Open Post

October 2019 Open Post

This week’s Ecosophian offering is the monthly (well, more or less!) open post to field questions and encourage discussion among my readers. All the standard rules apply — no profanity, no sales pitches, no trolling, no rudeness, no long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic.

With that said, have at it!

443 Comments

  1. In your future deindustrial vision of North America, I remember you have Quebec as a sovereign state. Does Alberta also go independent? Many there now are screaming for independence after Trudeau’s re-election.

  2. It has come to my attention that the standard method for removing a medical catheter is to leave the catheter in for a while, let blood pressure press flesh tightly around the catheter, let the flesh grow tightly enough that you can’t rip the catheter out without ripping out some flesh, give you something to bite on- then rip the catheter out. Not a screamingly perfect medical procedure.

    Why not a spiral of wire around the outside of the catheter? Why not screw catheters in and out, like acupuncture needles? Why not pull out the tube, leaving an empty spiral, and squirt in some mix of antiseptic (say neosporin, or dilute iodine), painkiller (cocaine, something like cocaine but more legal), just plain warm fluid (warm water, British beer, WD-40 would be better than nothing) to counter blood pressure? Then spiral out the empty wire.

  3. I hope everyone’s enjoying Halloween season. 🎃👻🎃🎃

    Sing out, shoggoths! “🎼Weee deee-nounce/ Joooohhhn Greeeeeer…🎼”

    I’m taking a nap. We have ANOTHER (unDruidly word)ing skunk, and the stench woke me up 3 times last night. The neighbors and I have been trying to figure out why our little corner of the world is so attractive to skunks. Maybe the skunks like the sound of singing shoggoths.

  4. John, et al.–

    Well, this past Monday’s city council meeting was an interesting conversation about political philosophy, debate over ends versus means, and exhibition of parliamentary procedure.

    Brought before us for action that night was a two-part ordinance which would have modified existing municipal code regarding underage smoking to include sale, gifting, use, or possession of “electronic smoking devices,” a term which was quite broadly defined to be any device delivering nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption through inhalation of aerosol or vapor. The first part of the ordinance dealt with code relating to underage smoking within the city generally, while the second part incorporated vaping generally into exiting restrictions on smoking or tobacco use (within schools, enclosed spaces, etc). In other words, where you can’t smoke, you also can’t vape.

    I had less heartburn about the second part, but I did express a certain disapproval of laws which protect people from themselves as well as some concern about the vague definition of “electronic smoking device” which to my mind did not exclude things like medicinal inhalers. The response I got was “we just won’t enforce that,” which rather disturbed me all the more (selective enforcement of vaguely-written laws sounds far too Kafka-esque for my liking). There was such a push to “do something” that I didn’t see much thought being put into whether or not what was being proposed was an appropriate use of governmental authority.

    As it unfolded, I made a motion to amend the motion on the floor (which had been to adopt the ordinance as written) in order to modify the definition of electronic smoking to nicotine specifically. This failed on a 4-5 vote, which was admittedly far closer than I had thought it would have been. But enough of an issue was raised that we ended up separating the two components, tabling the part about underage vaping, and passing a narrower ordinance only incorporating vaping into existing smoking restrictions (which I did vote for). But there was a fair amount of pressure, as we had the assistant police chief, the school resource officer, and the principles of both the middle and high schools there pushing for the ordinance.

    For those who can abide Facepalm and enjoy political theatre, here’s the video of the full meeting. We start on the issue around 18:00 on the video timeline. I’m the obnoxious one on the far right:

    https://www.facebook.com/TwoRiversWisconsin/videos/vb.104580897190/2419590061643714/?type=2&theater

    I expect we’ll be revisiting the broader issue and I fully expect to be in the minority with regard to my civil libertarianism, but one does what one can, I suppose.

  5. Left over from last week’s post-

    Onething:
    There is growing evidence that increased CO2 levels will promote increased plant growth at the expense of nutrition and that’s been widely reported. Here’s one article that gives a good outline of what’s known:
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/5/140507-crops-nutrition-climate-change-carbon-dioxide-science/

    From another article on the NPR website:

    “And the effect was clear: Higher CO2 reduced multiple key measures of rice’s nutritional value. Across the different types of rice, they observed average decreases of 10 percent in protein, 8 percent in iron and 5 percent in zinc. Four important B vitamins decreased between 13 and 30 percent. The research was recently published in Science Advances.

    Higher carbon dioxide is not just affecting rice. There’s evidence that the scope of this is much bigger. Harvard’s Sam Myers, who studies the impact of climate change on nutrition, has tested CO2’s impact on the protein, iron and zinc of a number of staple crops using the same free-air CO2 enrichment technique.

    ‘Most of the food crops that we consume showed these nutrient reductions,’ Myers says.”

    You can read the rest here along with an explanation of how the experiments were done: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/06/19/616098095/as-carbon-dioxide-levels-rise-major-crops-are-losing-nutrients

    Patricia Matthews:
    Tomatoes are hot weather plants, but high nighttime temperatures (in the 70ºs) will cause blossom drop and, according to Gardening Know How, “when nights become too warm, the pollen grains of the tomato flower begin to burst, thwarting pollination, hence no fruit set. This is doubly true when the air is saturated with relative humidity.” Kind of sounds like Florida. Long ago some gardener told me that tomatoes originated in the mountains of Peru where days are warm but nights are cool and that’s why tomatoes do well under those conditions. Good enough for me.

    As suggested, here again is a link to the off-topic article I mentioned last week:
    https://athenaeumreview.org/essay/managing-our-darkest-hatreds/
    I think the author hits on some of the criticisms of modern ‘paganism’ that our host has also mentioned, but does it from the perspective of a historian. Anyway, I thought it was interesting.

  6. Lady Cutekitten:
    The skunks come because you have something attractive to them. If birds are spilling seed from the feeders, if your cats or dogs are leaving tasty morsels (even microscopically small) in the yards, if the local kids are dropping bits of their lunches on the ground, if you have an especially fine compost pile, you’re going to have visitors. Skunks waste no time prowling spots with nothing to offer.

    We had a lone skunk show up day after day to snack near our deck, but now after dinner every evening I open the gate and let the chickens run free for a while and they make a beeline for the area where the birdseed is and anything else they can find. The girls clean up everything and the skunk has stopped coming around. Lacking chickens you’ll have to be careful about letting anything fall in the first place.

  7. I’m curious about citizenship and civics classes in school. We never had anything like that and any suggestion of it was dismissed as a vector for official propaganda. Anyone who has experience of them, what was it like and what effect do you think it has?

  8. John–

    Re the vaping issue and schools

    As a quick follow-on, I realize you don’t care to watch videos, but I thought I’d point out one comment that one of the principles made about vaping in the schools. The four advocates (the assistant police chief, the resource officer, and the two principles) had been talking about how difficult it was to catch the kids vaping because of the small size of some of these devices. One of the principles mentioned that “we can’t even see all that well on the security camera footage” and I just froze in my seat. Your portrayal of schools in the Atlantic Republic flashed through my mind. It was extremely disturbing.

  9. Hello Everyone!

    My good friend, who is an amateur Cajun historian, shared with me a traditional Louisianan cooking technique that is too great not to share. This technique is used in the most famous of Cajun dishes: Red Beans and Rice. It’s called ‘Lagniappe’, which literally translates from French into ‘bonus’.

    When meat is an uncommon thing in your household, as it is for the poorer Cajuns, it is beneficial to make it stretch as far as possible. In that spirit, after a Sunday roast or other special occasion where meat would be served, the leftover scraps would be mixed in to a pot of cheap dry beans (Red Beans are what’s available in Louisiana) and slow cooked for the day. Not only would this impart the meaty flavor to the beans, through homeopathic principles, I believe this technique made the cheap plant protein more filling.

    To try this bit of American folk magic in your own home, the morning after you had a meat dinner, toss your scraps and leftovers into a slow cooker with whichever dry beans (rinsed and picked over) are local to your area and spices, if you’re so inclined (traditional Cajun add-ins are the “Holy Trinity”, onion, bell pepper and celery, with paprika and cayenne for spice) Cover with water and an appropriate broth if available. Slow cook on high until dinner time, and you will be left with some of the most filling beans of your life.

    May this feed your families well through the long descent.

    Dylan

  10. Hi John Michael,

    Your theory about Pluto really has me in a tizzy! As you undoubtedly know, Pluto has been widely accepted as the ruler of Scorpio in our modern era. How are you handling this? The symbolic meanings of Pluto fit awfully well with the nature of the Scorpio. Are you working exclusively with Mars as the ruler? I know you’ve mentioned that Pluto is weak/disconnected in your natal chart and wonder if this diminishes your sensitivity to its influence. I know that my exact Sun/Pluto opposition makes me hypersensitive! I hope you don’t mind getting so much pushback from me on this topic — I’ll clam up about it if you prefer.

    Looking forward to the wide ranging discussions about to begin on this month’s Open Post. Thanks, as always.

    Jim

  11. JMG, What do you make of the 4-6$ gas in California and the supposed rationing that the California government wants to implement? YouTube personality Jsnip4 just posed a video on it. Pieces of the mainstream media are throwing ape-**** (pardon my language) over the gas prices, as is the California court systems. Santa surfing beach broadcast on youtube also had an interesting interview with johnheretohelp on the same topic.

    My gut tells me this is something well worth looking into.

  12. Over the past couple of years I’ve seen passing mention by you and a couple of other occultists of presences in this universe that are remnants of a prior universe. I don’t stay on top of the world of astrophysics but peek in on it from time to time to see whats current. In the last 15 years or so some theorists have found various aspects of the Big Bang theory to be unfalsifiable. Now some astrophysicists are cautiously but seriously exploring the idea cycles of expansion and contraction in which the universe isn’t completely destroyed on contraction.

    Any insight from the occult scene?

  13. Mr Greer,

    Once again a heartfelt thanks for this blog and all that you do to keep it functional. I can only imagine that it’s a lot of work to respond thoughtfully to so many comments. I hope it is also satisfying to you in some fashion.

    One more thing: @ Booklover, please contact me. Our host has my email address.

    Best wishes to all, Aged Spirit

  14. Greetings JMG

    I have been following your discussion and insights into the Cos Doc with great interest, I find its explanation of the cosmos we inhabit to make more sense than the mainstream cosmology.

    It has brought back into consciousness questions that have been rattling around in my mind for quite some time, the one I would like some insight into is the question of ensoulment, that is, what do the various occult traditions have to say about the process by which souls/spirits/divine sparks find new physical bodies.

    I am not interested in the timing but the process, Is it unilateral or some sort of negotiation ? The part of you that survives death of the physical body is floating around on one of the inner planes looking for a new body to incarnate into. Do the spirits of your parents-to-be go shopping in this mall and pull you down? Or do you go shopping for a developing embryo to occupy/possess? Is there some sort of negotiation, a cosmic job interview?

    Suggestions for further reading?

  15. Since it is the end of October I will ask what is the origin and significance of Halloween? Every year I hear different stories about where it comes from and I have never been able to figure out which is historically accurate. Thanks

  16. Just a comment on reading Weird of Hali: Arkham. No spoilers, really, but some neat foreshadowing. So far, 2 items. One, some kidding back and forth between friends, proves to be (the kidding) in bad taste in retrospect.

    The other is one I’d wondered about for some time, and the explanation now revealed. To wit: an announcement board reading “Mysteries Hidden from the Foundation of the World” in front of a – a mainstream Protestant church? A respectable mainstream historically black spinoff from those bastions of the occult – the Episcopal and the Methodist Church? My mind did boggle then up until, in Book 7….come to think of it, the mind still boggles. Now, there’s the proverbial gun on the mantel for you.

    Thanks,

    Pat

  17. I finished reading your Hali series this weekend. I was happy with the ending.

    Looking back at the whole series I have to say that the interplay of time was my favorite part. For the main protagonists their involvement takes up a good chunk of their lives, but in relation to the whole saga that sets the stage for their adventure it is an instant. Then that whole affair is set in place against the grand arc of time on Earth. I’ve never seen a time traveling work that so clearly illustrated the vastness of time.

    I find great comfort in the cyclical nature of time and I thank you for creating something that illustrates it so well.

  18. Jeffrey, in my novel Retrotopia, which is I think what you’re referring to, Canada fragmented about the same time the US did and is divided into four (or, rather, three and a half) countries. There’s West Canada, East Canada, Quebec, and the Republic of New England and the Maritimes. So Alberta isn’t an independent country but it is independent of Ottawa!

    Engleberg, have you thought of working out the details, getting a patent, and then seeing if you can market the idea?

    Your Kittenship, about a month ago in a fine autumn dusk, my wife and I got to watch a fine specimen of skunkhood go ambling across the back yard of our apartment building. We’ve smelled his presence a few times since then. I wonder whether skunkkind generally is prospering these days…

    David BTL, “we just won’t enforce it” to my mind is a red flag the size of a football field or two; it guarantees that they will enforce it selectively as a harassment measure. Good for you for standing up to that.

    Beekeeper, thanks for the link! I’ll be responding to that at some point fairly soon.

    Yorkshire, civics classes had been discontinued in my school district by the time I got to high school; what I heard from older kids who’d taken it was that it covered the whole process of government — local, state, and national — and included a lot of details about how to get involved in politics at a citizen level; students were expected to write letters to their congresscritters about some issue that concerned them, visited Democratic and Republican precinct meetings, toured the county offices, and so on. It didn’t surprise me that such a thing got deep-sixed!

    David BTL, I based my portrayal of Atlantic Republic schools (and also the high school in The Shoggoth Concerto) on what’s actually going on in upper middle class schools in the US these days, so this doesn’t surprise me at all.

  19. All things are easier to locate and discuss when they have names. It came to my knowledge that those hand and breathing exercises to sense the etheric are known as “psy balls.” It was surprising to find over ten million results for it on Google; quite far from unknown, I guess I should go out more.

    This is not really suited to Magic Monday, since level there is way higher than parlor tricks; but those have their value, of course.

  20. Hi JMG,

    Do you know any of Christopher Hyatts’ work? I haven’t actually read or worked through anything by him,but I listened to some of his interviews on YouTube. I’m just starting the 2nd month of a two month trip in Japan,and to paraphrase yourself from one of your interviews, it IS a hotbed of the stuff! Climbed Fuji, did some volcanic Sand Baths, few onsens, many shrines and temples(although many are full of tourists, I did come across a place or two with a good rich ‘vibe’ to it). I’m staying with my friend who’s teaching English in Tokyo so I have a nice little setup. Have you any recommendations or requests for on the ground reporting? Unfortunately today was the last of my Japan wide travelling around the country and I’ll be confined to Tokyo until the 17th November.
    Thanks

  21. @Darkest Yorkshire

    We had a textbook on Civics in the California public schools that had to be gone through by state law in the 8th grade (age 13, roughly). It was a green-covered pamphlet of less that 100 pages, and it consisted basically of a clear and concise outline of how the Federal Government was supposed to work according to the US Constitution. (I don’t remember whether there was also material on the California State government and constitution.) I found it clear and useful–actually, one of the clearer and more useful textbooks I had encountered so far in my schoolling.

    Rummaging through the on-line catalog of the California State Library, I think it was Grace Chandler Stanley’s “Outline for Study of Civics” (1924). I was 13 when we went through it, which was in the 1955/56 school year.

  22. David,

    I’m a fairly recent high school graduate (2013), and so when they talk about cameras and everything, yeah, it’s getting that bad. I’m glad I got out when I did: it sounds like things have gotten significantly worse since. The schools in Retrotopia were exaggerated, but not by much…..

    Also, I’m in Canada and from what I can gather it sounds like it’s even worse in the states, although I’m not sure if it really is or if it’s just Canadians preening ourselves on our supposed superiority….

    Yorkshire and JMG,

    High school civics in Ontario is propaganda. It discusses the party system and goes into great detail about why any party other than the Liberals and Conservatives will spoil the vote (never mind that at the federal level the NDP/Green are often second place in ridings, and in fact can take seats, and we’ve had NDP governments at the provincial level); a discussion of why Canadian democracy is better than any others; and various other things like that.

    No mention is made of how to get involved in politics, and when I asked, the teacher got very flustered: it was not anywhere on the curriculum, and so she had no clue how to handle it. Sigh….

    JMG,

    Since getting denounced helps you, should I send some slected articles to an NDP mailing list I’m on? I could also do the same with the Conservatives, and we could see who denounces you louder. 😉

  23. Hey JMG. What is your opinion on the immigrant concentration camps? What do you think could be done differently to avoid that level of human rights violations? I live in a city where The Beast, a train that crosses Mexico from north to south and back goes through, and it is common to see central American immigrants panhandling here. I have found myself thinking about many of them ending up in one of those camps.

    JP

  24. For anyone in the DC area who is into green wizardry, post-carbon living, & learning to live with much LESS – Less Energy, Stuff, and Stimulation (and more joy), you might be interested in joining this newly created group:

    https://www.meetup.com/dc-post-carbon-living/

    I was searching for such a group in this area focused on skills and significant lifestyle/community change but couldn’t find one, so I decided to start one. I envision events that are primarily about skill sharing and inspiring action in changing our lives, not boring meetings. Feel free to share with others.

    If you are interested in future events but do not want to join meetup, you can also email me at my  fastmail.fm email address (rwhite)

  25. Please more comments on your local climate.

    How long have you been there?

    What are your neighbors comments?

    How has the change progressed?

    Where?

    inohuri

  26. The following review was fascinating, and spurred me to buy “The Magna Carta Manifesto” by Peter Linebaugh, which has arrived today.

    http://bostonreview.net/books-ideas/peter-linebaugh-secret-history-magna-carta

    I was particularly transfixed by the contrast drawn between “common rights” (local, particular, connected to place) and “human rights” (abstract, general, universal) which continues from the paragraph which starts around paragraph 6 of the section headed “the history of common rights”.

    It feels to me like ” common rights” might turn out to be exactly the language in which to assert an alternative way the think, act and organise politically that won’t be stifled by a professional managerial, globalist universalist, or technocratic takeover.

    I wonder what other people’s thoughts on this are?

    I’m obviously not far into the book itself, yet, but I was already disposed to think of the 2nd part of the Magna Carts (The Charter of the Forest), which was 800 years old in 2017, as something special and worth understanding well.

    It does seem that “commoning” (ie the activities of “commoners” based around negotiation and mutual benefit) are quite different from “collectives” of the imposed bureaucratic sort (one head ruling the entire enterprise).

    They are one ordinary human way of living, owing a great deal, when extant, to deep, enduring traditional practices developed indigenously in many places (often forested).

    Sadly, such systems are often currently found in the throes of resisting dispossession by enclosure movements and such, resulting in degradation of both land and people thereafter.

    A history, and a way of seeing, worth recovering and bringing back
    into “common” discourse… 😉

  27. There have been some whisperings on the Internet this week that Hillary Clinton might run for prez again in 2020. If she did, do you suppose that the DNC would be just as eager to try forcing her down the country’s throat again this time around?

  28. BAP.
    I’m not the first to bring him up here. (Bronze Age Pervert.)
    He wrote a book. (Bronze Age Mindset – or BAPbook.)
    He has froggy friends.

    A couple places have attempted to crown him as spokesfrog of the alt-right. He resists.

    Most of the reviews of his book have missed the boat.

    Micheal Anton wrote a review that at least made it onto the boat.
    https://www.claremont.org/crb/article/are-the-kids-altright/

    BAP posted a response to Anton’s review.
    https://americanmind.org/essays/americas-delusional-elite-is-done/

    pullquote: “Those among you who chose Trump because at least here was a man who wasn’t a marionette stuffed full of consultant-approved public relations talking points should be able to sympathize. It is the same, but on a much bigger scale.”

    BAP has opinions. But more importantly I think, BAP is a conduit for communicating a sliver of the discontent of the “alt-whatever” to a broader audience. Also, he’s a decent writer.

  29. Hi JMG,

    I have a tidbit you might be interested in. I recently purchased a copy of the third edition (1933) of “My Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.” It gives a list of desirable kitchen equipment, among which is a Fireless cooker. So, I can report that the fireless cooker was definitely part of the home economy at least as late as the early ‘30s. I don’t see any recipes for it yet, but I just got the book, so….

    Cheers!

  30. I wanted to ask this after last week’s post, but bandwidth has been limited lately. I was a climatologist and meteorologist in the Air Force back in the 1980s, and I’m somewhat acquainted with the limitations in the modeling and measurement of data that go into an analysis. I’m sure the sciences have improved in 30 years, but it’s difficult for me to get excited about climate change, man-made or otherwise, as I don’t believe it even makes the top 10 for the problems our species has in front of us. Pollution, peak oil and overshoot are orders of magnitude larger problems related to fossil fuels, IMHO.

    Since the global warming/climate change movements have been partially hijacked for other purposes ($$$), it seems counter-productive to frame the discussions around necessary changes in our lifestyles to address “climate change”. Not because it’s not part of the “save the planet” and “save our environment” and save our “Earth Spaceship” agendas which are all fine and dandy, but because climate change currently has a black-eye and is polarizing.

    Do we need a new marketing scheme for the Long Descent?

  31. Readers of Ecosophia and/or other of JMG’s books who are in the St. Louis, MO area on Saturday morning, Oct. 26 are cordially invited to gather at Kayak’s coffeehouse, 270 N. Skinker Blvd. (near Wash U and just north of Forest Park Parkway) at 9am. Look for the table with two white foam statues of chickens on it. Not as dignified as I’d like, but I’m willing to bet no other table in the coffeehouse will have two white foam statues of chickens on it, and it is in keeping with the green wizardry end of JMG’s work.

  32. Hi everyone!

    Picks from the Finnish news:
    https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/report_finland_needs_to_raise_the_cost_of_petrol_to_fight_climate_change/11030816
    “Research team advocates annual fuel quotas as the most effective way to halve traffic emissions in Finland.”
    I guess that, if implemented, will hit especially the poorer segment of society, and rural people also.

    https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/teens_demand_climate_change_action_in_helsinki_demonstration/10592749
    Typical hysteric crowd action. Someone needs to tell them the hard truth about energy matters.

    https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/drug_availability_problems_still_on_the_rise/11033455
    “Drug availability problems still on the rise”

  33. Dear JMG,

    I’ve heard you mention occasionally that the US Military has some serious flaws and would likely not perform as well as US citizens might think in a modern war (I know, I read RT, too). In general, your critiques seem to fall into two categories:

    1) The US Military is structurally the same as the one that fought WWII and has failed to modernize organizationally.

    2) The US Military is over-reliant on gee-whiz technological marvels that are expensive and create vulnerabilities.

    In your book “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” you paint a picture of a conflict where the US loses a battle against Chinese-backed forces in a logical progression of what would happen if the US continued to be run in the tradition of presidents 42,43, and 44. I don’t think you were too far off the mark of what another decade of the status quo would have resulted in, even if it seems unlikely at this point. Your criticisms are valid, too, but I would like to address them so that you and the readers of this excellent blog can adjust their models of the future.

    I am an Intel Analyst with the US Army, and have perhaps a little more knowledge in this domain that might be of interest. I’d like to rebut the two points above.

    First, the military is decidedly not the same army that fought WWII. We keep some continuity with our traditions and we still have ranks that look like WWII ranks. We’re even bringing back the pinks-and-greens uniform, so I don’t blame anyone for making that mistake. After the US lost the Vietnam War, the military completely restructured itself. Its culture, internal procedures, and thought patterns were all rebuilt from the ground up. The Gulf War was the first test of the US Army. The Navy has radically transformed its task organization in the past 30 years. In particular, the US military goes out of its way to inculcate a culture of trust and professionalism in its soldiers on the ground, training them to take the initiative. This kind of command climate is similar to Israel, but is not shared by our rivals. Neither Russia or China has this degree of tactical and operational flexibility. If you take out the commander of a platoon of european soldiers, they hunker down and wait for orders. US soldiers attack. It is this level of trust, teamwork, and individualism that enables the US military to be effective. You might have noticed that Saudi Arabia, despite having access to US weapons, support, and training, does not fight with anything like the effectiveness of American forces.

    It seems to me that this is a quintissentially American attitude, in light of your Spenglerian commentaries. The climate is not easy to build, and is near-impossible to emulate in cultures that are radically different from our own. Neither the Chinese, nor the Arab Nations, nor the Russians will be able to achieve this kind of command climate without a radical transformation of their institutional cultures.

    On your second point, you have solid insight. The F-35 in particular was an expensive debacle, and the cost of technological overmatch is significant. However, even if he technology failed, the military could still be effective. Everyone in the army learns to do their jobs without digital help first, before adding the useful tools later. We still train artillery spotters with binoculars and protractors. We train intel to do physical mapping and infantry to fight without communications. The technology is a force multiplier, but losing all satellites would be an annoying obstacle rather than a mission-ending disaster to a particular mission (It would definitely affect operations for everyone significantly, though).

    You may, of course, still disagree with me, but don’t disregard American armed forces yet!

  34. David by the Lake, how would you characterize the dominant political philosophy, or point of view, of your fellow council members? I ask because I am puzzled by folks who vote for Nanny state intrusiveness with regard to tobacco, admittedly a dangerous and addictive substance, and vote against front yard vegetables. Is this WASP neat freakery? Everything has to be kept squeaky clean and vegetable gardens are grungy?

    I am increasingly convinced that anti immigration rhetoric is Republican and libertarian/conservative virtue signaling. How many anti-immigrant activists, the well healed types one sees on you tube and TV, take care of their own yards, clean their own houses, prepare their own food and clean up afterwards? Because this is conservative virtue signaling, they have to show how mean and tough they can be. A better way to go about discouraging immigration, also mean and tough, but requiring actual work instead of throwing money at the border, would be to go after, as in empower a special task force, ID theft. Which, need I remind folks, is NOT a victimless crime, nor is it a crime that only affects strung out nobodies. If parents are sending minors across international borders with no adult supervision and no money, that is pretty clear evidence of unfit parenting, and such children could be placed in foster care–the Hispanic community being challenged to provide culturally appropriate lodging. Family courts, set up at border points, could rule on the spot as to whether the parents should lose parental rights.

    Then, there is the elephant in the room, foreign ownership of American real estate. Don the Real Estate Guy is NOT going to go there. It occurs to me that that could be a winning and attention getting issue for a third party.

    Dear Dylan Johnson, I frequently season with onion, pepper and celery, although I prefer red hot cherries to bells, I didn’t know the combination had a special name.

  35. Hello JMG,
    A week or so ago I came across a video by Robert Schoch – who is a university academic, not a crank/charlatan – arguing that the Sphinx is in the region of 10-12,000 years old, rather than about 4500 years old as believed by mainstream archaeologists. The video reminded me that about 3-4 years ago – it may even have been in ADR days – you mentioned that you planned to do a post on early civilizations that are not accepted to have existed by the archaeological mainstream. I don’t believe it ever appeared. Is there any chance you would write some such thing in the near future? Yes, I do have a copy of your book on Atlantis!
    Robert M

  36. Did you know that this week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week, and that 70% of Americans do not have an Estate Plan? I only just found that out by listening to NPR.
    Yet another lunge by the financial empire into the last wealth of the upper middle class.
    Speaking of skunks, we had a busy family in the yard a dozen years ago, but they have moved on, along with their colleagues the raccoons. My tenant saw a fox the other night, so that may be part of it. We live 15 minutes walk from the center of Providence.
    Still waiting for my copy of Arkham with baited breath….

  37. Hi Beekeeper,

    Nobody around here even uses our yards much, so we’re not in them to drop goodies, and the dog owners all feed their dogs inside. That’s why nobody can figure it out. We’re starting to wonder if we are a religious pilgrimage site, the Shrine of Saint Pepe of LaPew. 🥺. We’ll all be glad to see the first good hard frost!

  38. @JMG and Darkest Yorkshire

    I took civics in a Southern California public high school in 1988 and it was just as JMG described. It certainly had a progressive bent in a California public school, but overall it just encouraged students to understand how US democracy works and to participate on some level. By 12th grade, students believe they can think for themselves anyway so I’m not sure indoctrination would have been very effective. Out of curiosity, I just looked it up since my son starts high school next year and it is still a 12th grade requirement in the Southern California district we currently live in.

    It’s interesting though, despite California’s very progressive reputation, every school event I’ve attended for my son starts with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. At fifth grade culmination a few years ago the kids sang “Proud to be an American” as part of the program. Flags are present in the Gym and every classroom I’ve been in. We live in a diverse coastal California school district, not the much more conservative interior, but the rituals of American patriotism are still present in schools. Perhaps that doesn’t bode well for Americans in other states who just want California to go away.

  39. Dear Mr Greer

    Quick question about the progress/apocalypse narrative that infects our culture. I know this is a subject you have covered before, and I have come to the conclusions that these are the Scylla and Charybdis that will devour any attempt to do anything about climate change and peak oil. Our culture seems to find it impossible to imagine that there might be a way between them or around them. We either face an apocalypse in ten years time or some wonderful new technology or energy source will save us.

    The obvious problem with this, which I am sure you have covered before, is that ten years go by and not much has changed and we stop believing the activists who have been making those apocalyptic claims. The other problem is that we overlook the fact that there is a crisis with peak oil and climate change, but these are slow burn crisis and they have been having a detrimental affect on our civilisation; but they are not big enough for most of us to notice, or we can ascribe it to another cause like the one percent, the deplorables, the financial system etc; forgetting that the problems with the financial system might have a deeper underlying cause such as peak oil. But if you are racked between the opposite extremes of the progress/ apocalypse narrative it is difficult to see the slow burn crisis that is slowly undermining our civilisation.

    Peak oil is a great example of this. The oil price shot up in 2008 and there were load sof apocalyptic stories about peak oil bringing our civilisation down. Then the shale oil boom came along and this was paraded as the new energy source that was going to save our civilisation and peak oil gets forgotten.

    In reality conventional oil has peak edsince 2006 and the subsequent price rise helped to cause the crash of 2008 and the subsequent economic problems which brought about the euro crisis, Trump and Brexit etc. There are numerous problems with shale oil, depletion rate, low EROI etc.. But this death by a thousand cuts that is slowly killing our civilisation goes unnoticed

  40. JMG
    Firefox just did a major upgrade.
    Post Comment and Log In are absent.
    I had to go in to basic page style, click on the wordpress icon and get an email to click to login. Then it seems normal except “Notify me of new posts via email.” is missing.

    Please tell your IT guy.

    If anyone using firefox cares to do this try

    Alt V Y N

    or

    View
    Page Style
    Basic

  41. Nastarana (and by extension, David BTL), I’m going to hazard a guess that what ties anti-vaping (surveillance) initiatives with anti-front-yard garden sentiment is “we must prevent the image of Our Town from being tarnished with Low-Class appearances.”

    David’s not replied yet, and I’m kind of butting in, but I’m interested to see if this scores a point. And I’m not picking on David’s town with my assessment – this is a nationwide thing.

  42. @Darkest Yorkshire – I had Civics (actually called “Government”) my senior year of high school in small town Rust Belt in the mid-1990s. We learned about the legislative, executive, and judicial branches and also had to volunteer a certain number of hours for a local political candidate or campaign (our choice which candidate or campaign). I don’t know if my hometown still has that class, but I could easily find out!

  43. @ Nastarana

    Re Two Rivers council political vibe

    Officially, of course, our local politics are nonpartisan. For city council, the top three vote-getters on the ballot get seats. (Not infrequently, there are only three candidates. Not ideal, but it happens. Both times I ran, we actually did have losers.) I’d say we have a broad spectrum among our nine members: there are definite Democrats and definite Republicans. Then there are political platypi, like myself. There are those who are more control-oriented and those who are more libertarian. It comes down, I think, to the specifics of the issue in question. By and large, we don’t have split votes. Most of the time, we’ve worked out our issues in the more free-ranging working sessions and because we are generally all striving for the betterment of our community, things line up more often than not. This particular ordinance was something that was brought to us the first time that night–we’d not seen the language before our session packets were distributed a few days prior, though we were given a heads-up that it was coming–and I believe that the city manager and the police department saw it is a non-controversial item. It just didn’t work out that way.

    As a city, we are over-all a blue dot in a red county, but we also have strong enclaves of Trump supporters, for example, whose banners I see on my walks around town.

  44. @JMG,

    I have a recommendation request regarding the works of Rudolph Steiner – I would like to get to know something about his philosophies but I don’t know where to start; it seems he produced hundreds of books and articles and lectures over his life. Is there a single volume that you could recommend to someone who has never read Steiner before?

  45. Archdruid,

    I’d like to do a series of meditations on the Ogham this month. Have meditated on them before, on their symbols, elements, and places on the Wheel of Life – mostly at the corresponding season, or as preparation for a holiday. Unless otherwise recommended, I’m now planning to go through the Art Ogham, or Tool Ogham, one few a day. I feel like this would make it easier to keep a view on the whole, than to meditate on all the correspondences of one few and take many months for the whole thing. What do you think? (No, I haven’t meditated on that plan yet 😉

    If any additional subject would come along, is a second meditation a day possible?

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom,

    Njura

  46. Hi JMG,

    What are your thoughts on interacting with beings on other planes that are not on the physical plane? Where would you start? I’ve had some experiences lately and would like to do some good work in this area if I am able, but I don’t want to get in over my head either.

    Thank you,
    RMK

  47. Hi JMG,

    I have two related questions having to do with identity politics:

    1) In my town, we recently had an incident at a small liberal arts college where a black student activist claimed to have been attacked, dragged into the woods, and beaten, presumably as a racist hate-crime. It coincided with a string of racist graffiti put up all over campus. The college and the town took it extremely seriously, and the campus was closed for a week during the investigation. Later the investigation indicated due to a bunch of inconsistencies that it was most likely a hoax put on by the reported victim. The talk then turned to how this sort of fabricated racist attack has become a recurring phenomenon.

    Is this really a recurring issue, and what is going on here? If so, my theory to explain such a thing would be the following: A person becomes deeply invested in “fighting racism” as a personal crusade, and after slowly ratcheting up the rhetoric, demonstrations, and other attention-grabbing behaviors, the novelty wears off and the audience starts to get tired. To keep up the narrative–especially when no adversaries show up–a villain needs to be manufactured to keep the game going. The hoaxer rationalizes the dishonesty because it is in the service of a good cause. I wonder what you think about that explanation.

    2) Is membership in Neonazi, skinhead, white supremacist groups really on the rise? Many people seem to think so due to reporting in the news media, but I am wondering if it is really true. The main reason I am unsure about this is that there seems to be a lot of overlap between Trump Derangement Syndrome and denouncements of white supremacists on the rise.

    Thank you!

  48. Hi Mr. Nobody, yes, I think they would, because Hillary’s a goddess to the nuttier end of the Democratic party. It’s at least as bad as the Reagan idolatry was in the other party. In fact the impression I get from the nutroots is the Democrats always did want to run her again but couldn’t figure a way to sneak her past the primary voters. That’s beginning to change.

    Hi John Kincaid, I lived in SW Ohio for 25 years. Over that time, seasons shifted forward by about 4 weeks on the average. I have a heavy Halloween sweatshirt that I couldn’t wear for 20 years, except to the air-conditioned office, because October was just too warm. I have a similarly heavy Easter shirt I’ve been able to wear most years because, with the seasons shifting forward, Easter is almost always cold and snowy. (TV stations could save a lot of money if they quit buying expensive computerized weather-forecasting systems and just called me up to see what I’m wearing that day.)

    Hi Peter,

    I know they’re out there—we never have mice sneak into the basement when it gets cold, for one thing, and I do find tracks occasionally—but I haven’t seen a fox 🦊 in years. I see the occasional coyote standing by the freeway weighing his chances of making it across. We could use more coyotes, we are inundated with feral cats (not to mention skunks!). Our county will no longer trap the ferals, will no longer accept them if you trap them, you’ll be ticketed if you’re caught shooting them, and the private animal shelters will only accept cats that can be placed as pets, not ferals, so we’re hip deep in the poor things. About every 2-3 weeks someone around here finds a dead, very skinny, cat. Both the state and county have totally abdicated their responsibility for wildlife management, and I hear a lot of rural areas have the same problem.

    The Long Descent continues…

  49. world politics are showing a state of impressive volatility right now – I mean particularly the protests movements that have sprung up in the past few years in Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Jordan, Sudan, Iraq, Chile, France, Hong Kong, Romania, South Korea and to some extent Russia; but also the upsets at the leadership level we’ve seen in Brazil, Mexico, the US, the UK, Ukraine, Italy, France again…

    What lessons does history have to teach us about periods of volatility like this one in international politics? Do you think there are novel noteworthy factors -social media is constantly mentioned by mainstream analysts- that are present in this case but not in others? Moreover what are examples that you can think of similar situations of instability? the 1848 revolutions in Europe is the only one that rings true to me but that’s probably due to my as-yet insufficient study of other periods.

  50. JMG, since you said it was kosher to post our wares, music, poetry, in this space, here’s the lyrics to my song MY CAT, which I immodestly believe to be, outside of Broadway musicals, the best cat-honoring song ever. Not that there’s been all that many cat-honoring songs. Anyway, yes, it’s rather a children’s song, but with lyrics that all ages can, I’m hoping, enjoy. If you actually want to hear the song for free, here’s the link –

    https://willmusham.bandcamp.com/track/my-cat

    MY CAT

    My cat is like a drifting cloud,
    He stands alone but he’s a crowd,
    He sees some things that are not there,
    Or if they are, I’m unaware,
    My cat is wont to disappear,
    Then suddenly he’s standing near,
    I think my cat’s a part of me,
    The part that’s scary mystery,
    Sometimes his eyes take on a glaze
    As if recalling ancient days
    When his shadow swooped and slid
    Across a gleaming pyramid –
    My cat is sometimes like a mist,
    A mist that’s exhibitionist,
    He sleeps and dreams upon my knee,
    Sometimes I think he’s dreaming me –

    My cat is like a violin,
    A subtle brew of yang and yin,
    Something ancient something new,
    A watercolor fur haiku,
    His essence is both earth and sky,
    My little furry samurai,
    Electric voltage in the night,
    Tiger tiger burning bright –
    So like a roman vase,
    Bits of Venus, bits of Mars,
    See him there in candle light,
    He is his own archetype,
    He’s something honest, something sly,
    He can love and terrify,
    He is straight yet so contrary,
    Another world’s emissary –

    As to why I wrote this song,
    Well I will miss him when he’s gone,
    He will leave and yet he stays
    To go with me throughout my days –

  51. @johnB,
    Regarding the U.S. Military –
    I don’t recall Twilight’s Last Gleaming and JMG so much saying that the U.S. is still fighting World War II, as more saying how we have organized our major fighting brigades and divisions to fight their conflicts in only certain, predictable manner is a major detriment. And that by only observing the units that are activated, the enemy will know immediately how we will attack and therefore how they should defend. The example used in the book was that of the 101st, which means that it will only by air assault using helicopters. But I’m sure that equally could be said for the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, the Marine divisions, armor, and so on, as they each have their own predictable training and fighting methods. Same with the types of aircraft we employ. And that each of these units and their limited tactics have limitations that can be exploited.

    Kevin Anderson

  52. Recently planted an oak tree in my front yard… also hand forged a sickle a few weeks ago. Following that I completed the sphere of protection ritual as outlined in your druid Grove handbook with my children participating in the ceremony… They thought it was fun and so did I. I’ve done this protection ceremony twice in two different locations. Doing some more research I came across a podcast with the monster professor where you mention dabbling in magic is is dangerous. I do not officially belong to any order or follow any specific path.. however I do not feel I would categorize my recent actions as dangerous / dabbling. As a practising Druid do you have concerns with this kind of behavior? Would appreciate insight if you have the time.

  53. Are you familiar with Philip K. Dick “cosmic conscious” experience (feb/march 1974) that basically changed everything he wrote afterwards. He tried to describe the being or state (both?) that he experienced in almost 8000 pages of exegesis (most of them unpublished yet). He said among others that was similar with what Bucke describes as cosmic consciousness. He said that we live in a time which is a direct spin-of of the Roman times among others.

    Are there references in esoterism and exoterism that clearly delineates extraordinary mental states which are abundant in terms of knowledge, meaning and beatitude? Is there someone in the literature that actually acknowledges as many as possible famous western people like Philip K. Dick that met and describe this vast inner/outer worlds?

  54. I’ve been thinking of late about location, and whether it’s better from a using-less-carbon/collapse-now point of view, to be in a small city or out in the countryside. At the moment my family and I live about five miles outside of a reasonably-sized town. We are not really commuters – my husband works for the Canadian Coast Guard and so only drives to his ship once a month, and at the moment I’m working on a friend’s organic farm which is literally one minute down the road. But we do a fair bit of driving into town for errands etc. which is starting to really bother me. For most of my adult life I didn’t own a car, lived in the cities, and always relied on either walking, biking or public transit to get around. Out in the rural areas, this is just about impossible. So strictly from the point of view of driving less, living out in the countryside is a big disaster. In terms of my overall carbon footprint, though, things are less clear, as we’re able to do lots in the country that wouldn’t be so easy in a town. But nonetheless, I’m thinking about possibly moving back to the city.

    Some background: my garden is about the size of most of the suburban backyards I’ve seen, and is in full sun for the whole day, so things tend to grow pretty well. We’re not plagued by squirrels or skunks like most of the urban gardeners I know, presumably because they have enough other green space to leave my garden alone. I grow quite a bit of food, and we’ve got the space to grow a lot more. Most of the people I know garden too; in fact that’s one of my favorite topics of conversation with the folks around here. We raise poultry and are able to butcher them right on our property, with no nosy neighbors peering over the fence who might not take so kindly to the whole business. Last year we raised Guinea Fowl, which were a lot of fun, despite being incredibly noisy, and I think their constant chattering kept predators away as we had zero losses. In the town I’m thinking of moving to, you’re allowed to raise six backyard hens, but the regulations attached are pretty limiting – no roosters, and no home slaughtering, among other things.

    Our property is 88 acres, 45 of which we rent to a local farmer who grows hay for his large grass-fed cattle herd. He drops off a couple loads of composted manure for my garden every year with his fancy tractor – he just drives right into our yard and tips it into the garden. We also get beef from him, which is about as local as we could get without raising our own, which we may work our way towards doing if we wind up staying here (it would probably be pigs next, though). The rest of the land besides the area around our house is untouched wetland and forest, which we plan on leaving untouched.

    We heat almost entirely with wood, as we have a fantastic wood stove and a small house. My husband either cuts trees from the rows between the hay fields, or scavenges free wood from around the neighborhood. In a whole year we probably burn about $150 worth of propane, plus the fuel for the chainsaw and wood splitter. The first year we moved back to Ontario from British Columbia, we went through about $4000 worth of propane in one winter, just to heat the house! Keep in mind that winters here are cold in a life-threatening, pipe-bursting, minus-forty kind of way, and just ‘not heating the house’ is not an option. I use the wood stove for loads more besides heating – in the winter I dry all my laundry on racks beside the stove (in the summer on the clothesline). I start all my plants inside in late winter, right near the stove where they grow very well. I keep day-old chicks beside the stove, and don’t have to worry about losing them in a power failure. When there is an actual power failure I cook and heat water on the stove, and could do that more if I really had to. I think wood stoves are still allowed in the city, although I have a feeling it would be hard to come by a home that had one as most people seem to just use natural gas.

    My husband is quite handy and mechanically-inclined, and when he’s at home he has a small side business where he buys used equipment for cheap, fixes it up and sells it at a profit. I’m all for it, but it does have the side effect of making our property look like a bit of a junkyard at times, depending on what he’s working on. In town this would probably not fly – ‘reducing the neighbors’ property values’ and whatnot. I suppose he could scale it down and try to keep everything in the garage if we were to move back to town.

    The cost of living where we do right now is quite low, and in about three years’ time we will be completely debt-free. I can afford to work less, and have more time for things like learning new skills, and spending time with my children. In town, to afford it I would probably have to work full time, and leave my low-paying, backbreaking but incredibly rewarding job on the farm.

    But in town we could probably manage to get rid of our car, or at least use it much less, which I would really like to do.

    Then there’s the whole war bands-showing-up-on-my-doorstep thing. I do realize the countryside is often pillaged and burned, leaving no choice to desperate mothers but to strangle their own children, rather than leave them in the hands of the invaders. But Rome was also sacked more than once, although admittedly rather less than the countryside.

    Less apocalyptically, I think living out in the country leaves us vulnerable to rising fuel prices, although with most people in Canadian cities relying on natural gas in their homes, I’m not sure this would really make much of a difference. I’m not sure if we’re going to see continued deruralization, failing electrical power out in the countryside, or what else, or if things will go the other way – people moving back to the rural areas to gain access to land for agriculture, or no real changes in that area. In a city it seems the main strategy would be using LESS as a consumer, as you have outlined before, but not about producing anything myself. I’m definitely not operating under the delusion of being self-sufficient out in the countryside, but I’m not sure where that leaves me.

    Sorry, this has gotten really long, and please don’t post it if it’s too long, but the question I suppose, is what is your take on one’s location in the Long Descent? I know you’ve elected to live in a city, but what do you have to say to someone out in the country?

