Open Post

February 2019 Open Post

As announced earlier, this blog will host an open space once a month (well, more or less!) to field questions and encourage discussion among my readers, and this is the week. All the standard rules apply — no profanity, no sales pitches, no trolling, no rudeness, no long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic.

Before we go on, I’m delighted to announce that one of my few backlist titles that has been out of print for a while is now available for preorder. Earth Divination, Earth Magic was my first book on geomantic divination and magic; it’s specifically oriented to the Golden Dawn end of occultism, where my later book The Art and Practice of Geomancy is oriented toward traditional Renaissance magical practice; and it contains my translation of Pietro d’Abano’s Modo Judicandi Quaestiones (A Method for Judging Questions), the short geomantic treatise that turned my understanding of geomancy on its head and helped push the current geomantic revival into new (or, rather, old but forgotten) territory.

Thanks to the enthusiastic folks at Aeon Books, it’s on its way to print in an attractive new edition. Copies can be preordered here.

With that said, have at it!

366 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your books and thank you for hosting this space!

    I’m curious your take on the magical properties of Florida Water; Catherine Yronwode mentions it briefly in her _Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic_ as an offering to the dead. Other practitioners use it much more broadly to protect and bless. I used it a few months ago successfully for a clogged drain on your recommendation. I’m definitely intrigued and am curious how you categorize it — Solar? Venereal? Jovial? — and how you use it more generally in practice.

  2. John–

    Well, it seems that the note I sent you earlier would be relevant here in the open post, so I’ll comment here for others to chime in as well.

    As I gave to the WI Greens last election cycle, I’ve been on their email list ever since. In this month’s national newsletter, there was a story about a joint statement by the Maine Greens and LIbertarians:

    https://www.gp.org/joint_statement?utm_campaign=19feb_greenline_nogmail&utm_medium=email&utm_source=gpus

    Of the ten “areas of agreement,” the last few are Maine-specific and the final dealt with vaccines. The first several, however, touch on many issues relevant to the radical center that we’ve been discussing (ending the endless wars, bring troops home, reducing the size of the military, ending corporate welfare, etc.) This is only one cooperative exercise in one state, but perhaps something that should be watched.

    Also, in energy news, the battle over state subsidies continues:

    https://www.njspotlight.com/stories/19/02/14/pseg-were-not-bluffing-about-shutting-down-nuke-plants/

    https://www.circlevilleherald.com/ohio-s-economy-would-suffer-were-nuclear-power-plants-closed/article_fd04f4a3-cff7-5fef-80d5-dad553fadfbe.html

    http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-nws-pennsylvania-nuclear-power-bailout-20190206-story.html

    And, only half in jest, is anyone else ready for the 2020 election to be over and done with? 😉 It’s gonna be a long twenty months. Thank goodness I don’t have a TV anymore.

  3. Earlier you suggested looking at Native American art to see what directions an American high culture might take–following Spengler’s analysis of Classical (Apollonian), Magean (Arabic) and N. European (Faustian). These are just tentative remarks. It seems to me that one aspect in Native American art is to reveal what might be concealed. Plains Indian pictures in which both legs of a rider are shown despite the fact that the body of the horse would conceal the far leg are one example. There is also some Inuit art that reveals the internal organs of animals. The art of the NW coast tribes seems very concerned with symmetry, with the animal flattened on a vertical axis as we see in both so called totem poles and in the designs on blankets, wooden boxes and other objects. Since this flattening is a way of seeing the back at the same time as the front it seems part of the larger pattern. I’m away from reference books–including catalogs of art exhibitions I have visited, but it seems to me that I recall similar patterns in Meso-American art.

    One must, of course, bear in mind that N. America alone contained 100s of different cultures. Even divided into broad cultural groups such as NW, NE, Plains, Southwest, etc. the differences are immense. I always cringe when someone announces “The Indian way of —–“. For example many people will tell you that Native Americans always work in circles–which are organic–not unnatural rectangles or squares, like the Europeans. Yet I have read of Plains groups setting up a ritual square with posts and cord.

  4. Hi JMG,

    What do you think would be the best sources to read if one were interested in learning more about reincarnation?

    Thank you,
    RMK

  5. I know it’s a little early to be talking about Election 2020, but let’s face it, we live in the age of the perpetual political campaign. Of all the Democratic hopefuls who have declared their intention or likely intention of running, probably the worst one of the bunch the Democrats could possibly nominate is Senator Amy Klobuchar (to whom I have given the nickname “Mrs. Minnesota”). Like Hillary Clinton, she’s an out-of-touch Baby Boomer with a poorly-concealed history of having a bad temper and personality and who is clearly following the “old school” formula on How To Get Elected President. So if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run this time around (I’m guessing she won’t), that is who the Democratic National Committee will try to force down our throats this time. (Only this time, it won’t be such a cinch because the “superdelegate” system was abolished in the Democratic Party last year.)

  6. Dear Mr Greer,

    Firstly I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the latest Hali book. I really wish some of the events in the books were true…

    A question I’ve been wondering for a while now, emphasized by the tone of the Hali books is the following:

    How do you think rich people should act/behave in the greater society?

    I look forward to your reply.

    Bonus question: do you have an inkling of when we might expect the next book in the Hali series?

  7. You have probably covered this question but I have not seen it so I will ask. What was the reason for your relocation from Cumberland to Providence? I know how you enjoy H.P Lovecraft but surely that was not your only guiding light. I completely understand if this is a private matter you do not wish to discuss. Thanks

  8. WRT Atonal Music

    The parody has arrived at last.

    Are you familiar with Merle Hazard?

    He bills himself as America’s foremost country and blue grass singer/economist. Say his name carefully and you get ‘moral hazard’. He says himself he shouldn’t be confused with Merle Haggard (who I believe inspired him).

    He has now provided a YouTube video called ‘(Gimmie Some of That) Ol’ Atonal Music’ just like his daddy used to sing.

    It’s hysterical and well worth seeing the YouTube video so you can watch Alison Brown playing an atonal banjo solo!

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzodB0Sp6ZI&w=560&h=315%5D

    Merle Hazard’s other songs are well-worth listening to as well.

    Teresa from Hershey

  9. JMG,

    The “What is art for?” thread got me thinking, and while I have my own thoughts on the topic , I’m interested in your thoughts on this question:

    What does it means to make art in a declining society?

    Reading Spengler, I’m wondering if the Faustian soul has anything left to say. You can’t recreate the past and there there doesn’t seem to be a future to the means of expression I’m emeshed in – but the next capital I Idea hasn’t happened yet.

    The best I can think to do is pass on those things seem worth passing on, and communicate with those symbols that hold significance in the present, and let the future take care of itself.

    I hope I have phrased the question well. Beneath the surface its a deep question if you know where basic materials come from.

  10. Bad news everyone: I see no way I can make the green wizard magazine work. Unfortunately I don’t have the time or resources to jump through all the hoops I need to in order to get a company up and running. I’m sorry for having gotten hopes up, but there’s no way to comply with all the idiotic laws, and where I live has a very annoying habit of taking the laws and applying them in the strictest possible way against small businesses.

    I have a piece of evidence Pluto might not quite be done for US mundane astrology: there was a long running sextile between Pluto and Neptune from 1939 until after it was downgraded from a planet. Given the nature of these two planets, paranoia and McCarthyism seem like a plausible outcome. And indeed, both periods when it went exact so far, in the early 1950s and early 1980s, there was a collective nervous breakdown around all sorts of imagined enemies.

    I haven’t looked at what the sextile looked like from 2006-2013 yet, but it seems like it’s heading back for an exact sextile, with a catch: Pluto is currently in opposition to the sun in the US foundation chart, so that would seem to indicate that these energies will go towards the head of state: in other words, this seems to indicate a collective nervous breakdown aimed at the president.

    On a somewhat related topic: anyone have good sources on Plutonian aspects of culture, or mundane astrology, especially that discusses Pluto, or good sources on Pluto in astrology in general?

  11. Hi JMG,

    On Monday you suggested reading W.E. Butler’s The Magician: His Training and Work and Apprenticed to Magic. These books are hard to come by affordably or through my local library network, but the website https://the-eye.eu seems to have pdfs of these. Would it be acceptable to read these books in this manner?

    Thanks!

  12. A while back, I asked if you had any sources to recommend regarding the notary art. Your answer was that the best ones you’re aware of are written in Latin, and good translations of them aren’t available.

    I’d like to ask a follow-up question: what sources would you recommend regarding the notary art?

  13. Current events seem to reflect some of the events in your book, “Twilight’s Last Gleaming.”

    Shale oil is turning out to be a money loser and the US has failed, either to hold onto the Syrian gas fields, or to effect regime change in Iran.

    So – lo and behold – a humanitarian crisis has suddenly been discovered in Venezuela, requiring regime change. Humanitarian concerns also call for the elevation of a right wing nobody to the presidency immediately after he had conferred with the American Vice President. Sounds a tad suspicious to me.

    Here is my question.

    With the availability of alternative media, just how many Americans do you think are actually buying this story?

    My guess is about 50 to 55 per cent. About 10 per cent have doubts and the rest understand that this is a resource grab plain and simple.

  14. Hi JMG,

    Long story short, I have recently been the subject of what I would consider to be a genuinely obsessive level of negative focus from an individual who has, on multiple occasions, attempted to get me fired. I’ve recently come to discover that his attention is much more obsessive than I realized–like he’s losing sleep over this situation and it’s more than a little creepy.

    In addition to regularly practicing the SoP, burning protective incense semi-regularly, and starting to take some cleansing baths, I was thinking of making a witch bottle to collect and dispel the negative energy he is sending my way due to how intense his emotions seem to be regarding me. I know certainly that he is not an occult practitioner, but that doesn’t mean he is incapable of unconsciously doing a great deal of magic`. I wanted to see if you had any thoughts regarding the composition of the bottle and the planetary hours to be used.

    1. From what I have read, I would think creating the bottle and performing the incumbent rituals should occur on the day and hour of Saturn during the waning moon. This Saturday seems to be a great day with that because the moon will be at very low visibility in its waning phase. Knowing a great deal more about astrological magic than I, does this timing make sense?

    2. Secondly, I saw that the moon will be in Capricorn and on the cusp of Aquarius. Will that have any negative implications for the working I plan to do? Having not spent much time on astrological magic, as I am focused on the Druidry Handbook and Druid Magic Handbook, I wasn’t sure.

    3. I’ve seen many different instructions on creating the bottles. In terms of natural components beyond the usual nails, pins, needles, etc., I was planning to include one protective/cleansing herb or resin associated with each of the four elements, invoking the properties of those elements during appropriate times in the ritual.

    Some have suggested including something of your own like hair or urine in the bottle and others suggest including something of the person you want to be protected from (something bodily or even just a picture). Both of these ideas make sense to me, with the former using something of me to attract the negative energy to the bottle itself regardless of its source, and the latter focusing the working to absorb whatever may be coming my way from the individual in question. Do you have any thoughts about that?

    Thank you very much! I appreciate your help in this!

  15. Hi JMG,

    Just wondering if you had any thoughts on my last two posts on the last thread, about Rome and the poem.

    Thanks

  16. Teresa,

    I never thought I wanted country music about interest rates, but by the gods that’s actually good! I’d recommend checking out the channel for other equally entertaining songs!

  17. I am belatedly happy to see you posting about a new edition of “Earth Divination, Earth Magic” since, although not magically inclined, I did use it many years ago. It was the first book of yours that I was keen to buy on sight, as at that time I was interested in oracles and using the I Ching, I wanted to compare the answers I got from both of these systems. So, although I did not bother with sigils and the rest of the more magical aspects, using this oracle blew me away.

    I began searching the web for further info on each of the figures, and even compiled a little booklet for reference to carry with me, for ready consultation. After a while it seemed as if there could be more information added to further deepen the readings, although I suppose each individual could be expected to provide that as their own way through this methodology unfolded (yes?)…

    In any case, for a system that had much less at its disposal than the I Ching (12 figures opposed to the 64 hexagrams, but both binary-based in principle), the results are typically amazing, with a subtlety that deeply impresses. It was fascinating to know about its origins — the binary aspect originating in some way between the African Ifa tribal divination and the later Arabic hermeticism.

    Don’t know how they were able to work this out using a desert sand surface, since that medium only produces soft impressions; for my own part, I enjoyed doing it at the beach, using a stick, but only on a surface of sand already made more firm by the sea water previously passing over it. If the dots made in trypically dry loose desert sand could barely keep, how could someone proceed to then draw up an entire shield chart that way?

    Apropos of one possible answer to that question, I can’t finish without mentioning: the geomantic instrument from the Arabian 13th century featured on the wiki page (for Geomancy) is a thing of immense and mysterious beauty, and I for one would love to know how that actually works. Perhaps one day, when humanity will have achieved an elevated mode of life, some sage will have the spiritual wherewithal to resurrect this device and reintroduce it for use again… Thanks, John Michael!

  18. Hi JMG-

    I’m interested in your take on the current effect of peak oil on the US and global economy to help improve my limited knowledge of macroeconomics and even more limited knowledge of current events. I think the evidence is clear that conventional oil peaked around ’05, and therefore oil in general should continually be getting more expensive for producers to find/extract/refine since then. Yet oil prices over the past 10 years seem to be all over the place but not yet mirroring that upward trend. To me this suggests two possibilities: either 10 years is too short a time span for the conventional peak to have made a detectable push in the direction of its unavoidable final destination and/or someone is absorbing massive losses.

    Assuming the latter is at least partially correct, is the difference between the rising supply cost and the (so far) ragged but constant/declining market price reflected in fracking/conventional oil company losses, increasing US national debt, or something else?

    Related question – obviously the US national debt can’t climb forever as other nations can overthrow the $’s reserve currency status or just stop lending to us. But now, in the time before that’s happened, have China and our other solvent trade partners (assuming there’s more than one…) simply written off our unpayable obligations as losses and a cost of keeping the global economy afloat-ish? Or is it a more complicated case of kicking the can down the road?

    Thanks!

  19. I think of culture as being a tool that helps humans survive in the environment in which the culture emerged. It seems to me that some cultures are better adapted to living in an industrial world (e.g. European culture, Confucian culture, Jewish culture) than others, and some cultures are broadly more inclined to the humane treatment of others (e.g. Enlightenment culture, Buddhist culture[?]). I think our society often conflates racism with ethnocentrism. What are your thoughts?

    Do you think virtue signalling-safe space-outrage culture as practiced in universities is the result of faulty parenting strategies (helicopter parenting) as argued by Jonathan Haidt?

    People perennially grouse about “these kids today.” Do you think Gen Z is fundamentally different than preceding generations in any relevant aspect (e.g. morally, cognitively, socially).

  20. @ Mister Nobody

    Re the 2020 Dem establishment candidate

    My guess is that it would be one of Biden, Harris, or Booker.

    The knives certainly seem to be out for Sanders, as his critics wasted no time in leveraging his “blame” for Clinton’s loss and highlighting his jet use on her campaign’s behalf. While I certainly don’t agree with all of his platform (I favor state or multi-state implementation of public benefit platforms, for example, to allow room for people of differing regions to decide for themselves how to tax and fund such things), he is more in the lines of the change agent I’d prefer.

    I’ll admit right here and now that if the Dems end up with a run-of-the-mill establishment nominee again, I will seriously consider voting for Trump, particularly if he makes good on the withdrawal of troops from the Middle East.

  21. I have a basic geometry question. In “The Secret of the Temple” you state that Shinto temples are frequently built double, that is two foundations which alternately host the temple building. You also state that there’s usually a path leading out the front of the temple straight to the nearest landmark (river etc.). Does this mean there are two paths, one for each foundation? (Patricia, as a Shinto priestess, feel free to chime in here!)

  22. At the risk of being a global warming bore, I was wondering, if we’re really going back to the Pliocene in terms of global temperature, what that portends for agricultural productivity. Anybody have any ideas? Anybody read anything on this?

    I worked with a fellow that grew up in Malaysia which is considerably warmer and wetter than my own environs which are today extremely snow-bound, and he said that, if you throw down a handful of pumpkin seeds where he grew up, in thirty days the pumpkins take over the world.

    A founder of Greenpeace sounds like a global warming scoffer I suppose because he doesn’t apparently think it will be the calamity it’s made out to be. I think it was him that said we’re close to CO2 starvation, that far from being a bad thing, the atmosphere could use more CO2 as CO2 is plant food.

    So, in terms of agriculture, is warmer better? Will we be better off overall food-wise with a planet with more CO2 and not less? I guess it’s no secret that we’re headed pretty quick to a global population of 9 billion people, at least if current trends continue, and we’re going to need food.

    In any case, maybe rich folks like us should forget about eating beef if it takes 12 pounds of grain to get a pound of beef if that grain could feed people.

  23. JMG, there remains with me a question about something posted last Magic Monday: a poster has asked about suicide; the answer was that a person after suicide is neither dead nor alive. How can that be, since death is death, irrespective of the cause? Has this something to do what Dion Fortune called ‘earthbound’?

  24. “Ask me anything?” All right…

    JMG, you’re an observant person who, I gather, walks a lot. In your experience, when you’re walking after dark, do individual street lights sometimes go out (turn off) as you’re walking under them?

  25. Yes, the 2020 election is on everyone’s minds. I read a very interesting article comparing 2016/2020 with 1968/1972: https://www.libertynation.com/2020-elections-shades-of-1972/
    The Dem field of candidates is uninspiring. Already the genuflection at the altar of anti-Trumpism has begun, with Kamala Harris publicly calling Trump a “racist.” The Dem nomination contest will turn into a left-wing ideological purity pageant with little to no bearing on the real issues, and churn out a substandard candidate that will fail to appeal to the same voters that ushered Trump into office in 2016. Running under the banner of “Anybody but Trump” or “Anti-Trump” just elevates the man you claim to despise. There’s no engagement of Trump and his supporters, just a massive label and dispense routine. “You’re racist, BUH-bye!!!!”
    I expect Civil War 2 to start 2020-2024. Either Trump is reelected and assassinated, or the Democrat challenger is elected and it’s open season on everything white, male, right-wing, Christian, and/or traditional. The 2020 election won’t heal wounds; it will inflame them beyond belief.
    Clinton would’ve invited destruction from without, Trump invited destruction from within. Hell of a choice we had.

  26. Doing some genealogical research and came across the term “Chicanere” referring to a group of gypsy like people that gathered around Philadelphia late 1780’s and later. They traveled between Lancaster and Reading and Philadelphia. Some people referred to them as “Black Dutch”, in reference to darker skin and German language. So possibly Roma-gypsy? There is a reference or two in Llewellyn Magical Almanac 2003 to that group being practitioners of magic. The Pennsylvania Dutch had a magical practice called Pow-Wow that has been fairly well documented, but this sounds like a different group and a different practice.

    What would you recommend as reputable sources for more research on these people?

    The spelling of Chicanere seems to vary quite a bit and be phonetic in a lot of resources so its a bear to research so far. There hasn’t been any formal genealogical papers written on them that I can find. A few 1990’s era magazine articles were done on them.

  27. Rita Rippetoe – Very interesting observation regarding indigenous art depicting ‘that which is hidden’. It took me many years to learn to appreciate NW coast art. The highly stylized and symbolic figures layered one upon the other have a graphicly pleasing, usually symmetrical, layout that frequently reference familial affiliations with various ‘totemic’ beasts and in general stories about the beings depicted. If you know the stories, the art comes much more alive and meaningful. The fact that until very recently no one signed these pieces of art makes me think that it was considered sacred art. Also the fact that the NW coast peoples had a complex, highly stratified (and yet non-agricultural!) society, meant that there were the resources available for specialization and a, what we would call, professional level of artistic skill that simply could not be achieved by an amateur. In other words, much ‘old’ NW coast art is simply extremely well done. The flattening and distortion of figures seems to go along with the layering and opportunity for increased symbolic complexity within the ‘art’. It is always difficult, if not impossible, to grasp the original experience of art taken from it’s context. Even as simply as the fact that watching a masked dancer by firelight in a longhouse would produce a much different effect on the viewer than seeing that same mask in a glass case in the museum. Context is everything, or if not everything, than at least a huge portion of experiencing art. The other fact that intrigues me is that EVERYTHING they made was (and this is a poor term for it) decorated with these sacred images and patterns, from canoe paddles to spruce root hats, from mountain sheep horn ladles to halibut hooks, EVERYTHING had these patterns and symbols. I would even go so far as to guess that the art upon the items was considered just as important, if not more so, than what we would call the ‘functional’ parts. Meaning that a ‘plain’ halibut hook would be rejected by the halibut because it showed a lack of respect. Much to think about here but the key, I think, is that a complex, successful culture rose along this coastline that understood deeply that they were an integral part of a sacred whole. Every minute of every day, living immersed in sacred relationships, with very real and potentially deadly repercussions for disrespecting those relationships. My feeling is that any successful future culture will require that level of continuous ‘spiritual’ awareness. The tricky part is how do we get from here to there without the benefit of eons of ‘slow’ changes in the environment? Is it possible for a culture to deliberately evolve?

  28. I don’t pay an internet plan for my cell phone, so while I walk to work or at least to the bus, there is unoccupied time. Lately I have used it to learn poems by heart, which does a surprisingly good job of making the walk feel short! The cell phone serves to take a quick look when I get stuck somewhere.

    One verse seemed to me to sum up the efforts of the ADR and the present blog:

    Insere, Daphni, piros: carpent tua poma nepotes.
    Graft the pears, Daphnis: your grandchildren will pluck the fruits.

    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Verg.+Ecl.+9&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0056

    Virgil knew quite a bit about trees, bees and goats! By the way, I first saw the verse fragment “carpent tua poma nepotes” on <A HREF="https://fundacaofemar.org.br/portalwordpress/2017/10/13/femar-forma-a-primeira-turma-de-tecnico-em-transporte-aquaviario-do-rio-de-janeiro/"an installation of the Brazilian marine in Rio de Janeiro.

    And this one, too:

    Non canimus surdis; respondent omnia silvae.
    We don’t sing for the deaf; the woods respond to every word.

    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0056%3Apoem%3D10

  29. I found out an interesting thing the other day, and I’d like to share it. You know the whole “Dark Stars” trope that seems to pop up often in Cosmic Horror stories?

    “Strange is the night where black stars rise,

    And strange moons circle through the skies…”

    etc.

    Apparently during the 1800s a lot of astronomers and physicists believed that the universe was infinite and unending. The problem they faced, though, was that if this was the case, the sky should be totally full of stars, with their light travelling through the cosmos and reaching us on all sides.
    Seeing as this wasn’t the case they concluded that the reason for the night sky being mostly black was that the light from the infinite number of stars in the universe just hadn’t reached us yet, but given enough time it would.

    In stories like the King in Yellow we’re being treated to a 19th century understanding of what the end of the world would look like, and the black stars are part of that. The world where Carcosa is is so incredibly old that the light from all of those stars has reached it, making the night sky totally lit up except for small spots of darkness that no light has occupied yet – “black stars”.

    @JMG and the commentariat in general: I love these old striking scientific extrapolations of what the future was going to look like, even if we know now that they’re based on misunderstandings. Do you guys have any favourites you’d like to share?

  30. Hi JMG,

    How would you recommend using both of your Geomancy books to complement the study of Geomancy in the CGD context?

  31. Do you think there is less or more East/West political polarization in the world today than, say, 1950?
    Is there a greater or lesser Capitalist/Socialist divide, globally?
    What bearing do these two concepts have on the probability of WW3?

  32. Are there, or can there be, magical/etheric/psychic dimensions to commercial enterprises or corporations?

    I don’t mean that in a conspiracy-theory illuminati-mind-control kind of way (but I’m worried it’ll sound like that!). I am thinking of a particular chain department store, whose retail buildings I am occasionally dragged into (in three different states, and at least four different stores, now, so we’re not talking just one location!). Every time I set foot in one of these places, I find the atmosphere oppressive, I get anxious, and I can’t wait to leave. They have a weird, muffling, oily vibe to them, and I feel the need to shower, when I get home.

    I’ve been dragged through plenty of other department stores (I hate shopping), and find them annoying and boring, in a neutral kind of way. Not this one. I have a hard time articulating *why*, and it bothers me. I do have some sensory issues with things that don’t seem to bother most people, so that’s not out of the question (maybe it’s the lighting? the color?). But is it possible the effect isn’t strictly physical? I feel like it’s a wacky question, because I think of corporations as convenient legal fictions, not real things. Can a commercial entity have… a psychic presence?

  33. I hope this will not be too political. I’m interest in your thoughts about the result of Trump *not* being impeached, and perhaps even more importantly the social reverberations of him no longer being in office by whatever means, although successful impeachment will provide some with temporary vindication. He seems to have become a collective archetypal Shadow for at least the liberal side of our society that transcends what ever action he takes as president and whatever misdeeds he may have done. I know a disconcerting number of people for whom he is a scapegoat for a diverse assortment of personal problems they have quite aside from politics. In social media, I’m seeing a disconcerting trend of people replying to various posts and memes that are in no way political at all with comments “That sounds like Trump” or “That’s just Trump’s America,” et al. His presence seems to have opened a host of collective psychic wounds that people are not dealing with directly. I’m actually frightened of what will happen when he is no longer present as a relevent focus and channel for these negative currents in society.

  34. JMG & all –

    Re the latest India/Pakistan melee, featuring planes getting shot down – any astrological indications as to how this might play out?

    I’d sure hate to see the Hand of Shiva igniting the atmosphere over Islamabad and New Delhi. Pluto can’t break from planetary status fast enough for me.

  35. Also: do you have a sense of a new image of the self emerging (in the lineage of Everyman and Man, Conqueror of Nature)? And is there a crisp summary of the image that preceded Everyman?

  36. Just wanted to drop a quick note. I just got a copy of ‘The Conspiracy Book’ based on your name alone.

    What an absolutely wonderful piece of work that is, something very unique. I’m glad that there is something like that, so simple in concept and yet executed wonderfully.

    I’m sure when the guests see it on my coffee table they will be intruded to say the least.

  37. @Teresa

    I LOVE that video, thanks. I went through a modern-composers phase in my adolescence. I tried so hard to like that music– it was cool and intellectual, or something. I’m afraid I’m more on Mr. Hazard’s side of things as I age: I’ll take Bach over Stravinsky any day. I can *play* Bach.

  38. And one more: what would you say to the critiques of government based on individual liberty currently floating around the internet which say that any such society is bound to quickly disintegrate because 1. the principle (‘anyone may do what they want so long as they don’t harm others’) is impossible to implement because all actions harm someone in some way, and cumulatively can have a major effect on society, because 2. if the state does not itself have a conception of right and wrong and only moderates other peoples’, it may occur that there are factions who agree about nothing at all, meaning they have no reason not to attempt to dispense with the moderators and simply take over, and because 3. attempting to implement the principle naturally leads to ‘intolerance of the intolerant’, like the anti-Cakeshop movement, since ‘doing what you want’ trumps ‘preventing other people from doing what you don’t want them to do’. All of these things seem to be happening today, and were perhaps only masked earlier by fossil-fuel-powered growth.

    Thanks a lot.

  39. @Mister Nobody and anyone else who might care to comment.

    I think Harris is the choice of the DNC. Harris is pandering to the left wing of the party, but they aren’t responding -not positively. She’s already supported by many who supported HRC and is meeting with many of the same donors. Harris has lots of support among HRC fans. I believe the DNC thinks she’ll generate the kind of enthusiasm black voters had for Obama, but, I don’t think black people will automatically vote for her. JMO but the Dems can choose Bernie and have a very good chance of winning, or pick anyone else and loose to Trump. The “Hillary” wing of the party would prefer to loose rather than choose an actual progressive. They’ll pretend they want to beat Trump at any cost, but they don’t really mean it. They want someone who’ll talk about Hope and Change but won’t really alter the status quo to any degree.

  40. Boy, I’ve missed these…

    In one of my flights of fancy I imagined a system of governance in which anyone can put forward policy proposals, the best diviners choose some that interest them and predict which outcomes each would have, and anyone can vote on the outcomes. My question is, how much more difficult would divining get with that sort of ‘if-then’ structure compared to a more generalized method? Would it still confer the benefits that made you recommend daily divination as one of the three most important practices?

  41. Hi JMG

    I’ve been reading Schopenhauer’s later essays including his one on the indestructibiltiy of our essential being after death. From memory, his argument is that the human thing-in-itself, the human will, of which our body and consciousness is the phenomenal expression, cannot be destroyed because like all “thing-in-itself” it has no part of space, time or phenomenon.

    He goes on to argue that our essential being (our will) thus endures after the death of its phenomenon, and even that it is “reborn” as a different self. However by this he does not mean reincarnation in the ordinary sense, as he doesn’t believe in a soul that survives physical death. I forget the word he uses, but its like the same unitary will that exists in all things re-expressing itself as another human, perhaps a thousand years later, with the interim being comparable to deep sleep that can pass with no awareness of the time.

    I think you’ve said you see potential in Schopenhauer’s metaphysics for magical philosophy. If that extends to his ideas of death, do you think the following points plug the gap between those and traditional ideas of reincarnation?

    -To Schopenhauer’s metaphysics of the will (thing in itself) and the physical body (phenomenon) is added the occult planes of being which are also an expression of will, and whose phenomena include such things as human souls, human higher selves, angelic beings etc with all their connections with the physical plane.

    -These phenomena in the occult planes also undergo transformation and/or death, in ways we can’t know about, but behind all of this spiritual phenomena, just as behind the physical, stands the same unitary will or thing-in-itself which re-expresses itself in myriad ways, here unconstrained by whatever phenomenal equivalents of “space”/”time” etc exist in such states.

    I find Schopenhauer quite a trip in that whilst I’m reading him I feel I understand almost every word, but when I think it through after I feel “do I get this yet?”. He’s so delightfully idiosyncratic too: in his own way as hostile to Christianity as Nietzsche was, then holding up Augustine and the Jansenists as having the purest and best Christian doctrine, whilst disdaining both primitive Christianty and Pelagianism.

    Regards!

    Morfran.

  42. Merle Hazard’s song is excellent. Not a bad voice for an economist.

    My question is: Have you or anyone you know had the experience of feeling very strongly the presence of a person only to find out later that the person was already dead (very recently deceased) when the presence or conversation happened?

    I didn’t have the wit to question the person since I took to be my own fantasy or deep wish at the time. But I can’t seem to make it happen again.

    The experience is something to contemplate for the rest of my life with the hope of answers when my end time happens.

    Thanks, Rebecca

  43. This might be an appropriate time to share a bit of Australian bush humour. It works just as well for collapsniks:

    Q: What did we use for lighting, before candles?

    A: Electricity

  44. My question this month is JMG you have two hats you wear more or less, the collapse hat and the magic hat. Are these two separate things and you just happen to have a lot of interests or did one lead to the other.
    Thanks

  45. @Mike from Jersey
    maybe not helpful data point, but here on the left coast of Canada, among those under 45 I know… No one is buying it, it’s transparently a resource grab for oil (secondarily to attempt to stem migration). The problem here, however, is that while everyone knows its a coup, they’ve forgotten that Maduro is still a wanker (like Castro – I’d always be like, hey guys, I know Cuba has some great agriculture and health care things going on with the socialism and all, but the disappearing detractors and gays? That is not a problem now? No? Can we adult and acknowledge the complexity of this situation, or… ?). The UN observers still gave low marks on the election, many of the opposition boycotted, and there were problems bigly ahead of this particular US meddling cycle. The answer is not, therefore, US bad! Maduro good! It’s stay the eff out of it, we’ve all done enough to make it worse. US bad! Maduro bad! Venezuelans suffer!

    Everyone else:
    I’m struggling with the Green New Deal business. On the one hand, it’s based on pure economic unicorn farts, and to that end is really just an extension of BAU. I luuuuurve Chuck’s take:https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2019/2/11/the-financial-experiment-at-the-foundation-of-the-green-new-deal
    On the other, people are desperate for something outside BAU, they want a proposal that addresses inequality and climate change, and it’s capturing their attention and could be used to direct the energy. No one likes hearing the truth which is The Party Is Over, and no politician will be elected by saying so for as long as someone else will promise pie in the sky. So is it worth throwing support to such proposals as: a least bad option? In hopes that some measures that come out are right actions, even if for the wrong reason?

    My thoughts are not idle, I am in a local government elected position with four years ahead – resisting the appeals to join a motion for a Canadian/local green deal because energy and material limits exist, I alienate all potential allies on the left end. Insisting that climate change is real and energy and material limits exist, alienates everyone on the centre and right. If you had four years to accomplish something and this needed to gain allies, what would you do? (I assume I won’t have another four because we’ll all be voted out in an orgy of punishment for the coming recession ).

  46. A slightly belated welcome back after your January break from this blog, JMG.

    I’m currently nearing the end of the second Weird of Hali book and about to start the third, which brings me to my first couple of questions:

    1) How does one pronounce Hali?

    2) For that matter, how does one pronounce Chorazin?

    3) On an unrelated note (unless it somehow ends up as a plot point in a future Hali book!), do you have any advice for growing and maintaining an epic wizard beard?

  47. This may be a bit of an odd question for this blog, but I’d like to ask it anyway: do you think freedom of speech is under any serious danger right now in the Western world? In particular, one of the countries I’ve been hearing the most free speech debate from is Britain, which appears to be going down the second path (jackboots and authoritarianism) of decline for empires you had suggested on your old blog. Much like their older empire tried to stamp out weaker enemies with overwhelming force, Britain’s current government seems to be stamping out dissent; the recent news about Tommy Robinson’s deplatforming after he threatened to leak sensitive information about the BBC and government, and Markus Meechan’s possible prison sentence for teaching a dog to do Nazi salutes, are particularly standout examples. Do you think incidents like these are mostly standalone, or can we expect them to become more common as European governments try to resist the protest movements spreading across their continent?

  48. @Will J –

    Its current opposition could be related to the hysteria against the president, but the time when Pluto/Neptune moves into its last exact sextile (for quite a while) is 2026-32, with the planets spanning roughly from 3-13 Aquarius/Aries.

    This period involves:
    – Pluto quincunx/Neptune square Sibly Venus in 2026
    – Pluto quincunx/Neptune square Sibly Jupiter in 2027
    – Pluto conjunct/Neptune sextile the South Node in 2028 (and thus opposite/trine the North Node)
    – Pluto trine/Neptune sextile Sibly Uranus in 2029 (at about the same time as a Sibly Uranus Return)
    – Pluto quincunx/Neptune square Sibly Sun in 2032
    – Pluto sextile/Neptune trine Sibly Ascendant also in 2032

  49. JMG, in school you were unpopular. Now that you’ve had some blogs, written some books, and done a lot of stuff, you are really popular, and people respect you and want to associate with you. How does it feel to have accomplished such a drastic turnaround in terms of popularity in one lifetime?

  50. Dear Mr. Nobody, the sleeper candidate for the Democrats this year is Gillibrand, a loathsome Clinton groupie who, unlike her mentoress, has exquisite political instincts. Her most outstanding characteristic seems to be that she is utterly without principles. Klobuchar is a backup, brought in to hold the Midwest against Sanders. Given the general level of incompetence among our governing classes, I am inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt as to staff complaints. Keep in mind that Congressional staffers don’t come from the classes in which work ethic remains a meaningful concept. My guess is that the scions and hangerons of her wealthy donors, as well as the plants supplied by AIPAC and other lobbying organizations were shocked to learn that actual concentrated effort might be expected of them.

    Mr. Greer, or anyone else, do you think that the ongoing misadventure in Venezuela might cost Trump the next election? Might he perhaps win the presidency but find himself facing a hostile Democratic Congress.

    I also saw the article about Greens and Libertarians in Maine. That is a most welcome development, but I doubt it will affect this next election.

  51. I have been trying to make sense, lately, of the high incidence of voluntary yet hazardous, risky behaviours that I see every day. As examples–

    1) Despite a measles outbreak here in the Northwest, there are still a lot of parents who refuse to get their children the recommended MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine. It would be OK if they would keep their kids at home for the duration of the outbreak, but they won’t self-quarantine either.
    2) In our mountainous region, I see many drivers blow past me at 120 KPH or more, on twisty, icy roads with a speed limit of 100 KPH under ideal conditions. This happens every day.
    3) People are going out of their way to go snowboarding in avalanche regions that have blinking signs warning of avalanches. They drive past, go snowboarding, and get killed.

    I am beginning to think that there is some kind of gland buried in our brains that causes people to act stupidly and get killed off when the Earth’s carrying capacity has been surpassed–

    Or could it be some sort of archetype surfacing?

    Or they got used to having 12 lives in all their video games, and think that applies to driving?

    Or the natural outcome of society’s refusal to accept limits?

    JMG & commentariat, what say you?

    –E. G.

  52. Here’s a thought, the religion of Progress seems to me to be in a similar place as Christianity in America was 40 years ago. Faith in Progress has started to decline, but there’s now a backlash from believers similar to the Christian evangelical/fundamentalist movements that got going in the 70s. Since progress doesn’t seem as inevitable to them as it once did, now there’s an increasing push to force progress down everyone’s throats, as well as more conformity expected among believers especailly around hot-button issues, just like what happened with the abortion issue in the early days of the Christian evangelical revival.

    Even the techno-utopian Star Trek timeline includes Earth going through some rough periods in the 21st century before progress finally wins out. So I don’t think people will abandon the religion of Progress en masse just because of hard times in the future. More likely, faith in Progress will continue its gradual decline, and the fundamentalist revitalization movement within Progress will be a significant force in the next few decades before fizzling out.

  53. What do you think of David Griffin? Or of the Alpha et Omega GD, for that matter. Their website feels like a tv comercial and I am not really able to trust them completely, but I would like to be initiated formally into the Golden Dawn

  54. I must apologize. I was going to experiment with a 20x/day affirmation, to the effect of “I can be great,” and report back, but after various problems, including a 2-week bout of flu, I forgot about it. I’ll experiment through March.

