Open Post

May 2020 Open Post

This week’s Ecosophian offering is the monthly (well, more or less!) open post to field questions and encourage discussion among my readers. All the standard rules apply — no profanity, no sales pitches, no trolling, no rudeness, no long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic. (I think we’re far enough into the current coronavirus outbreak that most of my readers are as bored with the subject as I am, so that’s not a banned topic at this point…though if I’m wrong and this turns into another coronafest, I may rescind that.)

I’m also delighted to announce that two of my books are available (or about to be available) in new forms. To begin with, The Weird of Hali: Innsmouth, the first volume of my epic fantasy with tentacles, is now available in audiobook format. Check your favorite audiobook source for copies.

Second, my book Inside a Magical Lodge — the first and still the only significant book about traditional lodge design and practice — is now forthcoming from Aeon Books in a new and substantially improved edition. Here’s the cover blurb, in case you haven’t encountered the book:

“For centuries, magical lodges have been one of the most important and least understood parts of the Western esoteric traditions. The traditional secrecy of lodge organizations has made it next to impossible for modern students of magic to learn what magical lodges do, and how their powerful and effective traditions of ritual, symbolism and organization can be put to work. This updated and expanded edition of ‘Inside a magical lodge’ reveals the foundations of lodge work on all levels-from the framework of group structure that allows lodges to efficiently handle the practical needs of a working magical group, through the subtle approaches to symbolism and ritual developed within lodge circles, to the potent magical methods that lodges use in their initiations and other ceremonial workings. It is a must-read for members of existing lodges, for students of magical traditions such as the Golden Dawn, for practitioners of other kinds of group magical work and for all those who have wondered about the hidden world behind lodge doors.”

Interested?  Copies can be preordered here.

With that said, have at it!



    Kaiser calls it on the nose again – and has dared mention the Democratic Party’s Elephant in the Room, to wit, Obama’s presidency as Dubya’s 4th and 5th terms. I ran this by one of my friends, all of whom are hard-core Democrats (though this one’s husband is a moderate Republican), and allshe could see in it was an indictment of the Republican administrations!

    On the lighter side, from two years ago, shades of Weird of Hali: Rd Hook!

  2. P.S. I was trying to buy a science-themed T-shirt for my Gainesville grandson, such as the one “God said [Maxwell’s Equations]and there was light.” My first try resulted in pro-science propaganda such as “science is magic,” at least one of them referring to nonbelievers as morons (I’m not going to go back and look.) I got him a mildly grisly Schroedinger’s Cat. He’s 15. (And his mom thinks he’s a delicate snowflake.)

  3. Dear JMG,

    as always many thanks for the Open Post! looking over the Grand Mutation chart cast for Washington DC causes my amateur eyes to see some fearful things, especially a strong Mars in Aries applying a square to the Grand Conjunction itself in the 10th house. Part of what gives me pause is that we see in the 1861 Cancer Ingress chart a similar configuration in as much as that Mars in Cancer was conjunct the ascendant (I discuss this and several other Civil War Mundane astrological charts here: Basically, it was after the Cancer Ingress chart that the first very bloody wars of the US Civil War began in earnest.

    Furthermore, the Uranus, retrograde in the first house conjunct the ascendant also gives me pause, that seems that the basic technological way of life will be shredded in earnest in an enduring matter, and, given Mars strong essential dignity and angular placement, that a very likely result will be grassroots efforts towards war.

    I’m curious your thoughts on this: do you think that the Grand Mutation chart cast for Washington indicates a period of warfare?

  4. Before I pass along any energy industry news this month, I wanted to share a small something that I put together recently, in case it is helpful to others. The “inner work” involves a lot (*a lot*) of letting-go: of identities, old perspectives, former senses-of-self. This can be quite hard, as can any loss. The following came to me as an aid of sorts, which I call “The Litany of Loss.” (Readers of a certain seminal work of science fiction will recognize the original source which gave the form and pattern.) It has a “softer” and “more direct” form, the difference being the first phrase in parentheses:

    (There is loss, but) I fear no parting. A season is ordained for all things: a time of rising, a time of falling away. I give thanks for that which is passing and I allow it to pass from me. Yet I remain.

    A useful mantra, if nothing else. Certainly, I could have used this thirteen years ago, when I was in the midst of working through my divorce. I managed to survive, however, and came out the other side of that crucible experience a better man. Alchemy, for sure!

  5. There was someone on here a while back who was doing the experimental religion of worshipping the Princesses from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. If you’re still around, I’m really curious what your thoughts are on sacred art. DeviantArt will give you no shortage of options in that regard. 🙂

  6. Dear JMG

    After reading your Mysteries of Merlin book, following intuitive breadcrumbs, and reflecting…

    I find it fascinating the similarities behind the supposed conception of Jesus and Merlin. ie both born unto this world without a physical father, or via the physical act of conception.

    Just pondering…

    Could it be, that in the case of what they termed a “succubus”, or perhaps an “intelligence” or being of greater magical power, that such a being could manifest in physical form to impregnate a woman?

    As we know, fear is produced around that which one does not know, nor have comprehension of, nor being of “open mind”.

    So I get that in those times (Christianity beginning to take root), Merlin’s conception would have been ascribed to something dark or negative. Yet, the same could have been applied to Jesus… yet was not, perhaps because such terms/labels/understandings did not exist at that time, or perhaps to cast a more favourable light.

    Either way, both conceptions seem to have been “Divine intervention” or the result of Planet Earth’s call for help.

    Each men were prophets, seers, healers, magicians – shifting minds and being cause of change for centuries to come. Whether that intended change, via specific teachings, has since been perverted to suit others’ causes is debatable.

    It’s clear to me that Jesus was a magician / shaman using his magic quite openly – such as healing, reading others’ hearts and minds, demonstrating power over the elements, and working with them, by being able to walk on water for example.

    So I’m seeing the similarities between Merlin and Jesus; and in a way, the persecution of pagans/heathens by Christians for hundreds of years after seem to have been unfounded to say the least!

    Regardless, the needless persecution, based on fear and misunderstanding, of any group by another is to go against the very Nature of Life Itself.

    Jesus himself was not a Christian. Perhaps he taught One is All and All is One, and this One he termed “God”, which was a term that could be relatively understood, and maybe which was later misconstrued?

    There are multiple themes and tangents here. “Religion” as an institution or instrument used to control the masses, to drip feed partial information; with separation and division being the result vs unification or “oneness”.

    With regard to putting others on a pedestal, worshipping them, or placing on them the role of savior, rather than seeing them as a positive example…

    This could apply to anyone who sees another as greater or more powerful than them, and in so doing serves to disempower or diminish their own true self, potential to think for themselves, to “do the work”, and to create.

    This applies on the macro level – power given to “gods”, or ones of great renown and power in times past; and on the micro, physical level too – power given to other humans / egos / fear-based causes and institutions.

    What if all this power that is given away to those who are seen as “greater than” or “higher” – either physical or mythical beings of the past – is adversely affecting the present and creating a “timeloop” or negative feedback loop?

    (The hamster running around on it’s wheel is a good image here.)

    What if, because of all this (in effect dark magic – giving away power to empower those and deify them, I include the “money” and “status” gods here!) it has prevented Gaia or Mother Earth, and all of the elements that maintain her structure, from shifting to their next best version?

    So in a sense what is happening then is the past is merely being repeated; and in so doing, is preventing the upliftment / ascension / transformation / evolution of the very Planet upon which all of this is taking place.

    And this negative loop is merely resulting in an overall human species, which have little awareness or reverence for Life / Nature Itself (I’m generalizing here).

    We can then see how we as a species are very much connected to this Planet’s evolution, as we are made of the same physical elements.

    We see how the elements are affected and manifest as the “chaos” of Nature – tornados, fires, earthquakes, pestilence etc – yet they are merely mirroring man’s inner state of being.

    In times past, the “gods” would have been to blame, and hence worshipped to appease them – instead of man taking responsibility for his own inner state of being.

    Supposing there is a God and gods, what if they didn’t want this role?

    What if their intention, via great prophets, druids, shamans and magicians (those who have the ability to see and walk between worlds, and to act as messengers) was to teach and guide us to work with Nature / Life / Gaia / the Elementals?

    Instead, it seems, the human species got lazy and have forgotten, due to a multitude of distractions – taking attention and focus away from Mother Earth.

    From what I can see from the past, which is present now, is that the majority of humans worship that which they deem as conferring blessings or offering redemption, instead of doing the work / inner work of transformation themselves.

    So when we accept and take responsibility for our own power, and become sovereign unto ourselves, this consciousness affects everything – all of Life.

    We can get an idea then of how consciousness (mind) and matter can unite and work together as one – magic itself.

    The best outcome of which will be that Gaia responds to our internal shifts and transformations (a magician’s Great Work), and hence is able to shift herself.

    When I say sovereign, I am not referring to egoic elevation. I am referring to humble reverance for Life, for living in accordance with morals and values (those positive qualities on the Tree of Life, as an example); and hence remaining centered accordingly, for the upliftment and enhancement of All of Life – for the Greater Good.

    As related to the Tree of Life, “sovereign” equates to Kether (crown), that pure consciousness being unhindered as it descends through a pure heart (Tiphereth), with the required Foundation (vitality, Prana or Qi) manifested upon Earth (Malkuth).

    Hence, “heaven on earth”; the medium being a “human” vessel or channel for that sovereign consciousness to manifest upon the physical realm, within a physical form.

    Which seems to me, is exactly that which Merlin attained, likewise Jesus, and other immortals made manifest. To shift, to change, to “work” their magic for the Greater Good.

    This is also a Dao point of view – the trio being heaven, earth and humanity; with man being the connection or link between heaven (the Unnamed and Unknowable) and earth (form as perceived by the physical senses); and uniting heaven with earth (father / mother; masculine / feminine).

    Ultimately, maintaining balance, resulting in peace and harmony within our own being, and in effect allowing Gaia and the elements to mirror that back to us.

    Working with Gaia as ONE; as opposed to against and separate from.

    So JMG, I thank you for helping me to delve a little deeper here, and for being the cause of connections which I hadn’t before considered.

    I especially thank you for bringing Merlin back to life as a Druid / Shaman / Magician and Immortal… a wonderful mentor and guide to working with beloved Gaia.

    A thousandfold blessings,


    PS It wasn’t my intention for this post to be so lengthy, but alas! Thank you for taking the time to read.

    PPS I’ve read some of your Merlin-related recommendations, and am thoroughly enjoying Nikolai Tolstoy’s, “The Quest for Merlin” – thank you! What a genius.

    Interesting how the apple tree which Merlin hides in, which makes him invisible, could indeed be a metaphorical reference (as in the story of Genesis in the Bible) to the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” which on the Tree of Life, knowledge being DA’ATH.

  7. You’ve mentioned before you’ve read Epictetus’ Encheiridion, so here’s a question about it. I am in a book club where we’re reading that book, and a recurring theme is how to put its lessons into practice when it comes to the core point – how to stop worrying about things outside of your control in order to focus on things you do have control over. Part of the answer seems to become more aware of what you actually do have control over, which is one’s mental state and outlook, and realizing that one’s place in the cosmos is pretty small. It’s difficult to put it into practice, though.

    As an example, there’s a nearby park full of wilderness where people keep leaving their trash, which honestly makes me pretty angry, especially the thought that people who visit parks are there presumably to enjoy the wilderness, but still choose to leave their garbage there for others to stumble across. I wrote a couple of letters to local papers, I have taken some trash out with me, but that won’t solve the problem, so I continue to be irritated during visits when I find more junk.

    I understand that the Encheiridion isn’t about making you passively accept these sorts of things, but it’s also not helpful to get so irritated each time I go for a walk in the park. I was just wondering how you grappled with these sorts of issues?

  8. I wanted to join the conversation that Aidan and our host had a couple of weeks ago regarding this article:

    (I didn’t want to post in that thread because it had nothing to do with the Cosmic Doctrine! I figured I’d wait until the next Open Post.)

    I have no idea if Google et al will attempt to open an online university. But if they *do* open one, then I think they’ll be making a mistake. Think about it: why do students and their parents pay so much for college? It’s first and foremost for the credential, with “student experience” being a distant second, and teaching a distant third. So… Why try to compete with universities on teaching? Just offer alternative credentials. How? Why, just make an exam (first for tech-related subjects, and then possibly for some other subjects as well). No need for an online university: you pay the exam fee, you show up for the exam, and if you pass, you get a certificate. If the exam is well thought out and well publicized (both to potential candidates and to potential employers), then this sort of credential could easily become worth more than a college degree, at least in some fields. (And online tutorials could be offered for free, to generate publicity.)

    To be sure, the easiest way to obtain this certificate might still be to get a degree from a 4-year college (majoring in the relevant subject), and then possibly enroll in a 6-week boot camp. But even so, if the actual goal is the certificate, then a not-particularly-fancy state school may actually offer better preparation than a fancy private college or university. Once colleges suddenly have to compete on teaching, rather than on credentials, watch the bubble pop and tuition go down.

  9. It seems like the idea of panpsychism is gaining traction. This has probably been covered in other posts here. If so fee free to ignore this.

    Personal experience in a handful of incidents hints at fleeting direct connection, or an overly active imagination. If not true, it would at least make for a grand theme for speculative fiction. Approaching everyday experience as if it is true will give you a completely different mindset. When much younger and adept at climbing trees I would spend time high in a canopy imagining what the world would be like if we could talk to the animals, trees, mountains and rivers, not just ourselves. What kind of conversations might we have, what would we say, what would they say? Long ago I’ve put away those musings, but they are a wistful wandering daydream. Oh to dream like that again high in a tree canopy on a warm spring day.

  10. In the late 90s I read Christian G Appy’s book Working Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam. It referenced a very interesting-sounding article called ‘Living in Moral Pain’. I heard it mentioned a few times since, always described as a significant work of psychology and philosophy. I tried to look it up a couple of times but it wasn’t online. Now it is: It lives up to the hype.

  11. JMG, a note of appreciation and thanks. In these days of limitations, self imposed or otherwise, daily and weekly activities must be improvised, cherished, and invented. I really look forward to your thoughts and the responses of others each Wednesday. My thanks to you and all flowing out of my little cubby hole into a strange and challenging world.

  12. What is your take on Peter Zeihan’s geopolitical analysis? I listened to talk of his recently after hearing about him from a friend, and was interested to hear that he seems to have a different take than you do on some of the geopolitical realities of the recent past and near future. In particular, he seems to describe the American empire of the last 75 years or so a the US doing a favour to the rest of the world, rather than a scheme to get the US much more than its fair share of the world’s resources at the expense of other countries. Not that there can’t be elements of both, but I’m curious on your take. Also, he seems to think China is headed for a serious fall in the years to come, owing largely to its naval strength and position relative to maritime trade routes. If you’re familiar with Zeihan, I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Secondly, an interesting and potentially encouraging data point. I have an acquaintance who works for the ministry of education here in Ontario. She has a young family and has vey much appreciated being able to work from home during the last few months, rather than commute 3 hours a day to sit supervised in an office building. She would of course like to continue to do so, but her managers are less keen on allowing that. I know that’s likely to be a real dynamic in many workplaces over the coming months. What piqued my interest was that she said, “I hate to think so, but maybe Premier Doug Ford would actually be on my side on that one, since it means he could fire all the managers.” I pointed out that strange times make for strange bedfellows, and that might actually be a very good thing, as it becomes apparent that the main function of the managers is to get paid too much to “make sure people are doing their jobs,” which they are actually perfectly capable of doing without someone staring over their shoulder all day. So, potentially a brewing alliance of left-wing folks in the low-to-mid-range of the salary class with the conservative populists to drastically reduce management and bureaucracy to an appropriate level! How do you like that!?! Add that to the cresting frustration of the wage class, and some real change may well be underway, along with more re-shaping of the so-called “political spectrum.”

  13. JMG, in The Long Descent you talk about how things could have panned out differently if Reagan had not assumed power and killed off the burgeoning renewable energy and conservation movement and note:

    “A controlled transition to sustainability would have been a massive challenge, but it could probably have been accomplished”

    Do you think this would have taken the form of a controlled descent to a post industrial society over a period of 200-300 years? Could we have headed toward a world along the lines of that you painted in Retrotopia with an eventual return to agrarian civilisations following this?

  14. Good Afternoon:

    I have a few questions for you that I have been saving:

    1)I have been curious as to your opinion on what the world would look like if the USSR successfully reformed like China did and hence still existed as a superpower today.

    On the one hand, there may be more asabiyyah (Arabic for “social solidarity”) in Western nations and less globalization. On the other, there may be fewer misguided US invasions because the Red Army may still be stationed in places like Iraq and Afghanistan (like their Russian successors were in the former Soviet ally of Syria).

    2) What is the European situation in 2065 of Retrotopia? I read Retrotopia and Star’s Reach and in the later, “Eurabia” seems to have become a fact. That doesn’t seem to be the case yet in Retrotopia. For example, England still has the Windsor monarchy.

    3) Does the Brazilian superpower still have the race/class issues it does today?

    4) Has Mexico become a regional power in Retrotopia the way it became a world power in Star’s Reach? I imagine it is frequently active in California (which seems to have become the Somalia on North America).

    5) Do you see an end (or at least a slowing of) to credential inflation/higher ed bubble in our near future?

  15. I keep having– and seeing repeated by others– the same unproductive conversation regarding the Subject-that-shall-not-be-named.

    Basically, I, my immediate family, and most people I know, are working class “essential” people who’ve not missed a single day of work in the last two months, and who’ve been shopping at our low-rent neighborhood’s grocery stores and Mall Warts, where 90% of shoppers are maskless and unconcerned with all the neat little arrows and spacing suggestions taped to the floors. Despite all this, we have not seen the predicted waves of death and illness in our cohort, so we have naturally stopped being concerned about it. Plus, the deaths in our state are down to about 2 a day. I’m pretty sure we lose more people to traffic deaths and drownings than that.

    If/when I mention this among the educated and affluent people I know who’ve been carefully sheltering in place for 2+ months now, I universally get some variant on: “You should be grateful you’ve been SO LUCKY. Others haven’t been so lucky…” Any attempt to politely question any assumptions here, devolves into some mishmash of “You’ve been watching too much FOX news” “You’ve been lucky because we virtuous people have been hiding out in our homes and wearing masks” and “You’re endangering everyone!”

    Have we just created millions of agoraphobics?

    Have any of you gentle folk encountered this problem, and have you had any success getting through the disconnect? If so, how? These are not random internet people. They’re lifelong friends, surrogate family, people who got me through a rough childhood… and it is distressing that we almost can’t communicate anymore. We’re down to just talking about our gardens. It’s the only safe topic. Everything else is a minefield.

    Is there a sane way to navigate this? Have any of you had any breakthroughs you’d be willing to share?

  16. Hello JMG and commentariat. I normally try to avoid getting sucked into media whirlwinds, but this row over the behaviour of the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief aide Dominic Cummings fascinates me.

    To those who don’t know, Mr. Cummings has recently been revealed to have broken the lockdown guidelines by driving with his wife and young son from London over 250 miles north to the city of Durham, then taking a further 30 mile trip on the day of his wife’s birthday to Barnard Castle, a popular tourist destination. The explanation given by Cummings and endorsed by the Prime Minister is a complete flim-flam: he says the castle trip was a matter of testing his eyesight, as he was concerned he’d contracted Covid and his eyes might be affected…

    People on all sides of the political spectrum are outraged that the PM is standing by his man, understandably in my view, with so many having stringently followed the government’s guidelines on lockdown at considerable personal cost, not attending family births and deaths, etc.

    To me it’s a reminder just what an odd bird this Prime Minister is. He has been elected on the back of a populist, pro-Brexit message, but it’s pretty clear he chose to ride that camel because he identified it as an easy way to power, rather than because it reflects his own inner convictions – fine. I suspect many of the people in working class communities who voted for him were under no illusions about this. You don’t have to look too closely at the guy to see he’s from upper-middle class stock, ground out through the mill of the highly elite British public school system. Moreso even than Trump the billionaire capitalist, he’s an odd face for an anti-establishment insurgency, but as you have stated many times, after decades of being ignored from all sides the working classes will pretty much take what they can get.

    But by refusing to acknowledge even that Cummings broke the rules of the lockdown, when everyone can clearly see he did, Johnson is completely failing to read public sentiment, showing he perhaps does not share Trump’s instincts for knowing which way the wind blows. I’m reminded of the work of Nick Duffell, an author and psychotherapist who specialises in treating men and women who have been through the public school system. He wrote a book called Wounded Leaders on the subject of how these schools creates a class of men and women with lots of bravado and outer confidence – particularly in their ability to be leaders, for which this schooling often explicitly primes them – but very fragile egos behind which they are often deeply scared, hurt and resentful, because of having been effectively abandoned their parents – these are typically boarding schools – at a very young age, and placed in an environment which caters entirely to their intellectual development and not at all to their emotional needs.

    I always thought it was an interesting hypothesis, and Johnson seems like a paradigm case. His ‘Get Brexit Done’ election campaign, extraordinarily effective though it was, always struck me as a bit brittle. Whenever asked about any other issues on the campaign trail, he would typically flail about a bit before bringing the conversation swiftly, winningly back to Brexit. At the time it was easy to look at this as clever political manoeuvring, and it was obviously extremely effective, but still the flailing about stuck in my mind…

    Now, looking at the way he’s conducting himself in this affair, weakly repeating lockdown slogans like ‘stay at home and wash your hands’ when asked whether he’s now licensing the general population to behave like his chief aide, it seems clearer than ever that BJ is a cardboard cut-out of a man. Perhaps as many people suspect Dominic Cummings is in fact the real brains of the operation. But public anger is inflamed against both of them currently. Maybe this will all die down. But with Brexit now, impossible as it seemed only a couple of months back, a side-issue, one suspects Johnson might have to learn a few new tricks, and fast.

  17. And the aforementioned bits of energy news for this month, from your friendly neighborhood (and self-appointed) energy news reporter:

    That Which Shall Not Be Named versus The Electric Car

    More Coal Closures (this one close to home here)

    Financial Pressures of Another Kind

    The Solution to High-Cost Nuclear Is…More Research (and because load-following nukes make SO much sense…)

    A New Role for the US

    It’s New and Cutting-Edge: What Could Go Wrong?

    Finally, a couple of items I thought noteworthy, but which aren’t specifically energy-related:

    From the President’s Pen (and my daily feed of the Federal Register), re regulatory reform:

    The Ebb and Flow (but mostly ebb) of Globalization

  18. The 3rd Annual Midsummer Ecosophia Potluck was to have been held on June 20, 2020.

    Due to extenuating circumstances, I have decided to cancel it (remember, NO CURSING ALLOWED. In exchange, I propose the First Annual Ecosophia Autumnal Equinox Potluck, September 19, from 2 PM on at 148 Congdon Street, Providence, RI (AKA: the house behind the Charles Dexter Ward Mansion).

    Those interested please sign up here.

  19. methylethyl greetings from Denmark I have had the exact same observations here, the higher classes with the big houses that need attention sheltering in and telling everyone to be affraid, social distancing, and yelling at people in the supermarkeds for not behaving in the lines, while working men and women continue as normal. However during this weekend there was a line for 10 km for getting back to Denmark from Sweden(Sweden has not imposed lockdowns) and this was Danes fleeing over the boarder for a normal holiday weekend.

  20. I have a question for everyone here:
    One of the things that I’ve noticed is that men will advise me not to get married, and make marriage out to sound like some terrible thing. This seems to cut across age, class, and race. I rarely, if ever, hear any man say that their happy with marriage, or even that it’s okay. What’s up with that? Are that many people really that unhappy with their marriage? Is it a sort of tactic to make men think long and hard about who they are going to marry, or even if they should, before they pull the trigger? Or is it just because people just like to complain?

  21. @Tres Bla re: Johnson. I recently listened to this podcast where Gordon White interviews English occultist Paul Weston about Johnson, he basically says that Johnson is embodying the archetype of “Lord of Misrule” and he’s untouchable because of that… all his buffoonery and mistakes actually are part of his power. Similar in a way to Trump and how The Changer is using him…

  22. Hi JMG,

    I guess they will ask you this one like one hundred times today, so here is the 101: what is your take on the recently released “Planet of the humans” documentary and the storm caused among the environmental movement?

    (Feel free to delete if you’ve already been asked this one)

  23. I recently reread the Kek Wars posts, wondering if the frog god was going to be involved in the election this time around as well.

    After sitting and pondering a bit I picked up “Finnegan’s Wake” which I snagged from the common area in my apartment complex. I perused the beginning of the book to get a sense of it and I stopped on page 4. The first two sentences at the top of the page were as follows:

    “What clashes here of wills gen wonts, oystrygods gaggin fishygods! Brekkek Kekkek Kekkek Kekkek!”


  24. Last open post I was asking about kick scooters… I now have one, and I love it. It is a lot slower than a bicycle, but I don’t end up with pedal bruises, and I haven’t fallen down once, despite having ridden a total of about 30k+ on it. I have used it to get to the bank and the hardware store, as well as learning to ride it, and exploring my city a bit. It is small and folds up tiny, and is light enough for me to carry fairly easily. The only downside is figuring out how to ride in infrastructure not designed for kick scooters. Nobody has gotten mad at me, though. I was worried about that, but I’ve just got smiles, little kids on scooters trying to race me, a few questions and the like. Once I’m not exhausting myself with getting the last of the spring plantings in at the church, I want to really explore what I can do with it.

    Vancouver Island has had no on-island Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks, and things have reopened somewhat. They were never as thoroughly locked down as some places in the USA, and Covid-19 never got into the care homes here. We’ve had a really easy ride of it compared to Vancouver, let alone Toronto or New York. Of course, there’s probably next to no immunity in the community, so we’re still very vulnerable to future case rises or new waves.

    My neighborhood is coming up food gardens. We’ve gained two new boulevard food gardens, and regained a defunct on on the block my church is on. Only one of them is even remotely my fault. If you peer into people’s gardens, there’s a lot of vegetables and new-looking fruit trees with the tags still attached. A lot more seeds are available now, though good luck finding your favorite variety of beans or whatnot. I am glad that I bought most of the years’ seed early, and I’m planning on seedsaving as much as I easily can this year.

  25. Since I missed Magic Monday’s deadline, I thought that I would run this up the flagpole here.

    Is there such a thing as a syllabus for beginning alchemists?

    I am getting ready to retire and I will be needing something to do to while away the hours (other than Conferrin’ with the flowers, Consulting with the rain)

  26. Peter van Erp,

    Thank you as ever for generously hosting the potluck. It was such a pleasure to meet you and many of the others last summer, and I hope to be there in September!

    I will point out (politely, with no cursing!) that your link seems to be broken…

  27. JMG,

    Congratulations on the new publications.

    For those who already have the first edition, can you please give some indication of how much is new/different in the revised edition of Inside a Magical Lodge? Thanks!

  28. John, et al.–

    So the industry conference on Business Intelligence & Data Analytics scheduled for earlier this month in the imperial capital (well, Alexandria) was converted to a two-day webinar instead. It was interesting to listen to some of the presenters, but once again I found myself assessing the proceedings from a Long Descent perspective.

    One aspect of data analytics (and big data analytics, specifically) that always stands out for me is the sheer amount of resources *assumed to be available* to be deployed in the process: not only the collecting, organizing, and storing of this data, but also the cleaning, analyzing, and modeling thereof. Parsimony goes out the window. Just as one example, a standard issue with “big data” is trying to find a best-fit model out of all the possibilities. No problem: there’s an application which will train all available model constructs in parallel, so that you can pick the best one. Makes me think of a saying about spaghetti and vertical surfaces. Certainly, brute force at its finest.

    Lack of mathematical elegance aside, my point is that this approach assumes the existence of a considerable amount of computing power to be readily at-hand, not to mention the in-flow of input data going forward that will make the models useful for something.

    Building a system based on such assumptions seems to me a less-than-ideal strategy, yet the direction the industry is taking all but force one to adopt at least some of these perspectives, if only to be able to function within the markets.

    How does one get an organization to consider the possibility of a future no one believes plausible and which is diametrically opposed to the direction the broader industry is heading? It is quite the challenge.

  29. Booklover, I’ll pass. As Schiller famously noted, “against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.”

    Patricia, no surprises there — the degree of paralogic in America’s public discourse these days is, well, as high as it’s been since the last major era of crisis in 1930-1932. As for Red Hook, that wasn’t one of the articles I’d found on the subject, but when I was researching the novel I found a number of pieces on subterranean New York that made similar points, and yes, that’s what inspired a good deal of the underground parts of the story.

    Violet, keep in mind that the Grand Mutation chart predicts events over a 199-year period. Yes, there will be wars, but it’s not at all clear to me yet when they will break out.

    David BTL, nicely done!

    Tanya, a fine meditation. If you haven’t encountered it yet, you might like to read Morton Smith’s book Jesus the Magician — it makes some points that you’ll find useful in developing that line of thought.

    Jbucks, of course it’s difficult to put into practice. It was difficult to put into practice when Epictetus wrote it! To put it into practice, you have to discipline your thoughts. When your mind starts rabbiting on about how awful it is that people don’t pick up their trash, you have to remind yourself that it’s a waste of time to get bent out of shape about the things you can’t control, and turn your mind to something more useful: for example, whether you want to carry a bag with you every time you go for a walk in that area and pick up one bagful of trash as part of your walk: knowing that this won’t “solve the problem,” knowing equally well that it’s not a problem you have the power to solve, and deciding to take action anyway. Fiat justicia, ruat caelum! (Let justice be done, though it brings the heavens crashing down!) That’s what the Roman Stoics used to say: what counts is doing the right thing, not whether you get the results you want out of it.

    Irena, that seems like a reasonable analysis. My working guess is that the US academic industry is riding for a massive fall anyway, and that might do it.

    Michael, only your own beliefs about what’s possible prevent you from having that same experience right now. Most of the Druids I know talk to trees fairly often, and are answered. The only reason that that’s not a lot more common is that our culture has taught us a set of beliefs about what’s real that deliberately exclude a vast range of normal human experiences.

    Yorkshire, thanks for this.

    Michael C, you’re welcome and thank you!

    KevPilot, it’s standard-issue disinformation, almost certainly coming from a source with close connections to the US military. The Air Force disinformation campaigns that have used the UFO hullaballoo since 1947 to conceal secret technologies — the U-2, the SR-71, the first couple of generations of spy satellites, and stealth aircraft among them — followed exactly the same game plan. Look up the genesis of the MJ-12 hoax or the more recent Planet Serpo business if you want to see a precisely parallel disinformation campaign in action.

    Seahorse, I’ve just begun to read him, synchronistically enough. His interpretation of China’s situation is intriguing, but we’ll have to see whether he turns out to be correct. As for his take on US hegemony, well, of course — it doesn’t do to bite the hand that feeds you.

    Devonlad, I think that’s what it would have turned into, but the decline would have been much more gradual and it would have bottomed out at a much higher level than we’ll get this time around.

    Aidan, (1) All things considered, I doubt there would have been much difference from today. One way or another the Soviet Union had to deal with disastrous economic problems, and however it did so, it would have had to retreat from global-power status for a while. (2-4) I didn’t work out any of that, since the focus of Retrotopia was to explore a range of possibilities for people right now, using the fictional device of an independent nation as a framing mechanism. (I borrowed that from Ernest Callenbach, of course.) Readers are left free to imagine whatever wider world they like. (5) My guess is that the higher education bubble will pop hard, and not too far in the future. The next time the GOP controls both houses of Congress, I expect to see a bill passed which (a) shuts down the federal student loan program and (b) makes student loan debt dischargeable by bankruptcy. Once banks have to worry about whether the money they put into student loans will ever be paid back, the availability of student loans will go down sharply, a vast number of college programs and universities will go bankrupt and close their doors, and once the rubble stops bouncing we’ll end up with a higher education system that meets the needs of society, rather than simply providing an endlessly replenished feeding trough for some of the least productive members of the salary class.

    Methylethyl, I’ve come to think that there’s something fairly complex going on here. A vast number of people in the salary class have suddenly realized that their lives suck. The coronavirus outbreak is their way of avoiding having to do something about that; as long as they can pretend that people are dying like flies and it’s impossible to open society back up again, they can work from home or otherwise avoid the lives they’ve made for themselves, without having to do the unthinkable and embrace actual change. As long as that remains in place, nothing you can say will get past the barriers, because if the coronavirus isn’t the Black Death, they have to get up in the morning and go back to their lives.

    Tres Bla, it’s fascinating to watch. We have the same situation over here, of course — a number of the state governors who have been loudest about demanding that everyone else limit their activities have been caught flagrantly disobeying their own guidelines. It doesn’t seem to have sunk in yet that “rules are only for the peons” has passed its pull date.

  30. @Isaac Salamander Hill That’s fascinating, I’ll have to listen to that. He has certainly made a career out of being a blundering but ultimately lovable and cuddly buffoon. But quite why at this particular juncture in our history we the British people should feel compelled to pick a ‘Lord of Misrule’ to be our leader… that’s something I’ll have to ponder. I guess like the Trump phenomenon it may partly be that slick, soi-disant ‘competent’ leaders now inspire distrust and disgust, mirroring as they do the brutally efficient machines of power that have methodically dismantled the working classes’ way of life over the last 50 years… while someone who’s perceived as relatively unpredictable is seen as potential monkey-wrench to chuck in there.

  31. I seem to remember that someone here maybe Darkest Yorkshire is an anime film fan. So if it is our friend in the north of England or if it is someone else what are some of the best anime films. I and my 9 year old daughter would like to get into these but we don’t know which ones are any good. Thanks

  32. Trump is now trying to tact to the left of Biden on criminal justice issues! ( I have to say it would be really ******* embarassing if the Dems lost a substantial portion of the African-American vote to a “fascist”!

    Maybe after COVID-19, ex-prisoners released by the First Step Act can work on the neo-neoclassical architecture of those plans aren’t shelved.

  33. methylethyl–you might try a gentle pushback–“no, _you_ are ‘lucky’ that others are willing to do their jobs so that you have the privilege of staying at home with groceries delivered, take out food brought to your door, new clothes and household items arriving on the Amazon truck, a plumber who will come when your bored toddler flushes his Legos down the john, etc. And yes, who is infected and who has some natural immunity or a strong constitution to survive is a matter of luck, nutrition, good genetics, whatever. That has been the case in every epidemic the human population has faced.”

    I swear I’m surprised the urgent care clinics in some neighborhoods aren’t full of people with their arms sprained from patting themselves on the back for good compliance.

    Now we have Covid sanitation theater to match the security theater we have suffered since 9/11. For example, travel on Amtrak. Masks required in stations and platforms and while moving through the train. Masks can be removed when seated either in coach seat, the observation car, the dining car, or roomettes. However, there are obviously functions in the restroom that one must remove mask for–brushing teeth, washing face, shaving. The restrooms are the size of two phone booths and are not automatically sanitized after each occupant, nor is attendant on hand to do so. Obviously if I am unwittingly infected and wash my face, maybe cough to clear the normal morning phlegm and leave, the next user is walking right into a cloud of virus–some of which may have landed on the paper towel they will grab to dry hands or face, etc. To put this all in perspective, I was traveling on Amtrak to visit a friend who is dying of cancer, recently discovered and totally unrelated to current crisis.

    Another example of sanitation theater, I stop at the door of medical clinic to wash my hands, per instructions. They have installed those outdoor hand washing stations one can see at fairs and other outdoor attractions. Once inside I have to access my wallet for medical card, ATM card, etc. Any study will tell you that my purse is a veritable bundle of contamination–if bacteria and viruses could talk the purse would be like a boombox carried down the street. So, there was absolutely no point in that hand washing or dose of hand sanitizer at the door unless one is going to walk along hands in air like a post-scrub surgeon waiting for their gloves.

    In California I live in one of the few Republican state legislative districts. My rep is sponsoring a bill to try to cut back the emergency powers the governor has claimed. Also to get him to grant more decision making to county and city levels. California is a hugely diverse state and some counties have dense populations while others have more trees than people. Makes no sense to have same regulations for all. Newsom has been handling things fairly well, IMO. He appears to have avoided the major error of insulting Trump–i.e. not biting the Federal hand before asking for help. OTH, when California and other blue states ask for federal money to repair state budgets exhausted by this crisis they are going to face criticism for their lack of cooperation with immigration laws–especially if it seems that any of the money they ask for will go to help illegal immigrants.

    OTH I can’t believe how stupidly some ,mostly Democratic, governors are playing into the hands of those right wing groups who represent liberals as anti-religion. How hard would it have been to say–“good clergy of all faiths–we know you want to serve your congregation’s spiritual needs while also protecting their health. Here are handy guidelines to determine how many people can safely be in your building at one time. Divide that into your membership and schedule more services. Have people make reservations for the service of their choice, online or by phone. We ask that you substitute recorded music for singing by choirs or congregation–the Lord has his own choirs, He won’t miss yours for a few months–please let us know what other information or help you need.” But no–lets rant about how STUPID these church goers are, threaten them, mock them, and confirm their suspicions about liberals hating religion.

    Best wishes to JMG and my commentariat friends.

  34. @methyethyl

    My advice is not to waste your voice shouting in a hurricane. Accept that we are caught up in a societal convulsion. Do your stuff when you can without upsetting people too much. Grieve discreetly for what you can’t, and be patient.

    That being said, I have certainly struggled to follow my own advice at times.

  35. Hi Peter,

    I hope all’s well with you and your family and the [unDruidly] cancellation is not due to a big problem such as sickness.

  36. Dear JMG,

    That makes a lot of sense! Am I correct, though, that the Grand Mutation most especially works for the next twenty years ahead? And then the subsequent Great Conjunction works as a sort of generational chart? So with the chart at hand we would then know that there will be war in twenty years from Winter Solstice 2020, or is it more complex than that? Certainly the Grand Mutation chart probably can’t be treated as a normal ingress chart, but am I correct in thinking that it would give more fine-grained predictions than sometime in the next 199 years?

  37. My thoughts on “Trump Derangement Syndrome:” First, does anyone know where this phrase originated or when it first appeared? Was there a marketing organization, or conservative think tank involved? Certainly several of the previous Presidents inspired similar “derangement” among their critics, but who ever heard of (just for example) “Obama Derangement Syndrome” or “Bush Derangement Syndrome”?

    Mostly, however, I think the so-called TDS is little more than people pointing out the obvious; that this Emperor is naked. Basic sanity and decency, which in my opinion many if not most Americans still possess, should make it necessary to acknowledge the Emperor’s nakedness. I don’t imagine that Trump’s base, including those of the “moral majority,” “family values,” neo-con hawks, neo-liberal de-regulators and privatizers, 2nd Amendment zealots and so forth are blind to the man’s personal qualities, moral character, or conspicuous lack of any. The man’s personal qualities were public knowledge long before he got into politics. Rather, Trump’s supporters understand that the policies and judicial appointments he puts in place will still be around long after this profoundly embarrassing fellow is dust. And consequently they are loath to criticize, no matter what.

    I left out the sizable portion of Trump’s base that opposes wholesale outsourcing of jobs. That’s probably because I count myself a member of this group.

  38. Dear Mr. Archdruid

    For anyone interested in energy economics might I recommend James Kunstlers kunstlercast 329 with Art Berman?

    This is a fascinating discussion about shale oil and the shale industry. Mr. Kunstler is quite adamant about Shale Oil being a ponzi scheme and a fraud and Mr. Berman does not quite agree and lays out a different interpretation of the industry. This is an adult discussion and is a great example of how people can agree to disagree.

    If any of your readers listens to this please remember there are three kinds of time – economics time, finance time, and accounting time. (Note this is not an original idea – I have seen this kicking around the internet but don’t know who to credit) Economics time is based on averages and aggregates e.g. growth in GDP was 2.7% last month, Finance time is based on firm numbers and time frames e.g. Company A revenue was $X last months, and Accounting time is based on accounting rules. One mistake pundits make is to conflate the different types of time. For example, restaurants, oil companies and movies are all money losing ventures in accounting time and Berman addresses the oil company issue.

  39. Hi all,

    As a Canadian, I’m hoping to start posting mundane forecasts for our country. I’d greatly appreciate if people would be willing to give feedback and discuss the material. The 2020 Aries ingress chart will be going up either Friday evening or sometime Saturday, and the eclipse for June by the end of next week. June is a fairly busy astrological month, so I’ll probably spend it just trying to keep up, but after that I’ll try to have each chart at least a week or two in advance.

    Here’s the link to where I’ll be posting things for now. If there’s enough interest, or something happens which convinces me that the free website no longer works, I may pay for a site of my own, but for now I’ll be using a free website while I gauge interest.

    I plan to post a chart for each ingress, eclipse, lunation, and major conjunction (Jupiter through Neptune).

    I’m also the young man who posted about planning to seriously downshift my lifestyle on the Magic Monday, and would like to thank everyone for their support. I plan to post something here each open post discussing how I’m doing and what observations I have.

    For now, my plan on this front for June is apartment hunting, establishing the foundations of spiritual practice, putting together a more firm budget (once I know how much my new home will cost), and spending a good deal of time figuring out where to start my lifestyle changes. For the most part it’ll have to wait until August, as a large number of changes won’t be possible while living with people who will actively resist them, but knowing what I need to do will help with the transition.

    Any advice anyone can offer will be greatly appreciated.

  40. Re Patricia Matthews her post on Obama as a continuation of Dubya; I agree. Obama made the Bush tax cuts permanent. He continued Dubya’s “Global War on Terror” and expanded ti. He continued the TARP bailouts, that began under Dubya if my memory is correct. He “caved” right away on single payer health care without even making a case for it — there was a strong case to be made, but, without a fight, he settled for the weak and nasty compromise with which we’re all familiar. He appointed warmonger Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. He didn’t put up much of a fight over Scalia’s replacement. The list of disappointments faced by those who supported him could become very long…

  41. Hi JMG,

    Thanks for easing the rules around our once-forbidden subject as I am far from bored with it. As an essential worker it’s been in my face 6 days a week since the shutdown began in mid March. I call it PLDS (Pandemic Lockdown Derangement Syndrome)…most of the broad cross section of people I come in contact with are afflicted to some degree.

    Methylethyl, An especially virulent strain of PLDS is apparent in almost all of the more middle class Good People — they’ve incorporated it into their virtue signaling schticks. Getting through to them? I just don’t think it’s possible right now…pray for them.

    To me, the pandemic seems to profoundly mark the just-over-the-peak commencement of our decline and fall. The shock will vary around the world but will be most painful for the US. This seems just and appropriate. John Michael, you’ve been minimizing the pandemic’s impact in your comments thus far so I hope you’ll be willing to share some of your current thoughts on our predicament. Thanks.

  42. JMG,

    Congratulations and thanks for the update on your two books! Very interested in the Magical Lodge book.

    Do you possibly have a reading list for those interested in magical practice – maybe with different levels of beginner, intermediate, and advanced? Also curious if you have a resource that outlines the many magical paths one can take?

    Thank you kindly,

  43. Meng Wanzhou just lost her fight to stop extradition proceedings. Canada and China’s relationship is pretty strained right now, and this will probably make it worse. I really don’t know how they’ll react, but I doubt it will be good.

    China’s relationships with a lot of countries are strained right now, and there’s been a pretty big rise in anti-asian hate crimes in Vancouver this spring.

  44. (mutters curses against the LinkBreaker) The sign up link for the Autumnal Equinox Potluck should be here. I hope….

  45. @Trè Bla: you opined that Boris Johnson “has been elected on the back of a populist, pro-Brexit message, but it’s pretty clear he chose to ride that camel because he identified it as an easy way to power, rather than because it reflects his own inner convictions”.

    In my opinion Johnson’s decision to back Leave in the referendum campaign was an act of astonishing courage. I base this on the feeling I had at the time, that the campaign had virtually no chance of success. Having plodded around distributing a couple of thousand leaflets for Grassroots Out, without much real hope, I was flabbergasted when victory was achieved. I haven’t got over the amazement yet, nor the feeling of gratitude to Johnson and Cummings and Gove for what they did, no matter what happened afterwards. Johnson, in my view, is not good for much else except getting Brexit done, but to restore self-government to one’s country is enough for a lifetime’s achievement.

  46. To Waffles, about marriage. I can give you my two cents as a happily married man.
    There is a huge asymmetry in term of risks and rewards when it comes to marriage. Men take most of the risks, while women get most of the rewards. This has nothing to do with any innate differences but is caused by specific engineered social differences.
    Most men make more money than women due to a long history of sexism while women take most of the money during divorces. This last problem is caused by an unholy alliance between consumerism, corporatism and the state. Women are brainwashed to be consumers so they are allowed to get more money in divorces since they will spend them all anyway.

    In case that sounds paranoid, what do you think of a society that treats women as animals without power of reason? If 2 college kids get drunk and have sex, it’s considered rape for the woman because apparently our culture does not believe women can think for themselves.

  47. Dear Mr. Greer – The Atlantic Magazine has been running an interesting series, about Q Anon in particular and conspiracy theories, in general. There was some talk about Q Anon morphing into a kind of religious movement. Thoughts? Lew

  48. Thanks to whomever it was who posted the link to Stephen Wolfram’s blog on the tentative unified theory of physics! ( I have had fun playing with whether I could find correspondences to the Tree. While Wolfram manages to be, I think, quite readable for even someone who doesn’t particularly like abstract mathematics, I may still be way out in the bleachers – posted in case it’s of interest to anyone else 😉

    First, I should also note that the dichotomy of the manifestation of religions focusing on Time, vs those focusing on Space from God is Red also lead to me ascribing time – the sequencing acts in the equation – to the Pillar of Form, and space – the structure that emerges – to the Pillar of Force. This might seem backwards at first, but it fits best in my napkin thesis. Also, obviously the Cosmic Doctrine can be worked in there… And since it’s a hypergraph of a universe, the metaphor of “first” is just “the simplest irreducible example” of each equation…

    Kether – The first sequence. Prior to any rules, but when *something* that can be acted on emerges { (1,2), (2,3), (3,4)}.

