Open Post

May 2023 Open Post

This week’s Ecosophian offering is the monthly (well, more or less!) open post to field questions and encourage discussion among my readers. All the standard rules apply — no profanity, no sales pitches, no trolling, no rudeness, no paid propagandizing, no long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic — with one exception.  There’s a dedicated (more or less) open post on my Dreamwidth journal on the current virus panic and related issues, so anything Covid-themed should go there instead.

In other news, in case you missed it, I’m delighted to report that my exploration of polytheism as a live religious option, A World Full of Gods, is back in print in a revised and expanded edition.  Through the end of this month, if you order it from the publisher and use the discount code JMG20, you get 20% off the cover price. Enjoy!

With that said, have at it!


  1. John–

    In a prior MM thread, there was discussion of myths and their operation. You noted that myths, such as the Masonic Enochian myth being discussed, conveyed information that “couldn’t be done any other way.” I’m having a difficult time understanding how information can be conveyed in a manner that can’t be understood or translated into something that can be grasped. How is a myth useful in that case? It seems to me that while it may have encoded information, that information is useless so long as it remains locked away. What then is the point of the myth as a tool?

  2. If this is too much of a sales pitch, apologies, no need to put it through. If you deem it relevant, I thought I might let the Ecosophia community know about the first annual Plant Cunning Conference though, Sept 9-10. We’re having it at our small farm in Central NY with workshops, lectures and plant walks with some wonderful herbalists, permaculturists and esotericists, including the highly esteemed Matthew Wood. Early bird tickets are now available here, with the first round of speakers announced:

  3. Good morning JMG!

    Do you have recommended resources for learning the basics of astrology? I know you offer a Mundane course but I’m looking for more general overviews and good sources on planetary associations and such. Also, if you have any advice on how to find a good natal astrologer I’d appreciate that too—I’d like to find a good professional and pay them for the work, but I’m not sure how to pick well.

    Thanks as always!

  4. In a discussion on Spengler’s view of cultures, my interlocutor brought up the idea that thinking of a Culture as an individual organism might have certain limitations and drawbacks, especially when it comes to influences from other cultures (are they all really just pseudomorphoses?). He proposed, instead, that it might be fruitful to think of a Culture as an ecosystem, each of which will have different niches and trophic cascades and so forth, and that the progression through the different phases might be better analogized to an ecosystem’s succession than to an organism’s lifecycle.

    JMG and anyone else: have you encountered this idea before? Any thoughts on whether it is more/differently fruitful than the organism analogy?


  5. With everything that is bearing down on us now, it probably seems a tad passe to be discussing QAnon. But I cannot help but wonder if you agree that there is a strong possibility that the whole QAnon thing was initiated as a psy-op of the Deep State to get a substantial contingent of Trump supporters smoking their shorts?

  6. Unfortunately I have not signed in consistently here but in a past open post you had responded to a comment of mine to move quickly towards a differentiating idea.

    I have found the spark of one and am pushing myself with a series of escalating goals focused on building my own facilitation and presentation skills in the context of literature, what I envision is in a team building capacity for businesses or simply an engaging activity for social groups.

    Something which first hooked me on your work was an interview of yours on Hermitix about the economy, I was most impressed with how you had a great ability to simplify topics and come right up to the edge of your more fringe beliefs (relative to mainstream ), and I can definitely say I was hooked and quickly listened to the rest of your interviews with James.

    I am curious if you would recommend a book or other positive influence which helped you develop your own personal speaking style or if you have any advice to share to stay within that grey area of the “left” “right” divide which does not invite rabid backlash. Mainly I try to avoid planting a flag in hot issues and instead dance around the edges which I find effective for having more interesting conversations about what others actually think once the flotsam has been skimmed away.

    Of course practice is key and I am doing a good amount of speech writing, material preparation, and creating groups to practice facilitation, but I’d also like to dig into studying a bit more and want to avoid being doomed to the repetition of books written for business.

    Thank you for any advice or words you can offer!

  7. Here are all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared across the Ecosophia community. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers.

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

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

    shewhoholdstension’s 41 year brother Robert died suddenly in bed on May 15th; for a smooth and blessed journey on the other side. Robert was a single dad and he leaves behind three children: Hannah, Zack, and Jordyn; that they and shewhoholdstensions be blessed and protected, and find what comfort they can during this very difficult time.

    T.A. (“Epileptic Doomer”) has seizures that have been increasing in intensity, and worries about it causing further brain damage and even costing them their job; for blessings, protection, and healing, a reduction of intensity and frequency to the seizures, and for a path for navigating their illness in a way that helps them lead their best possible life.

    Patricia Mathew’s friend Al (Alison Kulp) was, the last we’d heard, in the hospital with a nasty life-threatening MRSA infection; please pray for her to be blessed, protected, and completely healed as soon as is possible. (Update here.)

    Lp9’s request on behalf of their hometown, East Palestine Ohio, for the safety and welfare of their people and all living beings in the area. (Lp9 gives updates here and most recently here, and says “things are a bit… murky”), and the reasonable possibility seems to exist that this is an environmental disaster on par with the worst America has ever seen. At any rate, it is clearly having a devastating impact on the local area, and prayers are still warranted.

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

  8. Greetings JMG,

    I think a lot of people now are aware at least at some level that there has been economic and civilization decline.

    Even with awareness and knowledge, the difficult part is adapting to each step down, and I find
    the most difficult is timing. Doing the right thing to prepare too early can lead to wasting resources.

    For example, the way to adapt to the current economic and geopolitical trouble is quite
    different than it was ten years ago, and it will be very different in ten.

    I know it is a vast topic, do you have advice on adaptation to each step, and timing?

  9. Muddling Through

    Back when I was a boy, people (usually middle-class professional management sorts) seemed to have a plan for everything in their lives, and, perhaps tragically, they were for the most part able to implement those plans. Good secondary schools, good grades, college, a corporate job, retirement and so on.

    I seriously doubt that even people of the so-called “upper” classes (old money, old names, old rulership connections) are currently so confident that they make exactly these sorts of plans. That is, if they’ve been paying any sort of attention. And you don’t get to be in the “old” category without paying attention.

    So, except for the largely clueless upper management types, or the actively evil, who are legion, anyone paying attention is doing his or her best to prepare for extreme uncertainty in the near future.

    In short, they are preparing to do what the rest of us have been doing for quite some time. They are preparing to muddle through. Of course, what the best prepared (dare I say even of the PMC, let alone the rest of us) have been doing is following what has appeared on this site, the old Archdruid Report, and some similar sensible folk who have been telling us for quite some time that there are rapids ahead. Whether in their writings, or through their examples.

    And the best prepared of all? I suspect they have an active and lively connection both with their human communities and with the non-human greater realities that surround them. Even they, mostly, have to muddle through.

    What do I mean by muddling through? Making the best plans and preparations one can, and then being prepared to drop whatever assumptions we have made once evidence shows us another direction, and moving there instead. Anthward or Ulthward at times, even though those are seemingly impossible directions.

    In reality, even the best made plans of mice or men go oft astray. I take some comfort in that assertion, because it means that our current overlords, for all the damage they do to us, cannot satisfactorily (in their view) achieve their goals, whatever they might be. Of course, it applies to us as well. I suspect that if you are a contingent being, whether divine, non-human or human, this is a truth we all must live with. It is a madness of pride and folly to ignore this, no matter how brilliant we might be.

  10. Hi John,

    I know you’ve mentioned the term “barbarism of reflection” from Giambattista Vico’s work The New Science a number of times. Could you define what barbarism of reflection means?

  11. Hello JHK!
    To speculate, how do you think the peoples of the Industrial Age and their achievements and relics will be regarded 600 years hence? (A) With respect and awe, like the those of Classical Antiquity in medieval Europe (when the bitter aftertaste of the Roman Dominate had washed away); (B) as fools, who wastefully and selfishly squandered a one-time inheritance of natural resources; or (C) as infidels—practitioners of a taboo science—who tried to build a Tower of Babel and whose children paid the price? All three? Or something else?

  12. Hi JMG, After 15 years, I know how you regard the current economic situation, but I would value a few words on how you see the current debt ceiling reality show. Your insights are always appreciated. Will default be the disaster, as advertised? Thanks!

  13. Going back to the wolf post of May 3rd, and the synchronicities I had around seeing the band Skinny Puppy on the lead up to the full moon near that date, I thought I might share my review of the concert, published on the online music magazine Igloo.

    Some readers here may be interested in the notion of the “terroir of music” which I float in this article. That is, “the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to music by the consciousness of the landscape in which it is produced.”

    This is an idea I hope to tease more out of in time.

    Meanwhile in Imaginary Station news this coming Sunday on the shortwaves it is a return to KMRT with a start of summer bumper bargain special. Expect some “when it’s gone, IT’S GONE” tunes and a plethora of blue light and centre aisle 45 specials. We will also have an appearance by someone whom you don’t know off the television from the 1980s cutting the ribbon to open the doors of the broadcast. So tune in and grab yourself a great “once in a lifetime bargain” thanks to the fruits of the ionosphere.

    KMRT moves out of the department store and onto the airwaves for your holiday weekend listening pleasure. All radios are on sale at 25% off while supplies last!

    The selection should include a wide variety of muzak, deep Seeburg cuts, and selected discount loungewear.

    May 28, 2200 UTC (6PM EST) via 9395 kHz on WRMI.

    The following week should be a return to our Shortwave Garage Sale (garage rock, a bit of punk, and bargain basement vinyl finds!)

  14. Hi JMG,
    It’s me. 🙂
    I wanted to bring up the Bhagavad Gita as discussion because it seems appropriate to share because Hindu religion is polytheistic and ideas that seem to pertain to a lot of the core themes you have been sharing lately – including overt references to Hindu thinking. The Gita discusses conciousness and differing modes of reality – in the commentary Swami Prabhupada describes the human being as a platform for the soul. I thought that was an interesting way to consider it. The other notions is that the soul reincarnates in human or animal form, and once human we can fall back to lower forms. There is so much content I can’t pinpoint other than to recommend interested readers to check out the text if they are not as familiar. A lot of its online.

    I also want to share my own translation in rhyme with you. So my idea here is that the original Sanskrit is a poem, but no English translations I know of attempt to maintain the poetic forms of the text in translation to English – so I took a stab at it myself. 🙂 My process here was to learn how to read and write Sanskrit, and work through the verses first in their phonetic forms before digging into the word translation using Swami Prabhupada’s translation in Bhagavad Gita as it is and Bibek Debroy’s translation of the Bhagavad Gita Parva in the Mahabharata. and on the web


  15. My inquiry from last week’s Magic Monday to see if anyone is willing to join me in the Clean Toilet Challenge beginning on the Summer Solstice this year:

    “There’s a belief in Japan that keeping the toilet clean every day makes you more likely to be successful and wealthy. There is even a god attached to the toilet, Ususama myoo, who blesses those who keep their toilet clean and functional. There are also very famous Japanese business owners and CEOs, such as the founder of Honda who swore by cleaning his own toilet (long after he could afford a maid service to do the job) as a way to cultivate success.

    I’m wondering if any Ecosophia readers would like to join me in the Clean Toilet Challenge, where we all vow to keep our toilets clean every day from June 21 until December 21 and then report if we are any more well-monied or successful at the end of the term. I have been keeping my toilet very clean for the last couple of weeks, and though it isn’t the most fun job, I certainly enjoy my bathroom a great deal more!”

    I will be making the Clean Toilet challenge the theme of my own Open Post next week at

  16. Hi JMG,

    Forgive me if you’ve written about this before. What do you think of the New Ageish concept of the Law of Attraction? Some people swear by it 100%, claiming that there’s no such thing as chance or luck. I find the concept a hard one to swallow as it logically ends up blaming the most disadvantaged people for their misfortune.

    I’m guessing you think it’s complicated!

  17. This week I was reading about various accounts of the Russian’s destroying a US supplied Patriot missile battery in Kiev with a multilayered attack, ( drones, then Iskanders, then the coup des grace with one a couple of Hypersonic Kinzhals). Of the course the reporting on the outcome on this is all over the map depending on your media source, but the part that is not in debate is that the Patriot battery shot off 32 of its missiles ( 16 each from 2 launchers) trying to defend itself. These missiles are reported to cost $3 million each for a total cost of $96 million burned up in ammo for one salvo even if the rest of the $1 billion dollar battery ( radar, command center etc.) was not destroyed. This just proves your theory that the US military industrial complex is just a corrupt money generating machine for corporations. What real economic use can an anti-aircraft/ anti-missile system be if it costs more to fire than the value of the targets it is protecting by a wide margin? If Nato put a dozen of these batteries in the Ukraine the Russians could bankrupt what is left of the empire by just shooting cardboard fireworks missiles at it until our budget was pushed over the brink from the patriots “winning”. Next they will ship in F-16’s for Russian missile cadets to practice on. After that there may not be much left of the US arms exporting industry. Perhaps the smart exec’s at Raytheon and General Dynamics are getting their golden parachutes ready.

  18. Looking at your GD magic books, would you recommend Learning Ritual Magic or Circles of power as the best starting point?

  19. Recently I went swimming at the danube island (Donauinsel) in Vienna. A young woman walked besides me and a friend, a bicyclist passed her, insulated her rudely and put out his middle finger. Later, walking back, we saw the word “WHORE” sprayed at about that spot where that happened (but it had been there already, we just noticed it only later), and a penis.

    Some days ago, I walk the streets of Vienna, and a group of four (2f,2m) approaches, a PMC woman maybe in her late twenties looks at me rudely, and despite me already walking on the edge of the sidewalk and mínding my own business, that woman factually tried to block my path.

    I do not need to mention the ever present PMC propagation.

    Meanwhile the “last generation” keep gluing the streets – meanwhile, violent crimes and robberies of a spectacular fashion increase in the newspapers (and a friend of mine pepper sprayed a guy in a group of three at night during the week, the group trying to rob him – in a spot usually considered *very* safe..!).

    I can see an increasing number of people I loosely know (or thought I knew) going psychotic these days. It is usually connected with these factors: loneliness, financial pressure, breakdown of social environments during covid, delusional ideas (free energy generator!) and general hatred for society, catalysed by over consumption of marihuana, in some cases cocaine and alcohol.

    The news about the war of the day seem to become increasingly shrill and blunt, while matters formerly denied seem to be admitted piecewise, obviously when withholding information would only make the emperor more naked.

    Seems we’re right at a tipping point. Col Douglas McGregor has predicted that a month ago or two as well.

    A side note from me personally: the middle pillar exercise actually does improve one’s posture and physical health, though probably only when one gives attention to physical aspects. Unfortunately I have lost the practice again, being busy exercising, hiking, swimming and so forth, and oftentimes being exhausted and just wanting to lock out the world when I am home in the evenings.

    Vienna is still one of the safest cities, but it also is going into a chaotic direction, slowly. I am not so much affected, because I don’t like staying up late, binge drinking and the likes, and therefore, my daily paths are relatively safe.

    The young woman raped at a metro station in the morning in plain sight (most probably a student coming home from a party) was not so lucky, and one month later, six north africans killed another in the metro station, with a machete.

    That may be not unusual in South America or Paris or London, but it is in Vienna, or was.

    The gist of my previous experiences these past weeks is:
    – society is coming to a boiling point
    – people who were already a bit weird tend to go full crazy now
    – unfortunately, as someone interested in occultism, natural medicine…I have made the experience that it is absolutely not a good idea to ally with people just because of these shared interests – many people with some good qualities to them go crazy despite all
    – therefore I cherish the offered hermetic path of JMG and the traditions pointed to – traditions for people with a job living in the city, things you can do on your own. Very valuable in these times!
    – the myth of progress is so immensely strong, it pervades also the fringes of society, also many esoteric people I can tell. Few, very few have ever considered what I often insinuate – among them a muslim man from morocco.
    – there’s pros and cons to all jobs and professions. Those of us who are thirty plus and haven’t had much of a chance to learn some cool alternative trade will have to lay their fate into the hands of god, do what else we always did best (I am good a sports and training other people)
    – the idea of prepping in the country side, as JMG said long ago, has obvious inconsistencies
    – many people in these times, though far from all, double down on mindless consumption and insufferable ego bloating, despite objectively being pitiful

    With this I give my kind regards to everyone, god speed, and also friendly greetings to pamouna specifically.

  20. Just finished reading the first book in your new mystery series, The Witch of Criswell, and I loved it. My 20 year old daughter read it as well and she also loved it. She grabbed it before I got a chance to read it and so I had to wait. We are both excited to read the next book and this time, I will get two so I won’t have to share. Thanks!

  21. One addition:

    the magazine of the catholic church, missio, bringing stories about catholicism around the world, promotes a book of Vaclav Smil, an energy economics professor in Vancouver.

    He presents the predicaments of diminishing returns, some of his books are more popular in language and general, others (i have one), are enourmously specific about the history of energy use and resources.

    Smil doesn’t preach and he is very careful with his language, mostly lets readers and listeners come to their own conclusions.

    I find it remarkable the catholic church (the editor of the magazine) is truly promoting that book

    The one book I have, has a recommendation on the backside – from Bill Gates.

  22. I have a question that I am sure some can answer here. My daughter is 13 and she likes comics, dogman, peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes. She also likes studio ghibli movies very much. I think therefore that she would like Manga comics but I do not know anything about them. I have no idea where to start and what would be good for her. So does anyone have any recommendations.

    Thanks JMG and everyone

  23. In the post 2 weeks ago, one of the commenters linked to Bret Devereux’s blog posts about the “Fremen Mirage” or how smaller groups of generalist farmers-turned-soldiers have largely fared badly against more hierarchical, specialized armies. I quite enjoyed the series of posts, it is based a lot on Roman historical examples, but also drawing in examples from China and other areas as well. The main exception to the “Fremen Mirage” in pre-gunpowder times were horse archers, which fared quite well against sedentary societies, he claims, due to their way of hunting being easily adaptable to their way of war.

    However, I think Devereux neglected to mention that it costs the specialized armies a lot more time and money to train and equip their soldiers than the ragged “Fremen” types. Fremen have rarely won in pitched battles against specialist armies, but it seems they have a decent chance of outlasting specialist armies fielded by empires. They can make it too expensive for an occupying army to remain in an area over enough time, and also adopt the equipment, training and tactics of the occupying army to whatever extent they can. In Roman times, there was Ariminius; in modern times, the US withdrawals from Vietnam and Afghanistan seem like good examples.

    I guess the question is how long the “Fremen” themselves are actually willing to resist or if their culture is eroded faster/they get assimilated into the occupying empire’s culture. Whether they assimilate like the Italic tribes, Cisalpine Gaul into the Roman Empire, or they remain as tribes like the Germanic-speaking tribes beyond the Rhine. Even the Italian cities, which were closer culturally and linguistically to Rome than any other peoples, took a few centuries and wars before they fully assimilated to Roman culture.

    Regarding horse archers, at least based on what I can see from documentaries, the horse-riding nomads of Central Asia today do not really hunt like how their ancestors waged war. AFAIK, Mongol horse tactics were quite sophisticated and involved “lancer” units holding enemies down while the archers fired barrages of arrows, this definitely requires specific military training in large groups; at the same time, hunting, at least as it survives today, is something done on a much smaller scale. Also, looking at Chinese history, I believe as a whole, Chinese states have been quite successful against horse archers in general, with the only exception being the Mongols. (The Manchu were actually not nomads, but an agrarian people who also had extensive Chinese influence including gunpowder before they even launched their invasion) I reckon a lot of the Mongol success in the 13th and 14th centuries had to do with Chinggis Khan’s re-configuration of Mongol society and military training. Later Mongol states were not able to have the same success against China.

    I just had some thoughts after reading that whole series of posts and decided to write some of them down. Keen to discuss if anyone has comments.

  24. @ JMG – you’ve mentioned in the comments, that you think the Democrats will find a way to dump Biden, and probably Harris, and run someone else in next year’s presidential election. I certainly think that’s possible, but I’m not near as sanguine that it ‘will’ happen. For a couple of reasons; the DNC has rigged the primary schedule in a way they think favors Biden, and are refusing to even acknowledge that RFK Jr and Maryann Williamson are even running against him. This does not bode well for dumping Biden, as it signals that the party establishment is having none of it.

    1 – do you think the dumping, for lack of a better term, will be done by voters?

    2 – who do you think Dem voters would be more likely to pick, assuming the only alternatives are Williamson and RFK?

    3 – do you think a different candidate at the top of the ticket gives the Dems a better or worse chance against the Reps, assuming that Trump earns the nomination?

  25. Hello John. Can you advise on any counter spells, charms or psychic self defenses against the black magic that is fractional reserve banking, modern economics, and wetiko generally?

  26. I have heard it said, “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; the opposite of addiction is connection.” Perhaps the vast problem of various forms of addiction in Western Civilization is due, at least in part, to a deep awareness of the loss of connection to the rest of the Beings we share this World with?

    Denying a “soul” or consciousness to anyone that isn’t exactly like yourself, removes a natural barrier to abuse and short term material advantage can be justified, even lauded. (Think open pit copper mines or clear cutting of forests)

    Instead of a web of relationships that require tending via rituals and a certain humility, not to mention a healthy portion of fear, a dis-enchanted world replaces all those inescapable, infinitely complex connections with a single relationship (or even none, in the case of atheism). No wonder people feel lost; they have given up the World for a manipulated abstraction.

    Give me that old time religion – Animism!

  27. A burning question for JMG and the rest of the commentariat: I’ve heard some people refer to preferred pronouns as the shoulder pads of the 2020s, and others refer to them as our era’s version of disco. Which one do you think is the more accurate comparison?

  28. At the end of the comments in last week’s post I made the below comments as a response to reading the older edition of A World Full of Gods. Because you referred to the new edition of the book in the introduction to this post I thought it would be appropriate to repost them here.

    After reading your excellent arguments against monotheism and for polytheism I recognize that my experience based Christianity at best can be logically argued to be an effective form of Henotheism and a magical system that at will changes consciousness (does for me) and is at the same time a variation on Pascal’s wager, a sweet spot to be in. I laugh and accept the ongoing mystery. Too far gone with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for me to apostatize now. Thank you for your gracious and peaceable yet realistic take on things

    For me the clinching argument you presented on the subject of monotheism was that my experience of the Christian God having the taste of ultimacy could be just an experience of a finite being meeting a greater being, which didn’t necessarily indicate the overall supremacy of the greater being. Though still possible IMO. Happily praying to the Father.

  29. Hey John,
    this video reminded me of you:
    Apparently, strippers are better at reading the economy than economists and finance executives are. It reminded me of some stuff you’ve said in a lot of your books, like in the Wealth of Nature. You said that economics is not a science and that economists are terrible at predicting the future.

  30. JMG, you might be interested to know that Dulcimer Players News (, the quarterly magazine for mountain and hammer dulcimer players that has been published since 1975, will be discontinued after the final issue of this year. Current publisher Ashley Ernst first announced her decision to cease publication in the February 2023 issue, citing the cancellation of almost all in-person dulcimer festivals during 2020 and 2021 and her realization last year that many of them would not be returning in any form, online or in-person. Festivals were one of the two main sources of advertising revenue for the magazine. The other main source of advertisement revenue, dulcimer builders, is also reduced due to the retirement or death of many builders, so that the number of builders advertising in the magazine has also shrunk. The combination has made the magazine’s business model untenable.

    In that issue, Ernst said that she planned to continue publishing through 2024 since she already had subscriptions into that year, but that she would not accept any new subscriptions or renewals. In the May 2023 issue, however (the current issue), she announced that she would not be able to publish any issues in 2024 after all, and that the remaining two issues for this year would not be published in full color magazine format but instead would be published on a Risograph mimeograph magazine, on lightweight recycled paper, with some pages two-color, and would be folded into a 5×7 booklet that we will open to read. It won’t have any fancy graphics or photos; she needs to reduce the weight to keep it under 3 ounces and to make the labor involved manageable. There also won’t be any ads in these issues; instead, the advertisers will be listed at DPN’s website with links to their websites.

    The reasons she cited for this change is USPS’ third postal rate hike in 12 months (a 5% increase) plus OPEC’s decision to drastically limit oil production. She fears that this means that costs on all fronts will continue to climb, making it imperative for her to reduce costs to a minimum for the last two issues and to cease publishing after this year. She will refund anyone for any 2024 issues they have already paid for.

    From a personal standpoint, I’m quite sad about the end of DPN. I’ve subscribed continuously since 1989 or 1990. It’s been my link to players, teachers, builders, and festivals. While Ernst plans to continue the DPN website and for it to host links to festivals, teachers, and builders, it won’t be the same. I understand and support her decision … but it’s just one more example of the quickening rate of decline.

  31. @Will O #24

    I think you have to be fairly selective about Manga, some content is not suitable for a 13 year old (or indeed anyone) but I can recommend a series called Hikaru no Go about a haunted Go board. My son enjoyed it as a 14 year old.

  32. @Kimbery #17, I’ve always used retail toilet cleaner products that are germicidal (i.e. contain bleach or something similar) to clean my toilet. I wouldn’t want to do that every day, due to the cost, fumes, and and general nastiness of such chemical concoctions. What would you recommend using for a daily toilet cleaning?

  33. JMG and Commentariat,

    I recently became the Vice president of my College’s Pagan Association and am currently looking into things to talk about with the members of said club (be it in the style of presentations, talk backs, or workshops). What would you say are good starter things to talk about with people who are new to and interested in learning about magic, divination and general paganism? I know a fair bit but am not sure what would be appropriate to discuss with new students.
    So far for topics I’ve come up with; a discussion about different types of divination, different branches of beliefs and practices under the umbrella of paganism, and a look at a basic LBRP (I found out this semester a shocking amount of our members who practice have no idea what the LBRP or banishing even is). Any ideas that come to mind would be very appreciated!

    – Roe

  34. David, consider what would be involved in teaching mathematics to people who had no concept of number — say, one of those tribal peoples whose language has for number words “one, pair, many.” You couldn’t simply start talking about numbers — to them, you’d be babbling nonsense. You’d have to find some way to get them to stretch their thinking so that “many” stopped being just one thing and turned into a continuum, in which one assemblage can be “more many” than another. You would likely find that certain stories, certain ritual actions, and certain practices would help them make that transition. That’s what initiates have been trying to do since the time of Pythagoras — just not with numbers…

    Isaac, delighted to hear this!

    Alex, the basic work I’ve had readers recommend to me is Parker’s Astrology by Derek and Julia Parker. As for finding an astrologer, the American Federation of Astrologers at can point you to astrologers they’ve certified.

    Jeff, I’ve encountered it in a few places. As for “more or less fruitful,” why, the obvious question is this — more or less fruitful for what purpose? A highway map won’t help you find mineral deposits but it’s great if you want to plan a road trip…

    Mister N, that’s been my view of the Qanon thing since the beginning — and in fact I’ve said so on this blog several times. Specifically, whoever’s behind it was using the same playbook that Air Force intelligence has been using since the late 1950s to manipulate UFO groups — the tactics are the same, right down to the fine details. May I offer a note to innocent readers? Whenever somebody claims to represent a cadre of military officers or federal officials who are secretly opposed to the policies their higher-ups are pushing, and want to leak you secret documents or classified information…they’re lying to you. Assume that and you’ll avoid being played for a fool.

    Ynu8ipbnxu, I wish I could! I didn’t devise my speaking and writing style by way of anybody’s book. I simply started blogging and speaking, paid attention to the results, and followed one helpful rule: whatever I say should, insofar as possible, offend both sides equally. Yes, I’ve failed to achieve that goal from time to time, but it’s always been the target for which I’ve aimed.

    Quin, thanks for this as always.

    Thomas, I don’t think so, because disenchantment set in long before Pluto was discovered.

    Tony, I wish I did. Keep in mind that I’m navigating this a step at a time, just like everyone else! So far my maneuvers have been pretty successful, but that’s largely because I make it a hard and fast rule never to spend as much as I earn, and always to judge each choice as much by what I might lose if it goes wrong as by what I might gain if it goes right.

    Clarke, do you recall that fine book Muddling Toward Frugality by Warren Johnson? It makes the same point, focusing specifically on energy issues.

    Platypus, sure. Vico argues that the historical cycle begins in the wreckage of a fallen civilization, when all the old abstractions have fallen to bits and all the survivors have to go on are their own immediate sensory perceptions and personal memories. That’s what Vico calls the barbarism of sense. Time passes, some new system of abstract ideas are evolved, and society crystallizes around them; the dark age ends, and the new society grows and diversifies, developing new abstractions all the while. Finally the society reaches the point that it’s so deeply mired in its own abstractions that it loses track of what’s going on in the non-abstract world, and frantic struggles break out between partisans of this or that abstract formula. That’s the barbarism of reflection: the state in which society goes to bits because people are paying so much attention to abstract notions that they no longer maintain the social and material relations that keep the society functioning.

    Jason, er, if you want JHK you have to go to Jim Kunstler’s blog — as far as I know he doesn’t usually hang out here. 😉 In terms of your question, why, it depends on who you ask 600 years from now, of course. No society has a single opinion of its past. 600 years from now the deindustrial dark ages will be ending; some people will be interested in recovering the more useful bits of ancient knowledge, others will condemn the ancients as all their works as wickedness justly struck down by the wrath of whatever divinities are revered in that time, and still others will roll their eyes at stories that people walked on the moon.

    Mac, it’ll be a serious economic blow because so much of the US economy is propped up by federal spending. The thing that nobody’s talking about is that sooner or later a real default — not a delay in payment, but an admission that the US government can’t cover its debts — is going to have to happen. That’s probably still a few years out, but when it hits the US economy will contract by half, and stay there.

    Justin, thanks for this.

    Jstn, thanks for this! Yes, of course I’m familiar with the Gita, and I’m impressed by your project; I’ve downloaded a copy and will read it as time permits.

    Petros, the problem with the Law of Attraction is that so many people seem to think it’s the only law there is. Of course that’s not true at all! It’s as though you tried to use the law of magnetism to lift yourself off the earth’s surface, while ignoring the law of gravity. The law of attraction is one factor that shapes the world of your experience, and under some circumstances you can use it for your benefit, but there’s also the law of consequences, also known as karma — and there are other laws as well. Your ability to use the law of attraction is limited by those other laws. Much of the misfortune people encounter is caused by issues with those other laws, and the law of attraction can’t necessarily overcome them — though it can often help. Of course if you misuse the law of attraction, some of those other laws will clobber you even more…

    Clay, I watched that whole business with quite some interest. The Patriot system isn’t meant to be used — it’s meant to have deterrence value, by convincing potential enemies that their chance of landing a missile hit is too low to risk it. The Russians just blew that logic to kingdom come. I see the F-16 business as a face-saving maneuver, to distract attention from the failure of the Patriot system; don’t be too surprised if the US and its allies frantically try to find some way to force a negotiated peace on Ukraine very soon — and don’t be too surprised if the Russians laugh, and just keep on lobbing shells and missiles.

    Marc, Learning Ritual Magic is the one to begin with. Circles of Power and Paths of Wisdom should be studied next, and when you’re finished with those, go on to Regardie’s The Golden Dawn itself. By the time you finish — it’ll take ten years or so — you’ll have as solid a foundation in Golden Dawn magic as anybody.

  35. Hi JMG – as always, thank you very much for hosting your forums/blogs. Looks like your approach to nature spirituality is gaining steam these days:

    Question. Are there any examples of declining civilizations that achieved a “softer” landing, where some adults maintained a wee bit of order?

    Much of what you’ve covered over the last 17-18 years or so is coming to pass, and I must admit I grossly underestimated the “human” effect. The levels of emotion, cognitive dissonance, and downright stupidity astound me. And as if the Long Descent wasn’t challenging enough on its own, the last few years have shown there was still enough slack in the system to promote much more self-inflicted harm via our medical system.

    I’m looking forward to the next plateau or pause in the decline, just so I can catch my breath.

  36. Thank you JMG! This advice is quite helpful as a guide and helped articulate a bit of my approach when devising speeches. How to say something which draws in both sides equally, let people talk and see they might have a chance to change their own mind. Keeping in mind something like the three rays of light to help reconcile a 3rd way, then a 4th, than a 5th.

    “followed one helpful rule: whatever I say should, insofar as possible, offend both sides equally.”

    Reflecting is always helpful too, I recently had a chance to explain my idea to a larger group as first I am trying a free version and felt it went quite well, but really have been digging in to where it can go well.

  37. @Kirsten (#229 to last week’s post):

    You asked me about good available books on Russian esoteric thought and magic:

    For everything up to about 1750, far and away the best book is by an English scholar, William F. Ryan, The Bathhouse at Midnight: Magic in Russia (1999). The book so impressed Russian scholars that a Russian (somewhat updated) translation of it was published at Moscow in 2006: В. Ф. Райан, Баня в полночь: исторический обзор магии и гаданий в России.

    My own Slavistic interests were almost exclusively centered on the pre-Petrine era among the Orthodox Slavs; once Westernization set in, at various dates in various Orthodox Slavic countries, I tended to lose interest in them.

    However, look for books edited by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, such as The Occult in Russian and Soviet Culture (1997) and The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions (2012). Each of these two volumes is a collection of good articles on specific movements and people, written by various scholars.

  38. On the point about Patriot missiles, the issue isn’t really financial. The Patriot is a point-defence system intended to protect high-value targets, and in this sense an HVT might be a military HQ, the seat of a government or a major air or naval base or ammunition depot. It may be that in a given case the value of the missiles fired exceeds, say, the rebuilding cost of a military HQ, and the salary and training costs of the officers in it, but the loss of those clearly has a cost which clearly goes well beyond the monetary. As western powers are discovering today, and as I have written about extensively on my Substack, money doesn’t equate to military capability (in fact, equipment doesn’t equate to military capability either. It’s complicated.)

    What this is really about is available resources. The Russians have been grinding down Ukrainian air defence systems from the start, partly by direct attack, but partly also by getting the Ukrainians to use them wastefully against drones, dummies and cheap disposable missiles. All Ukrainian AD assets come either from Russia/Soviet Union, and so are rapidly running out, or from the West. In the latter case, all the missile systems and missiles supplied are being used up, and the West has no more. At a certain point, Ukraine will have missiles without launchers, launchers without missiles, and in some cases neither. At that point the Russians, according to their doctrine, will be making almost unrestricted use of their airpower.

  39. Dear Ecosophians,

    I realise I have lost my soul somewhat. Probably started about the age of four, now it’s fifty years later and I’m having some kind of breakdown, having sat on this stuff for years, not able to deal with it. Now I’m good and ready. What advice do you have for me? How do I retrieve my soul which I put away from me early on because of a need to get through a traumatic childhood? Can one who was not mothered ever really thrive, not just survive?

    Anything gratefully received, with thanks.

  40. Hello JMG,
    Yes, I very much remember that book (“Muddling Toward Frugality” by Warren Johnson). I can only hope my point was made anything like as clearly as he made his! I remember reading it through several times, and reading it was like a religious experience. Couldn’t get anyone at all interested! The same as with many of the wonderful books we both have read and you have mentioned here. That’s one way my Aspberger’s manifested itself. It’s only after my umpteenth Saturn return that I became part of this community and found myself among kindred spirits. I add my voice to that of many others here in thanking you (again) for providing this space for us all.

  41. @Walking Worried , #29.

    IMHO, neither. Rather, it is more like the cigarette of our generation. Whatever medical value there was in the original use of tobacco was lost in the bastardization and comoditization of it. People who are profiting from it will do everything they can to obscure the fact that it does much more harm than good, and even when the farce is reveled those hooked to it will never stop consuming.

    @Walt, #34

    Mostly vinegar, the floral essence of your choice and, occasionally as needed, fine grit sand paper.

  42. @ Walt F re # 34

    There are several chlorine free TP cleaning products on the market (Mrs Meyers and 7th Generation) which are non-irritating and do a decent job of cleaning. Remember this will be a daily practice and will help you keep ahead of any buildup from the dubious stuff they add to water nowadays to keep it clean. In addition, I live in a hard water area so there’s that to deal with as well.

    If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, just add 2-3 cups of vinegar, let sit for a few hours, scrub and flush. As I have three toilets in my home, I will be using the above cleaning products just to cut down on the jugs of vinegar I would have to constantly buy just to do the daily cleaning.

  43. Clay / JMG,

    Yes, the F-16’s will be an embarassing failure as well. They need pristine runways & support services that simply don’t exist in Ukraine, don’t have the range to independently fly in from Poland or Romania, and don’t have the weapons range to launch before they’d be shot down. Given the large inventory available, though, it’s a great excuse to drum up replacement biz for F-35’s. Follow the money.

    I’d say this’ll be over this summer except that the longer it drags on the more NATO bleeds and Russia gets stronger, so they’re in no particular hurry.

  44. Hi JMG,

    I was looking at upcoming conjunctions of the outer planets and noticed that one of the next ones is Saturn conjuncting Neptune on 20 February 2026 in Aries. I don’t know what the special significance of the Saturn-Neptune conjunction is. Seen from London, it takes place in the 8th house and makes no aspect with any other planet. The cusp of the 8th is in Pisces making Neptune the ruler of the house. The picture from Washington shows an interesting parallel. Although the conjunction itself takes place in the 11th house, the cusp of the 8th house is in Capricorn making Saturn its ruler.

    This doesn’t look like good news to say the least. Saturn is associated with death and for London he is in the 8th house of death where for Washington he is the ruler of the 8th house of death and in both cases (obviously) afflicted by Neptune, the planet of mass phenomena.

    I looked back in time and found that there had been Saturn-Neptune conjunctions in 1989, 1952 and 1917. So the conjunction covers events for a roughly 36 year period. Is it possible that we’re looking at some kind of mass die-off both in Western Europe and North America for all that time? I certainly don’t hope so! So I took a closer look at the 1917 one as it has some parallels with the 2026 conjunction. Seen from London, it took place in Leo in the 12th house, the cusp of the 8th house was in Pisces and the cusp of the 6th (the house of public health) in Capricorn. So this conjunction took place during the senseless slaughter of WW1, was soon followed (starting in February 1918) by the Spanish flu, and covered the full duration of WW2.