  55. Let me remind everyone that the new Green Wizards site is also posting a blog on Wednesday, so once you’ve read John’s well crafted intellectual feast of the week, please stop by and have a bit of humble desert.

    This weeks post is Part Four of a series of tutorials on a principle concept of Green Wizardry, “Thinking in Systems” We review the third input in this post:

    An Introduction to “Thinking In Systems” – Part Four: The Third Input – Information

    The rest of the series can be found here:

    An Introduction to “Thinking In Systems” – Part One
    An Introduction to “Thinking In Systems” – Part Two: The First of the Three Inputs – “Energy”
    An Introduction to “Thinking In Systems” – Part Three: The Second Input – Matter

    And let me just say how AMAZED I was at the response to last weeks announcement by John that we were open and ready to start doing the hard work to prepare for the next stair step of Collapse at the new Green Wizards site.

    Dozens of you signed up and the Forums are now filled with discussions and information. And pictures too, the new software has a very easy way to post pictures so please do so.

    I feel like I should be handing out cigars, lol.

    You can go to the Green Wizard forums directly with this link.

    http://greenwizards.com/forum

    If you’ve never had a user name on the old GW Forum, just register with the site as normal.

    If you did have, try the normal registration BUT if the site says the user name is already taken, that means I’ve moved your user name (but not your password) because I’m moving the old forum posts to the new ones and you made a thread or comment.

    STOP and do not try the retrieve your password, instead email me at

    green wizard dtrammel at gmail dot com.

    Mention your old user name and I will give you a temp password to log in with.

    Hope to see you there.

    David

  56. Does anyone know of a modernized country where computers do not run your life, and, if so, what language they speak? I’m in the U.S. and, what with our government having abdicated its responsibility to make megacorps behave, life’s becoming very difficult. For example, Verizon has just decided we can only make local calls on the regular phone. To call an out-of-area-code number I had to use the cell phone.

  57. Just wondering if you’d been following any of Albert Bates’ recent writings, where he’s been researching the use of biochar/charcoal in non-agricultural applications, as an component in a wide variety of materials and processes, from cement and mortar, asphalt, roof tiles, paint, soap, fermentation etc. He and Kathleen Draper have a new book out on the subject, and I’m just starting in on it.

    I remember yourself not being entirely sold on the idea of biochar as a soil amendment a number of years ago, just wondering if your thoughts had altered on that over the years.

  58. Hi RMK,

    It’s long out of print, but if you can find a copy, Ian Wilson’s “All In The Mind” takes an intriguing look at reincarnation, going down unexpected pathways of inquiry.

    It was published in Britain as “Mind Out Of Time?”

  59. Are you aware of any sources that convincingly attribute much of the increase in working-class employment over the past two years to the Trump administration’s policies, especially tariffs and other forms of protectionism? You have referred to this several times, but I’m wondering what the details are.

    I’m certainly not ideologically opposed to this being the case, but the impression I have is that positive trends began in the last two years of Obama (e.g. a slow but fairly steady decline in long-term joblessness beginning in 2015) and have continued under Trump, without really accelerating or stagnating after Trump assumed office. A short-term boost might have occurred due to the tax cuts, although most of it got plowed into stock buybacks and the like, creating a bubble for several months rather than productive investment.

    I’m not really seeing any clear impact of tariffs on domestic manufacturing yet, nor much else in terms of identifiable macroeconomic effects of Trump’s policies except for the tax cut. For the most part, I’m just seeing continuity between the late Obama and early Trump economies. Perhaps I’m missing something?

  60. Dear Mr. Greer, My daughter is looking to relocate to the East Coast for family reasons. She currently lives in NM. She has been offered a job in Providence RI. I know you have been living there the past few years. Do you recommend it? She is a librarian and has an 11 year old son. Right now she’s a little uncertain about making the move. Her son has a few medical problems and she has been having a hard time accessing medical care for him in NM. It’s one of the reasons she wishes to relocate. Any advice you can give is most appreciative! Thank you very much!

  61. Dear John,
    Since, as far as I know you invented the word – how do YOU pronounce Ecosophia?
    ek-Oh, ekaw, Soh, or saw, etc.
    Thank you.
    Wynn

  62. @Mike from Jersey,
    Folks over at the Saker’s blog took the Colombia/Venezuela stand-off as a crisis and devoted a long thread to it, spanning several days around the 23rd. It was in the middle of this that I realized that right during this incredible brouhaha, Trump snuck off to Vietnam to talk to Kim, and I mentioned JMG as author of Twilight’s Last Gleaming and said his take on Trump that he’s not as dumb as he looks and he uses these crises to carry out important things when people are distracted.
    Also, have a look at Justin Raimondo’s articles over on Antiwar.com. He says Trump called in his mortal enemies (see what the three neocon stooges were saying before he hired them) and gave them carte blanche to do what they naturally do. I had the feeling from my liberal relatives last week that they were already embarrassed at the egg in their face–even before the 23rd! Even my conservative relatives who had been taken in by all the pseudo-humanitarian calls for intervention in the conservative alternative media were saying that if Trump were to invade they wouldn’t vote for him again.
    About a week ago, the Government of Japan quietly “recognized” Gweedo, as Bolton called Venezuela’s self-proclaimed president, but carried nothing about that on the news. The international news from several countries, such as CNN, seemed to be trying as hard as they could to milk whatever false flags happened on Venezuela’s borders on the 23rd for whatever they were worth. Utter silence now. It looks to me like they don’t want to admit they’ve been had.

    @Teresa from Hershey,
    Thank you for introducing Merle Hazard! I forwarded the link to my feuding relatives, who are talking about coming together at the “center” and I suggested this might be a good place to start.

  63. @David,

    Have you given this character any reason that you can think of to be so negative towards you? Have you considered just confronting him – asking him what’s up? It might be a lot simpler than you think…

  64. Barrigan,

    The thing that worries me is that it’s not just Trump: during the last few years of the Obama administration, the Republicans started going frankly neurotic. I’m thinking it’s not just Trump anymore: I think the basic norms that require people to respect the president are going to vanish.

    Also, thank you for the other aspects! Those are food for thought as well.

    The big thing that has me thinking is it would be just like Hades (Pluto) to bless a country and then destroy it on the way out, and so the way the US prospered during the Plutonian era, in many ways by embracing Pluto more than anyone else, has me thinking it may still have more to say for the US….

  65. JMG,

    Just kind of a data point to go along with DT’s prediction of a Civil War coming no matter the 2020 election outcome.. I was having, what I thought, was a conversation with an acquaintance. Since my opinion on healthcare and education was not to fix the problem, but to point out some of the difficulties with fixing it, I was told I was not having a conversation. Then when I tried to adapt my input, I was told that I was being negative and that basically I was evil for not accepting the coming change.

    I was floored. But there are a number of people who have similar sentiments. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s success at “being the boss” seems to have encouraged a lot of other people to feel they are the boss and only their opinion matters.

    It’s eerily similar to the sentiment in the years leading up to the Civil War. People feeling they have a moral right to demand change and despite any logical offerings from people who may agree on some points but not all, they are forced to take one side or the other. It feels like people are fractioning off quickly now.

    So I guess my question is, how do you feel about the odds of a Civil War happening soon? Do you see any alternative paths to Civil War as likely?

  66. JMG, Is the “orange man bad” phrase something you coined, or did you borrow it from elsewhere?

    I only ask because I’ve heard it once in real life and read it more than a few times online as a reply. This is where I read it first.

  67. Will J,

    I’m keeping an eye on the whole India-Pakistan thing. Don’t think we’ll see a nuclear exchange, it’s a little complicated but I’ll write up a summary this weekend.

    Regards,

    Varun

  68. @ Emmanuel Goldstein,

    One thing that I think is going on concerns the sorts of lives people live. People are lonely. People are frightened. People feel trapped, desperate, and torn. Many people in these conditions will start to take mortal risks as a form of drug. To my mind, it’s an addictive rush. In this way, what you report probably linked to outrage culture in general. Likewise moral outrage, reckless danger is a cheap buzz. Of course, many people also have a death wish. Suicide takes many lives, as does many forms of drug addiction. People who flirt with death may simply desire her, whether consciously or not.

  69. Violet, I generally don’t try to fit hoodoo products into elemental or astrological categories — I just use them for their traditional purposes. I find Florida Water extremely effective as a good all-purpose banishing fluid: it gets rid of hostile energies and entities, and clears up a very wide range of noxious conditions.

    David, I was delighted to see that. It’s the first sign that those parties are preparing to function as actual political parties, rather than harmless opportunities for political LARPing. Real political parties look for potential partners in coalitions that will give them a shot at genuine power. If this catches on, we could be in for a real upset in US politics, since very few people on the left would bother with the Democratic Party if they had another significant option.

    Rita, interesting. You’re certainly right that it’s a mistake to treat the hundreds of different Native American cultures as one lump — the example of circles vs. rectangles is a great one; I gather the people who say that have never seen a Northwest Coast longhouse.

    RMK, Ian Stevenson’s scientific studies of reincarnation would be my first recommendation.

    Mister N, unless something changes, I expect the struggle for the Democratic nomination to be a world-class flustered cluck, reminiscent of the 1972 campaign — brutal, fratricidal, and ultimately futile, as whichever battered and widely hated candidate finally gets the nomination will then get to lead a divided and disheartened party against an incumbent with tons of money, rock-hard support from within his own party, and all the time in the world to do opposition research.

    Marcu, thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. How should rich people behave? There’s an old concept called noblesse oblige — basically, if you’re privileged, you show your class by your generosity and courtesy to those less fortunate than you are. In medieval romances, for example, you always know who’s going to get the princess and be crowned King of Everywhere — it’s the prince who shares his loaf of bread with the beggar, while his two older brothers who sneer at the beggar instead get gobbled up by the Grisly Giant of Gark. The abandonment of noblesse oblige by a nation’s wealthy classes is pretty consistently followed in due time by those same wealthy classes being strung up from lampposts or the like — another reason why fairy tales are worth keeping in mind!

    The next novel in the series, The Weird of Hali: Dreamlands, is in press right now; I don’t have a release date yet, but I’d guess it’ll be out in April. All of them will be available by the end of 2019.

    TM, it was a range of things, some of them personal, some of them less so.

    Teresa, okay, that’s funny. Thank you.

    Nothing Special, it’s a Faustian habit, and not especially a sensible one, to think that art has to constantly break new ground. Think of ancient Egypt and traditional China, or for that matter the way that classical music has come to be treated in the western world: creativity can express itself just as well through personal interpretation of an established body of forms as through coming up with new forms. That’s what art in our society will have to become now that Faustian culture has finished its creative period.

    Will, sorry to hear it.

  70. JMG: I would like to buy and read a book about Plutonian and post-Plutonian influences on our culture. I am a member of the Pluto in Leo subset of of the late Silent Generation, which provided a good many early public hippies. And Leo in in my 7th house, on the descending horizon at that. With Mars & Venus both in Scorpio, both considered to be ruled by Pluto when I had my horoscope done by the local astrologer, that says something.

    And, speaking of such influences, I noticed the covers of your novels – even Retropia, which was supposed to be about a *good* place to live – show depressing scenes. Retropia, frex, shows a bunch of men with their heads down in the rain. Was that on purpose?

    Weird of Hali: the paperback Weird of Hali: Chorazin arrived in today’s mail. Looking forward to the next ones! And I love the Haliverse’s version of Artemis. You, GO, Elk Girl!

  71. methylethyl, I can believe it. I’ve spent far too long working for a certain restaurant chain, and it has seemed to have something especially awry with it. Having tried a range of conventional “attitude is everything! try a different perspective!”-style adaptations and various other stress reduction methods, only to find my brain seemingly stuck wide open and receptive to the effects of monotonous tasks and human rudeness, I recently threw my hands up and said, “okay, fine, let’s try magic! I’ll risk wasting five minutes in the morning for the chance of being able to protect myself from this stuff.” And I’m willing to believe that my Elemental Cross might be too new and unskilled to offer more than a placebo effect, but if so, it’s a placebo effect that works better than caffeine at keeping me calm and unwearied, lasts all day, and can be swiftly carried out in my bathroom.

    All of which is to say, I’m not anywhere as well informed theoretically as I’d like to be, but I’d say, yeah, a store could have that sort of non-physical grossness to it–maybe magical, or at least seemingly capable of being addressed magically. From my side of the counter, I’d wonder, what are the people like there, and how are they (employees, customers, you) “supposed” to be according to what the company shows you and the procedures you observe?

    Which has me thinking more broadly, insofar as there is a magical dimension to methylethyl’s oily store or my maddening restaurant that is meant to act on customers, or on co-workers through us, to what extent do those of us working there get raspberry jammed, and what do we do about it? My hunch is that intention matters here, that true believers who identify with the company’s aims bear whatever effects of the working more strongly than do those of us who hate the company and go through the motions in order to support our unemployed family, but that’s an admittedly self-serving guess. And what happens to you when you participate in something like my company that is potentially harmful to all involved but to which all have (seemingly) consented? Without suggesting that there’s some magical equivalent of a carbon offset, ideally what does one do to set things (more) right after the unhealthy affiliation is over?

  72. Hello jmg
    Have you considered the possibility that if China becomes a world power it will most likely introduce Confucian philosophy into Africa as it builds schools there? Could you imagine how Confucian philosophy will influence or be influenced by African philosophy?

  73. Oops! Typo! I meant “like”, not “lie.” I lie very rarely and that very badly, but liking comes a lot easier!

  74. All,

    I just want to say I quite enjoyed the Pluto special on Magic Monday! Thank you to all who participated.

    If anyone has any other thoughts on Pluto, I’d love to hear them: I need it for a bit of a crazy project I’m working on: I’m aiming to do an analysis of Plutonian themes in North American culture. Any sources on anything related to this (which ranges from grunge music through to the Manhattan Project, Apollo Program, and anything else you can think of that may be relevant.

    David,

    Done.

    Varun:

    I’m keeping an eye on it too. India and Pakistan have a bad history, and are quite close: I think there’s a rather high likelihood that if nukes fly it will be there.

    However: you addressed the wrong Will 😉

    Patricia,

    It’s good to know there will be at least one person interested in my book when it’s done! 😉

    Full disclosure though: it won’t touch much on the Post-Plutonian world. With everything else I can discuss, there’s just not enough room…

  75. JMG Thank you for hosting our questions. Could you please explain the difference between Descartes’dismebodied mind and mind-matter dualism which allows us to illtreat the natural world on the one hand and on the other the mind as having independce from the body and therefore having the potentional for reincarnation.

  76. Matt, those books are stolen. Many of the things they have are still in copyright, and when you download and read them, instead of doing the honest thing and buying a copy (or checking out a book from a library that bought it), you’re stealing part of an author’s income — and trust me, we don’t make a lot as it is. Please consider doing the right thing instead.

    Will, as medieval astrologers used to say, the devil is kind to his own children. If Mars, Saturn, et al. are strong in your natal chart, learn to work with their energies constructively.

    Joel, a good Latin grammar textbook and a dictionary, to start with!

    Mike, I have no idea. I don’t have a good sense of what the average American is thinking about much of anything.

    TheMirror, talent is overrated. Anyone can practice magic, and that’s as true of the varieties of earth magic taught in my book as of any other.

    David, I know of no reason not to do the working this Saturday. I don’t recommend putting an object link to the person in your witch bottle, though — if you leave that out, it’ll protect you from all sorts of negative forces, not just his.

    Monk, my response to the first is that I disagree with you, and we’ll just have to see who turns out to be right. The second — yes, basically; every nation attempts, and inevitably fails, to embody an ideal, but the life of the nation depends on continuing to make the attempt.

    Petrus, delighted to hear it. Geomancy’s one of my serious occult passions; it’s the form of divination I turn to whenever I need a solid, no-nonsense, no-waffling sort of answer; and it’s been a delight to me to watch it find practitioners again.

    Ryan, a lot of people — and I was one of them early on, though I got a clue eventually — missed the fact that peak oil is primarily a matter of net energy rather than of simple supply. As with every other resource, the lower the quality you’re willing to accept, the more you can use — the problem, of course, being that your energy costs go up as the quality goes down. What’s been going on since the late 1990s is that the energy costs of declining net energy are being pushed off onto every other sector of the economy by various dodges. That’s why our infrastructure is in such rotten shape, and why every product you care to name has seen stealth inflation (lower quality, smaller packages, etc.). We’ll see another price spike as shale oil begins running down, but that’s a few years out yet.

    As for the US debt, I think everyone’s engaged in enthusiastic can-kicking exercises.

    James, 1) the term “racism” has been deployed so freely as an all-purpose snarl word that at this point it means precisely nothing, other than “I hate you.” The lumping together of human ethnic variation into a handful of arbitrary categories labeled “races” is a hangover from discredited 19th century science anyway. 2) To some extent, but it’s also a classic expression of American Puritanism — the essence of the Puritan mindset is that the only way you can be good is to find something you can label bad, and spend all your time denouncing it. 3) Nope. The Boomers have now turned into their grandparents, and are deploying all the same rhetoric at “those awful kids these days” that their grandparents’ generation deployed at them.

    RPC, that’s an interesting question and one to which I don’t know the answer. A close look at, say, the landscape around the inner shrine at Ise would reveal the answer readily enough, but I’m on the wrong continent!

    Roger, that’s a good question that I’m not sure anyone can answer yet, and given the way all sides in the global warming debate are behaving, I doubt it’ll be answered any time soon.

    Booklover, there’s more than one death. The first death is the death of the physical body; the second death is the death of the etheric body, the body of life-force. Earthbound souls are usually stuck between those two. Suicides usually go through both, but they can’t go on to the rest of the afterlife until the third body, the astral or desire body, finally breaks up, which doesn’t happen until their proper lifespan has been lived out. Remember that to the occultist, “dead” doesn’t mean extinguished; there’s a lot that happens between death and rebirth, but the soul of the suicide doesn’t get to that for a long bleak time.

    Walt, I think that happens to everyone now and again.

    DT, my guess instead is that Trump will win reelection by a large margin, and in the wake of that event the current Democratic party will splinter. I don’t expect a second civil war — my guess is we dodged that bullet — and if one does break out, um, one side has all the guns, all the ammo, and a massive majority share of the nation’s military and police personnel, so it won’t last long.

    Denys, fascinating. I’ve never heard of them. I wonder, though, if “Chicanere” might be the German word Zigeuner, an old (and rather offensive) term for the Roma.

    Matthias, lovely! That strikes me as a very sensible use of your time.

    Spicehammer, I like that! My favorite is the belief that the sun gets colder rather than hotter over the course of its life cycle — thus Mars is a cold desert world now but was warm and moist in the distant past, while Venus is a steaming tropical jungle world now because it’s receiving the same level of solar radiation the Earth got in the Mesozoic. That way of seeing deep time was all over classic science fiction.

    Ganesh, I’d recommend Earth Divination, Earth Magic for that purpose — it’s easier to convert the magical workings in it to the CGD approach. Until you’ve finished with the Ovate and Bardic work, though, it’s best used as a resource for study.

    Yoyo, much less polarization now than then, both in terms of power blocs and in terms of those vast theological abstractions, “capitalism” and “socialism.” (The difference between the two? Under capitalism, the people who run big business also run the government, while under socialism it’s exactly the other way around.) World War 3 seems very unlikely to me these days.

    Methylethyl, any organization toward which people feel a shared emotion over an extended period develops an egregor, so yes, businesses have them too. Was the business in question by any chance Mall*Wart?

    Bruce, a successful impeachment won’t remove him from office. He can be impeached by the House every day from now until the 2020 election, but he won’t be removed from office unless 2/3 of the Senate votes to convict, and, ahem, which party controls the Senate? You’re right, though, that he’s become the focus for some very deep and tangled collective psychology, especially among his enemies. If he wins reelection in 2020, especially if he does so by a comfortable margin, things may get very weird for a while.

    Will M, I haven’t done mundane charts for India or Pakistan, so I’m not prepared to offer an astrological analysis. Since both nations are apparently moving tanks and troops to the border, and making all the other preparations for war, it could get very ugly there, very fast.

    Monk, the new image hasn’t formed yet. The image before Everyman? In the western world, the zoon politikon of Aristotle, the Man of the Polis.

    Michael, thank you!

    Monk, those critiques of that kind that I’ve seen all fall into the trap of assuming that a spectrum consists only of its two extreme ends, and act as though you can’t have individual liberty as a value without trying to make it an absolute value. Any value taken far enough ends in absurdity, that’s true enough, but it’s not necessary to push things out that far.

    Christopher, I’d say make the experiment and find out. 😉

    Morfran, basically, yes — if you factor in the higher planes as different grades of the will, it makes perfect sense that a soul can exist as a quasi-separate manifestation of the will for an entire cycle of spiritual evolution, in the same way that a body can exist for an entire life.

    Rebecca, it’s actually quite common. Sometimes people simply sense the dead person, sometimes they hear a voice, sometimes they see a spectral figure. This is far and away the most common kind of ghost phenomenon, and it happens to people who have no belief in life after death, and who don’t know that the person in question has died. My dad had it happen to him; one day he suddenly heard his mother’s voice calling up the stairs, using his childhood nickname. He got up, astonished, and went to look; she wasn’t there, of course — she was in a nursing home 200 miles away — but as he turned to go back to what he was doing, the phone rang, and it was the nursing home calling to tell him that she’d just died. I had to talk him down out of a fine freakout that evening!

    Graeme, hah! I like that.

    Will O., I just happen to have a lot of interests, I have some other hats, too, notably a fantasy fiction author hat!

  77. Dear SaraDee, about the proposed GND: The leadership, you should excuse the expression, of the Democratic Party, has woken up to the fact that voters are leaving their party, and that the incantation “scary Republicans” has lost potency. Despite the best legal and illegal efforts of the DNC and DCCC last election, a few Sandernistas did manage to get elected to Congress, and, as they owe nothing to party leadership, are not interested in sitting quietly on the back benches and doing what they are told. Nor are their constituents prepared to wait quietly for a decade or so while they build up seniority. Speaker Pelosi has already quietly assured her backers that Medicare for All is going nowhere; the GND is a sort of sop or diversion to distract voters and their representatives. Think of it as like a room full of shiny toys for the kids to play with while the grownups play war games.

    Someone asked above what rich folks might do. One thing I can think of is to finance, without borrowed money, an alternative newspaper or magazine is your area, which covers what actually happens in your local and state govts. Hire some journalism graduates who don’t owe anything to anyone and turn them loose on questions like who owns local utility companies, who sits on various local boards and commissions and what are those persons connections and allegiances? Also how much of what kind of military materiel has your local police received and where are they being sent for training? Have reporters at City Council and similar meetings; call it a non-partisan vanity project the purpose of which is information and make sure advertisers, if you do sell advertising, understand that they don’t get a veto on what you print.

    I doubt that anyone in the USA believes the official story about Venezuela, if only because the people pushing it so obviously don’t believe it. My guess is the motive is about 6/10 resource grab and maybe 4/10 personal–how dare a bunch of chubby brown guys tell US what we can and can’t do? There is more involved than just oil In 2016 the Venezuelan national legislature–I don’t know what is its’ correct title–passed and President Maduro signed a ban on genetically engineered crops, and I venture to guess that access to fresh water is involved also, the Orinoco being a Yuge river.

  78. About the sides in a theoretical civil war in your reply to DT: The side that doesn’t have all the guns and ammo also tends to be comprised of pampered urbanites who have a pronounced tendency to kid themselves as a result of living all or most of their lives in bubble. So no, it wouldn’t last very long, though I’m pretty sure it would result in a catastrophic economic collapse from which the nation would never entirely recover during the lifetime of anybody involved in it.

  79. SaraDee, in your place I’d probably finesse the issue, and say that I’m too busy trying to find ways to deal with (insert mediagenic local problem here) to spend time on Green New Deals or the like. Let’s get to work solving (mediagenic problem), blah blah blah. I don’t know how well that would work, but that’s what I’d try.

    James, 1) ha-LEE; 2) KOR-a-zinn; 3) I think you have to get born to the right parents or something. When I was young I wanted a beard that would rival those guys in ZZ Top, but could never manage more than about 12 inches, and it’s shorter than that now as I age and my hair gets more fragile.

    Ethan, free speech always becomes unpopular with governments that lose track of the fact that all governments survive solely on the apathy of the governed. Governing classes in Europe have been swilling the neoliberal equivalent of cheap gin for way too long, and have convinced themselves that they can annoy the people and pay no price; the result is a rising tide of populism, and eventually the governing classes will either change their tune or be replaced, quite possibly by force. The attempt to silence dissidents is always a confession of weakness — a system that can be destabilized by somebody speaking an unpopular truth is very close to collapse anyway.

    Merle, but I haven’t done anything of the kind. I’ve just expanded the catchment basin from which I can attract those people weird enough to find what I say interesting. My views are just as unpopular in American society in general as I was in elementary school.

    Nastarana, I’m pretty sure the business in Venezuela is the quid pro quo for pulling the troops out of the Middle East. The neocons have to have somebody to invade, after all! As to its consequences in terms of Trump’s career, we’ll see; it’s quite possible that he’s planning the same kind of 180-degree pivot he did with Kim Jong Un.

    David, yes, I was amused to see that. It’s been a source of endless fun for me to watch my ideas popping up in mainstream media — always carefully stripped of identifying markers, of course, since it won’t do to admit that you’re getting ideas from some crackpot who thinks he’s an archdruid, but it’s not too hard to see the pattern. Did you notice the way that my distinction between problems and predicaments, which I introduced in a blog post back in 2006, got picked up and spread all over the place without credit? I chuckled at that.

    Emmanuel, how many of the people in question are young men? In most mammal species, young males are genetically programmed to try to get themselves killed — that’s how the species runs a little chlorine through the gene pool.

    Kashtan, that seems entirely possible to me.

    Juan Pablo, I’ve heard very mixed reviews and am not at all sure I would recommend them.

    Pogonip, quite a common experience. Give it another try.

    Daniel, I haven’t read anything he’s written since his sales brochure masquerading as a book on biochar — it reminded me rather too forcefully of somebody knocking on the door because he wants to talk to me about Jesus.

    Grebulocities, proving a connection between cause and effect is even more difficult in economics than it is in most other fields. I’d encourage you to look at changes in manufacturing job creation rates as one potential proxy.

    Rihanna, I would highly recommend Rhode Island; my wife and I consider our move here to have been a very good choice. With regard to medical care, Providence is very well supplied with that, and if your grandchild has special medical needs, Boston’s only an hour away. If you have particular questions about it, please ask!

    Wynnsol, either ek-o-SO-fee-ah or eek-o-SO-fee-ah, take your pick.

    DT, yep. I got it from the story The Diary of Alonzo Typer by H.P. Lovecraft and William Lumley, one of the main sources for The Weird of Hali: Chorazin. That ended up landing me in a few complexities in book 5, because one of the sources of plot details for that book is M.R. James’ short story Count Magnus, which has some references to the Chorazin in Galilee!

    Prizm, if a civil war was going to happen it would have come from the Right — the side with all the guns, all the ammo, and the vast majority of rank and file military and police personnel. An overdeveloped sense of entitlement, which is most of what the Left would bring to that fight, is not enough.

    Wesley, no, I lifted it from a pro-Trump forum. I lurk from time to time on forums across the political spectrum from furthest right to furthest left. ‘

  80. Patricia M, I’ll keep that in mind as I work on my post-Plutonian astrology book. The discussion on Dreamwidth gave me a lot to think about. With regard to cover art, I didn’t think the covers of any of the Weird of Hali novels were depressing, but that may just be me. As for Yhoundeh, thank you! Lovecraft’s mythos has a goddess shortage, but Clark Ashton Smith helped there; I’ll be interested to see what you think of Yhoundeh’s kid sister in volume 5.

    J.L.Mc12, it isn’t something I’ve thought about, no.

    Patricia M, no prob — I fixed it.

    Dominique, William Blake explained that a couple of centuries ago. “Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that called Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.”

    Mister N, I don’t think it would result in a catastrophic economic collapse in terms of actual wealth. A lot of paper wealth would vanish in a hurry, but a couple of years later that would be over and done with.

  81. @J.LMc12 – if I may, since JMG didn’t have an answer.

    Not sure whether China will be exporting Confucianism to Africa. What’s currently happening now, to me, is just as (if not more) interesting: Chinese workers and businessmen are finding Jesus in Africa and bringing their Christianity back home.

    And then for good measure, they start printing Bibles in China to bring back to Africa, where they get contracts to build churches.

    https://unherd.com/2019/02/how-africa-is-converting-china/
    https://www.gospelherald.com/articles/71935/20190220/chinese-citizens-hear-gospel-working-africa-bring-faith-home-china.htm
    https://www.asiabyafrica.com/point-a-to-a/chinese-in-africa-christianity-religion
    https://thediplomat.com/2018/07/chinas-belt-and-road-exporting-evangelism/
    http://www.asianews.it/news-en/African-Evangelical-Christians-converting-China-46278.html

  82. @RPC,
    Thank you for the invitation! The only case I know of with two side by side plots that are alternately occupied by the shrine is Ise Grand Shrine near Nagoya, but as Japan’s top shrine in the hierarchy, that is impressive. They build the whole shrine up from the ground again every 22 years (the last time was about three years ago), and dismantle the adjacent one. Other major shrines are rebuilt and refurbished on a regular basis, the Kompira Shrine, for example, undergoes that each 35 years, with the deity transferred to another shrine building nearby first, and then transferred back. Regarding paths to nearby features, John was talking about the front main path following ley lines, which I unfortunately know little about, but from what I have seen, the Sengen shrines around Mt. Fuji seem typical. The path toward Mt. Fuji goes straight to the shrine, which has its back to the mountain, and just prior to the shrine, there is a fork, and the path to the mountain goes around the shrine, the idea being to visit the shrine of that deity as a way of greeting before proceeding.

  83. Hello jmg
    Another thing I wanted to say was that I just got back from a 3week trip to Vietnam, about a week ago. It has taught me a lot. I like to think Vietnam is a nice glimpse of what a lot of the world will look like during the long descent.
    -many of the houses possess solar water heaters that heat water from these 1000l stainless steel kegs using those vacuum-tube style type of water heater
    -all the houses had some kind of food garden, and many farmed pepper as a cash crop. They use kapok trees as a trellis for the vine but occasionally make a 4-5 m tower out of brick instead
    -9 out of ten houses are made of brick and concrete since its cheap and easy to clean.

  84. Dear JMG,

    Thanks very much. I appreciate all your answers and the serene tone I perceive in them. I’m happy to “agree to disagree”, per se, about Rome and America, but I feel like I just can’t grasp your point of view (I mean, I can’t really understand “how it works”): wasn’t Rome the biggest empire of the time, like America? weren’t the barbarians just a bunch of backwater nobodies? – those are the thoughts that go through my mind.

    I did also want to ask about tamanous. I imagine it would have a religious basis (like in the Native American tribes you mentioned), so I was wondering whether you think there will be one religion that expresses it, or whether it will be more like a trend in which every American religion becomes ‘tamanous-ized”? And, if there will be one, do you think it would be appropriate to call it “pagan”?

    As you can see I’m still struggling to break out of Christian patterns of thought.

    Thanks a lot – Monk

  85. Greetings all

    I have a curious question. I ordered JMG’s translation The Corpus Hermeticum on amazon last october. It never came! Is that an approved edition from our host?
    I have ordered a few of JMG’s book (official versions!) and they all came, save that one! Is there some form of magical working there by any chance?

    Thanks!

  86. @Denys JMG is almost certainly right: “Chicanere” sounds very much like the French word for the Roma – “Tsiganes” (the same in Russian, fwiw). According to Wikipedia, there are today one milion Roma in the United States (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_diaspora).

    This is an interesting article about Roma in America, which makes reference to a documentary film specifically about the US Roma (https://www.voanews.com/a/for-roma-life-in-us-has-challenges-119394819/163156.html).

    More generally, I highly recommend to all the wordless musical documentary “Lachto Drom” on YouTube, about the centuries-long Roma migration from India to Eastern Europe. Even our host might enjoy it, since it’s really only about the music. https://youtu.be/J3zQl3d0HFE

  87. About ancient Mexican art, I would like to add my impression that it is quite stylized, a bit like the art of other native tribes of North and South America. There seem to be running through the whole of Mesoamerican art a streak of macabrity and an ubiquitous awareness of death and sacrifice. Besides, there is a horro vacui in Mesomanerican art and sculpture, that is, the designs are quite compex and there aren’t many empty places. So, in Spenglers terminology, the primary symbol of classical Mesoamerican culture might be the Underworld, resp. Xibalbá.

    Regarding the character of Native American art in general, I, too, have marveled at the intricacies of the art of the American Northwest coast tribes. A non-related, but somewhat similar, art style can be seen on some decorated paddles from the Mesolithic Ertebølle-Ellerbek culture, which were found underwater in coastal areas of Denmark.

    Further, it seems to me that the art of non-civilized tribes have some similarities in the way they are stylized, for example, when comparing the art of the Vikings, of ancient Celtic people and the Maori.

  88. Regarding the discussion of Plutonic influences from last Magic Monday I would like to add that don’t know how the Internet could suddenly die in the 2030s. But I could imagine a situation where economic and political convulsions make the internet shed many of the features which make it a focus of utopian hopes today. For example, if said convulsions lead to fragmentation of the internet and to more censorship, or, alternatively, if people simply lose interest in virtual things and the internet goes out of fashion without ceasing to exist for the time being.

    In that, and other contexts about the end of Plutionian influences, the predictions of the business-as-usual model in “The Limits to Growth” predicts a relative disruptive amount of decline of a set of diverse indicators during ca. the 2030s.

  89. Hi JMG. Hope you are well. I know you are getting quite a bit of the Twilight’s Last Gleaming discussion, but thought you might like to hear that, as I retire from the War Factory, I am seeing an end user that is under-staffed, under-trained, and lacks resources and motivation. I would not like the odds if they are tested in something other than the usual imperial bullying of a third world country for petroleum.

    Thanks,

    Mac

  90. JMG

    Thank you for the nudge about the pdfs. For books where the author has passed and the books are not in print, how is one to know if they are still under copyright? I don’t suppose Homer’s descendants are getting royalties are the Odyssey.

  91. Just a general comment but I for one am very glad you never found Jordan Peterson interesting.

    I never was very enthused by him but tried to get into his stuff after various people online I had respected talked at least somewhat positively of him.

    I found his advice largely trite and defensive of the 1980s status quo. He recognises some of the problems in the future caused by e.g. technological unemployment but still tells his audience (largely young men looking for a daddy figure IMO) to “climb the hierarchy”.

    There was a Twitter war between Nassim Taleb and various psychologists a few weeks ago where Taleb questioned the statistical significance of IQ, something Peterson likes to harp on. I think Taleb, the better thinker overall, clearly won that one — he ended up blocking Peterson after the latter retweeted some Monsanto propaganda.

  92. Will J,
    A possibly helpful book for your project:
    Soul-Sick Nation: An Astrologer’s View of America
    by Jessica Murray
    And you might also like:
    The Book of Pluto
    by Steven Forrest

  93. Roger,
    I’d like to make a clarification on one of your points. A beef cow needs ~12 lbs of GRASS per pound of gain, and about half that in grain. And the flatulence issue goes away completely on grass (if it is actually an issue at all, compared to the rampant use of ICEs. Sort of like saying that sitting under LED bulbs make you ecoconscious while dining in the AC…).

    Not to mention that beef fat has the lowest iodine value of any of the farmed meat animals, and therefore its fat is the best for you. (Yes, the notion that saturated fat is baddy bad bad is one of those HUGE lies we’ve been force-fed repeatedly for the last 40 years.)

    Since humans cant eat grass, but generally love steak, I tend to think of beef cattle as a great vehicle for utilizing uncultivated and marginal land. They also make a great intercrop on fallow grain fields, adding tons of valuable organic matter back to the soil. We just need to work past the obsession with grain-feeding.

    This is no till farming that works. Lighten up on the cows, folks!

  94. Re: civil war and which side has all the guns

    It reminds me of a Gary Larson cartoon from 30 years ago: Two guys are on a desert island. One is huge and menacing and has enormous hands, the other skinny with a really long neck – exactly as long as the other guy’s hands are big – and the skinny guy says something like “Oh yeah Hank, and what exactly are you going to do about it?”

    If there is a civil war in the near future, the sides are not going to break down along party lines, but along economic lines. Given the very narrow ideological space between the two parties, if there were ever a Dems vs. Reps civil war it would truly boggle the minds of future historians: “They went to war over what?!?”

  95. Found this, somewhat relevant to this group; and have been saving it for the Open Post!

    So a $55,300 per year, CA prep school, (putting the ‘prepper’ in prep?) that successfully sends kids on into the top ivies has them spend one semester in unheated log cabins, farming, herding, chopping wood, caring for themselves and each other, phone-free, (it doesn’t say totally off-line or device free, so I’m guessing they still get their lap-tops for homework). Sounds like just a small taste of off-grid, (or semi-off-grid) self sustainability, but still a worthwhile endeavour, (baby steps?). Or possibly a case of “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” in that the experience fools these kids and their parents into thinking that after such a short time, they actually have survival skills?

    Obviously aimed at the very wealthy @ $55,300 per year but an interesting take. 2 articles on the school.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/california-midland-boarding-school-farm-no-cell-phones-2018-5?fbclid=IwAR1fuA4eQ8eOopp_uyWMMUvdzeR37reHpESZQQd6LVckrJ_2qlKpfm6wBVM&utm_campaign=buffer-ti&utm_content=buffer2fda1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/29/your-money/california-prep-school-teaches-self-reliance.html?fbclid=IwAR3YG4eVGhGQJikiGrjVlkdcAaXcnjG0CjyTgknKrT-NSpI80K9DLOqePCA

  96. Dear Mr Greer

    I have been thinking about why free markets and the price mechanism are incapable of dealing with peak oil. I wonder if you would be kind enough to run your eye over a few thoughts I have been having on the subject to see what you think.

