Open Post

June 2018 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.

One additional note — I’d like to thank once again everyone who attended the first Ecosophia potluck in Providence, RI last Saturday, and especially our hosts Peter and Chiara. A marvelous time was had by all. The second Ecosophia potluck has already been scheduled — June 22, 2019 — at the same place; details will follow once we get a little closer to the day.

With that said, have at it!

387 Comments

  1. So, to begin, I have a question to ask: how, exactly, should I go about developing a taste for more types of vegetables? I want to get more leafy greens and similar into my diet, both to improve my health and to subsist better when I’ll need to grow food for a living, but I have a problem: apart from just a few varieties, like broccoli and cauliflower, I don’t really care for the taste of many vegetables; in particular, lettuce, zucchini, and tomatoes, even though we’ve got the means to grow the latter two. What would be the best way to start cultivating a like for these types of foods?

  2. I’ve noticed that, though not a Christian, I tend to see moral, political, etc issues through a Christian lens. I get the sense that in some ways this is true of all the Western world, with different sides either supporting or opposing an essentially bygone moral system without really understanding what made it tick and without having a real system of their own, except for ones influenced to some degree by Christianity e.g. Marxism. Do you think this is correct? Do you have any advice for seeing the world in non-Christian ways? (I’ve read Aristotle’s Ethics, but I tend to think Christianity was an improvement on that.) As a side note, you mentioned once that Eastern writings gave the West a new understanding of sexuality – what writings did you have in mind?

  3. I’ve noticed an irony: we green wizards tend to use the internet for communication. I can think of a way to fix that (start a magazine), but that’ll involve a lot of work. I don’t want to do that unless there’s interest, but if there is, I’ll go ahead with this idea. I’ve found somewhere I think I can get a printing press for a small sum of money. Once that’s done, I might need some time to figure out how it works, and I’ll go from there. I’ll aim to have something done by January, and every three months from there. I’m happy to provide more details as I work on the project, and updates as I go. I’ll try to have an update for each open post.

    So, would anyone be interested in a Green Wizard Magazine, as a subscriber and or writer?

  4. Dear JMG,

    I am reading your excellent book “The Druid Magic Handbook”, and I have started recently (less than 2 weeks), to do the morning divination exercise where 3 fews are selected.

    The fews seem quite often to be right, but I usually only know that after the fact. I think I get the right fews, but my mind is not quiet enough, or inspired enough, to listen to the hints of what might be coming-up on the day ahead.

    Any suggestions?

    I thought of doing the divination the night before, about the next day, but I suspect the effect in my quality of sleep when the cards are not looking very good, might not be nice, as that is tough to deal with even during the day. But it would make it easier I think, in terms of quieting my mind, since in the morning I tend to be anxious about the amount of work on the day ahead.

    Thank you very much,

    AnxiousBeginner

  5. Dear JMG,

    I am using cards as my fews, and their names are in Braille. I found out after the fact, that one or two of them might have a typo, like Ngetal versus Ngtal….

    I thought of starting over, but I got a feeling of affection for this imperfection when I found out. As if my cards being imperfect made them mine, and made them special.

    I am inclined to follow my feeling and keep them as they are. Would you recommend that I get rid of them and remake them to make sure there are no typos? The drawings of the fews are very nicely done, as far as I know.

    BlindOne

  6. We all got into the political realm a bit with last week’s post, so much of recent development has already been discussed. (I’d like to thank everyone for the civil, if slightly edged, tone we are all able to maintain.)

    On another front, I received a letter from the foundation of our local two-year state university campus, to which i have donated in the past. For those aren’t aware, the University of Wisconsin System has been going through substantial upheaval. There are 20 some-odd institutions across the state, including 13 two-year colleges. These are being folded into the four-year institutions, with our local college slated to become a “satellite” campus” of UW-Green Bay. The foundation was writing to notify me that it was shutting down as of 1 July and that all further donations should be directed to the UW-GB foundation. It made me very sad, both as a local resident (seeing a local institution lose its local character, but I’m also not blind to the likelihood of events further down the road) and as a former part-time adjunct math professor. The writing is on the wall, as it were.

    The old forms are dying but the new are not yet born; we stand in the uncertain light of the betwixt and between.

  7. Ethan, don’t make yourself eat things you don’t like — your body may be telling you that it doesn’t want them. My advice would be to try other, less ordinary vegetables, and see if there are other things you can grow that you do like.

    Monk, always look for a third option. Christian moral thinking is nearly always stuck in binary thinking — it’s good or it’s evil, no middle ground, no third option. Any time you find a moral binary passing through your mind, stop and look for something outside the two-and-only-two alternatives of Christian thought. As for the influence of Asia on European ideas about sexuality, it wasn’t primarily written texts — it was the fact that all over south Asia, depictions of sexual intercourse are common in religious imagery. Those forced Europeans to realize that there might be something parochial, and even unbalanced, in the Christian notion that sex is the opposite of holiness.

    Will, I’d be delighted to subscribe and can also contribute the occasional essay. That strikes me as a very good idea, and I’d be willing to help promote the magazine as well.

    MeMyselfandI, that’s perfectly normal. The fact that you’re already figuring out what the fews are saying after the fact is a good sign, in fact; over time — and it may take a while — that retrospective awareness will seep over into your readings, and you’ll notice that you begin to get clearer readings. Eventually you’ll be casting and interpreting accurate readings. It’s not a fast process, but if you stick with it, it’ll pay off.

    John Smith, don’t worry about replacing the cards with typos. An emotional connection with the cards is worth considerably more than getting every detail of spelling right!

    David, the writing is definitely on the wall. I wonder whether Wisconsin will have any universities at all when the dust finally settles.

  8. @Ethan have you ever eaten the veggies you dislike fresh from the garden? There’s no comparison for taste and texture between fresh and store bought, in my opinion, and I believe that’s why many people dislike vegetables.

    I recommend picking up a recipe book that specializes in veg dishes and trying a few out until you find a few you really like. Recipe books are great for inspiration.

    Tim

  9. Green drinks Nathan. – cups of chard, spinach leafy vegies , one or two bananas (fresh or frozen), -3 cups water kefir (I make our own) one cup milk kefir, fresh or frozen fruits then spice how you like. Once a day, and they go down like candy.
    Eat 1/4 of any grains you normally eat and more saturated fats whether meat or vegetable, and ORGANIC in ALL THINGS!
    All vegetable oils can become rancid over a short time except for olive oil and coconut. also cooking vegie oil other that coconut or olive oil.

  10. Will J

    I’d certainly be interested in subscribing to and periodically submitting to such a magazine. Would you perhaps start with a quarterly, for manageability? (I have no idea how much work is involved myself. Perhaps Joel could comment, since he has some experience in such things!)

  11. JMG, if you were (re)writing your Geomancy book today, is there anything you would have done differently?

  12. @Ethan La Coursiere

    I, too, have not historically had a great enjoyment of vegetables, and have desired to include more varieties in my diet. My approach has been to grow them! You don’t have to do it all at once. Pick a vegetable that you feel rather ‘meh’ about, and grow it. By the time you have nurtured it to harvest and protected it against the predatory hordes, by the Gods you are going to eat it. And it will be home grown and really fresh. And it won’t be like anything from the supermarket – you may come to appreciate and enjoy it! Then move on to others…

    If you don’t have the time, space, inclination, etc. to do so, consider buying really fresh vegetables at a farmers market. Maybe work on one variety at a time.

    Anyway, this has worked for me to some extent. Although I met my Waterloo at brussel sprouts 🙂 There’s always the “lot’s of butter and garlic” technique, too. :;)

  13. I have just started to follow these conversations. I also just read Mystery Teachings of the Living Earth and have now lent it to two friends. But there is a wonderful book that I just got out of the library and it was just published this year by Michael Massing entitled “Erasmus, Luther, and the Fight for the Western Mind. It’s really appropriate to many of the things of read in your posts, and also your readers. Just wanted to pass this on to others. Kathy Halton

  14. Dear Ethan, a dislike of vegetables usually is an indication that your system can’t digest them. This not at all uncommon. You might like to provide yourself with a good basic cookbook, How to Cook Everything, is a good place to start, and check out different ways of cooking vegetables. Some people who can’t tolerate fresh veges can take them incorporated into soup or stew.

    Go right ahead and grow those maters and zukes and trade for other things you need. I would urge you to try to avoid any chemical interventions which would only make a delicate digestive system worse. I was recently reading a cookbook by an author and cook from India. She criticized raw and half-cooked veges as unhealthy–in India they would be.

    If tomatoes and zukes flourish where you live you might be able to attempt melons, next season as it is a bit late this year. I gather you can tolerate fruit?

  15. Good morning JMG & all,

    My question is about music and nwyfre. In certain circumstances, does the experience of playing or listening to music concentrate or generate it in larger quantities than in the usual day to day flow? Maybe generate it is not the right word- can “more” of the universal life-energy ever be “made”? 🙂

    I ask because there have certainly been times that I have felt a marked increased flowing of that power during and sometimes lingering long after a particularly uplifting performance. I think it was nwyfre, anyway. Maybe it’s something else? It’s like being high and inspired, but without any of the negative side effects of the more usual material drugs. One retains full consciousness and an increased clarity and manual/physical facility rather than a decrease in those things. Everything gets “lit up”.

    It makes me want to make things. While enveloped in it and filled by it, paradoxically I feel most fully myself. Pursuit of the experience of that is why I am am artist, work in the arts, and am partnered with a musician, I think. It’s funny I’ve only put it together in my mind that way in the last few days.

    Is that nwyfre? Or awen?

    Many thanks!
    Bonnie

  16. Re (I assume print) magazine: goodness no! Can’t quickly respond, and threads of responses would be impossible. Also cost. I would point out that to go to print to avoid our miniscule contribution to the burden of the Internet is really sort of like walking instead of taking the bus. IMHO.

    Re veggies, allergies may be involved. I ignore my allergy to tomatoes (it’s slight)(so good!), but your bod may have a better idea!

    Ol’ Bab

  17. I was wondering about whether dreaming is a skill and something you can get good at. If not, why not, and if so, what does it look like to be a good dreamer?

    I understand that you can dream lucidly, and that you can decide to interpret things that show up in your dreams in certain ways, but are there skills besides those?

  18. On the subject of the canon I was wondering if it would be helpful to expand the concept beyond books everyone should read to skills everyone should have. Particularly those that are known to form a good base from which to move on to other things. Harry Braverman, author of Labour and Monopoly Capital started as a shipyard coppersmith but that prepared him for a career that included working in train sheds and general purpose machine shops. As I understand it the metalworking trades are considered some of the best base skills. There are probably other equivalents in construction and other fields of work.

    There is a similar belief in systems of physical culture, particularly that developed by Soviet sports scientists. There are a set of physical skills and adaptions that once developed allow the individual to successfully perform nearly any sport or physical activity (except those that require being born with a specific body type). It leads to stories like the Soviet volleyball team being better at football than a lot of football teams.

    Another possible canon skill – in interpersonal communication training the same basic principles are taught first, regardless of whether the students are counsellors coaches or hostage negotiators. The skillset is known under loads of different brand names but it’s all basically the same thing.

  19. I want to ask about something I’ve been brooding over since it was mentioned briefly in the Cos Doc discussion. I think you said something to the effect that people can indeed aspire to the Unmanifest, but that this is hardly a good idea. I really wonder why anyone would do this, and why so much of contemporary pop spirituality seems focused on it right now? And also, why does it always carry with it the idea that the way to attainment is to figure out some way to kill off the thinking mind? There is this air of faux humbleness surrounding the whole ordeal, but I can’t shake the feeling that what motivates people to this, is that supreme arrogance that considers anything less than the Absolute to be unfit for the self.

    I’d love your thoughts on this.

  20. Two questions, if I may:
    Regarding climate change, do you think that there are any countries which will become permanently or seasonally uninhabitable due to heat (along with humidity) e.g. Pakistan?
    Secondly, are there any countries or regions that, in your estimation, are more likely to cope relatively better and decline more slowly during the next rounds of Catabolic collapse?
    I appreciate that it’s usually better to stay put and deal with collapse where you are, but I was just wondering.
    Thank you.

  21. Dear JMG, Do you think there is more to this growing ” trade war” than just Trump rewarding his base and following through on his election promises. I assumed that was all it was until I followed the links to the exact list of tariffed items from China ( the most recent I think). The list was long and very detailed with such things as ( Turbine Base Root Castings) and ( Industrial Heat Treating Ovens) on it. Not just a symbolic set of tariffs ginned up in the administration but tariffs on very specific and low volume industrial goods that could have only been submitted by a broad section of us industrial sectors. Is there a notion within the highest levels of industrial America that the period of limitless global trade is over and a new era us dawning. After looking at this list I don’t think these Tariffs are just a negotiating gambit to get the Chinese to protect U.S. intellectual property and buy more LNG. I think they are intended to be put in to place and enforced for the long term.

  22. >developing a taste for more types of vegetables?

    The largest breakthrough I experienced in this vein was to learn how various cultures prepare “field herbs” (edible weeds).

    The Northern European way is to boil them for several hours until most of the oxalate breaks down (hence the name for a subset, “pot herbs”), which mitigates the risk of kidney stones for people who eat large amounts of lamb’s quarter and similar. I don’t really enjoy them cooked this way, however.

    Some Mediterranean cultures finely mince field herbs to make a sauce such as pesto or zhoug, or to flavor and bulk out starchy dishes such as falafel or tabbouleh. I slavishly followed recipes for years, buying the specified amount of parsley each time, until some offhand comment opened my mind to the idea of making this sort of dish with whatever was growing and would taste good.

    From then on, I was willing to experiment with radish tops, borage (use only the very young sprouts unless you have a plan to deal with the spines), nasturtium, and small amounts of purslane, among other veggies, any time the general idea seemed to connect to traditional uses of field herbs.

  23. @Will J

    I am interested in subscribing to and writing for your proposed Green Wizard magazine, if you’d consider it practical to extend circulation to Canada.

    Question for the commentariat in general: does such a print magazine already exist? Let’s not reinvent the wheel, right? I have encountered Green Wizardry and related ideas almost exclusively through JMG’s online platforms, so I don’t know what’s out there in print.

    I for one would prefer to read quality writing and discussion such as we find on JMG’s platforms in a slower, tangible format. And I see good sense in paying for a subscription to keep such a discussion sustainable.

    Which reminds me- it’s about time I visited the Ecosophia tip jar again.

  24. What do you think about getting a natal chart reading? As in, what are the main benefits?

    I have had a few readings done informally for me, some things have been accurate while others seem to be less so, or at least are things I find that conflicts with my “life path”. I noticed that you didn’t recommend “life path” type readings on Dreamwidth. For example, an online friend read my Saturn being in Aquarius under the 9th House as meaning a longing for freedom as an independent researcher — I don’t really feel any need to do that at this point in my life although I still read widely.

    Basically I’m wondering if I should get a full natal reading from a professional astrologer if I’m going to live my life anyway. What are any benefits of doing thar in your mind?

  25. First, I hope this is ok for your open forum, I am embarrassed to say I just found your blog recently, after hearing about you at a seminar here in CA. It’s been so nice to find another place of sanity “out there”.

    I have two comments/questions. First is that I am reading Retrotopia and absolutely love it, thank you! I am going to buy multiple copies and give them out as gifts to everyone I know. What a brilliant way to make people think in a very readable story. What is the best way to buy several copies and make sure you get the most financial benefit? I have 99.9% boycotted Amazon.

    My second is, I am absolutely desperate to leave this place. Ever since I took a job last year at “the most prestigious California public university” (easy guess) I have realized I have to get out of here to save both my sanity, and quite possibly my life. It would take an essay to express just how insane and damaged this place is, and the pressure cooker that is building. Does anyone have any recommendations for areas or communities in the Pacific Northwest? (the hubby, a SF native, refuses to leave the West coast). I lived in Orofino, Idaho in the late 1980s, and consider moving back, I’ve no fear of very small towns. I would appreciate ideas on areas, what to look for, what to avoid. We have a little money saved, and would eventually like a small acreage for a permaculture garden. Hubby is a machinist and mechanic and would like a shop, and to live in a place that appreciates his skills (the Bay Area is not that…)

    Thanks to everyone on here who has really helped me get through the last couple months.

  26. John–

    Re the UW System

    Just my outsider’s view (I’m neither a native of the state nor an alumnus of the system), but my take is that UW-Madison (“the” UW) and UW-Milwaukee have a fair amount of heft. (They’re also the two doctoral universities, if I understand correctly.) The other four-years may very well be vulnerable down the road, paralleling the plight of the two-years now. The two-year colleges ended up suffering from poaching from both ends — the technical colleges began offering freshman/sophomore courses in addition to their technical curricula (at a lower cost) and the four-years began aggressively recruiting the applicants who have traditionally used the two-years campuses as a stepping-stone in an effort to shore-up their own flagging enrollment numbers.

    The technical schools are in a slightly better situation financially in that they are not directly dependent on the state budget, but are rather supported directly by property taxes from surrounding taxation districts specific to each school. This model, perhaps, offers insight as to how a state might (partially) fund higher education going forward.

  27. Ethan,

    In regards to your dislike of many vegetables, don’t be too hard on yourself if, after giving some of their a fair chance, you just simply cannot stomach them. There are actually a number of very good and physiological reasons why you may not be able to tolerate those particular vegetables.

    For one, people vary radically in the number and kind of taste receptors that they have on their tongues, sometimes by a factor of more than a hundred. So a given vegetable that may only be mildly or even pleasantly bitter to me, such as radicchio, may taste horribly bitter to another person. Also, there are a whole host of individual chemical components in all foods, each of which can taste significantly different from one person to another, or even be altogether tasteless.

    For example, there is a compound known as “geosmin” that is found in various foods, to which some minority of people are highly sensitive. I happen to be one of those people (yes, I was tested for it). So, while I have managed long ago to overcome most of my childhood vegetable phobias and dislikes, and today will eat and enjoy most vegetables, there are two that I cannot even remotely tolerate — beets and horseradish — which are literally indescribably strong, repulsive and foul-tasting to me. There is no question of my “learning to enjoy” these two vegetables, no more than there is of the average person “learning to enjoy” eating, say, rotten fish or the contents of a septic tank. And both of those vegetables, not surprisingly, are very high in geosmin.

    To me, beets taste like the highly concentrated essence of everything dank, moldy and mildewy about rotting leaves and humus-rich black soil, while horseradish is even worse, like the most potent toxic chemical waste imaginable. It astounds me that anyone could willingly put either of those two ‘foods’ into their mouths! Yet I LOVE brussel sprouts, sardines, liver, blue cheese, kimchi, and other notably strong-tasting foods.

    Having said all that, I will concur with Tim Wickstrom, that you would very likely have a new appreciation of certain vegetables after growing them yourself. And it is not just a matter of gaining such an appreciation through having invested time and energy into growing them. I have found, for example, that there are certain varieties of lettuce that are FAR superior in flavor to anything that can be found in the grocery store, which you would never find in the stores simply because they are too delicate and/or perishable to grow and distribute commercially. But if you do not want, or are not able, to go as far as growing your own, I think that his alternate suggestion, to visit a local farmers’ market, is an excellent choice as well.

  28. @ sgage & Ethan

    Ironically, brussel sprouts are one of those things I never thought I’d ever eat, but my wife has whipped up some very simple, clean dishes that are quite tasty. A bit of salt, pepper, and bit of butter, bake it all, and top with fresh-squeezed lemon. Crazy good.

    I find that a touch of some simple herbs and seasonings can go a long way to transforming a dish!

  29. I need advice, and would be happy to see anyone jump in to share their experiences, about arranging a trip from Denver to Seattle. My plan is to take the bus, but my boyfriend just took the trip and was utterly miserable (and he’s taken a number of long bus rides, but this sounds worse). The train will not work in this case (indirect route that means a prohibitive cost and double the travel time of the bus). My question is how to deal with discomfort, inconsiderate people, noise, and cramped conditions on a packed bus for a 30+ hour trip. Along the same lines, I don’t like flying much, and I want to vote my conscious by taking the bus. However, I’d be interested in knowing what factors if any make anyone here in our crowd choose flying (paying for offsets, choosing an efficient airline, etc.). Flying is not only faster but cheaper and my boyfriend is urging me to choose this option at this point. Any help, advice, insight, tricks, or innovative solutions appreciated. Thanks, Joy Vernon

  30. Rationalist, oh, I could probably find some details to improve here and there, but I’m mostly pretty satisfied with it.

    Katherine, thanks for the suggestion.

    Bonnie, nwyfre responds to sound — that’s why magical rituals use special ways of chanting and speaking. From what you’ve said, certain kinds of music help your enaid (your body of nwyfre) tap into the flow of nwyfre to a greater extent than it usually does. Nwyfre can neither be created nor destroyed, but it can be concentrated and dispersed, and if you’ve found a good way to concentrate it in a form your enaid can use, that’s worth paying attention to.

    Spicehammer, I don’t know. I’ve never really looked into dreams, other than recording mine for a while and discovering that they’re apparently weirder than most people’s.

    Yorkshire, that’s an interesting concept, and worth including in a discussion of education.

    Sven, the attraction of the unmanifest and the desire to stop thinking are part and parcel of the same thing, which Dion Fortune discusses at some length in the book. Basically you’ve got a choice to make when you become aware of the spiritual dimensions of the cosmos, which happens at a certain point in the evolutionary arc. To put it in terms of spiritual ecology, you can recognize that you exist in a whole system, that your actions affect that whole system and cycle back around to affect you, and that your best bet is to find ways of living that relate constructively to the whole system. Alternatively, you can reject those insights, reject the idea that anything in the universe ought to exist but the Absolute and your suitably disguised ego. The latter is what Fortune calls the attraction of outer space. You’re right that it often disguises itself in humble language, but it’s all about entering into a mode of being where the ego and the Void are the only things that exist — and then, of course, the ego becomes one with the Void. That doesn’t mean the ego becomes God; it means that the self dissolves back into the emptiness it came from. It’s a somewhat refined way of suicide, in other words, and it becomes popular in historical periods when other refined ways of suicide are also fashionable. Yeah, like now.

    Mansoor, nobody knows yet. All we have are computer models that don’t really work that well, and various people making sweeping claims that aren’t really based on anything but guesswork. (By the way, I got four copies of your question from two different accounts. One is enough!)

    Clay, excellent! Yes, and the list has also been carefully selected to reward Trump’s supporters and spank his opponents. All through his career, Trump has won by getting his opponents to think that he’s stupid, and it looks as though he’s going to score another one.

    Alvin, a lot depends on the astrologer, of course. The benefit you get from a good natal chart delineation is that, first, it gives you insight into your own character, your strengths and limitations, your needs and wants; second, it can point out possibilities you may not have considered yet, and warn you when something you want probably isn’t going to work; and third, it gives you a good basis for understanding transits and progressed charts, which can give you advance warning of unexpected events.

  31. @Ethan: I agree with JMG, but will also agree that butter and garlic help many things. So does vinegar, IME, and salad dressing. Lettuce itself has never appealed to me, but when I need roughage, I look at the salad as the vehicle for eating a good Ranch (my father has just disowned me without knowing why) or Italian.

  32. Tude, I like to encourage people to go to Indiebound, which is an association of independent booksellers, for books you can’t simply order from the publisher. (Founders House, the publisher that carries Retrotopia, is a print-on-demand press, thus has no warehouse and uses outfits like Indiebound for sales.) You can find Retrotopia for sale here. As for the Pacific Northwest, I fled from it fifteen years ago and have been back for only one brief visit, thus have no suggestions to make!

    David, fair enough. Thanks for the data points — and it’s worth noting that universities in your neck of the woods are starting to compete for what looks like a finite, or even shrinking, pool of students…

    Joy, I just wear comfortable clothing, take plenty of reading material, and put up with a certain amount of noise and discomfort. Bus travel is pretty much second nature to me, though, so I may just be used to it.

  33. JMG, David, and Dylan,

    Okay, if I got this much interest already, I’d say the idea of a print magazine is a hit! I’d better get to work then. As for which countries can receive it, I assume there won’t be too much difficulty in shipping to most places, but if there is, and for whatever reason I can’t ship, I’ll post a notice here, and on whatever site I set up for it.

    I’ll post further updates tomorrow, once I’ve started the process of sorting out the logistics of this project. I expect it to be quarterly to start, and it may never expand past that.

    Dylan,

    Actually, I expect to give a slightly lower rate to Canadians than anyone else, since I live in the country and can thus ship things to other addresses in Canada for less than anywhere else. I don’t plan on it being a large difference, but cost wise it makes sense.

    As for the question of print magazines, I’ve yet to come across one that’s still around, and I’ve been looking for a little while.

  34. Hi JMG

    I missed the chance to reply to your reply on the Magic Monday thread, regarding a possible heart centre blockage.

    I don’t think I described my situation terribly well there for which my apologies. I hope it’s ok if I try again.

    I used to do work dedicatedly with a yoga system of mantra-meditation and pranayama. Things went haywire for me, and I was told by another participant (remotely over internet, having asked my permission to do a remote “scan” of some sort) that it was because I had a “major heart-chakra blockage”. The practice system did not deal directly with chakras so I was not sure what to do, other than leave all practice down.

    I am now in a place that I am interested in trying a Western practice, possibly the Sphere of Protection.

    But the result of the above misadventure is that I seemingly still can’t do any whole-body/global energy type practice, like tai chi, without ill effects. I have not tried SOP recently but I have a sense it will be the same story there.

    However, as noted on Monday, visualising green light at my heart seemed to have a positive result, lending possible credence to the claim of my psychic scanner. But this is as you said a hindu-lore specific approach in that it is based on chakras, and I am not actually wanting to continue with that approach if possible.

    I wondered if you might have suggestions for an energy-blockage or energy-rebalancing approach from a Western occultism POV, if there is no equivalent of focusing on chakra areas?

    Hopefully that’s a bit clearer, if not I’ll understand if you give it a pass…

    Thanks for opportunity to ask.

    Morfran

  35. @ Trude

    Not West Coast, but my community/area is “coastal.” I grew up a Navy child (mainly up and down the East Coast), but I have fallen in love with the Midwest since I moved here a decade and a half ago. The Michigan lakeshore has much in common with the seaboard — you can’t see the other side, the temperature is moderated considerably, the waves are wonderfully powerful when the wind is up but the lake can be as placid as any pond on a calm day, there’s (non-salty) water to boat, swim, kayak, etc. Most importantly, the folks here are very down-to-earth (if a bit gruff, my Southern sensibilities took a bit of calibrating at first) and the cost of living is quite reasonable.

    A few cities nearby:

    http://two-rivers.org/
    https://www.manitowoc.org/
    http://visitsheboygan.com/

    Did I mention that Two Rivers is the birthplace of the ice cream sundae? 😉

  36. Hi John,

    To start of, an observation of mine is that 2018 is gearing up to be the year that the rose tinted glasses were taken away from our elites. I see growing references within the mainstream media on issues the surge in African population, the rising chaos in the Middle East and the potentially huge impact on Europe in the coming decades in the context of mega-migrations.

    The same is clear with economics (the latest BIS report on global debt levels and the growing chances of another economic crisis in the foreseeable future) and climate change. I’ve read recent articles on how Florida is in danger of being flooded, how 600 million Indians are exposed to water scarcity to give just a few examples.

    Even a year ago, these themes were dominant within the fringes but generally disregarded or isolated within the establishment/mainstream media.

    My specific questions are the following:

    1) How likely do you think that a pandemic will be in the future and if so, the impact on our globalized economy (specifically the just in time (JIT) supply chain for goods)?

    2) What are the likely triggers for the coming contraction of the tech industry? Will it be energy driven shortages or some kind of wider disruption?

    3) Do you think that we are still tracking the business as usual Limits to Growth model?

    Thanks

    FI

  37. @Joy Vernon, June 27, 2018 at 7:20 pm:
    Hi Joy, in Germany there is a ´Mitfahrzentrale´, which is a commercial enterprise to bring together carless people who want to travel (e.g. Denver to Seattle) and car owners who are doing that trip alone and are offering their spare seats for a fee. Maybe there´s something similar in the U.S.?
    greetings
    Frank from Germany

  38. Archdruid and David,

    UW Madison is trying to turn this city into San Francisco, WI. I would be happy if they collapsed, it would weaken the West Cost wannabe faction considerably.

    Tude,

    Consider Wisconsin. We have beer.

    Regards,

    Varun

  39. Olbab,

    The point of creating the print magazine is that the internet is very quickly becoming less and less useful, and more and more harmful. Between the intrusive ads that pop up on lots of the internet, the risks of computer viruses, and the rapid creation of paywalls all over the place, and the monetization of everything else, the dream of the internet is becoming a nightmare.

    The environmental factors aren’t terribly important to me, but I still think reducing my dependence on a gigantic, increasingly dysfunctional system is a good idea, which is why I’m trying to build something that can function without the massive influx of resources into the internet, even though it’s more expensive, takes a lot more work, and is an awful lot less convenient.

  40. @isabelcooper says:
    June 27, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Isabel, you’ve changed your avatar! 🙂 It was a delight to meet you at the Potluck!

    I agree with JMG that you shouldn’t force yourself to choke down things you just can’t tolerate – the body knows. Someone mentioned beets above – to me they taste just unbearably strong, and I can’t eat them. Too bad for me, I suppose.

    I live with a woman who consumes any and all kinds of vegetable, and has been a vegetarian at whiles. Fortunately, I do most of the cooking around here, and when I put a nice chicken curry in front of her, she has absolutely no problem with that…

  41. John–

    Re the UW

    I hadn’t thought about regional competition. I see what you are saying.

    Another tidbit from the energy sector:

    I shamelessly scrounge our recycle bin at work for trade journals that we get sent gratis, looking for interesting articles. One of my regular “subscriptions” is _Modern Trader_, which (as one might imagine) focuses on stock and commodity trading. This month’s main feature is about “the return of Big Oil” and more specifically about the pending IPO of Saudi Aramco. “Gushing” would not be an inappropriate descriptor of the tone, however lame that pun might be.

    (The journal also has a regular feature called “After the Bell” — subtitled Life, Luxury & the Pursuit of Happiness — which explores various aspects of the upper class lifestyle, from what yachts to buy to where to purchase one’s island vacation home. This month the feature was “The Best 5 Cryptocurrency Mobile Apps.” I find it an interesting peek into the world of the upper 10%.)

  42. I’m really sorry! It’s a long story…
    I promise it won’t happen again!
    Thank you for your honest answer, by the way.

  43. Hi! I wanted to know if there’s any particular favourites you have when it comes to classic literature (Latin and Greek) that you’d be willing to recommend?

  44. I want to second JMG’s gratitude for the potluck, and again give my thanks to Chiara and Peter. On top of that, several people have expressed a desire to have an additional ecosophian meetup/potluck/bar crawl etc prior to next June. I am very interested in seeing this happening, and have dusted off an old email address, hopefulcinquefoil@gmail.com, to correspond with interested folks about making this happen.

    If you are interested in working out the logistics for some sort of gathering please drop me a line! I also wish to note that I’m open to hanging out one-on-one and getting coffee or something sometime if it’s within a hundred and fifty miles or so to Boston. I’ve met several green wizards and ecosphians this way and each time time it was utterly delightful.

  45. @ Tude – leave the Bay for the Midwest. The climate isn’t great, but it is still relatively affordable, and in many places, you’re not too far from the amenities of urban life.

    My wife (a 3rd generation SF native) and I (a central Illinois native) moved back to my homelands from hers in 2002 when we had our daughter. Two drive-by shootings in the neighborhood in one week, followed by an attempt to break into our car and steal our baby’s car seat, made the decision for my wife. Her family understands – we’ve been able to buy a house for less than we could’ve rented a double-wide in Vallejo – and now that she is over the climate-shock, she regularly claims to love this place.

    As for the place you live now, I think I heard it best described as the remnants of one hell of a fireworks show. Dirty, tattered, gross, and stuck in what happened back then.

  46. Thank you, that makes a lot of sense in light of what I’ve experienced. It also helps me to understand more about what my enaid is and feels like.

    Bonnie

  47. J. M. Greer, I have repeatedly since quite a while read rumours about impending regime change and troop concentration from neighboring countries near the borders of Venezuela. But the whole sounds a bit like a nothingburger to me. Do you know why nothin has yet happened to Maduro and his government?

  48. As a part time assistant at a prominent American institution of so called ‘higher learning’ I can also testify to what many here have already been saying — the writing’s on the wall!!!
    I often wonder how much longer this charade can go on for…
    Btw, politics is what I do, so any thoughts (by anyone here) on recent developments in Iran and the rest of ME??? I’d be interested to know people’s thoughts

  49. I have a question on American Government:

    Is the separation of powers still effective between the three branches of government?

    I’ve thought a lot about this over the past few weeks and am forced to say no. The retirement of Supreme Court Judge Kennedy makes me think that how our supreme court judges are appointed is wrong. Shouldn’t the supreme court or the legislative branch appoint the new member and not the sitting president? The president is only in office for eight years (max) the judges are there for life.

    It’s not very comforting that Trump will probably fill the supreme court with like minded people. I think that’s the biggest problem with party politics. If one political party has its hands on all the levers of power, then what is the point of checks and balances? If everyone is asking what the party wants first before national interests, a conflict of interest? It wouldn’t be so much of a problem if there were thirty parties but if one party has the whole show, then how’s that different than having a siting king?

    I admit if the Democrats and Bernie Sanders had the show right now I might not be asking such a question. Isn’t that the point, power corrupts and when a group has all the power, power corrupts. You’ve talked in the past about government gridlock and how each side has it’s problems, failure of rhetoric etc.

    I guess I’d also ask the question given our party system how would you restore the separation of powers? “What worked in the past?” “What governmental barriers were torn down?” I suppose would be the burkean conservative way of looking at it.

  50. Hi Will J,

    Also count me in as interested in subscribing to and possibly even writing for a Green Wizards magazine. I would also be happy to give you some publicity in Into the Ruins, whether that be via a simple ad or some kind of guest editorial tied into the theme, seeing as it fits the them of my magazine, as well!

    Finally, if there’s any way I can help in terms of advice or sharing my experiences launching ITR, let me know. If you get a printing press, sounds like your set up would definitely be different than mine, but happy to chat if you think there’s any way I might help.

    You can shoot me an email at joel@intotheruins.com if you’d like.

    Good luck! I’d love to see such a project happen.

  51. My other thought for the week is that Burkean Conservatism is a useful mental tool like the scientific method. Where the scientific method looks forward the “what worked before” of Burkean conservatism looks back.

  52. Can anyone help me discover the number of ICE vehicles there are in the world? Here is my best cull from wikis and UN helmet studies. Cars: 1.2 billion. Trucks and buses: 380 million. Motorcycles: 378 million. I find it amusingly ironic that the so-called information highway doesn’t know how many vehicles there are on the actual highways, nor how many miles of highway there actually are. I’m talking only paved roads, here: asphalt, macadam, concrete, not dirt and gravel.

    I also resignedly suppose that whatever the official number of ICE vehicles is, it does not include cars that exist but have not been sold, used cars on vast Ozymandian lots, and unlicensed, unregistered illegal vehicles. And ships and trains use diesel engines too—where are their numbers located?

    I would also appreciate some guidance on how to find out a reasonable estimate of how many two-cylinder motors, non-vehicular [power saws, weed whackers, lawn mowers (riding and push), leaf blowers, etc.] there are in the world. I have estimated 750 million purely off the top of my head.

    You would think someone, somewhere would actually want to know these things: military people for estimating how much fuel to keep in reserve, or similar plans for maintaining tractors in breadbasket areas. But no-o-o-o-o, children they do not, so far as I can tell. And almost certainly there is no known estimate of the total extant weight of junked steel and engine blocks belonging to non-viable cars.

  53. JMG, I was recently shocked to learn about the Mandela effect, in fact, I’ve been reeling about it for the last 3 days now after experiencing some changes. Could you please speak on this issue. If you don’t know what the Mandela effect is, any one of these links below can tell you; the changes are shocking:

    https://youtu.be/ErFJmo8N7ps?t=1s

    https://youtu.be/oki0N1z5eFM?t=1s

    https://youtu.be/ilKtKURP-Eg?t=1s

    https://youtu.be/BUsdiQD69ss?t=32s

    https://youtu.be/-wJASH0DmsM?t=3s

    https://youtu.be/iHmRmuyUgvU?t=16s

    https://youtu.be/Rz0qlyhbVjY?t=6m13s

    Thank you !

  54. @Ethan La Coursiere: Lightly wilted lettuce drenched in bacon bits and bacon fat might make your mouth water. Zucchini are bland and can be perked up by grilling them first, then sprinkling with grated parmesan melted under the broiler; or marinated in soysauce, ginger, and garlic powder and served with carmelized onions. Tomatoes are very different from one variety to the next. Have you tried beefsteak, Roma, cherry, purple and other heirloom varietals? If yes, and still do not like them, try using them in chickpea curries or with brine-pickled okra. Or peeled and stewed with peeled and roasted red bell peppers.

  55. @ Will J, count another person who would be very interested in a Green Wizard print magazine both as a subscriber and writer.

  56. Is there something in the air this year? I don’t mean politics; 2017 was similar in that regard. There have been a lot of little things so far this year — things above the level of minor daily annoyances but short of catastrophic. Car troubles, plumbing issues, family medical issues, pet injuries, things like that.

    Just from informal conversations, others seem to have a similar impression about 2018. I didn’t know if folks outside my immediate social circle had similar experiences, or if there might be an occult explanation why events are getting pushed in certain directions. It also could just be a string of unfortunate random occurrences.

    (And to rule out one possible cause: I haven’t joined in the anti-Trump hexings or anything along those lines, so if it’s blowback from that then it’s hitting folks who aren’t participating.)

  57. Will, glad to hear it. Give yourself some time to learn how to work with a printing press, btw — by all accounts it’s not the world’s simplest technology to use, and some books and some practice are probably called for.

    Morfran, since Western magical practices don’t normally work with the kind of dense etheric currents that East and South Asian traditions use — in the Golden Dawn end of things we like to work with astral energies and let that have inductive effects on the ethers, which tends to be a lot safer — there really isn’t anything that deals specifically with the kind of problem you have. I’d encourage you to talk to people who do spiritual healing and see if they have something to offer.

    Forecastingintelligence, (1) a pandemic is a black swan and therefore impossible to predict in advance, so I’m not going to make the attempt. (2) My guess is that the coming tech industry contraction will be a matter of market saturation and an inability on the part of tech companies to understand that the words “too much” mean anything at all; twenty years from now, people will think of the fading fad for 24/7 connectivity the way we think of the 1950s crazes for hula hoops and goldfish swallowing, and business models that assume that there will always be a market for tech, no matter how absurd, will be facing a nasty wake-up call. (3) Yep — it’s still the single best model for where we are and where we’re headed.