    Am I reading too much into this?

  45. I apologize for being that guy who busts out philosophy in the middle of a conversation, but I finally finished my thirteen-month-long deep dive into the Enneads a few days ago and I’m still buzzing about it.

    @David BTL #1: Have you ever had a mystical experience? They are remarkably difficult to describe in words or even understand—and yet they leave you changed all the same. Plotinus makes the point (in Enneads VI 9 xi) that the mystery schools of antiquity veiled their teachings in allegory and mandated silence of their initiates in imitation of this. (Many of the things we consider myths—like those of Adonis, Cybele, Dionysus, Isis, Persephone, etc.—are derived from these mysteries.)

    @Jeff Russell #4: Plotinus repeatedly hammers on the point that the universe is fractal at all scales. Everything that exists is both an organism, an ecosystem, and dozens of other things, depending on what scale it useful to look at it at. For example, a human can be thought of as an organism, but a doctor or nutritionist might find it more appropriate to look at them as an ecosystem; by the same token, the earth’s biosphere is an ecosystem, but a theologist or mystic might find it more appropriate to look at it as an organism. There’s a famous aphorism in statistics that “all models are wrong, but some are useful:” it is good to master a model, but there’s never One True Way™, and it may always be fruitful to look at things from multiple different—even contradictory!—perspectives. So I would hesitate to favor one model over the other: embrace both (and whatever others you can find) and see what they can teach you! (In case it’s useful to you, I had been thinking of cultures as dæmons—guardian angels, if you will—which guide and shepherd the various beings within them. That may be a third model you might try to consider!)

  46. @David #1 and JMG about myths – isn’t the (a) point about any myth it’s numinosity? A story that’s build around the key characteristics of primal human experience, the laws of nature etc. and transports these characteristics in a way that’s somehow obfuscated to the intellect (at least at first) but resonates with our inner nature and subconscious anyway?

    I can only offer a small collection of myths that completed the arc down into my subconscious and back into my consciousness to some degree. – Take the golden calve: Why should anyone worship a golden calve? Surely those people back then were of a much simpler kind than we are today? But imagine this: Basic natural laws (you could call them the hand of god, maybe?) form the first basic forms of matter. Repeated application of these laws builds the elements (gold among them…) and from there an infinite complexity of molecules and then our material bodies. God is the principle behind the manifestation and thus is IN all manifestation but to confuse the manifestation (the gold) with the principle (the laws, in this case written on stone tablets) is a sinful act and will lead to consequences. Now… the basic principles of observation, logic and honesty gave rise to a multitude of insights into the material world. Repeated application of these principles gave rise to the scientific method in increasing complexity and over time created institutes and institutions, white lab coats, positions, funding agencies and titles. The principles are still somewhere inside, yet a lot of people, many of them wearing white lab coats themselves, confuse the manifestation with the principle, with consequences which we could all witness during the last years and still can.

    Likewise I was almost knocked off my feet when I realized that one of my favorite children’s books is basically a myth of growing up and individualization disguised as an adventure story set in a medieval Swedish forests. It’s all in there – building friendships, mastering yourself (the four elements in their unbalanced form all make their appearance in form of fantasy creatures, the only things that can possibly be harmful in an otherwise very wild forest..), mastering the relationship to the parents, making difficult choices and bear the consequences, etc. No child will experience this with their intellect and think “ah, now Ronja has just met the personification of uncontrolled anger” but it will dive into the story, become part of it, for some time, experience it and will be subconsciously touched by all those mythical, archetypal elements woven into the story.

    That’s my take on it. And possibly one question: Is conscious myth-creation possible?


  47. SDI #48 – I like that. Many people ranging from Buddhist to materialistic atheist try to deconstruct “you” by showing that this “you” is just an agglomerate of tiny parts and therefore there is no “you”. But there is. There is a you, but there is also an agglomerate of tiny parts. Likewise, that what belongs into our collective unconscious is “you” and “yours”, but also “ours”.


  48. Curt, wow. That’s a harrowing narrative. Thank you for the data points!

    Jean, delighted to hear this! The next book in the series, The Book of Haatan, is already in the publisher’s hands, and the third book, The Carnelian Moon, is more than a third complete right now. Yes, I’m having fun with the series.

    Curt, good heavens. The Catholic church is promoting Smil? I’m astounded. Delighted, but astounded.

    Will, I’ll have to leave that to the commentariat.

    Ben, well, we’ll see. It’s clear that important factions among the Dems want to ditch Biden, but others want to keep him in place. It would not surprise me at all if RFK in particular were to pull off an upset in the primaries, in which case the outcome of the election is anybody’s guess. There’s also the question of what happens if Biden’s health fails, or if he dies in office — my astrological charts suggest that that’s a real possibility. One way or another, this is going to be a popcorn-heavy election.

    Benn, well, what kind of magic do you know how to do?

    Ken, interesting. I could see it.

    Walking, nah, pronouns are the Lite Beer of the 2020s. 😉

    Moose, thanks for this. One of the surprising things I realized while working out the arguments in A World Full of Gods is that it’s perfectly possible to justify every element of Christian faith and practice within a polytheistic religious philosophy; the thing you can’t justify is Christian theology — but I don’t recall Jesus ever saying that theological correctness is essential to salvation…

    Enjoyer, a flipped coin is more accurate than a professional economist; a coin is right 50% of the time, and few professional economists get anywhere near that with their predictions.

    SLClaire, ouch. I’m very sorry to hear this. I hope someone else picks up where DPN left off.

    Roe, hmm. It’s been long enough since I last dealt with complete beginners in that kind of setting that I have no idea. Anyone else?

    Drhooves, interesting. Yes, some societies manage a somewhat softer landing than others; normally what makes the difference is a sustainable system of food production and strong traditions of local government, so rural areas can continue to function when the central government goes batshale crazy. We’ve got the latter but not the former — and even if we did, “a softer landing” is still a relative term; it’s still pretty harsh.

    Ynu8ipbnxu, you’re most welcome.

    Aurelien, granted, the issue may not be financial, but the financial side of things can become a massive burden! I think your prognosis is likely to be quite correct, though.

    Larkrise, that’s a challenging road to walk, but yes, you can thrive. I had a mostly absent father and a gyroscopically self-centered and emotionally abusive mother, and I’m thriving today. A regular spiritual practice and a lot of time spent in reflection and journaling helped me a lot.

    Clarke, I know the feeling — and you’re welcome, of course.

    TJ, it’s occurred to me that the Russians might well be planning on dragging this out for three to five years, or until Ukraine simply implodes. Can you imagine what kind of basket-case condition the US and European economies will be in if they do?

    Hereward, it’s a good question that can only be settled by testing. Draw up charts for the moment of the conjunction for London and Washington DC, interpret them using mundane methods, make your predictions — and see what happens.

    Nachtgurke, the conscious creation of narratives is always possible, but whether the narrative has mythic power — that doesn’t seem to be within the capacities of the conscious mind. The lightning strikes where it wills.

  49. @Alex #3 and @jMG, if I may:

    I bought a recent copy of Parker‘s Astrology last year, and, to put it very politely, I‘m not impressed.

    It seems like this might have been a well thought-out course of study, many, many editions ago – and then they‘ve suffered from Shiny New Object Syndrome and have added more and more of the latest fads and gimmicks in each edition, until at some point, they had to cut down on the important basic stuff just to keep the length in hand.

    Case in point, for example: All the planets up to Pluto are „explained“ on one double page for all of them, and half of this page consists of seemingly randomly chosen planetary myths. But Chiron has a double page all of its own.

    Also, a lot of the basic and absolutely vital concepts are badly explained, if they are explained at all. I had to look up very elementary stuff on the internet just to understand what some important terms meant, because Parker‘s only spent a couple of rather meaningless sentences on it.

    Then they don‘t teach you to fish: E.g. there are dozens of pages in the appendix explaining all the different aspects between planets (i.e. conjunction, negative and positive aspects between Planet X and Y), but they never explain what the actual aspects mean, just that some are positive and some are negative. I learned from a side remark of JMG‘s in some Magic Monday that e.g. trines and sextiles have different qualities. That is never mentioned in Parker‘s, let alone what these qualities are. I.e. just from reading this book, you‘ll have a hard time learning how to interpret things for yourself.

    And finally, they are very much into pop psychology. E.g. the book contains an amazing amount of suggestions for suitable jobs and hobbies (and most of the ones I could check against real people seemed to be less than helpful 😉 ).

    I could go on like that, but you get the idea: I‘m not a happy camper. 😉 I mainly kept it for the ephemerides, but they are printed in such a small font that I need to borrow reading glasses to work with them… 😀

    Anyway. I just wanted to add another voice to the mix, since I was very much unimpressed by this book. Unfortunately, I don‘t really have a better suggestion yet. I managed to get an older version of Llewellyn George‘s book, but am not sure if I want to recommend it for beginners. The content is solid (as far as a novice like me can tell), but it‘s not well structured for somebody who starts out from square one.

    So, well… since other people seemed to like it, I’d advise you to take my opinion with a grain of salt. 🙂 Maybe your local library has a copy of Parker‘s and you can check it out before buying?


  50. JMG,

    Would you imagine that some deities such as Naiads are basically etheric in nature, and are other deities such as the various orders of angels
    more correlated with the astral, mental, and spiritual planes? If so, that would account for a very wide variety of spiritual experience, to say the least.


  51. Hello everyone,

    Two announcements. A few readers and I are chipping in to buy the raw materials for Cell Salts as explained by JMG on his essay on home compounding of cell salts, available here in the essays section. If anyone is interested, please send me a private message through dreamwidth –my alias is open-space– or send me an email to:

    Also, I am also doing a divination offering on my journal. So if you’ve got a question you would like me to ask Geomancy or the Tarot you can do so here free of charge:

    Divination Offering

    And I’ll get back to you shortly.

    That’s all, thanks for your time!

  52. Good afternoon JMG,

    I wanted to ask you if the book you recommended on your home compouding of cell salts essay mentions the benefits or throwbacks of using water instead of alcohol or lactose? Do you know if there is a difference in potency between them?

  53. For those interested in the limits of renewable power I have the data from the Bonneville Power Administration for April.

    For wind, the worst day of the month was the 15th when it generated 1.8% of nameplate capacity. The best day was the first, when it generated 77.6% of capacity. Windy day. The average for the month was 29.4% of nameplate.

    For solar, the worst day of the month was the Apr 6 when it generated 14.9% of nameplate capacity. The best day was the 25th when it generated 46.1% of capacity. The average for the month was 29.6% of nameplate.

    We also had a double dunkelflaute. On April 8 at 6:40 PM both wind and solar went to less than 10% of nameplate for 13 hours. Then there was a 11.9 hour period where wind and solar managed a little power, then another 11.75 hour period of nothing from either. Over the entire interval renewable power managed to average 21 MW.

    During this 36.7 hour period the average power demand was 5725 MW, and the total energy used was a bit less than 210,000 MW-hr. The difference between supply and demand for this same period was 209,200 MW-hr.

    But wait! Tesla has a new improved Megapack battery.

    “Tesla has recently updated its Megapack configurator to now list 3.9 MW-hr capacity. That’s about 50% more energy capacity in a single Megapack, but the battery system is now 6-ft longer and 60% heavier at 83,996 lbs.”

    So it will only take 53,641 of them to keep the lights on. At 42 tons apiece the battery bank will weigh 2,225,923 tons, or the same as 22 nuclear powered aircraft carriers.

  54. I will take this opportunity to remind all that the 6th Annual Ecosophia Midsummer Potluck will be held June 24, 2023 at our house behind the Charles Dexter Ward Mansion in Providence, RI. Only 31 days to go!
    Sign up here. I look forward to your presence, and once again, whomever comes from furthest is welcome to stay in our guest room.

  55. But even a henotheistic Christian can obnoxiously say Christianity is the best deal as through Jesus the way and the door, one is connected to the High God found in many indigenous traditions around the world “for through him we both (Jew and Gentile) have access in one Spirit to the Father” Ephesians 2:18, a frequent title of the High God in those traditions is Father. I think Jesus is a sweet deal whose yoke is easy and whose burden light. But henotheism is definitely a no go in classic Christianity. And most Christians would say I am playing with fire, but I accept the mystery and fuzzy edges of reality and I can live with I don’t know for sure about things beyond the felt inner and outer reality of the Spirit of God I met through Jesus. Oh, and trees are beings you can know. The sun doesn’t interest me, more of a bird/plant/flowing spring and and stream, landscape, cloud guy

  56. Hi John Michael,

    Mate, you’ve got a dry sense of humour. 🙂 Sure, he doesn’t hang out here. And them F-16’s, they’re as old as I am. Hehe! Funny thing though, there’s a lot of them out there. I read about them the other night, and the design process was unusual, and for that reason, they are probably more effective than the alternatives. But like photovoltaic derived electricity, are they effective enough?

    Whatever. The default is baked into the cake. It needn’t have been that way, but societies make choices, and people seem good with the choice. Unfortunately, there are downsides, so it’s not all benefits and no costs. And the downsides are going to be painful. When you look at a debt over time chart for most countries pursuing this policies, it’s not really all that different from an exponential yeast growth over time chart. Same, same, but different. The whopper is the projected interest payments over time. That’s utterly bonkers, but mostly it’s just absurd. I believe that for your fed-ups (I just made that up!), the payments for interest are something between $60bn and $95bn a month (depending upon what is included). That’s a lot of money, but that’s on top of the deficit of something in the order of $250bn a month. Do you consider this to be an abuse of the commons? Dunno, but it kind of looks that way to me.

    For your interest, I’m coming around to the idea that once the dust settles, there will be a meaningful re-engagement with the land which supports the population. All part of the cycle. I’d have to note that it suggests that our societies abstractions are not very satisfying.



  57. @Will O. #24 re: manga for 13 Year Olds

    Someone upthread mentioned Naussica, which was originally a manga, and which comes in a lovely 2 volume hardcover set these days (I have mine sitting on the shelf, waiting to be read . . .). Another title that comes to mind is Witch Hat Atelier, which I originally thought was specifically aimed at the young girl market (shojo), but which is apparently meant for older readers, despite being about a group of 12-13 year old girls. It’s a fantasy world with a defined caste of mages, most of whom are born to it, but the main character semi-accidentally discovers that it’s a skill that can be learned, and is taken in by an older wizard to learn the ways of magic in his atelier (which is shaped like a witch hat, hence the name). It’s pretty clear that “magic” is an analogy for “art” as you go through it, but the world building is fun, the characters develop slowly but compellingly, and the art is drop-dead gorgeous. I only wish more of it were in color, because the artist is at least as gifted a colorist as she is a draughtswoman. It also gets into some serious and profound personal and ethical issues without ever being explicit. I discovered it as a late 30s father of young girls and enjoy it, so I can only imagine how it might speak to an adolescent girl.

    A far weirder recommendation: if she has fantasy-type leanings, Delicious in Dungeon is basically “D&D, but the party eats the monsters.” It combines jokes about D&D with jokes about foodies and gourmet chefs, but is also very well drawn. I’ve only read the first volume of this one, but I rather liked it. Don’t know if it remains appropriate for a 13-year-old audience past that, though.

    Hope these help, and happy reading to your daughter!


  58. @SDI #48 re: fractality of systems and analogies for Cultures

    Very well-put! That’s one of the things I’ve always admired about systems thinking, but am still working on internalizing: that any given system contains systems within it, and is a part of larger systems still. Where you choose to zoom into will largely be determined by what you’re trying to accomplish.

    Mostly I just haven’t “tried on” the culture-as-ecosystem metaphor yet the way I have the culture-as-organism metaphor, and I thought I’d run it by JMG first as the person who introduced me to Spengler’s thinking to see if I was missing anything obvious or especially great.


  59. @Roe #35 re: beginning topics for pagans/practitioners

    The topics that immediately come to mind for me are 1) discursive meditation, and 2) how to approach mythology. For me personally, learning discursive meditation was the spiritual game changer, and I had already tried a bunch of other kinds of meditation. I wish I had known about it back in college. It also leads nicely into 2), how to approach mythology. I’ve always loved mythology and have found it interesting and fun, but learning various lenses to apply to it (how might this myth be describing astronomical/astrological phenomena? What might these characters and their actions symbolize in mundane terms? What esoteric symbolism is to be found here? What historical events might be recalled here?) has made it even richer, and discursive meditation has been the tool that’s let me apply all of these and more.

    Behind those big two, I might also touch on some of the philosophical/theological threads that folks debate in polytheistic circles like “hard vs soft polytheism” or “eclectic vs reconstructionist approaches” or the like. Also, I have found digging into prayer and devotional practice personally rewarding, but a lot of pagans/polytheists have a lot of baggage associated with such things due to Christian backgrounds. Things where folks disagree might be a good opportunity for a panel discussion, which would save you some of the work of presenting everything yourself!

    Oh, lastly, you might find this dreamwidth community that some Ecosophia readers set up helpful:

    Good luck!

  60. Thinking further on last week’s post on the enchanted life, perhaps such an era is even closer than it seems. The conversation brought to mind the continuing success of Marie Kondo’s book on minimalism, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. While mostly a boiler-plate guide to cleaning out clutter, its approach is decidedly enchanted; Kondo’s method for getting rid of old things is to approach them from the perspective of an emotional relationship based on joy and, if they no longer bring you any, to thank them for their service before removing them from your life. She also recommends actions such as folding your socks in a manner that is comfortable for them to relax in while not working. Kondo spent four years as a shrine maiden, so all this likely reflects a genuine animistic belief, but it was interesting to see her ideas spread throughout the most disenchanted groups of society. Watching my staunchly atheist friends suddenly involve themselves in a world of thanking their shirts was something else indeed.

    @Will O #24
    Going off of your daughter’s taste as well as what my friends and I read at that age, I would recommend Yotsuba&!, ARIA, and Fruits Basket. They cover a wide range of genres, being daily life/comedy, science fantasy coming-of-age, and melodramatic fantasy romance respectively, and none of them contain objectionable content. All three are also perennially popular with all ages of manga readers. I can also second thinking-turtle’s recommendation of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, which goes much further than its anime counterpart. A more recent, on-going series to look into would be Witch Hat Atelier, which has a beautiful style inspired by old fairy tale books.

  61. Will O, my 12 year old daughter loves reading, also loves graphic novels and has recently discovered manga from a Japanese friend. From what I understand from this friends father most manga is not written for kids and deals with very adult concepts. So you do need to choose carefully. She enjoyed reading ‘Inuyasha,’ about a girl who goes back in time, searching for a jewel and encounters demons. The demons aren’t too scary she says.

  62. I will join the daily toilet cleaning.

    As to what to use, if it is done daily, taking the long handled toilet brush and cleaning just with that would do it for daily cleaning. Then, if hard water builds up, the usual, vinegar or a pumice stone

  63. Will, naiads aren’t really deities — they’re elemental intelligences. That said, yes, nonphysical being equal or superior to humanity in nature come in many different kinds, and are embodied on many different planes.

    Augusto, no, that isn’t mentioned in any cell salt book known to me.

    Siliconguy, hmm! Many thanks for this.

    Sea Spray, excellent! Thank you for keeping us all posted.

    Moose, of course. Henotheist Christians, like everyone else, can consider their god to be the best one for humans to worship, and encourage others to consider entering into a covenant with their god. Plenty of other traditions did the same thing back in the day.

    Chris, exactly. The only reason it works is that it covers for an imperial tribute economy — and as that shuts down, the “splat!” you’ll hear is the US economy.

    Anonymous, maybe so. Gratitude is a very good place to begin!

  64. @Augusto, #55

    It is a matter of technique. Liquid dilution is used when the base material is a tincture, which itself contains both water and alcohol because you want to extract all the essences of the plant/animal species, both the hydrosoluble and the liposoluble ones. For mineral species, the preferred technique is trituration, so a powder dilution is needed and therefore lactose powder was choses for its quality of being “neutral”, whatever that means.

    In homeopathic preparations, the low potency solid dilutions are further diluted in water to create higher potency preparations (from potency 6C, IIRC), but since Dr. Schussler was himself firmly in the low potency camp, he did not use water at all.

  65. Milkyway says:
    #52 May 24, 2023 at 6:14 pm

    If it’s the basics of more or less contemporary modern astrology you want to learn, I can recommend Robert Hand’s books if you can find them. They are in “cookbook” format after a substantial amount of basic information is imparted at the beginning of them. Study topics are broken up into several thick-ish books, e.g., a book about Houses, another about Aspects and so on, but they are all sound enough and not new-agey. I took a few courses from him back in the day. His books do include interpretations for Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. After writing and teaching those, he got into Roman and Greek, etc., astrology. He may have published about those as well, I don’t know. There are other fairly recent books I haven’t explored, like “The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need,” published I believe by Taschen, and that has received a good report (if I recall correctly, from “Foolish Fish” Denis Poisson).

    Then of course, if you’re willing to suffer through them, the books on so-called “Traditional” astrology (which leave out Pluto, Neptune and Uranus along with all the asteroids) cover the basics very soundly indeed. Demetra George has a couple of high-priced offerings that are sound enough. Finally, though I have not yet worked with it, there is Charles Obert’s “Introduction to Traditional Natal Astrology: A Complete Working Guide for Modern Astrologers” which looks to be very thorough and not awfully long (available from Almuten Press). Everything you need to know about natal astrology can also be learned from studying William Lilly’s writings, the most available of which is on Horary astrology. It will just take a bit of fine-tuning to change your focus from answering questions about “where’s my lost necklace” to focus on individuals.

    I received much of my instruction in person from classes put out by members national astrology groups (American Federation of Astrologers AFA, and National Council for Geocosmic Research NCGR…there are only the two major ones in the US), and then when I had to support about a dozen astrology programs when working for Matrix Astrology (founded by Michael Erlewine) doing technical support. There’s nothing like having a brief introduction to one or another principle and then doing a dozen or so charts (including your own) with a class to explore it. You might contact those organizations to see if there are affiliated and certified members who are teaching a class near you, if you’re in the States for in-person classes, and the AFA publish a range of textbooks of extremely variable quality. They do have international organizations they associate with, if you aren’t located in the States.

    I currently use both the Janus and Solar Fire astrology programs on my computer, but there are many, many more. I’m far too old at this stage to dig around using my now long forgotten trigonometry skills and those plus ephemerides, times tables, tables of houses, and atlases to put a chart together, but my hat’s off to you if that’s the route you wish to use to construct a chart… It’s true that printed books and tables are likely to last longer than computers!

    I hope that helps a little. Astrologers are a strange lot, very like wizards are reputed to be…

  66. #34, Walt, I use a spray bottle that has ⅓ white vinegar, ⅔ water, a splash of Florida water, and a few spritzes of my favorite eau de toilette. It is for the toilet, after all har de har….

  67. Alvin#25
    I would add to your Vietnam and Afghanistan examples the US and Latin American wars of independence, though France obviously made a huge difference in the former. I would also include the independence struggles in Africa. In the end the cost to the militarily superior occupying power was greater than the benefit of staying. In Vietnam, for example, the less trained local forces also had a higher pain threshold.
    I don’t know enough to really comment, but might the Commanche holding back of the Spanish and then Mexicans been another example?

  68. @Jeff Russel re #63

    Thank you for the suggestions!! I’ll definitely look into that Community 🙂


  69. I have a question on planetary worship: how important is it to get the hour right? I’m planning to start invoking all seven planets on their respective days, and the ideal time for me to do it will not always line up with the planets’ hours. I’m hoping that getting the day right will be enough, especially to start with, but I’m not sure and would like to check.

  70. Dear JMG and commentariat,

    I am sharing a translation of my poem: in English it sounds different, a little clumsy, but I thought practice would make me good and the message might be communicated even in this form… I hope you will enjoy reading it!
    There is also a little synchronicity connected to it: I wrote it several years ago, translated it about two weeks ago and then upon reading the last week’s essay I decided to share it with you…

    With deep regards,

    I long

    I long to get to know the souls of Otherworlds
    Concealed in the skies, trees, dawn…
    So their lovely image by hands I form
    And then a tiny shimmer lasts in the palm.

    Perhaps I will never learn
    What the Dawn’s mind is humming
    With its time of honey
    When looking at me, shining.

    Even the roots of a tree hide something;
    And, perhaps, the tree knows the pallet of rainbows
    And, perhaps, it hears the bubbling of dew flows
    But I don’t know what the Other knows.

    Each soul, a world; each world, a realm,
    And we wonder forever
    Why the depths of the worlds cannot be reached by the traveller
    who sails their level.

    How I long to know the souls of beloved realms;
    They in the skies, trees, dawn, so much
    Greet me with the hope of peace, such
    As is born in the sacred touch.

  71. I must be guilty of reading JMG too long, but lately I can’t stand the term “Fermi Paradox.” I watch a lot of space/science content on Youtube, and the algorithm is constantly pushing videos on me to explain the “paradox” of why the galaxy isn’t swimming with various alien civilizations. It’s hardly, of course, a paradox, which means a contradiction in logic. There are any number of reasonable explanations for the lack of signs of aliens, but calling it a paradox betrays the fact that people are unwilling to question their illogical assumptions.

    It’s like a man who considers himself quite attractive asking a woman out, getting rejected, and saying to himself, “Harumph, what a paradox!” 🙂

  72. The extreme adherence to evolution theory embraced by scientific rationalists may stem from their insecurity. Sustaining the theory of evolution requires a certain number of people interested in the geological history spanning billions of years, an environment that perhaps only exists within the Faustian civilization. Newton’s three laws of motion will still be valued in engineering thousands of years later, but evolution theory itself lacks that potential. In fact, genetics and genetic engineering can operate without knowledge of dinosaurs or ammonite shells.

    Furthermore, the preservation and transmission of a civilization’s knowledge system usually involve a “fluid” state rather than a catastrophic and rapid disappearance or eternal existence. For example, the knowledge system of ancient Egypt ceased to be complete with the demise of the Egyptian civilization, yet remnants of it can still be found in modern mysticism and certain Middle Eastern traditions. This is also the fate of evolution theory. Firstly, evolution theory itself will gradually become knowledge learned only by a small group of highly intelligent individuals in the field of biology, and its proportion will decrease. The level of “detail” in the theory will diminish through rightful skepticism until it can be summarized on a single sheet of paper. It will be treated as myth alongside hundreds of other historical perspectives that have emerged in the past or will emerge in the future, stored in certain works of future civilizations, only to be lost in the next civilization. Of course, similar theories resembling modern evolution theory may reemerge in future civilizations, but that is a considerably challenging task.

  73. JMG, in part of your response to Tony, you said ” I make it a hard and fast rule never to spend as much as I earn”. If the value of those earnings in terms of what you have (IIRC) described as their ability to gain wealth/avoid ilth is diminishing, and as some have suggested (yourself too, maybe?) capitalism/the Empire/fiat currencies are likely to fail, can I ask why you adhere to that rule?

    It’s an approach that I too try to follow – on the whole successfully – but then I was definitely brought with the idea of ‘rainy day’ savings, so I’ve never really challenged the rational behind the habit. I’d be interested in knowing your reasoning, if you don’t mind my asking.

  74. Hi guys,

    Any thoughts on Rupert Sheldrake’s concept of “morphic resonance”?

  75. Respectfully, I’m curious why a druid such as yourself chooses to live in a concrete jungle surrounded by a failing culture? Shouldn’t you live closer to nature near a forest or mountains doing druidic things? As a writer I would think that all you need to make a living is a serviceable laptop and good internet connection, and that makes your range of options much wider than East Providence, R.I.

  76. Good day, JMG and commentariat.

    Today I’d like to share an idea that’s been intriguing me last week. I’ve come to see the spiritual bodies as an inherent property of the material body, even when the pagan tradition says it’s the other way. But let’s me proceed.
    As a property of the matter, there’s an example we all should know: velocity and acceleration. Velocity is the derivate of the position upon time. Positions of particles are usually what we can measure, velocity is what we infere when we measure positions in time. Acceleration is the same stuff done over velocity, a second time derivate of position.

    So, it came to me that my etheric body ‘might’ be to my physical body what velocity is to position: a property. But obviously, is not a time derivate (that’s what velocity is). After some reflection, I think it could be a derivate in experiences. So, if I could measure my physical body in every experience I’ve experienced, and derivate it, I’d obtain another function with a different shape, roughly occupying the same place but with a very different rate of variation.

    Derivates usually change less than the functions they come from. But my physical body experiences things much more often than my ethereal body, so probably I’ve started in the wrong direction. Maybe the ethereal body is the integral function of the physical body. Saying the same with discreet mathematics, the etheral body would be the result of the summation of all the experiences of the physical body. The mental body, then, the summation of all the experiences of the ethereal body. And we could go further to the next planes.

    A small line now. We can look at a particle and we can plot its position, its velocity or even its acceleration. If we know its position we can know its velocity. If we know its velocity, we can know how it changes its position, but not where exactly it is; for that, we need a reference point. Consequently, knowing your astral body gives you enough information for derivating the physical body (if you know you desire something strongly, you know how your physical body will react), but for the inverse operation you need a reference point. In other words, knowing your ethereal body requires you to watch your physical body in several different stages and crucially, glimpse your ethereal body in any stage. Maybe that’s why we need to remove from our conscience any trace of the physical body if we want to catch that glimpse. Maybe that’s why it is so hard to get above the mental plane and watch our bodies in the astral.

    Usually, derivate functions are more static, and they are bigger when the original functions change a lot. But there’s a special function which remains more or less similar upon derivatives: the wave function. A wave can be integrated or derivated and the result is another (slightly different) wave.
    Maybe that’s how our bodies are built. They are made of experiences that come (or are experienced) in the form of waves. Any event that we experience, it’s being experienced by the whole body, regardless on what plane it seems to be happening.

    My body is one, and I can look at some facets of it depending on the level of integrated experiences. Seen in this light, this opens a way for recognizing other beings with bodies like mine.

    I looked at a wooden pallet. It has a physical body, and it can have experiences. It tries to resist decay, keeps its atoms together against sunlight radiation and Earth gravity. It even has a very rough memory, seeing the marks of its planks. If it has a physical body and is able to experience, then it must have a ethereal body and a kind of mind, since they are just a summation of experiences. But the amount of experiences a wooden obect can have is rather dimsical, compared to any living being, so its mind is less than a draft of a mind.
    The reason this object is not alive is because it does not experience in cycles. Without cycles there is no renovation, no evolution, no reproduction, it simply decays and dies.
    Thank you wooden pallet, for the insights.

    Now I watch the park in front of my window, it has some trees and birds, is more alive than the pallet, and has more relationships with its environment. Considered as a whole, the park has a physical form. Some of its elements are alive, which already introduces a way to increase cyclic experiences, but the park itself gets quite a lot of cyclic experiences. So it’s not craziness to think that it has desires and that these desires are changing, evolving. I mean ‘noticeable’ desires, in opposition to the unnoticeable desires of the wooden pallet. It wants sun and water, and the park will let you know if it can’t get what it wants. But it also wants loud noises by the day, this is a weird park. I know because it happened during the lockdowns, when everything else was silent.
    Then the question is not if the park has a mind, but rather, if it has a mind powerful enough to be interacted. I’m not there yet.

    Now, all that discussion above is giving me an explanation for the method for developing the soul. It’s meant to develop on two basis: experiences and repetition. By increasing the type of experiences, I’m developing the soul and by rythmic repetition I’m increasing it in strenght up to its limits. Amazingly, it is exactly what physical exercising does to the body’s muscles.


  77. Almost died in a t-bone today. I got a green light and started through the intersection when I heard tires squealing and my first reaction was to hit the brakes. They went flying by inches away from my front bumper with nowhere else to go. I had been noticing signs of serious cognitive decline in traffic and have been practicing patience, but now it’s starting to feel like regular defensiveness is not enough. My new strategy is keep my head on a swivel out there and pretend everyone is drunk.

    BTW what’s a good way to thank your guardian angel?

  78. Hello JMG!
    Any chance you might feel like expressing some thoughts about human-sacrifice in past societies? It’s my understanding that most very ancient groups practiced some form of it, with perhaps Indic cultures an exception?
    Thank you for any insight you may have.

  79. Some years ago I read in a book about about the paranormal of an allegedly true episode. In the early 1920s in Hungary, a young woman in her early twenties suddenly changed personality. She could no longer speak Hungarian. She spoke Spanish in a dialect that was eventually identified as belonging to a working class district of Madrid. The young woman’s family asked her via an interpreter what was going on. She replied that she had been floating in space, when suddenly she found herself pulled into their daughter’s body. She apologised profusely and claimed that it had all happened outside of her control and against her will.

    It would have seemed logical to ask this woman exactly WHY she had been floating in space and what she had been doing beforehand. However, if anybody did ask her, it wasn’t mentioned in the book. Allegedly the woman learned Hungarian but could only ever speak it poorly. If I remember correctly, she eventually trained successfully to be an engineer. However, the woman’s family now regarded her as an impostor and would have nothing more to do with her.

    Apparently this case is “regarded” as a step-in or a “walk-in”, where a different soul occupies an existing body. Do you believe that this is a true phenomenon, JMG? If so, do you have any views on why it happens and in what circumstances?

  80. I laugh, despite the excellent arguments of A World Full of Gods, my knowing and experience of the reality these words from the Gospel of John point to remains as strong as ever – “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Oh well, as it says “The heart knows reasons that the mind knows not” And we can all be friends nonetheless.

  81. What is your opinion of the late Sai Baba of India, JMG? Was he a fraud or was he genuine? If genuine, was he was a mage or actually a modern avatar? Among other things, he was said to be able to materialise objects, and if true, whether he from created them from nothing or transported them by psychokinesis is unknown. In fact, I’d love to see you do a blog post about modern-day avatars, JMG, if indeed they exist.

  82. Will O: I can unreservedly recommend “Chi’s Sweet Home” (manga and anime). It’s about a lost kitten who finds a home with a new family–which lives in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. Hilarity, of course, ensues, but there are also touching moments, particularly around missing family and friends. It’s kawaii as all get-out, and if your child likes cats she should enjoy it; hopefully she won’t think it’s too young for her. Though it’s entirely suitable for children (there’s a small amount of potty, or rather litterbox, humor) the manga was originally serialized in a seinen (young men’s) magazine.

  83. On the F-16 being much in the news, it’s a fine example of diminishing returns. It’s still in use because it still works and nothing is really that much better. An F-16 easily out fought an F-35 in a dogfight. Why? Physics hasn’t changed lately. Since the F-16 pushed the limits of what aerodynamics allowed when it was built, it still pushes the limits today.

    The electronics have been upgraded, the engine has improved because metallurgy has gotten better, but over all it’s the same plane. The F-14, F-15, and the Russian and Chinese equivalents all look similar because they all bound by the rules of the physics. If you haven’t noticed all newer passenger planes also look alike.

    What will change aircraft design is remote control. Once there is no pilot to pass out in every hard turn new designs will be practical.

    Speaking of aircraft, I see Macron wants to ban short-haul air travel, saying basically take the train. The French PMC is in an uproar of course, their CO2 emissions do not cause global warming 😉

  84. Good day fine sir,

    I have been wondering about allegations I’ve come across of H.P. Blavatsky and plagiarism.
    Have you heard, or do you know, or agree with such a thing?
    Is she a plagiarist for taking ancient and memorialized works and compiling and contrasting them together into something new and unique? Personally I find her work compelling and quite helpful.
    Am I missing something?

    Thanks again!

    bTw: not sure if this got through last time I commented, but your latest appearance on Kunstler was a good one.

    “Reason has hard limits, and most the world slipped right through its grasp”


    Peak reason.

  85. A question on behalf of a young relative who is interested in the occult and would like to get the opinion of experienced occultists about something that has been bugging him lately:

    What do you (JMG and whoever else feels called to answer) think about the „mummy‘s curse“, especially with regards to the deaths and incidencents around Tutankhamun‘s tomb?

    Do you reckon this was just pure chance and/or bad luck? Or some „natural“ causes (e.g. toxic fungi)? Or do you think there were some „occult“ causes involved?



    (If anybody happens to have recommendations for good occult books which deal with subjects like this, or other „weird“ phenomena, and which are popular enough that they might have been translated into German, there might be some interest into that as well…)

  86. @Clarke aka Gwydion #71,
    (And also waving at @Alex #3 who put forward this question initially – hoping that he will notice your reply)

    Thanks a _lot_! This is extremely helpful.

    I don‘t mind long books or complex texts, btw, as long as their content is worthwhile. 😉

    @Anonymous #75:

    Christopher Warnock is working with the planets a lot, and it was either in one of his texts or in a video where he said that he used to bother about the exact hour, but he isn‘t doing this anymore. His reasoning was that he‘d rather do something less than perfect which he can hold up over time, and have the effects accumulate, than something perfect which he won‘t be able to do in the long run, because it‘s too much of a burden.

    He also said that from his experience, regular planetary worship has subtle, but very noticeable effects even when it‘s not done on the hour (maybe a bit subtler then, but with less stress and more doable, see above).

    That struck me as a very sound approach… 🙂


  87. Re-enchantment and limits seem to go together.

    The following link is to a review of the book “The Uncontrollabilty of the World” and the blurb below is from the publisher:

    “The driving cultural force of that form of life we call ‘modern’ is the desire to make the world controllable. Yet it is only in encountering the uncontrollable that we really experience the world – only then do we feel touched, moved and alive. A world that is fully known, in which everything has been planned and mastered, would be a dead world.”

