Open Post

December 2023 Open Post

This week’s Ecosophian offering is the monthly 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 — with two exceptions.

First, there’s a dedicated (more or less) open post on my Dreamwidth journal on the ongoing virus panic and related issues, so anything Covid-themed should go there instead.

Second, I’ve had various people try to launch discussions about AIs — that is to say, large language models (LLMs) and the chatbots they power — on this and my other forums. The initial statements and their followup comments always end up reading as though they were written by LLMs — that is, long strings of words superficially resembling meaningful sentences but not actually communicating anything. That’s neither useful nor entertaining.  Thus I’ve decided to ban further discussion of this latest wet dream of the lumpen-internetariat here.

With that said, have at it!


  1. Happy New Year to our esteemed host and commentariat.

    Last week you mentioned Retrotopia will get a reprint in ’24. Is this a revision as well, and if so, what are the differences?

  2. Greetings JMG,

    Happy holidays.

    I saw on these sites that Mexico’s oil production will run out by 2030:

    The usa has 12 years of natural gas left:

    and 4 to 6 years oil left:
    There is lots of coal left.

    canada 12 years left of natural gas according to worldometer . There is lots of coal,
    and lots of oil left.

    colombia 2 years of natural gas left and 6 years of oil .

    Do you think this data is reliable, and what does it mean for those countries?

  3. I was just working on my post for tomorrow over at my place when the e-mail signalling your offering popped up on my notification.

    In a sense, the combination of your post, Aurelian’s post today, my post today and what I am working on all coincide on the question.

    How does one create discipline in thought and writing about those thoughts?

    For myself, and for a long time, the I Ching every morning and the structure that provided eased the way for my writing and allowed a way for me to structure my thought and better express myself. But unfortunately, and for unknown reasons, the connection between this daily ritual and my writing vanished. I have been casting about for source of mental/spiritual seed for a while now.

    Aurelian surprised me today with his statement about Tarot cards as inspiration. I have been working through the workings of Tarot/Qabala for a while now with not too much success (though, to be honest, the failure rate isn’t all that bad either).

    All that being said, this is a question for the commentariat here.

    If any of you are writing routinely, what works for you for generating the “seed” for your posts. There are no wrong answers, just a request for hints to the mystery.

  4. Hello friends, I want to reach the level reached by the Renaissance people and medieval scholars-magicians. What are the books I should read? Can you recommend books? By the way, those who are knowledgeable about Christian occultism, how can a real blessing ritual be revived from ancient traditions? Thank you in advance, friends.

  5. On tuning and different tuning systems: first of all, I’d like to know what method JMG uses to go about tuning a zither using a monochord. My first exposure to tuning was when I worked in a piano shop 50 years ago. Tuners at that time counted the beats in fourths and fifths to tune the first or temperament octave and then tuned the rest of the piano to that octave. Nowadays I’d guess they use electronic tuners, except for the old timers who can do it better by ear.
    Playing in a community orchestra, in the violin section, I heard the conductor urging the string players to tune all four open strings to a tuner like a Korg. This gives you equal temperament fifths which are a little “off” compared to the pure fifths I’d tune if doing it by ear. But in an orchestra, it makes a big difference because every now and then, even the best players must use an open string.
    The two books I have discussing temperaments are “How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony” by Ross Duffin, and the more detailed and technical, “The Structure of Recognizable Diatonic Tunings” by Easley Blackwood. The latter book gives beat counting methods for several different alternate tuning systems for those who want to venture away from ET (equal temperament). I should also mention Frank Hubbard’s excellent book titled “Three Centuries of Harpsichord Making.”

    Were I to experiment with alternate tuning systems, my “weapon of choice” would be a simple 1X8 harpsichord. Unlike with a piano, there is only one string per note on a 1X8 instrument. And the strings are lighter and under less tension, making for easier work.

  6. I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season!

    I read last week’s blog entry late so didn’t get a chance to join in the discussion, though I found pretty much all of my thoughts and questions were addressed in the comments. I might just say that I have never read Jorge Luis Borges, which will be remedied as soon as I locate a copy of Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. Along with others, I was also reminded of Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, which I have read and may now reread to refresh my memory. I have this week off work, so I can see what I will be doing with my extra time!

    And now, on to other thngs.

    Ran Prieur provided a link to an essay on the occult origins of tech culture.
    Of Memes and Magick: Bending a mysterious world to your will was the goal of esoteric practices. Now it’s the unashamed aim of the tech titans.

    Woke comes for the poinsettia.
    Poinsettia, The Popular Holiday Plant Named After A Slaveholder, May Be Undergoing A Name Change.

    If JMG has addressed the topic of ecosexualism and sexecology, I sure missed it.
    Here Come the Ecosexuals!

    California continues to empty out.
    People leaving California moving here in record numbers, data shows.

    Joy Marie

  7. On Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Three Californias” trilogy, my favorite was the final volume, “Pacific Edge.” Three things about it stand out: the Mars party, the trip up into the mountains at Bishop, Ca, and the local city council level politics regarding land use. Kevin, the protagonist, tries to “get it all” and comes up empty handed at the end — I liked that too. Oh, and the city attorney Oscar, was another high point. I think he’s modeled upon Oscar Zeta Ocosta, lawyer, novelist, and pal of Hunter Thompson, who appears in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
    The first volume, “The Wild Shore” was my second favorite in the series. I think that was the one where the character old Tom tells the tale of meeting his double; that was a cool story.

    The last one, the more or less realistic contemporary California was my least-favorite. But I should mention, that I think every one of KSR’s novels that I’ve read contains an allusion to Dhalgren. Dhalgren is one of KSR’s 10 favorite SF novels:

  8. Hi JMG and fellow Readers,
    I went to visit family in Victoria British Columbia and found the place changed out of all recognition. When I lived there, 15 years ago, it was a prosperous University town and was a fun, upbeat place to live. It seemed poor and sad the week before Christmas. There was a person who had made a nest of cardboard walls in a sheltered nook on the pavement. This person had some shirts hanging to dry on their tiny wall.

    I saw a few people living rough on the street and they looked very skinny and dirty. One old man, who was probably considerably younger than I am but life on the streets ages a person, walked to the middle of the street and took out his cold little penis and peed into one of the planter boxes that divide the street. Such are the amenities provided to Canadian citizens who are down on their luck. I heard a man screaming in despair from the balcony of the apartment towers that are called Crack Towers. The place really made me feel sad.

    A close friend recently went to Calgary to take care of her injured Mother. She told me Victoria was a sort of paradise compared to Calgary. She said she was daily reduced to tears by the condition of the street people in Calgary.

    I can see now why so many people are dying with the help of Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying program. The various levels of Government in Canada will not help the very poor, disabled or mentally ill people to live with a modicum of comfort but they will euthanize them. They also hand out very dangerous drugs to addicts as a, “Safer Supply,” measure and that is killing heaps of Canadians.

    I do not recognize this country anymore.

  9. What are good ways to cleanse one’s mind from unwanted conditioning?

    I thought of this as I needed some extended time the other day in a place playing Xmas Muzak. I noticed more than ever the awfulness of its messaging. “We all feel exactly the same. We all have the same entirely functional, loving families and delighted friendship and travel experiences. It’s all exactly alike for everyone, with Rudolph being the only one ever left out. We all love this time of buying and all its standardized songs, no matter how cheaply covered and how often the worst nonsense is repeated even within a single hour. All that makes this the season of ultimate bliss through nostalgia and buying.”

    “Christmas Karaoke” was by far the worst sludge from the bottom of the barrel. I truly wondered how any playlist director couldn’t even notice that we’d been commanded to the intersection of holly and jolly, as though too inattentive to hear what we’d just been told in the last line, less than 20 and 40 minutes ago.

    Through the speakers oozed the utter indifference or hostility of the musicians, towards the contents of the cheap cover tunes of the Standard Seasonal Hymnbook. Singer after singer quite obviously felt nothing at all about either saviour babes in mangers or equestrian travels through the snow. Warbling about either is a cash grab, so here they are.

    What are some practical or magical ways to reclaim the right and joy to think for ourselves? Especially as we enter a new year which will be full of pressure on us to think, vote, and live only as certain would-be leaders want to dictate?

    Thank you again, JMG, for sharing your views and hosting these discussions. May you and all the commentariat have all good blessings of a healthy, happy, peaceful, successful 2024.

  10. Monsanto Corp. has lost again in court in Washington State Court in Seattle. This time it was over PCBs, not glysophate.

    To persons of the conservative, pro-business persuasion, first let me assure you that I dislike the PMC lefty wokesters as much as you do, possibly even more because I can remember when movements like environmentalism were a force for good in this world. But second, allow me gently to point out that a company like Monsanto/Beyer is not your town’s hardware store. Or the family owned pharmacy of our earlier years which supported local charities and maintained a summer league softball team.

    Monsatan operates, as disclosure in various trials has made clear, under its doctrine of Freedom To Operate. In other words, the company should get to do whatever it wants in its pursuit of profits and power. If scientific studies find that its products cause harm, those studies must be buried and their authors vilified and deprived of employment. Agencies tasked with regulating Monsanto’s business must be infiltrated and controlled from within. Politicians can be bribed and or intimidated, and the public deprived of necessary information or outright lied to. All of this and more is okay dokay in the interests of Freedom To Operate. Company execs and owners Do Not Care about harm to the public or the natural world. Possibly these men and women think they are not really part of the natural world. They surely do believe they are separate, distinct and privileged above the rest of us. In that respect, they are no different from, and no better than, the PMC officials who hate and despise working class Americans. I begin to wonder if our soi dissant ‘elites’, in business and government, do not believes themselves to be a more highly evolved species of human, distinct from ground grubers like you and me.

  11. Greetings JMG!

    I was thinking about enchantment and Santa over the weekend and made myself laugh. Maybe you or the commentariat will enjoy this, too.

    Following the common assumption that Christmas is the most magical time of the year, I considered what makes it enchanting? The common story to the non-religious revolves around Santa, who will visit with a present for a child who believes (more presents for rich kids, too!). The present from Santa was not paid for by anyone – a coupon, a “buy one, get one” offer!

    So, what are parents upset about if their child discovers the lie about Santa when the parents are not ready to share? That their kid would find out that there really was no sale?

    Another item to share since it made me chuckle. I came across this song by a Scottish band called North Sea Gas; here are the lyrics for their song Rosslyn:

    A blessed solstice season to you and all who celebrate!


  12. JMG
    I am not sure if there can be a more obvious signal that the empire is on the way out than the partial blockade of the Red Sea by Yemen. Here we have one of the poorest countries in the world having their way with international shipping. Blocking cargo to Israel and associates while letting through Russian and Chinese ships.
    This is the exact thing the mighty Navy of the empire was supposed to prevent. It ,of course, smells of direction and coordination from higher up in the power structure of the BRIC’S nations but that just makes it more significant. Add on the complete failure of the US to put together a ” coalition of the willing” and you have the makings of a major geopolitical disaster.

  13. I’ve been thinking about what a good reading list for those interested in occultism and magic would be. I’ve mused here before that a list of essential classics of the genre would be a neat thing to have, and I’ve spent some time contemplating some significant works myself—not necessarily as a list of absolutely essential books, but as works to consider having in one’s personal library.

    Some options: Plato’s dialogues; the Enneads by Plotinus; On the Mysteries by Iamblichus; Agrippa’s Three Books; the works of Giordano Bruno; the Picatrix; Levi’s Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic; pretty much anything by Dion Fortune; pretty much anything by Carl Jung; the Kybalion; and, of course, pretty much anything by JMG.

    This is a drop in the bucket relative to what’s out there, of course, so I’d love to see what others here think.

  14. Hi, JMG, I recall that you recently answered a commenter that you were wait for a more favorable market for buying a house. May I ask the indicators you are watching and when you might think the the time might be right. I am aware, as usual, that is an educated guess. Hope 2024 is prosperous and healthy for you and Sara. Thanks, again, for all your good work.

  15. Hi JMG,

    Thanks for hosting this forum. I’m interested in learning about bird divination and was hoping you could recommend some reading on the topic.

  16. I would love to hear from anyone who is still doing the Clean Toilet Challenge! For those not in the know, I started the Clean Toilet Challenge around the 2023 Summer Solstice. It involves cleaning your toilet every day to attract good health and money luck. I believe the daily discipline of cleaning my toilet is working out well for me.

    JMG, I recently posted an essay at my new Substack that speculates on aspects of your New Religiosity essay — in my opinion, Christianity is too far gone to be revived. The breeds of Coffee Klatch Christianity that the New Religiosity is invigorating will not be enough to save that religion from its coming plunge into obscurity. Of course the above is only my opinion; I could be wrong.

    Though the above essay is Substack only, I no longer enable the subscription button because I find it annoying on Substacks I want to read (do unto others). I hope this improves the experience of reading it!

  17. When you initially started your series of comments on the Cosmic Doctrine, I usually had an “ah, not again!”-moment on those Wednesdays and more or less ignored most of the posts. Now, after close to 1.5 years of daily meditation, I have finished my first round through the CosDoc, which at the same time was my first long term meditation project. It’ll still take some time to wrap things up, but I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for making this work known to a wider audience and of course for your helpful comments you have posted here. Working on the CosDoc has been very beneficial for me and I am looking forward for the next round of daily mediation on it after a few other projects. Who knows how many mind-bending treasures are out there waiting to be found and read?

    So again, thank you very much 🙂

  18. I just want to say that I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, Happy Winter Solstice, Yuletide and hope everyone has a Happy New Year.

    Mr. Greer,

    I was listening to your recent interview on the Hermetix podcast and you commented on how our culture had massive taboos about discussing death. That does seem to be changing a bit in North American pop culture over the last few years. Quite a few of the popular Japanese manga, anime and video games series in the West have had plots focused on reincarnation and skull iconography is getting more common in Western fantasy and science fiction.

    Also, have you seen how the Panama Canal is partly out of commission due to a drought? With the Suez Canal also partly closed due to the Houthi blockade global supply chains are about to become an unholy mess and it says something about our society that the stock market is reaching new heights even as the entire global trade system is unraveling.

  19. Hello JMG,

    Im currently going through the Occult Philosophy Workbook and the notion of the Polarian and Hyperborean civilizational cycles intrigued me. In so far as I can tell, I believe Ive seen archeological evidence of what could be called the Lemurian and Atlantean civilizations, but Ive never seen any for the Polarian or Hyperborean that I know of. Granted, such evidence could have been completely destroyed by the glacial period (if i have my timing and location right), but i was wondering if you believe youve had any archeological or clairvoyant encounters with these previous cycles? If so, do you have any more details on what you think they were like youd be willing to share?


  20. AS things get more weird and dangerous in the world where we live, I keep thinking that changing governments or leaders is not going to help. I think of Spengler’s description of the Caesars that reign during the decline of empires. We have a ruling elite that only exists to keep their privileges and make war on other people. With the two wars now getting our attention (I say that because I realize there are many wars that we as citizens don’t even hear about), it is easy to despair.

    My next thought is that we should be creating a completely new set of moral values. That’s when I pick up my copy of your book “Mystery Teachings of the Living Earth”, and I read once again the 7 laws from the natural world. Then I sit and think up a way that I can share these ideas with other people. I think of the values of simplicity, peacefulness, loving kindness toward all others, and of self control and responsibility to the natural world we live in, and I get really discouraged at how screwed up our culture is, me included.

    Where will we be in ten years. (I probably won’t be here, but I mean “we” as humans.) How much suffering is it going to take before we start looking at our behavior and it’s rules.

    Sorry, I’m just venting. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your writing and the comments of this community. I may not agree with all of it, but it feels like a breath of air in a stultifying place. Keep it up.

  21. JMG and others:

    interesting to see here in the Chicago area that although Chicago is a sanctuary city, they are now impounding buses that drop off buses…

    and up in the NW burbs — and all the burbs, they are doing this as well

    I just googled this, and all the suburbs around Chicago are passing laws like this (in response to the buses dropping off the migrants in said burbs)

    words vs deeds. I feel the butchers bill is coming due.

    This happening elsewhere?


  22. Dear JMG,

    Do you ever have any serious doubts about your self-chosen Druidic religion?
    And, if so, what might lead you to having such doubts?

    Forgive me in advance if that is an inappropriate question to ask you publicly.

  23. Inner Traditions/Bear and Co are offering a set of Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, a translation by Eric Perdue, and also something called The Light of Hermes Trismegistus by Charles Stein. It is a $200 investment and I was wondering if you would venture an opinion.

    Also, I did not know Julius Evola wrote a book called Introduction to Magic. Are you familiar? I know he is popular with the alt-right, some of whom I have become acquainted with on Substack, though none seem aware he wrote about magic.

  24. Hi JMG.
    I have two questions for you, which loosely relate to recent posts concerning re-enchantment. I would like to set the scene for them in such a way that gives my perspective on the decay of western civilisation as it appears to me to be unfolding from within the microcosm of my work.
    Well I live in the UK, I’m a musician, and I’ve been earning my crust for over 20 years as a carer for adults with Learning Difficulties. It’s a fascinating field, and one in which current ideologies play out in a way which is rarely examined. Also the slow ebbing away of surplus wealth in the economy makes itself felt in a multitude of ways…there’s really not the space to go into that here but:
    Question 1: I’ve believed for a long time, having cared very closely for sond very unique and dpecial individuals, that those born with a learning disability have a strong connection to the elemental realm…that they may even be elves, pixies, dwarves etc Al somehow ‘mistakenly’ incarnated into this physical dimension. Is this born out by the findings of any occult writers (apart from Dion Fortune)?
    Question 2. As a musician, I have long had the intimation that the flute, or similar wind instrument, seems to act as a tool shall we say to somehow connect with the elemental world – the world of faerie… much more so than the guitar….(although the harp perhaps acts in a similar way). Is this merely whimsy on my part?
    Any thoughts much appreciated!
    Happy new year to you and everyone!

  25. Two Questions fo’ya’ll. Did you know Thomas Paine believed the universe was infinite, and that since in our little corner we have Life, there is no reason to suppose there is no other Life in the universe, that the whole universe has Life everywhere, and that, the Planets taught us geometry, trigonometry, and algebra? Please raise your hands. It’s in “The Age of Reason Part One”.

    Has anyone read Alexander Dugins philosophy of Multi-polarity? Or perhaps listened to his interview with Partisan Girl on Bitchute?

  26. “Thus I’ve decided to ban further discussion of this latest wet dream of the lumpen-internetariat here.”

    Hahahahahha — good one!

  27. You have mentioned History of Ideas as a course of study in your fiction and nonfiction writing. Do you have a reading list from any of your courses? If not, do you have some titles you would recommend to interested readers?

  28. Since a lot of readers here are interested in homesteading, and I’ve often heard age listed as a limiting factor, I offer today’s post on my Substack. [This is a subscription-based newsletter/blog, and we appreciate your signup, which you can do for free, though we do paywall some content. The below post is likewise free to read, and you can do so without inputting your email address by choosing “Continue reading” at the prompt.] The example might appeal to JMG readers, as Grand Army is a farm run by a 55-year-old woman who started it at age 40 and has no plans to slow down now. She was blessed with parents who were both doctors and the smarts, motivation, and opportunity to herself become an anesthesiologist, and that’s helped fund her endeavor, true. But she’s also putting in a great deal of physical labor and of course time to make this dream into a reality for herself, and her customers (I am one) are the great beneficiaries. I believe small farms like hers are part of the future of food. Here’s the link:

  29. 👗 Hi John,

    Being oriented towards the “fashion” industry, the above-linked expensive “bag” dress caught my attention.

    This shapeless, ugly sack dress, with a jazzed up missing shoulder, is an egregious specimen showing elites completely out of touch with us lowly peons. (The garment gives one the cold-shoulder.) Homemade, I could make this dress for $25. Even the sale price is ridiculous. If I lived in Beverly Hills, I would feel comfortable parading around the sidewalks wearing the above dress as did Lucille Ball on an episode of “I Love Lucy” — with a horse feed bag as a hat and a sack for a dress (preferable burlap).

    For that price, the perfect dress for a perfect idiot.

    Actually, except for the no-shoulder, the style would be a good, honest work dress, the sort that is on my list to make for others at a reasonable price. Think Renaissance Faire servants’ or farmers’ wives’ (both of whom get my undying respect) work outfits.

    I resisted not very hard not posting this.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨🤣
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  30. Dear JMG,
    I first heard of you and your work from listening to your Hermitix interviews. I can honestly say that your books & articles have greatly impacted how I view and interact in the modern world. Recently, I read through the Five Rites book and I keep struggling with the Solar Plexus concentration/meditation you mention, specifically staying focused on the light imagery you mention. Admittedly I’m very new to studying and working with occult systems, but if theres any advice you have I’d greatly appreciate it. I’m also wondering what changes you’ve experienced when practicing the Five Rites. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

  31. Hi, I’m the commenter who posted re: 40k and Mythological influences

    First, thanks for your patience, and secondly to both answer your question and pose one of my own:

    I have no idea how intentionally the occult principles and lore were inserted into WH40K, but if I’d have to guess I’d lean towards “No.” Mainly because there’s plenty of demonstrably silly elements placed there for practically no reason at all- I’m thinking of the Primarch (that’s the “Father” of each “Lineage” of space marines, 20 in all) Angron, who fell to Khorne, the Chaos God of Rage, whose name is literally shorthand for “Angry Ron”, the bouncer at the bar near the original Games Workshop offices the writers frequented after work! As well as the Primarch “Corvus Corax”, of the Raven Guard, whose last transmission before his ship was lost to the warp was “Nevermore…”

    But the absolute top prize for “Evidence that the writers were simply open to whatever” unquestionably goes to Inquisitor Obiwan Sherlock Clousseau:

    The article definitely captures the feel of early Games Workshop: “A group of mates messing around”, without the slightest idea that what they were creating would have such a runaway life of its own.

    So, my take is that since they were open to whatever influence happened to grab hold of them, these stories and ideas popped in because they happened to be floating about 1970s London and imaginative gameplay was fertile ground. Especially given the occult history of London up to that point.

    The head-scratcher for me has always been how much of this is random? Especially given how significant this and similar phenomena have become, I find it hard to shrug off. Would it be the influence of the second religiosity first appearing in the fringest of fringes, then working its way up into the phenomena we know now? Dion Fortune and Rudolf Steiner were both Christians, after all.

    Or perhaps this is early stirrings of Aquarian Age worldviews, since Saturn certainly qualifies as “GrimDark”, and the of clawing your own agency out of the iron grip of an uncaring universe and laughing gods certainly seems to fit, as well.

    Or could it even be the influence of disembodied beings? There’s certainly plenty of those shopping for spare human brainpower these days, and I seem to recall an old rumor that their first shop, at 1 Dalling Road, Hammersmith in London, was at one point an Occult Lodge or bookstore, though I will try to find some evidence for that.

    Update: I have found no evidence for anything about that address, but I did find this!

    Apparently a great deal of the ideas behind the Chaos Gods comes from Michael Moorcock, and his symbol of the eight-pointed star is directly copied as a symbol of Chaos, in general, in the lore.

    So, that at least had to be at least somewhat deliberate!

    I’m not sure I have much more of a question beyond “How much more significant do you think this could turn out to be?” Which I’m well aware quite possibly does not have an answer.

  32. Greetings to JMG and commentariat,
    My first post after many months of reading and enjoying this blog and now going back into the backlogged blogs. First met the writing of JMG in Green Wizardry, a book I picked up a few years ago, expecting little or nothing good to come from a title that promised so much; and then was deeply enchanted my the author’s clear thinking and totally pragmatic reinterpretation of what it might mean to be a wizard. (Mentat training 101?)
    That led to library searches and book purchases and I have loved it all, fiction and non-fiction. Along the way realizing that a popular phrase in my house, “Collapse now, and avoid the rush”, is a JMG original.
    Don’t want this to be too long, but one thing that keeps me coming back is how the title or start of one of your posts gets thoughts going off in my mind, and then as I read I realize you are going down a whole other path. Neither right nor wrong, just different and forever valuable to have the divergent thinking available. For example, several months ago there was a question to you about the reason for so many people in our current western society are now being diagnosed with autism and /or other mental health issues and so many young people struggling with life. Your answer (correct me if this wrong) was based on limited number of souls, increasing population and so less time in the stages between death and rebirth. Which to me was fascinating and not something I would have ever thought of. But before I read your answer, I had mine: ‘chemicals in soil, air, water and food’. Neither needs to be right on its own, but I do appreciate the alternative and the stretch I then have to do mentally / spiritually to consider the other perspective.
    Best wishes for all in the northern hemisphere as our days began to be filled with more light;
    Best wishes to all in the southern hemisphere as your nights begin to be filled with more shadow,

  33. I posted a link to this over at Aurelian’s place this morning.
    I would very much recommend folks take a bit of time and listen to this podcast.
    I tend to think that the subject discussed (Joan Didion’s essay on the White Album) will have a lot of things to think about concerning to the scope of this little corner of the internet.
    I hope that everyone has a good run up to the Vernal Equinox. The world does keep turning.

  34. After last week’s topic of major sociological movements arising from (formerly) fringe groups as a civilization starts coming apart at the seams, I have been thinking about the behavior of complex systems as new or changed inputs destabilize the existing pattern. There is a period that can be called “the edge of chaos”, wherein the former pattern is going to more and more extreme places but has not yet become fully chaotic. And from that period new “emergent” patterns can arise, without the whole system collapsing into utter chaos first.

    It is my hope that industrial civilization manages to pull off a shift to a new pattern without the need for a period of complete chaos. But then I see some of the notions out there on the fringes (The Kingdom of Germany for example: and I wonder if most of those potential new social patterns might be even less functional than the pattern we are in? Just because a social structure appears to be adaptive in the shorter term of months or years, there is no guarantee it will be functional in the longer term of decades, centuries and millennia. There is also the issue of continued ‘forcing’ of recently established patterns, by say accelerating climate change or interaction with other newly established patterns. Only the most resilient will survive, if any.

    This brings me to a question: What attributes did Christianity have that it became the “new” dominant pattern during the 1000 years following the fall of Rome? Why didn’t Mithraism or some other sect become the new dominant pattern in Eurasia? Obviously this is not a question with a simple answer but I wonder if anyone has reading suggestions for existing analysis of why it happened to be Christianity that survived and continued to thrive up to the beginning of the 20th century?

  35. @Phutatorius, and anyone and everyone else who cares about these topics…:

    Thanks for kicking off such a rich discussion of music and literature.

    First music:

    For everyone following the alternate tuning discussion, here are some resources that may be of possible interest from the author and composer Kyle Gann:

    An introduction to historical tunings:

    I like these definitions he gives:

    “Just Intonation: the practice of choosing pitches, according to whole-number ratios between frequencies,
    almost necessarily resulting in scales with unequal scale steps.

    Equal Temperament: the practice of dividing the octave into an equal number of parts, or of making up a scale
    from equal-sized steps.”

    Gann wrote the book, “The Arithmetic of Listening: Tuning Theory and History for the Impractical Musician” among many others.

    Here is a blurb and another link:

    “Tuning is the secret lens through which the history of music falls into focus,” says Kyle Gann. Yet in Western circles, no other musical issue is so ignored, so taken for granted, so shoved into the corners of musical discourse.
    A classroom essential and an invaluable reference, The Arithmetic of Listening offers beginners the grounding in music theory necessary to find their own way into microtonality and the places it may take them. Moving from ancient Greece to the present, Kyle Gann delves into the infinite tunings available to any musician who feels straitjacketed by obedience to standardized Western European tuning. He introduces the concept of the harmonic series and demonstrates its relationship to equal-tempered and well-tempered tuning. He also explores recent experimental tuning models that exploit smaller intervals between pitches to create new sounds and harmonies.

    Systematic and accessible, The Arithmetic of Listening provides a much-needed primer for the wide range of tuning systems that have informed Western music.

    Audio examples demonstrating the musical ideas in The Arithmetic of Listening can be found at:

    Secondly, Kim Stanley Robinson.

    I love all three books in the Three Californias trilogy, but I suppose if I had to rank them, I do like the middle one, The Gold Coast, the best, in terms of character development. I suppose, at the time, it was because I related to the main character. He was a failed poet and writer basically, who’d given up on his dream to hang out with the “culture vultures” in the story at the endless parties. It was poignant, because of the three it seemed to be the closest to the trajectory our own culture has headed. The self driving cars are now on the streets of California, if not as widespread as in the book (where they are everywhere). Environmental degradation is still ongoing, and the big military / arms companies (i.e. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, etc.) still have a big presence in California as discussed in the book.

    I do love the old man in the Wild Shore, where the young main character is able to go to him and be mentored to a degree. It’s sad because the same old man / grandfather in the second book is just locked up in an old folks home.

    What I did love about Pacific Edge was the law aspect about it, specifically as it related to water and the whole water issue in California.

    All-in-all the structure of a trilogy focusing on a place and set of characters in three divergent kinds of potential futures was a really good way to look at different possibilities. It seems there are often references to Le Guin as well as Delany in his books. Since PKD came up last, week, I know he wrote his thesis that may have gotten published as criticism, on the novels of Dick.

    Two other of my favorite KSR novels are his Shaman and 2312. What I loved about 2312 is the main character, who created landscape art pieces, called “Goldsworthies” based on the work of Andrew Goldsworthy. Plus she got to see a staging of the Philip Glass opera Akhenaten on one of the space stations…that was a good bonus. Now, while I personally don’t think the futures in 2312 are feasible in terms of space travel, I still do love the book which is set in the same future as his Mars trilogy.

    Speaking of Mars… recently I finished the lesson in The Occult Philosophy Workbook that talks about how Venus was previously inhabited by a race, of Venusians we might as well call them, when the sun was smaller and cooler. In the future, according to JMGs text, when the sun is hotter and life on Earth no longer supported, there will be a race of Martians going through their own evolution on Mars. For those not familiar with this one, JMG points out in the beginning it is not necessary to “believe” the statements in this book, only to apply them as if they might be real and see how that effects your world. To me this does seem quite plausible though and gave me new insight into “Space fantasy” and the possibility of writing fiction set in a distant Martian future or distant Venusian past.

    Happy New Year to Everyone! If you’ll accept it, I wish you all a wonderful 2024!

  36. @Maxine Rogers,
    re Victoria today. Yes, Victoria is a mess today compared to the 2000s. Agreed. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the small tent encampments in most parks, or the disaster zone that is the two blocks along Pandora. That area has been rough for a long time but it’s gotten much worse. Unfortunately the music conservatory is right there, so I’m within a block of the worst area most weeks, sometimes several times or after dark if I have a concert or something.

    There’s a lot more open drug use in the past few months since simple possession was defacto decriminalized. Since the pandemic graffiti has gotten worse in areas where it wasn’t before, and shoplifting, breakins and thefts seem to be worse. We’re seeing more empty storefronts lately, and the thrift stores have removed their change rooms so can’t try stuff on.

    It’s also very difficult to find a place to rent, especially affordable to lower-income types, and its having a big impact on people who aren’t on the streets too. I hate what I’m seeing around me.

  37. @Maxine Roberts,
    re MAID in Canada. Oh dear, that was a pun I didn’t intend to make. Unless something changes, Medical Assistance in Dying is going to be legal for mental health issues alone in Canada starting in March 2024. Said mental health issues include substance abuse issues, so that means homeless addicted people are going to be potentially eligable for MAID, absent something being passed to stop this between now and then.

    There’s an organization I ran into called the Euthanasia prevention coalition
    that does news and advocacy related to opposing MAID and euthanasia in Canada and elsewhere. If you’re interested in these issues, you may want to sign up to their feed to stay informed. I warn you, some of what’s happening is already pretty ugly.

  38. @MrPotatochips4 #28

    I did not know that about Thomas Paine, but he probably got the idea from Classical Era writers. De Rerum Natura (1st century BC) by Lucretius describes the theory in detail. The idea of life on other planets is very old.

  39. Hi JMG and commentarriat,

    With the moving of at least parts of the US naval fleet into range of Houthis and others, let alone hypersonic missiles ( which currently have no countermeasures) are we seeing the plotline of at least one of your books playing out?

    Mr Kemble

  40. Tony C
    Those numbers seem a bit off to me. I am sure there will be more noticeable resource declines by those dates,
    but things don’t just go gailey on as is until one day it is all gone. There will be changes in use patterns, whether by price, law, people becoming poorer, etc, etc. I am sure, for instance, that here in Mexico the police, army, ambulances and fire trucks will still be going after 2030, lots of other things: maybe not.

  41. Phutatorius
    I haven’t read that trilogy, but KSR’s descriptions of the Sierra Nevada are beautiful.. He has spent a lot of time there, and written a beautiful book called, I believe, The Sierra Nevada: A Love Story.

  42. I meant to wish everyone a blessed solstice and New Year. It occured to me the other day, thinking on JMGs posts themes. Could one view civilization as a milder form of Empire? So that one built on warfare against Nature and the conquest of Nature, will inevitably fall into the trap of Empires, where maintenance costs exceed wealth extraction at the precise time you can least afford it?

  43. @ JMG – II’ve edited this down a bit, but this incident occurred around the time you posted about interactions with the metaphysical, I’m mid-August.

    I was asleep in bed, lying on my stomach when in my dream, I began to hear singing, completely unrelated to the events in the dream. Then, I felt the sensation of someone putting their hands on my back. At first, I figured it was part of the dream. But I began to wake up and continued to experience the strange sensation, and the faint whisper of something singing in my head. Additionally, as I was waking up, I felt paralyzed and couldn’t move. Once I was awake, I chalked it all up to the blower of the split unit that cools out bedroom. It’s fairly noisy and can blow air down onto the bed. I promptly went back to sleep.

    In my dream someone who I haven’t seen for 20 years was telling me that our art project, which was some kind of painting of a demon face on a shirt, (their words in the dream) had won some high school art contest. I told him that I didn’t know what he was talking about and that we were in the middle of gym class (which we were) He said “here I’ll show you” and started drawing on a piece of paper, though I couldn’t see exactly what he was drawing Then the singing and sensation came back, and this time it felt like someone was sitting on the bed next to me. I had to actively fight to wake up, and when I did one of our dogs that was laying next to our bed, woke up as well and looked around the room. I don’t think I made any audible noises that would’ve woken the dog during my mental struggle to wake up. I say that with some confidence because my wife is a very light sleeper, and I have woken her up when having a particularly vivid dream.

    It was all very disturbing, because it left me with a deep sense of dread. My knee jerk reaction was to tell whatever was in my head that it didn’t get to mess with my dreams. At that point our cat came in the room and jumped up on the bed. I petted her and then she sat at the corner of the bed and just stared at me like she was hunting something. Our cat is an avid hunter of mice and bugs so it was very strange for her to just be sitting there on the end of the bed, watching me, twitching her tail, as if she was stalking something.

    That’s a straightforward accounting of what happened. I should add an editorial note which is that even though I do have nightmares, maybe once a month, almost every time I do, I’m either aware that I am dreaming or able to actually control what happens in the dream. So to have some unseen force intrude into my dream, was unsettling to say the least. That, and the sensation of someone sitting on the bed next to me was, as they say, real as a heart attack.

    In light of your post about people experiencing evil spirits, this incident sounded almost exactly like what you described. The skeptic in me wants to say that it’s just the power of suggestion but the experience was so real the vividness of feeling like someone was sitting on the bed next to me, went beyond what I normally experience even in my most lucid dreams. Tell him whatever was in my head that it wasn’t going to get to mess with my dreams, and it wasn’t going to ruin my night was the only thing I could think to do. What should I have done in this situation?

  44. Re. alternate tunings… this is something I have been exploring since I learned about string vibrations and overtones in physics class in 1974. It is a vast topic!
    The problem with Just Intonation, where all the intervals is pure, is that you quickly run into awkward choices. The syntonic comma is the first challenge. Tuning a guitar in standard tuning, EADGBE, runs head-on into the syntonic comma. One would like to stack 4 perfect fourths and 1 major third, and end up with 2 octaves. But there is a gap of size 81:80, the syntonic comma.
    Instead of the usual 12 equal steps per octave, which has excellent fourths and rotten thirds, one can use 31 equal steps per octave, which has excellent thirds and not so good fourths, or e.g. 50 equal steps per octave which balances thirds and fourths quite nicely.
    Regular Temperament Theory provides a more flexible framework for managing commas. See e.g.

  45. @ any musicians in the commentariat:
    I’ve been looking for a way to use an electric tuner or synth or computer program to either gauge or synthesize notes in Byzantine modes. It’s frustrating because I’m not actually that familiar with Western music theory. So, for example, I’m struggling with the soft chromatic scale and think some device could assist, the way my kid uses a Korg to tune his violin– so easy! There are a couple of apps, but I don’t have a smartphone and they don’t seem to work on the PC. In Byz theory, an octave is made up of 72 units called comas. Each scale has its own set intervals between notes, eg. soft chromatic intervals go: 8-14-8-12-8-14-8. (measured in comas) There’s a good chart for it here:

    So my question isn’t about Byzantine scales. It’s about devices or other possible technological assists. That page includes directions on how to make a synth do those intervals. So: Will *any* synth be able to do that, or is there a special feature I’d need to look for in a synth, to be able to use it as an isokratema for learning purposes? Is there any way to use a standard korg-type tuner to work out those intervals for voice or other instrument? I feel like there should be a way, but thinking about it makes me feel dumb…. I could probably do it with a simpler device like an oscilloscope and some pencil-and-paper arithmetic but as soon as we get into devices already tuned to a western scale, I’m stumped. How hard is it to get a cheap oscilloscope?

  46. Ken @ 37, at the time of Christ’s life on earth, his teachings about marriage and family life were profoundly radical. Concubinage was openly practiced, the sexual exploitation of enslaved persons was simply taken for granted, the Roman elites divorced and remarried frequently for political advantage. Christian marriage was, in the late Roman empire, revolutionary. A man who was willing to work could have a wife and household of his own and a married woman got to have her own household where she was in charge, with no subordination to First Wife, mother in law or the harem eunuchs. Christian marriage was to be for life, neither spouse could be put aside, and sexual relationships outside marriage were forbidden. You can imagine how attractive that might have been to persons of the working and middling sort.

    Furthermore, when Benedict gathered his first disciples around him, well born young Romans, he imposed, as part of his Rule, ora et labora. All will work, not you get to preach while the family slaves you brought with you do the boring stuff.

    So, these are two ways in which Christian life was distinctly differently from most of classical society. As for Mithraism, was not that mostly a military religion? IDK, but from what reading I have done about Persians and Sassanians, I have gathered the impression that Zoroastrianism at that time was mostly a religion for elites, with conquered peoples keeping their own worships. Modern writers tend to think this shows the laudatory tolerant and multicultural nature of the two empires.

    As the late empire declined and could no longer support its’ elites, a faith which taught that everyone must do his or her share to uphold God’s Community, and those who work with their hands–was not Christ Himself a humble carpenter?–are respected had certain advantages.

  47. @Matt re: what makes this time of year enchanting?

    Please let me re-share my all-time favorite article on the subject:
    Here, the Old European Culture guy explains how our ancestors calculated the length of the year, and figured out when to start the new year, using posts, stones, and a circle. The end of the year, between the solstice and the new year, is special, because it is the hang time between the end of the lunar year, and the beginning of the solar year. Time outside time. Un-time. Astronomically magical 🙂

    Wishing everybody a magical un-time (and really, when *else* would an ineffable God descend into matter and sequential time?), whether you’re past Christmas and looking ahead to Theophany, or past the solstice and looking ahead to the return of the sun! The time is a great mystery. Anything could happen!

  48. Clay Dennis @ 14 …
    Consider, for your approval .. that the Houthis are perhaps our century’s version of Herbert’s Freman! …. minus the young outworlder.

  49. Time for the November data from the BPA’s renewable power generation. It was awful.
    For Wind the best day was 11/7 at 84.8% of nameplate power rating. The worst day was a tie between Nov 28 and 29 at 0.0%. That’s right, nothing at all. We had an 87.75 hour complete shutdown of the wind. The wind pooped out at 6:35 AM on Nov 27 and came back up Nov 30 at 10:30 PM. The average for the month was 17.2% of rated power.

    For solar times were also dim. Very dim. The best day was 19.7% on Nov 8, The worst day was 3.28% on 11/30. The monthly average was 10.6%.

    For the first day of that wind outage the solar was 11.5%, so it was not a full dunkelflaute. (Both wind and solar have to be under 10%). The second day it was, as the solar was 7.2%. Average power consumption those days was 8,206 MW (it’s winter, can you tell?) so over the 65.4 hours of official dunkelflaute the total energy demand is 536,782 MW-hr. The total power available from anything renewable was 630 MW-hr, leaving a deficit of 536,153 MW-hr, and supplying that would take 137,475 Tesla Max-power batteries with a mass equivalent of 58 Nimitz class aircraft carriers. And that assumes they went into the dunkelflaute fully charged which seems unlikely.

    One other note about those windmills, when they are becalmed they still consume power. The lube oil pump has to stay running, the oil needs to be heated in the winter, or in the summer the nacelle needs to be cooled. The jacking motor has to keep the rotor turning slowly to keep the blades and shaft from bowing. The electronics have to stay running, and in the winter, if so fitted out, the blade heaters might need to be used to prevent ice build up.

