Open Post

August 2022 Open Post

This week’s Ecosophian offering is the monthly (well, more or less!) open post to field questions and encourage discussion among my readers. All the standard rules apply — no profanity, no sales pitches, no trolling, no rudeness, no paid propagandizing, no long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic. (Well, with one exception: there’s a dedicated (more or less) open post on my Dreamwidth journal on the current virus panic and related issues, so anything Covid-themed should go there instead.)

With that said, have at it!

410 Comments

  1. I’m concerned about the spreading drought conditions beyond the Southwest, especially in your area of Rhode Island which the Drought Monitor now shows is in extreme drought and in the severe drought conditions in the southern Missouri Ozarks, an area I’ve been dreaming about relocating to for some time. Hopefully this is only short term but it indicates that no place is safe from the climate emergencies to come.

  2. Hello JMG,

    – I came across this article about “Coding the Digital Occult”, according to which the Internet has many things in common with occult systems, and it is not unlikely that other beings are using it for their own purposes (https://eticlab.co.uk/coding-the-digital-occult/). You wrote something along the same lines a few weeks ago, and Paul Kingsnorth did as well in the Basilisk (I know you are not a fan of Paul Kingsnorth);

    – A while back I asked you how to make myself less invisible to others (the opposite of an invisibility spell). You probably thought that I was referring to some romantic interest, but I must have not made myself clear.
    People often fail to notice my presence even when I am only a short distance away, or are startled when they see me, as if I had appeared out of nowhere. Cashiers do not see me when I want to pay for groceries, waiters ignore me when I am trying to get a table at a restaurant, colleagues do not realize that I am in the office (back in the days when I still had an office), passers-by do not realize I am walking right next to them, and so on.
    I am socially inept and try not to stand out, but I was always surprised that people do not even notice that I am physically present.

  3. Dear JMG and especially the German-speaking readers,

    a few ecosophians from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are planning a meetup on October 15. Fellow commenter Milkyway (who’s currently on vacation without Internet) has kindly offered to host near Karlsruhe in the southwest of Germany.

    If you’re interested, do get in touch either through Milkyway’s dreamwidth (https://milkyway1.dreamwidth.org/) or write to me at my username (without space) at mailbox.org.

    Also, for those interested in mundane astrology: I started working with our host’s developing book on the topic and other sources to create ingress charts for Germany. You can find the latest prediction for the Libra ingress (September 2022 to March 2023) in German here: https://mundanastrologie.substack.com/p/waageeintritt-berlin-2022. As there was interest in an English translation, I added one here: https://mundanastrologie.substack.com/p/libra-ingress-berlin-2022.

    I’m still experimenting with the format and left out the astrological indications this time for easier readability. I would be very happy to get feedback!

    Also: batten down the hatches for winter if you’re in Germany!

    Bendith Fawr

  4. Hello JMG! I live on Vancouver Island in Canada and with growing concern have seen the breakdown of our medical system. A young person staying with us for a while (because at 20 there’s nowhere affordable for her to live) let her prescription for ADHD meds lapse and since she doesn’t have a doctor (they’ve all retired or moved away) she’s been relying on “walk-in clinics”. Well many walk in clinics have closed this year! So she spent the afternoon trying to find SOMEBODY to help her renew her prescription. And she still can’t. We have emergency departments on the North Island and elsewhere closing periodically due to doctor and nursing shortages. Most people I know (including my husband and I ) do not have a regular doctor. So, we have people with physical and mental health problems with little access to meaningful care and no improvement in sight. And an ever-increasing load of seniors with complex needs. Things could get nasty real fast. Like dying in the emergency while waiting for care. Or Seniors dying in their homes. The system from this perspective has reached the tipping point into chaos. The slow decline has reached critical mass here. Curious what others see in their communities.

  5. Hello JMG and kommentariat.
    What do you think on education? What changes would be necessary to prepare children to the Long Descent?

  6. Greetings Ecosophians,

    Here is a plug for a youtube show/podcast: America’s Untold Stories. I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit, and think others here might as well. What I like about these is that they resonate on a similar frequency as the “Johnny Appleseed” posts here and at JMG’s other blog. Though they are not related to the occult, what the hosts Eric Hunley and Mark Groubert do here is explore some of those forgotten or as in the title, untold, stories that give a glimpse into the “tamanous” aspect of American culture -and celebrate it. They also get into some darker stuff, such as exploring political figures, specifically the characters surrounding JFK and his assasination. In this latter regard they are riding the wave of populism and examining questions around the deep state, in an intelligent way. I’m glad they are bringing these American stories to a larger audience and wanted to give them a plug.

    (I generally just listen to the audio while at work as it is mostly talk.)

    America’s Untold Stories: https://www.youtube.com/c/AmericasUntoldStories/videos

    “America’s Untold Stories with Eric Hunley and Mark Groubert explores history and pop-culture that is often unknown, obscure, or overlooked.

    Eric Hunley is the host of Unstructured and the eponymous YouTube Channel Eric Hunley where he interviews a WIDE variety of folks from body language experts, to YouTube lawyers, to folks in 3 letter agencies https://youtube.com/erichunley

    Mark Groubert, the self-defined Forrest Gump of pop-culture has lived through more events than a dozen folks have in their lifetimes.
    He’s an investigative reporter/features writer for the LA Weekly and was editor of The Weekly World News in 2002. He’s also written for Penthouse Magazine, High Times, LA City Beat, and many other publications.
    From 1994 to 2001 Groubert penned more than ten screenplays including The Recruit (2003), starring Colin Farrell and Al Pacino, and served as a script doctor on dozens of others.”

    The fact that Groubert was an editor at Weekly World News was one of the things that got me hooked. He also worked for National Lampoons Magazine and the episodes on both of these publications are very interesting.

    Some of my favorite episodes:

    Street Games -on the history of street games in America
    Dr. Strangeloves of Rock -pop music shenanigans
    From Anthrax to Batboy: The Weekly World News
    Moonies Vs Mark
    Sonora House
    The Coffee Shop
    Box of Broken Dreams
    Art Detective
    Vanished: The Legend of David Steeves
    Joe Coleman – Walking Ghost of America
    Levine’s Bungalow Colony

    These are the ones that really tap into that spirit of the land, and spirit of 76

  7. Do you like radio? Do you like imagination?

    Then join the crew of Imaginary Stations on a voyage into the aether.

    Need to know how to tune into imaginary stations? This quick video tutorial will give you the answers you’ve been seeking.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwQpZV2OCRA

    Don’t like videos? I understand.

    So what are Imaginary Stations … and where are they broadcast?
    The ionosphere, the static between the stations has always been a place of possibility. Most of these programs have been broadcast or will be broadcast on shortwave frequencies.

    As a crew, we dream up themes and radio stations that we’d like to listen to, then we build mixes for that imaginary station. Every journey is different, but radio connects us all. Welcome to Imaginary Stations.

    If you have a shortwave radio, tune in every Sunday night via WRMI at 9395 kHz, 2200 UTC

    & if not, well, we understand:

    Imaginary Stations Mixcloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/kmtsradio/

    but the sound really does sound better when remixed off the ionosphere!

  8. In earlier posts I had described our strange governors race here in Oregon with the main feature being a carpetbagging New York Times columnist attempting to run for governor claiming state residency based on his childhood farm home. His run fizzled out when a judge ruled that paying taxes and voting in New York State in 2020 and 2021 ruled out his state residency claim. Now the race has come down to a three way competition between: An Ideological republican with no business or establishment support. A Rachel Maddow clone ( with all the wokester baggage that entails) who is a state rep who’s home district is the quickly collapsing, ultra progressive, Antifa and BLM riddled North Portland Neighborhood. And a machine gun toting ( with actual permit), helicopter piloting granny who is running as an independent. Believe it or not the machine gun granny is the leading candidate and has garnered most of the business and establishment support. Definitely strange times.

  9. Dear JMG, how do you learn how to sense the astral weather? And can you do it without the aid of a divination system? All the comments about the astral weather on Dreamwidth about it make me wonder how people do it. I presume that part of it involves learning to separate your own thoughts from those that drift into your consciousness from other people.

  10. JMG,

    How many different books are you reading at one time? As in front to back and not as a quick reference.

    Also, are you currently reading any fiction?

  11. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I am a 25 year old machinist and avid reader. My aspiration is for me to develop a better concentration and memory over the next few months. This goal means much to me, as a wish to be a writer of novels and verse, and my concentration is not adequate to the task. I have, on occasion, had moments of inspiration and been able to devote hours to a task and perform it well. This said, I often forget what I have just read and have no creative energy whatsoever. Aside from physical fitness, which will help with my vigor, are there any old texts or pieces of advice you can share with me in doing this? I remember you devoting a entry to old medieval texts pertaining to the development of memory and thinking. Is that where I should start?

    Thank you. I began reading this blog at the beginning of this year, and this is my first time commenting.

  12. Here’s a fun one for JMG & the commenters. I know a person who is friends with someone high up at the Department of Energy. Usually, they blow billions of dollars on climate change stuff (and we see how far that’s gotten us). This year, they have some extra billions. They don’t know what to spend it on and welcome suggestions/applicants. What would you have them spend it on?

    Granted, these suggestions may not find receptive ears. I would assume the DOE is just as stuck in “Jetsons” future mentality as the rest of society. But suppose they’d do something that would ACTUALLY address the energy crisis. What would be your top suggestions?

    I’m thinking “home weatherization program” (if that’s too boring, “deep energy retrofits”). Israel is covered in solar hot water tanks, so that seems useful too.

  13. Mr. Greer,
    Can you explain the technic of Goethe of possibility?
    And point to the correct texts? I want to read the original and can’t find anything.
    Thank you very much.

  14. Dear JMG,

    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for publishing the material of The Octagon Society. I just finished the last preliminary lesson, and will take the time from now until the new moon to meditate over beginning the actual work.

    I think I am already experiencing the beginning of a transformation, as my attitude towards one issue I wrote about changed, and after reviewing my notebook I realized it was actually a sign of growth, so I should not feel guilty over it. I was always looking for a system for self transformation, and I think I found it.

    I also have a question relating to Shakespeare and Alchemy. I saw a show of the play “The Merchant of Venice” in a local park, and while my knowledge of alchemy is limited to what I was reading in the lessons of the Octagon Society, I could not help by noticing a lot of symbolism: A woman is wooed by three suitors, and has them pick between a box of lead, gold and silver, with the winning suitor picking the lead (I suppose because he showed he is willing to do the work to turn the lead of the marriage into the gold of a good relationship?). A jew converts to Christianity. Two female characters disguise themselves as men. To your knowledge, did Shakespeare have some kind of known connection to Alchemy, or was he simply using widely known ideas at the time?

  15. Been indulging in your essays for a while now. I recently took a Golden Dawn hiatus and am restarting with your Celtic Golden Dawn. Very excited, to say the least. Thanks for all you do JMG! My family hears me talking about you all the time, some aren’t fans of what you say, while others are.

  16. A couple of thoughts this month:

    I have come to realize the great extent to which I (or at least a solid part of my ego) struggle with witnessing the falling apart of things. I expect the folks of 4th and 5th century Rome felt similarly. It is hard to watch systems which (used to) mean something deteriorate: the country is coming apart, higher education is collapsing under its own weight, my lodge hobbles along with a handful of active members. My better half has commented that I tend to look to the past, seeking to rebuild what once was rather than allowing what is coming to develop in its own time. She is not wrong in this, as the past is a known quantity–it far more difficult to envision something new not yet formed than to pour energy into patching a crumbling edifice that has a visible (if collapsing) structure, even when the better path forward is to let the collapse occur so that the rubble can be cleared away for the new. How can I shift this mindset?

    This also ties in to my tendency toward quantification and measurement, which has ruled most of my life: achievement, degrees, athletics, workplace promotion, socioeconomic status. The inner work, of course, has the frustrating characteristic of being qualitative and immeasurable. I keep trying to turn the work into a course of study, trying to fit square peg into the round hole so that I can use to tools I know how to use in order to make some progress. My Taurian nature has resulted in much head-banging-against-the-wall-that’s-not-supposed-to-be-there-d***-it. I manage to shift my approach for a time, but then slip back into old mindsets and frustrations. My progress feels haphazard and sluggish, not at all like I’d wish it to be.

    Oh, and on a completely different topic, chipping one’s kids is back in the news:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/world-economic-forum-suggests-there-are-solid-rational-reasons-microchip-kids

  17. I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind answering how you personally are preparing for the future when you are not actively writing, i.e. retirement? I assume you’d be skeptical of the stock market or any other financial investments? In the future you’ve sketched out, do you see society returning to the old model of family caring for each other when the costs of senior care become out of reach for most of us?

  18. One more item I’d meant to toss out for discussion.

    Recently I had a fascinating conversation with a colleague re the state of the US and its system of governance. The discussion brought in comparisons with Rome, of course, and my colleague suggested (only half jokingly) that my Constitutionalism was much like that of Cato the Younger, fighting to uphold the ideals of the Republic even as it came apart around him. The legitimacy of the Constitution is what holds this nation together, something that I fear is fast eroding. My colleague responded to my concerns with a fearfully (to me) valid question: What if the Constitution has run its course?

    Could the Constitution (or more specifically, the constitutional government) lose the Mandate of Heaven? Then where will we be?

  19. A few questions for those who tried to view spirits using blue lensed glasses:

    1) What color of blue did you use? Light? Dark?

    2) Any success with the experiment?

    3) If successful, how long did the effects extend over time?

  20. And you wonder why trust in the Government, Media, Health Organizations continues to plummet? As the famous quote once said. “If you tell a big enough lie and continue to repeat it, eventually the people will believe it”. These three organizations have done this repeatedly with 9-11, Saddam has WMD and ties to Al-Qaida, then Covid1984, Omicron and now “MoneyPox” (a shout out to our clever host)

    Watch: CNN Tells Viewers Monkeypox Is Not Sexually-Transmitted. Despite vast amounts of data showing that the spread of Monkeypox is occurring predominantly among gay men, CNN went to great lengths to explain that it is absolutely NOT sexually transmitted.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/watch-cnn-tells-viewers-monkeypox-not-sexually-transmitted

  21. Dear JMG,

    I am still one of the scarce few walking around out here, so I keep to my opinion that the gas prices aren’t that high! But I wanted to report something I’m seeing: electric-assist “fat bikes” being used like cars. Just a couple dozen or so. I hope the Bakfiets (bikes with a wheel-barrow on the front) can become popular here. They allow safe transport of children, pets, groceries, and even me-sized adults.

  22. I’ve been meditating on the “Great Resignation” lately, and some thoughts as to the various factors that may be contributing to it (JMG—Some of these relate to the special topic of the other blog, but I think it fits better here since it’s more broader-scale.)

    (1) People who have died, either because of (A) Covid, (B) ancillary effects of Covid policies, or (C) whatever effects a certain response to Covid in particular may be wreaking on their bodies, are no longer working, no longer available for work, and no longer looking for work. They are dead, and there is no leverage any entity, whether governmental, NGO, corporate, or individual, can apply to bring them back to work.

    (2) Some subset of the people with “long Covid,” whatever be the actual provenance of that, are at best temporarily and in some cases permanently unable to work. To whatever extent repeated Covid infections, especially in conjunction with the aforementioned certain response, are exacerbating the issue, this will cause a reduction in the overall number of people who can work, for generations.

    (3) People moving from high-cost-of-living to lower-cost-of-living areas have, in many cases, sold their old properties near the peak of the local market and are potentially able to live off the net equity, at least for a time. Even if they still need to work, they don’t need to work as imminently as they did back in 2019.

    (4) One of the effects of Covid lockdowns was that daycare centers closed, and even when they reopened they often had to shut down again at random and unpredictable intervals because of Covid outbreaks among the children and/or staff, forcing parents to scramble to find alternative arrangements especially if they had already returned to office (or had never left because “essential”). One solution was to revert to a single-income household from a double-income one, which in at least some cases (between daycare costs, commute costs in gas/tolls/parking/insurance premiums/additional car maintenance, work wardrobe, and lower tax bracket) turned out to be on par with or even more cost-effective than having the additional income. Not all such families have felt the need to revert back to a double-income format.

    (5) Demographic headwinds. The youngest Baby Boomers (born 1963) are now pushing 60. The 1952-57 “core” Boomers (period with the highest birth rates) are old enough for Medicare, and in some cases Social Security. The oldest are approaching 80 and the actuarial tables are starting to bite. Even in the absence of a pandemic, these would be voluntarily retiring, involuntarily falling out of the workforce due to illness or infirmity, or dying.

    (6) A subset of the people dying because of (1) and (5) will have died solvent and will have left inheritances (I have noticed considerably more local sings up for estate sales the past 12 months than I had the previous 9 years). This causes an effect similar to (3) among the heirs—even if they still need to work, they don’t need to work as imminently as they did back in 2019, especially if the sale of a paid-off or mostly-paid-off house was part of the probate.

    (7) Skyrocketing rents and home prices have in some areas priced lower-income workers out of housing. If they can’t live there, they’ll either (A) move somewhere else, which means (at least if their job hadn’t been remote) they quit where they had been, (B) move in with parents, friends, or relatives, which tends to reduce their own expenditures allowing padding for reduced income as even if said parents/friends/relatives charge them rent, they aren’t necessarily charging market rent, or (C) go homeless (including squatting). Employers actually have very little leverage over homeless workers, especially to the extent that they remain mobile. Even if homelessness is made illegal and they get caught and sent to jail, well… they’re probably not working for you anymore.

    (8) Doomscrolling and fear-mongering about Covid, nuclear war with Russia, climate change, etc. has put a subset of younger workers into a more subsistence/survival mode—why bother investing in “your future” if you’re not entirely sure you’re going to have one? Likewise, “burning bridges” by (for instance) quitting on the spot during the busy season when already understaffed doesn’t really matter as much if where you really see yourself in five years is as a climate refugee or dead from radiation poisoning.

    (9) Demography, part II and the breach of the social contract—for much of younger workers’ lives, there has been little apparent benefit in actually striving to climb the corporate ladder or in staying loyal to a company (after all, your company isn’t loyal to you; they’ll throw you out as soon as the metrics or P/L statements turn the wrong way). “Nobody wants to work anymore” because the only incentive people have to work is a paycheck, and that’s something businesses tend to be stingy with (because, in fairness, payroll is a large part of expenses).

    (10) Prior to 2020, and going back to at least 1990 (possibly 1981 with the PATCO strike), it has largely been an employers’ market, in which the leverage tends towards the employer’s side and the worker has very little. This was made possible largely by the quadruple labor glut created by (A) the demographic bulge of the Boomers, (B) the effect of feminism in bringing in more women to office jobs and thereby turning single-income families into double-income families, (C) globalization/offshoring, and (D) computerization/automation. These are now all facing headwinds. I discussed (A) in point (5) above. (B) is being partly reversed by the effect of (4), Covid policies, the follow-on chilling effects from the Russian sanctions, and lingering supply-chain issues (themselves in part because of Covid/Russia, in part because of global peak oil, and in part because of the all the other issues inherent to the Great Resignation as applied to logistics jobs), are contributing to issues in (C) and (D).

    (11) Managers and HR departments, however, have still been operating under the mindset of an employers’ market, because it had previously been the case for almost if not the entire time they’ve been in the labor force. Strategies which had served them well for decades are suddenly no longer working as effectively, worse, can be perceived as antagonizing the employees, making it more likely that they will seek opportunities elsewhere. There are tales, for instance—admittedly some of these may be outliers, but there are tales—of HR trying to “negotiate” a quitting employee down in salary, as if they were hoping to spare the employee from a downsizing rather than

    (12) Internet communities and publicly available data make it harder for companies and managers to keep secrets from their employees—secrets like, for instance, that (A) it’s illegal in the US to forbid employees from discussing their wages with coworkers, and (B) a lot of non-compete agreements are unenforceable. (This post is not intended to provide any legal advice.)

    (13) Inflation, especially of “asset” prices like housing, exacerbates these issues, and also, with unemployment low because of people permanently or semi-permanently checking out of the workforce, encourages employees to seek opportunities elsewhere as raises tend not to keep up with inflation in high-inflation environments. This poses a predicament, because the government’s usual response to a problem is “throw more money at it,” which isn’t a viable solution when the problem is “too much money” is the problem.

    Are there any big factors I’m missing here?

  23. Was thinking some about the industrial age and sacrifice (if you’ve explored this one elsewhere, and I suspect you have, feel free to disregard).

    If we assume there is an occult dimension, whatever that might be, to the shedding of blood, it’s interesting to consider the amount of blood that has been spilled in the name of Progress and in service of the industrial age: the countless numbers of slaughtered by industrial farming and pesticides, the vast number of human beings killed on our roadways…I’m sure one can think of many other examples. To what extent, then, is our participation in these activities a “sacrifice” in the name of whatever divinity(ies) are behind these historical processes?

    Axé…

  24. Hi JMG, Are you active in amateur radio? If so, any favorite areas there? After reading Retrotopia, The Retro Future, Star’s Reach, etc., I noticed that shortwave communications kept coming up, and couldn’t help but wonder. And yes, you’re spot on, when our internet falters and land lines can’t be kept secure and repaired, I’m sure that shortwave will be the new retro-hotness.

  25. @Bryce Hardy #2 – you’re absolutely right. There’s no hiding place from the crazy weather any more. “Run to the rocks, rocks won’t you hide me, run to the river, river won’t you hide me……”

    Here in Florida, it’s “be prepared for the hot & muggy default, but don’t be surprised by anything, from a hard freeze, to floods, to wildfires.”

    @SecretDi – would it help to run over to Washington State and try to find some of these meds there? Not sure of the cost, of course, but if you can pay it, it beats ‘unavailable at any cost.'”

  26. I was reading the discussion on Magic Moday about the ordinariness or otherwise of the characters in The Weird of Hali. Everyone seens to be missing the obvious self-insert Mary Sue character – Dr Abelard Whipple. He spends essentially the entire series being left alone in a library of forbidden books. Clearly that’s JMG’s wish-fulfilment fantasy. 😉

  27. In the Open Post tradition of ensuring the first day’s comments cover every possible topic, I have a question about your publishing process.

    I wrote three books during 2020 into 2021. They are “non-fiction”, specialized to my field. I finally decided to work to publish them. Had some peers read the first one and give me decent feedback in the spring. Been working on self-editing ever since. Ugh. Did you ever use an editor for your books? I noticed you don’t have one named, but people are reviewing your manuscript and giving feedback.

    Is it worth trying to find someone a small publishing house to publish it/them? I resolved myself that I might have to self-publish through that which shall not be named.

  28. Chuaquin #7, Long Descent or not – in education I’d say variety is always the key, because no one system works for every child. So everything from what you may think of as fairly conventional schools to homeschooling to democratic schools to something closer to apprenticeships. There’s an interesting model called schools-within-schools where several different types of schools are located on the same site. Ivan Illych goes into a lot of options in Deschooling Society. Roland Meighan was like a clearinghouse for weird education and I’ve got his A Sociology of Educating.

    Bob #14, maybe fund more university degrees in Power Engineering – it’s an aging industry with skill shortages rapidly on the way. Also human factors and crew resource management training for all front-line workers, so they can operate as safely as possible, and adapt and improvise without having to wait for orders from above. The DOE was one of the pioneers in that field so it makes sense to make the most of it.

  29. Greetings JMG,

    I am studying the Tarot this year and next, mostly for spiritual development. I have
    a brand new deck of cards.

    How can I use it to navigate the Long Descent for myself and others in my community?

  30. So I’ve been musing about music. I think we can all agree that as the long descent goes on, pre-recorded music is going to become a luxury for the very rich (at best), and we peasants will have work-songs, shanties, folk instruments and the like. In the short-to-medium term, though… well, right now, most people (myself included, I am ashamed to say) get their music via the internet. Streaming, ew.

    I’m actually looking at assembling a collection of audio cassettes for the interim. My reasoning is as follows: I picked up a hi-fi cassette deck for a song at the local thrift shop. High quality cassette tapes are still available, and not expensive, and I am ordering a test case. You can mixtape your streaming audio with the same legality as taping the radio back in the 80s, so the cost is low. There are cassettes from the 1950s floating around in playable condition, so they can be pretty durable if not left in a hot car.

    Compared to vinyl, which decays when played too often (especially on machines without the best-quality needles, which are expensive and hard to get), and is only available with commercial offerings, I think cassettes have certain advantages.

    I suspect I’m reaching for cassettes over CDs mostly out of nostalgia. I have had bad luck with CD-Rs, though, and besides, CDs are digital and last I heard the ultimate archival medium for digital data was still– TAPE!

    Longer term… well, I’m working on my singing voice and practicing harmonica, and I’ve already just going without background music more often. What’s everyone else’s ‘prep’ for our culture’s collective addiction to music?

  31. An observation: I practice divination, both Tarot and Geomancy. Which system I use will depend on my first question to the querent: “Do you want advice, or do you want an answer to a question?”

    More folks are wanting an answer, hence I’ve found I’m using Geomancy far more than in prior years. I see this as a move away from the abstract and towards the practical. In particular I’m seeing younger students gravitating towards Geomancy rather than Tarot, no longer trusting a fluid, intuition-based opinion and wanting more black-and-white synchronicity to guide them.

    The loss of trust in “expert opinion” has been explored in depth here. This is the first indication I’ve seen that people seeking esoteric training are forgoing developing their own ability to intuit “expert opinion” for (sic) “more down to earth answers”.

  32. Russell, nope. The universe isn’t a manufactured object — it was born, not made, and so it has parents, not a creator.

    Bryce, the drought we’re having in Rhode Island is “severe” only in statistical terms; we had heavy rains yesterday — I haven’t yet been able to find a news source that gives the amount (it’s astonishing how little quantitative info you can get on weather these days), but I’d guess 1.5 to 2 inches — and the unwatered lawns are their usual August green-and-brown. Your broader point, however, is on target; when global climate changes, everywhere on the globe will be affected.

    Discwrites, thank you for the link! With regard to your problem with invisibility, it sounds to me as though you yourself have learned the trick of invisibility, unconsciously or half-consciously; what you need now is to bring it under control. Next time you’re in a situation where you need to be noticed, imagine yourself lighting up like a light bulb, radiating a bright light that makes you not merely visible but impossible not to notice. Keep on doing that — and while you’re doing that, notice your emotional reaction. Journaling about that latter may be helpful in unpacking the roots of the habit.

    Bendith Fawr, I’m delighted to see this. Thank you for posting this!

    Yorkshire, ha! Many thanks for this.

    SecretDi, I’ve been hearing accounts like this with increasing frequency from Canada. I hope you and the people you know are taking steps to meet your own health care needs outside the medical profession, because it may not be there for you at all for much longer. I haven’t seen anything like that here, but then I probably wouldn’t notice — I haven’t used an MD’s services for more than thirty years.

    Chuaquin, that’s a topic for an entire series of posts! I’ll consider it.

    Justin, thanks for both of these.

    Clay, you know, that doesn’t ultimately surprise me that much, Oregon being Oregon. I’m delighted to hear that Kristol’s bid got deep-sixed, too. Here’s to Machine Gun Granny!

    Jbucks, you can certainly do it without a divination system, though regular practice of divination helps to train the intuitive senses. In my case it developed out of the practice of daily meditation; I began to pay attention to what made for better and worse sessions of meditation, and over time noticed that there was something at work other than factors internal to me; more attention, more reflection, and like most things, practice did the trick.

    DMekel, usually either one or two books at a time. Just at the moment, no, I’m not reading any fiction, but I’m sure I’ll pick up a novel sometime soon.

    Jonathan, welcome to the commentariat! Mental fitness, like physical fitness, is improved by exercise, and in both cases it’s important to start off with exercises you can do easily, and build from that. Thus medieval exercises aren’t a good place to start — they assume you’ve already built mental muscles by learning Latin, which is heavy lifting by any standards. 😉 As you’re a writer, start by getting a journal and writing in it for fifteen minutes every morning. By that I mean your pen stays in motion the whole time. Don’t edit, judge, or even pause; write whatever comes into your head and keep on going no matter what. You can write scenes from stories if you like, but if nothing comes to mind, just put down whatever is cycling through your brain, including rude thoughts about the exercise. When you’ve gotten to the point that this is easy for you, you’ll have established the habit of self-discipline, the foundation of success in every field of human activity, and you can go on to do more useful things.

    Bob, I recommend grants to apartment building owners to pay for weatherization retrofits. Most apartment buildings leak heat like sieves.

    Balthasar, I’m not much of a Goethe scholar, since my German isn’t good enough to read him in the original and a great deal of his work has not been translated. I’m sorry to say I can’t help you with this.

    Bakbook, you’re most welcome — thank you for taking the work seriously! As for Shakespeare and alchemy, I know of no evidence that he practiced alchemy, but he was sufficiently well educated that he knew a fair bit about it. You might find this dissertation interesting:

    https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/46924801.pdf

    Elijah, you’re most welcome and thank you.

    David BTL, it’s a rough road. As for the WEF wanting to stick microchips in everyone, it’s frankly weird how obsessively they try to act out the role of evil overlords.

    Joshua, er, retirement? I don’t plan on doing that; most writers don’t, since writing is the kind of occupation you can do into advanced old age, and it’s something most of us greatly enjoy doing. Writing also has a curious financial trajectory over time. Each book brings in a surge of money when it first sees print, and then settles down as a backlist title and brings in a steady trickle thereafter. That doesn’t amount to much when you just have a few books in print, which is why young writers live in garrets and eat lots of ramen, but by the time you have twenty or thirty titles out there it starts adding up. I have more than seventy titles in print and I’m doing better financially now than ever before — and that’ll keep on mounting up as I keep writing. Since I expect a long decline, not a sudden collapse, it’s very likely that my books will keep on earning more money than I need to live on through my remaining lifespan and beyond.

    As for senior care, last I checked only about 15% of elderly people end up in nursing homes or the like. The other 85% can live more or less independently. The more time and attention you put into maintaining your health, and the less you listen to the kind of doctors who want you on 13 different prescription drugs (because they’re getting kickbacks from the local pharma reps for every prescription they write), the more likely you are to be among that 85%. That’s my plan, certainly.

    David BTL, I wish I could dismiss that possibility but I can’t.

    Rod, the interesting thing is that so few people believe the media these days. Clearly there are limits to how long you can tell blatant lies and still be believed.

    Cs2, I’ve seen those here in Rhode Island, and in fact there’s a shop that sells them a couple of miles from here, on the east side of Providence. It strikes me as a good sign.

    Brendhelm, this strikes me as a good summary. The one thing I’d add is that due to the spectacular metastasis of federal, state, and local regulations and fees, more and more economic activity is taking place “under the table” in a gray market of cash-only transactions and informal barter arrangements. During the Covid shutdowns, when so many working class jobs got shut down, a great many people in the working classes shifted over to the gray market, and found that they can do much better for themselves when they’re not also supporting management by their labor. They’re not coming back to regular employment, and their example is encouraging more people to do the same thing. I don’t know how that ranks in terms of numbers alongside your other factors, but it’s one ingredient in the mix.

  33. I suffer from mental illness and would like to know does a Druid interpretation of this say that it’s the result of choices made in past lives or is it simply a matter of having to “experience all things?”

    Also what happens between incarnations: can you have a good or bad experience there because of the way you’ve lived your life. And is it possible to get stuck between incarnations indefinitely?

    Thanks

  34. “Quiet quitting” fits in well with what Brendhelm had to say. It also matches with the “lay flat” movement in the Far East.

    A different economics blogger was openly wondering whether productivity (which is in the dumps) was consistently overestimated for years by undercounting the actual hours worked by the exempt employees. Having been one I can easily believe it. Dad was blue collar and in a Union. Working overtime and not getting paid for it was anathema. But employers pull every trick in the book to get you to “exempt” status.

    Hopefully workers are finally starting to rebel.

  35. >They don’t know what to spend it on and welcome suggestions/applicants. What would you have them spend it on?

    Have you noticed diesel trucks in the rain? Man do they ever spray water everywhere – due to turbulence they kick up from the air. That’s energy that’s just wasted, for everyone.

    A little bit of research on how to retrofit them so they spend more energy moving stuff and less blowing the air around may or may not have benefits. I’d say that making those trucks 1% more efficient will benefit the world way more than electrification or any other alternative energy scheme you care to name.

  36. Fra’ Lupo, that’s an unsettling thought!

    David BTL, yep. As the Hispanic community leaves the Democratic camp, they’re being labeled as Bad People; the same thing’s happening to gays and lesbians.

    Dr. Coyote, my license is current but I’m not currently active — not enough hours in the day to do that and everything else I want to do. You’re right that it’s central to my future fiction, though — if hams can keep basic shortwave technology alive through the Long Descent, that’s going to be a huge advantage to future civilizations.

    Yorkshire, ha! I sshould probably sstart hisssing at people at the Ecossophia Potluckss. 😉

    Denis, it is entirely worth your while to see if you can find a small to midsized press for your books; in fact, I’m considering a post on the subject, with an eye toward what the publishing industry shows about the state of the industrial economy. I’ve made my entire career publishing with such firms, and by and large my experiences have been very good. You get editing, marketing, and production handled professionally so you don’t have to futz with those. (No, I don’t hire editors — I let the publisher do that.)

    Tony, start by learning how to use them, and keep track of your wrong predictions as well as your correct ones. Then do readings whenever you need input from the Unseen.

    Doomer, this strikes me as a very good idea. Ultimately, of course, recorded music won’t exist any more, but that’s unlikely to arrive in the lifetimes of anyone now living, so downshifting to a lower-tech mode of music recording is very sensible.

    Harry, fascinating. That certainly fits my experience; back when I used to go to Pagan events, I’d do geomancy readings on a by-donation basis to make spending money, and people really appreciated getting clear practical answers instead of amateur counseling!

  37. This crowd might know. For Spengler’s Decline of the West, is there any side by side German-English version paper or electronic that anyone knows of?

  38. >Believe it or not the machine gun granny is the leading candidate and has garnered most of the business and establishment support. Definitely strange times.

    Commercial rated airplane and helicopter. Not bad. Brought to you by Nike, or at least that’s where her funding is coming from. I’d vote for her over the others because at least she has demonstrated skills in something practical. At the very least to become an old helicopter pilot you have to either have amazing luck or good risk management. Either is good, I guess.

    I wouldn’t get my hopes up because brought to you by Nike.

  39. I decided/realized that this year was an ideal moment to start learning to play music and after looking around for a “certifiably” easy instrument, I was pleasantly reminded of the mountain dulcimer that I was first introduced to here. My birthday-gift cardboard dulcimer kit arrived yesterday (with two instruments, one for my daughter so we can spur each other on) and so I look forward to joining the several others of you here (in spirit as nobody seems to be local to me) who play the dulcimer (SL Claire, JMG,… anyone else?).

    For anyone interested in the mountain dulcimer, Appalachian culture and music, or just regional cultural development, I’d like to bring to your attention a go-fund-me for a dulcimer-related cause in hopes that some folks might contribute. Last month, torrential rains devastated portions of Kentucky. Included in the flood-damage was the Appalachian Artisan Center that housed the Museum of the Mountain Dulcimer and artists’ studios. It was completely ruined, as were the related Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument Company, and the Appalachian School of Luthiery which helps people in recovery find a craft and a livelihood. Everything from at least the five-foot mark and under was destroyed/lost.

    Here’s the fundraiser, for those who feel inclined to contribute to their efforts to recover from the flood: https://gofund.me/3f31a677, and a news article on the damage in the area: https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2022/07/kentucky-floods-claim-at-least-16-lives-devastate-region/.

  40. @ discwrites #3

    I’ve known two people who had the same problem as you have, just less acute. I don’t know anything about invisibility spells, but it seems to me that they could have improved their lot (or at least minimized the spell) by taking acting lessons, which they didn’t. Actors are taught how to have “presence” on stage, that’s to say, how to be extra-visible. Student actors begin at a very modest level, by reciting poetry in front of fellow students, as a first step.

    My friends were the kind of people who never seem to be able to attract the waiter’s attention in bars and restaurant, and I attributed that to their unusually low voices (by French standards) and apparent shyness.

    I know at least three other people who took acting lessons. They didn’t become actors or actresses, but the three told me that their acting experience helps them a lot during board meetings, commercial negotiations, etc. And, probably (but they didn’t tell), finding a partner.

    They were able to get acting lessons for free thanks to the cultural policies of the city of Paris, France, where they live. Maybe the town where you live provides similar opportunities.

    I personally never took acting lessons, so this is not a piece of advice, just an idea.

  41. JMG,

    When I introduce aware people to the WEF, I like to tell them that I think that the WEF has a whole group devoted to scanning right-wing tinfoil websites. When the group finds a site with a new whacko idea about what the evil elites are doing, the group immediately steals it and the WEF makes the idea its newest greatest thing.

    I think the group has also read your WOH novels, since they are doing an increasingly inspired imitation of the Radiance. If it’s noticed that there are beings with carapaces in the background of their meetings, I would start to get worried.

  42. “As for senior care, last I checked only about 15% of elderly people end up in nursing homes or the like. The other 85% can live more or less independently. The more time and attention you put into maintaining your health, and the less you listen to the kind of doctors who want you on 13 different prescription drugs (because they’re getting kickbacks from the local pharma reps for every prescription they write), the more likely you are to be among that 85%. That’s my plan, certainly.”

    Interesting comment as i’ll turn 64 in late October. About ten years ago I went for my yearly checkup and the Nurse was probing away regarding being depressed as I already knew the medical community had a penchant for prescribing psychotropic drugs. They kept asking if I suffered from depression and I answered, no. She kept rephrasing the question and I answered well everyone suffers from the Blues every now and then. But the questions kept coming as if my name had already been put on the local pharmacy’s hotline.

    The questions didn’t stop until I said, “do I want to go out and start killing people with a gun when I get a bout of the Blues, NO!”

  43. Hi JMG,

    I plan to start a detailed study of the Corpus Hermetica in a month or two and was wondering if there is a commentary that you would recommend to help elucidate it. Thanks!

  44. @JMG:
    Look for a “rain gauge”. It is just a sort of graduated cup that needs to be placed properly in an open area. The obviously solution for lack of online data is to collect it yourself.

  45. @Brendhelm

    I think one aspect your missing may be the way covid (both lockdowns, and health risks) has made many workers reflect on what is actually important in life causing them to reevaluate their relationships to work, careers, and employers in general. It’s sticky and problematic in a long-term way.

    In fields like mine which saw a massive uptick in work following the lockdown: we already had a shortage of people qualified to do the work but with triple the workload compensation increases could just never keep pace with burnout rates that naturally come from 80-hour work weeks swooping in from one “emergency” to the next for two years strait. The smart ones quickly realize that no matter how important they may feel wearing a super hero cape ->: nobody will really morn them when they drop dead of exhaustion. The machine will just find the next sucker.

    For others what good is money if it can no longer take you to exotic far off places a few weeks a year? The waiters mask in a 5-star restaurant is just a reminder that the wagyu beef comes with a side of increased upper respiratory infection risk. Who needs luxury goods when they can’t really show them off to anyone? The grind philosophy of the middled age corporate managerial class is also having a crisis of faith that you won’t read about in clickbait articles written to entertain the underemployed.