    From the article:

    “For Rosa, as for many others, the modern project at its core is the transgression of limits in pursuit of control. Most modernity critics argue that what is lost in this pursuit is the wide range of essential goods that can only be enjoyed when limits are respected. Rosa does too, and his own catalog of loss stands out for its concreteness”

    It seems like some of this stuff might be useful in the quest for reenchantment.

  88. @Anonymous #75: The planetary deities are people, not robots. Do the best you can—day & hour if you can manage it, day if you can’t—and don’t worry. They respect your making your best effort! (Pay attention, too, if various planet-related things start showing up in your life…)

    @Aloysius #85: I like lighting some incense (frankincense is traditional, but I’m allergic to it, so I use sandalwood), pouring them and myself a glass of something nice (undiluted wine is traditional, but really anything you appreciate is fine), and sit down and enjoy a drink and conversation with them.

  89. Another question on my own behalf, if I may – I‘d appreciate your input, JMG, and that of anybody else who‘d like to reply:

    I wanted to broaden my horizon a bit, and since Franz Bardon kept on coming up, I‘ve skimmed his Introduction to Hermetics to get a feel for the course, the differences to your courses, etc.

    What struck me while reading was the way he treats ethics and morals. At the beginning of the course, the budding mage is expected to work through all his strengths and weaknesses and somehow get them into balance – but from then on, it is somehow assumed that the mage will only ever want to do what is right and proper and to everybody‘s highest good etc.

    However, it seems to be up to the mage himself to determine what that might be. I.e. there is no mentioning of consent, even with workings which are supposed to erase somebody else‘s bad memories (only to their own good, so they won‘t have to suffer from them anymore).

    Now, it‘s quite possible that Bardon was assuming consent as a given and didn‘t even see the necessity to mention it (and my sincere apologies if I got him wrong there).

    But all this got me thinking… „inner work“ (like the OSA work and similar things) can help one to come to terms with a lot of things, e.g. fears, prejudices, anger, …

    There is one thing, though, which is more tricky, and that‘s the kind of „spriritual arrogance“ which Bardon‘s text seems to display: „I know better than other people what‘s good for them, or for the world as a whole, and hence I‘ll pursue that with or without consent.“

    The tricky thing about this is that the inner work which is a prerequisite to dealing with these kind of things, is at the same time like kindling to a flame: „I‘ve worked through all my issues/done more inner work than other people, hence I know even better what‘s good for them and for the world.“ I.e. the more occult work one does, the more of an issue this might become.

    The obvious two ways to approach this are a. constantly being aware of this trap, and b. forcing oneself to insist on informed consent with dogged determination, whatever one does.

    But both of these rely on willpower, and I recognise a slippery slope when I see one… („I‘ll just do this tiny magical thing for him/her, that‘s ok, it‘s in their best interest, etc etc“).

    So… What are your strategies, practices, … to deal with your own potential for spiritual arrogance?


  90. Curt #21

    I too have noticed many of the same qualities in my colleagues/friends/families here in California, USA. It seems that many people do believe in the religion of progress, even if they are considered alternative to the mainstream. I have also found a lot of the woke virus in the occult scene, especially here on the west coast where we seem to be an incubator for a lot of bad ideas that are then spread east nationally and then globally.

    One data point to add to your observations:
    I have noticed that people have lost the ability to communicate. Face-to-face, I have noticed that people are constantly fidgeting or lose the ability to complete a thought, or awkwardly end their sentence and leave. In writing, well, I have come to the conclusion that the ability is mostly lost amongst the majority of the population as the act itself requires one to slow down their thinking and wrestle from out from within what they are actually trying to get across. It appears to me that most people don’t have a point to actually get out (thanks to the mind control) or that they haven’t sat with the idea long enough to articulate.

    I do have a question for you: what are the inherent contradictions that you noticed in country living? Your comment about being thirty+ and not having much to offer…do you think there is an unfair age disparity between those of us born earlier who got the memo about the age of decline versus those of us 30 or less?

  91. Hi JMG, and all. Have you ever used Mexican Loteria cards? I bought a deck, and tried some simple Tarot layouts. The results have been interesting, to say the least. The images and traditional symbolism is simpler than traditional tarot, which is OK with me.

  92. @A Knotty Moose, casting theological fine points aside, I am of the mind that wherever we witness an act of compassion–whether it be undertaken by a monotheist, polytheist, henotheist, atheist, or other–we behold the Incarnation of the Logos. When all fully recognize this, when the law of caritas becomes incarnate in every heart, the kingdom shall be restored.

    (FWIW, I, too, veer toward the henotheist side of things, recognizing that a plurality of spiritual entities are out there…this is likely how most Christians regarded the world in the early centuries of the faith.)

    “In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.” — St. John of the Cross


  93. John –

    A little idea popped into my mind and I was wondering at your thoughts. In the deindustrial future you imagine, do you think we could see little meccas of abundance spring up around places like the great hydroelectric dams? Or do you think the costs of such items only work when spread across a large industrial civilization?

  94. John–

    What do you see as the nature and purpose of suffering? I’m wrestling with some questions around that point right now.

  95. #35 Roe, congratulations on your prestigious new position! I have a TikTok channel called White Witch of the Prairie that is meant to share whatever I can with newbie occultists. Though I always have about a zillion ideas, it can be hard to distill them into little “presentations”. Feel free to pilfer the channel for ideas: I am the last person who is going to get butthurt over copyright. I would be honored though if you briefly credit me or use one of my videos in a presentation.

    Here are some topics you might turn into presentations, talkbacks, and workshops. Please don’t hesitate to hit me up at my blog, or with a PM to k steele studio gmail if you want to pick my brain.

    Herbal lore and medicine throughout the ages
    What are the subtle planes?
    Getting better sleep/ Preventing night terrors with natural magic
    A brief Hoodoo primer
    How to talk with non-embodied beings
    How to do the Tree Energy Exchange (How to talk to trees)
    Ethics of prayer
    Fun natural magic for kids, such as making a moon phase wall hanging (paper and yarn), a God’s eye, making a basic salt amulet or a play magic wand
    Ghosts and the Second Death
    Types of non-embodied beings
    Understanding the unseen world as an ecosystem
    Why it’s a bad idea to take your own life
    What is Ogham?

  96. The comments I made about physics not changing jogged my memory and that led to this, one bit of physics that may well have changed by a few parts per million over the last 9 billion years.

    1/137 seems to be very important in this universe (or plane of existence if you prefer.)

    From the article;
    “Richard Feynman, one of the originators and early developers of the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED), referred to the fine-structure constant in these terms:

    There is a most profound and beautiful question associated with the observed coupling constant, e – the amplitude for a real electron to emit or absorb a real photon. It is a simple number that has been experimentally determined to be close to 0.08542455. (My physicist friends won’t recognize this number, because they like to remember it as the inverse of its square: about 137.03597 with an uncertainty of about 2 in the last decimal place. It has been a mystery ever since it was discovered more than fifty years ago, and all good theoretical physicists put this number up on their wall and worry about it.)”

    Immediately you would like to know where this number for a coupling comes from: is it related to pi or perhaps to the base of natural logarithms? Nobody knows. It’s one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no understanding by humans. ”

    The current accepted value is 137.035999206 with an uncertainty of 11 in the last two digits.

    It’s still unexplained.

  97. Jake;

    The big hydro electric dams require big supporting infrastructure. Those turbines are huge. The big hydro dams might be the last stand of heavy industry. But in the end lack of parts and materials to make parts will be the end of them.

    Smaller dams though, are a different matter. A couple months ago I was in Idaho’s Magic Valley. There are several smaller dams on the Snake River, and an irrigation system based mostly on gravity flow. An oasis of smaller scale industry seems feasible there.

    If you look at Google Earth or some other mapping package (Apple maps works is you turn on the satellite view) you can follow the river from the American Falls dam all the way to Marsing and see the dams and diversions.

  98. There is a group on Facebook called “Milk the Weed” which is usually pretty good, however somebody there is from the Midwest (USA) with some, in my opinion, weird attitudes about how the prairie should not have trees. As in, the Shelterbelt ought not exist at all because it wasn’t there when the first white settlers got there or something like that. She also said that when she went to the coast and saw trees around she felt claustrophobia, in a completely misplaced attempt in getting sympathy from me.

    I said, “I want to hear more about the dust storms. Tell me about the dust storms.”

    A dust storm of sorts had just touched Washington, DC. (Who would notice with all of the pollen? But I noticed since it looked like ashes. It wasn’t that typical pine tree yellow of pollen.)

    Have you heard of Valley Fever?
    I wonder if Valley Fever can travel with those dust storms? Modern doctors are so weirdly reluctant to diagnose somebody as having a fungal problem, probably because that’s not where the big-money medicines are. Doctors get incentives to prescribe certain drugs like the newest anti-biotic. I’m sure I don’t have to tell the commentariat that.

    They’d rather diagnose somebody with psoriasis than with scabies for instance. I’ve seen it done. When scabies was what the patient had.

    I also wonder if I’d fall in love with the prairie if I went there, and say that there should be no trees there. I’m from the east coast (USA) and I’ve traveled extensively, but always to other places with extensive forests. Except Spain, and I spent the whole time there mentally planting more shade trees.

    Anyway, I thought “tell me about the dust storms” was a pretty good response for a lot of things.

  99. Anonymous, the planetary hours are useful in magic; they’re not particularly important in worship, which belongs to religion rather than magic. By all means choose a time to invoke the planets that works for you, and then stick with it.

    Markéta, thank you for this!

    Zak, oh, it’s a paradox all right — just not the way they see it. These are intelligent people; they’re being faced every day by hard evidence that the Star Trek future they all believe in will never happen — and yet all they can do is blink and mumble vaguely about why that evidence can’t mean what it obviously means. That’s quite a paradox! 😉

    林龜儒, excellent! Yes, exactly. The whole obsession with making sure that current scientific theory endures into the far future is rooted in one of the weirder features of the myth of progress — according to that myth, our current ideas are supposedly much better than those of the past, but don’t you dare suggest that five centuries from now our ideas will be laughed at the way we laugh at the notions of the Middle Ages! I’m coming to see the myth of modernity as a crucial factor in the way people think these days; yes, there’s going to be a post on that soon.

    M, over the middle to long term fiat currencies will lose all their value. My life, however, isn’t lived in the middle to long term — I have rent to pay and groceries to buy every month, and so having plenty of extra funds available in case of disruptions is a really good idea. It’s quite possible that it’ll all be worthless by the time I die, but who knows? I’m sixty years old, and it’s quite possible that some iteration of the dollar may hang on to some of its value for the next thirty years or so.

    Russell, Sheldrake’s work is among the best attempts to bridge experimental science with the insights of occult philosophy. What he’s talking about and what Dion Fortune talked about in The Cosmic Doctrine are the same things.

    Joshua, it’s a common misconception that nature only exists in the wilderness, and it’s another common misconception that “druidic things” can only be done out in the woods. I don’t live in a concrete jungle; I live in a small city, population 47,000, where trees are everywhere and the oldest of them are twice as tall as the houses. I’ve watched wild rabbits, foxes, and skunks in my backyard, and bald eagles and great blue herons are among the local bird population. There are many, many urban places like this — if you’re interested, Tom Brown’s Field Guide to the Forgotten Wilderness is a fine book on learning to see the presence of nature in urban settings. As for druidic things, if druidry isn’t relevant in an urban setting it’s not relevant at all, because nature is everywhere, the gods are everywhere, and the challenges of attuning to the One Life are the same in a city as they are in the depths of a forest.

    Keep in mind also, on a purely practical note, that rural internet access is already starting to become very problematic in parts of the United States. As the decline of our society accelerates, I expect that to become much more of an issue. It’s also the case that my wife has chronic health issues and has certain dietary needs that are difficult to meet outside of urban regions. We all make our choices based on many factors, and those are among the issues I keep in mind.

    Abraham, it’s a very common ploy of materialists to try to make matter the foundation of all things and derive spirit from matter in one way or another. That way of thinking conforms to the prejudices of modern industrial civilization, so of course it’s always popular. It doesn’t interest me — but of course your mileage may vary, and if that works for you, by all means.

    Chuaquin, I want to see them change their own lifestyles. Until they do that, it’s just a gimmick to attract attention and grant money.

    David BTL, thanks for this.

    Aloysius, good heavens. I’m glad you got through it intact! Prayer is always good, and you can burn a little incense — frankincense was traditional in classical times for prayer to what they then called one’s guardian genius. (Yes, that word meant a kind of spirit before it took on its current meaning.)

    Jill C., every society puts people to death in one way or another. We sacrifice 40,000 lives a year in the US to the great god Automobile, for example. Ancient peoples tended to frame more of their actions in religious terms than we do, so (for example) when the ancient Celts executed criminals, they did it by way of human sacrifice.

    Batstrel, that does seem to happen from time to time. It’s one of the odder pathologies of the dying process — a soul that has been suddenly thrust out of its body, by way of sudden accidental death, can sometimes end up in a different body if that one’s been vacated but remains capable of life.

    Moose, er, you do realize, don’t you, that this all sounds as though you’re trying to convince yourself?

    Batstrel, I have no idea. I don’t keep track of the guru circuit.

    Siliconguy, it’s the same reason we’re still using B-52s and the Russians are still using Tu-8s. They do the job, and innovation in that end of aircraft design has reached the point of zero returns.

    Travis, it all depends on what people mean by plagiarism, of course. It was still quite common in Blavatsky’s time to create that kind of synthesis of existing books — Albert Pike’s famous Morals and Dogma of the Scottish Rite is another example. The change in fashion that ruled that habit out of bounds hasn’t made the books any less useful.

    Milkyway, I have no idea. Since I don’t expect ever to dig up a pharaoh’s tomb, I haven’t looked into it.

    Justin, good heavens. Once again I seem to have been ahead of the curve:

    “Exactly,” said Nyarlathotep. “The members of the Radiance know that, too. They know that in order to control the cosmos, they would have to reduce it to a hollow shell of itself, stripped of everything that gives your species happiness. They tell themselves that it doesn’t matter, that their grand dream is too important to be hindered by such trifles, but of course it does matter — and that’s why they hunt down the sacred things of my masters with such frantic hatred. They want nothing to exist on this little Earth to remind anyone how full of life this world was before the Radiance arose, and how full of life it will be again once the Radiance is no more — nothing to remind them that all their efforts can accomplish is to make the world a little emptier and a little more barren than it would have been.”

    The Seal of Yueh Lao

    Glad to hear the same idea getting a little more exposure.

    Milkyway, that’s why I treat the requirement for consent as an unyielding rule. More generally, that’s why I keep myself aware of my own limitations, and reflect on my own capacity for cluelessness.

    Dana, I haven’t tried them, but I’ve met people who use them and get good results.

    Jake, that’ll be an important feature in some regions and some stages of the decline. The great challenge is that hydroelectric dams aren’t eternal — they silt up, and the equipment that allows them to generate power also suffers from wear and tear. Over time, one after another, those oases of electricity will go dark. My guess is that the last of them will flicker out around the time the deindustrial dark ages begin.

    David BTL, suffering is the sharp edge of the Law of Limitation. It’s there to make us pay attention.

    Siliconguy, I’ve wondered more than once if the laws of nature are actually just habits…

    Pesci, I can imagine someone with serious claustrophobia getting bent out of shape by trees! Still, asking about the dust storms sounds like a good response.

  100. Someone was asking about a good astrology book. I acquired one that is packed full of valuable information. No silly pop nonsense. I knew the author and he was truly a great sage. “The Wisdom and Way of Astrology” by Goswami Kriyananda. Planets, signs, ascendants, rulers. Spinning the chart, delineation, calculations, prenatal lunar conjunctions, and more.
    Punky Little Kid

  101. @JMG,

    Thanks for the replies – although it‘s a shame you can‘t say more about the mummy‘s curse. Somebody close to me might be quite disappointed by the fact that you don‘t know _everything_ about the occult… 😉


  102. @Jake & all,

    Not JMG obviously, but I thought I’d share a vision I had about places like Niagra Falls:

    These places with natural waterfalls (and perhaps manmade dams) could be used to power some of our deindustrial future communications infrastructure.

    Imagine DJ Jose Niagra spinning his stacks of wax out over an AM or shortwave clear channel and reaching far and wide, powered by hydroelectric. Picture the Deindustrial Radio Theater Players coming on to the airwaves to entertain families from Schenectady to Toledo, from the shores of Nashville to the coast of Thunder Bay with their program “The Imaginational Aquarian Aquarium”. The host speaks into the microphone. “From the far flung horizons of and the Earths many futures come transcribed tales of low-tech living. These are stories of the future; adventures where the limits of the world are faced without fear by the human imagination.”

    At home little Teo and his sister Sakura sit enraptured next to the radio while grandpa lights his corncob pipe, and ma, dad and aunt Florene play a game of three sided chess.

    After that program the next installment of the radio adaptation of Ariel Moravec, Occult Detective.

    ( It’s an image I’m personally fond of ; ) )

    Their have been electric companies doing work on the Niagra river since the 1850s and it being used, with various degrees of power output, since 1861. These places could indeed be used for such things as radio and communications centers, as well as any kind of manufacturing that might use the larger amount of electricity they might provide.

    But I’m no engineer and I’m not sure how much the level of electricity produced by such a place would be reduced during the process of deindustrialization. That would of course determine the scope of projects involving hydroelectric power.

  103. Larkrise #41, I went to a shaman and had a soul retrieval done (in Osset of all places – near Leeds-Bradford Airport). It didn’t make any radical change to my life but a lingering health problem was gone the next day.

    The shaman had done her training with the British version of Michael Harner’s organisation, which is often disparaged as being lightweight. But she’d previously had a for-real shamanic initiation when a seance had taken a turn for the extreme. The training came later to learn to deal with the new world she’s been dropped into.

  104. Hereward, I don’t know if that makes you feel better, but the dates of the Saturn-Neptune you quoted make me think of dissolutions of empires rather than mass deaths (Austrian-Hungarian and Tsarist in 1917, British and French in the years around 1952, communist in 1989).

  105. Since pathologies of death came up: I heard about a woman (whom I know personally, but she didn’t tell me what follows, a common friend did): she believes that by way of some African magic, during a period of high fever, the soul of an African woman was transplanted into her, and since then lives there alongside her own soul. That second soul inspires paintings, the woman does, and allegedly she could feel emotional development corresponding to that soul’s age (as if the date of transplantation was her birth, and, say, three years later she would behave like a little child). Have you ever heard of such a thing, and do you think it’s possible?

  106. Milkyway #94, there’s a book by Atul Gawande called The Checklist Manifesto about using checklists to keep track of everything and safely operate complex and dangerous systems. It was developed primarily for aviation and I was thinking back if people had done anything similar further back in history. I landed on Ancient Egypt – they wrote your after-death checklist on the inside of your coffin. If one of those items was ‘If anyone messes with my tomb, may they be devoured by crocodiles’ – well, pilots usually remember to set the flaps and lower the landing gear, don’t they? 🙂

  107. I have been working hard at decreasing the frequency of when I check in on the current rate of decline the world is taking on its way to “something completely different”.

    I think that the best I ever did at keeping an even keel on the relationship between my day to day life and having sufficient knowledge of the big boys and their antics was back in the 90’s. I read the Economist every week and Foreign Affairs every quarter. The Christian Science Monitor was a force back then, with as good a reportage as anyone. I got the Nation for keeping an eye on the lefties and The National Review for keeping an eye on the right.

    I got out of the habit of this in the last decade or so. I got caught up in the immediacy and the feigned urgency of the Internet. I gotta stop that. I think that standing away from the computer screen and actually reading things on paper will be tons better for my mental health.

    So, my question for JMG and my fellow readers, what print journals (NOTHING, But nothing online) does anyone know about or can recommend for keeping a weather eye on the world?

    Don’t limit your suggestions to politics. If you can think of a printed periodical that gives good coverage of a subject that is important to you, please let me know.

    JMG: I hope you don’t mind me asking here, but you have a couple more readers than I do and I hope you don’t take offense at my cheekiness.

    I’m over at if you don’t what to answer here

  108. Hi JMG,
    I have been reading your new book, The Witch of Chriswell. It’s a very good book, and I am reading it slowly so I can enjoy it longer. However I have noticed a number of sentences with small problems such as wrong words inserted, etc., that a good proofreader should be able to take care of. I worked as a proofreader for several years in NYC. If you do another such book, I would be happy to proofread it for you, with no charge.

  109. Hi John,

    Perhaps it is too early to speculate but who do you think will be the GOP nominee for President?

  110. The Bud Light free-fall continues as Anheuser-Busch desperately tries to get sales back up by offering deep discounts and even free cases of beer. Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to work. The damage has already been done and there are a lot of people fed up with Woke politics who are looking for an easy target they can take out their anger on.

    Speaking of targets, it looks like the retail store chain by that name has turned itself into the next Anheuser-Busch. We are going to see a lot more of this as more and more people strike back against cancel culture lynch mobs, Woke crybullies, radical Trans activists, and others from the far left by voting with their wallets.

    Like the saying goes, get Woke, go broke!

  111. “Abraham, it’s a very common ploy of materialists to try to make matter the foundation of all things and derive spirit from matter in one way or another.”

    I started by the matter because it is what I can observe. But that long disertation was to come to the idea that all the bodies in all the planes are a manifestation of the same thing, just seen in a different plane.
    Take a particle as an example. If it is big enough, you start looking at its position, then derive the other properties. But if you take a very small particle, then you might measure its energy instead, which relates to velocity.
    What I mean is that it doesn’t matter what you measure, it’s the same particle. It just looks different when seen at a different level.

    I am not saying that matter comes first, then spirit forms from it. I am thinking about the possibility that it all forms at once. The same as a particle which has position, velocity and acceleration all of them at once from the moment it exists.

    Well, this comes in contradiction with the idea of a soul that can be detached from the physical body, at least with the lower self. Maybe there’s a greater self who is able to leave a mark in the cosmos, and whose physical manifestation exceeds the physical limits of the lower self.
    Another difficult thing to explain with this theory is beings who have no physical manifestation to our knowledge.

  112. To Mr. Greer, et al.,

    Has anyone read Soren Kierkegaard’s “Purity of Heart Is To Will One Thing”? Is it related at all to magic?

  113. I talked with my guardian genius and they let me know it was because of your practice of discipline that I’m not in the hospital or dead, and they specifically wanted me to thank you for putting your work out there that has helped me and so many others. Thank you very much. I am so grateful to be alive and healthy right now.

    Backstory: I was behind a passive aggressive driver who had been blocking traffic for quite a while and missed the light because of them. In my head I was struggling to not get blamey and stay relaxed, but it’s something I’ve been practicing for a while so it’s a lot easier than it used to be. As a result I started into the intersection normally instead of taking out my frustration by driving more aggressively, and that left just enough space for the red light runner to pass between me and the center divider.

  114. Hey JMG and commentariat

    I have been pondering upon a social fault which as far as I’m aware of has no name, but is something that everyone has seen at least once.
    I’m sure you’ve experienced and read of situations in which one person tries to convince or coerce another into providing charity to someone or some cause despite them being equally or more able to provide support and clearly more interested in seeing it happen than the people they try to convince to do it instead. A lot of very rich people, King Charles for instance, have given speeches exhorting people to commit charity to the less fortunate, yet don’t realise that they are in a far better position to be charitable than the poorer people they talk to.

    I’ve decided to call this phenomenon “Charity by proxy.”

    I want to ask you, JMG and commentariat, if you know of any good examples of this phenomenon, and if you know of anyone who has written about it in general?

  115. Hi JMG,

    I am in awe of how many “causes” want our attention. Pride Month approaches, and with it the expectation that those who value it must be affirmed by everyone. “I do not care” is not an option, it would seem. In spite of the Bud Light fiasco, Target pushed ahead with their trans-friendly kiddie collection. North Face has a drag spokesperson cavorting in the Great Outdoors. One of our local independent bookstores proudly sponsors an in-house fund to help women pay for abortions. So many people, with so many hobbyhorses, which they seem to assume others want to ride. I do not. I suspect most people do not. Rather than tune this sort of thing out, as I once routinely did, I find my indifference changing to hostility.

    This worries me a bit. I don’t want to see violent pushback, but by gosh, if I’m honest, a part of me would not mind…

    Any sense of when this collective craziness hits the wall? And what collective craziness may take its place? There is no guarantee that it will be an “improved” craziness, of course.

    My evolving strategy is to do my best to keep my head down, and quietly support what I most value.


  116. No, describing my process as I encounter God in experience. Anyway that’s my take on it.

  117. In what passes for a local paper here, there was an article on how more than a 5th of all the state of Oregon Job positions are unfilled. I lived in Salem ( the state capital) for 25 years and most of my friends and neighbors worked for the state government. The pay was not the highest but it full benefits including a retirement pension, and in those days Salem was a cheap place to live and an ordinary state job would get you a house, car and all the trappings.
    But now with inflation and dwindling state retirement benefits there is not much attraction. The right ( to pick on republicans for a change) often imagines a future of big brother on every street corner with legions of government bureaucrats and flunkies micromanaging every aspect of your life. What is looking more likely is that as the empire winds down no one in the government will answer the phone and when you go to the capital the lights will be off and the doors locked.

  118. Those unfamiliar with the dry jargon-y prose of scientific journals may find the parody style annoying, but I found this to be a humorous and apt analysis of the various strategies to ignore or deny our present predicament:

    “A Species-level Taxonomic Treatment of the Phalse Prophets with Hypotheses on their Origin and Evolution”

  119. Hello everyone,

    I have been a practicing pagan for three years and a student of mystic philosophy for two. Nonetheless I find it important to stay humble and keep an open mind, which for me means periodically attempting to engage with abrahamic theology. At this stage, it appears to me that there is really only one issue that fully stands in the way of reconciliation and friendly mutual respect: their demonology and its referential relationship to ancient polytheism.

    I find monism and henotheism to be agreeable enough. There is also much to respect and even preserve in angel-cult and saint-cult. And Jesus as an initiatory model and as perhaps a teacher from “gwynfydd,” to borrow a term you’ve used before, is also agreeable and integratable. Jewish mysticism does not seem far off the mark, nor does muslim esoterica and much of their ethics. Yet over and over again things seem to inevitably be fouled by that one bible passage, “all the gods of the gentiles are demons,” and all of its subsequent fallout in all the derived systems.

    What is most specifically perplexing to me is the resulting christian idea of demons being so deceitful and crafty that they are able to fabricate positive religious experiences for the purpose of entrapping someone, even going so far as impersonating jesus and quoting scripture. This belief has become incredibly load-bearing for christians as it is their best way of discounting contradictory accounts of religious experiences and especially of NDE’s experienced by non christians as still being warm and forgiving.

    I am aware of the painfully human, contingent, historical manipulation of scripture over its slow accumulation between 1000 bc and 300 ad, and that safeguards against syncretism and integration were felt to be necessary by its creators, first from a hebrew nationalist motive, then from an end times purity cult motive, and finally from an imperial motive. Yet I do not want to hastily dismiss the described experiences of many saints who found themselves tormented and tempted by evil spirits and especially those who describe instances discerning that a seemingly positive religious experience was a deception by an evil spirit. For example, one orthodox saint is supposed to have been visited by an apparition of jesus, yet rebuked the vision with the logic that he did not deserve it, and made the sign of the cross and spat at the apparition.

    Now if we, for the sake of discussion, preclude the possibility that these were fabricated as morality myths, what should we make of such experiences? Of course they are spun in a way to encourage orthodoxy, but they also serve a positive purpose in promoting humility and shunning a hubristic interpretation of “peak experiences” or of miraculous or magical workings. But I am most interested in the experiential basis for these occurrences, and especially in knowing whether similar phenomena have occurred for practitioners of other systems – this is important because the christian supposition is that this rebuke of demonic deception *cannot* happen to non-christians because they are already deeply involved in a whole system of demonic deceptions. I have not come across similar stories in western polytheist and philosophical sources. I am also not broadly enough read in hindu and buddhist sources to know if similar phenomena are reported, so if you or anyone here knows of such stories I am eager to hear them. The temptation of Buddha by Mara may be comparable, but again that is from the mythic account and I am looking for something more along the lines of a later monk or practitioner’s recorded experience.

    If I were to apply the “occam’s razor” supplied by my own religious system, I would in fact hazard a guess that christians are uniquely beset by devils either because they attract them by their belief in and fear of them or else because yahweh is himself a petty and grossly overfed national daimon. I may even be inclined to interpret the above mentioned anecdote of that saint to instead be a closed or contracting soul rejecting divine contact out of fear. If demons, in your own system, are so often themselves using your holiest symbols, then perhaps you need to reconsider the real origins of those symbols. No giant can use Zeus’ thunderbolt.

    I believe this is a very important phenomenon to address as this fear of or belief in the ubiquity of religious deception by demons is *absolutely the one lynch pin* currently keeping christianity from being positively integrated with the developing holistic and positivistic cosmologies. We must examine it as deeply, fully, and fairly as possible, because there are only two options that can come of such investigation: If these accounts are true, accurate, correctly interpreted by the tradition, *and* are exclusive to christians and perhaps even exclusively Nicene christians, then they constitute the single most compelling possible argument that christian orthodoxy is in fact the true and best path for humans. In the interest of humility, inquiry, and devotion to truth, I am prepared to accept that conclusion if it is supported. But if such an argument cannot be supported, and specifically if:

    a) the traditional/theurgic conceptions of cacodaimons as an unpleasant but cosmologically necessary and hygienic force can be supported by both logical argument and attestation from experience (though this also necessitates departure from the short time horizon and temporal linearity of orthodoxy)

    b)it is documented that non-Abrahamic practitioners have also encountered and overcome demons, perhaps especially in the context of these demons impersonating positive powers (I am aware of an episode involving Iamblichus interrupting a group which believed it was communing with Apollo but was in fact simply hosting a seance with a dead gladiator)

    then we may have to conclude that christian demonological doctrine is in fact profoundly evil, that it unnecessarily summons cacodaimons to practitioners and plays out a sort of good cop bad cop routine and instills “stockholm syndrome” or “trauma bonding.”

    If it is a doctrine borne out of utilitarian consideration rather than on the basis of true experiences, then it would seem to be an effective – perhaps excessively effective – firewall around “normies'” exercise of psychical awareness. Admittedly it may be best for the masses to remain insulated from most psychical strangeness. But to hold to that insulation as a matter of dogmatic, rather than teleological, importance, will certainly in the long run open a society to more malefic influence as I believe can be witnessed by the protestant revolution that very much modeled the 19c rationalist revolution and then the 20c materialist one.

    I look forward to any insights from experience or from known sources. For what it’s worth, I have my own small and not particularly significant anecdote – years ago, I suffered from occasional sleep paralysis in the mornings of course accompanied by the sense of a malefic presence which many are familiar with. At this time I was spiritually undecided. Though it is hazy, as far as I can recall mental prayers to Thor or Heracles in these times yielded relief more consistently and more quickly than a mental recitation of the Jesus prayer or any unformulaic appeal to Jesus. Of course ultimately it was addressing certain emotional and physical imbalances, as well as leaving that very old apartment building, which made the episodes cease altogether, so I do not consider this a bulletproof datapoint.

  120. Milkyway, the person in question will have to get used to that, since there’s quite a bit about the occult I don’t know!

    Njura, interesting. I don’t happen to know whether that’s possible or not, but I’m not going to argue with your friend’s lived experience.

    Degringolade, I think it’s an excellent idea, but I don’t currently follow the print media much so will have to hand this over to my readers.

    Lydia, er, thanks for the offer — but did you notice that you misspelled “Criswell”?

    Peter, it’s way too early to say.

    Platypus, I think part of it is that a lot of people tried something else, realized that Bud Light tastes like stale butt sweat, and aren’t going back no matter how much groveling Anheuser-Busch does. Yes, I’ve also been watching the absurdities at Target. I think a lot of people have had it with the woke virtue-signaling industry and boycotts are a convenient way for them to express an opinion.

    Abraham, hmm! Okay, then I gather I misunderstood you.

    Ray, it’s been a while since I last read any Kierkegaard, and I don’t remember that essay at all. I’ll have to take a look at it as time permits.

    Aloysius, you’re welcome and thank you.

    J.L.Mc12, hmm! That’s a very good point. I haven’t seen much discussion of it in print, but you’re right that it’s a very common bad habit. It’s also a political habit — think of all those people who want everyone else to cut down on their fossil fuel use but won’t give up their overseas vacations by jet…

    Chris, yes, I saw that. The gift that just keeps on giving!

    Ottergirl, I won’t argue. Virtue signaling as a badge of loyalty to the corporate establishment is pervasive these days. I don’t know how soon it’ll crash, but I’m sorry to say that when it does there will probably be a swing to the opposite extreme.

    Clay, that’s fascinating. If they can’t even keep bureaucrats happy, the left is in real trouble…

    Mark, ha! That looks very funny indeed.

    Toby, I think you’ve set yourself quite an interesting research project. It’s not a subject I’ve researched in detail. If you read the literature of modern ceremonial magic you’ll find quite a bit of discussion of the potential activities of deceptive spirits, but they don’t generally claim to be gods.

  121. Some say that the USD is slowly but surely losing its global reserve currency status. Others say it isn’t so slowly at all. Others laugh at the concept because, according to them, TINA.

    I’m not so sure about this TINA business. Many things actually happened that would have been thought outlandish nonsense had you suggested their possibility a couple of decades before their actually taking place. The Russians killing off or chasing out their aristocracy, the Germans falling under the rule of an Austrian corporal with a funny mustache, the Russians doing it again but this next time to communists, I think these are just a small sample of things that couldn’t possibly happen but did.

    They say that what convinced some foreign regimes to take action with respect to the dollar was the freezing of Russian foreign exchange reserves after the Ukrainian invasion. And it may have been a factor. It may have been the last straw. But, if it is true about the USD losing its reserve status, I suspect that some powerful regimes have been looking for a while at all the various antics on this side of the waters and decided that it was past time to make some alternative arrangements.

  122. JMG, You are right, I don’t think the left realizes how much trouble they are in. At this weeks open county commission meeting there was quite an uproar over sighting of a ” homeless village”. Our ( Oregon) new woke, LGBTQ democrat governor decided the homeless issue was to be the states highest priority. So she declared it an Emergency so she could reallocate funds ( tax revenue) to it without approval of the legislature. In addition she declared that homeless villages could be ” super sited”. This means they can be located at the discretion of State and County Bureaucrats with no attention to zoning, permits, or other public procedure. Of course, with this new found power to create “equity” they did not plan to locate the new ” Pod Village” in any of the affluent neighborhoods in the county. No, they plan to put it smack in the middle of the least affluent, working class neighborhood. The folks in this neighborhood got wind of this and showed up at the meeting in force and in a bad mood. This is a multi-racial neighborhood that normally votes democrat, but that is over. The Haughty County Attorney was very exasperated and called the crowd ” rude” on several occasions. I am not sure he realizes that if they keep this sort of thing up they will find out what ” rude” really is.

  123. Hello mister Greer, could you do a post on dreamwith about journaling, like you did about affirmations? So i have something to link to other people.
    Thanks in advance, Wilco.

  124. Greetings @Jessica,

    “Face-to-face, I have noticed that people are constantly fidgeting or lose the ability to complete a thought”
    – that would seem to be a typical consequence of our smartphone age, an overhang of virtual communication, coupled with stress and nervousness in general, unable to stand still for a while, or passively observe the other.
    Enourmous inner unrest!

    “what are the inherent contradictions that you noticed in country living?”
    – Contradictions as far as prepping ideas go. You need a car in the country side, and the country side is thinning demographically (or becoming a sub-urban outpost, it depends), the remaining jobs are highly mechanized forestry and agriculture that employs few people, or at least few really living there. Many do commute to the cities to work, that depending on where you are.
    And since humans are social animals – oftentimes the rural residents aren’t especially alternative in their lifestyles. Going to the country side and then complaining about that isn’t a good approach but I’ve seen it done. Of course in times of car availability, people may live their own life in a rural area ignoring the sorrounding society, but that is questionable too.

    The “contradictions” I mentioned are mostly these contradictions of the living of many hippies: preach simplicity and natural attitudes and what not, but their lifestyles are high input, high energy use, and so are many ideas to live an alternative lifestyle out in the country.

    I am curious to see what becomes of rural areas when things get tough. For now, though, it is all business as usual here, gas is currently available
    at almost normal prices.

    “do you think there is an unfair age disparity between those of us born earlier who got the memo about the age of decline versus those of us 30 or less?”
    You mean if those of us older are more blessed, if we got the memo about decline earlier already? I don’t see the current youth as very blessed, and what regards
    my generation and above, well, some people have managed to learn solid stuff. A friend is a massage therapist, he learned long, also from
    “japanese” traditions of martial arts and manual healing, and worked a lot. Now he is able to earn well as a freelancer, whereas he used to work in a hospital, for example,
    an OK job but not as well payed, not as prestigious.
    Some people have, in one way or another, managed to bring skills to fruition.
    But I can’t really find a big advantage or disadvantage concerning age, except that children of this generation in industrialized countries are clearly more
    damaged and without perspective than previous generations, it is always like that, good and bad times to grow up.

    “I have also found a lot of the woke virus in the occult scene” – that has been discussed around here often, right? Though my specific bad experiences with
    people in proximity to the occult or spiritualism haven’t really been connected to wokeness, just plain going crazy and developing markedly narcisstic personalities, the kind of loss of a sense of community living, where people become unable to be cooperative with others and see themselves as part of a bigger whole.

  125. @Aloysius

    “I had been noticing signs of serious cognitive decline in traffic”
    So have others. Just this weekend I joined a friend in his car, and we saw absolutely reckless and
    dangerous manoeuvres of drivers. Yes that seems to increase.
    My friend who drove the car said so too.

  126. This has been my ‘misunderstandings’ week.
    This also means that I have to work on improving my communication skills. Not everyone has the will to invest time and energies reading my babblings and find out what I really wanted to say, especially if I begin with a detour.
    Thank you for your patience.

