Open Post

September 2021 Open Post

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

Before we proceed to the conversation, however, I have two announcements that may be of interest to my readers. First, I’m delighted to report that the Kickstarter for my tentacle RPG, Weird of Hali: Roleplaying the Other Side of the Cthulhu Mythos is now live.  For those who haven’t been following the journey, this is a classic tabletop RPG using game mechanics from the Mythras system, a standard d100 roleplaying game, and it’s set in the cosmos of The Weird of Hali and my other tentacle novels. You can find all the details here.

Second, many of you will doubtless recall my  comments about the Grist cli-fi contest announced in February, and discussed here in an acerbic post in March. The contest is over, and my satiric contribution was (of course) not among the winners. Several of my readers also contributed stories satirizing the contest, and others wanted to do so. By public demand, I am therefore launching a new story competition, for science fiction short stories making merry mock of the Grist contest and the hamfisted ideology that guided it.  You’ll find all the details for the new contest here. Successful stories will be published in an anthology; the working title is The Flesh Of Your Future Sticks Between My Teeth: Stories from the Gristle Cli-Fi Contest. Fire up those word processors and see what you can do.

With that said, have at it!


  1. Well, I will endeavor to be the first to ask the question on current events that is probably the most prominent in the minds of this blog’s readers: What is your evaluation of Biden’s attempt to mandate Covid-vaccination for the majority of the remaining hold-outs and the speech in which he announced this policy, and do you believe it will ultimately be successful?

  2. Thank you for your fora and books, JMG.

    I am just finishing up LRM, practicing the imaginary temple with my physical and imaginary bodies joined. It’s very exciting to feel the energies from this work. Would it have value to join my imaginary and physical bodies whenever it felt safe to do so throughout my normal day? As I’m falling asleep?
    Thank you.

  3. I’m a longtime reader of Ecosophia (as well as The Archdruid Report, back in the day) but a first-time commenter. This blog truly is a treasure. I am, of course, consistently in awe of JMG’s erudite posts–but I equally value the lively, eye-opening discussions in the comments section. Time and again, they have introduced me to new, initially alien-seeming perspectives that, upon further investigation, have turned out to ring so much truer than the perspectives in which most people in our society unquestioningly believe. In short, I think the Ecosophian commentariat beautifully embodies JMG’s ideal of the “intellectual dumpster diver.”

    But as exhilarating as it is to have your awareness of the world continually expanded, I’ve found it also brings a great burden. Whether it’s the tragedy of non-gender-dysphoric children being pressured into undergoing irreversible medical procedures simply because they happen to be a bit gender-nonconforming, or the suppression of an antiviral medication with the potential of stopping COVID in its tracks simply because it’s generic and thus unprofitable, I keep finding myself in possession of vital information that I think the rest of the world needs to know; but when I try to share it with the rest of my world–however tentatively–I get maligned and dismissed.

    When I tried to tell a family member about the issue of non-trans children being pressured to medically transition (many of whom later come to regret it and wish the adults in their lives had stopped them), what I got in response was straw man after straw man and repeated, rapid-fire utterances of “That’s not true.” This, in spite of the fact that the family member spluttering those “not true” utterances was clearly in no position to opine on whether or not anything I was saying was true, since she was obviously totally unfamiliar with the issue.

    And when I dared mention the phrase “the suppression of ivermectin” to another family member, said family member quickly transformed into a picture of barely restrained rage, curtly indicated that she wasn’t willing to talk about the matter, and then spat a canned verbal noise or two about horse dewormer by way of officially closing the discussion.

    I recall reading the following comment by Ecosophian Smetana a while back: “The most successful way I have found to change someone’s mind about something is to tell them a short interesting story that makes a specific point about the topic. But without mentioning political buzzwords, so they don’t realize you are disagreeing with their opinion or lifestyle choice.” I wonder if the interactions I’ve described above would have gone better if I had taken that approach. For example, if instead of starting the conversation about trans kids with a potentially inflammatory phrase like “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” I had chosen simply to tell the story of Keira Bell–how she transitioned as a minor, came to regret her decision and rue the fact that the adults in her life had not challenged her, and then took the gender clinic to court, which led to a landmark high court ruling–perhaps I might have had a greater ability to persuade? Likewise, if instead of starting the ivermectin conversation with the word ivermectin, I had simply described how regions around the world have had great success in eradicating COVID through early treatment with antivirals, I might have had more success there as well?

    How have others dealt with this dilemma?

  4. Thankyou to everyone who sent good energy my way to save my tooth. I was at the dentist this morning and the three channels were found and the root canals drilled with no problem. It was infected so has been injected with a steroid / antibiotic / anti-inflammatory and I’ll be going back on November 11 to have the flexible plastic toothpick-looking things inserted. The real threat was the channels being too narrow to drill – that didn’t happen so now it’s a regular root canal. TSW.

  5. I’d like to request that Teresa from Hershey re-post that link regarding planned obsolescence that she posted late in last week’s cycle. Also I’ll post a link of my own to an article on neoliberalism that attempts to clear up some confusion over just what it is. He also explores what neoliberalism and classical liberalism are here in the US compared to somewhat different meanings the terms carry in Europe. Here’s the link:

  6. If I may ask here, on your Dreamwith account there was a discussion over the technology of Atlantis. The post referenced a previous article on this blog about ancient technologies.

    If those nautical maps were made by someone with advanced technology. I would assume they sailed the globe, and even navigated the south oceans. This assumes some very sophisticated ships, I would assume wooden sailboats, with some way of dealing with longterm sailing and cold temperatures.

    How could all that be forgoten?
    I know, rotting away.

    Still making a detailed map of antartica would mean a global maritame civilisation with the knowhow to calculate the latitudes and longitudes, and the organisational capacity to collect and compose the maps.

    It still is hard to imagine it all just wanishing without a trace. And nobody remembering. I am refering here also to the oral traditions.

  7. Hello JMG. Congratulations on your tentacle RPG Weird of Hali!
    I have read some interesting news, IMO:

    Yesterday in Zero Hedge Mr. Durden left a post about the energy crisis in U.K.

    Expensive gas has consequences in food! (limits of growth theme)
    Cumbre Vieja eruption updates:

    There is no tsunami in the Canary Islands for now. Between tomorrow and next 50,000 years, who knows??

  8. JMG,

    A couple of weeks ago on Dreamwidth, there was a conversation on reincarnation ,and you postuilated that if great talents were reincarnated, those talents should pass on to subsequent lives.

    On this basis, I would recommend having a good look at the biographies of Vivaldi and Mozart, as there are some intriguing similarities between the two mens’ lives. What is especially suggestive is that they both had exactly the same professional relationship with their own father.

  9. Curious as to whether there are some readers in Calgary. Thinking of starting a book club to help me get through all the books I’ve bought based on recommendations in this blog. Contact me direct – user is ashrountree, provider is yahoo (dot com not dot ca). Wave your hands in the air if you’re a true Druid…

  10. I am pretty sure I will be one of many people posting about this, but… the graph of global gas production has an interesting shape – Other than 2008, 2020 was the only year that produced less gas than the previous one. Another blip, or the start of a decline?

    The government here (UK) has at least bailed out the fertiliser plants, though it is very disappointing to see everyone freaking out about not having enough CO2 and not, you know, a shortage of nitrogen fertiliser for next years crops. We are far from the only country to face this issue either. Yields could be hit quite a bit next year…

  11. Hi John

    Following up on your many interesting posts on the Occult Arts, I wonder if there are mental health dangers for people pursuing studies in those arts?

    One analogy is in story of Chthulu driving people mad; maybe it’s more than just fiction?


  12. Hello JMG and everybody,
    I am thinking about useful strategies for sheltering in place in San Francisco Bay Area (yes, of all places … 🙄). I fully understand that this area is in all likelihood going to become similar to Rust Belt, but with drought. It’s going to get ugly. However, if I leave tomorrow I am going to experience it like death tomorrow. I will be leaving family. I will be leaving friends. I will be leaving friends as in “Friends are family we choose for ourselves “. Therefore, I am staying and letting the chips fall where they may.
    Is there anything that may alleviate the situation?
    I am 55, no debt of any kind, PMC income for now, own a house, a child in high school who is academically smart, conventionally ambitious, and dead set on leaving California. I am a good cook and a bad gardener. I am observing many people in my situation. Thoughts?

  13. A lump of helicopter money fell in my lap. More than the covid money. I almost want to throw it back at the sky.

  14. I read the twelve Grist competition stories and was suprised how far they deviated from the original criteria. That asked for hope, spectacular vision, essentially one step short of utopia. But nearly all the finalists were grim, or at least starting from a position of extreme disadvantage. If I’d written a submission I’d have gone full heroic age of socialist construction. Bulging muscles in the driving rain. Like Behind the Urals and Time, Forward!. Except with green technology and in a world where the equivalents of the Red Guards had never been disbanded, the Soviets hadn’t been gerrymandered, and the Factory Committees weren’t repressed. It says a lot that neither the writers nor judges could commit to the original vision. Instead of hope punk it’s consolation punk at best.

  15. Hello JMG,

    In “On the Metaphysics of Sex” you wrote:

    “Water absorbs and holds etheric substance more effectively than any other commonly available substance—that’s why living things are mostly made of water—but the etheric capacity of a given volume of water varies with temperature, reaching its peak at 39°F.”

    I have worked with a creative process involving water in the thirty degree range for many years. Even with significant practical experience, results continue to suprise. I have been wondering if there might be a benefit to adjusting water temperature slightly to potentially enhance etheric benefit.

    Would you be able to direct me to more information about how 39°F was determined to have the maximum etheric capacity? Any other reading I could do on cold water considered in this way would be of great interest!

    Thank you so much, as always.


  16. Even when the long-term prospects look challenging (bleak?), we need to do what we can, day to day, to push back against decline. For me, that means (among other things) serving as a volunteer at a Saturday morning farmers’ market. This market includes a guy who roasts coffee beans from his family plantation in Costa Rica, an old army vet who sells wild-flower honey, two local residents who found that they could raise more produce in their 1/4-acre urban lots than they could eat and so they sell it, and so on. We also have regular folk musicians. I put up signs by the road, and just “hang out” and wait for the Spirit to move. Sometimes a vendor needs to take a break, and I can watch the cash box while they’re away.

    Last week, I helped draw a giant chessboard on the parking lot and set up the chess pieces. The pawns are about a foot tall (for scale). Eventually, I noticed a woman with two young daughters (5 & 7?, 4 & 8?; I can’t tell) showing interest in the game, so I strolled over to chat. Before long, Mom was coaching the younger one, and I was coaching the older. It was the first time for the girls, so I tried to explain the moves dramatically: “This horse, he can leap over anybody, as long as he lands in one of these spaces. The queen is a real terror, able to strike in any direction, at any distance, as long as no one gets in her way! You need to be careful to protect your king; he’s a fat old guy who can only take one step in any direction….”

    So, here’s what I think happened: the family had a positive encounter with a masked stranger (me). The market got a little bit stronger as a focus of community life. The chess set is more likely to come out of the shed next time. Two little girls learned something about planning and strategy, and about thinking about what other people are likely to do in response to their actions. I feel pretty fine about the way it turned out, and got a story to post here. I think we all “won” something, even though my side’s king got trapped. We graciously accepted our defeat.

  17. On Kimberly Steele’s blog, some people were saying that things feel different in the last few days, like something big has changed for the better. I can confirm that I’ve felt something along those lines for the past few days, but I thought it was just me.

    The best analogy I can think of to describe what I’ve felt is that it feels like a fever has broken. That doesn’t mean the infection’s gone, but it’s a source of hope.

    Has anyone else here had the same sort of feeling? I really hope I’m not just fooling myself.

    The discussion at Kimberly’s blog pointed to the recent FDA livestream as a turning-point.

  18. A recent development which I think merits some attention is the new Texas abortion law. Now, I think the hot button issue is, or ought to be, a state and local matter. Texas gets what Texas wants and can live with the consequences. I think Texans have been living so high on their oil wealth for so long that they have forgotten that other folks, like maybe entrepreneurs looking for startup locations, might have opinions which don’t agree with Texas think. In any case, I don’t have to live there.

    What does interest and alarm me is some of the citizen deputizing provisions of this new law. I can’t help thinking that the law is by way of being a trial balloon for corporate and other powerful interests who would like to set half our population spying on the other half. An article came across my news feed a few weeks ago about the organization who brought about the new law. What the article didn’t say, and what I would like to know, is who was funding these successful activists. MADD was funded by insurance companies who were tired of paying out for alcohol fueled accidents, and I don’t blame them. So, I would like to know who was funding this group, because I don’t think it was churches digging into the collection plates who came up with the money. Churches would have supplied a lot of the groundwork, canvassing and so on, Christian conservative women being better at organizing that just about anyone else, but funding had to come from somewhere.

  19. John, wanted you to know how much I’ve enjoyed the Haliverse books. They live in an honored place in my library, next to Tolkien and Le Guin

  20. Greetings JMG!

    Thank you for your wonderful insights and musings these past few months since my discovering of your writing! Having been thus red-pilled (credit also to Chris Martenson, James Howard Kunstler, and Dmitry Orlov), I am currently striving to transform my life by becoming more resilient and self-sufficient/sustainable. Apart from the reading and education, however, I am seeking an emigration from California to a new home where I can begin the practical education relating to Green Wizardry. I was curious if you, or possibly someone else from this site’s robust community, has any leads on potential farms/ranches/homesteads in need of young, learning apprentices/interns. Thus far I’m really only aware of WWOOFUSA—the majority of which seems a little too community service-esque/summer campy. I think a boot camp is more in order.

    Hope to hear back, and all the best to you.


  21. I have a few mimeograph-related updates this month.

    Bear with me for a minute and I’ll tie all this in to general ecosophia themes throughout. 🙂

    The latest post on Mimeograph Revival is about the decidedly niche topic of stencil paper. Once common to office-supply store inventory, the special stencils are down to their last manufacturer, in Japan, and are functionally unavailable in the US. I’m putting together a series about what goes into the making of stencils – starting with a look back at some of the earliest patents. There are clues to the materials and processes utilized in making mimeograph materials and so I’m bringing these things out of the attic and dusting them off so intrepid experimenters can use them.

    Stencil paper is particularly interesting because it leads to some great downslope potential. The material used to make the paper is considered a “noxious invasive” in much of the southeastern and eastern US (my preference is to consider it simply an underappreciated ally). If you’re looking for a skill to learn and a livelihood to cultivate that has been proven to be feasible in a non-petroleum-based economy, please come over to the blog and take a look. Fair warning: there are a number of videos, but I’ve also extracted relevant information in text and have researched and written up a fair amount about the process and materials involved. There’s an option to subscribe if this kind of thing is of interest and if you’d like to be kept in the know as I work through more mimeograph supplies and their lower-tech options.

    I’ve also been slowly getting the first of my “catalog” offerings ready. I’d hoped to have an available product or two by this month’s open post, but I’m not quite there yet. Because my html is too rusty, I can’t embed a photo, but here’s a link to an admittedly poor version with a watermark, This is the final stage mock-up of a membership card for the New International Order of Anti-Poke-Noses. Of course membership in the Order/Society is absolutely free. This membership card, though, will be mimeographed and available for about 50 cents apiece in support of the mimeo project. I foresee these cards being a great thing to present when members are asked to show, for example, vaccination status. Or when a particularly pesky and obtrusive busybody just has to know something about you that you don’t care to divulge. There’s also a related postcard in the works.

    I’m also about to create the stencils for a booklet of the seven Orphic Hymns corresponding to the days of the week (plus a few sacred geometry images). This will be available for free (or a donation) as part of my effort to make something positive and inspiring available – the times sure suggest we need more such things!

    So, while I’m still a bit of a ways out from actual “production,” I’m working my way toward it. I still need to figure out how to work my electronic stencil maker (aka fax machine), and then do the actual duplicating, but it’s just on the horizon.

    If anyone here is interested in keeping up with the mimeo project, there’s the subscribe option I mentioned. If any of these first few offerings is of interest, feel free to contact me, either through the website or through my mimeo-specific email (Wendy at mimeographrevival dot com). I’d be happy to add folks to an “I’m interested” list.