  55. Fascinating stuff as always!

    To Inohuri: I live in the far west suburbs of Chicago. I’ve been here my whole life (close to 50). Growing seasons are later by about 3 – 4 weeks. Winters are more severe but usually shorter than the 1970s and 80s. It’s as if everything has been pushed forward: Spring comes later, summer actually waits until June — in the 80s, hot weather seemed to begin in May and didn’t end until October 1. Fall also seems to come later, like it has this year. My yard is extremely fertile, soil-wise. I grew a great deal of food this year: supplied everyone I knew with tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, etc.

    To women and perhaps some men:

    This is a great tutorial I’ve found for doing your own haircuts. I’m able to get results with my giant hair and it saves a ton of money.

  56. Hello John,

    As you said several times before, according to Spengler, Apollonian and Faustian cultures have extremely different conceptions of what we may call space. While we “see” space extending infinitely in all directions, ancient Greeks and Romans rejected the concept of empty space and envisioned a universe that is physically limited. Certainly, that’s the idea you get when reading about, for example, the Eleatic school, Aristotelian physics, or the Hellenistic models of the universe.

    Now, I’m currently reading Lucretius’ De rerum natura. When he talks about how all that exists in the universe is infinite amounts of atoms and infinite void, and in general, when reading about the ancient atomists’ theories, their conception of space strikes me in some sense as quite similar to a Faustian one.

    What do you think about this? Is this a misconception caused by translation, or by looking at the subject with a “Faustian bias”?

    Thank you.

  57. Hey jmg

    I have been meaning to ask you about this for a while, what do you think of trump pulling troops out of Syria?

  58. Good afternoon JMG!

    I have a couple of questions regarding the healing systems that you use. First of all, thank you for posting your source for the cell salts and for the reference book on the Magic Monday forum.

    Secondly, you mentioned using Do-In. Would that healing system conflict with the system of magic in the DMH and Dolmen Arch? What would be a good guide to learning Do-In?

    Also, in response to @engleberg above, tissue attaching to catheter (I’m assuming you’re referrring to a urinary catheter) is a response of the body to a foreign object that varies according to the person. I’ve inserted and removed literally thousands of these over the past 30 years (I’m a Registered Nurse). Some come out quite smoothly and easily and some seem to stick to the tissues more depending on the person. I’ve seen little rhyme or reason to it really. We, or at least I, routinely use a lidocaine jelly before insertion, but unfortunately I know of no good way to do it with removal. Then again, removal is usually not that uncomfortable for most people, insertion is. As far as “screwing” a catheter in, the tissue in question is extremely fragile and prone to forming false channels, so I wouldn’t recommend that as an approach.

  59. Mr. Greer,

    May I post information about my new, self-published book on production sewing of cloth grocery bags in quantity?

    I don’t want to force you to delete yet another post!

    Thanks again for taking the time and trouble to host such a great site. I read you every week.

    Teresa from Hershey

  60. Hi JMG,

    I lost my comment contents twice so I am shortening things up. Isn’t technology the greatest? 😉

    I am curious about your take on towns banning plastic grocery bags. Is it a small step in the right direction? Is it useless virtue signaling?

    Thank you!

  61. Hello Mr. Greer,

    You recently wrote an article on oil arguing that the price of oil will increase to roughly the $200 dollar range and then begin yet another decent. This is consistent with everything else you have have been saying for some time, and I am very sympathetic towards the position. I do have to ask though, what do you think about the U.S. loosing world reserve currency status and the possible effect this could have on the price of oil? As far as I understand it, Henry Kissinger negotiated a deal with Saudi Arabia in the mid 1970’s which basically said Middle Eastern countries would sell their oil for dollars only, which forced anyone who wanted oil to get dollars. This in turn artificially inflated the value of the dollar and dropped the price of oil to a third of what it otherwise would be. So it begs the question, what would happen if the Middle East decided to start selling oil for gold or Yuan? Would the price of oil in dollars triple? Does the food distribution system enter market failure or are we merely talking about a terrible recession? And do you think this could happen in the near future, or do you see this as a long term process that takes decades?

  62. @ Simo P.
    You wrote:
    “Research team advocates annual fuel quotas as the most effective way to halve traffic emissions in Finland.”
    I guess that, if implemented, will hit especially the poorer segment of society, and rural people also.

    Here in France, president Macron had the same bright idea in 2017. We didn’t have fuel quotas, but we had higher taxes on gasoline. Protecting the environment was only a pretext, of course, the real reason was that Macron’s tax cuts for the very rich had to be offset by tax rises somewhere else (one of his advisers admitted it in a hacked e-mail). Those tax cuts had been implemented immediately after he was elected.

    Macron seemingly didn’t know (or care) that many French working poor live in the countryside, and they absolutely need their cars to go to work, because you can’t rely on public transit in the countryside, since train and bus lines which are deemed not profitable are mercilessly axed. Any rise in the price of gas negatively impacts the very tight budgets of low income workers who live in villages and small towns and work tens of kilometres away from their homes, and can’t afford to relocate.

    Their anger was compounded by the fact that the tax rises didn’t affect jet fuel. Only the wealthiest 20% of French people ever travel by plane (I quote from memory).

    This was the beginning of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement, which wreaked havoc in France for a whole year:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_vests_movement

    Finland is not France, I know, but still, if I were a Finnish official, I would think twice before implementing measures that would badly hit those who are already poor…

  63. Hi Will,

    1 Nov is All Saints, or All Hallows, Day, thus 31 Oct was Hallows E(v)en. In Britain the veil between worlds (dimensions, whatever) was considered particularly thin on that night, and for all I know that’s correct. The pagans brought this idea along with them when they converted. So depending on how far back you want to go, Halloween is either a Celtic pagan or Christian religious holiday. In the U.S., where I live, it’s been entirely secularized.

    Hi Yorkshire,

    I had to take civics in 11th and 12th grades. It covered everything the others have mentioned.

    Hi Lenn,

    My mom’s 1948 Good Housekeeping cookbook covered in helpful detail how to gut, pluck, clean, and cook a chicken. The GH cookbook these days covers nothing but faddish ingredients. Grumble.

    Hi John B,

    Good news!

  64. JMG,
    I just finished Weird of Hali: Arkham. Once again, great series that I have on my “read again, often” list. I am assuming that Arkham was set between 25 to 50 years in the future.

    I am hearing about power outages in California due to fire risk, and just read in the comments above about $5 or $6 gasoline in California. But do you really see the overall power and automation outages in the setting of Arkham coming as soon as 25 years from now nationwide? I’m not asking for hard predictions exactly, just looking for your sense of things. And I get that it depends where you are in the country.

    I ask because it is so completely business as usual where I work, just outside the imperial city of Washington, D.C. Example: yesterday my boss suggested that I should get on a plane and fly across the country because someone expressed a desire to have a face to face conversation — when video teleconferencing, Skype, and phone are all available. I have noticed that stupid travel for the sake of travel is not as common as it was 10 years ago, but it is absolutely still around. I would love to know what happened to D.C. — the characters briefly reference it in the book — in the time that Arkham is set. Thanks very much for your books, your blog, and your thoughts.
    Jean

  65. I use Tarot for divination. Lets say, I see divination as receiving mode. To keep the analogy, can I use the Tarot in a transmitting mode?

  66. to : Onething or Beekeeper in Vermont
    There are powerful forces pushing for gmo modification of rice. For them, any reasonable excuse or “emergency” strengthens their position for government intervention. There is also a really nice lady in India who says “all you have to do is eat a carrot.” if you want more nutritious white rice. I feel that many food related articles in mainstream media employ a typical “scare tactic” used not only to narrow genuine dialogue but also to prop up the illusion that universities in the united states are spending tax payer money wisely.

    I agree that ‘Most of the food crops that we consume showed these nutrient reductions,’ Myers says.” The soil is a living being and as such, can only regenerate when cared for properly. We have not cared for her properly, we do not allow Mother Nature to regenerate her and not all of us choose to connect with local organic/natural farmers for various logical reasons.

    David by the Lake:
    I also felt disturbed when I heard them say “we can’t even see all that well on the security camera footage” Ifeel bad for the kids – they think normal society includes security cameras.

  67. Concerning racy SF book covers… you know, the ones that demonstrate the curious idea that whereas burly men require bulky space suits or thick furs to brave the harshest environments, buxom women, in contrast, do not seem to require anything other than thin, marginal, revealing deshabille outfits. Probably generating their own heat, right?
    I just visited the AGO to see the Early Rubens Exhibit on right now. In the room dedicated to copperplate printing, I could not help but observe the poster-sized print of his “Battle of the Amazons” (painted in 1615) in which the men wore full armour, whereas the Amazons fought in silky gowns, many of which slipped off to expose some choice anatomy. 😉
    Apparently those trashy pulp covers have an excellent and glorious lineage in fine art going back hundreds of years!

  68. JMG, the other day in Magic Monday, you mentioned something about land spirits dwelling in the interior of the US (perhaps the Midwest?) being “hungry for blood” or something along those lines. Could you elaborate on that more? How far do you think this afflicted region extends? Would I be affected by this living in the Western reaches of Upstate NY? What sort of spirits are these, nature spirits? Is this in any way related to the old Mesoamerican gods? Do these angry spirits inhabit that land that you envision will be the heartland of the future Tamanous culture? I think we discussed Ohio, in relation to the opioid epidemic there. And of course in Chicago, blood-lust seems to run rampant, to put it lightly. What could occult-aware people in these states do to protect themselves against these noxious energies beyond the usual protection rituals? Is there a way to make nice with these spirits? Would a bloody civil war or large disaster satiate their appetite for blood? Sorry for all these questions, but this situation has me rather intrigued and a bit worried.

  69. Hi JMG!

    This is more of a Magic Monday question, but I didn’t get it in.

    As background: About 3 or 4 months ago, my third eye opened after doing work with the Order of Essenes. I was in contact with you about this and my issues seemed to have subsided until the last month. Interestingly, in the last month my solar plexus got VERY tight and I could feel energy literally zipping around my body. It was painful and I would get back spasms sometimes. I have an amazing masseuse who has done rolfing and associated massage/energy techniques for about 30 years (he was able to discuss the lineage that he was taught through). He was able to calm down my solar plexus and the energy flitting around my body. He noted that my solar plexus was “receiving” too much and was basically overworked with external stimulus.

    Since then, I’ve noticed that my third eye is possibly having the same problem as my ears are stuffy, my neck aches (especially at the base of the head and neck) and I can feel energy pulses around my head, neck, and shoulders. When I relax my third eye or use basic do-in pressure points in the neck, the pain dissipates for a little while.

    In another bit of context before I ask my question – I work near Westminster & the Houses of Parliament in London. I also deal with people involved in national politics regularly, so I am a bit on the exposed side to the astral rubbish emanating from the political discourse at the moment! I also do the SoP regularly to protect myself (practicing regularly for almost 2 years).

    My questions are:

    1) Would having an energy healing for my 3rd eye make good sense in this situation?

    2) My masseuse was wondering how I could make sure I don’t get my energy centers over stimulated. I actually said I’d ask you as I figured you’d have some suggestions 🙂 I also should note that when I look back I suspect I’ve had the problem of over stimulation since I was little. I had to cut off receiving everything when I was younger and it’s taken a long time to let everything come back in. So I don’t suspect this will be straight forward!

    Thank you for your time! I really appreciate all the work you do. You’ve been an amazingly positive influence on me and I doubt I will be able to truly thank you enough. The Order of Essenes work has been an amazing breakthrough for me. Thank you!!!

  70. https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/10/22/us/california-mother-warning-white-supremacists-soh/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F

    Saw this on CNN and couldn’t help laughing. During my childhood, in the suburban South of the late 90’s-early 00’s, Christian Right media repeatedly published this exact type of article, complete with the list of scare words, informing frightened soccer moms on how to tell if little Jimmy or Erica was into witchcraft, feminism, lesbianism, heavy metal music, or whatever the panic du jour was. It’s utterly hilarious to see the Dems becoming the Frightened Soccer Mom party…

  71. To those discussing tooth powder in the last open post:

    There are some downsides to using straight baking soda: the taste is not pleasant, and it can kind of burn the inside of your mouth a little.

    After some experimenting, adding some bentonite powder to the mix cuts way down on both of these things.

  72. My ecumenical Xmas cactus has its 1st 5 buds for 2019-2020. Like Kublai Khan, it seems to like to cover all religious bases, usually blooming from Nov-April. Our water has a lot of minerals which may account for the extra 6 weeks of blooming. Also our water is not softened. Plants don’t like soft water.

    Just in case anybody didn’t know, the holiday cacti available these days don’t need the stringent light schedule. I am not sure about poinsettias; we don’t have much window space so if someone gives us a poinsettia I pass it on after Xmas. Anyone who knows whether modern poinsettias need a strict schedule, please check in.

    Here’s the old-fashioned schedule: after all the colorful bracts have died back (the flowers are those microscopic yellow dots), remove what’s left of them, repot in loose soil and place in full sun, outside if possible. 8 weeks before you need the bracts, start covering the plant for all but 8 hours a day. This isn’t too hard in most of U. S. as days are shortening anyway, but THE NIGHT TEMPERATURE MUST BE BELOW 65 DEGREES F. (Night here = the 16 hours a day the plant is covered.). The easiest way to do this is to put the plant in the fridge with a dark plastic trash bag over it (so the fridge light coming on when someone opens the door won’t disturb the light cycle) but if you have a chilly sun porch or don’t mind carrying the plant up and down to the basement, that’s okay too. Your poinsettia will rebloom this way but if you think that’s too much trouble and just go buy another one,I won’t tell on you. 😋

    Unless you are JMG. In that case, I’ll denounce you. You’re welcome.

  73. Although you’ve moved onto other topics for the time being, I recently found myself drawn back to your post about how so many stories today are about Chosen Ones, and how they end up boring and predictable because of it. I thus have a question related directly to this subject: do you think there are any good ways to make a story with a Chosen One as its protagonist fun and interesting? I’ve been writing a script that I started before your post was published, and it happened to feature one of said Chosen Ones as a main character. My current strategy to liven things up is to make said Chosen One want nothing to do with the story’s whims, and constantly snark at the other characters playing out the same old predictable, hackneyed fantasy tropes, but I’m interested to hear if you have any other elements I could try out.

  74. Hi Joe the Druid,

    I had a catheter inserted in 1979 for a Caesarean. I don’t know what, if anything, they put on it. The nurse had me take a deep breath and then said, “ Don’t-exhale-don’t-exhale-don’t-exhale-it’s-in!” I was aware of it the whole time it was in but I can’t say it was painful. When they removed it, I felt it slide out, but that wasn’t painful either.

  75. JMG,

    last Magic Monday you mentioned you haven’t been to a doctor’s office for 30 years or so. How do you avoid visiting dentists? What’s your secret? Or maybe you’re of the opinion that dentists aren’t real doctors?

    Also, an interesting fact about American healthcare system. Apparently, the Caduceus, a traditional symbol of Hermes featuring two snakes winding around a winged staff, is often mistakenly used as a symbol of medicine instead of the Rod of Asclepius, especially in the United States. The two-snake caduceus design has ancient and consistent associations with trade and is a symbol of commerce, not healthcare. The modern use of the caduceus as a symbol of medicine became established in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century as a result of documented mistakes, misunderstandings and confusion (this is what Wikipedia says about it).

    I think it explains, at least in part, why healthcare in the United States is so expensive.

  76. Perhaps this is worthy of a post of its own, but do you have any special advice for your many childless readers?

    There’s going to be more and more of us as time goes on, given that the population is shrinking. By and large, that peaceful shrinkage by demographic collapse is a good thing –better than the alternative means of getting back to a sustainable level!– but in the particulars, I can’t see it as such. Traditionally, old age was made livable with family support. Without, well– what? I know we’re in the same boat here, so I’m sure you’ve put some thought into it.

    I would love to hear the fruit of that thought, as much of it as you’ll share: a comment, as a post– hell, I’d buy a book on it.

  77. Dear Mr. Greer and Jeffrey -comment 1-
    After this Election i really have the impression that the country is coming apart at the provincial seams
    Look at the maps of the election result…
    its not a map of the provinces…
    https://www.ckom.com/2019/10/22/626302/
    Its a map of the election results
    The voters have voted for their province first
    It doesn’t look good for the future of the country

    On another topic, i have visited relatives In Vermont and New Hampshire. I coudn`t help notice that the poor south of the border are getting much poorer than the ones in Quebec.

    I didn`t want to bring a political dead cat into your blog, but recent development prompt me to write to you.
    Denis

  78. regarding the land being hungry for blood, if I may:

    I’ve travelled extensively across and within the United States. From 2008-2014 I travelled all the time. Relative to South America — which I spent two months in during 2015 and since have been doomed to speak of my experiences there with the deadly earnestness of the religious pilgrim — the entire United States feels as if it wants to devour human flesh.

    That said, the best vibes I’ve gotten in the United States were in far north, coastal Maine. After that, Western Massachusetts, except Hadley which is the most hag-ridden town I’ve encountered. The rest of New England then is about the same level, in my experience, except for Vermont which “didn’t feel right” to me.

    The entire West Coast I’ve experienced: from Port Townsend, Quilcene, Portland and environs, the Siskiyou mountain range, and the Bay Area all hunger for human flesh in a patient, lazy manner. Into the interior, I found Council Idaho to have surprisingly gracious vibes, but perhaps that was on account that my travel mate entered literally bleeding heavily from a cut on his foot.

    New Orleans has ghosts up to the rafters not to mention the auction block, Mississippi has something seriously Southern Gothic going on, and I felt protected by the the strength of the sincerity of folks’ Christianity, Georgia got something not right with it, as does North Carolina (at least Spencer to Asheville) and every part of Tennessee. The worst part of Tennessee, in my experiences, were the mountains. In Middle Tennessee the land hated the inhabitants with less force.

    Grand Rapids Michigan, Chicago Illinois, Des Moines Iowa all showed to me a degree of hatred that was unparalleled. Not necessarily blood lust even, but hatred pure and simply. Blind, senseless and chthonic hatred, the type easily outsmarted with a little cunning, just as in a fairy tale.

    New Mexico, which was the most Plutonian landscape I’ve yet encountered. Not only did it wish to torture me but to transform me and then eject me.

    I would never set foot in Texas, and avoided it with a deep aversion during all of my time traveling. Twice I entered and both times *I could smell and taste blood in the air*.

    But, all of that said, the vibe of Mexico is like that of an abattoir. It makes New England look like Buenos Aires. In Mexico the land wants blood with a ferocious intensity that makes Des Moines look like a mere leech. It wants blood with a madness that puts the trenches of WWI to shame, it wants blood as a seemingly ahistorical precondition to its very nature. In this sense, to my mind at least, spiritually it is very clear that Texas *belongs* to Mexico. In both I tasted tasted blood in the haze of dust.

  79. This might be a slightly odd question, but, well, “nothing is off topic”, so I thought I’d let fly:
    In [i]Retrotopia[/i] (in the December 2016 Paperback Edition it’s on Page 92), there’s this bit of text, referring to someone in a wheelchair boarding a train:
    “I wondered how Pappas was going to climb the foot or so from the platform to the door, but about the time I’d finished formulating the thought, one of the car attendants popped out, grabbed a handle I hadn’t noticed under the step, and slid out a steel ramp. Pappas rolled up into the car, the attendant pushed the ramp back into its place, they said a few words to each other, and then Pappas wheeled his way over to a place at the back of the car”

    Do you have any more details on how the ramp worked? I’ve done, just for fun, on an amateur basis, some playing around with ideas for accessibility in railway applications before, and by my calculations that ramp would probably need to be about eleven and a half feet long to have an acceptable slope, too long, unless Lakeland passenger cars are significantly wider than the American common standard, to simply slide straight in and out. Does the ramp actually run parallel to the car, with a level landing by the door? I’m also curious about the handle being [i]under[/i] the step.

    Oh, and while I’m on the subject, is the gap only about a foot because the Lakeland Republic uses ~36 inch platforms, because the train nominal floor height is lower than 48 inches, or both?
    (The gap between a common 8 inch platform and a Superliner’s 18 inch nominal floor height would be about a foot, but I got the impression these were single-level cars; interested to know if that’s wrong, too!)

    (I suspect that the actual answer might possibly be that you just wanted to show that there was an accommodation made and, as neither you nor the viewpoint character were particularly interested in the exact mechanics, left it at that level of detail off the page as well, but I thought there’d be little harm in asking just in case. :))

  80. Dylan, thank you for this! (Yum.)

    Jim, I consider Pluto to be a minor body, along the lines of Ceres, Eris, and Chiron. I suspect each of the minor bodies also has a sign attribution — certainly Ceres fits Virgo to a T — and so, if you want to include minor bodies in your astrological work, by all means work with Pluto’s resonance with Scorpio. I don’t find the minor bodies useful in mundane charts or elections for magical workings, which are most of the astrology I do, and they also don’t have much influence on my natal and progressed charts — as I noted a little while back, a few years ago I went through a Pluto transit that affected two important planets in my natal chart with minimal effect — so I don’t use the minor bodies. If you want to use them, hey, it’s no concern of mine.

    October, I edited your post to delete the profanity; please be more careful next time, or your post may not get through. As for California, I’d always figured that it’s a combination of sky-high taxes and the sheer corruption of one of America’s most graft-ridden states; if it turns out to be something else, that’ll be interesting. In the meantime, I hope anyone who can get out of California does so before things get even uglier there.

    Rabtter, the idea that there have been many universes before ours is all over occult tradition, and is also common iirc in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. The current cycle is simply one of an endless sequence, and yes, some beings — those that mess up badly enough — aren’t reintegrated into the primordial unity at the end of one cycle and so linger on into the next, to find their way back into balance in a future cycle of time.

    Aged Spirit, you’re welcome.

    Erik, you don’t have much conscious control over the process until fairly late in the sequence of human incarnations. Most people are in something not far from a dream state between lives — thus the lurid accounts of heaven, hell, etc. — and there are beings and forces that direct them toward an appropriate next incarnation. As you develop reflective self-awareness — or to put the same thing in other worlds, as you begin to evolve a mental body to go along with your physical, etheric, and astral bodies — you begin to get some consciousness in the state between lives, and at that point you can cooperate with the process and have some influence over it. Once you have a mental body firmly established, you don’t need to reincarnate, though you can choose to do so.

    Will O, it’s an old Celtic holiday celebrating the ancestors, plagiarized and repurposed by the Christian church in the Dark Ages.

    Pat, I’m delighted to hear that you caught those! I put a lot of easter eggs in the series — references to Lovecraft stories and other Cthuhu mythos tales, references to other books I like, hints of things to come and references to stuff in previous volumes — and I’ll be amused to see how many people catch those.

    Misty, thank you! I’m glad you liked that — it’s something I enjoy in Lovecraft’s stories, and wanted to weave it into my own tales.

  81. More bad news for the US Navy’s troubled next generation aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R Ford:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/craighooper/2019/10/16/the-navys-accountability-crisis-over-a-bet-ensnares-its-top-leader/#1d00b90d1098

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/craighooper/2019/10/23/the-navy-obfuscates-on-shock-testing-the-13-billion-dollar-uss-ford/#383986fd67bf

    https://news.usni.org/2019/10/09/carrier-ford-will-only-have-two-weapon-elevators-ready-when-it-leaves-shipyard

    https://taskandpurpose.com/uss-gerald-ford-navy-problems

    https://www.pogo.org/investigation/2017/05/how-not-to-build-ship-uss-ford/

    https://navy-matters.blogspot.com/search/label/Ford

    It’s now being reported that the Ford not be ready for service until at least 2024. Only two of the eleven weapons elevators work and there are serious, unresolved problems with the ships nuclear propulsion system, electric power grid, electro-magnetic catapults, arresting gear and radars. And the USN seems to have learned nothing from this train wreck of a program, since it has already placed orders for four more of these floating boondoggles!

    Meanwhile as Navy Matters points out, even if these ships eventually work as planned, the Ford class carriers will be no capable than the Forrestal class aircraft carriers the US was building in the 1950’s while being more than six times as expensive.

    https://navy-matters.blogspot.com/2019/10/forrestal-ford-comparison.html

  82. Hi Stefania,

    What a difficult choice! That said, it’s amazing what you can do with a bicycle with serious panniers. Third world photos routinely show people hauling amazing amounts of goods on a bike. When gas prices leap skyward, you’ll see plenty more bikes and far fewer cars.

    Since you’ve got so much land, have you considered that your children may stay or other family may relocate to your property in the coming years? With second-hand RVs, you could start forming a village of your own. That would make it easier to do all the work by hand and let you more easily keep an eye on things.

    Just some thoughts.

    Teresa from Hershey

  83. Hi John
    I’m watching a TV series titled Lodge 49. The story centers on a tattered fraternal lodge with alchemy as its philosophical base. While you are screen adverse, might you know if the show has a takeaway besides entertainment and a pointer to The Crying of Lot 49 by Pynchon? Or does TV alchemy come from the set dressing locker where the studio keeps other pop takes on magic? Oh, and The Cloud of Unknowing was mentioned passingly in an episode. If you are familiar with that work, your thoughts would be welcome.
    Rusty

  84. JMG, you have been interviewed numerous times by Chris Martenson at Peak Prosperity. He recently announced that he is looking to create an “intentional community” because of his perception that “the pace of collapse” is creating a dangerous circumstance in many places. I’m staying put in a place very similar to (and only an hour or so from) the place you call home. Thoughts?

  85. Dear Stephania, your situation sounds to me both idyllic and awesome. Please don’t let a pack of ideologues who are doubtless doing far less than you guilt trip you into a drastic change of life. Now, if you miss the cultural events and the excitement of city life, that is something else. As for car use, have you considered car pooling with neighbors for supply runs, or even day out in the city with girlfriends. Can you connect with an uber driver who might be available for group trips to town? Maybe uber driver would accept fresh produce and reduce the fare? What are the public transit options? Might there be a park and ride station nearby? Five miles doesn’t sound so far out to me. I can walk 5 mi. if I have to, but probably not with groceries. As gas price rises and shortages hit, your neighbors will be in the same boat as you so ought to be receptive to some form of cooperation in trips to town. Have you considered ordering necessities online, maybe with others to share shipping costs? A shared order, delivered to a central address, would use less time and gas than a myriad of individual trips.

    I can’t say about in Canada, but in the USA, if you are a rural property owner you MUST be on good terms with local govt. and law enforcement. Pony up for the benefit fund, attend the events and so on. My guess would be that war band raiding is as much as a half century off yet. Violence is satisfying but expensive. Don’t be the easy target, which I think would mean in a rural context, have a something like the militia of the colonies in place. If you and the neighbors own their land, that gives you home field advantage. Modern day day gangs don’t ride horses, and will be as dependent on scarce gas as anyone else. My guess, speculation, is that they will tend to set up satrapies in various towns.

    My view, for what it might be worth, is that if you own 88 acres, you are very fortunately placed indeed. Our host has not discussed the matter, that I can recall, but I cannot help thinking that property ownership will be very important going forward.

  86. Hello JMG,

    When I read some articles about Giordano Bruno’s life and achievements, in those articles it is often claimed that he had a vision in a dream which inspired his cosmological hypotheses (infinite universe, existance of exoplanets etc.). Given his occultist background, I think it is more likely that he deliberately performed astral projection to explore outer space, rather than having an involuntary dream. Would you recommend any specific type of astral projection technique, tailored for space exploration (and some good resources to learn more about it)?

    Thanks,
    M.

  87. Anybody interested in looking through old cookbooks, approximately 1878 through the late 1920’s, can go over to the Survivor Library cookbook page and peruse to your heart’s content; all books are available for free download. There’s even one from 1830. Naturally, these books date from a time when we had far less understanding of food-borne disease and proper food handling procedures, so use your good sense.

    Most of these books include instructions for managing wood stoves, coal stoves and other cooking appliances. I didn’t see any with instructions for fireless cookers, but I haven’t looked through all the books either.

    http://www.survivorlibrary.com/index.php/8-category/34-library-cooking%20and%20cookbooks

  88. Sorry my video link did not go through. It is a Youtube video by diy_solutions about how to do a layered haircut in 5 minutes by cutting two wet ponytails in a specific way. Every comment on it attests to how fast and easy it is, how it saves $50 plus at a salon, etc. and it’s true. I’ve tried it on my own long, hard to manage hair with great results. To find it, please enter this text into Youtube’s search engine: DIY layered haircut in 5 mins.

  89. I read the essay that Beekeeper in Vermont posted and I couldn’t help but find the entire thing rather ironic for several reasons. First, I’m a eunuch, a variety of human the author of the essay laments the lack of presence in the Neopagan scene. Second I’m rather bookish in my approach to Hellenic polytheism. I’ve pored over Burkert’s _Greek Religion_, Shaw’s _Theurgy and Soul_ and am informed by Plato, Homer and especially Hesiod. That said, I’m not a reconstructionist, my attention is focused on the living presence of the gods, and the past informs my practice but does define the minutia of my devotions, which are based are religious rather than aesthetic in nature. I always find it stunning that academics don’t realize that there are sincerely religious folks who worship the old gods. They seem to think that everything in the world can be dissected and measured, but many of us engage in living mystery, the sort of thing that is the antithesis of the measurable.

    Also, she mentioned the Radical Faeries favorably, and that simply blows my mind. The Radical Faeries had totally incoherent rituals, the theology is equally incoherent, and furthermore many many people get seroconverted during the religious festivals. They may be queer friendly, but please, if your reputation in the gay scene is the place where young men go to get AIDS you’re doing something very, very wrong. It was stunning the number of people I knew who seroconverted.

    That said, I enjoyed the essay’s acerbic sense of humor, the dry cattiness in its method of historical citation, and its thorough and well-played erudition and attention to details.

  90. Packshaud, hmm! I hadn’t encountered that term. Thank you.

    Himself, I’ve read some of Hyatt’s work — not really my cup of tea, but I know people who’ve gotten a lot from him. As for Japan, I envy you! I don’t really have a list; if I ever have the chance ot go there I’ll make a beeline for Koyasan, because my Japanese stepfamily practices Shingon Buddhism, but other than that I’d simply see what appealed.

    Will J, well, that’s sad. As for the NDP, I doubt you’ll need to; with a blogger and a podcaster on the leftward end of things denouncing me, I expect to get all the favorable publicity I want in the near future. 😉

    Churrundo, ah, yes, “concentration camps.” Because we all know that millions of Jews were trying to get into Nazi Germany to find work, and the inmates at Dachau and Auschwitz could leave any time they wanted so long as they agreed to return to Israel…

    In the US as in most countries, yours included, there are laws about who can and can’t immigrate from abroad. In the US as in most countries, yours included, people who are arrested for breaking a law get put in jail until their case can be brought before a tribunal. The detention centers have been pressed into service as jails because the number of people being arrested for breaking the immigration laws is so high. Conditions there are what you’d expect in jails that are overcrowded because there are too many lawbreakers to be held there. The reasons there are so many people trying to get into the US are complex, but one of the core factors is that the privileged classes here have been using mass immigration (along with the offshoring of jobs) to drive down wages in the US in order to increase corporate profits. If you want to improve conditions in the detention centers, why, discouraging people from trying to immigrate illegally strikes me as a good idea…

    Scotlyn, fascinating. I wasn’t familiar with this distinction at all. More reading ahead!

    Mister N, it depends on how much of a death wish the Democratic party has. I can think of few things they could do to guarantee a more brutal defeat in 2020.

    Stinkhornpress, thanks for this. Definitely food for thought.

    Lenn, excellent! There are links to books and articles with fireless cooker recipes here.

    Drhooves, now you know why I’ve stayed off the climate change bandwagon! Yes, there needs to be a new approach — or, more precisely, there will need to be a new approach once the shark-jumping exploits of the climate change folks have reached their inevitable endpoint.

    Simo, many thanks for these.

    John B, thank you for this. I think you’ve misunderstood my critique in part. I’m quite aware that the US armed forces have gone through very substantial transformations since the Second World War, and again since Vietnam; it’s our country’s strategic vision — which is more a matter for politicians than for generals — that remains mired in that war. (Also in the fixation on aircraft carriers, which I’m convinced will be exactly as useful in the next major war as battleships were in the Second World War.) I’d also be the last person to write off the US armed forces as fighting forces — that’s why, in Twilight’s Last Gleaming, I had the US expeditionary force in East Africa carry out one of the most difficult of all military maneuvers, a fighting retreat in the face of superior forces, and do it successfully; they only surrendered when their last hope of retreating further was cut off and they were out of munitions and supplies.

    The great flaws I see in the US military are both political in nature, and both played a major role in Twilight’s Last Gleaming. The first, of course, is a weapons system acquisition process that is on the one hand gizmocentric to the point of failure, and on the other hand, impressively corrupt; the F-35 — I had pilots call it the Lardbucket in my novel; I’m told that actual pilots call it the Penguin, because it flies like one — is only the most obvious example of an entire arsenal of overpriced and underperforming weaponry. The second is subtler: the US has no idea how to deal with the possibility of defeat, and so politicians routinely throw military units into no-win situations under the delusion that nothing bad can actually happen to us. That’s bad enough in an era when the US still had overwhelming advantages; in the future before us, when the US will no longer be the sole hyperpower, it could threaten our survival as a nation. (Again, that was one of the points of Twilight’s Last Gleaming.)

    Robert, Schoch’s arguments seem very solid to me. No, that post didn’t appear; other things got in the way — but my Atlantis book, with which I’m very dissatisfied, has gone out of print, and I’m seriously considering a completely new book on Ice Age civilizations.

    Peter, glad to hear about the fox! If you don’t get your copy of Arkham soon, contact the publisher directly — every so often something goes screwy with the ordering process.

    Ryan, many thanks for the data points!

    Your Kittenship, it may be purely a Mall*Wart thing; the markets where I shop have had no shortages.

    Jasmine, yep. That’s why I keep talking about the LONG Descent! It’s a slow process, getting people out from the progress vs. apocalypse dichotomy, but it’s worth the effort.

    John, I’ll let him know.

    Wesley, I’d recommend How To Know Higher Worlds or Christianity as Mystical Fact as good first tastes of his work.

    Admin, of course you can put more than one session of meditation into a given theme! Take your time and get as much out of each theme as you can.

    RMK, if you’re going to be working with spirits, daily magical practice is a must — a daily banishing ritual will keep you clear of hostile entities. Beyond that, it depends on the methods you’re using and your own personal level of clairvoyance and psychism.

    Samurai_47, unfortunately, yes, fake hate crimes do seem to be fairly common these days. That’s not to say all such things are faked, but as Jussie Smollett demonstrated, claiming to have been targeted by deplorables is a reliable way to get favorable attention. (Just be careful not to fake it as clumsily as he did.) As for neo-Nazi movements, everything I’ve seen suggests that they’re on the decline — these days disaffected youth with right-wing tendencies are much more likely to do the red-white-and-blue patriotic American thing, with a red MAGA cap on. (Those who can’t tell the difference between this and neo-Nazism are showing their own biases…)

    Succwc, I don’t yet have a good handle on what’s driving the current round of unrest — partly I’ve been busy with other things and haven’t had the chance to go past the bland and uninformative media stories. Once I have the chance to do that I’ll be able to propose an answer to your question.

    Will M, thanks for this. (Meow.)

    Ian, what you’re doing isn’t dabbling in magic, it’s practicing Druid spirituality. Dabbling with magic would involve trying to conjure spirits, cast spells, consecrate talismans, or the like. If you decide you want to do these things, by all means — the point of my comment about dabbling is that if you’re going to practice magic, you need to take it seriously!

    Georg, there have been some books on mystical experience in the last century or so that explore some of this, and Bucke’s Cosmic Consciousness would be the starting place I would recommend. Among occult writers, though, there’s a tendency to borrow Lao Tsu’s approach — “Those who know do not talk. Those who talk do not know” — to encourage students to focus on the work of study and practice.

    Stefania, what I’d say is that one size unquestionably does not fit all when it comes to dealing with the Long Descent! My wife and I are basically city people, and her health doesn’t permit the more strenuous dimensions of rural life; we also choose not to drive; so living in a modest apartment and supporting local growers by buying their produce at the farmer’s market works for us. I know plenty of other people who are happy in the country and would be miserable in the city. Do what works for you, and if that requires you to own a car, make it up to the planet in other ways.

    David BTL, thanks for this!

    Oriol, good question. By Lucretius’ time, the classical world had already slid over from culture to civilization (to use Spengler’s terms), and the old form-language of the Apollonian culture was no longer entirely meaningful to its inheritors — that’s why the independent city-state gave way to empires, and local religious cults gave way to missionary faiths around the same time. In Lucretius you may well be seeing the first stirrings of what became the Faustian vision.

    J.L.Mc12, what do I think about it? I’m delighted. I wish Obama had had the brains and guts to do that. The sooner the US gets out of the intervention business and reorients its military to the defense of the nation and its near abroad, the better chance we have of fixing some of this country’s many serious problems.

    Joe, you’re welcome. Do-In is a common practice among French Druids and works very well alongside every form of Druid practice I’ve tried. As for sources, I’m partial to the writings (out of print, but easy to find used) of Jacques de Langre — his theories are way out there but his practical advice is excellent.

    Teresa, indeed you may, and thanks for asking.

    Matt, it’s a typically bad strategy just to ban something rather than trying to replace it with something better. What if towns were instead to make a big push for reusable bags, or for paper bags made from hemp? Make it a civic thing, and use enthusiasm and rewards rather than bans and punishments, and the project would engage and empower people rather than making them sullen and irritated.

    Stephen, I should have said “$200 or the equivalent in today’s money.” What’s going to happen when the dollar sheds its reserve currency status is a fascinating question that, as far as I know, can’t be effectively anticipated. Hyperinflation? The US defaulting on its foreign debts? Your guess is as good as mine.

    Jean, The Weird of Hali takes place over a period of 20 years, with the first book taking place more or less “now”. I don’t expect things to come unraveled quite that quickly, no, but then I also don’t expect tentacled horrors to rise from the ocean off the coast of Massachusetts, nor do I expect the Mi-Go to engage in the particular bit of industrial harvesting that plays a role in the story! In our world, burdened as it is by a shortage of shoggoths, I expect the decline and fall of industrial civilization to take between one and three centuries.

    Ed, excellent. The answer is yes. Are you familiar with sigil magic? The tarot was there first.

    Renaissance, yep. I visited our local art museum last week, and it’s really quite impressive how much of Western art consists of somebody making an excuse to show a breast or two!

    Sage, I wish I knew. I’ve simply noticed that in many parts of North America where I’ve spent time, there’s a sense of threat that seems to be rooted in the land, and that I can only describe as “hunger for blood.” I haven’t encountered it in New England, and I didn’t encounter it in the Puget Sound area; in the Willamette valley of western Oregon it’s not so much blood-hunger as a sense of impending sickness and death, and on the Pacific Coast it’s also different, though very potent — a sense of something coming down and the human presence there cut off suddenly, as though with a knife. In much of the rest of the country, though, the blood hunger is there. I don’t know what it is or what will sate it, but I feel it in the land — and I’m glad to be elsewhere.

    MH, glad to hear it. (1) You might well benefit from energy healing on the third eye center. (2) What’s your diet like? Many people find that a diet relatively high in meat and other animal products helps them decrease psychic oversensitivity; Do-In work on your feet, to help drain excess energy through the foot centers, would also be helpful.

    Tolkienguy, yep. I also got a chuckle out of that.

    Ethan, hmm. Can you rework the story so that it doesn’t actually use the Chosen One trope — for example, everyone thinks the character is a Chosen One but there actually isn’t any Chosen One at all? Snarking at tropes would be very difficult to do well unless you’re basically writing a satire — how do your characters know that these are tropes? Do they read fantasy novels? Are there bookstores selling tacky fantasy scrolls, and your characters are half-consciously acting out a theme from the pop culture of their own place and time?

  91. JMG,

    Until fairly recently I worked at a public library in a suburb near a city located next to one of the Great Lakes. I worked there for almost two decades, and my spouse still works there (so I still get to hear the inside scoop about the place). The suburb where the library is located is well-to-do; the library is sufficiently-funded and has much community use and support. But all is not well. The person in charge of the library is pretty much wrecking the place. (I will call this person “the director” to help disguise their identity.) I believe the director has a vision for the library, but I would call it a misguided vision. I have observed that many American public libraries have an identity crisis; the people running them are not happy with boring, old libraries, but want to transform them into something “new and exciting”. And I believe that the director at my former job has become caught up in this trend without an ounce of critical thought.

    To me a library is like a stove. It has a necessary function, but doesn’t need to be sexy to be useful. And if a stove designer were to add a telescope, a trampoline, and a trombone to a stove, and try to sell it, I would ignore it and look for a more sensible, traditional stove.

    So the visionary director at the library I used to work at has decided to weed the book collection, and when I say weed, I think of that line from the movie Apocalypse Now: weed “with extreme prejudice”. This weeding has been going on for about five years and the book collection has decreased by over one third in that time. At its peak this library owned about 700,000 books. Not anymore. Now the library looks like a store after a looting. The library is still buying new books, but they haven’t balanced out that loss. The reason the director has given for this weeding: the library needs more space for people to read and study. Also, the director has said, “no one is interested those old books anymore” and “they are all outdated”. But not just any book is removed and discarded. Special (expensive) software using “statistical formulas” is used to choose books for discard. If a book hasn’t been checked out within the year, out it goes. It doesn’t matter if a book is a classic or has special merit. One librarian objected to the potential discarding of the Bible when it came up on the computerized hit list. Fortunately, reason intervened at the last minute. But the use of such reason has been the exception. I cringe at all that lost history and knowledge as the books are tossed out. So what if a book on electronics is out of date? Maybe it is really well-written and teaches its subject better than a new book on the same subject, but that kind of logic is not factored in by the book-discarding software. And heaven forbid actual librarians be allowed to make decisions regarding books.

    The director has many plans for the library: to me these plans are all about making the library into an indoor park, or an activity center where people can glue beads onto things, or a place with the placid atmosphere of a Chucky Cheese restaurant. When someone challenges the director and suggests that maybe the library simply could be a place where people who enjoy books can find them, the director becomes angry and spits back, “This library is not a warehouse for books!”

    All this “improvement” has been taking place for several years now, and the library board and the public are just beginning to notice some of its shortcomings, though this hasn’t changed anything yet. Meanwhile the exterior of the building is falling apart. Money that could have been used to maintain the building has been diverted to the purchase of new furniture to replace just about every piece of old furniture, and to the building of special activity rooms. Oh and did I mention that many of the older staff members, including myself, have left — to keep our sanity — or have been forced out? Luckily that frees up money from older worker’s “bloated” salaries for the purchase of . . . more new furniture.

    When my wife and I travel, we often visit libraries. We’ve found that small libraries around the United States, those that still exist, are still, I’m happy to say, set up the traditional way.

    In the decline and fall of our current civilization, we don’t have barbarians sacking the libraries, or do we?

  92. I’ve heard it stated (but maybe not from you, I think?) that after the decline of the Roman Empire in Europe, the reason the Roman Catholic Church rose to power is because there was a vacuum and essentially it was the only large organization around.

    Since today’s global corporations are wealth pumps that function in a sense like mini-empires, I’ve been wondering recently if they could fill a vacuum in a similar way in the future.

    Could you envision a scenario where the US government were to fall from power and then one or more of today’s global corporations filled the power vacuum? Perhaps teamed up with with local war bands? Or with China? (there’s a lot of talk recently about global corporations kissing up to China…)

    I suppose you’re going to say no, but I thought I’d ask.

  93. John Kincaid: if you are reading this it means that I’ve had no trouble posting in Firefox despite the upgrade from, I think, yesterday morning. Violet: I read your frightening post with interest. David BTL: thanks for the links you provided in last week’s post. Once we convert all sorts of energy to electricity and put it out on a national grid it becomes the perfect fungible, marketable commodity. I wonder how much of it we waste due to the grid itself.

  94. Mr. Greer,

    I have noticed a few bloggers in the decline-o-sphere (notably Dmitri Orlov and Jim Kunstler) go from insightful curmudgeons to hateful cranks. Others (Johnny Sanphillipo, Ran Prieur) have avoided this fate. What do you think causes it? The isolation of blogging plus the echo chamber of synchophantic readers? And how do you think some bloggers, yourself included, steer clear?

  95. Jmg, I thought you would say that ,and I agree that’s it is a good sign but I can help but worry about the Kurds and also how other nations could interpret what the media is calling a “betrayal”.

  96. JMG, might your sensations on the West Coast refer to the big earthquake that is supposed to dump half of California into the sea someday?

    Also, did you once say that prayer has the same effects as the banishing ritual?

    There’s a shortage of shoggoths? Good heavens. I hope they aren’t an endangered species.

  97. @Mister Nobody, CuteKitten–

    Hillary is unelectable at this point. Democratic voters are thoroughly disgusted with the entire “superdelegate” mechanism which guarantees that some votes are more equal than others, particularly their own. And it was hard not to notice that Hillary fully utilized that mechanism last time ’round. And now her recent accusation of Tulsi Gabbard as a “Russian Asset” underscores her fundamental dishonesty and cluelessness as a politician. Her name has become practically synonymous with corruption and cynicism.

    I’m predicting that the Democrats are going to be swept in the 2020 election anyway, so maybe a swan song for Hillary would at least prevent some other promising candidate from being tarnished going into future elections. Other than that, I can see nothing but downside to a Hillary candidacy.

  98. Oops, I forgot a question. I am reading a book which mentions tulpas, which, upon looking up, seem to be a bit of a modern fad somehow tied in with cartoon horses 🐴. Can JMG and our other exports weigh in on tulpas? Has anybody ever made one? If so, what happened? And what about tulkus?

