Open Post

September 2018 Open Post

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

One additional note — I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the Kickstarter for Vintage Worlds I. It has surpassed its funding goal, but any additional help you can give will be put to very good use, and the various freebies and other benefits for donors are still available. The Kickstarter has just six days to run; you can find it here.

With that said, have at it!

364 Comments

  1. A quick TSW note: I started on the Middle Pillar exercise and the sphere-image-visualization stage of discursive meditation a month or two ago. Since then, I’ve had two colds, but both have lasted basically three days rather than my usual five or six. Still a small number of data points, but encouraging!

  2. This is something I’ve wondered about for a few years. Do the plants in a person’s garden have some sort of energetic link with the human? I ask because, as a working gardener who works mainly for elderly people, I’ve noticed that when a client dies, some plants that were previously very healthy suddenly give up the ghost. Not all of them, obviously, that would reflect terribly on me, but a few of them do. It doesn’t happen in all gardens, just some of them, and I don’t think it’s the way I garden, because I’m very experienced and know what I’m doing. Is this a thing or random?

  3. I am curious about the legend of Atlantis – does anyone know of any mention of it in ancient or classical texts other than the writings of Plato?

  4. I just finished Green Wizardry. Disturbing and hopeful, an odd accolade for a book! Now that I’m 64 and am realizing my lost years of wandering in a Reagan-dream trance, just wondering if a sequel/updating might be in the offing?

  5. I want to thank everyone who responded to my query last open post about honoring vs. worshipping/entering into covenant with local spirits. I appreciate your thoughts and commentary!!

  6. JMG. How does one come to remember past lives?

    Then anyone else in the room. What are the best catholic mystical practices for a sole beginner.

    Thanks everyone and thanks JMG for this great place.

  7. Dear JMG,
    Thank you so much for putting the Essene teachings up as a free PDF. I got a friend to help me download them and have been studying the pamphlets, one a week. I feel much better for the Essene practices already and the writings have given me some very interesting themes for meditation.

    On a different note, one of the retired clergymen who attends the Anglican church I go to had a prostate cancer that spread to his bones which was pretty grim. He said he prayed to his God with the words, “I really would like it if you could heal me.” and the pain in his lower back went away. He had a biopsy and it came back negative for cancer cells. The doctors think he is clear of cancer now. I thought that was a pretty good miracle. He deserved it as he is a sweet fellow.
    Max Rogers

  8. I’d like to write down the following list, inspired by the Pythagorean binaries, for our troubled times (while saying that I greatly disapprove of it):

    man : woman
    order : chaos
    bad : good
    lust : pride
    right : left
    red : blue
    guilty : innocent
    low : high
    freedom : equality

    There are ten in the original, but I couldn’t think of a tenth – maybe someone else can.

  9. It seems as though the U.S. empire is stumbling towards its Suez moment with several mini-episodes this last week. The Chinese turning away U.S. warships from docking in Hong Kong. The EU working on an alternative to the U.S. controlled Swift financial transaction system so they can trade with Iran, and Kim and Moon actively moving toward peace ( and perhaps reunification of sorts) without regard to U.S. input on the subject.

  10. Hi JMG. I have been re-reading some of your books that dealt with decline of empire, failure of politics, failure of economics, and dark age America, etc. Given that it is almost certain that there will be an economic crash or “adjustment’ in the near future, I was wondering if there were any indicators that you watched to get a feeling that that event might be imminent?

    Thanks for all your good work,

    Mac

  11. Sven Eriksen, Isaac Hill: are you reading? I’d like to ask about things you wrote previously here on runic practices.

    JMG: you said on the last MM that visualization was a special challenge for you. Do you think it has any relation to your Asperger’s, and did you do anything to overcome it other than sheer persistence?

  12. I am reading and re-reading all your posts and I always come up with new ideas based on what you write. I would love to have a set of discussion groups based on your work…

    So, there is one thing that I started thinking about and I will probably spend some time analyzing.
    Based on your idea of history as human ecology, we can figure out why some patterns work and others don’t.
    The example that I have in mind is (again) Roman empire.
    First, I think asking “why the empire collapsed?” is the wrong question. The Roman empire lasted enormously long compared to all others that we know about. So the better question is : why did it last so long?

    My answer is: prescriptions. For those that don’t know, prescriptions were a way of culling the senatorial/aristocratic herd, confiscating their wealth and using it for imperial purposes. Prescription was practiced on and off by multiple emperors. It was and is considered a horrible thing, bringing suffering to innocent people (including women and children) just because some emperor wanted to repay their debt or pay their soldiers or simple paranoia.

    The thing is, evolution is not about good and evil. It’s all about what works. And prescription worked – it forced aristocracy to learn to survive, allowed lower castes to raise to power and maintain the good will of the population (with games, bread and money, today it would be called socialism).

    If you compare prescription with equivalents today (purges in USSR or China, mass killing, civil wars etc) the advantages are obvious. Very few people are directly affected and the selection pressures are very powerful, acting at the sensitive top of the power structures.

    Founding father of USA copied a lot of things from Rome, including the balance of the three government branches. But they never managed to put in place any mechanism that stops the aristocracy from becoming fossilized in place. That is the reason the American empire will probably collapse before 2050.

    What I would like to read – I wonder if anybody knows of anything like this – is a history of any country that is written on evolutionary principles, without taking moralistic stances. Basically, the way you can read about evolution of fish for example.

    Thanks

  13. Just read Paolo Bacigalupi’s “Ship Breaker”. Realize it is for teens, but what an interesting take on the Long Decline. Thought I was reading a Greer book! 😁😁😁

  14. Biodiversity. Gimme your thoughts.

    little background: taking a volunteer naturalist course through the local extension agency office. 10 crunchy grandmas and me (36, male, pierced, tattooed). It’s a been a great course so far. getting some basics taught by some experienced people, ecology, aquatic life, soil, stewardship, plants, geology… good stuff.
    the fly in the ointment is mostly the extension-agency-ness (thou shalt no-till, thou shalt put farms into trusts, etc) and how limited the thought processes go (they all like to talk about all the wonderful eco-tourism trips they’ve taken and plan to take, we ALL drive to the classes).

    biodiversity seems to be the watchword. i don’t find the concept as cut and dried as everyone else in the room. it comes across to me as presented as the noble goal to approach, but hell, the first lesson (and second and third and) in ecological concepts was: it’s messy, it depends, it’s fuzzy, it’s NOT black and white. i doubt we’re as smart as we seem to think. i’ve got some doomer inevitability built into my personality to boot.

    I’ve very new in this arena, so i may very well be wrong but I feel ‘biodiversity’ is being used as a cop out answer for “why we choose to pursue X”
    or maybe the opposite and it’s “if biodiversity is THE goal, the people who are anti-human probably have the only real solution.”
    Of course, in the extension agency, EVERYTHING is couched in terms of doing what we can “while preserving our standard of living and you know, growing.” Bio-diversity and GDP don’t make good bedfellows.

    sorry that rambled.

  15. Hello —

    This week, I’ve started reading Kevin Dann’s biography on Thoreau titled “Expect Great Things.” In it, the author paints a picture of Thoreau as a hermetic mystic, a great lover of humanity (as opposed to the misanthrope he is usually viewed as), one who took astrology seriously, and someone who literally believed in fairies.

    Have you had the chance to read this book, and either way, do you have any thoughts on this atypical view of Thoreau?

  16. Have you heard of an australian band called King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard? If you haven’t, i think you’ll like it. Check out their song Lord of Lightning

    On another topic, I wanted to to ask about the supreme ritual of the pentagram and the hexagram ritual. I’ve been reading Circles of Power (I have to say that i feel very eager about getting myself all the equipment for making ritual Magic a lifestyle. Just waiting to get the go-ahead for leaving the halfway house I live in, in a few months) and I’ve wanted to know how ready I am to incorporate a weekly GBRP or the LRH. I am not sure of the frequency with which i should perform them. Am I going too fast? Ive been doing LBRP and MPE daily for a couple months now. I understand that the LRH brings planetary influences into balance. What effect does this have?

    Thanks as always

    JP

  17. John, et alia–

    A few data points from the (electric) utility industry that came across my screen recently:

    https://www.euci.com/are-electric-utilities-in-a-death-spiral/?x=32207t242282Sy&utm_campaign=092618_energize_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_source=energize

    Note that the report mentioned refers to a poll, so it is more about utilities’ perception of the issue, but still germane to the broader point. The fixed cost issue is a very real thing and the present rate design (spreading fixed costs over volumes of power sold) is not sustainable. The question is whether or not there is the political will to make the needed changes; and even then, the problem is not necessarily fixed if usage continues to remain flat or decline as it has for the past decade.

    Secondly, the on-going saga of the only remaining nuclear plant under construction in the US

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-25/last-u-s-nuke-plant-s-fate-has-come-down-to-a-game-of-chicken

    (Second story down, I believe. Re the Vogtle plant. “Last U.S. Nuclear Project Faces `Jeopardy’ as Owners Mull Exit”)

    And re the political season, I am very glad that I can now sidestep any attempts to sway my vote, since that is no longer possible. Vote early and get it off your plate 🙂

  18. JMG,

    A question about ‘Retrotopia’ from the last time I read it. About what would be the population of the various new divisions of the former USA? Lower obviously. Did you have an idea of maybe a percentage decline when you wrote it?

    NJ0C

  19. NomadicBeer: The Augustus to Trump’s Caesar may be coming soon, and an obvious equivalent to proscriptions might be confiscating a bit of the kleptocratic wealth and redistributing it. As for evolutionary history, I wouldn’t write off normal history books – e.g. if you’re interested in the Roman Empire, why not read the Roman historians (Tacitus, Sallust, Polybius, …)?

  20. In re: Atlantis

    Steve, I just picked up at a used bookstore a volume titled “Lost Continents-The Atlantis Theme in History, Science and Literature”, by L. Sprague de Camp. This was written in 1948 and updated in 1970. Seems like it is quite comprehensive.

    I just started it, so can’t really say more than that at this point.

    Antoinetta III

  21. Hi John
    Regarding your comment on Monday that Samhain is an appropriate major holiday for Green Wizards: What aspects, beyond the gleaning and settling in for the “long winter’s fall,” of the observance should we consider? (Recall that none of us have much background with magic or Druidry.) How should we (a bunch of economically marginalized mostly men with hard skills) observe the holiday? A standard Halloween party to start? Add some Celtic customs? Adding Samhain to the GWB&PA ritual the way other lodges observe relevant days and holidays makes sense, but that’s a long way off. In the meantime…?
    Rusty

  22. NomadicBeer: it involves biological evolution more than social organization, but Understanding Human History is an amoral history book I recommend. I’ve yet to read The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire, but Eastern Roman history and Edward Luttwak being what they are, I imagine it’s *exactly* what you (are right to) want. War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe does some of what you want, but being a comparison of specific periods, has less detail than you might like, and it’s been pointed that, despite handing out the information, the wordcraft is as mediocre as expected of political scientists. I’m absolutely sure at least one history of China exists that fits your request, but not completely sure about “in English” and not remembering any right now – will try taking a look later.

  23. Re social decline.

    The difficulty, it seems to me, lay in the challenges is seeing the changes, not in outcome (which possesses natural variability), but in process. For other quant geeks out there, think in terms of statistical process control, where one is trying to determine whether or not a process remains within specs or has undergone some sort of shift.

    Our society is held together, not because we all agree on outcomes and policies and programs, but rather that we agree on a process by which those outcomes, policies, and programs are debated, developed, implemented, and dismantled. We have agreed to certain rules of procedure, however imperfect, which more or less provide for different groups to make their case and to provide input. When the power plays seek to alter not only the outcome but the process by which those outcomes are produced, then we face a very real threat to the underlying stability of the system. When we argue that one set of rules applies when “our side” is in charge, but another set of standards applies when “they” are in charge, the people become jaded and lose confidence in the system as a whole (and rightly so). The fabric of our society is stressed and torn with every episode of this behavior, exhibited very much by both sides of the current party divide and with increasing frequency.

    Given that a society is built on the foundation of that trust in the system and its processes, erosion of that trust is a grave threat, but one to which our (soi-disant) leaders seem quite blind. It is as if the notion of our societal fabric irreparably tearing is inconceivable (cue Inigo Montoya quote here), not only to them, but also to many in the upper and upper-middle classes generally. I am sure the reality will come as quite a shock to them, in the end.

  24. @will oberton re catholic mystical practices

    In no particular order of priority I recommend and suggest some resources for the following, as your cup of tea may best be filled:

    1. The Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) — which is, apart from certain Buddhist sutra recitations, and the surviving Zoroastrian worship, among the oldest continuously practiced religious devotions on the planet. Christians received it from the Jews (“Pray constantly” is the direction of this mitzvah) and the Muslims (with large substantive modifications) took on at least the logistics of the same pattern of prayer though out the day. Resources variously here: http://www.ibreviary.org/en/tools/ibreviary-web.html
    and here: http://universalis.com/

    2. Lectio Divina — resources here: http://lectio-divina.org/
    and here: https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/category/category/lectio-divina
    I like to combine lectio with the Sortes Sanctorum as a providential selection method for the text: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sortes_Sanctorum — but it can also be used for the reading of the day in the Divine Office

    3. Centering prayer: https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/category/category/centering-prayer

    4. The Rosary, certainly: http://www.how-to-pray-the-rosary-everyday.com/rosary-guide.html

    5. And last — but certainly not least: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament — available at a Church near you !

    Good wishes for your contemplation !

  25. From the last thread:

    @Shane:

    don’t know how much you follow the comments, but I don’t think there will be a future USA.

    Oh, okay, that is interesting; I haven’t been a regular reader here, only a sometime one, so I didn’t know whether there was any sort of forum “consensus” about what is likely to happen in the future. For what it’s worth, I agree with you, but at the same time in the event of a disintegrating USA I don’t see Canada holding together either. The provinces are more distinct, with their own chequered histories and cultures, than many people realize. As it sounds like you well know, Vancouver is becoming a Chinese colony; Toronto is… anyone’s guess, while other parts of the country are still ethnically European, and I don’t see the whole holding together, personally. My most likely guess is a resurgent Quebec nationalism if the USA were to fall.

    I think things are bad enough in the US that the US can’t afford to worry about Canada, which is why the US is setting Canada free.

    Very interesting point of view; thanks for this short discussion!

  26. #stinkhornpress
    re: anti-humanism as the only road to biodiversity

    I recently started telling people that I’m not in favor of population decline in general, I’m only in favor of a *human* population decline… 🙂

    (which does not mean extinction, btw. but I think everyone would be happier a few centuries from now if there will be just a half a billion humans walking around the planet)

  27. @Will Oberton

    I have been following Fr. Agostino Taumaturgo’s blog from several weeks now (he does not update often this days, but I am going through the past articles). You can find his work at THAVMA: Christian Occultism and Magic in General.

    If you are an ortodox leaning Christian, and you wish to engage with occultism while remaining within the bounderies of orthodoxy, he does not disappoint. He is a priest trainned and ordained under the Traditional Catholic Church (the faction of bishops that broke relationships with Rome after Vatican II), and he’s a theology buff, so he can talk intelligently about the nuances between most conservative denominations: Catholics (old and new), Eastern Ortodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, etc.

    He brings this background and knowledge into his approach to magic, and either validates, works around or (rarely) outright rejects individual teachings. And example is his modified versions of the LBRP and Middle Pilar rituals. The changes go from minor corrections to the grammar in sacred languages, to one theological issue with the wording of the Kabbalistic Cross (he uses the equivalent of “Thine is Kingdom” instead of “Thou are Kingdom”), along with translations to both Latin and Greek (his working hypothesis being that you give more power to the ritual if you use the closer language and wording as those used for liturgy in your regular Mass; him being a priest, I can see how he came to that conclusion).

    He’s also not particularly formal. In the general I consider this as a plus, but at times he comes out a bit ranty; but on the other hand you do not have to worry about getting list upon list of reasons why you are going to burn in Hell if you do not do exactly as told.

  28. re biodiversity:

    If you want to get a very simple, abstract and yet convincing idea on what biodiversity means to this planet, I’d encourage you to read yourself into Daisyworld, especially on what the consequences of “biodiversity” – that is a few more species than just black and white daisies – mean to the simulated ecosystem.

    What most people mean, when they are talking about biodiversity, is this fuzzy feeling that something is going wrong and somebody should do something to fix it. I think most people who cherish biodiversity never have taken the time to see it, find out what this is, means and what it requires. Most agree, however, that what’s needed is an (quasi-stable) equilibrium, so far so good. The mainstream way of thinking on this is, that equilibrium somehow has to be reintroduced (of course in a way that’s designed to fit our likes and dislikes). So WE have to do something (anything on the scale from saving endangered species to large scale geoengineering) to save the planet (you could watch George Carlins “Saving the Planet” on this). Which is – to my mind – bullshit.

    While it is certainly true, that there are many ways to assist nature in healing herself (or in our present time it seems more appropriate to talk about slowing down destruction than healing), the best and only sensible thing we could do is to just step back and allow nature to do whatever she wants. Millions, no billions of years worked just fine, but now – what a lucky surprise – humanity has arrived to fix it. What a joke. Lean back, save any scientific and technological gadget that REALLY makes a difference to humanity and watch, what happens. My observation is, that ff you make such suggestions to ordinary more or less intellectual people, they don’t even understand, what you are talking about. Which also is not very surprising, since myself being a teacher on a more or less high school / grammar school-equivalent in one of the world’s still leading industrial nations I can say with some confidence, that throughout the next decades, there will be no weaponry in the arsenal to seriously deal with the situations we are going to face (and partly are facing already) in the not so far future.

    Greetings,
    Nachtgurke

  29. Hi,
    Two distinct topics:
    1) Distrust of elites is rooted in distrust of their intentions. Bernie Madoff has forgotten more about finance than I’ll ever know, but if he’s using his expertise to swindle us–and make fools out of supposed watchdog agencies–then his knowledge becomes a threat. If elites expect people to respect them for their presumed competence, even if it’s being aimed against them, then hubris has gripped them indeed. And then there’s the question of what kind of competencies are we taking about? Is it the ability to foster wide scale adoption of permaculture (for example) or is it the ability to design systems that destroy personal privacy? Mastery without morality is a dangerous thing.
    2) Has anyone felt a sudden connection to their past selves (in their current life, just to be clear) and used that opportunity to convey to them (if only through a directed feeling) that it’s all going to turn out OK (or whatever message would be appropriate to your case)? Is this one possible reason why people may have been surprised at their how calm they felt in an earlier situation that would normally make them very anxious?

  30. Hi John

    I have a question involving demographics.

    https://gefira.org/en/2018/09/25/oil-at-100-a-barrel-is-a-necessity-for-us-energy-independence/

    The gefira team are forecasting that a shrinking pie of working age population in Europe and East Asia after 2020 will lead to an economic winter.

    They are also forecasting a oil supply shock by around 2020 which will trigger another economic crisis. What is your take on this and do you broadly agree with their analysis and timing?

    Thanks

    FI

  31. Hi JMG,

    Back in the Kek Wars discussion, you gave me the following reply:

    “welcome to the single most difficult challenge we in the United States face: the challenge of evolving our own traditions of harmony with the land and the powers of the land. By my estimate, it’s going to take us about five more centuries and a lot of suffering to get there.”

    Can you elaborate a bit on the stages we need to go through to get to that point? I am curious about whether the five centuries projected to reach equilibrium are due to the imminent collapse of industrialized society, or because that is just how long it would take any society–under any conditions–to go through the successional seres of spiritual development.

  32. Juan Pablo – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard was an answer (meant to puzzle the respondent) on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” an NPR news quiz show, in recent memory. I smiled broadly that you mention them here!

    Re: Green Wizardry. I bought a copy recently and finished it last night. I don’t know whether I’m happy or sad to discover that I’m already doing a majority of the tasks suggested… I was hoping for great inspiration, though for sure I did get great encouragement. Perhaps this is what I should have expected, having already begun to harvest all of the (moderately) low-hanging fruit?

    I took a detour today to avoid road repair work, and found that my detour road was closed to vehicular traffic until further notice due to a bridge that failed inspection. The Town website mentions “months” before any sort of fix might be enacted. Life during decline is never dull.

    For JMG: my son about whom I spoke to you in June at the pot luck was born on Samhain. I see mention of celebrating Samhain, and last week was about astrology… anything I should expect of a Samhain-born child?

  33. Isabel, delighted to hear it. The positive effect on health builds over time, and there are certain ways it can be amplified once you’ve got a good foundation to the practice — I’ll be posting some things about that on my Dreamwidth journal down the road a bit.

    Miranda, they do indeed. Plants are conscious, though their consciousness differs profoundly from ours; house plants can be thought of as being on more or less the same level of intelligence and awareness as animal pets — and just as some pets will pine away and die when their human dies or leaves, so do some plants, especially when the human has given them a lot of affection and attention.

    Steve, to the best of my knowledge there’s nothing about Atlantis as such before Plato. There are legends about drowned places that may go back further — no surprise there, since sea levels rose around 300 feet at the end of the last ice age, and that was not that long ago.

    Leon, no, I think it stands pretty well as is. Thanks, though!

    Will O., the best way is simply to take up the practice of discursive meditation, and let past life memories unfold naturally, which they will in due time. Trying to force the recovery of past life memories through hypnosis or the like simply guarantees that you’ll mix up the memories with fantasy material, bits of forgotten novels and movies, and so on. There are good reasons you don’t remember your past lives yet; accept that, and get on with making this life as good as it can be.

    Maxine, you’re welcome and thank you. I’ve heard from other people who’ve had very good results from the early lessons, and there’s plenty more to go. (Those of my readers who don’t know what I’m talking about can find the relevant web page here.

    Glad to hear about your clergyman friend! Miracles do happen, and healing miracles are particularly common; they’re one of the reasons why religion makes sense. (Whisper that around angry atheists, but it’s true.)

    Skdedkd, er, perhaps you can explain why this is useful. I’m missing the point of it.

    Clay, yep. I’m delighted to watch it — the sooner the US gets out of the empire business, the more likely we are to have a country afterwards.

    Mac, do you mean the popping of a speculative bubble, like the Dotcom bubble that burst in 2000 and the real estate bubble that popped in 2009? If so, simply watch for pundits insisting that whatever it is isn’t a bubble and won’t burst; the crash usually comes within a year of that announcement. If you mean the Big Crash that everyone’s been waiting for eagerly for the last forty years and more, all I can say is don’t hold your breath…

    S.T. Silva, most people with Aspergers actually have better than usual visual imagination; I’m an exception to that rule, as I think almost exclusively in spoken language. (The inside of my head sounds like a monologue, or occasionally a conversation.) I’m not at all sure it’s related to my Aspergers, though it may have to do with the broader mess that is my nervous system. As for dealing with it, I did what several good introductory books on magical training advised me to do, and spent time practicing visualization daily until I could get a good clear image of just about anything.

    NomadicBeer, good. What you’ve realized is that morality is not the same thing as practicality; a thing can be considered morally good by this or that tradition of religious doctrine or moral philosophy, and still be a very, very bad idea in terms of its effects when put into practice. That’s still a controversial idea in a lot of circles, but it does seem to work in practice. 😉 No, I don’t know of a history written from that perspective; Nietzsche did some work talking about the history of morality itself in those terms, and the vast majority of his readers didn’t get it, even though he explained himself in words of very few syllables!

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

    Stinkhornpress, every so often the green end of pop culture fastens onto a new buzzword and waves it around, as though repeating it often enough will cause a good fairy to make their SUVs run on sunlight. “Biodiversity” is the latest of these. Treating it as a good thing in all cases is ecological ignorance of the first order, as the biological diversity of any ecosystem is determined by the prevailing conditions and available resources; thus there’s such a thing as too much biodiversity in any environment, just as there’s such a thing as too little. What’s more, nature is continually generating new biodiversity — consult Darwin’s The Origin of Species for a well-written, thoughtful introduction to the process.

    There are times and places where it can be helpful to provide additional resources or remove environmental stressors to allow a given level of biodiversity to maintain itself, but there are also times and places — a lot of them — where the best thing to do is step back and let nature take care of it. The difficulty with this latter is that it doesn’t feed the currently fashionable delusion that human beings — more specifically, of course, “the good people,”
    the human beings who think they matter — are the only active and creative forces in the cosmos, and the rest of the universe has been assigned the role of passive victim for us to persecute and rescue by turns.

    Jeremiah, I haven’t read that bio, but what you’ve described of it makes vastly more sense of Thoreau’s writings than the sort of canned hagiography of Thoreau that normally passes for a biography of him. Thank you!

    Juan Pablo, I haven’t heard of the band, but it sounds fun. As for magic, I recommend a solid year of practice with the lesser ritual of the pentagram and the Middle Pillar exercise before going on to other workings, and when you add in the other workings, one a week is a good frequency. Begin with the elemental Pentagram rituals — once each week, open a temple in the usual way, perform one of the elemental invoking rituals, meditate on the force you’ve invoked, then perform the banishing ritual and close the temple — rotating among the four elements. Do that for a year, along with your daily LRP and MP, meditation, divination, and study of magical texts, and then spend a year working with the Hexagram rituals in the same way. Yes, that’s three years of practice — and at the end of it, you’ll have done a first-rate job of initiating yourself into the elemental and planetary contacts, and be ready to take on practical magic with great success.

    David, many thanks for this! Prophecy time: by 2036 nuclear power will be a fading memory. I’ll explain why in an upcoming post. 😉

    Coop Janitor, I didn’t have a specific percentage in mind, and it’s been long enough since I wrote it that I’m not really prepared to guess.

    Rusty, Samhain is among other things a celebration of the past, the ancestors, the things that are gone. You ought to be able to factor that in somehow — for example, if members cook food to share, it should be old recipes….

    JGregg, thanks for this!

    David, that’s a valid and important point. One of the insights I got from Spengler, in turn, is that the dissolution of abstract forms and their replacement by personal loyalties is a common factor in the disintegration of a civilization and its replacement, first by warband culture and then by feudalism, which is of course warband culture systematized into a worldview and a political system.

  34. Rusty – Samhain is a day to honor your ancestors, meet them, talk to them, leave them a little something; and a day when the veil between the worlds is thin, so you might see or meet spirits. Not all friendly. “Pray… all you meet are the *gentle* Fae!”

    Also, it’s the beginning of Celtic winter, which ends at Beltane (May Day). One of the better expression of how we on this forum feel about that is from George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones: “Winter is Coming!” Which in context is a Fimbulwinter.Too true! With the caveat that both in the series and in real life, it’s already here and we’re starting to feel it. [We’re not supposed to push products on this site, but T-shirts expressing this are available online. I intend to order one.]

  35. Greg, 1) that makes a great deal of sense. 2) Hmm! That’s not something I’ve encountered.

    Forecastingintelligence, 2020 may be a bit early for the next spike in oil prices but it’s within the likely window. As for the economic winter, I’d use a stronger term. As global population peaks and begins to decline — an inflection point that’s fairly close just now — we can expect economic contraction to become the rule rather than the exception, and periods of growth to become the anomaly, as uncommon and disruptive as major recessions have been over the last century or so. It wouldn’t surprise me if that starts to cut in by 2020 in those parts of the world where a healthy demographic contraction is setting in first.

    Samurai_47, that’s an extraordinarily complex question to which I don’t necessarily have good answers. The idea that a new great culture will begin to emerge in North America in the 26th century is actually my adaptation of a prophecy that’s been in circulation in occult circles for most of a century and a half, but it’s also based on a rough calculation of the time it took Faustian culture (i.e., the current cultural overlay here, which is rooted in western Europe) to emerge as a coherent thing after Classical/Apollonian culture went into terminal decline. More on this in an upcoming post.

    Rita and David, thanks for both of these.

    Michelle, nothing other than what you’d expect from any other child born with his Sun in Scorpio. If you can find a good natal astrologer, get his chart cast and delineated, and yours as well; that will help you figure out how the two of you can best work together.

  36. Thanks, JMG. I was thinking more along the lines of the Fracking Bubble. I will watch for said announcements. I am pretty much invested in Local Credit Union accounts, these days. No NYSE Casino, for me. I do not want to get Fracked!!

    Thanks, again,

    Mac

  37. Dear JMG,
    Some years ago, after a dinner with colleges which provided me with the instructions, I engaged in an experimentation that included a relaxation, and a small mind travel down to meet some entity that would introduce itself as ‘help’ for practical material matters. Much to my surprise, and a bit of a scare, the entity actually materialised in my imagination. It was friendly enough, but I was so scared that I never repeated the exercise, and even forgot its name. Ever since I fill a bit constrained, because the doubt remains: was it a real entity or some kind of avatar of my sub subconscious mind? As the exercise included columns of fire, could it be something constructive and beneficial, or the opposite? How dangerous do you think can be this type of activity?
    Thank you so much for your blogs and your books. I acquired some of magic related but I in my mind there is a resistance to explore them (except for the ‘Mystery Teachings of the Living Earth’), that may be related to this doubt.

  38. Hi jmg
    I just thought of two other technologies that may survive the deindustrial future.
    Skateboard-they use a similar level of tech as a bicycle don’t they?
    Chemical photography-in “the knowledge “ by Lewis dartnell he says that in theory a very basic camera could have been made by people in the era of Henry the eighth if they knew how. (By the way have you read that book?)

  39. SJ Esquire & Shane– re: No more USA
    Seems likely to me also that the US will break up, and it would not surprise me if some parts of Canada merged with some parts of the US to make new political entities. I think it will come down to regions that have interests and conditions in common. So I could see parts of the provinces around the Great Lakes merging with the US States that border the Great lakes. The US States that border Alberta might join together with it–
    I remember reading about a Russian Academic who predicted that the US (and Canada?) might split into 4 vertical ‘stripes’ due to an alignment of interests.

    Vancouver and coastal BC are a special case– True, the Chinese are buying up real estate in Big Van, but Vancouver and coastal Oregon and Washington are overdue for a very large earthquake and coastal reset. Here’s a link that will make you move out of Vancouver, if you live there:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one

    A lot of Van is going straight into the ocean within the next 50 years, so it is anyone’s guess whether the Chinese (or any other group) will consolidate their hold there, or go somewhere with a lot less rubble. Interesting times coming, to be sure!

  40. More evidence the American Empire is in decline while the Sino-Russian led Eurasian power bloc solidifies and the Russians, Chinese and their allies push back against what they see as American bullying tactics:

    The Russians just announced the Chinese will be co-hosting the biennial MAKS airshow starting next year. The Chinese are already on board as co-hosts for the annual International Army Games, a sort of Olympic Games for the military forces of the world which was started by Russia in 2015, while a Chinese mechanized infantry brigade participated in the Vostok 2018 exercises, said to be the largest and most ambitious in Russian military history.

    According to at least one source, among the PLAAF aircraft that will be participating in MAKS 2019 are J-20 and J-31 stealth fighters, as well as the latest version of the J-10 Firebird, which is the Chinese equivalent of the American F-16.

  41. Esteemed, wise, and prolific Archdruid, something you said a few weeks ago about the applicability of any particular spiritual or magical practice has really resonated with me on a number of levels. Roughly, you said that not every practice is appropriate for every person, and that one should apply any one particular practice with caution and care, and pay attention to whether the practice is for you positive, neutral, or negative. (Corrections to your ideas welcomed, BTW; this is what I’ve extracted and may not be representative of your thoughts or may be lacking in certain important nuances.) And you have continued to strongly suggest that any seeker engage in only a single practice at a time and not to mix bits and pieces from disparate practices (as, sadly, many in the New Age camp were (and still are) prone to do.)

    Anyway, I realized that what you were and are advocating bears at least a striking resemblance to wisdom. Participating in an established single practice from a particular lineage gives you the best chance of seeing what the results of said practice are in your own context.

    Upon further thought and meditation, I realized that very few religious or spiritual traditions advocate similarly (take a single thing at a time; this may not work for you), for darned solid reasons: that’s NOT a good way to build up a large following! It seems to me that to build a large following, you need to entrain within your group lots of people who can’t really evaluate the positive, neutral, or negative aspects of a particular practice. Those people quite likely evaluate the group and the practice by a feedback loop where people are saying that the group/philosophy/practice is great, and you as a member repeat that to others. So the initial formative action if you seek to create a LARGE group needs to be based on selling and promoting, and distinctly NOT on trying to have people pay attention to the tangible effects of the practice.

    Going out on a limb, I’d say the more adamant that members of a group are as to the “…infallibility of [their] ideology…” the more likely those members are of having been ensnared in a group that will have, or is having, for some of its members at least, deleterious effects. Cults…

    Any thoughts you have on these musings are appreciated. All the best!

  42. If you were writing the Holiday stories (Christmas Eve 2050, etc.) today, would you change the date of the first Christmas to a later year or do you still think this is the situation we will likely find ourselves in by 2050? Thank you.

  43. JMG, have you seen the Manifiesto for renewing liberalism published by the Economist Magazine calling for reforming liberalism as it has become a regressive and a status quo defender, calling for being again radicals against corporate power and monopolies.

    https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/09/13/a-manifesto-for-renewing-liberalism

    Argues that the liberalism has lost sight of its essential values, and that liberal elites have been accommodating and autocomplacent.

    “Governing liberals have become so wrapped up in preserving the status quo that they have forgotten what radicalism looks like. Remember how, in her campaign to become America’s president, Hillary Clinton concealed her lack of big ideas behind a blizzard of small ones…
    It is the moment for a liberal reinvention. Liberals need to spend less time dismissing their critics as fools and bigots and more fixing what is wrong. The true spirit of liberalism is not self-preserving, but radical and disruptive“

    Coming from this magazine, the spokesentity of liberalism, I find very emblematic the warning that is sending.

  44. JMG, how modest of you to refrain from tooting your own bookhorn in relation to Steve’s Atlantis question. Readers, the Arch One wrote a book in 2007 about the myths and actual science underlying Atlantean stories. IIRC, he didn’t go any further back into the dawn of time than Plato’s descriptions. I can’t cite for sure because I gave my copy to the lending library of the Green Wizards’ group in Melbourne, Australia. Along with my copy of Greer’s book about the psychology and science behind UFO stories (which he convincingly argues that some are an intentionally propagated conspiracy theory by the U.S. government designed to cover up some of its military hardware programs. Fake news! Fake news!)

    JMG, thanks again for the tip you tossed my way about where I could find some of your books on shelves, for sale, when I was in the U.S. in mid-2017. Unfortunately, that New Age/magic bookshop in Fredneck was on the verge of shutting down when I visited. It only had your two tomes about pseudo-science left, none of the “decline of civilisation” stuff. On the plus side, they were flogging off their remaining stock for 90% off, so I got your books for about $1 U.S. apiece!

  45. David, BTL,
    I always thought your “et alia” addendum was a play on words (and all of ya), which I thought was brilliant, but I Googled it tonight and found that it’s real, grammatically-correct (neuter plural) Latin! Good stuff. I will be using that in the future with the intention conveying the former perception I think.