  22. Probably connected to the negative-sum economy and Limits to Growth we talked about before:

    Of course, it could just be the usual media panic at this stage. Still, why panic about *these* things rather than something else? So something is clearly up…

    Also, the EU is discussing price controls on energy, as the energy bills for ordinary consumers are soaring. The usual explanation (at least from the right) is that this is connected to the failure of green energy. Maybe. And then, maybe something else is up, here too…

  23. Hi, I’m sure you follow the current rage on the energy markets. Coal is at its highest ever, gas prices trippled in Europe, where I live, oil is also higher than before COVID… not to mention metals. You can read my interpretation of the story on my blog. What is your take?

  24. Building on the theory you earlier speculated on, do you think it might be something more than just demons involved in the Covid/vax madness? There are a plethora of intelligent nonphysical entities we share this planet with; many of whom are greatly vexed by human overpopulation and our unrelenting wanton acts of environmental despoliation. Might this indicate that the motive is there for beings like terrestrial demigods, intelligent elementals, and other nature spirits to mess with us on a grand scale and massage a series of events into place which might hasten our societal collapse and deindustrialization? I just think of every instance a pristine patch of wilderness is paved over into a SprawlMart parking lot or McHouse pod, and I imagine the spirits who are displaced from their natural habitat, not to mention all the plant and animal life that’s deprived of it as well. All of this must add up to a point where a lot of these beings are extremely angry at humanity as a whole. Wouldn’t a significant reduction in our numbers make life much better for them?

  25. JMG:

    I have been thinking about the Dion Fortune definition of magic; i.e. “the art of causing changes to take place in consciousness in accordance with will.” The easy reading of this is that magic is just about affecting the way we interpret the world, which makes magic sound like a form of self-delusion and not actual magic.

    However, I had a professor decades ago (Michael Zimmerman formerly of Tulane U.) who said we should think of the brain as tuning circuit in a radio or TV. That there are different parts of reality that we can tune into, but that most of the time we are content to tune into what we find familiar, unwilling to challenge our beliefs, until we finally forget that there are other “channels” to tune into.

    Applying what Zimmerman said to what Fortune said, I am thinking that Fortune meant something more along the lines of willing yourself to be conscious of more of reality that the usual. For instance, these days we are encouraged to stay focused on the narrow band of reality that is conscious of the world as it would look under the technological/materialist paradigm (i.e. no souls, no gods, no subtle energy bodies, and the like). On the other hand, we can learn to will ourselves to be conscious of those other channels that open our experience to gods, chakras, divination without trying to smash the experiences down into the materialist paradigm.

    That is, there is a broad reality out there that we are in touch with, and we can will ourselves to be attentive to it, and that our theories and concepts are ways of understanding reality but they are only provisional maps to sort our experiences. A bit of this is coming from your description of the four elements in the “Ritual and Doctrine of High Magic” as labels on a filing cabinet. Necessary to getting at Levi’s insights, but ultimately just labels. The same with gods and chakras, these are labels and theories but ones that are more valuable for working with these experiences than just trying to smash them down into the materialist paradigm.

    Please lend me your insight. Do you think I am headed in the right direction here, or am I missing something (or fundamentally wrong for that matter)?

  26. @ Kirsten #4

    Do you read Johnny Sanphillipo at Granola Shotgun? He lives in San Francisco, blogs regularly about sustainability and staying where you are. He’s excellent.

    Here’s the link:

    Expect to spend hours reading his extensive posts.

  27. Two relevant articles on Food of the Future, courtesy of the Washington Post.

    On Tuesday, “Upcycled food waste may soon be on our menus” (Marta Zaraska) says that what we now think of as “food waste” may be something we end up eating anyway. For example, the spent barley (“what is left after squeezing out the flavor and nutrients during the brewing process”) is still “rich in protein, anti-oxidants, and fiber”. Or, consider “okara – the pulpy product of soy milk and tofu production… often thrown out my major producers of tofu or soy milks.” In this case, okara was previously used in Asian cuisines, but now it’s just waste. The article acknowledges that it may be technically challenging to prevent spoilage between the primary use, and the “upcycled” product. (Why does the phrase “upcycled food” remind me of regurgitation?)

    On Wednesday, “Impossible nuggets actually taste like chicken – and even passed the kid test.” (Emily Heil) I have just one question: “taste like modern factory-farmed industrial chicken, or taste like the chicken our grandparents raised?” The author’s conclusion: eat them with a generous amount of ketchup.

  28. Temporaryrelity, I would love to buy a mimeographed membership card to the Anti-Poke-Nose Society! Keep us posted.

  29. For pygmycory: Do you have an Instagram account?

    I ask because since you already take pictures for your jewelry-making business on etsy, an Instagram account would be an easy addition for you to reach more potential customers. Instagram is pictures with a bit of text.

    We’ve now got an account and I’m making most of the quote posts using Canva. It’s much easier than I thought it would be but then my husband does the actual posting, after I construct most of the images.

    Email me at tdbpeschel @ (no spaces) if you want to talk.
    If you want to look at what we’ve done, here’s the link:

    As long as we’ve got this system available, we might as well use it while we can. It won’t last forever.

  30. Food price inflation hit close to home here this week, when the price of bulk organic rolled oats jumped from $0.99 / lb. to $1.29 / lb. Maybe they had been too cheap for too long, because I couldn’t find any on-line vendor close to the $0.99 price (even without shipping costs), but a 30% jump in a staple is startling. (By the way, people should eat more oats. A three-year rotation with corn, beans, and oats requires much less fertilizer than the popular two-year corn and beans rotation. But the price of oats hasn’t been high enough to make the three-year rotation profitable.)

  31. Challenge accepted on the story, ignition and liftoff achieved… metaphorically. The closest you’re likely to get to space travel in it are a kessler cascade of satellites, and aspersions on a character’s alleged ancestry.

  32. Fkaminski.
    I hear you. My tack is usually listen more than anything when I have the wherewithal- isn’t always the case -and over the past years it has meant withdraw from many debates. Sooo many things have become coupled with hate so that a question can be construed as opposition. I’m in a place of apathy with it myself as I have lost the will to construct large theories over the past months and now rather to observe. There are so many realities and so much enthusiasm to convince everyone to change theirs to somehow validate another’s. The interesting part of life is to know that there is always a million ways to interpret and live it potentially and that doesn’t always harm someone else.

  33. Dear Mr. Greer, et all: I saw this article the other day, about the end of middle management.

    Anything we can do to hurry the process along? 🙂

    Or will it be like … Quit a few years ago, there was an idea kicking around that the customer isn’t always right. That 5% of your customer base should be shown the door. As all they did was use up your resources and wear down your staff. Working retail, I was dancing in the streets. Unfortunately, the concept sank like a stone.

    But I wonder … maybe all this reassessment of employment, and difficulty filling service jobs is chickens coming home to roost? That if this business theory had been taken up, and applied broadly, things would be different, now? Lew

  34. Your Kittenship, by all means wish him a happy birthday from me.

    Mister N, Biden probably shouldn’t try to make a career as a salesman for pharmaceuticals; he apparently doesn’t seem to realize that trying to bully people into doing something they have good reason not to do simply makes them dig in their heels. Not only won’t this latest gimmick succeed, it’s simply made people who don’t trust inadequately tested experimental drugs back away even more forcefully.

    Liane, it’s important not to overdo it. When you’re not practicing magic, it’s best to focus on the material plane, which is after all where we’re incarnated.

    Fkaminski, it’s a heck of a good question. Since I have Aspergers syndrome, though, I’m not the person to ask about how to handle social interactions. Anyone else?

    Yorkshire, delighted to hear it.

    Marko, if that happened, it was more than twelve thousand years ago — Plato’s date for the sinking of Atlantis, which is also the date for the end of the Younger Dryas cold period and the beginning of massive sea level rise, works out to 9600 BC. How much do you know about the technological achievements of Sumerian civilization? That was less than half as far in the past. Given enough time, and the collapse of the civilization that created it, such things could have been forgotten a very long time ago.

    Chuaquin, thanks for both of these. I was relieved to note that the Cumbre Vieja eruption involves highly liquid, flowing lava — it’s when the lava’s thick and doesn’t flow well that you get volcanic explosions, which are much more likely to set off tsunamis.

    Logan, that makes a great deal of sense! Mozart has always been one of the most obvious bits of evidence for reincarnation — you don’t become a virtuoso violinist at the age of 4 unless you spent many years practicing in a previous life — and if he was Vivaldi’s reincarnation, that would account for it.

    Alice, we’ll have to wait and see whether it’s a temporary blip or the beginning of the downturn. In the meantime, no question, it’s going to be a tough winter for many people.

    Raymond, in my consistent experience, people who study occultism are less likely to suffer mental health problems than people who don’t. Occult practices do a good job of bringing you face to face with your psychological baggage, after all. As for Cthulhu, I see you haven’t read my tentacle novels — one of the themes I develop in them is that encountering the Great Old Ones makes you go sane, in a world where most people are at least mildly crazy…

    Kirsten, that’s a good question to which I don’t have an answer. All I can say is that you should make your choice with your whole heart, and then accept the consequences.

    Lunchbox, I can think of several things you could do with it if you want, starting with support for a certain Kickstarter!

    Yorkshire, I noticed that also. It was frankly weird.

    Jonathan, the temperature curve for etheric storage in water was worked out by French occultists in the early 20th century. I don’t happen to know how they did it. I do know that 39°F is also the temperature at which water reaches its maximum density — below that it begins to expand as ice bonds form — so that may have something to do with it.

    Lathechuck, excellent! Thanks for this.

    Slithy, I started feeling that about a week ago — a lifting, clearing, almost giddy feeling.

    Mary, understood. I’m also concerned with what amounts to an open door to legal vigilanteeism.

    Bill, thank you! That’s very high praise and I appreciate it.

    Pygmycory, it does indeed. “Shiver like it’s 2008!”

    Ryan, I don’t happen to know of any, but others might. Anybody else?

    Temporaryreality, thanks for this! I look forward to the rise of your stencil-making factory to industry dominance, backed by a horde of local feedstock producers.

    Tidlösa, I suspect it’s partly that the energy crisis is beginning to bite hard, and partly that the media is looking for something other than the coronavirus to panic about. But we’ll see.

    B, My take was set out half a century ago in the pages of The Limits to Growth

    Hermeticus, it’s an interesting possibility, though not one I know how to convert into a testable hypothesis.

    Teresa, many thanks for this.

    Chris, excellent! Reality as we experience it is assembled from the raw material of sense impressions, and vast amounts of it are filtered out by our minds. Magic is one way to experience things we too often filter out — including things that can make our lives much better. That is to say, you’re going in the right direction.

    Lathechuck, I tend to use a more robust word instead of “regurgitation,” and I suspect it’s not inaccurate in this case! As for food inflation, we’re seeing a lot of it here in Rhode Island, especially affecting meat, produce, and some processed foods.

    Pygmycory, I’m delighted to hear it!

    Lew, I think that’s an important part of it. Management has assumed that it could just demand anything it wanted from workers, and conditions have gotten worse and worse — until the virus panic showed people that they can have a life instead of a job…

  35. The past few years have seen a few big roadblocks personally and now collectively we have this well whatever we have….!
    I’m trying to develop my personal practice spiritually and with meditation and underneath I’m struck with the awareness of burnout within me.
    Who has experience recovering from this is isn’t a sign I should be restoring first. And any advice with that ?

  36. @Ryan Tiefen #22 You might consider connecting further with Chris Martenson. He’s setting his whole operation up to be based at Honey Badger Farm here in western MA…there might be opportunity for you there. Western MA is a real fine agricultural area, and very beautiful. Chris has been a bright light for years in challenging establishment narratives. Best wishes for a successful relocation.

  37. Problem: mice

    Does anyone have ideas for deterring mice? I hired an exterminator to help me figure out where the holes in my old house are, but they still got in. I put down traps and they soon figured out how to get the peanut butter without setting off the traps. I just had to put out poison bait, which I really didn’t want to do, but it’s that or mice in the house. Next year I’ll plant a bunch of mint. Does anyone have ideas for discouraging mice (and other wild animals, like groundhogs) from making my home their home? I tried praying to Mother Earth, asking for them to make their homes somewhere else, but she apparently sided with the mice.

    I don’t have any skill with magic. Is there anything an unskilled person can do to project “please don’t live here”? I have a cat and dog who live in the house. They are elderly and have zero interest in helpling me deal with the wild critters.

    Chris in VT

  38. Greetings!

    I am pleased to report that I successfully had my copy of The Weird of Hali Cookbook spiral bound at the local print shop. The price for the work in Massachusetts was a modern $10 plus tax. Overall, it makes use of the cookbook much easier.

    Be well,

  39. Is it okay to do a Mercury planetary charity during Mercury retrograde? As a Gemini those MRs always seem to hit me a little harder.

  40. @Slithy Toves (#18), about a month or so back, I felt this. The way I described it to myself was “something shifting on the astral.” (I don’t think to other folks about this stuff in real life.) As if a new landscape had opened up. Best way I can explain it.


  41. Lathechuck,
    I love oats and I eat a lot of them. They’re also something that has been in somewhat short supply at the supermarket over the course of the pandemic. There’s always some, but the big bags of the inexpensive brand of quick oats are frequently absent, and I’ve found myself buying smaller packages or the more expensive quaker oats because that’s all that’s available even when I delay buying for a couple of weeks. I can afford it, but it is a bit annoying.

  42. For anyone wondering about the impact of Biden’s vaccine mandate, you can see the impact to date in this handy chart. The short form is that initial results are the opposite of desired. Vaccines were trending slowly up in recent weeks and peaked on September 9th, the day of Biden’s speech. Then they quickly plunged and have since stabilized about 30% lower than before the announcement of the mandate. We’ll see what they do next.

    Of course, if the mandate survives legal challenges and goes through, perhaps it will bully some odd percentage of people into getting it. But from the initial data, it clearly was not persuasive at the rhetorical level and seems to have backfired–which frankly, isn’t all that surprising. We’ll see what happens next.

  43. @Ryan Tiefen

    We started an internship program this year at our small herb farm in Central New York. We won’t need any apprentices/interns until next season though, but that’s a potential for the future. You can check out The Plant Cunning Podcast (we’ve interview JMG as well as a wide range of herbalists, permaculturists and magicians) to get a feel for our vibe, and we’ll require an application and interview before acceptance.

  44. Last week rudyks brought up the work of Louis Kelso and his innovations such as the ESOP, the Employee Stock Ownership Plan. In good faith, I have to share the following story:
    Once Upon a Time, there was a four letter Science & Technology shop that was employee owned, Unfortunately, they neglected a couple of basic safeguards and rapidly became a management-owned company. Providently, they added retired military officers of high rank to their Board of Directors, and soon won contracts far too large for them to handle with the people they had on hand. Rather than hire people directly and share their bounty with them, they set up a three letter subsidiary whose employees were -not- owners, since Some people are More Equal than Others. To ensure that bonuses and similar benefits went uphill to their proper destination, some – but not all – of the management of the three letter company worked for both companies, a situation that resulted in clear lines of responsibility, I’m sure. Someone I knew- my father, actually- briefly worked for the three letter company on such a contract, and discovered how Less than Equal he was by being laid off the day the company discovered they had lost the follow up contract.
    Somehow the four letter company is still in business some forty years later, or at least the building with their name on it is still visible from the perennially under construction highway.
    So, if you catch fire with enthusiasm over good ideas, remember that details do matter.

    Jon from Virginia

  45. Recently I saw a shocking video of a man on his hands and knees being attacked by big red police do. The dog had its teeth around the man’s head and neck, and was shaking its head from side to side, as dog’s do to break an animal’s neck. I instantly felt and recognized the motion on a man, which I had never seen on a human before, as the same motion, which I could not see, that a dog had used on me.

    After seeing that incident I felt compelled to post this recollection somewhere. I have questions. I don’t expect a precise answer, but suggestions are welcome.