    In theory free markets and the price mechanism should be capable of handling peak oil. The theory tells us that when the supply of a resource or good goes down, the price of that resource goes up. In this situation price becomes like a signalling mechanism. Higher prices signal higher profits, so producers put more capital into production and output increase. If producers are unable to raise production because the resource is being depleted, then the higher prices act as a signal to consumers to look for substitutes or alternatives. However when it comes to peak oil this price signalling mechanism starts to break down.

    When the price of an energy resource as important as oil rises, the price mechanism starts operating and producers increase production while consumers look for substitutes, so things are looking fine However this is where the price mechanism breaks down. For energy is the foundation on which the economy runs. Without energy nothing gets done. This means that when energy prices rise, the price of all other goods in the economy rises and people have less money and the economy goes into recession. This means that oil producers stop investing in new oil production and the rate of oil discoveries goes down. It also means that consumers stop looking for substitutes or alternatives to oil. Therefore the price mechanism stops operating and the problem of peak oil is simply not dealt with. In order for the price mechanism to work the price of oil has to stay high until there is fundamental change in the economy to cope with the predicament of peak oil. This does not happen because the reduction in the price of oil removes any incentive to do anything about it.

    The lowering of oil prices will eventually cause oil prices to rise again and the cycle will repeat itself. But nothing changes in the economy and those in power can carry on convincing themselves that there is nothing wrong as oil price will come tumbling down as a new recession kick in. The only people who notice what it going wrong are those at the bottom of the heap who get poorer, but who cares about them.

    The price mechanism may well work with individual resources like potatoes and cotton. This is because a rise in the price of one of these resource is unlikely to have much effect on the rest of the economy. However as shown above it does not work with energy and oil.

    There is also another problem with the price mechanism. The classical model assumes that there are an infinite number of substitutes out there. However there are no substitutes out there that provide the same level of cheap, highly concentrated easy to get at energy as conventional oil. All the substitutes out these like tight/shale oil, oil from coal are expensive, difficult to get at and have low EROI etc. Renewables don’t provide the same amount of energy as oil and there are problems with storage, variability etc. If you use electricity instead of oil you would need to convert the whole car fleet and where would you get the extra electricity for powering this. You could of course fundamentally change the way we live. Using buses, trains, local production, giving up cars etc. But without the motivation of high prices none of this gets done. After all it is high prices that we rely on us to tell us when resources are running short.

    There are a lot more things I could add to this, especially on the subject if EROI, but I will leave it there.

    I would like to thank you for any comments you are able to make on this

    Yours sincerely

    Jasmine

  97. After ten years of homeschooling and reading everything I could find on the history of public schooling, including what was written contemporary to the time public school were being formally made law (this is where the juice is by the way), I’ve written some thoughts. Plan on publishing weekly like you. I’d love and appreciate any thoughts or feedback from any and all in this community.

    The first essay is “The Most Fascist Place in America” and I believe builds on JMG’s education essays from the last blog. Fascism is all the rage these days so seemed like a place to start.

    https://homeschoolcoffee.wordpress.com

  98. In terms of Chicanere – yes from what I can find it is a link to the Roma. I’m really curious about people traveling around 1780’s – 1840’s or so. My brain is conditioned to think of people staying in place until they up and headed west. So now I’ve just got to know who they were. I’m fortunate to live close enough to the Historical Society of PA that possibly they could have some diaries or other writings from the time period. I’ll keep you updated!

  99. John–

    WoH #3 arrived yesterday and I’d have read into the morning if I could have. Cannot wait to get the rest of these! I’ll be ordering paperback versions of the first two (which I have already in hardback) so that I’ll have a consistent set. Once my signed, limited edition collection is complete, I’ll most likely donate the paperback set to the library.

    There must be a voorish shimmering in the air, as I find myself suddenly possessed by a desire to delve into creative projects. Not only do I have short stories, novellae, and possible novel-length works coming out of my ears, but some of the folks in that gaming group I helped kick-start have been tossing around the idea of getting a local film festival going (think giant creature movies, sci-fi and horror of earlier decades, and classic silent films) and even attempting to make a short film of our own.

    @ Joel

    My renewal for my personal and local library subscriptions for Into The Ruins will be in the mail shortly. I may have a story for your consideration in the near future as well. (It’s still writing itself.)

    I’d encourage everyone to consider sponsoring a subscription of the magazine at their local library.

    @ JMG, Nastarana, et al.

    Re the Maine Greens and Libertarians

    The thought that popped into my head was, imagine if those two national parties ran a joint ticket that focused on those first six points. I could picture such a platform drawing a lot of attention.

  100. JMG,

    That answer made sense to me before, but as the situation has continued, and I see people being forced into taking sides, and not for necessarily logical reasons. The answer you gave is very black and white, in effect saying that those who have guns will fight. If the issue came down to a 2nd amendment right, I have no doubt that those with arms would rise up to defend that right. But people bear arms for different reasons, not just because they have them. It usually only takes some emotional moment to cause people to quickly take sides.

    Imagine this scenario: A cisgendered is walking across the road. They are hit by a white, MAGA cap wearing man who is driving a car. Bystanders assess the situation, many of them quickly determining that this was a hate crime. They beat up the driver. Democrats jump all over the situation saying this is the fault of Trump/Pence making these hate crimes more common place. It needs to stop now. A movement rises to stop hate crimes. In response to this movement, many people start wearing MAGA caps everywhere, but also carrying guns. Scuffles break out. The hate crime movement realizes they will need guns in order to defend themselves. Realizing the opportunity for change and power, many people side the hate crime movement bringing with them guns and some experience. Others join because they are family and hate to see their family hurt. Most think what’s the worst that can happen? The opposition are all old white men. The rest is history.

  101. Other random ‘Friday-Night-Thought-Bubbles’ (on Thursday morning!):

    Politics and the 2020 Dem field: As a Lefty Liberal m’self, I’m not disheartened to think that the splinter of the Democratic party and even it’s resulting re-election of Trump is necessarily a bad thing. It is changing, perhaps it will split in two (or more?) but it’s a long process and new voices are being heard that were not before. I think the splintering is a good thing in the long run as I agree, the establishment Dems have not represented many of our interests or values for a long time. The chaos is growing pains, but we will be better off for having gone through them. From the little I’ve seen thus far- Klobuchar is at the bottom of my list, with Harris close behind. However Centrist on some issues – I like Warren, although, even from fellow Libs, I’m told she’s just not ‘cool’ or ‘charismatic’ enough to ever win.

    I don’t think we will see an actual troop withdrawal, sorry. The deal with Kim Jong-Un is off. Michael Cohen is such a weasely liar that no matter how much we want to believe him because it connects all the dots for us – he is simply still not credible.

    Venezuela: The USA has been down this same road with almost every single Central and South American country – I think the only people who don’t see it for what it is – are closing their eyes, sticking their fingers in their ears and singing “La-la-la!” as loud as they can.

  102. JMG: As ever – Thank You for providing this space in your virtual living room for us to chat, hopefully learn and exchange ideas. 🙂

    @Emanuel Goldstein: I do think part of the issue is the overload of information – social media and the internet now gives us info on snow-boarders (or the like) from across the globe dying from stupid thrills. That would only have been local news a few decades ago. Like a lot of various crimes and dangers, that makes it seem like there is more of this than there ever was. I’m not sure there is more of it – we just hear more about it now.

    @rita rippetoe: about Art depicting that which is normally hidden – wasn’t that the whole thrust behind Picasso’s Cubism? Showing all facets of something at the same time? I agree with JMG: Creating Art won’t stop simply because we’ve run out of Faustian ideas – people are creative and we’ll create just like we breathe. If the current structure of the Art World falls away because there is nothing ‘groundbreaking’ in the ways we’ve come to expect – I personally say, GOOD! 😉
    Although – artistically, I’m kind of fired up by the brief discussion last week on the ascendancy of Mexican culture in the years to come – I think that is fascinating and a very good thing – also for Art. As I see it on the ground in small everyday ways, us Gringos – USA commoners have and do readily accept so many markers of Mexican culture as our own, (embrace? Co-opt?) and it mingles with our somewhat distant European cultural roots. Do you know anyone for whom tacos and burritos are not their go-to comfort food? It feels watered down to me as a native Southern Californian, but objectively – I think it is creating a new-new-world culture.

    @James MacLachlan: If I may, as a parent of 2 college students:
    On the one hand, you do have ““The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” – Socrates

    OTOH: True, every generation has different challenges. A lot of helicopter parenting is a reaction to the too-free/careless way some of us parents ourselves were raised in a troublesome time, (just watching the Ted Bundy documentary. As I recall, he was the least of our worries in So Cal about serial killers, drugs and crime in those days, they were scary times to grow up in and threats and challenges far different than anything our own parents were prepared to deal with. Same, story, but different challenges raising kids today in the internet/social media age. Colleges themselves are somewhat in the same boat – reacting to needs and new challenges, and also more than ever, as businesses trying to stay afloat/solvent/wealth-generating. There is no quick sound-byte answer, IMHO. It’s the confluence of a lot of factors.

    One of the changes and challenges, (and a good thing in my book, although admittedly a bad thing certain others’ books) is that people of colour and previously marginalised groups are finding their voice and demanding to be heard. The reaction – well, A loss of privilege does feel like oppression even if it isn’t. It’s a matter of perspective, right?

  103. JMG,

    I don’t know if we’ve left a creative phase or not… but I can sidestep that question and the self-fulfilling prophecy your solution MAY (what do I know?) propose by concerning myself with being authetic, and if some measure of originality occurs as a result, or not, so be it.

    That said, Camile Paglia recently observed that a lot of creative energy in her students has transfered to video game design, which I humbly propose may be a blind spot for you, and our creative phase has a little longer to go (or game design presages a new culture to come.)

    That said, means and materials aside, what does one try to DO with art in a declining culture? How does the purpose or function change when you’re on the other side of the hill? Where does one look to find ways one’s art can be helpful?

  104. Since failed prophecies about how Peak Oil would happen were mentioned here, I would like to sdd that, presumably, despite the diversion of energy to keep pumping the accustomed amounts of fossil fuels, at some time in the future, the absolute amount of production would have to decline, no? Are there estimates when such a thing would happen?

  105. (i have a broken wrist, so apologize for the typing). i am very new to this community, and just started reading your books about a year ago. the one that has really affected me the most is “mystery teachings of the living earth”. I’ve read it thru several times, and continue to talk about it with friends who are interested. thanks for your work.

  106. Thank you, JMG for the thoughts on Florida Water! I got a bottle last night and used it all around the house and I could see the vibe improve. What a lovely product! Also, it’s so amazing that it has been going strong for over 200 years, apparently with the same formula.

    A few more thoughts on Pluto, if I may:

    I’m curious peoples’ thoughts on Plutonian spirituality. there is a popular type of spiritual work in which one subjects oneself to violent, dangerous and dark influences. A good example is psychedelic drug spirituality, in which people take large amounts of drugs so they can travel to a different land in which they are confronted with danger and transformation. Albert Hoffman the inventor of LSD was born with Pluto conjunct his ascendant. Of course, drugs are linked to an illegal underworld as well. Perhaps Timothy Leary or Carlos Castaneda is the spokesperson for this approach.

    This links up to a a huge array of spiritual techniques from the past century: sensory deprivation tanks! The careful use of acceleration to precipitate NDEs! Burning Man! Indeed, on a perhaps more serious and dignified level the writings of Carl Jung are replete with this vibe; shadows upon shadows upon shadows. Portentous movements in the dark of the self. Shattering encounters and utter transformation. Interestingly, Helena Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, and Aleister Crowley were all born with Pluto in the 10th house. This also is true of that prophet of progress, Stehpen Hawking.

    This then touches on a larger point; synthetic drugs are just a small scion of the giddy assortment of persistent chemicals humans have made. “Better living through chemistry,” is quite the slogan! They too are undoubtedly Plutonian. More mundane than psychedelics, but much more pervasive, is the huge use of chemical psychiatric medication, again extremely Plutonian. Indeed, this appears to be part of the mythos of the various medications; the person encountering the underworld is so shattered that they must turn to the pills to hold together. They then are permanently changed by the transformational encounter.

    When the culture was more Plutonian, we saw far more aggressive techniques for coercive transformation; lobotomies, electroconvulsive therapy, various ways of inducing coma and erasing personality. As the Plutonian influenced waned, these extreme methods began to wane as well. Now with Pluto no longer a planet quite a few people I know have spontaneously given up taking psychiatric medication.

    In terms of genre, noir strikes me as extremely Plutonian. The basic premise is that a tough character finds an underworld of sorts and is transformed in the encounter. Here I think of films like _Chinatown_, _Taxi Driver_, _Blue Velvet_, _Blade Runner_, etc. Recently I attempted to read some Hammett and found it as impenetrable as Burroughs! In general, I’ve never gotten the appeal of noir. More generally, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Agatha Christie, Franz Kafka, Jack Kerouac all were born with Pluto in the 10th house.

    As touched upon in the Magic Monday thread, a lot of popular music from a few decades back is extremely Plutonian. It’s instructive to watch Nirvana music videos to get a sense of just how much the culture has shifted! Or to listen to The Doors, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, The Velvet Underground, etc. Part of the reason I think people took Andy Warhol so seriously is because he surrounded himself with Plutonian types. Indeed, much modern art may have succeeded to the extent that it tapped into the zeitgeist. Interestingly. Pablo Picasso was born with Pluto midheaven. The same holds true for Hugh Hefner!

    It’s interesting to note on the political front that Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Nixon also all had Pluto in the 10th house, indeed, as did Khrushchev and Gorbachev. Also Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, and the foundation chart of the State of Israel.

    I got the chart info from this database: https://www.astrotheme.com/celebrities/pluto/m10/1.htm, for those interested in how deeply Plutonian the culture at large was this makes for some fascinating perusing, since it would appear that having Pluto midheaven has been extraordinarily useful — at least during the past century — for an impressive public career.

  107. Hi Mr. Greer,

    I would like to share a bit of my experience in reading your writings over the years as a rambling introduction to actual questions.

    At first (around 2011), I found the long forms insufferable and the topic of the decline of industrial civilization made me really anxious. Then I mostly forgot the blog for a few years, until around 2015-2016, when the absurd extravagance and disconnection of Musk’s and others’ space ambitions amidst increasing economic hardships for a growing number of people reminded me of your critical outlook on these initiatives. I then read all the newer posts and found myself increasingly mesmerized by your treatment political topics (that was around the election of Trump) and then of religion and occult traditions, which was both original, enlightening, accessible, and nuanced. Then a few months ago, I felt quite anxious and had trouble figuring out how to think about the future in an horizon of 5 years to a few decades and decided to systematically re-read your writings in chronological order. This was enlightening, on quite a few topics. Perhaps a key point was that there is value in looking at the past from a few decades and centuries ago; I found myself really enjoying Augustin Mouchot and Farrington Daniels’ writings on using the Sun’s energy, much more so than a lot of more recent scientific writings. I also got a really valuable crash course in politics in a way that enabled me to empathize with others with different political opinions: my first reaction now when thinking about political issues is to reflect on what others depend on for their living and how policies influence it. Recently, I also started to systematically read the headlines of major publications from multiple countries and I now have an intuitive feeling of shifting alliances and political evolutions. Your writings also defused my inner tendency of trying to find a miraculous technological fix to our predicament, which made me a bit more serene. Now, I find that the blessings of having more diverse viewpoints and narratives to think about past, current, and future events come with the curse of frustrations: seemingly obviously stupid decisions, when looked at in terms of social and ecological consequences, are actually quite hard to challenge until alternative viewpoints fully take roots. It is hard to look at the craziness of it all and accepting limitations to how much change I can effect, while still doing something! And then I had the realization that you kept at it for more than 11 years, regardless of how popular those views were or not. So tip of the non-druidic non-hat for the sheer persistence!

    This brings me to actual questions. How was the emotional inner journey behind the writings? Did you have moments of doubts or frustrations? Did you ponder stopping it all at any point? Did you have times in which you had to force yourself to write the next blog post? And when you first realized there were things, no manner how well you understood them or saw them coming, that you could not prevent or avoid but simply had to accept, how did you arrive at that level of acceptance? And how did you choose what you could do to try to shape the future to come?

    Many thanks for the sheer and persistent quality of your writings over the years, it has really been enlightening!

    Erick

  108. @JMG re: “any organization toward which people feel a shared emotion over an extended period develops an egregor, so yes, businesses have them too. Was the business in question by any chance Mall*Wart?”

    Oddly, no. The Mart of Walls is where we do much of our shopping (wish we didn’t, but: tight budget, limited options). I find it overstimulating and sterile. But I’ve never thought of it as having a personality– good, bad, or indifferent.

    I was thinking of a retail outlet named for an Egyptian eyeliner.

    If the relevant variable is shared emotion, that might well explain it. The place creeped me out from the first. Later, I discovered that various friends and family members were weirdly devoted to the place. They are known (infamous?) for “relationship marketing”: basically, jacking the sticker price through the stratosphere, then getting customers to sign up for the store charge card, mailing lists, etc., sending out constant flyers with sale announcements and special coupons etc. (“think about shopping! All the time!”) so that if a devotee spends half an hour assembling various discount chits and goes to the store on a particularly auspicious sale day, she (this marketing is targeted at women) can get a boatload of stuff for 80% off!! …and feel exceedingly clever for it. Nevermind that at 80% off it costs about what you would have paid for an equivalent item at Sears without any discounts. It’s a huge hook for compulsive shoppers– and the hooked feel very strongly about it. It feels like visiting zombieland.

  109. What is earth-magic exactly ?
    I am looking for a way to do rituals in order to ‘amplify, purify’ the Prana of Earth in a Room (~Vastu).
    Can this be done with earth-magic ?

  110. Dear patriciaormsby, It occurs to me that rebuilding of shrines is a good way to keep traditional woodworking skills alive.

    Dear Mr. Greer, I would like to say about reading theft from living authors, and I can truthfully assure you that I have never read a book online, I do respectfully suggest that you make some allowances for current trends in library acquisitions. Library budgets have been severely cut over the past few decades, and I strongly suspect that PC police from many different ideological directions have infiltrated library staffs. This affects not only acquisitions, but also the basic decision whether to acquire books or DVDs and such, and also affects library discards. As for interlibrary loan: one library in a town in which I lived in CA charged $5. per book ordered. The Utica main library simply ignores interlibrary loan requests. I go to a branch now for such requests When I placed an interlibrary loan request for the most recent book by the economist Michael Hudson, I asked the reference librarian was there some person over his head who reviewed requests and denied ones of which he or she did not approve. Oh no, he said, we don’t do that. I hope not. I have read very few of your books because they are simply not available to folks with limited disposable income. .

  111. I would caution anyone who thinks that a civil war in the US could be won by either side. Sure the conservative side has a lot more guns, ammo and training, but if you think that the liberal side is meek, defenseless and not dangerous, you will get a very rude awakening. I mean you really don’t want to be having your victory parade over liberals only to find out weaponized cow pox is spreading like wildfire among the survivors. There are way too many groups of people who can pull a Samson in the Temple in todays world.

    Lets try for mutual respect and compromise.

  112. John–

    You may already be aware of this text, but a title on the “new book” shelves at my local library caught my eye the other day:

    The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World
    https://www.amazon.com/Jungle-Grows-Back-America-Imperiled/dp/0525521658

    It looks to have been published last fall.

    I’ve only glanced through it so far; it’s a treatise-length work, rather than a tome. I did check it out, but my plans to read through it were interrupted by the arrival of that tale set in upstate New York…

    It looks to be a paean to American Imperial Goodness And Necessity, so far as I can tell. I’ll have to resist scribbling notes in the margins, as it is a library book. Perhaps I’ll just place sticky notes with rebuttals to the more egregious howlers.

    The first few lines:

    “The American-led world order was never a natural phenomenon.It was not the culmination of evolutionary processes across the millennia or the inevitable fulfillment of universal human desires. The past seven-plus decades of relatively free trade, growing respect for individual rights, and relatively peaceful cooperation among nations–the core elements of the liberal order–have been a great historical aberration. Until 1945 the story of humankind going back thousands of years was a long tale of war, tyranny, and poverty. Moments of peace were fleeting, democracy so rare as to almost seem accidental, and prosperity the luxury of the powerful few. Our own era has not lacked its horrors, its genocides, its oppressions, its barbarisms. Yet by historical standards, including the standards of the recent past, it has been a relative paradise.”

    From the dust jacket, the work seems to be focused on refuting the withdrawal of the US from its role as global hegemon and disengagement with said global liberal order.

    I suspect we will see more such treatises, particularly if the ground-swell supporting exactly those policies of disengagement continues to grow. (May it be so!)

  113. As I was outside watching some woodland birds going away at some seeds from the cones of a spruce tree, the sun warm on my back despite the chilly ten degrees and the three feet of snow we have on the ground, I was inspired to have some philosophical realization, which I attempted to throw into terrible poem.

    Seeds of Change

    The seeds of change are in the air
    Just as the seeds fall we know not where
    We don’t know where our seeds shall fall
    If they will grow into something big and tall
    Or should they into unfertile environment fall
    And often know not what they will sprout into at all

    You’ve been blogging about it for years but there seems to be more urgency in the currents flowing through the air demanding some reckoning.

  114. Booklover,

    I think the commercial internet is Plutonian in nature. Something like ARPANET is probably not highly Plutonian in nature, so my guess is that what’s coming is a shift away from the commercial form in favor of something less extreme.

    Just Me,

    Thank you! I’ve added both of them to the list of books to look for.

    Violet,

    With regards to the spirituality: it’s never something that appealed to me so I never looked into it. However, that is a theme I should look at for my book! So, thank you for the thoughts.

    The other thing I find fascinating, as someone who’s Plutonian and drawn to Plutonian music is that quite a few bands/musicians changed around the 2000s, and I love the older stuff and find the newer stuff unappealing. Also, Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson topped the charts in 2007 and System of a Down won a Grammy in 2006, so it’s quite the shift already!

    The other thing I find interesting is the period from 1983-1995 featured Pluto in Scorpio, and quite a few of the themes I’m looking into seem most extreme and exaggerated during that period: enough that I think I’ll need to do a chapter on the period.

  115. Violet,

    Have you by any chance found the natal chart for Le Corbusier? I think that modernist, and especially brutalist, architecture is highly Plutonian. The whole purpose of it seems to be to provoke disorientation and discomfort, and it has often been associated with dangerous environments with high levels of drug dependency amongst its residents etc. It also uses materials that have almost no capacity for storing etheric energy i.e. concrete, glass steel, so it is literally a dead/inert form of architecture. Some of the stuff that was built under the “brutalist” rubric as “shopping centres” and “libraries” was absolutely extraordinary. These are so obviously shrines to a maleficent spiritual force, which their sheer incongruity immediately gives away.

    Somebody recently made the point on Twitter that the 1960’s and 1970’s were the very high point of technocracy, this being attributed to the fact that the historic counties of Britain were rationalised in 1972 in the name of efficiency, having been untouched for centuries. I tend to think the period 1968 to 1982 was Pluto’s last big hurrah culture-wise, what with brutalism, post-punk, the oil crises, stagflation, high structural unemployment, Mutually Assured Destruction, Northern Ireland etc. all converging at the same time to create a really strong “downer” vibe.

    By the way, the whole essence of that period is boiled down to its essential Plutonianism here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8srCq5YJYBI

    Also this:

  116. @methylethyl and all

    There is definitely a great deal of scientific research in progress on how to make consumption ever more addictive and compelling for consumers. While looking for new scholarship on rituals, I happened by accident on the list of publications (several hundred co-authored articles!) of a professor in the Harvard Business School who has a PhD in Psychology from Princeton University. His name is Michael I. Norton, and the link to the list is here:

    http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/Norton.pdf

    I don’t take alarm easily, but I found his choice or research interests to be more than a little alarming. The obvious fact, too, that is is not a lone researcher, but part of a large community of researchers working on the same range of topic, alarms me even more.

  117. J.L.Mc12, it doesn’t surprise me that the Vietnamese would be adapting gracefully to a shortage of energy resources! Growing up in Seattle, I knew a fair number of Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Hmong refugees, and they one and all impressed me with the cheerful practicality with which they and their families weathered the wrenching changes they’d been through.

    Monk, US global hegemony has only existed since 1945 and I see zero chance that it will still exist in 2045; that’s not much of a span compared to Rome. Nor were the barbarians backwoods nobodies in the eyes of anybody but the serenely insular Greeks! As for the future of religion in North America, that requires a far more nuanced discussion than I have space to give it here; one thing to keep in mind, though, is that the concept of “different religions” is pretty much an artifact of the very unusual Abrahamic notion that it’s bad to worship more than one god in more than one way; ancient Greeks who traveled to Egypt or Gaul, say, didn’t talk about how the Egyptians or Gauls had a different religion, just that they worshiped the gods according to their own customs, and had stories about the gods that the Greeks hadn’t heard before.

    Karim, it’s not an approved edition, and it’s not even a translation. I wrote some brief introductions to G.R.S. Mead’s translations of the Hermetic treatises, for a long-defunct website, and some online shysters scooped those up and have been publishing them without my permission for a while now. (There’s a lot of content theft like that on the internet.) Since the people who do that are thieves, I’m not surprised they ripped you off — sorry to hear of it, but not surprised.

    As for Florida water, it’s a cologne based on sweet orange, with lavender and clove. (There’s a fairly good article here.) You might be able to get it — it’s quite popular in China and Southeast Asia. Look for the Kwong Sang Hong “Two Girls” brand, which is made in Hong Kong and very widely exported in Asia.

    Booklover, I could see that. With regard to the internet, I don’t expect it to die in 2036, but I’d expect it to lose its central cultural role by then; it might be “reformed” to become completely dominated by corporate content, say, or a general reaction against social media in favor of human interaction might lead to a situation where it’s almost entirely used by geriatric millennials, and all the young creative talents are doing live theater and writing books instead.

    Mac, I’ve heard the same thing from a lot of other people in the military. It’s one of the standard ways that empires fall: the illusion of invulnerability leads to massive corruption in the military and malign neglect of ordinary soldiers and their needs; then comes a sudden shock, the military crumples, and it’s all over but the shouting.

    Matt, copyright law varies depending on which country you’re in. In the US, if it was published before 1923, it’s in the public domain, and if it was published between then and 1963, it may be in the public domain, depending on whether certain legal hoops were jumped through. Britain’s saner; in Britain, if the author died before 1949, it’s now in the public domain. (That’s why I’ll be able to publish my Cosmic Doctrine commentary once it’s finished, along with a new edition of the Cos.Doc. itself.) This page links to a catalog of over three million books that are now copyright-free and available legally on the internet.

    Alvin, this doesn’t surprise me at all. Taleb’s very, very sharp, and what I’ve seen of Peterson suggests to me that he isn’t even remotely in Taleb’s league.

    Wooler, exactly.

    Bruno, because I like the way it sounds, of course. 😉

    Caryn, fascinating. Thank you.

    Jasmine, good! That seems like a very clean analysis to me. The one thing I’d add is the thing that economic analyses always leave out, which is that politics trumps economics. The US government has every reason to play mumbledy-peg with the petroleum market to make sure that consumer prices don’t rise too high; my guess is that shale oil production is being covertly subsidized by government money-printing operations, so that even those shale deposits that would normally lose money keep on turning out oil. Other than that, though, I think you’ve basically nailed it.

    Denys, congrats! I’ll check it out shortly.

    David, delighted to hear it!

    Prizm, you asked me what I thought, and I told you. I don’t expect you necessarily to agree with it, but I don’t find your scenario convincing — there have been plenty of loudly ballyhooed hate crimes, including at least one person run down by a car, and the reaction from the left has not been anything like what you’ve suggested. Nor, in my considered judgment, is that likely to change any time soon, due to the way that emotional displays have been fetishized on the left to an absurd degree. Only when a majority of people on the left really, truly realize that nobody else cares, or needs to care, about their feelings will that begin to change.

    Caryn, I’m with you on that. Right now, nothing would help the Democratic Party more than a world-class electoral drubbing, sufficient to drive the current leadership out of power and force a rethinking of the party’s blind worship of the status quo. For forty years now the Dems have pushed policies that benefit the privileged at the expense of everyone else, and their reaction to criticism has amounted to, “But the GOP is so much worse!” The 2016 election showed that that strategy had passed its pull date; a few more hard knocks, and the Dems might finally get around to remembering that if they want the support of the voters, they have to be something other than the very, very slightly lesser evil.

    Nothing Special, that strikes me as a good plan. Don’t worry about what art is doing — just do your own thing and see where it takes you.

    Booklover, no, the volume could continue stable indefinitely — we’d just get to the point that we’re burning all the oil we produce just to get the energy to produce more oil, leaving none for any other use.

    Katherine, you’re welcome and thank you. Best wishes for prompt and thorough healing!

    Violet, you’re most welcome. There’s a reason it’s one of the most widely used supplies among “spiritual” (i.e., not into harmful magic) hoodoo practitioners.

    Erick, I went through my times of doubt and depression in the 1980s, as I watched nearly everyone I knew who’d mouthed slogans about the environment and a conserver future cash in their ideals and guzzle the Reagan-era koolaid. By the time I started blogging in 2006 I’d gone through that meatgrinder and out the other side; I’d gotten a good solid grasp of historical cycles, and I knew what we were facing as a society. I also had very modest goals when I started blogging. I seriously thought I’d end up with a readership of 20 or 30 people who were interested in what a Druid had to say about the environment and the future of industrial society. So the trip since then has been frankly exhilarating — when you find yourself getting a third of a million readers a month, which is what I had at the peak of the Archdruid Report in 2016, doubt and depression are the last things on your mind!

    I have no idea what I can and can’t accomplish via my online essays, but that’s fine; one of the basic teachings of occultism is that you can control your actions but not their results. So I keep writing.

    Methylethyl, the interesting thing is that Sara and I went into one of those stores precisely once, while checking out the resources available to us in the corner of western Maryland where we used to live. We took a good look around, then turned around and walked right back out, and haven’t been back. I don’t know what’s wrong, but the store in question really does have an ugly energy.

    TheMirror, that’s not really what my book is about. Since you know about vastu, have you considered simply doing that?

  118. Nastarana, duly noted. I’m open to alternative suggestions.

    Jim, as I’ve noted repeatedly here, I see no real danger of a civil war in the US at this point. We dodged that bullet. Mutual respect and compromise? Yes, but that has to come from both sides, you know.

    David, funny. Apologists for the British Empire used to say exactly the same thing in its last decades. An empire, after all, is a way of replacing violence with exploitation…

    Prizm, things are definitely flowing in the direction of change — but part of that involves the dissolution of some of the rigidly fixed battle lines of recent decades. I wonder if the heightened combativeness you’re seeing comes from that, as people feel formerly stable positions slipping out from under their feet?

  119. John,

    In general, what is your and/or the occult take on “consciousness”, the inner experience/awareness that we (presumably) all share? To many scientists it is the “hard problem” that so far resists all attempts at explanation by scientific materialist means, though many try, usually explaining it as somehow the product of nervous system activity. Some explain it away as nothing or an illusion, though I always wonder then how an illusion could experience an illusion (or anything else).

    From an occult perspective, what is consciousness?

    From a planes of existence perspective, where does consciousness/awareness reside? Does it come out of something else, does it have a beginning and end, or is it a basic preexisting thing, without which there is nothing else? Does it make sense for a universe to exist without something to be aware of it?

    Can rocks be conscious and in what sense? If so is that sense different from the consciousness of a living thing, is it attached differently to the “body” or whatever?

    Can a robot/a.i. be conscious? If so is that consciousness like that of the rock or like the life form’s consciousness?

    What is the unconscious and how does it relate to consciousness?

    I apologize for asking so many questions. I hope you have answers for all of them but if not I’d appreciate if you could answer whichever seem most relevant and interesting to you (or the questions I should have asked).

    Thanks, and congratulations on the republication of your book. It sounds interesting. I found it in our local library system and have requested it to see if I want to own it.

  120. @Petrus
    Re: Geomancy vs I Ching

    Very minor comment:

    Geomancy actually has more information than the I Ching: Each of the four mothers is 4 bits. 4 * 4 = 16 bits (approximately 65 thousand possible readings) vs six lines that have 2 bits each (Yin vs Yang, fixed vs moving) = 12 bits (4096 possible readings).

  121. Sorry about the Civil War question. I know you’ve fielded this question many times in the past. It feels that the Left is more emboldened with their acquisition of the House, already proposing bills for gun control, more states joining on board with a Popular Vote Movement and a Medicare-for-all bill yesterday, while also continuing attempts to get rid of Trump. It concerns me because I have to wonder how long will people let these antics continue just in the political theatre before becoming more a part of daily life.

  122. Well, I read a bit more about the Gauls and the Celts and the Germans, but the level of cultural influence on them by the Romans doesn’t seem comparable to the level of cultural influence by the Greeks on the Romans. I guess I don’t really see what’s wrong with the Rome : Greece :: America : Europe analogy… after all, the pax Americana would have lasted longer if fossil fuels weren’t so easily exploitable.

  123. @Caryn: Oh, hey–my dad was headmaster/math teacher at Midland when I was growing up! (1990-2000.) Mom was a college counselor and librarian, and taught Latin and mythology on the side. (The faculty there wore a number of hats.) I never had the perspective as the students, though my sister did go there, and it’s probably changed a fair amount, but when I was there the cabins didn’t have computer lines. There was a computer lab where the students could type up their papers and learn programming (I used to go play Typing Tutor, because I was rather pathetic, and then some of the more-helpful-less-law-abiding students showed me where they’d installed all the ASCII-based D&D adventure games and Castle Wolfenstein and so forth. It was great) and then, later, there were a couple other buildings with internet connections–at first an old building out in the middle of nowhere* with no insulation, and then the library.

    As faculty, my folks had hot water and phone lines and so forth, but I remember that the only heat in our (uninsulated) house was from a wood stove. Emi and I used to get dressed in front of it in the mornings, and became experts at getting daytime clothes on while not shedding the pajamas until the absolute last second, and I spent a fair number of winter afternoons reading while lying on the floor (or our dog, who was very patient) as close to it as possible. The place was very clean, but nonetheless contained a lot of insects (oh God earwig season was like a Biblical plague) at any time, and I remember once, as a teenager, I lay down to do situps in the middle of the night (I was waiting for the modem lag to stop and figured I might as well get in shape), turned my head, and found myself looking into the eyes of a large frog.

    One of the mottos of Midland is “needs, not wants,” and Dad used to quote that until Emi and I wanted to scream. Like I said, I can’t speak for the students themselves, but I think it did me some good: much as I like physical comfort, I can put on a couple layers rather than turning up the heat and I don’t mind walking places, I’m less squeamish than many people I know about other creatures in the house**, and so forth. I certainly have fond memories of the place, as you can tell. 🙂 (I complained a *lot* at the time, but I was eight when we got there and eighteen when we left, and I’d have complained about Paradise itself at that age.)

    @Alvin Leong: Word. I remember his reaction to some of the mass murders by incels being “well, we should more strongly encourage monogamy so that women will have to sleep with low-status men,” and, first of all, we encourage monogamy *plenty,* it doesn’t work for everyone, and trying to tell people what relationship models to pursue is not great even in the abstract. I’m sure not loving it when the aim is getting people like me to hook up with guys we’re not into. Second, dude does not get how non-monogamy works in most cases: if my theoretical partner dated other women, I could date other men, of whatever “status.” Third, when it comes to the guys he’s talking about, if it was a choice between eternal celibacy and spending five minutes in their company, I and most of the women I know would be down at the convent in five seconds.

    (Fourth, I am continually startled by the number of people who appear to sincerely want sex that comes from either pity or desperation. I’ve had a fair amount of sex, I enjoy a fair amount of sex, and if I thought for a minute that I was a euphemistically-described pity lay, I would probably go drown myself in a sink.)

    (Also, “if you don’t interact with people you don’t find appealing, they might get angry and bad things could happen” is less of a heartwarming philosophy for humanity and more of a hostage situation. That doesn’t mean it might not be necessary, though I would try other things first, but if it is, can we not pretend it’s a *good* thing? Anthony can’t actually read our minds and send us to the cornfield, after all.)

    * I used to hide out there and play text-based online RPGs to get around my parents’ limitations on computer time. Paid for my sins with very cold hands, some days. I also used it and the library when my folks actually wanted the phone line or the house computer, or when aforesaid computer was broken. I remember being fifteen or so and wandering back at midnight or 2 AM or something after playing a Call of Cthulhu MUSH in which my character had tried to fight a Hound of Tindalos and accidentally shot a priest. The road was very dark and, as the students were gone, there was zero evidence of living humans. I was very glad to have the dog along with me.
    **Though I’ll never be a big fan of the caterpillar-slug genre of squishy things.

  124. @ Will J, very good points! I noticed the shift in music as well.

    @ Phil Knight, Le Corbusier’s chart can be found here: https://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Le_Corbusier

    He was born with Pluto in the 12th house, perfectly conjunct the Moon in Gemini! This forms a trine between his Sun in Libra perfectly conjunct Uranus! If I may play at a little bit of interpretation, the Moon and Pluto are in the 12th house, which would perhaps lead him towards intuitively understanding institutions. This might have been furthered by a sextile by Saturn in the third house, the house of communication. Uranus rules his tenth house cusp, the tenth house rules the career, and was found in the 5th house in the time of his birth conjunct the Sun. It also bears noting that the ruler of the 5th house is Mercury, the ruler of the entire chart. I imagine that his career was then a personal passion that he was able to put himself fully into. I also imagine that he worked to shake things up dramatically while providing ‘balanced’ function and aesthetic. The last point would perhaps tended to turn out rather badly, since the Sun in Libra is in his fall.

    Other than looking at Le Corbusier’s chart I’m not familiar with him much at all. To be totally honest, I’m not really conversant in architecture.