  46. Hi JMG-

    Wow, I see you get so many requests, I feel a bit guilty adding my own to the pile, but here goes: I noticed on the August 20 Magic Monday post you wrote the following….

    “Every tradition has its saints. I’ve met elderly Christian ladies who have no religious function other than member of a congregation, who radiate clear light so strong I practically had to blink looking at them. (One of these days I’ll do a post passing on the advice about daily prayer and Bible study I got from one of them — if you happen to belong to any religion that has a sacred scripture, it’s first-rate stuff.) So, yes, there are saints of that sort all through Western spiritual traditions; I’ve never encountered one in a leadership or clergy position in a religious organization, but they do exist.”
    (Re: of Saints and Avatar. Date:  2018-08-20 11:47 pm. https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/30736.html)

    .…It is no surprise to me you’ve never encountered one of these said saints in a clergy position based on the state of institutional Christianity today, but that’s a whole other conversation.

    As someone working within the Judeo-Christian tradition, I’m quite curious to hear this first-rate advice you mention about daily prayer and Bible study. Please do share sometime!

  47. JMG,
    Really enjoy your explanation of human bodies being inhabited by unprepared animal souls as the number of humans swells and megafaunal populations crash. Makes some sense of the world I see around me! It makes me wonder though, if that action doesn’t initiate a chain-reaction of similar “promotions” down the animal line.

    For example, why is it so difficult for a squirrel running across the road in broad daylight to recognize that a 3000 lb. car is about to turn them into a grease spot, and run the other way? Seems a simple thing really. Run away! Run away!

  48. “many thanks for this! Prophecy time: by 2036 nuclear power will be a fading memory. I’ll explain why in an upcoming post. 😉”

    Well, let’s see if I can get it. Pluto was discovered in 1930, and the atom was split in 1932. Indeed, a great many things were split during that period, suggesting a link to Pluto.

    Pluto stopped being a planet in 2006. Like with Ceres before, it’ll take time for the effects to completely fade away, but they will be gone by 30 years after Pluto was downgraded.

    How close am I? Also, how close is the post? 😉

  49. Another question: you’ve discussed before that a benefit of a pantheon is that it’s balanced, magically speaking. Would it this make sense to use a single pantheon for the SoP, or does it make more sense to use gods you feel a connection with, even where that means mixing pantheons?

  50. Would it be appropriate to describe the Tree of Life as a map of processes, in the sense of “This is the process this system describes for growth?” I got to thinking about what the lower sephira map to (Malkuth – The Body, Yesod – Memory/Imagination, Hod – Mind, Netzach – Emotion) and how the Tree is less distinct spheres connected by paths like planets connected by wormholes and more just One Thing. That is, it shows how the body, the memory, the mind, and emotions are all interrelated as one thing and affect each other on a continuum. You start by engaging the body, then the memory/imagination, work on the mind, and then the emotions to achieve the next step up (Tiphareth). What I love now is how Body, Mind, Emotion, and Higher Self are all mediated by the imaginal realm in this map, if I am reading things right. I used to bristle at the Tree of Life as a concept because I think I was seeing the sephira and paths reified.

  51. Nomadic beer, you might find Peter Turchin interesting. He’s an evolutionary biologist who’s turned his mind to the quantitative analysis of history (specialising in rise and fall of complex societies). The approach is definitely ecological.
    His blog is a good place to start.
    Cheers,
    Graeme

  52. JMG, I am not sure the latest wave in Elon Musk style techno-utopian transportation gadget has found it way to you neck of the wood yet. I am speaking of the Shared E-Scooter. These are dumped on the street corners of West Coast Cities and others with sole real purpose of building market share and pumping up the stock prices of the companies involved. They are unlocked and paid for with a smart phone app, and have flooded the streets of Portland with folks driving them as if they were playing in a video game. The real interesting part is how they get recharged. People sign up ( online of course) to be “juicers’. They scurry about in the middle of the night in their automobiles, finding discharged scooter, loading them up and taking them back to their house or apartment to be charged ( using the juicers personal utility service) and are then depositing back on the street corners by dawn. Sort of like a digital age paper boy. The worse part is due to the abuse, rough service and being slung around in battered mini-vans for charging they have a street life before replacement of 4 months. It seems to me almost a giant joke by the Cosmos to cause humans to squander all the availible Lithium on the planet on trivial uses, to put the final spike in the dreams of a solar powered high tech electrical future

  53. This is an interesting article by a website that takes the idea of changing the way we use energy seriously. The owner of the website is experimenting with making the website’s server solar powered by radically redesigning the website and its contents so that it uses less data and less power. He currently has a tiny computer setup that uses something less than 2 watts of power and he has a 50 watt solar panel that he has hooked up to a battery and battery charger. He is even anticipating that if the weather is bad for multiple days the website will simply go down due to lack of power. https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/2018/09/how-to-build-a-lowtech-website/

  54. Hi John,

    Do you know of a good resource which describes techniques for memorizing long poems or books? I’ve been reading “The Art of Memory” and I’m impressed with ancient people’s ability to memorize poetry and scripture using visualization. The book doesn’t really give instructions for developing this ability for one’s self. Anyway I thought you might have some recommendation since you know a lot about esoteric symbols.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  55. I’ve seen a few commenters from India, so if any are still around I’d like to hear your thoughts on something: what do you make of Aadhar? It seems like its wildly controversial, but I’m not sure of much about it, aside from that it uses biometric data. Anyone who knows more about it and would like to share would be greatly appreciated.

  56. Hi JMG and fellow Ecosophists!

    I have a few questions about Samhain and Halloween. Firstly…are they similar enough to be considered as the same celebration, or are they two distinct things that shouldn’t be mingled?

    Secondly – I am in the Southern Hemisphere, so Halloween/Samhain as a festival to mark the start of winter doesn’t really make sense. Can you suggest any ways those of us in the south can adapt the celebration to make it more relevant to us as we anticipate the hot, dry months of summer ahead?

    Finally – Samhain. How is the word pronounced?!!

  57. Regarding plants and intelligence – eep. Back when I had them, I took good care of my tropical fish, and take good care of my cat, but, um, houseplants are different story. I’ve reformed my ways (not because of any concern for the plants themselves, but out of the desire to own healthy plants) and have a few very healthy specimens, most of which are clones of plants my mother had for decades – my favorite is an orange Clivia which is a clone of a clone of a plant my mother owned before I was born.

    I’m out of the tech industry! Not voluntarily – my company went bust – but it is a huge relief even though I’m on unemployment these days. Although I’m trying to find a job in the industry – the money is too good to pass up for now – I’m thinking about trade school or the military. Thanks to the constant reminders about reality this blog delivers, I’ve gotten physically fit enough that I will easily pass the physical tests needed to join the Canadian Forces, and although BMQ (boot camp) is tough, it won’t kill me.

  58. It’s nice to have an open post session now and then. Upon your recommendation I’ve been reading more W.E.Butler – about anything and everything I can find for a reasonable price. (I’m not yet ready to pay $50-100 for a book.) This stuff is pretty meaty reading, so I appreciate having been alerted to it. Just the same, probably the meatiest little book that I have encountered up to now is Alexandra David-Neel’s “The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects.” I keep going back to it over the years.

  59. @N. Beer re: redistributing funds–
    An early reference for that is found in Leviticus (Ch 25, 8-13, for the compulsive), in the Bible or Torah. Known as the ‘Jubilee Year,’ every 50th year, all lands sold in years 1 to 49 reverted to their original tribes. All slaves freed, etc.

    I had a go at adapting this idea to our current funny-money, upside-down economy– Basically, we would print money enough to give everyone a sum sufficient to pay off all their debts, plus $100,000.00. Everyone with no money at all gets $100,000.00. You can pay off the car and the mortgage and get the title for ownership.
    This precipitates a financial crisis of course, but a more controlled one. Here’s a link to the blog post, if anyone is interested;
    http://jackmanassas.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-big-reset.html

    It intrigues me that, in the biblical text, there is a line about the value of property decreasing year after year since what they were really doing with a land purchase was to buy the ability to harvest crops–and the reversion of land title made the land worth less and less each year– Until after the Jubilee year, when land value would peak for the traditional owners.
    Effectively, this puts deflation of asset value into the heart of the economic system, a sort of counter-cyclical balancing mechanism. While it’s a pipe dream to think that any of our current power brokers would ever try an adaptation of the Jubilee Year to our economic system, but some version of this might help our grandchildren in the next one.

    Most feel that there is no evidence that this type of redistribution scheme was ever put into place. But that little bit of insight into declining land values makes me think that, somewhere in the Iron Age, it was tried and worked.

  60. I’ve been dabbling a bit recently with the “I Ching” and was wondering if anyone had any advice for working with it. The answers that I have gotten have been involved, and I’m not always certain how to interpret them, or if I’m even asking the right questions. It seems to be a quite complex system.

    Also, for those looking for an online alternative to Amazon, I was recently able to order a copy of the “Principe Discordia” off of strandbooks.com. I have not yet received it, though, so time will tell as to how good their shipping is.

  61. Does anyone really ‘know” anyone else? Are we actors in a play with pre scribed lines, following social convention, always sensitive to the herd? I’ve buried people I was close to and thought, I knew you but I didn’t. I don’t expect you to have an answer John…but just being able to ask it makes your gig the most interesting in computerworld.

  62. Could you recommend any books on Neoplatonsim?

    Also, would you consider yourself a philosophical pragmatist? A number of things you’ve said over the years leads me to think you have at least some affinity for the philosophy.

    Lastly, you’ve spoken approvingly of virtue ethics; do think that virtue ethics necessarily require a teleological view of humans? If so, would you place that (with Aristotle) as eudaimonia, or somewhere else?

  63. Stinkhornpress, it sounds like the course you’re taking is using ‘biodiversity’ much as a lot of energy conservation programs use ‘CO2’. I cringe a little when I hear CO2 being talked about as if it’s a simple measure of how good something is, but I recognize that sufficiently complex systems need to be simplified for communication purposes. venting less CO2 isn’t always a good thing – Fracking is probably the greatest example of where the heuristic gives the wrong result – but as a first-pass, lowest-resolution assessment, it is actually true that reducing your carbon footprint is usually better than not doing so. Or to put it another way, reduced CO2 isn’t itself a good thing, but it shows up together with more good things than bad things.
    Increased biodiversity is probably similar – it isn’t always a great goal to strive for (biodiversity of flu strains? No thanks!), but it probably works well enough as an indicator of what is good that it’s being used as a bit of a shorthand.

    Esquire, I’m sure you’re right – the federalist instinct is very strong in Canada, and it just makes sense for a population so spread out as transportation costs increase. Personally I hope our dissolution is as boring as our creation: an act of British Parliament for our formation, an act of Canadian Parliament for dissolution. I’m similarly curious what comes next – there has been talk on this forum about a ‘new culture’ forming on the East Coast of North America, which I’m interested to read more about since I plan to live here for a while.

    Greg, what you’re describing reminds me of ‘soul retrieval’ practice. I did a version of that practice somewhat frequently as a teenager, though most of the scenes that arose were from my current incarnation.

  64. I have no questions, just some data points.

    Amazon is coming to Spokane. Yup, a BIG warehouse. The local govt leaders, City and County, well, I can’t say that here, so let’s just say they’re so happy they’re giddy.

    Someone close to us has a chronic condition that is very common. It requires daily meds. There is a supply problem, and now only 1 month supplies rather than 3 month supplies are available.

    Somewhat related, there’s a new shingles vaccine that is supposed to be extremely effective. Two shots a few months apart are required. Oooopsy! There’s now a 3 to 6 month delay in getting more serum due to supply issues.

    Moving on to Sea Lions and Orcas and Salmon, Oh My! The Puget Sound orca population is at a multi-decade low. About half of an orca’s calories come from salmon. Meanwhile, this year had one of the lowest salmon counts for spawning salmon going up the Columbia through The Dalles. Next year is projected to be lower.

    Meanwhile, sea lions have found the fish ladders at The Dalles and just park there, treating the fish ladders as their personal salmon smorgasborg. They cannot be hunted, so wildlife officials catch them, tag them, and remove them to the California coast anywhere between San Francisco and San Diego. This is so successful that the tagged sea lions return to The Dalles Salmon Smorgasborg within a month.

    In a related note, the “Yakima Herald” newspaper had a series of articles in August this year about the high water temperatures in the lower Yakima River, a prime salmon river. Temperatures were over 80F, whereas the salmon, trout and other cold water species need temps below about 69F to survive. The study concluded that these excessive temperatures will get worse, and that they are likely similar to water temperatures on tributaries of the Snake River, also. Of course, people want to remove 4 electric generating dams on the lower Snake River so that the salmon can return, but returning to water too warm to support them is not part of that discussion.

  65. Mr. Greer,

    I have just read your book Blood of the Earth and found it quite interesting. I think that it would certainly make an interesting book for deeper discussion here on your website. I don’t believe that it has already been discussed at length here, at least I didn’t find anything when searching.

    One point in particular that I think it would be interesting to address further is the dynamic of the seeming hopelessness of collective action which leads to responses like survivalism, or the “poolside” mentality of getting what is available while you can. If you are in a bus being driven off of a cliff by an angry mob, what is a rational response? A materialist solution might be living it up while you can or prepping as possible but given that this may be a problem with the western egregore going insane maybe there is room for magical action. Somehow I feel that breaking the conundrum of collective action could be helpful.

    shimrod

  66. @JMG: Yay! Looking forward to it!

    Also: have been going through some back issues of Mythic, and really liked all your stories! The one with the witch’s son in the post-industrial magic world was extremely cool–does that setting tie into Star’s Reach at all, or have you written other works in it?

  67. John,
    Since you had not really mentioned population in ‘Retrotopia’, I figured it was not something you had any particular ideas about.
    Given the setting is about 50 years down the road, the wars the had occurred during that time, and the general descriptions of towns, etc. I’d guess overall 150 million maybe a bit less – about 1950.
    About the only thing that didn’t kind of match my memories of that period are the horses. And they make sense with no petro.
    Still seem like a reasonable plateau on the way down.Progress probably won’t run over Lakeland but collapse might still have a shot at it.

    NJ0C

  68. @SJ,
    meaning, that, if you followed the comment threads here you’d know I’m an avid secessionista, and feel that the US is well past its pull date, and serves no useful purpose anymore either domestically or internationally, and the sooner it is dissolved into more homogeneous, meaningful parts, the better. My ancestors fought to dissolve the Union once they realized it was solely about industrial capitalism and nothing else.

  69. @SJ,
    the US can’t really worry too much about failed state status of any of its client states when it is too focused on avoiding failed state status at home. Yes, it really is that bad, as JMG will attest–he thinks insurgency was avoided when Trump beat Clinton. No one outside the US truly groks how bad things really are in the US right now.

  70. @Tripp

    Re et alia

    That’s not to say that “and all y’all” isn’t an improper translation into Southern 😉

    There’s very little of my high school freshman Latin that remains (rather like my college French), but those sorts of bits and pieces comprise most of it. That and remembering how amusing my friends and I found it at the age of 14 to be able to say things like “Julius loves many big sailors” in a classical language…

  71. Mac, in that case my advice is to find a copy of John Kenneth Galbraith’s book The Great Crash 1929 and read it cover to cover. No other book does so good a job of communicating the flavor of a speculative bubble in full roar — and once you know that flavor, you’ll recognize it every single time.

    Elodie, that sort of practice is normally harmless, and the entities it contacts are on a par with the people you meet in your dreams. Still, if you have a strong feeling that magic isn’t for you in this lifetime, listen to that.

    J.L.Mc12, the things that survive into the deindustrial future will survive because they’re important enough that people will go short on food to preserve them — and yes, it may come to that. Do either of your proposed technologies qualify?

    Dragon, yep. I suggest getting some popcorn going… 😉

    Bryan, of course. Any spiritual tradition that insists that its beliefs and practices are good for everyone is (a) lying and (b) more interested in wealth and influence than it is in the welfare of the people who take it up.

    Leon, I think we’re still pretty much on track for that.

    Chameleon, oh my. I haven’t laughed so hard in weeks. The Economist, of all magazines, calling for liberals to stand up to corporate power? Next up, Stormy Daniels is promoting celibacy and modesty…

    Bukko, since the book is being ballyhooed on this website as the book on sale this month, I figured he probably knew about it!

    Blue Sun, sure thing. Here’s what I was told.

    1. Every day, first thing in the morning, read one chapter out of the Bible. Don’t start with Genesis; the lady in question said that even if you make it through the “begats,” which you probably won’t, you’ll grind to a halt somewhere in Leviticus and never get any further. Begin instead with the Gospel according to Matthew and go from there through the New Testament; then read Genesis and Exodus, skip the next three books the first time, pick it up again with Joshua and go straight through, one chapter a day, to the end of the Old Testament; go straight on from Matthew through Revelations as before; then do the whole Bible again from the beginning to end, including the three books you skipped, and keep doing that, reading the whole Bible one chapter at a time, for the rest of the time the Lord gives you on earth. (That’s the way she put it.)

    2. Each morning, when you read your chapter, pay close attention to it; don’t just skim. When you get to the end of the chapter, you should have at least one thing you don’t understand, or one thing that applies to your life, or just one thing that strikes you as being important or interesting. Right away, as soon as you finish the chapter, pray about that. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer; just talk to Jesus about it in your own words. Then finish up with the Lord’s Prayer.

    3. Keep doing it, every morning, first thing. Make your fifteen minutes of Bible study and prayer the day’s first priority. Don’t worry about how well you’re doing, or whether you’re doing it right, or anything of that sort; you’re not the one who’s doing the work that matters. You’re putting yourself into a state where the Holy Spirit can act on you, and it’s the Holy Spirit that does the work of spiritual development. All you do is read the Bible, pray, and do your best to live a Christian life; it’s God who does the heavy lifting.

    Tripp, that makes sense. The squirrel may have been promoted in too much of a hurry from earthworm status…

    Will, excellent. What’s more, the organized search for Pluto began in 1900, the same year that Einstein published the paper that showed that atoms could be split — and the same year that Freud published On the Interpretation of Dreams, which split the mind into conscious and subconscious. (It’s indicative that “individual” and “atom” literally mean the same thing — “that which can’t be divided.”) As this shows, there’s about a thirty year window during which a planetary force comes in, and about the same window during which it fades out…

    As for pantheons, use a single pantheon until you’re very, very experienced. If you just put together a grab bag of deities you happen to like, I can guarantee you that some forces you need to deal with will be excluded from it.

    Jean-Pierre, that’s certainly a valid way to work with the Tree. The thing to keep in mind is that there isn’t just one right way to think about the Tree; it has many aspects and many applications.

    Clay, heh. That’s a fine bit of silliness!

    David, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Joe, I don’t know of a book on the old Art of Memory that focuses on techniques. Have you tried the methods given in Yates’ book — visualizing rooms and placing images in them? That’s quite effective, you know.

    Ozquoll, I don’t recommend including trick-or-treating in your Samhain celebration! As for the seasonal attribution, well, it depends very much on how your local ecosystem responds to the dry season. Does everything basically shrivel up in heat and wait for rain to come to life again? If that’s so, remembering that the period between Samhain and Beltane is the time of death, while that between Beltane and Samhain is the time of life, it seems to me you’re set — just focus on symbolism of drought and desert as your death-symbolism. Finally, it’s pronounced SOW-en, with the first syllable rhyming with “cow.”

    Justin, congrats on your escape from the tech ghetto! Either trade school or the military would be a good choice just now.

    Phutatorius, that doesn’t surprise me, but since I don’t do Tibetan Buddhism, I’ll stick with my W.E. Butler. 😉

    Waffles, every divination system takes time and practice before you get used to interpreting the message. You might consider casting a hexagram every day as a source of advice for the day, and putting some time at the end of each day into figuring out what the hexagram had to do with the day.

    Dennis, do you really know yourself? If you don’t, how can you know anyone else?

    Peter, (1) I think highly of Gregory Shaw’s Neoplatonism and the Soul, but there’s really no substitute for the original texts, with Plotinus at the head of the pack. (2) I haven’t studied the Pragmatists yet — I tend to take philosophical schools one at a time and spend a good while marinating my brain in them, and so have yet to tackle that school. (3) No, you don’t have to embrace a teleological view of humans to accept virtue ethics. To my mind, virtue ethics sets out a series of goals you can choose to attain, and when the author is any good, explains what you gain by obtaining them and what you have to do to get there. Thus the goals aren’t hardwired into being human; they’re choices you make, because you decide that you want to become what you will become by making that choice.

    DJSpo, thanks for these!

    Shimrod, the secret to breaking out of the collective-action trap is to realize that most of the people who are yelling about collective action are doing it so they can avoid changing their own lives. “It doesn’t matter that I drive an SUV — I’m going to a protest march!” Au contraire, it does matter, for reasons I discussed in a post on my Dreamwidth journal. If you change your own life first, you become able to influence others — and then you discover that you’re not trapped in a car going over a cliff after all. You just convinced yourself of that because it was easier than changing your life.

  72. @Waffles Since I myself am not too great at insight, I also often struggle to interpret the responses given to me by the I Ching. I’ve found Carol K. Anthony’s “A Guide To The I Ching” extremely helpful over the years.

  73. I was reading on cosmological symbolism in ancient board games. People seemed to have forgotten many of the archetypes and the games became used mostly for secular enjoyment. In your tradition or readings have board games been important for spiritual reasons?

  74. Isabel, thank you! “Caught to the Death” was a story I wrote many years ago, and it’s set in a world in which I’d originally planned to set a whole series of stories and a novel — basically a world that has the same relationship to the early 20th century Pacific Northwest that your basic fantasy fiction world has to medieval Europe. I’ve been considering other stories set in that world, but I have to get the Weird of Hali out of the way first — it really is monopolizing my imagination these days. (Speaking of which, as soon as some contracts get signed, I’ll have a welcome announcement to make about the entire Weird of Hali series.)

    Coop Janitor, 150-200 million seems reasonable. As for the future of the Lakeland Republic, I suspect it would avoid collapse — what would happen instead is that as the cost of the higher tiers of technology became too prohibitive, county after county would vote itself down to lower tiers, until the entire nation was situated comfortably at a highly sustainable Tier 1 level.

    Daniel, the Golden Dawn has a version of chess that’s used for divinatory purposes. The book you want, though, is Nigel Pennick’s Games of the Gods, which is a really brilliant study of the cosmology and magic of board games.

  75. Dear Will Oberton,
    Have you considered studying the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola? His system seems to require a teacher, who would normally be a priest, but this should not be a problem for a Catholic.
    Regards,
    Max Rogers

  76. Mr. Greer,

    I read the Dream Width post and your point is well taken. I guess I just wonder if there is role for collective support in the project of changing our lives. To continue with your metaphor, if all the rapists in the anti-rape organizations came from families of rapists, and had friends who were all rapists, and in fact made their living by being rapists then maybe there would be utility in planting the seeds of a new non-raping social matrix for those people to participate in as an emotional support to stopping with the raping already. It would be a necessity for some guy to be the first to stop raping – but what is the best way for him then to communicate to the other people that not raping is a superior choice for them and to help them to change?

    I am no fan of the collective screaming that big government must all save us but maybe a seed crystal of a clear idea for people to form around in a grass roots way could be beneficial to allow people to see alternatives and to get over the emotional hump of making significant lifestyle changes. If as your book suggests massive magical resources in the form of media and advertising are being expended to reinforce the current narrative couldn’t there be a role for a magical counter-current to facilitate mutual community support in making changes?

    shimrod

  77. Dear John Michael,few months ago I ask for spiritual teachings.
    I am currently 50, and In the last years I found spiritual teachers and I passed from a kind of mystic atheist to discover a spiritual world and reconnect with some essential parts of my intuition and the sense of being accompanied. I had several teaching on real tantric practices and some Vajrayana Buddhism. Nonetheless several teachers died or went away. In the process of connection with spirituality I also became connected with nature, did some permaculture learning and practice and started a edible forest garden in a remote, not too big, piece of land. I am an economist and although I have been working on the establishment for the last decade I still have radical view from earlier years.
    When I found you blog I was really surprised and eager to learn from your experience. I would like to take on spiritual practice in the western Magic tradition. I would like your advise on where I could start. The practices I have done have given me some connection and some ease for other paths, but I need guidance on how to take this path.
    thank you

  78. @David, by the lake,
    You and other might want to take a look at Gail Tverberg’s site for a very well reasoned take on the role, in real world economics and existing electricity grids, of intermittent electricity sources such as wind, solar, wave. Here is one of her posts on the issue:
    https://ourfiniteworld.com/2017/01/30/the-wind-and-solar-will-save-us-delusion/
    There may be ways to re-configure the existing electricity grid to accommodate these sources, BUT it ain’t going to be cheap.

  79. John, I can’t keep up with everything you publish. But just a word to say: thanks for it all; a profoundly valuable and healing contribution to the world. Diolch yn fawr, ffrind dda!

  80. @ JMG:

    Looks like Michael Moore has been channeling you. In his sequel to Fahrenheit 9/11, he brings up many of the same issues you’ve been talking about for the last decade and a half. He’s also getting some serious pushback from his erstwhile allies on liberal left, who are taking great umbrage at his willingness to stray off the Democratic Party plantation while pointing out some very inconvenient facts.

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/in-fahrenheit-119-michael-moore-turns-hose-on-media-and-mushy-middle-democrats/

  81. @ Chameleon

    I still have a print subscription to The Economist, although I’ve been reading it much less as I think the quality has declined markedly in the last 5 or so years. I pulled it out and read the column after reading your comment, but before reading Mr. Greer’s reply, which I have read now.

    I thought the money quote was the second sentence of the column: “Europe and America are in the throes of a popular rebellion against liberal elites, who are seen as self-serving and unable, or unwilling, to solve the problems of ordinary people.” “Seen as self-serving…” The Economist would command much more respect if it stated the obvious and flatly said “liberal” elites are losing the consent of the governed as they seek to line their own pockets and those of their cronies at the expense of the general public. As stated, it implies the public just doesn’t understand what is being done for them.

    I agree it does say something that The Economist is acknowledging an enormous problem exists. However, it is sad the magazine can’t quite bring itself to unequivocally condemn the failings of the current governing class. I also have doubts that “enhanced military power” is part of the solution to our problems.

  82. @Tripp–It’s funny you should mention the squirrels running in front of cars;
    Between my wife and I, the phrase “Like squirrels in Autumn” has become a byword to describe the frantic, destructive and crazy behaviour that we often see in other humans. Examples;
    The drivers of cars that pass us on a double yellow line on a blind curve, while honking and giving us the finger for driving the speed limit.
    Shoppers that push past you to grab cans on sale for a dollar off–and the display is full.
    Adults who go into screaming melt-down at someone wearing a “Winter is Coming” T-shirt.

    We think that the older squirrels, who have been through a couple of Winters already, recognize the change in the seasons and are probably thinking, “Oh NO! Not THIS again!” So they run in front of cars to avoid the much greater change that they sense is coming, a change that is far beyond their squirrel coping skills. Maybe its a squirrel omen.

  83. I’ve been intrigued by the recent posts on mundane astrology, and had decided to dig into the subject a little deeper. Unfortunately the books I’ve been able to source on the subject so far all assume a grasp of basic astrology as a prerequisite.
    There are a lot of beginner books on astrology out there but from the descriptions, many of them seem to operate at the level of pop psychology; I suspect they are not much better than the columns published in the back of some magazines.
    Can anyone recommend a basic introduction that covers the mechanics of casting a chart for a place and time? Or should I be looking to attend a course? there are several on offer in the Uk.

  84. Greetings all!

    Currently, Trump is waging economic war with Iran. To me, this sounds like a rather dangerous game given it can spin off in so many directions. What do you think is Trump up to? Is he aware of what the stakes are with Iran?

    Thanks!

  85. Greetings, dear JMG!

    Any recommendations on how often the various works in the Bardic Grade should be performed? I’ve been doing the Work of Earth thrice a week…

  86. Some bits and bobs:

    The term “diversity” has finally done a flip in my mind and revealed itself – when fashionably employed – as in fact meaning the opposite, namely what ought, instead, to be called “Conversity”: an interpenetrating slosh of penumbral gradations, banishing all sharp contrasts and distinctions, and groping towards a fuzzy blob of universality.

    This particularly applies to the mind-set of the young, who go in for a syndrome I call “Sloping Towards Uniformity by Peddling the Illusion of Diversity”, or STUPID. After all, a majority of those youngsters who bothered to vote in the Referendum supported Remain. Why support membership of the one-size-fits-all EU? Answer: “Diversity!”

    It works the opposite way, too. I recently listened to a New Agey American lady on You Tube who was telling us all that our thinking contains too much Dwallidee. She was so adamant in her rejection of Dwallidee that I got the impression she was being notably… er… dualistic about it.

    Another different topic: on the subject of plant consciousness, I recommend the climax of Barrington Bayley’s sf masterpiece “The Garments of Caean”, and the spellbinding 8-page section on “plant men” in Olaf Stapledon’s “Star Maker”.

    @Joe on how to learn long poems: my suggestion is, don’t have a dishwasher. That way you have to spend time washing up. Stick a photocopy of where you are in the long poem, and learn that bit while you do the dishes; it’s easy to glance from one task to the other. I assure you, it works. Over the years I’ve learned the following by heart using this method: Eliot’s “Four Quartets”, “Prufrock” and “Rhapsody on a Windy Night”, Milton’s “Lycidas”, Wordsworth’s Immortality Ode, Gray’s Elegy, the first fourteen stanzas of Spenser, and the first nine cantos of Dante’s Divina Commedia. I’m currently on canto X of the latter.

  87. Dear JMG,

    I asked some questions in your August open-post on 21 Sep. I believe that as my comment was a little late, you did not have enough time to answer. I would be much obliged if you could read it and write back some quick answers or if you cannot find my comment just tell me to repost it here.

    Kosta_M

  88. Regarding the celebration of Beltane and Samhain (or Samhuinn, as we call it), folks might be interested in the big fire festivals that are put on here in Edinburgh (Scotland) by the Beltane Fire Society. The whole thing started out with a much smaller and less elaborate Beltane celebration back in 1988, but they’ve grown over the years to become really big, spectacular events – but still run entirely by volunteers.

  89. @Skdedkd “freedom : government”. A governor, in both a mechanical and a social system, is intended to restrict freedom – ostensibly, in either case, in order to get useful work done. I’d appreciate your logic in asserting “equality”, rather than government, is the opposite of freedom?

  90. Dear J. M. Greer, you mentioned sometime that humans normally don’t remember their past lives, because otherwise, they would get stuck in a rut. Why doesn’t that rule apply to higher beings and to some humans? Thanks!

  91. I will throw my backing behind Juan Pablo’s recommendation in regard to King Gizzard.

    It isn’t just another band, they put a lot of though and subtlety into their works. I would highly recommend their experiments in the microtonal music. Very hypnotic in nature.

  92. Hi John, I recently finished reading your book “The Secret of the Temple” and have a question. 5 years ago, we moved to the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, a part of Sweden. There are 95 churches here built in the 11,12 & 13 centuries by the Catholics. They are Lutheran now, and have been carefully maintained. All are made of large Limestone Blocks, and their orientation in most is the same as in your book. I live 1/2 a kilometer from one, and have a large garden and orchard. My question is for guidance to bring them “back to life” so to speak. Can you point me to somewhere that would tell me how to go about it? We had quite a drought this year, and rain would have been most appreciated. Thanks so much. I’ve been an avid reader for 7 years, and owe a lot of inspiration for the move here to you

  93. JMG & All
    One might just count this link below as only another perspective or point of view in our discussions – belief, faith and all that – and in our personal trajectories.
    But ‘facts’ have a way of impinging on perceptions, from the large to the micro-scale. We all contribute to the ‘facts’ of course.
    This particular ‘opinion’, though, seems to be edging its way into even the most comfortable ‘isms’ and the modern ‘development’ stories. (Seem to have come across it before – Smile). And the new world of the internet huge – consumption of energy resources (globally perhaps 10% and rising?) – could introduce some interesting trade-offs with ‘reality’?

    I like your JMG comment just now that if you want to save something you might have to be prepared to go hungry to do it.

    https://bios.fi/bios-governance_of_economic_transition.pdf

    En avant!
    best
    Phil H

  94. John–

    Re nuclear power

    2036 sounds about right for the current spate of 20-year operating license extensions to have expired. We have two nukes by us. One (Kewuanee) shut down about a decade ago (after having gone through the trouble and expense of extending its license) because — you guessed it — no one was willing to go under contract for the power. The other (Point Beach) did manage to secure an off-take contract and its license runs through 2033 or thereabouts.

    Vogtle is walking dead, in my opinion. Another big nuke project, in South Carolina, has already collapsed in a heap of budget-bloat and recrimination among the various parties. Owners of remaining nukes are going to state legislatures to beg for subsidies, succeeding in some cases, but this merely postpones the inevitable. The much-vaunted American nuclear renaissance seems to have faded like the mirage it always was.

  95. John–

    Provided to you without comment 😉

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/powell-uniquely-expensive-healthcare-system-will-catch-us-212627406.html

    All–

    Not too far from me, in the WI community of St. Nazianz, there is a small Eastern Catholic monastery of the Byzantine tradition. I have not visited, but I have occasionally contributed to their GoFundMe campaigns for fixing up their structures and replacing old equipment. The monastery link is here:

    https://hrmonline.org/

    However, the main thing I wanted to pass on is that the monks have recently gotten into the coffee business. So for those who would like to support them and enjoy a good cuppa joe, here’s the link:

    https://humblehabitscoffee.org/

  96. JMG said: “Tripp, that makes sense. The squirrel may have been promoted in too much of a hurry from earthworm status…”

    Well then, let’s just hope that social promotion isn’t seeping into the Cosmos itself!

  97. This just in: https://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek “New Climate Debate: How to Adapt to the End of the World” Researchers are thinking about social collapse and how to prepare for it. On Bloomberg!

    Also, regarding data points: a friend in the metro Dallas area has a child who needs an asthma workup. No physician’s office within a two-hour commute will accept Tricare insurance (the provider for military families and retirees) as they haven’t been getting paid this calendar year. The office managers are all but in tears; they want to take care of patients but can’t run their businesses in deficits.

  98. In my state, roadwork has been stopped by a labor strike. In my area, that is a freeway repaving. It may stay closed until next spring. Meanwhile, both governor candidates campaigned with promises to fix the roads, before the strike started. Their debates next month may be entertaining.

  99. Tripp:
    For example, why is it so difficult for a squirrel running across the road in broad daylight to recognize that a 3000 lb. car is about to turn them into a grease spot, and run the other way? Seems a simple thing really. Run away! Run away!

    I wondered that myself, so according to the all-knowing interwebs:

    The reason so many squirrels tend to get hit by cars is because when they run across the road and see an approaching vehicle, they don’t just bolt in a straight line for the other side. They tend to run and stop sporadically in the road in order to make the approaching object shift courses.