  46. I recently quit my longtime job working at a grocery store and have joined the ranks of the so called “great resignation”. I’m still figuring things out, but the first benefit I noticed was an enormous slow down in the pace of the passing of time. Staying in the same place, doing the same thing for forty hours a week… the days just blend together, time speeds up and your life flushes away. I was stunned to realize after one week had past that it had only been one week, it felt like a month!

    Finding odd jobs here and there, helping people, more time to work in the garden and on music… it ain’t a bad way to live. Also, not having to wear a fake personality all day and put up with the dictates of out of touch professionally incompetent overlords feels amazing. They are even still requiring employees to wear masks – how many more years? It’s almost like I’ve awoken from a long, dull, dream.

    Thanks, JMG, for all the inspiration over the years and for hosting this space.

    Reggie

  47. From America’s point of view, if Russia is destroyed, that’s a win.
    If Europe is destroyed as well, that’s a win-win.

    I don’t think the Europeans have realized this.

  48. Discwrites,
    I have the same invisibility problem. I don’t care anymore because I am old but back in the day if I wanted to draw attention to my existence I wore red maybe accented with a little black. You probably won’t notice this comment since I can’t type it in red.

  49. So glad I found this via podcasts…2 questions, 1) I’ve heard Mark Stavish talk about the need to develop a “rainbow body” through disciplined esoteric practices so we can navigate the terrain after death and retain our memories and who we are now. Do you agree this is a good approach or can you provide another perspective on what we can best do to prepare for the Reaper?; 2) I haven’t spoken to my parents in years after being told my mother wasn’t coming to the phone because she didn’t want to speak with me. My folks are quite old but I’ve been struggling to get over the hump and reconnect. Any advice on how to approach this would be appreciated. I’ve let go of the idea that I’m a good or bad person based on whether or not I have a good relationship with my parents, but have found this has deadened me somewhat towards them.

  50. @Brendhelm #24

    A number of those factors sound like a recipe for hyperinflation: too many folks with enough money to avoid working and not enough workers to provide the products and services they want to buy. Absent interventions that should lead to a rapid spike in wages and costs of everything until enough people have been enticed back into the workforce and enough savings have evaporated to put a damper on demand. But given the various levers that can be pulled in a “modern monetary theory” world who knows what will actually happen…

    Also, as an Oregonian I’m a big fan of Machine Gun Granny with giant glasses (her billboards are literally just an image of her distinctive glasses), who is miraculously both pro-choice and in firm opposition to covid mandates. I hope she can pull it off. The left-leaning attack machine is just getting started and will probably keep a good 40% of the population from voting for her, so her success will depend on how many Republicans realize that their candidate stands no chance and are willing to join independents and disenfranchised Democrats in voting for Betsy.

  51. JMG,
    There seems to be a recurring interest in your reading habits and you’ve said enough to reveal the large number of books you read. That’s also evident to the references you mention in your blog posts.
    Have you considered an end of the year post on the best (x) books you read in that year? (You define what x equals.)
    Unlike so many end-of-the-year best of lists, you could list favorites regardless of publication date. I for one would like to learn your recommendations and a brief bit on why it made your list.

  52. Hi JMG,

    One of the points you’ve made several times in the past is that the collapse of civilisations is a slow, multigenerational process based, presumably, on the collapse of previous non-industrial civilisations like the Roman Empire and that this one is not going to be any different.

    What effect, if any, do you think that the fossil-fuelled nature of the present global industrial civilisation will have on the timeline of its collapse. Does its infinite complexity make it more likely that it will collapse more quickly as supply networks crumble, especially since almost nobody in the developed world nowadays would have the ability to be anywhere near self-sufficient in production of food, clothing, herbal medicine etc? Or does the fact that it is collapsing from a ‘higher’ level than previous civilisations mean that it will take longer as the remnants of the fossil fuel resources will allow some considerable complexity and industrial economic activity long after the peak? Or indeed, could the industrial aspect of our society come to an end relatively quickly, while leaving some significant political structures and institutions in place to rule for a century or more over the withering remains of a post-industrial civilisation?

    I’d be most interested to know your thoughts!

  53. Dear JMG,

    Last night I reread _The Third Reich of Dreams_ after finding it on archive.org. Since then it has been very rich food for thought. Eerily, I found many of the dreams that individuals had of Hitler were extremely reminiscent of those I had of Trump when he was President viz., I had multiple dreams in which I became Trump’s political adviser, even though he would rudely criticize me. Many of the dreams that Beradt reports were similar in the Third Reich. There were also a number of very sinister dreams that I had that involved Trump, including one in which he or his goons chased me down into a boiler room and then accosted me with an asthma-inhaler on a long stick.

    You’ve written extensively on the alt-right mages who brought Trump into power. You’ve also written that the alt-right mages are by and large more competent than the leftist mages. Of course and obviously Trump ≠ Hitler. Still, I found the dreams I had of Trump far more striking and numerous than the dreams I had encouraging me to get vaccinated.

    To be very clear, during the early Trump years especially I had no regular spiritual practices, and so I was doubtless more susceptible to this sort of mental influence. Still, I confess a great deal of concern regarding the magic involved with the rise of populism. Politically, I’m sympathetic to populism. That said, I see it has its own imbalances like everything else human, and I have serious concerns about the sort of shape it takes, and I worry about the sort of magic forming the movement. Simply because it has more competent mages than those on the left doesn’t mean ipso facto that those mages are more ethical in their use of magic, and given my dreams of when Trump was in office that gives me some pause. After all, as you’ve and others have pointed just because the current system is really, really bad does not mean what replaces it will be an improvement.

    This brings me to my question: after the 2020 election you wrote a piece on your dreamwidth on the mutual “Magical Fail” of both sides. It seems to me clear that the Magical Resistance are still deep in the fail. What is less clear to me is if the alt-right mages are. What is your sense of this currently?

  54. Regarding drought….

    For a quick overview, the web site to go to is the drought monitor:

    https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

    There are various ways to measure drought, with an eye towards impacts — short term impacts, like watering your lawn, or medium term impacts, such as crops, or long term impacts, such as rivers and reservoirs. If you’d like to look at maps going back 120 years, for the US, of the various forms of the “Palmer Drought Index”, go to:

    https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/historical-palmers/

    Regarding rainfall….

    To see how much rain recently fell (best for those in populated areas) look at CoCoRaHS:

    https://www.cocorahs.org/

    Another source for rainfall maps is:

    https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Global_Monsoons/American_Monsoons/NAMS_precip_monitoring.shtml

    And now for some wild speculation….

    Is the Tonga eruption related to the many heat waves and droughts this summer? I won’t go into the details of my thinking, but… if I am right about the mechanism, we are going to see a quieter Atlantic hurricane season this year than is currently expected.

  55. So, bit random, but sometimes I find this community a deep well of experience and creative advice. And there’s no downside to asking…

    Just moved into a rental house in a new city. Rental house “yard” includes the two adjacent empty lots (we’re responsible for mowing and upkeep). Discovered this week that there is someone living at the far corner of the lot– has a bicycle and a well-camouflaged little campsite.

    I’m at a loss. This isn’t a neighbor situation I’ve ever dealt with before. If our unexpected neighbor is the person I’ve seen coming and going on a bicycle… there’s a fair chance there are drugs and the occasional male friend involved, so… bit of a security issue. I don’t really want to call the cops. She hasn’t done anything to bother me or mine, and seems very quiet. If it’s the person I think it is. Could be wrong.

    Anyway, all I can think of is to talk to my across-the-street neighbor, who seems to know Bicycle Lady, and maybe see if I can get more information. Otherwise… ??? Any of y’all dealt with anything remotely similar? Advice? Ideas?

  56. David BTL, JMG and commentariat,

    Regarding Hispanics leaving the democratic camp. I didn’t know but I am not surprised. I can vouch for that. I am not an American citizen, so I don’t have a political affiliation, but if I did it wouldn’t be the geriatric party. I mean come on, my topic on debate club in high-school was the reasons against illegal Mexican immigration to the United States because that is bad for both countries and promotes abuse of several kinds instead of being good neighbors.

    (Funnily, yesterday I hosted an awkwardly dubbed Ask a Mexican Anything that went from the controversial to the delicious and it went very well, it is still open if anybody is interested. Everything is on topic but if there is something particular in your mind that hasn’t found a place to express it without fear of retaliation regarding Hispanic people, culture and immigration issues, here is one. Don’t worry too much about politeness if you do, that means something very different for a Mexican, and I am kind of a rube myself. I’ve also enabled the anonymous posting for this one. No cursing though, please.

    Here is a link: https://open-space.dreamwidth.org/11328.html )

    When I discuss about politics and society with my Hispanic friends too, they mostly agree so I think they haven’t realized they aren’t democrats either, since that still makes them look like “Good People” and accepted. That is important as a foreigner, one doesn’t realize that unless one leaves home, and clearly it worked as a means of political convincing –we’ll make you feel welcome and say we back you up, but are policies say otherwise. However, since the families that came decades ago are not immigrants anymore, they don’t need to fit in and actually say what they think freely now that they are settled into the society, and were they settled isn’t convenient to the party in power.

    I think it is just a matter of marketing and manipulation. The American news that reach Mexico are only left wing news from the big outlets so in the collective Trump = BAD for each and every Mexican, if not, you are a traitor.

    But, upon further inspection 70% of Mexico is poor and 30% of that is below the extreme poverty line and those are the people that immigrated more strongly here to the US. It makes sense that a populist narrative would be interesting to them given that our people clearly elected a populist president and for good reason. The Zapatista shockwaves are still very much felt today too.

    There is a very strong rejection towards “fresas” in some circles that’s how they call the debased end of the well to-do or the people that pretend to be, the Democratic Party has the same vibes to me.

  57. SecretDi,
    I’m also on Vancouver Island, though in Victoria not further north. It’s bad here too. I am very lucky to have a family doctor. I found them through asking everyone I knew after the doctor at the walk-in clinic I used to go to retired and I didn’t find out till after the fact, and then the clinic shut down for lack of doctors. Since I have multiple chronic issues, having an ongoing doctor is more important for me than for some people. Other walk-in clinics have shut down across this part of the city, and the remaining ones are way overstretched.

    The walk-in clinic nearest me now takes appointments by phone/online. Don’t go in in person unless you do so right at the beginning of the day, or you won’t get seen for like four hours, or at all that day. So basically, it’s not really walk-in anymore.

    Oddly enough, I’ve been able to see specialists with only reasonable wait times this year. The bottleneck seems to be accessing the medical system by seeing a doctor at all, and it’s the people who don’t have a family doctor who are getting slammed by it while it is not nearly so bad if you’re lucky enough to have a family doctor. But family doctors retire, or quit, and then you’re orphaned.

  58. Regarding education in the long descent: the internet, zoom, youtube, and recorded classes probably have a significant role to play until fast internet becomes unstable or too expensive for low-ish/ordinary income people.

    After that… individuals who can teach something finding individual and small groups of students who want to learn that thing/tutoring often on a not-very-official basis will likely be common unless the public education system in the USA improves, and the post-secondary education system drop dramatically in price by removing extraneous admin and cushy extras.

    There’s probably a role for community centers and for community colleges who offer courses students need and want at a price they can pay without student loans.

    Further out, I’d expect an explosion in apprenticeships of various kinds.

  59. Hi JMG,

    From time to time, the question of whether the United States could still be considered a republic comes up. I know you’ve debated from time to time with those who consider it to be an oligarchy or dictatorship (I recall one debate awhile back with Dmitri Orlov about it). IIRC, you still consider the United States to be a constitutional republic, albeit a corrupt one.

    I wonder, after the FBI raid on Trump’s home, has your opinion shifted at all?

    If not, would you please provide a bit of detail as to why?

    I don’t know what to make of all that’s going on. The various FBI raids on prominent political figures. The January 6th Political Prisoners locked up without due process. The “swatting” of those who speak out against the elites. The plan to add 87,000 *armed* agents to the IRS. I’m tempted to think we live in some sort of beuraucratic authoritarian oligarchy. I find it hard to understand how it could still be considered a republic in anything other than outward appearance.

  60. @discwrites

    Been there, done that. I’ll give slightly different advice from our host. I spent like the first twenty-five years of my life invisible 😉 I think it was partly learned, and partly a natural gift. It’s connected with the sort of intense autistic focus that helps me recognize patterns and learn complex things… any time I’m feeling more connected to something outside myself– like the book I’m reading, or the surrounding environment, the texture of bark on the tree beside me, the pattern of leaves on the grass (they don’t accumulate randomly!), etc– I become invisible. It is almost as though I have left my body and others cannot sense a person there at all. It’s not that people can’t see me, it’s that they can’t *notice* me. Not their fault, I think. My immediate family can’t be fooled, most of the time. They look for different cues.

    Anyway, to become visible, you have to re-locate your sense of “me” inside your own body, and it needs to be really *grounded* there, not just hovering in your skull, waiting to flit away. Maybe experiment with that locus: westerners tend to locate the “me” in their heads. But that’s not universal. Lots of cultures locate that in the heart, the throat, or the gut. Go with wherever you can get it to stick? I like the heart for that, but it’s an effort. Anyway, when you need the cashier or whoever to notice you, make sure you are present *in your body*, and try really hard to *be interested* in that person. Notice things about them, and try not to treat them as a mechanical thing (i.e. a cashier, a waiter, or a mechanical dispenser of information or permissions), but as a full-fledged human being in whom you are interested, who’s probably done some interesting things, who loves other people, who shares the world you live in. Now your job is to make a connection, however brief and superficial: make eye contact, smile, have an anodyne comment or three you can choose from: “I hope your day’s going well!” “Have you *seen* the rainstorm out there?” “Gosh it’s busy today!” The point isn’t the comment, it’s reaching out with your voice, and holding in your heart the idea that you, and this person, are fellow human beings, and you want to make a brief connection. It wasn’t easy for me to learn, and still takes a bit of effort, but it worked for me. Maybe it could work for you?

  61. Bob, I would ask that the DOE to put in a sidewalk on my road. This is now an urban street, annexed by a small Southern city in 1961. It’s got blind curves and blind hills, small children & elderly people plus a growing number of people trying to walk to work. No sidewalk. Have to walk in the ditch or the street. Meanwhile, same city has put in dozens of “greenways” for other people to take recreational walks. A safe, low energy way for poor & working people to get to gainful employment, not to mention the grocery store, would be way cooler than all that other … um, stuff, they do out there at Oak Ridge. And if they wanted to put in sidewalks in other neighborhoods in similar fixes, why that would make me happy too!

  62. Hi JMG, Having followed your writings for 15 years, now, I have been implementing your suggestions for the Long Decline. I worked at practicing LESS, so after retirement, in 2019, my wife and I did not touch our 401Ks at all and our savings, very little, living off our social security checks. So, I followed your suggestion and paid off our house. I have no loans outstanding, a fireplace insert in the great room and a big stack of firewood. The pantry is loaded with beans and rice. At 69, as a practitioner of shikantaza and Uechi Ryu Karate, I am basically not too worried about death. But, do you have any other suggestions as to what I might do now to prepare for the next 10 to 15 years of decline. Might help some of the other readers. Thanks for all your help over these past years.

    Mac

  63. Dear Archdruid:

    Are you familiar with a writer called Orion Foxwood? I found a book of his, “The Flame of the Cauldron”, in, of all places on the street amid a corner store’s heap of empty cartons and cases left out for trash. Foxwood writes about his practice of “witchery” as he calls his form of witchcraft. He also wrote another book called “The Candle and the Crossroads.”

    I haven’t started reading it yet; thought I’d get your input as to its worth first.

    Thanks.

    Antoinetta III

  64. @Harry,

    Do you have any luck with online Geomancy? I don’t know where to start with geomancy.

    I’ve tried a 5 card tarot, “yes or no” spread where upright cards are a yes. I’ve had mixed results to the point where I’m not sure what to believe.

  65. We’ve talked about invasive species before, and how people worry and complain about said species displacing the carefully protected system people are familiar with, even though the world’s environmental systems have always experienced change and shifting habitats. Indiana is now worried about the Spotted Lanternfly moving in (from China!) and damaging grape production, maple trees and honeybee producers.

    https://www.wndu.com/2022/08/19/purdue-spotted-lanternfly-has-migrated-northern-indiana/

    I find it interesting how some believe that people are supposed to be able to migrate to any country in the world despite cultural differences, but other living beings are to strictly stay in their designated areas.

    Joy Marie

  66. CS2, where I am, electric bikes, cargo bikes and bakfiets have shot up in popularity over the pandemic. I see them being used to carry kids, groceries, nothing but the rider etc. But when you see a parent and two kids zipping around… you’re right, it’s challenging the idea that you need a car.

    Actually the group I don’t see as much of as I’d like on bikes is teenagers. Lots of kids, lots of adults, not so many teens. Not sure why. It may partly be that I’m further from the local high school than from the elementary school, but I think it’s more than that.

    So, why is biking uncool for teens?

  67. Hi JMG,

    I had meant to comment on your last two posts as both were excellent, but somehow I ran out of time and didn’t get comments in. Thanks for them, though!

    Most of my time has been spent in the garden and “the tomato factory” is in full effect now, churning out a pint or two a day of fresh cherry tomatoes. Our beans are coming in fast and heavy too. This year has been hard generally as it’s been really dry (which is of course concerning), we haven’t had our standard regular rains at least once a week – we went a 6 week stretch just now without a drop. I thought my whole approach was hitting its limits, as my plants were yellowing a bit, but then discovered that farmers were struggling too in the same way.

    I pushed my technique, which is a mix of chaotic/closely grown crops, and a quite involved framework for vertical growth that might have to be seen to make sense of. I build supports with bamboo stakes and hemp twine. The structures aren’t exactly sacred geometry, although I did try to lay them out that way as I went, but they are very geometrical, and form a type of webbing that extends beyond the limits of the plants, tied to anything I can figure out how to make use of.

    I’ve gotten a lot of support and praise from the old Italian guys on our street this year, which has been really cool, and we even managed to get a sizeable watermelon going, which is a first. A man stopped to tell me this was the most beautiful garden he’d seen in Canada in his 12 years here, which was also really nice. I’, but it’s all I have, so I am doing what I can.

    I am growing a type of pole bean I haven’t before that has these brilliant red blossoms and bumble bees seem to totally love it. This is a big relief seeing them thriving as the bees were late to our yard this year and I thought possibly the bee die-off had passed a tipping point. I’ve been making bee habitats to stick around the place to try to encourage them more. All this rambling finally getting to my point here. I often work around these bees, it’s near constantly when I’m out there, and the bees seem totally at peace around me, happily working in the same space, land on me, fly all around me, close enough for me to feel the breeze off their wings, and one even flying under my finger as I was tying something, lying right up against my skin as it collected its pollen.

    So to the point: Do you think it’s possible the insects and animals I’m around our place know me? I have a feeling they do, and have had some close encounters with squirrels and racoons that left me with the impression that we had an unspoken exchange and that they trust me. I’m willing to accept this interpretation is incorrect, but it was what seemed most “right” to me. I don’t know how to “know” if I’m correct or just making it up though, and thought you might have an opinion.

    The old Ukrainian woman with her walker came back and we talked again. She said she thought all the birds knew our place, she feeds birds so has come to know their habits pretty well. She told me they wake her up sometimes to get her to feed them, which I well believe.

    In other news, we’ve decided not to cut down the tree at the back of our property and instead to just accept it and to set up another “shade garden” to see if we can learn how to grow things better with limited sunshine. Our current one gets minimal sun and still grows tomato plants, beans, cucumbers and bitter melon, although all are growing slower than the ones in sunnier spots. Still though, they grow.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  68. If recorded music disappears will it really be such a loss? Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms manage to do pretty well without it. In the case of Brahms, he made his living doing live performances as a piano virtuoso, by various choirmaster positions and by publishing his 120 or so compositions, many of which sold well, well enough to make him comfortably well off by the time he died at around the age or 63 or 64, apparently of liver cancer. I don’t really think recorded music is such a necessity by any means. I worry more about going back to gut violin strings once our modern high-tech strings are no longer available. And I certainly won’t miss loud car stereos!

  69. Epileptic doomer
    my prep for music in the future is… acquire and learn to play more instruments, learn to play the ones I already know better, restart and run the live music at my church, and start teaching recorder and flute. I’m also considering trying to start a recorder consort (group of recorders of different sizes) next year.

    I think I may have gone a little overboard for most people’s tastes, but I’m having a lot of fun and bringing joy to others, so that’s fine.

    On that note, if you or someone you know are looking for recorder or flute lessons in Victoria, BC, Canada, come talk to me. In person lessons only, introductory first lesson free.

  70. Hi JMG, I know that you are legally not a financial advisor but would you have some ideas of what could constitute judicious stable investments in these crazy times ? I know that investing in things such as insolation, quality clothing, non-perishable food or a sewing machine is the best bet but do you have ideas of good stores of values that could replace gold or traditional stocks for the next decades ?
    Best !

  71. SecretDi,
    completely off-topic and of course not medical advice, but…

    There are so many horrible side-effects of the psychotropic meds (like ADHD) – there is a growing literature out there. Not to mention that the ADHD itself is not understood at all.

    I know there are doctors (there was one in Oregon, I cannot find her online anymore) that treated childhood ADHD simply with this:
    – no sugar, caffeine or any other drugs
    – no fast food
    – instead eat a protein and fat rich diet (she suggested a lot of eggs).

    The success rate was astounding – much higher than from any medication.

    I know kids treated by their parents for ADHD. ALL of them are hyped on sugar and caffeine basically non-stop.

  72. Brendhelm-

    One other factor is the legalization (official, and unofficial) of marijuana, and the prevalence of drug testing. There are a lot of activities of daily life that tolerate weed usage, but lots of jobs don’t (e.g., truck driving). If weed makes someone less employable, and more tolerant of a state of unemployment, it could be a factor.

  73. Bakbook (no. 16) “did Shakespeare have some kind of known connection to Alchemy…?”

    Dame Frances Yates, call your office!

  74. @Discwrites,

    I think JMG is right and that’s a very useful skill if you can control it. I think a lot of this may be what you convey through body language. Also, pay attention to your position in the room and how you move through spaces. The center of a room is more noticeable than the corner, for example.

    But here are some practical tips: wear louder shoes and brighter colored shirts. Reds and yellows are particularly noticeable. (I have a few yellow Tshirts that are also very noticeable to bees…if you’re allergic maybe don’t wear yellow). Consider a dramatic hairstyle, if there’s a category of unusual hair style that matches your personality and won’t hurt your career (mohawk, pompadour, man bun, dredlocks, lambchops, braided beard, blond streaks, punky colored dyes… I prefer Manic Panic reds). Some of these will make you obvious all the time, so you won’t be able to switch back and forth between visibility and invisibility.

    The last bit of advice is mindfulness. JMG is right that a lot of mindfulness training as claptrap and anesthesia for the PMC classes, but some of it is useful. In your case, the specific set of mindfulness exercises that teach you to be more fully present in the moment will help a lot, because by bringing your complete and full attention to your mind and body in your current place and time, you help other people also become aware of you in your current place and time. Basically, if you are more fully present, other people will also be more aware of your presence. Also, your fully present mindset will help you notice what you are doing that makes you so invisible.

    Sincerely
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  75. JMG, about more economic activity being in a “gray market”.

    I have this strong feeling that we are like an ex-communist country moving backwards.
    Let me explain.

    The communist countries in E. Europe went through 3 stages (very roughly):
    1) Failing communism. Nobody believes in anything the govt or MSM says. Most people are checked out but life went on. The leadership was mostly conman that were there to get rich so even they didn’t really care about the ideology. It took a small spark for the entire edifice to collapse.
    2) “Wild west”. For about a decade after the communism fell, there was basically lawlessness. All people in power were getting rich by trading influence, selling state assets and mafia style businesses. Most people were dirt poor and barely surviving but a tiny minority made out like bandits as gangsters or criminals. There was a small middle class of mostly young people that was struggling to get ahead. They HAD to cheat taxes and ignore or break most regulations – otherwise they could never do anything!
    3) Relatively stable, not too corrupt capitalism (this did not last long but that’s a different conversation).

    So it seems that US & satellites moved from stage 3) to stage 2). If the process follows in reverse we might get to stage 1) where WEF will lord over failed capitalist states, treating people like slaves.

    To go back to your observation to Brendhelm – I do think we have a way to go until we go full “wild west” but I expect it to happen this decade. If you work for the govt or big corporations, expect to barely survive. If you become a free agent and find the right niche and protection (so you can ignore crushing taxes and regulations), you might do okay.

  76. Recent weather statistics for many weather stations in the US can be found by going to the national weather service website at https://www.weather.gov/ clicking on your location on the map, which brings you to your local weather service office. Click on “Climate and Past Weather” which is generally in small print just above and to the right of the map displayed once you’re at your local weather service website. Click on “Observed Weather” for data from more major and reliable weather stations. Clicking on “NOWData” gives you a much larger range of weather stations, but the reliability of some can be more iffy.

    On another subject, the housing market may be on the verge of a major decline,
    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/home-price-drops-pandemic-boomtowns-could-be-first-sign-coming-real-estate-turmoil

  77. @JMG – Noted. I wasn’t sure how big a role it played either (which I think was why I was reluctant to bring it up).

    @Void – That’s true as well.

    @Cyclone re: #57, Atlantic hurricanes –

    I’m not sure if it’s Tonga causing it or not, but we already have been seeing a quiet Atlantic hurricane season. So far there have only been three named storms and no hurricanes, and it’s almost September. That doesn’t mean things couldn’t ramp up later in the season, of course, but…

  78. @JMG @here

    More and more Americans are becoming aware of the slow motion collapse and transformation of our country, but responses vary:

    1. “Byzantium” – I’m a freedom seeker, not a slave to nationality. I’m gonna get to Constantinople first and ingratiate myself with the locals ($$$). And I’ll always have options, unlike those suckers that cling to “patriotism”. Ahoy!
    2. “Danegeld” – I’ll hold my nose and appease the clerisy as need be. It might seem unethical, but we have to work within the system and shape what’s to come. I’m not going to run away from the problem. #danforschoolboard
    3. “MAGA Guerrilla” – I’m running away to the homestead, to live off the land! If the vax passport commies come for me, I’ll go out guns blazing unlike those cowardly bug-eaters in the blue hives. Live free or die.
    4. “Hippy Guerrilla” – I’m running away to the homestead, to live off the land! Eventually, those pickup driving fascists (ahem, our neighbors) will come begging for our organic kale once they realize our de-growth, post colonial vision is the only way to abolish white capitalism and restore indigenous knowledge.
    5. “Techno Optimist” – Elon Musk has got this, bro. Humans have always used technology to solve problems and we’ll pull through. Relax and hodl, a golden age is nigh.
    6. “The Urbanist” – (nasally voice). Everyone in Amsterdam rides bikes. People in Copenhagen are happy. Therefore, if we rode bikes and made cities at a human scale, it would solve all our social, financial, and environmental problems in one fell swoop.
    7. ???

    I jest, obviously. But I wonder how these visions will collide. It seems everyone has a piece of the solution but their world views prevent them from seeing the whole, the relationship between urbanism and agriculture, security and mastery of technology, masculine vs feminine virtues, and so forth. Not saying I have a grand vision myself, but I can see a fuzzy Venn diagram, connections.

  79. Is there some explanation to the different degrees of virulence exhibited by Dawkins’ memes (and also cat memes for that matter), from the occult perspective? Why some behaviors, characteristics and ideas seem to be mimicked and spread through consciousness rapidly and others not? Memetic thought-forms definitely seem to have a boost over other thought-forms but I don’t know what it is a function of, if any. It doesn’t seem to depend entirely on the individual links of the chain but on some supporting structure in the Astral Light, with topological differences, so to speak, where some inclines are steeper than the others. Perhaps that supporting structure is the mental plane? Words have principles, I assume then that principles also have “dynamics” and “form”?

  80. @Brandhelm,

    Another factor is the opioid crisis (now it’s basically a fentanyl crisis). Deaths of despair in general were increasing at a rapid clip before covid, I’m not sure what the numbers are now, but overdose deaths are breaking new records every year.

    Also, the great resignation has really affected the bullsale jobs the most, the deadend jobs that always sucked. All those jobs (during the “employer’s market” that you mentioned) moved to a pattern of “hurry hurrry all the time” that’s intensely stressful. They don’t have enough staff to cover you if you are sick, and the only way to complete all your job duties is to run around freaking out because you don’t think you’ll finish all your job duties. That “100% of work time being stressed, freaking out that you’re not doing enough” is a horrible way to live, but it’s been the normal business model in retail and food service (and many other industries) since at least the great recession. Corporate retail has a system of, for lack of a better term, “just in time scheduling” that means workers don’t know their schedules until a week in advance, and vary wildly between full time and a small fraction of that. It’s exceedingly difficult to schedule appointments in advance or to work a second job unless it’s a gig-economy second job where you can make your own schedule around your totally unpredictable retail schedule. Economic conditions being what they are, these jobs don’t pay enough to be worth doing anymore.

    A cousin of mine started renting a chair in a salon instead of working for a salon, essentially becoming her own boss, and she said a lot of people are starting their own businesses, which is very good news, IMHO.

    If I think of anything elde, I’ll come back.

    Sincerely
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  81. Chuaquin, re: education

    Here’s a bunch of reform ideas I‘ve been mulling recently. In my dream school,

    – I wouldn’t employ teachers who are married to teachers
    – teachers must have 10 years of work experience in a non-educational field
    – teachers are encouraged to work only 20 hours a week, so they can recharge and get new influences in their spare time.

    If we’re talking more fundamental reforms, I‘d say the school is always open for everyone, and instead of classes and a schedule, there would be rooms for the different subjects. A few teachers and advanced students are always there for any given subject, and if you’re interested in anything, you just spend time in the corresponding room. If the folks there think you’re ready for an exam, you can take it. No pressure, though, you can take whatever exam whenever you want. If you wanna do all the math at once and nothing else, that’s fine, and if you wanna do a bit of everything every other day, that’s also fine.

    I‘m pretty sure that this way, most people would still end up learning all they need to know, and they‘d thoroughly enjoy it.

    I‘d really love to try and start a school like that.

  82. Discwrites –

    Curious, are you familiar with your natal astro chart? Though it’s not really something I have a prob with, I too am often proverbially invisible, and I have sun, merc, and mars conjunct in 12th house – 3 powerhouse identity planets in the house in which the energies flow inward, so to speak. Plus, my sun and mars are square moon conj Neptune in 8th. That’s a boatload of invisibility, but that’s me, and consequently I’m generally comfortable with it. Anyway, as JMG points out, there’s things you can do when you absolutely need to be visible. But yeah, I’d be interested how your natal chart plays out – invisibility, I would think, can be a viable life path, and maybe your chart underscores that.

  83. Robert, my understanding is that it’s a bit of both — your choices in past lives shape each life, and so does your soul’s destiny, i.e., its drive to experience the things it needs to experience. Yes, your experience between lives is also shaped by the way you live this life, and no, you can’t get stuck there for more than a modest amount of time — the inner planes are very thickly inhabited, and there are beings that help the dead when they get into trouble.

    Bradley, if you find one please let me know!

    Temporaryreality, delighted to hear this — and thanks for the info on the fundraiser.

    John, ha!

    “In a moment I’ve seen what has hitherto been
    Enveloped in absolute mystery,
    And without extra charge I shall give you at large
    A lesson in natural history.”

    Those sinister letters WEF don’t stand for “World Economic Forum.” They stand for “Weird Extraterrestrial Fungi.” Klaus Schwab is a Mi-Go; more precisely, the brain of the original Klaus Schwab is currently running a methane pump on Yuggoth, while his body has had a Mi-Go brain inserted into it. Can you think of anything that makes more sense of him? Being not merely nonhuman but not even a terrestrial metazoan, he has no idea how human beings think, and so he’s trying to pretend to be human — and of course failing miserably.

    Rod, bingo. The physician is getting a kickback from the pharma rep for every prescription of some antidepressive drug he writes, and the nurse has probably arranged to get a share of it. That’s how what we jokingly call “health care” is managed these days.

    Chronojourner, hmm. I don’t happen to know of one. Anyone else?

    Anonymous, I’m quite familiar with rain gauges. I was hoping to find a source that wasn’t so subject to localized rain events. That said, yes, I may have to start doing that.

    Dusan,(1) that’s one of the things Mark and I disagree about. The process of death is nothing you have to worry about; it’s perfectly natural and, especially if you’ve made suitable preparations, very straightforward. You’ve done it many times before, after all, and you’ll remember that once you’re out of your current body. (2) That’s a hard one. I haven’t spoken to my mother in forty years and I hope never to have to do so again, so I may not be the right person to ask.

    Moo Foo, dear gods, no. The last thing I want is to encourage anybody else to read what I read or in any other way copy what I do. The Sâr Péladan has a great line: “Flee the example of others, think for yourself: this principle of Pythagoras contains all magic, which is nothing but the power of individuality.”

    Sam, I don’t expect it to have any effect at all. Previous examples have fallen in roughly the same time frame, whether we’re talking Neolithic societies inhabiting a single river valley or literate continental empires with complex market economies and equally complex technological suites. The two factors you cite — the increased vulnerability of individuals in a technological society, and the increased power provided by remaining fossil fuel reserves — cancel each other out. So, once again, one to three centuries of uneven decline ending in a dark age: that’s my prediction.

    Violet, that’s a reasonable concern. The thing that interests me about the alt-right mages in 2016 and thereafter is that they were very clearly the vehicles and instruments of a preternatural force, and it was that force, I think, that caused the synchronicities and dreams around the Trump phenomenon. Such forces are not necessarily ethical, of course. As for the alt-right mages, they seem to have gone in various directions after Trump’s defeat in 2020; those I’ve kept track of don’t seem to be digging themselves any deeper, but that may not be a statistically valid sample, of course.

    Cyclone, thanks for this.

    Methylethyl, the few interactions I’ve had of this kind always worked out to me talking with the other person and making some mutually satisfactory arrangement. If Bicycle Lady is quiet and doesn’t cause any trouble, leaving well enough alone might be the best option. A conversation with the neighbor, certainly, won’t hurt.

    Augusto, hmm! Many thanks for the data points.

    Blue Sun, the people who insist the United States isn’t a republic are arguing that it can’t be a republic if it does things they don’t like. My point is that it still has a certain institutional structure, and until that changes it’s still a republic. And, by the way, US presidents have been using their powers in ways just as dubious as the current example since the days of George Washington. Have you ever looked up the Palmer Raids of 1919, just for starters?

    Mac, cool. How’s your relationship with your neighbors?

    Antoinetta, why, yes, I am — my wife and I used to hang out with Orion at Pagan events back when we attended those. He knows a great deal about traditional Southern conjure; I haven’t read the specific book you found, but I’d consider his work very well worth reading.

    Joy Marie, well, yes, there’s that!

    Johnny, yes, the animals and insects know you, and so will the nature spirits and devas who guide the animals and insects. That’s why saints and holy people routinely end up with wild animals showing up to help them or just hang out in their presence. The more you contribute to the health and happiness of the natural world, the more the natural world will respond — that’s a very powerful magic.

    Phutatorius, oh, we’ll get by — but it’s really something to be able to listen to performances by masters who don’t happen to be around at the moment.

    Martin, there are none. I mean that quite literally. Every investment is a claim on the goods and services produced by the economy; when the economy itself is going to bits, those claims mean very little, just as it won’t help you much to have a bond with a face value of a million dollars if the company that issued the bond has gone broke. You cannot preserve value in a time when the basis of value — actual, nonfinancial goods and services — is collapsing. All you can do is learn to produce value yourself.

    NomadicBeer, au contraire, I think we’re going forward. Right now nobody believes what the government or the MSM say, and most people are checking out. The small spark may not be long in coming.

    Kashtan, thanks for both of these.

    Brian, responses always vary to collapse. Have you looked into other examples of societies in decline to see how this plays out?

    Augusto, it’s complex. Each meme is the physical anchor for an energetic pattern on the astral plane, and that pattern is charged any time people see the meme and have an emotional reaction to it — the stronger the reaction, the stronger the charge. Over time, a sort of Darwinian selection determines which memes endure.

  84. @Eike, #86

    Interesting, may I comment on your dream school?

    1 I wouldn’t employ teachers who are married to teachers

    I see where you come from, but you may want to consider teaching, in the best case, is a vocation. People do it because they are compelled to it, and people who share values and worldview often make the same decisions for the same reasons… still, maybe #2 will help address the issues with monocultural teachers?

    2. teachers must have 10 years of work experience in a non-educational field

    Completely agree. In particular, the meme that “those who cannot do, teach” should be avoided whenever possible.

    3- teachers are encouraged to work only 20 hours a week, so they can recharge and get new influences in their spare time.

    Define “work”. Some of us are employed (and paid for) just the time we spend in front of a group. If you add up unpaid class preparation, homework grading, paperwork filling, one on one tutoring, academia meetings, etc, you may easily end up working a 60 hour week while receiving “half journey” wages. Also, consider that some of this unpaid work scales with class size.

    So, if you want to make feasible for teachers to “recharge and get new influences”, you have to rethink the whole learning-teaching process. Lecturing has to go, or at the very least must be electronically recorded so that it can be delivered over and over again without direct time commitments from the teacher. On the same vein, you need to provide students with retroalimentation that comes from either themselves or from fellow students, so that grading does not eat up in the teacher’s time budget. The core of activities that the teacher should be devoting his effort/time should be solving doubts of students who already have studied the material on their own.

    This “learning communities” must, by necessity, be voluntary and self directed. So, certification needs to get detached from the equation and addressed by a different process.

  85. @Violet,

    This doesn’t answer your question at all, but several years ago I had a very intense dream where I got out of prison and then began amassing an army with my spouse. My army began taking cities, and we took one after the next in a very strategic fashion, and it felt like we couldn’t lose. My army was very devoted to me and trusted me a great deal.

    Within a few weeks, I read about an ISIS leader who had done exactly that. It really freaked me out. I wonder if some of us just feel these global forces more, while they are shaping history?

    There were also things about the dream that were very different from the story, especially the location (which was here in America), but it was close enough that after I read the story I felt icky, like my brain touched a contaminated brain.

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  86. @ David, by the lake: re: looking to the past “seeking to rebuild what once was rather than allowing what is coming to develop in its own time”. Perhaps, it is okay to look to the past (recent back to pre-colonial times) but framed in a more refined, contextual manner? As in, what technologies/systems worked back then that would work now and (more importantly) which ones have the greatest likelihood of working in the future. In other words, getting away from wishful thinking and thinking like an engineer. Clearly, some things about the past, are not coming back (and I’m quite thankful that many will not come back, some things I sorely miss – and, yeah, it’s time to move on. Sigh.). Good luck!

    Oh! About bringing some ideas back: the regional electrical utility company has a PSA encouraging people to CONSERVE energy and provided various quick tips to do just that, i.e., using natural light as much as possible. Conservation – what a retro idea!

  87. Hmmm… I had heard of the Church and Pike commissions and investigations in the 1970s but I had not heard of the Palmer Raids.

    I see the fabrication of evidence is not an invention of the television age. From Wikipedia’s description of the raids: “The Department of Justice at one point claimed to have taken possession of several bombs, but after a few iron balls were displayed to the press they were never mentioned again.”

