of any grand design but rather from the fact that I just stayed in school for a decade. My daughter’s mother has an MS. My daughter began college in a field which would have required a graduate degree as a minimum entry requirement (anthropology) but just one semester in, she was already reassessing the wisdom of that path despite her love of the subject. When fate/the gods handed her a change in direction with the loss of her scholarship, she pivoted with nary a hitch to a program at a community tech school and is very excited about her prospects when she completes that two-year program. It was an amazing thing to watch.

  300. There could actually be a connection between reduced times between reincarnations and civilizational decline.

    As the population of a civilisation increases, a greater number of immature human souls have to be incarnated or reincarnated in order to occupy the greater number of bodies, this resulting in a more infantilized populace and the associated problems therein.

  301. John, et alia—

    Apropos of nothing in particular discussed thus far, but pertinent to working with the earth, it is harvesting time in the garden and I’ve been busy pulling potatoes, garlic, onions, and the like. (Not to mention hops—very important!) I’ve been shelling the various varieties of bean I’ve grown and allowing them to further dry in shallow bowls on the counter before putting them into longer-term storage in the basement. Several of these varieties, including a common green bean I let go to seed, I’ve been seed-saving for several seasons now, conserving a handful of beans at the end of each year for next season’s planting. There is something magical, in all senses of the word, in stirring these beans with my hands, allowing them to run through my fingers, appreciating how a handful produce this whole harvest. It is rather humbling, actually.

  302. On the Middle Pillar book of Israel Regardie, theres a part that talks about using the LBRP to dissolve unwanted energies, by projecting them outside the circle of the pentagrams and letting them burn. Then afterwards do the sign of silence to impede them from getting back in.

    I want to try this for my nail biting compulsion. How can I picture it for best effects?

  303. @David, by the lake, in regards to your daughter and college, a good option for her, or for anyone who wants to continue to educate themselves, but doesn’t necessarily want to go back to school, either because they can’t afford it or don’t have the time, is a company called The Great Courses. The Great Courses offers series of university level 30 minute lectures taught by credentialed and often award-winning professors and researchers a in wide range of disciplines in science, the arts, economics and the humanities. Each course comes with a course guide book and a list of recommended reading material. Courses are available either on DVD, CD or as a digital download To date, I have watched or listened to over 30 Courses and I have found the content to be consistently excellent. I really can’t recommend The Great Courses highly enough.

    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/

  304. Such great comments & questions on this Open Post.

    Yes, shrill is the exact word I would use to describe the random posts by my acquaintances on Facebook, one who frequently posts about astrology being nonsense. For example: “For the millionth time: no such thing as astrology. It’s nothing but ridiculous cosmic debris.” Ugh. I made the mistake of defending astrology and the study of the occult on one of this person’s posts, effectively raising a Ring-Chaos to their Ring-Cosmos. Whoops. It won’t happen again. The funniest and saddest bit was where one materialist atheist tried to debunk my opinion that my inner world is more lively than theirs. One small thing to my credit is that I was never mean and bitter towards occultists when I was atheist. I wasn’t sure what to make of astrology as an atheist, but I didn’t dismiss it at all. They remind me of children who scream “Particle physics cannot possibly exist because I don’t understand what it is!” Or when the cat thinks I can’t see her because she can’t see me.

    So glad you’ve got the latest burgeoning baby book on the burners, JMG! Yay!

  305. Trump Derangement Syndrome is in full swing at my Unitarian Church. Trump is sui generis. I met each complaint about Trump with an example of a previous president doing exactly the same, but this time it’s different. I do look forward to collecting the results of the bet I made on the first Sunday after the first Tuesday of November 2020.
    I have found a small and calming practice. I never referred to God, having decided I was an atheist when I was about 12. Partly under the influence of JMG’s writings, and realizing that things could not be explained through facts and logic, I have been calling myself a theist for some years now. I’ve just begun referring to Gods, or the Gods, depending on the context. I think my open acknowledgement has been repaid somehow.

  306. Hi JMG, I have been reading through the archives lately, as I am a new reader of yours, and I am attempting to get a little better grasp on your style of thinking. I have been appreciating the perspectives and information you are bringing into my awareness. So, thank you for the refreshing expanse!

    Recently, I was reading through your post titled Occult History Part II: The Purposes of History, and found myself reflecting upon one passage in which you shared that Dion Fortune took an approach to attracting a following for her occult teachings by developing a (dishonest?) emphasis on an Atlantean origin story. What interested me most about this perspective is my wondering – that if you are correct, that Dion Fortune did indeed use somewhat dishonest techniques to attract (or trick) a following, what would the effect be on her followers, and also on herself? And even further, could any teacher that begins a relationship with a pupil through a manipulative use of their intelligence, or place of power, really be doing good for the development of the adherent (occult or otherwise)? I guess service could be offered through the hard lesson of developing awareness and discernment of where and when one gives their personal authority over to an outside force not worthy of their trust – but I am hesitant to believe there could be more than that.

    And as you further elucidate in the essay, most occult schools of the time followed similar practices, of manipulating their audience through at least somewhat false presentations. In my understanding, which I am prepared to have deepened or broadened or what have you… beginning an endeavor through deceit, is pretty certain to lead to further deceit. And so for someone you cite often throughout your writings as a deep initiate of the mysteries (and someone we are investigating now in your online book club), being Dion Fortune, how is it she declared the necessity, as well as the acceptability, to use deception at such a personal level as to attract attention and support for her cause? I realize this is quite a complex question and ultimately asks; is adherence to a purpose or adherence to honesty more important…? And by now I am familiar enough with you to know you probably have a way of answering my inquiry here that I could not have foreseen. Thanks for any response or any links to other articles you have written that may dive into similar streams.

  307. Hallo to everyone and thanks for the lively and interesting posts! It’s always a pleasure to ‘be’ here!

    Dear JMG, I have three questions you might answer:

    1) In your Mistery Teachings from the living earth, the excercises are clearly aimed for beginners to be practiced in self study.
    Precision in posture, breathing etc. as you state is aimed at higher reaches of spiritual parctice, so beginners are safe to do this on their own.
    Where would you in general draw a line between practices that can be done on ones own at home, from an amateurs view, and which practices would you say are unsafe to do without proper guidance? I think it is clear that learning Tai Chi from Youtube videos for example is,without any prior skill, a bad idea.

    2) The common and frequent issue discussed in this enticing forum is the high political aggression of our time or to be precise, the tantrums that follow quickly in certain circles when deviating from their norm. I’d call it something like a mass psychosis, and frankly the same grips me too! Gives me neverending loops of thoughts
    that never seem to fade and a high level of dismay and unrest. Painful.
    How are you, as I admire, so mild and benevolent, yet take your stance, argue, find clear words, and still not go crazy and overflow with rage?
    Do you have a suggestion for the first step of breaking this cycle of senseless political rage in oneself? I know that even if I am theoretically so much “righter” than the ostracized “other”, an unforgiving attitude will make that a “wrong” in time. Already does actually.

    3) How do you asses the phenomenon of the psychopath, a human being without any capacity of feelings for others? This uncanny phenomenon is little understood and irks the hell out of any society, thus rarely even discussed. Is there any, maybe spiritual, explanation for such a nature or mode of human life? It seems to be
    determined at birth already.

    kind regards,
    Labor Case

  308. This is the best guide to ebook formatting I have ever seen: http://guidohenkel.com/2010/12/take-pride-in-your-ebook-formatting/

    It is worth a slow, careful reading or two. Henkel’s trick is to use basic HTML to format eBooks instead of janky word processing software. The results are always beautiful and professional. If your manuscript is already edited and ready to go, it could save you tons of money.

    Guido Henkel also has a book called The Zen of eBook Formatting.

  309. JillN–While it is undoubtedly true that the population of homeless has increased in the past several decades, I don’t think it has ever been true that everyone had a home. I remember the ‘hobo jungle’ being pointed out to me on the outskirts of Roseville, CA where I grew up. Roseville is a major railroad switching yard, so those who rode the rails would naturally gather there. But I think most large towns with a railroad passing through had a hobo jungle somewhere on the outskirts.

    Then there were the migrant farm workers living in tents, cars or shanties near the fields. My grandmother’s family picked apples in the California foothills in the late 20s. They lived in tents and she cooked their meals on a campfire. She was pregnant and couldn’t climb the ladders to pick, but the farmer allowed workers to gather wind-fall fruit for their own use. She used the wind-fall apples to bake pies to sell to the other families. She did the baking in a folding metal reflector oven.

    Other people were technically not homeless but lived in rundown single occupancy hotel rooms in the old part of town. “Two hours of pushing room buys and an eight by twelve four-bit room” sings Roger Miller in “King of the Road” in 1964. Many of these were redeveloped out of existence–plans to re-home their occupants often never materialized and this deliberate destruction of low cost housing has contributed to our current state.

    four bits = $.50,

    Rita

  310. Generally relevant to the discussion here, from Megan McArdle’s column in today’s Washington Post: “Imagine a world without mandatory college degrees”. When you read down to the bottom, there’s this gem: “…liberals who thought they hated the Christian right were shocked to find that they disliked the post-Christian right even more. And in the twilight of the universities, conservatives might equally well find themselves trembling before an opposition that is no longer sheltered in institutions, nor constrained by institutional norms.”

