Open Post

December 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!

392 Comments

  1. Hi JMG,

    As always, thanks for hosting your blogs – a nice calm pool of sanity in the otherwise crazy online world.

    A while back you mentioned that the cost of maintaining a “police state” level of surveillance was so high that it eventually bankrupts the nations imposing it, with examples like the KGB and Stasi seeming to bear that out.

    Do you have any updated thoughts with today’s governments, especially in Canada and Europe? It seems the chatter around mandatory Jabs, vax passports, carbon credits, limiting travel, supply chain control, expansive video cameras for security, social credit scores and the like are constantly in the news. But it also is apparent that the technology much of that relies on is also on the decline, with The Long Descent gathering steam.

    Personally, I’m not too worried as I think the struggle to maintain basic infrastructure and a semblance of law and order will tap enough resources to leave little left over for police state levels of control. But was curious if you had changed your views at all on this topic….

  2. Good morning, JMG. I’ve read quite a bit of Russell Kirk’s non-fiction, but I was checking out his Wikipedia page and noticed that one of his novels, “Lord of the Hollow Dark,” was described as “Lovecraftian.” So I found a copy and read it over Christmas. It reminded me very specifically of your “Kingsport” novel; its structure if not its content. Kirk was writing of “transhumanists” as far back as the 1980s, it appears. So, I’ve begun re-reading “Kingsport” in my spare time to refresh my memory. Is this just a very common genre-type plot, or did you have Kirk’s novel in mind specifically or, maybe some other possibility: Perhaps there was a Lovecraft novel or story that I haven’t read that followed this general plot.

  3. Hello Mr. Greer! Thanks so much for your writing, I’ve been following the conversation for more than a decade, since the Archdruid Report days.

    I’m an experimental filmmaker, and I’ve done a fair amount of reading about the history of this area in the art world – and it recently occurred to me to ask you: at least two of the major, mid-20th Century figures in experimental film were (reportedly) both occult practitioners – Maya Deren and Kenneth Anger. I’m sure there were more, but these are the two who are mentioned prominently.

    It makes sense to me that there would be overlap between these communities, but I’m wondering if you have any insight or can fill in the details – generally the occult leanings of these two are kind of mentioned vaguely in biographies of these filmmakers. Any ideas for things I could read or watch on the subject would be appreciated! Thanks!

  4. I’m not the sort of person who sees hypersigils every time he goes to the movies or picks up a book, but after watching the final episode of The Kingdom: Exodus on Christmas, I have to believe that at the very least Lars von Trier knew what he was playing at. Anybody else get that vibe?

  5. Not sure if this counts as a sales pitch, but Hyland’s website has buy one, get one free on everything ending today (12/28). I just stocked up on all the cell salts I’m missing!

  6. I was thinking that this SBF guy ( of FTX collapse fame) is the perfect end-of-the-empire character. Robber barons from earlier eras ( Carnegie, Rockefeller, Gates) all had some redeeming features to their actions and character. They were frugle ,or masterful or left their funds to a good cause. And most of them built something real while they were amassing their fortune. Even Bernie Madoff was known to be charming and took care of his family. But this SBF guys seems to be completely without any redeeming value. He made money out of nothing for no good reason, distributed some of it to bad or shadowy actors, and left nothing but ruin. Even most Cartel leaders or Mafiosos have a sense of loyalty, and a twisted kind of code of justice. This guy seems to be a spoiled man-child disconnected from realty who seemed to have to no bounds to his greed, and no awareness of the future consequences that awaited him or anyone else close to him. In this way he is a perfect avatar for the society in which he operated.

  7. I’ve been a long time reader, so I think I have a good understanding of what is meant when people use the euphemism “raspberry jam”. At the same time, I would love it if someone could point me to the original post. Thanks.

  8. With out gracious host’s leave, I’d like to invite anyone with a good question or query to drop me a line at FlexOnMaterialists@protonmail.com, and I’ll use the toolkit of traditional astrology to ascertain an answer. Live fire exercises like this are a great way to improve skill with divination, so you’d be doing me a favor as well. Discretion guaranteed!

    Also, being that we are very close to the calendar new year, I’d like to remind everyone of JP Russell’s recommendation to make a boast/vow before gods and men concerning one’s behavior or habit in the year to come: https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/162813.html?thread=23129597#cmt23129597. I got a lot of mileage out of this year’s boast and am now thinking about a good vow for 2023.

    Andrew

  9. Solstice and New Year’s greetings to all! For those who have been on this long, strange trip for the last few years, what is the Long Descent preparation you’ve made that you are most pleased with now, as we head into a new year that promises no shortage of surprises?

  10. Season’s Greetings to all!

    I would like to take this end of year opportunity to thank you, John Michael Greer, for spending freely so much time with us and sharing to all your great expertise and knowledge and also many thanks to the Commentariat for so many lively and polite discussions.

    Allow me to wish all of you the best for 2023.

    From a far far away land called Mauritius…

  11. Since I read your book After Progress early this year I’ve been able to reframe both past and current difficulties in more charitable ways that take into account the larger trends, that were once hidden to me.

    I even went on to read Works and Days to better understand what you meant by “shape of time”.

    I’ve been watching for mainstream news about the end of progress, from both sides of political discourse with great interest.

    A few recent ones:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2023/01/science-technology-vaccine-invention-history/672227/

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/the-most-dangerous-show-on-netflix/

    Thanks for writing!

  12. Just dropping a note here to say how much I am enjoying your series about writing as an illustration of current-day issues. While I have not been able to keep up with the comments during the series, I am sure visual arts has been brought up as a parallel, and wanted to mention to folks there are quite a few of us who are doing traditional art without the media attention – although we would all certainly love to get the kind of media attention the banana duct taped to the wall or the “sculpture” of empty air receive.

    On that note, I’d like to mention that I went back to using a blog as my main way of showcasing my art online, and the various social media platforms are just a way I use to draw attention to my art blog. Another thing I have been working to resurrect is the old blogging methods of blog carnivals (which I am calling virtual art walks now) and link parties with art challenges, which was actually (re)started on another art blog I read. We’re just a small group of artbloggers, and would welcome the chance to play fun blog games with more. If the commentariat has or knows current visual artists who blog their work, I’d love to collaborate!

    For those wondering – with our genial host’s permission – here are the links to the first three virtual art walks at my blog:
    Our First Virtual Art Walk
    Holiday Art Walk
    December Art Walk
    The next one will likely be the middle of January for any who want to participate.

  13. Hey Ecosophians, Isaac from the Plant Cunning Podcast here, wanted to share a new project I’ve been working on. I graduated from Chris Warnock’s horary course this summer, and had the idea for an online advice column using the techniques of horary astrology (advice columns are one of my secret weaknesses.) I know not everybody likes visual media, but I’m publishing them on YouTube, and you can check out the first episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPbZvpodg04

    If you have any questions that you’d like to be answered, don’t hesitate to reach out!

    Also, we put out our 100th episode of the Plant Cunning Podcast out today! It’s a 2023 year ahead astrology forecast. And we’re interviewing JMG again soon. So, full steam ahead!

  14. @youngelephant

    I was wondering how your music theory studies have gone. Did the Piston book help, or did it turn out to be unhelpful? I read a few reviews on the Big Swamp that said the book was too complex and I thought I might have given you bad advice.

    To everyone, have a very happy 2023! Thank you JMG for this space!

  15. Just a couple of thing to mention. The Philosophical Research Society now has some Knapp-Hall decks for sale. They ain’t cheap, but since our host has lured me down the Elphias Levi rabbit hole, I decided to increase my rice and beans ratio in my mealtimes to splurge and grab one.

    https://www.prs.org/store/p2910/The_Knapp-Hall_Tarot_Deck_–_Limited_Edition_Reprint_PRESALE%21.html

    First question for folks here, is there any reason I shouldn’t do variations off the “standard” divination spreads? I find the five card spread (one major and four minors) to be very useful, but I lay it out differently (think pentagram) and that that little change allows me to better think about the relationships between the cards.

    I am also reading heavily into the relationship between the Tarot and the Cabala. I keep seeing hints about the Rosicrucian’s and their work in this area. I would appreciate any suggestions on resources for Rosicrucian blending of these two traditions.

    I think that I will be writing about this in the coming year over at my place. All are welcome with roughly the same rules our host uses here.

    As a final aside to our host, should this be more appropriate to your Dreamwidth site, just tell me and I will wait until Monday.

    Happy New Year.

  16. JMG has mentioned some planned posts next month, about his hypothesis that there is a malign enchantment affecting modern civilization.

    One of the themes that I expect to come up in those posts is a question of causal descriptions of populations’ beliefs, and moral accounting given those causal descriptions. Sometimes people disbelieve in supernatural things, where one might have thought that such people would have more evidence than they should have needed in order to believe. So there’s a discrepancy between the expected amount of belief and the observed amount. The question would be: where, at which steps for how many people, would that discrepancy come from? How big is the part of the discrepancy that would come from such an enchantment? What part of it might be caused by people engaging in a sort of epistemological moral turpitude, perhaps motivated by an identification with privileged classes and institutions and their narratives of legitimate power? What part might be innocent? Are there cases where a person is culpable for choosing disbelief, but where they would not have erred if the enchantment had not set up so much of a temptation?

    In advance of those posts, I think it’s important to point to the ideas of James E. Kennedy, a parapsychological researcher turned theorist. He tried to make sense of the baffling and contradictory record of parapsychology research and his own personal experiences, and he could only come away with the conclusion that there are probably other major factors affecting what kinds of evidence people even get to have to begin with. This is something that might explain some of the discrepancy from the other end: maybe, instead of people not believing as much as they should have believed, given what evidence one might have expected they had, maybe some people just never get as much evidence as one might have expected.

    A lot of the puzzle Kennedy is trying to explain is the idea of “unsustainability” of psi results, where a given experiment or experimental paradigm might initially show some large and dramatic effect, on the order of subjects guessing from among 5 cards with a 27% hit rate where 20% was expected by chance, over a couple thousand trials, but as the experiment is repeated by the same lab or replicated by other labs the effect size drops to zero. In a normal scientific situation, there would just be some intrinsic effect size—the extra 7% or 10% or 6% or whatever underlying influence, on top of the 20% plus randomness, that explained the 27%—that would reliably repeat with the same strength with subjects from the same population following the same experimental procedures. So you could just scale up the same experiment by a factor of N and get a deviation in your total hits N times as big, and get a p-value as low as you liked no problem. Instead, effectively what happens is that the closest thing there is to an inherent effect size in any given experiment seems to shrink in some proportion to whatever the number of trials is that is likely to be included in some future meta-analysis including that experiment. So that, once the meta-analysis happens, the p-value always hovers in an ambiguous or frustrating range. Perhaps it’s a “significant” p-value, but it’s still too high to really satisfy skeptics that there’s a real effect, when mundane things like fraud and file-drawer effects could also plausibly produce an equal p-value from nothing given such a large number of studies, and besides that, “real” effects aren’t supposed to be maddeningly inconsistent like that anyway.

    This quote, from Kennedy’s side of an exchange about “The Capricious, Actively Evasive, Unsustainable Nature of Psi: A Summary and Hypotheses”, goes on further about the unsustainability:

    “It appears to me that psi effects vary to a greater degree than would be consistent with a force-like natural law causing psi to be unsustainable. Psi effects are sometimes impressively consistent with human motivations and at other times seem to actively avoid human motivations and intentions. In addition, the duration of the impressive phase also varies to a degree that does not seem consistent with unsustainability being caused by a fixed law of nature. It is more like a conscious being decides somewhat arbitrarily ‘ok, enough of this.’ Situations when the desired, intended psi effects stop but unintended, undesired internal effects or psi missing occur, seem almost defiant or the result of opposing wills.”

    (Internal effects are weird things like a subject getting huge scores predicting the next card up but null results on the card they were supposed to be predicting. Psi-missing is perverse effects in the wrong direction, like a subject getting a persistent 10% hit rate when 20% is expected by chance.)

    From the extended version of Kennedy’s 2016 parapsychology convention talk for a panel on the “Trickster Theory” of paranormal phenomena (a name which I guess comes from the work of George Hansen, who published a book in 2001 called “The Trickster and the Paranormal”):

    “The pattern from both experiments and attempted applications is that psi effects can be striking, reliable, and useful for a period of time, but then defiantly seem to avoid the sustained effects that are needed to overcome skepticism by those with pragmatic, materialistic dispositions [….] A person who focuses primarily on the reliable-striking phase can be overly optimistic about psi. And a person who focuses primarily on the evasive phase can be overly negative.”

    Kennedy mostly thinks about explanations where an external conscious decision-maker creates paranormal events in some kind of relation to the meanings that will be assigned to those events by the persons affected, or to their spiritual growth, transformation, or experience of wonder. (In second place, he considers explanations where an external agency is trying to facilitate novel possibilities having a chance to get a foothold.) There’s certainly an argument that, if paranormal events were about setting up meaning-related experiences, that might predict both the observations from spontaneous cases and those from experiment (quote from the same text):

    “Spontaneous experiences tend to be interpreted as psi guiding a person, whereas the Rhinean assumptions are that people guide psi with their personal motivations.

    Thus we have two fundamentally different views of psi. The view from spontaneous cases is that psi guides people. This view inspires meaning in life and spirituality. The view from experimental research is that people guide psi. That view inspires applications of psi for military and business dominance.

    […]

    The message from the trickster is that converting psi to technology is not going to happen. These two worldviews are basically incompatible. If psi becomes technology, the mysterious, mystical, spiritual aspects will be lost. If these aspects are to be retained, psi must have trickster characteristics to avoid becoming technology.”

    I would be surprised if it was as black and white as that, but it is true that it’s harder to get people to experience meaning in connection with things they’re habituated to and consider mundane and predictable.

    He does mention the idea that different categories of people might tend to get different kinds of evidence (still from the same text):

    “More generally, my working assumption now is that there is not just one scientifically correct worldview about paranormal phenomena. Similar to the different personalities that are applicable for different people, different worldviews about psi may be applicable and valid for different people. It appears to me that for all practical purposes, people do live in different worlds with regard to the occurrence and nature of these phenomena.”

    I think this passage about “different worlds” is significant because some of my own reading and theorizing has pointed toward a potential similar principle relating to subjectivity and cosmology, but it would be hard to do justice to my uncertainty about this without a lot more background than would fit in a comment.

    One point mentioned in “The Capricious, Actively Evasive, Unsustainable Nature of Psi: A Summary and Hypotheses” may have been formative (it was a long time ago) in my thinking about all these issues:

    “An alternative approach recognizes that psi experiments may be carried out against a background of powerful supporting and opposing motivation and psi influence. This possibility follows directly from the traditional assumption in parapsychology that psi is basically independent of space and time and is related to human motivation. Taken at face value, experimental outcomes could be influenced by many people who hear about or care about the results.”

    After all, “people who hear or care about the results” might potentially include everyone in the civilized world, depending on what kinds of results they could have been. And also, what if it’s less about the hearers’ motivations, and more about something else about the hearers?

    Kennedy has collected his papers and letters about parapsychology at https://jeksite.com/psi.htm . I recommend the 2003 summary article on capricious psi, the 2016 talk about the trickster theory, and maybe his 2013 article about overall further conclusions.

  17. Hello shortwave lovers!

    It’s time to put the last few stitches into 2022. By January first it will be all sewed up. Join us on New Years Day for a celebration of all the unexpected good that is to come in 2023. Good radio, good reception, good DX -and most of all friends, family and the little things that carry us through each day. The KNTS program is a celebration of all things radio, a homage to hams, pirates, numbers stations and all the mysteries of the airwaves.

    And check out this new trailer fresh from the retrovated media studios of KNTS:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYiCGB-Rs6w

    KNTS: Sunday January 1st 2023 2300 UTC on 9395 kHz via WRMI

    Bring your own black eyed peas and greens!

    For more Imaginary Stations and past episodes available sans shortwave radio check these locations:

    https://archive.org/details/@imaginary_stations

    https://www.mixcloud.com/kmtsradio/

  18. One can only hope:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/meghan-markle-is-losing-america-s-sympathy/ar-AA15K94m?ocid=entnewsntp&cvid=95fd36dffe56404591eed42ee4cb3ca4

    In far more interesting vein, I am curious to know how others in the community here have perceived the ongoing ragged decline in 2022, filtered through all the noise (and propaganda) thrown our way. We’ve had fusion breakthroughs (again), the imminent collapse of the Russian military (again and again and again), the ephemeralization of everything (except for things that require supply chains), a minor bump in the stock market’s inevitable rise (or “permanently high plateau”), and a small step in the cryptocurrency markets reverting to their inherent value (of zero), just to name a handful of things. We’ve also witness what I am thinking is the beginning of the end of NATO and perhaps the US empire’s swan song in the Ukraine.

    I don’t see the ride getting much smoother in the years ahead. I am intensely curious, however, about what’s going to emerge from the political scrum as we undergo this fundamental realignment over the next several election cycles. (I was kind of hoping we’d begin to see hints of that by now, but it seems that it is too early yet.)

  19. Just want to say how much I’m enjoying following some of you on Substack. Props to to you, JMG, for debunking the myths around writing and encouraging your followers to wade into the waters of publishing. And a hearty congratulations to those of you who’ve chosen to give it a try.

    Also want to mention that though I’ve been making a living with my words for 30 years (more or less), I very much appreciated the reminders in your recent posts, JMG, to think about what you have to say, what insight you can add to the conversation, and how to say it. Very good advice!

    Lastly, let me point readers in the direction of this post from longtime member of this commentariat Anthony Valterra, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to win?” I think it will resonate well with followers of JMG: https://www.brunettegardens.com/p/do-you-want-to-be-right-or-do-you

  20. Has anyone heard of psychics being able to get readings on past activities at archeological sites, information that wouldn’t be apparent from the physical evidence. Or has anyone heard of archaeologists soliciting the help of psychics to locate sites of past human activity?

  21. JMG blog readers in the Calgary area (the city in Canada), there’s a small group reading books, both of JMG and other interesting books mentioned on his blogs. Please contact ashrountree on the yahoo dot com service if you’re interested.

  22. John, I’m wondering about your take on the fusion “news” from the 14th, and about which we’ve heard precious little over intervening two weeks. Are they obfuscating? Sure, they managed to achieve ignition, but they’re still nowhere close to sustaining the reaction for any length of time. Also, the resulting 3.5 megajoules come out to about 1 kw of output (positive net-energy, but nowhere near the level needed to power a small city). And their net-energy calculations didn’t seem to take into account all of the (fossil fuel based) energy needed to manufacture the equipment, and everything else that went into the experiment. They just talked about the energy input from the lasers. All in all, something sounds fishy. Fishy as in a bunch of “experts” trying to keep up public faith in their invisible clothing…

  23. @JMG,
    1. I appreciated your comments on the Will this last Magic Monday, like the passage that it is the most personal thing about you that no one else can touch. The DA talks about the will quite a lot too! I have a note by my desk: “Whatever it is, choose it. Be active. That’s the way of Gwynfydd.” Do you know of a book that talks about the western esoteric perception of the will (as opposed to will-building exercises which I’m already doing)?

    2. I’m confused about your comment last MM that magic individuates the personality. When I’m feeling closely connected to my higher soul, my personality is gone, same with my emotions. I’m aware, not foggy in any way, very conscious, but it’s more of an epic patience, like this life is small fry. Do I need to worry about individuating my personality when it’s simply gone? Thank you!

  24. Hi JMG and fellow commenters

    For those of you who may find it interesting a friend has invited me to join join him in conversation on his podcast. He’s got his own stuff that he posts about but you can see the “Technically Difficult Conversations” in there too.
    We enjoy disagreeing as we’re both more interested in finding the errors in our own thinking than proving our own theory. We started out with a discussion of collapse and worked our way to positive visions for the future over a few videos.
    I’m hoping to do one on metaphysics sometime, working my way in from the edge based on what we can and cannot know and the evidence of our own experience.

    https://rumble.com/user/Hamish_Brookes_Lockie

    If this is too much of a self promotion for this arena JMG then let it never see the light of day!

  25. @Anonymous (#17):

    My take on the Trickster Theory is that striking parapsychological successes are due to sentient immaterial beings who are prone to boredom. Running the same test very many times to get statistically significant results bores these beings, and after initial successes, they wander away and abandon the experimenter and his subjects. Hence the inconsistency over time.

    Something similar happens to some solitaire players. There are very many ways to play solitaire (that is, many different games, each with its own tableau and rules of play). Another player will introduce you to a game that you never played, and the first two or three times you play it, you win outright, or almost win–the cards fall out perfectly. Afterwards your play is much less successful, and settles down to whatever level of success is generally characteristic of the game you’re playing. It feels as if each game has its own associated sentient immaterial being, who welcomes a new player, but soon gets bored with that palyer and wanders off somewherte else. “Beginner’s luck” just depersonalizes these beings, as if they were simply some impersonal non-sentient factor.

    And there are even a few game-players who have learned, consciously or unconsciously, how to keep such a being interested in their play. These include gamblers who consistently win well beyond the expected odds, but are not cheating or using some sort of specialized method (e.g. card counting in blackjack) to beat the odds. One might even say, as some gamblers do, that they are favorites of Lady Luck, whom they have assiduously courted all their gambling days, much as they would court a human lover. (Of course, we’re getting into the territory of magic here.)

  26. @ Kevin O: If you haven’t heard of him already, you can check out the work of photographer, poet and filmmaker (and occultist) Ira Cohen.

    An archive of his work is here. (He passed away in 2011)
    http://iracohen.com/

    Before I knew who he was, I was familiar with the artwork he did for the 1970s band Spirit and their album The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicous.

    He made some fantastic images, but he is still someone I haven’t explored that much.

  27. Dylan #9 – re: best prep for the Long Descent
    The best preparation that my wife and I have made is to sell off a rental property and pay off the mortgage on our home. The stress relief alone was worth it.

  28. JMG,

    Don’t remember if this was covered somewhere in your Microcosmic Writing series yet, but I was wondering how smaller publishers handle the Social Media question. By that I mean, it’s no secret that the Big Publishers, before they even get to “what’s the book about” or “what demos are you trying to hit”, like to ask “what’s your social media presence?” If you’re not a Superstar writer or one of the Chosen Debut Authors, no one, not even the big guys, will spend money on marketing for your book. Thus the pressure to do your own marketing via social media. Instagram, TikTok and what have you. So what are small to mid publishers stance on the matter generally? Are they more or less likely to give your book a chance depending on your Follower count? Has that been anyone’s experience? Or is that a problem unique to Big Publishing and “Independent” Publishing? Or does it depend on the publisher in question? Thanks for doing all that you do and I am very much enjoying the Writing Microcosms series.

  29. This is a little bit of news for people who watch the dynamics of class consciousness in the USA.

    Last week, Fast Company published an article that I found remarkable for how nakedly the author acknowledges the class character of the PMC shibboleths. The author, in her article entitled “Tesla owners didn’t buy a car: We bought a set of beliefs Elon is trashing,” states outright that the reason she bought a Tesla was that it identified her as one of the Good People. “I didn’t buy a new car in September 2020. I bought a set of beliefs”–beliefs about progress and climate change, and beliefs that reflected “a desire to topple outdated power structures.” She also admits, almost by the way, that she was pleased at how assiduously the Tesla service organization catered to her convenience.

    But then Elon Musk bought Twitter, and right away he started to court the Bad People as friends. Our author is convinced that his new supporters “have two things in common: They don’t drive Teslas, and they never will.” I can’t quite tell if she writes this because she believes that All Bad People Drive the Wrong Cars, or if she means to suggest (or concede) that the only reason to buy a Tesla is to brand yourself as a Good Person.

    Either way, she says that now she is embarrassed to drive her car because she feels sullied by association with Musk and his new friends on Twitter. It almost sounds like the car’s messaging is more important than its ability to carry her from one place to another.

    It’s just one data point, but it caught my eye.

  30. Happy New Year to all!

    I have recently received JMG’s *The Ceremony of the Grail* and am most impressed so far, though I have only finished Part One. For those with an interest in the Grail, Mr. Greer’s work is a diamond in the veritable dung heap which is most contemporary writing on the subject. I am greatly in debt to JMG for this work — and greatly thankful that I am focusing on the syncretization of Pagan gods, heroes, and cultures into a medieval Western Catholic framework rather than delving into the Grail’s Gnostic connections 😉

    I am amused to see *From Ritual to Romance* dismissed as “fanciful speculation” by the great minds at Wikipedia. As somebody who has been reading a great deal of contemporary academic literature lately, I can say that very few modern scholars have Weston’s talent for compiling information across multiple disciplines or pointing out the places where research ends and speculation begins. I’m also quite favorably impressed by what I’ve seen so far of GRS Mead’s work.

    I’ve also been researching Gnosticism and can confirm JMG’s idea that the earliest forms of Christianity were strongly Gnostic. It’s telling that all four of the Gospels link the start of Christ’s mission to his baptism by the Nasoraean priest John the Baptist, the greatest prophet of the modern-day Mandaeans. My own thesis at this point is that the conventional wisdom should be inverted: Christianity was a Gnostic heresy rather than the other way around. One major difference between the two would be that Gnosticism sought to save its faithful from ignorance, while Christianity sought to save them from sin.

    Anyway, Happy New Year once again to all and a special thanks to our ever-gracious host.

  31. Drhooves, nope — my opinion is the same as it’s been. I note with some interest that among the main beneficiaries of the jab mandates and vax passports have been nurses and medical assistants who can forge them; there was quite a booming business there in fake vax papers for a while. My local public library branch, interestingly enough, had a cheery sign up for a while letting people know that they could put vaccine cards in plastic laminate right there — it was a very professionally done sign, and I gather the mandate for that came down from at least the state level. Pretty clearly the vax passports were expected to turn into internal passports more generally…and here in the US, at least, that seems to have flopped pretty generally.

    Phutatorius, hmm! No, I’d never heard of Kirk’s novel. The plot of Kingsport was not Lovecraftian — it was a very deliberate homage to the old-fashioned Gothic novel, the kind that always has cover art with a woman running away from a sinister old house:

    I’ll definitely consider finding a copy of Kirk’s novel; that sounds fun.

    Kevin O, Kenneth Anger is a student of Aleister Crowley’s magical teachings and has spoken about that topic quite a bit — there’s plenty of stuff online about that. Here’s one of many examples. Maya Deren — hmm. I know she had an occult background, and of course her film Divine Horsemen shows a very thorough knowledge of Haitian Vodoun, but I don’t know anything like as much about her general occult background. (I only know as much as I do about Anger because Crowley’s the bad boy of the Golden Dawn tradition, in which I spent the first twenty-odd years of my magical studies, and it’s hard to ignore his gaudy presence.) Beyond that, I’m sorry to say I don’t know much about the interface between occultism and experimental film; anyone else?

    Ron H, I’ll have to leave that to others, as I have no idea what you’re talking about; of course I haven’t owned a television in my adult life, which probably doesn’t help.

    Ip9, hmm! Thanks for this.

    Clay, and the most typical and most frightening thing about Bankman-Fried is that he’s not in any way exceptional. He’s one of an entire subculture of clueless spoiled brats who are presiding over our decline and fall.

    Slink, I don’t remember when I first used it, but the Raspberry Jam Principle is one of the basic magical rules I teach. It goes like this: “Magic is like raspberry jam; you can’t spread it on anything else without getting it on your own fingers.” The implication is that you want to practice magic that blesses, heals, and awakens, so that you become blessed, healed, and awakened; if you practice the other kind, you get to share in the unwelcome consequences whether you like it or not.

    Andrew K, thanks for this.

    Dylan, I’ll risk an answer. The preparation that I’m most pleased with just now? Learning to take care of my own health care needs using alternative healing traditions. The medical industry just now is looking more like a mass-fatality train wreck every day.

    Karim, thank you, and best wishes for the new year to you and yours.

    Irvine, fascinating! If that awareness spreads further, it might be possible to salvage a little more from the current mess. Thank you for this.

    Kmgunnart, many thanks for this. I’m delighted to see the resurgence of real art (as opposed to bananas taped on walls et al.) picking up some serious momentum.

    Isaac, thanks for this. Talk to you tomorrow. 😉

    Jerry, I wonder if they’ve factored in what the rising cost of energy will do to that plan…

    Degringolade, I’m glad to hear the deck’s back in circulation, if only in a limited edition. Tarot spreads? You can invent your own or change them however you want. As for the Rosicrucian question, several of the old Rosicrucian orders have teachings about that; you have to be a member to get the teachings, however. One resource to consider if you’re looking for membership organizations is Builders of the Adytyum (BOTA), which is descended from the Rosicrucian tradition; their founder Paul Foster Case wrote voluminously on the tarot and its interface with the Cabala, and they’re still very much in business at https://www.bota.org/ .

    Anonymous, as it happens, none of this is relevant to the sequence of posts I have in mind.

    Justin, many thanks for this!

    David BTL, funny. As for the ragged decline, it’s definitely picked up speed over this last year, and I expect tit to accelerate even further in the new year. I’d encourage everyone to make sure they’ve got full cupboards and some wiggle room in the household budget.

    Brunette, thanks for this.

    Greco, yep — it’s a known thing, and tolerably well documented. Stephan A. Schwartz’s book The Secret Vaults of Time is a little dated now — it was published in 1976 — but it has a lot of good information from before that time.

    Jim, good! You’re paying attention. The latest fusion hoopla is pure handwavium; they compared the output from the fusion reaction to the output from the lasers — not even the energy input to the lasers (which is iirc well over an order of magnitude larger than the laser output), much less the complete energy requirements of the entire facility. It’s half a bunch of scientists angling for the funding they need to keep their careers afloat, and partly a bunch of true believers in the great god Progress frantically insisting that their version of the Great Pumpkin really is going to show up, just you wait!

    Cs2, (1) I wish I did! Schopenhauer and Lévi both have important things to say about it, but I don’t know of a book about the magical will as such. (2) Ah, but watch the changes that happen to your personality when you come back to it after a magical working! It’s a little like taking off your clothes so you can launder them…

    Michael, it’s an open post, so thanks for this.

  32. What is your opinion of Rudolf Steiner? I know that you’ve referred to him before, in your discussion of Lucifer and Ahriman.

  33. Hi JMG and Open Posters,

    I wanted to share a year’s worth of art with the forum as an open post.
    https://americancrackpot.blogspot.com/search/label/Sunday%20X%20Collage

    I used a tag to bundle these together as ‘Sunday X Collage’. The concept is simple, every Sunday I buy a copy of the Sunday New York Times. I use a highlighter to grab just the direct quotes of the article and then assemble them into a collage using software. Some pieces are hit and miss, but I was happy with the results and part of the fun was not knowing exactly what may emerge. I kind of tailed off in December but plan on picking it back up in the new year.

  34. Hello JMG (Please let me know if this is off target regarding our open discussion) I have noticed in our on going monthly book club regarding The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic that the author doesn’t emphasize an individual supreme god as a higher power. He talks about the astral plane which to my mind is a reference to power greater than the individual, but a power that when understood properly can be navigated somewhat to benefit the individual. Every religion I have ever been somewhat familiar with (abrahamic in my limited experience) always talks about a hierarchy with a king or lord at the top and minions below. I am thinking that at least western people needed a model to recall the governing hierarchies that dominated their societies. Or maybe their rulers wanted them to have that image because it dovetailed nicely with their “right of kings” attitude. Anyways I like the discourse in his book with the emphasis of thinking for oneself rather than following a singular personified supreme being. Your thoughts?
    Dan

  35. @Robert Mathiesen (#26)

    Thanks a lot for this – this is a really interesting idea! I’ve been noticing something like this creatively. I have been trying an experiment, partially based on ideas of our host (and partially on something Kant discussed in his “Critique of Judgement” – essentially than aesthetic judgment is instantaneous and not rational, in his opinion, which I thought it was provocative enough to test out in practice), so for the past couple years, I’ve been working on music in a different way than I had approached it before. Rather than try to make something I think is worthwhile the whole time, I just work quickly and with little descretion and then introduce the judging later. All I focus on when I work is the process – basically, how fast can I produce recorded tracks (it’s electronic music mostly, although I play things by hand and do use traditional instruments too). This has led to experiments into almost factory style, assembly style, methods where I lay down rhythm tracks for multiple songs at a time (a dozen or two), rather than for one single song, and then layer in elements across this batch.

    This has been massively useful for me in terms of productivity and completely ending a sort of writer’s block that I may have had, I had a “drought” of about 15 years where I did very little (although I wasn’t attempting for much either), and am now in my most productive period, even if you discount the many “misses” this way of working produces. I guess the idea I had is that if great stuff is “pulled out of the ether”, which I have experienced before, it would just make sense to try to access that as many times as possible. To the point though, I’ve noticed that sometimes the hit/miss ration can really change, and often it is very much like you described, I might get 3 or 4 dozen reasonably successful attempts, but then it starts to drop off and become mostly misses or just very repetitive and uninteresting. What I’ve found needs to happen is to completely change things up in order to get good results again (tempo, instrumentation, genre, style etc). I chalked this up to the limits of my abilities, and just some sort of boredom within myself, but it never occurred to me that whatever I was hoping to channel could also become bored.

    Thank you very much!
    Johnny

  36. JMG (and others) – Weirdly specific question but for looking up the horoscope or star chart of someone born in the antipodes (33 deg south, time of day unknown) is there anything I need to adjust for? Admittedly, not well versed in this body of knowledge but assuming bulk of western astrological almanacs are from vantage point of historic Proto-Phoenician trade routes (ie, subtropical thru middle northern latitudes). Would another tradition (aboriginal or Polynesian?) be more appropriate?

  37. @JMG: If you aren’t familiar with Russell Kirk, you might like him; he was a Burkean conservative although also a very traditional Roman Catholic. The Gothic novel cover you posted could probably be used for Kirk’s novel. And he was friends with TS Eliot, whose influence is very apparent in the novel. .

  38. On past occasions you have observed that in the United States the PMC have a bag of tricks for ensuring that housing remains unaffordable to everyone but themselves, so as to protect the property values of their homes and – I suppose – to prop up their real estate portfolios. I seem to recall you remarking that this happens at the national level and the regional level, right down to county regulations and those of local municipalities.

    I am sure this is true, but don’t feel I properly understand the mechanisms involved. Would you mind sketching out what some of these policies are? Or, if this is too time-consuming, could you point me to a good online source or two that discusses them?

    In the past you’ve mentioned that one trick is to forbid building in urban regions where more housing is needed and the cost of it is sky high, ostensibly (but not really) for ecological reasons. In my town only large developments are built, by developers who have doubtless thoroughly greased the palms of local politicians, all to construct units that are risibly described as “affordable housing,” while in practice they are utterly unaffordable to anyone but the well-to-do.

  39. Greco says:
    #21 December 28, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    I don’t know if anyone answered your two questions about psychics and archaeology in the last several hours, but someone I knew back in the early 1970’s was a paid psychic at Duke U. and the only (as far as I know) paid subject at the Rhine Institute before it became the Fellowship for Research in to the Nature of Man (or some such thing) when all psychic research in the U.S. was deinstitutionalized. She spent some time in various sites in South America and the Caribbean as a paid “finder” for several archaeologists, who needed a reliable psychic to ensure their digs would not be fruitless. This to better ensure their future funding. On the side, my friend discerned things that she saw at the sites that the archaeologists apparently weren’t all that interested in (not relevant to digging, you see). As at Tijanaco, which she saw as being clearly the work of offworld entities of some description who were stranded on Earth, etc. All very interesting. She could read much at the Great Pyramid of Giza in the King’s Chamber despite having an overnight stay paid for, because there was too much lower psychic garbage left over from tourists and “researchers” of all descriptions. For all I know she might be reading this thread, so I’ll leave her name out of it. But she was a real person who did both the things you asked about. She retired from active participation in paid psychic stuff for a variety of excellent reasons. Don’t know if she ever took it up again, though, as I’ve lost touch with her.

  40. Hello JMG.

    My question is now you have handed over the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn will we still see a new release of the The Coelbren Alphabet in its expanded format and is Celtic Kabbalah still on its way? On this is are we still to expect new Celtic druid materials or are you completely done with this path now?
    Thank you ahead. Hope you have a great holiday period.

  41. I live in a particularly foredoomed zone of the rapidly un-developing future rust belt on the western seaboard of the United States. I would prefer to move to greener pastures, but the family situation might make this unfeasible. So it may be necessary for me to figure out how best to fare – or how to fare least badly – in the same general geographic region.

    Does anyone happen to know which communities, or which types of communities, have done least badly in the midwestern rust belt over the last forty or fifty years? Do I guess correctly that these may be rural farming communities? I’ve never been to the Midwest, so I would appreciate anyone’s (helpful) observations who has witnessed how these things have worked themselves out in the ground.

  42. Hi John Michael,

    Are you intending to take January off writing? And are you considering a prediction essay, although that may be superfluous given the regular readings? Zombies are usually a safe prediction, although one year it took until about May until a zombie film was released. The wait was candidly a bit nerve wracking… 🙂

    I’ll tell you a funny story. Recently I completed reading George Orwell’s (not the authors real name) book, 1984. As a side note, it is hard to know whether to be amused, indifferent, or alarmed that many of the err, innovations from the book have been implemented. Anyway, as I was reading the part of the book just prior to the protagonist being hauled away where the society is being critically discussed, a little flash of insight hit me hard. I’d always presumed that the book was intended as a warning, but then the insight was that perhaps the author had an entirely different intention with the book. Like little Greeta (the young outspoken activist) the author had stared into the abyss and said to himself, you know mate, compared to what’s going on, this nuclear energy biz ain’t so bad after all. A bit of reading into the actions of the author suggested things about his world-view. Hmm. What do you reckon, is the insight possible? It is very hard to know another person’s motivations, although sometimes I get eerie insights on that front.

    The only consoling thing I took away from reading the book and looking at the world around me, was that the author, like his contemporaries, have very little practical understanding of pollution, energy scarcity and resource depletion. The author seemed utterly clueless on such matters and casually brushed them aside as unimportant, but it was his fictional world and can operate along whatever lines he chooses. But then, that was the point of the book wasn’t it?

    Cheers

    Chris

  43. @David by the Lake
    To me, the long descent seems to have abruptly picked up speed in 2020 and not stopped since. 2022 did change course and bring different worries that more closely track resource depletion and are therefore more obviously connected, but I don’t know that it really picked up speed. A lot of stuff that had been building up hidden by the pandemic and its shutdowns came out in the open. I really wonder what next year is going to bring, because things like the War in Ukraine and the energy shortages in europe and beyond, the worldwide food price rises, increase in hunger and fertilizer shortages – some may have topped out, but I don’t think we’ve seen the worst of all of them yet. And there’s a fair old chance of something fairly impressive in the recession line, too.

    I don’t think next year will be boring. Stock up on popcorn, and on more important things.

  44. JMG,

    You and other posters have frequently referred to the professional and managerial class (PMC). It’s occurred to the that the PMC has an entirely different mode of upbringing and living versus what we might call the traditional mode of living, in that the PMC is never rooted in one place and is obsessively focused on getting to the next stage or phase of their lives, typically in a different place with different people. What I mean by that is a person born into the PMC will go to high school in one location, college in another, then career in several locations with several corporations or what have you, typically in urban locations, always looking to optimize or “move up”. As a person born into the PMC moves from location to location, their eye is not on forming lasting human bonds, but instead on short term transactions and image-buffing that get them to the next step. For example, a high school student in the PMC class may be advised by their parents to have a cordial relationship with teachers so that in the event their grade is borderline maybe the teacher will bend the rules a bit and give them an A so that they have a better chance of getting into the best pre-med program possible or what have you. That in my opinion leads to and manifests itself in the Twitter and Linkedin fakery and backslapping that is so prevalent among the PMC. Given that these people are so obsessed with their self-interest but yet still have a void to fill, I believe it also leads in many cases to the obsession with virtue signalling and publicly stated support of what amounts to raiding the public treasury rather than the old-fashioned ways of helping fellow citizens.

    My question is to what extent and how do you believe the increased concentration of people in urban areas and generations of people engaging in phony social exchanges that are typical of the PMC lead to social breakdown and a new dark age?

  45. StarNinja, small to midsized publishers don’t have a huge amount of money for marketing, either, and in my experience they’ll encourage you to do whatever you can on social media, but I didn’t have any trouble placing my books before I got a social media presence, and I don’t get hassled these days by publishers even though I’m not on Faceplant and Twitter. So I get the impression it’s not quite so much of a deal.

    Michael, ha! That’s utterly fascinating.

    Kenaz, thank you for this — I’m delighted to hear you like the book. Yeah, it’s very fashionable to diss Jessie Weston these days; you’d think a pioneering woman scholar who was one of the very first women to break into the male club of folklore scholarship would get more praise from the woke brigade, but nope — she was an occultist, therefore consigned to the outer darkness with wailing and gnashing of teeth, etc.

    AA, Steiner was a fascinating and ambivalent figure — the most profound thinker in the early 20th century occult scene, and a gifted clairvoyant, who made the crucial mistake of taking his clairvoyant visions too literally. His writings are a very mixed bag, well worth close study but not to be taken on blind faith. Unfortunately the organization he founded has turned into a personality cult of the “Steiner said it, I believe it, that settles it” variety, and the extraordinary contributions that he and some of his students made to occultism and a range of other fields have not gotten the respect they deserve because too many people are turned off by the shrill diatribes coming out of Dornach.

    Jistin, thanks for this!

    Daniel, the Abrahamic monotheisms have a very idiosyncratic notion of the divine — the habit of equating the divine presence in the cosmos with some kind of Big Daddy on a throne in a clouds is theirs, and not something you find in most other faiths. European Pagan faiths such as Hellenism (Greek paganism) and Heathenry (Norse or Germanic paganism) have a more nuanced view, in which the current king of the gods may be more powerful than the other gods but the latter are by no means mere minions! Go further afield and you’ll find an even less hierarchical vision. Lévi had his own vision of the divine as the principle of reason and meaning, not a person in the narrow sense of the word, and it’s one that a lot of old-fashioned occultists share — so if it appeals to you, you’re in good company.

    Justin, I think somebody’s got their hand down their cybernetic pants or something.

    Slink, I discussed it at some length back in the Archdruid Report, but that was a long time ago.

    Christopher, plenty of astrologers in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and South Africa, among other places, use standard Western astrology and get good results with it, so you should be fine.

    Phutatorius, I’m familiar with his nonfiction writings — The Conservative Mind in particular had a great influence on my thinking. I simply didn’t know he’d written a Lovecraftian Gothic novel!

    Kevin, it’s quite simple: building codes in most of the country are designed to artificially restrict the supply of housing. In many places you can’t build the kind of small cheap houses and apartments that would serve the needs of poor and working class people — no, the building codes require all kinds of expensive gimmickry, minimum square footage, minimum parcel size, and much, much more. Combine that with an expanding population and you have a recipe for artificially driving up the price of housing to absurd levels.

    Marc, a new, revised, and expanded edition of the Coelbren book has already been finished and is in the hands of its new publisher, Aeon Books; I’ll make an announcement as soon as it’s available. The book on the Celtic Cabala is further down the queue but it’s still there. I haven’t abandoned Druidry by any means — I’m still a member of the DOGD, as well as OBOD and AODA, and I’ve recently been asked to help another trad Druid Revival order get on its feet; I’ll post about this once things are ready to go public.