    Varun, I hope you’re right!

    Will, I wish I did! My current robe is getting kind of tattered.

  58. Sven, JMG – this topic is very interesting to me as Awakening is one of my primary goals in this life, yet I don’t feel like I am rejecting my role in a spiritual ecology to persue that, and in fact, trying to integrate these two outlooks has been a major task for me over the years. I see Awakening to the Absolute as the only way to really know what’s going on, if that is even possible. How can you know a thing truly unless you know it’s opposite? I also am deeply involved in permaculture/plant work, music, magic and community, so its not as if I’m abandoning the physical world for a Transcendence…

  59. JMG I have two questions this month. First you have said that nuclear energy just doesn’t make sense economically. I can buy that because we haven’t built any new reactors in forever. I was wondering however why isn’t it economical? Second question how do you talk to people who are heavy into conspiracy theory’s? I know some folks who think the world is controlled by the illuminati. I have been trying to point out to them that that is highly unlikely. They just retort that i have been fooled by our evil overlords. Any ideas?

    Darkest Yorkshire Where can I learn about these soviet basic physical skills? They sound like something i should learn about

    Thanks

  60. David, funny. I consider the Saudi Aramco IPO to be solid evidence that the Saudis don’t have anything like as much oil as they claim, so they’re trying to make sure someone else ends up holding the bag.

    Mansoor, no problem — just figured I’d let you know.

    Helen, Catullus and Horace are major faves of mine when it comes to classical poetry. Ovid’s Metamorphoses is another work that deserves many rereads. Then there’s philosophy — Epictetus’ Discourses, Plotinus’ Enneads, and of course anything by Plato including his grocery lists are way up there.

    Violet, keep me posted. If it’s within range and the attendees would like me there, I’ll do my best to make it.

    Bonnie, you’re welcome.

    Booklover, probably because most of what we hear about Venezuela in the US is propaganda. That’s my best guess, at least.

    Eric, the Middle East is very much in flux right now and I’m far from sure I know what to make of it. It bears close watching, though…

    Austin, the separation of powers was always an unstable thing. Trump can nominate a candidate for the Supreme Court but the Senate has to approve the nomination, so there’s some separation still in place. Remember, though, that the Constitution doesn’t mention political parties, and so there’s no separation of powers between one party and another — just between one branch of government and another. As for your definition of Burkean conservatism, exactly — since it’s kind of expensive to run controlled double-blind experiments on entire nations, learning from history really is the best option we’ve got.

    Gkb, fascinating. I have no idea.

    Workdove, I don’t do videos unless I have to, and unless you can give me some reason to do so, I don’t have to. Can you suggest a source that isn’t a video?

    Bipeninsular, so far 2018 has been a pretty good year for me, so I’m not at all sure what to say.

  61. Isaac, I suspect part of what’s going on is that this pesky label “the Absolute” can be used to mean rather more than one thing. Let me ask you this: how does the Absolute, as you understand the term, relate to the things you experience in your daily life?

    Will, the reason nuclear power isn’t economical is that it’s basically a fantastically complex way to boil water, and complexity costs. You have to pump vast amounts of energy into mining and refining the fuel, building the plant, maintaining the plant, dealing with the wastes, etc., etc., and at the end of the day your return on investment simply isn’t high enough to cover the costs.

    As for how to talk to conspiracy theorists, you can’t. Any reasonably complete ideology has an explanation for anything you can bring up to them — that’s why fundamentalist Christians, social-justice activists, Ku Klux Klan members, “angry atheists,” and other believers in dogmatic ideologies can’t be talked out of their beliefs. Their ideology already has a way to explain any fact you care to cite.

  62. Hey JMG.
    over the past few months I’ve been having an interesting thought about solar energy.
    Basically since the sun is gradually growing hotter, won’t there come a point in the far future where the amount of usable solar energy you can get using the standard tech (solar steam,panels, collectors) approaches or atains the same amount of usable cheap energy as fossil fuels?

  63. @Workdove
    Re: “Mandela Effect”

    The key website is here: http://mandelaeffect.com . That’s Mandela as in Nelson Mandela, not mandala as in a Buddhist spiritual diagram used as a meditation focus.

    The true Mandela effect is rather subtle: was the title of the popular children’s series of yesteryear Bernstein Bears or Bernstain Bears? Some people remember one, some the other. I looked at the first minute or so of the first U-tube video you referenced. Whatever he’s yowling about changes to the Bible, it is definitely NOT the Mandela effect as I’ve known it for several years.

    The proprietor of the site makes a deliberate effort to remain agnostic about what is going on. Theories range from dropped stitches during merging parallel realities to mass memory failures. Besides the main site, there is (or at least was) a subredit.

    I am, of course, very firmly in the merging parallel realities camp. Other people are welcome to their own opinions.

  64. I’ve recently completed reading your book, “The Druid Magic Handbook”. I found it spoke to me and as such, I’d like to learn more. I am interested in understanding the energies more fully. While the basics concepts are clear to me, I am somewhat uncertain as to the roles of the two dragons you mention. I have made efforts, but have been unable to find any further information on the red and white dragons and their significance. What sources would you suggest for a better understanding of the role they play in the energies, their natures, and how best to interact with them?

    I appreciate any advice you could offer, as I’m interested in delving deeper into druidry as a whole, and the energy concepts in particular. Thank you.

  65. I’d like to add my own thanks and greetings to everyone I met at the potluck – I’m so glad I was able to attend and Peter thanks a billion for your hospitality to this weary traveller. For those in NYC or near, I’ll be performing July 8 4-6PM at Hanks Saloon in Brooklyn. @ Will J I’m happy to help out with a magazine, too. I love print.

  66. Well, yes it is a rather big word and open to many interpretation, it’s obviously ineffable and I only know what I’ve experienced. In my idea if it, all of life, including my daily life, is within the Absolute, which is both Immanent and Transcendent.

  67. Good evening, JMG.
    I have decided that I need to figure out whether or not to streamline my library. There are too many books for the shelves, and the children are getting old enough that they are accumulating their own collections. Any advice on which qualities to select for/against when attempting to reduce the book count?

    As a secondary question, what are the necessary qualities of a druid robe? Surely there are sewers locally who can alter a pattern, help someone buy fabric, and put together. I seem to recall patterns for choir robes in the back of the Simplicity Pattern catalog, and if you check out the Halloween/costume section you can get patterns for making your own Jedi robes. Select appropriate fabrics (whatever that is) alter as needed… Perhaps I underestimate the complexity of the problem!

  68. Hello friends,
    This is a sort of ad. The Second Annual Ecosophia Midsummer Potluck will be held on June 22, 2019 in the violet house behind the Charles Dexter Ward Mansion. Save the date, and once again the furthest traveler can stay in our guest room.
    It was a pleasure to meet all of the people behind the noms de blog. We had some of the widest ranging smart conversations I’ve ever been part of, just like this comment section. Chiara and I are now slowly working our way through the leftover food and alcohol.

  69. @Will (and JMG)

    If you have a specific design for the robes, such as material, colors, etc., and perhaps can draw a rough sketch of it, I would try and find a good seamstress or tailor that has experience with fashion design. For example, my older sister went to an art school in Portland and studied fashion design, but when she graduated she took a job making Christian Orthodox vestments to help pay the bills. She has been doing this for over a decade out of her home, along with other side jobs, and has a spare bedroom converted into her workspace, complete with sewing machine, design table, everything she would need for this work. The vestments are quite lovely, and she makes these as orders come in. They are shipped all over the world. There are plenty of people like this who have the necessary skill but are struggling to find paying gigs. I am sure most would be happy to take on the work if it means a paycheck. Maybe a local art school with a clothing/fashion design program would be a good start.

    -Dan Mollo

  70. JMG and Will J.

    Regarding ceremonial robes, I wouldn’t mind giving a shot at making something to your specifications. I am a self taught seamstress and I currently make and sell a variety of clothing items and accessories at local art markets, craft fairs and farmers markets. I also spent many years in the SCA making costumes with some facility. I think I would enjoy making ceremonial robes.

    Also Will, I would be very willing to subscribe to your magazine.

    Kay

  71. Ethan La Coursiere, If it’s of any help, you may try to cut back really, really sweet things like soda (Coca-cola, pepsi) and other culinary super-stimuli. Taste buds might be just too “overloaded” and normal vegetables aren’t as tasty as they should be. I’ve changed of several bad habits after getting 10 kg overweight in college. I can remember both shift from home-cooked meals to mcdiet and back to something more normal with the fact that garlic, carrots and green peas lost all appeal to me in few months and then started to taste better again only after few months of diet.

    Speaking of escaping California, isn’t it one of the hottest (pun not intended) housing markets in the USA right now? How come so many people wants to move to the state which has problems with supply of drinkable water? Speaking of that, we have severe drought in Poland (not the worst in my memory, but.. those just are more frequent in last ten years. Mow I wonder, how much problem will be water in the future of my country; or even worse, if there is enough drinkable water for all of projectected 8-9 billlions of humans.

  72. JMG,

    I sent you an email with my Grade IV examination answers a week ago, and haven’t heard back. If you noticed it and just haven’t had time, I understand. I just want to make sure that it didn’t get lost or overlooked. In any case, I will re-send it once I submit this comment.

    Also I’ve got to tell you: though I’ve always had trouble with the transitions between grades, this one’s been a doozy. Where before the Watcher might have shown up in a disguise of some form, lately it’s just been naked fear. And where before my avoidance strategies might have likewise been disguised, now I am aware of myself simply choosing to avoid, as such. It’s not fun.

  73. Thank you JMG for providing this forum! There are always such interesting discussions here.

    My questions relate to one of my side projects – I’m trying to write a program that makes audible representations of astrological states. I’m using established ‘frequencies’ of celestial bodies (the ones with the sun at 126.22 hz) as the base, but after that I’m a bit unsure how to proceed. There are two things I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on:

    Regarding relationships such as squares/trines, does it seem reasonable to interpret these as the interference patterns of waves coming in at various angles to one another?

    I also have no good idea how to account for the positions of the celestial bodies in the houses/constellations. Does anyone have an idea relating to that?

  74. @ Will J and JMG:

    I usually do magic and ritual in everyday clothes, but I do have a long hooded plain black robe with pocket sleeves, 100% cotton, that I have used other participants expect a robe. A simple piece of clothesline serves me well enough as a belt.

    I got that robe at a Hallowe’en costume store in October a few decades ago. (If memory serves, it cost me about $100 at the time.) It won’t be long before Hallowe’en stores pop up everywhere once again. Most of what they sell will be junk costuming, but some pieces might be 100% cotton and well tailored. It’s probably the easiest place to find a plain ritual robe for sale.

  75. dear tude:
    if you are looking for small acreage at a more or less reasonable cost consider clackamas county oregon. this is the only area i know where it’s possible to live in a very rural place and still be no more than an hour from a major city. it’s a result of restrictive land use policies that limit suburban sprawl. consider towns such as estacada, canby, sandy and molalla. just be ready for seven months of rain per year; not in downpours, just a relentless drizzle

  76. I think my ludite self, posted in LAST months open forum… I was wondering if you could give any info on the the history of why one speaks the words of the Kabbalistic Cross in a kinda of gutteral monotone vocalization.. As someone married into the Greek church ( were Cantors are a staple of chanting holy words) and have been entranced by the jewish cantors…. I was wondering if one could perform rituals like that.. .using the more harmonic… cantor style of speaking holy words…. will it have the same effect?

  77. Where to get “ritual robes”? Maybe something from CM Almy could be appropriate.”Outfitters to the Church and Clergy since 1892″. http://www.almy.com. That’s one place that we get supplies for our Lutheran rituals.

    Or, just ask Google for “sewing patterns for wizard”, and you can invest your own spirit into the selection of materials, tailoring, and construction. Now, were you thinking of something more “Jedi Knight-like” or “Harry Potter-ish”?

  78. Hi John Michael,

    I’ve noticed that the recent volumes of the Archdruid Report have been released in hardcopy, but not in Kindle or other electronic versions. Why is that and is there any possibility of it being released electronically in the future. Thanks!

  79. Re: hooded robes… I’ve learned to enjoy the practical warmth of a hooded robe during long winter nights in my basement ham radio station. Vacuum-tube radios used to provide welcome warmth (and a certain special aroma) when operating; solid-state gear, not so much. An ample hood can be comfortably wrapped over the headset.

  80. JMG. No, some things have to be seen to be believed. If you could please just watch a few minutes of a couple of them, (The first link is excellent), you will get the jist of it.

    Basically, to sum it up myself, many people remember Nelson Mandela dying in Jail in 1991, but despite this fact, he went on to be president of South Africa. Hence the ‘Mandela effect’. Thousands of other seeming contradictions exist and they are growing exponentially in number monthly. Like did the car which JFK was assassinated in have 4 seats or 6 seats? Depending on who you ask it will be either 4 seats and 6 seats, how can both be true? Other examples include cows that sit like dogs, completed mega projects that no one is aware of like water bridges over highways and rail lines, industrial equipment being found in million year old fossils. Thousands of them growing exponentially in number.

    In a previous post, you mentioned that we are losing consensus reality. Well, we’ve now lost it on a grand scale. What next?

  81. Tude,

    If I suddenly lost my fear of tiny towns (I grew up in one, and at the low end, they’re far more dangerous than the Ghost Town district of Oakland, based on the years I’ve spent in both and the per-capita rate and severity of crimes and not-quite-criminal violence my neighbors fell victim to in each), and wanted to move to the most SF-like PNW small town available, I would look into Ashland or Hood River, depending on whether I expected to pine more for Berkeley Rep or for Anchor Steam.

  82. Dear Tude, The main problem with moving into the PNW is the high cost of both land and housing, so be prepared for sticker shock.

    South of Eugene, in the southern end of the Willamette Valley are places which are still rural and reasonably accessible. Cottage Grove and Drain are two towns to consider. The areas around Corvallis (Oregon State University) and Philomath are very nice but likely not cheap. North of Salem you are getting into commuter distance from Portland. There is a kind of hidden valley in the Coast Range called, I think, Mary’s Valley which is said to be beautiful. I have not been there. Then there is Klamath Falls where back to the land gardeners meet cowboys meet the Klamath Nation. Klamath Lake is quite beautiful, even if artificial. You have to balance how much you want to pay and spend against how remote you are willing to be.

    I do think that at some point, a few years from now, an essay about your experiences in CA might be of value to others who still dream of Golden California.

  83. @Helen – recommendation for classic Greek literature

    for ‘popcorn reading’ I liked ‘The Persian Expedition’ by Xenophon (The Persian Expedition, trans. by Rex Warner (1950), introduction by George Cawkwell (1972), Penguin Classics 2004 (ISBN 9780140440072).)

    On Wikipedia a discussion and outline of this adventure is found as the article ‘Anabasis (Xenophon)’. At the end of article there is a list of books under the heading ‘ Editions and translations’ with various titles (including the one above). The Wikipedia article on Xenophon gives a list of his other titles, which I fully intend to look through after good through my current about ready to topple over pile of books…

  84. Hi JMG
    I have a long interest in China. From a peak oil, eco-technic, end of empire point of view, where do you think China is heading?
    Its seems that its economic growth is slowing, demographics are turning against it (working age population has peaked and the old age cohort is rapidly rising), environmental issues are rife (e.g. air pollution, water scarcity in the north, soil contamination) and internal tensions are increasing (Uighur ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang are the latest trend).
    At the same time they are expending considerable efforts to take over the South China sea, censor international publications and organisations, and expand their global military, economic and political influence.
    Are these the anxious moves of a fragile giant worried about its survival, the inevitable rise of the next global hegemon, or something else altogether?

  85. @ Varun

    Re the UW

    I can understand your point. I’m partial to the small-to-modest college model myself, rather than the massive institution. Though I attended a large state school (a different state), I enjoyed the occasional opportunity as a math instructor at the local two-year campus here where the emphasis was on the students and teaching, rather than publishing and research. It was a possibility that I could have envisioned as a “second act” when I was done with my career in the utility sector and something I would have found great fulfillment in doing.

  86. Hmm, do you think that nirvana is also a way of suicide into the unmanifest? Nirvana as described has always given me the heebie jeebies.

  87. Anyone who wants to send an email to me about the project feel free to send me one: I’ve set up an account greenwizardmagazine at gmail.com.

    Joel,

    I’ve sent you an email from the account I’ve set up for the project. Thank you very much for offering to help with this project: I’ve never done anything like this, and frankly I suspect I’m going to wonder if I’m crazy for trying at least a few times before I’m done. Being able to talk to someone else about it will make this much easier.

    Violet,

    Thank you for the support. At this rate, I may have too many people sending in articles and ideas, which would be a wonderful problem to have.

    JMG,

    I’ll provide myself with plenty of time to learn how to work with a printing press, and I fully expect I’ll need it. As for books on how it works, do you (or anyone else) have recommendations?

  88. A couple of recent political events look to me as illustrating a logical fallacy that I don’t recall seeing before, which is “a small number of highly partisan voters on one side can defeat a large number of moderate voters on the other”. Um, no. We don’t compute the “average political position”, where votes are weighted by enthusiasm. We use the median. If there was a moderate middle-ground, the Democrats just abandoned it in the examples which follow.

    Here in Maryland, the Democratic primary elected a “Bernie-Sanders Progressive” candidate to run against the incumbent Republican governor (who has a 70% approval rating in a 70% registered-Democrat state).

    In New York, a Bernie-Sanders Progressive, vowing to disband border security, defeated the incumbent Democrat for Senate. I think I’ve heard that “the opposite of a bad idea is another bad idea”, but maybe it hasn’t gotten to New York yet.

    (If anyone reading this sees in it a preference for one party over the other, please explain. I’m actually just interested in the abstract dynamics of the process.)

  89. Hi JMG – question regarding the pollution of the etheric and astral planes which you have mentioned previously.

    Is it possible to move yourself away from this pollution by leaving highly populated areas? That is, in places with less people, do you find less etheric and astral pollution? Taken to an extreme, could one travel to the South Pole and be completely free from it?

    Or do we carry the pollution with us, in our minds? Does proximity to others play no role?

  90. JMG,

    I’d like to hear your input on the importance of place especially in relation to a life. Partly I’m curious about this because of the posts you’ve done on astrology and how it can be used to give insights into what a country may expect in the near future, and how that relation is made due to the position of the capital of the country and the stars. I’m also partly curious because I’ve made around a lot in my lifetime and have felt that some places agree with me and other places don’t. A simple analogy would be like a yellow pine trying to survive in the boreal ecoregions. It may be possible but since the environment isn’t fitting, it’s potential to reach the fullest of it’s growth is severely limited.

    Thanks in advance!

  91. Archdruid,

    “Alternatively, you can reject those insights, reject the idea that anything in the universe ought to exist but the Absolute and your suitably disguised ego. The latter is what Fortune calls the attraction of outer space. You’re right that it often disguises itself in humble language, but it’s all about entering into a mode of being where the ego and the Void are the only things that exist — and then, of course, the ego becomes one with the Void. That doesn’t mean the ego becomes God; it means that the self dissolves back into the emptiness it came from. It’s a somewhat refined way of suicide, in other words, and it becomes popular in historical periods when other refined ways of suicide are also fashionable. Yeah, like now. ”

    And right here is the single biggest reason that I dislike Euro-American Buddhism. The west took a deeply spiritual tradition of enlightenment, decided it fit their model of a rational faith, stripped literally every mention of anything that doesn’t fit into their model of understanding and then delivered it to the public for mass consumption. How hollow are these people that they crave oblivion.

    Regards,

    Varun

  92. @ Will

    Would subscribe, and would love to try writing for the magazine. If there is other work to do to make it happen, let me know I would be interested in putting some time and attention into making it happen.

  93. Ethan La Coursiere, I’ll add my two cents to the advice others have given you about vegetables. The method you use to cook them (if you cook them at all) will affect the flavor. A lot of cooking methods fall into one of a few categories.

    Subjecting the vegetable to high dry heat for a period of time changes the flavor a lot, especially if the vegetable contains a lot of starch or sugar, because the heat will caramelize it. The methods I am thinking of are grilling and roasting, where the basic preparation is to slice or chunk the vegetable if it is large or has a high moisture content, and coat it with some mild-flavored olive oil, with or without adding seasoning or dried herbs, before you roast or grill it. Potatoes, tomatoes, onions, summer squashes such as zucchini, bell peppers of any color, corn on the cob, eggplant, mushrooms (which aren’t actually a vegetable) and asparagus can be cooked this way and you might like them even if you don’t like them prepared other ways.

    A second way of cooking is to steam them briefly or blanch them (immerse in boiling water for thirty seconds to a minute). The object here is to cook them only partially, so that the flavor and nutrients of the raw vegetable are preserved, but made milder and more digestible. This method works for tender greens, green beans and summer squashes. After cooking, you dress them very lightly with lemon juice or a flavored vinegar or butter plus seasonings or toasted seeds.

    A variation on this is to saute them in a pan on medium heat with a little bit of fat and maybe some chopped garlic. When I do this, sometimes I beat up a couple of eggs and add them to the pan after the vegetables are partly cooked.

    A third method is to stew them together with strongly flavored ingredients such as meat or chili peppers, plus maybe something starchy, for a long while until the vegetables are completely broken down and their flavor mixed with the rest of the ingredients.

    The standard way of cooking tough greens such as collards, mustard greens and dandelion greens is to cook them in liquid with with pork or smoked meat or hot peppers alone or in combination.

    Baking is more complicated since it can involve either dry or wet heat or both. For this a standard cookbook is your friend.

    If you are fond of sour flavors, sour cream or a brand of plain yogurt that leans toward the sour makes a good simple sauce for vegetables. I like the combination of steamed broccoli and plain yogurt.

    If vegetables are fresh from your garden, you may like them raw even if they aren’t usually eaten raw. This is especially true if the vegetable is young and tender. Small young turnips may be sliced thin, salted and eaten raw like a radish.

    Most people either prefer one of these methods to the others, or find that they like some vegetables cooked one way, and some a different way. I always liked some vegetables, but as an adult I have more of a craving for them, so I have been experimenting with vegetables I didn’t grow up eating.

  94. J.L.Mc12, sure, but by then the last water and oxygen will have boiled off the earth into outer space and this planet will be as lifeless as Mercury. I don’t recommend waiting around until then.

    Will, you’re welcome.

    Ravyn, the only way to understand the energies is to experience them. If you’d never seen water before and I tried to tell you about the ocean, it wouldn’t matter how many books I gave to you — none of them would be worth as much as five minutes standing on the beach with salt water surging around your feet. The same rule applies here. If the book appeals to you, consider trying the practices it teaches.

    Isaac, if it’s immanent, it’s not the Unmanifest. Further on in the book we’ll get to some concepts you may find more useful.

    Sylvia, selecting books to keep or let go of is one of the most personal matters I can think of, and my criteria probably won’t fit anyone else! As for a Druid robe, my experience with costume robes is that they aren’t comfortable for prolonged wear; I need something that’s loose, doesn’t bind, and allows free movement, and I also have preferences as to fabric.

    Dan, thanks for the advice.

    Kay, so noted! I’ll be in touch.

    Alexander, I got it — have just been overloaded of late. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

    Christopher, I have no idea how to go about doing that, but it sounds like a fascinating project.

    Robert, so noted! Thank you.

    Betsy, good question. It would take some experimentation to see whether the effect was the same.

    Lathechuck, dear gods, no. Something loose, comfortable, and unostentatious is much more along the Druid line.

    Chronojourner, you’ll have to contact the publisher — it’s his call, not mine.

    Lathechuck, that’s one reason why some of us still favor tubes! 😉

    Workdove, er, you’ve done a good job of convincing me that I have better things to do than watch those videos. One of the things to keep in mind about video technology is that it’s very easy to make anything seem plausible if you keep it on the level of jerky little pictures on a glass screen.

    Matthew, good question. What narrative best makes sense of China’s recent actions will probably only be clear a few centuries from now.

    Onething, I’m not sure about Nirvana as it was understood in traditional Buddhism, but nirvana as it’s generally (mis)understood by Americans and Europeans, yeah, basically.

    Will, I wish I did. It’s not something I’ve ever had the chance to study.

    Lathechuck, well, we’ll see. The middle-of-the-road Democrats weren’t doing so well, and at least these new Democrats are proposing policies that differ from GOP policies by more than a hair’s breadth…

    Darren, physical proximity affects some kinds of metaphysical pollution and not others. Your own state of consciousness affects others — it’s possible to live in the middle of a city and not be affected by whole ranges of metaphysical pollution if you keep your own mind attuned to a less corrupt level of things. There is no one-size-fits-all rule.

    Prizm, that’s a subject that could benefit from a lot of close research which hasn’t, as far as I know, been done yet. Probably you’re right, but what we might as well call localogy — the science of divination by place — hasn’t been invented yet…

    Varun, yep. I had occasion a little while back to read a crass little paperback from the 1970s Zen boom — The Gospel According to Zen — and the sheer vacuousness of it all made me shake my head.

  95. In several spiritual traditions such as Tantra, Shari sin, Vajrayana Buddhism, Taoism, several traditions of chamanism, a lot of great teachers have pass away without a replacement with the same level of achievement. This has happend in aleros when true spirituality and the preservation of spiritual technologies is more needed than ever as some of the pillars of the “modern” world are collapsing. On the other hand the mythology of progress and the neoliberal ideology have taken some philosophical ideas and bastardized them, and the people is less and less interested not only in exploring fundamental questions but even in reading a book. What would long cycles teach us about this lack of guidance?

  96. Ok, jmg, another question about the future.
    Do you think that computers will still be made in the far future, maybe 1000 years from now?
    I think that people could make the odd mechanical calculator during the post oil dark age.

  97. @Christopher Henningsen: Oooh, musical astrology, like Holst’s Planets! Trines would be a three-note harmonic chord, squares would be a four-note chord with dissonance that can be resolved in one or the other direction by the next chord. Inconjuncts would be harsh dis-chords with no resolution, five notes apart. Oppositions could be alternating octaves. Houses could be characterized by different instrumentation such as bass strings, tubas, and low-pitched percussion for Earth signs; harps, bright flutes and soprano woodwinds for Air; cymbals, brass, violins, and tenor horns for Fire; water drums, glass harps, mellow strings, contralto reeds, gongs, bells, and zing trees for water. Zodiac emblems might be represented by melodic themes, similar to Peter and the Wolf where each character has a thematic ‘signature.’ Fixed stars could be electronic or bagpipe drones. Arabic parts might be trills or grace notes.

  98. JMG, sorry I been reading and active on your sites for ten years. (Formerly went under the nickname Repent until a computer update said I couldn’t use that anymore) I’m not happy with this response.

    You had a series of posts about us losing shared consensus reality. Now that has happened. Your readership deserves a better response than essentially ‘I don’t believe you’ and ‘I’m not going to look at the evidence’.

    Thank you,

  99. @workdove
    Re: Mandela Effect post # 2

    To repeat: the key website is here: http://mandelaeffect.com . That’s Mandela as in Nelson Mandela, not mandala as in a Buddhist spiritual diagram used as a meditation focus.

    What seems to have happened is that the X-Files had a segment on the Mandela Effect late last year, and a number of people grabbed it and ran on u-tube (and presumably other places). I took a quick look at the beginnings of the videos you posted. They vary from one guy who seems to be barking mad through a few that are more or less standard conspiracy theories to several who seem to have actually understood the material and are working with it.

    There’s a reason why the Physical plane presents the illusion of linear time. Unless you’ve got adequate preparation, knocking over the screen to see the wizard at work can be deeply unsettling and confusing, and can lead to all kinds of wrong ideas.

    If you want to follow through on this, please start with the web site I posted. That’ll give you enough background to sort the wheat from the chaff. I’m like JMG – I detest videos, mostly because they don’t give me the ability to take whatever it is at my own pace and think about it. They also waste my time in taking at least 5 times more time than reading the equivalent material. (I’m not the fastest reader out there, obviously.)

  100. “…the self dissolves back into the emptiness it came from.”

    Isn’t this essentially what atheists believe happens when they die?

  101. Greetings to the assembled Wizardren from Tower 440, GWB&PA.
    Count me in for the magazine. Contributor.
    Rusty
    PS – Anybody interested in fraternal rites and ceremonial magic? gwtower440@gmail.com

  102. Ethan-
    I had to work to find ways to enjoy a wider variety of veggies than I grew up eating. One thing I haven’t seen others suggesting yet is the “pile-on” strategy, which I developed to keep up with the huge supply of greens from a CSA subscription (before I transitioned to mostly growing my own). I would sauté a week’s supply of greens, like kale, chard, or cabbage, usually with olive oil, garlic, onions, and maybe red pepper flakes or ginger. Then all week I used the sautéed greens as a bed underneath other mixed dishes I already liked, like pasta with sauce, spicy stir fries, meat with gravy, chili, beans with ham or bacon, and stews. (I am making myself hungry here!) I find plain greens unappetizing, but I find them inoffensive when combined with familiar and flavorful foods. It’s a great way to bulk up and stretch out other more expensive ingredients too. If you happen to have restaurant or other leftovers, for example, you might get two or three lunches out of them this way, no additional cooking required!

    Good luck at finding a diet that works for you.
    –Heather in CA

  103. Hi all, a question for the general audience (and JMG).

    While sitting in my comfy armchair in New Zealand, it looks to me like the decline in the US (and elsewhere) is picking up pace. It’s “more of the same”, but more rapidly in the last couple months – e.g. trade wars, detention centres, even less civility than before…

    What do the other people residing outside the US feel?

    Cheers,
    KiwiJon

  104. So Mexico’s elections are just a few days away and from what little exposure I have to the American news media it seems that the topic hasn’t been getting much attention, despite the Mexico-US relationship being arguably the most important for America.

    According to the polls so far, the results will be very much in line with recent trends in other democratic countries: the rejection of the establishment and its neoliberal policies fuels the rise of anti-establishment nationalist parties and politicians. In Mexico’s case this role is filled by the three-time candidate, Andres Manuel López Obrador (a.k.a. AMLO) and his 4-years-old party, MORENA.

    The polls suggest that he will win the presidency with about 50% of the vote and a double-digit advantage over 2nd place, and some suggest the possibility of his coalition winning the majority in both houses of congress.

    Mexican presidents serve a single 6-year term, meaning that unless Trump loses reelection, the AMLO-Trump dynamic will essentially define the next 6 years of Mexico-US relations.

    Anyways, there’s two points related to the topic that I thought you might find interesting.

    First of all, there’s the preemptive warnings that some US officials have been making ever since the start of the year about the possibility of Russian meddling in Mexico’s election (in AMLO’s favor, of course). If these warnings were meant for internal consumption, to stoke the flames of russophobia, well that’s just par for the course at this point, but if they were meant to discourage Mexicans from voting for AMLO, it shows a very deep misunderstanding of who Mexico’s boogeyman actually is (here’s a hint: their name starts with “United” and ends with “America”).

    Secondly, there’s the very telling fact that anti-Trump and anti-AMLO rhetoric is actually very similar, despite AMLO being associated with the left and Trump with the right.

    Both are made fun of for their “uncultured” way of speaking.

    Both are accused of sympathizing with some foreign country that plays the role of boogeyman for the opposition (Russia in Trump’s case, Venezuela in AMLO’s).

    In both cases the opposition warns that their policies will transform the country into a dystopia resembling that of their respective boogeymen.

    Both are called populists and authoritarians and their policies are called regressive.

  105. Also, I’ve been thinking recently that part of the reason why some so-called rationalists reject the existence of consciousness altogether might be that even the most “conservative” theory of consciousness suggests the possibility of the “supernatural” existing. At least, that’s the conclusion I came to ever since the introduction to the Critique of Pure Reason first got me thinking about the topic, and I imagine some of these rationalists might have subconsciously realized that the existence of consciousness would lead them to the same conclusion.

    Just the other day, for instance, I saw someone in a science and technology forum say that they thought panpsychism was a plausible explanation of consciousness, only to immediately follow it up by disowning any belief in “woo-woo” like extending your consciousness beyond your body. Evidently they felt that panpsychism suggest such things are possible, or else they wouldn’t have felt the need to preemptively defend themselves against accusations of believing in it.

  106. I too remember it as Berenstein bears, as per this image: https://imgoat.com/uploads/a4fb5c6e93/119717.jpg and I am certain at one point I owned a Berenstein bears board game, again as per the above image. At some point this decade it seems to have retroactively changed to Berenstain bears – and by all apparent records -has always been- Berenstain bears.

    Something very strange is afoot with it and I don’t believe the mass delusion story one bit. Some kind of cyberwarfare weapons test perhaps?

  107. JMG wrote:

    “Alternatively, you can reject those insights, reject the idea that anything in the universe ought to exist but the Absolute and your suitably disguised ego. The latter is what Fortune calls the attraction of outer space. You’re right that it often disguises itself in humble language, but it’s all about entering into a mode of being where the ego and the Void are the only things that exist — and then, of course, the ego becomes one with the Void. That doesn’t mean the ego becomes God; it means that the self dissolves back into the emptiness it came from. It’s a somewhat refined way of suicide, in other words, and it becomes popular in historical periods when other refined ways of suicide are also fashionable. Yeah, like now.”

    This made me think of the first book on Buddhism written from a Buddhist POV that I ever read. The author kept going on about how all life was suffering and said the ultimate goal of Buddhism was the cession of all desires and thoughts, leading to complete stillness-which seemed to me to be a lot like nothingness. The book’s last sentence was something to the effect of “always remember, that while the Christian desires eternal life, the Buddhist seeks an end to life itself.” While I found some of the things in the book profound (it was basically a survey of Buddhist theology and every major Buddhist school), I came away with the impression that the whole aim of Buddhism was some sort of spiritual suicide, and it kind of put me off Buddhism for a while.

  108. @Will Oberton – I have some thoughts about conspiracy theories. Firstly, I don’t think there aren’t conspiracies – or at least plots by various people aimed at advancing their own interests above others, sometimes conducted secretly, and sometimes by applying secret pressure to existing levers of power, sometimes causing harm whether directly or indirectly. Of course, such plots are often at cross-purposes with other plots and also at cross-purposes with the interests of people who are not so plotting. Existing levers of power, themselves, once formed, often devote themselves to increasing their power more than to any other project. But of course there are many, many of them. Therefore, I do not think there is a single, all-encompassing conspiracy controls everything, or that all who are not part of *this* conspiracy are its dupes.

    However, I have found that there are some consequences to believing this, that directly cut across people’s ability or interest to organise politically and/or to believe themselves to have any personal power. Firstly, if you believe that some single entity controls everything, and continually works against you, then you may simply not believe that any action of yours can do any good. Secondly, if you believe that everyone who is not part of the controlling entity, must be its dupe, then you have been effectively immunised against making common cause and organising with them to achieve common goals (which, of course you do not even believe is possible).

    So, my thought on the “master conspiracy theory” (or NWO/illuminati theory) is that it is an immunisation against political organising. Who might benefit from promoting it? I’m not sure of this, but I do notice how “breadcrumb trails” are laid down on sites like Youtube – which are corporate entities. So it may be mainly in the interests of large corporations who prefer that laws and regulations enhance, rather than reduce, their profit streams, to lay down such trails.

    Here’s how I’ve observed it working. If you have a question about something that is conventional wisdom (for example, in my case, whether perhaps compulsory vaccination serves corporate profit interests better than it serves the health interests of ordinary people), you initially can find health practitioners and scientists that will offer good information, but if you keep clicking on the related videos that come up on the sidebar, it will not be long before you have entered a world in which we are all being intentionally exterminated by vaccination. So, instead of deciding to organise with other people who might wish to oppose making vaccinations compulsory, and/or people who might want to restore commercial liability to corporations producing vaccines, or similar modest, achievable goals, you end up believing that anything you do is hopeless, and everyone around you is suspect. Which, vis-a-vis corporate profit-making, places you back in the category you were in before you started asking your questions of conventional wisdom. Harmless.

    NWO theory is a tempting, but fruitless, rabbit hole, which, sadly, I have seen some of my own dearest friends succumb to. How to oppose it? I don’t think there is a quick way. But maybe, over the course of conversations that try to restore 1) a sense that what *we* individually do, matters, 2) a sense that other people around us are worth building common causes together with and working on, people can win free of being “englamoured” in this way.

  109. A data point: there is currently a big wildfire burning on Stalybridge Moor near Manchester in the north west of England. It has been burning for several days already and shows no signs of stopping. The military have now been called in to assist the firefighters in containing it.

    I found this article about it on the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-44638416

    We have had an unusually long period of hot, mostly dry weather for England, from around the start of May onwards, including a proper heatwave this week (it reached 29C on Tuesday where I was, which is highly unusual for north west England), so I think this is probably the cause.

  110. Regarding the question of Matthew in Brisbane, I would argue that China is in an interesting position, which is not easy to suss out: on the one hand, it is a rising empire with big ambitions in Eurasia (but maybe not much outside of it, except Africa) and there is propaganda about big technological projects to modernize and digitalize China, on the other hand, resources are depleting, and the trend outside of Eastern Asia is rather that of economic contraction and the strengthening of trends for which J. M. Greer coined the moniker “scarcity industrialism”.

  111. Hello JMG,

    In your previous writings you have described potential difficulties with combining Tai Chi practice with magical practice. If I recall it correctly, you referred to spefic “energy work” within Tai Chi. How about solitary practice of Yang style 24 movement pattern done in the morning, combined with druidic magic practices a little later in the day? Do you know of any danger with combining these two?

  112. Lathechuck, you wrote, “In New York, a Bernie-Sanders Progressive, vowing to disband border security, defeated the incumbent Democrat for Senate. I think I’ve heard that “the opposite of a bad idea is another bad idea”, but maybe it hasn’t gotten to New York yet.”

    BTW, she’s not only a Bernie Sanders Progressive. She’s a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and she was recruited to run for the seat while at a demonstration in support of Native American opposition to an oil pipeline.

    If this is the primary that’s been getting a lot of coverage, it was for the House, not the Senate. The district is partly in Queens and partly in the Bronx. I agree with JMG’s mild comment (for once) and there were several things going on in that election according to the analysis I heard afterward on cable TV (MSNBC).

    To wit, the defeated candidate was a machine politician who had been handed the seat by the previous incumbent. He had held it for ten terms without ever facing a serious challenger in the primary, and since it was a safe Democratic seat, not in the general either. The Democratic primaries in NY State are intentionally scheduled at a different date from any other election so turnout is always low, which gives the party bosses’ favored candidate an advantage. But that also gives a determined insurgent a chance, because it’s retail politics (knocking on doors, getting out the vote). Usually the turnout for primaries in this district is about ten percent; this time it was a whopping twelve percent.