    The question is, to what extent can “identity politics” survive without the leftist academic departments that shelter it?

  311. Data point on reincarnation and non-human animals:

    I have a very distinct memory of being in elementary school many, many years ago and listening to all the children talk about what animals they identified with or as. Listening to them made me feel sad and alone. Returning home, I remember spending a good amount of time looking in a mirror, being disappointed that what I saw was human, all too human. Not dog or horse or macaw parrot, all too clearly human eyes staring back at me.

    It would seem then, extrapolating, that if non-human animals are reincarnating as humans increasingly as Prizm’s comment suggests, those of us interested in conserving legacies from the past are going to probably have to be quite a bit selective to those we pass our knowledge down to. Certainly, when I was teaching herbalism to all and sundry who asked me too, I was shocked at how many people didn’t have the capacity to learn it effectively. It seems to me that likely one would have to have a few human life times of experience to really be able to grok the importance of a boring book. It is ironic that a larger population may interfere with conserving knowledge for the future.

    Perhaps closer to home, this may make the dating scene more agonizing, too! Perhaps this contributes to the high divorce rate as well.

    Of course, those who are non-human animals reincarnating as humans for the first time have my sympathies. I can’t imagine that would be easy for them! Perhaps too, to be fair, I am overestimating the experiential, emotional and intellectual distances separating a horse or dog from a human.

  312. Hi JMG, based on your comment stating,
    “In Druidry, for example, nobody cares what you believe, and that apparently includes the gods and goddesses as well; you can relate to them as forces, archetypes, metaphors, conscious divine beings, or what have you and still follow a Druid path.”
    I am curious to know, in Druidry, does anybody care what you do? And if so, how is it justified to disregard what one believes, while still finding importance in one’s deeds… they must be interrelated, right?
    Also, I am caught by the paradox that not caring in what others believe, is ultimately a viewpoint that is aligned with a belief…. hmmm. Perplexed I am.

  313. Hi John Michael and commentariat – I missed you! I went by train (!) from WMass to Toledo, and thence on to Ann Arbor, MI, by bus, to help out a friend for a couple of weeks. Her father just died, and her mother has been ill, and she needed more hands. It was a bit of a busman’s holiday, but it truly WAS a vacation for me. Working toward my question this week:

    The Commandment as rendered by the NIV states, “You shall have no other gods before me.”

    Those of you who have met me may know that I am a Christian woman, and that I seek to follow the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, feeding His sheep and loving others as He has loved me. I have been reading here about other forms of deity/divinity, and I am increasingly cognizant that there are other powers than solely the Triune God I serve. As a child, I read about the gods of Olympus, and contemplated revering them, and it felt Wrong. However… if I know there are powers/spirits/deities around me, it seems, well, RUDE to fail to acknowledge them. While at my friend’s, the gravel driveway was resurfaced by a neighbor in answer to my friend’s mother’s prayers. At the same time, there was some old beer in the fridge that she meant to pour down the sink. I felt quite moved to pour out the beer onto the refreshed gravel driveway, for the local spirits of their land, and I did so.

    I’m struggling with balancing that acknowledgement against “having no other gods before YHWH”, or however one chooses to designate the Christian God. I would greatly value the collective thoughts of our host and the other thinkers on this site regarding this puzzle.

  314. John, I just want to say thank you for taking care of the post where I failed to properly censor a word in the quote. I had copied and pasted it into Word when I first saw it, then posted it later without review. Not long afterward I thought “Oh no, did I fix that quote?” I couldn’t remember, and was afraid that if I hadn’t changed it, John might not put it through. I may need to take this as a lesson in being careful in what I write and say, especially if I want to learn magic. Goodness knows what I might stir up with a wrongly worded ritual…

    Joy Marie

  315. David, by the lake-
    I’ve had the same experience saving seeds, and beans in particular. They seem to me to have a wonderfully generous and enduring spirit. Humbling is exactly the word I would use too. Have you tried meditating while holding a single bean seed? I found it to be, well, fruitful. 🙂
    –Heather in CA

  316. Cities, as long as you and your partner can discuss class differences openly, and get to the point of joking about them, it’s just a matter of fending off intrusive in-laws — and of course that’s something that many, many people have to do anyway. (My wife and I come from pretty much exactly the same class background — rock-bottom end of the middle class, with schoolteacher parents who grew up working class — and we had to deal with our share of in-law problems…

    J.L.Mc12,I’m familiar with David Brin’s blogk having been thunderously denounced there on more than one occasion. No, I don’t think much of his political notions — the standard sort of thing you get from an intellectual with no experience at actual politics, which are about as useful as engineering designs from someone with no experience of engineering.

    Peter, I’m quite sure that a vast amount of criminal activity takes place in government; in fact, it’s pretty well documented. I’d suggest, though, that politicians are no smarter than the rest of us, and unintended consequences are at least as common in the political sphere as they are in the rest of life.

    Anselmo, thanks for this.

    Phil K., fascinating! Yes, I could see that.

    David, that’s why I use sprouting a seed as the theme for the first meditation in The Celtic Golden Dawn. It is indeed magical!

    Juan Pablo, what imagery works best for each person is a personal thing; you’ll need to experiment with different approaches to find the one that works best for you.

    Kimberly, my wife’s family used to have a big white dog, a Great Pyrenees, who was convinced that if he couldn’t see anyone, no one could see him. He’d stick his head into the bush before defecating, serenely convinced that his luminous white rump was utterly unseen. Yes, that reminds me of the logic used by debunkers, too!

    Peter, well, I’m sorry to hear about your church. I really do wonder why things have gotten so deranged of late — though I probably shouldn’t, since November 8, 2016 does seem to be the day on which the myth of perpetual progress finally rolled over, belched, and died. As for acknowledging the gods — delighted to hear it, and yes, they do tend to respond quite graciously.

    Yaj, you’ve misunderstood me. I’m quite sure Dion Fortune believed utterly in her version of the Atlantis story; certain of the the methods of occult practice she was using make it easy to confuse the symbolically real with the historically real, and that confusion runs all through her writings about history. I know of no reason to think she was deliberately deceiving anyone; quite the contrary, she was telling the truth as she knew it. This is standard in worthwhile occult schools. It’s simply that quite a number of schools at that time had a mistaken idea of the validity of apparently historical information gathered through certain visionary methods.

    Labor Case, (1) Most occult authors won’t put a practice in a book unless it’s safe for you to do on your own. That’s certainly the case with all of my books. (2) Anger, according to the teachings on spiritual alchemy I’ve studied, is always a secondary emotion — that is, it’s hiding some other emotion underneath it, such as fear, grief, or shame. If you find yourself getting unreasonably angry about something, sit yourself down and try to look past the anger to find the other emotion; once you let yourself experience it, the anger goes away. (3) I’ve never met a psychopath. No doubt they exist, but I’ve come to think that the label has come to be applied far too freely these days. Not having met one, I haven’t had the opportunity to try to figure out what makes them tick.

    Lathechuck, thanks for this! The leftist opposition that’s unsheltered by universities and institutional forms already exists, in the form of Antifa. The alt-Right doesn’t seem to have had much trouble dealing with it so far. I think you’re right, though, to wonder about the likely lifespan of the identitarian Left once it loses the “safe space” of the universities. My guess is that it won’t last long without that sheltered and financially secure setting.

    Violet, fascinating. That makes sense to me.

    Yaj, good, Perplexity isn’t a bad thing. If you were a student of mine, I’d encourage you to meditate on those points for the next few weeks. Come to think of it, even though you’re not a student of mine, I’m going to recommend that you do that.

    Michelle, the way I understand that is more or less as follows. Different gods have their own requirements for entering into a relationship with them. Your god has very specific requirements, which you can find in the Bible. They center on not worshiping other gods — “having no other gods before” him — and on following a range of commandments he has handed down. By doing these things and turning to him in faith and reverence, you enter into a covenant with him.

    Clearly it would be wrong for you, as a Christian, to worship other gods or spirits; that would be a breach of the covenant you’ve entered into. At the same time, you don’t have to worship a being to acknowledge its existence. I presume you weren’t worshiping the land spirits, turning to them in faith and reverence, when you poured out a beer to them — you were simply acknowledging and thanking them. From within the worldview of Christian occultism, they, like you, are children of God, and just as you could quite reasonably hand a beer to a friend, you can pour a beer to spirits. Does that make any kind of sense?

    Joy Marie, one of the advantages of this blog platform is that I can do that. I’ll do it from time to time, especially when it looks like nothing more than forgetfulness was involved, but I reserve the right to delete any post containing profanity any time I happen to want to do so. 😉

  317. @Robert Gibson,

    I don’t think there’s necessarily a need to redefine good and evil. My point was merely that it belongs to a certain specific worldview and is incompatible with worldviews of different types.

    Let’s set paganism aside and talk about the religion of progress. To this type of “progressive” you could argue that the ways of the past are evil and the ways of the future are good. But if you really try to use that as the foundational beliefs of progress, they start to unravel, because the society of 1850 was not evil in 1850, and today’s society is not evil now (it’s the pinnacle of good!!) but it will soon be evil, as soon as the new ideas come. So really, there’s not room for “good” and “evil” in that worldview, either (particularly for the athiest members). It does not describe the morality of their system, where improvement is the highest goal.