    Aleph is the first movement that contains the whole potential of the Tree within it – when the first rule is chosen, {(x,y), (x,z)} -> {(x,z), (x,w), (y,w), (z,w)}. The universe (of infinite potentials) is chosen.

    Chokmah – The first application of the chosen rule. Space, dimensionality, emerges from the potential of the rule on a Word (Space begins to move, the Word is spoken).

    Binah – the first structure of the hypergraph is created. This the root structure, the template or skeleton on which all further permutations are formed. This governs what the shape can be, but we can’t see it yet. Now time exists, as structures can now beget structures – accretion of space can occur. Ring cosmos.

    Chesed – the firsts beginnings of the structure where its intrinsic dimensionality can be perceived. The mathematical order and “3-D shape” – for those of us creatures that perceive space in 3 dimensions! – of the hypergraph function emerges. Ring chaos is generated from the flow of space.

    Geburah – the emergence of causal invariance. Up to this point, each application of the rule adds to the overall structure. Paths and space branch and branch…But at this point, applications of the rule in some places on the ‘growth surface’ of our shape causes branches and space to remerge. Destruction of new potentials, determined by the innate underlying rule that caused the potential to emerge in the first place. Ring-pass-not.

    Tiphareth – Up until now, we have made a “computationally irreducible structure”. But now, out of the irreducibly complex hypergraph, pockets of embedded reducibility emergy (“whenever there’s computational irreducibility in a system, there are also an infinite number of pockets of computational reducibility”). Parts of the equation of varying dimensions and complexity repeat. Vortices.

    Netzach – when the rule is being applied, different ‘paths’ form. Like a family tree, branching and branching. At Geburah, those began to merge again, which leads to the existence of cross-connections between multipaths. This leads to a feature of the structure that there are nodes of connection between the reducible structures. This continues to hold the reducible structures together in the irreducible whole rather than resulting in them flying further apart at the ‘growing surface’. The classic Netzach-Geburah relationship. (Atoms form?).

    Hod – “the inexorable process of things happening”, the continuous progressive application of rules leading to new multipath formation from each new rule application following the same general principle of the hypergraph. If you know the rule, you can apply it anywhere the hypergraph hasn’t had the rule applied yet. But at this point, the rule is very complex…

    A feature of the universe-graph making rule was “find two connections and update them thusly”. But the rule doesn’t say which two connections. So computationally, we have been just updating them ALL simultaneously. But sometimes when you update the rule, the branches will merge again simultaneously, because of the shape that was already achieved in that area. Some paths can grow longer, and some won’t. If you watch long enough from the growing edge, you might be able to predict what will happen next, because there is a pattern… and you can also begin to guess what went before.

    Yesod – The perception of the hypergraph from any reducible pocket (“how observers might experience this causal graph”. You can see the time and the space that results, but you can only infer that there is an equation behind it, because there is a symmetry there, but at this point the complexity is so high, you can’t guess at it’s true nature. You can use the perception of it to predict and communicate a little with other parts of the hypergraph in any direction. The problem is, you are a reducible equation, 2-D in a 3-D shape, if you will. If you try to follow it in time – follow a path – you will lose sight of the fact that everything was still connected and the universe is not just the path you picked, though that is part of it. If you try to grok the shape, you will quickly get to math over your head with only one iteration up. You can only perceive in slices, foliations of the causal graph. But you can perceive far, if you follow a path, then look at the space in the next foliation up… but remember always it was only one path out of several you took at each branching, and space forms in all directions from each one you didn’t take, too!

    Malkuth – What the ‘bleeding edge’ accretion of spacetime looks like to a reducible pocket, right on the surface, where there are connections available to be made, unfilled updates of the equation. It looks random until it doesn’t.

    The ramifications, using this schema, of a Personality being the temporary outgrowth of the updating equation from a particular set of nodes on ‘reducible pocket’ of an Individuality is what I’m working through, now.

  49. JMG, that citation is familiar to me! The utopianism of certain political groups get ever more lurid by the day.

    About the comment of Methylethyl I would like to add my own observation: in the circle of my acquaintances there have been exactly two or three persons, whom said acquaintances know, who did get the coronavirus. One old school friend mentioned someone with an age above 90 years, who died of the coronavirus. And in Germany there, too, were demonstrations against the lockdowns.

  50. Just as it is thought to be worthwhile posthumously to clear the name of someone who’s been wrongfully executed, I feel inclined to do the same for a word that has wrongfully been pronounced bad.

    Preamble: the heroes of the civil rights movement and their predecessors, Martin Luther King and Ralph Bunche and WEB Du Bois, were not fools. They could not afford to be. They were highly intelligent men, strongly motivated to oppose anything demeaning that had been dished out to their people. Very far indeed from being gullible fools.

    Therefore, if there had been anything bad in the denotation of the word “Negro”, King et al. would not have failed to notice it. They would have denounced the word. But they did not denounce it; on the contrary they used it themselves to denote their own people. Therefore I conclude that the word is innocent. (And since it’s just the Spanish word for “black”, what do politically correct Spaniards do about it, anyway?)

    Of course it’s too late to resurrect the term. I myself am as vulnerable to brainwashing as anyone, and though my intellect tells me one thing, my emotions would play me false and make me feel irrationally guilty if I were to use the word “Negro” now, besides getting me denounced as a racist. So why bring up the subject at all?

    Two reasons. Firstly, intellectual curiosity. I would like some black person to explain why he/she doesn’t feel that the cumbersome (16 characters including the hyphen) and condescending term “African American” is not something to be resented. (I say “condescending” because of course nobody calls whites “European Americans”. And yet American blacks are almost all over two centuries away from Africa, whereas whites are actually likely to be chronogically closer to Europe.)

    Secondly, and more importantly, I feel that modern society is frighteningly riddled with a rapidly evolving list of similarly irrational verbal taboos. After the execution of “Negro”, what next? No word is safe. If this verbicidal syndrome is ever to be counteracted, it will happen by folks complaining about it – as I do now.

  51. David BTL, many thanks for this as always.

    Peter, thanks for this. I’ll look forward to the autumn equinox!

    Waffles, there are a lot of failed and half-failed marriages out there, and a lot of men who feel trapped in marriage because they know that they’ll be taken to the cleaners by the divorce courts if they call it quits. I’ve been happily married for the last 36 years, so I think I can say from experience that when a marriage works it’s a wonderful thing…but it doesn’t always work, and when it fails it can turn into a living hell. The moral to this story is be very careful, and don’t rush into anything you may regret for a long, long time.

    Untipo, Michael Moore committed an unforgivable sin — he pointed out that, no, it’s not going to be possible for the comfortable classes to keep their absurdly extravagant lifestyles going on renewable resources. (He’s quite correct in that, as it happens.) Thus he’s in the process of being cast into the outer darkness, just like anyone else who tries to tell the comfortable classes something they don’t want to hear. It’ll be interesting to see what he does once he’s been consigned to the abyss; if that experience makes him ask questions about some of the other bits of self-serving dogma being retailed by the mainstream, the results will at least be entertaining.

    ABQ, a genuine omen! It was common back in the day for people to open the Bible at random for an omen (the sortes Apostolorum, that custom was called) or Virgil’s Aeneid (the sortes Virgilianae). I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone using the sortes Finneganae before, but you’ve offered quite the convincing demonstration — all the more so because the “brekkek kekkek” is based on the famous chorus from Aristophanes’ The Frogs

    And I’m wondering about those fishygods, too. Dagon? Great Cthulhu himself? 😉

    Pygmycory, many thanks for the data points! I’m glad to hear that things are going well for you.

    John, you could do a lot worse than check out the free Philosophers of Nature courses here. Those are pretty much the gold standard these days.

    Barefootwisdom, I’ve expanded the discussion of lodge magic to include discussions of godforms, mediating energies, and polarity work, and revised the discussion of lodge governance quite a bit in the light of later experience. I’d say maybe 10% of the material is different.

    David, fascinating. I don’t think you can get the industry to think in those terms. On the other hand, you and any other people in the industry who have a clue can start trying to rough out an outline of how to handle the future we’re actually going to get…

  52. There’s an Adam Curtis documentary series called Century of the Self that reveals something about both sociological alchemy, and the dangers of leaving the alchemical process unfinished. Part of the story features humanistic psychotherapy, including among others Carl Rogers’ peron-centred therapy. Its aim was to empower the individual as much as possible and turned out to be one of the most powerful social solvents the world has ever seen. It seemed to be able to break down any authoritarian structure. The methods were tried on the nuns of one of the largest convents in America and almost all of them left, leaving behind a tiny group of radical lesbian nuns.

    Humanistic psychology become one of the primary ideals and methods of the counterculture and was prominent in Esalen and EST training. But it only dissolved existing belief structures and put nothing in their place. People who went through it felt tremendous liberation, but then became easy pickings for the ideology of the society they were still immersed in. It took marketers a while to figure out how to sell to this new segment, but then they became enthusiastic consumers. This was a big part of the reason why so many hippies became yuppies. That’s what you get if you do solve without coagula.

    Interestingly black radicals saw the danger early on and vigorously rejected it. The attitude seems to have persisted, with a recent video about black psychoanalysts where one had patients who directly say “Don’t mess with my anger. I need that.”

  53. Hi John

    I wasn’t intending to comment on Cummingsgate, which I find rather dull to be honest, but this has been seized upon by the pro-EU forces within the British media and political class to try and force Cummings (the brains behind Brexit campaign) out of office.

    Whilst I’m sure questions can be asked about his decision to drive (I’ve looked into it in detail and think that his actions are defendable based upon a very loose interpretation of the lock down guidelines) I get why others may not feel the same way.

    Still, the government is now loosening the restrictions which should help matters in the coming months.

    Eurointelligence had a good take on it today:

    “The political reality of the spectacle of the last five days is that Johnson is six months into a five-year term, with an unassailable 80-seat majority and no party-leadership rival. He can spend some of the political capital he has amassed. When the next elections are held, in four years or so, this will have blown over.

    Cummings is probably the most-hated political figure in the UK right now. He is also surprisingly unpopular among Tories. He was not only the mastermind behind the Brexit campaign, but he is also bypassing many of the usual channels through which government works. It is totally unsurprising that the media are zooming in on him the way they did. But beware of confounding what you want to happen with what you expect to happen. His demise has been wrongly predicted many times before. The same pundits who supported the second referendum were those who hyperventilate the most about Cummings. UK political commentators are very predictable. Only a few manage to separate their own personal political views from their analysis.”

    My actual question revolves this recent article on a L shaped economic recovery (after a short economic recovery starting later on this year) as predicted by Mr Roubini.

    I would be interested in your thoughts on his predictions for this decade, in particular his forecast of stagnation, a higher inflationary wave coming by mid-2020’s and huge problems dealing with the massive private debts and ageing population.

  54. @Robert Gibson I hear you. I’m not going to disagree, it is a formidable and praiseworthy achievement. Courageous too? Perhaps. You’re right that Brexit looked like a no-hoper to many people until it actually happened.

    Maybe I didn’t phrase that too well. I guess what I meant is that from my own perspective, Johnson has never appeared a man of principle so much as a very determined megalomaniac. Ultimately it’s impossible to truly descry another’s motives. And of course we can still owe him gratitude for what he has done, regardless of the intent behind it – that’s assuming he actually delivers the Brexit he’s promised. But his behaviour during this Cummings debacle is only the latest of many instances that really makes me wonder about the guy. I really think in many ways he’s just another nihilistic politician, unable to give a straight answer, constantly seeking to evade and obfuscate because ultimately none of his slogans reflect a core of genuine values or convictions.

    At the same time, I’m wary of demonising the guy. There’s probably no one alive, not even the most depraved sociopath, for whom power and power alone is their singular motive. I could quite readily believe that Brexit appeals to him at least partly on the basis of a certain aristocratic pride about our former imperial ‘greatness’. But I also think he saw through the mainstream media’s vaticinations, realised Brexit was actually possible, and made an intelligent political gamble. I do still think power is his main bag. Which, again, isn’t to say he can’t be a useful ally – so long as we know who we’re working with.

  55. All around me, I’m seeing entire families forced to collapse who are nowhere near ready. Many who were relatively well positioned on the salary class totem pole are now finding out that they truly were just one disaster away from losing everything. Had I gone the same route as they did years ago, I would be in the same position: a huge house full of under-used space that must be heated in the wintertime and air-conditioned in the summertime, sky high property taxes to be near the other “good” people whose children attend the “good” schools, and no practical skills, not even the modest skill of mending my own pants or using a weedwhacker, to get me through a financially rough time.

    I am glad I can’t afford the prices of plants at the local hardware store or garden center because I’ve learned how to propagate plants. I’m glad I cannot afford infinite take out meals because I’ve learned how to cook. I’m glad I have no interest in the latest gaming technology/social media/paid cable TV package because I’ve learned how to avoid certain time-wasting electronic stimuli. Necessity is the mother of invention.

    The fear-mongering Covidiot Karen class that caused the collapse is finally beginning to feel the effects of the collapse, I think. Karma is coming home to roost for those ugly wishes thrown around for a second wave that never happened, and I think the salary class is about to get hit. For instance, colleges and universities seem to be teetering on a precipice of insolvency that’s far worse than before. If you are in the salary class, my instinct would be to get out while you still can. Of course I could be wrong.

  56. @ABQ Desert Cat, JMG. I’ve actually heard somebody before recommending the use of Finnegans Wake for bibliomancy. That is truly brilliant though! Rarely do you get an answer more cut-and-dry than that. Case closed.

  57. Aidan, Trump’s been to the left of the Democrats on that issue for a long time now. Here’s something on the subject from that notoriously pro-Trump rag, the WaPo. One of the great vulnerabilities the Democrats have this time around is that they’ve been promising African-Americans the moon for years, and doing almost nothing; now Trump’s doing what the Democrats promised, and it’s shaking things up good and proper.

    Violet, I’m still exploring that, by examining the great conjunctions between the 1842 Grand Mutation and now. I’ll get back to you and everyone when I can say something more specific.

    Phutatorius, I don’t happen to know where the term “Trump Derangement Syndrome” comes from. My take, for what it’s worth, is that the level of high weirdness on display among Trump’s opponents is very significantly higher than the frantic partisan hatreds we saw after the last half dozen elections. The losing sides shrieked insults at Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama in their turn, and trotted out the usual quota of bizarre claims and over-the-top conspiracy theories — do you remember when Bush II was going to overturn the Constitution and herd us all into concentration camps? I certainly do — but from my perspective, certainly, the degree of bizarrerie directed at Trump is more extreme, and accompanied by signs of genuine derangement to a degree I don’t recall seeing in US politics in my lifetime.

    A1, thanks for this. That’s a fascinating point about time — can you direct me to something written that covers this in more detail?

    Kevin, huzzah! I’ll look forward to seeing your predictions. My hope is that eventually classic mundane astrology will become a common department of astrological studies, with lively discussions each quarter about what the upcoming ingress does and does not imply.

    Jim W, I think the impact of the outbreak is going to vary dramatically from place to place and from state to state — and especially from social class to social class. There are massive shifts in process, some of them far from obvious — did you know, for example, that since the outbreak became serious, car sales have dropped like a rock while bicycle sales have shot up? The current crisis seems to be pushing several long-building situations to the point of sudden change — but I’m not yet sure what’s going to come of it.

    Rebecca, that would require a book, and a big one. There are hundreds if not thousands of different magical paths, and each of them would require a different reading list! Nor am I qualified to set out anything of the sort for more than the dozen or so paths with which I’ve had significant experience. It’s a wide, wild world out there, amd our knowledge of magic is still recovering from the disastrous impacts of religious persecution in the Middle Ages and the scientific revolution more recently.

    Pygmycory, that ought to heat things up good and proper!

    Lew, it seems entirely plausible to me. After all, the disinformation campaign that created the UFO movement spawned more than one religion.

    Pixilated, a good solid meditation! Thanks for this.

    Booklover, no one I know has been officially diagnosed with the coronavirus. I do know a bunch of people who had symptoms, treated themselves at home, and recovered promptly.

  58. @ jbucks and coping with idiots that you don’t want to cope with.

    Take a bag with you every time you visit that park and pick up trash. Wear latex gloves if you remember. Otherwise, just wash your hands well when you get home.

    That’s what my husband and I do. We adore each other by the way. We regularly walk up to the Friendly’s and back and all kinds of trash gets strewn there, both by morons and by the wind sweeping across the cornfields.

    The only solution is picking up the trash ourselves. Interestingly, the more we pick up trash, the less trash there is. If there is no visible trash, idiots are less likely to toss trash out their window when driving by. If there’s loads of litter, then idiots driving by *know* that no one cares and it’s okay to use this area as a giant rubbish tip.

    I can’t control idiots. I can control my picking up the trash where I walk and I can control how much better this area looks and I *know* that if I remove and bag the trash, it’s not there anymore.

    Sometimes, but not always, it is possible to get the larger, corporate body to notice certain types of trash.

    A few years back, someone at the Reese factory was regularly tossing beer bottles out their car window. I deduced this over a period of a year based on the brand (always the same), the location of the bottles (flung far out into the grassy median where no one would walk) and timing (never over the weekend and never during certain shifts). I complained to the local paper. I complained to the police department (empty beer bottles are an indication of driving while drunk). I complained to the security staff at Reese. I would end up picking up the empties myself and recycling them when I got home.

    Nothing changed until I started leaving the empties stacked up, in plain sight, at the turn-off into Reese’s main gate. Every single employee driving to work saw the stack of empties every day.

    After a few weeks of this, I stopped finding empty beer bottles in the grass.

    I controlled what I could control and the universe answered. I don’t know what changed, but something did.

  59. JMG,

    I wouldn’t put money on Joe Biden winning this November, but he might. it occurs to me that given his rather tenuous mental state, whoever he picks for VP is someone we should look at as potentially our next president (in a year or so after the election). I would think that his choice would be made less by him then by the party leadership. Given that, I would think that whoever is chosen would be a clue as to the direction the party plans to take.

    Does that make sense? Your thoughts?


  60. It also helps that the Trump administration has been attentive to the less politically salient issue of occupational licensing. It is grown significantly since the 1980s and it turns a lot of men with criminal records into Jean Valjean from Les Miserables (one in three black men).

    A major (if not the main) contribution to “wokeness” in the past decade has to do with two words: Real…Estate. Real estate is like sex; the desire for it is a subliminal motivation for so much human behavior it would be scandalous to mention it!

    For decades, white liberal elites have been trying to push poor blacks out of desirable real estate in the town centres of major cities. In the 1970s and 1980s, there was a conspiracy among the African-American community of D.C. simply known as “The Plan” whereby whites were trying the take back the city through pricing out blacks (,_D.C.)). Earlier, in the 1960s, James Baldwin said it best: “Urban renewal means Negro removal.”

    Over the past decade, they finally succeeded. Before the death of Michael Brown, who ever heard of Ferguson, Missouri? From many of these gentrifiers, being woke was a way of allieving their guilt of pushing blacks our of their homes (even Harlem!) to be at the mercy of suburban white racists ;-)!

  61. Yorkshire, I tend to sum up the entire results of the “century of the self” with the title of that thoughtful but inconclusive book by James Hillman and Michael Ventura, We’ve Had A Hundred Years Of Psychotherapy And The World’s Getting Worse. The entire premise of the psychoanalytic revolution — that therapy could solve the world’s problems by making us all better people — has at this point been conclusively disproved, and Rogerian therapy’s a good example of why. To my mind, it’s not just solve without coagula — it replaces one set of unthinking beliefs (for example, those of the Catholic nuns) with another (that of Carl Rogers).

    Forecastingintelligence, fair enough. It was an utterly tone-deaf thing for Cummings to do, but you’re right that it doesn’t change BoJo’s overall position. As for Roubini, he’s predicted something like twenty of the last six recessions; I don’t tend to consider him a good source for accurate predictions these days. The broader question of the shape of the post-Coronavirus economy is more complex, because all this happened in the middle of a massive economic realignment caused by the twilight of economic globalization. Here in the US, as tariffs and deregulation get the manufacturing economy going again, upper-end retail and a range of other economic sectors that cater to the upper 20% are in steep declines while small business in flyover states are booming. So there will be a V-shaped recovery for some sectors, a U-shaped recovery for others, an L-shaped recovery or worse for still others, and for some, what I suppose you could call a J-shaped recovery, in which the impact of the shock turns into a driver of major growth in the years ahead.

    Kimberly, that’s one of the patterns I’m watching with utter fascination.

    Tres Bla, fair enough — the sortes Finneganae is now formally enrolled in the list of divinatory systems. Brekkek kekkek!

    AV, it makes perfect sense, even though I don’t think Biden has a chance at this point. Watch what happens to the Democratic ticket from here on and you’ll have a very precise read of what the Democratic elite wants.

    Aidan, that’s an excellent point.

  62. In terms of people I know who’ve had the coronavirus, my cousin had it. He is fine now. The cousin of a friend also had it, and is now fine. Both cousins are in the UK, and fairly young


    bike sales are way up here, too, but what is WAY down apart from car use is transit ridership, despite free boarding. I think some of the new cyclists may be transit riders who don’t have cars and are now afraid to use transit, or unsure if transit will continue to meet their needs. This is a large part of why I just bought a kick scooter.

    The lack of ridership has resulted in gaping holes in Translink’s budget that Vancouver has refused to fill, and slashed routes and bus schedules. Bowen Island lost bus service entirely to many areas, leaving people in the lurch for a week or so. One thing I’m wondering about is if this pandemic is going to wreck or reduce the transit systems in many areas. This seems like a move in the wrong direction, though if they’re moving to bikes rather than cars that isn’t so bad.

  63. @methylethyl I feel ya. I mean, I’m not an essential service worker, I’m solidly in the PMC class working at home (my teacher husband gets to go back to work in person next week), but I basically can’t talk to anyone anymore.

    In addition to what JMG said, I think it’s This Was Not the Plan. They can’t compute the world having its own plan. People in the precarious wage class are used to that. People of even only a little more means had it all mapped out, and nothing is allowed to restart at all until they can get it back right on track. They were doing the Right Things, the Experts said this was how to Win at Life.

    And this is where it’s starting to get interesting, because these were the Obey the Experts people. When the experts told them to hole up, they did. Everyone was at risk, and any time you don’t believe it, here come the news stories of indiscriminate death right on time. Now the same experts say they have the data that show kids are basically not at risk. Like… They don’t get sick, they don’t transmit, they might not really get infected with the same exposure. Whatever is going on in UK or NY, it’s something that doesn’t match Canadian data. The BC CDC advise playgrounds are safe, we’re opening schools, but parents are insistent they’re wrong. Because if the experts can change their advice… If what is being shouted loudest from the news and pundits might not be right… If what the right thing is varies by local circumstance… If you have to keep living a life despite uncertainty… Were they ever really winning? Or, worse, could the world be even bigger than they thought?

    I’ve decided that I’ll just have to learn to live with the loneliness of not being able to connect for awhile; it’s a fair trade for what they’re learning to live with that I already felt comfortable with, I guess.

  64. Hi JMG & comentariat

    I am suffering from a extreme lack of vitality & strength and some light dizziness in the last week, as if a vampire was sucking my blood, my daughter also was dizzy last afternoon when outdoor with her friends, and two of my sisters have the same strong sensation of weakness; the weather here is warm but still far from the warmer period of the summer and I normally I do not have this kind of weakness even in the extreme southern Spain summer, so I am trying to figure out if it is something “in the air” that could have change recently, in the atmosphere or outside it; and no, I do not think we have the corona virus, may be is nothing at the end, but I would like to know if some of you have similar sensations.


  65. I don’t have a question, but on a recent post we lamented that we weren’t aware of a good Transactional Analysis book to recommend to people. I’ve since discovered an excellent one, and I want to pass it along to you and your readers.

    TA Today (2nd edition) by Ian Stewart and Vann Joines does an excellent job of covering everything from Berne to the most recent elaborations, and when there are disagreements in the field, they fairly acknowledge it and try to settle on something usable for the reader. It also has tons of exercises for the reader to learn TA by analyzing themselves. Some of the topics are quite introdate and may be more useful to therapists, but all of it’s interesting. Technical, yet very readable.

  66. Hi JMG,

    I notice Biden consistently polls ahead of Trump right now. Polls can be, and often are, jiggered to tell the client what he wants to hear—but not always. Some polls are honest. I’m hoping Biden’s polls are jiggered. I think Trump ‘s the least awful of the two, because he’s not as senile as Biden (he sounds like he’s in the early stage). Also, I fear the Biden candidacy is a way to sneak Hillary in; if the president ‘s incapable of serving, the VP has to take over.

    Does anyone else have concerns about how long the rest of the world is going to tolerate the dangerously nutty U.S. ruling class?

  67. Dear JMG,

    That makes a lot of sense, and thank you for doing that research! My little dive into Civil War era mundane astrology really showed me how much work really needs to go into thinking about historical charts, and how as the old Rabbis used to say “one book opens another,” while doing a little bit of research into eclipses I saw that there was a solar eclipse in 1860 IIRC visible from the United States. I’ve not yet looked into in depth, although it certainly seems to spell out what lay immediately ahead. I find that I really like looking at past events through the lens of astrology and find it enormously helpful as a way of organizing my understanding of the past, both personally and more historical. It is, though, a lot of work!

  68. Hi, I thought you’d be interested in a division that’s popped up in the Dissident Right sphere on twitter and online. It’s between old school White Nationalists and a new breed of Third Positionsists lead by Keith Woods from Ireland. The idea of Third Position (not a new idea, think WWII Italy) is that we need to blend Nationalism, Fascism, environmentalism (not the fake kind), Socialism and some parts of capitalism (private property, small biz).
    The old white nats are busy calling Keith a Marxist, Commie, and all the tired slurs bcz he advocates ditching late stage liberal capitalism, ie Amazon, Apple, Bezos, Zuckerberg, etc. Radical leftist (Antifa) now support all these billionaires / biz and are just useful Idiots for the liberal elites. Third Positionists doesn’t see any difference between the left n right from the early 80’s.
    Anyway, it’s quite a battle that I’m sure you’d enjoy but I know you’re not on twitter. Keith Woods would be interesting for you to talk with. He’s in his mid 20’s but has a firm grasp on the bigger picture, philosophy, US politics just like you. When he writes an essay , I’ll send it to you.
    I hadn’t even heard of Third Position till a month ago and now I realize I’ve been one since I went down the Eco Fascist rabbit hole in 1989. Strange times.

  69. @Kevin – when I left home, my first step was to check into what used to be a motel and had been converted into one-room apartments. I only planned to stay there while I studied for my accounting exams, which I was having enormous trouble doing at home, and I only took the sort of suitcase you take for visiting relatives. When I realized I did not want to go back, I signed up for another month, got my stuff into the car, and bugged out. It couldn’t have happened if I hadn’t inherited the car from my mother’s estate. The place had a kitchenette, and for privacy, I moved a large bookcase in between the bed and the window, with the backside of it as an extra ledge.

    Another place I could have looked, especially in late May or early August, would have been the student ghetto.

    Pat, one of the more overaged runaways.

  70. I remember a lot of the Obama, and even Bush bashing; I was able to hear it from here, on Brazil.

    For Trump, the noises are quite louder. But to be frank, I think unfortunately America is going insane. No matter who wins, the screaming will be ever louder with every next election, until something will break hard.

    This is happening here too. Our media hates the current right-wing president with passion, even more than the former line of left-wing ones. It brought to my mind the weird thought that maybe there is some neutrality after all–they “hate” the politicians, no matter the party they belong to.

    Another thing that brought me peace was realizing that all the talk about fake news is just people rediscovering gossip in the internet age. It took, though, a lot of personal teeth gnashing to arrive at this point.

  71. Eastern and Southern Americans, do you have 17-year cicadas yet? We’re supposed to have them this year, but not a peep so far, and it’s almost June. I suspect the unusually cold spring weather killed them as they emerged.

    I remember standing at a roadside corn stand outside Cincinnati last time, and the proprietor and I having to shout at each other to be heard. Those things are LOUD! Cicadas, not corn. Although it is possible to hear corn grow, early in the season. Stand in the field on a quiet night and you’ll hear very faint squeaking sounds, like balloons rubbing together. If you can catch a quiet night, what with planes going overhead, the sound of traffic, frogs bellowing, dogs barking, owls 🦉 hooting and screeching… The reputation of the countryside for peace and quiet is greatly exaggerated.

  72. On a lighter note: placing Voyage to Hyperborea right after Dreamlands threw a vivid light on Miriam’s rousing speech to the faculty Senate in Dreamlands, in which she mentioned the intellectual stagnation that resulted when junior academics were told what to think. I can just picture the looks of the faces of the entire Linguistics department at that point! With Hamilton Broward, sniffing and leading the opposition.

    Or would he have looked at what Clark Noyes was really offering and realized his own neck would have been on the line? Or even have had a senior professor’s distaste for the bureaucrats (including Dr.Noyes!) proposing the deal.

    Re: Odin and biscuits and gravy – and my recent (re)reading – I can just see Odin approaching Captain Coldcroft, mentioning that they’re in the same business, and proposing an alliance come Ragnarok. Because they are in the same business!

  73. Territorial instincts go way back. Read Robert Ardrey’s “The Territorial Imperative”, which inspired the ape-man scenes of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    Many would violently disagree with my opinion that the Golden Age of Black Power was in the decades immediately following the Civil Rights Era (1970s and 1980s).

    You may recall a time when practically every major city in America had a black mayor. Black mayors whose reputations ranged from the highly respectable – Maynard Jackson and Andrew Young of Atlanta (1974-1982; 1990-1994 & 1982-1990) [1] and Tom Bradley of Los Angeles (1973-1993) – to the intermediary – Harold Washington of Chicago (1983-1987) and David Dinkins of NYC (1990-1993) – to the infamous – the crack-smoking Marion Berry of Washington D.C. (1979-1991; 1995-1999) and the hostile racist Coleman Young of Detroit (1974-1994) [2]

    [1] Both mayors came directly out of the Civil Rights Movement, built constructive alliances with the white suburbs, and turned the capitol of the Old Confederacy into a dynamic, cosmopolitan centre of the 1996 Olympics and one of the most prosperous African-American communites in the US.

    [2] Ze’ev Chafets’ “Devil’s Night and Other True Tales of Detroit” (1990) is good on what happened to Detroit under Mayor Coleman Young. Chafets compares Young to a post-colonial leader in Africa – a tribal leader who consolidated power around a black power message, cult of personality, and huge megaprojects that compensated for industrial decline and white flight.

    Con –


  74. Waffles,

    I’ve been happily married for half as long as our host; just gets better every day. And you wouldn’t believe the shale we’ve been through together – desperate poverty, total mental paradigm shifts…

    We were scientific rationalists when we got married 18 years ago, and agreed to NEVER have children. Now we have two very lovely children – son 10 and daughter 12 – and practice natural and ritual magic, and feng shui (like regular household adaptations for flying star influences feng shui) daily.

    Communication and adoration. We have both of those in spades.

    Get married if you find the right person. It’s totally worth it.

    A Dude

  75. Thank you for hosting this blog, Mr. Greer, it is ever and always interesting to read the comments and your replies.

    (1) I second A1’s recommendation of James Howard Kunstler’s recent podcast interview with Art Berman.

    (2) On an entirely unrelated note, I have a dear friend named Karen, a person who, so it happens, is the soul of kindness. I should think it must be rather unpleasant for her and the many people in this world named Karen to see their first name used as a slur. It should be possible to do better than this.

    (3) @Teresa from Hershey, thanks for that story about the bottles.

  76. @ AV, Aidan, JMG

    Re Nov, Biden, and the Dems

    I keep seeing proclamations of how “Biden could be the most liberal president in history” and other such nonsense, in addition to his widening lead over Trump in (someone’s) polling. His (Biden’s) most recent foot-in-mouth exercise about “if you’re having trouble choosing between me and Trump then you aren’t black” sums everything up nicely.

    If Trump does perform significantly better than the 8% of black voters he pulled in four years ago (say 15% or 20%), I’m wondering what excuse the Dem establishment will trot out to (try to) explain those folks away.

    As for the VP slot, I’m still thinking it’s Harris.

    If Trump wins in Nov, does anyone here think that such an event might *finally* extract a once-noble party’s head from its collective posterior so that it might return to its roots as an organization for the common man? Or has it done sold its soul at this point and committed itself to being the (economic globalist) opposition party to whatever economic nationalist party forms around the Trump-strewn rubble of what once was the GOP?

    @Teresa (from Hershey)

    “[You] can’t control idiots” is a valuable thing to remember these days. You might think of selling bumper stickers 🙂

  77. Hey jmg

    I remember a comment that you made about how that though though there is sacred mathematics in the form of geometry, no one has used other disciplines like calculus in that way.

    It has occurred to me that maybe cellular automata may be used for esoteric purposes.
    Apart from teaching people how complex things can arise from simple rules I imagine you could use them in a similar way that mandalas are used, creating them as a form of meditation or ritual or visualising them as a concentration exercise.

    Does this seem plausible to you?

  78. Methyl,

    I’ve had the same experience. Case in point, two days ago at the grocery store I ran into the president of the local Master Gardeners chapter, who run our farmers market. I told her we were defecting to a new market just south of the town to our north, right on the main highway, adjacent to the Amish Market, very high profile. She was very sad, we are good friends, but I told her we just couldn’t wait any longer for them to decide it was OK for us to all meet in the sunshine (the best antibiotic there is) to make a living again.

    I told her that, as a biologist, it was hard for me to imagine that we haven’t all been exposed to the coronavirus at this point – multiple strains of it, repeatedly, actually – and that wearing a mask was silly, and didn’t seem like a scientific perspective to me at all. (Something the size of a virus doesn’t even notice your mask, of course, nor the walls of your house.)

    Then it devolved into “well, my Dad is 91, and I’d just hate to be the one who brought it to him and killed him…blah, blah, blah…the gov hasn’t even lifted the lockdown for elderly citizens…blah, blah, blah…”

    All I could think was, “and you’re prohibiting me, a 46 year old contributing member of our economy, from making a living with your virtue-signalling, I mean “abundance of caution.” F- your 91 year-old father!

    He’s was a drag on the economy before this all started. (Sorry, I’ve just had more than I can take of this shale.)

    I’ve also heard the building lament of essential workers about how they didn’t have to wear masks during the height of the lockdown, and we were just fine then, why do we have to wear them now?? And every time I do my health suffers from it.

    Which of course it does. All you’re doing is trapping moisture, germs, and increased CO2 levels right up against your face.

    Anyway, thank you for being out there in the trenches, and I’m sorry if you have to wear a mask to work now. If it were my choice I’d tell them where they could stuff all those filthy masks and gloves. And it wouldn’t be the nearest overflowing trashcan either.

    How much more trash has this nonsense generated than our usual embarrassing pile, do you figure?

  79. John,
    What is your opinion of the Martinist Order, and do you believe there is still a legitimate Martinist tradition?

    Good to see Zeihan name dropped here. I’ve been a fan of his work since last year. I’m not saying I agree with everything he says, but it has been fun to read his books and his blog over the past few months and see his predictions come true (sometimes within days). I appreciate his ability to look past political opinion and say what’s ACTUALLY going on based on raw data and statistics regardless of what he feels about it. That’s rare these days. I also know of a certain Archdruid who is quite good at that as well. 😉

  80. JMG, ABQ Desert Cat, and Violet,

    Okay, that’s a “wow” moment for me. Aristophanes’s Frogs came into my mind for the first time in years on Tuesday evening, as I literally heard a chorus of frogs start to sing while in prayer. I was moved to leave a comment on Violet’s blog about it literally just a few hours ago, as I felt a connection with what she has been writing lately there:

    “‘Frogs’, like all of Aristophanes’ known plays, is a boisterous, juvenile, and sharp-edged comedy with a serious job to do. Not unlike its star, Dionysus, who was also the god being celebrated at the festival it premiered at. It also includes a chorus of frogs, who sing ‘Brek-kek-kek-kek’ (that is the original Greek) as Dionysus leaves the land of the living to journey into the underworld. Which happens to be what a chorus of alt-righters were singing roughly at the same time that you wrote that Dionysus left the building in the subculture you belonged to.”

    Indeed, maybe it’s just the synchronicity speaking, but there may indeed be an omen here. I find it relevant to note that this thought came while in prayer to Mars; also that the Orphic hymn that I had just perfomed calls on Mars to yield to Bacchus/Dionysus (the star of Frogs): “stay, furious contests, and avenging strife, whose works with woe, embitter human life”. May we follow the advice of Frogs, and choose the most useful stories through which to live.

    (From Japan, where JMG just predicted threat of war in his most recent eclipse chart)

  81. My recollection, and I might be wrong, is that TDS was briefly preceded in 2015/6 by an attempt to make “Clinton Derangement Syndrome” stick to those among Hillary’s critics who harped on Benghazi and emailgate.

  82. @Will Oberton – Almost anything by Studio Ghibli is going to be enjoyable. Some of our favorites are Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and Howl’s Moving Castle. Not anime, but still really good and a nice window into a non-Western worldview is Kubo and the Two Strings.

    I hope you all have much fun exploring!

  83. @Will Oberton: I’m not Darkest Yorkshire nor do I recall mentioning that I’m an anime fan here, but I am one, so I’ll answer your question about anime films. I’d start with films by Hayao Miazaki and Studio Ghibli, which he helped found. My personal favorites, which my daughther also enjoyed when she was 9-12, were “Castle of Cagliostro,” “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “Princess Mononoke” (possibly a bit violent for a 9-year-old), and “Spirited Away.” If your daughter is interested in anime television series, I can recommend those, too.

  84. @Phutatorius: “[W]ho ever heard of (just for example) ‘Obama Derangement Syndrome’ or ‘Bush Derangement Syndrome’?” I’ve heard of both, but they were milder and less widespread when their namesakes were in office than TDS is now. Then again, I’m a political junkie who went from the right to the left during the early 2000s. I’ve seen the U.S. political divide from both sides, although it was narrower 20 years ago.

  85. Hello all,

    I’ve been a long-time reader of booth the blog and its comments, and this in this month’s open post, I’m bringing up a criticism that has been bothering me for a while now. The general handling of race issues and cultural appropriation here is at best willfully ignorant and at worst actively racist.

    Allow me to explain myself. I personally believe, based on my education, personal experience, and observation, that systematic racism exists here and now, and has a direct effect on every American life. People of certain races benefit from this racism, at the expense of others. For example, as a white male-presenting person, I can do most anything I’d like alone in public (especially majority-white) spaces without fearing for my life. My black and latino peers do not have that same freedom. Our actions may be the same, but the consequences can be vastly different. Were you of a different race, I believe that you could make the same choices, but end up somewhere different.

    Many white people I know believe that if they don’t engage with race (theirs or otherwise), then they can’t be racist. Oh, if only that were true, but no. Since we are all effected by racism, for better or worse, by not engaging with our race, we stand to passively benefit from it with plausible deniability. The only way to lessen the benefits you receive at others’ expense is to engage with race, and how your race effects your life.

    Which brings me to this group and its handling of race issues. The issues modern minorities face aren’t really talked about (no one has mentioned in this thread yet this month’s 2 high profile murders of innocent young black men, or Joe Biden proclaiming the black people who aren’t interested in voting for him “ain’t black”), and we are definitely a majority white group. Even worse, the context many people engage with race here are dismissive of the systematic racism, with many people bringing up “pity parties”, “social justice one-upspersonship”, or that “you can’t win” with cultural justice issues. This language makes it easy to dismiss the REAL and SUBTLE ways minorities are oppressed and white people are uplifted by the system. We “win” when we engage and learn enough to change our personal choices and better respect our non-white peers. When we dismiss this stuff, we silence the people who we could learn from. If I were black myself, I doubt I’d have the confidence to share my experience, lest I be accused of “one-upping” someone or being pitiful.

  86. Kevin Taylor Burgess, for budgeting, I recommend the envelope method. You can probably find a library book on the subject that gives an overview of the literal physical method that can then be applied to electronic movements of money. It’s different than budgeting as purely tracking expenses.

    Basically, you decide how you want to categorize expenses, then “distribute” a portion of your income into each category. When you spend to the limit in a category you either recognize the limit and don’t get to exceed it, or you transfer funds from another category, thereby allowing one splurge by imposing sharper limits on another category. You can choose, in subsequent months, to continue inflating the one category and deflating another (no guilt, plans change), or try to curb spending. It’s important to have a “savings” category and an emergency fund. This allows you to prioritize those things just the way you prioritize internet or auto insurance or groceries.

    This also gives you an easy way to know what you consistently spend on things (no more denial about just how much you spend at Game Stop), and an “out” that’s socially acceptable because it’s based on intimate knowledge of your finances, “gee, I’d love to go for drinks, but I only have $3.22 left in this month’s ” drinks ” envelope, so let’s do it next month.”

    This method helps foster (self) knowledge, self control, and positive vibes when you realize that foregoing whatever gewgaw you were eyeing allows you to reach a savings goal and you can now use your fully-funded “saving for a guitar” stash to get the instrument that’ll help you learn a new skill and provide plenty of free entertainment in the years ahead.

    Or something like that.

    I’m rooting for you, there’s much joy to be had in learning to do for yourself. Today I’m immensely proud of having replaced two fluorescent light fixtures in my house in spite of package warnings about needing to engage an electrical specialist, and wiring up and installing a new washer and dryer instead of having a delivery person do it. I’ve not had a lot of experience towing trailers, so got to practice that, as well, by hauling the appliances home. For some folks this might all be second nature (and for some they’re things “other people” do FOR you), but I appreciate expanding my sphere of experiences and learning to do new, cool things like maintenance of the things I use. May you be similarly blesses. 🙂

  87. About once a year, somebody here asks about hypnosis. Since JMG is vowed not to use this toolkit by his Golden Dawn obligations, he is not as expert as he is on so many subjects, so I will take advantage of the courtesy of an Open Post to offer some observations that may help. ( I got trained as a hypnotist twenty years ago, practiced part-time for a few years, helped some people but not enough to justify the time, and retreated to the recreational sphere.)

    In the beginning there was mesmerism. This is primarily energy work, massaging the subject’s etheric body with that of the operator (making hand passes with concentrated intention) to induce a state of receptivity, then applying some form of suggested change in thinking and behavior. The suggestion may be by verbal agreement before the session, by verbal direct suggestion in the receptive state, or by having the operator build an image of the subject’s desired thoughts, feelings, and actions, charging it with positive emotion, and pushing it from his own astral body into that of the subject. (Yes, Atkinson was my source for that idea.)

    After the scientists had finished winning the late actions in the Reality Wars, people who wanted to do some form of effective brief therapy but were educated in reductionist materialism evolved a modified version which emphasized verbal suggestion. Hypnotists, as these people came to be called, still did things to get their subjects to relax and let their minds go blank, but they pretended this was all still strictly a process of nervous system physical response.

    Both methods were used in the latter half of the 19th Century. In summary, mesmerism is much harder to do, but in successful cases was able to get effects that hypnotists would not even attempt, like developing a subject into a trance medium or a medical intuitive, somebody who could look at a stranger and accurately diagnose their physical ailments. Mesmerists considered releasing something like alcoholism or opium addiction to be a minor success!

    The gradual movement to confine anything that even looked like medical treatment to people with MDs or advanced degrees in psychology assisted the hypnotists in a flame war with the remaining mesmerists (of whom many were occultists who had no paper credentials and had learned by apprenticeship.) By about World War I, mesmerism was no longer a thing. As far as I can find out, no training in it has been available for quite a while.

    Hypnosis has gradually improved in effectiveness in the last several decades by supplementing direct suggestion with something very similar to Word Magic (the common term in the trade is Sleight Of Mouth.) In terms of the personal development of a mage, mystic, or wise person, its range of effectiveness is confined to the ground floor. A hypnotist can – sometimes – help clear up elementary personal issues and sweep up the mental and emotional trash, getting the person’s inner feet clear to make further progress. If anyone is interested in working with a hypnotist, the available credentialing programs are of little value; go for someone with good client references, who does not creep you out.

    I think the objection to hypnosis in the Golden Dawn was based on an idea common in that period, that letting somebody else guide and direct your will, even briefly and with an agreed limited scope, might cause permanent weakening of the will. I can only say that I have never noticed this, nor heard of such an experience in anyone else.

    Consent is highly valued among hypnotists these days. There was once a fad for single male bozos to use memorized hypnotic language patterns to try to pick up women. With some aid from offended pro hypnotists, many cute young women learned to recognize these patterns and respond by pointing at the Gamer and making duck noises. I heard of one cute young hypnotherapist who turned it around. To borrow an idiom from the Psalms, until the affected turkey made a firm decision not to try that form of pickup play again, his horn would be no longer exalted. (OK to edit this out if it is out of scope for this blog.)

    (In addition to therapeutic hypnosis, there is a domain of recreational hypnosis, including several annual conventions in North America (except this year), but the content of the classes would be out of scope here, ranging from Somewhat Kinky to Much Kinkier Than That.)

  88. Dear JMG: Thank you ever so much for hosting these forums. I learn a lot and think of things I never would have considered and in far more depth as well.

    My question probably more appropriately belongs in the MM thread; if so, I’ll ask again on Monday. If you’ll indulge me, here’s my question: When you need to remove someone from your (family’s) lives and you use a hotfoot powder bottle in a river, can you use a business card of the target, or a photo recreated on paper from the digital original on your phone? Or do you need a real signature and an original paper photo? Thanks, Luna

  89. Kevin Taylor Burgess, since you asked for advice, here’s mine.

    When you are packing up to move out, raid the spice cabinet in the kitchen. It will do the residents no harm; they’ll just buy fresh.

    Unless you like bland food, you will need to season the staples of your diet with something, and most meats are expensive. Eventually you will be able to grow some herbs, but in the meantime, unless salt, pepper, sugar, onions and bacon fat are enough flavor for you, buying even a few basics like oregano and cinnamon is going to seriously cut into your budget for calories. If you want more variety than that, and don’t bring it with you, you’ll get the cheapest prices on dried herbs and spices at ethnic markets.