  99. JMG and anyone else:
    What are your thoughts on the Julian Assange situation?
    Will he ever be set free? If he dies in prison what are the repercussions? What will happen to Wikileaks?

  100. JMG, what about the Southern portion of the USA, have you felt blood-hunger there? I haven’t done anything formal nor am I a sensitive, but the mountains just feel…detached and enduring, welcoming but only on their own terms. Even the Civil War largely avoided the area. But that’s the Ozarks and the Ouachitas. Steiner made some comments about America and Ahriman, there being a strong Ahrimanic current on the North American continent, but I don’t know any more than that.

  101. Hello John Michael, I appreciated the solutions you mentioned in the last post about global warming: algae for cattle in Australia and planting trees. Have you heard of other solutions, in particular in the energy sector ? As far as I know solar panels and wind turbines are built with fossil fuels now, and they provide intermittent energy so they cannot provide continuous power without a baseline of natural gas or coal power. Large scale energy storage for renewables does not exist yet . How about Carbon Capture Storage for coal and gas ? Do you know of promising other technologies that can scale or are we condemned to a sure energy descent in the next 20 – 50 years (other than a Tesla engine 🙂
    ) ?

  102. @ Violet – Cosmic! I live in Chehalis, Washington, but two of my best friends moved to Council, about 8 years ago. I visited, for a week, about 5 years ago. We communicate, daily, by e-mail. They’d really, really like me to move there.

    I don’t know. I keep waffling. I’m 70, so, I don’t know about such a big change, at this time of life. A couple of things, bother me. I’ve already decided that if I have a big medical problem, say cancer, I’m not going to do anything about it, Go, with as much dignity as I can muster. But, small patch jobs are another thing.

    Also, it seems like if they need any little thing, they have to drive long distances to larger towns. But there are a few transit options.

    I don’t have any family, here, and few friends. Kind of an urban hermit (non religious variety). I do have a bit of a support system, and, know where to hunt and gather (which cheap food stores are best / thrift stores, etc.).

    Any-who. I was just so surprised to see Council jump out of your post. A sign? An omen? If so, I figure “more will be revealed.” Lew

  103. @JMG I rather feel that I missed out on the denunciations. Should I denounce you for your vast knowledge? For your insight and communicative ability? Or for your beard being shorter than it was? Let me take the opportunity to also denounce the commentariat for their good manners and informed contributions!

    Denunciations of this sort are actually an ongoing meme; see, for example, 30 Reasons You Should Never Visit Wales 🙂

    You may be interested in this article in the Guardian: Winds of change: the sailing ships cleaning up sea transport.

    Readers in Britain may like to read A Field Trip to Meet the Modern Day Witches of Cornwall, particularly the reference to their very substantial library of magical tomes.

    Speaking of the commetariat:

    – Re: Halloween. This looks like it’s going to be a big event for me this year, the end of one cycle of my life and the start of a new one. Fingers crossed.

    – Re town life vs city life. I’m hoping to buy a home (outright, no mortgage) in Wales, but the only places I could afford to do that and have a nice house and sizeable garden would be in a rural, post-mining, village. There are definitely advantages to doing that, including being in an almost entirely Welsh-speaking community. But… it’s a long way from the bright lights.

    – @John B Our host has already answered you, and I have no personal knowledge of the training of European or other soldiers. As regards Russia, I’ll just throw in that they are transitioning away from conscript troops to a completely professional force and that the kind of independent thinking you attribute to US troops is very much a part of the Russian military tradition (read Suvorov, if you haven’t yet!).

    @Dusk Shine Hear, hear. My nomadic life hasn’t given opportunity for finding a life partner or having children, and I’m perhaps close to the end of the window for all that. Got to consider that I might be on my own into old age. Still, not dead yet, so who knows…

    Thanks to all who have contributed info about fireless cookers. I first learned about them on TADR, and used a home-made one quite effectively the last time I was living in Wales; I expect to use them a lot once I move back.

    I have nothing to contribute on the topic of skunks.

  104. Hi JMG,

    What’s your take (if you have any) on Cicero’s editions of Irael Regardie’s works?

    I am more specifically looking at ‘The Middle Pillar’ and trying to figure out whether to hunt for one of the early editions or to settle on the new version, edited and expanded by Cicero. Comments on the Internet for the latter range between highest praise and people saying that new edition has butchered the original. Personally, I am somewhat concerned with their attempt to blend chakras into the Middle Pillar. Not sure if it is enough of a red flag to pass on the whole book though.

  105. George Eduard – I’m not sure that PK Dick’s visionary experience changed his philosophical trajectory all that much, though it certainly ‘roided it up to new, dizzying heights. Like a lot of sun-sign Sagittarius writers, Dick worked a singular theme in nearly all his novels, that of peeling back layers of illusion to get at the genuine reality behind our mundane perspectives. My impression is that his visionary experience, while genuine, unbalanced and overwhelmed him, even more that he already was – in his early days he’d done a lot of amphetamines. After reading his novel/spiritual tract “Valis”, I remember thinking, well, that seems definitive, where can he go from there? Shortly thereafter, he died from a heart attack at a relatively early age.

  106. I’m rereading The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the book that kick-started my nature mysticism in 3rd grade.

    Reading it as an adult, and one inclined to the occult end of things, it strikes me that this book absolutely serves as an initiation, in the sense that you’ve written about here. I get the same sense of vibrant green-white energy bursting out of the ground that I did when I was a kid.

    And of course, there’s the fact that by the end of the book, one of the characters resolves to start learning High Magic. I thought that was dumb, as a kid, and in fact it deflated me, but then I probably wasn’t ready to deal with such things in 3rd grade.

    One problem for a lot of modern readers, though, is that there’s a fair bit of racism at the start, regarding the people of India.

  107. My question is directed toward anyone who has knowledge of it, but I am wondering how have their been prostitutes and courtesans throughout history what with pregnancy being such a common event?

  108. While meditating on what I want to achieve through my magical studies one possibility came as quite a surprise. I would dearly love to return in my next incarnation into my current family line, onto our farmland, now in our care for six generations, to continue or finish my stewardship of both. This becomes more dear to me as I think on it and I wonder if any magical systems address this idea at all. My LRM practice has been slow and steady and should wrap up in about 10 weeks so I’ll be looking at ways forward soon. The practice has been an incredible blessing to me and my family but it’s a bit later in life, at 60, with so much not done. I’d love to return with these skills to continue the work.

  109. Now for a couple of questions.

    1) The official death toll of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas is 61, according to the latest headlines I can find. But there are also news stories about how rescue workers kept finding bodies in the wreckage. I suspect that the real numbers are being suppressed or manipulated, but I can’t figure out what anyone would gain from that. Is it somehow shameful or unprofitable to have people die in a hurricane?

    2) What’s your take on the run-up to the impeachment of Trump? According to MSNBC, the Democrats have an iron-clad case and Trump is falling apart. But of course, MSNBC has been playing this tune since 2016, and the failure of the Mueller report has vanished down the memory hole.

    3) Any thoughts on the meltdown in northern Syria?

  110. Hi Onething,

    The unwanted babies were killed, abandoned, sold, or if they were relatively lucky, handed over to religious organizations.

  111. Polytropos, I’ve been to dentists a few times, but solely to extract teeth — and it’s been well over a decade. As for the caduceus, yes, I read something that pointed that out earlier this year, and it’s a good point. The rod with one snake is the symbol of Aesculapius, the god of healing. The caduceus with two snakes and wings is the symbol of Hermes, the god of merchants…and of thieves. I rest my case!

    Phil K, thanks for this!

    Dusk Shine, we’ll both be long dead before the industrial world gets to the point that you need children to provide for your old age. You and I will need to provide for ourselves, but we can do that. Take up some system of exercise you can keep doing into advanced old age, such as t’ai chi; learn some skills that people value that you can keep on doing even when your body runs down; keep your mind active and supple by learning new things — and be ready to help people in your neighborhood and community, especially those who do have children.

    Denis, thanks for this! As for the poor people on this side of the border, well, yes — we’re still trying to prop up a failing empire, and that’s a great way to go broke in a hurry.

    Violet, thanks for this. Brrrrr.

    Reese, the platform was not at ground level; even today, many train platforms are raised to approximately the level of the passenger car floors. Here’s an example from Ann Arbor:
    wheelchair boarding train
    Thus the ramp could slide out a short distance at close to zero departure from horizontal. The handle underneath, btw. is recessed, so it doesn’t interfere with the ramp resting on the platform.

  112. @Himself or anyone else in the Tokyo area,
    On the first Sunday of each month there is an international get together for a picnic by a shrine on a mountaintop in Hachioji City near the JR Takao Station (also on the Keio Line, but be careful not to overshoot to the Takao-san-guchi Station). I have used that for a Green Wizards get-together in the past. They are great people.
    They also have a Shinto ceremony on the 10th of each month, which in November happens to be a Sunday. Let me know if you might come, and I’ll be sure you get directions.

  113. JMG,

    In at least one of your books you’ve mentioned that elms are not suitable for the exercises associated with what I’ll call “tree work.” Do you see any issues with using the leaves as compost? Could that impart any negative energies into the vegetables coming from that compost? My neighbor has a large elm in the front yard and there’s some real squirrely vibes coming from said neighbor. Second question: are you aware of deleterious energy coming from the elm tree just by being around it? Or does the lore surrounding it involve direct physical contact? Thanks for sharing your copious knowledge!

  114. Violet,

    Thank you for the field reports, very interesting. I’m not sure what or whether to conclude about them, but I know Mexico has been a violent place for at least a millennium, and I find myself wondering whether genocides are cause or effect of the land’s thirst.

    Onething,

    Abortifacients have been around about as long as the oldest profession has. Pennyroyal is one of the better-known, more effective, and more hazardous examples.

  115. Jacurutu, yep. The Ford-class carriers are the Navy’s answer to the F-35 Lardbucket — “we can too build something just as overpriced and underperforming!”

    Rusty, I’ve heard of it, but since I don’t own a TV and wouldn’t take one for a gift it’ll have to go unwatched by me. The Cloud of Unknowing is a Christian mystical handbook from the Middle Ages; you can download a copy here.

    Steve, I wonder if he knows the first thing about the track record of intentional communities that don’t have an explicitly religious focus. The short version is that they survive on average a little more than two years. Still, if that’s the lesson he needs to learn…

    Minervaphilos, you need to start by mastering ordinary astral projection; going outside the Earth’s etheric atmosphere is for advanced practitioners. W.E. Butler’s handbook Apprenticed to Magic gives a good set of instructions.

    Your Kittenship, we have indeed, and it will get some discussion in an upcoming post.

    User Name, we do indeed. That kind of vandalism is so common that I had a library science student in my novel The Shoggoth Concerto say, “I have a new theory about the burning of the Library of Alexandria. I think King Ptolemy just up and decided that nobody would actually need all those musty old scrolls.”

    Blue Sun, it’s a common suggestion — there were science fiction novels written about that in the 1950s. I don’t think it’s likely; what enabled the Christian church to become the new organizing center in medieval Europe was that it could call on non-economic loyalties at a time when the economic system was so riddled with corruption and fakery that it could no longer motivate people.

    Isaac, i have no idea. I have Aspergers syndrome, remember, so the inside of other people’s heads are unknown territory to me!

    J.L.Mc12, it’s empty rhetoric — especially so in the Middle East, where betrayal is politics as usual, and has been for five thousand years.

    Your Kittenship, (1) might be that, though I’ve had nightmares for years about the kind of asteroid impact in the Pacific that sends 200-foot-high tidal waves slamming into all the coastal zones. (2) Not exactly the same effect, but it can have powerful protective effects; I recommend that people who aren’t comfortable with ritual magic consider daily prayer instead. (3) No, as far as I know, they’re exactly as common as they’ve always been…

    I’m delighted to hear that I’ve been exalted to the status of an export! A tulpa is a deliberately created, enduring hallucination of an entity of some kind. The occult traditions I’ve studied don’t recommend making them, as you can lose your mental balance rather too easily and end up with hallucinations you no longer control. As for a tulku, that’s the Tibetan word for an advanced soul who chooses to reincarnate repeatedly to help others out; the Dalai Lama is the most widely known tulku.

    Doodily, my guess is that he’ll die in prison. He made the very big mistake of thinking that the most powerful government in the world couldn’t stop him from revealing its secrets; he’s frankly fortunate that he wasn’t simply poisoned or shot. Politics is a blood sport, and it’s played for keeps.

    Arkansas, I’ve only been to the South very briefly and in a couple of places, so don’t really have enough experience to judge.

    Anchyo123, brace yourself for an energy descent. I’ve seen no evidence that anything can replace fossil fuels at the same scale and convenience. We can still have energy, but it’ll be around 10-15% of the energy available to people in the industrial world today.

    Bogatyr, thank you. Unfortunately most of the really florid denunciations are no longer on the internet — I never heard what happened to Jason Godesky, who was responsible for some of the lengthiest, but all his sites have been down for a long time.

    Ganesh, the Ciceros’ edition includes the original and adds their own reflections and commentary, noted as such. I personally prefer the original but that’s for reasons of sentiment.

    Cliff, excellent. As for the racism, one of the things I hope people learn to deal with one of these days is that people in other times and places didn’t agree with us and didn’t see things the way we do; encountering that sort of thing is, or ought to be, an opportunity for learning, not an occasion to have a truly Victorian fit of the vapors…

    Onething, they had babies. Or abortions — herbal abortifacients go way back, and so does uterine irrigation — a lot of hot springs in Europe for centuries offered a “water cure” which was a code word for abortion via saline solution, which works fairly well in the first eight weeks or so. But there were a lot of “widows with children” who never actually got married…

  116. a) Magic theory question: let’s say someone curses someone else. Does that curse remain active for the victim as a “track in space”? I ask because a group of people cursed me and I still get flack from it, even though I do the daily banishing ritual, and take other, more etheric measures, as well. The people who did so have access to a lot of personal concerns — long story! — and I imagine this might make the difference. Interestingly, at this point the curse is entirely etheric, I no longer have nightmares as before, but certain coincidental, uncanny things happen with a certain sequence that seems unmistakably intelligent.

    b) I cast a geomantic chart to see if I the people part of my old communities still curse me and the chart I got is:

    1) Puer
    2) Rubeus
    3) Fortuna Major
    4) Albus
    5) Laetitia
    6) Fortuna Minor
    7) Fortuna Major
    8) Amissio
    9) Carcer
    10) Tristitia
    11) Rubeus
    12) Carcer

    A curse is a Twelfth House matter through and through and since Rubeus passes from the Second to the Eleventh House, it seems that the answer is yes, since the chart perfects by translation. This makes sense since Rubeus is in the Second indicates the personal concerns that are apparently an important part of the picture and the Eleventh is fitting as well, since there are so many unknowns and I believe the people doing it are former friends and associates. May I ask, is this a fair reading of the chart from your more experienced perspective?

  117. Gawain, it can be done, but I don’t know of any written source that gives the method. You may need to get to a level of skill sufficient to evoke an intelligence of Saturn and get the method that way.

    Cliff, (1) I have no idea why people are suppressing hurricane death tolls but there’s some evidence that it’s become standard practice. (2) More wishful thinking on the part of the Democrats. The Senate won’t vote to convict, so the House can get away with all the street theater it wants. (3) It’s not a mess at all. Trump’s goal is to get US troops out of there — it’s one of the promises he made to his voters; Turkey wants to secure its southwestern borders so Kurds in Syria can’t smuggle guns to Kurdish rebels in Turkey; the Syrian government wants to force the Syrian Kurds to accept Syrian rule; Russia wants its air and naval bases in Syria to be secure. Everyone but the Kurds gets what they want.

    Mike, elms are fine for everything other than the specific kind of energy work I describe.

    Violet, (a) yes, it basically functions as a track in space. (b) Yes, that’s the way I would read it.

  118. The city Chicago has what feels like a predatory, hungry spirit. I commuted there from the suburbs as a young woman during college. It’s dirty in a way that cannot be washed off. If you’ve ever read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, he nails it. Chicago is beguiling, of course, in an incubus-y sort of way, which is what gave me the bright idea to go to school there in the first place. I consider it to be like an ex-boyfriend now; off-limits and good riddance. The atmosphere is at once cheerful, blustery, refined, melancholic, elegiac, and viciously oppressive at once. Repeated exposure wore me down into a state from which it took years to recover, however, it also made me as tough as nails and no B.S. Chicago is also that: tough and it re-makes you in its image. I avoid going down there unless the tiny selection of what constitutes my favorite music just happens to be playing at the CSO; that’s one of the few offers I cannot refuse. Almost never happens. For whatever reason, I get invited to Chicago all the time — nope.

    If the middling affluent Chicago suburb where I grew up was a person, she would be the highly-educated, borderline-genius wife of a petroleum scientist who has given up her career for her children, who are spoiled little girls in a state of hellish, perpetual childhood. She is clueless and her life is a brightly-decorated padded cell like the Safety Town her girls ride their bikes through. Her temper is legendary — if you so much as look at her the wrong way, she’ll cut you out like a tumor. Hungry doesn’t begin to describe her. She’s ravenous. She’s had every appetite sated except for the ones that matter.

    The down-at-the-heels Illinois city where I live now is an eccentric grandmother. You can’t shock her: she’s seen it all and she sees you coming. She’s pragmatic and tolerant. She’s mostly no-nonsense but has a flair for the dramatic. She’s a bit scary. This has much to do with the river, which is of course the location of her soul. Like Chicago, she’s got a hefty touch of goth/Scorpio, but at least from what I can discern, it’s not anywhere near as malevolent.

  119. Guess my question wasn’t phrased well… I wanted to ask if I should meditate on the Ogham fews in a series of “every association of one few then the next few” (as I thought you’d written somewhere), or “the Art Ogham of every few”, like meditating on the Art Ogham in 25 or more sessions (which I was fancying).

    I did meditation and divination about that last night, with differing results. Meditation seemed to say that the first version was more reasonable. Ogham said Saille/Koad/Ioho reversed which I interpreted as “the first version is too complicated for you and you will get stuck”.

    I have a tendency to make things more complicated than necessary anyway (err, don’t say you just noticed that 😉 ), that’s why I’m asking again.

    My second question was about doing additional sessions of meditation (like a second daily session if necessary), if other urgent themes come up while I’m doing that Ogham series.

    Thanks again!

    Njura

  120. @Churrundo
    I have personally known people that were in concentration camps. Portuguese veterans that were imprisoned when the Republic of India invaded and annexed Goa, Goa was a Portuguese territory until then. They were always so hungry that they even searched for and ate roaches.
    Also a veteran that was imprisoned when the Indonesian forces invaded East Timor. To save time the indonesians made the concentration camp on the premises of a graveyard. Those men lived, died and starved,among the dead. That veteran told me that once a dog had the misfortune of entering the graveyard… They ate it, and felt grateful, because if the Indonesian had seen it they would kill the dog before entering, to prevent them from eating it.

    When you speak of children in concentration camps you have to ask yourself the following questions .
    Are those children going to be subject to slave labour? Are their organs being harvested and sold to millionaires?(like the chinese do to Tibetans and to Uyghurs.
    Are they going to be gased and them cremated?
    Are they being beaten up and starved every day?
    If not, you have no idea what a concentration camp is. Also please explain what would be the alternative? Sending them to jail with their parents? Imagine what would happen to those children in prison.

  121. “…month ago in a fine autumn dusk, my wife and I got to watch a fine specimen of skunkhood go ambling across the back yard of our apartment building.”

    I live in a semi-rural area of the SF Bay Area coastside. Some years back we had a plague of skunks. One managed to set up housekeeping beneath my dwelling and soon invited in a hookup. I learned that skunk congress culminates with an expression of skunk essence. The house stank for days, with a residual that was detectable in drafts for years.

    Fortunately, great horned owls moved into the neighborhood. Aside automobiles, these birds are the only predators skunks have to fear, and the Mephitidae population has been significantly reduced. Great horned owls have lack a sense of smell, and I’m informed that one can often identify a found feather by the lingering odor. Sometimes at night the air fills with that familiar miasma, seemingly from no particular direction, and I wonder if it’s the swan song of a hapless skunk being whisked to Valhalla.

  122. @onething
    Regarding your question about prostitution and pregancy.
    At least since the Roman Empire, sponges have been used as a contraception device. That method is mentioned even on the book of Saint Cyprian the sorcerer. On the late 18th Century it started to be used with a spermicide solution (usually a vinegary solution). Also, the Romans used a herb (Silphium) that prevented pregancy, and the search for it was so great that the plant has gone extinct.

  123. Any Kurd that was surprised by being “abandoned” by the US government had no knowledge of US history in the region. We abandoned the Iraqi marsh Arabs, and Iraqi Kurds, between the two Gulf Wars, after all. We impose no-fly zones, and the fact that we remained actively at war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq (though without boots on the ground) is a fact rarely considered in the analysis of the 9/11 attacks.

  124. I may have let slip a mild profanity in my first post on this thread (‘h – e – dobule hockey sticks’ as we said when I was a lad.) Or maybe the interweb ate it. Either way, may I repeat the question?

    I am looking for advice specifically for childless couples going forward into the long descent. With the population shrinking, it stands to reason a great many of us aren’t going to reproduce, will we or nil we. Given how important extended families and the support thereof has always been in traditional societies, and we can’t expect government pension funds to be around in a couple decades, what’s your advice, JMG?

    It occurs to me that this could turn into a post– or even a small book. I’d be happy to buy such a book, but any pearls of wisdom you want to toss off in the comments this week would be very welcome.

  125. Had to share this “denial of reality” conversation recently with an acquaintance. It’s just so extreme that it surprised even me.

    He’s a classic upper middle class “Berkeley liberal” – he even actually went to Berkeley, and pretty much every cliche you can imagine about that set applies to him (although a bit odd because in his twenties he spent quite a few years as a waiter, chef, and ski bum – not just a summer job kind of thing – before becoming a salary class professional – but that doesn’t seem to have affected him).

    Anyway, talking about XR and climate change protests etc and the topic of Harrison Ford came up (who famously has a couple of dozen cars and owns something like 7 personal planes because he’s a hobby pilot etc) and how he’s been tweeting in support of radical action to fight climate change.

    I pointed out the (obvious) hypocrisy of Ford literally flying his own private plane to conferences to talk about the need for climate change action, and this guy made me stare by arguing with a straight face that Ford actually probably had a lower climate change footprint than your average California commuter because he didn’t fly that often and his cars were mostly vintage cars and not driven very often and the average LA commuter driving to work every probably generated more climate change, plus Ford probably purchased a lot of carbon offsets.

    I was in awe of that level of denial and ability to maintain such nonsense as a coherent mental model. Quite HAL-9000ish..

  126. @JMG, apologies for the double post!
    I see I just missed you putting the first one through as the page had not re-loaded on my end. Oops.

    Also, thank you for answering my question. That makes a great deal of sense — ‘work ’til you die’ is something you’ve mentioned before. Perhaps I was catastrophising because I still haven’t fully internalized the situation that, no, reproduction won’t be happening in this household.

  127. @Red October and JMG, Unlike the rest of the US, California gets its petroleum from the Middle East, due to their stubborn refusal to connect to the pipelines that service the rest of the country, or to produce their own from their abundant but untapped sources. This means that in addition to stratospheric taxes, they also have to compete with China and Japan at the end of a long, disintegrating supply chain. California’s prices will likely remain high over the next decade. They’ll get really painful when the supply chain effectively collapses ~2023. Since the buildout time to resolve those issues is generally measured in decades, California is not going to be a pretty place to be over the next decade, energy-price wise.

  128. @JMG, thank you for clearing that up. For better or for ill, the civilian leadership is definitely the weak point in the American Armed Forces, always has been. Fortunately the current administration appears bent on ending the post WWII Bretton Woods strategic vision that is now 30 years outdated, as opposed to their predecessors who tended to use the military as a sledgehammer of first resort. And I would agree that we are victims of our own success, since we have never lost a major war.

    @Bogatyr I realize they are changing (and good luck to them), however I have serious doubts about their ability to effectively create a command climate that rewards initiative and risk taking. The US won the Gulf War when then-CPT McMaster disobeyed direct orders in order to retain the initiative. He could do so because he knew his superiors would back him up. This kind of initiative is not easy to begin with, but moreover it goes against Russian culture to consistently reward risk-taking individualism (though I am no expert on Russian culture). The soldiers might be better trained and more competent, but they’ll still hesitate for orders from higher.

  129. Hello JMG, I’m interested in how you chose a house system in astrology. When I was first learning, Jeff Mayo was recommending the Equal House System because for those born in the upper latitudes, the houses became too squeezed under the Placidean and other systems.

  130. Stefania,

    Hello fellow Ontarion!

    How far are you from the nearest town? That makes a big difference to your calculus of eventual car-freedom. Look at southern Ontario (where I suspect you aren’t, from the -40 quip). You get a small town every 15, 20 minutes by car. Why? Well, that’s a couple hours ride in a horse drawn wagon. Far enough to go there and back in a day with a good useful load to sell at market. If geography allows, it sounds like you’ve got enough land to ditch the car for animal transit. Not sure what the practical limit on distance is that way. (Any Mennonites in your area using horse transport?)

    As for cycling, yeah– a good cargo cycle can carry half the trunkload of a small car. Two humans gives you that full trunkload. I’d put 30km or so the limit there, because that’s at least a couple hours of solid, sustained effort. (But a horse will go as far and for most of the year. Fatbikes can work on snow, but not carrying a load unless the path has been tamped down by something heavier first.)

    For that matter, how productive is your woodlot? Heating my grandfather’s uninsulated house in Kapuskasing never did more than slow down the slow crawl of forest into the north field, though he heated with wood and kept it uncomfortably warm. The invasion was mostly Tamarac, and it grew scary fast. If you’ve got that sort of situation, you might consider running the car/truck on woodgas. It sounds like your husband might be up to the challenge. (If your tree mix doesn’t grow that fast, you can gassify hemp; anything celulostic). This would obviously have the least disruption in your current way of life. I’d start here.

    Long-term, a lot of the farms along Georgian Bay were apparently settled by boat, not rail. (Ditto for Nippising and Temiskaming, at least at first). If you’re lucky enough to be on one of those first farmsteads, with water access– well. Perhaps think of how you could use it. It worked for the settlers and it worked for the first nations, so there must be something to it!

    OTH, you have to ask yourself: what matters most? Is the rural lifestyle key to your family’s thriving, or do you really miss the city life?

  131. @ Temporaryreality

    Re the vaping ordinance

    I think it was primarily that Something Must Be Done to save the children and this counted as Something.

    @ Phutatorius

    Re grid losses

    The EIA produces some nicely-illustrative annual charts on energy flows. Here’s the 2018 for the electrical sector:

    https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/flow/electricity.pdf

    Conversion losses are, not surprisingly, the largest component. (Darn laws of thermodynamics!) But in terms of gross electrical generation (~15 quadrillion BTU), T&D (transmission and distribution) losses accounted for ~0.94 quads, or about 6.2%, per the chart.

  132. Has anyone here read the book “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays or any of his other books such as “Engineering Consent”? It seems like these titles from the godfather of Public Relations might be good to read as a kind of immunization against such.

    Also at my desk at work right now is the tile “This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality” by Peter Pomerantsev. It looks like it might be interesting. His other book “Nothing is true and everything is possible” takes a turn of phrase made popular by the industrial music/occult/chaos magic scene and changes the last word from “permitted” to “possible” has me thinking the author is familiar with this stuff and the concept of “cultural engineering” -an endeavor some chaos magicians/industrial musicians were heavily into -with some (limited) success it seems.

    Thinking of propaganda and chaos magic and art in general. The new Negativland album has come out. They are one of my favorite groups and have had an entirely Positive effect on my life. They have been a group for 40 years years (even with three now gone into the radio ether -late member Don Joyce had a great program on KPFA called Over the Edge -a real favorite & influence) . The name of their new one is TrueFalse and gets into the themes they’ve been exploring in all those years of “culture jamming” (a term they coined). The TrueFalse Either/Or nature of popular narratives (and who controls them). Of course it is stuck in a binary, but one of the fun things they look at in this one is how the political voices have shifted with the Left sounding like the Right and the Right sounding like the Left, all distinctions blurred. Their criticism of car culture remains as poignant as ever with the song “Cadillac”. Their song “More Data” is an excellent critique of Silicon Valley ideologies: https://youtu.be/sTWD0j4tec4 It’s not from the album but is a new song out this year. The song Destroy Anything shows that “Everything seems to be possible”
    https://youtu.be/ObUIDD_ALo0 As the voice in the song says “It is Californian’s god-given right to water their lawns” 😉

    The noosphere is just as subject to pollution as the atmosphere. Groups like Negativland take that pollution and recycle it into something else -revealing other messages that lurk there.

    Today I’m ready to engage in some cultural dumpster and see what can be salvaged. After all, the rest is propaganda.

  133. @JMG

    Hermes, of course is a multifaceted god as are his followers, I mean, magic is called the Hermetic art after him. But of course most people go for the basest interpretation of him.

  134. In Magic Mondays, you often mentioned the results of karma for future lives. Am I right in my assumption, that karma can, depending on circumstances, already manifest in the same life in which the deed was done? Maybe that is even the ordinary way karma plays itself out, with spillover effects into the next life or lifes. And do you have any idea what the karma for the increasingly apocalyptic-minded protesters against climate change and some of the more important peak-oil and climate activists, who went off the rail, will be? I’m thinking of people like Michael Mobbs, Greta Thunberg, and associated movements.

  135. I’m contemplating ideas of home decoration in a down home kind of way. Very different than what you would see in the soi distant pages of Elle Decor magazine. In my research, and in my role as a Negafan, I remembered this radio piece from the late Don Joyce in his role as Crosley Bendix, cultural critic. It’s on the subject of domestic art, and given the discussion of art that took place here in 2018 I believe, regular readers and commenters might enjoy this humorous take on the subject.

  136. For “Lacking Clever User Name”: Your library “director” reminds me of the public school administrators in William Gaddis’ novel “JR.” You probably won’t find “JR” at your library, however; some people consider it a difficult novel. My sister-in-law is/was a librarian: MS in Library Science. Her reading tastes tend to the mass market. She doesn’t know where I get wind of all the obscure stuff I read. I tell her it’s often from the bibliographies and footnotes in other books. Our local branch library is in a nice old historic brick building a block from our town square. Fewer books and more computers seems to be the trend. A few years ago mold was discovered in the building. There were suggestions about razing the structure and putting up a new library somewhere out on the edge of town. My sister-in-law thought it a good idea, citing particularly the need for more parking. Fortunately, the city managed to take care of the mold without razing the building so we still have an attractive library building near the town center, but with a sadly limited selection of books.

  137. By the way, here is something for the entertainment of the commentariat: I have read in an article, which was shared here about social progress activists, who hexed a headmaster with a spider plague, because he didn’t do anything against the bullying of a non-binary friend. Things are really getting quite weird. I wonder, what the raspberry jam principle has to say about hexing spider plagues?

  138. @Doodlie-Doo – In the Nixon years, Assange would have been a hero on the order of Woodward & Bernstein. I spotted that the minute the cries of “Traitor!” went screaming up to the skies, having been around and adult in the Nixon years. And future generations will so judge him.

    Another thing – our current mass deportations of Mexicans, Central Americans, etc, and refusal to admit asylum-seekers is a total repeat of what was being done during the Great Depression and World War II. Fairly promptly deplored by all and sundry as soon as people got their heads out of the post-war mindset. I expect the same outcry sometime around 2040, not that I’ll be here to see it.

    “I came and I saw ..that there is nothing new under the sun.”

  139. JMG – perhaps the sickly feeling in the Willamette Valley is due to the land being heavily infested by a bipedal parasite with a massive growth drive. The “Sudden cut-off” feeling on the coast sounds like something geological to me.

  140. “Everyone but the Kurds gets what they want. ”

    Arguably even the Kurds get… well, not what they want, but the best they could expect. They couldn’t hide behind American troops forever, even if the Americans had decided to invade Syria after all. Sooner or later, the Americans would leave and reaching an accommodation with the national government would be necessary. It seems they will be able to do so without too many losses, which is the best that one can hope for in this situation.

  141. Hi JMG,

    I was wondering your thoughts on a different topic. I was listening to a Tim Ferris podcast where he was interviewing Seth Godin. Seth and Tim are something like self-help people but I think they would cringe at being described that way.

    So Seth made the claim that they (and Tony Robbins) would not be doing what they are able to do if not for Zig Ziglar. Seth claimed Zig as the grandfather of that whole genre.

    So the thought came to mind that they can’t see beyond a generation or two back in time. What do you think could be going on there?

    Thank you!

  142. J.L.Mc12: the betrayal of the Kurds is, again, an old, old story to me. Back in the Eisenhower days, during the Cold War, there was a rebellion in Hungary against the Communist regime – and Eisenhower (nobody’s fool and a superb strategist, but don’t tell that to a disillusioned adolescent) refused to intervene for all his Cold War – I can’t say rhetoric, that wasn’t his style, but at least, the things he said or implied.

    Of course it became obvious later that intervention would have dragged us into a massive land war in Europe, which we were in no position to pursue. But as one of the songs of the day said, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”

  143. @Cliff

    Re: Hurricane body counts: 61 for Dorian?? That is insane. The official count for Michael in mainland US is 59, where winds at landfall were 160ish evacuations were good, and the storm surge was a lot smaller than it could have been @ 15-16 feet in Mexico Beach. There is NO WAY that count could be accurate for low-lying islands that got sat on by a 185mph storm for days. Not possible.

    I can think of a reason to suppress totals: tourist economy. Whatever you do, don’t scare off the tourists. x10 if a significant number of deaths were poor people and migrants, who can be left off the tally without anyone making a fuss. That’s pure speculation on my part.

  144. @here

    As a thought exercise, I made this resilience threat assessment of various regions of the U.S.:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XX4pEHGKK70F0rfHWMuCIXv4AIKYruPms8LNO5MhK98/edit?usp=sharing

    As you can see it’s very scientific 🙂 No, obviously, it’s just based on casual research and my own (West Coast centric) experiences and biases.

    That being said, my key takeaway is to look at resilience from a holistic perspective. When it comes down to it, every region is a mixed bag of strengths and weaknesses; It’s a matter of picking your poison (in the present) and trying to predict the future trajectory, which is always difficult.

    Beyond that, one man’s poison is another man’s pleasure. For example, a traditional port city like Boston seems to me a good place to settle down. It’s walkable, has access to the ocean for trade (and food) and seems reasonably well run. But somebody camped out on his Idaho homestead might look at Boston and see nothing but hordes of immigrants competing for scarce resources. And so on…

    Thoughts?

  145. One comment on the Weird of Hali series: the Great Old Ones are not, with a few exceptions, the civilized gods of Greece and Rome, or the semi-civilized ones of the Eddas; they are the Gods Before the Gods. The Titans, or in the north, the Giants.

    That came to me in meditation when I realized the Charge of the Goddess never mentioned Juno or Hera or Frigga, but included two decidedly maiden goddesses – with ties to an older world. Artemis and Apollo were said to originally be Hyperborean. Geoffrey Ashe traced them to the Altai in his quirky but fascinating book The Dawn Behind the Dawn. It’s certain that the root of Artemis is a term for Bear, and classical Greek practice included that. Including what amounts to a Girl Scout Camp for certain Greek girls (No, no cookie sales nor badges in Marketing, thank She Who Is A Bear!) They were called the Little Bears of Artemis. Athena herself is said to have older roots on the other side of the Mediterranean. AND … while I have been a devotee of the Great Mother for many years, my mind ran over the classical (and one Norse) matron goddess and I felt only an uninvolved respect.

    The exceptions, BTW, are those gods of either of those pantheons with ties to an older order. Odin’s genealogy shows him to be at least 5/8th Giant. Thor’s mother was the Earth Giantess Jord, Erda, Erce…(pick your language) who decidedly IS the Great Mother. The Irish gods were still wild for the most part, and the Greek pantheon did include some obvious Titans. Kronos, who eats his children (as well all know Time does, though it’s way out of character for Saturn). Rhea. And yes, Hekate, who goes, way, way back.

    Odin dealt with Giants regularly, including getting into a contest of wisdom with one, which included what sounded a lot like a shamanic ordeal. Frey and his father Njord both married giantesses, who were said to be beautiful. [I note: sometimes the Giants were portrayed as tall, blonde, and beautiful – in short, classic Scandinavians; sometimes as rough and ready country bumpkins of crude appearance and manners, and of course, sometimes as monsters. Sounds like sterotypes of any conquered people to me, mixed in with their gods and a lot of projection. But then, I’m no loremistress, though I’d like to be.]

  146. I have read the article to which Cutekitten of Lolcat linked, and I have come to the conclusion that, although it talks about real events and circumstances in past cultures, it seems to insinuate a rather black-and-white picture of evil paleo-paganism against good Christianity, and it seems to me that the author has a need to paint nature in an one-sided way as cruel (it recalled Hobbes’s mention of nature as “red in tooth and claw”). A further flaw seems to me to be that the author doesn’t judge magical workings according to if the work or not, but according to the question if they are historically authentic. Still, it was an interesting read, and some of the remarks about the privilegedness and wokeness of the neopagan scene are spot-on.

  147. Onething:
    Don’t know how deeply you’re interested in delving into the subject, but I can highly recommend, “Contraception and Abortion in Nineteenth-Century America” by Janet Farrell Brodie. Well written, well researched. It’s likely that at least some of the methods widely used during the 1800’s were also in use much earlier.

  148. I’ve been waiting for an Open Post to share this with you and your readership (some I’m sure will already be aware).

    On August 30th of this year a band named tool released an album named Fear Inoculum. The album is occult philosophy, prophecy and programming all at the same time. The band doesn’t warn you but I will… Their music will change you.

    We are spirit abound to this flesh
    We go round one foot nailed down
    But bound to reach out and beyond this flesh

    Become Pneuma

    We are will and wonder
    Abound to recall, remember
    We are born of one breath, one word
    We are all one spark, sun becoming

    Between this album and their album called Lateralus (which is a portmanteau of the words Lateral and Us) one can quickly discern that they’ve read their Dion Fortune.

    Another group I must mention is Vampire Weekend as they too have released an album this year that goes above and beyond just being music. The name of the album is Father of the Bride. That alone should tell anybody who’s familiar with the kabbalistic tree of life what this album is really about.

    Anger wants a voice, voices wanna sing
    Singers harmonize ’til they can’t hear anything
    I thought that I was free from all that questionin’
    But every time a problem ends, another one begins

    And the stone walls of Harmony Hall bear witness
    Anybody with a worried mind could never forgive the sight
    Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified
    I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die

    Thanks JMG!

    Versling, out.

  149. “Research team advocates annual fuel quotas”
    This Green Austerity, because economic austerity for the elites, is what caused the 50-week riots in France. Also clearly raising prices doesn’t work: Both CA and CA have sky-high gas prices and they drive more than anyone.

    …And yes, it is the ultimate in regressive taxes, falling exclusively on the poor, and the rural poor especially.

    Samurai, sadly hoax crimes such as yours and Smallett’s are way up. There are sites that keep lists and they’re from superstars like Smallett and Lena Dunham, and they’re chilling, because whatever the original intent, the consequence is an attempt to cause a racial divide and tension that has been dropping for decades. At the same time, White Supremacism drops every year and presently you’d probably find more people who believe in Flat Earth or lizard-people-from Mars. Skinheads are about as popular as cancer even on the Right – and this is a “Right” who has multiple black Presidential candidates and constant Congressmen, Judges, and Cabinet members including now. The organizations like the SPLC who have promoted such numbers and lists count anyone to the right of Bill Clinton as supremacists, count nearly all Christians (but not Muslims who have a similar Conservatism) as same, count each local chapter of say a veteran’s group like the Oathkeepers as a different “group”, and other such tricks to gin up urgency and thus donation$. The SPLC heads were recently been disgraced as cash-seeking grifters themselves, which no one cared about, but were also outed as racist misogynists, which people did. Other tracking groups are similarly disingenuous, no doubt on both sides. So as usual, unbiased reporting is thin indeed.

    So to phrase many black voices like Jericho Green, they’d have you think there’s segregated bathrooms and weekly lynchings condoned by all America, when in fact things have been steadily improving since 1968 and continue improving every day today so that every year it’s so much, much smaller and better than ever. No one has a fraction of the trouble their fathers had. But that doesn’t make headlines and get votes. So: lies.

    OhioCat, doesn’t the ‘shift’ of the seasons imply that it’s not “warming” exactly, but the hotter sun as indicated by all planets in our system warming? Otherwise it would be warmer at both ends. I can tell you I can burn in 20min not 4 hours when I was young.

    Oil use is all-in systems analysis, so just rejecting the car is a red herring. From your description, you are saving leaps more energy in the country, with safety and resilience added. For “driving”: pish-posh. Rural people used to make it to town once a week or once a month and never bothered them. They will revert to the same if needs be, esp with a rural Internet. It’s the CITY that uses real power. Not only more cars, but that aside, pumping heat, pumping water, keeping roads, and all of it petro-exclusive. The future looks like PG&E with week-long outages increasing. Hospitals running on generators, no traffic lights, resulting increase in crime, death, and accidents. Cities cannot tolerate that, country won’t notice.

    “Burly men require bulky space suits or thick furs”; ell that’s because SF women are so much tougher than men! Or as Xena would say: “the better you are, the less armor you need!”

    Are there any good ways to do a “Chosen One” story? Sure, have 33 years of build-up, then at the last minute, after marching into town and calling for assault swords to be bought, flip the script and win by dying instead. That one’s held up quite a while, though I hear Dune did something similar.

    Whatever the state of the U.S., and the pretty savage native history here, there are prayer walkers who magic this, and priests who once sanctified the ground on behalf of peace, and governments who initiated as well, but since all that stuff is no longer believed by the religions themselves, the blood has been loosed again. You can pick which religion you’d like to bind it, but it cause itself could use some help.

  150. Dear Lacking Clever User Name, the sacking of libraries from within has been going on longer than 5 years. Much of my personal library comes from discarded “outdated” library books, either free or sold for nominal prices. I found complete and unabridged sets of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Decline of the West on a public library free pile. Is there a we don’t need those deplorables reading books and getting ideas agenda here? I wonder. Working class intellectuals have for generations educated themselves from public libraries.

    Dear Blue Sun, about China, I think it is pretty clear that the Chinese do want a foothold on North America. I think maybe Canadians might want to look very closely into who is promoting and funding the Wexit agitation in British Columbia

  151. JMG, I’ve got a writing question for you.

    I set out to write a certain number of short stories this year, and I’ve almost achieved that goal (and still have two months to do so). Only one of those stories seems to be blossoming into something longer. I’ve got 11,000 words of a draft and so I’m leaving short story territory. I know it could go either into a novellette, or novella, but at that point I figure it could also become a short novel between aiming for 50,000 words or thereabouts.

    To tell this tale the way it seems to be emerging would mean switching from 1st person to 3rd and adding multiple viewpoints. There are some other options, and I don’t need to detail them really. From what I gather from your Writing Plein Air, or Out in the Open posts on your other blog, you’ve advised not to revise until the 2nd draft. I heartily agree. So if you found yourself in a similar writing situation would you keep going and switch the viewpoint until the next draft when it can all be fixed up (and further fixed in further drafts?)

    This has been what has enabled me to finish the other stories this year. Writing them, as bad as I need to at first, all the way through. Then I’ve been able to rewrite, write & rewrite.

    In any case, I was curious what the average length of your Weird of Hali novels are? They are a nice length, just the right amount of story in each it seems. (I just finished reading Kingsport… though a part of me wants to read them quickly now that they are all out, another part wants to read them between other novels so I can savor each one! I loved the Underworld sequence that was part of the passage to Carcosa btw! It really felt like a pathworking or visionary journey).

    Well, I guess that’s it for now & thanks for all.

  152. Violet –

    Sorry that’s happening to you. You know how the tracks carved into the bottom of an etch-a-sketch screen can be nullified by shaking the device?

    The banishing is the shaking. And from now until an unspecified time in the future, I’ll be pushing some of my energy towards your protection as well.

    Will the erosion of those tracks. May we accelerate their smoothing.

  153. JMG –

    When you speak of large portions of North American land having a “blood hunger”, would you suppose this pre-dates the European North Atlantic immigration? Certainly North American tribes knew of and avoided land tracts that they perceived as being etherically/astrally negative, but I’m doubting this negativity would be to the extent that you and others are currently perceiving. A little research might reveal just how far Native American perception of land-negativity did extend – if the answer is something like “places far and few between” or “not a whole lot”, then it would seem to me that the origin of the land’s widespread blood-hunger is pretty obvious: given the intimate spiritual relationship between Native Americans and the land they lived on and honored, the violation of that relationship via European immigration would have greatly wounded the land itself, and now it just might want nothing less than its full due.

    That said, perhaps what we perceive as a blood-hungry land was simply a fact of nature to Native Americans and they simply went with the flow. By and large, those guys knew how to *fight*; they weren’t the pot-smoking, peace-lovin’ hippies so many people imagine them to have been. Talk about Afghanistan being our longest war – no way, the settlers fought the Indian Wars for nearly 400 years before the last tribe to be truly pacified, the Comanches, gave up in the 1890’s.