    J.L.Mc12, thank you for this! That’s excellent news.

    Kevin, I’ll have to leave this one to the commentariat.

    Chris, no, I’ll be writing straight through January, and no, I’m not going to offer predictions at this point, other than the general predictions I’ve already discussed. My take is that we’re in the early stages of a crisis period, and that means very drastic changes can happen very fast. With regard to 1984, next to nobody in Orwell’s time seems to have realized just how fragile industrial societies really are; it’s really remarkable how much science fiction got written without anyone asking, “Hey, what if we run out???”

    CRC, that’s a very interesting hypothesis, and one that can be supported by comparison with other civilizations in decline; it’s quite common for a rootless cosmopolitan ruling class to form in a overripe civilization, and to proceed to run things into the ground. Your hypothesis is very much worth considering as part of the reason why.

  46. On Monday, JMG mentioned that the Freemasons in Europe have a long history of unpleasantness with the Church and the government. As if on cue, yesterday Rod Dreher popped up with a tale of a European priest who warned him the Masons were demonic. It’s buried in his ramblings about his dad being a Ku Klux Klan member in the ‘60’s. I don’t think an American priest would call you up to tell you that the Freemasons are demonic. Anyway, it was certainly appropriately timed!

    I know nothing about the Masons other than my grandpa, a nice guy, was one; a couple of nice guys whose names I’ve forgotten were Masons; and JMG, a nice guy, is a Mason. And they have those burn hospitals.

  47. Cold is the night, and still, and strange,
    Stars they glitter and shimmer.
    All are asleep in the lonely grange
    Under the midnight’s glimmer.
    On glides the moon in gulfs profound;
    Snow on the firs and pines around,
    Snow on the roofs is gleaming.
    All but the goblin are dreaming.

    That’s the first verse of the Swedish poem “Tomten” by Viktor Rydberg. There’s also a beautiful short adaptation by Astrid Lindgren which I recently read to my children. If you want to make a short nightly visit to a remote Swedish farm in deep winter, the full poem can be found here: https://www.tomtenposter.com/Tomten.html

    I find it very fascinating as the being that is sketched in the poem appears to be less complex than humans in some way, yet at the same time seems to be evolved in much more depth than humans. So there’s this that complexity and depth are not the same thing… It is said that when Rydberg walked through Göteborg (Gothenburg) on some day in Febuary 1881, he suddenly asked his companion to stop and wrote down the poem on a piece of paper on his companions back.

    For some more background on the figure of tomten (the “goblin”) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisse_(folklore)

    Greetings,
    Nachtgurke

  48. A summary from an article about our Potemkin economy.

    In the stock market Apple is down $1 trillion. Tesla is also down $1 trillion. The other high tech darlings together are down about $3 trillion. The rest of the S&P is down about $3 trillion, and the smaller stocks are down about $2 trillion. And another another $2 trillion has gone poof from crypto.

    So altogether $12 trillion in “wealth” has vanished. The author is begging the Fed to “pivot” and turn on the printing press again. Never did the author ask if this alleged wealth was real or not.

    Fortunately my potatoes are real and I have to peel some of them.

  49. Regarding Good People ™ who buy Teslas then bewail their plight now that Musk bought Twitter (Michael Mills, #30)

    I had a version of this scenario play out a few weeks ago. Our NYT-reading, Biden-supporting, long-time friend forgave us well enough for our injection apostasy and we met for lunch (outdoors of course). At some point she sighed and rolled her eyes and indicated she now regretted having bought a Tesla. I knew she was referring to the Twitter purchase but before I could say anything, my husband chimed in with a comment that he thought connected to the topic (he had no idea about the Twitter brouhaha). He said, “Yes, Russia has threatened to shoot down Musk’s (Tesla-tracking) starlink satellites for their use in support of Ukraine…”

    Her head about exploded as she realized she couldn’t exactly denounce Musk without sounding like she was pro-Russian.

    She had no reply other than some mumbled comment about everything serving surveillance. Of course she didn’t connect Twitter and the surveillance state, but it was fun to see her not be able to hold two contradictory ideas in her mind at once (Musk/Tesla = The mark of Good People and Musk/Tesla = The mark of Deplorables).

  50. RE: Fusion
    @JMG, Jim Heaton, David, by the lake

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2014.14710

    This article announces a fusion breakthrough using lasers on a deuterium pellet in a gold bead at NIF:

    “Using the world’s most powerful assembly of lasers, a team of researchers say they have, for the first time, extracted more energy from controlled nuclear fusion than was absorbed by the fuel to trigger it — crossing an important symbolic threshold on the long path toward exploiting this virtually boundless source of energy.”

    It is from 2014, not 2022, but everything else is identical to the fusion “breakthrough” news from this year. It’s odd that none of the articles mentioned it.

    For me, it has reached the point that if the MSM announced that the sun rose in the east I would find my compass and set my alarm to check.

  51. @Jon G (#37):

    That’s not a magical ritual; it’s a prayer and an act of courtship. Brando’s character is courting and imploring Lady Luck here, much as he might court and implore a human woman whose favors he wants.

    But yes, he knows that Lady Luck might–probably, will–become bored with him someday. He’s a realist. But he is begging her to stick with him at least one more night.

  52. @Johnny (#36):

    You’re very welcome. Yes, I think that true artistry is very often a gift from an immaterial sentient being who can become bored with the artist, and who needs to be courted. This might be why the ancient Greeks conceived of the three and the nine Muses as three and nine other-than-human persons, not personified blind forces of nature.

  53. @Greco (#21):

    The best-known case of psi-based archeology (“psychic archeology”) may be Frederick Bligh Bond’s successful excavations at Glastonbury. See his The Gates of Remembrance (1919).

    It has been claimed, however, that Bond’s medium did not provide any accurate information that was not already available in old documents and/or deducible from the surface topography of the site. I have not looked into the matter, so I will reserve judgement here.

  54. Here are all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared across the Ecosophia community. Please feel free to add any or all of them to your prayers. Additions to the list are at the link; I will also add any prayer requests that appear during this Open Post to the page.

    https://tunesmyth.dreamwidth.org/1718.html

    The newest addition to the list is a friend of mine, Kristina, who has ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Schlerosis, aka “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”), a neurodegenerative disease that current medical science deems incurable, and her ability to move and even breathe safely on her own is now becoming dangerously impaired. Should you be so moved, please give a prayer for her healing, for amelioration of her difficulties, and for success at the inner work she still wishes to do in this life.

    (Man, I got clobbered by the time difference where I’m at this week… I wake up and there’s already 50 comments!)

  55. @ JMG “the most typical and most frightening thing about Bankman-Fried is that he’s not in any way exceptional.”

    That is the thing that has I found interesting. Most of these folks at least TRY and create this air of superiority around themselves. Bankman-Fried looked like he didn’t even try, and yet it still worked. When drowning, people will grasp at anything in hopes of a raft.

    @Jim and Fusion power. I briefly looked at it. They did focus purely on the laser power metric for a good reason. When you take into the energy of the entire system operation and crunch the numbers it is very grim. It takes some really “fancy” *cough* deceptive! *cough* math to make a 1% return on energy investment turn into an “energy positive!”.

    This limited window of analysis is a common trick. Look at hydrogen cars. 20 years back you would have sales folks put emissions readers on the tail pipe and say “Look, no green house gases!”. If you asked the simple question, “Where does the hydrogen come from” – the entire narrative falls apart. Widen the window of analysis.

    Same thing with fusion. Until they can get 300% total system output, that will be the point at which the system will barely become viable for electricity. We have just achieved 1/300th of that. Only 10-20 years away… more money please – I am only 10 years away from retirement 😉

  56. I’m just here to report that I successfully wrote a limerick for my friend’s wedding after reading your writing series earlier this week. It turned out great. I definitely haven’t tried to write a poem since high school.

    It also encourages me to get back into sculpture. In art school I made large ceramic sculpture and gave it up later, realizing I didn’t want to get into the academic fine arts scene (because large sculpture has no place in a normal home), but also didn’t find pottery that interesting (I’ve been trying to get into it as a steady side income for years but I keep taking long breaks). And it has occurred to me that there should be a market for bookshelf sized handmade sculpture, so I will finally try it.

  57. @Kevin O (#3):

    Maya Deren was sufficently interested in magic to sign on for a stint as one of William Seabrook’s research assistants in his decades-long studies of magic. It didn’t last. Seabrook’s idea of a research assistant included being an experimental subject, too, and some of his experiments seem not to have been at all to her taste. But they influenced her unfinished film, “The Witch’s Cradle” (a Seabrook coinage). See Seabrook’s Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today (1940) for his approach to magic, including what he called the Witch’s Cradle. [Carl Weschke Lewellyn wrote two articles on the Witch’s Cradle in the first (and only) two issues of his magazine Minute Scope.] IIRC, the whole matter is discussed in the multi-volume collection of primary sources, The Legend of Maya Deren (1985 and following years).

  58. Kevin, regarding both your questions, one example of housing that zoning doesn’t allow is a garage apartment. Try putting a bathroom and mini kitchen in your garage in most municipalities and renting it out (or letting your aging mother-in-law live there) and you’ll run into no end of legal trouble, no matter how nicely you furnish it. Landlords don’t want you furnishing a cheap apartment as a side hustle because you don’t need to charge much to break even, and the neighbors will complain if a working-class person moves into a nice neighborhood.

    As far as resilient communities, you want a place with multiple small industries. The towns where everyone works at the same factory either go bankrupt when the factory leaves, or they slash government services in a race to the bottom in order to keep the factory around. Farming, at least commodity farming in the Midwest, is often not enough to build a substantial community around as the same area that was farmed by 1000 farmers in the 50s may now be farmed by 10 or 20. But produce farming will work if the labor force isn’t too transient.

  59. Thanks for the response JMG. Now that you mention it, Bucky Fuller complained bitterly about the irrational restrictions imposed by building codes. I look upon them as an infraction against personal liberty; surely we ought to be free to live in whatever way seems best to us, and that certainly includes the sort of housing we choose to live in; just ask any old-time hippie builder – like, for example, SunRay Kelley.

    https://blog.shelterpub.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/earthdome-e1467827006655.jpg

    Speaking of buildings that would be difficult to get permitted in the United States, are you familiar with the work of Mexican architect Javier Senosiain? Here’s my personal favorite:

    https://amazingarchitecture.com/organic-house/nautilus-house-in-naucalpan-mexico-by-javier-senosiain

    Now that’s what I call freedom made visible. I expect I’d need to be far out in the boonies to build something like it in the USA.

  60. @Dylan #9 I have been working on collapsing in place for a number of years and in lots of little ways now, but my undisputed number one achievement was to finally wean myself, after decades of dependence, off antidepressants earlier this year. Soon after that, pain medication followed, and perhaps as a side effect/bonus, I have not needed any asthma meds at all this year, which is utterly extraordinary. In short, I have freed myself completely from prescription medicine and I feel like a warrior. How? Magic 😉

  61. Greetings and Happy Holidays to all,

    My sister forwarded this NY Times article to me about NYC teens who formed a Luddite club. Sign of things to come? Let’s hope they can maintain their luddite awareness as they go forth in the world.

    Ellen in ME

  62. Your Kittenship, now surprise me. Now that Dreher’s in Europe, I expect his articles to move steadily deeper into extremist ideologies. It’s an odd detail of history, btw, that among the very first things that Hitler, Lenin, and the Ayatollah Khomeini did when they took power over their respective nations was to ban Freemasonry. With enemies like that…

    Nachtgurke, hmm! Thanks for this.

    Siliconguy, I wonder if it’s occurred to any of the people who are whining about those vanished trillions that now that the US dollar is rapidly losing its status as global reserve currency, getting rid of as much abstract paper wealth as possible is a survival-level necessity for the United States…

    Team10tim, thanks for this! That’s going to be very useful in an upcoming post.

    Daniel, that’s really good news — a bookstore chain that actually pays attention to its customers, instead of simply lapping up whatever the big corporate publishers want to spew. No wonder they’re making money. Now if one would open someplace a little easier for me to get to!

    Quin, thanks for this.

    Michael, exactly. Bankman-Fried looks like a slob, and to judge by his public statements, he’s not quite up to the intelligence level of a used coathanger. And people who supposedly had a clue gave this guy access to trillions of dollars?

    Radha, I’m delighted to hear this! There’s quite a market for art that’s sized, and budgeted, for ordinary people; my wife and I picked up a lovely watercolor by a local painter earlier this month, and it’s on the wall within sight of where I’m typing this. Go for it.

    Kevin, no, I wasn’t at all familiar with Senoisiain’s work. That’s wonderfully weird; it reminds me of some of Roger Dean’s artwork.

    Ellen, many thanks for this! Some of the best news I’ve heard in a while.

  63. @Kevin at #46

    “Does anyone happen to know which communities, or which types of communities, have done least badly in the midwestern rust belt over the last forty or fifty years? Do I guess correctly that these may be rural farming communities?”

    I can’t speak to the whole midwest, but I grew up in part of the rust belt and visit regularly. Your question is pretty open to interpretation, but if we’re measuring “done least badly” by having vibrant economies and stable populations, the towns and cities I’ve seen do well have diversified economies with medical facilities and (usually at least small) universities. Compared to areas of similar size that were heavily industrial and less diversified (or the rural farming communities that have been depopulated), those with the eds & meds (or tourism) have more jobs, more arts and entertainment, more services, and more young people choosing to stay invested in the community.

    Given that the prevailing view here is that academia and corporate medicine are expected to contract, how that translates for you on the west coast will be different, but morphologically you could expect places with more diversified economies (i.e. not just reliant on tech, eds & meds, and ports, but also having manufacturing, agriculture, resource extraction, and whatever other sectors you might expect to do well as the economy shifts again) to be more stable and desirable. It all depends on what you want.

  64. @DaveOTN #64 –

    “…you want a place with multiple small industries.”

    Thanks! That makes perfect sense. I’ll make a search for such places.

    I’ve heard about one-factory towns going kaput; but I wouldn’t have known that about farming. Though I did realize that just because farming is happening in your area doesn’t necessarily mean the produce thereof will be sold locally. A local farmer’s market is a good sign, though.

  65. I’m going to be moving several thousand miles in a few months, as a sort of preemptive refugee. If things unfold the way I expect them to over the next few years, where I currently live will quickly become a very dangerous place to live; and my divination and intuition have been saying for a while I need to leave.

    One thing I’m considering is the question of how to establish a new social life. Although I have family at the area I’m moving, they’re elderly, and likely won’t live more than another few years; and I’m hoping to make a home for myself there longer than that.

    I’m planning to use the limited skills I have with magic, but a mundane option has occurred to me as well: I’ve been drawn to Freemasonry for a while, and considered joining for a while. JMG, or anyone else, do you know anything about the Freemason scene in Canada? Who to contact, how to discuss joining, etc.

  66. Chris at Fernglade Farm asks about Orwell. I can answer this. I recently read a collection of his letters and articles from the last decade of his life. There is absolutely no question that 1984 was, for him, a warning. He was a committed social democrat, but part of that commitment was warning of how people could pervert it.

    Aldous Huxley was reasonably fond of capitalism and modern technology, nonetheless he warned of their dangers in Brave New World. Huxley was, by the way, one of Orwell’s teachers at Eton.

    Orwell did not mention resource scarcity or pollution, it’s true. But consider that he wrote having just experienced WWII and the Blitz, and Oceania’s Airstrip One was subjected to constant bombardment from the current enemy – you’re not really worried about bad air if bombs are falling. As well, this was the time of London’s pea soup fogs, where there was so much soot in the air it’d join up with the fogs – it killed something like 12,000 people one winter in the 1950s. And Orwell himself had tuberculosis, in fact he moved to a little cottage in the Hebrides to try to get clear air – and a clear mind, not harassed by phone calls and requests for articles, this is in fact where he wrote 1984.

    As for resources, well Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia had to be fighting over something, no?

  67. Hi JMG,

    I fear Dreher won’t be around long enough to get into any ideologies. I expect that one day he will be found hanging with a note on the table. You can only run frantically from whatever’s really bothering you for so long (believe me, I know). I hope he finds peace, but I’m not optimistic.

  68. Kevin and JMG,

    DaveOTN is correct. The Zoning Codes make it illegal to build multi family in most locations. The Building Codes merely make it expensive, but that reduces housing just the same.

    In the dread tome blasphemously titled Green Wizardry, you will find eldritch exhortations to shamble forth and retrofit existing buildings. What many people do not realize is that many rundown buildings have enormous value because they predate the onerous zoning restrictions and would be illegal to duplicate.

  69. A further thought on Orwell and other writers of his time not considering resource running short – to be fair, they couldn’t really conceive of how much we might be using by now.

    In 1942 Japan was using 35.9 million barrels of oil – a year. Now they use 4 million a day – so the oil Japan used to fight a war and keep a domestic economy going for an entire year they now use in 9 days. They burn oil 40 times faster today than they did in WWII.

    The entire US oil production during the six years of WWII was 6 billion barrels, or 1 billion a year. With all this oil, the US produced and moved around 29 aircraft carriers and 121 escort carriers, 10 battleships and 32 cruisers, 108,410 tanks and self-propelled guns, 2.3 million trucks, jeeps and so on, almost 100,000 each of fighter planes and bombers, and so on.

    Now the US uses 7 billion barrels of oil a year. That’s right, they use seven times more oil now than they did when they were running the largest war machine in human history.

    I don’t blame Orwell and his peers for not anticipating that. This is why when people promise us that renewables or fusion will give us cheap limitless energy, I say – I hope not! We’ll just find ways to use and abuse that energy, and do damage one way or another.

  70. I thought of you the moment I heard about the latest breakthrough (?) in nuclear fusion. I immediately wanted to know your reaction. The mainstream considers fusion the solution that will allow humankind to keep consuming energy in gluttonous amounts while surpassing environmental goals. I sense you would temper those expectations. What are your thoughts?

  71. I want to thank Quin Arbeitman and anyone here who has participated in his Sunday Sun-hour healing prayers. I have been feeling much better overall these past two weeks. Both times now that I have received prayers from people here, I have been helped notably.
    Later I will compile a list of what seems to have helped me with brain fog and arrhythmia (in addition to receiving prayers).
    I have been participating in this effort too, writing special lines for a prayer to Amaterasu for healing of ailments of the heart and other organs affected by recent malign influences (be they COVID, the vaxxes or rampant EMFs). I’ve added offerings Quin has suggested that the Sun favors. It’s the perfect season to find sake with gold leaf, so I bought a small bottle. The very next day I received two bottles of gold-leaf sake from the Fuji-faith gyoba (literally “austerity place”) altar on the solstice, and rather than opening them (because I still have lots of sake to use up), I’m keeping them sealed for the time being. They are lovely as they are, and when I perform kensen (opening the offerings), I invert both bottles for a moment, and the gold leaf stays suspended during my prayer, with the Sun’s beams sparkling on it.
    I had an insight after performing early morning misogi on the solstice. I noticed Mt. Fuji looked diminished compared to the Sun at her lowest trajectory. As it had been the Mt. Fuji goddess Konohanasakuyahime no Mikoto (Word of Princess Who Makes the Cherries Blossom) who had invited me into Shinto originally, there was no way I could leave her out. She’d arrived formally on my altar together with Amaterasu a few months before.
    It was then that I realized that Amaterasu provides healing rays in the high frequency spectra, but not the low because the atmosphere blocks it, while Konohanasakuyahime, with the churning fireball beneath her slopes and the lightning gods dancing about her during summer, provides healing in the low-frequency spectra, i.e., geomagnetics, which can be protective or harmful, and the Schumann resonances, which are necessary to all life.
    So, I went back and rewrote my prayer to address all the deities represented on my altar, as normal, but add special thanks to Amaterasu and Konohanasakuyahime for their respective powers of healing, and then at the end of a mostly standard prayer, I make the special request for healing from the recent maladies.
    Very very very busy here, but for the next three days I will be meditating and rewriting my long prayer for healing from the Corona Crisis (where the main focus this past year has been on recovery from the economic and political damage it had accompanied, and in particular protection of healers and the young). I think the issue at hand is far far deeper, and we are looking at the form of insanity societies go through as they max out their credit, get drunk and collapse in the gutter. “Castles in the sky” is a term that springs to mind. Faustian culture seems especially prone to this. Demons being invited in whether deliberately or inadvertently also comes to mind.
    If anyone here, including our host, has any good ideas for me to focus on, I will consider and attempt to work them into my prayer, which will be fairly long and given about twice a month starting Jan. 1 during the coming year.

  72. That Nautilus House looks like something I would find in the computer game Myst IV, or somewhere in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth.

    Antoinetta III

  73. David, by the lake 19

    Meghan Markle

    There is a whole lot of garbage on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean about Meghan Markle. I absolutely ADORE her. She is one awesome, gutsy lady. I was a Diana fan from the first photo I saw of Diana, then little William and Harry, now adult William and Harry, now William and Kate and Harry and Meghan. Now William and Kate and three kids and Harry and Meghan and two kids. I have “followed news” about the whole lot since roughly 1980, particularly the Spencer side.

    What I think about Charles is not printable. JMG would throw me overboard. None of my opinions of Charles are positive.

    Anyway, back to Meghan. One article says she is out of favor in the USA; the next article says she IS in favor in the USA. Another article says she is out of favor in Britain; yet another article says she is IN favor in Britain. Really. All four opinions simultaneously. Going on, and on, and on, for the last, hmmm, like four months straight. One can’t believe press about Meghan or Harry. It feels like Charles is panicking out of his gourd what Harry can, and will, say bringing yet MORE skeletons out of Charles’ closet (along with Carmelia Camella Corneliata Camelia Carmelia Camipia Carmola Carmesia Carmutter Camibia Camapolo Camolio Camopio Carmofia Camiago Camicia Carnoco Camada Carnepia Camibibliotorsionista Consorshia, darn if I can remember her name — the current queenie whosit). It is a real life soap opera, way better than daytime TV.

    I watched Harry and Meghan’s six-episode reality-TV series. I liked it, a lot. I perceived absolutely NO deception on Harry’s and Meghan’s part. On the other hand, I perceive a HUGE amount of deception coming out of, what is it now, Clarence House, Buckingham Palace, whatever,— the current kingie whosit.

    Maybe I like Meghan partly because I am likely a distant cousin (like 9th cousin) of hers, through the Markle line, base name MARKEL, Dutch Colonial of the lower Hudson River valley 1700s (maybe 1600s). One of its variant spellings is, believe it or not, spoken from an amateur 40-year genealogist: MIRACLE. That variant is SOOO cool.

    My point is, one can’t believe any one article. Mostly drivel is coming out about Harry and Meghan, but it is not coming from them. On Harry’s and Meghan’s TV show, viewers hear and see on film what Harry and Meghan actually say, so viewers don’t have only what others say about them.

    Change subject

    I am riveted to my seat watching on mainstream news the downfall of Southwest Airlines. I wonder if the federal government will bail them out, or IF the federal government can cough up the play-money it would take to bail them out. I don’t think Southwest Airlines can gather the wherewithal to survive. Southwest Airlines is one good-sized domino of “I fell and I can’t get up.” Not sad.

    Happy New Year🥳! I pray that all who read JMG’s wonderful writings has a stupendously good 2023. Long live, and prosper (cough, cough), prosperity fading fast in the rearview mirror. Nonetheless, may 2023 be a wonderful year for youse all.

    😊Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  74. I’ve been reading about the Three Kingdoms period in Chinese history. I had a number of thoughts about how it played out in China, the almost contemporaneous Crisis of the Third Century in the Roman Empire, and how a similar warband period could emerge in the future.

    It seems that compared to their counterparts in the Roman Empire, the Chinese warlords were far more careful in assuming the title of Emperor, only doing so when they had consolidated control.

    The Chinese warlords also had much more crossover with civilian literary culture and politics compared to the West. Cao Cao held a few positions under the decaying Han court, and was a skilled poet, even during his campaigns. Sima Yi, whose descendants would later wrest control of the empire from Cao Cao’s descendants, started his career as a clerk under Cao Cao. Zhuge Liang, the prime minister of Shu Han, lead military campaigns as well.

    I find the historical process of folk legends and deification of warlords quite interesting in China; the historical Liu Bei was never very successful in his campaigns, and engaged in a fair bit of treachery, but over the centuries leading up to the Ming novel, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, he and his generals came to be deified as loyal, honourable Confucians, albeit with their own tragic flaws, while Cao Cao came to be thought of as a treacherous villain.

    I wonder if the concept of a united Roman Empire had survived as a political concept, without Christianization, whether legends of the generals of their own “Three Kingdoms” would have survived to be deified.

    Maybe the future warlords of the Western world would also be pioneers of their own poetic forms, based on rap.

  75. Hi John,

    I wanted to ask you what you think makes for an interesting life, perhaps even an original life (is that even the same, original = interesting?); is it non-stop travelling around the world, having an impact on millions of lives, making cutting-edge discoveries, bringing together a local community to tackle a project, meeting other interesting people, knowing everything?

    I noticed in some of the last posts that you touched on the subject in passing. I think it was in the post about the polymath guy, for example, where you wrote that he had an interesting life. Somewhere else you thought of your own life as not very interesting, i.e. rather mundane, which struck me as odd. I would have thought that being a druid, magician and writer is far from mundane.

  76. Princess CuteKitten #51 said:
    “On Monday, JMG mentioned that the Freemasons in Europe have a long history of unpleasantness with the Church and the government.”

    It’s true. In my country there is hostility between Freemasons and Catholic Church. When I was a child a priest who teached us Religion at school told us that the “Great Architect of the Universe” was Satan himself. And I’m not so old, is thappened in the ’80s.
    So at leaast in Spain the beliefs sets is made since before Civil War (1936). If you are Catholic, you will be Monarchist and anti-masonry; if you’re Freemason, you’ll be Republican and Atheist/agnostic.
    It’s a pity.

  77. JMG, hello and Happy New Year 2023 a few days before it begins!
    Did you have any way of trouble because of your membership to several orders and beliefs systems? I mean if sometimes someone has argued with you “because his/her belief/order was the only truth and the rest of them are crap”.
    You said a time ago that occultism is not exclusive, maybe you would be right in this.

  78. Hi JMG,

    reading your comment about “Big Daddy on a throne in the clouds”, I was reminded of where that divine fault line recently appeared within a well-known fault line of its own:
    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/1607281686412234756?t=sBX0_JvWnT0whHzsmr6rSg&s=19
    Both sides seem to be rallying against the ‘pagan swamp creature that’s not us’, but the Western side is in the process of losing Big Daddy Progress, while Grandma looks like she’s here to stay.
    Are we about to enter a transitional period of state-sponsored religious kitsch, occultism copping it from both sides as per usual?

  79. Not sure if Levi questions are appropriate here but I had these two:

    Levi said “Never will a biased man be the king of nature and the master of transmutations.” How does one assess level of bias? Or to know with certainty that one is bias free? It seems to be part of the human condition to have bias to some degree. Perhaps the ideal isn’t none as much as recognizing it and being able to drop it?

    In Levi’s discussion of two opposing forces required to balance the world, I wondered what happens when one force sets an intention to completely destroy and engulf the other? It feels like even the attempt of such a broad action there would a counter force which would naturally arise. Observing people, it seems like the push forward and getting the push back consumes their lives and social media is built to encourage it.

    On another note, I had remarked a year or two ago, can’t remember now, that when the professional class immigrants started leaving the US, then I’d know for sure we are in a crisis. It looks to me like that is happening. I’ve noticed since June less and less Indian and Chinese immigrants at Costco. All through the pandemic and before my local store would be up to 50% Indian and Chinese families speaking in their native language. Since November it’s been closer to 10%. I don’t even know where I would look in federal government numbers to know if the professional class visa holders number has gone down, but this is what I’ve observed. Not sure if others have observed that same population shift.

  80. Hi John Michael,

    Please correct me if you believe otherwise, but I tend to believe that is the core point of progress: Let’s just pretend that these issues over here don’t matter like running out of stuff. The material world which we survive in day after day is under no obligation to conform to our belief systems. Our will can influence outcomes on that plane, but only when backed by actions. It amazes me that serious folks suggest that it might be otherwise. They’re wrong. It would be nice if it wasn’t so, but that’s how things roll.

    One good thing from that encounter with reality is that it sets an upper limit on the really crazy beliefs. The book 1984 was taking the belief to its furthest end: Let’s ensure that nobody can conceive otherwise, except that a fool then falls for their own spell. The crazy pranksters in the fictional book would have had a serious blind-side and not been able to see their way out of the trap. The protagonist in the book suggested that human spirit would be strong enough to thwart the Party, but he was wrong, the rest of nature will do that job, but for free. 😉 I now rest my case and retire from the field with honours.

    Cheers

    Chris

  81. About freemasonry and christianity: I don’t know why some protestants are hostile to masons, like Jack Chick was, But I do know why the catholics are. The masons fought against the Papal States during the unification of Italy and the relationship between the Kingdom of Italy and the Pope couldn’t be normalized until Mussolini’s government. The power struggle in Italy combined with Freemasonry’s religious tolerance and denial of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus got them excommunicated. That had very bad consequences for the rest of the catholic world as an alliance between masons and catholic priests was vital for many latin american countries and it’s breakdown brought brazillian monarchy(1) down and, I suspect, planted the seeds of the mexican revolution and the eternal colombian civil war, as people that should have become moderate masons became extremist communists.

    When I thought about these facts my conclusion was that the real problem, the real crisis in the Catholic Church is not the pederasty nor the corruption because they always had too much of both. The real problem is the telegraph – the Church was built under the assumption that the big guy in Rome was some very distant power figure and that distance more or less isolated the parochial churces, where the faith is actually practiced, from the politics, the corruption and the pederasty in Rome. When news travelled by galleon only the most important papal bulls made across the ocean and the faithful were protected from the madness coming from the Curia.

    Telegraphs broke that assumption and now catholics have to deal with the constant stream of manure coming from Rome. If the Church survives the Long Descent, it will probably have some kind of rebirth when the global communication network breaks down around 2150 and even radiotelegraphy becomes very rare.

    (1) Brazillian Empire was a jury-rigged alliance of brazillian slaveholders, married priests with big families and freemasons. It worked, to some definition of “work”, since the Emperor kept Brazil politically united while La Plata, Gran Colombia, Mexico broke down and the United States nearly broke down. The good relationship between the masons and the priest was the ideological/spiritual glue of the Empire – The Emperor was crowned by the Church and was also a high ranking mason.

  82. JMG

    Your recent series on writing has been wonderful. Is there any chance I could tempt you into providing some guidance for bloggers? Any writing tips that may be unique to the medium, of course, but also how to get one’s work seen without engaging with social media or following dreadful, anti-art advice on search engine optimization?

    Thanks.

  83. Greetings all!

    It appears that the US will supply Patriot missiles to Ukraine very soon. This could be seen by many as an escalation of the war. Given that, how likely is it, according to you, that this conflict may spread beyond Ukraine in the year ahead?

    Thanks!

  84. All–

    I stumbled across this and find it absolutely fascinating:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/why-black-women-aren-t-121500982.html

    What’s of particular interest is how both men and women are on both sides of the debate, with many US women of color arguing this is just copy-cat colonialism (and men seeking compliant, weak-willed women) and foreign women of color supporting “traditional values” arguing that US women of color don’t know how to treat their men properly.

    Has anyone else heard of this movement and the debate surrounding it? I’m guessing that this may be yet another leading indicator of where the cultural shifts are heading.

    For the record, though I am not a man of color (my ancestry is *very* European), I have great respect for women of will and have been married to one for many years now. Personally, I think that the concept of “traditional values” and strong women are hardly incompatible (as anyone who grew up on the South would know from firsthand experience).

  85. Hi JMG,

    I hope you and Sara had a meaningful winter solstice this year. If you took a break from the news then I’m sure you got to relax!

    What do you make of the election irregularities being reported? When I compare the news of the election shenanigans in Brazil to the 2020 & 2022 US elections, there seem to be parallels. Most scary to me are the threats made to anyone who dares ask questions.

    It’s causing me to doubt the idea that the edifice is cracking. How can you say that the senile elites are losing their grip on power, when it seems like they are only consolidating their grip on power in spite of the will of the people?

    At least in the US and Brazil, it looks like “game over” to me, unless I’m missing something that you see.

  86. Daniel #57: My wife tells me that Barnes & Noble was the only place she could find Christmas cards this year, after coming up empty-handed at a half-dozen other stores. And she was happy with the quality and designs, too.

  87. Mr. Greer,

    I wrote to you October before last about setting up a community law practice. Given the most recent posts about writing as a microcosm for finding a way to live outside the corporatist rat race, I thought an update would dovetail well in an open post.

    I was able, by sheer luck, to link up with an older, respected criminal trial attorney here in town. We are a small firm: two attorneys and a paralegal/assistant. We “tree top” the public defender’s office by offering affordable fees and payment plans. The upshot is that people of modest means know they can come to us when they are in a real bind (i.e. when there is some hinky fact in the case like, oh, I don’t know, the Defendant did nothing wrong). The downshot is that we are a volume business. So there is a ton of work to be done every week– though, it is nothing like the corporate slavery people I went to law school describe in their day to days. And, not for nothing, prosecutors have no idea what to do with us because we are unafraid to get skin in the game and jury try cases. Meanwhile, the white shoe firms serenely charge their clients $20,000-$100,000 for the privilege of pleading guilty.

    As for brass tacks, we continue to grow and, while I don’t make anything like sell your soul to Satan money, my wife and I own a house outright, my student debt is manageable, and my children want for nothing essential. We try to keep it simple and thrifty while the wheels come off this society.

    At any rate, I thank you for the encouragement and for the inspiration in your essays to find a way to make a living that is sustainable– for now, at any rate. I, for one, am living proof that someone can do it in a profession that is not directly related to authorship.

    -Anonymous Millennial

  88. In my response #56, I must have messed up my formatting tags. Only the first word, “courting,” was supposed to be in bold type.

  89. @CRC #49 You really articulated for me something I’ve thought on for a long time. I think to understand the impact of the rootless urban PMC you have analyze their impact on the places they “came” from before their arrival in the urban environment.

    I’ve lived most of my life fifty miles or so outside of the PMC mecca of New York City and have witnesses their impacts on the my outlying area for decades. They come into the communities to raise their kids in a “safe” environment and are basically just there to have their kids educated at “good” schools. They do not interact with or participate in the local community during the raising of their children in the community. They just shuttle them from home to school to preplanned activities that will look good on college applications. The children who “grow up” in these places have no connections to anywhere except their parents home, the schools they attend and maybe a restaurant or store. After 18 years of education to assemble their college applications the children leave the community. Then once all of their children have left for college the parents will usually leave the community as well either to somewhere in the Sun Belt or to “hip” towns.

    What does that mean for these communities? The PMC want good schools and those good schools mean higher property taxes which drive out those with lower income or make homeowner impossible. So you get a temporary population in the higher income areas that resets every 20 years while the lower income is herded into exorbitantly expensive apartments where they can go to sleep after a day of servicing the area’s temporary inhabitants. So no one develops a develops a real culture because they are either only in the place temporarily or their too poor/overworked to have time for much more then mass culture.

    On a weird side note I think that for those who spend their whole lives in regions like this, not just using it as a “nesting ground”, there is a fierce sense of loyalty to the area and what cultural traditions it still has. Ask a person who spent their whole life in Philadelphia, New Jersey or Long Island/Staten Island their favorite pizza place/sandwich place and you’ll hear very adamant/proud responses. I think this loyalty to small cultural traditions like localized breakfast meats, styles of pizza or types of sandwiches is a way people to create a sense of place in communities which are subject to an onslaught of a rootless faceless PMC culture.

  90. JMG, Did you happen to catch Medvedev’s ( Russian #2) predictions for the future? The interesting thing,is the existence of his ” outlandish” predictions was reported in a large number of western media outlets, but the full list of 10 was not outlined. Most highlighted the predictions of Musk becoming president and left it at that. I find most of his list to be fairly reasonable, especially the financial predictions if one looks out over a 5 year period. Perhaps it is just a bit too much reality for them to handle.

  91. I’ve been reading you since I was in college and you were posting on your “Archdruid Report” website. You always have intelligent, empathic, and cutting insights and it brightens up my week when I see what you’ve cooked up on Wednesday, and I especially love your science fiction posts. Here’s to a fruitful 2023!

    A question I have for you this how do you see the war in Ukraine ending? A clear Russian victory, a quagmire, or something else?

  92. Pondering – writing for the self is not art. If not, then what is it? My friend told me about the cowboys on her father’s ranch in Wyoming who wrote lots of poetry. We compared notes since my family of cod fishermen also wrote lots of poetry. They did for themselves and since that is where their creativity flowed – the written word. So, what are these people to writing?

    Does this go into the area of what is art, etc. Such as people painting for themselves or people making quilts, is that art? What about George W. Bush and his paintings? What is this considered?

  93. In a conversation with my wife the other day about art and who it is for, I thought of a triad that I think fleshes out the diad presented in the recent post on writing comparing writing solely for the self to other forms of self-gratification, and writing for yourself as well as the audience to love-making. This leaves out writing with *only* the audience’s desires in mind, but luckily, that’s had a similar metaphor applied to it for a long time. Put them together and you get:

    Writing only for yourself is masturbation.
    Writing only for your audience is prostitution.
    Writing for both yourself and your audience is making love.

    Not an original formulation at all, but I found it helpful boiling it down so succinctly, and thought I’d share in case anyone else did as well.

    Cheers and happy New Year!
    Jeff

  94. “What is the Long Descent preparation you’ve made that you are most pleased with now, as we head into a new year that promises no shortage of surprises?”

    This one is easy, finally leaving the SF Bay Area at the end of 2020 and moving to a small town in the (very) inland NW. It took many, many years (more than a decade) of planning and saving and making targeted employment decisions to make it happen, but I am thankful every day to have escaped. It’s certainly stressful dealing with -20 degrees, ice and snow, the effort it takes to integrate into a new community, and everything else that comes with a new life in a very different place, but it’s been well worth it.

    Much of the inspiration and support came from this blog and the commenters here (especially in the years 2016-17 during the height of the TDS insanity), so thank you all very much!

  95. @neptunesdolphins

    #104

    Even if we narrow things down to the so called fine arts (painting, sculpture, music, etc.), I don’t think this is too difficult. George W. Bush’s paintings are art, they’re just very, very bad art. This allows us to be democratic while maintaining standards.

    Of course, now we have to be ready and in possession of a framework by which we can defend such judgements of quality, but that’s another story altogether.

  96. JMG, if you think I shouldn’t be writing about this matter for magical reasons, feel free to delete it.

    I’ve had Columbia on my altar for over a year now and a month or so ago I think I made contact with her. I asked what I could personally do to restore our country back to a system that honors our Constitution and the rights of the individual. I received an image of me practicing a craft I have wanted to do for a couple of years, but haven’t had the opportunity to do so.

    I told Columbia I was thankful for this idea and I fully intend to do what she advised. However, I was confused because it had nothing to do with anything political.

    Then I read Mark Jeftovik’s article on the WEF being a cult. In the article he quotes Mark Stavish and Rudolph Steiner. https://bombthrower.com/the-wef-isnt-a-cabal-its-a-cult/

    I learned that resisting the existing power structure and its egregore (Jeftovik claims the WEF is a cult of Ahriman), you are giving it just as much power as worshiping it. So Columbia’s advice hit home in a very real way. And this also is in line with Levi’s advice to “create new tracks” just like Jesus did in the age of the Roman Empire.

    To me, this reinforces the notion that I really did connect with Columbia. It seems a parallel society has to be the path forward.

  97. Was reading one of Charles De Lint’s books, whare character mentioned the Utne reader. I’d not heart that title in a while,so I did a wes search. They are still arounb, in digital form. Went to the web side, the issue had an article about the end of progress. Clicked it,and the author was John Michael Greer. Brought a smile to my face.
    As far as backing off progress, I feel that having absolutely NO debt, or even a credit card is good.
    Ive noticed that the longer one works with Tarot, the more likely different spreads and layputs will come to me. They tend to get quite complex.
    I too have been feeling shiftings, movements, some extremly subtle, which are the ones driving the more obvious shiftings
    Thanks to JMG for this blog, and his decades of work
    And a Merry Happy Joyous to all!

  98. I’m simply curious to know if you agree that our most recent round of elections demonstrates that the whole process is now more rigged and shady than it has ever been. Keep in mind that of all the incumbent Democratic senators or governors, only the Governor of Nevada lost his seat, and this was apparently because crime is getting rather out of hand in that state, which put the Republican challenger in a good position to overcome the Democrats’ election-tampering procedures.

  99. Thank you for maintaining this wonderful blog and forum, Mr. Greer. Ever since I was introduced to this avenue back in the winter of 2020, I have found it to be a reliable compass for guiding my thought.

    Since you were discussing writing as a profession recently, it has brought a specific hypothesis to my mind. I have come to hypothesize that H. P. Lovecraft suffered from Blue Green colorblindness, and also experienced some sort of chromatic synesthesia.

    Let me share my reasons for believing this. While reading the works of H. P. Lovecraft I have repeatedly come across expressions such as “green gibbous moon” or “strange blue grass”. These descriptions are not made in the context of an otherworldly dreamworld (such as of the tramp who leaves his body behind in an opium dose and goes on to join the sky sailors), but within fairly mundane contexts.

    For instance, while the world seems concerned by simultaneous phenomena of similar dreams among artistic minds at the beginning of the Call of the Chthullu, these dreams occur on nights of that notoriously green moon. Yet, while newspapers are full of the dreams of some eccentric and creative people, nobody in the story seems to notice the viridiscence of our celestial beacon. Lovecraft himself seems to mention the color in passing, as if he himself considers it to be a fairly commonplace occurrence. This suggests the possibility that he suffered from blue-green color-blindness.

    He also quite probably experienced some form of color-based synesthesia. For instance, I have a mutation known as grapheme-color synesthesia which causes people to strongly experience the sensation of a color when reading or closely observing a written character that they are familiar with (and can read). The color experienced is specific for each letter or digit, and I experience it in all script systems I can read – including Roman, Hiragana, Katakana and Devanagari. I can also sense colors in characters I recognize, among scripts I am not altogether literate in – such as Greek and Arabic.

    The reason why I believe Lovecraft has a similar synesthesia is that there is an additional condition known as the (horribly named) Martian Color Syndrome, which is the combination of color-blindness and a synesthesia involving the sensation of colors. In such a case, the person affected can sometimes sense colors in their synesthetic experiences which they cannot see in real life (in the external world), owing to their color blindness. One woman affected by this syndrome, being an avid reader of science fiction, referred to this phenomenon as “Martian Colors”, since the colors were quite literally “out of this world” for her. The name stuck.

    I think the repeated mentions of “Strange Colors”, such as in “The Color Out of Space”, are instances when Lovecraft is inspired by this very freak phenomenon, and it may be because he experienced colors that he did not find in his field of vision.