    Their nervous system isn’t developed for the 3000 predator that just keeps going in a straight line. I doubt that those particular predators will be around long enough for such a development to happen… (now is that a very large dog wanting to eat me or a Ford Focus…)

  100. @ JMG and Mac – Just the other day I saw a clip from (I think) Fox Business channel insisting that the current stock market highs are the new normal. I guess we can start counting down to another stock market crash. Yay.

    JMG – I’ve taken to sitting under a big oak tree in my back yard and meditating. I don’t really practice any specific kind of meditation. Would you recommend any particular technique?

  101. Just a quick exercise in practical magic:

    Sun in Libra and His 3rd quarter, Moon in Taurus and Her 3rd quarter, today and tomorrow governed by the benefics…seems like a great time for pruning to encourage growth! A time to mow the grass, prune the shrubberies, maybe for higher plane endeavors like foregoing nookie to strengthen relationships on other levels, or fasting for spiritual growth, particularly today (Thur) as it’s Jupiter’s day, and He’s in charge of growth.

    JMG, does this seem about right to you?

    I’m basically describing my day here. The hour after sunrise on Thursday is my favorite hour for nookie (Jupiter day/hour), but I abstained and spent time just cuddling instead. I love food, but I’m abstaining today to study natural magic and spend time puttering in the garden pruning and mowing. Water and herbal tea sweetened with honey are my only fare today. I’m carrying a chunk of amethyst in my pocket as a correspondent of Jupiter, and to curb the light-headedness of fasting and the intoxication of delicious-smelling food (I’m not very good at fasting).

    And I’m also doing this to honor and make sacrifice to Jupiter, in advance of invoking Him in a business growth planetary working soon. Anything to add or subtract from my take on the day?

    Thank you!!

    P.S. Lest anyone have misogynistic thoughts about me, I DID tell my wife this morning that if SHE really wanted nookie I would be glad to take one for the team! 😉

  102. Maxine and JMG,

    On the matter of medical miracles. An acquaintance of mine was diagnosed with Lymphoma. He tried a variety of the standard modern medical treatments, but even after going to the trouble of losing all of his hair, his cancer did not respond, and he was told he only had a few months to live.

    So I asked him if he would object to my praying for his welfare. I was about to attend an study course at a large shrine situated on a holy mountain, and I thought it might also be a good time, and good way, to petition the gods on his behalf. He said that he normally identified as Christian, but he didn’t object at all.

    There were a number of what seemed meaningful coincidences. When I began the first prayer on my friend’s behalf, there was a large cracking sound as the whole shrine structure shifted somehow– not something that normally happens there. One student had expert knowledge in fighting cancer through one’s actions and diet. Another student in the course is a “Kamisama Card” reader, and reading the cards for the situation, which turned up a medicine kami and a kami of manly strength, she declared that my friend was sure to get better. The head teacher of the course singled my recitation of a prayer out for particular praise in his speech on the final day, something which I never would have expected to happen given a whole lifetime of attending this course. All of this seemed to bode well.

    My trip to the holy mountain finished, my friend immediately took a sudden turn for the worse, and despite the doctors still expecting him to hang around for a few months longer, he promptly died within a week.

    Now, if the goal was to cure him, then — assuming that my prayers had any effect at all — I believe I made a (literally fatal) tactical error. Keeping in mind what I had gleaned from various writings right here that an effective magician does not dictate the means by which a goal shall be accomplished, but merely focuses on the desired outcome, when I prayed, I didn’t actually pray to cure my friend of cancer. Instead I prayed for “whatever is best” for my friend to come to pass. I had some vague idea that there might be futures for my friend which might involve continuing health struggles, if that was part of his soul’s journey in this life, or something like that; and I wanted to leave the door open for divine interpretation. I may have left that door open too far.

    Yes, it has occurred to me that maybe this really was the best case scenario for him; that he was fated to die of cancer, and that this sped up the process considerably and with a minimum of pain. I was told that he died peacefully, surrounded by friends and family. Still, this is cold comfort, especially as I have no idea if it is true.

    Anyway, I just wanted to share this anecdote for other readers who might want to try healing prayer in the future. It’s no small thing, and if you are a believer in TSW, you need to treat it with a great deal of responsibility, and perhaps take greater care in exactly what you are praying for.

    JMG, do you have any commentary on my conduct in this case? And if I were to be faced with a similar situation in the future, do you have any advice as to how I might go about it any differently? I guess one place to start would be to ask the target of the prayer if they prefer that I pray for a specific healing effect, or instead for their overall wellbeing — and to be upfront about the results I got, the last time I did this.

  103. About Meditation, divination and study of magical texts. I’ve been doing the meditations pm the tree of life from PoW. I’m meditating once on each sephirah, starting from kether downwards. I understand I should do that four times before starting with the Meditation on the magical images and going from malkuth through all the 32 Paths, right? As for magical texts, right now I am just studying the CosDoc with the book club. What is a Canon that I could get moving on? Finally, on divination, after raising too many questions from my rommates I decided to forfeit my daily geomantic chart. I’m thinking of getting myself the Aquarian Tarot and after finishing with the tree of life, dedícate my daily meditations to the arcana. On this part of my development I feel more obstacles than I am comfortable with 🙁

  104. I don’t know if this will make people laugh, cry or both.
    In a discussion with David Brin after I brought up the importance of wealthy environmentalists using less energy and stuff and the problems with having perpetual growth as the basis for economic organization.

    And this is part of response from David Brin:

    “ As a 50 year Sierra Club member, I know the prudish wing of environmentalism, see Daisy – my character in EARTH. I know the despise the very idea that we might be able to remain “consumers” while positive-sum saving the world. Win-win having cake, sharing it, eating plenty and watching the cake grow. And sure, they may be right… I may be crazy. But it just may be a lunatic… ah well.

    What I do know is that their pitch does not persuade. It does not win converts to saving the world.”

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8587336&postID=803509729335680614

    So it seems to me, that some our “allies” in fight against global warming and ecosystem destruction aren’t going to very helpful and maybe actually be a big part of the problem.

  105. JMG,

    Most of my adult life I have been thinking like a “green wizard”, focused on gardening, building and wilderness skills, long before I became aware of your work. I have somewhat aspired toward “the shaman at the edge of the village,” seeing the political and social passions of so many to be so much distraction and vanity, and so delusional in so many ways.

    I’ve also felt a desire to facilitate a re-building of community in America. Normally I have dismissed a guy like David Brooks as a condescending neoliberal globalist elitist, but yesterday I heard him talk about a revival of community as a kind of rebirth in America, and there was much that he said that resonated.

    I was also reading Merton’s Chaung Zu last night, and his mockery of the “active life” as a trap of materialist distraction.

    I’m wondering about this tension within me, this desire to act and this desire to let the world be. I wonder if you have any advice from the magical perspective, how I might resolve this? Thank you,

    WHD

  106. My views on the supernatural range from “What if all religions are fracking nonsense?” to “What if elves are real and live in the forest near my house?” Many of my Catholic co-religionists, past and present, did not see a conflict between their faith and the existence of the fair folk and others of a similar nature, so I suppose I should be open to it.

    I am reminded of Stirling’s Change series, in which some of the characters believe the Lord of the Rings is an actual history. The ancient world of elves, dwarves, and hobbits is more real to the post-Change characters than the world of automobiles and computers that their parents knew.

    On that note, do you believe our ancestors had regular interaction with the kinds of beings we put in our fantasy novels? If so, why do you think such interactions appear to be greatly reduced in our day? Or are they?

    Thank you, as always.

  107. I have a question that arises from two sources: certain recent experiences of mine, and a meditation on different peoples’ seemingly different perceptions of the nature of things. To fully explain either context would require a rather long post, so I’m just going to ask the question and explain later if needed.

    Outside of operative ceremonial magic, what distinguishes greeting or addressing or interacting with something, say a feature of the natural world, and interacting with the spirit of that thing? For instance, if I climb upon a shoulder of a mountain, and say, “Greetings and salutations, Mountain” versus “Greetings and salutations, Spirit of the Mountain,” is there any effective difference? It seems an even more vague distinction if what/whom I’m addressing has a specific public name: “Greetings and salutations, Agiocochook.” Most trees etc. don’t, though.

    Assume the same state of mind in all cases. Specifically, I’m regarding the mountain (or tree, etc.) simultaneously as a collection of matter, an ongoing process, and a sentient entity. (In other words, the same as I regard most people.) But not visualizing any specific personification or symbolic image, other than the mountain itself as I perceive and imagine it.

  108. @Skdkekd, I don’t see an exact parallel Cesar – Trump. In my mind the US is much closer to a divided and plagued 3rd century Rome. About contemporary writing – I fully agree. I discovered I can “feel” much better the world as it was when reading the books written by people who lived in it. I am more and more interested though in reading “man on the street” accounts – even graffiti from Pompeii or soldier dispatches.

    @S. T. Silva and @Graeme thanks for the great recommendations! I really enjoy this strange trip of discovery – I started by reading a lot of sci-fi which actually helped to cure me of the belief in progress. I then started reading about evolution (Stephen Jay Gould & Richard Dawkins) and with the help of JMG I can put that to use to understand history.

    Unrelated but I want to thank John Michael Greer for being such a great writer. I continuously am trying to challenge his ideas and while I think I am right some times (at least in my mind), he convinces me many other times.

    Thanks

  109. Archdruid and company,

    I’ve been racking my brain and the internet to try to figure out a term for a specific concept in maths/statistics, and was wondering if any of you would know the answer.

    Basically the word or phrase I’m looking for describes the limits of quantitative models when studying the movement of multiple objects through space and time to predict their destination at any given point. If you were studying a single object then no problem, but each subsequent object you add raises the difficulty by a significant portion. Once you get to a specific number of objects it becomes largely impossible to predict destination.

    Does this make any sense or am I babbling? I guess what I’m looking for is a reason that quantitative models of predicting social behavior are less reliable than the qualitative models.

    Regards,

    Varun

  110. Hi JMG,

    I’ve just scanned rapidly through the comments posted so far and am stunned to find no one asking for your input on the Kavanaugh debacle. My take is that the Dems determined, win or lose, they would benefit in the mid terms by making this play. Sleazy politics at its finest…what an appalling spectacle! Please weigh in on this if you’re willing.

    I’d also like to know your thoughts about Donald Trump’s character. Like yourself, I agree that his emphasis on border security/illegal immigration, fair trade, pulling back from Empire/Global Policing is necessary and appropriate. It’s the character issue that gives me nightmares.

    If we consider NPD (narcissitic personality disorder) and PLD (pathological lying disorder) as spectrum disorders, I’d be inclined to say DT rates in the very high to extreme end in each. I have zero trust in the man and find it impossible to believe that he cares sincerely about anything but himself. Clever, shrewd, calculating, viscious and highly media saavy without a doubt. I know he’s not stupid but to me he seems profoundly and willfully ignorant and uninformed, and irredeemably dishonest. Despite his campaign promise, the volatility and stench of the DC swamp gas has only increased.

    I know you’ve scaled back on your political/social commentary but I’m hoping you’ll share a few thoughts with us on these issues. Thanks for considering it.

    Jim

  111. clay dennis–I have also heard that the free scooters have driven up accident rates. Both the scooter riders, who are usually riding without helmets and therefore show up with head injuries, and the pedestrians they run into are taxing the ERs in the cities afflicted. Somehow the notion of turning people into city traffic on an unfamiliar vehicle with no training just screams “bad idea.”

    Someone else asked about skateboards surviving–I don’t think so because the modern skateboard relies on polyurethane wheels. Earlier attempts at using metal roller skate wheels on a piece of board just didn’t catch on. I think there had been attempts ever since the invention of roller skates but I am most familiar with the 1960s, when surf boarding became the cool thing. A high school acquaintance was making skateboards for his friends and even designed and had printed tee shirts for “Joe Mette’s Custom Skateboards” but IIRC the metal wheels didn’t give the maneuverability that turned skateboards into a major sport.

  112. A question concerning geomancy and Christianity. When organized Christianity spread into northern Europe in the middle ages, common practice was that new churches were built in sacred places of pagans. Was there more at work than just a show of force? Was that sacred ground held to contain power that the new religion could use for its benefit?

  113. @ E. Goldstein – re Jubilee. I wonder if you are familiar with Michael Hudson, who’s new book focussing on the history of the Jubilee tradition, and similar “rebooting society following disruptions caused by debts” traditions from the ancient Near East, is due out in November. Here are a couple of tasters:

    https://michael-hudson.com/2017/01/the-land-belongs-to-god/

    https://michael-hudson.com/2018/01/could-should-jubilee-debt-cancellations-be-reintroduced-today/

    That is to say, such ideas are being made current, once again. I, for one, am glad of this.

  114. JMG,

    My grandmother just passed away this morning. Yesterday I had the opportunity to inquire about one of her favorite poems and learned that it was a poem by Henry Woodsworth Longfellow called “The Arrow and the Song.” I felt this poem gave me a deeper insight and appreciation for the woman she was. So while the opportunity presents itself, what is one of the more influential and inspiring poems which has personally connected with you?

  115. Ok jmg, I guess that is a very useful thing to consider.
    It also reminds me of another question that has been bugging me, what exactly do you image the ecotechnic civilisation of the of the next millennium will look like? And will you consider writing a short story about it?

  116. @packshaud Thanks! I’ll go and take a look and see what was discussed. I had a feeling the book must have gotten some discussion since there is so much of interest in it.

    shimrod

  117. Varun,

    I think that may be the n-body problem. It may also be chaos theory, but I’m not sure. If you could provide a little more information about it I may be able to help more.

  118. @Quin
    Re: Death

    I think you’re correct: your friend had entered the last phase of his life, where he had a disease that was going to kill him, and he had no significant reason to drag the process of dying out.

    Dying peacefully, surrounded by loving family and friends is one of the signatures in the Michael Teaching of having completed a reincarnational level successfully, so it’s likely that his next lifetime will be starting the next of the 35 levels.

    That said, a life plan frequently has a number of potential exit points. It’s quite possible to have a “miraculous” recovery from a life-ending illness if the soul decides to take up the challenges of the next phase of the life plan.

    @Booklover, et al
    Re: Reincarnation

    The classical model of reincarnation has an unstated assumption that later incarnations are always after earlier incarnations. From the viewpoint of the Michael Teaching, this is not true. Incarnations that are “later’ from the viewpoint of Essence can be before or concurrent with incarnations that are “earlier” from Essence’s viewpoint. This, of course, makes a complete hash of the idea that time is fundamentally linear.

    It explains very neatly why there are enough human souls for the very large number of human bodies on the planet: when Essence wants to create another lifetime for some reason, it simply creates it and sticks it into the Physical Plane wherever it wants. The limiting factor is finding a body, and with more bodies, it can create more simultaneous lifetimes. There is no need for “promoting” animal souls to occupy the excess bodies.

    Each lifetime is independent of all other lifetimes. It starts out with a blank slate. Essence creates a copy of the experience of all “prior” lifetimes and gives it to the new lifetime, buried deeply enough that it isn’t available to normal introspection. The metaphor we use is creating a CD and inserting it into a CD reader.

    This is, of course, radically different from the classical model.

    @JeffinWA, JMG
    Re: cell salts

    I’d also like a more coherent description of using cell salts than the one in the copy of “The Twelve tissue remedies of Schussler: Comprising the Theory, Therapeutic Application, Materia …” that I got from the Wayback Machine.

    @Varun

    You may be thinking of mathematical chaos. You may also be thinking of the difference between exact analytic solutions versus approximate analytic solutions versus dynamic simulations.

  119. @JMG: Quite welcome! I know how those things go–and I’m certainly not going to complain about Hali taking over. 🙂 Very much looking forward to your announcement!

    While I’m thinking of it: the visualization stage of the sphere meditation is pretty reliably producing an odd sort of thrill/rapture when I do it. It’s not entirely or even mostly sexual–there’s a casting-off or weightless feel to it, and the only equivalent that comes to mind is the feeling of going downhill on a roller coaster or a skiing slope. Very “wheeeee!” but, in this case, much more cosmic. Is this a thing people have mentioned before?

  120. Since it is an open post, let me share today’s little adventure.

    My city has had an above average rain season this year, but these last days it has intensified as a result of hurracaine Rosa in the Pacific. This morning I came to work about one hour late as a result of the shutdown of my regular comute when a nearby regulating reservoir hit the 98% mark in the early morning. Even then, I started class and continue to receive late students for about 30 minutes, this is what happens when the bus routes in the 2nd leg of a multi-transfer trip gets cancelled.

    Anyways, what was the really surreal part was when, towards the end of the school day, we received some professor from out of State who came to promote this Computer an Applied Maths Congress. It was really weird to hear how this or that technology is “changing the world” when we routinely loose the ability to traverse our hometown whenever a larger-than-average rain happens to fall at an inconvenient time (traditional heavy rain used to fall in the evening, and most of the locals learned to go back home early when rain is expected. Nowadays it may fall at any time, but it was cute of the rain spirits to have respected people’s schecules for so many years).

    What I am thinking now is that there’s a growing disconnection between what we expect to happen and what is actually happening in our lives. I feel very, very thankfull to JMG and the fine comunity around his virtual livingroom for the stories that allow me to make sense of it all. It must be really hearth breaking to see it all develop and not realize why is so. Or sanity breaking, if you end up believing that there’s an evily Evil foo, wreaking us all from the cover of the shadows…

  121. Maxine Rogers and Will Oberton–re Ignatius Loyola’s exercises. I was amazed to learn from anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann’s work, that some evangelical protestant churches use Loyola’s exercises. The people she interviewed experienced deep contact with Jesus this way–which is the object, of course. The book that describes the research is “When God Talks Back”

  122. @Varun, the technical term for what you’re describing is “complex.” (What we seem to lack is an everyday term with that specific meaning, because “complex” is misleadingly vague in everyday usage.)

    From Wikipedia: “Complex systems are systems whose behavior is intrinsically difficult to model due to the dependencies, competitions, relationships, or other types of interactions between their parts or between a given system and its environment. Systems that are ‘complex’ have distinct properties that arise from these relationships, such as nonlinearity, emergence, spontaneous order, adaptation, and feedback loops, among others.”

    @Rusty, if you want something specifically Ruinman and don’t mind a little Halloween flavor in your Samhain, how about a tradition of meeting the robot, with appropriately spooky trappings? The robot could be portrayed to give dishonest answers to questions based on what they think the questioner most wants to hear. Done skillfully, this could be illuminating, frightening, or hilarious, perhaps even all at once.

  123. John—

    A question re polytheistic etiquette. If one is a visitor to a shrine, temple, or other place dedicated to a deity with whom one does not have a primary relationship, what is the proper show of respect for said deity while still observing one’s own practices and devotions?

  124. I’m wondering if Venezuela might be the subject of the military affairs mentioned in your Libra Ingress post? As I’ve written before, I expect that the empire targeting Venezuela is inevitable, as it is the last reasonably conventional oil that the elites will believe they can access.

    I also note that we’re driving Iran’s oil off the market with the assumption that the Saudi’s can replace it – which they appear to be unable to do (no real surprise). This makes the reasons for the recent discussions of military action in Venezuela rather obvious.

    I don’t expect the Neocons to back off on the Iran pressure, no matter what it does to the US economy, as they don’t believe they are vulnerable. With much of Iranian oil off the market and SA not able to make up the difference, plus the US non-conventional oil too expensive and following its expected rapid decline curve, there will be real pressure to go after Orinoco.

  125. My wife and I are considering leaving the Seattle area due to increasingly not being able to afford living here. I have chronic health issues that have recently worsened (multiple autoimmune disorders) and I work very little for money but do a lot of urban homesteading when I have good days. My wife works as many hours as possible and can’t increase her income. We’re both self-employed with no benefits so the rising cost of health insurance is killing us, me nearly literally. We’re both in our early 50’s. Property taxes here are becoming unmanageable and municipal water/sewer service is also very expensive, at least by my standards — It’s vastly more expensive almost every month of the year than both electricity and natural gas service.

    We’re considering moving to Idaho — any Idahoans hanging out here that wouldn’t mind sharing their thoughts -– pros and cons? I’ve heard that property and some other taxes are low in Idaho, true/false? We’re both non-religious, and the prevalence of Mormons in southern Idaho is on our minds. Anyone with experience living among Mormons as a non-Mormon and non-Christian?

    Any other thoughts on north vs south vs east vs west Idaho? I’m originally from MN and my wife from ND but we really couldn’t handle that climate these days. I’ve heard that west Idaho is somewhat moderated by the Pacific flow but I don’t know how much the west Idaho climate differs from that of SE Idaho. We really like the western US, just can’t afford to live in the Amazon/Microsoft/Boeing bubble anymore.

    Oregon is also on our radar but I don’t think living there would be any less costly than the Seattle area.

    DJSpo, you’re pretty close to Idaho, any thoughts?

  126. @Quin

    I’d say your prayers were beneficial to your friend. Everybody is going to die some time, and in my opinion, suddenly taking a turn for the worse and dying in a week is far, far better than lingering for months in the claws of modern medical “care”.

    Interesting that it was lymphoma. A family member nearly died in March a few years ago: his spleen ruptured while he was golfing, and he bled out internally. “Fortunately” he was taken to the hospital “in time” and through massive transfusions, they were able to “save” him, even though his blood pressure had been zero upon arrival at the hospital. He underwent chemo”therapy” for several months, finally “quitting” “giving up” “surrendering” when he realized it was taking 2 weeks in the hospital to recover from each chemo treatment. He finally died in September, almost six months to the day from when the spleen rupture happened. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought he would have been better off had they been less “successful” with the emergency transfusions, and he had died on the golf course, doing something he loved, rather than in a pain-filled, drugged agony on a hospice bed.

    I personally have chosen to go without health insurance, for the very reason that having no insurance will discourage the medical industry from useless painful attempts to drag my death out just a little while longer. When people say “what if you get cancer?” My reply is “I’ll live as long as the joy outweighs the pain, then I will die, by my own hand if necessary” Most people are horrified by this for some reason. My biggest fear has been not cancer, but rather dementia/alzheimer’s stealing my brain in such a manner that I don’t recognize that it is time to go until it is too late to do it.

    But of course now I have bern reading JMG’s words saying that suicide results in having the same experience again in the next life, because it is a cop-out way of avoiding a life lesson. So I have been trying to figure out the proper prayers to speed things along, rather than actively taking my life (when the time comes- not now!) To that end: can you share in a little more detail the specifics for how you requested help for your friend?

  127. In re: Introduction to Astrology

    Andy, back in the early ’70s when astrology was largely a fad among college students, I looked into it. I had absolutely zero knowledge of anything about it, but was able to borrow a book, a thick tome called “The A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator,” by someone named Llewellan. It had all the info I needed to cast charts successfully. Interpretation of said charts was of course another matter altogether.

    I expect our host here is familiar with the book, I wonder what his take/recommendation of it is.

    Antoinetta III

  128. @Prizm: Not JMG, obviously, but I really love “Ulysses”–both the “that which we are we are” bit and the “I am a part of all that I have met.” I heard it at my high school matriculation and it stuck with me. (I’m also very fond of Chesterton’s “Ballad of the White Horse,” but that is more of a saga than a single poem.)

    I’d read “The Arrow and the Song” before, as it turns out, but didn’t know the title. Thanks for prompting me to read it again: it’s lovely!

    On poems in general: the standard advice to never assume you have a job until you have an offer letter, and thus to keep applying even when you think you did well at an interview and so on, has gotten all tangled up with Blake this week. I keep muttering “I will not cease from mental fight, nor let my sword sleep in my hand…” while searching job boards. (“…’till I have a steady income and a decent work-life balance,” I guess. But that’s less than poetic.)

  129. @David btl

    I’ll risk jumping in here before JMG replys and say that maintaining a respectful attitude is key.

    I am not particularly fond of the god of Abraham, commonly called Jehovah, YHWH, or just plain “God”. I acknowledge his existence, but do not worship him. He generally does not seem to mind. HOWEVER a couple of years ago, an elderly relative pursuaded me to attend a service at her church. There was much singing, shouting, and clapping of hands. I maintained what I hoped was a neutral expression on the outside, but internally, I was sort of rolling my eyes at what I perceived as silliness.

    I very distictly and clearly heard a voice say to me “Do not despise these people! What they do is pleasing to me.” You can bet that got my attention. I immediately did the mental equivalent of saying “yes, sir” and sitting up straight and maintaining a polite, respectful attitude, as a guest in someone’s house.

    Nowadays, whenever I have reason to enter a Christian church (they are a favored venue for clasical music performances in our area) I enter with an attitude of respect, with a curtsey toward the altar before entering the pew. I have even felt it appropriate to make the sign of the cross, Catholic style, on a couple of occasions, even though I have never been a member of any Catholic church. I get the sense that the Christian god approves of my new attitude, and have received no further repremands, and indeed have experienced gifts of unexpected joy at times.

    Similarly, on a trip to Japan, I was introduced to an unkown (to me) god at a shrine. I do not recall the god’s name, but was told he is in particular a protector of travellers. I greeted him, expressed my thanks for my safe travels, and tossed some coins in the box that was there for that purpose. I felt the warmth that comes when you see someone genuinely smiling.

  130. JMG, yes, it is exciting. Obviously it would have been easier to make a planned exit, but on the other hand a kick in the arse is worth two in the hand or something. I’m leaning towards the military just because it is more exciting than being a plumber or electrician and they will pay me for training rather than the opposite.

    I feel bad for the true believers that I worked with.

    Any good news about the Weird of Hail is good news to me!

  131. Shimrod, the most effective way of communicating a change in behavior is to lead by example. Once you do that, other people notice, and the fact that you’re living a different way shows other people that they can do the same thing. That’s what opens the window of opportunity that allows change to happen on a collective level. It’s also essential for successful magic — every magical working must earth out on the material plane in order for it to have its full power, and so even if you were going to do magic to try to change the collective mindset, you also need to enact the change in your own life to give it that anchor in material reality it needs to have its effect.

    Alex Gtn, it’s fairly simple to do so, because there are plenty of good introductory textbooks of magical practice in print these days. Two of mine that many people have found useful are Learning Ritual Magic and The Druid Magic Handbook; the first is for people who are comfortable with the Judeo-Christian tradition, the second for those who are interested in other options. Choose a magical textbook — one of these, or some other textbook, as you wish — and follow the instructions in it exactly, all the way through. Magic is traditionally learned from books — that’s the way it’s been done for thousands of years — so give it a try if you feel called to that path.

    Rhisiart, you’re most welcome and thank you!

    Dragon, fascinating. Moore’s not stupid, and it doesn’t surprise me that he’s noticed just how hard the Democratic mainstream worked to make Trump inevitable. Nor, of course, is it any surprise that the Democratic mainstream is shrieking in outrage about this latest film of his — after all, they’re the “good people,” everything they do is right and good and just, and it’s not their fault that the working classes didn’t follow orders and starve in silence!

    Andy, I don’t know what’s available over in the UK; if you can get to London sometime soon and see what’s on offer at Aquarian or Watkins, my guess is you can find something suitable. Classes are also an option, but make sure you’re not just getting more pop-psych astrology — that’s hugely popular these days, because it allows people to dabble in astrology without having to grapple with the fact that one of the things your natal chart says to you is “No” — it tells you, among other things, what you won’t achieve and where your limits are and something about how you’re going to die.

    Karim, Iran is a major regional power, and it’s not impossible that it will become a major world power over the next century; it’s a big, populous nation with plenty of raw materials and a booming industrial sector, and of course it’s got a lot of oil and natural gas. Partly, Trump’s trying to slow or stop the rise of a rival power; partly, he’s playing to Jewish voters in the US, since Iran and Israel are rivals for regional dominance these days; and partly, I suspect, he’s looking for ways to drive a deeper wedge between the US and the EU, with an eye toward dissolving NATO in his second term and letting Europe take care of its own defense at its own expense.

    Wand of Doom, that varies from person to person; thrice a week shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve done all the Ovate Grade material first. When you begin the Pathworkings, though, make sure you spend ample time meditating on the symbols you get out of each Pathworking before going onto the next one; if you’re doing much more than one Pathworking a week, you’re probably not being thorough enough with your meditations.

    Robert, if you ever want to laugh yourself into hiccups, pick up a copy of Matthew Fox’s book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ and flip through it until you get to the part where he goes off on the difference between dualistic and nondualistic religion. You see, according to Fox, all religions are either dualistic or nondualistic; there’s no possible middle ground, and dualism is very, very bad while nondualism is goodness and light. The guy actually spends several pages running through this long list of binary oppositions, labeling one as dualist and the other as nondualist! It’s one of the most impressive examples of self-refuting rhetoric I’ve ever read. (I don’t recommend reading the rest of the book unless you have a very strong stomach, though.)

    More generally, your point’s quite valid. When people on the left talk about diversity these days, they mean a very peculiar sort of “diversity” in which people of every ethnic group and gender category all believe exactly the same things, hold exactly the same values, live exactly the same lifestyles, and never, but never, dare to entertain a thought that all their peers don’t agree with. Have you ever, by any chance, read Madeleine L’Engle’s famous children’s fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time? To an appalling degree, the ideal of diversity embraced by the mainstream Left is that of Camazotz…

  132. Fake diversity is absolutely bizarre. Canada is officially a multicultural society, and yet the expectation is that there are shared values that all Canadians, regardless of their origins, share – which sounds an awful lot like a monoculture.

    Fascinatingly, a popular idea is that the early colonial government of Canada engaged in something called cultural genocide – Native Americans were not murdered en masse, but they were forced to adopt European cultural norms.

    The ideology espoused by Canadian elite culture 100 years ago – that the red man merely had to be educated and then he would be interchangeable with the Scot or Irish or Englishman – is simultaneously praised and shunned by today’s elite culture.

    I am reminded of a story about a high school in Nunavut which had a very low (near 0) graduation rate. Finally, a young Inuit woman graduated, to great fanfare. She explained that the boys preferred to go seal hunting rather than learn about calculus or whatever. The CBC talking head was greatly concerned that the Inuit teenagers did not aspire to work for Facebook or something. The central question – is a Native American still a Native American if they live in exactly the same manner as white people but keep the beads and feathers – was carefully ignored.

  133. JMG,

    I’m looking forward to that post, and hearing more about the prophesy. Interesting that it would be in circulation for 150+ years! I’m intrigued.

  134. In response to comments about biodiversity and our role as humans in promoting it – I remember an anecdote from Derrick Jensen about the exclusion zone around Chernobyl. 30 years of no human involvement is all it has taken to return that area to its previous wild state. It has everything including peak predators – packs of wolves – returning to the area. Turns out that nothing, including huge amounts of toxic radiation, will stop the Earth healing itself. We just need to get out of the way. ‘Good People’ are not necessary to save the planet.

    And in response to those looking for a useful sequel to Green Wizardry, I highly recommend David Holmgren’s “Retrosuburbia”. The co-originator of Permaculture has brought out this huge doorstopper of a book as a manual for those wanting to retrofit their suburban homes and communities for an energy descent future. It not only looks at the practical technicalities of retrofitting houses, it also examines behaviour, community, alternative living arrangements, planning for old age and disability, alternative ways to earn a living from home in a declining economy..

  135. Hi TechlessinSeattle,

    Hubby and I moved from Seattle to the Boise, Idaho, area about 17 years ago. Stuff to consider:

    Housing is WAY more expensive than even a few years ago. Not Pugetropolis expensive, but definitely clipping right along. The 1200 sf house we bought in a lower middle class neighborhood for $130K in 2010 is appraised at $220K today. Silly, but there it is. There’s clearly a migration underway. Californians make up a significant number among newcomers, but truly people are coming from everywhere.

    We do have an income tax and sales tax. The Idaho State Tax Commission’s website may be of interest. Property tax, yes, but a decent deal provided you actually live in your home.

    Mass transit is nothing like Metro Transit in King County. There is still an urban/rural divide here, and local option taxes to fund transit are regularly shot down at the Statehouse. This is a very car-centric area.

    This region is high desert, so if you and your wife garden, the conditions you encounter will be very different from Seattle. The approximately 13 inches of rain that falls each year does almost all of its falling during the cold months. Summers are pretty much bone dry, and quite warm from July through at least mid-August. The soil is commonly clay. And, if you’ve health issues, please know that wild fire season nails us pretty hard with smoke from darn near everywhere during August.

    Winters are fairly mild. We shovel the driveway a few times from November to March, but usually no big deal. Eastern Idaho is another story entirely.

    My experience is that Idaho tends to be conservative culturally. Eastern Idaho even more so. The local lore is that conservatives from California move here, and liberals to Oregon. Plenty of people don’t go to church here, and plenty do. I don’t, but get on fine with the Mormons and other Christians in my fairly introverted life. Idahoans in this area tend to pride themselves on being pleasant. Fun fact: They also tend to leave “to be” out of sentences: “Needs done.” rather than “Needs to be done.” Sure sign of someone who’s lived here for a long time!

    If you do decide to pull up stakes and try Idaho, perhaps consider applying for a government job. Next to the medical industrial complex here in the SW part of the state, the government employs tens of thousands of us. (For now, right?) 30 hours and over qualifies you for decent medical bennies and a pension. (Again, for now, right?). Wages overall are rising, so yay that. Problem is, so is the cost of housing.

    Whatever you and your wife decide, best wishes to you both. Lordie, I remember when Issaquah was farm country, and the Smith Tower still enjoyed a prominent place in the Seattle skyline…

  136. I’m inclined to think that even Gods whom you do not worship — including those who actively do not want YOU (in particular) to worship them, though they welcome the worship of others — still appreciate respect, just as people do.

    I was not raised Christian, but my wife was (Presbyterian). When our children came along, we agreed about finding a church that would be open to a Divine Presence, but also as diverse as our neighborhood. We were fortunate to find such a church within about 3 blocks of our apartment. The second minister during the years we went there was rather like the elderly Christian lady whom JMG referenced in an earlier post.

    Now I wasn’t raised Christian, but in old-line, San-Francisco-Bay-area magical Pantheism; and we didn’t join any congregation of worshippers. But there’s nothing in that background that says “my way or the highway.” So I was comfortable going there and participating in those services of worship–participating whole-heartedly.

    And I had had a day-long, ineffable mystical experience when I was about 13, so I had experienced the actual presence of (multiple) Deities. The Christian Triune God seemed to me present in that church, but not exactly present “to” (“in”) me, no matter how much I sought to be open to Him/Them.

    And then, after about a half-dozen years, I got a very clear non-verbal message one day in church, during Communion, which seemed to me actually to come from that same Christian Triune God, not from my own conscious or unconscious mind. It conveyed to me, roughly : “You’re certainly welcome here, along with your wife and children; but you and your family are not meant to be part of my Church. Your path lies elsewhere, and is not the same as the one I have opened for my worshippers. You belong elsewhere. Go and find where that is.” And so I did, though I still visited that lovely church’s services with my family as long as the second minister was there, and for a while afterward.