    Here in upstate NY where the land still retains its psychic perkiness, it seems, when I meditate on it, to be rather hopeful, and maybe even cheerful at times.

  154. @Violet – That is really funny you should say that. I live very near Hadley and if I had to describe where that blood lust feeling is in this area, Amherst, Hadley, South Hadley, Granby, and Northampton do not have that sense about them. The only bad vibes I get in those towns come from their far left socialist political leanings.

    However that said, there are parts of Western Massachusetts that do not feel right at all. Like the land where I built my cabin feels fine. However if you move a modest three miles up the street the vibes become horrible. I don’t think it’s so much a function of the American continent but something that is universally true about the world as a whole.

    I’d be interested to know what Beekeeper in Vermont has to say about the vibes, yes I know I poke fun at Vermont frequently on here, but where Vermont and New Hampshire seem to differ in from Western Massachusetts is their mountain ranges run north to south. The Holyoke Range here runs east to west. JMG could that have anything to do with it? Like what does the way a mountain range runs have to do with the astrology of the mountain?

    A piece of me says part of what it is, is that New England has a lot of old mountains so their spiritual life has had a long time to evolve, millions of years longer than say the Rocky mountains. I’ve never been further west than Toronto and have to say the Hudson River Valley doesn’t feel right to me at all. Watch missing hunters 411 there are a few places near the MA, VT, NY intersection where people just disappear. There is also one above Amherst…. I feel like these little Bermuda triangles are a legit thing.

  155. For anyone interested in watching congressional hearings:

    Hearing Announcement

    Energy Subcommittee Announces Hearing on Decarbonizing
    the U.S. Power Sector

    Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) announced today that the Energy Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, October 30, at 10:30 am in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building on how to achieve net zero greenhouse gas pollution within the power sector. The hearing is entitled, “Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Solutions for the U.S. Power Sector.”

    “While the U.S. power sector has made great strides in reducing its carbon pollution, it remains the source of one-third of all energy-related greenhouse gas produced across the entire economy. This presents a real, urgent challenge we simply cannot afford to ignore any longer,” said Pallone and Rush. “With that in mind, we look forward to facilitating a robust conversation on how we can generate cleaner power, and how Congress can support the power sector’s transition to net zero carbon pollution.”

    The hearing is the fifth hearing in the Committee’s climate change series aimed at developing comprehensive legislation to achieve a 100 percent clean economy by 2050. Information for this hearing, including the Committee Memorandum, witness list, testimony and a live webcast will be posted HERE as they become available.

    The link given at HERE:
    https://energycommerce.house.gov/committee-activity/hearings/hearing-on-building-a-100-percent-clean-economy-solutions-for-the-us-0

  156. Yeah, fine art paintings over the centuries have always had an affinity for scandalously-clad nubile females. Almost none, however, show them wielding weapons in combat!
    There are a few hysterical rants out there, on channels which talk primarily about medieval armour &c., on the subject of ridiculously under-armoured babes, ridiculous armour for women, and the equally naked bare-chested barbarian-in-the-snow as shown in so many fantasy images.

    On another topic, I think I’ve got a handle on why Thunberg has become the darling of what Cliff Mass calls the ASP movement. It’s exactly because she has Aspergers Syndrome. I’ve observed that, back in the 1970s, the important thing for the Social Justice Activist movement was to promote more women and “women’s issues” in all discussions. So that got bundled together with environmentalism, along with anti-nuclear, and anti-war issues. Then it was racial issues had to be included and promoted as well. (It was, of course, at that point that the environmental movement became an all-inclusive bandwagon that drove away anyone who didn’t subscribe the entire package and began to become irrelevant and powerless.) Hence Severn Suzuki (young, female, and non-white) as the then-darling of the eco-movement chiding the wealthy and powerful at Rio in 1992. I note that her rant achieved exactly nothing noteworthy in terms of changes in behaviour by the military-industrial complex since then. Whereas, the Montreal Protocol on Aerosols, agreed to on 26 August 1987, was achieved precisely because it didn’t burden itself with any other considerations.
    So, fast-forward 30 years and a host of further mandatory additions to the bandwagon and you get the current fashionable addition to the assortment of mandatory issues, i.e. Invisible Learning Disabilities. (Big political issue in Ontario these days.) Enter one telegenic (check), blonde (check), earnest (check), young girl (check) with a learning disability (check!) who was willing to sit out in all weathers on the steps of the legislature (Bonus!) and wholehearted belief in the Gospel of the (Enviro) Apocalypse. If she didn’t exist, I suspect she’d have to be invented to fit the current ASP agenda. Meanwhile, I understand that there are people camped out across the street from the White House, holding up their protest signs, who have been there for decades, generally ignored. Grizzled old white guys, just as earnest, just as committed, but who don’t tick off anywhere near enough boxes on the list to be considered for ASP global stardom.

  157. Kimberly Steele

    I admire your, “understanding of place”. I’ve been trying to obtain understanding of my own places recently. Your post is an inspiration.

    Do you have a blog of your own? You write very well.

    Thanks!

  158. @The Red October:

    California recently commissioned a report to figure out if there was an intrinsic reason that CA gas prices were higher than the rest of the nation. Apparently the report is done, I can’t find the actual report anywhere, but I have been able to read has claimed pretty much it was a big nothingburger as far industry shenanigans go. Apparently left unsaid and by way of implication, yep, its taxes and regulations. In response, Gov. Newsom has sicced his Atty General on 76, Shell, and Chevron for charging higher prices than the no-name stations. That does nothing to address the fact that CA gas is higher than other states. Crappy “budget” Arco/USA gas is still almost $2 higher than other states. The reason for it is squarely at the feet of government and the investigation into brand name gas is theater to cover for that. Brand name is more expensive EVERYWHERE.
    CA residents pay a premium for cleaner gas and a more renewable grid and this premium is becoming politically challenging. A progressive like Newsom can only do one thing, blame “greedy” corporations.

    @Ryan S

    Southern CA remains pretty conservative compared to the rest of the state and school districts often mandate the pledge of allegiance. It is a compliance thing often, and many of the students really don’t give a flack. As one student I know put it, “why should I pledge allegiance? What has America done for me?” (We all know America is a country by, for, and of the rich and powerful.)

  159. Wise and learned export, what do you make of this?

    https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2019/10/women-under-the-spell/

    I’m skeptical. Here you are trying to introduce a big change, at least half the population already thinks you’re crazy, and… “Hey! I know! Let’s worship Satan! That’ll make our cause popular!” However, there’s nowt so queer as folk, so…

    Sorry I exported you. I turned Spellcheck back on because it comes up with such funny stuff, and every now and then I miss one. Consider yourself re-imported.

  160. Kimberly, fascinating. I’ve visited Chicago and find it pleasantly gritty, but I don’t think I would want to live there.

    Admin, okay, got it. There’s no fixed rule; as with most things Druidical, do some experimentation and see what works best for you.

    BXN, funny. You might be interested to know that a recent study from Lund University that focused on exactly this issue showed that jet-setting celebrities have a carbon footprint that’s literally ten thousand times that of the average person. I don’t recommend showing this to your friend, though, unless you want an epic meltdown!

    Dusk Shine, no prob. I’ve occasionally put the same question through twice and then answered it twice without noticing. The thing is, “work ’til you die” is normal for human beings; the notion of retirement is an oddity practiced only, on occasion, by the overprivileged. The problem many people face these days is that our society offers very few of the traditional roles for elders to do constructive work; I consider myself very lucky that my chosen profession of writer is one of the exceptions.

    John B, California’s going to be a pretty awful place to be in general over the next few decades. The US has begun to transition away from what I’ve called an imperial tribue economy — that is, an economy in which most real wealth is imported from outside in exchange for such intangibles as unpayable IOUs — to a resource and manufacturing economy where most real wealth is produced domestically. California’s outsized economy has been largely propped up by its status as a major transshipment point for goods from Asia headed for the American market; as that goes away, I expect it to be the Rust Belt of the mid-21st century, with its big cities reminiscent of today’s Detroit and Gary, Indiana. The collision between that reality and the wildly inflated sense of entitlement that’s made Californians less than endearing to the rest of the country will not be pretty.

    As for our military situation, one of things I appreciate about the Trump administration is precisely its hard turn away from the chickenhawk militarism displayed by Hillary Clinton among so many others. At this point, for the sake of national survival, we need to reorient our defense posture to the defense of the US and its near abroad, ditch the “global policeman” fantasy, and turn our nation’s considerable resources and potentials toward solving the galaxy of problems we’ve got here at home.

  161. At various moments you have suggested that you at some point would write more about Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung and Aleister Crowley. I don’t particularly like grouping the three men like that, but they’re just names you mentioned and that I would interested in hearing more about. Do you have any plans in that direction?

  162. WRT the land in North America being “hungry for blood”: I have long had the sense that Wisconsin, while perhaps having a bit of said hunger, constitutes something of an island of sanity in this sea of hunger. Minnesota, on the other hand, where I spent two misguided years in my youth attending the University of Minnesota….I’m sorry, but there is just something very, very wrong with that place, or at the very least with the Twin Cities Metro Area. I have never encountered an energy like that before, and I hope to never encounter such energy ever again.

  163. @ violet

    I don’t have the spiritual talent or training to feel if the land wants blood or not but I have some experience with Mexico. I am a farm boy from central Minnesota and my wife is from central Mexico. When I first started going down there I was shocked at the amount of violence there. There is serious violence, there is casual violence, there is violent accidents. Mexicans are great people but they just shrug about all this. That’s just life

  164. Re: vibes of places

    I can’t say I’ve ever experienced a sense of blood-hunger from a whole region. Sadness, yes. Nurturing, indifference, as well as a unique “flavor” of each region that cannot truly be put into words without circularly referencing the place and the experience itself. I have felt unwelcomeness and hostility in smaller places held sacred by Native Americans that are now unceremoniously overrun by cars and day-trippers.

    The coastal Pacific Northwest where I live is interesting. To me, it has an overall nurturing and welcoming feel. It has been rated as one of the “safest” places in the country from natural disasters. Yet, that perspective changes dramatically as time scale increases. The lack of natural diversity in our forests (~10 species of trees, vs. 50+ in the east) is a sign of occasional catastrophic loss and ensuing rebirth – as well as relative youth on geologic scales. Within a human lifespan of 80 years, this region is likely to be stable, with no hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, etc. Expand that to 800 years and the chance of a major earthquake, tsunami, and significant volcanic eruption approaches 100%. Move out to 8000 years and we have the complete volcanic obliteration of Mount Mazama to form Crater Lake – which blanketed the entire region in ash. Farther back we have the Missoula floods that completely inundated the lowlands in a Noah’s Ark-like fashion, and then ultimately the Columbia River Flood Basalts that covered much of the region in lava that flowed freely for hundreds of miles to the ocean. Aside from glaciation of the upper Midwest in the ice ages, the rest of the country has seen much less in the way of geologic cataclysm. What that means for the spirits of the land here, I can’t say…

    @Brian

    I like your assessment. A few quibbles:

    I would place California clearly in the “poor” category for water supply. They are pumping down groundwater unsustainably to provide for their agricultural production and also siphoning water from elsewhere in the Mountain West where water supplies are fully allocated and often insufficient. I would also consider the PNW “middling.” As an example, there is not enough water in the Willamette River in the summer to fully irrigate the Willamette Valley, which is why so much of it is used for winter crops like wheat and grass seed. If we were to try to grow all of our food in this region water scarcity would be a real concern. Water scarcity decreases as one moves north into Washington, but so does the amount of farmland west of the Cascades.

    Also, having lived in both the Midwest (rural and urban Minnesota) and the Pacific Northwest (rural/small town Oregon), I would say that:
    –major infrastructure is much better funded and maintained in the Midwest.
    –government is slightly more functional in the Midwest, owing to a historical flip-flop between parties and a greater commitment to bipartisanship
    –crime is slightly worse here than in the Midwest (unless you’re thinking of Chicago…), owing to a higher poverty rate and continuing fallout from the timber industry overshoot of the late 20th century.
    –race relations are about equal and I would say “middling” in both regions

    So I would say you’re giving the Midwest an undeservedly bad rap; having lived both places I prefer it here (climate and culture primarily), but I would recommend both about equally in terms of resilience or even give a slight edge to the Midwest. The Midwest is more broadly “purple” – sure urban centers might be 66-33 Democratic and some rural areas 66-33 Republican, but there is a sense of community cohesiveness that transcends political ideology that I don’t feel here, and that has me worried about how this region might fragment politically in a time of crisis.

  165. A question for any and all – what sources have you relied on to learn about planting by the moon? I’m interested to factor moon phases into my vegetable gardening but am unsure where to look for that information.

    Inohuri – I’ve spent most of 2000-2019 in California’s northern Sacramento Valley (with a few outward jaunts ranging from 9mos to 3 years in length). For the first 14 of those years I was an apartment dweller with limited access to garden space; now I have garden space but am too much of a novice to be able to comment on changes (if any) in growing season.

    What I HAVE noticed, though, is that we’re seeing greater variability in the last five years’ weather relative to that of the first ten that I lived here. Some years we have bumper precipitation (150% of normal not uncommon) and others, we’re worryingly dry (% eludes me). We seem to be losing our winter tule fog (this article suggests it’s been decreasing for more than my 19-year sample size, but I’ve certainly noticed it in that time span: https://www.livescience.com/46121-california-tule-fog.html).

    Variability, though, is an inaccurate measuring stick for overall change, as evidenced by the following info from my region:
    longest period w/ no rainfall – 194 days (1880);
    driest 12mos – 6.53″ (1939);
    typical year snowfall – 0″ – most recent snowfall, irrc 2001, maybe 2002;
    maximum snowfall – 6″ (1937);
    maximum 24hr rainfall – 3.18″ (1995);
    wettest year’s rainfall – 41.69″ (1983) (average is about 19″, it’s remained almost the same since I first moved here, with year on year variability).

    I have no idea what to make of late September’s freak hailstorm (and tornado offshoot) that spontaneously arose and sat right over one section of my county and a little beyond for about an hour. Ice was still on the ground the next day. It took out most of my garden. Now, we’ve had a warm and dry October. T-shirt and shorts weather. The weather-changing north wind blows, but it’s not blowing cold as would be typical for this month.

    Speaking of California, if any of you are inclined to follow our host’s line of thinking that those who can should get out of here while it’s feasible, please send good thoughts and wishes to those of us who can’t. I can’t convince family members of any need to consider other regions and the job prospects haven’t beckoned us elsewhere. So… yeah.

  166. @JMG and Steven D

    On the question of what will happen when the Reserve Currency status of the US disappears. A financial guru I really like always recommends to have a hidden box of at least several thousand in cash on hand, because when the banking system fails, all those dollar signs in the bank won’t mean anything when the banks don’t open. What seems more likely, that the banks would allow hyperinflation to occur and all their debts become worthless, or that the banks shutter their doors and ration the money both in withdrawals and online, only letting the powerful elite have full access to it? We’ve already seen this happen with the financial crisis in Cypress, and even now, years later, they haven’t recovered. Cash will be king again, at least for a time, and those without will be in dire straits. Just another reason to make sure you have a tangible skill or can create useful goods for the Long Descent.

  167. JMG wrote: “At this point, for the sake of national survival, we need to reorient our defense posture to the defense of the US and its near abroad, ditch the “global policeman” fantasy, and turn our nation’s considerable resources and potentials toward solving the galaxy of problems we’ve got here at home.” John, I could not agree with you more. But that is not how our neoconservatives see it. And they are not very far away from power. I recommend Irving Krystol’s book “Neo-Conservatism: the Autobiography of an Idea” for insight into how neo-cons think. I could easily see JEB Bush, Ted Cruz or other familiar names from 2016 gaining the White House should the current resident be ousted. For all his loose-cannon blather, and for all his disdain for Constitutional checks and balances; in spite of that, I do find Trump’s apparent distaste for neo-con foreign policy to be admirable.

  168. That Lund University article links to my all-time favorite climate change chart. It shows how the top 10% of the economy based on income is responsible for 50% of the emissions.

    I get concerned nods when I show it to people. That is until I tell them that Federal Minimum Wage at 40 hours a week will land one comfortably within that top 10%.

    To get into the top 1% all one needs is $32,400 per year after taxes.

    So a majority of the emissions from the top 10% are contributed by people that make between $7.75 and $16.00 per hour.

    It proves that one cannot be for a Universal Basic Income of $15/hour and against changing the climate at the same time.

  169. To correct my previous post; I should have included Hilary Clinton along with JEB Bush and Ted Cruz as proponents of neo-con foreign policy. Probably Joe Biden too.

  170. David BTL, yes, but recognize that nowadays smoking is something that “those people” do (as Shane would no doubt have reminded us), and it signals class in a very ‘comprehended-and-judged-at-a-glance’ way. Is anyone demanding action to prevent vehicle related deaths of children? Autos are a far greater danger (20% of child/adolescent deaths are caused by car use). So, while children’s safety might be the nominal reason, I’d also consider that appealing to the tax base (families with kids in the schools) by appearing to do something (about an unacknowledged class marker) is part of it.

  171. @ Stephen D

    Re: US Dollar reserve currency (if I may)

    “And do you think this could happen in the near future, or do you see this as a long term process that takes decades?”

    I don’t think the USD will lose its status as the primary reserve currency anytime soon (say within the next 10 years) because there is no obvious replacement for it. To be a major reserve currency you effectively need deep and liquid bond market, a large and open economy, a free floating exchange rate (no capital controls), and the rule of law. The Euro has 3 of these things, but lacks a deep unified bond market since each government still issues and backs all of its own debt.

    China, with capital controls and questionable adherence to the rule of law, only has a large economy. In fact, per the linked article, the Chinese Renminbi just passed the Canadian dollar as a reserve currency in the fourth quarter of 2018 with 1.95% of global reserves.

    The article also has a graph that shows the USD percentage of reserves since the 1970s. The percentage has declined since the advent of the Euro, but is still over 60% and higher now than any year between 1980 and 1995 (bottoming at 46% in 1991). It’s not just that the USD needs to be disliked as a reserve currency, there also needs to be a viable replacement. Until there are significant monetary changes in the Eurozone or China, there isn’t a viable replacement for the USD as the primary reserve currency. If the Eurozone does implement a common treasury or mutualizes its bond market, or China floats its currency, then the days of the USD’s dominance as a reserve currency will probably be numbered. I’m watching for one of these things to happen.

    With regard to selling oil in other currencies or gold, that is already possible. Since the value of the USD floats freely on the open market, oil can be priced in any other currency or gold that also floats freely relative to the USD. Oil can also be priced in Yuan, but it is unlikely to ever be done on a large scale until China ends capital controls and allows the market to determine the Yuan’s value. Otherwise, by accepting Yuan as payment the seller is risking the Chinese government has mispriced the value of its currency.

    https://wolfstreet.com/2019/07/01/us-dollar-status-as-global-reserve-currency-q1-2019/

  172. @Onething, Jonathan and Lady cutekitten

    There are also herbal contraceptives, the secrets of whose use is not always carefully spelled out in writing anywhere, but probably were passed on by oral tradition in many places.

    There are women working on reverse engineering some of these, and wild carrot (Queen Anne’s Lace) has turned up a fairly good record of preventing conception if taken within 12 hours of coitus.

    See a report on these experimental efforts here:

    http://www.sisterzeus.com/qaluse.htm

    However, it should also be pointed out that many prostitutes and courtesans have raised their children, or at least, remained in contact with them.

  173. @engleberg – I was resisting replying to you, but, as an acupuncturist using acupuncture needles daily, I’d like to know in what sense you think the “screw” in? They are not threaded, and neither is the body they are inserted (not screwed) into. My mind has been boggling!

  174. This article at Bloomberg worth a look. Proposes stalling global weirding for ~20 years by soil remediation:

    https://news.google.com/articles/CAIiEHGfdZiPNJv2ZkK9a7bN06oqGQgEKhAIACoHCAow4uzwCjCF3bsCMIrOrwM?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen

    “$300 billion. …
    “The sum is not to fund green technologies or finance a moonshot solution to emissions, but to use simple, age-old practices to lock millions of tons of carbon back into an overlooked and over-exploited resource: the soil. …
    “… of the 2 billion hectares (almost 5 billion acres) of land around the world that has been degraded … 900 million hectares could be restored.
    “Returning that land to pasture, food crops or trees would convert enough carbon into biomass to stabilize emissions of CO2, the biggest greenhouse gas, for 15-20 years, giving the world time to adopt carbon-neutral technologies.”

    Ol’ Bab

  175. Oh – JMG – not an Easter egg, but in the afterword to Chorazin, a case of mealy-mouth in a translation. “Caede istos….” “Slay them.” Actually, “istos” is derogatory mode (Forgot my Latin 102 until now, did I?), so what Aubrey Keel actually said was more like “Slay those deplorables!” Which sounds like his brand of arrogance (and certainly thatof The Radiance!)

  176. To JMG and all, my family on my mothers side came to the Boonslick area here in central Missouri in 1811. When I go to the post office in Boonville, I am literally driving down the same tracks that my great grandfather Joseph Yarnall walked during the War of 1812. The land here still hosts numerous descendants of the early settlers. I don’t feel any blood lust or predatory ill will on the land hereabouts, there is more of a guardedly friendly watchfulness when you’re alone in the wood or fields. Maybe after ten generations or so, families start to become part of the local flora and fauna, and are accepted as such by the local spirits.

  177. @Kimberly
    Thank you for this phrase:
    “Hungry doesn’t begin to describe her. She’s ravenous. She’s had every appetite sated except for the ones that matter.”

    I shall be reflecting on that one for a while.

    I will say this. It sounds like a fantastic description of the “Wendigo” discussed here a while back, which I am certain is the personality lurking at the core of our society/economy’s “growth imperative.”

    Because it is not just about growth – we aren’t noticeably trying to grow anything that matters – libraries, just for instance, since they’ve been mentioned above…

    It’s just pure ravenous hunger which grows bigger the more appetites it satisfies… except, as you point out, any of the ones that matter.

    Thanks again!

  178. Hello John Michael,

    have you heard of solutions for the warming of the oceans, and for their acidification due to CO2 ? It is seems this is as much of a problem as the warming on land and in the air.

  179. Thanks, Brian! Florida looks pretty good as far as I can see from your chart. Need to drive no issue, being dependent on the Village bus for most things, and never going outside of Gainesville anyway. And being inland, so flooding may happen from excess rainfall, but not as immanent as on the coast. Hurricanes, okay, they’re a given. May die of excess heat one summer, of course. That could have happened in Albuquerque as well. Maybe not is, say , San Diego.

  180. @JMG – I know you consider impeachment and removal extremely unlikely, but if it did happen, what do you think the fallout would be? Do you think there would be violence and riots, a serious political backlash expressed at the ballot box next November, or just a collective shrug?

  181. Hi Mr. Greer. Thank you for saying yes to information about ‘Cloth Grocery Bags’.

    I spent several years working on the manuscript, learned how to sew two styles of bags (the more intuitive three pieces of fabric ‘tailored’ bag and the more efficient one piece of fabric ‘boxed’ bag). I had a number of beta sewers go over the manuscript to make sure it was clear.

    The book has 150 pages of detailed information on every aspect including production sewing, selling, repurposing cloth, zero waste as well as photos of the process, diagrams, and lay outs for multiple sets of both types of bags.

    No patterns needed; just yardstick and chalk.

    It can be used by anyone who wants to replace plastic bags with something better, or sell them. Purchasing the book gives a royalty-free license to make and sell bags.

    The book is trade paperback only. The extensive photos, diagrams, and lay outs preclude an ebook version.

    Here’s the link for more information and to purchase the book: Cloth Grocery Bags.

    Thanks again!

    Teresa from Hershey

  182. @ JMG or anyone interested

    I’ve been meaning to link this in an open post. I’m not sure if you’ve read anything by Michael Pettis, but I’ve found his writing on economics insightful. He’s a Spanish economist at Peking University. I thought this essay (“Wealth Should Trickle Up, Not Down”) was particularly interesting because it delves into the economics behind what I think you mean when you talk about an economy picking up steam when more of the income goes to the working class.

    The intro states: “Income inequality in the United States hampers growth and forces up debt. In advanced economies in which investment is not constrained by scarce savings, high levels of income inequality lead automatically to either more unemployment or more debt. Such inequality undermines not only the health of the economy, but eventually also the rich.” If you’re interested and have a chance, it’s worth reading.

    https://carnegieendowment.org/chinafinancialmarkets/about/?lang=en

  183. JMG,

    Not the same question as Isaac but on a similar vein. I have noticed in the last 6 months or so a bit of ‘throwing shade’ (as the kids call it these days) between a lot of what would’ve been called 10 years ago ‘The Peak Oil Community’.

    Myself I usually relied of 4 people to help me stay sane. Dmitry to help with short term tactics to stay ahead of the collapse, yourself to help with understanding long term strategy to cope with the change that the world will have to go to. Also JHK to help me realize little of value was being lost and Gail to prevent me from falling pray to any hopium or magic solutions.

    Anti Peak Oilers would probably think that this is an example of the Peak Oil theory being ‘proven wrong’. I wish this was true but I’m worried it’s the opposite.

    Now I wonder if perhaps you four are all getting worried that this techno-sphere (or whatever name for the existing system we all live under you prefer) is going to keep on chugging longer than any of you ever though. In that process it will render the planet uninhabitable to humans outside of the technosphere. I guess basically I’m worried that y’all are getting a bit catty with each other not because your theories are being proven wrong, but that the downslope is going to be from a much higher starting point and will be much more awful that previously predicted.

    I don’t see a World Made by Hand, nor a Lakeland republic, or a society of Sailsteaders in the ice free Arctic in our future, just a lot of crappier versions of what we have now, then eventually lights out one dwelling at a time …

    Thoughts?

  184. I suspect that the land has favored children-so that one sensitive person will feel blood-thirst in one place and another will feel quite at home and welcome in the same place.

    I get a distinct feeling on the hottest days of the year that Winter is coming, and I should get ready. It makes no reasonable sense why there should be a bitter snap to the air in the high nineties and low hundreds, but it’s nonetheless there. I wonder if others would get the same message as “going to freeze you dead” that I get as “prepare for winter”?

    Speaking to the topic of living out of town, we are about fifteen miles out. This is a good season to fix fence and save resources. I expect in the future there will be a season to aquire neighboring lots for a song, for my children or grand children. At some point my horse-loving son will get his horses.

    Now is also a good time to poke around and see how folks built in the times before electric and petroleum heat. What does your barn need in your climate? Much easier to find now, with the internet up and running most days! This would be a good idea for urban property owners as well, while you may not be able to keep small livestock today you certainly may build a shed that can later, when laws or enforcement thereof changes, be used for small livestock.

  185. Austin of oz:
    I haven’t noticed any feelings of blood vibes in my years in Vermont. Our property is about half forest and I do feel uneasy about walking through the wooded part, as if I don’t belong in there. Otherwise, all I’ve noticed is that the place has an old feel to it.

    I’m surprised at the reactions to the article I linked. The way I read the author’s position was so: “Hey, modern pagans, paganism has a long history. Using the available documentation, it sure looks like the practices that you have developed in the last half century or so bear little resemblance to historical paganism, which dealt in and addressed the darker, dangerous, unsettling parts of life. Like most modern Westerners, you don’t like to think about those icky things so your shiny new paganism sounds an awful lot like empowerment stuff from a self-help book.” Well, that and more. (This empowerment aspect, I think, covers the popular Spells Against Donald Trump that our host has discussed on many occasions.) I find it hard to disagree with her contention that modern neo-paganism is more a product of its environment than a throwback to an earlier time; that modern witches ascribe to historical pagans trendy political and moral ideas that are eerily similar to their own (and quite unlike those of our ancient forebears) is also hard to challenge.

    I liked that she addressed neo-paganism not as a practitioner or as an expert in the occult, but as an historian; I appreciated her point that the practices that got people accused of witchcraft in medieval and early modern Europe were more commonly of (the wrong kind of) Christian derivation, not ancient pagan beliefs. It’s something I’d read before in a book whose name I’ve now forgotten, but it was good to be reminded. I seem to recall our host posting an article, maybe on the now-defunct ADR, about the questionable history so dear to some groups of neo-pagans; the author of this article says much the same. It’s a good thing to clear away the half-truths and fabrications no matter how precious they are to one’s narrative.

    While sort of on the subject, if you are interested in the social, religious, political, and societal forces that built up for many years and culminated in the Salem witch trials of 1692, you could do no better than to read Stacy Schiff’s, “The Witches”. I’d call it spellbinding in a non-punny way.

  186. @Stephen D

    Iraq switched to selling oil for Euros in 2000. For some reason they went back to dollars in 2003.

  187. @ DT

    “We all know America is a country by, for, and of the rich and powerful.”

    I don’t know that. The pendulum has swung too far toward the rich, and that’s why people need to advocate for the political change they want to see. Change has happened before and is possible now. I’m from a family that was neither rich (or even middle class) nor powerful, but I won’t overlook the fact America has provided me and many people I know with an immense amount of opportunity. Not just economic opportunity, but the chance to live the life I choose to live. I’m aware opportunities today are not what they were when I grew up and change is certainly needed.

    As for the Pledge of Allegiance, it’s not only that it’s said in school, but also at the events parents attend. I’m sure many students feel the same way as the one you describe, many others volunteer to join the military after graduation. That’s one thing America does for its citizens, it allows them to have their own opinion.

  188. Hello JMG,

    On the question of illegal immigration (which churrundo and others brought up): I remember you once advocated an equivalent of a Marshall Plan for Mexico. The idea, as I recall it, was to improve conditions in Mexico so that fewer people would want to move. Do you still think this would be a good idea?

    Personally, I think the best place to start would be to end the War on Drugs. It’s hard for me to describe it as anything other than an unmitigated disaster, both for the United States and for Mexico. Its main effect has been to move a certain subset of the psychoactive substance business from the hands of legal businesses into the hands of violent gangs, and as a result, parts of Mexico are about as safe to live in as Syria or Afghanistan. I’m not saying it’s the only reason for mass illegal migration from Mexico to the United States, but I am saying that it is *a* reason. So, ending the War on Drugs seems like a simple and cheap way to reduce the scale of the illegal immigration problem. Do you agree?

  189. JMG,

    I’m working on the second completion exercise of Grade VI of the Dolmen Arch, which instructs me to practice changing the polarity of emotions. I’m wondering if I should be actually feeling the emotion I’m trying to transmute, or just “imagine” it. Should I be trying to artificially adopt and experience the emotion without reference? Should I bring to mind an subject about which I feel emotional and use that to induce the feeling?

    I’ve been having a hard time with the exercise, and have so far managed only to meditate (fruitfully, granted) on the act and process of transmuting emotions, but am not sure how to actually enact the process.

    Any help is much appreciated, thanks!

  190. Hi JMG,

    I’m considering changing jobs, and have the hunch that there’s a job out there waiting for me, something that I wouldn’t expect but is the “right” job. What kind of magical aid might I give myself in the job search?

    I’m nearly finished with the sixth grade of the Dolmen Arch, and am also interested in the candle spells I’ve seen you recommend on your Magic Mondays.

    Thanks!

  191. Teresa,

    Bikes are definitely a good thought, especially with panniers and a trailer. It would probably take me about 30-40 min to get into town, although in the heart of winter it wouldn’t be possible. Your comments have helped me remember it doesn’t need to be all or nothing, though, and having the option to use either bike or car depending on circumstances is probably a good middle ground. I also like the idea of keeping this property as a place for family to fall back to – hopefully they won’t have to, but nice to know they could if they wanted or needed to.

    Nastarana,

    Thank you for your encouragement! Those are some good suggestions re: ride sharing to town. It made me think of the ‘colectivos’ or micro buses that I’ve ridden in pretty much every third world country I’ve visited, which are just how most people get around. Come to think of it, at one point my husband and I bought a van for his sister in Nigeria to use to start up a little transport business. Perhaps something like that will happen here.

    Dusk Shine,

    The closest town is about five miles away, so definitely doable with a bike. I would love to work on the skills needed for animal transport, but that will likely be down the road a bit. We have lots of wood, and I have been considering doing a trial of hemp, so I will definitely look into woodgas as an alternative fuel, thanks for the suggestion! As for the city, I don’t particularly miss it, but I don’t mind it when I’m there either, so I could really go either way.

  192. Re: parts of North America hungering for blood:

    I do wonder what you would make of Mississippi, JMG, especially the I-20 corridor (also the area around Monroe, LA) – as I think I’ve noted before, when I was there the entire area felt like a Death Row town. (Literally. I went to an overnight event in Huntsville, TX once, and as part of that went right by the penitentiary there; the vibe was exceedingly similar to what I felt in MS, and was clearly concentrated on the jail.) Baton Rouge seems to be unaffected (and was one of the nicer places I visited), so it’s not just pollution in the Mississippi River – though I wouldn’t be surprised if Biloxi, which has similar issues, is just feeling the effect of the Gulf dead zone. Birmingham, AL also has similar issues, but IIRC that’s where Alabama has its women’s death row so that may explain it – Tuscaloosa seemed relatively unaffected. (Of course, it’s possible I’m just feeling the scars left on the Black Belt – I’ve gotten the sense before that from, the land’s perspective, of the two great atrocities of American history the genocide of the native tribes is very much the lesser of the two…)

    Elsewhere, I’ll concur with Violet that something is rotten in the state of Georgia (Atlanta is hollow somehow); northern Alabama seems to be in relatively good shape; I *think* western North Carolina is also in relatively good shape; and the area around Shreveport is hostile in a way quite different than I felt further east – of course, Shreveport has a sizeable gambling industry (casinos and racing), which may be related. I *think*Tennessee and Arkansas have something augmenting the basic sadness of decaying towns and suburbs, but I’m not sure, and it felt different than what’s south of the Mississippi border (Oak Ridge is kind of weird, but considering why that city exists there’s probably a reason for that). Texas – see below.

    Laughing Sage: To my mind, exactly how Mesoamerica factors into this is one of the $64,000 questions here. My own {meditation/rumination/reflection} pointed out a year or two ago that the internal logic of Mesoamerican human sacrifice is blindingly simple: as humans raise maize and other crops and reap it to feed themselves, so do the gods raise humans and reap them to feed themselves. I’ve seen corroborating evidence since, to the effect that either the Aztecs or the Mayans sometimes referred to humans as the “tortillas of the gods”. (Note: the Mesoamerican view of time is almost certainly fractal, given the structure of the Mayan calendar and IIRC some derivatives – hence why the above is blindingly simple. My standing guess is that either there’s at least one other North American deep culture with a similar but distinct view of time or that Mesoamerica extends at least as far north as Pierre, SD.)

    One of my personal suspicions: the Tamanoan isn’t going to have to wait for its second pseudomorphosis – it’s Mesoamerica, it’s already here (albeit somewhat suppressed by the Faustian occupation) and has been since before Columbus discovered the West Indies. I’ve gotten the occasional sense that the, for lack of a better word, origin event of the Tamanoan is going to be a dual revolt – simultaneously rejecting both the Faustian and Mesoamerican pseudomorphoses so that the actual regional deep culture can express itself. (I suppose it’s possible that this dual revolt is exactly what’s driving the sense of blood-hunger?)

    Violet, curiosity: what parts of Texas were you in when you smelled the blood in the air? I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the state, and while I’m almost sure that sizeable chunks of the state are Mesoamerican – at minimum, the Rio Grande Valley and most of the area south of the Balcones Fault – I’m not sure all of it is. I’m not sure about the Texas Hill Country and North-Central Texas, as I have a hard time separating them from the local city egregores – Dallas stands for nothing except standing (though I suspect Denton to its north is built on holy ground), San Antonio is live and vibrant which may or may not be related to the part where I’d be shocked if it’s not Mesoamerican in due time, Austin was probably once interesting but was getting squelched even a decade and a half ago – but the aforementioned Piney Woods in the northeast may be distinct. The impression I got there is that the culture on the surface was a bad fit for the land slumbering underneath, almost like the legends of island-cities built on the back of a sleeping turtle, and the surface culture is very Mesoamerican regardless of its pretentions otherwise. (I strongly suspect that the Mesoamerican vision of community is the city coming together to be the crowd at the ball court – and, of course, in Texan “ball court” is spelled “high school football stadium”.)

    Of course, it’s possible I just botched my interpretation – *something* in the Piney Woods is interested in human deaths by drowning. My standing suspicion is that’s a level below the land itself, possibly one of the darker entities that would answer to the name of Jehovah (with the drowning as a twisted version of baptism), but I might be wrong about that.

  193. Yeah, that makes sense. Those non-economic loyalties will probably become more important in a future when money is not as trustworthy. Even these days, it seems large corporations can lose public goodwill quite easily.

    I think of the time Ralph Nader tried to suggest that American-based corporations pledge allegiance to the United States (hey, it sounds like a good idea to me). It never happened, of course.

    I could see some corporations perhaps shifting their loyalties to their growing and increasingly more powerful customer base—i.e. China—and morphing from American-run to Chinese-run companies. Much like moving the capital from Rome to Constantinople. Although maybe the whole communism thing would preclude that scenario.

    Or maybe for some interim period certain corporations could act as proxies for projecting Chinese power in the US. Although I can’t see that lasting long. It wouldn’t be a popular situation, and it seems like people are already starting to get wise to that possibility.

  194. Jmg, while we are talking about politics there is another thing I’ve wanted to ask for a long time.

    In your book “the ecotechnic future “ you suggest that in the future Australia could face mass migration from Indonesia.
    Do you still think this will happen and how do you think this would react with the possibility of China taking over Australia?

  195. @methylethyl: Tourism is the only reason I can think of, as well. I guess if your economy depends on rich people paying money for a highly artificial, carefree environment, you probably want to keep all the dead bodies out of the way. Just keep smiling through the tears, seems to be the moral of the story.

  196. @ Lathechuck “Any Kurd that was surprised by being “abandoned” by the US government had no knowledge of US history in the region.”

    Nor, I might add, much knowledge of the USA’s history since its inception. This nation has broken or violated most every treaty or pact it has ever signed on to. It’s a pretty appalling record of duplicitous treachery which will probably bring some dire consequences as the nation endures the Long Descent.

    JMG, your comment about the Kurds being the sole losers in the present fustercluck in that region makes me wonder about their karma as a people/tribe. They’re an ancient people of course…I hope that one day they’ll achieve their dream of an independent Kurdistan in their native land (parts of Syria, Iraq and Turkey at present). Sadly, it seems the blood lust in those lands has much vitality remaining.

    Your comments about the “concentration camps” prompts me to ask for your thoughts on the USA’s significant responsibility for the ruination/impoverishment of the Central American republics. How will these chickens come home to roost for good old Uncle Sam?

  197. John, regarding Lucretius and the Apollonian conception of space:

    It could certainly be a case of Apollonian feeling having “faded out” by Lucretius’ time, but as far as I know, his ideas on physics were not new; they had been part of the Epicurean doctrine since the times of its founder (around 300 BCE), and were also shared to a great extent by early atomists like Democritus.

    Well, I’ll do some more research on the subject.

  198. Well, it seems to be Hali week in the open post, and I too have just finished the seventh book and have a couple of questions (somewhat minor spoilers):
    1) It’s never mentioned outright that I remember, but considering the time frame of Hastur and Cthulhu’s feud, did Hastur cause the dinosaurs’ extinction?
    2) Any plans for more Hali-verse novels after The Nyogtha Variations? I suddenly have visions of introducing my son to the mythos with The Adventures of Sennie and Barney in a few years… 😉

  199. Oh, a mostly _horizontal_ gap! Yes, thank you, that makes sense; switch that in my head and the whole thing might click even without the extra information and picture in your reply (but thanks for those, still).

    Though in that case the “climb” in that quoted paragraph does seem a bit confusing; if you ever do another edition in which you’re interested in getting down to _this_ level of small detail, assuming that some edition later than mine doesn’t already change it, this might be something to put on the list for examination. Not really a major issue, though.

  200. @JMG, Jasmine, Others,

    It seems that nearly ever week, if not in the post itself then at least in the comments, Trump and Brexit get brought up as the twin harbingers for the popular rejection (and impending end) of the globalist order. I am curious, though, whether you think Brexit is actually going to happen or not: it’s already been more than three years since the referendum, and Boris Johnson’s latest deadline of 31 Oct has proven just as ephemeral as all the other deadlines.

    Back in February, I made a prediction on my own blog that Brexit would never happen, my reasoning being that the placidity and absence of revolutionary violence in places like the US and Britain has made it so that the elites can ignore election results with impunity: http://www.twilightpatriot.com/2019/02/brexit-and-futility-of-modern-elections.html

    Nonetheless, I am curious to hear what you all think. Will Britain finally get around to leaving the EU, or not?

  201. I wonder if tulpas aren’t akin to the well-known phenomenon where a fictional character takes on a life of his own in his creator’s mind—an example being the character who gets off a good joke, the writer laughs and thinks “Good one! I couldn’t have thought of that in a hundred years!” and then wonders who DID think of it? Maybe tulpas, like Alexandra David-Neel’s monk who was occasionally seen by others, are the next step in a process that may culminate in an egregor?

    Fortunately, there does seem to be a limit on how real these thought-forms themselves can become; if there weren’t, you’d be bumping into sparkling vampires everywhere you went. I do find myself concerned on how far this process may go in a population increasingly unable to distinguish the real from the un-. There are people who swear they saw the Slenderman demon before they’d ever read about it, and thus had no idea what it was at the time of the sighting, which raises at least a possibility that it has attained objective existence. There is another explanation too, though, the fallibility of memory. “Yes, I saw the accident, the blue car rear-ended the black car when the black car braked hard as a white cat ran across the street—no, wait, it was a green car and a light-gray cat, and it was raining…”. [Cop checks weather data for day in question and finds it was dry and sunny that day.]. You could easily read about Slenderman and have your memory conflate that funny shadow you saw 6 months ago into that exact same demon.

    And then add in the effects of constant exposure to social media, retconning, Photoshopping…I don’t think I like where this is going.

    (I think I caught all the autocorrects, but if I accidentally exported you, just retcon yourself back to where you should be.)

  202. Dear Lew,

    The veils are thin! 😉

    Dear JMG,

    You’re very welcome — yeah, it’s a real horrorshow. As for your response further down the list — thank you. It’s a bummer getting cursed by a large group of people who are skilled in technique and have personal concerns. I notice that the intensity of it fluctuates with the number of people seasonally gathered. It’s actually rather sad; while I get flack and it’s ghastly, the sort of of harm that these people are doing to themselves and their communities must be magnitudes greater. Also, being cursed as such forces me to become more skilled at countering it. And so it has served as a thrust block for my own theurgic practices. So I am grateful to an extent even though the magic is extremely nasty, for all that it is nasty it has forced me to grow strong enough to counter it, it has forced me to develop the spiritual muscles to soar above it, at least regarding my astral self. Without this nasty magic, I don’t know if I’d have put in the hours that allow me to live a creative, joyous, religiously focuses life even in the face of grim and merciless opposition. Socrates only feared what had the capacity to make him a worse person. The curse that my old friends have placed has made me a vastly better person, it has cultivated my spiritual virtues to be, at the very least, ten times greater than before. And so the curse, while really nasty and distressing, in a certain sense has been a blessing in disguise.

    Dear Jonathon,

    You’re very welcome!

    Dear Versling,

    Many, many thanks! That means a lot to me — thank you.

    Dear Austin,

    Something is really off about Hadley. I’ve spent almost no time in New Hampshire.

    Dear Pretentious Username,

    I was in Dallas/Ft. Worth for a few days and then spent maybe 5 hours in the Houston Greyhound Bus station.

  203. Dear Temporaryreality,

    If I may, the first Foxfire Book is the classic resource for planting by the Moon.

    Dear Boysmom,

    If I may, I think that you’re right that the land has favored children and favored identities, even. Being a passionate gardener has, I believe, saved my life many a time during my rambling, misspent youth. That said, I wonder to what degree various attributes of the land can be “triangulated”. JMG’s note that the Willamette Valley has a sickly vibe is dead on in my experience, not necessarily blood hungry, but definitely “tubercular”. Everyone who has spent time in Hadley seems to think that there is something wrong going on there. I think it’s very provocative that there were certain places the First Nations didn’t settle, places such as the sand dunes that would become San Francisco and the land around Port Townsend Washington. It may be, also, the land favors certain people but also some land doesn’t like people, period.

  204. Hi Mister Nobody,

    Did the change in the Twin Cities’s ethnic makeup affect the feel of it, and, if so, how?

    Our last few years in Ohio were uncomfortable because the area became more and more depressing as it grew poorer and poorer. I think it’s called “grinding poverty” for a reason. Mexicans have poured in but I didn’t notice any change in the vibe accompanying them, probably because they’re not that different from the original population except in language. As opposed to having a region largely populated by Scandinavian-descent Lutherans get an influx of Somali Muslims. Eventually they’ll even out—still have potlucks, but nobody brings ham 😄—but at the moment the region has two groups who are about as different as they can get!