    If we are on a trajectory towards the death of the republic, I assume the senate will continue to meet long after it has lost its original purpose, just as what happened in Rome.

    I guess it’s hard to draw the line exactly where that happens. One thing I have heard is that senators today would go to Fauci asking for money rather than the other way around (forgot the source of this). If true, then it would indicate the beuracracy has more power than the senate. At what point does it tip over into the senate becoming ineffectual? Hard to say, I imagine.

    And I guess you’d agree there’s a possibility it will survive this time around, unlike Rome.

  88. Well, it’s done. $10K in loan forgiveness to people with student debt, not a penny for the working class.

  89. Chuaquin – On education, I’d recommend the following Math topics: basic arithmetic (for the keeping of accounts), algebra (using symbols for numbers, to facilitate the imagination of abstract quantities), geometry (for the drawing of plans for the making of things), probability (for the proper assessment of risks), exponential and sinusoidal functions (because some systems look like they can grow forever, and others are obviously cyclical), some intuitive grasp of differential and integral calculus (which is to say, “change” and “accumulation”), and a little bit of differential equations (for predicting the behaviour of systems in which the rate of change depends on the quantity changing, such as predator-prey population dynamics).

    Calculus Made Easy (first published in 1910) is a classic of good humor and practical application, including practice problems with solutions.

  90. I thought I would pass on this story about a life review and the time it might take.

    My dad and I didn’t get along too well, and he died about 5 years ago. He loved ice fishing. About four years later, just one month shy, in fact, I had a dream. In the dream I was on his favorite lake, covered in ice, when the ice suddenly started to melt. I quickly found a wall to lean against as the lake turned completely to water. Then I was in a high school lobby. A young man told me that he never had much skill in dealing with other people.

    After I woke up I was pretty sure that it was my dad “moving on” and saying goodbye in a way. I bring this up because I we’re all curious how long a life review might take. My dad was 84, so that’s about 21 years of review per earth year.

    Does anyone else have thoughts on the time it takes for a review?

  91. A ‘peak oil’ question for JMG …and anyone else really.

    Do you know if anyone ever quantified in energy terms the amount of waste caused by extra car traffic due to suburban sprawl and the lack of public transit in the US?

    I want to say I read a number of essays/posts along those lines during TheOilDrum era of the peak oil scene but, it’s been about a decade and a half and I’m not so sure.

    If anyone knows of a good analysis, I would very much appreciate being pointed in the right direction.

  92. @JMG

    Yes, I’ve looked into successful historical responses to collapse. I’m not a historian but clearly it’s not pretty or the heroic collapse we would like to believe. Back of the napkin…

    1. Running away works quite well, especially if you’re talented, wealthy, and globally connected. Constantinople is the canonical example, but there’s many, from Assyria during Bronze Age Collapse to Soviet emigres in recent times.
    2. Groveling before (the inevitable) invaders is wrong, but it works too. Quislings and war brides do pass on their genes. Of course, there’s a spectrum of “groveling” from a respectable treaty to selling your daughters for “protection”.
    3. Melting away into the countryside **might** work but it’s risky. The Mayan people survived this way, but were homogenous and isolated from hostile populations. Villagers in early Medieval Europe weren’t so lucky.
    4. Isolation can work in your favor. Irish monasteries come to mind. But then, you’re well, isolated. Hope you like your books and porridge.

    In short, it’s highly dependent on local geopolitics. Your results may vary.

  93. If I had to compare our time to any Roman era, I’d say we’re at the dawn of the Crisis of the Third Century. We had a heyday like the Five Good Caesars, though we were never fortunate enough to be ruled by a Marcus Aurelius. Now we’re at the Commodus stage, where the machines of empire are still in place but are fast becoming obsolete. And as the edifice crumbles, I expect to see increasingly intense struggles for power.

    One thing I’d like to hear is how Transhumanists think they are going to power their Matrix when Europe is struggling with heat and air conditioning. Not expecting much, as they cater to a class that doesn’t worry about electric bills. But hopefully power and gas shortages will make that idiocy a bit less popular.

    And as part of the Ecosophia tradition of pointing and laughing at green stupidity: I read a recent science article about a successful fusion reaction that went on considerably longer than those which came before, and which produced a net energy gain of 1.3 megajoules. I was very impressed by this, until I found a page which converted megajoules to kilowatt-hours. And discovered that they managed to produce 0.361 KWH. By blasting a number of powerful lasers at a pellet, they managed to produce enough energy to run four 100-watt bulbs for nearly an hour.

    But hey, within the next twenty years fusion is going to make electricity too cheap to meter.

    https://www.llnl.gov/news/national-ignition-facility-experiment-puts-researchers-threshold-fusion-ignition

  94. Hi John Michael,

    Still very wet down under, and with another possible wet La Nina summer in the future. I’m adapting, but it’s sloshy and smooshy out there (the technical description)!

    Hey, do you reckon it might be possible that the contradictory policies being pursued by western societies are sending the leaders loopy? There are so many issues where we seem to be pursuing outcomes, which are frankly at odds. Imagine having the job of trying to manage that mess? I wouldn’t do it, but then I know both you and I accept limits.

    Like take energy for just one example: Atmospheric pollution AKA Climate Change versus Keeping the lights on (not to mention everything else) versus Scaling intermittent generation technologies into a system which was built for constant supply versus Turning away from proven (but polluting) technologies versus Resource depletion versus continued economic growth.

    It’s a mess. My gut feeling is that sooner or later an Alaric I will turn up at the gates, and we’ll let him in because he makes more sense and can cut through and forge a cheaper path. What’s your sense of that possibility?

    My mind lately has kept coming back to Cromwell’s delightfully exasperated quip: “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken. Man, I feel the guys pain! 🙂

    Cheers

    Chris

  95. Thanks!

    Huh, interesting. So then they do have a physical anchor that is enacted or spoken every time by the weight of the meme’s energetic presence in the astral and by social mimicry, which is governed mostly by emotions, not a force that is created and locked into a single talismanic object that holds it in place. I can see how it is like what happens with talismans –to my understanding of them at least since I haven’t made one– but in a much, much larger scale and complexity. I guess what holds it in place in this case is not a continuous physical anchor but the periodic physical manifestation of a theme that is fed emotionally and ritually by us humans. And now I can’t help but wonder if there is a rhythm to it! It does sound Darwinian in a different order of things, where adaptability to the material world isn’t the driving force, but perhaps adaptability to changing astral currents.

    Magical orders could be memes, it’s a meme that doesn’t spread, it is gained access to, according to divine principles we enact in ritual and hope to attain something spiritual with it by our efforts.

    I guess then that those astral energetic patterns can be created by means of magic too and thus spawn a meme in the physical world? As if a spawning talisman that has been set free?

  96. Everyone has noted how different people have different degrees of presence. Some of them stand powerfully or dress well and speak properly and eloquently; others you can almost see their ideas whizzing by enveloping them analyzing the words you just said –in a second– or just sitting there powerfully alert. All of those tell us how “present” someone is in a situation and is something that can even be felt.

    In the last decade, I’ve noted a severe decline in the feeling of presence, of the consciousness behind the eyes of the people walking by. This year it was stronger and quicker, leaving many as Michael Ende’s proverbial Grey People but instead of grey they are in a colorful trance, we might as well call them The Sparkling People as if the grey shell was possessed by an ad. Whatever it is, I just feel like the place is less crowded, even though their bodies are there. Even our technological solutions these days seem to be made for machines, not people. Clearly the artificial voice assistants from hell weren’t made to help people; nor online everything, even customer support!

    Have they been uploaded to the web? I ponder.

    Has anyone else noted this with increasing intensity? It might just be that I’ve hung around long enough here that I have started to notice…

  97. Epileptic Doomer: I had a collection of cassette tapes, some original music, and found that the drive mechanisms of my cassette players malfunctioned long before the tapes wore out. There’s are rubber belts that deteriorate, and a small friction clutch that keeps the tape from breaking at the end, but if the clutch slips too much, the tape does not go. I don’t know what to do about that.

  98. I had some business to take care of today and on my way home, I stopped by an ice cream parlor to treat myself. On my way out, a four year old girl had begun to cry and carry on in a bratty way and her mother turned to her and said in a firm but calm tone: “I will not for one second tolerate anyone crying here at the ice cream shop. If you don’t stop immediately, we will leave with NO ICE CREAM.” The little girl stopped crying immediately! I gave the mother a silent standing ovation in my mind for exemplary parenting.

  99. Hi JMG, My relationship with my neighbors is cordial. “Good morning” or “Nice weather” when we see one another. It is a culturally diverse neighborhood in the suburbs of St. Louis. People tend to mind their own business. I have been giving them some of the tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden, trying to open things up. Thank you.

    Mac

  100. I’ve got no idea who Mark Stavish is, (I’ve heard the name and that’s all) and I don’t know exactly what he means by “rainbow body.” Curiously, “Rainbow Body” is something spoken of in Tibetan Buddhism, more specifically from the Nyingma (old teachings people) school, and it has to do with developing enlightenment in such a way that there can be tangible manifestations of realization at the point of/just after death. Realized teachers at the point of/just after death have their bodies either completely disappear, or all but hair and nails…disappear. In all sorts of ways from instant “pop!” body’s gone, to steady shrinkage into nothing. It is a kind of tangible manifestation of realization as the result of accomplishing certain kinds of practice and focus.

    There are numerous stories right up to the present day of this phenomenon being observed. What is interesting, from my point of view, is that although those left behind take this as tangible evidence of the realization and enlightenment of their teachers and friends, it’s not especially better or worse than any other manifestation of enlightenment or realization. Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) is often depicted having a rainbow aura, and sometimes one sees paintings of the aura itself alone, with a hole/dark spot in the painting, where a body might be, but isn’t.

    One of the things taught by all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism is to prepare to have a good (that is conscious) death. One of the practices given by all of them is “Pho-wa” (pronounced “poh-wa”). Whereby one gathers awareness from deep in the body and projects it out of the top of one’s head. You can practice it safely because unless you are very accomplished or it’s your karmic moment to die, you won’t die just from doing the practice. In certain circumstances it can be done deliberately to avoid a death that would damage you psycho-spiritually and to go on terms of your own choosing. Usually you’d have to be pretty accomplished to pull that off! Otherwise, pho-wa practice simply habituates your consciousness to the possibility of passing out of the body expeditiously at death in a useful direction, and not hanging around so long your body begins to stink before you submit to leaving!

    I doubt very seriously if that practice is something a student of the Western traditions would want to do, but throughout recorded history, preparing for death is part of wisdom traditions, no matter where you come from. At the very least, meditating on it, taking practical steps to leave as little mess behind as possible (making a will, for instance, if you have property) and so on are recommendations. Accepting our common destiny is said to prepare a person…to live. I look forward to seeing what our “Jigme Rinpoche” (fearless leader, a.k.a. JMG) has to say in response to your question.

  101. Blue Sun, yep. The Palmer raids were full of fakery, totally illegal, and they happened more than a century ago. The way that the Polk administration manufactured a war with Mexico in order to conquer the northern half of that country — that’s the southwest quarter of the US today — is another great example of extreme abuse of power, and it happened in 1845. It’s by no means certain that Congress will continue to be as ineffectual as it’s been for the last three quarters of a century — that weakness is a function of our overseas empire, which is basically in the hands of the executive branch and gives immense power to the president. As our empire comes crashing down, Congress may reclaim a fair amount of power; look for at least one president to be impeached and driven out of office if that gets under way.

    Christopher, of course. The Democrats are desperately trying to shore up what’s left of their base.

    Jon, that makes a great deal of sense, and the time frame isn’t unusual.

    Jason, I’d love to see one of those. Anyone?

    Brian, exactly. Lots of things that work sometimes, nothing that works all the time.

    Kenaz, oddly enough, I’ve chuckled about the Transhumanist delusion in similar terms. As for fusion, yes, exactly; that’s the inevitable problem with government-funded science — there are no penalties for failure, and so failure (veiled by enthusiastic press releases) is what you get.

    Chris, it’s quite possible that that’s a major factor in the current craziness, and not just among the political leadership — a lot of people in the privileged classes are trying to add 2 + 2 and get 157, having convinced themselves that they have to do so. As for Alaric, very much so — one of the main reasons barbarian warlords win is that they’re much less costly to support than imperial bureaucracies.

    Augusto, good. Very good.

    Kimberly, huzzah! There’s hope for the future.

    Mac, then you’re set.

  102. JMG,
    A WOH question what happened to the good ship Miskatonic as the climate deteriorated?

    I’ll second the recommendation of CoCoRHAS for precipitation data. Looking at the Providence map for today, 20220824, it looks you had some substantial rain yesterday. Minimum reported was 1.34 and maximum was 4.64 inches a bit north of Newman Ave. in Rumford. https://maps.cocorahs.org/
    I’ve been reporting to CoCoRHAS for over ten years now. Takes a few minutes every morning around 7 AM.

  103. Rod @45 and JMG. I had a similar experience with my primary care doctor. After I filled out a fresh batch of forms for the first time in 7 years, and had a fresh interview, he concluded I was severely depressed, and suggested some new SSRI antidepressant. I declined, and was ready to move on to other topics. But he persisted, and I continued to demur if not actively resist this topic. Finally, I said “Look, off the get go, the narrative that these SSRI’s correct a chemical imbalance in the brain is just that: a narrative. There’s not a lick-spittle of supporting evidence. What we call ‘depression’ is not generally pathological. It’s a normal, perhaps adaptive, response to chronic adversity, and G-d knows I have that. If not that, it’s often attitudinal, which one can change without a pill, or secondary to childhood trauma (also germane for me), which a pill can’t fix. I’m done with this topic”. He backed off.

    It never occurred to me he might be getting kickbacks.

    When I was a physician employee back in the day, I recall the medical director hosted twice-monthly presentations by a pharmacy rep. Every new drug was, of course, under patent, and I quickly learned that the insurers for my patients rarely would cover the new expensive meds. So there was rarely a point in prescribing them; rarely was there a reason to appeal non-coverage, though here were a couple of new meds that were worthwhile: The big one was the opioid buprenorphine delivered through a 3-day patch (like a nicotine patch). It was much less potent and safer than that other opioid patch, fentanyl. It was more effective than short-acting opioids, and didn’t have the hazards associated with long acting opioids, and the patient needn’t bother with taking a pill on schedule. I now suspect that even taking an opioid in pill form represents an act of will that somehow contributes to their addictiveness. (This is just my gut feeling. Zero science. JMG?)

    I never got kickbacks from prescribing that, or any, medication. I never heard of anybody receiving kickbacks. Of course I have Aspergers, and simply might not have read the social cues that would have shown the door to that possibility. My old medical director and her colleague were certainly assiduous in inviting those drug reps over to present their stuff; they always brought us a free lunch.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  104. Christopher @93: That $10,000 forgiveness won’t make much of a dent in many students’ debt load. It sure wouldn’t have mine.

    I wonder why they just don’t make the debt dischargable in bankruptcy. That way, those who can pay still have to pay, those who can’t go bankrupt and move on with their lives, the lenders are incentivized to make sound loans, and the tax-payers are off the hook.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  105. @methylethyl, because strawberries are sweet, soft, have almost no skin and if you “eat” too many of them you get diarrhea. It is almost poetic.

  106. @pygmycory,

    Thanks for your comment, and I’m glad to hear there are Bakfiets and fat bikes in your neck of the woods! As for teenagers not riding, can they afford a car in your area? Maybe it’s a class-based thing, of not wanting to be the one biking when all your friends have cars? Not sure!

  107. Happy to do some experimentation, but first I want to hear your take on whether I need wait a full 30 minutes between the Judson exercise and the SOP.

  108. Jon @ 95 and JMG;

    Good heavens! My father died in 1991 at age 68. Three years later, I had a startling series of dreams featuring him.

    In the final dream, I was a little boy. He smiled at me warmly and I just basked. Then he picked me up and placed me straddled upon his shoulders. Then he began to walk, then trot, then run, and he ran onto a freeway onramp. He kept going faster and faster, towering over and overtaking everything, and it was exhilarating. Then we were flying together. Then I was flying alone, ecstatic.

    I stopped grieving for him after that, and decided to go to medical school.

    Thank you both for reminding me of this dream, and giving it new, potent meaning, including the meaning that he is really doing OK, kept his connection with me, and forgave me.

    You’ve also reminded me of some other piece of wisdom I read on this blog (I can’t recall who wrote it): “If you remember a dream for more than a year, it’s not just a dream, it’s a vision.”

    You’ve both really made my day in these awful times. Again, thank you.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  109. @Jason P #97
    Energy wasted because of traffic congestion from the office of energy efficiency and renewable energy:

    The traffic decline associated with the pandemic resulted in only half as much fuel being wasted in 2020 compared to 2019. Total excess fuel consumed due to congestion in 2020 was 1.7 billion gallons, the lowest since 1994. Before 2020, the trend was steadily rising to a peak of nearly 3.5 billion gallons in 2019.

    https://www.energy.gov/eere/vehicles/articles/fotw-1204-sept-20-2021-fuel-wasted-due-us-traffic-congestion-2020-cut-half

  110. @Nomadic Beer #76 – I grew up in the days before ADHD was discovered, let alone medicated for, and I was self-medicating with caffeine, sugar, and cigarettes (yes, they do help you focus. At a high cost. Quit cold turkey in 1967 after 15 years and am glad) for years. Tried to kick the caffeine late in life and and found, while I still wanted the coffee, my desire for diet coke, which I’d been guzzling like water, suddenly vanished. For what it’s worth.

    For all you invisible people, I used to both have nightmares about being overlooked and the bus leaving without me because I didn’t catch the announcement which everybody else did. This was long before my hearing went bad; it was a metaphor. And I felt like I was always the last to be served, and was overlooked, and kept wondering why, did I have cooties or something? Well, no, but my nose in a book, or my mind in one, yes. That has totally dried up now! Maybe because when I came here, I told them outright I was Aspie. I don’t go around announcing it socially, that’s TMi, but I don’t give a flying freakout who knows. For what that’s worth.

  111. P.S. on the ADHD – I have watched my daughter’s ongoing struggle trying to get my youngest grandson to eat his eggs, to not grab a handful of the sausages and stiff them down his mouth all at once, to…. he has a contrary streak a light-year wide. She’s had him on meds for as long as I’ve known him.

  112. Augusto – are you the one who used to have the ask A Mexican column in various publications? Back in Albuquerque, the column used to run in a lifestyle/arts/ etc weekly.

  113. Augusto – I know who’ spreading cat memes. Our feline overlords, having instilled in us a growing love of the little furry monsters. (Via a parasite that makes mice friendly to them?) If Spot were still alive, I’d run it past him; Dufus Claudius’s ghost purrs smugly and gives me That Look. Buster’s ghost snarls “just try’n meme me, lady. You couldn’t even get me to stick around, landlady.” Etc. Clear back to the first cat I ever adopted.

  114. Justin Patrick Moore you beat me to it!
    I was also going to recommend Huntley and ‘I swear you can’t make this up Eric’ Gruber
    The man is a masterful of the cuff storyteller.
    His JFK stuff is amazing.
    For great laughs, listen to the Abbie Hoffman episode.
    Brilliant!
    I came by them via Viva Barnes I was listening to Viva Frei, prior to him teaming up with Barnes.
    I remember reading JHK talking about all the people that were going to jail via attorney general Barr and thinking, sorry you need to listen to Barnes, their all in it together.
    Barnes is a brilliant legal mind and had exposed so may examples of Lawfare by the Dems.
    Regards Helen in Oz

  115. @JMG, Blue Sun re: republic?

    As for whether or not the U.S. is any longer a republic in a meaningful sense, I tend to go with Spengler’s understanding. In Volume II of The Decline of the West (p. 431), he says:

    “By the term “Caesarism” I mean that kind of government which, irrespective of any constitutional formulation that it may have, is in its inward self a return to thorough formlessness. It does not matter that Augustus in Rome, and Hwang-ti in China, Amasis in Egypt and Alp Arslan in Baghdad disguised their position under antique forms. The spirit of these forms was dead, and so all institutions; however carefully maintained, were thenceforth destitute of all meaning and weight. Real importance centred in the wholly personal power exercised by the Caesar, or by anybody else capable of exercising it in his place. It is the récidive of a form-fulfilled world into primitivism, into the cosmic-historyless.”

    Now, I don’t think we are “there” yet, but we are well on our way. If Spengler were around to see the FBI raid, he would probably consider it morphologically comparable to the various murderous proscriptions in the final years of the Roman Republic, in which minor children of patricians were dressed in adult togas, and declared to be “legal adults” so they could be executed along with their parents.

    As I have said before, I consider Trump to be much more similar to Crassus than to Caesar. Give it another generation (gulp!)

  116. I recently got the 3rd edition of your book monsters. In the section on Tulpas it says “The most effective methods for coping with tulpas come from the armamentarium of ritual magic, but that requires systematic study and practice of a sort this book cannot provide”

    I’ve never encountered the phrase armamentarium of ritual magic. Is it the regular practice of the ritual magic rituals you provide in part 4 of the book that makes them effective? Or is it something else?

  117. Thanks : )

    Levi’s book has been really good fodder. Sometimes I feel like I am talking to someone when I read his book and meditate on it. Might it, and others, have a spirit of their own?

  118. John, any plans to write an auto-biography? I would really love to read it. I think it would suit you, and your philosophy, very well. Think… Jung.

  119. Hello, everyone.

    Last week, I was reading this paragraph in CosDoc:
    <>
    I meditated several times on this, then suddenly I saw a vagina… It’s surprisingly fitting. Anyone else?

    On other topic, last night I was performing the Sphere of Protection late night, not in my usual place nor time. Images came slightly more vivid in general, but while invoking the powers of fire I experienced heavy chills, the kind you feel when you suspect someone is watching you! It went completely away when invoking the powers of water, and returned when invoking teluric forces. One simple explanation is that I was randomly scared of being caught practicing rituals, and it just happened during fire and teluric phases. The other explanation I tell myself is that the invocation worked awkwardly, since it was late night (the opposite of the sun-scorching summer I try to visualize) and the space was more open than my usual place (the opposite of the cavern-like visualization for teluric forces). One other explanation is that I brought attention of some forces to me. Maybe I was just tired and couldn’t focus properly. And of course, it can be all these things together. In any case, it’s an experience to meditate about.

  120. Thank you all for your kind words about invisibility.

    @Horzabky #43 – I actually thought about acting, too. It is certainly a good suggestion.

    The reason I did not go through with it, is that I am a foreigner (Italian) in the Netherlands. Can you imagine someone on stage declaming Dutch verses with a heavy Italian accent? Mamma mia! The Dutch are tolerant, but everything has a limit. Perhaps I should think of something similar that does not require a passable accent.

    About free lessons: I am pretty sure that the age of free stuff is over.

    @JustMe #51 – and yet I did see your comment!
    Yes, clothes, good suggestion. I need to to work on that, too. In general I dress in colours as plain as possible (light blue).
    That does not help my visibility. It takes style to dress flashy, and I have less than none.

    @methylethyl #65
    >partly learned, and partly a natural gift

    I remember trying to become invisible, or at least unnoticed, while walking to school, as a little boy. It must have worked somehow.

    >intense autistic focus

    I am not autistic (that I know), but I can fully identify with your description. I often have conversations with other people in my head
    about politics, culture, the economy, things I need to do for work, or things I wished I would have said or done, but did not. Discursive meditation?

    My job also involves noticing patterns and digging into problems that others cannot solve. While I am lost in my thoughts, I am probably not visible for other people.

    Your suggestion to re-locate inside my body is probably appropriate. It takes me a while to be back into myself after I stop thinking, and I easily become oblivious of the real world.

    @Jessi Thompson #79
    Yes, I am painfully aware of the role of body language and position in the room. I am also very shy, clumsy and easily embarassed, so I end up projecting that from the furthest corner in the room, possibly behind some kind of protection. I am afraid of crowds, and I cannot be in one for more than a few minutes. It is getting worse as I get older.

    About louder shoes and coloured shirts: true, I dress very plainly. Again, it takes style to dress flashy, and I have less than none. One of the few things I admired of the Maoist regime was their sense of fashion (i.e. the same blue suit for everybody).

    I do not know about mindfulness, but I guess I should try to be more in the here and now and more grounded in the world around me.

    There is little raw material left for a dramatic hairstyle, I am afraid.

  121. Something relevant that caught my attention recently: Emmanuel Macron talking about the “end of abundance”.

    “We are living at the end of what could appear to be [an age] of abundance, of endless cash flow, for which we must now face the consequences in terms of state finances, of an abundance of products and technology which appeared to be perpetually available.”

    I don’t rate Macron very highly, but by the very low standards of modern Western leaders, he has often struck me as comparatively intelligent and honest. It seems a bit telling that this is now a part of mainstream public discourse, though I wouldn’t want to overvalue this. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me too much if high-profile politicians have talked about “the end of abundance” before without anything coming of it, though I can’t remember any off the top of my head.

    Of course, elsewhere he talks about defending “the way of life that we are used to”, which will mean “sacrifices”. Easy enough to guess who will continue enjoying the way of life that they are used to, and who will do (or be) the sacrifices…

  122. Not sure if it’s the same thing as being invisible, but I used to mumble terribly as a child (still do, actually, but not as badly).

    My sister took elocution lessons (she got orthodontics and elocution, I got a private primary school). One day I was with my mother when she picked up my sister after class. While chatting to the elocution teacher, my mother said, “Can’t you do something about this boy? He mumbles terribly.”

    The teacher’s reply was no-nonsense, perfectly enunciated, and devastatingly accurate. “The boy mumbles because he feels no one wants to hear what he has to say.”

    Bingo! My family consistently either ignored me or actively put me down. (I think it was because I was smarter than my parents and they felt threatened. Alternatively, they were afraid I would stumble on some dark family secret, although we don’t have one that I know of.)

    Now that I am fully grown at 5’2″ tall, people don’t ignore me, but they act as if I am an amusing toy, not to be taken seriously.

  123. Something strange is going on, JMG. I just read an article by a science writer who answers the incredibly difficult and perplexing question of “how much water should I drink in a day?” And her answer? “Listen to your thirst”! Oh, what’s the world coming to when life-or-death predicaments such as hydration can be solved by listening to one’s body instead of one-size-fits-all pronouncements from on high (“Thou shalt drink 8 glasses of water a day; no more, no less”) or massive tomes written by great authorities or hiring a personal hydration consultant (at $400/hour)! Are we going to tolerate this assault of common sense against the entire “hydration industry”? Hopefully these rebellious and unorthodox science writers can be corralled and quickly dealt with – or else, who knows what other dangerous common-sense advice will be dispensed? What’s next? “Eat when you’re hungry”???
    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/how-much-water-should-you-drink-in-a-day?utm_source=pocket-newtab
    (I am being sarcastic, of course)

  124. Bendith Fawr, I have myself mostly delineated the upcoming Libra Ingress for Germany, and the prediction following from it are very similar to yours: an economically difficult autumn and winter, political unrest, possible setbacks for the givernment, and disruptions and difficulties through events in other countries. These predictions corroborate what one can predict from other sources of information, like, for example, the state of European natural gas reserves.

  125. methylethyl #96:
    “@Bob: They should fund clotheslines, for anybody who wants them 😉”

    Great suggestion; alas, some apartment complexes, including the one I live in, ban the use of balcony clotheslines in their leases, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some homeowners’ associations ban them as well. So if we’re serious about energy conservation, ensuring that people are allowed to use clotheslines would be a good step.

  126. @ PatriciaT

    Re things falling apart and wishing otherwise

    I realize that a good part of what I’m dealing with is yet another form of me desiring to be seventeen again with most of my life still ahead of me rather than fifty with the majority of my life behind me, just writ large and projected onto the world around me. Hardly the most constructive of approaches! To some extent, I just need to pull my head out and deal with the now. I’m learning, though slowly.

  127. In the Grimms’ version of Cinderella (Aschenputtel), the evil sisters hack off their own toes to try and fit into the shoes that Cinderella lost. After the prince finally discovers Cinderella, two birds come and hack out the evil sisters’ eyes. In the Grimms’ version of Snow White (Schneewittchen), the evil step mother is invited to Snow White’s wedding, but forced to dance in shoes of red-hot iron until she dies.

    In a less well-known tale from the collection (Little Brother and Little Sister, Brüderchen und Schwesterchen), the king marries the virtuous heroine, who continues to take care of her little brother, transformed into a deer by the evil step mother. After the heroine gives birth, the evil stepmother kills her and substitutes her own daughter as queen. When the plot is discovered and the heroine brought back from the dead, the evil stepmother is burnt and the stepsister condemned to be devoured by wild animals.

    I wonder if English or American folk-tales used to be quite as bloody 🙂 It does seem to me as if the vivid descriptions of the Rapture, from a particular interpretation of the Revelation of John, border on a similar motif and trigger similar psychological reactions.

    A main thread on these fora over the last two years has been the observation that the reaction to the pandemic was mythical and emotional, not rational. Simon Sheridan has written about the Plague tale and the Devouring Mother archetype. I find value in those analyses, and I wouldn’t elevate the motif I quote from the fairy tales above to the level of an archetype, but I do find it relevant in the light of recent discussions. My colloquial American English isn’t good enough to give the motif a catchy name, something in the direction of Comeuppance or They Had It Coming. I will call it Cinderella’s Sisters.

    My impression when reading (from time to time) the quote semi-open unquote discussions on Dreamwidth is a very strong expression of this Cinderella’s Sisters motif, and it showed up again and again on last week’s more open discussion here. The available mortality numbers are not strong nor reliable enough to give support to the strong feeling that “they” need to be punished for their evil deeds, or for their insufficient resistance to the evil regime (this last point resonates more with Revelation than with fairy tales). There is a clear division between the righteous remnant and the evil others. I even read the expression “pureblood” used as a positive self-identification, which made me shiver.

    Emotional and mythical reactions are powerful and dangerous on both sides of the debate.

  128. Thanks a lot for your reply about sensing the astral weather! Another question, if you don’t mind.

    Both Levi’s Doctrine and Ritual and Manly Hall’s Self-Unfoldment and the Knapp-Hall deck involve the contemplation of the Tarot along with the occult philosophy chapters in those books. The Tarot and the material in the books seem to fit together in a complementary way.

    Does a book, or books, exist which I could use as an accompaniment to similar work with the Ogham (aside from the DH and DMH, which I have already)? Even if a specific book doesn’t exist, are there some books which you think would add to a sustained study of the Ogham? I ask because I’ve already done a round of scrying/pathworking of all the Ogham fews, and I’m considering doing another cycle.

  129. Macron said France and the French felt they were living through a series of crises, “each worse than the last”.

    “What we are currently living through is a kind of major tipping point or a great upheaval … we are living the end of what could have seemed an era of abundance … the end of the abundance of products of technologies that seemed always available … the end of the abundance of land and materials including water,” he said.

    “This overview that I’m giving, the end of abundance, the end of insouciance, the end of assumptions – it’s ultimately a tipping point that we are going through that can lead our citizens to feel a lot of anxiety. Faced with this, we have a duty, duties, the first of which is to speak frankly and clearly without doom-mongering,” he said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/24/macron-warns-of-end-of-abundance-as-france-faces-difficult-winter

    I looked up insouciance, it means lack of concern. I had thought it meant something like sauciness.

  130. To Anonymous, JMG — regarding rain gauges:

    If you want to know how much rain *YOU* get, you will need a rain gauge of your own. I have a plastic water bottle that I cut the top off of that I put out in an open spot (and surround with bricks to keep it from blowing away). It’s not at all accurate, but it gives me some sense of just how much rain I get at my house. (And I don’t have to worry about it freezing.)

    The problem with looking at any online source of rainfall data is: precipitation has a very high spatial (and temporal) variability. So the rain gauge at the airport a mile away may get 3 inches of rain from a thunderstorm, while you get nothing at your house. Winter time precipitation is usually more uniform, but can still show pretty large differences from point to point.

    So if you look at CoCoRaHS (linked in my previous post above), for Tuesday (8/23), you can see that East Providence has a few reporting rain gauges that got a lot of rain. On the south side of town, the rain gauge shows about 2 inches. On the north side of town, there are two rain gauges that report over 4 inches.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean that East Providence is no longer in drought! A long term severe drought will not be ended by one rainfall.

    The large spatial and temporal variation in precipitation makes drought a statistical thing, as JMG mentions. And rainfall is not “normally distributed.” The farm that keeps getting missed by the summer rains is going to be hurting bad, while the farmer a few miles away is happy. Meanwhile, taking an average over a whole county will tell you something about the river flows and reservoirs and such, but may not tell you how many farmers are hurting. And the farmer who gets “normal” rainfall for the year — but it all falls in November!! — is not happy with the lack of summer rain.

    If one is, perhaps, thinking of moving somewhere, and wants to know how often that spot experiences drought, the best way I can think of to find out is to look through the 120 years of drought maps (again, linked in my previous post) and see how often that location shows up with drought. The maps are pretty broad-based, but still give a valuable clue to how often one can expect a bad drought. For where I live, it seems to be about once every 20 years. How that might change in the future, I would not venture to guess.

  131. >Chuaquin – On education, I’d recommend the following Math topics:

    Most people don’t do math all that well. It’s either something you’re hardwired for or not. I’d be for an educational system that identifies what kids are good at and interested in and then egg them on to do more of that. Only if the kid demonstrates the ability to handle advanced math would I bother egging him on to do it. Otherwise you create resentful surly subversives who are more interested in finding ways to cheat on tests than anything else. Maybe that’s what the educational system wants to teach? If so, well, look at the world around you – they’ve done a great job.

    What I’ve seen in the Real World(tm) when it comes to mathy things, the ability to read a graph, interpret what it’s telling you and make decisions based on it, is way more important than just about anything else you care to name. And oh Gawd, the way that the pedagogues teach graph reading to the kids, it makes you shudder and weep.

  132. @Helen in Oz…

    Glad to hear you are enjoying those shows as well. My aunt turned me on to it, and I’m coming around the other way now, getting introduced to Viva Frei and Barnes through Groubert and Hunley. Great stuff.

    I agree the Abbie Hoffman episode was really really good, really touching. Speaking of tamanous culture, etc. Hoffman was a real coyote American trickster type.

    I would love to see some people now try and go levitate the Department of Justice…

  133. What’s your thoughts on the recent student loan forgiveness JMG?

    While I do happen to benefit from this, it certainly doesn’t address the causative factors behind how student debt became such a problem (government making businesses unable to means test for jobs requiring credentials as a stand in, subsidized federal loans ratcheting up the cost of education, the non dischargeability of student loans in bankruptcy, predatory lending targeted towards the young etc etc). My first thought was that this a pre-midterm political move by the Biden admin to shore up their base and that it sets the precedent for future student debt removal. 2nd, that this move is deflationary, not inflationary, given we exist in a credit money economy (destruction of debt is the destruction of money). 3rd, that this will incense red and independent voters further as they were not the primary beneficiaries of the move. Why stop at student loan debt when mortgage and other debt servicing costs are going to be a growing problem courtesy of rising interest rates?

    Tamanous

  134. Dear JMG, thank you so much for your response — that makes a great deal of sense, and after maybe 2019 or so I basically stopped having those Trump related dreams.

    Dear Jessi, I’ve had several similar dreams in which I ended up fighting in guerilla style wars. They always occurred when I fell in with groups with violent intent and they helped lead me away from them when I saw the implications of where the group was headed and would take me if I stayed with them. That said, I’ve never dreamt I was the organizer! That would have spooked me out badly.

  135. Ian Welsh is on fire this morning. https://www.ianwelsh.net/

    Brian @ 83 The triumphal tribalists. Our familia/tribe/brothers and sisters will Be In Charge when everyone else is still trying to figure out what happened. The hated oppressors/PMC/lower class idiots will be having to bow to us! We will rule under the triumphal sign of Our God/indomitable will/spirits of the land.

  136. I have somethings that have been bothering me.
    One is the following:
    I’m not sure where the idea of “The Storm” began. I first started hearing it around 2011 from people associated with the Morrigan. At that point it was a future event – many of us heard the Great Queen say “A storm is coming – get ready.” – John Beckett.

    He says that Gods have been recruiting people for this Storm. If that is the case, then the Roman ones have missed the boat. I haven’t had any calling for any of this. What I have noticed is that more people are being open about following Roman and Mesopotamian Gods. Perhaps what is happening is that people are receptive to the Gods or They are becoming more apparent.

    ***Have the Gods become more active in general? Or are people simply noticing them more?

    Two, again from Beckett
    We know where “Tower Time” began. Byron Ballard coined the phrase to describe the end of empire and the patriarchy that supports it. It’s named for The Tower card in the Tarot, a card that foretells sudden, dramatic, and irreversible change. The false is burned away and those who built on unstable foundations are cast down, making room for something better.

    It seems to me that “Tower Time” is the Long Descent with Gods and a happy ending. For some strange reason, various Neo-Pagans have glommed on to this idea. I haven’t seen any Polytheists discussing it.

    ***Is this a Neo-Pagan response to the Long Descent complete with Divine intervention? Or is it more general than that?

    Three, again from Beckett (who takes this thing to heart) and various Neo-Pagans who agree with the list: Some of the Signs of Tower Time or The Storm,
    Year-round encounters with Otherworldly persons (aka “The Shredded Veil”)
    More frequent encounters with the Fair Folk
    Gods on recruiting missions
    Divine instructions to build – in a hurry
    Increased interest in magic and witchcraft from ordinary people
    Increased intensity and frequency of magical and spiritual experiences
    and an ever-increasing number of incidents that are difficult to classify but that are best described as high strangeness

    I have looked over that list and scratched my head. I have been encountering high strangeness for years such as encounters with living pterosaurs. Reading the Magic Mondays, I haven’t noticed anything different as in an increase.

    *** Has there been any increase or is that all in the imagination?

    My problem with this is that I keep bumping into it in Neo-Pagan spaces and believe it is a lot of who shot John. My personal opinion is that Neo-Pagans are half-in and half-out of the secular world view. I think basically they are secular people who are being confronted by what is always there.

    *** Are there Divine signs of the Great Descent?

  137. JMG, Jon, Lunar Apprentice and anyone else who commented on the subject
    This brought to mind two “dreams” I have had, both in my twenties that were vivid and not like any other dreams I have ever had. my best friend was killed in a skydiving accident, and visited me not that long after.His widow experienced the same thing. Mine was just the one visit. Hers were more, but diminished over time. On his last visit to her he said that he had to go and couldn’t visit again.The other was from my father, who had been an emotionally closed person and with whom I had had a difficult childhood relationship. I don’t remember the time lag after his death, though it was several years. There was , however, this feeling of complete love and acceptance between us. I have had several other people i was close to die, but there were not these dream visits. Perhaps there had already been closure. In my mother’s case I sat holding her hand as she died. Perhaps that served the same function.
    Stephen

  138. This may sound odd but I find it reassuring to learn that the republic seems to have survived these sorts of shenanigans before. Perhaps it could survive them again.

    Maybe even into the far future (keep alive the dream of the Lakeland Republic!), and this time not follow the Roman model. It *could* be different this time, right?

  139. @Bob #14

    What should DOE do with extra cash?

    I have two suggestions. One is a no brainer that they probably won’t like and the other is middling to poor but they might like it. I let you figure out which is which.