    It is entirely possible that I am wrong, and that he was simply brilliant enough to conceive the idea of colors unfamiliar to human vision. Or perhaps his experience with people led him to notice that others can see colors he cannot, or that he saw blue and green as the same color and others around him did not, and this gave him the idea. But it is a suspicion I hold that he did indeed live a reality with a green moon and colors that are not of this world.

    So I wanted to posit this hypothesis, and I am curious to know what you think of it.

  100. @Princess cutekitten #77

    You know that possibility with Rod Dreher never occurred to me. However when you mentioned it it made me take notice. I hope you are wrong. I have thought for years Rod should take up marathon running to burn off some of his mania. Whatever it is inside of him runs really deep. It seems to wreck a lot of things in his life.

  101. >A while back you mentioned that the cost of maintaining a “police state” level of surveillance was so high that it eventually bankrupts the nations imposing it

    I wouldn’t say it bankrupts the nation so much as it encourages collapse. What is the general goal of a security service? To maximize security. When is something maximally secure? When it’s locked up, shut down, turned off, censored, suppressed, intimidated, etc. You put security services in charge (for whatever reasons) and they’ll eventually shut everything down. They won’t mean to, but like the scorpion in that old parable, “it’s their nature”.

    I call them SecureHeads and they engage in SecureThink. And they’re in charge. You can go into how and why and that story is somewhat interesting but it isn’t really relevant to what happens next, IMHO.

  102. I’d liked to start the cellsalt protocol, but it’s impossible to obtain the bioplasma in Austria. Could I just mix it myself and are you referring to tablets or globules? Thank you and a happy new year.

  103. John–

    You’ve consistently commented about Steiner’s weakness/error in interpreting his visions too literally. How does one guard against such a thing? If I have an experience brushing against aspects of the astral plane, for example, how do I process that experience so as to avoid falling into that kind of misinterpretation?

  104. @ Northwind Grandma

    Re H&M

    That is fair. While I follow their news only tangentially, I’ve gotten much more of an Anakin-from-Clone-Wars kind of vibe which I find not at all appealing. But to each his/her own!

  105. As long as I’m talking about the most recent election, I would like to ask readers in Pennsylvania a question: Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate, lost by a wide enough margin that he probably would have been defeated without any election-tampering on the part of the Democrats. My perception of the reasons he lost to John Fetterman are 1) Oz lives for a significant part of the year in New Jersey and was therefore viewed as not a true Pennsylvanian (I believe this sort of thing also contributed to the defeat of Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Michels here in Wisconsin) and 2) he was viewed as being something of a “medicine showman” for having hyped various dubious health-supplements on his now-defunct show over the years. Do Pennsylvania readers who care to venture an opinion believe this evaluation to be correct?

  106. >I seem to recall you remarking that this happens at the national level and the regional level, right down to county regulations and those of local municipalities. I am sure this is true, but don’t feel I properly understand the mechanisms involved.

    At one time flophouses were a common real estate option. They aren’t anymore. Find out why and you’ll start to see what I like to call “regulatory bramble gardens”, where they don’t want to outright forbid you from doing something but make it so onerous and painful that you eventually give up.

    The systemic problem, I claim, is you add too many rules into a system and it starts doing nonlinear things you never predicted. It starts behaving like a double pendulum.

  107. >it identified her as one of the Good People

    I often wonder what the world would be like if dogs could speak. And if they could speak to each other, would they call each other good boys all the time?

    Woof.

  108. >He’s one of an entire subculture of clueless spoiled brats who are presiding over our decline and fall

    People wondered what they meant when they called them the Lost Generation back in the early 20th. What did they mean by that? You see the skeleton of history but the flesh of it is all gone. Lost can mean all sorts of things, but I think we’re beginning to see what they meant by their use of that word. His, is a Lost Generation. They should’ve been more abrupt and direct and called them “clueless spoiled brats”, that would have probably survived the skeletonizing that history does.

    I guess if there’s some consolation in all of this, it’s that “this too, shall pass”.

  109. Anonymous, the way you become a Freemason anywhere in North America is that you ask. They can’t recruit — as the bumper sticker says, 2B1ASK1. Once you’re settled in your new location, look up the provincial grand lodge of whatever province you’re living in — that will have a lodge directory, and you’ll be able to locate the lodges in your area, typically with details such as what night or nights each month they meet. Contact the one that’s most convenient to you and let them know that you’re interested in becoming a Mason. There will be an interview, but presuming that you’re male, adult, and believe in a Supreme Being, your chances of failing the interview are pretty minimal. Then it’s simply a matter of the lodge voting you in and letting you know when to show up for your Entered Apprentice initiation.

    Raymond, you’re welcome and thank you.

    Your Kittenship, ouch. You may well be right, though; a friend of mine tells me that Dreher consistently sets off her gaydar…

    Samurai_47, so noted!

    Hackenschmidt, thank you for this! Do you have a convenient online source for the fuel consumption numbers? I want to be able to cite that in an upcoming post.

    Michael R, the announcement is pure handwavium. As one of my commenters pointed out earlier in this thread, an identical announcement was made in 2014, so there’s nothing new about it. Furthermore, and crucially, the reaction “broke even” only in a meaningless sense — the amount of energy that was radiated by fusing hydrogen atoms was modestly higher than the amount of energy being pumped into those atoms by lasers. The amount of energy that went into running those lasers was more than an order of magnitude higher than their output — lasers aren’t very efficient — and then you have to add in all the other energy inputs needed to run the facility. Oh, and the energy output from the reaction was the total calculated output, not the amount of energy that was successfully taken up and put to some use — which is always much less, due to entropy. So it’s yet more pie-in-the-sky publicity by researchers whose main concern is getting another helping of grant money, picked up and splashed over the media by people whose main concern is pretending that today’s absurd levels of excess and extravagance can go on forever.

    Alvin, thanks for this! I’ve done some reading in the Chinese historical cycles, but haven’t focused on the Three Kingdoms period. Can you recommend some good sources in English?

    CoinToss, the conversation in question had to do with whether I should write an autobiography, as I recall. Some people like taking risks and plunging into challenging new situations. I prefer a calm, predictable existence in which I can spend much of my time curled up on the sofa with a book in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. That’s the kind of life I like, and I don’t plan on changing it, but you must admit that it would make an exceptionally boring autobiography!

    Chuaquin, I avoid organizations that are dogmatic about belief systems. I believe that human beings are not that smart, and therefore no statement made by a human being can be true in any absolute sense — our best and highest teachings are a child’s crayon drawings of reality, not reality as it actually is. Thus I treat each belief system as a reflection of truth, and can honor it on that basis. Of course there are people who can’t handle that, and I avoid them.

    Michaelz, oh, it’s a little more complex than that. Russia is shaking off its Western pseudomorphosis and laying the foundations of a future great culture, for which Russian history up to this point will be prologue; Orthodox Christianity is the seed of the religious mode of that future great culture, and so inevitably the Russians are defining the business in Ukraine as yet another bylina pitting heroic Christian knights against Pagan villains, with some new incarnation of Ilya Mumorets in the lead. The fact that the West is falling into that same story by glorifying Ukrainian neo-Nazis is one measure of just how thoroughly the West has lost its remaining momentum. It’s a familiar historical pattern:

    That said, occultists would be well advised to keep their heads down and be ready to relocate. Times of crisis routinely spawn witch hunts, and getting out of the way of those is always a good move.

    Michael M, yep. Commercial air travel was never really affordable, and now that the wheels are coming off the petroleum economy, the various subsidies are breaking down, with predictable results. This might be a good time to invest in rail.

    Denis, um, you asked these same questions two weeks ago, as I recall. You might want to check out the answer I posted in the most recent Lévi post.

    Chris, I ain’t arguing. It’s par for the course in our crazily anthropocentric age that “the human spirit,” which somehow hasn’t done much to keep any number of tyrannies and other idiocies at bay, would be expected to hit one out of the park this one time, while the forces of nature are expected to keep trudging along in subservience to humanity no matter what real limits might be in place.

    Luciano, thank you for this! I’ve recently begun reading up on Brazilian history — this part of Rhode Island is getting a lot of Brazilian immigrants these days, so I’m interested in their historical background — and I didn’t know about the role of the Church-Masonic alliance in the rise of the Brazilian Empire. As for the Catholic church, of course you’re quite correct — rapid communications turned the Vatican’s claim of centrality from a polite fiction to an unmanageable reality, with results unfolding all around us.

    D., I really don’t know what to say. I’ve gone out of my way to ignore all of the approved advice on how you’re supposed to blog, and my success in that field has been an ongoing astonishment to me — I mean, long abstruse teal-deer essays, with no Twitter and Faceplant backup? You can try copying my model if you like — the key there is to post something every single week, preferably on the same day, so people know where to find you, and to talk at length about the things that nobody else on the internet wants to talk about — but I have no idea if that’ll work for anyone else.

    Karim, I don’t know. I really don’t.

    David BTL, this doesn’t surprise me at all. The problem as I see it is that many women in today’s America confuse being strong with being egocentric, greedy, and emotionally abusive. It’s the same syndrome that’s made the term “Bridezilla” common in the wedding industry — a great many women are convinced that the wedding is all about them and that everyone and everything else has to go all out to give them exactly what they want, or it’s tantrum time. (Talk to people who work as wedding photographers sometime if you want an endless stream of horror stories, and it’s always the bride who’s the horror.) That same attitude poisons the way too many women relate to men in relationships — and that, in turn, has convinced a great many American men of all ethnicities that they’re wasting their time trying to court American women. The “Passport Bro” phenomenon is simply one expression of a broader trend.

    (And yes, I’m quite aware that (a) not all women are like that, and (b) plenty of men also have toxic attitudes toward relationships. Those two points get used constantly to derail discussion of this topic.)

    Blue Sun, thank you. It’s pretty clear to me that in much of the New World, the mechanisms of plutocracy masquerading as democracy are collapsing, and frantic attempts by the defenders of the status quo to insist otherwise aren’t helping matters any. A glance at history from a century ago suggests that the next step is the rise of populist dictatorships, a la Juan Perón and Getúlio Vargas.

  110. Mention of The Conservative Mind reminded me of a couple of jokes.

    Conservative ideology is basically just three logical fallacies stuck together: an Appeal to Nature, an Appeal to Authority, and an Appeal to Tradition. It sounds like it’s only snark, but read Russel Kirk’s ‘canons or conservatism’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Kirk and…is it?

    How conservatives see conservative ideology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK8mJJJvaes
    How everyone else sees conservative ideology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTCLkpMD_FY

  111. Isaac Salamander Hill,

    One thing I am thankful for is your music. The Hills and the Rivers is still on my regular rotation. “The Fool” and “The Collapse” both make me cry like a baby every time I hear them.

    Those two songs capture so much of my youth (in the 80s and early 90s) like nothing else. Thank you so much for creating such beautiful music. I’ve often wanted to know what inspired these songs, but then again I just want them to exist in my heart for what they mean to me.

  112. Hi John,

    My wife and I flew 2,000 miles to spend Christmas with our grown children. On the plane out we were shocked at how cramped the seats were. I’m not especially tall at 6′ but nonetheless my knees and shins were pressed up against the seat in front of me, leaving me to say to my wife “They freaking expect us to fly 4 hours like this”? Also the fellow next to me was coughing and later in the flight I noticed he was shivering. Two days later I came down with Covid. My wife, our kids and their significant others then came down with it too. So now we have to pay an extra $550 to reschedule our flight home.

    We’ve been flying most of our lives but the air travel experience in recent years has been getting so bad that I’ve told my wife I may never fly again. I’ve just had it with the airlines. So John I’m wondering if you think people will continue to put up with this nonsense which is driven by pure greed and incompetence or do you think we will soon see a significant number of people just give up on air travel?

  113. The wife and I run a small writing team and the other day as we were talking with them we discovered something both interesting and odd.
    My wife needs quiet to write. A number of our writer listen to music, but only music without lyrics. But one writer (oddly our most efficient) listens to music with lyrics and sometimes even podcasts while writing!

    It made me wonder, do you make use of background music when you write, meditate, or do ritual work?

    AV

  114. JMG,

    I came across a really terrific novel recently that might be of interest to your readers who are interested in exploring the psychology of social collapse. The book is _Shipwrecks_ by the late Akira Yoshimura.

    The story is set in medieval Japan in a small coastal village. The community can’t quite get by on subsistence fishing, and come to depend on salvage from wrecked sea vessels. Over time they ritualize (literally!) ways of luring ships to crash on the rocks. The religious justification for their murderous cargo cult is very detailed. Here is what makes the story work: all of the characters are likable, hardworking, regular people just trying to make a living.

    I believe the author intended it as an exploration of good and evil, but it I read it from a postindustrial collapse point of view. I can’t recommend it enough.

  115. David BTL #95 and JMG’s response: “The problem as I see it is that many women in today’s America confuse being strong with being egocentric, greedy, and emotionally abusive.” I’m reminded of something G.K. Chesterton wrote in the early 20th century, saying that his concern about feminism was that women would lose their best virtues, and adopt men’s worst vices. Sadly, that prediction seems to have come true for many women in the US. When I hear the phrase “toxic masculinity” I always think “men can be toxic in their way; women can be toxic in theirs.”

    I’ve always thought Tolkien portrayed that well with Sauron and Shelob: Sauron wants to control everyone by striking out and conquering; Shelob wants to control everyone by luring them into her lair, then gobbling them up. (Shelob is old English for “she-spider,” in case anyone’s interested!)

  116. Having got to within a hundred pages of finishing my translation of the second volume of Werner Sombart’s Modern Capitalism, which deals with the origins of early capitalism, I have noticed some interesting parallels. So much so that my current working blurb for the back cover is:
    “A world of new and rapidly developing technology. A world of innovations in finance, not to mention disastrous bubbles. A world in which saying or believing in the wrong thing can lose you your livelihood or even your life. A world in which beggars line the streets and employers cannot find enough workers.
    Sound familiar?
    This is the world which gave birth to modern capitalism.
    Sombart takes us on a journey through the epoch of early capitalism, exploring the factors that influenced its development, from the development of a demand for luxury goods by French courtesans, to the demand for weapons and uniforms for the new standing armies, to the use of colonisation for creating the demand for and the supply of goods, to the creation of the ‘worker’ as something different from the craftsman.”

    It makes me realise just how much the last 70 years were an outlier, but also makes me wonder to what extent we will experience that development of early capitalism in reverse.

  117. David BTL #95, JMG #113:

    I can’t speak for Continental Western Europe, but I can confirm that what JMG says about American women applies to women in the Anglosphere in general. The Anglo women here Down Under are no better, and neither are the Canadian women I have encountered here.

    One thing about Anglo culture that has poisoned the well in the past few centuries is Calvinist Puritanism, with its Manichean/Gnostic overtones. From the Salem Witch trials of 1692 to the neo-Jacobin Wokester madness of today, misogyny and misandry have always taken on fanatically religious overtones. Schizoid fanatics and “Cluster B” (i.e., narcissistic, psychopathic, histrionic and borderline) character-disordered people consequently dominate the discourse. To put matters more simply, lunatics and the morally insane run the cultural asylum on this subject.

    That being the case, I see no prospect for Anglo culture to survive in any form. If young Anglos cannot trust one another enough to form families and raise children, it is “game over.”

    In my Orthodox parish, I mentor a number of young Anglo converts (mostly men!), and I advise them all to go to Orthodox countries or local Orthodox enclaves to find spouses. I advise them to strictly avoid Anglo women, as they are simply too great a risk.

    I know that seems unjust, and it probably is. However, given that half or more of all marriages fail and that 70 percent or more of divorces are initiated by wives, marrying a young Anglo woman is playing Russian Roulette with two of the six chambers loaded.

    Even relationships outside of marriage are a minefield, as women can perjure themselves with false accusations of “rape” and “criminal harassment” without fear of legal consequences, with devastating effects on the reputations of the men affected (Depp vs. Heard, anyone?).

    As Toynbee said, great cultures are seldom murdered. They usually commit suicide.

  118. @ Robert Mathiesen

    Yes, I see what you mean. It is indeed an act of courtship. And I never realized that Sky was calling Lady Luck one last time for a final fling, because he knew he’d be giving up gambling for good for a life with Sergeant Sarah Brown. Lady Luck also knew it was a final fling which is why she let him win. I never noticed that when I was in the production.

  119. @ Kevin,

    From what I’ve seen in the Midwest, a lot of the places that lost industries gained a lot of jobs in the health care industry. It might be a good idea not to move to a place where a giant health care company dominates the industry, for that is probably going to go bust in the future, too.

  120. Well, I’m not sure whether to take comfort in that or not. (That is, if I correctly understand what you’re saying.)

    And if you don’t mind me asking, does that mean you expect populist dictatorships to take power from the current plutocratic near-dictatorships in the US and Brazil in the coming years?

  121. Hey jmg

    I readily admit that it would be fascinating to see what these archeologists will find and how their interpretations will conflict with standard western theories. I also wouldn’t mind if non-western anthropologists started investigating other cultures, including our own, and started upsetting current western dogma also.

    Out of curiosity, what would you hope that the archeologists would find?

  122. Cutekitten, JMG, Will O and all re: Rod Dreher. Yeah, he’s one strange cat. I read part of his book “How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem”. The first take-home lesson he relates is the universal importance of chastity, even in courtship. He describes how he and his future wife agreed, at his insistence, for a chaste courtship until marriage. This did not strike me as a particularly precious gem to have been mined from the depths of Dante, and this insistence now takes on quite a different color given how he sets off others’ “gaydar”. I understand they had 3 kids, but divorced this year, after 25 years. I can’t help but wonder how his former wife came to regard their chaste courtship.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  123. Hi JMG (and anybody interested), there’s a couple of things I’ve been meaning to ask for a while, so here goes:

    Firstly, given we now know we can work out the (relative) positions of the solar system’s heavenly bodies over a fairly large timescale, doesn’t this suggest a belief in Astrology is an admission that the timing of certain major events (e.g. pandemic) are ‘baked’ into the temporal landscape? Thinking like this, I can see where ideas like ‘the universe is just a big computer program or game’ come from. (And just to give spaceman Musk and his ilk a mention, are there extra points for knocking a planet or asteroid ‘off course’? Not sure how long Twitter will hold his attention and what the stars have in store next!)

    Speaking of Musk, secondly, you’ve mentioned the rise of ‘strong(men)’ leaders as we de-globalise into the Aquarian age. Do you think we will start to see Trump, Musk and even Andrew Tate as the first ‘proto-types’ of this new (old) way of attracting large groups of people together as things get tough and turbulent? I do have a rising feeling of trepidation with this idea.

    Thanks, as ever, for both your blogs and the great spaces you’ve created.
    Happy into the New Year!

  124. GP, RE your comment (#100) about the PMC and its impact. You could say I also understand the impact in many ways because I have lived it in many ways, so will tell my story. My parents grew up in a small town of less than 1,000 people in Nebraska and on a nearby farm. They had lived in this town and immediate surrounding area for generations. My ancestors were original settlers of the land who got 40 or 80 acres for $1 in the 1860s. It seems like half the people buried in the town cemetery are related to me, though I know it’s not half. My father went to university on the GI bill. My mother went to the same university, probably because her mother was a teacher and her parents thought education was important. When my father graduated, he got a job at a corporation on the east coast and we moved into a house in the suburbs when I was 4 years old. Most families in that suburb had been part of urban culture for a long time and had no concept of the kind of place my parents were from. I can only recall one exception.
    At least once per year, faithfully, my parents packed up the car and drove 1,300 miles to the place they were born where I was immersed in small town and rural culture, listening to stories from relatives as we went from house to house to visit. I did very well in school. Looking back on it, this just didn’t mean I could become a member of the PMC, but that I was going to become one unless I understood differently right at that time, which was nearly impossible. So I went to university and got a job on a management track for a consumer products company (a big one) as a management trainee. I ended up in a small city where the company had a manufacturing plant. The typical stint in this plant was 2 or 3 years before another move, eventually ending up in corporate. The problem was (and, again, I didn’t understand this at the time) because of my parent’s rural upbringing, I identified with the workers in the plant more than I did my fellow members of the PMC. Really, I detested their phoniness. Through these workers, I quickly became part of the local community. Probably the funniest comment or question I got from the workers at the plant was when one of them asked what year I graduated from the local high school. I quit my job 2 years and 8 months after starting and stayed in that small city, starting a local business and making connections with hundreds of people in the community, which just came naturally to me. These experiences have allowed me to see from a very different viewpoint what the PMC is and what it has wrought; hence, my earlier comment.

    By the way, I have faithfully read The Archdruid Report and this site for over 15 years and I think JMG is one of the most cogent and insightful commenters on the internet, if not the most.

  125. Anonymous, delighted to hear this! I hope many more young lawyers follow the same route.

    Robert M, fortunately I can get in there and fix it — as indeed I have done.

    Clay, yes, I did. He’s less wrong than most media pundits, but then that’s not saying much!

    Dave, thank you. As for the Ukraine war, the ball’s entirely in Russia’s court. The Kremlin gets to decide whether to commit the military resources necessary to win decisively, or whether it’s more in Russia’s interest to keep the war going as a black hole for Western weapons systems and money. Those are the two plausible options I can see.

    Travis, thanks for this.

    Neptunesdolphins, I think the word “recreation” applies…

    Jeff, thank you! Yes, I think that works quite well.

    Jon, in a consumer society, political possibilities are constrained by economic options, and so taking up a craft instead of depending on the system to do things for you is a revolutionary act. Equally, what you resist, persists; what you renounce, and walk away from, goes spinning off into the void.

    Marlena, interesting that that piece is still up — it was published in 2018. I wonder if it’s become popular again.

    Mister N, election rigging is as American as apple pie. It’s been this blatant before.

    Rajarshi, hmm! That would indeed make sense.

    Pamouna, if you can’t get Bioplasma, yes, you can mix it yourself. I use tablets but either will do. It’s important to use D6 if you possibly can.

    David BTL, there are at least two sources you can use to countercheck clairvoyant experiences. The first is other people’s clairvoyance; the second is the material world. If your visions conflict with either of those you’ve probably got something symbolic in nature.

    Other Owen, that’s one consolation. The other is “yeah, we’ve been here before.”

    Yorkshire, that joke assumes that nature, authority, and tradition are always wrong — which is just as incorrect as assuming that they’re always right.

    Peter, on the one hand, a lot of people are likely to give up on flying. On the other, commercial flying is becoming increasingly unaffordable in real terms — which is one of the reasons the amenities are being taken away. (I can still remember when airlines boasted about how much leg room they gave you.) I expect to see it become a rare event before the end of my life.

    AV, nope. I need quiet to do much of anything constructive.

    Samurai_47, thanks for this.

    Yavanna, I’m very sorry to say that Chesterton was right. I don’t think it had to turn out that way, but for a great many women, feminism started out as the radical idea that women are people, and turned into the far from radical idea that men aren’t.

    Kerry, plus ça change…

    Turtle, you’re welcome and thank you.

    Blue Sun, I think that we’re likely to see a wave of populist dictatorships in much of the New World. My sole question is whether the example here in the US will maintain the current constitution in a pro forma manner, as Roosevelt did, or will scrap it.

    J.L.Mc12, I don’t have a hope list! I just want to see what they come up with.

    Apprentice, er, yeah. That bit from his book just seems odd.

  126. @kevin46
    I think small cities, as someone mentioned with eds & meds or some light industry are your best bet, if you can afford them. Anything is a gamble, but you have to look for something that feels good to you. Farm towns are basically dead, certainly in California or Australia, unless they are close enough to a city to get urban refugees with independent means or have a dope or tourist economy. You mention being on the US west coast. I don’t know if you are familiar, for instance , with Taft, CA: a declining oil & ag town. Probably 80 o/o of the shops on the main street are closed, and half in the mall. Nearby Maricopa has one shop open on the main street: an excentric old Philipina lady. Many central valley “farm towns” consist of a gas station and mini mart. i would imagine the mid west and rust belt are the same for mostly the same reasons. Add economic decline and fossil fuel depletion, and it is anyone’s guess.
    Stephen

  127. @blue sun #96, if I may: I don’t see many similarities between the election system in the US and Brazil. In the US, counting is done locally, with differing rules in each county, often by machines that read (or try to read) paper ballots. The elector system means that small differences in vote counts in single states may be hugely important. The machines trying to read paper ballots mean that there are many opportunities for disputes.

    In Brazil, votes are cast electronically and counted centrally. This means that authentication of communication and counting in the federal election court is of utmost importance. The code is made available a year ahead of the elections to a number of independent institutions to check, and the voting results are accessible to any interested citizen. Since votes in the entire country are summed up, local differences are less crucial.

    Myself, I think good old paper ballots, counted in the presence of opposing parties, are the best solution, but this is a chicken-and-egg problem because you need functioning institutions to count votes reliably. Absent that, the Brazilian solution seems safer to me.

    In the US, there was probably room for a lot of investigation into fraud in every election for at least the last decades. From what was posted on this blog in 2020, I actually think Trump didn’t make a big effort to go after fraud.

    In Brazil, there has been no credible attempt at all to detect fraud in the elections. The only attempt that was made tried to invalidate certain urns in the second round of the presidential elections, without calling into doubt the results of those same urns in the elections four weeks earlier, which would be laughable if it weren’t dangerous.

  128. Anonymous #17:
    There is a study, http://www.richardwiseman.com/resources/staring1.pdf which placed experimental subjects in an identical experimental condition in every single way, right down to the script the receptionist read to them- **except that there were two receptionists, one who DID believe in the phenomenon studied in the experiment, and one who DID NOT**- and there was a statistically detectable difference in these two groups’ mean results larger than either group’s divergence from random chance.
    If it is possible to completely alter someone’s ability to perform a supernatural feat by having them sit too closely to someone on the bus ride to the experiment who doesn’t believe in the feat in question, then I think it’s actually very reasonable for persons to have a skepticism of paranormal phenomenon- as we would never actually be able to create an experimental environment subtle enough to detect the difference between the capacity not existing, and a blocked shot.

  129. @CRC:

    Thanks so much for your comments.

    “The problem was (and, again, I didn’t understand this at the time) because of my parent’s rural upbringing, I identified with the workers in the plant more than I did my fellow members of the PMC”

    Aha, of course you have no way of knowing this but you’ve raised one of my very favourite discussion topics. I also didn’t understand any of this at first, until, what happened was, I was in medical school and having a hard time relating to my classmates, and I took to the internet to figure out what was going on, and discovered this particular phenomenon of social class.

    Part of the reason that I didn’t feel compelled to go along with the mainstream medical narrative of the past several years is that I’ve never felt like part of the mainstream medical community (as a subset of the PMC community).

    Anyway I’m glad it worked out for you and that you’re doing well. I don’t mind saying that I struggled with it for a long time, with what one might call an identity crisis of sorts. It’s rare to find someone who is interested in this stuff – I observe that typically people who grew up in the PMC don’t understand the discussion, and people who didn’t grow up in it but “graduated” into it usually want to forget where they came from as fast as possible. The people like us, who found themselves on the PMC track but didn’t really fit in, are fairly uncommon.

    @Peter #125

    “do you think we will soon see a significant number of people just give up on air travel”

    Oh yes, I think so. My extended family is planning the trip of a lifetime for next year – an ancestry-themed tour of Scotland, and I am thinking about not going, unless, unironically, I can take a boat.

    *********

    As for the question about our favourite “collapse preparation” – well, I don’t know that this is my biggest answer but I’m enjoying my new wood stove, it uses way less wood than the furnace did and warms the house delightfully, no electricity used.

  130. It is now a neck and neck battle to see which if the most fragile and corrupt institutions of the American Empire will collapse first. At one point I would have said higher education but after the last week of meltdown in the air travel industry I think it has pulled in to the lead. As others have mentioned here, years and years of cost cutting to maintain profits while luring more and more flyers have left the airlines stripped to the bone with no resiliency left. The media has touted the near total collapse of Southwest Airlines system as just being the fault of weather and an out of date computer system . But my son flew in to town for the holidays on a different airline and his monday flight from PDX to LAX was canceled at the last minute and he could not get another flight until Thursday. 4 whole days delay for a measly Portland to LA trip. My son does not drive so he would have taken the train if there were seats but no luck there. I think we will see most of the domestic commercial airline business fall apart over the next couple of years, with only a couple of smaller ones left to ferry the rich from LA to New York and Miami.

  131. My guess is the US Constitution will continue to be kept in a pro forma manner. One could make a pretty solid argument that that’s already happened.

    What I think may be unique to the US case, based on my very limited knowledge of historical precedents, is the zeal with which many Americans treat the Constitution as a near-sacred document. I don’t believe there is an analog for that phenomenon in, say, the Roman case. (I’m not aware that any parts of Europe during the Middle Ages ever brought back aspects of the Republic.)

    It’s because of this reverence for the document that I could even imagine a resurrection or reinstatement of the Constitution far down the road. It may only happen in pockets of today’s fifty states, but I think it’s a real possibility. That gives me hope for the future, for what it’s worth.

  132. @ Samurai_47, the plot you describe reminds me strongly of the film “Jamaica Inn,” based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier. The central theme is essentially the same. Little coastal towns behaving like a satanically inverted inverted light house keeper must be quite an old story. It’s land-based piracy, and somewhat recalls the Sirens luring hapless sailors to their doom.

    I’ve never read du Maurier’s works, but notice that the films based on them are consistently of very high quality, so I infer that she must have been a remarkably good writer. I must pick up a book of hers some day soon.

  133. For those who read Spanish, I’d like to call a book to the general attention:

    https://madreditorial.com/tienda/el-fraude-del-arte-contemporaneo/

    Mexican art critic Avelina Lesper takes a machete to the dominant ideology of the modernist art establishment. She takes no prisoners.

    Formerly this book was only available only from a tiny publishing house in Bogotá, Colombia; now it has been republished by a firm in Mexico City. I’d love to see it translated into English and distributed throughout the anglophone world. Oh, the horror! 🙂

  134. About Russia, what are the signs you see that it is rejecting a Faustian pseudomorphosis to become a separate great culture? It seems you think that Faustian civilization will split into at least two, one in Russia and the other in the United States. This bothers me because it reminds me of the Cold War. I was born slightly before Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” comment, so I had always been surrounded by “the Cold War is over” thought. I would have wanted to see the Cold War as the latest of the sequence of the great diversity of conflicts that Faustian civilization has fought within itself since Charlemagne or so. But what you have said recently would suggest that the Cold War was just the beginning of a split that will last hundreds of years more as Faustian civilization falls apart, and therefore that the Cold War might be more important than many other historical events that sounded more exciting. It certainly reminds me of my parents’ generation’s ego. On the other hand, Russia is in fact again in conflict with the rest of Faustian civilization.
    A while back there were some people from Russia that I spoke to a lot, and I studied the Russian language. I am no longer in touch with them, but at least some of them have returned to Russia and are probably on the other side of the Ukraine War. Russian culture definitely has a “familiar but exotic” feeling compared to the more familiar feeling of perhaps Italy. It seemed to me, though, like the most relevant differences were related the memory of Communism, so I want the difference not to constitute a civilizational distinction since Communism and Capitalism are just two of the many economic systems invented by Faustian civilization. But maybe this is just what is left over by the exhaustion of Faustian ideological innovation, just as both Faustian and Magian civilization built on the memory of the late Roman emperor, ruled by an emperor named Caesar, complete with newly-introduced Christianity, despite the traditional religion and several government types that Apollonian civilization had previously contained.
    I keep feeling taunted by the notion that dividing historical civilizations by religion is more accurate than the Apollonian—Faustian—Magian boundaries set by Oswald Spengler. I don’t know enough about the Byzantine Empire or the Muslim world to be sure that they belong together more than the Byzantines belong with the Faustian west. I definitely can see the “expands indefinitely outward” vision more in Communist Atheism than I can see it in Byzantine Christianity. So then both Magian and Faustian civilizations started with Christianity, then one converted almost entirely to Islam and the other started bubbling lightly out with exotic things like Wicca and whatever kind of abstract thought causes 75% of Sweden to call itself Christian while another 75% of Sweden doesn’t believe in God.
    So what is Russia doing that seems so much like a rejection of Faustian civilization? Is it just that it doesn’t want to listen to the United Nations about adjusting boundaries or whatever? I did notice that the Russians wanted to call themselves Russian Orthodox out of a sense of loyalty regardless of “heretical” speculation on spiritual matters, while the “nerds” with non-immigrant parents I knew at the time wanted a religious label to match their personal opinion more closely. But I don’t think this strictly matches Russia versus the United States from what I see now. Orthodox Christianity does feel like it wants to counterbalance a Faustian exterior more than the varieties further west because of things like use of historical languages and the Julian calendar. Russia also has the presence of Judaism and Islam as more an integral part of its history than as contributions by immigrants.

  135. Quin, # 60, I have another person to add to the prayer list. I just found out tonight that my friend’s 7 year old son (also my son’s pal) may have an autoimmune disease and that he is having issues with his blood and liver.

    She said his difficulties started in the last few months. He has always seemed fine to me. I don’t like to think the shot he and all his family got last winter has anything to do with it but . . . Anyway, she is open to healing prayers for her son. His name is Cedar. He goes in for testing the 30th.

    And, I’m curious, what is praying on Sunday at the sun hour? Sorry if I didn’t get the wording right.

    Thanks all!
    Ellen in ME

  136. I don’t get the impression that Rod’s gay so much as he is girly. If a picture ever turns up of him pulling a Franklin Covey notebook out of s tote bag, I won’t be surprised. For those of you who missed it, that was an aspiring-PMC-female class marker back in the ‘90’s. She got bonus status points if she could manage to arrange the open notebook in such a way that nearby people could see her notes relating to her Pampered Chef or Scentsy “business.”

    I hope the truth about Rod’s bouillabaisse comes out someday, I can’t help but be curious. There’s something he’s holding back. In Louisiana, fish stew would hardly be considered exotic, snooty, or PMC. Something besides the soup caused the family rift. Whatever it is, I hope they work it out.

  137. JMG: Awhile back you conjectured that China’s Covid restrictions might be a cover or a testing ground for suppressing political dissent. I recently came across someone who agrees with you on that.

    A former BlackRock Executive named Ed Dowd (I was not familiar with him before coming across this), according to this link, said the following in an interview: “These riots we’re seeing are basically due to economic reasons. And COVID is just cover to impose restrictions on gatherings and protests.”

    That caught my eye because it reminded me of what you said. Here’s the link where I got the quote. The interview itself is video, unfortunately:

    https://sage.gab.com/channel/redvoicemedia/view/ed-dowd-china-imploding-using-zero-covid-6386c67c4e7953ca3af1e2b9

    There is a bit of summary text at this link, but no transcript that I could find. Ed Dowd has Twitter and GETTR accounts so it’s possible he may have more written there, but I didn’t find anything more related to his position on China’s Covid lockdowns.

  138. Clay, the most fragile and corrupt institutions of the American empire…talk about a target-rich environment!

    Blue Sun, that’s also a factor, of course. My guess is that the Constitution won’t be abolished, but amended in such a way as to make large parts of it a dead letter. But we’ll see.

    Chicory, I’m not relying on current signs. The idea that Russia is in the process of birthing a new high culture has been in circulation in the occult community for nearly 150 years and was discussed by Oswald Spengler among others. North America, you may be interested to know, is expected to do the same thing, but later — the Russian high culture will begin its emergence around the end of this century, while the American high culture won’t get started until 2600 or so. I’ve discussed this in more detail here:

    https://www.ecosophia.net/america-and-russia-part-one-stirrings-in-the-borderlands/
    https://www.ecosophia.net/america-and-russia-part-two-the-far-side-of-progress/
    https://www.ecosophia.net/america-and-russia-tamanous-and-sobornost/

    Your Kittenship, well, we’ll see. Or not, as the case may be.

    Blue Sun, interesting. It’ll be interesting, also, to see how things unfold now that the Covid restrictions have been dropped.

  139. @Lunarapprentice et al re: Dreher (shrugs) I don’t know the guy, and “gaydar” has never been one of my talents, but you needn’t look any further than the manic-depressive pattern of his writing over time, his painkiller addiction (which he’s written about), and his frequent solo trips to Europe, to find reasons for the dissolution of his marriage. Many a relationship has foundered on less.

    Chaste courtship is fine, as long as it’s agreeable to both partners. It has worked out well for many people even in these liberated times, but you won’t often hear about it from them because those for whom it’s worked well don’t give it much thought (they stopped being celibate some time ago– life has moved on!). It seems unfair to generalize about the practice from the results of people who are keen on talking about it– after all, violating your partner’s sexual privacy, in public conversation, does not bode well for the marriage no matter what rules were followed during courtship.

  140. @ Peter & JMG
    I spend about half the year in Mexico and the other half part with my daughter and part at a little cabin both in California.I live very cheaply in both places. So I fly twice a year. I hate the experience, more the terminals and buses than the flight itself, which is only 3 hours. It is becoming more expensive, but still affordable. I would hate to give up either half of my life, and am 82, so may not have to, at least for that reason. I sure would not want to go traveling about any more though.I guess I have lived through the golden age of travel and feel blessed for it.
    Stephen

  141. @JMG

    I wanted to ask you this question regarding your research methods for writing nonfiction books; I should have asked this last week itself, but here goes –

    I read a quote by the great environmental historian William McNeill on how he did his research prior to writing his book, and his method was almost identical to yours, with one exception – he said that the part about identifying a central question and developing the core message of the book is quite often an iterative process, depending upon the literature he consulted. In your reply about your research method, you didn’t mention anything about iterative processes. Hence, this brings me to my question – are your research methods also iterative? If yes, then it must have been implied in your answer. If no, how do you work around a situation where further reading requires modification of the central question and/or the central case made by you in your book? Thanks in anticipation.

  142. Is there a spell we can cast to get to the bottom of Bouillabaissegate?

    I almost forgot—here’s some office-supply trivia! 😄. Franklin Covey company did not invent the planner-and-organizer. That was invented in the mid-20th century by a lawyer with a firm that employed Byzantine billing procedures. Unable to keep track of his 4 different kinds of hourly rates, he cooked up a system for doing same. His fellow lawyers said “Hey, make me one of those!” and before you know it, he was running a company called Daytimer. I’ve used their products for 40 years (when you have a handicapped child, there’s a LOT of paperwork). I have not, however, paid for their products for 40 years, a good thing since planner-and-organizer refills are quite expensive. Not, I hasten to add, that your Princess has sticky paws. 5-6 years ago, I found in the St. Vincent De Paul store a large Franklin Covey brand notebook, price $4, with several hundred blank pages included. Best $4 I ever spent. I’ve been re-dating and using those pages ever since. I always did that anyway, with any blank pages I had left at the end of the year, but the thrift-store jackpot has carried me along for 5 years. My gratitude goes out to the PMC aspirant who threw up her hands and donated her P & O at some point. FC’s selling point is that their system is so complicated you need to take a class to use it correctly—God bless that lady who decided it wasn’t worth fooling with. (I’ve never tried the FC system, I just recycle their pages.)

    It’s a shame P & O’s acquired girl cooties in the ‘90’s. The concept itself is perfectly reasonable. And now you know where it came from!

  143. Kevin 46

    > Does anyone happen to know which communities, or which types of communities, have done least badly in the midwestern rust belt over the last forty or fifty years? Do I guess correctly that these may be rural farming communities?

    In 2019, when I was researching areas to possibly move to from Northern California, I was favoring Maine. As I read more history of Maine, I found out that New England is highly polluted — environmental disasters. Going back to the 1700s, one of the first “industries” were mills on rivers. Maine has, umm, 300-400 years worth of accumulated pollution. I ditched Maine. I checked out Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts — same thing. By then, I gave up on New England. Besides, New England land prices are high enough that I couldn’t afford the kind of plot I was looking for. Out went New England.

    On the other hand, the state to which I ultimately moved, Wisconsin, started in 1830s, so has only 200 years worth of pollution. For poor to middling income people who cannot afford to live in non-polluted areas of polluted states, this 200-year difference makes a difference probability-wise.

    Ohio is one of the worst regarding accumulated pollution.

    Both the west coast and east coast are unaffordable. States west of the Mississippi River are dry and getting dryer. Southern states are hot and getting hotter (that means Kentucky and points south). What region is left? JMG suggested the region in, I hear tell, at least one of his books: the upper Midwest. I know nothing about Illinois and Indiana. Minnesota is west of the Mississippi River. I know something about Wisconsin even though I am a newbie because I make a point of reading history. The Madison area is doing fine (I wish it had prettier architecture). I read that Green Bay and points on the western shore of Lake Michigan, like Sheboygan, are doing well. Milwaukee, so I hear, is also doing well. The triangle between Green Bay, Madison, and Milwaukee, I think, is a promising area (if I knew then what I know now, this triangle is where I would look to live). I live outside of that triangle, but just. One one side, I am a mariners’ daughter, and on the other side, a mariners’ granddaughter-and-great-granddaughter, and I sure miss “the sea.” I wish I were closer to Lake Michigan (which is a sea). The Door Peninsula is touted as being the Cape Cod of Wisconsin (never been).

    Are there any readers here who can chime in regarding how some upper Midwest rustbelt cities have been doing since 1970? I admit that I have only been in Wisconsin for 2.5 years. I like it. When in California (I lived there thirty-five years), we had a wonderful house but people were sucky (no-one gives a sh_t). Now in Wisconsin, we have a not-so-hot fixer-upper house but people are the best — they are not faking when they say “they care.” Lots of family farms, dairy, cows, corn, sparse population, cold. I love wind and cold. It is sometimes windy. Air is pristine. I stand out on the porch to catch the wind — it feels alive — lungs of the planet.

    Weather-wise, it feels like southern Wisconsin has a dome over it keeping out storms, except this last frigid one where every place got hit. Going on evidence of the last year, we haven’t gotten hit by rainstorms and snowstorms that have plagued all around us. Personally, I think Wisconsin is a well-kept secret because of how positive a state it is. If I didn’t know better, I would say Wisconsin is magical. One would never know it is magical simply by looking at it — one must scratch the surface.

    Back to your question(s). We live outside Madison where farmers have spent the last thirty years selling off pieces of their land to housing developers. It is sad that farmers have to sell off parts of their land to pay bills. But farmers tend to sell land that never was very good for farming in the first place. We live in a developer’s house. Nearby, there are three kinds of people: farmers, people who commute to Madison, and retirees. That means there is a mix of farms and ‘suburban developments.’

    Farmers probably have mixed feelings regarding the suburban plots they have sold off. From the view of the other direction, I LOVE having farms around. I hear moos of cows several times a week. Smells of hay and occasionally manure. I love driving 40 mph in 55mph zones, and don’t give a hoot about speed-demons driving behind me — if they get all tense, NOT my problem. Our town is quiet, and that, to some, means boring. I am not bored. I watch hundreds of birds out our windows — birds make the place interesting. I feed birds so, on any given day, many flocks come through looking for a full meal or merely a snack. Some birds know me.

    Southern Wisconsin hasn’t caught on, which translates to relatively cheap housing, both bought and rent. I hope Southern Wisconsin never catches on. Part of the charm is that the area is not well-known and people have no idea to move here. Wisconsin-ites prefer it when someone says, ”Wisconsin? What kind of place is THAT? That is fly-over country. Country bumpkins are there. Nah.” Lovin’ the nah. I see airplanes above my house going east-west (and vice versa), and I say, “Keep flying past, tudballs. We don’t want you here.” Then I give them the finger.