    This theory is still a draft, and I don’t claim it to be ‘the truth’. Just another model to help me understand some pieces of reality. At least, it explains why the planes are discreet and why the energy goes in squares from one plane to the other. But it doesn’t explain why there isn’t a plane below the physical one or why there can exist beings living in the astral without a body on lower planes.
    Time-derivates also have their ‘planes’. Velocity is related to energy, and acceleration is related to forces. So the first time-derivate is the ‘plane’ of dynamic momentum (related to dynamic energy by the square) and the second time-derivate is the ‘plane’ of dynamic forces. We are told that third derivate has no sense, since whatever the efects in that plane, they make no sense to us.
    If we go the other way to integration, first integration is the realm of areas, second integration is the realm of volumes, but third type integration makes no sense to us, either. You can mathematically work with a N-dimensional object, but that doesn’t make any sense either.
    There seems to be a limitation on our ability to naturally perceive past a second plane in dynamics. Only those who ‘study’ the following plane get an idea on how it works, but it is never intuitive.

    It’s as if our consciuousnesses were informed by the senses in one plane, and could travel one or two planes, up or down, with ease, but the third one requires study. As far as I know, planes (in the sense of derivate-integration) could be infinite, but I can only be conscious of five (two above, two below), and theoretize about two more.
    I am too inexpert to test it on the field, so I guess I’ll keep to the traditional practice for now.

  127. Thanks for that, JMG. Good to hear my in-built rainy day syndrome isn’t wholly redundant. Just have to hope the GBP doesn’t collapse too far ahead of the USD, then – oh and that the banks don’t drop another set of massive clangers along the way!

    (Apologies BTW for the ‘M’ moniker – must have been a finger tangle/keyboard issue/brain fart, not an allusion to 007.)

  128. JMG, do you have a practice that helps you to stay grounded in the decidedly non-abstract world of reality? I find that in my own life, thinking about the topics discussed here and in your books about magical practices I notice I start to not care so much about leaving the house or paying the bills. The abstractions in my head become more interesting to me and I tend to focus on those, rather than focus on issues related to making a living. You seem very grounded so I’m wondering how you find a balance.

  129. Hi John Michael,

    As a young adult back in 1991, I recall when there was a massive fire at a huge chemical storage tank on Coode Island, which is pretty close to the city. It’s a big industrial area. The fire was a problem, but the toxic fire water ended up being just as much of a problem. But that would be just peanuts compared to that damaged nuclear plant. My view on this technology is that things are OK, until suddenly, they’re not OK. I’d be curious as to your opinion in this matter?

    Have to laugh, I’ve had that same: ‘suddenly not OK’ issue, with the off grid power system once or twice over the years. A bit scary really, and I took on board the lessons learned, then implemented change. Engineers have this saying about: Good, Fast, or Cheap – pick any two. And they’re right. You’ve probably heard of that saying?

    Oh no! The grammar cops have arrived. Aren’t they super-helpful, and wrong. 🙂 Keeping us all entertained, ever since the invention of the interweb.



  130. Navigating the ever-shifting seas of the future has become a daunting task. @Clarke aka Gwydion’s message brings to mind an era when the future could be seen with more clarity, an era that feels far removed from the present day: a world at war with Russia and perhaps China, societal breakdown, and Artificial Intelligence rapidly disrupting the economy. Gen Z seems to be adapting to all this “future shock” by self-medicating, opting-out of reality, becoming a criminal, or in the best cases, attempting to be a “superstar” influencer.

    JMG’s Retrotopia gave us a brief glimpse of an alternate society full of promise and stability, yet it seems ever more remote. In its stead, a more dystopian situation akin to Atlas Shrugged looms large, with exponential technological advancements obscuring the slow collapse of our culture & economy.

    It’s no surprise that future-planning is becoming trickier over time. Even if opting to “collapse early and avoid the rush”, one must build up the capital to do so. This generally means working to one’s fullest potential within the existing systems we’re all plagued with.

    In such an untamed environment, we have a few options:
    (1) Focus on short-term opportunities to 2x our money and iteratively jump onto new unforeseen opportunities as they arise;
    (2) Swear “fealty” to the current hierarchy, assuming that even if one firm collapses, its experienced members can still find soft landings in other firms;
    (3) Bet against the status quo, believing that it won’t last another 25 years, either by (3a) betting on “the next big thing” or (3b) betting on a “return to the past” as complexity breaks down.

    Maybe there’s even some mixed strategies. Choose a “stabilizing” strategy on the one hand (2 or 3b), along with a “go big” strategy (1 or 3a).

    All-in-all, it’s a lot to wrap one’s head around when making big plans for the future.

  131. @Toby #129. Assuming that “all the gods of the gentiles are demons” is a reference to Psalm 96:5, then the underlying Hebrew word is better translated as “worthless idols”, which some translations use. It’s clear that the Judeans exiled to Babylon didn’t understand what they were looking at. Assuming that the Babylonians had a conception similar to that of the Egyptians, which is well documented, you’re not venerating an idol; you are venerating the presence of the god in the idol, not the piece of wood or metal or stone itself. This was clearly lost on the Judeans, hence those kinds of statements. You see this kind of veneration today in catholic Christianity: when one passes in front of the reserved sacrament, one bows. To accuse someone doing that of venerating wafers stamped with the sign of the cross produced by some factory somewhere would strike that someone as both false and absurd: they are venerating the true presence. This fundamental misunderstanding plagues the history of religion in the West from the time of the Babylonian exile on.

  132. Hi Roe! Regarding your question, I would start every beginner with some basic laying of hands (AKA quantum touch, Reiki, faith healing etc). It’s easy to learn, opportunities to practice are everywhere, and the consequences of making mistakes are generally benign.

  133. JMG, I’m sorry I misspelled the name of your book. It happened that someone had come to my door with a request, and I pressed “send” without having time to proofread myself. But I guess you wanted to make a point. I was simply trying to help your book. You seem to have taken a dislike to me in many ways. I will no longer bother you.

  134. @Toby #129

    That’s an interesting bit of speculation. My religious background was, until relatively recently, that of a fairly orthodox Catholicism. At this point, I’m a heterodox Catholic who includes Mithras and the Anglo-Saxon gods on my home shrine. Anyway, I can recall several exorcist-priests warning the laity away from spending too much time looking into demonology and trying to study the demonic world. IIRC, there were warnings that giving too much attention to the demonic could, in fact, attract demonic entities. Other than understanding basic protective measures (like holy water, St. Benedict medals, etc.), my takeaway was that it was dangerous to dive much deeper into trying to study the demonic.

    In my own case, I eventually realized that a demonic or other malevolent spirit had been feeding off my etheric energy for quite some time. It did, indeed, try to present itself as Jesus (or so that’s the feeling I got from it). I don’t know how I managed to attract the thing’s attention (I’ve never had much interest in demonology or demons). A Tarot reader who did a reading for me a while back indicated that I possess a higher than average amount of etheric energy, and so I suspect that could be why the thing noticed me (a somewhat fatter meal, so to speak, than the average human). But I don’t know for sure. By utilitizing things like holy water, banishing rituals, prayers to St. Michael and Santa Muerte, etc., I’ve managed to avoid this thing feeding off me.

    Have you read the late Fr. Gabriele Amorth’s book, “An Excorist Tells His Story”? Fr. Amorth was the chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome (yep, the pope’s own diocese). You might be able to glean some details and useful information there. Another source, by a practicing Catholic occultist, is the “The Big Book of Exorcisms” by Agostino Taumaturgo. I can’t guarantee that these books actually have much to contribute to your research, but both are written by clerics of the Catholic tradition and who also have experienced actual demons.
    Finally, you might look into some of St. Padre Pio’s experiences. I’ve heard bits and pieces, but apparently, he had to deal with constant demonic attack.

    On final thought: the historical Jesus, whether he was a godman, a prophet, an angel, an aeon, or whatever, almost certainly had a ministry of healing that included casting out demons. His followers continued this practice. It might be that the 2,000 year old course of continuing this ministry has led to the situation you’ve described. If Christians have traditionally spent more time trying to exorcise demons, then we might expect for the demons to spend a lot of time trying to cause trouble for their longtime opponents. Just one possibility, anyway.

  135. Mark L – re: taxonomy of phalse prophets. Why, just a few days ago, I was explaining to my neighbor that I’m trying to incorporate Peasant attitudes into my suburban, Inside-the-Beltway neighborhood. Case in point: saving the fat from bacon and ham, using it in recipes that call for butter or shortening, and not cooking more bacon until the last of the fat has been consumed. Calories are to be metabolized, not discarded. (And in case anyone still believes that “eating fat makes one fat”, I’m still as lean as ever. Once I started thinking of bacon fat as a treasure, I started thinking of it as something to savor in small quantities.)

  136. Thank you for your patience towards my inquiries into human sacrifice. My inquiry is not accusatory towards the practices for those times, nor am I naïve to its underlying impulses sublimated in various degrees and categories at this time. (#86)

    However, my main question is: what were the PRACTICAL reasons for the practices? Was there such a strong conviction that a person would later “regenerate” (reincarnate) that death had no real meaning? Was there such a strong emotional reaction towards the act that it created a group-mindset that was needed for the tribal bonds? Was it “simply” the idea that by giving up a life, the strong powers of nature would respond by gifting and giving back in kind?
    Clearly, there must have been some kind of survival purpose but what?

    That being said, a second question I have about human sacrifice does have to do with human morality. Does the fact that it is now considered morally reprehensible represent an evolution of human morality, or again, “simply” those overt practices are no longer needed as survival tools.
    Are we slouching towards Bethlehem or not?

    Thanks again for your time and effort for the good work!
    PS I watched the movie The Silent Running last night – and “coincidentally” many of the same question were addressed (in classic 1970’s innocence)

  137. JMG,

    What do you make of this recent intersection of satanism and LGBTQ culture as manifest in the Target controversy? Is it just a clumsy attempt at a renewal of interest in the occult by marginalized groups? I realize that Satan is a very clumsy symbol like Nazi’s that often has little real meaning, but it still seems odd to me.

  138. “I had been noticing signs of serious cognitive decline in traffic”

    Here in eastern Washington too. Whether people have gone stupid, are having micro-strokes while driving, or are blowing off stress by reckless driving I can’t tell.

    Drug use is way up too, which supports the stress interpretation. Self medication, but with fentanyl instead of booze. The pot stores are doing steady business too.

  139. John, I’ll look forward to reading The Seal of Yueh Lao and the other Weird of Hali side-books when they come out in their new additions. Though I read the main series I haven’t caught up yet on the others.

    Yes, I’m glad to see this idea getting circulated too.

    I hope everyone here has a nice Memorial Day weekend.

  140. Sometimes all the trans stuff gets me kind of annoyed, and when i realize that is happening i try to think of Violet (a person who use to comment frequently, a person who i developed a good deal of respect for and a person who is trans) and that helps me remember that trans people also carry that divine spark and that i need to treat them like people not things.

    On a different note #
    I did not realize that Van Morrison was an alchemist
    but he is !

  141. Hi JMG, I’d love to hear your opinion about the relationship between occultism in Nazi Germany and egregor; namely, that it seems like some kind of fantastic influence/confluence of/by/to/for Wotan (to simplify things) on/with the humans in that region, particularly versus Yahweh and the people who subscribe to it.
    Simply: it seems like there are multiple levels of conflict that occurred simultaneously; on the human level of people, armies, nations; and on another level, or egregors/supernatural dimensions.
    Can you please comment?

  142. Because this is Open Post, I have a speculation about the WofH universe and Chambers’ story “The Repairer of Reputations.” Note: not fanfic; you’re over and done with that series, I think. But because that nasty little blackmailer never made much sense to me in any way I could see, until I finished the series and thought “He’s not a human being.”

    A clumsily disguised deformed dwarf who kept a cat who kept clawing him up? (“Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is finding out how to relate to the inhabitants of Earth. Start with something simple like a widely kept pet. Not a dog: they can sense us and warn their masters.”) I don’t think the Mi-Go are going to promote this guy any time soon.

    Subverting Chambers’ paradigm is easy after that. Our viewpoint character is posing as this vicious total megalomaniac in order to keep an eye on our alien friend, who, while he has low cunning enough to make a good living, is in way over his head in Pretending To Be Human. Enter Cousin Louis, the stereotypical simple, bluff cavalry officer, who makes much of his cousin being crazy and dangerous – and who is pleased when his intended simpers all over him in proper period style. Prime Radiance material, tool or otherwise….

    Take it as you will. This is the sort of thing my literary fan lists regularly have a lot of fun with.

  143. Some political notes, for those who might be interested:

    The animated corpse of the late Sen. Diane Feinstein was wheeled into the U.S. Senate recently. This outrage, a clear case of horrific elder abuse, would get any of us nobodies a well-deserved prison sentence. Anyone who is even thinking of taking money from, allying with, making nice with the faction JMG calls the neocon zealots–the best description I have seen of that disease on the body politic–do take note; this is how that faction expresses its’ gratitude.

    The Senator should have retired long since into an honored retirement and written her memoirs. What she could have told a fascinated public about the inside of politics and policy, in CA and DC over the last 5 decades is now lost. In her last election, 2018, I believe, she was opposed by one Kevin DeLeon, formerly a Speaker of the CA Assembly, where he had shepherded a Medicare for All bill through the CA legislature, only to see it vetoed by then Gov. Jerry Brown. So much for Brown being a friend of the people. DeLeon won in every CA county, as I recall, except San Francisco and Los Angeles. He is now a City Council member of LA, I think it is. A ginned up unpleasant-remarks-made-in-a-private-conversation mini scandal was publicized in order to discourage him from trying again.

    The neocon zealots apparently have decided that they should get to own Feinstein’s Senate seat, which ain’t gonna happen in a state in which persons of the Caucasian persuasion are now a minority. They own no other West Coast senator, having to make deals with either of the two ladies from WA, and Wyden from OR. Merkley they don’t even bother to talk to.

    What this is about, of course, is not Feinstein clinging to power, but who will be appointed to her seat should she retire. Gov. Newsome, has apparently stopped taking the Neocon’s phone calls and has announced that he will appoint a Black woman to that seat should it become vacant. The Canadian journalist, Jeet Heer lets the cat out of the bag in a recent Nation article:

    Politico quoted an unnamed “Pelosi family confidant” as arguing that Pelosi wants to prevent a scenario whereby Feinstein resigns and is replaced by Representative Barbara Lee—who would then have an advantage over Adam Schiff in the race to be the Democratic nominee in California’s 2024 Senate race. “If DiFi resigns right now,” the confidant asserted, “there is an enormous probability that Barbara Lee gets appointed—thus, it makes it harder for Schiff.”

    Barbara Lee, Congresswoman from Oakland, voted against Bush’s adventure in Iraq, you might remember. Adam Schiff is a warmongering congressman from Pasadena.

    In other news, FL. Gov. DeSantis is now officially running for president. Will the voters go for his blend of overseas adventuring–this is not a peace candidate, although he might confine the interventionism to this hemisphere–and plantation economics at home?

  144. Smith, the people who insist that there’s no alternative to the dollar have forgotten whatever they might have learned about economic history. There was no alternative to the British pound when that lost reserve currency status, either; one of the things that make the Great Depression even more difficult than it would otherwise have been was that there was no global currency, and so international trade had to deal with various currencies (not to mention arbitrage between them). We’re going to see another couple of decades of the same sort of chaos before a new reserve currency is established. That is to say, you’re quite correct, but it’s not a fast process!

    Clay, hmm! Many thanks for this data point. I suspect you’re quite right that “rude” is going to be an understatement…

    Wilco, I’ll certainly consider it as time permits.

    Abraham, this is fascinating, and frankly over my head — mathematics is not my strong suit. I hope you continue to develop it.

    Marsh, saving money for the short and middle term is always a good idea — and it’s also useful to spend less than you earn as a rule, so that as costs rise and income shrinks you’ve got some flexibility. I’m also hoping that the dollar falls sooner and faster than the pound, btw, since I get a noticeable share of my income these days from a British publisher…

    Joshua, the tendency to get caught up in abstraction is a common problem for intellectuals of all kinds — as witness the mess that academics inevitably make when they try to manage things in the real world. For me, at least, it’s necessary to devote a certain amount of deliberate intention each day to the material world. Exercise and certain healing practices (reflexology, for example) are good for grounding me in my material body; attention to chores helps ground me in the material plane more generally — but it’s a constant if habitual effort.

    Chris, that’s one of the issues with nuclear power. It’s safe and clean — never cheap, never even affordable for long, but safe and clean — until something goes wrong with some stage of the technology, and then you lose a lot of people and a lot of real estate in a hurry. Yes, I’ve heard the “good, fast, and cheap — pick two” saying, and it always struck me that it’s really rather optimistic; more often, you get to pick just one…

    NMG, remember that Retrotopia took shape out of dystopia — the US government finishing its transition into corporate tyranny, a nationwide scandal over mass poisoning with genetically engineered crops, and then a brutal four-year civil war that left a good half of the country pounded flat and saw hideous atrocities on all sides. Thank the gods, we’re not there yet — but we could get there. It’s what happens afterward that I wanted to talk about in my story.

    Lydia, “you seem to have taken a dislike to me in many ways” — say what? No, I was just pointing out that if you want to claim that you’re a better proofreader than the copy editor who works for my publisher, you probably need to be a little more careful about obvious typos. Think of it as helpful advice.

    Jill, that’s a good question but it’s one I can’t answer, since I haven’t done any extensive reading into the traditions of human sacrifice. Given that it’s been practiced by a great many cultures, including Western European cultures up until 1800 or so — the witch burnings count if anything does — that would be a very large project, since you’d have to assess attitudes toward life, death, and sacrifice in every culture you meant to study, to see if there are any common factors.

    Clay, oh, it’s not being done by the LGBTQ community. It’s being pushed by corporate culture via its media and business outlets. My guess is that the elite classes are terrified about the way that gay and lesbian communities are finding common ground with populist conservatism in recent years, and they’re trying to force a wedge between them by convincing Christians that gays and lesbians are all devil worshippers. It’s very much along the same lines as the frantic attempts by the corporate media to get white people to be more racist, since a working alliance between working class white people and working class people of color is the ultimate nightmare of the current status quo.

    Justin, I hope you enjoy them! They’re scheduled for a 2024 republication.

    Jim, I get that. I have a good many trans friends, and by and large they’re pleasant, ordinary people who really do just want to be left alone to live their lives. It’s interesting to watch the way that the mass media has been playing up the small, loud, hateful minority who don’t match that general rule.

    Nick, there were at least three levels of struggle going on in Europe and the world between 1933 and 1945: first, the conflicts on the material plane that allowed the Nazi movement to seize and maintain power, and then destroyed it; second, the conflicts on the plane of image, idea, and human consciousness, in which the Nazis first built up a powerful egregor and then had it shredded by effective countermeasures; third, the conflict on the spiritual plane, between archetypes/gods/whatever you want to call them. It was an extremely complex situation and to my mind has not yet been described adequately on any plane but the material one.

    Patricia M, ha! I like it. Yes, that would work quite well. I hope somebody managed to rescue Hildred Castaigne from the asylum where the Radiance locked him up, before they had the chance to poison him!

    Mary, Feinstein doesn’t just look old. She looks mummified. I really wonder if there’s something uncanny going on there.

  145. Smith @ 131, you do understand, I hope, that the “alternative arrangements” will mean no more easy immigration. PMC jobs no longer available, small colleges shutting down means far fewer perches, and I think the home birds will have the advantage. I believe the prominence of one Neera Tanden was a tipping point for a lot of parents who spent blood and their retirement savings to get promising good kids through college only to see the upper echelons closed to those same kids.

    Clay Dennis @ 132, I think it is getting to be ant and grasshopper time, and them grasshoppers are finding that the ants have no surplus anything left.

  146. Re: trans, woke, etc.

    The more these issues become fully integrated into the political polarization of our time, the less I find that I can agree with either of the warring sides.

    My position instead is that this is not the proper purview of legislation, whether to prohibit and protect, and that all such laws can only get in the way of the usual process by which communities, schools, churches, and families choose to embrace, tolerate, or reject their more eccentric members *as individual human beings rather than members of some “us” or “them” group*.

    I guess, though, if we’re going to be collectively insane about something, better this than injecting untested serums into everyone’s arms, or shutting down society in the name of stopping a clearly-unstoppable-and-not-that-deadly virus…

  147. Jill C #146, my mum says I loved Silent Running as a child and watched it all the time. Strangely I have no memory of it, even though I remember science programmes and episodes of Knight Rider from 1985-86 nearly word for word. I watched the film not long ago, and even realising I would have loved it as a child, I still didn’t remember it and it was like seeing it for the first time. My favourite part was when he had to go through all the spaceship manuals to learn how everything worked.

  148. Hi John,

    As a follow-up to an earlier comment, Anheuser-Busch and Target have lost a jaw-dropping $28 billion dollars so far thanks to the backlash against their embrace of transgenderism, and the bleeding is far from stanched..

    You have discussed how the corporate liberal aristocracy has been cynically using racial and gender politics to keep itself in power, for example, by promoting Wokism as a response to the Occupy Wall Street movement. But now their use of LGBTQ politics as a wedge issue seems to be backfiring on them and in a spectacular fashion. Is that the sound of tumbrils I hear in the distance?

  149. Brenainn Griffudd,

    What would be necessary in engaging with christian demonology is to interrogate whether christians did in fact wrestle with unclean spirits to the extent they claimed or whether this term is more propagandistically loaded and they were actually mostly going around bothering land spirits and temple genii. The dualistic spiritology makes such accounts difficult to trust. I would consider hindu or buddhist exorcism literature much more reliable

  150. @Curt #134

    Your insights about moving to the rural countryside I believe are pertinent to what would be helpful NOW versus what would be helpful later. Eventually everyone will be moving away from the cities as the infrastruxture for them melts away, however we are – I believe – at least a century away from their complete disintegration. Living that life now for many people is unsustainable. All of us are going to have to learn how to use less energy, and I find that retro-fitting housing is much more workable in its approach.

  151. @JMG

    Regarding the Nazi spiritual warfare, I just wanted to add one interesting fact – Sri Aurobindo took part in the war effort against Nazi Germany. He basically ‘impersonated’ the main evil entity that Hitler was taking guidance from, and convinced Hitler to attack the USSR, since that was a guaranteed way for the Nazis to lose the war.

    I’ve also read that SA used similar spiritual warfare later on against Imperial Japan – initially, he focused all his energies only on the Nazis, but after the Indian freedom fighter S. C. Bose (regarded as a villain and traitor by Westerners, but as a hero by most Indians) joined hands with Japan and persuaded the Japanese to invade India, SA got concerned; his concern was quite valid, given the rapidity of Japan’s successive victories, which shocked even the Japanese themselves. It is then that he ‘trained his guns’ on the Japanese, and waged spiritual warfare against them – odd, given the shared spiritual heritage between Hindu India and Shinto-Buddhist Japan, but sensible, when one takes into account Japan’s wartime behaviour. Maybe Japan’s defeat in the battles of Midway, Guadalcanal and Leite Gulf, in addition to their nearly successful attempt to invade India, had something to do with SA’s spiritual warfare? Interesting question, IMO.

  152. Milkyway #52 You might want to seek out Compendium of Astrology by Rose Lineman and Jan Popelka. Far superior to the Parker book, imho. Not pop astrology oriented in the least, leaning more toward a humanistic/psychological orientation, but thorough and solid with the classic fundamentals. Also, if you haven’t found it as yet, the website has an excellent free ephemeris and interesting things to explore.

  153. For the German speaking readers interested in astrology (Milkyway?): I find Michael Roscher’s introductory book very good, although his advanced work has a Gurdjieffian touch that might not be to everyone’s taste.

  154. Mark, the sense I get from listening to a great many people is that a substantial majority couldn’t care less if a certain number of people want to dress up in the other gender’s clothes and so on. It’s when that gets combined with the full-court press of bureaucratic and corporate power centers that the transgender thing has gotten of late that the pushback goes into overdrive. It could have been anything, but that’s the thing that seems to have pulled the trigger and pushed millions of people from sullen tolerance into active rejection of the status quo.

    Platypus, it is indeed. I’ve long been fond of the Mexican adage “nothing happens until it happens.” One of the common themes of the history of revolutions is that conditions can worsen for a very long time without any real reaction, and then something sets off a spark, active resistance begins, and away we go. I think we have reached that point now. I’m still hoping that we can avoid mass violence, but once the people realize that their collective actions really can have a massive impact — and $28 billion certainly qualifies! — it’s all up in the air. Hang onto your hat…

    Viduraawakened, hmm! This is very interesting to me, of course. Can you point me to some sources that discuss this in more detail?

  155. Why Empires Fall: Rome, America and the Future of the West by John Rapley, Peter Heather

    New book on a familiar theme.

  156. >I think a lot of people have had it with the woke virtue-signaling industry and boycotts are a convenient way for them to express an opinion

    I think it goes a bit further than that.

    (tr)Anheuser-Busch blamed their customers for “spreading misinformation”. And Target just very recently called their customers “threats”. I guess the era of the customer is always right is over? Now the customer is always wrong?

    When you have competition and aren’t doing anything that’s terribly complicated or hard to replicate, it doesn’t make sense to start fighting with your customers. It’s not hard to make beer. It’s not complicated to shuffle boxes and throw plastic on shelves.

    It’s one thing to put your foot in your mouth. It’s quite another to blow them both off with a 12 gauge. I dunno. Companies come and go. The world will keep drinking beer and shopping for general goods and the world really doesn’t care which particular set of people are doing it or what their livery and branding is.

  157. Thanks, JMG. Also, I was musing on “You have to be gifted for the work,” and Dr. Moravec’s counter that anyone could learn the work who was willing to do it. Dr. M was quite right to tell Ariel that: she was young, bright, independent, open-minded, and interested. However – Belinda and Justin Martense, Brecken Kendall, Julian Pinchbeck, and I, started wondering about that.

    The Workbook said the mental body had to be developed to a certain level for one to be even interested in the occult, but when you’re not at that level, and raised in an occultist religion, you get Belinda and her inferiority complex. Julian Pinchbeck, who hit that wall in music, could sympathize, if he could only get his head out of his ego.

    Justin was called on to deal with the occult twice in his life, and that was quite enough, thanks: he’d stick to his card reading and not pry any further. Maybe he’ll be ready the next time around.

    I wrestled with the tarot since 1990 – when I was already past 50 and newly discovering the pagan community in Albuquerque and fell on them like a hungry kid in an ice cream store. The Gypsy Witch cards, when I discovered them over a quarter of a century later, those speak to me. Not because I believed “you had to be gifted for the work” and that I wasn’t. I had enough intellectual arrogance back in the day for that thought never to arise. But – I had to get a lot of garbage out of the way to even be ready for bunny-slope occultism. “Ask, and ye shall receive.”

    “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” The key word being “ready.” Ariel Moravec is. But being ready can be much like preparing the empty lot where a rental house once stood in a rundown high desert student ghetto neighborhood … weeds, trash, sand, caliche clay, rocks, cigarette butts, tumbleweeds, goatheads, evidence of use by cats and dogs, and whatever the wind has blown in. I’ll probably be ready in my next incarnation. In this one, it’s back to the ABC blocks and and the counting beads.

  158. Platypus and Mr. Greer respectively..

    28 billion quatloos seems like just the beginning. Apparently the globull wefians/ corpserates/aires out there have jumped the Rubicon for a pair of cheap rubyconned slippers, profits irregardless! And as to that hat-holding .. well, imagine Major Kong waving a garish feather duster .. screaming at the top of his lungs not yeh-has .. but vapid trans-speak, astride a descending rainbow projectile.

    Ground zero, of whatever the kind, feels right close .. sooo close that I can almost smell it, Biden-like.

  159. To Mary Bennett,

    Hi, you bet, all those things you bring up for sure and probably a passel of other things too. You could write a book about the interlocking wheels coming off one by one as these alternative arrangements take shape.

    I think you touch on two things, elite displacement and a previous over-abundance of laptop jobs getting pruned from the employment ecosystem. When it was just the ‘Deplorables’ getting shellacked it was fine, but when the ‘educated’ classes find themselves facing the business end of the whacking stick it’s a completely different story.

    I suspect that palatable solutions could be few and far between. Closing the borders to immigration might be one approach and that’s if anybody in officialdom has got the will to defy Wall Street and their lust for disposable workers and slave wages. It may be too late, the damage done, the border an unsalvageable mess.

    One thing we maybe should think about, and it’s one that JMG touched on, and it’s a scenario where the USD follows the national trajectory and dwindles into farce and imbecility and no other currency has the wherewithal to become a global reserve currency. And the situation never resolves itself but rather becomes, for all intents and purposes, permanent. What then?

  160. I’ve been going around and around with a friend who, though a sort of esotericist, has an unshakable conviction that genuine verifiable knowledge of the future outside of routine very limited projection from obvious causes is utterly impossible and that those who seek it are contemptible and fools. This was revealed when I engaged in a discussion with him about astrology, which he despises and therefore misunderstands. I have been bombarded since then with articles by so-called scientists and scientific studies that disprove astrology, root and branch.

    I’ve been dealing with people with similar misunderstandings since I was a teenager and I find it immensely frustrating. Between what seems to me to be a very limited worldview and straw-man argumentation, it’s not very possible to respond effectively, although since he is a friend, I at least make the attempt.

    My responses so far have been directed to two things: category errors and the limits of knowledge, such that “science” however it is construed is not definitive. It is a subdivision of philosophy and not its ruler. Especially when misapplied to things that fall outside its purview (as the immensely complex qualitative issues raised by astrology do). Plus, for what it’s worth, very little astrology is directly related to purely predictive efforts.

    I guess I’m just expressing my frustration at running across this sort of intellectual dead end with a friend I otherwise have the most delightful conversations with. However, anyone who has some powerful responses to this sort of thinking and can share them with me, I’d appreciate it. I’ve already attempted to share Gauquelin’s research and J.B. Rhine’s research, but haven’t made a dent in his opposition to oracles, predictive techniques, astrology or anything else of the kind. It is as if he was possessed by a rationalist materialist Christian fundamentalist!

    I rather wonder if I haven’t been talking to a figment of my imagination before this!

  161. They’re discussing one of your highly prescient novels on Larry Johnson’s blog:

    26 May 2023 at 03:51
    There is a book by John Michael Greer, published in 2015, titled “Twilight’s Last Gleaming”. One of the chinese characters in that book gives a very good explanations why it’s so. Spoiler alert: the book’s story ends with [spoiler deleted] 😉

    Gilles says

    26 May 2023 at 12:09
    Brilliant novel; very clearly delineates the pathologies that have lead to the situation we are in today.

    Was hoping that it would never become reality but sometimes real life does imitate speculative fiction 🙁


  162. Here is an article from we NZ website Scoop:

    “Gordon Campbell: On America’s Plunge Into Religious Extremism”

    Here are some of his “gems of wisdom” (barf-bag!)

    “Unfortunately, the Republican Party is being led by people calling for a militant form of Christian nationalism, or even a full-blown Christian theocracy.”

    Puh-LEEZE! The “Christian Right” squandered its moral authority and political credibility by slavishly following George W. Bush’s disastrous policies. In the 45 years since Jerry Falwell began his “Moral Majority” crusade, the Religious Right has not enacted any of their policies. Their only partial victory was the overturning of Roe V. Wade. Even then, the only reason that ruling was overturned was that it was such a sloppy “word salad,” with all of its “emanations” and “penumbras,” that even liberal jurists were embarrassed by it.

    “Significantly, the states restricting women’s access to abortion procedures have also been pursuing similarly punitive laws outlawing the provision of gender-affirming healthcare for young people.”

    Read: legalized sexual mutilation of minor children. Apparently, Campbell thinks this is civil right instead of the child abuse it clearly is.

    More ….

    “These anti-trans laws are being passed regardless of the likely harm to the minors they claim to protect, and despite the lack of evidence that the gender-altering surgeries being banned are even taking place at all.”

    What “likely harm” is there to minors who are being protected from sexual mutilation by caring adults?

    As for “lack of evidence,” give me a break! The evidence is all over the place and is literally everywhere you look!

    I don’t like saying such things, but people like Gordon Campbell are not simply wrong – they are evil and morally corrupt. We hanged the Nazi doctors at Nuremberg for this kind of mutilation, and we hanged journalists and propagandists like Julius Streicher for advocating these things (yes – I am looking straight at you, Gordon Campbell!)

    Sorry about this rant, but I do wonder about these people. Are they really simply cynical propagandists, or do they actually believe this stuff? I find it hard to figure.

  163. Clark aka Gwydion,
    Never ever discuss subjects you will never agree on with those who are close to you. Important relationships are too precious to squander on difference of opinion.

  164. Siliconguy, I’ll give it a look if the local library system picks up a copy.

    Owen, granted, it’s more than that — but I think a very large part of it is that a lot of people were fed up with the endless parade of elite arrogance and this was the last straw.

    Patricia M, good. The disagreement between Dr. Moravec and Aunt Clarice over the relative importance of talent and will is going to be revisited over and over again in various ways as the series continues.

    Polecat, and it’s quite possible that 29 billion quatloos will be about enough to buy a loaf of bread in the not too distant future…

    Clarke, I know of no way to convince somebody who holds that opinion that they might be mistaken. Be aware that it’s quite common for people who have intuitive gifts, and foresee something they really don’t want to deal with, to embrace that kind of attitude.

    Gaian, this is good to hear! Thank you.

    Michael, I think they believe it. This is the barbarism of reflection that Vico talked about — people like Campbell never get past abstractions such as “gender-affirming care” to notice that what’s being discussed is genital mutilation of children, much less that the populist right today is a very different beast than the populist right of 1980 (just as the establishment left of today is not the establishment left of 1980).

  165. “The posts included a video of one VUMC doctor in 2018 saying these “types of surgeries bring in a lot of money” and later saying that female-to-male bottom surgeries are “huge money makers.” A separate video shows another staffer warning that if employees do not want to participate in transgender treatments then they “probably shouldn’t work at Vanderbilt,” and warned that objections should be met with “consequences.””

    That was right there in the news.

    A few years ago there was an uproar about male circumcision being a barbaric remnant of the past. It simply didn’t occur to me that the issue was that they were not cutting off enough.

    Insert in Australian accent, “Knife? That’s not a knife, THIS is a knife.”

    And in my demented mind that leads to “Oh good, my dog found the chainsaw.” (Lilo and Stitch.)

    From the POV of the sickness industrial complex it is a good deal. Profitable surgery followed by a life-long need for drugs. And every person sterilized makes the WEF happier.

  166. Thank you CR Patino!

    (By the way, did you see my DW message?)

    That is helpful. Is there anything that I would need to consider in the preparation of cell salts to make them “more effective”?

    Since I’ll be having so much, I will probably just end up doing a lot of it and offering it here for free that are in the protocol, or just more generally. I really do like cell salts! They take a while, but they have cured me of things that I thought where uncurable.

  167. All, my best friend was murdered last week in a gang shooting. (He was an idiot like that but love him anyway). I would like to request for prayers for the safe passing of his soul and for me to go over the trauma.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Tunesmyth, if you see this, can you please add him to your prayer list? His name is Patricio Lopez de Nava Amezcua, and he is still very much in the in-between stage, at least he made that clear today!

  168. @ Michael #173

    What I know is that when I associated with feminists in the early 1980’s, and was moved by the project of the liberation of women, what we understood “gender” to mean was “stereotypes”. Which, in our view, set arbitrary limits upon what BOTH men and women (ie – sexed human beings) actually felt moved and competent to do.

    So, using that (admittedly dated) filter from my own lived past, “gender-affirming healthcare” comes out as “stereotype-affirming healthcare.” And “gender-altering surgeries” comes out as “stereotype-altering surgeries.”

    Which, hmmmmm….

    Puts a different light on it, I guess.

  169. To Jill C and JMG-
    there is human sacrifice taking place in this culture and in a large scale: abortion. The sacrament of the feminist religion (very much a cult of “progress”) is the human sacrifice of abortion, the providers of this religious rite are planned parenthood (which is also getting into the child genital mutilation business) and big pharma (which has as of late provided a dangerous gene therapy disguised as a vaccine).

  170. @Jessica
    “Your insights about moving to the rural countryside I believe are pertinent to what would be helpful NOW versus what would be helpful later. ”

    Yes I agree- my side comment about the inconsistencies of urban prepping are just an echo of what has been discussed in this forum – in our current declining urban civilization, going rural in a traditional fashion is not a thing this current late-stage imperial society is capable of.

    I know some things about traditional agriculture, from my soon to be 97 years old grandmother, from the old farmers of her generation (who have died already), because my grandmother was on holiday every summer in a rural granite rock hill region (except in 1945), I’ve seen the old tools, of course I’ve read and taken interest in all that.

    And watched a documentary “Why You Wouldn’t Survive Life As A Medieval Peasant Farmer | Tudor Monastery Farm | Chronicle” on youtube, although I usually don’t watch videos either, but this one was nice. A medieval history village in England, with people dedicated to old crafts, very nice.

    And so I have at least a general idea about these needs of traditional agriculture – knowledge, experience, labor force (young and strong), tools….

    It can’t as of now be recreated like that. But should there be any form of a future for us here in central Europe, and opportunities for adaptation, then I concur with our host: gardening in small towns and low level animal husbandry like rabbits, chickens, maybe even goats.

    There’s that Krishna cult temple in Traiskirchen ( Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math), a village or town south of Vienna I visited last August, there was as I was told the highest annual celebration.

    That town has degraded and “collapsed” since refugees and migrants have been stuffed in there, pretty shabby for Austrian standards, but the sorroundings of the Krishna temple are still lush green, very nice, a lot of potential. (look it up on Google Maps to see..)
    Before I’d try prepping in the country side I’d try to buy a run down house there (there are many), there is also a kind of tram there connecting that town to Vienna going beyond city borders.