    Similarly, you could not say the past was bad and the future is good when talking about the Judeo Christian worldview. Obviously, we have had a lot of moral decay lately from this perspective, but more importantly, a soul has the same opportunity to be good or evil regardless of when it is born.

    The concepts of good and evil are useful, particularly in large, complex civilizations where you need simple concepts of morality that are easy to enforce: lying is evil. Murder is evil. There is a reason why Judaism and Christianity featured so prominently in so many Western civilizations and empires. It creates a system of organization that works well across wide swathes of the population.

    I was merely trying to point out that it’s useful to see these concepts from a broader perspective, because if you believe in good and evil then it is a fundamental force shaping your worldview. If you do not believe in them, then it isn’t. It is EXTREMELY helpful to understand the differing worldviews around you, and it is a skill we are losing as a society (if we ever had it… I’m honestly not sure, though based on public political debate it does appear to be getting worse).

    Each of these ways of looking at the world is a map, a mental model trying to make sense of what we perceive. Each has limitations and none is perfectly accurate. I think it makes sense to learn different worldviews so 1) you recognize your personal worldview has limitations 2) you can learn to apply other worldviews when they appear to work better in a given situation and 3) you can communicate with others across the divide. It’s kind of like learning a second language, only easier 😉

    I wish only good things for you and those you love 🙂

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  318. @John Roth,

    I’m willing to agree to disagree with you without further comment on most of your points (of those that I disagree with, I do agree with a lot)

    But two things: there most certainly ARE negative consequences to not learning a lesson and they get progressively worse until you learn that lesson. I was not talking about punishments. I was talking about those spirits that make sure you receive the perfect amount of consequences for the situation to make you learn the lesson at hand. This is just one example of the role of pain and suffering in spiritual development and I regard any teaching that downplays suffering or the shadow self or negative consequences in the long process of spiritual development as somewhere on a continuum between “suspect” and “fundamentally dangerous”. (Not as dangerous as those that inflict suffering, but dangerous, nonetheless). I will hope that you misunderstood me, and was looking at it from a “meta” level and recognize that the suffering is a tiny part of a larger learning process that is beneficial for the soul.

    Second, and more importantly, the reincarnation data derived from meditation is highly suspect as it is contaminated with all sorts of subconscious flotsam and jetsam. (This is how you end up with a million people who all claim they were Cleopatra). The gold standard of reincarnation research is from children who consciously remember their past lives. And it is yielding some mind blowing results.

    https://www.near-death.com/reincarnation/research/ian-stevenson.html

    I waited a long time to see if others replicated his findings and now people have. I recommend everyone familiarize yourselves with his works, the implications are staggering.

    Sincerely
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  319. @Denys,

    Please stay!!! I would miss you if you left.

    I went to college. My fiance has a masters degree. There’s good and bad in it. I think people here are just trying to point out there are problems with most of society’s institutions and it’s infinitely better to be aware of those problems. No one will be mad at you for continuing to go with the status quo in certain areas of your life.

    I will say this, though. Your daughter’s life will be proportionately better for each dollar of loans she does not take out. Help her with that!!!! There are scholarships, she can work while in school, you can help however you can (but don’t take out loans for her either as much as you can avoid it).

    Everyone here is still a member of society and must do many of the things society requires. We each do what we can to make the world better, and we each navigate this society the best we can. If you are here, that means you are capable of seeing society’s costs as well as its rewards. It is essential to see the big picture to make an informed decision. If you see the big picture and feel it’s best your daughter go to college, I trust you made the right decision. You know her better than any of us do.

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  320. JMG, indeed following our discussion I can empathize with your view that in the current milieu the word “evil” is best left unused. I wasn’t thinking of employing it as an all-purpose political bludgeon myself, but if there are too many people who do, then perhaps we should shrug and wait a few million years for the rise of the Second Men, before we risk using the fully nuanced resources of the English language. As we know from our reading of Stapledon, the First Men aren’t up to much….

    Meanwhile I look forward to your next blog – can’t wait to gird up my loins and smite the evil Remainers…

  321. Labor Case,

    For the first 40 years of my life I assumed that psychopaths only existed in stories. Then I met one. Dealing with him was a very ugly experience. My instinct was to get away from him, as thoroughly away as I could, and as quickly as I could manage. But his main goal seemed to be to make himself as looming and as present as he could, to the point of breaking not just societal norms, but actual laws as well. We opened a file with the local sheriff’s dept against him, and the deputy recording our complaint labeled what he was doing “terroristic threats.”

    Even well after we had put some distance between us and him he pulled us back into his icky space with a ridiculous lawsuit for violation of contract. We lawyered up and went to arbitration where a good chunk of the story came out, followed by our lawyer and the arbitrator agreeing that this was more a criminal matter than an economic one, and would we like to pursue it in criminal court?

    Oh Yes!! Would we ever! But we didn’t, because it was too expensive to do so. And worse, pursuing such a path would lock us into dealing with him for at least another year or two. So instead, we ended up having to pay the bastard a settlement. Add our lawyer’s fees in and it wasn’t much less than the original amount they sued us for. Not much of a victory, and it seemed to only fuel his belief that we were dishonorable, that we would rather give money to frivolous lawyers than to put it where it “belonged.”

    It was infuriating. I wanted to kill him. Only time in my life I’ve ever genuinely wanted to murder someone. I truly believe the world would be a better place without him. I’ve met shady conniving jerks before and since, but only one psychopath.

    But here’s the thing. Without him I would have labeled those shady conniving jerks as psychopaths. They would be the ones to fill that role in my mind if I didnt know what a “real” psychopath was, and the problem would seem to have a broader scope than it does now. Which of course begs the question, if I met someone significantly worse than this dude, would I have to downgrade him to something less than psychopathic too?

    I believe that our host’s Asperger’s, and lack of mirror neurons – which came out into the discussion a couple of weeks ago – probably make it more difficult for him to recognize psychopathic tendencies than it is for “neurotypical” people, and especially more empathic individuals. I consider myself a member of that latter group, which the subject literature suggests makes me more susceptible to psychopathic manipulation than most. Of all the superpowers to inherit! Geez.

    I also believe that our host’s condition and magical talent make him better than most at dealing with aberrant and antisocial behavior, a skill set which I am desperately trying to pick up.

    So does the label “psychopath” get thrown around too much? You bet it does. Do genuine psychopaths exist? You bet they do. But I think if we’re being honest with ourselves the term psychopath might only serve as a placemarker for our very worst experiences with another human.

    But my will states that if anything “untimely” should ever happen to me, whether it appears to be an accident or not, to start any subsequent investigation with this guy, who touched my life in such a miserable way. That’s not your garden variety shady conniving jerk…

    And because of this experience I have a tendency to think that people who believe psychopaths are everywhere just haven’t met a real one yet. (And I hope they never do.)

    Just my .02

  322. To Rita Rippetoe,

    I lived in a much smaller society than you did and perhaps that is a bigger difference than I realise. In Australia seasonal workers often lived in a caravan but I count that as a home. I suspect I have much lower expectations of what home is than many people. Spare me the huge mansion. I remember “Old Bob” who lived under my grandparents’ house. Not nearly as bad as it sounds. He was my grandfather’s brother but I didn’t know that until I was an adult. My grandmother lived with her daughter’s family and I remember various relatives staying with us for different periods of time until they got themselves settled. I loved that as my bedroom was also the guest room. I felt honoured to be sharing my room with them. I like my house but know that many of my friends really are a bit horrified by it.

  323. J.L.Mc12 – re: charcoal forge and fire risk. The charcoal forge solves the fire risk very easily, as the blacksmith gathers the wood at risk of wildfire to burn in his forge! And then, he continues gathering wood at greater distances. Also, the charcoal provides more that just heat, but also pure carbon which dissolves into the iron to increase its hardness. Even a gas-fired forge needs to provide solid carbon (powdered) to convert pure iron into high-carbon steel, which can hold a sharp edge on a knife.

  324. Hi Roberta,

    A thoughtful comment. I’m not much interested in identities of either ‘right’ or ‘left’ because they look pretty similar to me. And I can’t really speak about your politics as I’m an outsider to your system. I am amused by the fervor that people in the US display towards their political leaders. It seems like misplaced energy to me.

    Now pull up a chair and listen real close for I shall impart a little secret to you: We’ve peaked and are now descending and have been for some time. Truly. I suggest that you learn some useful skills and keep out of debt as much as possible. Let the politicians worry about the politics.

    Chris

  325. Hi John Michael,

    Far out, I’m struggling to keep up. What do you reckon about the noblesse oblige concept being applied to the environment and everything that lives within it? What did that smart bloke say about: whatever you do for one of the least of me? Or that was the gist of the quote anyway?

    I look forward to your next reading in September!

    Cheers

    Chris

  326. Hi John Michael,

    The Eemian interglacial period is a fascinating rabbit hole. I wrote about the effects of sea level rise down under this week, although in my own round about leaving much up to the reader, writing style. Did you notice that during the Eemian interglacial period, rainfall was apparently much higher? Heavy rainfall does a lot of damage from what I’ve observed. And when it follows on from drought, well not much can stop such a beast running over the landscape devouring things that stand in its way. Forecasts suggesting heavy rainfall always leave me feeling a bit nervous.