    Since I am Buddhist, southern Wisconsin has a few Buddhist temples to choose from. Hindus are here too. Madison is a college town and is relatively cosmopolitan.

    Does this help?

    Wishing you well. Have a pleasant New Year’s celebration‼️

    🥳Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  144. @Kevin;

    First of all, if you liked the Nautilus House, you’d love Tres Piedras, NM. The organization now known as Earthship Global originally settled there because there’s so little in the way of zoning laws and building codes. Then, IIRC, the Earthship people convinced the local government to waive most of those for EG’s property, essentially setting the place up as an architectural experiment zone. I’ve been there and it’s wild: remarkable buildings, mostly, but also the occasional absolute disaster.

    Second, zoning laws in a great many local areas are designed (and some of the people pushing for them even admit this) to keep low-income people out so that the local government won’t have to fund social services for them. When I first moved to New England, pretty much the entire state of Connecticut was so expensive that even the highest paid blue collar people, such as plumbers, didn’t live there but drove in from Rhode Island and Western Massachusetts.

  145. Re: passport bros and bridezillas; my take on it is that, as capitalism has adapted to easy divorce by providing far more support for single people than it did 50 years ago (jobs for women regardless of marital status, a much broadened selection of frozen meals for one, the roomba, etc.) there is a significant minority who decide that, since they have no practical need to be married, they’re going to hold out for perfect satisfaction. Perfect anything is of course unattainable, but these people don’t get that; they think it’s not just possible, it’s actually what they deserve, and if they don’t get it, why, the other sex is not treating them right. This seems to be mainly a heterosexual phenomenon; I have never heard of anything like it in the gay community.

  146. @Chicory

    It is useful to look away from surface labels such as ‘Christianity’ and look at deeper patterns when looking through the Spenglerian Lens. It is a meaningless term when viewing cultures and civilisations this way as cultures have a habit of taking the same symbols and using them to express their own world feeling.

    Architecture is a great example, but you could take any form in which a culture expresses itself. Byzantium belongs very obviously in the Magian world, and you need to look no further than Hagia Sophia. It was built as a Christian building but was effortlessly converted to a Mosque because it encapsulates the same cavern-feeling which is typical of Magian architecture. It’s all in the domes.

    The Gothic Cathedral stands apart as indicative of the upward striving Faustian spirit, with the spire reaching up and the stain glass windows saying ‘let there be light’. Converting one to a Mosque would be impossible without radical restructuring because they are trying to make very different impressions.

    Now arrive at St Basil’s in Moscow. It is undoubtedly a glance at something new and different, though not quite formed. Spengler thought Russia was all about the horizontal plane, and therefore brotherhood and JMG’s idea of Sobernost. Spengler leaned heavily on Dostoyevsky (to him Tolstoy was thinking in a Faustian manner) to see into what he thought was the coming culture, with Zosima and Alyosha in Brothers Karamazov representing it best.

  147. Hello to John and friends!

    It has been a while since I last posted but I want to wish everyone a happy new year!

    Anyway, it’s been an interesting year and I thought I will make a list of predictions for 2023 and my thoughts on some matters that concern the Long Descent and the trajectory of civilisation. So let’s begin.

    Predictions:

    1) A negotiated peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine. Russia probably takes Donbass and keeps Crimea where as Ukraine is admitted to NATO and fast tracked into the EU.

    Interesting to note that the West is running out of ammunition and the talking heads have started to tell Zelensky “you must do a deal with Russia.” So it’s on the cards.

    2) Economic Recession and a potential Depression in the UK. Right now the UK is starting to enter a very similar period to how the USSR was in the 1980s under Gorbachev. Things stopped working and the politics was rotten to the core.

    Usually these things are precipitated by a collapse and then revival. The UK has had a head start on America and the rest of Europe in this regards due to Brexit. Energy wise they have a very dark 2020s and the light only slowly starts to return in the 2030s. So times will be rough for the Brits and King Charles III won’t have a glorious reign.

    3) Europe continues as before

    Europe will continue squabbling around but due to the economic strength of the EU, I expect them to survive for another decade. I would estimate that by Britain’s time scale, the Nordic and Benelux countries l, Germany included, are in a 2000s UK decade scenario. The rot is there, they are voting for nationalist parties but they still have some comfort.

    UK struggled more with 2008 and Brexit ripped the band aid off to expose the dark underbelly. The UK got a head start basically.

    I suspect the 2030s and 2040s will be more trying times for Western Europe…

    However Eastern Europe is going to have a huge economic boom as middle class IT professionals decide to leave the rot of their own homelands and go East for safety and better economic opportunities.

    4) America

    I think that 2023 will remain calm but 2024 is when the fireworks happen. Trump is going to dominate the news as usual. He gets the nomination, it’s the same craziness. He doesn’t get it, he goes third party to spite everyone.

    Big question is if the base silently accepts another Joe Biden win or decide to really start pushing some kind of secessionist movement. Depends how comfortable they are.

    But I don’t expect anything unusual for America.

    Iran: Could have a revolution. Or they squash it. We will see.

    China: Big question mark on that housing bubble. Will it blow and cause a depression there? Who knows?

    Africa, Middle East, South America, East Asia: Business as usual

    Ok so now to comment on Sobornost as that has been discussed, America, bit of Theosophy and what have you.

    What we have to understand is that there has been a shift of power since the end of WWII. Before 1914 – all technological but also philosophical, educational and even Occultic progress was made in Europe.

    You may remember names like Steiner, Crowley, Waite, Blavatsky, to name but a few. Vast majority were in Europe.

    Suddenly after 1945 the consciousness switched. All of the souls who were going to change the world or have an impact on it somehow were born in the North American continent. JMG ring a bell? Think of all the scientists, business people, Occult practicioners, all of them are now in America.

    You barely if ever hear of anyone from Europe.

    Then you have technology. Where is it all coming from? California, not Europe.

    Europe is a dying old continent that has nothing else left to give. It has no spark there and when you talk to people from there, most of them seem so…I dunno…uninspiring? Dull? Horrible to say but there is no grab the world with the Europeans anymore. Elite and the people alike

    As for Russia….Russia is Russia. There is no spiritual or economic or cultural Revolution here right now. However as John has pointed out – it’ll begin with more advanced souls being born later on this century. Right now the main topic here is economic comfort and security. However with this trend, new ideas with blossom forward.

    I predict that Russia will at some point build a new form of Socialism. Edgar Cayce pointed out that the USSR was not the socialism he envisioned but the future socialism will be God’s socialism.

    The seeds are already here and as the Long Descent continues, I suspect there will be another “March to the Dacha” movement along with sharing and caring. I also suspect new spiritual philosophies and ideas will pour out of Russia later on this century – competing with American Occultists.

    I also do feel that Russia itself has its fate closely tied in with Israel and itself will become some sort of “New Israel”. I could see the old Israel and the new working quite closely together in future centuries, especially as American demographics wildly change and it moves once again more from it’s European roots, just as it did with its English roots before…

    America though is still young. She has a long way to go and is in a Roman/Greek period. More discoveries and ideas will come from the American continent as time goes on. America will provide the innovation, Russia the knowledge.

    So yes that is it from me today. I hope everyone is well! Next year when I come on, I intend to maybe post about new things.

  148. @JMG, @Jay Pine 137

    Events in my own life over the last 18 months mean that my study of astrology has had to take a back seat, but I spent a period looking into the traditional mundane variety fairly deeply and I hope to return to it in due course. Naturally I speculated on why it works and under what circumstances it works and reached an entirely unorthodox theory that I may as well share here. I doubt I’m original; there’s nothing new under the sun!

    It seems to me that as well as the obvious cycles of the seasons, there are a great many other cycles both long and short that heavily influence our cultural, economic, and natural lives. To give two different examples the well known 11 year sunspot cycle, or the lesser known cycle of turnings outlined in The 4th Turning (Howe/Strauss). The latter kind of cycles are particularly difficult to get a culture obsessed by linear progression to acknowledge. I believe there are a lot more out there than are generally realised.

    Enter a pre-industrial people capable of keeping very long term records via their clay tablet information technology. The Chaldeans and Babylonian’s are well set up to notice many of these regularly occurring events and by the way live underneath an enormous clock visible every night because the skies are often clear. As well as the sun and moon there are various other ‘hands’. I can’t remember how many planets they were aware of but it probably doesn’t matter. The way the planets appear to move in the sky is not simple but it is repetitive over a long enough time scale. They have good enough long term records to spot it. Find an astronomic cycle that matches a natural or cultural cycle on earth and you’ve essentially got the basics of astrology. In other words, originally the cycles in the sky no more caused events on the ground than the clock showing 4pm causes teatime. You don’t need any concept of ‘influence’ to see how things get started, it’s simply a very handy correlation.

    Over the millennia since the situation is complicated by two factors, one of which is allowed under a materialistic framework, the other is not although I happen to think it’s important.

    So to the first, once everybody operates in a world where astrology is taken as real you can predict the actions of others by taking astrology into account. Under these circumstances astrology stops being a mere correlation and becomes an actual cause of various events in the human world. This has certainty happened in the past and is documented in the history of William Lilly, an astrologer active during the English Civil Wars in the 1640s. More recently the Taliban’s entry into Kabul seems to have been astrologically timed.

    Secondly, there’s the idea of egregor which JMG is certainly far better placed to understand and explain than I am, but from my own limited perspective its the occult theory that ideas, beliefs, and actions that are regularly repeated can take on a life of their own independent of the origin. Hope I got that right btw. It’s on the edge of my understanding. If you accept it, then astrology certainly could develop all kinds of egregors, and before you know it you have an entire ecology of intelligences, influences etc.

    I’ve only scratched the surface of the implications of any of this and given that I’m an older guy who’s lifelong materialism was recently shattered by the discovery that I could occasionally accurately predict the future via the tools of divination I certainly don’t have time this time around to go into it very deeply. I’m going to keep going out of a sense of curiosity and see what else I can find out.

  149. @ Anonymous #17 Re: Variability of PSI
    One study indicated that all our PSI abilities experience a bump up when we are in a 2-hour PSI window, between 12:30 and 14:30 in Local Sidereal Time each day. This happens when your part of the Earth is on the other side of the Earth’s magnetic core from the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. The Earth’s magnetic shadow, if you will. Why this should be, no one knows. You can read the paper in reprint in Appendix B of “McMoneagle J, Remote Viewing Secrets, A Handbook” (ISBN 1-57174-159-3)
    or here:
    http://www.jsasoc.com/docs/JSE-LST.pdf

    @Greco #21 , @Clarke #47 Re: Psychic historical research
    You may be interested in Joseph McMoneagle’s book, “The Ultimate Time Machine,” which details formal studies of remote viewing/clairvoyance on historical sites. His opinion is that some people are more gifted with RV than others, and that the really good ones are completely correct as much as 30% of the time

  150. Hello JMG and commentariat

    The discussion started by @CRC #49 comparing the PRC’s mode of upbringing and living with the traditional reminded me of David Goodhart’s 2017 book “The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics”. From a review at the time in the Guardian, Goodhart “argues that the key faultline in Britain and elsewhere now separates those who come from Somewhere – rooted in a specific place or community, usually a small town or in the countryside, socially conservative, often less educated – and those who could come from Anywhere: footloose, often urban, socially liberal and university educated”. The review (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/22/the-road-to-somewhere-david-goodhart-populist-revolt-future-politics) lays out the key arguments of the book pretty well and makes the case also that that the qualities Goodhart admires among the Somewheres – “including neighbourliness, trust and a sense of shared destiny” – are to be found in minority groups.

    Best wishes for 2023 to JMG and all his readers

  151. JMG yes, and I don’t see a response from you in the comments. I posted on Monday so its one of the last comments on the page.

  152. JMG,

    Some years ago, you responded to someone about wheter Druidism might one day become a major force shaping the spiritual life of the future human societies.

    Your answer was along the lines of: Only if all other competing religions/spiritualities trip and fall flat.
    Your answer has been returning to me often, and finally i have writen some thoughts about it:

    First, there is the thing that this may well happen! After all, our present crimes aginst our lands will doubtless be a fundamental part of the future spiritual sensitivities, just as the excesses of the Pagan world were the ground where Christianity sprout. Many faiths today fail on my opinion to properly adress this and the effect of this sin on our own consciousness.

    Second, as the Piscis era comes to an end, maybe there will not be huge, dominant religions just like in the past. I see Aquarius as an individualistic sign, and so, maybe, spirituality in the future will be much more a personal matter, rather than a comunitarian one.

    Since Druidism not only accepts, but rather demands a personal approach and interpretation, maybe that will prove a crucial advantage.

  153. JMG asks, “Hackenschmidt, thank you for this! Do you have a convenient online source for the fuel consumption numbers [of WWII]? I want to be able to cite that in an upcoming post.”

    I know of no single one for all combatants then and today, nor of a single authoritative source, since figures of production and consumption are mixed (eg Japan imported about 70% of its oil from the US in 1939, this slowed in 1940 and essentially stopped in 1941, but some sources just look at total use), or exports aren’t counted (the US exported a lot). But here are some various.

    Perhaps the most useful would be the League of Nations Yearbook.

    https://wayback.archive-it.org/6321/20160901222852/http://digital.library.northwestern.edu/league/le0280ah.pdf

    Page 128, table 58, gives us member countries’ production in thousands of tonnes. There we see the US having 182.7Mt or 1.3 billion barrels of oil produced. Japan having 0.377Mt and the Dutch East Indies having 7.9Mt you can see why it was a tempting target for them – but also how, even with that, they were massively out-supplied by the US. Germany’s 0.65Mt in 1939 explains why their famed armoured divisions were always hugely-outnumbered by their horse-drawn military, and why Romania’s 5.7Mt (and dwindling, you can see their numbers dropping in the stats), and the SU’s 29.7Mt looked appealing. You can also see why Japan wanted Borneo, Germany and Italy wanted Egypt, and so on.

    This article gives an overview of the oil situation in WWII = https://thundersaidenergy.com/2022/03/03/oil-and-war-ten-conclusions-from-wwii/ – and states,

    “America provided 85% of the allies’ total oil. US output rose from 3.7Mbpd to 4.7Mbpd. 7bn bbls were consumed by the US and its allies from 1941-45, of which 6bn bbls was produced in the US.”

    The 6-7Bn figure, which has appeared in many places online, seems to derive from simply multiplying the 4.7Mbpd figure by 1/0.85 by 365 days for 4-5 years, I know of no total accounting, though I imagine one would have been done by the US War Department after September 1945.

    I’d just add that the quote is a bit inaccurate; not all the USA’s production was in the US, but it was by US companies in Iran, Bahrain, etc. Looking at the League of Nations data you can see they already had a fair bit. It was also US companies who pushed things along in Saudi Arabia, which was not the huge producer then we’ve come to think of it as.

    As for the figure I mentioned about Japan, this gives a bit more detail of their consumption in WWII – http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/O/i/Oil.htm – and we can see the 1,095 days of the Pacific War they consumed 154 million barrels, or 154/1095=0.14Mbbl/day. They now consume 3.812 million a day, which is 27 times faster. Their entire consumption in the Pacific War would last them about 40 days now. So I overstated it earlier, but this is why you do more research for articles than comments on articles.

    Current world oil consumption can be found in a list on wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_consumption

    The USA’s current consumption of 19.78 million barrels a day is 7.22 billion barrels annually. The world’s is about 100 million daily, or 3.65 billion annually.

    So overall we can say the US alone in a single year now uses more oil than it took the Allies to fight six years of the most destructive war in human history.

    Figures for total production of tanks, aircraft etc can be found here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_production_during_World_War_II

  154. Robert Mathiesen, I recently started playing a difficult game called Free Cell. Don’t have many wins yet. If I start another game I’ll let you know my beginning wins and losses.

  155. Hi everybody,

    I‘ve got two questions today (one about Latin, and one about used book stores in the EU), and would appreciate JMG‘s reply and that of everybody else who knows something about it. 🙂

    1. Latin

    I very much feel like polishing up my school Latin and getting to read occult texts in their Latin source. However, my school days have been over for a while now, and I never was a great translator to begin with. Hence I‘m wondering how much time and effort I‘d need to invest in order to reach practical reading skills good enough for, say, Agrippa or the Picatrix.

    Learning the technical terms is the easy part. 😉

    JMG, from your experience, what is the general „difficulty level“ of medieval or renaissance occult texts? Say, compared to Caesar‘s De Bello Gallico (which if I remember correctly is on the easier side of the original texts) – are they roughly on the same level? A bit more difficult? A lot more difficult?

    And how much does the medieval/renaissance Latin differ from the „classic“ Latin taught at school?

    ….

    2. EU used book stores

    Does anybody know any online used book stores with a decent selection of English books* which are located in the EU**?

    I‘m always on the lookout for used books in any of the various areas that me or my family are interested in – if we bought everything new, I‘d need an additional income stream or two just for books… 😉 A good source for English second hand books on eclectic topics would be very welcome!

    ** I‘ve had some hassle with taxes and customs with deliveries from outside the EU, so would prefer EU stores for simplicity

    * „decent selection“ = whatever people in the comment section here would find interesting – I don‘t care much about the bestsellers of the day…

    ….

    3. Finally, a shoutout to Andrew Skeen (#8) – his divinations are incredibly helpful, intuitive and to the point. A heartfelt recommendation from me if you are in need of a horary astrology divination!

    Hope you‘re all going to slide well into the new year (figuratively, not literally!!), and may it be a healthy and blessed one for you all! 🙂

    Milkyway

  156. This conversation on populist candidates, voting, and constitutions…does any of that matter if 17 intelligence agencies of our own and who knows how many foreign ones are embedded in newspapers, tv news channels, and social media companies deleting stories and people and either highlighting or making-up others? We have no idea what the truth is or who would have it. Everything I could look up online about what is going on now is tainted in various ways. I don’t see how we could elect our way out of this problem or use legal means. Everyone is infected – judges, juries, voters, elected representatives. Yes, it’s always been the case to some degree, but now the intelligence agencies are *the* power over our communication, finances, employment, and health care. They are the new state church.

  157. Blue Sun comments,

    “My guess is the US Constitution will continue to be kept in a pro forma manner. One could make a pretty solid argument that that’s already happened.”

    My favourite scenario for a US collapse is a fizzle. One day the US Congress can’t agree on a budget bill, and there’s a federal government shutdown, and… it’s never resolved. After a year or so, the better-off states start taking on some of the more useful federal programmes “temporarily”, and after another year start collecting federal taxes “just on behalf of the federal government, just to cover those programmes, and just temporarily.” And with the states taking over the more useful federal functions, there’s less pressure on Congress to resolve the shutdown – which becomes permanent.

    Of course, not all states could afford this, but the more well-off states would sponsor them, if they felt it worth it for whatever reason (maintaining roads/railways through there for trade with other well-off states, avoiding hordes of refugees, etc). Though some might get cut loose entirely – these would be the ones whose representatives and Senators who’d still be talking seriously about ending the shutdown five years in…

    Nothing would change on the paper of the US Constitution, but in practice the Union would be – well, if not dissolved, at least a much looser one. More of a NATO than an EU.

    “What I think may be unique to the US case, based on my very limited knowledge of historical precedents, is the zeal with which many Americans treat the Constitution as a near-sacred document.”

    Ah, but the thing about sacred documents is that you worship the document itself but ignore its words. The Bible, Torah and Koran come to mind.

  158. Regarding your reply #139 to Dave, it has been my opinion for a while that the first of the two likely outcomes – a clear Russian victory and collapse of Ukraine – is the best thing that could now happen and the quicker the better. To my surprise I have also heard that quietly muttered by a few other people here in Britain, though of course it’s not generally an acceptable opinion to hold. The impression I get here is that many people don’t really have emotional investment in what happens to Ukraine, any more than they did with the Balkan wars of twenty years ago. Most people are far more concerned with energy prices and the cost of living crisis and can we please get back to the way things were in 2019.

  159. @JMG

    What’s your take on the Out-of-Africa theory of human origins? I personally think anatomically modern humans may have evolved in at least Australia as well, independently of Africa (apparently, given some interesting anthropological evidence, there’s even a fringe theory called the Out-of-Australia theory); but then, I could be wrong – we don’t know what civilizations existed in really ancient times (and there’s no reason to believe that they definitely didn’t), so there could have been ocean-going vessels even 40k years ago, for all we know. If true, this could be a strong piece of evidence in favour of the single point-of-origin side. On the other hand, given convergent evolution, it’s entirely possible that humans evolved independently in Africa and Australia (and maybe India?); either way, it’s an interesting area of research, IMO.

  160. >the air travel experience in recent years has been getting so bad that I’ve told my wife I may never fly again. I’ve just had it with the airlines.

    With the airlines, I think it’s a case of their costs are rising and their pricing power isn’t really there, plus the customer service aspect of the airlines today consists of “Well, if you don’t like it, go away so we can handle the guy behind you”. So they keep cutting corners and cutting corners. Cue Southwest’s collapse. Something something, you get what you pay for.

    There are other options – but – they are more expensive. There are a number of small charter operators out there, look one up (search for “Part 135 charter”), call them and tell them when and where you want to go and they’ll give you a quote. You might not like the price they give you, and now we come to a quandary – which is more painful to you? The knees? Or the price? Although some people have found that a charter bizjet flight when divided over a sufficient number of people is almost competitive with first class. That’s sort of why the bizjets exist in the first place. At least you can be semi-guaranteed first class customer service with a charter operator.

    You won’t be going to the Big Airport, you’ll be leaving from some small podunk airport instead, and depending on the type of plane and what their charter from the FAA allows, the weather may ground them, but that’s not too much different than what the airlines have to deal with. As you saw last winter storm, they get grounded too. At least with a charter operator, they’re going to be pretty clear with communication. In some cases, you’ll be dealing with the pilot and not with any gate agents at all. If you want to charter part of the trip and do part with an airline, they’ll work with you to get you to the big airport and maybe even get you to the gate you need.

    The other options for air travel are even more costly and more painful and you’d have to be a bit weird and eccentric to explore them (or angling to go pro). But if you want to go full DIY, there’s a flight school somewhere near you, I imagine. Although some of them have waiting lists.

  161. Peter re air travel, the reason the seats are small and other parts of the service are rubbish is because people aren’t prepared to pay the price necessary to provide a decent service. The airline industry is a Robin Hood industry, the people in economy are being subsidised by Business Class and First… they are essentially not paying for the product they are receiving.

    Planes are expensive; global computer systems are expensive; airport real estate is expensive; good pilots and computer staff are expensive; and the capital needs of running an airline are colossal. Airlines make peanuts (4% in an OK year), profitability is about half of a supermarket chain (8% in an OK year, and they don’t have many of the huge costs of an airline)… and didn’t I read that Apple’s markup is 30%? The major American airlines made more losses in two years in the 80s (Reagan’s deregulation) than they’d made profit… in their entire history!

    You’re quite right though, things are worse, for reasons that readers of this blog will be all too familiar with. I expect, within my lifetime (I’m in my 60s), it’s likely that most people will have to decide which continent they spend the rest of their life on… intercontinental air travel will simply be too expensive, if even available to anyone other than the military, politicians and organised crime (sorry, I’m repeating myself), just as it was up to the beginning of the 80s.

    I would note that, while I worked for the Chief Economist of a major airline (and in IT and Cabin Crew), I’m no apologist for corporate capitalism. I would also note that I think that air travel is likely to get more dangerous, due to the trashing of safety protocols and staff experience (particularly Cabin Crew). The wonderful Captain Sullenberger may have landed the plane in the Hudson, but it was the Cabin Crew who successfully evacuated all the passengers with few serious injuries. The dumbing down of knowledge and experience of Cabin Crew is quite frightening!

  162. Anonymous Millennial,
    Thank you for your post. It prompted me to tell my son (who has done the same thing) how very proud I am of his chosen use of his law degree. I was really worried about his future when he entered law school but you and he have both found your own path through, around and past the norm. May your business thrive. His has been going for nearly 2 decades now.

  163. More imaginary wealth goes poof.

    “Midas Investments, the hybrid centralized/decentralized (CeDeFi) cryptocurrency platform, announced Tuesday that they will shut down operations as of Dec. 27 and will deduct 55% from most customer accounts to “balance assets and liabilities.” This morning, Midas’ CEO shut down his own AMA with customers after less than half an hour. “I am writing to you today with a heavy heart to announce that the Midas platform is closing down,” wrote Iakov Levin, CEO of Midas Investments, who also goes by ‘Trevor,’ in a Dec. 27 blog post.

    Levin said that in the spring of 2022, the advent of the crypto winter saw Midas’ DeFi portfolio lose $50 million of its $250 million market value, or 20%. Then, following the bankruptcy of Celsius on Jul. 13 and FTX on Nov. 11, “the platform experienced over 60% of AUM being withdrawn, creating a large asset deficit” of $63.3 million, based on assets of $51.7 million against liabilities of $115 million in BTC, ETH and stablecoins. “Based on this situation and current CeFi market conditions, we have reached the difficult decision to close the platform,” Levin wrote.”

    It looks like they had a bad spin on the old roulette wheel.

  164. JMG, Gwydion and Robert, thanks for you input on my psychic archaeology question. I picked up your book recommendations via Kindle and have started reading.
    I am planning on attempting some psychic archaeology here in west central Mexico. My neighbor showed me where there was a village just up the hill from my back door that was populated during the shaft tomb culture roughly 200bce to 900ce. A number of shaft tombs have been found in the area and their contents can be found on people’s bookshelves and in local museums. In any case, now that snake season is over, I hope to go up the hill, sit on a rock and listen. Not expecting much, but if I hear something, I’ll pass it on.

  165. @Peter # 125: The last time I flew was in 1998. I relocated from the west coast in order to be within reasonable driving distance of family so I wouldn’t have to fly any more. It’s gotten much worse since then, as you noted. Getting sick far from home is a nightmare.

    I’d also taken Amtrak: it’s not too bad if you pay for a sleeper compartment and don’t mind delays.

  166. @Milkyway (#171) on learning Latin:

    I had three years of Latin in the Berkeley public schools, when I was in the 8th-10th grades, and then dropped it and went on to German, Russian and Old Church Slavonic. In college I badly wanted to read a recent scholarly book on Old Church Slavonic that had been written entirely in Latin by a Slovene scholar, and I found it a bit too hard going for my rusty skills. So I hired a graduate student in Classics to help me work through the book and get me over the rough places, for an hour or so a week. After about a dozen sessions I had the hang of the Slovene author’s grammar and syntax, and I was able to read the rest of the book without any help.

    Since you’ve had Latin in the past, and presumably remember its declensions and conjugations, it will be the syntax and idiom/style that will be your biggest obstacles. You might overcome them the way I did, by working with a better Latinist as you read some text of real interest to you. At first you’ll be mentally translating Latin into English as you go, but with time you’ll be understanding the Latin directly, without English translattion.

    And yes, the Latin of Medieval and Renaissance occult works is (generally) very much simpler and easier than Classical Latin literature, much as the English of a scientific textbook is generally simpler and easier than the English of James Joyce’s novels.

  167. Another crypto headline.

    “Bahamas Seized $3.5 Billion FTX Assets Over Risk Of ‘Imminent Dissipation'”

    Risk of Imminent Dissipation. I like that phrase as a summation of 2022.

    The other contender is the “And it’s Gone.” meme from South Park, I’ve never watched the show but that clip is famous.

    On a different topic, there is a discussion on the difference between capacity factor and utilization rates as it applies to electrical power generation.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/12/27/it-is-time-to-talk-about-capacity-factors/

    I’ll be able to finish my calculations for the BPA’s wind and solar power installations soon, though I have to do estimated taxes first.

    By the way, the IRS revised the 1040 form again (insert eye roll here).

  168. Thank you for your wise answers, JMG. I have a question more for you on Freemasonry:
    What do you think about “progressive” lodges that admits women in their membership, and “conservative” lodges that are only for men?
    Here in Spain we had a Freemason leader some years ago, Ascensión Tejerina…First woman to be Great Master in the main spanish lodge (“Continental and Progressive” of course).
    I like the idea of gender equality, but unfortunately “Continental” progressive lodges look like too fond of Dear God Progress as Great Arquitect, to buy the whole kit…
    If you know some Spanish, you can read this:
    https://www.glse.org/

  169. Many thanks for the replies on the art question. Much to ponder.

    Another topic = the PMC. woke culture, and disintegrating empire. I will add my three cents (inflation and all that bother).

    I have been watching “Dr. G Medical Examiner” reruns. Basically, it is about a medical examiner in Orlando Florida and her autopsies. What struck me was in this Disney World town, how much goes on that the average DW goer doesn’t seem to know about.

    Like a 69-year-old drug dealer, dealing drugs from his front porch. While having a gun and knife in full view.
    Like a 42-year-old man who lived in his car and died of acute alcoholism. They found him covered in blood (a result of extreme alcoholism).
    Like a 35-year-old mechanic who was a meth addict, passed out in his truck while the motor was running. Died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
    A 45-year-old woman found in a ditch. She died in a local drug house, and they put her body outside.

    The list goes on. What I realized is how much life there is in Orlando that seems out of the purview of Disney. It reminds me of how the PMC people are doing one thing, not seeing or knowing that people are doing something else. Right under their noses.

    Dr.G. in her book “How Not to Die” writes that she gets daily at least three alcohol/drug deaths. At least two car crashes involving alcohol. Three drug deaths – usually fentanyl. And a host of people who do not go to the doctors and die from high blood pressure or diabetes. Disintegrating empire anyone. And she wrote this in 2008. Her program lasted until 2014. So, what she was seeing in the morgue was people coming apart at the seams.

  170. I would expect with Ukraine that there is a ceasefire sometime probably in the next few months but not a real peace deal, because the problems on either side are Zelenskiy and his government won’t want to sign away Crimea, Donbass let alone other Ukrainian territory – which Russia will want to give them a land bridge to Crimea.
    I wouldn’t have thought Russia really wants to let Ukraine sign away Crimea and Donbass in exchange to let Ukraine be free to join NATO, because keeping Ukraine from joining or being defacto in NATO was probably the main motivation for the Russians to go to war–oops I meant Special Military Operation.
    Ukraine wouldn’t like to promise not to join NATO and be neutral, because they won’t believe Russia’s promise not to invade or specially militarily operate again.
    So I would expect the best to be expected in the near term is a period of ceasefire.

    #174 many people don’t really have a strong emotional attachment to what’s happened in Ukraine, but some people seem to do so, at least on a superficial level, e.g. by covering their social media profiles in blue and yellow Ukrainian flags, and sharing slogans like #StandwithUkraine etc. Unlike those sympathising with people in any of the less fashionable trouble spots in today’s world, they get indulged by the mainstream media and by local governments, so that there are often Ukrainian flags displayed outside local council buildings and the like. How does this broad but perhaps shallow ‘solidarity’ all unwind? Is it just as simple as waiting for some other event to happen that all the bandwagon jumpers can hop aboard on?

  171. I just wanted to pop in and wish everyone Yuletide Greetings, Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, or Joyful whichever-holiday-you-celebrate this time of the year! I’ve had a lot of things going on and haven’t been able to participate in comments like I used to, though I do read JMG’s posts. I’m hoping things will settle down this coming year, but there seems to be a feeling in the air of something building up, and as we all know, that means there must be a release sooner or later. So I’m fully expecting a continuation of the modern day crisis (pick one of many) at hand. Here’s hoping that, for all of us participating on this site, the effects aren’t too horrendous for us and those we love.

    I think this feeling must be out there in the general public also, though they might not recognize it in those terms. I just found an article on Y2K nostalgia which I didn’t know was going on.

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/29/us/y2k-nostalgia-millennium-style-angst-cec/index.html

    Apocalypse and rebirth–the eternal Phoenix?

    Happy New Year (and Happy Y2K Redux) to all!

    Joy Marie

  172. >the people in economy are being subsidised by Business Class and First

    In my experience, the airlines now treat first class as shabbily as they treat economy. I’m not quite sure what needs to happen to the airlines, if anything. Maybe they’re fine just the way they are and any attempt to change them will make things even worse? I chalk it up to “if you want a job done right, do it yourself” but that’s just me. Other people have very strong, very different opinions on the subject.

    More on alternatives:
    Driving cross country is slower and more expensive but it is doable and you generally get more legroom depending on the car. Don’t have to obsess over the weather for the most part, just load and go. Then again you’ve never experienced the pleasures of sunburn on the arm sitting next to the window or driving through the desert with the heater on in a desperate attempt to keep the car from overheating with nothing outside for the next 300 miles but the road. Makes you sympathize with the Apollo 13 crew it does. Trapped in a capsule traveling through barren territory. And then there’s the snow on I-80 in January. A whole other ballgame there. At least you don’t worry about overheating.

    Nothing’s perfect. There’s just choices which are complicated. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.

  173. @CRC (#138):

    My experience of social classes was rather like yours. I come from a skilled craftsman blue-collar background, but I ended up as a professor at a small Ivy-League university catering to the children of the ultra-privileged in New England, where many of the faculty and administration came from that same class. I had grown up with hand-tools and workshop projects, so I found it easier to talk with some of the buildings-and-grounds people than with many of my faculty colleagues. (At one point I even spent a few hours a week in the university’s locksmith shop taking care of emergency jobs while the regular university locksmith was away. I had always been very interested in locksmithing, and regarded it as my alternate profession if I didn’t make it as a professor.) As it happened, my flying-under-the-radar skills proved good enough for me to survive and even prosper in that aline upper-crust environment. Yet even now it is an alien environment. In retirement I sometimes marvel at how long I lived in it.

  174. Hugo Bardi on phonographic communication and nativity scenes.
    Some great images at the site. Especially the Trump nativity.
    https://www.senecaeffect.com/

    Tuesday, December 27, 2022
    Christmas’ Nativity Scenes: Using Images to Cross the Language Barrier

    A Nativity Scene (“presepe”) near Florence this year. This way of celebrating Christmas never went out of fashion in Southern Europe, and perhaps never will (but you may never know). It is part of the effort of making communication possible between people who don’t speak the same language. The Catholic Church tried this method with some success, maybe we can learn something useful from this experience. 

    This is another non-catastrophistic post on the “Seneca Effect” blog, but don’t worry. We’ll return to doom and gloom next year. 

    The “Nativity Scene” is a traditional way to celebrate Christmas in Catholic countries, especially in Southern Europe. In Italy, it is known as the “presepe,” a term that originally meant the “manger” where the baby Jesus was placed. If you have been a child in a country where this use is common, you cannot escape the fascination and the magic of these scenes. And, indeed, they make for a much more creative effort than the more recent tradition of the Christmas tree. Making a presepe may involve collecting moss from the garden to simulate the grass, making lakes using aluminum foil, creating trees with toothpicks and green-painted sponge chunks, a starry sky using blue paper with holes and, finally, the star of Bethlehem made, again, from aluminum foil. 

    As usual, for everything that exists, there is a reason for it to exist. And that holds also for Nativity Scenes. In the end, these scenes are forms of non-verbal communication. The fundamental point of religions such as Islam and Christianity is their universality. They accept all races, languages, regions, and cultures. That brings a problem of communication: how can an imam or a priest communicate with the faithful if they don’t have a common language? 

    In the case of Islam, God spoke to the prophet Muhammad in Arabic, and that remains the sacred language of the faithful. Of course, modern Arabs do not easily understand the language spoken at the time of Muhammad and not all Muslims are native speakers of Arabic. But Islam focuses on the Quran, encouraging the faithful to study and understand its language. Islam is a text-based religion expressed mainly by the human voice of the mu’azzin. It sees images with diffidence, 

    For Christianity, the problem was much more difficult. God spoke to the prophets in Hebrew, the language of the Bible. Then, Jesus Christ spoke most likely Aramaic, whereas the Gospels were written in Greek. Then, when the center of Christianity moved to Rome, the holy texts were translated into Latin, which came to be seen as one of the main languages of Christianity. In addition, Christianity diffused rapidly into regions, such as Western Europe, which had emerged from the collapse of the Roman Empire as a hodgepodge of very different languages with different roots. 

    So, it made sense for the Christian Church to use visual imagery to carry the message to everybody. That was an early characteristic of Christianity, for instance, the sentence in Greek (“Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr”) (Jesus Christ Son of God, Savior) was turned into an acronym that could be read as “ichthys,” which means “fish” and therefore could be expressed as the image of a fish. Not every Christian understood Greek, but everyone could recognize a fish.  
    The idea of using images to represent sections of the holy texts accelerated during the late Middle Ages and early Modern Times when there was an evident attempt of the Christian Church to maintain the universality of their religion (the term “Catholic” means “universal”) while facing the dissemination of texts translated into national languages. It led to the creation of pilgrimage sites that we would define today as “theme parks,” where the stories of the gospels were represented as 3D imagery. Some of these “parks” still exist today. Below, you see an example from the San Vivaldo monastery that goes back to the 16th century. Visiting that place is an eerie experience.

     
    In parallel, small scales versions of the Nativity story became popular. The first version similar to the modern one goes back to 1291, and it was created by Arnolfo di Cambio. From then on, many different and elaborate versions were produced. It was an original idea that has parallels with our use of “emoticons.” Our times are strongly image-based in terms of communication, and the vitality of Nativity Scenes is not in discussion. There are many examples of weird, funny, or outrageous versions, such as this one from 2016, with Donald Trump and other characters of the time. 

    There are versions with zombies, others inspired by Star Wars characters, Disney characters, fuzzy bears, cats, dogs, and, of course, the queer version with two Marys or two Josephs. 

    Our civilization is probably the most visually-oriented one in history, and, at the same time, the most language-fragmented in history. So, it is not surprising that we are trying to develop visual methods of communication that go beyond the limits of national languages. It is necessary to do that if we want to overcome the parochialism of nation-states and find an agreement on how to manage the planetary commons. 

    But will it ever be possible to develop a completely image-based language? It is one of a few conceivable alternatives.

    1. A dominant language, such as Latin was during the Middle Ages in Europe, and English is today. 
    2. A creole or a koiné language, such as Greek was during late antiquity. Esperanto could play this role nowadays. 
    3. A purely gestural language, such as the one that the Native Americans had developed before coming into contact with the Europeans. It might have a parallel with the modern “emoticons”
    4. Automated, real-time translations — these were not possible in the past, but in modern times Artificial Intelligence offers possibilities unthinkable in the past. 

    The future will tell how civilization will face this challenge. Maybe it is unsolvable (and surely it is possible to worsen the problem). It is also possible that there will be no civilization surviving to address it. But, as usual, the future always surprises us. Why not return to cuneiform written on clay tablets? It would be, at least, more durable than any method that was devised in later times!

     

    Sumerian cuneiform characters for “Ama-gi,” that can be translated as “freedom” (literally, “return to the mother”)

  175. Due to a set of circumstances involving visiting family and the holidays I found myself watching an episode of the “Waltons” on late night cable TV. The last time I saw this show was as a boy in the 70’s. I remember that back then I thought they were sad and poor because they were always scrounging for gas money, and couldn’t afford store-bought Christmas presents or clothing, and had their water heater in the kitchen. But from the perspective of our current times they seem to be an embarrassment of riches. A big practical house on a large plot of land populated with a large extended family that all seem to be diligent, disciplined and self sacrificing ( yes I know they are fictional). Multiple sources of income and necessities that don’t depend on the financial system and the respect and admiration of their friends and neighbors. But it also shines a light on how we have changed as a society ( or how the elites want us to see ourselves.) From the Waltons to the Kardashians is quite a fall in 50 years.

  176. @Tude: wow, thank you for the very kind words. I’m quite happy you’ve found some value in my music. 🙂

  177. I often try my hand at predictions for the next year. Last year I did one for 2022 about Covid. Unfortunately, I can’t find where I put it. I think I got most of that roughly right, but I can’t be sure of details. Here’s the ones for 2023:

    2023 Predictions

    Economy:
    -the first half of 2023 will feature very high food prices (higher than 2022 average)
    -there will be food riots somewhere
    -shortages and high prices of fertilizer will cause problems with food production/farm yields, the net income of farmers, and the ability of people to buy food
    -Europe will have severe energy issues (worse than 2022/23) in winter of 23/24 unless the Ukraine war ends first
    -there will either be extreme inflation, stagflation, or a recession in many developed nations, especially europe/UK
    -there will be significant civil unrest in at least one country in the EU, or a dramatic change of government
    -Canada’s housing bust will go at least 40% below the peak 2022 house price levels at some point during 2023
    -Canada either has a recession or inflation substantially larger than increase in GDP, and the downturn in the housing market will be a significant driver of this
    Health:
    -covid related ADE will not wipe out 5%+ of the population of high vaccination countries in 2023
    -the number of people who get Covid booster shots will decrease compared to 2022
    -the damage done to health systems globally will continue showing up in all sorts of contexts, in multiple unpleasant ways. Expect long waits for care, medication shortages, too few doctors and nurses, poor quality care due to inadequate staffing and burnout, lowered standards, outbreaks of infectious diseases in areas they used to be controlled, lowered life expectancy compared to 2019 in some jurisdictions, significiant morbidity, and excess mortality compared to 2019 in some areas.
    -lack of trust of the medical system by a sizeable subset of the population will continue to be a thing in the USA and Canada, and vaccine skepticism and refusal will remain elevated compared to 2019. This may contribute to outbreaks of non-covid infectious diseases that have traditionally been controlled by vaccination.
    -Victoria BC Canada will continue to have severe problems with timely access to medical care, and it will be worst for those who don’t have family doctors.
    Politics:
    -Russia will not collapse and Putin will still be in power unless he dies of natural causes
    -China will have a rough time with covid over the first 2 months of 2023
    -human civilization will not be destroyed in a nuclear war, though it’s possible it could be damaged if things spiral out of control.
    -the US will continue to face a lack of respect for its dictates from other nations and its influence on the world outside ‘the west’ will continue eroding
    -Western Europe’s influence on the world stage will also erode
    -there will be multiple significant, expensive natural disasters that grab a lot of headlines and do damage that takes years to repair, if it gets repaired.

    likely but might not happen:
    -Canada’s housing bubble drops >50% from peak
    -the Ukraine war continues until at least 2024 at least officially (may be defacto cease fire with people occasionally shooting at each other and making threatening noises across barbed wire but little significant fighting and few casualties) no formal peace treaty
    -the stock market is on average below 2022 levels in 2023

    Possible wild cards:
    -China invades Taiwan
    -Chinese protests resurface with a vengeance and pose a serious threat to the regime
    -Someone detonates a nuclear weapon
    -a natural disaster manages to cause extreme damage and substantial death toll to a very large, or important city. Ie Washington DC, Tokyo, London, Berlin, Los Angeles, New York, Moscow, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Toronto etc in a very dramatic way with long-term impacts. Worse than superstorm Sandy.