    Since the guy who was ousted first held the seat, the demographics of the district have changed from majority white to majority brown and Hispanic. He’s a middle aged Irish American. The challenger is a good looking young working class Latina who is very well spoken. I watched one of her campaign ads on cable news; it was professionally done and it was half “The incumbent takes his direction from corporations that give him campaign money. He doesn’t breathe our air or drink our water or experience our problems,” and half a list of promises of specific things she will do if elected to help people in the district.

    The guy who was beaten outspent the woman who beat him five to one. It looks to me like he lost touch with his constituents and took them for granted, and he deserved to lose. This is how democracy is supposed to work.

    Maybe you read the Associated Press story that discussed this primary and a couple of others. Both the lead and the concluding paragraph explicitly framed this upset as “Democratic Party’s deep division between moderates and left wingers.” Which is to say, how awful that an entrenched incumbent who is part of the national leadership was ousted by an insurgent; that means the Party is in trouble. Three reporters got bylines on this story; who directed them to slant it that way? They could as easily have written it up as “After electoral defeat, Democratic Party renews itself by attracting new blood. Energetic young candidates draw hopeful volunteers and are warmly embraced by the base. ” It’s all spin.

  113. Hey Mr. Greer,

    You seem to be predicting some economic recovery, and it brought me back to your catabolic collapse theory. If I remember correctly, it says that in a post-peak state recoveries tend to follow partial collapses, where the system loses some of its functionatlity, while freeing up a surge of previously locked-in resources.

    So this sent me wondering: if we are indeed seeing the beginning of (some form of) recovery, should this follow the demise of some aspects of the industrial civilization’s ecosystem… and which would those be?

    So the first candidates I could think of were:
    1) maybe the financial subsystem lost some of it’s functionality in (and following) the 2008 crisis?
    2) maybe the new trade wars are symptomatic of a time when it’s just too expensive to ship things around, leading to a certain collapse of the last few decades’ globalization?
    3) or maybe the downsizing of environmental regulation, forced by the declining profitability of oil etc., is also a way for our society to shed some complexity it can no longer afford.

    Or maybe we are not post-peak yet? but I’m pretty sure you think we are.

    Would love to hear your thoughts!
    thanks
    Omer

  114. Kind Sir,

    Trump has been in office for a bit now and I was just wondering how you would rate his performance so far.
    Here in Australia the media goes on about him all the time but apart from that he has babies boiled in their mother’s milk for breakfast, factual information is thin on the ground.
    So is impartial comment.

  115. To what extent did the FBI interfere in the presidential election 2016? In October 2016 the media was reporting there was a pro-Trump faction at the Bureau who was throwing the election for Trump. It was the source of the Hillary email investigation that Comey completed in record time and exonerated her. January 2018 the media started revealing the text messages between agents referencing leaks they made to the press, coverage they were controlling in the WSJ, the insurance policy to keep Trump from getting elected, and on and on. Saw a reference yesterday that the House Committee collecting all this from the FBI said the emails they sent back and forth were way worse than the texts. It all looks like the FBI certainly wasn’t apolitical during the election.

    So what’s your opinion? Did the FBI interfere? And for which candidate? Both at the same time?

  116. Trump is proposing to merge the Department of Education with the Department of Labor and call it the Department of Education and the Workforce (DEW). Reading through the reasoning on the White House website and it makes sense to me. We need someone to direct $$ spent on education and we might as well be using it to train people to work real jobs in the this country, rather than go to college with the hope something works out. Employers can’t hire people out of school to do anything anymore. Looks like student loans would be tied more to jobs needed vs just handing them out to everyone who wants one.

    No call yet that education is being drawn further away from the liberal arts. Probably not likely either. So at least it refreshing honestly that the point of education is to get a job that the country needs done.

    It also looks like returning to the states more control over K-12 and stop using federal mandates and initiatives so much. People will shriek schools will be ruined but when did federal control of anything improve it?

    What are your thoughts on this direction in federal education policy?

  117. JMG: there are a couple of other economic problems with nuclear power, which I’ve tried (and failed) to get its advocates to understand off-and-on for years now… Even if (and it’s a big if) the total return on investment is enough to cover the costs and make a profit, there is still the problem that the costs are almost all up-front, with a very long payback period (in the best possible case). This makes for a fantastically unattractive investment proposition in the current economic climate. It also means that the investment risk is biased to the downside, as it’s very rare (in the sense that unicorns are very rare) for huge, incredibly complicated civil engineering projects to come in ahead of schedule or under budget, and compound interest then magnifies the impact of any cost overrun (nobody pays for these things with cash, they’re all built on credit). Investors have time preferences at least as strong as anybody else, and so will always weight costs today more heavily than profits in 10 years time.

    I think it’s telling that the difficulties besetting the Hinkley Point NPP project here in the UK all (currently) relate to project financing, in spite of it having full government backing and a practically blank cheque.

  118. Hi JMG, I was seeing some of the references, in the comments, about the recent bastardization of Eastern/Zen/Buddhist spirituality by westerners, what many now call the “spiritual market place,” where books (like the Gospel According to Zen) and cult like ashrams, and meditation retreats make so called enlightened gurus tons of money. I and some of my fellows have come to see this as just a way to sell a false “avoidance of suffering or the difficulties of life” to those who are more than willing to pay. Basically snake oil vendors or the “man behind the curtain.” in Oz jargon. Do you see any of that?

    Thanks,

    Mac

  119. It was great meeting everyone at the potluck! (I was the dude in the green waistcoat.) I’m gonna try to comment more regularly now, instead of just lurking furtively in the shadows…

    For the record, I fully endorse the idea of a magazine.

    As for vegetables, I used to hate spinach, but I learned that if you saute it in garlic, it sorta neutralizes the bitterness and becomes quite edible.

    Question: Do you have any tips for time management? I’ve been struggling to find enough time lately to do and finish various things. I’ve been making some changes and cutting things out of my life, but it’s still not enough. Do you recommend having a strict routine?

  120. Vegetables have defense toxins such as lectins that may disagree with you for some reason. We’ve bred vegetables out of a wild state since the Victorian times (mainly) but it’s a good indicator that in Jane Austen’s time recipe books would suggest boiling asparagus for an hour(!). That would certainly definitely break down those lectins! On the flip side, Americans are fond of eating these new, non-bitter broccolis (common only since 1920) raw, or with ranch, but raw brassica can halt calcium uptake. Other vegetables may have similar issues. …Which is why they used to be cooked, or as commonly lacto-fermented like kraut or kimchee, worldwide.

    Keep this in mind, and roast for an hour, bringing out the real flavors, even things you may not normally like cooked, such as carrots. Personally, I’d fry (saute) them, such as green beans, kale, even asparagus, in garlic and/or bacon. But not raw and not steamed. There may be a steady drift in taste as we age, and this seems more agreeable now.

    Although government, as warned for 200 years, has become simply government vs the people, there are still separation of powers. Unlike the lather in the media, Trump is following the 200 year process of nominating a justice (which means nothing) which is then approved by the Senate, like all high-level officials. The present count for that is 60 of 100 Senators, so he can’t put in whoever he likes, but must choose someone who can get 60 votes, just like every President since Adams. Besides, he’s replacing a Conservative with a Conservative. Nothing new here.

    I suspect you’re right, the Trade agreement is more than buffaloing for better negotiation. The Generals that put Trump into office realize Globalism is at a high-water mark and we’re going to re-localize, as widely advertised by Peak Oilers and Ecosophists. They’re not the only ones who check the prevailing winds, but Generals have a different reaction to the news, and different parameters of what should be done. Translation: they want a less-bad collapse, because that’s the best they can pull at this time, after the NeoCons screwed up worldwide domination, and the US$ reserve currency is going to fail, forcing the U.S. back to living within their means. …And everybody’s kicking and screaming, which you hear a lot of, attempting anything, rational or not, to preserve their unearned position at everybody else’s expense. Good luck to us all.

  121. @Bonnie:
    It is precisely full moon, I woke up at 3:30 am, and what you wrote about music and nwyfre floated into my mind.

    Then, a mental light-bulb went on: Concentrating nwyfre! This is what I LIVE for, and I never had a name for it until you and JMG gave it to me. Thankyou, both of you!

    I am a nwyfre addict. That explains so much! And now I can’t go back to sleep.

    As I lay awake, I started making an inventory of experiences and activities that have plunged me into the strongest concentrations of it–and that, too, became a nwyfre-concentrating activity, because some very interesting patterns and correlations became evident.

    (Some Observations: nwyfre wakes you up! Full moon does, too.
    Theory: the reason people do things at Full Moon is because it’s easier to concentrate nwyfre then.)

    And, for the first time, I ‘get’ a reason for doing ritual magic.

    @John Michael Greer: This is the first time I have made the connection between this phenomenon and the term nwyfre, and I am extremely interested in learning what else you and other knowledgeable people have to say about it.

    Can you point me to a book or another source?
    Karen

  122. I’m about halfway through your Monster’s book and it is so enjoyable! Truth IS stranger than fiction and I’m loving the ties between history and people’s experiences and things we’ve developed ignorance of. Is there a term for the effort we’ve put in to forget? Amnesia is something that happens to people, not something they choose. Forgetting seems like something someone does unintentionally.

    Anyway, you said in the preface that it was your top-selling book. Is this still the case in 2018?

  123. Hi JMG,

    The description of Verbena officinalis in your natural magic book was enough to make me prick my ears up. None of the literature I’ve read indicates the distinct uses for Verbena hastata, and both Matthew Wood and Catherine Yronwode seem to take the stance in their literature of “they’re about equivalent.” For what it’s worth, I’ve used V. hastata several in a mix for washing my floor, and it didn’t seem to hurt. You’ve mentioned on a Magic Monday that while V. officinalis and V. hastata have similar uses in herbalism, their magical uses are quite different, my question is; how so? Where is the overlap, if there be any, and how is V. hastata distinct? My guess is that the planetary attributions would be somewhat different; V. officinalis is attributed to Venus in Gemini, V. hastata, given Wood’s descriptions, strikes me as ruled by Jupiter, probably in Virgo, given its huge overlap in use with Betony (Jupiter in Aries), but with more of a focus on a highly critical personality type and intense digestive imbalances. Of course this is only speculation, but, that being said, if you have additional thoughts on the astrological attributions of the vervains I’d love to read them!

  124. Will Oberton, the best sources I know on Soviet training methods are Michael Yessis https://doctoryessis.com/ and Pavel Tsatsouline https://www.strongfirst.com/ (this site only includes Pavel’s latest book, his others had another publisher). Michael Yessis is an American who learned the Soviet system through reading Russian journals, exchange programmes and friendships with Russian coaches and doctors. His system is best if you can use it from childhood all through a training career. There is also an organisation that advocates some elements of this form of training in American youth sports – http://changingthegameproject.com/. Pavel is Belarusian and went to the Physical Culture Institute in Minsk. His system is a combination of the Soviet system and the pre-revolutionary physical culture of circus strongmen and strong women. It’s more suited to people who didn’t get a great physical education growing up and are trying to make up the difference as adults with limited time and resources.

    Anyone wanting to do this kind of training I’d also recommend they look into the aerobic training systems of Phil Maffetone https://philmaffetone.com/ and Leonard Schwartz (he died a long time ago but his book Heavyhands is still one of the best). Neither has a Russian pedigree but they integrate very well with the Soviet system.

    Since we’re talking about training I’ll share three things I’ve discovered to prevent very painful things happening. First, some people will tell you you don’t need to warm up and cool down. Every time I’ve tried this I’ve suffered for it. Warm up with mobility exercises and cool down with stretches. This combines the necessary warm up and cool down with improving flexibility. Second, if you are doing barbell presses make sure the hooks are low enough so you can comfortably walk the bar back into the rack even while sagging with exhaustion. If the hooks are high and you have to throw the bar into the rack you risk missing with one side. If one side of a heavy bar drops with your hand still attached, you will get a wrist injury of indescribable pain. Third, if you do Heavyhands training, Schwartz recommends you start walking on the spot. I don’t know how common this effect will be for others, but for me every step was like a slight kick in the groin. I didn’t notice it for a while but the cumulative effect built up and I got a mild but constant kicked-in-the-balls feeling. It took a couple of weeks to go away. So just start walking normally from the beginning.

    Interestingly the Soviet training system didn’t start with sports but with industrial training at Alexei Gastev’s Central Institute of Labour in 1920. He used things like slow motion cameras and biofeedback to train manual skills. Visitors from the West saw it as a Metropolis style totalitarian nightmare with hundreds of workers in identical grey boilersuits marching in step. But it worked. The workers trained there qualified faster, produced higher quality work and less scrap, and had far fewer injuries on the job. However it was also part of the belief in Fordism and Taylorism that was the prime cause of the revolution going over the cliff into Stalinist authoritarianism and bureaucracy. Next time we’ll use the Toyota Production System and the Vanguard Method and get it right this time. 😉

    As well as his industrial innovations, Gastev was one of the most extreme techno-utopians ever. He wrote futurist poems including, most famously, ‘Express: A Siberian Fantasy’. Despite it’s spectacular vision it’s probably pretty close to an ecospiritual vision of hell, and it freaked Zamyatin out to the point of writing We. It’s instructive for thinking about modern techno-utopians as in his Siberia the revolution hasn’t even triumphed yet and there is still a three-way class struggle going on. But the technology makes it utopia. The modern utopians are just the same – they don’t care about liberation, they just want the tech. If it was a choice between ending all oppression or colonies on Mars, it would be oppression on Mars.

    If you want to read anout Gastev he is mentioned fairly briefly but in context in Revolutionary Dreams by Richard Stites and here – https://thecharnelhouse.org/2011/12/07/the-ultra-taylorist-soviet-utopianism-of-aleksei-gastev-including-gastevs-landmark-book-how-to-work%d0%ba%d0%b0%d0%ba-%d0%bd%d0%b0%d0%b4%d0%be-%d1%80%d0%b0%d0%b1%d0%be%d1%82%d0%b0%d1%82%d1%8c/. There is a book about him – https://monoskop.org/images/9/91/Johansson_Kurt_Aleksej_Gastev_Proletarian_Bard_of_the_Machine_Age.pdf and he is featured prominently in We Modern People https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/english/currentstudents/undergraduate/modules/en361fantastika/bibliography/2.4banerjee_a.2013we_modern_people-science_fiction_and_the_making_of_russian_modernity.pdf which also has interesting things to say about the course of civilisations and techno-utopias.

    One other thing Gastev did was build a ‘Social Engineering Machine’. From the one blurry photo there is it looks like a huge, room-sized Nautilus exercise machine. It was supposed to operate like a mental and physical obstacle course and a person who worked their way through it would become the New Soviet Man. A superstitious peasant could go in one end and come out the other a completely rational communist. The machine was lost in the civil war and even Gastev’s son didn’t know how it was supposed to work. Like there are theories about the technology of the pyramid builders, it’s the great lost technology of socialism. Or in terms common here, possibly the means of initiation. Considering the Bolsheviks’ other embarassing attempts to encourage atheism it was probably neither impressive nor ethical, but the concept is fascinating. It’s really hard to find any information on the Social Engineering Machine – it’s mentioned in Revolutionary Dreams and the Adam Curtis documentary series Pandora’s Box, but that’s all I’m aware of. I’d be grateful if anyone has any more information about it.

  125. There has been so much discussion about books and reading on the site, and frequent casual mentions about this and that book — mentions of which must number in the hundreds but must only represent a fraction of what you have read in your lifetime.

    This got me curious. Hope these questions aren’t too personal.

    1) Could you hazard a guess on the number of books you’ve read?
    2) How big is your current collection?
    3) You seem to retain a lot from what you read. Do you take notes while you read in the book itself or in a separate notebook? Or are you using Art of Memory techniques to keep some degree of recall?
    4) Have you ever literally thrown a book across the room in disgust? 🙂

  126. Aaron,

    Excellent! There’ll be a notice here when I have everything ready.

    Kay,

    Getting handmade ritual robes sounds very lovely, thank you for the offer. The one thing I’ll say right now is I don’t have any idea what’s important, since these will be my first ritual robes. I’m not too worried though, since I’m sure JMG will be going over that as well.

    Also, thank you for the offer of support for the magazine. There seems to be a huge market here. I may have stumbled into a future career option.

    Ray,

    Thank you for the offer to help start the magazine, and if something comes up I’ll keep everyone posted, but I’m honestly not sure what it entails yet!

    I came across a working printing press in an antique shop, and decided that I’d try my hand at this. That’s literally all that happened.

    JMG,

    Would you mind sending Kay my email address?

  127. For what it is worth, I am reading Colin Wilson’s “The Occult”. It is actually a very fascinating book, too.

  128. Will,

    I would be interested in subscribing to a Green Wizardry magazine, and would also be interested in taking a shot at writing for it.

    I have a habit of lurking and not participating, and I am grateful your suggestion provided a spark for me to engage – thanks!

    DutyBound

  129. JMG, I listened to your interview about Brexit. You said Tony Blair marked Labour turning away from the working class, but in my opinion all that did was make it official. The Labour Party has always been at least as much about controlling the working class as representing them, but the most recent form of rot set in in 1974. Labour came to power after a miners’ strike broke the back of the Conservative government. The previous PM had called the election basically saying “Who runs this country – us or the unions?” The public replied overwhelmingly “The unions”. This would seem like the perfect time to turn the screw and get everything they had ever wanted. But that’s not what happened.

    A few years previously there had been a Labour policy called ‘In Place of Strife’ which had never been enacted but it morphed into the ‘Social Contract’ where the unions would get some concessions but agree to limit wage claims and curtail strikes. This went into effect. The concessions the unions got were mainly self-aggrandisment for the union leaders – beer and sandwiches at Number 10 – while the workers’ position gradually deteriorated and militancy was dampened. So when Thatcher went for the unions in the 1980s they were already in a weakened state. Other things had happened as well – the Ridley Report strategy of things like stockpiling coal at power stations and training and equipping the police for strike breaking had a definite effect. But it was Labour’s softening up of the unions in the previous decade that made them beatable.

    The only other thing that may have had a comparable effect was the massive increase in personal debt in the 1970s. I saw a programme where they were discussing why such a large and rapid change occured in society at that time. There was one guy, I never knew who he was, just said simply “People with mortgages don’t go on strike”. The way he said it didn’t sound like it was just his theory but like he knew something.

    With you saying your dreams are stranger than most, I’ll pick up that gauntlet. 🙂 The last two dreams I remember were set in an alternative reality Britain in the 1980s. In the first, Britain had an old and huge geothermal industry that was used for power generation and industrial and district heat. Thatcher tried to break the Geothermal Workers Union leading to pitched battles between pickets and police, under giant steaming pipes. The second was an episode of Knight Rider set in Britain where the evil conspiricy’s headquarters was on an old DMU (dark blue sides without the later grey strip around the windows, old even in the 80s – http://uklo.co/d/3524-3/BR+Blue+1st+Generation+DMUs+at+Bury+Bolton+Street.jpg). The train was full of strange computers and other exotic equipment. I also have recurring dreams set in a steampunk version of my home town. I have the best dreams. Somebody prove me wrong. 🙂

  130. John–

    Last night I attended the monthly meeting of a local entrepreneurial group that has started up in my town. It is newly formed (this was only the second meeting), but I’m encouraged to see something like this happening. The purpose is to provide potential business owners with tools and resources as well as to simply help connect people with one another.

    I was attending in a double capacity, both as a city council member and because I have this idea in the back of my mind for a potential business a few years down the road when I reach the point where my current job (which I don’t dislike) becomes an option rather than an obligation — 8 years, 10 months, and 2 days…but who’s counting 😉

    (My business notion involves an attempt to revitalize our local foodshed via a rooftop market garden and hydroponic green-grocer, the latter of which would be less inhibited by our growing season. I have no idea if such a thing would be a viable business, but I think that folks would find the idea of actually being able to see their food growing somewhat appealing, not to mention being able to supply local demand with local food.)

    The group seems very much focused on the tools of the age (web-based, social media, etc), which I suppose one can hardly blame them for. But it was very much on my mind during the meeting that we are faced with the unenviable task of trying to build the new world while still living in the old. I’m not sure exactly how to best thread that needle.

  131. Dear JMG,

    Thanks for your reply. This kind of thinking has led me to wonder:
    What is the future of European morality? Is social justice here to stay, or is it a flash in the pan? Will Europe Islamify, or will Muslims Europeanize? Will crises unify societies, or will intolerance lead to crises? What parallels in history can help one think about this?

  132. PS. I may be hampered (or not) by only really knowing the story of Western civilization i.e. Greece & Rome, Europe & America. As you’ve discussed so insightfully in your posts, the history of civilization in antiquity went from paganism to Christianity, and one can see various transitions that swept slowly through the civilization over those 1000 years e.g. a desire for salvation and eternity and a discomfort with sex and immorality. Modern civilization on the other hand started Christian and has gradually de-Christianized. So it stands to reason that there might be some trends over the course of the last millennium that will continue and will shape the next dominant morality, no matter what it is (in the same way that Julian’s Platonist neo-paganism and Christianity agreed about various things despite despising each other). But from my small time- and place-bound vantage point it’s hard for me to see what those trends might be. Tolerance? The discontinuation of slavery? Women’s rights? Or all those all just things that will get thrown out as soon as a few rounds of economic and climactic crisis take their toll on people?

  133. At the potluck I remember a lively discussion on Pluto. In the past few days I’ve been going over Hesiod’s Theogony (can be accessed here for those who are interested: http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hesiod/theogony.htm) a few times and that has me reflecting on the myth of Hades and Persephone, or Pluto and Persephone.

    Basically the story is Hades kidnaps and imprisons Persephone while she is joyfully picking flowers with other goddesses. He keeps her underground in the land of death and Demeter, who is the life force of nature, grows sadder and sadder and more desperate, so much so she stops the earth from producing life.

    Eventually Hades returns Persephone, but not before tricking her into eating pomegranate seeds that commit her to returning every winter to the land of the dead. An excellent translation of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter can be found here for those who are curious: http://www.uh.edu/~cldue/texts/demeter.html.

    Could there be any more clear a portrait chiseled from stone of Man, Conquerer of Nature? The Plutonian age saw the advent of insanely toxic and widely distibuted chemicals, the “Green Revolution,” nuclear power, plastics, accelerated fossil fuel extraction, rapid transportation, instantaneous communication technology, and perhaps unprecedented pollution. Man, Conquerer of Nature steals the light of nature and abuses, imprisons and exploits her. The symbol of Pluto certainly is also something to consider; the solar disk on top of the lunar crescent, the inversion of Taurus all on top of a cross! To use Dion Fortune’s line of thinking from The Mystical Qabbalah, Pluto’s symbol would be outwardly the inversion of fixed earth, suggesting an eclipse, and would be inwardly corrosive. Yikes! Ceres then would be outwardly lunar and inwardly corrosive, which seems a fair appraisal of Romanticism.

    Am I on the right track here? Is the end of Pluto in astrology analogous to the death of Man, Conquerer of Nature? Also, given the track record of technology of the Plutonian age would it be fair to consider the Plutonian to be something of a subnatural, Qlippothic energy, or do you think that would that be an unjust and uncharitable appraisal?

  134. @Will J – like your idea of a Green Wizard periodical – but I believe your sense of irony may be incorrect, unless you eventually plan to forego email for the US Postal Service some day (argh, argh). I’ve poked around looking for a study that would provide data of the environmental impact of print versus digital media. Along with your concerns about the internet becoming less friendly, it’s difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison. But for those of us who read a lot on a PC, a PC we’re going to have anyway and use for other purposes, I can’t believe the impact of producing a PDF and piggy-backing on the back of existing infrastructure wouldn’t be “greener”. Obviously using an e-reader adds more negative impact. Hard to tell, and I’ll be happy if someone can show me an unbiased study of the topic.

    I would point out the Ecological Citizen, produced by minds far superior to mine, have gone the online route, and use a “greener” server, while “pro-print” and “anti-print” articles are out there on the web:

    https://www.ecologicalcitizen.net/

    Finally, I would think it’s rather trivial to produce an electronic version of the material while getting the publication off the ground, unless “print-only, print always, print forever” is a goal of yours.

    @Tude – I can give a semi-thumbs up to the Portland metro area. Weird, like the city slogan warrants, but the folks here are not insane like in Seattle. Plenty of other nice pockets of people in areas throughout OR and WA, but finding a job is a challenge. Our host can provide a warning about the culture and home prices in Ashland, OR. Love the weather here on the Columbia River. That being said, I’ll be relocating soon back to the Midwest or maybe down south. Housing prices here are way too high, and I’m getting tired of the traffic. In just the four and half years I’ve lived here, it’s gotten observably worse. Ironic, I suppose, as transplants like myself are the cause.

  135. John–

    Not to pull us too much back into the political (though I am, I suppose), but between the pending Trump-Putin summit, the recently surfaced comments Trump apparently made disparaging NATO, Justice Kennedy’s announced retirement, and continued inflation of the Mueller-expectations bubble, the wailing and gnashing of teeth has risen to a whole ‘nother level. It would be humorous if it weren’t such a sad commentary on the state of our republic.

  136. @sgage: Likewise, and thanks! (And yeah. Agent wants my WP site to be more consistent with my brand. She also got me onto Twitter, where I’ve promptly gotten into fights with “incel” guys, which may not have been her intention. :P)

    @sven: So I don’t, personally, aspire to the Unmanifest, but I can understand the appeal. I almost always think in words–will narrate my own life as a story at times, or will just write fanfic in my head when taking a walk–and at times that feels like thought is getting in the way of experience. At other times, Thought A leads to Thought B, then takes a right turn into Really Scary Thought Q, and then you’re having a panic attack at an outdoor concert or sobbing about your ex-boyfriend over Settlers of Catan (freshman Izzy was kinda Peak Freshman).

    Especially when your thoughts are strongly verbal and/or your brain chemistry is wacky, thinking can seem like a barrier between you and experience, or like a constant hamster wheel, only the wheel is spiked and the hamster is large and rabid.

    I haven’t ever wanted to give up conscious thought permanently, but there have definitely been times when it’d be nice to take a vacation from same.

    In general:

    I’d also be interested in a magazine! It’d be nice to have something to look forward to in snail mail, even when I haven’t ordered ridiculous clothing and/or candy. 🙂

    I’ve always wanted to find a magical order which required formal dress, and particularly a different type of formal dress each time, but a) my taste tends toward the baroque and decadent, and b) for reasons involving being a bridesmaid a lot I have about twelve formal dresses in my closet, and I really like some of them, so this is purely self-interested.

    Loved meeting everyone at the potluck!

  137. @Joy Vernon

    My wife and I made the Denver-Seattle trip once several years ago. We drove to northern Montana and caught the train from there. We have family up there, and it was lovely to stay an extra couple of days visiting them. I don’t know if that’s something that’s possible for you, as I don’t know your situation, but we enjoyed it quite a bit. The Empire Builder follows a lovely route through Glacier National Park, and during the summer trips (at least a few years ago) there were volunteer park guides narrating the trip through the park in the observation car. Good luck and safe travels, however you go.

  138. You mentioned a while back that you were planning to write and publish a book about how to think. Do you still plan to write that book, and do you know when it might be published? I’m eager to begin my Mentat training!

  139. JMG,

    I have a question regarding the discussion of the ego becoming one with the void and somewhat refined methods of suicide.

    If I understand it correctly, then according to the view of reincarnation that you’ve presented, someone can desire and pursue such a thing, but not ultimately attain it. Is this correct?

    Unlike some other views where it’s possible for an undeveloped consciousness to actually dissolve upon death (I seem to remember some Stoics, Evola, and some of Atkinson’s writings here), the Revival Druid view suggests that you’re stuck reincarnating and dealing with the consequences until you learn what needs to be learned, regardless of how desperately you look for a way out. Am I mistaken?

  140. Dear JMG, if your robes are getting a little tattered, don’t despair. The Japanese traditionally revere old clothing and vintage textiles as having a spirit and sacredness all their own. “Boro”, or “visible mending” is a very popular current art form on Pinterest. My husband has jeans that he loves and refuses to part with, so I have been patching them for him, to get more wear out of. Cotton growing is incredibly hard on soil, so if I can keep some blue jeans from being discarded, longer, it helps the Earth, and our wallet. It’s sort of telling, economically, that people are learning how to mend clothing, and accepting it as an art form.

  141. Silent H,

    Thank you for the future subscription!

    Drhooves,

    The sense of irony isn’t related to the environmental aspect per say. It’s the reliance on a gigantic technological superstructure that I find ironic. As for getting an online version, I’d rather not. I’m worried that creating an online version would mean that a lot of people would pick the online version and ignore the print one.

    And actually, going from email to snail mail is a goal of mine. It’s not something I intend to do right away, but it’s there as a long term goal.

    isabelcooper,

    I’m adding you to the rapidly growing list of people who seem interested in the magazine. I’m really starting to think it’s a future career here…

  142. Belatedly, also: the one way I’ve actually enjoyed beets is fried. This isn’t particularly surprising, but may be helpful if you have beets you can’t get rid of–getting some in a CSA box, or given to you by a well-meaning aunt with a garden, or whatever.

    Frying: Making Everything Better Since Basically The Dawn of Time.

  143. More comments were just let through in an odd order, mixed in with ones I’ve already read, which makes it a little hard to keep track of which I’ve seen. For anyone else who’s sending in encouragement, I’d like to thank all of you.

    I have some bad news and good news. The bad news first: someone else saw the good deal though, and grabbed the printing press.

    The good news: this won’t stop me, but it just introduces a delay. I’m in talks with someone else who has a specialized store for printing presses and I plan to get one from there. It’ll also give me access to someone who knows how the technology works, and so it’ll hopefully help with the learning curve.

  144. @ Grandmother (if I may)

    Re federal education policy

    I’m one of those old-fashioned types that believes that the language of the Constitution means what it says, not whatever we want it to say. If we want education policy to be a federal power, then we should explicitly amend Article I, Section 8 (generally, the stated powers of Congress) to include that power. Otherwise, the federal government should not intrude into what is otherwise a state-level function. (So to my mind, there oughtn’t be a Department of Education to begin with unless and until an amendment to that affect is ratified.)

    Of course, that is not how we function these days, re education or pretty much anything else.

  145. Alx, that’s standard for this part of the historical cycle. Spiritual traditions have a life cycle, and sunset out so that the next round of traditions can begin to take shape.

    J.L.Mc12, nope. If we’re lucky, they’ll be able to make slide rules and abaci.

    Karim, depends on what tradition we’re discussing. Different religions and different teachings within individual religions have different interpretations.

    Workdove, I routinely field overexcited comments by people who insist that I’ve got to watch a bunch of videos which supposedly prove that alien astronauts built the Eiffel Tower, or that Hillary Clinton is really Jeb Bush in drag, or that we can power industrial society forever on unicorn farts, et cetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. I normally just delete such comments; yours got put through because you’ve been a regular reader here for a long time. If you want to recommend a book on the subject that I can read on my own time, so that I can consider the evidence fairly without having to filter out the cheap psychological tricks used by video producers, I’ll put it on the look-at list — but if you’re convinced that you have the right to demand that I spend my limited free time in an activity you know I dislike intensely, just because you’ve read this blog for a while and are worked up about some videos you just watched, permit me to point out that you’re very much mistaken.

    Karim, nope. What are they about?

    John, thanks for this. Do you happen to know if there’s a book on the subject?

    Kimberly, a good point.

    KiwiJon, the US is going through a wrenching transition. Whether that works out to accelerating decline or otherwise is an interesting question, which deserves a post of its own.

    Valenzuela, many thanks for this! You’re being charitable in saying that the Mexican election isn’t getting much attention in the US; as far as I can tell, most people in the US don’t know that Mexico has elections, much less that there’s one about to happen. We’re astonishingly ignorant here in the US these days. AMLO’s rise, which I’ve been watching via foreign media, does seem to be another step in the implosion of the neoliberal consensus — and good riddance to that.

    And I think you’re quite correct about the hostility toward consciousness on the part of atheist materialists. Once you allow matter to be conscious — even if it’s just the matter in human brains — you open the door to other pieces of matter being conscious, and then what happens to the nice clean dead universe of atheism?

    Synthase, the funny thing is that I remember it from childhood as “Berenstain” with the A. As a kid with Aspergers I tended to be very picky about spelling — and the photo to which you’ve linked got an immediate “that’s got to have been shopped” reaction from me, at a gut level.

    Tolkienguy, well, that’s Spengler’s take on it, certainly. One of the reasons I didn’t become a Buddhist, despite serious family connections to Shingon Buddhism and an enduring interest in the iconography and ritual of that tradition, is that the statement “all life is suffering” makes about as much sense to me as saying “all life is bright orange.” Lao Tsu’s recognition that suffering exists only because joy exists, and vice versa, seems far more sane to me.

    L, thanks for the data point!

    Oskari Autto, I don’t know. All I know is that I ended up having to give up t’ai chi practice entirely in order to heal the kidney chi imbalance I’d ended up with.

    Omer, that’s a complex question. I expect to see some improvement in the manufacturing and light-industry sector in the US, driven by trade barriers that keep China and a range of other countries from being able to flood our markets with low-priced goods; at the same time, the financial sector of the economy is going to take a hit, possibly a very large hit, as global money flows reorganize themselves away from the US. Thus working class Americans will be saying that times are good while the middle and upper middle classes will have a very different opinion! My take more broadly is that the economic unraveling that began in 2008 still has quite a ways to go, and the recovery of US manufacturing and light industry is a matter of rebalancing from an artificially depressed condition, rather than a general rebound in the wake of a round of catabolic collapse.

  146. @David, by the lake – Jumping up and down here in total agreement on the Constitution and education. I’ve read extensively on Thomas Jefferson trying to figure out how he was educated and his thinking. George Wythe his mentor makes for an interesting study too!

    I don’t think the founders ever intended for education to be systematized and standardized, and school teachers at the time was a job for society’s outcasts (unmarried women and alcoholic men from what I’ve seen). Everything changed with industrialization and the need to produce a standard product out of the schools that employers could count on to keep the companies running.

    Did you ever google a list of most famous innovators in America and their education? Many dropped out of high school and all dropped out of college if they made it that far.

    If school wasn’t compulsory, I’d be all for it. It’s the force used to attend, to study specific subjects in specific ways, that is the real turn off for me.

  147. That’s such the odd thing about it, seeing it as Berenstain, as they all are now, does exactly the same to me. The picture I linked is what feels right and familiar to me. I don’t mind being mistaken about spelling, if I go back to the old books and realise ‘oh, that’s why I was wrong’, but the fact of Berenstein being wrong now feels very very wrong, like I’m being gaslighted.

  148. Thank you again JMG for the splash of cold water to the face when you posted in 2016 that those who hated Trump did so because they felt like he was “low class”. I never really cared for the guy between the bragging, the public divorces, and the outrageous things he said. Anyway that post you wrote had me re-evaluate my feelings about him, swallow some humble pie, and look at him in a new light.

    I’m still learning about Trump now and just listened to Art of the Deal written in 1982. I didn’t realize that Trump renovated the Commodore Hotel in a Hyatt and built Trump Tower at the same time, from the time he was age 28 to 32. He had never stayed in a hotel never mind running one. He details how he was able to get variances from city zoning, and the money for loans. Its an amazing tale. I didn’t even get to the casinos yet!

    Many rich international people bought into Trump Tower in that late 1970’s. A lot of Arabs, as he called them, and a lot of Japanese. He details what it was like making deals with them and how he did it. I never realized his international relationships went back 40 years!

  149. Working hypothesis: I’m going to assume that Berenstain is correct and has always been correct, and that I and millions of others have been targeted with a cyberweapon, from which you’re likely immune, due to not being exposed to vectors such as watching television or online video or playing video games.

  150. Monk: I do not believe that Europe will adopt Islam to any significant extent without some serious accommodations on the matters of alcohol and pork. Booze and pig products are very, very deeply rooted in European culture, and no Johnny-come-lately religion is going to change that.

  151. “Thousands of years before Jesus, initiates from Egypt and China to Celtic Britain and North America practiced a mystical ritual, and its adepts — from Zoroaster to Plato —regarded the experience as the pinnacle of spiritual development: a life-altering awakening that disclosed insights into the nature of reality and the self. But more importantly, as outlined on the walls of a secret chamber beneath one Egyptian pyramid, the experience of resurrection was not meant for the dead, but for the living.
    Its initiates were referred to as‘ risen from the dead’.”

    The above from the amazon page of “The lost Art of resurrection” by F Silva is quite intriguing as it seems that many cultures across the world and across time had very curious ceremonies which appeared to involve out of body experiences which led to dramatic personal changes. Given the above I thought that perhaps you could shed some light on the above.

    I enclose a hyper link to an article on the matter for the benefit of all.

    https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/article/the-lost-art-of-resurrection/

    Regards

  152. Another comment on the Supreme Court, because I can’t resist. I actually recently became obsessed with the Supreme Court and for the past few weeks have been regaling my friends and family with the minutiae of every recent decision. Little did I know my obsession was about to become the country’s obsession.

    I see this going one of two ways.
    One : Trump names his nominee. The Dems, for all their talk, can do nothing to stop it and he’s appointed before the midterms. Then the Dems win the midterms and are bitter about what could have been.
    Two: Murkowski and Collins agree to join the Dems in blocking any pro-life nominees. Trump’s nominee is stonewalled going into the midterms. In the midterms pro-life voters come out in force in red and purple states and the Dems lose both the midterms and the Court.

    The Supreme Court was a winning issue for Trump in the last election, so I don’t see why it should be different now. I’m not necessarily happy about that, but ce la vie.

    Actually if Murkowski and Collins do join with the pro-choice Dems I think that the Dems from red and purple states should get creative in order to save their skins. They should find a social conservative who’s nonetheless sensitive to worker’s rights- perhaps a law professor at a Catholic University- and suggest them as a compromise candidate. I don’t expect that to happen, though. I don’t know that it would work but even if it could I don’t think anyone in our current government is bold enough to try it.

  153. Dear Lathechuck, I can’t comment about Ben Jealous except to say he is a person of achievement and accomplishment. I don’t know if he can win in Maryland or not. If there is a big get out the vote in the poorer parts of Baltimore, might he have a chance? It might be that he doesn’t expect to win BUT he does expect to register enough voters in Baltimore and other cities that the powers that be won’t ever again be able to ignore the poorer neighborhoods.