    I was 15 going on 16, and I wanted to be a veterinary. In my high school it was recommended that if you thought you wanted a certain career you obtain a job in something similar. To be a veterinary it was suggested, in the little guide books I read, I work on a farm with animals, or in something like a kennel.

    There were 200 stalls in this kennel, and even more dogs and I liked and got along with most of them. Most of the job was cleaning up dog shit, so it wasn’t glamorous, but there were good animal relations. One dog was a giant, about a hundred and fifty pounds, I weighed about 120. He had beautiful husky like colorings, and clear blue eyes. On his hind legs he was about 4 inches taller than me. I used to play with him and let him put his paws on my shoulder and lick me face.

    One day when I was taking his totally empty heavy pie plate size food dish, he attacked me. He grabbed my arm and we fought over my arm like it was a steak. Finally his teeth slipped, I fell on my back, he was on my arm again, on top of me. I couldn’t get up. I tuned onto my stomach, then my hands and knees, in order to push up and stand, it was the only thing I could think of to do, and the dog grabbed me by the neck and the head and shook his head side to side. As I couldn’t see it I didn’t, until seeing the video, really realize the motion exerted on me.

    At that moment of the dog’s teeth around my neck a being appeared. I thought it was God, or it could have been an angel, really I don’t know what, but I thought it was God. And this being seemed luminescent, or to have a bright light surround, and of physical appearance somewhere between the age of my father and grandfather. I couldn’t really see. I couldn’t turn my head. This being began to talk to me, very casual, without urgency or even concern, as if indifferent to what happened, but nevertheless was advising me. And what this being was saying was, “If you want to live you better get that dog off your neck. I don’t personally care one way or another, it’s up to you, but if you want to live you better get him off your neck.” And he was putting it on me, as if it was my choice, to live or die.

    Well I was already trying to get the dog off me. I stood up. The dog let go. I ran for the door at the far end of the kennel. Now, since he was a dog, he could have easily caught me and attacked me from behind, but instead he was content to run at my heels. I never did understand that. I made it to the door, opened and tried to slam it shut, but there was some sort of rope or cord that prevented it from closing, I ran down the gravel walkway to the next door that led to the office, and opened and slammed that door.

    There was a short hallway. I walked into the owner’s reception office, where she met people and sold dogs. She had a couch. I walked over to it and lay down. She began to reproach me, to say, “What do you think you’re doing?” when she saw.

    Until the moment I lay down I had not felt any pain, whatsoever. Even when fighting over my arm and my neck. Those parts of my body could have belonged to someone else. I even began screaming, not out of pain or terror, I wasn’t afraid, but as a person would turn on an alarm, I was hoping for help, that someone would hear me. However, as soon as I lay down safe, the pain came rushing in.

    The lady got her stick with a noose on it, stuck it out the door around the dog’s neck and took him back to his kennel. When she returned she reproached me for not closing the very first door at the end of the kennel and thus locking the dog in.

    I said there was some problem. I couldn’t. I didn’t at that time know what. She said there was no problem and I should have closed it. But when I returned to work several weeks later I saw a cord hung from the door handle and when in panic I flung open the door, the cord if you moved the door fast, would get caught between the door and the jamb and you could not close it. The cord was something that shouldn’t be there, but it was never removed.

    I had stitches all over my arm and on my neck and head. My right arm swelled larger than the size of Popeye’s, which seemed impossible, full of infection. And when I looked at my arm I could not see a single pore. There were teeth marks overlapping teeth marks, more teeth marks than there ever were pores, the pores were obliterated from sight. Most the teeth marks weren’t all that deep. The really bad holes, which swelled bigger than a silver dollar, no skin left or visible, were from the canine teeth.

    The doctor, the crazy doctor, at the hospital, said my inner ear had been damaged by a tooth inside it, and he said he would have to remove my outer ear to fix the inside. I said No. I refused, for vanity. I wasn’t going to walk around for the rest of my life with only one ear, or one damaged ear that looked manufactured. Fortunately for me my hearing was alright.

    I have some questions, which is part of the reason I am posting this.

    Who, or what was the being I saw? I thought it was God. But I wondered why would God bother with me? I thought also it might be an Angel, but that was more or less the same difference. And again what did an angel or God care what happened to me. Could it by own guardian angel, if such things exist? Or could it be a version of myself, but how could that be since the being was so much older. I don’t know.

    The second question is coming:
    For the initial period after the attack, the dog was in the kennel for at least a month afterwards, I wanted to go back into the stall of the dog that attacked me, with a screwdriver. And I was going to kill him. I knew the dog’s method of attack. He would go for my arm. And I would give it to him, then with the other hand, I would stab him, until he was dead. The only reason I did not do this was, I was pretty sure I would be labeled crazy. And my mother who was always calling me crazy and threatening to put me away, would. I wasn’t afraid to go in with the dog alone and try to kill it, I longed to do this. I felt like I had lost something. And the only way to get it back was to kill the dog. I wasn’t even afraid of the dog when it was attacking me. For the simple reason I had no time to be afraid. All feeling had stopped.

    I do know that once I started working at the kennel with the dogs again I was often afraid and uneasy, and the dogs could sense that, and that made them much more likely to bite, which they did, but not particularly viciously. And I did not complain about it or let anyone know because I was ashamed of being afraid.

    I was afraid of these dogs that had never harmed me, but I was not afraid of the dog that did. That dog that tried to kill me, I just wanted to go into his stall and kill. And if he killed me as well I really didn’t care. I knew I was going to take the dog with me.

    That was how I felt then. But lately, after seeing the police dog attack, I have begun to wonder if the dog that attacked was another angel, or possessed by a spirit.
    Why? That dog changed my life.

    The second question therefore is: Is it possible, that the attacking dog was also an angel?

    The dog attack changed my entire life. I no longer wanted to be a veterinary. I was no longer conventional. I was no longer interested in the things that had once interested me. My father used to beat me every day, usually at my mother’s instigation. My father had a bad temper, but he would threaten you, and swear he was going to beat you, and never do another thing for you, but if I managed to escape, as I got older I often did, I could return ten minutes later, ask him for a favor which he would readily give, and then all of a sudden he would remember, and say “I said…” And then he would stop and laugh about it, and all was forgiven and over with. That is, unless it was my mother who set him upon me. In that instance she never forgot and it did not matter if it was one day, ten days or a year later, she would sic him on me. Mu father was usually kind and gentle.

    Nevertheless, at fifteen I one day looked back on my life, and I could not remember a single day in my life I had not been beaten. I remembered days my year younger brother was not beaten, but I could not remember a single day about myself. I was beaten much more often.

    About 2 to 4 weeks after the dog attack my mother told my father to get me, we were outdoors, and I ran. My father could not catch me

    While outside, hiding in a suburban corn field, I decided I had had too much of this and I was leaving. Therefore, after what I hoped was enough time had passed, I wanted to leave before dark, I snuck back into the house, into the basement where the nicely finished rooms my father built me and my brother were.

    My father may or may not have heard me, but even if he had I knew he was willing to let it go. But I heard my mother say, “He’s in the house.” and she never let anything go. She told my father to get me. My father said, “Let it be.” She insisted my father had to get me. I heard all that form downstairs.

    My father came down the stairs into the basement to my room. There was no escape. My dad stood in the doorway, about as big as the dog. And He said, “….” And then he saw…

    I had already taken my single shot shotgun off the wall, loaded and cocked it. I had 3 shotguns on my wall, one was my father’s. I chose the single shot because when cocked, it was obvious. My father was brazen enough to try and take a shotgun off me that was on the safety. I knew he would not dare the cocked gun.

    I said, “If you ever hit me again…” He turned white and left. I left home.

    At a later date I returned. But my father never beat me again. And my mother let me alone. She began tormenting my 4 year younger sister instead. But she would not let anybody hit a girl, and my sister went unbeaten. But my mother’s words and actions were far worse than being hit. (Physical pain left. My mother’s words never did.) I loved my father then, I love my father now. My mother was very hard to love or even like, ever. But I tried, especially as she grew older.

    My mother in all things was relentlessly vicious, and she bent reality or the truth to suit her purposes (her father, my grandfather once told, me she was always a big liar). In the arguments my father either did not remember, or he didn’t want to prolong the argument. His nature was, he preferred to let things slide. But he also didn’t seem to have the best memory for details. My mother always won arguments of memory because he couldn’t remember most of what happened..

    I developed an excellent memory, – it was almost photographic – for a time I an actor – and could remember an entire play from one reading, – but the reason for developing that excellent memory, was to remember where my mother bent reality, and had not told the truth.

    My mother also saw spirits. I thought she was lying. And except for the angel I did not ever recall seeing any spirits myself. But a few years ago after an eye injury I suddenly saw spirits or ghosts all around me. And even after my vision was somewhat restored, I could still see them. For a time it was fascinating, but I did not know what to do about it, therefore I mostly chose to ignore the spirits just as I ignore various neighbors down the street.

    I now wonder more than anything, if the dog that attacked me was also an Angel, or possessed by a benevolent spirit, who in attacking me collaborated in forcing me to change my ways.

    Can this be?

    For anyone interested in the type of dog. The dog was an Alaskan Malemute, bred by the US Army to be giant size. (I learned this from the owner after he returned.) The dog was likely not a pure Malemute, as Pure Malemutes do not usually have blue eyes and are not as big as this dog was. The military, I was told, had bred him deliberately, to be exceptionally large and vicious and scare the much smaller Vietnamese. This was 1968. For whatever reason the dog was not particularly vicious or aggressive, so they gave him to the owner as a pet. I am sure in trying to stimulate viciousness they tormented the dog, and probably used food “take away” to stimulate his aggression.

    Another strange thing about this dog. He did not seem angry or vicious as he attacked. He did not growl or snarl. He still seemed like a big friendly teddy bear , trying to maul me to death..

    A last perhaps trivial observation: You mgiht be inclined to think my childhood was terrible, and admittedly it was not good. But I know at least 4 or 5 individuals, male and female, probably more individuals than that, cousins and friends, who had it much much worse. I always considered myself lucky compared to them.

    And the beatings did stop.

  46. @fkaminski #4
    First, you are right. No one should be giving hormones to little kids and Ivermectin is useful in fighting COVID. But no one who is bought into the mainstream will believe you. You are still right. I have faced similar things in my life, i.e., being right and having no one believe me. Also, having people scream at me about the right thing that I was doing. Example: I had all four of my children at home with no doctor. In every single one of those pregnancies, someone, sometimes more than one person, told me that my baby was going to die if I gave birth outside a hospital and that it would be all my fault.
    My children were all born perfectly normal and perfectly healthy. No one asked, how much research have you done? Why are you sure that this is the best idea for you? I could have told them I had done tons of research and that I understood that in a very small number of cases, the hospital is necessary and a C-section will save two lives — the mom and the baby’s. But I was not one of those small number of cases and I knew without any question me and my babies would be fine at home. We were. But after the first baby, I just shut up about it. I clearly was not convincing anyone and was tired of being yelled at. Someday, maybe soon, when the obstetrics business becomes less profitable, a whole bunch of people will have their babies at home, just like I did, because the mainstream idea will be that that is the best way to do it – once obstetrics becomes less profitable.
    I found the best way to react is to say nothing and live what you believe. People see it, even when they pretend they don’t. This is not comfortable though. An example of how painful it can be: my oldest daughter has mandated that unless I get vaccinated, I cannot see my grandchild (now aged 10 months and only 20 minutes from my house). This is very painful. When she said I should get vaccinated, I said, “Yeah, that is not going to happen.” So I don’t get to see my grandchild. We don’t discuss vaccination anymore. If I point out anything (the Israeli data for example) she shuts down. I am living what I believe. She sees that. It is all I can do. I hope the worst does not happen to the vaccinated and I pray every day that people’s eyes will be opened. I don’t know if that helps, but anyway, just so someone says it to you, you are right!

  47. Regarding reincarnation and Mozart: I’m an amateur violinist who began as a wind player because our small town lacked an orchestra. I’m convinced that it takes more than one lifetime to become a really good violinist. Really good violinists do exist. Thus, reincarnation is proved!

  48. Chris in Vt @ #41

    There is one odd thing you might try to discourage the mice. Try getting a couple of pet rats. Domestic rats are delightful little creatures, intelligent and affectionate, and come in lots of different pretty colors.

    Rats and mice are competitors in nature, and where there is a rat colony around you won’t see many mice. The mice will smell that there are rats around and go elsewhere.

    In the years that I kept rats, we never had a single wild mouse or rat come into, or even under, our house.

  49. @ lunchbox bike # 14

    1) Pay off debt
    2) Help a relative or friend in need
    3) Buy a mountain of feminine napkins and/or disposable diapers and donate them to your local food bank or women’s shelter
    4) Invest in solid tools that you learn how to use

  50. @ Chris in VT #41

    Have you thought about more cats? Cats excel in hunting rodents. There’s a lot of variation in their hunting ability so one cat will slaughter mice by the dozens while a littermate won’t pay much attention.

    Another alternative is plugging the holes with steel wool and plenty of it. Mice won’t chew through it.

  51. Hello JMG.
    In Decline and Fall p101 you write, “When the rubble of the English civil war finally stopped bouncing, the system that resulted was much closer to the one that had been in place before 1641 than, say, France after the revolution resembled the ancien régime. The survival of familiar modes of government in peripheral centres made it easier for those same modes to be restored once the revolutionary era was over.” In view of this, certain recent policies of the UK government seem to me rather interesting.
    As I expect you know, the industrial structure of England did not replace the old feudal structure: it was built on top of it. That is to say, if you dig through all the trusts and other camouflage intended to disguise land ownership, you will frequently find that the same noble families own the land as owned it in the Middle Ages. So if industrial England falls into ruins and the bankers end up with their heads on pikes, the old feudal houses will be there, ready to pick up the pieces. No need for messy civil wars or invasion by foreign warlords: just a quick revolution and the job’s done.
    That applies to England and may not apply so well to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. What I find interesting here is the way the UK government has been systematically devolving power to those countries. Indeed, by the time the situation becomes really fraught, Northern Ireland may well have decided to join the rest of Ireland, simply for demographic reasons. Also, while the feudal substructure applies to most of England, it is less applicable to the towns. Here, too, there has been devolution, with the direct election of local mayors in large towns to take care of local affairs. Both these forms of devolution have taken strong root – often to the embarassment of central government. They could be seen as supplementing the underlying feudal structure that already exists in England.
    In other words, whereas many have suggested that the USA and the EU will each fall apart unwillingly within the next decade, the UK seems to have taken active steps to fall apart in a graceful and orderly fashion. It is almost as if someone in government understands the situation, foresees what is coming and is planning for it by creating smaller, more localised autonomous administrative units, so that the transition to feudalism will be as painless as possible. Obviously that will not be any of the overt members of the government – they are as clueless as anywhere else in the world – but it is known that the conservative party, at least, is guided by shadowy “higher-ups” who nudge its policies in certain areas. Could the old aristocracy be involved?
    I have to say that this is the first “conspiracy theory” I have ever come up with, and we will probably never know if it is true of not, but do you find it at all plausible?

  52. Kirsten, a few thoughts. First get that house paid off if is not. Make sure, double sure, title is properly recorded, all supporting documents in a safe place and notarized. Maybe make a party out of going to the county clerk to register ownership, or whatever it is one does, and videotape the entire transaction. I suspect your biggest worry won’t be warbands but legalized fraud. You may recall that during the housing crisis, banks were actually “foreclosing” on houses which were completely paid for. Should something similar happen again, have documents available (or copies thereof) to show sheriff’s deputies. Take names and badge numbers. Nevermind gardening if it is not your thing. Buy what you can afford from local producers and get to know them. Resist social pressure to hire the mow and blow guys. Make teenager do the yardwork, or find a neighborhood kid from a family you know and respect who needs the extra cash. Do not hire the strange guys who show up at your house at their, not your, convenience. Set your own rules, e.g. no chemicals, no blowdryers, and one person means one person. Period. If at all possible, don’t use housecleaners. They pick up extra cash by alerting the home invasion artists. That has actually happened in CA. If you must, have a professional company do a deep clean once a year or so, and thoroughly vet the company. Join the neighborhood watch if you have not already. So the people might be loud mouthed Trumpists or annoying Karens, you still have interests in common.