    Will not happen:
    -utopia is achieved!
    -we achieve a worldwide, meaningful drop in CO2 emissions without a recession or inflation>growth
    -the Canadian federal Greens or NDP will remember what the left used to stand for and change their tune enough that I actually trust them and support them enthusiastically with no reservations
    -China will become a happy, stable democracy where all is rainbows and sunshine
    -So will Russia, Iran, and Afghanistan
    -a change in consciousness will occur such that most well-to-do people will voluntarily give up their cars, plane journeys, and McMansions for the sake of the environment without being forced by price etc.
    -the USA become great again, and so will Western Europe
    -Trudeau will be become a leader I can respect, trust, and support

  178. Hello The Other Owen

    Cut the sleeve off an old long-sleeve shirt and keep it in your car. Pull it over your arm to protect it from the sun. If you live in a tropical climate and don’t have any old long-sleeved shirts, catalogs like Walter Drake and Miles Kimball carry pull-on sun sleeves.

  179. Thanks for hosting another Open Post. Can you identify the artist of that amazing illustration you posted in responding to Michaelz? I’d love to see more of their work. Also, I’m curious about your forthcoming mundane astrology book…any sense about when we might see that in print? Blessings to you and everyone here for a healthy, prosperous 2023!

  180. @DennisG,
    I tend to think that things are likely to get a lot less globalized as energy and other resources dwindle and things fall apart. There’s less need for things like a universal language if people aren’t interacting so much between continents and are more invested in things and people nearer home. I think we probably missed the boat on that one until the next major civilization gets a lot of traction.

  181. Viduraawakened, since I don’t settle on a central thesis until very late in the game, I don’t have much need for iterative methods — I just read and take notes, read and take notes, read and take notes, and then the thesis comes together and it’s write-write-write eight or ten hours a day for a few months.

    Your Kittenship, nicely played.

    Joan, that makes a good deal of sense.

    Ksim, thanks for this. Now we’ll just have to wait and see!

    Andy, that strikes me as an entirely plausible hypothesis: correlation rather than causation. The question that comes to my mind first, of course, is whether there’s a way to test it.

    Mcmahonbristol, hmm! Thanks for this; I’ll see if the local libraries have that.

    Denis, good heavens — it looks like one of my comments got eaten by the software. I’ll repost there.

    Guillem, well, we’ll see! In a way I’d like to see that, but I’m also aware that when religions become culturally and politically important, they routinely become corrupt. Oh, well…

    Hackenschmidt, many thanks for all of these!

    Milkyway, medieval Latin is easy. It no longer has the nested structure of good classical Latin prose; it’s very obvious that the authors grew up with other languages, and still mostly think in those other languages. Thus the grammar is much simpler, and word order tends to follow whatever language the author uses to order beer at a tavern. The main problem is that medieval Latin has a somewhat different vocabulary, since the language changed over time, and in many cases — the Picatrix was like this — you find words in the scribe’s own language slipping in half-noticed. (I had to chase down a couple of dozen obsolete Castilian words in the course of the translation.) But that’s a minor speed bump in an otherwise smoother road.

    Denis, well, how much good did the intelligence services of the Eastern Bloc countries do when the nations themselves came apart?

    Robert, oh, granted. That’s one of the reasons why I suspect the Russians may be intending to drag things out as long as possible, using just a fraction of their potential military force, in order to bleed Europe bone white. I don’t think a negotiated peace is possible at this point, not after Angela Merkel admitted that EU governments never intended to follow through on their commitments to the Minsk accords; the Russian government now knows that the EU and Ukraine are not agreement-capable, in diplomatic jargon — that is to say, negotiating with them is a waste of time because they won’t keep their side of the agreement. Thus the war will continue for as long as Russia wants it to continue, and it will end when Russia is in a position to dictate the peace terms it wants. Depending on just how much the Russians want to punish Europe, that could be a long, long time from now.

    Viduraawakened, since convergent evolution doesn’t normally result in interfertility between the species it produces, and hominin fossils in Africa go back a couple of million years longer than anywhere else, I think the out-of-Africa theory is pretty solid. That said, there’s no reason at all to insist that there weren’t high cultures far into prehistory, and deepwater sailing has been repeatedly invented in different parts of the world with radically different technological suites — compare a European caravel, a Chinese junk, and a Polynesian va’a: three very different kinds of vessel, using three very different kinds of navigation and sailing method, and all three of them fully capable of crossing thousands of miles of blue water and finding land on the other side. It seems most likely that there were other such deepwater vessels, each with its own distinctive maritime technologies and methods, cruising the shrunken oceans during the last Ice Age.

    Njura, it’s entirely possible that the Russian command is displaying the good sense to wait until the Mars retrograde ends next month before launching their winter offensive.

    Siliconguy, a trillion here and a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money! 😉

    Greco, fascinating! Please do let us know.

    Chuaquin, those are purely a continental European thing, as far as I know. In English-speaking countries, Masonic lodges that admit both men and women are considered clandestine and regular Masons can’t have anything to do with them. Interestingly, there’s a branch of the Craft that admits only women, and that’s considered acceptable in both Britain and the US. As for the mixed Masonry in Europe, I know very little about it.

    Joy Marie, thank you! I also expect a wild ride in 2023, for what it’s worth.

    DennisG, thanks for this.

    Clay, yep. Much of the fall happened very quickly, however — from John-Boy Walton to Madonna was a matter of just a few years.

    Pygmycory, duly noted!

    Jim W, I got the painting off the Wikipedia site on Byliny. The title is “Mikula Selyaninovich and Volga Svyatoslavich with his druzhina,” and the artist was Ivan Bilibin, one of the greatest 20th century illustrators of traditional Russian tales. Here’s another of his paintings — this one’s Ilya Mumorets meeting Nightingale the robber.

    As for the mundane astrology book, that’s being posted a chapter at a time to my Patreon and SubscribeStar accounts; it’ll be finished sometime in the new year and sent to a publisher, and then I’ve got another astrology-themed volume in mind.

  182. @Aldarion

    I wasn’t commenting so much on the systems of the two countries as on the similarity in outcomes. In both cases it appears that the results do not reflect the reality. I don’t know enough about the details to know what really happened. But the reaction of those in charge belies foul play, in my opinion.

    If you are right that in Brazil there’s been no credible attempt to detect fraud in the elections, I would say that’s also true for the US. I don’t see any serious investigations happening, and that speaks volumes in itself.

    I don’t know much of anything about the Brazilian system. What you describe is interesting. A centralized computer system sounds less secure to me than multiple localized computer systems, which at least can be checked individually, but to be honest, I don’t like the idea of any computer system. I completely agree with you that paper ballots, counted in the presence of opposing parties, are best. I don’t see anything wrong with scanning them to allow a computer to count them, as long as the paper is kept and could be counted by hand in case of a dispute.

    I knew a Brazilian who told me that it’s required to show ID to vote in Brazil. He thought it was ridiculous that it’s not required in some places in the US. (I’ve lived in different states and I can testify that some polling places require an ID to vote, and some don’t.)

    Another huge problem in the US, it seems to me, is allowing mail in ballots. They’re simply not auditable. It looks like the best solution would be to eliminate those entirely, or severely curtail them in some way.

    As I said, I don’t know enough about the details in either case to say what happened. All I can do is observe the results and the reactions of public officials in both places (especially the threats of professional ruin or arbitrary arrest) and things look very suspicious to me.

  183. @Hackenschmidt #173 Re: Fizzle of the US

    I have often wondered about a split of the US into regions. It is already underway. I sometimes chat with Canadian truckers from our area who do long-haul trucking into the USA. They avoid driving through some regions in the centre of the US, like Kentucky and Arkansas, as the local police depts in some areas will pull over non-local trucks and shake them down for ticket money.
    I can see the centre of the US making their sections of cross-country highways into toll roads, booths and collections run and managed by war bands– Perhaps with the increasing support of cash-strapped local governments.
    “Sure, we will let your trainload of Iowa corn pass through Ohio on the way to New York!” they will say, “But first we need to inspect your cargo for plant-borne diseases. $20,000.00 please.”
    And later, “Your cargo checks out, all except these last two car-loads. Definite evidence of insect infestation! We will be glad to destroy them for you, just drop them at that siding…”

  184. @JMG and commentariat

    Just an update from the world of the techno-optimists: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/chatgpt-explains-why-ais-like-chatgpt-should-be-regulated/.

    Leave aside the fact that even Deepmind, which is a far more powerful AI than this one, was unable to actually ‘solve’ the problem of protein folding (iirc it’s just a really powerful deep learning system that consumes a ton of data and generates more accurate predictions than other neural nets – the difference is one of scale, not kind) i.e. generate a mechanistic explanation (complete with equations) of the same; yet, the talking heads in the media and elsewhere will have us believe that professors will be out of jobs in a matter of months! I guess somebody forgot to tell the geniuses who wrote these articles that while it can write reports and essays, deriving complex models (like the kind that are used to study volcanoes) is an entirely different kettle of fish altogether. The cool kids will eventually go back to their professors with greying hair, because it’s those old-school guys who actually *understand* things. But but, isn’t saying that an act of sacrilege? Damn Luddites…😂

    In a more serious sense, this is indicative of the fact that more and more people are going into this AI scam; and the sad truth is that many of these people are talented at deriving model equations of the old-school variety. If things continue this way (which I think they will), we are looking at a scenario in the not-too-distant future where there is a shortage of people with skills in building models made of nonlinear PDEs. This screams the word OPPORTUNITY for those who love PDEs, but is a disaster when you need to solve a real-world problem and have a shortage of data, but all you can find are people whose idea of modelling is throwing a frack ton of data at some deep learning algorithm and training it till it delivers; but said people have no ‘under-the-hood’ understanding of things. Crazy times ahead…

  185. @ Justin re #38

    Sounds great as long at the next Carrington Event doesn’t come along and roast them to charred hulks. And forget about getting them repaired or replaced, if that happens. One look at the scenario playing out at the Space Station suggests any manned space travel may be on its final legs.

    @ Daniel re Barnes & Noble

    For many years we had a local bookstore, which I patronized ever since it first opened originally as a hole-in-the-wall used bookstore run by an ex-hippie named Rusty. But after migrating across the street to better accommodations and having many successful years, passing through several hands, its final owner up and closed down claiming competition with Amazon et al, had done him in. Fast forward a couple years and the place was bought by a local entrepreneur who already had a successful small eatery. She must have the magic touch for she turned the defunct bookstore into a prosperous book & children’s toys shop and got cited by the local newspaper as businessperson of the year.

    It can be done!

  186. @JMG #122, if I may: The power arrangement in Brazil has in fact been predominantly plutocratic for a very long time. Lula is a stated admirer of Getúlio, but the Workers’ Party administrations from 2003 to 2016 were much less populist than many of its voters had hoped and than its opponents had feared. Still, while media like the NYT may have called the outgoing Bolsonaro government populist, it was in fact supported in this year’s election by all banks (foreign and national), all Brazilian billionaires and almost all Brazilian businesses (you could count the businessmen who opposed Bolsonaro and supported Lula on the fingers of one hand).

    If a populist regime in the economic sense is to be installed in the future in Brazil, it would therefore come from neither of these two camps.

  187. It looks to me like the stock market has already had quite the crash this year. Under other circumstances, it would probably be all over the news. But between the War in Ukraine, inflation esp. food and energy, covid etc., food shortages and related unrest in poor countries, rising interest rates, the government response to covid, peoples resistance to that response, and the giant rise and fall fall of housing markets, the stock market really hasn’t been foregrounded in the news the way it once would have been.

    There’s so much going on right now that things that would once have caused wailing and a gnashing of teeth now get hardly any attention.

    I don’t think we’re through the messy stuff – I am expecting plenty more for next year and likely beyond. Interesting times.

  188. JMG Said (#153):

    Blue Sun, that’s also a factor, of course. My guess is that the Constitution won’t be abolished, but amended in such a way as to make large parts of it a dead letter. But we’ll see.

    I was wondering if some of it might be accomplished simply by rolling back the Supreme Court’s continual allowances of the Federal level de facto usurping what were formerly the province of States’ governance.

    I’m thinking something as simple as that would throw a huge monkey wrench into an overly-complex economy and speed it on the way to re-regionalization and simplification. I wonder if it could be the domino that starts a return to people saying “The United States are” vs. the current use, “The United States is“.

    ***general musings on the following***

    There is the news I’m reading that more than a handful of states are doing the following:

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/gop-controlled-state-legislatures-weigh-constitutionality-of-presidential-executive-orders_4948357.html

    Executive Orders – before FDR decided to change the name – used to be known as Presidential Proclamations. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation being the most famous one I learned of as a kid. If it were issued today it would be known as an “Emancipation Executive Order”.

    I note with interest Armstrong’s Socrates program is saying around 2032 the U.S. will break apart in some way. Armstrong keeps insisting the U.S. actually will break up into separate countries. Or at least that’s how I read his blog posts on the subject. The program keeps indicating internal U.S. geopolitical directional changes and even domestic political panic cycles over the next 9 years. I also just discovered (due to another of Armstrong’s posts) Socrates is predicting that Canada will break up too within the next 10 years!

    I am watching Armstrong’s Socrates program with interest. I’m treating it much like an astrological chart or tarot reading although it will take about 12 years to get a good feel for whether Armstrong is interpreting Socrates’ signals correctly or not. I confess I don’t think the U.S. will outright break apart into separate sovereign countries the way Armstrong seems to think it will. But I could see it returning to its roots in some way. Being much more like it was in 1920 (stronger states vs. federal) than it was in 2020 (weaker states vs. federal). Now I don’t subscribe to his service so I have no way of knowing if he’s interpreting Socrates’ the way he is because Socrates is also predicting upspiraling guerrilla warfare breaking out inside the U.S. (Canada too?).

    I just think a surprise Supreme Court ruling rolling the Fed back to what the Constitution actually says would be quite a surprise among GovCorp elites in Wash D.C. What if the Supreme Court ruled delegating to regulatory bureaucracies requires a constitutional amendment? Oh lord…that alone could instill panic in D.C. I think.

    There’s also indications of the following taking place inside the U.S. (maybe Canada too?).

    https://wirepoints.org/the-great-re-sort-new-national-survey-indicates-political-migration-will-soar-wirepoints/

    One Quote:

    We finally have at least some empirical evidence for the answers beyond the net population changes which we’ve already seen showing flight from blue states. It’s a national survey conducted by the Trafalgar Group last month indicating that America may be politically segregating at a much faster pace than is apparent from net population changes.

    another…

    Over 4% of Republicans and independents said they had already moved, in the last three years, to a region more closely aligned with their political beliefs. Far more importantly, over 10% of Republicans and over 9% of Independents say they plan to move in the next year to a region in which they are more politically aligned.

    and

    It’s also possible that far more people are moving for political reasons than a survey would uncover. A person who cares nothing about politics might well say, for example, that she moved to Florida for a good job, low taxes and less crime, not recognizing such things are inherently political.

    I think this may be one reason why there’s been a weird MSM/PMC “Huzzah Huzzah” for the play Hamilton. I note the play is about one of the Founding Fathers most notorious for being pro-centralized government.

  189. Thank you for reminding me of your previous article. You mentioned that the center of the new Russian great culture was to be the Volga river, so I looked up more about the Volga river. Moscow is in its upper watershed, and it flows south, but into the Caspian Sea, so sort of away from Europe. I looked up facts and pictures of cities further down the river. Things that I noticed about these huge cities that seemed Russian, not related to Communism, and less like Europe were
    – multicolored onion-dome architecture
    – tall, curved, and angular Cyrillic lettering
    – a painting of someone wearing a spherical hat
    – the Tatar language
    – historical mosques with the same architecture as cathedrals, rather than “something more Arabian”

    Really it seems more exotic than the Ohio river valley, which you say has a few more centuries to differentiate itself. I might be able to see your point more. Looking and feeling the aesthetics of these things really makes the difference between great cultures make more sense.

    On the other hand, these things are old, and related to the Magian pseudomorphosis or else developed locally. The Faustian pseudomorphosis would have contributed the more rectangular lettering style, German words in the vocabulary, and then Communism. So I suppose when you say that Russia is throwing off the Faustian pseudomorphosis, I should not be imagining exotic recently invented cultural phenomena based on a thought process of “Russia used to be part of Faustian but has now separated”, but rather a re-centering on the entirely of its heritage rather than on conforming to the external standard of Europe or international modernity or whatever.

  190. Happy Panda’s (Partial) *Astrological House* Tarot Spread for Russia January 2023

    [note: my prior submission disappeared into the ether so I’m resubmitting it into parts. Maybe I submitted too-large a word count for the software? If the earlier submission survived then JMG can delete this post and post the original submission.]

    Part 1

    I did a divination for Russia for January 2023 and it didn’t look all that good save for 4 houses that turned over 4 major arcana cards that were all highly auspicious. A 5th Major Arcana turned over R but ties in with the other 4. I will only give the highlights as it’s already getting too long.

    So without further ado:

    3rd House – The House of everything ruled by udana prana. That means communications, speech, traveling at high speeds, compelling speech that lead to agreements or treaties or sales (like say…selling even more petroleum, fertilizer and resources everywhere to anyone on the planet but the sanctioning NATO countries).

    The World(B) Nataraja

    The card of accelerated karma and karmic blowback turned over upright for the 3rd House. Sri Arya says this is the highest Shakti energy card of the deck. Nataraja as the World encompasses everything at its fullest, most triumphant expression. Nataraja is That-Which-is-Not celebrating the dance of life in ultimate bliss, power and consciousness. As 10 of Swords is the deck’s rock bottom, The World: Nataraja is it’s peak.

    I wanted to point out a few other things the 3rd house rules. This includes all weaponry/communications that depend on speedy delivery, travel or flight. The 3rd House has jurisdiction over things like cellphone towers, radio towers, electricity transmission lines, jets, missiles, drones, satellites, torpedoes, bullets, running soldiers and if one gets desperate enough – carrier pigeons.

    Even more worryingly if Russia is planning a surprise for NATO…the major arcana combo I discuss later (The World + The Sun) says a surprising number of those weapons will find their targets.

    6th House – House of daily routines, work, health

    The Hierophant R

    The card of tyrannical ideology. Sri Arya writes, “Dogmatic and cruel adherence to rules and principles. Utmost rigidity in expression. One’s dogma is disguised as tradition and waved menacingly over heads. The many frustrations of dealing with hidebound, conservative, rule spouting, officious types.”

    I fear that NATO’s (and especially the UK’s) hard line anger against Russia now has aggravated its mirror image in Russia. This is also signaling a break with tradition – probably signalling throwing in the towel for attempts at negotiated peace. Specifically I think this is what my earlier 12 month reading for the war was indicating when I turned over 4 of Cups – the harbinger card of future breakdown. Also indicated is the sanctions are impacting Russia’s economy. Not as much as NATO would like but its still having an effect. Also a coming contraction of the worldwide economy will also have an effect.

    Will go ahead and add this in though it’s not a major arcana:

    8th House – the house of other people’s money, death and sex

    8 of Swords R

    An end-of-karma card for Russia of everything pertaining to this house. Other-People’s-Money is probably in reference both to the latest round of sanctions kicking in but even more so I think to the worldwide contraction of most everyone’s economy in 2023. Generally not good but perhaps since this house also pertains to death it might be saying the beginning of the end is coming to the Kremlin’s willingness to sustain higher troop death tolls so in that sense 8 of Swords R might actually be auspicious for front line Russian soldiers themselves. This would also tie in with the Sun card indicative of good health and healing (samana prana) that turned over for Russia later.

    10th House – public status, legacy, career

    Death(A) Yama

    Russia as we and they know it will transform into something much better for them in the long run (it turned over upright) though in the short term the process of getting there will be hard and traumatic. Russia will want to rescue it’s public status on the geopolitical stage as a country to be reckoned with militarily instead of its military being mocked. It’s status among NATO countries will likely take a nose-dive but an earlier divination says that practically everybody else around the world who’s not in or aligned with NATO will actually celebrate (3 of Cups) what Russia has planned for January. I suspect NATO, and especially the U.S., has generated a lot of ill-will around the world with its endless wars against smaller countries.

    11th House – merging, intimacy, death, transformation, hopes, dreams, community and most importantly – self-sacrifice for the sake of others.

    The Sun

    Highly auspicious card for this house as it is the house of hopes, dreams, community and self-sacrifice for others’ sake. I read this as Russia’s strategy (community and teamwork) will go so well it may surprise even them. It will definitely surprise and rattle NATO. It may also indicate the average Russian citizen who is currently against the war suddenly feeling better about how the war is going.

    12th House – endings, limits, spirituality, the subconscious and unconscious, the occult, hidden enemies

    The Magician(2)

    The house of hidden enemies and of self-sacrifice for the sake of others. This House + the premier card of manifesting one’s desires is a devastating combo that turned over upright for Russia. Hidden enemies + the house that governs self-sacrifice for a greater good signals a willingness to go all kamikaze for the sake of one’s countrymen, women and most especially one’s children.

    ****End of Part 1*****

  191. “how much good did the intelligence services of the Eastern Bloc countries do when the nations themselves came apart?” – Not much. From what I’ve read those goons just walked out of their offices one evening and never returned. I hope the same happens here.

    The people under communism didn’t vote their way to freedom either. What freed them was the idea of something better than what they had and a lot of mockery of the system. This is from what I understand.

    In this time period memes are probably doing more to move action along than voters and who they elect. Would love to be wrong, but it’s what I’ve experienced in talking with my state rep who has repeatedly told me he is essentially powerless.

  192. Oops!

    I wish to amend the following I wrote about the 11th House.

    The sentence should only read:

    Highly auspicious card for this house as it is the house of hopes, dreams, community.

    Self-sacrifice could be indicated but only insofar (as I understand it) as one puts in labor that others will be able to benefit from too.

    Self-sacrifice for the sake of others in desperate situations is more the concern of the 12 Astrological House.

  193. Happy Panda’s (Partial) *Astrological House* Tarot Spread for Russia January 2023

    Part 2

    Now let’s take a look at some of the Major Arcana combos that Biddy Tarot teaches. These are the ones for Russia. I pay special attention to these because I’ve found them almost 100% perfect in their predictive ability for my spreads! Clearly the lady who founded Biddy Tarot is someone on the spiritual path.

    1. The Sun + The World : Increase in the influence of the Diurnal cycle. All things come to those who wait.

    An increase in the diurnal cycle is saying Russia’s upcoming success will be aided by being in perfect alignment with the cycles of the moon. Russia has been willing to wait not solely to exhaust every last chance for negotiated peace but so it can get everything aligned ‘just so’ for its military strategy to execute to perfection. I’m now highly suspicious the Kremlin have a Master Mage advising them via Election Astrology.

    2. The Magician + The Sun : Good health and healing skills. Quickness of movement.

    Udana Speed! Plus the pranic power of the sun – Samana prana in particular is being indicated by this combo. Certainly Russia’s national mood may be uplifted and ‘healed’ from a surprise win.

    3. The Magician + Death : A person who has narrow escapes. This may include people who disappear for a time and then suddenly reappear. Surprise guests. Return of a forgotten relative.

    Possibly black ops/special forces surprise successes. Many narrow escapes but whoever is executing these long-laid plans will live to tell the tale and regale their listeners later of their daring, harrowing escape. These soldiers will ‘disappear’ – possibly due to communications silence – to fulfill their mission then a larger than expected number may pop back in to report success to their elated superiors. Definitely the Kremlin will be breaking out the celebration bottles of vodka.

    4. The Magician + The World : One who builds objects of beauty. Mastery of the arts of dissembling and illusion.

    Well I’m not sure about ‘objects of beauty.’ Maybe Russians find their weaponry as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional? Mastery (The Magician) of dissembling and illusion – the domain of udana – this is the prana of the masterful long con at its (The World: Nataraja) peak. Possibly successful stealth strikes on key infrastructure. Certainly inside Ukraine. Possibly outside it as well. I see this as Russia playing a risky, long con on the West. Probably pretending to be more rickety and hard-pressed than it actually is and its patient, long con will begin paying off in January.

    5. Death + The Sun : Happiness.

    Well that one doesn’t need any interpretation. Pretty much self-explanatory.

    6. Death + The World : Compulsive activity, especially labor to produce or complete something. A sense of necessity.

    Again, in a war setting pretty self-explanatory given all the other factors detailed earlier.

    7. The Hierophant + Death : Stories of hard times and brave exploits; people who experience, teach about or learn from such. Instructions and readiness to meet emergency.

    The above combo again seems to me to signal some kind of surprise, highly risky but successful military move by Russia in Ukraine and possibly outside it. This could also be in reference how the NATO-Russia Ukraine Proxy War is creating a whole new generation of future mercs.

    8. The Hierophant + The World : A contract or other formal agreement, especially the signing of such a thing. A design or symbol having religious, mystical or patriotic significance.

    This one I admit I have scant info about so it could be anything. Maybe new agreements with Iran, North Korea or China? The least damaging reading for NATO could be that Russia’s going to successfully complete sales to non-sanctioning countries despite the newest round of G7 sanctions. Since NATO countries instituted a Russian oil price cap Russia responded with an oil price floor and later an outright ban on sales to anyone going along with the G7 price cap. One further possibility is agreements that remove yet more obstacles for the Russian-Chinese payment/settlement system that’s an alternative to SWIFT, bypasses the dollar and encourages non-sanctioning countries to join BRICS+.

    9. The Hierophant + The Sun : Warm weather. Love of wild country. A feeling of drawing power from nature.

    The Kremlin’s Master Mage is absolutely doing this (it suspiciously looks like Election Astrology to me) to give Russia a much-needed-in-their-eyes Win. Also…Samana healing + tyrannical ideology (The Hierophant R) = Cleansing Rage(?)

    Something about the above gives me visions of Muad Dib’s Fremen sweeping their jihadi hordes across the galaxy courtesy of the above arcana combo.

    Special Note:

    I have considered one incredibly wild card Alt-Reading of the cards and combos. They could be signalling the exact opposite. That is, Russia deciding, to the likely surprise of everyone, to pack up and head home. All those cards and combos make equal sense of returning home. One combo even makes more sense from that perspective than the one I gave above. I don’t think it’s as likely because I think NATO and especially UK elites are spoiling for a fight. I don’t think this is likely but I did want to put it out there that I can not discount this as a possibility from the same cards. Very frustrating to say the least.

    So there is my truncated January 2023 reading for Russia. Guess we’ll all see within a few weeks whether any of the above is in the ballpark or if I struck out.

  194. The realisation of the long descent continues to permeate the public awareness. Former BlackRock investor Ed Dowd warns of a “glacial Mad Max”:

    “there are about 2,500 excess deaths and 5,000 excess disability victims due to covid-19 vaccines. This means, on average, about 7,500 Americans are removed from the potential labor pool each day.

    One of the more startling realizations in all this is that the United States of America is suffering the early stages of a “decivilization” event, not merely a temporary bump in the road. That term refers to the dismantling of the critical, complex pillars of a modern advanced civilization, rendering it unable to function.

    Ed Dowd calls this the “glacial Mad Max” scenario: It’s going to get very bad but not all at once. The slow, steady erosion of the pillars of civilization will become increasingly apparent over time as another 2.7 million people are killed or disabled by the vaccines each year.”

    For those who watch video, the full interview with Dowd is available here: https://www.brighteon.com/5219767b-aee8-4296-bdec-93ffa6c4bab1

  195. re: zoning laws.

    In addition to all the other things mentioned, you have the additional layer of lenders and insurance companies butting in everywhere. Where I live, the most appropriate type of building is off-grade, stick-built. Hot and humid most of the year, that’s the only way to make something that’s tolerable without running the air conditioner all the time. But if you’re looking to build or buy a house, what you’ll find is that lenders and insurance companies will snub you on traditional houses: they prefer slab foundations, and this is actively preventing climate-appropriate architecture. You can’t get homeowners’ insurance at all if your house doesn’t have central HVAC, can’t get a loan to buy such a house, unless you’re borrowing extra on the promise of installing same, etc. If you can’t pay cash up front for it, you’re stuck paying for a lot of features you may not want or need (eg double-pane windows, which are made of plastic and have a very short lifespan). The $$$ adds up fast…

  196. >pull-on sun sleeves

    TIL this is a thing. I managed to figure out how to cover up that arm when it happened 😛 There was a towel or something in the back seat, wrapped it around the arm, problem solved.

  197. Hey JMG

    Lately I have been reading “Moby dick” and though I’m just 1/5 through I am surprised at how “modern” it appears and how so little of what happened in the book is referenced in popular culture beyond “Ahab dies trying to kill white whale”,such as the odd friendship between Ishmael and queequeg, or the church with a pulpit designed to look like a boat, ect.
    Have you ever read this book when you were younger, and if so what do you think of it?

  198. >would expect with Ukraine that there is a ceasefire sometime probably in the next few months but not a real peace deal

    That’s how the Korean War ended. Technically, it’s still going on but both sides don’t do much more than glare at each other over the decades. Every so often someone talks about “Hey, let’s actually end this” but like with nuclear power, it seems to go nowhere. Blah blah blah blah blah.

  199. Happy Panda’s (Partial) Major Arcana *Astrological House* Tarot Spread for UK January 2023

    Basically the same as I did for Russia. The following gives the major arcana cards that turned over for the UK for Jan 2023 (and one major arcana reference to the U.S.)

    I’ve mentioned this elsewhere but the spread keeps saying quite specifically (according to Sri Arya’s breakdown of some of the cards turned over for Britain via my latest the Astrological House spread) that UK elites in particular are only interested in presenting “outrageous terms” (Sri Arya’s words), “only interested in fighting because one knows one can” (Sri Arya’s words), and of “humiliating and insulting in the most inflammatory ways” – again all Sri Arya words.

    UK elites cards seem to burn for hot war with Russia – especially inside Russia itself. Rather stupid imo considering the UK military just admitted to the press it hasn’t been this low since the Napoleonic era. Enough for ‘toodling around’ – not for serious war, to use the UK general’s own words to the MSM.

    Compare this to Russia’s additional call-ups of 300k citizens with the ability to activate even further if it looks like the country is in dire danger of the war expanding into Moscow or other other Russian cities.

    Direct quote from UK general: “The Army is at its smallest since the 1700s and has lost 30,000 troops in the past two decades.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10799363/Our-Army-small-UKs-general-admits-troop-numbers-not-big-enough.html

    According to the article – and the major arcana Ganesha R card I turned over for the 3rd House for Britain for Jan 2023*(see below), Britain doesn’t have the spare change to beef up its military. Most especially not for weaponry or tech that’s of the domain of udana (3rd House). If Sunak tries while the UK populace is experiencing financial instability and job losses I’m guessing there will be blowback later for his party.

    The UK may get karmic blowback anyway in some form if my Russia Jan 2023 spread is even somewhat correct. Maybe a planned attack on UK-used infrastructure inside Ukraine is being set up as I type this by ‘hidden enemies’ – Russian or Russian-paid sleeper cell/spec ops soldiers as repayment for blowing up the NS-Pipeline? That would be my guess if Russia truly retaliates as nasty-tempered back (the Hierophant R) at the UK as it’s being to them.

    Another small tidbit for the UK’s astrological house reading.

    The Lovers turned over for the 12th House for UK in Jan 2023. The card of hard choices having to be made in the Astrological House that’s about Endings and Limits. On the upside it turned over upright.

    My guess is it will be the realization by UK GovCorp elites there are limits to just how far the UK populace will finance a no-end-in-sight proxy war when doing so means ever deeper austerity for the populace. Or it might mean the UK’s maxed out its “International Finance Credit Card for gilts” on worldwide exchanges.

    But who knows? Is the British military industrial complex similar to the one in America? That is, is it a thinly-disguised patronage program for salary-class jobs the way I believe its become in the U.S.? This could dangle middle class jobs in front of a populace desperate for one.

    If the British Parliament tried to instate compulsory military duty for all young men for deployment to Ukraine how likely would the UK populace accept this? Since I don’t live in the UK I have no idea what the average Brit’s opinion on this would be – most importantly draft-age British men themselves. Could this even be a thing to get around current limitations that are about to hit Britain in 2023 (possible example: The Lovers = difficult choices have to be made)?

    Death(B):Kali shock and awe “Times Up!” harsh, rapid transformation turned over for the same house for the U.S. in January. But at least it also turned over upright. Sri Arya writes of upright Death:Kali, The core of your being, the roots of your world are about to transform.

    I note, oddly, even after re-shuffling and re-splitting and turning around the stacks 10x (I counted) neither Ganesha R nor Babaji R ever turned over for the U.S. for any of the houses in my latest astrological house spread. To be fair neither card turned over upright either.

    *Sri Arya has added 2 unique Major Arcana cards to his Marseilles Tarot deck that I think are amazing additions in clarifying many spreads.

    The first is the Grace of Ganesha major arcana card. Ganesha is a deity of removing obstacles of all kinds so Ganesha R is the opposite – Obstacles Added. He is often addressed and honored first by sincere Hindu spiritual aspirants no matter their other religious leanings precisely because of his magnanimity and obstacle removal specialization.

    The second is Grace of Babaji which is a major arcana card representing supreme, limitless, Objective Consciousness in Cosmic Doctrine terms. It indicates the question being investigated has even the highest spiritual planes involved in some unusual way.

    99% of my spreads never turn over either of these cards so when one shows up I know something significant is being indicated – as is being indicated for the UK in January.

  200. @blue sun #202: I don’t sit in the federal election court, so I can’t tell you my personal experience of authenticating the votes. However, if you want to, you could play a personal little thought experiment: what if the vote counting in an election, let’s say the Brazilian one, had not been tampered with (and all the illegal economic shenanigans had been on the part of the outgoing, losing candidate), if there was in fact not one shred of evidence to put it into doubt, and if that was the reason that no credible legal attacks have been launched? And if thousands (not millions, but thousands) of people had then demonstrated for two months asking the armed forces to overturn the results of the election? Wouldn’t some defence of democracy against its assailants be warranted?

    I understand that the experience of living in a country with endemic, at least small-scale, vote tampering would make one suspicious of any election anywhere… Brazil, and Germany, and all other countries I know do indeed require photo IDs for voting, and require you to vote in one single voting precinct which you have to decide on several months in advance, so that your name can be found in the lists.

  201. @ Kevin #42

    We no longer, as a culture, allow ADUs. That’s community development speak for auxiliary dwelling units, also known as mother-in-law suites or granny flats.

    But there are ways to (and I quote) “shave the yak”. Basically, your town’s planning department is looking for a stove. They don’t want stoves.

    However, if you add an extra, exterior door to a large bedroom with its own bathroom, you’ve added an additional fire exit. If you install a sink (so you can do crafts!) and a countertop holding a microwave oven over top of a mini-dorm fridge and some shelving, you’ve made the bedroom more comfortable for coffee first thing in the morning.

    The fact that this room, with its exterior door, can be quietly rented to your cousin, doesn’t figure into it at all. As long as everyone’s quiet and there’s no stove, you’re not illegal.

    Take a look at https://www.granolashotgun.com/. Johnny Sanphillippo routinely discusses these issues on his website. It’s lots of fun. Here’s the one about yak shaving: https://granolashotgun.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/yak-shaving-in-the-craft-room/

    He discusses all kinds of housing issues and how we, as a culture, don’t actually want to build low-cost housing any more.

    You can spend hours reading his lavishly illustrated posts.
    I highly recommend it.

  202. @Robert Mathiesen #184

    Thanks, that‘s a splendid idea! Also good to know about the difficulty level. (If medieval occult Latin would have been anything like comparable to James Joyce, I‘d have scratched that project and moved on to something else!! 😉 )

    @JMG,

    Thanks for the encouragement about Medieval Latin – that‘s one of my projects for next year, then.

    Two more questions, if I may:

    1. In a recent podcast (can‘t remember which one, alas), you and the host agreed that a lot of people worried about the wrong upcoming crises (i.e. things which would never become a major crises, or never become relevant), and that it was important to worry about the right things – or something to that effect.

    How do you personally determine which upcoming/potential crises to worry about for you and your immediate circle of people? (Coming to mind from your work are astrology (mundane and natal/progressions), comparisons with history, and divination – but is there something else in the mix for your personal „crises predictions“? Or are you maybe combining the results from these tools in some non-obvious ways? Just wondering if you use any techniques or tools which aren‘t obvious from your writings, and which you don‘t mind sharing.)

    2. Also, about your reply to Chris in #50 about us being in a crisis period: How long do you reckon this period will last, and why?

    Finally, an aside: the Wild Hunt has been quite busy so far this season. Looks like they have a lot of sweeping through to do. The air certainly feels a lot clearer…

    Milkyway

  203. Hello, Mr. Greer, I started reading from the beginning of these posts to find a concise definition of this “Magic” thing. I am not interested in reading dense occult tomes. Along the way I have enjoyed the history of American occultism and your posts on various topics.
    I finally hit pay dirt in your response to Paul Kingsnorth where you defined magic as being “the art and science of participation in the spiritual forces of the universe” and you gave some examples of doing that. I then paused my journey to write this comment.
    By your definition I too am a magician and have my rituals of participation. First unification with Jesus as a gift received (“he who joined to the Lord is one spirit with him”, “I will never drive away any who come to me”), then the gift of the Holy Spirit for empowerment in prayer and life, then applying through the day Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 6:6 to “pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” with the prayer being a flow of the Spirit from the inner being. The reward being the inner kingdom of inner love, life, peace and joy, Romans 14:17, which is the kingdom meant by “thy kingdom come” becoming a friend of all, following Jesus’s example who was called by his opponents “a friend of sinners” and in the outer realm – better actions, synchronicities, manifestations of the Holy Spirit, provision, and answered prayers.
    I believe in K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Sweetheart and my spiritual model is the woman with the issue of blood in the Gospels who knew that all she had to do was to touch the hem of Jesus’s garment and she would be healed.
    I will now resume my journey through your well written and interesting posts.

  204. Oh! I wanted to add one final thing about both the major arcana house spreads for Russia and the UK.

    Notice how these line up for the 3rd house

    Russia turned over The World:Nataraja – the peak card of the entire deck for everything ruled by the 3rd House. Weapons. That find their target: The World:Nataraja + The Sun (the sun’s prana added to the moon’s aligned prana of a different house). This is kind of exactitude is hard to pull off on a whim. This is why I’m highly suspicious the Kremlin have a Master Mage doing Electional Astrology for them.

    Look what turned over for the UK for the same house the same month:

    The special arcana card dedicated to obstacle removal.

    Except in this case for the UK it turned over R. Obstacles Added of all kinds. I wonder if the UK is about to lose some prized military equipment they can not really afford to lose? Especially when Liz Truss’ mini-budget already revealed international capital has no trust that the UK can pay any loans made to them back.

    Thus the 2nd and only major arcana card that turned over for the UK in January.

    The Lovers R – the card of hard choices having to be made.

    Ganesha R – obstacles added

    99% of my spreads never turn over either of Sri Arya’s two major arcana additions. It did this time

    The other major arcana

  205. Last week I listened to a concert of Christmas favorites given by a band called Full Swing – consisting of teenagers. The concert was conducted by a woman from the Champagne Band – a jazz band of old folks who regularly play here at The Village. Now, the style here was that of the conductor’s band – jazzing everything up so much you couldn’t find the melody, and using a limited set of standard jazz riffs, but! Teenagers. Choosing to play Swing. The music of my elders. BRAVISSIMI! Three cheers and a tiger!

  206. pygmycory #200 comment

    Thanks for the comment.

    I agree with you completely. A single language would seem to me be the successful realization of the tower of babel which should be doomed to fail.

    Interesting Bardi ends with a reference to cuneiform. That brought to mind chinese writing which I just googled for more info. Turns out they are similar and are called logograms. Who knows…?

  207. Note: re “spoiled brats” being another Lost Generation – I’ve always considered the Xers to be another Lost Generation, born and reared in a time when their parents were dashing off to California to Find Themselves, or to find a new spouse, or….see also Louisa May Alcott as “the man of her family” and her feckless father and overworked mother – quite as my own daughter is today. It’s another recurring pattern that a glance at history and literature makes clear.

  208. Juan Peron. Brrrr…. Argentine still hasn’t recovered from the reign of the Perons. Incidentally, and tying in with strong/egocentric, greedy, etc women, a look at his regime post-Evita shows who was the heart and soul of that regime. (insert massive earworm courtesy of Andrew Lloyd Weber, but….)

  209. Kerry Nitz (#69) Re: Charles Eisenstein’s take on “1984”. Maybe he’s right that the individual subject to an oppressive state can never organize a rebellion against it without assuming the oppressive characteristics of that state, but that Love can endure by not fighting, but through tiny acts of kindness and generosity. But there are other circumstances, as I see it, where one really must beat the pruning hooks into spears, and the plowshares into swords. As much as we might want to accept and cooperate with “the Other”, sometimes the Other just wants you and all your clan to vacate the waterhole, the fertile pastures, and/or the fishery, and if the only way they can get you to do that is through genocide, well, that’s just because you’re being stubborn about it! They simply may not be interested in sharing. What is one to do then? Stroll off into the desert?

    If the invading horde shows up at your farm unannounced, then you have little choice. So, maybe it would be a good investment to pool resources with the neighbors, to put sentries on the border with a means of reporting danger in time to respond. Maybe you’d even want to invest in “rangers”, to probe beyond your border, to provide an earlier warning. Maybe they could tell stories about why it would be a bad idea to cross that border without an invitation.

  210. Viduraawakened, none of this surprises me. If they can claim that AIs are smarter than human beings, then the people who set the parameters of the AIs can grab more power and abuse it in the usual way.

    Aldarion, the power arrangement in any country with a notional democracy is plutocratic, because it rarely takes rich people more than about fifteen minutes to figure out how to buy votes. Thanks for the info on the recent election — worth knowing.

    Pygmycory, that’s quite correct, and several other markets have fallen further than the stock market has — the cryptocurrency market, worth around US$3 trillion (on paper) at the beginning of 2022, has shed two-thirds of that in the course of a single year. No, I don’t think we’re done, either.

    Panda, my hope at this point is that something like that happens. The US could survive as a federation of states, each of which manages its own social policy; as a single centralized empire, it’s doomed.

    Chicory, the Ohio basin has a lot of changes to go through. The collapse of the industrial region there in the late 20th century was an important first step, but only the first step; give it another 600 years! As for the Volga basin, exactly — and one of the things about sobornost is that it has roots in deep time. One of the things that will most strongly differentiate the future Russian great culture from modern European-Faustian culture is that the Faustian spirit is always in rebellion against the past and the Russian spirit is always reaching back to root itself in the past.

    Panda, thanks for all of this.

    Denis, not directly, no — but it was one more blatantly rigged election in East Germany that kickstarted the protests that sent the wall crashing down.

    Luke, I was heartened to see that article. Not that I’m cheering on what looks to be shaping up into a tremendously ugly mass dieoff, but Dowd has grasped that decline happens and a crisis can unfold over realistic time scales. If that awareness spreads, more people will be able to respond meaningfully to this next downward lurch in the Long Descent.

    J.L.Mc12, of course. It’s one of the truly great American novels ands deserves to be read, and read, and reread into the far future.

    Milkyway, (1) I combine assessment of current trends with close attention to equivalent historical events and, yes, astrology and other means of divination. (2) It depends on your definition. Things will never go back to the way they were before 2020, so in some sense, it’ll last the rest of your life.

    Moose, yes, I know that it’s possible to play all kinds of games with a definition taken out of context and exploited for rhetorical purposes, though most people aren’t quite so smug about it. Did you by any chance go to a Catholic high school? I’ve mostly seen that particular gimmick being exploited by graduates thereof.

    Patricia M, good to hear.