    From another article concerning Britain, “Government data disprove the Treasury’s contention and demonstrate that increasing deployment of renewable capacity reduces the productivity of Britain’s grid. In 2009, 87.3 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity, including only 5.1 percent of wind and solar, generated 376.8 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity. In 2020, 100.9 GW of generating capacity, with wind and solar accounting for 37.6 percent of capacity, produced 312.3 TWh of electricity. Thanks to renewables, 13.6 GW (15.6 percent) more generating capacity produced 64.5 TWh (17.1 percent) less electricity.”
    So they are having capacity factor problems too.

  50. Hi John Michael,

    There’s only four days left before the oil cartel slowly restrict supplies. Bizarrely, I haven’t noticed anywhere making adjustments for this or even preparing, but for sure, someone will be missing out. You mentioned long ago that rationing by price will be the way of things. I tend to agree with this observation and wondered whether you’ve had any further insights into the matter? Resource depletion perhaps, never sleeps.

    I noticed you mentioned in comments that you’d return to the mythos of the Tolkienenites world, but was wondering if you were tempted by the fun world of the predictions for the coming year?



  51. Before we begin, one brief note. I’ve already had one person breeze past the post and try to bring up AI. That person’s comment was deleted. When I ask people not to post on a given topic, I mean it. ‘Nuf said!

    KM, it’s not a revision, just a reprint. I may fix a typo here or there if I find one.

    Tony, it’s important to take that data in context. Those figures are the amount of each fuel that has already been discovered and is economically extractable at current prices. Once prices go up again, as they will once the 2024 election is over — Biden’s handlers are doing everything they possibly can to keep them down until then — more fuel will become available. How much more? That’s impossible to say, but it’s worth noting that the figures are so low, because that gives you some sense of how much further prices will shoot up and how much damage will be done to the economy once the current period of manipulation is over.

    Tidlösa, thank you. I was trying to think of a good label for the people online who are always quick to babble about the latest fashionable technogimmick — the kind of people who used to insist that 3-D printers or virtual reality or Google Glasses were the wave of the future. They’re all over AI these days.

    Degringolade, I know a lot of people seem to have trouble with that. I never have — I always have too many ideas to write about, and have to pick and choose! So I’m sorry to say I can’t help you.

    Yiğit, start with the complete works of Plato and Aristotle; those were standard. Once you’ve got those down, I’ll see what else I can come up with. 😉

    Phutatorius, my approach is the classic one. I’m using a standard one-string monochord, btw, the kind that Pythagoras used and that everyone in the Renaissance used to learn music theory:

    (Yes, that’s my instrument; you can find it photographed on the maker’s website here, all the way down at the bottom.) I calculate the points at which the string should be fretted using geometry on a strip of paper, and then tune each of the lower 7 strings of the zither by ear to the notes hit when the monochord is fretted to the appropriate line on the paper. The higher strings on the zither I then tune by ear to exact octaves of the lower strings, using the first harmonic point. I hope you do the harpsichord, btw — that would be a delight to hear.

    Joy Marie, thanks for all of these. I’m glad to see Ran’s caught on.

    Claire58, nope. At this point we’ve reached one of those hinge points at which too much depends on too many wild variables for short-term prediction to be viable at all.

    Maxine, good gods. My wife and I honeymooned there for a week in 1984, and it was a lovely place. I’m glad I won’t be going back.

    Christopher, there are doubtless many different ways. The one that works best for me is occult practice; a daily banishing ritual to cleanse my aura of the crap, and daily discursive meditation to keep me thinking my own thoughts instead of someone else’s. Strictly minimizing contact with mass conditioning media also helps.

    Mary, did you know that Adam Smith, the guy who invented the theory of capitalism, considered what we now call a corporation — in his day it was called a joint-stock company — to be the worst possible way to run a business? The insane arrogance with which Bayer/Monsanto operates is in no way compatible with conservatism, even though the big corporations have bribed and bought plenty of pseudoconservative pundits to get them to say otherwise. Small businesses, locally owned and answerable to their workers, customers, and communities, are the basis of a genuine conservative economics.

    Matt, thank you! The joke’s funny and that song’s an absolute delight.

    Clay, there’s a fascinating article on that on The National Interest:
    The author’s arguing that the cost of war has dropped so far that anybody can blockade a strait — and that leaves global hegemons, present and would-be, twisting in the wind because they no longer have a monopoly on certain kinds of military power. Your broader point is of course quite accurate: the fact that the US can’t force the Red Sea open and can’t even get its putative allies to line up behind it means that the American century is not merely over, it’s out.

    Alex, that’s a question I’ve been brooding over for a while now. The problem is that occultism is so broad a field that I’m not sure any reading list smaller than a library would be adequate! The books that would benefit a Golden Dawn-style ceremonial magician would not necessarily benefit a hoodoo rootworker or a spagyric alchemist, and vice versa. Equally, which of my books I’d recommend would depend on what the reader wants to learn — some of them are very suitable for some things and utterly useless for others. That said, it might be possible to come up with a collection of out of copyright books that could be generally useful; it’s a project I’ll want to pursue down the road a bit.

    Mac, I’m waiting for panic selling to hit the housing markets, as it did in 2008-2009. When you see HOUSE FOR SALE signs on every street and the prices are dropping, you’ll know it’s time.

    Douglas, I wish I did — I have yet to see anything practical on the subject. Anyone else?

    Kimberly, fair enough! I’ll put it on my to read list.

    Nachtgurke, you’re most welcome and thank you.

    Karl, I’ve been delighted to watch more people catching on to reincarnation. The fear of death is a source of far too much misery and mental illness among us — and it doesn’t help when our dominant religions gloat over everyone who doesn’t agree with them getting the divine boot in the face forever. As for the mismatch between the global economy and the US stock market, at this point the stock market no longer reflects anything but government manipulation. It’s going to go up until after the election, since the establishment is frantically trying to pretend that everything’s fine.

    Muninn, that I know of, there’s no archeological evidence, and the clairvoyant evidence is sparse; it’s hard to filter it out from the traces left by later cycles of civilization. If I’m correct — and I’m going on scraps of psychically obtained data here, which is a very weak reed to lean on! — the Polarian cycle centered on Antarctica when that was ice free, and the Hyperborean centered on the Arctic Ocean, largely but not wholly on Greenland. In both these cycles most of humanity remained hunter-gatherers, and the civilizations of both cycles were much less technological than ours — their primary accomplishments were spiritual and magical, though they did have urban centers and long-distance sailing vessels. As a rule, each cycle of civilization has a broader footprint on the material plane than the ones before it; it’s impossible for us even to imagine the materal forms of the cycles still to come.

    Kathy, thank you for this. I know it’s challenging! Difficult as it is to accept, there’s no way to make anyone else get a clue, no matter how desperately they seem to be in need of one. That being the case, all you can do is make sure your own behavior expresses your ideals as completely as possible, and hope that teaching by example will get the point across to those who are ready to learn. As for me, I’ve been waiting all my life for the time that’s dawning around us now; yeah, it’s hard to watch sometimes, but there’s also the rush of knowing, “Okay, here we go!”

    Jerry, I hadn’t heard of that before. Thanks for the heads up!

    Alan, I have no objection to your asking that question, but I’m going to have to start my answer by talking about the presuppositions you’re bringing to it. You’re assuming that my religion is like Christianity — that is to say, that it requires me to have a certain set of opinions or beliefs about things, that these opinions are at least open to question, and that I might wonder (as of course many Christians wonder) whether those opinions really are true. The difficulty is that Druidry isn’t that kind of religion. You don’t have to accept any particular set of beliefs to be a Druid — you simply need to find a meaning relevant to yourself in the symbols and practices of the Druid tradition. I’ve celebrated the seasons with Druids who believed in one god, in many gods, and in no gods at all, and we all got along just fine. Do I find nature an ever-renewing source of wonder, meaning, and delight? Why, yes. Do I find the symbols and practices of Druidry meaningful and deeply moving? Yes, that too. That makes me a Druid.

    Now of course the usual response of more conventional believers is to insist that anyone who doesn’t share their particular set of opinions about the Divine, the afterlife, etc. will be tortured forever by their god. I don’t believe that; it’s so obviously a cheap sales pitch for church membership. Seriously, it makes zero sense to claim that the God who made countless galaxies would scowl at each dying soul and say, “You didn’t call Me the right name and have the right opinions about Me! It’s the boot in the face forever for you!” Myself, I believe that whatever reward or punishment comes to me after death will be the consequence of who I am and how I’ve lived, rather than being contingent on whether I signed up for the right brand of church or not; I trust in the mercy and justice of the Divine to grant me exactly what I deserve, and I am content with that. Does that answer your question?

    Timbre, ten to twenty minutes of meditation on it daily is a good start.

    William, I’m delighted to hear that IT has brought out the Perdue translation of Agrippa — it’s very solid. I don’t know a thing about the book by Stein. As for Evola, one of my earlier essays covers his work in magic in quite some detail —

    Tony, (1) Rudolf Steiner and, iirc, Max Heindel also taught that, so I’d be willing to consider it as at least a working hypothesis. (2) No, it’s not just whimsy. Breath has a very close connection to the etheric realm, and flutes of all kinds have a stronger connection to breath than most other woodwinds, since the sound is made purely by air passing over an edge (rather than by the vibration of reeds, lips, etc.).

    MrP, (1) Yes. Did you know he also wrote a very interesting essay praising the ancient Druids? (2) Nope on both counts.

    Gavin, there weren’t many reading lists — in my day, at least, it was more that you took a lot of courses from other departments on philosophy, history, literature, art, etc., and synthesized them. As for books on the history of ideas, hmm! One place to start would be with a couple of books by Kenneth Clarke, The Nude and The Romantic Rebellion — but those assume that you want to start with the ideas central to the modern Western tradition.

    Brunette, thanks for this.

    Northwind, too funny! I’d say that Lucille Ball’s burlap sack was considerably nicer than the object you’ve shown here.

    Dave, don’t worry about it. As a beginner, you won’t be able to maintain focus very well yet — that takes practice. Do your best, and let the process unfold at its own pace. As for effects, I found that it has a very robust effect on vitality — I always feel much more energetic and vital from doing the exercises.

  52. I once went to bed as usual, but was astonished when I woke up fully clothed on the concourse of a railway station next morning. After a very few minutes, it got weirder, because a folkloric being appeared to me and intimated in a most ingenious way (I’m not revealing it, in case Hollywood steals it for a film script!) that I was stuck in the afterlife. She prompted me to shake hands with her, then I immediately woke up in bed. This was in 2016. I discussed it on some paranormal-oriented web site, and somebody explained to me that I’d had a lucid dream. I had never had one before, but his explanation convinced me.

    I later read a book about lucid dreams in which an experienced lucid dreamer (or so he claimed) wrote that he sometimes visited the afterlife. Given this alleged connection between dreams and the afterlife, does this mean that the afterlife (if that is the correct term) is located on the astral plane? Both in dreams and in the afterlife, you are in your subtle body, so that would make sense to me. Am I on the right lines? I believe that you can remember some of your afterlife experiences, from when you were between incarnations, JMG.

  53. @Ken

    I would argue that Christianity didn’t really dominate in those 1000 years post Rome. It was widespread for a while, but almost the entire Eurasian field of Christianity converted to Islam which a few 100 years of it arising in Arabia. The only hold outs were the Byzantine Empire (which eventually became Islamic too), Western Europe and Russia. For Western Europe, it was probably merely the victory of Charles Martel over the moors that prevented Europe being Muslim too, but like with Western Christianity it is more that Islamic outer forms would have used to expressed deeper underlying European themes.

    It’s really only Western Europe’s colonies in the new world that made Western Christianity so widespread, if it wasn’t for those it would be a small peninsular outpost in a sea of Islam all the way to India and China, with further small pockets of orthodox here and there.

    As for Russia, it is both Christian and Muslim, but like Europe I think these outer forms are expressing a common theme unique to Russia.

  54. I completely missed last weeks post until now but there was one minor detail that you have written many times that I always wanted one additional detail. So from last weeks post

    “Outside our planet’s protective magnetosphere, deep space is drenched with hard radiation from the Sun, and the other planets in our solar system are far more inhospitable to human life than the most lethal environments on Earth’s”

    Yes, there are large burst of radiation from the Sun and they alone are a major problem to life. But funnily enough they pail in comparison to Cosmic Rays that come from outside our solar system. The reason is simple, things like Super nova can produce particles with far greater energy and there is very little in between them and us. They are so powerful that astronauts on the way tot he moon could close their eyes and see flashes of light as they passed through their eyes.

    You aren’t wrong with your writing. It is just that there is more to it than just the sun. It also crushes a lot of folks ideas of living outside the earth and merely blocking from the Suns rays. Like most of these plans, every problem they solve, there are three more that come up.

  55. On to Octopus Doom 😉

    The fine article spins it that the icesheet is doomed, and therefore the world will end. However, since the ice sheet in question disappeared during the previous interglacial 125,000 years ago, and we are still here, that would seem to be a logical contradiction. When it cooled down again and the Wisconsin glaciation started the icesheet came back. Yes, the previous interglacial (Sangamon here, Eemian in Europe) was warmer than this one. Sea level was about 6 meters higher too.

    As for Monsanto’s PCB problem, generally when you ignore the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations the manufacturer is not liable. Monsanto said to remove the light fixtures in question, and the school district did not. The school district should be sharing the liability at the least.

    Ray Merriman recently published “Forecast for 2024: Cycles in Human Activity Corresponding to Cycles in the Cosmos.” He specializes in financial analysis, but this current forecast emphasizes larger political and cultural issues, including United States politics and the presidential election. Lengthy discussions on the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, outer planet ingresses 2023-2025, and the “Aries Vortex 2025 – 2028. Available as printed book, pdf file, or audio files. For more information:

  57. Hi JMG,
    I have read accounts from people who have survived torture and they talk about disassociating themselves from their physical body as a way of enduring it.
    Have you ever thought about this and is this an example of the soul/the individuality temporarily exiting the body?

  58. JMG,

    Just to clarify …..You’ve often written that the universe cares not a whit about humans and human affairs, or words to that effect. From a materialistic, “physicalism” POV, impossible to disagree.

    But this is just in the context of materialism, no? Because from the metaphysical POV, the universe would appear almost overly generous, with life of all kinds, with all manner of spiritual aid being available to the human spirit, with the possibility of endless spiritual adventure and creativity, and so forth. This metaphysical perspective of the universe doesn’t seem coldly indifferent to me, in fact it seems downright welcoming.

    Of course as long as we’re inhabiting the 7th Plane, maybe it’s best to hold on to juggle both views, glass half-empty, glass half-full, without either completely dominating.


  59. Here are all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared at and, as well as in the comments of the prayer list posts. A printable version of the entire prayer list current as of 12/21 may be downloaded here. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers.

    If I missed anybody, or if you would like to add a prayer request for yourself or anyone who has given you consent (or for whom a relevant person holds power of consent) to the list, please feel free to leave a comment below.

     ***LAST CALL***At the end of this year I will pruning all prayer requests which were made before July 1st, 2023 from the list entirely, with the exception of any that my own intuition tells me ought to be kept on the list. I make no claims to the infallibility of my intuition, so if your entry is older than that, and you would definitely like it to remain on the prayer list, please send a note updating your request. * * *

    This week I would like to bring special attention to the following prayer requests.

    May Quin’s two year old daughter have sustained no permanent brain injury during her recent convulsive episode, and may she be blessed, protected, and continue to develop in the way that benefits her most, in the manner most in keeping with her nature and those of the deity you pray to.Tyler A’s pregnant wife Monika is at high risk for an ectopic pregnancy. May it turn out that the fetus has implanted in the right place, and may mother and child enjoy good health going forward.

    May Frank Rudolf Hartman of Altadena California (picture), who is receiving chemotherapy, be completely cured of the lymphoma that is afflicting him, and may he return to full health. 

    May the mass which upon which Yuccaglauca’s mother Monica is having a biopsy performed turn out to be entirely benign and safe; may she experience healing and improvement in her situation and overall health.

    May the brain surgery that Erika’s partner James underwent for his cancer on October 16th have gone successfully; and may he be blessed, healed and protected, and successfully treated for all of his cancer.

    May Kyle’s friend Amanda, who though in her early thirties is undergoing various difficult treatments for brain cancer, make a full recovery; and may her body and spirit heal with grace.

    Lp9’s hometown, East Palestine, Ohio, for the safety and welfare of their people, animals and all living beings in and around East Palestine, and to improve the natural environment there to the benefit of all.

     * * *

    Guidelines for how long prayer requests stay on the list, how to word requests, how to be added to the weekly email list, how to improve the chances of your prayer being answered, and several other common questions and issues, are now to be found at the Ecosophia Prayer List FAQ.

    If there are any among you who might wish to join me in a bit of astrological timing, I pray each week for the health of all those with health problems on the list on the astrological hour of the Sun on Sundays, bearing in mind the Sun’s rulerships of heart, brain, and vital energies. If this appeals to you, I invite you to join me.

  60. @Tony C @JMG

    JMG you indicated that “Those figures are the amount of each fuel that has already been discovered and is economically extractable at current prices.”

    I was talking to an old friend from New Brunswick over the holidays – he said there was enough natural gas off the coast of newfoundland to power canada for a hundred years. Yes, it was in a bar over beers.

    But he had a point;'s%20sales%2Dquality,to%20encourage%20natural%20gas%20development.

    “Newfoundland and Labrador’s sales-quality natural gas resource is estimated by C-NLOPB at 12.6 trillion cubic feet. The province is developing a natural gas framework to encourage natural gas development.”

    I am sure this has been posted before but since we seem to be getting close to the end of Trudeau (maybe) I would argue the thesis for not exploiting these resources may be vulnerable to scrutiny. From what brief reading I did today I understand we are not tapping natural gas because;

    1; our analysts are predicting there will be no market for it in future – Europe is going to phase out natural gas etc
    2; we do not have the facilities/capacity to liquefy it and ship it overseas. These capacities have to be scaled up on both sides of the pond.
    3; politics and science are framing natural gas as a bad move environmentally and morally – though that could change rather quickly…

    So, not actually possible to tap natural gas and bring it to market right now in quantity, though if we scale up capacity this might change. Liberals have been in for a long time and Poilievre has already been pressuring liberals to do something since March of last year.

    That said, I am not confident Canada has capacity to actually organize an operation to scale the industry up to being with. Would we need U.S or EU companies to do this?

  61. Matthew, thanks for this. In ancient Greece there were several famous oracles where you asked a question, plugged your ears with your fingers, walked out into the marketplace, and took your fingers out of your ears, and the first words you heard were the answer to your question. In other words, something like what you’ve described — a bunch of guys sitting around a table until late at night, having fun and coming up with things on the spur of the moment — is a great way for disembodied powers to speak. So something may well be guiding all this. How important will it be? Impossible to say, at this point. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    Hankshaw, the two answers aren’t necessarily in contradiction. One discusses the spiritual reason why the thing has happened; the other addresses the material mechanism. As Eliphas Lévi says, the visible is for us the measure of the invisible.

    Degringolade, thanks for this.

    Ken, it’s quite simple. Christianity was the one vital new religion of the time that appealed to the powerless — women, slaves, and the poor. The other religions all competed for the attention of the elite, and went down as the elite did, leaving the powerless and their church in possession of the field. If you want to shape the emergent patterns of the immediate future, ignore the rich, the influential, the mediagenic, the whole kit and caboodle of contemporary power and wealth; what they support will perish with them. Appeal to young men living in their mom’s basements and working class people in small towns.

    Justin, thanks for this! A nice summary of sources. As for Venus and Mars, that bit of tradition has always intrigued me, too.

    Mr Kemble, we’ll have to wait and see! So far, at least, the US military seems to be too scared of the blowback to start bombing the Houthis. Who knows, maybe they read my book! 😉

    Celadon, hmm. Interesting. Yes, I could see that.

    Ben, that’s a very common kind of experience, and yes, you may have encountered a malefic spirit. Telling it to get lost was the right thing to do — they literally can’t hassle us except with our permission — though a little protective magic wouldn’t have gone amiss. That’s what your cat was trying to do, btw. Cats are good at that.

    Siliconguy, ouch. So much for the green energy revolution…

    Chris, yes, I’ve also been intrigued by the lack of attention to that little detail. As for predictions, I’m going to pass — we’re in the middle of a nexus of complex possibilities in which tiny little events can send things spinning off into unexpected paths. Ask me again in 2026!

  62. Mr. Greer,

    Speaking about reincarnation there is something I am curious about. Do things like astrological conditions at birth have a tendency to reinforce or conflict personality traits born from memories and experiences of past lives? Because a lot of the Japanese media I enjoy tend to take the stance that souls have personality traits and desires that stay with them from one incarnation to the next and I am wondering how astrology interacts with that.

    Also Muninn’s comment about past civilizations got me thinking about a trend I have been noticing in American political culture lately. Namely, people on the right tend to embrace the idea of lost civilizations existing in the Pleistocene and scholars the subject like Graham Hancock and fantasy stores on the subject like Conan the Barbarian. People on the left tend to reject all these things.

  63. methylethyl: Audio frequency oscilloscopes should be available at a very low price, maybe just the cost of shipping. I have an EZ OS-5020 taking up space in my basement, for example. I think it goes up to 20 MHZ. The cables/probes might cost you more than the scope.

  64. I recently got a copy of the Five Rites and have done a preliminary read through.

    I have also been working on some other alchemical texts and have found some references to the humid/lunar path. Most of the writings seem to focus on the dry/solar path (except for Oswald Wirth). Increasing perception of the higher worlds seems to align to the humid path (and Kelder does mention “mystic” in Part Two of The Eye of Revelation), so I was wondering if you consider the Five Rites to be on the humid path (or is it just wishful thinking on my part?).

  65. @Pygmycory #39: I, too, remember Victoria as a good place from when I visited as a tourist in the late 80s. It just felt good to be there. You’re not a flautist from Ann Arbor, are you?

  66. Hello, John and the commentariat,
    I have been working on a de-industrial roguelike game which is inspired by John’s book Star’s Reach, as well as other books like Engine Summer. I created a blog which contains some screenshots from development and a brief overview of the lore of the game. I would love feedback and ideas for lore and game mechanics. The website isn’t completely fleshed out yet, but it will be soon. The game might be ready for playtesting in several months to a year.

    You can visit the blog here:

  67. @methylethyl
    My musical skills are very limited, but I hang out in some discussion groups… maybe I can give you some pointers.

    My own game is algorithmic composition. My software generates score files for CSound. CSound can do all kinds of wild tunings… it is a very powerful synthesis system, but maybe not too friendly. Here is one of my pieces, using 72edo:

    Scala is a file format and associated software that allows one to define tunings. There is a beautiful piano synthesis program… I think it takes in MIDI, e.g. from a keyboard, and makes really good piano sound. You can dink with the tuning:

  68. Batstrel, yes, most of the afterlife is spent on the astral plane, which is why it’s so common to see ghosts in dreams. Thus you’re very much on the right lines.

    Michael, can you direct me to a good source for that? I’d like to be able to cite it.

    Siliconguy, “Octopus Doom” would make a fine band name! It fascinates me that so many media pundits can’t think of the downfall of the current system without inflating it into the extinction of the species.

    Ilona, thanks for this.

    Methyl, ha! It’s all the more intriguing because the space probe is named Osiris, and Apophis (Apep in Egyptian) and Osiris are opponents in Egyptian myth. If Isis puts in an appearance, we’ll have a triad that every Golden Dawn mage knows well…

    Russell, yes, and in fact occultists who’ve learned how to do astral projection have done this deliberately, both to avoid the experience of being tortured and to deal with such more terminal practices as being burnt at the stake.

    Will M, good. Yes, both of those are true. “The opposite of a trivial truth is a falsehood. The opposite of a profound truth is another truth.”

    Quin, thank you for this as always.

    Ian, enough natural gas to power Canada for a century will run dry very, very fast if you start exporting it to the rest of an energy-hungry world…

    Karl, the soul reincarnates at a time and in a body that will allow it to express the patterns it’s picked up during previous incarnations. If you spent multiple lives playing music, for example, and you don’t have a mess of bad karma to work through, you can expect to be born with a horoscope that favors learning music, and in a family that will give you the opportunities you need to learn and play. (Cough, cough, Mozart, cough, cough — there’s a reason he could play like an expert before he turned six.) As for the trend, yes, and it’s important. People on the right are interested in alternatives to the current situation. Increasingly, people on the left are not. That didn’t use to be the case — it used to be the other way around, in fact — and that shows an immense shift in our collective imagination.

    Random, yes, it’s a humid path in several senses, since it works with the “wet” secretions of the adrenal glands and also with the etheric body, which is symbolically watery.

    Enjoyer, huzzah! A mashup of Star’s Reach and Engine Summer strikes me as absolutely delightful.

  69. @ JMG ,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I wondered some time ago ‘ If the price of oil is low , how come people are not using more and more oil of it, and the economy is not doing well ? ‘

    After some research I identified that the government and corporate system
    found a way to regularly eject a percentage of people from the economy while keeping those
    who are kept inside the system well supplied with a steady oil supply.
    For instance, the official unemployment rate is low while more and more people
    have been struggling over the past decade.

    I cannot prove this people ejection pattern (this is quite complex and the true data is hard to find ), yet I am sharing this insight .

  70. @Douglas #17 re: Bird Omens/Augury

    I asked a similar question of Galina Krasskova over on her blog a month or two back, and unfortunately, she didn’t have many specific titles to hand to recommend. She did say that one unusual recommendation that she got through her devotional work with Hermes had been helpful: An Exaltation of Larks by James Lipton. It’s not about omens, but rather the names for collections of animals (like a “murder of crows” or “gaggle of geese”). Krasskova says that running through lists of these names as a chant gets her into the right headspace for doing augury. Other than that, she recommended prayer to any relevant deities in your tradition and looking for academic articles on ancient Roman augury.

    Sorry I can’t offer anything more directly helpful, but I’ll be following this thread of discussion with interest.


  71. @Ian,

    Those are interesting articles.

    I remember when I spent time in Canada 7 years ago, I heard and read sometimes ‘ There is enough oil reserves in the oil sands at current production for a hundred years ‘ . That did not feel right and seemed like PR, yet I had not way to prove it.

    Then a friend showed me an internal report of a leading Canadian oil company that said the oil sands production will peak by 2035 . Granted it was just one report , yet it seemed more in line with the data I had seen.

    Similarly there have been articles for 10 years that the USA is reaching oil independence. The production achievements are remarkable yet if you check the EIA data, production is still 7 million barrels per day less than consumption.

    Cui bono?

  72. #18 Hi, Kimberly!
    The Roman Church has made some recent moves that are not popular with more conservative Christians. The Episcopalians have as well. The diehard liturgists are looking for a place to land. I was fortunate to find a tiny Anglican diocese that is holding the line. Rod Dreher is noticing movement in the Eastern Orthodox Church. If the rituals continue to be practiced, I think Christianity will survive for bit longer in the liturgical traditions. My experiences in liminal sacramental spaces are pretty powerful sometimes. A lot of us do love that.

  73. Posting thanks to St. Expedite for kicking the cantankerous thermostat on our furnace.

  74. @JMG

    You’re welcome! I’m glad to help. Plus, a thought occurs:

    A central element of the “Imperium” factions shares a very important element with the Second Religiosity: They are meant to be bulwarks against chaos. Humans in the 41st Millennium don’t just adhere to the Imperial Creed because of the Inquisitorial boot to the face they otherwise get, but because of the very real danger of madness and worse that faces them if they don’t. So it definitely captures the feel and motivation of the Second Religiosity.

    However, there’s an interesting additional factor that stands out:

    It’s doomed to fail. It’s established within the lore that every time-traveler who goes far enough into the future sees nothing but chaos having consumed the whole galaxy.

    And most importantly: The characters *themselves* know this. So rather than plugging their ears and shouting “Emperor Optimus Maximus” at the top of their lungs pretending the Empire will last forever, they’re taking a cold hard look at the future and deciding to fight anyway.

    To engage in a thought experiment…

    If I were an Aquarian-flavored tutelary spirit, whispering through a modern marketplace-oracle, I would want to most efficiently ease as many humans as possible into the New Religious Sensibility. Going by Spengler’s model, that’s going to be the vehicle for the ideals and faiths of the Age of Aquarius to manifest.

    But first, you have to get them through the Second Religiosity.

    In that case, a Second Religiosity with awareness of its own doomed nature would be a feature, not a bug. Add in just enough Aquarius-influenced themes to for them to percolate through the collective consciousness, and you might just have set up something that could cushion the undoubtedly already-painful-enough transition ahead of us.

    In any case, just speculation.

    Oh, and I just remembered: One of the “Gene-Lines” of Space Marines are an exaggerated over-the-top version of Vikings In Space, and their name for The Emperor, doomed to die on his Golden Throne fighting unimaginable horrors as the Ragnarok closes in(again, *they know this*) is…

    The Allfather.

    So, there are plenty of candidates for who could be whispering.

  75. @JMG re: Alternative Spirituality Publishing

    In multiple places you have sung the praises of working with small to medium publishers, especially for things in the alternative spirituality space. I’ve read advice elsewhere that it is best to not finish writing a non-fiction book before trying to secure a publishing deal, but instead to shop the idea to publishers with a detailed outline/brief. Do you believe that would be good advice for a brand new author to pursue with small to medium alternative spirituality publishers?

    Asking for the obvious reason that I’m going to write a book this year and would like it to have some chance of getting published, so any other advice is welcome, but I know that’s a subject for whole posts or more, so I won’t get greedy.

    My blessings to all who welcome them,

  76. Thanks John, I appreciate it. And thank you for writing Star’s Reach. Most people would look at the kind of future presented in Star’s Reach as the worst thing imaginable. I find it to be the best future that is still realistically attainable at this point.

  77. Phutatorius and Justin Patrick Moore,

    Wow, you really landed on a pet topic of mine! I’m a complete dork when it comes to discussing tuning theory. I got started tuning pianos at my uncle’s music shop about 17 years back, not long after I got my driver’s license. Like many old school piano tuners, he poopooed the idea of using electric gear and taught me how to do it solely with a tuning fork and my ears.

    He taught me the “classic” way of tuning 12 tone equal temperament — starting with either middle C and then going up the circle of fifths tuning all of your fifths just barely flat of a 3/2 (C->G->D->A->E->B->F#) and then (C->F->Bb->Eb->Ab->Db->Gb) tuning all of the fourths just barely sharp of 4/3, based on the beat rate of the relevant partials, and determining whether or not you did it right by having that last Db->Gb be right where you expected it to be. That works, but counting out the super slow phase rate of the 3/2s and 4/3s at around one “beat” every 2 or 3 seconds is prone to error, especially if you’re using as shorter scale piano like a spinet or something.

    A couple years back I got to reading through the Reblitz book which suggested an alternate method: instead of doing the entire temperament by going around the circle of fifths, you can use major thirds. See, in 5 limit JI (refer to Ptolemy’s intense diatonic scale), you’ll see that a major third is equated with 5/4, which comes out to being a 386c interval. Meanwhile 4\12 is 400c,and so you’re quite a bit sharp. Consequently, rather than having a super s low beat rate that is kind of hard to latch onto, you can listen to the beating between the 4th and 5th partials and think of it as 16th notes at certain tempos…like C-E is close to about 7hz, which (I don’t have my chart handy) comes out to somewhere around 130bpm. Now I can conceptualize that easily, and it makes it WAY easy to determine whether or not I’m too sharp or two flat. So what you end up doing is tuning an axis of major thirds up and down from C-E and C->Ab that way, and tuning the rest of the intervals via a sequence of major sixths, which correspond with a 5/3 ratio, which in JI is 884.4c and in 12ed2 is 900c: a very similar detuning as the major third (of course it’s this way: 5/3 is just 5/4 * 4/3, and since 4/3 is tempered sharp of just in 12ed2, it follows that the representation of 5/3 would be just about as accurate as the 5/4).

    Going through the process, it makes it much easier to determine if you’ve done it right because a) the ascending major thirds in the temperament get gradually faster in beat rate as you ascend the chromatic scale and b) the fourths and fifths will fall right into place. I wish I’d learned how to do it that way to start with! Anyway, I called and told my uncle about that method and since he’d been doing it with the circle of fifths method for nearly 50 years he thought it was neat and found it fascinating.

    Okay, so anyway, since we’re talking temperaments: my favorite way to tune acoustic pianos is not by doing 12ed2, because while the advantage of an equal temperament is unlimited modulation in any direction — all the keys are “off” in exactly the same way — but I really enjoy working with various just intonation setups, usually stopping at the 5-limit or 7-limit. The most simple one that I enjoy is starting with C, tuning the F as a just 4/3, the G as a just 3/2 , and the D a perfect 4/3 below the G so it’s 9/8 of C in terms of frequency. Then with these intervals tune up and down a major 5/4 third, so you end up with 12 total pitches corresponding with the following numeric sequency above the tonic: 16/15, 9/8, 6/5, 5/4, 4/3, 45/32, 3/2, 8/5,5/3,9/5,15/8,2. If you’re playing in keys relatively close to C, like F, G, Bb….the physicality of the sound as the partial blend together is AMAZING and completely fills the room in a way you’ve never heard a piano. As you drift farther away on the circle of fifths, you find some interesting quirks fairly quickly: D->A is 40/27 instead of 3/2, which ends up being a “wolf fifth”. Whether or not that is a consonance or a dissonance is up to you, but if you’re playing a song that moodily resolves from Dm->G->Cm or something, it makes that resolving cadence immensely more satisfying.

    I’ve also tinkered with other JI systems that way: a favorite of mine is using 7-limit just intonation and using 7/4 instead of 9/5, 7/6 instead of 6/5, 21/20 instead of 16/15…the 7th partial has a very unique character that you don’t find much in popular music outside of barbershop quartets who love the harmonic 7th chord of 4:5:6:7.

    I could go on and on about all other kinds of systems…lately I’ve been writing out tonality diamonds with Schismatic temperament which differs from the standard meantone by using a slightly *sharpened* fifth and thus equating 8 stacked 4ths with a tempered slightly flat 5/4 major third instead of 4 stacked 5ths with a tempered sharp 5/4 major third, or all of the fun times you can get with good 5-limit and higher note divisions like 17,19,22,29,26,31, 43,51, etc…but then this would start to rival the length of a typical JMG essay and I can’t be upstaging our host, can I?

  78. To my astonishment I learned recently that 68% of American oil and 79% of natural gas is fracked!

  79. Okay, I was think of mentioning this on this open post, by I didn’t want to come off as a sycophant. But since it’s come up…

    I want to thank you JMG for basically convincing me that reincarnation is a likely… thing. I take a great deal of comfort from this. And it gives me a little inspiration because, as I understand it, my “job” in this life is to do the best I can. If I do well, that’s good. If I mess up, that’s not great, but I can try again next time.

    And speaking of reincarnation and possibly choosing a time to do so, like you, I feel like I’ve been waiting for these next ten years all my life. I went to High School and University in the ’80’s and what I learned then has made me surprised we lasted this long. But if something is unsustainable, eventually, it stops. I appear to be right at the perfect age where I get to see it happen, and too old to care if it takes me out.

  80. JMG, some time ago you wrote something that made it seem you felt it was futile for someone to engage in a spiritual/magical discipline or path from a different culture. Forgive me, but I cannot remember the context, although I do remember being pretty surprised about it at the time.

    I can’t ask you to defend or explain something as vague as that, so I guess I’ll just ask plainly: Do you think people in general are more likely to fail when pursuing some path from a different culture? Is it best to stick closer to home for various reasons?

    (As for me, I’ve known many American adherents of Buddhism, many with years or decades of serious study and practice. It never seemed to me that these people’s practice added anything to their lives beyond what knitting or stamp collecting would have. Yes I can’t know their internal state, but they never seemed in the least bit more spiritually elevated than anybody else.)

  81. @siliconguy #59: Thanks for the link, that is a very interesting study both on octopus (my wife is a big fan) and on using their DNA for studying ancient climate!

    What I don’t find in the article is anything about doom or about our species’ extinction (as commented by JMG). They suggest that melting of the ice sheets around the Antarctic Peninsula is “threatening 3.3-5 meters of long term sea level rise”. At the end, it is further specified that nobody knows if those 3m rise would take place over millennia or shorter periods.

    FWIW, sea level rise in the century or so after 9600 BC was tens of meters and our species survived. That doesn’t mean our coastal cities and global trade would survive.

  82. @Phutatorius,
    nope, I do play the flute, but I’m not even sure where Ann Arbor is, let alone from there.

  83. Mac #16: …you recently answered a commenter that you were wait for a more favorable market for buying a house. May I ask the indicators you are watching and when you might think the time might be right.
    JMG: I’m waiting for panic selling to hit the housing markets

    I’ll know it’s happening when I stop getting letters and post cards from the house flippers that have been working my neighborhood over for several years now. “We are a local investor team and we would like to buy your property. We pay cash, and buy as is….” I seem to remember flipping was popular in the years leading up to 2008 also.

    Joy Marie

  84. Tony C., it’s a plausible alternative to the other option, which would be straightforward rationing by price. That has serious disadvantages, of course, so finding a way to prevent competition for remaining oil supplies would be a likely move.

    Random, just one of the services I offer. 😉

    Matthew, that’s an intriguing thought!

    Jeff, that advice is meant to keep you stuck with the big boys, with all the drawbacks that has. Small to midsized publishers want to see a completed manuscript from you so they can assess it themselves. That’s especially true with a first time auther, because not everyone who starts a book gets around to finishing it! So I would encourage you to write the thing, revise it, make it as good as you can, and then start shopping it around.

    Enjoyer, you’re welcome and thank you.

    BeardTree, yep — and fracked deposits always run out much more quickly than unfracked ones. That is to say, we’re well and truly fracked.

    Slink, you’re most welcome. It really does help!

    Zachary, I know people who’ve followed paths from other cultures with good results, but they inevitably had to make the necessary effort to attune themselves to the original culture of the tradition. Lacking that, the results aren’t good. That’s the problem with most American Buddhists — they’re practicing a watered-down version of Buddhism that’s been stripped of everything that doesn’t fit current US mainstream culture, and it doesn’t have enough left to accomplish much of anything.

    Joy Marie, that’s a good sign to watch for.

  85. @deathcap – here’s one of my algorithmic pieces in the tuning that divides octaves into 53 equal parts. This tuning goes far back in history… apparently a Chinese thinker figured this tuning out more than two thousand years ago! Mercator wrote about it in the Seventeenth Century.

    53edo tempers out the schisma, and this piece is based on traversing that comma:

  86. Two additions to JMG’s comments.

    “People who used to insist that 3-D printers or virtual reality or Google Glasses were the wave of the future. They’re all over AI these days.”

    VR, AR, HTML5, BlockChain, Crypto, AI, Web 3.0… whatever. All terms that have one function only, to drain Venture Capital firm of as much cash as possible. Unfortunately, those pushing this stuff are more than happy to use others enthusiasm to gain momentum.

    “American century is not merely over, it’s out.”

    I said this with the whole Ukraine/Russia debacle, the fact that the US is no longer going in hard with on ground support is all the proof you need that the empire is dwindling or dead.

  87. Thanks JMG, I would feel honored if you read any of my essays.

    Mary, dayyum, that is one UGLY dress. It literally looks like a bedsheet! That obvious, giant hem at the bottom is giving Red Tag HomeGoods clearance rack. My only question about it is “Did that start out as a fitted or flat sheet?”

    Ben, I have had many of those sorts of experiences. I was plagued by them in my teens and twenties. I believe they are based in reality and that entities were likely trying to mess with you in your sleep. I suggest printing out some bedside geometrics. To make a long story short, symmetrical, geometry-based patterns act as demon traps on the astral plane. Hope this helps you:

  88. JMG,
    My wife and I also honeymooned in Victoria, but though we were married the same year as you and your wife, we were both in grad school and couldn’t afford the time or money to go on a honeymoon until a year later ( 1985). But besides the memories of the now-lost charms of Victoria, it also reminded me of one of the failed icons of the religion of progress. We got to Victoria from Seattle on a Hovercraft. Which like todays self driving cars was billed as the transportation of the future. Of course its poor economics ( bad fuel economy, high maintenance costs) doomed it once the novelty wore off. So I chuckle to myself when someone tells me how self driving cars are a sure thing because they have a few actual ones in San Francisco, and I think back on the once bright future of the hovercraft.

  89. Following up your request for a source on cosmic rays.

    It is one of those things, that still seems counter intuitive to me. It is also kind of wonderful to think that even with the distance of the stars just how much influence they can have on us.. And I don’t mean this in the sense of astrology. 🙂

    “What Is Galactic Cosmic Radiation?
    Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR) is a dominant source of radiation that must be dealt with aboard current spacecraft and future space missions within our solar system. GCR comes from outside the solar system but primarily from within our Milky Way galaxy. GCR is composed of the nuclei of atoms that have had their surrounding electrons stripped away and are traveling at nearly the speed of light. Another way to think of GCR would be to imagine the nucleus of any element in the periodic table from hydrogen to uranium. Now imagine that same nucleus moving at an incredibly high speed. The high-speed nucleus you are imagining is GCR. These particles were probably accelerated within the last few million years by magnetic fields of supernova remnants.”

  90. This past October I noticed in my woods a profusion of red-orange mushrooms with white spots. I had seen these in previous years, but this year there were so many it made me curious and I looked them up. Without a doubt they are fly agaric (amanita muscaria) and what I found was that the lore and history of these is quite extensive. Apparently they are claimed to be deadly, but are not, although if prepared wrong and eaten you might ^think^ you are dying(!) They can be mind-altering and have been used for that purpose for thousands of years, in many cultures, from shamans in Siberia to Santa Claus (and reindeer!) to Viking berserkers. They are not illegal 49 states in the US, since they contain no psilocybin but a completely different chemical. Which brings me to my question: I did not see much regarding Druids using this mushroom. So, I am curious–has there been/ is there any Druid practice involving these?