    So that is why I am of the view that some — possibly all — of the Gods do not actually want the worship or loyalty of everyone. (By now, though I still define myself as Pantheist in my practice., it might be more true to say that I am a Polytheist, at least philosophically. I do talk about Gods in the plural, and during my own long-ago mystical experience, I briefly encountered One of Them, and was somehow imbued with the knowledge (gnosis) that there were far more of Them than just that One Whom I met.)

    (My more doctrinaire Christian friends sometimes become troubled when I tell them this story. I have occasionally been able to ease their minds, or at least stop their insistant efforts to refute my experience, by citing the Pauline doctrine of double predestination, which states in so many words that some people are not meant to achieve salvation on Christian terms, and that nothing those people can do will change that. A wise man accepts what he cannot change.)

  137. JMG,

    I’d like to start including my girlfriend, cat, and household as beneficiaries of my Sphere of Protection ritual. I understand that a simple change in wording and intention will accomplish this, but I am wondering if it is appropriate to do this with the SoP I cast with the Inner Grail Working as part of the Dolmen Arch Curriculum, or if I should perform a separate SoP for the benefit of the household.

    Thanks!

  138. Mr. Greer, yes thank you this discussion has been helpful for me to see this in a better context. I think what is a block for me (and I think maybe others) is that I haven’t been able to identify a “plausible promise” to help me to frame my response to peak oil.

    I think that one reason why the existing power structure has been able to co-opt so much of the energy around concerns about the environment is that they provide a ready-made and ready-to-buy plausible promise to engage people. “Buy a prius or tesla and you’re good to go!” Other plausible promises in current use would be “stockpile as much as you can and you’ll outlast everybody when the ship finally goes down!” i.e. survivalism or “set back and enjoy poolside while it all falls apart!” i.e. hedonism.

    Ultimately I agree with you though. I see the problems and I need to craft a response that works for my situation and serves as a good example for others. Thanks for your thoughts.

    shimrod

  139. Kosta_M, I only answer questions and respond to comments from the current week’s post. Please repost your question here before next Tuesday and I’ll respond to it.

    Booklover, because one of the points of being human is developing the kind of reflective awareness that enables you to learn consciously from your experiences, rather than being trapped in ruts by them. It’s precisely when you, as a human being, take conscious control of your rut-making capacities — Yes, that’s spelled “magic” — that you fit yourself to go to the next level up.

    Ron, I don’t know. Nobody knows any more. That’s exactly the point of the book: we have the faint fragmentary traces of a forgotten technology of agricultural fertility linked to temples and churches, and it’s going to take a lot of hard work by a lot of people to figure out how it once worked and put it back to use again. If you’re up for it, some of the suggestions in the book’s last chapter may be worth following up where you are…

    Phil H., hey, at least they’ve noticed that conventional economic thought has to be replaced with something less delusional!

    David, yep. The problem with nuclear power is that it never pays for itself when all the costs are factored in, and that hard reality is bearing down on the last feeble flickerings of the nuclear age. Good riddance!

    Blue Sun, you’re welcome. Like most really good spiritual advice, it’s very simple.

    David, if a Fed chair is talking about how kleptocratic our medical system has become, change is on the horizon. As for the monks, I wish them well!

    Phutatorius, oog. I don’t even want to think about that just at the moment!

    Michelle, thanks for both of these. Definitely straws in the wind…

    Lunchbox, and another! Thank you.

    Ben, the phrase “new normal” is a flashing red light, a 120-decibel siren, and a voice on the PA system bellowing “Crash dive! Crash dive!” The sole question in my mind is whether it hits before or after the midterms. As for meditation, depends on what you want to achieve, of course; you can simply sit there and open your mind to what nature happens to be doing at that moment — always a good form of Druid meditation!

    Tripp, see what results you get and recalibrate your working from there. That’s how you learn how to practice magic.

    Quin, to my mind you did exactly the right thing. Since you had (and have) no way of knowing what your friend needed and what was the best thing for him, you called on the kami to take care of that, and they did. Death is a normal part of life; we spend our lives ripening toward it, and apparently that’s what your friend needed, full stop, end of sentence.

    Juan Pablo, it sounds to me as though you’re proceeding well; keep at it. As for other books to read, Dion Fortune’s other writings, and those of her student W.E. Butler, are good choices.

    Jeffinwa, sure. You’ll need all twelve salts and a good book; the one I recommend is The Twelve Tissue Remedies of Schussler by Boericke and Dewey, which is readily available on the new or used book market. It’ll take you some time and practice to learn how to use the repertory of symptoms included in the book, but that’s your guide to self-prescribing; every time you have a health condition, look it up, and remember to look up every symptom you have, even if it doesn’t seem to be connected with the condition. Do that regularly and you’ll pick up skill fairly readily.

    Jim, true enough. As I’ve noted before, a very large number of the people who call themselves environmentalists are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Green bumper stickers on the back of SUVs will not change the world…

    William, my advice would be don’t try to resolve it. Tension isn’t a bad thing; it may well be that what you need is that polarization, at once helping to build community and distancing yourself from it. The resolution, if there will be one in this life, will emerge organically from the tension, rather than being imposed on it by your conscious will. Ride with it, and see where it takes you!

    Christopher, our ancestors interacted with spiritual beings on a regular basis, and so do a vast number of people today. The beings in question aren’t like the entities that clutter up generic fantasy novels, though, because they don’t have material bodies like ours. One of the things J.R.R. Tolkien has on his bad literary karma ledger is the pervasive habit in current fantasy fiction of turning elves, dwarves, goblins, et al. into lightly mutated human beings; go back to the original legends and you’ll find yourself in the company of beings very different from us. If you’d like to follow this up, Evans-Wentz’s The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries is a great place to start.

    Walt, well, if you walked up to me and said, “Hi, JMG,” would you be interacting with me or with my spirit? The mountain is the mountain spirit’s body, you know…

    NomadicBeer, you’re welcome and thank you!

    Varun, as several other people have said, that’s the n-body problem, and it’s a superb metaphor for the reason that quantitative models of complex phenomena so often fail so badly. The fact of the matter is that if you have three planets of equal mass in space, close enough to affect one another’s movements via gravity and not subject to any much greater gravitational force, nobody’s yet been able to figure out whether and/or how they will orbit one another. People have been trying to work that one out since about the time Newton died, and just three objects moving in space produce more complexity than our math can handle.

    Jim, the Kavanaugh thing is of zero interest to me. It’s simply the latest excuse around which the Democrats have whipped themselves up into yet another lather of hate. As for Trump, I’ve never met the man, and I know better than to give any credence at all to any of the competing media narratives that are trying to define him this or that way, hero or villain or monster or chump — it’s all just spin. If I ever meet him, I’ll assess his personality then.

    KiwiJon, thanks for this!

    Urogallus, my book The Secret of the Temple argues that the Christian church knew exactly what it was doing, and took over the old sacred sites in order to co-opt and take control of the energies at work there.

    Prizm, please accept my condolences; that’s got to be very hard for you. As for poetry, the poems of Robinson Jeffers, especially “The Purse-Seiners” and “Shine, Perishing Republic” moved me profoundly when I encountered them in my teen years, and still move me today; certain Yeats poems — especially “The Hosting of the Sidhe,” “Who Rides With Fergus?” and “The Valley of the Black Pig” — still cause a chill to go down my spine every time I read them; and T.S. Eliot’s best work — especially “The Waste Land” and “Four Quartets” — are deeply moving to me.

    J.L.Mc12, did you by any chance read my novel Star’s Reach?

    John, there really isn’t one. Cell salt medicine is empirical, and thus the indications for each salt are a scattershot of different symptoms, not a single pattern.

    Isabel, that’s not a common symptom but it does happen — my take is that what’s happening is that as you’re opening up your astral body to energies, which is one of the things that these meditations are meant to do, the energies are proceeding down the planes into your etheric and physical bodies. Pay attention to your physical health; it should improve modestly but definitely as you proceed.

    CR, thanks for this. No question, the disconnect between the rhetoric of Man’s Conquest of Nature and the unfolding reality of Nature’s Conquest of Man is going to be increasingly difficult for people to deal with as we proceed…

    David, I simply find out what etiquette is expected of people who go to the venue in question, and do that. As a polytheist, I’m not required to disbelieve in other people’s gods in order to believe in mine; thus, for example, when I lived in Seattle I routinely visited a Shinto shrine north of the city, and did all the usual things (cleansing hands and mouth before entering the shrine, bow-bow-clap-clap-bow to the kami, partaking of the sake offerings afterward, and the rest of it), since I believe devoutly in the existence and power of the kami and am perfectly willing to be on good terms with them too.

    Twilight, my novel Twilight’s Last Gleaming had a US invasion of Venezuela as one of the events in the years leading up to the story. I’m currently revising it now for a second edition, and you know what? I kept that detail in.

    Techless, as someone who left Seattle because the cost of living was too high (and whose wife also contracted autoimmune disorders there — this may not be a coincidence), I think that’s an excellent idea. I’m going to suggest something that’s probably off your current radar screen, though: consider moving much further east. My wife and I now live in Rhode Island, in an East Providence neighborhood that’s really remarkably like Wallingford; the rent we pay for our apartment is almost exactly one quarter of what we’d pay for a comparable apartment in Seattle; the neighborhood is green and relatively quiet, there’s a thriving farmer’s market three blocks from our place, and it has all the amenities that Seattle used to have and no longer does, at a vastly more affordable standard of living. In my experience, people on the west coast have a massively distorted idea of what the east coast is like — I certainly did — and you might be pleasantly surprised if you take a look out on this end of the country.

    Antoinetta (if I may), it’s a fine book — the author’s name was Llewellyn George, and if Andy can find a copy in Britain, that would be a good choice. One thing, though — be careful to get the original version, not the New A-Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator. The new version was buggered up considerably to make it fit modern astrological notions.

    Justin, makes sense to me. Thanks for the comments on the Canadian species of fake diversity. Of course we get the same thing down here; respect for diversity emphatically does not extend to making diverse choices when it comes to education, health care, career, etc….

    Samurai_47, nineteenth-century occultists weren’t afraid of making predictions on the grand scale. I’m currently brooding over doing that post next week, though we’ll see.

  140. @ TechlessinSeatlle, Ottergirl gave you much better information about the Boise area than I can, by far. I’m very ignorant about that part of the state. Farther north, however, I know a bit.

    The Lewiston area and then east up the Clearwater River is pretty much desert and very hot. Once you escape the heat, it’s mountainous and winters can be nasty. Summers can be unbearably hot from Lewiston Well into the mountains.

    Further north, say from the Plummer area north and east, winters get to be, well, winter. The Idaho panhandle is mostly in the mountains. Spokane gets about 16.5 inches of rain and 44 inches of snow per year. 30 miles east in Couer d’Alene (CDA) and it’s 26 inches of rain and 32 inches of snow, per Wikipedia. But a bit further north is the snow belt, and east of CDA gets into more snow also. CDA is also becoming part of the greater Spokane metro area. Prices are much better than in Seattle, but they’re rising fast here. I don’t know how CDA compares. Winters can get below zero but that doesn’t last long. This area has been as cloudy as Seattle each of the past 5 or 6 winters, but it rains more in Seattle, of course.

    Sandpoint is pretty, full of yuppies, is growing rapidly. East along I-90 in the Wallace, Kellogg and Mullan area is pretty economically depressed, other than the Silver Mountain Ski Resort.

    Although I’ve been harping on winters, they’re certainly much milder than Minnesota and don’t have the deep freezes and frequent Alberta Clippers that Montana and the Dakotas get east of the Continental Divide. The CDA area is growing, summers are spectacular and a little cooler than Spokane, and this whole area gets a pleasant spring and a nice autumn as well.

    Ottergirl did mention the other nasty, however: wildfire smoke. I know from Lewiston north gets inundated every summer. The CDA area gets hit whenever Spokane does, and it can drift in from any direction.

    Medical. My limited understanding is that Idaho does not have quite the same level of Obamacare as does Washington. Ottergirl may be able to speak to this better. If I had autoimmune issues I would deeply investigate the medical possibilities before moving to Idaho.

    DJSpo

  141. Robert, I’ve had similar experiences, so that makes perfect sense to me.

    Alexander, you should do a separate working for the household. The ritual you do as part of the Grail Working should be kept distinct.

    Shimrod, one of the reasons those promises are so popular is that they don’t actually require significant personal change. Of course that’s also the reason why they don’t do any good…

  142. @Scotlyn– Thanks a LOT for the link to the Michael Hudson material on the practice of Jubilee Years in ancient societies! I am not sure I agree with him, that it can’t be done today–And the conflict he documents between the ancient Rentier/Creditor classes and the Kings implies (without him saying it explicitly) that the Creditors have won in our society, at least until the false economy collapses.

    @TechlessInSeattle– I have heard very good things about Nampa, Idaho, in terms of reasonable costs for property and better-than-usual job availability. Ottergirl, do you have any opinions about Nampa?

    @Justin re: Canadian Diversity–
    30 years ago, before I moved to BC, my wife and I visited the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. There was a beautiful 3D representation of the Great Seal of Britain, about 10 feet tall and made of carved painted cedarwood. A little old Scottish woman, a volunteer, asked me what I thought of it. Meaning to give a compliment, I told her that it was a perfect fusion of the totem-carving skills of the First Nations and that of the Europeans, applied to the Great Seal.
    She turned red with rage. My wife had to drag me away before she bopped me. The Canadian grandparents explained in the car that the little old lady had been insulted to think that anything of value could be contributed by the First Nations to the descendants of the British.
    As fairly new immigrants to Canada, we do sometimes run into folks with unreasonable levels of bias against us for our non-Canadian origins. Kindness to First Nations folks in my dealings with the public also offend some of my Euro-descended coworkers.

  143. Hi JMG, I am reposting my previous month’s questions:

    Thank you for teaching us all these years. My family’s life has changed to a more meaningful version than the previous industrialized version, because of you. As my limited free time is full of reading your posts and books and a few other selected books, I ask for a little book guidance.
    I saw your answer to “J.L.Mc12” about the intelligence of dolphins and whales and remembered your 2015 post “Darwin’s Casino”. Could you please point out some books or other info with evidence on this, as I am really interested in this subject but I cannot find any sources of info beyond the mass produced by google dull ones. The only thought-intriguing works I have found are from Donald Griffin’s books on animal consciousness.

    The same goes for climate change as described in your Dark Age America posts. I am very interested in paleoclimatology so could you please propose me 2-3 books to start studying it?

    Also, I have a suggestion for a post. The last book I read was Richard Leakey’s “The Origin Of Humankind”. In chapter 8 where he explains how human mind might have evolved, he mentions the social intelligence hypothesis citing works of primatologists Dorothy Cheney Robert Seyfarth, Robin Dunbar, psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, and others. They believe that ”the social nexus of primate life presents a sharp intellectual challenge”. Excerpts follow because I do not want to convey any wrong message by my writing:

    “…Primatologists now know that the network of alliances within primate troops is extremely complex. Learning the intricacies of such a network, as individuals must if they are to succeed, is difficult enough. But the task is made vastly harder by the constant shifting of alliances, as individuals constantly seek to improve their political power. Always looking out for their own best interests, and for the interests of their closest relatives, individuals may sometimes find it advantageous to break existing alliances and form new ones, perhaps even with previous rivals. Troop members therefore find themselves in the midst of changing patterns of alliances, and a keen intellect is demanded in playing the changing game of what
    Humphrey refers to as social chess…”

    “…The significant changes that occurred with the evolution of the genus Homo, in brain size and architecture, social organization, and mode of subsistence, probably also marked the beginning of a change in the level of consciousness. The beginnings of the hunting-and-gathering way of life surely increased the complexity of the social chess our ancestors had to
    master. Skilled players of the game—those equipped with a more acute mental model, a sharper consciousness—would have enjoyed greater social and reproductive success. This is grist for natural selection, which would have raised consciousness to higher and higher levels. This gradually unfolding consciousness changed us into a new kind of animal. It transformed us into an animal who sets arbitrary standards of behavior based on what is considered to be right and wrong…”

    These thoughts stroke hard on me as I realized how west people today feel so abandoned and alone, as the industrial mainframe that supported their well-being collapses. As long as the industrial thread worked they gradually lost the need to belong to a team but as time passes and the fossil fueled thread collapses this need returns because it is hardwired to our brains that are used to playing for so many million years this social chess game. This could also be the reason why such phenomena as hooliganism, fascism etc. usually appear in the hard times of civilizations and on the “rejects” of civilizations as they give people the much needed sense of belonging in a team that supports its members. What would you have to say on that? Is it a theme for a future post?

    Lastly, I came to read Richard Leakey through reading your post “The Dream of a Perfect Diet”. At that time I faced a family health problem and a doctor proposed that we change our diet and eat only plants (like what is called vegan). I did some research on patients who had been treated by this doctor and they all gave me encouraging feedback. But I did not rest and searched for books on the subject of nutrition and especially vegan nutrition. I bought and read Colin Campbell’s “The China Study” and all I can say is that it left me puzzled because its message is completely opposite to what we are being taught in schools and to the advice that you normally get from doctors. On the other way its message is supported by what I believe is good science. Anyway, the last years (under your influence) I have lost faith in the myth of progress and any effort that opposes the status quo of western medical science is seen with a sympathetic eye by me, so I decided that we give vegan diet a chance in cooperation with herbs that for 5 years have been our solely family medicine (no western chemicals whatsoever and we are very happy with our choice). Time will tell if our not so perfect diet is perfect for our health. Richard Leakey is mentioned by the vegan community (not the China Study authors) and I tried vainly to find in literature, a quote that he supposedly said sometime, about the human canine teeth, and couldn’t find it. Therefore, I decided to read one of his books and bought and read the aforementioned book. I did not find the excerpt, but regarding the meat and its role to human evolution, Leakey says that it played a substantial role in human evolution, but not the role that supporters of Man the Hunter like to give, as it was a non-frequent food. On the other way I do not know if the 2 million years that our ancestors have been eating meat is enough time to evolve our primate-homo biology in order to digest meat without it causing long term health problems. From what little I‘ve read our stomach has not changed much (our gastric fluids are not as acidic as the carnivores ones and our intestines are not as short as those of the carnivores) so I remain cautious to meat-eating and prefer to follow the not so perfect diet of The China Study, for now. I would like your view on this book and its message. If you have not read it I suggest it as an at least interesting book.

    Kosta_M

  144. Re self-refuting arguments: the dualistically anti-dualist one you mention does sound like a choice example. A more majestic, fictional one, I suggest, is David Lindsay’s “A Voyage to Arcturus” which actually is supposed to be pro-dualistic, in the sense that it Gnostically portrays our continuum as a sham and a cheat and a conspiracy by an evil God to make us forget our true home “where grandeur reigns”, as the search for pleasure reigns in this one. For me the book is perhaps the greatest visionary sf work of all time, yet it totally contradicts itself by making the planet Tormance so numinously fascinating. According to Lindsay’s philosophy, it shouldn’t be. His verdict is, “There’s nothing worth seeing on Tormance”. Unfortunately for his argument – but fortunately for his readers – this is the opposite of the truth.

  145. Dear Archdruid, thanks for the interesting writing, consistently, and for getting me to think around the edges of current takes on policy.

    I listen to Caroline Casey’s Visionary Activist podcast. She’s been looking fw to your visit this fall, if I heard correctly.

    Caroline, like many of us, are flummoxed about Trump’s election and popularity. I think it would be interesting if you would discuss your take on it–your view of how the dominant political and policy paradigm has failed the middle American middle class. Caroline seems to support a completely open border, for instance, and thus can’t understand why some people don’t.

  146. @JMG
    ”As global population peaks and begins to decline — an inflection point that’s fairly close just now ”

    Africa has skyhigh fertility rates compared to everywhere else. Would they be an exception to the population decline trend?

  147. Perhaps this is a Magic Monday question, but I decided to cast an I-Ching reading today (I was attacted by JMG’s description of its personality as a “wise old man who will give you answers if your polite”) using John Minford’s translation. My question was “What should I take away from today’s events?” I got Hexagram 29, the Abyss, with lines one and five changing, giving Hexagram 19, the Approach. Based on Minford’s explanations, I think the I-Ching was trying to tell me that I am in a perlious place in life due to my misdirected efforts, but something I started today (I-ching?) will start to better things-however, my old habits will resist this change. (Something else that might be relevant-I had developed a somewhat misguided, but very intense, crush on a co-worker that had pretty much ruled my inner life for the past week, and a few hours before casting that reading I had reflected on the experience and resolved to try to govern such emotions instead of being governed by them.)

    Also, a couple weeks ago, I mentioned a satirical “job ad” I had written for a “Corporate Bovine Excrement Producer”. At the time it was living a lonely life on my hard drive, but I’ve sense put it up on Reddit. Hope it makes somebody laugh.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/satire/comments/9f5pkl/immediate_need_corporate_bovine_excrement_producer/

  148. Thank you for the recommendations. If I may be so bold, might I suggest Pragmatism as a school of philosophy that might be congenial to you? The little I’ve read has certainly been congenial to my own way of thinking, and my way of thinking has been shaped fairly dramatically by your writings, etc. It appears to be one of the only schools of philosophy that was not imported from Europe, but is American-made. It (I think) says that we cannot grasp Truth, so a true statement is merely what is functional to us, or has predictive value (we cannot say whether Gravity is True, but it seems to work most of the time). Their ideas mesh well with a view where we must all choose our values, cannot make exclusive claims to truth, value empirical thinking in realms where it is applicable, and are epistemologically humble. Anyway, I’m off to look at William James try to apply it to ethics. Thanks for hosting, Mr. Greer!

  149. Thanks for the advice on the books; the original (well, I hope it’s the original) Llewellyn volume has been ordered from Amazon – from the US but with the advantage that it seems to be considerably less money than the revised edition. Also, since both wife and child are occupied on Saturday I have the perfect excuse to make an expedition to London to visit the tabletop gaming show at Aleksandra Palace _and_ the Atlantis and Watkins bookshops. As far as I’m concerned its a lovely coincidence given the comments on board games and divination.

  150. John–

    Re nuclear power and the power industry generally

    Well, it appears that the project owners have decided to continue forward:

    https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/construction-vogtle-nuclear-units-move-forward

    It should be noted, however, that some of the contracted partners, most recently JEA (Jacksonville Electric Authority), have filed suit to get out of their contracts.

    A second note, regarding the industry more generally, is that the new “sexy technology” appears to be solar, the pricing for which has come down significantly in recent years and is now getting competitive with other traditional technologies (sort of). In our transmission region alone (which covers eastern WI and the UP of MI), there are project totaling 3.2 gigawatts of solar slated to be constructed in the next three years. To give some perspective, the summer peak load in that same transmission region is around 11 gigawatts; so that amount of solar represents a good portion of the system load. We are attempting to estimate what kind of impact this is going to have on wholesale power pricing going forward. In addition to being “intermittent” generation (i.e. uncontrolled), solar projects take up a *lot* of space — several acres per megawatt of installed capacity.

    @ JMG, Other Michelle, Robert M

    Re polytheistic etiquette.

    Thank you. That makes sense and is very helpful.

  151. Hi John Michael,

    Thanks for elaborating on how you see the world in your comment to S.T. Silva. Interesting. Like you, I too have an ongoing internal monologue as my brain ponders issues in the spoken and written word. But I also vividly recall music, smells, emotions, social connections, and most especially concepts and narratives. I make absolutely no claim about myself in relation to aspergers or any of that spectrum – which does provide your good self with particular and specific gifts (which I for one appreciate). If anything, I feel other people way too strongly, and have trouble shutting them out, and my practical solution is to live apart in a quiet environment full of a diverse range of life. It is quite pleasant up here actually, although few people would find it to be that way.

    The thing is though, I have no visual recall at all. None. It’s completely and utterly blank. And believe me I’ve tried, but now just sort of accept things as they are. I mean you have to play the hand you’re dealt with, don’t you? I have a sneaking suspicion that the hand I’ve been dealt has a lot to do with ‘free will’ which we’ve been discussing off and on again for a few years. I can certainly see a path, and I tell ya, it is really hard to step outside its narrow confines, but one does occasional go off on a tangent for an enjoyable amble across the countryside! 🙂

    Sorry, I’m gas-bagging. I reckon your 2036 prediction is a safe bet. The Limits to Growth model appears to be tracking pretty well so far, and I recall from reading that book recently, that 8.2 billion was about the best that we could manage under the very best case scenarios. It goes without saying that we’re not far from that number. I don’t relish that sort of a future, but what can’t be sustained, generally isn’t.

    Hey, just for your interest. Mate, I live a high tech existence with tier one outside amenities, although I could connect up to the electricity grid if I wanted to pay the exorbitant fee (which I’m disinclined to do). The thing is, I’m constantly considering how I can go about doing the things I’m doing now on a lower technology base. It takes a long time to adjust to living in such a way – and I’ve been at this project for over a dozen years now – with the same amount again leading up to it. I’m generally surprised that people don’t consider that aspect of the future, but then I experienced the economic world falling out underneath me as a very young man and that was a real wake up experience. There are people only slightly younger than me that have never known a day of economic hardship. Dunno. It is a bit of a worry though and they look at me with disbelief when I recount the stories.

    Cheers

    Chris

  152. DJ Spo,

    My wife is from Spokane and I lived there for several years, so we tend to keep up with goings-on related to the area to some degree, despite being 2500 miles away now. A couple weeks ago we saw a headline from some Southern Cal newsfeed about how nice and affordable Spokane was…

    Oops. Here comes another wave of Californians.

    BTW, I appreciated your reply to my comment about baby boomers a few weeks ago! Cheers.

  153. Book Report on “Technic and Magic” by Federico Campagna, published by Bloomsbury Press, London, 2018
    (LONG, SORRY)
    Part I

    So I said I would try to do a book report to encapsulate this fascinating book of philosophy I came across, back during the whole “Kek Wars” series. The title of the book, “Technic & Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality” by Federico Campagna, just leapt out at me. I was also gripped by the first few paragraphs of his introduction. Here are the first lines of the first paragraph:

    “This is a book for those who lie defeated by history and by the present. It isn’t a manual to turn the current defeat into a future triumph, but a rumour about a passage hidden within the battlefield leading to a forest beyond it. I began to write this book in the late autumn of 2016, at the time when resurging fascism had joined environmental devastation and capitalist biopolitics, in the bleak Valhalla of world-making forces…”

    It turns out that the “forest passage” has a deeper meaning for those who get through the book, which is on the subject of cosmogony. I too had to look up that word, which is different from cosmology, which relates to how different people see the origin of our world. Cosmogony, rather, is the philosophical descriptor of how we structure reality, with Technic and Magic but two possible ways to do this. (I’m sure one can discover other ways of structuring reality as well.)

    Once we get why Signore Campagna has written this book, and a vivid illustration of many of the reasons why, he gets down to business. The Introduction lays out the structure of the book, which is in five parts: “Technic’s World,” “Technic’s Cosmogony,” “Intermission–What Is Reality?”, and then “Magic’s Cosmogony” and “Magic’s World.” Chapter 1 begins with a curious anecdote about Italian puppet theater, and how when observing a performance, the background can just disappear for no reason whatsoever. This metaphor speaks to the endpoint of Technic’s world, which is the rendition of everything into Absolute Language. All that is epiphenomenal to being categorized and serialized (i.e., life itself) is suspect and Technic seeks to abolish it. Part of Campagna’s reason for writing this book stemmed from the understanding that so many people seem to be aware that Technic as a cosmogony will yield nothing but a dead end, but there seems to be no will to stop this behemoth’s forward motion. Part of its aim seems to be the dissolution of all that people have come to understand as “reality.” The first chapter paints a grim and soulless world indeed and points to the need to think beyond Technic’s borders.

    The first chapter is broken down into these parts: “Crisis of Reality,” “Technic,” “Measure and Infinity,” the most important segment (IMHO) “No Outside” and finally “Crisis of action, crisis of imagination.” Technic is seeking to create a realm where there is nothing outside of it, and seeks to find ways to press what is outside it into its service. (We find out more about how this works in the next chapter.) Campagna describes the crisis of reality as being twofold: the disintegration of our structures that hold it in place, to placate Technic’s grand aims, coupled with the inability of the people to rally the imagination on its behalf. The section labeled “Technic” goes into the history of this cosmogony, its roots in northern European philosophy. Heidegger, et al., are further critiqued by southern European philosophers along the way, with some interesting jaunts into Goethe, Spengler and Ernst Jünger, a writer who I had never heard of before.

    “Measure and Infinity” continues the philosophy, but incorporates it into the praxis of how Technic operates in the world. Here the discussion brings in some examples from history. It’s interesting how it had its effects on mass architecture, with Liverpool’s block housing and Sears, Roebuck’s modular prefabricated homes as examples. These turn out to be seminal structures, for they serialize the way we live into compartments, and begin the work of measuring each person as a compendium of demographics. (More about this idea returns in Chapter 2.) However, Technic is not content to stick with just reshaping our reality to suit its purposes; its real goal is “to perfect” existence into essence, and thereby make it infinite. Campagna offers contrasts here with the philosophies of India. (I’m just trying to hit the highlights of these chapters and not delve too deeply into this book. That could take a long time.)

    As part of this movement, Technic seeks to erase the notion of “outside.” There is nothing outside Technic and its masterful control and knowledge of the world as it inscribes it. Interestingly, this compels human fears of apocalypse, and Campagna ties in the desire to create the seed vault in the North Sea with other “vaults” of experience. Campagna helps to discern the distinction between extinction and death, which is strangely not a part of Technic’s realm. Extinction on the other hand is integral to the way Technic operates, and the decimation of many of the Earth’s species seems to be a part of the cosmogonic agenda of Technic. Again, philosophers toiling in Italian obscurity seem to be more aware of these processes than people from other climes. At the time of Fordism and post-Fordism, another philosophical school was countering these arguments in the form of “post-operaismo,” which noted a shift in economic and technical language that incorporated biological terms such as “recombinant” and “liquid” in rather provocative ways. And this has also transformed politics such that the demands of Technic are not so much about obedience as about eternal becoming, towards a goal that always seems beyond reach. The policing that Technic provides is really more border control, at the realm of what some might consider “outside,” which of course should not exist. At all.

    And this leads to that last subchapter “Crisis of Reality, Crisis of Imagination.” Much of what Campagna discusses here is very reminiscent of our times of “fake news.” This too is a further manifestation of Technic. The chapter begins with a supposed truth about Christopher Columbus, that he was the first person to show that the earth was round. This is actually a useful falsehood to certain political quarters. But he goes on to mention Parmenides, other Greek and Libyan philosophers, even St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, both of whom averred the world is a globe. Still, the idea of a flat earth has some attraction to Technic for many reasons, and the resurgence of Flat Earth ideas serves a malevolent propaganda. (Thoughts of the Dark Magic in the Kek Wars and the fortuitous alignment with chaos magic seems to fit in here.) And part of the goal is to erode individual subjectivity so as to accommodate the rise of something Campagna calls the “abstract general entity.” This turns out to be the map of personal tastes and ideas about oneself, so as to serialize people into categories and numerical positions. Campagna describes it as a mutation that we human beings are expected to enact on ourselves to fit into this structuring of reality as non-reality, non-local, non-existent. We are in other words to keep working at becoming ciphers in this realm. And this of course leads to psychopathologies dominating the landscape, and becoming another “acceptable” part of this infernal cosmogony.

    One of Campagna’s sources is a philosopher/anthropologist named Ernest de Martino, who saw the arc of this campaign back in 1948. (Later we find out Ernst Jünger, who started as a proponent of Technic had an amazing change of heart in the 1950s.) De Martino actually tried to introduce the concept of the Magical as a counterbalance to Technic and here, Campagna offers one of the differences between the two before examining the structures of the cosmogony in Chapter Two.

    I fear I’ve been really reductionist in my attempts to parse the big ideas in this book; however, I sense that Campagna’s tome, together with Mr. Lachman’s “Dark Magic Rising” and M. Hughes “Magic for the Resistance” might offer those of us with magical insights another way through. If people are interested, I’m happy to try to summarize the other chapters. But as you can see, there’s a lot here to process. And I’m pretty sure my Pisces mind has gotten some things wrong.

    Apologies ahead of time.

    Richard from Laramie

  154. JMG, your admonition to observe the results of my working and adjust my tactics next time around makes plenty of sense to me. Thank you very much. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from you over the years it’s to take first-hand experience more seriously than any other source of information. Again, very valuable, so thank you for your consistent advice.

    My fast went well. It was the first time in my memory that I have done such a thing! I really think the amethyst helped too. Every time I got light-headed or started craving food (I cooked all 3 meals for my children yesterday and taught homeschool as usual, with snack breaks) I pulled it out of my pocket and held it tight. My notes will show that its sobering properties were even stronger in my left hand than in my right, which took some convincing for my brain as my wedding band made it less comfortable to hold in that hand.

    I ended up taking the opportunity to start the Essenes material, and I have the sense that I’m going to enjoy that very much! Despite the extra water before bed, I slept extremely well and woke up feeling fit.The question of “who am I?” however is a bugger of a question to answer, especially since I believe, as you do, that my current human form is just one of thousands of others I have taken and will take in the future!

  155. You said something recently about Carl Jung and coincidences that I was unfamiliar with, but I have been wondering about it because for the past three months, my life appears to have been subject to several strings of fantasically improbable unfavorable circumstances, each time foiling plans and resulting in loss of large amounts of money and time. It’s hard not to see a pattern here. Sometimes I can reason that I had a hand in it and can find some fault within myself, sometimes not. How might one interpret such experiences apart from just meaningless coincidence?

  156. Hello JMG

    In the bible Noah was said to be about 950 years old and in Krishna consciousness books in previous ages people are said to have lived for thousands of years. Any idea if this is true? Cheers!

  157. Jo, hello!
    Also a big fan of David Holmgren. In fact he was the one who kicked this journey off for me a decade ago. I had this truly paradigm-shifting epiphany while watching him in an interview about his new (at the time) book “Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability,” and the rest, as they say, is history!

    If you ask me, I would guess that he has become a big fan of JMG’s over the years. As you know, he’s a sharp cat! 😉 Look forward to checking out the doorstop you mentioned!

    Cheers.

  158. @Jo,
    Thanks for the pointer on ‘Retrosuburbia’. I’ve kind of moved away from the Permaculture scene – work, health and age…
    Another along the same lines that I think fits Green Wizardry is ‘Permaculture Handbook’ by Peter Bane. One of his case studies is about the place he moved to in Ohio.
    Brad Lancaster’s ‘Rainwater Harvesting’ books are very useful. What he did in Tucson is amazing (as is watching him do his A-bun-dance ….)

  159. On the nominee: as a liberal and a feminist, he seems like a scumbag on many levels, but things are going to happen and there’s little I can do.

    As someone who was at an East Coast prep school myself, and the daughter of a headmaster and another faculty member who maybe trusted their computer passwords and/or the moral compass of their teenage daughter too much, I eye his claim that he was too “focused on” sports and academics and so forth to go to many wild parties with amused and considerable skepticism. The Venn diagram between “varsity sports, straight A’s, must get into the Ivies” and “letters in binge drinking and furniture destruction” has some edges of non-overlap, but the center is pretty large.