  211. In response to Kevin, I have read exactly one Daphne du Maurier short story, the birds one. I never watched the movie because I don’t want to get scared of birds, which I love. But for some reason I felt curious / nudged to read the short story about it, and I got chills. It was extremely well written, and haunting and just deep in a way you don’t see every day. The basic premise is that a certain point was reached, nature sent a signal to all the birds, that it was time for humanity to be ended. And humans were in no way prepared, even once it all started going down, they arrogantly ignored all danger signs. The story ends with a lone family against the elements, a father trying to protect his children, thinking of children he passed days before, and how he should have tried to protect them, too. Highly recommended.

  212. No question, just wanted to share an article. There was a retrospective about the end of the USSR in RT News:

    https://www.rt.com/russia/543029-want-soviet-union-back/

    That reflected on Russian sentiments toward Gorbachev (Gorbachev is currently the most hated soviet era leader in Russia. Twice as many Russians consider him the most hated as Stalin*):

    “The Soviet leader recognized that the system he inherited was not working well. He was genuinely committed to improving it. But he never understood the reasons why it wasn’t working and failed to develop a proper plan to do something about it. Instead, he improvised a set of ad hoc responses, each of which made things worse.”

    And it made me think of the current leadership in Europe and the USA. I have to wonder how we are going to regard the leaders and populace from the 2020s thirty years from now. I know a great deal will depend on just how poorly the transition goes.

    *Stalin is the 2nd most hated man from soviet times behind Gorbachev because of the gulags, famine, and political persecutions and also the 2nd most celebrated behind Yuri Gagarin because he led the Red Army to victory in the Great Patriotic War against the Nazis.

  213. The Ringing Cedars movement in Russia seems to be a back-to-the-land and spiritual relation, and a lot of focus on dwelling with the land in natural ways, everyone having a family plot, the power of trees, and the like. This is of interest to me and the books were highly recommended by someone I respect, but I must admit I haven’t been able to get very far in the first book yet. The writing style is not easy for me, and the concepts are quite hippyish (not meant in a derogatory sense just hard to find exactly the word I mean here), but not in a way that I’m familiar with. The focus seems to be rootedness to the land, spiritual importance of trees, and the sacred importance & power of the feminine. But again, I haven’t gotten very far with it; I know there’s more than that involved.

    I’d be interested in exactly how far that movement has gone in Russia and surrounding places, although I heard there were some groups that did meetups and practices together, I don’t know if it was anything more widespread and deep than a hobby. But my sense is that it’s very much not in tune with the masculine and military hierarchy of the government there, and may be being partially suppressed, or simply declared unfashionable and something one should be a bit ashamed of. (Wikipedia calls it Anastasianism, but I’m never quite sure how far to trust Wikipedia, especially on alternative subjects, where the condescension can run deep.)

    Living close to the land seems to be important to Russians, at any rate, and it’s certainly helped them survive. I much admire the grandmas of the Chernobyl area. It’s always stuck with me what one woman shared, having lived through some pretty terrible times in WWII etc. “I’m not afraid of the radiation. I’m afraid of starving to death.” She was bound and determined to stay with the land and make her living from her homestead and the forest.

    I remember reading articles a few years ago about a shaman in Russia who was going to walk to the capital and had a plan to confront or in some other way unwind the power Putin held over the country. He got a lot of interest and people joined his walk. It seemed to inspire people who felt voiceless and powerless in their country. I was interested and excited to hear about something like this happening. Naturally, it was all put a stop to after a few months. Reading between the lines was only slightly necessary to learn that incarceration and “re-education” of some sort happened to this man; he was in the end giving up his march and his goals, and basically a broken man who towed the party line.

    The KGB used to take native shamans (who would “fly” on amanita muscaria trips and do spiritual practices and/or learn things to help their community) up in planes, then push them out, telling them to “fly” from there. Obviously, the Soviets were just trying to murder and wipe out the religious leaders of the Siberian people groups. The official status then was no religion, Soviet Russia wanted to wipe out religion, nature based or not, and they went about it in a heavy-handed way that left a lot of scars. I believe the current rulers have a lot of the same people in power and the same disdain towards “nature-based” spirituality, unless it can be controlled in some way or made patriotic.

    This is not to say that Western governments have much more respect towards nature based spirituality, except when it can be viewed as a harmless pastime that doesn’t threaten them.

    Of course, spirituality, especially outside the accepted beliefs and channels, tends to rise on a time and wavelength of its own, in unexpected places and ways, around the edges of the acceptable. Sometimes it’s squashed, sometimes it dies away, sometimes it grows deeper roots.

    I’m not sure how much of this is of interest to anyone here, but the discussion of Russian alternative or developing spirituality led me to want to contribute.

    On several other topics mentioned in the comments, I will refrain myself.

  214. Double Oops!

    I have a typo in my #224 post. I said The Lovers R turned over for the 11th House for the UK.

    That is incorrect. It turned over upright. So there is at least that bit of silver lining. Whatever is coming down the pike for the UK the Lovers card says a hard choice will have to be made by the UK government. If the UK loses major military hardware and soldiers or key UK infrastructure in January then I can see why that card turned over.

    Since Biddy doesn’t use Sri Arya’s deck I will have to do some discursive meditation sessions to see what I can discover about the UK’s only arcana combo:

    Ganesha R + The Lovers (and also 3rd House concerns + 12th House concerns = ?).

    One last bit I’m tossing out there to any UK citizens reading this. Ganesha R – Obstacles Added in the astrological house that rules snake-oil salesmen, conmen, deception and illusion may be advance warning that your government and MSM will almost certainly not tell you the real truth of what ever event is coming up. Truth telling is in detriment phase for the UK in January.

    I suppose a theme for starting (if anyone else is curious to try) is:

    Obstacles Added + Hard Choice Required

  215. 31 Dec 2022
    New Years Eve Day

    Hi JMG,

    > the way you become a Freemason anywhere in North America is that you ask

    My father was a Freemason; he died when I was in my late teens. My mother’s mother’s unmarried sister was an Eastern Star (born 1890s); I think she mentioned that her father sponsored her.

    I can’t recall who (it could have been my father), but someone in my family told me that a female can apply to be an Eastern Star ONLY through a sponsoring male who is a Freemason in good standing.

    My father couldn’t sponsor me because he was dead. I doubt my great-aunt could have sponsored me because she, herself, was female, plus was very old. I have felt adrift a good deal of my life because of this loose end. It grated on me because women appeared to have no status except by getting a stamp of approval by a male.

    Is it true that a female had to be sponsored by a Freemason male? I interpret “male” as being either father or husband. Was that true prior to 1970? Is it true now? What have I mixed up?

    Thanks.

    🎉🍹Happy New Year,

    💨Northwind Grandma😢
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  216. No Catholic background. I thought it was a sincere sharing of my viewpoint and for me real experience, not smug. I don’t see a real distinction between religious practice and magic by that definition you offered. Oh well. I am sure you have your own very real spiritual experience of your own path you could share, otherwise you wouldn’t have persisted with it over the years. Will you ever carry the history of American occultism past the point you came to?

  217. Northwind Grandma #158, the other selling point of Wisconsin is it wears Upper Michigan like a jaunty hat. 🙂

  218. JMG, fair enough – and now you got me mulling over what does or doesn‘t constitute as a crisis for me, before I‘d even finished my first cuppa. 😉

    Let me try a more specific question:

    If I got things right, you were in the habit of posting year‘s end posts with predictions for the respective upcoming year, but have stopped doing so in recent years because things aren‘t stable enough and/or could be changing too fast to make any meaningful predictions.

    What is the timeframe in which you expect to be able to go back to meaningful „new year predictions“ (if ever)?

    Or in other words: For how long do you expect this particular (or higher) level(s) of uncertainty and instability to continue before we‘ll reach something more stable and predictable again (whatever that will be)?

    Milkyway

  219. Thanks, JMG! My parents were teenagers during WW II (the rest of you, kindly stop doing the math), so we grew up with “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” I can do without $75/pop calendar refills, even if I had the $75 sitting around waiting for me to find something to spend it on.

    That said, just to be fair to the Daytimer company and their fine products, they make the BEST sticky notes. Those little guys will stick to greased Teflon. I’ve never lost one of theirs, even stuck to the steering wheel.

  220. A happy New Year for you all JMG and kommentariat! (there will be a lot of problems of course, but we’ll see it)

  221. As things slide downhill in the UK, the Reform Party may be worth keeping an eye on. They are currently at about 7-9% in the polls with most of their support in deindustrialised, working-class areas. There have been a few mutterings that some Tory MPs in the north of England might defect to them, since the Tories are still about 20 points behind Labour. It looks inevitable that in two years we will have a Labour government with no real ideas that have not previously been tried and failed, plus a zero-carbon energy policy guaranteed to be an expensive failure. Reform have a raft of populist policies, most of which look workable and if Nigel Farage came back to lead them, in five years or so they could upset the status quo just as UKIP did. Of course just like UKIP, they may not gain power themselves but frighten the Tories into adopting their policies.

  222. I was speaking with a religious gentleman (from the heirarchical side of the aisle) the other day about what procedures they had in place if the internet went down and their people could no longer access their material online etc esp given their penchant for anticipating things getting worse and worse until the Big Guy steps in and fixes everything (with their group of course being looked after). Apparently there is nothing to worry about since God would not let them suffer that way and would make sure the internet stayed viable until the end/beginning.

    I decided not to try and challenge that one at the time but thought it was interesting that apparently Christianity is dependent upon a fairly recent and doubtless transitory technology for its existance … I also love the way he managed to combine the religion of progress with immanatizing the eschaton with a chosen people immune from ultimate persecution with a belief that such represents a purity of biblical truth.

    That being said I am sure he is not even close to being alone.

  223. Pope Benedict XVI has died at 95.

    We’re running out of people who remember WW II, and we all know what happens when nobody remembers the past.

  224. What do you feel are the most significant events in 2022 that didn’t get the attention they would usually get from the narrative makers?

    I feel like the railway workers being forced back to work will come back to bite us again and there’s an ongoing shortage of truck drivers and pilots. The massive tech layoffs in November, and June also seemed to get largely ignored. I’m also hearing it was a big year again for corporate workers taking early retirement because of the “must return to the office” mandates (now with no mention of covid testing or vaccines, just scrubbed from policy like it was never there). Not to mention private employment raises were only 2-3% on average this year, with little to no bonuses. Public employees I believe got higher cost -of living raises of over 6%. Universities had another 5% drop in enrollment this past fall (many have also erased covid from their websites while the top schools went bivalent booster required). And strangely, canned cat food is once again missing from store shelves. Dog food is there though.

    It’s so strange seeing on any given day, over a dozen major economic items really off, yet the world more or less seems to function. Everyone I know seems to have taken a major vacation this year including overseas travel and is pretending all is fine.

  225. @Andy#163 and JMG who didn’t comment

    Thanks for your interesting thoughts on astrology. I don’t disagree repeated cycles must be a big part of it. Actually, and I put my Cos. Doc. hat on here for a moment, I’d guess the cycles stretch to the huge one that sees the One become the many and the many return to the One again. The reason I mentioned computer programs/games was to include the idea that a complex world can come from relative simplicity (code/algorithms etc.). The mandelbrot set fascinated from the first time I met it – the repeated motifs at various levels of its infinite expression is maybe the most intriguing (many with that tentacle feel (!) ) – there’s something in that for us to take in I’m sure. Worth a meditation I’d wager.

  226. @ Viduraawakened #204

    Re AI and mathematics of today generally

    I have a background applied math and some years ago rejoined a professional organization I first belonged to in graduate school that focuses on operations research and management science (INFORMS). It provides access to some interesting journals and whatnot, though is far more academically oriented than warranted by my profession. In any event, the emails and articles I receive often focus on the whiz-bang aspects of AI, deep-learning, and other computationally-heavy methods, similar to what you’re describing. I’ve often wondered if anyone considers how this reliance on data-intensive methods is going to play out as computational capability wanes over the Long Decent. We’re losing the elegance that once defined mathematics and substituting ham-fist brute force that depends on highly limited resources. Yet the celebratory tone of those articles remains undimmed. You’re right, too, about people losing the skills to manage in the absence of computers. It will be interesting to observe the state of things as the decline progresses.

  227. Kevin,

    I had never heard the term ‘land-based piracy’ before—yes that’s the idea. The difference in the stories is that in the Jamaica Inn, the piracy is done by evil villains. In Shipwrecks, it is done by everyday families which is a lot more chilling!

  228. Lathechuck “So, maybe it would be a good investment to pool resources with the neighbors, to put sentries on the border with a means of reporting danger in time to respond.”
    Yeah, the Mandan of what is now North Dakota had communal earth lodges with surrounding trenches for security. The lodges were built up on a bluff above the floodplain while the fields were next to the river on the bottom lands. Women working the fields would be protected by sentinels. Some villages would go out on the buffalo hunt once the crop got going. When they returned for the corn harvest they would send out scouts to make sure no hostiles were present.
    Once horses became available, some tribes became nomadic buffalo hunters and would trade for corn with the sedentary farmers. If they had nothing to trade, they might try to steal. Thus fortification was essential.
    For more detatils see Corn Among the Indians of the Upper Missouri by George F. Will and George E. Hyde, University of Nebraska Press.

  229. Does anybody have study plans for this year? I want to work my way through all the Tristan Gooley books, with Sonkitten along. Also, the Lord seems to be restoring my ability to concentrate, so I hope to review Spanish—I lost a lot—and then get out and talk to people.

    The nurse thought my mental fog might have been due to a mini-stroke—they can go unnoticed but have aftereffects. She suggested going to ER if I find the fog returning. I’m not sure how much good that would do (“You had mental fog for several years and it’s getting worse? Okay, we’ll try our best to see you by next Tuesday, feel free to sleep in the lobby.”) but I pass it on in case it helps someone else.

  230. J.L.Mc12 #217: Moby Dick is one of my favorite novels. I’m glad other people appreciate it beyond the “Ahab pursues the whale” theme; there’s so much more going on in that book, especially the theme of friendship as you noted, and the contrast between the various characters. There’s also a lot about religion, faith, and doubt (Ishmael means “God hears”). About references in modern culture: have you gotten to the part where the first mate says, “They’re bringing us our coffee, Starbuck”?

    If you watch films, I liked the 1956 version with a screenplay by Ray Bradbury – the imagery in the film brings out some of the religious themes, though subtly.

  231. @J.L.Mc12: If you’re reading Moby-Dick, wait until you get to the chapter called “Stubb’s Supper.” It’s about as dark as anything I can remember ever reading. Another chapter where Melville is being pretty sly (in my opinion) is “Measurement of the Whale’s Skeleton.” Any idea what he might be parodying there? Lot’s of real good stuff in the full length novel, but at my present age, I no longer have the patience that I once had for Melville’s deliberately archaic diction, like I had “back in the day.” I hope you enjoy it and find time to re-read it once or twice.

  232. @Happy Panda #208 re: The Epoch Times. One of the residents here subscribes to that paper and I have read it. It’s put out by the John Birch Society, and still refers to our nation’s big rival in Eastern Europe as “Communist Russia.” Read with several grains of salt.

  233. After studying some of your material on Patreon, I’ve calculated Capricorn ingress horoscopes for a bunch of countries that seemed relevant to me. You did delineation of the UK ingress, so apparently this chart is relevant, even if the Libra ingress (AC Leo) remains valid.

    All countries of Western Europe, as well as Western Africa, feature an angular Moon-Mars opposition. It is most exact (conjunct to midheaven axis) for Oslo, Copenhagen and Tunis. Following from this, all European and African countries with capitals west of this line have an angular opposition as well, but less prominent than the ones first named. Italy, Germany and Czech Republic have only Mars in close conjunction with an axis, and the countries farther East seem to get spared. Which orb would you use in this case?

    This comes unexpected as most people expect war in these times to start from the East, as Russia might threaten Finland, Poland and the Baltic states as a next step. What’s your take?

  234. Greetings JMG and fellow commentators,

    the current year was terrible (globally and for me particularly) so I decided to write something positive in the hope that the next year year be better.

    (Please delete my previous post, I posted it prematurely).

    This fall I went to the forest to collect some berries and mushrooms. On the parking lot I met a bunch of Thai who were doing a ritual. I asked them what it was about and one of them who could speak German said: “We were hired to collect berries. Some noticed that the white man’s ghosts / spirits in this forest are old and strong so we ask them to allow us to collect the berries.”On the one hand this episode shows the dichotomy of the current age. On the one hand you have globalisation which puts Thai farmers on a plane to collect berries in Germany which are then frozen, processed in North Africa and shipped back to Europe. On the other hand those Thai farmers still kept their spirituality and they recognize other traditions / powers.

    I have an ongoing process to collapse my cooking in the sense that I want to reduce modern technology and ingredients as much as possible. One area where I made the most progress was soup powder. You can get soup powder or bouillon cubes for very cheap, but they are probably unhealthy and not sustainable. So I looked up if there are alternatives to them. Turns out there are. The best way to make your own soup powder is pretty simple.
    You take some root vegetables (carrots, onions, root celery) and low grade soup meat, cut it into pieces and cook those ingredients with water and spices (salt, pepper and whatever you fancy) until they are done. Ideally, there should be little water left. You turn that into a pulp and spread it thinly onto a baking tray and bake it at 60° C for several hours until it is completey dry.
    Turns out the homemade soup powder tastes excellent, helps you make a soup instantly and it is probably a lot healthier. Next year I want to build a rocket grill that also dries at the same time without using electricity.

    Best wishes for the next year.

  235. Wow! you have well commented posts, my email inbox is flooded. I will stick to being only reminded of new posts from now on.

  236. @ Bofur and CRC: “It’s rare to find someone who is interested in this stuff – I observe that typically people who grew up in the PMC don’t understand the discussion, and people who didn’t grow up in it but “graduated” into it usually want to forget where they came from as fast as possible. The people like us, who found themselves on the PMC track but didn’t really fit in, are fairly uncommon.”

    “This stuff” definitely interests me! 🙂 I grew up as the product of what you might call a “mixed class marriage”. My father’s family are pretty much of the PMC class, my mother’s family of the working class. Also, my reading of “Albion’s Seed” by David Hackett Fischer, gives me to understand that my father’s family is of the Puritan New England stock, and my mother’s family of the Appalachian borderer stock. So you can see that the two sides of my family are culturally, economically, and politically opposed in every sense of the word.

    Still, my own upbringing was fairly tranquil, as my parents had a good, solid understanding between themselves, and a single “mission” to carry out together – which was, as it happens, the actual “mission field”. They were missionaries in Central America and we were raised far from their two families. 🙂

    What I’m telling you is that it took me a long time, too, to read “class” into what I dimly perceived was the basic two-way distrust my two extended families had of each other’s “kind”.

    I did go to a “Seven Sisters” college on a scholarship (’78-’82), and, in my bluestocking way, I thoroughly enjoyed that interlude dedicated to reading, and talking, and thinking. Still, when it came close to graduation, it seemed my classmates had sponsors and ways and connections to dive straight into jobs and careers, and suddenly my lack of sponsors was a thing. My own solution was to simply wander rather aimlessly as a “nowhere” person travelling around from place to place until I was fortunate enough to “snag” into a connection that made me a “somewhere” person here in Donegal, in Ireland, with a new place to root into, a new people to neighbour with, and a partnership that has stood the times and been a continual source of gifts.

    Class has certainly defined both the challenges and the solutions that made a difference to me personally. And yet, it is not that easy a subject to speak about. Thanks for bringing it up!

  237. Yavana and phutatorius

    I am up to Ch 32, cetology. The one where Ishmael attempts to teach basic whale science to the reader.

  238. Team10tim, yeah, that does sound familiar, doesn’t it? It’s indicative that Gorbachev was lionized by the elite class in the West.

    A, one of these days I’m going to make some time to read at least one of the Ringing Cedars books. I have no idea how popular the movement is in Russia, but it’s a glimpse into an aspect of the culture we don’t get to see very often here in the US.

    Mark L, many thanks for this.

    Northwind, not true at all. If you’re related by birth or marriage to a Mason — that is, wife, daughter (including legally adopted daughter), mother, widow, sister, half sister, granddaughter, stepmother, stepdaughter, stepsister, daughter-in-law, grandmother, great granddaughter, niece, great niece, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, or first or second cousin of a Mason — you can simply sign the application and join. Oh, and you can also join if you aren’t any of these, but were a member of Rainbow Girls or Job’s Daughters, the two Masonic groups for girls. The fact that you’re a Mason’s daughter is more than enough to get you in the door — all you need to do is let the Chapter you’re applying to know his full name, what state he lived in, and any other Masonic details you might have, and you’re good.

    The reason for the rule about relationship, btw, is that back in the 19th century, a lot of lodges had to deal with attempts to co-opt them and steal their financial assets, and Eastern Star is wealthier than most. Having the connection to the Craft made it easier to filter out people who might otherwise have joined for that reason.

    Moose, fair enough. Keep in mind that I get a fair number of people coming here who are trying to score points, either for their own religion or for their atheism, and your comment sounded a lot like one of the standard gimmicks. The definition of magic I use considerably more often, btw, is Dion Fortune’s — “the art and science of causing change in consciousness in accordance with will.” There are certainly Christian occultists who do exactly that within the framework of their faith, and I encourage that — if you’re interested I can point you to a good book on the subject, by a devout Anglican Christian — but unless you practice something of the kind, there’s a difference between what I do and what you do…

    Michael, good gods. That’s impressively stupid of them. It’s not as though it takes much effort to work up a system that gets people their baggage!

    Milkyway, I don’t know how soon I’ll be able to return to annual predictions. That’s one of the things I’m not currently able to predict!

    Your Kittenship, it’s a good motto. I’m currently planning on doing some access-to-information posts in the new year focusing on resources form that same era.

    Chuaquin, thank you and likewise.

    Yorkshire, hmm! The thought of a portable railway is enticing.

    Robert, many thanks for the heads up.

    Dreamer, I don’t know what it is about a certain category of religious people, who somehow never managed to notice all those passages in the Bible about suffering, patience, fortitude, humility, and what happens if instead you go swaggering around with an arrogant attitude and assume that God will bail you out from the consequences of your own stupidity.

    Denis, nearly every story that actually matters has been kept off the headlines this year, so I’m not sure which of the many candidates I’d highlight! Certainly the very troubling increase in crude all-cause death rates in every heavily vaccinated country, paired with the lack of any such increase in countries that didn’t do much vaccinating for Covid, is high on the list. The collapse of the US dollar’s status as global reserve currency is another huge story — at this point most countries outside the narrow circle of the US and its satrapies are busy making non-dollar arrangements to pay for foreign trade, and that means the tribute economy that props up the United States has probably suffered a mortal wound and will fall apart completely in the next few years. Ongoing supply chain troubles and outright shortages in the US — well, there’s another one. Essentially, the wheels are falling off as we watch, and of course that’s not something the corporate media will ever cover.

    Your Kittenship, glad to hear it. My plans include learning Portuguese, getting deeper into the scholarly literature on ancient temples, and tackling the studies that go with a certain set of initiations I’ll be receiving in the new year. Business as usual for a working occultist!

    Njura, there’s good reason to think that at least some of the western NATO countries are already supplying entire regiments of “volunteers” to Ukraine to prop up the badly battered Ukrainian military. In the new year, especially once Mars goes direct, it would not surprise me if that support becomes even less covert. On the other hand, Ukraine isn’t the only potential front. West and central Africa is a flashpoint; local governments have been demanding that the French military go home and take their predatory NGOs with them, and at least some of them seem to have replaced the French presence with Russian Wagner Group mercenaries. It would not surprise me to see the NATO countries try to push back — they depend on resources extracted from Africa, of course — by way of military adventurism there.

    Engineer, thanks for this!

    Moose, yep. I don’t use the email reminders at all, myself — and new posts go up every Wednesday, usually sometime more or less around noon Eastern time.

  239. Of the Qi Gong exercises I rememeber:

    – Standing with your big toes slightly tilted to each other, feet hip wide apart so that legs are straight. Fingers, knees and arms are slightly stretched out, at a midpoint between tension and relaxation. Tilt your weight backwards to the heels of your feet, for most people will stand at their tips due to overtight lower backs. Straighten your neck, so that your head is straight, your highest tip of the head is in line with the midpoint between your feet.

    …the easiest way to stand, and the easiest pose not to do anything wrong and build overtension, but rather to slowly loosen tensions.

    – There were 3 lead sentences, of which I think I remember two and three: there is a smile on your face, and unfold the ancestors gate (third eye) backwards

    – Send your gaze’s focus into the distance, then back into your eyes. Feel like your eyes are melting backwards to the ears, feel the outer place of your ears. Then feel the spot in your head in between your ears.
    Then, divide your front upper skull from the tip of the head to the beginning of the forehead into 6 horizontal divisions, slices so to say. Say to yourself “Skin, bones, brain” and feel each slice consciously one by one, beginning by the slice that includes the tip of your head downwards. Then, divide the forehead into nine horizontal divisions, and do the same, moving downwards to the the ending line, your eyebrows.
    This exercise has had weirdly good effects on me.

    – Stand in the standard pose I mentioned. Rotate your ankles clockwise, slowly, with your consciousness located at your ankles.

    – form a cup of your hands in front of your body center. Breathe in – when breathing out, turn your hands upwards until you hold both hands above your head, palms looking inwards. Feel the energy of your consciousness rise upwards. The hands do not move you consciousness, they accompany it.

    – Give your hands palms inwards above your head, forming an invisible ball above your head. Then, move your consciousness from the tip of your head downwards, to below your feet. Your hands and arms accompany it.

    – Get up on your toes, then fall back on your feet flat again with a thud. Patience now, and wait until you feel warmth and energy rising in your body alike tea unfolding in hot water coming from the tea bag.

    – Imagine a glowing pearl at the bottom tip of your spine. First, let it rotate around the tip, *slowly*. Then, let the pearl spiral upwards your spine to its top end and downwards again, slowly.

    – There were exercises including creating an imaginate ball of energy, starting at the tip of your head, letting it levitate down to your upper back, lower back, below the feet, upwards again in front of your chest. Play with it – if I remember all that correctly. “School of the dragon gate”.

    – Imagine a triangle with your behind the navel center as the tip within your hip. Follow the triangle with your consciousness, stopping at each point as well as connection, in the end feel the center of your hip.

    This is the remnants of my knowledge.

    – Oh yes, and shake your body, pumping with your feet upwards. Keep your head straight, keep your consciousness within your body, shake tenderly, now and then you can shake your arms and your hip as well. Do this for a while, then, getting slower, stop, and stand still for a time, to let the generated energy sink in.

    I wonder where hermetic exercises contradict qi gong, at what point. Recently, I tried using movements and light visualizations at random, trying to get both together in harmony. This is “impulse dancing”. Sometimes at impulse dancing, I imagined lights around myself thatv would guide my body to dancing motions without conscious movement on my behalf. Others have testified they see and feel the same.

    However, I once again realized the utter complexity of precise movements with the whole body, many little muscles simultaneously in harmony. I also realized the utter complexity of inner body visualization: at times it creates a harmonic, healing flow, but at random, it often breaks off as if bumping into a wall.

    I notice why there’s traditions, and established paths of doing so.

    It had been like that before I ever heard of energetics and the like – I felt I could create flows around my body, sometimes receiving a spark of harmony and healing, but without guidance, it would always break off, and without guidance, I could not find into a constant flow.

    Mirzakasim Norbekov also offers interesting pathways of inner visualized glowing light orbs circling the portions of one’s own body, in guided pathways.

    It is said, the sages that went to meditate alone in the desert started to feel the natural pathways of energy within their body, and could interact with them in a meaningful direction.

    I would guess that a pure natural sorrounding, an asketic lifestyle and free movement in natural terrain recreates a situation where we can feel ourselves freely again, while civilization also imposes invisible limits on us, we carry invisible chains with us.

    After all, energetic practice will probably be rooted in our very nature, and are a natural thing to use. Probably our ancestors’ intuition was much sharper there.

    Many modern beings, it would seem, do not consciously feel energy flows around their body and in their field around the body. I always did, but never knew what to do with it, always great chaos.

    I understand an advantage of hermetic/western energy practice: it is not so body specific as qi gong, and without a teacher you can do them without danger.
    A proper tool kit for people in modern times, to guide psychic/emotional energy, less so physical movement however, which is difficult to be taught through books.

    regards,
    Curt

  240. You are right, of course, about covert warfare in different places, which has been going on for some time. Guess I was expecting something more spectacular with this aspect. Been influenced as well by the discovery of Bavarian countryside medium Alois Irlmaier who predicted climate change, inflation, waves of migrants, and war with Russia: “They will attack overnight… Poland, Finland and Sweden first… (after the death of one politician in a peace conference)… then march through to Spain without much resistance… a yellow line (chemical warfare?) will be drawn between Germany and Eastern Europe to stop the Russians…

  241. Hi John Michael,

    I’m having some interesting issues with the solar power system here. It’s a fascinating insight into the lithium LiFePO4 battery technology which I must add: they’re good, but must be monitored. And things can go wrong… Which is where I’m currently at. I read about a large grid battery install in Western Australia which was delayed, for what seemed like good reasons to me. I’m experiencing this scenario in miniature. As an old school hands on tech geek, at least I know what the issues are. 🙂 People keep spruiking this technology, but I dunno man.

    The problem with relying upon other countries in distant parts of the world for basic day to day stuff, like food and energy, is that you’re relying upon other countries in distant parts of the world for basic day to day stuff, like food and energy. I dunno, people forget that arrangement and I’d seriously be uncomfortable living in somewhere like Europe which relies on food out of Africa. You have to maintain a realistic understanding of the arrangements and maintain a martial culture in order to ensure that the flows continue, or else. You can’t be the good guys and have those arrangements in place, after all the locals might want that stuff too.

    Happy New Year. Zombie films at some point in the year are a mostly safe prediction. Maybe? 🙂

    Cheers

    Chris

  242. @A (#234) said:

    The Ringing Cedars movement in Russia seems to be a back-to-the-land and spiritual relation, and a lot of focus on dwelling with the land in natural ways, everyone having a family plot, the power of trees, and the like.
    ….edit…
    The focus seems to be rootedness to the land, spiritual importance of trees, and the sacred importance & power of the feminine.

    Russia January 2023!

    The Hierophant + The Sun : Warm weather. Love of wild country. A feeling of drawing power from nature.

    Yet one more reason Russia pulled cards for healing manifesting I didn’t know about. You just unlocked another key for my spread! The arcana combo is indicating one way how the Russian people will experience increased health and healing for their society.

    Hierophant R 6th House + The Sun 11th House

    The Sun upright of the 11th house (hopes/dreams/community) may be the thing that heals Hierophant R of the 6th (daily routines/work/health) into Hierophant via love of wild country, and aligning with daily traditions that respect nature. This is saying Russia has the jump on the West when it comes to transitioning to the kind of more regional and localized economy than has been in the past. Get over the hump of a coming global recession and shortages and this is indicating great things for their future.

    This is a great arcana combo indicated for the Russian people!

  243. On the topic of health and Mother Nature – according to Sadhguru if one walks barefoot constantly on mother earth the soles of the feet will absorb prana. There’s a video on Youtube where he mentioned 3 rural 10 – 12 year old boys in India as an example. They all come from very poor families and only eat about 800 calories a day but because the boys run around everywhere all day barefoot they’re glowing exemplars of good health because their feet are absorbing the extra prana that they’d otherwise need to get from their daily diet. That would not be the case if they wore shoes.

  244. “What do you feel are the most significant events in 2022 that didn’t get the attention they would usually get from the narrative makers?”

    Zerohedge has a low signal to noise ratio, but two thirds of the way down this article they have a top twenty list.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/2022-greatest-hits-most-popular-articles-past-year-and-look-ahead.

    The number of conspiracy theories that have turned out to be true is quite remarkable.

    On the other tack, CBS lost their credibility over the Swift Boat Veterans way back when. NBC died on the creative editing of the Zimmerman 911 call followed by the discovery that Brian Williams was just making things up. CNN and PBS died on the hill of Russian Collusion among other things. Has ABC been caught in any great credibility scandals? I remember one where they made up a fake crime scene because they couldn’t get close enough to the real one, but that isn’t very serious as things go.

  245. Yeah, we are definitely apples and oranges, I was just saying we’re both fruits working with visible and the invisible in our own ways. I am content with what I do, but thank you for your suggestions.

  246. @ Mr. Nobody # 118

    I’m a resident of Pennsylvania. The PA senate election was a dreadful choice.

    The diet-pill schilling carpet bagger.
    The brain-damaged thug.

    The only thing you can say for Fetterman is he’s from PA, and that’s probably why he won. It certainly wasn’t his mental acuity.

  247. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I was wondering if you had any thoughts on whether Elon Musk is trying to pull a Trump and run for president as an eccentric billionaire/Washington outsider/American Caesar figure.

    Also, for whatever its worth please don’t assume that people who live quiet academic lives shouldn’t write autobiographies!

  248. Re: the AI. Twitter conservatives are already pointing out that ChatGPT’s positions on fossil fuels and social equality are mirror images of the Internet’s conventional positions on these, as one would expect from a machine that scrapes and imitates text. This suggests that an AI that mimics human text by repeating cliches is only a threat to the writing careers of humans who do the same. Original thinkers should be fine! ‘Humans who think like machines’, as Dune said it, are in trouble.

  249. @Yavanna 256:

    Co-signed completely; it’s my second-favourite novel. If you’re ever in the area don’t miss the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachussetts.

    @Phutatorius:

    “no longer have the patience that I once had for Melville’s deliberately archaic diction”

    What???! But that’s almost the best part! Sometimes I find myself a-writing after his fashion, just to amuse myself. 😉

    @Cutekitten:

    “I’m not sure how much good that would do”

    Yeah, hard to know. Neurology is the speciality (in)famous for being able to identify the exact problem but not the solution. The most interesting stroke case I ever saw was on the neurology floor when I was in residency training – we had a lady with a rare stroke that affected her short-term memory centre so that EVERY TIME you’d go in her room you’d have to spend a good ten minutes explaining that yes, you were part of her care team and yes, you had met her before, even if she couldn’t believe it. Like, literally couldn’t remember it.

    Anyone else have the experience over the holidays of catching up with family who gave variations of “Gee I’m so glad COVID is over and things are getting back to normal”? I was halfway tempted to be convinced!

  250. Curt, the conflict between Hermetic practices and qigong isn’t a matter of theoretical mismatch. People who’ve tried practicing both — me among them — have ended up with health problems. (In my case it was a yin kidney qi imbalance that took a couple of years to resolve.) Why? Good question, but the problem’s cropped up often enough that I warn people about it.

    Njura, well, we’ll see!

    Chris, given that disruption of resource flows from overseas colonies or quasi-colonies is a very common cause of the fall of empires, that’s especially worth watching…

    Stephen, Musk can’t run for president. Nobody born overseas is eligible, and it would take a lengthy process, including a three-fourths majority vote of state legislatures, or of state conventions called for the purpose, to amend the constitution and make that an option. What exactly he has in mind is an interesting question. As for autobiographies, well, let’s just say that I’ve seen too many stunningly boring memoirs to agree with you.

    Grover, yes, I saw that! Youth rebellion at its finest.

    Kfish, ha! So the chatbot is simply spewing the lowest common denominator of the internet. I bet it starts obsessively making Table Cat memes any day now.

  251. @Princess CuteKitten. I plan to finally dive into one of the many courses made available by JMG in conjunction with making my daily SOP, daily.
    @JMG thank you for all your work and the resources you make available.
    @ All Ecosophians. I wish you the best in the new year and hope we can continue to make progress along our paths. Thank you for the comments and conversations.

  252. @Kfish

    I actually tried using the AI bot. As I had expected, it’s an overrated piece of software – while it can write essays or opinion pieces, I’m afraid that there are quite a lot of things it can’t. For instance, I asked it to derive the Kuramoto-Sivashinsky system, and it gave me an introductory paragraph (Wikipropaganda could have done better), followed by a mathematically unjustified equation. Nothing more than this.

    I then re-read the Guardian article on the bot, and had a hearty laugh 😂.

    @David BTL

    Exactly. I have friends who work as data scientists, and their job description doesn’t sound very appealing to me. The current craze for ecologically unsustainable methods like Machine Learning, etc. and the very real possibility of a shortage of people with skills in PDEs as the Long Descent proceeds, are a wake-up call to those of us who come from an applied mathematics background, and are redpilled on the decline and fall of modern industrial civilization.

    Come to think of it, this has already been happening. How many universities in the US (I’m guessing things are somewhat different in the UK in this regard) teach perturbation methods? This, in spite of the fact that the perturbation methods approach yields elegant and useful solutions, and is quite low-tech.

  253. Our current elite remind me of groucho Marx on harpo Marxs appearance in a scene – just because he looks like an idiot and acts like an idiot, dont let him fool you, he really is an idiot.

  254. Re: Airline Baggage problems:

    I think a quote from the latest article I cited contains the key:

    “As we’ve seen globally, issues like lost baggage arise during peak travel times and are compounded by a 30 per cent workforce gap. We simply can’t get enough people to fill roles…

    Great Resignation plus “quiet quitting,” anyone?

    I remember that Dmitry Orlov said that in the late USSR, there was an expression called “Dofenism” which meant roughly “not giving a rat’s patoot about anything.” As in, “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.”

    I expect many sectors of the current economy to slowly grind to a standstill because of this problem.

  255. What the Gnostics teach is just as plausible as in the light what the Chief Rebel would tell his fellow Angels.

    That God is an unjust tyrant. Or that the materiality that he created is evil. Only by emancipation from God’s rule(called the Demiurge) will Mankind by truly Free.

    The Freedom to determine our own destiny free from God.

    The Promethean myth has Prometheus bringing fire from the Gods signifying not only technology but Wisdom stolen from them to emancipate Mankind.

    As the Genesis account would say: “Ye shall be as Gods knowing Good and Evil”.

    The Biblical account meanwhile paints that Angel in this way:
    https://ichthys.com/SR1copy.htm

    That Rebel who sought to supplant God. And be like the Most High. Ostensibly by promising Liberation.

    God created humanity also to counter the allegations of Lucifer:
    https://ichthys.com/Fall-sr3.htm#I.%20The%20Purpose%20of%20Man

  256. @JMG
    > The question that comes to my mind first, of course, is whether there’s a way to test it.

    I thought about that for 30 seconds and concluded ‘no’. Then I carried on thinking about it for an hour and concluded ‘perhaps’. I’ve now been thinking about this question off and on for more than a day and realised that it’s going to take much more thought and some reading and some research.

    I might have a meaningful comment ready for the next open, but that may be an underestimate.

    @Jay Pine.
    I feel I know exactly what you mean. My first encounter with emergent behaviour was with the game of Go where a few simple rules lead to situations of mind boggling complexity. I found it highly attractive and rather addictive, and spent far too much time as an undergraduate studying it when I should have been concentrating on other things.

  257. @Ellen,
    I’ll mention your son’s friend Cedar in my next prayer, and in my “Restore the Basics” prayer for 2023, I’ve asked for help healing anyone who has been made ill by natural disease or poisoning, whether inadvertent or deliberate. Also help for everyone affected by war and political/economic strife, and help to anyone seeking a new, saner path than the one our society is on–in other words, help to walk away.
    Quin explained the hour of the sun to me a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately, I cannot find it now. There are three times during the day and one in the wee hours that are sun hours. The one I have chosen is between noon and 1:30 because at the other times I’m busy. One was around breakfast time and the other was around dinner time. If Quin is as busy as I have been the past few days, he’ll drop back by later and see your question, I hope.

    @All the commentariat,
    I want to thank you. I read through your comments and jotted down notes. It did help me focus on what I wanted to say in my prayer. Yesterday I worked so hard on it (including a very helpful misogi in a very cold lovely blue river) that today I am utterly exhausted. I put a lot of effort into defining the crux of the problem. Polarization as I see it is driving humanity to war. Our collective infatuation with technology has caused us to turn away from the basics that we need for life, and to forget the divine world, and has ushered in demonic influences. I called upon the gods to help people who realize they have to change the road they are on to choose wisely, empowering them to do what is necessary. Then I called for help to those who have been harmed.
    I focused on humanity, but an environment that supports humanity will also support all of the diversity that we rely on. In the past, people played an important role in maintaining the environment for other species, as we see in the “Satoyama” environment in Japan, and I think this was true elsewhere too.
    I thought I had included a special mention to our medical workers along with our young generations, but when I recited it today, I found I’d left the former out (will add in next time). It came out to be a much longer prayer than I’d set out to write, with special thanks for the blessings of each of the deities I address, and a complete overhaul of my corona crisis prayer from the last two years, which I had partly rewritten from a professional’s prayer for recovery from the Fukushima earthquake disaster.

  258. Speaking as a PA resident, who chose not to vote this year, my impression was that Fetterman won because he had spent years building in the grassroots, supports unions, is in practical ways supportive of local economies, and generally seems like a man who isn’t into b******t. Not one of these shiny, waxed politicians who will say all the right things but does none of them. OTOH, Oz has a following for his TV show, but no history of connecting with the people here, especially in economically difficult times. Unions and local economies are pretty important right now to a lot of people.

    I admit I completely refused to watch the debates or anything official having to do with politics in 2022. Need a strong break from all of it, frankly. But some of the differing views I heard on the subject of the debate were: wow Fetterman isn’t well yet (or ruder things) (from the Pro-Oz, or IDGAF side), wow, a doctor mocking / looking down on a stroke victim is not a good look (from the Pro-Fetterman side, or anybody who has a relative who had a stroke). The lines seemed to divide along that in many ways. I will say that if I had voted that year the deciding factor would not be who is smarter. Americans in general are sort of desperate for politicians who will stop politicking and actually fight to help them, instead of just asking for money. (BTW: I blocked Fetterman on Twitter when his account there asked me for a donation.)

    If I had voted, I would probably have chosen Fetterman because I’ve followed his career and I think he’s genuine. I wouldn’t really care that much about whether his health was perfect, but more about who he was going to represent. I used to watch Oz and never disliked him, although I know some people say he’s a quack. But he has a lot of ties to big corporations at this point, so I’m not sure how much of a maverick or “man of the people” he would’ve been.

    The NJ thing was made much of, it’s true, and it’s not a small thing. NJ is the rich neighboring state it’s hard not to despise when they come here in their fancy cars, driving up the price of real estate, clogging the already terrible roads, and driving pretty poorly sometimes (aka cutting people off). There is real, and not small, regional friction here. PA is a poorer state and it’s very challenging not to be anti-NJ. I’m sure the people themselves are no worse and maybe better, but people who drive hours every day (poorly) on the roads so they can live in a “cheap” state (ha) and work in a wealthier one, are not very welcome.

    One thing I didn’t see mentioned anywhere (and apparently purposefully) was that Oz was born in Turkey and is Muslim. And not exactly pro-Israel, which is not a usual choice for the Reps. Strange times.