  90. In regards to adaption to decline – I came across this wonderful piece on a fellow ‘Bruce Pascoe’ and using traditional aboriginal Australian methods to grow harvests of local grass and grain.

    For those that don’t know of his work, his more well known work is the book ‘Dark Emu’ (2014) about how the history of native Australians farming techniques had been swept under the carpet by the European settlers to push their agenda of a Australia being a land of hunter gatherers and nothing else.

    Good to see these old techniques and knowledge from those that know the land being rejuvenated, more of this the world over can only be a good thing.

  91. The civil religion of Progress may have hit a roadblock to the implementation of its visions. People are starting to note behavior typical of apocalyptic cults. Here is a long analysis from an anthropological point of view:
    You were saying before that the pandemic was likely to fizzle out in May, and to look at the statistics, it would appear you are right, but perhaps for the same reasons TDS became such an immense issue, this will not be allowed to fizzle out. It appears to be more of a sociological than actual epidemiological phenomenon. What is interesting, though, is that the frenzy is so global. The disease is new and it does have scary features, and I guess a lot of this is just how people react to that.

  92. Thanks, that makes sense and requires further thought. It struck me that I should see why I allow myself to get a bit too angry about litter, it’s out of proportion. Fiat justicia, ruat caelum is a keeper.

    @Teresa from Hershey: I’m going to try it. I have taken out individual items here and there, but I will bring a bag next time I go for a walk in that park. Thank you for the story about the Reese factory!

    A friend of mine who I was speaking with recently said she tried with the authorities to get them to deal with trash on the roadside near her place, in a similar way to what you did, and similarly got nowhere, so she just collects litter in a bag when she goes for her walks. I’m getting the message, I just need to do it myself!

  93. @Waffles

    I’m not a man, but I’ve been married a decade and still think it’s a good idea! My husband concurs. But I know a lot of people– men particularly– who’ve had a bad run of it. When things go bad, they can go very, very bad. You don’t want to end up paying child support to the drug addict who is holding your kid hostage. I can see why some people don’t want to risk it.

    If you’re the sort of person who can commit to a spouse for the long haul, I recommend it– there’s a lot that’s great about having a household, instead of just a house. Be really careful about who you marry, though. You need someone who shares your values, your general lifestyle, your spending habits, and your expectations about marriage and family life. A person you respect, who is sane and honest (in the long run, sane and honest are WAY better than “hot” and “fun”). Neither of you is going to be the same person in ten years that you are now, and some of your expectations are bound to be unrealistic, but your odds are a whole lot better if you start out on the same page.


    I think it’s likely that plays into it, in some cases. Though some of the people in question are very healthy and comfortably retired, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what’s going on there. I hope they’ll be OK when this is all over. I worry that the social isolation is messing with their heads.

    @Will Oberton

    Anime: A lot of the Studio Ghibli repertoire is very accessible, and we watch it with our kids… which ones are best depends a lot on the kid, but ours really enjoy Porco Rosso (they’re boys, they love airplanes), Spirited Away, Nausicaa, Laputa, and Princess Mononoke. There are a few, like The Cat Returns, and Whisper of the Heart, that are kind of “meh”. My Neighbor Totoro is a universally beloved children’s movie that may or may not be “young” for a 9yo. I still like it, but my husband describes it as “an hour of children yelling”. And there are some, like Pom Poko, or Grave of the Fireflies, that you DEFINITELY want to preview by yourself first, and decide if it is OK for your kid or not. Hope that helps.


    I’ll add that to my basket of options. So far, it doesn’t go over terribly well when I say it’s biology, not luck– we’re under 40 and in decent health. The rest… you’re right that the anti-church thing is *not* playing well outside the major urban centers.

    @Alex and Martin

    Thanks. I’m kind of afraid I will just have to stick to chatting about the weather and my tomatoes for the next year. After the big spring rush, there’s not much left to say… I might start hoping for squash vine borers to relieve the tedium.

    @Jim W

    PLDS! You may be onto something! I wonder if it’s akin to the psychological problems experienced by people in solitary confinement, or if it’s more of a propaganda overdose thing. You’re right, I should certainly be praying for them.


    I would certainly understand it better if they knew someone who’d had it! That doesn’t seem to be the case. Maybe that makes it like the closet monster… the thing you can’t see is really scary. I know a couple of people who’ve had it (it was beastly!) and recovered, and am fairly certain we’ve been exposed already, so it’s hard to work up a proper fear of it.

  94. Pygmycory, fascinating. Anyone else? How is public transit doing in your area?

    DFC, I had a round of tiredness a few days ago, but did some serious napping and got over it. I wonder what others have experienced.

    Kyle, many thanks for this!

    Your Kittenship, the polls that claim Biden is going to win are the same polls that gave Clinton a 99% chance of beating Trump. Other polls are showing Trump way ahead in the crucial battleground states. As for Biden — well, I’m just shaking my head.

    Violet, the field of historical astrology has barely begun to be explored; detailed case studies about situations such as the US Civil War are among the things that really badly need to be done. I’m planning a series of posts on the outbreak of the Second World War to help move that process along a bit!

    Karl, good heavens — Third Position rises from the crypt again? Fascinating. It’ll be interesting to see what if anything comes of it. Thanks for the heads up.

    Packshaud, no question, the US is in the middle of a national nervous breakdown. More to the point, the US elite class is in the middle of a national nervous breakdown; I suspect most working class people are doing just fine!

    Patricia, funny! Based on my internal chronology, though, Professor Broward would have already been retired by the time Noyes made his move. He’d have been against it, because it would have meant the loss of control over the linguistics department — though he probably would have been furious at Miriam if he thought she was talking about him.

    I haven’t even begun to think about the implications if the Aesir and the Great Old Ones existed in the same cosmos….

    Aidan, of course. One of the basic rules of American politics is that effective riots are a good way to get your grievances listened to. I expect the current mess in Minneapolis to result in some long-overdue reforms to that highly liberal and bitterly segregated city.

    Your Kittenship, “Scythians with Tentacles” sounds like an unusually weird metal band!

    Millicently, I also know some pleasant Karens. I tried to propose “Wowbagger” as an alternative, after the character in one of Douglas Adams’ books who traveled the universe insulting every being in alphabetical order, but it hasn’t caught on yet.

    David BTL, it depends on how thorough a thumping they get. If it’s a narrow victory for Trump, I don’t expect them to change. If they get their rumps handed to them nicely flambéed, then there could be some serious improvement.

    J.L.Mc12, sure. Somebody simply has to do the necessary work.

    Ethan, there are a lot of Martinist orders, and those I’ve encountered seem to have a good strong egregor and to pass on an effective initiation. Authenticity doesn’t actually count for much magically — remember that Martinez de Pasqually founded his original lodge of Elus Coens on the basis of a blatantly forged charter supposedly signed by Bonnie Prince Charlie, and that the Anna Sprengel letters that gave the Golden Dawn its lineage were equally blatant forgeries! That being the case, don’t worry about authenticity and go with a Martinist order if you can find one that seems to have its act together.

    Quin, that’s pretty wild. I note that some of the Kek-worshiping types these days like to refer to their deity as “Frog of Peace.” Here’s hoping!

    Stuart, interesting. Yes, I could see things having been reversed that way.

    Dylandrogynous, you’re certainly welcome to your opinion. Are you seriously claiming, though, that the people on this blog are all horrible racists because — on a blog that has its own very different themes and subjects — we don’t talk about one currently fashionable set of who-did-what-to-whom issues here? What about all the other who-did-what-to-whom issues? Are you aware, for example, of how often Native Americans are shot dead by police officers in Western states? Shall we talk about the treatment of Aboriginal peoples in Australia, or of the Baha’l in Iran? Or maybe, just maybe, shall we recognize that the internet is a very big place, that there are many different forums with many different interests, and that the kind of attempted hijacking of the conversation you’ve engaged in, heavily larded with virtue-signaling rhetoric and backed up with hot-button words such as “racist,” isn’t a useful way to encourage constructive discourse about any subject at all?

    John, no, the objection to hypnosis in the Golden Dawn tradition is based on observed conflicts between the results of hypnosis (including self-hypnosis) and some of the disciplines of Golden Dawn magic. Not all forms of inner work are compatible.

    Luna, the more personal contact there is with an object link, the more effective the spell will be — thus a handwritten signature is going to give you better results than a business card, and a photo on film will get better results than a digital photo. If a business card and a digital photo is what you have to work with, though, give it your best shot.

    Jeffrey, thanks for this!

  95. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I was wondering what your thoughts on the 2nd Amendment, gun rights vs gun control, and so on were. I got the impression that you were impressed by the Swiss militia system, which means a lot of privately owned, powerful guns that are also organized by the government after reading Retrotopia, but I’d rather hear your direct thoughts on the matter than just make inferences.

  96. @Kimberely who wrote:

    “Karma is coming home to roost for those ugly wishes thrown around for a second wave that never happened.” Now I think this call is yuuugely premature, as the only ‘second wave’ forecasts I’ve seen are for late autumn.

    As for the “fear-mongering Covidiot Karen class that caused the collapse ”, I’m persuaded by the line of thought that the economic collapse was not caused by the shutdown at all, but was at most catalyzed by it, owing to the vast overhang of unpayable debt pervasive throughout our economy. The collapse foreshock occurred last August, when US treasury bonds (i.e. US sovereign debt) were no longer accepted as collateral for overnight inter-bank loans (the “repo” market). US treasuries had hitherto been the safest, most liquid investment available, but no more, that’s not good enough for overnight collateral. US banks can’t trust US sovereign debt for 12 hours! The US central bank (the “Fed”, which is a PRIVATE entity!) came up with some creative ways to put a finger in the dyke to postpone the seizing up of the financial system: Remember ‘Not QE’? Look it up. See this from the eve of the corona crisis:

    Then Covid-19 came around, which functioned as a rodeo clown to jump ahead of, and misdirect attention from, the moving steamroller of collapse, and provided a timely, handy stalking horse for the inevitable defaults, and an excuse for the trillions of dollars ginned up by the Fed (or authorized by congress to be “borrowed”) and thrown into the system at various points (e.g. the stock market, corporate bailouts, payroll protection program, backstopping mortgage/student loan deferents, stimulus checks…), no questions asked. I actually take some comfort in the financial crisis being acknowledged and responded to, however inadequately that may be, whether it was caused by Covid-19 or not.

    As for the lockdown per se, it is very easy in hindsight to say “that it was unnecessary”, but I’m not sure this is a valid assessment. With a pandemic involving a fiercely contagious new virus, public authorities have the duty of risk management, in a situation where the unknowns at the outset potentially conceal truly catastrophic downsides (overwhelming the hospital system, tens of millions dead…). There is no such thing as “evidence-based risk management”, and risk management is not a simple task. I have yet to finalize my own opinion on how well this one is being handled, apart from its lateness. Nassim Taleb follows this on his Twitter account, and I find it helpful:

    The salary class about to get hit? Yeah, I think you’re on the money here. I’m basically one of them, a doctor in a non-life-critical specialty (physical rehab medicine), taking care of chronic work-related injuries for patients who will generally not return to pre-injury status or become competitively employable again. I can be thrown under the bus at any point, and I rather expect such. I’ve had nearly 2 months of zero patients, now I’m seeing some by telemedicine link, but my numbers are still down, I’m bleeding…, but at least there’s SOMETHING coming out of the money tap. I figure my life-boat is either power distribution engineering (for which I have credentials that nominally qualify me for employment) or becoming an electrician apprentice. So far, my engineer resume has gotten zero nibbles, and the local power industry has not posted jobs I qualify for. I would like to apply to the regional electrician apprentice program, which involves an interview with a local screening committee, but interviewing is suspended due to the shutdown, and I’m worried at how a 61 year-old MD is going to look to an interview committee accustomed to 20 year-old high-school grads. And given the depression, apprenticeship prospects don’t look so good. Yeah, I’m sweating. I’m open to unsolicited advice, BTW…

  97. Hi Will,

    When she’s a little older, try Samurai Jack seasons 1-4. Avoid the incoherent mess of season 5 (it’s depressing as well as confusing). Jack originally aired on Cartoon Network, target audience 2-10 year old boys, and then about halfway through the second season they found out that a sizable proportion of their audience was women and teenage girls. All of a sudden the stories became more suitable for all ages and Jack started to buy his kimonos at the same place Captain Kirk used to buy his shirts, and like Kirk’s shirts, the kimono would get torn off every episode. Jack also has good art to enjoy and played with the art form of animation. In the premiere movie, Jack has an epic battle with weird beetle-looking robots-/nearly 8 minutes with no dialogue. All in all, except for a couple of clinkers, the show is a blast. And if you have ever studied MA you can have fun watching for moves you know (the artists tried to make Jack’s techniques realistic whenever they could do so without sacrificing entertainment).

    Why yes, I was one of the women who tuned in religiously. Sonkitten is as straight as Ronald Reagan, but he loves Jack too. There’s so little dialogue that it’s one of the few things he can watch without having to replay scenes over and over to figure out all the dialogue.

  98. Michael, excellent! I hope it catches on.

    Patricia O, the coronavirus is fizzling out but you’re right that the hysteria isn’t. It’ll be interesting to see how long it lasts.

    Jbucks, using the anger as an opportunity for increased self-knowledge would be very much in keeping with the Stoic way as I understand it.

    Methylethyl, interesting. Thank you for the data point!

    Stephen D, I’m very much in favor of the Swiss approach to national defense, thus its role in Retrotopia — if your country is so arranged that anyone who tries to invade it gets to deal with an instant, massive, heavily armed, and well-trained insurgency, very few nations will bother you. More generally, guns are simply one class of tools, and they can be very useful tools in certain situations; the Second Amendment is part of the fundamental law of this country, gun ownership is an enduring theme in our culture, and I remain highly suspicious of the people from privileged classes who insist that only the military, the police, and their armed guards ought to have guns.

  99. I mentioned before how Real Estate was a major cause of wokeness. Another two word phrase that I think was a contributor was another two words…New Atheism.

    As the blog Alternative Left detailed in retrospective, New Atheism gave the metropolitan left a way to feel more enlightened and superior to provincials,

    “What they hated about the religious right was the “redneck” – poor, rural, white and uneducated. And not just because the white rural poor were (and still are) conservative. I saw little sneering hate and despite from the rainbow coalition types for Wall Street lobbyists and the military/industrial complex, and see less still of that today. What I saw out of progressives vis-a-vis the religious right was precisely the kind of condescending, high-handed snobbery you’d expect a classist or a racist to display towards someone considered inferior. Plenty of jokes and memes about backwoods hillbilly inbreeding, but much less about the corruption and abuses of power within the Churches.”

    In Scott Alexander’s “The Godlessness That Failed”, he opines that a substantial portion of the New Atheists folded seemlessly into the SJW movement because, while New Atheists enabled the educated Blue Tribe to see themselves as the people not blinded by religion, the woke enabled the educated Blue Tribe to see themselves as the people not blinded by racism and sexism (and homophobia, transphobia, x-phobia, etc…)

  100. I had a very realistic dream about praying to the sun goddess—the one I made up, not any of the historical ones. I wonder if that happens to fiction writers other than me? Maybe the reason some fictional milieus are so convincing, e.g. Middle-earth, is the writer incorporated such dreams into his story?

  101. @DFC, I cannot say with any certainty what the cause of the dizziness you and your daughter and friends are experiencing is, but dizziness was my first overt symptom of electrosensitivity and is commonly reported as a response to electromagnetic fields. The fact your daughter experienced it outside makes it more likely in my opinion. People around the world have been noting accelerated rollout of the controversial 5G infrastructure. In some cases, the companies appear to be trying to use the lockdown to sneak it in. People have reported severe tinnitis, dizziness and chest pains in association with it. Birds and insects are also reportedly affected.
    Even where 5G has not been implemented yet, radiation levels from 4G have been reported to have increased, especially during the lockdown, when demand for Wi-Fi is high, with the area in front of Stockholm Station in Sweden, for example, reporting peak levels of 1.3 W/m2.
    You may find a radiofrequency radiation meter helpful, and they can be ordered at
    It must be noted, though, that with 5G, there are higher frequencies being used that none of the currently affordable meters can measure, and that since April 22, there are indications that the 5G satellite network has been switched on, the results being that people with electrosensitivty are reporting illness in places where they previously felt okay, and one engineer in Australia’s outback with no infrastructure nearby detected high levels of microwave radiation with no apparent source.
    FWIW, I still feel okay and notice normal birdlife in dense forests.

  102. I’m curious John whether you think this virus was random, or planned to march us into a New World Order.

  103. Methylethyl,

    I wish I had the breakthroughs you’r asking for, but I do share your pain. My situation is similar. Even feel like I’m losing my sister, who is my oldest friend. This sister knows our media lies, knows there are those who have tried to influence our opinions, told me about “1984” in great detail, is highly suspicious of corporations, and is exactly the sort of person I would have expected to be alarmed at the worldwide coup against human life and freedom that is going on. Yet she is impervious and doesn’t want to hear it.

    My take on all of this is that there is a cohort – call them liberals, lefties, the white collar – who have been successfully brainwashed in the past few years. Brainwashing isn’t new and it may not only be them who are vulnerable, but right now the face of tyranny and corruption is the Democratic party and the media, and they have got this cohort pretty well under control. The sad thing is that once you buy into the brainwashing program, they are relatively free to add more topics. If you hate Trump, you’re in favor of lockdown, don’t want to hear about how much greater suffering and death the lockdown is and will cause, don’t want to hear controversy about masks, don’t want to hear that IV C and HCQ+zinc are very viable treatments.

    The problem is the brainwashing. I have been pondering if there is anything at all that can be done about it. One of the characteristics of the brainwashing is exactly the inability to tolerate learning or hearing anything that challenges the program. That is why they have become so unreachable.

    I wonder if there is any knowledge about other periods when people were brainwashed, such as perhaps Germany in WWII era, and do the people hang onto it till death, do they slowly give it up, or do they have a red pill moment?

  104. Waffles and others re marriage–men have been warning other men against marriage for at least 2700 years in the West–I don’t know about such literature in ancient Egypt or in Asia, but Hesiod (Works and Days, c. 700 BCE) contains a diatribe about the woes of marriage. This was in a time in which the male was the unquestioned master of the home, in which there were none of the Christian restrictions on divorce or any concept of alimony. Child support didn’t enter in since the children belonged to their father. But an intimate partner who never becomes close, in cultures in which both parties were marrying a stranger–or who grows away to indifference or even open hostility, simply can inflict excruciating emotional pain on anyone more sensitive than a sandal sole. I think the literature tries to hide this reality with complaints about women’s extravagance, frivolity, greed, possible promiscuity or other faults. After all, complaining that “she robbed me” sounds more manly than admitting to a broken heart.

    In relation to race I try to think about practical consequences. Am I being asked to vote for a politician who mouths the right platitudes about racial justice but has helped pass laws with a disproportionate effect on blacks? A former DA who was ‘tough on crime’ when I know that this is code for “I put a lot of black men in prison?” A sheriff who refuses to fire officers who are violent? Considering these as important factors in my vote is a practical thing I can do. In my opinion it is more important than constantly examining my privilege. Short of becoming a bag lady I can’t shed white woman privilege, so why obsess about it?

  105. JMG

    Speaking of different magical paths, have you any knowledge of a magical path devised by anyone that is centered on books as divine objects (going way beyond the bible-is-god’s-word kind)? I feel not only that books are of divine origin, they _are_ spirit, that books are living beings. This maybe is just a result of working with books day and night, but I keep thinking a quote attributed to Beethoven is relevant to books: “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine”. There are secrets about books as manifestation that go deeply beyond the words on the page.

    I sometimes get a rush of emotions when one of the books sold in my store ends up in the right hands, like it is supposed to go there and I simply am the means by which the gods chose to match a person with a book that is necessary for them at that time. I am aware at that moment that I have been used by the divine. It thrills me. I wonder how much the work that I do saving books from the landfill is a spiritual act.

    I think there is a spirit attached to each written book, like a guardian spirit watching over a species of animals and guiding their instincts. Each physical copy of a book is to that spirit like one individual rabbit is to the rabbit spirit. Individual books die when they are destroyed, but the spirit of that book has other copies to watch over and it enters into a relationship with and speaks to the reader when they meet, whether the reader is aware of it or not. Reading a book is a quick shift in consciousness and the result is a communion with a spirit.

    A book, like all things, has its causes in the spiritual plane. On the mental plane, as you have said before, ideas are beings. Like Nisaba, the goddess in the writing itself . If we can see the divine in nature, couldn’t we also see it in books, if one knows how to look, meditating on the meaning of books going up each of the planes?

    I am completely ignorant of whether this has been tried by others as a magical practice or a spiritual practice and my research got me nowhere, so I asked the ogham fews if I should pursue developing this. I got Nuin reversed, which I took to mean no because I need to connect with and learn from others on this, hence my question to you.

    I would love your thoughts about this and any knowledge you may have of this as a spiritual or magical path.

  106. @Seahorse,

    I just took a look at the Zeihan blog – hadn’t heard of him before – but after reading his most recent three posts on China I am convinced he has way too much of the neocon/neoliberal in him to be taken seriously as a prognosticator.

    To begin with, his work comes with the ordinary helping of imperial hubris, i.e. “It isn’t so much that the Americans have always had the ability to destroy China in a day (although they have), but instead that it is only the Americans that could create the economic and strategic environment that has enabled China to survive as long as it has….”

    I also think Zeihin is too focused on China’s dubious financial system (financial systems, if they fail, can be reformed fairly quickly) and overlooks the fact that China is a net producer of tangible goods while its main rival is a net consumer – making China the more independent of the two when you look at the secondary rather than the tertiary economy. His idea of long-term prosperity consists in becoming “a true consumption-led system,” so you can see a very different mindset than that which seems to prevail at Ecosophia!

    My own opinion on China (coincidentally the topic of my latest blog post: ) is that China will almost certainly spend a few decades at the top of the global heap as the American empire declines, but its aging population and declining resource base will prevent its hegemony from ever being as total or as long-lived as the British or American hegemonies were.

    I am of course curious to hear what the other members of our community have to say on the topic.

  107. I just read this disturbing post on Rod Dreher’s blog:

    Stoning Karen

    This is about the confrontation in Central Park between a white woman walking her dog, and a black man confronting her about it. The upshot, as Dreher describes it:

    “The clip went viral. Amy Cooper really does come off horribly. But get this: Now, Amy Cooper has lost both her dog and her job as an executive at an investment manager. She’s professionally ruined now, only a day after this park encounter. The social media pile-on is terrifying, as usually happens in these bizarre cases. She is being excoriated as a “Karen,” the pop culture term for bossypants white women who overreact and police other people’s actions. …

    “So, yes, Amy Cooper humiliated herself by her rotten behavior, for which she has apologized. That should have been the end of it. But then the shelter came and took her adopted dog away, and the investment bank management firm where she worked fired her. I find this shocking. If it is now a fireable offense for New York City business executives to behave like jerks on their private time, there won’t be anyone left in the industry. She committed no crime. The police came, investigated, and charged no one. And yet, thanks to social media, the obnoxious Amy Cooper has been wrecked.”

    The disturbing part of this (for me) is that the flash mob are not just “the usual suspects” from the white, comfortable classes. It seems that people from all walks of life have piled on.

    JMG, what do you make of this escalation in mob hysteria? I have listened to some of your recent podcasts (e.g., CFPUP), in which you speak of the psychological fragility of the U.S. response to all of this. How would you account for such behavior?

    N.B.: Here in New Zealand, during the recently-ended lockdown, there were violations of restrictions, and neighbors rang the police about it. The police would come, investigate, re-educate the transgressors on the rules, and end with a warning and an admonition not to do it again. Usually, that was the end of it. Only a handful of particularly egregious cases resulted in actual prosecutions. There were no flash-mobs on (anti-)social media. The same was true in Australia. This seems to be a specifically American thing.

    Comments? Insights?

  108. Regarding your comment on gun control:

    Gun control advocates would, in my opinion, be far more successful if they retained some of the pragmatism of the late 20th Century. From the 1960s and 1990s, gun control advocates focused on the large amount of killing done with handguns, which were (and are) the number #1 killer in America.

    Now, handguns don’t get much attention from gun control advocates, who tend to OBSESS over rifles, especially the AR-15….in spite of the fact that they make up a small fraction of murder weapons every year…less than knives, fists, and strangulation!

  109. KevPilot,

    Well, one thing that has happened to me during my house arrest is that I have gotten aboard the Q train. Yes, I believe it is military but it is not disinformation. It is actually a most fascinating phenomenon. I watched a 2 hour documentary called the Ultimate Q Proofs which was quite convincing. Q communicates pretty directly to the populace, at least 10 million strong, probably much more now, and yes, Trump is part of it.

  110. Hi JMG and Grover,

    I have been ruminating on a question for a while, which is how do you integrate religious or spiritual works that come from distinctly different cultures and places? A few weeks ago JMG compared WB Yeat’s A Vision to the I Ching, which I found fascinating. How would a Druid approach a study of the I Ching, when it comes from a religious current so disconnected from revival Druidry and Western Occultism?

    Now, I realize that Revival Druidry has picked up all sorts of techniques, rituals, and philosophical ideas from all corners. The lack of rigid dogma is part of what makes it an interesting, lively tradition, right? But here is the thing: I am having trouble squaring that with the idea that spirituality also has a sense of place.

    So, I would love to hear more from Grover and others, how Feng Shui works out when it is practiced by Americans, when the place-based spiritual context is so different. I am curious whether the distinctly North American spirituality talked about by Vine Deloria and others will re-assert itself over time. I guess we will see.

  111. JMG notes: “since the outbreak became serious, car sales have dropped like a rock while bicycle sales have shot up?”

    I noticed on my last trek to the local Mart of Walls, that the bicycle racks were very nearly stripped bare. And it’s a very large bicycle rack! We started looking for the other empty spots: jigsaw puzzles, flour, pasta, the big bottles of dish soap, metal dish scrubbies (totally gone. I can’t get them anywhere), bagged manure/compost, and weirdly, men’s socks.

    Some of these, like the flour, puzzles, and bikes, are a problem of sharply increased demand. We are wondering about the rest… are they made in China and having a supply interruption? People washing a lot more dishes at home these days? It’s been an interesting study, and there are some signs of hope in it!


    I have had some very similar thoughts. But of course, you can’t just come right out and say: “Are you sure your fear stems from the virus? Could it be that you don’t want to return to your horrible job? Are you afraid that when it’s over, you’ll find yourself permanently nonessential… so you want to prolong this thing forever to avoid facing that?” I’m pretty dunderheaded, socially, but even I can tell that wouldn’t go over well 😉 But I’m still extremely curious about those things…

    @Lady Cutekitten

    Not a peep yet. I’m worried that with all the tree damage in the hurricane a year and a half ago, we might not get very many cicadas at all.


    I should point out that I am not personally out in the trenches– it’s just that every single other adult in my family is (healthcare, security, industrial), so whatever’s going around, we’ve been exposed already! We know two people who’ve definitely had it– one of whom my husband was in close contact with while he was sick, but before he tested positive. We were all ill after that for ~two weeks. So we’re 95% sure we’ve had it already. That makes it hard for us to be scared of the thing. I’m informed that while mask-wearing at work sucks, everyone takes the darn things off as soon as nobody’s looking. So there’s not much actual wearing 😉

  112. Jmg, how exactly would someone go about developing “Esoteric cellular automata “?
    What advice would you give them?

  113. Load following nuclear power plants do make sense, and they existed since Admiral Rickover built the first one in 1952. The accountants got hold of the designers and decided (for what were good economic reasons at the time) to build much larger reactors and run them flat out all the time. There is no reason we can’t build a load following reactor. Every ship in the Navy has at least one.

    And did you notice Michael Moore’s documentary about the limitations of renewable power got taken down? I actually watched it due to novelty of Michael Moore saying somethign bad about the new renewable future since he is usually following the All-Glorious State Must Save Us mantra. He had one large error where someone was claiming a PV panel only lasts 6 years. And the “abandoned” solar test site in CA was a test site; when the test is done you tear down the equipment, so that was arguably unfair.

    However, the discussion of what it takes to make a PV panel was spot on. I worked in the field for 15 years, both with Siemens and fluidized bed technology. It’s a vicious process.

    Metallurgical silicon and silicon tetrachloride plus hydrogen (from a methane reformer because electrolytic hydrogen is way too expensive) at 1100 F, and out comes trichlorosilane, then two much cooler reactors and four distillation columns later you get silane gas, which burns instantly if exposed to air. Then the gas goes into an even hotter reactor to be broken back down into very pure silicon and hydrogen. The hydrogen gets recycled back to the first step, while the silicon gets melted again to make the ingots in the CZ process.

    And although you don’t need rare-earth metals to build a wind turbine, they do improve it’s efficiency a bit. Oh the other hand, those blades are not recyclable at all. Pyrolysis to get the hydrocarbons back, leaving you a ruin of fiberglass is the only alternative to the landfill I can think of.

  114. JMG, I almost forgot to tell you! I kept trying to journal and it finally worked! Thanks for the technique!

  115. Your Kittenship,

    Your comment brought to mind for me the first time my wife – from Spokane, WA, a northern city of about half a million – stayed with me at my mother’s house on a lake in rural South Georgia.

    She said “it’s so loud here, with all the tree frogs, cicadas, crickets, owls, bobwhites, and who knows what else! How do you all sleep?? I thought the city was loud. Suddenly I’m craving ambulance sirens.”

    Now it’s just background music…

  116. JMG and other readers,

    Now that states have relaxed stay at home restrictions and are slowly reopening, I am not seeing the “Second wave” of infections many people were warning about in nearly apocalyptic terms. Am I reading this right? It seems moderate social distancing and basic hygiene are enough to control the spread to a manageable level. The rate of new infections have not really gone up that much.

    What do you see in your state, county or town?

  117. Methylethyl and JMG – I was thinking today about the parallels between the cytokine storm that is, in some cases, the most deadly part of the immune response of individual people’s living bodies to COVID infection, and the policy/government level overreaction exerted through the lengthy lockdowns and general fear-promotion now running well past the original goal of protecting hospital capacity and getting enough protective equipment to health care workers. I was thinking of the latter as a “cytokine storm of the body politic.” And became enchanted with the turn-of-phrase, so wanted to share.

    It seems a bit in line with JMG’s response, as far as people not wanting to go back to the lives they were living before stay-at-home time, and also not wanting to change their habits simply to adopt healthier habits…preferring to perceive it as an external force.

    I’m definitely having similar experiences…except I don’t even try to have conversations with people who are caught up in the intense sky-is-falling phase. I don’t know how one would do that, because there’s so little common ground on which to meet to discuss, and because I’m afraid of being socially ostracized for holding non-panicky views, at a time when social interaction is even more valuable to me than ever.

  118. Phutatorius, this is one of those odd bits of info I seem to collect like lint. Not sure it’s original to her, but I first came across ______ Derangement Syndrome on a blog circa…2003? 2004? Dr Sanity or Dr Santy. She was a psychiatrist, iirc, with a conservative tilt. Bush Derangement Syndrome. The blog is long defunct, though still accessible. What’s amusing is any president can sit comfortably in the title with nary a difference among them.

  119. A reply to Waffles about marriage. I think that all persons of legal age and sound(ish) mind should get married at least once, as an exercise in character development.

  120. Methyl,

    Thank you for the banter at MM this week. This prostate thing, like your husband apparently has, is really bad news. I’m sure he’s explained it to you, but feeling like you’re going to pee your pants for say, 6 months straight, is about as unsettling as you can imagine. It takes the wind right out of your sails. I spent the first month or so in the tub! I take every suggestion for relief seriously, though nothing seems to help for long. I tried JMG’s recommendation for pine-infused oil massaged into the prostate, and if anything, it made it worse. Sounded nice and all, especially considering I had plenty on hand, but didn’t work. My own world’s-best-healing-salve suffered the same ego blow much earlier.

    The only things that have given me relief so far are dietary and behavioral adaptations. I’ve had to give up beer…weed…and sugar…some of Gaia’s greatest gifts, and fairly constant companions for me over the last quarter century. And here’s the rub: I’ve gained weight as a result! Where’s the justice, man??

    I can drink a little tequila or red wine. But I have to make sure my margarita mix is sweetened only with agave. No sugar. And definitely no HFCS. That’s even worse. I gave up coffee 3 months ago because I don’t like it without sugar. So I have tea every morning, herbal tea sweetened with honey. Haven’t had caffeine since I gave up coffee. But I’m getting eleuthero every day in the tea, and it is a dynamite anti-viral. Some things just work out.

    Violet has a book on herbal theurgy coming out soon. In it she talks about chickweed as a “regulator of internal waters.” So I eat as much chickweed as I can stand. And that helps too. Thankfully my garden has plenty to offer!

    If your husband, or any other man getting this info, can glean something useful out of my experience, I’ll consider it time well spent!


  121. Samurai,

    That’s an issue for me, but feng shui really is my wife’s baby. I’m more into Western natural and ritual magic. She handles the feng shui, and I just roll with it. It doesn’t seem to interfere with anything I’m doing, or vice versa, although Chinese elemental correspondences can be very different from Western ones. We don’t have wood or metal, and they don’t have Air, just for starters, and a lot of their colors seems backwards to me.

    I know just enough about feng shui to not turn off lights that seem randomly left on in odd corners of the house! (OK, that’s not quite true.) But considering where we’ve been and where we are now, I’d say it’s working out pretty well in practice.

  122. Hey hey JMG,

    I realised something today that I thought was worth noting here. I was reading Malcom Gladwell’s Blink, the section about the IAT (Implicit Association Test) which basically measures how easy it is for a person to make certain associations by measuring how long it takes the person to reach a decisions. The set up is pretty straight forward.

    For example: The tester sorts a list of names or words into column A or B where A is male or career and B is female or family. The tester does this fairly quickly, but is the criteria is changed to A is male or family and B is female or career it takes longer the tester longer to sort. This is inferred to mean that the tester has an implicit association of male with career and female with family.

    In the book Malcom Gladwell uses the IAT to talk about race. Specifically the odd result that black people have a negative association with black people and a positive association with white people. Malcon Gladwell, whose mother is black, said he felt creepy after taking the test and showing a negative association with blacks.

    But all of that is just context for the following. The reason given is fascinating:

    “You don’t choose to make positive associations with the dominant group,” says Mahzarin Banaji, who teaches psychology at Harvard University and is one of the leaders at IAT research. “But you are required to, All around you, that group is being paired with good things. You open the newspaper and you turn on the television, and you can’t escape it.”

    That jumped out at me and I wondered what happens to a society when it no longer holds, or when it is reversed. Confidence in American institutions has been falling for decades. Confidence in congress is currently 6-12% depending on the measure used. I suspect that the trend will continue and that at some point it will be impossible to for the average American to muster up any positive association with the status quo. Interesting times…


  123. Ah! Where else on the internet would you find a discussion of using Finnegans Wake as an oracle?

  124. Aidan, that seems very plausible to me.

    Your Kittenship, it’s apparently quite common. I don’t get characters showing up in my dreams, but that may be because they pop up constantly in daydreams and periods of introspection!

    Dennis, I doubt most of us will ever know the exact circumstances of its origination. Clearly various people have tried to use it to advance their agendas.

    Myriam, I don’t know of one, but that simply means that you’ve got a wide open field for your own spiritual creativity. BTW, I’d go a good long ways out of my usual haunts to visit a bookstore run with the kind of attitude you’ve described 🙂

    Michael, there are a couple of factors involved. First, the US is in the process of a national nervous breakdown that mostly focuses on the comfortable and influential classes, and so there’s a lot of very weird behavior. Second, with the emergence of the label “Karen,” an enormous amount of resentment generated by the behavior of many affluent, privileged women of the professional and managerial classes has come boiling to the surface, and Amy Cooper was unfortunate enough to become a lightning rod for it. Anybody in America who’s worked in the retail or restaurant sectors knows the type — shrill, entitled, abusive, and utterly selfish; we’ve all had insults shrieked at us or been treated in a galaxy of other crassly abusive ways by “Karens;” and now that the balance of social power is beginning to shift, there’s a lot of bottled-up resentment seeking payback. That doesn’t make it right, of course, but Dreher’s pieties aren’t going to stop it.

    Aidan, military-style rifles are what they’re really afraid of, of course. Why do you think US police departments spent the two decades ending in 2016 amassing as much military gear and getting as much military training as possible? They were very clearly gearing up to fight a domestic insurgency. They might well have gotten one, too, except that the heavily armed deplorable masses gave electoral politics one last shot, and won.

    Samurai_47, you do it carefully, experimentally, and as a learning process.

    Methylethyl, that’s fascinating. We’ve been looking for a long-handled dish brush here for weeks, and haven’t been able to find one, so apparently it’s not just in your area. I wonder what’s behind it.

    J.L.Mc12, I’d suggest that they meditate on it!

    Your Kittenship, delighted to hear it!

    Ramaraj, the “second wave” business is based on bad modeling. At this point so many people have had asymptomatic or mild cases of coronavirus that it’s running out of new people to infect. Here in Rhode Island, new cases, new hospitalizations, and deaths per day have both been dropping steadily since the end of April.

  125. I recently started dating a girl I met online, we both have a lot of mutual attraction and she feels like she rarely gets to explore spirituality in conversation with anyone in her daily life.

    I practice Tibetan Buddhism while she is “spiritual but not religious”. Her family is Christian and she’s come to a kind of understanding with Christianity after rebelling against it for a while but she’s not sure if that’s the path for her.

    She got a lot out of different recorded meditations that she’s tried based on different Buddhist ideas, but she’s not sure about Buddhism either. She mentioned that people were commenting negatively that she seemed emotionless when she meditated in the “mindfulness” way for a while and she stopped.

    Anyway, I think she has a lot of background anxiety and uncertainty about her path in life, not just spiritually but with work etc. I feel like some kind of ritual work, beyond just meditation would help her a lot with that.

    I have my own Tibetan practices that are IMO are functionally very similar to banishing and invoking, but I don’t want to try to convert her if it’s not the path for her, and in any case, Tibetan Buddhism requires you to find a qualified guru to initiate you.

    I’m thinking about what’s the right way to bring these things up with her without being “preachy”.

    Right now I’m thinking I could just tell her about the different paths and possibilities I’ve read up on, from Tibetan Buddhism to the GD to traditional Christian spirituality, then whichever path she chooses will ultimately be her choice.

    On the Buddhist side, if she wants to pursue it further, I’m thinking of doing practices like meditating on loving kindness and the other four immeasurables together with her, which I think doesn’t give the “zoned out” vibe and is what the Buddha recommended to everyone anyway, even people who didn’t decide to follow his path.

    How would you approach this, JMG?

  126. KW, that strikes me as a fine metaphor.

    Team10Tim, do you happen to know if similar data emerges from other means of psychological testing? The history of experimental psych is full of phantom correlations that turned out to be artifacts of glitches and biases in the tests being used. Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man offers a good look at how such things shaped the history of IQ tests, for example.

    Alvin, I would wait for her to initiate any conversation on that subject. If she wants to talk about it, ler her know that you’ll drop it the moment she asks you to, and then stick to that. The best way to make someone reject a religion is to push it at them when they aren’t ready for it — and they, not you, get to make that call. If she does ask, doing practices together would be a good thing — a lot of people like to practice with someone more experienced, as it gives them a sense that they can get help if they need it.

  127. Hi JMG –

    Here in King Co., WA public transit is running at almost full service. Some trips have been cut, but nothing inconvenient. There is no fare collection, passengers have to board at the back door, and the front of the bus is reserved for wheelchairs and other assistive devices. Seats are blocked off to enforce social distancing.

  128. Since weird metal bands has come up, behold one of my favourites:

    With regards to the pandemic, my guess is that it’s being used for some massive projection: it’s not just that a lot of people in my class are realizing that our lives are horrid, but that it’s also impossible for a lot of them to admit why our lives are so horrid. This is a perfect recipe for projection, and so Covid-19 is getting a lot of that.

    So it’s not just that this disease is being used as cover to keep things from starting again so people don’t have to change, but it’s also being used to provide a justification for why their life sucks. It thus has to be truly atrocious, since it has to be the reason that my life sucks.

    It’s actually been very good for me though: it’s the combination of the shut down and watching my family frantically try to avoid having downtime which has convinced me that the life we have is horrible enough that I need to change. It was entertaining watching what new thing they come up with to keep from having any time to think, but it’s gotten really old…..


    At least to start with, my plan is to get an apartment. I have a high enough income to be able to afford one, and I figure that while my living conditions will change, moving out and getting used to the basics of it will be enough of a shock to my system.

    As for student housing, I suspect that will be a very good place to look this year, since both universities here have decided to go online for the fall semester. It promises to be quite an interesting time!


    It’s funny you mention the envelope method, since I’ve been looking into personal finance and discovered it earlier today. My sole quibble with your description is that I doubt I’ll be saving for a guitar anytime soon: I already have my saxophone, and one instrument is enough for me! 😉

    With that being said, I expect I’ll use physical envelopes, at least for the month’s spending: it’ll be easier for me to track that way, and it’ll guarantee I’ll have cash on hand if needed.


    I’ve already talked to my family and have permission to take a few spices (chili, red pepper flakes, oregano, cinnamon, and wasabi). As for the best place to get spices, I knew there was a reason why “close to Asian or Indian grocery” is on my list of things I’m looking for in a place to live! 😉


    I’m trying to get my head around your concern, but finding it baffling, particularly given how many of us will agree racism is a problem, and how people here by and large aren’t interested in what the news media sells; I’ve seen several people here claim to be very close to disconnected to that, and I will freely admit to having no idea what Joe Biden has said. It doesn’t interest me. Is your argument honestly that because people here aren’t talking about that it’s proof we’re racist?

    As for the dismissive attitude towards systemic racism, I haven’t seen that. I’ve seen people roll their eyes at what gets called racist, but I think most people here would agree racism exists. What I have seen is people get annoyed at rich minorities for claiming to be oppressed by poor white people, and a fair amount of derision at privileged whites who assert they have the right to speak for minorities, in many cases over their objections. Frankly, I think both of those need to be discussed, and mocked.

    Also, if I’m reading you correctly, your analysis starts from “all white people are racist”. I think that’s a very dangerous and flawed assumption, one I’d go so far as to call racist.

    If I’m misunderstanding something, please feel free to correct me, since I genuinely am trying to understand this argument.

  129. Team10Tim & JMG,

    If it was the Harvard test, then it will display the result of bias towards black people no matter what you do. I know this because I experimented with it, deliberately changing my response times if the pairing was “white” and “good”, and it still came back showing bias.

    You need to know who wrote the test, and what agenda they’re pushing…..

    Also, btw, I’m having some fun with the fact that the comment system will freely accept any email address, whether or not it, the site, or even the TLD happens to exist 😉

  130. In my online reading over the past few months, I’ve been bumping into experts and academics expounding upon what I’m going to call the Atheist Caveman Theory, for lack of a better term.

    Basically, it seems to me that any time a person with an advanced degree discusses ancient history, there’s a set of basic underlying assumptions that never get openly discussed. The assumptions seem to include:

    1) Religion is fake, consisting of a pack of lies.

    2) Religion being fake, someone has to have come up with these lies in the first place.

    3) Therefore, the further back in the historical record you go, the fewer lies you encounter, because they haven’t been invented yet. For instance, when the Iliad mentions Achilles sending the souls of many brave men to Hades, or the ghost of Patroclus visiting him, these aren’t actually souls, ghosts and afterlives being discussed, because those lies haven’t been invented yet.

    (This may seem like an extreme claim, but I recently heard a Cambridge professor discussing notions of the soul in ancient Greece and India. In his mind, the idea of the soul is a result of the idea of private property, which wasn’t established at the time of the Iliad. Therefore, the Achaeans had no concept of disembodied souls, thus the bits about ghosts and so on are referring to something else entirely, no one knows what.)

    So extrapolate this trend back into the Paleolithic, and you get a pack of atheist, materialist cavemen, wandering around a hostile and incomprehensible world, because they’re stupid and haven’t invented science yet.

    And indeed, this seems to be the popular image of the “caveman,” a sort of idiot astronaut who’s been marooned on a completely foreign planet, imagining lions behind every rock because that will keep him alive longer. (It says a lot to me that so many modern people seem to only think in terms of blunt-force statistical game theory like this, devoid of any understanding of context whatsoever.)

    I never really see anyone point out that Paleolithic people evolved out of Earth’s biosphere and were intimately in tune with it – they had to be, to spread across the planet with only stone and wood and bone tools. They couldn’t afford to be idiots. I don’t know that they were even vaguely comprehensible, in modern terms.

  131. Hi Grover,

    “All those critters made so much noise last night I couldn’t even hear the corn growing!”

    Did your wife mention the Pre-Dawn patrol of birds that start in at oh-dark-thirty?

  132. Waffles,

    I’ll pile on here and say that — with the right person of course — marriage is heaven. Don’t settle for anything less than marrying your BFF.

    Isn’t it fascinating the extreme level of rationalization that’s going on with the DNC & progressive crowd regarding Biden? A Republican with all of his issues would be considered far worse than Trump, but since he’s their only option they’ll do anything and everything — principles be damned — to support him.

    I’d like to throw this bone out to the commentariat…

    We’re at “peak DNC” and “peak progressivism” — it’s all downhill from here.

    Why? The short-sighted blue-state governors have killed their economies and eviscerated their tax base, the result of which will be an absolute decimation of their predominantly urban constituency. They’ve entirely defunded themselves for the forseeable future. And that’s just the dessert on the banquet of consequences. Comments?

  133. It wasn’t that long ago that I remember ideas about the nature of liberalism vs conservatism getting attention that claimed that conservatives were more prone to emotions of fear, disgust, and insecurity than liberals. Proponents were usually leftists that I think were hoping they could “cure” people of conservatism. There was also the idea going around back in 2016 that the most defining feature of Trump supporters was authoritarianism.