  125. Will, the problem with decommercializing the internet are the vast and rising resorce costs for the infrastructure of the internet (see the essay “The Death of the Internet: A Pre-Mortem” from the former Archdruid Report). But I could imagine it turning back to be something like the Arpanet.

    J. M. Greer, that would be a strange end to the oil age! Since there is no real historical precedent, the only possibility is to wait and se how the energy history of the whole 21st century will unfold.

  126. Hi JMG,

    Can I get your perspective on the purpose of reincarnation? I am slowly learning more about Steiner’s perspective on it, and I’m having trouble wrapping my head around some of it. I know that different traditions have different things to say about this, but maybe you can help with this, because I’m hoping there’s some similarities between the different traditions that can help me grasp the underlying purpose … or whatever.

    So from what I understand, each incarnation occurs to develop something different in the self. So in one life if you are good at math, that doesn’t mean in the next you’ll be good at math — you’ll actually likely be terrible at it, and you’ll be there to develop something different. So then is the whole purpose of reincarnation to develop your self as a whole? And to what end?

    This is particularly hard for me to grasp because my former Christian learning emphasized the complete opposite–suppression of the self. You would “die” to yourself. The only things worthwhile in this world were the things that were done for others. There are differences in what was worthwhile–some Christians think acts of service to others to showcase God’s love for the others are the most important, some think only spiritual acts (prayer, converting, preaching) done for others are important. I, in particular, always valued kindness and service to others, but come to find out recently that’s actually an integral part of my INFP personality type so that’s probably why I really identified with that aspect of Christianity.

    So I am having trouble with seeing self-development as being a good-in-itself thing. Is there a useful perspective you can give me?

    Also, does being able to remember your previous lives help take away the fear of death? Do you remember anything between incarnations?

    Thank you! I really appreciate it.

  127. To “Nothing Special,” re: art. I lean away from ‘ars gratia artis’ and into ‘ars gratia pedis’ – I knit socks. It satisfies my creative need, and keeps my feet warm. I use wool yarn, a renewable resource famous for its insulating properties.

    Bruce T – wow, that’s an amazing insight. Where all that anger will be routed in the absence of this scapegoat is a compelling question indeed. Thank you for that thought-starter.

    SaraDee, may I quote you from your GND comment? I fancy myself good with words, but doggone, you knocked these ideas out of the park.

    to Roger, re: whether more CO2 is beneficial to food production. I understand that plants grown in higher concentrations of CO2 grow faster and larger, but contain less nutrition. The analogy I recall is something like “Excessive CO2 is like feeding candy to plants – yes, they get big, but the growth isn’t healthy or healthful.”

  128. JMG, I’ve been a coffee drinker since age 12, but with increasing chronic health problems I’m now mostly off of it. what are some of your favorite teas and tea brands– whether Camellia sinensis, herbals or blends?

  129. Re the discussion pertaining to a potential second (American) civil war

    A civil war, to me, would represent a fundamental break-down of the most common of sense. (Of course, to some extent, isn’t all war such?) Our first (and hopefully only) civil war occurred during this nation’s ascent as an empire (the beginnings of which I’d still place at the Mexican-American War and the westward expansion generally under Manifest Destiny). We are now in that empire’s decline. The game–and the stakes–are fundamentally different.

    Moreover, given the regional animosity, why would one fight to keep the people of another region who wish to depart from doing so? One hears on the liberal side, for example, how hopeless and helpless “fly over country” would be on their own, it is nothing but dead-weight. (I heard this with some frequency on PW.) Okay, if the red states are all dead weight and they wished to leave, why would you not let them go? Why would you be willing to commit murder to force them to stay? Those actions would only make sense if it were recognized (as I’m sure it is, at some level) that bi-coastal country needs the resources and production of the interior hinterlands in order to maintain the way of life to which it has become accustomed.

    I’d continue to argue that our present construct is a direct product of our empire and is not tenable in the absence of that empire. The regional differences are coming once again to the surface. Either we learn to accommodate them–by a looser, (con)federal system, for example–or the various cultural nations that make up this country part ways. One can have an amicable divorce, if it comes to that…it doesn’t have to be an acrimonious event.

    My preference, for what it is worth, would be a) to establish reasonable conditions by which a state might leave this Union (e.g., ratification of a supermajority decision by its legislature by a supermajority referendum of state electors and acceptance of a pro rata portion of the national debt as of that ratification on the basis of the most recent census) so that those states which truly wish to chart their own course (and are willing to bear those costs) may do so, and b) to revise our federal system as a looser confederation of states, in structure somewhere between the arrangements of the original Constitution and the Articles of Confederation. As we’ve discussed many times before, a constitutional convention would be the appropriate vehicle to bring this about.

  130. “Walt, I think that happens to everyone now and again.”

    Thank you. I’ve always thought so too. But asking among friends, co-workers, and even Internet fora (infrequently over many years) hadn’t turned up anyone else who’d noticed it. Even my wife insists it never happens to her when I’m not present. So I had started to wonder if something strange was going on.

  131. Hello JMG and Commentariat-
    I’m looking for your recommendations for versions of the King Arthur legends for a bright 11-year-old boy. My son recently read an awful retelling for a class and I’m looking for some good ones to take the taste out of his mouth and fire his imagination. He’s a strong reader and has some experience with myths and legends. Illustrations, of course, are a plus.
    Many thanks-
    –Heather in CA

  132. @Jim, regarding “which side has all the guns.” Though I also don’t see a U.S. civil war as imminent, you make a good point. Let me add that looking over U.S. history, it appears to me that if one had attempted to predict the outcomes of our past major wars based on which side appears to have the most martial demeanor at the outset, ones success rate would be on the embarrassing side.

  133. Dear Phil Knight, Check this out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munson-Williams-Proctor_Arts_Institute. you would never, never, never guess that that concrete monstrosity is a museum. I think it was built in about the period you mentioned.

    Dear David by the Lake. Do consider the source of that bit of clever propaganda you are reading. Robert Kagan is a known quantity, a globetrotting apologist for colonialism and its’ “civilizing” influence dressed up in urban hipster drag. I have read several of his books and nowhere do I recall any admission on his part that it was the imperialists of the West who destroyed and destabilized stable ancient civilizations and cultures all across the globe. I am reading another bit of propaganda, masquerading as history, Seapower States, by one Andrew Lambert, grandiloquently subtitled “Maritime Culture, Continental Empires and the Conflict that Made the Modern World”. Once you drill through the academic verbiage, what emerges is a list of simplistic antitheses: Athens good/Sparta and Persia bad, Carthage good/Rome bad. I think it is going to turn out to be a kind of attempted justification of the British Empire. I found this at a library, I do not recommend anyone spend money on it, and I think our experience rather illustrates my point above about the politicization of library acquisitions, probably accomplished by infiltration of the organizations like Kirkus which advise librarians.

    The right might win a civil war, but then what? The resource base no longer exists to support 50s style white picket fence family life–mostly a myth, and the genie of women’s rights is not going back into a bottle on this continent at least. Nor will it be possible to reinstate mass market consumerism and the cultural conformity policing which kept people buying crap they didn’t need with money they didn’t have. My take on the Cultural Divide, for what it might be worth, is that the Far Left needs to figure out what country it is living in–the USA is not Czarist Russia–, and the Far Right needs to stop feeling sorry for itself and grow up.

  134. I find it striking that the rise of the Plutonian era was accompanied by some of the most horrific and blood-soaked dictatorships in history, regimes like the USSR (which reached its high pitch of horror during the Stalinist era), Nazi Germany and the militarists who seized power in Japan during the run-up to World War II.

    The rise of such Plutonian kakistocracies was accompanied by horrors like the Stalinist purges, the Holodomor and the Holocaust, the Gulags and Nazi Death Camps, World War II itself, the Rape of Nanking and the Bataan Death March, the destruction of entire cities such as Hamburg, Dresden and Tokyo by firebombing, culminating in the use of the ultimate Plutonian weapon, the atomic bomb, against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even after the war, we saw the horrors of Plutonian regimes like Maoist China, Baathist Iraq and the Khmer Rouge with its Killing Fields, not to mention the lurking fear of a nuclear holocaust that was always in the background during the Cold War.

    When the Grand Guignol closed it doors in 1962, the director said that one of the reasons was because real life horrors like the Holocaust far outstripped even the most terrifying fictional horrors they could come up with. He said “we could never equal Buchenwald. Before the war, everyone felt that what was happening onstage was impossible. Now we know that these things, and worse, are possible in reality.” Of course the Grand Guignol itself was a manifestation of the Plutonian influence on Faustian popular culture.

    It feels to me that as the Plutonian Age fizzles out, humanity is waking from a terrible nightmare.

  135. On the other hand, an argument in favor of your interpretation (Rome ≠ America), is that there are American cultural forms, like jazz and country music, which have no parallel in Europe; this wasn’t really true in Rome, which barely innovated on Greek forms at all.

    One finesse, perhaps not exactly true but suggestive, is to say that America east of the Appalachians is like Rome and America between the Appalachians and the Mississippi is the tamanous-America. That’s where jazz and country came from, after all. All the most Roman aspects of America: D.C. politics, Trump, European (i.e. Greek) culture, are on the east coast.

    Here’s an interesting passage from Eliot: “When peoples migrated across Asia and Europe in pre-historic and early times, it was a whole tribe, or at least a wholly representative part of it, that moved together. Therefore, it was a total culture that moved. In the migrations of modern times, the emigrants have come from countries already highly civilised. They came from countries where the development of social organisation was already complex. The people who migrated have never represented the whole of the culture of the country from which they came, or they have represented it in quite
    different proportions. They have transplanted themselves according to some social, religious, economic or political determination, or some peculiar mixture of these. There has therefore been something in the removements analogous in nature to religious schism. The people have taken with them only a part of the total culture in which, so long as they remained at home, they participated. The culture which develops on the new soil must therefore be bafflingly alike and different from the parent culture: it will be complicated sometimes by whatever relations are establiihed with some native race, and further by immigration from other than the original source. In this way, peculiar types of culture-sympathy and culture-clash appear, between the areas populated by colonisation and the countries of Europe from which the migrants came.” He explicitly gives America as an example of this. And he talks about the “unity of European culture”, not “Western [i.e. Europe & American] culture”.

  136. Two things: I watched part of a Jordan Petersen video (or is it Peterson?). He had a delivery like a charismatic preacher. That was enough to put me off. And for MethylEthyl: I’m okay with circumlocution but you have got me stumped. Egyptian eyeliner? Maybe it’s just a place women frequent so I wouldn’t know. Make that three things… so here goes: I’d like to see a leftist politics that isn’t ashamed of being straight, white and male. The names Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky and Bernie Sanders do seem to me to represent that. For what it’s worth I’m a veteran and a gun-owner, but the shooting range is far from being my favorite place and I haven’t fired an assult weapon since my honorable discharge in 1971 (I never liked those things!) And,finally, my supply of ammo is pitifully exiguous.
    Phutatorious across-the-lake

  137. ERICK!

    i just had to write because i loved your letter to John Michael Greer about how his work and ideas took slow root in your mind and needled you to Life! i call these Near Life experiences. congratulations, you’re turning into a Freak! an Outsider! a Thinker Artist..whatever. John Michael Greer has obviously been at this so long and has been married so long, that i want to remind you, as a freak artist myself, that when you start rummaging behind the scenery and sets, you’ll likely end up doing Much’s “Scream” in the fetal position quite often.

    But you have to wallow in the stench of Reality to get through the inevitable STAGES of waking up to Reality. and this is where Hero Time really comes in because no lover, no mother, father, or system or religion or mantra can make the existential realizations go away like gremlins or cute dwarves.

    i’m 52 now and have always been different and living on my own ice berg, but i’m STILL reeling at just how different i still am and continue to be. i used to think i was evil because people would have fun and be themselves with me then avoid me after that.

    but magic DOES happen when you are yourself and see where things take you and don’t look at other people and what they’re doing; that’s like modeling yourself after 3rd graders. a waste of real time and i can PROMISE you, adjusting your life according to 3rd graders’ expectations or ideas of morality and/or a good time will lead to enormous tragic amounts of gut wrenching regret for YOU. no lie. life is short. fxck the botoxed “3rd graders.” they don’t won’t pay your rent or get you anywhere away from The Scream.

    i can promise you it’s difficult being truly yourself different and living according to your values, but it’s the ONLY way you will or can ATTRACT others who’ll make sticking around as yourself worth it.

    Mr Greer has his best friend and i found mine from a modest fan letter among many at one time, one little fan letter so real and true and lacking b.s. …i feel like my entire writing career was just so’s i could meet my James (Swanson)– not the one who posted here already. mine goes by ThorBikes here i believe.

    so congratulations and do keep going. sometimes these awakenings can be so long drawn out and tedious when you expected something faster more bearable, more like a TV montage, where you wake up from an existential “oh my god this can’t be REAL” seizure and your loved ones surround you to wipe the spittle off your chin and pull the bit out your mouth so’s you wouldn’t bite your tongue as everyone hugs you and laugh and laugh at the end of the episode…

    nah. in real life people will run from you like you’ve messed your pants and left it that way. but it’s WORTH it.

    i’m still peeling this onion and some of us can only handle going so far down to the core before we tap out.

    good luck, Erick. there is very little support for where you are going so keep going and don’t shrink back. it’s one thing to talk about, write about, theorize about… but LIVING it? ay ay ay… romance is bloody. romance is going back out to your corner with heart wide open all over again and doing it again and again. it’s not fluffy. fluffy romance is Death.

    (smile)

    x

    p.s. other freaks are your kin.

  138. Caryn,

    Just a comment about Midland. My spouses father, as a young man, attend this school during the depression and had nothing but good to say about the place as an adult. I suppose that back then it was not a preppy prep school, but an actual rural living experience that probably benefited the students enormously. My FIL went there for more then just a semester, I think he attended Midland for about three years.

  139. Roger asked: “At the risk of being a global warming bore, I was wondering, if we’re really going back to the Pliocene in terms of global temperature, what that portends for agricultural productivity. Anybody have any ideas? Anybody read anything on this?”

    Without spending some time digging thru the back threads on the older GW forum, for specifics, as I remember it with higher CO2 levels plants grow better BUT their nutritional level decreases.

  140. @Methylethyl

    Regarding that eyeliner-named store: I get the same feeling.

    There is one here in town, and also in the city where my mom lives, and years ago they would send coupons for free $10 gift. It wasn’t even $10 off a certain amount purchased, I could just walk in the store, pick out any item that cost $10 or less and hand them the coupon and walk out with no cash outlay whatsoever.

    Here’s the thing: even though I could get free* stuff, I found it increasingly difficult to find anything I actually wanted: everything felt slimy/repulsive, if that makes any sense. I just didn’t want it, even for free. My last couple of times in the local store, and in the one in mom’s town, I ended up handing the coupon to other shoppers and walkIng out empty-handed. The very last time (about a year ago) I tried going there, I walked in, stood there about 30 seconds, and turned and walked out, feeling ill**. So, yeah, I think there is something going on.

    *TANSTAAFL. Somebody, somewhere, is paying.

    **What has changed over the years from when I liked getting their free stuff to when I started finding it repulsive? Well, I’ve taken up the study of magic (thanks to JMG!) Coincidence? Hmmmm….

  141. On the Democrat primary the candidate I’m most interested in is Tulsi Gabbard. She’s a genuine non-interventionist and has been totally consistent about that throughout her career. She was seen as a darling of the left wing of the party, but recently the prevailing story is that she’s a secret conservative (on social issues, that is). In any case she’s clearly the most independent and free-thinking Democrat in the race, and she looks like someone who can promote important Democrat ideas without getting bogged down in identity politics or promoting abortion. In a crowded field she’s one of few contenders who offers something unique.

    However it seems like there’s a concerted effort to sabotage her chances. The mainstream media have barely talked about her at all (except maybe the first couple days after she announced). Often I see news stories profiling the candidates that don’t even mention her, even while talking up total nobodies like Pete Buttigieg and people who aren’t even running. And on top of that Democrats are now funding a challenger for her Senate seat back home in Hawaii.

    You would think that as a young, telegenic female candidate who is a member of a religious and an ethnic minority would be just the thing to get the media excited. But I think the mainstream media has totally reevaluated its role after the 2016 election. If you’ve read Amy CHozick’s book Chasing Hillary you’ll get some insight on this. In that book Chozick offers repeated me culpas for supposedly undermining Hillary- specifically for reporting on the DNC hacks, but also for giving Trump too much coverage, reporting on Hillary’s various scandals, giving Bernie too much coverage, and for reporting on Hillary’s frosty relationship with the press. So basically her sin was reporting the news. I believe her thinking mirrors many media figures who believe they were partly responsible for Trump’s victory and want to right that wrong. So they’ll be pushing the DNC’s preferred candidate using the DNC’s preferred narrative. The media sees it as their responsibility to stop “fringe” Democrats who has the potential to hurt other Democrat candidates. (I think Bernie fairs a little better because he’s too popular to ignore and because he’s no longer really viewed as dangerous or controversial.)

    Tulsi Gabbard’s troubles can’t all be blamed on outside forces. Apparently her campaign organization is a mess and I think she announced her candidacy before she was really prepared to campaign. Still, I think the DNC is putting their thumb on the scale again, and if they succeed I’ll quit the Democrat party for good.

  142. In Kentucky, a county sheriff has announced that due to lack of tax income he is no longer able to make ends meet. There’s no longer a local newspaper for him to announce this to, so he took to Facebook.

    https://southerlymag.org/2019/02/27/theyre-cutting-everything-as-coal-disappears-appalachians-lose-access-to-basic-services/

    Now that we’ve had some poorly thought-out “political revolutions” I wonder what young people are looking to for hope in areas like this.

  143. I am having a major freak-out now. So that creepy store is named for an egyptian eyeliner. I just now read that eyeliner is made of a compound of antimony (antimony sulfide). According to the wikipedia article on antimony, the alchemical symbol for antimony is an equal-armed cross above a circle. Just like the two symbols used in the CGD (and presumably other) traditions. Care to guess which JMG book I’ve been taking my lessons from over the last couple of years as I’ve become more repulsed by that store? Care to guess at the timing of my careful crafting of a green circle and red cross out of the best plank of oak I could get my hands on and the timing of the last visit to the store?

    Am I reading too much into this?

  144. Re: the department store chain named for an Egyptian eyeliner – oh, great Ghu, yes! They’re my poster children for why retail is dying. I went in to get a jacket once. The style I wanted was way up on a rack so high, a professional basketball player could not have gotten it down for me to look at or try on. Another customer and I roamed the aisles for some time looking for a clerk. And when we finally found one, even she had to go get a special tool to get the jacket down. Standing in line and actually buying the thing? Just about as hard. Not just the long line, but clunky procedures.Are they *trying* to run off customers? SprawlMart may have many counters so unattended you can try to get someone there for hours, but it’s not half as bad. And that’s saying a lot. (Plus, you can grab a cup of coffee on the way out, if you don’t mind leaving your cart full of merchandise by the entrance.)

  145. Since someone mentioned copyright law its worth noting that Mickey Mouse is going to enter the public domain within the next few years, so we can expect the government to change copyright laws soon. Don’t know it it’ll effect books though.

  146. Kohl’s never bothered me when I used to shop there, but it’s been a good ten years since I was in one. I wonder if in the meantime it’s been bought by an evil hedge fund?

    Speaking of which, if justice ever returns to the U,S., I hope that jackass who trashed Sears and K-mart is jailed for life + 20 years.

  147. ERICK and JOHN MICHAEL GREER…

    man, that was so beautiful, that interchange. wow. it’s STILL with me and Erick, i must say thank you writing such a true for reminding me that this writing thing and going it alone ISN’T all a fxcking waste after all! and my toes wiggled when i read your love letter to Greer over about 3 or 4 times. yes, love letter, because it is SO profoundly generous to tell a writer how much his work touched and changed your life. when i started rudely blurting compliments by accident, i noticed how people caved so fast because i’d interrupted the stream of criticism in their own heads. i was horrified at how easily they thus can be manipulated by flattering hustlers and players. people can tell legitimate compliments. that’s why i believe that people truly know when they’re being cheated on played or hustled; because they WANT to be. they need the illusion… back to Munch’s scream.

    you can’t just face reality on one level on sunday and do what you want the rest of the week… you will go mad. not in the good way that i think madness is sanity in this society of “you’ve got to be kidding me” at every corner.

    anyhow…

    i’m trying to say that Greer died already. he makes it sound so easy. he had to die to not give a fxck. it is the most unnatural tendency to do what you know will push you on the outside of the herd or house. you can die this way. or lose your mind.

    that’s why everyone honors his wife so much. my James? people merely MEET him and burst out laughing for understanding what is in his eyes. he’s a good man. a solid man to be best friends with a girl who can’t even do the dishes and insists on dancing out in the streets to argue with the police these new folks call on me merely because they’re “uncomfortable.”

    this is my art now that i thought writing was meaningless. i took to the streets and freak people out one at a time now.

    so THIS is why it warms the cockles of my motherfxckin SOUL to see how his words quietly defibrillated you back to yourself to start asking the scary questions. and the empathy you mentioned! you see how HARD it is to hate people?

    i have been attacked beat up on the street while dancing three times and each time i can’t fight back; i can just protect myself because i see their FEAR, their terror… that they don’t know WHAT the hell to do with how my dancing made them FEEL all the sudden.

    it is mad dangerous work to try and shock dead people back to life. that’s also why i love seeing how gently and strongly that worked, his art into your soul! i love it. i love it that you still can wake someone through writing like how people used to write… for the nosebleed seats past the bleechers, you know? not just for sugar hits of DO YOU READ ME DO YOU LIKE ME?

    so thanks for the inspiration, both of you. i’m gonna kick it up ever MORE out here in my way. and don’t worry; i haven’t been beat up in at least a year now i think. maybe i just needed to test the perimeters to see how far i could go now as an old lady. NOT very far, i’ll tell you.

    i was figuring if not now, WHEN will i get my own tin foil hat years?

    Erick, it is WAY more fun here. way more fun. i’m in the mission san francisco and with gentrification all around me, we’re under seige because i have NEVER been this close to “regular” people now that all the freaks and artists are gone. man… these people are MISERABLE. that is NOT the party you wanna go to. the erotic is gone and so is privacy and free time.

    fight back, man… if not now.. WHEN are YOUR tin foil hat years?

    keep going. you’ll understand Munch’s painting to the point where you LAUGH and giggle.

    welcome to being human. and good luck. back to the here and now of the kitty in the window on my bed… i just HAD to thank you for telling me all my former books and the shows the trying to catch girls on fire with words so many words.. might NOT be a total waste of fxcking time. (smile)

    x

    ps. sorry Mr. Greer for the land grab. Shane wasn’t around so i had to take up space til he returns. (wink) but i was SO happy. love letters are part of my “art” now. i have to tell someone whenever they’ve made me so happy or even a little happy. because i already tell folks when i’m not feelin’ ’em. gotta over balance the love gushing. it’s fun. my toes wiggle and i feel 13 everytime. love is harder to show than anything i’ve ever dared myself to do, and i was suicidal up til i saw how James looked when i was last in a motorcycle accident.

  148. Building off your answer to a question Monk asked – You say the US global hegemony will be totally collapsed by 2045.

    Will the United States be looking at an internal living situation like Venezuela is facing at that point, collapsed currency, hyper inflation, etc. Wouldn’t we be much more vulnerable to socialism at that point? The United States barely eeked through the 19th century, ie Civil War – The Industrial Revolution started right after. We’ve never really a deindustiralized USA that was any kinda of stable/livable, and I’m not sure we’re up for it.

  149. Will, I don’t see anything in either my primary email (green wizard dtrammel at gmail dot com) or my alt which is the lapropdoc one, either main or spam. Which email did you reply to?

  150. I’m writing from Burlington, Vermont. I’m in the very center of Bernie’s base, and I’m sorry to say they response to his candidacy here has been more ambivalent than I would have hoped or expected. One person I know dismissed it saying “I’m not sure we need another old white guy running right now.” another said that he considers Bernie to be a “negative influence at this point”. My own significant other shrugged and said something about there being many candidates to consider.

  151. @Violet

    “One thing that I think is going on concerns the sorts of lives people live. People are lonely. People are frightened. People feel trapped, desperate, and torn.”

    JMG feel free to chime in and correct me – I don’t want to mislead anyone. JMG is loneliness like the flagella of the “wills” in the universe that go through reincarnation? Is it also fair to say, if we are standing on loneliness, we are at the worst point we can be in a meditative state, with loneliness being close to chaos and entropy?

    I don’t think the loneliness is a bad thing, the chord essential to the full power and breadth of sensation. What people are feeling because of brutalist architecture, shallow culture, industrialization, isn’t loneliness as far as I can tell – It is spiritual starvation. When the spirit starves, it feels pain through loneliness. There might be good memories rattling around inside it, this life or past life. I think when a lonely spirit remembers, it sees things in the superficial view only because it cannot bear the full weight of emotion and sensation, nor should it.

    Loneliness is the one feeling no one can take away from us. It is the one feeling we are left with no matter what. It hurts us when it is the only nail we have left stand on. Being lonely isn’t a problem if you can turn other feelings into spiritual legs to stand on. Happiness in life is what we’re meant to stand on. Who, anymore, is left with what they need to be happy?

  152. I’ve been dabbling in astrology a bit, and am confused about the distinction between ruling planets versus dispositors. I take it that the chart ruler is the planet that rules the ascendant, and that dispositors are planets located in signs in which they rule. I’m curious about the distinction and how the two manifest themselves. My initial sense of it is that the ruling planet would have an effect on each area of life, whereas the dispositor would have an exaggerated effect on the area of life corresponding to the house its in. Thoughts appreciated, as always!

  153. @JMG: “Under capitalism, the people who run big business also run the government, while under socialism it’s exactly the other way around.”

    Accurate, though I’ve talked to plenty of adherents of both systems who claim otherwise. They always make a distinction between actually-existing capitalism or actually-existing socialism, and the idealized forms of their preferred ideology. Libertarians say that the U.S. isn’t true capitalism, because government-sponsored corporate monopolies violate the spirit of competitive entrepreneurship at the heart of capitalism. Communists say that the U.S.S.R. wasn’t true socialism, because a centralized command economy controlled by a small group of unelected bureaucratic elites violates the spirit of egalitarianism at the heart of socialism.

    I’m not sure which side you come down on, in theory. In practice, there’s no real way to test who’s right, since both systems always end up getting derailed by poor execution, lack of foresight, perverse incentives, irrational behavior, and so forth. A major part of the problem is that the humans who comprise actual real life societies rarely behave as the perfectly rational frictionless spheroids that the theories presume them to be.

  154. @ Matt in response to getting books via non-legal means.

    Personally I am very compassionate to the cause of keeping works alive beyond the initial print. There will be a point that we will have occasionally go against the law just to keep some works around but that is the difference between just being hard to get and it not be available at all. Copyright is necessary, however 70 years after death of the author, I do not agree on that length but that is a different issue.

    Being expensive and difficult to acquire is very different from the work not being available.

    Look at JMG’s work – I know places online that will give me copies of his books at no cost but that would be a disservice to the work that he is doing. I feel it is not just a disservice to John but also to the good spirit of having people rewarded for putting their best foot forward and producing a work for others.

    There is also the added bonus of actually having a physical book is a more tangible and intimate experience. I have tried to read books via computers and personally it just doesn’t do the format any justice.

  155. What’s your take on tattoos? It seems like everyone in my generation has at least one, if not fifty, and for the life of me I cannot understand their appeal. I can get behind temporary body art like henna, and once in a blue moon I’ll even draw symbols on myself with a pen, but the idea of permanently altering your flesh simply never computed for me, even with something like “I love Mom,” and I have one friend who deeply regrets getting tattooed.

    Am I missing something? Do you think there are ever any benefits to getting permanent tattoos? For example, in a tribal and/or magical context? Or do you think it’s just an all around bad idea?

  156. Was in the thrift store the other day and wondered: would you consider the proliferation of thrift stores to be an early feature of what you have called a “salvage society?” Seems to me that it would be.

  157. The 1980s and first half of the 1990s seem quite Plutonian to me: this seems plausible since Pluto was in its sign of Scorpio. What this makes me wonder is whether or not astrologically we were doomed: the loss of the awareness of limits to growth being inevitable when Pluto entered its sign.

    Reading the modern astrology works I have access to discuss Sun in Aries/Libra, traditionally thought of as being the Exaltation and Fall of the sun, they don’t seem as extreme as I’d expect.

    However, Sun in Sagittarius seems quite good, while sun in Gemini seems to be a bad sign: this, combined with the way that what happened in the 1970s, when Pluto was in Libra, seem to suggest (to me at least) Pluto was in its fall in Libra, with the sun’s exaltation and fall having shifted (temporarily?)

    Additionally, this would also fit with another theme: Pluto and Venus are very disharmonious, so it would make sense if Pluto had its Fall in the sign ruled by Venus. Additionally, this would mean that it would have its Exaltation in Aries, and Pluto and Mars are (comparatively) harmonious.

    This has another effect that I find has high explanatory power: the extreme cultural shifts of the early 1980s were the result of Pluto shifting from its fall, and thus being weakened, into its sign and thus at maximum power.

    The big one that has me wondering is that if Pluto is linked to oil, then it would make sense that if Pluto was weakened, there would be disruptions in oil supply: sure enough, that happened in the 1970s, starting not long after Pluto entered Libra.

    Additionally, the voracious consumer culture experienced a temporary disruption, which many reacted to by finding better things to do with their time. In the political sphere, there was a massive disruption as well, as the dubious practices of decades came to light all at once.

    Finally, there’s the environmental movement, which had a great deal of success during those years, and then promptly died in the early 1980s. Pluto, as planet of death, would seem opposed to environmental awareness: but if weakened then something could get underway.

  158. Hi JMG

    How do you feel about people buying used copies of books. I do actually try to buy your books new as a round about trip to the tip jar, but in the case of some other authors, I usually go to used book resources. (I’m in a book club and if the book isn’t available through the library I buy a used copy.)

    Thanks,
    Candace

  159. Hi JMG,
    Some time back, you mentioned that human population growth seems to be flattening out, and you’re expecting to see our numbers start to decline in your lifetime.

    What sources do you have on that? I would love for it to be true, but I keep running into predictions of an endlessly growing population.

  160. Violet,

    The funny thing is that lots of people didn’t: it’s only know that I’m listening to hit music from the Plutonian Ear (half research and half finding all this music touches my soul is nice) that anyone in my family has realized how dark it was.

    Booklover,

    I suspect a non-commercial internet would have to resemble Arpanet. Rereading my comment, I see how it was unclear, so my apologies.

    Walt,

    Happens to me too!

    Just the Usual Baboonery,

    The same thought struck me as well. I think it’s a very good thing the planet’s fading out, even if while it does I feel surrounded by a saccharine society. I’m happy it’s fading for much more personal reasons as well: Pluto tends to cause lots of problems if it’s strong.

    Varun,

    No need to apologize! It could happen to anyone. I found it mildly amusing that I knew what you were talking about and had to look to see if I’d mentioned it here, and then found Will M’s comment. I think we’ve discussed Indian politics before, so that might be why you made the mistake.

    David Trammel,

    The Green Wizard one, but I’ve had a few emails disappear lately. I think I need to set up one I pay for so I can get actual tech support….

  161. Hi John,
    Two completely different thoughts:
    1) If telekinesis is strong and subject to natural selection, then it may be possible for an alien being to manipulate objects without the use of humanlike limbs. This might be of particular use in an aquatic environment where limbs could conflict with the need for a more streamlined body for mobility.
    2) I propose a bell-shaped “entrepreneurial curve” for analyzing a society’s optimal social safety net. If the safety net is too threadbare, otherwise enterprising individuals will decide not to start a business and instead seek employment. (Perhaps they have family responsibilities, or health issues.) If the safety net is too cushy, otherwise enterprising individuals may choose to coast on a guaranteed annual income (as apparently happened in Finland recently.) But somewhere in-between there’s an optimal safety net (perhaps one that includes universal health insurance?) that maximizes business risk taking. Now one concern might be that the taxation needed to finance such a safety net would (pace the Laffer curve) reduce the incentive to start a business. I believe this depends on the particular structure of the tax–perhaps the centimillionaires and above would agree it’s in the public interest to have part of their wealth plowed back into a safety net that increases economic vitality?

  162. @a reader: yes! I understand one hundred percent when you say the things felt slimy. There is just something about the place… interesting that it’s a thing you used to like, but have stopped liking since taking up a magical discipline. I’m not a practitioner myself, but have always (despite being socially oblivious) had a keen sense of self preservation, when it comes to knowing which people to avoid. What puzzles me about the retail establishment mentioned is that my reaction to it is very like my reaction to people-best-avoided. And it feels weird to mentally equate a rather impersonal commercial outlet to an “icky” person.

    The concept of egregore seems a helpful one for navigating that puzzle.

    @ sleepybat: Sorry to hear about your job situation! That sounds stressful, at the least. Would you mind if I prayed for you?

    @Phutatorius: Wikipedia has an article on Beauty and cosmetics in ancient Egypt that covers the basics. It’s an interesting topic!

  163. Thomas, that’s a subject for a good-sized book! The very short form, though, is that the materialists are like fish who are trying to figure out where water is. Consciousness is not located in anything; all things are located in consciousness. We create, out of raw phenomena that exist nowhere but in consciousness, a pattern of consciousness we call “the world,” and then lose track of the fact that it’s a pattern in consciousness and try to find consciousness inside it. Consciousness is the only existence we know, or will ever know; from pure consciousness, “subjects” and “objects” (both of which are phenomena in consciousness) polarize out in the act of knowing.

    Prizm, the political establishment is getting ever more desperate. What I’m seeing on the ground, though, is the spreading of cracks in the wall. Here in bright blue Rhode Island, where the local library was full of books denouncing Trumpismo, the latest shelf of new books include a flurry of pro-Trump titles. Trump’s approval ratings are up in some surprising demographics, and the shrill theater in the House may find itself playing to much smaller audiences than the promoters thereof expect. But we’ll see…

    Monk, if you can only use one metaphor for a subject, do you have the metaphor, or does the metaphor have you?

    Booklover, there’s no exact precedent, but societies that exploit nonrenewable resources until those are gone, and then collapse, are fairly common.

    Jess, first of all, remember that much of what you were taught in church was there as a means of social control. That was very explicit as recently as the 1920s — you’d read essays by the rich talking about how the poor had to be taught the Christian virtues of self-abnegation so they’d shut up and do what their betters told them. Extreme self-denial is as unhealthy as extreme self-assertion; if you don’t love yourself, how can you love others as yourself?

    That said, the point of reincarnation is the unfolding of the unique possibilities of the self. Each soul comes into being with a destiny and a set of potentials unlike any other, since each soul has a place in the great pattern of the cosmos; we’re not unfolding our potentials solely for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the universe and all beings in it. I disagree with the Steinerian notion that you go from a life where you’re good at math to a life where you suck at it, because again, your potentials are not those of any other soul; you’re not being measured against an arbitrary standard of human potential but solely in terms of your own unique destiny. That’s why capacities learned in one life generally carry over. Mozart makes no sense without reincarnation — a kid who can play the violin like an expert at age eight has obviously had a lot of previous practice!

    If compassion and service are important to you, it may be that that’s part of your unique destiny, one aspect of your place in the pattern of the cosmos. Follow that out as far as you feel you should go.

    As far as death, well, yes — people are afraid of it because they don’t know what it’s like. It doesn’t bother me — it usually hurts, but most of the time it’s over with pretty quickly and then you go through some changes, pull yourself together, and move on.

    Michelle (if I may) “ars gratia pedis” — thank you for this! You’ve just earned tonight’s gold star with crossed knitting needles.

    Copeland, I’m a green tea drinker — learned to drink it from my Japanese stepmother, and never stopped. (Coffee gives me migraines.) I prefer ordinary bancha, and make it very light by European-tea standards.

    David, granted. I have a purely emotional desire to see the country hold together, but we’ll see.

    Walt, hmm! I could be wrong; I find on using my favorite search engine on the subject, that there seems to be quite a bit of discussion of it in the parapsychology scene these days. It happens to me fairly often, and I’d assumed it was just one of those things.

    Heather, get your son Howard Pyle’s The Story of King Arthur and His Knights! Good solid storytelling, and dear gods, the glory of the illustrations — Pyle was a first-rate artist and illustrator, telling stories he loved. Once your son’s enjoyed those, start looking for the novels of Rosemary Sutcliffe — a stunningly good English children’s author who wrote tales set in Britain from the Bronze Age straight through to the Elizabethan era. The Eagle of the Ninth and The Silver Branch, both set in Roman Britain, are good introductions to her work; any imaginative child with a taste for swords and armor will adore her books. (I certainly did.)

    Baboonery, well, Pluto is the lord of the underworld, so it’s not at all surprising that the period of his dominion was a pretty fair imitation of Hell.

    Monk, I suspect ancient migrations were more varied than Eliot thought. Yes, there were some where whole cultures made the move, but there were certainly others where all the evidence suggests that it was much closer to the American experience — and it was in the latter cases that the places where they settled ended up pupping wholly new cultures.

    Will1000, that’s so perfect it’s funny. Black swans incoming…

    Warren, of course they’re doing everything in their power to scuttle her chances. the Democratic Party believes in exactly the same things as the pre-Trump GOP — they just like to dress it up in “progressive” drag. When someone comes along who genuinely wants to do what the Democratic party establishment loves to talk about, the knives come out very quickly indeed. (Does the name Eugene McCarthy ring any bells at all these days?)

    Avery, the county where I used to live in southern Oregon closed all its public libraries and shut down most other county services because there’s no tax money to pay for them. The next county over no longer has a sheriff’s department, for the same reason. That’s part of the slow bleed of (social) infrastructure in a society in terminal decline…

    A reader, no, probably not. TSW…

    Patricia, got it. Fair enough.

    Kitten, no apologies needed!