    That is just such an idea; I claim no complete knowledge.

    My cousin and her husband are waldorf teachers and neighbours to one of my best friends, who also lives there with his wife and daughter. They live in the sorrounding country side of Salzburg. My cousin and her husband do garden, and husband chickens and keep two pigs (though not to eat them, just for enriching and preparing the soil), they are certainly on board with many long descent ideas.

    Of course, they all have a car; though this rural area has already turned suburban in a way, bus connections to the city of Salzburg have improved so depending on what you do, living there without a car is actually possible, though it may become very cumbersome.

    I don’t know if they could get to their school (they have founded a buddhist school) on time without a car though.

    So to conclude my point: yes, the future is certainly rural, but the present cannot do what truly agricultural, tribal people can.


  171. @JMG

    Here’s one source that I found in a quick internet search, but I’m sure that there are others, too:

    The thing with Sri Aurobindo is that he had so many disciples, that there’s quite a lot of material on the internet available for reference. Searching for specific documents is thus somewhat time-consuming, but DuckDuckGo is helpful:)

    Also, since you’ve written about SA in the past, could you do a future post critiquing those ideas of his that you disagree with? I respect SA for his integrity and yogic powers, but I strongly think he did get some things wrong, such as his idea of evolution (which was likely inspired by that of Herbert Spencer), as well as his idea of ‘create a Paradise on Earth’ (we all know what that leads to in the real world). I’d be interested to read your views on this subject.

    On a side note, could you or anyone in the commentariat suggest a good reference book on the science behind various industrial processes? I’m talking here of books that cover stuff like the chemistry of chocolate manufacturing or the dynamics of coffee percolation, for example. I already have PDF copies of Shreve’s Chemical Process Industries and Dryden’s Outlines of Chemical Technology, but would like a book that goes more into the details of the mechanisms involved than these two books do.

    Best wishes!

  172. Clarke – Re: your friend the “anti-astrologer, with proof”… Ask your friend whether he believes that the seasons of the year, during which a child gestates and then experiences the world first hand, can plausibly have NO effect on their personality. Modern technology has smoothed out a lot of the seasons of heat vs. cold, scarcity/abundance of food, indoor vs. outdoor living, sunshine vs. darkness, but the year still has its cycles. If you don’t tip him off that the signs of the Zodiac are an enduring way of keeping track of the cycle, I think he’s likely to consider it at least possible that a child who learns to crawl in the soft grass of spring will be somehow different from the one who is walking before the snow melts. And pop culture is loaded with references to “Baby Boomers”, “Gen-X”, etc.: cohorts of people who are gathered together by calendar years… which happen to correspond to planetary alignments. The reductionist scientific position may be perfectly confident that none of the four fundamental forces of nature (gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear) allow any planet but the one we stand on to influence our chemistry (and hence, biology, … philosophy), but the pragmatic observer looks for evidence before asserting that it cannot exist.

  173. Suggested reference guide to our enchanted world: Encyclopedia of Spirits by Judika Illes. Harper’s, 2009, hardcover. The best reference book on the subject I’ve ever seen, with an author who totally believes in them. The kind of book you keep forever.

  174. @Polecat 169: Major Kong astride the Bomb, waving his cowboy hat! Kubrik created an unforgettable image for my Boomer generation to “enjoy,” and to play with.

  175. “It’s also a political habit — think of all those people who want everyone else to cut down on their fossil fuel use but won’t give up their overseas vacations by jet…”

    I know those folks! And they just moved to a property they inherited on a coastal tidal marsh…

  176. @JMG – thanks, and looking forward to that discussion. I came into this world with a fascination with pioneer/Appalachian living (I’m pretty sure now it was a past-life thing) and a felt need to acquire survival skills of all kinds. My will kept writing checks my material body couldn’t cash, and here I am at the end of a long bike ride or run or walk and sorely in need of a bus ride back. Or trying a skill and failing repeatedly, or … it did get me into some adventures, like river-rafting, I’ll remember fondly forever, but the message came through loud and clear long enough to leave a distinct impression. Thank you, Saturn, I think…. the glory was in having tried, but the lesson can be titled “Beyond Your Strength.” So this is (or was – I’ve given up and am simply trying to cope with the comfortable existence my daughter picked out to park me in) a live issue for me right now. Thanks!

  177. Curt up at #134 raises some fair points about country living.

    In counterpoint I would point out the countryside existed long before the automobile. I suppose the question comes down to how far does the collapse go? Then go back in history and see what existed at that time.

    The countryside got along quite well in 1920 when cars were still a rarity outside of town.

    1880, pre electric and pre automobile? The countryside was fine, but becoming dependent on rail transport.

    Jane Austin time? The countryside was doing fine again with sophisticated systems to deliver mail already in place and a horse based economy. But slavery was still in place in some areas as were some forms of serfdom.

    Obviously the future will not mirror the past exactly, and those new valleys we blew through the mountains for the highways will be trade routes for a long way into the future. (Butte-Helena-Great Falls comes to mind.) And one other thing to consider, how much technology did it take to build the Erie Canal?

  178. @ Darkest Yorkshire 112 thank you – I would love to follow this up. What is the British version of Michael Harner’s organisation, when it’s at home, could you recall?

    @ Scotlyn 90 Thank you for the beauty and the blessing .. lark ascending indeed!

  179. I just finished The Witch of Criswell. After the way people had described it I wasn’t sure what I’d think, but I liked it. It actually felt a lot like games, both tabletop and computer.

    One reaction all your North of England readers will have when Ariel goes to a fish and chip shop and gets cod is BURN THE HERETIC. Haddock is the only acceptable fish. 🙂

    I liked how they have a massive old Buick Riviera (which I’ve just looked up now – it looks like a car from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet). It reminded me of the arcade game House of the Dead, when the zombie hunters roll up in a Jaguar Mk2. It really rubs in that this is a profession for eccentric gentlemen.

    It also reminded me of one of the greatest missed opportunities in computer games, the horror / first person shooter XCOM. It was set in a warmly lit, idealised 1950s suburbia where you investigated a Lovecraftian alien invasion. You’d go to the scene of strange events, interview witnesses, take photographs, and gather samples. But if you stayed too long the aliens would come back, and at least until you’d got some research done, you’d be overmatched and then it’d be a desperate escape. It had a real sense of creeping dread as the corruption got closer and closer to home.

    These are three iconic stills from the early game development:

    For those okay with video, this is the trailer:

    And in this video the developers describe step by step how they ruined what could have been one of the best games ever made:

    Maybe an occult threat that serious could be in something like Book 12, once Ariel’s hard-boiled enough to wear a fedora. 🙂

  180. Re: World Reserve Currency
    WRC = Worst Resource Curse
    Elites always want to have central control of the issuance of money for what should be an obvious reason: Whenever there is a growth in the real value of property rights within “The Economy” that uses that money to price things, there is a corresponding growth in the demand for that form of money. So you have to create more of it. Who gets first crack at spending that new money? Well, for example, the counties around Washington DC have been insulated from the collapse of the middle class by making those counties have the highest MEDIAN income in the country — even more so when one does the risk adjustment on total compensation.

    People serious about preparing for the impending chaos should check out my blog.

  181. @Kimberly Steele #17

    I saw your original Magic Monday Clean Toilet Challenge post and have to thank you for it as it came at the right time. Originally, I had not intention to respond as I wasn’t up for promising daily toilet cleaning except the latest chapter of Levi’s (Preparations) has an emphasis on cleanliness that has been working on my mind.

    Mind you we keep our toilets clean but a couple of days ago I had the thought I hadn’t scrubbed the bowel in a while and did so. I then decided to clean the guest toilet we don’t use. The time the bowl is empty of water (no surprise as we don’t use) but a couple of roaches had set up a nest there. If it wasn’t for your post, they would have had possibly a few weeks or even a month or two to begin an infestation before they were discovered…..

    Also discovered that our clean toilet was not as clean as I thought (interior rim) With the mind focused on clean toilets it also focuses on other things and places that need a good cleaning so thanks again.

    I have to see what I can find out about Ususama myoo kami.

  182. Michael Martin @ 173, The Republican Party and its’ religious base had two opportunities to heal the racial divide in the US and blew both of them. First opportunity was in the early 80s, days of the so-called moral majority. Clergymen of national reputation, such as the guy from 700 club, could have spoken, one Southern man to other Southerners, about how segregation and the terrorist policies which had kept it in place were not Christian, not supported by one single line of scripture, and not moral.

    Second was after the Reagan Presidency, when the Republicans might have defied their CIA allies and nominated Colin Powell for the presidency.

    Me, as a Roman Catholic convert, I would like to see our church stay out of politics and get back to what we are good at, which is education and healing, both spiritual and physical, and building. I begin to be hopeful as to that point. The latest homily I heard at mass had not one word about abortion or current events, but was about seeking God’s love in our daily lives. The Church has a loong institutional memory and knows from dark ages. It already survived one.

    What I was trying to say, Michael Martin, is that there soon will be no more institutional prestigious perches for the likes of La Tanden or other privileged migrants. Institutions which hope to have local support, be they govt., schools, or non-profits, will durn well have to hire local. The Left can denounce this as “corruption”, but lefties have shown no ability to govern any better than the old time machines.

  183. viduraawakened – Re: textbooks on industrial processes. I have a copy of “Basic Principles and Calculations in Chemical Engineering”, by David. M Himmerblau, 4th ed., Prentice-Hall, 1982. From the cover “Serves as an introduction to the principles and techniques used in the field of chemical, petroleum, and environmental engineering.” (I think I must have gotten it at a yard sale or used-book sale.) Here’s an arbitrarily selected problem (slightly abbreviated): “A fan delivers air at 1.5 m/sec at a pressure differential of 6 cm H2O. Inlet temp: 21.1C, outlet: 22.8C. The duct area is 0.60 m^2. Determine the power required for the fan.”

    Or, “CO is burned with excess air and the theoretical flame temperature is 1255K, what was the percentage of excess air used? (Reactants start at 93C.)”

    These problems are concisely stated, but I don’t have any idea how to solve them. I haven’t read the book! But I can imagine the efficient industrial production relies on people being able to solve these questions, and a thousand more like them, for any real-world process.

  184. @Lathechuck #188: a lot of technology – very high tech for the period. I can’t remember the article I read describing it, but they had a lot of redesigning the landscape to do, using high explosives among other things. As I said, cutting-edge for the period, and very costly. But worth it in its day.

  185. For Will O, #24:

    When I was a 13-yo girl I loved Fushigi Yugi by Yuu Watase. The artwork is older now but it’s really pretty. Fantasy themes with romantic tension that isn’t explicit. I was also a fan of Fruits Basket.

    If she loves Studio Ghibli, she should be aware that Howl’s Moving Castle is originally a middle grade novel by Diana Wynne Jones that’s very good.

    Mushishi is of a completely different tone (not shojo), but it’s a fascinating manga and soothing anime based on historical traveling druid-types in Japan who worked with the life force.

    In general I wouldn’t worry about letting her explore the Shojo Manga genre on her own because it’s aimed at young girls and therefore never gets super violent or sexual. If you’re in the US, Barnes and Noble sometimes has a manga section, and there are online publishers. Viz Manga has Fushigi Yugi.

  186. Larkrise #189, I had to look it up because it’s been a while but it’s The Sacred Trust: I remembered something else from after I had the soul retrieval. That night I felt like I didn’t fit in my body. One of the things the shaman told me was to imagine my soul as a plant. I visualised it growing from a bush to a massive tree and that fixed the problem. Also just realised it was in Otley, not Ossett (which I also misspelled).

  187. Siliconguy, I’ve been wondering, all through the current fad for gender surgeries for children, what happened to all the yelling about genital mutilation a few years ago. So it’s bad for Muslims in the third world to mutilate their children’s genitals, but it’s okay for middle class American atheists to have the medical profession do it?

    Augusto, good heavens. Please accept my condolences; that’s got to be difficult.

    Stephen, so noted. Are you equally willing to admit that the execution of witches and Jews by Christian inquisitors was also human sacrifice?

    Viduraawakened, thanks for this! As for a general response to Sri Aurobindo’s ideas and a critique of the places where I think he ran off the rails, I’ll consider it, but I still have some of The Life Divine to study in adequate depth, to say nothing of his other work — so it may be a bit.

    Patricia M, thanks for this. I’ll take a look at it.

    Grover, I see we have acquaintances in common. 😉

    Patricia M, I get that. At sixty, I’m still in fairly robust health, but there are things I did a couple of decades back that would not be a good idea for me to do now, and decisions I’ve made about how I’m living that have had to take the limitations of age into account. It’s a complex thing!

    Yorkshire, haddock’s very tasty, but here on the Atlantic coast of the US — which is where Adocentyn is located, of course — cod is standard for fish and chips. Yes, I know, we’re savages here; we also dislike mushy peas and think rude thoughts about which orifice of what life form Marmite comes from. As for occult threats, nah — one of the gimmicks I’m having fun with in Ariel’s stories is that all the magic is real. Everything that appears in those books is something that you could actually encounter, or do, in the world where you’re living right now. That adds a certain entertainment value to the whole series, at least to me, and it doesn’t put any serious dent in the potential for danger and spookiness; just for example, the book I’m working on right now has to do with lycanthropy…

    Jabowery, so noted. I trust you’ll be taking part in conversations here and not just pushing your own blog, though.

  188. JMG, I’m interested in your take on this.

    So you’ve mentioned Hilter being possessed or obsessed by Wotan.

    But what about Napoleon Bonaparte, who repeatedly claimed that a Little Red Man of Destiny played a role in guiding his thoughts and actions. And he wasn’t the only one who saw this Red man – whenever a significant event was about to take place at the Tuileries Palace, the Little Red Man of Destiny would make an appearance. This includes Henry IV seeing him before his own assassination, and Marie Antoinette seeing him before a mob stormed the palace and put an end to the monarchy.

    The Little Red Man of Destiny appeared to Napoleon in Egypt in 1798, informing him that he had a period of 10 years to achieve success on the European battlefield. There are also accounts of this figure appearing to Napoleon on other occasions.

    I’ve only read about it recently, but its so very curious. Any thoughts on the identity of this Red Man?

  189. @siliconguy #56: Thank you very much for your continued reports! As a child, I lived in West Africa with maybe a couple of hours of electricity a day, just enough so the fridge would keep a bit cooler than the kitchen and to listen to an LP from time to time. We usually read with kerosene lamps. It is better than no electricity. Work from home and computer work in general would become difficult to impossible, of course. I suppose the biggest question is how to continually supply factories that can’t be stopped, cold storage etc.

    Do you have any idea how energy needs during a dunkelflaute compare to pumped water or other forms of energy storage? And since the usual suggestion is that electricity will be supplied from areas that do not lack wind and/or sunlight, do you have any idea how much the grid would need to be expanded?

  190. @Larkrise #41,

    I found Patrick Teahan’s youtube channel helpful; he gives a lot of examples of how childhood can be unhealthy and how adults carry that into their present. I am working through one of the books he recommends, John Bradshaw’s Homecoming. It’s really difficult work but I can already tell that I’m having fewer adrenaline surges from emotional baggage in my everyday life as a result.

  191. That is something I was wondering about – what’s the largest and most dangerous occult threat that could realistically happen? Is there a nightmare scenario?

  192. Dear Mr Greer,

    I am not an American and I don’t live in the USA, therefore I’m not sure if what I’m about to write makes sense, but who knows?

    It seems to me that Biden’s term, since the very beginning, is a fight against white separatism. The fight against “white supremacy” is in fact a fight to prevent white separatism. Supremacy means being above others, and I doubt there is a significant number of white Americans who want to be above other races… They’d rather be away from them, which is quite different, and that’s what separatism means. But Biden saying his enemy is “white supremacy” is good propaganda. If he said he’s fighting against white separatism, people would be inclined to inquire about separatism, and maybe be seduced by the idea.

    I noticed that one of the first decisions Biden took was to launch what amounts to a purge of the American armed forces. That’s quite logical: if push comes to shove domestically, the president must have an army he can trust. That is probably why the Pentagon has gone woke so fast: purging the armed forces from white separatists is vital. Maintaining high level military efficiency less so, since the USA is protected by two oceans and two allied neighbors.

    Why would Biden and the people behind him want to keep people they don’t like inside the tent? First, if even a small number of States go their own way, the American empire is dead, and the dominant class would lose a lot. Just think of the communist party elite that ruled the USSR. After the fall of the USSR, it simply disappeared and was replaced by another ruling class.

    Second, Biden and his party are confident that they can turn the children of the separatists into good imperial citizens. That’s what wokism in education is about, probably: woke people are not separatists. Quite the reverse, they’d cling to the empire because without the empire their way of life would be unsustainable.

    Wokism is a complex phenomenon, with many causes. For instance, when the economy shrinks, those who earned little are afraid that their already small portions will be reduced to almost nothing, which makes them seek good reasons to unite against the evil guys who have the big portions.

  193. In “fire weather” news – we built a volcano and then threw Alberta in.

    “The Fort McMurray fire grew so big, so fast, it overran the city in an afternoon and generated its own stratospheric storm system in the middle of what had been a bluebird Alberta day. As the city’s residents made their frantic escape, it was through apocalyptic conditions that recalled the seventh plague in the Bible’s Book of Exodus: “So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land since Egypt became a nation.”

    There was none like it since Canada became a nation, either: The exodus of May 3 [2016] was the largest, most rapid displacement of people because of fire in modern times – anywhere on Earth. So profound was the damage, and so persistent were the flames (houses and work camps were still burning down two weeks later) that the city was closed for a full month. With the sole exception of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, no other North American city has been disinhabited for so long.”

    (The latest fires, while extremely extremely large, have so far not burned down any cities).

    Also, Salman’s back! (Back again.)

  194. Toby,

    This is a fascinating and dense topic indeed. I’ll share my very personal views, I could be wrong but it’s how I see things and how they work for me.

    I do believe there’s a divine and intelligent Source we are all connected to in our own special ways, albeit I view that from a completely initiatory and esoteric perspective, especially in regards to Abrahamic religions. Satan (the “adversary”) is nothing but the collective forces contrary to the Jewish zeitgeist be it evil or not, eventually it became associated with the “sun in the south”, that is Saturn, but it’s far more nuanced than that. Jesus himself described certain Jewish sects as the Synagogue of Satan for instance, and he as the “Morning Star”.

    What’s more troubling to me as well, is the related grimoire traditions that subjugate and bind these “spirits” in the name of their national deity to do what they want, whether these spirits are evil or not, it’s something I totally oppose even though I appreciate and follow certain teachings within Christianity and Islam. These are elemental and djinn spirits and should be left alone, the best you could do is just banish and do consecration and prayer constantly, they will eventually go away, but NEVER mock or curse them. Unfortunately many followers of these religions do practice a deeply dangerous and elaborated systems of magic related to these spirits, and they tend to be of the left-hand path even if they appear as sheikh or priest. There are tons of them, they’re shells that failed initiation into the religions they were born into. I wouldn’t be surprised if these elementals and spirits targeted and waged wars against them on the inner planes.

    Also I believe that each period produces a certain ideal (and energy) that will symbiotically evolve into the other, we are still in the aftereffects of the Piscean Age, and everything related to it will either evolve or disintegrate. The rise in conservative and fundamental outlooks are in my opinion a subconscious reaction to that, and it’s possible that the early Christians were fighting the spirits and energies of the previous ages, it’s not strictly “evil demons”.

    It’s also a matter of different currents within a single cosmology, meaning for instance if you invoke energy from Yesod it will be different if not at conflict with energy from Chokmah, though they’re connected but cannot be fully perceived/experienced simultaneously, it isn’t necessarily evil or demonic though, and that’s why there’s the initiate and the profane.

    Pagan religions had the privilege of nature worship, they tolerate all kinds of spirits within it even the chthonic and dark ones, just look at some of the Hindu and Tibetan deities to get a glimpse of that, they have a peculiar economy and ethics to deal with them, I personally prefer the knowledge in theory than getting into practical and direct contact with these entities. Abrahamic religions on the other hand focus only on the planes “above the abyss”, and naturally that put them at conflict with what’s below the abyss, and it would be nice if they harmonized that aspect according to their teachings as we progress into the Aquarian Age.

  195. Re: Book #3 – there used to be a filk song “Lycanthropy! My love suffers from lycanthropy!…..” Back when s/f fans actually sang and wrote such parodies instead of calling them up on the computer and maybe mumbling along with them.

  196. Patricia – Re: #188. I’m afraid you attributed to me something that siliconguy posted. (I’m flattered by the association.) HOWEVER… just yesterday, I was riding my bike along the old towpath between the C&O Canal and the Potomac River, marveling at the reshaped landscape that made it all possible. It wasn’t too hard to imagine an individual dam or lock being built, in the 1800s, but the towpath and canal run from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. That’s 184 miles of building a canal that (at least, where I’ve seen it) often flows high above the river level. Where did all that stone, fill, and (I assume) waterproofing clay come from? How did they transport it? How did they finance the land, labor, & materials, for years before they could start charging for cargo? (It took 22 years to complete, but I suppose that traffic on the lower sections could help pay for construction on the higher sections.)

    The older I get, the more I discover questions about the world around me.

  197. Hi JMG – your question from last week:

    Why are you obsessed with imposing the rigid monotony of ‘progress’ on a cosmos that laughs at such simplistic dogmas?

    I’m not, certainly not on a cosmic level. I was just thinking that right here, right now with a certain load of over-connected disconnected humans, a realignment of the idea of ‘progress’ away from the material realm towards thinking of more subtle individual spiritual ‘development’ might be useful. Of course, there’s paradox that comes into play and, no doubt, the only real way to ‘progress’ is to lose the need with all your will.
    And there you’ve got me!

  198. Ecosophian, that’s a fascinating question which I’d have to research in detail, as I haven’t looked into it. I’ll see whether time permits.

    Yorkshire, the ultimate occult threat is a phenomenon like Nazi Germany — a situation in which a group of occultists succeed in using evil magic to obtain magical control over a nation, and then fall under the domination of the malefic forces they’ve summoned. I don’t foresee Ariel having to contend with something like that, for what it’s worth.

    Horzabky, yes, it makes sense, but I tend to think that what Biden’s handlers are trying to do is rather different. The great threat to the current elite classes isn’t white separatism, it’s the white working class and working class people of color realizing that they have far more in common than either one has with the elite classes. “Divide and conquer” has been a central maneuver of the elites here since long before the US became a nation, and race is the most common wedge issue. So Biden’s handlers are trying to keep white and nonwhite populations at each other’s throats; purging populists from the armed forces was of course important, but it was a tactical move, not a core strategy.

    Patricia M, funny. I’ll see if I can find it.

  199. @Degringolade #116
    A lot of stuff I find useful for keeping an eye on the current developments is either not published periodically or not published on paper or both.
    I myself follow developments in US military counterinsurgency tactics. I found US Marine Corps University publication on the subject quite illuminating. They don’t have a periodical (at least not the one dedicated to counterinsurgency) so I just read their books as they come out
    As for the rest of it: I know this is not what you were looking for but I would suggest subscribing to a specialised newsletter for an industry you are interested in. It is not a paper periodical but:
    1) Once it is in your inbox you can read it completely offline
    2) There is no politics
    3) Technological advances (or lack thereof) are usually reported in a realistic manner. There is still some exaggeration and BS but a lot less than you would find the mainstream media
    4) Same goes for supply chain issues – they are reported in more or less realistic manner.
    I am myself subscribed to electronic engineer’s EETimes newsletter to keep track of developments in IT. Electronic engineers have to deal with the real world so tend to be a lot more level-headed than their software brethren.
    Hope this helps

  200. Thank you JMG, I warmly accept them. It is rather difficult for me at the moment.

  201. I have been under the impression that an opposition is always negative, always an affliction, in astrology. Do I have this wrong? A friend of mine just suggested that I might.

    Many thanks.

  202. Abraham, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the planes of existence! It’s a subject I’ve been doing a lot of meditating on in recent years, and I very much like your formulation. Particularly the emphasis on wave functions – that’s not a connection I had made on my own, but it rings true. On reading your thoughts on the subject I felt inspired to put my own in writing as well, if you’re interested in reading a fellow seeker’s thoughts I’d certainly welcome your feedback! You can check them out here:

  203. Hi John Michael,

    fall under the domination of the malefic forces they’ve summoned I’m far from certain that that isn’t going on.

    Hey, the future looks cloudy. 🙂 Also noting that you dodged predictions earlier this year. Are you getting any clearer idea as to the direction we’re headed? Candidly, things look changeable to me. It’s a strange time, that’s for sure. My best guess is down, down, down to the ground. And maybe then, a bit further. Actually it reminds me a lot of the lead in to the recession in the early 1990’s. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to a repeat of that time, but the indicators seem to be pointing in that direction.

    By the way. You were right. We’re cosying up to India. Not a bad strategy at all.



  204. Galan #172: RE: Twilight’s Last Gleaming. I’ve been doing my best to promote that one and other books discussed here (Spengler, & c.) on the realist blogs, such as Mr. Johnson’s.

  205. “Yorkshire, the ultimate occult threat is a phenomenon like Nazi Germany — a situation in which a group of occultists succeed in using evil magic to obtain magical control over a nation, and then fall under the domination of the malefic forces they’ve summoned. I don’t foresee Ariel having to contend with something like that, for what it’s worth.”

    What would this look like from the inside? I’m wondering if there might be a connection between the Magic Resistance and the way that the elite have rather abruptly openly embraced so much of the Nazi playbook. If so, what options are there to minimize the damage done to one’s own life? Aside from fleeing; I have family and friends here, and I’d rather not leave my current life if I can avoid it. I’m not sure I see any other options if this is happening though….

  206. Jay, fair enough. I may simply be overreacting to the endless dreary repetition of progressivist cant in our society.

    Grover, no aspect is entirely negative and no aspect is entirely positive. An opposition is always difficult, but if you can learn to hold the opposing factors in equilibrium it becomes a source of balance, like the staff with the weights on the ends that tightrope walkers use.

    Chris, I’m delighted to hear that Oz is getting friendly with India — that’s a win-win arrangement for both nations, and it’s also the only thing I can think of that might keep Australia from fulfilling Cordwainer Smith’s prophecy and becoming the Chinese province of Aojou Nambien. As for prediction, we’re in an extremely unsettled situation right now and any of dozens of possible outcomes might result. I’m watching a lot of variables right now!

    Concerned, you’re right to be worried. Once the Magic Resistance started invoking demons in its spells against Trump, the likelihood that they would fall victim to their own evil magic was very high, and (if I may be frank) the dismally low standards of occult competence in those rituals and in their activities generally were not exactly reassuring. What it would look like from the inside is people abruptly losing the capacity to think clearly, falling into a weirdly mechanical state where all they can do is repeat slogans without reflection, and acting in ways that completely contradict the values they claimed to uphold. How to deal with that, if you’re not a participant, depends very much on what form the inevitable blowback takes, and that’s hard to predict in advance. Regular spiritual practice governed by strict ethics, however, is always a good start.

  207. Phutatorious @ 185

    Yes indeed! Stanley Kubricks Major Kong astride the BoMb is such a great meme. In fact, I would state that it has Supreme relevance to the tit-for-tat that our current craycray state dep/pentagram/CONmicCON projects towards the ever astonished Russian gov./mod./diplomatic core .. to say for the Bricks + Hodcarters. Honestly, I fear for both the the Murican Idiocracy that has no clue, and the rightfully aggrieved Russians, be they public or administrative.. I mean, here is Lindsey Graham – the anus of John McCaine .. now, as we speak .. in Ukraine, wishing to wave the start flag .. for ww3!

    Yippykyyae my highny!

  208. Kimberly Steel #17..

    If things get a hinky as I suspect they will, than you’ll will be drinking outta the nearest bowl .. regardless of how ‘pristine’ it be…
    just sayin……

    Prepare accordingly.

  209. In response to Aldarion;

    In true engineer fashion I’m going to reply “it depends” because it does. What is this Grid of which you speak? Broadly the Grid is whatever it takes to get the power from source to end user. That depends on what the source is.

    The more pie in the sky types keep pointing out that the solar energy in southern Nevada and northern Arizona could power the whole country. To do that involves very long runs of HVDC lines. On the other hand a large number of properly distributed nuclear reactors would require very few additional long distance lines.

    And then we get to the end users. At one extreme my house built in 1957 has a 200 amp service because it was all electric from the beginning. Three rooms still have the 1957 vintage baseboard heaters because they still work. There is a 30 amp 240 V outlet in the carport intended for a welder. It would be trivial to convert that to a level 2 charger for an EV. So I need do nothing.

    The utility has to worry about adding capacity as much for growing population as anything. Last winter Crescent Bar (on the Columbia River) had a power shortage because the local substation was at its limit because the population there had grown.

    Now compare this to a situation where a city that has long had natural gas service has to upgrade everything in town to support all electric houses. Really old houses after had 60 amp services, and a lot were built with 100 amp services. Look in the breaker panel and see what the breaker at the top says. The rating is stamped into the breaker somewhere. You may need a flashlight to make it out.

    As for pumped storage, where will you put it? Banks Lake above Grand Coulee Dam was intended and is set up for pumped storage. But its utility in that role is reduced because it’s a recreational Mecca. Saying “We are are short of power so we are going to completely drain Banks Lake through the pump-turbines” is no longer an option.

    As for how much water, well it’s flow of the Columbia through a 1290 foot drop from Lake Roosevelt to the bottom of Bonneville dam. That’s not quite at sea level, so maybe 1270 feet of drop is a better number. The formula for potential energy is PE = mgh, which is mass times gravitational constant times height. 1270 ft is about 390 meters, keep it all in metric, it’s easier in the long run. Take turbine efficiency of 90%, and you should be close to figuring out what is going on.

    For those of you who are not all electric, the stove will take a 50 amp breaker, the water heater 30 amps, the dryer is also 30 amps. For heat figure a 20 amp circuit for the living room, and another 20 amp circuit for each two bedrooms. That will get you close. The heat pump that takes care of half of my house has a 25 amp breaker.

  210. So…. as I read the ‘woke’ daily local knews .. apparently, some 30’something ‘female’, uh, miscreant .. was recently busted for drug trafficking to minors. Her copout was that .. get this .. she ‘identified’ as a 15-year-old. How’s THAT for a woke excuse???

  211. Just started reading Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush. Who can ignore a title like that? Noticed an emphasis on the theory of progress. The problem is progress is both a success and a disaster.

    Progress is just technology which is a response to population growth. This response is a success in that it has allowed our growing population to survive. But the problem is that every technological advance stimulates more population growth which demands more technological innovation.

    Progress is a disaster in that we have reached a breaking point where technology can’t keep up with population growth any longer. Things are getting worse and social decline is accelerating. The only solution is population decline. This is supposed to happen later this century. All we can do until then is try to maintain.

  212. Hey jmg

    On the subject of charity by proxy, I have a strong suspicion that it is a very recent phenomenon, since I can’t recall any mention of it in older works, though I haven’t really studied the phenomenon in depth. It would probably be something worth investigating and writing a essay or book about.

    In my view charity by proxy is an example of “having one’s cake and eating it” or N. Taleb’s concept of “skin in others game”, or a specialised version of Garrett Hardin’s “C.C./P.P. Game”.
    The person committing it essentially wants the benefit of helping someone or thing without suffering the cost necessary to do it, so they try and get someone else to do it so they can get a kind of second-hand virtue from at least causing someone else to help another or support a cause.

  213. @Mr Nobody #6 and JMG
    Re: Q-Anon
    There’s little doubt that Q-Anon is a government psy-op–
    Q-Anon seems to have a goal of pulling down the current US Government. It’s telling that there seems to be no governmental interest at all in finding out who ‘Q’ is, or official action taken against it.
    By contrast, there was a lot of interest in ‘Proud Boys’ and ‘Oath Keepers,’ especially after Jan 6th–
    The question I have been mulling over is, “Why would government fund a group like Q-Anon that at least appears to be against them? Simply to make people look like idiots, or something else?”
    It could be a Western version of the Soviet OGRU’s “Operation Trust.” In the 1920’s, Russian intelligence set up a fake anti-Bolshevik organization to lure in people who opposed them enough to try to do something about it–And then shot them at their leisure. Even this possibility does not seem like a good explanation to me, because it has gone on too long. But it would be interesting to eventually learn what is really going on there…

  214. @Augusto, #177 and #178

    First of all: sorry about your pal, it’s getting more dangerous out there. He will be in my prayers tonight.

    About the cell salts, I am glad for you to be doing this experiment. All I can tell you is not to take succussion for granted. One of the first terrifying conclusions I reached when I started down this path is that everything is connected with everything else, in the literal sense. So everything that we dump into the environment is really coming back to us regardless of the dilution (the argument that if you put dangerous stuff in a big enough water body it stops being dangerous). BUT, the reason we do not drop death already is that intentionality has a quality that is a quantity of its own.

    In my mind, succussion is a ritual: a sequence of physical actions that nail down an intention from the upper planes and make those impact in the lower planes. Because it was born in the modern Europe, homeopathic ritual is barren of religious symbolism, but it is a ritual nonetheless. That is my explanation of why Hahnemannian preparations are stronger that Korzakovian preparations of the same potency: Hahnemann’s method is purely manual while Korzakov’s use a machine. So, the machine performs the ritual to some degree, much like those Buddhist prayers that are performed by waterwheels or the wind, but the focus of the human artisan making the preparation has a weight that cannot be matched simply by repeating the same movements with a mechanical contraption.

    This is all speculation, of course, so I do not know how to prove or disprove it other than trying both ways and seeing if there’s a difference in results.

    As for your message in DW, I did see it. I am sorry for not responding earlier but the semester is just closing at la Universidad, and I have been fairly busy. I will write back to you later tonight.

  215. @Chris in Fernglade – down to the ground, or “back to the caves”? Or, since I live in the city, the behaviour of my compatriots sometimes looks like a more evolutionary metaphor: “back to the trees”.

    (Either way don’t worry, I have a song for that – it’s the joke with the call display on her phone that really brings it all together.)

  216. “What it would look like from the inside is people abruptly losing the capacity to think clearly, falling into a weirdly mechanical state where all they can do is repeat slogans without reflection, and acting in ways that completely contradict the values they claimed to uphold.”

    This certainly seems like a good description of the last few years…..

  217. Dear Mr. Greer, regarding your answer to Concerned Anonymous. You are describing what already seems to be happening in the USA, with the Dems anyway. It seems since 2016 the Dems have gone stark raving crazy. They’re going against all their stated principles, pushing censorship, being authoritarian, and are “repeating slogans without reflection “, to quote yourself. I’m having an increasingly hard time dealing with it all as ALL my relatives are die hard Dems. My youngest sister even said she would vote for Biden in 2024. A senile, demented old man. I’m so worried about this country, I wish I could leave, but I’m 69 years old and all my kids and grandchildren are here. They all seem so brainwashed! Every day this country gets crazier and crazier. Though I think we really dodged a bullet in 2016. Can you imagine if Hillary had won? The cackling war criminal? I shudder. Sorry, I really don’t have a question for you, just wanted to say that as far as I can see, the Dems are already possessed by demons.

  218. Scotlyn @ #173. Thank you for clearly articulating some of my confusion about public transgender discussions!

  219. Hi JMG, well I don’t know about you but some days I sniff the air and I get the scent of change on the wind. It might even be a little scent of revolution. I don’t know if I’m going to like it or not but it’s there. I’ve just been doing quite a bit or reading on the French Revolution and there are things in the undertone these days that rhyme…

  220. Roman, I’d like to suggest a different way of thinking about progress. Progress is a myth — that is, a narrative that’s used by people who believe in it to make sense of their world. It’s not an objective reality. Technological change happens, but is that change “progress” in any meaningful sense? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, and very often the next generation of technology is just a way for some corporation to extract more money for the same good or service. Within a few years, remember, the last human beings who walked on the moon will have died of old age, and most of the other technological marvels which were supposed to save us are still missing in action. So progress is simply a faith-based narrative imposed on a disorderly reality, and no longer serves to cover the reality of accelerating decline except for those who live in a sufficiently thick bubble of media…

    J.L.Mc12, I’d definitely encourage you to do that research and write that essay!

    Emmanuel, notice that the main thing that the Qanon scheme did was talk millions of Trump supporters into staying home and doing nothing in the wake of the 2020 election. I think that shows very well what the point of the whole business is.

    Concerned, I know. That’s one of the things that has me really worried.

    Heather, certainly something has gone weirdly wrong.

  221. 🥁Larkrise 41✨


    People have trod this trail before. You need not start from stratch.

    Martin Duffy, located in Ireland, is the real thing, so I have been told by two authors, Frank MacEowen and Tom Cowan. No frou-frou.

    Martin Duffy specifically mentions soul loss on his website.

    Both Frank McEowen and Tom Cowan have books out that at least mention sidelong glances at soul loss.

    Emma Restall Orr too, her books have been immensely helpful. She also wrote a book something like “Psychic Protection,” but can’t find it anywhere. All of her books, to me, are classics.

    Most of my personal books are still in boxes from my last move. I thought Frank MacEowen wrote a book on soul loss, but I guess not. I would like to dig out my Druidry books, a project I don’t have time for now. Sorry.

    Frank MacEowen (a pen name) is more than an acquaintance but less than a friend. I took a workshop from him. He wrote his three books (a trilogy), the best being his first of three “The Mist-Filled Path.” Around 108, he moved to his home-state of Mississippi, and was—or is—working for web design company.

    All the above, at one time or another, was involved with Druidry.

    Hope this helps.🤞🏼

    💨😢Northwind Grandma
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  222. #35 Roe–
    You may want to let them learn by doing– JMG used to get people to rub their palms together, then bring the palms close to feel the energy between them. It’s a simple exercise, then you can talk with them about what it means.