    This all seems ironic to me during this current crisis where its largely the left that is pushing fear and authoritarianism. I realize that until recently, I still held onto a bit of worry that if a crisis happened, Trump would turn into the fascist that the left accuses him of being (Bush didn’t show his true colors until after 9/11 after all). Now we have a crisis and it’s largely the Democrats being the authoritarians, wanting to control more and more of the details of our lives. It’s amazing how so much about the left vs right dynamic has largely reversed so much in the last decade and so few people seem to notice. From the scandals and impeachment right out of the Clinton-era republicans’ playbook to the authoritarianism, fearmongering and groupthink that mirrors the post 9/11 Bush-era right wingers’ rhetoric, today’s left has taken on those roles.

    If there is any truth to the idea that conservatives are more affected by emotions of fear, disgust and insecurity, that’s just more evidence of what you wrote a few years back, that the Democrats are now the conservative party. I bet this is caused by the cracks appearing in the “inevitability” of progress. You wrote a couple of months back about the contrast of the progressive version of history that’s linear vs the traditional Christian view that people gradually fall away from the divine covenant until a crisis brings them back humbly to religion. It looks to me as if today’s progressives have also taken on many elements of the traditional Christian view and applied them to the religion of progress. I think many progressives have been hoping that the current pandemic will scare and humble people enough that they will return to the altar of progress, have renewed faith in the experts, and discard populism. In actuality, I think the opposite is occurring, that the left’s insistence on portraying COVID as the apocalypse is backfiring already and will drive even more people away in the near future.

  134. I recently came across a story on dmt nexus describing an extended relationship with malevolent entities masquerading as benevolent and was wondering what you thought:

    Do those entities seem familiar to any you are aware of? Additionally, what lessons would you take from risd guys experience other than don’t do a lot of drugs?

    Secondly, I read Star Maker recently and it really reminded me of the Cosmic Doctrine. Have you ever come across it? Do you know if Olaf Stapleton has any occult connection?

  135. Something just clicked: I found it utterly baffling that of all the Trump Tweets Twitter would finally decide to “fact-check” it was the one about mail in ballots. Then it finally hit me: this is the one because they people making that call are deeply uncomfortable with it, quite likely because they suspect he’s right.

  136. @ Aidan Barrett

    Aidan, JMO (I’m no Constitutional expert) but the Heller case would seem to make it difficult to control handguns to any degree that would change the number of deaths significantly. Maybe the gun control advocates are simply acknowledging reality ? We’ve had an assault weapons ban before, so it’s plausible we could have one again. Hard to tell how a challenge to a ban would turn out given today’s court. Maybe the GC advocates are fighting the battle they think they can win?

  137. ‘I note that some of the Kek-worshiping types these days like to refer to their deity as “Frog of Peace.” Here’s hoping!’

    That’s really heartening to hear, I did not know this. Even if some may be intending irony, invoking Kek in that can only be a positive thing.

    But also, you’ve just upped my personal synchronicity ante substantially. My last piece of study in university was a private seminar centered on Aristophanes with Douglass Parker, a very playful classicist with what I now recognize as occult leanings. Anyway, I finished with a bang, helping a visiting theater company from London to stage a production of Parker’s translation of not “Frogs”, but… “Peace”!

    In this play, performed during the Peloponnesian War, a farmer (with a chorus of fellow farmers) liberates liberates the goddess Peace from a celestial prison, bringing her back to Athens along with her handmaidens Festival and Bounty. Basically a play long invocation of the goddess Peace in singing and dancing form. Along the way, contemporary warmongers— the era’s neocons, if you will— are mercilessly mocked, and toilet humor abounds.

    The company invited me to perform with them in London; the day I arrived happened to be September 11, 2001, and the London production premiered exactly contemporaneous with the US invading Afghanistan. It was extraordinary timing in an extraordinary time, and it was hard not to feel there was real meaning in all of this.

    May Kek indeed be a Frog of Peace!

  138. ToJMG and Commentariat

    Just a quick note on the pandemic here in Ontario.
    Conditions inside FOR PROFIT care homes for the elderly in Ontario are finally coming to light. The military has been brought in and is starting to clear them out. Because of course all the residents are dying. Forty of these patients were recently ported over to my wife’s hospital.

    I have long been angered by these for profit care systems which I also found in group homes for children in my positions in social services. There is a very basic mental error here. Adequate care for vulnerable demographics will not happen when the primary function of the system ‘taking care’ of people is to make profit off them. I have advocated for the regulation of for profit group homes for decades and I can’t say I’m not watching the drama unfolding without some grim satisfaction. These for profit care systems are reaping what they have sown. The quest to become a millionaire on the backs of the suffering of our most vulnerable is over, at least in part I think, and the resulting bankruptcies and law suits is a fitting end. I expect the rest of the for profit care industry and our politicians are paying attention in this country. The consequences should not be on the lenient side.

  139. LunarApprentice,

    I am a small business owner and the fearmongering of Covidiots nearly forced me to close my doors in the last few months. Whether the fearmongers want to acknowledge it or not, there is cause and effect at work here. Don’t kill the messenger: I didn’t invent karma, Justice belongs to the Lord, and I clearly stated I could be wrong.

    On responsibility: My state’s governor fomented the fear that forced me to close my doors on March 16. The mainstream media kept the doors shut by constantly fanning the flames of paranoia. Mask-wearing COVID cult snitches would be actively trying to shut my business down if they heard I have been slowly reopening, including a Trump-deranged friend I keep at a careful distance. Every individual who feared this disease after it was proven to be 40x milder than original forecasts is directly responsible for the human suffering it caused. They are also responsible for the elderly and sick people who were forced to go to their deaths surrounded by “essential worker” strangers in hospitals and nursing homes, and they are responsible for the anxiety attacks of countless children who were yanked out of school, sports, and church in order to sit out a nothingburger.

    I still don’t know that I won’t be teaching piano out of my parents living room in a few months. The last week has had me scrambling to salvage anyone who is left of my former students. I barely comment on JMGs blogs because I don’t currently have time. If I’m this angry about my comparatively easy lot, how angry do you think other people are, especially ones who lost it all? I don’t throw my bad intentions at people anymore — however, most of the disenfranchised aren’t in the serene place I am privileged enough to dwell in. They’re bitter and they’ve got nothing left to lose. They are waking up to the salary class’s complaisance with the lockstep officials and it could get ugly. I don’t need to be right.

  140. Hi again,

    Thank you for the reply, and I do appreciate where you are coming from. I am an emotional person, and I believe that comes out in the rhetoric I use. I will attempt to explain myself more.

    I want to clarify that I wasn’t calling anyone a “horrible racist”; rather that most people here seem to prefer to not engage with race or culture issues, and that deserves some criticism.

    I would also like to clarify that the topic that I am interested in discussing is more than a who-did-what issue, but the large scale, systematic pressures in place that subtly lift up whites at the expense of non-whites in America. The examples I used before are the most extreme life-and-death situations, to imply that even my sense of safety, something technically independent from the influence of others, is directly affected by what race I am.

    If I don’t engage with my whiteness, and how it affects me, then that sense of safety may be something I take for granted, and assume that everybody shares those feelings. If I project those feelings onto others who aren’t as safe (see:as white), I could very well misunderstand their motivations, just to start.

    Racism can exist without the presence of a racist. This commitariat probably has fewer racists per-capita than most other spaces on the web; That’s why I feel brave enough to keep talking about this. But even without racists, racism can (and does) exist here. Where’s the harm in looking for it?

    P.S. “Fashionable” is hardly what I’d call these socio-racial beliefs, judging by the flack I receive when they are worn visibly

  141. I enjoy your latest series of posts about the history of the occult in America, it is enlightening for me to see this topic discussed seriously and at depth. I study Physics in University and things like Newton’s interest in alchemy are swept under the carpet, but I do know some physicists kept being interested in the occult, like Wolfgang Pauli who worked with Carl Jung. I am interested if you happen to know of any other instances of relationships between modern Physics and the occult I may not be aware of.

  142. I made Dom Cummings the subject of my daily divination last Friday – the day the story broke. I was told quite clearly that he would resign (perfection by occupation, I don’t see many of those). I was disappointed as I think he probably is the key player behind the result of the original EU referendum and subsequently the sudden appearance of a backbone in the UK’s negotiation position after the election.

    Unfortunately I do think he made a poor decision under pressure while he wasn’t feeling his best; but it’s also very clear that this is primarily not about his lockdown behaviour at all. The story broke just before a long weekend when it would be the prolonged focus of an otherwise empty news cycle. The journalists who wrote about it must have known what happened for many weeks.

    In the meanwhile there’s a plausible story doing the rounds that while both he and Johnson were unavailable the UK was on the verge of signing up for a 2 year extension to the transitional period. When DC got back he stopped it and we are now a few weeks away from the deadline for extension applications. Without an extension the UK leaves Jan next year, possibly with only a fig leaf of a deal. Get rid of DC, weaken Johnson, and maybe an extension could be arranged. Extensions can of course evolve into permanent arrangements.

    @JMG You know, I haven’t thought about Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged for years. An accident with a particle accelerator and a rubber band, wasn’t it?

    Think I may have met him this week.

  143. @Très Bla: well put, regarding Boris Johnson. I should not be at all surprised if you’re basically right in what you say in reply to my post. Except that I’d say his patriotism is more than just to do with our “imperial past” – which was a fairly short (2 – 3 century) aberration in British history, as I’m sure he is well aware.

  144. JMG, DFC, and others, I had a very few bouts of tiredness in the last two months; but since I took up the Sphere of Protection in 2019, such bouts have been more or less absent.

  145. @ Myriam I totally understand what you are saying about books. Two people I can think of who might have anything further to offer you on this subject are Jeremy Naydler, in his book THE FUTURE OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: ESSAYS ON THE HISTORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS, and Karen Kingston, a space clearing expert, in her writings on psychometry.

    I suspect that many people, and especially many poets, intuit this power in books as physical objects / emanations from another plane, but in our culture we do not have the vocabulary to articulate it, never mind have open conversations about it.

  146. Will Oberton, you want anime suitable for a nine year old, so nothing where anyone’s head explodes. That excludes Fist of the North StarAkiraCyber City Oedo 808…it’s quite a long list. 🙂

    I agree with recommendations for Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli. My first was Laputa, now called Castle in the Sky. I was eight and I’d never seen anything like it. Even now my sense of aestheyics and beauty is still partly shaped by that film. The best combination is original music with English dub, which I think is an option on current DVDs. Also if you wonder why it features such a British-looking mining village, Miyazaki was here during the Miners’ Strike. The only Ghibli film I really didn’t like was the Earthsea one.

    I remember Steamboy as being decent, but had the constant distraction of a boy from Lancashire being voiced by a New Zealand woman.

    The following are the next level of maturity up, often 12 or 15 rated.

    If you want cyborg detectives and police in giant robots you want Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor. There’s two films in each series. Wings of Honneamise is about the first astronaut in the space programme of a country sliding towards war. It also has a significant religious sideplot. Macross Plus: The Movie has a very dense story involving fighter jets that turn into fighting robots, and an AI-controlled holographic pop star. But it does get darker towards the end when you find out about the violence in the characters’ pasts.

    There’s a director called Makoto Shinkai who’s regarded as a kind of spiritual successor to Miyazaki. It’s some of the most stunningly beautiful animation ever. I’ve only seen two of them. The Place Promised in Our Early Days is about three schoolfriends who build a jet aircraft over the holidays. Five Centimetres Per Second is a story of lost love with a downer ending, but the first third is the best depiction of a responsible early teen relationship I’ve ever seen.

    Although probably not right for your purposes, I should mention Tekkonkinkreet. It’s the story of two orphan street kids dealing with street gangs and Yakuza in Treasure Town, a gaudy metropolis of Japanese, Chinese, and Indian architecture. I thought it lost its way going into yin-yang imagery, but early on it’s an impressive depiction of working class characters who are highly intelligent and sophisticated, but lead very rough lives. In that way it’s kin to Helen Walsh’s novel Brass and Lorde’s music video ‘Team’ –

  147. Last week you were saying the only thing people really can change is themselves, and that improves the world. Why wasn’t therapy a suitable way of doing that? Why didn’t the world get better?

    On Transactional Analysis, there’s a personality scale based on it called the Process Communication Model. It was developed by NASA to tell who would be a good astronaut. They also used it to match astronauts together who wouldn’t kill and eat each other if left alone in a confined space. 🙂

  148. I would like to point out that Rasmussen Reports (5/20) also has Biden beating Trump by 5 percentage points in a recent poll. This from a pollster derided by liberals as having a Republican bias, and perhaps consequently the only major pollster that called it correctly for Trump in 2016. Also, Biden has been ahead in all recent major polls in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and all but one in Florida. The CNN poll you’ve cited elsewhere polled a small sample across fifteen states CNN deems battlegrounds, some of which are, some of which really aren’t. From this I conclude that the polling clearly favors Biden right now, and that baffles me.

    Do you think it is possible that Trump has alienated seniors by his unconventional approach to the presidency and/or his perceived callousness regarding COVID? It’s Trump’s election to lose, and this is one of the few ways he could actually do it.

    Also, regarding insurgencies and who has the know-how and the means to run one. I’m seeing signs that the adage “one side has all the guns, while the other is uncertain about what bathroom to use” does not necessarily hold true anymore. For one thing, LGBTQ gun groups (with names like Pink Pistols, Trigger Warning, etc.), have been reported to be growing widely (it’s not hard to imagine why). On the left, I see a disturbing increase in Leninist and even Stalinist (“tankie”) rhetoric, and if reddit subs are any measure to go by, the ‘Socialist Rile Association’, is growing significantly.

    It’s been the case that the US army has increasingly been recruiting from the ranks of the urban poor, rather than the sons of farmers which it historically did. Also, black people are a larger share of active service members than of the general population, and it is entirely reasonable for them to put their skills to use to protect their communities.

  149. A few points.

    When I saw on the last Magic Monday in an answer to a comment the phrse: “ILLITERATE? WRITE FOR FREE BOOKLET!”, I immediately thought that this is, in a nutshell, the essential way the whole Western Civilization is operating now.

    The cancer ingress chart and the solar eclipse chart near the Summer Solstice have some interesting properties. For example, the cancer ingress chart for Germany has Mars in its first housw, Aquarius on the house cusp. Mars is square a conjunction between Sun and Moon. This and several other signs in the chart point to the possibility of political unrest, something which is rather unusual for the otherwise so placid political climate in Germany.

    And a question:

    Can the effects of a chart manifest themselves before the time, on which the chart takes effect? I ask because of apparently incipient political unrest in the United States before the Cancer ingress chart for Washington.

  150. For everyone – you’re all talking about agreeing to disagree, and yet the consensus here is that wanting to mask and socially isolate is nothing but that nasty old virtue signaling by that nasty old upper middle class, and so on and so on. In short, your responses are as politicized as any of those on the other side of your political fence, and as given to dismiss those who disagree with you as moved by base motives.

    Once again, I beseech you, in the bowels of Cthulhu, think it possible that we may have a real and genuine fear of what seems to be a very nasty bug, and are doing our best to keep the damage down to a reasonable level, instead of dismissing us as having Virus Derangement Syndrome etc.

    And BTW, ascribing everything one does to base motives, whether based on class, race, religion, or just across the board, will not work on somebody who was steeped in that for 23 years with a spouse whose parents were certain that everyone did everything from base motives, you couldn’t fool them! Nor him. They and he knew what you were up to! Even, of course, if you weren’t. Nobody could cheat them, but, oh, my, how massively they ended up cheating themselves!

    Bring out your tumbrils and set up the guillotine…..

  151. On a lighter note: Andrew Moreton on the Stirling list posted this:

    “You can now buy Quantum entangled , relativistic time dilation mineral supplements to help you live longer and Quantum shield ISB sticks to protect you against 5G Electromagnetic Fog

    “I have never seen more incorrectly used scientific words outside of Star Trek. It worries me that anybody would be stupid enought to buy anything advertised like this ”

    “Any Sufficiently analysed magic is indistinguishable from Science”
    Agatha, Girl Genius

  152. Just a quick note on “planting by the signs.”

    I planted my green beans last moon cycle in 2nd-quarter Scorpio, a very fertile election for seed-bearing annuals normally, but they took nearly two weeks to emerge and then only sporadically. So I back-planted the two rows in Gemini over the weekend – taking our host’s advice that Gemini was a great sign for beans. By Leo they are almost all up, some of them with true leaves held high to the sky already.

    I had my doubts, as Gemini doesn’t strike me as a particularly fertile sign, but for beans at least, Mr. Greer was spot on.

    Hope everyone else is having a good garden year. We’ve already put up a bunch of broccoli and some spinach, and been eating lettuce, kale, and collards (and chickweed!) for at least a month. Best garden I’ve ever grown.

  153. @ siliconguy

    Re load-following nukes

    Note that I didn’t say that load-following nukes couldn’t be built. I said they don’t make sense. Yes, the Navy has had load-following nukes for quite some time. I’m well aware of that fact, as my dad was a naval submariner for 24 years and a nuclear-trained officer for 12 of those. I’m not talking engineering here, I’m talking economics. And when it’s ratepayers footing the bill rather than the DoD, economics matter.

    As I’m sure you know, unlike a fossil-fuel generator (such as a coal plant or a combined-cycle gas turbine), nearly all of a nuke plant’s costs are fixed rather than variable. This is why nukes have generally been operated at as close to 100% capacity factor as possible. (For everyone else: capacity factor is actual (annual) production divided by the product of 8760 and the plant’s capacity, 8760 being the number of hours in a normal year.) Running below max production only increases your per-unit cost. Running a nuke as a load-following unit rather than a base-load unit means that you’ll be running it less efficiently than before, thus increasing the cost to ratepayers on a per MWH basis. Versus a 100% capacity factor unit, running at 75% capacity factor increases the per-unit cost by a third, 67% cap factor by half, and 50% cap factor doubles those costs. All that’s been done is make a very expensive unit even more expensive and increased the burden on the ratepayer.

    So I stand by my comment that load-following nukes make no sense.

  154. Hi JMG,

    Not sure if this will classify as a ‘sales pitch’, but I’ll give it a shot anyway.

    My debut novel is now available online and might be of interest to the readers here.

    It’s the story of an idealistic high school student and his stoner friends who start a bank where the money is made from marijuana. But the local bank manager, the local bikie gang and the local constabulary don’t take too kindly to having their turf encroached on and the teenagers are about to find out that high finance isn’t all beer and skittles.

    Here’s the link for those who might be interest:

    P.S. The name in the book’s title is an actual place name here in Australia

  155. There’s more to the Karen thing than that. What’s being (possibly wisely) overlooked is what Dreher pointed out, which is race: ‘a “Karen,” the pop culture term for bossypants white women who overreact and police other people’s actions.’ Middle class white women are not making international news headlines for being obnoxious to poor white women, or fat people, or the disabled, or restaurant staff. They’re being targeted for their race. In fact, the exact same news media trumpets them as heroines of The Resistance when they display their entitlement and class bigotry using working class white Americans as the target group.

    Since the overwhelming majority of violent interracial crime involving white and black Americans involves a black perpetrator and white victim, the only rationale for these insane overreactions is the progressive doctrine of privilege. White women of all classes are deemed to be more privileged than black men of all classes. Offensive, but nonviolent, behaviour by white women towards black men has been redefined as ‘violence’ and this justifies global public shaming and job loss. Meanwhile, white liberal middle class women on average have the lowest ethnic ingroup preference of every ethnic group and class, quite possibly in the history of our species. This is about race, not class.

  156. @ABQ et al: Bibliomancy is one of my favorite forms of divintation. I don’t think I’ve used the Wake before though. I used to read a page or two of it every night for awhile to help me fall asleep and see if it helped induce my own Waking dreams. Reading it aloud is certainly another way to experience the book in all of its punny alliterative associations. I will give it a go for divination soon.

  157. I got a clue to my own fear conditioning, when my elderly aunt came to stay with me during the two weeks at the end of April when the pandemic scare was at it’s scariest. I ended up having to buy her her own television, so that she could watch the news during all waking hours. It put my whole family into a constant state of anxiety, which went away once the aunt went home and we disabled the television. It seems that some people can’t get by on their own thoughts, they need the thought implant system provided by the news media. Unfortunately, the news media is ruled by an energy vampire that does not have the best interests of humans at heart.

  158. @Patricia Matthews: Your Democratic Party loyalist friend’s reaction shouldn’t surprise you. With a nominee such as Joe Biden, this group must necessarily engage in a great deal of willful cognitive dissonance between now and November.

  159. Violet,
    I completely agree that the lens of astrology is very useful in understanding and appraising history. I’ve been learning and contemplating through that for a while and have found it immensely edifying and revelatory. If you have not come across it already, I highly recommend Cosmos & Psyche by Richard Tarnas. Also worthwhile is the site Both are grounded in the study of synods, the cycles of conjunctions of the outer planets. The upcoming Jupiter/Saturn conjunction belongs in this category, as does last January’s Saturn/Pluto conjunction. There are quite a few of them… all fascinating. You’re right that it’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.

  160. @Ramaraj

    Maybe social distancing worked! Or, maybe the disease has run its normal course. Or, maybe, it is like every other respiratory virus, and it goes away in the summer, and will come back for round 2 when the weather cools again in the fall.

    Our county has had 3 deaths– the last of those was weeks ago, and the new-cases number has been declining for weeks, and seems to have stalled. Statewide, number of deaths per day is down to single digits, and has been for a week.

  161. JMG, and all my magical friends here at Ecosophia,

    I’m so thrilled to say that I hit my one year anniversary of daily ritual magical practice this week! The difficulty of performing even that first tentative Cabalistic Cross ritual is still etched in my mind – fumbling through the strange words, no visualization skills whatsoever, feeling kinda silly, couldn’t even stand straight and balanced.

    After a year of daily practice (I missed maybe 15 days total), that’s all changed. The words come without conscious effort, I’m totally poised and balanced physically (my shoulders are actually more muscular from the Pentagram ritual), my visualizations are robust, I can feel the chi palpably flowing through me when I direct it in the Middle Pillar, the Archangels have nearly come to life, etc, etc, etc. I can even see my etheric double fairly clearly when I look down at Malkuth. Thrills me every time.

    More importantly, my material and emotional aspects are more deliberate these days, more under the control of my will, and the inclinations of my daily divinations. I’m a lot less likely to speak hastily (though my long-winded nature obviously hasn’t taken any blows!), more likely to stop and attempt to see the situation through the eyes of others, an so forth and so on.

    So I would encourage anyone who is thinking about taking up magical practice to jump in, if you’re feeling it. The Water is nice. (And the Fire, and the Air, and the Earth…)

    Cheers, y’all.

  162. @Grover

    Thanks. Even the “this didn’t work” bits are useful data points. Husband has had to give up all alcohol and caffeine, and finds that does make a positive difference, but doesn’t solve the problem. That’s interesting that you find a little agave is OK, but not sugar or HFCS– a field ripe for experimentation! I will poke around and see what I can find out about chickweed, also. At this point, he’s been through three rounds of antibiotics for nothing (he’s very much the do-what-the-doctor-says sort), and is so frustrated by the lack of results he’d be willing to try just about anything that wouldn’t kill him.


    Has she ever explored Eastern Orthodoxy or the Coptic church? Those are very much Christian, but maintain the meditative practices/mystical tradition that the Western church discarded after Aquinas (Full disclosure: I’m Orthodox– so it seems the natural route to *me*. YMMV).

  163. Tanya, Merlin was quite likely Christian, just going way back. Read the Kolbrin Book of Britain.

    Jews fleeing the insanity of falling Rome under Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero fled to the furthest possible point of the empire and set up Glastonbury Abbey as “Christians”, such as the word meant then. They are both rejected and received by the Britians (and Welsh) and both understood and incorporated, interacted and separated. The Mediterranean tradition being quite different, book-based, etc, familiar to us, the children of Rome, but not to the Iron-age Picts, and their different tradition is the foundation of the “King Arthur” myths, as this bright spot (to us) existed in a high order as opposed to the very tribal surroundings of the day. Later writings in t his book describe the slow, inevitable, sinking feeling of certain doom as the medieval ice age set in and this small outpost of “civilization” (that is, city-thinking, book-learning, Mediterranean culture) shrinks with the stress and is nearly — or even was — wiped out. As we see from the legends being legends. This is also why Britain sees King Arthur and Glastonbury/Somerset are seen as their father and heritage and not, say, Yorkshire. Because the Roman/Christian ethos “won” and the Pictish/native bronze cultures “lost”. Long way to say we have records that may make Merlin/Arthur/Christian/Pagan stories far for complex and interesting. You can read them.

    BRT: 1:17 The strangers, now called the Wise Ones, were free from
    the yoke of Rome and from the intolerance of the Jews. They were not
    subject to immoral customs and were among the right-living people, simple
    but pure in mind and body. Close by was a place for trading in metals, slaves,
    dogs and grain. Here, Ilyid built himself a house unlike any others, for it was
    square and in two parts, more stone than timber. This place was called Kwinad.

    BRT: 1:18 Here, on twelve portions of land, … they built a church which was a full sixty feet long by a full twenty-six feet wide. At one end was a statue four feet high, carved from a beech trunk. The roof was thatched with reeds, after the manner of the
    Britons. The walls were of wicker overlaid with plaster of chalk and mud.

    BRT: 1:19 Ilyid is buried outside the forked path before the [Glastonbury] church, and
    on his tomb was written, “I brought Christ to the Britons and taught them. I
    buried Christ, and now, here my body is at rest.”

    They also have descriptions of other sea-travelers (e.g. Greeks), the revolt of Boadicea, and the diverse peoples of the island. Nearby archeological sites confirm this. Over time everything has happened. History is anything but one-dimensional. The people called “Jews” “Christians” “Pagans” and “Druids” yesterday are pretty different from how we think of and use the terms today. Try to see how they saw they it, not us.

    I have heard of Q as a “Holistic Poet”. That is, for movements to catch fire, they need a song, a language, a “thing.” See “Hunger Games”. Their use of suggestive language fills that aspect of “poetry”, the way Václav Havel might. In that way, it doesn’t matter if it’s true, although it won’t have any traction if it were simply false. But what matters in a time of repression and censorship is he can say forbidden things, break the ruts and create new ways of thinking.

    One aspect of big data analytics that always stands out for me is that the data in is total garbage. And the garbage men collecting it are happy to admit it. Then they’re –surprised face— when the conclusions from garbage waste time, resources and fail utterly and publicly. Then they spend another million and do it again. Clearly nobody’s going home hungry or they wouldn’t have oceans to waste. So long as they keep themselves occupied with total failure and ruin though, they’re totally ineffective and stay out of my way. I’d rather my evil come with a heaping side of inept.

    “How long the world is going to tolerate the U.S. ruling class?” They already haven’t, both without, and within. That’s why the U.S. military-side is at near civil war with the Establish/Deep State side. Enjoy and appreciate it while you’re not involved. This is why they cannot reversal their carnal-cranal inversion. If they reverse, relent, or pause at all, they will be run over, removed, and possibly indicted. Note that for them simply “removed” may mean their personal enemies can come find them now that they have no protection racket covering for former murders and felonies.

    Can we talk about “A former DA who was ‘tough on crime’ put a lot of black men in prison?” when both the DA –and the police involved—are also black? “AhemHarris.” Would that not be saying black people are racist? Okay, logic –dissolves. This issue is not one-dimensional. Be careful. The magic of that side is when nobody discusses, debates or calls out each other’s ideas. Any healthy thing involves presenting, criticizing, disputing, adjusting, openly without being excommunicated at ‘go’.

    Cooper mob hysteria, look up the later days of where public mobs thirsting for blood roamed the street looking for the slightest offense to fall on and tear the offenders to shreds with impunity. Ah, it feels so good to hate and murder! It’s worth inventing an offense, an “other” just to get it! I believe JMG has a long essay on just this. Such people and their leaders were inevitably also rounded up and as they say, “hoisted on their own petard.” Thus how the Founding Fathers feared pure Democracy and like such Mob it enables above all things, and from “Julius Caesar” the media or public speaker who directs the mob to execute their personal ambitions. Thankfully the Aquarian Age does this all digitally with communication of air, but it is identical to roaming murder gangs. That’s why we have evidence and due process, which starting last year were also attempted to be completely discarded.

    “Buddhism” is an enormous field as you know, with many traditions. But to my mind, the practical side is a –method– not a –religion–. So it’s a way of looking and … seeing for yourself. That’s not evangelizing, use the tool or don’t I care less, but if it’s part of –your—life it’s even required that you share it. It’s only because of the Terror Mob of Karens (or is it an “Indignant” of Karens?) that talking is no longer considered normal human behavior. How do they say, This is your “lived experience”? Now let me wash my mouth out with soap for using such non-human and creepy words. How about:

    “You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”

  164. @Darkest Yorkshire,
    ’twas I! Sacred art is a wonderful, and powerful thing; that’s why every culture has it.

    Not every piece of fanart counts, though. Some leave me cold and others seem to shine with the divine light of the Living Sun and Moon Undying. It’s not the quality; there are technically excellent pieces that don’t seem to count as devotional, much less sacred. It’s not the content; there are works of clop* that seem holy as all get-out, and my was that an uncomfortable discovery. Maybe the artists intent is involved? I do not know.

    *If you don’t know the word, don’t google it. That which has been seen cannot be unseen.

    Honestly… my devotional practice has fallen completely off the rails of late. Apparently marijuana shuts down the portion of my brain responsible for spiritual experience. Not something I’ve heard of happening to anyone else, but. Hey. What the heck, we’re all different.

    I’m going to take your comment as a nudge and spend some time in quiet contemplation of some sacred art this afternoon. Thank you.

  165. Mr. Greer, could Schumacher’s concept of appropriate technology be extended to the military sphere as well? I mean, military tech, like any other tech, is also subject to the law of diminishing returns, so could some kind of appropriate technology be applicable here?

  166. @Waffle,

    Another happily-married man here. Like most, I don’t crow about it; there are too many men who aren’t and too many who’ve been ruined by ex-wives. Besides, contentedness doesn’t need to be advertised the way misery does. That’s part of why you don’t hear so much of the good.

    Another reason is that the system is really set up quite poorly for the modern world. You move in with a woman, and you are handing her a loaded gun, aimed at your head. She can have half your stuff. She has a claim to your income, in pepertuity. (In theory, that should go both ways, but look at the stats.) She can destroy you, financially, socially, and with out a doubt psychologically. Now, once upon a time, that gun was harder to use, and it made sense to have it. You’re probably stronger than her; that metaphorical gun was a wife’s very real defence against your highly-probable ability to beat the stuffing out of her. Now, though? There’s no safety, and it’s got a bloody hair trigger. That’s not good.

    So it’s easy to get burned. Once burned, you’re going to warn your fellow men away from the fire. But fire isn’t all bad! It is protection from the cold and the dark of going through this world alone.

    If you can find a woman you can trust, really trust! Well, that’s something. When my wife and I swore to our grandparents God ” ’til death do us part” — we both meant it. She’ll die before she gives me up– or I will. On that I am certain. So she has the gun, but it doesn’t bother me. She won’t use it.

    Find a woman like that, if you can, and I heartily recommend this poor, battered institution we call ‘marriage’.

    (How to? I have no idea. I got lucky.)

  167. JMG. I ran across an image I thought you might like to see:

    It’s popped up a few times on various odd corners of the internet I lurk. I tracked down an inoffensive link for you. For those who don’t want to follow the link blind, it is a 4 panel comic. The first shows a young man, sitting on a couch, in tears with a gun to his head. (He obviously intends to kill himself). In the second panel, a hand reaches out to the gun. A single speech bubble from off panel says “Nein”. In the third panel, the hand has pushed the gun away from the boys head, and he looks up. Hope wars with dispair: someone cares? Fourth panel: that someone is literally Hitler; Adolf Hitler hugs the boy.

    This is a very, very powerful image. I almost teared up when I saw it first. (Good propaganda!) I think this captures a big part of the sturmer end of the alt-right: these boys are lost, forgotten, uncared for. They’ve all heard the woke slogans: that they’ve got white, male privilage! They’re playing life on easy mode! You don’t know what real issues are like; you’re just a fragile white male. It’s easy, on the internet, to think no one cares if you’re not a woman of colour.

    Ah, but someone cares. You’re not worthless: you have intrinsic worth. You have something to live for: the volk! Your race gives you intrinsic worth; the 14 words give you a sense of purpose. For someone hitting rock bottom, that can be very, very powerful. I think this comic is autobiographical. And yes, JinjerZilla was in the trenches during the Meme Wars.

    I don’t know if this observation helps your book, but I wanted to share.

  168. @Grover I’m starting to wonder if a lot of men are being misdiagnosed with bad prostate issues who actually have interstitial cystitis. The things you say you need to avoid are bang on for the same things I had to avoid when I had it.

    I’m a woman, who spent a year with the symptoms you describe, due to doctors misdiagnosing bladder infections that were actually reactions to the antibiotics. Which is to say, doctors tend to ignore doing any actual follow up on their theories – I’d pee in the cup, they’d send me away with a prescription. After a year essentially confined to my apartment at the age of 21, one new doctor finally looked up my chart – actually checked my history before prescribing! – and discovered that every test had come back negative. The specialist urologist she referred me to told me never to let them write me a prescription again, and I’d live a healthy life. Said he saw it frequently. So I wonder if they just do the same sloppy leap to deciding all men have prostate issues with those symptoms, because it’s assumed that’s the common thing men get, like women get bladder infections. There would be a similar mechanism… Starting with a mild prostate problem, the pent up pee issues could cause irritation of the bladder lining, so that that eventually becomes the overwhelming driver of symptoms.

    I wonder if you tried experimenting with removing all the things the IC sufferers say cause flare ups, it would remove the symptoms? Not everyone gets over it, it becomes a chronic autoimmune disease… Some people have to wear diapers, or stay shut in, peeing every ten minutes, and so, like must chronic disease sufferer, they have active online forums you can scour for lists of sensitizing food, drink and medicines.

    I personally avoid relapse pretty easily now simply by mostly limiting acid drinks to one a day of coffee, tea or alcohol now, but at first I had to entirely cut out the sugar and salt and a few other things that seem to have chemistry irritating to the bladder lining until all symptoms stopped.

    Either way, I wish you well.

  169. I’m thinking about a visual arts project (sculpture, broadly speaking) inspired by a Retrotopia concept: creating “artifacts” from a de-industrial future civilization on the North American continent. My inspiration starting point are past societies that were sophisticated (Edo Japan, Byzantine Empire, 1700s Vienna) but pre-industrial. A future society of a comparable level of sophistication might have artifacts such as..

    – Fashion accessories, but with a completely “alien” aesthetic to our eyes
    – Currency from an new American city state
    – Something incorporating simple and/or sustainable technology (e.g.
    – A shrine to a future deity
    – Decorative chamberpot!

    And so on. I think this is definitely the audience to float this idea. Thoughts? Ideas?

  170. A few further remarks on the Cancer ingress chart for Berlin, Germany: Sun and Moon are in Gemini and in the fifth house, Uranus is in his fall in Taurus and in the second house, Jupiter and Saturn are in Capricornus in the 12th house. Jupiter is square Mars. Mars is, as described before, in the first house conjunct Neptune and in Pisces, not in Aquarius. It is the first house cusp which is in Aquarius.

  171. And another point about coronavirus news, which leaves many questions open: Sometimes there are reports of parties, or churchgoing events which supposedly lead to the infection of dozens or hundreds of people. But, if it is the case that only one of 1000 persons has the coronavirus, as is the case in Hesse, Germany, and if one assumes for the sake of the discussion, that one party had 100 participants, than it should be the case that in nine out of ten parties or similar events there would be no one in the party group (etc.) who can spread the coronavirus. That makes me wonder what’s going on. The cases that brought these ideas to mind were a church event and a visit at a restaurant by people in Frankfurt, Hesse, which reportedly, in the case of the church event, left 200 (!) people infected.

  172. (JMG, second attempt–please delete the first if it’s not too late. There was a confusing typo)

    Good morning all. The comments I’ve seen so far about the Amy Cooper incident have been thoughtful and reasonable, as usual for the readership around here, which is the only reason I’ll venture to make a contribution.
    I’m finding this incident worth reflecting on. The reason, I think, is that something that’s implicit in many other cases is very explicit in this one: Ms. Cooper understands the power she has in the situation. She knows that her 911 call could result in Christian Cooper being arrested, injured, or killed; she knows he knows it, and she uses that common understanding to try and get herself out of a jam. It really does appear that she wants the police not to come mediate the situation or to ensure her safety, but to serve her as a threat of danger to Mr. Cooper.
    It makes me think of working-class and poor neighborhoods where most people have a bunch of cousins or some neighborhood guys they can call on in case of real trouble; in my experience, that’s a useful adaptation in a not-always-safe world. Someone like Ms. Cooper doesn’t have those sorts of social bonds, but she’s able to call the police as if they were her gang. She said in her interview that she was just scared; I believe her, and of course I can’t assert that she wasn’t in danger. But this looked like a really pretty routine human conflict, which she seemed not to have the social skills or self-discipline to negotiate. I’m suggesting that, even if accepting that she was in fact afraid for her safety, she was also terrified by her own inability to cope. Her actions seem to me like an admission that she’s not equipped to function without a huge subsidy of privilege.
    That’s a really scary thought, and that’s the part I think is worth reflecting on. It’s easy enough to condemn a very privileged crazy white lady in New York City, but the video dramatizes in a very over-the-top way a realization that I think many, many Americans are sensing: that they’re not very fit to function in a society that doesn’t shelter them with a ration of security and privilege that is unequal and unsustainable. (To be clear, I’m not talking just about white privilege, but about all the various subsidies that most Americans get in varying amounts and combinations, including the economic benefits of empire, most of which are shifting if not crumbling at this stage. A lot of formerly reliable privileges are going away if for no other reason than that we can’t afford them.) It’s easy to distance oneself from the absurdities of Ms. Cooper’s behavior and/or from some of the publicized condemnation of her, but I think the sort of fear she acted out is quite widespread–and sensible. Most all of us are going to have to confront it–I hope more intentionally and less dangerously then Amy Cooper did the other day.
    That’s the feature of that spectacle that I think matters enough to contribute here. I hope others find it worth considering.

  173. I don’t know anyone who’s had covid-19 other than my cousin in England, and my best friend’s cousin in England also had it.

    Transit in Vancouver has all the problems I mentioned. Transit in Victoria (where I live) has similar problems with reduced service and having free boarding and related money hole for the past two months, but they seem less severe. The current local government is very supportive of both cycling and transit. Translink (Vancouver) has a persistent history of money problems and arguing with the local government about money. This is coming on top of a transit strike there last year, so if I lived in Vancouver I would want to have a backup means of transportation.

    Ridership is WAY down – you look into a bus and you may or may not see two or three people on it. I haven’t been on a bus since Mar 11- at this point it should be safe enough, but well, I have my scooter and being on disability and currently lacking my usual dribs and drabs of work I’ve managed things so I don’t really have to go very far so far. If it is short enough to scoot or walk, it is nicer than sitting on a bus wearing a mask. Up in Powell River, my family there are also car-free, and they avoided the bus for weeks/a month? too.

    The standard explanation of the bicycle sales are that people now have more free time, gyms are closed, and people are encouraged to go outside, socially distanced, to exercise. You see a lot of families on bikes and kids on skateboards and scooters right now, so I’m sure this is part of the explanation, but I think the transit issue is connected too.

  174. Hello JMG (and commentariat),

    I wondered if you had any advice/insight on the ethical dimensions of spaying/neutering pets?

    As I mentioned on Magic Monday, a stray black cat has shown up at my house and we have begun taking care of it and treating it as a new member of the family. Since I’m allergic it will have to be an outdoor cat, but we are very happy to meet all its needs and have a new companion around.

    That said, we have no idea where the cat came from, if it has had any vaccinations, etc. That is a whole ‘nother realm which I know little about and could use advice, but the main point of this post is regarding getting him “fixed”. He is male, and visible un-neutered, and that brings up an ethical conundrum for me, which I would appreciate any help in untangling.

    I am torn between the sense that it is inappropriate and domineering to make the choice to neutered another clearly aware being who would not volunteer for the procedure and the sense that an intact cat in a neighborhood full of other cats is likely to produce a lot of kittens, which could be disastrous for any mother and/or for the neighborhood birds and rodents (to say nothing of a male cat spraying everywhere).

    Anybody have any experience or insight they would be willing to share on the subject?

    Thanks for hosting this space.

  175. Packshaud

    “Another thing that brought me peace was realizing that all the talk about fake news is just people rediscovering gossip in the internet age. ”

    Hmm. I don’t quite agree with that. Fake News is a term that calls out the way the mainstream media have an agenda and serve the deep state actors.

    What goes on in the internet is a separate issue.

  176. @Teresa from Hershey: On my walk today in the park I picked up 3/4 of a bag of litter. Felt good. Second lesson learned pretty quickly after the first: Always wear long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt when picking up litter between rosebushes and brambles. 🙂

  177. Dear JMG,

    Regarding historical astrology, I’m actually very surprised there isn’t more information on the subject. When I studied the Civil War ingress charts I did so because I was curious about the subject from a historical perspective and found, to my surprise, no ready made charts or interpretations. And that surprised me because it seems much easier to use astrological methodologies to describe past events rather than predict future ones. This then gives me a certain poetic understanding behind the flow of events, which I like.

    What’s more, at least with the Civil War there’s so much interesting stuff going on astrologically — from the ingress charts, to the 1860 eclipse, to Thatcher’s comet, to the Lunar Eclipse during the Battle of Chattanooga. Looking into it, though, I couldn’t even find a foundation chart for the Confederacy, which would obviously be helpful for understanding subsequent events. The lack of good astrological foundational material truly astounds me.

    Speaking of comets, may I ask if you plan on interpreting the mundane astrology of the Swan Comet? I’m very curious your thoughts on what it means, should you wish to share, and I’m very curious what the comet means and what influence it might bring in its wake.

  178. Dylandrogynous,

    If I may:

    Personally I’m sympathetic to marginalized people. Indeed, I am one being both transgender and crazy and so my stake in this is rather high. That said, I’ve never found that the sort of discourse you engage with helps bring people together. Rather, practically, it always seems to work very divisively indeed, causing acrimony between people of different races. For this reason, regardless of what the intent may be of those who give voice to the discourse you’ve engaged with, I believe, has the end result of race war.

    Here’s how it works: the professional managerial class in America are part of of doomed class of people very similar to the planter aristocracy of what would become the Confederacy. They live off of the immiseration of others, and there’s a racialized context. Gentrification, illegal immigration, mass incarceration. Who does this benefit? It benefits the professional managerial class. And I believe, like the Confederates, they played a high stakes game of chicken. That is, they were willing to precipitate a war in order to preserve their place in society. Basically, from my perspective the PMC had a last ditch effort to get the white working class and the black working class at each other’s throat and did all they could to make sure it would breed violence. I seriously think that the unconscious end game was a game of political “Let’s You and Him Fight,” leading to something akin to a Balkans War.

    Why do I believe this? I believe this because _I was there_ and I saw how much racialized violence that woke people actually engaged with and caused. And it was a lot: I mean race war type stuff, non-black people trying to arm me against black people, people getting stomped, white people fighting black people over buildings, white people dispossessed from land they’d lived on for decades, black people dispossessed through gentrification with so many nice white liberals moving into historically black neighborhoods etc etc etc

    “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

    I’ve never seen the sort of discourse you engaged with lead to people coming together in love and understanding. Rather I’ve seen it result in violence and acrimony and injustice. And since I’m a marginalized person, since I’m a visible minority, you must understand that I have no interest in divisive politics that seem to breed horrors, but a very, very strong interest in everyone coming together as much as possible in love and understanding.

  179. @ Michael Martin

    My Insights: Is Amy Cooper’s mob punishment harsh, yes. But as an “enlightened,” city-dwelling white woman, she most surely knew what calling the police can mean when a black man is involved. She screwed up, big time, and the mob response seems proportional, especially in light of the live public lynching equivalent of George Floyd(African American) by four white cops on Monday in Minneapolis, (which is now burning because of riots last night.) She weaponized the police when she could have just told the bird watching black man to mind his own business, collected her dog and gone away. We live in precarious times and actions have consequences. She made a dishonorable and endangering choice, now she lives with it.

  180. Fluffball in distress, rescued by nice lady, ugly cat, and beautiful dog:

    I went to a cat show once in Columbus, Ohio, and there was one of those naked cats (they’re called “Sphinx”) by the door, all by himself. As I passed his cage, he reached through the bars and patted my arm, meowing hopefully. I couldn’t resist, I petted him. He felt like a hot-water bottle wrapped in velour. The owners of these fancy animals don’t want hoi polloi petting them, and for good reason, they could catch something, but I had just walked in, and had not encountered a cat in months, so I figured Mr. Lonely was safe enough. Then I didn’t pet any of the others.

    Mr. Lonely was ugly, he looked much like the cat in the pictures, but if you took him home and had him fixed I imagine he’d have made a wonderful pet. He was one of the sweetest animals I’d ever met.

  181. Hi Duty Bound,

    Go to the animal shelter and talk to the people who have to kill dozens of pets every week to make room for the next batch. You won’t be able to get Mr. Friendly to the vet fast enough. And enjoy him!

  182. Thinking about the situation with Canada and China over the Meng extradition, combined with the major legal change to Hong Hong’s status, it has also occurred to me that there are approx. 300,000 Canadian citizens currently living in Hong Kong. I wonder if a lot of them are going to suddenly want to decamp to Canada. That could get complicated, especially given the situation with the virus and air travel. I assume there must be a lot of US citizens there too, some of whom are likely to want to leave if Hong Kong loses its special status, and trade privileges with the USA.

    On a sillier note: I would not want to own Hong Kong real estate right now. Maybe housing and rents there will get less insane. Hong Kong is, after all, the one place in the world that is regularly described as being worse than Vancouver with regards to sky high housing prices compared to local incomes. They’ve got my sympathy on that one.