  259. AI art: something that hasn’t come up yet is the use of visual AI as a tool for storyboarding in an age of performative art. There have been several examples posted of AI created screenshots of alternative versions of films, such as a Funk/Blaxploitation version of Starwars, or a fictitious 70s Bollywood hoverboard film. In AI art, the first good examples that cropped up in October was art done in the manner of classical paintings. What this brought to mind was the fact that these models need to be fed prior art in order to do their trick of painting by diction. In the course of iteration, the human hand is in making selections of generated images and reiterating the whole or parts of the whole or manually redrawing and iterating on that. This ties into something discussed during the Opera chapter of Retropia, that is when a civilization finishes creating new art and starts to focus on the reperformance of the existing catalog of art it has previously created. What AI tools have brought to the table is taking those forms and canons it has been trained in, and exploring alternate branches previously unperformed. In sense as below as above, a fractal of the overarching pattern.

    @Happy Panda
    I am enjoying reading your Tarot spreads, do you happen to have a place where these are collected?

  260. Eighty years ago they scratched a number on your arm, monitored you with armed guards, and bounded you with barbed wire.
    Now they microchip you, monitor you with algorithms, and bar you with electronic access control.
    The purpose is the same — what you can’t dominate, you must eliminate.

  261. >military adventurism

    Something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now. So, let’s recap:

    – they’ve offended a good chunk of the kinds of people who would volunteer for military service with their “learn my pronouns” initiatives
    – they’ve sickened a good chunk of those that chose to stay in the military with mandatory you-know-whats
    – the healthy ones got dropkicked out the door for refusing and are less than enthusiastic about rejoining for service
    – and they want to start a new war, a major war against some nations with significant populations and industrial capacity. and they don’t seem to be burdened with the same sort of delusions about how the world should work.

    What does this recipe look like to you? It doesn’t exactly look like a recipe for success to me.

  262. @Bofur #276: “What???! But that’s almost the best part! Sometimes I find myself a-writing after his fashion, just to amuse myself. 😉”

    Why, then you clearly need to be reading Burton’s “Anatomy of Melancholy,” which is ENDLESSLY amusing. (And, by a weird coincidence Melville had purchased his father’s very own copy of “Anatomy” after finding it in a used book store. This anecdote can be found, I think, in the two-volume Melville biography by Herschel Parker — that’s for after you finish reading “Anatomy.”:) )

  263. (In response to earlier question about Elon Musk)… Oh drat! I had totally forgotten that he was foreign born. That does place him outside a possible presidential run. Still, I wonder if he might pull a Schwarzenegger and get involved in politics through another medium.

    In other news, I was wondering if there are any think tanks that you follow/support. I have been looking around for possible centers of intellectual activity to get involved with so this has been on my mind lately.

  264. @The Other Owen re: #291

    And if you try to make up the shortfall by reinstating the draft:

    1. What happens if you conscript them and they don’t come anyway?

    2. What happens if you conscript them and there still aren’t enough in decent enough physical shape because of things the food industry has been doing since at least the 90’s?

    3. What happens if you try to reinstate the draft and it gets court-injunctioned?

    4. Do you include women in the draft? How do you handle the political fallout that is likely to result whether you answered “yes” or “no” to that question?

    5. What happens if you conscript them and then have to kick them out because they refuse to e.g. use the right pronouns, take certain substances, or otherwise engage in unwoke behavior?

  265. @ Chris #267

    “The problem with relying upon other countries in distant parts of the world for basic day to day stuff, like food and energy, is that you’re relying upon other countries in distant parts of the world for basic day to day stuff, like food and energy.”

    Excellent.

    May I quote you? and if so, would you like attribution?

  266. About the Duchess of Sussex; I don’t pay her any mind, nor do I know any reason why I should. I think that the British monarchy is no affair of ours–contrary to some peoples’ fantasies the USA is not part of Britain–except for those occasions when the monarch influences British foreign policy in ways of which we need to be aware. I think it is a shame that her husband had to be pulled out of Afghanistan. By all accounts, military service is his true calling, and I don’t understand why the extraction was necessary. Surely some senior diplomats could have had the proverbial quiet word with their counterparts in Moslem countries, as well as leaders in the British Moslem community, to the effect that if anything untoward happens to this very popular, as he then was, member of our ruling family, your community can forget about migration or even travel to Britain for at least a generation.

    As for the lady, I see her as a moderately talented actress who chose to pursue celebrity rather than learn her craft. Like many, she went for the cheap thrills. Her right to make that choice and mine not to respect it.

  267. Scotty, you’re most welcome, and thank you for taking the material seriously enough to work with it.

    Celadon, ha! Two points for the inimitable Julius Marx.

    Michael, ah, that would explain a thing or two. Thanks for this.

    Your Kittenship, any day now.

    Info, I see you don’t know many Gnostics. What is it about certain kinds of Christians who insist on cramming every other form of spirituality into an ideological Procrustean bed of their own making?

    J.L.Mc12, I wish I could agree that the Canadian policy is a matter of mistakes. It looks rather deliberate to me. If Queensland copies it step by step, as I expect, you might consider that possibility.

    Andy, excellent! I’m delighted to hear this.

    Patricia O, thank you very much for doing this.

    Martin, or they make noises about “compassionately” allowing physician-assisted death, and then start pushing more and more people to do that. It’s the same principle.

    Other Owen, exactly. It’s quite common for a failing empire to turn to military adventurism in an attempt to shore up a weakening position, and set in motion consequences that bring everything crashing down. The Austro-Hungarian Empire’s bit of adventurism against Serbia in 1914 comes to mind. If the EU tries a similar stunt it’s entirely possible that it will have similar results.

    Stephen, I haven’t recently encountered a think tank that I can stand reading, much less that I’d be willing to support. All the ones known to me are so heavily committed to the groupthink of the managerial caste that I’m not sure they could find their own buttocks in the dark with both hands, a flashlight, and a GPS transponder stuffed up their own rectums.

  268. To Phutatorius (post #257) and others, regarding the book “Moby Dick”.

    I finally decided to read that book for the first time about eight years ago. And while I will admit that I am far from a highly knowledgeable literary critic, I was overall not very impressed with it. The book came across, to me, as extremely disjointed, as if it had been written in at least three different and quite disconnected periods in Melville’s life. First, we have the portion leading up to and just after the sailing of the “Pequod”, which I found fairly interesting as a glimpse into the life of a whaler in the early and mid-19th century, but of no particularly deep meaning beyond that.

    Then, there was the shorter but bizarre middle section, during the cruise to the whaling grounds, full of the most stilted, improbable and frankly laughably unrealistic dialogue that I think I’ve ever read. Lastly, the section during the active whaling, very dark and turgid, fairly overflowing with allusions and symbolism.

    Maybe it’s just a personal thing with me, but these sections of the book came across, to me, so at odds with each other, that it left me feeling that “Moby Dick” was a mishmash of (at least) three separate stories that Melville had written at various points over a couple of decades, then decided to mash together into one artificially contrived single book. I found the disjointedness of “Moby Dick” just too jarring and distracting. To be honest, in the end I was left mystified by its high standing as an American classic.

  269. @Ighy (#289) said:

    I am enjoying reading your Tarot spreads, do you happen to have a place where these are collected?

    Not at the moment but I can re-activate my Dreamwidth blog and start posting there. Would other people be interested in my mundane readings? There are so many people already offering divination services I’ve hesitated to jump into that pool but now I’m considering offering such a service to anyone who has enjoyed them.

    As an aside, I de-activated my transcribing on my Dreamwidth blog because I was starting to get repetitive strain injury then discovered that Youtube already has a surprisingly good auto-transcription option available for its videos. So I was like, “good heavens…there’s no point now to transcribing if everyone can just click the transcribe option.” So I dropped it.

    But perhaps offering divination services plus my own mundane readings might be enjoyed by others? If you would like me to take a shot at a question for you click on my Happy Panda nic and send me a message. I can either post the interpretation to my Dreamwidth blog or alternately I can send it privately to an email address you use.

    As an example here are a few I did several weeks ago for myself as training to get better at divination.

    This is a simple Y/N format I sometimes use.

    Upright = Y
    Reverse = No

    Q: Will the UK still be a high income country over the next 25 years? Q asked 12/6/2022

    Answer: 5 of Wands R

    No, it will not. But Sri Arya revealed further insight about it. He says this card R indicates an inflated sense of power (which I can see that being the case of the UK’s out-of-touch elites – especially regarding the UK’s military prowess). Sri Arya says this card R also indicates a lot of “civil uprisings and unrest.”

    UK’s GovCorp elites are going to get seriously rattled by their own angry populace. Knock on effects will likely be yet more stringent surveillance laws passed by parliament, stronger punishment laws for non-pre-approved protests, etc. Also I think it’s a harbinger card of elite factions turning on other elite factions to an increased degree via the tactic of using such uprisings as a tool to weaken their political rivals. Which, I recall JMG saying this is often seen in Long Descent eras. Certainly Peter Turchin says it’s a big thing. The “overproduction of elites”.

    I asked the same question for the U.S. over the next 25 years.

    A: The Wheel R

    No!

    Sri Arya says the Wheel always signifies (for both upright and R), “The universal cycle, the eternal return. Whatever has been happening, the opposite is about to begin manifestation.

    Ah…I wonder how many Latin American migrant caravans will still be coming the next 25 years when its all cost and no benefit to making that long trek, eh? One knock on effect I predict of the above Wheel R is that a lot of currently retired upper-middle salary-class Boomers (the opposite is about to begin) will (resentfully) have to come out of retirement to maintain a sliding semblance of a lifestyle they used to have. Although I predict a non-trivial number of Boomers will discover to their surprise they may actually like their new lifestyles.

    Here’s one question I asked in light of the Wheel R.

    Q:Will the standard of living of middle class Americans be lower generally than his/her Chinese counterpart over the next 25 years?

    A: Strength

    Yes! It will be lower. But this is a major acana that turned over upright so ultimately a lot of nasty tribute economy, wealth-pump karma is going to be burned off over the next 25 years. Furthermore, this portends that the U.S. populace will rise up with Strength to begin meeting the challenge head on. Furthermore, because it turned over upright instead of R, this is saying this Strength will generally be more in harmony with the Tao, the Limitless, Maha-Deva, Nataraja, Objective Consciousness, etc.

    Such Strength portends a slow but real return to well-being for the continent’s people. Losing reserve currency status will be traumatic to live through but this card says the end result will be really auspicious(!) – and the younger you are while reading this post – the more likely you will be still be around to see that Strength build up into something significant! 😀

    So my cards say both the UK and the U.S. are up for interesting times.

    p.s. I’ve decided to dip my toes in the water of offering a divination service. Click my nic and send me a message if you would like to try it out. 🙂

  270. A student was caught using ChatGPT to write an essay on Hume.

    “…looks like it was written by a human—moreover, a human with a good sense of grammar and an understanding of how essays should be structured. In my case, the first indicator that I was dealing with A.I. is that, despite the syntactic coherence of the essay, it made no sense. The essay confidently and thoroughly described Hume’s views on the paradox of horror in a way that were thoroughly wrong. It did say some true things about Hume, and it knew what the paradox of horror was, but it was just bullshitting after that.”

    The tweet also reveals that you can use an AI to catch an AI. Damn. Why didn’t I think of that?
    https://twitter.com/Scenario_2020/status/1608359406730907649?s=20&t=h5sjMY2zV9G6TJtqIJIqpA

  271. Speaking of the Bed of Procrustes. I think it is best to realize world views, faiths, religions, philosophies, magic systems really do differ intrinsically, though there may be overlaps of varying degrees here and there. They aren’t saying the same things using different terminologies. I believe that “they all say the same things once you dig down” is called the Perennial Philosophy which typically makes a form of Buddhism/Taoism/Hinduism the real truth – Bed of Procrustes in action. A purpose of this is to try to create peace “since we all realize we really believe the same thing”
    I think a richer, deeper, broader, more fun way is to accept the unresolved mystery/diversity/differences and be friends regardless. I think of my mens group where we have differing views on politics and the Covid jab and we joke, banter and tease each other and listen, disagree and share and comfort and help each other.

  272. Minor point, but overseas birth does mot necessarily disqualify one from running for president. The constitution states “natural born citizen”. Exactly what that means may be open to interpretation.

    That said, Elon Musk definitely doesn’t qualify; not because he was born overseas but because he was born to foreign parents. He is a naturalized citizen.

  273. Dear Mr. Druid

    Some things for your readers to look at should they have some time or interest. Scott Alexander at Astraltencodex substack is a good look into the thinking process of the PMC. His commenters rarely use one word when twenty will do and they are all very good at semantics and debating. Victory is never conceding a point, and they do not appear to understand the ability to agree to disagree. Mr. Alexander has a post defending the MSM and New York Times in particular stating they do not knowingly lie or publish propaganda. The comments are a fascinating display of obedience to the cause.

    Short version is you can’t be lying if you have a credentialed source. That the credentialed source is wrong week after week, well details you know.

    Contrast this with Gonzalo Lira Roundtable year end review. It is rather long, and I wish I could just read a transcript but people seem to like podcasts. Hours 2 to 3 are about Ukraine war and the MSM and this is an excellent discussion of the war and the propaganda tactics of both sides. If you are new to the presenters they come across as pro Russian, but in my opinion this stems from constantly battling with paid trolls, so they don’t put up with stock MSM talking points. When they criticize Russia it is from a completely different viewpoint from what you would get from the MSM, and that criticism can be pretty harsh.

    Michael Tracey, one of the better independent journalists went on a Roundtable and made an idiot of himself. Mr. Tracey showed how hard it is for people to let go of the dominant media narratives. I do like Mr. Tracey, but he was out of his depth and was rude to the other guests. It is funny because Mr. Tracey was using the same tactics that the MSM use against him.

    Sorry for the long post – Mr. Druid I would enjoy seeing you on the Roundtable especially as Mr. Lira seems to feel there are spiritual elements to many of the issues today and I think you would add much to the discussion.

  274. Clay Dennis @ 101, in case it hasn’t been mentioned, Elon Musk was born in South Africa and cannot therefore ever become president of the USA. I don’t see any chance of the constitution being amended for his sake.

  275. @JMG,

    “Celadon, ha! Two points for the inimitable Julius Marx.”

    Time for my favorite goofy Groucho Marx quote:

    “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

  276. Describing think tanks as “so heavily committed to the groupthink of the managerial caste that I’m not sure they could find their own buttocks in the dark with both hands, a flashlight, and a GPS transponder stuffed up their own rectums” gets the point across rather succinctly 🙂

    Then let me switch gears and ask you this. One of the think tanks I have been looking at is the American Institute for Economic Research, or AIER. They run a group called the Bastiat Society, which promotes classical liberalism. I have heard you both speak highly of certain forms of traditional conservatism and also be very critical of the free market, or at least the free market that’s currently in place. So I’m curious to know what you think of Bastiat. Most of the guys I know who like him also speak highly of Edmund Burke, who you always speak well off, but his ideas are also usually defended by some members of the managerial class.

  277. This one’s for you Ighy (and JMG too)! Enjoy! 😀

    I did an earlier tarot reading for the U.S. that can be found here (note JMG’s reply).

    https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/184693.html?expand_all=1&page=3#comments

    Decided to see what the Major Arcana combos are indicating of the U.S. over the next 25 years. As I said, Biddy Tarot’s Arcana Combos – at least for me – have hit with 99.9% accuracy for my spreads so I always pay close attention to them.

    1. Strength + The World : A person who likes hard and dirty work. Also a feeling of foreboding or worry. Nervous tension. The need to feel busy. Mental health requires physical exercise, work.

    2. Strength + The Wheel of Fortune : Knowledge of the value of reward. A person who trades favors for favors. Patience. Payment for services rendered. Friendship based on mutual aid. Planning ahead.

    3. Strength + Death : A person who has many “hidden depths.” A normally quiet person who may suddenly take charge for a brief time. One who lives a “secret life” and a person who would make a good spy. Also a potential maniac. One who doesn’t express inner feelings often or easily. A poker-face. One who may suddenly take charge in emergency situations. This could be a person like a great machine, usually quiescent but sometimes vastly active.

    Comment: All of the above indicate underground economy take-off that actually meets local needs. And Hey! Lookie! The U.S.’s obesity epidemic will come to an end. 😛

    Also indicated is still a lot of people with mental and emotional illnesses coming down the pike as Sadhguru keeps saying is happening worldwide. It’s also indicating increased surveillance both by elites on the populace or as one author called them – engaging in SCAD – “State Crimes Against Democracy”, and on neighbors spying on their neighbors for “un-American activities”. Read below for why.

    4. The Emperor + Strength : A great political or military leader. Possibly a dictator. Total confidence. Robust health. A danger of acting as if the ends justify the means.

    Comment:

    And here it is! The coming of the U.S.’s round of politically charismatic ‘Strong Man’ types who take over from a corrupt, kleptocratic elite. Trump was just a proto-type. This is unhappily indicating many of the U.S.’s current GovCorp elites will only relinquish wealth and power from their cold, dead hands. They are choosing Corporatism as their hill to die on. Primarily because they conflate Corporatism with America’s Well-Being(tm)

    If the U.S. actually does disintegrate like Armstrong thinks for sure history will repeat itself as Caesar after Caesar rise up to fill the void. Combined with The Emperor + Death combo detailed later this is NOT good! This combo is a forewarning that many of the U.S. populace will go for a charismatic populist leader or leaders who may do terrible, Stalinist/Maoist style deeds and their elated follows will justify it as ‘necessary’.

    History is about to repeat itself. The one good thing that consoles me is that this is a transient stage and the Strength card turned over upright. But the road the U.S. uses to get there – Strength aligned with the Tao – will probably be hellish for many people.

    It may be good idea to re-read JMG’s books on After Progress and The Decline and Fall of the U.S.

    *hangs head in sorrow* 🙁

    5. Death + The World: To produce under pressure. A time of weariness in which much will be accomplished because of need or habit. The curse of unending labor.

    Unending labor but not without long-term reward. Here is the seed being planted for the Strength card that turned over upright for the U.S. In 25 years that seed will be a sapling and a full century from now it will start bearing its first fruits. I will likely not live long enough to see the Promised Land (Gen-Xer here). But Eco’s younger readers will. JMG’s efforts all these years will not have been in vain.

    6. The Wheel of Fortune + The World : A change of luck. Possible violent disturbance. A fight or a reconciliation.

    7. The Wheel of Fortune + The World : Breaking things. Violence in the home. A formal ending to one thing and a beginning of another. The awareness of time’s passage.

    Another indicator that JMG’s Long Descent-oriented books are about to be vindicated.

    8. The Emperor + The World : A feeling of being centered, of being in a well-ordered environment. Also a sense of being tied down.

    9. The Emperor + The Wheel of Fortune : A strong person acting beyond his or her limits. It would be dangerous and inadvisable to oppose this man. Welcome advice to the strong from the stronger.

    Comment: This cuts both ways. If the ‘strong person’ indicated is someone like JMG I am not worried. But if the strong person is a charismatic politician’s supporter no matter they being Alt-Left, Alt-Right whatever…this combo is saying you, the reader, will need utmost clarity in dealing with them. I keep in mind Sadhguru says the planet is on track for 50% of the global populace to have serious mental and emotional issues over the next 50 years.

    10. The Emperor + Death : A closed mind. Self limitation. Knowing when to stop getting ready and when to start work. Very strict parent or authority in society.

    As I stated earlier this is not good. It’s signalling the death of the civil religion of progress is going to inspire outright tyranny on the material plane. Not just ideological tyranny like has been happening in the west but actual governmental tyranny to go with it. 🙁

    13. The Emperor + The Wheel of Fortune : Making too much of a good thing. Overexertion. Physical danger in work or combat. Good advice accepted in time of need.

    Another indicator of lack of grounding. This knock on effect of the above (because it will be all they have) is the Second Religiosity taking off. More manual labor jobs = more work related deaths and disabilities. Also, of course, combat.

    14. The Wheel of Fortune + Death : An intensification of the meaning of the Wheel of Fortune Trump. Physical death from natural causes or from taking known risks. Loss in games of chance. A point of crisis after which life will change for better or worse.

    Comment: In this case an intensification of the Wheel of Fortune R for the U.S. is coming up. That is, what is coming for the U.S. is Dridha (fixed) & possibly even Sanchita (cosmic U.S. storehouse) karma. It can not and will not be side-stepped. The best one can do personally is learn how to surf the wave with ease. Which will be easier if one does spiritual practices or prayer. Still, pragmatic clarity will be needed. Maybe Stoic books will be worth dusting off and re-reading.

    Welcome, U.S.A to your karmically-enforced 3rd World Future!

    These two spreads are indicating a forced return to a real economy. One that is better aligned with the Tao. The patience indicated is necessary because the current U.S. economy is deeply out of whack. The political panic cycles and directional changes will be unavoidable. The fear and foreboding is already taking place around us as white collar/college-degreed workers are part of an ever-shrinking market and they know it. These people are the equivalent of buggy-whip makers while Henry Ford is making his cars ever more affordable than having a horse.

    The Death + The World combo indicates a lot of these university-trained hothouse flowers will be fish out of water and a non-trivial number will likely resent being presented with a “retirement” that looks very different than the one they were promised and expecting. This will feed into the widening civil unrest coming down the pike for next 10+ years. Unhappy salary-class boomers, as a caste, who have been kow-towed to by D.C. elites for so long – in particular may be caught flat-footed (The Wheel R – what has been before, the opposite now begins manifestation).

    The Emperor + The World another combo that is yet again indicating that the ascendancy of the culturally rootless PMC (as discussed in some of this week’s posted submissions) is burning to ash. Instead jobs that are “centered” to a place will begin to rise up – see also how #2. in the list intensifies the number 6 combo – (Strength) + (The Wheel R – what has gone before, the opposite now begins manifestation). I also read the above two combos as indicating an untapped opportunity for people who would like to become Election Astrologers professionally. The above combos are signifying Election Astrology could be a surprise, big hit for some enterprising solo proprietors. Hey! It’s working for Russia! Why not for some of the readers here?! 😀

    Notice how all these combos vindicate JMG’s The Long Descent/End of Progress themed books. A lot of current salary-class pandering elites are, unbeknownst-to-them, circling a drain.

    Most worrying to me after looking over these combos more closely for this post is that JMG’s books are so prescient. As is Dmitry Orlovs, The Five Stages of Collapse.

    The U.S. is about to go through some major Death: Yama + Death:Kali + Death: Kali R shock and awe, Time’s Up! times. All 3 turned over for the U.S. in different spreads. The sole consolation is that two of them turned over upright and the Strength and Emperor cards turned over upright.

    Hang on to your hats kiddies. The ride is about to get wild. Pst…Europe, especially Over-developed Western Europe – maybe you should be taking notes too, eh?

  278. @teresa re: yak shaving

    (facepalm!)

    Some years back, I had run across all sorts of schematics and photos for DIYing yourself a “craft room” or “home office”– all of which curiously looked like efficiency apartments. En-suite bathroom, sink, some countertop with a coffeemaker and a microwave, sometimes even a little two-burner plugin stovetop “for crafts” such as making candles or somesuch. These were advertised as garage conversions, or something you could do with a prefab shed in the yard. I recall scratching my head a bit over why you would need, or even want, a microwave and counter space in your “office” or “craft room” when the kitchen was right around the corner!

    Thank you for solving that mystery for me.

  279. Jmg

    I hope that our newly minted VAD isn’t abused as it is in Canada, but since our 2 countries are often compared to each other I have some slight pessimism.
    (Btw, when I told a family-member about the new VAD law he refused to believe it would be enacted since it wasn’t voted in by the people, even when I showed him the Queensland’s government web article on it)

    Out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on VAD? Do you oppose it completely or (as I think) do you think that ideally it is sensible but will inevitably be abused when state-enacted?

  280. How’d everyone soend 1 January? Ours was quiet. A friend came over but seemed tired and didn’t stay long. Must be a 💤 sleepy sort of day. Sonkitten took a long nap, something he doesn’t usually do (a short one, yes).

  281. Thank you Quin and Patricia O. for adding Cedar to your prayers. BTW his mom said, “Sure!”, to prayers.

    Ellen

  282. Moose, you’ll hear no argument from me — but then I critiqued the perennial-philosophy position fairly harshly in my book A World Full of Gods, precisely because it tries to manufacture unanimity where none exists — it’s worth noting, for example, that Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism make basic claims about the nature of existence that are fundamentally incompatible with one another, and the sort of bland “Eastern” paste to which they’re reduced by Perennialist rhetoric does no more justice to any of these three faiths than it does to the perennialized Christianity to which you quite rightly object.

    Phil, so noted!

    A1, thanks for this. I’ve read some of Lira’s articles, but I don’t like videos so haven’t watched his Roundtable. As for Scott Alexander, well, yes. “We must believe what the authorities tell us!” has become quite the rallying cry for the privileged of late.

    Sgage, ha! I tend to default to Lord Julius of Palnu, but that’s a bit of outré graphic-novel trivia that next to nobody remembers these days.

    Stephen, I’m always in favor of clarity. 😉 I haven’t read anything by AEIR yet; when time permits I’ll give it a look.

    Panda, thanks for this.

    J.L.Mc12, physicians must never have a role in that kind of decision. Once “first do no harm” goes out the window, the medical profession very rapidly descends into a Joseph Mengele mindset. The state also needs to be kept out of such decisions. Since the program we’re discussing very quickly turns into a means of decreasing the welfare rolls and the cost of government-run medicine by bullying the poor and sick into letting a doctor kill them, it’s the worst of both worlds — a precise equivalent of the Aktion T4 program in National Socialist Germany.

    Your Kittenship, it was a quiet, pleasant day here, and I got a fair amount of writing done.

  283. J.L.Mc12,
    I’m in Canada, living on a disability pension. I can understand why some people who are dying and in great pain would want the option of assisted death, and I don’t really have a huge problem with people being allowed to do so if they insist and go chase it down, but the way it has been expanding to people who aren’t dying and would choose other options but they aren’t available is horrifying, and it gets worse when I looked into details of cases recently. Seriously, someone chose and went through with assisted death because they had chemical sensitivities that they could not get any affordable housing that would address it.

    I think MAID has turned into something else that is much, much more dangerous than it started out, and it may well get worse. I have looked up a few petitions against it and signed them, and I’d like to get more involved with getting all the additions chopped off so it is really, really hard to get and only available to dying people who are absolutely determined to have it. I’d also be fine with getting rid of MAID entirely. As it now stands, and worse, as it seems to be heading, it is way too dangerous to allow.

    JMG brings up an interesting point about doctor’s involvement, not to mention the government’s conflict of interest moneywise.

  284. @JMG,
    do you think there is any way to have assisted dying available to the people who absolutely insist they want it and are already dying, without the kind of expansion we’ve been seeing in Canada? Or was this always going to happen, and the only way to fix it is to ban it entirely?

    Also, anyone know groups I could get involved with working against MAID expansion? I’ve signed a few petitions, but I think this is rather too important to leave it at that.

  285. @Princess Cutekitten,
    I went to the symphony with family members who are visiting from out of town. And I taught one of them a recorder lesson. Apart from that, I hung out with them, and I practiced flute and recorder.

  286. t assisted sucide. I agree that it is a line that should never be crossed. Bit also,some thoughts about what we actually do under the guise of “palliative care’ here in CA at least has been crossing lines. And, the point of the extra funding for it is absolutely to save money to not do other procedures. There is a lot of pressure to family members from “doctors” in regards to an undefined quality of life to pressure them to have medical care stopped for the family member, We went thru this in 2019. I remember the conversation on the phone. A person calls, introducing himself as a palliative care doctor to discuss the patient. He had an obvious agenda he was pushing, First, he asked me if I know what palliative care meant ( I did not in the context it is now being used it turns out). I told him that I knew what the word palliative meant. to give comfort care, etc…and that of course all patients should be receiving palliative care. I listened to him, then asked questions, and then I am sure I surprised him bycalrifying what it seemed he was saying, ” So, it sounds like you are saying she should go back to the care home and be laid on a bed and have her mouth swabbed a couple times a day until she dies of dehydration. Is this basically correct ? ” ( I can be blunt) He demurred but he had to agree that was the case. I then told him that I would be charged with a crime if I treated one of my animals that way,, if I let them die that way. I then gathered my son to go with me to the observation of the patient and meeting at the hospital with the care team. I have never seen anyone try so hard to swallow jello, an absolute will to live was evidenced by the patient. In the conference room they tried to again talk us into the whole ignore basic needs and death by dehydration. ( I think this is part of their reasoning in wanting the assisted suicde,, that they then could treat the elderly and other sick like we do pets and livestock and they can humanely put them down. These doctors have no moral compass) So, they talk about quality of life and also that the patient is not going to have a lot longer to live in anywise, less than a year, likely months at the most. The patient could get an infection from the feeding tube. Of course, I know children that have feeding tubes for years and years….. It is very transparent that the real reasoning going on is the they do not think the patient is worthy of expensive care. Which is Canadas whole thing with the disabled being offered painless death, to save on government expenses. There is more that can be said, but to summarize, we have a different moral outlook. We told them so, that our moral belief is that the patient needed to be provided with sustenance and care. So, that is what did happen, She lived about 3 more months and ultimately died of a pneumonia infection all while receiving basic care ( food, fluids, medicines, basic oxygen and mild pain killers — I also had to remind them towards the end that she was happier when she was with it enough to interact and have awareness) Another thing we learned, the form in the US hospitals often called a DNR form, it has 3 basic checks to choose from, but it turns out that it can be infinitely modified to be what the family sees as the correct moral treatment of humans. We did so. At the end we said , ok, do not do the deep suctions that could cause her pain, and do not do rescesitatioas. But, DO provide antibiotics, oxygen, food, fluids, etc… life providing care

  287. I forgot to summarize why I mentioned that, the point is that I believe that our medical system in general HAs crossed the line. We are on the slippery slope. The biggest issue I saw with doctors repeatedly was the quality of life issue. To have a young man tell me, he wouldn’t want to live such a constrained life. When it was supposed to be what the patient wanted, it never entered into their heads to think about if form the patients perspective, I had to point it out to the, I told the, she has been unable to do for herself for years, she is very content with that and at peace with it and everything she is telling us is that she is trying to live. Having a feeding tube does not constrain her anymore than she already has been for at least a decade. She is not very mobile and likes to watch tv and visit with people. She prefers doing that to dying.

    Now, wet we get to the point that we have real constraints of care, well then, yes, are elderly will die sooner of certain conditions, But that is a natural process. then. The problem now is more spiritual it is that we are making choices and devaluing people that we are capable of taking care of

  288. “J.L.Mc12, physicians must never have a role in that kind of decision. Once “first do no harm” goes out the window, the medical profession very rapidly descends into a Joseph Mengele mindset. The state also needs to be kept out of such decisions. Since the program we’re discussing very quickly turns into a means of decreasing the welfare rolls and the cost of government-run medicine by bullying the poor and sick into letting a doctor kill them, it’s the worst of both worlds — a precise equivalent of the Aktion T4 program in National Socialist Germany.”

    Do you have any theories on why the current West seems so determined to copy so much of the Nazi playbook?

  289. If anyone here wants to find some good quality supply of psychedelics, just ask the folks over at Hudson Institute. They seem to have gotten their hands on some “out of this world” quality stuff. Look what one of their “experts” cranked out:

    Preparing for the Final Collapse of the Soviet Union
    https://www.hudson.org/foreign-policy/preparing-final-collapse-soviet-union-dissolution-russian-federation

    “The two Chechen Wars, Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the on-and-off border skirmishes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and the 2020 Second Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan are just a few examples showing that the Soviet Union is still collapsing today.”

    Man, that’s some fertile imagination. If Jack had thrown his magic beans in there, he could have climbed all the way to the Moon 😉

  290. Goldstein writes at #203 of trade in a devolved US being interrupted – er, taxed – by warbands along the way. Well, you are probably aware that something very much like that happened after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, and during the collapses of various Chinese empires.

    The Roman roads are also a great example of Tainter’s diminishing returns on complexity. With a united empire, the roads made trade easier – but also made it easier for armies to move around, so the empire could defend itself, or attack others, with fewer troops. On the other hand, it also made it easier for some ambitious general to declare himself emperor and march on Rome. Which eventually eroded the authority of both ambitious generals and Rome itself.

    Later with no central government, lots of minor duchies and kingdoms popped up and taxed merchants going through the area. This is why you find lots of silk in Britain in the year 200, and almost none in the year 600 – taken 10% of the silk each time you go through a petty kingdom, by the time you’re halfway there you’ve got none left!

    This left the only useful function of the old Roman roads as helping move troops around. Funnily enough, the locals were not keen on this function, and the roadstones were also a useful shape for their own village houses and walls, so… But then a lack of roads made it harder for even the most competent of kings to rebuild the empire in some form or another. And with fewer merchants passing through their lands to tax, the local kings had less money to spend on building things, marching armies around, etc. They raised taxes on merchants, but this didn’t help, for some reason. They tried taxing the peasants, but the peasants were all broke, so they had to settle for payment in labour. And so you get medieval serfdom and various obligations of the free peasantry like the English longbow practice, etc.

    Over hundreds of years, people then turned to shipping. Lets them pass through more areas without anyone taxing them. Sure, the occasional storm would sink and kill them all, but storms were only a possibility while ruinous taxes were a certainty. Ships, then, eventually reached from Europe to India – about 2,000 years after Alexander had walked there.

    This relates obliquely to the complaints people have here and elsewhere about aircraft today. Welcome to peak oil: things are more expensive and don’t work as well as they used to. Someone or other will still be flying a century from now. The first Sydney-London flight took about five days (stops in Sri Lanka, Egypt, France) and cost over a year’s average weekly wages – but at least one planeload went every day. I guarantee nobody lost their luggage, either.

    Have a look at – https://www.flightradar24.com – and realise that every one of those things has tens of thousands of gallons of oil all carefully refined, transported, etc, is made of aluminium which is effectively solidified electricity generated from some method or another, then there’s all the carefully-calibrated electronics, etc – frankly it’s a miracle even one of the things ever flew, let alone tens of thousands daily for the better part of a century so far.

    Eventually it comes undone. Welcome to peak oil. No sudden collapse, just things becoming more expensive and less reliable.

  291. Happy holidays from the Arabian deserts.

    As I’m warming up to read on Native American traditions and folklore, I was thinking about the future of the US. I could be wrong, but I sense that a tremendous healing to the land would come forth if the white and indian joined seriously for this aim. I know it isn’t as easy as it sounds and the fact not everyone would like to see that, but that’s just my perspective. I believe the white man and indian more than anyone else are deeply connected to this land and what they do will transform it either to the best or worst. I was reading a collection of native poems called The Path on the Rainbow, and so strangely it has certain poems that mention a Christ-like figure related to the planet Venus, it was so beautiful. Also it’s known that one of their Chiefs in his last words to the white man entrusted that the land itself be treated well, and it’s reassuring that people like you on this blog are doing that.

    I’m interested to know what you guys think.

  292. @JMG

    In that case, I guess my question would be a question of a definition: where does Qi Gong end, where does hermetic practice start?

    What are the differences that could be named or described to the outsider?

    Damien Echols, in his most recent video about self-initiation recommended this book: “Chi Gung: Chinese Healing, Energy and Natural Magick – L. V. Carnie”

    However, for the hermetic practicioner, he recommends this solely as a theoretical instruction to the nature of energy and energetic practice, not as a practical guide because “breathing practices and energy circulation practices are different”.

    So I might read it, just to get an overview of what “Qi Gung” comprehensively represents – I may only know a smallest part of that.

    This brings me to the second question: do you, JMG, or anyone else, have a recommendation for a comprehensive hermetic guide book? I have “High Magick” but it is only a primer (albeit a good one).

    “Dolmen Arch” may do – but as I started on “High Magick” with christian imagery – christian imagery feels closer to me.
    What is the originate christian-hermetic guide overview?

    And lastly this big question about it I always have: the Chi Gung book speaks of “improving martial arts practice”.
    Many gifted magicians were avid fencers you said –

    I would guess, hermeticism doesn’t contradict martial arts. On the other hand, hermeticism seems less specific about the human body,
    and if the breathing exercises of Chi Gung are right for martial arts, are the breathing exercises of hermeticism wrong then…?

    regards, Curt

  293. Good luck with your Portuguese, JMG. Why Portuguese? Are you planning to become a priest of Crhy? And good luck to everyone else’s scholarly endeavors. They sound interesting—I’ve been thinking “I wish I had time to learn that!”

  294. @Viduraawakened #175 human origins
    @JMG reply and ancient ships.

    The Australian aboriginal people navigate by songs, often great distances.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songline

    There are ancient songs that describe the coastline much lower than now,
    corresponding to the last ice age.
    https://www.bloomsburycollections.com/book/the-edge-of-memory-ancient-stories-oral-tradition-and-the-post-glacial-world/ch3-australian-aboriginal-memories-of-coastal-drowning

    The last glacial maximum was only 18,000 years ago, (humans first came to Australia between 50,000 and 65,000 years ago), and if you look at the 2nd picture in:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahul_Shelf

    you can see that the distances to cross via water back in the day were fairly small.
    Given the terrain, on a good day they could see something was out there, and once on that island, see there was something beyond. A few voyages of a few 10’s of miles, and one is on what is now the island of New Guinea, which back then was part of Australia.

  295. Jmg

    I wasn’t expecting you to say not even physicians should have a say in VAD, but you make sense. VAD must always be a personal decision then.

    Moving on to a less depressing topic, recently Christopher Schwarz of lost art press has been experimenting with using gummy bears to create makeshift hide-glue after realising that they consist of gelatin, and so far his experiments have been successfull. Something to keep in mind if “normal” glues become unavailable in the future.

    https://blog.lostartpress.com/2022/12/29/gummy-worm-glue-update/

  296. Lady Cute Kitten,

    19 deaths in the U.S. from e-micro transport batteries being left on their chargers too long compared to 40,000+ annually (and growing) from automobile accidents reminds me of something in the Bible about a “mote in your neighbor’s eye”….

    The warnings about unplugging them once they’re fully charged are pretty explicit.
    Not that kids dying from such things isn’t awful, but..

    Cheers.

  297. Hi Scotlyn,

    Yes you may quote me, and yes attribution would be appropriate. And I would also appreciate knowing in what forum are we talking about?

    Some of my favourite hats come from Donegal. Tis a small world.

    Cheers

    Chris

  298. While it’s still open post: @JMG. In the beginning of WofH: Dreamlands, Miriam refers to Jane Dyer as Mrs. Which would make her Phil’s daughter-in-law, not his daughter; women who keep their birth names don’t go by Mrs, even here in the South and among old folks. And at the end – if Miriam’s a friend of Phil’s, she’s probably fairly up-to-date on Hyperborean studies. So her exclamation of “Atlantis!” is in keeping, just as someone’s claim to Babylonian ancestry would be in our timeline*, but Jennie’s retort is so far over the top, Miriam should crack up laughing at that point.
    Rereading the sequence, plugging in Babylon, Sumer, and Ninevah instead of the names given, and the picture pops into mind as vividly as a pop-out picture in a kid’s book.

    *Unless they were from Iran and claiming descent from the ancient Persians. Or, I’m sure several other Middle Eastern cultures or faiths could make similar claims. IIRC, several of them do.

  299. @Scotlyn:

    ”“This stuff” definitely interests me! ‘

    Yes, but that’s why you’re here, of course! 😉

    @A1 #303:

    “Scott Alexander at Astraltencodex substack is a good look into the thinking process of the PMC.”

    Thanks for this. I’m not a regular reader over there but I if I’m not mistaken it may just have been Scott Alexander who wrote a piece that I appreciated, because he was coming from something of an opposite perspective from me, but he was honest and agreeable about it.

    Basically the piece recounted his experience growing up, which was more or less the opposite of what CRC and I posted above, viz., that the writer grew up with comfortably UMC parents, became a psychiatrist, and only *then*, via his professional interaction with other classes, began to grasp that his social class of birth was not representative of the average.

    If I recall, he finished the piece by saying something like, “What I’ve learned is that I still prefer the PMC and its mores but I’ve gained an appreciation for the other classes.” Which is – fair enough; being more or less the mirror image of what I would write.

    “Michael Tracey, one of the better independent journalists went on a Roundtable and made an idiot of himself.”

    I saw that one, and disagree; I was actually very disappointed by Gonzalo’s behaviour, to the point where if i didnt already like him from other videos i probably would have written him off. To be frank, Tracey’s points were unfairly dismissed – or at least not deserving of the douchey response that they provoked.

    “Mr. Druid I would enjoy seeing you on the Roundtable”

    That would be rad!!!!!

    *******

    As for Moby Dick, here’s a different lens for grasping its appeal. From Chapter 1:

    “Why is almost every robust healthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him, at some time or other crazy to go to sea?”

    I would say a person either understand what Melville is talking about, or doesn’t, and if you don’t, then maybe the book won’t appeal to you too much.

    (As for myself, I get seasick, putting a probable damper on my lifelong dream of a-voyaging to Europe via sailboat, but you never know what can happen!)

  300. Arguably, the Canadian program is more reprehensible than Aktion-T4. Once you make death (and therefore life) a choice, one becomes responsible for being alive and the burdens that imposes on others. Aktion-T4 was cruel, but at least the Nazi state was nice enough to simply murder people rather than guilt them into suicide.

  301. @Alan 298: I wonder if you got an abridged version. There are plenty of them out there. The full novel has 135 chapters. The two chapters I referenced above seldom make it into the abridged versions.

  302. Not to beat a dead whale, but…. There’s another very dark chapter that may shock some readers; that is chapter 95, “The Cassock” in which one of the crew of the Pequod dons the skin from a whale penis and puts it on as “protective gear” as the whale’s blubber is boiled down. And if that is not dark enough for you Melville then proceeds to compare that improvised garment to a certain seamless robe mentioned in the New Testament! (You just never know where an open post might lead.)

    Believe it or not, when I was visiting my christian fundamentalist relatives in the south I came across a list of “wholesome books for children to read.” Yep, Moby-Dick was included on the list. I figured that they couldn’t possibly have actually read the thing or if they did, they didn’t understand it. Melville himself wrote to his friend Hawthorne that he had written a dark book and felt as clean as the driven snow (that’s a rough paraphrase).

  303. @Princess Cutekitten
    I had a great new year’s celebration with 6 other people. I walked home on January 1th at about 4 o’clock (not very far). I looked across towards what is a main partying area in Vienna in the distance, but continued home. My choice not to mix with the end-of-new-year’s celebration folks came from good experience: as I was in a good and positive energy, full of good vibes of the evening, I did not want to ruin it with bad vibes and darkness, I did not want to walk out alone wither without another watching out for me – it’s not always entirely safe out there.

    For reasons of inducement, I could not find to sleep until about 10am or 11am and was restless. After 3 hours of sleep I got up and did a few things, but was very exhausted all in all. A zombie-like mode to be true. At about half past 6pm, I went to sleep again.

    My cousin said the past days he was always very sleepy.

  304. An addition to my ramblings and inquiry about Qi Gong, Hermetics and their implications:

    I can say I have practiced proper inner Qi Gong exercises for two and a half years with a competent teacher guiding. Then I dabbled in hermetic practice (using Damien Echols’ “High Magick” as guide).

    Basic level in both, that I can claim for myself.