    Second, if you have PMC salary and title, you might be in a position to do some good. Look around for opportunities to get involved in some local cause you care about–expanding public transportation, low income housing, whatever it might be, and then research the issue, the organizations and the persons involved. Look for people whom you find to be honest and congenial, and take it slowly at first.

    Are you at all interested in weapons or martial arts training? Hopefully you never need to use either, but the air of watchful competence, which can’t be faked, can go a long way towards discouraging predation. Dangerous times call for vigilance. There is no excuse for being the scatterbrain who can’t find her door key, and carries cash and valuables in a dangling purse.

    When bad things do happen, act now and emote later. The world is not going to wait around for someone to “process”.

  53. I should add to my previous post: as things start to get increasingly rough, a return to feudalism is likely to be quite populat. Those old families often retain the sense of noblesse oblige that their ancestors had (provided it did not conflict with their interests, of course). My local landowner, for instance, is quite popular: although not a lord himself, he is descended from nobility, and he serves on the committees of local charities and maintains the footpaths that cross his land well beyond the level required by law. In contrast the corporate owners of land a few miles away are trying to close their footpaths since they are inconvenient for agribusiness, and it goes without saying that they contribute nothing to the community.
    And at the head of the feudal structure is, of course, the Queen. As you know, she herself is immensely popular, and although her son’s popularity is variable, that of her elder grandson and his family is very strong. I suspect that, after the coming chaos, an orderly return to feudalism with a monarch at the head would be well supported, particularly in view of what is likely to be happening at the same time in other countries that do not have such a pre-existing structure.

  54. John
    I’m a long time reader of your Archdruid Report but find I’m only an intermittent reader of Ecosophia. I read the open posts and any pieces that are similar to your Archdruid Report. Your writing is still outstanding but I find the spiritual/occult pieces aren’t my cup of tea. So, I’m wondering how the readerships of Ecosophia and Archdruid Report compare now that you’ve been producing Ecosophia for some years now. I recognize some commentators’ names from both but can’t tell if the numbers are similar. I administered a blog for a state agency and Google analytics sometimes surprised me on which postings were read more than others.

    Of course you should continue writing about what interests you. It’s always appreciated.

  55. To Slithytoves, thanks for the shoutout. I plan on talking about the forces I have been sensing in a blog post in the near future.

    I felt it lift September 17 – 18, right around the time Nicki Minaj was making waves for going hard against the vaccine narrative. A major fissure opened into a chasm when she said that people should “pray on” the idea of getting a vaccine. I believe there are demons driving the Corona vaccine pressure. I think a big number of people took Nicki’s suggestion, prayed on it, and received an answer loud and clear. The demons are strengthened when we throw hatred at each other (and yes, Anon, I am considering not using the word “maskturbator” anymore) and they are decimated when we turn to the divine for help.

  56. @fkaminski I find that the more shaky one’s beliefs are, the more they will be defensive about them. For influence, I have found that helping someone with sonething/being generous first is a good way for them to listen. With that said, 90% of people will not change what they believe even when in a dire situation, so I just say say it once and leave. If they are disrespectful or negative I leave the conversation right away – maybe with a non verbal cue, and I will look for someone who might listen and might want help.

  57. Hi JMG,

    My son (17) and I were recently observing the frequent (mis)use of the terms “fascism” and “fascist” to describe all manner of evilly evil deeds and doers, and I recalled that you had done a post or two in the past (ADR days?) about the correct definition of those terms. I was hoping you could post a link to your earlier writings on the subject so my son and I can properly educate ourselves.

    This won’t be the first time we’ve used your writings in our homeschooling curriculum, and it certainly won’t be the last! 🙂

    Many thanks, ravenwillow

  58. I have recently been elected to a leadership position in the young men’s group at my church located in a suburb on the west coast, and it is now my responsibility to minister to a large group of 20-30 year old single men. The most common issue that I perceive is what I would call job market nihilism. Many young men believe, even if it’s hard for them to admit, that “working” is degrading and meaningless, and leading us nowhere collectively and as individuals. They aren’t motivated to start families because they haven’t learned enough life skills to act as a responsible parent / provide a decent household income. It’s a feedback loop of lack of opportunity leading to lack of skills leading to less opportunity and more nihilism about working. I could see a future where many of us are simply working part time jobs whenever we need cash, living off the charity of relatives and neighbors finding partners late in life if ever and not having children. I want to change that vision to one where we are working as a community for our friends and neighbors, and learning not to rely on the system to sustain us. Does anyone have any ideas of how I could introduce some of the themes discussed on this blog with my church and encourage a better outlook toward the future so that we can work toward it now within our congregation?

    John G

  59. Priya, thank you for sharing your approach.

    JMG, as a fellow aspie, I find myself in the same position.

  60. @Raymond #12

    If I may comment. I have read in books from those like Dion Fortune and W. E. Butler that pursuing the occult is not advised for those who have a proclivity to certain psychological issues and personality dissorders. The occult is in some aspect a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

    I have ADD/ADHD and I’ve noticed some changes for the better mostly because of how it’s structured.

  61. I’m watching, mostly from the sidelines, the industrial countries go bat s**t crazy. As the evidence climbs from highly reputable sources such as Science (the AAAS journal, that is) that the Covid-19 vaccines don’t prevent either transmission or the disease the response has been to double down on mandates & passports.

    In the MSM & across Reddit (its the only social media account I have) Florida is being pilloried for appointing an “anti-vax” doctor. Vaccination rates in Florida are slightly higher than in virtuous California.

    The sanction for refusing the vaccines are comparable to ostracism or shunning. Loss of income, loss of job, shut out of simple day to day activities-going to libraries, museums, attending a school play (BC has a no exemptions policy. Anaphylactic shock from the first jab. Too bad. Get the second or do without Article in CBC) Once recognized as severe punishments just shy of the death penalty.

    We’ve heard Dr. Fauci, along with others pronounce that this is the pandemic of the unvaccinated. That it is the unvaccinated that are responsible for the variants. Scapegoating. Yet another ancient, and deadly practice.

    Dmitry Orlov, in, I believe Five Stages of Collapse discusses bureaucracies that become far more authoritarian as one of the collapse stages.

    I’ll take a crystal ball for figuring out where this will lead, even this winter. If Delta hasn’t burned itself out, there is a very real possibility of another surge. Populations are already vaccinated. Some against their will, the rest unable to shake their conviction that the vaccines will prevent a reoccurrence. We live in interesting times.

    PS You seem to have made it through Henri, & Ida.

    For Kirsten about gardening. Having a brown thumb does not preclude a beautiful garden. Stubbornness, and sturdy plants, that are frequently cheaper than fussy plants are doable. Throw in that more than a few do double duty. Day lilies, hostas, lamb’s ear, flowering quince, the neighbours won’t even know what you’re up to.

  62. Kirsten #13 — Sometimes, rethinking your premises gives you a different approach to an apparent dilemma. For example, you believe you are unable to leave one of the most significantly failing urban areas in the US because “family” and “friends”. Imagine for a moment, that you are actually supposed to help lead your loved ones away from the disaster-to-be?

    Imagine for the moment, that you have an open map and internet links up for some Small-Town-USA locations, and your smart kid asks what you’re looking at — perhaps that youngster fires up on the idea and starts exploring on his own? Imagine that it’s another family member or a friend instead … perhaps asking them to help you find a “better” location will trigger something deep inside them?

    We left Los Angeles (crime, high prices, crowding, regulation, did I say crime?) and moved to a rural area with the exact opposite situation. There was a period of adjustment, of course — but within 5 years, both of my adult siblings and their families had made the same move. “Shelter in place” for us now means roaming 140 acres of fields and woods. It’s not rough. It’s a homegrown vacation spot.

    If you’re called to leave there, then maybe you’re also called to help others do the same.

  63. Chris in VT – about your mice: We had the same problem a few years ago. My experience is that the only solution is sealing every tiny hole that allows mice to enter your home. If there is a way inside, they will surely find it. And since they are very good climbers (I’ve seen common field mice climbing vertical walls up and down), they can also enter the house via the roof. In our case, that had been the problem. Cats, traps and even poison will most likely not help in the long run, since mice can reproduce at fantastic rates and will appear in no less fantastic numbers. You can’t kill them all and most likely you don’t want to, either.

    Good luck!

  64. I have been reading _The Well-Educated Mind: a Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had_ by Susan Wise Bauer. It is actually a rather good guide to deep reading of texts, giving suggestions on how to take notes, look for major points, relate the material to other works in the same field and other techniques that one would be taught in a good liberal arts education. The author includes a general history of each genre and suggestions of works to read, best editions and translations, and films of drama presentations. The genres she covers include the novel, autobiography and memoir, history, drama and poetry.

    What I found interesting and pertinent to this blog was her treatment of the history of history writing. She starts with Ancient History (ancient refers to when it was written, not the period covered, although obviously those overlap) — Medieval — Renaissance — Enlightenment. Then she splits the discipline into two branches. One consists of Positivism — Progress-ism and Multiculturalism; the other of Romanticism — Relativism and Skepticism with the branches reuniting in Postmodernism. I won’t go into her definitions of these terms.

    However her syllogism explaining Progress-ism is rather interesting. “If historians do their work with meticulous scientific accuracy, they will discover historical laws. Since historical laws are universal and unchanging, they can prescribe future actions that will bring about a more perfect existence. Because reason is the most powerful part of man (much more powerful than the will), the recommendations will be carried out as soon as people are convinced of their necessity. To convince the intellect of the rightness of a particular course is always to convert the will, since the (weaker) will is always under the control of the (stronger) intellect. . . .” She concludes that “‘Education is the answer’ is both supremely progressive and quintessentially liberal as a strategy for social change.” This definition makes the writing and the teaching of history part of the project of progress. We have been told “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it”. But Progress-ism would seem to revise that to “those who do know history can recognize and avoid the errors of the past.” Not repeating the errors of the past will constitute progress.

    What I immediately noted that relates to JMG’s writings is the absence in Bauer’s account of any of the historians who teach cyclical history. No mention of Polybius, of Toynbee, or Spengler, or the more recent Fourth Turning theory. Since Bauer is well-read, with a graduate degree in American Studies, it is difficult to believe that she never encountered these ideas, so why are they omitted? Surely they are not more foreign to contemporary thought than St. Augustine’s _City of God_ or More’s _Utopia_. Thoughts?


  65. @Slithy Toves #18

    I feel that way as well. It is the same feeling I get when tracking weather forecast models of an oncoming storm, at the point when the models all agree as to what is incoming and all that is left is to weather the storm. We seem to be passing from a phase of true uncertainty, where small physical/astral/metaphysical perturbations can have large and unpredictable effects, into a less chaotic phase of inevitability as the underlying pattern takes on a discernable and less mutable form.

    In the physical plane, I see it reflected as a turning point at which the push toward vaccine mandates, authoritarian regulations, etc. begins to lose steam, cracks begin to form in the official narrative, and momentum begins to shift in the opposite direction.

  66. Now look at this:

    It’s noteworthy, that a) “Wall Street analysts and most policymakers” anticipate that everything will become as it was again, supposed no new mean variant comes along to destroy their hopes and b) that the more negative scenarios do not take into account that possibly of a running out of natural resources. They do mention climate (the word is really in there!), tough.


  67. It’s interesting to me how the more conspiratorially-minded around the Internet are insisting that the shortages must, must be part of “The Plan™” – and it actually seems to reinforce the idea that they’re really also believers in Progress, too, just the other side of it. Things can’t legitimately just be out, you see, because that just doesn’t happen These Days unless Someone is behind it.

    @JMG in your response to Tidlosa re: #24 –

    Why would the media want to back away from the coronavirus narrative now? It’s been serving them well so far… unless they figure the ammunition’s spent on it and it’s past the point of diminishing returns (which, by now, it probably is).

  68. What do you think life will be like for the average westerner 30 years from now – best and worse case scenario? How do you predict Australia will fair in the descent?

  69. Hi JMG,

    I saw on your dreamwidth channel a critique of the story-writing comp at Grist. Am I right that you are against the idea of ‘intersectionality’?
    I’m not very knowledgable about it, but I thought it meant understanding the different ways that oppression affects people — in which case, I would have expected you to support it as it also considers things like class and wealth (as well as gender and race issues)

    (FWIW, I don’t think we’ll heal all the ills in the world by changing our pronouns, but I think it would help some people)

    Cheers, Gus

  70. @Chris in Vermont- #41- melted chocolate works better for us on mouse and rat traps. They can smell it, but have to settle in to chew it, so that sets off the traps better. We have built habitat in our quarter acre yard to attract predators, including hawks, but we still get rodents. They mostly stay in the yard, but this time of year a few want to come inside. -Katsmama

  71. Wondering how other people involved with schools and young people are doing? In 25 years of teaching, this is the most draining it has ever been.
    Middle school, so some people have had the jab, some not. We wear masks inside, and take 5 to 10 minute breaks outside each period. Not being able to read facial expressions is hard, and having the kids not be able to read mine is difficult also- am I joking? am I mad?
    There are more fights than I ever remember in September. Just this afternoon kids were asked to detour around a student who was throwing chairs and knocking over trash cans- administration just watched as he threw a fit, and asked other students to go the long way to the drinking fountains.
    I am wondering what members of the commentariat with kids, or in the kid business, are seeing in your parts of the world. – Katsmama

  72. Data point. Every year when the post office has raised its rates, it’s been as of January 1st, and they used to announce it in advance. Just yesterday I bought stamps at the supermarket and was charged $58 for them. I asked about that and the clerk said the rates went up. (Well, duh!) When? September 1st. And never a word in the daily paper about it.

    Welcome to the Long Descent – not with a crash, but a lot of nickel-and-diming done as quietly as can be. And speeding up.

  73. To fkaminsky (#4)

    On the subject of drugs, I have brought it up to some people without mentioning the names of the drugs. Just mention that, for otherwise healthy people, the odds of surviving covid are extremely good, even without any treatment. And there are at least two effective treatment protocols that can increase those odds to very nearly one hundred percent.

  74. Grover’s post from last week, about ‘coolth’ reminded me of an interest of mine. That interest is natural cooling (or heating). Over the years, I’ve come across random anecdotes of controlling summer heat. A book I read on a completely unrelated topic mentioned a Spanish car in the 1960s (maybe?) that had a vented double roof, so the sun didn’t heat up the passenger compartment (hopefully this is right, but I’m going by memory).

    A few years ago, I came across this website, on the writer’s experience with double walls in the tropics to control heat.

    Even reading Ulysses S. Grant’s autobiography, he mentions in passing “…The 4th infantry went into camp at Salubrity in the month of May, 1844, with instructions, as I have said, to await further orders. At first, officers and men occupied ordinary tents. As the summer heat increased these were covered by sheds to break the rays of the sun…”

    Why aren’t double-walls or roofs discussed more often? Cost? Buffoonery? I’m sure it is cost, but it is strange that it is essentially never brought up.

    All that, I guess, to ask Grover how ‘coolth’ was maximized in the cabin that was mentioned.
    Thank you.


  75. @Chris in Vermont – set out a bowl of water and another of cat food at your back door, and say a prayer to Bast.

  76. Dear JMG and comminity does anyone have Victor Schaubergers work about water? Where do I find WR Wilhelm Reiches Cloud Buster drawings? They both knew Margaret Sanger, Ernest Grafenberg knew of them too….ISBNs, links, titles….

  77. Dear #fkaminski try reversed phycology, when talking of vaccines say experimental drug, that has many proven side effects, mention that sunlight Vit D, orange Juice Vit C and good run and not eating fast food will do wonders, do not agitate, educate, do not throw studies at people they never read them. Tell them I know a guy who got really sick or that girl that got menstrual problems. Most can relate to that… Or say you know what these doctors say these cheaper and proven medications work better from what i have read…Do not waste your energy on the haters they are lost, embrace the once that share your views;) Kind regards Martin

  78. Lady Cutekitten – Happy Birthday to Sonkitten

    On another note, there seems to be a lot of indication of catabolic collapse in these posts.