    Cheers

    Chris

  327. Hi Bradley,

    Mate, someone has whispered sweet words of lies into your brain about solar PV. I tell you this as someone who has used solar PV for more than 11 years and is not connected to the electricity grid. It is not sustainable and it is not cheap. Solar PV is a suite of technologies and not just the panels themselves. I note that cables are more expensive these days than they were in the past. Have you ever bought fuses? Lugs? Charge controllers? Mate this thing ain’t cheap at all and I reckon I pay about AU$0.85 for every kWh delivered to my appliances. And I have never had a cent of subsidies. And the electricity the system generates in the depths of winter around the solstice are not the sort of heady supplies you my friend are used to.

    Good luck and Cheers

    Chris

  328. Thanks for your reply, JMG. I returned to the essay and noticed I did misinterpret you. So thanks for clarifying that. But I wonder how it is you are certain that Fortune’s understanding of Atlantis is incorrect? I do not know her particular version, but I have heard several other initiates accounts of the historical period when humans inhabited Atlantis. I find it interesting that most of the Atlantis accounts (which I know about at least) all come through initiates at a specific window in time, mainly the early to mid 1900’s. But if I interpret your response correctly, it would seem you believe she (as well as possibly others of her time) misinterpreted something that is symbolically true, therefore giving an inaccurate historical perspective.

    As for your other response to my inquiry about druidry…. the first part of my meditation would be to disengage with the affirmation you give – consider it done. The rest will follow I believe. By the way, I am quite enamored (in one sense) by this blog of your’s. It seems to be a web of spells, charms, symbols, and mysteries all working together to coax new, broader understanding and perspective from the reader (in another sense). I wonder if you are first a writer or a mage, or if they are one and the same thing.

  329. @ Trlong36

    Re Great Courses

    Thank you. I’ll definitely take a look at that, as well as mention them to my daughter (who is most certainly her father’s child in terms of geekdom…)

    @ Heather

    Re beans & meditation

    I will be trying that soon. Thank you for the suggestion!

  330. What do you think would be good preparation for political leaders? I was thinking about the Roman Cursus Honorum, and while alternating political offices with being a military commander and colonial governor isn’t what we currently need, something to broaden the experience of politicians in a similar way would be useful.

    People’s frog omens reminded me I’ve got one too. A few years ago we were clearing the bottom of the garden for vegetable beds. A frog jumped out of the undergrowth onto the top of the wall, on the far side of which is a 15′ drop. While I was trying to decide if I should try to move it to a safer place, it leapt into the void. I never found out if it survived the fall. Take heed. 🙂

    With the ongoing question of if Berenstain Bears was always spelled that way, we were putting some stuff in the loft and found The Berenstain Bears’ Science Fair, 1978 British edition. It is Berenstain. If this is a social engineering scheme they must be pretty committed to it to be breaking into people’s houses and replacing old books. 🙂

  331. John–

    A late question, I realize, but with respect to psychosis and understanding what makes such things “tick,” what would you say drives the compulsion our industrial society seems to have regarding the projection of the seamless, antiseptic, sci-fi future of machines, data flow, limitless expansion, etc? Does it come down to something as straightforward as a desire for control, or even an almost Lovecraftian need to avoid acknowledgement of the smallness of human existence in comparison to the cosmos at large?

  332. Hi John, I recently finished reading your book “The Secret of the Temple” and have a question. 5 years ago, we moved to the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, a part of Sweden. There are 95 churches here built in the 11,12 & 13 centuries by the Catholics. They are Lutheran now, and have been carefully maintained. All are made of large Limestone Blocks, and their orientation in most is the same as in your book. I live 1/2 a kilometer from one, and have a large garden and orchard. My question is for guidance to bring them “back to life” so to speak. Can you point me to somewhere that would tell me how to go about it? We had quite a drought this year, and rain would have been most appreciated. Thanks so much. I’ve been an avid reader for 7 years, and owe a lot of inspiration for the move here to you

  333. JMG you edited some “profanity” out of one of my posts and I am happy about it except that I had no idea the word was profane. I did not intend to make extra work for you.

    I looked for lists of profane words and there are many lists and many words depending on considerations.

    This is your space and I respect that. You can have any rules you want. However if you have rules that are not defined and I want to play your game the little bit I can it would be nice to be able to know the rules.

    I am a seaman, truck driver son of an elementary school principal type so my tolerance for words is high. What others consider profanity can surprise me. One day I said “Oh, rats.” when I made a mistake and people objected.

    Could you please link to a list of forbidden words? It could go in the space above “Leave a Reply “. If you do I can make a better effort at self editing.

  334. Peter says:

    “JMG, Climate change activists say the Earth has not been this warm for 125,000 years. Climate change deniers say it was warmer during Medieval Warm Period (950 – 1250). Who is correct? Thank you.”

    There is evidence to suggest that parts of the arctic are as warm/warmer compared to the Eemian interglacial (~120,000 years ago). The headline the activists are probably referring to came a few years ago:

    https://news.agu.org/press-release/new-study-finds-unprecedented-warmth-in-arctic/

    with the relevant research paper online at:

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2013GL057188

    In the last 5 years the same research team has continued to find new sections of glacier retreat in the arctic that come back radiocarbon dead (meaning they’re at least ~50,000 years old, which is the limit of that dating tool), which suggests that the portion of the arctic which is at Eemian-level warmth is growing.

    That said, the Earth as a whole is probably not yet that warm. For a variety of reasons the arctic warms faster than the rest of the planet, so you can find other proxy data that would suggest the Medieval Warm Period was as warm or warmer compared to now in other parts of the globe. It’s all about where you’re looking and how you set your basis for comparison.

    My impression is similar to JMG’s, which is that we’re currently in between the two. In my opinion the trajectory we’re on is in the direction of more serious warming. Like many other things, the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.

  335. This has been said so many times here, but for some reason I feel compelled to repeat it one more time…the brilliance of conversion, the depth and breadth of topics, the connections, the insights and epiphanies, it’s truly a world-class place to hang out and listen in. I only wish I had enough time to digest it all.

    I found myself at the bar of my favorite Mexican joint for lunch today watching Fox News coverage of the new trade deal between the U.S. and Mexico. Both sides seemed pretty pleased with the negotiations, but I’m so gun-shy of the MSM these days I just dont know what to buy. Especially from Fox News.

    I hope that our good host here might shed some light on the new deal once he’s had a chance to have a proper look at it?

  336. @Teresa from Hershey – If you are in the Hershey, PA we are neighbors of sorts! We live in Berks County right on the Lancaster County border. Hi!!

    Thank you for all your tips on self-publishing! I will look into Amazon for sure. I’ve had great success selling our books used for homeschooling on there for great prices and quickly. I want to hate Amazon because of their size but it just works better than most.

  337. @Lathechuck and David-by-the Lake Thank you for your replies about college and kids transitioning into adulthood. David I also wanted to major in anthropology and ended up with a minor in it. My parents said it was too impractical so I majored in elementary ed instead. Went into the Peace Corps post graduation and got to do anthropology of sorts!

    Neither of our daughters want to do typical college degrees where one sits in class, download the information into the brain, and then spits it back out onto tests and papers. They want to do BFA’s and do real work mentored by professionals. Neither child believes in art for social justice, but does see art as a way of bringing beauty and joy to the world. Art can elevate us and take us to places we didn’t see possible.

    Our hope is that college gives them a community to launch from and connections into the work world. My daughter is studying costume design and theater production and her school does it work in the actual theaters in Philadelphia’s theater district. Doesn’t get any better than that we think! Although we’ve been humbled by much less and this whole parenting thing is a lot of praying and humility.

  338. LaborCase – in a civilized society, psychopaths are dangerously scary. They may have their uses when TSHTF, when it may be necessary to do what must be done with utter ruthlessness, provided they are smart enough to know when to use the velvet glove as well. Similarly warriors can be a problem in peacetime, but when a battle is imminent, come into their own.

    Michelle – I was raised Christian and don’t think honoring land spirits violate that commandment because the land spirits and not gods. They are much lesser beings. And you are not worshiping them, any more than you are worshiping the neighbor you welcome with coffee and cookies.

  339. Proud to report that I wrote for an hour this morning without editing as much as possible! Tomorrow I will do the same and write new pages, and then go back and edit today’s work.

    I’m apparently not used to sitting and focusing for that long because when I first felt tired from the brain work and checked my watch, only 20 minutes had passed. Lol.

  340. Hi JMG and everyone

    Re: modern and old technology

    Normally I tend to think all the new technology is designed to prevent maintenance (repair), but recently I discover this is not the case in the case of the LED bulbs
    May be I am quite naïve and you have discussed this at length in the past (in the old ADR blog) but for me is something new and I want to share my experience

    I have never repair an old incandescent light bulb (I do not know anyone that did), if the filament breaks you cannot do anything (at least not easily), I cannot weld the tungsten filament and blow a new glass bulb and make the high vacuum again, it seems all too difficult (at least for me), but on the other hand to repair a modern LED bulb is very very easy

    The normal design of the cheap LED light bulbs now are “transformerless”, is a less safe design of those with a voltage transformer, but they are cheaper and easy to build (and also repair). This design of a 230VAC LED lamp contains a polyester capacitor from 0,68 to 1,2 microfarads (bypassed with a resistence of around 1 Mohm to discharge the capacitor when disconnected from AC power), a diode bridge (rectifier) 0,7 – 1A, an electrolytic condenser (in the “DC” part after the rectifier) 4.7- 47 microfarads 50 – 100V, a high number of LED’s all in serie (around 20 to 40) and some resistors in serie with the LED’s to control de current.