    As for the Crowley loss, Crowley is an Irish ward boss whose district is no longer Irish and who apparently had never before faced a competitive election nor a determined challenger. I would have voted for Acosta-Cortez also if I lived in her district if only because I think the old guard Democratic Party leadership, you should excuse the expression, needs to be retired. Of course I don’t agree with Acosta-Cortez’s position on immigration but don’t forget that her position is essentially that of Wall Street. In other words, WS did not intervene in the primary and left Crowley to fend for himself and Crowley without establishment support turned out to be incompetent. The turning point came when he failed to appear at a scheduled debate. Debates are sponsored by news, or propaganda if you prefer, organizations; news persons consider themselves important and don’t take kindly to being disrespected.

    Both left and right seem to me to have their Achilles heel which will likely prevent either from commanding majority support. For the multicultural left it is their insistence on open borders and for the right it is their obsession with female pulchritude and other people’s sex lives, which tends to infuriate women voters. The conservative side already lost one presidential election partly over these issues; they have cleaned up the rhetoric a little–we no longer hear about “legitimate rape”–but the obsession remains.

    Far more interesting was the win in Syracuse of a local moderately left Democrat over a Clinton supporter parachuted in by the national party at the last minute.

    It is possible to find instructions for making medieval monk’s robes. The brothers had to conserve fabric–no scraps–but still have garments which gave complete coverage and were loose enough to permit manual labor. The hand-woven fabrics of the time would have been much more flexible than the stiff woolens produced by machine weaving.

    Dear Valenzuela, I greatly fear, it pains me o have to say, that your country is being set up for yet another CIA coup. The late and lamented President Chavez of Venezuela actually was able to fight off one such coup, so it can be done, but you need to have your country’s military on your side. I urge all Americans to read two books which have come out this last decade: Legacy of Ashes and the Devil’s Chessboard, and then ask yourself if we even need a CIA.

  154. @Synthase
    Re: Mandela Effect

    You got it!

    As I said in my first response to workdove, I’m very much in the “splitting and merging parallels” camp, especially since that’s a core piece of the Michael Teaching, although somewhat advanced for someone starting out.

    If you want more on that, go to the site I’ve mentioned. I’m quite happy to answer questions, but I’m not going to pound on the drum: this is JMG’s site, not mine (I don’t have one) and most of us are here for him, not me.

    I didn’t look at the picture, but I’m willing to agree with JMG about it being photoshopped: I’ve never seen or even heard of physical evidence of the Mandela Effect, and there are good reasons (at least from my viewpoint) why there shouldn’t be any.

    @Deborah Bender
    Re: New York primary

    That’s the way I understand it went down. I follow election night with the running commentary on 538, and the MSM usually manages to trivialize what happened when it doesn’t just get it wrong.

    @JMG
    Re: Mandela Effect

    As far as I know, there isn’t a book on it. The site is a basic text site – no flashy pictures, etc., no requests to sign up for memberships or any of that nonsense. The couple of introductory videos she’s made are mercifully out of sight. It’ll take about ten minutes, if that, to get the gist. The interesting bit is the wide range of discrepancies, not any particular one.

    There also isn’t anything in print that I’m aware of that deals with parallel splits and mergers let alone the basic spiritual cosmology that makes it possible. It’s in various places on the net, and if I hadn’t been dropped into it headfirst, I wouldn’t be willing to touch it with the proverbial barge pole.

  155. Dropbear, I wish he’d shown more backbone toward the Pentagon, which is still way too invested in boots on the ground in the Middle East. Other than that, his administration is hitting its stride, and starting to accomplish some of its goals, especially in terms of ending the various trade arrangements that shipped so many US jobs overseas. He’s done a fair number of things I disagree with, but frankly he’s done better than Obama did at this point in their respective presidencies — and of course there’s a fair amount of entertainment to be had watching his opponents throw one shrieking two-year-old tantrum after another.

    Grandmother, my take is that the FBI and various other parts of the Executive Branch tried to throw the election to Clinton, and failed. That kind of thing happens, especially when the election involves important issues that could influence the division of the spoils in a big way. As for the proposed merger, I wish he’d simply get rid of the Department of Education altogether. The more centrally managed US education has become, the worse it’s become, and as I’ve argued in blog posts in the past, a case can be made that this is a straightforward cause-and-effect relationship.

    Dunc, thanks for this! That makes perfect sense, but I haven’t previously seen anyone lay it out in those terms.

    Mac, I think that’s a lot of what it’s become. My read is that it started out as something less mercenary, though no more honest — an effort on the part of people who wanted to think of themselves as religious, but didn’t happen to believe in anything, to redefine Buddhism into a religion entirely compatible with atheist materialism.

    Sam, I don’t have a strict routine. I simply make sure that the things I need to do are things that I love doing, so there’s always an incentive to do them.

    Jasper, a nice crisp summary. Thank you.

    KKA, I wish I knew of one!

    Grandmother, “learned ignorance” is the only term I know for that. As for Monsters, it’s not always the top seller in any given year, but overall, it’s sold more copies than any other book I’ve written.

    Violet, interesting. I’d been told by several teachers of mine that V. officinalis has different magical (not medicinal) properties than V. hastata, but I don’t know where they got that info, and as one of them is dead and the other is pretty far gone into Alzheimers I don’t know that I’ll have many options to find out.

    JWWM, (1) I have no idea. I began reading at the age of two and a half and since that time have basically never been without an open book somewhere near me. (2) I own about two thousand books; my wife and I between us have about five thousand. (3) No, I simply have an extremely retentive memory for verbal information. (4) Nope. I don’t throw things, as I have very poor aim and would likely damage something.

    Will, will do.

    Twin Ruler, yes, it is.

    Yorkshire, thanks for the data points! My dreams aren’t anything so linear as that. I’m walking down a street which, without any transition, is a hallway in what is supposedly the high school I went to, except that the rooms and halls are open to the sky, which is bright yellow, and the students are all ostriches, and then the PA system announces that Count Chocula has just been elected pope, and the ostriches (who are now, without any transition, human beings with feathers protruding from their backsides) begin to cheer, and by this point the high school hallway is a deck on a ferry boat crossing Puget Sound from Seattle to next Wednesday, and the former ostriches are all in Navy costumes and start to sing what’s supposed to be a Gilbert and Sullivan number, except halfway through (wtihout transition) it’s the theme song from Underdog, and so it goes. That’s how my dreams are. If yours are weirder than that you’re welcome to them! 😉

    David, delighted to hear this. No question, building for the future while living in the present is a challenge.

    Monk, Europe is dying on the vine. In Yeats’ words, only dead and drying sticks can be tied into a bundle, and the artificial unity he predicted — we call it the EU nowadays — is the sign of decay setting in. Faustian civilization, to use Spengler’s term, was never going to last long, because its basic thrust was toward infinite expansion, and once that fails for good, down it goes. That leaves the older civilization of Islam — Spengler’s Magian civilization — and two not-yet-formed great cultures, one in Russia, the other in eastern North America, to pick up the pieces. None of those three is part of Faustian civilization, though the latter two both have a Faustian intelligentsia as temporary upper class and suffer from a certain amount of Faustian pseudomorphosis.

    As for social justice, it’s already dead. It’s been a zombie for some time now, shambling mindlessly onward and devouring brains. 😉 It never was much more than an excuse for middle class intellectuals to parade their supposed moral superiority to the working class, and that’s way past its pull date at this point. I’l be discussing this in more detail in an upcoming post.

  156. JMG, by any chance did you also pay careful attention to world maps and globes early in life? One of the most amusing Mandela Effect claims is that South America has “moved” several thousand miles farther east than it “used to be.” (Within our lifetimes, that is; we’re not talking continental drift here.) People shown accurate present-day maps are often astounded that the continent’s entire west coast is farther east than the tip of Florida, and that most of Brazil is farther east than “down east” Maine.

    Older maps and globes, of course, show the same thing, which rules out any cause-and-effect kind of change (even if such a change could have somehow taken place unnoticed). Hence the talk of intersections with alternate realities and other fanciful explanations.

    My explanation is that it doesn’t amount to “mass delusion” for a lot of people to have imperfect memories of things they never needed to know accurately in the first place. South America being more or less centered due south of North America is a good enough mental model for almost anyone not directly involved in cartography or navigation. It’s even good enough for passing geography tests, because a such tests typically require filling names or subordinate borders into already drawn outlines; very rarely would a student be asked to draw the position of the continent within a big blank space with any accuracy.

    Likewise, no one ever failed to find the children’s cartoon bear book they wanted in a physical library or bookstore because they were looking for the more stereotypical names “Bernstein” or “Berenstein” that they mis-read or mis-remembered instead of “Berenstain.” The difference only gets pointed out when you start using text search software, such as at a dot com bookseller or your library’s new electronic catalog. Voila… instant “mass delusion” or “altered reality.”

    Meanwhile, those making hay from the King James Bible mentioning, and always having mentioned, such things as “corn” and “bottles” (where later translations say “grain” and “wineskins”) are simply disregarding or unaware of those words having had somewhat different meanings in King James’s time. “Corn” did not mean “maize” (it still doesn’t, outside of North America) and “bottle” did not mean “rigid container.”

  157. @Sven
    having spent about half my life in a wisdom tradition that aspires to the unmanifest, I feel I should give you an insider’s perspective. It’s not easy to bridge such different perspectives and I’m unsure if I understand the western terminology properly, but if you mean what I think you mean by unmanifest, the reasoning (in Tibetan Buddhism at least) is as follows:

    The first thing to grok is that these traditions do not believe in the existence of evil*. What takes its place is ignorance. Suffering is real enough, as are sentient beings that deliberately cause the suffering of others. But they do this not because they are somehow metaphysically tainted, rather because they are acting on false assumptions. The most common of these is that the self is separate from the rest of the universe and the more important part. The way to overcome this false belief is to know one’s true self. The instruction for knowing one’s true self, is to point the student in the direction of the unmanifest. and tell them to start seeking. Ego suicide is certainly a danger on that path, while also being a selling point in some of the early stages. But once you take the Bodhisattva oath**, it’s not really possible to take the short path out, and I don’t believe it’s really possible to get very far on the path without some version of it.

    *I was rather surprised to see a well – known Christian apologist argue for both the concept that humans speak reality into existence and the existence of evil – it seems to me that’s the one thing one should never speak into existence. But I suppose all wisdom traditions seem to have obvious flaws when viewed from outside.

    **Essentially a promise to not seek enlightenment selfishly, but be reborn in order to help others on their journeys when one’s own is complete. There are stories of beings that attained enlightenment for selfish reasons, but I don’t think they’re meant to be taken literally.

    @Spicehammer
    Speaking of Tibetan Buddhism – one of the Western ambassadors of an older Tibetan school happens to be somewhat specialized in dream yoga. If you’d like to explore this further, I’d recommend picking up a copy of ‘Tibetan Yogas of Dreams and Sleep’ by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.

    @workdove
    I experienced the Mandela effect with the Berenstain Bears – I distinctly remembered it being spelled Berenstein and was quite flummoxed to find that every bit of evidence showed it as having always been spelled Berenstain. In my case though there was a rather prosaic explanation: s-t-e-i-n is the much more common spelling pattern and I think my memory just filled in the gaps. I don’t think we’ve got a good handle on how memory works, and I think the Mandela effect is more a flaw of memory than tomfoolery in the multiverse. Though in my more mythical musings I do think tomfoolery in the multiverse – fewer possible pasts where the observers are still alive or something of that sort – could be what’s causing the errors in memory’s interface with the Records. Perhaps the Mandela Effect is becoming the new Deja Vu, now that the Matrix films changed our relationship to that phenomenon.

    Which actually brings me to another question for the community on the subject of memory – For those practicing divination, has it been your experience that training memory is helpful for your divination? I’ve heard divination described as remembering the future and am wondering how useful that model is.

  158. Dear JMG,

    Thank you so much for your answer. I’m glad to hear that social justice is a zombie. But I am saddened to learn that my beloved Europe is dying. I have the choice to live in Europe or the US, and I don’t know which to choose. Interestingly, I have an American connection and a Russian connection, but I am primarily European, and I live & breathe European culture. I fear that in America I could at best be a European in America, part of the ‘Faustian intelligentsia’, but on the other hand, is it possible to be happy in a dying civilization, if I stay in Europe? Or should I try to change my Faustian soul, to mend my ways and seek a new way of being? Amazingly enough the only new book I started reading in the last month is Faust (by coincidence! if there are such things…) – Faust’s first two pages resonated deeply with me.

    Dunc & Warren, thanks for the fascinating comments.

    P.S. Do you think Britain will share Europe’s fate, or can it stand apart somehow?

  159. Hello JMG

    Do you – or anyone else here – know what the situation is with DAPL and the protests at Standing Rock? The veterans came along to help the water protectors, and government forces stood down pretty promptly and DAPL was put on hold, then after Trump took office the work apparently resumed. Why didn’t the veterans come back and help out again? Or has DAPL not actually resumed?

    SMJ

  160. JMG and all –

    Wanted to pop back in quick to thank everyone for last weeks discussion, I was able to get back to it finally today and read all the remaining comments. As usual on this site they were civil, thoughtful and well worthy of consideration. Lots to think about – thank you for that!

    If our host will permit a quick response on a suggestion from last week:

    @gnat – I took the test you linked to for political leanings, my score:

    Economic left/right : -6.38
    Social Libertarian/authoritarian: -7.33

    I read that as pretty much a libertarian/socialist…thanks for the link and thoughts. At least I have a somewhat proper label now 🙂

    From this week:

    WillJ – I am so envious of your new project, I spent a number of years in the 80’s running antiquated printing presses at a small town mid-western newspaper – printing mostly letterheads, envelopes, auction bills, etc. Haven’t been able to get the smell of printers ink off ever since – it’s a bit addicting and great fun! Count me in as a subscriber – I’d love to be a supporter of an effort like this…wish I had the time myself. Personally for me print rules over digital any day of the week, I spend way to much time looking at screens already for work so any chance to not see a screen is appreciated!

    For whoever asked about good places to live – we’re pretty happy in our mid-western location in a medium sized town along the Mississippi…people are great, down to earth and mostly common sense. We’ve lived in several locations/states through the years, but for fly-over country it’s been WI and Iowa…both good options if you can find the right spot to land.

    General question for JMG or the general readership from a newbie to magic, currently just really getting underway with our hosts LRM guide:

    I’ve been noticing an interesting affect when finishing up my nightly exercises and wondering if anyone else has experienced the same? When I have a really good night running through things, I often end up almost literally bouncing with energy after finishing the Qabalistic Cross and closing out. It typically takes a bit to settle down the extra energy, I’m curious if others have a similar experience?

    Pam

  161. Regarding canon, one question occurred to me earlier: will a person’s selected canon include literary or expert opinion reviews?

    @ godozo, one reply to your comment under Cancer Ingress: thanks for the information that Nate [Silver] refused to predict a Hillary Clinton victory on election night; I’d wondered about Nate’s statistics vis a vis the election outcome.

  162. JMG, and @Monk, we can outline thus the course of Faustian civilization: from the rubble of the defunct Classical civilization, through the Dark Ages, rose a civilization bent towards infinite expansion – and expand it did: its Golden Age coincided with the settlement of whole new continents, and the discovery of major sea lanes; it began its waning years when there were no more new lands to expand to be found, which forced Faustian nations to throw themselves at one another for the last few scraps of land. Finally, Faustian civilization had a brief new lease on life with the development of flight and rocketry and the hope of finding a new, ever-expanding frontier in space – but it fizzled out in less than a quarter of a century.

    Two big “ifs” in world history will always be what would have happened if peak oil never arrived, or at least arrived two or three centuries later, and what would have happened had interstellar travel been developed in an economically viable form.

  163. JMG, your replay to Monk suggest that Russia is sprouting bud of new civilization.. respectfully, I somehow can’t see it – it’s still dependant on Europe in each and every aspect saves for natural resources, poorer and not really appear anywhere as creative as old continent. It’s demography is far worse than of West, considering the bleeding south with Muslim countries and Syberia being stealthy settled by China. It’s hard to see it as stable core of new civilization.

    I would hazard a guess that China/Pacific Rim of Asia would be next in procession of great cultures. Isn’t it a far more impressive blend of old Chinese civilization with Faustian technology/ideas?

  164. Hi JMG,

    I was interested in your comment about a Faustian pseudomorphosis in the intelligentsia of Eastern North America, overlaying a nascent great culture. I don’t think I’ve heard you distinguish America from Europe before in Spenglerian terms like that, although I’ve noted your delineation in other terms of the distinct American culture underneath the layer of European influence.

    I suppose it’s easy to see American civilizational achievements in the 20th century (moon landings…) in particular as a sort of Apotheosis of the Faustian drive to the infinite. Is the coming great-culture you posit to be distinguished entirely from that kind of thing, being something quite new but still constrained by the pseudomorphosis?

    Thanks,

    Morfran

  165. Sam, Re: finding time to finish projects. Have you seen the book Getting Things Done by David Allen? He has created a system that is pretty simple to use, and has been practiced and refined by thousands of people. It is not overly complicated, but I have found it to be powerful in staying focused on what matters most to you. Hope it is helpful.

  166. Hi JMG.
    I’ve been wanting to ask you about this for a while now and I always forget. Thanks for the open post.

    When I was about 5 years old, I went to a wedding with my family. At some point they took me to meet the groom, and he asked me “what are you going to be when you’re older?”. I was young and I was shy and I remember how he was the center of attention at that event and, out of fear for that level of exposure, I unflinchingly said “single”. He laughed, my parents laughed, and I felt approval for my answer, so i felt like I had answered “correctly” and that evaluatory encounter was passed.

    Twenty years (about eight of them trying and failing to be in a relationship) later, i cannot stop feeling like that affirmation was more influential than anyone guessed at that moment.

    I don’t really know what to think of it. A part of me wants to find a way of dispelling that sentence and stop it from having an influence on my life. I was young and foolish and did not know what i was talking about. Another part feels like I must have had my reasons for stating that, and it is either naïve to think something I said being 5 matters on this day in any way or counterproductive to want to escape the lesson that I should be learning from this.

    What do you think? Do you have a similar experience? Could you tell me how to know if it is beneficial to keep living with it (or help me with with the interpretation of a geomantic reading of it. i just remembered that’s an option…) and, if not, how to stop it?

    Thank you very much. Greetings from below the border!

  167. Deborah Bender- Thanks for the extra info (and correction) on the House primary race in New York. Actually, I got my information from NPR, and during an interview, heard the reporter ask “isn’t it true that you believe in open borders?”. I didn’t hear Ocasio-Cortez answer the question yes or no, but seemed to be evasive about it. To the extent that illegal immigration is a big issue with Trump and his supporters, with minority citizens (who feel labor competition), and myself (though I am otherwise appalled at Trump’s presidency so far), I think she’s on the losing side of that issue. Time will tell.

  168. On Trump: I’ve never been a fan of globalization and free trade, but it seems like Trump is going about it like a bull in a china shop. (no pun intended.) I often wonder how one would go about stepping away from free trade now that it’s become so well established. For one, I’d stop deepening harbors and widening locks for ever larger ships to get through. Making transcontinental shipping less efficient would work like a built in protective tariff, and thus would be desirable, it seems to me. For another, I’d make it a priority to do something to limit corporate size and power, beginning with overturning Citizens United and getting rid of “corporate personhood,” and go on from there. Also, I disagree with his push to deregulate and privatize wherever possible, … and to keep cutting taxes again and again. I, too, share your disappointment with his caving to the Pentagon and their never-ending wars. I’d like to see him put Israel in its place: we provide the money and we should be pulling their strings; not the other way around.

  169. JMG–when you say that at this point in his presidency Trump has done a better job than Obama what exactly do you mean? Can you be a bit more granular? The president is constitutionally limited and most of what Trump has done has been with trade and loosening environmental regulations. Is this what you are referring to? Or do you mean the provision in the tax cut that repealed the health care mandate (which was done by Congress)?

  170. JMG, I was asking about the Geomancy book because you are a big proponent of daily banishings these days, and the book contains quite a bit of magic without a daily banishing. Sure, it does contain a circle casting, but I don’t think you intended that to be cast every day… or did you?

  171. David, by the Lake: I am a professor up at the Green Bay campus, and I can assure you that the “satellite” colleges will be sucked dry wherever possible. In among the messages we get from the folks on high about thinking how to “collaborate” with the other campuses, we are told that the bottom line is, whatever your idea is, it has to benefit GB or it won’t happen. I’m sure this doesn’t surprise you. It’s now a bizarre dog-eat-dog world in this system, and this administration will “use” the satellites in any way it wants but will still fund only its pet programs on campus. Education is a concept of the past.

  172. What is truth?

    That’s both big and nebulous, so I’ll try to explain what I mean.

    Over the past few months, I’ve read several books that cover similar ground but in different ways.

    The way the different authors treat the same subject yields opposed viewpoints. Each has backed up their assertions with context and reason, yet they come to very different conclusions.

    How am I, a mere everyman, to decide who is right or wrong?

    I’d like to suggest that how I weigh these different opinions is based upon the following factors: an internal coherence, an external coherence, an awareness on how language is used to manipulate, and my own pre-existing prejudices.

    There may of course be other factors, but that’s enough to be going on with.

    The books I am thinking of are as follows:

    Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari.
    The Patterning Instinct, by Jeremy Lent.
    Dark Age America, by John Michael Greer.

    Each covers an expansive arc, from the dawn of human cognition to the fairly near future. Each makes similar points, and highlights the same concepts. Yet they each draw a different picture. Each position is backed up with a wealth of research and logic. The differences are both profound and subtle.

    So perhaps the simplest factor to discuss is that of how language can be used to manipulate. This has a close partner in its external coherence.

    The same subject, dealt with by (for example) Michael Moore, or Ann Coulter, would carry baggage. These are people with an agenda. If I’m familiar with their body of work, I’m going to apply a filter of sorts. A counterspin. The external coherence is based on an awareness of their previous works and ideas, and how those ideas are presented. Their willingness to cherrypick to suit their goals is also a factor. I would give more wight to an argument presented by Noam Chomsky than to the same idea put forward by Moore.

    Another example of external coherence might be how agreement on an issue does not guarantee policical of philosophical uniformity. Take three prominent authors on the subject of peak oil, John Michael Greer, Richard Heinberg and James Howard Kunstler – John Michael Greer describes himself as a Burkean Conservative (please forgive me if that should be a lower case “c”) Richard Heinberg presents his arguments from what to my eyes seem like a relatively liberal/progressive position. James Kunstler proclaims (-ed) himself as a card carrying Democrat, while his writings frequently align with the rightward end of the political spectrum. They all agree that Human use of the worlds finite resources is a road to nowhere. Their suggestions for the best way forward are very different.

    Who to believe?

    My personal history tends towards the left. These days, I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. Yet I tend to favour the Liberal argument. I’m more likely to read Heinberg and think, “Yes, that fits…” while reading Kunstler and thinking “Yes, but…”

    Internal coherence is how much they make sense within themselves. I give more credence to Chomsky than to Moore because he’s more than just a polemicist. He can back up his assertions with a knowledge of history, and of patterns within both history and society. I’d have to work much harder to counter his ideas.

    Anyhow. Big question. I have no solid answers. Just some thoughts to offer.

    Best Wishes,

    Paul.

  173. David (by the lake) – When contemplating an agricultural operation, one way to do a “sanity check” is to ask yourself, “how much money do I need to make?” Suppose you say “$100/wk” (because it’s not your main source of income). Then, how many lettuces (for example) do I need to sell to make $100/wk? (Suppose you make $1 profit on each, so you need to harvest 100/week, or 20 per day.) Then how long will it take me to harvest 20 lettuces (remember, this isn’t your “day job”)? To harvest 100 per week, you need 5000 “growing cells”, at all stages of maturity, or an area of about 50’x100′ (plus access paths, mechanical systems, pipes, vats, lights, whatever…) From this simple baseline, you can make adjustments. If you can only sell them at a $0.50 profit, you need 100’x100′ of growing space. If you want to make $1000/week, you need 500’x100′, and so on. Sometimes even very rough numbers can help us appreciate why it’s hard to find new ways of doing things.

  174. I’m curious what some of the examples you had in mind were when you wrote the following in A World Full of Gods.

    “There are certainly situations where [the myth of progress] offers a good model for the universe of human experience; the problem is simply that such situations do not embrace the whole of that universe.” P. 170

    “Progress may not be the constant its storytellers often claim, but it does happen, and has happened often enough in recent times to make the myth of progress work almost as often as it fails.” P. 179

    Thanks.

  175. JMG – I just had a thought about the department of education. Maybe it was founded to because of the decline of America that started circa 1970. Wasn’t it founded in 1979? Nine years after the perceptible decline of the US started. Maybe, in a way, the founding of the department of education was a reflexive move to the first decade of less. Thoughts anyone? How was high school different before the department came into being?

    I’d be most interested to hear the opinions of people who were in sixth grade in 1979 because they got six years under the department, six years without it.

  176. Well, it looks as if the US is about to have a test of how dedicated state legislators are to passing laws strongly supported by a small group of their voters, but not by a majority. The announcement of Justice Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court has sparked a flurry of attention to abortion and the possibility that a new court might overthrow Rove v. Wade. But it seems to me that Roe v. Wade has functioned like the group of friends who hold back the blow-hard who is threatening to beat up the much bigger and meaner opponent. State legislators have passed more and more restrictive laws, secure in the knowledge that SCOTUS will prevent those laws from actually taking effect. Most polls show that only about 20% of the population support a complete ban, about an equal % support complete legalization and much of the population have some middle ground position. By passing 6 weeks bans and similar laws the state legislators satisfy their abortion absolutist voters without risking the blow-back that would result from actual enforcement of those laws. If Roe v. Wade is reversed, those legislators will have to take full responsibility for the results of their votes and will discover whether the 20% for whom abortion is a determining factor in voting is sufficient to keep them in office.

    The SCoTUS decision of the ability of non-union workers to withhold dues to unions who do not represent their own political opinions has raised similar outcry about the fate of unions. I read one article that claimed Reagan’s shutdown of the air traffic controllers union was the major reason for decline in union membership in recent years. However, nobody seems to address the fact that union membership flipped from predominantly private sector jobs to primarily government jobs. This virtually guarantees lack of support from non-government workers. Before unionization people already regarded civil service work as a pretty sweet gig–not too demanding, almost impossible to be fired from, pensions, reasonably good pay, etc. Admittedly the pay was not high, but most people accepted that the job security balanced that. Add unions and the perception that the unions are taking advantage of the taxpayer and shaping public policy in ways that benefit their membership and you have a recipe for resentment. For instance, the influence of the Correctional Officer’s Association on criminal codes and sentencing guidelines in California is a problem.

    But how do we account for the decline in private sector union jobs? Part of it is the disappearance of the manufacturing industries that used to be heavily unionized. Part of it is opposition from employers–but there has always been opposition from employers. But no one addresses the corruption of certain unions and the suspicion of corruption in others. And the lack of solidarity of the working class. I knew there was something weird going on when I read about a local of the office workers union striking against their employer — the local office of the Teamsters Union. Some of this resulted when unions began to be run by people who had not worked their way up from the shop floor, mine or loading dock, but were professional managers. But the perception that “they’re all crooks anyway” has to have been damaging to organization efforts.

    Rita

  177. OK, you asked for it!
    Can you name the short story (maybe 1940s or 50s?) that begins with a young woman in stylish clothes walking down the main street of a small town and being silently judged and mentally “taken apart” by young male observers?
    I detailed persona is created in the young mens’ heads but their judgements are eventually shown (from the woman’s perspective) to be virtually the opposite of reality.
    Not only is it an interesting character study but the last sentence in the story reveals something both unexpected yet eminently sensible but I can’t remember what!
    Google searches have come up empty, maybe because the key words are too universal or vague…

  178. Thinking out loud.

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” – Ninth Amendment.

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” – 14th Amendment section 1.

    Here’s my thought. Given these two amendments, wouldn’t the right to gay marriage be implied because as far as I know there is nowhere else in the constitution specifically spelling out that it isn’t a right? The constitution relies on the dictionary for what life, liberty and property are. So wouldn’t the right to an abortion be implied to because the definition of life is also not enumerated in the constitution; it leaves the choice about these things to the individual.

    I am not trying to say what’s morally right, it just seems like a no brainer to me given how these two amendments are worded. It seems to me like our ability to know when an argument has been one or last has eroded. Now granted a win or lose in an argument is subjective…. For example, Hilary said she won the debates and didn’t listen to any of the criticism of people who snickered at her performance. Trump said he won…. Is it the job of a supreme court judge to simply decide who made the better argument? Or to inject his/her own judgment into the argument.

  179. I feel like a social justice warrior thinking about our constitution and it’s amendments a lot…. like in my last comment.

  180. Update on the project: The sort of press I’d need for this project is currently out of my budget, so I’m going to try my hand at making my own. I’ve found a plan for it, have done some basic carpentry before, and so I expect this to be doable (albeit time consuming).

    In the meantime, I have access to a printer, paper, and staples, and so I’m willing to make this work with what I have. The quality of the magazine will be a little lower than I would like, but I think it can work to start with. If people are willing to subscribe to the lower quality version, I’ll plan to have the first issue ready for the fall equinox. Submissions will be due on August 31, which would give me three weeks to edit.

    If this is going to work, I’ll need writers. Send me something to Greenwizardmagazine@gmail.com, and we can talk about inclusion in the first (or later) issues. I’m looking for anything related to green wizardry: Soap making, plants and usage, results from gardens, weather stripping, sewing, etc. I’m not going to make an upper or lower limit on length, but ask people to try to keep it reasonable, and will post cost once I’ve priced everything out.

    I would like to thank everyone for the support with this project yet again.

  181. My childhood wasn’t as long ago as JMG’s, but as another data point, in the early ’90s I too was a kid who was unnecessarily good at spelling (later at age 13 I ended up in the national Spelling Bee and placed well), and I also clearly remember the spelling being Berenstain.

  182. So many good topics already! For starts I am interested in the topic of Cultures in the remains of the Faustian. Surely to the Magian we could add the Vedic and the East Asian as old timers likely to be around after the rubble stops bouncing; both seem to have a lot of life still in them. Interestingly I at first thought of Civilizations as having life cycles in the order of ten some centuries, but now it seems that this is more like a growing season for societies and they can, in the case or perrennials, ‘over winter’ as evidenced by the Ancient Egyptions, the East Asian, and the Magian cultures. In the America’s it also seems to me that the fairly old Mexica Culture might survive it’s time under Faustian Psudomorphisus; maybe the Incan as well, but that is further from me and I wouldn’t know.

    I am dearly curious what you are pointing your figure at when you say the eastern North Americas? If you saw an animal in the bush you might tell me what color, size or quickness it had; but if you are trying to point to a baby culture, are there a couple indicators to help me to look and see what you are pointing at?

    FInally on this thread I have been thinking recently about what I think has potential to be the most disruptive technology left behind by our era: radio. I some times think that the abulity to speak over great distances could really tweek the life cycles of cultures; with more psudomorphious; and perhaps less spacial definition. The image of Jewish culture in disporia comes to mind as a likely prefiguration of a trend in cultures not yet born but which I am trying to point towards. Can you smell what I am stepping in?

  183. Darkest Yorkshire, Thank you for all that information. I will take advantage of it. I have always thought that some such system must exist but I have never found it. Thank you and if you follow football I sorry for England’s loss today.

    Scotlyn Those thoughts are much the same as mine. Thanks for the response. That specific conspiracy theory very much immobilizes people and that is what I would like to stop.

    Synthase I am absolutely sure it was Berenstein bears. So maybe I too was cyberattacked.

  184. @Tude
    I was going to suggest moving to Canada’s West Coast as it has a lot of logical things to suggest it – there are rumblings that it’s in the early stages of a (hushed up) housing crash, so you might be able to pick up an acreage for something fairly reasonable if you rent for a year or so and know the area during the height of a panic selloff. I remember it as being the kind of place that would welcome both a lecturer and a machinest enthusiastically, West Coast without the siege mentality of the US coastal enclaves. But I got a pretty bad feeling when I’d finished writing the above and the I Ging was very ‘no blame’ about the prospect, so I can’t in good conscience suggest it. Might be it’s just a few years behind California, if so let’s hope it’s just birthing pains. Too bad really, it sounds like Canada would have been lucky to have you ;-).

    @Will J
    You live in Canada? Where? I noticed a local librarian left ‘Green Wizardry’ on the suggested reading shelf of the Halifax Central library, might there be enough of a concentration locally for a meetup?

    @Eric
    From speaking to Iranians I know personally, I get the sense it will be a noisy but relatively bloodless change, they describe a major shift in how many people on the street are likely to defend the regime now compared to a few years ago, and I don’t think the Ayatollah’s ignorant of the realities. I think the likeliest outcome is Iran’s regime gradually liberalising without much actual institutional change.

    @Morfran
    From a chakra and energy healing perspective, heart centre blockages are most often associated with excessive fear. If that rings true to you the only western answer I know of is to cultivate courage by speaking uncomfortable truths, but someone else here can probably tell you more if you think that is the right diagnostic.

    @Will Oberton
    The Church of the Subgenius has the best answer to conspiracy theories I’ve ever seen – it includes the CONSPIRACY (it’s an acronym) right in its pantheon, as a kind of satanlike figure. There’s a Subgenius koan along the lines of ‘To a man with “Bob”‘s slack, even the CONSPIRACY is of service. To a man with no slack, even “Bob” serves the CONSPIRACY’. “Bob” is a kind of messianic figure while slack is akin to grace or effortless flow. What this means to me is that where conspiracies rank in one’s concerns is a bellweather for one’s relationship to the rest of the universe. The CONSPIRACY is my tendency to self-sabotage and blame others for my misfortune, it’s the malevolent force that I won’t escape no matter where I go. With that in mind, it’s very easy to have fun with it and have a real conversation about our own projected shadows, all while talking in metaphorical language and exploring where our map of the world contains dragons. I’ve always found that worthwhile, but then I happen to enjoy the mental gymnastics conspiracy talk comes with. If you don’t, there’s always the ‘I focus on what I can control’ thoughtstopper.

    @GKB
    Wow, thanks for your suggestions! These projects always lead to learning interesting things, this gives me a platform to dive in from!

  185. Violet, you’re on the right track. In astrological terms, Pluto is the eleventh planet — remember that the sun and moon are planets in astrological terms — and 11 is the number of the Qlippoth. Pluto is the planet opposed to unity; the year that a serious attempt to find Pluto began, 1900, was the year that Einstein predicted the possibility of splitting the atom, and Freud (in his book on the psychology of dreams) announced the splitting of the individual (and of course the words “atom” and “individual” come from Greek and Latin words respectively, both of which mean “can’t be split”). One consequence is that as the Plutonian influence sunsets out, so will nuclear power and nuclear weapons…

    David, I expect the wailing to rise in volume and craziness month after month, until eventually you see people running down the streets shrieking, “Trump just took a breath! He took another one! And another!”

    Joshua, I have it in mind, but it’s a ways out. In the meantime, find a good book on logical fallacies and have fun spotting them in the media!

    Yucca, with very few exceptions, you’re stuck. It’s possible, if you train your will and imagination intensely enough, to get to the point where you can actually will your own annihilation and have the power to accomplish that, but it ain’t easy.

    Danae, so noted.

    Sister Crow, fair enough and thank you.

    Synthase, remember that the human memory is far from photographic. We remake our memories every time we remember them, and one consequence is that unfamiliar patterns such as names ending in “-stain” get replaced by familiar patterns such as names ending in “-stein.”

    Grandmother, exactly. And as the man himself pointed out, all kinds of people in the mainstream claimed to be his friend, until he went into politics and upset their elitist applecart…

    Karim, the Druid tradition I follow doesn’t propose a specific understanding of prayer. It suggests that you might consider trying it, and see what happens. One thing about Druidry — and it’s something I’ve adopted from that source, as you’ve probably noticed! — is that Druids don’t worry much about understandings, interpretations, and theories, since they know that these will change over time and have much more to do with intellectual fashions than with the things they supposedly discuss. Put another way, the only understanding of prayer that matters is the one that comes out of the experience of prayer.

    Synthase, my working hypothesis is that the current fixation on that set of children’s books was cooked up on 4chan for the lulz, probably after somebody ranted about the Berenstain Bears being Jewish and it turned into a running joke.

    Karim, interesting. I’ll put it on the look-at list.

    Warren, good. My guess is that the GOP will slam-dunk a candidate in the autumn, but we’ll see.

    John, so noted and thank you.

    Walt, well, yes, that’s my basic take on it — people are discovering that they got things wrong when they were kids, and instead of admitting that, they’re insisting that the world must have changed. (And yes, I was very much into maps when I was a child!)

    Workdove, if you’re really prepared to stomp out of here in a huff because I won’t watch some videos, why, there’s the door.

    Monk, a dying civilization can take many centuries to die. If your heart’s in Europe, by all means stay there.

    SMJ, I have no idea. Anyone?

    Pam, it’s quite common. That’s why a lot of people prefer to do their magical practices first thing in the morning, so they begin the day with a surplus of energy.

    Jenxyz, depends on how seriously you take those. Your canon is your choice.

    Bruno, that’s a pretty good summary, yes.

    Morfran, you’re welcome.

    Changeling, the core of a new civilization is never stable, and a civilization always emerges in a process of response to serious challenges. Every critique you’ve made of Russia could have been made doubled, trebled, and in spades for western European civilization during its formative centuries.

    Morfran, yes, what I see coming is entirely different from the overblown Faustian pseudomorphosis. I plan on doing a post about this fairly soon.

    Juan Pablo, the only reason it still matters to you is that it reflects something that’s still meaningful to your personality. Figure out what’s going on with you and relationships right now, and you’ll have your answer.

    Phutatorius, very much a bull in a china shop — but I’m far from sure that any other approach would work.

    MK, he’s followed through on a good many of the campaign promises he can do on his own — specifically with regard to trade and executive branch regulations. Obama at a similar point in his presidency had quietly shelved most of his promises and was doing a very good imitation of the third term of George W. Bush.

    Rationalist, the book contains magic but it’s not primarily a magical textbook — it’s intended at most for those who will make divination a daily practice and consecrate the occasional talisman or gamahe. For those, daily banishings aren’t mandatory.

    Paul, there are no solid answers, because what differentiates me from (say) Richard Heinberg — who, by the way, i respect greatly — is a matter of values rather than facts, and values are always personal and subjective. If your values are more closely aligned with Heinberg’s than with mine, then by all means follow Heinberg’s lead.

    Squalembrato, the improvement of certain technologies comes to mind. Recall that I wrote that before the increasing crapification of technology got under way.

    Austin, interesting. I’d need to see more research, though.

    Rita, no question, it’s going to be interesting.

    Yoyo, I have no idea. I don’t think I ever read that story.