    Lathechuck #30: The WaPo article about reusing wastes as food. The statement “it may be technically challenging to prevent spoilage between the primary use, and the “upcycled” product” doesn’t fill me with great confidence. I heartily agree with the linkage between upchuck (or stronger terminology) and upcycled!

    Lew #38: The Atlantic talking (approvingly) about the pruning of middle management.

    And finally, numerous price increases (natural gas, coal, oil, food), media reports of the possibility of impending food and energy shortages.

    I wonder if the “man in the street” may start to put these pieces of information like these all together?

  79. @Chris in Vermont,
    How I sympathize with you! In the town we lived in by Mt. Fuji, every house had rat issues. Our rickety old farmhouse was no exception. This was compounded by it serving as a clubhouse for sportsmen for over a decade before we moved in. They’d eat and leave food just sitting there when the weather suddenly cleared up. Rodents establish ways in and these become like highways for further incursions. In our case, it would have required razing the house and putting up something new with rat-resistant materials and defending that. In our current house I am quite vigorous about not allowing food outside of the kitchen and dining room, and my brother-in-law helps by being obsessive about cleanliness.
    Rats are too clever by a mile. I saw a TV program a couple days ago featuring various pest infestations and how people handled them. Hornets–obviously take care not to get stung while you remove the nest. Raccoons–clean up the mess and install grating. Rats, though, had gotten into a restaurant during the COVID business closures and dealing with them took a strategy. A single rat trap will simply be avoided. Peppermint? They quickly recognize that it indicates you have something they want. How the exterminators in Japan deal with rats now is to line the entire floor and countertops with sticky traps, setting up machines to release harsh sounds, peppermint spray and I forget what else, getting all the hidden varmints to panic. In this case the wise old mother rat evaded this somehow, but they repeated the treatment, walking in and spraying all the hiding places, and eventually caught her too. Then they cleaned up all the rats’ messes and sealed the holes with metal grating.
    One thing that worked in our house was to catch a decent-sized snake and turn it loose in the kitchen. That would clear the rats out for three months. Second best was a good cat. Get a kitten and praise it well for everything it brings you. We had some luck with poison, but first you have to make sure the rats are not finding anything else to eat, or they will just avoid it.

  80. This is a comment for all persons here who have type 2 diabetes. There is a Canadian Doctor, Jason Fung, a nephrologist who has been reversing type 2 diabetes and getting people off all their diabetes medications. He does it with diet and fasting. His books are widely available and I would encourage all interested persons to pick one up from the library as his is a simple, inexpensive and successful method of reversing this dreadful disease.

    I am writing this because I read his, “Complete Guide to Fasting,” which was well written, interesting and very helpful to me. As a post-menopausal woman, I was able to lose 22 lbs. in 6 months quite easily and reverse all my diabetic symptoms.

  81. Priya, taking care of yourself is essential. Getting ample rest and letting yourself recover should be first priority; add in spiritual practices to the extent that you can do that without getting in the way of recovering from burnout.

    Matt, delighted to hear it!

    Twinzer, I know people who do Mercury planetary charity during Mercury retrogrades specifically to make the retrogrades easier on them, and have reported good results.

    JC, he really needs to give up his hopes of a new career as a drug salesman.

    Kyle, you had a ghastly childhood. It doesn’t matter that some people you know had a worse one. As for your questions, I don’t know the answers to them — I wasn’t there at the time, after all. It’s quite possible that spiritual forces acted through those experiences, but what they were — well, you’re more likely to be able to learn that through prayer and meditation than I am.

    Phutatorius, my wife is an amateur violinist, and she agrees with you!

    Skygazer, I don’t know enough about conditions in Britain to be able to judge your theory, but it doesn’t seem utterly implausible to me. As for a return to feudalism, a great deal depends on whether the aristocratic families are able to rise to the challenge of warfare — because that’s the crucible in which every feudalism is formed. Those families that reliably produce effective war leaders become the great houses of the feudal system. Those that don’t — why, they perish very quickly.

    Moo Foo Bay, Ecosophia pretty reliably brings in between half and two-thirds the readership of The Archdruid Report. I’m quite comfortable with that, in that it means that the workload of moderation is easier to handle.

    RavenWillow, here’s Part One, Part Two, and Part Three of the main sequence of posts I did on that, and here’s an earlier post that might be useful as well. Thanks for asking!

    John, you have to start by acknowledging that the young men have a point. Most of the jobs available to working class people these days involve wretchedly poor pay, miserable conditions, humiliating policies inflicted by managemenet, and no significant prospects for advancement. Trying to insist to young men that they should work hard anyway because it’s good for the community will not get you anywhere, because they’re quite aware that the role they have been assigned in life by the comfortable classes is to labor in misery for someone else’s benefit, and they’re sick of it. As for “a better outlook on the future,” er, have you actually read this blog at all? The outlook on the future presented here is that we’re in the opening stages of a long, bitter era of decline that will end in a dark age like the one that followed the fall of Rome. Your young men sense that, even if they don’t know it, and they’re not willing to sacrifice themselves to prop up a corrupt and failing system. I’m in sympathy with them — I made the same choice decades ago, and focused on finding a niche where I can live the life I choose. That’s an option for them, too, but they won’t find it by “working for the community” — they’ll find it by following their own dreams, and learning to be comfortable with poverty and the scorn of their self-proclaimed betters en route.

    Anna, yes, I’m watching the same spectacle with roughly the same feelings. By the way, you can always use “shale” and “frack” as equivalents of certain undruidly words — that’s become quite customary here, and phrases like “batshale crazy” work very well in practice. As for Henri and Ida, they didn’t cause any particular trouble here in Rhode Island.

    Rita, fascinating! Thanks for this. Of course Bauer doesn’t mention the cyclic historians — they have been systematically blacklisted by contemporary historical writing, because they got too many things right.

    Nachtgurke, too funny.

    Brendhelm, my take on conspiracy culture for years now has been that it’s an attempt to maintain the narrative of human dominance over the whole cosmos in the teeth of the facts. Everything has to be caused by some group of human beings — things can’t just happen by themselves! As for the virus panic narrative, my thought is that it’s well past the point of diminishing returns, and the media — which is as always fixated on selling ad space — is looking for something new to attract eyeballs.

    Sammy, that’s a topic for a blog post, not a brief answer to a comment.

    Gus, what a very crude generalization. I suggest you read more of my writing; you’ll find that I make use of intersectionality where it’s appropriate and critique its use when it’s not.

    Patricia M, that’s a good point.

    Repotluck, excellent! That’s a subject that deserves close study as fossil fuels run short.

    Martin, all of Reich’s work is currently in print — if you do some internet searching you can find the details — and I believe most of Schauberger’s works are also readily available.

    Cugel, I hope so!

  82. Slithy Toves–YES! I was just telling my dad this last night, that the energy around covid feels less corrosive, horrifying, and distorted somehow and someway! I am so, so happy to hear others say this! I read Kimberly’s blog often too, looks like I’m not caught up enough other wise I would have caught something like this.

  83. #fkaminski talk to women especially say: I want to have more children I have heard these injections can cause infertility, most I’ve talked to when I say that they blush and then they switch topic, to things like, I work there come and see my workplace, or sh.t that was the thing with those swine flue jabs as well, or my sister said over my dead body…;)

  84. @ Ryan #22

    You might look to Polyface farms, Joel Salatin who’s interns must be responsible for their outcomes and are pushed to do so

  85. A couple interesting developments on the Covid front lines, were the huge anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne, Australia which totally over-ran the police presence. Also, in Romania there was a huge celebration because the vcxx centers were going to be closing because only 30% of the population took the jab. There’s still light at the end of the tunnel.

  86. @ Kirsten #4

    I also live in the greater SF bay area. And, I also feel constrained by young adult children to remain put, at least for now. Maybe we should talk. I also mostly lurk, for years now, but recently am responding on occasion, like to this comment of yours.

    I live out of town on a few acres, which means I have no easy way to get to anything without driving, as the buses are a couple times a day, and I have to walk a mile at elevation to get to them. I would have a 6 mile walk with a 2000 ft elevation change to get to a store, and thta location has very few stores.

    I have practiced gardening alot, I am over on green wizards also, and cooking. And other simple living and low energy lifestyle options.

    My area burned heavily last year, which has ruined the garden soil a bit, and last winter was the lowest rainfall for many many decades at least. SO, there are challenges. Not to mention being WAY to close to Bay area population centers who may take what little a grub out, and the way this area assumes everyone has money and the taxes are already bad and they of course want more…..

  87. @Kyle (#51):

    I think in the end that you handled your situations very well indeed, both with respect to that dog and with respect to your parents. Thoughtless, self-justifying people like the woman who ran that kennel are a dime a dozen out there in the real world; and malevolent, vicious or violent parents like you describe yours are about as common.

    If you are retrospectively appalled at your own actions … don’t be! Taking up that shotgun, loading and cocking it, and realizing that you would actually use it to kill your own father if things had gone too far was, I think, a good thing to do in that particular situation, or at least not a very bad thing.

    As for what that being was whom you met while under dog-attack — well, all human labels for such beings–angels, demons, etc.–are nothing but desparate attempts to contain and domesticate such beings, IMHO. (Words get in the way!) Their identities, so far as humans can grasp them, merge and divide like shadows cast by tree leaves swaying in the wind.

    It’s not important what you call them. The one you met had your back in your time of extreme danger, and that’s what counts. (And they seem to have little interest in shabby human ideas of right and wrong, virtue and vice. They do not seem to be at all interested in human morals or ethics, at least not in my own experience.)

  88. Hello JMG and commentariat long time reader and first-time commentator here.

    Recently – as of a fortnight ago – I began to study and practice the mantic art of geomancy. After some spectacularly accurate weather predictions, all quite contra the prognostications of the meteorologists (they said cloud and storms, the charts said clear and calm; ‘twas a balmy few days, pleasant for tourists and lizards!), I posed a different question.

    Inspired by Kimberly Steele’s Ogham divinations regarding ‘the fate of the vaxxed’ and ‘the fate of the unvaxxed’ a chart was cast asking ‘is the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine safe for use in humans?’. The Shield chart produced Populus (People) as the Judge with Rubeus (Red) as both left and right Witnesses. As it was a yes/no question I took the double appearance of the unfavorable figure of Rubeus along with the neutral figure of Populus as an emphatic no, it’s not safe.

    Rubeus as the right witness tells me that the querent (Man as a species) is – in regard to vaccination – emotionally unstable yet powerfully driven by emotion (though what emotion/s is perhaps indicated in the House chart). Rubeus as the left witness says quite simply DANGER! Populus tells me that the subject (Man) passively accepts the object (vaccine) and that, due to the emotional character of the figures involved (i.e. Rubeus and Populus), the reception is predicated on feelings with little rational deliberation involved.

    The House Chart is like the M25 (large ring-road motorway surrounding London) at rush hour; busy, very busy. Being a novice at geomancy my interpretive skills are not remotely developed enough to fully understand what the House chart is saying. If anybody is interested in looking at the House chart themselves the Four Mothers in order of generation are 1) Acquisitio, 2) Puer, 3) Acquisitio and 4) Carcer.

    That being said here’s the cliff notes version of my interpretation. The question queries the safety of a medical treatment therefore the patient/querent (Man) goes in the First House, the proposed treatment (vaccine) in the Tenth House, the people administering the treatment in the Seventh House and the illness (whatever that may be) in the Sixth House.

    Acquisitio (Gain) in the First house signifies that people have received the vaccine, gain in the most concrete fashion. Fortuna Minor (Lesser Fortune) in the Tenth House signifies that the treatment will be an apparent success, though effectively fleeting. Populus in the Seventh House signifies that the folk sticking the needles in arms feel that they’re just doing their jobs. Cauda Draconis is in the Sixth house and I’m not sure what he signifies; SAR-Cov-2, an illness caused by the vaccine, something else again, I’m really not sure.

    That’s my apprentice level basic reading. The House chart also repeats Acquisitio in the Third and Fifth Houses, has Tenth House Fortuna Minor In Company with Laetitia (Joy) and Seventh House Populus In Company with Via (Way), Via also appears in the Twelfth House.

    So a few question for both our host and the knowledgeable commentariat.

    What belongs in the Sixth House?
    Am I correct in placing the querent (Man) in the First House?
    In general, how was my reading of the charts?

    Any advise on geomancy warmly welcome.
    Thank you.

  89. John G 65

    I think you need to have people on board with a recognition of a problem before you can find a solution.

    In our church we have an open Torah club bible study with a potluck meal after the main meeting, which often meanders into current events and societal challenges, because of the practicality (and difficulty) of some of the Bible passages, but it allows for a free exchange of ideas. As a result of that we have had some amazing discussions, including issues talked about on this blog. You just have to pick your moments.

    In another church I went to they had a men’s breakfast event where the men could bond and discuss different stuff (unfortunately that resulted in another power base appearing and the splitting of the church..and the beginning of a new one, but it certainly seemed to have a galvanizing effect).

    I think most things begin with people talking to each other – and food helps!

  90. (John Michael Greer please feel free to edit out my angry all capitol letter rant further down.)

    I saw a post by someone called John G here who was elected to lead church group, not John Michael Greer, trying to motivate young men to get jobs start families etc.

    As a demoralized young man myself, I must say that I think the older generations, The Boomers in particular, have abandoned us.

    Case in point. I currently have a job and have worked for the company now for a couple years. I want to transfer to another store in the companies national chain, and I am faced with having my permanent position being made temporary again if I do that…..


    John G, you want your church to help young people I have an idea, get a piece of land and just allow them to build their tiny houses on it.

    [edited — way too much profanity, way too much shouting. See if you can say the same things in a calmer tone, though, because they need to be said. — JMG]

  91. John G., if I may, build something. Have it be a fairly major project. Community garden comes to mind, but more than that. Maybe plant an orchard and grape arbor to go along with the garden. Refurbish things like small appliances, battered furniture, donated electronics–you must know what a hassle it is safely to dispose of same– etc. for donation to needy families. Get the guys involved in making and doing and learning for themselves how satisfying that can be. Our ancestors held barn raisings. A day’s hard work, your neighbor had a barn, everyone brought food and a quilt or two got finished. You must surely have adult parishioners who can supervise and share what they know. As for jobs, society wide, workers have had it with silly games, sociopathic supervision, no regular schedule, and not earning enough to live on. Instead of get a job, maybe focus on skill building and income streams.

  92. Hi JMG,

    Agreed, it was a simplistic generalisation, and I’m happy to be wrong (I’ve been reading your writing since about 2010). I suppose I was trying to say that intersectionality as a concept has merit, even though it’s commonly misused and abused 😉

    Cheers, Gus

  93. Hi JMG, you wrote in your Sept 1 post about product shortages becoming more and more obvious, and my first reaction was ‘huh?’, since I hadn’t really experienced that at least since the early days of Covid-hoarding and hadn’t seen or heard anything similar from anyone else. Some of the initial responses had the same take. Almost immediately thereafter I ran into a long video on YouTube I felt compelled to watch that purported to answer the question of why supply chains worldwide were being disrupted (it gave a variety of technical explanations that did not explicitly point to scarcity as a reason but which were also not incompatible with it) and now it seems like every single day I see new stories about scarcity, rationing, what will not be available for Christmas (alas!).

    I’m still eager to see how it all plays out, and whether it’s the beginning of the long decline is anyone’s guess at this point, but just wanted to give you a thumbs up for the ‘you heard it here first’ moment. Always informative, and often predictive. I haven’t forgotten that you were one of the very first to make me see that President Trump was a real possibility when none of the serious people saw it coming. If only you had forewarned me about the four years of hysteria that would follow…

  94. I didn’t see anyone mention it, but Ken Burn’s isn’t feeling so optimist about the future. In a podcast he did for The Hill about his upcoming documentary about Mohammad Ali, he’s quoted as saying: “Current times are equal to the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II. It’s really serious.”
    Geez, and I thought I was black-pilled.