    So the desing is quite simple and I have repaired 15 lamps and the normal defect (in all of them) was 1, 2 or 3 LED’s damaged, and this cut-off the current and the lamp does not light-up; and only in 2 cases I have to replace also the electrolytic condenser because they were blown-up; but in all the others 13 cases I have only to remove the damaged LED’s, with the soldering iron, and melt a drop of tin to replace them (to shortcuircuit the removed LED), only when I removed 3 LED’s in one lamp I put a new LED (SMD LED ref: 5730) but only for fun, it was not needed at all. The polyester capacitors, the diode bridge and the resistors seems to be quite sturdy and never failed (for the moment)

    I think the LED’s fails because some bad quality control and also due to sudden changes in voltage/frequency of the power supply, so at the end if you have a high number of LED’s in serie (for example in a chinese 12W LED lamp you have 36 SMD LED’s model 5730, in 7W you have 24 LED’s) if one fails it acts as a fuse and prevent others from fail (not always but very frequently) and this early fail prevent damages also in the capacitors and the rectifyer. Some other lamps that use for example the LED ref 2835 have even more individual LED’s in serie
    The life of the LED’s in a lamp is quite darwinian
    It is very easy to detect the LED’s that have failed, you can see normally an small black spot in the middle, and also it is very easy to detect them with a multimeter with the dial in the diode test position and see if all of them light-up or not

    Around me people think I must be a lunatic to repair something that cost 2 – 4€; but I am tired of throwing them away and produce more and more electronic and plastic garbage (some people tend to “value” their free time as it was their working time and make “valuable” things, inestead of funny things); they say to me “this s**t is only made by you and some people in the indian subcontinent”, and of course I am proud of it

    In the lasts years I have also made some solar battery chargers using small 2-3W, 5-6V solar panels with a TP4056 battery charger modules to charge a 2500 – 4000 mAh, 3,7V Li-ion batteries and with some step-up 3 to 5V modules that I use to charge some phones and to light LED lamps. The last I built I gave to my son and he went to the Camino de Santiago, walking from Leon to Santiago de Compostela and could charge his phone with this solar charger wihout using any plug charger, and I made another one I was all the summer (well the Andalusian summer is very hot and sunny) charging my phone only with this solar charger
    To make this chargers cost me around 15€, but my wife say they are ugly, because I use cheap small plastic lunch boxes to insert all the components, well they are ugly but they work quite well (I have one from 2 years old and it is working like the first day)

    Normally I give this chargers to the people I love and also who like this kind of “ugly” DIY things, giving them is also an excuse for me to improve the design, and now I am studying how to make them without integrated circtuits, only with the basics components (diodes, capacitors, transistors, resistors, an all that s**t). Also I give, with the charger, a DIY USB lamp made of a 0,5W “straw hat” LED that could be attached to the charger (you can read a book perfectly with a 0,5W LED), the LED’s have a very high power efficiency, and attached to low DC current I hope they will last, in fact we should use low DC current for lighting inside the houses, attached to small portable panels and batteries for this purpose, cheap and easy to repair
    I prefer small portable solar chargers (around 20 x 17 cm) and lamps in the same way people used wax candles in the past, because to iluminate whole rooms was an aristocratic practice and in fact only used in some relevant events. The future will be very different, and in any case I think they are very useful even today when electric power fails (due to storms, high peaks, network failure, etc…) and that will be more frequent in the future with the crumbling infraestructures

    Also I have made a solar powered radio receiver using some IC, but I want to make it using only basic components and also a readio transmitter

    In the more medium/longterm I would like to make some wind and manual crank chargers (always small and portable like the wax candle analogy) with a removable flywheel. I do not know if they will work or not

    PD: I am an engineer but not an electrical or electronic engineer, and in any case all this things I have made are very very easy to do, and internet is a powerful tool for all of this (I only mix things)

    Cheers
    David

  341. I’ve a question relating to memory – I’ve been trying to practice the basic ‘memory palace’ technique by memorising a longish poem in a foreign language. I was making quick advancements early on, but without any noticeable reduction in effort on my part my progress has slowed considerably. Is this a natural part of practising memorisation or indicative of a common mistake? Are there any resources you’d recommend for this stage?

  342. Hi DJSpo,

    Thanks for the shout out mate! 🙂 Mate, I have trouble talking to people about solar PV because they forget absolute basics such: The sun doesn’t shine at night. And sometimes the sun doesn’t shine at night and the wind doesn’t blow. And sometimes the sun doesn’t shine at night and the wind doesn’t blow and you’re in the middle of a drought and so hydro is no option either. Far out, this renewable energy stuff is good, but it isn’t good enough. People have gotten used to living high on the hog and they have no idea what it looks like to step away from that comfortable den.

    Like your name too. Good stuff

    In a really weird case of synchronicity, I’m reading a story about Spokane at the moment.

    Cheers

    Chris

  343. I was shocked to read your opening post in Magic Monday about the Wiccans who reamed you, a Druid, out for not conforming to their notion of Wicca. Where do they get off? Not only ignorant, but arrogant, and totally against our Rede, which is, “An ye harm none, do as ye will.” Of course, some people consider any opinion not theirs to be “harm”, I suppose, but they had better NEVER come to Albuquerque’s Pagan Pride festival (September 30th, bring food for the local food bank.) Great weeping Goddess! Shakes head.

    “If I’d wanted that, I’d have gone to Mass instead.”

    Some power-happy one is cruising for a cosmic bruising.

  344. Hi Inohuri,

    If you are interested in traditional fire management down under, a local historian trawled through a huge number of historical accounts and descriptions of the Australian landscape at the time of the arrival of the Europeans. It is a fascinating look at an entirely different country than what it is now. I thoroughly recommend it: The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia

    There is a video of the author discussing the book here: The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia by Prof Bill Gammage.

    It is an extraordinary act of arrogance on our part to assume that the first nations folk just sat around and didn’t consider ways to modify the environment to better suit their outcomes.

    Cheers

    Chris

  345. P.S. Star’s Reach’s Church of Gaia in the bud? She struck me then as “Jehovah in a green dress.” Gaaah. And Otter Zell has probably sculpted her iconic image, The Millennial Gaia. (Lovely piece of art, though.)

  346. Jmg, have heard of Peter turchin and his work finding mathematical patterns in historical events?

  347. @Chris at Fernglade, I’ve been watching a course from Th Great Courses on North American indigenous groups in North America during and after European contact and apparently there is a fair bit of evidence that they had both better farming techniques and a better diet.

  348. DFC – As an electrical engineer, I’m interested in many of the same things you are. I have many LED lamps in my home, most controlled by (LED-qualified) dimmer switches (which will probably extend their lives). I’ve had just one LED lamp fail, and it appears that all of the LED elements failed at once, because I can’t get any of them to light at the work-bench. Whether or not they can be repaired, it’s good to hear that the voltage-conversion components are likely to be salvageable for other projects.

    As for your radio ambitions, the ARRL publishes a fine handbook for amateur radio every year (for the FCC-regulated part of the hobby), which includes plenty of theory and practical examples of the construction and operation of radio receivers and transmitters (and antennas, and so on). For our purposes, any of them from the last 30 years would suffice. A radio-telegraph transmitter could hardly be simpler; some are built for sport into a cube 1″ on a side. (It’s on my list of things to do.) It shouldn’t be hard to find a salvage transistor that will work, but making one from ordinary household materials seems on the edge of feasibility.

  349. Procrastinating on laundry!

    On noblesse oblige: Agreed! One of my boarding school’s mottos was non sibi , and I think the attitude of “from those to whom much is given, much is expected,” is one that needs to be put forward more.

    On ‘evil’: The best/most useful way I’ve found to define it is “the deliberate choice to be severely dangerous to other sentient beings, when their ability to fight back is limited, for your own gratification.” And for my money, the key factor is the choice–plenty of people have rough childhoods, or get turned down by love interests, or have mental illnesses, and don’t go out and rape or kill. Understanding the circumstances that led to those choices seeming like options doesn’t remove the moral weight of making it, but it can maaaaybe make them rarer in the future*, and help track them once they’ve started leaving a trail.

    @Rita: I get that impression (the lack of affordable small-scale housing) a lot here in Boston, where the standard assumption is that if you’re not rich, you’re into either having a family or a lot of roommates. I don’t mind, and indeed expect, a one-bedroom or a studio to be pretty small–my problem has been that it’s almost impossible to find the things, especially once you get out of the super-expensive “deluxe apartment” categories.

    @JillN: I’ve found charitynavigator.com to be extremely helpful, as a general rule. Also organizations where I can get involved, even once in a while, and see where my money’d be going–one or two in the Boston area that I like, and which might have equivalents elsewhere, are the Prison Books Program, Boston Area Gleaners, and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine.