    Austin, a good case could be made for your claim.

    Ray, the future American culture is something I mean to discuss in some detail in an upcoming post.

  186. #KiwiJon, one very subjective opinion from a Yank: it’s difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. The things you cite (trade wars, detention centers, less civility) are all very popular topics being constantly covered by the mass media. Which/who may, perhaps, have an agenda. See where I’m going with this? Is what you’re hearing in the Land of the Long Cloud objective reporting or is it propaganda, and in what proportions? My personal opinion is that it’s weighted towards the click-bait end of the spectrum, but that’s only a guess.

    If one evaluates what’s going on here (I’m in Southern California) by means like crime rates, repairs of infrastructure, employment opportunities, and number of people getting fed up with mass media (TV in particular), I’d say we’re actually doing a tiny bit better than we were a couple of years ago. So it depends on how you evaluate things. I would strongly suggest that querying people you know here, and asking specific questions about how their lives are going, is becoming a more-reliable means of evaluating things than listening to “news.” This is a sad development, where the trustworthiness of the media in the Global Village is trending towards what Soviet Russia had decades ago (but for somewhat-different reasons.)

    Kudos as always to our Archdruid who hosts such a lively and informative space as this!

  187. On the subject of a Green Wizard magazine, I have some thoughts.

    It occurs to me that some of those who would be valuable contributors might not be thrilled at the prospect of writing an article. Imagine someone reading this blog who has carved and assembled a slide rule, burning in all the markings by hand. How that whole process went would make a great article. But imagine further that this person hasn’t written more than a shopping list since high school.

    Maybe there are also readers here who would be interested in interviewing (via phone, skype, or what have you) those who find it easier to build a cold frame than to write about building a cold frame. I have to imagine that pictures would be indispensable for such a process.

    Another thought; matching up writers with tinkers and tailors and such would seem to fall on our friend Will J, who is soon to have his hands quite full with learning how to run a printing press. In fact, the entire process of compiling a single magazine issue is going to be one hell of a job, especially starting from square one. For this project to have its best chance of success, some of those who are volunteering should be willing and able to help with the sheer logistics of the thing.

    Lastly, how often do you get the opportunity to have some input at the inception of something like this? I vote for 1 to 3 recipes per issue, based on wild-growing or otherwise collapse appropriate/po’ folk foods. We could vote on them in open posts like this one, with the caveat that you have to actually cook and eat what you vote for.

    Will J, this comment has taken me an hour and a half to write, so you can guess I’m no writer. I’ll drop you an email soon to volunteer what I can.

  188. JMG wrote: “Put another way, the only understanding of prayer that matters is the one that comes out of the experience of prayer. ”

    A very thoughtful and a practical answer too! Thank you very much. For me, at the very least, your answer makes a lot of sense. I shall meditate upon that…

  189. Good day John, I don t’ really have anything more to add to the existing conversations right now; just wanted to say I am so glad to have stumbled onto your body of works. I have been going through your works both written and in audio (interviews etc.) The ideas and thoughts you have are so close to my style that it is somewhat weird to see them spelled out so eloquently in writing. Like seeing an actor from the screen in real life – familiar and yet so strange at the same time.

    It is hard to explain. That the ideas you present cut through the illusion of the world to show it for what it is something so special and so hard to find nowadays. I have found a little oasis in the desert of entropy.

  190. Greetings JMG and all,

    Some fascinating questions and answers. Thank you all for the perspectives. In an earlier post, I believe you wrote of data to support the existence of reincarnation. Would you mind pointing me in the direction to read and study more about the subject? Much appreciated.

  191. Dylan,

    I too decided to hop on the wagon with the “Cosmic Doctrine”. Having had some difficulty with finding the book, I decided to take a walk to a local small bookstore and have them figure out how to find it. Sure enough they had the tools to find it in no time, so I placed an order there.

    It’s a lovely shop as well. It’s cramped, probably fitting about five customers at a time with some degree of comfort, but the great thing is that it combines a selection of used books and new ones, and the new ones are of a great variety of a wide array of interesting topics. So I thought I’d actually make this change in my habits and for now on do all my book purchasing through them. Because I love the shop and the fact that it is where it is. I feel like I am some sort of a rebel, having this relationships with this shop, instead of behaving like a profit maximizing psycho. Odd that it should be so.

    On top of that, I read an article (in Finnish), that big online shops have this interesting policy, that whichever articles are sent back to them for whichever reason simply end up in trash piles, because it’s just cheaper to do that than have someone inspect the goods for faults or have them shelved back (if they even are shelved anywhere). On a gut level I had known they were not the best the world could have, but this somehow made me feel physically ill and I want no part with that.

  192. Violet, I am in the process of trying to remedy my ignorance on two of the topics you mentioned, Greek mythology and astrology. Despite my shortcomings, what you said about Persephone, Demeter, and Hades and the whole Man the Conqueror story resonated with me. As far as Pluto’s symbol, to me it has the sinister aspect of the all-seeing eye (mon-eye or money) which perhaps represents the obsession with money taking over the world. Pluto/Hades also seems like the creation that went too far and developed consciousness, like what Dmitry Orlov describes as the Technosphere. Again, thanks Violet. I always enjoy your comments a great deal.

  193. Dear JMG: thanks.

    On ‘Faustian’ civilization: I definitely think there is a distinctive feel to the last millenium of European civilization, but I’m not convinced it has to do with infinite expansion. Couldn’t one just as easily say that the Romans kept expanding until they couldn’t expand any further?

    On American civilization: for some reason I think of Calvin and Hobbes as distinctively American, with its melange of influences and lack of ‘sophistication’. But perhaps that’s the European in me talking.

  194. The hacker known as 4chan can’t be that powerful surely… I’ve been MKULTRA’d by the chans??

    That’s terrifyingly plausible.

  195. Will J,

    Glad to hear you are bootstrapping up the magazine with what you have available.

    Out of curiosity, what kind of printing press DO you need for this kind of project? Also, where on Earth did you find plans? Quite an ambitious and worthy project to build one yourself, and it really interests me.

    I am already thinking up ideas for what to write. Having never submitted any writing to be published before, I wonder what the process is? Do I pitch an idea, and then only write once you agree it could be worth including, do I write a fully polished article for you to approve and/or edit, do I submit a rough draft? The possibilities are endless, and I am willing to go at it in whatever way has been proven to work.

    Excited for this new thread of creation.

    DutyBound

  196. Ray Wharton already mentioned some issues about the future of some cultures in Oswald Spenglers sense. Oswald Spengler did write that a culture is vital in its first few hundred years, but then declines and remains a has-been for shorter or longer times before going extinct. My question is: regarding these observations, what will happen to the Magian culture? Its high point is in the past, and I can only envision something different to emerge out of the Völkerwanderung of the future. Arnold Toynbee wrote that during the fall of a civilization, the cultures not only of the civilization’s inner proletariat, but of the external proletariat, are destroyed in the process of fall.

  197. @Juan Paplo

    I do understand how sometimes a single sentence we utter can revererate across the decades, continuing to shape us. This probably reflects the power of magic’s ability to shape consciousness in accordance with will, even when the “magic” is a moment taking place in the course of ordinary life.

    Still, I would offer the observation that here, now, you ARE both “older” and “single”, and so you already fulfill your initial utterance. I believe that, should you wish, you might consider “re-enacting” the conversation, ask yourself “what would you like to be when you are older than this?” and, having done some meditation on the answer that is best for you, give it, and “reverberate” with deliberation into the next part of your life. Best wishes.

  198. Ethan La Coursiere: I didn’t start eating and enjoying a variety of vegetables until I adopted a paleo-style diet and eliminated sugar from my diet–as much as I could, given that our food supply is saturated with it.

    Forecasting Intelligence and JMG: Re. pandemics: Of course I can’t predict what’s going to happen either. But the melting of the permafrost in Siberia and elsewhere leaves us open to the very real possibility that diseases we thought we had eliminated–including the flu that killed tens of millions in the WWI era–could reappear as bodies infected with that illness emerge from the deep freeze. Harper’s magazine in (I think) last April had an article about a herd of reindeer in Russia’s tundra that got infected with anthrax and died en masse. Veterinarians in the area think that the anthrax may have come from the corpses of reindeer that died long ago. (The local herders think Putin poisoned the reindeer to drive them off the land so he and his cronies can get at the oil deposits that are emerging from the permafrost!)

    Varun, Tolkienguy, Sven and others who have commented on Buddhism: My goodness, if Buddhism were just about diving off an existential cliff into oblivion-land while proclaiming “Life is suffering,” so many of us wouldn’t be attracted to it. There’s only so far that speculation about terms such as “nirvana” and “enlightenment” will go (and anyway, the terms have been ripped from their cultural and linguistic context by the time we have encountered them): the only way, as JMG advised someone about Druidry, is to put some flesh in the game. I was leery about it for so long for much the same reason JMG brought up: I didn’t want anyone to tell me “life is suffering,” because I didn’t want to limit what life is. However the more I practiced (and there are many ways to do that, which I won’t get into here) the more alive I felt; oblivion was nowhere in sight.

    Basically, anything you’ve heard about it won’t work very well, because we’re all just a bunch of hounds baying at the same damn moon.

    In the meantime, to dispel your notion of oblivion-addled monks East and West, get ahold of the Avatamsaka Sutra, translated from the Chinese by Thomas Cleary. The “Void” (whatever that means in Chinese), spiritual suicide and other cosmic bummers are nowhere in sight. Instead, flowers fall; perfumes emanate from billions of worlds; lanterns shine; and magical displays emanate from Buddha’s third eye and fall all over a bunch of jeweled universes. It’s a 1,060 page celebration, but if the book’s too heavy (physically, I mean) for you, it’s available online as a PDF. (quasi-legally, I must say)

  199. Workdove – In defense of our gracious host, the theme of the week is “ASK me anything”, not “TASK me anything”. As much as I enjoy a good “This Old Tony” video on YouTube when I have the time to relax, those times are rare and many other videos promise more than they deliver.

  200. I have another question: I have read about the diverse traditions regarding reincarnation. There is a tendency to describe the goal of an indivduality as leaving material desires and involvements behind and develop to a more spiritual character. Some aspects of it remind me of the particular religious sensibility of the last 2000 years, that is, a certain degree of biophobia. Is this right and how does Druid philosophy view the goal of a soul regarding the material side of existence?

  201. @ LEP

    Thank you for that. Sadly, I am unsurprised. My mental concept of what a university ought to be and what our higher education system has become are far apart indeed.

    @ Lathechuck

    I appreciate the pointers. My intentions for these coming years are to spend time learning to work things first on a small scale and to “work the numbers” to understand the boundaries of what is and isn’t feasible. The MOSES conference each Feb in La Crosse, WI, will be helpful in my agricultural education, along with tinkering in my garage and basement!

    @ Austin & @ Grandmother

    The issue with our present reading of the Constitution, I feel, is that we’ve turned the principle of limited government on its head. Rather than saying that the federal government is empowered in only those areas listed, it seems like we’ve altered the reading to say that the federal government can do anything but which is expressly prohibited. (I understand this isn’t literally true, but it guides our interpretation, certainly.) This has been part of the process of centralization that naturally occurs along the trajectory of empire, as I see it. Now, in the sunset years, we have to figure out a way forward. I recall a wandering wise man who once spoke of new wine and old wineskins…

  202. spicehammer, youngmanontv et al:
    Very recently, in the midst of a rather charged state (far from dissipated), an article that I printed out in 2003 mysteriously floated to the top of a pile. (Bear in mind that I generally prefer files to piles.)
    It was by the late astrologer Barbara Schermer, author of “Astrology Alive: Experiential Astrology, Astrodrama, and the Healing Arts.” She referenced the ancient Greek practice of seeking a healing dream:
    “Imagine this. It’s midnight and you slip naked into a pool fed by restorative volcanic waters. Surrounded by the mists and sweet scents of night blooming flowers, you float suspended gazing up a brilliant night sky. Now imagine you are in this place in Greece two thousand years ago. After soaking in the hot waters, a temple priestess / physician comes for you. She escorts you inside the Asclepion, the healing temple of dreams. You snuggle into this safe, cozy chamber to sleep in order to dream of a healing encounter with Asklepios, the god of dreams himself.”
    After suggesting some less exotic settings for seeking a healing dream, Schermer listed these ways to receive: Ask for a dream in the form of a prayer or a meditation; be receptive to what is given; record your dream in all detail to remember and reflect upon; translate the dream into a piece of art; use the flower essence calendula in drinking water or in your bath. Calendula, called the listening essence, brings greater awareness and receptivity to what is being said.

  203. @Austin of Ozmerst I was in 6th grade in 1979, moving school districts in 4th grade from an suburban to rural. The difference in quality was great then and it is now in 2018 for any child moving from an area where many parents with college educations work in offices to an area where parents are in manufacturing or farming.

    The effort to federalize education started under Kennedy but he never got to passing legislation and it was Johnson who did. We were racing against the Soviets to be the more advanced in science, computers and technology. Experts said it was our poor high school science and math education that made us not able to compete, so the first initiatives were around modernizing the way we taught math and science.

    In the 1990’s the Dept of Ed began handing out money to districts under Title 1 to improve reading scores. Then No Child Left Behind under Bush, then Race to the Top under Obama – more ways to hand out money to districts based on child performance on tests. I believe in the proposal to merge Ed and Labor will eliminate these programs to hand out federal money for test performance. It doesn’t exist in the new objectives of the Dept.

    The Dept of Ed tries to force equity in outcome for students. It can’t be forced. No government bureaucrat will admit that children’s outcome comes from parents. They will talk about communities, villages, systems, administration, teachers, and not one study in any decade has shown any amount of money, teacher expertise or training, textbook, method, etc has moved students scores or achievement.

    The Dept of Ed as I see it is a way to influence lucrative contracts to suppliers of textbooks, cafeteria food, desks, etc for schools. The money for education is probably over 10 times what is spent for the military.

  204. @ Austin & @ Grandmother

    I realize that my last statement was terribly opaque for anyone outside of my head 🙂 I was referring to my support for a Constitutional convention to consider revisions and reinterpretations of our federal charter. That is, to use the process we established for the purpose for which it was designed, neatly cutting out of the decision those whose vested interests lay in the perpetuation of the current centralization of power at the federal level.

  205. Hi John Michael,

    Almost 200 comments! I put one hand on my hat and doff it in your direction out of respect!

    I had to laugh about the “all life is suffering” business. Not to say that some people don’t take that philosophy seriously, but to my mind the concept stretches episodes into a lifestyle choice. I’ve been around the block long enough to have observed for myself that some episodes in life can be suffering. Also, some people’s lives are one of perpetual suffering. But to suggest that all life is suffering is taking the thought a step too far for my tastes.

    As one example, I let my cattle dog outside at night an hour or so ago so that he could go to the toilet. Instead he took off after a wombat and chased it for a small distance across the orchard. If I’d known that he would lie to me about his so called urgent need, then I wouldn’t have given him this chance. Anyway, wombats are like little armoured tanks, and so he has not much chance of doing any great harm and the wombat will come back because the feeding is good. The upshot is that Ollie the cattle dog is now sitting behind me and he looks inordinately pleased with himself. Is he suffering? At this point in time – hardly.

    As a comparison for you, my dreams are vivid, but not usually surreal. Hey, I learned something interesting this week speaking of such matters. I learned that many people are able to visualise images in their mind. They can recall scenes from memory at will. This was news to me. I have no skill in that area at all. Sounds, feelings, abstractions, concepts, smells, yeah. Images, no. Fancy that huh? I read one advantage to that lack is that I’m less likely to be perturbed by traumatic scenes and situations from the past, and I also apparently rely more heavily on words than images. Out of sheer curiosity, how are you on that front because a lot of your work involves mental images?

    Cheers

    Chris

  206. (I’m using “soul” here to refer to the various important bits of the self not on the material plane, partly for simplicity of reference and partly due to a lack of sufficient confidence in my knowledge of the details of the nonmaterial portions of the self.)

    I thought of a couple of hypothetical questions that seemed like they might be interesting and informative to explore (even if it turns out that they can’t be answered any more than questions about the properties of a four-edged triangle):

    First, suppose that some rationalist “cure for death” was in fact discovered, a way to keep the material body in perfect working order indefinitely; suppose also that it was rolled out to the entire human population. What would the effect of such a blockage be on the long journey of souls? Would it be like an infinitely high and strong dam across a stream: the water may not be able to go over, but sooner or later it will rise high enough to find a way around, restoring the flow but leaving a large amount of water impounded until/unless the dam breaks? Would the imbalance created begin raising the rates of accidental (and possibly also human-caused) deaths? Something else?

    Second, suppose some method of instantly and perfectly duplicating an adult human material body exists; a button is pressed, and from a pile of stock matter appears a copy of the target with all the same positions, momentums, etc. (though they’d presumably begin diverging immediately). What’s the status of the duplicate’s soul? Does it have no more than just the sum of the raw soul-stuff (if I’m remembering the mechanics correctly) of the stock matter, despite materially being a full adult human? Does it immediately invite and/or pull in a soul awaiting human reincarnation, without any particular relation with the original despite the brains being almost identical? Does it have something that is or looks like the original’s soul, and if so, how, given how important individuality, as far as I understand it, seems in these matters?

  207. Workdove wrote:

    “JMG. No, some things have to be seen to be believed. If you could please just watch a few minutes of a couple of them, (The first link is excellent), you will get the jist of it.”

    Forgive my bluntness, please, but this strikes me as totally unreasonable of you. Would you seriously ask a person blind in one eye and with dim vision in the other to read an article printed in grey ink on a light blue paper?

    We do not all have the same physiologically or neurologically abilities. For me, to watch even a 15-minute video lecture is almost physically painful. Nor can I endure spending any length of time in a public place–a doctor’s waiting room, a restaurant, etc.–where there is a TV going. The variable light and sound stimuli that TV provides are absolute torture, my own personal hellish equivalent of being eaten alive by starving rats. If I were absolutely forced to watch such a screen for a day or more, I would probably loose all control and become a mindless animal, screaming endlessly until exhaustion overtook me and I fell into a coma or died.

    Moreover, one of the signs of an addict is that they are always pushing their addiction on others: “You simply *must* do this”–or “watch this.” Screens are definitely a highly addictive technology, whether TV or computer.

  208. More generally, about the Mandela effect:

    There are few things more malleable than human memory, as every skilled stage conjuror, con-artist and politician knows. (A person’s sense of self may be even more malleable, but that depends largely on the person’s memory.) Most folk go through their entire lives paying as little attention to detail as they can get away with. The Mandela effect on a small scale, in a given person’s private life, is a perfectly natural consequence of this simple fact.

    And it was only a matter of time until those few people who are very much aware of this fact began to run surreptitious experiments on their fellow humans to explore the outer limits of this malleability. Any clever person with a computer and a web-site can experiment on millions of human subjects without any tsupervision. You can bet your bottom dollar that countless otherwise insignificant geeks have been running such experiments on all of us since at least the 1980s. By now, many of these geeks have found one another, and clearly they are collaborating. 4-chan and the like, anyone?

  209. JMG and @Monk, there are many useful things one can do in a dying civilization. You can enjoy all the works of art and science and study the history of that civilization at its peak, learning about its origins and its greatest moments; you can be part of the process of compilating its great works for future civilizations to use; or, if that pleases you, you can just sit at the pool, or at a cafe, and enjoy the decadence for the remainder of your life – Western Civilization greatest years are behind it, after all!
    The thing to remember is that we are no longer writing the main chapters, but the footnotes.

  210. Dear John Michael Greer,

    Thank you for hosting open questions.

    On your other blog you recently posted about experiements in attempting to interrupt what may be etheric flows, as I understand it, through TV and computers. Firstly, a comment. I am surprised that more of your readers have not had more to say about that here, and moreover that there is apparently zip about it elsewhere in the metaphysical blogosphere. Secondly, an open safety pin is… ho, ho, quite something!

    Thirdly, my question: What is your theory about this now?

    Sincerely,

    MILLICENTLY LURKING

  211. I remember seeing you mention Vico in a recent post or two, and I was wondering if you could recommend a translation/edition of his New Science, if that is what you were referring to? I can see that Vico wrote three different editions of it, and there appear to be a few different translations.

    On a similar note, who would you recommend to read for more information on the cyclical nature of civilization? (Aside from you, of course, though I wouldn’t also mind a good book of yours to start with on that topic; I did read Dark Age America when it came out, so anything further would be great).

  212. Thanks all for such a lively session!

    I just wanted to bounce some notes I’ve taken on natural magic lately. My most interesting finding is that the magical properties of workings have been manifesting according to natal charts. For example, if I do an amulet, or soap with solar correspondence, then I seem to take on more of my sun-sign attributes. If others use the solar soap, the effect is still apparent, and really is a noticeable break in people’s mental states and affects. Similarly, working with objects with a lunar correspondence, then my moon sign comes out in a much stronger and more balanced way. I’ve primarily been working with the sun and moon, but as I delve into other planets, I suspect a similar trend. Not only does this make the effects more predictable, but greatly helps narrow down appropriate symbolism.

    This led me to an interesting question: if I were operating under a different astrological system, would the herbal correspondences change accordingly? if so, why? hmm….themes for meditation abound.

    Lastly, I will confirm that mugwort produces serious dreams, and I (and roommates!) have been much more judicious in internet usage since putting a knife near the wifi device. The results has been much more proactive living from each of us, in different ways. Remarkable.

  213. I didn’t realize people took the Mandala thing seriously–I thought it was an alternate reality game/meme/etc.

    I wanted to post two things:

    1) I have realized that classic “Bloom County” sums up my politics alarmingly well, for what that’s worth.
    2) Thank you to JMG for both the introduction to discursive meditation/the fourfold breath, which has let me maintain some kind of composure in a somewhat difficult time lately, and for the first two Weird of Hali novels, which are really better comfort reading than one would expect of anything featuring the Cthulhu mythos. 🙂

  214. I wonder if you would do a post on psychological or spiritual anatomy. Humans have all these different capacities for awareness (reason, creative urge, sensing of vibes, etc.). They all feel like urges or drives sometimes. And for me some that have been dormant seem to be kicking on in fits and starts. Any thoughts on how to chart your own mind, or on how you chart the mind, and on how to think about those types of awareness as you develop them (as drives, awarenes, something else)?

  215. Christopher,
    I’m currently in Ottawa but I’ve accepted into a program in Kingston I really want to do, which starts in September, and which has a four month placement somewhere….

    If it ends up being Halifax, I’ll be there from January-April and would be happy to join a green wizard group for those four months.

  216. @ JMG, thank you for the responses! The lack of astrological attributions for non-European plants is a definite challenge for approaching said plants appropriately. I don’t doubt that the various Verbena spp. have different magical properties.

    As for Pluto, that makes a lot of sense. Good to see I’m on the right track as I slowly parse my way through a lot of knotty symbolism!

    @ Everyone, there is a fair amount of interest in another ecosophia social gathering prior to next June. As such I will tentatively set the date for Saturday, September 22nd, the eve of the Equinox, which also happens to be both “Dear Diary Day” and “National Hobbit Day”! Location TBD I’m thinking somewhere either in Boston or Providence, very possibly a quiet bar, cafe or restaurant, although I am very open to other ideas. If I may JMG, I’ll announce the details here as they are solidified.

    I want to thank everyone who has already gotten in touch with me, and to encourage people who wish to attend, have ideas about possible locations, or simply want to say hi to email me at: hopefulcinquefoil@gmail.com.

    Re: Conspiracy theories,

    Since this theme has come up several times I wish to add my two cents. I have some experience with conspiracy culture. This includes getting the boot from a community for not believing in Them! I consider conspiracy theories to be a subset of ideological totalism, or an ideology that creates a totally enclosed and self-contained fortress of thoughts as JMG mentioned in his response to Will Oberton.

    Getting out of this is a challenge, and here I think the tools of the Tarot are very helpful for understanding, especially the Rider-Waite image of the Eight of Swords:

    The 4 Eights of the Tarot represent different manifestations Mercurial energies, which includes the intellect and ideas. Here they are shown specifically in the Astral realm. The woman is blindfolded and bound, but can still walk away safely, if she follows the path created by water.

    What this card shows, in part, is what happens when ideas blind and bind someone so much so that they have to rely on their emotions (water) to lead them out. Whenever someone is in very deep with any ideology that explains every little detail of the world, it is only the stirrings of their heart that will bring them out of the impressive citadel of concepts (note the castle crossed by 5 swords in the background of the image).

    This may bring personal or collective defeat, or the inability to organize politically, as Scotlyn’s insightful comment mentions. The payoff of these beliefs though is massive, they may blind and bind, but they also offer total protection from insecurity and the unknown, since everything is safely contained within the system of thought. Really, it takes a lot of personal courage — in the sense of heartiness — to walk away.

  217. Hello everyone!

    I’ve been thinking about culture: American culture, because heck, I’m an American. And what that might be like in the future. A good venue and vehicle for these ideas is the vessel of fiction. What American culture might be like in the future is something I don’t know, so the fiction would be speculative. And I’m thinking of canons, specific to this North American continent, and also the canons of genre. American SF that current authors might lean on and glean from.

    And I’ve been thinking about JMG’s observation that American intellectuals are enamored of European intellectuals & culture. The more I thought about it, the more I think it is true, and seemed to be especially pushed in the universities. The emphasis on post-modernism & critical theory. The favorite names for literally literary writers to reference: Foucault, Lacan, Deleuze, the ever present name of Jean Baudrillard. And I’ve been “guilty” of delving into this stuff as well. Or of reading French poetry in translation. What can I say, I had a youthful love for Lautreamont, Rimbaud & Baudelaire -the Symboists and Decadents in general.

    I tend to follow my own interests/obsessions when it comes to reading. This has its good & bad aspects. The bad part is I might have skipped a lot of things that could have been useful. The good news is I still have time. Of the American literature I’ve read the majority of it has been genre fiction. And there is good reason to think people like Philip K. Dick & H.P. Lovecraft will have a solid place in American letters. As will, perhaps, the late Harlan Ellison, who passed away yesterday I learned this morning. May his cantankerous soul RIP. But in general I’ve been pretty spotty on the American classics, unless somehow they were related to the counterculture, like the works of Kerouac and Burroughs (William S., not Edgar Rice).

    I do love Ralph Waldo Emerson & Thoureau, and think they have laid a solid foundation for an American Philosophy. But as far as novels go, maybe it’s time to amend my ongoing self directed education.

    I found an article from the American Scholar on the 100 best American Novels from 1770-1985. [ https://theamericanscholar.org/one-hundred-best-american-novels-1770-to-1985-a-draft/ ] The author has three criteria for what he means as “best”. The author of the article is an architect by trade. But he had two points I’d like to quote that I felt were good guideposts:

    “People and Places. It is possible for a writer to be a virtuoso stylist but have nothing to say. I read novels because they tell me about people. I am interested in the complexity of their thoughts and feelings and what propels them to action, especially in their relationships with other people. Novels that offer true insights about these matters will always be worth reading, no matter when they were written. Secondarily, since all architects are, however covertly, environmental determinists, I am also interested in how novelists describe places, natural and manmade, and their effects on people.

    Our country and culture. Many of the most memorable characters in the novels on the list are not only striking individuals, they are also American types and even archetypes. I do not like the phrase The American Experience. It’s too inclusive and undiscriminating. The American Experiment is much more resonant. Inherent in that phrase is the recognition that certain ideas, issues, and events are at the core of our country’s history and culture. Novels can connect us to what these were at a specific time and for all time.”

    At the end of the second paragraph his sentence “how novelists describe places, natural and manmade, and their effects on people” was resonant. This was something JMG hinted at in a recent article –how the actual land we live on as American’s effects our culture. That particular intersection of how the physical aspects and spiritual (spirits) aspects of a place interact with humans over time in the creation of culture is something that intrigues me from a mystical and magical standpoint.

    I imagine the Archdruid will take us down that road in time. These discursive musings also bring to mind the necessity of a certain regionalism to our broader American culture. I’m not sure how all this fits together. I’m even less sure of how what an individual person might do, as a creator of cultural artifacts, to help plant seeds, or even just save soil, for whatever regional American cultures might come down the pike. These thoughts might in time make a compost on which to grow future works.

  218. On conspiracy theories; I recently read “Conspiracy Theory in American” by Lance deHaven-Smith and published by U of Texas Press. It’s more of a meta-conspiracy theory book, only using specific conspiracy theories as examples to support its argument. I recommend it. I’ve concluded that I’m willing to consider a conspiracy theory when that theory is actually more plausible than the official story. There are examples in my lifetime (a 70-something baby-boomer) in American history, but none of them involve the Illuminati; instead it’s just machiavellian politics-as-usual.

  219. Wow, thank you all for the warm welcome by answering my questions about locations to move so thoughtfully. To all the people that recommended WI and the mid-west, I got very excited about a move to WI, but I was completely vetoed and it’s not an option, just getting the hubby out of his lifetime home is difficult enough. Tomorrow we leave on a road trip from SF to Bend, OR (to see friends, not to scout) then up to Clearwater County, Idaho, then back down through the Willamette Valley to stay a few days in Corvallis.

    FWIW, I work in tech at a University (for those that assumed I am a academic) after being in mostly financial systems IT for 20 years. I could not stomach going to SF anymore, or working for the financial industry. I took the Uni job since it was somewhere I thought I could somewhat live with myself working (I won’t get into how bad working in “tech” is). Little did I know the famous University across the bay would be MUCH MUCH worse and lead me to a practical breakdown when I realized that these people will not be the ones to save us, or even help. Indeed many are doing their best to make things worse and make everyone around them miserable. I’m now gardening and becoming a certified permaculturalist and may just go back to my first “career”, that of a vet tech. And be poor. Back to my poor white trash roots where I belong.

    @Monk We also have the ability to move to Britain. I have bad feelings about where that island is headed, although I can’t completely say why. It just feels like a little USA now, except with an awful lot of people on a very small island. That, plus last time I was in London (a few years ago) I pretty much thought I was in Saudi Arabia. Lots of women in full burkas while I was there, many in the hotel, and it made me very uncomfortable. Does that make me a “bigot”? People can do what they want, but I don’t want to live around it. That said, I’ve finally started seeing full burkas here in the Bay Area. Is it bad that I feel guilt and shame because it makes me uncomfortable? Then feel uncomfortable about feeling uncomfortable? Guess it’s time to escape Berkeley.

  220. @JMG and Prizm

    Just a quick thought RE: “localogy” —this reminds me of my studies in The Druid Magic Handbook—the solar current comes from the Sun, and is filtered through/bounces off of the planets, which affects the nwyfre/energy before it reaches the Earth’s surface (and makes its astrological effects known). Similarly, the telluric current comes from the core of the Earth, and rises and is filtered through landscape features, which also affect the nwyfre/energy before it reaches the Earth’s surface…

    Interesting!

  221. @David by the Lake – After 8 years of Trump, followed by 8 years of Pence, then 8 years of Ivanka, I’m sure the Federal government will be trimmed down. 😉

    Trump said in Art of the Deal that he distrusts politicians because all they do is spend other people’s money. Each Department in the Cabinet has been put under a hiring freeze, except Defense and Homeland, and so many people quit in disgust when he was elected, that the government is trimming itself in cost.

    One of his proposals is to sell off all the unused federal buildings. That would awesome. Also he is cutting out whole functions of departments and moving into other departments. He knows he likely can’t get rid of whole cabinet positions, but cutting out their job from under them he can do. Trump also appointed people who aren’t egotists to the cabinet posts. They don’t seem like the type to amass kingdoms of employees and make up new rules. Obama’s Department heads did this all the time coming up with new regs and hiring staff to carry them out.

    And if they wanted to re-enact the Constitutional Convention and hold it in Independence Hall they’d have a hard time. Its in sad shape these days and like many of the colonial buildings in Philly in need of a complete renovation. I hope they do it. That area around it was slum until 1974 when they decided to clean it up to get ready for the bicentennial, so the poor condition of the buildings is lack of upkeep for a long time.

  222. Update on the project: For the first year, I’m going to aim for 20 pages (that is to say, roughly ten thousand words). I’m looking for anything related to green wizardry: ranging from seasonal recipes to updates on carpentry projects, through to hand built radios, or even just updates from the ham radio community.

    I’m currently estimating the cost will be about $3.00 an issue for Canadians, $3.25 for Americans, and $4.50 for anyone else. All of these are Canadian dollars, which is about 75 cents american. More details to follow.

    I also have plenty of people volunteering to help out, which is wonderful. Once I figure out what needs to be done, I plan to put you to work.

    Ynnothir Coll,

    I’ve thought through interviews myself. I won’t have the time for it if this project ends up as large as it looks, and personally I’m not the most socially adept person. I’m awkward, have a stutter, and am a bit of an introvert. If someone else would like to do the interviews, I think that would be a great addition to the magazine.

    As for recipes, I think those could be pretty good too. I’d like to start with getting some basics (soup stock, rice&beans, etc).

    Dutybound,

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Letterpress-%26-Use-It-to-Print-Things/

    It’s not going to be a very high quality press, but it should work, at least for playing around with the technology. I did a google search for DIY letterpress, and found this. Unless I fall in love with the machine I made myself, I expect I’ll buy a proper one later.

    As for the printing press I’d need, it’s a size thing. I was looking at “small presses” thinking those meant “fit on a table”, not good for “post cards”. A press the size I’m looking for, small enough to comfortably fit in an apartment and be moved easily (since I’ll have three addresses in the next year) sells for three thousand dollars, plus shipping, which is more money than I currently can afford to spend on the project.

    If you have an idea and would like feedback on it, I’m happy to do so, but as for the final drafts, I’m going to give priority to the drafts that need less editing. I’m happy to work with writers until the final deadline, but come August 31, November 30, February 28, or or May 31 as the case may be, I’d like to have the articles polished and almost ready to go.

    Having said all this, I expect the format, and pretty much everything else, to change a great deal as this project develops.

  223. So the FBI tried to keep Trump from winning…..does that could mean the tape of him saying he’d grab women is fake? He always said he didn’t say it, and I think if he did say it, he would have just admitted it. Did the FBI know Hillary was unlikely to win? Given the number of texts and emails these agents sent each other, they couldn’t have had any other jobs they were doing other than working on the election. Its really disgusting what they did. I think people know it too and just don’t want to admit it. To say the FBI is biased and works openly to support or derail presidential candidates…..well that’s third world politics right there.

  224. Posting an awful lot here, but: I’ve constructed articles out of interviews/notes for a day job/freelance work on occasion, and would be willing to do so again.

  225. @ Kimberly, many thanks for the kind words! Honestly, I see the holes in my own knowledge of myth and astrology very clearly, and have to remind myself to actively keep learning. The All-Seeing and money eye is an interesting Plutonian correspondence, especially when considered in terms of how people let money divide themselves. People often define themselves on their livelihood, which is, if I’m understanding the concepts correctly, quite Plutonian.

  226. @Tude If you were in financial services IT work, may I suggest working for Vanguard in Malvern, PA. They are always looking for the right kind of person to fit into the culture. They are agnostic to politics and averse to any kind of flash and sizzle.

  227. 22 Sepember is also my birthday!

    My kid fell in love with those inane bears and, since I had to read all 14,111 of those awful books to him several times each, the names of the perpetrators—er, authors—are engraved on my mind. They are, and always have been, Stan and Jan BerenstAin.

    I will give them credit for motivating me to help him learn to read ASAP—the sooner he could read the books himself, the sooner I didn’t have to! So no matter how busy I was, I would drop everything for a phonics session. He probably learned to read 3 months earlier than he otherwise would have.

  228. @Dunc–re your comments on the culture of pork eating being an obstacle to Europe turning Muslim. The Christian apologist Gilbert Keith Chesterton proposed that the pig be considered the totem animal of Christianity since it was taboo to both Jews and Muslims.
    In my opinion, the strong resistance to face veiling is another sign of a deep cultural differences that would make Islamisation difficult. Given that even the most misogynist Europeans accept that women can and do move through the public sphere, and that most European social interaction relies on face-to-face evaluation of the other party it is simply unacceptable to many people to be forced to interact with veiled women. They present as non-humans and there is no place for non-humans in the social order. (note I am _not_ claiming that dehumanization of women is the aim of veiling. Muslims are free to argue for the value of veils within their culture.) Head scarves are less problematic because European culture had hundreds of years of history in which women covered their hair.
    On the Mandela effect there are dozens of examples every year if you think about it. A B-list actor has been out of the public eye for several decades, his or her career peaked in the 70s, say. Then the actor dies and many people say “Oh, X died? I thought he died years ago.”

    Rita

  229. @Will J – I like your project, and I can see the issues becoming valuable collectors’ items, packed with the practical and the useful as they will be. Thinking about Ynithir Coll’s ideas, I would be happy to volunteer to be an interviewer/ghost writer. Or to put it another way, to be the translator of someone’s hard-won experience into words on a page. I have put together this kind of zine a few times in my life – always for love, never for money – and have done some sub-editing work for my professional association’s inhouse magazine. I can be contacted directly at scotlynDOTsATgmailDOTcom.

  230. Tude: Yes, I also wonder about Britain and its future. Will leaving the EU lead to an appreciably different fate from continental Europe? One commentator I like thinks it will go ‘from being half-in the EU to being half-out’ – I wonder if that’s right. I also agree with the mini-USA impression, made worse by the fact that people seem to think that that’s a good thing rather than a bad one. I don’t mind the hijab, and indeed Western women wore slightly more revealing veils/scarves/hats for millennia, but the burqa I quite dislike; it seems like they are ‘opting out’ of society, and they remind me of balaclavas. And I guess I share the foreboding feeling: I think there’s a lot of potential on the island, but the establishment seems to blundering towards bad ends.

  231. Lots of the comments in this thread and the last have touched on the topic of borders. Having crossed a few myself* I would like to say a few words. A border is a boundary, and a boundary is a limit, and that limits have many benefits is well known to readers of this blog and its predecessors.

    But there are different types of boundaries and often the limits they set differ depending the type of material affected. For example, a window permits light to cross unimpeded, but not air. A sieve allows water to flow, while preventing the flow of larger particles. And an osmotic membrane, for example, can permit the concentration of solutes on its two sides to equalise, by permitting water to flow from the more concentrated side, across the osmotic membrane, to the less concentrated side, until the concentration on the two sides has equalised.

    If this analogy is held in mind, then it becomes easier to think about why, for example, there seems such a “pull” on the flow of people across the osmotic membrane that is the US border. For it must be kept in mind that there are some things no border has prevented from moving. For example, since WW2 there has been no border capable of preventing wealth, resources, energy from flowing to the US. There have been perishingly few borders capable of preventing the US military from flexing its muscles and/or establishing bases. There is no border that capital cannot cross. (These matters are true also of other places, but the US borders are the ones that appear to be most contentious, and that are topical at the moment).