  95. @Slithy #18: I too recently felt a slight, but noticeable, lifting of a burden. It was on Sept 15. I cannot trace it to any specific event (though there were a few hopeful events early last week – but there have been such events happening weekly for several weeks now), so I suspect that the shift has happened at a more subtle plane. Interestingly, I should have been really bummed out the past couple of days because as a Canadian, the party of our authoritarian, Charter of Rights and Freedoms burning, Prime Minister was re-elected (as opposed to parties which were more ‘pro-choice’ in nature), but it hasn’t negatively affected my mood… which is all the more reason for me to believe that the shift has been ‘up there’ and will manifest ‘down here’ in coming months.

    Ron M

  96. Rita Rippetoe, Susan Bauer is a very well educated, Christianist home schooler. She actually wrote a History of the World in about 4 or 5 volumes to be used in a home school curriculum. I read through some of it. It has its’ merits. She did pay close attention to chronology, including pointing out cross cultural chronologies. As in when Sargon of Akkad was conquering Mesopotamia, such and such was also happening in Egypt and something else was happening in China. So, not the standard Plato to Nato narrative, and non Western cultures and civilizations were not neglected. However, she is a Bible literalist, or very nearly so, not too much of a problem because the Old Testament depiction of Mid East history is actually fairly accurate if one reads it on its own terms. I think a cyclical theory of history would contradict her Christian eschatology. What bothered me was a clear bias in favor of Important People. For example, when she got to the Roman Republic, and its’ civil wars, she was a partisan of Sully, the bloodthirsty aristocrat. Her animus against Marius, the equally bloodthirsty plebian who made good–I think I have that right–was so great that she left out a major battle Marius won against the Gauls. Also, while her books are good on chronology, geography was almost entirely neglected in what I read. There were some maps, mere sketches, and I suppose the Nile floods were mentioned, if not their origin in the monsoons, but very little as I recall on matters as important as climate, growing seasons, and so on. Furthermore, there is no excuse at the present time for writing about the classical world and neglecting to discuss the slave trade.

  97. @John G

    Good evening, I’m one of those young(ish) 30 year old men whose been struggling with my place in society and I’d like to give a little input in my coming from my own reflections as well as what I hear from my friends in that age. A brief summery, the idea of “society” is a racket. This hits deep for me so it’s difficult to distil it down so I’ll throw out some points. I want to HEAVILY emphasize that these are mine and my friends experiences so your mileage may vary

    -Industrial society has deflated the value of men who were already seen as disposable. In addition to this the ease of getting food, shelter, etc has revealed the grubby underbelly of the human condition. Without the need to rely on others for survivel relationships are based solely on how much you can please someone diminishing the value of human relationships.

    -Lack of empathy from elders. My father always talks to me about jobs and relationships like it’s the 70’s where there’s a firm handshake etc. So often times communicating with him about my issues seems pointless.

    -In the media it’s always the fault of young men for a lot of issues, there are some willing to examine the other side but in our age there’s only one acceptable punching bag.

    -Cowardace in leadership. There was a time I thought of returning to the Catholic Church, but the Covington Kids scandal showed me just how much the church would have my back in any incident, again, men are disposible so it obviously wasn’t worth protecting them and this extends to society at large and with each day that feeling becomes more mutual.

    -Relationships- What can I say that hasn’t already been said by so many other men online, but I will add that another point of modern society that has ruined this is the so called safety nets we have that give people the false illusion that they’ll be taken care of later in life without a the usual insurance of family, so a lot of girls I talk to aren’t interested in having families, and before someone points out the idea to lower your standards, I’ve tried that, the girls wanted to be “fur mommas” instead of having children. This may come off shallow but if all you have to offer is smelly ferrets and binging on anime and video games, that does not incentivize me to want to be a productive member of society. Honestly I could go on and on about this one, but I’m a single male so of course I could but I won’t.

    -Social Pressure- Talking about any of this without a deep relationship with the person could risk you being seen as reactionary, one of those people, so social isolation runs deep. One way to take this off is to offer a place to develop genuine male friendships. One author of the disident right made an interesting point about this in that platonic male intimacy is a very fragile thing which isolates a lot of men. This is something I would probably conceed the right has had a hand in.

    These are a few of the things that burn in my head everyday that blunt me from making a lot more effort than I normally would. There was a time where I was willing to be a hard worker, staying late, coming in early and taking my job seriously and with a semblance of pride, even in retail for god’s sake. I was willing to put forth my best effort, but time and time again at least in the world most of us have the displeasure of inhabiting, there is no reward for it, even worse you just get used and worn down, and I keep hearing that once upon a time in the fantasy land of the “good old days” there was something to be said but no longer.

    With that bit of ranting out of the way I’d like to offer two things, an idea and a link.

    You have to give young men a sense of purpose, or a mission that they can take pride in. One image that gave me hope was the Johnny Appleseed posts. I’ve given up on marriage, this generation and all that, but the idea of working towards planting seeds of kindness so other generations won’t feel so hopeless is one of the things that keeps me out of the negative space in my head. For me it’s a bit difficult because where I am I’m alone, but if you could guide young men in a direction where they can see, even in their minds eye, a chance to make a small improvement or a small bit of appriciation for their existance, well it might not be a cure but I’d bet for the ones truly looking for something, willing to work for something, that would be something that would give them a small sense of pride and that’s something the heart can really cling to and pull itself up by.

    Address these young men with respect, not shame. If they’re the chronically online types then they’ve been taking a mental beating for years, just having the chance to let out their feelings without being told to “man up” or any of that crap that a lot of conservative boomers vomit up would go a long way. Even if you don’t have concrete ideas yourself, just being someone that listens is enough.

    Have patience, the internet has warped so many peoples sense of what reality actually is like that in some senses they may need to learn to emotionally walk again.

    And for goodness sake use every opportunity to get them away from these awful screens. <- I'll let his tweets speak for himself but a lot of the things he talks about may be of use to your mission. In fact the idea of giving men a mission I ape from him.

    Sorry if this all comes of as incoherent but as I said, what you were asking about hits directly home for me. I hope I don't come off as "woe as me" just trying to put out for right or wrong, some of the emotions that batter me internally that may give some more perspective for you to work with.

  98. Karl, there’s plenty of light at the end of the tunnel. Remember that social change is a pendulum — when it swings very far one way, it swings back the other with redoubled force.

    LTG, thanks for these.

    Mr. James, that’s about as emphatic a “no” reading as I can imagine. Cauda Drac is a symbol of endings, and in the 6th it very likely means that the current pandemic is winding down in the natural way. Yes, the querent is always in the first house, and your reading seems tolerably solid to me — for someone who’s only been working on this for a couple of weeks, it’s very good.

    Frequent, duly edited and posted. Please do see if you can express the same thoughts without profanity and without ALL CAPS SHOUTING, as what you’re saying needs to be heard.

    Gus, of course it has merit, in its place, and in proper context. That wasn’t what annoyed me about the Grist fiction contest. You can find a detailed discussion about what did annoy me in the link in this week’s post, btw.

    Drake, thank you for this! I try to keep my eye on the aspects of the future that the conventional wisdom won’t let people see.

    Karl, interesting. If he’s getting a clue, change may really be in the wind.

  99. JMG, I know you started a regular discussion group on dreamwidth about all things pandemic, but I have a hard time in that thread environment, so I hope you will indulge me here. I’ve had some stressful encounters regarding my vaccination status over the past few months, but things picked up this week, and I wanted to share. I imagine there are many stories unfolding lately, with much graver consequences. I hope we all get through okay. As you noted, the latest from “Joe Biden” only made me more determined than ever not to get that stuff injected into my body. Anyway, my run-ins with a mandate and with censorship:

    I recently signed up to do a fun run 5k with my 5th grade son. The run entry fees go to a scholarship fund. It is an outside event. I received an email an hour ago: UPDATE 9/22/2021: As per xxxx College, to enter onto campus for the race, all adults guests must show one of the following:

    Proof of COVID vaccination OR
    Negative COVID test; OR
    Proof that you have had COVID in the last 90 days

    Race day and pre-bib pick up information will follow later this week. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

    If it were just me, I would give them a piece of my mind and demand a refund, but my son is looking forward to the event. So I immediately tried to sign up for a test. The earliest appointment I could get is this Friday at noon, less than 48 hours before the event.
    So there is the science–asking a non-vaxxed person for proof they are covid-free. Except whoops, the vaccinated can pass it just as easily–if not more so.

    I found this podcast, which was posted in the comments section at The Automatic Earth, to be a plausible and fascinating theory as to how most people are swallowing obviously contradictory “information” without hesitation. It basically posits a mass hypnosis.


    I write a weekly column for the local paper in my little city. It was rejected at the 11th hour. I had quoted from an article on the Associated Press website about the recommendations of the FDA advisory committee to limit booster shots to those over 65 and others at notably high risk. I offered no opinion, and in fact tried to tip toe around the issue by putting it in the context of all the wars on this and that we have fought with outstanding failure over the past 50 years.
    Here is a link to the rejected column.

  100. JMG, I have noticed a few things within myself and the ramshackle of my psychological structure and something that I have found is that I am constantly trying to prove myself because I don’t see myself as worthy. At the same time in situations I act cocky and presumptuous while putting myself in situations and setting myself up for failure to reaffirm that notion of not being worthy. I have come to think that I do this to not see the insecurity and thus protect my ego by telling myself that I am not insecure –I am big and better– but then when I fail to do something I say to myself “See how you are not enough?”.

    The thing is, sometimes I impose my worldview and my way of doing things in my mind, for the same reason, if I see myself better than others and myself being right then there is no reason to feel insecure or to see it. Now, I am aware of this which ironically makes me too aware of not making the mistake of being cocky in situations that I am not! I hope that makes sense. Basically, it is like stage 2 of some sort of insecure egocentrism in rehabilitation.

    Would you say that to target such an issue would I need to focus on seeing that I am but one piece of the universe as valid as anybody else or would you say that I would need to focus on building security in who I am? I am thinking that the latter would also target the former because it seems that the insecurity is what prompts me to see myself as better than others but I am concerned that building security would reinforce the idea that I am better.

  101. Lakelandrepotluck, I had a Landrover with a vented double roof like you described, I think it was called a safari roof, it worked.

  102. Slithy
    Thanks for bringing it up. Yes, I noticed as well, giddy happiness, positive outlook, no more fear. Several days ago, out of nowhere.
    Kimberly, maybe Nicki Minaj slipped into a new Madonna image?

    Agree with everything. If there’s a surplus of young men, some of them will choose violence, some will choose hedonism ( porn, non commital sex), some will numb themselves with drugs and video games ( slow suicide), some will try to copy their parents and plunge head first into an unhappy marriage, then child support.
    If you don’t like any of these options, you should look for a different role model. It may take a while but there are still man you can aspire to become. It may be just one individual. If this wasn’t your father, you may need to make a new father for yourself. And don’t look for happiness. It’s an emotional drug you’ve been imbued with. Happiness may not exist, but moments of happiness may be real, oftentimes in the midst of your worst struggle.

  103. Thanks to everyone for the feedback! I noticed something was different around the 18th, though I put it down to seeing an old friend again and spending less time online.

    Kimberly, I think you’re on to something re: Nicki Minaj. Having a popular celebrity telling her fans to pray about something, and not just in the virtue-signalling way that “Pray for X” is often used, may have done a lot of good.

    Lathechuck, I submitted a comment that I suspect was eaten: basically, I see “upcycled food” as the Yuppie name for something we’ve always been doing: turning meat scraps into sausages, leftover brewer’s yeast into stuff like Marmite and Vegemite, etc. I grant you the spent barley doesn’t look appetizing. Yuck.

    Gus, the problem I see with the way intersectionality is used is that frequently it’s a way to ignore class by focusing on issues where you can paint the working class as bigots.

    Mr. James, I agree with JMG: you did pretty good! Consider also that the Reconciler/Sentence is Acquisitio, Gain, which is not usually a good figure for medical questions. Could portend that there will be an increase in long-term health problems for those who take the AZ shot. (Mind you, there’s disagreement among geomancers about whether to check the Sentence if the chart is already clear.)

    That said, I’m somewhat suspicious of using sortilege methods like geomancy for such large-scale questions. I’d prefer using astrology, since the chart is public and not personal to the diviner. That said, I’ll be watching to seeing whether Kimberly Steele’s large-scale ogham divinations around the vaccinated and unvaccinated come true; if so, I’ll be more inclined to trust sortilege methods for such things in the future.

  104. @Ryan Tiefen, check out Lost Valley Education Center in Dexter, Oregon.

    We are looking for land and garden work traders with some regularity and are about to run a fall Permaculture Design Course (commuter only).

    Other communities/Education centers often have similar programs that go beyond WYOMING. Look for farm and permaculture internships.

  105. @Anna, well the thing about scapegoats, is they better watch the horns 😉

    “… I guess the mountain goat was successful in the circumstance. And it ultimately turned the tables on this bear,”

    I enjoyed that article for the metaphor immensely, since I got to verbally grind my council colleague enemies’ bones into flour for my bread about their scapegoating of a small business last week.

    One of the colleagues I chewed out emailed me later to say she took umbrage at my characterization of her facts as scapegoating. Which, Harry Potter fans, I also found enormously funny.

    But, that gave me some great impetus to (at least attempt) to flip the tables on a small cadre of very wealthy, politically well connected (to very dubious politician-businessmen) people trying to claim they were speaking for the little guys in an amazingly transparent astroturf this week. So hang in there, goats.

    @Katsmama – my husband teaching highschool has had the opposite experience so far. They’re all still masked, but his classes are calm and have all been really good workers. His peer tutors say they’re bored. My son says the older elementary boys (grades three to five) have been having playground fights constantly. Maybe normal for the age group. I had a whole bunch of new kids at beaver scouts tonight who all had severe anxiety and attention problems compared to even the usual frenetic energy of that age group on a school night, but thru were all families that said they didn’t usually join things, and the idea of a group activity was new to them all, but this year they wanted to do something. So intriguing data.

  106. Frequent Ecosophian who is in Anger Management…. formerly Frequent Ecosophian who wanted to go Anger Management…. now that’s out of the way. Gotta laugh at your own anger. Gotta laugh at it.

    Thank you John Michael Greer for snipping that last comment I wrote, taking the profanity out of it.

    John G, anyone in a leadership position today, like leading a church group that is trying to help young men, is going to have to contend with how modern society is destroying the lives of both young men and young women. The narrative being fed to both is toxic. I actually had a interesting talk high school girl at work earlier today. She told me she wasn’t planning on going to college after seeing what it did to her older cousins, millennials. I told the same thing happened to me.

    Expectation of a capacity to repay a loan for an education that is worthless. No matter if is a hard science like Biology, with a organic chemistry as it relates to toxicology. ZERO JOB PROSPECTS. (JMG if you ever want to write a book on poisons…. I might be able to lend a hand in that regard.) In my time in college I came to think, Tereatagens, are one of the biggest class we have to worry about. Poisons that affect the offspring of offspring.
    One of the big myths of progress being perpetuated is that we can cleanse all the poisons out of the Earth and soil using technology….. Earth is going to clean itself. We’re not going to be able to do much to help it. I digress….

    Further more housing prices keep rising to support a rent economy. That rent is funding the retirements of older generations, who do not want to partake in the Ilth that is coming their way. The wealth in many ways is clearly still there. Young people can see it in this wealth in the boats sitting in the garages of many baby boomers.

    My boss is trying to buy a house. She is a few years older than I am. The $200,000 loan she and her boyfriend applied for doesn’t buy anything within an hour of here. I suggested they take their down payment buy land and go tiny. My boss has to deal with a district manager, of the managerial class who doesn’t have a clue what goes on in our store. Watching my boss try work the transfer out for me is hillarious… infuriating. To say the least.

    JMG how am I doing with managing the anger here?

    Young people today believe what you own is what you can, you yourself, take care of. That’s how many people I know define ownership at this point. It makes sense. The watershed moment in the end of this empire will be when the elite realize they don’t own what they can’t maintain.

  107. To John G, WB1c and the others

    I am a little bit older (early 40s), but having many of the same feelings, although I had written it up to the midlife crisis.