    In general: Did the Polytheistic Middle Pillar and the first part of the second stage of Paths of Wisdom meditation (visualizing the Sphere Image) for the first time tonight. As well as a feeling of unexpected energy and “floaty-ness,” I felt significant sinus pressure a little ways into the visualization, which then abruptly ceased as I kept concentrating. Odd!

    (I’ve also been remembering people/places/incidents from my youth randomly, and very vividly, since I started the Paths work. I don’t know if it’s down to that or my age/a bunch of life changes happening at the moment.)

    * Given their responses to what in some cases is a very minor degree of stress, I suspect that the people in question would be *deeply unpleasant* without said stressors, and I don’t know how much good it’d do, so mostly I’m just pro-mental-health, anti-child-abuse for other reasons.

  350. About the words ‘good’ and ‘evil’: a few thoughts come to mind.

    I remember the day and time I gave up on academia, the day I read the celebrated essay by one A. J. Ayers (now, deservedly forgotten, I think) in which he stated that the word ‘good’ is “a meaningless predicate”.

    I resolved never again to use the word ‘evil’ when I heard that word being deliberately misused in an interview by the unspeakable Alyssa Rosenblum (I refuse to refer to her by her nom de plume). Might I suggest the fine old Anglo-Saxon word ‘wicked’, a most useful adjective, instead? As for the condition which results from wicked deeds, may I suggest another Anglo-Saxon word, ‘woe’?

    There was in the time of New Left radical politics a common and deliberate misuse of the word ‘good’. The usual formulation would be along the lines of ” You have just demolished the standard argument for policy ABC and that’s GOOD”. At the time no one thought to ask what gave some kid from the big city who had a mouth and attitude and had read Marx and not much else the authority to decide what might be good.

    I also suggest to non-Christians, which would be most here, that the concept of seven deadly sins can be quite useful as an analytic tool They are Lust, Gluttony, Wrath, Envy, Sloth, Greed (sometimes called avarice) and Pride. They are deadly because they are destructive, of persons, families and countries, not to mention your immortal soul.

  351. Dear Darkest Yorkshire,

    The classical preparation was history, poetry and philosophy, a course of study which was thought to give a man enough wisdom to make good decisions. Sometimes the results could be quite astonishing, as with the emperor Julian the Apostate, who was an effete student of literature till his brother gave him some legions to play with and he was revealed as a military genius. We Americans have tended to place trust in people who have some practical experience, have either punched a timecard to met a payroll, as the saying is.

    I remember wondering during the Baby Bush years watching some of the pro-war neo-con faction in front of a Congressional Committee how smart people could be so flat out dumb, and it occurred to me that these guys and gals had no practical experience of any kind. They had gone from academic success to think tanks to govt. positions without ever having to make a living any other way. There was talk at the time about chicken hawk warriors who had never worn a uniform but their thinness of experience went way beyond that. They had never driven a taxi, combine or bus, had never pulled green chain, never picked crops or cleaned anything themselves and these guys thought they should get to decide the fate of nations. Nobody get mad at me here please, I know the same parasites have now moved to the Democratic Party, which will likely IMHO not recover from the infestation.

  352. @DFC, I don’t suppose you’d have an interest in creating tutorials for the techie things you’re doing, would you? It sounds nifty but certainly way above my head!

    @David, BTL your daughter dodged a bullet by not going into anthro…

    Signed,
    Wife of an anthropologist who is clinging to the last of a functioning academy by sheer fingernail strength…

  353. @Chris at Fernglade, re. Aboriginal land management-
    From the department of synchronicities:
    I’m currently reading a fascinating book in a similar vein to the one you mentioned, called “Tending the Wild: Native American knowledge and the management of California’s natural resources,” by M. Kat Anderson. The author argues persuasively that basically all of California was cultivated, or at least actively managed, by the native peoples for thousands of years before Europeans showed up, and that in less than a couple of hundred years we’ve managed to trash the place, not only through the obvious pollution, deforestation, etc., but also by ending the skillful use of fire as a management tool. It was so interesting to learn about how all kinds of plant and animal communities were kept in particular balances that were good for the native communities- forest areas kept in a certain stage of succession, pests burned out with the loose duff, food and fiber plants rejuvenated, hunting grounds kept open and well-supplied with forage for game, not to mention catastrophic fires averted, by smaller burns every couple of years. As it seems like half the state is burning around us this year, such wisdom seems a long way off. We are just not attuned to our environment enough these days to be able to imagine fire as a partner or an ally rather than as an enemy.
    Cheers-
    –Heather in CA

  354. Is anyone else following the meteoric rise of Santa Muerte in Mexico? She’s a goddess in the form of a skeleton worshipped by all walks of life, but she takes a special liking to the poor and outcast. Her big holiday is Dia de los Muertos, of course.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41804243

    @isabel “The worst that happens if I indulge in ‘woo’ is that I get no more than an hour or so of entertainment, or of general relaxation and gentle quasi-massage, and that’s often worth twenty or thirty bucks in itself.”

    Right, and the best or medium case scenario is that the woo actually works and/or is worth further study. I don’t know what they’re more afraid of, the triumph over laziness and convenience-thinking that is prerequisite to studying the occult or the idea their studies might lead to a This Stuff Works moment. Yeah, it’s probably the first one…

  355. @Chris at Fernglade

    I watched The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia by Prof Bill Gammage and learned. It was much better than I knew about. Thank you.

    It makes me think of how nice it must have been around the Salish Sea. Our local Fauntleroy park which was logged and regrew is such that strangers have walked up to me in there and told me the place is enchanted. I have had some interesting evenings with owls.

    Much better is a spot in Renton north east of the sewer plant on the other side of Monster Road. I just stumbled into it when I lived nearby around 1990. I hope they haven’t wrecked it since with the trails and boardwalk. That was one of the last wild places natives lived around here that I know of. Somehow it just got left alone.

    Renton Black River Riparian Forest and Wetland
    https://rentonwa.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=7922741&pageId=8838326

  356. Odd critters I have seen. Anything special about these?

    Once upon a time I saw a bird unlike any I have seen. The Audubon Society didn’t know it.

    Location just east of the south east corner of Discovery Park, Seattle.
    Time about 1998.

    About crow size, maybe slightly bigger. Kind of rounded.

    It was distinct in that every other flight feather was orange and the rest of the bird at rest was black. When it flew off I saw some white which I guess was under the wings.

    There was also an odd critter I saw in Discovery Park in the valley where the Mountain Beaver live. Later on I saw the little Mountain Beavers (sorry experts, they do come out in the day) and they are not it. I asked at the park building and they didn’t know. I don’t think it was a Beaver and I didn’t see a tail. Not a dog, cat or rabbit either.

    It was dark in color, short ears and equal length front and rear legs. Head kind of rounded. It moved slowly when crossing the trail in front of me. I haven’t seen another.

  357. >Discwrites, I’ll consider it — but you can also learn mundane astrology and cast the charts for yourself, you know!

    True, but I believe it will take me a while before I learn and an experienced reading is simply more reliable. I will look up astrology books at my library.

  358. I’ve been really letting that idea that magic is a tool for the disadvantaged and dispossessed sink in. The whole Kek Wars discussion fascinated me, and it made me realize that it’s likely there will be magic and witch wars in the future, but along a lot of different divisions of intentions. (It’s a reminder of me to definitely make myself “kala” before I engage in any spellwork, as I’ll probably attract some nega-ttention.) It’s clear to me now that the reason magic gets banned is because it works, much to the chagrin of those “in charge.”

    Along those lines, I have a better understanding of something that’s bugged me for a long time, about Shakespeare’s play THE TEMPEST, which I have wanted to like but don’t because of the thinly coded racism and the rah-rah colonialism inherent in the story. The thing that always perplexed me though was that Prospero renounces magic at the end of the play. What the–?

    Now, I get it–why would he need to use magic when he can wield the power of a high-ranking poo-bah in his own court? I suppose on some level that makes him seem more honorable to a certain crew of people–though I believe him to be an antihero, maybe even a Renaissance Simon Legree. Still, because of my own studies in the field, I thought Prospero’s choice was a brutal turning back on the earth, which again would fit in with the colonialism of the times. A foreshadowing of dreadful things to come, and in some ways an artistically diabolical moment.

    On another note–I had an interesting synchronicity. Found a new philosophy book by an Italian philosopher named Federico Campagna with the intriguing title “Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality.” I’ll have a book report about it sometime soon.

  359. JMG – I view Trump’s comments on the “Liberal Conspiracy” in the Media to suppress anything good about him in the same way that I viewed Hillary Clinton’s “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” against her. Pure, un-diluted crap.