    1) Study the costs and benefits of double track rail to every major city. How much would it cost? How much faster would the trains go on a double track system? How much freight could be shifted from trucks to trains and what would the energy savings be? CO2 reduction? How much faster would passenger service be on a double track system and what the energy and CO2 savings would be if air travel was shifted to trains? And various corollaries like reduced road maintenance and increased safety from fewer semitrucks on the roads.

    2) Research the EROEI of Thorium reactors. Thorium has only one naturally occuring isatope so it does not need to be refined like Uranium does. What is the net energy difference between the two?

  140. “Christopher L Hope says:
    August 24, 2022 at 8:43 pm
    Well, it’s done. $10K in loan forgiveness to people with student debt, not a penny for the working class.”

    Whatever in the world do you mean by this? A whole lot of people in the working class went to college at least a little bit; a lot of them took out loans for the thing they either didn’t finish or finished but without the promised “career” waiting at the exit door.

    Perhaps you mean the generationally-derived working class (nobody attended college in the family)?

    Or am I way off base and actually the “college experience” is the great divide between classes even though it doesn’t guarantee squat and even though lots of people work in working-class jobs after making the attempt?

  141. @ Michael Martin
    Yes, all good points you make. The spirit is probably dead among those who actually work in the government deep state, but interestingly there is a significant portion of the general population who is very interested in keeping the spirit alive. I see enthusiasm for studying the Constitution has picked up in recent years, for example the popular courses offered by Hillsdale college. I think if even just the ideas (if nothing else) can survive the long descent, that would be a gift to our descendants. I expect that the Constitution and all the Federalist papers will survive the long descent, but nothing’s guaranteed.

    @JMG
    Do you think the idea to buy some land in the Nevada desert and stash a bunch of the classics in a cave, like the Dead Sea scrolls, is a crazy idea?

  142. I’m wondering what everyone’s thoughts might be re the recent move by the Biden administration (“Biden”) to forgive $10k (up to $20k in some cases) of student debt.

    On one hand, this will help my daughter, who has roughly $10k of outstanding debt and avoided a greater amount of debt by getting off of the college-to-debt path after only a semester or so. She is making her way without the benefit/burden of a college degree.

    On the other hand, I took on a modest amount of debt back in the day (granted, the costs themselves were also more modest) and dutifully repaid that loan.

    On the other-other hand, the costs today are exorbitant and the burden placed on college graduates much more significant than when I (finally) left college over two decades ago.

    On the other-other-other hand, debt forgiveness without addressing the root cause (those exorbitant fees caused by a total lack of pricing discipline by the college industry) is a short-term band-aid that will do nothing in the long run.

  143. Hi JMG

    Continuing with the theme of the past week post I find this article quite appropriate:

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24088149/

    They say:

    “The authorization of user fees in 1992 has turned drug companies into the FDA’s prime clients, deepening the regulatory and cultural capture of the agency. Industry has demanded shorter average review times and, with less time to thoroughly review evidence, increased hospitalizations and deaths have resulted. Meeting the needs of the drug companies has taken priority over meeting the needs of patients. Unless this corruption of regulatory intent is reversed, the situation will continue to deteriorate. We offer practical suggestions including: separating the funding of clinical trials from their conduct, analysis, and publication; independent FDA leadership; full public funding for all FDA activities; measures to discourage R&D on drugs with few, if any, new clinical benefits; and the creation of a National Drug Safety Board”

    The article is from 2013, do you really think the situation has improved from that year?

    The problem for us, living in vassals states of the Empire, is that this dynamic permeates to all the western countries because the European Agency of Medicaments approve almost automatically all what is approved in the other side of the pond, because FDA is “the reference”.

    So, for example, we have the same speed to approve the drugs, bullying the “negationists” (OK, they don’t “force” you to take the vax but you lose your livehood), negate the early treatments, prosecute/fire doctors who disagree, crush any dissent, use the same rigid “protocol” approach, etc…than you

    The sooner the empire ends the better for everyone

    Cheers
    David

  144. JMG,

    You said “The universe isn’t a manufactured object — it was born, not made, and so it has parents, not a creator.”

    So, I am wondering how does that difference matter, and to whom, and for what. On one hand, sure, there is an important difference between being born and being manufactured. Yet, it doesn’t take much mental jugglery to see a baby as being “manufactured” and a clock as being “born”.

    So then does your answer matter to only those who, for some reason, are seriously interested in the question?
    Or are there implications that affect everyone else?

    Thanks.

  145. @Yavanna
    Florida has a right-to-dry law now. Homeowners’ associations are not allowed to ban clotheslines 🙂 I would love to see that become more widespread!

  146. It seems that the paragraphs from the CosDoc I quoted is missing due to wrong format. Any chance of editing it?
    Thanks.

  147. To whoever (last night) said that student loan forgiveness was at the expense of working people, or that the money should have gone to working people – a lot of the student loan recipients ARE working people. I live across the street from the local community college, and the retirement center Foundation has an “Associates Scholarship Fund.” My server at dinner, an adult woman, had a “scholarship recipient” banner attached to her name tag.

    Straws in the wind: an article in Pocket, now disappeared, mentioned that young women are now talking opening about gut problems, apparently very prevalent among them. And that black women are getting hard hit by them as well as others. And doctors are taking it seriously now. In at least one case, it was triggered by a bout of food poisoning, after which the patient was never the same. I know: that happened to me, about a month after my 3rd COVID booster if that’s relevant, and I’m still struggling with it. I’m wondering – food? Food additives? Pollution? COVID aftereffects?

    BTW, for all the invisible people out there, I, too, have my sun in the 12th house. Which I consider an important data point. Though I’m not invisible here!

  148. P.S. As many an author has noted, if you want or need a cloak of invisibility, be an old or middle-aged-matronly woman. Especially in a service position like someone’s admin. There are stories, starting with the Lord Peter Wimsey ones, about them making excellent spies and PIs for just that reason. I’m sure there are parallel invisibility cloaks for men, probably a certain amount of dweebishness. Makes good camouflage, as Justin Martense discovered.

  149. Coop, it was wrecked in the tsunami when Great Cthulhu awoke. A new ship on the same lines, also named Miskatonic, was finished about twenty years after the world changed, and sailed on several expeditions to curious new land masses that rose unexpectedly in the Atlantic. Thanks for the advice about rainfall!

    Lunar, do you typically prescribe pharmaceuticals in the course of your work these days?

    Kimberly, thanks for this!

    Ataulfo, hmm! I don’t know. I’ve never tried doing them close together — I do the SOP as part of my morning practices, and have been doing the Judson exercise in the afternoon.

    Lunar, that’s a classic example of the type. You’re most welcome.

    Michael, by that indication, exactly; we’re still more or less a republic, though quite possibly not for long. Power hasn’t become wholly personal yet — if it had, Trump would still be in the White House and his opponents probably would have disappeared without a trace.

    Robert, the term “armamentarium” is a fancy way of saying the full collection of ritual and practical methods. If you want to take those up, I recommend my books Learning Ritual Magic followed by Circles of Power; it’ll take you about five years.

    Augusto, that’s certainly the way it feels to me.

    Chrishorvath, I wasn’t planning on it. I’ve actually led a very quiet and rather dull life, by choice — I’m naturally rather risk-averse, and fond of quiet and routine. A chronicle of my days would include a lot of “read this book, worked on writing that book, posted something to the internet, drank a lot of tea, spent time with my wife,” and not much else.

    Abraham, the quote didn’t make it to my inbox — please try posting it again without HTML markup so I can figure out what I’m responding to!

    Daniil, I saw that! On the one hand, I’m glad that somebody in power actually mentioned it; on the other, now those of us who’ve been saying the same thing all along will have to deal with people who first heard about it from Macron, and have to explain to them that not all of us are hypocrites like him.

    Ron, good heavens. That really is startling!

    Jay Pine, I wonder if the UK government has any idea what an explosion they’re likely to cause.

    Aldarion, the Grimm brothers’ tales are, well, grim. Most American folktales are much less gory; though there’s very often a sense of people getting what they deserve, it’s more often a matter of humiliation than a hideous death. That said, I share your concern. The fact that I wrote (in Retrotopia) about a mob tearing an executive to bloody gobbets with their bare hands doesn’t mean that I think this is a good idea; my proposal all along is that the people responsible for the current mess should be tried by a jury and, if convicted, suffer the penalties specified by law.

    Jbucks, I know of no such book, and it’s a pity — the Ogham would make a great framework for that. As for resources, have you downloaded a copy of the Auraicept na n-Eces, the one surviving Irish Ogham treatise? You can get it here:

    https://archive.org/details/auraiceptnancess00cald

    Siliconguy, it fascinates me that Macron, of all people, would say that out loud. I didn’t think the little [deleted] had that kind of courage.

    Cyclone, thanks for this.

    Ben, what fine questions for meditation! I recommend a close study of The Cosmic Doctrine as a resource for the latter.

    Tamanous, the Biden administration is panicking over the midterms but trying to do as little as possible, while making as much noise as possible. These days universities function as dishonest sales flacks pushing predatory loans on vulnerable people for the benefit of the banking industry; even bringing up the possibility of loan forgiveness raises the prospect that down the road, another politician will do what’s necessary — allow student loans to be discharged by bankruptcy, get the federal government out of the loan guarantee business, and require applicants for student loans to offer some evidence that they or their families can pay it off. (That was standard as recently as the late 1970s, and worked quite well.) When that happens, as it must, it will hammer the universities, which have expanded unsustainably on the basis of student-loan graft, and it will also deprive the banking industry of a lucrative cash cow. So the blowback will be considerable.

    Violet, thanks for the data point. I have my own suspicions concerning how all this is playing out, but we’ll see.

    Neptunesdolphins, er, I was once John Beckett’s teacher, and I dismissed him from study. I’m not going to go into the details, but let’s just say that I’m far from sure I would take his claims too seriously.

    Stephen, those are also classic examples of the type. The dead sometimes do make the opportunity to talk to the living, and the dream state is a relatively easy way to do that.

    Blue Sun, that’s one of the things I take from it. Republics are fairly resilient and, imperfect as they are, they still tend to be better places to live than the alternatives.

    Patricia M, huzzah! Thanks for this.

    Blue Sun, I’d stash them in the mountains of eastern Utah or Idaho instead, but the basic concept’s a good one.

    David BTL, see my comment to Tamanous above.

    JustMe, the increased demand will doubtless lead to popcorn shortages soon!

    DFC, yep. Things have gotten much worse since it was published.

    Shrama, what a fine question for meditation! I’d give it at least two weeks of daily sessions.

    Abraham, nope — it didn’t survive to get to my inbox. Please repost it as plain text with no HTML.

    Patricia M, thanks for the data points!

  150. With the frequency that Thorium reactors come up in the pleadings of the Techno-Utopian crowd I have just thought up a new business. I will make small crosses ( or some such symbol) out of low concentration thorium and pot metal and the ” we are going to Mars with Elon Musk” crowd can wear them around their necks as a talisman to ward off the low energy future. Umm, now what to call them.

  151. Hello JMG. I know you don’t claim to be an expert on Europe, but are you watching electricity prices in EU? If so, what is your prognosis? Will it eventually go down? Because if not, that might be a good reason to get some solar panels. If electricity will cost 10x of what it used to, and panels and batteries “only” 2x, the return on investment time will go from 25-30 years to 5-6 years.

  152. I’ve been having a long-term intermittent discussion with my girlfriend about my decision not to fly, for environmental reasons*. She argues that a passenger in a full plane ends up using less fuel than the driver of a car going the same distance.

    This makes sense, but at the same time, I have to think that this is a simplistic calculation and that there are other considerations. For one thing, there’s the massive infrastructure required for commercial airlines. For another, flying enables people to cross continents and oceans on a moment’s whim, which simply is not possible with trains, buses, or ships. That sort of convenience has to come with a heavy cost in resources.

    Any thoughts on the environmental logistics of flying?

    *There are other reasons, like the fact that I’m physically too large to fit comfortably on airplanes, and I find airports to be tortuous, large scale Skinner boxes. But the big reason is that I’m trying to accept a limit on my life for the sake of the Earth.

  153. Last week we discussed the Clerisy and this week another fine example of how, if you are not part of the Noble class you would be subject to floggings and imprisonment. Those rules tend not to apply to the Clerisy because they look down on the “great unwashed”. It’s therefore, ‘Rules for Thee and not for me’. Does anyone really think this will gain traction? I seriously doubt it but it should. So should the Hunter laptop and all his payoffs and escapades.

    “Two Plead Guilty To Stealing Ashley Biden’s ‘Inappropriate Showers With Dad’ Diary”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/two-plead-guilty-stealing-ashley-bidens-inappropriate-showers-dad-diary

  154. @Will M #87

    No, I am not familiar with natal astro charts. I did one online just now, and apparently I have the Sun in the 5th house, and nothing in the 12th house. I have no idea of what that actually means, and the interpretation on the wesite (astro.cafeastrology.com) was not very believable (apparently I have a “fun-loving attitude towards life” and “a great drive to communicate with others”, but I should “avoid grabbing center stage all of the time”. Hm, no).

    Patricia Mathews #118 & #160 & #161

    Another Aspie like our host JMG? “Invisibility” does seem to be related to Asperger’s, and I am starting to think that maybe I should get tested by a professional. Even my wife, who is probably higher on the autism scale than I am, suggested that I go see someone.

    Again, no, I do not have Sun in the 12th house. And yes, dweebish, thanks a lot 😎

  155. @Booklover, #132:

    Happy to hear you came to similar conclusions, it certainly checks out against what’s currently on everyone’s mind. The interesting part I thought was the testable one: a downfall of a high-ranking politician, if not Olaf Scholz himself. It fits the Cancer ingress valid till December (https://mundanastrologie.substack.com/p/krebseintritt-berlin-2022) as well, so if it happens in that timeframe I think I’ll hang out my shingle as an astrologer.

    I was skeptical but curious at first. Then I worked out the Aries ingress (https://mundanastrologie.substack.com/p/widdereintritt-berlin-2022) last November which was all about war – at a time when everyone still had pandemania going on. Having seen this validated, I’m very curious about Olaf Scholz this fall…

  156. @team10tim @Bob re: railroads

    I’d like to see a study of the energy that could be saved by moving all freight moving more than 200 miles, and a majority of intercity passengers moving less than 1000 miles, by rail.

    Most routes between major cities are already double track, and a few might need to be triple or more if more freight and passengers moved by rail. But what is really needed is investment in the feeder network so that more industries have rail access and more cities have passenger rail access, and then shaking up the dysfunctional companies that currently mismanage the business on both the freight and passenger sides, such that reliability and customer service improve substantially.

  157. Others have posted about dreams here, so it seems an appropriate subject. Mine are not about visitations from the dead. I have had multiple dreams over the past few years about finding a door in my house that led to an entire wing I did not know existed. In the most vivid version, the door led to a basement hallway. Along the hallway were doors on either side. There was a woman living in one room. She had a dirty face and wild hair, as if she lived in the woods much of the time. The sun shone into the room from an opening above, and it appeared that, while she lived in the room, she was not trapped there. I was surprised to see her, but not frightened. I moved on, content to let her live there if she needed to do so.

    At the end of the hallway was a large open room with a stone floor. One wall was glass and the sun shone through. I opened the door and stepped outside. The stone pavement continued, and I saw that I was on a high hill looking over the sea. Another woman was there. I believe she was someone I knew in real life, though I cannot now recall who she was. I think she said something to me, also lost from my memory. I then woke.

    In your experience (or the experience of any others here), are these kinds of dreams generally linked to anything specific? When I started having them, I was in the process of selling my house, so I had plenty of house-related stress.

    Thank you, as always, for the blog and comments.

  158. JMG, you asked if I prescribe pharmaceuticals in the course of my practice.

    Yes I do. Given the relatively narrow range of injuries I typically see, and the fact that I can only prescribe to treat claim-related work injuries, my prescribing pattern covers a rather small set of drugs (notwithstanding that I’m sometimes allowed to assume the renewal of prescriptions initiated by other providers for non-claim issues, or for diagnoses outside my specialty).

    I generally prescribe only generic, off-patent drugs. This has generally been my practice, and the workers comp system generally won’t cover patented/trademarked meds. My practice is basically all workers’ comp patients.

    Common examples I Rx are anti-inflammatories such as naproxen, diclofenac and such, and short acting opioids.

    Where possible I rely on topical (applied to the skin) meds, which are over-the-counter, such as lidocaine, diclofenac, capsaicin (which is not a pharmaceutical) and CBD. These have to be cheap because the workers comp system won’t cover topicals at all.

    I see a lot of neuropathic (pathophysiology directly affecting nerve) pain that typically doesn’t respond well to opioids or anti-inflammatories. For this, I use a variety of neurotropic and/or psychoactive meds off label. Gabapentin is an anti-seizure drug that is commonly used to treat such pain, and it’s moderately effective, though I’ve reduced my prescribing of it because it’s inconvenient for the patient with 3X a day dosing, inconvenient for the patient and me because I have to titrate the dose upwards until it’s therapeutic, and even then a lot of patients just don’t tolerate it. I’ve come to rely instead on off-label tricyclic anti-depressants, mainly nortriptyline. These work just as well for pain, are better tolerated, and are generic and cheap.

    Muscle spasm pain I sometimes treat with muscle relaxants, my favorites being methocarbamol and cyclobenzaprine. I know the former is off patent, and the latter is at least cheap. For muscle spasm, I nearly always recommend dietary changes to include daily servings of dark, leafy green vegetables and supplementation with magnesium and calcium. (Digression alert: I once had a muscle spasm pain patient both so hopeful and skeptical of the dietary advice, that he followed it to the letter just to prove me wrong. On follow-up, he was astonished to report that after a week, his spasm pain completely resolved)

    Sometimes I use a cocktail of neuro/psych meds to treat “regular” (non-neuropathic) pain. A typical cocktail might include an antiseizure med, a tricyclic antidepressant and a muscle-relaxant (e.g. gabapentin, nortriptyline and cyclobenzaprine). There is no theory behind this, it’s purely empiric, but it sometimes works when a patient can’t take, for whatever reason, non-steroidals and opioids. I don’t use these cocktails often (last time 3 years ago), and have had mixed results.

    For the dreaded condition of complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS), I use a brief, but aggressive high-dose regimen of steroids (prednisone) followed by a rapid taper, along with a neurotropic meds: gabapentin for a month, and nortriptyline for 2 months, high dose calcitonin for 10 days, and short acting opioids. If the insurer won’t cover the calcitonin, I’ll substitute a course of alendronate. (I don’t know if calcitonin is patented as it’s a hormone, but it’s sure expensive. CRPS is agonizing. It becomes irreversible and disabling if it goes on too long). I’ll also order concurrent therapy by a Certified Hand Therapist (if the diagnosis is to the hand).

    Headaches sometimes respond to off-label nortriptyline (or similar). That’s a first-line med for headache specialists.

    Patients with traumatic brain injury often have issues with emotional agitation. A first line med for this is the off-label use of pantoprazole, which often works very well. It’s a beta-blocker (its approved use is to lower blood pressure and/or heart rate).

    I’m often asked to prescribe meds for sleep. I hate prescribing for insomnia, but I can’t realistically say no to this. I’ll prescribe either trazodone, or again, nortriptyline off-label (it’s taken once per day at bedtime, with a known side-effect of somnolence. It turns out that side-effect can be mighty handy, and the drug is otherwise well tolerated).

    For all these meds, I like to have an endpoint. But it can be hard to get patients off when the workers comp system won’t authorize their surgical treatment, which is a huge problem for my population. So often I’ll keep patients on meds to bridge them until surgery. I often have my patients see a psychologist when they acquire learned helplessness from dealing with the workers’ comp system, which may express itself in feeling an ongoing need for pharm agents.

    BTW, I never initiate antidepressants to treat depression, except at patient request. My practice is to prescribe them off-label to treat pain or occasionally insomnia.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  159. Follow up: I should have read your question more carefully. I don’t typically prescribe pharmaceuticals, it amounts to under a quarter of my patients.

    –Lunar Apprentice

  160. Hi JMG, Other than your book on Polytheism, do you have any books that get into theology? I think your point about the Universe being born instead of created is an important one. Is there a theological term for this? Any books or authors that you recommend in this vein?

  161. Dear Methylethyl: regarding your bicycle-lady (if she is the person) – probably others have written this already:
    First of all: what would be your aim/ intention? Tell her you’re the new responsible for that plot and she should leave? Figure out if she’s nice and tell her not to do unlawful things, while you’re the new responsible? Get a new friend who might be on your side of decline? Something else?

    I wonder because in Europe I had totally great experiences with e.g. Couchsurfing, which apparentely for some (most?!) Americans seems like an open invitation for a man with a gun to come and mess one over. (As of yet, that never happened. I *might* have housed thieves, but seeing my deplorable state then – no television, no easy access Internet, artsy chaos everywhere, I think they even left a small coin out of pity).

    I wonder also because that aim/ intention would change what kind of actions would seem good for you. Talking to your neighbour is also a good idea for sure.

    If I were dreaming, I might dream of a situation where you could mow everywhere and let 3-4 meters brambles around the camp stand, rail it slightly off an put a shield up saying Tinkerbells Reservoir. Or I might dream that you put up a basket/bucket… labeled neighbourhood table and leave some (packaged) cookies and some..whatever water, teabags or coffee…along with a letter explaining your situation and intention – with or without an online-meetup point like e.g. couchsurfing or Craigslist or…and see what happens.

    I might also wonder whilst dreaming if I’ve seen your handle on JMG’s MM and if I should suggest divination and meditation…this is a dream you see and then the dream goes ..poef.. where dreams go and I wake up and think: I’ve got no clue what I might suggest you.

    Mahatma Ghandi apparentely once said: “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it really is fear.”

    Go with luck!
    Bestell wishes Emily07

  162. Hey jmg

    On magic Monday I asked you about the Lullian art, and wasn’t able to thank you for the resource you sent me in time. I believe that the website will help me understand lull’s technique better.

    Also, since it was not related to magic, I could not say that the reason I asked about it because I was working on a way to use lullian circles to design (and maybe even solve?) logic problems. I have finally designed a prototype and when I make it I hope to see if it works.

    As far as I’m aware I am the only person who has tried to use the lullian art for this purpose. Martin Gardner in the book I mentioned to you before didn’t think of using it for that purpose but did suggest using it to generate combinations of variables in scientific experiments.

  163. So JMG drinks tea. Isn’t it time he was hauled before the unAmerican Activities Committee and forcibly vaccinated with a drug that would make him crave only coffee?

    Anyway, recently I came across the term “demisexual”. Yet more gender-identity categorising by young people, I thought. The definition seemed fuzzy to me but eventually I got it. However, I did not see the point of the concept. Then I read about a young woman who had felt ashamed of her sexuality, but when she came across the term demisexual, she realised that it described her perfectly. She was thrilled that there was a word for it, and her guilt fell away. Why she felt so ashamed about such a triviality does elude me, though.

    Right now, young film stars and pop stars are rushing to apply the terms “genderfluid” and / or “non-binary ” to themselves. One pop star calls himself “non-binary” and wants to be called “they”. So if he’s called “they”, there must be more than one of him, yet he’s non-binary, meaning there’s not two of him. Therefore there must be more than two of him! It occurred to me that he must suffering from multiple personality disorder. Yikes! You could go home with him on a date, then all of a sudden his axe-murderer identity could emerge. Double-yikes!

    I have more thoughts on this and will post more comments, but for now I’d just like to ask JMG what he thinks of all this and what he thinks is prompting it. How real are these concepts, in any case? Is it all just a trend?

  164. Hi John Michael,

    In regards to University education, I’m finding that three little words are highly useful at prodding people into thinking hard about what cost that involves: “Return On Investment”. I may have picked the idea up from yourself? 🙂 Dunno, but thanks because people regularly ask my opinion on this matter. A couple of decades ago, it used to make sense, but now it’s a barrier to entry. And due to my profession, it’s not as if I don’t get real time regular feedback on what other people earn. The comparison is hardly flattering. The difficulty here of course is an over supply of graduates. Too many can be as much of a problem as too few, and you’ve only recently spoken of that issue in the medical field. They’re constantly whining about how burnt out they are. Well stop whining you lot and get thee training! Probably won’t happen. I’m of the opinion that obtaining a perfect (or near perfect) score on a test, tends to indicate that the person is excellent at obtaining a perfect (or near perfect) score on a test – and whether that skill is applicable to other areas is indicative, but hardly conclusive evidence that they’ll be good at other activities. I’m curious as to your opinion regarding this?

    Hmm, have you noticed that attempting to add 2 + 2 and get 157 displays for all the world to see, what an abysmal understanding of the systems which provide such people with the comfy lives they seem to lead? Little wonder that events have come to where they are today. It’s embarrassing, because such people are very vocal about pushing policies. My level of trust in their abilities, is rather low.

    Cheers

    Chris

  165. Martin, the people who said that about the age of Aquarius were smoking way too much dope. Aquarius is governed by Uranus, which is a malefic planet and among other things brings disasters, crises, and sudden disruptive change. The age of Aquarius is a time in which individuals will have to make their own decisions and stand on their own two feet, and those who won’t do so will end up following this or that bizarre prophet who will lead them to a messy destiny. Aquarius isn’t an especially musical sign, and peace and love aren’t among its usual characteristics either. On the other hand, it’s favorable for magic, occultism, astrology, and individualism.

    Clay, I think it’s a great idea and might just make you a fortune.

    Rationalist, it depends on how long the EU can force its subject nations to follow US foreign policy. Once that fails and Russian gas returns, expect the price of electricity to drop sharply — not back to what it was beforehand, but significantly. As for what to do, may I shout at you the advice that everybody, but everybody, knew in 1978? WEATHERIZE BEFORE YOU SOLARIZE! Retrofit your house with more insulation, weatherstripping, insulated window coverings, and the rest of it, and then — and only then — consider solar energy. You might also consider solar water heating before PV panels, since free hot water nine months of the year will take a serious slice off your energy usage.

    Cliff, the statistics I’ve seen suggest that it takes roughly as much energy to fly a planeload of tourists from the US to see the Great Pyramid as it took to build the Great Pyramid. Your girlfriend is wrong about fuel consumption — the airplane doesn’t just have to burn the fuel to cover the distance, it has to do it at jet speeds, and keep itself in the air the whole time. I’d advise, though, checking with Tom Murphy at https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/ — crunching energy numbers is what he does for a living, and he’s much better at it than I am.

    Rod, a good solid example.

    Lunar, thank you for a detailed and very useful answer! That tells me why you’re not getting kickbacks — if your prescribing is limited to a modest range of generic drugs, the pharma reps won’t be interested.

    Patricia M, hmm! Thanks for this. A fascinating little story.

    Clark, nope, and A World Full of Gods is strictly speaking philosophy of religion rather than theology. I find most theological writing repellent, so I haven’t read much of it.

    J.L.Mc12, delighted to hear this!

    Dreckid, it’s not just a fad, though there’s a huge amount of faddishness about it. To begin with, a lot of people have their heads stuffed so full of media stereotypes that they’ve forgotten that there’s more than one way to be a man or a woman; if they don’t fit the most simplistically stupid sort of gender stereotype, they become convinced that they must not be male or female. A little skepticism toward cultural categories would take care of that, but such skepticism is in short supply these days.

    So that’s one part. The other aspect, according to occult philosophy, is that there are so many human souls incarnate right now that most of us have very little time between lives, and it’s therefore quite common for people to be reincarnated when they haven’t finished processing their previous life. That’s behind at least some of the people who feel that they’re in the “wrong body” — they still have half-conscious memories of the body they used to have, and the new one feels off. If more people understood that we all reincarnate, and this body is a temporary housing for the soul, it would be much less of a problem; it would be easier for people in this situation to say, “Okay, that was then, this is now, and odds are I’ll have the other kind of body again next time, so no prob” — but too few of us have that much sophistication when it comes to the simple realities of life and death.

    And yes, I drink tea. Coffee gives me migraines.

    Chris, too many graduates is certainly as bad an idea as too few — though it certainly means lots of salaries for university administrators!

  166. @ dreckid – I looked up “demisexual.” It means only able to feel sexual desire towards another when there is an emotional bond between them. IIRC, this used to be the norm, or at least the ideal. Certainly for women! So it’s not just another picky micro-identity, though by today’s customs. I suppose it’s something that has to be defined and explained away.

  167. I commented earlier about the proliferation of gender identities. Back in the 1980s in England, I felt forced by circumstances to come out, most reluctantly, as gay. After a few months, the dust settled and my workmates, in their different ways, got used to my new public identity.

    At this point I fell for a young woman at work and she for me. My workmates were astonished and amused when she wandered into our department one evening to fetch me. One of my workmates then jokingly called me a “queer queer”. I too wondered how this could have happened, since I had so recently made the difficult journey of “coming out”. I decided that if categories didn’t work for me, I should drop them. Nor did it ever occur to me or to anyone else to call myself “bisexual” – still a pretty meaningless concept to me even now.

    Now in early old age, I’m happily into my Greta Garbo phase. I just want to be alone. Recently, though, I read “Satyricon”, a prose piece by an ancient Roman. It is said to be true to life, and the characters seem to couple unashamedly with those who take their fancy, regardless of their sex or gender. So the concepts of heterosexual / homosexual / bisexual apparently just did not exist for the ancient Romans. I was intrigued. As a teenager, what I read or heard about the ancient Romans suggested that they indulged in homosexual practices only because Rome was decadent and degenerate. It never occurred to me that there were societies where sexuality was not rigidly categorised and where homosexual practices were considered a natural part of life.

    So we in the early modern West were subject to certain strong taboos. I have read that the taboo against homosexuality stems historically from the Abrahamic religions. How true that is, I do not know. But of course Kinsey famously told us that sexuality exists on a spectrum. More than once I have had “straight” male friends confide in me about crushes they’d had, which made them doubt their sexuality. So Western society’s taboos apparently held to a large extent, yet a minority did not follow them.

    Another Western taboo is the one against romantic relationships with first cousins. They seem abhorrent to most of us, myself included. Yet I read about an Indian Muslim who expressed astonishment that the English didn’t fancy their cousins. And of course Muslims are often required to marry their cousins. Apparently it never used to be taboo in the West, but the Catholic Church imposed it in the 1300 or 1400s.

    I had never realised that the West was so bound in with societal taboos. The anti-cousin taboo seemed to be a natural one to me. Societal taboos, shifting personal inclinations. Gone are my comforting categories. After all, categories are static but life is not. Any thoughts, JMG?

  168. Ouch! Correction: In 173 where I wrote “pantoprazole” I meant propranolol. THAT’s the old line beta blocker. (Pantoprazole is a proton pump inhibitor for the stomach).

    –Lunar Apprentice

  169. What I’ve seen of the debate on loan forgiveness, I don’t think anyone is against bad loans getting written off, it’s who the bill is getting stuck to and who is skating on it. You don’t see too many of the uni’s wanting to foot the bill on anything, for instance. Privatize the profits, socialize the losses.

    I don’t know where you start with the whole uni system though. Are they still requiring receptionists to have college degrees? I know that was a thing for a while. You really don’t need one to answer the phone or deliver pizzas. To require one was the depths of lunacy IMHO.

    Normally I’d say something about how the uni’s aren’t really training their students for anything anyone wants to hire, but when you have companies demanding master’s degrees for receptionists, something deeper is going on, something off the deeper end.

  170. To any Ogham newbies out there:

    I am just starting on my Ogham studies and meditations. JMG has some info in the Druidry Handbook, some in the Druid Magic Handbook, and a very intriguing set of correspondences in an article posted on the AODA website (http://aoda.org/publications/articles-on-druidry/treeoflife/). I’ve organized some of that information (plus some from Manly P. Hall and others) into some graphics that have helped me understand some of the relationships better. I’ve shared it here (as a PDF), in case in might be helpful to others: https://randomactsofkarmasc.dreamwidth.org/665.html .

  171. @Cliff #166

    Flying vs driving

    https://truecostblog.com/2010/05/27/fuel-efficiency-modes-of-transportation-ranked-by-mpg/

    The miles per gallon per person for a plane vs driving are pretty close for a fully loaded plane and a one person car, but if you put more people in a car or a bus or a train then the planes start to suffer in comparison.

    Mode Average Max
    Airplane 42.6 53.6
    Car 35.7 113

    But the issue between you isn’t about miles per gallon, it is about convenience vs responsibility. If you stop eating seafood it will have a negligible impact on the collapse of the world’s oceans, but that doesn’t absolve you of your small role. Same with planting trees, picking up litter, etc.

    Ask your girlfriend why she wastes her time voting when one vote almost never makes a difference and then ask what the fundamental difference is.

  172. Patricia Mathews, That wasn’t me though I might look for an online version of it. I think you are right about our feline overlords but I hadn’t considered the idea of ghosts being part of it!

  173. JMG #88

    > the inner planes are very thickly inhabited, and there are beings that help the dead when they get into trouble

    I say, dead people are a lot easier to get along with than living people. As a genealogist and family historian, I know of tons of ghosts by name. I wonder which of them where the world is better off if they stayed dead. 50%? It seems we inhabit a 50/50 world.

    I never got the opportunity to live in a house next to a cemetery — bummer❗️

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  174. Lunar Apprentice: “Why not make student loan debt dischargeable through bankruptcy?” If that were allowed, declaring bankruptcy would be as routine as renting a graduation cap and gown. Many students graduate without any substantial assets, other than their education, so nothing would be recovered by the process. That would be the case if students could take on debt, which they could not. No one would lend to them. Then the only people who could go to paid education would be the wealthy (or very thrifty), which would harden class & wealth divisions in the country. It would also cut down on school tuition charges, so, for example, the university near my home would have to settle for cheap concrete sidewalks, instead of big slabs of blue slate which are pretty in the sun, slippery when wet, and crazy slippery when covered with snow and ice.

  175. @ temporaryreality, re: #151

    What I mean is that if someone got a degree in __________ and racked up $50K in debt getting it, he or she is getting $10K largess from the govt. OTOH, if one is a drywall finisher who learned the trade OJT, and did not go to college, he is not gettting $10K largess from the govt. My feeling is that the drywall finisher is as deserving of help as the person with student loan debt. If I’m honest I have more sympathy for the drywall finisher than for the college grad. I’m fine with giving the college grad a $10K
    gift, so long as the drywall finisher gets a check for $10K.

    If you listen to the PMC talk about this issue it’s quite clear almost none of them think an uneducated working stiff deserves a helping hand. Much ink has been spilled detailing the struggles of the young PMCs to pay thier loans and how difficult their lives are. If you say “what about the drywall finisher that didn’t go to colllege?- doesn’t he deserve $10K ?” they’ll look at you as though you just farted out loud.

    Yes, college is the great divide because even though working class kids go to college the point of it -for most of them- is to gravitate to the PMC.

    We’ve largely skipped the “debate” about who’s deserving of help because this is somethinng JB can do with a stroke of the pen. He doesn’t need Republican support to make this happen. He can’t give the drywaller $10K w/o an act of Congress, so it’s up to people like me to point out the unfairness of it.

  176. Clay @164- I gather your comment was tongue-in-cheek. But just in case: Do you actually know how to practically obtain thorium? Refining coal is a bit much for me. I ask because one of my (WAAAY too numerous) side interests is electronic vacuum tubes, and thorium oxide is a key ingredient to improve electron emissivity at lower element temperatures. (This reduces power consumption and prolongs tube life).

    JMG, anyone really, please feel free to chime in. Maybe you can do a fifth Wednesday post on this JMG.

    When I get my lab back up and running (someday…’sigh’) I’d love to be able to incorporate thorium oxide into DIY vacuum tubes.

    —Lunar Apprentice

    PS: In case y’all are wondering; I have ADD in addition to Aspergers’.

  177. JMG #88

    > I haven’t spoken to my mother in forty years and I hope never to have to do so again

    Oh good. Similar to me, you are in the “Never Speak to Your Mother Again” club. Or the “You are Dead to Me” club.

    Because of adult-abuse-to-child (she the adult, me the child), I know why I never wanted to speak to my mother again. But I often wonder why she never spoke to me again, the flipside. She was an alcoholic for the last forty-five years of her life: I think THAT SHE FORGOT I EXISTED.

    I know, how can a woman forget she gave birth? Same as, how can a person forget to leave an infant in a car during the summer, and within an hour, the kid dies of hyperthermia? Same syndrome.

    I was the only person who would stand up to my mother. I know she despised me for it. She stuck it to me in the end, or so she thought, by forgetting me, and boy, would I ever be sorry. The thing is, if this is her scenario, I was WAY on my path to recovery by the time she dropped dead in 2005 — or 2006. I forget which.

    Good, JMG. Thanks for sharing that about your biological mudder. Real mothers come in many guides, and she wasn’t one of them.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  178. @Christopher L Hope, on student loan debt:

    It’s the working class kids that are in it bad with student loan debt. The ones I knew came from the countryside where there were no jobs (parents worked at the casino and were desperate to keep theirs), and thought they could cut it because they were top of the class in high school. Nope. Schools in the countryside don’t prepare you for university. None of them could cut it in STEM; all of them had to take remedials for science and math.

    If you work at a gas station each day once your high school lets out, you don’t have the support or resources to get an academic scholarship like I did, and if your parents work at the casino they can’t help you. In fact one of my friends ended up having to max withdraw her loans each semester because her parents were coming to her for money. I told her she should ghost her parents and reboot her life somewhere else, but a lot of people can’t handle that.

  179. @Clay Dennis #164

    Not Mars, Alpha Centauri.

    It’s funny that you said that, I almost put in a bit about Thorium breeder reactors power generation ships to nearby stars. Remember, Bob wanted suggestions for the DOE and they are still working in the Star Trek myth of progress mindset.

    The other possible advantage that Thorium reactors have is that their waste is only deadly for ~500 years instead of ~10,000 and since there isn’t any long term storage for nuclear waste anywhere in the world* I would like to see the current nuclear boondoggles switched from Uranium to Thorium. Maybe even use up some of that waste in the process. But the DOE doesn’t want to hear ‘you should spend billions on Thorium because it will be less of a catastrophe when it inevitably fails.’

    * I think France has a pilot site.
    The US has WHIPP, but it is for low level research material (like irradiated
    lead gloves used to handle nuclear bomb cores at LANL) and not for spent fuel rods.

    Regarding the talisman, you need to tweek it from warding off the low energy future (the people buying it don’t believe in that) to supporting the fully automated luxury space communism. I suggest some combination of atomic, interstellar, and scifi names and symbolism. Something like the Thorium Centauri Federation.

  180. Dreckid, the entire concept that who you have sex with defines your identity is a very odd one, and unique to the modern Western industrial world. Most other cultures around the world have had less limiting notions of the basis of individual identity. As for taboos, every society has them, and ours are just as odd as anyone else’s.

    Northwind, most of the dead people I know are pretty easy to get along with, too, though there have been exceptions! As for my mother, it’s a complex matter that I don’t propose to get into; it’s a sad thing to have to say that your life is improved by cutting off all contact with a close family member, but in my case, it’s very definitely been the case.