  91. @Ken #37

    Re: „Kingdom of Germany and Reichsbürger“

    That Guardian article is so illustrative of PMC cluelessness, it’s hilarious. What could possibly drive those people to set up alternative structures to the state? It can’t be that the rulers have been lying to their faces for decades now, right? That the State has acted in an outright totalitarian manner for 2 years just recently, arbitrarily destroying the livelihood of millions of middle-class citizens? or that the buying power of the Euro is crashing? Since these are all things Guardian authors (and their German equivalents) evidently can‘t perceive,
    it must be that these evil right wingers are crazy. Growing veggies and practicing homeopathy, and then hanging with those awful, sober, frugal Anastasia people! Horrible to see good Germans led astray like that!
    The attempted Putsch the article references is also quite the story: two dozen retired politicians and lawyers, age 60 and up and one of them a hunter in fully legal possession of a few guns, were about to topple the federal republic and had to be stopped by 1500 policemen. The state-aligned media was with the cops to take pictures – boy, did they make hay of this affair.
    Neither the media nor the people in politics (outside of the AfD and Sarah Wagenknecht‘s party) have any idea what’s really going on, and they just keep preaching to their shrinking constituency, ever repeating the same, dull buzzwords.
    Talking to people who buy into this gives me the creeps.


    To clarify: I‘m sure the Reichsbürger scene is full of crazies, and I wouldn’t trust the „Kng“ as far as I can throw him. But they need to be seen as a weathervane, and the question for politicians and the media should be „what have we done wrong?“.
    If the citizens of your country are trying to start new countries for themselves, you might want to do some soul-searching. Astonishing how that never happens in articles like this one.

  92. Joy Marie @7: Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius is a short story of 13 pages. You can find it in Borges’s ‘Collected Fictions’. He was a strange cat.
    –Lunar Apprentice

  93. Douglas @17: The discipline your’e asking about is called ‘augury’. I hunted for something on this a few years back and found nothing. Wikipedia has a blurb with some sparse references at the bottom. AFAIK, no substantial ancient sources survive.
    –Lunar Apprentice

  94. Kimberly #18, I mentioned I was doing my own version of the Clean Toilet Challenge. Basically it amounted to the Clean-ish Toilet Challenge, and it is undeniably cleaner.
    Result: I am poorer than before, being unable to resist the lures of the Black Friday demon. But I’m eating better, exercising more, and I’ve lost 5 lbs.

  95. Greetings to everybody!

    I hope you‘re all fine and well, and had wonderful holidays, whatever you were celebrating at this time of the year! 🙂

    A question to the roleplaying crowd, and to JMG of course:

    Are there any other ready-made Weird of Hali roleplaying adventures, besides the intro game in the manual? (Free or paid, digital or printed) Is anybody aware of anything?

    Thanks – and a wonderful new year to all of you!


  96. @Metylethyl #49:
    There is software which can ‘re-tune’ an electronic instrument that supports MIDI. It modifies the notes you put into it, so that what comes out confirms to a certain scale or tuning.

    The two programs I know of are Entonal Studio and MTS-ESP

    Both can load scale files that can be downloaded from the Huygens-Fokker website, and there are thousands of them, so I would assume the one you’re looking for will be available.

    Entonal lets you map the notes of the re-tuned scale in different ways on your keyboard. Only using the white keys, for example, which is quite useful when using something that doesn’t have 12 notes in the scale. Maybe MTS-ESP does the same, but I’ve only used Entonal.


  97. Greetings all,
    I have a particular question concerning the Gazah war. What surprises me the most is the complete support Israel receives from Western Governments (NATO countries mainly) inspite of an ongoing massacre of immense proportion that is far from over.
    I don’t understand what Western Governments can possibly get out of that support and very clearly it is angering beyond measure most of the rest of the world and is leading to a significant collapse of western prestige.
    It’s like western govenments are in a kind of trance, with complete denial, loss of touch with basic reality, its like a collective suicide.
    Any thoughts on the matter?
    Many thanks

  98. @polecat

    Not doing anything about it is not a good option either.

    Damned if you do, damned if don’t.

    That’s lose-lose option.

  99. JMG,

    I had two questions for you:

    First I was hoping you might recommend me a book about imperial Japan pre WW2. I’m specifically interested about their decision to invest in aircraft carriers since reading Decline and Fall.

    Second: I’ve been practicing discursive meditation and practicing small protection magic. During my mediations though I’ve been contacting writer Henry Miller to advise me on my writing and I’ve been getting answers from him. Usually he doesn’t say much and allows me answer my questions for myself. He did recommend I read his book Tropic of Capricorn for some of the answers I’m searching for although I can’t remember what I asked him that prompted this recommendation. I was wondering if I could get your thoughts on my practicing contacting him as I am a beginner in magic and just not sure if this is a good practice although it seems safe and productive so far.

    Thank you 🙂


  100. JMG – What might be the geographical limits to reincarnation? Could one reincarnate anywhere on earth or is it more likely to occur within a short distance of where your previous body died?
    ilona#79 – I think the LTG update was linked a few weeks ago and supports other evidence and our host’s comments to the effect that we are on the brink of a steep downslope.

  101. JMG, I read your book on Pluto with great enjoyment and have a great interest in astrology as do you. I will have to say though that the astrological ages makes the least sense to me in all of astrology. The age of Pisces seem to line up pretty neatly with the rise, and fall, of the saviour-religions such as Christianity and the age of Pisces certainly have been a streak of success for Christianity and its associated societies. Not everyone have experienced an age of Pisces, however. I am from a culture with a very different religion and a very different society not at all Piscean. So we had a completely different experience up until quite recently, almost up until the end of the Piscean age you could say. This and many other other people’s experience puts the universality of astrology to question. So the question would be to whom astrology is most relevant, if at all in some cases.
    Also when is your book on mundane astrology coming? There is way to much pop-astrology in that branch, I suspect your book would be a great counter balance to that.

  102. JMG,

    I have a question about the relationship of the terms Gnosticism and Neo Platonism to platonic mysticism. Am I correct in understanding Gnosticism refers to a family of religions with only a handful surviving, and Gnostic thought is essentially a continuation of the Neo Platonic tradition?

    I remember learning Plato had a lot of esoteric teachings that were never transcribed, and were only transferred to his students. I believe Aristotle talked a little about that, but being a rationalist he did not say much. How sure can we be then, that Neo Platonism / Gnosticism is really the same as Plato’s more esoteric teachings?

  103. Mr. Greer, Zachary, Matthew,

    Considering that the Jedi Order from Star Wars was a “watered-down version of Buddhism that’s been stripped of everything that doesn’t fit current US mainstream culture” and George Lucas himself identifies as a Buddhist Methodist I guess he was something of a trendsetter in that regard.

    Also thanks for the explanation of the intersection of astrology and reincarnation. I don’t know much about astrology, having just very recently started reading up on the subject. I know my birth sign is Aquarius as I was born mid-Feb so I am kind of interested in what it means when Matthew starts talking about Aquarian and Age of Aquarius.

  104. John, et al.–

    Later than usual to the party this week and haven’t had a chance to get through the discussion to date, but I wanted to pass along some interesting news from the energy industry. We’ve long discussed the uneconomical nature of fission power and its reliance on various subsidies, both financial (e.g. loan guarantees) and societal (i.e. the still-unresolved issue of long-term storage of spent fuel). Well, we may be moving to a new phase of more direct and blatant subsidization.

    The national trade organization to which my employer-utility belongs tracks relevant policy initiatives and legislation, providing periodic email updates on pertinent court cases, executive actions, and pending legislation. There is a bill working its way through Congress that has some very interesting provisions. “The Atomic Energy Advancement Act” has been passed out of committee to be reported to the floor of the House, being advanced by the Energy & Commerce Committee by a 47-2 vote on Dec 5th. It is marked as HR 6544 for those policy nerds (like myself) who may wish to track its progress. What caught my eye about this bill is that it authorizes the Secretary of Energy to enter into purchase power agreements (in industry lingo, PPAs) with commercial nuclear reactors licensed by the NRC after Jan 1, 2024. Not only that, but it *requires* the Secretary to enter into *at least* one such agreement by Dec 31, 2028. There is no cap on the number of such agreements provided for in the bill as written.

    In other words, the Department of Energy would be directly purchasing energy from newly-licensed reactors in order to subsidize them. Now, there is language ostensibly requiring these contracts to be priced no higher than the average market rate; however, that requirement is waived for reactors that meet certain criteria of first-of-kind designs, deployment for reliability, or other purposes the Secretary determines are in the national interest. In other words, nice wide loopholes though which one could drive a fleet of semis.

    Given the stresses on the grid being caused by the retirement of coal generators, heightened risk due to increased reliance on natural gas generators to manage the higher penetration of wind and solar facilities, and increased demand due to the push for electric vehicles and AI-driven data centers, you can bet that nukes are going to be seen as a necessary bulwark “in the national interest” and developers will be lining up at the DoE with their hands out.

    With the strong bipartisan support shown at the committee level, I wouldn’t be surprised if this bill became law, even in the cut-throat environment of a contentious election year like 2024.

  105. JMG,
    In another blow to the wet dreams of the lumpen-internetarians, the long heralded pilot plant to prove out the concept of providing power with a small group of modular ” easily scalable” nuclear reactors was canceled. The consortium of utilities that was slated to buy the power balked because cost estimates ( construction had not started yet) ballooned and the projected cost of power from the plant had grown to three times the current wholesale rate. And this was with direct subsidies from the DOE of over a Billion ( with a B) dollars. Nuscale ( the company developing the ” modular reactors” ) saw its stock price collapse and a class action lawsuit from investors opened against it.

  106. I wonder if Tolkien was aware of the “Ghost Army” being deployed by the US when he was writing LOTR? I’m thinking of the army of the dead summoned by Aragorn.

    The wiki article says their work was only declassified in 1996, but I’m looking at this as I work on some revisions today…

    Speaking of music and sound, the ghost army was using Sonic Deception among other tactics to fool the German army.

    I often think of sonic warfare when I hear the massive amounts of bass used in some cars rolling around the streets of the inner city. I know not all of those cars are owned by gangsters, but some of them are.

    Anyway, back to work.

  107. @Ian re: natural gas in Newfoundland. That’s great as long as a lot of other places also have a hundred years’ worth. Otherwise, you’ll be selling it to everybody else, or everybody else will be coming to get it by force, or both. It’s quite dangerous to be the only country with an essential resource that everybody else has run out of.

  108. Regarding the situation with the Houthis, it seems that US military humiliation is already baked in. For every exchange, in scenario A, the drones complete their mission, outcome: Houthi win. Scenario B: A wood and fiberglass explosive drone costing less than $5K is shot down by a naval missle costing more than $1M, outcome: Houthi win. Scenario C. Escalation into yet another middle eastern quagmire, outcome: unknown, but the US track record here is not good.

    Did you write Twilight’s Last Gleaming as prophecy?

  109. @Tony C
    The kleptocrats gain clout I guess by keeping energy in reserve so they can make statements for leverage or threat that we have this, or that amount of saleable energy at their disposal and could just cut off Russia foe example and be fine. Maybe thats part of it. Even if in Canada we can’t even process the resources.
    To JMG’s point 12.6 trillion feet of saleable gas, as calculated off the coast of newfoundland, is still about 460 years of energy for the U.S at current rate of natural gas consumption, and about 90 years worldwide as per my napkin math I’m doing in a hockey arena right now. That’s not bringing the energy returned on investment equation into play either-which would include extraction, shipping and infrastructure build out.
    We could keep going and calculate the total amount of saleable gas in the whole country, a much higher number. There is a prestige element I guess tied into this as well. Do western governments count untapped resources as crown jewels these days? Or badges of honor etc.

    It would be handy to have a ready answer .

  110. Dear Sir Druid,
    Two topics to discuss:
    The rise of Satanic statues in the USA and satanic abortion rituals
    Timothy Kryzinski (Uni Bomber whose very intelligent mind was damaged on purpose by MKUltra) manifesto we could read and comment on

  111. @Deathcap #85: Wow, you are way ahead of me! Here’s a brief quote from Frank Hubbard in the book I mentioned. “The miserable thirds produced by the system of equal temperament seemed intolerable in early times… It is quite likely that the real variation in intonation between various keys which once existed is at the root of the dogma, still held by musicians that each key has its characteristic color.” Following from this it amuses me that classical music announcers persist in specifying the key each composition, even tho to the listeners it hardly matters. It seems like pure snootiness, just to show that this is not Taylor Swift that you’re listening to.

    I wonder if the reason so much of the music from the generation after JS Bach sounds so generic in modern recordings is the result of ET. I’d much rather hear from an announcer the opus number of a work than the key in which it was written. And, finally, I’d like to listen to a favorite selection of mine, Scarlatti’s lovely A Major Sonata, K 208, played in alternative tunings or on an instrument with split keys. Sometimes I hear a recording of a familiar piece that seems uniquely moving and I wonder why: was the performer deviating from ET?

  112. Anyone have experience with pipe-within-a-pipe systems?

    As described here:

    We have old pipes buried outside. Our reliable but somewhat progress-obsessed plumber said it’s a good idea to replace them and suggested this type of product.

    Most people we know still find “Oh what you have now is the Old Way, this is the New Way (so it’s obviously better)” convincing, so this feels like the best place to ask!

  113. Siliconguy, about PCBs, etc., that is as may be, but we are now at the point of let’s let a jury decide these things, and the various outrageous malfeasances of B/M are now so well known as to pretty much offset the advantages it once derived from knee-jerk pro business sentiment. When, after decades of but that’s our jobs, Mexican-American farmworkers are turning on an agricultural company, that company has a problem.

  114. JMG, Slink
    Just following up on Slink’s comments: JMG, you really have helped me refine and feel more comfortable with my views on reincarnation, which is useful at my age. (84 next month).
    Also about the times we are in/coming into: I have felt pretty much all my life that this was the path we were on. In fact i had expected it to come sooner. I felt in the 70s that it might happen then, when we as a world had a chance to make meaningful adjustments to our lives that would lead to a sustainable world. I was quite involved in the environmental movement at that time. Obviously it didn’t go that way. Now my option is pretty much to sit and watch it play out until I go, and offer whatever help or advice people might ask for, which is seldom and usually seems peripheral.
    Thanks JMG for offering your wisdom and this forum to discuss ideas with an intelligent commentariat.

  115. One complication in measuring oil production in and out of refineries is;

    “Refining output is larger than input
    The total volume of products that refineries produce (output) is greater than the volume of crude oil that refineries process (input) because most of the products they make have a lower density than the crude oil they process. This increase in volume is called processing gain. The average processing gain at U.S. refineries was about 6.3% in 2022. In 2022, U.S. refineries produced an average of about 45 gallons of refined products for every 42-gallon barrel of crude oil they refined.”

    Conservation of mass holds, conservation of volume does not. You can see the effect at home too. Take a one cup measuring cup and a separate half cup measure. Put a half cup of water into the one cup measure, then use the half cup measure to add a half cup of the highest proof booze you can find. Total volume will be less than one cup. The water molecules fit between the alcohol molecules to some extent, so the total volume of the mixture is less than the sum of the separate parts.

    So if you have 7% more petroleum products coming out than you have crude going in, that’s about right.

  116. Just a reminder to all the ecosophian readers: there is a list of all JMG’s podcasts with links.


    Additionally, I recently stumbled onto one podcast from 2021, which I feel didn’t get enough views.
    For all those interested – “The Occult, Magic, Freemasonry and Getting the Most out of Life with John Michael Greer” from Dharma Junkie:

  117. @Ian

    I think there is indeed a strong element about how politicians use reserves for stories to manage
    the people .

    Worldometer says Canada consumes 4 trillion cubic feet of gas per year, and the EIA says the USA consumes 32 trillion cubic feet per year.

    Happy holidays .

  118. We live in a small town and are considering backup heating options for our oil heat. House has a fireplace. The high-efficiency furnace exhausts into a steel liner in the chimney. The fireplace side of the chimney is unlined (so would need to be lined).

    We were considering a wood-burning fireplace insert. Anyone have experience with this?

    * High-efficiency (as required by the US for inserts made since 2020) with a catalyst that will need replacement in 5-10 years?

    * Lower-efficiency but still more efficient than a fireplace, say from 2015 or so (can legally buy used and have installed)?

    * Alternatively, what about a pellet stove? Are the pellets actually worth it as a backup heat source?

    We can’t really use the fireplace as-is because we both have breathing problems. Theoretically the higher-efficiency inserts would solve that problem.

    We were thinking of talking to a tree guy about sourcing wood. Is this practical? Any other suggestions?

  119. HI JMG-
    How come the Ego would rather engage in self-destructive behaviors that are making life miserable instead of making changes that would improve one’s life?

  120. karim Jaufeerally @ 105, I can’t speak about European governments, or Canada, but while the US govt. might be all-in for Israel, I can assure you that the American public is not. It is very likely that the Democrats will lose the WH over Israel and Ukraine. However, I add that there is equal and rising sentiment in favor of closing our borders to almost everyone, and certainly to anyone who cannot show verifiable ID documents issued by that person’s own country and state a believable reason for travel. Sorry, “a better life” doesn’t count. Our homeless population, the most recent count of persons in temporary shelters was 600,000+ and the true number is probably at least double the official figure, would also like a better life. If the Republicans also take over both houses of Congress, which does not at this time appear likely, but if they do, they will almost certainly pass legislation severely restricting our cold war out of date asylum laws.

    Furthermore, anyone who gives money to a criminal cartel, whether for a plane ticket or an illegal substance, is complicit in the crimes of that organization. For my part, I make no use of such substances and Fedco, the employee and customer owned seed and nursery stock company of which I am a member, sells no seed or other products from Beyer/Monsanto linked companies and has, this last year, cancelled its contracts with Syngenta as well.

  121. @Karim Jaufferally,
    that is quite a can of worms you’ve just opened. Here’s how I understand the situation, though it probably is somewhat lacking and may not be entirely accurate:

    Israel is a long-time ally of various nations, notably the USA and also Canada. A reliable ally in a very unstable part of the world, though they do tend to get into fights with their neighbors and want support. Especially political support in the UN, as most of their neighbors hate them, but the US is doing a lot more than that.

    There’s also quite a few citizens of the USA and Canada who are Jewish, some of whom are very vocal in support of Israel and have significant political clout domestically. There’s also the rather complex issue that the future of Israel is mentioned in Revelations and various millenialist protestant groups have being friends with Israel built into what they think they’re supposed to do as Christians. It’s really complicated, and I don’t really agree with the arguments involved, so I’m not going to go further into that than to say that there’s a substantial number of protestant Christians who will support Israel almost no matter what they do. This is most common in the USA.

    There’s also the fact that the Holocaust is the elephant in the room, and the pro-Israel side tends to use it politically any time critics of Israel start complaining about their treatment of the Palestinians, or questioning it in any way. This makes it very difficult to have a conversation about Israel-Palestine without someone losing their head and starting screaming. Which can result in people getting fired from their jobs or suffering other personal consequences. Usually it’s people who criticize Israel who this happens to, and it’s been happening in Canada for years – I know someone personally who this happened to decades ago. I also grew up in an area where the local newspaper was owned by someone (Izzy Asper) who banned all criticism of Israel in the large number of Canadian newspapers he owned. This was well-known at the time, and included the newspaper of record for my town, as well as at least one of the newspapers for my province. I grew up knowing the news was being censored on this subject. That said, CBC was not owned by Izzy Asper, and provided a different view.

    And when I dig into the media reports on other people this has happened to, it’s not normally antisemitic hate or death threats they’re getting fired or cancelled over, though sometimes it’s ‘from the mountains to the sea, Palestine will be free’, which Israel’s supporters say expresses genocidal intent against their country, and at least some palestinian supporters insist expresses support for freedom of movement and equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis alike. People are getting fired for showing up to protests, criticism of Israel, or expression of support for Palestine. In a lot of places in Canada, it’s a lot safer to stay silent on this issue.

    Which means the main voices that get heard, and especially that get listened to in the corridors of power, are pro-Israel.

  122. @Mary, Kimberly: Fitted sheet. That way they didn’t have to do any gathers. That listing makes me want to bust out my sewing machine and start an etsy shop. I mean, most of what I make is curtains and drawstring bags, but I clearly have the skills to get into fashion dressmaking!

  123. @ BK, Phutatorius, Jim, and anyone else who jumps into the music question: thanks so much for the suggestions and links! That’s a lot to explore, but it looks very promising! I am bookmarking everything to comb over in detail as time permits.

  124. Hi, JMG.

    First, I’d like to say I got a belly-laugh from your neologism, which died out when I realized, reading your response to Tidlösa, that it describes much of the management in the large corporation wherein I work. Yes, I am partaking of Hagbard’s Feast while I can, because I think it would be a very bad idea to leave without first stuffing my pockets with as much goodies to provision for the road as I can.

    Second, I know you don’t watch TV but I am a very visual person. Even though the idea of watching congressional hearings on CSPAN for 3 1/2 hours seemed dauntingly mind-numbing, I went ahead and started to watch the infamous hearings of 5 December about the abrupt and disturbing increase in Antisemitism particularly on campuses since the butchery of 7 October and the subsequent war began. This hearing has spurred a dozen lengthy commentaries in the paper and memes online. It was like a car wreck. I just couldn’t look away. 5-minute segments of the representatives of the best and brightest of the Clerisy fumbling their way through sharp questioning which, to my mind, highlighted the inevitable splintering of victimhood culture. The softball questions from the Democrats tried to focus how they would “solve the problem” that has arisen but, of course, there is no plan because that would mean smacking down one of the sacred “marginalized” groups for their misbehaviour, as they effectively call for genocide of the Jewish people. Whereas the Republicans had their sharpened knives out and gleefully sliced away at the overt hypocrisy that, as I said many years ago, results from the fundamental incompatibility of most of the agendas contained within the social justice movement, but without having any real plan of their own to sort anything out. It became clear that these Presidents of these gold-standard universities were not chosen primarily for their abilities, but because they can tick off boxes on the social justice criteria for “fairness”.
    What was also clear is the degree to which the U.S. education system has become a pale and useless shadow of it’s former glory, as they have gradually embraced an increasingly extreme ideology that has been tearing away at Western culture and values since the 1970s based on the unconstrained vision (see “Conflict of Visions” by Thomas Sowell) that claims that all problems are solvable and all people can live in love and harmony… And here we have absolute empirical evidence that just ain’t so, Joe.
    Finally, I reflected on just how exactly this demonstrates the ongoing crumbling of the American Empire and the twilight of Western Culture. This is what it looks like when an empire is so powerful that it cannot come under direct assault from external forces, but decays intellectually and morally from within. In your books and writings, you have, along with quite a few others, observed that the Clerisy who run things become corrupt, devoid of new ideas, and psychologically live in a vibrant fantasy of times past, in this case, the vital time during the 19th Century when we – the West – effectively abolished slavery and they are now desperately attempt to portray themselves as bold, as valiant, and as heroic fighters akin to Hancock’s II Corps at Gettysburg in their “struggle” against “racism”. I use quotes here, because in order to maintain this self-image, they must continually redefine the term out of all meaning.
    I think that future historians of Meriga may well reference the events of this past quarter as major turning points in the collapse of the world we currently enjoy.


  125. It’s not just the military debacles unfolding in Yemen, Israel/Palestine and Ukraine that are fatally undermining the American Empire. Back here at home, we’ve got a major scandal unfolding as the Feds refuse to release Epstein’s flight logs. The reason given? It would compromise too many members of Congress and other people in high places. Here is what SNAFU had to say:

    The American govt is completely compromised. Not by outside forces. Not by violent insurrection. But by sex and greed. The dream is dead. We had a great run but its over. Why all the wars? Why all the rumors of wars? We’re witnessing the death throes of a dying empire. The decline is here. How deep it goes is still up to debate but every institution has failed.,/i>

    There are reports the Senator Dick Durbin personally intervened to prevent the release of the flight logs after one of his colleagues, Senator Marsha Blackburn, tried to subpoena them. What is he trying to hide?

    Or as Congressman Tim Burchett put it

    “So obviously, the Congress has been compromised and this continues on through the White House, through the Justice Department. The trash can is very deep. It’s not a not a swamp, it’s an open sewer.”

    In his novel Wasp, Eric Frank Russell pointed out that one of the most dangerous moments for any government is when large numbers of people start asking “I wonder what else they aren’t telling us? I wonder what else they are trying to hide?” Right now, a lot of Americans are asking themselves precisely that…

  126. JMG, are you familiar with the ancient Frisian document “The Oera Linda Book”, available on From the Introduction:

    “To fix the date we must start from the year 1256 of our era, when Hiddo overa Linda made the copy, in which he says that it was 3449 years after Atland was sunk. This disappearance of the old land (âldland, âtland) was known by the Greeks, for Plato mentions in his “Timæus,” 24, the disappearance of Atlantis, the position of which was only known as somewhere far beyond the Pillars of Hercules. From this writing it appears that it was land stretching far out to the west of Jutland, of which Heligoland and the islands of North Friesland are the last barren remnants. This event, which occasioned a great dispersion of the Frisian race, became the commencement of a chronological reckoning corresponding with 2193 before Christ, and is known by geologists as the Cimbrian flood.”

  127. Cary,
    I’ve worked in plumbing for a 7 years and, though I’ve never installed a pipe liner with the companies I worked for, the liner system is considered about equal in overall value to digging up and replacing the pipes. I have been told that overall the cost the same and quality is similar with a new pipe being a few degrees better. The main factor in deciding which to do will come down to how costly digging up the pipe will be. If you have to tear up concrete and beautiful gardens or dig extra deep then go with the liner, if it’s just a little dirt on the lawn than it’s likely better to dig up and replace the pipe the old fashion way.
    If the pipe is good as of now though you might consider just having it snaked for maintenance. I believe replacement would be unnecessary.


  128. Hey JMG

    Continuing from last post, I have 2 things I wanted to ask you to wrap everything up.
    1-do you think that there is any merit in the efforts of the Dozenalists to try and convince everyone to use Base-12? Is the advantage from base-12 great enough that someday a culture would be willing to overhaul the usual decimal way of counting in order to work in Base-12?
    2-what do you suppose would be the goal(s) of a hypothetical Borgesian occultism? While I could be lazy and say it would be the same as the Cabala it borrows from, I like to think that it would be to achieve in reality what his stories achieve on the page, which is an understanding and appreciation of philosophy/math/occultism so deep that you can perceive it everywhere in the world and wonder at it, and then perhaps find some way to use this knowledge to create a “miracle”, something that inspires wonder and the realisation of things beyond the normal, like you see in the story “aleph” or “The circular ruins” and of course “tlon.”
    Hey Luke
    Thanks for the link to your paper, I had no idea you both liked Borges, and wrote on academia.

  129. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks for the reply regarding any predictions in the short term, because I’d been curious as to your perspective. Conditions do seem rather volatile at the moment.

    I suspect the imminent oil story is just another note in the unravelling of the former (and I deliberately use past tense here) global arrangements. I’m coming around to the idea that the arrangements took a long time to get to this point, so no doubts the great unravelling will not be a fast process, but more of a slower skewering. The groups slowly turning up the pressure on the west look to me as if they want the west to self-harm, which is what is in fact happening. Saves them a lot of trouble I’d think, and also delays the day that lot has to eat their losses on the IOU’s they hold. What’s your take on that? It’s a complicated world and I’m just trying to make some sense out of the events going on.



  130. I have read a book by “Erik Creed”, a man apparently from Spain, the name probably a pseudonym.
    His books are from what I know available in German and Spanish.

    It’s about reading people and “dark psychology” – although the latter is not to be taken literally,
    as the author gives some rather positive and bordering the spiritual advices.

    The book has its merits but is a thin soup, a bit. Many formal definitions of psychology, some overview of brain anatomy, mixed topics. What is good is the descriptions of reading body language, some advice how to protect against narcisstic or worse personalities (when to call out or NOT to call out such a person for example), a lot of very generalized info of how manipulative people operate and advice of self development (of a reasonable and benevolent kind).

    Also very general descriptions of personality types and inner struggles people may face.
    Not bad all in all, though too few real world examples, because I think everday examples of general principles ease to grasp them.
    Towards the end especially he seems to target an audience of marketing people, probably to make a gain on his book too, basic principles of what humans like and how to approach them (reciprocity, appeal of scarcity, giving the illusion of options, pretending to urgency with an offered decision to market stuff and so on).
    I liked the reading of body language part the most and have used it recently since reading the book, more consciously.
    Ofc we all read body language – maybe autistic people a little less, I don’t know.
    But looking out for specific signs pays off. To see people scratching themselves around the neck esp, wiping away imaginary hair from their faces and so on.
    This way I understood all the more consciously how my work colleague who I am working with is enourmously nervous about his part in the project (informatics/office work).
    Another good thing is considering body posture, particularily one’s own as well. Keep an open pose if you want to pacify people, see that the tips of your feet look toward them when talking, widening the chest and keeping arms and hands in an open position.
    In our modern European culture it is not a problem to have your hands below the table when sitting with others, but having them in sight for the others on the table is still good.
    Avoid defensive gestures such as holding a cup between you and others, crossing your arms of course also, anything that blocks the way.
    I use these things because I want harmony in my life, to master formal situations like a work place, to early predict other people and their personality types, identify friend and foe…

    Another recent example: at a friendly small celebration in my work place there was among mostly men and two older women a woman math student, in the beginning of her twenties apparently.
    We had never talked before though seen each other in passing. She seemed somewhat avoiding to me in the beginning, made me wonder whether there was animosity but remembering how friends
    often reminded me that certain behaviours I easily deem unfriendly or hostile are really an effect of inner insecurity.
    So I observed here moving around and talking to one other young student guy also working there, but otherwise being somewhat offside there, as most others are older, men, kow each other better and are having a fun time.
    Not the easiest position for a clearly introverted person to be in.
    Finally, when I felt the moment was right, I brought some random thing up. That seemed to take some anxiety with her, and she started chatting eagerly.
    First, she rambled about computer games, because also the others were playing video games as part of the little party in an office.
    Here, I had to hide my revulsion, not against her, but against computer gaming, because that thing among others severly destroyed my eyesight as a youth (now refracted surgically), and as a result with few exeptions, I loathe computer gaming and digital entertainment (I’ll be 36 this year).
    It was 14 when I started to cease idolizing digital entertainment, but still a way from there until I mostly cut it out.
    Hiding my revulsion necessitated controlling my facial muscles and keeping an open position, sitting towards her.
    Don’t get me wrong there, considering these things is a way for me to avoid making others uncomfortable unnecessarily. Being a spiritual person amongst materialists necessitates a certain degree of hiding, especially for sensitive people.
    Next, the young woman chatted about her fascination of documentaries of people dying horribly in accidents or through their own stupidity. “There was a man baked in an industrial oven per accident”
    “A bit dark, aren’t we?” I thought.
    The woman is quite handsome, but has the complexion of a vampire. She clearly does not get out too much, lots of screen time.
    After lots of chatting, she started to ask questions about me and my education and career. She then complemented it.
    I am interested in mathematics and biology, otherwise was never a happy student, weaseled my way out of either become a full pmc management member (I was to socially inept/disorganized/substance ridden back in the days anyways) or to be unemployed, or to be condemned to do some horrible labor office courses, and be pushed into the industry somewhere where it sucks.
    It’s nice to get complimented from several (academic) people nowadays for my career and education, but since I am an avid ecosophian, these academic and bureaucratic honors are clearly not collapse proof, and don’t mean the same for me. Still I put a lot of effort in, and why not have that appreciated.
    The young woman also said “I am always tired” and complained of long commutes and lots of stress. I took some hints and guesses, I am versed in traditional medicine a little.
    I was reminded of my Qi Gong teacher and his preachings on our “substance”, what makes it grow, what erodes it. The etheric body; a weakened etheric body makes one always tired.
    On my part and as to that, cod liver oil and kickboxing do wonders for me there. Though I am also not so perfect in being healthy, but much better against the past one and a half years.

    I don’t blame people and esp the young for that, being in weakened condition much nowadays. I had to learn a lot myself to at least know what to do to upkeep good health, let alone put it into action too and integrate that with a corporate work life, though mine is milder and has more slack than the jobs of many others. Weaseled myself in there too.

    Next up to read is Joe Navarro’s book about reading people and also, “the Psychopaths among us” – the writer a former FBI profiler.

    Heavy stuff in a time where I’d prefer escapism, but I think, a good choice.

  131. @ pygmycory #90: it’s next door to Ypsilanti. If you held up the palm of your right hand I could show you right where it is.

  132. First off, I probably have to be more precise. If your attempted comment includes a discussion of AI, or answers generated from AI, or anything else taken from that species of misbegotten cyberparrot, it will go into the trash. I had several people this morning try to sneak in AI text or discussions in the middle of a comment. Their posts went into the trash. Please follow the house rules; the next step on my part is people getting banned.

    Michael, exactly — the list of cyberbait for vulture capital firms can be extended for quite a long ways. As for the end of our empire, yep. Stick a fork in it; it’s done.

    Clay, I’m glad to say my wife and I sailed on the SS Princess Marguerite, a fine piece of 19th century maritime technology. I remember hovercrafts, though! I thought they were neat when I was, oh, seven or so. 😉

    Michael, many thanks for this — that will do nicely. I’ve bookmarked it for future use.

    Koyaanisqatsi, as far as I know, the ancient Druids didn’t use A. muscaria at all. If they used magic mushrooms — and the jury is still out on that — it was a different species. As for modern Druids, most of us don’t use drugs — the human brain can go plenty of interesting places all by itself.

    Milkyway, I haven’t yet heard of any. If you find some, please let me know!

    Karim, I can’t speak for European countries, but the reason the US supports Israel no matter what is quite simple. The United States has a larger Jewish population than any other nation on the planet, including Israel; Jewish voters thus make up a substantial, well-organized, and well-funded voting bloc, and their votes and donations can make the difference very easily between winning and losing a close election in a great many urban districts. Thus most of our politicians inevitably support Israel, because that helps them come election time.

    Timbre, will get you right there.

    Eamonn, I haven’t read up on the late and unlamented Japanese Empire for a while now, so I can’t recommend anything off hand. As for meditative contact with writers et al., that’s something that New Thought teachers started recommending many years ago, and it seems to be harmless at worst — as long, that is, as you don’t take the experience too seriously or ignore common sense in dealing with the results.

    Robert M, it really varies depending on what your soul’s needs are for your next life. Some people reincarnate in the same area, and even in the same family, for a whole series of lives. Others reincarnate thousands of miles from where they last lived. In my last two lives, for example, I was born in Surrey, England, and died in New York City; I was born in Lawrence, Kansas, and died in the Los Angeles area; and this time around I was born in Bremerton, Washington and haven’t gotten around to dying yet!

  133. Cary #122 – “Anyone have experience with pipe-within-a-pipe systems?”

    As a residential designer and builder of many decades, I think you would be wise to avoid the latest gimmicky ‘fix’ to your plumbing. You do not mention whether this is a supply or waste line issue but I would be wary of lining my drinking water pipes with unknown epoxy mixtures. Yes, I’m sure they claim it’s inert, but if the water is corrosive enough to ruin the existing pipes, might it not also leach chemicals from the epoxy over the long term? Meaning that while one glass of water from an epoxy lined pipe might be almost completely harmless, decades of drinking, cooking with and bathing in that same water might result in a cumulative exposure that could be health threatening. Remember that there are some classes of contamination that have NO safe level of exposure. Hormone mimicking compounds in particular can be potentially problematic in vanishingly low concentrations.

    Having said that however, ALL types of water supply pipe have potential contamination problems: copper, galvanized iron, PEX and PVC are the materials I am familiar with and each has it’s own issues. For what it’s worth, my own house has PEX supply lines inside the house and PVC from the well to the house, with sections of copper at the pump and pressure tank and the well itself is cased with 8″ black iron down to bedrock.

    If your issue is old cast iron waste lines failing, the problem is usually a sclerotic narrowing from oxidation and crud buildup. Sewer lines can be inspected with cameras on a cable in much the same fashion as a colonoscopy, though less personally traumatic, and are recommended before investing in an older home. While lining an old sewer pipe with epoxy would probably work really well to make it “smooth and slippery”, it isn’t going to increase the internal diameter; just the opposite in fact.

    In conclusion, I recommend sticking to construction methods that have proven themselves over many decades in your area, even if that means tearing up the yard and installing new pipes.

  134. @Tony C
    Yikes I missed the MMcf on consumption levels. The numbers are too big to crunch on my cell calculator. Thank you for the correction. So in short the answer according to worldometer is no to my friend. That site indicates we have 77trilliom of natural gas total – 18 years of natural gas left if we burned it all ourselves at current rates. Newfoundland coastal reserves would be three years of consumption if tapped. The idea of hundred of years though is backed up here if you add in unproved reserves,produces%205.7%20Tcf%20per%20year.

    “With existing technology, the amount of remaining marketable gas available to be developed as of year–end 2017 is estimated at 1 220 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) or over 200 years of supply at current production. Canada currently produces 5.7 Tcf per year.”

    There is a difference in terms between these numbers according to the canadian center for energy information fact sheet. The energy factbook indictaes 87 trillion is proven – 1368 trillion is technically marketable with existing technology and includes unproved reserves.

    I understand the newfoundland coastal reserves are easily accessible “most of the gas can be conveniently found in less than 200 metres of water.” But still seem minimal in terms of the big picture.

    So then my friend is both right and wrong about hundreds of years. In terms of total national reserves including unrpoved he is right. But I think what I learned today is the real question is; could we ever scale up to reach capacity to prove and access that much natural gas, and what would be the cost? If worldometer is correct about canadian consumption levels then our technically marketable total reserves would give us 342 years of lng, or 43 years for the U.S. If you ascribe to JMG’s theory of the long descent we may never even get close to accessing as deindustrialization progresses.

    I think I’ll go back to editing my novel and watching my kid play this hockey tournament now lol. At least I have something to say the next time this yarn starts up again at the local tavern!


  135. Hi John Michael,

    Parrots on the other hand are super smart. I’ve got a King parrot here who seems to follow me around occasionally, and I get the distinct impression that the bird is trying to communicate. The Corvid’s, and in my case, the magpies, are far easier to understand.

    It’s sad we live in a world where boundaries aren’t respected. I have an inkling that this is part of the larger decline story and has been something I’ve been considering lately. There are an awful lot of people lurking around the land apparently aimlessly, and when I was a kid, people tended to retire and were promptly broke. My thinking is that economics will sort this issue out.



  136. Just a wee data point on… well, maybe how trust/distrust in official narratives develop/erode…

    There are several windmills visible from my window, and our local fishing port is doing a nice “second string” business in landing and storing windmill parts for various schemes going up around windy Donegal.

    The data point is this – at least three timesin the past few weeks, from three different people who do not know each other, I have heard the speculation that the windmills are not *producing* electricity, but consuming it. That “they” use batteries to keep the windmills turning, so as to perpetuate the “green illusion”.

    Now, as has been discussed in these blogs for years, it seems evident that windmill technology is not capable of replacing fossil fuels, which means that the green promise is in one sense, entirely illusory. On the other hand, since the windmills I can see always orient themselves to face the prevailing winds, and adapt their speeds to prevailing windspeeds, it had never occurred to me to wonder whether the visible turnings of windmill blades could themselves arise from any power other the wind. And, yet, this appears to be a new “talking point” in the general skepticism towards anything and everything being stressed in the official narratives.

    I wonder has anyone else encountered this specific “suspicion”?

  137. Karim #105

    I cannot answer your question as to what states do, because I am not a state, nor do I play one on television. 😉

    That said, I am observing that there are many Israelis, and even larger numbers of Jewish people of the diaspora, especially younger ones, who are becoming vocal against the judeophobia they find to be implicitly contained within ostensibly “pro-semitic” pro-Israel official discourse.

    The official discourse contains the following equation which cannot, they say, be a true reflection of who or what Jewish people are in their diversity, in their traditions regarding open discourse and freedom of conscience, and in the very Jewish concept of “Tikkun Olam” – the pursuit of social justice or “the establishment of Godly qualities throughout the world”.

    The official discourse holds that there is an unbreakable equivalence between the Israeli state and every Jewish person on earth. The judeophobic implication that arises from this is that every Jewish person on earth is made to appear complicit in the criminal Israeli state policies of ethnic cleansing, of transport/removal of Palestinians from their land and homes, of actions pushing these policies out to their logical endpoints – terrorising, bombing and killing the huge numbers of Palestinians we see today – and finally, the ongoing salting (by bulldozer) of their earth to ensure Palestinians never have homes to come back to.

    If this equation is true, or at least if it continues to be officially insisted on, then it holds a knife at the throat of every Jewish person, making them accomplices to a crime, guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent.

    “Not in my name” is a growing movement. Fortunately, there are many millions of people around the world who CAN tell the difference between a state and the individuals who are governed by that state. (Fortunate for me, too, as an American, who has never in 63 years been held, in any country I have visited or lived in, to be complicit in the many crimes my own country’s government has committed).