  183. IMHO, many people have an instinct to support or criticise prominent state and non-state actors in their writing. Many of these pieces are fair and logical. What I believe is missing is that any fair pieces should include the results of an author asking him/herself; “Why?”, “Is it true or is it false?” and, “Does a piece unwittingly penalise any innocents?” My sad experiences are that it becomes difficult to trust the veracity of any author whose failure to ‘enquire within’ is evident.

  184. “What do you see in your state, county or town?”

    What I see is that it is summertime, for heaven’s sake, and the cold and flu season is over.

  185. About Obama Derangement Syndrome,

    It’s definitely a thing – I know this because I grew up in a community where it was a thing. I heard family members in 2008 saying things like “If Obama wins, I swear this will be the last free election in my lifetime.” Then in 2012, the week after the election people were starting conversations by saying “How do you feel about the fact that our country just committed suicide?”

    As a youth I worked briefly for some people who went around to conservative rallies selling t-shirts; our collection included shirts with pictures of Obama and Hillary side by side with Joseph Stalin and Che Guevara; we had one with an Order of Lenin medal with Lenin’s face replaced by Obama’s, and another with a Nazi propaganda poster with Hitler’s face replaced by Obama’s…. well, you get the idea.

    Did it require a huge helping of historical ignorance to overlook the shear smallness of Obama’s role in creating the actual policies that we conservatives despised? You bet! But the desire to put a face on what you hate – even if it’s a stupid one – is pretty darn strong, and it always has been.

  186. I think the idea that because Covid-19 has a low death rate, one day people will wake up and smell the coffee and get back to business as usual once the hysteria wears off, is wrong. I agree that Covid-19 has a low death rate that is mostly clustered among the elderly and the sick. But has a disrupter of modern western society and economics it is brilliantly adept. For at least 40 years now most Americans have been given the message in the media, advertising, school etc that they are in danger of being hurt by a tremendous array of dangers. Lead, Radon, PFOS, Gluten, too much sun, too little sun, bacon, etc. This of course goes hand in hand with American’s fear of mortality. We are convinced that if we do everything right we can live to 100 playing tennis at the club with the body of Cher or Jane Fonda as long as we are careful. I see this more in the younger generations. 20 somethings madly pumping away at spin cycles while avoiding gluten. The younger guys that share my shop with me ( welders, machinists, copper smiths not white collar types) are exceedingly careful about everything, even wearing N95 dust masks when sweeping the floor ( long before covid). So along comes a disease tailor made to play to their worst fear. It just might kill you, or make you real sick, or give you kidney failure, or blood clots etc. It is the uncertainty and randomness of its outcomes that makes it scary to most people ( even healthy 20 year olds). So I think until it really fades from the scene we are stuck with its effects and we can blame Euell Gibbons and Jane Fonda.

  187. TJandtheBear, I could well imagine the whole fear-mongering about the Coromnavirus backfiring badly, depending on country. It may well happen that people become unable to believe experts anymore, regardless if the experts are right or not.

    Kimberly Steele, ther I can consolate you. The Cancer ingress chart and the lunar eclipse chart for Washington D. C. predict political unrest; and J. M. Greer has alluded that the solar eclipse chart for Juni 20 will be “a doozy”.

  188. “But all of that is just context for the following. The reason given is fascinating:

    “You don’t choose to make positive associations with the dominant group,”

    I have a very different take on this. It is not that a person is “required” to have a positive association with a dominant group. I think a bit of reflection is in order here…

    Rather, I suspect blacks have positive associations for a couple of reasons, one being TV and movies, but the main one being that almost all white people they have ever encountered in their lives have been fairly nice to them.
    As for other blacks, since they live most intimately in their own culture, probably they would have more mixed feelings, which is again realistic.

    In other words, I think actual, personal experience easily trumps any manufactured “requirement” by a dominant culture.

    What in heck is going on with white people?

  189. I find it interesting that terms like “systemic” are given much credence in the comments section of a blog related to esotericism. Most of all because I have never read anything (at least what I am aware of) mentioned in occult or esoteric teaching of anything “systemic” or “institutionally biased” and very little about “race” (except in the context of evolution as taught in Theosophy). What I have read a lot about is how to look at one’s own self and how to see your life as a reflection of your own karma, your thoughts, and your words. I’ve read a lot about not blaming “the System” or “the Other” for one’s own suffering, not once in the Tarot, astrology, Kabbalah, alchemy, or any field of esoteric study have I seen anything where it says we need to “change the System” so that we can create a truly equal or just society. I’m not even sure that that would be possible or even desirable when you get right down to it. What I do see as within the realm of possibility is meditating before I start my day, watching my thoughts, watching my words, watching how I treat those I come in contact with. Do I have an “unconscious bias” about certain people? Perhaps, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Does that make me a racist. No. Does it make me a sexist? No. Transphobic, Homophobic, or claustrophobic? No, I don’t think it does. In fact I’m not so sure I know the definitions of any of these words anymore. Who decides what is “racist”? Webster’s dictionary? The Democratic Party? University-tenured six-figure-earning-neo-Marxist-intersectional sociologists? I have no idea anymore. Or does the person who “feels” as though an injustice had been done to them get to define it for all? I don’t think I can get behind that one either. Sometimes I “feel” like watching porn, or drinking a 6-pack of beer, but do I act on it? No.

    Is there evil in the world? Absolutely. Human beings can be real jerks. People, when given the right opportunity, oppress other people. It’s called human nature, and it’s as old as the hills. What works in 2020 is what has always worked, and that is called The Great Work. Work on you. Yeah, YOU.

  190. @Jonathan

    I think what you are describing is the fact that no one in our society trusts each other, except very close friends and immediate family. Back in the early 2000’s i was driving a group of friends to the movies. The main freeway to our destination was having roadwork done so to make the movie on time i had to make a detour. This detour took us thru an area of town i knew quite well do to the family business being located in it, but has a reputation of being very rough. One of my most “understanding” and “liberal” friends at the time asked if i had the doors and windows locked. I just laughed at her, knowing the area wasn’t really that bad. The people who feign being the most understanding and accepting generally seem to be the least in my exp.

  191. All–

    An interesting, if anecdotal data point to share re That Which Shall Not Be Named, the Great Pause, and class reactions thereto.

    This past (Memorial Day) weekend, my next-door neighbor had some friends over to grill. Here on the Southside (of Two Rivers, WI), the lots are rather haphazard and motley, with most houses predating current zoning codes as far as setbacks are concerned. We are the working-class side of a working class city, as I like to say.

    In any event, things are close-quarters. As my neighbor has little yard to speak of, his grill-outs are hosted in his driveway, which is a few feet away from my living room wall and right below my bedroom window upstairs. When I was upstairs briefly that day to fetch a book, I overheard a portion of their conversation through the open window. This is reconstructed from memory and not an exact quote, but it captures the flavor of the discussion well. (It is also edited for this blog.)

    You know what really f—ing upsets me about this whole f—ing thing? All this “essential business” bull—-. They keep sayin’ how the backbone of America is small business, but then this comes around and you tell all the mom-and-pop stores to go f— themselves, but it’s somehow important that people still be able to go to Walmart.”

    Now my neighbor (who is very much working class) represents exactly himself and no one else, but I thought the comments worth noting nonetheless.

  192. A couple of thoughts:

    @Patricia Mathews at May 28, 2020 at 7:02 am Hear, hear. I agree completely with your comment -”In short, your responses are as politicized as any of those on the other side of your political fence, and as given to dismiss those who disagree with you as moved by base motives.”

    A lot of the commentariat here sounds like their own version “virtual signaling” with your “ooh look at those scaredy-cats in masks standing off away from everyone else. – look at those millions of agoraphobes.” I just don’t get the smugness. Why do you care if I wear a mask while shopping, or limit my errands? How does that threaten you?

    Secondly, No one, NOT ONE person on earth right now can make more than an educated guess as to how impactful this disease is or how it will affect everyone for the long haul. Tangentially, according to a doctor friend, I likely had it at the end of February; others I knew were diagnosed as likely having it earlier. Since we didn’t need to be in the ICU, no tests were offered or suggested. One friend suffered but is slowly recovering from facial paralysis and loss of taste, another could barely move for two days and had urine the color of “Dr. Pepper” and took two weeks to be able to work again. I spent a night in the ER getting re-hydrated after 5 hours of extreme gastroenteritis. The Dr. said that it usually took 2 or 3 days of my symptoms to get in that bad of shape. I was so dehydrated that I could barely speak to the doctor because my tongue kept sticking to the roof of my mouth, or the inside of my cheeks stuck to my teeth. Whatever all of us had was way different than anything we’ve had before and all of us comment on just how weird our illness was and how it still seems to randomly affect our thoughts. I’m generally healthy, but I’ve had a confirmed H1N1 flu, pneumonia, food poisoning etc. If the worst of those was the old 8 or 9 out of 10, this disease downgrades all of my previous ailments to a 3. It took me most of the month of March to feel normal again. And then there are the weird, hallucinatory, suicidal dreams that continue.

    Which brings up this idea: I mention all of the above because it has gotten me to thinking a lot about how our species hasn’t had time to develop the Morphic field to define and fight this disease. This disease is known to cause neurological damage and I keep thinking that this may well re-wire our brains. Because of my weird dreams, I began researching about how viruses affect the brain, which led me wonder how that will affect us at the subconscious level. Especially after reading this article on “An Ancient Virus May Be Responsible for Human Consciousness,”

  193. TJ

    We’re at “peak DNC” and “peak progressivism” — it’s all downhill from here.

    Why? The short-sighted blue-state governors have killed their economies and eviscerated their tax base, the result of which will be an absolute decimation of their predominantly urban constituency. They’ve entirely defunded themselves for the forseeable future. And that’s just the dessert on the banquet of consequences. Comments?

    Hurrah and yippee!
    I see several such unforeseen silver linings coming from all this.
    They’ve not only killed their economies, they’ve shown their true totalitarian colors and enraged their constituents, some of whom may have voted for them.

  194. Methyl,

    Yeah, it’s so awful, I’m just throwing whatever I can think of at the wall and hoping something sticks and makes a difference. I haven’t had the issue with salt that Pixel mentioned. In fact, the more yang end of the food spectrum is where I’ve tended to hang out for the last few months, and where I’ve gotten some relief. So salt, meat, dairy, spicy guacamole, dark chocolate (preferably with sea salt), nuts. Dairy seems beneficial enough that I can even have a little ice cream here and there. Butter pecan has been the best!

    Same issue with antibiotics here, and I feel like a chump. I’m an herbalist who hadn’t been to the doctor in 13+ years, and finally broke down and went when it got so bad, got prescribed a 30-day course of that BS, and it didn’t help one bit. Had to restart the bragging rights clock for nothing…

    Tell your husband I hope he whips this thing.


    Thanks also for this. Your song does sound eerily familiar. No sugar or salt at all sounds like a prison sentence! I certainly don’t want this to turn autoimmune, so I’ll definitely have a look at the IC literature.

    After I finally got out of the tub around New Year’s, I sat on and slept with a hot-water bottle for another 3 months. Finally, right at the Aries ingress I gave up on my pot habit altogether (which had become pretty sporadic already – just 2 puffs once a week, and only some organic stuff a friend of mine grew; the conventional varieties tore me up), and that made enough of a difference that I’ve mostly lived without the hot-water bottle since. I had already cut out the beer and sugar by then, because they were such obvious triggers, too, and not as near and dear to my heart!

    The weirdest part is just how unpredictable it is. I’ve made some really serious life alterations in response to this, been willing to do whatever it takes, and still one day I’ll wake up and have problems, for no apparent reason. Nothing ever seems to knock it out with any consistency. Glad you came through your terrible year, though. I can only imagine how awful that was.

    Here’s hoping for an improved outcome for us all!

  195. Just adding to data points to multiple commenters:

    @DFC – Come to think of it, on Sunday and Monday I was similarly wiped out, unusually so.

    @Waffles – I’m a happily married man too, and our relationship has grown stronger through time.

    @JMG – In Halifax, Nova Scotia, the government is trying to use this situation to electrify the bus fleet, and put in new high speed routes and three new ferry terminals. Not sure about current passenger numbers, though. The city also announced temporary sidewalk wideners in order to have more bike lanes, but nothing permanent.

  196. @Wesley – Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts on Zeihan! I had some similar reactions, but I’m not nearly well-read enough in that area, hence asking for other perspectives here

    @Ian Duncombe – I am in Ontario too and the care home thing is a travesty. It’s appalling that the disaster those places are is being used to justify large-scale lockdown, but if they get a good, thorough cleaning out (and maybe if more of us start thinking seriously about taking care of our own elders again), that will be at least one good thing that comes out of this.

    @Dylandrogynous (AND JMG) – Kudos for taking a risk and engaging in respectful dialogue and disagreement (especially online!). I have my own ongoing journey with these topics which I don’t feel like getting into here, but am relieved to see some civility.

  197. Hey hey JMG,

    RE: IAT

    Just to clarify, the point I wanted to make was about what might happen to the fabric of society if confidence in the status quo falls or becomes extremely negative. The first thing that came to mind was that during the late Roman empire the youth started dressing like the barbarians on the frontiers (I’m pretty sure I read that on one of your blogs, but I haven’t searched to verify it) And more generally, I was thinking about the autumn and winter of a civilization (Spengler) or the internal proletariat and the dominant minority (Toynbee) where the populous no longer respects the institutions or the senile elites that run them. I thought it was an interesting explanation from modern psychological research that lead to the same conclusion as Spengler, Toynbee, and Vico but from a different approach.

    That said, I also find the psychology fascinating, but didn’t want to spend a lot of time with the context, but since you asked…

    The book Blink is about the unconscious mind, its strengths and weaknesses, and to a very limited extent how to train it. Gladwell’s books are really more of a narrative with interesting research thrown in then a serious academic publication, but he does give references at the end. The book was published in 2005 so there is certainly more research available now.

    A 2209 meta-analysis of AIT of 122 studies with 184 independent samples with a total of 14,900 subjects. The highest levels of correspondence observed in the data set for both IAT and self-report measures occurred with criterion measures involving political or consumer preferences.

    And, for anyone who is interested, a google scholar search for IAT has a great deal more.

    Also in Blink, the vast increase in females in orchestras when the started using blind auditions. Previously orchestras had maybe one or two women playing violin. Never on the wind instruments, because girls are small they obviously don’t have the lungs to play horns. That’s not sexist, just a simple fact. Then after auditions were conducted behind a veil the female ratio shot up to 30%. Apparently girls can belt it out after all. The bias against women altered the conductors (or the interviewers) perceptions of how well they played and after it was removed a lot more women entered the world’s orchestras.

    CEOs of fortune 500 companies are overwhelmingly white men, but they are also incredibly tall, averaging 6″ which is the 14th percentile for male height in America. “The effect of Physical height on workplace success and income” Timothy Judge, Journal of Applied Psychology, June 2004.

    Just to reiterate, the point I wanted to make isn’t about sex or race or height, it is about confidence in the leaders or elites or status quo. Most of the academic research is about identity issues, but what interests me applying that effect to positive or negative bias toward the established order. What happens to a society when confidence in the free press is replaced by mistrust of the mainstream media or trust in government by, for, and of the people is replaced by contempt for the kleptocratic oligarchy of wealth? It seems to me that this one of the mechanism that is responsible for the fall of civilizations and it was intersting to see it come from psychology rather than a study of history.


  198. @Duty Bound – I understand the dilemma, which is one of the reasons why I don’t have pets. Personally I am allergic to cats and as a gardener find them a nuisance, and have seen them killing birds. I don’t like people’s cats roaming around the neighbourhood doing their business in gardens and playgrounds and terrifying the little wildlife we have left. But they are endearing in their own way I will grant, and surely less destructive to wildlife than us humans, so I try to restrain my judgment!

  199. jbucks, we have a wide pavement in front of our apartment block where people park their cars and passers-by dump their trash. I used to get very upset and just leave it, on the grounds that picking up trash that others have dumped is effectively rewarding them for doing the wrong thing. They win, I lose. But then I realized that trash lying around is a signal to others: “This is the place where you can dump your trash”. Trash begets trash,

    So now I pick up trash. It keeps the place looking tidy. I’ve been doing it for years and I don’t even think about it any more. It’s just something I do. Anything. Dog poop, human poop, pizza boxes, snack packets when the school kids come past, even a bathtub once (!). I go so far as to clean out the gulleys in the road gutters (I used to design municipal drainage systems so I have a professional interest). People tell me I’m crazy, that’s the City Council’s job. I don’t care.

    Here’s a nice little story. I’m pulling weeds out the gutters when a Moslem guy walks past. He glances at me and walks on, then he stops. “You know,” he says, “In my religion there are two kinds of people who automatically go to heaven — those who clear the path for others, and those who help water to flow.” He paused, then added, “See you in heaven.” (I may have got the quote wrong, but that was the gist.)

  200. Dave, I’m glad to hear it. I rode a lot of Metro buses back in the day, and have some fond memories.

    Kevin, that makes a lot of sense.

    Aidan, thanks for this.

    Kevin, the WordPress software requires an email address, but I have no interest in harvesting emails, and 100% comment moderation by me does the job of making sure that people don’t abuse the forum. Thus that particular setting!

    Cliff, I’ve seen that same sort of argument and it’s not only astonishingly stupid, it flies in the face of hard archeological evidence. Neanderthals were buried with the kind of grave goods — for example, food offerings — that make it clear that the mourners believed in an afterlife. They were also buried with flowers, btw; some customs go back a long, long way…

    TJ, I think there’s more driving the end of privileged progressivism than that, but yes, that may be one of the big steel I-beams that broke the camel’s back.

    Kashtan, good. It’s quite normal for progressives to start believing in apocalypse when their dreams of progress fall out from under them, and we’re seeing a classic example of that just now.

  201. I just want to thank everyone for their recommendations on anime films. This blog is just great. You can ask almost anything and get great answers.

  202. Ever-wise and observant Archdruid, I have been recently realizing that I have very little idea what is meant in modern society by the term “racism”, other than it being used as a snarl word meaning “I don’t like you.” Born during the Truman administration and raised in a Central California farming town, my understanding of racist attitudes and behaviors then was fairly straightforwardly defined, and to me it looked like this: “I/we don’t like people with [pick a color] skin, would never let them marry my daughter, would never sell them a house or give them a job, and would never have one of them as a friend.” But when I read articles like this (from a Sierra Club website!):
    I realize that my old definition is almost completely outdated and irrelevant.

    A sample sentence: “It’s common sense: To undo the racial wage gap, you can’t just raise the minimum wage—you have to find a way to raise wages for people of color specifically.”

    Calls for reparations (will I get some? 23&me says, to my surprise, that I have relatives from West Africa in my genetic mix) and statements like “Our entire society is a conspiracy against Black communities” just leave my head spinning.

    Is there a way out of this?

    As ever, many thanks for your hard work and support for this forum.

  203. @Patricia Mathews. It isn’t that it hasn’t been a real threat to some people in circumstances where risk of death from all causes was already extremely high – it’s that it has been generalized far out of all proportion to threat, and there are also life a death consequences to that.

    For example, we’ve had astonishly honest messaging from BC administration, due to the singular luck that our “top doctor” wrote a book about pandemics after she was top doctor in Toronto during SARS called “soap, water and common sense”. And she displays that approach, and has been mindful of Terror Management reactions since the beginning:

    “Some people in order to be convinced to pay attention, they need to be a bit scared, or see something as a threat. But it’s simple actions, simple things around physical distance, that will allow us to continue to live and have a good life and not be afraid of others.

    But it also means those with the most fear will have to accept some activities will happen that they won’t be comfortable with.

    …. the best hint of what is driving their thinking might come from the book Henry once said influenced her thinking on epidemics the most.

    Not a piece of research, but the 1947 Albert Camus novel The Plague.

    “One of the things that I’ve learned around chasing infectious diseases is that they evoke a fear in people that is very different from other types of disasters. A lot of it comes from not understanding and not knowing and not being able to see these things that are causing disease.

    “It struck me as being an important reflection on people’s reactions to things.”

    She has become a literal saint to the public here, people pray to her, and it’s not hard to see why. On Vancouver Island, our similarly soothing top doc used to be a pediatrician. He said that he wanted to make sure children could play because when he was practicing, he often wrote prescriptions for preschool, because the health problem was clearly just lack of free play.

    So here, the recent guidance to child care centres and schools was that we should “reassure parents that playgrounds are safe places” and let kids play without minding distance. Minimize contact, but they can be near each other. The data from Canada provided to us as child care providers is that <1% of positive tests have been in children, and those that got it got it from adults in highly infected, disadvantaged households (the low wage immigrant workers in shoddy apartments). This is NOT an everyone disease. The infamous siblings in Montreal who did pass it to other kids were symptomatic and infected two others at one of each other day care they attended that week. An infectious adult can infect dozens or hundreds of other elderly or sick people within hours. The children did not become symptomatic or infect their families.

    What's going on in New York?Something else not relevant here. Other people's problems.

    But no one will open the playgrounds in BC. Most parents still won't let their children have playdates (I do so, I'm told, because I have a spare child and can afford to let one die of Kawasaki). No one is acting on evidence or actual risk now, they are acting on the fact they know if they open the playground parents will light themselves on fire to protest the death camps.

  204. Dylandrogynus, maybe if there is a specific aspect of racial issues that you want to talk about, you could comment about that or ask a question? Model what you want to talk about?

    I sometimes avoid talking about racial issues because I’m white and I’m afraid I’ll end up putting my foot in something and offending someone by accident if I say the wrong thing.

    I also would like to make space to hear from the people who aren’t white, because too often members of the dominant group will try to speak for a group they don’t belong to, and what the people who actually belong to that group really think can get drowned out. I have physical and mental health issues that I am considered disabled, and I often get people speaking on the behalf of people with disabilities that are demanding things that I don’t want or agree with. Part of that is that disabilities are so varied, and just because I don’t need something doesn’t mean that it isn’t vital to someone else’s survival, but part of that is being part of a low-status group. Which means having people speaking on your behalf who never actually asked you what you want or need.

    One thing that’s been happening right now in Canada with racial issues that troubles me is the increase in hate crimes against people who are asian, or look vaguely asian. I suppose it isn’t entirely surprising given the darker side of human nature, China’s role in the pandemic, the current troubles between Canada and China, or the role of foreign money and money laundering in BC’s housing crisis, but none of the people harassed or attacked deserves that. Some of it is farcical as well as cruel – like a first nations teenager with allergies getting beaten up because some fool thought she was Chinese and ill with Covid. Are the same kind of things happening in the USA?

  205. @ TJ

    Re governors and their discontents

    Here in WI i would not be surprised at all if a recall effort got underway once things get going again, since Evers was just elected in 2018. As a strong civil libertarian, I would be likely to sign such a referendum, as I was frankly livid when I read the particulars of the initial order. “Flatten the curve” morphed into “we’re all gonna die” and the push-back was predictable.

    @ All

    Re race and racism

    There are times when I really do feel like saying to some folks: “I’m an upper middle class straight, white male. So sue me.” It is difficult to have a reasonable conversation when you’re somehow guilty of all atrocities ever committed against everyone else.

    Not to long ago, I had lunch with my daughter (who is lower middle class, admittedly white, obviously not male, and not at all straight) and we were discussing recent social issues, including Biden’s faux-pas du jour. I had commented how the term “white privilege” has become a go-to method of undercutting someone’s argument, regardless of the soundness of their position, based simply on that person being white. She, in turn, shared a story of an episode she saw or heard about of an online panel. On of the participant’s video feed wasn’t working, so he was audio-only and in the course of the discussion, another of the panelists with whom he was arguing (a black woman, apparently) threw the “white privilege” line at him. Well, his video feed got fixed shortly thereafter and it turned out that he was, well, black.

    Yes, racism exists. Yes, there are people who hold racist views. And you know what, people are allowed to be racists: they are allowed to say, for example, “I will not befriend or marry someone of another race” and to act according to those beliefs. Now, I think such attitudes are foolish–who knows what relationships one is missing out on by adopting such an attitude–but society has no business interfering in a person’s private thoughts or one’s private life. Now, the law and application of the law should be neutral with respect to such things, but many people go way too far the other way in their advocacy, which my civil libertarianism cannot agree with.

    Generally speaking, we all need to relearn the fine art of minding our own business, which would go a long way toward solving many social issues. (Not all, admittedly.)

  206. *and I should say, I had a friend who had it up island. 38, got it picking up take out (won’t say what kind). Sick as dog for three weeks, fine now.

  207. Patricia O.

    Many thanks for the link relating the coronavirus response to a traditional cult! It’s excruciatingly long with no possible tl;dr to throw together explaining the author’s take, and I’m still working my way through it, but just wanted to get back to you before the thread gets any longer, and you start to think nobody’s paying attention.

    Also makes me even happier that I took a hammer to my Android on Mother’s Day. It had taken on an increasingly cult-ish persona to me over the years, and especially this last year since I started practicing ritual magic. Funny, as my attention/intention began to focus on other “devices,” the smartphone started to feel increasingly intrusive. Then one day we got a message from Google about where we’d been over the past 4 months, who we’d been with, what pictures we took, who we sent them to…and suddenly it was all over but the crying, as they say.

    Again, thank you for this important piece. I hope more people will take the time to read it.

    Since getting rid of the Android, now 18 days ago, my wife and I were just talking about how they seem to play the role of gazing balls, catching a witch’s attention and holding her captive. Curious that it’s “the witches” who are about the only ones who seem capable of breaking away from this particular gazing ball. Bless our host for that!

  208. Dylandrogynous,

    You describe the recent killings of two African Americans as “high profile.” Why are they “high profile” again? Do you suppose it has anything to do with the failing candidacy of Joe Biden and the in-roads Trump is making into the black community?

    By the way, you’re free to call me a racist if you like– no need to beat around the bush with the “I’m not calling anyone here A RACIST, I’m just saying that Racism is present even if YOU aren’t a Racist” routine. And I will tell you why.

    When I was 21 I was attacked and savagely beaten by a gang of black youths in an inner city neighborhood in Pittsburgh. I was pistol-whipped until my scalp split open, stomped on, and beaten, along with a female companion. In my mind, I still remember throwing myself across her body so that I could absorb more of the blows raining down on us– the only thing I could do– and then looking up to see the barrel of a pistol leveled at my face. For whatever reason, they left after I gave them the contents of my pockets– a wallet with $1.75 and a set of house keys.

    For years after this, I suffered all of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and many of those associated with traumatic head injuries. Nightmares and flashbacks, panic attacks upon encountering triggers (including groups of young black men in any context), alcoholism, and worse. Within two months I was hospitalized following a suicide attempt.

    My experience was, of course, one had by very, very many people who have had the misfortune to walk through black neighborhoods at the wrong time– except, of course, for the ending, which usually involves gunshots and corpses. And yet it did not at any time become “high profile,” or, indeed, achieve any profile at all; not even a blurb in the local paper, as far as I know. No celebrities took to social media to denounce my assailants; the president, though a white male, never said he could have been me. And yet, to this day, the thing that makes me the most uncomfortable about sharing this is the fear that someone like you will denounce me as a racist. I have decided to overcome this fear by accepting that people like you can call me a racist all you like, and I do not care.

  209. Dylan

    You have some nerve coming here and deciding that we are to be criticized for not discussing race often enough. It has come up and we have discussed it, but this is a blog about various things, initially about energy depletion and its affects on our future. We have no obligation whatsoever to turn this into a social justice blog.

    Not to mention I disagree with just about all your views. I find them silly and propagandistic.

    I wonder, how old are you and when and how and where did you acquire this race obsession?

    I think the American experiment was going incredibly well until your ilk came along and insisted upon injecting relentless streams of poison into the body politic. You have eroded the lovely and delicate good will that was extant.

    Deal with your own racism with its soft bigotry of low expectations, and stop projecting. Good God, man, if you’re going on a moral crusade, start with yourself!

  210. Dylandrogynous,

    The issue with looking for racism is quite simple: there’s only so much time and energy someone can spend in a day. If I spend it looking for racism, then that necessarily means other things have to go. I see nothing wrong with engaging with race, but I don’t think it’s necessary, or wise, to look for racism.

    The other problem is the very simple fact that a lot of racism rhetoric starts out from the assumption all whites are racist. Plenty are, but I don’t see any reasonable definition of racism that wouldn’t include the claim that white people are inherently racist, even if they aren’t, which is what the claim racism can exist without racists boils down to.


    “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

  211. I’ve been wearing a mask to stores, partly to avoid ugly encounters with Karens. There is no point in arguing with Karen, or any other stupid person. And what the heck, the mask can’t hurt.

  212. Patricia Mathews: “For everyone – you’re all talking about agreeing to disagree, and yet the consensus here is that wanting to mask and socially isolate is nothing but that nasty old virtue signaling by that nasty old upper middle class, and so on and so on. In short, your responses are as politicized as any of those on the other side of your political fence, and as given to dismiss those who disagree with you as moved by base motives.”

    So, is it that *you* want to socially isolate, or is it that you want *everyone else* to socially isolate? There’s a difference.

  213. In regards to the “Karen ” meme. Did you see the white woman in Central Park that was filmed yelling at a black man for not having a mask on (turns out he is an activist and was probably looking for a reaction like this)?

    She was fired from her job, doxxed, and now there’s a petition circulating in NY to have her banned from the park for life. Her life is ruined, and she’s a white liberal woman, the type that would virtue signal to whites and poc till she is blue in the face.

    When leftist woke culture throws even her under the bus, things are going to get a lot worse for white Americans and we’re all potential “Karens” that will be on CNN.

  214. When the virus first arrived in Vancouver Island I was very scared. Unlike a lot of people here, I’m actually pretty happy with my provincial government’s response, and give them credit for not letting it as bad as it got many places. The situation in northern Italy or New York with the virus was nothing to take lightly, and I’m glad the government didn’t sit on their hands and do nothing when cases started spiking.

    They also weren’t quite as draconian in shutting things down and people up than some places. Social cohesion has been pretty good. So I’m not sure that it will have the effect of making people distrust experts here. It could even have the opposite effect. In particular, the Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry is very popular indeed right now.

  215. methylethyl , and others
    To me, it’s obvious: the salary class have largely been able to avail themselves of services such as telecommuting and product delivery. They have literally not had to leave their homes a single step for the entire quarantine. And from what some of my friends tell me, more than a few of them have done so. On some level they’re aware that the garbage is being picked up, the power plant is operating, and someone must be delivering their food, but they haven’t seen for themselves how not shut down everything is. If they had to guess, most of them would probably assume more than 60% of the people are just staying home every day. When they see the actual numbers for who was able to stay home (about 20% or less) the fact that “*You* stayed home, nobody else did.” comes as quite a shock.

    It has been observed in The Discourse on Marriage, that many men propose for what we might call ulterior motives. To keep a relationship from breaking up, in response to pressure from their families, because they view having a spouse as a status symbol or a symbol of accomplishment. This forces a commitment on the man that he did not actually want, as both socially and legally a spouse is left with more difficulty than a girlfriend or boyfriend. This unnatural extension of the lifespan of the relationship leads to feelings of bitterness, a narrative that the man has been “trapped” by whatever forces motivated him to propose.
    I’m something of an exception, as my marriage was at my insistence. I have something of a perverse traditionalist streak, and declaring before my religious and social authorities that I wanted to hold my spouse and never let them go appealed deeply to me.

    Will Oberton
    Nausca in the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke are both ‘on brand’ if you will, being beautiful meditations on the relationship between industrialism and the environment. Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Ponyo may appeal more to your daughter, being stories about how children navigate relationships with their parents, those around them, and the spirits of the world. Graveyard of the Fireflies is an extremely powerful movie about children surviving in wartime, but I would STRONGLY recommend you watch that one by yourself first to decide if it’s an appropriate story for your child.

    Jim W.
    I think JMG is remembering how much collective egg was on the face of prognosticator who predicted in 2006, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 that the Great Recession was an economic peak that the US would not recover to. Our government’s ability to weather great short-term shocks is frequently still underestimated. Give it 20 years.

    I’ve been thinking about your previous post, concerning the highly occult nature of alchemical texts. And I’m reminded of a caution you once made, about the difference between visualization divination and just imagining things. Because it seems like if an analysis like this ( ) is possible, then alchemical thought is just a pattern that can be forced on anything.

  216. @ LunarApprentice

    There’s a shortage of science teachers, particularly for those that can teach physics at the high school level. Some states (e.g. California) set many barriers to licensing, but others (like Indiana) require little more than a college degree, passing a subject exam (like physics), and passing a criminal background check. Indiana will not give you a license, but allows school corporations to hire you. You then get your license if you survive your first year teaching…

    …50% of teachers leave the profession within 5 years, though…

    … and many school corporations may hesitate to hire you based on your M.D., although it’s not unheard of.

    …just a thought.

  217. Dear JMG, I feel like the current situation is like a glimps into of the gates of Hell especilliy when I watch anything mainstream media, do you have any advise on how to cope with this?

  218. Lady Cutekitten, it wouldn’t hurt standing up to the Karens and to vehemently rebuff them. It would relly be good if people didn’t any more kowtowing to self-appointed block leaders.

  219. @Karl, unless there’s been another very similar instance, it sounds like you’re thinking of the recent news story about an altercation over the women having her dog off-leash. There was no mention of masks in that story that I’ve seen. But I have seen plenty of other news about conflicts over mask wearing.

  220. Pardon me if this seems a bit of topic but I have been curious to know you opinion of the social, political, and economic trajectory of the United States (and the world beyond) if there was no Watergate and Nixon stayed in power. Whatever his flaws, he seemed like more of a realist than his successors on foreign policy and more of an economic nationalist.

  221. I have a question for everybody here – do you think the percentage of sociopathy and psychopathy is higher in US than the rest of the world?

    At first sight the answer is obviously yes – an empire encourages and rewards psychopathy but I am curious what do people think?

    Another related question is about “robopathy” which I read in Dmitry Orlov. Robopaths are normal people that are put in a bad situation by sociopaths so they become authoritarian bureaucrats that pretend that following the rules is more important than their humanity.
    I know from experience that robopathy was incredibly common in eastern Europe during communism and I fear it becoming common here.


  222. Alright then, so I watched the Amy Cooper video someone linked, and most of Dreher’s post as well. If she made a mistake, it was to apologize. And I would like to know who decided to cut that video to the part where it shows her reacting with fear, but not what led up to it?

    I agree that both of these people are Karens and didn’t behave adequately. Yes, she over reacted. She admitted to him that she was afraid of him as an African American – more or less. However, she cannot be faulted for that as no matter how much we might like to alter reality to suit our philosophies, our subconscious mind can add and count perfectly. It is frightening for a woman to encounter a mildly threatening male in a park, but the likelihood of being hurt by a black man is higher for her than a white man. We an guilt load over this, but it won’t change the visceral fact that whites fear blacks more than they fear whites.

    Now, what happened after he told her she should not have her dog off leash there and she argued with him, he then said, OK, if you do what you want, I will do what I want, and you won’t like it.” He then called her dog over to him.

    I’m sorry. That scared the crap out of her and she freaked out. But I wouldn’t even call her a Karen or privileged. Now, listening to the man’s voice, I feel that he was pretty harmless. Not everyone is good at making that kind of assessment though. Fact is, he said “I’m going to do something and you won’t like it. Come here, Puppy”

    I really can’t fathom why anyone would consider her out of line, even though I personally can’t imagine myself in that situation calling the police.

    And by the way, a lot of men, including black men, are sensitive to the fact that they easily scare women in a situation like that. But this guy, while harmless I think, was a jerk.

  223. I’m also wondering if perhaps we need to discuss the automatic right that everyone assumes they can film anyone they like? She repeatedly asked him to stop filming her. I hope he is satisfied that he laid a trap for her and ruined her life.

  224. Hi Martin,

    St. Paul told the Philippians (paraphrasing) “Whatever is true, good, right, lovely, admirable, think about these things.” It was good advice 2,000 years ago and it’s good advice today. American national “news” operations are completely corrupt. Turn them off. (Local news ranges from awful to excellent; figure out which you have and proceed accordingly.). JMG says he’s found that what you contemplate, you imitate, so if you do like St. Paul said, if you climb out of the toxic sewer of propaganda and anti-social media, and contemplate whatever is true, good, right, etc…

    Of course, save some time for tentacles 🦑. I mean, you don’t want to go overboard here. I bet even St. Paul would have enjoyed a good tentacle story now and then.

  225. Your Kittenship: “And what the heck, the mask can’t hurt.”

    This is one area where I’ve consistently disagreed with the mainstream throughout. I think wearing a mask is bad for the wearer’s health. Period. One of the primary ways COVID attacks the human body is by decreasing blood-oxygen levels. If you wear an air barrier over your mouth and nose you’re holding in CO2 and preventing the inflow of oxygen. Ipso facto, you are VOLUNTARILY decreasing the exchange of oxygen in your own bloodstream.

    So yes, my dear, in the not so humble opinion of this particular biologist, the mask can in fact hurt.

  226. @Rita “But no–lets rant about how STUPID these church goers are, threaten them, mock them, and confirm their suspicions about liberals hating religion.” Your assessment is so spot on! It’s been frustrating watching these orders being pushed on us with no room for conversation or flexibility. I swear if they had asked businesses for volunteers to shut down at the beginning, rather than ordered complete closure (with waivers to open granted to friends of the governor and big wigs), people would have much more sense of community and togetherness.

    @JMG You are completely spot on with your assessment that the cubicle workers/middle management types just want to stay home as long as possible. They’ve saved themselves a commute, and having to LARP at the office.

  227. Jake, I’m delighted to see this sort of thinking getting some traction in the drug-user community. It’s a standard teaching in occult circles that not all nonphysical beings are honest, any more than all incarnate people are, and that the same sort of caution you’d use in assessing comments by an incarnate person should be applied to spirits as well. As far as Star Maker, that’s an interesting question; I’ve read it, of course, but I don’t happen to know whether Stapledon got his ideas from occultism or simply from the pop culture of his time.

    Kev, when you start getting flak, you know you’re over the target. The push toward mail-in ballots, to me, reeks of election fraud.

    Quin, good heavens. Synchronicity piled on synchronicity!

    Ian, thanks for the heads up. I worked in nursing homes for a while when I was much younger and not yet in print, and yeah, they badly need a good strong dose of public attention.

    Dylandrogynous, thank you for responding in a civil and thoughtful fashion. Most of the time, when I challenge social justice rhetoric online, I can expect a shrieking tantrum, and I appreciate your decision to approach things on a more reasoned plane. You’ve done me the courtesy of attempting to explain your own thinking, and so I’ll do you the courtesy in return of attempting to explain mine.

    As I see it, the social justice rhetoric of “whiteness” is one of those peculiarly toxic half-truths that’s used as camouflage to obscure another truth that’s far more dangerous to the status quo. The truth that’s being obscured by the talk about “whiteness” and the fixation on racial issues is the overwhelming role of class prejudice and class-on-class explotation in modern American life — more, the fact that the people who are promulgating the rhetoric of “whiteness” (and its equivalents in other branches of critical theory) are using it as a tool of class domination. I’d encourage you to read this fine article by Malcolm Kyeyune, a black socialist activist. He points out that the current progressive movement is dominated by the privileged classes and — necessarily, in his view — serves to advance their class interests at the expense of other classes.

    The rhetoric you’ve offered here is a case in point. The rhetoric of “whiteness” is used by the professional-managerial class (PMC) to insist that working-class white people are privileged and therefore have nothing to complain about. Of course this is a lie; working class people of all races in this country are underprivileged, exploited, and maltreated by the PMC. The rhetoric of “whiteness” is why we’ve reached the point of absurdity in which a black female stockbroker in New York City who makes a quarter million a year can insist that she’s underprivileged in comparison to a white working class guy in West Virginia who’s working three jobs in a desperate attempt to keep his kids fed — when the investment decisions she makes and the political policies she supports are among the reasons why he can’t get a decent job at a living wage!

    Thus I’d suggest that instead of spending your time pulling this thing called “whiteness” out of its context in the convoluted landscape of American privilege, you examine the entire landscape, and pay attention to how your beliefs and opinions further the interests of some groups at the expense of others. Cui bono? That useful Latin question — “to whom do the benefits go?” — will point you in more useful directions…though I doubt you’ll find it a comfortable trip if you choose to explore those issues.

    Gideon, as I recall there were a number of people in physics in the period from the late 1940s through the end of the 1970s who were very interested in Asian philosophies and mysticism more generally. You might try The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav and How The Hippies Saved Physics by David Kaiser as places to start looking.

    Andy, as I recall, it was a particle accelerator, a liquid lunch, and (I think) six rubber bands. Yes, I’ve met him a few times.

    Your Kittenship, somebody didn’t do their homework. She got into occultism after her nervous breakdown, not before it! Still, typical of Listverse…

    Booklover, thanks for the data point.

    Yorkshire, because psychotherapy was far too superficial a tool for the job.

    Jay Dee, yes, I’m aware of those points. I’m also aware of how badly those polls performed in 2016. Trump hasn’t yet begun his reelection campaign in earnest; he has an absurdly large campaign fund, an organization that’s already trained upwards of a million grassroots organizers, and a whipsmart online presence. (The Trump campaign had t-shirts saying #YouAin’tBlack for sale within a couple of hours of Biden’s latest gaffe, for example.) I expect him to steamroller Biden; the fact that the Democrats are trying so hard to push for vote-by-mail schemes, which allow them to engage in ballot harvesting, shows to me that whatever the public polls say, in private they’re of the same opinion. Still, we’ll see in November!

    Booklover, not as far as I know. We’re less than a month from the ingress, though, and I expect things to really heat up once that happens.

    Patricia M, hmm. Are you suggesting that it’s a good idea for you and other vulnerable people to wear masks and practice social isolation? I would have to agree — and I’d extend that to anyone involved in caring for vulnerable populations. Or are you suggesting that everyone has to engage in these behaviors, whether or not they’re in one of the groups just named? If so, I’d like to hear your reasons for that.

    As for the ad verbiage, thank you for this — that’s priceless. I think Agatha was right, fwiw!

    Grover, delighted to hear it!

    Simon, I’ll make an exception for books. I hope it does well!

    Dot, people have been trying to drag the Karen thing back to racism or sexism ever since the meme first surfaced, and it won’t wash. The issue behind “Karen” is class privilege, pure and simple — and at last, at long long last, some of the people who abuse their class privilege are starting to be called on it. One thing to keep in mind here is that it’s absolutely typical for members of a group that has had a sudden sharp increase in status to behave really badly to people lower down the totem pole. The bad behavior of nouveaux-riches is legendary, and for good reason. In America, over the last half century, women in the professiona-managerial class have seen a dramatic rise in status, and I’m sorry to say that a significant number of them have let that go to their heads in the usual way. That’s what the whole “Karen” business is about — the normal backlash that helps a group that’s soared in status stop acting quite so entitled.

    Jade Dragon, exactly. The news media serves as a feedback look amplifying fear and misery, and it’s addictive. That’s why I suggest that anyone who wants to have a life should start by trashing their TV and unhooking from the media more generally.

    Trent, the entire structure of US finance for decades now has been a vast arrangement of smoke and mirrors in which insecure “securities” with no actual value are bid up to absurd prices by computer programs, and the mass production of electronic money-analogues serves to keep the whole thing afloat. Exactly how it’s going to unravel is an interesting question, but people have been predicting an imminent crisis throughout my adult life, you know…

    Grover, congratulations. It occurs to me to ask, given some of the health issues you’ve mentioned — have you taken a look at Regardie’s The Art of True Healing, and seeing if the techniques taught there might help?

    Rajat, excellent! Yes, precisely — that was what the military dimensions of my book Retrotopia were all about.

    Dusk Shine, good gods. That’s harrowing — and of course that’s exactly what’s going on. Young working class white men are told over and over again that they’re privileged and so have nothing to complain about, and that they’re personally responsible for everything bad that ever happened to anybody. It’s not at all surprising that a significant number of them turn to the only belief system they can find that tells them that they’re worth something and that they don’t deserve the hatred that’s poured so freely on them or the underprivileged status that they, as members of the working class, do in fact suffer from.

    Brian, I would love to see that!

    Booklover, with the first house cusp in Aquarius and the house ruler thus Uranus badly afflicted in the 2nd, you may be in for some very rough economic times.

    Jonathan, thanks for this. That strikes me as a very thoughtful way to approach this.

    Pygmycory, thanks for the data points!

    DutyBound, in your place I would get the cat neutered. Domesticated animals are a complex moral subject, but unquestionably we as a species have taken responsibility for their well-being, and there are too many kittens in the world already.

    Violet, I have no idea why historical astrology has been so neglected. May I make a suggestion here? A series of articles on the historical astrology of the Civil War, published in The Mountain Astrologer or some similar periodical, might be a very effective way to help you develop your writing career. Just saying… 😉

    Your Kittenship, probably a good idea to insert a dose of cute here.

    Pygmycory, the whole Hong Kong situation is a powderkeg right now, and the behavior of the Chinese government is uncharacteristically shrill and clumsy. I’m beginning to wonder if they’ve got major problems nobody’s talking about.

    Richard, a case could be made!

    Wesley, fair enough. I knew some people on the left who reached that level of derangement when Dubya was elected with the help of some hanging chads. One of the things that makes TDS unusual is that it seems to be so much more widespread.

    Clay, I agree that the coronavirus outbreak is likely to be a significant turning point in a number of ways, for good or ill. It’s goosed a lot of insecurities, but it’s also encouraged a lot of people to rethink their habits and return to some older approaches to things. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

    David BTL, many thanks for the data point.

    Jbucks, many thanks for the data points!

    Team10Tim, thanks for clarifying. As I see it, we’ve been moving deeper into crisis-of-legitimacy territory for some time now, but current events may just have kicked that into overdrive.

  228. @Teresa from Hershey What a brilliant idea with the beer bottles! My neighbor starting finding latex gloves on her stretch of our very rural road and send a message to all of us exasperated. The answer is obviously is to safely collect the darn things and make them into a scarecrow of some sort. 🙂

  229. Bryan, sure. I suggested an interpretation of that label here.

    Nicholas, it’s possible to force any narrative into any other narrative you choose; I once read a very earnest attempt to interpret Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark as an allegory of the business cycle in economics. That doesn’t make the business cycle useless — it just indicates that some caution and common sense is required when trying to apply it.