  360. Hey, Chris (at Fernglade),

    Hope you all are well down under, and enjoying warmer weather! We had a brief taste of fall around here last week, but summer came back just in time for the start of soccer season this past weekend. I’ve been a soccer referee for 28 years now! Wow. Donned the gold jersey for the 1st time when I was 17. Every August we do a Kickoff Classic for the local soccer club, which ends up being more like referee boot camp than anything else. Four matches in one day?? On a hot and sunny day too…

    Ah, but it’s always that way. At least I have an idea of what to “look forward to”. And this year I’m in better shape than ever. Well…at least in better shape than I have been over the last 7 years with the local club…I like to think this physical effort helps cover the cost of the occasional chili-slaw dog at the local greasy spoon. ;P

    Brother, you aren’t joking about life with solar power. We’re only 3 years in now, so I don’t have anything like the depth of experience you do, but it is NOT cheap. And to make matters worse, we took a direct lightning strike early in July, which fried our inverter and charge controller. Blew a hole in our Android, which was charging at the time, and fried our house phone too. Thankfully, the panels and batteries have no solid-state electronics that can get hammered by a circuit overload like the other components, so they came through intact. THAT would have put us out of business! At least for a good while. As it was, we had a smaller system set up for the kids (littlies?) upstairs, so we were able to borrow components temporarily, albeit lower quality/smaller capacity versions. Although the kids are not thrilled.

    One other factor to consider: the angle of approach to solar matters a lot too. Likely not too many people will be taking this route, but we lived without electricity at all for 4 years, so ANY power was a real treat once we started building our system. Nothing like electric light! And battery powered tools, and a movie here or there, a vacuum, and a small fridge…feel like royalty now. Our 400W is pure gold.

    If one approaches solar from a modern American (or Australian) life however, feeling like they need to replace everything mains power does for them now, it’s going to get REAL expensive, and REAL complicated in a hurry. What’s the old saw? “Weatherize before you solarize”? Ain’t it the truth. And weatherize with all your might!

    The funny part is, most people I’ve talked to think that once they have alt-power they will be able to use as much as they want whenever they want. Not. I think I’m more usage-conscious now than ever. I do a little internal (usually;) mini-celebration dance every time I see the charge controller floating, knowing that I have enough to do what I want for the night. Having come to solar from no electricity whatsoever though, I can deal with empty batteries with a brighter smile than most.

    Always good to hear from you.
    Tripp

  361. @kimberlysteele: Exactly! The phrase “can’t hurt, might help!” is one I’ve found very useful in a number of contexts, and (assuming everyone’s only spending money and time they can afford, etc., like anything else) I think it’s one that definitely applies here.

    My experience of the garden-variety Angry Atheist Person is that what they really fear is having to admit that they’re wrong about anything, or that they or their arguments have any flaws (the New Atheist reaction to accounts of sexual harassment/discrimination at conferences etc. rivals that of the Catholic Church in emotion, if not bureaucracy), but you’re likely onto something as well.

  362. @ Jessi Thompson,

    Thanks Jessi for your most interesting reply to my previous posts re the “evil” concept. I enjoyed reading it and would like to write reams about it, but I shall limit myself to a few paragraphs as this blog’s week is almost over.

    You say that evil “belongs to a certain specific worldview and is incompatible with worldviews of different types…”

    I suppose I differ in emphasis from you in that I tend to believe in a more visibly unifying thread connecting the world-views. View A may differ from B not because it’s fundamentally different in theme but because A is a sort of half-way house on the way to B, even if it doesn’t look like it at first.

    e.g. although the “code duello” seems drastically different from the idea of submitting quarrels to the courts, yet it’s a move in the direction of a rules-based procedure, as opposed to more primitive affrays where one clan ambushes another to pay off a score.

    And neither you nor John has really addressed my point about the delight in extreme cruelty for its own sake, a phenomenon which is admittedly unpleasant to think about.

    However I do appreciate the emphasis you both place upon the need to understand many world-views. This is so important particularly now in view of the risible contemporary attitude of looking down one’s nose at the past as though the present generation had some claim to moral superiority. More power to both your elbows on that score.

  363. inohuri wrote: It was dark in color, short ears and equal length front and rear legs. Head kind of rounded. It moved slowly when crossing the trail in front of me. I haven’t seen another.

    Bobcat behavior? And, hey! I just “got” your name.

  364. Hi Richard from Laramie,

    I don’t know, I’m not convinced that Prospero turned his back on the Earth.

    I’ve viewed Prospero’s renunciation at the end of The Tempest as the result of a hard-won lesson in letting go of the disease of “magician’s illusion of control”. It seems to me that he had a pretty firm mindset in the camp of “I and it” in both his human and spirit relations, to the detriment of himself and everyone on that island. He may have been a kinder master than many of the time, and his reactions to what life had brought him somewhat understandable, but he still in all his cunning art strove to be
    “master” more than father, ruler, scholar, or companion.

    His breaking of the staff seemed to me a gesture of humility and repentance. After which, I like to hope that he changed the nature of his relationship to others to a more participatory, beneficial mode. Even though father would like to always know best, the wills and loves of others will have their due in the course of time.

    Bonnie

  365. RE: Native people managing ecosystems
    This is true here in Oregon as well, at least in the Willamette Valley. Our beautiful oak savannah was apparently carefully maintained by the native folk here. They used the acorns as food.

    Re: psychopaths
    My impression is that the current consensus, such as it is, is that psychopaths exist on a spectrum. Not every person lacking in empathy and social bonding abilities is violent, or even a criminal. Of course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. There are a lot of things you can do that are legal but quite harmful to people.

    I’ve met a handful of people who seem to take pleasure in messing with others. I don’t know if they would qualify as full-blown psychopaths, and there seems to be some overlap between psychopathy and narcissism. But they were definitely harmful people–deliberately harmful and I know that because they came out and said so–that I would not voluntarily allow into my life again.

    @Michelle: I just wanted to add that you’re not the only Christian with these feelings and questions about the spirits. You are not alone.
    @JMG: thank you for your answer to Michelle. It really helped me too. I felt validated because you said “out loud” what I’d already thought in my head. 😉

  366. @ Denys

    Hi Denys.

    I do indeed live in the sweetest place on earth; I can see the Reese Factory from my backyard.

    I’d be happy to discuss indie writing and what we’ve learned. I don’t know how to reach you and I don’t want to impose on our gracious host by asking him to forward email addresses.

    Can I put my email address or my website address in a comment? Is that acceptable?

    Teresa from Hershey

  367. @Teresa my email is “mom” then my name @gmail.com I think if you post an email spam will ensue. Not from fellow commenters but from bots that scour the internet pages looking for emails.

    Thanks!
    Denys

  368. @Robert Gibson,

    I’m glad we have been able to discuss these things, and I’m having fun thinking about them!

    Since you asked about the most evil acts of humanity, I think there is much to discuss here. It does make sense to me to label a specific behavior as evil, because from a societal perspective you need rules. There are a lot of ways to say “This behavior is damaging to society so it must not be done, and if it is done there will be consequences.” Each way you label it yields different results.

    To say it is evil, it is an act of the Devil, its consequences include a one way ticket to hell is one way to address the behavior. One could also (in the language of progressives) say it’s barbaric and that people who engage in that behavior are unworthy of any sort of respect, the behavior is a vestige of primitive times. I don’t think this is quite an effective behavior deterrent for non progressives, and you can see the culture clash between Christian morality and progressive morality and how each other’s threats don’t work to deter people from their undesirable behavior (“gay people are going to hell!” “Yeah, sure buddy.” Vs. “you sexists are on the wrong side of history!” “Uh huh.”)

    From a nature-based model, you could say the behavior is “unhealthy” or “sick” or “imbalanced” and that might yield a totally different response, pity for the “evil” person and humane treatment for them while society seeks ways to minimize harm.

    A purely science based approach would look for causes (brain problems? Bad environment? Probably psychological diagnoses, and the difference between one who perpetuates a cycle of violence amd one who ends a cycle of violence might be the amount of diagnonses they have… for example they both have attachment disorders but only one also “caught” narcissistic personality disorder, too). In some cases, science may even find effective treatments that manage or cure things once identified as evil, like epilepsy, for example.

    Nevertheless there ARE behaviors so heinous that we all agree they are not permissible in society. The most important thing to do is make sure damaging social behavior is clearly identified and minimized. Each approach works really well for certain things andvterribly for others. The evil label works only when the person actually has a choice. It can be difficult to determine whether a choice was really made. For example, child molesters do not choose to be attracted to children (among the type of molester that is sexually imprinted upon children… there is a second type, the predatory type that is attracted to control… which might also not be a choice, I’m really not sure). They do choose to act on the impulse, and indeed some don’t. Some have turned up at psychiatric hospitals begging to be castrated they are so afraid of acting out their desires. From one perspective, a child molester IS evil. From another, he is very sick. The result still creates irreparable harm to a child, and as a society we cannot allow that behavior. But should we fear child molesters or pity them? Probably both.

    Christianity has a very good axiom here. “Hate the sin, but love the sinner.” I think it is worthwhile to note if you label a human as an evil person, they will either reject the label or internalize it. If they reject it you have conflict, if they internalize it you now have someone you can legitimately call a monster. They will embrace evilas a part of themselves.

    If you label a person as “sick” then there is a specific protocol of diagnosis, treatment, healing, wellness. This is great when it works, but some diseases are incurable. Some over confident psychiatrists havevreleased “cured” child molesters only to find out they were not changed at all. I do think more research on sexual imprinting could eventually prevent A LOT of suffering, though I doubt there will ever be a cure for these types of sexual dysfunctions. But imagine if you could prevent someone from ever developing an attraction to children. How many lives would be spared?