    I once tried to make a NON-working, fake oracle.
    It failed spectacularly–by actually working, and continuing to give sensible and insightful answers so long as I follow the rules set up at its creation.
    You can read about my failed attempt here:

    It may be helpful to get them to attempt to make a non-working oracle. Feel free to use my design, or have them make their own. Whatever they make, it will probably work anyway and then you can have a discussion about the inter
    connectedness of all things.

    When you see who shows up to try new things, it will give you a good idea of who is really interested.

  223. On demons: If we believe in evolution and that each organism was optimized over millennia to ensure its own survival and propagation, where then do self-destructive impulses come from? They should have been bred out of us long ago. It follows therefore that they must come from outside of us, from demons, evil spirits, imps, or what have you.

    Personally I’ve always loved Giovanni Guareschi’s Don Camillo illustrations, with the good angel perched on one shoulder, and the bad angel whispering into his ear on the other shoulder. And your bad angel knows you so well!

  224. Siliconguy #220, whent the utility companies complain about having to build new high voltage lines, it just sounds like malingering to me. The British National Grid was started in the 1920s, including being built through the Scottish Highlands in winter. It was finished just in time for the Second World War, a narrow escape not often talked about. After the war, generating capacity had to be massively expanded and the coalfields weren’t where most of the demand was. They could have built power stations near the demand and taken coal to them by train, but decided it was better to have generation near the mines and set up new power lines. They called it ‘coal by wire’. Above where I live, up on the moors there are three rows of pylons side by side, taking electricity over the Pennines. Having said that, a ‘long’ high voltage line means very different things in Britain and America.

    Shadowrider #230, the best thing I ever read about the psychology of taking part in a revolution was an article by Colin Barker called ‘Crises and Turning Points in Revolutionary Development: Emotion, Organisation and Strategy in Solidarnosc, 1980-81’. It was freely available for years but now seems to be restricted. You might still be able to dig it up somewhere. Colin Barker also edited two books, Revolutionary Rehearsals and Reolutionary Rehearsals in the Neoliberal Age. The last chapter of the first is particularly good. He does lean heavily into ‘building the party’ but feel free to ignore that. 🙂

  225. @JMG, Concerned, Heather, et al.

    It is interesting to compare notes with what is happening in New Zealand, where I now live.

    On the one hand, we had a uniquely vile Prime Minister in Jacinda Ardern. Thankfully, she is gone now. I note that she announced her sudden resignation on the Orthodox Feast of Theophany, in which we commemorate the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan, which we Orthodox interpret as a redemption of the created world. On that day, we go to oceans and rivers and perform a ceremony called the “Great Blessing of the Waters.” Certainly, some important “cleansing” took place in New Zealand on that day! But I digress …

    I have read about the kind of zombification Heather and JMG are talking about. I have also read of crazy driving by cognitively impaired drivers. Many attribute this to the “Jabs.” However, I think that the bad “ju-ju” released by black magicians may explain more of it.

    What is interesting, is that I am not noticing these particular phenomena in New Zealand. Rather, what is happening here is more non-verbal “acting out.” “Ram raids” of shops and stores, in which youth gangs crash their cars into store fronts, and proceed to rob them, are becoming ubiquitous here. Many businesses are closing their doors because of this.

    I attribute this crime surge to the effect of the lock-downs, which were much more severe in New Zealand than in the States. Essentially, the entire country was place under house arrest for months, with many people effectively in solitary confinement for months on end. If you are already vulnerable and “on edge” anyway, that would tip you over, and I think that is what has happened.

    So, what explains the difference? I think that there is far less explicit ceremonial “black magic” being practised here. I am not speaking of the low-level sorcery of propaganda and advertising, which is universal throughout the Western world. I mean explicit Satanism and “chaos magic.” New Zealand is a highly secular society, so I think most people just don’t dabble in that kind of thing.

    I will be interested in what other readers Down Under have to say about this.

  226. JMG,

    OK, thanks for the clarification regarding oppositions. That makes plenty of sense.

  227. Regarding cod vs. haddock:

    I don’t know about Oop North, but down here in the South, cod is generally preferred. Due to overfishing of cod stocks, I have tended to opt for obscure fish at the bottom of the menu such as rock, which has led to some amusingly farcical situations as fish-and-chip-shop staff rummage around in the freezer looking for some breaded fillets of that fish that nobody ever orders.

  228. Hi sarad,

    Of all the things you’d expect to encounter at Ecosophia, Lizzo wasn’t one of those. Dare I suggest that it’s about darn time? 😉

    Yes, expect the unexpected! That’s pretty funny about the intellectual property case, and the puns won the day. I would have missed that sneaky reference had you not mentioned to look for it.



  229. @Roman, I would also like to suggest that what you describe as progress is just the increasing use of a cheap energy source ( fossil fuels). There are some really good graphs out there that transpose the discovery and use of coal and a decade later petroleum with the growth of world population. Before these two cheap and abundant ( at the time) energy sources were discovered world population was relatively static for hundreds of years.
    This is the same mistake the green utopians make in thinking what is important is our “technology” which they assume can be powered by any old energy source. But an energy source that is diffuse, irregular and expensive like solar ( really the only long term energy source there is) can not sustain most of the things people view as progress and not at todays population levels. As an example take the Fritz-Haber process for converting petroleum ( mostly natural gas) in to nitrogen fertilizer. This more than any other technology has allowed world population levels to balloon over the last 200 years. But having this technology in hand is of no use if you don’t have cheap and abundant natural gas to feed in to it.

  230. @everybody who recommended astrology books:

    Thanks to all of you! These suggestions will be very helpful as I broaden my astrology knowledge over time.

    As an aside, though… 😉 I wasn’t actually shopping for astrology books, but replying to @Alex (#3) who asked for recommendations. Thus if you add anything else, you might want to tag him so that he will see your comments.

    @ShadowRider #230

    If you don’t mind me asking, which part of the world are you living in, just roughly?

    @polecat #221

    I’ve been wondering… if I identify as 70+, will I then get a pension and some other benefits, like discounts on public transport, right away? 😉

    Hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday! 🙂


  231. Hey all! it’s been a while. I wanted to show y’all my first coding project, which is an online clone of the board game Quarto that I built using JavaScript. The twist? it uses the Geomantic Figures!

    At the moment it can only be played locally but it’s super fun. It’s a kind of more complex tic-tac-toe, but the figure you play is selected by your opponent. Let me know what you think!

    Additionally, this is for you specifically, JMG, have you read Murray Bookchin? Do you have a take on him?

  232. The utility companies complain less about building new transmission lines than the environmentalists. The years of lawsuits run up the costs, and then the regulators object to the rate increases needed to pay for the lawsuits, and they still have to build the power line.

    There are a disturbingly high fraction of environmentalists who really think they can run their house (and most of them live in town on natural gas service) on a few solar panels on the roof. But every time they need more than the panels provide they expect “the grid” to supply it.

    Last year I got a survey request asking what capacity my electrical service was. I never heard the results. Now I’m curious. I wonder how many houses in towns where natural gas service is available would need a major remodel to go all-electric. Then to increase power available to the houses the transformers need upgrading, then the local transmission lines, then the substation…

  233. I read a news article today about how State Farm was no longer going to write new homeowner insurance policies in California. When you read further it was all policies except for auto insurance.
    That got me thinking how ( large scale) insurance is one of the horsemen of empire ( at least the financial kind like we have). Some of the earliest skyscrapers in the big cities were for insurance companies. They also represented one of the largest flows of money from the countryside to the city, as policy payments flowed in and were skimmed off to benefit the owners, managers and workers in the big cities. It also enabled our particular version of rentier capitalism as the large creditors were protected from the loss of their investments ( auto finance, home mortgages, death of a breadwinner etc). Insurance has grown lockstep with empire becoming more byzantine, and complex along with its host.
    But as empire wanes it will be among the first to die. The conditions that made large scale insurance possible like economic growth, financial stability, increasing lifespans, increasing incomes and public fire and police departments are collapsing along with the empire. Insurance can no longer be profitable in the face of inflation, wild weather, fires, draught, crime and “sudden death” from the Jab and other causes. As municipal woes cause the shrinkage of police, fire departments, and the court system ( a key to insurance) the industry’s financial woes will only get worse. I think if anyone is looking for a good “canary in the coalmine ” to predict the progress of imperial collapse, this is a good one.

  234. Hi all, My mother has a saying, “Don’t go borrowing trouble.” It mean to not base your decisions on hypotheticals. “What if this happens or what if that happens…” Now, after reading this blog for over a decade like many of you, many of us have been trying to make educated guesses of how the age of decline will play out and its time frame. I do believe that JMG’s predictions are the closest to reality saving me from the Cult of Progress and the Cult of Apocalypse. I am forever grateful for his level-headedness and generous contribution to this blog.

    With all this said, I still see many folks jumping the gun. I understand wanting to run off into the bushes to live self sustainably, but most if not all of us do not have the skills, knowledge or endurance to work that hard. So in my mind, “collapse now and avoid the rush” does not mean going beyond the actual demands of our level of collapse now, especially if we cannot handle the level of commitment that it would take to live accordingly.

    I will use myself as an example. I am 51 years old and not as strong as I used to be. My wife and I moved back to her home country of Guatemala. We live in the countryside in an agricultural area where the labor is still done by hand with hand tools (machetes, hoes and pickaxes.) We own 2 acres of mountainside with a spring, avocado trees and have planted a dozen varieties of other fruit trees as well.

    The plan was to grow much of our own food and live self sustainably by the time the economy fell apart in 20 years or so. As Covid policies expedited economic recession and all the manual laborers went north when Biden got elected, one of the things that I have seen is that I cannot keep the properties clean by myself. My 51-year-old wrist cannot handle a machete well enough and I don’t have the energy to even keep the weeds back. Since most everyone went north, anyone that remains doesn’t want to work or wants to charge double for half the output.

    While we are doing fine since I work remotely and can still pay the bills, we thought we had another 20 years before things would get like this. And back to my point of don’t go borrowing trouble… I think there is a fine line between wanting to collapse now before the rush and biting off more than you can chew. I think most of us would do well to follow JMG’s advice and to stick closer to the smaller cities and making ourselves of service to the local community. Going too rural may be borrowing more trouble than you are able to handle.

    I am not sure how much the recent decline will recover and in what time frame, but I do see JMG’s predictions playing out. Either way, have fun storming the castle.

  235. Martin, evolution does not conserve individuals — it conserves species. Quite often it’s advantageous to the species for individuals of that species to behave in self-destructive ways. Consider the way that young males of most mammal species are evolutionarily programmed to engage in risk-taking behavior — those who survive are statistically more likely to be healthier and stronger than those who didn’t, and that benefits the species as a whole.

    Michael, thanks for the data points. I’ll also be interested to see what other readers in your end of the world have to say.

    Luke, funny. I wish our fish and chip places were that flexible when it comes to type of fish!

    Churrundo, yes, I read The Ecology of Freedom many years ago and was underwhelmed by it. Bookchin, like so many intellectuals on the left, bought into the false notion that you can get people to act like angels if you only change the economic system in the right way. Never happened, never will, but hope springs infernal and all that.

    Siliconguy, resource innumeracy — the inability to do the simple math needed to understand what’s required to support their lifestyles — is one of the worst problems we face right now. The environmentalists you cite are great examples of this. A certain meme comes to mind:

    Clay, you’re quite correct — to mix metaphors, that’s a 500-pound canary in the coal mine. If insurance goes down, for that matter, it’s going to take a very large share of the financial economy with it.

    Curt, yes, I’m watching that very closely.

    Clark, thanks for this. Yes, that’s very much the kind of thing I tried to warn people about! “Collapse now and avoid the rush” means take a couple of steps further down the stair than you have to; it emphatically does not mean going whole hog into the same failed back-to-the-land fantasy that’s been retailed so often and accomplished so little.

  236. Clark, and others, I have in the course of the last approximately ten years come to the conclusion that it is probably best to muddle through. The general course of the decline of the West can be known, but not the details and these latter can play a big role in circumstances.

  237. @Chris LOL – I hope her lawyers don’t come after me on the intellectual copyright. I linked “about darn time” last week, but I do have a basket of holey socks that make that pun relevant today, too.

    I figure since it is Pentecost, there is still one relevant Lizzo song left (blaming the goose appears to be in the public domain, still). 😉

  238. Milkyway @241,

    Well apparently, many a pleb have identified as ‘disabled’ .. especially within the last 3 chaotic or so years. In this regard, I posit that a case.. or cases (excuse the pun(s)) could be made.
    I personally identify as mostly sane (if somewhat rattled..) My wish is to not be jumping off the stearn of the U.$.$ Idiocrasy, as it completes it’s pitch into an abyss of its making. Not feeling like I’ll be able to avoid the suction, but who knows..

    Here’s to floatsam.

    p.s. …. good luck on conjuring up that pension thingy ‘;]

    p.p.s. If I’m growing veggies in a garden bed of my own creation, does that make me a plant slaver?

  239. For millions of years humans and their pre-human ancestors lived in small bands which roamed the Earth. Each band usually had a few square miles of land to itself. This lifestyle provides optimal satisfaction for humans in that it is in their DNA.

    All this came to an end with the agricultural revolution. This revolution seemed promising at first but soon became a burden. Ancient people knew this in their own way. The memory of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was passed down through thousands of generations and ended up in the Bible.

    Adam and Eve lived in a garden paradise which must the hunter-gatherer era. But they ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge which must be the agricultural revolution. For this they were banished from the garden paradise and sentenced to a life of farming drudgery. This life was too hard for humans so the idea of resting one day a week had to be invented when no such thing existed in the prior era.

    Agriculture meant population growth which placed more stress on humans who sought relief through technology. But the problem is that any technological relief is temporary as it stimulates more population growth which necessitates more technological relief. This system has broken down today as evidenced by factors such as increasing crime, homelessness, mental disease, and dropping fertility rates.

    One thing about technology rarely mentioned is that it usually tries to recreate the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Take the now much-maligned suburban home. Here a family gets to have a small space for itself. It fills this space with grass, trees, and other plants. It is really an attempt to recreate our lost past.

  240. I’m working through Initiation to Hermetics by Bardon, so thanks JMG and whoever caused that to be recommended a couple threads ago. I’m being strict with myself, using the audiobook like a live initiator by only allowing myself access to a couple of minutes at a time, then work the exercises, then listen to the next task. The start, slow your train of thought by/in order that you may recall(ing) it; then think of only one thought, then think of no-thing. For the “one thought” sessions, one option is to think a mantra, I think this is the power of them, no? nam-myoho-renge-kyo and that’s all that’s active in the mind and you can settle the conscious chatter. Of course two or eight tracks are possible, but I can get back down to one. But if I choose something that’s not a mantra and try to have only one thought, I can’t identify the edge of the idea, which becomes a web, just like what happens when I try to identify one intention which to set my will to, because I’m rarely looking for a single concrete outcome like a pontiac vibe or free dogfood, or at least rarely say “this is the single concrete outcome I wish,” in those cases. It occurs to me for the one-thought exercise that this is why circles of women might have had an easier time becoming cunning at an earlier time, and indeed men too, because they might sit and quilt all day. Or plant. Or weed. Or carve. Or smelt. and so, ‘one-thought’ was so much more of a normal state than it is nowadays. And for “no-thought,” I think of that as just listening. Only listening. Reminds me of the philosopher-mage from earlier in High Magic who wrapped himself in a wool blanket to insulate himself from the external currents. Or dark magicians in tall towers insulated from all distractions becoming obsessed with the one-thought or no-thought preparations for doing some great working, but being hopelessly torn from the fabric of whole-some existence and all life by the effort. Well, on to “identifying and writing down all my faults.” Dang Bardon, tough task master.

  241. Siliconguy,

    “The utility companies complain less about building new transmission lines than the environmentalists. The years of lawsuits run up the costs, and then the regulators object to the rate increases needed to pay for the lawsuits, and they still have to build the power line.”

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe some of those lawsuits came about because of whole towns being wiped out by wildfires, for which P.G.& E. ADMITTED responsibility. Couldn’t be bothered to supervise the crews they contracted with to clear brush away from powerlines. P.G.& E. apparently regards payoffs to wiped out citizens as a cost of doing business. Not to mention that years of lawsuits might have been avoided if P.G.& E, had conducted their businesses in a responsible way in the first place. Like, oh, maybe, have the brush clearer uppers on the payroll with benefits and decent wages, and then Tom or Steve might think twice before tossing a cigarette butt into a pile of dry leaves. I am not aware that any utility companies, certainly not on the West Coast, are operating at a loss. Rumor has it that profits in that sector are quite healthy. It is also news to me that regulators ever object to any increases. Can you provide links on that point?

  242. On the subject of renewable energy and resources required: Dr Simon Michaux has recently published a technical feasibility study of what it would take to transition the world transportation systems (excluding aviation) and the power generation from fossil fuels to renewable energy
    You can read the full report or watch the summary video here:
    His conclusion (unsurprisingly to the readers of this blog) was that the transition to renewables as it is currently envisaged is not technically feasible. We simply won’t be able to mine the raw materials fast enough to build the required renewable energy infrastructure in any reasonable amount of time.
    What is valuable about his report is that Michaux is the first person from either pro- or anti-renewable camp to do a detailed technical study at the level required to produce the hard numbers to back up his assertion.
    He also mentioned in one of his videos that his next body of work will be dedicated to designing a workable energy transition solution. He is a proponent of controlled descent so I’d say he will be the one to watch if you want to get an idea of what our near-term energy future might realistically look like

  243. Yes, Horzabky and JMG in your reply,
    I have often wondered when the poor in USA will look sideways and realise that they have been playing a game called “Let’s you and him fight”. Poor people of any kind have more in common with each other than they do with their own “tribe”. Black and white are just useful terms to keep them at each others’ throats instead of the throats of the haves.

  244. @churrundo #242,
    I didn‘t know the underlying game, but that‘s a great game idea, and a very smart twist with the geomantic figures! (And, if I may add, quite complex when you have to visually keep track of all the rows and possibilities!)

    @Darkest Yorshire #115,
    Pharaonic mummies checking off their „after death intrusion“ checklists… That‘s hilarious! (On the other hand, just, because it‘s seriously funny doesn‘t mean it can‘t be true, right? :D)


  245. Thank you CR Patiño,

    To be fair, he wasn’t making things any easier for himself as he was involved with very bad people doing dubious business. I really did try to talk him out of it several times, he grew up in a nice family, didn’t need to be doing all that crap, but all the movies and tv series glorifying organized crime didn’t help, and he was always looking for glory. In a way, I admire his pursuit out of the rat’s race, but mixed with a deathwish, neurodivergence of the borderline kind and wanting to live out the movie as he called it, he ended up getting what he wanted. I can’t imagine him going out of incarnation any other way. Thanks for the prayers also, I am praying for him at night and will do my best to make his journey out of incarnation as easier as I can manage to do so.

    Thanks for the succusion tip. From Stavish’s alchemy I learned that you really need to be careful with the ritual of preparation, specially while the menstruum is in a volatile stage but I hadn’t considered it as important for cell salt preparations. I will do it the same way that I am preparing tinctures for my Trad Mexican Medicine class, laying down all the implements with respect and intention while praying an incantation over them and see how it goes. I do wonder how long can these things hold a charge, I guess a long time since apparently cell salts are good for years, given that there is still a material anchor in the mixture.

    No worries for the DW message, it is partly about what we are discussing just know, partly about studying homeopathy in Mexico and stuff like that. I am 50% sure at this point that I will pivot from tech to healing but haven’t decided yet if I want to go the National Institute of Medicine and Homeopathy route to get a degree that allows me to prescribe drugs and perform surgery or if I want to go another route and focus more on things I can learn on my own and through classes and psychotherapy. Many occultists I know about are psychotherapists or similar. Jorge Najera told me about that this week, his wife is one. Do you happen to know about him? (He is the head of the Fraternity of the Golden Circle in Guadalajara, an occult organization that is a sister of Dolores Ashchroft Nowicki’s Fraternity of the Inner Light. My jaw dropped when I knew that all the way back home, there is a very active temple with it’s own system that actually seems pretty extensive, so there are many things for me back home…)

    Still just a thought, but it would make my life better in many ways I think, easier I don’t know, but better for sure. One of them being back home, I just can’t stand the psychic space of Seattle and other big metropoliae, the lower astral here is clogged with filth. But who knows, I might even go to North Carolina and sign up for Vasant Lad’s school of Ayurveda, the program seems pretty decent, a little expensive –for a mexican– but way, way cheaper than regular med school; while my visa lasts.

  246. Martin Back – How can evolution allow self-destructive actions? I don’t think that demons need to be responsible. A self-destruction action can be an action which is destructive to the individual, but not to the family. And, as far as evolution is concerned, it’s the genes that need to survive, not the individual. So, if your bouts of crazy aggression get you killed, but chase away some neighbors so your brother gets the fertile pasture and fresh water, and so he raises more children, evolution’s just fine with that. Or, if your obsessive preoccupation with engineering leaves you cold, old, and lonely, but you support your sister’s and brother’s families with the profits from your business, it’s not so good for the genes you carry, but the genes you share with your siblings spread far and wide. It’s a win.

  247. JMG and those who are interested in the power of historical symbols and rituals, I have an interesting story to tell. Today (Sunday, May 28) marks an important event in India’s history: it was the inauguration of the new parliament building in Delhi. The original parliament building was constructed in 1927 by the British without any consideration of Indian customs or traditions (maybe a red ribbon was cut; maybe not; definitely not more than that). The inauguration today was a bit different and therein lies a tale (sorry, it’s a bit long; believe me, I am writing with great economy).

    In the months leading up to the independence of India (1947), Lord Mountbatten met with the man who was to be the new country’s first prime minister (Nehru) to discuss the ceremony of handing over power. A mere handshake would not do; both agreed that some symbolic action must be undertaken that would resonate with the Indian population. But Nehru had no suggestion to offer. So, he discussed the situation with the prominent freedom fighter-turned politician and brilliant scholar ‘Rajaji’ (C. Rajagopalachari). After conducting some research, Rajaji suggested that a sceptre be used, as the handing over of a sceptre (‘sengol’ in Tamil) was the ceremony used in the Chola Empire – an empire that was vast in extent, of great international influence and was very durable (300 BC – 1300 AD). Nehru agreed. Rajaji consulted with the traditional preceptor of the Chola family (rajaguru) and received his permission for the design, manufacture and ceremonial installation of the sceptre.

    In August 1947, the ‘sengol’ sceptre was flown from Chennai to Delhi, with a whole bunch of ritual priests and musicians. The lead priest handed the sceptre to Mountbatten, who handed it back. The priests then conducted a ceremony, including washing the sceptre with Ganges water (to remove the ‘stain’ of British imperialism) and was then ceremonially handed to Nehru shortly before he raised the Indian flag and delivered his historic ‘tryst with destiny’ speech. The process of handing the sengol to Nehru involved the recitation of a 7th century poem composed by a famous Tamil child-saint. The whole independence ceremony – including the sengol — was widely covered by the media, including Time magazine.

    But after the ceremony, what happened to the sengol? Nobody seemed to know; nor did anybody seem to care. It faded from view and from the collective memory. Then, on the 1978 anniversary of Indian Independence Day, the venerable Shankaracharya of Kanchi (one of the most respected monastery heads in Hinduism) spoke with his congregation of monks about the sengol, about how Rajaji had consulted him about it, and how he had directed Rajaji to approach the Chola rajguru. He also spoke about the cultural and spiritual significance of the sengol. This conversation made its way into an obscure book which was read by the editor of a famous Tamil magazine. He asked the question: where has the sengol gone? Nobody knew. Tamil journalists went on the hunt. Finally, the 96-year-old jeweller who produced the sengol confirmed a photograph of a ‘golden walking stick’ that was housed in a dusty old museum of Nehru’s personal possessions – which is the home/birthplace of Nehru himself – to be the sengol. Nehru’s ‘walking stick’??????? [I will leave out a long string of very potent expletives worthy of Yosemite Sam at this point]

    In 2021, the classical dancer Padma Subramaniam wrote a letter to Prime Minister Modi about the sengol and requested that he move it to a place where it can be respected. And he took action, deciding that the sengol would be placed in the new Parliament building right beside the seat of the Speaker of the House.

    On May 27 of this year, a group of priests consecrated the sengol and handed it over to Modi (brief video here: – I believe that the very old man in the video is the artisan who produced the sengol in ’47: I can hardly imagine the bliss that he must feel watching the events unfold and realize that finally a ruler who values Indian culture and history and who wants to set things right has come) On May 28, it was installed (brief video here:

    Now, as for the sengol/sceptre itself, besides the fact that it has been consecrated by people belonging to the lineage of the Chola dynasty and was facilitated by one of India’s holiest leaders, there is the symbolic elements of the object itself. Atop the ornate gold-plated sceptre is a bull. This is the bull Nandi, the mount of Shiva. This symbol was not random; it is in accordance with Chola custom. Nandi is the premier servant of the great god Shiva; extremely powerful but supremely humble; and totally obedient to his master’s will. In Hindu literature, the concept of moral justice (dharma) is also represented by a bull whole four legs represent truth, purity, austerity/self-sacrifice, and compassion: these are the four qualities which are sought for in a ruler. Whomever accepts the sceptre has vowed to behave like this bull.

    I am viewing the whole situation through the eyes of an occultist and am simply astounded. By a strange series of events the most potent symbol of India’s independence (and important symbol of its glorious past) has re-emerged from over 75 years of total obscurity to dazzling prominence at a time in which India is being praised by many nations as being the ‘ruler’ of the global ‘south’. Just thought that some frequenters to the blog may find this of at least mild interest.

  248. “those who survive are statistically more likely to be healthier and stronger than those who didn’t

    I’m not sure I agree with this. Those who survive are more likely to be cautious and cowardly. There is an African proverb, can’t find it now, that says something like, “These warriors were heroes says the man who shows their tombstones to his children.”

    Since the age of stupidity normally predates the age of fatherhood, you get sexual dimorphism in self-destructive behavior.

    For men, self-destructive behavior, assuming it is caused by evil spirits, has the useful consequence that those who are most susceptible to evil spirits are removed from the gene pool.

    For women — and remember that for a species to survive it is necessary for many women to survive but only a handful of men — mate choice is the most significant factor in survival for them and their progeny. Given that the vast majority of species that ever lived in the history of life on Earth are now extinct, it looks like evil spirits have too much influence on female mate choice.

  249. Hi John Michael,

    In breaking parrot news: Earthquake reported at Sunbury near Melbourne, impact felt in city’s CBD.

    Yikes! That’s a very close town, and whoa, the house really shook. And the noise was like what you’d imagine a helicopter about to crash into the roof would sound like.

    That’s two in two years. The previous one was a 5.9. Hmm. Oh well, a lot of volcanoes in this state, sooner or later… The last one went off about 7,000 years ago, but they’ve been doing that for hundreds of millions of years, so err consistency…



  250. @Northwind Grandma: I know it’s supposed to be a puff of air, but every time I glimpse your signature, I think: “Oh! She plays the jaw-harp!” and I am delighted 🙂

    @ a Knotty Moose: I simply accept that there are a lot of beings in the world besides us, I don’t pretend to know what all of them are, I don’t automatically assume they’re all evil (though some of them clearly are). Even within our own Christian framework, we acknowledge and petition saints and angels. They’re not gods– they’re lesser, but good. Inside the Christian framework, I have all that is sufficient for my spiritual needs: a clear path to God, clear instructions for cultivating the garden of my soul, and enough work to keep me well and truly occupied for the rest of my mortal life. It is more than enough. My old priest used to say (and I wish I knew who he was quoting): “We know where God is. We can’t say where He isn’t.” (and I’ve seen people come to the church through so many weird meandering paths, I believe it!) It is enough to stick to the one path and let the rest of the cosmos worry about itself. Other gods? Not my problem– I’ve agreed not to worship them, and beyond that… I believe they’re *real*, but I don’t know exactly precisely what they are or where they fit in the cosmic hierarchy, and it’s not my chief concern (the world is full of gods and religions– heaven forbid *any* of us should try to worship or keep track of *all* of them!– that seems like a great way to do badly at everything). I’ve got enough on my to-do list, after all 😉 If they’re benevolent, then I expect a proper reverence, care, and respect for His Creation covers all the right bases, and if they’re not benevolent… well, protection from that sort is part of the Christian bargain (how’s that for a Pascal’s wager?).

    It is not doctrine, just a personal opinion, but I do believe that God, being Love, and Truth and the source of all good things… anyone who earnestly pursues those things that God is… must certainly encounter God, one way or another. What happens next… well, that’s between them and God. I’m sure God’ll tell me about it the minute it becomes my business 😉

    I don’t try to stick a precise label on that. Henotheism seems to be the accepted term here– people can call it whatever they like.

  251. @Toby: in the Orthodox tradition, skepticism is the right way to treat supernatural visions. There are a couple of reasons for this, that I know of (I don’t know everything). First, that yes, the nasties out there *can* impersonate Jesus, saints, and other nice good-looking people and lie to you, and are perfectly willing to do so. I recall stories of beloved elders receiving visits from saints, and asking them to praise God with them, or say the Our Father, as a way to verify. Second is because yes, we don’t deserve it. Cultivating humility is part of the process– and failure to do so makes us susceptible to deception and delusion. We are instructed, emphatically, *not* to go seeking religious experiences… and at the same time we have a long religious tradition of practices (fasting, meditative prayer, nighttime vigils) that prime us for them, as well as an enthusiastic embrace of the fact that religious experiences are real, they happen a lot, and they’re an integral part of our religion. But you can live your whole life, never see a saint, and still be granted salvation, theosis, become a saint yourself. It’s just that we’re human, our minds are small, our vision is very limited, and we easily deceive ourselves and are deceived by others.

    In my own experience… yes, there are nasties out there, and yes, they have an interest in deceiving us and preying on us. Only recently, I had fallen into a familiar, comfortable, and singularly destructive habit of thought. I have shucked it off a few times before in my life, but it’s a weak spot for me, and sometimes I make the mistake of letting it back in. I’ve come to recognize it as an *entity* rather than just… some aspect of myself. This last round, I told it to leave. It was reluctant. It took the form of a familiar old daydream friend (I’m sure all us smart, socially-awkward kids have had at least a few, to make up the shortage of real friends), took a couple of steps back, but did not leave. I poked it with a stick– funny enough it looked like St. George’s lance from any of the well-known icons of him: just a black line– to keep it at a polite distance, and I said: “What are you, really?” It shrunk and changed until, speared on the end of the stick, it was the size of a dachsund and looked like a cross between a potato-bug and a tick. A parasite. That I had willingly invited out of boredom. I ordered it gone in the name of Christ Jesus, and it left. Was it a demon? Who knows? I suspect it was something lesser than that– I’m no St. George. Was I unfairly maligning it because I’m infected by a Christian worldview where everything not Jesus is automatically evil? I don’t believe so. It was genuinely having a lot of negative effects on my real actual life and my real actual dealings with other people. Would something benevolent do that? No. Does it support the idea that Christians are just super paranoid about the supernatural? I don’t think so. I’ve had very positive experiences also.

    I find that quite a lot of what our generous host recommends, day in, day out, revolves around the basic spiritual hygiene needed to repel just this sort of creature. If Christians are maligning them, then so are quite a lot of non-Christians.

  252. JMG and commitariat A book Report. I just finished “Less is More” by Jason Hickel. I found it a delightful read as he attempted a detailed history of Capitalism starting in the 1300s. He highlighted several aspects of Capitalism that I was not fully aware of. He ultimately gets to expressing the problem as being growth. He then explores ways that we could do it differently and I found his ideas and discussion interesting. Although at 74 I don’t expect his ideas as a 40 year old to gain traction in my lifetime they did offer me some hope. He ended with quite a discussion of the need for enchantment. It was a good read.

  253. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks for the meme with the old bloke holding the (presumably) – hoe. A fine laugh, and a bloke like that, would say exactly that. When we first moved up here, old timers used to say to us: “You’re not one of them greenies, are you?” I could read the room, dunno about how other people would go on that front. When I lived in the big smoke, I actually used to vote for the Greens, but then I wised up to the hypocrisy.

    Hi Clark,

    I don’t recommend heading bush to anyone. Most people would be better in say a rural town, or city on a larger block where they could learn. Indeed during the Great Depression, most people stuck to such places, and were continuously moved on from one place to the next so as to avoid trouble building in any one area. Doing physically demanding activities for five or six hours without a break, then eating well, understanding how to recover and look after your body, resting, and doing it all over again the next day, is something that not many people can do. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure, which is why I don’t recommend that path.



  254. Hi, JMG,

    Just want to say your occult mystery novel kept me up last night till nearly midnight so I could finish it. A thoroughly enjoyable read! Looking forward to more in the series.

    Curious: Was the wraith character an elaborate metaphor, or do you believe that kind of manifestation on this plane is actually, physically possible? I kept wondering how much liberty you took for the gain of fiction, as I know you were intent on portraying magic in a realistic vein with this series.

    Thanks for any insights you’d like to share. And again, I’m looking forward to more… particularly featuring the grandfather character, since he was off-scene for much of this first story.

  255. Just wanted to say I finished Weird of Hali: Innsmouth and found it absolutely delightful. A great mix of adventurous and cozy. I look forward to reading the others. It makes me wish I lived in that universe, despite its perils (or then again, maybe I do…).

    Christopher Kinyon

  256. Will O: while I don’t take “reading recommendations” to mean “[only] fiction” the way many people do (my default non-fiction recommendation is “learn the basics of each major region’s history from the start”), fiction-wise I’ll recommend and starting from Book 10.

  257. Hey jmg

    You know what, I could make an essay on that theme, it’s about time I practiced writing again.

    On the subject of decline, I recently got this story from substack, apparently Vietnam has been suffering massive blackouts in its major cities.

    Also found this interesting article on the guardian about the food and energy barriers China would need to deal with if it went to war with Taiwan.

  258. It’s not often that someone on msm diverges from the approved narrative but sometimes it happens.

    I couldn’t believe my ears but I was in the kitchen and on the TV someone said there is no shortage of labor. I didn’t catch who that brave (or incautious) individual was.

    Well, there it is. No idea what will happen to that person because of that indiscretion, but finally someone said out loud what’s evident to the naked eye. We’re swimming in people, there are hordes of legal and illegal immigrants, dire shortages of housing etc etc.

    I’ve heard the stories and maybe JMG and other readers too, of how companies insist on hiring people with only the exact fit of credential and experience. They refuse to train IOW. Well then I’m so sorry but the odds of finding exactly what you want in a prospective employee are pretty slim. The bosses will have to do some hand-holding and teaching as much as they’re averse to the notion. Oh, they say it costs too much. Let me then suggest that maybe their business model isn’t viable.

    The other factor is just as commonsensical. They say that there are shortages of truck drivers for example. But these people earn roughly 50G per year on average from what I hear, roughly half in real terms of what they earned forty years ago. That kind of money goes nowhere nowadays especially when you consider that road expenses like meals and showers come out of that 50G. Can’t find truckers? Try paying a living wage. You’ll find truckers.

    Did blue collar wages in general stagnate over the past generation? No, wages plummeted. For the peanuts they’re paying nowadays, it’s not surprising that the nastier jobs are going unfilled.

  259. Roman, that is to say, you believe in the gospel according to Daniel Quinn. Got it. That’s not a mythology I find particularly useful, but whatever floats your boat — or dugout canoe, as the case may be.

    AliceEm, Bardon’s not easy going! Delighted to hear that you’re taking his work seriously.

    Vlad, many thanks for this. Not that I expect anybody in the political sphere to pay the least attention, but it’s good that the numbers have been crunched.

    JillN, good question. I’ve been trying to get that concept into circulation, but of course it’s anyone’s guess whether one fringe intellectual can accomplish much along those lines.

    Richard N, thanks for this. I’m delighted that the reviewer found some things to quarrel with — I’ve been hoping since that book first came out that it would help launch an ongoing conversation among philosophically literate polytheists.

    Ron, good heavens. Yeah, that’s an omen as big as subcontinent!

    Chris, hmm! I hope things stay quiet for another few decades…

    Tom, thanks for the heads up. I’ll put that on the look-at list.

    Chris, “one of them greenies” — funny.

    Brunette, everything magical and preternatural in the Ariel Moravec books is something that people actually encounter in the world we live in. David Hufford’s book The Terror that Comes in the Night is a good introduction to wraiths of that sort. Yes, we’ll be seeing more of Dr. Moravec in later books!

    Christopher, thank you! I had enormous fun writing those, and it’s a delight to hear that so many people enjoy reading them.

    J.L.Mc12, thanks for both of these.

    Smith, exactly. Among other things, it’s gotten that wages are so low relative to cost of living that a great many people are walking away from conventional employment and finding that they do better.

  260. So, regarding the German phase-out of nuclear power in the midst of an energy crisis – do you think it was reasonable due to economic and/or safety concerns? I only heard the opposition accusing the government of green fanaticism.

  261. Clark 246 et al
    Your particular case is one i haven’t heard yet, but it fits right in with so many that I am familiar with in Australia, NZ, USA, France, and second hand in other countries as well. In almost all the cases it is not possible to live off the land itself and the community or property is too remote to be near a source of jobs. People can sometimes manage by working on line, but the internet connections are often not so good in remote places. Even at one community in the US that I am involved with which is an NGO and teaching center and manages to pay a fairly minimal wage, the residents can barely manage to get by unless they have some outside assets. As fuel becomes more expensive or less available, this will only get worse.
    One thing that is available in some small cities are allotment gardens, or community gardens. I would hope as things become tighter more of these might be made available: likewise that co- housing or multiple occupancy housing might be made easier to permit. I suppose, if one becomes established in a town or small city and integrated into the community, one can hopefully become involved in the decision making process for these changes.
    It will be interesting to see.