    Martin, stop watching mainstream media. They’re deliberately intended to make you think that way, because it sells advertising. “If it bleeds, it leads” remains standard practice.

    Denys, yep. Enjoy!

    Aidan, good heavens, why should I deprive you of the fun of trying to work it out? Especially since that sort of alternate-history thing seems to be on your mind these days.

    NomadicBeer, I doubt it. It’s just that some aspects of contemporary American culture encourage such behaviors.

  230. Another thing I wonder about regarding the left’s increasing authoritarianism is how much China is involved? There’s plenty of circumstantial evidence that the CCP has quite a bit of influence on social media. Although there are many subreddits that discuss COVID, Reddit has specifically promoted r/coronavirus, which is very pro-CCP. China doesn’t allow its own citizens to use Reddit or most of the major foreign social media, so if they’re influencing these platforms it’s directed toward other countries.

    You’ve mentioned in your astrological predictions possible foreign money going to the Democratic party, and China seems the most likely source of that to me. Chinese-style authoritarianism does seem to be the direction many of the Democrats are heading in, although that could be happening even without direct influence, if China is perceived as successful, there’s bound to be others imitating them. I’m troubled by people who supposedly are about social justice imitating a country that has likely over a million of its own citizens (Uighur Muslims) in concentration camps. Possibly they don’t realize the hypocrisy because of the ideology that only white people can commit atrocities. I’ve actually seen the idea out there (I’m wondering if Chinese propaganda is pushing it) that criticism of the CCP equates to racism. That’s despite the fact that most of China’s critics have no problems with most of the other Asian countries.

    In a time when Russian propaganda has repeatedly been in the news, isn’t it strange that China is rarely considered in the same way?

  231. Wow, KayeOh,

    You are pretty heartless, aren’t you? You can see that the woman was afraid. And you actually said that she should know better than to call the police on a black man!!!!

    When I watched that film clip, I got a skewed view of what happened. It was only when I read the dialog that I understood exactly whyshe got frightened.

    “I’m going to do what I want but you won’t like it.”

    Oh, but SHE should have known better!

  232. JMG said:
    >>John, no, the objection to hypnosis in the Golden Dawn tradition is based on observed >>conflicts between the results of hypnosis (including self-hypnosis) and some of the >>disciplines of Golden Dawn magic. Not all forms of inner work are compatible.

    Interesting, thanks! Of course nothing is suitable for everybody, and a neophyte in an occult tradition should follow the guidance of their experienced advisers. At my mighty-old-teenager level of maturity, my spontaneous reaction would be an annoyed “Why not?”, but from what little I’ve picked up about occult training, mostly here, I would expect the answer to be, “Ask me again in two years. But if you do the assignments, by then you won’t need to ask.”

    Off-topic spontaneous ramble: I was thinking about the variability of personal responses to things some people like and benefit from, and came up with “Some people don’t even like pizza!” That reminded me of a visit to an American pizza chain in Tokyo thirty years ago. They were running a lunchtime all-ya-can, but had just been descended on by a ravening horde of students, and had only the two most popular local pizzas: tuna and corn, or squid and corn.

    While we waited for more choices to bake, I talked with the young lady I was with, met at a 12-Step group. She felt more at home in Japan than she ever had anywhere, so she looked into the options for extending her working visa. “Does it help that my mother is Japanese?” “Honto ne!?” When she came up with proof, and her mother showed up in the civil registry, she was an immediate permanent resident. Her parents had been separated for a while, but being both down on their luck, they decided they would rather be homeless together. (A wrench back to the recent topic of marriage!) To the Japanese government, the fact that her mother was now a US citizen and was sleeping in her car in Arizona made no difference at all. Her Dad was an American Indian, but that connection didn’t work for her; she had been to the rez and wouldn’t want to live there.

    She mentioned that she often saw nature spirits, and looked at me like a dog who expects somebody to throw rocks. I said that I am as psychically sensitive as a wagonload of cabbages, but even though I cannot clearly sense entities without dense material bodies, I can often feel that there is something there. She was relieved to get even that much support for her perceptions. Another person kicked around by the Church of Progress!

    According to a Theosophist I read once, probably Bishop Leadbeater, I’m talking like an Atlantean sage! He complained that he had been looking over the shoulders of some such gentlemen, and was finding it hard to learn much. The writing system was hard to figure out, but no worse than average for that epoch, when writing of any kind was unusual. The Tlavatli language was a bit challenging too, although it is loosely related to the Tupi-Guarani language group, still widely spoken in Eastern South America. What really got his goat was the intellectual artifacts that had not been invented yet; no index, no table of contents, no outline. “The organizing principle for a scroll by So-And-So The Wise seems to be ‘That reminds me…'”.

  233. Aiya Mellon JMG,

    As the current crisis/opportunity has given me more time to re-read some of your old ADR posts, I came across something you wrote in The Time of the Seedbearers (04-30-2014), that you had “more than once considered writing a fantasy novel about the fall of Atlantis as a way of talking about the crisis of our age.”

    Is this still a possibility?

    In thinking about your suggestion that
    “it’s time to set aside some of our more familiar stories and try reframing the crisis of our age in less shopworn ways”
    (to consider narratives “that talk about what happens when the last hope of rescue has gone whistling down the wind and it’s time to figure out what can be saved in the midst of disaster”),
    I am stumped and am thirsty for “new” narratives.
    The only narratives that resonate with me right now are either Beowulf, Hesiod’s ‘Works & Days,’ Asimov’s Foundation books, or any Star Wars-licensed fiction relating to the Clone Wars and the fall of the Galactic Republic.

  234. My opinion is yes to both speculations (realism on foreign policy and more economic nationalism)

    It is true that most SJWs are affluent and white.

    According to the “Hidden Tribes” survey, eight percent of Americans are what it calls “Progressive Activists”. They tend to be disproportionately affluent, secular and cosmopolitan, more politically active, more active on social media, more cynical about fairness,…and whiter:

    The groups in the middle tend to be the most diverse! The Politically Disengaged are a particularly interesting group

  235. @Violet @Dylandrogenous

    “Here’s how it works: the professional managerial class in America are part of of doomed class of people very similar to the planter aristocracy of what would become the Confederacy. They live off of the immiseration of others, and there’s a racialized context. Gentrification, illegal immigration, mass incarceration. Who does this benefit? It benefits the professional managerial class.”

    In this context again please let me explain what I mean and why I’m angry with the for-profit care industry.

    People who are looking to make massive profits off the suffering of others by locking them up (mass incarceration) in little houses so society can’t see how poorly they are treated is the definition of living off “the immiseration of others.”. And these people being ‘taken care of’ in the for profit care industry are of every ethnicity you can name.

    The more immigrants you have who do not understand basic working rights are exploited by these people (managerial class) and expected to work 16-hour days at a low wages in these homes…and yes I’ve seen it firsthand many times across several agencies. How can anyone provide any care for vulnerable people when they are exploited like this? You try providing care for someone after you have worked day and night for a few weeks/months/years.

    The ability for these people (managerial class) to use the word racism as a weapon serves several purposes. Primarily it allows them to present themselves as champions of the downtrodden while raking in millions. They give immigrants horrible jobs because they are easily exploited yet champion this action as virtuous. They profit off of the difference between providing actual care to vulnerable people and cutting every corner possible including staffing.

    I’m a big fan of pulling back outside of the box in which your concepts have been formed. Let’s not forget there are highly paid groups of think tankers who love to find new ways of using these levers to manipulate us for themselves and their ilk. And no that’s not a conspiracy.

    North American minorities are some of the strongest groups of people on the planet, but no one can say that or follow up with that statement before getting hit right over the head with the racism club. Who benefits from encouraging the collective victimhood the left so eagerly pushes onto these groups? Who looses out when minorities stop serving the interests of the comfortable classes?

    What’s interesting to me is the abusive processes that were apparently abolished in the past are alive and well under the heavy veil of the masters of illusion. And as far as I can see illusion is not the kind of magic I’m interested in learning.

  236. “Trent, the entire structure of US finance for decades now has been a vast arrangement of smoke and mirrors in which insecure “securities” with no actual value are bid up to absurd prices by computer programs, and the mass production of electronic money-analogues serves to keep the whole thing afloat. Exactly how it’s going to unravel is an interesting question, but people have been predicting an imminent crisis throughout my adult life, you know…”

    Thank you for the response! Might i add that i miss the archdruid report! I agree with you sir, but i think at some point 0% interest rates going on a decade and endless QE and bailouts will wreck the system at some point. The reason i say the virus is being used as cover is because in 2008 it was to cut and dry that the “elites” had wrecked the economy, then were bailedout and faced no repercussions. It was so obvious that people are still talking about it today. I think they think that they can’t admit they never fixed anything from the last crisis. Also this lockdown kinda has the same effect as a bank holiday if you think about it. Nobody is making big purchases and money is just sitting in the bank if you still have a job or are getting unemployment. My personal spending is down quite a bit since this all began. We’ve all known since 2008 that it as only a matter of time before the next crisis hit (by we i mean the royal we) and i honestly think the people at the top are too afraid to admit they never fixed anything. No sir the economy recovered from 2008 (i don’t think it did) and the only reason we’re having problems now is because the virus. Not to mention when i think of a pandemic i picture the scene from Monty python and the holy grail “bring out your dead”. So far and we are now two months in, i don’t personally know a single person who has had the virus. Thank you again for your reply.

  237. DutyBound, definitely get your cat neutered! He is probably still very young but as soon as he matures, he will start fighting with other males in the area. He will come home all beat up, with puncture wounds that can kill him, torn ears, etc. It’s not a very good life for any animal not to mention all the unwanted kittens he will sire.

  238. JMG, I have two questions I hope you have time for them

    I am one of your subscribers on subcribestar and I find your astrology chart posts very interesting. However, I find it extremely difficult to find anything of a similar sort online anywhere else, even for a price. The internet seems to be utterly useless in finding substantial astrology material. I would love to see similar charts from other people to compare them to your predictions, whether there is commonalities or differences in predictions. Could you recommend other sources on the internet that provide similar material to your subscribestar posts?

    If I could ask you a direct question on Christianity, do you believe Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead? Have you ever given it serious thought? Personally, I’m starting to see it as a genuine possibility, which would change everything, because then he really is God. However, I also find Christian values and its world-view utterly unsatisfactory and in some ways ridiculous. The destruction of polytheism and the many areas of rejected knowledge hold me back from Christianity tremendously. However, The idea that Jesus may actually be God, but also that Christianity is largely wrong seems contradictory to me. I am aware people like Dion Fortune call him ‘Master Jesus’ and revere him in some way (I’m not sure what exactly), but I would find it difficult to uproot Jesus out of the bible away from Christianity. To me, there seems to be 3 possibilities for Jesus (others will disagree of course). A) Jesus really did rise from the dead and is God, but Christianity as a religion is one of the greatest failures in human history B) Jesus didn’t rise from the dead and the whole story is one of the greatest tragedies and lies in human history. C) Jesus really did rise from the dead and is God, and Roman Catholicism is the supreme perfect religion and everything else must be discarded as false or evil (I have no regard for protestantism). Any thoughts on this?


  239. @ Waffles

    Re men and marriage

    My experiences as a married, then divorced, then remarried man are hardly representative of the norm, but FWIW I offer my tuppence.

    Marriage is many things. It is a contract. It is a journey. For some, it is a sacrament.

    It is also a living thing and as such, it requires attention, nourishment, and care. Like all living things, it is born and it dies, if only with the deaths of the parties involved. In my case, I married very young and I meant it to be forever. Turns out, it was meant for about fourteen years. I made my share of mistakes, contributed to the ending of the season, and had to learn some intense emotional lessons in the aftermath. Marriage is also an AND function: you need two yeses for it to work. It was a long two and half years of healing and learning and making some long-overdue changes.

    But then I met my wife and we’ve been together for over a decade now. It is not a simple or easy relationship, as we are very different: she grew up working class, I grew up military; she was born in the early sixties and grew up in the seventies, while I was born in the early seventies and grew up in the eighties; she dropped out of high school and later got her GED, while I went to college for a decade and have a PhD; and the list goes on. But we each have something the other needs in order to grow and I am firmly convinced that we are together for that reason. The advice about knowing your prospective spouse is sound, but as with all things there’s a counter-example: my wife and I married 61 days after our first date and I knew with *that* kind of knowing that we belonged together, even though I couldn’t (and still can’t) explain it.

    Some of us are meant to journey alone and others are meant to have a companion. Only you can tell which applies at what point of your life.

  240. @ Kev: I just voted by mail for the first time here in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The ballot is put into an envelope, on which you must write your name, Email, & c. That envelope is in turn put into another envelope for mailing. So much for the secret ballot!
    Evidence that perhaps Trump is not so far off the mark is easy for anyone who pays attention to politics in our state. The election of 2016 for RI House District 15 was a very tight race between the sitting Speaker of the House, Democrat Nicholas Mattiello, and the challenger, Republican Steven Frias. In some ways, Frias was flanking to the left of Mattiello t (A rated by the NRA, pro-life). At the end of counting the ballots on election night, Frias appeared to have eked out a slim victory. Mirabile Dictu!! The very next day, 89 mail ballots were “found”, all from one senior citizen residence, all for Mattiello, and he was able to return to his post as most powerful elected person in the state. #RIHOUSE15-2016

    On the general issue of “Karens” & dogs: I have a plot in a nearby community garden, located in a public park. Every gate into the park has a sign saying “No Dogs Allowed”, which are regularly defaced. Two summers ago, I was tending my plot, when a woman walking a dog attempted to strike up a conversation. I said that I was not ready to have a conversation with her, since I didn’t approve of people ignoring the no dogs signs. She took great offense, since hers was a special dog, and had just been comforting the sick in the hospital. I replied that the sign referred to all dogs, and she stomped off. Some minutes later, she returned with her husband, who, despite being 20 years my senior and walking with the aid of a cane, offered to beat the stuffing out of me (somewhat more colorfully). The kicker is that she regularly walks her dog past our house about 5 minutes from the park, and we are quite friendly when we see one another. I don’t think she knows I am the same person, especially as I live where the PMC does, and in fact, I am in the PMC.

  241. Hi Nomadic Beer,

    I think sociopathy is rewarded in kleptocracies and so it’s more visible than in societies where sociopathic behavior is discouraged.

    Hi Grover,

    Well, I’ll be jiggered! (“Jiggered” is a Druidly-acceptable word). I had no idea. Fortunately I only wear masks in stores so I get plenty of air the rest of the time, unlike the masked fellow I saw in the other lane who was alone in his car.

  242. @Rita Rippetoe: Re you comment “OTH I can’t believe how stupidly some ,mostly Democratic, governors are playing into the hands of those right wing groups who represent liberals as anti-religion.”, you may be interested to see which is basically the announcement you asked for from the WA governor. It was announced in a press conference around when you made your post. Of course, making this announcement so late into the lockdown makes me suspect it was more a formalization of what religious organizations were already doing. And while Washington State is an urban-area-focused blue state, its relatively low population urban area and overall geography mean that the rural areas don’t get ignored quite as much as in other blue states.

  243. JMG&all,

    I think about COVID and how it shape around the world and it rather clear that the way danger and handling of it was communicated in West (as opposed to East Asia) was utterly bone-headed (and that even excluding all the faulty epidemiological computermodels).

    You could watch Japan that didn’t close and Japan has a very experienced network of public health centers specialized in interrupting the chain of transmission of respiratory diseases. In conjunction with a public which is being extremely cooperative on social distancing and mask wearing it’s clear why sort of precision targeting working despite the pretty limited level of emergency action the Japanese government has taken.

    COVID-19 pandemic could be conceptualized as a sort of ‘kill chain,’ and big three Asian economies basically all chose to interrupt the kill chain at different steps:

    1) The first step is individuals getting infected and infecting more individuals who have sustained close contact with them, creating a cluster. Japan’s interventions seem to be heavily targeted at stopping COVID-19 spread at this step, which is by far the cheapest step to deal with.

    2) The second step is these clusters making more clusters, which eventually creates a massive sustained community of infected and infectious victims. South Korea’s mass test/trace/isolation protocols interrupted the spread at this step of the chain.

    3) The third step is these clusters of clusters creating sustained and explosive community spread-China chose (well, was forced to because it was facing a novel pathogen and by the time they could take other steps there was already sustained community spread) to disrupt this step of the pandemic. It did so via centralized quarantine and heavily enforced movement restrictions. Italy’s northern region got to that step too. It shows on the statistics of exceed mortality :

    – Bergamo +568% (Włochy +50%)
    – New York +405%
    – Great Britain +88%.
    – Sweden +36%.
    – Poland (lucky to get COVID late and put mandatory mask early and lockdown on events that can be super-spreaders) minus (-) 8%

    …and the rub is that if you are not in the danger group (65+ or compromised in some way), you are not getting killed directly, but by the fact that when the “kill chain” gets to third step, the hospital are clogged.
    In USA that got only in the New York, when for part of April medics were told not to bring people with heart attacks to hospitals and simply try only the limited interventions that can be done in ambulances.

    Here is another thing: It is unclear if it even happen in rural regions or if such development is possible only in those absurdly large multi-million cities.


  244. The Killed by Police website is still being updated with links to the local news stories. The police seem race neutral looking at the killings with a mix of white, black, hispanic, asian, and other. The statistic that really stands out is it’s mostly men being killed.

    Did everyone else see that inner city gun violence increased during lock down? It’s also like people who are determined to do something awful will do it no matter what the rules are for the rest of us.

  245. JMG, regarding…Regardie,

    I have, yes, at your earlier recommendation, and practiced some of his techniques for a while. I’m sorry to say that that seemed to make things worse, too…

    I admit it could have been user error on my part, though it seems like anything I do to try to increase flow – of whatever – in that region makes it worse. Drinking more water, massaging with our otherwise unstoppable healing salve, circulating life force, focusing that energy in Yesod, just about everything I’ve tried so far. Perhaps it’s a temporary thing, and the situation would improve given enough time – breaking a few eggs to make an omelet and all that, but the pain and discomfort are so unsettling that I tend to shy away from persisting with a course of action when things devolve.

    I appreciate you checking on me though. And I’m all ears for other ideas…

    I certainly feel like I’ve given this more than the old college try, on multiple levels of being.

  246. Here’s a question whose answer I can’t find. I have on my phone Pyramid , and the game called Solitaire in the U.S. and Patience everywhere else. Both games have scores. I want to know why. You play both games by yourself, so there’s no one to score against, and in both games you win or you lose, so as far as I can see a score is meaningless. So what’s it doing there? Can’t find the answer. I wrote the company and they replied promptly but the person ‘s 5th language was English so he didn’t really understand my question. He explained the difference between Vegas and non-Vegas scoring which is also what I find on the Internet. Does anyone have the answer?

    I think Patience requires a lot more skill than most people think. My dad was a good enough poker player that he supported my mom and brother for 4 months when the Army FUBARed his pay, but he was a disaster at Patience.

    (After everybody up to and including the COL got involved, he finally got paid, just in time. Mom was down to several jars of baby food, for my brother, and a half a loaf of stale bread and a jar of mustard. She said the only reason she didn’t starve was the landlady downstairs kept “accidentally “ making too much food. She was in Alexandria, VA, and the landlady was the only person she knew. My parents were both so shy that my brother and I are lucky we exist, but as the great philosopher Michael Crichton noted, “Life finds a way.”)

  247. @ Irena – I wear a mask voluntarily, and try to sit or stand at a reasonable distance from others, but I’m not out to tell other people what to do unless they get in my face. Though if they do and I object, I’ll walk away if they get nasty.

  248. @JMG – I’d be a right fool to try to prescribe for “everybody,” meaning people I don’t know in places I’ve never been under circumstances I’m not aware of.

    OTH, I’m very glad the county health service came in and tested everybody who works here, and also everybody in assisted living, and that our managers have posted signs on every building asking that anyone inside the building wear a mask.

    And the local daily paper has kept readers very well informed about the hardship the shutdown has caused those who have to get out and work, and those who are out of work.

    I will try to keep in mind that those who can stay home are just the 20%; everyone else is hurting, and react accordingly to news stories. However, Florida is opening up bit by bit.

    (Freudian slip time: I- keep hitting the wrong key here whenever I try to type “shutdown” and hit the “i” instead of a “u”.)

  249. I’ve recently read Jung’s Wotan essay, which had been much discussed here. His causal explanation of what happened in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s didn’t much convince me, but there is clearly something there to be explained, and bringing in a wanderer archetype is a way to talk about it. His phrase about intelligence giving in when the emotional temperature rises (mentioned last week) is also frighteningly appropriate today.

    I would like to ask your opinion about the archetype or mental complex involved when people carry coffins during a political demonstration. This has now been recurrent for several weeks in Brazil – I put here three links to reputable news sites:,1148185/bolsonaristas-carregam-caixao-durante-manifestacao-de-apoio-ao-preside.shtml

    There is some rationalization for the coffins involved – some demonstrators say that unemployment and hunger will cause more death than Covid-19 – but still I find it exceedingly strange and worrying to carry around and dance with a coffin during a political demonstration, and I would be thankful for any analysis.

  250. Karl
    The woman in question actually got in a confrontation with the man because she had let her unleashed dog into a bird sanctuary, ruining the man in questions attempt to get a good view on one of the birds. The reason she’s in so much trouble is because he recorded her calling the police (while he was about 30 feet away) saying that he was threatening to attack her and steal the dog. She lost her dog for violating leash laws, she lost her job for calling 911 under false pretenses.

    Wouldn’t her first mistake have been the whole “Calling 911 under false pretenses” thing? And also, filming anyone you like just IS one your rights in the state of New York. It’s in their state code of laws.

    Ray the Second
    Are you also a Hoosier? I’d contemplated proposing a meetup for Indiana readers, but I thought I was the only one here.

  251. Onething,

    If it happens in a public place then anyone has the right — dare I say obligation in the case of certain unsavory circumstances — to film others.

  252. My uncle loves Noam Chomsky. I agree with some of what he says but not everything. There is something I can’t quite put my finger on about him. Wondering if you had an opinion or can say anything about him at all.

  253. I would encourage people not to get too defensive about being asked to consider racial issues. In my opinion everyone is a little bit racist and it doesn’t hurt to examine that and work on it now and then.

  254. I have an idea that has been bumping around in my mind regarding the whole ‘Karen’ meme. ‘Karen’ is cast as an entitled, privileged, classist, demeaning, and often racist person. I wonder if this meme is evidence that identity politics is ready to cast white women out of the heirerarchy of the oppressed? If this indeed the case, and white women are cast in the same manner that white men have been, I wonder what you might muse the effects of that will be?

  255. Archdruid,

    A data point on China. They’re currently clashing with India on the line of control. This isn’t particularly unusual since there isn’t a border, but these current clashes seem unusually aggressive and wide spread.



  256. @ Michael Martin re: Karen

    Social media birthed all “Karens” that have come into existence. Literally hundreds of thousands have lost jobs and marriages simply due to ‘social media’. I think we need another name for this bunch of media apps…

    Flash mob is also some relatively new terminology – hard to flash mob if your communication is via letter or telegraph or even audio phone.

    You can’t control idiots per some of us here, but you certainly can rile them up and then point at something. The other idiots then compound the problem. Often I wonder how many paid agitators are actually working these apps, because while some things seem organic, much of what originates there seems very stilted or slanted and inorganic…

  257. @ siliconguy re:turbine blades

    Actually, you can make water tanks out of the blades with a decent saw and more resin. And several really big ones, albeit they are not perfectly shaped, but water doesn’t care.

    You can also chew them up with a crusher/grinder and use them in roadmix – they just have more macadam than they do turbine blades these days.

    You could probably use them as structural elements if you cut them into flat shaped, with a little effort. Termites and rot don’t effect the resin…

    Weighted, they would make awesomely visible sea buoys…

    Most everything can be repurposed if the price is low enough for the junk.

  258. @ JMG re: militarized police

    Glad to find myself agreeing with your take on the why of it. Fortunately, there will (hopefully) always be far fewer police and fewer still crazy enough to go against the 2A folks.

    Anecdote: Son #2 and I went into Academy to get some fishing gear before the maskiness went crazy. An LEO was talking to another guy about ammo shortages in the checkout. I turned and asked him point blank if he would follow orders to confiscate firearms. He grinned and said, “There is no “STUPID” tattoo on my forehead, is there?”

    My son got an entirely new take on what might happen if the wrong things continue to be pushed on people by the tiny brained ruling bunch.

  259. Hey JMG,

    With all that’s been happening in the world, I suspected that we might possibly be in for a fair amount of natural disasters this year. Already storms are coming out of the tropics and hitting along the coast along with Michigan having incredible amounts of rain along on top of infrastructure poorly maintained and operated to handle the influx. When it rains it pours. That got me to thinking though about the synchronicity of events. Prior to WWII we had the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. I have a suspicion if I were better informed of history that other significant turning points also had their fair share of political, economic, and natural turmoil. I’m curious as to the synchronicity of it all, and the obvious awareness of these things from a spiritual perspective, as both Armageddon and Ragnarok, as I am sure similar end tales exist in other stories of other spiritual practices, depicted great turmoils unfolding in just about every facet of our human existence. Can you help shed any light?

  260. @ ALL re: racism

    I’ve seen this from one end of the globe to the other, and it’s funny that even in parts of Africa, the lighter your skin the more “racist” you are likely to be…

    Got my fill of it when in China, where us frogeyes are very much looked down on, just because we are NOT Chinese. Japan has a lot of that still hanging around as well.

    The only thing I have ever seen effective in combating it is to ignore it as much as possible. Getting into the right or wrong of it seems to rarely work out in any positive fashion – regardless. That’s likely because both sides of these issues are wrong, IMO.

  261. HELP!! I just found out that AT&T is planning to erect a 147 foot cell tower on a 40′ x 40′ footprint on the field behind my residence. Is this something that is going to have health effects? Should I plan to move elsewhere? Would a hotfoot powder on the proposed site have any good outcome (meaning prevent this atrocity)? Thanks, Luna

  262. Hi Oilman 2

    I think this goes back to the beginning of man. In many, many languages the word for Our Tribe translates to “people “ or “human beings,” whereas the word for Not Our Tribe will translate to “Those frog-faced, smelly, heathen Trump voters over the next ridge there; the ones who don’t even have a hut-owners association.”

  263. JMG, what do you think of Adlerian psychology?

    I came across this book called “The Courage to be Disliked”, which seems to introduce people to Adlerian psychology. Actually the girl I’m dating above told me that probably her biggest insecurity is wanting people to like her. I felt like it was a synchronicity that I randomly heard of this book after she sent me a text saying that.

    Anyway, I did find an old Magic Monday post where you mentioned Adler, but overall, what’s your impression of his work, and is it compatible with occultism the way e.g. Jung is?

    I saw mostly positive reviews of this book, but the few negative reviews took issue with the author claiming that “trauma does not exist”. I just read a few sites but it seems like this should be contextualised within Adler’s larger approach of focusing on the future rather than the past. What’s your take on this?


  264. To Onething:
    I have also gotten aboard the Q train, in a way. Not sure at all whether it is a complete psyop or not, but it is fascinating! I find a lot of it very appealing, which is crazy since my whole background is as a radical environmentalist, anti-war socialist. However, ever since 9-11, and even more so during the Obama years, I have realized that the neocons have taken over the entire political establishment, including the Democratic party, and that the Globalists and the Technocracy are the real problem.
    I have been enjoying the youtube channels of Amazing Polly and Red Pill 78. I see a radical community developing that reminds me of the exhilarating feelings of solidarity with a tribe of like minded folks that I once experienced during my radical eco-warrior days. It is fascinating to observe. However I am not a Q true believer because there are some major disconnects for me: I am pro-choice. I am concerned about climate change. I am not a Christian. Still, the values of integrity, community and democracy I see in Q supporters, the solidarity and the commitment to digging below the surface for some truth are very positive developments in my view.
    My big question is: if the Q thing is just a psyop to keep Trump’s base hopped up and motivated to vote in the fall, what happens if their expectations for a revolution are dashed, either by Trump’s defeat, or even worse, by Trump’s second term where he shows his true colors (possibly) as just another politician working for elites? They are placing so much hope in him.
    No matter what the reality of Q is, I am encouraged to see this group of people actively questioning and holding the powers that be to account. It is also very interesting to see the role of religion in their movement. It is strengthening to have a common spiritual purpose, but also potentially limiting if it devolves into fanaticism. And yet, the Q people that I follow make a point of emphasizing that we need to keep questioning and thinking for ourselves, using our own powers of discernment to evaluate the evidence and come to some truth.
    It is my deepest hope in this time that the left and right will come together around shared values and throw the bums out! In the meantime, though, I am probably lonelier and more alienated from my lifetime collection of friends and associates (almost all liberals) than I have ever been. I no longer have a tribe. It is sad, but also a necessary evolution. This forum has been very important for me over the last few years. I don’t comment much, but I really enjoy reading all of your comments and find you all to be a breath of fresh air!
    I would be very interested to hear any of your opinions on the Q phenomenon.

  265. Dear Jim, excellent points — thank you!

    Dear JMG, many thanks for the kind words and encouragement! I’m on yet another reread of Catton’s Civil War Centennial trilogy and the more I read it the more I wonder about the influence of the stars on the course of the events therein, and there’s really only way of figuring it out, and other people might be interested in the results, too…

    Dear Onething, PMC = Professional Managerial Class. The reason I self identified as “crazy” in my response to Dylandrogynous is that I’m someone who’s far enough outside of normative consensus reality that I feel marked by it, and think that the word “crazy” sums up the whole arc of those experiences with the minimum of pretense.

    Dear Ian, that all makes a lot of sense. I, for one, am glad you’re interested in learning other types of magic!

  266. Kashtan, I admit that that’s occurred to me rather more than once.

    John, one of the things a lot of people don’t realize about magic is that there are a lot of incompatible practices. We’re still learning about some of them — I found out the hard way, for example, that certain kinds of qigong play very badly with Western magical training, though I stopped before the damage to my health became too serious. I recall the guy who claimed he’d rediscovered an ancient kundalini-type exercise from Nordic sources, and was dead of brain cancer six months later. So when the GD teachings say “No hypnotism, please,” I tend to take them very seriously.

    Eugene, it’s something I think about now and then. I’m still catching my breath after finishing The Weird of Hali and its companion novels — 11 books, and a total word count around double that of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, was quite a project! — and I have something rather stranger in mind after that, but the Atlantis novel remains one of the things I’d like to do one of these days.

    Aidan, I’ve seen figures ranging from 8% to 9%, so that’s probably about right.

    Trent, no question, we’ve got a zombie economy at this point, lurching mindlessly ahead though it’s been dead for years. The question is purely how that plays out over the long run. My guess is that at some point — when? Impossible to say yet — the dollar will finish losing its status as a global reserve currency, something will trigger a panic, foreign investors will frantically start dumping dollar-denominated paper, and it’ll end with the US defaulting on its foreign debt, the way Russia did in 1998. To my mind, the Trump administration’s efforts to back away from the global economy and return manufacturing to the US are preparations for that endgame; it’ll be a whopping crisis, but we’ll come out the other side of it — again, the way Russia did. It’s the people who are stuck holding worthless dollar-denominated paper and the people whose income depends on the global economy who are going to be screwed. Don’t be one of them!

    Kuja, (1) I don’t know of anyone else who is doing old-fashioned ingress charts the way I am. Well, with the exception of a few members of this commentariat! (2) I hope you’ll forgive me for saying that your three choices strike me as extremely simplistic. If Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, does that mean that he’s the one and only god and that one and only one of the diverse religions that revere him — in your case, Roman Catholicism — is the only true religion? That hardly follows. Lots of religions have gods who rose from the dead — that was very popular in the ancient eastern Mediterranean, you know — and the mere fact that you choose to disregard Protestantism doesn’t mean that its claims aren’t valid. I notice that you didn’t mention the Orthodox churches, the Nestorian churches, the Gnostic churches, the Mormons, etc., etc.

    If he didn’t rise from the dead, does that mean that Christianity is false? Here again, that hardly follows. Plenty of religions, including some branches of Christianity, understand that there’s a difference between truth and fact, and a statement can express a profound spiritual truth in mythic language. So your trichotomy doesn’t work very well. (It’s also kind of shopworn — did you know that people were using exactly that same argument when I was a teenager?) As for my opinion, I don’t have one. I wasn’t there at the time, you know! The resurrection of Jesus is like the assassination of JFK — there are a lot of competing stories, all of them being used to push varying agendas, and neither you nor I nor anyone else will ever know the facts, so why worry about it? As a religion, Christianity doesn’t appeal to me, but if it appeals to you, hey, it’s a big world and there’s room for both of us.

    Changeling, a nice summary. Thank you!

    Grover, got it. So you need something to reduce circulation…

    Your Kittenship, I have no idea at all. I always thought that in solitaire, either you win or you lose, normally the latter!

    Patricia M, that makes perfect sense. As we’ve discussed, I’m very much in favor of all appropriate infection control procedures being used to keep vulnerable populations safe. It’s the extension of those procedures to everyone that seems misguided to me.

    Matthias, hmm. That does seem strange, but I’d have to research it to get some sense of what it might mean. How are funerals handled in Brazil? Are the coffins carried to the cemetery by the pallbearers, or what?

    David W, he’s a very odd duck, and not one I agree with much — his linguistics as well as his politics seem flawed to me. Still, I haven’t studied the politics closely.

    Alex, no doubt. I note that when I mention class privilege and class bigotry, as I did in my discussion with Dylandrogynous, the usual result is dead silence, followed by an attempt to drag the discussion back to the more comfortable topic of racism. Is it possible that those white people who like to talk about racism are a little, or more than a little, classist?

    Selkirk, good heavens — I hadn’t considered that, but of course you’re right. White gay men have already been thrown off the social justice bus — “not enough axes of oppression” — so it would make sense that white women would be next in line.

    Varun, thank you for this — I’ve been reading about it in The Hindu and OneIndia. It does seem a little more belligerent than usual, and on top of everything else, it has me wondering if the PRC government is a lot less stable than it seems.

    Oilman2, one of the things I keep in mind is that police officers and active duty military personnel tend to be fairly far right of center…

    Prizm, I’ll have to look into that; nothing’s coming immediately to mind, but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

    Luna, in your place I’d move somewhere else sooner rather than later. You might try hotfoot powder, but in case it doesn’t work…

    Alvin, I like some elements of Adler but his system seems incomplete to me. I’m not at all sure it’s compatible with occultism, but I could be wrong.

    Violet, as you say, there’s only one way to find out. I’ll look forward to hearing about your results!

  267. “it’ll be a whopping crisis, but we’ll come out the other side of it — again, the way Russia did.”

    Indeed! I think whatever is going on now is accelerating that process. I would say we could see this panic within the next two years. I also think the absurdity will ratchet up as the summer progresses and we get closer to the election. Don’t forget JMG that the crisis in Russia in the 90’s led to the rise of Putin. Though i find many things about him admirable, i do not yet wish to be ruled by a Caesar. Many Russians did not come out of that crisis for the same reason we see so many Americans succumbing to the opioid epidemic. I see how everyone is panicking and circling the wagons now, and i worry how they will react when 12 months down the road things haven’t got better, but only worse. They need to be shown by someone that an alternative to the way we currently live is viable. We need a plan, if only in the sense that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.

  268. Since we’re discussing marriage, I hope you all will indulge me in my telling a silly little story and posing a question around an issue that’s looming larger for me than it probably should be, and has been for a while.

    A common theme over on the other blog is the development of will. JMG recently described a mage as (poorly paraphrasing here, since I can’t find the quote) someone who wills something and makes it happen. I want to be more like that.

    I’ve been married for going on five years. Since the beginning, we’ve had a pattern in which we disagree about something, she pushes and I give in, and then I’m unhappy and resent the result. Often there’s a compromise to be found, and I’ve gotten better at assertiveness and dialogue; other times, though, our desires are simply incommensurable, and no compromise is possible.

    Here’s an example of such a situation. A couple of years ago we were faced with the choice of where to move. I had a clear preference; let’s call it Lotustown. My wife favored Belltown. Both are large American cities, but they’re across the country from one another and about as different as two places can be. I’ve always wanted to live in Lotustown, to the point where it’s a core goal and indeed something of an obsession for me. My wife refused to move to Lotustown, citing the famously poor air quality and her asthma. (Also, she just doesn’t particularly like the place.) She would move anywhere with me but Lotustown. So, Belltown it was!

    I don’t hate Belltown. It’s really quite pleasant in many respects. Still, I wake up every morning and go to bed every night feeling defeated because I’m not waking up and going to bed in Lotustown, and at this point I probably never will.

    Here’s my question, for JMG and any other married mages still reading: how do you handle situations in which your will is thwarted by your marriage?

    -Crimson Tangential Piglet aka escher

  269. Hi JMG, would it be impolite of me to take advantage of your allowing readers’ books to be shamelessly peddled on your site? I wrote this novel a few years ago, inspired loosely by Edgar Cayce’s reincarnation reflections. It’s a story of love, betrayal and forgiveness that spans the time from the Roman siege of Jerusalem until the near future, in the aftermath of the first China war.

    The trees that whisper kindle version

    The trees that whisper paperback version

  270. Dylandrogynous,

    As a mixed race person who is exactly as white as Barack Obama, from experience, I believe you can find the racism you seek by looking in a mirror. Racists come in every color, including the self-hating, faux-enlightened, other-fetishizing variety.

    Patricia Mathews,

    If there was evidence of masks other than hard to attain N-95s preventing disease, I would advocate them. Face coverings are scientifically proven to be useless and may actually be harmful to the wearer as they make it difficult to breathe, for instance, the jogger who wore one and suffered a collapsed lung. Not everyone can wear a mask: anyone with sensory issues here? I have no problem with sensible precautions like staying home if I have the sniffles or washing my hands. I’m saying a small camp shouldn’t get to take a wrecking ball to the lives of small business owners and an entire generation of school and college age kids because they’ve chosen to pickle themselves in terror. Also, forcing people to wear masks once you “allow” them to go to church… hoo boy… more bad karma on the pile. Again, please don’t kill the messenger, I’m just putting that out there.


    “Karen” is an attitude. For instance, in his videos, Paul Joseph Watson doesn’t reserve the name Karen for white women: Karens can be guys, they can be black, they can be Asian. Their defining characteristic is whiny, entitled bullying because they not only feel the world owes them a living, they feel it owes them a great, flawless experience that they can show off to their friends when they reach the pearly gates, because otherwise they’ll leave a terrible review.


    I think the Left sacrificed Amy Cooper because that’s exactly the way most of them feel inside about random people who aren’t the same color as them. It’s not just a white thing. The irate mob could not help but unleash their psychoses on her, whipping post style. They had their Two Minutes Hate and village idiot Amy Cooper was in firing range. If anything, the episode reveals the fragile, unhinged mental state of the average New Yorker.


    Robopathy sufferer sounds like another term for NPC.


    Better to die alone than to settle. That said, it’s wonderful to grow old with a spouse with whom you’ve been through thick and thin.

  271. The eclipse on June 21 promises to be a wowser, especially as it’ll be conjunct both the sun and moon in the Cancer ingress(!), but there’s something rather interesting about it: Pluto and Mercury strike me as joint rulers of the internet; in the June 21 eclipse chart they are both retrograde and in opposition. Further, this is a loose opposition and separating, which normally

    Pluto is in Capricorn, conjunct Saturn, and this seems to suggest a limitation on something tied to Mercury and Pluto; with Pluto also in a close conjunction with Jupiter, it promises to be large, and related to excess and overindulgence.

    It seems plausible to me that the formal anti-trust charges against Google will be filed in late July, when Mercury will be transiting in opposition to transiting Pluto, the eclipse Pluto, and the Cancer ingress Pluto all at the same time.

    Thus, I can’t help but wonder if one of the things this eclipse predicts is the beginning of the end of the internet….

  272. Expanding on the ramifications of the ‘Karen’ meme possibly indicating that identity politics is now ceasing to consider white women “oppressed’. Will this mean that the perceived need for, or validity of feminism is increasingly questioned? Also, identity politics has, in my view, driven something of a wedge between many white men and white women, instilling in women that their own fathers, uncles, brothers, husbands are oppressors. Would you expect that the experience of being cast into this oppressor role along with white men leads to a renewed solidarity between white men and women? What may be the result of this given that whites are still a majority in every state but Hawaii?

  273. Hi all

    @JMG thanks for your book recommendation! Yes! I’ll be onto Gareth Knight’s “The Secret Tradition in Arthurian Legend” next. So I’ve added “Jesus the Magician” to the list.

    @Jasper, thanks for your comments and the brief history you’ve given – it’s all very fascinating. I was endeavoring to see the similarities between Merlin and Jesus, and not really debating whether either was Christian or Pagan. I then commented on how history had played out, and is affecting the present. My main point being the needless labels that people ascribe to, which serve to separate instead of unite. We are ONE.

    To everyone else reading and in general, regarding those posts bringing up perceived differences, specifically social class, religious, and race-related posts.

    Each of our worlds is a reflection – a mirror of our own consciousness or state of being. What we think about, we will attract and experience in the outside world.

    Yes, we’re kind of playing on a dualistic playground. Can you rise above it?

    Before labelling and judging another, perhaps it wise to look within first. To ask yourself and to ascertain why you are being triggered by someone else. Why is it that you are labeling another? Are they doing the judging or are you?

    Once you’ve established your trigger points, examples insecurity, lack of self worth, wanting to be better yourself. And you’ve transmuted the origins – beliefs, faulty thoughts, childhood and societal conditioning – that contribute to “ego”, you will no longer attract these experiences, and they will cease to bother you.

    It matters not how you perceive others to be. You’re wasting your time and energy, and being distracted from looking at yourself. You have no control over what another thinks, says or does. But you do have control over how you react (ego, fear-based) or respond (from your higher self, based on love, compassion and wisdom).

    So be mindful of the words you use in labeling and judging others. Those words may help point you in the direction of what you need to work on within yourself.

    When you are triggered, take some time to reflect and meditate – to establish the exact cause or reason why.

    As in all cases – regardless of labels, reflection and meditation should make up part of daily life.

    WaVeS of LoVe + LiGhT,


  274. @Dylandrogenous, JMG

    I strongly endorse JMG’s response to you. I want to follow up with an excellent piece by Chris Hedges which he posted on Truthdig (just before the place imploded):

    Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget

    Here is a quote which addresses the subject you have raised very well indeed:

    The oligarchs are happy to talk about race. They are happy to talk about sexual identity and gender. They are happy to talk about patriotism. They are happy to talk about religion. They are happy to talk about immigration. They are happy to talk about abortion. They are happy to talk about gun control. They are happy to talk about cultural degeneracy or cultural freedom. They are not happy to talk about class. Race, gender, religion, abortion, immigration, gun control, culture and patriotism are issues used to divide the public, to turn neighbor against neighbor, to fuel virulent hatreds and antagonisms. The culture wars give the oligarchs, both Democrats and Republicans, the cover to continue the pillage. There are few substantial differences between the two ruling political parties in the United States. This is why oligarchs like Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg can switch effortlessly from one party to the other.

    I am not a huge fan of Hedges. In many ways, he comes across as a schizoid ideologue, whose diagnoses of problems is accurate, but whose proposed solutions amount to sheer political quackery. Nonetheless, when he is right, he is really, truly right.

  275. I’ll believe that as soon as I see black professional class women being video’d engaging in offensive behaviour towards non-black peopls, being designated Karens and experiencing the same consequences, when the ‘Karens’ who engage in actual gratuitous violence against people like Steve suffer the same mob reaction, and when black people respond to each such incident by engaging in angsty debates about the systemic racism that must lie behind their dramatic over-representation in inter-racial violence and hate crimes. I won’t hold my breath. It’s great to see several commenters becoming aware of the game though.

  276. I’ve followed this blog intermittently from the beginning, and Archdruid Report for several years too, but it’s only my second time writing to you.

    Have you contacted or even heard about the 8 shields institute? They seem to be doing exactly what i feel is the essence of what you would like to see in the world, except they’re doing it in a very sneaky way.

    For example, they teach bird language and animal tracking with all the scientific jargon and zero spitituality, yet the large majority of their students end up having major life changes, and embrace the sacredness and mystery of life as a felt experience. They call this “coyote mentoring” 😉

    Not trying to publicize anything, just wanted to know what you can tell by looking at them, especially the guy who started it. He’s called Jon Young, has a bunch of stuff on YouTube, but like i said, he’s sneaky… Not easy to figure out on the first attempt.

    Ted talk:

    Thank you for all the time you offer your readers, for so many years!

  277. @Will Oberon, just to echo what others have said about Grave of the Fireflies. One comment was “It’s the best movie you’ll never want to see again.” I agree. It’s about a boy and his young sister who escape the firebombing of Tokyo and end up living rough in the countryside, and it is unbearably sad. I would hesitate to show it to a young person.

  278. Hi Seaweedy,

    More 2,000-year-old good advice that I hope Q-Anon keeps in mind: “Don’t put your trust in princes.”

    Hi Violet,

    I’d be interested in reading the astrology of the U.S. Civil War, and I imagine I’m not the only one.

    Hi JMG,

    Computer solitaire, at least as programmed by the Mobility Ware Company, is considerably easier than the real thing. I win 80% of Patience games and 30% of Pyramid, both would be unlikely in real life. Most computer games can be set for more or less difficult, not these two. I think part of the reason the computer version of the games is so much easier to win is that you get a truly random shuffle every time, something that doesn’t happen so much with real shuffles. We’ve all played cards and had the same ones come up repeatedly after a while. I read an article by a magician that said it takes 9 shuffles to thoroughly mix cards. Most people don’t do that many, and the magician takes advantage of this when he tells you to shuffle the cards.

  279. Hello JMG and commentariat

    Fascinating discussions on here as always. I’m so grateful for the wisdom of people on here and the courteous discussion in general -which seems to hardly exist anywhere else at all.