  138. JMG # 55, thank you very much for this answer! This helps me better understand the purposes of the three step routine you recommend, and it inspires me to commit to the practices more consistently in the new year.
    My current circumstances are very socially isolated. While I dislike how seldom I get to spend time with good people in person, I’m also seldom required to be around people with a herd-groupthink mentality, waiting for TV and radio to tell them what to think and feel. When I had the exposure the other day, the controlling manipulation of the commercialism stood out so obviously!

    I’m loving the tuning discussion. Key texts for me were “Sensations of Tone” by Helmholtz, “Horns, Strings, and Harmony” by Benade, “Musical Applications of Microprocessors” by Chamberlin, and countless articles from magazines and web sites as well as poring over synth manuals readily available online for free, and experimenting with both hardware and software systems.

    methylethyl # 49 there is free software available for most computers, which is a host for plug-ins which can do a variety of synthesis and analysis tasks. Oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer plug-ins are readily available free. As for synthesis, some synths are very flexible with customizable tuning parameters. For example, Kurzweil hardware is known for this. While as you’ve been advised by other commenters, a standard tuning system could be retuned by passing it through a pitch shifting retuning module, or by putting each note on its own channel and sending a Pitch Bend instruction along with each note.

    I don’t know of software that makes these experiments super easy with just a click or two. With the interest I’m seeing here, maybe there is now something like that, which I haven’t found yet.

    Phutatorius # 121 my impression is that Bach wrote Well-Tempered Clavier to hammer on the point, “Sure some of the intervals sound sour compared to an organ built for a particular key. But check out how flexible the modulations are, once you accept equal temperament!”

  139. Eamonn # 108 Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich” has a chapter, “The Sixth Sense” about this. Here’s the key passage.

    “The procedure was this. Just before going to sleep at night, I would shut my eyes and see in my imagination this group of men seated with me around my Council Table. Here I had not only an opportunity to sit among those whom I considered to be great, but I actually dominated the group by serving as the chairman.

    Before eyebrows are raised, let me assure you that I had a very DEFINITE PURPOSE in indulging my imagination through these nightly meetings. My purpose was to rebuild my own character so it would represent a composite of the characters of my imaginary counselors. I called on my Cabinet members for the knowledge I wished each to contribute, addressing myself to each member. [ examples given ]

    After some months of this nightly procedure, I was astounded by the discovery that these imaginary figures became apparently real. These meetings became so realistic that I became fearful of their consequences and discontinued them for several months. The experiences were so uncanny I was afraid if I continued them I would lose sight of the fact that the meetings were purely experiences of my imagination.

    Lest I be misunderstood, I wish here to state most emphatically that I still regard my Cabinet meetings as being purely imaginary. During my meetings with the Invisible Counselors I found my mind most receptive to ideas, thoughts, and knowledge which reach me through the Sixth Sense.”

    Hill was so close at times to becoming an outright occultist!

  140. Dear Mr. Druid.

    This is a response to Mr. Tony C concerning oil reserves. In looking at the Oil Reserve data one must read the fine print. There is a geologic component and an accounting component to the numbers, and the accounting number has a large impact on real world stock prices. Changes to the accounting rules do not mean any changes to the underlying geology but can have a real impact on real world investment. Take this together with manipulation by states for political reasons and you have a very confusing stew of information where every quote and reference can be correct within the parameters of the quote. Even the official agencies are not immune to political influence, and with some countries like Saudi and Iran we in the west do not have current information. Some information, like the oft quoted Mr. Peter Zeehan’s analysis of Russia, can be taken as propaganda married with racism and is interesting only to see what the Neocons latest message is.

    The basic idea is the oil fields need to be exploited and the exploitation requires ongoing capital which impacts reserves. For example BOE Report announced Conoco is investing in the Montney Field which means BC gas reserves will jump upwards by a lot. Part of this investment will be a pipeline to move the future gas into the existing W Canada transmission system. Without this pipeline the reserves cannot be booked. So no pipeline no reserves. A small company with Montney positions will be able to ride on Conoco’s investment and book some reserves. Whether the reserves are economical will depend on gas prices and the prices charged by Conoco for use of their plant and equipment. Nothing has changed about the geology.

    Mr. Nate Hagens recent podcast with Mr. Art Berman is worth a listen. Mr. Berman is old school and admits he was wrong on shale (also on heavy oil) but at one time he had access to Saudi data and does a great job of explaining a very difficult subject.

  141. This does not pertain to my previous enquiry. Not a question but a series of comments for what they are worth.
    I know you have stated that you do not see much value to Carlos Castanedas work, or do not relate. This is interesting to we and I always wonder your angle on that view point.
    My main feeling is that you have not read his works. It’s really important to read them all to get the teaching in whole (not that the knowledge in these works are unique to these works, but in this case is tied to Carlos’s experience) I know that some people who have not read enough (not saying you think this way) think his work is about taking drugs to get some sort of enlightenment. Absolutely there is use of “drugs” or medicine (obviously psychedelics) in the first and second book. They are largely absent from all subsequent works.
    In “Journey to Ixtlan” Carlos asks Don Juan why he had had him use those medicines so often, to which Don Juan replied “because you are stupid”. Which meant he was in a sort of mental stupor. Unable to dispatch from the modern ideas of what reality is.
    Blah blah blah, sorry. Not trying to pitch Carlos.
    No really…well maybe a bit. Anyways thatwasn’t even my reason for writing this. Only a ranting around waving hands and standing with hands on hips with wide nostrils.

    A very helpful teaching from Don Juan to Carlos (or in the case there is no Don Juan, then Carlos is the real genius) (sorry for all the parentheses))) every time after Don Juan would bring Carlos to the far edges of sanity and beyond, both with interactions with beings that aren’t supposed to be, and direct visions of the engines of the “known”, “unknown”, and the annihilating pull of the “unknowable”
    He would then taper Carlos’s soul, and resolidify him after the onslaught, with very mundane task for hours on end.
    And that’s just neat. 👋

    I’ll end my sermon here.
    Thank you for your ongoing patience with us and our endless wealth of inquiries and long commentaries.

  142. Eamonn,

    If you are interested in the Imperial Japanese Navy prior to World War II I would like to recommend Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941 by David C. Evans and David Peattie.


    1950s anti-aircraft guns would be a more cost effective counter to these Houthi drones then the missiles. There is also the fact that modern US Navy ships lack armor plating because they are built on two assumptions: 1) that they will never get hit and 2) cruise missiles had made armor plating worthless. If they had armor plating in line with what World War II heavy cruisers had they could take quite a few hits from some of these drones. Unfortunately, the US lacks the industry to quickly remedy this situation as most of it was off-shored or shutdown in the last 50 years.

  143. @ Robert Morgan #109
    Many thanks! I found previous comments about the Limits to Growth update in the November Fifth Wednesday post, “Surviving Catabolic Collapse: A Case Study.”

  144. Eamonn #108,

    I can’t offer much in the way of Japanese strategic investments in aircraft carriers prior to WW2. I speculate that they wanted to acquire the same technology and platforms (battleships (e.g. Yamamoto) and aircraft carriers) that the colonial European powers and the colonial United States was heavily invested in. Even today, the United States is still focused on the carrier as the preeminent naval platform (whole other topic on if this is true or not, so far, Yemen may be to differ).

    The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War by Mark E. Stille has a few paragraphs in the beginning talking about the various carrier, battleship and cruiser doctrine then the book becomes a standard military history.

    If you can find a copy The Battle That Doomed Japan: The Japanese Navy’s Story by Mitsuo Fuchida and Masatake Okumiya does go into more detail on Japanese naval doctrine prior to the war but then quickly moves in the the history of the battle.

    The web site linked below is a good resources on the Imperial Japanese Navy and someone on the web site there may be a link or reference to what you are looking for:

    I used to own or still have a copy of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers in a box somewhere. What was mentioned in that that led you to diving into Japanese aircraft carriers?

  145. Christopher from California #150 … Well Tempered is not the same as Equal Tempered! I gather that Kelletat H.: “Zur musikalischen Temperatur, I. Johann Sebastian Bach und seine Zeit” (1960, 1981, ISBN 3-87537-156-9) gives a persuasive argument against Bach using equal temperament. There are several different forms of well temperament that offer different compromises.

    Here’s one of my own discoveries in this direction:

    I am pretty sure that I just reinvented something that has been known for centuries!

  146. Fredrik, the system of astrological ages is very poorly understood in modern astrology. What we have are scraps of ancient tradition on the one hand, and wildly inaccurate pop culture notions on the other; nor do we know when the ages actually begin and end! As for my book on mundane astrology, it’s almost finished, but the time I had to take to get all my fiction placed with a new publisher cut into the time I’d hoped to put into that book. I hope to have it in a publisher’s hands early this coming year.

    Circle, it’s a little more complex than that. First there was the Orphic tradition, a mystical branch of Greek pagan religion dating back to ancient times. Pythagoras picked that up and started the process of giving it a philosophical basis; Plato took that process even further; the Neoplatonists finished it, giving us the theurgic philosophy that became the basis of later Western occultism. Meanwhile those same Orphic teachings, enriched by various things borrowed from Pythagoras, Plato, et al., blended with the mystical insights of other cultures. When it mixed with ancient Egyptian thought, the result was Hermeticism; when it mixed with ancient Semitic (including, but not limited to, Jewish) thought, the result was Gnosticism. The Neoplatonists and the Gnostics didn’t get along, btw — Plotinus devoted one big section of The Enneads to criticizing Gnosticism, for example. So we simply don’t know how much of Plato’s unwritten teachings made it into Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, or Gnosticism!

    Karl, “Buddhist Methodist”??? He clearly doesn’t know the first thing about either tradition. As for astrology, that’s a huge subject, of course, and the astrological ages are among the most complex and least well understood branches of it.

    David BTL, that is to say, somebody’s got their hand in the till. No surprises there! Thanks for this.

    Clay, yep. Every nuclear technology is safe, clean, and affordable until you start to build it.

    Justin, I don’t think so. Even the British military deception forces, the London Controlling Section and the A Force, weren’t public knowledge until well after the war. But it’s an interesting idea!

    Synthase, no, I didn’t have to. I simply took the US government and military as they are, put them into a real world military situation that they didn’t cook up themselves, and let them sizzle in their own fat until well roasted.

    BeardTree, of course. A century from now there will still be some petroleum being produced — just not at a price most people can afford.

    Candy, in both cases you might as well discuss a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. Not much difference.

    Travis, quite a range of them. The most important thing is to establish good relations with the land spirits and the oversouls of the plants you want to grow; you can do that using any magical method that allows you to interact with spirits.

    Stephen, I’m only 61, but I know the feeling!

    SMJ, I’ve heard of it, yes.

    Siliconguy, a good point.

    Ecosophian, thanks for this!

    Al, I’ll have to leave this for readers who have personal experience with these things. Anyone?

    Waffles, it’s quite simple. Many people like to be miserable, or angry, or something other than happy. People establish an emotional “comfort zone” defined by certain habitual feelings, which can be literally anything a human being can feel, and they’ll do everything they have to do to remain in that comfort zone. I’ve known people who insisted on being angry and would go frantically looking for something to be angry about; I’ve also known people who insisted on being frustrated, or depressed, or despairing, or what have you, and would defend that emotional state practically to the death.

    Renaissance, thanks for this. You may well be right.

    Ariel, that’s an excellent point. I think most people have a pretty good idea of what’s in those logs, or more to the point, who’s in them. The longer the politicians stonewall, the more the system that supports them loses legitimacy.

    Martin, yes, I’ve heard of it. It’s an interesting parahistory, one of many to come out of 19th century romantic nationalism.

    J.L.Mc12, (1) Probably not within the lifetime of our civilization. If the Dozenalists want to make it happen, they need to make base-12 math part of a religion, and hope that it becomes a dominant religion in the next age of the world. (2) Occultism is a tool; it has whatever goal the practitioner chooses to have. If that’s your goal, go ye forth and do that thing.

    Chris, I think it’s partly that and partly that the rising powers don’t want a global war. Localized proxy wars are fine, but World War III would be bad for business!

    Curt, thanks for this.

    Chris, I apologize to the parrots, then! 😉

    Scotlyn, I haven’t heard that, though Rhode Island is getting into the offshore wind farm servicing industry in a fairly big way. Interesting…

    Christopher, I know the feeling.

    A1, thanks for this.

    Travis, er, unless you’re a lot older than you sound, I read Castaneda’s books — everything he’d published up to that time — before you were born. (I went through a don Juan binge in 1978-1980.) I don’t consider his books useless at all. The first three of them, in particular, are among the very best works of visionary fiction to come out of the late 20th century American alternative scene. On the other hand, I’d encourage you to read Richard deMille’s The Don Juan Papers sometime, which talks about the actual sources of Castaneda’s ideas and has some interesting things to say about the relationship between authenticity (did the teachings come from where Castaneda said they came from?) and validity (do the teachings work as advertised?).

  147. Reading about the Houthi attacks on shipping around the Red Sea, and thinking on the technologies now available – where several thousand dollars of drones can destroy several hundred million dollars of armed naval ship – I think we are now passing the age of naval dominance, and entering a second Golden Age of Piracy.

    While the Houthi are doing this for geopolitical reasons at the moment, at some point it must occur to their rather financially-stressed government that they could raise funds by ransoming ships and cargoes, or simply seizing the cargoes and reselling them. And if the Houthi do it, others will, too.

    That’s another aspect of the breakdown of the power of big states. We start to get an insight into what it would have been like to be part of the Western Roman Empire in the 4th century. Things just gradually stop working, and become more chaotic.

  148. Sorry for my erroneous assumptions. I had remembered you having a more negative view of his works.
    I am 47. I came across Carlos in the mid nineties. I was about 20.
    Thanks for the recommendation.

  149. Christopher from California @150. Not everyone agrees that JS Bach was promoting ET with his “Well Tempered Clavier.” On its face, it’s a stretch to equate “well temperament” with “equal temperament.” Ross Duffin certainly does not agree and his book amounts to a polemic, but an entertaining an informative polemic just the same. (I had a music teacher back around 1970 who thought as you do that Bach was promoting ET, but that view has changed in recent years.) Duffin cites work by Bradley Lehman to support his position. I just found Lehman’s website and some links that look interesting but haven’t had time to look at them carefully. But here are links:

  150. JMG, about WW3 being bad for business, Smedley Butler said war is a racket and I think that’s the case given the fattening effect on some corporate bottom lines, but I think it’s also true that in general wars are terribly disruptive especially to cross-border business.

    I read a while back that during WW2 Stockholm was a hotbed of intrigue between Brit and German businessmen who wanted to get rid of both Hitler and Churchill. It’s no secret that not a few British, especially the toffs, hoped to make some accommodation with the Nazis partly because of hard memories of WW1 but also because Hitler and his boys were considered a bulwark against the Bolshies. And it’s no secret either that a lot of Germans couldn’t abide Adolf and the NSDAP, especially Prussian aristocracy who were not famous for humanitarian impulses.

  151. AL #130
    Re; Wood stoves/inserts/pellet stoves
    First I would have to ask you how serious is your respiratory problems? If a weekly puff of wood smoke would send you to the emergency room then a wood stove is not for you.
    A wood burning insert would be a fine addition to an existing fireplace. You would get a massive increase in efficiency and you could still enjoy the beauty of a fire. If you are handy with wood cutting tools a tree service could supply you with low cost firewood.
    Pellet stoves have their place. They are easier to control and pellets are much easier to handle than firewood. If you need to purchase your wood fuel source, pellets are usually a better choice. Pellet stoves do require electricity to run so they are not as handy in a power outage. In either case you would need to get your second chimney flue lined.

  152. I absolutely love the revelation that the Ecosophian readership is apparently filled with a sizable number of microtonalists!!! I suppose it makes sense…there’s a certain shared tenet of exploring ideas outside of the mainstream.

    Jim Kukula:

    Wow, this is a long one! So if I’m hearing this correctly, you mention that you’re traversing the schisma, right? I would love to hear you elaborating a little bit more about how you’re doing that, at least from compositional standpoint…with the glacial pace of the piece it’s kind of hard for my ears to latch onto the comma pump!

    I’ve done my fair share of algorithmic composition myself, but haven’t tinkered around all that much in 53 edo. Mainly because any tuning system that goes past 31 divisions rapidly becomes unweildly given that I do most of my composition in FL studio or MIDI, which only supports 128 notes (as you probably already know).

    The main work I’ve been doing messing around with pumping the schismatic comma has been in 29ed2 — here’s a link to a tune I’ve been working on.
    In this case I got to seeing what all I could do with 17/16 as a polymeter, realizing that 4+4+3+3+3 had a lot of rhythmic potential despite being quite…wonky in terms of its overall melodic structure. I was also mapping out relationships between all of the relative minors, parallel minors, dominants, subdominants and following them out in a lattice to try and figure out how I could develop chord progressions that modulated in unexpected ways back to the root “C”. All of the synthwork is done using the open source VST “Surge”, which lets you load .scl tuning files…if you haven’t tinkered with it, it’s great!

    One thing that’s really fun to do is using the “LoopMIDI” library to open a virtual MIDI port and write programs that will send messages from one program to another. is a track I did in 14ed2 by attempting to apply rank-2 temperament theory to the rhythms itself while adding some stochastic changes to the chord progression as it winds its way through a moody series of chords. I wrote that one in this nifty audio processing language called ChucK, sending messages from the ChucK program through the virtual LoopMIDI ports and recording the results in FL studio. Figuring out how to set it up was a bit daunting at first, but it turned out to be more straightforward than I thought it would be.

    Since books have been recommended all over the thread, I will throw out a favorite of mine: The Harmonic Experience by W.A. Mathieu. You can FEEL the enthusiasm coming through the pages, and he dumbs down harmonic motion and composition in such a way that I feel like it completely changed my approach to writing music in a very positive way.

  153. If the American defence industry was as agile as it was during the second world war, it could counter the Houthi drones in a year – couple the kind of advanced radar the Israeli Merkava tanks use to shoot down RPGs with some WW2 vintage 20mm cannons and all of a sudden you’re back in business. The drones are fragile and slow compared to missiles – slower than ww2 fighters – one plastic propeller blade cut and it’s all she wrote. But it’s all but guaranteed they will shoot two million dollar missiles at five thousand dollar drones until they have to beat a hasty retreat to go declare victory somewhere else.

  154. Hi JMG. I have followed the major events of the last few years and can’t help thinking about the astrological chart you cast for Joe Biden’s inauguration. The series of disasters suggested by the chart seems to me to have been a highly insightful view of the years we have experienced. I think it’s been the most clear-cut mapping of a series of events against a chart that I’ve seen. Do you have any thoughts in terms of the course of events against any expectations you had, if any? With potentially a year remaining in Biden’s presidency do you think that more is still to play out from that chart?

  155. Hackenschmidt, JIm Kunstler predicted a new age of piracy twenty years ago, and the pundits laughed at him. He was right, of course, and they were as usual wrong.

    Travis, duly noted! I say so much about so many things that it’s doubtless not easy for people to keep track of it all.

    Smith, sure, but having a few hundred major cities turned into radioactive craters is a little hard on business, you must admit.

    Justin, oh, granted, and doubtless some nation with a functional munitions industry will be building those by now. You’re right, though, that our dysfunctional excuse for a munitions industry won’t.

    Shadow Rider, I’m planning on doing a retrospective of this chart once Biden leaves office. Reviewing it, I can identify some of the mistakes I made — crucially, I didn’t consider the possibility that the indications of violence in the chart referred to wars abroad, as they in fact did; in hindsight, I’d identify the Sun square Mars and Sun square Uranus aspect with the Russo-Ukrainian war. I’d also identify the Mars square Saturn aspect, with its indications of turbulence and military or police involvement, with the collapse of the US-backed regime in Afghanistan, and the Mars conjunct Uranus aspect with the Israeli-Palestinian war, since Mars rules the 7th house of foreign affairs in the chart. The sequence of aspects involving Jupiter seem to suggest a serious economic downturn in this last year, but we’ll see.

  156. Hi John. I wonder if you are familiar with the hypothesis (more like observation) by Yanis Varoufakis that the Western world has slipped back into feudalism, made difficult to see by the technocratic structures that have allowed this to be possible while protecting the oligarchs. As I’ve listened to him speak on this topic, I have abstractly tied his ideas to those you put forth here. I’m not sure what the connection is, though. So I’m curious to know your thoughts and reactions to Varoufakis’ ideas — whether you agree we are living in a “technocratic feudalism,” and how we should be reacting to it.

    By the way, I absolutely agree with Varoufakis. Based on my own experiences trying to find stable employment and housing in the West — first in the 1990s and again in the 2010s after a period of living abroad — by comparison, I noticed a disturbing rise of various forces trying to “extract rent,” including employers who use various levels of agents and agencies expecting their cut for my labor, and monstrous hedge funds buying up rental property to artificially double rents. I finally had to escape to the East to live with some degree of dignity.

  157. I want to thank you SiliconGuy for your monthly power stats. I was talking about you to a girl the other day and she seemed a little skeptical. I told her there should be an update this week, and I have copied the numbers down. I hope she will be impressed. I mean, how could you not be?

    And I did not know that windmills still need power sometimes even if they’re not in use, so thank for that.

  158. Since I was born and raised in Ann Arbor, I wonder why anyone would tell anyone else to locate it by saying it’s near Ypsilanti. Ypsi (the local nickname) is smaller and more obscure than Ann Arbor is. When people ask me where Ann Arbor is, I say it’s about 30 miles west of Detroit.

  159. Hi JMG,
    In response to your comment “I was born in Lawrence, Kansas, and died in the Los Angeles area…”
    My father’s family migrated from Lawrence, KS to Glendale, CA, part of greater Los Angeles, around 1918. My grandfather and grandmother ran a bookstore in downtown Glendale from about 1918 until 1945, when my grandfather died. My grandmother continued to run it until her own death in 1954. They had it all: Books of all sorts, encyclopedia sets, the latest periodicals, stationery, pens, etc.
    It makes me smile to think that maybe you crossed each others’ paths at some point!
    I never knew my grandparents, but do know that my grandfather was a Mason from before 1918 until his death in 1945. He was also a Presbyterian deacon. He died when my father was 12, so there were very few stories to share with kids who came along 20 years later. My dad was essentially an only child.
    Would you have any fiction book suggestions that might give me a feel for Los Angeles of the 1920s-1940s, perhaps from a Masonic perspective, if that’s a thing? Clearly the Masons were a big part of his life.

  160. @deathcap #164
    That piece in 29ed2 is very nice! I have never explored 29ed2! I write code in C# that spits out a CSound score. It’s very easy to switch between equal divisions of octaves, but other tunings are not very well supported.

    My main compositional method is based on thermodynamics and phase transitions. Right around a phase transition a system will undergo fractal fluctuations. I figure that should made interesting music! Here’s a longer discussion:

    I have some other much simpler code that I mess with to explore comma pumps or comma traversals… here is a much simpler schisma traversal in 53ed2:

    My background is in physics and computer engineering… also I am pretty much a dinosaur… I was using punched cards from 1970-1981. I have practically no experience with MIDI or really any music software other than what I have written… I know just enough CSound to get it to make sounds!

    I have Mathieu’s big book right here at my shoulder. The early chapters were great, but then it just went way beyond my level of musical competence! I will get back one of these days, I hope. Meanwhile I am mostly just trying to smooth out my guitar playing. What if I use the high pitch strings, the B and E, like a dulcimer. Use the B as a drone and play a melody on the E?

    Here is a little exercise I wrote when I was reading Mathieu:

    And here is my attempt to map modes to 53ed2:

  161. Pygmycory,
    Hi, Maxine here. I didn’t spend a lot of time in Victoria, just there for lunch and away home so I didn’t see the tents in the parks. I did pass by the Conservatory and was amazed…

    I live on Denman Island. My last name is Rogers. I would be delighted if you looked me up and gave me a call sometime. We could exchange emails! I think we have a lot in common.
    Hugs from Maxine

  162. I went out of state for the week, traveling both ways on AMTRAK, Coast Starlight . I have taken this route alot over the years, but not for a couple years due to having other rides alot of the time. I rode coach this time. First data point, these cars for that route are realy getting worn. It’s nice to think we can fall back on rail service, but it is not being kept up. The upholstry seemed alright, likely that has been serviced, but the bathrooms are super worn out. Im sure they are cleaned, but the cleaning and use have the surfaces worn, the toilet seats are worn thru the outer coating in spots, the countertops are worn thru at least the top coat and down some. Even the metal handles are almost to the underlying metal color. Second, the train was full in both directions. Part of that may be the Holidays, but realy that mode of transport was selected as it was $70 or $80. Which is alot less than driving a car, if you are travelling alone, or flying. One family I met at the station chose it as their child would have alot of trouble trying to have to stay in a seat in a car or plane, but they were able to rent the family room on the train, where he could be contained in the room and not escape, and still be able to move around alot while in the room. Maybe in the future we could get street vendors allowed at the stations were they have the smoke breaks as that would be great to be able to buy food compared to what you can carry or is for sale in the snack bar ( “cafe”). My ride back to teh station on the way home and I had time to blow and thought we could find something to do in Eugene, OR where I had to catch the train. Oh my. Could be there is stuff there, but to us it was quite a dismal, dirty place. The 2 more rural town/city I had been staying in were much nicer, first in terms of much better store employees, and second in terms of finding hot tea/snacks and a clean bathroom. Right by the station itself, you can walk to a hotel and to a couple food/tea places.

    reading the free weekly on the bus from the train, saw an add for a low income apartment building almost completed downtown in the small city by me. So, they are considering low income as less than $99,000 a year income. Subsidized apartment housing in the building starts at $2300 a month for a two bedroom, which is alot lower than open market. Median income in the county is around $100,000, so it is right below median income. But, that is not low income. We have lots of people trying to live off of $1200/month social security checks or $900 month ssi. So, it turns out that our new low income housing is realy subsidized housing for middle income.

    Some people here realy do think that is low income. Read a comment today from a woman on a forum about help for the fire loss households, saying the Federal HUD program for rebuilding you had to have “no income” to qualify. I pointed out that the income limit was median income for the county, meaning that an awful lot of people made less money than that. Often way less.

  163. Re: hovercraft and die efficiency

    There‘s a YouTube channel called Mustard that features nice little documentaries about historical, mostly discontinued aircraft and related things. One was about the passenger hovercraft that used to service the English Channel. That one, the Concord, and a number of others share the final plot point „…but then, the oil crisis hit.“

    I Hadith’s opportunity to look at some then-state-of-the-art 1960s houses recently, because first-time homeowners I know had the questionable sense to buy them. Great design in terms of floor plan, but impossible to heat at today’s energy cost (this would be in Germany).

    These anecdotes sure demonstrate that energy affordability has been changing for a long time, but I also found some reason for optimism: while many old houses have become effectively un-heatible, people have figured out how to build homes for a similar budget that barely need heating at all. And I‘m not talking fancy high tech, but simply a clever use of mass, insulation, and window orientation.
    Sometimes people just need to feel the pressure of necessity.

  164. Hi JMG,

    this sentence of yours struck a nerve with me:

    > As for me, I’ve been waiting all my life for the time that’s dawning around us now; yeah, it’s hard to watch sometimes, but there’s also the rush of knowing, “Okay, here we go!”

    I remember as a young boy knowing with great certainty that I would live to see a great change around me, the end of an age. I have no idea why and how I knew – I’ve met doorknobs with more clairvoyant capabilities than me. The knowledge was there, however. I always loved books and movies about end times, not for the thrill of fear but the feeling of finally getting where I’m supposed to go.

    For a while in my twenties and thirties I turned to other things but finding you and through you „Limits to Growth” and Peak Oil a few years ago, it got me closer to understanding the mechanics of what’s going to happen. Now I spent the last few years preparing materially and mentally and the “okay, here we go” feeling is getting stronger every day. Thank you for connecting the dots and helping me prepare!

    Also, what do you think could be the source of this early foreknowledge?

  165. If I may piggyback off of Mac‘s question.
    In order to buy at a panic selling point one would require assets at such time . I have been thinking about what safe, or safer, savings havens are out there. Obviously the stocks are out, but what about bonds?
    I have been thinking about foreign currency in a stable bank. Since you said that you keep an account in a bank where you would not be surprised if they still do their booking in file drawers. So what have historically been ways in which an elderly couple could save their savings and use them at the other side of an inflection point?

    Best regards,

  166. @Pygmycory #40 Re: MAID in Canada
    Agreed, MAID is out of control in our imploding healthcare system–In my own area of rural BC, there are two pharmacies, one in a community of well-off retirees and another in a town located on First Nations land, about 15 miles away. A pharmacist from each store had lunch on a day when they both happened to be off. The pharmacist in the First Nations town was filling orders for a MAID death several times a month. The pharmacist in the retiree town had never filled an order for MAID. Hopefully this tiny sample does not indicate that MAID is being used as another tool (with residential schools) for the selective elimination of First Nations persons. It is certainly being used more by the poor…

  167. Hi John,

    My question for you is where you see Europe in say 2050 or so.

    My tentative outlook is the following:

    Russia will return to its pre-Soviet Union borders and have or be in the process of a sphere of influence over Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, parts of the Balkans, Hungary, Slovakia and to an extent, Poland (likely relations will be difficult).

    Türkiye will have an informal empire in parts of the Balkans and quite possibly have invaded Greece and beyond.

    Italy and Spain will already be in some kind of war/civil war already with what you can call the Muslim South and probably reaching into southern France and the Balkans as well.

    The UK and its immediate neighbours around the North Sea will be effectively aligned with the US or whatever the great powers in North America by the 2050s.

    Central Europe will be messy, quite possibly wars going on.

  168. Karim, further to my comment yesterday, here is only one of many, many of the kind of piece that I spoke about.

    By Philip Weiss, who in this piece says: “The official Jewish community is seeking to outlaw robust debate by declaring that only antisemites would speak up for the millions of helpless Palestinians under a historic onslaught. That stance destroys Jewish traditions.”

  169. – Cod liver oil

    It has been known since at least the middle ages in Scandinavia, as a means to strengthen vitality. Since about 1840 it was produced industrially.

    I think it irresponsible in temperate areas it isn’t common knowledge that the only two sufficient sources of vitamin D are the sun (if available) and fish. It’s content in other foods is negligible and insufficient to my knowledge.

    That’s a thing to behold down the road, especially if synthetic vitamins become less available.

    During the week I take something to eat from a small chinese kitchen, amongst other things they produce their own noodles. A family business of father, daughter and her husband, the daughter likes to chat eagerly (clearly socialized within Viennese society).

    She told me about her delivery man, who was constantly ill last year. A vegetarian, not even eating eggs, she recommended him to include fish in his diet. He brought her his own fish which they prepared for him in their little kitchen (they have salmon, apparently he wanted something else).

    Not once has he been sick this year, she said proudly. Her father also recommended to me to take beef more often with my noodles.

    I can say, this autumn I have successfully bested my constant cold with (red) meat, fish and cod liver oil. Also many more eggs.

    I notice how I don’t feel cold as easily, I dress more lightly now and it is no problem. Even when I am tired due to lack of sleep, something that unfortunately happens time again for me, I don’t catch a cold again.

    Esp eating meat makes me feel warm immedeately. Vegetables on the side, horseradish, cabbage, raw carrots, fried apples, all these things are helpful too.

    In times of downturn, getting your needed vitamins is paramount, apart from sufficient calories of course.

  170. Got to add to fish being the only vital source of vitamin D in winter (and source of many many other vital things), I am reminded of a book “Sai Baba speaks to the West” from 1993. Not directly written by the indian guru, but the German writer claims it was his voice dictating.

    I find many things nice about it, though I don’t take it 100% at face value that Sai Baba himself was an omniscient and infallible avatar of god, thought certainly (on account of my Viennese-Uruguaian friend who stayed at his ashram) a highly chosen figure with many miracles around him.

    Now, Sai Baba says “keep away from fish and meat as much as possible, and especially from pork”.

    I hate pork, but without fish and its products, I could not have overcome my ill health since these past one and a half years, lasting until mid November this year.

    THAT advice I find irresponsible, not at all infallible.

    (Yes, you can supplement synthetic vitamins, but that comes with its own problems, shortcomings and may become difficult in the future)

  171. Mr. Greer,

    This conversation thread caused me to do an internet dive into the Aquarius/Age of Aquarius and I was struck by something very peculiar. A lot of sites of a Liberal/Leftist/Progressive bent all saying something along the lines of Aquarius is known as the sign of teamwork, collective action, rebellion, progress, technology, destruction of old norms and hierarchies, etc…. It seems to me they have this ideological blind spot; namely a refusal to acknowledge the fact that Liberalism/Progressivism has been the dominate political force in the West for centuries and is therefore likely a prime candidate for one of the main social orders destined for destruction in a new age.

    Also, being a part of the Western Progressive intelligentsia their focus on collective action tends to be concepts of college and political protests. But raising an army to wage war is in many ways the pinnacle example of Humanity’s capacity for collective action and teamwork; especially considering Aquarius is a sign associated with rebellion. The same with technology; a lot of these sites gush over how the Age of Aquarius being associated with technological development means a golden era of space travel. But Aquarius being associated with both rebellion and technology to my mind heralds the development of new weapons; something that you can see already taking place with the development of drones, hypersonic missiles, anti-ship ballistic missiles, etc…..

    In many ways it seems to me that something like the Houthis, a tribal confederation organizing into an army utilizing new weapon systems to challenge the established order in the area they inhabit, is much more in line with the Age of Aquarius then what passes for thought amongst the online Left.

  172. Clint #122
    About three years ago, we had our sewer lateral lined with this epoxy product. While not cheap, it probably saved more them double the cost of the repair that would have required digging up a very busy four lane street to reach the place where our sewer lateral joined the sewer main. Naturally it was on the farther side of the street from our house. The damage that required this repair was caused by a local earth quake that caused the end of the lateral to seperate from the main, a situation that would have required constant unclogging over time if not fixed.

    There was also a place where a part of the sewer lateral had been replaced when the sewer main had been upgraded about two decades ago that was sagging and was joined to the original 67 year old cast iron lateral from the house that was cracked and subject to tree roots. The epoxy sleeve fixed all of these problems in one go and in the process easy clean out and observation access to this lateral was add to make future servicing, if needed, easier.

    On the whole, I would call it a very successful repair and only time will tell how successful, but so far, so good.

  173. To add to the conversation on energy, New Scientist published this article last week, with the claim that “Much of North America may face electricity shortages starting in 2024″. They quote the National Energy Reliability Corporation” and suggest that the majority of such instances will be due to severe weather (in this regard, I’d say their title is a bit ‘off’ – this has *already* started cf. California during heatwaves and fires and rain storms), but there’s a caveat about “normal weather” … and not much mention of California, but rather of the northeast and southeast, with some finger-pointing at electric vehicles. Gotta love the inserted link to an article about “how countries can go fossil free with wind and solar superpowers.” Cognitive dissonance anyone?

    Relatedly, the first session of the home preparedness series I’m facilitating at my Grange is this coming Wednesday (good luck wishes appreciated). There will be talk of how to weather energy crises among the many other issues building on the horizon.

  174. JMG

    How do you open yourself to find your deity, spirit and path? I feel spiritually lost like i have some practice with ortodox Christianity keeping an altar with some saints and lighting candle but just feels not right.

    Full disclosure i have complex pstd with childhood trauma and bunch of comorbidities due to it mostly anxiety related undergoing therapy. Anyone any ideas without inviting more trouble than necessary?

    Also if i search deities and spirits do you need to make separate altar? Because i have read sometimes spirits/ deities from one religion have dislike having artefacts ,statues or icons from other spirits and find it insulting.

  175. JMG, do you think that what a person believes will happen after death has any bearing or influence on what will actually happen?
    Before he died, my brother said he thought that death was probably followed by nothingness (an eternal blankness about which we will have no sensation or knowledge or memory… like a dreamless sleep from which we never wake up.)
    Sometimes I wonder if this non-experience is what’s “happening” to him right now, or if he’s doing something completely unexpected (such as forever playing games of Chess, Go, and Bridge — none of which he played during life).

  176. 20 mm Oerlikon, 40 mm Bofors, and 5 in 38 caliber guns were the standard AA battery of WW 2. History is rhyming again. A Fletcher or Sumner destroyer would be right at home in the Red Sea.

    The Phalanx system should be more than capable of shooting down the drones when the are in range. But that means the destroyer would have to be in close escort, and there are not enough destroyers in the area to do that.

  177. Martin (offlist), when I ask my readers to abide by a limit I don’t make exceptions. You’re banned until next week’s post. If you try posting anything else involving AI you will be banned from this forum permanently. I trust I make myself clear.

  178. JMG,
    What did you think of the recent Take-Down of Ivy League Presidents ( +MIT). Seems like a fairly weak attempt to turn the tide of opinion with regard to the Middle East Conflict on Campus.
    But the interesting thing was what happened when the light was shined on Harvard’s President. Seems to reinforce everything you have been saying about how the PMC rises and keeps power in the woke age.

  179. I found your comment very interesting about being born in Surrey, England in a previous life. Have you any further info you would be willing to give? I was born and have always lived in Surrey, England (in this life, at least!).

  180. Hi John,

    Reviewing this astrological website, their free chapter includes a fascinating reference to the period 2024 to 2027 which astrological precedent suggests leads to a cycle of war.

    Wonder what your thoughts on this. From a non-astrological perspective this certainly makes sense to me as geopolitically anytime after 2024 looks very ominous for the US. There is also the outside risk of a US civil war (a different type of war) but that strikes me as less likely.

  181. @Ottergirl 171: Here’s my book recommendation. “Day of the Locust” by Nathaniel West. It’s a classic.
    @Stephen Pearson 145: I checked out from the library KSR’s recent book on his love affair with the Sierra and read segments of it. I’ll have to read the rest one day soon. Jack Kerouac’s hike in the Sierra with Gary Snyder was my favorite part of my favorite Kerouac novel, “The Dharma Bums.”
    @St. Clair 170: Sorry, I left off the 🙂 . The same with the hand part. in that comment.

  182. JMG,

    Any opinions on Graham Hancock? I’m readiing him at the same time I’m re-reading your “Weird of Hali” series (3rd time through). There are some intriguing alignments.


  183. Michael, like most of today’s pundits, Varoufakis doesn’t know what feudalism is and thus can’t tell the difference between feudalism and bureaucratic oligarchy. Like most civilizations in their twilight years, we have the latter, not the former. What’s the difference? Feudalism is founded on mutual personal relationships. The bond between lord and vassal isn’t an abstraction — it’s based on personal loyalty that goes both ways. The lord has responsibilities to his vassals just as the vassals have responsibilities to the lord, and a lord who treats his vassals like disposable property will have his vassals turn their backs on him and find another lord, if he doesn’t simply get his attitude adjusted with the business end of a battleaxe. Rent extraction? That’s another of the standard gimmicks of a civilization in decline, and plays a very important role in turning “decline” into “fall.”

    Ottergirl, if my memories are anything to go by, I left Lawrence in early 1942, just after the US entered the Second World War, and caught a train to Los Angeles; I wasn’t quite running away from home, but I was not much more than 18 and didn’t have (or ask) my parent’s permission. I wanted to get away from the life they expected me to lead as a girl in the middle of the Bible Belt. I got a secretarial job in a defense plant somewhere in or around Long Beach and lived in a series of rooming houses close by until after the war, when I got married and we moved to a house in Manhattan Beach back when it was cheap; that’s where I lived for the rest of that life. So I don’t know that my path and your family’s would have crossed. As for fiction, hmm! The obvious ones are the mystery novels of Raymond Chandler, which are all set in the LA area in the 1930s and 1940s; beyond that, I’m not at all sure. You might read some of Manly P. Hall’s books on mysticism, though, because he was a Mason in LA; one of his very first books, The Initiates of the Flame, was recommended reading for Scottish Rite Masons from its publication in 1922.

    Michael, I saw that! If I didn’t already have my next post written I’d consider responding to it, and making fun of it.

    Atmospheric, I know. Amtrak trains are getting a lot of malign neglect these days.

    Eike, the pressure of necessity is likely to be a very frequent guest as we proceed!

    Bendith, I don’t know. I also had it from a very early age, and it’s occurred to me more than once that I may have picked it up between lives.

    Marko, currency in a stable bank is about your best bet at the moment. Having it in several different currencies will help.

    Forecasting, everything depends on the long term demographic consequences of the Covid debacle. In a worst case scenario, the historic nations of western Europe will no longer exist, and the Alps and one of the south-to-north rivers in central Europe — maybe the Rhine, maybe the Elbe — will mark the boundary between nations that still retain European culture and the northern extension of the Maghreb, settled largely by people from north and central Africa. If the death toll is smaller, adjust accordingly.

    David, both of ’em came through. It’s a fascinating essay; the author is clueless but some very interesting things slip through despite that.

    Karl, good. Yes, in fact establishment liberalism is a perfect example of a Piscean belief system: rooted in the emotions, collectivist in its outlook, demanding uniformity of belief and behavior, fixated on “helping” others whether they want your help or not. The energies of the Aquarian age are individualistic, eccentric, aloof, rooted in thought rather than emotion, and fixated on pursuing a personal vision no matter what other people think. As for space travel, that’s just a Piscean ascension into heaven with the serial numbers filed off…

    Temporary, thank you for the reference to the series you’re doing at the Grange. That made my day. Positive energy incoming!

    Emily, it’s a path you have to walk, not a single act of opening. Trust in the gods; they’ll lead you where you should go. Most people just have one altar, though of course your mileage may vary.