    I think it is logical to consider that if wealth concentrates in one place, people will be “pulled” to that place also, and will continue to be pulled there, to the extent they can find gaps in the boundary membrane, so long as a difference in concentration persists. Please note that by saying this I have not expressed a value judgment or stated whether this is what *should* happen, simply made an observation on what can be observed to happen. (Perhaps this might be even be a useful principle for analysing aspects of “localology”).

    I think borders are important, in the same way that I consider walls on my house to be important. On the other hand, if I had spent the last few years raiding all my neighbour’s houses, and was currently enjoying their goods in the comfort of my house, I would have to be very insensitive to be surprised at finding them making attempts upon my walls.

    What I am trying to say is that the pressure on the borders will ultimately stop when the concentrations of wealth on either side of it have equalised. Whether they equalise at a concentration that is still comfortable all around, or comfortable for no one at all, may depend a lot on how successful we can be between now and then at remaining friendly relations with our neighbours, while maintaining the walls on our houses.

    * Disclaimer. I am a migrant, descended of many generations of migrants, and this may colour how I look at the matter. Migrations that I know of within my own ancestry: In 1640 an ancestor moved from England to Rehoboth (in present day R.I.). In 1778 an ancestor descendant of theirs moved to Nova Scotia. In 1780 a different ancestor moved from England to Virginia, followed by their descendants in each succeeding generation moving to Tennessee and then Alabama. My father’s parents moved from Nova Scotia to Boston in the early 1900’s. My mother’s parents moved from Alabama to Boston in the early 1900’s. My parents moved from Boston to Costa Rica in 1965. I moved from Costa Rica to Ireland in 1982 (after having spent 4 years doing a college degree in the US). Migration is in my blood. However, it strikes me that all of these migrations included a period of “consolidation” (as opposed to assimilation). That is to say, a period of becoming adapted to a new life in the new place and with the new people one met there. There was an old Irish way of proposing to someone that went “would you be buried with my people?” And I suppose each of the moves I’ve related have been fully committed moves, moves which said, “Yes, I will be buried with this new people, in this new land”.

  232. I jumped to the bottom to reply so I don’t know if anyone else got there first. If so, apologies.

    WRT Ritual robes. Find a local tailor or serious cos-player or learn to sew. Basic sewing is not hard to do.

    A robe can be as simple as a caftan, a kimono, or a bathrobe; thus straight seams, a basic neck, and very little fitting. The patterns can be very basic, either a simple one from McCalls or Simplicity or one you draft yourself.

    If you want to teach yourself, an old but very good book is ‘Design It, Sew It, and Wear It’ by Duane Bradley, published in 1979.

    You can sew everything by hand but a machine will make your life infinitely easier.

    What makes one robe different from the next is the fabric choice and trim.

    Fabric can be very cheap if you search out the dollar bins at Wal-Mart (some Wal-Marts still have fabric sections) or the clearance rack at your local fabric place. Or, go to a thrift shop. They are loaded with huge pieces of yardage disguised as tablecloths, sheets, draperies, and prom dresses.

    Trim is harder but many thrift shops, particularly in more rural areas where women still sew, may have spools of ribbon, bias tape packages, and the like. Rickrack is cheap and it bends easily around curves if you don’t mind its assertive angularity. It’s also deeply unfashionable so it can be cheap. You can also make trim by cutting bias strips of cloth.

    I hope this helps.

    Teresa from Hershy

  233. @Ynnothir Coll: I have just sent Will a quick, fill-in-the-blank form for how to write up a project. It won’t take the place of a skilled interviewer, but it could help non-writers begin to organize their thoughts

  234. Hello Violet & kimberlysteele707

    I’m seeing some familiar energies described in both your comments on Pluto and its connections to that infamous talisman of life-force, money. I did a series of skryings on and astral travels into the image of the Great Seal as it appears on the American dollar bill about 6 1/2 years ago. I examined the surrounding territory and eventually found a way inside the trapezoidal structure with the eye at frustrum point. Let me say that in my experiences there, the pass words and gestures were decidedly materialistic, dominating, and subterranean. And HEAVY.

    I am glad I did that series and sustained no long-term negative impacts, but I didn’t want to go there too many more times as the toll of entry, while small, would definitely add up over time. And I’m not experienced enough to handle anything more serious that I may have eventually encountered, had I kept going deeper.

    The reason I went there was that I was engaged in a study of the philosophical and magical aspects of money. It was partly fueled by my distaste for the increasingly ethereal and volatilizing evolution of American money away from the necessarily interpersonal and physical expressions of value off into the impersonal and imaginary. I designed a very simple manual mint for striking coins and engaged a machinist to have it made of scrap steel. My project in school at the time had to do with coinage as symbolic object of value (and individual/group values surrounding exchange). I struck a series of pure silver “zeroes” that remain powerful talismans for me even now. I may eventually cycle back around to that work and create more monies, out of who knows what, depending on what I learn between now and then 🙂

    For a meaty take on the philosophy of money, in case anyone’s interested, I recommend Georg Simmel’s “The Philosophy of Money” originally published in 1900. I have the Routledge 2011 edition translated by Tom Bottomore and Davd Frisby. It’s thick in content as in substance , and thought it’s translated into English, it still reads like German to me in places.

    Bonnie

  235. Hi, I’ve not previously bothered with following the monthly open post but since the hot sunshine drove me in from the fields for the middle of the day I thought I’d give it a go. What a pleasant surprise. Many thanks to all contributors for some interesting and thought/idea/feeling provoking posts.

    A comment @WillJ regarding a possible magazine:

    To quote from the editorial of the current new issue of The Land magazine in the UK; he is talking about the legacy of May’68 in Europe.
    “…Iconic agitprop posters were a key part of the fast moving French protests in 1968. Musing on how today’s revolutionaries might use the internet instead, the curator of a recent exhibition of these posters pointed out that “print is the best way to disseminate ideas free of surveillance”. We agree. Feel free to surreptitiously pass your insurrectionary copy of this magazine on to a comrade.”
    (that last sentence is Simon’s sense of humour with a serious point)

    I think it is a good point that t’internet is pretty hopelessly compromised as a medium for ideas and information for all sorts of reasons. Good luck with your project.

    Incidentally The Land magazine published in the UK (which has a website somewhere) addresses many of the concerns common to us all. It is published “occasionally, usually twice a year” and you subscribe for a number of issues (five for £25) and it is always a delight when a new issue thumps onto the doormat. You might want to consider freeing yourself from the yoke of “having” to produce a magazine every month or two – it takes a lot of time to put one together and there is plenty more to do with life…

  236. Hi JMG and Everyone,

    I recently lost my Druid apprentice knife at Denman Point which was once the site of a Pentlatch Native village. I could feel it drop off my belt as I fumbled to get my trousers on after a swim. My husband and I searched diligently right then but could not find it.

    I have done some SOP’s there and suspect the spirits of the place took my knife as an offering or a keepsake. Maybe they just liked my sharp knife.

    My question has to do with Geomancy. I cast a chart to see if my knife would come back and got Fortuna Minor as the judge. Now, that is a favorable sign and a favorable sign should mean my knife will come back but Fortuna Minor is also a mobile sign and in lost or stolen items, it means they will not come back. So which interpretation is the correct one?

    The 12 houses chart ended up with Fortuna Major in the first house, Caput Draconis in the second house so is my knife beginning a new career?

    Will J. I would be happy to subscribe to your Green Wizard’s magazine and would also like to submit stories for your consideration.

    Max Rogers

  237. One thing that remains with me after reading any of your blog entries is the big picture – how our times and civilizations fit in the arc of history.

    I found out recently that the transitions from neolithic to bronze age and from the bronze age to iron age were not a step up in development.

    What seems to have happened is that each type of development went as far as it could, hit the limits and suffered huge collapses before the next technologies (probably driven by need?) started to be developed and expand.

    Until now I though that neolithic people were just conquered/replaced/taught by the people with the up and coming technology. But at least in Europe, the neolithic was a very successful time (settlements of up to 40000 people were common). Then the settlements collapse (possibly due to weather changes associated with deforestation). Then later, indo-europeans come in bringing new technologies (horse riding, bronze etc).

    Same thing at the collapse of the bronze age (1100BC).

    If that is true (I might be just reading too much into things) then our civilisation’s collapse is just the usual historical pattern and the next wave of people will take over the world with some tech that is much better adapted to a collapsed ecosystem and the new climate.

    I would like to read your thoughts on this.
    Thanks!

  238. Hi JMG,
    One of my hobbies is Remote Viewing. I am in the process of developing a standardized test for Remote Viewing Aptitude. RV is good at pictures, but very lousy at numbers, so my method involves generating a picture from a sequence of random numbers that will be selected in the future. Scoring is generated from several discrete measurements of the viewed picture vs. the picture that is eventually generated as the target.
    The most convenient source of regularly generated random numbers is any of the various lotteries. Positive features for my application include regular generation of random numbers, the fact that I am blind to the number generation process, and that it is free to use (unless I want to prove advance selection of numbers).

    You have often warned that playing the lottery is a way to “make a giant crater out of your life.” Is there a down side or risk to using their numbers for other purposes? There is not much risk of winning the lottery as the scoring is based on generated patterns which may or may not match the numbers–but I have also thought of randomly selecting lotteries which I am not eligible to play as an additional randomization and safety measure.

    @Ethan–
    There is a wonderful book called “Glorious Vegetables in the Microwave” that may help you out. It is out of print, but sometimes available on Amazon.
    You can try using a steamer for corn, green beans and peas, especially in Winter when only frozen is available. That did it for me! Otherwise I second Tim’s notion that fresh from the garden is best!

    Cheers,
    EG

  239. Is there any way that the responses could be numbered? I like to try to read every response but it’s hard to find where I left off yesterday.

  240. @Trude

    I totally understand the veto issue. FWIW might I suggest a vacation/visit to WI and/or the Midwest? As a “coastie” myself (albeit East, rather than West), I can certainly vouch for the Great Lakes region. I don’t know if timeshares are a thing for you guys, but there’s a small resort not too far from Two Rivers

    http://foxhillsresort.com/

    and I believe that the Sheboygan area has several. Perhaps a trip to Lambeau Field might be an enticement 😉

    If you’re more “small town” than “big city”, then this area would be a good fit. Among other quaint jewels, we in “T’rivers” have a family-owned department store that’s going on its fifth generation and 128 years, and a world-reknown wood-type letter press museum. Plus a town one can walk across. Small things, but I’ll tell you: in all the places I’ve lived (and as a Navy child, that’s a fair number), there’s no place I’d rather be than here.

  241. @ JMG

    Two items:

    First, more wailing and gnashing of teeth

    https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/29/u-s-mulls-pulling-troops-from-germany/

    How can I say “this is not a bad thing” w/o getting lambasted by the Democrat camp? This makes imminent sense to me. Strategic withdrawal. As you and others have mentioned up-thread, he is a bull in the china shop, but perhaps it could not be accomplished any other way…

    Secondly, I had an interesting conversation today with a fellow community-gardener (an older “hippie”) whose comments brought to mind your statement re social justice: he mentioned that Canada has recently passed legislation re enforcement of chosen personal pronouns (e.g. “ze”) and said, “This sort of thing makes me move to the right.” Perhaps a generational thing, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

  242. Well, let’s be honest Grandmother, interfering with democratic elections is as American as apple pie. So American that Hollywood even makes movies like Spinning Boris, a film that openly gloats about how Americans interfered with the Russian election of 1996.

  243. @Spicehammer: I’ve been doing dreamwork for decades now, sometimes more intensively and seriously than at other times. A lot can be done with dreams. I’ve mostly done the kind of dreamwork that focuses on personal development and understanding, and I’ve really only scratched the surface of that. For me, much of the power of dreams is about understanding my internal world and getting glimpses of the internal worlds of other people when I was lucky enough to participate in a dream group, which I did for about 4 years.

    Without knowing much of what you’re looking for, it’s hard to answer your question. I can tell you that, in taking my dreams seriously, I’ve experienced much greater awareness of the “unseen” or the spirit world, as well as deepening my self-understanding.

    In my experience, the single most important piece of dreamwork is to pay attention to your dreams. Writing them down is the best way to increase dream recall, so write them even if there isn’t much to say. If all you can remember of a particular dream is that it featured the color blue, then write that down. Eventually, the dreamworld will begin to respond with greater recall.

    I generally follow the methods of Jeremy Taylor, a Unitarian Universalist minister who has written a few books on the subject. In my dream group, we were required to read his book Dreamwork, which I highly recommend. He places a strong emphasis on respect for the dreamer’s own authority, as opposed to imposing meanings on someone else’s dream.

    If you want to talk in more detail, feel free to email me. I love talking dreams.

  244. Tude: about moving to the PNW. I love my little town at the southern end of the Willamette Valley. Although Eugene has its issues (what town doesn’t?) I find it very livable. It would probably seem incredibly pokey to someone from the Bay area, though. 😉 By car, you can pretty much get anywhere in town in ten or fifteen minutes, except for during rush hour, when it might take half an hour.

    Eugene has a reputation for radicals, and we do have that contingent. And they can be annoying. But honestly there are more people here who are not radicals, and our next-door-neighbor, Springfield, is very much an unpretentious working class town.

    Eugene/Springfield is the biggest metro area in Lane County, and the second biggest city (town?) in Oregon, so we have a lot of shopping, medical, and other resources here that you might not normally find in a metro area of our size. People come from all over the county and surrounding counties to use our medical facilities, so we have some decent hospitals here, if that’s a concern.

    We have a county-run community college and a major state university (U of O) here.

    Our weather is different from Portland’s, although similar. We have the same amount of rain, but more sunshine. This is because we tend to get more downpours, and a lot less drizzle, than the Portland area.

    Eugene is a great town for biking. There are a lot of trails, and bike lanes, and independent bike stores. There are quite a few people here who bike for most of their everyday travel needs. We also have a pretty good bus system, and there is a passenger rail station if you want to take a train up to the big city (or back to California, lol).

    If you’re more interested in bigger towns, Vancouver in Washington is right across the Columbia River from Portland, but is more working class and less pretentious/hipsterish. We lived there for about 4 years and it definitely has a different vibe than Portland (where we lived for about 10 years), even though they’re next-door-neighbors.

    Also keep in mind that not all of Oregon/Washington is wet and rainy. The center of both states is very dry, virtually desert. Of course, that will cause problems with water rights down the road. Speaking of which, both Klamath Falls and Medford/Ashland have had a lot of issues with water rights in the past decade or so.

    I wish you luck in getting out of California.

    P.S. if you have grass pollen allergies, the southern Willamette Valley isn’t the best place, because Linn County, just to the north of us, is a huge commercial grass seed growing region. At this time of year, the pollen reaches astronomical levels. Other than that, however, it’s a beautiful place and you can grow almost anything here if you’re into gardening.

  245. Two days, over 200 posts… quite good for a fringe site.

    Instead of making questions, I will use the open theme slot for some ramblings.

    I am from Brazil, and I was unemployed for some time. I was with a very strong intention to get money, and I finally got the opportunity to get what I wanted–however, this took me time I need for magic practice. After I put my finances in better shape, paying some bills, I will slow down the work to go on with, well, the Work.

    Now I got a quite uncommon job, to revise dissertations written by high school students to prepare to our national exam, called ENEM. I would like to note that my Portuguese is way better than my English, and I’m actually helping the students.

    These are people that can pay for this private revision service. They write texts on a number of subjects provided by the school, and we check the texts for proper grammar and other aspects required by the national exam.

    I get a noticeable number of texts with very poor writing. Syntax problems would be a way to describe them (I think in horror how much my posts here look like some of the worst examples I get). These people are not poor, but the quality of their writing is very low. The habit of reading is dying here, too.

    Meditation has somewhat crippled me for the job. I keep staring at the texts, trying to extract the meaning from some of the poorest, and reflecting on the ideas of all the texts.

    It is an interesting job, to be able to look at what our young people think on some subjects. Themes like work relations, the country image, and so on are provided to the students. One of these is the risks of Internet usage–data theft, sexual assault, fake news, and stuff like this. Some sample texts on each subject are given to the students to provide inspiration to the dissertation.

    The national exam requires the students to provide a way to solve issues within the proposed theme. It is very interesting to notice a significant portion of the students writing that the security and safety problems on Internet are basically beyond fixing, and that the only way to limit the damage is to avoid using it to the maximum extent possible. I was not expecting this kind of reaction from zombies addicted to their social media fix. Granted, many people propose fixes that are not viable. It is the number of people that are seeing the Internet as an annoyance that is best avoided that surprised me,

    In the texts written on power sources, I have yet to see any student writing we should use less power. Everyone talk about other silly power sources that will not be able to keep our current lifestyle. Our country will be in better shape that other ones in the future; about 75% of our electricity comes from hydroelectric plants, and we have a huge sugar cane fuel program (a reaction from the former dictatorship to the fuel crisis in the seventies, which included massive investments in hydroelectrics, one of the few things they did right). I know it is not a good net energy solution, but would be able to keep essential transports running–if we find a way to keep the roads in good shape without asphalt.

    The US will be alright as oil extraction declines. I am worried with countries that rely on imports for their fuel. The Export Land Model will devour all exports from the international market in a short period, and places like Japan will be toast.

  246. Hi John Michael,

    As a postscript to the previous comment: I poked my head out into the dark orchard a half hour after the wombat v Ollie encounter, and noticed that the wombat had returned. The wombat turned a baleful stare in my direction…

    Hey, just a weird data point. I may have mentioned that there is a Royal Commission going on into the Banking sector. The stories coming out of that Royal Commission are hardly a good look for that sector.

  247. Hi John Michael,

    As a postscript to my comment of last evening: I went into the orchard not half an hour after the wombat v Ollie encounter and discovered the wombat had returned and was munching away in the orchard. The wombat did turn a baleful stare in my direction…

    On a really weird unrelated note that is just strange. Down here we are having a Royal Commission into the activities of the banking sector. The stories being recounted by the Royal Commission are not a good look for that sector.

    In the business section of the newspaper today I noticed an article titled: A simple cut and paste let cyber criminals steal homes worth millions. Let’s digitise important and large legal transactions – what could possibly go wrong!

    Anyway, the story was not what interested me. Deep in the article I noticed the following paragraph:

    “Its use is set to become mandatory for standalone property transactions in NSW next week and all transactions in Victoria this October. Its rollout has been coupled with the sale of the Land Titles Offices in NSW for $2.6 billion, with Victoria set to follow suit.”

    Now just for a moment, imagine the potential capacity for legal mischief in having control of all land titles within the state. It is both quite awesome and awful to contemplate. And who has possibly purchased this legal gatekeeper? So many questions left unanswered. Anyway, I’ve now added that one to the ‘to keep an eye on’ list of important things to regularly check. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but you have to be onto everything.

    It is a bit scary really. The potential for possible fraud is amazing. For example, a dodgy covenant could be placed on a title. How about a fraudulent mortgage for another remote possibility? What about basic administrative error and the title gets transferred accidentally? So many possibilities to go wrong and how would a person seek redress given the sort of initial response that the folks got in the article I linked to above…

    Cheers

    Chris

  248. I’ve set up a website for the magazine project: http://greenwizardmagazine.wordpress.com. I’ll be posting more details there. GKB has also sent me a checklist for articles that I really like, and which I’ll post on the site soon. I’ve also received questions about local distributors, and I’m going to be post details on the new site, but the gist of it is that I would like to see people distributing the magazine, and am happy to talk to people who want to redistribute their copy. I’m not looking to make a profit here (although I’m not going to complain if it happens)

    Isabel and Scotlyn,

    Thank you for offering to do interviews. I’ll be in touch when people ask about it.

    Roger,

    I think I’m going to stick with a little bit of a schedule, since it’ll keep me motivated and otherwise I might never publish other issues. It seems likely that I’ll have plenty of support as well, so I’m not too worried. I’ll apologize if it doesn’t go out on schedule, but I think once every three months is doable, especially with this much interest.

  249. Scotlyn,

    Thank you for your comment. It was a great analogy and has given me a lot to chew on (my preferred way of breaking boundaries!). This has probably been said often, but it is the essays and then the responses such as this which have kept me coming back here for over ten years, that despite getting some which may have offended me at times, they’ve all been polite and have ultimately allowed for growth.

  250. Workdove,

    I looked at a few of the videos for a few minutes, and I am not very impressed. I don’t believe the bit about the cows and pretty much dismissed it. The Bible stuff- should I get out my King James and look up those verses or is it only newer Bibles that have the changes? Have you gotten out any Bibles and looked it up? A few of the other things, like the Berenstain Bears – I just don’t think there is any there there.

  251. Arrgg – analogy fail! I should have said, of course that water flows across an osmotic membrane from areas of LESS concentration to areas of GREATER concentration, until concentration on the two sides equalises. I compared this to people flowing from areas of less wealth concentration to areas of greater wealth concemtration, and if temporarily halted by a border, continuing to exercise pressure on that border until such time as the concentration of wealth on either side of it equalise.

  252. @Will J and Christopher Henningsen:
    I am now located near Halifax, and I seem to recall that at least one other frequent poster also lives somewhere in Nova Scotia. I would certainly be up for a meeting!

    @JMG:
    I have a couple of practical questions because I recall that you trained as a Master Conserver, but if my questions fall outside of your expertise, then feel free to ignore them. Do you know of a natural dehumidifier? I now live in an old house where I believe dampness will be a problem come the wetter months, and I’m wondering how best to tackle it. In the same vein, any suggestions you might have for dealing with an ‘old house smell’ would also be welcome. Thanks!

    @everyone:
    I’ve noticed quite a few comments this week from people involved in the tech industry. I’ve been trying to escape the industry for a number of years (I’m a web designer/developer), so if any of you have advice or good “I escaped from the tech industry” stories, I’d love to hear them!

  253. @David by the Lake – It just dawned on me that the sweep and creep of the federal government into every area of our lives in this country, is in parallel to its sweep and creep across the globe, inserting itself into every countries economics and politics. Its a cancer. And like all cancers destroys its host, which would be us, the American people.

  254. Hi Chris @fernglade
    Wombats can cope! ‘Fooled by Ollie’ reminds me of our first dog Sam – big mate of mine by the way. He could smell the lady dog at a great distance, poor chap. But he worked on it. We live among fields. When I turned in the dusk he was always doing what he normally did, until I turned and he was gone, timing precise as a Colditz escapee.

    Your’s is a very interesting comment on the very different modes of recall that some of us have rather than others. For you: “Sounds, feelings, abstractions, concepts, smells, yeah”. I have an illustrative example of different modes going back to my seeing a very good film when I was 17. Our family had no TV and I was only just catching up on the cinema – which had been the usual 1950s offerings at the local picture house. This one was different, the Bengali language Director Satyajit Ray’s ‘Pather Panchali’, with sub-titles, showing at the Academy Cinema in London. Back home that night in bed I found myself, as we would say now, ‘re-running the video’. The woman in the crux scenes in the re-run was a clear visual memory and I could hear what she was saying, in English.
    And just this last week an image of Dion Fortune’s face (Violet Firth) posted recently by JMG keeps coming to mind.

    Hi @Robert Mathiesen
    Quote: “If I were absolutely forced to watch such a screen for a day or more, I would probably loose all control and become a mindless animal, screaming endlessly until exhaustion overtook me and I fell into a coma or died.”
    I sympathise. Even if it is not such a problem for me I can feel queasy enough to keep such screen time to a minimum. Just a thought: the problem for ‘the animal’ it seems to me, is that it actually has a mind. I have noticed that our culture can do ‘normal’ things to our ‘human animal’ that we could not do to a domestic animal and get away with. I am thinking for one example of some procedures around childbirth, which would likely cause aberrant reaction in a cat or dog.

    best
    Phil H

  255. First and foremost, thank you JMG for graciously hosting all of these comments.

    Bonnie, the book you recommended, from my initial impression, at least, seems to have special pertinence to the Cosmic Doctrine discussion as Simmel delves deep into human perceptions of subject and object and how the desire to unify the two is a pervasive (if seldom studied) force. Perhaps there are echoes of longing to return to the Unmanifest in those drives. I appreciate your bravery in doing that work 6.5 years ago. What could be more terrifying than to come face to face with the tragedy of our collective choices in the form of straight-up demons? Yet such pioneering work is necessary if we are ever going to back away from said choices.

    Violet, thank you for your continued insights. There is exquisite relief in coming to the understanding that the feeling of security, as limited and as subject to perception as “a feeling of security” may be, is far more crucial to happiness than possessing vast amounts of actual money. Thanks to JMG and the powers he has tried to make us aware of for waking me up on that one. I’ll never look at a McMansion again with anything resembling envy.

  256. @ Bonnie Henderson-Winnie, thank you for sharing the experiences of your meditations and talisman making! Honestly, I would be terrified to visit the Astral corner that concerns that anti-ecological headwaters of dread money. Herr Oswald Spengler discusses in his Decline of the West how “Man used to measure the gold against the cow, now he measures the cow against the gold. That is the difference.” There is something decidedly Plutonian concerning that transformation. The first is dynamic and alive, the second is fragmented against the dead metric of money.

    More generally concerning Pluto and associated symbols: I’m reading Lesley Gordon’s Green Magic after putting on my geek hat and checking out the bibliography of JMG’s Encyclopedia of Natural Magic, I ran across this quote that got me thinking:

    “This last legend, the story of the poppy, is included because of its link with the cult of Persephone. When Persephone was borne off to the Underworld by Dis and winter began, Ceres, her mother, inconsolable for the loss of her daughter, set out to seek her throughout Sicily. When Darkness fell she climbed Mount Etna, and at its flame lit two torches to light her way through the night. The gods, unable to help her in her distress, caused poppies to spring up around her feet, whose flowers glowed redly in the flickering light. Ceres stooped, breathing in the their bitter scent, and tasted their narcotic seeds…Overcome by drowsiness, the sad earth mother sank to the ground and among the poppies, and they have remained the symbol of forgetfulness in sleep.”

    Perhaps I’m taking this investigation of symbolism in an unprofitable direction here, but it is compelling to me how cleanly “drug culture” fits into the Plutonian age. The psychedelic attributes LSD was discovered in 1943, which makes LSD contemporary to the development of the atomic bomb. Perhaps it is useful to think of the enormous synthetic drug boom to be somewhat Plutonian in nature, since it follows the broad outline of Pluto’s 1930 discovery, with an approximately thirty year window on each side between discovery and loss of planetary status in 2006. Of course there are very much echoes of the quoted myth in the current opioid crisis, which if it is indeed Plutonian in nature, will have run its course by approximately 2036.

    It is interesting to note, with all due respect to psychonauts, the very pervasive “take the money and run!” mentality found at the intersection of psychedelic use and spiritual development. At least from my perspective “drug culture” seems like a fading anachronism. Sure their are people who are still involved, but their is a decidedly “retro” flavor to it that makes me think of it similarly to people who play at being beatniks, or LARP for that matter. Again, no disrespect meant whatsoever to people who have found chemical/spiritual techniques helpful, or those who like to dress retro or LARP for that matter!

  257. @Grandmother
    Re: FBI Bias

    It’s amazing how a story can be reversed. The way I heard it, the FBI’s New York office had a number of high-ranking agents who absolutely loathed Hillary Clinton and were going to do whatever they could to make sure she didn’t win. There is documentary evidence for that. That supposedly forced Comey’s hand to reveal details of the email server mess, which bears a large part of the responsibility for why she lost.

    The FBI trying to make sure Trump lost? I’m sure there were agents who would have loved to see him in jail, but that wasn’t what was going on.

    @Christopher Hope
    Re: Finding your place.

    I keep an index card (3 x 5 in portrait orientation) that has one line for each time I check in. It’s got the number of responses and the date and time on the last response. It’s a simple find to locate that last response.

  258. @Christopher Hope– on my computer every blog posting is followed by a date and time stamp. Is that the case with yours? If so, you could note down the date/time of the last entry you read, and then when you start again it is easy to scroll thru to find the place. Of course if your computer/phone/device doesn’t display that, this will be no help….

  259. Going thru my library, i found a long-forgotten book called Border Crossings, a Jungian take on Carlos Castenada.While some of the psychologizing seemed facile, a lot of it was familiar from things you have said. The energy body, though C. has it from the navel up. The Nagual – and “the unconscious” sounded a lot like the astral plane. And some wisdom about defending yourself from what you need via distractions

    Your take on this? Could send you the book if interested. Skinny little thing, about 2-pamphlet size.

    Pat, very curious.

    PS: broken wrist out of cast & into splint for another month.

  260. @Tude – My wife and myself live just outside Sweet Home, a small town in Linn County north of Springfield, OR. I find this to be a very nice place. We moved here a bit over 4 years ago after communicating with another Green Wizard member that also lives here. At one time I lived in the Bay Area for a couple years (1983-1984) while I worked in IT what you called “that other famous university across the bay” UCB. I can’t imagine what it’s like now. I left and went back to Tucson, AZ because I just couldn’t take what it took to live there!

    @Will J – I’m also very interested in your magazine, all the magazines that used to have even a small attraction to me (Organic Gardening, The Mother Earth News, Countryside & Small Stock Journal) have either disappeared or mutated into something totally unrecognizable. One of my interests is Amateur Radio, I’m working together with some others here in our town to get more people licensed. So far this year I held a class for 15 people who ended up getting their Tech class licenses and we’re forming a club and working on developing communications skills. I’m on top of a ridge outside town so I have the local Repeaters forour County use.

    I remember from the old Mother Earth News days that Copthorne Macdonald wrote a column called New Directions Radio that concerned the use of Ham Radio for the Back to the Land type movement. I may be able to make some contributions along those lines.

    My Ham Radio callsign is KG7BZ, and anyone who wishes to contact me can contact me by sending an email to that callsign @arrl.net and it will be forwarded to my regular email. I’ll reply from there.

  261. JMG – If you’ve gotten the same comment from me three times, it’s because when I submit I’m just getting a message that says “invalid security token”. There may be something to get your webmaster to look at.

  262. @Christopher L Hope – It so happens you can turn on numbering pretty easily if you’re reading this from a computer and not a phone. The comments are formatted as an ordered list already, one comment in each “list item” – but with the numbers simply hidden in the page styling. Which is why this works:

    – Right click on a comment
    – Click “Inspect element”
    – A bunch of code pops up in a separate frame; fear not
    – In the main panel, from the highlighted line (which represents what you clicked on), look for the nearest and click on it (li is “list item”)
    – In the lower panel, look for where it says “#comments ol” (this is the styling) – you may have to scroll a bit
    – Underneath that, hover over where it says “list-style-type: none;” and a checkbox should appear
    – Uncheck the checkbox. This disables the hiding of the numbers.
    – Numbers should appear. They’ll be gone next time you load the page and of course won’t affect anyone else reading the site.

  263. Christopher L Hope – The postings ARE numbered, in a way, since each has a time-stamp. That’s what I use to keep track. There have been times when I kept a journal of my reactions to the blog, and that was an obvious place to jot down the latest time-stamp that I had read.

  264. jbucks – Re: green dehumidification. There are a couple of ways to go with this, none very satisfying.

    One is to try to identify objects that are subject to damage from humidity (such as books, or tools that could rust), and isolate them from the naturally-humid air. Perhaps this is the motivation for the “barrister bookcase”, with glass doors over the books. Small, sealed volumes can be dehumidified with a chemical desiccant (you may be able to use solar power to drive off absorbed water periodically to restore the capacity of the material).

    Another is to survey your building and seal any unwanted air leakage, to keep humid air out, and plan your activities to avoid releasing moisture indoors (e.g., some people build outdoor shower stalls for warm weather use, especially if they have a swimming pool).

    A third approach is to run a mechanical dehumidifier at times when power is readily available. If you’re off the grid, and your solar panels are cranking out more power than you need, let them dry out the air.

    Finally, warmth drives out moisture, so store your moisture-sensitive items in the warmest part of the house. My home machine shop is next to the furnace and water heater, rather than in a potentially damp part of the basement. At Fountains Abbey (Yorkshire, England), the important papers of the region were stored in a well-protected room above the abbey kitchen.

    Dehumidification is essentially a variety of refrigeration, where the chilled air (having released moisture through condensation) is promptly rewarmed. “Green” refrigeration schemes (other than those that require evaporation!) might be adapted for dehumidification.

  265. @jbucks – It is not that hard to escape the IT industry. It is all there up in your mind.

    You should be earning a big salary in this market, and it is all a matter of toning down your expectations and learn to leave within the means of normal people of your state in life. In the rare case you are not earning a big salary, you may look for another job to build up a cash warchest; on the positive side you are further ahead on the downscaling side of things.

    The main part you need to work is to let go of the part of your identity that is attached to tech and computers. This took me several years of disenchantment to realize that all the high ideals we had last century of doing a better place of the world have been perverted and we are (were) just a parasite on the greater economy. The endless frustration of ridiculously underresourced projects with deadlines that range all the way up in the psycotic did help me a lot to realize that my values are no longer aligned to the industrie’s anymore.

    Other big part of it was, for me, the social stigma of abandoning a career that still has lots of positive perception in the general public. It was very hard for me to get out of the golden cage because for everyone that matters to me, it is all god and no cage. I had to invent a startup that in theory I would pursue but deep down never wanted to do; not just to provide a sucess narrative to display to others, but in order to talk myself into taking the plunge.

    Moneywise, I am one year into it, and while I am more or less as further as I expected in settling myself into my new life, I am finding that I had not foreseen all relevant things. My family’s been weaned of luxury expenses, but our creature comforts are yet to suffer. This my change soon, since I expect to run out of savings before the year ends. I may look for some contract work to get back on track, but this is part of the new normal if you are part of the downwards-mobile salary class. Ask any math major and they will educate you on how easy the IT people have it this days.

    Some days I wish I had stayed a few more months to save up more money (it will surprise you how long you can stretch even one week of your current salary), but at the same time I realize I was hesitating and had been hesitating for years, so no matter how much more time I’d have taken, it would’ve never been enough.

  266. Violet & Kimberlysteele707-

    Interesting! I hadn’t considered this in light of the CosDoc discussion, but that’s more food for contemplation, for sure. Another less heady book I really enjoyed about exchange, relationship, and economies is “The Gift” by Lewis Hyde. It’s telling that it used to be subtitled “Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property” but in more recent editions it’s subtitled “Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World”. There were also some other titles on my reading list for that research that were informative, especially the materials about how money began to breed on its own and generate the investment and rentier class once 14th c. Italian merchants and princelings invented what are now stocks and bonds. I found some of John Kenneth Galbraith’s materials on the subject enlightening as well.

    The whole spectrum of currencies and their use over time really illustrates a kind of life cycle of any invented tools in human hands. It went from an extremely useful, culture-transforming tool that served the peoples’ needs for easier, safer, more flexible exchanges in goods and services to supplanting the things of value in themselves. I agree with Spengler in that! Its fungibility (basically, its ability to represent many kinds of valued thing) was revolutionary. But its Mercuriality has an equally powerful dark side, the effects of which have left their horrific marks on history, and which I think we all witness daily.

    Violet, I second Kimberly’s thanks for your comments. I always find them insightful and stimulating.

    One of the most interesting things to me about my excursions was that once I stepped into the Seal, the surrounding countryside was very full of life, light, and very pleasant. Spending time there was enlivening and refreshing. It wasn’t until I went down inside the structure that things got heavy. Inside wasn’t a place I could have wandered accidentally. I had to work at it and make clear that it was my free choice to go in and accept responsibility for whatever ensued thereafter. I got enough of the vibe of the place that I learned what I needed to and then didn’t return. I took precautions, such as I knew how to do at the time, but I count myself lucky that I didn’t have more complex dealings there than simply having a look around. Were I to return now, I’d approach it a bit differently 🙂 Thankfully, that’s not something I need to do at present!

    Unrelated to the drug culture association, but to the mythology: about Ceres and her torches in the search for her daughter- that’s an action that drew my attention as also being attributed to Hekate. She took up her torches (one of the main implements associated with Hekate, along with her rope and dagger) and assisted Ceres in the search for Persephone, according to some sources. (I read much about that in “Hekate in Ancient Greek Religion” by Robert von Rudloff, where he cites primary sources for the info). That story presents a lighter, more beneficient Hekate, before the later period when she became associated with less benign forces.

    Thanks for the great discussion!
    Bonnie

  267. @ Will J
    I haven’t had a chance to read through all the comments, so someone may have addressed this:
    Have you thought through the practical steps you need to take before starting on your enterprise?

    There is all kinds of information – online, public libraries, bookstores, local organizations – with advice on setting up your business or non-profit. The federal government is one place to start ( the local library may have printed material, or check https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/10-steps-start-your-business/). State & local governments might offer assistance where you are. Taxes (property, income, sales & other) – best to get a grip on this before you start; federal, state, county, local; if you end up employing people that opens up a whole new can of worms. Permits & zoning: you need to check into this as well; this can be quite the labyrinth in some places, and one agency may not know or understand what you require. For example, when get a city business permit, the clerk might not have any idea that a permit for signage is also needed. If you plan on running this enterprise inside your home make sure it is allowed in your area. Get a handle on expenses before you start: supplies, fixtures, property rental, utilities, etc. Have a plan (you are getting there). Important questions to ask yourself: ‘What are the initial operating costs?’, ‘How will I manage my time?’, ‘Do I have enough money set aside?’. That’s just for starters. Don’t quit your day job just yet.

    One thing re newsprint & possibly other types of paper: word is that the new tariffs might create a shortage & thus raise projected expenses.

    Best of luck. Sounds very interesting.
    PatriciaT

  268. Will J,
    I must say that this comment thread has me humming and putting words to an old tune. The one that initially went… “I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, you’ve got a brand new key…”

    But, my words are going more like this:

    “I’ve got a grand old printing press,
    You’ve got a wizard green.
    I think that we should get together, and
    Let our skills be seen…”

  269. Hi Onething,

    You mentioned changes in the King James Bible in that video. I didn’t have the patience to sit thru the video, but I have my grandfather’s KJV, published in the early 20th century, and if you give me the chapter and verse in question I can see what Grandpa’s edition says.

  270. Scotlyn –

    Ha! I’m hearing that tune with ukulele in my head 🙂

    Bonnie

  271. Karim, you’re most welcome.

    Michael, thank you.

    Docshibby, I believe you asked that question then, also, and I answered it. The works of Dr. Ian Stevenson are a good place to start.

    Monk, I’d encourage you to pick up Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West and read his very thorough and nuanced discussion of Faustian culture. I think he makes a very good point — but of course your opinion may vary.