  181. @ Methyethyl

    https://i.redd.it/wysx0oktbfj91.jpg Please excuse the profane word in the imaged linked, its pretty good advise. As long as they ain’t taking skin off your nose return the favor, to my very personal tastes it is profoundly immoral to mess with them as long as then have the decency to try to keep a low profile. I’d just pay attention real close like to any thing that might bump your turf, but as long as she minding her own business and keeping it out of your business then it be a kindness to return the favor.

    I’d let them know I seen their camp, and don’t mind them staying in the neighborhood but expect they be good neighbors about not letting trouble boil over. But the skill of communicating that with out seeming either like a jerk or an easy mark is non-trivial; most useful way not to seem like a jerk or a mark is to be neither and obviously so. Dumb advise, but facts be like that.

    That being said I’ve had meth-heads cause problems in a neighborhood I am invested in emotionally, and sometime you need to upgrade fences and locks. But I think it is very lowly to default that way until given a solid cause.

  182. Clarke aka Gwydion #107

    “Jigme Rinpoche”

    Subtle. Very subtle. It took me awhile. It dawned on me. A miracle it was, having gotten dawned on.

    Fearless leader. Good thing you expounded. Your post is a classic. We should frame it.

    Playing telephone.

    Jamga.

    Who is next?

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  183. There must be some central authority that prepares the techno-green propaganda of the day and distributes it. This last week I have been swamped with articles that people have sent me about the wonderfull electric car future. The current story line is that battery cars will be so much better since they only have electrical components and will almost never break or need service. This will put the evil car dealers out of business because they will not be able to make money doing service or selling parts or doing repairs. Has any one noticed that modern laundry equipment, refrigerators, etc have very short lifespans compared to the old ( more mechanical and less electrical ) versions. I have a 29 year old diesel car and the only things that have broken on it over the years were the electrical parts. I have owned both electric and gas forklifts for 35 years and they both involve about the same amount of maintenance costs except the battery versions need a new $8000 battery every 7 years or so. I have owned cnc machine tools for 30 years and they are just like battery cars with electric motors, power supplies, servo drives, breakers etc. And the electric parts break fairly often and the big motors and motor drive modules are very expensive. It seems that the big plan to get people to embrace battery cars so they don’t notice that happy motoring is running out of steam must not be going to plan so they are trying new enticements.

  184. Hello again Mr Greer
    I would like to point out to you the unrelated question I made to an unrelated post, I would like to ask you again that do you think there can be a return to age old monarchic system in a country like India in the advent of collapse of a borrowed “democracy”/”republic”, if even you think such a collapse can happen in such a country?

  185. This is a repost, since HTML doesn’t like using latin quote marks… (this is what happens when we let others invent for us!). Sorry for the clutter.

    Hello, everyone.

    Last week, I was reading this paragraph in CosDoc:
    “The Lords of Form are the Lords of friction;; they enable force
    to function by confining it, but by friction they disperse it. There-
    fore are the Lords of Form the Lords of Death, for they bring all
    things living to an end, and all things kinetic to a standstill; but they
    make actual that which was potential. They are the Educators.
    Discipline is theirs though ” punishment ” rests with the Lords of
    Mind.”
    I meditated several times on this, then suddenly I saw a vagina… It’s surprisingly fitting. Anyone else?

    On other topic, last night I was performing the Sphere of Protection late night, not in my usual place nor time. Images came slightly more vivid in general, but while invoking the powers of fire I experienced heavy chills, the kind you feel when you suspect someone is watching you! It went completely away when invoking the powers of water, and returned when invoking teluric forces. One simple explanation is that I was randomly scared of being caught practicing rituals, and it just happened during fire and teluric phases. The other explanation I tell myself is that the invocation worked awkwardly, since it was late night (the opposite of the sun-scorching summer I try to visualize) and the space was more open than my usual place (the opposite of the cavern-like visualization for teluric forces). One other explanation is that I brought attention of some forces to me. Maybe I was just tired and couldn’t focus properly. And of course, it can be all these things together. In any case, it’s an experience to meditate about.

  186. “If hams can keep basic shortwave technology alive through the Long Descent, that’s going to be a huge advantage to future civilizations.”

    I would think it will be a near necessity. When the global telegraph system fired up it was one of the big leaps in terms of communication.

    Here in Australia, we went from getting information from back home “Mother england!” from approximately 4-6 months down to less that 24 hours once the Overland Telegraph line was put into place. The other changes almost meant that weather predictions could now be viable even if rough at best.

    HAM is merely the telegraph without a 500,000 miles of wire to be maintained and uses a lot less energy. It benefits are immense, I do hope it makes it across the valley of time.

  187. @Jay Pine, @JMG

    I’m afraid nothing will happen until September 5th at the very earliest. Without a functioning leader of the Conservative party there will be no reaction to anything short of an _overt_ invasion.

    After that point there are going to have to be some very difficult decisions made on the subject of dealing with predicaments. I doubt those decisions will be helpful to anyone but the politicians making them.

    I am no longer a small business owner but I think that had I still been one and I’d seen imposts like the current ones being faced by pubs, hairdressers etc. I would have decided that the moment to fold up my tent and steal away into the night had finally arrived. Sort of anti-work for shopkeepers. Or the free market in action if you prefer.

  188. Lathechuck @192:

    Dischargable student debt would not automatically be non-collectable if you try to walk away. You can’t qualify for bankruptcy if you have the income to repay the loan. Any STEM graduate at least, should be able to manage it. A lender would have to do due diligence, just like they do for any other loan. So a lender considering a loan application from, say, a Grievance Studies Major with C’s in high school might have doubts has to how such a graduate would ever repay the loan, and reject the application. That’s not a bad outcome.

    Non-dischargable debt has opened the flood gates to abuse. Students are encouraged to take on debt they have no hope of repaying, with false assurances by university “financial counselors” that once they graduate they’ll be fine.

    Universities in turn have jacked up tuition in response to the flood of easy student loan money, but can and will scale it back when the loans dry up. JMG has written on this far better than me, and with luck he’ll redirect you to his pertinent comments.

    I did my undergrad work from 1976 to 81 in the Cal State system. Tuition was free, I only had $60-70 per quarter “student fees” which even then was negligible, and I still lived with my parents who covered my food and lodging. And what student loans there were, they were few, and modest enough that you could pay them off with a part-time job spinning pizza dough. I received a superb undergrad education (earning an electrical engineering BS degree), notwithstanding my university’s modest facilities, and I’m not impressed by what is churned out today with $100K+ in debt irrespective of the marvelous, state-of-the-art facilities.

    The only wrinkle I see is what to do about those who fail their programs. I exposed myself to financial ruin by using my life savings, then piling on $115,000 of non-dischargable student loan debt for medical school. I suffered a deep personal crisis when I was an intern, and nearly washed out (in part due to 100+ hour work-weeks and 40 hour shifts; that’s tough when you’re 44). I learned the hard way I don’t perform well under extreme stress. And I had a bride with a baby on the way then. If I had washed out, I can’t imagine what I might have done. [shudders…]

    I’ve tried to impress upon my daughters the dangers of debt. But my younger daughter, 12, still aspires to go to Harvard; to that, Ex-wife says “maybe debt is what she needs in order to become happy”. My older daughter takes after my thinking, but unlike me is not academically inclined. She is finishing up her high-school work late, online, and should be done soon. She says she then plans to go the local technical college to earn an AS degree in machining, then become an apprentice to learn gunsmithing, then start her own gunsmith shop. That sounds like an excellent plan. I hope she follows through.

    Please wish her steadfastness and luck. Mostly steadfastness.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  189. Re: flying

    Another way to look at is in terms of a rate of energy use per person. Driving alone uses about 2 gallons per hour per person, an energy use rate of 70 kilowatts or 700 times the energy use rate of walking or biking.

    Flying uses around 15 gallons per hour for an energy use rate of 500 kilowatts or 5000 times the energy use rate of walking or biking.

    There are very few other things we can do that burn fuel or use energy at the rate required for air travel.

    @team10tim

    This is a pretty minor and tangential debate to be having here, so I won’t take this any further than to say:

    The map you shared shows quite a bit of double track between cities, even some long distances like Chicago to LA.

    Railroads often utilize directional running on roughly parallel single track routes which creates the same efficiency as double track. In this way there is effectively double track from Chicago to Salt Lake City to San Francisco and Minneapolis to Seattle though it doesn’t appear on the map.

    Below about 20-30 trains per day a well-dispatched single track railroad with sidings every 10 miles or so is a better use of limited resources (i.e. steel rails, ties, maintenance labor) than double track.

    I agree that a revitalized rail system will have more double track, which will be laid wherever traffic exceeds the capacity of single track lines. But I still think it would be a better use of DOE funds to examine the potential energy savings from a widespread transport shift from road to rail than to look specifically at double tracking.

  190. Gender eccentricity, in my experience, is really not the shrill phenomenon that many American populists think it is. I’ve met all kinds of trans and non binary folk and have never seen someone get angry over being accidentally called the wrong pronoun, nor observed anyone insisting that others bend over backward to make them feel comfortable. Maybe half I’ve met are really into left wing politics, but take for example a close friend I had. You would not have guessed they didn’t identify as a man from their appearance; they never talked about politics, and when I’d ask them about feeling more like a “they,” than a “him” or “her,” the response was always just an unassuming variation on “I don’t feel particularly masculine or feminine.” Outside of unnatural environments like college campuses, Fortune 500 corporations, and TV news sets, I’ve never seen someone express the supposedly ubiquitous petulant attitudes.

  191. Hi John,

    Do you have any further updates in regard to the looming implosion of the global economy? Where I sit, we are in the early stages of collapse and we seem to be tracking LTG BAU model perfectly.

    The market analysts I follow who have a good track record (yes, they exist!) seem to agree that at some point later 2023/early 2024, we face a major market collapse and wider economic recession, paving the way, after a partial recovery, to a wider and even more huge market collapse around 2029.

    US stock markets will bottom, nominal terms, 80% lower by the 2030’s, before gradually climbing back up into mid-century.

    Inflation adjusted, of course, that implies a near total capital destruction over the next 20 years or so.

    Also, what is the future of global airlines/tourism? Do you still predict a collapse around 2030 of global tourism?

    p.s. currently reading Zeihan book, so far, he has chronicled the history of progress, such as it is, over the last few centuries. So far, so very Greerian!

    I haven’t got to his future predictions yet, but, my overall impression is he gets the wider de-globalisation and de-industrialisation macro picture quite well. Where he might be a bit off is his specific country/regional predictions on the US, Russia and China among other places.

    Still, we will see…but so far, lots of commonalities between his writing and what you write that has surprised me a bit.

  192. @Lunar Apprentice #194

    You can buy Thorium here:

    https://luciteria.com/rounds/thorium-dioxide

    It is legal for US citizens to buy and own, but if you are affiliated with a university you can’t have more than 3 lbs of it.

    If you are asking how to chemically refine it from raw materials, then it depends on which ore. A few minutes of searching the internet will yield the answer for the ore in question. And if that fails a call to the chemist at your local university will point you in the right direction.

  193. @ discwrites #128

    I don’t think that your heavy Italian accent would prevent you from taking acting lessons in the Netherlands. Besides, reciting Dutch verses or prose will help you improve your accent. Moreover, as far as I know you are not planning to make a career as a full-time actor, but you could play an Italian character in a Dutch play, or a character which can be made Italian without altering the scenario.

    Off the cuff, I could give you the names of half a dozen actors and actresses who made good acting careers in France while keeping their native accents: for example, English actress Jane Birkin (also a singer), German actor Gert Fröbe, and Italian actor Aldo Maccione.

    Yesterday evening, I happened to shoot the breeze with a female friend who is the vice-president of a historical society of which I am the treasurer. She told me that when she was a teenager she was very shy but her acting lessons helped her overcome her shyness. She had some reasons to be shy, as a very short woman (145 cm — 4 feet 9 inches) with a dark skin (she’s a foster child, of Middle-Eastern extraction). It took her two years of acting to overcome her shyness, she said, but now she is a professional art dealer, with responsibilities in several societies, including a masonic lodge.

  194. Kimberly Steele #105 – nice one! I once did something similar with a class of small children. Drawing on a line from Mary Poppins I said ‘Settle down immediately or I shall have to call a policeman!’ and there was instant calm. Never forgotten it.

  195. Britain’s National Health Service on the brink of collapse. Fellow Britons on here will sniff and turn their nose up, no doubt, at anyone citing an article from the Daily Mail. But here is a first person account from a doctor on the front line. The Canadian commenters, I forget whether here on or Dreamwidth, who described the situation on Vancouver Island, Lunar Apprentice, and others, may find this interesting. JMG I think this also might provide you with a data point of how administrators/PMC are ruining a national institution. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-11147191/NHS-doctor-says-implore-beg-borrow-steal-private.html
    The suggestion to go private is a non starter. Most can’t afford it here, and even if you can, it just allows you to skip some queues. In the end you still end up in the NHS seeing NHS consultants and using NHS infrastructure. For my part, I pretty much had Fibromyalgia triggered by the vax. I tried in vain for the past 2 years to access medical help here. I have given up on allopathic care now, and with help from some commenters here and on the other blog (thank you, you know who you are) have weaned myself off ALL medication. A minor miracle. I have not cured myself but manage my symptoms. I also credit taking up FHR practices. JMG, the Long Descent seems to have shortened alarmingly.

  196. @discwrites: I had the same problem and can second the recommendation of acting classes – I did is as a foreigner living in a different language, so don’t worry about that! With some teachers, a lot of it is non-verbal in the beginning. Also, there is physical theatre, contemporary dance, and above all, voice training, which will enhance physical stage presence a lot even before opening your mouth – you learn to create your space around you. So, if you have any interest in smashing Italian or foreign songs, participating in a choir, trying Karaoke- all of those help.

  197. To Discwrites,
    I am of the invisible persuasion too. I never thought of it as a superpower but why not? Things are much better for me as I have aged and I have a few suggestions for you to consider. What doesn’t appeal just forget about.
    Possibly somewhere in your youth or childhood you picked up the message that you were not as valuable/important/interesting – fill in whatever seems to apply to you – as other people. This takes some overcoming. It is not true of course. Always walk purposefully. Look well ahead but watch your feet. Make sure you are dressed in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin. You are not here to please others but do need to fit in somewhere.
    When someone overlooks you, particularly someone you need service from, look them in the eye and ask how you get served here. I was invisible in a cafe recently. I just got up and left and went to a nicer one down the road anyway. Another time I was in an electrical store and was being ignored as I stood among the computers etc. I shifted over to the washing machines and got service immediately. I thought that was pretty funny. Oh and never forget the power of humour. It can get you through some unpleasant situations.

  198. Hi JMG,

    Thanks for the insight! Have you written more about this that I could read? I have been trying to do what you describe on our property for at least 15 years or so on some level, but have become far more serious lately. That is part of the reason that I want to leave the tree alone I mentioned, I don’t want to disrupt things in that way. With both the racoon and squirrel interactions I felt that they looked at me and gave me an opportunity to show them confirmation, by being peaceful, before coming forward. I failed somewhat with the racoon because it came so close that I got a bit spooked, as I think it wanted to just go about its business around me, like the bees do, and I just don’t know those animals well. It seemed quite peaceful really, though, so I regret it now.

    In other news, for yourself and the kite fans, an update: I tried making another three, all diamond shaped this time. One fell to toddler damage before it had too many chances in the air, but the others actually flew, which was pretty cool! It wasn’t a complete success, as they didn’t seem to want to gain too much height, but they were holding the correct shape and flying upright which was very satisfying – we could get them about 10 – 15 feet up depending on how much running we wanted to do but they didn’t climb much by just the wind. It was quite windy the day we went, one kite even snapped in the air, which was very dramatic and kind of fun.

    I used two point bridles, and it’s possible that I didn’t quite have them at the correct angle for lift, I remember a commenter here explaining that relationship a little last time, so I’ll experiment more. I’m going to try to adjust the proportions of the diamond shape too as I think I might have the crossing point too low. A minor victory anyway, and with a few more runs perhaps I’ll get the hang of this.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  199. Hi John Michael,

    Oooo! Reading over your shoulder at a reply about aircraft fuel. In a strange twist of fate a few months ago I read an article on pilots lamenting the demise of the Boeing 747 aircraft. The pilots spoke of the aircraft in glowing terms – they really seemed to like the beast. Anyway, for your interest, the thing apparently burns one gallon of fuel per second. I believe the maximum storage capacity of the behemoth was 238,604 liters (or 62,790 gallons). Whoo Whee, that is one heck of a lot of fuel! Hope you guys know what you’re doing. 🙂 In those days, they did seem to.

    Now mathematics is not my thing and I’m doing these calculations on the back of an envelope, and somebody please correct me if I’m wrong, but one barrel of oil contains about 159 Litres of oil. Not as much as you’d think, is it? Anyway, for a jumbo jet (i.e. 747) to travel 7,790 nautical miles requires about the equivalent of 1,500 barrels of jet fuel. Oil barrels however contain a diverse range of hydrocarbons, so it ain’t all jet fuel, that’s for sure.

    I hear about people wanting to get on these things, and the sense of wonder is just not there. Heck, it should be!

    One of the interesting benefits of the health subject which dare not be named, is that the skies here are now much quieter. Despite being in a remote spot, the airport is not too far away, and so before everything went crazy, the constant air traffic used to be distracting.

    Hey, and here’s where it gets weird. Despite the (from my perspective) lower air traffic, in the mail the other day I had a community information brochure about some work on a proposed third and what seemed like a much longer runway. As a joke, I said to my wife, they’re probably thinking about the future need for B2 stealth bombers. It’s not all that funny though…

    Mate, the future sure is a strange country. 😉

    Cheers

    Chris

  200. Recently I’ve been rereading the Mediaeval Machine, about the rise and fall of Europe’s first industrial age in the 13th century.

    Men tried to join reason with faith. This ended with the church condemning them, and people turning to mysticism such as astrology. Which led to the church cracking down on all mysticism except its own, burning astrologers, geomancers, and witches. A common accusation against witches was that they were insatiably sexual and had made men impotent.

    Also in this age kings wanted to go on crusades to kill Moslems, but these became more and more unpopular, lasted years, and the kings went into massive debt to do it.

    Rejection of science, Puritanism, endless middle eastern wars, and debt. History does not repeat but it certainly rhymes.

  201. @dreckid (#184):

    Marriages between first cousing are legal in about half of the 50 United States, including California. My father’s two grandmothers, emigrants from Denmark, were sisters, so his parents (born in California) were first cousins.

    His mother’s mother had the old-country horror of first-cousin marriages, so she drove her daughter out of the house–literally!–once she figured out that the daughter was in love with her first cousin.

    His father’s mother was more accepting of California norms, so she helped her newly-homeless niece find a place to live and a job until tbe two cousins could get married.

    And as for the Ancient Greeks, I read somewhere that a young Greek male’s first sexual encounters were commonly with older males; only after gaining some sexual experience were they deemed ready to take a wife.

  202. On a slightly more cheerful note:

    Hans Zimmer (my favourite composer) has posted the soundtrack to “Hillbilly Elegy”

    https://youtu.be/4xH92yY4IFY

    Yes it is YouTube, but no – no video. Just an image of the film poster. It’s the usual story – film music is probably the best orchestral music around at the moment.

    I ve briefly renewed my Netflix subscription to watch Sandman, so I’ll take a look at the actual Ron Howard film too perhaps.

  203. @ Patricia Mathews wrote:

    “demisexual.”…means only able to feel sexual desire towards another when there is an emotional bond between them. IIRC, this used to be the norm, or at least the ideal. Certainly for women! So it’s not just another picky micro-identity.

    =========
    That’s why I found the definition so unnecessary – and wondered why the “demisexual” young lady had felt ashamed about it.

    Imagine if we defined ourselves instead by the food we eat. Some do, of course: vegans and vegetarians. But how would that go? Well, today I’m cheesophagic. Tomorrow I might be cheesophobic, or another day elephant-tikka-masala-phagic. Etc. Just how far do we need to define ourselves?

    Maybe in the future we’ll invent slick words that co-define our sexual, epicurean and musical preferences. But there I’ll stop. I’m sure in any case that all these definitions are partly the result of modern capitalism, consumer choice and individualism.

  204. Hi JMG. Thought you might get a chuckle from this. I am going to get more popcorn for my pantry.

    “Moderna is suing Pfizer over its coronavirus vaccine”

    Mac

  205. @JMG and commentariat

    A question about board games –

    I’ve been an avid player of the classic board game Battleship since I was a child. I was just thinking about it, and the following question popped into my mind – could this game, as well as many other board games, be more useful than just a tool of entertainment? I mean, I recall our host talking about the human element being present in board games as opposed to video games, which are after all interactive computer simulations; indeed, board games seem to me to be a good ‘intermediate’ option between video games on the one hand, and thought experiments on the other.

    That brings me to another question – could the incompetence shown by the elites of the West have something to do with the fact that today, video games are far more popular than board games? IMO, when you play a game like Battleship, you’re likelier to simulate real world naval combat than interactive computer simulations, simply because, computer simulations allow for a potentially infinite number of scenarios, depending upon both the computational cost involved as well as the changes in the parameters; not to mention, the complexity of the simulation itself. On the other hand, while the human mind doesn’t have only one line of thinking, I think it could be fair to say that in practice, the number of lines of thought it can wander off into while formulating strategies is definitely a finite number, say, n. Effectively, 1 < n < infinity. Thus, if naval officers' training included such games, and they were used as more than just a means to keep oneself entertained, maybe, the side which relies on a mix of computer simulations and board games could have a better chance of winning in naval warfare than one which relies solely on computer simulations?

    If yes, then that alone makes a strong case for conserving board games. Maybe, it's not just a coincidence that the Russians, who have been a chess-playing nation for long (and are still quite good at it), tend to make a lesser number of mistakes, and less intense mistakes too, than the West.

  206. Mr. Greer in answer to another’s posting:
    Aquarius is governed by Uranus, which is a malefic planet and among other things brings disasters, crises, and sudden disruptive change. The age of Aquarius is a time in which individuals will have to make their own decisions and stand on their own two feet, and those who won’t do so will end up following this or that bizarre prophet who will lead them to a messy destiny. Aquarius isn’t an especially musical sign, and peace and love aren’t among its usual characteristics either. On the other hand, it’s favorable for magic, occultism, astrology, and individualism.

    I believe that this answers my concerns about “Tower Time.”

    What I was bothered by was the absolute certainty of “Gods recruiting for the coming storm” and the event of high weirdness. Somehow, I missed out on both.

    People I know swear by “Tower Time” and point to the Great Orange Whale, climate change, etc. I think that the idea of the Gods being there for them as well is comforting.

    As for me, my working theory is that various Neo-Pagans are in a lot of pain and are seeking relief. Since they are usually the upper class or at least the professional class, I believe they feel the decline more keenly. I still believe that a great many of them including the person I originally quoted from have one foot in secular thinking and one in magical thinking. However, they can’t seem to let go of the secular.

    As for me, I have experienced high weirdness most of my life. As for the coming storm, no Gods that I follow have indicated that. As for the decline, well it is here and so am I.

  207. Luner Apprentic #194: camping lantern mantles are coated in thoruim nitrate. There’s enough that you can get a chain reaction just by piling them up. I have no idea how to remove the thoruim nitrate from the matrix nor how to refine it into pure thorium, though.

  208. JMG & Commentariat,
    (I can post this on Dreamwidth if you think that’s more appropriate.) Any speculation on why the BMJ (British Medical Journal) hasn’t been taken behind the woodshed for a good dressing-down? They’ve been cranking out skeptical studies and editorials since the start of the medical event and are still at it. I’m more than a bit surprised the editorial board haven’t all resigned “for health reasons” and been replaced with narrative yes-men. It’s enough to make one hopeful for the future of science…

  209. My mother would frequently say, “You’ll be sorry when I’m gone.” When she died I was neither glad nor sorry because I had emotionally detached from her for my own preservation.

    In fact I hadn’t thought about her for years until last night.

    Yesterday a post of mine appeared on this web page that was mildly uncomplimentary about my parents. Last night as usual I was alone in my apartment. It was a quiet night with no radio or TV on. Random crashing and banging started, maybe two or three per hour. I should mention I’m untidy and a hoarder so there is plenty of material to fall and make a noise. Plus the people in the flat above occasionally drop stuff with a crash.

    There was one particularly loud crash from the kitchen and I discovered a pile of plastic containers had toppled to the floor. Okay, that crash explained. But the crashes continued, and I couldn’t find what caused them.

    Eventually I said to myself, “If I didn’t know such things don’t exist, I’d say I have a poltergeist.” And I knew who the poltergeist would be — the spirit of my mother expressing her displeasure at what I’d written.

    Late that night there was another crash from the kitchen and I marched down the corridor to the kitchen door, determined to track down the source, when something happened that made my hair stand on end. An empty plastic bottle came flying out the door at floor level as though someone had heard me coming and thrown it to strike me as I entered.

    It was totally unexpected and gave me a massive fright. It’s the first time the hairs on the back of my neck actually stood up. In fact, I put my hand up to feel them. They were sticking out like bristles instead of lying flat. It was the combination of scary and creepy that did it.

    I checked the kitchen carefully and could find no explanation for how the bottle could have propelled itself out the door. I tidied everything up that looked like it might fall, and went to bed. So far, eighteen hours later, no more bangs or crashes. I still don’t know if I should blame the laws of physics or malevolent spirits for the incidents.

  210. On a happier note, I have realized that I have donated about 100 books over the past 6 months to the local book reading nook at our supermarket. Yes, I am one of those readers with piles of books. But it is nice to know that every one of those books has been taken by someone.

    What has happened at the local reading nook is that since I started leaving books there, the donations have picked up. When I started, there were about five books total. Now the racks are full of both children’s and adult books – about fifty in total. I think I sowed the seeds of a book garden, and now one of the gardeners.

    It is nice to know that people still read physical books.

  211. @team10tim #197

    You’re right, France’s ANDRA operates an undergound facility for long-lived radioisotopes (more on it there https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meuse/Haute_Marne_Underground_Research_Laboratory)

    Give or take, most of the mass (~95%) of spent nuclear fuel is processed in La Hague in Normandy. Most of the U238, U235 and Pu239 are recycled. Some other isotopes like Am241 and others are separated and used for research and nuclear medicine. The rest (5%) stays on premises for the moment. The ground surface occupied by these radioactive materials represents roughly the area of two soccer fields with room remaining for further storage.

    To me, underground long-term storage for radioactive materials is a real bad idea. Especially compared to alternatives: surface storage and waste disposal reactors (crash some highly energetic neutrons into those pesky little atoms, turn them into something that decays quicker, might get useful output as a result).

    That’s because most of fission products with long half-lives such as Tc99 (a chief concern) are chemically active even when stored underground, they form water-soluble compounds that can enter the trophic chain easily. The aim of the Bure laboratory is to address these concerns.

    Rosatom might have more than a proof-of-concept of a waste disposal reactor (using its fast-breeding reactors) but given the current situation between the West and the Federation of Russia, old ties have been severed, more or so :'(

    French research institution in this field (CEA) used to operate a fast-breeding research reactor called Astrid. The project has be discontinued and defunded by the gouvernment but was pretty well advanced.

    Hope this helps

  212. If I understand this right, and it may have changed, student loans in Australia were from the government and were interest free. They started to take the repayment from your wages once you had a good enough job.If you were unemployed the repayment stopped until you were employed again and the debt didn’t grow. There was also not the feeling that everyone had to have a university degree. As i say, this could have changed.

  213. Robert Mathiesen wrote:

    “And as for the Ancient Greeks, I read somewhere that a young Greek male’s first sexual encounters were commonly with older males; only after gaining some sexual experience were they deemed ready to take a wife.”

    I’d read that too. Problematic for today’s society. And there’s quite a few years between when you first grow hair you can sit on and when you’re legal! On the gay side, I was hampered in my learning by being somewhat on the autism scale. And then I was on the picky side too, as regarded partners. Later, at work, I would sometimes get sent on a course to learn a new skill. Would have been nice if I could have been sent on a course as regards sexuality, so that I could have learnt the ropes quicker!

    Strange that your grandmother had such a horror of the cousin romance. People have very different attitudes to “unconventional” relations. For years I couldn’t bear the thought of my family finding out about my gay side. My father found out accidentally and processed and accepted it immediately. He told me that he’d never suspected it, but he didn’t find it anything out of the ordinary. I was almost shocked that he wasn’t shocked!

  214. This topic is rather off the path of the present discussion, but:

    I was born in 1949. Those born in the years after WWII were born into the Cold War, with little knowledge or explanation of what it was all about. In those years, it was confidently expected that “the Russians” (apologies to any Russian readers) were about to attack any minute now, over the North Pole or by missile–one guy said he would build a bomb shelter with a crabgrass roof, because “nothing can kill that stuff”. Senator Stuart Symington said in debate that when the Russians came marching across the North Pole, the Republicans were prepared to meet the threat with a well-balanced budget.

    To this day, some 7 decades later, I still don’t know what the blazes it was all about. Lots of money was spent(wasted) on both sides, people died, for what? I have learned about some of the pre CW intrigues, Allan Dulles conducting his own personal pro-Nazi foreign policy out of Switzerland, and so on. I am presently reading Col. L. Fletcher Prouty’s JFK, The Cia, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, a book which is both painful and essential (IMO) reading for Americans. His opinion seems to have been that it was about keeping arms manufacturing going. It does seem to me that a lot of harm was done by Cold War warriors, the rest of us being complicit in various ways, and I would still like to know what it was all about.

    I begin to think that if mass marketing and mass consumption corrupted the American public, it was the Cold War which corrupted our governing classes.

  215. It seems that often when an empire falls it is accompanied by a change in military tactics/technology that they are late to adopt but is adopted quickly by their enemies. The British were slow to adopt the Blitzkrieg tactics the Germans embraced during WWII and would have been badly defeated without US involvement, in a period that marked the end of the British Empire. As you have mentioned these same Blitzkrieg techniques were adopted by the U.S. empire during and after WWII and perfectly suited its needs as it is ideal for subjugating colonies around the world. Over time it evolved to be about the use of technology and gadgets to replace manpower and tons of ordinance, which also suited the military industrial complex fine as it is much more profitable to make ” high tech battlefield awareness goggles” than to forge cannons or make artillery shells. But the Russians saw something that the U.S. military missed because it was not in their interest to see it. The artillery based trench warfare of WWI came to end for two reasons. Tanks were developed that could cross no-mans land and assault the enemies fortifications and aircraft advance to where they could accurately bomb the enemies trenches. Thus trench warfare was replaced with highly mobile aircraft and tank based system developed by the Germans and adopted by the U.S. empire. What the Russians saw was that developments ground based anti-aircraft missiles and high tech anti-tank missiles would remove both these ( trench busters) from the equation. This theory was demonstrated in the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon where the Israeli tanks were turned back by Hesbollah fighters popping out of spider holes with Russian Kornet anti-tank missiles. Hence when they prepared to fight the US and Nato proxy army in the Ukraine the Russians realized it would quickly become a battle of artillery with slow moving front lines. With more and better artillery, ammunition supplies and logistics they knew this would give them a huge advantage. That is the way it has materialized with the Russians using the Ukrainians fortified front lines as a kind of ” Roach Motel” where the Ukrainians ( and Nato) keep moving in more troops and equipment only to be destroyed by Russian artillery. The US is not set up to respond to this challenge as it is opposite the needs of the military industrial complex and it has allowed its ability to make artillery and ammunition dwindle to a trickle.

  216. cS2, I don’t think most have cars. There’s plenty I see walking or on the buses, and the highschool I’m thinking of isn’t in a particularly well-off part of town. I really can’t see the average highschool student being able to buy a car or their parents being able to buy them one – and if they were driving the parking lot should be full to overflowing given the size of the highschool, with cars up and down the street, and it isn’t. Plus licenses: you have to be at least 16 and it takes quite a while, a good bit of work, and access to a vehicle to get your New Driver’s license. So you’re probably 17 by then, meaning the vast majority of highschool students can’t legally be driving themselves.

    I suppose some of them are probably getting driven by their parents. That might explain quite a bit. But like I said, it’s not in a wealthy area and I expect a fair number of the parents don’t have cars either. I assume bus, walking and parental vehicles are the most likely options, with own vehicle a very distant fourth.

    So I wonder why the bike parking isn’t overflowing, and why I don’t see that many teens on bikes. It is nice to have your own independent transport at that age, and driving themselves isn’t an option for a lot of them… are they just staying inside staring at screens when not in school? I sure hope not.

    To be fair, I wasn’t much of a cyclist as a teenager at all either. But it was horrible and unsafe biking (I lived next to an extremely steep highway with one parent, and in a car-dependent suburb with the other), and there wasn’t anywhere I wanted to go that felt safe to get to by bike, so while I learned how, I never got good enough to be confident enough on a bike to actually use it for practical transportation. But the biking here is much, much better! Flatter, better weather, bike lanes, good bike trails, way more places to lock up bikes and social acceptance of biking… I bet if were teenager here and now, I’d have a lot more use for biking.

  217. “Any speculation on why the BMJ (British Medical Journal) hasn’t been taken behind the woodshed for a good dressing-down?”

    The same reason for everything that gets pushed out in the media. There needs to be a certain level of controversy, counter opinion, and/or pushback for what I’ll call the “regime view” to be accepted. If they only had one story about it, then it would get resisted by people because humans don’t take easily to “advice.” What was the response the last time you tried to give unsolicited advice to a friend or family member? Not good, right? Well that’s the way the media comes off if they don’t have some sort of counter to their message. So they allow just a tad into the conversation. It also helps in that people feel like they decided to accept X view as the thing to do. Think back to any “eat the bugs” discussion. Every point people make about it I can trace back to a media post. People pretend like they weighed “both sides” and decided. But the “sides” were pre-constructed within the allowable opinion.

    If the BMJ called for jail time for every doctor and pharmacist who injected someone with covid vaccine, that would be something outside the allowed discussion. It’s what needs to happen in my opinion, but it won’t even be put on the table. The educated people in those positions knew what they were putting into people was poorly tested and against their stated ethics and they did it anyway.

  218. — Have you practiced “eucharistic” magic? Do you suggest a practitioner coming up with his own ritual of this kind? What is your impression of it in general?

    — This is a bit abstract, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about. Do you think the Golden Dawn is connected to the “corrupt demiurge” current at this point? It’s a tricky subject because I’m yet to know if the demiurge is either neutral or wholly evil.

    Cheers.

  219. You know Mr. Greer. I’ve been so critical of some of your ideas in these open threads, I feel I need to say what I really appreciate about you and your work. You’re often an incisive thinker and impactful writer, and nothing I have written previously should obscure that.

    1) The observation that our civilization depends on energy dense fuels that allow for a High Energy Return on Investment is an extremely important concept. This doesn’t seem well understood by the public at large, nor decision makers in our society.

    I have only encountered a handful of other writers, typically people with strong science backgrounds, who emphasize EROI. You deserve a lot of credit for recognizing this dependence and the consequences of that in your work.

    2) You have this almost intuitive sense of how people and cultures are shaped by the environment and time they are formed in.

    I think (and maybe you will agree with me on this) that there is information in our experiences that is conveyed by the very being of the experience, not by words or thoughts. Likewise, culture can only be experienced, it can’t be purely grasped intellectually.

    You vividly describe how geography and the resources found in that geography impact the way of being of the people living there, and their mindset and practices. The discussion of this in your book, and the linkage between environment and culture that you make, is simply incredible.

    3) Finally, you are an excellent writer. When I came to your works, I was reading about climate change, and trying to understand what it was and what it meant for the world. Although I kept on hearing disastrous predictions, I had a difficult time envisioning what those predictions really meant.

    So I went looking for a writer who would put those predictions into a broader historical context, and you were excellent at painting a narrative and a vision of that.

    I think that we have broad disagreements on where our civilization is heading that won’t be resolved without additional data. But engaging with your writings was an incredible experience and is something I will always remember.

  220. Clay, I don’t know that there’s a central authority as such, but the media is always for sale — the figure I’ve seen is that roughly 80% of “news stories” in US media are provided by corporate, government, and nonprofit groups, and the media run them for a fee. Doubtless the electric-car lobby has decided to drop a bunch of money into placing paid pseudonews in online media, all rehashing a given set of canned talking points.

    Āshegh, thank you for reposting! Yes, I think it’s quite possible. North Korea has already become a hereditary monarchy in all but name, after all. More generally, the machinery of parliamentary democracy got spread nearly worldwide due to the global power and cultural impact of European and European-diaspora nations; as both of those factors wane, expect more traditional modes of governance to become more popular again.

    Abraham, hmm! I admit that that’s not what I thought of in response to the word “friction,” but there’s a definite point to the comparison. The Lords of Form can indeed be seen symbolically as the receptive partner in the generative act, receiving a certain stimulus out of which new form and new life come into being.

    Michael, I avoid words like “necessity” because it’s always possible for something really, really valuable to be lost. After the collapse of Mycenean civilization, for example, the inhabitants of Greece lost the entire concept of written language, and had to relearn it from Phoenician traders centuries later. I hope that simple shortwave doesn’t go the same way!

    Andy, that makes a great deal of sense.

    Ataulfo, I know transgender people who are completely cool about the issue, too. I also know a couple who get very, very shrill about it.

    Forecastingintelligence, I’m still waiting to see the longterm impact of the Covid vaccines. If there’s any kind of serious dieoff as a result, that’s going to send a whole string of shockwaves through the global economy, and make a fair number of current predictions null and void. That aside, however, the LTG standard run remains my core model — factoring in, of course, the differential distribution of the downside as the US loses its position as top of the heap, and has to shed gargantuan amounts of capital to get down to a level it can support on its own resource base. As for global tourism, we’ll see if it lasts as long as 2030…

    Miow, thanks for the data point.

    Rod, good heavens, do you think that there’s anything unique about that? The US government has been suppressing inconvenient facts since about an hour after the Declaration of Independence was signed. All governments do that, all the time.

    Johnny, no, I haven’t written about it. It’s just something a lot of Druids notice and experience. Delighted to hear about the kites!

    Chris, a strange country indeed. Are construction companies in Australia controlled by organized crime, the way they are here in the US? If so, the new runway may just be a convenient way to funnel a bunch of tax money to the local crime family.

    Hackenschmidt, is that Jean Gimpel’s book? A very fine study, worth close reading.

    David BTL, that’s hilarious, in a bleak sort of way.

    Mac, yes, I saw that. Hilarious indeed.

    Viduraawakened, hmm! That makes enormous sense. Many games originated as ways of training people to think — chess comes to mind — and they do a very good job of it.

    Neptunesdolphins, that makes sense. I know a lot of Neopagans are feeling anguish these days, between the decline of the managerial class to which so many of them belong, and the decline of the political ideology in which so many of them believe; it’s not surprising that they should turn to religion, in much the same way the Native peoples of the plains turned to the Ghost Dance. I hope it doesn’t end the same way.

    RPC, oh, you can say that kind of thing inside the closed circles of the clerisy. If too many of us outsiders notice, though, you can bet they’ll be shut up right quick.

    Martin, you might consider banishing rituals or simply leaving out a saucer or two of vinegar, to keep her from being able to condense enough etheric force to annoy you.

    Neptunesdolphins, delighted to hear this.