  262. #236 Michael Martin: living in South Auckland, I think your analysis is generally correct. Just last week our row of letterboxes were broken open by a vandal in a hoodie walking past at 6:20am (security cameras gave us the time). This happened late last year as well – except that time someone drove up in their car, hopped out, and broke open the letterboxes, then drove off.

  263. Hello Peter Van Erp,

    I was wondering if Nichole Cardillo’s surgery went smoothly, and if she’s all healed up yet, and whether or not she wishes to stay on the Ecosophia Prayer List for a bit longer?

    Best regards,

  264. @Roman
    “For millions of years humans and their pre-human ancestors lived in small bands which roamed the Earth. Each band usually had a few square miles of land to itself. This lifestyle provides optimal satisfaction for humans in that it is in their DNA.”

    Thats an idea heavily contested by Graeber and Wengrow in their book “The Dawn of Everything” – backing on archeological evidence and tradited experiences of missionaries with pre-columbian america (and other places), it’s at least pretty obvious humans had central meeting places with carefully constructed ceremonial objects and buildings since the nomad hunters of the ice age, at least, and those tribal people that have been documented the past three to fourhundred years, they show a great diversity of living arrangements, and often seasonal changes to the structure of their societies as well as seasonal variations in the SIZE of their societies.

    I thought what you say before reading the book too, but am not so certain now about it.

  265. @Siliconguy
    Yes, agriculture was done pre electric, pre fossil on a large scale…and the optimized, horse drawn agriculture from only about a 120 years ago would well suit the Western lands.

    But to get there…

    A real life example is probably Cuba, it collapsed economically in 1991 (though not politically and culturally) – the nation reacted with full scale recycling of parts and materials, and has in these past years re-employed oxen in agriculture, as several documentaries and articles report.

    There’s even taxis drawn by oxen bringing people from town to town, apparently.

    Seems that is a way to go, though Cuba is of course on the subtropical/tropical climate border, there’s a few advantages there.

    Could we do it, say in Austria where I live? Well I suppose it will have to become far worse than currently it is, economy wise, then I am not sure if we’d make such a relatively smooth political transition as Cuba, and I assume a big part of the old and sick will die off.

  266. @Martin Back

    On survival of individuals and groups of humans:

    It’s survival of the fittest, not necessarily physically strongest, right?
    There’s many reasons for a human individual or group to be at an avantage or disadvantage.

    The giant humanoids have gone extinct, after all.
    Body sizes and proportions vary among human populations for good reasons.

    Sheer physical strength is certainly appraised in our modern dociety as well, but clearly when you look at the idealized men – it’s far from the only factor receiving recognition.

    Cunning, charm, social skills, crafting skills, organisational skills, humor and healing skills….there are many desired traits, often they are signaled via clothing, certificates, gimmicks, reference….as lot of signaling.

    There sure is a risk involved in war, and many males may die. But being strong and healthy will certainly raise chances.
    Theres reason why rich people often don’t send their children to war, or in dangerous situations, because ofc they don’t want their children to bear risk of premature death.

    The poor on the other hand have no choice, and many young men may die in these events of nation war, or ghetto rivalry, or otherwise, but those surviving will be hardened and strong often, and have better skills at survival/managing difficult situations from that point on than their wealthy counterparts.

    There’s a good reason why prison inmates are often beloved by many women – they have proven their endurance under difficult conditions, they have learn to deal with a lot whether they wanted or not.

    As our host said – humans are group evolving, and I think there’s good reason to think that individuals are often very different in their skills, body stature, personality…for a reason, to strengthen the group as a whole.

  267. Hey JMG

    I thought you would like those.

    Out of curiosity, have you ever read a short book written by Arthur Schopenhauer called “The art of always being right”?
    It is a somewhat cynical and Machiavellian book of rhetoric, teaching you the many ways to win arguments, both honest and dishonest. I was introduced to in in an edition forwarded by A.C. Grayling.

  268. Just to cheer you up, Chris at Fernglade Farm, we lived in Victoria many years ago, in the Western District. We lived on the slope of a dormant volcano. Late at night when all was quiet and still I would feel the ground tremor if I was lying flat out. There are those who say they will all get going again one day.

  269. @ JMG
    It’s funny you should say that. Michaux has reported his experiences of presenting his finding to various powers that be in his interviews with Hart Hagan and Nate Hagens
    Here is a brief summary:
    Bankers: I won’t quote Michaux here because of “no profanities”. Let’s just say bankers weren’t interested.
    C20 (that’s a civil service advisory group that advises G20): “They came and told us at the beginning of the meeting: “If you can’t help us deliver 2% growth don’t bother coming” “
    Swedish government: “Okay you have made your point. There are others that disagree with you, but you have made enough of a point for us to look into this. Let’s say you are right. What do we do about this and could you please design a new circular economy in the context of your work? Which means mineral shortages, energy shortages, peak oil, manufacturing shortages and recycling bottlenecks. And it is no longer a circular economy.“
    Finnish government: “Finland is a remarkable place where when something is said especially when it is said with data-backed analysis it is discussed. It is not ignored… I have been invited to speak at multiple levels of Finnish and Swedish government now. And they are taking it very seriously”
    So at least some of the powers that be are listening. At least in Europe, which is not surprising given how vulnerable they are to fossil fuels price shocks. Let’s see what comes out of it

  270. When Donald Trump was elected president, a group of witches in Brooklyn openly declared they were going to work evil spells directed at him. I knew this was a terrible thing afoot (plus suspected similar goings-on at the little occult shop in my neighborhood) and that it would lead to nothing but great trouble.
    The vast majority in my Yoga community were also maniacally spewing vitriolic hate towards Trump, and I tried to warn them that this was not going to help anything but in fact only reinforce the horrible, unhealthy, hateful polarity that was developing. Others in the community who voiced a sentiment other than rage and hate- venom were quickly shut down. Neutrality was not an option.
    (To clarify a bit: most yoga practitioners I know are not aware that the deeper dimension of Yoga philosophy is occultism at its finest, and hence may not have been aware of the occult maxim that whatever you put out returns three-fold – though you don’t have to be a rocket scientist – or an occultist – to observe such in everyday life: hate only breeds more hate. Also, most yoga teachers and students think that practicing yoga poses will automatically make you more “progressive” and “liberal” – au contrare – when practiced in tandem with sincere self-observation, ethics and humility, the poses serve only to, hopefully, bring more clarity and peace of mind, so…)
    Later, I wondered when a prominent actor who was so publicly anti-Trump ran into personal tragedy, when my beloved neighborhood was trashed during riots, a freakin’ war breaks out (where are the peaceniks?) etc etc etc if I was witnessing the effects of some seriously bad “ju-ju” all around.
    Anyway, huge gratitude to JMK, commentariat and this forum to air and hear ideas like this and others.

  271. @Smith, JMG: Once upon a time, the US retooled its school system to make better factory workers: obedient, incurious people who could tolerate showing up at the same time each day, punching a timecard, making widgets for eight or ten hours, taking a lunch break when the bell rang, clocking out, and doing it all again the next day, and the next, and the next.

    At the time, industrialists had an awful problem with the labor pool: they didn’t tolerate boredom, and after a couple of days punching out widgets on the assembly line, were like as not to take the next day and go fishing, and the day after that start a business or go back to their eight side-hustles or day labor or hey, there’s the hay to get in, gotta go boss.

    That school system still exists, but we’ve exported most of the jobs it trained workers for. Now it’s just a really terrible subsidized daycare so that parents can work regular jobs.

    It’s interesting watching the dissolution of that system. Here, look at his huge labor pool! Look at all these crappy jobs! Why can’t we get this labor pool to do these crappy jobs? It’s the industrialists’ complaint from over a century ago, all over again: why can’t we get the men for these tedious factory jobs? How can we stop them going fishing, or picking up a temporary gig on the next riverboat?

    The real question is… do we have anything left that will function in place of the home industries, smallscale agriculture, myriad small jobs, fishing and foraging, that lured men away from factory work, back in the day? Will it all have to be reinvented?

  272. #171 Clarke aka Gwydion

    Well, you can use a simil.
    If you check that every sunrise you hear a crowing rooster, you can say confidently that next morning the rooster will sing. You may be wrong, the rooster might die or anything unexpected might happen, but chances are high that you’d be right.
    With astronomy you are doing something similar: you are writing cyclic things that happen at certain cyclic events, using longer periods thanks to the planets orbits, and hoping that the next time something similar will happen.

  273. @ Smith and JMG

    I once worked for a boss who was an excellent dollars and cents man. He thought in ways almost entirely foreign to me, but most refreshingly so. He always expected everyone working for him to be fit to “name their price”, and he was himself extremely good at naming his price when doing deals with customers. A good faith, and honourable, negotiator.

    A saying of his, which often came out when someone was trying to get him to sell at less than cost, but even more often when he was analysing other people’s lackadaisical business plans when they were based on, say, grants and subsidies, rather than on customers interested in your product, was “to do it at that (low) price, you’d be a busy fool.”

    This is by way of agreeing with both of you that, clearly, too many people are simply refusing to become “busy fools”.

  274. “Please correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe some of those lawsuits came about because of whole towns being wiped out by wildfires, for which P.G.& E. ADMITTED responsibility. ”

    Two different topics, one being getting the permits to build the transmission lines in the first place, and second being maintenance of the existing ones.

    Note also that I don’t dispute maintenance was neglected. I’ve seen it myself both when profit margins are under pressure, but also when the company is making money hand over fist over a short term supply imbalance. “We can’t shut down now, we are making 20% more than usual on the spot market! This won’t last, we need more tons now! Push the plant harder! Tons, tons, got to have more tons!”

    And pushing a plant in need of maintenance to its limit is how you get wonderful accidents.

  275. Memorial Day in the USA. For those who celebrate it:

    “Hail to our heroes
    Brave they were in battle
    Fallen with their faces to the foe.”

  276. Milkyway, re:Bardon

    if you want input on Bardon’s book: Don’t skim.

    In the brief – and it’s really brief – theoretical part of the work there are several warnings against that kind base spiritual arrogance you are describing. Those are not repated in every part of the later chapters and it’s not an omission or fault of Bardon. You are supposed to meditate on theoretical part until it is part of your mind and memory. Then you are supposed to develop that framework beyond examples given into fuller understanding. And then apply it to every of ten steps.

    That include moral part of Great Work: knowledge and wisdom needs to grow hand in hand. It does include mature morality and ability to think about ethical ramifications of what you are doing. Read the sub-chapters of theoretical part under labels “Truth” and “Religion”.

    Again, don’t skim. Initiation into Hermetics is not “Adepthood for dummies”. Hope it will help.


  277. @ Michael Martin #236. May 28, 2023 at 4:44 am
    Forgive my rant, but comparing Chaos Magic to satanism is like comparing food to (explective, explective, explective) sand.
    I am 57 years old, have been involved with the occult in one way or another since 1979, and have been a Chaos Mage for 20 plus years.
    Contrary to what some people believe I don’t go on the subway with sword in hand, slaying people left and right and singing “Arioch! Arioch! Blood and Souls to my Lord Arioch !” Nor so I summon demons. I am sure that there are some that may be dumb enough to do it, but for the most part we are not that stupid (and evil is the supreme form of stupidity).
    Most of us have consistently studied other forms of Magic (and not merely dabbled on it). Without that preliminary work it would be very hard to be a reasonable Chaos Mage.
    We got a bad rap, because we do things that are considered silly by other occultists. And sometimes our experiences backfire spectacularly. So what? Life is a school of hard knocks, and if we make sure that we don’t hurt others a few knocks are not much of a problem.
    Using the Silmarillion, the LOTR, the Necronomicon, or My Little Poney, as sacred books and performing magic based on it may be considered silly, but I know people that have had consistent success with it (and It is not magic if the results are not consistent).
    There are also some wankers among us, people that see a spell on a comic book , use it and when it fails, complain that magic doesn’t work, without ever putting on the necessary effort and preparation to make it work. But (and that is merely my opinion, based on my experience) the amount of idiots and dabblers among us is by no means bigger than the amount of dabblers and idiots in any other human activity.


  278. JMG, never heard of Daniel Quinn. It’s just that the Garden of Eden makes sense once you know some anthropology. The story was a way for semi-superstitious people to understand their world. We now can have a better understanding.

  279. Allotment gardens in most of the USA ain’t going to happen anytime soon. Leftists in govt. or other positions of formal or informal influence will tolerate home gardening only when done by a favored ethnic community. The rest of us dirt grubbing nobodies are in effect guerilla gardeners. Not a few liberal donors made their first money in the grocery business. Meanwhile conservative veneration for the Green Lawn is exceeded only by attachment to The Flag. The Green Lawn as object of veneration taps into atavistic memories of being serfs and servants attached to a Big House somewhere in Europe; possession of the Green Lawn is a sign of having arrived, symbol of status as a free citizen who can look anyone in the face. Of course, conservative authoritarianism in this regard–everyone must maintain a Green Lawn, and so much for rights of private property–has similar atavistic origins, founded in the perception that if one of us offends the lord of the manor, all of us will suffer. Nowadays, this bit of bundled fear and conformism is referred to as “property values”. It never seems to occur to these folks that if your property values decline, because of your neighbor’s messy garden, so might your taxes.

  280. Just wanted to offer this bit of good news concerning one of Africa’s poorest nations. Who woulda thunk that actual farmers might come up with better solutions than government programs?

    I suspect we will be looking to subsistence-farming Africa in the not-too-distant future for pointers on how to grow food without the use of chemical fertilizers.

    I’ve been very active on Substack of late (at and would also like to recommend Substack Notes as a kinder, gentler alternative to Twitter. The user base is much smaller and consists of writers and people who read long-form essays, which makes an enormous difference in the quality of discussion. (I will grant you it’s not yet up to the standards of discourse I see in Ecosophia’s comments — but then, not many other places are).

  281. Stephen Pearson (et al) – Re: back to the land. There’s an NGO here in central Maryland, called the Community Ecology Institute, which operates “Freetown Farm” where they teach people how to grow stuff, how to appreciate nature, herbal medicine (they now own/operate the Green Farmacy Garden, established by Dr. James Duke), Climate Victory Gardens, etc.

    In their annual report for 2022, they report $768,000 in gross operating revenue, and $702,000 in operating expenses. You might think that they were a “profitable non-profit”, but if you look at the wedges of the pie chart for “farm revenue”, it’s $21,096, while “farm expenses” were $80,963. The annual report does not go into more detail regarding these categories, unfortunately. I hope that some large portion of the farm production is consumed on-site as part of their educational programs, so it doesn’t show up in the cash accounting, but … a farm that only produces $21,096 is a hobby, not even considering that they had to put over $80,000 in to get $21,000 out. (I don’t know how they account for the labor contributions of The Community, either.)

  282. Roman, I believe some scholars, no names come immediately to mind, but for what it might be worth, argue that the golden ages referred to in the surviving literature of ancient cultures was not precarious hunter gathering but the peaceful neolithic villages documented by the likes of Marija Gimbutas. Now, for the record, I did not think she proved her thesis as to matriarchy. I got half way through the Graeber Weinberg book before it came due at the library; I was not impressed enough to want to own it. I was most fascinated by their tales of the diversity of neolithic cultures in the Americas. Just as in some works one can detect the echoes of Rousseau’s noble savage meme, I thought I could discern in Graeber and Weinstein the reverberation of Marx’s remarks about the stupidity of rural life.

    I think it is fair to suppose that horticulture, and maybe the beginnings of grain agriculture would have been invented, over centuries, by women who noticed that those who gathered more fruits and herbs kept their children alive. Hunter gathering might be a superior way of life so long as the big game exists, but once that has gone, the H-Gs always seem to descend on their farming neighbors. I suspect that neolithic village life was not hard and backbreaking so long as the farmers’ labor supported their own communities only. It was, I think, when armed elites began seizing portions of the harvest for themselves, that it became so. An American sociologist, the name escapes me, he wrote the City in History, among other books, thought that the palace complex cities of the Near East, Anatolia and, later, Greece, came about when armed invaders imposed themselves on neolithic farming communities. IDK if archeology can support or disprove that theory.

  283. I have a question on an element of Golden Dawn practice. I currently do the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and Middle Pillar daily, and would like to learn the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram; the easiest way I see to do so is to replace the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram in my daily practice with the Greater Ritual; however, in order to avoid a risk of overdoing things, as well as to keep my skills with the Lesser Ritual, I think it might make sense to do it once a week.

    Do you see any concerns with doing this?

  284. @Curt, regarding women choosing prisoners, we have a celebrated case ongoing here right now. A convicted rapist faked his own death and escaped with his girlfriend, a wealthy society doctor. No one realized the charred body in his cell wasn’t him, until the day he was spotted alive and well in an upmarket shopping mall.

    Regarding the doctor girlfriend, it could be argued that she selected him on the basis of his alpha male characteristics, but I think the average person would ask, “Whatever could have possessed her to choose him?” Thus suggesting some atavistic folk knowledge that possession by evil spirits is a thing.

    @Lathechuck, I accept that those who don’t themselves procreate can contribute to the survival of a genetic line, by contributing money, property, influence, or labor e.g. help with child rearing. But I think on the whole, self-destructive behavior is a net loss to a species. I doubt there’s any way to prove this one way or the other, so I’ll keep my ideas to myself and proselytize no more.

  285. My wife and I are discussing the prospect of homeschooling our future children. She wants to work part-time and homeschool them, she’s highly educated and has been working as an architect.

    My ideal education system is something that takes “themes” for a season and plans lessons around the theme.

    For example, the theme for one season might be the Warring States period in China. Around that theme, we would cover the history, the literature, the crops they grew, the weapons they made. While making toy crossbows, we can use that as a way to introduce geometry and physics; while learning about crops, they would learn basic biology; and of course they would read literature about, and from that period. For arts and crafts, they could learn about paper-making, and maybe grow their own silkworms to understand the process of making silk.

    I might be projecting my own desires but I think it would be really interesting for children to learn like this rather than following a set curriculum.

    The only misgiving I have is that maybe some amount of “drilling” of mathematics is necessary. I vaguely remember the effort it took to memorize my “times tables”, but I also remember enjoying finishing an exercise sheet for differentiation and even finishing the extra questions.

    I’m curious to know what people here think, and if anyone has experience homeschooling.

  286. JMG,

    Don’t you think America still has an honor culture and if so do you see that strengthening or diminishing in the next few decades?

  287. Speaking of collapsology: I was thinking that the closest example we have of a modern industrial civilization suffering a collapse would be Nazi Germany in the second part of WW2. When they had their supply lines cut off and were being hammered from all sides by the Allies.
    It would be interesting to find out what the German industry was still able to do under such conditions. Unfortunately I don’t read German and I wasn’t able to find any in-depth research in English. Any suggestions anyone?

  288. Dear JMG,

    Thank you for all you do.

    JMG, I am not sure if it is a side effect of aging or just a more demanding job, but my short-term memory is not keeping up with my day-to-day work-related requirements. Is there any practice, magic or otherwise, which someone without experience with consciously doing magic, can do safely to improve oneś own memory?

    Your guidance is most welcome. I was going to start reading Ars Notoria in search for practical guidance, as it was mentioned here a couple of months ago, but then thought it would be wiser to just ask for help, as I remembered your advice to be careful with magic.

    Thank you very much,


  289. Re: moving to the country

    It doesn’t take that much land to grow a significant portion of your own food – a half-acre or an acre is plenty. Being entirely self-reliant is also a fallacy that has no real parallels in human history.

    As I see it, at least, the goal is to re-create interdependent communities that can meet most of their basic needs, which means smaller scales, regenerative agriculture, salvage, creative re-use, etc. People with this mindset exist just about everywhere in the US, and the “sweet spot” seems to be in areas that have preserved an intermediate housing density with lot sizes of 1/2 acre up to 30 acres or so – outside the outer-ring suburbs, surrounding smaller towns and cities, etc. Fully urbanized areas can’t support any agriculture and so tend to be dependent on rather than participating in this community interdependence, while many truly rural areas that have suffered significant depopulation over the last 50 years are too cash-poor and too much in the grasp of Big Ag/other resource exploitation industries for small-scale agriculture to gain a foothold.

    Rather than seeking to be self-sufficient, I would recommend seeking to become part of one of these loose communities. If you want to farm, you don’t need to grow everything; you can focus on dairy, or livestock, or fruit, or beans, or salad greens. If farming isn’t your passion, then what can you do that is of benefit to the farmers and to the wider community? Build or fix equipment? Plumbing, irrigation, electrical? Construction? Transport? Organize food distribution? Provide massage or physical therapy for sore bodies? Provide medical care outside of our broken system? Keep bees?

    I don’t have a lot of cash, and we still have a mortgage, and my region is probably not among the best-situated for the coming years geopolitically or climatically. But our 3000 square feet of garden produces most of the vegetables we eat, and I have honey wine to trade, and I count among my close friends growers of all the crops and meats that I need, and I work for two small seed companies, and my seed cleaning machine cleans most of the beans for sale at our farmers market and is in use at 100 small farms around the US and Canada.

  290. @changeling #291,

    Thanks for that, that is putting things into a fine perspective.

    For what it‘s worth, Bardon had been mentioned so often lately that I simply wanted to get an idea of his course of study, his concepts, the exercises, etc. I noticed his general warnings etc, and also that one is supposed to work on oneself, so to speak – but the contrast between that and the notion that the mage will only act in pure interest, and in the highest good, was quite stark. 😉

    (I didn‘t necessarily assume that Bardon himself was acting like this – I might not have made this clear above)

    That got me thinking about how to avoid this trap – especially as the actual act of „inner work“ (or however you wanna call it) can both be a way to overcome spiritual arrogance, and a way to fuel it quite massively.

    I.e. the issue isn‘t only with regards to Bardon‘t course, I was simply using that as a background explanation of what I‘m talking about. Again, maybe I should have made this clearer, too (doesn‘t seem to be my week for clear communication in general, alas).


  291. me #285

    “The real question is… do we have anything left that will function in place of the home industries, smallscale agriculture, myriad small jobs, fishing and foraging, that lured men away from factory work, back in the day?”

    ME: What is your experience in small scale agriculture, indeed any scale agriculture.? What is your experience in small jobs? Do you fish or forge?

    Farming involves a lot of sh.., which is moved at one time or other with a shovel. Have you used such a shovel?

    Damn hard to feed a family on small jobs.

    So JMG, delete at will, we have met., always curious to see what goes through. Come here mostly out of hope that someone has thought of something. Going to MREA in June, sort of a hippy gathering for wishful thinking, always fun, very little of it works.

  292. Hi sarad,

    Oh no! That’s a groaner, but I kind of like it. 🙂 Yes, get that darning done! On a serious note, I do actually wonder about peoples abilities and skills to repair clothes.

    Hi JillN,

    Ha! I don’t doubt it. Over in the Western District is pretty close to where the last one went off. Wasn’t it near Mount Gambier, or something like that? Anyway, you wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere close to Mount Elephant the day that thing went off. Ook!



  293. Hi John Michael,

    All good, with a side serving of minor aftershocks. 🙂

    Had a chance to look into Cordwainer Smith. He’s an interesting dude. And the Norstrilia story sounds pretty funny, but with a side serving of a message. Despite the noise and beliefs, we’re a very urban population down here.

    He’s also something of a sinophile, so I can see how he came up with that prediction. Stranger things have happened, but ultimately, surplus energy wins wars these days.



  294. Scotlyn and JMG, you bet, a lot of people are taking a pass on becoming busy fools, or IOW, not working to their own detriment, which is the common corporate expectation in these modern times, whether it’s settling for wages you can’t live on, or working off the clock so the boss makes his numbers and so he’ll therefore show you his gratitude by scheduling you in for the hours you need to pay the rent, or just plain tolerating out-and-out wage theft. Good for these people, and about bloody time.

    But there’s still a whole lot of foolish busyness out there. One giant on-line retailer, despite its nearly 30 years in business and vast, VAST revenues, has never paid a dividend, ride-sharing companies, which by no stretch are ‘start-ups’ any longer, have lost calamitous, Himalayan-sized piles of money, the employees of these businesses, by the accounts that I’ve read, working for laughably low compensation.

    In my view, these companies and their shareholders and creditors and management, are not whistling past the graveyard, no, they’re in full marching band regalia. It’s as if necromancers on the boards of directors, for reasons not visible or knowable to the uninitiated, have decided to taunt the Beasts of the Underworld. To what end? I can’t imagine. But if gigantic multi-tentacled demons ascend through the circles of Hell to eat these reality-defying people I won’t be surprised.

    Of course I over-dramatize. There won’t be a confrontation between Earth-bound Wall Street and the Immortal Realm. Will there? Maybe a fight for supremacy? Would Wall Street go to war with Hell?

    Ok, back to earth-bound reality and the reality of the bank account is as real to the financier as it is to the lowliest wage earner, and no money in the pipeline means no money in the pipeline. So? They’ll just go out of business.

    Brookfleld and PIMCO are showing the way. Whether you’re not paying a commercial mortgage or not paying dividends, you’re not paying people that gave you money and who expect it back. And then some.

  295. Methylethyl, in my experience, if the wages were good enough, guys would tolerate the boredom of repetitive jobs for the sake of their families, to put food on the table. For a while, the arrangement held. But Wall Street knows nothing except the bottom line and like you said, all those jobs were sent overseas.

    What now? The evidence in front of us is that the new dispensation of money printing, one bubble and bust after another, gigantic government and private debts, is one that can’t go on.

    Then what? If the choice is between a controlled demolition and uncontrolled collapse, it appears to my eyes that the powers chose the latter. The rationale? It’s a mystery to me I confess. What replaces it? Something will replace it but with so many skills lost, not least basic numeracy and literacy, it’s tough to visualize. A Dark Age but the question is how dark?

    When Rome collapsed most people were farmers so they had those skills to draw on to at least eat. What about now?

  296. @Mary #294:

    I wonder if the morality and ordinances attached to green lawns might be more of a regional thing than a left/right thing.

    All I can say is that I live in a pretty blue town in a pretty blue state, and there are no such rules here. Maybe there are rules in a few upscale neighborhoods that have HOAs, but not in general. There are at least five allotment gardens in town – some sponsored by the city, some by churches, some by nonprofits – and people regularly till up their front yards to plant vegetables or native plants. We even have the annual “Edible Front Yard Garden Tour” sponsored by our Sustainability Coalition (which does pretty small-potatoes stuff but their leadership actually walks their talk in terms of car-free lifestyle, minimal energy usage, etc.).

  297. @Vlad Tepes #302 I seem to remember that Richard Bessel’s Germany ‘1945: from war to peace’ was a good source on Nazi Germany at the end of the war, although I don’t have it to hand so can’t check the extent to which it answers your question. Another interesting source on how societies adapt at the time of resource stress is Jorg Friedrichs’ 2013 book ‘The future is not what it used to be’, in which he compares the responses of Japan, North Korea and Cuba (predatory militarism, totalitarian retrenchment and socioeconomic adaptation respectively) to energy scarcity. To quote Friedrichs “The cases of Japan, North Korea, and Cuba suggest three different patterns of how different countries or societies may react to a disruptive energy scarcity”.

  298. @Darkest Yorkshire 197 —great, I’ll check this out. It looks like the real deal indeed —

    @cs2 201— I’ve ordered the book and am about to start looking at youtube.

    @Northwind Grandma — I will be in Ireland in the autumn and will be sure to drop in to Dunderry Park—looks really intriguing.

    Thanks all for your kind advice and shared wisdom.

  299. I’m a little late to the party, but have just finished Dutton and Woodley’s At Our Wits’ End, and found their conclusions astonishingly familiar.
    They describe our current Spenglerian winter, but almost entirely without reference to energy, and attribute it (and the cyclic nature of all civilizations) to the rise and fall of general intelligence. Contrary to popular belief they do not espouse eugenics as a remedy, and the closing passage of the book is compelling:
    “Imagine if whilst some future civilisation was starting to crest the wave of rising g it received a gift—from the past—in the form of a giant time capsule; a doomsday vault in fact containing physical copies of all that is great and worth preserving from the present era.”
    Gee, where have I heard that before. What are your thoughts on their hypothesis, JMG (and anyone else who cares to pitch in)?

  300. Martin Back – “keep my ideas to myself …”? Good heavens, no! I wrote as I did to expand the conversation, not to suppress it.

  301. Verbatim- re: memory loss. As reported in today’s Washington Post by Marlene Cimons, says “A daily multivitamin … may help slow memory loss in people 60 and older, a large nationwide clinical trial suggests.” A doctor is quoted: “We regularly see people who are deficient in [vitamins] who come in with cognitive impairment.”

    Everything I’ve read from “official sources” about daily multi-vitamins said that they were a waste of money, and that we get all the vitamins and minerals we need from a “normal” diet, so it’ll take some time for them to reverse that position. More research is needed, of course.

    The authors admit that the vitamins (and placebos) used for the study were donated by the manufacturer, and received other research support from interested businesses.

  302. It is almost hilarious, but end of March someone (spiritually minded) told I should look for a different vision beginning of June and leave my job, and today I lost my job.

    Since last winter I always thought “man if they fire me, I hope it’ll be before summer”.

    That much the universe would give me it seems. That was a job in the banking/informatics sector, in a project now finished, and I think this venture now running, now being supposed to make money, may be in for a bad time;

    I am as of yet not in a bad situation, and have no complaint of such pressures as many many other people already have, no doubt.

    Since I am a regular ecosophia reader, the very sudden notification of the termination of my employment at this very day did not shock me as it might have otherwise.

    Being still paid until July 15th – there’s a summer time to ponder!

    Good luck and good fortune to everyone!

  303. @Alvin

    We’ve been homeschooling ours for… six years now? The simplest thing to say about it is that there are as many wonderful ways to educate children as there are children to be educated. It’s great to have a plan, a curriculum, or an overarching theme to start with (it gives you a solid place to begin!), but whatever you have planned will ultimately crash and burn when it encounters your actual child/children. The best thing you can do is stay flexible, and work with the kids you have, not the kids you thought you would have 😉 Each kid is different, and the beauty of teaching them yourself is you can tailor their education to their particular interests, personalities, and strengths. When you try something, and it’s not working… it’s time to try something else.

    This year, my eldest, 11, balked at the math curricula we’d been using. It was too easy and too boring. Math was never my best subject, so that was unexpected. But I got him an algebra text. He dove in with enthusiasm. He didn’t finish it this school year– he’s at a little less than halfway through it, and just works as fast as his understanding will allow him, whether that’s five practice problems in a day, or twenty. When he hits something difficult, we backtrack, go over it again, look for supplemental teaching videos and things. Weirdly, he likes it, and sometimes on a Saturday morning, I stumble out of bed and find him already at the table, communing with his math book and slide rule, in the quiet before his brothers wake. I have no idea how I produced such a creature. He must get it from his Dad. It’s delightful.

    One thing that was very important to me and my husband (we went to regular schools), was not to take up too much of their time. We feel like we had a huge chunk of our childhoods unforgivably stolen by tedious busywork, between school itself and the homework to take up our “free” time. So we limit the number of hours a day spent on formal instruction– the comfortable spot we’ve landed puts it around 2-3 hours/day if we stay organized, and if we put in a good week, only 4 days/week. The remaining time they might otherwise be in school, or doing homework, we gift back to them to play, run around outdoors, and pursue their own interests.

    If I could recommend just one resource, it’d be this book:

    It has nothing to say about homeschooling methods. It’s a follow-up study that interviewed graduates of one of the more well-known “free schools”– and it put my mind at ease in so many ways, when it came to educating my kids. The take-home here was that these kids, who had basically no formal classroom instruction, just access to resources and knowledgeable adults, sometimes graduated with significant gaps in formal knowledge in things that ordinary schoolkids would know. Facts. And it didn’t matter– when they decided to go to college and get a career, it turned out they were such good independent learners that they could make up an entire grade-school’s-worth of “facts” learning and get themselves up to college-level in science, history, whatever… in about six months of self-directed reading. What I got out of this is that if you can equip your kids with the most basic competencies– literacy, numeracy, and the ability to find and use information resources, plus basic people skills– and you don’t kill their natural curiosity and drive, they’ll be fine. Nothing about educating them has to be complicated, and if you miss a few facts about plate tectonics or cell biology… it’s ok. If they want to learn that, no force on earth will stop them.

  304. @Smith

    I have some of the same questions. I think a lot of country people made it through the Great Depression because they still remembered, and had experience, with how things were done before everything got mechanized. I have little confidence in the ability (or help-one-another-interdependence culture) of most Americans to weather the next great economic crisis, the way my great-grandparents weathered the depression. The knowledge base just isn’t there anymore, and neither are the family and community networks. I’m not at all convinced that it will matter that I’m a gardener, and have experience keeping poultry, if *none* of my neighbors have that going on. It just means that the one person in a hundred who can manage a little better… will be immediately robbed by someone in the desperate mass of people who can’t.

    I’m not optimistic, but I’m doing my best to cultivate IRL community ties, connect with people in my area who likewise grow and produce things, teach basic skills (it is amazing how many adults don’t know how to bake or sew), and just generally try to be helpful. The future will get here whether we’re ready for it or not.

  305. Since it’s the open post…

    I would like to submit, the Cooper’s Hill annual Cheese-Rolling race, which was won this year by a woman who tumbled across the finish line unconscious (it is a pretty rough race, and all the front… uh… runners? end up rolling downhill much like the cheese they’re chasing).

    I feel like there should be an omen in there somewhere, but no idea what of. Perhaps the significance is local.

  306. @Alvin Look at the Waldorf resources for home-schooling, and take it from there.

  307. Verbatim, just articulate (either loudly or silently) the names of the important things you encounter. You may realize you haven’t articulated some common items for years while taking them for granted. Just articulating the name of a street whose name you have forgotten helps. Writing down helps more. Writing anything down is probably the best memory booster.

  308. “Something will replace it but with so many skills lost, not least basic numeracy and literacy, it’s tough to visualize. A Dark Age but the question is how dark?”

    One big difference this time is the printing press. There are a lot of books out there, and not just in monastery libraries this time. Finding people who understand calculus well enough to teach it might be a problem, but algebra and right angle trigonometry are no problem.

    The rural schools have not sunk into the morass of wokeness nearly as badly as the urban schools if for no other reason than lbs of seed per acre times acres needs an answer. Reality intrudes on your life a lot more often in the country.

    It also helps that the home schooling movement is more pronounced out here. Get woke, stare at empty classroom calms school boards right down. Funding depends on head count. Just a few days ago in the news I saw the governor of one of the Dakotas had put her foot down on some pronoun nonsense. I suspect annoyed parents had something to do with it.

    I’m more worried about finding enough horses. They are luxury pets right now, suitable for pleasure riding. I assume they could also pull a cart, but the horses I’ve seen pulling plows were a lot bigger. Maybe the intermediate stage of using oilseed derived fuel to run the tractors (this does work) will be a stable intermediate step. For that matter, any old gas tractor can be converted to run on moonshine. Designing a tractor engine to run on 190 proof alcohol is quite doable as well.

  309. >In my view, these companies and their shareholders and creditors and management, are not whistling past the graveyard, no, they’re in full marching band regalia.

    And they were given their instruments, uniforms and sheet music by the Fed, with its insanely low interest rate policy that managed to last for more than a decade. Those low rates made many things possible. I never thought they’d be able to keep rates that low for as long as they did but I was almost certain throughout that it would eventually come back to bite them. Anything that thrived in the hothouse years of 0%, is not going to make it very far, if they keep rates at 5%. And keep in mind *real rates are still negative*, they have yet to raise rates above inflation. Ask yourself what will happen if they have to go to 5% above the rate of inflation, if they can still figure out what the real rate of inflation is, now that they’ve added all the goalseeking in over the years.

    >It’s as if necromancers on the boards of directors

    Close. I maintain the economy died in 2008, everything since has been the Undead Economy, animated by unnatural forces. Some of what you saw in 2020 was some of that undead sorcery that knit those rotting corporate sinews together, it started to come apart.

  310. @methylethyl #321

    The engineer in me starts to wonder wouldn’t it be more efficient and optimal to place yourself in a tractor tire first before rolling down a hill like that. Then again, you start people thinking in that direction, and you’ll get 80mph tires spinning at god-knows-what rpm, trying to shave tenths of a second off their times. I bet you if they held this in Germany, that’s what it would come to.

    And I do wonder (since this is the Brits) just how many of those people are already falling down drunk to begin with, at the top of the hill, at the start of the race.

  311. JMG said

    TJ, it’s occurred to me that the Russians might well be planning on dragging this out for three to five years, or until Ukraine simply implodes. Can you imagine what kind of basket-case condition the US and European economies will be in if they do?

    According to a number of Russian and pro-Russian blogs I follow, Russia’s industrial sector is booming, partly due to what is sometimes known as “War Keynesianism” and partly due to import substitution programs that are being actively encouraged to make up for goods that can longer be imported from Western suppliers. As an example, it was reported recently that in 2022, the Russian aerospace industry delivered 150 helicopters to the Russian armed forces. By contrast, more than 300 were delivered in the first four months of 2023 alone, with production rates continuing to rise. There have been reports of increases as high as 50-fold for some categories of industrial production since the war began. An entire new generation of industrial workers is being hired and trained, many in the skilled trades, while there are massive infrastructure programs under way, both new construction and the modernization of existing facilities.

    We can see another example of this with the unrelenting Russian missile and drone attacks going on right now in Ukraine. Only a few months ago, Western and Ukrainian news media were loudly proclaiming that Russia was “running out of missiles”. It’s become pretty clear in the last few weeks that those claims were based on a mixture of propaganda and wishful thinking. In the last 24 hours, there have been at least three major waves of Russian missiles and drones aimed at Kiev, with massive strikes going on against targets throughout the country.