    I am fortunate to have found a niche where I can work and be paid fairly well, found a compatible partner, managed to get a house at a reasonable price, etc. I feel lucky to have escaped many of the traps that ensnare young men these days.

    On the other hand, I have about had it with working a “job”. I have planned my escape, but it is still a few months away. I always thought that most people, if given half a chance, want to work hard and do a good job. I certainly do. Every company I have ever worked for, though, managed to demoralize people and create perverse incentive structures to punish people for doing good work. I’ve seen it over and over. Hard-working, talented people keep moving on to something better, leaving behind a core of bitter, lazy people with no other options. Those are the long-termers at every company I have ever worked for.

    Having put sixteen or seventeen years into a career, I have decided I don’t want it any more. I can get by with less money, but you couldn’t pay me enough to keep putting up with this BS any longer. It is a common enough story here in Japan that there is a pop-culture word for corporate dropouts who choose to work in farming or the trades.

  108. @JMG

    “According to Rystad Energy, this year will see the highest-ever number of geothermal wells drilled as the geothermal sector sees waves of renewed interest.
    Rystad sees the global well capital expenditure on geothermal exceeding $1 billion this year, with the overall number of geothermal wells drilled surpassing 200 in 2021.
    The pace of geothermal drilling is poised to speed up in the upcoming years, with Rystad seeing the 2025 drilling tally at 500 already, i.e. more than doubling the current levels of drilling.
    The upcoming decade should see a massive ramp-up in geothermal capacity as it makes inroads into urban heating and lithium extraction, with global capacity reaching 36GW by 2030.”

    What is your thoughts on Geothermal replacing Oil as a source of “Mass” and “Energy source”?

    Edit:repost from the past thread.

  109. @JMG

    You can see that this issue strikes a nerve with a lot of people. I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning, long before I joined this church and I’ve been a doomer even longer than that. I wouldn’t presume to advise my peers to follow the status quo, as I firmly believe we are in a new spiritual age, and that we need to adapt to the needs of our planet as well as our own consciences. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I respect that each of us has to face this on our own terms as individuals.


    I’d love to tell everyone to get some kind of trade or remote work and live on an earth ship as much as anyone, but I have to consider that there’s no one size fits all solution. I think going forward I will try to do my best to get them to acknowledge the crisis without losing their minds. At least then they can take an objective look at the future they are facing.

    John G

  110. @WB1c

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I find myself constantly struggling to avoid coming across as a reactionary type in these situations. If people knew all my real thoughts and opinions, they might have a strange impression of me. That makes it hard to create a space where people feel free to express their own concerns, but I will do my best. I’m glad we can at least be open about it in online outside the mainstream. I think you are on to something that we need to provide a greater purpose for young men. So many of us are dissatisfied with the fakeness of society but have no experience thinking outside the paradigm. Maybe the key isn’t prescribing a new paradigm, but creating a space where we can freely discuss the problems with the old one so that we can begin to replace it in whatever way suits us as individuals. Then the challenge is finding that power to make the changes we need to live in a way that isn’t totally miserable, at least in the long term.

  111. #65 John G Re: What to do with the young mens’ fellowship–
    I’ll second Naomi #97; The potluck is a key feature. Eating a meal together — once a week if possible — will provide an opportunity for these young men to get to know each other and be known as they really are. Camping trips are also good. If they can’t go camping, get them to take trips together to an out-of-town location, a nearby attraction that is far enough away to require carpooling and logistics. Get them to work together on making simple stuff happen, like a weekly meal and an occasional camping trip.

    Is there a young ladies’ group too? If so, plan joint projects with the young ladies group so that they can get to know each other by working together on something. Familiarity breeds friendship. We have all lost many of the skills needed to make and maintain friendships. A young man going to a church-sponsored joint project with the young womens’ group already knows that dating, sexuality, rejection are off the table. They are there to get a job done, like painting the community rec centre or renovating a playground. So much better than a singles bar! Yet in the process of several such projects, they get to know one another and find that they like some of them, find that some of them “like me too.”

    IMHO, try to get them to meet for dinner and discussion in each others’ homes. It’s hard to wear a mask at home, easier to do so in the church edifice because so many of us have gotten so much practice at mask-wearing when in the church building. All of us fear being known as we truly are–but that is one path to freedom and community. When people come to your home, and when you go to theirs, two things happen– You begin to know each other as you are, and find that others accept you just as you are; and you find that you trust these few others to come over and visit without putting on airs.
    This is important for crisis– Everyone has a crisis now and again, everyone has hardship and needs help. Your group will have a supply of real friends when they encounter crisis, because they are already coming over to visit when there is no crisis.

    I knew a guy who worked at the National Zoo in Washington DC. He said that it was necessary to pat the elephants, every day, and talk to them in soothing tones. This got the elephants used to being touched by a human. And when the elephants needed medical care, they knew that the keepers’ touch could be trusted, and could get their feet cleaned or get shots without trampling the vet to death. Pat the elephants.

    I’ll second Mary Bennett too– but wait until the community is established before you set them loose on a large project. First, get them used to working with each other to come up with a shared dinner each week. Then, let them turn their sights on creating a helpful legacy.

    In the safe community, encourage them to dare to have hopes and dreams. What would satisfying work look like? How can they practically go about getting some? Maybe they can look into trades like electrician, carpentry, renovations. I helped one young man find a career in custom-made artificial limbs that was personally fulfilling for him and still makes him a comfortable living.

    What to discuss??
    Our genial host JMG is currently outlining the levels of the Order of Spiritual Alchemy on ecosophia.dreamwidth. I don’t see anything in its exercises that would conflict with any of the tenets of major religions. If your group is Christian or Jewish, it would not be too difficult to find examples throughout those scriptures of people doing the same kind of thing.

    I’ll second WB1c too, as he knows whereof he speaks. Kindness, a safe space, and legacy. A legacy for the future, good things set up to help those who come after us, is tremendously important!

    Speaking from my own repeated experiences–
    Your church may be different than the ones I was part of, but I’ve observed that many of the pastors talked about spiritual maturity, but did everything they could to prevent its actual development. They are interested in developing a large group of people who will sit and listen on Sundays, give money to support their salaries and building projects, and otherwise not make waves.

    When you help people find their own (tamanous) path to spiritual maturity, they will give directly to worthy projects and needy people, and develop the skills to discern what is the best use of their resources, and go around doing good things without any supervision. When they do this, they will not enrich the clergy, and they will make waves. Though it is God’s doing, the clergy will blame you.

    Part of their development will be encouraging some to form and run their own groups. Let them know early on that this is not a bad thing. You will run into doctrinal differences. Doctrine is much less important than you may think.

    If you are successful at these things, you personally will lose your standing at the church, your reputation as a good churchman, and will likely be run out of the current congregation for one reason or another. But this too is necessary. Full maturity often requires that the teacher departs. You will leave behind a legacy of people with a spiritual maturity that cannot be taken from them, who will have the skills to help others find their path too. It is a high cost, but well worth doing.

    Hope some of that was helpful, John G. I wish you every success and the blessings of your God in helping these young men towards true spiritual maturity.

  112. @Slithy, Ron M and others noting an eased burden in the past week, I had just the opposite in Japan, feeling downright depressed for no reason that I could see (the EMF burden has seemed lighter). Maybe the burden got shifted, and it’s our turn now to feel the wrath of whatever demon has been invoked or whatever. Part of it from my perspective may be that there have been so many problems revealed with Japan’s response to the pandemic, which has been in lockstep with globalist goals, yet the government and media pretend as if nothing has been revealed and that public opinion doesn’t matter. It gives me quite an oppressed feeling observing this. I keep busy with other stuff and try to spend more time in forests.

  113. Hi JMG
    I’m curious what resources (book, websites, your old blogs, etc) and/or wisdom you might be aware of that could help shed some light on what areas of the US and world will be uninhabitable in the near future. I’ve read Ecotechnic Future and am generally aware that the middle section will become too hot and arid relatively soon, but I’m looking for more specifics for the purposes of creating realistic near future science fiction…and of course for deciding where to move next. There’s so much information –and non-information– out there to wade through for a layperson such as myself and I haven’t been able to find any old blogs of yours that address this specifically. Any insights, wisdom, and/or trusted resources would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks!

  114. Dear Archdruid, given that you are a known afficionado of science fiction universes, I wanted to ask if you have heard of the Warhammer 40k franchise and if you have an opinion on it. It’s the sci-fi universe that gave us the Trump “God Emperor” memes and generally, it fills the same hole for right-leaning internet types that Star Trek and the Marvel movies fill for the more left-leaning internet types.

  115. JMG –

    Thanks for your reply to my previous question. Obviously it gives rise to further questions, particularly about how and between whom warfare might arise, but I appreciate that the situation in the UK is radically different from that in the USA, so it would be unreasonable to expect an answer from you. Instead I will ask something different.

    About 30 years ago I was staying in a community in England. They had a table in the hallway where people could leave items that they no longer needed but that other people might have a use for.

    One day I saw a single sheet of paper on the table. That was odd. What sort of use could a single sheet of paper have? I picked it up and started to read what was on it.

    Immediately I felt there was something evil represented in the words. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. The words seemed ordinary, yet what they conveyed was utterly vile. Up to that point I had regarded evil simply as a human value judgement, but this seemed far beyond anything human. Now, after some 30 years, I cannot remember anything about what the paper contained. I cannot even remember whether it was in longhand or typed. I can only remember the feeling it evoked in me.

    I forced myself to continue to read, but could not get even halfway through the document before I had to stop. I couldn’t go on. I felt I had to destroy the document. I had to burn it. It seemed the only way to stop the evil and prevent it from spreading.

    I looked at the bottom of the page, to see if I could find any information about the document. It was signed by Aleister Crowley. Next to the signature was the instruction that after I had read the document I should burn it.

    That revolted me. Even in my attempt to defend myself I would still be following the instructions of this vile document. Nevertheless, I felt I had no alternative. I went into the kitchen and put it on the fire. I then went into the shower room and spent about half an hour under the shower, in an attempt to cleanse myself.

    Who put the paper on the table I do not know and did not ask. It could have been any of the residents, or a visitor. Whoever it was must have thought it valuable in some way, otherwise they would not have put it there. Perhaps they recognised the name Aleister Crowley and thought it might have financial value. Evidently they had not followed the instructions on the paper itself, to burn it. Maybe they did not read it.

    JMG, is there anything you can usefully say about this event? Did I act appropriately? Could I have acted any differently? What would have happened if I had not burned it? (I knew nothing about magical workings.) Less personally, was Crowley known for writing this sort of thing? What was he trying to achieve? How did he create it? What was it that it contained? Why did he instruct the reader to burn it? How might it have affected the previous owner? Perhaps the one important thing I have learned from it is that there is something in the notion of evil that goes far beyond human value judgements.

  116. Most chilling thing I heard this week: The digital big guys (Facebook, Google etc) are going all-in on a concept called ‘direct to avatar’. The idea is your avatar will live your life online. It will dress in virtual clothes you bought at a virtual shop (Ralph Lauren has already released a line of virtual fashions), it will invite other avatars to dinner and serve virtual food and wine you bought at virtual stores, etc etc. In short, you can live an entire “normal” life virtually. They are targeting zillenials (millenials plus generation Z).

    I can’t help thinking of the pod people in the Matrix movies. Semi-comatose people living a fantasy life while being milked by the powers-that-be. Is this where we are headed? The horror!

    I did suggest the next step was they would create a digital pandemic and sell you a digital vaccine. The suggestion wasn’t well received, but think about it. The virtual clothes, cars, apartments etc are all bought with real money. Once you have created your dream persona and environment at considerable cost, you have an investment that you are emotionally committed to. You will pay good money to protect it, and they know that. They also know all about you. You are a sitting duck for exploitation by the virtual world owners.

    Podcast on this topic:

  117. Hello everyone.

    What is the purpose of the Middle Pillar ritual? And when is it recommended to be performed?
    I remember long time ago reading a peculiar comment by Jim Eshelman saying that this ritual actually activate certain points of energy in the frontside of the body, unlike the chakras which are in the backside. What do you guys think?


  118. @fkaminski — re your first comment — Welcome to the club. It’s sad and it’s painful but it’s also a fact, as I see it from the perspective of my many decades on this lovely crazy Learning Planet, that most people just do not want to see the things that are right there in front of them, and, more to the point, they are not willing to seriously consider things that are beyond what their status-radar signals to them would be safely acceptable. In other words, in my experience, most people are generally incurious and not at all comfortable thinking for themselves. If you want to change their minds about something, a good story well-told always helps. Ditto proverbs (which these days most would call a “meme.”). But again, if people find your information / argument too threatening to consider, you are rather like someone trying to move a boulder with a pancake spatula.

    Nonetheless, scattered far and wide, there are plenty of exceptions out there. One of the reasons JMG has the readership that he does is that, apart from his prodigious skill and discipline in consistently bringing forth elegantly constructed essays which appeal to those who are curious and who are willing to think beyond the usual status-radar– and his consistent troll-filtering of this blessedly civilized comments section– is that he doesn’t seem to care much about his social status. I for one find this very interesting.

    Meanwhile, I talk a lot to my dogs, and I work on my sense of humor.

  119. Ryan, perhaps you could contact Homesteaders of America?
    I believe their annual get together is coming up soon?
    It may be worth trying to get to it.

    Katsmuma, via my niece who is a teacher:
    More behaviour problems then ever at my school.
    I have been involved in the most stressful week of my career dealing with sexualised behaviour from 7 year olds.
    And no age appropriate it’s classed as serious concerning sexual behaviour
    So there is age appropriate sexual curiosity of being interested in other peoples genitals but the behaviour I dealt with went into the red zone as it was more than this.
    Lots of verbal bullying.
    Too much social media.

    Also from her today
    It continues… just got my hair cut the hair dresser got her jab.. few weeks later appendix exploded missed weeks of work just got her second jab… never crossed her mind???

    She also had a message from a parent that her daughter will be back tomorrow, all set to be “the star pupil” or something.
    The child had a bit of a sniffle and was taken for one of those tests…
    But wait, that’s her 5th one…
    But wait we are in South Australia where we have no circulating bug.
    Nearly all the staff have been jabbed, they excitedly discuss appointments.
    A number have had reactions, but seem to see that as a badge of honour.

    Also from today:
    Omg a staff member who is my age is getting her jab tonight and said if anything happens to me still encourage others to get it.
    I think she experiences this kind of madness daily.
    Her partner is also a teacher. His parents are retired teachers and are jab free.
    My niece said their daughter was pressuring them.
    IIRC, doesn’t she work for pharma I asked?

    I msgd this to her today too:
    Many people reporting tinnitus after jab.
    Not listed as one of the ‘rare side effects’, so too bad so sad
    I feel sorry for people who took it in good faith and have developed complications but are disbelieved, ignored and shunned.

    She replied
    Oh that’s what happened to mums sports doctor for three days he wanted to kill himself.

    When it eventually does get here, and it will, and starts circulating and can’t be stopped, so many people are going to have meltdowns.

    Instead of accepting that you may well end up getting it and prepare mentally/ psychologically and physically for it

    So there you go. In Oz the madness continues
    We will not be ‘Zero covid’.
    All we have done is delay the inevitable, but in the meantime, many people are in a much worse state to deal with it.

  120. A few weeks ago Andy asked about how I do remote viewing. I’m self taught but mainly from the systems of Lyn Buchanan, Lori Williams, and Paul H Smith. They have websites, books, some videos. I also did Paul Smith’s dowsing DVD course which showed me I’m a terrible dowser, with the exception of timeline dowsing. There I’m very accurate and if I was going to take the risk of going for a lottery win, I’d use a version of that. Most important for my learning though was watching Teresa Frisch’s videos: Seeing so many CRV sessions interpreted really made the process sink in (even when I disagreed with their analysis).

    One target was an Ariane 5 launch. I used to go to stock car races at Odsal Top and once saw a Vulcan bomber fly at an airshow at Church Fenton. I felt the exact same rumbling in my torso – the kind of sound you feel – while viewing the launch.