  205. Hello JMG and all,

    I don’t have a question, but I’d like to contribue something that leaves me with a very positive feeling today. This doctor has decided to open a practice and NOT accept insurance, instead charging a flat fee for examinations ($35).

    https://www.wesa.fm/post/east-liberty-primary-care-doc-pulls-plug-insurance?utm_medium=social&utm_term=nprnews&utm_campaign=npr&utm_source=facebook.com&fbclid=IwAR1ey6xFkBu4qIZahnHDBnQLnLNGcmXtcrhMyGXaWZrH904WtGoAiqemDhk#stream/0

    I like this idea so much that I wrote him and asked if I could donate the cost of one visit to help his practice become successful. He responded:

    Hello Bonnie,
    Thank you so much for your kind offer and support! At this time, we are not taking donations as one of our goals is to create a financially sustainable model that does not use donations/investments/grants.

    This would make it easier for other providers to reproduce the model wherever they may be.
    As I get busier, I will be able to see patients for free if they do not have the funds but I do appreciate your kind offer!

    I can tell you a recent experience. I saw a patient for free a few weeks ago and gave him some money to purchase the antibiotic he required as well. He actually came back yesterday after he got a new job and a new debit card. I was so touched he came back to pay but I didn’t accept his money. It was truly touching!

    Take Care,
    Dr. Timothy H Wong
    iHealth Clinic
    6008 Centre Ave
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206
    (412) 203-5810

    I think it’s a wise approach as, it frees him from the bonds that accepting such monies would bring with it. I hope he succeeds, and that his practice doesn’t just mysteriously “fail”, or “disappear.

    Bonnie

  206. Polytropos and JMG, Thanks for your fascinating comments! It’s sadly ironic that this symbol swapping so accurately describes our present medical establishment. JMG, why do you prefer the Roman name? Of course both the Caduceus of Hermes and the Rod of Asclepius are profoundly potent symbols. Snakes were not deployed as symbols of evil in Ancient Greece.

    Asclepias is a wonderful and important plant genus (it includes common milkweed) and apparently has some of the most complex flowers in the plant kingdom. Linnaeus must have regarded the genus highly since he honored it with the name of the Greek god of healing. The flowers of common milkweed have a heavenly perfume.

  207. Kimberly Steele,

    I lived most of my adult life in Chicago before I moved to the sticks in upstate NY. Now that I’ve been at a distance for ten years, I think I’ve got a little bit more of an objective perspective of the place, I can see the waters I was swimming in. When living in the city, I sometimes thought, yeah, it’s a big city, but it lacks distinction, doesn’t have the creative panache of NYC, but now ….. Chicago really is an energetically creative town, it has a distinct persona all its own, for better and worse. I can see the attraction it has for the enterprising soul.

    As you may know, Chicago has a serious, thriving occult scene, particularly on Lincoln Ave. When I was in my teens, I met the Chicago mage who had the biggest rep, a guy whose name I won’t mention, save his last name began with a “D”. (In his travels, JMG may have encountered him). The guy was the real deal, a teacher, genuine scholar, a translator, worked with the Chicago Opera designing scenery, was said to be literally the 7th son of a 7th son, and he was bad news. People who got involved with him and who, in his view, crossed him in some way, often ended up dead or in jail. As I recall, he had human skulls regularly shipped to him for ritualistic purposes, all on a legal basis.

    I’m not sure if Chicago is any more or less malevolent than other megalopolises, but certainly the malevolence there is not universal in its coverage. You know the Juneway Terrace area in Rogers Park on the far north side? It’s now a ghetto that the police hate having to patrol. Back in the ‘40’s it was a red-light district for military guys. The area seems to attract the sensational in the worst sense of the word. For a time I lived a block away from Juneway Terrace and the psychic atmospheric difference was day and night. Still, looking back, I was always on a bit of an edge no matter where I was in Chicago, particularly after having a gun put on my head on E. Oak Street, of all places. (yes, I still get a bit nervous when somebody approaches me on a dark nighttime street). There is no place in Chicago that isn’t visited by violent crime, including up and down Michigan Ave. Of course parts of the west side are virtual war zones now.

    If there’s a current writer who captures the blunt essence of Chicago, to my mind that would be David Mamet. His play American Buffalo gets the criminal scheming of near north side lowlifes down, and his GlenGarry Glenn Ross captures the sweaty desperation and animal competitive cunning of Devon Ave real estate agents. Distilled essence of Chicago!

    I don’t regret having lived in Chicago, in fact I love the great beast in my own way, but I’d never move back there. I’d have to get used to falling asleep to the music of screeching L trains and the nightlong rise and fall of sirens all over again.

  208. Hello JMG

    What don’t you like about your Atlantis book?

    Also, Yes Please! to a book on Ice Age civilisations.

    SMJ

  209. On the blood thirst of the land…

    Wow, I feel shocked. Where in Mexico have you been Violet? But then, maybe I do not notice it anymore.

    On my hometown, there are distinct places where I have felt a bad vibe, but nothing like you describe… except for one closed alley that showed as open in the map. It felt instantly like an ambush, even if it was clear there was no human or animal there. I panicked a little and ran the way I came with no harm but in my pride.

    Other than that, there was one other time in Yucatan at a sacred Zenote, which makes it likely actual human sacrifices were offered there in times past. The water hole felt placid and terrible, almost like a satiate predator. I wonder if a carefree tourist or three have drowned there sometime recent.

    Other than that, Mexico City (specially the downtown area around el Templo Mayor) feels taxing… the Pacific Ocean feels vast, prideful and severe… and, odly enough, Austin, Texas feels like home!

  210. Justin’s comment “Has anyone here read the book “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays or any of his other books such as “Engineering Consent”? It seems like these titles from the godfather of Public Relations might be good to read as a kind of immunization against such.” reminded me of the excellent documentary film The Century of the Self by Adam Curtis, about Bernays. It’s widely available on the internet and well worth checking out, as are all of Curtis’ films. His most recent is called Hypernormalisation.

  211. I need a clarification about the ritual in the CGD Third Knowledge Lecture, which I am starting now.

    So, the sequence of events is:

    1) LRP (Rite – Summon – Rite)
    2) Purify the temple
    3) Meditate
    4) LRP (Rite – Banish – Rite)

    The daily switching between summoning and banishing is replaced with doing both daily. Is this correct?

  212. On MM a week or so ago, JMG mentioned working on a magic system compatible with Hatha Yoga and/or Martial Arts. I’ve been practicing yoga for around 10 years, I am a black belt in taekwondo and have been practicing from the Druid Magic Handbook for about a year and a half.
    First of all, my active practice of magic and taekwondo overlapped, and I didn’t notice much interaction at all. Due to a chronic foot injury, I have pretty much quit training taekwondo. The school I trained with was not at all esoteric- a little talk about why we kiyop (basically saying “hai-ya!” for the uninitiated) but otherwise the training was super physical, and very little else. Which might be why I have a chronic foot injury.

    When I first started practicing yoga, it was very much for the physical practice- I was on the calisthenics end of it, rather than the “woo-woo” end. I decided to take yoga teacher training in part to help with strength and flexibility in martial arts. The school I chose was conveniently located, but more on the esoteric end that what I was used to. We did a lot of energy work, and breath work, and moving energy up and down our chakras. There was also a lot of mindfulness meditation. That winter, perimenopause was jump started for me- I don’t know for sure if it was from the yoga, but I suspect it was. I developed a cyst on one of my ovaries which required surgery. Also, various other miserable symptoms.

    I do still practice yoga, but I have swung the pendulum back to the physical side. When I attend a class taught by someone else who is more “woo-woo” I hold back from joining in with the energy work and intentions.
    I’ve been doing the SOP, divination and discursive meditation for about a year and a half. In the interest of keeping the work private, I have made the SOP a bit more physical than described in your books. I practice in my back yard, overlooked by the neighbor kids on the trampoline. In this neighborhood, yoga, or stuff that looks like yoga, is normal. Magic, not so much.
    The biggest difference in what I do is that when I trace the symbol in the air for the elements, I twist my torso to the right, then when I banish, I use my left hand, and twist my torso to the left. When I invoke spirit below, I bow forward and touch the ground. When I invoke spirit above, I reach up with both hands and do a slight back bend.
    I have doubts about using my left hand to banish, rather than right. I get the results I am looking for, however. I probably could get bigger and better results, but for this point in my life, I am happy with what my way for doing it does for me.
    I know I am late to the party with posting, I have had work commitments and what-not. Thank you to anyone who has read this far…
    JMG, as always, thank you for everything you do.

  213. Now, kind Archdruid, something I have had in my mind for some time.

    What is the occult dimension of placing the statue of an ancient Goddess in a prominent place in your city? Particularly, I am talking about La Minerva.

    Here’s some resouce in English, with photos. http://www.playasyplazas.com/2019/08/08/one-year-in-the-glorieta-minerva-guadalajara/

    Minerva, of course, is the Roman Goddess of wisdom, arts, craft, but also of strategy and warfare. I ignore if the government officials that commisioned her statue were actual Hellenists or just piggybacking on her symbolic significance. Guadalajara is, after all, a comercial city with an artistic vein. At least in part this is also an emulation of Mexico City, which in the previous decade had emplaced an statue of Diane the Huntress on el Paseo de la Reforma (aka main street).

    The statue is Mexican made, not ancient. It was crafted and set in its current location in the late 1950s. This place can be considered the “entrance” of the city, at that time it would be the first glipse of the city you catch if coming from the road to Mexico City. Now a days is in a prominent crossroads at the city West side.

    The statue stands in the middle of a big fountain. She dons the leather Aegis, a Roman style helmet, a pike and a shield sporting Medusa’s face. There’s a legend in bronze letters written there: “Justice, Wisdom and Fortitude may guard this loyal city”.

    1. Would you care to guess if the people who did this were occult-savy?
    2. What would be the effects of this, even if most of the population is unaware?

  214. I hear a lot about the “data economy” and how some major corporations are based on collecting and selling data gathered online and from all sorts of web-connected devices.

    Do you think it’s possible that the valuation of this sort of economic activity could implode at some point, sort of like a housing market collapsing? I don’t know a lot about this sort of thing, but I can’t help but wonder how valuable all this data based on people’s daily activities could really be?

    I can see if there’s a fair bit of consumer spending in an economy, data can be sold for marketing purposes, so companies can profit from gearing their activities to real-world data.

    But, if consumerism were to slow down substantially, I can’t imagine how data collection would be all that profitable. Since manufacturing has been largely off-shored, I know people have wondered how we can have so much economic growth with people basically providing services for each other, but can an even more abstract economic sector, of collecting data about this service economy for marketing purposes, thrive as well? It seems a lot to ask of the primary economy and the more basic tiers of the secondary economy!

  215. To those plagued by skunks–I don’t actually mind the smell that much, but noses differ–Great Horned owls pray on skunks, so if there is a way to encourage owls–might also help with feral cat problem. Skunks eat insects, which makes them a problem to beekeepers, but are otherwise mostly harmless, although one did go after our chickens one night.

    I attended high school in Calif. in 1962-66. We had required year of world history, year of American history and a year of government. One of those years was an election year and we had a mock convention done by the civics classes with other classes able to watch. When I took civics we did the usual bits about Federal and state governments, visited the state Capitol in Sacramento (just down the road) got to talk with our assemblyman, etc. In the section on criminal justice we did a mock trial–I was the defense attorney and the case was the murder of our civics teacher by a student disgruntled because a failing grade was going to keep him from graduating. How things have changed–you never do that now–in fact one of my grandsons nearly got expelled for joking (in the context of a lesson about Shaw’s Rebellion) that students could kill the principal and take over the school. My daughter was actually consulting a lawyer when the school discovered that her family had moved out of district and decided to dis-enroll him for that reason rather than the more problematic expulsion. It is like talking about bombs in line at the airport. In any case–we still have civics in California.

    When I was taking Xerox training in Crystal City, Virginia in 1974 (?) the hotel filled up with high school students come to Washington DC for field trips–I assume they were part of civics classes but have no idea what areas they were from–far enough away to need overnight accomodations.

  216. Violet-if you would appreciate prayer from a Christian, you will have it.

    On the subject of medical symbols, I believe the Rod of Asclepias and the snake lifted on the pole by Moses are nearly identical if not actually identical as usually represented. A point in favor of the power of that symbol, if nothing else.

  217. I’ve never heard a great horned owl 🦉 in this area. Now and then we hear the 7- or 8-note call of those smaller ones, I forget what they’re called. (At my house they’re called “You know, not the screech owl but that other little one.”)

    To me screech owls always sound more like rusty creaking, but then I’m the one who thinks the Man in the Moon 🌝 looks like a rabbit, so for heaven’s sake don’t emulate me.

  218. To Versling:

    You are too kind. I have a few novels you might enjoy, for instance Forever Fifteen and River’s Heart. They’re not serious/important reading but they are set in fictional versions of the areas in which I grew up and know well.

    https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Steele/e/B00J41T4RQ%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

    To Scotlyn:

    Thank you so much! You made my day. Speaking of Wendigos, I have a recurring dream where I am imprisoned in a women’s/girl’s labor camp. The most recent variation on the theme was a dream where I got off a bus thinking I was going to summer camp until the headmistress started lacing into me, at which point I understood I was back in the labor camp dream. I tried to escape on foot in the dream and made it to a public laundromat only to have her catch up with me. I was able to truly escape by waking up. Knowing this was about to happen, I taunted her with it and I could feel her wrath at being thwarted. I’m guessing the labor camp dream is common to dreamers everywhere (despite the fact most don’t remember their dreams) and here is why: there’s a sort of person who proliferates nowadays who delights in creating petty dictatorships for themselves and not much else. Whether they are the puffed-up corporate manager type of dictator who revels in early morning meetings for no good reason or the elderly chronic-disease ridden attention junkie dictator who abuses her matronly status to emotionally vampirize her nurses and family, we’ve all known them. I think the labor camp represents being trapped by them in their world. For instance, the reason I posted the link to cutting your own hair is because I often took work I didn’t want or need so I could afford garbage hair appointments by well-meaning stylists who often butchered my hair. Getting you to do work you have no desire to do, emotional or physical, is how they trap you. I am often seen as the “crown jewel” in the labor camp because if they get me, they’ve gotten someone a bit unusual. I think the symbolism here means they’ve gotten someone with a little more creative energy than the usual prisoner. Hope this makes sense.

    To Njura:

    I meditated a bit on Ogham. Here is the result, hope this helps you:

    http://druidogham.wordpress.com

  219. I’m fascinated reading commenters’ varied reactions to places. It does seem to come down to the interaction between individual and place. Some notes of my own:

    Off the top of my head, the only place I’ve felt a sense of menace, mild, but distinct, was in Humboldt County, CA, maybe 3 or so years ago. I had some idea of the area but wasn’t expecting that. (Also, it felt much better in the redwoods.) Note: I’m originally from fairly deep in the rural upper midwest and not nervous in rural areas generally.

    I lived for a while in Chicago and it felt neutral to the point of flatness.

    For no obvious reason, Michigan does not agree with me at all.

    I concur with JMG that the northeast (where I live now) has a distinctly European vibe. The midwest (where I grew up, and moved back once) feels rougher around the edges, and not necessarily in a pleasant way.

    Quebec feels saner than the U.S., as does Mexico. Ontario feels more of a piece with adjoining parts of the U.S. (Something I also discovered in Mexico is that I find images of Our Lady of Guadalupe surprisingly moving.)

    Mister Nobody, would you care to elaborate on your experience of the Twin Cities? I’m not from that area but happen to know it very well. (You won’t offend me, promise. 😉 )

  220. Ben, I use Placidus for the simple reason that I get more accurate predictions with it. I do horary charts, monthly personal lunation charts, and annual progressed charts and use those as sources of practical guidance; of the various house systems I’ve tried, Placidus gets the most accurate results (though Regiomontanus is pretty close).

    Justin, I’ve read Bernays, and my reaction was not the usual one — it struck me as something of a sales pitch for someone who wanted to market his industry. I’ve been reading Jacques Ranciere’s _The Emancipated Spectator_ of late, and mulling over his very cogent critique of the rhetoric that assumes a wholly passive role for the target of propaganda and the like. It’s not so simple as that…

    Polytropos, of course! By the same measure, there are some physicians in the US who work wonders, some who are in it as a trade, and some who are in it to rip off their patients.

    Booklover, karma can have some impact immediately, but most of the time you’re hip deep in the karma from previous lives by the time you start generating karma in this life, and the new arrivals in your karma queue have to wait their turn. As for the apocalyptically minded, that’s a good question; I suspect one bit of karma they get to experience is that of being laughed at when their predictions fail, but beyond that I’m not sure. As for the blowback from nasty magic — spider-related or otherwise — it’s pretty straightforward; people start treating you as the kind of person who does nasty magic — and interestingly, they tend to do this whether or not they know what you’ve done. You just get people shunning you.

    Patricia M, the Willamette Valley had a bad reputation among the First Nations, so it may not be that. As for the coast, quite possibly.

    Matt, it’s a function of the modern mythology of progress, Everything old is boring and wrong, right? So you’re only allowed to trace your lineage back a few decades, or you’re boring and wrong too.

    Patricia M, good. I’m not a great fan of the prettified pantheons of literary Paganism, and wanted to get something closer to my own experience of the gods of nature: vast, wise, terrifying, earthy, incomprehensible. Lovecraft’s invented gods seemed close enough to that to make a good basis.

    Booklover, yep. I’ll be talking about that in due time.

    Versling, thanks for this.

    Justin, your mileage may vary, but I’d finish it in its original form, stick it in a drawer for six weeks, and then take a look at it with fresh eyes.

    Anthony, I’ve never had any dealings with them; some of their books look nice.

    Will M, I have no idea. As I noted earlier, all I have is the perception — not any kind of theory to go with it.

    Renaissance, you may well be right about Thunberg. As for barbarians in the snow, oh, granted — this iconic bit of Frazetta comes to mind:
    underinsulated barbarian

    Your Kittenship, it’s quite true. A significant number of first-wave feminists, having been told over and over again that the Christian God commanded them to be subordinate to men, did the obvious thing and joined the other side. If Robert Mathiesen happens to read this, he can point you to a lot more information about it.

  221. Yikes. I didn’t expect a backlash for calling them that. I mean, they are meant to concentrate the population of illegal immigrants in order to deal with them. I thought that’s what they were called.

    Anyway, Isn’t the illegal immigration that the US is facing an expectable consequence of its imperialism? It makes sense that a wealth pump pulls on more than just resources, and creates an imbalance of conditions that naturally incentivizes people to take the gamble and make the trip. Shouldn’t a country that has benefited from the wealth of other countries owe the people coming from those countries a humane treatment?

    JP

  222. Dear Boysmom,

    I am very deeply touched by your offer, thank you — I am very much open to any Christians praying to their God on my behalf as long that there is no effort made to convert me and my free will is totally respected. I acknowledge Christ as a mighty deity, and He has told me in prayer that my polytheism is right and good and gave me His blessing to follow my path.

    My apologies is my boundary reads in any way crudely or rudely in the face of your wonderful and generous offer. The major reason that I bring it up is that a few months ago some Christians prayed to convert me, and it was a really terrible experience for me, and so I feel the need to mention this caveat, especially on such a public forum.

    I consider others praying on my behalf of singular beauty and grace, and so again, and very sincerely, many many thanks. I am honored and touched that you would even consider it. If my response were to make you decide against it in light of your conscience, nonetheless, you expressing the mere thought of such goodwill is extremely meaningful to me and so regardless of anything else please accept my gracious thanks.

  223. Reloaded, I’ll doubtless get around to it sooner or later. Steiner and Jung are more interesting to me than Crowley, but I suppose the Not-so-great Beast also deserves a post or two, if only as an object lesson.

    Mister N, interesting. I also found Minnesota oddly distasteful, and am not sure why.

    Temporaryreality, the article in The Foxfire Book is my mainstay.

    Trubrujah, tyou might want to be very anonymous about posting such comments, so that people who might want to relieve you of that wad of cash don’t know where to find you…

    Phutatorius, oh, I know. I’m hoping that sanity prevails nonetheless.

    Versling, I like that because it reminds those of us who live in America just how privileged we all are by comparison with the rest of the world.

  224. Mister Nobody wrote…

    I’m sorry, but there is just something very, very wrong with that place, or at the very least with the Twin Cities Metro Area. I have never encountered an energy like that before, and I hope to never encounter such energy ever again.

    Could you describe more specifically what you noticed and felt in the Twin Cities?

    Thanks,

    Jacques

  225. Somewhere in my saga, people go Midwinter gift shopping and see many things at the bazaar, including “brawny, half-naked barbarians, shivering in the freezing cold.” 😄

  226. Re: feminism and satanism
    Excellent review of a new book by Per Faxneld about the very earliest years of 19th century feminism and its use of Satan as a symbol of their rejection of patriarchy in the form of Christianity. I’d like to read it but haven’t a spare $62.95 at the moment.
    https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2019/10/women-under-the-spell/

    Rita Rippetoe:
    To keep skunks from eating your honeybee larvae, two solutions:
    1. Do not situate your hives on or near the ground, put them on a platform at least 24″ high. Cinder blocks are great. Skunks will still scratch but have more trouble getting inside because of their short little legs.
    2. If you have access to those evilly dangerous tack strips they use to put down wall-to-wall carpeting, tapping pieces of them around the entrance and sides of your hives will make the skunks think twice. Why the nasty razor sharp staples dissuade them while bee stings don’t is a mystery to me, but they do. Theory: tack strips rip up their tender feet and noses while bees can’t sting well through their heavy coats.

  227. On Minnesota and Wisconsin, I know a lot of people from both places, and an odd but persistent fact is that the Minnesotans tend to be rather overly proud of Minnesota and of being from there, while the Wisconsinites I know are not particularly proud of Wisconsin.

    I work in a distributed organization, and most of the Minnesotans still live there, while no one originally from Wisconsin (including me) still lives there.

    This despite that Wisconsin is sort of a nicer place on the whole, if you ask me. (I’m originally from Wisconsin, so probably not in the best position to judge.)

    I don’t have a theory about it, just an observation.

  228. I took a psychology class in high school. My teacher was Korean War generation and he discussed the US panic over communist ‘brainwashing’ of POWs during that war. One of his comments was that American soldiers were mores susceptible because once the senior officer in the group was removed each soldier was on his own to respond to the captors. In contrast, he said, Turkish soldiers had a strict chain of command–if you were down to two privates, the one who enlisted first was in charge. I hadn’t thought about this class in years, but this discussion brought it back.

    I have read quite a bit of William Faulkner and he didn’t exactly say that the American South was cursed, but his stories reflect the violence in the relations between whites and Indians and whites and African slaves. He probably wouldn’t have used the word “karma” to describe the long term effects, but that is what it seemed to amount to. There is also a clear difference in his stories between whites who were part of the English plantation class and those Scots Irish refugees who had been conquered, stripped of their Celtic culture and sent to the colonies to ‘root hog, or die.” “Cracker Culture” by Gerald McWhinney provides some interesting observations on that aspect of the South. Literary critics IMO do not seem to understand Faulkner’s poor whites very well. For example, they treat Anse Bundren in ‘As I Lay Dying” as a lazy buffon, yet Faulkner clearly, once again IMO, portrays him as a man worn down by poverty and hard work. Of course this was from a generation of English professors who had little personal experience of poverty or hard physical labor.

  229. Regarding our billionaire betters obsession with plant-based or insect-based substitutes for meat:

    Perhaps this is not really about the climate and more about flexing on normal people: We, the enlightened billionaires, have made meat the exclusive right of the upper classes – but we have a cheap substitute (more expensive than the original product) for you to consume.

  230. Dear CR Patiño,

    I’ve spent most of the time in Mexico in San Miguel de Allende, but also spending significant time in the cities of Querétaro, León, and Guadalajara. Of course, I travelled as a pretty obvious 15 year old gringo at the time, which might have had something to do with the hostile vibes. I’m curious, if I may, whereabouts in Mexico do you reside?

  231. LCL,

    “The unwanted babies were killed, abandoned, sold, or if they were relatively lucky, handed over to religious organizations.”

    What I meant though is that the pregnancies would be a bit life threatening, ruin your figure, and in two or three months you’d be pregnant again.

  232. David BTL: that EIA chart is interesting. I’m surprised that T&D losses are so small and that “conversion losses” which are huge don’t merit an explanatory note. Many thanks for linking it.

  233. My skunk story: one evening around dusk, when it was nearly dark, I looked out into my backyard and saw an entire family of skunks frolicking under one of my maple trees. They were flouncing around like they were dancing! I’d never seen anything like it, before or since.

  234. Re: the decline of libraries & culling of collections

    I couldn’t agree more with what Lacking Clever User Name described. I’ve worked as a part-time employee in a large city library system for the past six years and I have many similar stories. It inspired my library-themed story that was published in the After Oil 2 anthology (& since then, I have had additional experiences that might have added to the story if I were to edit it further).  I could never be a full-time librarian in our system; I would be too much at odds with tasks I would be assigned to do.  Even as a part-time employee I often feel I am constantly trying to swim against a tide. I rationalize staying in my job because I have been able to add lots of new books to our collection that wouldn’t have been there otherwise (a lot of Greer’s, for example), I’ve been able to protect a few books here and there from being purged (yes, the reason why you can still find William Catton’s Overshoot  in our system is because of me), been able to do some programming of my choice, & enjoy the interaction with patrons… but sometimes I wonder how long I can endure it.

    The collection software referred to may be what our library system uses now: https://www.collectionhq.com/  I too am critical of this software. A lot of the orders come from downtown administrative staff and are not decided by public services staff. Reports can be printed out for books not checked out in a certain number of years, but also Grubby Book Lists (books checked out over 40 times that may not be in good condition). (So now…books at either “extreme”– checked out too little or too much are at risk of being purged, great…).  To me I think those reports encourage more purging than other methods of evaluating collections before we paid for this technology.  Yes, in theory, librarians are told not to automatically purge everything on those lists, to look at each item to see what value it would have (and the actual condition).  And yes, the librarians in my library still keep some items on those lists. And yes, if they can (if the book is still in print), they will re-order some of the books purged on the Grubby Book Lists. But what I also see is when a librarian is assessing whether a not recently checked out book has value to keep, further reasearch often amounts to a 30 second internet search, which is really ridiculous. But these librarians are pressed for time, have to turn in these reports into administration by a certain deadline… (and one has privately admitted to me that she disagrees with what she is doing, but lacks energy in putting up a fight, she has simply given up).

    I also find that I am the most conservative among my co-workers about book condition. In my experience, patrons are happy to have a book and it doesn’t need to look brand new; they would be happier to have a book than not at all.  If a page is torn, I will tape it, if the book binding become loose, I will glue it…but I am one of the few people who actually repairs books; most will just discard anything with a blemish. It’s one thing if it’s a popular book like Harry Potter with many copies in our system & that can easily be reordered, but for last copy out-of-print book, I really think we should do everything we can to repair a book.

    What I also see happening is that extra copies of books will be purged until there is just one copy or two copies left in the library system. But eventually that last copy will be damaged or lost and then it’s gone, if it’s out of print. In my opinion, keeping multiple copies of books (especially older out-of-print books) that one cannot easily re-order is smart thinking for the long-term.  But I am an outsider. People are not thinking 30 years into the future, or for that matter, even 3 years into the future.

    Sometimes I feel I need to be a part of a (in-person, not just through the web) support group for library workers who feel the way I do.  While there are people in my system who agree with me, they tend to be the lower level staff without library science degrees (who simply think what they think without having been indoctrinated through academic training), or older librarians (who are going to retire soon and have given up and are ready to get out).  As a generalization, I find that I have a hardest time relating to librarians fresh out of library school.

    I have some ideas curdling within me that I might want to develop into longer essays:

    –the library profession prides itself on its value of anti-censorship. But to me, when the popularity of books increasingly drives collection decisions, that is a form of censorship. It is censorship against books that may have great value but are less popular, that have less marketing backing them up, that may come from smaller publishers. Democracy is in part, about protection of minorities and minority opinion and public libraries are often talked about as institutions that support democracy.  To me, if libraries are to truly contribute to a democratic society, it is important to protect many lesser known perspectives and voices in library collections.  Yes, there is so much emphasis on “diversity” these days (but only certain types of diversity get talked about) but I think that should include “diversity of ideas”. Popularity determining collections devalues diversity.

    –the term used in the library profession for getting rid of books is “weeding”.  But “weeding” also makes me think of plants and gardening.  What is considered a “weed” is not so clear-cut.  Sometimes what some consider unsightly “weeds” are to other people beautiful, very nutritious and offer other benefits. For example, one person may try to get rid of all dandelions on her yard, but another will delight in their beauty and make salads out of them. Using the plant analogy to discuss delusional trends in libraries.

    –I really think “The Emperor’s New Libraries” tale could be written….  An ugly, lacking-substance modern library has won many architectural awards so it must be great and everyone is saying so (even though many actually don’t feel that way but don’t dare be the lone person who says the truth). It takes an innocent young soul, who hasn’t yet learned the art of self-censorship common in professions these days, who walks in to a library mostly filled with just air and states the obvious, “Where are all the books?

    Anyway, I’ll stop now. Whenever libraries come up in the discussion, it’s hard for me not to respond!

  235. @Lady Cutekitten

    I am indeed reading every comment here every week, though I respond less often now than I used to. (Feeling my years more these days, y’know …)

    Women who “joined the other side,” for the reason our host stated, first show up in any significant numbers about the time that both Spiritualism and first-wave feminism got going in the US.

    One prominent early woman Spiritualist, Emma Hardinge Britten, even made a point of insisting that to be a Spiritualist Medium was exactly the same thing as being a Witch, and that such women should be proud that they are actually Witches. (Spiritualism was the first major new religious movement in the US that privileged female leadership over male leadership in theory, and even in practice.) Britten came from an enormously impoverished background, and had to work very hard in her younger years to support herself and her mother and sister; her father and brother were dead, and there seem to have been no male relatives on whom these three women could depend for their survival. She was also one of the first Spiritualists to openly state that she was not a Christian.

    Matilda Joslyn Gage (the co-author with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony of the magisterial “A History of Woman Suffrage”) penned a thick, heavily documented, very influential work, “Woman, Church and State” (1893), which argues passionately and powerfully that it was institutional Christianity above all other forces that had always forced women into a subservient position to men — except for a few rebel-women, whom the Church demonized and persecuted as Witches. (It was she who popularized the “nine million women were burned as Witches” trope.) Gage was a Theosophist, too, so Madame Blavatsky’s intense and quite public dislike of every form of Western Christianity probably spurred her to write her book.

    Gage and Britten together were probably the major inspiration for the women who went so far as to self-identify as Witches in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    Victoria Woodhull belongs here, too, as a Spiritualist and as a first-wave feminist. She might even count as one of the first self-aware Pagans in the US and UK: later in her life she kept an altar to the Goddess Nike in her home. (We have no documentation as to her practice, if any, in connection with this altar of hers.)

    And there is a great deal more. Per Faxneld’s recent book on this subject (“Satanic Feminism”) is well worth a close and careful reading.

  236. I wanted to share my experiences with immigration over the past 13 months now that it has been successfully completed, not for any congratulations but more for the wisdom I’ve been able to glean from it all. First of all, the day after I was notified that my wife and son had received their visas, I realized the benefits to doing the process entirely myself instead of paying a lawyer to do it. To be completely honest, I had no idea the extent to the depth of which the US government runs on bureaucracy. When all will be said and done (we still have one more interview to do upon arrival in the airport with US Customs) we’ll have had to deal with too many different departments and agencies within the US government which don’t coordinate extremely well. To list the ones that come to mind are the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, the National Visa Center, US Embassy in Moscow and one in China, United Nations approved medical doctors, and US Customs. I feel like I am missing a few. There were hundreds of pages of documents which needed send in to the various agencies, often duplicating the pages which had been sent elsewhere. All departments required their take of fees for processing. It was mind blowing for the average person I spoke with about my experiences. They felt essentially that if a foreign person married a US Citizen it was their automatic ticket to Green Card entry to the USA. What a surprise.

    The other bit I wanted to share was how some events lined up which, in my mind, really shows the influence of entities within another realm. Back in July my wife learned she had to be out of her apartment by August. Days before she was to be out, she managed to find someone who was not only willing to let her stay in their apartment for a cheap price, but also was quite content to only allow her to stay for three months therefore not paying any fees for breaking a lease. Turns out, we will be coming to the US now at that the end of those three months. Perfect timing. I was able to get some time off work to come back to China with my wife because at the time we had no idea when an interview would be scheduled or when we’d and our children would see each other. A week after arrival the interview was scheduled and I was able to secure time off from my work despite it being the busy Open Enrollment season, to help with packing and organization of 10 years of a life being moved from one country to another. As we are getting all this organized one of my friends contacts me, I share the news with him and he offers a 3 bedroom house within walking distance of my work for us to use and possibly buy in the future, only requiring us to pay utilities for the time. All of our needs just falling into place when we need them. I hope this will serve myself as a good reminder that there are events happening behind the scenes influencing the events in this physical realm. I’d also love to figure out which entities were behind all of this.. I’m sure if they want to be known they will.

    Anyways, I do want to thank the host of this blog and the many commenters. Your insights into all the different aspects of life, from the political to the occult have helped me in making sense and dealing with of a lot of these experiences. I hope that I’ll be able to give back in some way for all the help and benefits I’ve received.

  237. @JMG

    What’s an urbanite concerned about resilience to do? Unlike many on this thread who seem delighted to hunker down on the homestead, I love cities and always have. I love walking down narrow streets, the click clack of high heels, the smell of wine and perfume, fine arts and dedicated craftsmen. Paris is closer to my ideal of paradise than practicing permaculture. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Permaculture is awesome! I just don’t think it’s my role.

    Now, I’m fully aware of urbanite’s dependence on the countryside, but the two aren’t mutually exclusive and can even be symbiotic. Edo Japan is an oft-cited historical example. I wonder how things can be brought back into balance during the Long Descent and not throw the baby out with the globalism bathwater. I think the locavore, appropriate technology and Maker movements offer promising seed ideas to explore. Thoughts?

  238. Ol’ Bab, that would be an extremely useful project. Combine it with a general move toward adopting organic practices that build soil, a very large scale tree planting program, and the reduction of methane from livestock sources via the seaweed method I mentioned last week, and things start getting manageable.

    Patricia M, good! As I understand, iste was used fairly widely in classical Latin, as the counterpart of ille when you didn’t want to be polite; I gave a simple translation so that Latinate readers would have some fun.

    Dana, fascinating. Thank you for the data point.

    Tony, oceanic acidification happens every time the climate warms suddenly; that’s why petroleum geologists can tell the exact age of strata they’re drilling through — the species of calcium-shelled plankton (foraminifers, mostly) change at frequent intervals. What happens is that calcium-shelled plankton are replaced by protein-shelled ones, and if it’s really serious, the deep oceans go anoxic and have to be repopulated again once the deepwater currents pick up again. Does this make it sound like business as usual? That’s exactly what it is; since deepwater anoxia is how the biosphere extracts carbon from the cycle and entombs it in sediment as future fossil fuels, my take is that we should let nature do what she does best.

    Clark, there are a lot of breathing exercises and some internal energy work, but nothing developed to the extent of qigong or yoga. The Western esoteric traditions had to go into survival mode for a couple of centuries after the Scientific Revolution, and we’re still recovering from that.

    Ben, if that happens I would expect a serious insurgency, quite possibly leading to civil war. Remember that Trump’s trade policies have given people in the flyover states the first ray of hope they’ve had in decades. Deprive them of that and a lot of people will have no reason left to do anything but grab their guns, call their conservative friends, and fight back — and given the attitudes and social background of the rank and file in the US military, it’s by no means certain that troops called out to fight against such an uprising will do so. And of course there are plenty of foreign powers who would be happy to make sure that the insurgents got all the munitions they needed…

    Teresa, delighted to see this. My wife and I use reusable grocery bags always.

    Ryan, no, I hadn’t — and I’m floored to see the Carnegie Foundation supporting a work of actual economic common sense. Thanks for this!

    Stuart, my criticisms of Gail are purely focused on her habit of predicting the same sudden crash over and over again. Jim and I are friends; Dmitry — well, he’s always one to go his own way, and I wish him the best. As for the accuracy of my predictions, er, have you managed to forget that I’ve been the one who has been saying all along that we’re facing a long ragged descent taking one to three centuries? We’re still very much on track to get the future I predicted — and the biosphere has been through much worse, by the way.

    BoysMom, that makes sense. It may also be partly a gender thing; I know several other women who get the “winter is coming” thing at various points in summer or fall.

    Irena, yes, very much so. The best thing the US could possibly do to improve its national security is to help Mexico become as strong, stable, and prosperous as Canada, and stopping the “war on drugs” would be a very good first step.

    Alexander, imagine it, imagine things that induce it, and let your body take on a position that enhances it — emotions have much more to do with physical posture and gesture than most people realize. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but you’ll manage. As for the job, there are great techniques for that in lesson VII! In the meantime, a candle working might well be a good approach; you can also do an affirmation on the order of “The job I want shows itself to me.”

    Username, I have no idea — I’d have to go there to find out, and I don’t travel that much these days.

    Blue Sun, it’ll be interesting to see whether corporations end up being forced to pledge allegiance as a condition of market access once the globalism thing finishes falling apart. I wouldn’t put it out of reach!

    J.L.Mc12, China’s the most populous nation on earth; Indonesia’s about on a par with the United States, i.e., plenty crowded. Either one could end up doing mass migration your way. I doulbt they both will, but that’s also a possibility!

    Jim W, there are a lot of ethnic groups in the Middle East that don’t have their own countries; the Kurds are one of the largest. I don’t know enough about them to guess at their karma. As for the US, we exploited a lot of countries — empires do that. Look at Spain and England, the last two global empires before ours, for a sense of the likely range of potential outcomes.

    Oriol, fascinating. I’ll be interested to hear what you come up with.

    James, (1) yep — in the Haliverse, the war between Cthulhu and Hastur was what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. That’s mentioned in more detail in the forthcoming roleplaying game book. (2) I don’t want to overdo it; too many good stories have been ruined by being run into the ground. I do have a couple of other ideas, one of them about half written, but we’ll see. I don’t have an imagination suited for children’s books — even when I was kid I liked adult fiction better — so The Adventures of Sennie and Barney would need a kid’s book coauthor at least.

    Reese, fair enough! I don’t plan on rewriting Retrotopia — I’m by and large satisfied with it — but if I do I’ll consider that.

    Wesley, I’m pretty sure it will happen. Pro-Brexit sentiment is hardening among the masses, and if BoJo funks it completely, there’s a very real chance that Nigel Farage will end up heading a coalition government after the next general election.

    Your Kittenship, yes, precisely. The building where Walter Gibson lived has been haunted ever since his time by The Shadow, his most famous fictional creation — people keep on seeing a figure in a dark cape and a broad-brimmed hat with burning eyes. Of course Gibson was a capable occultist as well as a first-rate pulp author…

    Violet, cliche or not, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

    Bonnie, delighted to hear this. I’ve heard of a few other doctors doing this; if more get a clue and do the same thing, it might be the salvation of scientific medicine.

    Jim, I studied Latin, not Greek, so I tend to think of the Latin names first!

    Will J, I didn’t see it come it, so quite possibly yes.

    SMJ, it was written in a hurry and I should have paid much more attention to the evidence for relatively advanced Ice Age civilizations. Lacking that, the book strikes me as facile.

    Jim W, if I had no morals I’d have cashed in on that sort of thing years ago. “128 strands of DNA activation! Those are rookie numbers! My system of Applied Moronics will activate whole hanks of your DNA!”

    Scintilla, that’s correct.

    Katsmama, many thanks for this. Good to know!

    CR, that would be a very sensible thing to do, because Minerva is also the patron of cities and urban life! The people who put the statue there probably didn’t have an occult education but they very likely had a good classical education — that was still pretty common in the 1950s. Such a statue would tend to encourage culture and the arts and to inspire participation in city affairs.

    Alacrates, yep. I expect that to turn out to be a fad, and to implode messily sooner or later.

    Churrundo, fair enough. In the US, at least, the term “concentration camp” is used pretty much exclusively as a reference to the Nazi camps; “detention camps” or “internment camps” is the less loaded term. As for what a country does and doesn’t owe, er, did you think that any nation in the history of the world ever actually cared about that?

    Your Kittenship, hah!

    Brian, the main problem with many existing cities is sheer size. A moderately sized city is actually a good place to be in an era of decline — you’ve got the concentrated labor force needed to keep things working for a good long while, and produce goods and services for trade to the agricultural hinterland. Keep in mind also that we’re not talking about a sudden smash, but a long ragged decline that will hit bottom long after both of us are dead. With that in mind, by all means stick with cities.

  239. Since we seem to have a discussion about the vibe of the land in the Willamette Valley, and I live here:

    To me, there is a band of rolling lands on the west side from about Forest Grove west of Portland all the way down to Veneta west of Eugene that has a particular feel to it, and an overall positive vibe. There is a smaller area on the east side from about Sandy down to Silverton that has a different “flavor”, but similar positivity. For the lowlands in between I would agree with the “sickly” description – and I’ve never had a desire to live out in the flats. This was a land of wet prairies on dense clay soils that mostly flooded in the winter. Now it is largely industrial-scale fields that are ground to dusty powder in late summer and planted to grass seed crops that satisfy the world’s hunger for lawns and golf courses.

  240. @ Beneaththesurface

    Spot on!

    I gave up on trying to fight city hall, or in this case, public library administration.

    One of the causes of the decline of the public library is the lack of accountability. I heard a podcast at James Kunstler’s blog a while ago that mentioned a theory that with the decline of local newspapers, or at least with the decline of local newspaper investigative reporting, there is no one to hold local public officials accountable anymore.

    When I first started working at my library job, the library board was composed of several highly qualified members: college professors, editors, teachers, writers, lawyers, and others who were in the “knowledge business” and who had traditional and practical ideas about what their town library should be. One of my tasks, while working at the library was to archive newspaper articles about the library. When I first started working there, the file of clippings was quite thick. The local newspaper sent a reporter to every library board meeting and their reporting kept the library honest and the public well-informed as to what the library was doing. In those days, when the public was still well-informed about the library’s doings, they responded to the slightest change; they would attend library board meetings and would make themselves heard. But that doesn’t happen anymore — now it’s rare when a member of the public attends a library board meeting.

    A few years ago the local newspaper let go of most of its reporting staff and the newspaper shrank into basically a community bulletin board. And around that time, the “knowledge business” board members retired and were replaced by people who just didn’t seem as bright. When our former library director retired, the new library board members were easily conned by the flash-over-substance job interview performed by the person who is now our new director, and that’s when all the trouble started. And the new board members seem to be oblivious to the obvious negative changes around the library.

    I also think that there has been a change in the way the public perceives libraries. Older patrons still want the library to be a peaceful, quiet place, full of books. But younger patrons see the library as a social center, an activity center for their kids, a maker-space for their projects, and a place to eat. But I can’t help loving a visit to an old- fashioned library that is pin-drop quiet, with a cathedral-like main room, with wood paneling and stone walls, bookcases along the walls, leaded-glass windows high above them, the floor covered by neatly-arranged large study tables, dotted with lights with green lampshades, and in the corners, comfy, leather wing chairs, perfect for reading (and of course, naps). Plus a working fireplace.

  241. Applied Moronics nearly made me spurt my morning coffee! Can I get a few Malgorithms to go with that? And a Quantum Spice Latte? That laugh’s gonna stay with me all day! Thanks.

  242. Hi John Michael,

    You know, several acres of mono-culture organic crops where other life forms are excluded, no matter how well farmed, will be strip mining the soils of some mineral or other. Excuse the pun, but it is baked into the cake. 🙂 I was cogitating upon this subject because you made mention of it a week or two back in a brief critique in a reply to someone else and I agree with you.

    Anyway, I read a long while back that something like 80% of organic farms down here don’t save their own seeds. Clearly this is an economic decision, if only because yields have to be high in order for a farm to make a profit, and saving seeds is perhaps viewed as an uneconomic activity because some of the crop has to be set aside for replanting in later seasons.

    But the thing is, I tend to feel that the genetic diversity and local adaptation of plant varieties has diminished and continues to do so if seeds are not saved. As a disclaimer I save the seeds from as many plant varieties as I can manage, and also bring in new diverse plant genetics most seasons – and let them inter breed. It seems to work and they are becoming hardier to heat and reduced allocations of water. Anyway, I was wondering if in your depiction of the future, you considered the difficulties of transitioning from industrial agriculture to organic farming practice and its effect on population? I tend to believe that all other considerations to the side, the yields will be lower and less people will be fed. But then there is also a lot of food waste these days, so maybe that practice of waste will end when the ability to do so does? Dunno and was curious as to your thoughts.

    Cheers

    Chris

  243. @Jim: Thanks for the tip about the film by Curtis. I may have to check it out that one. Hypernormalisation is a great title also.

    @JMG: I will take your advice and see if I can finish it up the way I’ve already written it and complete the final scenes needed. I’m just curious though, any specific reason for the length of time, 6 weeks? It sounds like a reasonable amount of time, though. Enough to forget it for a bit while working on other things.

    I’ll also be putting in a request for the library to purchase that Ranciere book. From what I’ve read of Bernay’s so far he does seem rather like the used car salesman of Freudianism, an advertising working for whoever threw him a bone. I can see that the whole subject of propaganda is full of nuance. Still it seems the general American media-sphere works with the approach of repetitive bludgeoning.