    Methylethyl, a couple of other people have chimed in now. You’re not crazy at all — and the fact that the others are occultists or witches makes me think even more highly than I did of Eastern Orthodox spirituality. 😉

    Hobbit, it really depends on details, but yes, we could end up in that kind of mess.

    Alex, he may have shot his bolt.

    Hobbit, loneliness is one of the whips. There are plenty of others — but when you set foot on the inward path, you’re going to get a lot of that. Manly P. Hall chose well when he titled one of his volumes The Ways of the Lonely Ones.

    JMA, dispositors are strong in the houses whose cusps are in the signs they rule, but not more generally. The chart ruler, since it governs the ascendant, gives a flavor to the whole personality.The chart ruler can also be weak, which dispositors can’t be, and that also tells you something about the personality the dispositors won’t tell you.

    Ashara, oh, sure, it’s easy for them to talk about wholly imaginary states of affairs — things that never have happened and never will happen, not once in the history of forever — and label those “real capitalism” and “real socialism.” I prefer to use the term “real” for what actually happens; in the case of capitalism, crazed kleptocracy that now and then can get reined in a bit by popular outrage; in the case of socialism, gray bureaucratic tyranny with a side order of genocidal mania.

    Sam, I have no idea. I’ve never been interested in getting a tattoo myself, but to each their own; some people apparently like doing that.

    Curtis, yep, and it’s a very good sign that stores and shoppers are responding to the emerging salvage society by selling and buying salvage so enthusiastically.

    Will, that works.

    Candace, I’m totally good with people buying used books. Somebody bought that copy new, so I got my share; the used bookstore gets a share, too, and I adore used bookstores.

    Cliff, I haven’t been able to find the articles again, but there were a number of good demographic studies over the last couple of years showing that the population curve was going S-shaped in a big way. Perhaps your search engine fu is better than mine.

    Greg, I’d have to see some evidence first that telekinesis is strong; given that, though, your logic works. As for your bell-shaped curve, agreed: there’s always a healthy middle zone between harmful extremes…

  164. @ Alex

    I think one of reasons Bernie Sanders isn’t catching much traction even on his home turf is because a lot of his supporters felt betrayed by the way he caved into Hillary after all revelations came out about the way the nomination had been stolen from him. He even openly prostituted himself before the Hillary camp and told his supporters they should be good little Democrats and go to bat for her though he himself had been blatantly cheated out of the nomination by Clinton cronies like Debbie Wasserman-Shultz in front of the entire world. It was one of the most cringeworthy spectacles I have ever seen. I remember watching coverage of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. The level of disappointment, disbelief and cognitive dissonance on display by Bernie supporters was truly astonishing.

    At that point, Sanders lost a huge amount of credibility. I think a lot of the people who supported him last time around are now thinking of the old adage “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. They saw that when push came to shove, he turned out to be just another spineless cuck, which seems to be the liberal ideal of manhood these days. They “felt the Bern” and don’t want to get burned again by someone who demonstrated his true colors at the last Democratic National Convention.

  165. @Heather in CA: I had the Howard Pyle stories of King Arthur, when I was a kid. The language is challenging to modern readers. The illustrations are gorgeous. They have it over on project Gutenberg if you want to take a peek at it and see if it suits your needs, and it’s still in print if you decide you want a hard copy.

  166. JMG,

    “in the case of capitalism, crazed kleptocracy that now and then can get reined in a bit by popular outrage”

    I hate to say it, but the one time I know of where capitalism has been reigned in (roughly 1930-2006) there was a powerful force helping us, but one we wouldn’t want repeated: Pluto. Since Pluto is specifically the Greek god of death, it’s worth generalizing from Greek ideas: the shades of the dead are all alike, and “We are all equal in death” is a common sentiment in that world.

    This would suggest that despite the counter pressures generated by the dark and dangerous aspects to Pluto, a conformity and equality inducing tendency should also be observed: sure enough, at least for North America, the period ruled over by Pluto is highly conformist compared to the weird and highly eccentric history of our continent (I don’t know enough of the rest of the world to discuss it). The Greeks loved irony, and many of them thought the gods were ironic in nature, so it’s also fitting in a weird way that one of the most prominent forces pushing back at this was none other than Pluto.

    Another point is that there was the fiction of equal sovereign states (a fiction that has started cracking, again, suggesting a connection to Pluto), which admittedly hid a much different and far darker reality (again, Plutonian); so the pressure for conformity and equality can be witnessed on another scale as well.

    As well, both Canada and the US have Pluto’s discovery locations conjunct the sun in our foundation charts, which suggests our governments would be Plutonian, and both governments heavily pushed for conformity in various ways, one of them being pushing policies to reduce income and wealth inequality.

    Additionally, the fact that when Pluto came in coincided with the Great Depression, which saw a huge amount of paper wealth vanish, bringing everyone together in misery, would also seem to support the idea that one of the ways that Pluto acted was bringing incomes together.

    Finally, although it was long coming, wealth inequality, like a great many other things, changed in the early to mid 2000s. Of course, it was building off trends set in motion in the 1970s, when Pluto was weakened, which also seems to suggest a connection.

  167. @JMG: That’s perfectly fair! I suppose whether there’s any value in these utopian ideals really depends on where you fall in the nature vs. nurture debate. If you believe that human nature is completely immutable and that human behavior is effectively fixed, then none of these ideologies are ever going to work as intended and nothing can really change that. But if you believe that human nature is wholly malleable and that people are total blank slates, then it makes sense that people raised in a utopian society (whether it’s capitalist, socialist, anarchist, or what have you) would behave in the ways necessary to make that society work. Anarchist political philosophy, which in many ways is even more idealistic than either pure libertarian capitalism or pure egalitarian socialism, is largely built upon the assumption that people in an anarchist society wouldn’t have the same selfish or tribalistic drives that people do now. Ask an anarchist “what’s to keep people from hurting each other without any enforcement mechanisms to prevent such behavior?” and the typical answer is “in an anarchist society, they wouldn’t want to hurt each other in the first place.”

    Myself, I tend toward the nurture side of the debate, although I acknowledge that there are limits to how much human nature can be changed, especially if we’re talking on the global level rather than the individual scale. Due to the nature of perverse incentives and race-to-the-bottom dynamics, all it really takes is a relatively small percentage of bad actors to drag the entire system down with them.

  168. JMG,

    I wonder what weapon would make a lightning bolt shaped mark. Very interesting, thank you.

    – RMK

  169. The whole discussion about Plutonian influences has led me to the idea, that maybe, we can expect modern society in the West to become a bit saner for the next few decades, because that is what the waning of Plutonian aspects of society would imply.

    Curtis (amd JMG), thrift stores, book exchange booths and the like exist in Germany, too, but their role is rather modest, maybe because people in Germany don’t throw as much away as in the United States; I don’t really know.

    It is interesting that the outlines of the salvage economy are quite a bit easier to see than the still-embryonic outlines of scarcity industrialism (currently: more resource nationalism, stricter regulation of multinational corporations in China and India, tariffs, more regionalization of the Internet, more resistance to immigration).

    About the store named Kohls, I have had experiences a bit similar. In the city where I live there is a hobby store which tend to have the cheapest and most kitschy kind of pupular hobby supplies, and not very much else. Many single items are wrapped in plastic. The vibe of this store is rather cheap, and I didn’t buy much there. A children toy’s store in the main mall of the city doesn’t feel as cheap, but the kind of toys which there are make the place feel a bit gross.

  170. I’m watching my church emotionally desintigrate over the last few days (who expected American liberal Christians would react so poorly to African, Asian, and South American traditional Christians telling them no? I did, and unfortunately they did not surprise me) and wondering if, perhaps, the idea of a global church is incompatible with the American tamanous in the first place, and secondly, if the entire Protestant Reformation was in some way a pre-figuring of that tamanous spirituality? I suspect this latter is something someone could put a lifetime of study into.

    I also have no tattoos and think them rather trashy, but I’m well known to be oddly old-fashioned.

    I do have streetlights go out on me fairly often, walking or driving. I also cannot wear a battery powered watch against my skin: it will stop within six months. I’m keeping my eyes open for a windup-I have a feeling I’d get along better with one.

    For all the folks considering the possible merits of various civil war scenarios, look for a voting map labeled “The Clinton Archipeligo” which is a county-level breakdown of the 2016 election. It’s very geographically illuminating. Shows up on the book of face quite frequently, but I’m sure is otherwise locatable.

  171. Hi John Michael,

    Thank you for offering this forum.

    I hope that it is not too cold up your way? As a comparison we’re experiencing the hottest summer on record and I’m halfway through a heatwave which looks set to conclude next Monday. As I type this missive, it is hot both inside and outside the house. Oh well.

    I am curious about a certain matter, especially given that down here we have just experienced the hottest summer on record for the continent: Summer 2018-19 was hottest on record, BOM says, with little relief expected for autumn. An impressive achievement which we’ll no doubt better in the future!

    The thing I’m curious about is: Have you ever cast a reading in relation to the future climate in your part of the world? And were you happy with the outcome of the reading?

    As an interesting side note for you, one of the things that I’m observing here, is that there are surpluses to be had from natural systems, but they are not as large as we (as a society) have come to expect given our heady diet of fossil fuels. With that story in mind, I’m busy trying to maintain my existing systems (despite the extreme hot and dry weather), but also extend and expand them. That circumstance is a complex situation, and I can see that I’ll eventually reach the point of diminishing returns, although I’m not there yet by a long way. Interestingly, fruit and vegetable prices have risen here recently due to the sheer scale of the ecological problems facing the agricultural industry and I do wonder if it will motivate more people to become interested in the origins of their food? Dunno.

    Cheers

    Chris

  172. One thing,
    Iodine is a nutrient we don’t generally get enough of, you’re right. Thats why we add it to salt, to make sure we’re getting a regular dose of the stuff. When my family moved to straight sea salt, without the added iodine, we had all sorts of iodine deficiency problems. Took us a while to recognize what was going on, but once we straightened it out the issues went away immediately.

    Same is true with the so-called “iodine value” of fats. The iodine value is how many grams of iodine are consumed (bound up) by 100 g of fat. That iodine is rendered useless, tied up in the fatty acid structure, and not available for metabolic processes.

    So here’s one indicator that saturated fat is indeed good for you, since iodine value is a direct measure of the degree of unsaturation of a fat. The more unsaturated the fatty acid chain the more iodine a fat will consume in the digestion process, the HIGHER the iodine value number.

    Therefore, based on the iodine value index, polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oils are the worst fats for the human body, followed by monounsaturated fats like olive oil, and led by saturated fats like lard and tallow. These latter are the best fats for humans to consume, and have the LOWEST iodine values. That is, they sequester the least iodine from your dietary intake in the digestion process.

    Bing! We’re back to your argument in favor of!

    BTW, did you know that whole milk is healthier and easier to lose weight on than any of the fat-modified offerings? The process of removing fat from milk makes ugly milk…

    Whole lot of lies in the world of nutrition. It’s more economic that way.

    Cheers.

  173. Curtis,
    There is a huge success story to be had in the little north Georgia town I live in. We have a thrift shop here called Faith, Hope, and Charity, a big one, that takes in donations almost constantly during business hours. Last year alone they donated over HALF A MILLION bucks to the community after their bills were paid.

    They fund the local private Christian academy, they bought the Boys and Girls Club building and gave it to them, without interfering in their secular mission, they fund the men’s shelter, the women’s shelter…

    I’m not a Christian but I go out of my way to support operations like that!! What a community jewel.

  174. And talk about putting your money where your mouth is. The conservative Christians who run the aforementioned thrift store vote consistently to reduce federal budgets and obligations, but also ACT in the same interest by personally taking on those burdens with their business profits.

    Dems could take a lesson here…

  175. @ JMG

    Re a desire for the country to hold together

    I can’t disagree. I live here in WI, my blood-relations are almost all in FL, I retain a definite fondness for SC, and I was born in the same town you were. I’d prefer that we learn to get along. I just don’t know if it’ll happen in the long run.

    @ Nastarana

    Re imperial propaganda

    Oh, granted! It was obviously that 🙂 I found it interesting, too, how the title alone even tied in with many of the themes we’ve discussed on this blog and its predecessor. Consider the imagery: The Jungle Grows Back . Wild, untamed, dangerous nature which must be cut back, contained, civilized. This kind of imagery stretches all the way back to Sumer and Marduk’s defeat of Tiamat.

    I must admit I like the idea of making a game of writing little notes rebutting the argument of the treatise and sticking them in the book before I return it the library. It’ll be fun!

    @ Warren

    Re Gabbard

    I don’t disagree there either. Sanders and Gabbard are the two Democrats I’d be willing to vote for at this point. I’ll certainly be voting for one of them in the WI primary. We’ll see who all gets on the ballot for the general.

  176. Another hat in the ring:

    https://politicalwire.com/2019/03/01/inslee-announces-presidential-bid/

    Speaking of hubris, imagery, and choice of language:

    “We’re the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we’re the last who can do something about it. We went to the moon, and created technologies that have changed the world. Our country’s next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time — defeating climate change.”

    Waaaay too much triumphalism. We can, at best, mitigate some of the changes already underway, and will in the end have to adapt to the substantial changes that are already locked in. “Defeat” is not a possibility.

  177. @Ashara & JMG:

    On Capitalism/Socialism.

    Just a thought, (perhaps a reminder?), if I may jump in, I think the issue is that there simply is no pure Capitalism or Free Market Economy nor pure Socialism and not only because of messy human corruptions. They are all Mixed Economic Systems. I would even posit that all Economic systems that have ever lasted more than a day have been so. They cannot stand on their own. The most extremely ‘pure’ Socialist or Communist systems, (e.g. Maoist China, Stalinist Russia or N. Korea today) have thriving purely capitalistic black markets that the authorities turn a blind eye to because to eradicate them would collapse the whole system. People would simply revolt – game over. The purest forms of Capitalism, (Dickensian England, Industrial Age America need the safety valve of Social Safety nets for the old the sick and the poor. Without enough of these safety valves, they always end the same way – like the game of Monopoly – (The game, you probably know was created and developed to illustrate this inevitable progression). Then comes Revolution. It’s likewise inevitable. What we have in the USA and most of the world is predominantly Capitalist, but is also a mixed system, although the mix has over the past 30-40 years drifted away from those safety nets to a more pure form and belief in the ‘magic’ of the free market system. (Thanks to the Reagan/Thatcher era and Gordon Gecko’s “Greed is good” mantra.)

    And yes, as you’ve said, (Also as Noam Chomsky points out) There have been few if any examples throughout history of how these theories have been played out in real life without corrupting influences of Totalitarianism, Oligarchy or some such other. Someone always got their thumb on the scale.

    Really interesting discussion, Thank You

  178. Also reading so many of these comments and ideas – My mind is continually pulled back to a previous discussion/thread we had several weeks ago – about how Nature and the land one lives on itself changes us, influences and informs us, It actually forms us. Like it or not. We are so subject to the tone, feeling, priorities and nature of our regions. When we immigrate – we bring our past culture with us, but it cannot help but be changed by the new land and the people around us. Having moved around the world and this N American continent many times, I see this in subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle ways. It’s fascinating to me, especially having two “3rd-Culture-Kids”, born and raised away from their parents’ parent-culture. They are slowly finding they are not the only ones – even in their new small corner of the world in Tallahassee FL. Who’d-a thunk?

    Last thought-bubble: I’ve never been inside a Khol’s, but I used to work at a Family $ store – the vibe in those stores is unwelcoming, unpleasant, brightly toxic feeling, even in a way that Wally-World is not. As an employee, I quickly learned that most of the procedures, rules and regulations were designed AGAINST us, the associates, from potential internal theft, sneaking a unite or two extra on the time clock taking unauthorised breaks or other potential infractions. I’m now working at a Winn-Dixie. It has the same bright unnatural fluorescent lights and bright gaudy sales signs everywhere, but the aura, if you will, is very pleasant and welcoming to be around as a shopper. As an employee, I’ve learned that, (although the pay is rubbish), the corporate policy filtering down to all levels of management are to support associates and make work pleasant and engaging. Thus THEY, (we) will make the shopping experience for customers enjoyable. I’ve been told by an unusually large number of customers that that is the case. There may indeed be some undefinable magic or energy to these companies, but it is definitely pushed forward, and enhanced or diminished every step of the way by the people running it. Oh, I supposed that’s how magic works though, right? 🙂

  179. Fascinating:

    A possible Republican-Green platform intersection? 😉

    https://politicalwire.com/2019/03/01/quote-of-the-day-2190/

    In related (if tangential) discussions, we had a city council work session last night and one of the topics was code enforcement with re to lawns, trash, refuse, stuff in front yards, etc. We have a community marketing and branding committee that has been working on developing an image and strategy for the city and one of the council members on that committee wanted to talk about these code enforcement issues.

    I pushed back a bit and spoke about the need to separate legitimate uses of government authority (preventing public health hazards, for example, or clear safety issues) from the imposition of aesthetics, which I argued was *not* a legitimate use of governmental authority. (*Cough* front yard vegetable gardens *cough*) I am somewhat in the minority in making this distinction, it seems, and one of the more libertarian members of council. I understand that we want to have community pride and a nice appearance to attract new residents and visitors. I disagree that we should impose a common sense of aesthetics on private property. (Covenant neighborhoods are a different story–people buy those lots with their eyes open. General property in the city is another matter entirely.) It was an interesting conversation, in any event.

  180. Please can you advise: I bought a copy of your book ‘Weird of Hali:Innsmouth’ as a gift for a relative a while back and it looked like this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-The-Weird-of-Hali-Innsmouth-by-John-Michael-Greer/222582192921 , advert stated ISBN-13:9781935006121 Publisher:Arcane Wisdom.

    Is it a legitimate edition for which royalties get to you? I saw an announcement about one of the paperbacks in the series and found a very different looking book on the publisher’s website.

  181. Yeah, I think that can be a real danger. The whole of Progressivism is based on fitting all historical events into a linear narrative, and as I know from experience and we can see all around us, it makes for terrible understanding and predictions.

    I do think the metaphor is a good one in this case, however. The parallels between the “theoretic” Greeks/Europeans and the “pragmatic” Romans/Americans are excellent, as well as the self-conscious modeling of America on Rome (e.g. the Senate). And Italy is a bit like the 13 states, the core which expands to take over surrounding areas. And finally there is the dissimilarity that Rome was as old as Greece, whereas America is much younger than Europe, but on the other hand Rome encountered Greek culture only in the -2nd century, so its status as cultural colony was about as young as America’s.

    In the ADR you outlined once that having multiple metaphors, multiple stories, to think by is useful. Can you suggest another one? – your knowledge of history is definitely better than mine.

    Finally, I’ll try to argue the other way myself, in the spirit of debate. Maybe the projection of Rome onto America is exactly the European misconstrual of America, in the same way that Europe’s understanding of (western) Russia as “more Europe” was wrong and was resisted by all the important Russian thinkers. Indeed, since there were Russians who tried to Europeanize Russia, maybe there are Americans who themselves misunderstand (misunderstood) America as Rome – maybe even the Founding Fathers, I have no idea! – when in fact it isn’t. Maybe that’s why America has done so terribly at being a global empire, and maybe that’s why there doesn’t seem to be an American Virgil coming, no matter how many people learn old Italian to read Dante. Maybe the “American Virgil” was really T.S. Eliot, who had to leave America and become an Englishman in order to write it, and Britain was really Rome, and America is actually it’s own thing. And maybe that’s why American intellectuals couldn’t see Trump coming, even when they anti-progressive and well-educated. If this is right, then Trump isn’t really Caesar at all, but something more like the Changer like you outlined.

    Or maybe it’s more complicated than that, and it’s a bit of both. If only life were neat and tidy and everything fit into simple boxes so we could write down all the answers and have an ice tea in the garden.

  182. Dear Heather in CA, Can your young friend read Mallory? Sir Thomas Mallory, not a good person, convicted of rape, but a great writer nonetheless, is the compiler of the legends as we have them today. The original Celtic legends are both powerful and moving, IMHO, but were so sentimentalized in Victorian times and then trivialized in early and mid 20thC popular culture that for a time they have been virtually unreadable. I am delighted to see young folks taking an interest in them again, as their theme is the establishment of justice. The best mid-20thC version is The Once and Future King; the rest of the pack of 20thC fantasy emotional escapism, Bradley, etc., can be dispensed with, as can, I am sorry to say, Tennyson. I love Tennyson’s lyric poetry, but wish he had left The Matter of Britain alone. The medieval sources, de Troyes, et al, are also very good but one needs some cultural and historical background before attempting them.

    Mr. Greer, What is your opinion about the theme one frequently encounters recently that the “nation-state” is obsolete, or fast becoming so? What it is to be replaced with never seems to be made clear. I have seen the words ‘nationalism’ and ‘nationalist’ used as pejoratives. It appears to me that what is clearly not functioning as advertised and is on its’ way out is capitalism, not the nation-state. What is your opinion?

  183. How do emotions effect magic. A lot of new age thinking revolves around emotions, and how emotions are our connection to God / Source. The better you feel means that you are allowing more of God to express through you. Appreciation and satisfaction are said to be the most pinnacle emotions, with complete understanding and knowing to be the ultimate of magic creating.

    How does this fit within the Druid mythology? How are emotions treated there?

  184. I was meditating on the Ogham Nuin yesterday and it led me down a rabbit hole thinking about Wednesday being named after Wotan, and isn’t he cross-pollinated somehow with Odin? Odin blinded himself in one eye to gain knowledge, which to me meant that he cut down on the information he received by half or set a very cruel, hard limit in order to access the knowledge of the gods. The lesson is that no being, not even a god, can use all the information, so to truly understand a thing, limit the noise to increase the signal.

  185. On the subject of telekinesis: there was a retired physicist at the large university here – now unfortunately deceased- who was pretty much disowned by the physics department for his lunatic ideas. Ideas such as all things having some degree of conciousness. He was working on an expirement on changing the spin of an electron by, essentially, asking it politely if it would please flip. His belief was that this would lead to a sort of telekinesis. The issue is twofold:1) how to get the human mind to interact with objects and 2) energy: while human thought has measurable electrical discharge (that’s what an EEG is measuring) it is too low power to do anything useful in the material realm. So how, then, would telekinesis be possible? His analogy was how would you sink a boat full of people using only 5 watts of power? Easy- you get on the loudspeaker and yell “Everyone to the port-side railing, now!” All the passengers rush over, the boat is badly unbalanced, tips over and capsizes. Similarly, you don’t make things move directly by using mind power. You just communicate with mobile objects such as electrons, and ask them to do it for you.

  186. @Sam: Regarding tattoos: I finally chose to get a tattoo in my 60s. For me, it celebrated many years of volunteering with a local art installation (WaterFire). About 5 years earlier, I and several friends had all gotten henna tattoos of the WaterFire logo, and I started mulling the possibility of a permanent tattoo. Many sketches later, I got the tattoo, of a phoenix enveloped in flames. After I got it, I started to read more into the symbolism. As a youth, I scoffed at the ideas which are common here: reincarnation; magic; and many others. Today, I accept the possibilities. I chose to get a tattoo for the obvious reason of honoring the tribe I had joined, but also, without even knowing it, of reflecting the change in my understanding of the world.

    @Rihanna: I came to Providence near 40 years ago to attend RISD, and never left ( after 2 years in Central AZ). There’s a lot here to enjoy, although you might not know it by listening to us long time residents. There are vibrant food and arts scenes, and mountains and beaches are within relatively short distances. You can live car free if you choose, or you can submerge yourself in generic American suburban culture. Since she’s coming for a library job, I will make one comment on libraries: the Providence Public Library has been consumed by the Edifice Complex: it is currently being rebuilt to THINK AGAIN. Since the PPL only posted a few glossy renderings online, it is hard to understand what the planned changes are, but the renderings do feature a lot of people on their smart phones, so we can look forward to a large investment in short lived digital technology. Meanwhile, they discarded the DC Somervell abridgement of Toynbee…. I’m sure the Executive Director will be out the door about 6 months after the ribbon cutting. Fortunately, the rest of the library system in the state seems to be holding up well, the Providence Athenæum is a wonderful private library, and Brown University has an extensive library system.

    The malign influence of Pluto on Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (aka Le Corbusier) explains a lot.

    Finally, another reminder that the Second Annual Ecosophia Midsummer Potluck will be held June 22 at the house behind the Charles Dexter Ward Mansion. Sign up here.

  187. Mr Greer,

    A heartfelt thank you for the technique of discursive meditation. It has become a mainstay in my life. I use it with regular questions that come up as I navigate the twisted pathways of the day and even more, as a way to explore and clarify current readings about most any subject. I must admit, it is a lot of work. If I take a simple insightful dictum (from a book, for example), which may have little or only short term effect and do the deep work associated with it, the results are quite stunning. But again, it’s work. And a lot of work means a lot of time. The old desire to want it now or better yet, yesterday, is just not possible. The wonderful thing about regular meditation is that I can see incremental changes in my way of being as I go through each day. Consequently, the work/time issue fades away. A tip ‘o the hat to you sir.

    Regards, Aged Spirit

  188. “Jess, first of all, remember that much of what you were taught in church was there as a means of social control. That was very explicit as recently as the 1920s — you’d read essays by the rich talking about how the poor had to be taught the Christian virtues of self-abnegation so they’d shut up and do what their betters told them.”

    JMG, have you ever encountered Joseph Atwill’s theory on Christianity being invented specifically for this purpose by the Flavian dynasty, specifically targeting the messianic Jews who were rebelling all over the Roman Empire at the time? I found it quite convincing myself.

  189. JMG and all –

    Okay, this could be a touchy issue for some, I think. I’m curious as to how modern occultism regards the Jews and their role in occult and spiritual history. I’m not all that widely read in esoteric literature, but from what I have read – Theosophy/Blavatsky, Rudolph Steiner, Dion Fortune, among others – the consensus seems to be that the Jews are something of an impediment to the eventual, universal unfolding of Spirit. Steiner, among others, believed the Jews served their divine mission with respect to the incarnation of Christ, but since then, their “chosen people ” tribalism serves no purpose other than to thwart the coming of the Universal Man. I recall that in the Atlantis-themed book A Dweller On Two Planets, the Jews, by and large, were singled out as being a particularly spiritually rebellious people and as having accrued a mountain of karma long before Christ, a karmic debt they’re still paying off. And Dion Fortune said of the Jews that they are the “most materialistic of peoples.”

    I realize that these are 19th-20th turn of the century, European/Christian perspectives, very possibly reflecting a traditional anti-semitism, but even today, we’ve got David Icke with his belief that most of his shape-shifting, world-dominating reptilians are Jewish. Louis Farrakhan seems to believe the same, though without the sci-fi reptilian element. And virulent nonsense theories like the Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion, right on up to “the Mossad was responsible for the 9/11 attacks” persist. Christian evangelicals say they embrace Israel as the Jewish State, but that seems to be contingent on their belief that Israel will be the scene of the Second Coming, after which all Jews will convert to Christianity – not exactly an endorsement of Judaism per se – and it seems to echo Steiner’s belief.

    On the other hand – JMG, having read your fascinating essay on Neoplatonism, The One and the Many: An Essay on Pagan Neoplatonism, I’m reminded of, well, just how grating it can be to hear orthodox rabbis insist that anything but worship and veneration of “the One” is dismissible idolatry. As you point out, “the One”, in Neoplatonist terms anyway, is not a god with human characteristics or any characteristics at all – it’s more of a “principle ” than anything else, and simply can’t be viewed as an over-arching Deity, let alone a rather militant Deity.

    So, in today’s occult circles, is there a general consensus on the role of the Jews in spiritual/occult history? And what of their future?

  190. @ Nastarana (if I may)

    Re nationalism and the nation-state

    I ran into something similar in that time I was active on PoliticalWire. The term “nationalist” was made synonymous with “white nationalist” specifically and “racist” more generally. One fellow with whom I engaged often charged that nationalists are nothing more than racists whom think there sub-component of humanity is better than everyone else. I pushed back, pointing out that nationalism was political in nature. “Scottish nationalists,” I said, “aren’t out there proclaiming Scots to be superior human beings. They are simply desiring to chart their own political and economic course separate from the British government.” I never did get a direct response to that.

    Folks who take this line, I’d argue, use it as a guise (consciously or unconsciously) for their vision of a united global polity–under the sway of their particular economic and political structure, of course. Without functional nation-states, there are no effective means for a people to control their economic, political, and cultural lives. All are compelled to partake of the globalized culture and globalized economy. Among certain core rights, I’d suggest, is the right to self-determination and the right of a people to decide to what degree they will interact with others (if at all). This is why I’d consider myself to be a nationalist, as opposed to a globalist, at the end of the day.

    And so, my take is that people who are spouting on about the imminent demise of the nation-state are little more than traders who are talking their book.

  191. Hi JMG,

    I’m thoroughly enjoying this week’s wide-ranging discussions and am sorry to learn that I missed the extensive commentary on Pluto in last Monday’s Dreamwidth post. I’ve just finished skimming it…many fine thoughts to contemplate. Pluto the Diminished One.

    I’m curious to know if the broader astrological community is onboard with this notion, or are you a trailblazer for it? Very excited to hear you’re planning a book on post-Plutonian astrology. Thanks, as always, and now back to this week’s discussion.

    Jim

  192. On reincarnation, JMG said Mozart is hard to understand without it (paraphrased). I agree. Musician biographies are replete with such stories. Cellist Jaqueline Du Pre is one example, although rather tragic. See this link if you like Brahms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncJ_Gc9RES4 But try to tell your violin teacher that you’re taking violin lessons in your 60s in hopes of “coming back” as a great or even as a good violinist and watch the reaction.

  193. Tripp,

    Sure, removing the fat from milk reduces the vitamins available, reduces the calcium absorption, and raises the sugar to fat ratio, therefore making it higher glycemic.

    Just goes to show that the best thing is to just stick with nature. There are a large number of goofs we have made by straying into hi tech processing methods that only later we find out how and why it detracts from health. For example, you might read about salvestrols, great compounds that are anticancer and health promoting in various fruits and vegetables – yet they are part of the plant’s defense system. So when the plants are sprayed with insecticide or fungicide, the plant does not need to bother manufacturing salvestrols. Talk about empty calories…

    What method did you decide upon to fortify iodine?

  194. Here’s another example of Greer-laundering – from a Cambridge academic no less!

    “In the US President-elect Trump is a product of the calamitous failures over the past decade of US policy in the Middle East and the economic difficulties for the US created by China’s rise. Trump could successfully assert that the American nation-state should refocus on advancing the interests of American citizens because for the last decade the American government has proved unable to shape significant parts of the rest of the world to its will, and the failures of its attempt to exercise power in the Middle East has directly led to the strengthening of groups who are enemies of the US. Moreover, the failed wars in the Middle East have cost the US state billions of dollars whilst the US’s domestic infrastructure meanwhile crumbled from neglect. The US is now a declining power. Leaving Trump’s personality aside, it is not historically surprising that when the whole foreign policy-making establishment that had presided over this imperial overshoot lined up behind a candidate who wished the US to continue abroad as if nothing had changed, enough voters chose a political neophyte who repeatedly pointed out that the US could no longer afford to play unsuccessfully at being the world’s policeman.”

    http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2016/12/21/14739-2/

  195. @Greg Simay
    Re: Telekinesis

    Someone asked Michael about telekinesis and telepathy recently. They said there are species on other planets that use it, but the human body (presumably including the etheric) is not suited for it. The most we can do is affect a feather falling or make a pencil roll a bit. If they’re right, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s an aquatic species using it somewhere. We’re not likely to find out for a while, if ever….

    @several people
    Re: Bernie Sanders

    As I said in another venue, the Boomers have held on to power too long. It’s time to let go and let Gen X and the first wave Millennials take over. Bernie kick-started a shift in the conversation. That was good. Now his proper place is as a public intellectual, not a candidate for president.

    @Warren
    Re: Copyright Law

    Last I heard the House of Mouse isn’t particularly interested in trying to protect their franchise any more. Things could change, but it seems it’s got higher priorities than protecting “Steamboat Willie”.

    @Jess
    Re: Purpose of Reincarnation

    The reason for multiple incarnations is that life is too short to experience everything that Essence wants in one lifetime. If we lived maybe six or seven thousand years, possibly we could do it in one lifetime, but that would bring up other issues with too little variation in the population.

    Multiple incarnations gives lots of time to learn how to handle life on the Physical Plane as a human being while experiencing butterflies, bats, bells, bordellos and lots of other interesting things beginning with the letter b. As well as other letters, of course.

    @Thomas
    Re: Consciousness

    I think JMG answered this one well. From my perspective, everything from quarks to quasars is simply consciousness playing with itself.

  196. I hate to answer Magic Monday questions on the Open Forum, but until I get the time and get up the nerve to tackle Dreamwidth once more, here goes:

    About discussion of our monthly periods: “The Wise Wound” by Penelope Shuttle and Peter Redgrove. Includes magical influences of both poles of the cycle, which made a lot of sense to me when I read it. No longer applicable to me since 1995, but very important to me earlier in life. Also, while not magical, the 1970s classic “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” Wish that had been published when I was 12, but alas, totally impossible in 1951.

    About “The Hum” – I kept on hearing a low rumbling, as if someone were running a machine of some sort regularly all night every night. I also kept hearing a hissing sound, as if somebody’s sprinklers were going off at 11pm every night. Later on, when I started complaining loudly about soft-spoken professors who kept their heads down and buried in their lecture notes, making them impossible to hear …. well, to cut to the chase, *both* sounds, not just the hissing, were tinnitus associated with hearing loss. In my case, serious hearing loss. Considering some of the sounds just about everybody has been exposed to since loud amplified music and industrial noises became the norm, I’d consider that seriously.

  197. @ Emmanuel Goldstein.
    Re measles outbreaks which are much in the news to cement in people’s heads the idea that mandatory vaccination, despite lack of consent, and despite potential consequences, must be enforced, may be becoming more frequent because of the simple law of diminishing returns (a subject which has been touched on more than once on this blog).

    I am currently trying to get hold of a full copy of the 1984 paper linked below, which is behind a paywall that effectively deters poor proles like myself from becoming informed, but the abstract clearly suggests that (providing the modelling software was given a properly set up scenario, initial conditions and relevant variables) the number of people susceptible to new measles infections will continue to rise, even in a fully immunised population, at roughly 0.01% per year, going from the low of 3% who were susceptible in 1983 to eventually exceeding the pre-vaccination susceptibility rate of around 10% by 2050. Thirty five years later, it is very possible that what we are seeing is not a problem caused by vaccine refusers, but simply a case of diminishing returns for a technology with initial promise that contained a built in Achilles heel.

    Without actual evidence, I would be slow to cast aspersions for the rise in measles infections. I would like to see someone compare the model from the 1984 paper to actual caseloads in the 35 years that have occurred since then, in order to see how well the model has stood the reality test, and whether there are still unaccounted for variables.

  198. Violet,

    Having looked into Plutonian spirituality a bit, I wonder if Pluto had a slightly different effect: I wonder if his influences suppressed spirituality for a while. Simply put, there’s good reason to think Pluto’s influences were harmful for communities, and spirituality is about forming a relationship with something beyond yourself. So, Plutonian influences might be part of the reason why religion and spirituality played a smaller role during the 20th century than most of history.

  199. Jasmine, I think you’ve got it. The other thing that is important but ignore by mainstream economics is that these are dynamic systems, not equilibrium ones.
    The economy gets crushed by higher prices faster than the petroleum industry can respond. So you get big price cycles as a result.
    Economics ignores the question of how long supply, demand, and prices take to get to equilibrium.

  200. Well, Scotlyn, I tried to find the paper for you, but I can’t access it either, it seems never to have been digitalized…

  201. Hi JMG,

    While you were on break I enjoyed Retrotopia and now understand many more of the references in the comments. I also want to wholeheartedly concur with Michael V regarding The Conspiracy Book. The cover looked so interesting that my 12 year old picked it up and went through it (a rarity when not required to do so), though I’ll admit he was disappointed there was nothing about Flat Earthers.

    Since you’ve discussed reincarnation in this post, I do want to ask you a question about it. In your experience or the experience of other people you know who have past life memories, do people usually have the memories and that opens them to the possibility of reincarnation, or is it the other way around? Of course, I guess the realization may come in completely different ways for different people.

    Thanks,
    Ryan S

  202. Re Bernie,

    I’m over him for exactly the reasons Baboonery laid out. No need to beat a dead horse. Also, he is too old.

  203. Jess said: “Can I get your perspective on the purpose of reincarnation? I am slowly learning more about Steiner’s perspective on it, and I’m having trouble wrapping my head around some of it. I know that different traditions have different things to say about this, but maybe you can help with this, because I’m hoping there’s some similarities between the different traditions that can help me grasp the underlying purpose … or whatever.”

    Maybe I can help with your confusing, with a different and personal perspective that brought me to believing in reincarnation.

    Growing up, my family wasn’t particularly religious. We were nominally Protestant, but we moved a lot because my Father was with the Space Program and didn’t make finding a new church after each move a priority. I was a very smart child though and my parents always encouraged me to explore my interests. In my high school years discovered Magic. There was a bit of a literary vogue about Witchcraft and a bunch of books published. As a geeky 16 year old without a lot of prospects with girl the idea of using magic to attract the opposite sex had some attraction, lol.

    In 1974 we moved to California for my senior year of high school. There I meet a young woman named Mary Beth. She was a pagan and a self identified witch from a family of multi generational witches. She and I were kind of kindred spirits and I remember with great fondness her and I taking her old VW bug to explore the out of the way book shops and occult stores of LA.

    At the same time I was on a fast track science and math program, particularly physics. Quantum Mechanics was just becoming a thing.

    I’d like to say we kept in touch but we moved again after graduation in 75. It was off to college and a physics program for me, but still with an interest in the occult. I had a melt down academically in 77 followed by joining the Army, which saw me stationed in Germany. After that back to college with a deep desire not to be in a lab. A fascinating archaeology professor gave me a love of history and of different cultures.