    Yoyo, nope. The afterlife is what it is, and our beliefs have no more effect on it than, say, your beliefs about whether cars exist will have an effect on what happens if you stroll across a busy freeway. 😉

    Siliconguy, I wonder if anyone will have the common sense to blow dust off the plans for any of those systems and get a factory busy making them again.

    Clay, I see it as the first faint rumbling of an approaching earthquake. Harvard, MIT, and Penn State may not exist any more when the rubble stops bouncing.

    Phil, it’s a couple of lives back so I don’t have all that many exact details. My family was of Irish extraction — my father never could shed the brogue — but moved to London in the 1780s and prospered there in business, so ended up moving out of the city and getting a country house somewhere in what counted as the rural part of Surrey in 1840 or so. I was born there in the 1850s, went to a public school (not one of the famous ones), then followed me dad’s footsteps and settled in London to work as what they called a corn-chandler in those days and would be called a commodity trader today. I lived in suburban London for most of my life thereafter; in 1918, right after the war ended, I relocated to New York City and lived there for a few years before I died. So most of what I recall of Surrey is green lawns, copses of trees, birds chattering at the top of their lungs all spring, and occasional visits to a nearby town that always seemed overwhelmingly busy and bustling to me.

    Forecasting, I got a 403 “Forbidden” response when I went there. Things That Man Was Not Meant To Know!

    AV, a very mixed bag; worth reading, but do your own thinking. He’s dug up a lot of intriguing clues, but he never seems to have learned that you test a theory by looking for data that contradicts it. I once had a whole lodge room of Freemasons laughing over Hancock’s claim that Masonry has been on earth for 15,000 years, after having arrived here from Mars.

  184. @Emily re: PTSD and religious practice:

    I’ve done the PTSD thing, and I am Orthodox. Mine didn’t involve childhood trauma (just adulthood trauma), so all I can give you is personal experience, and YMMV and all, but maybe something will be helpful.

    In the violent initial stages, searing grief, flashbacks, nightmares, etc. there were some crucial things:
    1) Discipline of thought: I couldn’t let my thoughts wander. Without supervision and constant active direction, they’d always wander to the same horrible place. Orthodoxy offers some very useful tools for this: the Jesus prayer chief among them, but also other regular simple prayers like the trisagion which, when committed to memory, are a tool always within reach. Your guardian angel and the saints are always within reach– waiting only for you to ask for help. Learning to chant some of the Psalms was also really helpful– it gives your mind a well-trod road to follow. Text and recordings are really easy to find, so if you’ve any ear for the music at all, it’s do-able and worthwhile. Cross yourself when you’re under attack.

    2) Past the purely need-to-be-functional part, pain and grief shouldn’t be put off. When you’re not having to be immediately functional– like at work, or driving or whatever– that was a good time to just… experience it. There was no need to re-live the trauma itself, but it seemed necessary to deliberately and prayerfully lean on God’s good will, trust Him that all things are given to us for our salvation, and just… step into the furnace. It was weirdly clear to me during the worst of it, that while I really, really wanted to avoid the pain and grief (they hurt!)… they were necessary and healthy responses to what had happened, and needed to be faced squarely, and experienced fully. Avoiding them, through escapism, busyness or through anger (and boy was it easy to find targets for anger!), could only warp and disfigure me, spiritually. Pray, walk through the furnace, trust that God will bring you out whole on the other side. You will not be the same person, but God can make you a whole person. It’s a forge where you get re-shaped. The process isn’t comfortable, but it is good.

    3) In the longer term, if there are deaths involved, adding the names to the list on Soul Saturdays, and doing a mimosina, is helpful. For ongoing issues with avoidance and disordered thoughts and interactions with others– confession helps a lot. A surprising number of repetitive, ugly thoughts aren’t really ours. They’re just… something else that’s found a soft spot it can jab at and get a fun reaction, you know? They hate it when you take them to confession.

    4) Pray for everyone involved. Everyone. Individually, by name if possible. If dead, pray for their forgiveness and peaceful repose. If living, pray for God’s mercy on them, and on yourself. Nothing more specific. Only God knows what each person needs, for the good of his or her soul. We are not wise enough. Leave everybody in God’s hands.

  185. Since it’s the open post, I got a lovely English translation of Hildegard von Bingen’s Physica for Christmas, and highly recommend it! Probably a lot of readers here would appreciate it mightily– as a practical medieval herbal, and also as a magnificent window into medieval thought and assumptions about the world. It is so interesting to see just how much of our modern-day definition of “magic” is dependent on modern science. Like: whatever’s not science, that must be magic. And even religious people seem to accept that delineation without question. But here’s Hildegard, a recognized Catholic saint, blithely recommending things that we would absolutely categorize as natural magic. Clearly she saw things differently, without Science(tm) to butt in and make the definitions for her.

  186. Is binding yourself magically something people normally do and a good practice?

    Whenever I find myself caught in an addictive behavior that I’d like to stop, I’ll put out a very strong intention to prevent it from happening again, which is very frustrating in the moment when my addictions win out over me yet I’m unable to feed them.

    But it seems to work really well and it’s freed me from a few negative behaviors.

  187. Hi John,

    Thanks for that.

    Does the Muslim part of Europe include the UK and Scandinavia or do they escape this jihadi nightmare?

  188. Hi,

    Apologies, 2nd question if you don’t mind.

    Based on the excess death toll among highly vaccinated countries are we tracking that worst case scenario or not?

  189. Hi JMG and friends,
    I would like to get your opinion on the concept of “sacred geography.” We see examples of this in say Hinduism with the reverence of certain mountains and rivers (the goddess of the Ganges for example), and similar traditions in other “pagan” faiths. We also see this sort of attitude towards certain locations in the Abrahamic traditions, like with the deep reverence for Mecca in Islam or the Temple Mount in Judaism, although I recognize it’s not a one-to-one analogy.

    To be completely honest, such things always “bothered” me. Not in that I think such acts of worship are wrong, but physical locations can be changed, destroyed, etc., and if not by man then by nature. (If nothing else, one day plate tectonics will carry the various holy cities of the world down into the Earth’s mantle, or crush them into mountains). My question, or doubt, is reconciling the idea of regarding a site as sacred and worthy of worship or reverence when it by its very physical nature doomed to decay and destruction. This especially seems to conflict with the very idea of worshipping a God or gods which are immortal, like the Abrahamic God or the Gods of Hinduism.

    Perhaps my state of mind comes across as juvenile (I never quite got over learning that the Sun will one day swallow the Earth as a five year old) but this debate troubles me. In any case I look forward to reading your and the community’s thoughts on it.

  190. “America is the place where everyone is off on their own trip”-JMG


    You Do You
    Do Your Thing
    Do Your Own Thing

    Wishing everyone here best wishes for 2024!

    I really believe if we take that vision quest within ourselves we can each find the tamanous spirit, and be guided on our path through the labyrinth of colliding reality tunnels that is life in a dying empire.

  191. Quin,
    Could you add my nephew to your blessing list? He is now in a wheelchair due to ALS. May he have peace and comfort during this difficult time.


  192. Wow, it’s become apparent to me a new military tech race is happening and not just among the big guys. It is scattered across a dozen or more nation states and various non-state groups, and even people on the level of garage and basement and back yard tinkerers are taking part. I am on the edge of mentioning a forbidden topic that is part of this drama besides the drone, so I will divert myself.
    To my amusement I read recently that Sweden’s SAAB company makes a military jet that besides being cheaper is arguably better than the American F-35! American Know How is perhaps. transmuting to Don’t Know How. Our fabled Military Industrial Complex may have sluggish metabolic syndrome from decades of easy sweet feeding at the Federal trough. I heard that Eisenhower considered calling it MICC instead of MIC – the Military Industrial Congressional Complex.

  193. Yes, the American system is seizing up when I compare the rapid build outs done from 1930 to the 1969 moon landing – Hoover Dam, Empire State Building, Golden Gate. Ridge, the WW2 effort, the building of the Interstate Highway system, the Space Race as compared to the still unfinished bullet train in California after billions spent, and the 13 years taken to replace the World Trade Center buildings (Empire State Building 1 year, 45 days) and various other slow moving and way over budget projects.

  194. JMG, running away from home around eighteen years old in 1942 means you’d have been born in the early twenties. And then, you, as in your current incarnation – was born in 1962. That means you must have lived for less than fifty years in your previous life, and have had almost no time between incarnations. Doesn’t that seem, well, kinda rushed?

  195. Methylethyl, delighted to hear that there’s a good translation out. Who did the translation?

    Dennis, that’s a standard magical practice, and well worth doing.

    Forecasting, Scandinavia might escape, though only if Sweden gets serious about deportation. The UK? Too easily accessible by ship, and if the death rate tracks the vaccination rate, Ireland will be almost completely depopulated and thus overrun early on. As for the death toll, it’s literally impossible to say — what we’re seeing so far is the near to medium term consequences. The long term consequences haven’t started to show up yet.

    Hobbyist, every material thing perishes eventually. The material form is simply a temporary vessel for a spiritual content. That’s true of very holy things as well as ordinary things — for everything in existence has a spiritual dimension, you know. A mountain, like a temple, a relic, or a drop of holy water, will someday disappear. So? While it exists, it is a vessel for the Infinite.

    Justin, I ain’t arguing. 😉

    BeardTree, exactly — and as usual, the lumbering imperial power du jour is the last guy to figure out what’s going on.

    Bruno, last time I died well before my fortieth birthday. Yes, it was rushed, and left me in quite a jumble — I suspect that has a lot to do with my Asperger’s syndrome, and also the emotional problems I had when I was a kid. There were valid reasons for it — but I’m looking forward to a nice long interval between lives, if I have to come back at all.

    Sam, I don’t recommend doing that at all until you’ve gotten a solid background in occultism more generally. Once you’ve done that, the instructions in W.E.Butler’s Apprenticed to Magic are quite solid.

  196. Hi John Michael,

    The parrots are intelligent enough to ignore such loose talk. 😉

    It’s odd that rent seeking behaviour. How much is enough? The answer defines the arc of the fall. Will consumers have to pay to access cash or face a future without banknotes? Clearly the powers that be are wetting themselves at the thought that they may be missing out on a cut for every single transaction. Greed is embarrassing to witness.

    On a different subject which was mentioned above. Symbols are powerful, and dare I say it, but the name “Lolita Express’ sends a strong message. My gut feeling suggests that such goings on are unofficially tolerated, the facts sort of suggest that especially given the high estates of the rumoured alleged miscreants. Ignoring the morality of the entire situation, the recent Russian dance party episode suggests how things will proceed. Some will be hung out to dry as an example to others – don’t get caught next time is perhaps the message there? Others will quietly have a social fall from grace, then promptly be excluded from power – there are always others waiting and nipping at the heels who’ll probably be better behaved. Yet some others may be heavily compromised and then controlled. The whole thing stinks, but as has been remarked upon before by wiser souls: There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch + There’s no fool, like an old fool. Anyway, just my best guess at what is going on there. The public may be satisfied with a few hangings, dunno.

    Oh! Yes, I tend to agree with you. Proxy wars are good for business, whereas World Wars pose significant risks. What we’re kind of witnessing is how massed cheap weapons can economically wipe out more expensive cost base’s. It’s not good.

    More rain is forecast for this week. A truly nuts growing season.



  197. Hi John Michael,

    Forgot to mention about the cashless thingee. If anyone cared to look, the dark controlling side of that story can be seen in how the land of stuff treats people who are black-listed. Oh my!



  198. Reading the comments on Victoria, B.C. makes me sad. Went there with the family a couple of times and we always enjoyed the town.

    For those into miniatures, especially old school miniature wargamers but anyone with imagination recommend Miniature World in Victoria, located right next to the Empress Hotel. Many dioramas and at least half are not war / soldier related.

  199. One has to remember that the Houthis have an very powerful weapon to use against western shipping . They turn the reliance of the financialized western world on insurance back upon them. They don’t need to do battle with navel ships or sink every vessel bound for Israel. They just have to make a few hits with drones and missiles here and there so that no unwanted vessel can get insurance to travel via the Red Sea. I am sure the insurance industry long ago abandoned Yemen so it is in in no danger of reciprocal treatment . This is one way in which war bands, rogue nations or rebel movements have an advantage over the empire. The complex web of financial arrangements that prop up the empire are great weaknesses that can be attacked by the “barbarians”, which have no such weakness on their side.

  200. Mr. Greer,

    Like I said earlier I know my birth sign is Aquarius and “individualistic, eccentric, aloof, rooted in thought rather than emotion, and fixated on pursuing a personal vision no matter what” sums up a good chunk of my personality. I also got diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was a teenager; you know what that’s like. Part of the reason I hadn’t had much of an interest in astrology until fairly recently was my Mom got into a New Age occult fad in the mid 2000s. Remember “The Secret” fad? My Mom was into that. She also had a friend during this time who I didn’t like that was into astrology and that colored my perception of it for years. I remember for awhile she was a big fan of some guy who was trying to combine Chinese and Western astrology into one system.


    I think the concept of the battleship is likely to be making comeback in the near future. A big ship mounting large amounts of anti-aircraft guns, batteries of long-range heavy artillery along with ballistic and cruise missile launchers to destroy targets at range, a drone hangar and heavy armor plating to withstand hits would also come in handy in the Red Sea. But I doubt the idea of reactivating and modernizing the Iowas will enter into the minds of anybody in the Pentagon.


    During times of civilizational collapse one of the things that tends to happen is the democratization, for lack of a better word, and personalization of military power. Pirate gangs, mercenary companies, war bands, religious military orders, peasant militias, etc…. proliferate as a civilization enters Spengler’s Winter and disappear into the background during the next civilization’s Summer as military power is consolidated and centralized.

  201. I’d like to share this augur, which has been circling the Catholicosphere for the last few days. Apparently, a lightning did struck a St. Peter statue, just outside a small church in Buenos Aires, Argentina… on Pope Francis’ birthday!!! More over, it seems to have melted the bronze halo, leaving the human form in stone almost intact, the almost part due to having blown off the right hand… which was holding, also in bronze, a representation of the Keys of Heaven!

    Suffice it to say, the Sede-Vancantists are having a field day just now. Here’s an example:

    Beyond the obvious implications, do you have any insights on this? Also, if there are any Argentinians in the commentariat… could you please confirm or deny if these news are circulating locally? In this age of fake fakeries over falseness, it is impossible to tell if anything you find online is factual or not. It does not help that yesterday was the Day of the Saint Innocents, the equivalent April’s Fools in Mexico and probably the rest of Hispanoamerica as well…

  202. @ Zachary and JMG,
    I converted to Theravada Buddhism in 1995. I guess that my practice now, 28 years later, is a “watered-down version of Buddhism” and I have no problem with that. I am French and have lived in France all my life. None of my family members and friends is a Buddhist, and I haven’t been in a Theravada temple for years, therefore my Buddhism is very watered down indeed, and mixed with scientific pantheism. This being said, Buddhism gives me moral guidance, which I needed. After my conversion, I noticed that I was less tired than usual at the end of the week, because I avoided most of the petty disputes which were so common where I worked. I am quite certain that Buddhism has silently but profoundly modified my personality.

    Buddhism is good for me in a myriad ways. I don’t practice much, though, except for the occasional mantras and meditation. , but I still identify as a Buddhist when someone asks me what my religion is. I don’t flaunt my Buddhism, since I am very conscious of being a very imperfect Buddhist. Monastic life is not for everyone…

    Mr Greer, I really appreciate your blog, which is a precious source of information and wisdom to me.

  203. @A1

    Thanks for your explanation.

    I am not a specialist of this aspect of investment, accounting and geological reserves.

    What number do you look at usually for a country (economically recoverable , technically .recoverable , proven .. )
    or do you need to take into account investment and infrastructure?

    Is there methods to know what will likely be produced and available for people with the available data?

  204. We have this crazy thing in California where you cannot take old solar photovoltaic panels to either the dump or a recycling center. There is a sign on the window of the kiosk on the way in to the dump that clearly says ” no solar panels” so I asked the employee what we are supposed to do with them, as a person with 26 year old pnales on my roof it could get relevent, she said, send them back to teh manufacturer or contact the manufacturer. I said, they dont even exist any more…..

    So, solar installers when upgrading a system will often resell the panels, now you know why, but hold out on this, they should be free to you , if you want them, as they have no way to dispose of them that wont be costly

    But, what I just thought of, after looking at some photo being passed around on a different forum of a weather trashed commercial solar location was, wait, that is brilliant. The way for a consumer to get rid of them is to break them into little pieces and just add to the household trash 1/4 panel or so each week…. I am not saying this is the best solution, what I am saying is that this will be what any reasonable person will have to do after maybe finding reuse for one or two. Chicken coop roof ? Not that practical… they just dont seem like they would overlap well and are only maybe 6 to 10 sq ft each. What am I going to do ? Well, the current plan is to just accept that I get alot less power than I did 26 years ago and let them be until it is time to reroof, which will likely not happen during my tenancy here. I expect that at some point, sanctioned or not, they will end up in an official landfill or some other dump

    on another subject, I am starting to wonder if I shouldnt move on to a different moniker for this group. I took up Atmospheric River as a wish and a yearning, which has been quite well fulfilled…..

  205. JMG – I have stayed in the shadows, reading but not speaking since you told me I should not bother trying to post again. However, seeing how leniently you have dealt today with a transgression against a direct ban on a topic (AI) by Martin, I’d just like to ask am I allowed back, or is my banishment permanent?

  206. @methylethyl
    If you want to get a synthesizer to play in any scale of your choosing there are a few ways to do that.
    All of them quite complicated and requiring a fair bit of engineering skills as well as detailed knowledge in music theory and some basic maths.
    So brace yourself for a very technical couple of paragraphs.
    Scala is a very powerful tool that does just that. It has a steep learning curve.
    once you defined your scale in scala, you need a synthesizer to import it. Not every software synth will be able to do that. Actually most wont.
    two possibilities here: (i wont explain the acronyms. sometimes google actually is your friend)
    1) use VST or a similar technology. (LV2 or whatever works best for you)
    i recommend REAPER as VST host. Then find a virtual instrument that can read scala files.
    Reaper is not free, but it is cheap, stable and quite intuitive (maybe less so for someone without a background in sound engineering)
    a good starting point to find that is here
    I know of and use a some virtual instruments that support scala and other ways to change the tuning, but they are not cheap.

    2) use stand alone virtual instruments
    works pretty much the same as 1) only does not need a vst host. While that makes things a bit simpler, it limits your choices. There are far more

    I did experiment with non western scales for a bit maybe 20 years ago, but with my background in western music theory and my generally conservative approach to life i decided there is enough territory for me to explore here for the next 10 or so incarnations.
    Occasionally i still play around with equal temperament though but the deal breaker usually is when other musicians come in. Any fretted instrument is 12TET with not much leeway.
    Having said that, a friend of mine has a microtonal guitar which he gets out at the slightest provocation. With varying results.

    You opened a can of worms here. Actually a whole can factory. Would be interesting to see what you come up with musically.
    Hope that helps.

  207. Thanks so much to commenters with enlightening insights on many topics including magic, plumbing and heating, social changes amid decline, military history. I try to not jump in where I have nothing to add, but I do enjoy learning so much here. Sometimes I feel here like someone down the bar, quietly sipping and just listening.

    Phutatorius (I may be a generation behind on views about Bach’s intentions), Jim Kukula and other microtonalists, I’ll follow up on links provided. Thank you.
    I’m thinking of making a blog post to host more in depth music geek discussion into the new year. Would that be of interest?

    JMG # 211, The late 1800’s agri-biz trading could have been a start towards your current interest in international economics?
    In recent years I’ve enjoyed strolls around Long Beach and Manhattan Beach… perhaps 70 years after “previous you” was there.
    Do you remember intervals between lives?
    # 198 re Hancock: I thought of H.G. Wells’s eerie tripod invaders from Mars raising all three of their fiendish coils to seek help for the Widow’s Son…
    # 167 re political astrology: If one’s personal natal chart has the same factors as an event chart, are those elements highlighted? For example, I have natal Sun square Mars. Would that mean Sun square Mars themes are likely more featured in my life during this administration? Or is my personal life a completely different thing than the direction of politics?

    I’m sad to learn of the Coast Starlight’s decline. I took it a few times in its better days (with a coach sleeper seat) and enjoyed the trip very much.

    Writing Hobbyist # 204 As humans we know that no meal will last for years, but that doesn’t stop us from having our favorites we like to enjoy during their brief existence. If a friend would like to join us to also enjoy a good meal, why would we turn them them down just because dinnertime will soon be over? Why should gods be any less happy about their favorite continents, rivers, or groves, any less pleased if we also take an interest in what they care about?
    And not to worry, the Sun will be far more than five years old before it swallows the Earth. 😉

    Karl Grant # 112 The actual Age of Aquarius might not arrive until additional centuries of transition time, depending how it’s defined. However, the next few years will have major astrological factors related to Aquarius. Two British astrologers, Jessica Davidson and Jessica Adams, both have many articles on these themes on their blogs, which might be a good introduction to these concepts.

    methylethyl # 199 Thank you for sharing your PTSD treatment experiences. Soul Saturdays, is that on one of JMG’s sites?

    Justin Patrick Moore # 205
    You Do You
    Do Your Thing
    Do Your Own Thing
    I nominate this for Best T-Shirt of 2024!

  208. Chris, it’s precisely because rentseekers have no idea what the word “enough” means that they so often bleed their prey dry, and then perish with it. As for the Epstein business, the question in my mind is purely who has the information and how they’re exploiting it.

    Clay, that’s an excellent point. Yes, a global empire consisting mostly of abstract financial relationships is exceedingly vulnerable to attacks on those relationships.

    Karl, something like that would have put me off astrology for a good long time! The Secret — yeah, I watched a whole bunch of people buy into that book, and decide that they were going to make the universe make them rich by speculating in real estate. Every one of them ended up bankrupt. Though of course Rhonda Byrne made plenty of money off her book.

    CR, if it’s true, yeah, that could be quite an omen. We’ll have to see what happens next, though.

    Horzabky, if it works for you, it works for you. I suspect, though, that your version of watered-down Buddhism is pretty strong drink next to watered-down American upper middle class Buddhism Lite!

    Atmospheric, well, what do you want to manifest next? 😉

    Marsh, I’m feeling generous today, so as you see, I’ve let you post again. (Not the first time I’ve done that.) Please don’t make me regret, and reverse, the decision by doing the same kind of trollery that got you banned.

    Christopher, I don’t remember the between-lives intervals very clearly — they’re kind of a jumble. As for Masonic Martians in tripods, I like it!

    AliceEm, ha! Thank you for this.

    Methylethyl, many thanks; I’ll put it on the to-read list.

  209. JMG, thanks for your reply. I agree that what we believe about the afterlife has no effect on what will actually happen.
    In your earlier response to Alan you wrote:
    “Myself, I believe that whatever reward or punishment comes to me after death will be the consequence of who I am and how I’ve lived, rather than being contingent on whether I signed up for the right brand of church or not; I trust in the mercy and justice of the Divine to grant me exactly what I deserve, and I am content with that.”
    Could you give a specific example of a reward (and a punishment) that could come to someone after death?
    Is it possible that — much to our surprise — neither of these things will happen? (i.e. that whatever happens might NOT be a consequence of who we are or how we’ve lived?)

  210. Thank you, JMG, for sharing the details of your previous life as an independent-minded young lady.
    Thank you as well for the reading recommendations. Chandler is now on order from my local library, and made a sale on Mr. Hall’s book.
    IIRC, in past conversations on your blogs, it seems that Freemasons who signed on prior to the 1950s tended to be primarily interested in The Craft, whereas those who joined up from the 1950s until fairly recently tended to be primarily interested in the opportunity to network for personal financial/social gain. Did I remember correctly?
    Thanks as always,

  211. Bendith Fawr 177 & JMG
    interesting that you both had early visions/knowledge of the world in material decline. As a kid in the 1940s and 50s I always saw the future like that. Where other kids had visions of space travel and domed cities, i had visions of wandering through the woods with a musket surrounded by ruins of our present extravaganza. I remember seeing NYC where I spent much of my youth in ruins with villages or camps here and there. Perhaps I was influenced by pictures of European cities in ruins at the time, though my visions were not in the immediate aftermath of a war and were not a feeling of tragedy or loss, but more of a return to an older lifestyle. It has never really gone away. It is ironic that the real thing is cranking up just as I enter a far more dependent, vulnerable stage of my life. Who says the gods don’t have a sense of irony.

  212. I am reading a book that has a theme that will be familiar to everyone reading here, it is Life IS A Miracle, An Essay Against Modern Superstition, by Wendell Berry, it is not recent, it was published in 2000 but it is even more fitting a subject after the passing of 23 years. I was in a hurry, having just printed out my Amtrak ticket at the library the day before I left, I swooped down on the “for sale” book cart in the lobby and there it was, I didnt take time, just grabbed it and the collected short stories of Faulkner, (deciding to try a read of a dead author I didnt know anything about) In any case, I realy recommend the Wendell Berry. I read the first chapter in the train station before departure and had to close it and just think about what I had read. I feel blessed that it was just there and ready when I needed a good read.

    The modern superstition he is referring to of course is the religion of progress, as we call it here. The life is a Miracle in the title is from King Lear.

    I am not good at summarizing, anyways he gets into the illogic of the religion of progress talking points of materialsm, reductionism, the co-opting of science, education and healthcare and I am finding it a very good read indeed.

    Has anyone else here read it ?

  213. Ottergirl
    There has been an awful lot written about LA during that time, especially Hollywood. David Niven did a couple of great memoirs,as did Erroll Flynn and many others. Many give quite a good picture of the city itself. I believe Elmore Leonard wrote crime fiction. Christopher Isherwood might have written about the spiritual scene, for lack of another word. Joan Didion wrote about LAslightly later. Walter Mosley wrote a great series about Easy Rawlins, a black detective in the 50s and 60s. It seems to me it was one of the better covered time/places in history. there was book called, I believe, Fountain of Gold about two Mexican immigrant families, though primarily in San Diego.
    No lack of places to start looking. Enjoy.

  214. Since the subject is up this week, I’ll ask a question that’s been on the back of my mind since I first noticed discussion of reincarnation here: How can one work on remembering past lives?

    I once mentioned a dream here that felt at the time like a memory of a past life, but I had no way to distinguish between that and a regular dream (JMG agreed I didn’t have enough to go on to make the call). How can one begin to tell what’s a real past-life recollection and what’s semi-conscious fabulation? How can one search for the first scraps, and then dig deeper?

  215. @Kimberly #18,
    I’ve been participating in the bathroom challenge. We have a spotless bathroom upstairs now. The one downstairs is my brother-in-law’s, who has always been very orderly and good at keeping things clean. Over months of scrubbing, deposits dating back decades slowly dwindled, and if I lean way back I can just barely make out a tiny remainder. The ceiling is clean, and it is quite a high ceiling, because a French guy had this house built. The light fixture is polished. Each day I find something else to tackle.
    My husband doesn’t notice. We are doing fine. My brother-in-law stopped getting boosted and is receiving medical treatment that is providing him some relief. My finances have remained about the same. Given the impact of the topic that shall not be mentioned, that is something to celebrate.
    To judge from the silence of relatives and friends over the past couple years, we are quite unusual in being well and basically happy.
    I seem to have been rejected by the local Shintoists, now that society is opening back up sort of. I am not surprised, but disappointed, because at first it looked like they were welcoming me. Probably some older feller in town freaked out. Some people would prefer their traditions died with them.
    Oh well. On Monday I’ll drive on over to Asakawa Kompira in Tokyo, the folks who first urged me to get involved. I am actually quite proud of them for the resilience of the community they formed.

  216. @Degringolade #4
    You said:
    “If any of you are writing routinely, what works for you for generating the “seed” for your posts. There are no wrong answers, just a request for hints to the mystery.”

    I definitely “write routinely.” The comments that popped into my head don’t directly respond to your question but perhaps they may be useful anyway.

    ONE: Wash the dishes. Or sweep the floor. Any activity that puts your body in motion but leaves a chunk of your mind available. When an interesting idea moves through your mind, respect it enough to dry your hands or set aside the broom, and write a few words on a notepad. Later in the day, your scrawl will remind you of the idea, and maybe you’ll sketch out a few paragraphs.

    TWO: Who is your audience? How many people do you want to listen to you? I look at the different viewpoints expressed in this current thread – how many different audiences we have in this one discussion! If you want everybody to be impressed by what you write, that’s like playing baseball and expecting to bat .938 per year. That’s not how the game works.

    THREE: Who is your ideal reader? Maybe there’s more than one. Maybe you want to write for aunt Judy, who’s interested in aaa, bbb, and ccc, and also for cousin Ben, who is much younger, and interested in xxx, yyy, and zzz. Take a little time to picture your ideal readers.

    Carolyn See asked her writing students to write 2000 words per day, five days a week. Suppose you start out in the morning with a letter to aunt Judy, and just see where it goes. Write about anything you feel like writing about. Grumble about things that went wrong yesterday, if you like, or rejoice in everything that went right, or describe the funniest things or most interesting, or most educational. The next day, do the same thing, but write a letter to cousin Ben.

    Or if these imaginary relatives don’t appeal to you, think of something similar that does appeal to you. Once you get your fingers moving, you’ll be surprised at what you find yourself saying. It’s like starting a car on a cold morning. So often, when you review your first rough draft, you find the real talk starts halfway down the first page.

    FOUR: Writing the first draft and editing are TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF WORK. Different skills, different states of mind, you do them at different times. If you try to write and edit at the same time it’s as if you have your foot on the gas pedal and the brake at the same time.

    Let’s suppose you write your letters to imaginary friends for ten days, 2000 words or a bit more each day. Now you bring them out, sit down with a bunch of colored pens, and read what you’ve written.

    You probably find lots of different stuff mixed together. Use one marker to cross out things that don’t seem interesting. As you realize that certain subjects or themes repeat, gave each subject its own color. You may have descriptions of backyard birds, concerns about the condition of your sump pump, a debate about moving to a different city, and something you’d like to say to an irritating neighbor.

    Some of this gets moved to your practical to do list. “Call plumber or knowledgeable friend to look at pump.” Perhaps the things you’d like to say to your neighbor could turn into a topic for next month’s Open Post. The bird descriptions might end up in your neighborhood birding newsletter.

    FIVE: What I like about an empty piece of paper is, I can say anything I like. This space belongs to me. If I look at it in the morning, and change my mind, no one else will know. What freedom!!

    SIX: Of course you will throw out a lot of stuff. In writing this post, I wrote a first draft, and then I reviewed it and added a few sentences, and just now I went through again and took out every word that wasn’t necessary.

    Think about gardening. Do you expect every seed you plant to come up? No. You plant your seeds, and you thin them, and you thin them again…. It’s all part of the process. Doris Lessing write about her early manuscripts – she would work on something, and then decide it hadn’t jelled, toss it and start over. So it’s like that – not so serious, not so important, you do the best you can and you start fresh every day.

  217. Greetings all
    To Scotlyn #105 and 181
    Many thanks for your comments and links. I have taken stock of what our host JMG has said which is akin to saying that it is the Israeli tail that is waging the US dog. Yet, several times in history the US clearly yanked Israel in line (1956 ,1967, 1973, 1982, 1991, 2001). However not for the past 15 years or so, especially since Nethayahu took office in 2005. It is obvious that this time round the Biden Administration is unable to have much influence on Israel, even though the later has gone beserk. Unless that is the US administration really wants a regional war that engulfs Iran too. I really don’t know which is which. May be some of the excellent guests round here have some idea.

    What is certain is that the lack of empathy for Palestinians by Israel supporters (whether jewish or non-jewish) is quite extraordinary. It is like zinoism has taken hold of their thinking minds and that they are quite unable to process certain types of information. It’s like a spell. Sometimes I wonder whether there aren’t occult aspects to this situation, maybe JMG can tell us what he thinks of that. I can’t really put it all down to effective lobbying especially when taking into account that European leaders seem unable to take ANY action to bring Israel to its senses.

    I agree that the ongoing massacre goes against jewish traditions and it is and it will hurt jews mightily for decades ahead. It’s like Israel is committing collective suicide. Yes, a country committing collective suicide and taking the maximum of people with it…

    Regards to you.

  218. Hey JMG

    I assumed that the best way for the dozenalists to win is if we had a Dark age so bad that a lot of math was forgotten by most people, creating a “Math vacuum” they could exploit. Also I chose the goal for “Borgesian occultism” based on what I thought were the goals of Borges’ writing, but it occurs to me that they are goals I strongly align with already.

  219. I assume that eastern Europe will be under the renewed domination of the Russians in this world a generation or so from now?

  220. Hi JMG
    A long while ago, it may have been in an ADR post, you made an offhand mention about feeling the astral to help navigate your way around a new area. Do you have any techniques to help cultivate this skill? Recently (as in this week) I’ve finally taken the plunge and have started working through the Fellowship of the Hermetic Rose material, and seeing the section on discursive meditation made me recall the old post in question.

    Thanks and best regards!

  221. re Amtrak and trains in North America

    I have found this quora-Account written by someone:

    “US stopped investing in rail transport in the 1950’s, as Dwight Eisenhower’s interstate highway initiative pushed Americans to buy more cars. When Amtrak was formed in 1970’s, Americans were already hopping into their cars (or hopping planes) for long distance travel. There’s a big lobby for trucking and a big lobby for cars (and highways of course), but the only lobby in the US for trains is the freight train industry, which has hobbled the passenger train industry for decades. Freight trains have priority over passenger trains throughout US and Canada, so trying to use train to connect when time counts – it’s hopeless, especially west of Chicago in US and west of Toronto in Canada. Passenger trains don’t just run a few minutes or even a few hours late – it can easily be half a day or more. (I experienced this on my last train trip in Canada – we were something like 7 hours late getting into Winnipeg from Vancouver. I’ve also been on plenty of super-late trains in the US.)

    Add to all this: The trains are slow (a necessity because the rails aren’t safe at high speeds), unreliable because they are constantly made late by the freight trains, and infrequent, often with barebones schedules that do not gibe with people’s needs (ex: passing through towns at 3 and 4 in the morning). The trains themselves are getting ancient – I’m pretty sure the Amtrak trains I now ride are the same trains launched in the 1970’s. And US/Canada trains are relatively expensive – they are often not much cheaper (or at all cheaper) than flying,, much less driving – and what’s left of inter-city bus passenger service (not much to brag about either) is generally considerably cheaper than the rails. Finally, if you look at Amtrak’s US railway map (or Canada’s), you see barebones coverage geographically, with very few rail lines cutting across 2 huge nations.

    It’s a sad result of Ike’s commitment to cars and highways – coupled with the power of special interests, like the highway, trucking and freight train lobbies.”

    This account says trains are more expensive than car or plane, as opposed to another commenter here, but that may vary regionally or otherwise.

    I could add the German railway network is deteriorating at an enourmous rate, while the Austrian network at least the main routes is still OK, as far as I know or see when taking major trains myself.

    From what I know the car industry had its fingers in there in Germany since a time, though the network historically is vastly better than the US network and until the 90s it was still considered a prime example.

    Administrative overhead, part-privatization and insane EU regulations have taken some toll on European Railways from what I know, though not terminally so.

    In Bulgaria I remember the train (in 2010) was the cheapest alternative to bus, car or plane. I rode one to Istanbul – it was a diesel locomotive and the train attendant shoveled coal into an oven to heat the train, in winter.

    The interior was old but enourmously comfortable esp for a night train. Trains in Bulgaria are cheaper also because they are slow;

    Chris De Decker of Lowtech Magazine certainly cheers to that, after all slower travel saves energy.

    And there’s that point: is cheap because its slow. Other countries invested heavily in fast trains infrastructure which has its merits (being fast) but makes it very expensive, often ludicrously more onerous AND expensive to take a train somewhere in the EU while the heavily subsidized air travel is much cheaper.

    Once again, mid-20th century tech trumps when it comes to robustness and reasonable maintenance requirements, and ease of maintenance of course.

    People out of German military said the howitzers delivered to Ukraine just don’t last for firing many rounds and are enourmously maintenance intensive, while the old soviet iron lasts and is easy to fix.

    Seems that every level of technology has its own peaks, mid-20th century being the peak in quality of industrial products and infrastructure, I’d say roughly 1950-1970 or so.

  222. German online news Heise – Telepolis, an IT industry enterprise with almost standard mainstream news, though not in every case – reports 1) The US military industrial complex is a corrupt venture with fatal consequences for domestic finance and international politics 2) Israel is attacking Iranian bases and the US does not do enough to prevent a powder keg from exploding there (Israel’s Gaza operation is called “genocidal”).

    As I said, Heise is mainstream news but not 100%, a relatively well known online news outlet and busy commenter forum. This is really sharp and direct criticism of the imperial center of a kind, coming from Germany, where politicans kow tow like they have practiced for that all their life.

    The only good thing about German politics is the humorous absurdity it generates, sometimes it seems these political heads there are paid actors that were hired to be as stupid and openly insulting to the plebs as possible.

  223. @ Justin Patrick – #205

    Tolerably often, when my husband and I have had a conversation on our (different) plans and projects for the day, and where we (each) might be when… he will warmly say to me “go with your flow”. It is definitely his phrase, but I find myself using it too. It has always struck me as most expressive of the deep respect he has for the free agency of all other beings, including myself.

    I think this goes with the phrases you mention, but somehow, it has less “sting” in its tail, if that makes sense.

  224. Hi John Michael,

    Exploiting is perhaps the correct word in this instance. 🙂 I’m of the opinion that the entire affair is an old school ‘baiting of power brokers’ for future leverage ploy. I’m always amazed at how cheaply souls are bought. There’s something in that observation which is tickling the back of my mind. Hmm. Dunno. It may have to do with not knowing how much is enough. Do you reckon that maybe in seeking power and control, they become powerless and in-control? That would be something of a cosmic joke, but it may well be the case.



  225. If there are to be many fewer humans on the planet in the future, that would imply much longer intervals for each soul between human incarnations. Is this something like a “cosmic night” or is it not so drastic? For those of us who are not ready to step into our mental bodies or whose mental bodies are still out there in the future, it may be a vastly different world that we come back to. The sense of urgency some occult teachers try to impart does occur to me in this respect.

    As for the discussion on ET I think I’ve pretty much exhausted whatever it was that I had to say. Being old, I’m not so fond of the digital/midi electronic approach. This began a week or two ago with some discussion of pitch correction technology and the gritty sound that comes from it. I think that also applies to digital synths, does it not? As I said above, a simple 1×8 harpsichord would be my “weapon of choice.”

  226. Mr. Greer,

    Thinking back to your essay on the Second Religiousness a couple of weeks ago I saw something interesting on Twitter this morning. Elon Musk, whose a religious agnostic, agreeing with the statement that the West is screwed if it loses Christianity and that removing Christianity from the public sphere in the West is like removing the foundations of a building but pridefully expecting it to remain standing forever.

    It seems like Ayaan Hirsi Ali isn’t the only prominent secularist moving along these lines. Needless to say the Twitter’s atheist community is already having a meltdown.

    Christopher from California,

    Thanks for the suggestion, I will take a look at it.

  227. “Amtrak trains are getting a lot of malign neglect these days.” Actually, for the first time in decades Amtrak has the money to significantly improve its situation. New locomotives have been/are being delivered. The state-supported services in California and the Midwest are getting new cars, new Boston-DC corridor trainsets are in prototype evaluation, and a request for proposal has just been issued for the long-neglected long-distance fleet. In addition, some of the biggest chokepoints on the Northeast Corridor infrastructure are being addressed. Whatever flaws Biden may possess, “Amtrak Joe” has been good for passenger rail.

  228. ilona says:
    #235 December 30, 2023 at 1:02 am
    Because I have very few confidantes and have experienced such negative consequences for confiding in the wrong person, I’m chary of talking to most folks about anything important to me or person. But as for writing? Well, several times a day I open a Notepad page on my computer and write down whatever is going on, whatever is important to me, sometimes developing a theme which is personally helpful to me, and so on. Then I delete everything after I’ve gone over it to make sure I said what I meant to say.

    Oddly (or not, ymmv), I recently discovered that it just doesn’t matter what the intentions and motivations were of people who hurt me in the past. The objective reality from their side may be…whatever. What matters in my life is how I deal with my perceptions of hurt, betrayal, love not reciprocated (by me or them) and so on. It’s all I have access to and control over. This little insight, derived from a typically whiny writing exercise about things that bothered me in the past, has helped me immensely, and lifted a great weight off me. It’s not my job as an Aspbergian to figure out what really motivated folks now long dead, or excuse them for their life circumstances. It’s my job to deal with the consequences of our interactions.

    So, writing and throwing it away regularly not only frees up the mind and fingers, but it can lead to all sorts of things, not only things you want to publish.

  229. @Your Yoyo #228 … one way to think about actions and consequences…. there is an old formula: “You sow an act, you reap a habit; you sow a habit, you reap a character; you sow a character, you reap a destiny.” This doesn’t make it sound so much like reward and punishment. If you decide to take control of your life, to shape your life actively, it is not so difficult to see that it is possible.

    Once you start to take control, when you know from experience that if you walk to the east, you will arrive at new places to the east, and if you walk to the west, you will arrive at new places to the west… then it will become quite natural to suppose that death is no utter exception to the pattern.