    (Not that the rest of us were saints, but the slackers generally stuck to pot, the real nerds either used speed/Ritalin to get through finals or didn’t have the connections to get any kind of illicit substances or invites to the parties in question, and the weirdos shoplifted whipped cream for the nitrous or tried jimson weed and had to be hospitalized.)

    It doesn’t really affect the larger argument, but there’s a lot of “….really, dude?” among certain of my circles at that.

  160. Hello JMG

    If reincarnation is true are we all likely to reincarnate back onto this earth? I.e. through karmic attachment. If so once the earths population shrinks in the near future does that mean most of us will reincarnate back into the animal and plant realm or will we just spend a long time in some kind of after death intermediate bardo state? Ta.

  161. David, by the lake:

    Interesting article about health care. I can point to at least one reason why we pay so much for what we get.

    Mom’s “guardians” decided to put her in hospice almost two years ago (remember that hospice is only for the last six months of life) and have found willing doctors to continue to certify it. Never mind that Mom isn’t actually dying.

    We have a private, 24 hour, live-in aide for her which is paid for by through the proceeds of Dad’s remaining retirement funds. A person from hospice shows up a couple of days a week to do a few minor things for the live-in aide and to help Mom get dressed. I am quite sure this individual, however pleasant and helpful she always is, is earning much over minimum wage and I know that the hospice has dropped health insurance for its workers and no longer reimburses for mileage, no doubt increasing profits. Nonetheless, the hospice outfit bills Medicare almost $11,000 per month for all this “care”. Don’t forget that hospice does not provide any actual medical care, just maintenance. This situation is unsustainable; these hospice services are little more than a money-laundering schemes. If this is what “Medicare for All” is going to look like, we’re going to bankrupt ourselves.

  162. Isabel,

    While I did say JMG, I actually appreciate other’s input. It could be fun actually to get responses from as many as possible and compile a list of favorite/inspirational poems. It could also be fun to have poems written by readers!

    JMG,

    Your condolences are much appreciated. While losing someone is always going to be difficult, I found having considered the many ideas you’ve helped us readers to consider and/or discover has definitely helped me in dealing with the grief. Another thing which I found at first oddly cathartic, was since we’re having our first hard frost tonight, tomorrow night, and Sunday night, I’ve had to prepare the garden for winter. In doing so, I noticed a lot of parallels between the life of the plants and the life of humans. Enough so that I’m going to have to write an essay. And perhaps a poem. Through it all, I found life begot more life, a diversity of flavors. Experiences open more ideas. And a little planning goes a long ways! All ideas which are vaguely familiar, for some reason 😉

  163. @Joe memorization – The thing that worked for me was writing out a line or two per index cards and then read and recite an index card a day, adding on from the previous days. You could copy and paste the text and format it to print on cards too. I did Matthew 5 – 7 this way and it took me 6 months but it stuck.

  164. I have a question related to herbs and all the herbalists out there.

    What’s a good start with herbs? I can’t grow food but I could grow at least some herbs. If someone could recommend a book or a website that would give me some guidance on where to start. Also, I want to start growing medicines, not basil, useful and valuable herbs that need people to learn more about them and cultivate them.

  165. I spent Thursday watching the Ford & Kavanaugh testimony from start to finish, and I followed along on Twitter during the breaks. I know our elected officials are ineffective, and the media is just a giant cesspool of a spin machine, and that our system of justice barely work, but wow, did I come out of that just completely affected. My eyes still burn from the tears for both of these people. Two people, lives ruined and reputations shattered, just flayed out for what? The struggle for power?

    Didn’t Washington used to work by one side buying off the other with pet projects for their home districts? I don’t hear much of that anymore which makes me think there just isn’t money to go around. So instead now they grind up people to feed the machine.

    The other shocking thing is how much people are so blatant in taking a side based on their personal experience. “I was sexually assaulted, so Ford is brave and Kavanaugh is a rapist.” and “There’s no way Kavanaugh didn’t party hard and black out, he’s lying!” and “Ford can’t remember anything so she is making it up!”

    All because something happened to you or did not happen to you, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen to others. But to say this in public on social media would get me flayed out in sacrifice. The demagogs demand their regular ground up and destroyed people.

    The US won’t divide, we’ll just keep bickering and attacking each other until the Chinese pass us by and take everything away from us.

  166. @ Jim W
    Part of the reaction to Kavanaugh that I think a lot of people who aren’t on the left aren’t seeing is that there is an internal issue for Democrats.
    One of the issues that forms the core of the split between the younger, more socialist and social-justice leaning wings of the Democratic party and the Democratic establishment has been the claim on the part of the former wing’s pundits that Establishment Democrats have been all hat and no cattle on actually defending victims of sexual assault from people such as Al Frankin, Harvey Weinstein, Brock Turner and Adam Venit. The Democratic establishment seems to only be against sexual assault when there is some political advantage to it: If the establishment thinks that going after the criminal, even if he’s a member of the Republican alliance, won’t win them any political victories, they don’t do it.
    In light of these accusations of their own complicity, Establishment Democrats could not fail to criticize Kavanaugh’s nomination without yielding a major political victory to their internal rivals.

  167. Hey there DJSpo and TechlessinSeattle,

    Thanks for filling in the gaps in my knowledge of what’s up north! It’s been years since I visited, as a tourist. Ha! Sandpoint sounds an awful lot like the north end of Boise: Spandex-clad bicyclists, golden retrievers, and extremely expensive coffee everywhere.

    Absolutely check out what’s on offer medically if you consider moving here, TechlessinSeattle. I work for the state, so have not been inspired to dig into Obamacare (yet, right?). Haven’t heard happy things about it, though. An aspiring politician or two are trying to drum up support for Medicare for All, but in a state that requires a balanced budget every year, good luck with that. Social services are bare bones compared to what’s available in Seattle, should that be a concern.

    Medicine is big business here. Really big business. St. Luke’s ginormous network is expanding so rapidly they are now the largest employer in the state. Have heard many incompetent doctor stories, especially concerning back surgery and dentistry. The pulmonologists here are in high demand. A technologist told me it’s largely due to an aging population of smokers, but I wonder if there isn’t more to it than that. This is a valley, after all, and summer smoke and the annual weeks’ long winter inversion (oops, forgot to mention that) mean more particulates in the air that do damage over time, especially to people who are sensitive.

    Overall, though, I don’t regret leaving Seattle. The Boise area is a fine place most of the year.

    That said, though, it’s high desert here, and too many straws in the aquifer, combined with an increasingly hotter, drier climate, will spell big trouble eventually. It’s the West. And it’s been boom and bust ever since my ancestors rode and walked into the Great Basin over 150 years ago.

    Honestly, if I weren’t nearly 60 and hubby 66, I would take a long, hard look at JMG’s suggestion to look much further east.

  168. @ Tripp,

    Thanks for the feedback on my comment.

    Appreciate the heads up about another “invasion”. I was born in Southern Cal, moved here when I was 7. So I can’t really complain about another wave. Except that we tried to fit in, and now sometimes Spokane feels like Northern SoCal or East Seattle.

    DJSpo

  169. @Prizm and all:

    One’s own death is actually the last and best gift one can ever give to one’s children.

    When your parents die, then you become the eldest living generation. This brings you face-to-face with an entire new set of challenges. To the extent that you rise to meet these challenges, you grow in wisdom and strength. In the end, may you be wise and strong enough to give the same gift to your own children in turn–to give it to them with all your love for them.

    In any forest, if the saplings are to reach their full growth, enough elder trees must die to make the holes in the leaf canopy that allow sunlight to reach those saplings.

    Myself, I wouldn’t accept immortality under any circumstances or conditions whatever. It is a poisoned chalice.

  170. I apologise if there are more pressing things or personal points to make… But as for nuclear power, you may be right about the US, however, France, Russia, and Asia have quite a lot of projects in the pipeline all the way to the 2020s. Besides the nuclear industry is a big contributor to the energy production in my country, and wields a lot of power (pun intended) politically.
    However it is true that the safety of the newer generation has yet to be fully tested, let alone the economic profitability.

    All this being said, what does it mean for IT and our lifestyles dependant on cellphones & ubiquitous Internet ?
    Especially if you are right about this timeframe, it would imply a tremendous set of social convulsions ahead of us. Given the little timespan, probably more war even in the rich world.

    You would certainly need to advance more facts than just the waning astrological influence of Plato, however great of an influence it might have had on the collective choices taken through the second half of the last century 😉

  171. E. Goldstein – It is not my impression at all that he thinks a jubilee CAN’T be done today. 🙂 (For myself, it is one of my favourite themes to share and watch people’s faces get interested. I shared your post yesterday, btw).

    However, he is a rare bird. A banker from an old-style Communist family, who has done an incredible amount of historical research into economic themes, as developed and experienced in the ancient near east*. You are quite right in that he thinks that, at present, creditors hold the balance of economic power – but he is busy explaining that historical evidence supports the idea that the jubilee wasn’t just one of those idealistic biblical notions that could never work in practice, but was, in fact, seen as an essential institition in many ancient societies – and for good reason. The depth and extent of scholarship alone is worth the price of the ticket.

    What I think is delightful is the way Michael Hudson, an old-guard Communist, and John Michael Greer, our Burkean Conservative host, use almost identical terms and narratives when explaining why a vote for Hillary Clinton, in the last election, would simply not have made economic sense to anyone in the working classes.

    *how were massive megalithic building work projects organised? Beer festivals. – is one of my favourite tidbits

  172. Took my kids to a nearby rock shop a few days ago for a homeschool outing. They had a ball and eagerly spent hard-saved allowance money on new treasures. (I went for amethyst specifically.)

    Weird thing though. I picked up a fairly large rock – dark gray matrix with some greenish areas that looked like aqueous mineral deposition made over time, and the thing made me dizzy! Like no joke dizzy!

    I put it down, regained my bearing, and asked the lady clerk what kind of rock it was. She told me that it was agate of some sort. She didn’t seem to know much about the place, and I really don’t think it was agate, or at least it didnt look like any agate I could find in my rocks and minerals books.

    Fascinated I kept picking up other specimens of what was obviously the same stuff, all around the shop, through the course of the time we were there and Bing! They all did it to me. Though the larger they were and the more of the green deposition they had the more they affected me.

    Probably kryptonite… Weird huh?

  173. Hi JMG,

    Thanks for your response. You said: “As for Trump, I’ve never met the man, and I know better than to give any credence at all to any of the competing media narratives that are trying to define him this or that way, hero or villain or monster or chump — it’s all just spin. If I ever meet him, I’ll assess his personality then.”

    OK, fair enough but I think your reluctance to judge is partially a reflection of the fact that you do not watch television or video media. Trump burst onto the scene 40 years ago and there’s been a massive excess of examples of his character on full display. I’m not talking about media spin on him. I’m referring to straight up, unvarnished from-the horse’s-mouth DJT. Granted, some of that is performance of a sort but still very much his choice. I found him revolting 40 years ago and that impression has only been reinforced by his ever-increasing prominence and exposure in our society.

    Citizens rarely have a chance to really meet (in any meaningful, substantive way) candidates or incumbents for national office. We have to assess character by what we see and hear from them directly in the media. Again, I’m not referring to how the media outlets spin it. Promised policy positions are all well and good but I think character and track record are equally important.

    Jim

  174. @ Beekeeper

    Re healthcare and $ laundering

    Quite so. That involves collusion at many levels, from the centralized, bureaucratic government system to the financial players to the doctors leveraging their credentials and ability to sign such certifications. Personally, I do not favor highly-centralized, federal programs, being more a decentralist — this is one of my more fundamental disagreements with Senator Sanders. (I’d prefer to see things handled at the state level, or perhaps collections of states with similar approaches working together.)

    Re hospice, that sort of charade is an insult to the purpose and dignity of palliative care. Several years ago, my mother-in-law went into hospice (in fact, chose hospice herself over an operation) after being diagnosed with aortic stenosis. She lasted a little over two weeks, but was kept comfortable and in a setting that wasn’t a clinical hospital room. It is a shame that some (not surprisingly, unfortunately) find ways to exploit the system.

    In the end, the whole thing — including our financialized “healthcare” system — will fall apart, as it must. In the meantime, the people will have to figure out alternatives.

  175. I feel like I have a filth on my after watching the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing, so how do I wash it off? I just had to watch it in its entirety and experience it all with my own eyes and ears.

    I’m left after all of it knowing what I knew before the hearing: that its next to impossible to know what happened in a room behind a closed door 35 years ago, that history is spun by the winners, and that the power games of DC mean next to nothing for the everyday lives of the people around me.

    I keep coming back to what I heard you say years ago on a podcast, “do what you can with what you have right now around you”. It would be nice if there were fancy slogans and websites rallying us together around what matters to make effective changes together (peak oil, climate change), but there isn’t, and there likely won’t be. What we have to do means such a fundamental shift of our lives, of course we avoid talking about it. The hard work of what is before us is likely to be done on our own without my outside recognition.

    So on my list this weekend is rebuilding the raised garden beds and setting up the compost bin for the inundation of fall leaves, 8 ft across and 5 ft high seems to make it cook nicely thru winter. I’ll be sweaty with bug bites, but at least I did something with what I had right now.

  176. Kosta_M, it’s been a long time since I last researched animal intelligence and I don’t happen to recall which books I found most useful at that time. With regard to climate change, two good starting points are Richard Alley’s The Two Mile Time Machine and E.C. Pielou’s After the Ice Age; the bibliography in my book Atlantis includes a range of other sources you may find useful. With regard to your theme, well, we’ll see — it’s been a while since I’ve read up on primatology, but I’ll consider it. Finally, I haven’t read the diet book in question; I generally don’t read diet books, as I prefer simply to notice what foods make my body healthy, and go with those. I’d point out, though, that chimpanzees (whose evolutionary lineage separated from ours 6 million years ago) eat meat, and so do many other primates; thus it’s probably not accurate to say that human beings suddenly started eating meat two million hears ago. It’s quite possible that we increased our meat consumption sharply at that point, as we figured out how to use simple weapons to bring down game, but the ancestors we shared with chimps were in all probability smacking their lips at the thought of meat for dinner.

    Robert, a fine example! It seems to be an occupational hazard of certain kinds of writer to make the “wrong side” far more appealing than they intend; Milton’s Paradise Lost is of course the classic example — Satan’s far and away the most sympathetic character in it — but, yeah, Tormance is far too vivid and fascinating to fit Lindsay’s philosophy.

    Douglas, I would have been on yesterday, but the show was preempted by the Kavanaugh circus. It’ll be interesting to see if Caroline can handle hearing what I have to say.

    Info, Africa has higher population growth rates than anywhere else because the growth rates in Latin America and the Middle East, until recently higher than Africa’s, have dropped sharply. Africa’s behind the curve for a variety of reasons; give it a decade or two. We’re way past the planet’s carrying capacity, and population decline is a given.

    Tolkienguy, what was your question?

    Peter, I’ll doubtless get to it in due time. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Andy, delighted to hear it!

    DaShui, thanks for this.

    David, oh, I expect some nuclear plants to straggle on for a while yet, but we’ll see if that one does actually get built.

    Chris, one of the things I’ve learned in dealing with my own neurology, and then discussing the matter with others, is that there’s an astonishing amount of diversity in the way people’s brains are wired, so none of this surprises me!

    Richard, thanks for this. I’ll put it on the look-at list. The other two books you mention, though, I don’t recommend. Lachman’s Dark Magic Rising is a work of superficial journalism, and Hughes — well, I haven’t read his book yet, but I’ve examined the magical workings he’s done and debated the matter with him at some length, and if that’s what you’re going to try to use to counter the chaos magicians of the alt-Right and the massive social forces that are driving change right now in directions the mainstream Left can’t stand, er, you’re basically bringing a peashooter to a gunfight. I’ll have more to say about this in a future post.

    Tripp, glad to hear it. Your perplexity over the question is entirely appropriate, btw — see where it takes you!

    Jonas, on the one hand, you can look for common factors that link the experiences; on the other, you can treat them as metaphors and try to figure out what they’re trying to tell you.

    George, I don’t know. I wasn’t there. 😉

    George W., according to most traditional teachings, it’s normal to spend a lot more time between lives than most of us have done recently. My guess is that most of us will have plenty to do, processing our experiences in incarnation, to keep us busy out of incarnation for a good long time. Of course some of us will doubtless rise above the human level, and as I’ve noted, there’s good reason to think that a lot of the souls currently in human incarnation have jumped ahead from the upper end of the animal realm and will cycle back through animal lives for a while once the supply of humans decreases and the supply of animals picks back up.

    Prizm, I’m glad to hear that.

    Jean-Vivien, I expect a great many convulsions and no shortage of wars in the rich world in the years ahead. That said, of course you’re right that a theory about Pluto is only one data point, and others will need to be brought into the discussion.

    Tripp, fascinating!

    Jim, if you think that what you see on TV hasn’t been edited, massaged, framed, staged, and spun, then I don’t know what to say. I trust you’re not suggesting that I should take up watching TV again just to watch Donald Trump!

  177. Robert Mathiesen,

    Thank you for the insightful analogy. I’ve been impressed by how many meaningful analogies I’ve come across from the natural world just by being more observant. Hopefully this gift of meaningful nature analogies is something we can keep passing down here in North America. I still see we have some gems and traditions from the wisdom of the Native Americans.

  178. JMG said… “CR, thanks for this. No question, the disconnect between the rhetoric of Man’s Conquest of Nature and the unfolding reality of Nature’s Conquest of Man is going to be increasingly difficult for people to deal with as we proceed…”

    Things are really surreal down of the border now. Last week’s climatologic-disturbance-of-manure happened when at least 2 trucks full of dead bodies were found to be around the city beyond all doubt. There had been urban legends about bands of organ harvesters for the human transplant black market and some other nonsense (organ harvesting are a thing here, maybe even a big one, but the stories were way off in a sense that even common exageration does not account for). But when the truth came out, it was even weirder… the State Government is hiring meat industry trucks to drive around unclaimed corpses.

    This “rolling morgues” or “trailers of the Death” as people call them, are part of a much larger trend concerning our brand-new Criminal Law system. The Cliff notes are: The Mexican Federal Government has reformed the Legal system to resemble the US’s, and given mandate to State and Local Governments to follow suit without appropriate oversight and (possibly) budget. State and Local Governments for their part, were slow and complacent to adopt changes and were caught flat footed when the new laws entered in effect.

    In this particular case, forensic proof have raised in importance but no more resources were given to the Coroner office. Traditionally, all unclaimed bodies were cremated after a wait period, but it is now illegal to do so; instead, victim’s bodies must be stored for the length of the investigation and trial for “scientific investigation”. This was originally intended for violent crimes, but may be undertood to apply to any people whose cause of death is not known. Combine that with the general raise of criminality (a combination of drug violence with general chaos sowed by the new legal system) and the regular morgues are chockfull now, with no legal option to disposse of the bodies. It is also not clear who is to pay for the storage, too. There has been some tension between the Coroner office and the State Prosecutor office about who’s responsibility is for the storage of corpses.

    Enter the frigorific trucks, which apparently were used as a stopgap measure, maybe while a longer term solution was found, or maybe while the current administration lasted. Whatever the reason, the citizen’s reports of foul oddors (apparently it is not the actual putrefaction, but the chemicals used to prevent corpses from rotting) lead a journalist investigation to uncover this story, to much scorn of all public servants involved. There have been at least 2 high rank official sacked in the last days, but people is still unhappy about it (particularly the chief of Coroner office, whom people perceive as a scapegoat and a victim of political vengance). Somehow, the Governor’s resignation never came, though the guy’s got less than 3 months in office left, so who really cares.

    Sorry, this came out longer than expected.

  179. @ JMG

    Re nuclear power

    No disagreement there. The nukes with long-term off-take contracts (such as Point Beach nearby) will remain in operation until those contract expire (or so long as the counterparties to those contracts remain solvent). But as the contracts terminate, I don’t expect them to be renewed or extended. With respect to Vogtle, I’d still bet against achieving commercial operation, given where other projects have ended up, but we’ll see. The parties involved will pay dearly, regardless.

  180. Regarding the thesis of “Hate is the new Sex”, what do you think is a more productive use of that kind of repressed energy than shaleposting on /pol/ or loving Trump’s hate?

  181. @Tripp – “Just a quick exercise in practical magic:… seems like a great time for pruning to encourage growth! A time to mow the grass”.

    Coincidentally, I spent part of yesterday evening pruning and trying to get the back yard mowed for the first time in two months (not voluntary…). Hit something that seems to have destroyed the mower, could only find a flat chunk of organic matter not sufficient to explain severe damage. Apparently for me it was NOT a good time to mow the grass. Was not into the corner belonging to the fair folk, either, though possibly they imagine their territory has expanded due to recent neglect. 😛 As for pruning, I hope it will not encourage growth, otherwise the city will be on my case before much longer!

    @ No Names – “My biggest fear has been not cancer, but rather dementia/alzheimer’s stealing my brain in such a manner that I don’t recognize that it is time to go until it is too late to do it. But of course now I have bern reading JMG’s words saying that suicide results in having the same experience again in the next life, because it is a cop-out way of avoiding a life lesson.”

    That is one of those points on which I’m not accepting JMG as an infallible guru. What life lesson could I learn from spending years nonverbal and lying on my back in a soiled diaper all day that I didn’t already learn in past lives as a tunicate or other sessile-at-maturity filter-feeding organism? Anyway, future generations will not, presumably, have the resources to use extreme medical interventions to maintain the severely demented for years+ in gomer warehouses, so if I can just dodge that experience for another lifetime or two, it, like the experience of being eaten alive by sabertooth tigers, will no longer be a threat. 🙂 I favor the view of the Stoics that when your life becomes irreversibly unbearable, it is okay to leave. Of course, more than a few of them believed in the doctrine of eternal recurrence anyway, according to which whatever horror befalls you now, will do so again in the unimaginably distant future, an infinite number of timees. If that were true, which I find utterly implausible, I’d certainly rather cut every iteration short than make every one as bad as possible.

  182. @Aron Blue

    Hi Aron. I have been using herbs for me and my family for the last 5 years, as our sole medicine. I have read a few books on herbal medicine, but the ones I believe surpass all are the ones of Stephen Harrod Buchner’s books. The ones you need for starting (and maybe you won’t need others) would be:

    Herbal Antibiotics 2nd Edition
    Herbal Antivirals

    There you will find info about: Parts Used, Preparation and Dosage, Side Effects and Contraindications, Herb/Drug Interactions, Medical Properties, Habitat and Appearance, Cultivation and Collection, Plant Chemistry, Traditional Uses, Scientific Research (very thorough, mainly from Chinese Research as Chinese have been using herbs systematically for thousands of years). You will also learn how to make tinctures, washes, decoctions, infusions, etc.

    I have cultivated about half of the herbs that Buchner suggests in his books. Most of the seeds can be found at: StrictlyMedicinalseeds.com
    All I can say is that I am very happy with the results and the absence of side effects (if you follow Buchner’s recommendations you will have zero side-effects).

    Kosta_M

  183. Eh, I did forget to type the question, quite embarrassing. I was going to ask you (or anyone else on this thread who works withvthe I Ching) if my interpretation of the reading was completely off base or not.

  184. JMG,

    I wanted to thank you very much for writing your book The Celtic Golden Dawn (“CGD”). I’ve had a passion for magic & occult literature from my teens into adulthood but most of it has been too incomprehensible for me. Your book, although laying out a challenging system, is much easier to read & understand & also much easier to actually begin to perform the important work upon which it sheds so much light. Thanks again!

    I’m also enjoying your Encyclopedia of Natural Magic (“ENM”), which is also written in a very straight-forward manner & is fun to read as well as extremely informative.

    For my questions, I’ve worked up to doing some workings, e.g., Consecration. I’d like to do the work during this season (Fall, Autumn).

    1. Setting aside the other aspects of timing in ENM, focusing just on the solar timing, Fall corresponds to the Tide of Planning. Am I correct in discerning that Fall (& the West) in the CGD Equinox Ceremony (which I enjoyed very much, btw) corresponds to the Powers that Destroy? This has me confused b/c then Winter, which is the Tide of Destruction (?) would correspond to Powers that Redeem. Do I understand this correctly?

    2. More importantly, could you please give a few very general examples of consecration workings that would be more appropriately performed in the Fall (again, setting aside the other more complex issues of timing revealed in your ENM) than in any other season? When I think about increasing anything in myself or the universe, it seems like it might be better to wait until Spring (or Summer for completion). When I think of reducing, shedding, diminishing anything in myself or the universe around me, it seems better to wait until Winter’s purifying energies hold sway.

    3. Finally, if you could further develop your general examples requested in 2 above, would you provide an example of a good Fall working that would be more appropriate during a waxing moon, & also, one (or more) that would be more appropriate for Fall during a waning moon?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have on these important matters.

  185. JMG, I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that you begin watching TV! I don’t quite get the snarky condescension in your first comment though. The televised State of the Union address, the full presentation of Trump’s press conference two days ago or his speech at the UN are not “edited, massaged, framed, staged, and spun” you know.

  186. @TechlessInSeattle: I second our hosts invitation for you to think further east (though not as far east as Dmitri Orlov…) I have lived in Providence 40 years, after growing up in Cleveland. Were I not so deeply entrenched here, I would make a slightly different choice than John: Rhode Island has a deeply corrupt political culture as a result of one party control for the past 60 years, and an incompetent opposition party. I would move to one of the mid sized Massachusetts cities, perhaps inland: Worcester or Springfield. Prices in Boston are in the same family as Seattle.
    Whatever we knew about the weather here is changing: we now have far more intense rainstorms than the norm 40 years ago, and this area has been regularly swept by hurricanes since at least 1635. The industrial revolution flowered here because of the abundant waterpower: the Blackstone River is one of the steepest in the US, and that source of power will long outlast fossil fuels.

  187. Just a quick note on the Vintage Worlds Kickstarter. We’re down to the last few days and I’ve added more books to the rewards backers will receive. You can pick up eBook and print copies of Star’s Reach, Retrotopia, and the Archdruid’s Tales as well as each volume of the After Oil Series and Merigan’s Tales. Check out the updates for the latest news about new rewards. http://kck.st/2C9FKsg

  188. JMG (or anyone else) do you have a recommendation regarding prayers that are compatible with Druidry? I have been interested in developing a practice but I am having difficulty finding a good resource. I am more interested in prayer rather than the practice of magic (the art/science of changing consciousness in accordance to the will) mostly because the greatest difficulty I’ve had in life is “wanting” something. I also feel I don’t have the wisdom to know the best outcome. i.e. I would have prayed in a similar fashion as Quin regarding the health of a friend. At the same time I find much of what I learned growing up to be centered on human relationships to each other, but not much about human relations with other aspects of the universe, I have found that I am less interested in spending time in nature and I am hoping to find ways to connect. I’m not asking my question very well…

    At any rate is there a source of Druid prayers?

    Thanks,
    Candace

  189. Hi JMG,

    Can you think of a banishing ritual that would be suitable for someone working intensively with qigong, specifically forms that invoke the Chinese version of the elements and meditations that draw energy into specific channels and centers? Or, to reframe the question, would the LBRP, either in Hermetic or a particular polytheistic mode, be unsuitable for such a practice given the differences in the elemental symbolism?

    Thank you!

  190. JMG – I have no idea when the crash will happen. Honestly, I expected it a year or two ago, and thought for sure the downward lurch in the markets about six months ago was the start of another crash. Only time will tell I guess.

    On the topic of meditation, the weather over the last week has been very pleasant, so I haven’t just spent time under the oak sweating profusely. Over the last week, I’ve listened to twigs and acorns fall out of the tree, had a squirrel scold me vociferously for having the nerve to sit under said tree, and today the birds have been quite chatty. I’ve been in this routine for a few months, sitting under the oak for 15-30 minutes every day or two. I find the experience relaxing on a very deep level (beyond, I think, the therapeutic value of just slowing down from time to time), I just wonder I’d there is a “next step” to take?

  191. Techless in Seattle,

    Ottergirl hit on it I think. Long term, there ain’t enough water out there for all of ya. Not in the ground nor in the sky. Not inland anyway, and the damp coastal sliver has plenty of its own issues, as you know.

    With young children three and half decades behind us in age we decided 9 years ago, for their sake, to leave Spokane and head for the moist forest-covered hills of north Georgia. It meant leaving my wife’s home town, again, and moving a lot closer to my family and lot farther away from hers. I know that’s tough for her; she still pines for Spokane now and then. None of this is easy.

    We could certainly make the argument that those worries are way down the road, and we could move if it ever became an actual problem, but when you take a hard look at what the future’s going to require from us, some depth of experience in one’s chosen location will almost certainly be important. And at some point newcomers aren’t going to be terribly welcome, especially in places that are actually worth living in.

    Think ecologically. Find somewhere you can send down roots for the long haul. Somewhere where there’s plenty of water, plenty of firewood, a decent climate that can be managed without HVAC, and a workable population, with a good power:efficiency ratio – say, between 10,000 on the short end and a quarter million or so on the long.

    I wouldn’t be as concerned with local politics and religion as a lot of other people might want you to be. As a former Dem who lives in a very red rural county, Trump voters are, by and large, shockingly good people when you get to know them. Not that many folks in a big coastal city would know that.

    Just my .02
    Tripp

  192. JMG,

    Not a question, but a quick update while I have computer access on the experiment I was conducting regarding the deadening effects on vision of wearing plastic (fossil-fuel based) glasses, and how to counteract it–I had mentioned some success with pine pitch, but I found another, less messy method that seems to work: submerging the glasses for a few minutes in a running river. I don’t know if a running faucet or other running water would also work, or if non-running water like an ocean or a pond would, but the river was a success.

  193. @ Aron Blue,

    Good herbs for growing include the perennial Mediterranean herbs; Thyme, Oregano, Sage are all as excellent in herbal applications as they are in the kitchen. In addition to this list I would include Garlic Chives and Walking Onions, another two herbs that are nutritional and very, very easy to grow.

    Lemon Balm is also very easy to grow, and is very, very useful. If you’re someplace wet, than boneset is a great choice, too and is wildly applicable.

    For whatever it’s worth, I’ve written an herbal that discusses these herbs and many wild ones in some depth, and would be happy to send you a PDF of it if you should want to peruse it. If that is of interest, you are invited to send me an email to hopefulcinquefoil@gmail.

  194. My local pagan friends have always said to pray for “the best possible outcome” for whoever or whatever you’re praying for and then leave it in the hands of the gods. A lot of us also add the rider “For the good of all and with harm to none.” For what that’s worth.

  195. Dear No Name to Identify…

    I think you are on the right track. It continues to amaze me that people still run to chemo for cancer. How many abysmal failures do we have to see? In actuality, the life span for most people with cancer doesn’t change much if they treat it or don’t treat it, and chemo only helps a very few. Even I had not really believed that last, which I heard from my alternative sources, but guess what. In February of this year, Newsweek Magazine had an article that said exactly that. Chemo cures about 3%. Meanwhile, you feel like shale.

    But I personally am convinced that those who find the courage to use alternative treatments have far better statistics than that.

    By the way, on suicide, I happen to think that if a person is terminal, it is not a cop out to do a suicide. In fact, I find it admirable and dignified. Whereas committing suicide when the going gets rough is in general a ticket to digging yourself a deeper hole.

  196. Jmg, I forgot about that novel, I haven’t read it yet!
    I been thinking much of what tech an ecotechnic civilisation could possess.
    -since the earliest x-ray machine used modified vacuum tubes as the emitter it is very likely they will have those again. A consequence of this is that not only will they still use it for medicine they can also use it for scientific study and mutation breeding plants.
    -if the solar furnace is perfected they may be able to create relatively small amounts of aluminium and maybe even silicon and other semiconductor used for electronic devices.

  197. Dear JMG,

    could you please explain how to do the discursive meditation you recommend?

    Thank you very much
    Ilona

  198. Dear JMG,

    On this blog or on Dreamwidth there was a discussion about time.
    If I remember correctly you said that events and developments in the future could support things we do now. Would it also be possible for us to influence our past or the past in general? I.e. send healing energy to our younger selves or to other people we know? Or maybe we are influencing the past and the future all the time anyway because past, present and future are not separated?

    Best wishes and thank you
    Ilona

  199. John, et al.

    Re Venezuela

    Do you think it possible that we might actually be able to elect a chief executive who *won’t* drag us into unwinnable quagmires, or is it one of those structural components of decline where such a person just wouldn’t win an election right now? (Rather like someone who stood up and advocated tariffs, a self-reliant economic nationalism, restriction of our military forces to defense only, and withdrawal from all foreign territories and conflicts simply wouldn’t be a viable candidate.)

  200. JMG,
    In reincarnating, do we tend to return to an area geographically near where we departed, or is it just random selection, or some other pattern?
    Thanks,
    Will1000

  201. Since you didn’t get a chance to answer, I’ve noticed you’ve focused on the positive economic benefits of Trump’s policies, and I don’t doubt for a minute that ending free trade and imposing tariffs doesn’t benefit the working class. However, I don’t see economic improvement fixing culture death and the myriad problems that stem from that anytime soon, so I wonder your take on how the two interact.

  202. @SJ, Justin,
    it is so difficult for people in the West to realize that their “high” standard of living is the basis of the problem, and the reason why the future belongs toup-and-coming “third” world powers, like India, w/their much “lower” standards of living. In a post-peak world, the winners do more w/less, and third-world countries consume less, waste less, and are more resourceful than Westerners. We have a lot further to fall, and fall we must. Unsustainable means “cannot be sustained”. As JMG has mentioned, it’s delusional to think all 7 billion of Earth’s inhabitants can have what used to pass for an American middle class lifestyle.

  203. Techless in Seattle:

    I just moved to Coeur D’Alene Idaho from the Denver area in Colorado. I have only been here since July 1, but will give some of my impressions about relocating here. I was looking for a place that was cooler (I lived in Colorado since 1966, and it has gotten warmer and winters have gotten milder overall) and here in the north it has already slipped down into the 60s here while back in Colorado when I talk to friends and family it was in the 90s and then the 80s. The fall has been spectacular here so far. Most people tell me that the main difference I will find in the winter is that it is wetter than Colorado. I also wanted to be closer to going out in the mountains and that is something that is in abundance in this area. So for me, two of the pros I was looking for are here, outdoor life and cooler temperatures, I found, but I had visited here before so I knew I would find them here. Also, although I am in a smaller place, Spokane is not that far away if I begin missing the city. I love the mountains and lakes here. I like Sandpoint, too and have fallen in love with Lake Pend Oreille–I have met some people from Sandpoint, and it is small–only 8,000 people, but tends to be a town of artists and entrepreneurs–they are really friendly and have invited me up there to visit the knitting shop and get to know the area better.