    Synthase, oh, granted — I trust the people at 1024chan, or whatever it’s gotten to by now, weren’t unduly offended by my reference to just one of the chans. As for getting MKULTRAed by the chans, why, yes — one of the things I find most entertaining about them is the degree to which they’ve continued to run rings around the activist left. More on this in an upcoming post…

    Booklover, there’s no fixed lifespan for a civilization; once the culture finishes its thousand-year life cycle and petrifies into a civilization, it can just keep on chugging along until some new culture succeeds in absorbing it. The Magian civilization is fairly good at surviving, and in particular tends to spin off resilient religious communities that can keep on going for a very long time, so my guess is that it’ll still be around long after Faustian civilization has gone through its final cycle of boom and bust.

    Roberta, sure, and that’s only one of a range of potential disease vectors that are coming into play. It’s still a roll of the dice whether any of those pup a pandemic. As for Buddhism, if it works for you, by all means.

    Booklover, that’s the standard vision of spirituality in the Piscean era; “quit the material and seek the spiritual.” Obviously that’s not the way Druids see things. A thorough response, though, would take at least a full post — which I’ll consider doing.

    Chris, I had to learn to see mental images. I had a very weak capacity, but like most things, it improved with practice.

    Reese, nobody knows. I don’t expect either experiment to be done, but here as with so many other things, we simply don’t know enough about the subject to propose any kind of definitive answer.

    Robert, true enough! I think there’s another factor behind the so-called Mandela effect; a lot of people have lost the ability to say the words “Oh, well then, I guess I was wrong.” No, no matter how obviously their memories have gotten garbled, they must be right, even if that requires the rest of the universe to be wrong.

    Bruno, exactly.

    Millicently, I don’t have a theory. I’m still collecting data.

    Jean-Pierre, if you want an English translation, I’m partial to the one by Bergin and Fisch. As for books on cyclical history, the names that matter are Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee — the one-volume abridgment of Spengler’s The Decline of the West and the two-volume abridgment of Toynbee’s A Study of History are good places to start.

    JMA, fascinating. I haven’t noticed that effect in my workings, but of course your mileage may vary.

    Isabel, you’re welcome and thank you! Me, I think it’s profoundly comforting to realize that the universe will never notice that you exist, and thus isn’t glaring down at you waiting for you to do what it wants… 😉

    Llmaiwi, I’ll consider it.

    Violet, you’re most welcome.

    Justin, good. Yes, we’ll be discussing all of this in good time.

    Phutatorius, I’ll put it on the look-at list.

    Tude, I wonder if your husband could be led to change his mind by taking some vacations in other parts of the country. My experience as a lifelong West Coast resident until 9 years ago is that people on the west coast have a bizarrely distorted notion of what the rest of the country is like. I find, for example, that Providence, RI is more like the Seattle I knew when I was growing up than Seattle is today — and it’s been an extremely easy process settling into the patterns of life here.

    Mesosylvania, yep — astrology predicts the ebbs and flows of the solar current, localogy predicts the ebbs and flows of the telluric current. The one changes over time, the other changes over space.

    Scotlyn, good. That’s also a crucial factor, of course.

    Teresa, sure, but I’d rather find someone willing to do the work for me, and pay them in exchange. There are only so many hours in a day, and mine are overcommitted already!

    Maxine, the specialized meaning takes precedence over the general meaning. It’s a mobile sign, so your knife won’t be coming back. Sorry.

    NemoNascitur, excellent! You get this evening’s gold star for grasping the central theme I’ve been trying to get across all these years. No, I’m not being sarcastic; every one of us has been taught that our society is utterly unique and not subject to the laws that govern every other society, and it takes a lot of time and effort to think outside that box — to see our civilization as just another example of a familiar type.

    E. Goldstein, what makes playing the lottery a guaranteed ticket to nowhere is that people pile their hopes and dreams onto it and wait passively for something to happen. As long as you don’t buy tickets and so avoid putting any emotional loading on whether you get the right number or not, you should be fine.

    Christopher, some people have suggested options further down. Me, I pay attention to the date stamp.

    David, good question. I wonder what would happen if you were to challenge them directly: “Hey, I thought you were in favor of the US getting out of the empire business, and leaving other countries alone? What happened?” On the other hand, you might just get more hysterics, since this could force them to have to confront the fact that they know perfectly well how completely their comfortable lifestyles depend on the US empire they claim to oppose…

    Packshaud, fascinating. Thank you for the data points.

    Chris, good for the wombat. Maybe it should go digging in the banking sector. 😉 Banking is among the most corrupt industries in modern life, which is saying something, and real estate is right up there. It’ll be interesting to see how much confusion follows…

    Jbucks, natural dehumidifers and natural air conditioners were being worked on in the last years of the old appropriate tech field, but I don’t remember how far things got — and of course that all got chucked out with the trash once the Reagan counterrevolution happened. I don’t know enough about how they worked to advise you.

    Pat, fascinating. I read a lot of Castaneda back in the day, even after I realized that he was writing first-rate visionary fiction and selling it as nonfiction. I’d have to refresh my memory about his teachings, though — it’s been a while.

    Chuck, no, just got it once. I suspect you’re right — my blog will handle very simple code (links, images, italics, boldface) but no more than that.

  272. Will J – Oops! I forgot you are in Canada, when I wrote practical notes re starting an enterprise. I apologize. I was in too much of hurry to comment. I have no idea how things work in Canada government wise with regards to small business, though I’m sure more logically. And the tariffs – obviously don’t apply to you re paper, but who knows if printed material might have a tariff added when they come to the U.S. Some of what I noted still may apply. I only brought up the practical aspects because I’ve seen way too many small business come and go way too soon, almost always because of lack of practical research & planning.
    – PatriciaT (I would be interested in ordering on a per-issue basis)

  273. @ Grandmother

    Re federal bureaucracy

    I see it more like the layers of complexity and infrastructure overbuild that Tainter discusses in _The Collapse of Complex Societies_ and to which John also refers in his essay on catabolic collapse (and expanded on in _The Long Descent_). Bureaucratic complexity, like technological complexity, is subject to those same forces and diminishing returns. We keep adding new systems on top of old, both politically and economically, and a point of substantial reconfiguration will not be long in coming, though I expect that the kind of drawn-out, grinding, stutter-step process we’ve seen historically will prove the rule, rather than the grand conflagration people keep expecting. But what we’re doing ain’t sustainable, not by a long shot.

  274. John—

    Re American empire and withdrawal

    The responses I’ve tended to field when I push back are generally variants on the following:

    “It isn’t empire, it’s cooperation.”
    “We need friends.”
    “Europe will collapse into anarchy without us.”

    And last, but certainly not least

    “But…Russia!”

    It is certainly a fascinating show to watch, I’ll give it that.

  275. @JMG: Yes, exactly! I’ve had discussions with friends who wanted to feel that they played absolutely crucial roles in either LARPs or work, and that the organization wouldn’t pick smoothly up and run without them. I found that a horrifying amount of responsibility, and I can only imagine how much worse it’d be with the whole Universe. 🙂

  276. Pogonip,

    I have KJV upstairs as well…haven’t gone to get it yet. It’s probably about 40 years old. But I am not clear if older texts are being left alone or are mysteriously changing. Or is it just the new ones?

    Luke 17:31 – does it say “stuff” in the house
    Matthew 27:9 – does it refer to the prophet Jeremiah as “Jeremy”
    Mark 13:10 – does it say published or preached?
    Numbers 11:12 – does it say nursing father?

    But in this video, they compare with the NIV, which is based on the KJV, but why isn’t he showing what the King James itself used to say?

    Oh, Heck. I’ll go upstairs and find it.

  277. OK, I got the thing out and indeed it is all there. I am quite surprised. Mostly about the word “stuff” as in, if someone is up on the rooftop and his stuff is inside, don’t go down to get it. Also surprised that they used the word Jeremy instead of Jeremiah.
    There’s more in the video, but that is all I watched.

  278. All this time I’ve been reading this blog and I never noticed the time stamp. Boy do I feel dumb.

  279. @Onething, etc
    Re: Bible Changes

    If you want to compare different versions, there are over 150 versions here: https://www.biblegateway.com

    If you want to know why they’re different, search on “textual criticism” and “Bible Translation.” It’s quite a rabbit hole.

  280. WillJ, the overwhelming number of comments has prevented me from reading them all before posting this, so if it’s already been mentioned please excuse my duplication. Have you considered contacting David Trammel who has put a lot of effort into the green wizard blog and forums and who shares information generously? It might be respectful to join forces with him (before or instead of) creating a new but parallel project that would take contributors and participants away from all that David has provided.

  281. Grandmother: Re. your comment: “So the FBI tried to keep Trump from winning…..does that could mean the tape of him saying he’d grab women is fake? He always said he didn’t say it, and I think if he did say it, he would have just admitted it.”

    Actually he did admit it. This statement appeared on his campaign website on Oct. 7 2016: “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

    You can look it all up on Wikipedia and any reputable website–and I assume you use them. Well, we all have our confirmation biases–when I told a couple of my leftie friends that a gay nightclub in Orlando had been shot up by a man from Afghanistan, they said No, that couldn’t be, it couldn’t be a man from Afghanistan, that must have been right-wing propaganda. It may be hard to believe that public figures or groups of people you like do bad things, or that those you don’t like do good things. Trump is definitely good at creating alternate realities that bend facts to his will. Yet the truth will out at the end, whether it takes years months or centuries. And all of us will find out that we were very wrong, about something.

  282. Hi Justin,

    An excellent point, and I likewise feel that the environment that you find yourself within has a great impact upon your culture.

    The cheeky wombat guild of marauding garden stompers sends you cordial greetings!

    Cheers

    Chris

  283. The word “stuff” goes back pretty far, unless the time travelers have been messing with Shakespeare too:

    “Master, shall I fetch your stuff from shipboard?” – A Comedy of Errors
    “And wherefore are ye laden thus with stuff?” – King Edward III
    “My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.” – Hamlet
    “She is my goods, my chattels, she is my house,
    My household stuff, my field, my barn…” – The Taming of the Shrew
    “A noble Neapolitan… did give us…
    Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries…” – The Tempest

    (The earlier Middle English meaning was specifically cloth or fabric, a typical and important asset in the home economy as it was the product of household weaving and the raw material for garment making. Shakespeare was likely using that meaning in the last two examples. But by Shakespeare’s and King James’s time it also meant more generally household goods, baggage, and things in general, as the other examples show.)

    Of course, the word didn’t become part of the modern slang phrase “hot stuff” implying sexual enthusiasm until much later… around 1760.

  284. @ Bonnie,

    That is utterly fascinating. The Seal is of course a triangle, and the triangle is associated on all levels with fertility. So I’m not surprised that the countryside around the Seal was full of light and life. A few months ago I was planting a little demonstration garden at a garden center I was working at. My coworker wanted to plant the 4’x4′ raised bed in shapes, and we settled on triangles. The astrology was pretty bad for planting (the moon was in Aries a few days before the new moon!) but the garden thrived, so much so that some coworkers literally asked if I had performed magic on the bed! Well, no more than putting in many agreeable companion plants and fragrant herbs and inscribing, with these plants, tessellating equilateral triangles for entirely aesthetic purposes!

    In regards to Hecate, thank you. I’ve noticed reading primary sources of the Greek myths — in English translation — that Hecate was considered a very powerful goddess, but no darker than the rest. Her role in helping Demeter, as described in the Homeric hymns, is especially touching. Likewise, Hesiod in his Theogony devotes almost 50 lines (ll 404-452) of verse to Hecate, and she is described as singularly powerful but in nowise especially dark or sinister.

    Now, I’m in no way authoritative on Greek myth, but I do wonder what happened to shift her reputation between then and now? With all due respect to all and sundry, I lived with neopagans for several years, and when they would mention the three-faced goddess my skin would crawl. Reading of her in Classical myth, my heart sings. This is the greatest visceral discrepancy I’ve yet experienced with any myth, and I wonder sincerely what is going on?

  285. jbucks,
    re: old house smell
    Don’t know if this will apply to your place but what i did for my 103 year old smell was cheap and has worked out well for us.
    At some unknown time walls were built around the old stove chimney and 2 small closets and indoor plumbing was added. I suppose at the time caulk did not exist. I searched for and caulked every opening i could find. The closets required more than caulk though. There were spaces everywhere for stink to get in – even from the attic. So i lined them with cork and cedar and sealed everything with more caulk. I probably went through a case or more of caulk over a couple of years.
    Also – ceiling fans help and i use these reusable rocks in the closets:
    https://justforodors.com/zeolite-odor-control-rocks.htm
    And there are foam inserts you can put behind your electrical outlet covers.

  286. Please excuse me if this has been asked already.

    My whole nuclear family has been dealing with a general malaise for over a month now. There is a bronchial component to it, but the most pronounced problem is the oppressive sense of fatigue. We’ve been busier than usual with business, yes, and it’s been awfully wet and humid lately, but I want to ask about another potential component.

    Is there a component of “exercise” that becomes mandatory as you begin to see life on more than just the material plane? We exercise and maintain our physical bodies by walking, eating, taking in sensory data, doing pushups, and so forth, and if we don’t we deteriorate physically. Is it the same with the other planes?

    Once we become aware of life on the ethereal or astral plane does plane-appropriate exercise become more or less mandatory? Is that what meditation is? Sphere of Protection rituals and the like? Is that the new exercise for new “parts of the body”?

    I haven’t really tried this part out yet and I’m afraid my “developing body” is maybe not getting the nutrition it needs. My children are experiencing the same thing; is it too early to start them on these rituals at 10 and 8 y.o.? If not is there something more appropriate for kids?

    Thanks for your time! I will copy and paste this into the current AMA thread too. A response either place would be great!

  287. Thanks for the reply, J. M. Greer! I understood that civilizations endure for about 1000 years, if they then collapse, or for longer if they have a more resilient resource base, like China or Egypt. It was simply about what Magian culture is up to in the future, if anything.

  288. @rwerdinger Its interesting to me when I post under a female name, I get told my thinking is off by other commenters. When I post under a male name, I get support for my comments.

    The exact thing Trump said about what he said was it was locker room talk and he’s been told way worse by Bill Clinton on the golf course. I think any of us recorded would be gotcha’d by things we said in private to another person.

    I honestly was more offended and disgusted by people protesting wearing pussy hats. They looked ridiculous and it was an embarrassment to thoughtful discourse.

  289. @David by the lake – Agreed on the complexity. Having to explain money to my teenagers its crazy – there’s cash which keeps changing appearance, personal checks, money orders, gift cards, cash debit cards with pre-set balances, debit cards hooked to checking accounts, credit cards each with their own terms and extras, PayPal, and now Apple Pay. We don’t participate in any crypto currency because I can’t take one more layer of complexity. Its nuts

  290. @workdove

    OK, by turning the sound down very low and gritting my teeth, I managed to endure watching the first of the videos you cited on the Mandela effect, about alleged changes in the King James Bible from the 1611 original printing to the presently available versions. There is a lot to be said about his arguments, or, more precisely, against his arguments.

    First, it is very well known to scholars that the King James (Authorized Version) Bibles printed and sold since the 1800s deliberately do not reproduce the text as it was printed in 1611, but as it had been heavily revised by a succession of English Bible scholars over the centuries, most massively by by Francis Sawyer Parris in 1760 and Benjamin Blayney in 1769. Prior to their work, pretty much every printing of the King James Bible differed in countless small ways from every other printing. This was unavoidable, since in those days the type for every new edition had to be set again by hand, letter by letter, by typesetters working at top speed, following hard-to-see copy, from cases of type that had themselves been filled by touch and memory by other people also working at top speed. Not only could a typesetter’s fingers go to the wrong cell in a type-case, but that cell could contain individual pieces of type that should have been put in some other cell when the type-case was being refilled. It was only with the widespread use of stereotyped printing in the 1800s that standard accurate editions of Scripture, or of any text at all, became possible. — There is even a reasonably good Wikipedia article (gasp!) on the subject.

    Second, the speaker seems not to believe that human languages do change constantly over time, and that words like “ear” and “corn” truly did not normally mean the same thing in England in the 1500s and the early 1600s that they now mean the United States within his own lifetime. This is not a scholar’s hypothesis or an airy speculation. This is hard provable fact, provable beyond any reasonable question to anyone who is willing to spend the needed weeks and months looking through the massive evidence. (Of course, nothing can ever be proved in a universe of discourse made up wholly of sound-bites and tweets, or even of video lectures. In that universe lies only madness.)

    Third, one can actually go to libraries and read original copies of the of the King James Bible in the various editions that issued from printing presses in 1611. The copy I have looked at does indeed print the words “holy thing” in the passage cited from Luke, and it calls the prophet “Jeremy,” not Jeremiah. However deeply the facts may offend the speaker’s piety and sense of holy propriety, these are the actual words of the translators who worked for King James.

    And that’s quite enough on that subject. To quote the King James Bible (Proverbs 26:4) from an original 1611 printing: “Anſwere not a foole acco2ding to his folly, leſt thou alſo be like vnto him.”

    (I have retained the “long s” [ſ] along with the “round s” [s] and the “second r” [2] along with the “first r” [r] of the original printing in this quote–just for the sheer animal joy of paying attention even to the very smallest details.)

    But this, too, must be said:

    If, of course, the supposed Mandela effect is so strong that it does alter every surviving bit of original evidence anywhere in the world at one and the same time, every ancient book and manuscript in every library, every scrap of ancient stone and pottery recovered by archaeologists in every museum, then of course we all are trapped in some sort of matrix-like reality–but then, too, we have no possibility of escape, no choice between taking a red and a blue pill.

    In that case, there is literally no way out, nothing to be done except live in the reality that we appear to have in any given moment.

    Certainly our memories, as malleable and impermanent as they truly are, do not offer any sort of escape hatch from such a matrix. Memory always is the weakest of weak reeds to lean on in any endeavor. It certainly does–cannot!–not prove the reality of any such thing as the Mandela effect.

  291. Hi, JMG
    I have a few details that I’ve struggled a bit with the SoP. I have been following the instructions as closely as possible for the last week, and i’ve memorized about 90% of it.

    Now, when I do the symbols for air ai earth, I remember from the previous instructions on the AODA website that the circle represents the Spirit. My understanding is that i trace the circle starting from the spot it meets the line, so top for air and bottom for earth, right? CW for invoking and CCW for banishing. After that, from what I remember from the other article, the line is traced downward for invoking air, upwards for banishing air, and vice versa for earth, right? I.E. towards the spirit (circle) for invoking and away from it for banishing. Is this correct?
    Finally, does the line cross into the circle, like a power symbol on a computer, or does it end at the circumerence, like a magnifying glass?

    That’s regarding the air and earth gates. On the spirit above and below, i have a similar question. The Gates are horizontal circles, right? I picture the lower one a couple feet in front of me, on the floor, same with the Upper one, but around three meters high from the floor, also slightly forward from my position. Now, the guide says it must be traced from the uppermost point, but is that seeing the circle from above, (the uppermost point being the furthest away from me) or from my perspective, being the closest to my position? It’s clear for the spirit below, but i didn’t get it for the above one.

    As always, thank you for your kind help and advice. Especially when it has the firmness required to keep me on track 😅

  292. John Roth,

    No, we don’t care about various translations. The claim in the video is that certain passages in the King James are absurd, and have been supernaturally changed, or perhaps a parallel universe theory. I just sort of realized as I was going through the exercise, that it makes little sense to compare those absurd passages to another version, even one based on the KJ. Nonetheless I am surprised to see the phrase ‘stuff in the house’

    So I see now that the claim is that all versions of the KJ have these ‘errors’ and only if someone had memorized the verses prior to the change could we say that they have been changed. Well, that sort of memorization used to be quite common.

    So they are saying that the verses are using absurd words or phrases and therefore must have been changed. It’s a weak argument and some of the examples were rather ignorant, such as not knowing that the old English word for grain was corn.

  293. Hi all,

    Thank you so much for the support, the encouragement, and the interest in the project. I already have someone volunteering as a graphic designer, a small team of interviewers, and several proposed columns. I’ve heard back from a couple people saying they’re working on them now. I’ve been absolutely astonished at the level of support and interest this has fielded, and look forward to making this idea into a reality.

    Patricia T,

    I’ve thought about the tax and legal implications of what I’m doing. Luckily, where I’m living, it looks like as long as I’m not violating any laws, I can run a business out of my home. I’ve got the cost of the project worked out, and I’m working through the process of finding out what to register as and how to do it, as well as how much the options cost. Overall though, it doesn’t look like it’ll be too difficult, as long as people are happy to volunteer time and effort for it. Providing any form of compensation, even just free issues, is a whole other can of worms, especially if it either covers or discriminates against Americans.

    Once it’s up and running, I plan to look into providing some compensation for the people who are helping with this project, but for now there’s too much to do to deal with bureaucracies.

    Scotlyn,

    I rather like the little tune you’ve got there. I actually heard someone humming it about five minutes before checking comments, so it’s coming through pretty clearly.

    temporaryreality,

    I think you’re the first person to suggest reaching out to David Trammel. The idea hadn’t occurred to me yet, but that is a very good idea. I’m going to look into how best to contact him, but I think I can also ask on the forum. Thank you for the suggestion.

    JMG,

    I did a working along the lines of the “prosperity” magic you recommend, with the intention for opportunity coming my way. I suppose it may not be a coincidence then that this idea for a green wizard magazine popped into my head not long after. Do you think this is how the working is playing out?

  294. Recently you mentioned (somewhat tongue in cheek, I presume) that you’d prefer to have a would-be Lord Moldywort as a student, than someone wishy-washy with petty ambitions. In the same spirit I was curious as to the kind of training regimen you had in mind for Saurons-in-waiting.

  295. @ everyone discussing the Mandela effect:

    The ur-example of the effect – Mandela’s supposed death in prison and televised funeral in 1991 – actually has a quite simple explanation. The South African activist who died in custody and received a massive public send-off was actually Steven Biko. That was 1977, but a a 1987 biopic praised by critics for its lavish and realistic recreation of the funeral was shown on the BBC (and IIRC at least one American network) in 1991. You could have channel-surfed past it without knowing what you were looking at or paying it much mind, but years later remembered the coffin and the crowds … and by then who remembered Biko, compared to Mandela?

    @ Morfran:

    Here’s a chakra resource you may find valuable:

    http://hareesh.org/blog/2016/2/5/the-real-story-on-the-chakras – read the comments especially
    https://www.embodiedphilosophy.org/p/chakras-illuminated

    Briefly, chakras are partially artificial, constructs created by the act of meditating on them. They’re built on top of points in the body where energy channels cross, so their form and placement isn’t totally arbitrary, but their colour and even how many you have depends on what system of visualization you choose to stick to. This is good news in that it means a) whatever system you’re used to is by definition the authoritative one for the chakras you’ve developed by following it and b) you can alter them by sustained meditation. Hope this helps.

  296. JMG,

    First time poster but read your Archdruid blog regularly when it was published. I’ve read your comments on that blog about technology, but haven’t seen you address the concept of “The Singularity” specifically.

    I’m interested in what you would have to say about that. For example, fundamentally, what are the reasons you think there won’t be a singularity (if that’s what you happen to believe, and I would assume it is). Also, if you could address why those who do believe this will happen are so rabid in this particular belief, even more so it seems than having faith in technology generally. I think it might be some version of the Messiah is coming and will save us all.

    Thanks.

  297. Goodness, I nearly forgot to ask this for the second month running. I’ve a request for green wizards residing in the southern hemisphere. In his book “the secret of the temple” our gracious host describes an experiment in which one plants seeds all around a diamagnetic column, with the expected result that the growth of seeds on the north side of the column is noticeably boosted. I tried the experiment by layering glossy magazine pages and tinfoil in the shape of a pyramid – as predicted, the growth on the north side of this contraption was the most verdant.

    If anyone residing South of the equator were willing to try this experiment for themselves and report whether the north or south side of the diamagnetic column grows best, I would be very interested to hear it!

  298. @JMG: I have been reading Spengler’s “The decline of the West”. His major ideas seem to be spot on, like they were in his other book, “Man and technics”. Great lines pass the stress test of reality. Yet, he also has his blind spots and preconceptions, like every human being who has ever lived.
    On your opinion, how well his conceptions of Magian culture respond to realities of Middle Eastern culture today? His ideas about concepts shaping each particular culture’s way of thinking, like that of the dome in Magian culture, seem fascinating. His ideas are like psychotherapy session for whole civilization, revealing deep structures in it’s psychology.

  299. @JMG

    Concerning your comment that ossified civilizations can last for centuries and millennia, it is interesting how China seems to be able to absorb influences from other cultures and civilizations and make them “Chinese.” Mahayana Buddhism is one example of this. Another appears to be Western classical music. I have been a lifetime classical music buff, and I have noticed that many of the new “stars” on the performance stage are Chinese. It seems that Western classical music (particularly from the Baroque and Classical periods) is quite popular in China.

    Wouldn’t it be deliciously ironic if, while the Faustian civilization disappears under an Islamic flood, its greatest artistic product, classical music, becomes incorporated into the cultural heritage of the Middle Kingdom? Had Spengler lived longer, I think he would have been fascinated by this.

    As for “social justice” being on its way out, I wish I could share your confidence. The problem is, that the SJW Looney Left has an unbreakable hammerlock on Hollywood, the mainstream news media, the Internet companies (Google, Microsoft, Apple), and the universities in the U.S. The brief period of relative freedom of expression afforded by Internet blogs is rapidly drawing to a close, as censorship is now being furiously imposed.

    Now, the Looney Left is going after school accreditation bodies and professional licensing bodies. The LSAT (law school entrance exam) has now officially recognized 12 genders on its application form. The direction is clear. Sooner or later, if you do not pledge allegiance to 57 genders and all of the other reality-upending tenets of Looney Left orthodoxy, you will not be able to practice law or medicine in America.

    The SJW Looney Left appears determined to use its institutional power to jam its insane ideology down the throats of everyone else. They may very well succeed. After all, the Bolsheviks did not win in Russia by popular consent. Lenin and Trotsky shot their way into power after Kerensky foolishly armed them to counter a White coup. They then proceeded to slaughter anyone who opposed them in the resulting Civil War.

    I hope I am wrong about this, but 20th century history does not reassure me in this respect.

  300. onething: When people cite the Bible, i always ask : “Which Bible?”
    The history of the Bibles is a history of editing, accidental and deliberate mistranscription. The KJV was translated from the 3nd Greek edition published by Erasmus in 1522, which in turn was based on a manuscript written in London in 1520, which back translated from the Vulgate (Latin) text into Greek. The third edition added John 5:7-8, which was lacking from the Greek manuscripts which Erasmus used as the bases of his first two editions. The earlier editions caused a lot of consternation in Rome, since the entire construct of the Trinity built on those verses.
    Since there are well over a thousand Greek texts which predate the KJV, the past two centuries have seen a flowering of scholarship to compare all those texts to try to determine the actual original words of Jesus. This has all been a fool’s errand, since the earliest texts were written some 40-50 years after the Crucifixion. An interesting solution has been the publication of The Five Gospels, by the Jesus Seminar, where some 100 Biblical scholars voted which passages most closely reflect the words of Jesus.
    All of this is to say: the “Bible” is always a current document searching for divine sanction for the policies of the day.

  301. Scotlyn: “I think it is logical to consider that if wealth concentrates in one place, people will be “pulled” to that place also, and will continue to be pulled there, to the extent they can find gaps in the boundary membrane, so long as a difference in concentration persists.”
    –I have found your comments to be excellent and to the point. Our actions and preoccupations always take place on a mythic and metaphorical level as well as the material one. As rapid change and a breakdown of the old order progresses, and as climate change and social chaos mobilizes large sections of populations to flee their homelands, people react by contracting into their established identity, thus patrolling their borders. On the far right, people reassert their identity by proclaiming the inherent virtue of their whiteness, never mind that that’s an incoherent and rapidly shifting identity (just ask us Jews or the Italians). On the left, membership in any number of victimized groups grants the member automatic status and righteousness, and guarantee of existential innocence in a worldview that closely mirrors the alt-right one. Meanwhile an interesting and growing consensus on both sides of the aisle agrees that these identities are unstable, contingent on a social order that is crumbling before our eyes, and largely irrelevant to the challenges that lie ahead.

    A Mexican woman once said to me: “They tell us we shouldn’t come here? Are they kidding? We are hungry!” I do not think she was speaking metaphorically. Rule of law is one thing; human desperation another. Empty stomachs have toppled powerful regimes in the past; I see no reason why this should not continue.

  302. David, thank you for providing me with something to chuckle over. 😉

    Isabel, true enough!

    Christopher, you’ve just discovered the secret behind the Mandela effect. Most people don’t notice most of what goes on around them, and when it’s brought to their attention — well, you can do as you did, and slap your forehead and grumble about yourself, or you can insist that the time stamp didn’t exist before and that the entire blog has been changed to include them — and if everyone else remembers them, why, that proves that the entire universe has mysteriously changed!

    Tripp, no, it’s not that. Every time you think a thought, recall a memory, feel an emotion, and so on, you’re working in your inner bodies — and you always have been. Magic doesn’t give you new bodies, it just wakes you up to the presence of the ones you already have. Do you and your kids feel better after you’ve done a banishing? If so, it may be a condition of the energies in the area.

    Booklover, nobody knows. There are some things that can be known about historical processes in advance, but the vagaries of a civilization after it’s finished its creative age and settled into stability? No way to tell.

    Juan Pablo, the symbols of air and earth look like magnifying glasses. You always trace the circles from your perspective, not from an outside perspective. Other than that, yes, you have it right.

    Synthase, systematic training of the will, imagination, and reasoning powers would be the necessary foundation. I’d also insist that they learn to follow orders, because the only way to learn how to lead is to start by learning how to obey. From there, it would depend on the specific talents and intentions of the budding dark lord.

    Aquari, that makes a great deal of sense.

    Crc, faith in the Singularity starts from the assumption that technological progress is accelerating, and that simply isn’t true. By every objective measurement, technological progress peaked in the 1880s and has been decreasing since that time; with the sole exception of the computer, most of the technologies that shape our lives — cars, airplanes, televisions, subways, telephones, elevators, etc. — were invented before the Second World War, and the changes since then have been increasingly minor and cosmetic. So we’re not moving toward some kind of technological Omega Point, we’re moving through the ordinary curve of diminishing returns.

    As for why people believe in it with such dogmatic fervor, you put your finger on the reason. The Singularity is the geek Rapture, with technology as a surrogate messiah. It’s so much easier to believe that technology will save us all than it is to deal with the mess we’ve made of the world, and the vast amount of hard work that’s going to be involved in cleaning it up…

    Christopher, I’d be delighted to hear about that too!

    Juhana, I don’t know. I’ve never lived in a Magian society, and so the only sources of information I have are hearsay tainted with media spin.

    Michael, I’ll be discussing this shortly. The social-justice left may have a hammerlock on Hollywood and a few other important channels of communication, but that’s having the usual effect: i.e., more and more people are turning away from those channels to find ways to communicate that make some kind of sense from their perspective. That’s why having every media outlet in the US cheerleading for Clinton did nothing to keep Trump out of office.

    In the broader conversation of our culture, the social-justice left has fallen into the lethal trap of assuming that it no longer has to convince anyone who doesn’t already agree with it, while the corresponding segments of the right are busy crafting effective appeals to those in the middle, and wielding some extremely effective bits of rhetorical judo on the left. As Trump’s approval ratings climb and the Democratic Party’s chances in the 2018 election slide, I think you’re going to discover that the over-the-top tantrums of the social-justice left are the usual antics of an extremist political movement that’s lost its momentum and will be sliding down history’s disposal chute in the not too distant future.

  303. For Grandmother, re Thomas Jefferson, who died 04Jul1826, from Saul K. Padover, Thomas Jefferson, New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1940, 1980. Thomas’s father was the largest landowner in Albemarle County, Virginia. Young Thomas was tutored at home in Greek and Latin. At age 14, after his father’s death, Thomas wrote to executors for tuition to attend the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, the capital. Thomas had the first non-Anglican clergyman as professor/tutor William Small, from Scotland, an extremely intelligent and progressive thinker. They joined the Colonial Governor, Francis Fauquier, and the pre-eminent jurist, George Wythe, as dinner companions. At age 19, Thomas, B.A., became law clerk to Wythe, studied law two years, was admitted to the Bar, then studied law an additional 3 years, attaining what we’d consider a Ph.D. By late 20s, as Governor, Thomas moved Virginia from an oligarchy to a state of democracy by eliminating primogenitor and entaille, plus instituting general education and literacy. Thomas re-wrote the Virginia code, reducing it to 90 pages, important for his later contributions to the Declaration of Independence (1776) and to Constitution (1787).

    En Taille was considered THE reason in Europe and in England property ended up in the hands of a few aristocrats in just two or three generations. Jefferson and other patriots wanted to avoid the same mistake. As recently as Downton Abbey, the term en taille crops up when you hear Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) tell the Dowager Countess (Dame Maggie Smith) that changing the order of inheritance from him to Lord Robert or someone else would require an Act of Parliament.

  304. I have not used google even once since they fired James Damore for responding to their request for thoughtful dialog.

  305. JMG: “By every objective measurement, technological progress peaked in the 1880s and has been decreasing since that time; with the sole exception of the computer, most of the technologies that shape our lives — cars, airplanes, televisions, subways, telephones, elevators, etc. — were invented before the Second World War, …”

    The bicycle is also a nineteenth century invention. Even if we forget everything else, I should like to see us carry our knowledge of it into the future. (One can be built without chains. One can be built from bamboo. There are lots of ways to instantiate the basic idea.)

    Also, even the computer has a nineteenth-century origin (Charles and Henry Babbage), which I think only strengthens the point being made.

    As for the succession from bronze to iron, my recollection is that in Europe, bronze was just fine for the purposes intended, while working with iron was more expensive. It was only when the preferred sources of copper ore became more and more difficult to mine that working with iron became cost-effective. If so, we can then perhaps view the succession from bronze to iron as a product of “peak copper”. (Plus ça change …)

    I have to admit, Violet’s interpretation of the eight of swords is really very sophisticated. I like it.

    There have been many good comments in this thread. I have been taking notes here and there. What a wonderful environment our host has created. (Oh, wait, he’s a magician. :-))

  306. Don’t worry Grandmother, I’ll happily point out the flaws in someone’s thinking whether they are a man or a woman.

  307. re: Bibles – FWIW the Lamsa Bible which is considered unofficial by every church, translates directly from the Aramaic remainders of the gospels to English. Jesus spoke Aramaic is the assertion of this translation. The New Testament is an enjoyable read and the metaphors and idioms make much more sense.

    For example Matthew 5:38-39 (KJV) Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    In the Lamsa translation it is noted that “Turn your cheek” in Aramaic means “Do not start a quarrel or a fight.”

    So a teaching of Jesus which I’ve heard many people use as a basis for passively accepting verbal or physical violence from others, really means to me that we are to go beyond confrontation when dealing with others and the concept of “getting even”. And that there is nothing to fight against, to drop the idea of “I’m good and what I am fighting against is bad.” This meaning has me thinking creatively in my interactions with others rather than just reacting.

  308. @squalembrato

    A couple of points. I’m bemused by why the computer wasn’t invented in the 19th century. In this reality, the critical event was Claude Shannon’s masters thesis that used George Boole’s symbolic logic to provide a rigorous design methodology for relay control systems. That design methodology underlies all of digital logic, which is the basis of the computer. This was in 1937, but it could have been done any time since 1870 or so.

    Babbage’s contribution was a dead end. It gets a lot of press, but nothing came of it.

    I’ve always thought it was closing off the trade routes for tin from Afghanistan that put an end to the availability of Bronze. Copper was supposedly plentiful, tin was a lot rarer.

  309. RE: Your Yoyo,

    I believe the story you are looking for is “Miss Temptation” by Kurt Vonnegut, 1956

    Thanks,
    Tim

  310. JMG, I completely agree with you concerning most of the technologies we use everyday, but what about medicine? Don’t you think progress in that area accelerated enourmously in the last thirty years? For example, we barely had any effective anti hypertension drugs before the eighties, and since the turn of the century the number of them exploded.

  311. John–

    Re commenting on US empire, etc.

    All is not lost, however. The one thing that has kept me engaged on PW (no, I haven’t managed to back away completely, despite repeated attempts, although I *am* far more judicious with re to what I comment on) is that amid all the push-back and crazy-talk (e.g. the list I gave above), I get the occasional reasoned discussion (albeit not always reaching agreement) and the periodic up-vote. And apparently, after these two-plus years of consistently talking about economic nationalism, national sovereignty, sustainable self-reliance, decentralization, the need to transition away from empire, and well-being over wealth, I’ve got a handful of people who “follow” me (i.e. four). I have no idea if this makes a difference in the broader scheme of things or not, but it is enough to keep me around for the time being.

  312. John–

    On another interesting note, the same couple I mentioned previously re the Canadian law on personal pronouns (the older hippies who commented that sort of thing made them want to move rightward) also discussed other issues in that particular conversation. The couple are both atheists (though not of a particularly overbearing kind, from my experience) and the man showed me a book he was reading that he indicated made him feel better about the state of the world (“cutting through the crap,” he said):

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/feb/14/enlightenment-now-steven-pinker-review

    I didn’t bring up the issue of decline, as it didn’t feel appropriate at the time. Given his emphatic support for the book, I’m fairly certain the receptivity wouldn’t have been there. I also noted that he seemed to imply that the blue-collar grievances were less-than-substantial, but then again, they are retired and aren’t facing those circumstances either.

    The conversation around these points did make me think of your framing of Progress as religion and i found it interesting that this couple, as atheists, were as emotionally invested as any other religious adherent.

  313. Dear Roberta,

    I am afraid that I think your post from July 1, 8:58 pm is somewhat disingenuous. Expressing dismay at large influxes of illegal in migration makes a person in favor of starvation? I believe I have read that two of the world’s 10 wealthiest men are citizens of the Republic of Mexico. I would think that feeding their fellow citizens is more their job than it is mine.

    I have been in circumstances in which I had to accept aid from others–not easy for an independent minded person–and I was and am grateful. But I did not suppose myself entitled to demand that the Good Samaritans have to reorganize their values, beliefs and modes of life to make me comfortable.

    Of course if people are hungry, and we have a substantial number of homeless persons right here inside our borders, I can and do share food, but I don’t think that means I should have to resign myself to the presence of large, pesticide drenched MJ plantations on public land, or sections of major cities where the signage is in foreign languages and law enforcement does not go.