    A few points: re the UK media meltdown over Dominic Cummings (special adviser to Boris Johnson) and key architect of the successful Vote Leave campaign -my understanding is that there is a lot more to this than meets the eye and it is not a straightforward case of one rule for the plebs and another for the elites. Apparently his 4 year old son has autism and a high level of support needs such that he needed to be cared for by people he knows, additionally Cummings is viscerally hated by the metropolitan illiberal elites for his aforementioned Brexit success and had received violent threats from the more unhinged end of said sector. I think he did what he felt was right for his family. Finally, and most significantly, political manoeuvres are underway to get a 2 year extension to the transition period after leaving the EU (while still following all the rules and paying all the bills). The transition period ends December 31st. A Private Members Bill seeking this extension is due in the House of Commons on June 12th and the hoo hah has been designed to whip up a frenzy of public outrage to scare backbench MP’s as a way of destroying Boris’ majority and getting the extension. Chief EU negotiator Barnier has just written to opposition parties saying the EU is willing to offer an extension. While Boris and Dominic were off ill with Covid, a civil servant stitch up was being engineered by over-powerful bureaucrat Mark Sedwill to that effect and Cummings returned and put a stop to it. See
    How much of this the media hotheads are aware of is hard to say, they do make very useful idiots.

    Re long handled dish brushes and other such items. I recall reading in January that container traffic leaving Chinese ports was falling off a cliff , and those containers that didn’t leave then have by now not arrived in their destination ports and have not been distributed. Interestingly on that note – I was in my local bike shop the other day and the owner was saying just that -he is finding it hard to get hold of parts for bike repairs etc Major supply chain disruptions ahead or just a short term blip?

  280. First af all, thank you for your blog

    Though I do not know if it will help to clarify things a little bit, I’ll leave you the data I know. Where I live, excess deaths above the average ten year mortality rate have been 43000( official number of deaths because of the virus just above 27000). Preliminary data given by a serological study shows a 5% of the population has been infected. Considering country’s population is around 47 millions, mortality rate is easy to calculate.

  281. Thanks for the comment, JMG. But it was already clear to me that Uranus in its fall in the second house means economic volatility.

  282. Hi John

    Thanks for the response. I agree that different sectors of the economy will have different curves post-Covid.

    I have two questions:

    1) what are your latest thoughts on the likely outcome of the 2020 presidential election?

    2) taking into consideration the latest stats on shale oil ( what are your thoughts on when the oil supply crunch is coming?

  283. The thing about coffins in demonstrations is so weird because funerals are usually hurried in Brazil. People have a very strong wish, almost a compulsion, to get the body under the earth within 24 h of death, even if that means family members won’t arrive in time. I have never seen a coffin on the streets.

    From what I can tell, the coffin bearers are appropriating and reversing a meme that was brought up by their opponents. As the number of covid victims soared and the president fought actively against quarantine measures, he was photoshopped into a video of Ghanaese coffin-bearers dancing on their way to the cemetery. It is common right now to appropriate and reverse memes, but I still find it immensely discomforting to see people dancing and laughing while carrying a fake coffin for a political demonstration.

    Just to respond to the other commenter regarding personal knowledge of covid victims (and I won’t post anything else on this topic for this week unless you ask me to, JMG), I know a former student of mine, stilll below 30, died from it, working as a pediatrist; my wife knows four former nurse colleagues of her who died, all below 60. I do also know that the reality of the pandemic in Brazil is not the reality of other countries.

  284. @Waffles

    Married man here. Unless you want children (in which case there is basically no other option – unmarried fatherhood gives you even less rights to your own children than married fathers do – and even they are discriminated against in the family court/custody system), there is not much point to getting married. You can enjoy the company of women and have a sex life without marriage.

    I could go on about this but the short version is that if you get married today, you will have all the responsibilities your great-grandfather did (supporting the family etc), but much less of the privileges and authority he had (head of the household etc).

    This description relates to the dominant cultural zeitgeist in the West of course. There are many exceptions – it is still possible to make a marriage work and do well at it. But if you’re a man, you will be fighting an uphill battle, because society and the legal system are structured against you.

    I would not be without my children and I love my wife, but I would also advise younger men not to marry (unless they are sure they want children) and if they do marry, to go into it knowing what they are getting into and with a plan.

    Note: this is not about equality. I believe men and women are 100% equal. I think the balance of roles in a typical marriage has gone out of whack causing a range of problems (also connected to the issues relating to young men dropping out of society, concerned about porn addiction etc). Women and men are equally flawed, but the current zeitgeist and resulting legal system Many of the same dynamics that led to the Left interpreting “MeToo” as “Believe all women always because they never lie and are never mistaken” (well, until it came to Biden) apply here.

    @Untipo: There was a detailed discussion about Planet of the Humans in a comment thread on this blog a few weeks ago. I can’t remember the date but if you do a keyword search of the last few blog posts and threads you’ll easily find it.

    @forecastingintelligence – Remember Nouriel Roubini is called “Dr Doom” for a reason…he may well be right in the same way that a stopped clock is, but he’s very much talking his book and his bias..

  285. Late night thoughts on Wowbagger.

    So I looked him up again on Google and was once again reminded that some of Douglas Adam’s skills revolved around the sheer density of ideas he could pack into a few paragraphs. Wowbagger becomes immortal by an un-described but obviously absurd accident and it turns out to be a curse due to toxic levels of ennui. It probably would have killed him except that…

    Which leads me onto reincarnation, a prospect I started taking seriously only a few years ago. In common with most people I have no memories of any previous existence, but I do have one intriguing data point. My last remaining Grandfather died years ago having experienced considerable tragedy in his life. A few years later one of his grandchildren married, and had a baby boy which they named after Grandad. We keep in touch but I hadn’t seen the kid for several years until a few months before lockdown. I was astonished at the resemblance and when I pointed it out we grabbed a few old family photo albums and it was plain to see. They could be the same individual. Equally odd, he is quite distinct in looks from his younger brother.

    I had no way of knowing whether I am seeing my Grandad in a new form and naturally enough the R word did not come up. I made a few remarks about what a kind, clever, and honourable man he was; all true, and we left it there.

    So if I am looking at a local case of reincarnation, the kid has no great knowledge and no memory at all of his Great Grandfather. Given the kind of events that Grandad had to endure that’s actually a kindness but if you take reincarnation as a basic assumption about the way the universe operates then one of the questions I’ve pondered is why, in general, do people have no memories of previous lives? I’ve decided the story of Wowbagger is actually a clue.

    The human race has been hanging around here in something like our modern form for somewhere between 250,000 and 100,000 years. I’m told that the frequency of re-appearance is changing but for the back of an envelope calculation I’ll suppose I personally might have been re-appearing once a century, drawn my first breathe as a human for a minimum of 1000 times. For at least one thousand times I’ve lived as a man/woman/solder/slave/priestess/tinker etc. etc. I must have endured the same basic experiences over and over and over again.

    Some of them would have been really basic. If I did have a good memory of any of any of those, I’d be pretty much be unable to operate as a human today. Birth of my first child? meh I’ve seen hundreds. Terminal cancer? whatever, see you in a few years. Murder? likewise. I’ve concluded that the reason we usually do not have memories of previous lives is as much as anything, protective. It’s a strangely comforting thought.

    I can’t even claim these days that I want to live forever to see what happens; by the sounds of it, I will be seeing it anyway.

  286. packshaud, if I may:
    I don’t think the Brazilian media are neutral at all – all the print media (except Carta Capital) and Globo TV have the same viewpoint of “free market liberalism”, which means, in practice, more power to international corporations like Boeing and Shell, and more wealth and power to billionaires. By law, media have to be owned by a single physical person, so the owners are multimillionaires or multibillionaires themselves and look out for their own. They attack any president they feel endangers their goals, whether by intent or by incompetence. Some TVs mix this economical viewpoint with an honest and deeply felt sympathy for authoritarianism.

  287. I have two this week.

    Does anyone know more of the story told in the song, “Far from any road”, about the cactus that blooms every ten thousand years? I find the song quite compelling (despite never having seen True Detective). The band say they didn’t make the story up, that it’s a myth they wrote a song about. lyrics here , listen here

    Also, I’d like to note the sharp increase I’ve perceived in CCP influence in Australia. The state of Victoria has chosen to join the Belt and Road initiative against the will of the federal government, and the universities appear to be punishing students who offend the CCP. A student was recently suspended for supporting the Hong Kong democracy movement – by contrast I recall when I was at university Free Tibet was a popular issue. One more step down the long descent?

  288. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks for providing this forum.

    Last week I raised the issue about tracks with you, and then went on to use the word ‘Life’.

    After receiving your response, I now feel that the word ‘Culture’ may be appropriate too? And I was curious as to your perspective on the matter.

    Not sure really but I’m slowly getting glimpses and insights. For your information, I’m only just beginning to have more energy recently. It has taken quite a lot of work to shut out the noise of late. The goings on have certainly been very loud and noisy, although I doubt the campaign can be kept up – but you never know. And that has taken energy out of me.

    Incidentally I should mention, and it might be a down under thing, but I don’t necessarily talk to the trees, although I do thank them for their gifts – it is worth noting that the trees extract a price for their gifts. However, it is the land itself that speaks. I certainly get suggestions as to what I should and shouldn’t be doing. And at times I get glimpses of what should be done and why. I’m not sure why things would be expressed differently down here, but that is how it more or less it feels to me like it works.



  289. Dusk Shine, I’ve already seen that which cannot be unseen 🙂

    It’s fascinating how you found some images to have the sacred charge while others don’t.

    I came to ask the question by a roundabout route. I mentioned a bit back how my mind is very keyed to the idea of being warm, safe and comfortable while bad stuff is happening nearby. So while I’m not Christian, this limewood sculpture of the Virgin of Mercy ticked a number of boxes for me: Then I thought, would a similar concept work for your religion? The Princesses are taller than the other ponies, and have wings, so it’d be perfect composition. They could be sheltering the mane cast from driving rain or some equally appropriate metaphor.

  290. @team10tim

    By coincidence, I happened to take an “implicit association” test yesterday. This one:

    My experience was that by the time I got to the last test, the rules had been switched around so much that I couldn’t remember which buttons I was supposed to press and made many errors. The final results told me that I had a strong prejudice against dogs, an assertion that I disagree with, but hey maybe that’s my unconscious bias coming out 🙂

  291. @onething, May 28, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    I don’t think I’m being heartless, I’m just calling B.S on her behaviour. You see a frightened woman, I see someone petulantly channeling her “inner 9th grade mean girl.” I just rolled my eyes when she immediately shifts into the fearful voice after reaching 911.

  292. @JMG
    I haven’t considered concern with racism as a smokescreen for classism, I suppose it could use some more thought. A certain level of fear and disdain of working-class people was prevalent in the culture I grew up in. I count myself mostly cured of that by spending my adult life in working-class jobs. Now its the people who make their living attending meetings that I’m prejudiced against, haha.

  293. Well keep in mind Mr.Greer that this sort of socio-cultural radicalism has been a hallmark of the educated classes for generations.

    Many have discussed the so-called “cultural turn” of the left in the 1960s from the “Old Left” with its focus on class to the “New Left” with its emphasis on race, gender, and sexuality as the authentic and unquestionable vanguard of a fair and equitable society. If there was one document that symbolized this turning point, it would have to be the papers on “White Blindspot” and “Can White Workers Be Radicalized” co-authored by Theodore W Allen and Noel Ignatiev in 1967. Both were former members of the Communist Party U.S.A., who left in the 1950s in the aftermath of de-Stalinization.

    Allen, in 1965, was a pioneer of the concept of “white skin privilege”, literally in the immediate aftermath of the Civil Rights Acts! At a John Brown Commemoration Committee that year, he also pioneered the notion that, “White Americans who want government of the people, by the people, must begin by first repudiating their white skin privileges and the white ‘gentleman’s agreement’ against the Negro.” By 1975, Allen wrote a book, “The Invention of the White Race”, which followed his ideological view that the white race had been “invented” as a means of ruling class social control (although he continued to use the phrase “European-American” as a useful term of distinction).

    He and his colleague Ignatiev (who later wrote “How the Irish Became White” in 1996) co-wrote a series of essays in 1967 cynically opining that white workers could not be agents of radical transformation. In a manner reminiscient of a modern-day Ta-Nahisi Coates diatribe, they opined that such workers complicity in “white supremacy” and “white-skin privilege” made them unreliable. For generations, they lamented, leftists and radicals and populists had tried to form lasting, transracial social movements for a fair and equitable society and always failed. Why? Because the white working class would only discover class consciousness and “solidarity” in times of trouble (i.e. recessions and depressions) and then settle in to comfort and security in social contracts with the ruling class while the Negro would always be at the bottom of the latter. The white worker would always side with a white boss over a Negro worker whenever convient. There was a reason why white workers had an instinctive revultion to Mao and Lumumba but not Stalin or Khruschev after all! Therefore, the authors concluded, the repudiation of “white-skin privilege” and “white supremacy” MUST be THE first and foremost demand of action considered radical or “revolutionary” and claims of transracial or nonracial economic demands (i.e. fair-employment-through-full-employment) were false and inauthentic in their claims of equitable well-being. The status ranking of the races would resume once times got tough (i.e. Negroes were “last hired, first fired”) and could be used again as a form of ruling class social control.

    A cynical Marxist lamentation you might say, except that these essays were published in the Radical Education Project of the Students for a Democratic Society, yes, THAT Students for a Democratic Society; the ICONIC organization of the New Left.

    Many could situate “White Blindspot” into the broader zeitgeist of the 1960s, when new philosphies such as French Postmodernism and German Critical Theory were emerging as radical anti-traditionalist philosophies. What made these ideas so tenacious was that they were internalized by a substantial portion of the most educated generation in history. The Canadian-British sociologist Eric Kaufmann, opines that the force-multiplier for radical anti-traditionalist ideas in the 1960s was the spread of television and higher education. These made what New York Intellectual Daniel Bell termed and “adversary culture”, which had for generations been a fixture of elite bohemian circles, a feature of a much wider portion of society, especially educated society. Hence, we get what economist Thomas Piketty, two generations later, termed “The Brahamin Left” of professionals, students, and minorities, all of which are larger constituencies than in the 1960s. Here is a good article on the rise of the “Professional-Managerial Class” (

    It is worth noting, at this point, that by the time of the New Left of the 1960s, much of the left was losing its romance with rooted working classes for generations. The immediate aftermath of the First World War is, in my opinion, one of the most understudied periods in history. This was a period when red governments briefly took over Bavaria, Hungary, and threatened Italy. The “First Red Scare” in the United States, driven by both the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and a series of leftist and anarchist bombings was also a largely forgotten event. Immediately after the First World War, the left regarded nationalism as a retrograde, reactionary force and the failure of post-WWI radicalism (outside Russia and Mongolia) made them begin to sour on the working class as too rooted in its own sentimental traditions, churches, and loyalties to overcome Karl Marx’s “false consciousness” and join solidarity with the “global proletariat”. This inspired Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci’s famous explorations on the relationship between culture, hegemony, and power, while imprisoned by a Fascist government. Gramsci first coined the term “subaltern” by the way.

    Two generations after the Sixties, leftists are ironically beginning to sour on ethnic minorities in the same way they began to sour on the working class a century before…they are too attached to their own religions (they tend to more religious and socially conservative than whites as Musa Al-Gharbi pointed out), traditions, and so on, to develop a radical consciousness. Back in 1997, pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty in his prophetic book “Achieving Our Country” wrote,

    “The cultural Left has a vision of an America in which the white patriarchs have stopped voting and have left all the voting to be done by members of previously victimized groups, people who have somehow come into possession of more foresight and imagination than the selfish suburbanites.

    These formerly oppressed and newly powerful people are expected to be as angelic as the straight white males were diabolical. If I shared this expectation, I too would want to live under this new dispensation. Since I see no reason to share it. I think that the Left should get back into the business of piecemeal reform within the framework of a market economy.”

    And the punchline is that in the absence of “white patriarch” votes, the “victimized groups” would select Joe Biden!

  294. Waffles,

    I’m glad to hear positive marriage stories here, but the risks are real and substantial. A woman doesn’t need you, she wants your income and the state will give it to her.. If she has ever shown the slightest disregard for you or your emotions, do not. If you aren’t already lower class and familiar with cops, courts, social workers, imputed income, and such, the post-divorce learning curve is shattering. i had a good 7 years of marriage, a bad 10, and the subsequent 5 has erased any and all good that came out of it, including my girls whom I rarely see. I hope I feel better in the future, but seriously, you have no idea of how the system can and will make you comply with the wishes of a woman and has zero concern whether you can comply, only that you do comply.

  295. Nicholas Carter,

    Wouldn’t her first mistake have been the whole “Calling 911 under false pretenses” thing? And also, filming anyone you like just IS one your rights in the state of New York. It’s in their state code of laws.

    Why do you think she did it under false pretenses? Do you not believe he frightened her? What do you think of him saying, “If you’re going to do what you want I’m going to do what I want but you’re not going to like it. Come here, puppy.”

    When she was in violation of the leash law, why would she be eager to call the police? If she was not afraid of him but was in violation of the leash law, what could she expect from the police? Maybe a citation?

    I do think she overreacted, but that’s me.

    The taking away of her dog and her firing were both way too harsh. I think she should sue.

  296. TJ,

    I know it is a right and I agree it is a very useful tool in certain circumstances. But I have also been angrily stopped from taking a photo (not filming) in other countries. Was he perhaps just rude then to ignore her requests?

  297. Dear JMG and Commentariat,

    Re: Incompatible Magical Practices:

    Back in my sufficiently misspent youth I spent a lot of time online on erowid, a website that collects user experiences of various drugs. They have all sorts of information, well-organized into basic categories such as:

    First Times
    Retrospective / Summary
    Preparation / Recipes
    Difficult Experiences
    Bad Trips
    Health Problems
    Train Wrecks & Trip Disasters
    Addiction & Habituation
    Glowing Experiences
    Mystical Experiences
    Health Benefits
    Medical Use
    What Was in That?

    People make it all as scientific as possible, describing their body weight, the mixtures of drugs, the set and setting etc etc.

    Recently while researching herbs I looked at the erowid entries for Lemon Balm and California Poppy, and was charmed by this tale:

    5 flowers oral Poppies – California (tea)

    BODY WEIGHT: 155 lb

    After reading a book on legal highs, I was trying to decide witch substance to try first. The easiest to get would be the California poppies, seeing that I live in California. I was thinking of possible places to obtain these poppies, and decided rather then go purchase seeds or already grown flowers, I would go scout the neighborhood for houses that have the poppies growing in their garden or lawn. After walking three or four blocks, I found a house with an abundance of the yellow-orange flowers. I picked four or five plants, stem and all but decided to stop as I didn’t want to ruin these people’s garden and I didn’t know how much it would take to cause any effect.

    After letting them dry in my sock drawer for 3 days, I decided it was time to try em’ out. I crushed them up (flower pedals and leaves, no stems) and then took a green tea bag, and filled the bag with the little dry poppies, green tea and all. I put the tea bag in boiling hot water at around 4:15 PM, covered the container, and let it seep. At around 11:00 PM I decided to drink the now cold liquid. I drank all I had, about one cup, in about 30 seconds. Five minutes later, I found myself zoning out, similar, but MUCH milder to when I first start to feel cannabis after smoking. Then I had a mild euphoria like experience, which lasted about 15 minutes. I then started to feel drowsy, and very comfortable and relaxed. This was similar to coming down from marijuana, but I felt much less heavy and tired, and I was extremely relaxed.

    I then decided I was going to go to bed now at 12:00, something I never do because I’m never tired and have trouble sleeping. I had the most relaxing and refreshing sleep I’ve had in a long time(filled with dreams too, because of such a deep sleep), waking up around 10:00 AM. ”

    Point being, I’ve often wondered about the erowid of magical practices. Basically, people getting all sciencey about their magical practices in some sort of stereotyped format similar to erowid. “Tried the LBRP today, found it really bright and glowing and afterwards the pentagrams stayed hovering in the air!”

    I’ve spent time on various magical forums where people discuss their practices with other people asking questions, and that’s certainly interesting, but what I like about erowid are its useful categories and its scientific pretensions. Furthermore, it would frankly be helpful to know about what are likely to cause “Trainwrecks & Trip Disasters” since some magical practices don’t mix too well or at all. It would be useful to keep tabs on what are apparent bad ideas, like the Nordic Kundalini exercises. It would also, perhaps, be helpful to know what are good ideas, what tracks in space bring “Glowing Experiences” and “Mystical Experiences” etc. It would be useful too, in the extreme, for a place for people to put their experiences of Vispassana horror stories and other evidence of the dangers of spiritual practices. To quote erowid’s motto “You Cannot Deny the Experiences of Others”.

    I’m not sure how much this would violate the Magical Virtue of Keeping Silence, but looking over r/occult I imagine that such an online compendium of experiences couldn’t hurt. Of course I’m not suggesting that this site be created or volunteering to create it, and simply make these observations conversationally rather than pragmatically! But I do confess a desire to passively peruse such a site and hope that someone will say ‘it already exists — click this link!’

  298. Alex,

    I would encourage people not to get too defensive about being asked to consider racial issues. In my opinion everyone is a little bit racist and it doesn’t hurt to examine that and work on it now and then.

    I totally agree and I do. What’s going on though, is divisive and bullying. It is also disempowering and encourages the worst elements.

  299. The virus has brought a little good news. In an effort to allow restaurants and bars to open while maintaining social distancing Portland ( along with many other cities) are temporarily allowing side and some main streets to be blocked off and turned in plazas for eating, walking and cycling. The part that made me smile was that in the mockups that the city of Portland put out one of the illustrations resembled the great illustrations by Lane De Moll in the old Rain magazine and some of its great posters. The one I remember especially well had gardens, cargo bikes and kids playgrounds covering an old highway overpass with windmills in the background. Maybe if we are lucky, the stair step Covid is bringing for us will take us back to the best of the 70’s appropriate technology movement.

  300. HI JMG, a followup on my earlier post. It looks like our freeze east of Cumberland resulted in a nearly 100% loss of apples, in addition to the other fruit. That tells me the temperature got to the lower 20s (this on May 9) with high wind. I crunched some numbers and came up with a once in 10,000 year event! Well, that’s based on only 30 years of data (even worse, model data), so the error range on that is pretty high. But definitely a fine example of climate chaos!

    Btw, I saw a photo on Reuters this morning that showed (among other things) two guys bashing a police station in Minneapolis with a barricade-as-battering-ram. Both guys were… um… white….

  301. Once in this forum our host noted that young people not finding partnership may be a consequence of them not bathing.I have a different hypothesis, out of a wider pool of phenomena:
    years ago and before I took to energetic practice etc I often noticed how awkward and robotic us Westerners are when dancing,how poor the body language, like we’re all put in a box that chains our bodies from free expression.There was already a vivid and good discussion how “feeling” goes under against “technique”, eg in dancing, and how modern people treat horses like they’re cars for example.
    I think it goes even wider: our natural rapport with other people is often seriously disturbed. In an impersonal atomized society, being lonely already is widespread, and now the virtual illusions, the colored crystals as our host put it once so well, have taken the place of many things (think the porn debate here).
    I think a natural way to relate to other beings can be heavily polluted with created images that inhibit its flow.
    We are, after all, cultural beings and as such mental images can lead our minds and emotions very well.
    The whole “incel” debate always lacked absolutely any reference to feeling and a healthy self relationship. It was always about manners, narratives, soemtimes an almost pseudo-victorian morality of approaching other living beings But never about an uh, “synaesthetic” dimension of human existence!
    I myself have always noticed that but had no words or concept for it, before I entered various practices as do others here. I’ve observed the lack of physical expressiveness that correlates tightly with modernity long ago. It’s not a narrow focus on “incels” and sex, no. It affects all members of society to a degree; it almost goes unnoticed. The “latin lover” was always such a stereotype at least here in Central Europe. The hairy, bold, somewhat dim guy with the assertive machismo attitude. Given its just a rather flat idea of a person, but I really think there’s more to it. His words may be simple because he puts little strain on their logical, digital, purely intellectual content.
    Also with the various chemical stimulants, I think many people here use happy drops because it opens something up with a crowbar in them where they have lost the capability to do it for themselves!
    I myself have recently made the opposite and exciting experience of good relaxation through various practices, so that breathing itself becomes an enticing thing.
    Really, last year in March some minor meditation man told me how young people enter meditation (even without good physical posture) and have an epiphany of how that is better than many doubtful habits! I could not imagine what he talked about until recently.

    And a last related thought lingers with me: I learn roughly speaking Daoist meditation, so to relax and regenerate ones substance. That is fine of course.
    Another thing however is when I sometimes take short trips into myself targeting my subconscious because I want to unearth sunken artifacts there that disturb me. Nobody has taught me that and it goes a short way only.
    It seems that’s somewhat different from the very good standard relaxation practices. It’s what occultists among other things do?
    My artifacts also relate to my physical body and expression, of course the usual set of experiences that have become encoded into oneself and make trouble.

    I’ll see whether I can get further into that. However as I have seen people meditate even without proper posture, yet obviously gaining quick results I surmise this could help a lot of people and many modern addiction tragedies that also I came to witness could be avoided. Maybe.

  302. JMG: ” So you need something to reduce circulation…”

    My very beneficial switch from boxers to boxer-briefs in December would seem to, um, support your hypothesis!! 😉 Thanks for putting it so succinctly.

    There’s an interesting (at least to me) wrinkle in all this, as well. The very day before I could take the discomfort no longer, Dec. 8th, I wrote in my journal “what I wouldn’t give to get back to the pace of spiritual growth I was getting in September-October!”

    I have a hard time believing that it’s purely coincidence that the things I’ve had to give up since I wrote that are all intoxicants, to one degree or another – cannabis, beer and grain-based liquor, caffeine, sugar…

  303. Well, I’m never putting in your email address again. Good to know WordPress does that though…..

  304. @Seahorse

    Yes I’ve noticed too that those fatality numbers from the long-term care homes are not really representative at all of the general populace. I hope it will be a time for collective reflection on how these places are run.
    I picture a much more dignified end of life for the elderly in the Long Descent involving rocking chairs on the front porch of the farmstead albeit that is a bit romanticized.

  305. Hi JMG. Are you familiar with Charles Eisenstein, and if so, what is you opinion of his work? I haven’t read much by him but what I have seems like it agrees with much of your work.

  306. For those suffering with enlarged prostates, you might want to watch this and other prostate videos on Dr. Greger’s site.

    Too Long, Didn’t Watch: Eating generous amounts of plant fiber with every meal and cutting down on your animal protein seems to dramatically lower prostate symptoms. Also, it’s apparently never too late unless you are deceased.

    Some anecdotes: my 60 year old husband, vegetarian from birth and vegan for the last 10 years, has yet to have a single prostate issue despite the fact he’s got other chronic health problems. I also run a group for vegans in my area and I know three non-related vegan men over 60 in it who have confided in me that they have never a single issue with their prostates.

  307. @JMG: A few weeks ago, when discussing Dion Fortune, you and a few other people talked about her beliefs on the afterlife. One of the examples that got brought up was a televangelist preacher who spent his life committing acts of evil while hiding behind the word of God, with most people agreeing that – according to Fortune’s belief system – he’d suffer some kind of Hellish fate (if not actual Hell, then a reincarnation to a lower form of life, or some sort of spiritual degradation).

    But this doesn’t seem to line up with the views of actual Christians at all, and if it’s the conclusion that Fortune’s teachings would endorse, that represents a fairly huge departure from mainstream Christian thought, to the point where many people wouldn’t consider her a true Christian. In the Christian religion, and particularly in American Evangelical Protestant belief, your actions have no bearing on whether you’ll be saved or damned; the only thing that matters is whether you believed in Jesus Christ. Thus, a televangelist who abuses his position for money and social power will still go to Heaven when he dies, as long as his faith in Jesus was genuine.

    This may seem unjust to you – it seems horrifically unfair and unjust to me, which is a large part of why I’m not a Christian anymore – but it’s what many Evangelicals genuinely believe. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Christian evangelist and cartoonist Jack Chick, who’s become somewhat infamous for making ham-fisted comic strips about how Evangelical Protestantism is the only true religion and every other belief system (including other sects of Christianity) is actually a Satanic plot. But one of the running themes of his works is that being a good person or a bad person doesn’t matter, in terms of how God will judge your immortal soul; he’s made several comic strips in which a virtuous person who doesn’t believe in God (or believes in the wrong God) is condemned to eternal torture in Hell, while an absolutely terrible person who’s spent his life causing suffering gets to enjoy eternal bliss in Heaven because he converted to Evangelical Christianity at the very last minute before he died.

    Does this “disprove” the belief system that Fortune laid out, within the context of Christian theology? And if there are any Christians on this board or in the broader occult community who are receptive to her ideas, how do they reconcile this obvious contradiction?

  308. Dot,

    I’ll believe the Dylandrogenous’ of this world actually care about black people when they are actively promoting the one thing they need to heal as a culture – the restoration of their family structure. Every species has a family structure, and there is no deviation from it. The human family has a structure that includes fathers in the raising of children.

  309. Hi Luna,

    In your position I’d move ASAP; even if it has no health effects, at best it’ll be an eyesore. And you and your neighbors might want to consult an environmental group, who will gladly send lawyers to tie the thing up for years. Good luck!

  310. KayOh,

    “I don’t think I’m being heartless, I’m just calling B.S on her behaviour. You see a frightened woman, I see someone petulantly channeling her “inner 9th grade mean girl.” I just rolled my eyes when she immediately shifts into the fearful voice after reaching 911.”

    So she was in violation of the leash law, she was not really afraid, then why did she want to call the police on herself?

    And what about your assertion that when a woman feels threatened by a strange man in the park she should only consider calling the police if he’s white?

    Here’s what I think. I think Amy Cooper was a poor read of that man’s true level of threat, and I think you don’t see (or don’t want to see) that she panicked when he said he was going to do something she wouldn’t like and called to her dog.

  311. LunarApprentice – is there any way you could backtrack and set up a general practice? Most rural areas are crying for doctors. You might have to move, but welcome to reality for millions of people… a small town doctor won’t get rich but he’ll also never be out of work, and it’s very much needed.

  312. @ jbucks. I’d forgotten about the long-sleeves. They’re also very useful to ward off poison ivy! The best choice (if you’re planning ahead) is a lightweight long-sleeved cotton shirt that buttons up the front so if you do get plant toxins on the shirt you don’t pull the garment over your head and smear poison ivy across your face. I have not done this, but I can see what would happen.

    Vigorous scrubbing with Dawn dishwashing liquid and gallons of water can help mitigate poison ivy exposure but you have to be fast; within 30 minutes of exposure.

    @ Denys. I love the idea of a scarecrow made of latex gloves! If you collect enough of them, you can form them into angel wings.

    @ Dutybound. Get the kitten neutered. It can be done later in life but then the cat’s behavior won’t change. My mother’s ginger tabby, KittyBaby, was neutered when he was about six. He was a jowly, fighting tomcat with fringed ears who spent every night outside catting around. He got injured in a fight severely enough to have to go to the vet and since surgery was required and he’d be out cold, the vet offered to neuter him at the same time.

    When KittyBaby recovered, he continued to cat around every night for the rest of his long life, but he went out as a consultant.

    @ Violet. What a neat idea to do astrology readings of the Civil War. I’ve often wondered why we don’t have handwriting analyses of Civil War generals. There are certainly enough samples of their writing.

  313. Re George Floyd: Mr. Floyd and the cop had worked at the same nightclub. The owner says he doesn’t think they knew each other, but I’m wondering if they did , didn’t like each other, and the cop seized the opportunity to settle a vendetta.

    I also saw a news story to the effect that, unlike in most jurisdictions, a cop kneeling on someone’s neck is legal in Minneapolis/St. Paul. (Most jurisdictions want nothing to do with the maneuver because of obvious potential expensive legal problems.). At this point I’n thinking, “Hmmm. Cop may know this guy. Cop may not like this guy. Cop knows kneeling on guy’s neck is legal. Cop seizes opportunity.”

    If this is what happened, what our hypothetical cop left out of his calculations is that he MUST go to prison. If they can’t get him on the actual killing, they’ll get him on violating Mr. Floyd ‘s civil rights.

  314. Selkirk Astronomer–not only are white women about to be booted from the list of oppressed but the SJW Left has already destroyed the concept of woman as a class. This is a result of the push for acceptance of transwomen as women in every sense of the word and the pushback against feminists who wish to preserve “women only spaces” as barring persons with penises. I support the rights of transwomen to live their lives without oppression. However I also support the right of women to define some spaces as safe from potential predators–and given the history of relations between the sexes one must regard any person with a penis as a potential aggressor.It is particularly outrageous that anyone who ‘identifies’ as female can demand access to women’s shelters. I am very suspicious of this maneuver to fragment the feminist movement. Men may regard feminism as no longer necessary–but just as the existence of black CEOs and politician has not protected the average black person from the ongoing effects of a racist history, so does the existence of women CEOs and politicians not protect the average woman from spousal abuse, rape and murder. Complaining that feminists turn women against men is like complaining that fire alarms cause fires.

    Oilman 2 international racism–my grandson reports that he has been openly turned away from some Japanese shops–‘no gaijin’ –he is a Marine stationed in Japan.

  315. Kimberley,

    No you can’t use Paul Joseph Watson of all people as an exemplar of the race-blindness of the term. Find me all the black Karens who’ve been fired and internationally publicly shamed for offending a white man. There’s quite the growing list of white ones, and in not one case was their ‘victim’ a white man. Funny that…

  316. @escher,

    If I may paraphrase our host and say this might provide some be good journaling subjects. Why do I want to live in Lotustown? Are there things that Lotustown has that could be found in Belltown? You get the idea I am sure.

    On a personal note I was active duty Air Force for about 12 years and am still in the reserves. While I was on active duty, outside of becoming a pilot I never once received my first choice of assignment. Base job whatever. This includes times when by all rights I should have gotten it. But everything has turned out pretty good so far. If anything I am faced with an over abundance of things that “thwart my will.” That can include my wife and kids. Sure I want to train BJJ 3+ times a week, study occult philosophy all day and move. But there are one or two other things out there that demand my attention and consideration. You are in a partnership so compromise will happen. Your wife’s health is a pretty good reason not to go somewhere.

    Remember the universe has a nasty habit of putting you were you need to be rather than where you think you want to be. So can you use Belltown as a thrust block? I suppose I could also ask have you done any divination?

    @Kimberly and the marriage discussion in general.
    I am not sure I can completely agree with the better to die alone than to settle. If only because I think most peoples grasp of what constitutes settling is a bit flawed. This is not all that dissimilar from a “How much money do I need to live” discussion. That line is not where most people these days seem to think it is. Match and some of the other online dating sights have some really interesting data on that. Basically the women will only respond to the top 10-20% of men. Anything less than 6 foot plus with a six figure salary job is “settling.” I would say find someone you can be content with and work to build your institution up with what you have. I have seen too many Hot and Fun marriages crash and burn. Not too many people seem to think past the alter.


    That matches my opinion on the matter. Marriage is basically an institution for the rearing of children with companionship in old age a secondary (distant to my mind) function. Don’t get married unless you want kids. If you do choose a partner wisely and work hard at maintaining the institution you have made.


    Regarding gun control. I think there is another reason gun control advocates shifted away from handguns is that they are very useful tools for the law abiding. Everything about them that makes them attractive to a criminal also makes them attractive to someone looking to defend themselves. Handguns are a sidearm meaning a convenient to carry backup weapon. If you are going to a fight you want a long gun but for protection for everyday walking around a pistol is far more convenient and is probably sufficient force. People embraced that and now we have a galaxy of concealed carry laws that deal with that nationwide.

    If you will indulge in a suggestion. I realize assuming is a bad idea but I am guessing you would prefer restrictive gun control in the US. Find a local gun store and/or range and get to know some of the folks there. They are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet and they might surprise you with what they have to say.


    I would be very interested to see what you come up with regarding the civil war. It never fails, but every time I come here I get humbled by you and other commenters. Thank you

    Other Dave

  317. @DutyBound – If it really squicks you to think about getting the cat neutered, you can actually get a pet vasectomy. That won’t stop the spraying indoors and the picking fights outdoors, but at least your guy wouldn’t be adding to the immense pet overpopulation problem.

  318. @Patricia Mathews: “I wear a mask voluntarily, and try to sit or stand at a reasonable distance from others, but I’m not out to tell other people what to do unless they get in my face. Though if they do and I object, I’ll walk away if they get nasty.”

    I haven’t read all the comments, so I may have missed something, but I really don’t think anyone was objecting to this sort of thing. The problem is when major restrictions are introduced for the entire population, the vast majority of which is at very low risk of getting seriously ill or dying from this thing.


    One thing I’ve been wondering about: suppose a couple of years from now, the world is hit with a pathogen that’s as dangerous as the Spanish flu or worse. Do you think that our experience with COVID-19 would increase or decrease the likelihood of a sensible response? I could see it either way. Maybe this disease woke people up to the threat of infectious disease, thereby making governments and the governed more likely to respond sensibly. But on the other hand, it could be like in the wolf story: when an actual wolf shows up, everyone just rolls their eyes until it’s too late.

  319. @ violet Would it be possible to start an online email conversation with you? You have some life experiences that resonate and I would be interested in knowing how you managed the difficulties and any helpful work-arounds you’ve found. Thanks, Luna

  320. Trent, you’re a little late; we already have a Caesar in the White House. (We get one of those about once in a lifetime; FDR was the last example.) I think you’ll be quite mistaken if you assume that nothing’s going to get better, though — we’re in the middle of a major realignment, in which some groups that have done very poorly for a while are already seeing major improvements, while some that have been high on the hog will be seeing a lot of downside movement.

    Escher, there’s nothing more useless, or damaging to the will, than bemoaning choices you’ve already made. You chose to move to Belltown with your wife; nobody else made that decision. Accept that and go forward with it. Since you understand the dynamic between you and your wife, pick your fights; decide where you’re going to dig in your heels and where you’re going to go with what she wants. While you’re at it, you might do some journaling about the habit of giving in and then brooding resentfully over the results — that’s not helpful, but it may offer you a way to unravel some aspects of your own psychology.

    Kevin, so do I. Google and Amazon both need to be broken up, like AT&T was in its time. (I fixed your email, btw.)

    Shadow_Rider, that’s one of the things I allow (within reason!) on open posts. I hope it finds a large and appreciative audience!

    Kevin, I’ll have that in mind when I get going on the delineation.

    Selkirk, watch the way that feminists are being tarred and feathered when they don’t accept the extreme versions of current transgender ideology, and you can get some sense of how that process is unfolding.

    Tanya, excellent.

    Michael, thanks for this! I’m not especially a Hedges fan, either, but he really did nail that one.

    Dot, if you wait for the US corporate media to make a big fuss about something that doesn’t fit their preexisting narrative about race, you’ll be waiting for a very long time. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but the Karen meme didn’t get started because of anyone taking a video of anyone else. It got started because everyone who’s worked in retail or restaurant in the US has an ample fund of stories about professional-managerial class women who treat counter help and waitstaff atrociously. I have some, my wife has more, and in case you missed this, neither of us are black!

    White women are overrepresented in the legions of Karendom, no question, but that’s because in the US right now white women are overrepresented in the professional-managerial class. Even so, get out of the media bubble and you’ll find plenty of stories about Karens of color. In fact, the Karenest Karen who ever Karened in the history of the Karenverse — Springs1, the (in)famous Crazy Ranch Dressing Lady — is Chinese-American. But of course that’s my point: there’s been a whole series of attempts to erase the realities of class privilege and class prejudice in America — the article by Chris Hedges linked in the post immediately above yours is worth reading in this context — and when you actually see class privilege being given a label, such as “Karen,” the efforts to try to cram that back into more acceptable categories gets really frantic.

    Tiago, I’m not familiar with that organization at all, and I don’t tend to judge people by looking at them — I have Aspergers syndrome, remember, and that means among other things that I’m really bad at reading people!

    Your Kittenship, fair enough. When I play cards I like to use actual cards, so hadn’t encountered this.

    Falling, many thanks for this. It amuses me to think that a century from now, there will still be little coteries of bitter pro-EU types in England, grumbling about Brexit the way that old pukka sahibs used to grumble about India becoming independent. As for brushes et al., given the way relations between the US and China seem to be moving, the likelihood of major long-term disruptions is hard to dismiss.

    Mig74, thanks for the data point.

    Booklover, as I recall, you didn’t mention it, so I thought it wasn’t out of place.

    Forecastingintelligence, (1) Trump by a comfortable margin, maybe by a landslide — that’s far from certain yet. The big question now is whether he’s able to parlay that into a general GOP victory and retake the House. (2) Impossible to say until we know how the global economy comes out of the coronavirus mess, and how the trade war with China plays out.

    Matthias, that’s very strange indeed. I’m also startled to hear about the local deaths — here in the US very, very few people under retirement age have died of it.

  321. With regards to marriage, I grew up watching my mother and stepmother do the lions share of the housework and childcare, plus working for pay, in some cases full-time. That’s exhausting, and has contributed to my choosing not to marry.

    Marriage isn’t all the men lose everything and the women gain everything, to me it looks like many of the women taking on more work than they can really handle for less reward. This was in the 1990s, but I get the impression this hasn’t changed all that much.

  322. Dear JMG and commentariat,

    If I may;

    Thank you everyone who expressed enthusiasm for the Civil War Historical Astrology Project! Looking into the history of 1859 and its astrology I found something very interesting: starting sometime on Sept. 1st 1859 there was a great auroral storm with northern lights flashing all throughout the sky, electrical grid failures, telegraph operators electrocuted, etc. 6 weeks later was John Brown’s raid, which one could argue catalyzed the Civil War.

    Do you JMG know of the astrological meanings of auroral storms? And does anyone have a sense of when on Sept. 1st 1859 the Auroral Storm was sighted? It would be interesting to make a chart and compare it to that wolfish, Old Testament Prophet John Brown’s raid and subsequent events, if the right numbers could be crunched!

  323. Maybe I was a bit unfair. There were periods when my mother or stepmother were not working, or working less than my father or stepfather.

    BUT they always did more housework and more childcare whether they were working full time or not at all. When I look at people I know today, a lot of the time both parents are working, and the woman is doing the majority of the childcare and home care as well. It’s exhausting, and I’ve seen too many people work themselves sick doing it.

    As for divorce, the ones I’m most familiar with in my family did not seem massively in favor of the woman, but then they never got to lawyers and divorce courts, and this is Canada, not the USA. Maybe things are different there. My parents sorted it out themselves when they got divorced. They split the proceeds from the house, and shared custody of me, though I was with my mom more of the time than my dad, and during the separation year my mom and I stayed in the house while dad rented an apartment. Then they sold the house and split the proceeds once they actually got divorced, and both of them bought a smaller place each. I bounced back and forth between them every week, and I continued to split my time between the households like this until I left for university, and when I returned I would spend time with both of them as best I could.

  324. Civil war has erupted in Minneapolis:

    Mob Drives Police Away
    Ominous Convergence

    I know that you (JMG) have stated that you think that the U.S. dodged a civil war scenario with the election of Donald Trump. I have never been truly confident about that. It doesn’t seem to take much for a major U.S. city to erupt in flames. Furthermore, the violence has spread to L.A. and Columbus, Ohio.

    As we have sadly come to expect by now, Michael Moore and the NY Times have endorsed the rioters in the usual exercises in halo-polishing and virtue signalling.

    Does any of this cause you to reconsider your confidence that the U.S. will not descend into a Yugoslavian “war of all against all”?

  325. @JMG

    One more thought about higher education. As you perhaps know, in Europe, all the “best” universities are public. Tuition is either free or very cheap (well, except in the UK). There are private universities, but they are generally viewed with suspicion, the idea being that if the school depends on your tuition money, then you’ll pass whether you deserve to or not, and so your degree doesn’t mean very much.

    I’m European, but as it happens, I studied in the States (got both my BA and PhD there). International undergraduates are generally cash cows (PhD is a different matter), but I was one of those rare birds who got a very generous financial aid package (grants only) covering more than 90% of tuition and fees (room and board included). I attended a small liberal arts college, and I loved it. Was it worth it? Of course it was! All sorts of things are worth it if you can get a 90% discount. 😉 (The cost of attendance has approximately doubled since my time, though, so nowadays, it would be nice to get a 95% discount… And no, I’m not that old: still in my 30s.) I think it’s probably safe to say that teaching in the States is, overall, better than in Europe (yes, yes, yes, I’m generalizing; I said “overall”), but quality control is, shall we say, lacking. Sure, you can fail, but you really have to work at it. You can learn a lot if you want to, but you can get a degree having learned precious little. Quality control is all at the entry (admission); after that, everyone gets a trophy (degree) just for showing up. Yes, I’m exaggerating, but I don’t think I’m exaggerating all that much. That’s not surprising: if students pay tuition, professors have a vested interest in keep as many of them as possible enrolled, and the easiest way to accomplish that is to lower criteria for passing. In Europe, with a small number of exceptions, it’s relatively easy to get into prestigious universities (it’s much, much easier than getting into Harvard or Stanford or what have you), but just because you got in does not mean you will graduate.

    Actually, the American model has its own logic. Okay, no-one fails (at least not in fancy schools), but students are carefully vetted before admission, and that’s signal enough for future employers. And in the meanwhile, you get to spend four years studying or partying, whichever you prefer. Fine. Except that it’s gotten ridiculously expensive. I mean, it’s simply preposterous. As I said, I had a wonderful time at my liberal arts college, but I cannot for the life of me imagine how that experience, wonderful though it was, would have been worth anything close to the full sticker price. Not unless you have money to burn. But no, people don’t pay for the experience (or at least not primarily for the experience). They pay because of the signaling value of the degree that they get down the road, as long as they pay tuition and put in a little bit of work into their courses. (Isn’t it funny how, as time passes, a degree requires more and more money, and less and less studying?) How long before the bubble bursts? I think it’s just a matter of time before someone manages to break higher ed’s monopoly on credentials, causing those prices to collapse. As I said before, the easiest way to do that would be to just make good enough (and well-publicized enough) exams, ones that anyone could take for a reasonable fee (no course attendance required), and then issue certificates to candidates who pass. I’m actually surprised this hasn’t happened already.