    For costs: As far as for health insurance and medical care, it is about the same price for me as when I was in Colorado. I am currently renting, but people tell me in this area Hayden is best for lower housing taxes. A lot of the jobs in this area seem to be in the medical industry or in the hospitality industry, or for the government. I don’t know how Seattle prices compare, but Denver is starting to go off the charts for housing (I sold my home in Aurora for almost $100,000 more than what I paid for it after only two years), and while Coeur D’Alene is slightly cheaper, the housing market is going up. I rent for about the same I would pay in Colorado, but my garbage, water, and electricity rates are less. One thing that did end up being a lot cheaper for me is car insurance–I pay about 1/2 of what I did in Aurora. Of course, renters insurance is a lot less than what I was paying in Denver. Food costs are similar. Gas is more expensive. I would say overall, I am paying only slightly less in living expenses than what I did in Aurora. Of course, Aurora is one of the less expensive areas of Denver–I think I am living more cheaply than I could in the parts of Denver closer to the mountains.

    Some of the cons: There is really no public transportation to speak of. I am a single, divorced woman in my late 50s, and in the Denver area this did not make me stand out. It does here. People are truly shocked when I tell them I moved here on my own with no family or friends–this is definitely an area where you are more normal if you are part of some family network. I do have a family network, but it is not here and I am surprised that people comment on that and are so surprised by it. That said, everyone is really nice to me, I just seem to be an anomaly and people don’t seem to mind pointing that out to me. And I have to say that there were several days in August I did not go out when the wildfires were burning.

    I used to visit a friend in Pocatello–things were drier there in the east, and also the town seemed to roll up early at night. Not sure if this is still true, as this was in the late 1990s.

    I am not sure yet whether this will be a permanent move, or whether I too will head further east at some point–either back to Colorado, or back to the family home state of West Virginia, or to Maine (also a favorite place to visit for me). I would also consider western Massachusetts or Rhode Island, which I also love. But I am enjoying the adventure. You can reach me at boulderlovincat through gmail if you want to here more about what is was like moving to Idaho from out of state and some of the challenges as well as the good parts of it.

  204. JMG–Thanks re the comments on the 2 other books. Good to know. I have a feeling that working with my usual deities is the way to go. When my life calms down

  205. Question on amateur magical brikabrak and health:

    After reading an article about a “witch’s bottle” found in an old house that was being renovated, I decided to make one (contents proprietary). After setting it aside and completely forgetting it for a few weeks I coincidentally (?) experienced a remission in a debilitating illness that I have been struggling with for some time.

    Wondering what you think of such magical devices, if anything, and whether making it could be related to my unexplained remission? Regardless, I am happy to be living fully again!

  206. @TechlessinSeattle

    About Idaho. I moved to Orofino, Idaho in the mid-1980s as a punk rock teenager from LA. My grandmother moved me there, and my heroine addicted father tagged along. I say this because I will always remember the way I was treated..welcomed with love and respect even as a weirdo outsider from LA with my poor white trash family. The people there introduced me to a woman in her 50s that became a mentor and remains a friend to this day. I was accepted and embraced, given a job at the extension office, got involved in 4-H. The experience changed my life for the better, and I ended up leaving after about a year for college in KY (another state I’d consider returning to). My husband and I went back to Orofino via a road trip from SF this past summer, we were welcomed by everyone. We saw many refugees that had been taken in. Again I met many wonderful people who were interesting and open-hearted. The only thing that upset me is the state hospital is now a prison 🙁

    I happen to love the Orofino area, as well as the Moscow area (which is home to the University of Idaho, and right across from Pullman and Washington State University). Good people, gorgeous country. I am leaving the Bay Area in 2019, I might head back to Idaho.

  207. FWIW:
    I mentioned Dr. Leo Sharashkin and his bee books last week. Got and email today – He has a new one out. “HONEY FROM THE EARTH: BEEKEEPING AND HONEY HUNTING ON SIX CONTINENTS” looks interesting but I’ll save my money for WOH.

  208. @AronBlue I have a book recommendation for you: Herbal Simples by William Thomas Fernie, MD. Fernie was a 19th century physician with extensive knowledge of medicine, herbs, and folk-healing.

  209. Do you know of any Heathen Druids? I know you’ve mentioned Christian Druids; any idea if Druidry then functions more as a philosophy, or if it would be a unique religious fusion?

    Also, at the end of an essay on Well of Galabes, you wrote: “Now of course there’s another factor, which is that certain kinds of spiritual practice are epistemic—that is to say, people who do them systematically, with the proper preparation and attitude, reliably get the same results. To understand that, and the immense challenge it poses to the entire history of rationalism, will require a great deal of discussion in posts to come.”

    Just curious if this was still on the agenda or if your muse has led you other directions since then.

  210. Thank you, Robert Mathiessen and others, for the contributions about non-Christian attitudes towards the god of Abraham and Jesus. Regarding a useful attitude for Christians when communicating with others, especially with polytheists, there is this example from the mouth of Paul (Acts 27:23f): “Last night an angel of the god to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and the god has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.'” I have taken the liberty to spell “the god” since Paul and Luke did not have the choice between upper and lower case and Greek always uses the article! Whatever Paul may have thought about Zeus, Apollo, Isis or others, he took pains to define clearly his own relationship with the god of Abraham and Jesus.

  211. Re: past life regressions
    As a certified past life hypnotist (I have taken Dr. Brian Weiss’s 5 day course three times, for the fun of it), I suggest anyone interested look for a certified practitioner in their area. Not everyone can relax their mind enough to reach the subconscious, but most can.It can be a valuable experience… I am personally more interested in the life-between-life aspects, in other words, time spent in the spirit world.That can connect so many things.. One professional therapist whom I regressed continues to thank me for connecting a huge number of dots in her present life. If you simply want to read about it, I recommend Dr. Weiss’s books and, for L-B-L, a great book by Dr. Michael Newton, Destiny of Souls.
    One more point..if you meet someone in this life with whom you feel incredibly closeness, and even magnetic attraction, it’s probably a soul with whom you have spent multiple other lives….

  212. Onething – Re: the efficacy of chemotherapy… In my immediate family there have been five members (mostly elderly) diagnosed with cancer. All received conventional medical care (surgery, radiation, and chemo) and recovered. One survived ten more years, years which would probably not have been possible without the care. Near the end, she was treated again with chemotherapy. We all expected her hair to fall out, so she shaved her head to get it all over with at once, but it promptly grew back! (Now, I’m wondering whether she might have not actually gotten the prescribed treatment. There are two ways that fraud can reduce the efficacy statistic: patients who don’t need it, get it anyway; patients who do need it, get a cheap substitute.) So, my experience (second-hand) has been that chemo is rough, but it works.

    On the other hand, my always sensible (low-tech) and increasingly organic diet seems to have prevented cancer during my nearly 60 years of life. No one should imagine than natural cures are better than natural prevention of illness!

  213. Onething – One more comment on chemotherapy: This article explains the origin of the “chemo works just 3% of the time” idea. https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/chemotherapy-doesnt-work/ I’d like to think that I’ve seen enough industrial propaganda to recognize it, whether it’s coming from the tobacco, the sugar, the auto, or the medical industries… and this analysis rings true to me. My own exposure to the cancer treatment world leads me to believe that treatments are improving at a rapid rate, but you can’t get 10-year survival statistics on a treatment that was only initiated five years ago.

  214. JMG (et al) – On the front page of today’s Washington Post (Sept 29), is this statement: “Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous seven degrees [F] by the end of this century.”

    Following the jump to A14 (for those of us who read the paper), “the NHTSA document projects that if the world takes no action to curb emissions, current atmospheric concentrations of [CO2] would rise from 410 ppm to 789 ppm by 2100.”

    The analysis which is missing from this article is this: if the world takes every feasible action, how will it affect CO2 levels, and/or warming? It reminds me of the logic of my father’s dinner-time threat: “if you don’t eat your peas, you can’t have ice cream.” So, I ate my peas. “Where’s my ice cream?” “I didn’t say you would have ice cream if you ate your peas. I just said that you couldn’t, if you didn’t.”

    In the same vein, a new book (or is it two books?) titled “Carbon Ideologies”. Vol. 1: No Immediate Danger, Vol. 2: No Good Alternative. It is, as we know, not a problem, but a predicament.

    I’m not arguing that nothing should be done. I do what I can, whether or not it’s futile. But I think we need to face the facts.

  215. CR, that sounds like something Laura Esquivel would make up and put in one of her novels!

    David, oh, of course. Everyone will pay, and pay, and pay. It’s just that nobody’s going to get electricity as a result. 😉

    Synthase, start by owning your hate. Accept that hate is a normal, healthy human emotion, not something that belongs solely to those evil people over there; let yourself feel it the way you feel every other normal, healthy, human emotion. That way it won’t get bottled up, and distort the rest of your emotional life in its image, the way it does to so many people these days. You don’t have to act on your hate, any more than you have to act on any other emotion you happen to have; it’s just a feeling, and you can choose to go with it or not, the same way you choose to go with sexual desire or not when you meet someone who turns you on and decide whether or not you want to find out if she’s interested.

    That is to say, treat it as a normal and healthy part of human emotional life, which of course is what it is, and you won’t have to go to the bizarre extremes we see in American public life today, where people who think hate is totally unacceptable will go to any extreme to find an excuse to hate without guilt.

    Dewey (if I may), thank you. Anyone who thinks that I’m an infallible guru is a certifiable idiot.

    Tolkienguy, I haven’t worked with the I Ching for decades, so will have to leave that to someone who has some experience with it.

  216. @NoNames
    Re:suicide

    Not everything that occurs is part of a life plan or involves an intent to learn something from the situation.

    If the situation had an important objective, then suicide will bring an opportunity to examine the same issue in a future life. If it wasn’t, then it won’t. Not mentioned, although it should be, is that suicide forecloses the opportunity to experience what the remainder of the lifetime would bring.

    I’m aware of situations where an examination of the process of dying from an incurable disease is exactly what Essence wants. But that’s not the usual case.

    In some cases, it is other people who are getting valuable lessons from one of their family / loved ones extended dying, and the person who is dying is simply a prop.

    @Onething
    Re: Chemotherapy

    I rejected chemotherapy for my cancer on pragmatic grounds, and I’m glad I did. I have things I want my life savings to be used for when I die.

    @Will1000
    Re: where to reincarnate

    Both/All.

    People tend to live a series of lifetimes in the same general cultural matrix as part of learning how that particular expression of culture works and evolves over time. There are also multiple-lifetime sequences with specific other souls that can keep someone in the same general area.

    When they’ve got what they want out of it, they’ll move on to another cultural matrix.

    Early in the reincarnational sequence, some Essences will roll the dice, but it isn’t usual.

  217. “Business Bull@#$t”
    In this book, management scholar André Spicer argues we need to call this empty talk what it is: bulls#$t. The book looks at how organizations have become vast machines for manufacturing, distributing and consuming bullshit. It follows how the meaningless language of management has spread through schools, NGOs, politics and the media.

    I would say”leave that rat race behind!” Why try and fix what shouldn’t exist in the first place…

  218. @JMG and @Bogatyr Thanks! I will definitely take your advice! I also liked the description of the I Ching as a “wise old man who will give you advice if you ask politely” that Tolkienguy provided; it helps give me an idea of how to interact with it. Hopefully, I won’t irritate the I Ching!

    On another note, regarding the rising fortunes of the working class: I read in the newspaper the other day that Amazon was giving small raises to all of its employees. Of course, the raises were less than a dollar an hour; and it was being presented as a form of damage control by Amazon. Many of the employees weren’t happy with the raises, feeling it as insufficient.

  219. @Tripp regarding water, that is actually why I have decided to look at Idaho/Washington. The areas in Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho and Southern Idaho are sitting on top of the most productive aquifers in the US, and boast small populations. I went to a talk a few months ago about the water situation in the US, and right now the Western Volcanic Aquifer systems are the only ones that are not only depleting at the slowest levels, but some years are growing. These ares boast large aquifers, lots of natural resources and better soil than most of the US.

    https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5079/SIR2013-5079.pdf
    https://www.opb.org/news/article/study-aquifers-draining-quickly-less-in-pnw/

  220. FYI: Incidental Internet Irony – I’m reading an on-line review of “Carbon Ideologies”, which links to an article about carbon-negative power generation (biomass + carbon capture), and what should pop up as an animated ad? Delta Airlines, with “a 100% individual passenger entertainment system”!

  221. Hey Tripp,

    Your comments about the solid character of so many Trump voters is much appreciated by this former Seattle Democrat. I voted third party, but tell you what, some of my own (coastal) family have been utterly consumed by Trump Derangement Syndrome. As a Red State girl, I am under suspicion of unsatisfactory thoughts and leanings, simply because of where I live. To steal a word from The Donald, “Sad!”

    Ditto on religion. Exactly zero Christians of any stripe here have hassled me, let alone shown much interest, in my opinions on the Divine. Works for me!

  222. “Walt, well, if you walked up to me and said, ‘Hi, JMG,’ would you be interacting with me or with my spirit? The mountain is the mountain spirit’s body, you know…”

    Heh, okay, that’s what I thought, but I wasn’t sure. Thank you for answering, even if (especially if) the answer seemed self-evident.

    What made me wonder was the variety, specificity, and usually anthropomorphic characteristics of representations of nature spirits described in mythology. To continue the analogy, I would consider it just a bit odd to visualize you, while conversing or corresponding with you, as (for instance) a miniature talking mountain, instead of your actual visage. Or to expect you to present yourself to me that way.

    Long story short, I’ve been feeling my way through a new and, I hope, long-term relationship with a tidal river. I prefer to address her as a magnificent and perilously powerful flow of water embodying an intricate ecosystem; that is to say, as how I conceptualize a river; rather than as e.g. how I might conceptualize a naiad or kappa. Ornate mental imagery with extra layers of abstraction isn’t my style. But I also don’t want to offend.

  223. In the comments of your ‘Kek Wars’ series you had an exchange with Grebulocities about finding a quality source of ‘alt-right’ opinions with relatively little garbage. Did you ever find more other than the likes of /pol/? or in Grebulocities’ case Jared Taylor and stormfront?

    The reason I ask is because I’m very familiar with the contents of this map:
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-Alt-right-and-why-is-it-disliked-by-the-left

    …familiar enough to know right off the bat that ‘TheRedPill’ subreddit should really have been included in the ‘masculinity’ section along with Rollo Tomassi’s ‘therationalmale’ and Kevin McDonald’s ‘theoccidentalobserver’ should have been in there somewhere, probably between the ‘secular traditionalists’ and ‘ethno-nationalists’. …actually, I don’t see Greg Johnson’s ‘counter-currents’ on there anywhere either, should be in the ‘ethno-nationalist’ category.

    It is an older map though, and there are blogs/sites I havent really spent time on since spring of 2015 when I got started exploring these ideas, but it’s probably what I’d show someone first if I was going to try and explain the views of the movement and it’s different parts.

    I suppose I should have spoke up when you were writing your series on the chans but I’ve sort of been going back and forth on whether I should comment on this at all… for a number of reasons.

    So, if you’re still ‘raking through the undergrowth’ on /pol/ or what have you, and are interested in understanding the ‘alt-right’/’dissident-right’ better, I’m willing to point you towards the better arguments or to try and flesh them out myself.

  224. Hi John

    Thanks the response. Economic contraction sounds about right to me. Do you have any idea on the likely timeframe when the world will tip into perma-economic contraction? The system implications are of course huge as it will throw our growth-based economy in a death spiral.

    What I wonder is whether QE and the various other monetary and fiscal stimulus can “postpone” the the consequences of this contraction for a while to come… my own thinking is that whilst a financial crisis will come down the line, the full scale systemic crisis in the developed core of our industrial civilization will not kick in until early 2030.

    In regard to the next oil spike, I agree with you that 2020 is a bit early. My own view is that based on the supply data, the likely crunch is likely to come in early 2020’s but of course, my guess is as good as yours!

  225. @Aron Blue

    I noticed that Violet offered you herbalism PDF. I strongly recommend you give it a look. I have read some of Violet’s work on herbalism and it is an excellent introduction. Reading the book and taking on a habit of exploring various teas correlated with an improvement of my health, though it be legally dubious to assume any implied causality without permission from our betters!

  226. Dear Trip, might the mystery rock have been uranium?

    https://www.google.com/search?q=uranium&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiO_q6D-uDdAhUJUa0KHclJCmQQ_AUIDygC&biw=1360&bih=588

    Dear Denys, if you sat through the entire Kavanaugh / Ford testimony, I must say I admire your fortitude. I second your comment about what I call the doctrine of Primacy of Emotion. It has become almost impossible to have a reasoned exchange of views about any area of public policy without running into someone’s hurt feelings, excuse me, Deeply Held Convictions. One can’t venture the mildest criticism of American education because someone’s Mom, a still living saint, apparently, is a teacher; reference to anything having to do with farm policy is not to be brought up because oh but my uncle’s job, you must be a bigot not to understand his family neeeeeds that money he makes, and if you should venture to suggest that you oppose overseas intervention, you are confronted with My Son is Over There Risking His Life To Keep You Safe, you unpatriotic snowflake you.

  227. Does nobody on this forum want a genuine Lakeland/Retropia alculator? No batteries! No chargers! No electrical outlets needed! No new apps every few months! And absolutely hacker-proof! And it’s free! Will mail.

    Pat, wondering now what to do with it.

  228. Hey, Aron Blue!

    What’s wrong with basil?? It’s a wonderful anti-inflammatory and antibiotic! Cuts the acid in tomatoes when eaten together too. Just watch for scorpions in your head if you have too much…. 😉

    Do you have a patch of real soil, or just a porch, or maybe just a windowbox? I think you live in NYC so having access to a real garden patch seems like a long shot.

    So many good plants you can grow! I like Violet’s suggestions of course. I agree with Kosta about Buhner’s (not Buchner) two books (I just used a Buhner remedy recently to knock out bacterial enteritis – worked like a charm, and no, no “side” effects).

    Lowly chamomile saved my little goat last summer from anaphylaxis. She was all but dead.

    Thyme is great in the kitchen, natch, but also good for persistent coughs when made into a tea. Really good.

    Sage, also delicious, especially browned in butter, has a lot to offer medicinally too.

    Good food, good medicine…there are good reasons we eat these things! A box full of these alone would go a long way.

    Find a book by a good author. I love Rosemary Gladstar; the old gypsy Juliette Levy is a genuine fountain of knowledge; Stephen Harrod Buhner of course; oh, and Lesley Bremness has a really great illustrated herbal I go to regularly called “The Complete Book of Herbs.”

    If you have more space, comfrey, lemon balm, lavender, and anise hyssop are hard to beat.

    Just some thoughts.
    Cheers.

  229. Hi Tolkenguy re the I Ching. I would like to recommend the book I use which is “How to Use the I Ching” by Stephen Karcher. It was recommended to me by a friend who is into a lot of Chinese mysticism and energy work and I found Karcher’s (in collaboration with Rudolf Ritsema) translation very useful and readable. His instructions on the use of the I Ching for divination is also very understandable. What little you gave of the meaning of Hexagram 29 doesn’t seem to match with what Karcher provides. I suppose that you need to work with a translation that works for you, but check out Karcher and see what you think.

  230. Hi Lathechuck,

    Thanks for the article. I read about half. I was not impressed. In the first paragraph, I saw several red flags which let me know what sort of attitude the author has, and what can I say, I guess to each his own. We all have the types of sources we like. Also, the author had a slight comprehension problem.

    By the way, the oncologist who was trying to talk me into chemo showed us the statistic that if I did chemo I had a 10% greater chance of being alive in 5 years than if I did nothing.

  231. Patricia Matthews – I hadn’t wanted to be grabby, but my almost-17 year old son, with the birthday on Samhain, is interested in the slide rule. His grandfather used one in graduate school for his PhD in Chemistry, but his was donated to the Chemistry department at the university where he taught. If you would contact me on yahoo mail, I am gardengirlgarden there.

  232. Lathechuck,

    A question, if you don’t mind. Of your 5 relatives who recovered, what did they ultimately die of?

  233. leondarrell said: “I just finished Green Wizardry. Disturbing and hopeful, an odd accolade for a book! Now that I’m 64 and am realizing my lost years of wandering in a Reagan-dream trance, just wondering if a sequel/updating might be in the offing?”

    Why don’t you come help us on the Green Wizard forums write the next book. John gave us the spark, its up to all of us to fan the flame. Its my intention to develop several Workbooks of skills and knowledge to help budding Green Wizards adapt to the coming Long Descent, and we can use all the help we can get.

    Sign up at the new Green Wizard website here: “Create A New Account”

    We are in the process of moving the old forum to a new site, but you can read all of the past 10 years of forum posts at the older site here: Green Wizard dot Org

    You will have to register there as well if you want to comment.

    Rusty said: “Regarding your comment on Monday that Samhain is an appropriate major holiday for Green Wizard. What aspects, beyond the gleaning and settling in for the “long winter’s fall,” of the observance should we consider? (Recall that none of us have much background with magic or Druidry.) How should we (a bunch of economically marginalized mostly men with hard skills) observe the holiday?”

    Rusty, many years back one of the people who posted to the Green Wizard dot Org forum, told about a local custom held in his town (sorry can’t find the post right now) that they used to celebrate the Yule Time.

    The locals made a small spiral (with a couple of times around the center) of short logs with a larger log and candle at the center. People would enter the spiral one at a time, slowly walking the path, to arrive at the center where they would light the candle and speak about what they were grateful from the past year.

    That post is one of the reasons I adopted the mythology of the various skill groups of Green Wizardry be called “Circle” and that the course of study to be a Green Wizard would be like a maze. Only this maze would not be one of one true path, but one of many paths to the center.

    Myth is powerful and we have the power to create a new (an old) tradition if we choose.

    Michelle said: “I bought a copy recently and finished it last night. I don’t know whether I’m happy or sad to discover that I’m already doing a majority of the tasks suggested… I was hoping for great inspiration, though for sure I did get great encouragement. Perhaps this is what I should have expected, having already begun to harvest all of the (moderately) low-hanging fruit?”

    There is alot to be said for fruit that you can grow and not expend alot of energy picking, isn’t there?

    I was re-reading John’s “The Long Descent”, this morning at breakfast out today. Our city had a city wide garage sale day, and the local animal shelter I volunteered had a sale at their animal thrift store. I had to go into work briefly and decided to stop for breakfast at a nearby mom and pop restaurant.

    Reading the book again, I was struck on how much of John’s suggestions are not some new cutting edge technique but are simple useful things we knew how to do in the 80s when the first Oil Crisis happened and have since ignored.

    He mentions how Europe uses one third of the energy we do here in America, with the same standard of living. We could easily cut our energy use in half and still have all the perks we now have.

    Every one of us, who read this blog have a choose. We can ignore the coming collapse of our way of life as energy depletion, economic disruption and climate change creeps up on us, then run around screaming when it bites us on the back side OR we can Collapse Now when the extra energy and resources can cushion our learning curve, and when a mistake won’t be fatal.

    We each have to make that decision.

    William Hunter Duncan said: “I’ve also felt a desire to facilitate a re-building of community in America. Normally I have dismissed a guy like David Brooks as a condescending neoliberal globalist elitist, but yesterday I heard him talk about a revival of community as a kind of rebirth in America, and there was much that he said that resonated.”

    William I can’t speak to a magic answer to your question but I can say, perhaps you are setting your sights too “loftily”.

    I too when I first took over the Green Wizard website from Teresa and Cathy had visions of leading a grand movement which would collectively cause the unseeing masses to rise up and make the changes that we need to happen to save the human race.

    Reality had a way of slapping me up the backside of my head as every time I thought I had time to crusade, something would distract me from carrying my cross. It has only been since I accepted that Green Wizardry won’t be a charge of the cavalry but instead a quiet revolution from within the Down Trodden.

    You and I aren’t Al Gore. We are never going to get to jet set to international conferences to speak about Green Wizardry. We are going to get to change the habits of a few friends and neighbors. If we do that, then we will be a success.

    One drop at a time.

    Jo said: “And in response to those looking for a useful sequel to Green Wizardry, I highly recommend David Holmgren’s “Retrosuburbia”.

    I’ll have to look that book up. Thanks.

    My email is green wizard d trammel at gmail dot com

    Send me a message if anyone has a problem registering on either of the two Green Wizard sites or has a question.

  234. JMG– i recently read an article about the demands of the original inhabitants of Diego Garcia to have their country returned to them. These peoples were subsistence farmers, called Chagossians or Ilois. The British and Americans claim they were seasonal workers from Mauritius and the Seychelles, not permanent residents of Diego Garcia. They were rounded up and shipped to Mauritius, where 3-4000 currently live, of whom about 500 are survivors of the original people. It might be interesting to consider whether China would score points by recognizing their claims in your revision of _Twilight’s Last Gleaming_. “Hey, it’s not just about a military base–it’s also about indigenous rights.”

    For those trying to memorize material–if you have some tech that permits recording and playback you could use that. Some poems are already available in recorded form as audio books.

    On meat in the diet–remember that our digestive tract didn’t have to become like a carnivore’s because we outsourced part of the digestive process to fire. Cooked food is partly softened and cell walls broken down. _Catching Fire_ by Wrangham talks about the importance of fire in the evolution. Cooking makes the nutrients in plant material more accessible, therefore we don’t need to eat as much and have time free to do other things. Gorillas, for example, spend most of their waking hours gathering and chewing plant food, so their hands are not free for crafts or tool making, drawing in the sand or whatever. Chewing all the time might also decrease the use of vocalizations for communication.

    The whole Kavanaugh hearing is a clear example of the way in which people unconsciously select the evidence that proves what they already believe. I said from the first that if K. was really a black out drunk he could absolutely be telling the truth (as he knows it) in saying he did not assault Dr. Blaise-Ford. I have also expressed the opinion that, as a product of Catholic schools, he was a victim of emotional abuse in regards to teachings about the proper handling of one’s sexual impulses. That said, for the most part Democrats saw a woman victim and a male villain; while Republicans saw a desperate last ditch attempt to derail the nomination by an unfair attack on a decent man, Further investigation may change the outcome, but is unlikely to move many people from one camp to another.

  235. I’m ten years out from Cancer on my tongue. Diagnosis was almost exactly ten years ago. I’m sure there were other options but much less sure that the results would have been better.

    NO the standard treatment didn’t make me whole! I lost a third of my tongue, had my neck slit (almost ear to ear) to remove lymph nodes. Then radiation and chemo. I’ve had a feeding tube for 3 years now. (Most boring meal you can imagine.) The surgery, radiation, and chemo did a number on me. I can not swallow well enough to eat enough to survive, hand and feet have nerve damage from the chemo. Maybe Mayo or the other big centers could have done better – SO.

    All health care from what I seen is ‘magic’ (closer to Potter than Greer) the question is which shade of black. My doctors most just laugh or agree.

    But that hasn’t stopped me. Slowed me down some. Since the diagnosis I’ve done a lot. I’ve done some permaculture, gardening, learned three new computer languages, gotten back in to woodworking (hand tools mostly) and have a near full time consulting business. Some times it helps to be an antique – FORTRAN Programmer.

    Most of alternatives are for much more common cancers. The only time I’ve seen anything close to an alternate approach was a Chef in Chicago and it was supervised by one of the major cancer research hospitals. Never did here if it was successful. The standard treatment for cancers of the tongue and throat has lots of effects. My ten years is common for the type and treatment available at the time.

    NJ0C

  236. John, I’ve started reading ‘Magic Mondays” over on your Dreamwidth site and have a question regarding an answer you gave there recently. A questioner asked about occult interpretations of baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit. You answered, “Baptism is an initiation; like any initiation, it brings you into contact with the egregor (that is, the collective consciousness) of the tradition in which you’re being initiated, and like any of the deeper initiations, it brings you into contact with a current of consciousness and energy from levels well above the human — in this case, as in many others, from the god who established the tradition and its lineage. It’s a serious matter. If you’ve never been baptized, you’ll want to discuss it with the gods you work with, meditate on it, and do divination, until you’re comfortable with whatever choice you decide to make.”

    It’s been over 15 years since I’ve considered myself a Christian; I had left Christianity because I pretty much lost faith in what the church was teaching and wanted to explore other beliefs and philosophies. I had been baptized. Is there some harm I have brought onto myself when I left for “greener pastures”? Or does it matter how you came to the decision to be baptized? I did it because it was practiced and written of in the New Testament, and I knew it to be Christian practice. I know some denominations consider it a requirement, but while the denomination I was part of considered baptism an act of obedience and an outward testimony in front of the community to the inward work of salvation, it was not mandatory for salvation. The majority of people did it, but not all. It wasn’t considered an initiation, and I definitely didn’t “discuss” it with Jesus beforehand; but I wanted to do it. If I maybe have brought trouble onto myself by leaving this belief after baptism (and I’m not sure that I recognize anything, unless it’s what anyone would call normal, everyday problems), is there something I should do about it?

    The original questioner then mentioned he was not really interested in baptism, but rather was considering whether to seek the Holy Spirit that his wife’s church bestows. He didn’t mention the denomination, but it sounds like he talking about the Pentecostal/Charismatic practice of receiving the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues. Sometimes people also receive other gifts, like prophecy or healing. My former church did not follow this teaching, but some did seek the Holy Spirit in such a manner for their private worship. I did, and after reading different books on the subject and watching some TV programs (I know, I know, some were shady but others weren’t) and praying for it, I began to speak in tongues (unknown languages, sometimes another human language but often a heavenly language). It’s considered a private prayer language. I will say as I became comfortable with it, I did feel a strengthening and a power to it, a feeling of drawing closer to God as the mind was put aside and spirit took over. I didn’t receive the other gifts, at least I don’t think so (though I never tried to heal anyone!), however I do remember several times a feeling of warmth spreading through me, especially flowing to my hands. Many teachers described this warmth when the Holy Spirit moved upon them; also they would describe feelings like electricity flowing through them. I can’t help but believe that this Christian practice is tapping into the forces that other religions (including magical ones) do, whether you call it God/Goddess, Cosmic or Life Force, the Energy Field, Chi, Prana, the Universe, etc., even though Pentecostals/charismatics would deny it. They would not want to be accused of practicing magic!

    Since I left Christianity, I dropped this practice also. Psychology and skeptics had all sorts of reasons for people to be able to speak in tongues, so I accepted that. Now I don’t know. Is that something I need to examine also? I really don’t feel like a Christian anymore though.

    Joy Marie

  237. I want to add, that in my previous comment/question/overly long spiel, I don’t necessarily want or need to go back to Christianity. I’m just wondering, at least in regards to the speaking in tongues issue, if that is something that can be used to aid me in any magical way, as it did seem to work in my past. And I know I’ve read elsewhere, albeit a long time ago, that some other belief systems also practiced speaking in tongues.

    Joy Marie

  238. Archdruid and Company,

    Yes, I think the n-body equation is what I’m looking for, now I just need to figure out a way to explain it in statistics.

    So second question. Is there a term for where you remove an object from a complex system in order to study it, but because you remove it from that system the objects behavior changes?

    Regards,

    Varun

  239. Earlier you advised Michelle to get a “good natal astrologer”. How does one go about finding someone who is good and trustworthy? I doubt that astrologers are typically part of the local Chamber of Commerce!

    Joy Marie

  240. JMG, I have another question: What will happen to the way the current faux-liberal and neoliberal propaganda and cultural mindset, which literally is everywhere and quite heavy-handed, whan and if the populist parties and politicians finally come to power in the western world as a consequence of the backlash against neoliberalism? The current indset is not only the official propaganda, but it is for many people like the water in which fish swim, without thinking about it. It is not easy to imagine how the “official worldview” and the cultural mindset, which one learns in schools and which is promulgated by celebrities, artists etc. will look in, say, 2050? Thanks!

  241. Hi JMG,

    Thank you very much for the book suggestions, I’ve already ordered them along with your “Atlantis”. About meat eating and its implications; My mistake, I should had written: “…I do not know if the 2 million years, that our ancestors have been eating substantially more meat than before, is enough time to evolve our primate-homo biology in order to digest meat without it causing long term health problems…” But, I must analyze it further. Please, bear with me, I believe what follows could be interesting.

    The answer that you gave me is exactly the answer (well, maybe in other greek words) that I gave to a rheumatic disease patient I enquired, when he mentioned that the vegan diet, which he has been following with good results, is close to what our primate ancestors were eating without causing them health problems. I quickly remembered a documentary on TV I had seen about baboons, where it clearly showed that on occasion baboons kill and eat small gazelles and told him that. He told me that it is the quantity and the quality of animal protein that we eat that makes the big difference. Then, I started searching and read some books. First, Frans de Waal’s “Tree of Origin: What Primate Behavior Can Tell Us about Human Social Evolution”. In chapter 8, Craig Stanford analyzes that the reasons for the capturing of prey and meat eating among chimpanzees are social as well as nutritional:

    “…Chimpanzees at Gombe spend hours in pursuit of colobus prey, even though palm nuts are readily available and would provide more calories per gram, more calories per minute of foraging, and more saturated fat per gram than monkey meat does. The return rate for most members of a Gombe chimpanzee hunting party is very low…”

    But they nevertheless do it because they expect rewards from its sharing:

    “…Males use meat to secure and maintain political alliances, to publicly snub rivals, and at times to attract estrous females. At Gombe, low-ranking male chimpanzees who capture colobus become magnets for swollen females, with whom they share meat and copulate until discovered by a higher ranking male. The dominant animal may then appropriate the meat and engage in the same meat and sexual politics as his predecessor. I also saw male chimpanzees capture colobus and then discard them to rejoin the hunt, as though the point was the capture rather than the meal…”

    Chimpanzee’s closest relatives, the bonobos hunt much less frequently than chimpanzees do, and not because of a lack of monkey prey or an inability to catch them but maybe for another social reason:

    ”…when meat is obtained it is often controlled by females. Male bonobos may be less inclined to hunt than male chimpanzees not because meat benefits them any less nutritionally, but because their kill is usually lost to females. These apes, often cited as counterpoints to the chimpanzee pattern of male domination and political control of females, may demonstrate that meat is sought by chimpanzees for social reasons primarily, since [bonobo] females control carcasses and thereby eliminate the [bonobo] males’ incentive for acquiring them.”

    Then, Craig Stanford goes further and describes the social motives for meat eating among humans. Anyway, we know that meat was highly prized (although not only for nutrition) among our ancestors’ (primates and hominids) social groups as it is highly prized today among humans. The question is, is it good for our health? And the same question applies to the other highly prized foods, which humans introduced (or substantially increased) between the start of the agricultural period, about 10000 ago, and now: dairy products, refined sugars, refined grains, refined vegetable oils and alcohol drinks.

    Trying to answer these questions I read Colin Campbell’s “The China Study”. I will convey some key concepts from the introduction chapter of the book in order for you to see that it is not an ordinary diet book but rather conclusions from long term studies.