  230. #AI About wood stoves. I’m from Norway and here ovens with Catalytic inserts are not common so i don’t have any personal experience with it. But i do heat my small house more or less only with wood. Modern high efficiency stoves here use a baffle plates and a air inlet directly into the combustible gases to make sure everything is burned before entering the chimney. From what i can see it seems you get a more finicky fireplace that need even more maintenance than a regular modern fireplace for a slightly higher efficiency. Personally i would avoid it and look for a modern insert that use a baffle plate and extra air intakes instead.

    Thanks to the Swedish power-metal band Sabaton ive learned about the Adrian Carton de Wiart, or the unkillable soldier. To keep it very short, joined the army and got injured a ridiculously amount of times and keep’t going back to war. Survived WW1 and WW2. So ive been thinking about him and similar people that cant get enough of war and survive to tell the tale. Was he just very lucky or blessed a by a guardian? I’m also thinking he must have been a warrior soul or something. Do you have any opinion on characters like that?

  231. Dear Mr. Greer,

    I bring you a tiny data point. The official blog of the Spanish Army recently published a short article describing a project to build a solid biomass – wood pellets – engine prototype intended to power military land vehicles in absence of oil. It’s being developed by a captain of the Corps of Engineers as part of his PhD program. The guy apparently has responsibilities at INTA (National Institute of Aerospace Technology), a quite competent institution, so he shouldn’t be quite uneducated.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this kind of technical gimmicks will solve our predicament – maybe not even the army’s! It’s the cracks in the official narrative the article shows what really drew my attention. Sentences like “despite the development […] of renewable energies, society’s dependence on fossil fuels – fundamentally, oil – has remained the same”, “global deposits of [fossil fuels] are decreasing at an alarming speed” or “European Armed Forces have a great external dependence on these fossil fuels, having hardly any natural reserves in their territory” are startling by themselves. They still believe we can engineer our way out of this conundrum, but they admit its existence at least.

    Since I don’t read this kind of of ideas in officially approved communications very often – I don’t believe for a moment the army has no censorship – I’m not sure wether the reality of the Long Descent is known and accounted for in the establishment or whoever wrote and approved the article were genuinely clueless about the implications of what is discussed.

    Completely unrelated: As a consequence of reading the occult part of your writing lately, I’ve started to – clumsily – practice discursive meditation. I also decided to explore spirituality, which I’ve neglected for so long – and the commentariat also contributed to this. I’ll see where this leads me. Just letting you know to thank you and remind you what you do is actually inspiring to many people.

  232. Atmospheric River, congrats on your fortuitous book find. I question whether, anymore, Progress is truly an article of belief for its’ adherents or rather an excuse which allows them permission to hang on (for dear life) to the comforts and conveniences of industrialism. I don’t think you will find many believers in the Religion of Progress among the poor. I recently read a rant by a well respected conservative writer about how all those wokey pokey types were in league to deprive good citizens like him of their “middle class lifestyles”. Not a word, mind you, about imperial overstretch, expensive useless wars, diminishing natural resources or monopoly capitalism.

  233. @ ilona (#235) and degringolade (#4):

    Ilona advised:
    “Writing the first draft and editing are TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF WORK. Different skills, different states of mind, you do them at different times. If you try to write and edit at the same time it’s as if you have your foot on the gas pedal and the brake at the same time.”

    This is common advice, but is definitely not even close to the truth for everybody. Although it is excellent advice for those who think in sentences, who have internal monologues consisting of sentences, there are probably very many potential writers out there who should not or cannot follow it. Indeed, for me it would not even be possible to follow that advice.

    Speaking just of myself, I do not think in sentences at all. Indeed, I cannot think in sentences, not even if it were necessary to save my life. All my thoughts are in terms of diagrams, charts, outlines (not generally expressed in words), pictures, memories of experiences, sensations, and similar non-verbal things. The only place in my thought processs where single words or phrases — never complete sentences — ever appear is occasionally as labels on some diagram or chart. I cannot do internal verbal monologue at all, even in the privacy of my own head. And when I am not thinking about something, there is nothing going on at all in my head — just complete stillness and silence. (This is very restful.) I have always been that way, as far back as I can remember.

    When I write — as an academic, I am usually writing, even in my retirement — what I have to do is laboriously create sentences that to some very slight degree reflect parts of my (non-verbal) thinking. Then I edit and reedit those sentences to bring them ever so slowly closer and closer to what I want my readers to understand. So even my very first draft of an article is the result of “editing” possible sentence after possible sentence to make it better reflect my thinking. It is a very, very slow and tedious process. Writing a “first draft” of anything as a spontaneous string of sentences is simply not possible for me; I just do not have spontaneous strings of sentences anywhere in my head. All that I can put down on paper spontaneously are those diagrams, charts, outlines, etc. etc. Even this present comment did not begin as a string of sentences, but as a chart of relevant memories; what you are reading is the result of more than an hour of hard editorial work to force my own internal experience into a form that can be communicated to others.

    Degringolade, if you happen to be one of those non-verbal thinkers, at least to some degree. do not give up on writing. It’s just a question of finding what works for you as the first expression of what you want to convey: images (e.g. tarot cards), movements, non-verbal memories, inarticulate desires, tastes and smells, etc., etc., can all serve that purpose.

    Best wishes for getting where you want to go as a writer!

  234. In regards to base 12 maths. Well, sure we could have base anything math in theory. And we use other bases at times for reasons.

    But for everyday math for everyday people it will always make sense that we are using a natural system, natural as we have 10 fingers. We count by ones, each finger, then when that fills up, make a mark for a set of 10 and start again. An age so dark we forget higher math would not change this as far as I can see. Kind of like measuring by other natural points of reference, fist joint of the thumb, a hands span, length of foot, length of stride, distance between nose and fingers when measuring out cloth, etc…

    So, yeah, using other math for spiritual or astrological or science or other reasons by some, but I dont see it getting rid of natural systems for overall usual maths. I know, metric system over in Europe, and I used it in my workaday field, but it at least uses a base 10 system, and is not likely at this point in USA to move over the traditional measurements for everyday

  235. Here’s a question I have been ruminating for a while. How exactly does it work that independent shops are pushed aside by franchising chains?

    It started (as far as I can tell) with fast-food restaurants and supermarkets, but nowadays the nicer and walkable sections of big cities all look the same: the same drug stores, the same pizzerias, same sushi shops, same tea shops, same cafés, same bakeries and so on. There are holdouts among the higher-priced restaurants and very specialized shops. Small towns and farther-out suburbs have been completely flattened by the chains. In the 1990s, my parents’ town in Germany still had an independent book store, cheese shop and furrier. They all gave up between ca. 2000 and 2010.

    The riddle is that a small shop owner who personally attends the clients from morning to evening should have much lower costs than a franchise: no layers and layers of managers and lawyers, no shareholders, less red tape.

    I know that the answer has something to do with tax deductions. Nobel prize winner Heinrich Böll inserted a discussion of how tax deductions helped the big fish and were useless to the small ones into a story written in the 1960s. I suppose the answer also has to do with regulations, and it might have something to do with the price of skilled vs. unskilled labor. However, for me this is all speculation, and I would appreciate insights from somebody who actually knows the filthy details. Note: the events of 2019-2021 exacerbated the process, but it was well on its way before 2000.

  236. Your Yoyo & JMG,
    I have always loved the line from Robert Service’s poem about the prostitute: “Was I borne to walk in scorn while others walk in pride, but He alone shall judge his own, so i his judgement bide”
    The interstate highway system in the US was militarily inspired. Eisenhower drove across country shortly after WWII and realized how long it would take to move troops and equipment across country in a war. When he became president, he initiated the interstate highway program. Obviously it took off on a path of its own and carried the country with it.

  237. methylethyl # 227 re soul Saturdays: thank you.

    Atmospheric River # 231 I haven’t heard of the book. Thanks for your review. Sounds like a delight, even when not read on a train!

    Curt # 240, JMG and others re trains. Is it realistic to suppose that in a time of decline, as fuel prices shoot up, jet aviation becomes a luxury unaffordable to the masses as it was post WWII? Might national and state governments choose to let roads deteriorate, and refocus investment in better train service? Maybe with enough passenger demand for freight to have to wait its turn?

    Scotlyn # 242 “Go with your flow” sounds like a lovely benediction.

    Chris at Fernglade # 243 “It may have to do with not knowing how much is enough.” Isn’t that the whole point of faustian society, inevitable cause of its downfall?

    Phutatorius # 245 The sonic grittiness is an artifact of mangling an audio clip of a tone that was originally one pitch, into a grid defining a different pitch. Many digital synths can be instructed to make a tone at the desired pitch in the first place. They don’t need to have a gritty tone. Some synths do sound gritty, as a tone pallette option some musicians enjoy, but that’s optional.
    “I think I’ve pretty much exhausted whatever it was that I had to say.” Fair enough. I’ve enjoyed sharing this detour with you. All I could add now is some digital sound design ideas that wouldn’t be your cup of tea, anyway.
    “that would imply much longer intervals for each soul” May yours be a sweetly tuned and harmonized interval!

  238. Seed buying, how to choose a seed company or companies. JMG, I don’t think this quite belongs in Frugal Fridays. There are literally hundreds to choose from. I think of them in the following categories.
    1. The full service gardening companies. For seeds, nursery stock, fertilizers, tools and natural or chemical pesticides, these folks have you covered. For a price. There are the legacy companies like Burpee and Jung. If they are your preference, go for it, but do be aware that Burpee, Jung, Harris, et. al. are no longer family owned and have not been such for a long time. More recent members of this category include Johnny’s in Maine and Territorial in Oregon, and I would add here employee owned Fedco in Maine.

    2. Purveyors of the rare and unusual. That would be, of course, home gardener’s old favorite, Baker Creek.

    3. Good seeds cheap, and here I refer, of course, to the new favorite, MIGardener. All seeds $2. per packet, Open Pollinated oldtime varieties–OK they have ‘Black Cherry’ tomato, but not much else new. Also in this category, there is a lady in the Carolinas who offers a small but interesting selection under the name CherryGal. And Pinetree, in New England, which gives you less seeds for less money. I like them for some things, such a good selection of heritage lettuces, and annual flowers.
    4. The all organic regional companies. In the Midwest, Prairie Road Organics, and Annie’s Heirloom Seeds. In the PNW, a hotbed of organic, anti-GMO, anti-industrialized farming sentiment, there quite a number of such. I can recommend Uprising Seeds, Adaptive Seeds, Siskyou Seeds, and Strictly Medicinal, which is Rich Cecco’s company, and is heavy on the useful herbs but has some vegetable seeds as well. In NY and New England we have Fruition Seeds, Hudson Valley Seeds and Solstice Seeds. Look up Dave’s Garden website to find more in your own region. These smaller organic companies typically charge around $4-5 per packet, offer varieties you simply will not see anywhere else, and, what I like, they tell you where the seeds came from. If I am being asked to pay upwards of $4 per packet, I want to know I am supporting American growers.

    I buy the ordinary varieties which I know will grow from the good seeds cheap people and Fedco, and then look at Baker Creek and the specialty companies for fun things to try.

  239. First of all, I wish everyone a good 2024, especially when I look at the road ahead and where I see the part past the ‘state line’ dividing 2023 from 2024, I see a lot of buzzards circling around. More on this below.

    One thing that has thrown me a bit off-kilter in recent weeks is news of a new Netflix film “Leave the World Behind” – a delightful cyber apocalypse film to brighten up the holiday season. Not as though I will ever watch the dreck. But many undoubtedly will. Besides the fact that ‘the Kenyan’ and ‘Big Mike’ (aka POTUS #44 and the former ‘first lady’) were executive producers and dabbled in the script (I wonder if the now infamous line ‘especially don’t trust White people’ was their contribution), the disaster portrayed in the film was ‘predicted’ by the ‘Little Schitler’ (aka Schwab of WEF fame) to happen by 2025. How can he confidently predict such a thing? Maybe now that he has taken on the mantle of Odin, has he developed extraordinary psychic powers? Not as though the psychopaths who have grabbed as much power to themselves as possible would perpetrate harm to the masses… would they?

    Following close on the heels of “Leave the World Behind” is a trailer of a blockbuster film scheduled to come out in April – “Civil War”. No, not the 19th century civil war; one that is set in the present. Scenes of the military attacking civilians en masse, etc. And it looks like the ‘baddies’ are MAGA-types: you know, white, Christian, attached to the ‘old America’ – in other words, diversity-adverse ‘fascists’. Sigh. However, if you want a good laugh, watch a review of the trailer by a war veteran: as expected, no aspect of military reality was allowed to ‘soil’ either the plot or the spectacle.

    Why do I mention these two silly films? In one phrase: predictive programming. Nothing produced by Hollywood gets released without prior CIA approval – even more so, films like these. Makes one ponder about the timing – in the year leading up to a presidential election and all.

    The other thing that I would like to vent about is the announcement that G7 has decided to steal the $300 million of Russia’s Western assets in February 2024 – i.e., the second anniversary of Russia’s ‘special military operation’. Of course, it is illegal; but they’ll find some pixie-dust to magically make it legal. This situation gives me déjà-vu big time: when the Government of Canada froze the bank accounts of peacefully protesting truckers and their supporters in February 2022, the big players in Canada’s five major banks pulled their money out because they knew that the country is ruled by a clique of lunatics who are entirely consumed with punishing whomever they don’t like by whatever means are at their disposal. Sound familiar, America? Anyway, Canada’s financial system was fast heading towards a crash – and despite how much fun the Prime Sinister and his minions were having, they had to quickly repeal the war measures legislation to save the banks. With respect to the current situation and Russia’s $300 mil, everyone who has any sense is screaming “don’t do it” to the G7 zombies. And, surely, Russia will respond in kind to the pirates after the dirty deed is done. I am just shaking my head these days and saying to myself Longfellow’s masterful phrase, “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad”.

    Let’s hope that I’m fussing over nothing.

  240. Hey Phutatorius (#196) and Stephen Pearson (#232),
    Thank you so much for the recommendations! There is clearly a wealth of good stuff to read on old Los Angeles. Combined with JMG’s Manly P Hall recommendations, it looks like a theme is forming for my reading in 2024. 🙂
    Much appreciated,

  241. Dear Tony C.

    The EIA data will be the source data for most publications – just read the footnotes and be careful about the interpretation. I’m sorry to have made the issue so confusing.

    Might I suggest you take any sort of forecast with a jaundiced eye. Since energy is now very politicized due to the climate change hustle, Ukraine, and Israel-Iran, try to figure out the political agenda of any list. Personally I find sites from the left as useless as the cornucopia sites. Take for example the comment about Newfoundland gas – this looks like a sales pitch for investment in Newfoundland. If you were talking McKenzie Basin Gas – well, this is drilled and real and waiting for a pipeline. So if the Canadian Government built the McKenzie Valley Pipeline instead of wasting billions in Ukraine the world would be further ahead.

    As to the comment about Canada running out of oil sands – the prevailing view used to be we will run out when we run out of gas to burn. With directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing we are far far far from running out of natural gas.

  242. A New Year’s challenge to the entire commentariat (lumpen- or otherwise): What, in your opinion, was the biggest lie told in 2023?
    I’ll think this over for a while myself, and get back to you.
    If your answer involves the forbidden topic, I suppose that could be stated without elaborating.
    It was good old Trailer Trash Tim in Alabama who got me thinking about this today. He has a You-Tube channel, and was one of the few people I’ve seen speak up about Gonzalo Lira, who was unsurprisingly arrested in Ukraine for saying nasty things about their current government while living there.
    I do not see any lies involved in Gonzalo’s case, at least none that don’t date back to the 2014 State Department-sponsored coup d’etat. The Ukrainian authorities are quite open about arresting him for thought crimes, and the State Department is similarly open about not giving a rat’s backside about the fate of a US citizen who refused to countenance lies. The last news I have heard (from Trailer Trash Tim again) is that Gonzalo missed a five-hour hearing last week because he was in the prison infirmary with pneumonia, and things were not looking very good for him.
    I think Methylethyl above has good advice for praying in these cases (and the wisdom from Orthodox Christianity is very close to what I’ve picked up from Shinto). I pray that Gonzalo be granted strength to see through the ordeal he faces and that justice be done.

  243. Karim #105 & #236,

    I have struggled with this as well, as I see the one-sided support of Israel as strategic mistake; in fact, my country’s deep involvment in the Middle East as strateigic overreach. Of course, our historic dependence upon oil made that a necessity. But I would argue that if your national security and economy depend on supply from the other side of the world, you don’t have national security and your economy is precarious.

    President Carter proposed to make the US energy independent, and was slapped down hard. Carter, realizing that energy independence was not politically possible, then established the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force to intervene in the Middle East to secure oil supplies if needed. The hard turn in policy that Carter was forced to make against his better judgement was the last time anyone has seen the off-ramp from this dead-end road.

    It has helped my understanding immensely to return to the themes JMG has touched upon in this blog:

    1. Democracies devolve into plutocracies, and the US is s full-blown plutocracy at this point. Here I would differ slightly from JMG in that I believe Jewish voters in the US are somewhat important but not as important as hard-line, Israel-supporting oligarchs. Indeed about 1.1% of the US population is Muslim and does have influence in certain urban areas (Detroit, e.g.), while 2.1% of the US population is Jewish. And as others have pointed out, the Jewsish vote is not at all monolithic; it contains a diversity of opinion. The total support of Israel in the government and the press appears to me to be more of a top-down phenomena. The difference between previous years and now is part due to both parties being tools of oligarchs, the death of an independent press, and the mind-bogglling wealth of the oligarchs and their control over these two institutions.

    2. The US is a late-stage empire led by an elite truly insulated (thus far) from the consequences of their actions. They consistently fail upwards, and are supremely hubristic. The Biden administration is full of the same people and the same types of Neocon ideologues who made a mess of Iraq, failed in Afghanistan, fantastically underestimated Russia, and double-crossed Libya (thus ensuring no country will trust us). The Neocons did not fully come to power until the W. Bush administration, and were held slightly in check by Obama (referring here to Obama’s limits on the support of the Ukraine and his attempts at a nuclear deal with Iran), but have now returned to power with a vengance in the Biden Administration, having suffered no consequences for their previous failures. I note that the Neocons are generally fanatical Israel supporters.

    3. Being members of a plutocracy who suffer no real consequences for their actions, the elites are prone to certain category errors. In particular, they confuse money with the physical economy and they conflate speech with actions. Thus their bafflement on the Russian real economy of artillery shell production defeating the Ukrainians and by extension the US DOD, even though the Russian economy is tiny on a monetary scale. In other contexts, others have noted the tendency to value the performance over the actual act. I believe these tendencies blind them to the existential danger to Israel itself in the current situation – there’s the belief that the US will back up Israel no matter what (perhaps true), and that the US’s resources are infinite (monetary resources – yes; physical resources – no). They act as though Israel has an unlimited blank check to draw on, not realizing that they may break the bank. As JMG has noted, they have a failure of imagination when it comes to imagining being defeated.

    4. Finally, US politicians are for sale and can be blackmailed. I suspect the Israelis are in a much better position to do this than the Palestinians.

  244. @Chris at Fernglade,

    I think it is a “pay to play” scheme, where the power-hungry pay up front with their soul (I don’t think any of them even likes little girls), and the power-brokers have a handy leash. Those who go along get an opulent life to the degree they don’t make any trouble. Look at how quick they were to let everyone know RFK Jr. rode their jet a couple times. It’s gotten so pervasive now that anyone who hasn’t participated is easily excluded from any meaningful politics. Trump managed to defy them once, but so far not twice.
    The important thing if at all possible is to keep people like Epstein alive and encourage them to brag. The speed with which he was killed gives you an idea of just how important. Because he was such a disgusting rogue, it would be easy to pass off his death as an atavistic need among the masses for vengeance and closure. But it was too awkward this time, so they lamely blamed it on a sudden fit of conscience or something, and declared it a suicide. (But here I go straying into a forbidden realm.)

  245. I enjoyed many of Kim Stanley Robinson’s books. starting with the Mars Trilogy back when I was a teenager. I was always a bit sceptical of the whole terraforming side of it, I can see why it was there for story reasons, but it seemed like he had forgotten how big a planet is and what kind of scale of settlement would be needed to even start thinking about planetary-scale terraforming.
    There were a few things about the story that I was quite pleased he left a bit mysterious. Although there is medical life extension method that I think evolved out of research into how to help people cope with radiation on Mars, somehow in the third book people seem to drop dead for unclear reasons around age 200. In the book 2312. which is kind of set in the Mars trilogy universe but not really following strict continuity, there is a thing where people seem to need to return to Earth now and again for vague and unexplained health reasons. They are terraforming Mars and Venus but fixing Earth’s climate is still mired in political wrangling.
    I prefer it to the climate change trilogy; 40 Signs of Rain,, 50 Degrees Below, 60 Days and Counting. The climate change trilogy has overblown sudden catastrophes almost as bad as The Day after Tomorrow, and a deus ex machina that saves the world in the final book by making trees grow faster to draw down CO2. The more recent Ministry for the Future is better, but still has what seems like a not very credible ‘saving the world’ aspect.

  246. @Phutatorius#245,

    Regarding reincarnation, I had a dream several years ago with my Guardian Angel (as would be called in Christianity) guiding me along a dark road and explaining to me that one day I would find myself on this road and it would mean I was dead. When I die it was very likely that a demonic attack would coincide, and he could not be there to guide me.

    He said if I went straight ahead on the road, I would proceed into the twilight swamp of forgetfulness and from there to a new life. He’d have a lot of trouble locating me again, he said, so he did not want me to do that. I would come to a crossroad first. I was to turn, preferably right (into deeper darkness), but left (toward a never-ending wilderness sunset), or even turning back was fine too. He really advocated against any haste toward a new life.

    This all applies to me specifically, but there may be reasons for avoiding quick reincarnation that apply to many of us. I’m sure that I have many more lessons to learn in incarnate form, but I will try to learn whatever I can there in Heaven in the meantime.

  247. @ Atmospheric River, JMG, re: Amtrak

    The last time I took Northland Ontario’s passenger “Northlander” train– a year, perhaps two, before it was cancelled and northeastern Ontario lost passenger rail service, the train had to stop before going over bridges so someone could walk across and do an inspection. After they walked across the bridge, proving it could handle a couple hundred pounds, a couple hundred tonnes of locomotive followed at a walking pace. Nobody died so I guess it worked? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    In other words– malign neglect? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  248. JMG, I am reading your book “not the future we ordered.” Ten years on, what reflections do you have on how oil extraction has turned out compared to how you thought it would go then?

  249. Happy New Year to all. And I mean that very sincerely, because 2024 is shaping up to be epic.

    I read the recent musing on a Second Religiosity with some interest, and a little dismay. It has always seemed apparent to me that such a thing was necessarily in the cards, since the current model is failing (and it was always obvious that it would). But the idea that this resurgence carries a flavour less of *sincerity*, than of *utilitarianism*, is less uplifting than one might hope!

    But in fairness, I offer a piece of anecdata supporting this hypothesis.

    There is to be found, in what gets called the Dissident Right, a notion that goes something like: 19th-century opposition to slavery was a bad idea. If you read what these folks write, it turns out that this has very little to do with the merits – or not – of slavery per se, and much more to do with the kind of Christianity that produced emancipation. What these people say is: Christianity can be *useful*, but its usefulness is diminished if we accept a woke version of it, and anti-slavery was a proto-form of woke Christianity. So we should reject anti-slavery Christianity.

    It’s not an argument I can really stomach. But it’s out there, among people who find the value of religion solely in its social utility.

    Anyway, there’s too much to do in the coming months, and so my New Year’s Resolution is to minimize time spent on unproductive time sinks. Fortunately this website is one of the few that is NOT one of those!

  250. In regards to wood stoves.

    When I moved in here, the wood stove that came with the place was very bad, very inefficient, used alot of wood, and we were lucky to buy a very lightly used catalytic using efficient wood stove, it was a Jotul, a European made efficient wood stove, this was of course 26 years ago. I loved that wood stove, put it thru heavy use and retired it in winter of 2019. It was not finicky at all, but that was a catalytic converter type of more than 26 years ago.

    The wood stove I bought in winter of 2019 is the style that has the baffles the air goes across that reburns the exhaust, as described by Heian. It is a Lopi Endevear, made in Washington state. I agree that it is a simpler solution and should last longer without replacing a catalytic converter. I am also very happy with this wood stove. My eldest has a much older Lopi that came with her house, and it is doing very well. The nice thing about hers and mine, compared to the Jotul I used to have, is that the Jotul had a grate at the bottom, and interior iron plates lining the firebox, and these burn out ( oxidized from the fire contact) over time and have to be replaced. This is very expensive, I did this once and replaced the catalytic at the same time. The second time all this needed done, I changed out the the Lopi Stove. The Lopi has a fire brick lining. These are inexpensive and ubiquitous. You can change just the one if one cracks. So, the upkeep if alot less expensive.

    I think California, being so extreme on this, that there are now ones being sold that have BOTH solutions built in, and they are very expensive, do not know anyone that has one of those.

  251. Your Yoyo, if there’s an afterlife there’s inevitably the possibility for better or worse experiences in the afterlife. That’s what I was referring to. I have my own beliefs about the afterlife, but of course we’ll all find out in due time!

    Ottergirl, that’s a generalization, of course, but by and large it’s more accurate than not.

    Stephen, hmm! Okay, that makes three of us.

    Atmospheric, that’s not a Berry that I’ve read. Hmm! It sounds interesting.

    Nathanael, the standard occult teaching is that it’s best to let the memories surface when they’re ready to surface, rather than trying to push things. That’s something that comes when you’re ready to finish your incarnate lives, and if you try to force it in advance, various problems usually follow.

    J.L.Mc12, the difficulty with a dark age, of course, is that it’s usually around 500 years long, and most of the people who go through it will be scrambling for survival. The chance that enough Dozenists will be able to worry about math straight through half a millennium of chaos is not high!

    Forecasting, most likely, yes, but again it depends on overall death rates. There could be a standoff between Russia and a strong, militarized Intermarium instead.

    John, I wish I knew a short cut, but the thing that worked for me was years of daily meditation. That sensitized my astral senses to the point that astral navigation, and some other equally helpful things, just happened naturally.

    Curt, interesting that that’s starting to seep through.

    Chris, the universe has a nasty sense of humor, so you may well be right.

    Phutatorius, it’s a reversion to the norm. In earlier times it was fairly common to have roughly three times as much time between lives as in incarnation, and that’s very healthy — it gives each soul the chance to really process its experience. I suspect that a lot of souls are going to be out of incarnation for a long time as they process the experiences of half a dozen or a dozen lives crammed close together.

    Karl, I hadn’t heard of that yet, but it doesn’t surprise me at all. The Second Religiosity really is picking up speed.

    Roldy, I’ll believe it when I see upgraded trains on the routes I use. These days, a very large amount of the money supposedly allotted to this or that purpose ends up being siphoned off — you might look into how much of the money that was supposed to go to small businesses affected by Covid got scooped up by big corporations instead…

    Heian, hmm! I don’t happen to know what would cause that. Very unusual karma, certainly.

    Hispalensis, my immediate thought was also the implications of the fact that they let this get published. I’m very glad to hear my writings are of use to you!

    Aldarion, that’s a good question. I’d also like to hear from someone who was actually involved.

    Stephen, it’s a good line! (And I can edit, fortunately.)

    Ron, well, we’ll see, now won’t we? It occurs to me that there have been vast numbers of disaster movies of various kinds — some of which were labeled “predictive programming” by various people — which didn’t pan out. I also notice from the Civil War trailer that the last scenes show attack helicopters going at targets in Washington DC, which doesn’t suggest that things are going well for the government. As for the theft, well, if you wanted to guarantee that every nation that isn’t a US lackey would pull all its funds out of the US (and its lackeys) and dump the dollar as fast as possible, can you think of a better way? It’ll be a wild ride.

    Patricia O, I lost count around the middle of last January…

    Tyler, ouch. I didn’t know that it’s that bad in Canada too.

    Isaac, the big difference is one I’ve discussed repeatedly here; I didn’t think the US government would spin the presses to prop up the otherwise uneconomical fracking industry. They did, and that kicked the can a good deal further down the road.

    Bofur, that’s always the downside of the Second Religiosity: it’s a refuge from chaos rather than an embrace of genuine spirituality (which always has a disruptive and chaotic dimension, from our limited standpoint). That’s why it fails in the middle to long run, and is replaced by a new, rising spirituality of a very different kind.

  252. Greetings all
    @Brother Kornhoer #264 and @ Jerry D #258
    Thank you both for your interesting comments on the Gazah war. Very pertinent.
    Allow me to wish to all concerned a Happy New Year (!), though I really don’t know how a major war can be avoided at this point in time…

  253. So… this is a bit of a weird one, but as I happened to just find out about it and it’s an open post here this week:
    Apparently there was a major American Football game recently called the Pop-Tarts Bowl, in Orlando, Florida. The mascot (a costume being worn around by someone) was a giant Pop-Tart with a face. Where this felt to me like it went beyond ordinary modern American ad-backed sports was that there was, as I understand it, a narrative that the mascot wanted to be eaten, and at the end of the game, the mascot (person-in-costume) was lowered into a giant mock-toaster, and then a large actual pastry that was ostensibly the mascot was eaten by the winning team. The reactions mostly seem to be that this is weird and humorous, which, on the surface, sure, I suppose… but I note that it’s also pretty easy to see it as a sporting event, a team ball game, which ended in the mock willing ritual sacrifice of a sapient being, who was then eaten by the winners. And I was reminded of something I vaguely recall JMG saying a while back about the sort of influences a resurgent Aztec religion might have.

    Possibly it’s nothing more than a corporate sports gimmick, but I thought it was strange and suggestive enough to be worth mentioning here.

  254. Re: Phutatorius #245:

    “Being old, I’m not so fond of the digital/midi electronic approach. This began a week or two ago with some discussion of pitch correction technology and the gritty sound that comes from it. I think that also applies to digital synths, does it not? ”

    I haven’t followed the discussion about pitch correction, but these are two different things, I think.
    Pitch correction of the human voice is something very specific and extrapolating that experience to every sound that can be generated digitally to me seems wrong.

    We’re all used to hearing the human voice, basically from the moment we’re born, so any processing that’s done will quickly sound unnatural and ‘wrong’. On the oither hand, digital synthesizers can create sounds that are completely unknown to the natural world, which can sound sublime. Or incredibly ugly, that too 🙂

    Of course, when we’re talking of digital emulation of natural instruments the same thing as with the human voice is happening. People who are used to listening to the real thing quickly hear something is ‘off’.

    For me, the reason for investigating alternative tunings is that the standard equal temperament has always sounded ‘wrong’. For years I thought it was just me and my untrained ears, but when I first heard something that used Werckmeister 3 things started falling into place. One could say that for me equal temperament sounds something like autotuned vocals, although it’s not as jarring as most of those.


  255. @karim 105 I jut slogged through One Nation Under Blackmail by Whitney Webb and from that perspective it feels like the corrupt national security states of us and israel are so inseparable as to almost be one.

    @scotlyn 149 exactly! This equation of Jewish people=Zionist project is wickedness…. Always nice to see you

    @JMG 226 and @chris 212 seriously i don’t think anyone has done the intensity of research re:outlining who might be exploiting it than Whitney Webb has done, published in above book. Towards the end I was seeing it like a weight I had to get through with and I’m still having trouble refocusing on my ag networking and policy work in some ways because I let it all take up a lot of mental space. Her piece in bitcoin mag reports big players hinting of a ‘cyber 9/11’ which is the trigger to the next phase of the attempt to control the demolition into the long decent. Meanwhile, the natural asset company bubble is almost ready to inflate. (SEC rule comment period open now here

    “The Exchange proposes that NACs would be corporations that hold the rights to the ecological performance produced by natural or working areas, such as national reserves or large-scale farmlands, and have the authority to manage the areas for conservation, restoration, or sustainable management. The Exchange states that these rights could be licensed like other rights, including “run with the land” rights such as mineral rights, water rights, or air rights, and that NACs would be expected to license these rights from sovereign nations or private landowners.”

    And I think The Great Taking guy is maybe as sharp as he suggests that he is and that his analysis of that piece of the financial planning is also right and mirrors experience from the Depresssion, SO not a moment to soon to be doing the farm network project and quickly. Speaking of, I thought we got the physical address for the solstice party on this week’s post? Did I miss it

  256. Hey Jmg

    Fair enough, some day though I like to hope that for whatever reason some civilisation does finally manage to “overthrow the tyranny of 10!”

    Anyway, awhile ago you mentioned that you were reading “in search of lost time”, and I wanted to ask you about how that was going, and also if there was some unique motivation for you to read it?

  257. Re: Robert Mathiesen #253

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into the way your mind works. I like reading about these things.

    I have what’s been called Aphantasia, which in my case means that I have no sense impressions in my mind at all when there is no input from my senses. When I close my eyes it’s completely dark and I can’t visualise anything, for example.

    On top of that, I can’t directly access the thinking / reasoning part of my mind. Everything I know and understand is just there, and I have no idea where it comes from. Sometimes I hear myself saying something of which I think ‘that’s quite clever, I hadn’t thought of that’, but yeah: I *did* think of that, I just didn’t know about it yet.

    For me, writing is a way to get these things out, so in that respect my mind is very different from yours, but I also have that lovely silence. This strange miind has it’s downsides, but I think I would go bonkers if I had the internal noise that most people have..


  258. @Stephen Pearson

    Thanks for the historic info on the interstate highways in the US!

    @Christopher in California

    ” Is it realistic to suppose that in a time of decline, as fuel prices shoot up, jet aviation becomes a luxury unaffordable to the masses as it was post WWII?”

    I guess yes – I don’t have exact physics and economics of railway travel in my head, but it surely is much more efficient than flying, and slower train travel is much more efficient than fast trains.

    From what I gather and what our host has at times mentioned, a legacy rail infrastructure can be easily put to use, given maintenance, but establishing a new rail infrastructure from scratch is enourmously costly.

    This seems to be the equation.

    For now, Russia depends on rails for its military operation, the dynastic leader of North Korea travels to Russia on rails, Taiwan is proud of its fast train network connecting major industries and residential areas on the islands enabling industry experts to travel back and forth and rotate through industrial sited, as one of their top executives boasted about in Asia Times.

    In today’s centers of industrial activity, trains are still a prime thing and that has not ceased to be. Trains are important in India as well, where the poor use them.

    It’s reasonable to think trains will play an important role down the road of our industrial age.

    In other places, they may cease to exist when there’s no upkeep and rails are plundered for iron and metals.

  259. Recently when people find out I have a dumb phone and use no smartphone, several congratulated me on that.
    Among them the 22 year old woman in my sports club who works there in the customer service and administration.

    In the past I had often got negative reactions to that.

    Might be something is changing there slowly.

    As Mary Bennett said and I second, the working classes clearly are by and large no believers in progress these days, that is my personal experience with angry old tradesmen.

    The digital religion really is a PMC thing with the poorer masses as digital opportunists – they use because it is standard to use. But it does not replace being a strong fighter, having sex oder leading a stable marriage.

  260. Dear Archdruid: Happy new year !
    I have news about the projected closure of dissident internet media in several countries of the EU. In this case I imagine that the only chanel disposable for the difusión of disident information would be the printed paper. This would be an advance of the death of internet wich you anounced years ago.

  261. Hi John,

    Thanks for that. Very interesting responses.

    I think eastern Europe could go three ways, either Russian domination or a Polish dominated alliance and quite possibly a renewed Turkish empire in the south-east.

    I would be particularly interested in your views on Bulgaria – the least vaccinated country in Europe with probably around three quarters of the population unvaccinated (factoring in corruption and false certificates). Its the only country in Europe that should survive any covid mass death scenario (Ukraine was also very low vaccinated but is bring destroyed by the war that is wiping out the fighting age men).

    My other question is assuming the jabs are only a Great Accelerator for existing trends e.g. they don’t trigger a mass die-off this generation but only worsen what is already happening (rising cancers, heart attacks, obesity, failing health etc) does your scenario fundamentally change that much?

    Based on your comments so far, it seems a low death/sickness scenario from the jabs pushes out the takeover of western Europe into Muslim majority countries by around a generation or so (presumably closer to 2070 plus) and we would have a longer transition where the declining west European states compete among each other for critical resources amid a rising wave of Islamist invasions/emigrations/localised revolts in the cities/emergence of Islamic emirates that over the course of the century take over much of Europe.

    Other than oil (which is largely a Norway source now), coal remains probably the best domestic source of energy left in Europe this century. This map shows that Poland, eastern Germany and Bulgaria/Romania remain the strongholds of coal production (with Spain and the UK also worth mentioning).

    Given what is likely to happen to global supply chains, and given the UK is a LNG base and should with its historic connections better remain trade wise with Canada and the United States, it seems that fighting over the remaining viable coal fields of central and south-eastern Europe will be likely (assuming Ukraine will already be part of Russia by then).

    Spain I assume will be one of the first places to fall under dar al-Islam given its pathetically weak military, low non-Muslim fertility and geographically position next to the Muslim South. Jihadi Muslims also reference Spain a lot given the Islamic empire used to control Spain for centuries.

    It seems logical to me, although we will see, that even ignoring the Covid vaccines wildcard variable, a revived Russian empire will compete with a expanding Turkish empire and a likely Intermarium led by the regional military power Poland for control over much of central/eastern Europe.

    From a monitoring perspective, presumably the key trackers are the excess death rates in highly vaccinated European countries over the coming years ahead. If they remain relatively stable over the next 5 to 10 years, for example, that is somewhat reassuring that the long-term consequences of the vaccines don’t fall into the worse case scenarios.

    If, on the other hand, excess deaths spiral higher, year or yeah, on a chart – and once could easily plot a parabolic death rate at some point into the future if the trends carried on, that implies we are heading towards a mass death scenario.

    My hunch, and it remains a hunch, is if there is a tipping point it will probably happen around or after 2030 or so. Don’t know what your view is but I know from previous comments you recommend that younger Europeans think about emigration from after 2030 as a matter of serious concern.

  262. Hi JMG,
    I would like to wish you a happy new year. I really wish that you have a good health and will stay with us for a long time. Thank you for your books and guidance on this side which help our family navigate this difficult time.

    Hi Heian, Atmospheric River and all,
    Regarding wood stoves, you might want to check out Rocket stoves. Ianto Evans wrote a book for self-builders, Rocket Mass Heaters. The ingenious design allows a very hot fire which combust all the fuel gas before it quits the stove. I built one and can confirm it is highly efficient. One does not have to be a experienced stove builder to make one of these.

  263. @ Mary Bennet,

    Thank you very much for your list of seed providers. There are some on your list that I am not familiar with and I look forward to perusing their catalogs. Another company you might look at is Totally Tomatoes. They are family owned and operated. Their seeds have done well for me.

  264. @Aldarion,

    I have a very very small business (side hustle). Your comment assumes that small shop owners should have much lower costs. Perhaps there are lower costs in personnel, but there is definitely a higher cost when you do not purchase in bulk. The difference in per unit cost when I purchase 10 of an item vs 100 or 1000 of an item is substantial. A corporation with multiple stores could purchase quantities several orders of magnitude larger at a significantly lower price than a small business can, and therefore sell at a lower price (which is attractive to customers) than the small business can.

  265. @A1

    Thanks for your explanation.
    ‘ With directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing we are far far far from running out of natural gas. ‘

    It makes sense that with those technologies
    there will be much more available , and it is consumed at a lower rate
    (eight times according to worldometer ) than in the US so it will last much longer .

    It is true the oil sands production will last a very long time.
    Do you think the production rate can be increased a lot or
    are there limits there , for instance with the water available ?

  266. Audrey, of course. It probably goes without saying, buy may I just confirm that it’s okay to list the prayer as being for Audrey’s nephew Jon?

  267. @Ron M #260: I watched “Leave the World Behind” recently and don’t recognize it in your comments. I won’t recommend you to watch it yourself, since it’s not a particularly memorable movie – a rather run-of-the-mill apocalyptic scenario with rather 1990s baddies, as far as the viewer can tell. Its one saving grace is maybe the ignorance of the protagonists about what is actually happening in the world, which struck me as quite plausible and which extends to the audience. Otherwise, the movie’s message is rather bland and what one would expect from the Obamas – it’s all about harmony and listening to one another. The white working-class prepper character is actually rather sympathetic compared to the PMC protagonists.

    Some weeks ago, JMG’s 1999 essay “‘A HREF=””>Getting Beyond the Narratives” was linked here and I re-read it. It has often been remarked on this blog how the former Left has embraced positions that are 180 degrees opposed to their old ones. What struck me on reading the essay is how the Right has embraced positions that were, in 1999, associated with the ant-globalist Left, such as an immense fixation on and fascination with the WEF. There is also this: “by fitting the […] community into the dramatic role of heroic fighters for a lost cause, it subtly encourages [them] to put themselves in positions where they will heroically fail to accomplish their goals, thus playing the part the story defines for them”.

  268. Greetings to everyone, and good wishes for successful growth and projects in the new year!

    I just finished reading “The Witch of Criswell,” and realized that I can thank the author directly for an entertaining Occult Mystery.

    Over the course of the book, I wondered why the main character used a cell phone. It was not a thing I expected in a JM Greer novel! Somehow, I was still surprised by the ending, even after all that foreshadowing.

    Well done, and I hope I will have the opportunity to purchase and read a sequel, sometime in the future that I can’t predict.

  269. Patricia O. – One of my friends is fond of saying “Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide came as a surprise only to himself.”