    Mary, I don’t think it was just that. The US and the Soviet Union were duking it out over which one would get to rule, and extract wealth from, the majority of the planet; the US won, which is why we got the insanely overinflated standard of living we’re all used to; but it could have gone the other way and, er, the Soviet Union was pretty totalitarian in those days, much more so than the US ever got. (I recommend Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich if you need a reminder.) Of course the defense industries also milked it for all it was worth, and of course corrupt politicians colluded with them, but it was a complicated time and a very tangled situation.)

    Clay, good. I see you’re paying attention!

    Aziz, (1) not as such. As a bishop in the Universal Gnostic Church I’ve practiced eucharistic rituals, but those have been religious in orientation rather than magical. (2) Not really, no. The GD is deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition and so it doesn’t include the concept of a demiurge as separate from the divine.

    Rus, thanks for this. I don’t claim to know the absolute truth about the future, you know, and dissensus — including disagreement — strikes me as more often useful than otherwise.

  221. @Miow #213:

    And what that doctor describes is more than enough to explain excess mortality over 2014-2019!

  222. Hi JMG and commentariat,

    On the topic of pulp fantasy fiction: I finished all of the Robert E. Howard Conan stories, which I loved. Are the pastiches done by L. Sprauge DeCamp, Lin Carter, or Robert Jordan any good?

    Its hard to put my finger on why the Robert E. Howard stories work so well, but they really do!

  223. re student loans
    I developed a workplace injury from my first job after university, which interacted with pre-existing health issues to trigger whole new ones. I soon found myself unable to hold down a job for more than a few hours a week, or not at all sometimes. And the jobs tended to be low wage, since the ones in my field needing a degree were generally full time and had way too many applicants. Eventually, I wound up on disability.

    I was really lucky that I graduated without student debt. If I’d had student debt… yikes. I don’t want to think too hard about it.

  224. By all means, have a time period you have to wait to declare bankruptcy after graduation. But after 10 years, if you haven’t managed to pay it off you should be able to declare bankruptcy.

  225. Neptunesdolphin,

    One of the things that strikes me about Beckett’s vision is that it’s essentially the ending to Mage: The Ascension, a roleplaying game from the 90’s and early 00’s, in which an “avatar storm” shreds the veil between the mundane and spirit worlds as well as the stagnant false reality created by the Technocracy, and the survivors of humanity all awaken and ascend.

    Which is to say it strikes me as a very fashionable kind of esoteric fantasy, not something likely to actually happen.

  226. @Lunar Apprentice,

    Thanks for your story. The time frame matches mine, which is interesting (approx. 20 life years per afterlife year.) I’m glad you had some resolution with your dad. I also like your definition of a vision. I am now reviewing dreams I still remember to see if there was something I missed.

  227. @stephen pearson

    Thanks for your story. The idea of closure makes a lot of sense. If all was good at the time of death, there wouldn’t be a need to come back.

  228. Hi John.

    I recall you once said that the current collapse began in the 1970s. So I’m wondering what happened in the 1970s that was noteworthy for being the start of collapse? Was it a population or a consumption threshold that was passed or was it something else? Thank you.

  229. Hi JMG, what’s your opinion on Self Initiation. I’m currently working through the Cicero’s Self Initiation in the Golden Dawn and wanted to see your opinion was regarding the matter.

  230. @JMG,

    I’m aware that in some of your previous posts, you’ve mentioned the researches of Dr. Ian Stevenson as evidence to back up your beliefs about reincarnation. I’] have recently looked into Stevenson’s theories/conclusions, and if I’m understanding him (and you) correctly, there seem to be some pretty big differences in your beliefs about how reincarnation works, namely:

    1) When Stevenson finds a “previous personality,” it’s usually someone who died just a year or two before the current subject’s birth (a few past lives even overlapped with the baby’s gestation). Yet if I understand correctly, your own belief seems to be that people spend about the same amount of time on the spiritual plane between lives, as they did on the material plane, so that only people who die as infants will be reborn that quickly.

    2) Stevenson seems to have amassed a lot of evidence that small children between the ages of about 3 and 7 will sometimes remember past lives, but the memories always fade as the child grows up. And he seems dismissive toward people who claim to be able to access detailed past-life memories as adults, through hypnotic regression or other such means. Yet you’ve claimed on this blog to have detailed and sometimes quite precise memories of your own past lives, even back to Roman times.

    3) Stevenson claims to see no evidence at all for karma, in the sense that one’s ethical deeds/misdeeds in one life will affect the circumstances into which one is reborn. Yet you do believe in karma.

    Now, I admit that I may not be understanding everything quite right (there seem to be dozens of books published by and/or about Stevenson, and I’ve only read one), but from what I do see it looks like there’s a lot of divergence between his views on the afterlife, and yours. So, if that is the case, why do you think it is that he got those things wrong, despite (a) not being biased toward skepticism, the way most scientists are, and (b) working very, very hard to collect as much information as possible about his chosen subject?

  231. Clay Dennis – Re: Russian artillery grinding up Ukrainian forces… do you have a source for that? From what I’ve heard, they’re more-or-less evenly matched in mutual destruction. Looking at only one side of the story can lead to surprises, and just because CNN, the Washington Post, and Forbes says that the Russian army is struggling to replace its losses doesn’t prove that it’s actually not!

  232. dreckid (no. 223): The devil is whispering to me to design one of those Pride type flags, but for wankers. (Or maybe a wanking symbol needs to be added to the main Pride flag, like some of them added an umbrella to represent sex workers.)

    Lathechuck (no. 192), there are ways around these problems. Between 1990 and 2005, the rule was that student loans were only dischargeable through bankruptcy seven years after payments became due. (Before that it was five years.) By that time most graduates had managed to acquire some assets.

    dreckid (no. 180), Patricia Mathews (no. 183), Ben Shapiro made this point in one of his videos (one of many reacting to “Libs of TikTok”). It went something like this:
    ——————–
    Lib: “I’m a demisexual woman…”
    Ben: (after explaining what that means) “In the old days, this used to just be called, ‘a woman.’ ”
    ——————–
    On coffee / tea, a few years ago tea producers here in Taiwan were fretting that young people were gravitating to coffee.

  233. @Patricia Matthews #183:

    “I looked up ‘demisexual.’ It means only able to feel sexual desire towards another when there is an emotional bond between them. IIRC, this used to be the norm, or at least the ideal.”

    That is how I have always been, which apparently makes me an outlier among men. If a woman is ugly on the inside, I can’t get “excited” about her, no matter how she looks on the outside. Actress, super-model – it makes no difference. If I don’t like a woman, I can’t be attracted to her – full stop.

  234. Owen – Given that you well understand how poorly taught the process of reading graphs is, what makes you believe that other mathematical topics are just too hard for some brains? Teaching that uses mathematics to sharpen every day observations might work a lot better. I think we all know that a heavier guitar string vibrates at a lower frequency than a thin one, and increasing the tension increases the pitch. Mathematics can quantify those observations, and you can get a lot of mileage out of just one 2nd-order differential equation.

    Mathematics is a vast area of human knowledge, but the parts that I enumerated should be understandable by all (for just the reasons I listed). Math lets us build models which can help us predict the results of our decisions, sometimes absolutely, and other times as risks.

    I’m not saying that everyone needs to understand the differential equations of orbital dynamics, but the depletion of an oil well is a lot simpler, and a lot more relevant.

  235. @dreckid, I “identify as” demisexual, though I’m far from young. That just means a few years ago I read some lists of characteristics associated with that label, and thought, “yup, those describe me pretty well.” I certainly never needed any such “identity” to justify myself to myself or to describe myself to others (it’s probably none of their business anyhow, but if needed I can explain it in words instead of pointing to an obscure bit of jargon). But I found it rather useful to help me understand other people better. So, for instance, it helped me understand that people who talk about being tempted to the limit of endurance by the prospect of random opportunistic sex with some available-looking total stranger (even when that would jeopardize a valued existing relationship) might actually be telling the truth. And that typical porn might be the way it is because many people actually like it that way, rather than because the filmmakers have no imagination and endless tolerance for boredom.

  236. viduraawakened – Individual Russians may be well trained in chess (mathematics, engineering, etc.) but there’s something about their society that allowed a massive mis-judgement in thinking that Ukraine could be taken in under a week.

    My hunch is that the memory of the Holodomor is more present in the minds of Ukrainians than the Russians expected. They’re fighting not just for self-determination, but for life itself.

  237. JMG – Thinking of Ukraine, just now, it occurs to me that even if there are militia groups in Ukraine wearing insignia inspired by that the German forces of WW-2, does that actually make them the military arm of a fascist society, or are they just live-action role-playing thugs? I mean, where’s the unity of nationalist effort central to the National Socialist scheme? The book-burning, shop-window smashing, and torch-lit parades?

  238. Hi all,

    I wanted to reach out to the readership and see if there is anyone else in the neighborhood of the Olympic or Kitsap Peninsulas who might be interested in a meetup at some point? I know there is such a group around Bellingham and another in the Vancouver/Portland area (I think) but I haven’t heard of anything closer to home.

    HV

  239. stephen pearson comments about university fees in Australia.

    The bulk of university fees are covered by the government. The balance can be paid upfront by the student, or deferred as a student loan taken from the government. This student loan balance increases by CPI (inflation) annually. Voluntary repayment may be done at any time, however once the person’s income passes a certain amount, it’s taken out as tax.

    For reference,
    Unemployment benefit, AUD14,708 annually
    Aged pension, 23,420
    Full-time minimum wage, 42,255
    Median individual income, 41,860 (includes unemployed, etc)
    Average full-time individual earnings, 92,029

    Repayments from tax are automatic once income passes 48,361.

    The debt no longer exists upon a person’s death.

    Clay Dennis comments,

    “The British were slow to adopt the Blitzkrieg tactics the Germans embraced during WWII and would have been badly defeated without US involvement, in a period that marked the end of the British Empire.”

    This is incorrect. The first “blitzkrieg” battle as we know it – a combined arms battle co-ordinating infantry, artillery, armoured vehicles and aircraft – was the Battle of Cambrai in 1917, which was led by the British. It didn’t go as well as German attempts 22 years later simply because the tanks and aircraft were new, and more importantly instead of charging across the nice flat ground of Poland, Belgium and northern France, they were moving across land covered with trenches, craters, barbed wire, concrete pillboxes that had been sitting there for most of three years. There’s a reason the Germans went around the Maginot Line, not through it.

    As for the UK being defeated, long-term had they only the Germans to deal with, this would not be so. Million of Indians, for example, had to be deployed to deal with the Japanese, and important imperial naval forces had to be left in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. One Great Power was unable to deal with two at once; that is no surprise.

    Of course the US gave much financial and material support to the UK. But that is typical for any modern conflict between peers: without outside support, they burn through their materiel in a couple of weeks. The Japanese and German war aims were in part shaped by previous wars’ failures; because they could not make country X submit, they had to either give up X, or go to war with Y to get resources to crush X. Stalingrad for example was important because it was on the way to oilfields.

  240. discwrites #3
    “make myself less invisible”
    “People often fail to notice my presence”

    Bear with me.

    Today, I was tooling around Amazon books and came across this children’s book series on cats which I read the first page of the sample. I had never heard of this book series. When I saw “invisibility,” I perked up, and said ooh, ooh… JMG… discwrites. The book is “Warriors: The Ultimate Guide” by Erin Hunter, ISBN 978-006 224 5335, page 2:

    The author is talking about cats:

    “Like all of the [cat] Clans, ThunderClan has been shaped by the nature of its home, by the dense forest and prey-rich thickets that lie between its boundaries. My warriors are the most skilled predators of any Clan, able to make themselves silent and invisible in order to hunt the tiny furred and feathered creatures that live among us. They can stalk over fallen leaves and brittle twigs without making a sound, and from a standstill they can pounce with enough strength to bring down a full-grown rabbit.”

    So, I thought, holy moly, what if discwrites is really a cat in people clothing. Maybe “cat” is your totem animal. Becoming better at invisibility is the flip-side of what you were talking about. What if invisibility is something to embrace and develop rather than try to make disappear. Invisibility sounds like a fascinating study — a lifetime’s worth of study. I am not saying this disrespectfully or to be cutesy, but learning how to get better at invisibility is very Harry-Potter-ish (wizardry) and StarTrek-ish (cloaking) (science fiction), and you seem to have an innate talent for it. The US govmint has spent $billions trying to make airplanes invisible.

    I bet that the stealth-talents of a cat would come in mighty handy in the Decline — to become a master and pass down to younguns. I get the feeling from the Kommentariat here that as time goes on, to survive, some will need to blend into the background “to avoid the hordes” that JMG has touched on quite a bit. Hence, invisibility.

    Just thinkin’. Synapses spark. Dzzzt…

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  241. @ Peter #250

    US oil production peaked in 1971, and the real income of 90% of Americans stopped growing after 1972, if I remember correctly. Each year afterwards it become a little more difficult for average Americans to buy a house or found a family, college tuition and health insurance costs rose faster than salaries, etc.

    Then there was the first oil shock in 1973, when a 5% global production cut made prices quadruple temporarily, and then the US defeat in Vietnam, which I think was the first defeat ever for the USA, even though it wasn’t military but political.

  242. Martin Back #229

    > It was totally unexpected and gave me a massive fright

    Eeeww. Icky.

    [Begin prayer.] With your finger, draw in the air three circles clockwise.
    Picture yourself (along with anything/anyone else) in a bubble. Proclaim that nothing/no-one can harm you when you are in the protective bubble. Dwell in the bubble for as long as you want. Breathe.
    With you finger, draw in the air three circles counter-clockwise. [Close prayer.]

    She cannot reach you. You are protected in the bubble, from “her” and/or “else.”

    Simple, easy, works for me. I usually feel calmer, with the feeling “someone cares.” Who THAT is, I haven’t the foggiest idea. Nothing complicated.

    I just did this prayer for you, wherever in the world you are.

    About your mother, she sounds familiar. My mother used to say the same thing, or similar: “You will be sorry when I am gone.” Oh yeah? If my mother had a grave (she was creamated), I would dance on it. From what consciousness does this stuff come?

    I qualify this by saying that my mother wasn’t all bad: she was a good nurse. But when she was bad, she was VERY bad. (Just wondering if she was a Nurse Ratched to anyone. Double-ick.)

    De-ick-ification time.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  243. The woke wars

    The narrative on covid vaccines may be shifting, but the woke wars are still at full throttle.

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/08/24/ogzj-a24.html

    “The president of the American Historical Association (AHA), Professor James Sweet of the University of Wisconsin, has issued a groveling apology for a mild criticism he made of the 1619 Project and the influence of identity politics on historical writing.”

    PhD Sweet focuses on African history and he recently visited a museum in Ghana. Most of the slave trade out of Ghana went to Brazil and the Caribbean, approximately 1% went to the United States, but the exclusive focus of the museum was on the 1619 project and its narratives. Brazil and the Caribbean weren’t even mentioned at the museum. He wrote a paper about it titled “is History History.”

    The SJW quickly vilified him for this sacrilege and he retracted it and apologized. It is noteworthy that no one brought up any factual errors or missteps in the scholarship.

    It brought to mind Simon Sheridan’s recent piece “Drowning in Magic” and made me think of Vico’s barbarism of reflection.

    https://simonsheridan.me/ideas/drowning-in-magic/

    So, JMG, the question is do all civilizations in their twilight years lose touch with concrete reality and go off into wild abstractions like this or has Western civilization raised the bar on this? One for the history books when we go back to having history?

  244. JMG, I think with trans and non binary people who get shrill about it, it’s a case of “these people have my back.” Where the flavor of rhetoric promoted on college campuses, by big corporations, or by tv news anchors… they know that someone wants them to feel good about the way their life force expresses itself and, for most people, the character of who that comes from doesn’t really matter. Their subjective mind recognizes that someone is sticking up for them and so the objective mind absorbs the associated ideology. In one of your novels—I think it was “The Seal of Yueh Lao”—- Asenath intuits that a few members of a metal band are a thrupple, and files that away in her mind with a shrug. That resonates because, for me, a lot of learning in life has amounted to tolerating experiences that don’t fit in neat categories. None of our egoties fit in neat categories anyway, so I struggle to understand why people get stuck on the gender thing and don’t just play along and concern themselves with something that matters to their everyday existence.

  245. team10tim wrote sensibly of the relative MPG of aircraft and cars. There are a few other aspects, of course.

    The first is the embodied energy of the things. A jet aircraft takes a lot more energy per person transported about to create, given it’s, you know, this thing that can travel at tens of thousands of feet and hundreds of miles an hour.

    The second is that the fuel burned has a higher warming and ozone-destroying effect, since it’s burned at altitude.

    Lastly, and probably most significantly, is the sheer distance travelled in a short time. The average Australian vehicle travels 13,300km annually. That’s a New York to Rome round trip, total time 18 hours. So an aircraft lets you cover a distance in a day which most people drive annually. If we had ration cards for fuel then for a cross-ocean or cross-continental trip you’d be spending your year’s allowance in one day; if it were for CO2-equivalent emissions, you’d get to fly there and not be able to afford to come back.

    As JMG says, things are unlikely to just stop being available one day. But they’ll become pricier and less reliable. For comparison, the first direct Sydney to London flying service in 1947 (previous ones used trains for part of the journey) took overall 5 days – Sydney, Darwin, Singapore (overnight), Kolkata, Karachi, Cairo (overnight), Tripoli, then London – and cost about AUD28,000 in today’s money, for a round-trip ticket.

    It’s around AUD1,000 nowadays, though flights have become less reliable in 2022 than they were in 2019, with outsourced baggage-handlers losing baggage, outsourced-maintenance leading to equipment failures and last-minute cancellations, and so on.

    Between likely carbon taxes and oil scarcity, we’re eventually going to see higher prices again, on the order of a year’s wages for lower-paid workers. As always, the upper class won’t even notice, the middle class will manage but complain a lot, and the working and underclass will miss out entirely.

    In current news in Australia, prices of food are up quite a bit. The upper class don’t notice, the middle class manage but complain a lot, and the working and underclass are struggling. This is because apart from housing, most expenses people have are relatively elastic – they can change what, where and how much they buy of entertainment, clothing, utilities and so on.

    The exception is housing, the cost of which doesn’t go up or down quickly in most places. It’s the working and underclass whose housing costs are half or more their income, so they’ve not much to cut to handle increased food costs.

    However, they will adjust. The working and underclasses are accustomed to having to adjust to the random awfulness life throws at them. Of course, in Australia voting is compulsory, and so the adjustments the working and underclasses have to make may lead to some surprises at the ballot box.

  246. Clay Denis #235: After reading your comment, I understand now why the Ukrainian ambassador in Spain is continously complaining about the spanish government “greed” and “slowness” on giving weapons to UAF. He complained especially about not having enough artillery shells…You’re right: Ukies are throwing eveerything they have over the Russkies fortified lines, inly to loose them fastly.

  247. Thanks JMG,

    Do you think that relationship would effect bees outside of our garden? My partner is convinced that they know me because often they will land on me, fly all around me very close of set up in my beard when we are out in the park or something. I figured I had pheromones from other bees on me, plus I don’t swat at them which quickly agitates them.

    Also is it this relationship something other druids have written about? If not I’ll continue to just observe things and trust my intuitions.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  248. Hi John Michael,

    I have no direct knowledge or experience, but it is likely that that is the case down here too. You hear stories, and you know, from time to time there are reports that such and such a crim is linked to the construction industry.

    It is worthwhile recalling that apparently all transactions above $10k down under, get reported to a gobarmint agency.

    Mate, there is a lot of apartment construction going on still, and you’ve gotta wonder at what point does it make little economic sense? Apparently there is quite the glut of apartments on the market from what I’m hearing anecdotally. However, a gargle search produces all manner of up-beat articles. So, who knows? I could be wrong.

    If memory serves me correctly, I recall that in the early stages of the recession in the 1990’s there was a massive over supply of office space in the CBD. Again, my memory may be faulty.

    I tell ya mate, there’s a lot going on right now.

    How’s inflation being felt in your part of the world? It takes many forms, whether it be shortages, quality declines, and / or price hikes. I’m seeing a mix of that happening down here.

    Cheers

    Chris

  249. Dear Mr Greer, you wrote:

    “it fascinates me that Macron, of all people, would say that out loud. I didn’t think the little [deleted] had that kind of courage.”

    Courage, from Macron? Doubtful, considering his past life and conduct. I think there were three reasons why he said that the end of abundance is near:

    1. He’s trying to emulate Churchill, who said in 1940 that he had nothing but “blood, sweat and tears” to offer to the British. When the tribulations are arriving, it’s better to look like Churchill than like anyone else.

    2. In a play by Jean Cocteau, one of the characters says: “Puisque ces mystères me dépassent, feignons d’en être l’organisateur” (Since these mysteries are incomprehensible to me, let me pretend I organized them). In France we often use this quotation jocularly, when bad things that someone didn’t foresee happen (Macron had said last March that sanctions would ruin Russia’s economy in weeks, obviously he didn’t foresee that the sanctions would ruin the EU instead), but that person tries to look better by saying that he did foresee the bad things coming, so as to suggest that he has a plan to deal with them. What is Macron’s plan, I think I know, and it doesn’t reassure me at all, but that’s another story.

    3. The French will suffer this Winter. Knowing this in advance, they won’t be surprised and, hopefully, they’ll take it with courage and stay united behind their leader, like the British during the Blitz. It looks like Macron is eager to play the role of Winston Churchill against Putin/Hitler.

    Oddly, a friend of mine, whom I’ve known since high school (we’re both in our 60s now), told me last week (before Macron, then) that “we have to suffer this Winter to show our solidarity with the Eastern Europeans who are threatened by Putin.” Since my friend never feels obligated to any solidarity with anyone, I guess that he actually meant that since we’ll have to suffer, we must at least pretend that we’ll suffer for a good cause.

    In other words, my friend is still in the denial phase. Maybe his fortitude will last until next year, maybe not.

  250. John Michael Greer,
    I read somewhere that groups that look for converts are expanding, those looking for heretics are contracting. If that is true, then Neo-Pagans must be contracting. As for their religious outlook, I believe it is part and parcel of the Progressive religion of a never-ending arc towards justice, etc, etc. I do know that the latest discussion is about how wonderful it is to forgive student loans, and how it is a good thing. (I don’t think so.)

    On a side note, the Washington Post in their letters to editors and articles in general are getting crankier and crankier as things don’t go their way.

    Slithy Toves
    That makes a lot of sense. Sort of points to a lack of original imagination on Beckett’s and others.

    Person discussing Cousin marriage
    It is customary in among Sicilians to marry first cousins. I learned that living in a Sicilian neighborhood. Everyone was closely related to everyone else.

  251. Hello JMG, How are you?
    It’s been a while since I posted here. I have been busy with my own personal collapse journey, and some other personal battles. It’s all going quite well (a bit chaotic, but that’s ok). About the stuff that’s going on out there with the economy, politics, and culture, it looks more farcical than tragic to me. Case in point: https://media.notthebee.com/articles/article-630956cf11747.jpg. Rib-tickling.

  252. viduraawakened @ 225: Your comment reminds me of the book- ’Shinano!: The Sinking of Japan’s Secret Supership’ by Joseph Enright, which relates the story of the sinking of Japan’s last and largest aircraft carrier by a US submarine.

    The account opens with a story of the future submarine commander (IIRC, the author himself), who had just been demoted because of poor performance, winning a poker game, seven-card draw. His strategy impressed a flag officer who witnessed the game, and was a major factor in getting him promoted back as a sub commander. That game proved prescient, or perhaps a model, for how he sank the Shinano.

    The account also mentions in passing how Japan’s top naval commander, Admiral Yamato, thought people who didn’t play poker were ‘boring’ and not worth bothering with.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  253. @Lathechuck

    I’ve found Ex-Military Analyst Scott Ritter and the youtube channel “The Duran” to provide fairly detailed, and to my eye, accurate info about the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict. They’re from the more realist school of geopolitics and warfare. Given them a gander when you have a chance.

  254. Good day JMG, I think you wrote before that you expect some nuclear power plants will become high radiation sites in the future. Is it because there will not be enough civilization and organized companies to prevent accidents, and shut the plants down properly?

  255. Hi all

    Macron has been the first president to talk openly about “the end of abundance” because France, energetically, is über-f*cked.

    As yesterday the price of the baseload electricity for France hit 1.130€/MWh, this is the price for the NEXT year, so those who say that the problem with the nuclear power plants in France is “short term” due to the drought or the heat wave, have much less information than the market, the problem is huuuuuuge and longterm.
    Just to remind, the baseload price of electricity in France in the period 2010-2020 was around 40 – 42 €/MWh, and now is almost 30x and increasing…, The futures for the electricity in France for one year are higer than those for Germany, because in fact right now Germany is supplying France with electricity burning precious russkie natural gas.

    You can see the futures price of electricity in this web:

    https://www.eex.com/en/market-data/power/futures#%7B%22snippetpicker%22%3A%22EEX%20French%20Power%20Futures%22%7D

    From 56 nuclear power plants, now they have 31 turn-off, and many of them will not return to produce electricity in much time, may be some of them will never start-up again.
    France depends of the nuclear power plants for around 70% of the electricity production and exported huge amounts of electricity to the neighboring countries (in the good old times).

    Now France has a frontal opposition to the expansion of the “MidCat” gas pipeline from Spain. This has been French policy for many many years, and one of the reason the big spare re-gasification capacity of Spain cannot reach the rest of Europe, not before, not in the future.

    https://en.ara.cat/business/midcat-pipeline-gas-france-algeria-plans-construction-again_1_4464871.html

    They will never allow the gas coming from Spain to reach the rest of Europe, and in fact they are busy building re-gasification plants in the atlantic coast:

    https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/france-selects-totalenergies-install-5-bcmyear-fsru-le-havre.html

    So the plan of France is to increase the control of gas sources in the Africa an ME, in fact they have sent the Légion Étrangère to Yemen, so with the militarization of Europe and the resource scarcity this will be the norm, and a new bloody series of colonial wars are expected:

    https://thecradle.co/Article/news/14486

    Some people are talking that the invoice of the “green-sustainanle-zero CO2” deteriorating french nuclear plants could be in the range of hundred billions of USD, that’s the reason they have nationalized EDF, but the mounting cost problem will remain (and will be paid with tax).

    The grim reality of the nuclear electricity production in France could be follow-up in this web:

    https://www.energy-charts.info/charts/energy/chart.htm?l=en&c=FR&chartColumnSorting=default&interval=month&year=-1&stacking=stacked_absolute&timeslider=0&legendItems=001000000000000&partsum=0&sum=0&month=-1

    As can be seen, something big happens in march-22 and is still happening (for many months/years to come), when they realised the huge SCC problem in many nuclear reactors.

    As far as I know, in France, due to the traditional low costs and reliability of the electricity, there are many more electric heaters than in many cold countries, and sincerely I do not know how they will turn on them this fall-winter.

    This is an unmitigated self-inflicted disaster, and the reason the “churchillian” Macron is talking in those terms; oh! and the God Technology won’t save the day.

    Cheers
    David

  256. David BTL, that’s classic. They’ve been chasing that fantasy since I was a small child.

    Samurai_47, most of the de Camp pastiches are based on stories Howard wrote with other heroes — he didn’t only write Conan, after all, nor did he only write fantasy. (I’m convinced that if he’d lived, he would have become one of the great Western authors of the 20th century, right up there with Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour.) As a result, they’re not bad; the others are, well, weak. On the other hand, if you’ve just read the Conan stories, why not give some of Howard’s other writing a try? His Sailor Steve Costigan boxing stories are great, with a wry sense of humor; if you’re more interested in sword and sorcery, Kull and Solomon Kane are first-rate heroes, and he also wrote an enormous number of standalone stories apart from his series heroes.

    Peter, I’ve discussed that at great length in my books. The very short form is that it was at the beginning of the 1970s that the US passed the peak of its conventional petroleum production, and responded by shifting from domestic economic growth to economic parasitism on the rest of the world, dragging down every other economy in order to prop up a standard of living it could no longer support on its own resources. It’s been all downhill from there.

    Alex, self-initiation was the path I originally followed. At this point I’ve done the work both ways — self-initiation and formal initiation in magical lodges — and there is no significant difference between the results. Formal initiation in a lodge is a little less work, that’s all.

    Athelstan, I can’t speak to your understanding of Stevenson’s comments, but you’ve misunderstood mine pretty comprehensively. First of all, no, I don’t base my belief in reincarnation on Stevenson’s research; I base it on the fact that I remember some of my previous lives, and that the spiritual traditions I follow — which have proven their worth in many other ways — affirm reincarnation. (I recommend Stevenson for readers who are interested in the subject because he’s accessible to the open-minded.) As for your specific points, (1) you’ve misunderstood my views here; a fair number of people are reborn very quickly these days. (I was out of incarnation only around two years before this current life.) (2) Hypnotic regression is wildly inaccurate in this as every other context — it’s not accepted in US courts as a source of evidence for anything these days, for example, because it causes so much confabulation. Since that was most of what Stevenson will have encountered involving adult past life memories, I quite understand his skepticism. (3) Karma is vastly more complex than Stevenson apparently realizes, and comparing the condition of a child to what ethical scraps can be recalled from the memories of one previous life is hardly an accurate measure of a process that involves the sum of all previous incarnations. As for why his views and mine diverge, why, each of us is working with a different source of data, and in both cases, it’s quite a limited source, all things considered. If you sit down two people who’ve briefly visited Los Angeles, say, and ask them to describe their experiences of the city, it’s quite probable there will be a lot of divergences there, too!

    Lathechuck, you might consider the possibility that the Nazis themselves were role-playing thugs. People will do appalling things when they get caught up in that kind of acting out of a violent fantasy.

    Team10tim, no surprises there. We’re deep into the circular firing squad phase of wokesterism, and so they’re turning on each other with ever-increasing fury.

    Ataulfo, I’m sure that’s part of it. Another part is that being transgender — or, shall we say, deciding that you’re transgender for any of a wide range of reasons, not all of them necessarily valid — does not make you morally better than the rest of humanity. Give a group of people privileges, and a certain number of them will reliably abuse those privileges.

    Johnny, my understanding is that bees communicate with one another from hive to hive, so it’s quite possible they’ve talked about you, and you have a name in bee dance language amounting to “bearded human who’s nice to us” or something like that. I can’t think of anything specific on the subject in Druid writings, I’m sorry to say.

    Chris, inflation here is officially around 9% annually. In reality — in terms of the pace at which prices are rising — it’s around double that. Yeah, we’ve got the shortages and the product crapification too.

    Horzabky, thank you — that makes a lot of sense. When Macron seemed to display a little basic honesty and decency, that struck me as so completely out of character for him that I was flummoxed.

    Neptunesdolphins, that certainly makes sense to me.

    Ramaraj, good to hear from you again! No question, that’s funny:

    David BTL, cough, cough, rats, cough, cough, sinking ship…

    Tony, no, it’s mostly because I don’t expect anyone to find the funding to deal with the high level radioactive waste. Much of that, here in the US, is stored in pools of water right near the power plants, because there’s nowhere else for it to go. Once those get abandoned or neglected and the water boils off, the used fuel rods (which produce a lot of heat) will catch fire and dump radioactive smoke downwind.

    DFC, thanks for a cogent summary! What a mess — and what an embarrassment to the people who’ve insisted so loudly that France’s nuclear power system is the wave of the future.

  257. Hi JMG,

    Over the years, I have read about innovations at the M.I.T. that looked promising (i.e. a solar panel that uses a quantum effect to reach 70% efficiency , etc. ) yet none of them seem to reach mass adoption in the past 20 years.

    In the more distant past, people there invented the world wide web, the spreadsheet, RSA encryption … Any idea why inventions are not spreading to the mass market (i.e. they have no connections with industrialists, or no interest in getting their innovations mass-produced) ?

  258. @JMG,

    Thank you for the clarification regarding your views on reincarnation, vis-a-vis Dr. Stevenson’s.

    And when I come to think about it, I suppose it makes a lot of sense that Dr. Stevenson’s views have a lot of (what you perceive as) gaps. After all, when people like Copernicus or Newton tried to get their own scientific revolutions started amid a sea of indifference and/or skepticism, it’s not like the theories they left behind them were anywhere near complete and sufficient, either. So it would be naive to expect someone in Stevenson’s situation to end up all that different.

  259. @Lathechuck
    I find the idea that the russians thought that they would be done in a week very hard to believe. They knew exactly what to expect in the Donbas, namely a landscape of strategically placed, heavily fortified trenches and bunkers. Furthermore, the way things are going, it seems that taking territory in Ukraine is not the sole, or even the primary objective. As the war is demonstrably acting as a catalyst for a whole cascade of processes that are shaking the EU to its very foundations, thus putting heavy stress on NATO, while accelerating the formation of economic and geopolitical realignments very much in Russia’s favour, I think they are in no hurry to wind things up.

    Sure the war is putting a strain on their economy, but no one in Russia is going to be freezing in the dark this winter. Here in Germany, on the other hand, we are not so sure…

    Mike

  260. @Bob #14 can you give us an email address? I’ve been playing with an idea for a bit and as a former grant writer I think it would have legs. I’d love to run it past your higher up and see if they would be interested in a proposal.

    You can put an email address in like this

    karitamen (at) protonmail (dot) com

    Or you can just email the above. That’s my contact.

  261. there was a time when someone asked you about the French Druid Revival tradition and you responded that one of it’s hallmarks was the extreme independence of each of it’s groves.

    1-You used a specific word( Capellism, capellanism?) wich i don’t recall to define this trait. Can you repeat it now please?

    2-Can you elaborate a bit more on your interactions with the French Druids?

  262. >Owen – Given that you well understand how poorly taught the process of reading graphs is, what makes you believe that other mathematical topics are just too hard for some brains?

    Based on what I remember from my childhood days. Most kids struggled with math and found it less than fun. Forcing kids to do something because “it’s good for you” with a wagging finger, just serves to instill hatred of the subject in them and make them want to cheat wholesale on the tests so they can scrape by with a C and get on to wasting time doing what they want to do. Oh the memories. These kids knew what they were doing.

    I base this all on memories of observations made years ago.

    BTW these were kids struggling with *algebra*. Not even geometric algebra, just plain old algebra, factor this, solve for that sort of thing. Calculus might as well have been the moon. Diff eqs might as well have been Alpha Centauri.

    If you want to get kids to do mathy things, you need to tie it to something in the real world. Something that would directly impact their life or their survival. And I’m for identifying the kids that can and like to do math problems and then giving them a different track than the rest. Everyone’s good at different things.

  263. Tamanous- Rather than watch videos, I read this extended essay by Ritter:

    https://www.ustourofduty.org/blog/the-ritter-sitcheroo-imbroglio-part-two-big-arrow-war

    That was from June 9, so in a sense some of his expectations have been overcome by events. I was surprised at his lack of skepticism regarding Russian estimates of Ukrainian casualties, but he makes some good points. Russian denials that they intended to invade Ukraine were simply “tactical deception”, and I regard everything else that they say in the same context (as with everything that comes out of the Ukrainian government). We just can’t tell what’s happening from a world away, and if we were in the thick of it, we’d only know what was happening at that spot. Fortunately for all involved, our understanding of the situation makes absolutely no difference to the outcome.

  264. JMG, to be sure. I just haven’t seen it personally so can’t help but wonder if folks overestimate how ordinary such abuses are based on the dramatic character of publicized examples.

    What I was really going for is that it’s upsetting to me that my friends who express gender eccentrically get the flak for an ideology that serves (and was popularized by) elites more than it serves them. It strikes me as at best unreflective for populist conservatives to expend enormous energy and resources limiting options for said group of already-miserable people.

    On a related note and to my dismay your prediction, based on the motif of youthful contrarianism, that a lot of young people will think it’s cool to be offensive toward minority groups the culture their respectable parents belong to puts on a pedestal, appears to be panning out. I live in a wealthy college town where parents routinely throw tantrums at bartenders for confiscating the expensive fake IDs those same parents bought for their children. And a lot of those children love throwing around racial and sexual slurs.

  265. This dialog is Ivan Illich, perhaps the earliest identifier of the dangers of the so-called PMC, looking back and looking forward to “the shadow the future casts” in 1989. He talks of the “Brutlandt Report” almost exactly like we talk about Schwab. His early books “Deschooling Society, (1971)”Medical Nemesis” (1974) later “Disabling Professions” (1978)… you get the picture already probably if you are learning of this here. But he tells the story so truly and from before it became as obvious as it is nowadays.
    http://www.davidtinapple.com/illich/1989_shadow_future.PDF

    I have been reading Illich for years, tho I found the above gem here, on the show notes of another media treasure “The Forest of Thought”
    https://forestofthought.com/e16-live-dougald-hine/

    Sometimes I feel like the commentariat here has a strawman for the place of the people who love the earth and once might have felt like the Left was a place of community for us, people who the Left left, and who reflexively left the Left. The makers of podcasts called “post-woke” who also think building massive factories for single-use plastics out of fracked natural gas is sick; who realize that “sustainable development” is a same-old lie of the powerful but aren’t for “trashing development” either. Just a sometimes feeling here.

    Anyhow, I always find Ingrid Rieser to be thoughtful and same with Dougald and his buddy Paul Kingsnorth who calls himself a “recovering environmentalist” and writes about “what progress wants” in terms of Moloch. Hope someone who hasn’t yet discovers Illich. I saw someone else mention you, JMG, don’t agree with Kingsnorth, curious in what ways. I haven’t read “basilisk” yet but often find that his interpretations of the moment feel true, along with some others i met because of his substack:

    https://stillnessinthewest.substack.com/p/into-the-far-wilderness-of-sanity
    “The Atrophy of Man – To extend our wills so deeply [via technology] into the nature of things persuades us to relinquish a natural ability in return. It actually requires it. In short, it must increase and we must decrease. ”

    On Hypocritical Asceticism – “Unless we embrace the hypocritical asceticism that is possible for us right now, we will likely get no asceticism at all. That would be only to our own detriment and the benefit of those who sell us lies. The kennels aren’t locked. We are free to leave.”

  266. JMG – re: who’s a Nazi? I think your comment is insightful, that those OG (Original German) Nazis (if I understand you correctly) were “playing a role” in a script increasingly divorced from reality as it descended from brutality into atrocity. But, apart from the ones with the guns, Germany had a social – industrial complex that supported them. Years ago, you wrote very precisely about the origins and behaviors of fascists. Do you see that level of integration on the part of the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, or are they as much of a fringe as US neo-Nazis, or Russian neo-anti-Nazi motorcycle gangs? To put a speculative spin on it, is it possible that Ukrainian neo-Nazis are a provocation created by their “enemies” to the North?

    Russian journalists (Litvinenko and Politkovskaya) who tried to determine whether the Russian government created “Chechen” terrorists didn’t turn up empty-handed. They turned up dead.

  267. Here is a good article on the real world problems with high tech, centralized green energy ( wind power). It is meant as a takedown of the utility that owns the huge wind farm in Eastern Oregon, but to the astute observer it shows something different. These huge turbines have maintenance problems because things out in the environment are very maintenance intensive, and the income they generate is really enough to pay for proper maintenance. I think one day people will have to accept that the useful life of these wind turbines is not the 25 years they have been claiming and then the energy payback calculations will go upside down.

    https://projects.oregonlive.com/wind-farms/

  268. Peter #250

    OPEC Oil Crisis 1973
    Organization of Arab Exporting Countries

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis

    If I remember correctly, the 1973 OPEC oil crisis/embargo lasted a few months. What made it memorable was that it was the FIRST shocker. I remember long gasoline station lines. I understand there were subsequent “oil crises” in the late 1970s and 1980s, but I don’t remember them.