    Much of Campbell’s early career was spent working with two of the most toxic chemicals ever discovered, dioxin and aflatoxin and he helped discover dioxin. Then, he worked in the Philippines for ten years to improve childhood malnutrition among the poor. Part of the project was an investigation of the unusually high prevalence of liver cancer, usually an adult disease, in Philippine children. He thought that high consumption of aflatoxin, a mold toxin found in peanuts and corn, caused this disease. But he discovered that Children who ate the highest-protein diets were the ones most likely to get liver cancer and they were the children of rich families! Then, he noticed a research report from India where Indian researchers had studied two groups of rats. They had administered to both groups the same dose of aflatoxin but fed the first group a diet that was composed of 20% animal protein and the second group a diet composed of 5% animal protein. The results:

    “…Incredibly, every single animal that consumed the 20% protein diet had evidence of liver cancer, and every single animal that consumed a 5% protein diet avoided liver cancer. It was a 100 to 0 score, leaving no doubt that nutrition trumped chemical carcinogens, even very potent carcinogens, in controlling cancer. This information countered everything I had been taught. It was heretical to say that protein wasn’t healthy, let alone say it promoted cancer. It was a defining moment in my career. Investigating such a provocative question so early in my career was not a very wise choice. Questioning protein and animal-based foods in general ran the risk of my being labeled a heretic, even if it passed the test of “good science.”…”

    But he repeated himself the experiment and had the same results:

    “…What we found was shocking. Low-protein diets inhibited the initiation of cancer by aflatoxin, regardless of how much of this carcinogen was administered to these animals. After cancer initiation was completed, low-protein diets also dramatically blocked subsequent cancer growth. In other words, the cancer-producing effects of this highly carcinogenic chemical were rendered insignificant by a low-protein diet. In fact, dietary protein proved to be so powerful in its effect that we could turn on and turn off cancer growth simply by changing the level consumed…”

    He also found that the proteins that strongly promoted cancer were the animal proteins and especially Casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein, and the safe proteins were from plants including wheat and soy. But he was not satisfied with animal studies only. He went on to direct a very comprehensive study of diet, lifestyle, and disease in humans:

    “…It was a massive undertaking jointly arranged through Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. The New York Times called it the “Grand Prix of Epidemiology.” This project surveyed a vast range of diseases and diet and lifestyle factors in rural China and, six year later, in Taiwan. More commonly known as the China Study, this project eventually produced more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease!…”

    Among the many associations relevant to diet and disease many pointed to the same culprit: people who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease, while people who ate the most plant-based foods had better health and avoided chronic disease:

    “…Even relatively small intakes of animal-based food were associated with adverse effects….”

    But he did not rest on the findings of his animal and human studies and sought out the findings of other researchers:

    “…These findings—the contents of Part II of this book—show that heart disease, diabetes, and obesity can be reversed by a healthy diet. Other research shows that various cancers, autoimmune diseases, bone health, kidney health, vision and brain disorders in old age (like cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s) are convincingly influenced by diet. Most importantly, the diet that has time and again been shown to reverse and/or prevent these diseases is the same whole foods, plant-based (WFPB) diet that I had found to promote optimal health in my laboratory research and in the China Study. The findings are consistent…”

    The second half of the book is about how the medical science in the west has become a money making business. Campbell had been generating health information behind the scenes for years and describes how the distinctions between government, industry, science, medicine, and profit making have become blurred.

    But in case you do not want to read his book, I have a free article on medical corruption from The Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics that everyone should read:
    “Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs”

    As I said before, this book left me puzzled. I found it difficult to believe it but so far I have not found sound contrary evidence. This post is some sort of my unconscious call to others to gather together and debunk this “myth”. But until then, me and family will be following this diet and see how it goes. My wife, who has rheumatoid arthritis, is doing better using a combination of this diet and herbal treatment. I will tell you more after a year. You said that your wife had (or has) an autoimmune disease. I am interested to know if she followed the western medicine rheumatologist approach (DMARDS, methotrexate, etc.) or something else.

    Well, finished at last! I rarely post comments so please forgive me for the long post.

  242. @Nastarana Love your examples! Yes that is exactly it. Criticizing process or systems is something I do all the time. We created X process we can change it and make it better. No big deal!

    My criticism is almost universally heard as insulting people personally. Probably because most people get personal right away. A quick scan of “top” comments on Twitter regarding Ford and Kavanaugh are all attacks on them personally – drinking, lying, the way they speak, their choice of schools, etc etc.

    Trump didn’t tweet Thursday morning, Friday morning or Saturday morning. I am so used to him sending out something to set the news cycle for the day. He is letting this Ford/Kavanaugh thing be front and center and suck all the oxygen out of the room.

  243. JMG
    I think you might have mentioned somewhere recently (can’t find it) digging into Propertius. The man has pulled my interest for a number of years. Can you mention again the context for your own interest?
    thanks
    Phil H

  244. @Coop Janitor Thank you for sharing your story of cancer and life after treatment. So much of the cultural conversation is about fighting and defeating disease and your story shows that our lives are richer and deeper than any medical diagnosis.

  245. @Nastarana I love CSPAN – the raw unedited camera feeds and press conferences of DC. So happy I can have it streaming on computer now that we don’t have cable.

    During the frenzy post-9/11 I watched a press conference led by the person heading up the renovation of the Pentagon – a civilian engineer of some sort – don’t remember his name or company. The video has been scrubbed from the internet. The Pentagon was in the middle of a multi-year renovation and the plane hit right between a renovated part and old part.

    In the renovation they were trying to make the building bomb proof as well as spy proof and some other things I can’t remember. One of the techniques was put Kevlar between the visible outer layer and an inner layer of wall. The engineer actually showed a model as well as drawings. If you look at photos of the plane hit you can see the one side of the building standing – that’s the Kevlar enforced side. They also did something with structural beams. The dude detailed it all in the press conference and gave all the data they collected so far on impact and results on the two construction types.

    Anyway, all the people who survived and got out of the crash side were on the renovated side. The old side just collapsed in a pile of rubble and everyone there died.

  246. Dear Archdruid,

    I’ve come across quotes of a book of yours called “Druidry: A Green Way of Wisdom”.
    From the quotes I have found, it seems to be an earlier version of The Druidry Handbook.

    However, was “Druidry: A Green Way of Wisdom” itself ever published? Is there any way to obtain it?

    Kind regards,
    Brigyn

  247. Places to move…
    I would recommend against moving to KY, even though it ranks high on preppers lists, at least for now. The heroin epidemic is really bad there, and not just in Eastern KY. People in KY are VERY clannish, and it is EXTREMELY hard to make connections there. Blood is definitely thicker than water in KY, and there’s no such thing as a dysfunctional family/family relationship, and the expectation is that you tolerate your relatives regardless of how dysfunctional and harmful the relationship is. If you don’t have family, people will generally pity you, but not lift a finger to help you or bring you in to their network. There is a dichotomy between ethics for kin and nonkin–kin are people you generally don’t screw over, but nonkin don’t matter and can be treated any old way. The concept “family of choice” is foreign to them. If you move there and have no family, you will be lonely and isolated. What’s been disconcerting to me is the Appalachification of Central KY, my home area. Central and Western KY are very different from Eastern KY, and they even come from different stock (Central Kentuckians generally tend to be Virginia/tidewater/FFV (First Families of Virginia) stock, unlike Eastern KY, and they have always had old money and an aristocracy, like Virginia. So to see it turn into Eastern KY is very disconcerting–it no longer resembles the place I grew up in. Progressives in KY, who are numerous in the urban areas, are to be avoided. KY delivered higher vote totals to Trump than all but four other states, so this makes progressives there very threatened and dysfunctional as a result.
    Everyone I’ve ever talked to about this issue pretty much agrees that there is something wrong w/KY’s egregore, or essence, or they’re either too afraid to talk about it. Any of the commenters in KY on this and the old blog that I’ve met have had pretty dark outlooks, so there must be something tainted about the place on a magical level.

  248. @Shane W – that is sad to hear about KY. I lived in Midway, KY from 1988-1990 and met many wonderful people there. I am still close friends with two women who are multi-generation Kentucky-ans (A farmer from Georgetown and another friend who grew up on a small farm near Louisville and now lives in town). They are both politically more on the “progressive” side and I have never heard either one make comments about KY such as yours.

    But…I am convinced I am surrounded by evil spirits and near-zombies here in the SF Bay Area, yet millions of people risk everything and struggle financially to live here.

    I suppose we all need to find our place. I know when I am in Northern England and in Scotland I have a feeling of “home” and peace like no other place. I just returned from 2.5 weeks in Northern England and for 2 weeks I felt normal and sane again. Within 2 days of returning to California I am back to a near constant state of anxiety.

  249. Tolkienguy, I second Kay Robison’s choice of Stephen Karcher’s I Ching translations. “Total I Ching” gives a great introduction to historical threads and contemporary use. What I like about Karcher’s work is that he approaches the Chinese texts (plural due to centuries of annotation, commentary, linguistic shift) by digging into pre Confucian word use and connotations. It strikes me (though I haven’t researched it very far and this might just be conjecture on my part) that early Chinese writing functioned like sigils. There’s certainly some sort of magical awareness present in the script and what was being done with it and Karcher, with his Jungian training digs deeper than just a working translation of a text. There’s *spirit* there.

    But truly one’s translation of choice is… of one’s choice 🙂

  250. Shane W., I spent a summer in eastern Kentucky in the ‘70’s, and except for the opiates, it was just as you describe. I agree with you. Stay away.

  251. HI Tude,

    One part of Kentucky could be bad, another good. The KY/VA border is very bad.

    The U.S. in general seems to have been growing increasingly spiritually dark since the late ‘60’s-early ‘70’s.

  252. Mateo, it’s fairly common for beginners in magic to get confused by the fact that different systems of magic symbolize things differently, and this is an example. The solar tides are from one system of magic — specifically the one taught by Dion Fortune and her students — and the ritual texts in The Celtic Golden Dawn are from a different system, so yes, they don’t match completely. If you’re practicing natural magic using the material in my book on the subject, follow the instructions in that book — without mixing them up with instructions from other books on other systems — and you’ll be fine.

    You use the Tide of Planning, in that system, for laying foundations on which you’re going to build later, setting things in order so you can do something with them further down the road, gathering up the harvest of past experiences in order to prepare for future activities, and so on. For example, during a waxing moon in the Tide of Planning, you might do a working to bring the knowledge and resources you’ll need for something you want to start in the future; during a waning moon in the same Tide, you might do a working to help yourself learn from, and recover from, a failed relationship in order to go on to something better from there.

    Jim W., au contraire. Those events are staged, scripted public performances; you learn roughly as much about Trump’s character by watching them as you learn about William Shatner’s character by watching him play the role of James T. Kirk.

    Peter (if I may), I’ve lived in a variety of places across the country, and have never lived in a town, city, or state whose politics weren’t deeply corrupt. The forms of corruption I’ve encountered so far in Rhode Island are frankly less intrusive than some of those I’ve encountered elsewhere!

    Candace, the one prayer that’s widely heard in Druid circles is the so-called Universal Druid Prayer, which (Druids being Druids) appears in many differing versions. Here’s the one that’s used in the AODA tradition:

    “Grant, O holy powers, your protection
    And in protection, strength
    And in strength, understanding,
    And in understanding, knowledge
    And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice
    And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it
    And in that love, the love of all existences
    And in the love of all existences, the love of Earth our Mother and all goodness.”
    AWEN.”

    Other than that, people in the Druid scene mostly come up with their own prayers.

    Anemonymous, Taoism has its own very rich magical tradition, about which I know very little; you might want to see if you can find someone familiar with Taoist magic who can settle the matter. I don’t recommend mixing qigong with Hermetic magic, as I know several people who’ve ended up with bad interactions between the two. I’m one of them; I ended up with a fairly serious case of depleted yin kidney qi, which didn’t resolve until I stopped doing all forms of qigong and taijiquan.

    Juan Pablo, no, because it’s not just the alcohol that matters. I don’t know if it’s available where you live, but here in the US nonalcoholic wine is fairly easy to find; I’d recommend that if you can get it. If not, unfermented grape juice is a workable substitute.

    Ben, that’s a common misconception with meditation. The next step is to keep on doing the practice you’re doing. You have to let go of the idea that you’re the one who takes the next step; the practice takes the next step, and takes you along with it, once your perceptions ripen enough.

    Jen, that’s fascinating. That suggests that the problem is caused by the buildup of etheric crud on the glasses. Try dissolving some kosher salt in cold water and then splashing the glasses back and forth in it; if that has a similar effect to the running water, then we’ve got a working hypothesis.

    J.L.Mc12, why don’t you write a short story set in such a civilization and submit it to Into the Ruins?

    Ilona, there’s a detailed discussion of discursive meditation in my book The Druidry Handbook, and most of my other books on magic provide at least a basic introduction; since it takes about ten pages to go through the details, I won’t repeat them here. (I’m planning on writing a book on discursive meditation next year, for what that’s worth.) As for time, yes, very much so; it’s quite possible to do workings now directed toward the past and the future, though of course you’ll want to be very careful about your intention, and do divination to make sure it’s a good idea.

    David, got it in one. We’ve got a while to go yet before it’ll be politically possible for someone to publicly embrace the things this country needs so desperately.

    Will1000, it varies from soul to soul and from rebirth to rebirth.

    Shane, remember that the Long Descent is a fractal process in which there are brief respites and periods of temporary improvement. The current upturn in the fortunes of the working classes here in the US is one of those. Culture death is still happening, because that’s the necessary prelude to culture birth; more on this in an upcoming post.

    Richard, you’re most welcome.

    Hew, as operative mages say, TSW — the clean version thereof being “this stuff works.” Yes, the witch’s bottle could very possibly be helping you. Those old magical traditions very often have very good reason for being there!

    Peter, yes, there are Heathen Druids. Since Druidry is based on reverence for nature rather than belief in some specific set of divinities, it’s entirely possible to practice Druidry while praying to the Aesir and Vanir, and indeed to call on the Aesir and Vanir in Druid ritual. Is it authentic? Of course not, but then none of us are living in the tenth century, you know, and a religion (or anything else) that doesn’t change and adapt to new conditions is stone cold dead. As for posts on the epistemic practices that are part of magic, that’s still something I’d like to get to, but it may be a little while yet.

    Jim, thanks for this.

    Lathechuck, yes, I saw that, and was fascinated by the unexpected display of common sense. I’ve long believed that drastic climate change is inevitable at this point, for reasons I’ve discussed here and elsewhere repeatedly; since it won’t be prevented, we get to live with the consequences, some of which are going to be pretty drastic.

  253. @ Varun
    “Is there a term for where you remove an object from a complex system in order to study it, but because you remove it from that system the objects behavior changes?”

    (puts tongue in cheek) The scientific method?

    That is to say, joking aside, I think you’ve just named a central theme in things that have gone awry in the culture that has brought us to this time and place. The “objects” separated from the “system” which then behave differently, include ourselves. Also, it is not only the object so separated that changes, but also the system from which it was separated. (I’m sure JMG covered all this somewhat more elegantly than I just have – if less mathematically than you intend to – in Mystery Teachings, but there you are.)

  254. Onething – Of my family members who received chemotherapy, I can describe the deaths of only one. The rest are still living (some in their 80s)! One of the virtues of the article I linked to, regarding the effectiveness of chemotherapy, is that it takes time to describe the conditions under which chemotherapy is NOT appropriate. Cancer is many diseases, with many treatments, and it may present itself along with other diseases or disorders which further complicate the plan of treatment.

  255. Kosta_M,

    I have found a good website to dig into, although it will take a fair amount of time. It’s a bit of slogging, but refutations of the China study exist. In the below link, you will note at the top of the page some blue hyperlinks that will take you further, and even includes an answer by Dr. Campbell and a reply to that answer, as well as another critique of the book by a different person.

    My point of view is that an honest look at human composition shows we are omnivores, definitely not herbivores nor true carnivores. If that is the case, why do some people assume that we can decide to just be herbivores?

    I not only don’t think the conclusions of the China study are true, I don’t think they CAN be true. Most animals eat the diet that instinctively appeals to them, and humans should be no exception, although modern techniques do give rise to the unnatural ability to produce foods that don’t exist in nature and provoke our taste buds, possibly becoming addictive, such as refined sugars. Maybe bread.

    As far as autoimmune and other health challenges, I have recently gotten quite interested in the idea that fungal issues are at the root of a whole lot of our problems. We focus on bacteria a lot, and viruses too, but fungus are as ubiquitous as bacteria, are opportunistic, and are more complex than bacteria. The biggest issue with fungus is their mycotoxins. Penicillin is a mycotoxin, as is aflatoxin, the subject of Campbell’s research.

    I am looking into and taking antifungals. Garlic, olive leaf extract, oregano oil, whole cloves (I chew them) and last but not least, turpentine. Yes, I am taking it internally and also making some fungal issues on my feet disappear with topical application. Turpentine is an essential oil of pine trees. I believe there is a fungal connection with cancer, or perhaps a combination of bacterial with fungal or viral with fungal.

    Doug Kaufmann makes the case that a lot of so-called autoimmune problems are due to the body battling fungus that the medical team does not know about, and it gets blamed on a deranged immune system.

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html

  256. While we’re contemplating separate threads of Ford vs. Canavaugh and chemo vs. cancer, there is a thread that ties them together: alcohol. The Ford vs. Cavanaugh affair reveals a casually toxic society tolerant of underage (illegal) intoxication. Relatively recent medical research attributes the rise in breast cancer to alcohol consumption. [https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/04/did-drinking-give-me-breast-cancer/] A choice quote: “The science on the link is clear, but the alcohol industry has worked hard to downplay it.”

    I see in alcohol (which I have only sampled experimentally on a handful of occasions) a misguided attempt at self-medication against the soul sickness of our mainstream culture. My dearest hope is that Ecosophia can be a less destructive response. (“No pressure, JMG… but let’s be sure to do our best on this one…”

  257. Shane W wrote:

    “Gen X and younger generations are very eager to get that gift…”

    I’m sure they are. From generation unto generation, it has ever been so. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun” — saith Ecclesiastes.

    Now the question I’d really like you to answer for me, Shane, is this:

    Can you personally manage to be sanguine and content, when you will have aged and look back in time, to know that the next few generations after yours will condemn you and all your generation and all its works in as blunt and harsh terms as you have been condemning the Silents (my generation) and the Boomers. Be assured that they will inevitably do so, and that their condemnation of your generation will be every bit as just and every bit as merciless as your condemnation of ours.

    Do you personally expect to be wise enough to accept calmly that inevitable and just condemnation of the generations following yours?

    Please do me the favor of a public reply here.

  258. John, et al.

    I don’t recall that I ever reported back on the old school D&D night last month, a long-sought dream of mine. It went wonderfully, though all of us were pretty much tired out by 11:30, unlike our 14 year-old previous selves who’d have gone until 2 AM, at least 😉

    We had a full quartet human party, one of each basic class. The role-playing was quite interesting, as I called strict rules and had characters rolled up with a straight 3d6, in attribute order. So our thief has a 7 intelligence and our cleric has an 8 constitution, among other things. The magic-user actually rolled an 18 for her intelligence, which was pretty cool.

    We are going to see if we can do this monthly, but we must have tapped a vein of pent-up demand or something, as we suddenly have several other potential players interested in our session. We’ll see what happens!

  259. Michelle – I just now* sent you a reply at your email address, but yahoo-dot-com sometimes does not play well with hotmail, so I’m also answering you on the forum.

    Please send me your snail mail address and I’ll get it out to you Monday if possible, Tuesday if not.

    Pat in Albuquerque

    *Spent the entire morning at our local Pagan Pride festival, then came home for a much-needed nap.

  260. JMG –

    Thanks so much for the insight into Bible reading and study! My husband is a committed Christian and he was so pleased to read the ladies’ recommendations which he believes will enrich his daily prayer time.

  261. In re: hate and sex: also, such things can gave unexpectedly useful results even if they never achieve their ends. I stayed in better shape than I might have done after college because every year in March or April I’d see a girl I loathed, and I knew she *hadn’t* kept her figure*, and I knew it bothered her. I have a driver’s license because I thought that by learning to drive, I might end up giving rides to the young man I fancied and then…giving rides to the young man I fancied, nudge nudge wink wink.

    I didn’t, and I don’t know if the girl in question ever noticed or cared about the shape I was in, but I have a habit of exercising now, and a driver’s license, and both have been useful. The Universe works through our less-angelic desires as much as anything else at times, I’ve noticed. 🙂

    * I don’t, and didn’t, think that weight has anything to do with character or objective attractiveness. But she *did*, and I was far less interested in correcting flaws in her worldview than I was in giving the knife a yearly twist.

  262. Thanks JMG and everyone – for your input on where to live.

    Re: forest fire smoke, the last two summers here in the Seattle area have been dreadful. We arrived here in 2006 and I don’t recall any smoke at all from 2006-2016. Looks like no place in the west is immune any longer.

    Re: Massachusetts, I lived in Swampscott, Groveland and Rowley for several years either side of 1990. I loved the bio-region and climate but I recall being troubled by the great heaps of govt. red tape and related expense. I can only imagine that it has gotten worse. Still, I would consider both western MA and RI if we could find work.

    Re: autoimmune disorders. JMG, would you and Sara be willing to share your experiences and any successful treatment? I have, chronic urticaria since age 7, vitiligo since age 15, pernicious anemia since 1999, hypothyroid (hashimotos) since 2000, autoimmune gastritis since 2010 and lymphocytic colitis since 2012. And as of 2017 things really went downhill with constant weakness, pain, stiffness and “buzzing” nerves, centered in my pelvis but extending everywhere, and constant brain fog. I flare about once a month and have to rest most of the time when that occurs. We think its MS, Fibromyalgia or something similar but the docs seem very reluctant to actually diagnose any additional disorder. JMG, I know you are allergic to industrial medicine -and for good reason- but I have to ask, did you move to Prov partly to gain access to more intensive autoimmune treatment for Sara? Any exposure at all to the local medical scene?

    Re: Californians moving everywhere. yes I know this is happening all over the country including where I live now in South Snohomish County, WA. It’s frustrating because they find the Seattle area much less expensive than CA, but for me its still way too expensive:-( Many of my neighbors are from there and we get along well but I haven’t asked why they left CA. I would love to know: What are the “top ten” reasons people are leaving California? what I mean by that question is: what do they see as “wrong” with California? I think we all know what is right about many of the other places discussed!

  263. Jmg, I guess I could. I have written things on Wattpad before.
    On a related note I showed my half-sister your story” the next ten billion years” and while she seemed to like it a little she strongly disagreed with its lack of space colonisation to the point that when I tried explaining the reasons for why that is it started a argument where she basically forced the argument to end rather than let me finish explaining.

  264. JMG: thanks; I’m in the same boat you were with regards to visualization.

    NomadicBeer: if soldiers’ stories can be relevant to you, Radio War Nerd episodes #21, #28, #71, #82, #89, #119, #123, #124, and #129 may be of interest to you.

    I’d like, by the way, to recommend to everyone interested in foreign – or “foreign”, in the case of the first and USian people – affairs the following (free):
    https://www.patreon.com/posts/radio-war-nerd-21308029
    https://www.patreon.com/posts/ep-55-trouble-on-21205934 .

    Lastly, someone may have outthought JMG (!!!).
    Small brain: #MeToo is part of a gender war.
    Medium brain: #MeToo is part of a culture war disguised as a gender war.
    Large brain: #MeToo is part of a class war disguised as a culture war disguised as a gender war. (I *think* JMG’s here.)
    Galaxy brain: “A gender war masking a culture war masking a class war masking a generational succession—not a war, but a massacre.” ( https://hotelconcierge.tumblr.com/post/173526578129/shame-society )

  265. @John Roth
    Is there a reason for people not recalling their lives in the future?

    @CR Patiño:
    “Or sanity breaking, if you end up believing that there’s an evily Evil foo, wreaking us all from the cover of the shadows…”
    That’s an interesting word choice, considering that humans are very creative to find something to project what they hate in themselves into. People are reacting to the damage being inflicted upon Mama Gaia by pointing fingers, screaming that the Evil foo is anyone but us. She is, of course, not-safely-for-work unimpressed by this excuse. There is not a force making moral judgment on what we do; there are actions, and consequences.

    @Alexander Marcus:
    I am not sure doing magical works for your pets is a good idea, because it would be difficult to obtain their consent.

    @Kosta_M:
    On animal intelligence, there is the case of Alex, a parrot (you can read about it on Wikipedia).

    @JMG
    Moore noticed Hillary would lose long before Trump’s victory. There is an infamous speech about a certain biggest… event in human history that people would love.

    Tolkien was misunderstood. Folklore is rich in stories where spiritual beings are, indeed, “lightly mutated human beings” with inhuman behavior, fairies being the most common example. If I may, I would point the cheap prostheses used in science fiction to depict extraterrestrials as the culprits for this–specially considering the significant overlap between the Good People and the Visitors from Space.

    From a skeptical viewpoint, it could be said that fairies were inspired on foreigners–“almost human” beings with weird quirks, often dangerous. Besides, if you would do realistic aliens in fiction, they would look very different, shaped by evolution in different environments; people would not be able to relate to Eldritch Horrors.

  266. I follow a tech blog (Techdirt), that I find interesting for a variety of reasons. One of the big ones is that they’re aware of what’s wrong with technology today and somehow cornucopians. The contrast is fascinating.They have posts on mass surveillance, on why it’s hard to do good moderation at large scale, why internet law is a mess and can’t be otherwise, and so on, but somehow they believe technology will fix the mess.

    They’re running several posts now that I find fascinating. It looks like the internet is fragmenting at a rapid rate, with numerous countries setting up their own rules and this is making international networking difficult. A number of sites are being blocked in plenty of countries, and the Chinese model (restricted international traffic, and a heavily policed domestic net) is becoming standard. The control governments and large companies have over it is going from covert to overt at a surprisingly rapid pace, and buried in there is something else I find fascinating: the number of internet users in the US is dropping.

    All in all, it looks like what’s left of the open internet is going away in the very near future.

  267. HI JMG. I just saw a TED Talk on You Tube (URL here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vpqilhW9uI) that had a philosopher discussing why IQ scores are higher now than at the beginning of the twentieth century. His hypothesis was that we as a species have greatly increased our ability to think in abstract terms, as this is the sort of thought required to function in the modern world. He also states that, while we score higher overall, we score lower in some areas, such as history, because modern young people “live in the bubble of the present” and do not read history as much as their ancestors. I’d like to get your take on this and how you think it fits into the concept that we as a civilization are moving away from a civilization sensations and into a world of abstractions. Thanks!

  268. JMG, Of course the State of the Union and the UN Address are staged, scripted public performances, completely “massaged, framed, staged, and spun”… I get that. I believe you’re mistaken about the 80 minute press conference however. That’s pure, unvarnished Donald…no edits, no teleprompter, no script. But enough already about all of this…thanks for the debate.

  269. JMG –

    A few of quick questions for you, since I rarely am able to post on Magic Monday before the cut-off.

    Hoodoo baths – limit them to once a week, or can they be completed more often? I am seeing a marked difference since starting these and the vinegar dish in the bedroom.

    Following TDH, I have been practicing the SOP since Midsummer, and know that the visualizations will materialize eventually. I am having a hard time memorizing the grove openings and closings, though, so I regretfully missed honoring the recent Solstice. My question is this – may I sing the words? It is so much easier for me to put a tune to what I am trying to memorize, and I find myself sing-songing my SOP each day. By asking this question, does this imply that I’m not cut out for ritual work?

  270. Waffles, thanks for this. Those token raises are the first step; as the labor market improves and Amazon stops having an endless line of applicants for warehouse positions at starvation wages, they’ll be forced to give real raises and improve working conditions. Supply and demand…

    Lathechuck, and since those ads aren’t posted at random, it’s a fair guess that everyone knows that the vast majority of the people who read that argument aren’t actually interested in cutting their carbon use.

    Michal, unfortunately not. I’ve mostly explored the historical traditions, and don’t know what’s currently available.

    Walt, I’d encourage you to ask her how she wants to appear to you, and see what surfaces. The anthropomorphic shapes that show up in folklore are, in at least some cases, symbolic rather than experiential.

    Jason P., thanks for this. Just at the moment I have a lot of other things on my plate, and I’ve stepped back from spending time on alt-Right and ctrl-Left websites, but I’ll keep that in mind for future reference.

    Forecastingintelligence, the timing of the turn into contraction is complex, not least because it’ll be papered over by the manipulation of abstractions for a good long while. I expect it to happen one country or region at a time, with some maintaining growth while others begin to contract, but the tipping points are to my mind likely to cluster around 2030. But we’ll see!

    Eduard, it’s an interesting omen, not least because the snake has an important role in US national symbolism, e.g. the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag.

    Rita, thanks for this! I’ll consider including it as a theme.

    Joy, I’d say that your spirituality is between you and the deity or deities you revere, and if you find speaking in tongues useful, then by all means do it. It’s something that has been a part of many different faiths down through the years. What your baptism means to you, equally, is between you and the gods; pray about it, and go on.

    Varun, I’m not at all sure there’s a specific term for it, but it’s a huge issue in contemporary science, of course.

    Joy Marie, I tend to recommend that people in the US contact the American Federation of Astrologers, which can point you to astrologers that have completed their demanding certification program.

    Booklover, I have no idea. Seriously, exactly how one worldview implodes and is replaced by another is an extraordinarily complex question, shaped by a galaxy of variables and a lot of sheer dumb luck.

    Kosta_M, I stopped reading at about the third paragraph, so I’m afraid it was wasted effort on your part. The whole obsession with The Right Diet ™ is of zero interest to me.

    Phil H., no, it was Plotinus. The Enneads are the go-to source for him.

    Brigyn, that was my working title for the book that was published as The Druidry Handbook — i.e., it’s the same book.

    David, delighted to hear it! I’d probably ask for an invite if I lived in your area.

    Beekeeper, delighted to hear that as well. The ladies in question were some of the people who did the most to convince me that Christianity really does have a vibrant spiritual core to it.

    Isabel, of course! Emotion generates motion, and one of the great secrets of success in life is learning to use your emotions to get you moving in directions you choose.

    Techless, that’s why I moved to Rhode Island rather than Massachusetts. Government regulations in the latter state are far more intrusive, and the tax burden is much higher — I pay less in state income tax here in RI than anywhere else I’ve lived (except Washington, which has no state income tax at all), and government regulations are in the comfortable midrange between too intrusive and insufficiently protective. As for my wife’s autoimmune conditions, those showed up right after 2000 in the form of drastic worsening of a flurry of previously unnoticed allergies, plus celiac disease showing up out of nowhere and producing really drastic symptoms. We don’t use industrial medicine, partly because we distrust it (too many family members killed or cripple by the medical industry) and partly because we can’t afford it; we’ve used alternative medicine quite successfully, along with dietary changes, to keep her going. There are no cures either way, but she seems to be improving unsteadily but cumulatively at this point. I’m told, for what it’s worth, that the RI medical scene is pretty good.

    J.L.Mc12, give it a try! As for your sister, this is why I call belief in progress a religion; your sister responded exactly the same way a fundamentalist Christian would have responded if you’d insisted that the Second Coming of Christ isn’t going to happen.

    S.T., people outthink me all the time! Thanks for that; it’s an interesting hypothesis.

    Packshaud, what did you think of the alien Cetans who feature in my novel Star’s Reach?

    Will, can you point me toward a link to the reference about internet use in the US declining? That’s a huge detail, and one that I predicted a while back.

    Chronojourner, I think he’s quite mistaken to see this as a matter of the whole species changing; it’s simply that cultural forces are pushing toward modes of education that encourage abstract thinking at the expense of practical skills.

    Jim, I admire your faith in the simplicity of human behavior.

    DT, they’re the company that WordPress uses to handle cookies. Remember that you can always set your browser to delete all cookies whenever you close a browser window!

  271. Shewhoholdstensions, (1) once a week is good for ordinary conditions. If you find yourself under unusual stress, up to three times a week may be useful. (2) You may certainly sing the ritual instead of simply reciting it. One of the better ritualists I’ve ever met had operatic training, and sang Golden Dawn ritual work; it was stunningly good.

  272. @packshaud
    Re: memory of future lives

    There’s a reason why people can’t usually recall “future” lives. From Essence’s viewpoint, they haven’t occurred yet. To be a bit more specific, if Essence is creating life # 123, it hasn’t yet created life # 124, let alone inserted it into the Physical Plane to see how it’s working out, so it can’t give life #123 those records – they don’t exist yet. Since most Essences tend to insert lifetimes into the time stream in forward order, it follows that “future” lives usually won’t show up in “past life” records.

    That doesn’t mean that “future” lives can’t be accessed, but it isn’t done the same way. It has to be done through the webwork of lifetimes, and when it’s done, instead of a static record, you’d be accessing an actual living being that’s still experiencing life in its own frame, and which can talk back to you. It’s a completely separate set of techniques, and it’s usually not all that useful unless the life you’re accessing has the necessary techniques to recognize you and talk back and is interested in doing so.

  273. Will J. (and J. M. Greer), what you have written is quite interesting. I, too, have noticed these trends regarding the internet. On the old Archdruid report, there was an essay “The Death of the Internet – a Pre-Mortem”. In my own observations, the internet has become less and less interesting with the exception of a few websites These, and some online shops are what I do nowadays on the internet. The browsing about unusual ideas and knowledge is something which I don’t do much nowadays, and it has become markedly more difficult to find original posts and thoughts about a subject.

  274. Hi JMG,

    Thank you for your fair and honest answer. Even if you had an interest in this topic I would not pursue it any further because it takes a lot of effort and time for me to write, as English is not my native language and I always want to support my view with relevant research from specialized professionals, so I do a lot of research on any subject I want to write about, and edit what I write many times to correct my grammar and syntax (this is also an indirect way of saying again sorry for my previous long letter!). I am not a good writer, I am a good reader and I try to be a good translator (I translated a lot of your articles in my blog and the feedback I receive is positive). I will stick to that.

    The link about medical corruption (different topic), somewhere close to the end of my previous long post, is not working, so here it is again in case you and your readers are interested:

    “Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs”
    http://www.willhall.net/files/PharmaCorruptionInstitutionalDavidLight.pdf

    @packshaud
    Thank you very much for the link.

    @Aron Blue and @Tripp
    As Tripp correctly said it is Stephen Harrod Buhner (not Buchner).

    Kosta_M

  275. Hi,
    how strange that the Atlantis subject has been called here…
    Recently on youtube I’ve found two really interesting ~20 min videos on this topic, that I will suggest you to see:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDoM4BmoDQM&t=2s

    and a follow up

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyV8TUlV3Ds

    AFAIK , from my own sources, this is NOT Atlantis, but on of the ten satallite cities of Atlantis… But it is very much possible that some descriptions of true Atalntis capital have been attibuted to this place, or vice-versa…

    Let me know if this interested you 😀

    Have a nice day
    Phitio

  276. I found the Cetans by far the best thing in the book. But I’m an oddball, who is fond of Eldritch horrors because they are so interesting–it would be hard to shake my opinion that most people actually find the inhuman horrifying. Of course, people like their certainty, that like you have said before, the flowers will not start to sing. Let me tell you a story, this is an open post.