    As for “people contracting into their established identity”, there is a very simple explanation which does not rely on metaphysics, which is that working class folks are out of money. Anyone whose business plan is selling crap to dummies is out of luck because the dummies are broke. The person who just lost their job to downsizing and their house to foreclosure is not going to be hiring yard care services anytime soon. Nor will they be making those weekly shopping trips to Wally World no matter how many migrants and minorities Wally hires. Furthermore, anyone who spent his or her entire working life contributing to the economy and wealth of this country only to be summarily dismissed is naturally going to resent perceived (whether real or not) favoritism for newcomers.

    I think migrant communities have a clear choice which is either to ally themselves with the rest of the working class or to rely on patronage from the wealthy classes supplemented by whatever they can glean from working class spending. I doubt that that latter choice is viable for much longer.

  314. Grandmother: I loved the pink pussy hats. Cute, highly visible (making it impossible for photos of the march to be falsely identified as anything other than what they were), and a play on Trump’s use of the word ‘pussy’. What I found annoying was some of my fellow leftists disliking the hats because they were pink — saying that they weren’t inclusive to non-white women because their genitals aren’t that color — or that they didn’t adequately represent people without vaginas that identify as women.

    Me: “Pink is the color most associated with women and girls; isn’t it obvious that’s why they picked it?” Also me: “Um, since when do vulvas have cat ears? Did you fail anatomy? If they were going for an actual physical representation of that part of the body, the hats would look like a Georgia O’Keeffe painting.”

  315. Dear JMG,

    its a late call for this open post, I want to give a few cornerstones of my life situation and maybe you or someone else has to contribute one or two things or suggestions.

    I’m a middle class academic age thirty and have recently luckily found a job in an academic institution, half time (a big plus!). I am working with data more or less, and am generally of an analytical mind.

    My main interest since childhood is Ecology which has eventually also led me to your blog.
    Like many of my peers in the middle class I haven’t learned many handicraft or builder skills, practical skills.
    The only thing I frequently did since childhood is spending time in a cabin, chopping wood, carrying water in buckets and I also know how to mow grass with a scythe.

    My job contract ends 2020 and I am unsure if I should now prepare to move into a new direction of trade. I have always loved math and logic, but 40h+ computerwork in an office is not what I want, dedicating the bigger part of my life to pure rationalism is probably not the right thing.

    I’ve worked permaculture for one and a half months in my life, not much but at least I got that insight. Maybe gardening, forestry would be something. I live in an inner city apartment, and have a cabin, but as of yet not really the chance to live in a country side property.

    The rest of my day time I spend taking care of some property, enduring through the next months and a bit exhausting.
    What remains of my energy is spent now at Qi Gong in a meditative approach for beginners. Just recently started, but has shown favourable effects.
    Like many Westerners I am relatively unfocused, have a short attention span and have not previously had much of the mental toolkit for things like magic. Therefore it is a relief for me being given the chance to pursue those things, at least so far as I can tell now.

    Looking at the signposts towards our all future I am unsure, how much to dedicate to job safety, and how much to risk at doing something else.
    Any decision I take anyhow will demand serious dedication. While I also more and more live for the moment and don’t give much care to long term life planning, which is so popular with our generation. (The future that never was).

    One thing I could also imagine is producing energy related reports, referring to people like Art Berman.

    Lastly, it could be added that many people considered me a good listener. That’s because I am oftentimes genuinely interested in the lives of others and how they fare.

    regards,
    Labor Case

  316. This is probably more than anyone wanted to know about tin mining in Britain, but since it has come up, I thought I’d post it.

    “Mining in Cornwall and Devon, in the south west of England, began in the early Bronze Age, around 2150 BC, and ended (at least temporarily) with the closure of South Crofty tin mine in Cornwall in 1998. Tin, and later copper, were the most commonly extracted metals. Some tin mining continued long after the mining of other metals had become unprofitable. …

    “In his Bibliotheca historica, written in the 1st century BC, Diodorus Siculus described ancient tin mining in Britain. ‘They that inhabit the British promontory of Belerion by reason of their converse with strangers are more civilised and courteous to strangers than the rest are. These are the people that prepare the tin, which with a great deal of care and labour, they dig out of the ground, and that being done the metal is mixed with some veins of earth out of which they melt the metal and refine it. Then they cast it into regular blocks and carry it to a certain island near at hand called Ictis for at low tide, all being dry between there and the island, tin in large quantities is brought over in carts.’ …

    “The tin resources are said to have been a reason the Romans invaded Britain, but they had control of mines in Spain and Brittany in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Later production in Spain was curtailed, probably by raiding. Production in Britain increased in the 3rd century, for use in coinage, and there was extensive use of tin in pewter manufacture, at Camerton in Somerset for example. Cornwall and West Devon are less Romanised than many other parts of Britain, and tin mining may have been in local hands, with tin purchased by the imperial authority. A possible official stamp has been identified on the Carnington tin ingot. A number of tin ingots have been found in Roman contexts, such as 42 found in a wreck at Bigbury Bay in 1991–92.” (Wikipedia)

  317. JMG: Magic doesn’t give you new bodies, it just wakes you up to the presence of the ones you already have.

    Tripp: That was basically what I meant, though maybe I didn’t ask it quite right. So as you awaken to these new potentials, do they require exercise, and if it isn’t done can it be damaging? Or just simply process-limiting? That’s basically what I was after.

    Thanks for your time!

  318. This is for jbucks. Your quest for green dehumidifying hit a nerve. We had chronic problems with moisture in our basement and in other parts of the house too.

    First on your list is ventilation. Your house breathes and you want to make it breathe better. Get screens for every window, top to bottom, and keep the windows open whenever possible. Include your basement windows. If your roof does NOT have a ridge vent, eave vents (those louvered windows just below the peak of the roof), or soffit vents, get them installed when you reroof your house. If you have a crawl space, make sure it’s vented and open those vents.

    Second: draw the water away from your house. Walk around your house during the rain. Do your gutters drain properly? Do they drain away from your house? If your gutter downspouts go into the ground, but you don’t know where the water comes out, it may be going directly into your foundation walls. This is very, very bad. Slope all your concrete splashes so the water goes as far away from the foundation as you can manage. Is the soil level around your house sloped away from the foundation? If not, get out the shovels and reslope the ground. Dig dry creeks and swales to lead the water away to other parts of your yard.

    Third: Seal your raw concrete. If your basement or crawl space walls are raw concrete block, you’re in luck. Paint them over with Drylok paint. This stuff is a miracle product that saved our basement. It goes on like pudding, bonds with the concrete, has a soap and water clean-up, and when you’re finished (it’s an awful job) your basement walls will no longer absorb moisture from the air. The white paint will also make your basement lighter. If your basement walls are painted, you might be able to use Drylok. If the paint is coming off because of efflorescence and moisture damage, wire brush off the loose paint and cover with Drylok.

    Fourth: does your roof leak? A pinpoint leak will allow water into all sorts of places that you won’t ever see. Water is quite capable of working its way down inside the walls from the peak of the roof to the basement in a zigzag line, ending up far away.

    All of this work will take years. Running the dehumidifier will work, but if you don’t fix the underlying moisture infiltration issues, you’ll never stop running the dehumidifier. If you fix the sources of moisture, your dehumidifier will stop running on its own when its sensors tell it too.

    Best of luck to you.

    Teresa from Hershey

  319. @Delenda Est I find most critics write to impress other critics and are unable to create anything original on their own. Do you find that too?

  320. Hi JMG

    Re: technonological “progress”, what do you think of the USAF plan to early retirement of the B1 and B2
    high tech, new, stealth & supersonic bombers, but maintaining the fleet of B52? (operational from 1952, in the Truman presidency, to today)

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bomber-retirements-20180212-story.html

    Some people say they are making “room” to the new boondoggle: the B21 Raider, but anyhow they are clever enough not to dismantle the reliable, effective, easy maintained, cheap & sturdy B52

    Cheers
    David

  321. JMG –

    Here is an excellent article which echoes what you say about the SJW Left:

    The left is dead, rootless and stands for nothing

    The first two paragraphs are “bang-on” and describe why I loathe the so-called modern “Left”:

    “Although much is made of the political and cultural left, few realize that this creature is long extinct. Once it stood for stronger unions, economic equality, better working conditions and organized labor. Such was its root, its reality, from which it has fully severed itself.

    “This means that the left now chases utopias — from multiculturalism to environmentalism and green initiatives, from the “rights” industry and intersectionality to gender-fluidity, from anarchism and communism to ever-morphing liberalism, from abortion and euthanasia to the cult of Trump-hatred by self-styled sophisticates. In each case, the logic is the same: Shoehorn reality into theory, and mold humanity into the confines of ideology.

    The author goes on:

    “This means that the left is hardly a threat, despite its bluster. For how long can reality be denied, and what civilization has mendacity ever built? Many have tried to fabricate the better human, the New Man. And they have all failed — and will always fail — because life is greater than theories, and humans are more than ideology.”

  322. Dear Nastarana,

    Thanks for your reply and the chance to dialogue. Maybe I did not make myself clear in my previous post. I did not mean to imply that those who are against illegal immigration (or border-crossing, as I like to call it) “makes a person in favor of starvation.” I am merely observing that people who are hungry and/or are fleeing violence will have little regard for laws keeping them out, or even walls keeping them out. Like it or not.

    With the economic downturn and many factors contributing to the displacement of the white working class, the conflict is built-in and part of the instability of our times. Europe, too, is attempting to contract into its ethnic identity(ies) and its borders. With all of the enormous pressure coming from the outside, this too is a recipe for conflict. Scotlyn was eloquently pointing out how human communities attempt to achieve equilibrium across borders. There is a larger principle I am trying to figure out here, about how human systems behave like natural systems–because we are, after all, part of nature–and how all systems attempt to find equilibrium–which throws off an awful lot of turbulence, especially when the system is undergoing major changes.

    As far as your last paragraph, I see migrant communities as a strong part of whatever future working class we might have.

    Respectfully,
    Roberta
    P.S. What is Wally World?

  323. I don’t think that food problems are as bad as people here seem to believe. According to the Global Food Security Index Mexico is food secure and has a prevalence of undernourishment of 5%- the same rating they give the United States. And of course Mexico exports a lot of food- you can probably confirm that at your local grocery store. Poor Mexicans may be suffering in a lot of ways but they’re not starving to death en mass.

  324. I was writing a comment about Pinker’s book that I lost due to my browser freezing, but something in that comment reminded me of something. I recently read about a process that was recently developed for pulling carbon out of the air and turning it into carbon-neutral fuel. The cost is considerably lower then previously developed methods for cleaning carbon but of course it doesn’t really clean the air unless people don’t use the fuel. The scientists didn’t make it out to be that groundbreaking. With enough government subsidies, they say, the fuel could replace corn ethanol in our fuel economy. I’m a bit confused about the details though. Has anyone here has heard of this and what do you think?

  325. Hi Everyone,
    I live in a rural area and just returned from a yearly visit to Vancouver in Canada which is a large, cosmopolitan city. I took public transit and walked around the city a good deal. I noticed two things: 1, a sharp decrease in the number of people using cell phones and 2, young people and even children wearing wrist watches!

    When we arrived at our hotel, the young man at the desk was wearing a handsome wrist watch. I exclaimed, “That is so nice!,” and he told me people are tired of not using their brains and even complained that many people of his age cannot tell time from a clock face.

    The city felt different without the shambling hordes of cell-phone zombies.

    Max Rogers

  326. I can make ritual robes — I do an “eastern style” with ties on the right side, which is based on Japanese-style kimono; I also do a robe based on the deacon’s dalmatic; and I can do the “servants of the light” robe although you need someone on your end to take some kind-of finicky measurements.

    However, I do suggest you consider making your own robe. It’s an important magical tool, and it does teach an important skill set. I’ve outlined why it’s so valuable for a magician to make their own robe, here: https://andrewbwatt.com/2015/09/16/magic-neglect-not-the-robe/

  327. @Bruno,
    My impression with pharmaceuticals and modern medicine in general is that a situation has been established that can be gamed for profit. Thus you see the release of lots of new drugs, some of which have been poorly or downright fraudulently tested, as the company seeks its latest “blockbuster” (the term a securities company I once worked for used in pimping their stock). I have stubborn hypertension that doesn’t respond to diet or lifestyle (but does respond to controlling EMFs, which is harder and harder to accomplish), but none of my doctors has prescribed me any of these new drugs, and thank goodness! Some are downright dangerous. Meanwhile, I think a lot of medical progress could happen merely by recognizing EMF bioeffects, but that won’t happen because it hurts profits.

    The number of vaccines released is another case of overkill. The companies are strongly motivated to keep churning them out. Vaccines are unavoidably dangerous, so the companies have been absolved up front for any liability for those risks.

    Lovely diagnostics available–but I will refuse any MRI after hearing from someone with my condition who suffered a stroke while undergoing one. He does okay with CT scans, but I got put through one twice last year, until the technician declared the machine broken, and I later discovered that we’re talking Hiroshima levels of ionizing radiation.

    I think many of the “miracles” of modern medicine, if examined closely enough, turn out to be miracles of public relations. The miracle of antibiotics is being squandered on big ag profits, and we face a pre-antibiotic era again.

  328. Who here thinks space force is just another religion of progress gimmick? Future we didn’t get? laugh out loud

  329. @David by the Lake,
    I love how you try to get a sense of where people stand in general before bringing up ideas such as decline. Where most people stand, you have to walk them through the idea one baby step at a time, much like “alpha + 1” in education, or they will shut you out.
    My late father (rest his dear soul) was just like the hippies you described. He was atheist, describing himself as “agnostic,” which is a go-along-to-get-along word. and he deeply believed in scientific progress. His biggest joy was astronomy and he loved how we were reaching for the stars. He disapproved of my becoming a Shinto priestess, but when I explained it agnostic terms as a world view in which natural forces are anthropomorphized, that brings joy while caring deeply about the state of the planet, he could accept that.

  330. So our house was struck by lightning last night just before bed. Seemed like the storm was over and then WHAM!! Sounded like a 12 gauge shell popping off in the kitchen!

    Fried everything electrical we own – land line, cell phone, 400W solar power system, knocked stuff around in the area, we keep finding something else that got moved or scorched. Even split one of our gate posts in the yard right down the middle.

    Thankfully no people were damaged. A little frazzled perhaps, but not hurt. Whew boy!!

  331. Regarding the bears: I distinctly remember asking my mother “Is it pronounced BerenSTEEN or BerenSTINE. I would not have asked the question had it been spelled as it is in the current reality.

  332. Chris @ fernglade

    I found your comment on thinking in images vs words fascinating. I was quite the opposite: most of my life I thought in images, and believed that people thinking words was merely a construct used by authors who cannot put images in their text. I was quite surprised to learn that people really do think in sentences and even more surprised when, roughly 15 years ago, I also started thinking in words. Odd the way different brains are wired!

  333. @ Grandmother
    Re your take on the “FBI and Clinton 2016 election conspiracy“: Unless your mind is closed to all other possible conclusions, you might want to take a look a ex-FBI Director James Comey’s book “A Higher Loyalty, Truth, Lies, and Leadership” As far as I can tell, this gentleman was actually there at the time, or is that just another piece of “fake news”? I don’t live in the USA and I have no axe to grind, other than Occam’s Razor.
    Just sayin’

  334. A while ago somebody mentioned that the goal of the villan Thanos in the film Avengers: Infinity War (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avengers:_Infinity_War) was to eliminate half of all life to rebalance the cosmos.

    The plot point has generated a curious effect on reddit at the somewhat self-explanatory https://www.reddit.com/r/thanosdidnothingwrong/. Currently the plan is to mass-ban half the 200k subscribers in a sort of sacrificial ritual. It is proving astoundingly popular and the subscriber count (which are the ones who would be affected) is rising very rapidly. The only thing apparently holding up the action are the somewhat nervous reddit admin staff who are unsure what will happen to their servers.

    No idea what to make of it (if anything), but I do find it quite the curiosity in the same manner as the not-quite-insanity of 4chan.

  335. David, by the Lake
    If you are still there, this being Tuesday morning where I am.
    You wrote: “Bureaucratic complexity, like technological complexity, is subject to those same forces and diminishing returns.”

    I have to agree – but, as I said to a fellow back in Peak Oil comment days (TOD) who protested the energy efficiency of his LED lamp compared with a candle (absolutely enormous), ‘if we lose complexity, artificial light will cost us an arm and a leg’. The interaction between bulk replication, ease of transport, and key specialization and knowledge, seems decidedly non-linear in a range of organized productive behaviors as well as in technology. How to preserve knowledge in useful forms when the other parameters change? hmm…

    best
    Phil H

  336. Incredibly late in the comment cycle, I realize, but I felt that the community would find it amusing to know that, apparently, advocating that one’s nation mind its own business and stay out of other nations’ affairs makes one a fascist. The definition of the term must have been changed while I was away 😉

  337. Warren- I’ve looked into the “atmospheric CO2 to fuel” scheme, and what you need to know about it is that it requires (untold amounts) of “clean electrical power” to drive the system. As a way to produce jet fuel from sunshine, I suppose it could work. But I’d like to see a comparison between their process and a wood-pyrolysis process. Trees pull CO2 out of the air, too. Processing them into liquid fuel just isn’t cost-effective (at this time). At the point where we’re no longer burning coal or natural gas to run (e.g.) jet turbines, I think we’ll have more important uses for our renewable electricity.

    This article has some plausible quantitative analysis regarding CO2, but doesn’t address the story that’s made the news recently. Optimistically, assume this paper establishes a baseline, and maybe new research will cut the energy cost by 50%, or 90%, or whatever figure you like; you’ll still be in the same predicament.
    https://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/01/carbon_seq/7b1.pdf

  338. Austin of Ozmerst says:
    “Who here thinks space force is just another religion of progress gimmick? Future we didn’t get? laugh out loud”

    That, flying cars, people who think technology is going to make us immortal (either through extended lifespans or uploading our minds to computers)…

  339. @JMG – any thoughts on how the “writing out in public” exercise and “The Road to Amalin” is going? I’ve learned a bit on producing bytes, got enough stuff for now, and I need to know more about stitching together scenes, arc, editing, etc. But the “professor” shows no signs of slowing down his drafts, and moving to the next steps….

    As a side note, I listened to an older podcast of yours, shortly before “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” was published, and was astonished to hear the host declare that “recycling wasn’t worth it”. The following 10 minutes was pure gold. Never have I observed someone being taken to the woodshed so completely, so politely, and in such grand fashion. Well done!

    @Will J – is there any irony with using email and a website to launch a print only magazine? (just busting your chops, life is full of ironies, and I’m as guilty as the next person)…:-) I second Patricia T’s suggestion to consider more of the aspects of the project. September seems aggressive. Why not shoot for December, and the birth of a product at Winter Solstice? I could help out with interviews and editing, and my best friend from high school might be able to provide some insight to the business. He graduated from college in the mid 1980s, went into his father’s printing business, and suffered through their failure as they were unable to keep up with the technological changes that drove them under. I’ll send you an email with my contact info.

    @victoriachronicles – thanks for the tip on Dreamwork. I’ve had two very vivid dreams recently, unlike any others I’ve ever experienced in life, and I’m not sure what to think of that. Oh – and as a resident of Vancouver, USA, I concur with your evaluation of the area – the grass pollen is BRUTAL this year.

    @jbucks – there was a huge outflow of “talent” in IT when the dot com bubble burst in the early 2000s. I hung on, going from a small fish in a big pond, to a medium size fish in a medium sized pond. The last few years, the ponds is getting much smaller, and like yourself I’m stuck with a skillset not in as high demand, and a with many fewer slots available. And, the market for broken down horseplayers seems a bit light too…

    @DFC – if memory serves the last Buff (B-52), the H Models, rolled off the assembly line back in 1962 or 1963. While an incredible and long-lived platform for the Air Force, the airframes themselves and the thousands of parts only have so many hours in them. It’s a weird aircraft, with some odd features – and unfortunately, the procurement contracts for bombers since then have been slanted far to much towards bleeding edge tech, with the result of not getting anything “better” in value.

  340. jbucks (and teresa) – Drylok paint was the final step in making my subterranian lair (home office / ham radio station) dry despite unusually heavy rains this spring (in Maryland). I’d tried everything else you mentioned first, because my basement walls were hidden behind paneling, which was trapped behind a desk, file cabinets, and book-cases. I finally had enough, though, and tore off the wall, slapped on three coats of Drylok (being diligent to pack it into the pores of the cinder block), added foam-panel insulation, and a cover of gypsum board (for fire-resistance). The room is a little bit smaller, but a lot more comfortable (winter and summer)!

    If you use Drylok, it’s probably crucial to really pack it into the pores. It’s thick, probably containing fine sand which keeps the paint from re-opening the pores as it dries. But if a close inspection shows pinholes in the paint, just hit it again until the surface is solid.

    Note, too, that it takes a lot more energy to cool damp air than it does to cool dry air. Minimizing humidity is important for saving energy on air-conditioning. (My outdoor thermometer, in the shade but above a concrete deck, currently reads exactly 100F (38C). Again.)

  341. @ the other michelle and chris at fernglade:

    There are other possibilities, too. I tend to think neither in sentences (narratives) or in pictures, but in labeled diagrams, charts and tables. Some of these things are static; others have stable, complex moving parts; and yet others are steadily changing. When I have to construct sentences and paragraphs, it feels rather like someone building a machine or a piece of furniture from raw materials (wood, metal etc.) and a mental blueprint or plan.

  342. @Aquari

    Thanks for the reference to hareesh.org. Going through his blog is making a lot of connections and putting lots of things in perspective.

    @Warren

    I’ve seen announcements of several processes over the last few years that take atmospheric carbon dioxide and turn it into hydrocarbons that then can be used as fuel or chemical feedstock. They all work, more or less, at a laboratory bench scale. If they could be scaled up economically, they would be adequate replacements for fossil fuels, but, as you say, they don’t serve to scrub the atmosphere of excess CO2.

    Scrubbing the atmosphere requires turning it into something that can be buried. I’ve seen notices of that as well, but I haven’t seen any indication that it can be done at scale, let alone the scale that would be needed to scrub the excess out of the atmosphere.

    @Austin of Ozmerst

    The “space force” is the same as the plan to revive the manned moon missions and the Mars mission: it’s a bald-faced attempt to get the tech geek squad on the side of the current administration, and nothing else.

    It’s bound to fail, because the tech geek crowd is nothing if not cynical.

  343. @Robert Mathiesen @workdove re: Mandela Effects
    It is probably too late in the week to bring it up, but I wonder if other Gentle Readers have personally experienced discontinuities of experience? In my case, I had the experience of getting a ride to a dinner at a friend’s house, and locking my front door with my keys as I left my house. I am very compulsive about my keys–For decades, they have been attached to a keyring on my belt, at all times. Anyway, I got dropped off at home after the dinner, and there were no keys! I checked every pocket several times, and could not find them. I walked to my brother’s house two miles away, got their spare for my door, and walked back home, let myself in and went to bed.
    The next morning my keys were attached to the belt of the pants I was wearing the night before, as usual. And I had the spare key in the same pocket.
    That seems to me like a sort of mini-Mandela effect (or mischievous entities? ). Anyone else?

    @Pat Ormsby–
    If you are ever travelling in the Eastern United States, you may want to visit the Green Bank Radiotelescope. It is in the middle of a National Quiet Zone in Pocohontas county, West Virginia, and has almost no EMF emissions of any kind–No cellphone towers, and they even discourage the few residents of that county from having non-diesel cars because the radio emanations from spark plugs disturb radiotelescope reception. It could be a restful vacation spot for you.

  344. Dear JMG, I posted the below yesterday and for whatever reason it didn’t get through, may have been an error on my part. Sorry if this somehow gets double-posted.

    @Lathechuck:
    Thank you very much! We just moved in and we have yet to take a detailed survey of the house as you suggest, and I’ll keep your ideas in mind as we do so. I also found out that one can build a dehumidifier with a bucket and rock salt, which I will look into further as well.

    @just me:
    Thanks a lot for the suggestions! I will look into those rocks, and when we go around the house in more detail I’ll look into caulking up any openings.

    @CRPatiño:
    Thanks for the advice and your notes about your own experience. Several things from your comment rang true with me, especially about letting go of the part of your identity attached to the tech industry, and the social stigma about leaving the tech industry.

    Seeing how the original ideas of the tech industry became corrupted is a major disappointment to me as well. That, and I detest the ‘disruption / move fast and break things’ ideology behind so many tech companies.

    I’ve been working on my ‘escape’ from tech for a number of years, and learning skills not dependent on a computer, but it’s proven more challenging to do the same for my livelihood. I originally studied graphic design and retrained years later as a web developer, and if traditional graphic design wasn’t a dying profession, I could retreat into it, but that doesn’t appear to be an option at this point. Thanks again!

  345. Rwerdinger,

    It’s as I thought. Not particularly impressive. Just amazing that so many people take this seriously just because a sleazy media tells them to. I don’t know why there are transcripts of his conversation…but anyway, he always does get into trouble when he speaks uncomfortable truths…when you’re a star, women will let you do anything.

  346. @Teresa:
    Thank you! Reading through your list of suggestions already gave me a few ideas about problem areas in our house. We are renting the house so I have to check with the landlord about some of these things, but you’ve given me lots of starting points to add to the suggestions from others. Thanks again!

    @drhooves:
    I hear you. I’ve just hit 40, and it’s harder to find the motivation to keep up with the latest trendy programming languages, frameworks, etc, especially when they are often put to dubious ends.

  347. Squalembrato, true enough!

    Bruno, and a great many, probably a majority, of the new drugs cause side effects as bad or worse than the conditions they treat. Statins, for example, cause type 2 diabetes in about 25% of the people who take them regularly over the long term. The success of modern medicine is frankly more a matter of marketing than of actual improvements in health.

    David, glad to hear it. As for Pinker’s book, I think of Pinker as the Billy Graham of the church of progress, preaching warm platitudes to soothe the faithful.

    Labor Case, I’ve never known how to respond to questions like that. My life consistently goes in directions I never planned and didn’t intend, so about the only thing I can suggest is to be open to the unexpected and try to surf the waves of change as they roll in.

    Tripp, nah, you don’t have to worry about exercising your subtler bodies. They get plenty of exercise every time you think or feel.

    RPC, I’ll be posting that here and on my Dreamwidth journal shortly.

    DFC, the B-1 never worked as advertised, and the B-2 is fantastically expensive and no longer evades radar. The Russians are still getting good mileage out of their big old turboprop Tu-95s, which are as old as the B-52. I think we’ve reached Peak Bomber…

    Michael, thanks for this! I’ll have some similar things to say tomorrow, and a new moniker for the sector of the Left we’re discussing…

    Warren, Mexico’s a very fertile country with a very capable agricultural sector. Plenty of other countries aren’t so fortunate. As for the plan of extracting CO2 out of the air, sure, you can do that, but the second law of thermodynamics requires you to put more energy into the process of extracting it from the air than you get back from burning it. Where does all that energy come from?

    Maxine, thank you! That’s one of the most cheering pieces of news I’ve heard in a while.

    Austin, it’s a distraction. Trump is good at those. 😉

    Tripp, wow! Glad to hear that everyone is fine.

    Reese, thank you! That’s a hoot.

    David, yep — and war is peace, and freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength!

    Drhooves, I’ve been swamped with other things, to the point that my email inbox is exploding and a lot of things have been on hold. I’ll be posting something new on it a little later, maybe toward the end of this week.

  348. @E Goldstein:

    This is a wonderful example–your keys on your belt, then suddenly not there at all, but on your belt again the next morning–of something that I call the Gremlin Effect. (I, too, am compulsive about my keys, so your example resonated deeply with me.)

    My Scandinavian forbears in Denmark would have said this was the work of the Nisser (one of these beings is a Nisse). They would have thought they were being chastised by the Nisser for neglect of duties, and they would have put out a big bowl of porridge and some milk for the Nisser the following night to set things right again. When the Gremlin effect happens to me, I simply laugh delightedly with the Nisser (never would I laugh at them!) in loving appreciation of their presence and attention; that seems to content them sufficiently.

    And if ever the Gremlin effect is not the work of the Nisser, or similar beings known by other names in different lands, other possible explanations lie close at hand. Here is one such explanation:

    Memory and sense-perception are not two independent things, but two sides of one and the same mechanism which human beings employ to survive and get by in the world. Our sense organs do not convey sights and sounds and smells and tastes and touches and other such things to the brain directly. Rather, they send steady streams of raw electrical and chemical input to the brain, and on the basis of all this enormous quantity of input, the brain (and/or the mind) creates, constructs, crafts a workable model of the external world in which we live, a just-barely-good-enough model to let us stay alive for a while and reproduce our kind before we perish. As it does this, its main resource is memory: what we have remembered affects what we will perceive more than anything else in our lives ever can. It is an extremely delicate process, prone to malfunctioning.

    Now any biological mechanism of such complexity can and will experience glitches. (Certainly mine experiences them.) Most of these glitches are relatively brief. They are noticed and set right without our consciousness even needing to pay any attention to them. (I notice some of mine because I enjoy the hunt for them.)

    But occasionally a glitch will last for a while, or even for a long while. And then one has to pay attention to them.

    When a glitch of this length occurs, something that is there in the real world can vanish entirely from one’s sense perceptions: during such a glitch one literally cannot see, to use your example, the keys on one’s belt while one is staring at them, or feel them when one touches them, or hear the noise they make when they jangle. This occurs even though sight and touch and hearing are otherwise functioning about as well as they ever do.

    Or it may go in the other direction. When such a glitch happens, one can hear a voice speaking when no nearby person is saying (or even thinking) anything, or see and smell flowers in a sterile empty room, or feel a loving caress or a violent blow when no one has touched or struck your flesh. (Indeed, such a perceived blow can even produce a bruise at times, thanks to the placebo effect.)

    Glitches of this sort, even lengthier ones, are mere consequences of the general law that mechanisms must glitch. There is also a corollary to this law: extremely complicated mechanisms must glitch in extremely complex and unexpected ways.

    And when such lengthier glitches do happen, they feel like major dislocations of reality, or even like alien or supernatural intrusions–by Gremlins, if you will, or by Nisser–into our everyday world. Hence we can speak of the “Gremlin effect.”

    Moreover, whenever you have a small intimate community of people (a family, or a group of friends on a ghost hunt), memory and sense-perception are not simply individual mechanisms, but have become to some degree a single communal mechanism, used in common by all members of the community, each in their own slightly different way.

    Now shared mechanisms of such great complexity must occasionally glitch in enormously complex ways, which are shared by all members of the community alike. Such shared glitches, of course, will be experienced by the entire small community as major dislocations of reality or major supernatural intrusions.

    This comment is probably far too long already, though much more could be said. So I will end it with one final observation. The shape and structure of the space in which the individual or the small intimate community experiences such a lengthy glitch will often have an enormous effect how the glitch is experienced and interpreted. “Weirdly” laid-out floors in a house, or complicated, curving natural spaces that are very hard for the human hippocampus to map, can produce truly spectacular effects when a lengthy glitch in the mechanism occurs. See, for instance, the shape of the rooms and walled-off spaces in H. P. Lovecraft’s “Dream’s in the Witch House,” or the natural water feature in Arthur Machen’s “The Children of the Pool.”

  349. @Robert Mathiesen. Yes, indeed! I have a degree in mechanical engineering, and the semester I took statics, i started seeing vector force diagrams superimposed on darn.near.everything. It was amusing at first, then became annoying, and finally the vectors faded and normalcy returned.

    @E. Goldstein (Goldstain? Just kidding!) yes, I recall losing nearly three days once during my teenage years. It was as if I went to sleep on a Monday and woke up Thursday afternoon. And no, there were no chemicals of any kind involved. More recently – one evening last summer I was walking home from work, passing the entrance to a local park and noted a vehicle exiting the park. I looked down to watch my footing on an uneven stretch of sidewalk, and when I looked up again, I was once again passing the park entrance. We are talking about 50 feet of walking, not just a couple seconds.

  350. @E Goldstein.
    Thank you for the recommendation! An acquaintance of mine has already moved in there. Another friend is battling TPTB in New Mexico, seeking a little sanity in the cities. We are not lepers. (He’s a dedicated urbanite from NYC.)

  351. Long time lurker, first time commenter here. First, a deep and heart-felt thanks for your outstanding works JMG!

    @Ethan La Coursiere

    If you have a taste for the tart, you might consider trying a simple lactose fermentation (e.g. salt pickles or sauerkraut). The beneficial bacteria that perform the fermentation are also a probiotic. The fermentation makes the vegetables more nutritious and helps to preserve them. I can recommend the book Wild Fermentation by Katz. It’s a small, fun book with short stories, facts, observations and quite a few recipes. The only recipe from the book that didn’t work out for me so far was the Ethiopian honey wine. Pity that.

    The process is quite simple – submerge your vegetables in a salt brine with whatever additional spices you like for a few days at room temperature. The only commonly required spice is a pickling salt (cannot contain iodine). I prefer sea salt; pickling or kosher salt are also fine. There are some salt-free fermentation recipes in the book, but I haven’t tried them. I often pickle cucumbers with zucchini, quartered onions, cauliflower and carrots. If you add garlic, you may want to go easy on it with zucchini, carrots and cabbage as those seem to concentrate the garlic flavor.

    The process is fairly fast. My wife prefers half-sour salt pickles, which takes three days. Salt pickles should be full-sour in seven days and will last another week at room temperature. Sauerkraut takes about three weeks and will last for about five more weeks at room temperature. Note that the flavors will change slowly, but continuously over time. Obviously, you can slow down the process by sticking the batch in the refrigerator.

    Hope that helps,
    grey

  352. I wouldn’t be quite so quick to dismiss achievements in modern medicine. There are advances being made in medicine that I don’t even think are positive but there’s no denying that they’re hugely important: genetic engineering for instance. Still, I think even a reader of Steven Pinker would have to concede, after some argument, that the most important advances in medicine have been the simplest ones. However many people have been saved by the latest advances in antibiotics, I’m sure the discovery that doctors should wash their hands has saved far more. Advances in public hygiene (keeping human waste away from drinking water) and child care have also been huge. These advances may not have been easy to achieve but they don’t require a huge amount of technological complexity. Today advances that are far less sweeping cost far more resources.

  353. @Sandy FontwitSandy Fontwit We in the US know that Comey wrote a book on his time in the FBI because he did a media tour for three weeks to go with its release. Comey under oath told Congress he didn’t wiretap the Trump campaign. It has since come out that he did wiretap the Trump Campaign at Trump Tower and he also had undercover people in the campaign. In addition the FBI continually leaked to the press.

    Trump fired Comey, and eight other top managers were fired, and it seems like the stories coming from unidentified “intelligence sources” stopped. (Except now there is the CIA messing in North Korea saying they are building nuclear weapons – different corrupt agency)

    When I hear Comey speak I can’t understand how he was in charge of any organization, never mind the FBI. He gets offended easily, loves to grandstand and looks like he would cry in an instant. He doesn’t seem too bright either.

    The book I want from Comey is one on why he did it and how did he get so many others involved. Was he paid off? What reward did he expect under a Hillary administration? What other US elections did the FBI interfere in? Is this a tradition or just a one-time instance?

  354. re: Space Force – likely formed because China has begun launching satellites and Trump doesn’t trust the Chinese. He’s said it about his business dealings with them and now as president he has access to all kinds of intelligence about what they are doing.

    I doubt it means launching men into space ships but in the US where we spend so much time staring at screens, people immediately think it means Star Wars.

    Why does no one question how the Chinese went from starving rural rice farmers 40 years ago to technological and financial power house today? The Chinese take over satellite space from us, we’ll be doomed.

    Trump is the smartest president we’ve had in a long time.

  355. Robert M
    Thank you (and EG) for the write up on ‘glitch’ experiences; useful. A bit late this week for further conversation, but I had a memorable experience when the kids were young. In the usual hurry one morning, I noticed in passing and closed a window that had been left open overnight in the sitting room. Our eldest child came through a little later to tell me that there was a large dead rat on the sitting room carpet. One of the cats must have brought it inside in the night. I presume I had earlier stepped over it – ‘saw’ it but excluded it from conscious regard.
    best
    Phil H
    PS Do you know of Scandinavian Vardogr? There was a great story in JSE by LD Leiter in Winter 2002. I have hard copy.

  356. Dear JMG,

    It’s a bit late, but I have a short question: how do you pronounce ‘ecosophia’? Which syllable is the stress on?

  357. @Robert Mathiesen

    There is a actually a name given by paranormal researchers to what you call the “Gremlin Effect”. They are called JOTTS (for “Just One of Those Things”).

  358. I am a very liberal fellow, a would-be SJW, if I had the time and money to “warrier”. And I’m rather undone by the pejorative meaning SJW has acquired. I supply the following both as a refresher for what it means to be a liberal, and because I found it in an email from a former pastor who offered it as an appropriate Independence Day prayer.

    Adopted from a Franciscan benediction:

    With discomfort at easy answers, half truths and superficial relationships so that we may struggle to live life at deeper levels.

    With anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people so that we may work for economic justice for all people.

    With tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, hunger, homelessness and rejection, so that our hearts will become tender and we will be moved to reach out our hands to comfort and help, with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.

    Dave B.

  359. @Ethan: Don’t try to force it. I’ve had some luck getting to like previously-hated vegetables, by trying them, in very small quantities, when the opportunity arises– maybe once a year, at get-togethers. I thought I hated eggplant– and I had tried it grilled, baked, and in eggplant-parmesan forms– until I tried baba ganoush. Delicious! Tastes change over time, and sometimes it’s just that my mother cooked it badly, and I hadn’t yet tried it cooked decently. The only way you’ll know is if you keep trying once in a while.

    But sometimes you find that you don’t like something because your body just doesn’t tolerate it well. Lots of folks don’t tolerate nightshades, for some people, everything in the melon/squash/zucchini/cucumber family is a problem, for people with oxalate difficulties spinach is the enemy, for particular people snow peas are a terrifying problem, for some it’s brassicas– basically, if it just tastes bad or you hate the texture, try cooking it some other way (the plus of potlucks and get-togethers, is you can see how other people cook it), but if it makes you feel crappy, don’t eat it.

  360. ‘its my party and I’ll cry if I want to’ ? But of course it is. Calm yourself brother.

    If people struggle with the fundamentals of human interaction, how do you propose they then engage in politics? I’m genuinely hoping I’ve missed something here. Politics requires engagement , critical thinking, diplomacy and a myriad of other things.

    Spend some time with younger people (and many adults) and you’ll find that they struggle to interact and engage with others in non-virtual settings. I’ve taught children who were genuinely unable to interact without an electronic interface. Many were more comfortable sitting in the same room as someone and texting them. When you ask why, it’s quite interesting, as are the insights about the complete lack of interaction at home.

    My point was mearly that it helps to know how to walk before you run. Many struggle to crawl.

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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