    I’m reminded though of something Robert Anton Wilson said, “Art is a form of seduction. There are rapists in the intellectual world and they become politicians. The seducers become artists. We try to seduce people into our reality tunnels instead of leading them there with a gun. But we are trying to get them into our reality, our reality tunnel or our reality labyrinth.” I always did like a good maze.

  244. @ Temporaryreality

    Re underage vaping/smoking and class markers

    Class disdain may have been a factor, but it wasn’t one of which I detected any evidence in those conversations. Not to say it wasn’t there. From what I could tell, though, it was very much about Doing Something to stop this Very Bad Thing.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think that inhaling chemical fumes into one’s lungs is an incredibly dumb idea, regardless of whether one is of-age or not. My point was that in a free society premised on individual liberty and limited government, there is a considerable gap between actions which are dumb ideas and actions which ought to be made illegal. Specifically, the latter are reserved for the set of actions wherein one individual is infringing on the liberties of another. Within the sphere of an individual’s actions upon himself, I cannot see how the state has any proper jurisdiction. (To expand on the commonly-used example: my right to swing my fist stops at the tip of your nose; I can, however, punch myself in the face all day long if I so choose.)

    Yes, these kids shouldn’t vape. And I had no issue with saying that electronic cigarettes are no different than their non-electronic brethren when it comes to smoking prohibitions (second-hand smoke, etc). But the notion of regulating people’s behavior with respect to potential harm to themselves by using the power of the state to “save them” from their own poor decisions goes beyond the bounds of the proper role of government. This sort of thinking is precisely where Prohibition came from and is incompatible with the principles on which our republic was founded.

  245. John,
    I was interested in your response to Erik above regarding developing consciousness between incarnations. Is it the case that by developing appropriate skills, such as I’m learning through my OBOD course, am I assisting more proactively in developing that consciousness? I have found myself very much drawn to the OBOD course and undertaking the activities and developing the skills provided. Its almost as if it was something I was needing to find, but took me 46 years to find it and now that I have, I have found a sense of purpose and direction that I previously lacked. And one I am very enthusiastically engaging in. Is this a positive sign in developing that consciousness?
    Regards
    Averagejoe

  246. I too would like to comment about libraries.

    Like Lacking Clever User Name and Beneath the Surface, I work at a library and am appalled at what is happening. Automation at the library now means patrons can come, sign themselves into a computer, print and pay, search for and sign books out, all without speaking to a single person.

    Culling of the collection is done every year, regardless of the condition of the books, and is mostly based on whether someone signed them out in the last two years. Because we are a bilingual community, we are required to have a percentage of books in French, which rarely get read, and a regrettable number of them are thrown out in brand new condition, a complete waste of money. Many patrons have come asking for classics we haven’t had in years.

    Our most popular sections are the DVD movies and video games.

    On the other hand, a good number of our patrons refuse to use the self-checkouts, and come to the desk just to chat.

    I also own a used bookstore. The contrast could not be starker. People love coming in to browse and chat. Because I take anything and everything trying to save books from the landfill, I often have really odd things in my collection and absolutely love what people come looking for. Like a 1979 Funk and Wagnall’s encyclopedia set (!) or an old calculus textbook an elderly lady wanted to give her brain something to chew on, or old classics the library no longer has, or books in German or Dutch, or a very specific bible from 1966… Earlier this week a nursing student brought in outdated (by a couple years) textbooks and yesterday, a nursing student came in and as we chatted, I found out by accident she might be interested in them. So her husband brought the boxes in from my car (they were on their way to the warehouse) and she was so delighted she bought them all. I gave her a great deal. Better the books are in her hands than in the warehouse or worse, the landfill.

    My most gratifying moments are when a customer stops dead in their tracks, mouth hanging open, in disbelief and sheer delight that a book they had been looking for everywhere was right there in front of them. Some do a little dance of joy, some want to hug or kiss me, some are speechless. Pure joy all around.

  247. @JMG and anyone else talking about an insurgency among the American Right:

    Personally, I am highly sceptical that the American people, especially on the Right, are capable of any sort of insurgency or revolutionary violence. My reasons for believing this have to do with the fact that we already have a sizeable chunk of the American population – several tens of millions – who claim to believe that our present government is a mass-murdering despotism, and yet haven’t taken up arms against it, nor are they even advocating something as milquetoast as Catalonia-style secession referenda.

    I am talking, of course, about the pro-life movement. Whether or not you share their belief that abortion is murder – and I get the idea that most people on this forum don’t – the point is that these people will come out in mass to various protests and wave their signs asserting that the United States, by legalizing and funding abortion, has racked up a bigger body count than Hitler’s Germany, and then when the protest is over, they put away their signs, hop back in their cars, and go to work the next day like everything is normal again.

    Revolutionary violence – the logical next step if the pro-lifers believed their own rhetoric – is never mooted. So the question is, are these people just blowing smoke about abortion even though there are other things that, deep down, they care about more and might actually take up arms to defend? Or are we really living among the least brave generation to ever cumber the Earth?

  248. You probably know that a lot of people on the Internet are talking about the new Joker movie. It occurred to me yesterday that turning Election 2020 into yet another contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would truly be a feat worthy of the Joker!

  249. Dear Mr Greer

    This is probably going to seem like a stupid question. I am thinking of trying out your astrology site. You have to understand that I am pretty sceptical of astrology, but I am willing to dip my toe into the water and see if your predictions bear any resemblance to reality. For that reason I only want to subscribe for 3 to 6 months to begin with, to see if its my cup of tea. So the question I want to ask is whether it is possible to end my subscription or pay for a limited period. I don’t normally pay for things on line and I have never used anything like patron before, so this is new new area for me.

    You have already put some predictions on this blog and the one I’m pretty interested in was on Brexit. Unfortunately its too early to tell how accurate its going to turn out, as Brexit hasn’t happened yet. Brexit does seem to be turning out like one of those American television drama series that goes on for ever, and which you need to take two weeks off work to watch. If anyone out there wants a good insight into the political forces going on behind the Brexit drama I would recommend the following piece by John Gray
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/10/closing-conservative-mind-politics-and-art-war

    I look forward to your answer

  250. Thank you for your reply about ocean acidification . “; since deepwater anoxia is how the biosphere extracts carbon from the cycle and entombs it in sediment as future fossil fuels, my take is that we should let nature do what she does best. ” What about warming of the ocean , will that not increase the global air warming ? Should humanity do anything about that ?

  251. Greetings ADJMG! Hope you and wife are well.

    My youngest daughter is 2 years old. Since she could live another 80 years, could you paint a brief picture of what the US possibly will look like 80 years from now?
    Much appreciated!

  252. @Brian, et al

    re: city living vs. hunkering down on the homestead:

    We live out in the sticks. It’s where I prefer to be, but as decline really sets in… no. Within the next few years, I want to be closer to town. Maybe a different town. Right now, and for as long as I can remember, it’s been generally acknowledged that nobody in a small vehicle should travel the highways east of us at night. The locals out that way run motorcycles and small vehicles off the road for sport. They are never caught and prosecuted for it. This used to be true of the highways north of town as well, but more traffic, four-laning the road, and better enforcement have cut down on the problem. As law enforcement budgets shrink, I expect this problem to creep back, and that it won’t limit itself to the highways or the dark hours. The cops are at least twenty minutes away. Yes, we’re armed and have dogs. No, I don’t like having to count on that.

    I hope there are many rural areas and exurbs that are better. Around here, the dysfunction is partly land prices: overpriced in town, and darn cheap out here due to poor soil (no farms). This makes for a bizarre mix of horse-owners, ex-cons, meth labs, and working-class people with goats. I don’t want to know how that plays out as fuel prices go up and law enforcement stops coming out this far. You need cohesive community, shared values, and neighborliness. We don’t have it. Our neighbors on one side never come out of the house, and on the other side include a face-tattooed sex offender waiting out his probation. Like everyone else here: this is where we can afford to live.

    I can’t help thinking about what happened to rural farmers during the economic collapse in Argentina: they were prey. I can totally see that happening where I live. And I don’t want to be here when the time comes.

  253. @OneThing

    “What I meant though is that the pregnancies would be a bit life threatening, ruin your figure, and in two or three months you’d be pregnant again.”

    I wouldn’t expect ruining your figure to be much of a problem before the modern age. Gaining ten pounds per kid is very much a modern phenomenon. As for getting pregnant again right away… it depends. If you’re getting enough to eat, and you’re not nursing, then yeah, the return to fertility is pretty quick. If you’re not getting enough to eat (and I’d expect that to be normal for much of the population historically) and/or if you’re nursing a child, it can take quite a long time. Anything from six months to four years, possibly longer. I am far from malnourished, and nursing my kids kept fertility at bay for 10-14 months. As for life-threatening…. well, it’s never been a safe profession.

  254. Methylethyl, thanks for the tooth powder info.

    Violet and JMG, thanks for the Foxfire recommendation. I’ll scout out a copy.

    And Violet, I’d be delighted to offer morning incense for your protection and blessing. If the group who wishes you ill meets at Samhain/Halloween, I can do so through that time period.

    Onething, may I include you in that as well?

  255. @ Prizm.

    Congratulations that your wife and child are on thier way. My wife came in on a fiancée visa about 12 years ago. I also did all the paperwork. Your description of the bureaucracy is spot on, huge, uncoordinated, cold. It gave me a glimpse of what power really is. Also like you forces beyond helped us a lot. That is really when I started to take my Christian faith seriously. Congratulations I wish you and your family many years of happiness.

  256. “…a long ragged decline that will hit bottom long after both of us are dead.”

    Thanks for cheering me up, @JMG. I needed that. 🙂

    “A moderately sized city is actually a good place to be in an era of decline…”

    So, what do you think about Portland, Oregon (or the upper Williamette Valley in general)? Obviously it’s caught up in the high COL tech echo boom radiating from the Bay Area at the moment, but on a longer scale, like the next 50 years? I do have relatives up there but they’re all retired baby boomers so their perspective is all about classic car shows and that cute B&B in Corvallis and blah blah…

  257. @escher: Yes, Wisconsin really has become a place that people move away from. I think part of that is on account of the fact that we’re probably the “poor relative” in a lot of ways among the Midwestern states.

  258. There are two interesting articles in the new Scientific American. One is the editors are calling for absolute, no exceptions vaccinations of everyone for everything. They did not mention how much force the State should be willing to employ to achieve this end.

    Second is an article similar to what Ryan found about wealth concentration. Apparently there is some sort of statistical effect going on where once random factors cause one person to get slightly richer the wealth compounds even with fair dealing and even outcomes on every transaction. Unfortunately it also works in reverse; once a little behind you rapidly slide backwards into poverty.

    One other note while I’m here, the 180 degree turn in environmentalism still surprises me. They went from Rodale Press style everyone will be grubbing on organic subsistence farms and doing handicrafts in their copious spare time to everyone will live in mega cities surrounded by GMO intensive farms (there are skyscraper greenhouses too), with the rest of the countryside returned to the wild.

  259. Oh I just love these open threads and just want to respond to nearly every single person every time, because every post I can either relate to in a way I can rarely relate with others, or I have some sort of epiphany or idea. But I obviously can’t reply to all of you except to say thank you!

    @Justin Patrick Moore – I DO want to say a personal Thank You for your post about Negativland. Wow. 50 years on this earth (half in the Bay Area) and surrounded since childhood by people who have turned me on to the most obscure and wonderful music, and here is a band that speaks to me profoundly I have never heard of. I am in the Bay Area, work in technology and for a certain University, and that song “More Data” perfectly illustrates my daily reality (nightmare?). Thank you.

    Yesterday I was at a work gathering, and talking with younger people, and I had a moment of understanding, or perhaps resignation. This is their world. I don’t like it, I don’t think it’s the direction we should be going, I think it will ultimately lead to more and more suffering, but they believe in it, it’s where we are going. I suppose at this point I just need to figure out how to no longer be a part of it sooner than later.

  260. Violet, I would pray something like “Lord, please protect Violet from those who wish Violet harm”. The way I read scripture He values free will more than anything, and so I would not encroach on yours.

    Sound good to you? I quite value you as an acquaintance and would like to help.

  261. John–

    Since we’re in an open post, I’d like to ask your assessment of the Democrats’ apparent assessment of 2020. I see exultant exuberance (or, equivalently, exuberant exultation) with regard to the impeachment investigation/proceedings: Trump’s done, toast, etc. Some still seem to think he’ll resign (which I just don’t see happening), though most commentary I’ve seen acknowledges that the Republican Senate won’t convict. (On that issue, however, I read one argument that pointed out that the requirement was for 2/3rds of “those present,” suggesting that if a sufficient number of Republican Senators absented themselves from the floor, a smaller number of dissenting Republicans would be able to remove Trump from office.) However, the broader narrative seems to be that he is mortally wounded politically.

    Of course, Mueller was also suppose to take him out. And half a dozen other issues. Yet he remains.

    Understanding that the choice of Democratic nominee will play a significant role (and I still think Biden may yet limp over the finish line), what are the underlying weaknesses that you see in this dominant narrative in the Demo-sphere? What elements are they discounting that you see as significant for next fall? Some that I see are: the uptick in blue-collar employment, Trump’s (as yet unsuccessful) attempts to withdraw our forces from idiotic foreign conflicts, his trade policies which favor a certain economic nationalism, and the border enforcement issue (similarly benefiting the working class). Will it be enough for him to pull out another electoral win and (possibly) a popular win as well?

    The other thing that I see, of course, is that by making the talk about “all Trump, all the time,” they continue to suck the oxygen from the room regarding their own potential nominees’ prospective policies and proposals. They’re not seeming to see how that works to their detriment.

  262. @Tude: I’m glad you liked the Negativland. They remain a huge influence on me, especially the stuff I’ve done in radio, and I’ll have several articles about them in the next few months as part of my “Radiophonic Laboratory” project. (The sections I’ve already written are here for anyone who is interested: http://www.sothismedias.com/the-radiophonic-laboratory.html ) The band originally hails from Contra Costa County -and is referenced in a lot of their music. Besides all their albums I especially loved to listen to recordings of member Don Joyce’s radio show Over the Edge on KPFA in Berkeley. They put out CDs of those shows, and then with the internet became available online. For now, until whatever stairstep the internet disappears on, you can enjoy them at archive.org where they have been preserved for the time being:

    https://archive.org/details/ote?tab=about

    Negativland is rabbit hole that keeps on giving. If you like it, there is plenty of there material to explore.

    “The algorithm of me is obviously off!”

  263. Jmg, I wonder whether in the future Indonesia and China will fight each other over who rules Australia.
    I could imagine Indonesia having control over the northern coasts of Australia and China having anywhere else, but still fighting Indonesia so the can travel to Australia directly through Indonesia rather that having to send ships to it the long way.

    What do you think?

  264. Mark, interesting; thanks for this. My visits to the Willamette valley have been to Portland, Salem, and Eugene, which I believe are all in the bottom lands you mention.

    Jim, you may indeed! Just one of the services I offer…

    Chris, I expect the transition from corporate chemical agriculture to small locally owned farms using organic methods to be slow, ragged, and incremental. Seed saving will be essential to that, since local varieties are crucial to managing food production once you can’t just pump chemicals into the ground, and yes, that and other factors mean that food production a couple of centuries from now will be a good deal less than it is now — though the population will be much lower, too, for a variety of reasons. I’m very much in favor of having people pursue organic intensive methods on the small scale now, precisely because that’ll keep the techniques in use so they can transition to a larger scale as the economic unraveling continues — but the change will take plenty of time.

    Justin, six weeks is simply the interval that I find works well. Your mileage may vary. With regard to the mediasphere and repeated bludgeoning, the fact that Trump won in 2016 shows just how poorly that works in practice; Trump had far less money for advertising than Clinton and also faced the united opposition of the entire mass media, and yet he won because repeated bludgeoning is so ineffective. Of course it helped that he understands Wilson’s approach, and took the time to find out what a very large sector of the electorate actually wanted…

    Averagejoe, yep. You’re making an investment in the afterlife and in future incarnations; while your memories won’t pass over to your next life, the abilities you develop do, and so do connections with spiritual energies and traditions. As for the OBOD course, no argument there — I found it well worth the investment of time. Plan on going back through the whole thing from the beginning once you finish it — you’ll learn much more the second time through!

    Wesley, the people who make noise about abortion don’t have the courage to put their own lives on the line. We saw that a few years back, when Randall Terry’s big anti-abortion protest movement was stopped in its tracks by the simple expedient of arresting protesters who broke laws and giving them modest prison terms. The thought of having to do time was so horrifying to the middle-class housewives who formed the backbone of the movement that it collapsed on the spot. Those aren’t the people I’m talking about.

    I’m not sure if you’re aware of just how profound and bitter the despair and destitution in the flyover states had become before 2016. I knew people who blew their brains out because there was no work and no way for them to support their families, and they’d been told over and over again that for some shifting series of reasons it was all their own fault. Trump’s trade and immigration policies changed that dramatically — all of a sudden there were jobs again, and hope for the future. If the DC establishment takes that away from them, millions of men in the flyover states are going to be face to face with that same despair, but this time they won’t be under the illusion that it’s their own fault. Something will provide the necessary spark, and large parts of this country will go off like a bomb. I hope we can avoid that; civil war’s a very, very ugly thing.

    Mister N, it would indeed!

    J, no, it’s not a stupid question. Of course you can subscribe for a brief period; you can cancel your subscription at any time. Before you sign up, though, I’d encourage you to read my astrological posts on this blog, which can be accessed here; that won’t cost you a thing, and you’ll be able to get a sense of how I approach the subject. Thanks for the link to the John Gray piece!

    Tony, humanity can’t do anything about that — well, other than decreasing our output of greenhouse gases. The amount of energy that would be needed to cool the ocean to any measurable degree is vastly beyond anything our species will ever have access to.

    Dashui, assume for the sake of simplicity that industrial civilization peaked around the year 2000. Since the curve of rise and fall is very roughly similar to a bell-shaped curve, 80 years from now — that is, in the year 2099 — the US will be very approximately where it was a comparable distance before 2000: in other words, 1901. Go pick up a couple of books on daily life in the US in 1901, assume that social customs will be different but the infrastructure and the level of energy per capita may well be about the same, and there you go.

  265. Dear BoysMom,

    Many thanks — that prayer looks absolutely wonderful, and I very much appreciate it. Again thank you, and, also, likewise I value you as an acquaintance. You’re being very kind to me, and I find it extremely touching, and furthermore I am exceedingly grateful for the prayers you are offer on my behalf to your Lord.

    Dear Temporaryreality,

    You’re welcome and many thanks! That is definitely something that I would appreciate very much. I find it deeply touching that people care enough to offer prayer, and I am extremely honored and grateful — thank you so, so much! As for the timing of it, I’m pretty certain that it follows the Neopagan religious calendar pretty closely, as that’s when there are enough people gathered to form a coven.

  266. Lacking Clever User Name, Beneath the Surface and Myriam, my own experiences with libraries are somewhat different, because the urge to remove the books from the libraries isn’t as strong in Germany as in the United States. That said, when I studied library science in the 90s, there was a mentality that the idea of libraries as a repository of old and unusual books is outdated and librarians have to do more modern and cutting-edge things like new media and the like. There was some disdain for the idea of learning about the history of libraries. The university library of the university where I studied had quite a few interesting books about book design and calligraphy, because the university had also courses on design. When I visited there a few years ago, I coundn’t find these books again (but the library was still quite good). Weeding out books is a thing in Germany, too, and some interesting older books have vanished in this way. Scientific journals in one of the university libraries near my city have been weeded out and replaced partly thropugh access to their electronic versions, which isn’t as easy to access.

    By the way, Lacking Clever User Name, I found your story about the library in Into the Ruins quite moving.

  267. @JMG,

    I am agreed with your assessment of the people who make noise about abortion. In a broader sense, though, I believe that pretty-much every protest movement in this country has less “spine,” or less willingness to risk personal danger for their beliefs, than their equivalents in, for instance, the 1960s; I bring up the pro-life movement because its cognitive dissonance is the most obvious.

    I have a hard time believing that any sizable group involved in America’s politics is devoted enough to whatever it is they claim to support to wage a civil war over it, though perhaps that assessment is biased because of my middle-class background – in the circles of people I know, nobody’s really dealt with the kind of despair you mentioned. I experienced the 2016 election from the point-of-view of middle-class Mormons, for whom the controversy was whether we should vote for Trump or Evan McMullin; people who held their nose and voted for Trump usually did it because of the open Supreme Court seat. Obviously this is a far cry from the experience of the deplorables in places like West Virginia!

    I am doubtful, though, about Trump’s ability to deliver on his promises – his own party has given him little support in Congress, so even though he’s gotten a few trade policy changes through on executive action, bigger projects like the wall remain undone. But I recall you saying a few posts ago that the big changes don’t come until the later rounds of caesarism – perhaps we will end up seeing seeing blood eventually. Even so, I’m pessimistic about the ability of any faction of the American right to muster the kind of revolutionary violence that they’ve spent the last half-century fantasizing about.

    And I hope that eventually the folks on the other side of the pond get their Brexit – even though I don’t share your optimism about someone like Nigel Farage stepping up to get the job finished, I would still like to be proven wrong.

  268. @J.L.Mc12, JMG, others

    My opinion on the possibility of China taking over Australia is that they won’t really need a military invasion to do it. The US model of empire has worked quite well for the task of bringing resources into the homeland at minimum cost; since China is already Australia’s biggest trade partner, they’ll have an easy enough time of dictating economic policies there once American hegemony has faded. The present spate of news articles pointing out the ease with which America’s corporations can be made to tow the Chinese line seems like a portent of things to come – whole nations will fall in line once the elites feel the pressure in their pocketbooks.

    As for invasions during the times of Volkerwanderung – when the global economy is a distant memory and people are just trying to find a place where they can grow food and not be swallowed by the rising seas – I think that the Indonesians and Filipinos are the real threat. They are younger and more fertile than the Chinese, and have a lot less room to migrate by land. By the second half of this century, China will have an old, declining population, and I think they’ll be more likely to end up on the receiving end of the mass migrations.

  269. David, BTL – thanks for the further elucidation of your thought process. I always appreciate your well-reasoned approach to things political (and usually relative to the Constitution). Admittedly, I’m frequently less able to articulate why a policy or approach seems in/appropriate. I’m learning, though, by study of what’s talked about here.

    A general question for everyone – I know someone asked this a few posts back, but I didn’t catch the reply: where might one find a gathering of information on what Trump’s done since assuming office? I’d prefer “Just the facts ma’am” , but I’m also willing to read commentary if it seems unbiased.

    Prizm – congratulations! it sounds like it’s been a long process! May I ask, what might a useful action for an American living abroad (my daughter) to take – she’s married to a non-US citizen who probably doesn’t need/want a ‘green card’ but would there be a benefit for taking any step toward starting that process on the off-chance that at some point her husband could have an easier time getting a visa or something? Should the marriage be “officialized” via the US Consulate? Thanks!

  270. Archdruid,

    What is going on with these non-stop attacks on Tulsi, and the Indian community in general?

    It suddenly seems like our whole community is stuck defending every decision made by the Indian government.

    Literally any assertion of our cultural or religious heritage seems to be met with admonishment. The recent congressional hearings on the Jammu and Kashmir situation were painfully one-sided.

    I just saw that Tulsi isn’t planning on running for her congressional seat, what in the world is going on?

    Mr. Nobody,

    I’m kinda glad that so many people hightailed it out of WI. That made Exodus had resulted in less competition for jobs and housing. It has also opened up a staggering range of possibilities for economic develoment, just so many economic niches that aren’t being filled.

    Regards,

    Varun

  271. JMG,

    Regarding libraries: May I suggest a way to fight the trend of getting rid of any book that hasn’t been checked out in 1-2 years? Go to your local library once a week and check out a classic that probably hasn’t been checked out in a while. This list of a “thousand good books” is a good place to start (and these are well worth reading anyway.
    I’m very grateful for your blog and its contributors – it’s really the only one I can read any more, due to your wise culling of the posts.

    [Edit: fixed the HTML code.]

  272. Brian, the west coast generally is in for a long-term economic decline; once the US finishes transitioning from its current role as global hegemon and has to start producing most of its wealth domestically, the big cities of the west coast will stop being the transshipment portals for imports from Asia and become what they were until the 1920s, an economic fringe region at the far end of distribution chains based in the Midwest. If you don’t mind iiving in the Rust Belt of the 21st century, though, that’s an option.

    Siliconguy, can you point me to some sources for the second vision you mention — the megacities with greenhouse skyscrapers, surrounded by wilderness? I’ve managed to miss that, and it’s something I was expecting to see.

    David BTL, what I’m seeing can be summed up pretty simply. The Democrats are in an echo chamber, convinced that some gimmick or other will remove Trump from office, and busy embracing the most extreme views ever adopted by a major US party. Meanwhile Trump’s election war chest has burgeoned to unheard-of levels, and the GOP generally is rolling in cash, while the Democrats are running short of money across the board — and Trump’s approval rating in core Democratic constituencies is ticking upwards month by month. Once the Democrats finish a bruising primary campaign — my guess right now is that Warren will get the nod, but we’ll see — the nominee, battered by a no-holds-barred primary fight, is going to have to face a Trump onslaught that will target every single state with huge amounts of money and a gargantuan base of passionate volunteers — two things the Dems are very short on just now. With the economy doing fairly well, Middle America enjoying a hiring boom for the first time in decades, and the entire Democratic field compromised by their loud support of positions only 10-20% of Americans agree with, I expect Trump to storm to victory, taking every battleground state and quite possibly several states the Democrats think of as solidly in their camp. The sole question is whether his coattails are wide enough for the GOP to retake the House.

    …and that doesn’t factor in the potential consequences now that the DOJ’s investigation of the “Russiagate” business has morphed into a full-blown criminal investigation, and (if preliminary reports are correct) former FBI general counsel James Baker has agreed to cooperate with the investigators. Stay tuned; things could get very colorful very fast.

    J.L.Mc12, sounds like it would make a great setting for a story. You might consider writing that.

    Wesley, I’d probably have thought the same thing if I hadn’t spent eight years living in the north central Appalachians, in a city of 20,000 that used to be a city of 40,000 before all the jobs went away. Middle class Americans have no idea what things are actually like outside the cozy bubble inhabited by the comfortable classes. If they found out, I really think it would shock them to their core.

    Varun, Gabbard frightens the purveyors of the DC consensus because she wants to see the US get out of the empire business, and — unlike a lot of politicians — she’s not pocketing oil money from certain Middle Eastern nations many of us could name. She’s also shown a willingness to ignore the official talking points of her party and say what she thinks — and she did very well in one of the recent debates. Thus they’re trying to push her out. As for her not running again for the Senate, what I’d read is that she’s doing it so she can commit all her time to a presidential run. Still, we’ll see!

    Eowyn, a fine idea. I’ll have some other suggestions in an upcoming post.

  273. I am not too concerned about a shooting civil war in the U.S., because most Americans are too numbed and beaten-down to fight things once considered unacceptable, because they’re under constant surveillance and so it would be hard to do covert ops, and because, as the renowned warrior Alexander the Great once explained to his troops, “Men, you can’t hit the side of a building if you’re constantly staring downwards, so put the [unDruidly word] cellphones away already!”

    For these reasons, I expect Americans will grow more and more unhappy but not take up arms. I’d look for more emigration and off-the-grid living, and for the under-the-table economy to keep growing.

  274. @Chris at Fernglade

    re: monocropping: yes, giant fields of single annuals are, and always have been, destructive in the long term. The book *Dirt* by David Montgomery argues that it’s basically why civilizations die: all that plowing and monocropping strip-mines the topsoil, until you start getting crop failures, then crash goes the civilization. Kill your soil, kill your society.

    There’s been some really interesting work done in Australia on “pasture-cropping” by people looking for a better way to grow grains: basically, you take a perennial pasture, you run livestock over it at very high density for a very short time to graze it down to nubbins and “knock back” the perennials without killing them (and fertilize with manure at the same time), then plant the pasture in annual grain using a seed drill, no plowing. Once the crop is harvested, the perennials grow back and you’ve got pasture again. Grain yields are not as high as conventional planting, but you make up some of the difference in animal feed value of the pasture. And you don’t lose your topsoil– so possibly far more viable long-term. Modern high yields all come at the expense of future soil fertility.

    https://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/article/pasture-cropping-a-regenerative-solution-from-down-under/

    I don’t imagine it’s a perfect solution: any time you grow something, then harvest it and take it away, you’re removing nutrients from the soil, and unless you have a way of putting them back it’s a net loss over time. But this seems like a vastly slower loss, as the soil isn’t washing/blowing away wholesale.

  275. Andrew- Hi JMG,

    In the long descent, you mentioned that christianity and buddhism (however modified) could become the religion de jour of north america. Do you think Paganism has a shot? Any thoughts on how Mormonism might go since it’s a separate wing of sorts? And how will that tanamous future look towards dealing with the hatred and bloodlust you and others experienced in the greater lake area? I cant recall if theres any history about how prior spirituality purified an area of that magnitude. Thanks!

  276. @Violet, @JMG

    Asking permission from both of you to add each of you to my Dedication of Merit when I chant a Buddha name. The name I chant is Bay-Shah-Jeh Lapis Lazuli Medicine Buddha.

    One of the benefits of said Buddha is that He increases one’s affinity for good health and healing although there are plenty of others. One of his biggest benefits – according to Chan Master Nan Huai-Chin – is that chanting His name purifies one of karmic greed. Karmic greed purified transforms into generosity and it’s visual manifestation on higher spiritual planes is a body of “pure lapis lazuli” that emanates beautiful, radiant light “brighter than the sun and the moon”. Hence His name, Lapis Lazuli Medicine Buddha.

    When dedicating the merits one can request Medicine Buddha transfer those benefits (plus any other benefits He deems auspicious) to the person(s) the chanter names. 🙂

    You can find out more about it by reading The Sutra of Medicine Buddha – http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/medbudsutra.pdf

    And Master Nan Huai-Chin’s explanation of what chanting a Buddha (or Deity name) does can be found here: https://seriousbuddhism.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/nan-huai-jin-discussing-the-dharma-door-of-chanting-the-buddhas-name/

    [long story short: name-chanting works on the 8th consciousness – higher than the “I/Me/Mine” 7th consciousness / breath = 6th consciousness. It begin transforming and removing various hindrances and problems. Merits can be be xferred to other people at the chanter’s request (assuming said Buddha also agrees the recipient would actually benefit from the xfer).

  277. Jmg, I have thought the same thing, it would be a good novel.

    When would you suppose China would take over Australia, and for how long?

    And when would you suppose I should expect mass Indonesian migration into Australia?

    They sound like something that would happen around the 22nd to 23rd century.

  278. re: libraries: Our library’s electronic card catalog helpfully lists how many times a book has been checked out. I sometimes check out books I’ve already read (or even own!) if the number seems low. The books seem lonely. Thanks, library folks for pointing out that this also keeps them out of the dustbin.

    re: antiabortion activists: I grew up in that milieu, and… unfortunately, it seems true that many of them lack conviction, and evaporate when things require more than showing up and holding a sign while socializing with folks from church. On the other hand, there’s a very dedicated core who mean it with all their hearts. They also tend to see the issue as being far more complicated than “abortion=evil”. There’s a range of thinking on it, and what a lot of it comes down to is “most women wouldn’t choose this if they felt they had better options” (interview data seems to support this, btw). That isn’t really a cause to take up arms for. The diehards are not plotting violence– they’re trying to make sure that better options exist. They’re running crisis pregnancy resource centers, housing pregnant ladies in their own homes, and raising adopted children.

  279. David BTL et al: in re vaping: It’s only a short step from “using the power of the state to “save them” from their own poor decisions” by inhaling nicotine vapour, to using the power of the state to save us from our poor decision in electing Donald Trump.
    To those asking about planting: Henry Homeyer, who has a regular gardening column in a dozen New England newspapers, recommends following the advice of Stella Natura” for his planting schedule. Stella Natura incorporates moon phases into a biodynamic system of planting.
    Libraries: I knew my library had gone off the deep end when I went to continue reading the first volume of “A Study of History” By Toynbee, condensed by D.C. Somervil, and it was gone 6 months after I had started. Meanwhile, they are spending massive amounts on a renovation.
    RE Megacities with greenhouses! I lived for several years in Arcosanti, an attempt by Paolo Soleri to stop talking about the future Megacity and start building. It’s been limping along for over 50 years. One of his endless series of ideas for our future is published here. An apartment building which has actually been built as a vertical forest in Milan can be seen here. The plants seem to thrive, but at what cost in energy to bring the water and nutrients up that high is not discussed…

  280. @Violet. I was born and raised in Guadalajara, and have lived in Zapopan since married.

    I’ve never been to Queretaro, but Guanajuato, yeah… I guess I know what you mean. Death dwells there, but I do not get any sense of imminent danger; She’s a patient proper lady. Even the Cubilete, with the Christ of the Mountain at its top, looks like it was taken out of Dante’s Purgatory, but with a church at the top instead of Paradaise on Earth. Shortchanged I say!

    And regarding your… etheric problem, please accept my simpaties. I will keep you in mind in my prayers (no strings attached, of course).

    @JMG. Mhhh, that makes lots of sense. Thanks a lot!!! I will be thanking her as well.

  281. JMG,

    Thanks for the advice on the exercise, I’ll work on it.

    Following up and the candle working, what would such a candle working look like? Could I do it with the cantrefs rather than the planets? I don’t normally work with the planets. I assume once I choose an appropriate planet/cantref and intention, I burn a candle of the appropriate color on the approppriate day and time and affirm the intention.

    If I should stick to the planets, what planet/color should I use?

    And in the case of using the cantrefs, I see Daear, Awyr and Nef being workable, for different reasons. What’s your take?

    Thank you!

  282. Justin (and all) – Just a data point about the cost of “sustainable” insect-based dietary protein. At my local organic market, cricket-based protein powder costs about $40/lb. Grass-fed ground beef is $8/lb, and generic supermarket hamburger is $3.75/lb. However, the comparison may not be fair, due to the water contained in fresh beef, so I checked the price of beef jerky: $31/lb (when buying a one-pound “family pack”). Or maybe I should be comparing processed insect protein against freeze-dried beef nuggets at $64/lb (1 lb. bag, 19 servings).

    I spent a long minute looking at the insect-based options (small crickets and mealworms, either intact or crumbled), then decided that I’d just get most of my protein from vegetable sources. It’s vastly cheaper than either form of animal protein (vertebrate or invertebrate). In any case, I should run some numbers on my diet before I spend money on supplemental protein. Where’s that slide rule?

  283. Since it seems to have vanished, I’ll repost the discussion of Canada’s election here. The election was held on Monday, and the results were not what I expected. I had been expecting the liberal party’s unpopularity to be a bigger issue for them; instead, they went on to win, although a reduced number of seats.

    The Liberals got a plurality of the seats in parliament but not a majority, which by convention here means they’ll be the next government, but it means they need to cooperate with the other parties. They lost the popular vote, however, to the Conservatives. The Liberals are discussing how our system doesn’t mean the popular vote winner automatically should win, but a lot of people are unhappy with that. It doesn’t help they promised electoral reform precisely to stop the sort of situation they now benefit from.

    One of the big stories were the decimation of the NDP, our left-wing party, losing nearly half of their seats in parliament, and the explosive growth in the Conservatives. Despite the rhetoric about how Canada is a left-leaning country, the Conservatives did quite well at the election.

    The other big story is the growth of the Bloc. The Bloc is a populist, regional, nationalistic party, which exists in Quebec, our sole francophone majority province. They advocate for a range of positions, and are hard to place on the right-left spectrum, since Quebec politics doesn’t neatly fit in the right-left spectrum used in the rest of the country. They are now the third largest party in parliament. The fact the PPC, which was angling itself to become a populist party as well, got less than two percent of the vote and lost every riding, suggests a weird disconnect, with populists thriving in Quebec, but not English Canada. The cause of this disconnect, particularly with Quebec having higher standards of living than the rest of the country, is a question I’m mulling over.

    As for what this holds for the future, my guess is this will be a short parliament. The Liberals will form the government, the Conservatives the opposition, and this leaves the Bloc and NDP holding the balance of power. Barring a Conservative-Bloc-NDP coalition, there’s no other viable government besides the Liberals.

    Weirder things have happened, but I doubt it’ll happen: the Bloc is too savvy, and knows that such a coalition wouldn’t go over well in Quebec. This means that most likely government is Liberal, and so Justin Trudeau will remain our prime minister.

    This raises a problem though, since he’s already planning on pushing through policies the NDP is strongly against, and the NDP is demanding various policies which the Liberals are already ruling out as part of any deal to support the Liberals. Meanwhile, given the way Trudeau, and much of English Canada in general, makes Quebec, and particularly Quebec nationalism into some sort of bogyman, co-operation between the Liberals and Bloc will be fairly tricky.

    All things considered then, it doesn’t look like any possible government will be very stable.

  284. Also, one of the things I’ve been waiting for is starting to happen: as the long descent continues, I expect to see public transit systems gutted. The city I live in has just done that. They covered it with a huge infrastructure project, building a light rail system which doesn’t cover all the routes they gutted. It provides nice cover, but in the end, public transit has gotten quite a bit worse.

    Also, apparently it can’t handle snow. In Canada…..

  285. Wesley,
    There are many things which I care deeply about but I would never take up arms and murder other people to support my own ideas. Why would I ? Do I believe this will convert them?
    I also think that ideas simply have to run their course. No matter what I say or do, those who disagree with me now aren’t going to change their minds. Why should they? My own answer is to live my life as closely in accordance with my own principles as I can and let others do the same. Sometimes my principles clash with each other. That makes it a bit hard. I will say what I think, but only once, with humour if possible. My mouth froths a lot, but mainly in private. I try not to shout others down. A variety of points of view is important for a well-rounded, resilient society.

  286. Tude, since I retired from a 3-hour daily commute, I can’t keep up either, but I try. I had to severely restrict my time on a q-and-a site; for a mind like mine, it was literal trivia crack. 😳. Now it gets 30 min/day tops.

  287. Your Kittenship, obviously I disagree.

    Andrew, I think you’ve gotten my earlier comments very confused. I don’t think Buddhism has any chance of becoming a major religion here, because it’s too closely affiliated with the comfortable classes. Christianity has a long rough road ahead of it here; it could pull through, but my guess is that it’ll go under the way classical Paganism went under in the late Roman world (though without the persecution). Mainstream Neopaganism is already going the way of Spiritualism and Theosophy — fifty years from now you’ll find a scattering of covens and dim memories of grandparents who were into “that stuff.” The Mormon church? Anyone’s guess at the moment.

    Happypandatao, thank you for asking. Yes, you may do so.

    J.L.Mc12, depends on what happens in regional politics, and whether Australia maintains a functional military or not. I could see it as soon as 2060 or 2070.

    Temporaryreality, I really should post something about chafing dishes, shouldn’t I? We have two of them — an old-fashioned one that burns denatured alcohol, and a more recent one that uses Sterno-style fuel; we use an ethanol-based product called EcoFlame for that. I’m not sure what’s available in Kingsport, as imaginary towns have their own unique supply chains…

    CR, the traditional thing to do is burn a little incense and repeat the Orphic Hymn to Athena, but that may not be something your religious beliefs permit.

    MichaelV, that sort of shift is normal with changing sea temperatures. Of course it messes over the existing ecosystems, but that’s what happens when a new ecosystem arrives.

    Alexander, you can certainly use the cantrefs; Daear is the traditional one for that purpose.

    Will J, thanks for this. I appreciate getting more details; I was also surprised that the Liberals did so well, all things considered.

  288. @JMG

    I’ve heard your “West Coast = Rust Belt 2.0” thesis a few times. Let me play devil’s advocate and propose that perhaps your thesis is based on shaky assumptions:

    1. Once the U.S. stops being a global hegemon, trans-Pacific trade will cease to the point of irrelevance.
    2. The Midwest will go back to the manufacturing giant it was and has no other competition.
    3. The West Coast economies can be summed up as “transshipment portals for imports from Asia”
    4. Future manufacturing will be like the Industrial Revolution past.

    Re #1, 2/3 of the world’s population is in Asia and California is the most populous state, with the highest percentage of people of Asian descent. Is Trumpf gonna build a giant tariff seawall that lasts 100 years to stop trade with the all these folks? Give me a break. Traders gonna trade and the West Coast will benefit, whether the DMZ exists or not.

    Re #2 My brother-in-law travels to China on an annual basis for family and business and tells me there’s no way that America could compete with the Pearl River ecosystem without a complete re-tooling (technological and cultural) over a 30 year period. Any manufacturing muscle the North American continent still has is not in the Rust Belt (for the most part), but in the South (no pesky Unions) and Mexico (no pesky living wages). With regards to Mexico, maquiladoras are managed from California and Texas, not Michigan. They’re also equidistant to all U.S. population centers. From this perspective, Rhode Island is a long way from Ciudad Juarez, no?

    Re #3 With the exception of the port of Long Beach, this just isn’t true. Here’s Washington State: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Washington_(state)#Industries. Here’s California: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_California#/media/File:California_GDP_by_sector_2017.png. Problematic percentages for sure, but unrelated to the Asian trade.

    Re #4: The high point of the American Industrial Revolution might have been the steel plants in Pittsburgh and Buffalo that my forebears worked in. Do you really think we’re going back to that era? And in an era of diminishing energy returns, who has the expertise to squeeze a little more blood out of the fossil fuel stone? California trained data scientists and Texas petroleum engineers come up with the contract. And if we really become localized, what advantage does Buffalo have over Hoboken?

    Don’t get me wrong. I think California is in for a hard fall, but it has little do with China or Detroit and more to do with our overly abstract economy and inept leaders, a trait that we share with Manhattan and Chicago and… I also don’t like Southern culture. That doesn’t change the fact that the South in general has been kicking butt and taking names, economically and culturally, for the past couple decades. I can wish for a West Coast Ecotopia all I want, but until the facts coincide, the beatings will continue 🙂

  289. Thanks, John

    The Orphic Hymns sound like a non-starter, but fortunatelly we already have a framework in place for dealing with beings that, while not the God Almighty, are way Holier, Wiser and Stronger than yourself. After a bit of research, I am leaning towards a libation of either wine or olive oil. If I may, is there a difference between burning the offer or pouring it to a bowl? Am I correct that pouring into the ground is done for dead humans?

  290. Jmg, that soon?! I’ll be alive to see it!

    Do you think Vietnam has a role to play, they are traditional enemies of China and there is a decent Vietnamese population in Australia.

  291. The Rio Grande runs through New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. I suspect that the bloodlust aimed at Violet when she was in all three places may be connected to that river.

    I was getting very disturbed for a while because most of the places Violet and JMG got horrible vibes from were places that I feel at home in. The possibility that I liked them because I have been breathing the bloody dust since I was born loomed in my mind, but when I read all the comments from people who liked the same places I realized that some lands probably like some people better than others. Texas might not mind having me around!

  292. Dear Varun, About Rep. Gabbard, politics in the USA is a blood sport. I am a fan of Gabbard, but I think she is years away from being qualified for the presidency. I would like to see her serve in the Senate or hold a governorship first. Lyndon Johnson had been in congress for about 40 years before becoming president, and by that time there was hardly a politician in the country who didn’t owe ol’ Lyndon a favor. He cashed in those favors to help get civil rights legislation through the congress. Part of what went wrong with the Obama presidency was simply that not very many people in either party owed anything to the new president.

    The Clinton outrageous remarks were clearly a bridge too far for Rep. Gabbard and if she wasn’t considering a third party or registering as an independent previously it looks like she is now. I can only speculate that Mme. Clinton has become so consumed by ambition that she can no longer be considered sane.

    I don’t didn’t watch Jammu and Kashmir hearings. My own opinion is that this is none of our business. I am afraid that winding down empire, which will happen, one way or the other, will also mean a far less welcoming attitude towards immigration in general than has previously been the case.

  293. “On the question of illegal immigration (which churrundo and others brought up): I remember you once advocated an equivalent of a Marshall Plan for Mexico. The idea, as I recall it, was to improve conditions in Mexico so that fewer people would want to move. Do you still think this would be a good idea?”

    As illustrated by the brief arrest and subsequent release of the son of “El Chapo:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-violence-sinaloa/el-chapos-son-led-dramatic-rescue-of-his-half-brother-in-mexico-battle-idUSKBN1X42BV

    It is increasingly apparent that Mexico has become a failed state ruled by war lords.

    I don’t think a Marshall type plan would do much good. It would all get stolen.

  294. JMG, my computer might or might not have sent a previous incomplete version of this post. In the event you find it, please recycle the electrons. Thanks!

    Your Kittenship,

    I had written a good couple of paragraphs on the matter, but some ridiculous mouse-focus mis-hAPP must have eated it. Anyway, think logistics. I forgot where the numbers came from but for every 1 revolutionary armed and on the march, 10 more support are needed for recon, comms, logistics, laundry, and so on, and 100 more auxiliaries are needed to provide safe houses, create propaganda, produce the physical goods needed to support and maintain the revolt (weapons, boots and of foremost importance FOOD om nom nom), recruit, train, plan, produce intelligence, … so perhaps 10% of the US population translates to up to 300,000 people disrupting the enemy regime.