    I was watching once a horror film, called The Ring, in a theater. I was by then jaded by a couple of decades watching such stuff. By then I was on this strict angry atheist, rationalist mindset (you might find odd why such a person would be watching horror movies, just ignore this quirk–the short form is trying to bury, ahem, experiences under a thin veneer of “it’s only delusions”). Then there was this scene, where the protagonist is doing Hollywood magic in a VHS recording, and there is a fly on the image. She looks at the fly thinking it is odd–and then she pulls it out of the TV set, and her nose starts to bleed, proving the curse in the movie was real.

    As I type this I’m still getting goosebumps. To me, the violation of “reality” was horrifying. My study of magic is still being hindered by this good fellow, the Watcher–oh, TSW indeed, it was like the movie again, except this time it was not in a work of fiction–but I will go forward. Karmic culmination fell over me like a bomb when I started practice. I’m taking a break that is allowing me to put my financial life in order. After I and done with this, by the end of this year, I will take the deep dive into practice, come what may.

  277. About the Internet, I would like additionally to remark that in his essay, J. M. Greer wrote that he doesn’t think the Internet would fragment. The increased control of the Internat by the governments of at least some countries has as a side effect a tendency for internet fragmentation, because different countries have different visions of what should be allowed and what not. But that is a minor detail regarding J. M. Greer’s predictions which are spot on.

    Another thing, which is relevat to the subject of the decline of the internet is that North Korea didn’t connect to the internet, instead it built its own intranet, Kwangmyong, which is basically a intranet for government agencies and a few other people. It consists basically of online encyclopedias, government and university websites, informations which are relevat for officials and such the like. I don’t know where the servers are located, how much electricity they need and if access is intermittent. That said, Kwangmyong reminded me of J. M. Greer’s prediction of the character of the internet in the 2060s. North Korea did this because it wants to have absolute control about the contents of Kwangmyong and doesn’t want ordinary people to have access to the worldwide Internet with its, from the North Korean standpoint, heterodox views.

  278. I finished Retro Future a few weeks ago; a wonderful summary of where we should be heading. I have always been a huge fan of people, ideas and technologies that could do more with less and treated it wonderfully.

    In regards to these ideas, I would like to put you onto this wonderful device/project called ‘The Light Phone’.

    https://www.thelightphone.com

    It is essentially the anti-smart phone. It makes and receives calls and nothing more. More functionality is being added to the second one but the idea is to return the idea of a mobile phone back to a more simplistic and functional device. The second one has raised just under $2 million which is good to see as people are starting to move away for the constant nagging of the ‘always on – ever present internet’ that is pushed so constantly by many in society and in media.

    While even devices like this will probably not be widely available in a hundred years time, it is a good step back down the ladder to a more simple technology base. As oil/energy levels will decline with the Hubbard curve, maybe as well there could be a technology regression curve with the decrease in available energy.

  279. I’m not sure if this is one for here or magic monday, but do you have any suggestions or guidelines as to the spiritual structure of a wedding between a polytheist and a catholic, that is respectful to both traditions?

  280. What are your thoughts on the flu vaccine? I got it the last two years and both times got a fever for 24 hours and the aches and pains of the flu. The reaction was in the realm of ordinary response to the vaccine.

    Three out of four of us got the flu three Christmases ago. Luckily our experience of it peaked on different days so we could feed each other and keep the house going. I was reminded of the story in the Little House series where a family got sick from what they called milk disease at the time, and if it wasn’t for the Ingalls family happening upon them, they all would have died.

    The just had the vaccine set up at my husband’s work and people could get it with no appointments. Just walk up and get it.

  281. Can we all agree that at the first Trump vs Avennatti presidential debate for the 2020 election, we just douse ourselves in gasoline and light a match?

    Kidding. Sort of.

  282. @Lathechuck Yes the entire Kavanaugh histrionics went from sexual assault to drinking alcohol and temperament. Meanwhile we are legalizing marijuana state-by-state and continue to have 24 new channel hosts who deserve acting awards for the blatant lying on TV.

    After Kavanaugh was nominated I turned on MSNBC and saw Maddow lean over her desk, wave papers and breathlessly explain that “this meant that Trump picked a judge who would pardon the charges of Russian treason”. Assuming this woman has a 5th grader’s understanding of US government, how does she explain the role of the Supreme Court in pardoning a US President of a criminal charge? Has this ever happened before?

    The news media doesn’t realize that its destroying itself in their coverage of Trump. No one believes them on anything anymore.

  283. John–

    Re nuclear power and people paying…

    The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a NY program of Zero Emission Credits (ZECs) designed to support nuclear generators.

    https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/appeals-court-upholds-ny-program-supports-nuclear-power

    It looks like other states are looking to follow on that “success” — NJ is specifically mentioned in the article.

    In regards to something completely unrelated to power but related to economic conditions, there was an article in my area paper over the weekend on how local dairy farmers are turning to GoFundMe campaigns to keep their farms afloat as milk prices fall.

  284. “The U.S. in general seems to have been growing increasingly spiritually dark since the late ‘60’s-early ‘70’s.”

    Gee, I don’t find this to be the case at all. Unless you consider the political discourse as part of the spiritual…the recent uptick in the gender war is more spin, IMO, more of the attempt to get everyone against everyone. And, ahem, same with the generational stuff. Better not to fall for it. I see so many people falling like dominoes.

  285. Joy Marie,

    My take on your question is that you are experiencing some fear due to certain strains in Judeo-Christian theology that I don’t consider valid. Like trying to leave the mafia, once you’re in it is dangerous to want to leave…

  286. John–

    Re D&D

    You most certainly would have been invited 🙂 Our next session is scheduled for this Friday. I’m excited to see how it goes. We’ve talked about getting other campaigns/games running as well, including (possibly) some good ol’ Call of Cthulhu…

  287. TechlessinSeattle,

    The People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) might be of interest. They are nationwide, and at least here in Boise charge between $15 and $40 per visit. You decide what you pay within that guideline. No questions asked about that. All sessions are in one large shared room, on donated sheet-covered recliners. The only clothing removed is shoes and socks.

    They couldn’t help much with my chronic elbow pain, but oh my, were they helpful with my asthma. I didn’t catch any respiratory crud at all last year, which for me is remarkable.

    Looks like there are three clinics in the Seattle area. Just something to know, if you don’t already…

  288. Hi JMG –

    Christianity appealed (the idea of Christianity still appeals) to me and while I’ve found it doesn’t work well for me as an actual spiritual path, I never doubted that there was a vital center to it – you just can’t find much sign of it in the large institutional organizations. Just a few miles from our home is the Weston Priory, home to a group of Benedictine monks and a magnet for serious-minded Christians, mostly Catholics. A few of my neighbors go to prayer services regularly at the Priory and I’ve noticed that they are rather different, more insightful, than the pew warmers at the local RC church.
    http://www.westonpriory.org/

  289. I’m not sure how my last comment led you to conclude this: “Jim, I admire your faith in the simplicity of human behavior”. Thanks for your kind words.

  290. re: autoimmunity

    I found that if I minimize consuming the stuff that is supposed to boost my immune system my autoimmunities fade. I have been judging by hip arthritis which is almost gone from a pain standpoint.

    I am now experimenting with an organic chicken and grass fed beef only diet and the acne that I would get with fats is gone, the opposite of what I expected as I am eating far more fat. Acne is autoimmunity. This diet is to also eliminate and maybe flush oxalates which I am having more and more trouble with, certainly kidney stones and maybe thyroid.

    I hope to become able to switch back and forth between what I formerly had learned was good for me and the meat diet.

    If you try this know what nutritional deficiency symptoms are. I watch for oral (mouth) infections to monitor scurvy / vitamin C deficiencies. The amount of C I need to prevent is tiny, a 1000mg capsule lasts over a week. C is also a big problem with oxalates.

  291. @ Jen
    re: plastic lenses

    Plastic lenses have make my eyes burn. These would be reading glasses or polycarbonate safety glasses.

    My guess is that they constantly release a toxic solvent or plasticizer.

    This sort of sensitivity is why people like me call ourselves canaries like the birds that miners used to detect methane.

    Once a person is truly de-adapted to toxics all this comes out but life becomes very inconvenient. I was able to get de-adapted by just avoiding every toxic I could think of for 4 days without fasting. The proper way involves hospitalization, people can work through strong reactions especially if they fast too much which releases toxics.

  292. JMG,
    Probably a little late in the cycle, but here goes. Many times here you have cautioned readers about mixing practices and understandings from different systems and religions. Also, you have advised caution regarding cultural appropriation. However, history indicates a great deal of syncretism and assimilation at various times. We seem to have a great deal of syncretism and admixing before us now and over the next few centuries. How can we make some sense of the various currents washing around us these days and in the days to come, especially considering the influences of indigenous and land-based archetypes, spirits, etc., in addition to our European understandings? I ask because I feel a certain affinity and connection to indigenous (Americas) ways. But, I also feel a certain connection to Jesus, the Holy Mother, etc. I want to be respectful, but also would prefer swimming with the local currents I can feel.

    Thanks,
    Will1000

  293. Tude,

    Interesting to find myself asking this question these days: should I respond to this post that punches a fair-sized hole in my argument, and thereby lock it in place, bring more attention to it? Or would it be better to keep quiet and let it spin out to oblivion? Funny ol’ world, ain’t it? 🙂

    Makes me wonder just how long our host has been employing those same tactics with me. (Answer: as long as I’ve been commenting!)

    But I think the honorable thing to do in this case is to admit that yep, you’re right. The Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer is a healthy aquifer, and one of the only ones I know of that actively recharges every year. As long as the snow falls. Because it doesn’t rain much in Spokane… Which is also why the local authorities take such umbrage with rainwater catchment. Which I’ve been doing for a long time.

    (Actually, rainwater catchment is formally illegal in Georgia too, but here they give away rain barrels and encourage the practice. Go figure.)

    What I should have said is that, imo, the forests there don’t grow fast enough to support a wood-fired economy for half a million or so people, once industrial fuels give way. And what firewood you DO have is mostly from low-quality coniferous species (tamarack possibly the exception). Add to that the winterly inversions and, for me at least, unbearably long cold winters, and Spokane just didn’t make the cut.

    True, there is significant hydro-power generated from the Spokane River, but again, not for half a million or so. Which leaves a Lakeland Republic-style mass attitude adjustment as the default option, or a mass exodus. Being the cultural and economic hub of the region, I don’t see the latter as very likely. Folks in Airway Heights and Rosalia seem more likely to move IN than Spokanites moving OUT, tbh.

    I guess one could argue that there isnt enough local ANYTHING ANYWHERE to support the current population at its current level of resource use, and I would have to agree. Which is why folks like us gather in a place like this to talk about the whys and wherefores of that aforementioned Lakeland Republic-style mass attitude adjustment, isn’t it?

    I guess all this boils down to me, personally, making the choice to live somewhere with a mild, moist, 4-season climate surrounded by oak and hickory forest, and endless micro-hydro potential instead. But as our host says, your mileage may vary.

    Cheers.

  294. @Varun – were you perhaps thinking of Multiple Logistic Regression Analysis, or, Multivariate Analysis?

  295. @Tude,
    you lived in my home county when I was growing up. All I can say is, Central KY may as well be Manchester and Clay Co. now. Social trust is now at a 0, and it’s a shame you weren’t reading the blog when “Ahavah” was still reading and posting–she was a prime example of “progressive” SJW TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) on steroids. I mean, my gods, if you’re going to be petrified of rednecks, KY probably is not a good place for you to live.
    As far as Calif., agreed. I lived in Silverlake (LA), then Long Beach, from ’04-’12–get out now, while the getting is good, though you may want to stick around and help the Calexit initiative pass before you leave, so you can do the rest of the country a favor.

  296. @Tude,
    the accent has all but disappeared in Central KY. It’s very sad. I’ve witnessed people driving down the parking lot, laying on their horns @ the Euclid Kroger in Lex, then get out and start yelling at each other and almost come to blows. That kind of New York/New Jersey behavior would never have occurred in the Central KY I grew up in.

  297. Asking her how she wants to appear to me is good advice. I haven’t made any requests yet, and that will be an appropriate first one, even though I expect the answer to be, “Haven’t you been paying attention?” I have been, but I tend to overthink interpretations.

    Whenever I’m close enough to any calm body of water I try to look below the surface for fish, just because I love seeing them. Usually when I can see them at all it’s within a few feet of where I’m standing. One early evening two weeks ago, some quality of the evening light made whole shoals of small fish (herring fry on the way to the sea from their spawning ponds upstream, I believe), thousands and thousands, visible all at once across a wide swath of the river. I’d been hoping the fish were there and I was ecstatic to see them. It was a gift and a greeting.

    Then there’s the mated pair of swans who visit regularly, the many other waterbirds, the unseen aquatic creatures who make heavy splashes at random times of day and night, the surface patterns the winds and currents embroider, and always the tide. I’ll let you know what surfaces. Thank you.

  298. Robert Mathiesen: I notice you’re – I believe the technical term is “hella old”, so … at least you won’t die conflicted. But I still think you shouldn’t look forward to it quite that hard: for one, while I think many people of every generation shouldn’t be missed, you shouldn’t be one; and, can’t one make their children independent without kicking the bucket – didn’t you do that to your children already? (You could just have spent 10 years in Arkhangelsk, I think.)

    packshaud: I know that may get me beaten with a pterodactyl colon around here, but there’s that hypothesis that elves resemble humans so much simply because they *were* humans butchered with iron and sent “under the mound”.

    JMG: anyone outthinking you with any appreciable frequency that you’d recommend?

  299. @Onething

    Thank you very much for reading my long comment and thank you for the links. I read the articles but I will not comment on this topic anymore. I changed to reader mode (writer mode is very stressful and health-damaging for me) and I am expecting JMG’s next essay.

  300. A link that may interest the readership. “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy” by Dr. Jem Bendel University of Cambridge. A professor of sustainability predicting near-term climate chaos and collapse. Download here (393kb): http://www.lifeworth.com/deepadaptation.pdf

    (Personally? I think his conclusions seem like more of the utopia/apocalypse duality, but there seems to be some good stuff on climate change effects. Worth checking out.)

    I’d also suggest if you haven’t seen it, check out what Low Tech Magazine is doing with their homebrew solar server? That sort of thinking might keep the Web viable for a few more years than it otherwise would be.

    @Will1000,

    We’ve got a Church of Indigenous Christianity, round here, if they still go by that name. I suspect given that, it might be safe to ‘cross the streams’.

  301. re: autoimmunity

    I should have mentioned the way I cook beef. I have been doing this for so long it is routine to me and I forgot.

    Buy stew meat or cut the meat into small pieces. Cook in water.

    Dark brown powder like material will rise to the top and then sink to the bottom. Avoid that – it boosts my immune system strongly. I will scoop it off the top and then try to keep it off the meat or rinse the meat. I keep the meat dry in jars at first, one meal per jar. The broth goes in large jars until the powdery stuff settles out. It then gets poured off avoiding the stuff in the bottom. Quart canning jars with the corner down works well for this. There are also gravy separators for making clear low fat gravy but they are plastic and hard to clean. You probably want the fat if you go meat only or paleo.

    Then I pour the broth over the meat. It keeps better immersed in liquid.

    My guess is that what I am removing is blood and contains iron and zinc. I save some frozen in case I need a quick immune boost.

    Chill meat and broth quickly except what you are going to eat. I hate to waste the water but cooling the large cooking pot in the sink is the only way I have to cool it fast enough to satisfy me.

  302. @Shane W and @Tripp,

    Well I usually keep these conversations going because I am actively looking to get out of here, 2019 is my year to escape, and I am really struggling with where to go. I hope you do not think I am arguing to change anyone’s mind to agree with me. I just found it interesting that I am considering a move to Walla Walla or the Coeur d’Alene/Moscow/Orofino area because of water and you (Tripp) say you left the area because of water. I guess everything is relative (I am in the Bay Area where I firmly believe a real breakdown of mass chaos and violence and starvation could really happen) so for me just getting somewhere more rural with abundant natural resources (compared to here) would be a huge improvement. It’s also important for my husband to feel comfortable, and as a mixed “race” Asian and first gen American who was born in SF, he feels a comfort in the West he does not feel back East. We are also nearly 50 with no children and both are OK with only having 10-20 years left. We certainly desire to go somewhere and contribute to the building and maintenance of a community and to work and heal the land for future generations, but we do not feel the need to find a place for permanent roots.

    The comments about KY makes me sad, but I am a 4th generation Californian and I do not recognize my “home” anymore either. So, I fully believe what you are saying.

  303. For all the mention of Trump Derangement Syndrome currently, it seems that the last 8 years of Obama Derangement Syndrome have been forgotten. Yes, TDS now seems worse than ODS, but I fully expect that NPDS (Next President Derangement Syndrome) will come out in even greater nastiness when we get the next Democrat for President. Neither “side” is worse, it’s just the progression that we’re seeing.

    This is why I’m putting a lot of effort to build a “community” of Ham Radio operators here that focus on communications during Emergencies and other less than optimum situations, this helps people prepare for and understand how to communicate when all our wonderful goodies don’t work. When we’re working together on something, we tend to bypass our differences in the political arena.

    August KG7BZ

  304. @Will1000
    Few religions could be said to be more syncretic than the Catholic Church, who “culturally appropriated” gods as saints and old temples as Church sites left and right. A little glance at its history is a fine example of how bad it went.

  305. @John Roth,

    Thank you, I can’t really say if my friend had attained the completion of a life level or not, but still, I found your words of some comfort. The troubling thing in this case was that he died so young, at the age of 26. Actually his funeral ended up being on what would have been his 27th birthday. Surely enough time to squeeze another lifetime’s worth of lessons in there, in theory, I should think… but it wasn’t the way things went, this time around.

    @No names that might identify said relative,

    Literally, I just prayed to the gods to use their wisdom to ascertain what was best in this situation, and to help that bring that about for my friend. If you are thinking about how to best phrase/willfully intend prayer for yourself, rather than praying to “speed things along”, why not do something similar? While speeding along your own demise might be one result, there are certainly other possibilities as well, for instance dementia never manifesting in your life, or the experience of dementia teaching your soul a necessary lesson in what is important in life. Anyway, if you have faith that the powers you are praying to are ones that have your best interests at heart, you should be willing to accept their help in whatever way they deem fit to offer it.

    I understand that sometimes it is natural to have doubt as to whether one’s prayers are being heard. Not all of us have the skills or abilities that lead to visual-auditory cozy chats with the gods– I certainly don’t, currently. If you have these kinds of doubts, in my personal opinion it is okay to ask for a sign or communication of some kind that your prayers are being heard.

    @JMG,

    Thank you. Yes, I know that in the end you are right. It’s just that the results of my prayers were so quick that I felt — even knowing that it must have been for the best — a deeper sense that I might bear responsibility of some kind in the situation. But if things really are better for my friend in the grander scheme, I guess that holding some level of responsibility for that fact is something about which I ought to feel more equanimity.

  306. @Kimberlysteele707 @Ray Wharton @Tripp @Kosta @Violet

    Thanks to everyone for your valuable suggestions! I’m just delighted to learn so much and I can’t wait to get started. Tripp, no, I don’t really have a patch of land – I’m in NYC much of the time but the road even more often. So I really will be starting with a couple small pots that can be moved around easily 🙂 Maybe I’ll be starting with basil after all 🙂

  307. Mr. Greer,
    Thank you for the recommendation of The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries. One of the local libraries has a copy. I look forward to learning more about this. Your own book, Monsters, is also on my “to-read” list.

    In my imagination, I have long thought of Elfland or the Otherworld being a place that is actually more material than this world, with our world being less substantial in comparison. Perhaps that is more of a Christian idea, going along with the idea of the resurrection of the body.

  308. If you get a myriad of posts with the same information, you’re welcome to not let this go through. But it looks like your predictions about Jeff Bezos and others of the same caliber coming to terms with the reality that if they didn’t share some of their wealth the backlash could reach them, and soon. Amazon minimum wage is now $15/hour! How about that timing about your post and what it suggests about mundane astrology!

    https://www.vox.com/2018/10/2/17927686/amazon-raises-minimum-wage-workers

  309. re: autoimmunity

    Mikhalia Peterson and her father Jordan are on a beef only diet.

    Mikhalia cured severe autoimmune problems by eliminating foods and eliminating more foods until all that was left was beef.

    Her dad paid attention and gradually did the same.

    They seem to eat the cheap beef.

    Mikhalia should be able to figure out why she feels bad
    after binge drinking has to do with what is in the beverages besides alcohol.

    Search terms for many articles:

    mikhaila peterson beef diet

  310. @jmg
    Indeed. I’m sure I could do worse that modelling contemporary reality after Esquivel

    @packshaud
    The wording I had in mind was Evil Foe, but my subconscious seems to have had other plans. In computer programming, foo is a generic name for something that is accesory but not the center of focus at all. A prop, if you wish.
    As for the guilt, agreed. All that is happening is the cumulative consecuences of our decisions. I am sure all/most-of the drama came from regular guys doing what sounded like shady but reasonable compromises at the time, and then everything snowballed out to control. So, no complains here.

  311. re: beef diet

    Two Years Before the Mast

    1836

    https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2055/2055-h/2055-h.htm

    search within book (page number varies with editions):

    “we lived upon almost nothing but fresh beef”

    Not quite true about perfect health. He nursed a sick Hawaiian sailor back to health as I recall.

    The crew did not start to get scurvy until they were almost back home to northeastern USA on the long trip around the Horn from the village of Los Angeles. They knew they had to get some fresh food.

  312. @jmg
    Sorry about that, I hit the pos button as soon as I responded to packshaud, then realized the other comment was incomplete.

    I wanted to say that and Esquivel novel is a good model for today’s reality. I have never read her, but have seen Como Agua para Chocolate and it strikes a nice balance between mundane and subtle/occult worldviews. Magic realism is a thing with many Latinamerican authors.

  313. Michael – the Light Phone sound intriguing except for one thing. I read a lot better than I hear, and text messages stick around to be read instead of vanishing into a cloud, to be called back. So if it can’t give me print message,I’ll stick with my fliptop. However, as a portable landline, the thing sound fairly decent otherwise.

  314. Booklover, I’ve noticed that also, and in addition watched the steady decline in free internet content. It really is moving in the direction I’d predicted.

    Kosta, thank you for your courteous response, and for the link!

    Phitio, thanks, but I don’t do videos. Do you know if there’s a book on the same material?

    Packshaud, well, I’m with you — when I read Lovecraft I cheer for the shoggoths. That does sound like a very spooky scene from the movie, though!

    Booklover, I freely admit that I missed the fragmenting of the internet — that does look as though it’s going to happen now, though we’ll see.

    Michael, I’m delighted to hear about that! Me, I’ve taken it a step further already — I have a land line, and that’s it — but for those who feel they need a cell phone, the lightphone sounds like a step in the right direction.

    Synthase, the big problem there will likely be on the Catholic side, because the Catholic church is generally pretty rigid about its insistence that it’s the only true religion. Most of the people I know who’ve done interfaith marriages involving a traditional Christian faith have had two ceremonies, one Christian, one whatever the other faith is, and the more intolerant relatives are only invited to (and informed about) the Christian wedding.

    Denys, the people I know who get the flu vaccine get the flu just as often as the people who don’t, and they have to put up with getting sick from the vaccine. This is one of the reasons I don’t do the flu vaccine.

    David, now surprise me. Thank you for the notional invite!

    Beekeeper, good to hear.

    Jeff, thank you.

    Will1000, of course syncretism happens, and sometimes it works very well. Rather more often, not so much. As for Native American spirituality, though, are you yourself Native American, or do you have a qualified Native American spiritual teacher who’s willing to teach you? If not, I’d encourage you to do something else; the Wannabe tribe already has way too many members.

    Kwo, thanks for this!

    Walt, thanks for this. It sounds beautiful and, from a Druidical perspective, holy.

    S.T. Silva, lots of dead people, but then that’s most of what I read these days!

    Dusk Shine, thank you also for this.

    Quin, you might consider talking to the kami about that and asking them for guidance and wisdom.

    Christopher, interesting. Enjoy the books!

    Prizm, yes, I just saw that! TSW…

    Forecastingintelligence, I think she’s got zero chance. Anything that the Tories will accept, the EU will reject, and vice versa. I thought for a little while after the Salzburg fiasco that she was going to grow some gonads, tell the EU to get lost, and go full tilt toward a no-deal Brexit; if she’d done so, she could well have salvaged her political future; but instead it’s back to trying to placate two irreconcilable blocs, neither of which has anything to gain by cooperating with her. Some Trump-style negotiating could probably bring the EU to heel, but she doesn’t have the skills involved. So it’s apparently going to be a last-minute, no-deal, nobody’s ready for it Brexit — despite which, everything should work out fine.

    CR, no problem. I’ve read several of Esquivel’s books in English translation, and a fair amount of Latin American magic-realist literature — very tasty stuff.

  315. @JMG, I finally got around to reading Star’s Reach. Excellent read. I’m curious to know if you’ve give any thoughts as how sustained contact with 50 technology using species on other planets will affect human development and if you’ve given any thoughts to exploring that a follow-up novel

  316. Hi Synthase,

    My aunt (Theravada Buddhist) and uncle (Roman Catholic) had a Buddhist ceremony, a Christian ceremony, and a civil ceremony, and remained happily married until death did them part. Neither of them ever changed religions.

  317. Onething;
    You said, “My take on your question is that you are experiencing some fear due to certain strains in Judeo-Christian theology that I don’t consider valid. Like trying to leave the mafia, once you’re in it is dangerous to want to leave…”
    No, I don’t have fear of Jesus, or the Christian church. When I left, I left my belief behind. I examined different belief systems and philosophies, and was (and really in many ways, still am) an agnostic. I asked John about my baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit because of an answer he gave on his Dreamwidth account. Since I am now learning about magic, I wanted to make sure that my previous commitment by baptism was not getting in the way; and also if speaking in tongues, which I used to practice, had any worthy use in a new system. As I said earlier, I don’t necessarily want or need to go back to Christianity. If I were feeling fear, I’d think it would mean I still have a connection or draw to that faith.

    Joy Marie

  318. JMG, regarding the fragmentation of the Internet, at the moment, there is a trend towards it, but it isn’t clear how far it will go. That remains to be seen.

  319. @ S. T. Silva.

    At 76, I’m not all that old. Like my wife, I do come from very long-lived stock; my mother is still alive at 105, and will likely have still more years to live. I used to think I would easily see 100, but since a knee injury a couple of years back has reduced my mobility, reaching 100 now seems less likely. And our children were raised to be quite independent; they do that well, like all the other things they undertake.

    But there is an enormous difference, if one has a sense of family (that is, of living relatives and also dead ancestors), between “being independent” and “belonging to the eldest generation.” (It may be hard to grasp that difference until one has become elderly oneself.)

    If I gave the impression that I’m looking forward to my own death, then I didn’t express myself clearly enough. Rather, by now I have a pretty good idea of what the Powers That Be put me on this earth to get done, and also which couple of dozen younger lives (outside my own family) I was meant by Them to nourish and foster with particular care. I have done almost all of those things and fostered most, possibly all, of those lives to the honest best of my limited ability, and done that Work generously and joyously. My remaining years, however few or many they may be, feel to me like earned R&R time after a great deal of hard and hazardous Work. When my time to die comes, I will pass away content and well satisfied with the Work I have done, no matter how pleasant or unpleasant the physical circumstances of my passing turn out to be.

    That’s a little different from looking forward to my death. There are nuances here.

    And I do recognize the compliment in your words. Thank you very much!

    _____
    Note: By now I also have a fair understanding of what those same Powers That Be put many of my own ancestors on this same earth to get done during their own days. Their Work was much harder (and much dirtier) than mine has been, and I am eternally grateful to them for their Work, too. I would not be what I am and have become, if they had not been what they were and had become in their own days.

    It is all rather like a vast and ancient game played out on a board of innumerable dimensions, and parameters that are not dimensions at all, but things we have no words for. The Players are Beings (Powers) beyond my ability even to imagine, let alone understand, and the rules of Their play are also incomprehensible to a mere human. You and I and all of us are mere pieces, probably the least of pawns, on that game board. Also, the Players seem to have no great care for their game-pieces; it is the play itself that matters most to them, not the pieces played. And, as I said, I am content to be played by Them as a mere pawn in their game.

  320. @ Tripp
    Excellent summary of the Rathdrum Aquifer, Spokane’s water and hydropower issues, and the shrinking farm towns around Spokane.
    DJSpo

  321. re: Atlantis from Phitio

    https://visitingatlantis.com/

    The Richat Structure rings in central Mauritania somewhat resembles a description of Atlantis. It’s at about 1300 feet elevation.

    Their logic requires the sea level to be 397m higher which would drown most of Europe. This is their reference:

    http://floodmap.net/

    They say in the video that because Antarctica is rising quickly so Mauritania could too. But it says right on the screen in the video Antarctica is rising quickly because the weight of ice has just been reduced. The narrator skips that detail.

  322. Regarding meat only diets: We forget that there is a heavy price to digesting plants. Plants, being mostly immobile and defenseless, have to produce toxins to protect themselves. It is interesting to consider how many normal human foods are poisonous to our carnivorous, four legged friends who have never evolved the ability to eat plants.

    For what its worth, I spent 14 days this August subsisting entirely off of animal flesh – the first 7 days, my own, where I fasted for the lulz, the next week, where I didn’t eat anything that didn’t have a face, except perhaps as a garnish, mostly because a grocery store had a good sale on steaks. I lost a bunch of weight, became physically stronger, and enjoyed the personality changes that resulted. And yet, here I sit, drinking a beer after a meal of quinoa, feta cheese and beet.

    JMG, is there a way to mail you something?

  323. @Tude,
    RE: KY, well, it is just my opinion, but, I do run it past others, and ppl seem to agree w/me about the state of affairs–i.e., “no, it’s not just you, that’s the way things are, better just learn to deal w/it,” kinda thing. I figured if my observations weren’t spot on, I’d get more, “no, that’s not right, that’s not my experience, have you tried ‘x’, your perceptions/attitude/outlook is off” Biggest thing is the lack of trust–everyone, right, left, and center is like “you can’t trust anyone, and everyone will stab you in the back given the chance.”

  324. I know it’s late in the comment cycle, but what to make of the NAFTA breakthrough w/Canada? I thought for sure that Canada was gonna get “NAFT-exited”…

  325. Archdruid,

    That does surprise me, I feel like that concept really should have a term in science.

    Everyone else,

    Thank you all for your help. I’ll explain the reason behind my questions in the next open post.

    Regards,

    Varun

  326. Dear JMG,

    these videos are pretty recent and I suppose that the author did not have planned to write something on them…

    What puzzles me from these videos is the striking resemblances between Plato’s descritpion and the peculiar morphological features of the Richat Structure in Mauritania …

    For sure, concerning the general topic of Atlantis (and also Lemuria) ancient civilization, I would say that accepting its existence is as difficoult for us as it was for medieval people to accept not being in the center of the universe…

    Poor human ego… Not in the center of the universe, not in th center of our planetar system, not in te center of our galaxy, not in the center of life creation, not in the center of biosphere, and possibly we are not even the first developed terrestial technological civiliazation… what’s next?

  327. Greetings JMG. I’m reading Patrick Dunn’s “The Practical Art of Divine Magic,” and preparing to begin the work. You’re credited for inspiring him to complete the book, and your “A World Full of Gods” is cited a few times. What did you think of the book? I am regrettably coming to an interest in systematic magic practice relatively late in life, but given my fondness for the Hellenic culture and pantheon, this seems like a good starting point.

    My main question for you: How does theurgy fit into other magic systems? The author describes it as an effective foundation for magical practice of almost any kind.

  328. Trlong36, thank you! I’m not planning on a sequel, in part because leaving that question hanging was one of the things I intended from the beginning. That’s one of the delights of science fiction — you can set something in motion and let your readers’ imaginations take it from there.

    Booklover, true enough.

    Justin, put in a comment marked “Not For Posting” with your email address, and I’ll be in touch with a postal address.

    Shane, Trump’s good at negotiating. I was wondering how soon the Canadians would crumple; now we know.

    Varun, I suspect everyone’s avoiding giving it a straightforward name, because it highlights one of the central weaknesses of the scientific method.

    Phitio, I hope one of these days we’ll grow out of the infantile notion that we’re central to anything but ourselves!

    Michael, I haven’t read it; I’ll put it on the look-at list. As for theurgy, the author’s quite correct; most systems of ceremonial magic place theurgic workings at the center and assign thaumaturgy a subsidiary status.

  329. re:eastern Washington and western Idaho

    I think those who believe Hanford Nuclear will ever be cleaned up are raving optimists.

    The political will isn’t strong enough.

    The contractors manifest incompetence and can’t be bothered to listen to workers.

    And of course if it does get cleaned up the money flow will stop. That would be bad for GNP.

  330. Gotta be brief now – and this post’s week passed.

    packshaud: didn’t have one readily in mind (though “vulnerable to iron”, “under the mounds”, Irish series-of-slaughters and headhunting history seemed suggestive – yeah, that’s Aoi Sídhe, so?), but JMG’s recommendation The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries talks about the Aoi Sídhe retreating to the mounds after being defeated. Yeah, “retreated”. Sure. If you want to talk more about this, feel free to ask my e-mail address from JMG.

    Mathiesen: for a reply to you, would you allow JMG to tell me your e-mail address (he knows how)?

    JMG: 😀

  331. @S. T. Silva. It’s easier than that. I post under my real name, and I’m still on the faculty of Brown University (Providence, RI), so you can find a working email address for me in the public faculty directory at http://www.brown.edu. I warn you, I’m a poor correspondent. I have been owing several other people replies for several weeks now.

  332. Hi JMG
    I wanted to ask if you have seen the aproar from people in New Zealand over increasing fuel prices?
    We have recently had additional taxes put on fuel to fund infrastructure needed for our growing economy. It’s hilarious watching people’s reactions; seeing so many of the things you’ve writen about. In particular, this aparent right of New Zealanders to have access to cheap fuel. I’m just worried that if we can’t handle this, how will we handle the next 30 years or so?

  333. Laughter seems to be key to framing the next archetype, or god. A playfulness, a little sense of mischievousness, which has been suppressed by the current dying archetype of progressive, rigid Utopia, will birth the next god. Look at your point of chaos magic in Kek wars, of the Great Pan in american magic.
    | The side of full participation in the world, not of withdrawal from it; the side of wholeness, not of perfection; the side of earth, not of heaven.
    I don’t know exactly, but I sense it will be a new god of changing form, of mischevious laughter, akin to the keeper of the flame whose mask keeps changing but dances around keeping hope alive for humanity, in my pet goat 2. In it’s success society will embrace the organic, messy – perhaps with genetic engineering as it’s technology, but in a new way. But the rigid structures of society will crumble, and a lot of it’s edifices. Norms will be thrown out, replaced with mischievous laughter and wholeness.

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