    In October 1973, I was living in Southern California. Cars lined up at gasoline stations for blocks. It took a couple hours of waiting until it was one’s turn to pump gasoline into their cars — people with gas-guzzling vehicles had to line up once or twice a week. I drove a VW beetle, only had to gas-up once a month, and felt quite smug. I sat in the long lines watching others freak out and fume while I laughed AT the people who had gas-guzzler vehicles — they asked for a bruising.

    People drove gas-guzzling vehicles then and now. They learned nothing. After the 1973 shock, for a limited number of years, people bought fuel-efficient cars, then returned to gas-guzzlers. They learned nothing — those nincompoops reminded me that half the population has an IQ of less than a hundred which, by itself, is depressing. I don’t think the human race is going to “make it” long-term.

    I learned my lesson: for the last fifty years, I bought only fuel-efficient cars. I learned a bit about that General Motors (GM) purposely arranged the demolition of millions of miles of trolley trains and tracks in the 1920s, all over the USA (trollies being a sub-category of train, usually local)😢. I was shocked to learn that there used to be a trolley a few blocks from the house I grew up in. I was too young to experience trains. By the late 1950s, even long-distance trains were being retired and torn up, thanks to GM😡.

    Anyway, 1973 OPEC.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  269. @ Bei Dawei, funny! I’m just astounded that you got the “W” word past JMG, though. I’m gonna tell your mom to send you to bed without any supper. 🙁

  270. Dear Ataulfo, if I may: I’m trans and I’m sorry to write that of the many hundreds of trans people I have known a large number have been very brittle and bullying regarding their gender identities. In fact, I have had trans people and also non trans people berate me for the fact that I simply do not take myself seriously as a woman, and can’t help but see and express the humor of the lived realities of transsexuality. The ironies especially can prove quite rich. Regardless of the metaphysics of the situation, though, I’ve seen many trans folks act badly and stupidly in how they approach their marginal position in society. Frankly many have absolutely guaranteed that they would build resentment and blowback. For years I’ve tried to be a contrary voice in the trans community, and it has done very little good as far as I can tell besides causing me to lose basically all of my queer friends.

    Of course, I have a great deal of fear regarding how the blowback might effect my own life, and from my perspective the whole affair is stupid in the extreme. If I were wiser, I might see the humor of the situation that I am in. That said, I’m not quite at the level where I can laugh at what might kill me cruelly. Hopefully with a few more years of spiritual practice, I’ll be able to enjoy the absurdity a bit more. If I didn’t have this personal position in my life, I would probably find it all rather morbidly funny.

  271. Bei Dawai #255

    your note to dreckid:

    What is a wanker? (I have heard it on British TV shows.) Gays who are jerks? The word wanker seems to have several, indistinct meanings. This paragraph is too subtle for me.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  272. @ Yavanna. “remember Chesterton’s fence.” ? I don’t. You must have snuck it home in a carrier bag before I got the chance to see it. Shame on you!

    Depending on who you read, cousin coupling is or isn’t harmful. I’ve no desire to test it out for myself.

    I suppose that the old Church thought sex should only be for procreation, therefore “Man should not lie with man” by default. But if it was only for procreation, why was it made so pleasurable in the first place that only a saint could resist it? Pleasure itself was almost regarded as a sin by the puritanical types, of course.

  273. Hey jmg

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Also, since you are into geometry like me, are you familiar with the “star cut” diagram? It’s essentially a square with a 8-pointed star dividing each side in half that has many interesting geometric properties relating to the creation of ratios and fractions.

    I first learned of it from “patterns of eternity” by Malcolm Stewart, but a new book is out now written by Adam tetlow which seems to say thins that Malcolm missed.

    https://woodenbooks.com/index.php#!DIA

  274. Note on nuclear waste storage,

    “The 2008 NRC guideline calls for fuels to have spent at least five years in a storage pool before being moved to dry casks. The industry norm is about 10 years.[2][10] The NRC describes the dry casks used in the US as “designed to resist floods, tornadoes, projectiles, temperature extremes, and other unusual scenarios.”[10]”

    Once the fuel is in dry casks the water won’t be boiling off in a disaster. So there is a limited amount of fuel in the pools. If a given reactor refuels every 18 months then 6 core loads are in the pools. Newly removed fuel rod go in, and the oldest rotate out of the pool to a dry cask.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_cask_storage

  275. @Tony C

    Speaking as a former alternative energy researcher, the reason such apparent breakthroughs are never deployed is because it is not economically feasible to do so.

    A new computer software or hardware development just has to work, and if it saves time or money or does cool new things it will make someone billions.

    A new solar panel technology doesn’t just need to work. It needs to stand up to 20+ years of direct solar radiation and temperatures fluctuating from below zero to 150+ degrees. And it needs to be cheap to manufacture because the energy being captured is by nature diffuse. Consider that even at 70% efficiency, the total sunshine incident on a square meter of surface will produce electricity worth $100 per year (at $0.10 per kWh). So all of the materials, installation, support structure, wires, inverters, etc. need to be cheap.

    I used to think it was an artificial barrier, with oil companies lobbying against alternative energy investment or ideas failing to find backers. But I gradually came to realize that the gulf between “works in the lab” and “will realistically replace fossil fuels” is so large that none of the “advancements” and “innovations” of the past 50 years have been able to cross it, and it is far from certain that any futuristic ideas like fusion power will be able to cross it either.

  276. Greetings,

    This organization in France focuses on how to adapt to the energy descent, and how to reduce carbon emissions.

    They bought the best data they could find on available oil resources, and they asked two executives at Total Energy (the main France oil company) in 2021 to analyze the data and predict oil production by country.

    There are reports on this page that can be downloaded, with an executive summary in English.

    I thought I would share as it is an interesting and precise update on the peak oil situation.
    https://theshiftproject.org/article/nouveau-rapport-approvisionnement-petrolier-europe

    The main point is that production decline will be slow until 2030 (around 10% compared to 2019), and fast after that until 2050.

    One point to keep in mind I want to add is that there is stiff competition for Western countries now with other countries such as China and India for access to oil resources, so the oil available per capita to the USA and Europe will decline faster.

  277. The Babylon Bee strikes again with their parody song. A great reflection of a once great Nation heading for the dustbin of history.

    “I Wish We All Could Leave California Now”

  278. @Clay Dennis #164,
    Laughing so hard! Yes, we could do quite well seeking ways to be of service to the upcoming cargo cults!

    @Lunar Apprentice,
    How I wish you were my doctor! I can really related to the learned helplessness” of your patients dealing with a moribund bureaucracy. I’ve got to commit myself to doing more EFT to keep from succumbing to that, though having my altar at hand and performing ceremonies daily is a big help to me. Thank goodness I don’t have substance issues! But the brain fog I feel when working at this completely wired, shielded and grounded computer is still a serious hindrance.

  279. @Lathe Chuck,
    When I was a girl, if I recall right, “the Ukraine” was the “breadbasket” of “Russia,” which was basically synonymous with the Soviet Union. If Russia at that time was picking on Ukraine, we have to bear in mind this was under the direction of Stalin, who was from Georgia, which was, of course, part of “Russia.” History of conflict notwithstanding, there was vigorous interchange between the peoples, with inter-marriage and real friendship between the separate nations, at least when I was in Russia in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
    Regarding integration of Ukraine’s neo-Nazis, my Russian student, Ren, had about a dozen friends in Ukraine and at least as many in Russia and more in other ex-Soviet countries. I was studying up on Ukrainian and coaching him on it as well. All of his Ukrainian friends, having some knowledge of Japanese language, left Ukraine at about one month into the war and moved to Fukuoka, Japan. He kept in touch with them for a short while after that, but they were so heavily propagandized against Russia (and of course being forced out of one’s home isn’t going to help either) that they were saying frightful things about the Russian people–Ren’s other friends–so he broke off contact with them. Hate really distorts an otherwise lovely person. Meanwhile, none of his Russian friends has anything bad to say about Ukraine.
    Ukraine is in a nasty situation into which America has invested billions of dollars and given tacit approval to the neo-Nazis’ worst behavior the same way they approved of the Mujahideen back when they were terrorists on our side. Reportedly, these neo-Nazis were given control over the military, who were otherwise reluctant to prosecute a war against their fellow citizens. American officials have made no secret that this is being done to give Russia its own Vietnam. My husband thinks the heavily propagandized and traumatized regular people from Ukraine are being sent abroad as a means of spreading that propaganda wherever they settle.

  280. Tony C, that’s one of the consequences of the way that modern universities have become parasitically dependent on grant money. Those “breakthroughs” are by and large hopelessly uneconomical or impracticable; the press releases are purely part of the theater around getting the grant money. Since there are no penalties for failure for government-supported researchers in today’s society, you can spend your entire career in the sciences producing nothing but hopeful press releases and papers arguing that this or that goal has come a slight incremental step closer. (Just ask any fusion researcher…)

    Athelstan, you’re welcome. I consider Stevenson’s accounts to be a little closer, if you will, to early books on the zoology of Africa by European explorers. Africans knew perfectly well that there were plenty of animals out there that the explorers hadn’t encountered, and those few explorers who talked to the local peoples figured this out, too, but the conventions of research at that time required an animal to be shot, preserved, and hauled home by a European explorer before its existence could be officially admitted. Thus it took quite a while for bonobos, okapis, and some other quite substantial animals to find their way into European textbooks…

    Guillem, hmm. I don’t recall that conversation — or that word. As for my interactions with French Druids, they’ve been congenial on the whole; I’ve also read a fair number of books by French Druid authors, or authors in English whose work has been influenced by them.

    Ataulfo, again, I’m not talking about examples from the media. I’m talking about my personal experiences. I quite understand that yours are different.

    AliceEm, thanks very much for this, and especially for the Illich piece. As for Kingsnorth, my disagreements with him are personal and I don’t propose to get into them here.

    Lathechuck, I have no way of knowing. At this point all the pro-NATO media insist that the Azov Battalion et al. are loyal Ukrainian citizens rallying to the defense of their country and the Nazi symbolism and memorabilia is just playacting — roughly the point of view you’re proposing — while all the pro-Russian media insist that the Azov Battalion et al. are genuine, organized neo-Nazis who’ve been pursuing a far right political and ethnic agenda for some years now. My guess is that the truth is somewhere in the broad space between these two claims, but where? I don’t know and, ahem, neither do you.

    Clay, thanks for this!

    Dreckid, if I may, the word “wanker” has been ably defended by the late, great Victoria Wood, and I consider her arguments conclusive:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAM2cLhBFzU

    J.L.Mc12, good heavens, yes. Long before Malcolm Stewart was born, in 1630, the Belgian swordsman Gerard Thibault published a system of rapier swordsmanship on that diagram. (I translated his book The Academy of the Sword.) I’ll have to see what Stewart and Tetlow have to say about it.

    Siliconguy, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Tony C., and thanks for this as well!

    Rod, ha! That’s priceless. Thank you.

  281. JMG wrote:

    “Dreckid, if I may, the word “wanker” has been ably defended by the late, great Victoria Wood, and I consider her arguments conclusive”

    Well, I’m shocked. Just wait till I tell Sara you’ve been watching smut on the internet again. As for myself, I do declare that I have never once caused my own fifth limb to perform a Nazi salute. So there.

    Since we’re doing funny videos, I’ll introduce you to English comic Tim Vine indulging in a couple of rather more wholesome solitary pursuits:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pwbQvJDFzQ

    Pen behind the ear

    ========
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j_Sp2FMeIc

    Hockey stick behind the ear

  282. Violet, sad to hear that a lot of trans people fit the stereotype on that count and sad that you have to deal with the backlash. I’m a gay dude and unintentionally pass for straight a lot of the time. For most of my life I was baffled by what I saw as hypersensitivity and hunting for instances of discrimination to obsess over by other lgbt+ people. And then I found out that a bunch of straight males in my workplace assumed I was singularly determined to bonk them simply because I was friendly and direct. I wound up getting threatened by a superior and have a lot less patience now. Sexual orientation as an identity—not the only or predominant identity but a significant part of it—just makes sense in our time and place because you do grow up having predictable sets of formative experiences that differ from straight people. I grew up steeped in fundamentalist Christianity till age 18 and felt like I was something deeply monstrous and horrifying during those years in the closet; i still have to fight to act in my daily life as if not a trace of those feelings are left, knowing there are vestiges that may never go away. I even had a significant other disappear without a trace after I told them I didn’t know whether I could be with them in the same way if they transitioned, but I can’t bring myself to hate them. These things are difficult.

    There’s something to be said for being unapologetically who you are no matter how upset it makes someone else, no matter what the consequences. The freedom is delicious.

    It makes me understand Crowley, but that’s another discussion.

  283. @Lunar Apprentice

    That was very interesting, thanks a lot. I’ll try to get my hands on a copy of the book.

    @Reese

    Thanks for the link. I read it through with great interest; I am actually looking forward to actually reading some of the references, if I can get a copy, that is🙂.

  284. I asked about eucharistic magic and rituals because I was planning to research and eventually form my own ritual of this kind. I’m partly inspired by The Mass of the Phoenix (Liber XLIV), but I don’t want to invoke the entities related to the text, rather I’m more connected to the “Solar Christ” current, so, you can see the struggle in navigating between the esoteric and exoteric in regards to this.

    On the demiurge question, well, I tend to believe that the Old Testament god is most likely the demiurge, especially if we bring to mind that the Tetragrammaton is essential in the GD rituals, the formula describes the process and stages of “manifestation”. Reading on the early schism within the Order, and honestly connecting with some of its descendants gave me the feeling that the members are dead shells at this point (I’m sure not all of them), but it just tells you that their contacts most likely have left them, correct me if I’m wrong.

  285. Hey jmg

    You definitely won’t regret reading both.
    Tetlow focuses more on the geometry of the diagram, such as it’s ability to generate the string-lengths needed for a Pythagorean-tuned zither, but Stewart has more to say about its sacred uses and speculates more on its history, which he thinks may begin in the ice age.

    Also, he has coincidentally designed board games based on the figure which he calls his “Glass bead games.”

  286. Have you read something by Jean Claude Capelli?

    Can you reccomend me some books by French Druid authors? It’s okay if they are untranslated.

  287. On Macron speech: I’ve read your opinions, and I’ve listened to him, so I think he is a demagogue worse than our politicians here in Spain, who haven’t even tried to do the same or simillar here for shame. He is “Le petit Napoleon” trying to be Winston Churchill, to prevent angry and sad people protesting this winter. The MacGuffin is the cristianoid solidarity with Ukrainians, so social unrest’s possible demonstrations could be made by “evil Putin minions”.
    In my country the social unrest for the snctions effects has found understanding between official trade unions yet, and even some retirees unions have said they are going to protest soon for the inflation and gas/electricity rates.

  288. JMG – Yes, I am keenly aware of my ignorance of the situation in Ukraine. I only bring up the various points of view (“propaganda”) to look for related evidence (Thanks, patriciaormsby!), not to promote one or another.

    In fact, I suspect that if all is eventually revealed, we’ll discover that chaos in Ukraine is intricately linked to the Biden family (and perhaps other US politicians), and also to EU dependence on Russian energy. If it were a game of poker, both players might find that their cards were stronger in theory than in practice, with tragic results.

  289. Just finished Weird of Hali Providence and opened Twitter to find a pub in Britain noting that their natural gas cost is increasing 6x next month from an already high 1,000 pounds to 6,000 pounds. There’s no way they can stay in business and I pictured the “cash or trade” signs going up shortly. It’s hard to believe you published that book in 2019, feels like forever ago you announced each one. I admire how Owen just noted what was happening and kept going. Lesson there. Also going into the garden this morning to see what I could plant for late fall harvesting. Things look more and more grim by the day. But it’s the slowest unfolding and almost invisible.

  290. Hi JMG,

    Thanks for this. I read the Kull stories, and I thought they were just okay. The Solomon Kane stories I really liked–they have a bigger dose of eldritch horror and I liked the connection to the African shaman as well.

    I will have to check out the Steve Costigan stories–they have come up here a couple of times now. Thanks for the recommendation!

  291. Since I started the topic of Machine Gun Grannies run for Oregon Governor, I will finish by posting a link to her official political statement in Oregons’s main newspaper. I think it is interesting, not because anyone else should be too interested in Oregon politics but because it is a good example of the kind of actual middle ground platform that I think we may see replacing our current two dysfunctional parties.

    https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2022/08/betsy-johnson-saving-the-state-we-love-opinion.html

  292. Hi JMG,

    Thanks for the information! Interesting to hear this isn’t something that has been explored on paper, but I guess I’ll just proceed and see how it goes.

    A lot of my gardening is driven partially by aesthetic taste, and I’ve started to bring that into the process of decay. I turn my weeds and clippings into mulch, but I’ve begun to treat this process a bit like offerings by tying things into wreaths, or generally arranging them so that they too have some beauty to them. I have made a few discoveries related to this too, where I felt I was making offerings, and then later received something surprising back in return. I was working from a position of “as if” there was a relationship, and it was my first signs of possible confirmation.

    I will say that this current location is the longest I have ever lived in one place, 16 years now, and that prior to this, the longest was a 4 year stretch in an apartment. This has given me a different sort of appreciation of things than I had previously. For instance, as I go, I remove bits of plastic and broken glass from the soil. You would think after more than a decade of doing this, that it would stop showing up, but I still manage to find it. What is interesting to me is that the plastic I find I can usually place back to decisions I made a long time ago. I can’t just push this pollution off on some “other”, so I think about the rationality that led me to make the decisions years ago, and then clean it up.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  293. Dear Mr. Greer

    You often suggest looking at both sides of an issue. How do you feel about this technique when one side is blatantly lying like we have so often today?

    Looking at both sides of an issue requires honest actors on both sides, and this is not the case. Just look at the Ukraine War, or pandemic response. When supposed legitimate sources – say establishment media – just makes things up – how can both sides be compared?

    I find the normies have a tough time being able to ignore the outright lies and look at the reality around them. An example is the NC website – they seem to have gotten their mojo back with the current geopolitics, but they still call for mandatory masking even though the masking did not achieve desired results when everyone was masked. The normies really can not let go of the legacy media. Is the Gell-Mann effect this powerful?

  294. @JMG: Thanks for the link to the Auraicept na n-Eces, I downloaded it. That should help!

    @AliceEm:

    Thanks for the link to the interview with Ivan Illich! I greatly enjoyed reading that this morning, and I’ve been thinking about it since. I remember being taught the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, yet according to Illich ‘wants’ have been disguised as ‘needs’, which allows the managerial class to create artificial scarcity due to the resource-hungry nature of these wants disguised as needs.

    As Illich points out, housing can be done very simply, one can build a shack. But rules around construction techniques, zoning, building materials, etc create an artificial scarcity because only builders with the skills to create houses of a type allowed by authorities can do so. Illich doesn’t mention it, but the media, pop culture, and advertising reinforce the “ideal house”, a single family detached house, as a necessity.

    This sheds some light into the absurdity of the housing situation here in Canada. It is the second largest country in the world by geographical size, with a tiny population relative to that size, yet there is a housing shortage.

    I need to think on that further, but the interview revealed these sorts of ‘definition-games’, where so much rests on how things are named, and how what those names signify are manipulated.

    These passages from the interview I found particularly relevant to current themes:

    “The experience of the dropout majorities enables us to look behind the mask of our certitudes about the future to recall the lost hours and places. It enables us to look at the present as a social construction produced by metaphysical-like crystallizations embodied in such terms as need and development.”

    And:

    “Let me start over by looking back to the social construction of certain defining frames of our present situation.

    Originally, utilitarianism was conceived as an attempt to give the most good to the largest number of people. Then, sometime in the 1970s, it came to mean the least pain for the largest number of people.

    This medical metaphor illumines the next step after Brundtland, a step we have already taken, namely, not the greatest good, nor the least pain, but the greatest pain management in terms of the global environment: The right to pain management in ectopia. That’s what I see after Brundtland: Managing the mining of the commons, not restoring the common environment to culturally bounded, politically sanctioned limits to growth; management of man from sperm to worm, including rates of reproduction.

    Administrative-intensive global ecology is the clear next step within the development discourse.”

    Thanks again for posting that!

  295. Dreckid #297,

    “Depending on who you read, cousin coupling is or isn’t harmful.”

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I didn’t say that cousin coupling, per se, was harmful; I said that there’s a greater risk of birth defects for the offspring of first-cousin marriages. Can you cite a reputable source that shows that there’s no increased risk of birth defects resulting from first-cousin unions – none whatsoever? I’m genuinely interested.

  296. Since Bogatyr brought up travelling by container ship, it’s inspired me to ask a question I’ve been been wanting to ask for a while.

    My now fiance and I, when we get married, wish to travel to Ireland, England, and Wales after we are wed next may.

    I’ve been wondering about how to get there since I’d like to avoid flying for environmental reasons. A container ship seems like an interesting option, though with that length of time we may need to quit our jobs and find more when we get back.

    Does anyone know of other ocean based transport to England options besides luxury cruises?

    I want to see some of the stone circles and monuments and the land that inspires so much of the revival druid tradition I now practice in. Does anyone have any suggestions of good places to visit?

    I am also watching energy prices with growing concern and wondering if perhaps the way gas prices will change things in the British isles will actually make it unwise to visit as somewhat clueless American tourists. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

    -Traveller

  297. Dreckid, Sara’s the one who waved me over to the internet computer and played that piece by Victoria Wood for me. Her sense of humor is not that different from mine — well, admittedly she’s less fond of really rancid puns, but that’s about it!

    Aziz, that’s an interesting project but not one I have any experience with. As for the GD, some of the offshoots are no longer contacted, but others still have robust contacts, and it’s not at all difficult to pick up the contacts yourself by way of systematic individual work.

    J.L.Mc12, fun! I’ll definitely check them out.

    Guillem, I haven’t read Capelli. I read a bunch of French Druid books by René and Paul Bouchet, and there’s also Au Pied des Menhirs by Robert Ambelain, which is well worth your while.

    Bogatyr, thanks for this!

    Bei, I think at this point Rule 34 also applies to flags.

    Lathechuck, and of course that’s entirely possible too. We’ll have to wait and see what’s visible once the rubble stops bouncing.

    Denis, this is another situation where I want to say, “Look, I meant that as fiction!”

    Rod, interesting. The fixation on innovation is outdated, but other than that, it’s not too bad.

    Clay, this could get interesting indeed. It looks to me as though your local elites have realized that the Democratic party is heading for disaster, and are trying to distance themselves from them in order to keep the populists from seizing power.

    Johnny, that’ll do it!

    Anon, to look at both sides of a question doesn’t mean that you give equal weight to what all sides say, or believe obvious nonsense from one side — or more than one! The point is that you pay attention to what all sides say, and give their claims a fair assessment, rather than just automatically believing one side. If one side’s claims make no sense at all, as with masking, ask yourself what else it might be about. (In this case? Class loyalty. I’ll be discussing that in more detail this coming Wednesday.) The goal is to do your own thinking and make up your own mind, knowing that you probably won’t agree with anyone 100%.

    Traveller, I don’t have any suggestions for means of transport, but the places I’d particularly recommend are Glastonbury, Avebury, and any of the less popular stone circles — there are hundreds of them, and a good online source for information on all of them is here:

    http://www.stone-circles.org.uk/stone/

  298. Rod #302

    Absolutely perfect-a-mundo video “I Wish We All Could Leave California Now”‼️

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  299. Re: “the autosexual flag” – I couldn’t help thinking of a ditty I remembered from childhood, a verse from the “I’m a little acorn round, lying on the cold, cold ground…” song. The verse went:

    “I love myself, I love me so, I took myself to the picture show
    I put my arm around my waist, and got do fresh I slapped my face
    I’m a nut, I’m a nut. I’m a little crazy.”

    That one has to go way, way back.

  300. @Yavanna, you were quite clear and I understood your meaning exactly and thought you would know that, even though I didn’t repeat your view in full, simply in order to save time.

    My only interest in this was the fact that some cultures follow the taboo while others don’t. A brief googling gave different views of the dangers, some citing none at all, but I didn’t note the sources.

    It stands to reason, though, that if two first cousins marry and both carry a recessive gene for cancer of the belly button, then their children might end up having to have their belly button amputated – not a pleasant prospect.

    “I’m genuinely interested.” You do seem a bit too interested, so I’m wondering now if you’ve got your eye on cousin Chuck?

  301. @team10tim #188:

    Thank you for the link!

    Ironically, though, my girlfriend doesn’t vote, because there are no candidates that speak to her vision of what she wants in the world.

  302. JMG,

    I am really looking forward to your class analysis of mask hearing. It seems to flip all over the place class-wise, depending on the situation. You got Obama and his 60th birthday party and AOC at the Met Opera gala where the grandees were all unmasked and the servants were all wearing masks like good “little people”. However, to attend a Met Opera you have to wear a mask. I don’t know if there are exceptions for box seats. I noticed that Nancy Pelosi and party wore masks in their recent overseas adventure, at least for the camera. Our beloved President was recently filmed stumbling along outside with a mask after recovering from a nearly month-long case of rebound Covid (think how bad it might have if he hadn’t been quaxxed, he might have taken a whole week to recover instead).

    I’m aware that mask wearing is mostly an upper middle-class thing (my former UU place of worship requires masks), but I’ll be delighted to find out some more details about this madness.

  303. Hi Mr. Greer, I have become very interested in animism over the years. Can you please point me in the direction of some good books on the subject? What is your opinion of David Abrams The Spell of the Sensuous? Any other authors you can recommend I would appreciate. Thank you very much! And thanks again for all you do.

  304. I offer you to consider Russia as the country where you would be in a crisis of fossil fuel.

    Russia has the widest territory in the world, therefore most of the territory is untouched or populated and you can choose from various types of climate, ground, societies, religions and even languages. There is no lack of almost all necessary resources. But there is not much relatively stable temperature zones.

    Another important reason – Russia has oil. We can sensibly assume that oil will be available for a much longer period than in other countries. You can benefit from it by building your house and tools and speaking more generally building your environment.

    Government programs are giving free lands in some states.

    Climate changes make average temperature higher and unlock more territory for comfortable living.

  305. JMG and all,

    Have you read the work of Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, Augustus Le Plongeon or Godfrey Higgins on the Mesoamerican tradition? If so, were they good?

  306. @ Lathechuck

    The general takes on the “Ukraine SMO” are laughably wrong and usually more an echo of the agendas being pushed. As has been said… The Russians are playing chess — with an unmistakable air of Sun Tzu — whereas NATO is playing checkers. Actions (and results) speak louder than words.

    To me this is just another sign of the current Dem/Neocon/Woke self-immolation. Here’s just hoping there’s not too much more collateral damage. On the bright side this (on top of the pandemic and the green revolution BS) should be the catalyst for the downfall of the EU/WEF crowd and all of their little sycophants currently at the helm of various Western nations.

  307. Hi John Michael,

    I’ll be curious to learn what you have to say about the mask issue. That one has bothered me, and I didn’t like them one bit. The things impacted my peripheral vision and (you’ll get a knowing laugh out of this) it was hard to shake the feeling that some awful predator was going to sneak up behind me, tear me limb from limb, and consume me. 😉

    And in the end, it made no discernible difference. You know if people want to wear them, fine I’ve got no issue about that, but forcing me to wear one when I’m otherwise healthy is just weird. An interesting data point for you was that the rural and outer urban areas display a greater reluctance for the things than do the inner city folks – and that holds true to today.

    I used to expect better from our elected representatives, but hey, when you lock down a state for four months and can’t recall who made the decision, well, that’s incompetent. And we had six lock downs, longer than anyone, anywhere – a dubious achievement. Made no difference, unless today’s outcomes were desired. Dunno, time will tell on that front.

    It’s raining again, and the sun is shining. Yes, welcome to the jungle! 🙂

    Cheers

    Chris

  308. Hi John Michael,

    Hmm, almost forgot to mention. The mandatory mask issue flips the presumption of innocence. That aspect also bothered me, for it was a sign to everyone that there was presumed risk, even when there was no risk. I didn’t like that one bit because it was a subtle shift in culture, and an awful attempt to shift blame. It is also the legal position of people caught up in the legal system of the land of stuff. You wouldn’t want to be caught in that mares nest.

    At one point, I had someone I really like, ask me why I could be friends with someone who was unvaxxd. Quick as a flash I replied: I don’t have enough friends to be that stupid – whilst giving them a meaningful look. They got the hint alright about themselves, but the cultural shift alarmed me greatly.

    Cheers

    Chris

  309. John, it’s a loyalty test. The elite doesn’t bother with masks, the masses don’t bother with them either unless they’re forced to do so, but those who are or aspire to be in the managerial classes, the vast army of flunkeydom — masking is one of the ways they proclaim their loyalty to the system.

    Heather, I’m sorry to say it’s not something I’ve looked into much. Anyone else have suggestions?

    Augusto, yes, and you’d be better off reading old bubble gum wrappers.

    Chris, see my comment to John above. I’ll have more to say about it in due time!

  310. Hey jmg

    I guarantee that they are both worth reading.

    Speaking of the Glass bead game, do you think that something like what Herman Hesse described is feasible, do you think that some kind of symbolic system that could describe (as far as human comprehension allows) everything?

  311. JMG, I have read almost all of Solzhenitsyn, including the book you named, and suffer from no second hand nostalgia for the USSR. What I am having trouble understanding is how and why either great power ever thought the game was worth the candle.

  312. JMG, thanks. I was not implying that you are engaging in the intellectual shortcut I was discussing—rather, that it’s widespread in the populist movement.

  313. Straw in the wind – I was mentioning to my daughter that the hardest part of dealing with slow service, elevators breaking down, losing some services we’ve had before, etc, is listening to people – a lot of them from the most expensive building on campus – complain endlessly, with outrage, about losing what they felt themselves entitled to. (She knows I’m fatalistic about these things.) She thought a moment and then said “Yes…. we’re an entitled society.”

  314. Has anyone else heard of California’s Age-Appropriate Design Code Act? It looks like it’s going to pass and completely change the way a lot of people interact with the internet. In particular, it’s going to add a lot of friction to the internet, and add a lot more obvious identity tracking, possibly eliminating the illusion of internet privacy entirely.

    Given how integrated California and Big Tech are, this could get very, very interesting, very, very quickly.

    https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2022/06/will-california-eliminate-anonymous-web-browsing-comments-on-ca-ab-2273-the-age-appropriate-design-code-act.htm

  315. JMG,

    Yep, that’s my fundamental take – both the masks and vaccines are loyalty tests. There is some situational variance, but that’s basically it.

  316. Thanks for the advanced notice! I got that sense from an internet search. I’m trying to find some good literature that isn’t academic but there isn’t that much really that is written, even though the tradition is very much alive in all its weirdness.

  317. J.L.Mc12, the Glass Bead Game exists — it’s called “literature.” Writing itself was always one of Hesse’s central themes, though he usually veiled it by using other arts as stand-ins — music in Gertrude, painting in Rosshalde, and so on. In The Glass Bead Game he created an imaginary art form to serve the same purpose, and stocked the story with writers who were friends of his — Thomas von der Trave, for example, is his good friend Thomas Mann, who was born close to the river Trave in northern Germany. Could something closer to the Game itself be created? Attempts have been made, with varying degrees of success; I have my doubts, but I certainly encourage people to keep at it.

    Mary, political power is as addictive as heroin. Of course there was also a lot of wealth at stake…

    Patricia M, a good omen!

    Augusto, you might take a look at Lewis Spence’s work on the mythology and legends of Mexico. IIRC they’re considered to be fairly sound.

  318. Lathechuck wrote to JMG:

    “Years ago, you wrote very precisely about the origins and behaviors of fascists.”

    Where was this, please? I would love to read it.

  319. “You’re stronger than you think: Why one man thinks it’s too early to write off democracy in America” This is the CNN headline I just saw when I opened the news today. Yesterday it was “Americans could lose the right to vote within months.” Apparently that was a quote from the secretary of state of Colorado. Add this to the list of of things from the last few years that has me wondering WTF they are talking about. Why is the news media telling me to expect an end to democracy in the US?

  320. JMG,
    You sometimes mention the quote: “history repeats itself twice first as a tragedy second as a farce” (apparently Karl Marx said it first).

    I wonder if what we are seeing is the second repetition of both communism and fascism – both as a ridiculous farce.
    Just like before second world war, Germany has become a totalitarian psychotice state, leading Europe to disaster. This time though, any medium military (like Turkey) could conquer the whole Europe in weeks.
    In parallel we have the global “communism” (for the masses, while the rich own everything) that is promoted by countries as different as US, China or Canada. Except that almost nobody seems to believe in the ideology – they are all in for money and “fun” (psychopathic fun).

    So, it does look to me like a gigantic farce. What do you think?

    I want to clarify that I don’t think this farce is harmless – we might see more deaths than during the fascism and the communism combined. But from a god’s or demon’s perspective, that is just part of the farcical nature of this iteration.
    Would this suggest a god’s involvement (as opposed to a demon)? I never heard of demons with a sense of humor, but there are definitely gods that would love the irony of having the marching nazis and the globalist commies just kill themselves this time.

  321. > mask or no mask

    I got a quick learning of Epidemic 101 by age 3 at the knee of my nurse-mother.

    Epidemic 101 includes the idea of communicable disease. Communicable diseases are catchable. Take Typhoid Mary (“TMar”). She was a real person, Mary Mallon (1869-1938). She was a “carrier” of typhoid who had no symptoms (I will refer to carrier-with-no-symptoms as simply “carrier”):

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Mallon

    There are two sides: protecting oneself from a communicable disease; protecting others from a communicable disease.

    Would you want TMar to walk around free in society?

    One is the side of freedom, with carriers like TMar allowed to go wherever they want. If people drop like flies behind her, so be it.

    The other side is one of restriction, where carriers like TMar are prevented from circulating in society thus preventing people from, supposedly, dropping like flies behind her.

    Which is fair? Neither. There is no fairness about it. Communicable disease is not fair. If a carrier goes grocery shopping, then 20 minutes later, you go grocery shopping and pick up the carrier’s germs, sicken, then die, is that fair? Would you have wanted society to lock up any, and all, carriers, therefore you *may* have lived? If one could get locked up by being a carrier, then simply don’t get f’ing tested❗️

    Whose rights come first? Neither. The communicable disease will kill the lot of you anyway, so don’t quibble about it.

    Carriers have been with us since caveman days. What is different is “too many people” on earth now.

    Anyone you pass in the grocery store could pass a communicable disease to you. Everyone is bombarded with billions of pathogens per day. There is no way to get away from pathogens, except to develop immunity. “Through the air” is only one way to catch a disease. One can catch a disease by water, by fire, by earth — anything element you interact with.

    I am in the camp that says wearing a mask is futile in (1) preventing you giving a communicable disease to others, or (2) others giving you a communicable disease. Live your life, and if a communicable disease kills you, so be it.

    How much control will you ever have in getting others to NOT give you a communicable disease? Close to nil.

    Prior to World War II, a lot of people dropped dead of communicable diseases. In developed countries between 1945 and, say, 2020, there was the illusion that communicable diseases were gone — but there was merely a lull. Communicable diseases are “back” (they actually never left), and Americans are absolutely freaking out about the inherent lack of control over pathogens. During the 1950s through 1970s, so many American children got vaccinated against measles, mumps, chicken pox, DPT [diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus], whatnot, that they never really knew what they had been vaccinated against, and society forgot about these diseases.

    What are the ethics of vaccinations? One supposedly has domain over one’s own body (you choose to get yourself vaccinated), but do you have authority over other people’s bodies (forcing others to get vaccinated)?

    Each body can hypothetically kill another body via communicable disease. And what of it? Is TMar a murderer? In case you haven’t noticed, there are too many people alive today that Planet Earth can’t support. Mother Earth doesn’t like humans messing about trying to wipe out communicable disease — it is one way she keeps things in balance.

    Masks — why bother? A mask just makes the wearer miserable. At one point, I asked the powers that be to just kill me because two years of wearing a mask had turned into absolute torture. Two years is when I got mighty angry at being forced to wear a mask.If anyone tries to make me wear a mask again, someone somewhere is going to witness a little old lady go into a poltergeist-in-the-closet-like rage🤬. (I doubt you want to witness someone out to flatten the neighborhood.)

    The best thing about masks is NOT wearing one. I would rather die of a communicable disease than wear a mask anymore.

    “And that’s the way it is,” to quote Walter Cronkite. Thanks for listening.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  322. Americans Keep Moving to Where the Water Isn’t

    https://www.vox.com/2022/8/28/23322006/climate-change-heat-wave-phoenix-drought-housing-population

    I am flummoxed. Are people daft?

    After living in California for 32 years, I finally maxxed out on sun🥵, and moved to the upper Midwest🌨. There IS such a thing as too much sun. Sun (aka “no seasons”) means that everyone is always ON. Winters are when one is supposed to turn off. Americans need 50% OFF time, as they are showing in the You-Won’t-Catch-Me-Working-I’d-Rather-Live-Off-Free-Stuff movement. Winter is when people wind down.

    Winter is magic❄️.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  323. JMG (and commentariat),
    When I look at Europe, it’s like the general population is in a kind of trance. Even with soaring cost of living, shortages and a frigid winter looming, people are not breaking out in protests. Instead, they are in a state of calm resignation and acceptance. Someone in a corner of the internet summed it up: Eurolemmings. What do you think is happening? Something scary lurking beneath the surface, and will burst forth at the right time? Or they will just calmly march to their doom?

  324. Neptunesdolphins,

    would you mind describing your pterosaur encounter? I love a good high-strangeness-story like that (and pterosaurs)
    Thanks 😊

  325. Hi John and friends,

    These days I have been thinking more about the future and how it could develop. We already are seeing that grim reality with the huge cost of living crises in the West.

    Yet something has been scarily fascinating me for some time now and that is the future of globalisation. It is quite obvious that the first iteration of it is taking punches back from the people. However, we have to consider the fact that currently it is the boomer generation in power and they are being attacked…by other boomers – i.e the Trump brigade, the Brexit Beatles and co.

    However, we have no looked at the new generation of leaders that are in their 30s and 40s now. The Millennial generation. Like their boomer forebearers, they seem more than ready to take up the torch of globalism and form themselves into another faceless managerial elite when they take power.

    And these are just the Western ones…we are not forgetting the ones in the East ..

    You see the Russian, Chinese and Indian millennials have been going to Western universities, hobnobbing with the Westerners, intermarriage, sharing in global pop culture and memes, listening to the same music, watching the same movies, etc, etc. In other words – they are full submerged into the global village.

    Now we had this situation with Generation X in Europe. The boomers there setup programmes such as the Erasmus programme and other foundations. This itself set up the case for basically the same situation as I described above albeit a European version. Intermarriage, a common European identity, etc. Aside from the Brits and the Eastern Europeans (along with the Med) you had a string of EU countries where the elite is exactly the same no matter where you go. I.e faceless beaucrats.