    Since no country is an island (geography notwithstanding), other interests who have less constrained resources will probably throw their lot in with the regime or the insurgency. NATO countries will probably stand with the regime. China might support the regime too, but might be bought off with the natural wealth of the West Coast (but not Southern California, except for the oily parts). More toward the wildcard end of the chart, Russia might sit and watch the show while enjoying some KOT BLINI, or they might help the insurgency out with intelligence and supplement the auxiliary, or come in and pacify the place on their terms, or they might just shove some plutonium up the Potomac and solve 90% of the world’s problems once and for all, but it is exceedingly unlikely they would side with the regime. UK, being an integral eye in the Anglosphere’s surveillance complex, would probably lend their great cyber capacities to the regime (as if they were not already), ignoring any direction from their civilian leadership as far as they could get away with. And those are only some possible first-order reactions, not counting whatever hotlines may exist between armed forces of various countries.

    JillN,

    The general idea of war is that an attacker increases the effort, expense, or time required by the enemy to plan, act, and achieve against the attacker, ideally to the point that the enemy has no option but to unconditionally surrender when it is offered. That’s power: the ability to achieve planned outcomes. As the old saying goes, war isn’t about who’s right, it’s about who’s left.

  295. Hi JMG,
    What do you make of this headline (The Hill, 24th October):
    Justice Dept. to launch criminal investigation into its own Russia probe
    Will the hole sorry affair finally blow up into the Demacrat´s faces (as Jim Kunstler is thinking) ? Could this have a bearing on the 2020 U.S. election´s outcome ?
    greetings
    Frank

  296. @JillN,

    I don’t know where you got the idea that I’m in favor of “taking up arms and murdering other people to support my own ideas.” My comments on that theme were to the effect that folks on the right who talk about having a revolution are just blowing smoke.

    Even so, revolutionary violence is part of the cycle of civilization, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s never justified. You can, for instance, recognize that civil war’s a very, very ugly thing thing, and at the same time believe that the issues over which the war of 1861 to 1865 was fought were worth spilling some blood over.

  297. @Will Oberton
    We’ve got a few things in common now. Not only having married someone from another country, but if I am not mistaken, you’re living in Minnesota as am I. And I attribute a lot of the events that are happening to the Christian god as well. My wife and son, who these events seem to be happening more for, have been involved with some Christians who have been praying often for them, whereas I.. I can’t say I am involved in much of anything.

    @temporaryreality
    There’s no point in registering the marriage at the consulate. They’ll have to provide marriage documents when applying for an immigration visa anyhow. The whole process is overly redundant. And if your daughter’s husband just wanted to visit as a tourist, things would probably be even easier. The only constructive thing I can advise is to at least be familiar with the process. And that the process tends to change a little every few years, generally getting more expensive and the paperwork becoming more.

  298. @Varun

    I like Tulsi. I think she’s making a mistake in not running for her Congressional seat again. No matter how much effort she puts into her presidential run, she will not get the nomination – just look at her polling numbers. I’m doubtful that she’ll run 3rd party because building a viable 3rd party is a lot of work and she doesn’t have that much time. She’d have to win the Green Party primaries to be that party’s nominee. Even if she did that there is almost no possibility she’d win the election. Being labeled a spoiler, and giving credence to HRC’s claim that she’s a “Russian Asset” would not be a good political move. Assuming she’s of avg. intelligence, she knows all this. So what’s her game? I don’t really know specifically. Maybe she’s just tired of Congress and wants to do something else after the Democratic primaries are over? What that something else is, I don’t know.

  299. I can’t tell if this is a real live prudish kid meeting “Blazing Saddles,” or a parody of a prudish kid meeting “Blazing Saddles”; either way it’s pretty funny. Oddly enough, she forgot to be offended by the bean scene.

    http://archive.is/PG8GE

    I had no idea people were still watching “Blazing Saddles” after all these years. Who knew?

  300. Re: chafing dishes
    I own none, but I’ll bet there are more than a few in my parents’ attic. There was a time when they were the go-to gift for a wedding of someone you knew, but not terribly well. Look around yard sales and you probably can find them.

    We have a couple of things called ‘tealight trivets’ at home that we use to keep food hot once it’s on the table and they are great. They use plain old tealights that you can buy by the sack for not much money at craft stores and even stockpile for the zombie apocalypse. 😉 I’ve never tried actually cooking with them, the tealights might not generate enough heat, but maybe for some dishes it would work. They do keep already-cooked food piping hot.

    Here’s an example of a tealight trivet; ours are bigger and use two candles:
    https://smile.amazon.com/Esschert-Design-CB28-Light-Warmer/dp/B0153HHHOG/ref=sr_1_10?crid=1AGAZJX5RBUO9&keywords=tealight+trivet&qid=1572096747&sprefix=tealight+trivet%2Caps%2C150&sr=8-10

  301. Just finished WOH: Arkham. Very enjoyable. Loved the party. Hope you find reasons to make further excursions into this delightful realm. Thanks very much for all of your efforts.

  302. Speaking of libraries and the decline of public libraries, would an old school private lending library/subscription model become viable again?

    I am no expert but didn’t public libraries become “public” only in the last 100 years or so?

    I am thinking of something like The London Library

    https://www.londonlibrary.co.uk/about-us/historyofthelondonlibrary

    200 years old in London, still going strong, over 1 million books, reading room & workspace, electronic database subscriptions too, and it is a nonprofit organization. Entirely supported by subscription fees (not cheap – US$60+ per month, but in the wealthiest part of London they have enough subscribers I guess) and some money from venue hire for corporate events.

    How feasible is it to start small community versions of this? How much would it cost to acquire books, staff the place and make it financially sustainable? I’m assuming rent will be the biggest concern.

    Perhaps a start would be getting something like the Survivor Library (available free online) and other out-of-copyright books available on paper as a reading room etc?

  303. Jasper

    “doesn’t the ‘shift’ of the seasons imply that it’s not “warming” exactly, but the hotter sun as indicated by all planets in our system warming? Otherwise it would be warmer at both ends. ”

    Can you explain that? Why, if all planets are getting warmer, does it result in a shift of the seasons instead of being warmer at both ends?

  304. All,

    Someone complained a few weeks back about the overuse of acronyms. They assumed they didn’t understand them because they are not Americans. Not so. I am humbly reminding everyone that when you use acronyms you lose communication. I don’t know why people think everyone gets their acronyms. I see this everywhere, not just this blog.

  305. Hello JMG,

    I would like to ask you about Ogham divination. If I write a simple code on computer to randomly select three Ogham fews for divination, instead of using a solid deck of cards or woods; would that be still useful?

    Thanks,
    M.

  306. @Green Wizards interested in windup time pieces – I have a travel clock and a windup watch that are probably full of dust and cat hair. If you want them and can take the back off and tweeze out the crud, they’re yours – the watchmakers in Albuquerque won’t even take the backs off a wind-up piece! (I used to watch it done routinely back in the day – ’tain’t rocket science.)

    Have boxes, will mail, send address to mathews55@msn.com

    Thanks,

    Pat

  307. Beneath the surface: the library here in Fayetteville Arkansas has a ton of money, and a ton of empty space. High ceilings, lots of glass, DVDs and audio CDs, boardrooms, etc. The book collection isn’t really that large. AND, the study rooms are glass fish bowls. The whole thing feels like a convention center. Meanwhile, the UofA library was mostly moved off site, into storage, where you can request your book. Gone are the days of finding a quiet nook in a maze of a library, and hiding there!

    Violet, Valentine Tomberg mentions a protective rite against personal demons, if there is any “link” something outside is using to have influenc. I’ve used this, but you make the sign of the cross to north, south, east, and west, reciting (each time) the first two verses of Psalm 68.
    https://biblehub.com/psalms/68-1.htm
    He goes on to say that if one feels the approach of depression, or any other sign, you can also cross yourself and spit three times to the left.
    This is mentioned in page 422 of Meditations on the Tarot.
    http://www.tarothermeneutics.com/tarotliterature/MOTT/Meditations-on-the-Tarot.pdf
    It has worked for me; although he says it will not work if there is a genuine temptation or test one is required to go through, but it should work for something that is harrassment or with a connection to a minor or even major personal failing that has taken on life of its own. I would think it would would make magical workings or harrassment against you a lot more unpleasant for whomever is doing it.

    Methylethyl – where do you live? That sounds terrible.

  308. Irena,

    “So, ending the War on Drugs seems like a simple and cheap way to reduce the scale of the illegal immigration problem. Do you agree?”

    But how then will the CIA fund itself for its clandestine activities?
    And consider the job loss for law enforcement personnel.

  309. Bonnie K. Henderson-Winnie,

    I have written down the details of Dr. Wong’s practice. Pittsburgh is 3 or more hours away from me. Do you know if he is at all open minded toward holistic? I am trying to follow a very interesting new approach to controlling cancer (How To Starve Cancer by Jane McLelland). For it, you need to take 3 or 4 drugs that require prescription. My brand new oncologist said he can’t do it. At least he’s nice about it.

    While I am at it, is anyone going to Mexico or any other country where a prescription isn’t needed? I shoulda bought more when I was there.

  310. There’s an excellent old subscription library, a registered charity, in Nottingham, England.

    Housed in a mid-18th century town house, now being renovated, and accessed by a delightfully obscure doorway off the main market square, and with an ancient garden behind.

    They have about 1,500 subscribers (about £100 per annum) and a very active new Director who organises all kinds of events and talks on local and literary themes – but it still feels like a library.

    They will probably be selling a few items from the old collection to raise funds, which I have been engaged to make as beautiful as possible to tempt buyers, but they are keen to keep as much of the old collection as possible even if very out of date.

    Bromley House.

  311. Brian, you’d make a better devil’s advocate if you responded to what I’ve actually said rather than whacking a straw man of your own creation. Where, for example, did you get the idea that I claimed that the future of manufacturing in the US would be a carbon copy of the past? I’m simply pointing out that manufacturing in the US has historically tended to center on the Ohio valley/Great Lakes basin, with extensions east to the mid-Atlantic states and south down the Mississippi; the reasons for this mostly have to do with a combination of transport corridors and population distribution. As transport costs rise I expect that to resume.

    So let’s take your other points and restate them. (1) When the US stops being a global hegemon and the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, we’ll no longer be able to afford the kind of trade deficits we have now, and at that point protectionist policies make more sense, politically as well as economically, than free trade; that’s the logic behind the trade barriers being raised by the Trump administration right now. (2) As the US decouples itself from free trade arrangements — and again, that process is already under way — it doesn’t matter whether other nations can make products more cheaply than US firms; trade barriers will see to it that most US consumer products are made domestically again. (3) Of course there’s more going on in the west coast states right now than trade, but the explosive growth of the big west coast port cities has had trade as its underpinnings; remove that and there’s very little reason for businesses to put up with the sky-high rental costs and dysfunctional governments of the west coast. The rate of outmigration from California is already (and understandably) very high, and I expect that to accelerate dramatically, equaling the rates of outmigration from Rust Belt states in the 1980s.

    More generally, I’d encourage you to have a look at newspaper articles from the early 1970s, as the bottom was falling out of the Rust Belt states. It’s impressive how many people insisted that the once-booming Midwest couldn’t possibly end up the way it has, in fact, ended up. Every time I’ve commented on the west coast’s role as the Rust Belt of the 21st century, I’ve had people insisting in exactly the same terms that it can’t possibly happen. History may not repeat, but it sure does rhyme…

    CR, libations were never burned; pouring some wine into a bowl is quite traditional. Yes, you pour libations on the ground for ancestors and chthonic deities.

    J.L.Mc12, don’t sound so cheerful. You might want to take a little while to think through what the experience of being conquered by a foreign power actually entails.

    Frank, the headline’s a little inaccurate. The Justice Department isn’t launching a new investigation; the existing inquiry into the “Russiagate” business — the attempt by certain figures in the CIA and FBI to frame the Trump administration for colluding with Russia, based on a bogus dossier created by the Democratic Party — has gone from an administrative review to a full-scale criminal investigation. It’ll be interesting to see what comes out as that proceeds. A related inquiry into whether the FBI misled the courts in order to get surveillance warrants on the Trump administration is supposed to issue its report next week; word has it that the report is the size of an old-fashioned telephone directory and includes some startling stuff.

    Beekeeper, the tealight trivet used to be called a Sluggard’s Friend — that’s what Dion Fortune calls it in her novels — and it makes a great companion to a chafing dish, since you can cook the various dishes one at a time, keep them hot, and serve all at once.

    Kay, thank you! Glad to hear it.

    BXN, yes, and that’s something I want to talk about in an upcoming post. There are still some subscription libraries around, and there need to be more of them.

    Minervaphilos, it’s worth trying — there are lots of divination programs on the market, and some people seem to get good results with them. If you want to do more than a bit of simple code, add some graphics and the like, you may end up with something a lot of people might like!

  312. Dear Happypandatao, I am honored and touched that you would include me in your prayers, and what you describe sounds lovely. Yes, please, and many, many thanks.

    Dear CR Patiño, many thanks! I really appreciate people sending good energies my way, and I have a real though distant admiration, affection and deep respect for Jesus, The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Saints and Angels.

    Dear Arkansas, thank you for the magical ideas!

  313. @Arkansas

    The colloquial term for the region is “redneck riviera”. 😉 Current neighborhood’s rough: big hurricane last year forced us, along with 25% of everybody else in the area, to move, and beggars can’t be choosers. The region generally is nicer than my description, though I’d hesitate to recommend it to people who are looking to relocate. I was born here, it’s home, and I have a visceral attachment to it. When I lived elsewhere, I missed the thunderstorms and frog-songs.

  314. @Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat
    Mylady, Blazing Saddles is still being seen today, The best critique that I saw regarding it was by the comedian Josh Pray. His reaction is priceless.

  315. JMG,

    I have a question. Well hypothetical question I suppose but I’m curious. Let’s say the U.S. more or less successfully continues transitioning away from globalization to more regional and homegrown trade – basically much shorter supply lines, etc.

    Who on this planet has the capacity to absorb all (or at least a good amount) of Chinese manufactured goods and/or services to replace what the U.S. is no longer buying? Will it be the EU? I have heard the EU has a trade surplus with the U.S. but a trade deficit with China. Will it be other East Asian countries, Latin America or the Middle East absorbing those products?

  316. Oops. Hit the send button too soon.

    Continuing my question – I ask because in the short to medium term it takes time to shut down manufacturing or to re-tool it for different foreign markets. If China can *not* find other countries to soak up whatever excess goods sitting they’re making what options are open for exporting countries that suddenly lose their international markets?

  317. Regarding subscription libraries,

    Many thanks to all the comments from folks here about the state of public libraries and the potential need for private subscription-based alternatives. Eowyn, your list of Thousand Good Books is terrific!

    One question I have for JMG and everyone else is whether there is a viable financial model for such a thing in a small town. Any thoughts? London is one thing, a depopulated small town in the long decent is another.

    I am interested in taking this project on, but how it could be staffed, insured, maintained, and perpetuated over time just based on modest subscriptions is something I need to think about some more…

  318. Onething-

    I don’t know if Dr. Wong would be open to that,but in our brief exchance he strikes me as someone who might be open to the possibility of working that way. Or who might have some other good ideas about approaches to take.

    I’m in Portland, Oregon and so I don’t have any direct experience with his practice.

    I think it might be worth contacting him to find out, though-
    Wishing for the best outcome for you,
    Bonnie

  319. Hello JMG

    You have mentioned China’s brutal treatment of the Uighurs and the Tibetans before. What are the reasons for it, do you think?

    SMJ

  320. @Minervaphilos

    I actually wrote a simple program to generate my daily Ogham when I was separated from my deck of cards. I am still new to this, but I got decent results with this, sometimes spot on predictions.

    Apparently our higher selves know A LOT more than I imagined before including which numbers will come up on a computer. Too bad it won’t let me use this knowledge to win a jackpot at a casino so that I would never have to work again. I guess that would make me too lazy.

    @Onething

    I understand you you have a serious health condition. You have my sympathy for it.

    I am curious whether you looked at alchemy as one of the possible solutions. Well, we are on JMG’s blog, he writes about magic often. I have been rather fascinated by alchemy myself, according to lore alchemy can cure the toughest diseases, but there is very little data from modern day alchemists. They exist, but aren’t allowed to make any medical claims about their products. I don’t want to advertise anyone here, but perhaps you should do your own research into this as well.

    My guess is that you want to look at Solar and Saturnine tinctures such as Oil of Gold and Oil of Lead, or their herbal counterparts. Solar tinctures being a sort of universal cure and Saturn is the Lord of limits, if anyone could limit the spread of anything that would be him. Still it’s just a wild semi-educated guess on my part. I don’t want to give any false hopes.

    @JMG

    I wanted to save this question for Magic Monday but might as well ask here. I’ve been practicing the SOP for a few months and at first it felt really strong, it was giving me chills and almost electric jolts. But the longer I practice it, the less impact it seems to have on me.

    But I also noticed it seems like its starting to have a more lingering effect on the surrounding area. Yesterday, 30 minutes after doing the closing of the ritual I thought “wait, I can still feel that I’m inside the sphere of protection!”. I wonder if this is normal.

  321. Xabier, if I ever visit Nottingham I’ll stop by. It sounds very nice indeed.

    Happypandatao, nobody else has the capacity to absorb that excess production. If the US continues down its present path, the Chinese economy is in for a world of hurt. They’ve built their whole economic model around overproduction, and backing down from that is going to be hard. The likely consequence will be a serious economic depression in China and probably some political instability as well.

    Samurai, I’ve seen viable subscription libraries in towns of 20,000 people, so it’s not out of reach. The crucial thing is to start very, very small, and grow it only as resources permit. A single room in a converted garage or some similar space isn’t hard to afford, especially if you can attract a couple of elderly volunteers. Most projects like this die because they grow too fast; take it a little at a time and you’ll have an easier time keeping it viable.

    SMJ, China’s a huge and populous country that historically has a serious problem with separatism; at intervals it breaks apart into squabbling regions, and centuries go by before national unity is restored. It’s also a country where religion has been a stalking horse for political ambition since the Han dynasty. Thus when you get regions that have a strong independent streak and are enthusiastic about religion, that’s going to set off two thousand years of alarm bells — and since the PRC doesn’t have a democratic form of government and no checks and balances prevent the leadership from chucking human rights concerns out the window, brutality follows.

    Polytropos, what’s happening is that your subtle bodies are taking on the energies of the ritual, so that you basically always have a Sphere of Protection around you; thus the effect of each repetition seems less intense, because you’re not going from zero to protected any more. Keep going, though, because the more you do it, the more your aura repels noxious beings and hostile magic all by itself. I’ve known people who have done banishing rituals for so long that they caused an immediate positive shift in energies, even in the face of fairly noxious conditions, just by walking into the room.

  322. Good Evening

    @himself
    Hopefully you will see this as it is a bit late in the comment cycle. I am not sure how much range in Tokyo you have but when I was stationed in Japan I made it a point to get up to Nikki fairly frequently. Old summer palace of the shoguns. It’s also has the temple where the “See no evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no evil” monkeys come from. If you go climb Mt Nantai.

    For a truly surreal experience go to the Imperial War museum at Yasukuni shrine. That is the shrine that causes the Chinese and Koreans to loose their minds when the Japanese Prime Minister visits. Considering some of the the exhibits they are right to do so. It is well worth the visit.

    I do not know if you like long form podcasts but Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History just released his third segment on the Japanese in World War 2. It would be a good companion to a trip to Yasukuni. They are long though. Part 3 is 4 hours.

    https://www.dancarlin.com/

    @Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

    You know Blazing Saddles was one of my go to date movies back in my single days. Partly as a test. If you didn’t find it funny or at least roll your eyes and say something about boys, well the door was that way. Needless to say the young lady that wrote that article would have failed…miserably.

    @JMG
    I had intended to ask about any good references on Angelic Magic you might know but I was a bit too busy Monday to ask. But when I finally got to the comments I saw the link to Mr. Echols work. Thank you I am looking forward to it.

    Any word on the RPG book?

    Other Dave

  323. Hi Whisper,

    I looked up “Josh Pray Blazing Saddles” and he mentioned it briefly but mostly talked about another Brooks movie.

    Hi JMG,

    I’ve always thought the U.S. and China have locked themselves into an exceedingly bad marriage. It took 50 years or so to train Americans to buy lots of poorly made goods they don’t need. I remember once I got asked where I found the blouse with seams that I was wearing that day. “K-mart,” I said truthfully, “about 20 years ago.” There were still K-marts at that time, but the clothes did NOT have seams any more! I wonder where, outside the U.S., there’s a market for clothes with microscopic seams and similar quality junk. The worst example is ice trays I bought at Dollar General. They snapped in half the first time I twisted them to loosen the ice.

    I wonder if ice trays are some sort of economic indicator? Once I went to K-mart to buy ice trays. One set was $1.99. In the $2.49 set, the trays themselves were identical but the cardboard they were shrink-wrapped to, that you throw away, had Martha Stewart’s name on it. Even Americans wouldn’t fall for that one—there were lots of Martha trays and only one set of non-Martha trays.

    Won’t it take at least another 50 years to train non-Americans to overpay for junk? If so, what’ll China do during that 50 years?

  324. Hi JMG,

    That sort of starting-small, incremental approach strikes me as very sensible, and not just for libraries!

    One aspect of this that is interesting to me is what the actual demand is, and in which veins it lies. The bizzare way that public libraries have morphed into a focus on digital media, community gathering spaces, and exciting programming was sure not what I would have expected. I have learned that I am a bad judge of what most other people want, though. I am really curious how many other people want an old-fashioned reading room experience.

    The garage is one of the few “unscheduled” rooms in a modern house, and I think that is why so few people use them for car storage. Not many people have a “hobby room”, so the garage gets pressed into service. That may be what has happened to libraries to some extent, although it still seems really strange that they seem to be giving up the book depository niche in the process.

  325. JMG, Thanks for the info on EcoFlame – looks like a decent non-petroleum choice. I may start rummaging through the thrift stores to see if I can find an intact chafing dish (I’ve seen pieces, so maybe there’ll be a whole one at some point). I’m kind of interested in the ones that take denatured alcohol too – it being mostly ethanol, but I guess there aren’t standards with regards to what it’s denatured with. It seems some of the refillable EcoFlame ones have been implicated in some burn injuries, which serves, I think, to remind me (or anyone) to be careful with an open flame! I like my altar’s olive oil lamp for that reason – olive oil, if spilled, won’t ignite. Some of these other products are different, though and that’s part of the weighing of options.

    I’ve been using a candle-powered version to keep my tea warm for several years, but never made the leap to dinner warming (thanks Beekeeper in Vermont, for the term ‘tealight trivet,’ which I’d not heard before). Those candles are subject to a similar option-weighing, being made of petroleum derived paraffin. I’ve not yet made the leap like a certain few of us to keeping bees, so can’t come up with an answer on site quite yet. 🙂

    Kimberly Steele – I wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts on Ogham; in particular the concept of triadic rather than binary interpretations has already proven to be very useful. After many months of daily divinations not correlating to my life in any apparent way, I’m interested to see if your nudge gets me closer to understanding the fews’ communication.

    And thanks, Prizm, for your advice.

  326. @ Violet – you said, “New Mexico, which was the most Plutonian landscape I’ve yet encountered. Not only did it wish to torture me but to transform me and then eject me.”

    Where were you in the New Mexico? It’s a pretty diverse state in many ways, bleak to beautiful. Some areas, even neighborhoods seem to have different spirits, from spiritually sublime to very, very dark. Geographically one outstanding feature is the Rio Grande rift with runs right through the state, north to south (more or less). Vast shifts in climate have occurred through the millennia, some caused or exacerbated by human activity. Historically and pre-historically there has been a lot of movement, from the last ice age through the present time. The first atomic bomb was developed and exploded here in NM; Clyde Tombaugh (who discovered Pluto in 1930) lived and worked in NM in his later years; he died in 1997 at age 90. Uranium has been mined in the state.

    Any way it’s home to me, warts and all. Land of Enchantment of Land of Entrapment.

  327. San Fransiscans tasting the Long Descent – from news about the fire in Sonoma COunty.

    “Although the cause of the Kincade Fire has not been determined, Pacific Gas & Electric told state regulators that one of its lines near where the fire broke out malfunctioned only minutes before the blaze erupted.
    To lower the risk of triggering fires in areas with dry vegetation, the utility has enacted a controversial policy of shutting down power when strong winds are forecast. While that cuts off electricity in the immediate threat area, it also affects residents in areas farther away that are not threatened by fire.
    PG&E principal meteorologist Scott Strenfel said in a statement that the wind forecast for the weekend “has the potential to be one of the strongest in the last several years.”
    “It’s also likely to be longer than recent wind events, which have lasted about 12 hours or less,” he said.
    PG&E said it would black out 940,000 homes and businesses in 36 counties for 48 hours or longer throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, wine country and Sierra foothills.”

    ***A few rounds of this and they’ll be as well prepared for life without electricity as anyone in the Florida panhandle or the Caribbean islands. Or will start heading for safer places to live. Oh, my poor former beautiful city. First the invasion of techheads, then the massive. homeless crisis and public health emergency, and now this. Reads like an outtake from the last 3 books of the Weird of Hali. Pat.****

  328. Minervaphilos,

    I’m not a divination scientist, but I hypothesize that accuracy increases with more direct coupling between the randomness generator and your person. A program to mail you runes in the morning on a scheduled basis wouldn’t be as accurate as one that selects runes randomly on demand. Likewise, an app that uses accelerometer/gyroscope readings to trigger the generation of a random number might be more effective than one which generates a random number on startup, or one that generates a random number at the touch of an on-screen button, due to the length and indirection of the causal chain. Causally speaking, the keyboard is a bit closer to the app than the mouse or screen would be.

    happypandatao,

    Have a look at the global shopping site Aliexpress, for example. See how many small electrics you can find that are offered with 120V US power plugs. You won’t find all that many. The US is already a relatively small part of their product mix, and smaller as the Western consumer is sacrificed to save the empire. I don’t think there’s all that much retooling involved to serve internal or Eurasian demand when they’re already following CE standards as a routine matter and approximately sharing clothing size ranges with the rest of the world. If anything, they can keep the molds in the press for a longer run rather than take them down for 30-45 minutes for a changeover.

    Anyway, they’ve been thinking much further ahead, building “ghost cities” in anticipation of moving a few hundred million people into cities, something of a reversal of Mao’s ridiculously incompetent forced ruralization. Three years ago, one of the larger ghost cities was basically full (Weibo puff piece, cold water from Forbes). Mercantilism has its privileges. Not having a culture that is competitive to the point of mental illness also helps.

    The Belt and Road has also been figuring into their plans, but they know that wounded animals are dangerous. Swamp-adjacent creature John Robb has suggested unrest and sabotage along the Belt and Road corridor as the only chance for the US to survive in its current form.

    SMJ,

    Would you want anything in your country or near abroad that has any whiff of an imperialist fifth column trying to block your inland trade routes? 😉 Especially if the petrodollar-funded moderate headchoppers that tried to take on the Syrian government and instead got to face Russia were sourced from one of those regions and you simply don’t want them back? Have a look at the previous link and the map in it, then overlay Tibet and the Uighur autonomous region on it. That’s the entire western side of the country. That the US empire is complaining about both of them at nearly the same time, whether highly exaggerated or only a little bit, is a minor tell.

  329. I almost forgot to ask, writers—how’s it going this month? I’m plugging away, although no one, least of all me, has got off any good jokes lately. Maybe one of our host’ s shoggoths can contribute some eldritch humor. SHOGGOTH: “And so then the traveling salesbeing goes [Squish squelch squishy]!” The Reverend Fastleft, who has much experience with elder and eldritch things, bursts out laughing, says, “Oh, Sho, that’s great, I must remember that one!” Then he notices us more mundane folk giving him the stink-eye, mumbles a polite leavetaking, and hustles back to his own reality before he gets in more trouble. There’s nothing more annoying than hearing what’s obviously a really great joke you don’t understand, so he doesn’t want to incite any grumpitude. He has enough problems

  330. Jmg, I’m afraid I wasn’t clear.
    I wasn’t talking about being invaded by Vietnam, I was was suggesting that Vietnam could be another barrier that China would have to pass before it could invade Australia, however it would be a small barrier.

  331. Great comments so far. I hope there are Spenser buffs who will reach this far down the page!

    Recently, I re-read book III of the Fairy Queene. I was quite as moved as the first time, but no nearer understanding the more mysterious parts. Maybe you can help me?

    1. The Garden of Adonis has many interpretations, but Spenser also seems to have written a straightforward description of reincarnation (III vi 32:3ss.):

    …A thousand thousand naked babes attend
    About him day and night, which do require
    That he with fleshy weeds would them attire;
    Such as he list, such as eternal fate
    Ordained hath, he clothes with sinful mire
    And sendeth forth to live in mortal state
    Till they again return back by the hinder gate.

    After that they again returned been,
    They in that Garden planted be again;
    And grow afresh, as they had never seen
    Fleshly corruption, nor mortal pain.
    Some thousand years so do they there remain,
    And then of him are clad with other hew,
    Or sent into the changeful world again,
    Till thither they return where first they grew;
    So like a wheel around they run from old to new.

    How could he then have his work approved by the Queen and maintain his reputation as a good Protestant?

    2. The account of how Britomartis liberates Amoret from the spells of Busiris somehow strikes a chord for me. On the surface, it is an almost Arthurian account of a hero rescuing a damsel in distress from an evil enchanter. But then one can’t help notice that the hero is a woman, while the damsel’s lover Scudamour is passive and hapless and expresses a curious guilt. Several commenters suggest that the lover and the enchanter are the same, that the pair of lovers torture each other by making each other jealous and that chastity, that is the resolve to only desire and love one’s spouse (personified by Britomartis), helps them escape this mutual torture.

    I find this psychological account to have quite some merit, but I feel it doesn’t go deep enough in explaining the fascination these pages exert. I wonder what the episode means from the standpoint of Britomartis, who is the unchallenged protagonist of Book III. It has an initiatory quality in Britomartis’ progress through the three rooms of Busiris’ house. And I would love to understand better the spells Busiris puts on Amoret.

    My annotated edition has a lot of references, but many seem to have a certain academic quota-fulfilling busy work quality about them. Many thanks for your own thoughts or for reference to somebody who used his heart in writing about the Fairy Queene.

  332. The Mechanic’s Institute in San Francisco was founded in 1854 and is still a going concern with library, chess club and programs of lectures. It was intended as a means of self education for the working class. Individual membership fee is $120 yr. Lower for students and families. To my shame, despite living in S.F. for three different stretches of time, I have never visited it.

  333. Boy, I haven’t thought of The Faerie Queene in YEARS!

    🎼Another skunk-free night and I can’t smell nobody
    I’m off to bed with no clothespin on my nose…🎼

    Goodnight, all! 😴

  334. Other Dave, I’ve had the chance to read Damien’s book, and it’s really quite good. As for the Weird of Hali RPG, the artist is doing all the internal art right now; once that’s finished there should be an announcement of the publication date. It should be out sometime early next year.

    Your Kittenship, no argument there.

    Samurai, I’m far from sure that what’s happened to libraries has anything to do with what the patrons want. The public library I use now — the Weaver Library here in East Providence — has lots of books and not that many computers, and it’s always full of people who are there to check out books. That said, talk to the people you know, especially those who read a lot, and find out their opinions.

    Temporaryreality, thrift stores are your friend! One thing to watch for in buying a chafing dish is to make sure you’ve got one where the blazer (the panlike thing into which the pan proper fits) is quite close to the flame; if there’s too much space it’ll keep food warm but it won’t cook them. We picked up a second chafing dish last week at a thrift store, a good solid stainless steel unit from the 1960s, and there’s about an inch between the top of the canister holder and the bottom of the blazer; that’ll cook very well.

    Patricia M, California is now a third world country, with a kleptocratic government, intermittent electricity and tens of thousands of people living in the streets…

    Your Kittenship, The Nyogtha Variations is now at the publisher, though I haven’t yet gotten a publication date. I’ve got a couple of other projects moving ahead slowly, but none of them include shoggoths.

    J.L.Mc12, you can spin just about any scenario you want, I suppose!

    Matthias, I’m not a Spenser scholar, but the scene in the Garden of Adonis does indeed seem to be a precise description of reincarnation. Elizabethan England was full of occultists, and the queen herself had no qualms about having her coronation scheduled by her court astrologer John Dee; it may have been more open to ideas such as reincarnation than you expect…

    Rita, glad to hear about that. I hope to heaven I never have to go to San Francisco again — I didn’t enjoy going there back in the day, and by all accounts it’s a slime pit these days — but it’s good to know that such an organization endures. I wonder whether the same basic pattern would be worth reviving!

  335. @Methylethyl: well, I certainly get that, as I used to fall asleep every summer night to frogs and crickets, and often a thunder storm, in south Arkansas. To this day, those noises are soothing beyond belief. Here’s crossing my fingers for you. Moving back home has a lot to recommend it, just on that basis. I never made it out of my state to live, and I am not the least bit sorry. In four hours, or less, over mountainy roads, I can be back at the old homestead.

  336. Jonathan– The United States has been complaining about Tibet for decades. Now that a China Hawk is in office we’re suddenly hearing about the oppression of Hong Kong and the Turks of Western China. What a coincidence, right? It really boils down to the obvious desire of the current American and Chinese governments to score points off each other. Personally, I think they’re both reckless hegemons locked in a death spiral and Russia is the only big power that actually knows what it’s doing.

  337. Regarding subscription libraries, the advice to start very small and build up is, I think, prudent. Certainly in my industry of fitness, many don’t do that, and close a year or two later, broke; their financial reach exceeded their grasp, they could touch but not hold onto things. Meanwhile I’m plodding along in my double garage.

    For comparison, our local council’s budget plan (city of Kingston, Melbourne), gives us the following figures,

    Library budget, $5,459,000

    with revenue of $1,151,000 (fines, sales of old books, hiring out rooms, etc)

    from this they had 654,414 visits, and over 1 million loans. A “visit” is a check-in of some kind, either borrowing a book or logging into a computer or the like; if you just walk in, read the daily paper or write some notes about a book, it doesn’t count.

    That’s a cost per visit of $8.34, or $6.58 once revenue is factored in.

    17.16% of the 163,431 population, or 28,044 people are active members (at least one visit in 12 months) of these libraries. This suggests 23 visits annually per active library member. No doubt in this as in other things, a small number are visiting much more, and many barely at all.

    Anyway a $5,459,000 budget divided by 28,044 people is $194 annually each. A bit over 20% of this goes to new book purchases, by the way.

    But anyway, at $6-$8 a visit, running the public library system is only 25-50% as cheap as simply giving books away. It’s run as a loss-making public service, for example they also mention that 28,987 carers and children attended story times. Children who have day-to-day contact with books as pre-schoolers do better in school even by age 15 than those who don’t. How do you quantify that?

    But anyway, if you run a library like local councils do, you’re looking at a couple of hundred bucks per person annually. If you want paid staff then there’s a certain minimum size, for example paying someone $40,000 to do some hours in a place you’re renting for $40,000, plus utilities, well now you’re looking at about $100,000 – so you need 500 members. A couple hundred bucks isn’t much, but this could only happen in a place with no public library.

  338. @Nastarana:

    “About Rep. Gabbard, politics in the USA is a blood sport. I am a fan of Gabbard, but I think she is years away from being qualified for the presidency. I would like to see her serve in the Senate or hold a governorship first.”

    I agree. In fact, I wonder if that is what she is angling for. Both the the Governorship AND one of Hawaii’s Senate seats are up for election in 2022. If she can win either of those offices, her political capital goes up considerably.

    As you have said, she surely has to know that she will NOT be elected President in 2020. Running in 2024 or 2028 as an incumbent or former Governor or Senator will give her campaign extra weight and gravitas, which she does not now currently possess.

  339. Jmg, ok now onto a different subject.
    Have you read anything by William Golding?
    I ask since I’m reading his novel “the inheritors” which is about Neanderthals as they get replaced by humans, and you mentioned ice age civilisations somewhere.

  340. @Temporaryreality – The Herb Store in Albuquerque may sell beeswax tea lights; if not, La Montanita Co-op in the same block of buildings probably does. (It varies.) I have a box of beeswax votaries, having switched to mini-tapers for my altar in these, my new digs in Florida.

  341. I like Tulsi a lot too and am hoping she’s angling to make a strong play for the governorship of Hawaii in 2022…the present Democratic governor is term limited and can’t run again. I agree with Nastarana’s assessment that she needs more experience, of an executive nature preferably. She’s a very sharp lady…I loved her immediate, devastating counterpunch when Shillary attacked her recently. I’m fervently hoping that she will be our first woman president, either in ’24 or ’28.

  342. JMG, and Polytropos, my experiences of the Sphere of Protection are similar. The ritual didn’t become much weaker, but the effects in the room, where I practice it, and the effects on me seem to have become more durable. But I assume it’s not a cure-all for every problem.

  343. JMG, Polytropos and Jonathan,

    Thank you all for your suggestions and encouragement. I coded the essential part of the Ogham few generator and it gave me quite accurate results so far. If I have enough time after finishing my other projects, I will try to make the program fancier by adding some images and correspondences (elements, paths on Wheel of Life etc.).

  344. @Matthias Gralle Thanks for the bit of Spenser verse! I know virtually nothing of him but those verses are awesome.

    JMG and others commenting on subscription libraries: I’ve never encountered a subscription library but it sounds like a very fine idea and I like JMG’s notion that they might be sustained in even quite small cities or towns. I imagine such a venture must have a core group of people for whom it is a labor of love as it’s hard to imagine how subscription fees would do much besides cover the most basic costs. It does seems like a particularly fine niche wherein older citizens can continue to make valuable contributions to their communities…could be a fine movement for boomers to support with enthusiasm during our final act. We have plenty of amends to make, that’s for sure.

  345. I remember when I was a child older relatives talking how great the TVA was for bringing them electricity to Appalachia. Lenin said Fordism + rural electrification = communism. I wonder if those temporary power Shutoffs to rural Cali, will quietly become permanent in the next decade?

  346. Matthias: Spenser’s “Fairy Queen” doesn’t come up often. I slogged through the entire work back in the 70s. Most of it went over my head but getting through it was a matter of stubborn persistence. It was Herman Melviile’s piece on the Galapagos Islands titled “The Encantadas” that got me interested in Spencer. If I can find my old copy I’ll revisit the section to which you refer.

  347. Lady Cutekitten:
    There’s a certain demographic group (young adult males) who are still crazy about ‘Blazing Saddles’, ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’, and ‘Young Frankenstein’. Ask me how I know.

  348. Well, JMG, if you are ever in that part of England, Bromley House library does offer regular tours for non-members, and there is a decent pub right next door, on a very old site (I think 15th century, the interior is Victorian) – both should suit you perfectly! Friendly people in those parts too, I always find. If I am there on a restoration visit I will of course stand you a round.

  349. @Brian @JMG Re: resilience of the Pacific Northwest

    I had a longer comment here, but it disappeared with one accidental tap of the back arrow on my keyboard…

    In shorter form, I feel that our region is well suited for human habitation through the Long Descent, and we even have a few unique upsides, including sufficient hydroelectricity to keep the lights on (and power some transportation), fast-growing timber for shelter and home heating, and a diversity of microclimates in close proximity.

    However, our economy is currently not scaled to our local resource base. Forty years ago our economy was largely based on timber harvesting at ~10x the rate of natural regrowth, and the result of that overshoot has created Rust Belt towns around the region: Shelton, Aberdeen, Sweet Home, Roseburg, Coos Bay, and perhaps a hundred more tiny towns (Alsea, Mill City, Lyons, Eddyville…) that never made the news but suffered the same fate. The larger population centers managed to transition to a mix of tech industries (Intel, Microsoft, HP, etc.) and retail/manufacturing corporations heavily dependent on international trade (Boeing, Amazon, Nike, etc.). Both of these sectors seem likely to be early losers in the Long Descent, which could easily send the larger region into Rust Belt status as JMG is predicting.

    The biggest red flag to my mind is our proximity to California, which has (using current diet estimates of one acre per person) about 16 million more people than its farmland can feed – and much of that farmland relies on near-term-unsustainable drawdown of deep aquifers for its productivity. With 1000 miles of desert to the east, Mexico to the south, and an ocean to the west, Oregon and Washington are the exodus path of least resistance. At present the influx is largely retirees (and some homeless youth), but as conditions worsen the flow will rise, increasing competition for scarce housing and further increasing our surplus of population relative to our resource base.

    I like it here and could see spending the rest of my life here, but I’m also open to returning to the Midwest, or possibly moving to a different country altogether. We shall see…

  350. A question occurred to me the other day–a book group I belong to was discussing an early proclamation of religious freedom (can’t recall which at the moment) which led the atheists in the group to the usual assertions that religion is a source of bigotry and repression. But to me there is a clear distinction between saying “Mars, my god of war, is going to help my army conquer the Gauls, who worship Caturix” and saying “Mars wants me to conquer the Gauls because they worship the false god, Caturix.” We know that most of the cosmopolitan ancient cultures were perfectly willing to let Greek merchants build a shrine to Greek gods, Egyptians to their gods, so long as they didn’t violate local temples or profane local celebrations. Peoples went to war accompanied by their gods, but not because of them any more than the US fought the Japanese because the Stars and Stripes is a prettier flag than the Rising Sun.

    So, it seems to me that monotheism, but especially early Christianity, ‘invented’ thought crime? By “thought crime” I mean the idea that merely believing an incorrect doctrine is offensive to god and therefore dangerous, to be ferreted out and punished, even to the point of killing the person holding the incorrect belief. It seems to me that the passion for having exactly the correct verbal formulae to describe god and the relations between god and humans developed in the early Christian era and spread to the point that many people accept that it is an intrinsic part of a religious sensibility.. It is a little ironic that much of this argumentation concerned the nature of the Trinity, which makes Muslims and Jews regard Christians as less that true monotheists. I don’t know if there was something similar in Hindu or Buddhist thought.

  351. @Rita:

    There are still active Mechanics’ Institutes in Portland, Maine, and (IIRC) in New York City, as well as in San Francisco. There used to be dozens of them, but most faded away as industrialization increased and mechanics became employees rather than small independent tradesmen.

  352. Here in Providence, RI, the closest “Whole Paycheck” 😛 carries pure beeswax tealights, votives and tapers. (Petroleum-based candles never felt right to me for any religious or magical use.)

  353. Dear S. T. Silva, Thank you for the links to Tanner, is it? His assessment of the late critic Bloom expresses “my sentiments exactly” and then he had the righteous courage to describe Freud as both wrong and useless. Yes!! About time someone said so!

    Dear Mr. Greer, since the question of reading lists has come up, might you be receptive to the notion of ecosophia readers posting our own lists of best books read or at least attempted to be read? Such lists should probably have a reasonable limit, such as best 50 or so, and could perhaps include a few titles in areas where the poster has acquired some specialized expertise, whether by training or self study. For example, I would probably contribute names of about a dozen titles for young readers, maybe 20-25 works of fiction and a like number from poetry, history and political philosophy and one or two about rose growing. If permitted, I could name an additional 10-20 selections of just for fun genre potboilers.

  354. @JMG

    Re Rust Belt manufacturing, I’m just suggesting it’s a bit more complicated than (higher transport costs) + (protectionism) + (population density proximity) = Midwest renaissance. For one, we simply don’t have the capability (equipment, skills, complementary parts suppliers, willing and cheap labor force) to produce the modern items that surround us. Second, if transport costs (i.e. fossil fuels) rise significantly, this entire way of manufacturing things (based on high energy use) is called into question.

    I suppose we could re-tool down to the 1800s over a 30 year period, start burning whatever coal is left in West Virginia and make the Erie Canal great again (MAECA?) Maybe this will happen? I don’t see it though.

    A more likely short-term scenario in my mind is that we continue the NAFTA dance with our frenemy Mexico. They already manufacture many items for the North American market and are competitive enough. The freight train lines are already there (https://www.bnsf.com/ship-with-bnsf/maps-and-shipping-locations/mexico/network-map.html) or items could be shipped.

    Long term, hyper local manufacturing may be viable. A big “may” and I know you’re not a fan of 3d printing, but I have one and I’ve used it extensively for replacement parts, household items, etc. Industrial grade (metal, clay) printers are of course much more sophisticated and getting better all the time.

  355. Just a fun note. In the new “Joker” movie, When first confined as a mental case the Joker is placed in the Arkham hospital. (Big letters on the building). Thought of you.

  356. Nastarana,

    I’m wondering what’s going on too, but then we’ve all been expecting a split in the Democratic party. Maybe Tulsi is going to be the first person to walk? She has a significant following, enough allies, and could easily get money from the Indian American community to support her. She’s also a dead center moderate, and the middle lies abandoned.

    I’m fairly sure the Democratic Party doesn’t realize that they just lost the whole Indian American community after the J&K hearings. However, I agree that the US should keep out of the business of other countries, the dems seem to be big on intervention though.

    Christophe,

    Yeah, stepping out of the political process makes it more difficult to change the political process. Really not sure what she’s trying to accomplish. However, if she runs third party, then I’m voting for her.

    Regards,

    Varun

  357. Hi Beekeeper,

    I think Mel Brooks will be popular with young American men until and unless society becomes less prissy. His movies are one of the last refuges from salary-class-female standards of behavior.