    All though my study of science, history and the occult it left me with a deep conviction that there is some Higher Spiritual power, some call it God. And that power was both loving and kind, and wanted each and every one of us to be the best we could be.

    And yet the sixty four dollar question always is, “If God loves us, why does God put us in terrible situations?”

    Christianities belief that we get one life to live and what we do with it consigns us to an Eternity of either Blissful Heaven or Horrible Hell. How do I reconcile my belief in a loving God that wants the best for me, and yet God will let true horror and misery happen?

    I’ve been blessed with a loving affluent family, teachers and mentors who helped me along my path, a very smart intellect and a life that had been rather easy. While I’ve had hardships and troubles I’ve never really suffered. I give to charities and volunteer at a pet shelter. I in my time help mentor those who are younger.

    So Christianity says I get to go to an eternity of heaven.

    And yet there are children out there right now, who grow up in poverty and want. Whose parents are neglectful if they luck or abusive if they aren’t. Whose only choice to survive involves crime and a life in a gang, and because of that they kill someone at 16 and go away to jail for the rest of their life and at death get a eternity of damnation.

    I can’t reconcile my belief in a loving God, who would let me off the hook for heaven and damned that kid in the ghetto to hell, without reincarnation.

    I can accept that God sends us back to experience every facet of life from riches to poverty, from lawfulness to criminal behavior IF that is to teach us to know the true depth of what it is to be human.

    I don’t have to accept the truthfulness of one religious teaching or another, because a belief in reincarnation means each of those religions doesn’t get it all right.Each time I’m reborn as a member of a different religion, it teaches my larger self something new.

    And yes sometimes I get the lesson wrong and have to redo it. We aren’t perfect until that last life before we move on to a higher self.

    Hopefully my story helped you Jess.

  204. @JMG, Scotlyn, et al.

    Regarding measles outbreaks and the like…

    These vaccines are fairly recent. I.e., they didn’t exist when I was a child. I (as many other people here on the forum) underwent the full panoply of ‘childhood diseases’. I had measles, german measles (rubella), chicken pox, mumps, and a couple of others. Having them, quite frankly, was very uncomfortable. You could say it sucked.

    But everybody in my cohort had these diseases, people knew how to deal with it, and not to minimize the possible outcomes, no one in my world ever had serious lingering consequences. Heck, when my best buddy in 1st grade came down with chicken pox, my mom sent me over to play with him, because everyone knows the sooner the better for chicken pox. Sure enough, got chicken pox, but it was not a big deal (if somewhat itchy).

    That said, I had immunizations for smallpox, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and that new thing for polio at the time, which we took on sugar cubes over a couple three years. Guess I’m pretty glad I didn’t have polio. Anyway, these immunizations didn’t effect me at all, effect me at all, at all at all at all No really, I’m fine 🙂

    There’s herd immunity, and there’s herd resistance, and there’s herd adaptation, and so on and so forth. At some point, what happens when the infrastructure for developing and delivering these immunizations crumbles away?

  205. Nastarana,

    My opinion of “the theme one frequently encounters recently that the “nation-state” is obsolete, or fast becoming so?” is that it is globalist (corporate neocon) propaganda, as is the constant theme that those who want to care for their nations are racist.

  206. Carrying knowledge and experience from one lifetime to another must be a rare experience, if this explains Mozart’s genius.

    After all, we generally have to, in each successive life re-learn all the basics; how to read, write, do math, etc. It would seem like after a couple of lives, few would even need to go to elementary school.

    Just wondering how this dynamic works.

    Antoinetta III

  207. @JMG, et al.

    One more thing – when a large proportion of the population is ‘immunized’ for a particular disease, what does the disease organism do? Just say “OK, you win” and go away? I suspect not. I suspect it becomes an arms race, and once the ‘immunization’ delivery system crumbles, look out.

    That said, I still haven’t contracted polio…

  208. Will said: “The Green Wizard one, but I’ve had a few emails disappear lately. I think I need to set up one I pay for so I can get actual tech support.”

    I haven’t seen anything from you sorry. Consider getting a gmail account or post a comment here with “DO NOT PUBLISH” as a first line with your email address and ask John to email me with it. His emails I’ve gotten. I have someone who may be able to get the GW magazine back on track with you as editor, if you are willing to work with them.

  209. I am finding all this talk about Pluto really interesting but I really am out of my depth. What introduction to the planets and there influences should I start with?

  210. Regarding Sanders: I don’t think he’s got much of a chance. Andrew Yang has a platform similar enough to Sanders but he is half of Sander’s age and has not humiliated himself by supporting Clinton after the DNC stole the nomination from him. Fascinatingly, Yang has specifically discussed the plight of the white working class, and I look forward to witnessing the logical contortions needed to paint him as a white supremacist – which will only increase his popularity. Most Americans – including black and other Americans of colour – think anti-white racism is a problem – and most white Americans will support a non-white politician – a non-white politician who specifically acknowledges white people as members of his constituency who have legitimate interests might work _really_ well.

  211. @Tripp: That makes sense about whole milk being easier to lose weight on then skim milk. I’m no nutritionist but my understanding is that fat reduces appetite. So if you cut out all your fat you end up feeling hungrier and eating more, making it difficult to lose weight. That’s how I understand it anyway.

    That reminds me I recently saw a new fad-diet book in the bookstore. Apparently the theory being presented is that weight-gain and a bunch of other health problems are caused by lectins (I think it was) in vegetables. The authors recommendations were to only eat fruits and vegetables that are in season, to peal all vegetables, to eat white rice instead of brown rice, and there were a few other things too. Seemed like total bunk to me, though at least the suggestions aren’t anything extreme.

    @John Michael Greer: Yeah I think the Democrats are unhappy with Tulsi Gabbard’s platform, but I think it also has to do with their misguided ideas about whats needed to win elections. I think they’re convinced that to have a chance a candidate must either be from a major-donor state or a swing state. I think they’ll relentlessly push candidates with the right profiles from the right states, even if those candidates turn out to be problematic, because they believe that elections are won and lost on demographics rather then on issues.

  212. JMG, the whole thing about visits from the newly dead leaves me plenty to contemplate – mostly my question is “why?” Why dual natures, why a veil (or whatever) between, and more. My first experience left me with the impression of lines through the world. It faded after a view months & I found it creepy. Weaving reminds me of it, though much much simpler – patterns interacting to form other, more complex patterns. Souls, spirits have to be real – as in, eventually deep inquiry into the nature of the universe would find them even if it comes from the direction of physics.

  213. If Neptune was in permanent sextile with Pluto while it was a planet, then everything connected to Neptune would take on Plutonian tinges. I wonder if that’s part of why socialism so reliably turned into bloodbaths, since socialism is connected to Neptune.

    Also, as for music, I think two factors are pulling towards less Plutonian music: first is Pluto being downgraded, the other being that Pluto left Sagittarius in 2008. Since among other things, Sagittarius is connected to the arts, it would make sense that Pluto’s energies would stop impacting the art world as much once it left the sign.

    Also, by the gods, Pluto in Leo is a terrible thing: 1939-1958 was a bloodbath, even by the standards of the Plutonian Era.

  214. Nastarana –
    “The resource base no longer exists to support 50s style white picket fence family life–”

    I agree with your comment about women’s rights, but an awful lot of modern families would consider themselves greatly deprived if they suddenly had to live a 1950’s lifestyle. Square footage of houses has exploded since then, when the average was 983′ square (it’s roughly three times that today) – pretty small considering that the typical family was larger. The post-war years ushered in a wave of consumerism in comparison to the Depression, but in 1950 still only half of all American housing units had central heating or a washing machine, air conditioning was as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth and multi-car families were few. Recent Ecosophia posts have been about personal responses to ecological challenges; maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if more of us decided to adopt a 1950’s level lifestyle minus the jello salads.

    http://www.newser.com/story/225645/average-size-of-us-homes-decade-by-decade.html
    https://www-tc.pbs.org/fmc/book/pdf/ch5.pdf. (see page 99)

    Alex:

    Down here in Windsor County I’ve heard nothing at all about Bernie. As usual, the big news is down at the feed store, but it has little to do with politics and a lot to do with weather and planting conditions. It might come as a surprise to the many people who see Vermont as excessively liberal, but the natives in this neck of the woods proudly put Trump stickers on their farm trucks and the guy down the road still has a “Hillary for Prison” sign in his yard.

  215. Thanks John. I like your succinct answer about consciousness because it fits facts and experience, better than the materialist explanations. But if i say that, a materialist will ask me, if we create “a pattern of consciousness we call the world” then why can’t we change “the world” completely, with just our consciousness? And I’m not sure how to answer, other than maybe we could if we knew how. Not very satisfying.

    John: “subjects” and “objects” (both of which are phenomena in consciousness) polarize out in the act of knowing.

    Maybe we can’t because we are just tiny parts of the universal consciousness, which we can’t affect very much, so we can’t change the things created from/by that consciousness (much). To separate our “self” from the whole we sacrifice the ability to change consciousness/the world apart from our limited “selves”.

    I’m guessing that there are ways for a spirit/consciousness to inhabit a rock, or a robot/a.i. but that those ways don’t integrate very well on the physical plane with the structure of the rock or robot, not the way entering a living human body or other living thing could. Still there are reports of psychokinesis, poltergeist and seance phenomena, so I don’t know.

    Any further comments John on these speculations?

    Thanks,
    Thomas

  216. Will O,

    If I’m being honest, I’ve yet to find a good astrology book that discuss Pluto. Most of this is looking at what follows from myth and then building from there and figuring out what logically would make sense, mixed with a little bit from a thoughtco article JMG linked to for Magic Monday, followed by looking at what happened between 1900-today. As for good introductions to astrology, Llewellyn George’s A to Z Horoscope Maker is really good, although I’ve heard you need to avoid the “New A to Z Horoscope Maker”. Of course, the older edition doesn’t discuss Pluto beyond “Well, we know it’s a planet, it has impacts, it’s probably ruler of Scorpio, here’s what it might mean”, which is less than ideal for this, but that’s life.

    https://www.thoughtco.com/plutos-meaning-in-astrology-206366

    JMG,

    Would you mind sending David my email?

    David,

    Excellent! I look forward to working with them.

  217. I had a very weird thought: From everything I’ve gotten my hands on about hippies, appropriate tech folk, and in general those who moved into what I’ve identified as the gap caused by Pluto being weakened in Libra, there were two responses to the social upheavals of the early 1980s: most embraced them, but a few held out.

    If I’m right in my analysis, the ones who held out were fighting Pluto’s influence. And, from everything I’ve heard, most of them had a wretched time, coming out profoundly different, having been transformed by the experience.

    In other words, by resisting Pluto, they had a Plutonian experience. This seems to add another level of irony to the entire time.

  218. One thing,
    We started using sea salt that’s been fortified with iodine. We like sea salt and all its minerals, just needed to get the iodine back in it too.

    By the way, I should clarify that iodine value isnt as much about iodine as I might have made it sound in my response. It’s about a test, and an index, that measures the degree of unsaturation of a fat. It’s just that iodine, or any other halide, will readily occupy a carbon bonding site, and is easier to ID in vitro and account for than carbon is.

    The diet you mention sounds pretty goofy. But then, proclaiming that saturated fat is good for humans probably sounds pretty goofy to plenty of others! For my part I think the skins of fruits and veggies, with their attendant microbes, are one of the most nutritious parts of the thing. I sometimes think we do a disservice to our food by insisting on scrubbing it “clean”.

    Yep, it seems to come down to “just eat Mam Gaia’s food” still being the best guiding principle! Progress isn’t helping. Go figure!!

  219. Beekeeper,

    I’m in! We just bought a 1940s Craftsman downtown in the county weve been in since ’12, and are almost moved in. (We were ready for more business space and this option just worked better.) Our goal is to live on a resource budget that matches the house’s era. Won’t be exactly the same energy/resource profile as in the ’40s, but I think we can come pretty close to the scale. Definitely doing a lot more walking and biking now too.

    And hey, for us 1940s level amenities will be a step UP!! Loving that indoor plumbing…😉

  220. Hi Beekeeper,

    My house was built in the postwar housing boom. It’s a then-popular “ranch” style, (stupid tiny windows) 1042 square feet, 3 BRs, one bathroom—quite comfortable for two people. There were millions of these built post-war.

  221. Dave Trammel:

    I can’t disagree with anything you wrote about reincarnation, but you did leave out one spectacularly important aspect of Christianity: forgiveness. An individual could lose the roll of the dice and end up with an incredibly crappy life with constricted choices and miserable conditions which might drive him or her into a criminal lifestyle, but the core message of Christianity is that, no matter what you’ve done, forgiveness is available to all who are genuinely repentant regardless of their station in life or the severity of their transgressions. That was the whole theological point of Jesus dying on the cross.

    All:

    Every one of my kids had their full required immunizations. I didn’t really think much about it at the time and my dad, a doctor of microbiology, had long before explained to me the mechanics of vaccinations. That said, I actually had measles when I was 5. I recall being very, very sick for several weeks and I remember our neighbor, a nurse at the local hospital, stopping by after work each day to check on me; occasionally the family doctor would look in too, because kids with measles were not allowed in his waiting room. Only after I finally recovered did either of them tell my mom that they had had their doubts whether I would survive. Sure, measles is something generations of kids have successfully endured, but it is still a very serious, potentially deadly, disease and its resurgence is genuinely concerning.

  222. I’d like some advice on how to follow the track of the multiple discussions happening in these comments through hundreds of comments posted in time-order!
    For example, “Beekeeper in Vermont” mentions a comment by “Nastrana” about “women’s rights, but I can’t find the original comment!

  223. Will J,

    That makes perfect sense to me. That said, our two different takes are in no way mutually exclusive. Indeed, they harmonize well. You make the point that spirituality was suppressed during Pluto’s reign and I make the related and supporting claim that during this time of suppressed spirituality, people seemed to use psychedelic drug use, nervous breakdowns and psychiatric intervention as outlets — or at least proxies — for spirituality in their lives.

    This has a personal note on my end, since while in high school and college briefly in the aughts, when I brought up spirituality or religious experience people would immediately begin talking about LSD. In alternative community the same dynamic played out. Spending time with people who bought into the status quo, there was the exact same conflation. Since Pluto’s effect has began to wane, I’ve noticed that people are more spiritual and they don’t tend to equate all spiritual experiences with the effects of lysergic acid diethylamide. So my experience definitely corroborates your perspective and research, though I find it both salient and striking that during this time spirituality didn’t just dry up and blow away, but turned into yet another example of “better living through chemistry.”

  224. Dear Sylvia R. and Beekeeper,

    My comment was not about women’s rights as such. I merely pointed out that in the aftermath of a hypothetical Far Right victory in a hypothetical future Civil War, the genie of women’s rights is not going back inside its’ bottle. I would assert that the fundamental reason for this is geographic. Outside such climatically favored regions as the Deep South and parts of CA, sustained effort is needed by both parents to keep a family in any kind of comfort and safety.

    I suggest that the Right not be too eager to celebrate in advance, as should the hypothetical 2nd Civil War occur, the Left will surely not hesitate to call in foreign allies, who can be counted on NOT to leave once a ceasefire is arranged and treaties signed.

    Beekeeper, I am not aware that “most Americans” are living in McMansions, and the newer houses are nearly all poorly made of inferior materials. IMHO, the material basis for 50s style prosperity, which even then did not include all citizens, no longer exists no mater how loud one shouts, how many insults one can spout or how many guns one has. Central heating I think is an expensive nuisance, but has to be used at least at a minimum level to avoid damage to the plumbing.

  225. @John Roth
    Re: Geomancy vs I Ching

    Yours is not a minor comment at all! It would begin to suggest a strong foundation for why the geomantic readings seem to be richer, and also able to encompass a more delineating territory, if I might put it that way. It’s true that there isn’t much in the way of an established “literature” for expanding knowledge in the meanings of the geomantic figures, compared to what is available for the I Ching… on which side can be seen the many different versions that have been produced over time, so that its practitioners could claim the abundance of interpretations to “pick up the slack” induced by the initial scope of 4096 readings…

    But, I am partly jesting here. It’s occured to me that the I Ching may actually be a different animal than the one we have been willing to approach it as, and might be rather more terrifying than we could accomodate (as opposed to the more familiar furniture in the geomantic room). Although I haven’t really looked into it (yet), I occasionally still wonder what it opened up in Terrence McKenna, as he wrote a whole book on it, having something to do with the I Ching system representing fractal timewaves, morphogenetic patterns and history as spiral movement…

  226. @ JMG “I prefer to use the term “real” for what actually happens; in the case of capitalism, crazed kleptocracy that now and then can get reined in a bit by popular outrage; in the case of socialism, gray bureaucratic tyranny with a side order of genocidal mania.”

    If Graeber is right (and I often think he strikes a chord) we are now living in an age of bureaucratic capitalism, which in your words would equate to a “crazed kleptocracy” that specialises in “gray bureaucratic tyranny”. The absolutely worst of both worlds!

  227. I’d like some advice on how to follow the track of the multiple discussions happening in these comments through hundreds of comments posted in time-order!

    Sylvia R., when I have that issue, I do command-F and use search terms, which is awfully handy when reading hundreds of interesting comments on interesting topics. I wonder how JMG keeps up. Hope this helps

  228. Do you have an opinion on the theory that consciousness evolved during the enlightenment to the point that individual thought became more … individual and that only after that time humans have had inner lives separate from the community/ world around them?

  229. @Cliff and JMG

    Here is an article discussing a study suggesting world population will peak at 9 billion around 2070 before declining, though it discusses a range of possibilities.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98371&page=1

    It’s also interesting to note that the US Census has lowered its projections of the US population in 2050 from 439 million in 2008 to 389 million in 2017. It will be interesting to see if the population estimate keeps falling after the 2020 census. Of course the US population is heavily influenced by immigration trends.

  230. John—

    Finished Chorazin just the other day. Two questions, if I may

    First, could you elaborate on the geometry, etc. of the spread Sallie Eagle used? And second, not to spoil things for others, what’s this with the alignment of craft beers? I mean, come on now 😉

    @ Beekeeper

    Re 1950s lifestyles, etc.

    My wife and I live in a house built in 1929, ~1250 sf. Still has the original (and functioning) radiators. Very nice to lean against in the depths of Wisconsin winters. We’ve also purged a lot of stuff over the years, so it has more than ample space for the two of us.

  231. @ Sgage

    You ask: “At some point, what happens when the infrastructure for developing and delivering these immunizations crumbles away?”

    One plausible scenario suggests that the age of vaccination, particularly with the expansion of what are known as “imperfect vaccinations”, will have exerted unintended evolutionary pressures on pathogens, such as to increase their virulence. When the age of globalised and highly technological medicine goes away, we may be facing a range of pathogens made more virulent by our various technological attempts to incapacitate them.

    This paper https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691350/pdf/12816650.pdf (not paywalled) shows how “vaccines that reduce the parasite within-host growth rate select for higher parasite virulence and this evolution may both increase the prevalence of the disease and prevent disease eradication.By contrast, vaccines that reduce the probability of infection select against virulence and may lead more easily to eradication.”

    This veterinary paper http://www.oie.int/doc/ged/D4283.PDF (also not paywalled) says:
    “Although vaccination allows control of the clinical manifestations of a disease, vaccine-induced immunity generally does not protect against viral infections, and limited virus replication and shedding can still be observed in vaccinated animals. Optimal protection of each individual within large populations is also generally not achievable by mass vaccination strategies, because the level of protection conferred by vaccination can be influenced by multiple factors…Thus, in the absence of sterilising immunity, or as a consequence of sub-optimal protection, many pathogens still persist within vaccinated populations.The selective pressure that vaccine-induced immunity may exert on evolving pathogens is largely unknown. A recent analysis of the genetic diversity of BRSV strains, using a large collection of field isolates, revealed a continuous evolution of BRSV, especially in countries where vaccination is widely used.”

    In relation to antibiotics, it has been the unsuspected virtuosity of microbes at evolving that accelerated the diminishing returns of that technology. I have a feeling the same virtuosity will soon be accelerating a similar case of diminishing returns in relation to the vaccination technology.

  232. @Michelle

    Fill your boots!

    @Will J

    Your pluto studies have depressed me again… My son, born in 2013, is a difficult person – extremely obstinate, flying into rage at every minor frustration, flagged by the school within two months of starting kindergarten. Though when pleased bubbly with joy, sensitive and artistic. Very intelligent. His little sister is his soft spot, empathetic and already she helps ground him and literally clean up his messes. He has pluto in capricorn in his first house, and saturn in scorpio in his tenth house … I was telling myself the pluto influence was minor and perhaps only denoted his difficult first 18 months requiring several surgeries for a major birth defect… Looking at his sisters chart, pluto in her third house reinforces every difficult aspect she has, suggesting their dynamic is part of their lifelong relationship… Maybe he remains this dark disruptive person. Are there any examples of people with these prominent malefics who manage to do good? The whole “oh good I birthed the next Stalin” (and my chart isn’t too flattering itself) is shall we say, a bit of a bummer…

  233. One more question, if you don’t mind: what role do you think Americanism will have in future American religion?

  234. JMG:

    I’d be curious to know what masonic bodies you are still active in, and what benefit those activities have provided you?

  235. @ Cliff

    With regard to world population, I think this chart of population growth is very informative because it shows the total population and percentage increase every year since 1951. Between 1951 and 1987 population growth went up and down between 1.76% and 2.09%. It was 1.85% in 1987. Since 1987, the population growth percentage has stayed the same or gone down every single year through 2019. The rate is now down to 1.07%. If that multi-decade trend continues, eventually the population will peak and then decline. Until seeing this chart I didn’t realize the growth rate has been declining for so long.

    http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/world-population-by-year/

  236. Tripp and Pogonip (whose handle just tickles me; thank you!) re: house sizes. My daughter and I were driving past the former base housing of an Air Force base that was very active in WWII and through the early 70s. The houses are all little tiny boxes. I pointed them out to her, saying how those were considered entirely appropriate for families. “Things have changed, haven’t they?” I said, and she agreed. The house my parents bought in 1964 just before I was born was a brand spankin’ new ranch in a brand new development – called Orchard Valley – and we did indeed have apple trees in the yard. That house was 3 BR, 1 BA, kitchen, dining room, family room, and it suited our family of 5 until my two brothers reached adolescence. Then my parents added on a master bedroom with 3/4 bath, and a living room (which faced south and had big windows… I loved that space!). I always thought we had plenty of room – but then again, we had the whole out of doors in the whole neighborhood! I wonder if the rejection of nature and the embracing of technology is cause or effect of bigger houses with bigger rooms?

  237. Will J, and yet capitalism suffered similar restrictions in countries that didn’t have similar Plutonian energies. I’d want to track the movements of Neptune, the planet associated with socialism and cooperative organization, relative to the national foundation charts in question.

    Ashara, I’ve always seen the nature vs. nurture debate as like an argument between two slightly crazed chemists, one of whom insists that water is composed entirely of hydrogen and the other of whom insists that it’s composed entirely of oxygen! Yet another example of our culture’s bizarre habit of thinking that a spectrum consists entirely of its two ends…

    RMK, well, Zorro used to do it with a rapier. 😉

    Booklover, we can hope!

    BoysMom, to my mind the notion of a global church is one of those batshale crazy ideas that looks like common sense. In every case I know of, the unthinking assumption on the part of the people proposing it is that deep down, everyone agrees with them, and they’re inevitably left flustered and freaking out when it turns out that this isn’t the case and people elsewhere in the world are just as certain that their ideas ought to be accepted by everyone.

    The Protestant movement took different forms in different places, and there are versions of it that make very little room for the principle I’ve called tamanous, the quest for individual vision as the heart of spirituality. Those Protestant churches that have done best here in the US, though, have by and large moved steadily toward the tamanous principle, and I expect that to continue — unevenly, and with various lurches in other directions, but inevitably.

    Anon, build strength of will in other contexts before you try to use it to change an established habit. Start with very small things that have no particular emotional charge. Magical practices are good for this — doing some basic practice first thing in the morning, every morning, will teach you how to override your automatic reactions and do as you will, and over time it’ll become easy to apply that to other concerns.

    Chris, it’s been a fairly ordinary winter here. I look out the window as I type this, and see half an inch or so of snow on the roofs, and the street that peculiar black color it only gets when it’s wet and cold. As for divination, no — the oracles I used aren’t really well suited to that kind of work. That’s why I use historic and prehistoric analogues instead.

    David, oh, probably not. I’m well aware that history is under no obligation to take my feelings into account.

  238. Hey jmg
    Are you familiar with the long now foundation?
    http://blog.longnow.org
    One of their projects is making a mechanical clock that can keep time for thousands of years, they are also inventing ways to store digital information for centuries.

  239. The idea of Tamanous has added to discussions a number of times in the last few months. I recently read “The Captured” by Scott Zesch. The author, a 6th generation Texan, had run across a grave site of a relative he did not know much about and got intrigued enough to investigate as it seems this uncle had been abducted by one of the local tribes in the late 1860s and held for several years. In doing the research to understand his uncle he ran across a number of others so abducted, some of whom had left written details. The intriguing thing he noticed, in the cases from the local area, was that the vast majority of the abductee quickly became Indianized. In several cases they did not want to come back, and in almost all cases defended the tribes the rest of their lives.

    It struck me that the nomadic life of the tribes in the area was much closer to matching the lands influences and at some visceral level made more sense than the approach of the settlers. This seems to have been key to these young people’s experience of being forced into living with a tribe and their response to the experience. In the end the European approach to farming did not work well in this area and to this day it has not been very successful based on the towns that are left. While the buffalo still roamed and the tribes could practice a nomadic existence this particular area of the country supported a thriving population. My sense was that the land had its influence and had been doing well for a long time prior to the European invasion.

    It was a very interesting fun read and I wanted to share its possibilities.

    Tomxyza

  240. I have two children who are very dyslexic and may be myself and I read somewhere that there has been some correlation between dyslexia and lack of inner speech. I think primarily in images and emotion which can push out my inner speech although I try to be very practical and honest to counterbalance this tendency but notice how the lack of inner speech can hinder my childs inner regulation. I was wondering if you or anyone knew of any way to help encourage the inner blooming of that inner voice. Currently we read a lot and spend lots of time outdoors and do lots of specific work to help ground her and strengthen her body but I was wondering if there was some inner working which could help this development.

  241. Will, I found your email and sent you the info to the GW magazine gmail account.

    Beekeeper, I understand the forgiveness concept but what about all the ones that don’t get an inclination to ask? And what about those people in a different religion? Does a Muslim or Hindu who lives a good moral life forfeit their place in a heavenly afterlife for never accepting Jesus? What about the Amazonian tribe person who does the same?

    Its the exclusivity that Christianity (and other religions) claim to have the one true word that always bothered me. I can except the my Loving God sent down an emissary in the time of Roman held Judea but he was the only one? Why couldn’t God also have sent Mohammed, Buddha and Moses?

    Alot of the rules churches of all faiths seem to be just ways to exert control over people.

    Sylvia, use the Find option in your drop down menu in the top right of your browser. Type in the person’s name and you’ll get a list of the places in the comments they write. That said, yes its confusing lol.

  242. Tude:

    I am keenly aware that everybody dies; I buried one of my parents less than a week ago.

    The issue with measles isn’t only that it can be deadly, but that the victims are disproportionately children. Most parents would not find that humorous. There’s rather a big difference between a funeral for an 80-year old and one for a kindergardener.

    Tripp:

    Your house sounds charming! My husband grew up in sort of a bungalow-style house (built 1919) which was small, but photos and home movies (!) of long-ago holiday events show dozens of people all crammed into the tiny living room and kitchen having a great time.

    Re: McMansions

    In parts of the northeast once rural areas, especially farms, have been rapidly turning into housing developments; this is especially acute in northeast Pennsylvania since it is within driving distance of jobs in New York City and northern New Jersey, plus property taxes are considerably lower. I can’t speak to the quality of the construction, but these houses are uniformly immense and every one has a two- or three-car garage. At least in this part of the country, this is clearly what builders and home buyers want; these are not folks who are looking to find contentment in a 1950’s-size house, maybe not even in a 1980’s-era house. It takes an awful lot of stuff to fill up the empty spaces in these homes, but given the simultaneous explosion in self-storage units even these houses aren’t big enough.

  243. Re: Vaccines
    Thanks for the last two papers, Scotlyn, I have taken a look at them. The theoretical paper starts out by stating that those vaccines that have saved millions of lives (which I take to include polio, diphtheria, typhus, tetanus and others) were the “easy ones” because natural immunity helped the vaccines. The rest of the paper is about the challenges with “imperfect vaccines”, for which the authors only cite malaria (and later veterinary diseases) as example. So I think the authors themselves clearly thought the older vaccines (like polio) don’t appreciably suffer from the problems of imperfect vaccination. You can of course suppose that the authors are wrong in their evaluation and that the same problems will sooner or later occur with all vaccines, but that is a bit against the grain of the paper.
    I would just like to state again how glad I am to have a reasoned and empathetic debate about such a polarizing subject. The political situation in Brazil has given a strong voice both to flat-earthers (literally) and to people who say that a seven-year old boy dying from meningitis is just punishment for the supposed crimes of his grandfather, the former president.

  244. Thomas,

    You really need to read Bernardo Kastrup. He’s the maestro of explaining consciousness and how it works.
    As to why we can’t influence the physical more, the fact is that we do quite a bit. One’s attitude and stance makes all the difference in how each day unfolds. The documentary What The Bleep Do We Know is a good start to seeing that.
    Since physical stuff is ‘heavy’ it takes more effort to move it. I am not sure that taking a shovel and digging a hole does not count. To move things with the mind does take much more talent, and for some reason we human beings are very weak in all our psychic abilities. And yet some people do possess great talent in various of these abilities, to a convincing degree.

  245. @Antonetta
    Re: Reincarnation

    As far as I’m concerned, “reincarnation” is way too broad a subject heading. You have to ask: which “theory of reincarnation” are you talking about. The Western Occult Tradition has a well-developed theory that goes back to the Pre-Socratics. This is the one that JMG is talking about. Michael (and others, including Seth) have another well-developed theory, which doesn’t agree on some very significant points. They all attempt to explain essentially the same basic facts, some of them better than others.

    Again as far as I’m concerned, trying to explain Mozart (and other child prodigies) using reincarnation is a bit of a stretch. I like to see the mechanism, or to put it another way, the cause-effect structure.

    The frontier question at this point seems to be: how does the Soul’s intention affect the developing structure of the brain so that these talents pop out?

    I think I see a bit of an answer in a book titled “Innate” by Kevin Mitchell. This is hard science by a senior lecturer at Trinity College, Dublin, who seems to be quite well respected in his field. It’s tough going if you don’t have a background or are used to a lot of fluff about the people involved with the subject. No fluff. High information density. He blogs at “Wiring the Brain”.

    To summarize the points of relevance:

    1. The human genome is a program for creating a human body and brain. It is not a design document. The only way to find what it builds is to run the program.

    2. There is a good deal of randomness involved. You will never get quite the same result twice – even the most well-matched set of identical twins have subtle differences that aren’t the result of their environment.

    It’s point two that I think gives a hint of where the Soul gets its thumbs in to try to create a body and brain that’s suitable for its intention in the lifetime.

    @Thomas
    Re: Consciousness changing the world

    It’s a group consensus. If you wanted to change pi so it was exactly three, for example, you’d have to get agreement from a huge number of other beings that are quite happy with pi having the value it has currently. Not all those beings are obvious, either.

    @Petrus
    Re: I Ching

    The I Ching has a well-developed spirit associated with it, that’s not simply interested in giving you useful divination. It’s a connection to a entire spiritual cosmology that is quite different from the usual Western spiritual cosmology.

  246. So, I’ve been inspired by this blog, and my recent involvement in our local emergency/disaster response team, to start taking a hard look at ways that I might make better use of older technologies in a quest to make the descent a little easier on myself and others. Curiously, what has emerged is my desire to revitalize broadcast radio.

    Over the past few years I’ve co-hosted a couple of radio shows and enjoyed the medium greatly. I’ve come to the conclusion that radio is going to be of vital importance in the coming years and decades, and I’d like to work toward developing talent (broadcast, business management, engineering/tech and even ad sales) such that excellence in radio makes a resurgence even as other technology stagnates or dwindles. As such, I’m dedicating a portion of my free time to learn more about the craft of radio and finding out how I can support and promote it.

    I’ve also taken on the role of theater correspondent for a local commercial radio show dedicated to the arts. Not only is this a great deal of fun, it allows me to practice and improve my own radio writing and presenting skills. It also provides me with a way of supporting the arts, which are essential at any stage of social renaissance or collapse.

    In addition to all this activity, I’ve also joined a private club, one that was founded in 1874. It is hopelessly old fashioned indeed (We are a literary club, which means that (after a group cocktail hour and meal) we gather in front of a fireplace while a member reads an original essay on the subject of his or her choice while the rest of us actually listen to the damn thing. Wine and snacks are served afterwards.). I’m trying to encourage people of my own generation to take interest in the notion of participating in voluntary societies and clubs, which, if we are lucky, will outlast radio.

  247. @JMG: I wonder if it comes down to control and predictability. If nature is absolute, then predicting and controlling people’s behavior is simple; figure out people’s natural talents and assign them to whatever tasks they’re meant for, or go full Gattaca/Brave New World and engineer people for specific purposes. Or if you’re particularly nasty, you can just take the brute force eugenics approach, kill/sterilize the people with ‘inferior’ genes, and use selective breeding to bring about the results you want, no different than we did with dogs. If nurture is absolute, then likewise, predicting and controlling people’s behavior is simple; just indoctrinate them from birth to become whatever you want them to be, and if it doesn’t take, send them back to the re-education center until you’ve fully hammered them into the desired shape. After all, if humans are infinitely malleable, then it should be easy enough to make them into ideal capitalist consumers/socialist workers.

    But if human behavior arises from some mixture of nature and nurture, in some unknown proportion that may well differ from person to person, then predicting and controlling it becomes a lot harder. The variables simply become too complex for anyone to understand, let alone manipulate.

  248. Re: house sizes:

    The 40s era house I grew up in, with two parents and three siblings, was ~980 sq ft. with 3 bedrooms. Never felt too small. I’m flabbergasted when I see all the house listings now for 1500- 2000 sq ft and only two bedrooms. And people have smaller families now! I can’t imagine cleaning such a monstrosity, much less heating it in winter.

  249. Does anyone know if anyone recorded the exact time of Pluto’s discovery? Not the date, but time of day? Casting a chart for Pluto’s discovery could be interesting: but I would like to be able to get the houses as well, if possible.

    Violet,

    Another interesting thing about this is that the replacements to spirituality were all self-destructive. This seems to be a common theme of Plutonian energies in general, but it’s intriguing here especially. The other part I find interesting is that these can all be thought of as an attempt to fill a void, and an awful lot of people I know seem to feel like there’s something missing from their lives.. Given how central spirituality is to cultures outside the Plutonian Era, this seems distinctly plausible.

    Also, Pluto enters Aquarius in 2023, which could be quite interesting…..

    SaraDee,

    My advice, as someone with an exalted Pluto (Pluto in Scorpio, on the midheaven, and in aspect with all my chart rulers) is to find him an outlet for his Plutonian energies. Try to find him an outlet that is creative, and that way he’ll have something to send those energies to instead of needing to find one himself. Most outlets of Plutonian energies are self-destructive to some extent or other, so if left to his own devices, odds are high he’d find something that wouldn’t be very healthy.

    This probably isn’t a good idea until the anger is under better control, but from personal experience martial arts are a fantastic release. JKA is really good, especially if you can find an old fashioned dojo: the emphasis on discipline and self-control are good for controlling some of the worse excess of Pluto, while the actual karate part is a good release of those energies.

    I’m happier, more relaxed, and in general doing better since I realized I’m Plutonian and began to work with it. Fighting Pluto is a bad idea, but if channelled well, it’s a fantastic source of power. So, if it turns out that he has a taste for rock music, say, go with it; offer him outlets for his darker side so he doesn’t need to find one himself.

    To provide another personal example here: I’ve always had a taste for dark music. Rock, heavy metal, all of it has always appealed to me. I find it calms me down. As weird as it sounds, listening to Marilyn Manson music helps me unwind. Again, its better to find outlets that are creative, or at the very least, not destructive.

    Don’t try to make him into a happy, optimistic person: if he’s strongly influenced by Pluto, then he very likely won’t be, and any attempt to make him into one may just suppress it, which will end badly for everyone involved, since Pluto’s energies tend to strip away such pretenses. Just accept him as is, and try to help him find good ways to work with what he has.

    Also, encourage him to talk about things, but respect his privacy. Plutonian energies tend to push in the direction of secrecy, and the best approach to that is to accept it. If he feels the need to keep secrets, one trick I use is to make them utterly pointless secrets; another is that since people know I will never tell a secret my friends tell me things they wouldn’t dream of telling anyone else, which I can then keep secret.

    Finally, if you think he might understand: tell him that this is what’s happening, and ask him to help figure out ways to use the energy creatively. Plus, if you explain to him most people won’t understand, so it needs to be secret, it could provide an outlet for that emotional need as well.

    I hope this helps. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, feel free to ask.

    JMG,

    Looking into Neptune’s movements is a very good suggestion. I’ll need to do that before I can say for sure what’s happening: the one drawback to this though is that there’s still the sextile, which would tend to impart a slight Plutonian tinge to all things Neptunian for quite a while during this period.

    It’s going to be tedious looking at Neptune and Pluto in a very large number of charts, but in order to understand Pluto, I suspect I’ll need to analyze lots of astrological charts for lots of different things. It’s probably best to just accept it and get to work.

  250. @ Phil Knight,

    If I may, another thought I had concerning Le Corbusier’s chart is that his ascendant is Gemini and Pluto was found in Gemini at the time of his birth. His chart ruler is then Mercury, which was in Scorpio during his birth. this means that Pluto and Mercury are in Mutual reception which adds a whole nother level of Plutonian influence to his chart.