  270. JMG
    In your answer to forcasting, do you use intermarium to mean the countries from Poland down through Buligaria and possibly ex Yugoslavia, the same countries which, if united, some felt could have defeated Germany in the late 30s

  271. I recently heard a radio interview with the Famous Michael Mann, Climate Sciencismist, where he explained that the fossil fuel Industry is doing everything it can to Deny, Delay, Defeat, Distract, and Divide the good people trying to develop government solutions to the Climate Crisis. Some of what he said made sense, but when he got to the part about “asking ‘do you fly?’ or ‘do you eat meat?’ of climate activists is just an attempt to divide us, to weaken us, and there are RUSSIAN TROLL pushing these questions.” It’s not an exact quote, of course, but he dismisses any attribution to personal responsibility. You know that they’re getting desperate when they play the “Russian Troll” card.

  272. Chris, Jim, all you microtonalist/xenharmonic people:
    There already exists a dedicated Discord server for discussion of this stuff! “Xenharmonic Alliance” is the name of the group. There allegedly exists a derpbook version but I don’t venture in those dragon infested waters so I can’t link it.

    There’s also a wiki containing basically everything you could want to know about temperament theory.

    JMG, I hope you don’t mind me posting this! Or heck, your mention of your zither and its tuning method is what sent a surprisingly large number of us into a vast tangent about tuning theory, so maybe you’d be interested in joining the discussions! As if you don’t enough other intellectually stimulating things on your plate already.

  273. I thought this comment in an email newsletter from Scarlet Imprint was interesting…

    “In The Book of Thoth, Crowley spoke of the New Aeon, not as opening with Aquarian rainbows and bliss, but three hundred years of dark ages. Whether you agree with his schema or philosophy, he followed that by saying that there are ‘more torch bearers who carry brighter lights,’ and that is the message we want to bring to the New Year. Be those bright lights.”

  274. For any matg nerds out there…

    My friend Ken wrote this:
    “I think 2024 could be a good year.  If nothing else, 2024 will be the only year of my life that is the product of two consecutive even numbers (44 x 46 =2024). [Sadly, I will NEVER enjoy the parallel pleasure of living through any year that is the product of two consecutive ODD numbers].  Of course, this fact necessarily implies that 2024 can also be expressed as a difference of two perfect squares: 2024 = 45² – 1², because 2024 = (45 + 1) x (45 – 1). So that’s cool, too!”

  275. RandomActsOfKarma, you are most welcome. I am glad the list could be helpful. I had thought TotallyTomatoes had been bought out by Burpees, as so many other fine companies, Vermont Beans Seeds, for example, have been. I am glad to hear they are still in private family hands; thank you for the recommendation. Are they the people who introduced ‘Black Cherry’? I have not the extra moola to be sending to the nonprofits, but buying from good Americans doing good work is something I can do.

    If I may, I would like to put in a good word for Red Pig garden hand tools and Rogue Hoe long handled tools. IDK about anyone else, but I have back problems enough without having to bend over short handled tools. I do not know the owners or personnel of either, and the only contact they have with me is as a satisfied customer. Neither one sends me emails, which is in itself significant, showing that their business is good enough that they do not need to resort to filling people’s inboxes.

  276. My New Year’s glass is raised tonight to all the healers, to the builders of bridges and protectors of the common places, to those who go the extra step, to those who gain and share useful knowledge, to those who practice, maintain and transmit old and new skills, to those who refuse to lend their small (but real) individual powers to anybody who would weaponise or inimically use them.

    Ye know who you are. I salute every one of ye, and wish ye all blessings in 2024 if ye will have them. Though its troubles multiply, and its challenges be as deep as they are wide, may your opportunities to be who you are, and do what you you… only MORE so… be abundant and fruitful!

  277. What would you suggest for teaching children morals and ethics? Before I had any, I naively assumed children were inherently good and it was a matter of avoiding bad influences, and now I’ve learned otherwise.

    I was raised Catholic but didn’t buy any of it growing up because it didn’t make any sense at all to me, and most of my morals came from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which I do not want for my children for obvious reasons.

    So how do druids and occultists handle it? I have been mostly relying on Beatrix Potter books in the meantime, but having an ethical system based on an understanding of karma and reincarnation cycles would help a lot. Otherwise, why not take what you want if you can get away with it?

  278. @ RandomActsOfKarma #295: Thanks, I should have remembered that important factor! Still, I wonder why smaller shops were more prevalent in bygone decades. Surely the wholesalers would have wanted to give bulk price discounts even then? Is it possible that smaller shops were supported by anti-trust regulation?

    In Germany, I know of two specific laws that used to protect small enterprises. Books used to have fixed prices (“Buchpreisbindung”), discounts forbidden. This helped smaller shops, smaller publishers and rural areas (at the same time, the value-added tax was much lower for books than for most wares). This law was gutted by the EU free market commissar, and now there are walls of the same (aggressively priced) book in the displays of the chain stores. The other law was that no individual was allowed to own more than one pharmacy – I think this law still exists, though internet pharmacies run around it.

    President Carter started gutting anti-trust laws in the USA, but I don’t know the details and how this would apply to restaurants, bakeries, drug stores etc.

  279. A Short Primer on Modern Wood Stoves in America.
    Modern wood stoves came in to existence in 1987 with the first state wood stove emissions laws in Oregon. Those were soon copied by the EPA and made nationwide in 1990. These require every wood stove sold to pass a very intensive testing process using a very specific cycle of loading, heating, damping down lasting 8 or more hours. This can be accomplished with either catalysts or baffles and re-burn chambers. These standards were updated in 2015 ( after many years of wrangling). They are now so strict and Byzantine that to meet them most stoves must have a combination of catalysts, return chambers and active control ( electronics or thermal actuators) too.
    These stoves are expensive, finicky to operate and require maintenance and repair of parts which fail due to complexity and high temperatures. In addition the higher efficiency means cooler exhaust temperatures which means poor draft in short or not well insulated chimneys. Also none of the modern stoves will operate correctly unless fed very dry wood.
    I would recommend obtaining the oldest technology stove that is legal to install in your area. This can vary with some places allowing older EPA approved stoves while some places do not allow wood stoves at all. I would get a wood stove properly sized to your heat load as oversized stoves are one of the biggest problems when it comes to dirty burning and clogged up chimneys. Obtain your wood by early spring before the next heating season and have it split up and drying in a place with good air circulation by April. Wood from commercial wood sellers is not dried and must be cured by you. Get a prong type moisture meter and do not burn wood with over 22% moisture.
    Most building regulations and home insurance policies require another kind of approval. This is a UL ( underwriters laboratory) safety certification. This will be on the tag on the back of the stove. Very old stoves ( 1970’s or before) or homemade stoves ( Rocket or other) will not have these certifications. As such they will violate most home insurance policies and if they are deemed to be the cause of a fire your insurance will be null and void.
    Such is the place we find ourselves in the last stages of empire. A simple form of heat used for centuries, now burdened with regulations that make it expensive, difficult or financially risky for many to pursue. Perhaps my best advise is get a nice, old low-tech cast iron stove ( pre emission Vermont Castings or Jotuls are wonderful) and stash them in the garage or shed and wait until collapse makes them a necessity and sweeps away the regulatory complexity of the modern world.

  280. Dennis Michael Sawyers: “What would you suggest for teaching children morals and ethics?”
    Karma is a good one; another is asking “What if everyone did that?” And there’s always “How would you like it if someone did/said that to you?”

  281. JMG & Forecasting
    My guess would be that Mittel Europa as it was called , with the exception of Poland,would be far more apt to ally with Russia than against it, and that mostly out of self preservation. Hungary & Slovakia are already going against the EU/NATO on the Ukraine. The fellow Slavs in Serbia and Bulgaria would be inclined to favor Russia, and Greece possibly as a fellow Orthodox country. The Poles seem notorious for making bad choices, so who knows what they will do. I think we are only beginning to see how the US has destroyed its position in that part of the world by its blind embrace of zionism.

  282. On the subject of trains, this information is fairly dated and I have no reference, and the numbers are approximate. The train from Paris to Brussels used to take 5 hours and was quite affordable. The high speed train they put on that route takes 2 hours and is very expensive, making it cheaper to drive, fly or take the bus. The regular train has been rerouted to make room for the high speed, and now takes 8 hours.
    The high speed rail they are building in CA is vastly over budget and behind schedule, and was rerouted to go through some influential person’s district. I am not sure it is even in service yet on any part of the route.
    the rail system in Honolulu is hugely over engineered, had started to rust before it was even completed, and was started from the suburbs in to the city without even having secured the land in the city. I have lost track of whether it is even running yet. Obviously it is way over budget. I worked on the campaign of the candidate who wanted to add one lane to the H1 for buses, and a series of connector buses from the ridges and valleys to the main route. It could have started almost immediately. Needless to say, we were out manouvered and outfunded on the campaign. It was even implied in some circles that it was anti-green to oppose a rail system.
    I am a big fan of choo choo trains, but the mind set seems to be hugely expensive, complex high speed rail or nothing.. Obviously someone is making buckets of money out of it regardless of whether the trains ever go one station or not.

  283. Clay Dennis, and others interested in heating with wood — In my suburban neighborhood, it only takes a fraction of the homes to be burning wood (either indoors, or out in a fire-pit bonfire) to make the air uncomfortably smoky. Bear in mind that those fancy new wood stoves are designed to cut down on the smoke that some of your neighbors may have to breathe. Even decades ago, Denver had a special beacon on the city skyline, and if that beacon was lit, wood stoves needed to be shut down due to air pollution.
    My home is heated with a heat pump + high-efficiency (condensing) natural gas furnace, as well as south windows that let in some solar heat when it’s available, and we wear multiple layers of clothing to stay comfortable. The thermometer on the table behind me reads a cozy 68F.

  284. On the introduction to the CGD you mention that both scientific materialism and and dogmatic protestant Christianity insisted that the dawn of the industrial revolution was for the best. What was the gist of the argument from the christian side?

  285. Re the COVID vaccines and a mass die off in European countries.

    Although I’m not writing off the possibility, I’m beginning to come around to the idea those of us that were vehemently against them in a funny way trusted the vaccine makers too much, but from another angle to those who clamoured for it. The branch covidians trusted Pfizer et al in terms of believing that they were safe and effective, whereas we trusted that they were being honest regarding the crazy Frankenstein tech they were using and it’s dangerous consequences.

    After continuing laborious research and realising how deep the fraud goes, in particular that the entire field of virology is farcical pseudoscience, I’m starting to think that we were all tricked. The shots are probably just a mix of toxic crap (some batches worse than others, like most vaccines) but on a level above older vaccines and are no doubt very dangerous products, but whether they actually have MRNA in them has now come into question, and the whole mechanism and ‘science’ behind them is completely fraudulent.

    The ADE scenario that you sketched out JMG is something I was worried about to, but now I’m realising that ADE itself might be another bogus invention of virology that doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny. It’s a way to mask that the toxicity of vaccines is what kills people, not the disease.

    Hopefully therefore we have avoided some sort of long term die off scenario and the lesson is it’s all snake oil all the way down. It’s also a lesson that the way we view disease and treatment is still very caught up in Faustian cultural assumptions of contagion and a mini war between heaven and hell in our bodies (antibodies etc) that are based off full blown religious convictions with a secular mask.

  286. Mr. Greer et al …

    A pleasant NYE to all…. where ever you be … & safe tidings everyone, as we plunge into the crevasse of 2024 Globull discombobulation!

    May your intentions be true .. and, God’s be with us, .. your tridents be honed appropriately.

  287. Reese, that’s weird, and not in a good way. Thanks for the data point…

    AliceEm, interesting. Thanks for this. As for the summer solstice party, that announcement is up to the host.

    J.L.Mc12, that’s why I said you need to find some way to hook base-12 up to a new religion; that might give it the foothold it needs. As for Proust, I’ve owned the English translation for some years now, and dip into it at intervals when I want to read something slow and gentle.

    Curt, interesting. Thanks for the data point.

    Anselmo, no surprises there. The term samizdat comes to mind.

    Forecasting, I don’t know enough about Bulgaria to hazard a guess! As for the low death rate scenario, yes, that slows things up considerably. In that case Europe declines more slowly, but internecine warfare becomes much more of a threat.

    Foxhands, you’re welcome and thank you.

    Sylvia, the second book in Ariel’s adventures is scheduled for publication in March, and the third volume will be about a year after that. The fourth? I’m writing it. I’m glad you enjoyed the first one and I hope the others live up to it.

    Stephen, yes, exactly.

    Lathechuck, that reads like something the The Babylon Bee would publish! I wonder if these people have any idea how silly they look to the rest of us?

    Deathcap, if I can find the time I may just do that. One of my publishers has asked for a book on the esoteric dimensions of music, and to me, that has to include tuning theory; I’m not as negative toward equal temperament as some, but it’s certainly not the only game in town — I see it as a very specialized tuning appropriate for certain kinds of music but not for most others — and you can’t generate it geometrically the way you can some of the other tunings, so it doesn’t have the resonances with sacred geometry I want to bring out.

    Justin, oh, Crowley was a doofus but he was right somewhat more often than a broken clock. Thanks for the math nerd update!

    Scotlyn, (clink!)

    Dennis, Beatrix Potter is a great source, and so is older kid’s fiction generally, as a way to get the ideas into their minds in an entertaining and agreeable form. Do you read stories aloud to them? It’s a good habit. As for karma, yes, emphatically — that’s the basis for occult moral teaching. “You know, if you do that, someone’s going to do that to you someday” is a good strong incentive.

    Clay, thanks for this.

    Augusto, Christian theologians in the 18th and 19th centuries used to insist that the industrial revolution was good because it forced the poor to take up virtuous habits of hard work, punctuality, and obedience. It also forced the poor out of the traditional agricultural cycle, in which they usually had plenty of days off (and thus plenty of time to sin), and made them work long hours six days a week, removing many opportunities for ungodly behavior.

    Willow, well, we’ll have to wait and see, now won’t we?

    Polecat, thank you!

  288. I can confirm, you have to let your past life memories surface naturally, as mine did. My recollections (which I’ve shared on dreamwidth magic mondays) are a bit sparse, nowhere near the comprehensiveness of the host, but certain points are quite vivid. To JMG, you seem to suggest that better recollection of past lives comes from spiritual maturity, and the readiness to seek higher rebirths. However, I find your fatigue with human life to be rather off-putting. I get that the human world is a difficult, wacky place, but still, I rather like this form, and the agency that comes with it. Having a spiritual body and living in Buddhist heaven sounds cool, as does Narnian heaven (spoiler alert: it’s everything positive about the real world turned up to 11). However, I’d have to leave behind the crazy, mixed-up human world, and only observe it from a distance, unable to interact or contribute to it. Am I off-base here? Or am I just not ready to advance yet, despite having possibly been human for centuries?

    As for the Second Religiosity, I get the sense that the most traditional sects (namely Eastern Orthodox, and my native Catholicism, and especially the schisms who reject Vatican II like SSPX) will fare best, while the woke-ified Protestants will fare worst. However, I agree that a new spiritual force is coming (as I mentioned in my other post), perhaps it’ll be a revived Western paganism, cast in a “far-right” mold? It’s hard to say, but I’m interested.

    Math/measurement systems: Decimal is not bad actually, and it’s intuitive given the number of human digits. I’d say ten, twelve and sixteen are the best bases to use for general computation. However, measurement is different, since divisibility is even more important than usual — that’s why traditional measurement systems tend to emphasize 12 or 16 as opposed to 10; they also tend to use units with human dimensions which are easy to work with. Metric, I have to say, is lacking in these qualities, being decimal with less-than-intuitive units; however, it has the key advantages of consistent scaling x10, and no need to convert to do calculations. I could go on about this, but keeping it concise: I believe metric is best as an international scientific/technical standard, while traditional systems are superior for common/daily use. Also, I see the different systems used by different cultures (eg English standard, traditional Chinese, etc) as a benefit, as long as you have metric for STEM.

    I’ve already folded a bunch of different thoughts into a post again, so I’ll leave it there. I put my points in order of importance: I’m most interested in reincarnation, secondly religiosity; the latter part about math/metric is just sharing my knowledge. Hopefully that’s okay, just trying to contribute!

    Normally I’d be out partying instead of doing this, but I don’t feel up to it, and plans didn’t come together anyway, but I did plenty the past two years so it’s fine. Happy 2024!!!

  289. @JMG,
    Two things– that train ride was a dozen years ago, now, as I checked on Wiki and the Northlander train stopped in 2012. The other is that Canada is very regional. “Canada” as it likes to present itself internationally exists in southern BC and the Quebec-Windsor corridor, and gutters out as the population density goes down. Rural, remote areas get pretty rough; that’s the same as in the USA.

    For example– keeping on the theme of trains– there are GO Trains every 1/2hr out of Barrie to Toronto on weekdays. It takes under 2hr to get downtown, much faster than driving in traffic. If you drove to the station (as everyone does) parking is free and tickets are cheaper than gasoline. Honestly, I think GO Transit is just about as good as it gets on this continent– the North-South Barrie route is GO’s worst served, IIRC. But they only serve Toronto and commuters to and from Toronto, despite being G(overnment)O(ntario) Transit.

    Actually, I think they pushed GO Train service up to Barrie the same year they cancelled the Northlander. There was much controversy about that, but those silly geese in the Northeast insisted on always voting NDP and you don’t get pork when you’re in opposition. Nippising riding wised up and elected a Tory and the next Tory government promised to give them back their train. Nobody is holding their breath, though. I know for a fact even if they do buy the promised trainset, they haven’t budgeted a fraction of what it would take to fix the rails and bridges. (Which have been in continuous freight use the past decade, so have continued to wear out but are technically still serviceable.)

  290. @reese 274, weirdly enough, ghislaine maxwell apparently called her young charges ‘pop tarts’ when she was cheekily advertising them in posh spaces. Feels like turning into an Allison McDowell read of the Super Bowl show or something except the creepiness is more transparent.
    @phutatorius : thanks. I finally had to like really put the pedal to the metal and just finish it after going in little bits for a long time. JeeZ there’s so much to read and hear in this world that’s so easy to access. It’s really 🥜 🌰

    @aldarion 288 I hadn’t thought about that getting beyond the narratives piece in a long time, thanks for reminding me and for your noticings! I’m trying to decide if I’m putting myself in the heroic loser bracket with the same right making comments to the SEC about why making ‘ecosystem services’ a tradeable asset class is a bad idea. (Said Right is paranoid it’s a Chinese land grab but I don’t think that’s really the proper concern with it). Maybe I should just try to get some of that big money for regenerative grazing projects or count it as an actual win for old school environmentalists, including externalities and changing investment incentives. However, I still think it absolutely stinks and is a wicked scam. I’ll have something on my substack about it within a few days, but I am going between a kind of tongue in cheek tone like ‘financialization of everything has worked great so far’ tone. Or more serious like ‘investigative report for people who don’t have the time to dig into UN environmental accounting frameworks’… I know the thread already told someone else pointedly and helpfully to figure out WHO IS THE AUDIENCE. Puzzled.

  291. JMG, I noticed you said you were born in Lawrence, KS in your past life. That’s the area I’m from. Do you by chance know the year you were born and the year you died in your past life? I believe I recall you saying you died in a car wreck, if I’m not mistaken.

  292. You know, come to think of it, I have been seeing the idea of a modern Aztec nation or an Aztec invasion of Europe cropping up a bit in fiction these last two decades. The tabletop and video game role playing series Shadowrun has the nation of Aztlan which styles itself as a reborn Aztec empire. Crusader Kings II had the Sunset Invasion Alternate History campaign where the Aztec Empire invades Western Europe. Disney/Marvel changed Namor the Sub-Mariner in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to be Aztec and his advanced underwater civilization name was changed from Atlantis to Talokan, which is the Aztec underworld. Then there was Pastwatch, an alternate history novel by Orson Scott Card, which sees Christopher Columbus and his men going native, Christianity and the Aztec religion merging and the creation of an American Empire. It is a plot point that seems to be coming a little more common.

  293. Covid is only one factor in population loss, with long covid and long term dysfunction contributing..
    Antibiotic resistant infections are on the rise, especially in Gaza and Ukrainian war zones.
    Canada recently started to allow patient-sought assisted suicide for mental health patients.
    The US medical system is not the only one stressed.
    Birth rate is dropping fast. Per Statista, it has dropped from 5 in 1950 to 2.3 in 2023 (worldwide).

    Discussions here are so helpful. Organic and real whole foods may help with prevention, along with trying some medicinal herbs. Maybe try saving seeds. Constructive action, including physical, mental and spiritual work outs make sense to me. Social networking has been more challenging. Anyone with hints, please let me know.

  294. Patricia #263,

    I’ll bite…the biggest lie was told by the Neocons to themselves and to everybody else, that the summer offensive would succeed.

    Best wishes to everyone for a good 2024!

  295. Xcalibur, whether you personally find something off-putting isn’t of great concern to me, you know. 😉 Nobody’s going to make you finish up your human incarnations before you’re ready, but I’m a little startled by your references to Buddhist heavens and Narnia — neither of which have much of anything to do with the afterlife as I understand it, or with what comes next once a soul finishes its material incarnations. (Hint: we each have a long, long, long way to go in the process of unfoldment, even after lives in matter are over.) As for the Second Religiosity, no argument there; those branches of Christianity that have surrendered to the civil religion of progress will either have to reclaim their faith in historic Christian teachings or go under.

    Tyler, many thanks for the data points.

    Ian, to the best of my recollection I was born last time sometime around 1923-1924 and I died sometime around 1960. Yes, it was in a head-on car crash.

    Karl, hmm! Thanks for the data point.

    Gardener, I expect to see the global birthrate down below 2.0 fairly soon. That’s necessary, because the planet can’t support 8 billion people for long — but I don’t think many people are prepared for the impacts of sustained population and economic contraction. I’ll be doing a post on that early this coming year.

  296. thoughts on wood stove heat vs the new heat pumps, low energy future and power outages at this time (will be future for you all)

    Well, yeah, both my old Jotul ( catalytic converter built sometime in the 1990s) and my new-ish EPA certified Lopi burn so clean there is no smoke to bother the neighbors. Open fireplaces or very, very old wood stoves will do that, make irritating smoke, but not any EPA certified ones from the last 30 years. I have also heard rocket stoves are great, but I dont need to build one as I was given the new Lopi and CA is getting worse and worse on regulatory stuff and Im a bit scared of building inspectors, so I hold that rocket stove knowledge in reserve for a potential lower power future….

    Last late January, when we had the Big Snow here, I had no electricity for a week or more. Large scale outage. First, an older neighbor a half mile away showed up at my door a couple days in (walked here thru the snow, the roads werent useable) for 2 reasons, first to make sure I was ok as I was in a walking boot with a few bones broke on my foot. And, as she got closer to the house, she saw no smoke from the chimney, so was concerned if I needed hep with getting wood in, which she would have done, so she was happily surprised to come in to heat and a roaring fire. It just made no smoke. Another neighbor also came up to check on me, seeing no smoke, another day. Second reason she came was to call her kids to say she was ok, as I keep a landline phone, not a phone thru the internet (VOIP), she has a cell phone and VOIP. — Cell phones dont work here and VOIP doesnt work without power, and not just power to the house, the repeaters, or whatever they are called, on the cable lines need power, and the internet company is notorious to not be able to keep it running during long outages. Yes, I know that the phone company, ATT, also has these repeaters on the lines as alot of the lines are also fiber optic, but ATT keeps them running, first they have larger batteries, and second they will send a guy out with a large generator when that goes out. They have a requirement from the government to keep voice communication up. As a further aside, voice communications takes alot less power to transmit than streaming internet, so ATT has to prioritize the telephone and let the other go as power from the batteries of theirs gets lower. The internet company is getting better, it used to be that it would go down after 2 to 4 hours, but ATT landline phone almost never goes down — So, she got a chair in front of the fire, I pulled hot water out of the pot on the wood stove for a cup of hot tea for her, and she called her daughter in comfort. ( she is late 70’s) . This neighbor has an ancient wood stove, which now has started drawing so bad she uses it as an open fireplace. But, a new California compliant wood stove would cost about $5,000 installed, could be more. And they are no longer offering the low income stove change out program, no low income person can change out a stove with a $1,000 rebate. Still way too expensive given free firewood if you put your back into it.

    Yes, many in this part of California think, hey just get yourself a heat pump heater. First, it is terribly expensive, I had a quote to fulfill my curiosity on this, I think it was $35,000. For mini split heat pumps. And, that was for the ugly ones. The wall wort ones. They agreed that it would ruin the look of the house. I pointed out places that the ceiling type ones could be hid, come out of a wall in a couple descrete locations, well, that would realy up the price, interior walls, routing of the conduits, tight work spots, more expensive interior units. I am talking here of a house, mine and others, that do not have central heat, a heat pump change out for a central unit would be different I suppose. I dont have an attic for hiding heat pumps in less expensive ways.

    Second, they require electricity to work, and we just seem to get worse and longer outages. When they do work, our electricity here is .32/kWh and up. I wonder how long the units last without repair of fans or other components. My neighbor is using her 50 year old woodstove. My daughter is using one 25 year or so old. There is alot of planned obsolesence these days. Maybe they last ok, but what people are seeing with refrigerators and stoves makes me nervous about any new electrical appliance. I have built in electric hydronic baseboard heating. Woodstove heats the large vaulted ceiling great room better, but I do use it in bedrooms when needed, if someone wants more heat in one, they turn on the one in that room, but usually whatever convects into the bedrooms off the great room is enough. I left one on for the cat in one room while I was away for a week, it was very toasty in there. These are incredible units. They last forever. They are quiet. They have no fans.

    Someone of Frugral Friday linked articles in low tech magazine that addressed this, “inefficient” homes use alot less power than the models show. The energy saving and payback are not what models show. And, people with the new systems, tend to keep the temperature more in a higher comfort way. I see this in this area with the heat pumps because they also work as airconditioners. Usually, no one in this moderate area of California had airconditioners, now with a heat pump, they do and htey use them for air conditioning in the summer, negating any efficiency gains from winter heating and adding more usage. For a house like mine, and many are like mine, heating systems of electric or propane that are mostly kept turned off. So, obviously, we are not going to be saving money buying a new built in heating source, no matter what the model says.

    This is part of the thing we especially have in California that there can be only one answer, and they know what it is….. So, no other ways are talked about or information given, like coppicing wood in your yard to heat your house with a EPA certified wood stove or home made rocket stove. Which works because you only need one room realy hot, and you can air seal the house for small amount of money and put on a sweater. I have never lived in a house with central heating. There was no suffering involved.

  297. Joe Biden seems to have adopted a Clint Eastwood squint. Makes me laugh. So, I ask myself, a la Dirty Harry, do I feel lucky today? Well, with that crooked old buffoon in charge, and a farcically corrupt and incompetent and murderous Deep State backing him up, I feel my luck draining out my shoes. But still it cracks me up.

    Happy New Year and many thanks to our esteemed host.

  298. Hi John Michael,

    I’m of the opinion that economic contraction is already under way, and has been for a very long time. As a bit of a thought experiment, I began doing the economic numbers for all the stuff required to get a new system happening which would provide useful materials here + the conceptualising and physical creation of the systems + the requisite learning, all for the purposes of milling timber from the forest resources here. Turns out, as an idea for here, even with free inputs makes no economic sense whatsoever. The thing is, a lot of the activities I do are like that (not all though), and it’s really interesting that this is the case. I’ll be very interested to read your thoughts in this matter. My take is that we’ve been in decline for most of my life, and yet few people want to acknowledge that. It’s possible that all around us now, enough people are missing out that decline is finally getting noticed and yelled away! It’s all a bit weird don’t you reckon?

    My perspective is to seek quality + reliability of supply, regardless of what that entails. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure.



  299. Hey JMG

    I’ve recently finished reading “how to read a folk-tale” by Lee Haring, which contains his translation of a popular Madagascan folktale about the hero Ibonia, which he uses to explain some of the ways folklorists study their subject. It was an interesting book, the story of Ibonia itself being a pleasant but often confusing encounter with another culture far removed from the west.
    Also, on the subject of the housing crisis, I found a substack which discusses it from an Australian perspective which you and many of the commentariat may find useful for understanding the causes behind it, at least in Australia.

  300. Forecasting Intelligence:

    Regarding your predictions for Europe, here’s my two cents about my country, Spain. I agree overall, but you may want to factor in a likely civil war between Spanish factions, not yet against the muslim world, in the coming decades – or years, who knows. I’m quite convinced something not too different from what caused our latest civil wars has been stirring for at least the last couple of decades, but since some months ago even your average Joes are beginning to discuss the possibility in public.

    Since Spain is peripheral even within Europe, this may not change the long term prospects dramatically. However, I’ve often thought if such a war, while the American empire is in retreat of gone forever in Europe, could weaken Spain enough to unchain a full scale invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by our more than eager southern neighbours much sooner than most people expect.

    I think that, besides foreign interests, the only thing preventing the conflict right now is the extravagant inflow of wealth that makes many Spaniards – fewer each passing day – too rich to risk losing it all at war. When that flow stops – and it’s slowed down considerably since the 2000s – we’re headed for something unpleasant.

  301. Re: Pop tarts. That’s long been slang for girls or media figures who dress and act in a youthfully sleazy-sexy way.

  302. @Mary Bennet,

    I do not know if Totally Tomatoes introduced Black Cherry or not. Truthfully, I’ve not heard of Black Cherry. Do you recommend it? Last year I did Sweet 100’s for cherry tomatoes and they did really well. But at the grocery store (before my tomatoes were ready), I purchased a pack of “Wild Wonders” (by Sunset Grown, if you want to look them up). The pack had all sorts of fun colors of cherry tomatoes and the brown ones especially were tasty, but I have no idea what kind they are.
    And thank you for the long handled tool sites. I am tall enough that I have given up finding a wheelbarrow that fits and have switched to a wagon, so a nice long-handled rake would be very nice.
    Happy New Year!

  303. @JMG “One of my publishers has asked for a book on the esoteric dimensions of music, and to me, that has to include tuning theory”

    That sounds interesting. I’ve decided to study the Trivium and Quadrivium seriously and in depth this year. I’ve been working on the Trivium for a while, but not in a focused way. Working with language and logic, it’s all within my comfort zone. The Quadrivium, being based on number, is all in territory for which my education has left me unprepared; from looking at it, though, it’s material that I wish now had been properly taught when I was young. I suspect my life might have been different if I’d really internalised mathematical representation.

    Given that the principles go back to the time of Pythagoras, and that we know the Druids were (according to some Greek sources) Pythagoreans at least in terms of their beliefs on rebirth, plus they wrote in Greek letters, I like to imagine them standing in a stone circle understanding exactly how the geometric layout of the stones mapped to the movements of the stars and planets, and having in their minds (and perhaps their rituals) an understanding how the harmony of movements in the heavens might be expressed in the harmonies of music. (Somewhere, I still have a book on the principles of designing stone circles which I bought way back in 90s; I’ll have to dig it up from whatever storage box it’s in).

    I only recently was awakened to all of this by watching video presentations of the geometric forms that the planets move through relative to each other: see, for example, Dance of the Planets on Youtube (even you might enjoy it, JMG: it’s video, but only geometric forms).

    Which brings me to ask: are any of the commentariat familiar with Peter Ulrickson’s books A Brief Quadrivium and Teaching the Quadrivium? They look very promising, but they’re pricey enough that I’m leery of splashing out the cash without really knowing anything about them.

  304. @Aldarion,

    I suspect that the prevalence of smaller shops in bygone eras had something to do with the state of transportation and communication back then. But even “back then”, America had at least one big company that competed with local smaller shops (Sears Roebuck & Co). (And possibly there were more; I just remember my grandmother’s stories about Sears.)
    I do not know about the status of anti-trust regulation in America. But I know there are plenty of other federal, state, and local regulations that make running a brick-and-mortar business complicated. (And even running non-brick-and-mortar businesses can be pretty complicated.) I’m sure it is easier for a large corporation with lawyers on their payroll to keep track of all the requirements than it is for a mom-and-pop store.
    I think small shops need to offer more than just-as-good prices to compete. But that is just me. I’m sure other people have other criteria they consider when choosing where to shop. 😉

  305. @ Yiğit (#5): A background in Platonism is indeed useful when considering the esoteric aspect of Christianity. I would suggest Pseudo-Dionysius and St. Maximus the Confessor, in terms of a Platonic theological approach. For a more occult approach (magic), Marsilio Ficino and Giordano Bruno (though I would tread lightly–it’s magic, and that means doors are gonna be opened…). May your guardian angel guide you in all such matters.

    As for blessings, maybe consider the Liturgy of the Hours as a start–or perhaps St. Ignatius’s exercises. These are self-directed, but that is where things begin, after all; without making straight the paths of one’s own heart, one cannot begin to bless others.

    Ken (#37): “What attributes did Christianity have that it became the “new” dominant pattern during the 1000 years following the fall of Rome?” Christianity works, and continues to do so. We may have to consider the fact that this is because…well, Christ is who he says he is. Don’t believe me? Try a prayer and see.

    Happy New Year and many blessings to all.

  306. There’s a big article in the Washington Post today about how the United States is producing more oil than any other nation on Earth, and more than it has ever before, but that Team Biden can’t take credit for it without alienating the environmentalists in the Democratic Party. (Also, not mentioned, is the fact that it takes time to develop oil production, so some of this is the delayed result of Trump administration policies. However, oil industry sources quoted in the article give credit to Biden for setting a positive tone for recent development.) Elsewhere, we read that the US economy has recovered with surprising strength from the pandemic, and we’ve avoided the dread recession of 2023. It seems likely to me that these two stories are tightly coupled. The fortunes of our country, as well as so many others, rise and fall with energy production! The production article also failed to connect the recent stumbles in the renewable energy industry to the recent surge in oil production (the usual culprit is “high” interest rates, making projects unprofitable). To no one’s surprise, it looks like the Dem’s will “pragmatically” pump oil & gas as fast as possible, rationalizing that if they don’t, the Rep’s will assume power and do so anyway.
    I gotta go sow some kale. Tending the garden gives me hope.

  307. Patricia @ 263

    “Safe and Effective”…

    to be followed This year with, so far anyway with: “”JN.1 will cause a global “heart attack” “pandemic”‘

    There’s the $cienz for ya.

  308. @Aldarion #288: thanks for the info and sparing me the pain of watching the film. Glad to hear that you do not believe that it is predictive programming. As it is blatantly obvious that we are continuously being bombarded by psyops, including by Hollywood, I am always on the lookout.

    Regarding cyber attacks, I have been recently living through two of them. One was in late 2019 when the entire government of the territory of Nunavut was brought down and for several months had to jerry-rig everything in order to keep its services running. Fortunately, its government is highly decentralized and people in the territory are used to living on the ragged edge of civilization where things don’t always work as planned (sorry, folks, the ice conditions prohibit any ships from making a landing to unload supplies this summer; better luck next year!). Even though I don’t live in Nunavut, this cyber-attack affected me directly, though I will not go into the details of why or how.

    The second attack is one which I am presently living through, as the Toronto Public Library’s system was discombobulated this autumn by a cyber attack and will likely stay prostrate for at least another month. It is still possible to physically borrow books from the stacks in a branch, but that’s about it. I recently tried to borrow a book on a technical subject that I have not accessed before, so I went to the ‘info’ desk. I explained to the staffer what I was looking for and she just threw up her hands and said, “the system’s down; sorry, I can’t help you”. From that response I learned that (a) she does not have a degree in library science and (b) there is no simple backup binder of subjects, organized by the dewey decimal system, to fall back on. And this was one of the largest branches of a public library my country’s largest city! But I shouldn’t be too hard on the poor dear: by all appearances, her job seems to consist of endlessly chatting with fellow-employees about totally non-work related matters, playing on her cell phone, and pushing the occasional button on her keyboard on the rare occasion that a customer requests assistance on something really basic.

    Regarding the Right’s recent obsession with WEF and the dangers of identifying with “heroic fighters for a lost cause”: point well taken. Lost causes are not my cup of tea. However, living in a country that is so obviously a bellweather of the sick organization’s totalitarian wet dreams can be rather stressful. While I do believe that the WEF is filled with insane out-of-touch ideologues and buffoons and that it will ultimately fall upon its own sword, that does not mean that it cannot wreak some serious havoc before its fall. To use a military analogy, it is wise to never underestimate one’s enemy while at the same time not letting them shape the battlefield. And much of this battle means avoiding contact with the enemy as much as possible, thereby rendering their weapons impotent.

  309. The year starts with a major earthquake in Japan, dead calm and heavy overcast here, and the BBC reports a boom in “meal replacement shakes.” Almost, but not quite food. 😉

    And the first words from NPR this morning were about the 2024 elections. I turned them off before I heard more than that.

    I hope everyone can find something better to do than obsess about that.

  310. JMG,
    Forgive my basic questions. I am just starting to learn about economics.
    I don’t understand the stock market, why it always seems to go up, ( at least in recent years), even though it seems like there’s a massive bubble.
    I hear people say there will be a crash, but if the government keeps propping up the market and giving banks money won’t it (at least for a while) just keep going up?
    Can the stock market be controlled, I wonder?
    You mentioned in an earlier comment that you think that perhaps the market will be propped up until election day and then will fall?
    Why would it fall if it’s government policy to prop it up?
    Last question. Do you think the stock market is an unsafe place for one to keep their money this time? If so, why?
    Thank you,

  311. RandomActsOfKarma, ‘Black Cherry’ is the open pollinated result of a cross between a cherry tomato and a larger so-called black tomato. The variety has become very popular, and there is hardly a seed company which does not offer it.

    Rogue Hoe company recycles used agricultural steel disks to make their hoes. Apparently, their products are widely used by the Forest Service and similar agencies for trail clearing.

  312. Re: civil war 2 – electric boogaloo

    In my way of thinking there’s little difference between a civil war and WW3, mainly because the rest of the world would have no choice but to get involved with it.

    So, if you’re talking about one, you’re pretty much talking about the other. They are not completely equivalent but might as well be.

    This is all I’ll say. I don’t think the time is right for WW3 – yet. And we might not see it at all, but rather a version of the Late Bronze Age Collapse, where all the countries implode. As smaller kingdoms fill the vacuum, that might look like a civil war for some time.

    I’d be sorta curious how any hollyweirdo types deal with foreign interference in their narratives. If they leave that out, they’re not being realistic.

  313. Re “esoteric dimensions of music,” I have a book by Alain Danielou called “Music & the Power of Sound.” Most of it is way over my head, so I haven’t mentioned it this week.

    Re wood stoves. I’ve had a Morso wood stove for about 10 years. I save it mostly for emergencies. The advantages are very little smoke, a small footprint, and relatively light weight. Disadvantages are the wood has to be maximum 9″ pieces (6″ works better), you can’t cook on it, and it uses custom molded ceramic firebox panels. If one cracks, you have to go to Morso or a dealer for replacement. I had one crack and replaced it. If I were buying a new stove I’d make a different choice.

    Re “pop-tarts”: I recently learned that Viennese composer Anton Bruckner, who was a very very weird guy, kept courting teenaged girls right up into his 70s. He remained a life-long bachelor: No surprise there.

  314. @atmospheric river

    What part of CA do you live in where you need that kind of heat? In SoCal you could literally sleep in your t-shirt and shorts without covers on the bed with an open window in January. In NorCal you needed to bundle up at night but if you didn’t want to run any heat, you could get away with it.

    My guess is you live in one of those mountain counties?

  315. >What struck me on reading the essay is how the Right has embraced positions that were, in 1999, associated with the ant-globalist Left

    Not just that. There was some article from one of the “Screaming Bluehair Today” journals that was ranting about “Monkeyposting: The New Evil”, supposedly the people they hate are now posting pictures of monkeys as code for something or other.

    And then it struck me too, just like it struck you. Perhaps we need to duck more often. Back in the 60s and 70s the Left used to remark about how paranoid the Right had become, that they saw plots and plans behind everything, to the point where they were sounding unhinged. And then it got the point where they Left started to make fun of the Right for it.

    To me, it looks like the shoe is on the other foot in the 2020s.




  316. Karl 318
    Pastwatch did not deal with strengthening the Aztec empire. The “returnees” very purposfully came back to assist two other nations that were fighting the Aztec to unite and develop technologies they were working on and defeat the Aztec.. I can’t remember the groups’ names, though one may have been the Olmec. One had gunpowder, but only used it for fireworks. The other had marine technology developed almost to the point of ocean crossing capability. In the end Colombus came back to Spain with a large Mexican/Caribbean trading fleet, which, however ,was also strong enough to conquer Spain if they didn’t play nice..
    Aztlan is used to describe the area of SW US and northern Mexico that many hope to see become a separate country.I think there is a very good chance that this might ultimately happen. There is an identification with Aztec and Mexican culture in general, but I doubt it will ever go the Full Monty with human sacrifices, etc..
    As to any Mexican nation invading Europe: this may make a good video game, but a most unlikely scenario. Any rising power in Mexico is going to have its work cut out expanding north and south and into the Caribbean. Besides, what is there in a Europe without resources that Mexico would want?

  317. As I got in an argument elsewhere about dealing with climate change and actually did some math, or had math done for me by an interactive web page, I’ll leave the data here too.

    “By the way, has a calculator for heating and cooling.

    St. Cloud MN has 8362 heating degree days using 65 F as the base.

    Mesa AZ has 1699 cooling degree days using 80 F as the base. Not quite 1/5 of the MN value.”