    My observation:

    – Qi Gong is beneficial for one’s posture and slightly relaxant for the muscles, increasing with level. Of course it also creates strong mental focus. I can name one visible result:
    after one Qi Gong seminar during a fruitful phase, I played kicker table football in my work place. I was always a bad player. At that singular occasion, I played better than everyone else, and the others wondered about it and were in awe- I played often enourmosly slowly, yet with highest precision always.

    However, when it comes to strong issues like anger, haunting memory, despair, anxiety….Qi Gong didn’t help right away. I am sure if you live the Qi Gong life proper you will get a balanced personality, but:

    – Hermetic exercises do absolutely nothing for the body posture. However for anxiety, anger and for a strong mind in everyday life, they are an absolutely strong and quick remedy. These exercises will truly help within short timespan.

    It may be true that physical health and a healthy lifestyle will be beneficial for the psyche also, however when I was at the climax of that including daily Qi Gong practice, this did not resolve strong emotional issues at all for me, or clear away any haunting memories.
    These problems persisted.

    Once JMG replied to me: it is true that western energetic excercises work more on a psychic-emotional level as opposed to eastern techniques, which include the physical more.

    Might be because western energetics are designed to be learned in self study and from books and texts. Difficult to transport anything physical that way.

  305. Do you have principles that guide the decisions you make in your personal life? I’ve read most of your writings on TheArchdruidReport and here on Ecosophia, and have many of your books. Throughout your massive output every once in a while you’ll let a personal detail here and there slip through, such as never having a driving license, walking most places, never owning a TV, getting your computers used, etc. You seem to abide by a personal philosophy that while never made explicit, still it guides your thinking and the decisions you make. I believe most of your readers would love it if you could make the principles that guide your thinking a little more explicit so that we could use them in our own lives such as Ten Principles for Living in the Long Descent, etc. Of course our own individual circumstances will all be different, but principles are useful in a wide variety of situations and I’m hoping you might indulge me with some of the principles that guide your thinking.

  306. thoughts on why we are doing medically assisted dying and how it toes into earlier fascism.

    First, I wonder if that isn’t just the result you get when you turn over to the government beurocrcy, that is how beurocrcies work. Control. W=Man=agers make up plausible sounding truths for how to operate. It has some self feeding feedback.

    Utilitarian Bioethics is the guiding term right now. And it can justify anything with plausible sounding written papers.

    But what comes to mind for me really is the book, ” That Hideous strength”.

    Sorry for my poor writing responses, BTW. My old computer and operating system doesn’t seem to be compatible anymore with this site and I can only see one line, halfway up, letters cut off in the reply window so I can’t see what I am writing

  307. Phutatorius #183

    Thank you for letting me know about Amtrak sleeping compartments. It looks like a nice way to travel and even comes with 3 meals per day. We’re going to try that next time. Giving up air travel is another way to “collapse now and avoid the rush”!

  308. Some time ago, I talked to an old guy at work as sometimes, the only one graduated from the agricultural university like me in this software firm of 200+.

    He is wise and also ecologically/resource thinking knowledgeable.

    I asked what happens to the elevators in case of blackout. He said:” That’s an interesting question! I will call the property technician!”

    “In such a case, the elevators will descend to the maintenance level and open the doors”

    Today, I entered the elevator and pressed for the highest level as always. Halfway it suddenly showed on the little digital screen: “Elevator out of service”. It stopped for a short time, then thank god descended – to the ground floor.

    Was about before 7am. No other colleagues (coming later) noticed.

    Here is an interesting article:
    https://futurezone.at/digital-life/verteidigungsministerin-tanner-warnung-blackout-stromausfall-bundesheer-interview-ukraine-krieg/402271965

    In german, I will summarize the gist of it:

    Austrian defence minister Tanner says “there is no question there will be a blackout, only when / the military prepares for several more smaller bases to be established, that can be autonomous for a few weeks / there will be civilian centers established for basic existential needs / …”

    Recently in a fast food joint in the well to do suburb, I met to fellows of 19,20 years old, clearly trade workers. “Well you seem to have taken the sensible decision and not gone straight to college, but learn something reliably useful” I said. One of them replied “Yes, most of our class mates in high school have chosen to study, useless stuff like Medical School! We have lost our connection to heritage medicine! I had a cold lung inflammation (literally translated), and was lucky that I found an old doctor at hospital who was able to diagnose it – the young doctors all found nothing and said everything was fine!”

    Guess there’s some pebble rolling already, to the rising upcoming turning, and more to come.

    The (probably) kurdish turkish woman working there who is clearly Austrian socialized followed our discussion, I would have seen and felt, with interest.

    My friend who moved to that suburb and me have talked about all these things, intensively since last year, and often wondered whether we were crazy .- to assume there’s grid problems underway, that many people are blind to the implications, that Russia isn’t that disadvantaged and strategically stupid after all, and all these things….

    Well at least the institutions are *starting* to react it seems. That we have not anticipated, or really considered, but it seems to be so.

    Be safe everyone, I wish you all a lightful entry and procession in and through this new and weathery decade!

  309. (forgot to add to my prev post:
    electricity outages happened today, but later than 7am as I read, in one part of Vienna for 800 households and at a major station in Vienna – some site that disseminates news about grid failure and geopolitics in German with some good track record posted an insider gossip of controlled electricity outages after Jan 26th in Austria [Election day in Lower Austria around Vienna, as it said])

  310. @ Chris
    -thank you…
    *hangs head* *whispers*
    Your so very apt turn of phrase was tempting me to make a post on MugScroll(tm) or VisageTome(tm) or, whatever you call that social media site…
    *May have thought better of it*

    Be well, Stay free!

  311. To Phutatorius (post #333),

    Indeed, yes, now that I think back on it, I did in fact read an abridged version of “Moby Dick”! As I recall, mine had ‘only’ around 100 chapters, definitely not the 135 that you mention. That may well have played a part in my relatively poor reception of the book.

    With that said, I still cannot help but note the jarring discontinuities between the several sections of the book. Perhaps those seeming discontinuities are melded together more seamlessly in the full book, but the fundamental differences in tone, language, etc. would still remain.

    Oddly, or not, my abridged version of “Moby Dick” did contain both “Stubb’s Supper” and “The Cassock”.

  312. I ran across this reference at file770.com and wondered if you’d come across this writer.
    He sounds right up your alley!

    Born January 1, 1889 — Seabury Quinn. Pulp writer now mostly remembered for his tales of Jules de Grandin, the occult detective, which were published in Weird Tales from the Thirties through the Fifties. Surprisingly, at least to me, there’s a lot his fiction at the usual suspects. (Died 1969.)

    An occult detective. Could be fun.

  313. A question to the Canadians and Australians about this assisted death programs run by their governments – does the state also pay for the burial and funeral costs, or just the death itself? I’m assuming the death is covered by your state medical programs and free to the family.

  314. @Aziz (post #322)

    My thoughts are not developed on the best way to interact with the land but my wish is for a healing of the land and I would be grateful if I could have any role to play. My sense is that any healing of the land is not intertwined with a particular race but that it is up to all the inhabitant of the land (North America, Arabia, Australia, etc.,) to make our individual choices on how we interact with the land, for good or ill.

    The land or the spirit of the land “gets a vote” also, and we are deeply affected by the land upon which we live.

    In this post: https://www.ecosophia.net/america-and-russia-tamanous-and-sobornost/ JMG recounts an observation made by Carl Jung when visiting the United States that some workers he observed must have been Native American but his host told him that all of the workers were of European descent. As an outsider from another land, Jung could spot the subtle influences North America had upon the people.

    I note that JMG’s recent Castle of Heroes post (https://www.ecosophia.net/the-castle-of-heroes/) stimulated a lot of comments and interest and and via this post I began acquainted with Vine Deloria and his book God is Red which gives an interesting take on how the two different civilizations (Native American vs European American) view / practiced spirituality. If I had to answer your question on if American Indians could work together with more recent inhabitants to heal the land I’d say a good part of that would be for North Americans to take notice of the spiritual importance of place as a first step.

  315. The assisted suicide thing to me is just a symptom of western standards of state provided health care becoming too costly, especially in countries where health care is supposedly free like Canada and Australia.

    The expectation that the state will take care of you no matter the cost was never going to be something that lasted for ever.

    Although I don’t agree with the ethics behind it, we all have to come to terms with the fact that the system is load shedding and if you don’t want yourself and your loved ones to be shedded you should dramatically lessen your dependence on it.

  316. I was planning on keeping quiet, but I just had to respond. My mother had the
    misfortune to die the last time the right went batshale crazy about assisted suicide and
    I hope it doesn’t happen again. She was 85, had been in a nursing home for three years
    in a wheelchair, and was nearing the end stages of dementia. One night she had a lucid
    moment and managed to bypass the alarms and safeguards in her room and try to go for a walk.
    She fell and broke her hip and was in agony. We decided to let the doctors operate on the
    hip in the hope that it would relieve the pain. Unfortunately, the operation didn’t help
    and she continued to scream in agony. The doctors were afraid to give her enough pain
    medication to relieve the pain because it might kill her. This was during the period
    when doctors were being sued by right-wing groups and losing their licenses if it was
    suspected that they assisted in a patient suicide. As a result, I got to spend two weeks
    listening to my mother scream in pain until she exhausted herself to death. I hope the
    right-wingers got great satisfaction from saving her life for those two weeks. I have
    no patience for people who have such antipathy to allowing people to die a pain-free and
    dignified death.

    I would like to make another point, also. A few years ago I read an article that said
    that, on average, 70 percent of a person’s lifetime health expenses are incurred in the
    last two months of their life. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but I suspect it
    is. This obsession with keeping people alive at any cost, no matter their prognosis,
    is the major factor keeping the health care industry that you all claim to despise in
    the black.

    End of rant. I know that my views are in opposition to most of the commentariat so feel
    free to delete this post.

  317. I will take this opportunity to remind all that the 6th Annual Ecosophia Midsummer Potluck will be held June 24, 2023 at our house behind the Charles Dexter Ward Mansion in Providence, RI. Only 173 days to go! Sign up here. I look forward to your presence, and once again, whomever comes from furthest is welcome to stay in our guest room. Someday, I hope to welcome Chris at Fernglade Farm to be our guest.

  318. @Anonymoose Canadian #319: “Do you have any theories on why the current West seems so determined to copy so much of the Nazi playbook?”

    I know you’re asking JMG about that, but I think I have at least one answer – Operation Paperclip.

    After WW II, Allen Dulles (a founder and director of the CIA) imported unreconstructed Nazi’s wholesale to the U.S., essentially under President Truman’s nose. Most people have heard of the wholesale importation of SS General Reinhard Gehlen’s intelligence group. Everyone, of course, knows about Werner von Braun and his rocket scientists.

    Less well known is that Josef Mengele’s research was used, in return for which Mengele himself got a “pass.”

    The same thing happened in Japan under the occupation. The Japanese equivalents of Mengele were offered the same deal – give us all your research and you will not be prosecuted.

    We have to remember that the Rockefeller and Bush families shared the Nazi’s eugenic and racial ideologies. In fact, Hitler’s own eugenics laws were copied almost verbatim from their counterparts in several American states. The Dulles brothers were originally lawyers at Sullivan & Cromwell, which was the law firm favored by the Rockefeller and Bush families.

    So, Allen Dulles and the originators of the CIA were fully on board with Nazi ideology. In their mind, the only thing “wrong” with Hitler was that he tried to cut in on their action!

    The Nazi doctors and their research went on to be used in MKULTRA and other such programs. So, this has a long history. I will go so far as to state that the Deep State itself is essentially Nazi in its ideology.

  319. @A1 #303:

    Scott Alexander at Astraltencodex substack is a good look into the thinking process of the PMC.

    I may give it a look when I’m bored, but I decided, after other commenters recommended Scott Alexander, that my life is not long enough to suffer 20,000 word rationalist screeds.

  320. I have the December numbers for renewable power in the Bonneville Power Administration. It’s pretty gory.

    Wind: Average wind energy generated was 459 MW of the 2827 MW installed, or 16.2%. Median output was 10.7% of installed. They were becalmed 21.7% of the time.

    Solar: For 5 glorious minutes the panels put out 65.8% of the 138.2 MW of installed capacity. The best daytime average was 36.1% of capacity, or 11.7% of capacity divided over the full 24 hours. (there was 8.5 hours of daylight that day.) The average for the month was 20.5% of the rated capacity (daylight hours only). The worst day (Dec 23) was 5.8%, I suspect they were covered with snow that day along with proximity to the solstice (8.05 hours of usable daylight).

    By the way, the wind went dead calm for about 2/3 of Dec 23. High temperature that day was 14 F, Low was 6.

    I also checked the output of the local nuclear plant. 1216 nameplate, average, 1121 (they throttled back in June) Capacity factor 92%. I suspect it’s due for refueling this year. A six week shutdown?

  321. @pygmycory #315:

    “Also, anyone know groups I could get involved with working against MAID expansion?”

    I’ll see what I can find out. I don’t know what your personal views are on a range of other issues, but my impression is that most of the organizations lobbying about this share a raft of other beliefs that a person may or may not agree with. For instance, I am a card-carrying member of Canadian Physicians for Life, which voices concerns about assisted suicide but also other things.

    Interestingly, one of the constituencies that has long been involved in the debate is the disabled-persons lobby, who were well aware of how disabled persons were treated by, e.g., the Nazis.

    “Or was this always going to happen”

    Well, a blogger I used to read a long time ago, I have no idea if he’s still around, by the name of Mark Shea, used to say that social innovations invariably go through two phases: the “What could it hurt?” phase, followed by the “How were we supposed to know?” phase.

    See:

    @Atmospheric #318:

    “We are on the slippery slope.”

    Indeed. It used to be a “thing”, on discussion forums, more common twenty years ago than now, for folks to accuse others of a “slippery slope fallacy”. I think that a major reason this argument has declined in frequency, is that compared to years ago we can see now that the “fallacy” wasn’t so fallacious after all, and in fact actually took place. Far from being a logical fallacy, the slippery slope is in many cases a logical conclusion.

    @Anonymoose #319:

    “Do you have any theories on why the current West seems so determined to copy so much of the Nazi playbook?”

    I would say it’s because our elites subscribe to the same eugenic-transhumanist worldview, viz., that Man can be upgraded, perfected, etc., and like the Nazis they do not wish to hear about any limits to this programme.

    @Aziz #322:

    “a tremendous healing to the land would come forth if the white and indian joined seriously for this aim”

    I like it! I think there’s a lot in there.

  322. JMG,

    What do you think is going to happen to the black population in the United States as the American Empire declines?

  323. RE: CELL SALTS AND HOMEOPATHICS

    Oh, I totally forgot until I remembered. Someone either last week or this mentioned cell salt distributors, and such.

    I usually get “Hyland’s” brand cell salts (Bioplasma®; Biochemic Phosphates), 1000 tablets at a time, which are reasonably priced compared to other companies.

    Also, rxhomeo dot com, a company based in India, sells all sorts of homeopathy supplements and cell salts for cheap (like 25% of North American or European companies). I keep a running list of items I need, then place one big order once a year (stocking up). Order a month in advance of when you will need them because orders come via slow-boat-from-India. I started ordering from them at least ten years ago.

    💨Northwind Grandma😢
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  324. “It [the AI] did say some true things about Hume, and it knew what the paradox of horror was, but it was just bullshitting after that.”

    How many of my university essays would have failed this reverse-Turing test?

  325. This may be of possible interest to some folks around these parts. I got this off of my friend Ken Katkin’s email. He is the host of Trash Flow Radio (for which I’m an ocassional fill in). Anyway, it’s nothing about radio, but numerology and math. I haven’t verified any of this and I don’t know where Ken got it from, but here it is… I thought it was interesting. Time to go look at those numerology lessons again…

    “I am looking forward to 2023, which will provide a once-in-a-lifetime chance to live in a year that is divisible by 119. And 2023 will also provide an ultra-rare chance to live in a year that is divisible by 289. My grandparents and great-grandparents never had the latter opportunity, and neither will my grandchildren or great-grandchildren! In addition, some people consider 7 or 17 to be lucky numbers. If you are one of those people, then 2023 will be a very lucky year, because 2023 is the product of 17 x 7 x 17. What’s more: the sum of 2023’s digits (2+0+2+3) also is Lucky 7.”

  326. And if you try to make up the shortfall by reinstating the draft:

    1. What happens if you conscript them and they don’t come anyway?

    [ traditionally you toss them in prison. The ability to do this is obviously limited.]

    2. What happens if you conscript them and there still aren’t enough in decent enough physical shape because of things the food industry has been doing since at least the 90’s?

    [the current problem, “A new study from the Pentagon shows that 77% of young Americans would not qualify for military service without a waiver due to being overweight, using drugs or having mental and physical health problems.”]

    3. What happens if you try to reinstate the draft and it gets court-injunctioned?

    [the executive branch and the Congress can override the court which is likely since since they are saturated with war mongers]

    4. Do you include women in the draft? How do you handle the political fallout that is likely to result whether you answered “yes” or “no” to that question?

    [A court has already ruled that male-only conscription is unconstitutional discrimination, but Congress hasn’t updated the law yet. What the women would do in such a situation is unknown. I don’t think they know. Would strong and powerful women flock to the front lines? Or would they decide June Cleaver had it right? Would Baby Boom 2 suddenly occur for the duration? Look up the adventures of the USS Acadia, “She was the first ship to house a wartime mixed-sex crew and was unofficially nicknamed “The Love Boat” in the 1991 Persian Gulf War after 36 women (10% of women in the crew) became pregnant during deployment.[2]”

    5. What happens if you conscript them and then have to kick them out because they refuse to e.g. use the right pronouns, take certain substances, or otherwise engage in unwoke behavior?

    [that nonsense ends in a war. A officer who insists will be fragged, a fine tradtion from Vietnam if not even older. See also, Nedermayer at the end of Animal House.]

  327. @Alan 344: you wrote: Oddly, or not, my abridged version of “Moby Dick” did contain both “Stubb’s Supper” and “The Cassock”.

    Did they shock you? Was there a curse pretending to be a benediction at the end of “Stubb’s Supper”? Was there an abominable pun about an archbishoprick at the end of “The Cassock”? Yeah, I’m pretty obsessive about Moby-Dick.

  328. Hello, Mr. Greer, again,
    Years ago I read a description of an ancient Roman graffiti. It was a caricature of Jesus as a donkey nailed to a cross with the words “Marcus’s god” under it. In a way we Christians are being returned to the status we had under the Roman Empire, a peculiar people following their own peculiar god.

    My experience of God for me has the feeling of ultimate authority, presence, eternity along with that shared experience with other Christians in group settings, the very air and our bodies at times filled with a wonderful peace and quiet joy. But I realized years ago from the outside perspective and especially a polytheistic perspective that is just my/our experience of my/our god and while I can freely share what I am and what I think and experience, it is not appropriate to push it on others rudely.

    I sped read your Many Gods book on Kindle and did the “look inside” Amazon feature with Learning Ritual Magic and combined with what I have read here I now have a, yes, superficial understanding of your method. I have also examined Rhyd Wildermuth’s online essays and commented there. Also have done some back and forth with Paul Kingsnorth on Rhyd’s and Paul’s substacks. It has been an interesting experience adding to my knowledge base – part of my high functioning autistic streak. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are reality,realities for me. I accept and know the Trinity for reasons of poetry and fun. I guess I have reached the point wherher I like it or not Jesus is Lord and God and giver of access to the Father and the Spirit as the Way and the Door and the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit so I have decided to make the best of a good situation. So my knowing of this Monotheistic contraption for me overwhelms and voids the excellent arguments against it found in your Many Gods book. I appreciate your gracious and yet firm approach.

  329. On the topic of assisted death, I’d like to echo @Honyocker’s sentiments, and also express my general puzzlement as to why this issue is so politically polarized and devoid of nuanced discussion.

    One of the freedoms I am willing to stand up for is the freedom to choose the time and place of my death. Most people who have access to commonly available pills and guns have that freedom. We occasionally deprive people of that freedom during mental health crises, when the decision to die is temporary and impulsive. I don’t have a problem with that; most people who truly wish to die will eventually succeed.

    One consequence of the medicalization of old age is that people lose this freedom to die precisely when they might most want to exercise it: when life is becoming increasingly limited, painful, and finite. Once someone is “in care”, their right to die before the last possible moment will of necessity require some assistance or at least permission from their carers.

    So…I agree that *no one* should *ever* be pressured or coerced to choose death for any reason.

    I also believe that *every adult* should have the right to choose to die at any time – perhaps with a waiting period and special provisions (like advance directives) for those deemed to be not of sound mind.

    I feel like it should be possible to write a policy that supports both of those ideals.

  330. Honeyocker,
    and that’s why I didn’t oppose MAID from the start, and have only started getting upset enough to speak up now. There are people who really want it, and I don’t have a problem with someone who’s dying deciding they can’t take it anymore and want to end it. I might have religious issues with doing so myself, but I don’t think I should put them on someone else.

    From your story, I have a question: were they not giving sufficient strong painkillers to dull her pain? That sound like a horrible experience she and you went through. I am solidly in favor of adequate painkillers being given to people to not be screaming in agony for weeks!

    My problem is that MAID has been expanded to people are are not at the end of life, and there’s multiple examples of people applying for it and sometimes even going through with it because they couldn’t get things like nursing care or somewhere not filled with chemicals that hurt them to live, as well as at least one case of medical staff suggesting it to an injured veteran because the government didn’t want to pay for a chairlift for their home.

    MAID also in the process of being expanded further, to people with mental health issues only, and no physical issues. I’ve experienced major depression and suicidal ideation, and chronic pain and anxiety is something I live with on an ongoing basis. Yes, they’re horrible, but I’m glad I didn’t commit suicide, and things are much better for me now. I’m glad MAID wasn’t an option when I was at my lowest. I already felt bad enough about being a burden and unable to support myself – feeling horrible about that was a major cause of the suicidal ideation. I really don’t think MAID should be available solely for mental health issues. They so often improve, and it can be very unpredictable how and when. And people should not feel like they have to die for being a burden.

    There’s also talk of expanding MAID to mature minors, and a few people have suggested expanding it to babies. Who, of course, can’t consent. And yes, saving money has been mentioned as one of the benefits of MAID.

    I’d like to not be forced out of existence to save the government a few $. There are other opportunities to save money and resources that don’t involve killing people and calling it mercy.

  331. Bofur, I’m not a physician, so that’s probably out, but I think I need to get in touch with one of the disability groups and bring up my concerns. Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

  332. Pygmycory, of course people who are already dying should have the right to end their lives when they choose. It’s quite possible to do this without giving doctors and the government the power to pressure people who aren’t dying into killing themselves.

    Atmospheric, yes, the hospice industry is infested with that sort of thing. Once again, it’s one thing to allow individuals who are already dying to choose the manner of their own deaths, and another thing to deliberately let someone die of neglect, or worse.

    Anonymoose, I think it was inevitable once Nazis became the enduring object of our society’s Two Minutes Hate. What you contemplate, you imitate…

    Ramaraj, thanks for this. It’s been too long since I’ve read some really delirious imaginative fiction!

    Aziz, it’s not just white and Native American here. Many other people came here from many other parts of the world, and they all have a part to play in the emergence of the future American great culture. It’s not accidental, for example, that our two great musical innovations — jazz and rock — are both inspired by African-American musical culture. Patchwork quilts are one of the classic American crafts, and it’s a good metaphor for our culture — we’re a patchwork of different influences from all over the world, and that’s as it should be for a future culture whose keynote will be individual liberty.

    Curt, the distinction I draw is much simpler: where did the practice come from? That may not be theoretically useful but it seems to work in practice.

    Your Kittenship, Portuguese is the standard second language here in East Providence, and for about a quarter of the residents, it’s their first language; immigrant communities from the Azores and the Cape Verde islands are long established, and these days a lot of Brazilians are moving here as well — there’s a new Brazilian restaurant a few blocks from my apartment and a new Brazilian grocery store a few blocks further than that. Besides, it’s been a while since I learned a new language and I like to stretch my mental muscles that way from time to time.

    Sunnnv, thanks for this; I’ve got some other sources for Aboriginal cultural memory of Ice Age sea levels, but it doesn’t hurt to have more, since that’s a crucial point in talking about the Atlantean era.

    J.L.Mc12, ha! Gummy-bear glue it is, then.

    Scott, thanks for this.

    Patricia M, nah, remember that until A Voyage to Hyperborea, the claim that Hyperborean culture dates from before the last ice age was rejected across the board by most scholars, including those at Miskatonic. Phil, like most academics these days in the face of controversies outside their own department, will have avoided talking about such hot-button issues. So Miriam really was blindsided.

    Justin, a case could be made.

    Joshua, sure. You can find most of them in the Enchiridion of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus; Stoicism got me through some very hard times and it’s my go-to resource in terms of making sense of potential choices. I’ll consider an essay on that at some point, though it’ll take a good deal of reflection.

    Atmospheric, thanks for this. One trick that’ll help is to write your response on a notepad program and then paste it in.

    Teresa, good heavens, yes. I’m not a great fan of Quinn’s stories, mostly because they’re kind of stereotypical, but I’ve read a fair number of them.

    Honyocker, thanks for this. I know that there are massive issues on both sides of this whole question; I worked in nursing homes back before I first got published, and saw both sides of it then — people who should have been allowed to die quietly being kept alive at all costs, and people who could have lived and who wanted to live being allowed to die of neglect. The question is how to find a way to avoid one extreme without falling into the other.

    Peter, thanks for the reminder! Never too early to put it on the calendar.

    Siliconguy, ouch. Thanks for this.

    John, one of the things that’s already happening is that the barriers between different ethnic groups in the lower and working classes are breaking down. Back when I lived in the north central Appalachians, on the edge of one of the really poor neighborhoods in town, I’d pass a dozen porches with people sitting on them of a summer evening and not one of them had people who were all the same skin color. Groups of kids playing together were the same way, and mixed-race marriages and children were so common nobody even noticed. (And it wasn’t just black men and white women — as often as not it was the other way around.) Since the way the ruling class maintains its power is to keep white working class people and working class people of color divided against each other, as the system disintegrates, so do the divisions. So I think that as the decline picks up speed, it will be less and less possible to talk about “the black population” as a distinctive unit, and much more a matter of local and regional cultures drawing from a broad mix of local ethnic and cultural sources.

    Northwind, thanks for this!

    Justin,. interesting. Thanks for this, too.

    Andy, hmm! Fascinating. Most of these are utterly unknown to me.

    Moose, I presume you mean this graffito.

    It’s Alexamenos, not Marcus — that matters because in Rome, a Greek name like Alexamenos almost certainly belonged to a slave; it’s a useful confirmation of the tradition that Christianity spread first among the poor and oppressed. As for my book, why, I never expected it to convince anyone who’s already committed to a monotheist belief; it might help you understand, of course, why those of us who aren’t monotheists — and who have our own experiences of Divinity in the plural! — don’t find monotheist claims convincing. For what it’s worth, I know very few polytheists who have any trouble with Christians worshipping their god the way we worship ours; it simply would be nice if more Christians stopped trying to shove their religious and moral beliefs down everyone else’s throats.

    Mark L, er, “devoid of nuanced discussion”? I don’t see that here at all. We’ve heard from several people who are entirely in favor of letting dying people choose the time and manner of their own death, but who are very concerned about the way that’s been turned into an excuse by doctors and governments to push people into making that final choice. That doesn’t seem especially devoid of nuance to me.

  333. @Michael Martin (#351):

    I can support what you say about the close relationship between Nazis in Germany and large parts of the US establishment. Support for Nazi “science” in the US went far, far beyond the personal views of Allen Dulles and was far more extensive than Operation Paperclip in the years around and after WW2.

    My father was a mechanical engineer working on the Norden Bombsight project at that time. One day, shortly before I went off to college in 1960, he took me aside and said he wanted to tell me something that my college courses in US history would not present, for shame at our recent past.

    What he had to tell was that, before the attack on Pearl Harbor, no more than about one-third of the engineers and military men with whom he interacted daily, wanted the US to enter the war on the side of England. Another third, he said, wanted the US to remain neutral, like Charles Lindberg.

    As for that final third … they had wanted very much to enter the war on the side of the Nazis, whom they thought had the best take on the “problem” of race and the hugely important role that the US-devised “science” of eugenics could play in the management of the world’s post-war future and the planned breeding of a new and better human species. And German engineers were widely regarded by his fellow US engineers as the best engineers in the whole world.

    This, he said, I wouldn’t hear about in college, because of shame and embarrassment. He was Danish-American, and proud of the way the Danes had negotiated the difficult position which Nazi occupation of Denmark had placed them. He also thought that eugenics and “race science” were pseudo-sciences, and as such, were beneath contempt. And, he said, he did not like to think about the Nazi world that we would be living in now, if the US had actually entered WW2 on the side of Germany.

    But the views of that third of our population hadn’t changed, he emphasized; they’d just fallen silent for the moment.

    What you say about the Bush family also seems spot on. President George H. W. Bush’s father was Prescott Sheldon Bush, apparently one of the prime movers behind the so-called Banker’s Plot to take control of the country away from the elected president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whom they felt was far too liberal and a sort of “class traitor” (as he would now be called) to the wealthy elite of which he was a member by birth and position.

    And indeed, US scientists and engineers did create much of the “science” on which the Nazis relied, and also much of the technology of the Nazi death-camp cyanide-gas chambers. (The cyanide-gas execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison in California was put into operation around 1938.)

  334. >What happens if you conscript them and there still aren’t enough in decent enough physical shape because of things the food industry has been doing since at least the 90’s?

    I’m just guessing but it wouldn’t surprise me if fast food becomes illegal at some point. Junk food too. Although by the time they do, it’ll be closing the barn door after the horse has run away.

    Depending on how desperate they get, they may not let go of you if you’re “too fat to fight”, they may create special camps to send you to where they slim you down and then send you on to regular training, if I had to guess at how they would respond.

  335. Re the current Speaker vote circus:

    Kevin McCarthy’s “I earned this job!” sounds an awful lot like HRC’s “I’m so ready to lead!”

    So far, the only successful (though this one may yet prove only to be symbolic) uprisings against the establishment machine have occurred on the Republican side. I’m still waiting for the Dem populists to get their hindquarters in gear, rather than knuckling under like they’ve been doing.

    Go long popcorn futures!

  336. @JMG – Ah. Ok And since nobody’s dug up the ruins of Atlantis, them being underwater, and a career-killer to even suggest doing it (enter Hamilton Brower, fuming over the latest idiot suggestion that they do so) – okay. I do see now. (slaps side of head.) Thanks.

    I noticed the theme of people with an arcane secret living in isolation from the communities that could help them, being ignorant of their existence, in these tales. All too plausible IRL, alas.

  337. P.S. If the US is the reincarnation of Rome, then were the squabbling city-states of ancient Greece reincarnated in the small squabbling nations of Europe? it feels intuitively right, if not necessarily right.

    And a Happy New Year to everyone whose new year this is. It feels like a week with two Sundays, and here in The Village, the truncated business week had begun with the announcement that, due to widespread illness among the staff, truncated meals will be served all week, with both the Lake House food venues closing at 3pm instead of being open until 6pm. I looked at the cut-down menu and have no problem with any of that, but got the news too late to duck back to the Bistro and pick up a sandwich for supper before the grocery store shuttle bus pickup time at 1:30.

    However… “cream of leftover casserole” had a long and honorable history in my housewife days, and I’m sure any sailor on a tall ship would simple ask if bottom-of-the-pot coffee and a slug of grog came with the deal.

    Welcome to 2023.

  338. JMG,

    Do you think the NFL player collapse will be the catalyst for finally shifting the debate against the vax? Strikes me as one of the first watershed moments of 2023.

  339. Thank you for the clarification and a picture of the actual graffiti! I said Marcus as a fill in as it was a memory from decades ago. Yes, we are at the end of an 1700 year old experiment with Christendom trying to establish its kingdom over the world. I regard the recent funeral of Queen Elizabeth as a symbol of that end. This experiment IMO opinion flew in the face of Jesus’s words – “my kingdom is not of this world” “and “the kingdom of God is within you” and the Romans 14:17 definition of the kingdom of God as being “rightwiseness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” Christians should have stayed content with the poor and the oppressed and let those above that status come in as equals to the poor and oppressed. Instead it literally became world conquest.
    Yes, reading you and Wildermuth enlightened me on the mostly friendly regard of present polytheists (unlike the Roman Empire types) to non aggressive Christians who choose to let their light shine and share their truth and experience respectfully instead of being pushy.

  340. I just figured I would highlight something I have been doing recently mostly as inspiration to others. A very minor long decent thing that really shouldn’t be anything amazing.

    Asian style noodles – I love them. Nowadays I am making them from scratch. Flour, water and a pinch of salt. A little elbow grease and an hour to rest and they are amazing!

    I say this as I would recommend everyone to give it a try. Also stretches your money a lot further. I mean instant noodles are cheap, but these are 5 times cheaper and much better. And yet again I am blown down by just how amazing wheat flour is!

  341. Patricia M, there are a lot of Hamilton Browards in the academic world these days, and always have been — I modeled him, and that entire part of the plot, on the way that most archeologists reacted to the successful decipherment of Mayan hieroglyphics. The short form? The archeologists were livid with rage because so many of their theories turned out to be dead wrong once the Mayans could, in effect, speak for themselves. As for US/Rome and Europe/Greece, yep.

    TJ, anyone’s guess. Sooner or later someone famous enough is going to die of suddenly, and do the same thing for the Covid vaccines that Rock Hudson’s death did for AIDS. Is this it? I don’t know yet. What I do know is that people are going really, truly, comprehensively around the bend. Consider this tweet:

    I think we’re somewhere between the sunk costs fallacy and Jim Jones at this point…

    Moose, thank you for this. I hope your take on things becomes more common among Christians!

    Michale, yum! Thanks for this.

  342. To Phutatorius (post #360),

    “Did they shock you? Was there a curse pretending to be a benediction at the end of “Stubb’s Supper”? Was there an abominable pun about an archbishoprick at the end of “The Cassock”? Yeah, I’m pretty obsessive about Moby-Dick.”

    Oh yes, I do remember the cook’s ‘benediction’, if you are referring to his blessing/damning of the sharks! And I do also remember that pun, although after re-reading that chapter today, I realized that I had totally missed the first time around the real intent of Melville’s sly line of “what a lad for a Pope were this mincer!”

    Maybe I need to fully reread “Moby Dick”?

  343. Scotty, good to hear from you. Really interesting observation by Jung, I haven’t visited the US yet but I’m touched and inspired by the North American spirit, no one made me connect to it as much as Robbie Basho did, do check his work if you’re not familiar with it already. Not to mention the Enlightenment ideals that shaped the country itself. Thank you for mentioning God is Red, that’s definitely going to be on my to-read list.

    Bofur, good to hear that.

    JMG, no doubt that all inhabitants will have a role be it for good or bad, but that’s just how I see it from my own perspective, of course other races had contribution, but to my knowledge (and I could be wrong since I’m not an American) no one had an effect on the land as these two races did, I believe it even goes further than the formation of the US government itself, dare I say it’s a primal thing, the Indian and White man have a deep history. Let alone the fact Native American folklore constantly mention those white-looking kingly figures; and the recent findings on the Clovis and Solutrean cultures, you can read about it here: https://insider.si.edu/2012/03/ice-age-mariners-from-europe-were-the-first-people-to-reach-north-america/

    Also, from an esoteric perspective, doesn’t that makes these two races have more “tracks in space” on these lands? That’s just how I see it.

  344. “I see you don’t know many Gnostics. What is it about certain kinds of Christians who insist on cramming every other form of spirituality into an ideological Procrustean bed of their own making?”

    I have read some of the writings of the Early Church Fathers against them like Tertullian criticizing particular the group called the Valentinians:
    https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0314.htm

    Read the entire text that I posted above.

    The Apostles especially the Apostle John also combated some of Gnostic conceptions of Christianity. Like the denial of Jesus coming in the Flesh.

    Which undermines the key basis of the Christian faith which is the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without which the whole faith is falsified.

    Either Jesus rose from the dead in a physical body or Christianity is false.

    But I will welcome writings from that period that proves my preconceptions wrong.

  345. >I think we’re somewhere between the sunk costs fallacy and Jim Jones at this point

    You know, way back before Woke became The Current Thing, I predicted that they would end with a Jim Jones type event. At the time I was thinking a literal Jim Jones type camp out innawoods drinking actual koolaid but maybe I should been thinking more metaphorically.

  346. Also, what is it with the icons next to someone’s name that inversely indicates amount of sanity? It’s like the more icons they have the less sane they are…

  347. pygmycory #364 The physicians did give her large doses of pain medication but it didn’t relieve the pain. They were afraid to increase the dosage any further because that might result in death and they could be prosecuted.

  348. Kevin #46: Seriously “rust belt” does not describe the Midwest in general. If you were referring to Ohio and Indiana in particular, maybe, but now I’m being condescending towards them as well. Minneapolis is not St. Louis is not Rapid City is not Chicago is not Detroit is not Des Moines. To describe all of the Midwest in the same terms as “rust belt” is a typically California attitude, and you won’t do well here if you do that. Maybe you were looking particularly for the most pre-collapsed areas of the Midwest? You should specify clearly what you’re looking for. Perhaps you should be looking for a place that isn’t so rusty and has a semblance of social order left? Other commenters who are proud of their communities may be willing to speak up. Personally, I can recommend Minnesota as long as you stay away from the downtowns.

  349. I remember my speculating nearly two years ago that this whole thing with the Covid vaccines could be the realization of your idea of mediagenic suicide parties by aging boomers and others that you put forth in the old blog. It’s very unpleasant to find out that this idea might have been on to something.

  350. @JL Mc12 #310 Re: VAD

    Oddly, I have seen several versions of medically-assisted suicide in practice.

    Hospice Model: It is possible to make patients, who are unquestionably terminally ill without possibility of recovery, comfortable with counseling, support, addictive medications if needed, and sometimes surgery if needed. I recall one instance in which a cancer patient with intractable pain had his spinal cord surgically severed low down to prevent the needless pain signals from traveling up to his brain.
    For most terminal patients though, putting them on a regimen of ‘patient-controlled analgesia’ (PCA) allows the patient to find their own level of pain relief and sufficient alertness to say the last goodbyes to friends and family.
    True, dribbling IV morphine or hydromorphone into a terminally-ill and actively dying patient may shorten their lifespan by a day or two– But that is balanced by the reduction of suffering and increase in quality family time over the last few months of life.
    Hospice done in an environment where assisted suicide is illegal, but functionally overlooked, seems IMHO to be the best approach to the thorny problem of end-of-life suffering. The technical illegality mostly slaps down people who go overboard with it, like Jack Kevorkian and that RN a few years ago who gave unrequested lethal injections to people who, in her opinion, were suffering too much.

    MAID/VAD/Dutch Model: When you make assisted suicide easy and supported by government, things go wrong. There are bean-counters in government who know that 90% of medical expenses happen in the last year of life. They start by trying to lop off that last year.
    Then expand it to include people who are ‘using up too many public resources’ (the poor, the disabled)– And there you are at the Canadian MAID model. Only a short hop from there to the elimination of folks who don’t fit in with the political programme, and you arrive at the Nazi Model–
    No wait, that’s unfair. The Nazis got all their ideas from the American Margaret Sanger, who championed the sterilization of mental patients and ‘people of color’ in the first third of the 20th century. The Nazis just applied German efficiency to this. And after all, we have the forced seizure of First Nations (Americans read ‘Indian’) children to residential schools in Canada as recently as the 1960’s, where they were abused, died of neglect, and buried in unmarked graves.
    Sorry, can’t call this third step the Nazi Model, it’s really still the Canadian Model, or maybe even the American Model. -sigh-
    I wonder to what extent this gusto for genocide is driven by the bloodthirsty Mayan gods of the North American Continent. And lets not forget about the commanded genocide that was ordered by YHWH against the Canaanites and carried out by Joshua and his minions.
    The spirit of genocide is definitely an archetype swimming around in the collective unconscious of humanity, and seems to be poking its head above the surface more and more these days–
    JMG, I am REALLY looking forward to your presumed future posting on the dark enchantment over our society! Prayers heading your way for clarity of understanding. Perhaps we can find a way to live through our current crisis in kindness and forbearance…
    Sorry about the rant. I will understand if it is too late to post it…

  351. @Michale Gray
    Would love a link to the Asian noodles you make or description of technique. There are so many options often on the internet finding the one that works can be more work than the noodles themselves!

    I will also add that making egg noodles and Italian style is also rewarding, especially if you have your own chickens. But I do have a manual roller for these. This is the youtube video that i got the most out of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_fu5RaXMVk .

  352. E. Goldstein 387 – disturbing stuff!

    The idea that genocide is related to the Mayan death god(s) weirdly resonates with me. I had a weird dream / vision one time about one of those gods and it was like showing me things and warning me that I had to stay on the right path and not go down the death road in the days ahead. I’d have to look it up to remember the specifics (I try to write these things down) and likely it was only for my own benefit and things I was dealing with at the time, not necessarily a “real” experience in the subjective sense. (Sometimes the subconscious needs to tell us things. It looked a lot like that ‘batman’ mask which apparently isn’t authentic, so it may have been my subconscious more than an actual being telling me things i didn’t necessarily want to hear but possibly needed to.)

  353. RE: Thank you all for the comments about PMC and class. I want to add something to these ideas – the importance of place. I’ve excerpted some phrases regarding that from my comment (#100), then followed that with a quote from JMG’s essay “America and Russia: Tamanous and Sobornost” from October 31, 2018.

    “My parents grew up in a small town of less than 1,000 people in Nebraska and on a nearby farm. They had lived in this town and immediate surrounding area for generations. My ancestors were original settlers of the land who got 40 or 80 acres for $1 in the 1860s. It seems like half the people buried in the town cemetery are related to me, though I know it’s not half…Most families in that suburb had been part of urban culture for a long time and had no concept of the kind of place my parents were from. I can only recall one exception…At least once per year, faithfully, my parents packed up the car and drove 1,300 miles to the place they were born where I was immersed in small town and rural culture, listening to stories from relatives as we went from house to house to visit.”

    JMG – “In his brilliant and neglected study God is Red, Native American philosopher Vine Deloria Jr. wrote at length about the spiritual importance of place. That’s something that Magian culture understood implicitly—notice the way that Magian religions inevitably orient themselves toward specific, geographically unique centers of pilgrimage—but that Faustian culture can’t grasp at all. To the Faustian mind, the landscape is a blank slate waiting to be overwritten by the creative will of the heroic individual whose deeds are the bread and butter of Faustian mythmaking. Note the way that Faustian cultures prefer to talk, not of place, but of space: not of localities with their own character and qualities, but of emptiness that, at least in our imagination, can be put to whatever sequence of temporary uses we happen to have in mind.”

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the current post are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views expressed here, and I try to respond to each comment as time permits. Long screeds proclaiming the infallibility of some ideology or other, however, will be deleted; so will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed; so will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flamebaiting and the like -- I filled up my supply of Troll Bingo cards years ago and have no interest in adding any more to my collection; and so will sales spam and offers of "guest posts" pitching products. I'm quite aware that the concept of polite discourse is hopelessly dowdy and out of date, but then some people would say the same thing about the traditions this blog is meant to discuss. Thank you for reading Ecosophia! -- JMG

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