    @ Will J,

    all fascinating points! Re: Pluto discovery chart, consider this: https://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Celestial:_Pluto_Discovery

  251. David, oh dear gods. I remember rather too well when Inslee was an unusually clueless state legislator — this was before I fled the steaming mess that Washington State has become; he’s a mediocre governor and would make a lousy president, and the, well, unusual cluelessness of that announcement is a good glimpse of why.

    Caryn, of course! Different nations have different cultures and economic needs, but the US seems to do best with the kind of mixed economy where private ownership of the means of production is balanced against government regulation. It can spin out of balance in either direction — too little regulation, or too much — or in both at once — too little regulation of some things and too much of others. Since there are no perfect systems (because there are no perfect people), it’s got plenty of problems, but by and large it does better than the other things that have been tried here.

    And yes, that’s how magic works. 😉

    David, it’s going to happen. As I see it, the political alignments of the next twenty or thirty years will pit neoliberal elitists of the Elizabeth Warren variety against populists like the person you quoted. (Trump is a transitional figure — the battering ram that broke open the gate and let the populists in.) Your city council work session was a preview of that same struggle: the elitist mainstream in favor of forcing people to conform to class-based standards, pitted against the populist notion that maybe people should be free to do as they wish.

    Alice, yes, it’s a legitimate edition. One publisher is doing high-end hardcovers, while another is doing paperback and e-books. Thanks for asking!

    Matthias, thank you!

    David, well, yes…

    Monk, the metaphor I prefer can be found in the pages of Spengler’s Decline of the West, as I think I’ve mentioned already. It’s not something I really want to rehash.

    Nastarana, the people who think nation-states are obsolete are generally those whose loyalty is to their class rather than their country. That’s a common habit of the privileged, and sooner or later they discover — sometimes the very hard way — that the nation-state is more resilient than they wish.

    Matthias, as long as they’re saying “must” the subtext is “won’t.” Moral pronouncements in today’s discourse are a substitute for action, not a cause for it.

    Marty, emotions are among the forces of the astral plane, the level of being two notches “higher” (metaphorically speaking) from the material plane. They’re not the be-all and end-all, and from my perspective the overemphasis on emotions in the New Age movement is one of its great weaknesses; certainly the emotional life has its place and shouldn’t be neglected, but it’s not a direct pipeline to the Source. (Too often it turns into a direct pipeline to the ego…)

    Kimberly, excellent! Yes, Woden is how you pronounce Odin in Old English. (Conversely, Odin is how you pronounced Woden in Old Norse. (The original name in proto-Germanic was probably something like Wodanaz.)

    A reader, fair enough. Do you know if he was able to make telekinesis work in practice, though?

    Aged Spirit, delighted to hear it!

    Halfward, I’ve encountered it, but I don’t find it convincing. We know quite a bit about Roman religious policy and the attitude of educated Romans toward religion, and Christianity from a Roman perspective was a freakish upsurge that made no sense to anyone. Now of course it ended up being used for the purpose of social control from Constantine on, but that doesn’t mean it was invented for that purpose — just that the Roman state figured out how to make use of it.

    Will M, the fixation on the Jews in occultism was a thing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and had a lot to do with the very widespread Christian inferiority complex around just who were the Chosen People. Most occultism in the western world in those days had at least some Christian subtext, often a very substantial one, and the then-popular habit of churning out parahistories (historical mythologies that don’t necessarily have anything to do with what actually happened in the past) collided with Christian notions of sacred history and ethnic and religious prejudices to produce the kind of thing you’ve mentioned.

    Fortunately the occult community, at least, has outgrown that. If you aren’t committed to some form of Abrahamic monotheism, the Jews are just another (mostly) ethnic religious group, no more important in the broad scheme of things than (say) the Jains, the Parsis, the Rohingya, or any of the other mostly ethnic religious minorities out there. I don’t know of many current occult authors who discuss the matter, any more than they discuss the Jains, Parsis, or Rohingya; there are many such groups in history, all moving along varied trajectories through time; and really, none of them are more important than the others.

    Jim W, as far as I know this is my own notion.

    Phutatorius, true enough — but I practice music these days with exactly that in mind.

    Monk, oh, I’m sure some people have simply achieved that bit of obvious common sense without any help from me. 😉

    Patricia M, thanks for this.

    Ryan, thank you! Delighted to hear it. As for reincarnation, it really seems to vary from person to person. Some people have memories surface, and find that reincarnation is the best way to account for them; some read about reincarnation, notice how much sense it makes of a lot of otherwise poorly accounted-for phenomena, and some of these later on have memories surface — though many do not. In my case, I accepted reincarnation as a working hypothesis in my teen years, simply because it made more sense than the other two theories I’d encountered (the materialist theory of consciousness as a product of meat, and the Christian theory of souls being newly created, getting one life, and then getting either eternal bliss or a boot in the face forever depending on what they did in that life). Many years later, after I’d taken up daily meditation and certain other spiritual exercises, the memories started to surface, and it took a while before I realized what they were.

    Sgage, nobody knows. As with most things having to do with modern industrial civilization, nobody gave the least thought to what would happen when they stopped being available, because the great myth of our time insists that progress is irreversible.

    Antoinetta, it’s not a rare thing at all, because what’s carried from life to life isn’t knowledge, it’s talent and character. Mozart had to learn scales and fingerings like everyone else — he just learned them at a stunningly fast pace. In the same way, though not quite to the same degree, I learned to read over a period of a few weeks at the age of two and a half; I’d been taught the shapes and sounds of the letters, but I made the jump from that to reading simple sentences in Dr. Seuss books in a very short time, while most other kids have to take much longer at it. By contrast, I had to learn mathematics the slow way. The difference? My past life memories explain it quite well.

    Sgage, again, nobody knows…

    Will O, head down to your local public library and pick up a couple of basic books on astrology. Those’ll give you plenty to get started with.

    Warren, they kind of have to push demographics rather than issues, because when it comes to the issues, in terms of their actual behavior, they’re indistinguishable from the pre-Trump GOP.

    Rebecca, “why” isn’t a question human beings can expect to get answered. The universe is what it is, and does what it does; we can coin theories to try to explain it, but to me, at least, it’s absord to think that the life forms crawling on the damp film covering the third rock out from an undistinguished yellow star in one of trillions of galaxies have any real chance of figuring out the “why” of it all.

    Will, that makes sense.

    Thomas, good! The materialist is still stuck in the notion that consciousness is produced by the brain, therefore can be affected by will the way thoughts can. Not so; if consciousness is what’s ultimately real, we don’t shape it, it shapes us. That is to say, you’re quite correct; by polarizing out from the continuum of consciousness, by experiencing ourselves as subjects distinct from objects, we separate from the objects and thereafter can experience them only from outside. Other centers of consciousness may be less polarized than we are, and so have different capacities; a rock, for example, has none of the capacities of will and action we have, because it’s much less polarized than we are.

    Will J, I won’t argue with that. The universe has a wicked sense of humor…

    TheMirror, magic that works with the energies of the earth, of course.

    Sylvia R, open two browser windows, make them narrow, and set them side by side. Use one to follow the comments, and the other to follow my responses to the comments. That’s what a lot of my readers do, and it seems to work fairly well.

    Mog, an essentially sound idea crippled by an uncritical embrace of apocalyptic fantasies in scientific drag. It never fails to amaze me how many people literally can’t think of any possible futures other than continued progress or overnight collapse.

    Matt, good question. My one exposure to chiropractic left me convinced that the chiropractor I went to adjusted nothing but my bank balance, but a sample size of 1 is hardly a basis for a general assessment.

    Mle, at the moment, it’s simply another aspect of the economic shift away from the coasts and back to the heartland that’s accompanying the twilight of US global empire. Down the road? We’ll see.

    Scotlyn, I won’t argue!

    Jess, those who believe that are stunningly ignorant of history. Every major civilization goes through the transformation we call “the Enlightenment” at a certain point in its history; we’re just the last one to get around to it, so far.

    Ryan, thanks for this.

    David, sure, 1) The spread doesn’t have a specific geometry; you simply deal out five groups of three cards each, one at a time, and interpret them. Sallie Eagle fanned them out between fingers and thumb, read them, then set them down on the table. 2) I’m with Justin — I thought I hated beer until someone talked me into trying a Guinness.

    Monk, I have no idea.

    FlatRock, I attend meetings of my blue lodge and Scottish Rite valley fairly regularly, and I’m also active in the SRICF (Masonic Rosicrucian society). I’d be active in the three York Rite bodies but the secretary of those bodies back in Maryland, who is elderly and very dilatory, hasn’t forwarded me the necessary paperwork yet. As for benefits, well, other than the social benefits of belonging to a large and mostly very friendly men’s club with cool rituals, Masonry is an initiatory path; even though not one in a hundred Masons has a clue about the point of the rituals, they still have their effect — and it’s not accidental that quite a lot of Masons live to an absurdly old age in good health. When the master of my lodge announces that a brother has died, as often as not the guy was in his 90s if not more, and spry and healthy until the final illness set in.

  252. If earth-magick does work with the energies of earth; Why is it not correlated to Vastu ?
    Isn´t Vastu also a part of earth-magick. Someone builds a building according to ‘sacret’ architecture in order to work (better) with the earth´s energies.

    I thought that, this could have been the reason why priests performed rituals in temples, as the earth energies there should be more suiteable for certain rituals.

    kind regards,
    TheMirror, Vienna

  253. JMG:

    Thank you for your earlier reply – I just found your post on Freemasonry from 2017 and was pleasantly surprised. There is great history and substance to be found in Cha/Cou/Comm. I don’t think you will be disappointed. -Druish Mason

  254. @Will J

    Thank you, that is lovely advice! You seem highly sane, so that at least is very encouraging 😉. My money is on dark Gaiman-esque graphic novelist, (or collapse fiction writer, lol) but neptune in second house, he either never makes much or spends it all because he dgaf about the money.

    I have him in scouts so far, so he can learn to light fires and use knives safely, lol. And yes, martial arts was next in the list. I used to kick box, so he just gets my coaching on technique so far. His little eyes just lit up at mommy demonstrating how to punch “a bad guy” without breaking your thumb…

    His sister is seemingly the socially acceptable one, the only one of the family who has a planet in the 11th, possibly a little too people pleasy… She is universally adored for her mellow. But she has her sun, venus and mercury in 8th house taurus… I was like – psychopomp, hospice worker, dominatrix? (serious occultist?) Anyway, she has some secret goth going on, methinks, and if anyone is the punk rocker it’ll be her. Perhaps her brother’s reinforcement of her darker aspects can be mutually channeled in interesting ways, while she continues to be the family normie beard, ha ha.

  255. Warren,
    Apologies for confusing your comment about that goofy diet with One thing! Got mixed up! (Got a lot going on. Just got back at 2 AM from an overnight run to south Georgia and north Florida to move some family furniture around.)

    Cheers.

  256. Hi John

    In regard to Trumps 2020 chances, this Guardian article is interesting. The writer is clearly astonished how many Latino and other non-white folk attended his rally recently!

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/mar/02/why-donald-trump-could-win-again-by-dave-eggers

    As the day went on, I stood at the corner of Paisano and Shelter, where the rally-goers had to pass on their way to get in line outside the Coliseum, and the crowds arriving defied all expectations. There were Latino families. There were African Americans. There were biracial couples. Young South Asians and Pacific Islanders. About half of the people rushing to get in the long line that stretched far down Paisano were people of colour. A good third of them were under 30.

    And Politico, again, not a Trump supporting website covers the same trends here…

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/02/24/2020-hispanic-voters-donald-trump-225192?fbclid=IwAR2YdCdRXJObNfSpi0wSa2aF18xkymJ0Fed3zcKyYKExvYTQUxZ_EAr7CNU

    My specific question is in relation to healthcare and if you have any idea on the time-frame when industrial healthcare starts to collapse and you see the return of nasty pandemics, like you already see in the state collapse in Venezuela.

    https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/venezuelas-collapse-is-a-window-into-how-the-oil-age-will-unravel-f80aadff7786

    This article captures it well.

    Thanks

    FI

  257. Thanks for your earlier answers; now I won’t feel dumb for mispronouncing any of the words when my wife asks what I’m reading. 😉

    I’m looking at the Order of Essenes material that you have recently put online. Is this course safe to go through alongside a system of magical practice such as the ones in your books, or does it need to be one or the other until the chosen course is completed?

  258. Commentariat, Thank You for your observations on house sizes. It kind of makes sense now:

    Here in Tampa, it’s quite popular to buy and tear down one of the little old FL bungalows, (small, maybe 900 or 1,000 sq ft) brick one story homes with small windows with awnings to keep out the burning sun and heat – and build gigantic 3 story homes all glass and concrete, that leave about 1 ft perimeter from the property line – no garden or yard left – all house. Some have some cheap-looking plastic nod to classical, Spanish or colonial architecture, but they are obviously a decorative afterthought. No matter how grand, the materials always look flimsy, so the effect is definitely Mc-Mansion. And yes, as well illustrated in one of my favourite videos, “The Story Of Stuff”, no matter how big the house – it’s quickly not big enough to hold all of our stuff.

    https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-iry-fullyhosted_011&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_011&hspart=iry&p=the+story+of+stuff#id=1&vid=60cedc99731e8f4b3cb985078af63001&action=click

    These building conversions are happening all over town. It’s interesting to me how and why they built those little brick houses in the first place – the situation and size of windows and porches are quite good at keeping a dwelling cool in our overbearing summer heat. Even more interesting the frenzy of construction and re-building. We’re not that far inland. No new building on or near the beaches now though as the banks and insurance companies do not foresee those homes surviving within 15-30 years.

  259. re: Civil War
    FWIW I think we are going to continue to fight in the online space rather than physical space. People are too intertwined and dependent on each other and have no idea or will to support themselves to break away and fight a physical war. There is so much energy given around the online encounters, these zap the will of moving into an actual physical encounter.

    Now will we survive an ongoing prolonged online Civil War? No, absolutely not. Look at the numbers of homeless and people left in morgue’s unclaimed. These are what I see as are victims of the ongoing war. People continually shed anyone who they view as “toxic” and they are not wandering our communities and die having no one to bury them. We view almost everyone as expendable anymore.

    When the online world collapses then we can have some honest discussions of the physical world again.

  260. JMG answered: “Phutatorius, true enough — but I practice music these days with exactly that in mind.”
    I hope you didn’t misunderstand me. That’s why I practice violin — now in my 70s (but also out of love of it). I really did say that to one of my violin teachers a few years back. I think his eyes performed a few somersaults.

  261. & JMG & Commentariat: On an unrelated note: And I apologise for somewhat of a ramble/stumble – I’m far behind most of you in my education of spiritual and or occult writings and philosophies. as a further digression – from your descriptions, I’ve definitely got a lot of Plutonian influence! LOL, but I know nothing of astrological readings.

    anyway –

    I have always agreed with the idea of reincarnation in some guise or another, as it just makes the most sense to me, and I have had weird remembrances and sometimes vivid dreams of what may be previous lives, wherein I can viscerally feel the heat of the sun, or pressure on my body.

    It sounds silly, but the one theory that made the most sense to me were the Seth books. The writings of Jane Roberts. I’m pretty sure those books have been discounted as crack-pot new age rubbish, but regardless of how Roberts arrived at it, the theory still does make a lot of sense to me.

    Are any of you familiar with them? What do you think?

    In short- the the theory is that we are consciousnesses or ‘souls’, (for lack of a better word) that keep coming back to learn new lessons or experience different things. We choose the circumstances that may lead to the experience or understanding we are looking for, but no guarantees. We learn and change from the very bodies we inhabit, they become a part of our consciousness, we inform them and they inform us, as well as the environment, (family, society , planet, etc.) that we have ‘chosen’ in each life. I read those books long ago, so there was a lot more I don’t readily recall.

    Just wondering what your take (s) may be on those books and that theory if any of you know them. (?)

    Thanks,

  262. Re: the physicist attempting telekinesis.

    No, or I suppose he would have said “not yet”. He passed away last year, with his experimental apparatus not yet complete. If it was even actually built at all.

    He was quite active in the alternative crowd, and there was a Monday Metaphysics lunch group that he started, that talked about a wide range of things, reincarnation, ghosts, tarot, remote viewing, etc etc etc. He was a big fan of Seth. (One of those “channeled” entites that may or may not be telling the truth)

    I attended a few of their lunches, which is how I heard about the experiment. He was having the thing built in Germany, however, and I suspect the German guy was simply pocketing a lot of the money (yes, he had actual donors). (The head of the physics department was rumored to have had a pissyfit when one if the donors sent a check to the department. First time I’ve ever heard of an academic department refusing and returning a donation!)

    We had some disagreement on whether he was taking the right approach. He was planning to confine the electron in a trap (standard physicist thinking) so he could then carefully/exactly measure it. My argument was that high-vacuum magnetic traps are not the natural habitat of electrons, and if the thing is conscious, perhaps it would not be happy about being so confined and might refuse to co-operate.

    Here’s link to his publications, including his work on electron conciousness etc (scroll down a bit). I’m more than a ittle surprised the University let him put these on his official page.

    http://people.physics.tamu.edu/bryan/

    Notice that he his convinced there is a “physical field” that allows these things. Materialism reigns supreme even here….

    My Interest in telekinesis stretches back to childhood, when my parents would drag me to church and I would pass the time staring at the lights hanging from the ceiling, trying to make them move by thinking at them. (No, they never did). I’ve tried different approaches off and on over the years, all with equal lack of success. And everyone I’ve ever met who claimed to have such ability has turned out to be a fake, so yes, I’m pretty convinced it doesn’t work for humans. Always that little bit of hope, though. Why? No idea. My interest in the topic seems strange to me.

  263. Dave Tramel:

    Well, that would be one of the sticking points, wouldn’t it? Forgiveness isn’t just a handy add-on, a divine rider to your regular insurance policy so to speak, it’s central to Christian theology and really can’t be divorced from it. Forgiveness is available to anyone, but in return it requires a commitment to the faith.

    Magic Monday posts often find our host explaining how a system of magic must be learned exactly as developed: no improvisation, no additions from other traditions, learn it straight or it doesn’t work. There’s a phenomenon among Christians, derisively referred to as ‘cafeteria Christians’, people who pick and choose the most attractive/easiest/most convenient parts of the religion and cobble them together into something that feels good, but is utterly ineffective. No one in their right mind would ever be a willing martyr to anything that weak. Maybe it happens in other faiths too. All the religions I know anything about don’t just promise good things, they also have requirements, often uncomfortable and demanding, that are the first things people discard because they’re difficult and they take time and effort. In spite of this, there are always a few who take the hard road and are able to see beyond the everyday into the transcendent; we call some of them mystics. I think that if you want to find the real essence of any religion, that’s where to look.

    By the way, established religion is far from the only thing that exerts social control and nowadays, it’s not even the most important. Thanks to Twitter and other (anti)social media, we’ve all been witness to the public shaming of lots of people who have sinned against the new religion of ‘social justice’, attacked with at least as much venom as the sternest Puritans. This was all on view after the January kerfuffle in D.C. between Black Hebrew Israelites, a native American, and a bunch of Catholic school teen-agers waiting for a bus. Based on a short video clip, the Twitter mob (inaccurately) pinned all blame on the kids, while adults – that’s right, adults – on Twitter suggested that the teens should be expelled immediately from their high school, punched, refused admission to any college anywhere ever, or even fed into a wood chipper. Religion doesn’t have the power in Western society that it once did, but other things have arisen to take its place – including things that may turn out to be far more unpleasant and a lot less compassionate.

  264. @ Will J, another thought, if I may: I really enjoy reading your considered thoughts on Pluto and wonder your insights on Carl Jung? Currently I’m rereading his short book _Undiscovered Self_ and the metaphors he uses are extremely Plutonian to my eye. He goes on and on about the divided self, the spiritual perils of totalitarianism in the 20th Century, Religion as a bulwark against the mass mind, and the dread metaphor of the “Iron Curtain” splitting the world in two. I find it to be one of his more accessible works, while not being particularly watered down.

  265. John—

    Late in this cycle, I realize, but a question for you that popped in my head just now.

    It has been a while since your Decline and Fall was published. I was wondering if you’d come across any mainstream reviews of that work, as it deals with the future arc of the US specifically as well as a particular interpretation of our path to-date. If so, what kind of responses have you seen? Did they address your core arguments in any meaningful way?

  266. @ Matthias Gralle – yes, we are fortunate in having such a well moderated space in which to air and discuss differences. These days that is a very rare gift, and I treasure it. I would like to say that I am quite clear that the point these papers are making is that vaccines can present two quite different evolutionary pressures upon the disease causing microbe (some bacterial, some viral, some something else, so I shall use this generic term. When a vaccine succeeds in interrupting transmission from one host to another, then the evolutionary pressure exerted is capable of eradicating the microbe more or less completely (depending on how successfully the broadest number of subject immune systems respond effectively). However the type of vaccine which does NOT interrupt transmission from person to person, but only lessens the toxicity or symptomology for the individual vaccinated, exerts a different type of evolutionary pressure, one which can result in increasing virulence in the microbe and increasing devastation in infections among the unvaccinated (some of whom may not be able to receive vaccination because their immune systems are otherwise compromised or damaged).

    Partial vaccines currently in wide use DO include, for example, pertussis and flu, which are still transmitted and shed among vaccinated persons. There are others, but I’d have to go and look them up, and I’ll not do that just now.

    That is to say, that an increasing number of the later vaccines that are now being mandated ARE of this type, and may be acting to increase virulence among the target microbe population during every vaccination campaign.

    I do want to make something clear which may not be apparent. I am not objecting to the technology of vaccination. It has its place, and often MAY be an effective aid in the prevention of disease. What I object to is the paucity of efforts to make them safer, the paucity of effort to identify those who are susceptible to being damaged by them, and the truly appalling efforts to make them mandatory in the absence of the above effort.

    Meanwhile, it has to be recognised, at least within the context of this blog, that vaccination is a technology pertaining to industrial civilisation, and when industrial civilisation goes away, vaccination will very likely go away, too, apart from products that can be made locally with local materials and accessible techniques. So, for practical purposes, it can be said that vaccination campaigns are not going to be features of a future de-industrial society, while super-virulent microbes, acted on by our current use of mass vaccination, may well be.

  267. JMG

    A complaint about Chorazin – NOT LONG ENOUGH 🙂
    Yesterday was a cold day in the Springs (low 20s), nothing important to do, so I read the e-book. Still waiting on the physical.

    Diolch for the museum. So it doesn’t need to be a large quantity. That might be this afternoon’s read. (Others – it has to do with the KIY)

    Beer! I got hooked in London on a Sherlock Pub tour (so good we did it two night running). That was after having some of the worst in Beijing – Five Star in a can. Five Star in a bottle was OK but they didn’t coat the aluminum cans – all but undrinkable. The Chinese learned their current beer making from the Germans from what I heard.

    NJ0C

  268. Nastarana (and others looking for reasonably priced books): are there any discount bookstores in your area? I loved our local store, and was totally disappointed when they closed up. You can keep an eye on thrift shops also, but, as with the discount stores, they are limited in what they offer and you will come across something by pure chance. It doesn’t hurt to check now and then.

    I found some online sources that sell JMG’s books, some (though not all, alas) at discounted prices. Perhaps there are more out there on the web.

    Thrift books: https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/john-michael-greer/272326/

    Better World Books: https://www.betterworldbooks.com/search/results?q=John%20Michael%20Greer

    Abe Books: https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=John%20Michael%20Greer&bsi=0&sortby=17&prevpage=4

    Joy Marie

  269. @David Trammel

    ” I understand the forgiveness concept but what about all the ones that don’t get an inclination to ask?”

    In the Orthodox church, next Sunday kicks off Lent, with the Forgiveness Vespers service. Typically, at the end of this service, everybody lines up, and the line snakes around so that each person comes face-to-face with each other person at the church, and as we pass, we ask each other for, and offer each other, forgiveness. “Forgive me brother, for all the sins I have committed against you.” “God forgives, and I forgive.” (there are variations, but that’s the basic formula). Ritualizing it, so that everybody has to do it at least once a year, and you can’t put it off, is helpful. Not that we’re supposed to avoid it any other time, but… the ritual recognizes that we’re human, and need to be reminded. And we have to ask everybody, because maybe we have wronged someone without realizing it, or maybe we forgot, or perhaps we have rationalized it or lied to ourselves about it.

    About other religions: Obviously, not all stripes and brands of Christianity agree, but I was taught rather emphatically that while we know where God *is*, we cannot at all say where He *isn’t*. We don’t know what happens to people who aren’t Christian, only that God loves them. It is between them and God, and not for us to know in this life.

    re: church-as-controller: Again, it is hard to talk about Christianity as a whole. It’s far from monolithic these days (and frankly, far from powerful enough to control much of anything). In Orthodoxy, there are a heckuva lot of rules. From the outside, this might seem stifling and authoritarian. From the inside, the practices of the church are offered as a time-tested way to cultivate our souls: this is what we *know* works (Is it the only thing that works? Who knows?). Nobody has to follow all the practices (e.g. there are many different levels at which people fast for Lent– there’s no Lent police to force anybody’s compliance, and it’s considered rude to be interested in other people’s level of observance)(see the Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom– this is read aloud and with great enthusiasm and shouting at the Pascha service, at the end of Lent, every year).

    The disciplines of the church are tools made for our use: we benefit from them to whatever degree we use them.

  270. Dear Mr. Greer and Peter,
    Thank you so much for all your help and information about Providence. It sounds like a wonderful place and I hope she accepts the job and that we get to move there!

    Dear Vermont Beekeeper,
    My mother was from Windsor Co. She lived in Woodstock as a child and spent much time in Bethel, as she spent a lot of time with her aunt, who lived in Bethel. Are you from around there? It’s one reason I hope my daughter accepts the job in Providence, I will be closer to Vermont. I enjoy your comments very much.

  271. One of the people I follow points to an article at Business Insider that suggests we have reached Peak Automobile. One interesting factor is that the auto industry seems to believe it: they’re acting like they’re in a recession with plant closings and massive layoffs.

  272. @Denys That may be one of the most reasonable, sensible approaches to the question of societal breakdown and civil war that I’ve read. The notion of civil war taking place online provides a more clear-cut vision of the process, and timeline, than notions of physical conflict. Thank you.

  273. Re: Roman Empire and its relationship to Christianity — it might be good to remember the matter of egregores, no?

    There is a kind of feedback loop that is established between the people and this spirit, which makes it difficult to disengage over time.

    The Roman Emperor had his own “genius” (as they called it) and the Empire at large had another, and citizens were compelled to honor and worship both. As the Roman Empire was completely power-hungry and corrupt, and always at war with other states, part of its methodology for successful conquests was to worship a certain nation’s genius in advance of a military move, so that it would gradually be brought under Roman influence and control, while making it easier to incorprate (into its own genius) and thereby conquer the opponent people in question.

    Hence, when you consider the extent of violence, cruelty and decadence the Empire came to embody — and the nature of its “egregore” (and you can think of Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray here as a good corollary) — also consider that when it finally took up Christianity as the “official” state religion, the resulting Roman church inherited the egregore of that corrupt Empire, and after centuries of worshipping who knows what energies and spirits were contained in that… then it shouldn’t be all that difficult to look at the fate of the Catholic Church today, and to understand what burden it has been operating under (even while maintaining it) all this time.

    Compared to the Eastern Orthodox Church, which broke away early on and has maintained a relatively clean, ascetic “spirit,” the Western Roman church conducted its own bloodthirsty Crusades (including the killing of Eastern Christians during the fourth one), it directly modelled the Emperor’s power by establishing a Pope, and the immoral decadence that prevaded the empire later surfaced in various elements such as the inquisitions and the rampant homosexuality (the recent French book cites 4 of 5 priests are gay).

    Although I was baptised into the Catholic Church, after years of no involvement in any religious life, and after trying to reconcile myself with it has been a failure, I have decided to move in the Orthodox direction. Many have foretold (not least Rudolf Steiner and Edgar Cayce) that Russia will offer a great hope for the future, and that the Next Rome may well be in Moscow or St. Petersburg… the Orthodox are holding the light for those to come.

  274. Sam–on tattoos–James Howard Kunstler really hates tattoos and rails against them on his blog. I think one consideration is that a tattoo is something no one can take away. It can’t be repossessed. Your ex can’t get it in the divorce. You can’t leave it in storage and lose it when you can’t pay the rent anymore. The heavily tattooed generation has grown up on economic insecurity–so spending money on a truly permanent possession makes psychological sense. (Full disclosure–I have a couple of tattoos, rare in my generation–I’m 70)

    Rita

  275. Re 2020 and Trump and our lenses

    Okay, again, way late in the cycle, but I came across a contrast that I just had to put out here for consideration. Ladies and gentlemen of our fair community, please consider the two following reports of the same event:

    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/trump-turned-another-rambling-performance-205900217.html

    and

    https://politicalwire.com/2019/03/02/trump-just-might-have-won-the-2020-election-today/

    The first thing that sprang to mind—meaning no intimation that Trump is his equivalent—were descriptions of the press accounts of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which were reported enthusiastically by Republican-aligned papers and disparaged as brief, inconsequential comments by Democratic-leaning papers. It just goes to show that one truly has to examine the reporter as much as the report when assessing information.

    Are either of these accurate? Having observed the President in some of his speeches, he is hit-and-miss, sometimes on and sometimes off. I watched the inaugural live and was blown away (populism dialed up to 11) but some of his other addresses have been very limp. I could imagine him at CPAC firing on all cylinders though, especially hitting the working class angle since that is one of the key things that got him elected (and he knows this). We’ll see what unfolds over the next year and a half. I am curious (though not optimistic) as to whom the Dems are going to nominate to face him. My guess right now, if I had to put something down, is that we’ll be looking at a Biden-Harris ticket, but I have nothing solid behind that other than the notion of casting back to the Obama years (Biden) and the upping of the ante (Harris as black and female).

  276. Dear Joy Marie, thank you for the links. For now, I think I will see what I can do with interlibrary loans. At the branch I mostly use, I am well known, spend on their bookstore, and can so far get what I want. That might even result in a sale for our host if the library decides to buy the book. I persuaded them to buy Will Bonsall’s book on gardening on the strength of his being a New England (Maine) author.

    No 2nd hand book stores in Utica except for various library sales of donations and discards. Now I have found some pretty amazing things in those sales.

  277. J.L.Mc12, yes, I am.

    Tom, thanks for this. It’s a curious fact that white colonists who were taken by the Indians very often ended up wanting to stay, while Indians taken by the colonists and raised in white culture inevitably fled back to their tribes as soon as they could. I take this to mean that the Indian ways of life were simply that much better.

    Roseloveschocolate, interesting. No, I don’t know of any working for that purpose, I’m sorry to say.

    Lainie, excellent! That’s a medium well adapted to function at a much lower level of technology and energy than our current media, and it’s got a range of other benefits — that’s one of the reasons I put it in Retrotopia. Please keep the list posted on how that goes.

    Candace, doesn’t surprise me at all. I forged which head of which neo-Nazi group in America a while back got outed as Jewish…

    Ashara, I think that’s an important part of it, yes. Curiously enough, I’ll be talking about some issues related to this in the upcoming post.

    Will, yep. It’s going to take a lot of work by a lot of people over a lot of years — but then that’s how we got astrology in the first place.

    TheMirror, a flashlight and a fan both use electricity; that doesn’t make them the same thing. Once again, if you want to study vastu, go study vastu — just don’t confuse it with the hundreds of other ways to work with earth energies.

    FlatRock, oh, I know — I am a Past High Priest, Past Thrice Illustrious Master, and Past Eminent Commander; it’s just that that was in Maryland, and I have to get the relevant demission paperwork from there before I can join the corresponding bodies up here .

    Forecastingintelligence, here in the US industrial medicine is already collapsing. Our rates of infant mortality are on a level with those in Indonesia, and we’ve got a measles epidemic under way right now. Things are further along in Venezuela, but give it a little while…

    James, the Order of Essenes material works very well with most systems of magical training — I went through the lessons the first time while I was developing the rituals and practices in The Druid Magic Handbook, and the second time while I was doing the same thing with the material in The Celtic Golden Dawn, and had good results each time. I’m currently going through the course a third time while doing some old-fashioned Rosicrucian lessons, and again, the results are good.

    Phutatorius, nah, I figured that was what you meant. Keep at it — every capacity of skill and character you gain in this life will help shape lives to come.

    Caryn, I read Jane Roberts back in the day — one of my early teachers was into her work. If it speaks to you, by all means explore it.

    Unhinged, dear gods. Huxley grasped it that clearly in 1928? Thank you for this.

    A reader, your considerate attitude toward electrons seems very sensible to me. It’s central to the dead end into which modern science has backed itself that most scientists would consider that absurd.

    David, of course not. No officially serious mainstream thinker would dream of sullying his reputation for officially serious mainstream thinking by reading something like that — or, at least, admitting that he or she had read something like that. One of the reasons that I’ve redirected my writing into other channels is that later, post-peak oil books on the future of industrial society sank without a trace, with no sign of reaching anyone who wasn’t already a reader of my blogs.

    Janitor, thank you! I made a deliberate decision to keep all seven books within the same rough word count — right around 72,000 words — to avoid the ravages of Series Bloat Syndrome. (The final volume is 75,000 words in draft, but I’ll be trimming it hard when I go back to revise it.) Once the whole series is out, you’ll have an opus of 500,000 words (about 20,000 words more than Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings)…

    Also, thanks for letting me know about A Magical Education!

    Joy Marie, I’ve bought my share of things via thrift bookstores, so thanks for this.

    Rihana, you’re most welcome. I hope everything works out well!

    John, I could well believe it. A lot of young people are refusing to get into car culture these days.

    David, definitely time to pop a kettle of popcorn. 😉

  278. About tattoos: In the generations before mine, tattoos were most often the only practical means a sailor could use to help people identify his remains if he drowned at sea. Arms were likely to remain recognizable much longer than faces. My father’s step-father, born in 1886, had his initials tattooed on his right forearm for that very reason. He had left home when he was 13 years old, signed on some ship or other in Copenhagen, and spent a number of years as a sailor before finally becoming a landsman in California.

    I expect that soldiers in the 1800s and early 1900s might have used identificatory tattoos for much the same reason. Otherwise they were quite rare in those days, at least among Americans.

  279. Given the microcosm mirrors the macrocosm, has anyone else noticed that out of the planets, Pluto seems the most concerned with the before and after? Its only Pluto that consistently marks change, while the other planets seem to be happy to mark state, or changes, as the case may be; Plutonian experience says it all. So, I think that this is a mirror of the macrocosm: Pluto came to change us, and having done that, is leaving.

    Why, I don’t know. How, is obvious: a truly terrible time. I can’t help but note that one of my friends had a Plutonian experience that consisted of getting everything she thought she wanted but finding out how terrible it really is: and that’s also a fair assessment of what’s happened to Faustian society: we wanted wealth and power, and got it, and saw how horrible it is.

    David,

    I’m locked out of the account. Something triggered a security feature and I need access to the phone number I gave at account creation, but I didn’t give a number, so the system won’t work.

    I’ll try sending another from my personal email: if that doesn’t get through I’ll set up another gmail account as a temporary measure while I figure out who I want to pay for a working email.

    SaraDee,

    You’re Canadian, right? Which province? Your son sounds an awful lot like one of the kinds I volunteer with in scouting….

    It sounds to me like you’re doing everything right. All I can add is to try to keep him away from the worst outlets of Pluto and hope for the best.

    Violet,

    Those sound very Plutonian! My opinions on Jung are not very strong: I have yet to read anything by him, but you’ve made a good case that I should. Once I do so, I’ll share my thoughts on the matter, but it may be a while. My research list is a tad crazy.

  280. roseloveschocolate asked: “I was wondering if you or anyone knew of any way to help encourage the inner blooming of that inner voice. Currently we read a lot and spend lots of time outdoors and do lots of specific work to help ground her and strengthen her body but I was wondering if there was some inner working which could help this development.”

    I wasn’t aware of that about people with dyslexia and a lack of inner speech Rose. Interesting. As someone with a very loud inner voice at times, I could stand to have it moderated occasionally, lol.

    Seriously, I’m in no way an expert but my first thought would be to try reading a favored book out loud. Perhaps the experience of hearing their own words would stimulate the ability to hear that voice internally.

    On a side tangent, you mention you think more in emotions and images. Have you considered developing that gift? Sherlock Holmes was well known for an amazing memory and is associated with the concept of a “Mind Palace”, which is a method of remembering things. Perhaps you should look into that as well.

    What Sherlock Holmes Can Teach Us About Memory

    One of the things some practitioners of this technique can learn to do is create “mental advisers” within their Mind Palace, which can serve a bit like an inner voice. Check this tutorial

    The “Mind Palace” – A First Step in Your GW Mental Skills

    Hope that helps.

    BTW if you aren’t yet registered on the Green Wizards site, I highly recommend it. I have no clue how to raise or deal with children with dyslexia, but your experience with doing so would be well received by those of us there, I’m sure. Let me know if you have any trouble registering.

  281. Onething said: “As to why we can’t influence the physical more, the fact is that we do quite a bit. One’s attitude and stance makes all the difference in how each day unfolds. The documentary What The Bleep Do We Know is a good start to seeing that.”

    I love that movie, though I will admit its a bit heavy on the metaphysical sometimes. If you can find the European version, it has another hour of content. Some of the talk about random number generators during the credits is facinating.

  282. LainiePetersen said: “So, I’ve been inspired by this blog, and my recent involvement in our local emergency/disaster response team, to start taking a hard look at ways that I might make better use of older technologies in a quest to make the descent a little easier on myself and others. Curiously, what has emerged is my desire to revitalize broadcast radio.”