    [Reply about wood heat is easy, obviously he’s never actually cut firewood]

    “You are assuming an infinite supply of wood. Trees have a finite growth rate. A bit of research shows;

    “The old rule of thumb is that a well managed woodlot will yield about 1 cord per acre per year”

    “In a milder climate such as the Mid-Atlantic or Southeast, estimate one to two cords per 1,000 sq. ft. of home. ”

    “For colder climates, such as the Northeast and Midwestern states, using wood as a primary heat source, we recommend having 2-3 cords per 1,000 square feet”

    “there were 2,299,740 households in the state.” of MN.

    So, say 2.5 acres of woods per house or 5.75 million acres of forest managed for firewood. And most houses are more than 1000 sq ft.”

    So my thesis was that the end of fossil fuels will result in much of the northern population moving south. The above numbers assume high efficiency wood stoves. Dad said 5 or 6 cords was what he remembered from his youth.

    Oh, the solar panel on the water tank is cranking on 9% of rated capacity at 11 AM.

  318. Was it New Year’s Eve last night? You wouldn’t know it here. One small firework around 10:30 and then quiet. No throngs of people walking home from the bars/parties. This was very different than five or ten years ago.

    I guess people aren’t too excited about 2024?

  319. RE: Trains

    My father is retiring after over 50 years of service. He’s throwing a retirement party to coincide with his 80th Birthday, so you know, I gotta go. Only problem is he lives in the middle of Missouri and I live on the coast of far northern California. But I would love to take the train, so I looked into it.

    The first problem is the train doesn’t run through here. I would need to drive three hours to Redding and park my car somewhere. I have a friend there where I could park and he would take me to the station, although the train runs through town between 2 and 3 in the morning, so that’s not very convenient.

    Then I take the train down to the Bay Area. Where I get put on a bus to take me to the Central Valley. Then I take another train down to Bakersfield, where I need to take another bus to LA, where I finally get on a train that will take me to Missouri.

    Unfortunately, despite my father living in the third largest city in Missouri (Columbia), the train doesn’t run through there either. It would drop me off in Jefferson City, which is about an hour south. I’m sure my dad or another family member would come and pick me up, although, again, I arrive between 2 and 3 in the morning, so not very convenient.

    The whole trip takes 3 days. I can drive there in 3 days! Admittedly, I was thinking about getting a ticket that included someplace to sleep, but the price was way more than I expected.

    Bottom line, for the same amount of time, and just slightly more money, I can drive on my own schedule, sleep in a nice bed every night, and have a car at my disposal while I’m in town visiting. Sorry, Amtrak. I tried.

  320. A happy new year to everyone!
    One of my resolutions for this year is to finally completely read an interesting but demanding novel published in 1924 (I have read parts of it before but never got to the end): “Berge Meere und Giganten” by Alfred Döblin. There is also an English translation: “Mountains Oceans Giants. A novel of the 27th century.” See
    The author imagines world history (with a focus on Europe) from the 21st to the 27th century and describes it through a huge array of characters. Among the central topics: resource depletion, cultural ossification, migration, city versus land, technological hubris, collapse and a new beginning. Might be interesting to some here!
    JMG, I enjoyed your essay on Pagans and Christians in UnHerd – the path you sketched is very close to mine!

  321. Random Acts of Karma,
    Black Cherry is a favorite tomato for me, in the mid atlantic. Tasty, purplish color and highly productive until frost. Not listed as heirloom, yet open pollinated. Saved seeds have worked well for me without much effort. (small seed company in Virginia).

  322. Long-time reader from Finland here. You have many times told that you don’t want to make guesses about nations you don’t know. So please can you write sometimes about politics in current U.S., because I don’t want make any haphazard guesses? It all seems very insane from outside. Your politicians are attacking their own police force, only legitimate user of violence aside armed forces. How are they going to maintain public order with demoralized and shrinking police force? And why are politicians in your country accepting racism? This intersectionality is pure racism against whites, and that doesn’t make any sense. Why let genie out of the bottle when intra-ethnic relations have been mostly cordial during later part of 20th century? Your military is also very weak right now and your politicians are not helping the situation. Why? It makes no sense for imperial hegemon to weaken it’s own army and police. Why are you not controlling your own borders, there cannot be state without border? I believe many persons reading you outside U.S would appreciate your insight into U.S politics and what makes it tick.

    On the other hand, I think you don’t have enough information to understand Ukraine situation clearly. You are right that Russia is slowly winning war by attrition but the price is very, very high for them. Russian military is not as strong or efficiently led as you seem to believe.

    For a long time there has been ongoing struggle inside Russia between ministries that really matter, NKVD and Army. Secret police doesn’t want army to be too strong and culling of too capable officers has been going on for a long time and is seriously limiting Russian offensive abilities. In Finland it is widely known fact among those who follow this kind of things that there have been sporadic purges of Russian military leadership, especially those too independent and capable. It is very hard to get any Russian to publicly talk about these things, for obvious reasons. Privately, yes. Publicly, no.

    Starting from Soviet times internal ministry has had upper hand in this fight. Ministries even have their own football teams, Dynamo and TsSKA, and during Soviet times you could tell political power shifts from their comparative strength on the field. And fans were FANATIC, exposing deep fault lines in seemingly monolith Soviet system. Do you remember that I told in Archdruid report that football firms of Eastern Europe served as kind of weather vane about deeper political fault lines, using Ukraine as one example? Well that hit the home run I have to say. Fault line runs exactly where hatred between football firms ran before 2016.

    Corruption is also so deep and brazen that it’s not possible for Western person relying only on written evidence to truly understand it. Together these two factors, intra-ministry rivalry and corruption, are seriously limiting Russia’s military capabilities. But Russia is never as weak as it seems to be or as strong as it appears to be. This should never be forgotten. They are winning, but with horrible cost. And peace build on compromise would be only sane thing to do because Russia is not going away or the way they are lead.

    Finland (first as Eastern March of Sweden, then as independent state) has had 40 wars with Russia during span of thousand years (actual number by historian Veikko Laakso) and we were Grand Duchy of Russia from 1809 to 1917. So by Darwinist principle Finnish Defence Forces are very familiar with strengths and weaknesses of Russia and every Finnish male has serve their country in defence forces or face prison time. So the knowledge has wide spread. Here is link to lecture of (retired) Finnish intelligence officer Martti J. Kari and it sums up better than any Anglosphere theory I have heard about why Russia behaves as it does. Another link is to book by same person. I hope U.S. elites would have had as good insight as this when they made their decisions, maybe this whole mess could have been averted. Or maybe not, your leaders seem quite insane nowadays. I think that Putin is ready to make deal, a compromise, but sadly war has to run its course. If you can get it translated you get lot of good insights. I don’t have time to translate, especially with my bad English.

  323. @ RandomActsOfKarma #330: I totally agree that a small shop needs other criteria than just “same price as the big one”. When I last lived in my parents’ town, from 2005 to 2008, people were already ordering books on Amazon. Quite often, I would search for books on Amazon, then when I had found one I wanted, I would go to the book store to order it. All books that can be ordered in Germany can (or could) be ordered from any book shop (not my experience in other countries!), at the same price. They usually arrived the following day. That was my contribution to keeping that book store alive, but apparently not enough people thought like that. Same for the cheese shop – where else could you ask the attendants to give you recommendations? We must have been among the most enthusiastic clients, but it was not enough.

    However, my hunch is that people will only pay a certain price differential, 25 or 30% or whatever, compared to the chain store or chain restaurant. When the price differential is bigger, the small shop or restaurant folds because too many clients will (have to?) choose the less expensive option. My question is why small places have gone under in increasing numbers over the last 40 years or so. Transportation certainly wasn’t more expensive 40 or 60 years ago than now.

    Anyway, I had hoped to get the filthy details from somebody who sat at the negotiating table!

  324. Audrey, one more thing. For now I’ve phrased it according to your request: “May Audrey’s nephew Jon, who is now in a wheelchair due to ALS, have peace and comfort during this difficult time.” May I change it to “May Audrey’s nephew Jon, who is now in a wheelchair due to ALS, have peace and comfort during this difficult time, and be healed of his condition to the greatest degree possible”? I know it seems like a silly technicality, but this prayer list is founded in part on the value of consent. Please check with Jon if you feel it prudent. You can respond directly at the prayer list if your response isn’t in time for this week’s Open Post.


    The Ecosophia Prayer List celebrated its one year anniversay on December 22nd! In the last year, there were many more prayer requests than I originally anticipated, but I’m happy for it. Several people reported serious illness recovering faster than doctors expected, including cases which weren’t expected to turn around at all.One piece of feedback that I’ve gotten is that some people are overwhelmed by the sheer number of prayer entries. This is completely understandable; there are indeed many, and is a bit daunting even to me. I think some new tactics are warranted to manage the list.First of all, as I’ve been warning I would do for some weeks, I’ve removed all old prayers older than 6 months (with a couple of exceptions that my intuition encouraged me to keep). Next, I am revising the policy regarding how long entries remain on the list:Except where specifically requested otherwise, all prayers for the dead will come off of the list after a month and a day. The same goes for prayer requests for pets: a month and a day, unless specifically requested otherwise. All other prayers can remain for 3 months without an update (though updates are appreciated). This will be a harder line than I allowed before. I reserve the discretion to allow certain prayers for longer, when serious medical issues or the like are involved.As before, updates on how things are going with what you’ve made a request about are always appreciated. Every time you, if your prayer is not yet resolved, the 3 month clock starts over.

    As I’ve changed the terms, all entries that are currently remaining on the list are grandfathered in, and safe from such removal until the Spring Equinox.May the coming year be filled with blessings for all!* * *This week I would like to bring special attention to the following prayer requests.
    Tyler A’s pregnant wife Monika is at high rish for an ectopic pregnancy. May it turn out that the fetus has implanted in the right place, and may mother and child enjoy good health going forward.

    May Frank Rudolf Hartman of Altadena California (picture), who is receiving chemotherapy, be completely cured of the lymphoma that is afflicting him, and may he return to full health. 

    May the brain surgery that Erika’s partner James underwent for his cancer on October 16th have gone successfully; and may he be blessed, healed and protected, and successfully treated for all of his cancer.

    May Kyle’s friend Amanda, who though in her early thirties is undergoing various difficult treatments for brain cancer, make a full recovery; and may her body and spirit heal with grace.

    Lp9’s hometown, East Palestine, Ohio, for the safety and welfare of their people, animals and all living beings in and around East Palestine, and to improve the natural environment there to the benefit of all.
     * * *
    Old guidelines for how long prayer requests stay on the list, how to word requests, how to be added to the weekly email list, how to improve the chances of your prayer being answered, and several other common questions and issues, are to be found at the Ecosophia Prayer List FAQ. (It does not yet accord with the new policies I’ve listed above; I’ll update it soon.)

    If there are any among you who might wish to join me in a bit of astrological timing, I pray each week for the health of all those with health problems on the list on the astrological hour of the Sun on Sundays, bearing in mind the Sun’s rulerships of heart, brain, and vital energies. If this appeals to you, I invite you to join me.

  326. Hi JMG and happy new year to you and all commentariat.
    I remember an old comment of yours, about personal protection from others’ negative energy (we called it evil eye or “βασκανία” in Greek). I remember you saying something about a particular stone that we should wear close to our heart and say some sort of prayer. Could you please repeat your answer and elaborate on this subject more, because I do not remember the details, and I cannot find it through searching your old posts?
    Thank you for all those years of guidance.

  327. @Brother Kornhoer and Polecat, thank you so much!
    Those are definitely good choices that I considered too. For reference, Trailer Trash Tim, speaking from a more local American perspective, gave it as “No problems at all with our borders.” I guess that means no problems at all for those of means dreaming of building up a grateful mercenary army.
    As far as loss of innocent lives is concerned, I’d say “Safe & Effective” is the hands-down winner, but that whopper dates back to 2021, though it does get renewed every time a new booster comes out. Clearly, the death toll from “Ukraine can win against Russia” exceeds that of “It’s not a genocide” in Gaza so far, but if we consider non-combatant fatalities and the potential toll, I was tending to lean toward the latter.
    Another tricky aspect of this is determining who’s lying. Everyone points their fingers at someone else, and society develops another gaping rent, the latest crossing both right and left, with agonizing acrimony.
    Clearly, if you are attempting to divide and conquer an otherwise cohesive group of people, tossing a huge but plausible lie their way is very effective. You get people on both sides convinced the other side has sold their soul for some nefarious purpose, is propagating lies, and is totally evil. The bigger the lie, the better.

  328. Very late for this series of thoughts and apologies in advance for the ramble… came about from re-reading Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books this last week.

    Book 3 (The Farthest Shore) and book 6 (The Other Wind); if we forget about the nature of the magic in the stories, what did interest me was that ‘the dry land’ appeared to be the result of an idea gone awry – the fear of the cycles of life and death led to the supposed creation of a place where the dead could have a nice immortal existence outside of the cycle; but that didn’t just go wrong it went horribly wrong and the magic used resulted in a tainted corruption of the dynamic balance.

    First thing it made me think of was transhumanism along with fear and hubris, but the next thought was more intriguing – if a system causes imbalance because of the way it has been used, would this build up an egregore over time?
    That is, if a system becomes unbalanced or corrupted at a deep level, might this result in attempts at balanced use still ending or failing in expected result because the underlying nature of the system has been corrupted?

    So, if a system has been used for 2000+ yrs, but the overall trajectory by [some] users has been towards imbalance (against the cosmos rather than in alignment with flow), could one end up in a situation where one thinks one is in balance but the deep corruption of intent and motivation inevitably leads to corruption?

    Think of it in terms of deep core modules having bad programming – most people don’t work at the deep core level but around peripheral modules and the peripheral modules all look peachy clean and ‘make sense’, however, the underlying engine has developed tracks in space that are not heading in the direction that superficially seems the case.

    Imagine if a religious system/ occult system or magical system of philosophy and practice had been so corrupted or subverted.
    Superficially a system might look good, but if it is corrupted at a deep level, this may not be immediately apparent?

    Now imagine that such a system became the foundation for many other systems.
    All the systems have metaphors that vary to one extent or another and even though the intentions of the practitioners is noble and in harmony with the cosmos, the track of the core is heading in a direction that is ‘disharmonious’ and inevitably ends up as something other to what was intended.

    I have wondered about this for some years – how come with all the so-called teachers, lightworkers, chakra wranglers, prayer groups, occult groups, religious groups, energy therapists, healers, etc, etc, etc of whatever flavour, texture or nature, how come this world seems so crap for so many?

    Well, I figured maybe it is the nature of the realm that people come here to learn particular types of lessons; so, while we oscillate between different kinds of ages as people come and go, each cohort passes through similar stages/patterns.

    Now I know JMG does not hold with some of the extreme end of Gnostic ideas, but given the nature of this realm and the things that go on here, wouldn’t the simplest answer be that if it is not already perfect for what it needs to achieve, that someone/something etc has actually gamed the system?
    So, while we think we’re on a spiral, actually things have been gamed and much is going around in circles?

    Take this image:

    Your brain processes it as a spiral but it is actually something else (a set of concentric circles).

    If the systems we think are taking us one way are actually taking us somewhere else, might we need to return to first principles and build a system from scratch? I realise this could sound well crazy, but what if our fundamental premises appear sound but are in fact deeply corrupted?

    The transhumanists are one thing, but do we understand what we’re playing with in that and other areas – so apart from monkeys playing with DNA and mRNA, should we consider paying more attention to core occult concepts?

    Not so much a crisis of faith or long dark night of the soul, more a paraphrasing of Twain’s:
    “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you; it’s what you know that just ain’t so.”

    Granted I don’t see a way to know, but it has entertained me thinking about it.

  329. @Ron M,
    Unless she explicitly told you otherwise, I would be almost certain that young lady has a degree in library science. It’s listed as a job requirement for every posting at our public library system in our smaller Ontario city, so I can only assume TO would do the same. There’s no shortage of Library Science grads; every University pumps out another dozen or so every year, much in excess to the library system’s requirements. I suspect they just don’t bother teaching such ugly, outdated things as the dewy decimal system. (And yes, their actual job does seem to be about the same as what your young woman does. Nice racket, if you can get into it.)

    Supporting anecdote: a couple of years back I was at a newly-opened makerspace, and one of the local librarians was berating us for ‘competing’ with them. When I pointed out there were no books here, I got an angry tirade about how libraries “aren’t about books!” and how the Library had purchased a 3D printer years before and was the logical place to put a makerspace and they were stealing that thunder. (I’d remember thinking the thunder was rather stale if it had been years, and I’d never heard of anyone using a 3D printer in that city’s libraries… but I didn’t argue that to her face.) I didn’t find her arguments logical, but the woman did self-identify as having a degree in Library and Information Science, IIRC. You would never have guessed it from her attitude towards such horrid, unfashionable things as books.

    I still remember the vitriol she poured into that last word when she said that libraries “aren’t about books“. Thanks to people like her, our libraries now have perhaps a quarter the stacks they did 20 years ago, and in the last few years those stacks have been purged very strongly. Walking into a library here is like seeing a dear old friend whose teeth have been violently knocked out. After the last round of purges, I found it too distressing to patronize… and found very little left in their sanitized stacks to interest me regardless.

    Alas, they burned Alexandria, too. If you want a reference get it in hard copy yourself.

  330. The post last week inspired me to write a book imagining the future, specifically, a future based on syndicalism rather than capitalism. I am already a published author (basically tech how-to books that are overly long at the insistence of the publisher), but I am much better at non-fiction than fiction because I am absolutely terrible at writing dialogue. For capturing the public’s imagination of the future, can non-fiction work as well as fiction? If so, what are some examples? The only one that comes to mind is the Communist Manifesto, but I’ve never read the whole thing so I don’t if it ever gets around to imagining what a communist future would look like.

  331. Thanks for your response (to #226) JMG, it is wait and see then.
    And, to everyone, a belated toast for the year that went by. I friend recently sent a meme depicting “2023” as a movie… directed by Tarantino, screenplay by Stephen King, and sound track by Yoko Ono. Still, I think it makes only too much sense to those who see it as merely half a chapter in the Long Descent novel.

  332. Stephen Pearson,

    My mistake, it has been a few years since I read Pastwatch. Still, the basic plot remains the same with Christopher Columbus going native, Christianity merging with Central American religious traditions and the creation of an independent American empire capable of going toe to toe with the European powers. And yes, I know a lot of these fictional scenarios are far-fetched; you are never going to catch me arguing a Marvel movie like Wakanda Forever is realistic. It was just an observation spurred on by Reese’s comment about the Poptart Bowl and the resurgent Aztec religious influences that I had been seeing the theme, along with other related themes, cropping up in fiction a bit over the last two decades.

  333. JMG – re #356 – Ha! I’ve just started reading the introduction to your book The Way of the Golden Section:
    “Every so often it becomes necessary to reframe the teachings of occultism in new Ways…”
    How very synchronous! 🙂

  334. @Tyler A: OK, I have picked my jaw off the floor. Maybe I am hopelessly old, but to my mind a graduate in library science who is not intimately familiar with the dewey decimal system is like a graduate in chemistry who has not memorized the periodic table. For all I know, maybe modern chemistry grads have been spared the drudgery and wasted time memorizing the periodic table these days; imagine how many important TikTok videos they would miss! Yes, throughout the province of ‘Onterrible’ the book-purging has been savage. Nearly any book that I would really like to borrow is now available only in the Reference Branch where one cannot check out the book. And, yes, libraries are now community centres that incidentally have a few shelves of books scattered about. If the public libraries get burned some time in the near future I will not weep, as all the good books have already been virtually ‘burned’ — it would just be the final nail in the coffin.

  335. JMG, I am curious whether – or to what extent – you think the current inflation is due to energy constraints at the root. There seem to be multiple possible proximate causes (labor shortages? stimulus / emergency relief spending? etc.) but it can be hard to figure out whether there are deeper underlying issues. The housing price problem muddies the picture further.

  336. Siliconguy, I’ve not listened to National Pentagon Radio for years, but I do think us deplorable nobodies need to be paying to how and by whom we are likely to be governed. This year one major national candidate would likely get us embroiled in WWIII, while the other would empower dozens of corporatist, Christianist baby theocrats in every town and county.

    Julana, thank you for your very interesting analysis of recent events in your part of the world. I do remember your remarks about sports affiliation from a few years back. Can you explain, what, in your opinion, brought about Finland’s joining of NATO? Do you regard that as a good or bad decision? Do you fear that a future Russia will exact some sort of revenge?

  337. @Tyler & @Ron M:

    I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again: libraries and librarians should have a guild. I’ve been an employee at my public library 22 years now. I worked my way up to copy cataloger from a shelver. (Some prayers to the Library Angel & St. Jerome, patron saint of librarians, writers and translators, were not amiss in this regard… the latter, even though I’m not Catholic.) I have no degree. I dropped out of college, thank heavens. I am pretty sure I could do the work of a catalog librarian if I got the further training. That training could all be done by a guild or in-house. I think it was only in the 1970s when the library systems started requiring degrees for librarians. Apprentice (shelver and such like), Apprentice (help with reference questions, learning the more detailed intricacies of running a library) to Master could all be taught very much by a guild.

    In our collection we have spared quite a bit of good material, even though weeding still needs to be done, we have kept so much. Not that they haven’t gotten rid of things they should have kept, and up through the early 2000s we were still known as being close to the level of an academic library. I wish they would go back in that direction, because working here, I’ve slowly given myself an education in the things I’m interested in.

    Anyway, I’ll get off my hobby horse now. But I hope libraries will be sensible to go back to not requiring degrees, but that those with a calling for it, can advance. The card catalog systems too, though time consuming to reproduce, could and can be reproduced. All you need is a box and some index cards. Maybe a lot of boxes and a lot of index cards, but…

    @JMG: Can the I Ching: Book of Changes be considered as a scripture of study for the Universal Gnostic Church?

    @Anyone: Does anybody have any good biographies of Gottfried Leibniz they recommend? I know I work at a library, and I will probably just pick one to start with, but thought I might ask…

  338. Chris, I think you’re quite correct. One of the tricky things about the disconnection between money and wealth is that financial statistics needn’t have any contact at all with the actual economy of goods and services. As we move deeper into contraction, the disconnect is going to become even wider, and weirder…

    J.L.Mc12, thanks for both of these.

    Bogatyr, delighted to hear this. I’m not familiar with Ulrickson’s work, though — most of what I’ve read on the quadrivium is much, much older!

    Lathechuck, too funny. Thanks for this.

    Siliconguy, welcome to the end of the world as we know it. Me, I feel fine. 😉

    Edward, the stock market has been being propped up by the US government since the 1987 “flash crash,” and the propping has become ever more blatant and drastic as the underlying economy has unraveled. The question is purely how long and how dramatically they can keep the market propped up at a time when interest rates are up and the ability of the US government to keep borrowing limitless amounts of money is starting to fail. As for where you can keep your money safely, you can’t — that’s just it. The entire economic structure is in trouble, and the value of the arbitrary tokens we call “money” is one of the things that’s at risk.

    Other Owen, that strikes me as a very strange claim. No, the rest of the world isn’t obligated to get involved in a US civil war or (the more likely event) domestic insurgency; why should they? It would be to the immense advantage of China and Russia to sit back, grin, and let the US unravel while they strengthen their position in the rest of the world. Our isolated position between two oceans allows nations in the Old World, and in South America for that matter, to ignore internal North American conflicts just as completely as Americans ignore civil wars in Africa.

    Phutatorius, Danielou’s well worth reading, but you need a background in classical Indian music and philosophy to make sense of him!

    Siliconguy, thanks for this.

    Kurt, well, of course! In today’s official Newspeak, “racist” means “insufficiently obedient to the status quo.”

    Slink, we had some fireworks here in Rhode Island, off in the distance, but not one car horn sounded. I think you’re right that not too many people are enthusastic about the new year. As for Amtrak, I know; half a century of malign neglect has taken its toll.

    Robert K, hmm! I’ll have to see if I can find a copy of the English version. As for the UnHerd article, I originally wrote that for an anthology of pieces about Christianity from a Pagan perspective, and more recently placed it in one of my anthologies of essays with Aeon; I’m glad it seems to be finding an audience at last.

    Juhana, of course it looks insane. That’s because it is insane. Falling empires look like that. As for Russia, er, you’re quite mistaken in your view of what I think; I’m quite aware of the corruption in Russia, as in all eastern European countries, and the fact that Russia has to settle for a war of attrition rather than simply crushing the Ukrainian forces outright shows the limits to Russian power. The fact remains that they’re winning, and that they shrugged off Western sanctions that were supposed to flatten the Russian economy — and these are the points that I’ve tried to make.

    Quin, thanks for this as always.

    Kosta, I don’t recall saying anything of the kind. You might try the red bag amulet described here —

    — it protects against hostile magical energies.

    Earthworm, and of course there’s a long tradition of people who’ve thought along the lines you’ve sketched out and tried to begin again on first principles. You might want to see what the results of those attempts have been.

    Dennis, it can be done — Charles Fourier, whose work I discussed here, is a good example. The important thing is to make the descriptions vivid and don’t get bogged down in details that need technical knowledge to interpret. Why not learn how to write dialogue, though? It’s not that hard — all you have to do is start paying attention to conversations going on around you, and notice how those work.

    CR, ha! I like it.

    David BTL, thanks for this.

    Isaac, to my mind the primary factor behind inflation right now is exactly what classic economic theory implies — too many dollars chasing too few goods and services, and the US government frantically printing more (via dubious gimmickry involving notional debt) to cover its operating expenses. Of course all the other factors also play a part, too.

    Justin, emphatically yes. The Book of Changes is considered scriptural in both Taoist and Confucian traditions.

  339. Ron M @ 363: I graduated with a BS in chemistry in 1979 and a PhD in chemistry in 1984. We were not required to memorize the periodic table, although I did memorize most of the periodic table aside from the rare earths through constant exposure to it, as I think most of my fellow chemists did. Your comparison to libraries without books, however, does have an apt comparison in chemistry and other sciences these days, namely online laboratory experiments. If I say too much I will descend into language our gracious host will ban me for using, so I will simply state that an online “experiment” is as much an abomination as a library with no books and leave it at that.

  340. JMG, Would you mind posting the link to the Unherd article about Christianity from a Pagan perspective? I seem to be too simple-minded to get anything useful out of their search function… 🙂


  341. “For all I know, maybe modern chemistry grads have been spared the drudgery and wasted time memorizing the periodic table these days; ”

    My other degree is in chemistry and there was never a mention of memorizing it. The elements you are fussing with all the time get memorized by repetition, including some ones you wouldn’t think would stick like the atomic weight of silver (108). But rhenium or gadolinium, those are lookups.

    There is really no point in memorizing it anyway, you are going to double check a reference anyway.

    Also in academic news, the head of Harvard had to step down due to excessive plagiarism among other things.

  342. @Juhana,
    The ” Russia is corrupt so they will eventually fail” argument is a common one in the west. Most times it seems to be a convenient ” straw-man” argument when faced with the observable facts with regards to Russias military capabilities and performance. A realistic assessment at the beginning of the Ukranian conflict would be that Russia’s armored forces, missile forces, Air Force and anti-aircraft systems are vastly superior to those of Ukraine ( or even those Nato can muster in Europe) and act accordingly. Such a realistic assessment would lead a logical opponent ( or even one who had read Sun Tzu and was not insane) to the conclusion that fighting Russia in its own backyard was a bad idea.
    But if you really want this conflict, and don’t care about the costs or the outcome then you have to come up with some other more esoteric ( and hard to quantify) variable with which to judge the relative strengths of both sides. Then Presto! you come up with the “Russians are so corrupt they will collapse in a heap any day” argument. Which goes well with the handy ” Putin is a crazy autocrat who will be overthrown any day” argument. Neither one is supported by observable facts and the now obvious outcome proves that.

  343. Earthworm – You wonder, with all of the well-intended efforts for so many decades, why the world is in such a mess as it is? Consider that this may actually BE the “best of all possible worlds”. Without these efforts, it might be so much worse! With only one world to act on, we can’t do a controlled experiment.

    My wife and I practice a whimsical bit of magic several times a week. Along our usual walking path, there is a place with two sign posts near the curb, about 8 feet apart. (Think skeletal bus shelter.) We leap through this “portal to a better world”, and, upon noting that a few imperfections remain in our world, “but think of how much worse it was in the world we left behind!” Just a couple of crazy kids in their mid-60s… We laugh, and find a moment’s relief from the truly grave issues that we face.

  344. @Dennis Michael Sawyers #358. Let me suggest Ursula LeGuin’s classic novel “The Disposessed.”

  345. amount of firewood needed and Ca heating requirements

    I would look at what people have to say about Rocket stoves. Alot of the data on them are on places like, which is overall an “interesting” place, but good for finding links about rocket stoves. The work at the Montana permaculture site gives good data that not alot of wood is needed. I forget the exact amount, way, way less than you dad used to say to need. Yards can be planted with trees that are fast growing and coppiced. Look to your area for correct trees to plant as the time is upon us.

    In my area, chestnut any cheap rootstock variety, and native tan oak are just 2 out of many choices for high heat wood that can be coppiced repeatedly and do not need water or special care. Black locust too — but I like the idea of trees that make good firewood but can first be stripped by the goats after cutting for good goat feed.

    My first winter here, we bought 3 or 4 cords. Then I changed wood stoves and bought 2 cords, then I did caulking and I think I use between 1 and 1 and 1/2 cords. I still have a few direct air leaks and no curtains since the fire, so this amount of wood use can go much lower. I do believe with a rocket stove it would be under 1/2 cord. And that does not need to be hard wood, it can be doug fir or coppiced tan oak and chestnut.

    About California. I dont know why people think California is all like southern CA or the mid to southern coastal CA. And, as far as that goes, I personally have much more trouble in a northern CA wet cold than a Tahoe dry snow cold.
    But, lets not even consider my house, lets think about my sons house, for example, 1/2 mile from the beach, a bit more than 100 miles south of San Francisco, so this is not even Northern CA, it is central on the coast. And, I can look up their weather stats, today it is a cold rain day here and at his place, they forcast the nighttime temps for his to be 45’F tonight, with some winds and rain. People are not comfortable at 45′ F and high humidity. The warming centers are open for the homeless tonight. Others dangerously run propane space heaters in the tents. 45’F is colder than just put on a sweater cold, There are certainly strategies to not get sick and stay warmer, for example, put blankets over the kitchen table , get in there with other blankets, maybe have a lit candle and not catch it all on fire. So, if the power goes off for a few hours or even a day, not such a big deal. When the power is off for a week, the house has reverted to outside temperature not too much into that week. So, maybe 37’F, or 42’F, or 47’F. Which is too cold to be comfortable and get things done. If you move around alot and keep on hats and warm sweaters, long johns, sure, wont freeze to death. Cant have warm food or hot water bottles as the stove is electric too, and the water heater in the new vision of all electric homes. And, all the refrigerator food is now bad.

    The main thing is that a week is a whole different ball game to having no heat or cooking stove or hot water or electricity for a few hours or a day. I believe it would be absolutely miserable to go a week with no power in an all electric house with no backup. especially since it affects the whole community. Even the permanent homeless here have resources, the places we have open for them to get a hot shower, a hot meal and wash and dry those wet things. None of which work at your all electric home when the power is off. We have community plans for bulk sheltering in various venues for community emergencies, which include long outages for homeless and housed both, and those county plans involve generators, propane heating of foods, propane heaters, etc… and alot of bodies in one county fair building.

    My house is an all electric house, my cooking stove is electric, my hot water heater is electric, my built in heat is electric already. I do not have propane. And, I dont have a generator. The new thing for my area is that people with money buy a generac whole house generator connected to a 5,000 gallon dedicated propane tank. The new builds that are all electric have a propane tank just for the whole house generator. That is their back up. You have to have some type of back up plan.

    I have a wood stove, I get house heat and it is used for cooking and hot water when the power is off, and basic cooking when the power is on. So, it is my back up. The reason it is also my main source of heat is financial, and comfort. It is a much more comfortable heat source than any other source of heat. It would be super expensive to add heat pump space heating and it would be expensive to pay for that electricity every month all winter. I could burn scrap lumber cut offs from all the rebuilds and stay warm, I could burn wood from all the trees that burned down ( and am),

  346. Dennis Michael Sawyers # 358 You could look at the publishing example of “The Goal” by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox. Goldratt wanted more success as a business consultant with unorthodox methods. Cox was a writer. They collaborated on the book.

    Business novels were not particularly a thing at the time. Goldratt came up with a story of a company that had a lot of problems. (He had plenty of real-life examples to draw on!) In desparation, the boss turned to a sometimes difficult consultant (a lot like Goldratt) with seemingly wacky ideas (a lot like Goldratt) which, guess what, turned out to be just what was needed to save the company.

    Cox personalized the story. The impending collapse of the business cost the boss his marriage and his self-confidence, before things eventually got turned around.

    Cox was offered a royalty split. He thought it was far safer to just get paid with a standard fee, on this offbeat vanity project.

    The book sold millions of copies.

    Some companies used Goldratt’s ideas to improve operations by themselves, and some went directly to the great guru as thinly fictionalized in the book.

    A cheesy short film was made as a tutorial hook to teach Goldratt’s ideas. I think there’s enough meat to the personal story that it could make a pretty compelling drama movie. That is, if they were to go a little light on the queues at the overproducing NCX-10 machines, and instead emphasize the boss’s feelings of failing himself, his family, his workers and his community if the plant were to close because he couldn’t make things right. As well as the underlying hostility bubbling up at times between the boss, the parent company closing the plant, the consultant, and the team caught in the middle.

    After The Goal, Goldratt cranked out nonfiction books about his business philosophies. He also collaborated on more business novels. “It’s Not Luck” brought back the characters from The Goal. “Critical Chain,” “Necessary but not Sufficient,” and “Isn’t It Obvious?” had different characters solving their business problems.

    This is just one of many examples of co-writing teams that succeeded. Maybe someone who’s already good with dialogue would like to add it to your parable of syndicalism.

    You didn’t miss anything not finishing Marx’s dreary book. Instant summary: “Look at all those world’s evils because those awful people control everything! Throw them away and have the Communists control everything, and the world will be a utopia!” Exactly how and why having the Communists in charge guarantees utopia was not exactly spelled out.

    In “The Goal,” the path from the problem to the solution is laid out step by step because it has to convince the characters, before it can convince the reader. I think it’s a good model of a book with a deliberate message: “how we get past the obstacles, by thinking and acting in the new way.”

  347. From the Unherd article referenced above, “If Christianity was originally a mystery cult focused on the life force,”

    From what I remember the Book of Mark mostly concerned Jesus wandering the countryside faith healing. That would fit rather well.

  348. To JMG and the commentariat, are there any books that you would recommend regarding child development?

    For example, JMG, you mentioned a few times the development of the etheric, astral, and mental bodies/sheath at 7, 14, 21 respectively. I guess that comes from Steiner’s works?

    Personally I have been exploring works on the Montessori system. Not only those written by Maria Montessori herself but various books within the Montessori umbrella and inspired by her work. Some of it has close parallels with Steiner’s work, e.g. in terms of periods of development, but in other ways she differs quite a lot — for example Montessori recommends keeping mythological or fantastic stories for children past the age of 6 as she believes children only develop a sense for the difference between fantasy and reality after that age. I personally find the Montessori techniques for introducing literacy and counting more well thought out than Steiner’s though.

    My daughter is due to be born at the end of the month. Any books on parenting that you have found useful will be highly appreciated!


  349. Thank you JMG for the red bag amulet. That was what I was looking for, I just had a faint memory of it and could not remember the exact details. And all the Magic Monday FAQ are extremely helpful as well.

  350. @Lathechuck #377
    Yes indeed, that was why I said: “I know JMG does not hold with some of the extreme end of Gnostic ideas, but given the nature of this realm and the things that go on here, wouldn’t the simplest answer be that if it is not already perfect for what it needs to achieve, that someone/something etc has actually gamed the system?”

    My thoughts from reading Le Guin were along the lines of ‘by the fruits of their labour shall ye know them’.

    And yes I realise it is a heresy to question underlying foundations.

  351. Interesting piece, @JMG (#371). Valid points, although I’d suggest that although the fertility motifs noted are certainly present in Christianity, they speak to the idea of transcending the realm of generation altogether.

    Some other random thoughts on Christianity and mystery cults:

    – Maybe obvious to some, but the terms “initiation” and “mystery” are still in use in the church today, the latter of which is proclaimed daily with the blessed sacrament. These days I suspect one of the chief advantages that the “things done, things shown, and things said” and ingestion of the bread (Demeter) and the wine (Dionysius) have over Eleusis is that the mystery is not bound to a single location–it can be exported to wherever an appropriate place and appropriate performer are found.

    – There are even today places where the connection between the two remains even more explicit. In the small community of Alcara li Fusi, for example, one the feast day of St. John the Baptist, the locals undertake a celebration of Demeter (and perhaps Dionysius, though unsure on the latter). Just happens that the saint was beheaded, not unlike a certain hero of the mystery cults of Greece…

    – Looks like things may have gotten bad enough in the “New Atheist” camp that they are calling for a “modern Mysteries of Eleusis”: (In a strictly material-fundamentalist sense, of course…) 🙂

  352. SLClaire, Siliconguy: thanks for the insights re: university-level chemistry. My high school chemistry teacher was such a holy terror that those of us who took the class seriously memorized the periodic table from hydrogen through to silver. Students who could not visualize the placement of at least the first 100 elements on the periodic table were in deep trouble. Then again, our teacher had published textbooks on carbon. I’ve no idea why he was a high school teacher instead of a university professor, but he certainly gave those students who went on to pursue post-secondary science a good head start. Looks like he was the exception rather than the rule.

  353. @Stephen IIRC SW US and northern mexico is more associated with Comanche and Apache (some other tribes also– Caddo, Yavapai, Mojave, Navajo, Lipan, etc) than Aztec? Maybe I’m not thinking far back enough. When the US conquered Texas, that was a very protracted war with the Comanches mainly– even more than with the Mexicans. I suppose a resurgence of Aztec culture is possible there, but given the terrain… declining resources are going to mean a much, much thinner population… which is more conducive to nomadism. Aztec were a very urban culture.

  354. Speaking of a “life force” and Christianity, the New Testament is quite explicit about that, called the Spirit or the Holy Spirit. Some quotes – “It is the Spirit that gives life” “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” and many more. In the Old Testament too. Jesus is introduced in the beginning of each of the Gospels as the one who gives the Holy Spirit.

  355. @Robert Mathiesen #253 and @degringolade (#4)
    You remind me how many different ways our minds can process this universe we live in.

    You said “Speaking just of myself, I do not think in sentences at all. Indeed, I cannot think in sentences, not even if it were necessary to save my life.”

    You and I must be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

    I experienced a difficult childhood. My mother was schizophrenic and was placed in a mental hospital when I was thirteen. During the years I was growing up, I found shelter in reading. I always had a book or a couple of magazine articles with me. I probably missed learning some facial/social signals.

    It’s no surprise that I grew up with a natural tendency to process things in words. Sometimes I find I know a paragraph of a favorite book by heart, even though I made no effort to memorize it. I have little memory of visual images. Oliver Sacks was interviewed about his “face blindness,” and I often find I can remember the words of a conversation, but not the person’s face.

    Good luck in finding ways to communicate, using the tools we each have!

  356. @Quin #353

    I haven’t been on the website much this past year and I missed the start of the Prayer List. It is wonderful! Thank you so much for doing this.

    The prayer list FAQ emphasizes that “consent for prayers has been obtained from the relevant parties.”

    I’d like to learn more about this.

    I can understand why consent should always be obtained before posting someone’s name and personal circumstances in a public space.

    As a Buddhist practitioner, I often pray for groups of people that I don’t personally know. “May all minds be blessed with wisdom and compassion!” Or, if I’m praying for good health for myself and those close to me, I might expand that prayer to all people. If I’m having a bad day, I might pray for patience and for problems to dissolve, and I might include similar prayers for everyone who’s having a bad day.

    I hope and trust there is no problem with my praying in this way. I’m confused about the distinction between general prayers for groups of people (which I think are part of many religions) and more specific focused practices for individuals, where it’s appropriate to ask for their approval.

    Could you point me to someplace on the website where these issues have been discussed?

  357. @RandomActsOfKarma #284 #328 @Mary Bennet #337

    I plant and eat more cherry tomatoes than any other tomatoes. (I use larger tomatoes to share with friends. They also come in handy towards the end of summer, since cherry tomatoes tend to crack as soon as the ground gets too wet.)

    I use Sweet 100 or Sweet Million as my standard red cherry tomato. I like Black Cherry.

    But my favorite tomato, every year, is Sungold. Have you tried it? Large yellow cherry tomatoes, very sweet.

  358. For the past several years I’ve been doing land healing work locally, as well as developing a relationship with pockets of land in my area and the general area itself. This is a large part of my spiritual practice. Recently I have a very uneasy feeling about the land spirits. I live in the USA and, while I don’t feel that my relationship with the land is impeded or damaged in any way, the general feeling is of the whole ethos of the land being genuinely fed up, that judgment has been passed, that the spirits are watching and waiting for this version of civilization to pass. It’s not so much angry as being almost past angry, past the point of being fed up, a feeling of just being “done.” I’m not sure that I truly interpret this correctly, but part of my practice is not ignoring intuition and taking things like this seriously. So I am passing this along if anyone is interested, or has something similar (or different) to share.

  359. Appreciation for your decade-old writings on Southwest Asia continues from various commenters

Comments are closed.