    So what I can see happening is that in 30 years time, the Millennial elites are going to have another stab at it but this time on a global level rather then regional level. The only reason we have tensions right now is that the elites in China, Russia, India etc are from the previous nationalist generation – just as much as the European elite before the boomers was.

    Will this shift be successful though? I highly doubt it considering the Long Descent is upon us. But I expect another last hurrah for globalism before that Saturnian effect happens and the world spins back to differences and cultures once more.

    Now another thing to point out is Steiner. I have been doing my research lately and I came across a guy who has been on all sorts of spiritual journeys. No idea how truthfully accurate any of it is BUT one thing struck out to me like lightening. His description of hell or basically Qliphoth.

    Basically he described it as being like a dark techno world – something out of Blade Runner. He met Lucifer there apparently who told him this is all the technology he has created. Yet the place was…soul less. No one cared about each other. There was no love.

    Yet we can see this quite clearly with what Steiner talks about – the Ahriman deception. As I mentioned before we globalism, that itself is very much part of that deception too. A grey, souless world of nothing.

    Interesting hell would be described in such a manner but damn John, it fits it perfectly.

    The heavenly realm on the other hand is more like John Michael Greer country so take your pick on that. I.e freedom, community, love. A very nice place to be.

    Anyway just some thoughts on this one. Hope all is well with you!

  326. Hi JMG,

    A quick update, even if I might be too late in the cycle. I tried touching some bees in the same way that they seemed OK with touching me, so I laid a finger along the length of a bumble bee while it worked, and it didn’t react, just stayed working against me until it was done, I tried it again later with another and touched and ran my finger along its side like I was petting it and it didn’t seem to react or mind at all either. Then I tried it with a carpenter bee, while it was getting pollen, and it flew away, so I tried again, and again it flew right off in a little buzz. I thought, ok, I’ll move away from it as I don’t want to upset the creature, or get stung (haha), but it quickly flew over to where I had relocated so I figured it wasn’t too concerned, or at least didn’t want me to take it the wrong way.

    A bigger bit of news, in front of one of my gardens it appeared to me that something might have left me an offering along the lines of the ones I had been leaving. It was a half eaten eggplant, which in itself didn’t seem that unusual, but right under it had been placed one of the radish remains I had been tying into loops. It wasn’t tied in a loop (although I wondered if it was from one of mine), but the whole thing struck me as quite similar to the set ups I had been making. I took some tomatoes and tossed them into a little cubby that exists in a gap between the trumpet vine and the bamboo, somewhere I could see an animal liking to spend its nights (although I haven’t found evidence that any one does), and when I found a mouse killed in a trap in our kitchen this morning I dropped its body onto our pile in the back with some more tomatoes and a few flowers.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  327. Dreckid #330,

    “…I’m wondering now if you’ve got your eye on cousin Chuck?”

    Let’s keep the discussion civil and avoid the ad hominem stuff, OK? People come here partly because it’s an oasis of civility – let’s try to keep it that way.

  328. Just kind of a random thought here, regarding the student loan forgiveness effort. (I say “effort”, because it’s not necessarily going to happen, if challenged in court.) Some people on the right say that it’s a blatant effort to “buy votes”, but I wonder. Do people ever vote out of gratitude for things that have been done for them? Or do they vote for promises of benefits to come? I can imagine a large number of beneficiaries of student debt relief saying “that was nice, but what else can you do for me?” So, the next step for the Dems is: if the court strikes it down in time for the mid-term elections, they can campaign for a Congress that can make it happen, after all. They might be better off that way.

  329. Great piece by JHK this Monday: “The Wild West”

    Excerpt: And now, despite walking back their guideline Covid-19 policies this month, the CDC and its sister public health agencies are ready to push a new edition of Big Pharma’s Covid (so-called) “vaccines,” despite visibly rising all-causes death numbers across Western Civ that appear, more and more, attributable only to the “vaccines.” The vaxx-happy bureaucracy will not be stopped by the captive federal justice system but the attorneys general of fifty states could each act against the program, which has violated every module of the Nuremberg Code against human medical experimentation, as well as US law. It may be too late for the medical profession to redeem its lost sacred honor.

    The catch here is that, at this point in the disgraceful story, only Woked-up liberals vying for the Darwin Award will fall for the new vaxxes. Everybody else is onto the scam and hip to the danger, and mandates have worn out their welcome. Liberal Wokery has turned out to be a form of stupidly booby-trapped, self-limiting neo-Nazism. There is your Party of Chaos in a nutshell.

  330. Yavanna #330.

    I intended it as a mild joke, Yavanna. I wasn’t serious. I’m sure JMG would have detected and blocked any “ad hominem stuff”. But I’ll leave the subject now. I wish you well.

  331. Re the discussion of kinship and marriage

    I’d argue, from my civil libertarian position, that a marriage contract is the business of the parties involved, so long as those parties are consenting adults, and no one else. On that basis, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, and close-kin marriage are equally valid.

  332. Re: Europe freezing to death

    Does anyone else expect that – at whatever point the impending gas and electricity shortages begin to translate into real human suffering and death – most EU countries will strike a deal with Russia to get the gas flowing again? As in no more military support to Ukraine, no more NATO expansion, etc. Given that Russia’s geopolitical demands will impose no direct physical cost on most of these countries, it’s hard for me to imagine their governments holding out in the face of large-scale misery that could be ended at any point by opening a few valves and repairing a few turbines. But then again maybe I should stop expecting anyone to behave rationally…

  333. Anonymous collapsenik, about “Eurolemmings”:
    I have read in multiple places about native people in different locations at different times just giving up in the face of invading Europeans. This happened with some american native tribes as well as people in Micronesia.

    I don’t understand the psychological mechanism but we do know that it can happen.
    It is possible that western Europe might have just exhausted their life energy as a culture (I think easterners still have some fight in them).
    Just think about the Germans or Swedes with the signs (“we welcome migrants”) while their countries have more rapes than some war torn African nations. There are stories about people being attacked and killed in the street and nobody intervenes.

    If that is the case, W. Europe might not exist as we know it in as little as 10 years.

  334. As we all know we have been in a period for quite a few years now where there are less and less things you are allowed to express your hatred for. Do you think this might have been done intentionally by the TPTB? Because the end result is that there are a lot of people walking around with a lot of pent up rage that they will gladly direct it towards any individual or group that the TPTB tells/allows them to hate.

  335. Feedback on my poltergeist (#229):

    JMG suggested a banishing ritual or a saucer of vinegar. Not knowing any banishing rituals, and seeing Northwind Grandma’s (#265) too late, I placed a saucer of vinegar in the kitchen and went away for the weekend.

    Returning Monday morning, one problem got solved but a more perplexing one manifested.

    The solved problem was the origin of a loud crash on Thursday night. On Monday I found a frying pan was stuck behind a cupboard it had fallen off of, but I hadn’t noticed it before. This particular pan has a light aluminium body with a heavy handle which makes it unstable. It has a tendency to slip off surfaces if placed upside down with the handle hanging over the edge. No poltergeist needed to explain its fall.

    The perplexing problem was my kombucha. I have two 3-liter jars I brew kombucha in. I empty one every week, so each batch brews for two weeks. The jars are covered with cloth fastened with an elastic band with a small bit of cardboard containing the date tucked into the elastic. The newest batch was stored in the bathroom and was untouched. The oldest batch, ready to consume, was stored under the kitchen table and the cloth cover was missing!

    There is no way I would have put it there without the cloth cover. I am absent-minded, but not that bad. On my hands and knees under the table I found the cardboard with the date on and the elastic band, but no sign of the cloth. It could not have popped off under pressure because it’s cloth, it can’t hold pressure. No one could have got in because the place was locked up for the weekend and we have 24-hour security literally right outside my door.

    Then I noticed a faint smell of urine in one corner of the kitchen. This leads me to suspect my “poltergeist” is really a rat — a very quiet sneaky one who is building himself a nest with my kombucha cloth.

    Anyone know a banishing ritual for a rat?

  336. I’ve read your comments about cousins marriage, and I’ve remembered when I studied Laws, there were some classes on Catholic marriage. According Catholic law, 1st cousins marriage or uncle-niece marriage were forbidden…unless they were given permission of the bishop. Nnow, it’s legally possible such as marriage. Another thing is what you think about that kind of relationship or the children that will be born of that marriages. In the Catholic doctrine, it seems it’s not a very dramatic problem the “consanguinity”. God forgives it…amen.
    Personally, I think that there is a lot of people in the world, boys and girls, to be limited to your cousins for marrying, I mean I don’t see it as tabu, maybe a laughable choice. For now, I’m single…

  337. JMG
    I don’t recall when, but at some point you had suggested that manned missions to the moon were extremely unlikely. Maybe you said not gonna happen.
    I agreed with your assessment at the time. So the Artemis mission has been puzzling for me. Since it’s in the news I did some research today. I noticed that the mission is going to take several weeks while the Apollo missions only took about a week. This is due to Artemis using a very fuel efficient trajectory. Artemis can’t do a low lunar orbit and will not carry a lander. The third mission, where they plan to actually land, requires a second launch to deliver a separate lander. All this for the low low price of $100billion.

    It’s still unclear what the mission is supposed to achieve, apart from increasing the diversity of astronauts who have landed on the moon. What do you think?

  338. I’m curious whether I am (and I’m sure I’m not) the only one here who’s sitting out the whole squash-the-spotted-lanternflies craze here in the eastern U.S.?

    Walking around this weekend, on two separate occasions I passed a parent pointing out a lanternfly on the sidewalk and enthusiastically urging their child to stomp it, then celebrating with the kid that they’d done a good thing. One of the parents said, “These are the ones we’re supposed to kill,” which just strikes me so strangely. I wonder what she’d have said if I asked why we’re supposed to kill them?

    I think the experience of the last few years has finally and forever made me allergic to this whole routine. A kind of thing that’s known to happen happens, supposed experts warn that it will lead to disaster, the media amplifies that message exuberantly, and soon everyone is repeating the official consensus that all good people should join in some prescribed collective intervention.

    I saw the first of them in our garden a few weeks ago and had a moment’s pause as I realized this was the guy the news stories and the posters I’d seen around have been talking about. I admit my first reflex was to swat him, but it really only took me a second’s thought to decide against that. I love the trees near me and I hope no harm comes to them; I don’t wish trouble upon fruit orchards and wineries or whoever; but I just have no real idea why I would be killing these things.

    I’m completely turned off by this game, and increasingly wary of people who still join in uncritically. It’s creepy. The intervention is always to engineer or manipulate impossibly complex systems like ecosystems, the atmosphere, societies, or our own bodies and brains–things we don’t understand and can’t control. Progress is really a religion, and all of us, believers or not, are facing perilous tests as this god proves false.

    I don’t doubt that spotted lanternflies will impact the ecosystems they’re spreading in or that they’ll affect people in turn. I do doubt that people are likely to intervene in a way that “helps” more than it turns out to foolishly mess with things in unforeseen ways. If I find the lanternflies damaging the plants and trees I’m responsible for I’ll deal with those individuals the way I deal with other creatures that do harm; other than that I wish them well and trust nature entirely with the bigger picture.

    Jonathan.

  339. Lathechuck (no. 360), see here for a snapshot of student-loan-holder opinion:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/studentloandefaulters/comments/wwmzqm/biden_to_forgive_10000_in_student_debt_double_for/

    Some highlights:

    “It’s a start but it’s not enough. Radical change needs radical action.”
    “crumbs …..”
    “10k doesn’t even cover the interest accumulated for most.”
    “Yeah… I’m going to need 280k of forgiveness.” (<–from a chiropractic student)
    "Can I enroll in courses take a 10k loan and keep the 10k?"
    "How do I find out how this affects me, if I have been hiding? Someone please help."

    ————————–

    Johnny (no. 358) " it appeared to me that something might have left me an offering along the lines of the ones I had been leaving."

    Does this sound like corvid behavior?

    ————————–

    NomadicBeer (no. 351) First few lines:

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1852/18th-brumaire/ch01.htm

    (and nobody remembers the other 17 brumaires!)

    —————————

    Roman (no. 334) "…and even languages."

    You think I could get by with Mordvin or Ewenki?

    "Government programs are giving free lands in some states."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_on_the_Far_Eastern_Hectare

    —————————-
    Patricia Mathews (no. 329) It reminded me of the old saw, "masturbation is sex with someone you love." But "autosexual" makes me think of these guys:

    https://digismak.com/mechanophilia-i-have-sex-with-cars/

    This particular flag is way too serious for my taste, though. I would rather see it feature a hand (maybe incorporate little valentines?), a monkey being spanked / a chicken being choked, or a fishing pole (for the ladies). Or the emoji.

    I've designed a flag to represent color-blind people, but am having trouble finding printers who can handle Ishihara dots–you know, those colored dots they use on color-blindness tests? I want only my fellow Daltonists to be able to see the image–it should like like a shattered rainbow, to represent the shattered dreams of color-blind people who wanted to be pilots or bomb-defusers or something. (As a color-blind vexillologist, I guess I'm living the dream!)

  340. Anonymous collapsenik #354

    > people are not breaking out in protests

    My opinion.

    It is a combination of a few things that are functioning as adult pacifiers🍼, not in any particular order:

    (1) Increased marijuana use (people are stoned😵‍💫);

    (2) Smart phones (people are glued to their phones — watching movies and playing games)🤤;

    (3) TVs (people are glued to their TVs — watching movies and playing games)🥴.

    (4) There ARE protests, and the mass media is keeping them mum.

    (5) People have enough stores of food for the moment, living on savings or free stuff. Come winter, they will sober up.

    (6) People have enough of whatever it is that keeps them air-conditioned or heated for the moment.

    Come winter when they can’t pay their bills (including smart phone and cable/satellite/Internet streaming) where they must start to learn to “pinch pennies” (with inflation, it is “pinch quarters”), they will catch on that they have to get their butts in gear.

    Deprive people of their drugs, phones, TVs, food, and/or temperature-control, we’ll see them screaming to high-heaven how abused they feel that any number of their pacifiers have gone bye-bye, and they will commence making trouble in the streets.

    That is when we pop the popcorn.

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  341. Hi NW Grandma – re wankers. As an Aussie, this term was integral to my early years as a teenager/young bloke in Sydney in the 70s and 80s. It may have its origins in Britain, but as Aussies we did make it our own. It’s obviously enough a term of derision – directed at men (not women) who are full of their own ego/hot air etc. To offer context, here are the lyrics of a classic Aussie rock song ‘Convict Streak’ from the early 80s by an iconic suburban rocker of the day – Dave Warner – where it’s used entertainingly against Germans. The song itself speaks to everything funny that went on culturally in Oz at that time:

    Maybe it’s because of our Convict Streak
    We wanna fight everyone we meet
    Anzac Day is our day of the year
    We march our march, we drink our beer

    We don’t like Slopes, we don’t like Yanks
    I’d personally like to blow up
    every Commie tank
    We’re only few but we fought in ‘Nam
    Packed our guns alongside Uncle Sam
    Ask any of us, it were no sin
    The only crime was that we didn’t win

    (chorus)
    And … The Poms are weak as piss
    The French are queer
    The Germans are wankers,
    but they make good beer
    Don’t criticise what you don’t understand
    If you think I’m talking ****
    you don’t belong in this land

    I’m Australian, we all are
    We watch the telly and we drive our car
    But don’t you ever SAY WE’RE WEAK
    Or you’ll learn all about our Convict Streak

    The world began with Adam and Eve
    But Australia started at Gallipolli
    Our fathers put the Desert into Desert Rats
    Their uncles slipped the boot in,
    up in Lambing Flats

    Don’t criticise what you don’t understand
    It’s not that we’re behind the times,
    we’re in a different land
    We might be slobs but WE’RE NOT WEAK
    Maybe it’s because of our Convict Streak

    (chorus)

    I’m Australian, so are you
    It doesn’t matter if you’re Ding or Jew
    Just remember, while you’re here
    You march our march and you drink our beer

    Lyrics © Dave Warner

  342. @yavanna I think it was meant as a joke… I encounter very few people who can even identify a joke running around anymore, it’s depressing. Speaks to the dark state of our society that we all are looking for someone to be nasty to us, even in a place like this. Why would we assume the worst, if this is such a civil place for discourse, as you yourself say?

  343. The many apparent benefits and conveniences of the smart phones often turn out to have some
    negative side effects. I’d like to discuss one of them here and then ask if any of you
    feel the same, about ‘Notes’.

    My Iphone has the simple and useful app that allows me to make notes. Basically it is just a
    clear, open space in which I can write anything I want. Perhaps most useful for making
    lists, or short entries about anything you may want to recall or refer to later.
    As a person that does not have great handwriting, so bad in fact that I sometimes cannot
    even read a phone number I had previously written down, I quickly became an enthusiastic user of
    Iphone Notes.

    Shopping lists, things to do, books I want to read (someday). Song titles, history of oil
    changes in my cars. Cuisine recipes…. on and on. Unfortunatly it has gotten to the point
    that managing the notes on my Iphone has become its own source of stress.

    Many years ago, before the invention of the cell phone, I read an article about a man that
    had a reputation as a brilliant think-tank kind of problem solver. (Unfortunatley I do not
    recall his name.) He had an extensive history of taking upper graduate college courses in
    all kinds of disciplines, and yet had never completed a degree. This fellow was consulted
    by all types of corporations, the military, government agencies and so on, as a person that
    could look at any type of problem in a broad systemic way and come up with a unique solution.

    One thing I recall from the article about this brilliant person was that he said he never
    makes lists. If he goes to the grocery store and forgets to buy milk, then he doesn’t have
    milk. I recall at the time I read the article many years ago that no explanation
    was given as to why he did not believe in making lists. Now, with my own experience with
    making extreme lists on my ever present Iphone, I can imagine he considered it a kind of
    crutch that was better left on the shelf.

  344. @Bob #14, Re: US Dept Of Energy Project

    Hi Bob,
    If it were up to me, I would task DOE with the creation of passive energy guidelines for building construction. These would be best practices, not mandates–

    I think we all know that there are passive construction techniques to make a new house or building heat itself in Winter and keep cool in Summer with little to no energy input– Things like insulation, South-facing long wall with roof overhang that shades in Summer and lets in the sun in Winter, etc.

    If DOE were to publish construction and retrofit guidelines for energy conservation with references to source materials, that would help a lot–

    Augustin Mouchot assembled the solar engineering techniques available to him from Egypt to the 1870’s, and put them together to make solar industrial devices. He did not cover passive solar engineering for buildings, so maybe the DOE can help us with that!

  345. About my pterosaur experiences – I had two of them.
    Since this is late in the cycle, I will briefly state each.

    First, I was out blueberry picking with my family in Northern Maine. Blueberries grow in burned out areas. So it was a vast field in between mountains. We were filling our pails when this huge shadow came over us. It was huge. We all looked up and saw a strange creature with a pointed head and a long skinny tail. It was coasting on the thermals. We felt creepy for no reason, grabbed our buckets and headed toward the family truck. We thought we would be eaten or something. We got into the truck and sped out of there – well as fast as someone could go on a gravel road. We just were in shock.

    The local Abenaki people had myths of mammoths in and around the area. So, why not a pterosaur?

    The second one was more frightening since it happened at night. I was alone with my grandmother. We heard banging coming from the summer kitchen. Since we thought it was a bat, we took our brooms to swat at it. Turned out to be a pterosaur (small one) banging against the window. We went into the bathroom and sat in the bathtub. The squeaking noise unnerved us. In the morning, we discovered large claw marks everywhere and our clothesline knocked over. I guess the baby got caught in the clothesline, and the mama got it out.

    We lived by the river, so there was room for the pterosaurs to fly around.

  346. I should have remembered this for Magic Monday, but – in The Twilight of Pluto, you mentioned how deeply embedded the number 7 is in – I forget the exact phrasing, but it sounded as if it were meant to be worldwide. I do know it is in a good many places, but I also remember that this isn’t true for the Chinese and Chinese-influenced cultures. Their magic numbers are 5 and 12. That was even shown in The Seal of Yueh Lao. Any elucidation on that?

    About weighted blankets – For the last week or a bit more, I’ve had more sleepless nights than I’ve had in a long time, and put it down to either thunderstorms, the possibility of being sick, or nerves. But last night I put my big heavy terrycloth bathrobe on top of my covers, and slept like a log under that added load. For what it’s worth.

    Finally, someone showed a “Trump/DeSantis in ’24” sign, and from what I’ve seem, DeSantis isn’t about to settle for #2 on anybody’s ticket. Just my opinion.
    And a motormouth tablemate at dinner blamed all the ills of the state on “Our Democrat Governor.” No clue who she means by that except maybe Charlie Crist, who ran for that office in the primary. Again, for what that’s worth.

  347. @David BTL #365 – about close kin marriage, I’d be very wary of cross-generational close-kin marriage, and keep a very close eye on it if the partied involved had a built-in power imbalance. And for that, extend it to no-blood-kin-but. Frex, a man marrying his stepdaughter. Too much potential for trouble.

  348. John,

    I’d like to share this humorous but insightful John Maher video on the world’s population problem with you and other readers. Finally, someone in the mainstream media is talking about population and resources.

  349. Dreckid, here you go:

    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2014/02/fascism-and-future-part-one-up-from.html
    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2014/02/fascism-and-future-part-two.html
    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2014/02/fascism-and-future-part-three-weimar.html

    Alex, because they desperately wish they could get rid of democracy, of course. If that were to happen they’d have a good chance of suppressing the alternative news sources that are walking off with “their” audiences (and doing so because CNN and its peers are so dishonest and so dull).

    NomadicBeer, you know, a case could be made!

    Collapsenik, what I’ve heard from my European readers and friends is that the vast majority of Europeans will not believe that anything bad can happen to them. “This is France!” one reader quoted a friend as saying; the implication is that it’s not some third world country where bad things can actually happen. I’ts going to be fascinating to see what happens come winter if things really do get ugly.

    Chuaquin, ha! I’m going to see if I can get that to post:

    Ksim, I think we’re well past the point at which that’s an option. With resource shortages becoming an increasingly severe constraint on economic growth, nationalists in the ascendant across much of the world, and the US in particular shifting away from globalist agendas toward a populist nationalism, I think globalism has shot its bolt. As for the world Steiner perceived, my take is that we’re living in it right now; the Ahrimanic tide to my mind has crested, and its ebb will follow. But we’ll see!

    Johnny, that makes perfect sense. Bumblebees are social — they live with other bumblebees and interact with them by touch — while carpenter bees are solitary, so they don’t cuddle. As for the offerings, fascinating. It’ll be interesting to hear what happens next.

    Lathechuck, doubtless that’s their plan B, if nothing else.

    Squirrellyjen, right on schedule, too. Here we go!

    Mary, I hope it happens! That used to be standard practice, iirc.

    Mark, that’s the 64,000-euro question. Do the governments buckle? Do they get overthrown by mass uprisings, and the new governments make nice with Russia? Or does Europe simply do the “Hy Brasil is not sinking!” routine until the waves close over them?

    Frank, intentionally or not, that’s the result — but there’s a kicker. That pent-up rage can explode in unexpected ways, and not uncommonly ends up being aimed at the people in power…

    Piper, have you ever met a middle-aged guy with a pot belly and a balding scalp who panics about the departure of his youth, buys a red sports car, and starts trying to pick up women half his age? That’s why the United States is trying to go back to the Moon: it’s a frantic attempt on the part of our elites to insist that the US hasn’t lost it.

    Jonathan, the really absurd thing is that the spotted lanternfly’s preferred food source is the Chinese sumac aka ailanthus, which is also an invasive species; it’s been called the “ghetto tree” because it thrives in barren urban lots. Yes, it’s going to eat some other plants; it’s especially fond of certain ornamentals. But this is part of the way the global ecosystem is rebalancing to deal with changing climate and environmental conditions, and frantically trying to stomp the signs of change doesn’t strike me as very smart.

    John, can’t help you there — my only phone is a land line.

    Patricia, the seven planets are central to the western tradition of astrology, but you’re quite right that it isn’t anything like as important in other cultures. Indian astrology uses a ninefold system with the two lunar nodes having planetary force; Chinese astrology differentiates sharply between the 5 planets and the two luminaries. No, the sevenfold thing isn’t worldwide; it’s just that I was talking about western astrology.

    Peter, thanks for this.

  350. Frank Johannessen #368

    > we have been in a period for quite a few years now where there are less and less things you are allowed to express your hatred for

    I think you just helped me put a name to something that has bothered me for a couple years and I couldn’t name: “not allowing to express hatred.”

    My operating procedure is that I need to hate something before I can think about it and perhaps decide I don’t want to hate that something anymore. “Hatred” is part of my decision process. I am typically unaware that I hate something until after I express hatred for it. Squelching hatred (in order to be politically correct) hurts my decision-making. I have to be (more) careful than in the past to whom I express negativity (not even full-on hatred) — it seems that if a person expresses “even a little negativity” anywhere in public, the comment can be near fatal. Am I close to the meaning of woke?

    Not expressing hatred, for me, takes my power away. I hereby rebel. I know who my friends are because they know me well enough to know how my expressing hatred functions “in working my way to becoming a better person.”

    Yet things like politicians lying through their teeth and Wall Street bilking senior citizens of their life savings is okay — they don’t get ostracized. In 2018, Roseanne Barr tweeted something “wrong” about Valerie Jarrett, and TV banned her — there is something wrong with the banning part.

    The other part of woke is “blacks can do no wrong.” They can murder someone and they don’t get ostracized, much less arrested and prosecuted. I can’t even be sure that the words “black” and “negro” are still allowed to say out loud. I might have to say, “‘mmm’ can do no wrong” — do blacks feel better if I turn them into an ‘mmm’?

    Does woke include “not being allowed to express hatred”?

    Whatever “woke” is, it needs to get gone. JMG, what will kill off “woke”?

    💨Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  351. Hi JMG,

    One thing that has been annoying me for years now is the left’s labeling of everyone that doesn’t agree with them as “fascists” or “Nazis”.

    First we have BLM & Antifa as the new brownshirts. Then comes the government/corporate collaboration for censorship & propaganda. Then there’s the authoritarian lockdowns, followed by the forced vax, vax passports (historically known as “PAPERS PLEASE!”) and the demonization/marginalization of the unvaxed. Not to mention cancel culture, Orwellian newspeak, gun grabs, continued arming of government agencies, etc. Hell, the left is also now in full support of foreign wars.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears to me that the left is exhibiting all the hallmarks of fascism. Is this just a total lack of self-awareness or ???

  352. Thanks JMG,

    It may take a while before something materializes but for now what I decided to do was to plant the radish seeds from the pods it left, and next year I will try making little offering piles at the base of my plants – I think I can probably make that work.

    And Bei, thanks also. There were a lot of little pieces around it, which made me think it was a bigger animal, but you may be correct. We have had blue jays in our yard this summer and just last week I saw maybe a dozen or more black birds pecking about quite intently.

    It’s hard to say cause and effect, so it could be just a facet of me spending more time out and about and noticing what has always been there, but my general impression is that the diversity of animal life around our house is increasing over time.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  353. LOL, as soon as I submit a comment on fascism the refresh brings up your post with links to prior fascism posts.

    Regarding the moon mission, perhaps they’re trying to get there to plant evidence to show the prior moon mission actually happened. 😉

  354. JMG, everyone
    Related to my comment below n energy savings. I laughed when I heard that Government Employee, when talking about energy costs now and in the future. She was basically doing the “let them buy Solar/electric cars” thing. But, she said that the new tax credit will allow the middle class to purchase, and the low income would have no problem as they would be given free retrofits, equipment ! I wish I would have saved the link. The reality is that more money is going to be put into the low income weatherization federal program. I have applied for that a few times in my area. It is a bit of a local joke, at least in my area where costs are so high ( could be in another state is does good works) so they cant afford to do much real work at the maximum allowed reimbursement rate per home, so they go around and change light bulbs and other minor things, I did get a new door between the kitchen and garage, since mine literally had a patched hole in it, and I am thankful. They did a blower door test on my home some years ago and it failed so miserably that they said they could not caulk as it would not change the retest enough. They would only be able to do xx amount of caulking to stay under y amount of money, and that amount of work would not show a change in the blower door test, so they would not do any caulking, insulating or other work. The good thing was I paid attention with the worker to the air movement shown during the test, and I have slowly been sealing the easy, cheap areas myself over the years since. Throwing the amount of money passed in the new spending bill allocated to this program is not enough to do what she claimed in her speech. I believe in this area they plan to take the money and do a small number of houses as a “pilot’ project. Since my area is very woke, those houses will be in south county in what is considered a ‘marginalized population” , and it would be nice if even that is soon, but I bet it will be 5 or 10 years to do that dozen home retrofits. Meanwhile, the colder northern part of the county in the hills/woods will continue to scrounge up wood to throw into wood burning stoves and so the houses will stay leaky and the people will be warm none the less, the real problem with some of these houses being that the rain in the hills is so, so much more than the rest of the county, the leaky houses are way to humid inside in the winter, so many struggle under the trees with mold issues due to lack of weatherization.

    @ Emmanuel Goldstein

    The DOE does give energy saving and retrofit guidlines ! Here is DOE recomendations, fancied up by the government program Energy Star for DIY https://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/files/asset/document/DIY_Guide_2016.pdf

    They have tons of things like this, this is the one I have book marked as I want to retrofit my crawlspace https://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Conservation/Insulation/CrawlSpace29238.pdf Build it Solar has alot of links like this, the actual paper is from DOE, ”

    Buildings for
    the 21st Century
    Buildings that are more
    energy efficient, comfortable,
    and affordable… that’s the
    goal of DOE’s Office of Building
    Technology, State and
    Community Programs (BTS).
    To accelerate the development
    and wide application of energy
    efficiency measures, BTS:
    • Conducts R&D on technologies
    and concepts for energy efficiency, working closely with
    the building industry and with
    manufacturers of materials,
    equipment, and appliances
    • Promotes energy/money
    saving opportunities to both
    builders and buyers of homes
    and commercial buildings
    • Works with state and local
    regulatory groups to improve
    building codes, appliance
    standards, and guidelines for
    efficient energy use
    • Provides support and grants
    to states and com

    https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/residential-buildings-integration. I think people do not realize that alot of the research is done by the department of energy.

  355. @ Patricia Mathews

    Re close kin marriage

    I understand, but must disagree. Consenting adults may very well enter to an arrangement with which you or I may be uncomfortable. Despite that discomfort, it is not for you or me to make decisions about what is or is not good for another competent adult. I’m personally not into multiple marriage–far too complicated with too many landmines–but someone else may be willing to enter into that kind of formal relationship and should be given the freedom to do so. By what right do my personal qualms control another person’s life choices?

  356. Regarding “Eurolemmings”: from what I understand, real-life lemmings have a much better survival instinct than Western Europeans.

    I think a part of it stems from the “this can’t happen to us!! We’re British/French/German/whatever!!” mentality. Ironically, then, the true inheritors to the 19th-century colonial ideologies seem to be woke-tarded liberals. They simply cannot conceive of a world in which Faustian civilisation has been destroyed. They believe that the millions upon millions who are settling our countries will inevitably realise the intrinsic superiority of Western liberal values, and life will carry on as normal except with even more falafels and ethnic dance-classes.

    Underneath this, however, I think the Anonymous Collapsenik’s estimation of a kind of cultural-suicide are bang on. Case in point: Netflix has a new show called “Athena”, in which Arab and African insurrectionaries stage a coup on a “racist” and “oppressive” government. The fact that the show is named for the Greek goddess of wisdom and victory is a very potent bit of unintentional irony, and one which may not go entirely unpunished.

    Every other day, it seems, some bit of Western media emerges that seems to almost celebrate our own annihilation. I watched a clip of an African immigrant in Ireland, casually laughing in the face of a pandering Irish liberal while saying “white people are gonna be extinct here”.

    I am deeply haunted by the spectre of Europe’s future. Personally, I enjoy hanging out with people from different parts of the world, and have a number of very dear friends from African and Asian backgrounds. But the way the political poles have shifted, I would be considered by many to be practically a ‘neo-nazi’ just because I’m not exactly enthusiastic about the prospect of my own people and culture being driven to the brink of total extinction.

  357. Hi John Michael,

    My money is on the “Hy Brasil is not sinking!” option for that lot. Otherwise it is difficult to explain the sheer recklessness of the stance taken in that part of the world. I’d like to be wrong, and candidly we’re not much better down here, although most years we can feed the local population and have excess to sell. The thing is, when I was a kid I lived in a poor household, the single mother household was broke. Being once poor, it is not a difficult mental leap to imagine that possibility could occur again, and I know how to live that way and have learned not to over commit. As a writer you too would understand this option, but also know when you’ve got it good. That lot over there in that over populated relative to the local resources location were last poor – when was it? It’s often the things you don’t worry about that bite you in the backside.

    Cheers

    Chris

  358. Dear #395 – I concur it’s a equal mix of whackness and wrongness. The only debate that I can see is whether she or her father was the target of the murder. The car bomb was remotely denoted, probably from a car following her car, per the latest information releases. The murderer knew who was in the car but had to proceeded as there was little choice but to complete the crime.

    To be clear, Dugina was not a confidant of Putin although his position on many issues were largely in agreement with the Russian government from protecting traditional values, minimizing abortions to phasing out GMO crops. Those values are about as contrary to the Davos values as any values can be.

    Why Dugina (father or daughter)? Theories abound but the consequences will have zero impact on Russian policy but may further harden the Russian population against the West. She was a smart and brave woman and my condolences to her family.

  359. Dear JMG – thanks for the good laugh:

    Piper, have you ever met a middle-aged guy with a pot belly and a balding scalp who panics about the departure of his youth, buys a red sports car, and starts trying to pick up women half his age? That’s why the United States is trying to go back to the Moon: it’s a frantic attempt on the part of our elites to insist that the US hasn’t lost it.

  360. I wonder if the space shot is the sign of an old jock who tries something physical that he had done before, thinking that maybe he can still do it. One last hurrah, so to speak.

  361. @Sebastian #231 Re: Nuclear Waste–
    Much of it can be made into giant hunks of glass. While still radioactive, the glass is very resistant to chemicals and weather, and is low-maintenance– other than you have to keep everyone away from it. A good search phrase is “Nuclear Waste Vitrification’ Here’s a link:

    https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=18307#:~:text=Process%20of%20Nuclear%20Waste%20Vitrification%20in%20Glass&text=Firstly%2C%20waste%20is%20dried%2C%20then,cool%20and%20form%20the%20glass.

    @Atmospheric River #231 and 230–
    Thanks for the great references on retrofitting the house with insulation!

  362. Hey John,

    What is your perspective on how we should/could best prepare for death? (Other than living the best life we can). I’m making an assumption you will answer from an occultist’s point of view, but would love to hear your statement on the matter at this point in your life. If you had an abundance of wealth at death, and weren’t going to leave it to family, who would you leave it to? Couple of light and fluffy questions for you….thank you for all you do. Your answer to the biography question made me laugh. And as far as music reproduction not being available in the future, this lines up completely with my ultimate justification on spending money on high quality stereo equipment in this incarnation. If you get all the links in the chain right on a proper stereo set up the result is incredible, analog or high quality digital.

  363. @Northwind Grandma #263,

    I think we have the Warriors series at home, too. The children must have borrowed some books from the library.
    Indeed, invisibility can be a gift, possibly of use as society falls apart. I rather enjoy being invisible most of the time.

    Still, it is a gift I would rather control.

    PS: I was in Wisconsin as a foreign exchange student (ages ago). In 2010 I went back and visited, among other places, Milwaukee. I still have the photo I took with Fonzie’s statue. Milwaukee stroke me as a very neat and liveable city.

    @John Michael Greer #37,

    Thank you for the suggestion, I will try to use it next time around.

    It is remarkable how practical occultism is and how it tries to give people solutions to their problems.
    Catholicism, instead, does not (I am Catholic): it tells you how to think about things, but does not help you solve your problems. If you dig deep enough, you do come across things like contemplative prayer, which is a way of asking God for help while giving yourself up to Him, but no one actually teaches how to do that – it is only mentioned in passing in the Cathechism, which no one reads anyway. I am sure religious orders teach it, but 99% of lay people are not even aware that it exists.

    It is only very recently that the clergy started popularizing the Lectio Divina, but even that is a very niche affair for the few.

    I think Christianity should – and probably once did – offer a model of how human beings work, so that people can use that model to improve themselves. Instead, sometimes I think that Catholics only go to church to feel good about ourselves. We wallow in self-pity shouldering the burden of continuing the tradition, but are not clear on what the tradition exactly is all about.

    @Njura #214,

    Thank you for the suggestions. I am about as tone deaf as it gets, so karaoke is not my thing – I would be definitely visible if I started to sing, though (people could see me but would wish they could not hear me).

    @JillN #215,

    I will try yo do something about my clothes and assertivity, but i am not very good at either.

    My wife and I are both “invisible”. Years ago we tried to avoid shops where we were ignored. Eventually we ran out of shops.

    It is possibly a cultural thing: we are, respectively, Belgian and Italian and live in the Netherlands; Catholics tend to be less visible than loud Calvinist traders like the Dutch (we know we are just worthless sinners, but they have to act like they are the chosen ones lest they think that they are just worthless sinners). It could also just be the way we are: we are both probably autistic to some extent.

  364. Hi Jonathan & JMG,

    Happy to see Alianthus or the Tree of heaven mentioned in the discussion. Indeed, I’m reading Invasive Plant Medicine by Timothy Lee Scott and this tree is medicinally very potent. Besides, it grows so quick and could be coppiced, which is great to provide shade, lumber or firewood.
    I’m not sure why human as a whole destroys eagerly the environment but loves to carry out “ecological justice” against so-called invasive plants. They are the way Nature prepares itself. They are the guardians of the soil.

  365. Gorbachev had his faults, but together with Ronald Reagan he did more to reduce tensions in the world than anybody else. It is a great pity that George HW Bush didn’t continue the good work initiated by Gorbachev. Bush chose to see things in terms of winners and losers rather than people cooperating for the greater good of all. We are now in the terminal phase of America’s dominate-and-win strategy. This will not end well.

  366. I am sorry for not having participated in this week open post; my head was elsewhere and I did not put time to it. But still, if I may gift you with a little something as a last minute post….

    El Huapango de Moncayo is an instrumental piece (which I, thankfully, do not have to translate) composed in 1941 by José Pablo Moncayo. It is considered by some as Mexico’s second national anthem. Please enjoy, and we will go back to our musical exploration on next month’s open post.

  367. JMG
    That is possibly the best analogy I’ve heard regarding the subject. It’s a relatively good time to be in the sports car business, until it isn’t.

  368. Pay attention, please, it’s near symbolic that Gorbachev has died (with long illness, 91) while Russia and Ukraine are in war…The last USSR president and the effects of the imUSSR implosion nowadays. What do you think of this topic?

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the current post are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views expressed here, and I try to respond to each comment as time permits. Long screeds proclaiming the infallibility of some ideology or other, however, will be deleted; so will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed; so will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flamebaiting and the like -- I filled up my supply of Troll Bingo cards years ago and have no interest in adding any more to my collection; and so will sales spam and offers of "guest posts" pitching products. I'm quite aware that the concept of polite discourse is hopelessly dowdy and out of date, but then some people would say the same thing about the traditions this blog is meant to discuss. Thank you for reading Ecosophia! -- JMG

Leave a Reply