    Lainie, with the restart of the Green Wizard website we had quite a few HAM radio people return. John has always said that HAM will play an important part in keeping us connected as the Long Descent continues and various areas collapse in their own way and at their own rate. Have you considered registering and joining their community. I know Lathechuck and AugJohnsom are experienced HAMs and are quite willing to share their knowledge.

    What Is Your Call Sign?

    As for revitalizing radio, it seems to me that podcasts are all the vogue now. Perhaps you could generate a following with that, which would follow you onto the radio waves when the Internet becomes too expensive for common people.

  283. Thanks John. You’ve helped make sense of something that has long puzzled me.

    John: >Other centers of consciousness may be less polarized than we are, and so have different capacities; a rock, for example, has none of the capacities of will and action we have, because it’s much less polarized than we are.<

    "Less polarized than we are" … That leads me to ask, what if we could make ourselves, temporarily, less polarized. Would that, by reducing the distinction between subject and object, partially re-merge them, and give a consciousness greater ability to affect the object, and the object to affect the subject?

    One thing that seems to me a hallmark of the subject/object polarization is one's internal dialogue. By reducing or stopping that internal dialogue, might one reduce the subject/object separation, thus leading to new insights, knowledges, abilities?

    I've long observed something like that in practicing martial arts – that thinking somehow gets in the way of performing a defense or attack well, extending ki/chi, blending with one's sparring partner, etc. With other sports as well. Could this have to do with the polarization effect?

    Thanks,
    Thomas

  284. Since vaccines are being discussed again, here is something the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has to say about them. (Please note the “.gov” in their URL. That would be the government of the United States of America.)

    “Common substances found in vaccines include:

    “Aluminum gels or salts of aluminum which are added as adjuvants to help the vaccine stimulate a better response. Adjuvants help promote an earlier, more potent response, and more persistent immune response to the vaccine.

    “Antibiotics which are added to some vaccines to prevent the growth of germs (bacteria) during production and storage of the vaccine. No vaccine produced in the United States contains penicillin.

    “Egg protein is found in yellow fever and most influenza vaccines, which are prepared using chicken eggs. Ordinarily, persons who are able to eat eggs or egg products safely can receive these vaccines.

    “Formaldehyde is used to inactivate bacterial products for toxoid vaccines, (these are vaccines that use an inactive bacterial toxin to produce immunity.) It is also used to kill unwanted viruses and bacteria that might contaminate the vaccine during production. Most formaldehyde is removed from the vaccine before it is packaged.

    “Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and 2-phenoxy-ethanol which are used as stabilizers in a few vaccines to help the vaccine remain unchanged when the vaccine is exposed to heat, light, acidity, or humidity.

    “Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative that is added to vials of vaccine that contain more than one dose to prevent contamination and growth of potentially harmful bacteria.

    “For children with a prior history of allergic reactions to any of these substances in vaccines, parents should consult their child’s healthcare provider before vaccination.

    “https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm”

    In short, no discussion of vaccines and vaccination is adequate, in my opinion, without a discussion of what else vaccines contain. In principle, vaccines are fine, I think. The devil, however, is, as always, in the details, and it is the details that may draw some of us up short.

  285. Petrus –

    Far up the thread, you asked about the “geomantic instrument”, on display at the British Museum (IIRC). I spent some time reviewing the photos and printed material to go along with it, and in the end decided that it was not very interesting to me. (The Antikythera Mechanism is mind-bogglingly interesting, by comparison.) The reason I say that is that it has four arc-slide mechanisms with the sixteen figures engraved on them; those take the place of the sixteen rows of marks in the sand: they’re just a semi-arbitrary way of producing the first four figures without worrying about spilling sand on the rug, or wasting a precious scrap of parchment. Then, the sixteen (?) dials are simply dials. You set them according to the usual rules as “memory”, but there are no interconnecting mechanisms that “compute” anything. As JMG perceptively asked once, “is it more like a slide rule, or an abacus”, and I answered “abacus”. I can see how it would be a valuable accessory to a high-class geomancer in an urban society where sand is inconvenient and paper is scarce (or maybe marked paper leaves too many clues after the work is done (burning the paper would destroy the evidence, but might raise other questions)).

    My rational perspective on the process is that the manipulations allow the subconscious mind to consider the question from the various alignments of the figures and the houses, while the conscious mind is helpfully distracted counting dots and twisting dials.

    Another way to tabulate the complexity is to note that there are sixteen positions (in four mother figures of four dot/pair sets each), so 2 to the 16th power, which is exactly 65536 possibilities. Once the initial “mothers” are specified, the rest is mechanically exact, so you can apply no creativity or intuition in the evolution of the figures, but the derived figures help “unfold” the nature of the mothers.

    I have not ruled out the possibility of constructing such a device in my metal shop, but I haven’t the patience to make it beautiful. Functional, perhaps.

  286. Caryn, Beekeeper, Michelle (and anyone else on the topic of growing houses for shrinking families) –

    I co-worker of mine explained the size of his McMansion (in which live himself, his wife, and a few show dogs) this way: “We knew where we wanted to live. In that place, the smallest parcel of land was 2 acres (or something like that). No bank would lend me money to build a $100,000 house on a $500,000 lot, because if I defaulted on the mortgage, no one else would be interested in buying such a small house. They would just have to tear it down, to make room for the kind of houses that “other people want”. So, we built a bigger house than we need. (It has two “central” air-conditioning systems, which should give you an idea of its scale.)”

    Another way of looking at this is “When houses appreciate in value, which they always will, the gain on a bigger basis is a bigger gain! So, build as big as you can afford now, so it will be worth more when you sell it.”

    Another way of looking at this is “As a banker, it’s no more work to handle bigger numbers than smaller ones, so the profit margin is bigger. Push the customer into buying the biggest house he can possibly afford.” And, a Realtor working on a percentage commission has a financial interest in steering customers to the most expensive property.

    Conversely, when my wife and I bought our house, we said “We may have a child or two, but any house can hold two children, and we can put up with a little crowding for 20 years. But, after that, a surviving parent may come to live with us, and we will get old too, so we should get something easy to take care of… with southern exposure, for solar panels. And lo, these things have come to pass.

  287. A reader – re: telekinesis

    As a teen, I was fascinated by the possibility of “mind over matter”. Four decades later, I’m just hoping that my mind retains control over the matter that carries it around. Sometimes it’s enough of a miracle that I want supper, and after I perform a few ritual motions in a room in my house dedicated to this purpose, tasty food appears! (A ritual cleaning of the kitchen follows the consumption of supper.) Sometimes, I can persuade the other consciousness present in my house to produce the meal without any effort on my part. If that works for you, too, don’t take it for granted! It’s taken me these many decades to work it all out, with many disappointments along the way.

    AB3NA

  288. @Lainie, you should check out amateurpress.org. It sounds like you are doing something very close to amateur journalism, which was very popular from the 1870s to the mid-1930s. Do you remember how the Boy Rangers in Mr. Smith goes to Washington were writing and printing their own newspaper? I wonder if amateur journalism might see a revival in a hypothetical post-collapse society.

  289. re: Global Population.

    There’s a new book out. I haven’t seen it, yet. Got it on my library requests list.

    “Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline” (Bricker, Ibbitson: 2019). Might be worth a look. Lew

  290. Regarding the discussion on Pluto’s waning influence, I feel like I’m seeing a tendency to paint Pluto as the author of all society’s woes.

    So I’ve got a contrarian take: Perhaps Pluto gave a necessary correction to a society obsessed with surface matters, rationality, progress, and waking life. Industrialization and the resulting destruction of the biosphere were already well under way by 1930; Americans had exterminated the buffalo and crushed the natives before Pluto ever showed up. The darkness was there – maybe Pluto just kept it from getting paved over by the shining promises of progress.

    (Violet, above, mentions not being able to get into a Dashiell Hammet novel. I’ve found that reading a western and then reading a noir, back to back, is fairly revealing. The western tends to be full of energy and exuberance, and tells the story of hardy pioneers thriving in an untamed land. The noir is full of depression and ennui – the land has been tamed, the kingdom has been won, and all the main character sees is squalor and folly.)

    James Hillman in “The Dream and the Underworld” discusses the nekyia (and apparently Jung developed the idea before him), the passage through the underworld that deepens and matures a person, at the cost of much of their youthful vigor. Maybe that is Pluto’s dubious gift to world history, so that we don’t all float off endlessly into delusions of Star Trek and immortal robot bodies.

  291. Many thanks Lathechuck, for your observations about that geomantic device. The abacus analogy sounds right, I suppose. Looking it over again, I suspect the dots were (still) generated separately using sand/paper, and the figures entered into the relative positions on the device, allowing the user to proceed with calculating each successive step, arriving at the Witnesses and the Judge (lower right corner). I can only suppose these folks were pretty inspired with this whole system, to go through the trouble to produce something like this. In the end I will admit that, although my initial reaction to it was fetishistic, I remain more than content with writing my sessions out in a journal book…

  292. Hello, Triong 36,
    When I was 18 working a summer job, a manager 20 years my senior told me about a guy in the army (Korean War, I think) who could make rolled dice turn out any way he wanted, by the power of his mind. This conversation arose tangentially in the course of chatting about various topics, and he was a feet-on-your-ground kind of fellow, cynical-but-happy most of the time, but not close minded either. The guy stopped doing it because he was terrified of some soldier slitting his throat.
    I don’t offer this as scientific evidence, but as one of the many reasons why I don’t dismiss telekinesis out of hand. “More things on heaven and earth undreamt by our philosophy etc.” FWIW, some paranormal researchers theorize that poltergeist phenomena may be from telekinesis by a troubled teen.

  293. @JMG Retrotopia was likewise an inspiration. I will keep everyone posted on my activities and work: I hope that others might even follow suit in their communities or even try to find a way to revitalize commercial shortwave radio.

    @David Trammel Funny you should mention HAM radio: I’m preparing to get my license now. My local CERT group is also planning to start its own HAM team. People don’t realize how important HAM is in disaster planning. In fact, the “doomsday” planes designed to provide an airborne base of operations for the President of the United States have HAM radio equipment on board. It is a very solid means of communication!

    I think I do have an account on Green Wizard: I need to log in and get involved!

    As for radio and podcasting: Podcasting is indeed all the rage right now and is by no means incompatible with radio: In fact, many radio programs are available via livestream and podcast, which is quite nifty. Podcasting also provides opportunities for both on-air talent and tech folks to develop their skills.

    Interestingly, I’ve co-hosted podcasts/YouTube video shows as well as radio programs (my latest gig is a theater reporting segment on a local radio show). The reaction I get from Gen-Xers and Boomers when I mention my radio shows is interesting: Their body language and facial expressions convey respect and interest, far more than when I would talk about podcast/YouTube broadcasting.

    The nifty thing about radio is that the equipment is present (both for creators and listeners) and is typically sturdy and straightforward. In addition, radio programing listened to through.a traditional radio is a private matter: Nobody is tracking the listener across platforms.

    My main goal right now is to learn the craft well and encourage others to do the same so that radio stations can produce news, editorial, and entertainment that people actually want to listen to. Ideally this will happen before Internet access becomes scarce.

    @Trlong36 Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll be looking into AmateurPress.org, which seems very interesting!

  294. @Scotlyn and all re: vaccines –
    There are a lot of different types of vaccines with varying success rates and varying risks, but the basic idea of vaccination is to put killed or disabled viral or bacterial substances into the body, so that the body generates natural immunity before the real thing shows up. So in that sense, vaccines are among the most natural of medicines.

    FWIW, I am not in favor of mandatory vaccinations, but parents should be aware of the nature and severity of the diseases that they prevent. Measles can cause death or blindness, and these effects occur more frequently in non-vaccinated populations than in the vaccinated ones. Adverse effects are possible with vaccines, but rare. This is why there is, in the US as well as Canada, a national insurance fund to cover the medical expenses of those who are harmed by vaccines. It’s a risk/benefit decision, and parents will do well to be fully informed before making it.
    That said, the most traditional approach to deadly, infectious disease outbreaks is quarantine. I would have no objection to non-vaccinated children being kept in quarantine for the duration of an outbreak for their own safety, and would be in favour of allowing them to miss school, and have supports such as grocery drop offs and visiting nurses to accomodate that. –and of course infected persons also belong in quarantine to prevent the spread of illness.

    The madness comes in when infected children or adults roam around spreading their illness to others.

    @Violet, @JMG, @HobbitAustin, Yes, crazy behaviour due to desperation/despair/loss of hope sounds right to me–And oddly, while about half of crazy drivers DO seem to be young men up here, the other half are older men and a fair number of older women. My wife and I have experienced road rage from a woman who was at least 50 on one occasion. Very unsettling, as is hearing serious talk among the young about preparing for a zombie apocalypse….

    Loneliness–there are seasons of life for it IMHO. A Libertarian whose name I forget once said that Satisfaction is a better goal for one’s life works than is Happiness. This seems true to me too. If I can be satisfied that the legacy of my life is on balance helpful, useful, and uplifting to my family and others, that’s a very good thing.

    Thanks to all for your thoughtful comments!

  295. This comment is about one percent based on my desultory attempts at telekinesis, fourteen percent generalizing from the kinds of magic I’m competent at, and the rest is armchair theorizing.

    When trying to learn any kind of magic that affects the outside world, it is prudent to aim for small effects in order to avoid accidents. Often small effects are the best that can be hoped for until one develops one’s talent and/or hones one’s technique.

    It appears that most human beings don’t have much natural ability to move objects by direct mental activity. If that is true, beginning by trying to move an object that has a lot of inertia, or to make some change in an object that resists change, is likely to fail. Getting a result is more likely if you are working with something in a barely stable state, such that a very delicate push is enough to make it change states in an obvious way.

    I don’t think complicated, super-precise lab equipment is necessary to practice, though it might come in handy later for demonstrations if you get proficient enough to replicate results.

    The last time I commented on this, I suggested trying to move very light things that can be shifted by air currents, such as small flames or rising smoke from a stick of incense. The idea is to intentionally get the flame to lean in a particular direction, or the smoke to rise in a particular pattern, by exercising will mediated by whatever force is involved in telekinesis. You could try addressing the flame, or the air currents that move the flame.

    The current discussion got me thinking of other low tech setups to change the state of something physical in a way that one can see or hear. For example, dripping a colored liquid that doesn’t immediately dissolve in water (maybe corn syrup with some food dye added) into water, observing the patterns it forms as it sinks or spreads, and then try doing it again with some application of telekinesis. Here the water molecules plus gravity are moving the drops of syrup around, and your task is to persuade the water molecules to move a little differently.

    Another one: erect something comparable to a house of cards and then knock it down with telekinesis. For this, you need to set up something in a very delicate balance, that will stay balanced indefinitely if it isn’t disturbed. You must set it up on a platform that dampens any jiggling from footfalls or trucks passing by, and also completely surround your balanced thing with a clear enclosure like a bell jar or a lantern cover that will completely protect it from air currents, and you have to close the door of the enclosure gently enough to avoid all fall down. Then you leave it alone for 24 hours to see whether it topples of its own accord. If it stays balanced, you have a go at it.

    It’s a bit bizarre to me that the physicist was trying to shift single electrons, when transistors have been invented. There are all sorts of switches that can be turned on or off with minute electrical currents, and cause a readout to display. If a single switch requires too much brute force to toggle, design some kind of circuit where a bunch of branches all have to keep their switches in the zero state in order to hold the readout stable, and one switch changing to a one will light a light or sound a buzzer or whatnot.

    If you happen to be mechanically inclined, set up a telekinesis experiment to ring a little bell or drop one grain of sand onto a pan of a perfectly balanced scale, or add the catalyst or last bit of chemical to a solution that causes it to precipitate out. Whatever you think might be fun to try.

  296. Everyone, thanks for suggestions about how to use search tools and multiple browser windows. I’ll start thinking about this as an electronic document instead of a very large piece of paper.

    Comments about the desirability of a 1950 lifestyle always bother me. There aren’t that many women with the full 1950s skill set, and the people loudly proposing the lifestyle seem (am I mistaken?) to want to go back to the value systems that treat women as subordinate to a male head of family.

    I’ve been reading “A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove” by Laura Schenone. She has researched food and food preparation and women’s roles related to food in the North American continent. There are a wide range of roles and skills described. It’s fascinating. (It includes a chapter on the farming skills, food skills and immense manual labor provided by enslaved Africans. I’d like to believe that whatever the American culture turns into can avoid a repeat of that particular social dynamic.)

    If the 1950s skill set is rare, the 1850s skill set is even more unusual, and the 1750s skill set seems to be limited to reenactors and historians!

  297. Hello everyone,
    I keep seeing this article being posted here and there. I am asking about this because it is apparently happening in the US:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-robots/u-s-companies-put-record-number-of-robots-to-work-in-2018-idUSKCN1QH0K0
    What do you make of it?
    Is it real or just hype?
    What type of historical process would be at play here?
    My interpretation would be that it’s a desperate attempt to paper over the end of economic growth with small productivity gains at the cost of tremendous social fragility…
    What would be a plausible timeline for this process to reap it’s fateful consequences?
    Weirdly enough it’s also happening in Asia, where energy is scarcer and it would make more sense to keep the means of production and know-how in the hands of humans…

  298. @methylethyl; There may be a physical explanation for what you’re experiencing in that store.

    My college boyfriend could hear dog whistles – literal ones, not the political metaphorical kind. He just could hear higher pitches than most people. One day I went into a department store with him and saw him flinch as we crossed the threshold. He explained that the electronic security system at this particular store made a really loud continual squealing noise at one of those super high pitches that most people can’t hear, but he could hear it and he found it very unpleasant. He had been to most of the big department stores in the metropolitan area where he grew up and had figured out that the noise came from one particular brand of electronic security system, which some stores had and others didn’t.

    Now, if you have the sensitivity to ultra high pitched sounds and you have some synthesisia (sp?), you may not experience this sound as a sound. Instead, you may be experiencing it as the unpleasant vibe you mention.

  299. @Coop Janitor: You went to Beijing. And you drank Five Star beer. I don’t even know where you could buy that, these days, and yes, I live in Beijing. What did you do to make your tour guide hate you? You might have gone to one of the many craft breweries, and let me tell you, Great Leap Brewery’s Masala Stout is fracking BRILLIANT. I sank multiple pints just last Saturday!

    @Petrus “the Eastern Orthodox Church, which broke away early on and has maintained a relatively clean, ascetic” Um, no? It’s the Western church which broke away, and became the Catholic church in the absence of an emperor. The Eastern Orthodox Church remained as it was under Constantine for a thousand years, that’s 1,000 years, after the Western Roman Empire fell.

  300. Dave Trammel et al,

    On forgiveness. So I was raised n the Eastern Orthodox Church, and I didn’t leave through the doors but out the ceiling.The tradition of universal salvation runs deep in its history, and although most people do not adhere to it, it is still correct that “We may legitimately hope for the salvation of all.”

    My mother believed that when in the dying process a soul enters a timeless or altered time state, during which God has all the time in the world to work with a person, and the person also has sufficient time.

    Despite teaching hell, it is considered that souls go there who reject God, who loves all beings including the demons without ever wavering. Yet to reject God would be a kind of insanity and I think it can only be a temporary insanity.

    God in fact never changes his stance toward souls. I once asked an archbishop in Los Angeles, and aged man who was my image of Gandalf, how it was possible that God loves everyone the same (as he had told me). Despite that he believed in hell, he answered me thus: “God’s love is like an ocean. If we are all in the same ocean, who can be more wet?”

    If I operate on the Satan paradigm, it is quite obvious to me that Satan has worked his wicked will upon the theologians. Why do they think they are immune? The teaching is that Satan is like a ravening lion, seeking whom he may devour. Very clever adversary. If this is the case, what possible better victory could he have than to teach people to fear God? The things that are said of the “only One who is Good” by the theologians could only apply to the other guy. A horrid thought, yes, but in my opinion people are paying homage to the wrong one, changing out the names but worshiping a rotten character. If a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, then calling a bad guy God does not change who he really is.

    There are actually excellent and completely scriptural arguments for universal salvation. You might be amazed but it is really the only way to make sense even of the Bible.

    A marvelous Protestant site is tentmaker.org

    Completely demolishes the hell teaching. Using scripture. Check this one (skip the very short intro):
    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/QuestionsWithoutAnswers.html

    (From an Orthodox point of view, some of the questions don’t compute as this church never taught things like depravity or God sending the unwilling to hell.)

  301. @Lainie Thank you. People make fun of twitter, but when I see verified journalist accounts being destroyed in real time for inaccuracy and/or bias in their reporting, I know I am seeing civil war. It’s also interesting commenting on a tweet and seeing how some people’s followers are just crazed worshipers of that person. They are intolerant of any disagreement and will shout it down.

    Surprisingly though journalists get hammered every day from all sides. That’s another sign for me of civil war – there is no dominate narrative anymore.

    Congratulations on joining the local private club. Worth every minute.

  302. @Lathechuck

    Thank you for that explanation. I hadn’t encountered the idea that you couldn’t get funding to build a smaller house “because resale value” before, but it makes perverse sense of the new-house landscape.

    I remember a couple years ago when my parents were getting estimates for replacing their roof: it was an extra $10k for every roofline. Now, whenever I look at real estate listings, I count up the roof lines, multiply by $10k for the first roof replacement, and mentally add that to the price of the house. $$$cha-CHING!$$$. If those banks think the house would be hard to sell at 1000 sq ft, wait’ll they see how hard it is to sell once the roof is leaking!

    Meanwhile, since our hurricane, my whole county has taken a rather unexpected swing in the opposite direction– sort of a region-wide experiment in alternative housing. Perhaps it’ll be a positive thing in the long run: with something like 20% of the population either displaced or living in “uninhabitable” homes (actually, a lot of them are living in storage sheds in backyards– you can tell by the extension cords), a few fascinating things have happened:

    1) 4.5 months out, the county and townships are unwilling or unable to enforce the usual regulations about housing: how many per house, how many square feet, what sort of structures are allowed in which neighborhoods, etc. They’d lose a huge chunk of their tax base immediately, and get bad PR into the bargain, if they enforced any of that. This could easily be the case for the next couple of years– and by then, there will be so many well-established alternative housing modes in use, they may simply be forced to adjust the law to accommodate. We’ll see.

    2) Tons of people have been living in RVs, in their own driveways, in nice middle-class subdivisions, for months. I’ve talked to, and overheard, a surprising number of people re-evaluating how much stuff, and how much floor space, they actually need. They feel terribly cramped in their campers, with their kids and pets, but… they’re surprised how easy it was to let go of all their water-damaged furniture, electronics, clothes, etc., and now a house half the size of their previous one would feel like a palace. Not everyone, of course, but some.

    3) Storage sheds have become popular. Local dealers have been inundated and can hardly keep them in stock. We have been shopping around for one, ourselves, as debris-clogged creeks have been slowly raising the water table and flooding our area. Living in these things is radically against county codes (see item 1), but now, when you come right out and tell the salesmen that you’re looking for something to live in, they don’t even blink: this is most of their business, these days.

  303. Thanks for pointing out the online discussion of “Street Light Interference” (SLI) as a possible paranormal phenomenon. I hadn’t searched for such, and wasn’t aware of it. Now I have accounts of a lot of other people’s experiences to compare to. Opinions differ on paranormal vs. ordinary causes. Perhaps some of both?

    I don’t seem to fit the typical “SLIder” profile very well, though. Electrical systems and electronic devices are usually pretty well-behaved around me, otherwise I’d have a harder time fixing them. (Two things they like: tight stable connections where things should be connected, and clear clean separations where things should be separate. Street light wiring, subject as it is to dampness, heat, cold, dirt, vibration, and so forth, will sometimes lack one or both of those qualities.)

    (I must admit I’d never considered the electrons’ feelings about the matter, but I note that in ordinary electrical “currents” in wires and devices, the electrons actually are moved very little by the electric fields our circuit designs impose on them. Typically, a tenth of a millimeter per second; or for AC, a few thousandths of a millimeter back and forth… compared with thousands of meters per second for their own random “thermal” motions going on at the same time. One might compare it to how much our breathing imposes upon the wind.)

    @Will J, good to know! (*chants: one of us… one of us…*)

  304. JMG, hoping this will be more acceptable than the last time I tried to send you six questions at once, I have a bunch of *spoiler-free* questions about Chorazin.

    Though Innsmouth would make a fine movie, I joked that your planned income from this series may involve a real estate scam – someday you will tell us that homes are available in the REAL village on which Dunwich (or Innsmouth or Chorazin) was based, and we will all stampede to sign mortgages. 😉 These places seem, in a humble way, utopian. Which raises questions about how they function – and if you haven’t thought about it in that much detail and don’t want to now, well, delete this. But if you have:

    What’s the economic basis for these communities? You mention “increasingly unreliable” electricity, and motels have hot water and telephone service. Is energy locally generated, or are they hooked up to a state grid with problems? Since many residents evidently don’t or couldn’t work “outside”, where do they get cash income to pay for such services (or imports such as tea)?

    Does the daily local economy involve payment in cash for goods and services, with cash entering through a few people’s outside jobs, and the cost of freebies to people in hiding reimbursed by church tithes, or is there barter and tithing in kind? When Owen, as a welcomed visitor, gets a free burger at the restaurant, would the longtime resident at the next table directly pay for his meal, and in what currency? Or is the village effectively communist, with subsistence production and cash shared within or among families as needed?

    If the latter, though that can work well in close-knit religious communities (if nowhere else), you’ve argued that celibacy is necessary to keep it working. Here that is evidently not true; is that (a) simply to suit the needs of the fantasy, (b) because residents are superior in character to average humans thanks to the Old Ones’ breeding program, or (c) a softening of your opinion on the subject as pertains to the real world?

    Thanks for any insights you may feel like offering.

  305. JMG,

    to add to the fun of watching the ideas of archdruid bubble to the surface of the mainstream conversation, here is recent article from the BBC:

    “So collapse may be a normal phenomenon for civilisations, regardless of their size and stage.

    We may be more technologically advanced now. But this gives little ground to believe that we are immune to the threats that undid our ancestors. Our newfound technological abilities even bring new, unprecedented challenges to the mix.”

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190218-are-we-on-the-road-to-civilisation-collapse

  306. @JMG: Question. I find the Gypsy Witch cards very easy to read, but am not sure what they mean by “near” or “distant,” those being such relative terms. Does it have anything to do with whether the cards are upside-down? Or if not,what?

    BTW – and I do know it’s fiction – the idea of sorceresses as ocean liners and witches as riverboats or small rowboats on the pond, made perfect sense. I know which one I am; it’s pretty obvious. (Maybe a rubber raft going down a lazy river?)

    Much enjoyed Chorazin. I doubt any Southwesterner would have to ask “what ethnic group are these?” but would probably be asking “what tribe?” and assuming a fair admixture of Spanish, Anglo, and whatever else is around.

  307. @Denys

    The Amish in Lancaster county, pa have been influenced by fundamentalist Christianity especially since the Brunk revivals. This has driven magic practice into hidden places. If you wan t good information on the black Dutch .and you already are familiar with the Lancaster historical society, talk to Sam Stoltzfus, an old order amishman who once frequented there. If anyone would know, it would be him. Since you are familiar with the area, if you take the Olde Philadelphia Pike from Lancaster to Philly you will pass through Bird-in-hand, and immediately before you get to Intercourse you will pass a large red farmhouse on the corner of Route 340 and Clearview Rd. The old order amish woman living there is considered the local Amish witch doctor. she may know what you are looking for.

  308. JMG and Monk, if I may enter into your discussion that started last week… Enright’s Lady with a Mead Cup is a great read, I am halfway through at the moment and absolutely fascinated. I wonder if the iconic image of Che Guevara will one day enter a line of succession just like one-eyed Hannibal, Sertorius and Julius Civilis (I had never paid attention to the last two of these, and Sertorius especially is mind-blowing).

    I still wonder: what Caesar-like figures appeared in “barbarian” societies on the brink of the Classical world before they did in Rome? Only Hannibal would seem to get near, since Sertorius came after the Gracchi, Marius and Sulla. If there is any historicity to Fionn, he seems to be anchored more to the 4th/5th century CE..

  309. JMG. I discovered you about a month ago when my recurring internet searches seeking actionable plans to industrial society’s predicament finally turned up your “As Night Closes In” tribute to William Catton. Since then, I have devoured your ecological books. YOU GET IT, much more so than anyone else I have found, though Jacob Fisker at Early Retirement Extreme; Pete Adeney at MrMoneyMustache; Tom Murphy at Dothemath; the late scientist author David J.C. McKay in Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air; author Richard Heinberg; author Paul Ehrlich; investor Jeremy Grantham; and a few others also all get it to varying degrees.

    I have an idea for you. Pretend you are an authoritarian president and decribe in detail what needs to be done in preparation for our Retro Future National Emergency to minimize true suffering as much as possible. Describe in detail the consequences our children and grandchildren will likely face if we do not change. Then lead a true populist movement and indeed RUN. You have my vote, though I am guessing you do not want the job🙂

    For what it is worth, I enjoy walking the talk while living to a large degree the minimalist Retro life you describe. I am starting an urban farm/homestead and will continue to reach and teach anyone I can while preparing for the future.

  310. @ David Trammel

    Thank you for your reply 🙂 It’s interesting reading about Sherlock Holmes and how he used his memory, it sounds very similar to my daughter who can remember things from years ago in that sort of precise detail although usually jambles up sequence and size. She is also is a natural lucid dreamer often confusing her dreams for real, she has made me age very quickly trying to ground and set limits to her. I work differently from her, again and notice all the subtle and intuitive things and have to watch my mental boundaries too and my son although he isn’t talking yet also has signs of having very different perceptions but different from my daughter again. We’re an odd bunch lol.

    Will look at signing up to the Green Wizards forum I have considered it in the past :).

    Regarding the Vaccine subject there is concern not only regarding the ingredients of the vaccines but I have read some studies that suggest that vaccines don’t effect the immune system in a balanced way. Something regarding the different ways the body instructs white blood cells to attack foreign bodies with one way being designed to attack viruses etc in the bloodstream and another setting being to attack those within cells or something like that. And that too much vaccination in the wrong person can cause the system to tip too strongly in one direction and cause auto immune problems. Only reason I know that is because I get chronic fatigue and body aches and bowel issues for years after having a vaccine and researched it but that was many years ago.

  311. New book out re the “Republican civil war” and the rise of Trump:

    https://politicalwire.com/2019/03/05/american-carnage/

    Also, pulled from the comment thread:

    Person #1
    I’m still pretty disappointed by this so-called “civil war.” I want to see brother against brother, father against son. I want to see the ground stained and the rivers flow red with Republican blood. I want Antietam and Gettysburg. I want nothing left when it’s over.

    Person #2 (in reply)
    True – and since the Republicans seem to identify more with the Confederacy; They continue the tradition: bloody internecine fighting , tearing the fabric of the nation at the core while in the minority and and ultimately losing and being humiliated.

    Understanding that these are random comments on one platform, given my (albeit limited) experience interacting with these folks and later just observing them, I don’t see these as unrepresentative of at least one significant faction. Stuff like this is why I cannot identify myself as a Democrat anymore. I have family who consistently vote Republican and I can certainly understand why they do so, even if I may not agree with those reasons.

    Are we so focused on imposing our will on others that we cannot embrace the notion of just minding our own business?

  312. @ Ecodad
    Just read JMG’s book “Retrotopia.” You can see exactly how he imagines thing that work and things that don’t. And besides, it is a great story. And if you want to know how it could happen, read JMG’s “Twilight’s Last Gleaming.” Both are great reads.

  313. @joanhello – back when I had a loop in my hearing aids, which was supposed to enable me to pick up the audio in public performances that had such a setup, I kept getting this horrendous sound when going through store doors myself.

  314. Lainie Petersen – Here’s one thing you might want to be cautious about, regarding ham radio. Your license is a public record, with your name and mailing address on it. Shortly after you are granted a license, a ham-radio oriented web site will create a web page for you, automatically, since they query the FCC periodically. Since many hams are interested to know how far away their contacts are, and what direction (for pointing an antenna), your web page will include a map. Your FCC call sign is globally unique, so, in a sense, when I sign a blog post with my call sign, I’m also putting my legal name and home address one step removed the post (for those who know where to look it up). If this concerns you, you may want to register your license through a PO Box or the address of a relative.

    By the way, I don’t know why anyone capitalizes “HAM”. It’s not an acronym. It apparently dates back to the day when professional radio operators had a delicate touch with the telegraph key, and amateurs were said to be “ham-fisted”. It stuck as a bit of self-deprecating humor.

  315. Petrus – The geomantic device did not require sand to determine the “mothers”. There are four sliding arcs that can be moved to and fro until each reaches the right place, at which time each determines one figure. I assume that the querent is equally likely to “steer” the selection using these sliders as one would be to intentionally count out the marks in the sand as they’re made. Which is to say, you should probably not try to do so, but should allow the subconscious its way. I suppose that you want to be more random than just writing down what you want, and less random than flipping a coin. (Sixteen coin flips would give you four figures, too, if you assign heads to * and tails to **, but that might be too random to be useful.)

  316. @Bogatyr,
    Understand that both the Five Star and the London Pub crawls were in 1987!
    I’ve spent upwards of a year and half to two years in Beijing and few other places in China since. Last trip was around 2002. Primarily working on Rail measurement systems for the Railway. Always enjoyed going even though I couldn’t speak the language.

  317. I haven’t commented in a while, but thought I would share something very close to home for me, that also I believe is something of a chorus of dropping canaries in the coal mines of technological industrialism. I find it tangentially related to the issues of this blog, and the process of transition to a different future than the one we’re accelerating into headlong.

    I will call it the “Millennial Burnout Narrative.”

    It all started early this year, with a story published from an unlikely “fluffy” source: BuzzFeed.

    “How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation”

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/annehelenpetersen/millennials-burnout-generation-debt-work

    Instead of yet another screed about how we are the worst lazy scum to walk the Earth, it was one of us fully-adult 30-something Millennials speaking frankly about how exhausting and meaningless our day-to-day lives tend to be, motivated by no higher calling than the avoidance of shame brought on by failure of one kind or another. It hit me personally, as I make no secret about my architectural career putting me in the ER after 4 months of 50-80 hr weeks in early 2017.

    That initial viral article was followed by a slew of others, all examining the workaholic lifestyle an entire generation was bred and trained for, its echoes in popular media, and effects on spiritual wellbeing:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/millennial-burnout-real-it-touches-serious-nerve-critics-here-s-ncna974506

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/01/marie-kondo-fyre-fraud-and-tvs-millennial-burnout/580753/

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/02/religion-workism-making-americans-miserable/583441/

    My conclusion is that there is an entire generation (mine) becoming sorely fed up with the broken promises of progress, and primed for a different way of doing things, if only the right voices and message can get past the filters of social media.

    Thoughts on this concept are welcome from all. I recommend googling around on “Millennial burnout,” as there are far more results than I gave as examples, and plenty of simple dots to connect with what’s going on.

    -Architrains

  318. Matthias: Yes, I don’t know. Another question I have is, we should expect a pseudomorphosis from Mexico/Latin America in the near American future. But that Mexican/Latin American world is not itself a developed civilization – I thought pseudomorphosis had to occur from a developed civilization to an undeveloped one. Unfortunately JMG doesn’t usually answer questions this late in the cycle.

  319. JMG – This short article about a long, academic paper, just showed up on my “recommended stories” feed (from Google? Microsoft? I’m not sure who’s feeding me!)

    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vbwpdb/the-climate-change-paper-so-depressing-its-sending-people-to-therapy

    Nothing in it will come as any surprise to the readers of this blog. The interesting part is that it’s come out in the mass-market media.

    The long paper is “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy” by Jem Bendell.

    https://jembendell.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/the-study-on-collapse-they-thought-you-should-not-read-yet/

  320. Beekeeper,
    Inspiring images of a small but crowded house full of family love! May we all aspire to such things.

  321. @Cliff: As preamble – I knew nothing about the astrological influences of Pluto, and was very intrigued by the discussion this week about it’s influences – so I did just a bit of research. This is very basic / low level understanding of astrology, so I apologise if it is a bit off kilter to any of the more adept astrological students here: I think it’s slightly mentioned above, but to recap for us lay-people –

    Pluto, (Like the Indian God Shiva) is a force of ‘destructive creativity’. File this under “You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs”. 🙂 The destruction is painful but necessary to end an old system and give way to the rebirth of a new one. The few blurbs I read both included Shiva as acting in the same manner and is possible the same influence interpreted in a different way from another culture. I had always been confused how the ‘Destroyer of Worlds’ could be revered as a God, but now it makes perfect sense.

  322. @Denys Thank you for your insights. I’d love to hear more about how you see this type of civil war spreading: I’m genuinely concerned about what is happening and how it is going to further tear at the tattered remnants of society.

    Being part of a private club is an astonishing experience. I’d like to see more such clubs develop, but am concerned that things are too fragment to allow for people to make the sacrifices necessary for such associations.

  323. I recently bought a home in a small rural town up against the mountains and am in the process of moving from the city up there. It’s a Goldilocks town with about 1500 people, a fair share of which are outsiders like myself, an important factor in my choice. I just wanted to thank you, John, for your years of tireless effort, thank you and people like, Jim Kunstler, whose posts and podcasts awakened me to the phoney plastic corporate world that I used to live in.

    I hope I can bring some positive values and actions to my new home, to be a ‘human’ rather than consumer, and in small part repay my debt to you lone voices who preach sanity in a world of corruption and selfishness.

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the current post are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views expressed here, and I try to respond to each comment as time permits. Long screeds proclaiming the infallibility of some ideology or other, however, will be deleted; so will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed; so will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flamebaiting and the like -- I filled up my supply of Troll Bingo cards years ago and have no interest in adding any more to my collection; and so will sales spam and offers of "guest posts" pitching products. I'm quite aware that the concept of polite discourse is hopelessly dowdy and out of date, but then some people would say the same thing about the traditions this blog is meant to discuss. Thank you for reading Ecosophia! -- JMG

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