    You might recall that back in 2014, when the first major wave of Western sanctions landed on Russia, the Russian government responded with counter-sanctions against agricultural imports from the US and American allies such as Canada, Australia and the EU. It has long been acknowledged that Russian famers are among the most productive in the world, but they had to compete with huge quantities of cheap, heavily subsidized imports from Western countries, which put them at a severe economic disadvantage. Once the playing field was leveled, Russian agricultural production skyrocketed and Russia surpassed the US as the world’s largest producer and exporter of grain within a year.

    I think that we will see the same thing with industry as well. If events continue on their present course, we see will Russia emerge from the present crisis with a world-class industrial base, one second only to that of China. Combine that with the rapid buildup and modernization of the Russian military and that fact that they are already the world’s largest producer of energy, minerals and agricultural products in the world and it becomes all too clear that our senile elites have scored an own goal of epic proportions.

  312. @Verbatim, #303.

    On a purely physiologic level, the literature says that 30 minutes a day of cardio exercise is a huge factor in stalling out age related deterioration of human cognition. More is better, but diminishing returns will limit how much good you can get out of it. I’d point out that you are not trying to burn calories or put up muscle here, but pushing your hearth and lungs beyond their comfort zone, so you want to do a single session per day, and then push yourself into getting a little out of wind (instead of doing more overall minutes of muscular work, but in several small batches where you do not tire out at all). I suspect, but have not seen the science, that the quality of the exercise is also a factor. It is probably better for you to go out jogging in the park than to run in a treadmill (because of the extra neuronal stimulation you get by being out and about). It is also probably better to do sports (or body performance disciplines, such as dance) that use lots of subtle movements with many small muscles, than just use your big muscle groups in repetitive activities.

    If you want to add an etheric component on top of that, I strongly recommend to find some traditional art that provides both at the same time. My cup of tea is Taiji-qwan, or any of the Chinese internal martial arts really, but Yoga is also very good. I do not about the Western traditions, but I suspect Ballet, Flamenco and other forms of dancing have a strong etheric component as well (which Latino rhythms such as Salsa are still in the process of forming).

  313. Omer, I think they used the Energiewende as an excuse to deep-six an unaffordable technology. Unfortunately going long on solar PV and wind won’t do any better — and fossil fuels are running out. The phrase “no-win situation” comes to mind here.

    J.L.Mc12, I have indeed. Schopenhauer’s a fave of mine.

    Vlad, well, of course! Very few people want to deal with the fact that modern industrial society is a self-terminating phenomenon.

    Jill C, yeah, I got to see a lot of that up close, and had an online debate with one of the people who was pushing the evil magic all over the internet. The blowback isn’t pretty, and of course it’s going to get worse.

    Methylethyl, it’s being reinvented right now. Under-the-table jobs have been a thing all along, of course, but these days I hear more and more often of people who’ve dropped out of the official economy and are getting along just fine pursuing this or that gimmick outside employment.

    Scotlyn, thanks for this! “Busy fool” is a useful phrase.

    Roman, then you should definitely read Daniel Quinn; his novel Ishmael is a good place to start. If you’re going to rehash his ideas online, you’d probably better get them from the source, rather than simply repeating some ninth-hand version of them you got from some website or other. That said, please be aware that since I do know quite a bit about anthropology — including, among other things, the widespread and well-documented practice of warfare and slavery by hunter-gatherer peoples in many parts of the world — I’m not going to be impressed by Quinn’s pseudosecular mythology. (Oh, and I should probably mention that you’re far from the first person to try to push that on my blogs. Back in 2006 when I was first blogging, a guy named Jason Godesky was pushing an anarchoprimitivist version of the same schlock, and used to try to post 15-screen rants about how wrongety-wrong-wrong-wrong I was. I wonder what ever happened to him…)

    Kenaz, delighted to hear it. Africa’s still shaking off the burdens of colonialism, but give it another fifty years and it’ll be doing what India and China are doing now — which is not good news for Europe.

    Anonymous, I recommend precisely that when people are ready to start work with the Greater Pentagram Ritual. It works well.

    Alvin, I’ll leave this to the homeschoolers. The one thing I’ll add is that experiments have shown that math drilling in the early grades doesn’t actually help; if you wait until the kids are older, and then introduce the concepts, they’re at grade level in a very short time and actually do better than their heavily drilled peers.

    GlassHammer, depends on where in America you are. We don’t have a single culture, you know — the culture of the deep South has practically nothing in common with the culture of the Pacific Northwest, say, or New England.

    Vlad, that’s an intriguing possibility. You might also look into Japan during the same period as a comparable case.

    Verbatim, you might consider taking up the art of memory. Here’s a basic introduction. The ars notoria isn’t really suited to short term memory work, but that’ll be a lot clearer soon — I just did a blurb for a forthcoming translation and edition of the medieval ars notoria texts that includes all the notae.

    Dennis, I know. That’s why I’m not living on a small farm!

    Chris, you might like Cordwainer Smith’s fiction — good lively golden age SF. He was the child of American missionaries in China and grew up fluent in Chinese, so yeah, something of a sinophile. Here’s a short story of his that may be relevant:

    Smith, thank you. “In my view, these companies and their shareholders and creditors and management, are not whistling past the graveyard, no, they’re in full marching band regalia” — that’s a bit of phrasing to savor.

    Karalan interesting. I’ll put it on the get-to list and comment once I’ve read it.

    Curt, move fast, travel light, and be ready for anything. It’s getting real, as we used to say way back when.

    Methylethyl, I admit that’s one of the best headlines so far this year.

    Citrine, all good points. It’s just possible that the Russian government will decide that prolonging the war for years is in their economic interest!

  314. About memory: first of all, thanks, JMG for the article you linked. It provides a workable start to the whole process, which had held me up completely when I read Bruno’s works or Yates’s “The Art of Memory.” Then of course there are the mass-market “memory demon” how-to books, which are fairly awful. But if you can get over the self-promotion sauce drizzled throughout, the techniques work. They’re just not interesting enough, I think.

    The Buddhist worthies I studied with recommended (along with certain hermeticists and old-time cabalists) doing a life-review at the end of the day, starting at the present moment and working backwards until the time you woke up. This served as a moral review, as you could (eventually) review and evaluate most and eventually all your actions during the day, and quite quickly, too. Allegedly, if carried on far enough, one could remember one’s entire life in detail and, finally, penetrate the barrier of lifetimes and begin remembering former lives. I assume it would also develop the “muscle” to remember dreams more easily, too. I tried it for a while but got too proud of myself for my being so disciplined! That self-critical state of disapproving of my pride at achieving a moral victory has been one of the more interesting themes of my life as I generally drop whatever discipline gave rise to it post-haste, rather than dropping the oh-so-distasteful pride!

    The method you give is much less fraught with that sort of self-judging possibility (it is never absent) and I intend to give it a go. It ties well into the process of building an “inner temple” recommended in some cabalistic disciplines. Pathworking, too, makes much more sense if you have sufficient memory to retain more of the associations for the paths and spheres. I have noticed that when I’m searching for a word, a title, etc., I often have an image appear in mind long before the word does. Yesterday I wanted to do a search online for baggy boxer shorts and could not remember the word “boxer” but the image of what I wanted remained at the forefront of my mind.

    Indeed, when in meditation I have at times followed the arising, remaining, and cessation of individual thoughts, they begin as emotion-laden images, then have words associated with them/wrapped around them, then the words dissolve and the process continues in reverse, as it arose, until the thought is gone. If I get captured by an idea, as happens, it continues with words, emotions, and images for a while. If you observe this process dispassionately, it can have the uncomfortable effect of lessening one’s involvement in the attraction/obsession of what-have-you. I quite miss some of my “neurotic emotions,” that were weakened in this way, and their loss can leave you wondering (as is no doubt intended) who and what you really are, if you’re not them!

    When I was actively involved in stage-work, I would have to memorize lines. I never found it easy and resorted to “brute force” repetition to get the job done. First I’d remember one line, then that line plus one, and so on. I had a unique gift of completely forgetting every line the minute the curtain dropped on the final performance. I ask you, what perverse trick of spirit caused that to happen? A frequent actor’s nightmare is being called to repeat a performance after a long interval and not having access to the script to study off-stage, or being on stage and having absolutely no idea of what one is supposed to do! A rather apt metaphor for a lot of one’s life, as well…

  315. Speaking of epic own goals, Target’s losses are now in excess of $10 billion and still climbing.

    Check out this whinge from The New Republic. Funny thing is, I don’t recall them objecting to cancel culture, the “mostly peaceful” race riots from a few years ago, the rape and death threats against people like J.K. Rowling, or any of the other bullying and intimidation tactics that have become SOP for Wokesters.

    And many of you might recall that the fast food chain Chick-Fil-A used to be a supporter of conservative causes. Now they have decided to start kissing up to the Woke left, with predictable results. As the saying goes, get Woke, go broke…

    To paraphrase former British prime minister David Cameron, the fightback has begun!

  316. Late to the commenting, although I’ve been reading along.

    Just wanted to jump in to @Siliconguy –

    If you’re worried about finding enough horses big enough to pull carts, how about premarin foals? My understanding is that there are plenty of them being produced.

    What are premarin foals? PREgnant MAre urINe foals, of course. Urine from pregnant mares is the main source of estrogen for hormone therapies in humans. One of the by-products of pregnant horses is baby horses. They generally use large draft mares to produce the urine, since bigger horses make more piss. They will sometimes use sperm from smaller stallions to breed the mares, but the smallest premarin foal you’re going to get will be a draft cross (half draft, half smaller horse), which is still going to be on the larger side and sturdy enough to pull a cart. Of course, the foal has to be weaned, raised, cared for, and trained in how to pull a cart, and that part is labour-intensive. My understanding is that most premarin foals wind up raised and slaughtered for meat, although I know quite a few people and lessons stables that have adopted premarin foals as riding horses.

    So, that’s the long way around the urine barn of saying that I would think that the loss of the knowledge base on how to raise, care for, and train horses would be a bigger concern than finding big horses. At least until the market for pregnant draft-mare piss runs out….although with the current transgender growth market for cross-sex hormones, we may be producing premarin foals for some time yet.

    (You really can’t make this stuff up.)

  317. @ the Other Owen: I expect if they start out drunk, they take less damage on the way down– keeps the muscles loose and all.

    @JMG: Have you ever read Ivan Illich’s book: *In the Vineyard of the Text*? You bring up the art of memory often enough I think it’d be right up your alley. It’s been a while since I read it, but IIRC he talks extensively about the “memory palace” technique the medievals used, and the difference (and interaction) between that and putting stuff into text. Like, what text, literacy, reading, and writing actually do to our minds.

  318. @Kimberly Steele, thanks for the toilet cleaner recipe. That sounds quite economical and effective for daily cleaning of the upper (seat and tank) portions. I guess for cleaning out the bowl the important thing is to brush the surface and flush/rinse thoroughly. Trying to “santize” the water in the bowl is probably a fool’s errand.

    Thanks also to CR Patiño and Jeanne for your suggestions.

  319. Verbatim,
    RE: short term memory.

    There is some pretty good research on what happens to the mind as we get older. To sum it up very briefly, the elementary functions decline an we become more reliant on higher level functions.

    Let me unpack that. We have some very basic mental skills that we develop early in life, things like pattern recognition, task switching, working memory, and attention span. We use those skills as a foundation to develop other skills that rely on that foundation. In old age, that foundation begins to atrophy because we rely so much on the higher level maps that we have built with those more advanced skills.

    This is those senior moments like putting your icecream on the desk, pen in the microwave, and coffee cup in the freezer. Your map still works, but the elements have been transposed because the task switching and working memory aren’t what they used to be.

    The good news is that the brain stays plastic in old age, and you can exercise those basic skills. The website has a pretty good set of brain games that exercise those very skills. Learning a language, an instrument, or a new skill (painting, juggling, coding, etc. Something that stretches the and works those neurons) also comes highly recommended.

    This one is for everyone. If you’ve ever had to reread the same page four times because you drifted off the previous three.

    If you are living with some this exercise from the fourth way really works for staying on task. Get a set of 3-6 symbols (colors, shapes, zener cards, whatever), at least two of each, and lay them out in a row. Person B closes their eyes. Person A reads them to person B in order.

    A says:

    1. Blue
    2. Blue
    3. Green
    4. Yellow

    Person B then says whatever is at the bottom of the list.

    B: “Yellow”

    A adds a new one to the top: “Green”

    1. Green
    2. Blue
    3. Blue
    4. Green

    B says “Green”

    And repeat until you make a mistake. Person A counts how many iterations until a mistake.
    Three rounds a day is plenty. You’ll find that you tend to get stuck in the same range for a while and then make a breakthrough. Say from 12ish, to 21ish, then from 21ish to 35ish. Once you get to 100 you are done. Your mind has been trained to stay on task, focus, working memory, etc. when you put it to a task.

  320. @Chris McMahon #313
    Thanks, I will check these out

    @Curt #318
    Best of luck with your next job!

  321. @Methylethyl (#319)
    “whatever you have planned will ultimately crash and burn when it encounters your actual child/children.”
    I know that homeschooling is an incomparably gentler situation, but I couldn’t help thinking of the Mike Tyson comment that “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.
    Learning to teach the child you actually have must be a good way to build a strong bond.

  322. JMG,

    The polarization on the Ukraine War is reaching absurd, Covid-like levels. I follow people on both sides and their perceptions are damn near exact opposite.

    The Slava Ukraini crowd is convinced that Russia’s one counter-offensive away from collapse given that they believe the Russian Army has been destroyed. Conversely, the pro-Russia crowd fully expects the Ukraine counter-offensive to be another “battle of the bulge” since they too believe Ukraine’s military is toast.

    The propaganda is strong on all fronts but there’s still pretty obvious signs that Ukraine is fighting valiantly but losing rather badly.

    I’m curious if you have thoughts on these (again) Covid-levels of delusion?

  323. viduraawakened,

    I had long thought that we might all be German these days were it not for Hitler getting bored with England and turning his attention to Russia. That said, I *just* read a fascinating history of the Battle of Stalingrad and learned that the Russian offensive was always a critical part of the Reich’s plans as they knew they couldn’t hold Europe without the oil in the Caucasus.

  324. Curt,

    Someone rather cleverly noted on Twitter that we left all those weapons in Afghanistan precisely to facilitate them attacking Iran.

  325. Citrine,

    Same thing’s happened in Iran. Sanctions have ironically allowed both countries to reclaim their economic sovereignty.

    Interesting how that’s never happened in Venezuela, no? Used to be the wealthiest country in South America, but true socialists just can’t get out of their own way.

  326. Just a thought I had, turning over in my head the problem of what outcome I might hope for in the Russia-Ukraine war.

    Ukraine seems to be caught between two civilizational identity egregors, and this has implications for its ability to muster a defense.

    The way the egregor of Enlightenment ideology was originally conceived, it should eventually not matter for your security against invasion what nation you belong to, as long as you respect a common idea of the rights of humankind, and focus on advantages gained by positive-sum trade and production that focuses on making the most of the world, instead of politically organized negative-sum expropriation and coercion that focuses on extracting the most from other humans.

    The Enlightenment egregor is kind of tainted now, because of Western institutions’ gradual involution, disconnection from material reality, and increasing elite focus on philosophically legitimizing collective sentiments and enmities as a way to edge out other elites for claims on power, over the last century or so.

    (I have read a reasonable argument that the West’s increasing displaced, failed orientation to reality is due to their elite intellectuals’ faithful attempts to follow up (notably via Hegel) on a fatally mistaken philosophical dislocation crafted by Immanuel Kant. I might translate the argument in occult terms as a claim that Kant made a botched attempt at putting Western culture through a Tiphereth initiation, performed on the mental plane, so that almost nobody could even see where the resulting cascading disasters of 20th century collectivist totalitarianism were proceeding from, or how there even could be anything they could do about it. Rather than Kant sanctifying everyone’s phenomenal self with a connection to the noumenal self, he instead effectively just ended up traumatizing everyone’s phenomenal self into thinking itself to be in the equivalent of the stereotype of the Calvinist idea of “total depravity”, utterly incompetent to orient of its own volition to things-in-themselves. So instead, everyone’s phenomenal self sought to abase itself, in the name of the duties owed to the noumenal self and true reality, to any and every form of unreasoning collectivity, sentiment, instinct, or coercion that would overrule its volition, thinking that this overruling was the sign that the noumenal self was taking over and they could finally feel relieved that they were doing their duty. (Hegel concretized this as the idea that the reasoning of the world-spirit worked through collectivities, cultures, states, great leaders because of their relations to such collectivities, and wars, rather than through individuals in their own right.) Even before the space in the culture that Germans thought they were carving out for the noumenal (such as they understood it) was taken over by the Nazi infestation, Weimar Germany was driving itself increasingly insane by its dutiful pursuit of anything but the intelligible. (The intellectual/occult trajectory of Nick Land looks like a plausible microcosm of this. After long experiments with dissolution of meaning, eventually he came to worship a hypothetical future capitalism-AI even if it would prove to be consciousness-annihilating, because he thought it, unlike humans, would be oriented to the ultimate reality. That’s exactly what you’d expect, under the hypothesis that Kant caused the most intellectually sensitive people to identify unreality and evil with prioritizing the phenomenal, i.e., the conscious. (Mr. Land, if you see this, please consider unrolling the transaction history of philosophy to before Kant and trying again. There are more traps than just language and human representation.)) (A botched Tiphereth initiation might be the reason Germany was such an easy vessel for those malefic forces to capture; but every culture that has been shaped by intellectuals treating Kant’s core idea without deep skepticism and discernment might be in some measure also vulnerable.) The cultures that didn’t drive themselves insane upon exposure to German idealist philosophy tended to become somewhat intellectually crippled by the learned defense mechanism of regarding philosophy, abstractions, and principles with suspicion. Even for them, though, Kant’s engine on the mental plane still went on turning over and over, pushing everyone toward hatred of themselves and greater projected hatred of various groups such as capitalists, STEM, and the working class, for the “original sin” of actually caring about the only realities they can actually consciously identify; a pattern that mostly continues, though more slowly, to this day.)

    (The Enlightenment justified itself in terms of its connection to reality, but disconnection is not the only way the egregore is tainted. It also justified itself in terms of respecting the rights of individuals, but was historically closely linked to national imperialism, enabled by industrial war power and motivated by industrial resource demands, as industry is a natural consequence of Enlightenment ideology given a sufficiently favorable resource environment. In theory they could have done better by their values by trying harder to attend to ways in which peoples might be constructed as rights-deserving Enlightenment rational subjects who could and should be traded with, instead of conquered.)

    Mr. Putin seems to be unimpressed by the incompetence and human-hostility of Western institutions, and plausibly wants to secure the geopolitical/demographic/cultural future of Russian people away from their orbit. So he’s sort of trying to assert a Russian civilizational egregor in Ukraine. He had an opinion article released a few days after the initial invasion where he claimed to believe that he had to invade when he did because, after another decade or two, Ukraine’s public education apparatus would have succeeded in giving the people an anti-Russian identity. The subtext was that this would make them easy prey for geopolitical ethnic divide-and-conquer techniques from whatever malevolent neighbors came along in a pessimistically realistic future. I figure Putin didn’t want to proactively offend those neighbors by saying that part out loud.

    The European nation with the strongest remaining reality-orientation right now seems to be Finland. For someone who is hoping to obtain their defense by identifying with the egregore of the Enlightenment and the principle of common defense of free persons, it would be beneficial to try to especially ally with, uphold, and empower the least tainted national variation of the Enlightenment’s egregor. (Particularly given Ukraine’s own presently apparently rather corrupt version.) And Finland (also the similar Estonia) is under pressure from Russia anyway, which makes a special relationship natural in another respect. I don’t know if some kind of action by Ukraine affirming this direction, and admitting their historical faults by the standards of the Enlightenment that justified the mutual defense it was asking for, would lead to the best outcome of the Ukraine-Russia war for everyone in the long run, but it would be my first tentative guess.

    In the long run, two further measures should probably also be taken.

    Ultimately there would have to be found a version of the Enlightenment egregor that was compatible with certain realpolitik observations about how national and ethnic unities work, particularly during stressors that make égalité or fraternité start breaking down. Right now we have the “diversity” and “intersectionalist” movements, which are conceivably a start, but they don’t yet really seem to be tapping into the right currents of nose-to-the-grindstone mechanical reality-orientation that gave the Enlightenment such power and internal self-compatibility. Instead, they seem to conceive of themselves as anti-Enlightenment. Maybe this could work out (and, for example, prevent future Ukraine-Russia situations) if the diversity and intersectionalist movements were synthesized with the harder social, cognitive, and economic sciences, in a way that respected the essences of each. A well-formed Enlightenment egregor ought to be compatible with whatever the benefits were going to be of a distinctively Russian trend in civilization, even in the Ukraine, since Enlightenment ideals don’t have strong implications outside the spheres of politics and epistemology, and it should be able to keep to the spheres where it was better-justified while deferring in other spheres.

    Also, ideally someone would go over and correct Kant’s conjectural botched Tiphereth initiation. That also sounds like it would be pretty hard.

    I don’t know if there’s anywhere where there would really be any point in having said all of that, but at least I’m saying it here.

  327. @Lathechuck #317: I generally go for the chewable multivitamins, since they avoid putting stuff in there that would be too toxic if a child got into the jar and ate too much of it, and I’ve read something bad about the RDA for manganese, like some of the scientists in the field speculate that toxicity from excess manganese might be why multivitamins don’t seem to produce a net benefit.

    I’ve also read that a lot of what’s wrong with vitamin and mineral supplementation science is that they study supplementing individual things in isolation, when a lot of the bad health outcomes result from imbalances and not just deficiencies. Maybe normal amounts of Vitamin A are health-improving for people who already get normal amounts of vitamin D, and vice versa, but most people don’t get enough of either, so the actually correct amounts look damaging and harmful when studied individually. Other things that I half-remember might be complementary, but where the situation isn’t as bad, are copper/zinc, magnesium/calcium, and antioxidants covering different ranges of the oxidative chemical potential energy difference spectrum (because many antioxidants slowly break down to produce free radicals themselves, that others have to clean up) (I think many of these energy differences correspond to visible colors, so that advice about trying to eat a rainbow does have some science to support it). Potassium/sodium might be another one except that we mostly get too much sodium.

    Having your culture actually get its epistemological practice right is important!

  328. Mark L @ 312, I am delighted to hear it. Might you be able to take some photos, interview some gardeners, write up the whole thing and try to place it in some sort of national media?

  329. Regarding math and learning:

    I scored very highly on a standardized test for kindergarteners and as such was placed in an advanced program. In my final year in the program, I was failing because no matter how hard my parents and my teachers tried, my brain simply would not comprehend algebra. Coincidentally, my family moved that summer and I went to a place with no advanced program. When I was introduced to algebra again two years later, I found it incredibly easy, and never struggled with math again until I got into advanced partial differential equation stuff in university.

    Although I don’t entirely dismiss education, the factory-farm model of it where children are stuffed with knowledge at the rate their mental digestive system can tolerate it is completely bunk. Although perhaps me struggling with algebra then being allowed to entirely forget it existed for two years helped, I think was simply a matter of giving my brain another two years to develop.

  330. I’ve been so busy, I’ll have to go through and get the gist of the comments this week.
    I received news this week about a friend in Irkutsk, a British lady who heads an environmental NGO there, and I had taken for the past 15 years to be an unfortunate casualty of the cold war that erupted after Vladimir Putin assumed office. Her organization had been forced to take down its website, and for 20 years I had no further news. Quiet inquiries with friends in her area got no replies, so I assumed the worst–that she had been jailed or expelled. I kept checking the Net periodically to see if there was any recent information about her. There must be a dozen people in the UK who share her name, but even searches with her name and “Baikal” only brought up the 2003 incident, when her organization was raided by the FSB and the same day they came under attack by thugs as well. They were targetted by their political enemies–corrupt local oligarchs wanting to profit from exploiting natural resources. A scientist had provided maps that he assured them had been okayed for public release, but they had not been, and subsequently the FSB was called in on them. I knew by then that certain foreign NGOs in Russia were fronts for political destabilization and understood that Russia had to do something about that. I was just sad to see the good get chucked out with the bad.
    Well, this time, my search brought up news items from 20 years ago once again, but I continued to scroll down onto the second and third pages as well, and discovered that in fact, her organization had weathered this crisis and she, now in her 70s, was still actively advocating for environmental protection at least as of 2022. They had just gone quiet, severed their overseas ties, and focused locally.
    It occurs to me now that perhaps she is a victim of shadow-banning by Western enterprises (unless Google has been overtaken by the Kremlin). In 2002, when I last met her, I asked her how they were faring under Vladimir Putin, expecting to hear a litany of woes, because that is what the Western press was saying. She is the one who told me that Putin clearly had good intentions and was trying very hard, but they wished he could address corruption more quickly. She, more than anyone else, was the one who convinced me to take a different look at the man, though all of the Russians I met at that time had similar remarks on him. It was after that that I began noticing that whenever Russia did something to help a weaker country, the Western press, especially the liberal outlets, would ratchet up their negative portrayals of Russia, and Putin specifically.
    I must say that coming from a liberal background, it was a really eye-opening experience for me.
    One more recent account of this lady said that in her environmental advocacy she had had the occasion to meet Vladimir Putin, and that they reportedly hit it off.
    She is also the one who explained to me what exactly the Russian government is touchy about if you are engaged in advocacy work: if you pass on security-related state secrets, even if someone else leaked them, you can get in trouble. They consider GPS a potential spying tool as well, as one incautious hang gliding friend found out, with what looked like a certain amount of grief. On the other hand, two other Russian hang gliding friends met far worse fates through inattention to high-tension power lines and the condition of their gear, respectively.

  331. @ JMG “Schopenhauer’s a fave of mine.”

    Me too!

    “I have long held the opinion that the amount of noise that anyone can bear undisturbed stands in inverse proportion to his mental capacity and therefore can be regarded as a pretty fair measure of it.”

    – A. Schopenhauer

    A man after my own heart.

  332. JMG, I came up with that Garden of Eden theory all by myself. I didn’t read it anywhere. My whole point is that we evolved in wide open spaces and that is our default position. Now we live in giant overcrowded “concrete jungles” and that is one of the major reasons for the decline in our mental health.

    We went from chimpanzee-type troops, to prehuman hunter-gatherer bands, and then to human hunter-gatherer bands. Warfare by hunter-gatherer bands was probably in the latter stages of this era. The cause was probably resource depletion of their most important resource which was land or space to live in. This was probably caused by population increase in those bands.

    The point is basically psychological. Humans are apparently the most adaptable species but there is a limit to that adaptation. Living in massive cities amongst billions of people is becoming unbearable.

    Genesis tells of humanity being ejected from a lost garden paradise and sentenced to a life of toil and drudgery. It seems to me this is an explanation of vague myths that were still around in the Biblical era and now we know what those myths were based on.

    If someone else said something similar, that’s OK. There’s no way to prove this. It just seems like a reasonable explanation.

  333. Vlad – Re: post-War Germany. An elderly woman at my church lived in Germany, as a child, during and after WW-2. I asked her “what did people eat after the war?” She said “Turnips. Lots of turnips. … and we were glad to have them.”

    I guess I should grab up some turnip seed when it goes on sale as we approach the end of the planting season. One of the virtues of turnips is that they can hide underground for months, much less attractive to thieves than those ripe, red tomatoes.

  334. JMG #330
    Do let us know when this will be available.

    Also, have you read Dr. Stephen Skinner’s 2-part reconstruction of the Ars Notae? If so, how will the version you’re blurbing compare to his?

  335. Verbatim #303

    I recall JMG mentioning some of William Walter Atkinson’s New Thought-style memory work.
    There is some here, and some on the dreamwidth site.

  336. The Other Owen – re: declining nutrient content. Your linked image mentioned calcium, and that’s one reason that I’ve crushed hundreds of eggshells over the last few years and scattered them in my gardens. Some people claim that blossom-end rot of tomatoes is caused by calcium-deficient soils (others disagree), but my tomatoes haven’t shown it since I started using the eggshells. (However, maybe I corrected some other problem at the same time.) Also, kale is supposed to be rich in calcium, and it grows well in my mid-Atlantic climate, but how can I grow calcium-rich kale without calcium-rich soil? The plants can’t suck it out of the air! The best time to add nutrients to your soil is ten years ago; the next best time is today.

  337. “Some people claim that blossom-end rot of tomatoes is caused by calcium-deficient soils”

    My garden book agrees, furthermore my own experience agrees. Bury an eggshell next to each tomato plant, less blossom end rot. The local soil is notably calcium deficient, but it’s also slightly alkaline so you can’t just lime the heck out it either.

  338. Clarke, you’re most welcome. I have no idea what causes that business with forgetting lines, as it’s not something that has ever happened to me — I still remember lines from plays I acted in back in junior high…

    Platypus, it’s become something of a running joke on the populist right to suggest that if liberals didn’t have double standards they’d have no standards at all. Be that as it may, it’s certainly funny to hear pundits on the left insisting that conservative boycotts are “economic terrorism” while liberal boycotts are perfectly fine. I suspect it’s because the conservative boycotts are having more impact.

    Methylethyl, no, I haven’t, and I clearly should remedy that. Thank you!

    TJ, that’s the barbarism of reflection for you. For both sides, it’s just a matter of deploying abstract labels without any connection to the world of experience — and they’ve lost track of the fact that saying that X = Y does not make X = Y.

    Anonymous, where did you encounter the idea of Kant’s failed Tiphareth initiation of the West? That’s intriguing; I’m not at all sure I agree with it, but I’d be interested in following up on it.

    Kevin, I know! He was a grouchy old git, and a very, very perceptive one.

    Roman, yes, I know — again, all that was part of Quinn’s argument, part of his extreme oversimplification of human evolution and the nature of history. It’s interesting that you apparently came to the same conclusions by yourself.

    Jeffrey, no, I hadn’t gotten around to Skinner’s version yet — I’ll make time for that as circumstances permit.

  339. To The Other Owen, the guys that put out official stats have probably lost track of all the lies plus the additional lies to cover the earlier lies such that inconsistencies proliferate like forest fungus. Does inflation look to you like what they say it is? To me it looks like it’s four or five times higher. Imagine a Fed rate that’s consistent with inflation as it really is.

    Does anything make any logical sense any more? EBITDA? Pro Forma? Ex Items? Does it make any sense to exclude interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from a measure of profitability?

    Has it ever made sense to exclude one time items? There’s always one time items. It’s like saying this is the money we woulda made if not for this money we lost.

    I’ve heard talking heads on business news say that they hate dividends. Well, I’ll gladly take theirs if they don’t want them. They say they hate dividends because it means that company management lost the plot. I don’t know what to say to that aside from send me a check, I accept checks as long as they don’t bounce.

    Emerging markets? Hats off to whoever came up with that one.

  340. Every day I solve a puzzle. And every solution creates two new puzzles. And I started with uncountable puzzles. I presume I am happy.

  341. Re: calcium in soil

    Gypsum is a good soil amendment, supplying both calcium and sulfur without raising the pH like lime. Organic farmers around me apply it by the ton, but somehow it hasn’t yet caught on in the gardening world to the same degree.

    You should be able to get 50 lbs of gypsum for under $15, at least under $20, from wholesale/farm supply outlets. Beware the garden centers and online resellers that mark it up 300% or more.

  342. I got the basic structure of the argument about Kant and his big oops from a book by Leonard Peikoff, who was named by Ayn Rand as her intellectual successor after the breakup with Nathaniel Branden. The book was called “The Ominous Parallels”. Peikoff’s goal with the book was to argue that a counter-Kantian revival of the spirit of the Enlightenment (specifically, Objectivism) was the only thing that could save America from following in Germany’s footsteps. The part about Tiphareth is a speculative analogy of mine based on various things you’ve said about Tiphareth initiations, plus what little I’ve read about that sephirah. The analogy seemed like it would make the argument easier to follow than if you had to wade through Objectivist framing and paradigms to understand what it was getting at, though it also plausibly can carry bear some further load in its own right.

    Objectivists do believe that mental-plane phenomena have a great deal of power — that “philosophy is the motor of history” (sort of like that quote by Keynes about defunct philosophers and economists), and that indeed every way in which humans are safer and happier than beasts derives ultimately and unavoidably from someone’s mental-planar labor (even when the beneficiaries afterwards deceive themselves into disbelieving in and collectively denigrating the value of mental-planar labor in favor of low-astral mediocrity, even when that makes them helpless before nature) — but of course only in a materialistic way. For example, they believe in the importance of something called “philosophical detective work”, where you try to trace the dysfunctions and permanent hope-wounds of a person or culture back to bad philosophical premises.

    If you want to get some of the flavor of the argument, a condensed scattershot version of parts of the same basic analysis as Peikoff’s can be found in the online writings of David Chapman (all the snippets he’s written across two or three website projects that link to his page about “bad ideas from dead Germans“, plus his take on 20th century totalitarianism and breakdowns of meaning), but it’d be a little difficult to follow if you don’t know some of his other ideas. Some of it he got from David L. McMahan’s The Making of Buddhist Modernism, but also he’s generally just very perceptive about where intellectual things come from or something.

  343. (Also: I’m having second thoughts about the rightfulness of what I said about Nick Land worshipping the future capitalism-AI. He sides with it, and presents it as an ideal to his followers, but I don’t know of him actually engaging in worship or invocations as such. Also I’m not sure he actually agreed with opponents’ arguments that it might annihilate all consciousness in the universe. Maybe he just dismissed the opponents’ arguments, without it being clear whether this dismissal was about the arguments’ merit or just their relevance.)

  344. Sudden insight this morning … we’re out of the Crisis Era and into the Recovery. The mood of impending doom you’ve been sensing is that it’s a bad Recovery, but hear me out: and remember, this was an Internal Crisis like the Civil War, and consider the aftermath of the Civil War.

    Point: A few days ago, one of the flash popup sites, either in Pocket or on Microsoft Start had one of those list-stories, “‘n’ movies we loved and don’t want our children to see.” Most of them were blood and gore, from Jaws to a slasher flick, and included the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The feeling of that story was so familiar that the rest of the evidence came seeping into my mind over the next day or so. Because, folks, Been There, still have the T-shirt. So spoke the parents of people my age (in the media; never to us innocent, delicate babes in the woods) about the things they loved and got away with during the Roaring 20s and even the 1930s. And when I had the cash and a little freedom, sought out in the bookstores as could reach on foot or by bus or bike. As I think many of us did,

    Point: Another of the cheap democraphic stories, some time ago, noted that Generation Alpha was now on the scene as the Zoomers are coming of age or are of age. All my grands – sons, daughter, nieces, nephew – are Zoomers and I know them on that basis. Dutifully following the path their parents have laid out for them, like Ariel Moravec’s sister Britney. Strip away the 21st century trappings and look at the bones; it’s like looking in a mirror. They’re the ones I had pegged for a midlife revolt, as the Alphas for a youth revolt.

    Point: Florida has already thrown up its analogue to Senator Joseph McCarthy. And I use “thrown up” in both senses, including the one requiring a wastebasket or a paper bag. The witch hunts on both sides have been in full swing for quite some time, which has been amply documented on this blog. Swimsuit ads show swimsuits with skirts. Not modesty panels – little skirts. Books like Judy Blume’s novels that her readers ate up because, unlike the sterile little pamphlets and “just don’t” from our elders, they told the truth about female adolescence, have been banned as “pornographic” and unsuitable for their target readership. In my day it was comic books. And the times when society seemed freewheeling and wide open, whatever its manifold flaws, is well behind us.

    To quote Strauss & Howe, not for their rigid cycles, but for an apt phrase, “both the demand for order and the supply are at their peak.”

    Bad recovery? Our Abe Lincoln/FDR figure was Donald Trump. Chew on that one. And no Eisenhower – a superb strategist who had managed a major war – anywhere on the scene. Compare to who was on the scene after the end of the Civil War. But then, again, this was an internal Crisis, ending in stalemate. And the Civil War wasn’t really settled – badly, again – until the end of Reconstruction, saying “Ok. No slavery, Serfdom absolutely Ok.”

    BTW, that period’s Generation Alpha went in for settlement houses, suffrage, and social work. And, as JMG points out, dabbling in the occult. And – check out a movie or novel called The Road to Wellness.

    Anyway, for what it’s worth. Run this by one of your elders and see if they recognize the picture. Including the “sky syrup” top 40 songs, either bouncy and cute, or maudlin doomed teenage romances. You didn’t get the bite or the complexity until later. Or with the folk revival – world folk by then. Imagine never hearing music in a minor key – even though you were raised on classical music – until tuning in a late-night program in an obscure station, in your room, and being blown away,

  345. Great chapter on catabolic collapse in Collapse Now. 1974 is a pretty good estimate of when the first wave of American catabolic collapse started. But I prefer 1973 with the Arab Oil Embargo. This is when post-war business as usual came to a sudden stop. People could really feel everything had changed back then.

    The prediction that America could be a Third World nation in a few decades was far too optimistic. Parts of our major cities are in the Third World right now.

  346. @JMG

    Is you FAQ up to date? I bought “The Druid Path” and it seems it should fit into the “first books on Druidry”.


  347. Hi,

    Is there a better way to communicate than here?

    Some feedback. I tried to buy your book “A World Full of Gods” from using your JMG20 code and had a hard time with their website. I live in France. Use a Macbook os x 10.14, began in Brave, it would not take my new account.

    I went to Safari. No better. I think I finally got a price of about 25 euros. But then I had another problem, so I ordered from Blackwell’s. Same price without a discount code.

    No big deal for me. But others customers may not have my god-like patience.

    Looking forward to the book!

  348. You are probably right, JMG. It’s hard to lose. In light of the myth of modernity it’s particularly bewildering to lose to a bunch of vodka swilling, chain smoking squat toilet users…

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