    It occurs to me that the last time Nice was so strictly enforced was the Victorian period, but men had avenues of escape then: the smoking room, the bar, the rat-terrier contest, even the boxing ring (which was about as un-Nice as you could get) and the football game. There were places they could go to get away from femininity for a time. Women still have places they can go to get away from men for a while, but male options have been dwindling. So Mel is providing a valuable service!

    It also occurs to me that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with Nice. It’s certainly better than, say, Aztec standards of behavior. The problem today is no escape outlets. The salary-class women just won’t…let…up. People who work in offices complain about the smothering conformity enforced upon them. I fear that when the backlash comes it will be correspondingly harsh.

  358. Cataloging some journals in my library I ran across an article in The Pomegranate, February 2001. “Fascist Ecology: the ‘Green Wing’ of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents.” by Peter Staudenmaier. The article is an excerpt from _Ecofascism: Lessons From the German Experience_ by Janet Biehl and Peter Staudenmaier, AK Press, San Francisco, http://www.akpress.org. The original book is no longer on the press website, but an update _Ecofascsim Revisited_ by Biehl, published in 2011 is. I won’t attempt to summarize the article, but it certainly seems prescient in a way, given the opening sentence: “In our zeal to condemn the status quo, radicals often carelessly toss about epithets like ‘fascist’ and ‘ecofascist,’ thus contributing to a sort of conceptual inflation that in no way further effective social critique.” The author goes on to explain the antecedents of the infamous Nazi slogan of ‘Blood and Soil” and the ways in which concern for the ecosystem became focused on the concept of sacred German land and the need to expand to provide for the German peasant. The concept of racial bonds to native lands also fed into the hatred of the Jews as rootless, wandering people incapable of true relationship to the land.

    So, it would seem that there is a set of political ideas that can be accurately labeled and examined as ‘ecofascism.”

  359. Hello John.

    Appreciate your effort and patience with these comments.

    What do you think of the current state of the so-called New Age movement, and the whole resurgence and interest in occultism and spirituality in the mainstream among the youth? Do you see any hope or seeds? Could they be some ‘lost and whirling’ infant atoms trying to heed the call of the Divine Sparks? I was specifically impressed by (some) women in these circles and communities, they seem to execute an authentic seership and psychism I rarely come across, check names like Aluna Ash and Gigi Young, they’re the closest to a sybil or a scarlet woman I’ve seen recently, I’m sure there are other ones we just don’t know about.

    Also, where do you think this belief that America is supposed to be the legitimate heir and land to receive the new word and law of Liber AL vel Legis is coming from? and do you think if any nation actually received it would become a central and directing force on the planet?

    Cheers.

  360. JMG, Mr Rebel Bass,that denounced you in shrill terms as an eco-reactionary censors all the comments that disagree with his point of view. It would be funny if it wasn´t so sad. That being said i ask you to be careful I have witnessed first hand this kind of denunciations and they usually end up with the accused being hurt or otherwise harmed.

  361. samurai_47 – With all due respect for people who make a career in a library, it seems to me that “town librarian” is a job role that might be reserved for people too old to work in the fields, stables, etc. If people spend their younger years in occupations which demand more strength, energy, and/or agility, maybe these “semi-retired” librarians can get by on relatively little cash income. Amazingly enough, “sample library budget” is a Google search string that can fetch numerous examples of actual public library budgets. With those as a base, you’d have some idea of what could be done with different assumptions. (e.g., don’t build your own building, don’t have expensive mid-career staff, don’t churn the collection

  362. Polytropos,

    Well, that was an interesting idea. Truth is, I have pondered alchemy for years as I have an old friend for whom the pursuit of the philosopher’s stone has taken up most of his adult years, and he’s in his 70’s now. He does not call himself an alchemist but a student of alchemy because he has not made the stone. I will ask him if he has any opinion on such tinctures. I have no idea but am quite willing to check out a source that you seem to think of. Perhaps you would rather email me. That would be anna.mulqueen at yahoo

    Funny you think of Saturn as being used to limit the growth. I like it a lot!
    I had thought of this cancer as arising from my bullheadedness, largely ignoring limits most of my life, and it started about the time of my second Saturn return at 58-59. That’s when you get whacked if you’ve been a bad girl or boy.

  363. Samurai_47- Another example: College Park, Maryland, home of a Major “Big Ten” University, had no public library between 1986 and 2012. The current library is in the basement of a church, is staffed entirely by volunteers, and is only open a few hours a day (and closed on Friday and Sunday). But it’s survived for the last 7 years, and that’s not to be sneered at. Their children’s programs are announced in the city newsletter. Their “web site” has apparently lapsed and is not probably trying to serve ads and malware.

  364. JMG,

    You mentioned that in your most recent past life, you were a woman who died in a car accident. Do you know anything in detail about her life? Also, do you know anything about any of your other past lives?

    You also mentioned that skills we obtain in past lives are passed to our present life. Are these skills we learned in the most recent past life, or can they have been developed several lives ago?

  365. Easter eggs in Red Hook – now that it’s Open Post and they come to mind again.

    The title character of “From the mixed-up files of Mrs. __________ ____________ ” is the first one of course. The second one is totally incredible. Because — okay. The Old Gods are credible to any polytheist. The Deep Ones and the Innsmouth children of mixed marriages with them – very, very credible. Catullus devoted a sizeable chunk of a very, very long poem to the marriage of Pelleas and Thetis, and weren’t they the grandparents of Achilles? But…

    Justin Martense was born and raised in the U.S. of A, lived most of his life here. You can *not* convince me that he wouldn’t recognize the tune of our national anthem. Even when song badly and off-key, with different words, by a bunch of downtime drunks. It’s engraved in our memories by the time we’re in grade school, of only through sports on TV. Though I’m sure a lot of children think the last two words of it are “Play ball!” No, that one surpasses belief.

    Question: the Greater Earth called up memories of Clifford Simak’s Ring Around the Sun. That is, a long string of alternate Earths. Is the Greater Earth a ring, the way the two spatial dimensions we know are on the surface of the earth? Can you get back from Carcosa by continuing past the Ulthward pole and down the backside to the Anthward Pole and back up again to home?

  366. re subscription libraries

    Maybe it could work as a side venture for someone interested in running a 2nd hand book store – the bookstore gives you insight into people’s current reading interests and while you’re visiting estate sales etc for stock you can also cull the good but less popular stuff for the library side of things. Maybe you could use the bookstore’s floor area as well for after hours meetings. Of course, many 2nd hand book stores seem to be run as nearly a charity anyway – lots of proprietors seem to be retired people with secure pensions doing it as a hobby. Still, I know one young couple who run a very popular one as a business in a local industrial area (along with doing repairs of antiquarian books).

  367. @JLMc12
    Thank you so much for your comment on The Inheritors. I have been searching for this book for years – I read it as a teenager, then after a couple of decades wanted to read it again but I could not remember the title or the author. For some reason I thought it was written by Russel Hoban. Anyway, its evocative portrait of a dying species has always stayed with me, and I wanted to revisit it. Now I can. Thanks again:)
    Btw, thanks to all for the book recommendations here week by week. I look up many of them in my local library system and check them out if they are available. I am certain that a large number of old, arcane and longtime unread books get an outing they would otherwise never have had, and I learn a lot and gain new favourites along the way.

  368. The metaphysics of the frog, and so much else on this blog, and the question of who and what is the counterculture, and magic. “The solution will happen inside the chaos.” “If it’s a really complex problem, you have to go really far into chaos to find a solution.” Shapeshifting. “And as they force that chaos to take shape, it becomes an image of their own ideas.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixc9i1G7eew

  369. Scotlyn, on Peter Linebaugh, yes, great writer, esp his work with Silvia Federici, Re-enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons. This is the way forward, imho.

  370. I’m grateful for all the comments here about libraries! I agree there is no money in a used bookstore. It’s a labour of love, pure and simple. My part-time library work allows me to eat and pay the mortgage, but my heart is in the bookstore.

    However, I have another reason for doing what I do. Like most on this blog, I think we are heading for a dark age, in which much of what we have will be lost. I can see books being burned to heat our homes in the near future. If it were not for the monasteries that hoarded the ancient manuscripts during the last dark ages, those would be lost today.

    Every so often, a book will come into my hands and I think “This belongs in a monastery library” and I squirrel it away. I look for acid-free paper as much as possible and focus on classics and books that would help people through the dark ages, as well as rebuilding afterwards (including a fine reproduction of part of the Diderot encyclopedia, for example.) My son has agreed to take the collection as is and pass it on safely to someone else, sending it into the future.

    Because I’m on a mission to save books from the landfill, most people who bring books to the store just give them to me though sometimes I give them a credit if they want one. Books are coming in faster than I can process them but at least they are safe and dry and not in the landfill. I’m lucky to have an old farmhouse as a free warehouse, which I hope to open to the public one day.

    The possibility of opening the monastery library as a subscription library is intriguing, but as someone who has seen what happens to the collection at the library, I would want to chain the books to the desk, have everyone wash their hands before touching, no food or drinks allowed, no checking books out, and reading would be supervised to make sure no one rips out pages. I can see why the monks copied the books for the very wealthy. It wasn’t about the money.

  371. @Lacking Clever User Name, Myriam, Beneath the Surface & Booklover,

    Copy. I hear you all. Roger that.

    First, I love working at the library. But I don’t always agree with the administration. We had some major turnover in that area in the past few years, and I am very happy with the new director. Every library weeds its collection. Ours is no different. At the main branch though they do keep quite a bit of the old stuff. The stacks are my favorite place.

    I try to balance out to the degree that I can as one person, the effects of the pop culture attitude libraries have taken, by putting in lots of requests for the library to purchase other books the materials selection team might not have come across. They do buy some of what I suggest. I don’t know about your systems, but most can purchase suggestion forms.

    & I’ve been lucky to save in my own personal collection things that were getting discarded.

    I feel extremely grateful and lucky to be in the catalog department after working my way up from a shelver. I’ve been here 19 years now. Pretty much straight out of dropping out of college… and the library has enabled me to educate myself. To be around books everyday is a blessing and it is a job that suits me as a person. It really is special. So despite being at odds at times with what policies from on high, I’m very happy to be a part of this institution. It has given me so much, I hope to keep giving back to it.

    I think as we see contractions and changes at large, on the steps downwards, the public libraries will adjust to reflect that, and once again be a bit more traditional. As internet goes down, they will probably subscribe to more periodicals again, etc.

    I also must give credit to the Library Angel, St. Jerome, and the various Shelf Elves and other spirits who populate the library. And of course the many spirits housed in the books.

    @JMG: I get what you are saying about the bludgeoning. People have grown tired of that and are starting to get upset about it, and have sided with the seducers and people who meet their actual needs.

  372. Hey now, let’s not confuse Atlanta with the rest of Georgia! Atlanta is a great empty hole that devours man’s soul. Yet another buddy of mine is pulling up stakes and heading for greener pastures within the month…😞 And of course I have the “pleasure” of getting to watch 2 of my brothers and 2 of my male cousins slowly erode from the inside out from life in the city. Nothing but atheists and snark.

    Meanwhile, up here in the mountains near Tennessee and NC, we bask in paradise, with a strong local community and natural wonders that overflow our hearts’ capacity. Not the same sort of place at all…

    There are localized rural areas where the land is thirsty for blood, but the bulk of it is fairly congenial. I notice a distinct difference in vibe depending on the parent bedrock under my feet too. Actually I think that’s one of the main reasons we moved: the micaceous schist under us at the homestead was barren and never felt right (and that is one of the areas that thirsts for blood around here), but the granite-derived red clay we live on now seems quite fertile and welcoming. As long as you’re not a Yankee. 😉

  373. @Mark L

    Regarding the carrying capacity of California, I think 16 million might be spot on. And the draining of aquifers and the growing of crops wholly unsuited to this climate is the major driver of water supply problems in the state. However, there is a bit of hyperbole in singling out California for being over carrying capacity. The Haber process has allowed overpopulation across the planet.

    A rough proxy for whether California is unusual might be looking at countries with similar Mediterranean climates, their population and total land area:

    California, 40 million people, 423km area
    Spain, 46 million people, 505km area (population 1900: 19 million)
    Italy, 60 million people, 301km area (population 1900: 32 million)
    Greece, 10 million people, 131km area (population 1900: 5 million)

    Spain is a particularly good proxy. It has very similar climate distribution, geography and water supply challenges. Wildfires are increasing there too. Yet I don’t recall any furrowed brows and hand wringing about how it’s “unnatural” for so many people to live in a “desert.” In a similar vein, Italy is struck by earthquakes on a regular basis, but I don’t recall any meme about Italy being doomed to “fall into the sea.” one day. To the contrary, it’s the Eternal City..

    Of course, the Eternal City is imminently walkable, lawns are non existent and there’s no cultural equivalent for “In and Out Burger.” When in Rome…

  374. Cool, thanks JMG

    @patriciaormsby Those meetups sound good. Do you have an email address I can contact you on?

    @Other Dave Thanks for this, I’ve heard about the Yasukuni Shrine, will definatley be checking it out.

  375. Question: on the cover of the print version of Arkham, Jennie’s hair looks almost blonde. What used to be called dirty blonde. I don’t remember any mention of her eye color, but you said her skin was pale. Now, you’ve said she looks good in dark red, a wine-colored gown. Not if she’s a washed-out blonde, she wouldn’t. I always pictured her with the sort of dark ash-brown hair that goes with fair skin and blue or possibly blue-grey eyes, possibly with a dark blue-grey-aqua ring somewhere. That does go with dark red. Also with the dark true green of her Festival day dress. [Full disclosure: the referent for said coloring and gown (or T-shirt) colors is found in a certain mirror in Gainesville, though the hair is more pewter at this point. I think Jenny will gray up quite nicely as well. I would suggest a rosemary-&-vinegar rinse for the mousiness, though. Dies rosemary grow in New England?

  376. Rita Rippetoe:
    Interesting comment. If by ‘thought crime’ you’re referring to the first commandment, then your beef isn’t really with Christians, but Jews:

    “God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.’” Exodus 20:1-3.

    That part at the end, the part about ‘no other gods before me’ sort of leaves open the possibility that other gods are not absolutely forbidden as long as they do not usurp the primary position of the god of Israel. There are other passages in the Old Testament that condemn the worship of idols when that idol is given the attributes and worship rightly owed to God, and then there’s this: “For you shall not worship any other god, for Yahveh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14), also part of the Jewish scriptures that predate Christianity.

    Catholics have long been accused of idol worship for praying to saints, a misunderstanding (perhaps intentional?) on the part of people who don’t like Catholics much, because asking saints to pray to God for you is not the same as praying to saints as if they were God Himself. There’s a lot of hair splitting here.

  377. Re: The Inheritors

    I used to work with the guy who led the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome. He puts an image from The Inheritors at the end of each talk. The book is great, though front m our current point of view the archaic species might rather be a Homo erectus or something; consensus on Neanderthals seems to be moving towards acknowledging that they had similar cognitive capacities as ourselves.

  378. Dear Varun, I am having trouble comprehending recent events, never mind formulating an intelligent opinion about them. What I think so far:

    1. It has always been clear to me that Gabbard was being promoted and financed by the Hindu/Sikh/Jain diaspora–nothing wrong with that; it is part of how politics works. If some of that money and support comes from outside the USA, and I have no reason at all to believe that it does, that would be illegal, but hardly unusual. It is illegal in the sense that it remains illegal to let your horse wander free in a former frontier town.

    2. I suppose it may be the case that the outrageous Clinton remarks, which ought to but won’t earn Mme. C. a lifetime ban from major media, may have been the excuse for Gabbard’s eventual departure from the Dim. party, while the hearings you mentioned are the reason. Perhaps you could give us a précis of what was said, and what reason was given for the hearings at all? Were they intended to be merely informative?

    3. It occurs to me that factions in the so-called intelligence apparatus have a lot ( money, emotion) invested in Pakistan–for no good reason, IMHO–and the neutrality of India during the Cold War is still resented in some circles in DC.

    4. I have personally a high regard for India, it’s long history, its’ magnificent art and literature, and for it’s mostly well behaved emigrant communities in the USA. The HIndu/Jain/Sikh diaspora is no less law abiding than anyone else, and does not claim immunity from American laws. While it follows its’ own customs and celebrates its’ own holidays it does not demand that the rest of us have to stay home from work or keep our kids home for those holidays. As a working class American I am personally grateful that members of your community, unlike some others, don’t treat me like a walking ATM machine.

    5. Having written all that, and I will apologize in advance for any offense caused by what I have to type next, it wasn’t the USA which invaded India. During most of the 19thC the British Empire was our enemy also. (I think the anglophilia of much of our governing establishment is nuts, but that is just my opinion. Me, I think the Carthaginians of the North are a fickle friend and a bad enemy) There really is no, or scant, support for any notion that the USA is obligated to earn redemption from past crimes by admitting large numbers of migrants from India. The same could be said of China as well.

    6. While I appreciate the Hindu/Sikh/Jain community attempting to do politics the right way, that is, offering people support for things we want in return for continuing to allow large scale immigration, which I believe is what the Gabbard candidacy has been about all along, I fear the effort has come too late. I suggest that the bulk of the American public, that is, everyone who is not a multiculturalist Democrat, has decisively turned against immigration. I believe that the game changer here was the ill fated Syria adventure. We simply don’t want ISIS head choppers living next door to us, and if preventing that means restricting immigration from everywhere, that is what will likely happen.

    7. Rep. Gabbard is not the first person of good character and high accomplishment to be insulted and discarded by the Dim. misleadership. Donna Edwards and Admiral(ret.) Joe Sestak are two names that come immediately to mind and there have been others. It looks to me that there is an opportunity here to put together a coalition which could mount a third party bid for high office. The great weakness of parties like the Greens, et al, has been their inability to find believable candidates. An outfit called Justice Democrats advertised for candidates and found people like Rep. Ocassio-Cortez and others. Not all promoted by the JD won, but this group is not being dismissed as fringe crackpots either.

  379. “Samurai, I’ve seen viable subscription libraries in towns of 20,000 people, so it’s not out of reach. The crucial thing is to start very, very small, and grow it only as resources permit…”

    This is a very power bit of advice for any project. The slower the growth the more stable it will be.

  380. What Sage, JMG, and others mentioned about possible malevolent land spirits, I have definitely felt those vibes in parts of South and Central Texas. San Marcos in particular seems like it has incredibly ancient, dark forces just under the surface. It’s right between San Antonio and Austin on I-35, home to Texas State University, alma mater of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. (Robert Caro’s first volume of his LBJ biography talks about the town a bit.) The ZIP code is even 78666. There have been lots of strange accidents where students have died suddenly at parties and such. A massive apartment fire back in July 2018 that killed several people. I myself had a near-death experience there, almost drowned in the river in 2015.

    Interestingly, it has been found to be one of the longest inhabited sites in the Americas, due to the natural springs for the aquifer there. There’s evidence of human habitation in the area for perhaps 11,500 years. It’s right on the Balcones Escarpment and the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, and the San Marcos River (flowing right out of the springs) has never run dry. The line of settlements from San Antonio to north of Austin is incredibly bound to its unique geology and hydrology, like a massive oasis.

  381. John–

    Re the 2020 Dem nomination

    Biden is stumbling at present, I agree, and Warren appears to have a certain momentum behind her. And I’m sure that there are many other currents swirling around that I simply don’t see.

    We’ve talked of the Democratic party as being at war with itself and it is very clear that there are two fundamental factions: a status-quo-ante/business-as-usual faction (what I’d think of as “establishment”) and a more radical-change faction. Biden is an exemplar (if not *the* exemplar) of the first, and Warren/Sanders are exemplars of the second.

    My thinking, though, to extend the civil war metaphor a bit, is the possibility of “foreign intervention” tipping the balance of power in favor of one side or the other (France, in the case of the American Revolution, or as a negative example, British non-intervention in the case of the US Civil War). In this particular circumstance, I’m wondering about the influence of the NeverTrumpers of the Republican establishment who may decide to intervene in the Democratic primaries in favor of an establishment candidate with whom they have far more in common. One recent post along those lines:

    https://politicalwire.com/2019/10/29/top-bush-adviser-leaves-the-republican-party/

    And the relevant pull-quote:

    “…in Massachusetts, unenrolled voters can vote in either primary. The Democratic Party is at a crossroads, where it has to choose either a center-left candidate (Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Yang) or a far-left populist (Warren, Sanders) as their nominee for president. I intend to help them choose the former.”

    One of the broader, longer-term dynamics I’ve speculated in this transformation and reshuffling of the US political parties we’re witnessing is that the Democrats wind up becoming the establishment party of the status quo: in your parlance, that globalist party loyal to their class. And in doing so, it would absorb substantial elements of the old Republican establishment, which is ideologically congruent on those core issues of economics and empire. The post-Trump remains of what used to be the Republican party, I think, would form the nucleus of your populist-nationalist opposition party, possibly absorbing some of the economic left once the various populist factions can work out their differences on other issues (civil liberties, for example). But that is still in the future, to the extent it unfolds that way at all.

    But I do wonder if enough old guard Republicans decide to intervene, that Biden may yet prevail, so long as he regains his footing sufficiently otherwise and is still able to remain competitive. In a close contest, that foreign intervention may be enough, and there is certainly motivation for those elements to strongly consider such action.

  382. The discussion about the “feel” of places, and the blood hunger, has been fascinating. There’s definitely some “there” there. Whoever mentioned Northern Maine feeling best – I can say this: my wife grew up a stone’s throw from Maine, in Canada, and if you go out to the now-abandoned farmstead where she grew up, it just FEELS GOOD. I don’t know why, but my wife and I remark on it every time we go there. The woods feels wholesome and welcoming there, as if inhabited by good spirits. Interestingly, it’s a region that, unlike many parts of North America, has no history of infamous or especially violent native peoples.

  383. Kiashu, those numbers seem very reasonable, which is why I suggest starting much, much smaller, with a volunteer staff (a few elderly people who want something to do with their free time) and a converted garage or the like. Scale up only when you have the money in hand, and even then round down. You can ask your members to donate slightly used books in good condition, or to buy books for the library, to help make the budget go further!

    J.L.Mc12, not for many years. He’s not my cup of tea.

    Booklover, of course not — there are no cure-alls for every problem! It’s a heck of a good foundation, though — the way that regular exercise and a healthy diet are a good foundation for general health.

    Minervaphilos, glad to hear it!

    Jim, yes, exactly. There’s also an even smaller scale version which was pioneered by alternative spiritual groups, the reading room — the Christian Scientists still have a lot of those. I really do need to post something about that sometime soon.

    Dashui, that’s my guess.

    ST, thanks for this!

    Xabier, I’ll put it on the list!

    Mark, oh, over the long run the Pacific Northwest will do very well indeed. It’s got huge advantages, ranging from very good soils through excellent harbors to relative isolation from other major population centers, and I’d expect there to be viable urban centers and agriculture there straight through the Long Descent. It’s getting through the next century or so that’s likely to be pretty hairy.

    Rita, “thoughtcrime” was an invention of the Axial Age, the period beginning around 600 BC when literacy spread out of the scribal class and ideology became a workable possibility for the first time. (There are complex reasons for this which I’ve discussed in a published essay.) Most of the religious movements that came out of the Axial Age included the notion that there is a specific, rigidly defined capital-T truth, the propagation of which is a central task of religious organizations; there was a lot of variation about how best to handle deviation from the supposed Truth, though, and it was mostly religions that started in the Middle East that embraced the idea that anyone who disagrees with the Truth has to be battered into conformity with it using all available violent means.

  384. Firstly appologies if this post has been received before, was getting errors yesterday, 400 bad responded Ubuntu… something. Looks to be fixed now.

    JMG you have written at great length about how the Sci-fi technological dreams of future technology just keep getting regurgitated only to only to miss the boat yet again. Well, time to splash some MORE cold water on the Techno-hype-sphere yet again. An article from The Economsit, “Driverless cars are stuck in a Jam.”

    https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/10/10/driverless-cars-are-stuck-in-a-jam

    I love this part “Hackett, the boss of Ford, acknowledges that the industry “overestimated the arrival of autonomous vehicles”. Chris Urmson, a linchpin in Alphabet’s self-driving efforts (he left in 2016), used to hope his young son would never need a driving licence. Mr Urmson now talks of self-driving cars appearing gradually over the next 30 to 50 years.”

    30 to 50 years, is essentially a really nice way of saying “never going to happen”. Even the Fusion power optimists say their second coming is earlier than that.

    I have mentioned it to others before, computers are over fetishized calculators, at a very broad scale they neat things in terms of philosophy from the perspective of mathematics and the nature of the universe but ultimately in terms of practical use they are just human ideas and non-sense accelerated to the speed of light.

    On a more practical level, I spent a good 30 years learning, studying and using computer technology – the last few years have seen me do a 180 in that regard. No point continuing in a field that might not have much of a future.

    I very much doubt that, if you could make a computer program handle the complexity of image recognition and combined with driving rules, something that is still a very long way off, that it is even possible to ever fit enough compute power in a car. We are nearing the limits of computing power in terms of density, it has fallen spectacularly short of what the digital utopia folks had in mind.

    I was one of them at one point, sometimes you just have to wake up from the dream and face the reality…

  385. This guy must be crazy:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/extreme-haunted-house-torture-chamber-disguise-says-petition-close-it-n1073286

    I’d like to see his liability insurance bill.

    In my state, at least, a waiver does not magically make illegal actions, such as assault and battery, legal. I think most states are the same. His waiver may protect him from civil suits, but even there, I question whether a judge would honor a waiver signed by a person with a hitherto unknown allergy to bees who dies after his head is shoved into a box full of bees. Can any of our legal eagles weigh in on that?

    You’d have to be crazy to work for this guy, too. There is a certain type of personality I think of as the Kamikaze. Usually nice quiet types, not people who’d sign up for this on their own, but when the Kamikaze DOES have a goal nothing short of incapacitation stops him. (The military’s full of Kamikazes.). I can see a Kamikaze whose girlfriend or buddy or whomever talks him into doing this haunt, or who really needs the $20K, doing this, and since the actors here are encouraged to frighten, disorient, and attack patrons, I can see a Kamikaze killing an actor here once his switch is flipped. I suspect that waiver is designed to screen out Kamikaze types rather than to ensure the safety of paying patrons.

    Has anybody here been through the torture chamber, or do you know anybody who has?

  386. @Tripp: Atlanta surely drains something. I give river boat tours up here in Yankee land, an I had a couple from Atlanta several days ago. The Providence River is tidal and brackish. They could not grasp the concept of tides. I’m sure if I told them to meet me at sunset, they wouldn’t know what that was either…. Of course, it’s not just Atlanta: most people in our megalopoli have lost all connection with the world outside their cocoons.
    @Patricia: we can grow rosemary today in New England only if we bring it inside for the winter. 50 years hence: who knows?

  387. Re: Phauz. I can’t see her as a 2-year-old. I have always seen her as something like 8. 7,8,9, or 10. That her human-child-Bastform was seen as “lithe” bears this out; those are the long-legged colt years. Right now she’s living every (secure) child’s dream of being feral and on her own but in no danger.Uncle Blackhat is keeping a casual eye on her, and Papa is the baddest, meanest tough guy in the neighborhood. Not to mention Mama.

  388. Nastarana, let me consider that. It might be something worth doing on a forthcoming post on subscription libraries and nonprofit reading rooms.

    Phil K, thanks for this.

    Brian, of course it’s not going to be an instant process, but as trade barriers go up and businesses voluntarily relocate their production facilities to the US — a process already under way — it can happen in a matter of a few decades. Supporting the Mexican economy should be a crucial goal of US policy anyway — the single biggest investment the US could make in its own national security is to do everything possible to have a stable, prosperous, and successful southern neighbor — so that’s certainly a workable element in the transition to a post-free trade world.

    Dan, hah! I included the Arkham Sanitarium in my novels, but by the beginning of the first volume it had long since been closed, and converted into the local H.P. Lovecraft museum. If the Joker was there, he’d have been just one of the tourists… 😉

    Rita, of course — and in my discussion of ecofascism I said as much. My point wasn’t that it didn’t exist, but rather that it’s a tiny fringe of a fringe, and the efforts by the corporate media to whip up a frenzy around it were thus tendentious at best.

    Aziz, the New Age movement is circling the drain. Too many New Age figures invested way too much of their credibility in the fake 2012 prophecy, and when Mayan Fool’s Day came and went without incident, the New Age passed its pull date. Sales of New-Age-related books and products have been declining since 2007, and that’s spread far beyond the narrowly defined New Age scene — have you noticed how many of the Wicca-themed shops that used to be all over the place have gone out of business in the last decade?

    There are still capable occultists, seers, and mages around; always have been, always will be. Some groups and some people are doing a good job of making the transition from the pop-culture occultism era (1976-2012) to the emerging cycle (2013-2049) when pop culture will have other interests. But the days when your local big-box bookstore had a whole shelf of New Age products are waning fast. As for Crowley and Liber AL, well, you know, I’m not a Thelemite; I consider the usual Thelemite notions about magi proclaiming the word of an aeon to be a thoroughgoing misunderstanding of something much more subtle, and I don’t consider Liber AL to be any more important than any of the other channeled scriptures of early 20th century fringe religious groups…

    Whispers, yes, I’m quite familiar with the habit of internet bullying that some extremist factions online like to use to push their agendas. I’ve assumed for years that I’d be a target of some such collective hissy fit one of these days, and I’m not especially worried. First of all, as a person with Aspergers syndrome, I don’t care what other people think of me; I really don’t. Peer pressure has less effect on me than gravity waves from Van Oort Cloud bodies. Second, my income isn’t at risk — I’ve been very careful in my choice of publishers, funding sites, etc, and the few I have that might be vulnerable can be replaced in a matter of days — and my readers are by and large not a demographic that can be influenced by social justice tirades against me. Third, if a bunch of social justice types want to fling all their energy into giving me and my views much more publicity than I have now, you know, that’s not something I’m going to protest too loudly.

    You see, the great weakness of the wokester brigade is that they’re a small, shrill minority on the fringes, given temporary influence by the fact that certain large corporate interests benefit from their antics. Only 8% of Americans actually support their ideology and very large majorities actively reject their views. That’s why outside of a few media settings, the targets of their tirades don’t actually have to worry about much. Do you remember the RaceFail 2009 brouhaha, where social justice activists tried to bully an assortment of whilte female SF authors into silence? Elizabeth Bear, the first target of their rage, is still in print and still publishing new books –she’s had two new novels out this year, to critical acclaim; Emma Bull and Patricia Wrede, two of the other targets, are still in print and still publishing; so is Will Shetterly, Bull’s husband, who waded into the fray with hobnailed boots and gave as good as he got. They’re doing fine. Me? Hey, if the wokesters want to see to it that a couple of hundred thousand people who’ve never heard my name all say, “So who’s this Greer guy that the social justice freaks are losing their **** over? I should go look him up” — I’m hardly going to complain.

    Your Kittenship, well, there’s a Kryptonian shortage as well, you know…

    Username, yes, I know a fair amount about her, including her first name, a lot of details from her life, and her taste in clothing and food. (She was into yogurt — or as she spelled it, yoghurt — back when it was an exotic item you got in specialty groceries or health food stores.) I remember a number of my other lives, though the further back they go, the fewer details I recall clearly. With regard to skills, it doesn’t seem to be limited to the life immediately before this one; any skill you developed intensively in a past life will be a talent you have in this one. (That’s why I know I’ve never done anything significant with music in my previous lives!)

    Patricia M, hah! I wondered if anyone would catch the reference to that childhood fave of mine. As for the greater Earth, no, it’s a four-dimensional hypersphere, not a ring. If you slice a three-dimensional sphere like this —
    sliced sphere
    — and each slice was infinitely thin, you’d have an infinite number of two-dimensional circles of difference sizes. Now imagine a four-dimensional hypersphere; if you sliced it into three-dimensional slices, you’d end up with an infinite number of spheres of different sizes. Carcosa and R’lyeh are at the two ends of the hypersphere, so they’re very small; our lesser Earth is somewhere in the middle, so larger than most of the lesser earths but smaller than some.

    Hedge Apple, mostly in gumbo. Get it relatively young, so it’s not woody; slice it fairly thin, and put it in early, with the onions and other sturdy vegetables and the gumbo file. It helps thicken the broth and adds a fine flavor.

    Whatever, er, whatever.

    JillN, good heavens, I’ll take your share! Fresh young okra is a lovely vegetable, very well suited to gumbos and other hearty soups.

    Frank, thanks for this.

    Patricia, Jenny’s hair is that distinctive color sometimes called “dead mouse brown,” not quite blonde but not quite brown either. Once it goes silver she’ll look quite distinctive. Not that she has to worry; one of the advantages of being asexual is that you don’t have to fret about whether others find you attractive.

    Versling, yep. Not to mention it’s always a good idea to stay within budget!

    David BTL, it depends very much on how many states have open primaries and how badly Biden does in the opening rounds. There’s also the issue of whether Hillary Clinton will make a third try — the far right is desperately hoping that she’ll do so, as they see her as the most vulnerable candidate the Dems could possibly run, but I doubt she or her followers will share their opinion! One way or another, the upcoming campaign is going to be one to watch.

    MichaelV, thanks for this. Driverless cars are one of those strange attractors like flying cars and nuclear fusion — places where technical ingenuity and investment money go to die…

  389. Your Kittenship, you spoke too soon. 😉

    Patricia, I think of Phauz as being the equivalent of a nine-year-old — but of course she’s a nine-year-old with a mind so far beyond merely superhuman that the word falls flat on its nose; just for starters, she had the capacity to perceive and process everything that every cat everywhere in the world sees, hears, and smells, all at once. Oh, and the capacity to mold her body into whatever shape she chooses, at will, instantly. And the limits of space and time — yes, humans have to put up with those, don’t they? Poor things.

    So, a nine-year-old Great Old One. A very strong-willed nine-year-old Great Old One, who likes to play in those corners of the lesser Earth (such as Providence, RI) where Nyarlathotep, who normally has a supervisory role over little Great Old Ones, doesn’t go for complex reasons. She really is one of my two dozen or so favorite characters from the series. 😉

  390. Rita Rippetoe: re: ecofascism. I found “Fascist Ecology: The ‘Green Wing’ of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents” (Peter Staudenmaier), apparently the full text, here:

    http://www.spunk.org/library/places/germany/sp001630/peter.html

    It makes the case that Nazi death camps were the result of decades of ecological philosophy, taken to horrifically absurd extremes. I think it’s relevant to our modern day; when resources get scarce and push comes to shove, will we have the wisdom and the will to respond more humanely? For too long, we have been reluctant to engage with the ideas behind the rise of Nazi power, but how will we deflect them when they return, if we have not developed defenses in the mean time?

  391. Hi Peter,

    Doesn’t anybody down south read the Farmers Almanac anymore? Even the Atlanta edition talks about tides. (I want everyone to read the Almanac so it stays in business, I love it.)

  392. What was Race-fail? I read an article about it that assumed the reader knew the details, and when I went googling I didn’t find much, as if the parties involved had decided to just pretend it never happened, mumble mumble. I gathered it had to do with SJWs and a science-fiction convention but that was all. Mr. Shetterly’s name caught my eye as he wrote the article I read, but all the links were dead.

  393. John—

    Re the upcoming campaign being one to watch

    Most definitely—I already got to see the greatest political upset since Truman beat Dewey. What is the reprise going to be like? Go long popcorn futures! 😉

  394. Hypersphere! Oh, now I DO see! And that’s why Carcosa was so … small, monochrome , not much larger than the larger temple complexes of the Bronze Age, was it? One does wonder what its source of supplies could be.

    And that. of course, is why humans had to travel there on the astral. Or was that the barricade set up to quarantine our world when the dinosaurs were wiped out?

    Pat

  395. Re: Jenny – okay, a variation on my own coloring, then, but a lighter shade. Oh, she’ll be stunning as an old woman, then. Especially since she never messed about with dyes or perms or ratting or teasing her hair (you should see the hideous results of that in old age.) But looking good, for a woman, is not always about being sexually attractive. A lot of it is looking well-put-together for the eyes of one’s peers, or even one’s own taste. I’m sensitive to color, whether on myself or others or in a room or a mural, for example, and while I’m about as likely as Jenny to fuss over makeup and perfume (don’t wear either except for pomegranate lip gloss), it feels good to have a haircut and trimmed nails. An asexual can be a bit of a dandy. Your Mileage May Vary.

  396. Re; Phauz – Ha! Called the age group on the nose! She’s a total favorite of mine, too. But then I’ve had an altar to Bast from the time I discovered the Craft up to the death of my last and final cat.

  397. JMG:

    Glad to hear that you appreciate okra. Watching my plants make their final desperate push for reproduction this year I find them quite inspiring. I usually eat it raw, which is a divine and less slimy experience, but I’ll take it any way I can. I am convinced that it is a extraordinarily powerful plant in many ways.

    Witch bottles: ~11 months ago I made a comment on one of your open posts about the efficacy of a w. bottle – still no sign of my old chronic ailment since I created one. Will be making more and carefully disposing of the old. TSW! 3-5-7

  398. Re; Amazon:

    Thanx for the links you sent me late in last week’s post. I checked these out and what they describe sounds a great deal more plausible than some of what I read before. I saw claims that there were around 300 million people in what is to-day Canada and the US at the time of the arrival of Columbus, and another billion in Mexico, Central and South America. Since the total world population in Columbus’ time was about a billion, I take these figures with a shovelful of salt.

    The map in one of the links shows the settlement areas to be a swath of land along the rivers indicating that most of the Amazon was not deforested. It seems plausible that 25% or so of the Amazon could have been deforested, then grown back after the people died off; for the entirety of the Amazon to have been deforested, and then re-grow into the dense jungle of to-day on 300 or 400 years seems far less likely.

    As far as High School civics classes, well, my experience was like those others have described. I went to High School in the last part of the ’60s in the Bay Area. (Lafayette, Calif.)
    Freshman year was World History, Sophomore was an elective (I took Modern European History, which dealt with the time from the advent of Louis XIV to the present, Junior year was US History, and the Senior year (for me, ’69-70) was US government. As described by others above, it explained the mechanics of how government function. There were no field trips, but our teacher made an unusual offer. He guaranteed an “A” to any student, even if they totally flunked out everything else, if they would select a current issue and write a letter advocating a point of view to every Congresscreature and Senator. In an era before xerox machines had advanced to the point where one couldn’t tell the original from one of the copies, that meant 535 original letters to be typed one at a time. As far as I recall, no one was masochistic enough to undertake this herculean task.

    Myriam:

    Speaking of xerox machines, if you want to have a reading library, and don’t want rare books damaged or stolen, why not just throw the book on the xerox, make a couple of copies on ordinary paper, three-hole punch it, and put it in a 3-ring binder. Any pages smeared with hamburger grease or torn can simply be recopied from the original and replaced.

    Antoinetta III

  399. Oh I see John. I don’t live in the US or any other country that practice occultism publicly, so my judgment is definitely lacking, anyhow, I just really hope a vital and authentic wave and generation of spiritual youth will emerge soon out of this chaos.

    About Liber AL, can you elaborate on the “subtle misunderstanding” regarding the magi proclaiming the word?

  400. Pat Matthews:😉

    Peter van Erp: I hope that didn’t reflect too poorly on Southerners in general…we’re not all brain-dead, and some of us are quite familiar with tidal swings. Besides working on the St. John’s River estuary, I used to own a little 10′ jonboat, “The Nucular [sic] Jonboat Green October,” that I piloted back into the tidal flats hunting redfish and flounder along the east coast of Florida with just a 40# thrust trolling motor. Talk about needing to know your tides…

    Still, we have at least our fair share of morons in Georgia. And I’m sure the ones you met were worth a good hearty laugh!

  401. Hey John, I think I asked my question to late in the last open thread but I had a couple of questions in regards to what your views on the electric universe are and what are your views on the Strause and Howe generation cycle theory?

  402. John (and everyone)–

    Apologies for the flurry of last minute comments, but two Trumpian policy tidbits that came to my attention this morning. Recent Executive Orders (published int eh Federal Register Oct 15hth) pertaining to regulatory reform and overall reduction of the administrative state:

    https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/15/2019-22623/promoting-the-rule-of-law-through-improved-agency-guidance-documents

    https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/15/2019-22624/promoting-the-rule-of-law-through-transparency-and-fairness-in-civil-administrative-enforcement-and

    Quick summary seems to be the forbidding of “scope creep” regulation through the use of guidance documents and similar materials.

  403. Minervaphilos and Jonathan

    Re: my experience with computer divination

    I’ve written some code and have gotten reliable results from it. My instinct aligns with Jonathan’s in that I also think the closer your body and mind are to the selection process, the more representative the results will be. I did this in Excel, because I’m quite familar with it, but rather than using the canned RND function, I wrote a macro that reads the timer value when I click an onscreen button. That value is a real number like A.BCDEF. I’m not sure how far out the digits go, but they definitely go to E (1/10,000 of a second), which is too small of an interval for any human nervous system to consciously time. I strip out the digits C, D, and E, and then reverse them to produce a value (EDC) from 000 to 999. I tested the code by generating several hundred numbers, and it made a perfectly flat histogram (with 10 bins). Once you have a random number generated in close proximity to your intention, then it’s a pretty simple matter to select randomly from a list of things, prevent double-draws in the case of Ogham and Tarot, and then to make it look pretty. I’ve actually used this same code to make programs for Ogham, geomancy, Tarot, and I Ching. I’m still learning Ogham and geomancy, but the other two seem to work as well as the physical objects, and the geomancy has given me results that make sense.

    This is the macro code I’m using.

    _______

    Function iRandom2() As Integer

    ‘uses hundredths, thousandths and ten-thousandths place of timer value in reverse order
    ‘to form 3-digit integer (0-999)

    Dim iA As Integer
    Dim iB As Integer
    Dim iC As Integer
    Dim fTimerVal As Single
    Dim fTime As Single

    fTimerVal = Timer
    fTime = fTimerVal – Int(fTimerVal)
    iA = Int(fTime * 100) – (10 * Int(fTime * 10))
    iB = Int(fTime * 1000) – (10 * Int(fTime * 100))
    iC = Int(fTime * 10000) – (10 * Int(fTime * 1000))
    iRandom2 = (100 * iC) + (10 * iB) + iA

    End Function

  404. Hi JMG,

    I’ve been thinking about the idea I’ve heard from you, that souls take millions of years to pass through many incarnations of different bodies, from the smallest cell to human beings, in order to slowly progress to higher stages of complexity/experience or whatever.

    Could it be possible that, with the current extinction event occurring on this planet, that we human beings have doomed ourselves and possibly billions of other souls incarnate on this planet to millions of years of further unnecessary incarnation in less complex life forms, because this extinction event will wipe out the only higher level life forms that can support complex souls? If human beings are wiped out, will my soul be forced to fall down to a lower level of incarnation, simply because there is nowhere else to go, unless I somehow achieve a state of enlightenment or fully experience the human condition in this current life in order to progress beyond incarnate existence?

    Having said that, I’ve also heard you say before that asteroidal impacts that extinguish almost all life on planet earth are actually necessary and intended, so nature can work with a clean-slate and rebuild towards higher complexity anew. Could it possible we are inadvertently doing the asteroid’s job for nature, by hitting the reset button, without even realising it?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

  405. Way late to the party. The reason California gasoline prices are high is because – according to geo political commentator Peter Zeihan – because California is at the end of the global oil supply chain that is starting to fail. Google Kern County Energy Summit: Keynote Speaker Peter Zeihan and start at 38:11

  406. As for the US land being thirsty for blood there are a couple of strong possibilities.

    Our Landsvettir (Land Spirits more or less) are upset with our treatment of the land, some of the inhabitants or who knows what else or our Genus Loci is reflecting our internal turmoil.

    Interestingly the most recent poll I could find , 2/3rds surveyed thought civil war is inevitable . That by the way was from Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics not exactly some fly by night poll.

    Rasmussen similar question asked last year was at 31%

    Polls are course always to be taken with a packet of salt but it would explain the feeling folks are getting. The nation hungers for war and blood.

    Sooner or later some idiot will start something and unless sane heads prevail, well, a hunger like that will be filled.

  407. Hi JMG,

    Do any of your books attempt to explain what interrelationships exist between the various pantheons of Gods in the various religions? I’m also curious to know if you think there is any way to fit Christianity nicely into polytheism. Perhaps, if current interpretations or translations of the bible are incorrect or too literal it would fit in better. In general, I would like to know if you could point me in the direction of resources which might explain your views on Christianity and how it fits into the universe.

    I’m of Irish and Germanic heritage like many people. I’ve been interested in the spiritual practices of my ancestors. This would of course include Christian and Non-Christian practices. I have heard that at times people would worship both Christ and Odin. Obviously today Christian syncretism exists as well in other countries, but it would seem in modern Christianity all forms of syncretism should be forbidden. Do you know if this has always been the case?

    Thanks.

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the current post are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views expressed here, and I try to respond to each comment as time permits. Long screeds proclaiming the infallibility of some ideology or other, however, will be deleted; so will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed; so will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flamebaiting and the like -- I filled up my supply of Troll Bingo cards years ago and have no interest in adding any more to my collection; and so will sales spam and offers of "guest posts" pitching products. I'm quite aware that the concept of polite discourse is hopelessly dowdy and out of date, but then some people would say the same thing about the traditions this blog is meant to discuss. Thank you for reading Ecosophia! -- JMG

Leave a Reply