    Oh, and btw, some time ago, I made the decision not to donate to my Alma Mater. I do feel a bit guilty about this (given my positive experience), but I think the business model is doomed, and I don’t want to pour money down the drain. (Not that I could have donated all that much, mind you! But those $20-100 per year that I used to give? Nah. Not anymore.)

  326. luna – Regarding a big new cell tower in your backyard, I think the chances are pretty good that the energy from that tower will simply sail over your head. The tower antennas are designed to project a sort of umbrella out to the edges of the cell, and very little to the area directly beneath them. You might hear that “all other things being equal, the power diminishes as 1/(r-squared)”, (where “r” is the radius (distance) to the top of the tower, not to its base!), but all other things AREN’T equal: the beam is shaped for the outer ring of the cell. I found a published diagram showing that the vertically-directed power is 1/100th as strong as the edge-directed power. Another source says “1/1000th”.
    Do I need to explain that a “cell” is a hexagonal region, with the tower in the middle? Such hexagons are pieced together to provide the coverage area. Adjoining cells (typically) use different frequency channels to avoid mutual interference.

  327. Hi Ashara,

    American Evangelicalism might as well be called one giant heresy. 2,000 years of mainstream Christian thought has agreed that hypocrisy will not get you to heaven. I’d be surprised if the idea is all that popular with the Evangelicals. They may be confused on many theological matters, but they do read their Bibles, and you cannot do so without noticing that hypocrisy infuriates our founder.

    Jack Chick, however entertaining he may be, is not usually regarded as a solid Christian theologian.

  328. JMG, I never heard of Crazy Ranch Dressing Lady. I searched for her and all I found is the blonde lady who passed by an orating politician in her quest for Ranch. What did CRDL lady do?

  329. Rita and Oilman2:

    I was just thinking about this today actually, the subject of international racism that is. And the thing is, you don’t have to be in a foreign country to experience it.

    I’m a 30-year-veteran soccer referee. We have a Hispanic adult league in our town that plays on our club fields. Several of their players are young men I’ve reffed over the last 8 years I’ve been here, and almost all of them have asked me why I don’t ref their league?

    I’ll tell you why. Because the Hispanic community here looks after its own. They hire Hispanic referees (who I hear are not nearly as competent as I am), and only Hispanic referees. We’re not giving our money to that gringo! Which is fine. I totally get it. They are at an automatic loss in this country and should look after their own.

    When the white plumber hires only white guys on his crew, while the Hispanic competition – who doesn’t even think about hiring white boys – is cutting into the market share he’s developed here in his home town over the last 40 years, that should be OK too.

    But the social justice warriors will cry “foul!” without a second look at the dynamics of the situation, because racist. He voted for Trump, didn’t he? Told you, racist.

    I think we can respect each other without having to BE each other. But that’s probably racist too.

  330. Kimberley,

    Thanks for the data points about veggie diets and prostatitis. I hope it helps someone out there. But that won’t be me, unfortunately. I’ve tried that already. Like lots of other things I’ve tried, it just makes it worse. My relief comes from eating meat and drinking milk. Different strokes and all that…

    Still, with something as complex as this affliction, I for one appreciate the info!

  331. JMG:
    When you brought up the topic of Neanderthals, this brings up an issue from this week’s Magic Monday.

    When it’s claimed “we” are the fourth sentient race on the planet, is this specifically Homo Sapiens Sapiens, or does this include all of the self-aware members of the Homo genus over the last million years?

  332. Hey JMG,

    I’m wondering what your view on The Strauss–Howe generational theory is or if you’ve heard of it. If you entertain the theory then you know that we are at another fourth turn crisis point which at this point, sort of, looks like a 21st century civil war or certainly a hot culture war. Could secession from the Washington state construct be coming sooner rather then later?

  333. Regarding Amy Cooper, the Central Park 911 Caller. I think that she actually insulted the NYC police by assuming that they would come running to her “rescue”. But just as some people “commit suicide by police”, it looks to me as though she attempted to “commit murder by police”, or at least “assault by police”. Personally, I think the police are smarter than that. I have had nothing but good experiences with local police (of any skin tone).

  334. Re: face masks. According to the news media I hear and read, there’s a split between Dems and Reps as to whether masks are good or bad. But they seem to ignore the fact that Dems are more urban, and Reps more rural, Dems more north-eastern, Reps more southern, etc. So I’m wondering whether mask attitudes are more highly correlated with geography than politics. When reporters look for a political factor, maybe they stop looking when they find one.

  335. @JMG, re Trump Derangement vs. the Obama or Dubya equivalents,

    I suppose that one of the differences might just be the fact that people on the right tend to be less publicly obnoxious about their political beliefs. When they’re with their friends, the Tea Party crowd will talk about how a violent seizure of power by Obama or the UN or whoever is just around the corner – this provides the Tea Partiers with an opportunity to boost their patriotic cred by bragging about their willingness to fight in the (wholly imaginary) war that’s about the break out. Believe me – I grew up around these people.

    But when they are at work or school, or just hanging around people who don’t share their views, they are polite and prefer to avoid confrontation, and they won’t shun a family member or friend or coworker who doesn’t share their beliefs. Leftists all too often don’t return the courtesy, which is why you almost certainly won’t wear a MAGA hat to work if you are working at Google.

    It occurred to me when thinking about this topic that – our culture’s myths about the future being what they are – a lot of these people actually want the other side’s guy to be Hitler (or Sauron or the Star Wars Emperor or Lord Voldemort or any of the Fuhrer’s other pop-culture reflections). Whether you’re dealing with real Hitler or wizard Hitler, the story ends the same way – the Good People unite against the Master of Evilly Evil Evilness, and after a heroic struggle, he is lying dead in the middle of his ruined empire and his ideology has forever perished from the earth.

    To people who see the future in terms of Progress/Apocalypse, this story is comforting. A lot of Democrats want Trump’s story to go like this (as did a lot of Republicans, for Obama’s story). What is scary to these people is the future we’re likely to actually get as a country: the Long Descent, Revolution within the Form, the gradual disappearance of formerly-strong elements of our culture, when nobody does the hard work to preserve them, and the coming of an age when nobody cares about the hotbutton issues of today, and neither party’s values are affirmed in anything like their present form.

    And so, faced with what’s unfolding around them in the real world, a lot of people will just retreat into their comforting Apocalypse myth, with themselves cast as the Righteous Remnant, and the most prominent member of the opposing party cast as the Beast, no matter how poorly these figures actually fit the role that they’re supposed to play.

    Also, about bibliomancy, it is something that you’ll find in my religious tradition, too. Nobody ever up and says that they’re practicing the Sortes Mormonae, but I have heard people talk about how they sought advice for big decisions – like how and whether to court a potential bride – by opening the Book of Mormon to a random passage.

  336. Really late reading the comments, so may have missed something.

    @ Jim W. (May 27, 3:23 pm) – You mentioned that you are an essential worker. If permitted by our gracious host, I would be interested in hearing about some of your experiences during this crisis. Too much of what is in MSM is heavily filtered & I’d like to here from someone with ‘boots on the ground’ without all the sappy background music.

    @ DFC (May 27, 5:09 pm) – your symptoms could be due, at least in part, to very high pollen counts. I suffer from seasonal allergies and sometimes dizziness, reduced vitality, etc. are the result with or without runny nose & other typical symptoms.

  337. Ashara, it is a distortion of the New Testament to say that “your actions have no bearing on whether you’ll be saved or damned”, just as it would be a distortion to say that moral effort alone is enough. For examples of verses that admonish the doing part, see these:

    – Matthew 7:24: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

    – Matthew 25:31-46: The parable of the sheep and goats, especially these verses: “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat… whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.'”

    – James 1:22-24: “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. For anyone who hears the word but does not carry it out is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror, and after observing himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

    So, while I don’t agree with Dion Fortune in her very peculiar and personal interpretation of Christianity, she does not place herself outside of New Testament teaching by emphasizing a believer’s actions.

  338. Lady Cutekitten,
    Thanks for that 2000-year old advice. Looked it up and it’s a Bible quote. The Q-sters like Bible quotes so maybe they will take it to heart. On the other hand, you can find anything you want, just about, in the Bible, so it’s not such an infallible guide.

    I wonder if what we are seeing with the Q movement is the first stages of the New Religiosity that JMG talks about?

  339. [Sorry. My previous post seemed to cut out some important text and had couple of errors. I’ll re-post here.]

    Hi JMG and commentariat,

    I have a hypothesis I wanted to run past people:-

    Hypothesis: The infection statistics about the thing which shall not be named are noise. They are not information.

    Here is my reasoning:-

    I start with Gregory Bateson’s definition of information as “a difference which makes a difference.”

    Infection in this case means a positive result on a RT-PCR test.

    The RT-PCR test identifies a segment of genetic material in a sample.

    [Note: there is a lot of work to be done to prove that this segment really identifies a virus. There are many potential pitfalls. The choice of segment is quite arbitrary. Viruses are always mutating meaning the RNA is always changing. There are issues of false positives if the sample contains a related virus. I will ignore all these issues here. Let’s imagine we are 99.99% certain that the segment of genetic material we have chosen identifies the virus and therefore that a positive test result identifies the virus.]

    In order to be information, the test result must ‘make a difference’. What sort of differences do we care about? I can think of two main things:-

    1) am I going to get sick?

    The PCR test cannot tell you that. More than 50% of positive results (potentially up to 80%!) for the thing which shall not be named are asymptomatic. And if you do get sick, the test cannot tell you how sick you will get.

    2) am I infectious to others?

    The PCR test cannot tell you that. It just checks genetic material, it doesn’t test for ‘viable’ virus. You could be full of ‘non-viable’ virus that your immune system has destroyed and the PCR would come back positive.

    The best thing that can be said about the PCR test is that it is a useful tool in the toolkit of an experienced practitioner who knows how to interpret the results. It must be balanced against other sources of information.

    I believe this was another Bateson idea: data by themselves are not information. It’s the relationship between the observer and the data which creates ‘information’.

    But the big problem, much like you mentioned in relation to alchemy: in the hands of inexperienced practitioners, the infection statistics are worse than useless. They are actually dangerous.

  340. Hello JMG and all. This comment is regarding the Amy Cooper story.

    Like everyone else who saw the video of her, I felt disgust, as her behavior appeared to unambiguously represent a race-based false accusation. She even phoned in her false crime report obviously knowing she was on camera.

    But something about this idea of her as being some privileged, racist, nasty ‘Karen’ just doesn’t add up. The model of mind everyone is applying to her is not correct; and I now think something else was going on: Her mind was operating in System 1 mode, not System 2, as per the classification system described in the book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, by Daniel Kahneman.

    A synopsis is posted in Wikipedia:,_Fast_and_Slow

    Please bear with me:

    System 1 mind is emotional, instinctive and fast, while System 2 is logical, deliberative and slow. So imagine you are walking in the park, and you suddenly see a snake on the path, and you have a phobia of snakes. You feel panic. A moment later, you discern it’s not a snake, just a fallen branch that looks like a snake, so you calm down and go on your way. What happened here is that the System 1 mind, saw the snake-like form on the ground, and triggered your fear response. System 1 is fast because it uses simple heuristics, beneath conscious awareness, to scan sense data. It is very good at early warning of potential dangers. Then the slower System 2 catches up, analyzes the sense data more thoroughly, and figures out the snake was really a stick. The drawback to System 1 is that it gives a high rate of false alarms, but System 2 will catch the mistake after a short delay, so no harm ensues (usually). Given that momentarily mistaking a stick for a snake is much less dangerous than overlooking a snake, nature made a good functional compromise.

    Amy Cooper is a woman. As such in our world, she will have an innate, unconscious (or even conscious) fear of a man mugging or raping her. And of course in our culture, there are taboo racial memes that rummage around in our individual mental basements, which, even though we may never articulate or act on them, can elicit or enhance fear under the right conditions. So Amy Cooper is in the park with her dog minding her own business, and this man (who I understand is much larger) approaches her out of the blue with a complaint. Her System 1 mind kicks in automatically (it is fast and instinctive after all), and she’s on high alert. He complains about her dog not being on its leash, but her System 2 mind hasn’t kicked in yet, and her System 1 mind is not re-assured by his calm voice, or by his modest request, which seems out of place, suspicious even. She reactively argues with him. Then he said “I’m going to do something you won’t like”, which can be easily be construed as a veiled threat. The man, Christian, proceeds to both lure her dog AWAY FROM HER with a dog-treat off camera, AND he asks her to keep her dog away from him, on camera. Luring her dog is an unambiguous escalation to her System 1 mind, and she now clearly feels threatened. His filming the encounter makes no sense to her alarmed mind, but may represent a threat in some undefined way, AND it gives him a pretext to keep his attention focused on her, which she perceives as threatening in its own right, and is NOT accounted for by his request to leash her dog. Christian Cooper is in full control of himself, as cool as a cucumber throughout the entire encounter. The woman gets triggered, and she panics. Rationally considered, she is obviously in no danger, but her mind in is the same mode as our minds would upon first seeing the snake that is really a stick. She calls 911 in a panic, and even “plays the race card” because i) she really IS terrified as her System 1 threat evaluation panned out in her mind, ii) she grabs the first thing she can think of to elicit fear in him to get him to turn his attention away from her. Her rational System 2 mind is obviously not functioning, as she allows herself to be filmed phoning in what looks like a racially motivated, false crime report. She was so freaked out that she didn’t notice she was restraining her dog improperly, and every one is now saying she was “abusing” her dog. The animal rescue society even took her dog.

    So I don’t think Amy Cooper is a privileged “Karen” or a racist, or any of the nasty things she has been made out to be.

    She had no agenda, and was clearly caught off guard. As for Christian, I read he admits to carrying dog treats routinely, using them on other people’s dogs, and getting in other peoples’ faces in encounters such as this; it seems having your dog off leash is a thing in Central Park. Chance favors the prepared mind, and Christian seemed well prepared for this encounter. (JMG: could there be an occult angle here?) Something tells me he has an agenda. He seems unperturbed about Amy’s life being ruined.

    I hope an analysis like I’ve given gets out there and gets some traction. Amy deserves to get her job, her dog, and her good name, back. Any other thoughts from JMG?

  341. Speaking of learning and limitations – ever since the residents here started getting our meals delivered to us in our apartments, I’ve learned to eat what’s put in front of me, and that foods I wouldn’t have tried in the cafeteria are actually quite tasty. And to expect surprises and substitutions. I won’t say food fussiness is completely off my radar, but concerns about my diet have all but disappeared. Though I do swap my banana, when that’s in the bag, for Connie’s apples and pears. She can’t eat those, and loves bananas dearly. And yes, black beans and rice – or corn or couscous – are tasty, since Dining Services offers more sauces than some places and cooks do. (Why is PMC food so often dry?)

    The Gypsy Witch cards have also taught me a lot, especially how to deal with the bad ones like The Lion. “Okay – it won’t be the end of the world,”and “I’ll deal with it.” Not to mention the LeNormand deck’s obsession with speculative investments has taught me to look for other interpretations of, say, the Bear.

    Your comment about having your will thwarted being a thrust block has taken on a vivid relevance which has been very good for me this spring.

  342. I used to live not far from a comic-book store that I had to drive past to get to work, store, post office, out of town, everywhere. So I got a good look at customers going in and out, and based on that, I think Ace may be mistaken here:

    My comic shop’s customers were mostly slender, bespectacled young white and black men. Never saw a fat, grownup Comic Book Guy type, and never a Mexican. The area was, and is, about evenly divided between blacks, whites, and Mexicans. I did see the occasional white girl of indeterminate sexuality, but never a black girl.

    What are the demographics of your local comic shop? Closer to Aceville, or Kittenville? I’ve been interested in demographics ever since I had a market-research job.

  343. Rita Rippetoe – here is some good news about women’s rights:
    To me this is one of the most egregious examples of the unfairness of the transgender agenda towards women. I too support transgender rights, but not when they infringe on women’s rights. Transwomen are not biological women. They are perhaps a third category, so let them have their own sports league or play on the men’s team. But if you express an opinion like this in public, be prepared to be raked over the coals and worse!
    BTW, my feminism has always been about raising women up, not putting men down. But in a classist society like ours, powerful women can become oppressors, no doubt. It reminds me of the highly stratified Latin American countries where upper class women entered the professions and became doctors and managers much earlier than women in the US and Europe because the upper class did not want any social mobility and they needed their women to step up and do those jobs in order to keep the lower classes out.
    One of my favorite anthropologists, the late Marvin Harris, had a really interesting analysis of the status of blacks in America. He said that feminism rose up just after the civil rights movement had started making progress for blacks. Women moved into the workforce, taking many entry level clerical jobs that could lead to promotions and managerial positions. This reduced the opportunities for black men, who might otherwise have had those jobs.

  344. @Korellyn

    Thanks for the suggestion. To you and many others it seems obvious, but sadly is a non-starter. My training is in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, which is a bona fide specialty. “General Practice” is not recognized in the US. The nearest thing would be Family Practice or Internal Medicine, either of which requires specific, and demanding, training in a residency program, which amounts to a career change at least as radical as what I’m already contemplating. Moving is also not an option as I’m divorcing and I don’t want to leave my daughters. Still, I do appreciate your noticing and responding; a sincere “thank you”.

  345. Hello. I recently watched a short 30 minute show about the history of robots. I was wondering what everyone’s thoughts on robots are? Self driving cars seem to be a fantasy that just can’t seem to get off the ground, but there are a lot of assembly line jobs that have been replaced by robots….I heard that as the minimum wage increased in the city of Seattle, many employers automated. Just interested to hear some current commentary from people that are thoughtful and interesting. Thanks! Be well.

  346. Hedges is a real Lord Byron type; an adventurous soul with experiences of persuction and violence in foreign conflicts and tyrannies coupled with a moody, cynicism about his own society. In the sense of being a non-conformist, he is a lot like those on this blog (He voted for Nader in 2000). On the other hand, Hedges is the quintessential New Englander, a missionairy emancipator with reverence for The Word and a preachy ambience that can appear too distant at times. He has actually traced his own ancestry right back to the original 17th Century Puritans!

  347. An extreme example of a terror-reaction to that-which-shall-not-be-named came to my attention today: in deep, rural Ontario, several thousand people are now pretty much isolated and cut off from civilization because their highway runs through a native reservation, and the natives have decided to blockade the roads. Why? Well, they’re afraid of COVID-19. Someone driving through town to go to the doctor in the city might… sneeze on them out the window?

    Never mind that the nearest town has ZERO CASES active. Never mind that the nearest city to that has ZERO CASES active. Indigenous people are a uniquely vulnerable group, the government keeps saying that. So. Shut it all down! (They had a ‘pass’ system where you could plead your case to get through the reserve– to get medication, for example– but I’m being told by people in the affected area that now the barricaders are refusing previously granted passes.)

    It is an absolutely insane power grab. The legality is highly questionable, but since it pits working-class rural whites against the ruling class’ pet demographic means no court challenge is likely. That just means more ugly ethnic tension, I suppose. I want to point it out though that crazy overreactions to COVID aren’t restricted to the PMC; it’s contagious to their allies as well.

    @JMG: Harrowing is a good word. These boys are the fringe of the fringe, of course. I hope. I keep telling myself that.

    Who knows; it might just be what resonates with us personally is what we can see as sacred.
    That is a powerful image. Sheltering under the Princess’ wing is something I’m sure I’ve seen in fanon… somewhere. It’s a feeling, too. A good one. Thank you for the nudge, by the way. There are many ways to elevate ones mind towards the divine… and imagery is absolutely one of them!

  348. Andy, that’s very much along the lines of what the traditional lore has to say. We lose our memories between lives so we have the chance to start fresh each time, and not just stay mired in the same mistakes. Later on, as we reach the end of the human stage of our evolution, those memories start to surface, but by then we’re mature enough to deal with them constructively.

    Synthase, no, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the cactus. As for CCP influence, that’s become a huge issue in the academic scene here, too — professors and universities are getting busted for taking money under the table from the Chinese government. It’ll be interesting to see what comes out in the wash.

    Chris, many other Druids have found that different lands relate to humans in different ways, so this doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Alex, of course! One of the common falsifications of contemporary thought is the notion that bigotry can only go in one direction…

    Vidura, many thanks for this!

    Aidan, nicely summarized. I tend to think of it as the process by which the American radical intelligentsia finally figured out that the white working class wasn’t going to behave the way Marx insisted they should, and hand power to said intelligentsia; the intelligentsia then went looking for another group to fill the same role, and is now finding out that this didn’t work out any better. I wonder who they’ll fixate on next.

    Violet, to my knowledge nothing of the sort exists, because nobody’s stepped up to the plate yet and said, “Okay, let’s make it happen.”

    Clay, I have both Rainbook and Stepping Stones in my appropriate tech library, both of them with classic Lane de Moll cover illustrations. (I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but I spent some time looking at those while brainstorming on Retrotopia. I hope that succeeds in coming about!

  349. @ Lathechuck:
    Thanks for detailed response. Is my understanding correct?: The height of this monstrosity is what will be the protective part since the RF will pass way over my head? So the higher the better? If so, I will be relieved even if AT&T ends up succeeding in their endeavors. Living quarters are hard to come by in my area, and surely would be more expensive. Plus I like the location (it’s like living in the country and close to conveniences at the same time). If not, gosh, I don’t know. Yikes.

  350. The cultural left will probably move towards synthetic beings as the vanguard of a radical consciousness next. “Trans” power will refer to transhumanists rather than transgenders and they will constantly denouce “flesh privilege” and “bio-centrism”!

    It not like synths have religion or nationalism after all unlike undeserving humans!

    They will also probably denounce environmental reclamationists in the future as sentimental reactionaries longing for a 20th Century world relative to the more forward-looking, radical possibilities offered by adaptionism!

  351. escher – I was married for ten years, divorced (with reasonable grace), and now married for over 25 years. Part of being in a relationship is knowing that you’re not always going to get what you want, when you want it. That’s true whether your relationship is with a spouse, or a cosmos. You don’t go into a restaurant and expect to eat every tasty dish on the menu, and then leave without paying. You select one entre for a satisfactory meal at a tolerable cost, and get on with it. Whether or not you’re satisfied is a somewhat random function, but you’re going to pay the bill regardless. Every decision has its costs, and the only reason to dwell on them is to try to do something different next time a decision needs to be made.

    One bit of recurring dialog from my first marriage that illustrates its dysfunction:
    Her: “I’m really upset that you …(whatever).”
    Me: “I know, and I’m really sorry about that. What can I do now to compensate?”
    Her: “I want you to not have done what you did.”
    Me, to myself: (well, I guess that settles that!)

    There are processes for fair decision making. For example, when my parents want to go out, one of them will present a list of three acceptable options. The other discards their least-desirable option. Then the first decides between the two that remain. The burden of preparing the first list is rewarded by the right to make the final decision. When my wife and I eat strawberries, one of us will select the best berries from the box, slice each in half, and arrange them in two rows. The other gets to pick which row he (or she) wants. There’s no conflict over who gets the best berry. (Or, more subtly, who generously insists that the other gets the best berry; sharing strawberries can get complicated.) When slicing pie for a group, the one who cuts gets the piece that’s left over. These games can be extended into addressing more serious issues, but sometimes it’s the trivial ones that grate.

  352. From some of the accounts I have come across of the “Central Park Karen” case, it appears as though Christian Cooper deliberately escalated the situation to bait Amy Cooper into overreacting and thus create a racial incident. The whole thing looks staged to me, especially coming in the wake of a couple of other high profile racial incidents that have garnered a lot of attention from the public and the mass media. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that sort of thing has happened.

  353. Cyclone, it’s basic physics. When you increase the insulation on a heat engine — and the climate is a heat engine — you get more work out of it. We call the work produced by climate “weather,” and so increasing the amount of greenhouse-gas insulation in the atmosphere will produce more extreme weather of all kinds: higher highs and lower lows, dryer droughts and more severe floods, etc., etc. As for the Minneapolis photo, the police chief there has stated on the air that a lot of the people involved in the violence aren’t local — my guess is that paid “protesters” are involved. How far this will escalate is an interesting question.

    Curt, um, I’d be interested in seeing you cite a specific place where I said that the problem with young people finding partners was solely due to not enough bathing. That’s an absurd oversimplification of what I’ve discussed here.

    Grover, a somewhat harsher version of karmic culmination than usual! I hope it resolves promptly.

    Kevin, yep. As you’ll notice, I fixed it.

    Kwo, I’ve read a few scraps of his writing but never really followed up on him, thus don’t really have an opinion to offer.

    Ashara, that’s one and only one version of Christian belief — yes, it’s standard among a certain large set of Evangelical Protestants, but it’s not universally held even among Protestants as a whole, much less among all Christians. Fortune clearly disagreed with it, as did (and do) a lot of other Christians. You might look up “Christian universalism” sometime to get one of the other common viewpoints.

    Irena, at this point I think we’re in boy-who-cried-wolf territory. The initial predictions for the outbreak were so extreme, and the actual toll so small by comparison, that a lot of people are going to roll their eyes the next time something like this happens.

    Violet, not that I know of. That’s fascinating, though.

    Michael, so far we’re still in familiar territory — race riots along these lines have been a familiar event in big American cities since the mid-1800s. (Look up the Detroit riots of 1967 or the Watts riots of 1965 for two classic examples.) The question is where it goes from here.

    Irena, I know people who work in US universities who are convinced that within a decade or so, something like half of all US institutions of higher education will go broke and be forced to close their doors. For what it’s worth, I think they’re right.

    Your Kittenship, you can look her up with the following search string: Springs1 ranch dressing. I wouldn’t dream of spoiling the treat!

    J.L.Mc12, thanks for this.

    Jeffrey, depends on which occult authors you read. My take is that the fourth wave includes all sentient species of the genus Homo, past, present, and future.

    MLW, I find it interesting but rather rigid. Still, it’s interesting to see how well the Trump presidency is following that prediction!

    Wesley, I think it’s more than that. I compare TDS to the considerable hatred Democrats had for George W. Bush, and it’s definitely taken a leap into new territory.

    Simon, a good case can be made for that suggestion!

    LunarApprentice, it’s possible to put any number of spins on Amy Cooper’s behavior, and I don’t claim to know what did or didn’t motivate her. I’m watching that whole media tempest as one more straw in the wind.

    Patricia M, delighted to hear it on both counts. I have no idea why PMC food is so dry and bland, but it certainly is!

    Wendy, I’m not sure what you’re asking when you want to know what robots are. Robots are robots: electronic-mechanical devces meant to imitate certain human functions. The ones on assembly lines work well because they have very, very simple tasks: drill these holes, make these spot welds, etc. Driverless cars work poorly because they don’t face so simple and predictable an environment.

    Your Kittenship, too funny. Typical of Listverse’s level of accuracy, too!

  354. Thanks to all who responded; lots to chew on.

    I seem to have given the impression that I expect to get my way 100% of the time, or to get nothing but champagne and roses from life, neither of which is the case. I do think there’s a specific imbalance at work between my wife and me resulting from our very different communication styles, which we know about and are working on, but is still very much present; as well as some deeper, lifelong stuff on my part around defeatist habits of mind and feelings of powerlessness, for which journaling is indeed in order. 🙂 (In fact, I could already hear that advice as I was writing earlier!)

    But, I think I get the message: pick my battles; accept that compromise is necessary, and I won’t win them all; accept responsibility for where I am, and use present circumstances to learn and grow.

    Lathechuck, I love the idea of using games for shared decisionmaking.

  355. Oh, thanks. I know what robots are, just more interested in people’s thoughts on them as a technology that effects jobs and economy.

  356. TSW! I realized I made a mistake when I started apartment hunting, starting an astrological hour earlier. I then decided to keep looking when the astrological hour of Venus hit, and the first place I called in the hour has an apartment for July that is more than a hundred dollars below anything else in the area! I’ve grabbed it and will be finalizing the process this week.

    Unfortunately my mother has already started grumbling about how my apartment claims to include all utilities but it doesn’t have internet. First, this is standard: no landlord here will provide it when you rent an apartment. Second, I don’t want it, since it’s expensive and free alternatives are available; and I find it addictive. I don’t think it wise to bring an addictive substance into my home, and so I will be using it at libraries when I need or want it. The fact my job is in a university helps with that: I can go there either after my shift or before it or on break.

    I’m not looking forward to needing to spend the next month trying to explain why I don’t want home internet. I’m trying to find an approach which doesn’t involve lying, but I think saying I’ll get it and then just “never getting around to it” is my best approach….

  357. The buses in Albuquerque are running on a Saturday schedule, except for Sundays. Right after the initial House Arrest, ridership was down for a few weeks. Once or twice I had an entire bus to myself! Just me and the driver. It didn’t take long before ridership increased again.

    The city tried to intimidate people into not going out and taking the bus by posting signs on the buses that limited each bus to 12 to 15 people. Most lines except the one that goes on Rt 66 never get more than that anyways. Many buses kept on a sign that the bus was at capacity when it wasn’t, and they continued to pick up passengers.

    They also did counterproductive “Bus Bondage.” They taped off all but 15 seats with yellow Caution tape, ironically after a fashion that would force people to sit next to each, instead of being able to sit further apart.

    After a while people just tore off yellow tape and sat down anyways. It all seemed silly and pointless.

    To Patricia Mathews, I am not sure where you are referring to. I moved here from NYC at the end of 2014. I sometimes think I died and went to Purgatory. Albuquerque is a seriously weird place.

  358. JMG: Wowsers. 😳. Aren’t you glad you aren’t Mr. Springs1?

    Anyone: Why are the Atlanta protestors mad at CNN? Did they coincidentally get fed up with having their intelligence insulted at the same time a cop in Minnesota murdered a man, or was CNN somehow involved in the Minnesota mess in some way that I’m unaware of?

    I think the hilarious reporter who announced it was a peaceful protest, as behind him the flames 🔥 climbed high into the night, was MSNBC, not CNN, but don’t remember for sure. Sonkitten found that one while surfing and called me over to explain it. (Even people whose brains have damaged speech centers can tell that “arson” and “peaceful” don’t go together.)

  359. @Dusk Shine I feel for the town that is temporarily trapped in historical bad karma with the feds, I do, but the reaction of indigenous folks is not an overreaction. No recorded active cases doesn’t mean no virus, it just means it isn’t going around at the concentrations that finds lots of people with high risk factors to cause symptoms. Remember the data suggest 80% of cases are asymptomatic. So what they fear is that if the bug gets in, it will decimate them, perhaps finish off either their community or whatever pieces of their culture they were finally starting to revive.

    They have very logical reasons for believing that – they have not fared well with old world diseases in the past, they have little or no internal health care capacity, and the continued poverty and effects of colonization mean they’re in bad shape across all ages. Poor nutrition, diabetes, overweight, heart problems, asthma. It would burn through even the young like a nursing home (or south American country) in some reserves. And even if it only killed a few of their elderly, those few may have been the only people left who still knew their language, most of their songs and myths. Many nations have really just started the vertical knowledge transfer again – the 60s Scoop actually went until the 90’s. I am 38 with friends who were taken, and who went to residential school. Given the feds’ track record at treaty honouring, using any leverage they can in a self-governance power grab is a pretty good idea, and anyone in their position would be utterly blameless to do it. (Canada is countersuing the thousands of kids we stole and then allowed to be abused, despite our own highest courts finding us grossly guilty and demanding payment. Don’t hold your breath on them getting “special privileges” out if this. If we simply fail to overtly try to kill them as usual, it will be exemplary behaviour on our government’s part.)

    If it’s not possible to block off a route through the reserve to let people through from the town, the townspeople would be better served by getting their local officials, church or any private sector people with good relations with the community, if possible, to seek a compromise with the indigenous community from a place of respect rather than entitlement. Offering volunteers to escort through the checkpoint, if the community doesn’t have the manpower, for example, to make sure no one stops. I doubt they’ll take it. But even just an offer honestly saying “we understand what it’s like to be cut off from one’s own lands and people now” would probably start offloading some karmic debt and greasing the way for the feds to suddenly find a solution in mysterious ways…

  360. When the dire predictions of a catastrophic COVID-19. 2nd wave fall flat, the Democrats and the mainstream press are going to end up with egg all over their faces.

    At this point, the only thing the PMC’s running the Democratic Party have left to sell is fear, hate, divisiveness, corruption and bigotry.. Since the Russiagate hoax, the Mueller investigation, the impeachment fiasco, the smear campaign against Brett Kavanaugh and all the rest of their other attempts to derail Trump and put themselves back in power have failed miserably, I am not surprised they are trying the same tricks again, but this time with the Coronavirus pandemic. They never seem to learn, do they? They just keep repeating the same futile patterns over and over again, like a warped record. It’s almost as if they have become trapped in some sort of weird, self-repeating loop.

    I think that when the pandemic blows over and the apocalyptic predictions of a second wave fail, the Dems will get a good old-fashioned “Ottoman slap” from the American people in November.

  361. Other Dave,

    I must be extremely naive, because to me settling meant marrying a rich man I did not love, and that’s why I ran the other direction married a poor man for love. I never wanted children despite my belief I would have been a good parent and was relieved as the years revealed he felt the same way.


    Thanks for the reply! That’s too bad, as the heavy fiber approach seems to work for many. In my own case, my whole system cannot seem to get enough Vitamin C, so I eat whatever fruit or veg I can get and supplement 2000 mg of C per day, right before bed because it helps me not to get up to pee so much when I’m trying to sleep. My theory for this working is my urine being more acidic kills the mischievous bacteria in my urinary tract. I also suck on zinc lozenges, 1-2 per day, up to 3 of them after meals and snacks if I notice respiratory malaise of any sort. Hopefully you can find some relief for your poor prostate soon. My dad has been through the wringer with it too; he ended up having a seed implantation.


    I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at ranch dressing in the same way again.

  362. @ JMG

    I would not be at all surprised if the police chief of Minneapolis was right and many of the rioters are paid protesters. This seems to be a standard tactic right out of “the playbook”. In most of the recent riots like the ones in Portland, OR and Berkeley, CA, it turned out most of the rioters were “professional protesters”, many hired via ads placed on sites like Craigslist. Apparently, a lot of the money came from NGO’s controlled by George Soros, using the same tactics they used to foment “color revolutions” in countries ranging from Kyrgyzstan to Ukraine.

  363. The history of robotic dairy systems backs up your observation JMG. Turns out cows ain’t that repetitive or consistent.

  364. @JMG: Several people have referenced a ‘thrust block’ – may I ask what that is?

    @Martin: Thanks! Trash begets trash makes sense. I’d like to see whether it works in the nearby park as I continue to take out trash.

    @Teresa from Hershey: Oh gosh, I didn’t think of poison ivy, thanks for the tips!

    @LunarApprentice: An interesting application of Kahnemann’s theories to the Cooper situation! This is not a rhetorical question: the Cooper situation aside, isn’t the mixture of System 1 thinking and that “there are taboo racial memes that rummage around in our individual mental basements” the phenomenon that Dylandrogynous and others have referred to as a component of systemic racism? It becomes that much harder to deal with if such race-based preconceptions are embedded in the unconscious.

  365. On racism, I work with a herd of 450 cows on a daily basis, and it is notable that some of the black ones do not like being away from their black friends. Likewise some of the Jersey’s are very partial to their own type. The Holsteins are not so picky and the crossbred ones are even less so. Some of them are total bitches who will wait half a row when walking out to belt another cow they have taken a disliking to. I have seen the same thing with sheep. That aspect is entirely breed agnostic. These cows are a closed herd, breeds are all reared together, so “newcomer” factor does not apply.

    My take is that the dislike of the “other” is a primitive hard wired mechanism that cultural conditioning can either over-ride or exacerbate, and as humans our challenge in this realm is to take responsibility for our actions and rise above it, Obviously some of us fail, some more obviously than others, and our place on the karmic wheel next rotation will reflect our ability to rise above our primitive selves. if that is how one sees the system working..

  366. Well I didn’t and would never use the term person of color for a reason. I asked for black examples. Asian Americans are currently engaged in suing Harvard for discriminating against them in order to maintain a politically correct quota of black and Hispanic students. The current riots are bringing up reminders of rooftop Asians reacting to a previous such round. Asians have long since been counted as honorary whites for these purposes.

    Nor am I talking about what ordinary people actually experience in everyday life. I’m talking about who makes international news, who gets fired, who gets their dog impounded, who the mainstream media targets and who they overlook. It’s absolutely insane that of all the daily and wildly racially disproportionate violence in a country as massive as the US, people halfway across the world in Ireland are instead talking about these ‘Karens’, or the Covington boy, or Jussie Smollett being lynched. And the races involved are absolutely not a coincidence. This is intersectionalist ideology at work.

    I know white women are overrepresented in the PMC. By the same token, black women are over-represented in actual violent crime including hate crimes. Yet people around the globe are not sitting around discussing how justified the consequent global public shaming and firing of the latest ‘Latisha’ was, funnily enough. Or analysing how inappropriate it was in the context of the latest mass looting and arson event by her community and how she should have known better.

  367. I am always interested in worldviews and how they, like any model, filter the morass of data in our messy world. I have my biases, as we all do. I deeply dislike the super elite and imperialism and will glom onto stories of corrupt bankers and foreign policy atrocities – a legacy of growing up in a country torn apart by war – with an unfortunately binary lens. This is good; this is bad, ho hum.

    What I find curious here is, despite all the intellectual depth and robust analysis in this blog, you have the binary lens I have. I see it in the following:

    1. Suggesting class is ignored by the left (variously described as social justice warriors or the woke) when the major preoccupation of the left (not the Democrats, other than a few socialist outliers) is poverty and class struggle.

    2. Let’s not talk about racism because there is also reverse racism and other countries are racist, when the same can be said for classism.

    3. If indeed we are to coexist with love and harmony, then surely all pain, whether among the working class or other disadvantaged groups, deserves acknowledgement. Is it true that if you are a black working class male, you are statistically subject to worse police treatment than a white working class male? If so, let’s recognize that rather than disappearing it under what-aboutism.

    4. The worldview here seems to dismiss claims of blacks suffering disproportionately under systemic racism but comfortably assert that men suffer systemic sexism via disproportionate financial hardship in divorce proceedings. What if both are true?

    5. Class, gender, race, what passport one holds are all markers that can impact how far one can get in our tilted roulette wheel world. The more negative markers one has, the worse it is. Surely empathy wouldn’t be amiss?

    I just want to say that I recognize that binary lenses can come from hurt, and I appreciate the thoughtful and grace of the posts here. But the few dissenting comments, whether about COVID or race relations, come for a reason.

    There is a galaxy of pain out there, layers upon layers of violence. Some of it seems to get filtered out in your conversation.

    A possible danger in filtering out data is, for me, the way you have upheld Trump as a saviour for the working class or the marginalized. It doesn’t take a trained psychologist to see that he is only after furthering his own interests, or notice that the super rich are getting super richer while the working class get a few handouts. He’s a crass sexist and political opportunist. Who’s benefiting ultimately from your position?

    (Biden is no better. Not a good moment in US politics. I don’t have a solution. I would simply never believe Trump to be looking out for me.)

    I mean no disrespect to the excellent debate here nor do I believe you have to cover all topics under the sun. However, I will corroborate what others have said. As an outsider, I feel there is something imbalanced in how you address race. I cast no stones as I have my own limp.

    For the person thinking to marry: don’t marry a person with limited empathy. Whether male or female, divorcing them or God forbid forever co-parenting with them is a nightmare. Divorce courts don’t understand that acrimony can be one-sided. If, when nobody is looking, your beloved is kind to somebody without any benefit returning to them, then you are onto a winner. Even if you have to divorce, it can be amicable. Look up high conflict personality; avoid them like the plague.

    I wish you all peace and happiness.

  368. @JMG – Thank you. This is something that does interest me but I want to proceed in a way that doesn’t produce yet another ego trip for yet another unbalanced wanna-be mage or mystic. If I may, I will bounce ideas off you on Magic Monday as I muse about possible ways forward and would appreciate any nudges in the right direction when I go off the rails.

    @ Millicently Lurking – Thank you for the suggestions. I am as interested into the reasons you suggested these two sources as I am by the sources themselves. I will look them both up when time lets me.

  369. Wendy, regarding robots – I believe the word means the same as ‘slave’ originally, no? I think, in a world where we are most suited to solve difficult moral issues, we could stand to be more grateful and more curious about those whose role it is to implement the solutions we come up with. I think robots should be complementary to the human organism. There is always a tradeoff between ability to focus and ability to see the big picture, and if robots are much better than us at focusing, that gives us more space to work on the other end of the problem. Not like there isn’t a lot of work to do there…

    In response to a post last week about mycoremediation – I’d say it’s a young but promising technology, and most of the people I respect in the field would categorize it under ‘more research needed’. It’s a strange accident of our energy economics and our legal system that the most cost-efficient way to remediate a hydrocarbon spill is to cart all the topsoil to a landfill, and as at least the first part of that dynamic changes, I think we can expect some new methods to be developed – lots of room for further progress!;-P When people remark on Nature’s amazing ability to heal, they’re not just talking about plants after all.

  370. Ashara,

    If Satan has a plot to fool mankind, it would be the teaching that God is uninterested in the condition of our souls, and gives a fig about what people purport to believe. People don’t even know what they believe, don’t even see their own inner selves accurately and are often wrong in all sorts of beliefs, essential and nonessential.

    This funny modern Protestant thought is quite an innovation and most Christians instinctively can’t even buy it. It’s an obvious scam and justification, at which humans excel.

    It is a sign of spiritual immaturity when people follow their chosen authorities over a cliff even when it makes no sense. In the end, there really is no outside authority. Every person either buys into or does not buy into teachings, and that decision comes from within. In the gospel of Thomas it says that only those who stand alone can enter the bridal chamber. Believing without one’s own true inner conviction and connection to the divine or the ability to use that for discernment means one is not standing alone, i.e., one is not ready to enter.

    This teaching that you mention, if we check it against the idea that you will know by its fruits if something is good and right, has bad fruit. It engenders fear, and scripture says that fear and love are not compatible. It also makes it pointless to try to be a better person, to have a connection to a God that one can admire and respect. The point of Christianity is soul purification and this discourages soul purification. Another point (same thing really) of Christianity is unconditional love and compassion. Living among the damned and with a God who damns them unjustly, does not foster unconditional love and compassion.

    It will not produce saints.

  371. @violet

    Your description of the California poppy and Melissa ‘trip’ made me laugh. It reminded me of the time I gave my very skeptical husband some proper medicinal chamomile and meadowsweet for a tea to take at work to help him with stress induced reflux. It worked but he was so run down he fell asleep at his desk for an hour the two times he tried it.

  372. @Violet re: auroral storms

    My thoughts on the matter would be that strong, solar-induced auroral storms seen outside of polar regions would tend to be an omen on the same order as a comet, and associated with a Solar energy. Unlike comets, though, they tend to span the entire breadth of the sky with no clear start and end point, so I’m not sure you can pin a zodiac degree to them.

    @JMG et al.

    I have long thought that the pandemic fear-mongering is largely media-induced, and would taper off pretty quickly as soon as the media found something else to be outraged about. The outrage in this case is perfectly valid – what happened to Floyd was reprehensible – but it still provided a distraction to the media from the virus, and I honestly suspect that once the Floyd furor dies down they won’t return to the virus unless there really is nothing else.

    (And TBH I think the media’s focus on the virus was simply because it was so all-encompassing… there were no sports, no celebrity brouhahas (“behold,” says Kim Kardashian, “I have a home and I’m staying in it!”), and really not much business news, and all the politics both domestic and international was largely responses to the virus. We’re seeing more political news that isn’t now.)

    @Aidan Barrett

    Like all philosophers, Marx is right about some things and wrong about other things (probably the biggest being the assumption that the working class is one monolithic bloc and/or that communism is actually what they want – most people want to keep what they have, even if what they have isn’t that much); the problem is that Marxist ideology almost by definition insists he must be right about everything he wrote about, and when this doesn’t happen… well, then you get the cognitive dissonance JMG so often talks about.

    And it’s no surprise real estate would come into it at some point. Landlord/tenant relationships have been a source of social friction ever since land ownership became a thing.

  373. @Your Kittenship, the surprisingly stupid reason Solitaire has a numerical score (even when not playing with Vegas rules, where displaying a dollar figure for the payout on a bet makes sense) is that general software publishers like Microsoft know little about games, and this was even more true back when Solitaire was first released. Back then (and for years afterward), you could be demo-ing a crossword puzzle program to a publisher, and the first and only question they’d ask was, “where’s the score?” That was the one thing they knew was important about any form of electronic game, because they’d watched their kids get excited about high scores when playing video games. So then you’d be off trying to figure out how to add a big flashy score display to your crossword app. You knew your crossword solving customers wouldn’t want it, and that it would get in the way of the all-important smooth displaying of the clues and grid, while also prematurely informing the solver whether a word entered in the grid is correct or not, contrary to how crossword puzzles actually work. But your publisher says he won’t publish it without it, so…

  374. This discussion of racism in America – coming as it does on the heels of a discussion about alchemy – makes me wonder whether the various apartheid regimes around the world were the result of high-ranking alchemists trying to do something clever while blind to their own limitations. Mainstream thought generally considers it a horrible practice best not repeated, and I don’t disagree, but I wonder whether a sufficiently skilled and trusted alchemist could manage such an operation with a net benefit to the country.

    It occurs to me that in a way, great leaders like King and Mandela could be said to have successfully led the ‘coagulae’ stage of such a work. We tend to think of them as healing a divide that shouldn’t have existed in the first place, but now I have to wonder whether the people who put these institutions in place were motivated by a pursuit of alchemy and would have approved of how things turned out. Perhaps the current trend on some of the more v