    Anyway, my point is all these ways of looking at the world are a little right and a little wrong. I think in this case it makes sense to see how each deals with certain situations and which ones yield the best results. Science did better than Christianity with epilepsy. Progressives did best with homosexuality (and I’m not sure any other worldview would have come to the same conclusion so quickly). Ecological paganism is better with pollution and the morality of ecology (and please please please can more people get on board with this???!!!) So far no one has done any better than Christianity with what to do with a serial killer (though science is better at identifying them). Christianity is better with how to prevent lying and adultery. I hope this makes things more clear. I just wanted to point out there are a lot of different ways to say “this is totally unacceptable and we as a society can not allow it.”

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  369. Hi Kimberly,

    Re Santa Muerte, not exactly meteoric, her cult’s been around (mostly among criminals) for at least 50 years, and probably longer than that.

  370. @David, by the lake,

    I found your genie wishes to be thought provoking, however the only provision that I see gaping holes in is this one:

    “Article 4. Any property of the United States within the territory of a seceding State as of the date of the ratifying referendum shall become the property of the seceding State.”

    Reason being that the US Military has wildly uneven distribution of strategic assets, and if certain states were to secede they would receive a huge proportion of said hardware. The Navy fleet concentration areas (VA, CA, HI, and WA to a lesser extent), and the nuclear missiles in North Dakota come to mind.

    (I see there’s another “Joel” here, my fault for not picking something more unique… I’ve posted under the old ADR blog going back to perhaps 2012 or so. No offense to the other, just pointing out that I’m different!)

  371. @ Jessi Thompson

    Once again an extremely readable and interesting reply – thank you. It’s a pity we can’t meet up at the pub and hammer out these issues over a beer or two. Or over a teacake in a tea-room if you prefer.

    I think the debate gets most acute when extreme actions are discussed. Not so much things like child-molesting which are presumably to do with a powerful instinct gone wrong. It’s more to do with rarer horrors, both individual and cultural. Iruquois taking pleasure in boiling captives alive. Soldiers in the Thirty Years’ War burning civilians alive just for the fun of it, after having looted their homes (why weren’t they satisfied with the looting?). Horror, horror, till one feels like screaming and hurling the history book away.

    On the other hand I perfectly agree with your comments about usefulness of a concept. You’re wisely thinking about how a word is used. I mostly haven’t got that far; I just stubbornly want to make sure I use words in such a way that I can be confident I’d still use the same vocabulary if I were a victim of the horror. Because, to be honest, if I were a victim, I’d think of my tormentors as Evil. I’d make no bones about it. And I want to be consistent, you see! Just because I’m sitting comfortably in my rocking chair, I don’t see why I should take a different philosophical line from what I’d say if I were in the clutches of a sadist.

    I concede, analytically the term “evil” doesn’t seem to be much use. You have the best of the argument in that respect.

    Incidentally – and here’s a big issue – we probably disagree about the importance of choice, too. If there were such things as vampires, they would not be that way through choice, and yet I would say that vampirism is evil. Folklore here embodies, in my opinion, the natural-law principle that there is more to good and evil than decision-making. There is conformity to, or deviation from, some inner blueprint of what a person should be. In other words there is such a thing as involuntary evil. Naturally, in such a case, there can be no question of blame. It is rather a case of solidarity in the face of what must be resisted for the good of all – including the vampires themselves, who are released when van Helsing has dealt with them. But I expect you would deny that there are any real-world equivalents to that situation.

  372. Thank you so much to everyone who answered my question! Also, my apologies for sending my thanks so late. I was moving apartments when all of this was going on, and it’s taking some time for the internet to get set up.

    JMG: thank you for the slide rule website, and yes I agree with the great idea for an online retro tech business!

    Rita: thank you for your comment on how specialized different brands of typewriters can be. I’ve watched a few videos on the YouTube channel Typewriter Justice and was wondering about that. I wish someone would create a simple and generic typewriter!

    Beekeeper: thank you so much for the survivor library link. That is right up my alley! I am not in the US but I will look around online at places catering to the Amish. That’s probably a good starting place in educating myself on all this.

    Lathechuck: that’s good to know regarding the limitations of slide rules. My husband was apparently already aware of this, but I was not. I’m also glad to hear that most old tech can be whipped into shape with just a good wash and re-oiling. I’d avoided getting into refurbishing because I’m such a bull in a china closet, but that was my cheap-plastic-bias at play. My friends have a joke that I have a special power: anything from Ikea, as soon as I touch it, it breaks. I’ll start snooping around for something I could clean up and get to work on that learning curve.

  373. Hi JMG,

    Thank you for teaching us all these years. My family’s life has changed to a more meaningful version than the previous industrialized version, because of you. As my limited free time is full of reading your posts and books and a few other selected books, I ask for a little book guidance.
    I saw your answer to “J.L.Mc12” about the intelligence of dolphins and whales and remembered your 2015 post “Darwin’s Casino”. Could you please point out some books or other info with evidence on this, as I am really interested in this subject but I cannot find any sources of info beyond the mass produced by google dull ones. The only thought-intriguing works I have found are from Donald Griffin’s books on animal consciousness.

    The same goes for climate change as described in your Dark Age America posts. I am very interested in paleoclimatology so could you please propose me 2-3 books to start studying it?

    Also, I have a suggestion for a post. The last book I read was Richard Leakey’s “The Origin Of Humankind”. In chapter 8 where he explains how human mind might have evolved, he mentions the social intelligence hypothesis citing works of primatologists Dorothy Cheney Robert Seyfarth, Robin Dunbar, psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, and others. They believe that ”the social nexus of primate life presents a sharp intellectual challenge”. Excerpts follow because I do not want to convey any wrong message by my writing:

    “…Primatologists now know that the network of alliances within primate troops is extremely complex. Learning the intricacies of such a network, as individuals must if they are to succeed, is difficult enough. But the task is made vastly harder by the constant shifting of alliances, as individuals constantly seek to improve their political power. Always looking out for their own best interests, and for the interests of their closest relatives, individuals may sometimes find it advantageous to break existing alliances and form new ones, perhaps even with previous rivals. Troop members therefore find themselves in the midst of changing patterns of alliances, and a keen intellect is demanded in playing the changing game of what
    Humphrey refers to as social chess…”

    “…The significant changes that occurred with the evolution of the genus Homo, in brain size and architecture, social organization, and mode of subsistence, probably also marked the beginning of a change in the level of consciousness. The beginnings of the hunting-and-gathering way of life surely increased the complexity of the social chess our ancestors had to
    master. Skilled players of the game—those equipped with a more acute mental model, a sharper consciousness—would have enjoyed greater social and reproductive success. This is grist for natural selection, which would have raised consciousness to higher and higher levels. This gradually unfolding consciousness changed us into a new kind of animal. It transformed us into an animal who sets arbitrary standards of behavior based on what is considered to be right and wrong…”

    These thoughts stroke hard on me as I realized how west people today feel so abandoned and alone, as the industrial mainframe that supported their well-being collapses. As long as the industrial thread worked they gradually lost the need to belong to a team but as time passes and the fossil fueled thread collapses this need returns because it is hardwired to our brains that are used to playing for so many million years this social chess game. This could also be the reason why such phenomena as hooliganism, fascism etc. usually appear in the hard times of civilizations and on the “rejects” of civilizations as they give people the much needed sense of belonging in a team that supports its members. What would you have to say on that? Is it a theme for a future post?

    Lastly, I came to read Richard Leakey through reading your post “The Dream of a Perfect Diet”. At that time I faced a family health problem and a doctor proposed that we change our diet and eat only plants (like what is called vegan). I did some research on patients who had been treated by this doctor and they all gave me encouraging feedback. But I did not rest and searched for books on the subject of nutrition and especially vegan nutrition. I bought and read Colin Campbell’s “The China Study” and all I can say is that it left me puzzled because its message is completely opposite to what we are being taught in schools and to the advice that you normally get from doctors. On the other way its message is supported by what I believe is good science. Anyway, the last years (under your influence) I have lost faith in the myth of progress and any effort that opposes the status quo of western medical science is seen with a sympathetic eye by me, so I decided that we give vegan diet a chance in cooperation with herbs that for 5 years have been our solely family medicine (no western chemicals whatsoever and we are very happy with our choice). Time will tell if our not so perfect diet is perfect for our health. Richard Leakey is mentioned by the vegan community (not the China Study authors) and I tried vainly to find in literature, a quote that he supposedly said sometime, about the human canine teeth, and couldn’t find it. Therefore, I decided to read one of his books and bought and read the aforementioned book. I did not find the excerpt, but regarding the meat and its role to human evolution, Leakey says that it played a substantial role in human evolution, but not the role that supporters of Man the Hunter like to give, as it was a non-frequent food. On the other way I do not know if the 2 million years that our ancestors have been eating meat is enough time to evolve our primate-homo biology in order to digest meat without it causing long term health problems. From what little I‘ve read our stomach has not changed much (our gastric fluids are not as acidic as the carnivores ones and our intestines are not as short as those of the carnivores) so I remain cautious to meat-eating and prefer to follow the not so perfect diet of The China Study, for now. I would like your view on this book and its message. If you have not read it I suggest it as an at least interesting book.

    Kosta_M

Comments are closed.