    I viewed the Kendal Gas Light Festival – when the lights were turned on for the first time. I started moving to musing and then thought this wasn’t just a great party, this was miraculous – this was a new world.

    The biggest and longest target I did was Leeds station, but grew to be most of the city centre. For the station I got things like ‘raised lines receding into the distance’. For the royal armouries I got details of the building, someone in a suit of armour, and ‘this used to be used for killing but isn’t any more’. I also got something that was loud and obnoxious and also pink and girly. I got enough details until I was convinced it was a sports car. I couldn’t disprove it was a powerboat, but went with sports car on balance of probability. It got to the level of detail where I was sure it had a V12 engine. After I finished the session an looking for feedback I found a photo of a Pink Ferrari in Leeds. I looked up the model and it had a V12 engine. I also discovered John Poulson, the British version of Robert Moses, while trying to figure out who a hated architect was. There’s also a sculpture outside the Princes Gate office block I did a remarkable accurate sketch of.

    There’s two types of sketches, at least how I do it – one where the whole image comes to me at once and I have to try and draw it as beast I can. The other where I get the urge to do a drawing and it only comes to me a line at a time.

    Often there’ll be a perfect description of something but I have no idea what it is (this is how the system is designed). So while viewing Zippaquira Salt Cathedral I described a polygonal or polyhedral shape, in something like a cauldron, partially immersed in liquid. Unfortunately I can’t find the picture now but it was a sculpture with a bowl of water and the shape in it. Then comes the moment of realisation – so that’s what I was looking at!

    Usually when a session goes wrong it’s because of early misidentification. Like becoming convinced a fighter plane is an animal or the font of Notre Dame is a natural limestone cliff face. Then you become convinced because of the size and colour the fighter plane must be someone riding an elephant and this is a circus. I did still very quickly identify there were explosives and pyrotechnics at the military base though.

  121. @JMG,

    Update on becoming an independent book-binder: I’m continuing to get things set up in my apartment, and at present my vision for this enterprise has formulated around getting books back in print that need to be in the physical world and not just digital copies on the internet.

    I don’t plan to do this for-profit, which that means I might need additional work in the future, so I can afford to do this at cost or pro bono.

    @Robert Mathiesen & JMG: thank you for your response to my post last Magic Monday regarding mysticism and upgraded consciousness. Due to timezones and work, I’m usually not able to reply with my thanks before MM closes. I’m reading about the term Theurgy, and have noted the books on mysticism that were recommended.

  122. Thank you to those who responded to my request for help about the mice problem.

    Mother Balance #53 – I had no idea mice had that relationship with rats. I will do some research about rats.

    Teresa #37 – I have thought about more cats. My cat is 19 years old….she’s always been warm and affectionate toward people, and even some dogs, but she absolutely detests other cats. Out of respect for her wishes, I have to wait. Later on I’m hoping I can get one or two kittens from good mouser parents. I used a bunch of steel wool and spray foam on the holes I could find around the house but clearly there are more.

    Nachtgurke #70 – They can climb up walls?? I guess that explains why I found mouse poop in some very unlikely places. Someone sealed off the attic so I don’t know what’s happening up there. You are right, I do not like killing them. I’d much rather they just go somewhere else.

    Susan #78 – Melted chocolate? I’ll have to try that one! I was going to ask you for ideas about making my yard more attractive to predators but remembered that a lot of my neighbors have chickens.

    Patricia M #82 – I don’t know Bast, but will do some research and ask for help.

    patriciao #86 – Gross! They left food lying around? The people who sold me this house didn’t keep it clean but I don’t think they left food lying around. Though who knows. The exterminators in Japan seem a lot more concerned and conscientious than the ones here. I’ve hired two different exterminators and their attitude was like, Oh, it’s VT. You’re going to have mice. The first one didn’t seal up all the holes, I found more after he left. The second one didn’t even look until I nudged him. He didn’t plug any, just advised I’d have to use poison. Thank you for the sympathy! It’s an annoying, persistent problem.

    Chris in VT

  123. You’re welcome @Fkaminski I felt like it was a bit of a cop out. A friend suggested that approach when I used to feel like I had to have data and evidence for everything I would talk about, she said just gently prod their armour and see if you can wake any doubt,…

    There is evidence and data galore in this world so anything can be defended I really agree with @Jean’s approach. Living it is a skill and commitment that requires time and energy and spending on people who are committed to misunderstanding something as their identity is tied to something else is very draining. So nurture your own understandings and stay lightly aware of the traps is a good way through.

  124. Thank you JMG, I became much more aware of the burnout through meditation practice. I have masked it with activity and and thought. The equinox feels like a good time for rebalance and resting.

  125. Hello all!
    I would like to offer words of hope, solidarity and encouragement to all the guys here who struggle, not only with current events of the world, but with the particular way in which these events have and are impacting young men.
    I specifically refer to WB1c @106, Frequent Ecosophian…@98, and John G @65.

    What I am hearing is a desire for respect, a sense of self worth and accomplishment, and opportunities to form bonds of kinship, friendship, and fraternity and security.

    I don’t know if I can offer you anything useful but if I had the opportunity, here are some of the things I would want to tell to my twenty to thirty year old self:

    Stop worrying about a “career”. Make money any way you can that isn’t immoral or unethical. Explore trades and crafts that interest you (building, cooking, farming, cheese making, plumbing) take part time gigs and see what attracts your interest.

    Try putting down roots soon. The importance of family connections, shared history, and a sense of belonging are qualities our Society has denigrated for the last century at least, and qualities that will be much needed in the decades ahead.

    Spend as little as you have to on “stuff”. Instead focus on learning useful skills and building relationships with other people.

    Don’t be a “generationalist”: expand your friends circle to include people younger and older.

    Volunteer! Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers of America, Hospice, local food pantries, veterans groups. Check out joining a fraternal lodge.

    Bottom line is I wish you for you all to find a sense of place, purpose, well-being, and mutually uplifting connections with good folk around you.

    Yours in friendship,

  126. At Chris #41

    Re Mouse traps. I made up small wooden boxes that are placed over the traps. I use them principally to avoid by catch in the garden. The boxes are just a little larger than the trap, restricting movement for the mouse, making it more likely that they will set off the trap. A small V is cut in a side edge to allow access for the mouse. Bait is crunchy peanut butter. Occasionally I end up with a bait less untripped trap, but I put that down to slugs. I catch some very big slugs as well as mice, but no small slugs! In the garden I also place a house brick on top of the trap box. I often happens that a trap has a mouse’s head, and only a head!. The house brick stops the trap disappearing along with the rest of the mouse. I hope this tip is of help. I had elderly neighbours move recently, and the new owners had a big rat problem. They found that the rats had made a nest under the kitchen cabinets, including a very big store of dried cat food. Put any potential mouse food on a high shelf or in a steel container. Clear away uneaten pet food after your pets have had their fill of. And have a good clear out of any out buildings that may be providing food, shelter or a covered route into the house i.e. potential mouse habitat, mice can have quite large territories.

  127. Susan/ Katsmama re masks I think its truly awful for children to have to wear masks. Most adults struggle, it has a direct influence on mirror neuron development and I think benefit will be zero especially as they are wearing them all day so they are probably super spreaders all of their own. However I think many teachers and parents seem to be in favour. An exemption is fairly easy to get at this point but I also feel sad that faces are becoming scarce for the kids.

  128. @ JMG – What do you think about the hypothesis that the Sumerians may have been climate refugees from what is now the Persian Gulf?
    Consider the following:
    1 – Their language is an isolate, unrelated to any other language in the area. This suggests the Sumerians were not ‘native’ to the area.
    2 – What is now the Persian Gulf was almost certainly above sea level at the end of the Younger Dryas (though not by much). So a rapid rise in sea level, inundating a river valley surrounded by desert (or at least very arid land), would have devastated the only source of domesticated plants in the area.
    3 – IF the Proto-Sumerians built their cities out of mud bricks, as their possible descendants did, then almost all architectural traces of their civilization would have dissolved and washed away.
    4 – Other ancient sites in the Fertile Crescent, like Gobekli Tepi and Chatalhuyuk, were not, as far as we can tell, occupied year-round. So, even though they would date to the same time period, their ruins suggest that urbanism was not widespread, and the near total destruction of the only urban culture in the region could have ‘reset’ the urbanizing clock by centuries, if not millennia.
    5 – The Epic of Gilgamesh sure reads like a retelling of a people collectively traumatized by rapid sea level rise. It also sounds suspiciously similar to the legend of Atlantis…

    On a related note: what do you think about Graham Hancock’s theory, which now seems to be supported by at lease some archaeological evidence (not to mention plethora of edible plants in the region), that the Amazon Basin may have been home to some kind of settled, possibly even urbanized, people?

  129. @Susan: Not a teacher (anymore), but a parent. Here in Quebec, at least the younger kids only have to wear masks on the corridors, not in the classes anymore. The three weeks when kids were educated from home were hell for everybody, and the 3-4 weeks when all kids had to use masks in class were horrible on the kids, too. Her teacher was clear that she very much hopes none of those policies will come back again. Let’s see what happens during the cold season…

    Walking through the street from work place to home around noon I would see high school (7th to 12th grade) students brawling on the grounds of the municipal theater. A neighbor who is a teacher at that (private!) high school confirmed the last year was very difficult there. The teenagers still seem restless, but a bit less aggressive now.

    My daughter has had a running nose for days, and apparently nobody cares anymore – last school year she would have been required to get a test and stay at home until the symptoms are gone.

  130. Gday John

    A lot of folk in our little corner of the world are putting all of there energies into sustainable practices (homesteading). The intention is that if TSHTF they will still be able to simply chug along. Even our fit, young, self directed friends struggle to pull this off.

    IMO six year along ourselves, theres a whole lot of often back breaking work, assuming the body can keep up with it, to bring such things to life.

    Community is a nice idea, yet folk are up to their eyeballs in debt and mental health issues are everywhere.

    And then, in all honesty, we still largely depend on various necessities industrial society provides.

    And all it would take is one small band of unhappy souls to undo all our hard work in a heartbeat anyway.

    I like the idea of investing in natural capital as mentioned. But what/how?

    Maybe, we should just enjoy the simple pleasures our time in history has to offer?

    It might be wiser to leapfrog the homestead idea, focus on a simple life in the burbs, and learn to sail, forage, fish, fix, garden intensively, etc?

    I vaguely recall you mentioning this in Green Wizardry?

    So it will be interesting to see how you define investing in natural capital.

    Much thanx,

  131. @ Karl – Can you provide a link to the Ken Burns podcast? Without any context, i have to ask; did he think our current situation resembled one of those previous eras in particular, or all three rolled up in one?

  132. I woke up this morning feeling some sort of tide had turned. (Well, hey! Equinox!)

    Especially after reading a news story headlined “Reusable packaging becoming mainstream.” Glass and metal containers for products that ordinarily come in plastic.With the lamentable subtitle “Loop grows business with unique approach.” Lamentable because “unique?” Hardly. Small-time operations, generally with a bit of an aging-hippie flavor like “Life Unplastic” here in Gainesville, have been doing that for some time.

    How this “unique” idea works? You pay a deposit on the container up front, and get it back when you turn it in to be cleaned, sterilized, and reused. “In some cases, consumers may just be keeping the packaging and reusing it themselves.” Golly gee, what won’t they think of next?

    Cue up the Lakeland National Anthem, everybody!

    But the kicker is in the body of the story (Archdruid, you’ll be getting a print copy), to wit: Terracycle founder Tom Szaky says “Before the 1950s, things were made to last, but they’ve gotten thinner and cheaper in the decades since. We’re hitting the apex of that now, and people are fed up with that trend. There’s a huge attraction to the idea of higher quality and materials.”

    And a Loop customer, browsing in the Loop aisle of (his local supermarket) said “I think lemonade bottles used to be like that when I was younger, so I think it’s quote a good idea.”

    The tide is turning.

  133. Hi JMG,

    It’s been an interesting year following your mundane prediction for the Biden administration and seeing how well it’s matching up to reality so far. I had a couple questions about it:

    As the year has unfolded, I have begun to wonder about the chicken vs egg nature of the prediction, because a lot of the problems of the Biden administration seem to be self-inflicted. Is it possible that instead of predicting whoever was inaugurated would “walk face first into a buzzsaw,” it was actually predicting that it would be the Biden administration inaugurated, and therefore the effects would appear as the equivalent of walking into a buzzsaw?

    How do you think the roughly 2 milliion illegal immigrants predicted to enter the US this year factor into your prediction?

    So far what I’ve heard is we’ve already reached 1 million, but I’m beginning to wonder where they are, because I also keep seeing and hearing about a labor shortage, especially on the lower end of the wage spectrum.

  134. All–

    Late with the energy news tidbits this month. Yesterday was a travel day for me. (Thoughts from the power conference I was attending will be put forth in a separate comment.)

    But who’s going to pay for this?

    Climate change is expensive

    So…nuclear isn’t *really* expensive–it’s those darn regulations!

    Giving up the ghost

    Conversion losses?

    Ignoring minor things like physics and reality, of course
    [Seriously, 75% penetration of wind & solar would require a massive amount of storage to smooth out the intermittency and non-dispatchability inherent in wind and solar production. The cost of this would be immense, assuming the raw materials for that amount of battery storage are even available.]

    Sad to say that I can’t say I’m surprised

    Knew this was coming


  135. Last two weeks have been bad brain times. That is the hamster who runs the brain has gone on strike and left a mess. So no commenting. Better brain days just started. Data point for whoever is collecting when people started feeling better.

    About economists and The Fed. (Walt Disney World Designed by Woodrow Wilson). There is a growing tent city that is in the park next to The Fed on 19th and C Streets. Across the street is the State Department. The tent city sprung up last year as rents went sky high and people lost jobs. Fed. Chair Powell has to pass the tent city on his way to the Board Building. (Tent city is in front of the Martin Building, across the street.) Anyway, the tent city is growing.

    Meanwhile the August One (Powell) has not a clue as to how or why the tent city exists or what to do about it. He has said so a number of times.

    The economists inside the two buildings are flumoxxed. They are all Phds., most from the Ivy League schools. A sprinkling of State schools. What one confessed to me was that everyone learns the basics at the BA level, higher levels is all dogma. So the dogma has failed to illuminate any answers. Meanwhile, they dig deeper into groupthink and their statistical modelling which is trying to quantify human behavior. So much for that.

  136. @ John G #65

    Demonstrate that your ideals work in the real world. I think Greer’s critique of one interpretation of your vision is very good and should be taken to heart, but I can see a more agreeable interpretation of your vision that could use some advise from a fellow working on a similar path.

    Start out by doing odd jobs, yourself, for the members of the congregation. When paid jobs come up, which will happen if you do enough unpaid, invite young dudes to join, to meet people to learn skills. The young guys that show up to unpaid jobs, are first choice for paid jobs; the guys in crisis, rally a ministry to go and fix the crisis, by any means necessary. When you get people together to help someone in trouble it is affirmed that those gathered would do as much for each other.

    Any jobs you can find in the congregation. Land scaping, cleaning, moving people. Moving is great because there is always extra stuff and you can learn to triage salvage operations. Any job you can findd outside the congregation, bonus. Find old bored dudes with proper skills, stone workers, roofers, plumbers, machinests. Most churches have a couple eh? Find those dudes, and make arrangements for young and lost dudes to get tips from the for how to fix a sink, patch plaster, what ever, anything. On the slick, cash only, or barter. I did some of my best plaster work for a wood stove and a yurt once.

    Your goal by the way is to find enough odd jobs or opportunities that at least one dude can cut his hours working for Babylon. That is what a community taking care of itself looks like, you create opportunities that let someone work outside of Babylon!!

    A mentor did that for me, and life’s pretty good, that mentor is a good fraction of why.

    Like lots of the 20’s dudes I know are adrift and it’s very bleak. I’m in my 30’s and I feel it pull on me. Essentially most of the institutions in society are actively antagonistic, and one should not under any circumstance bend knees to them. DO NOT get a mook job for the system I’d advise. The guys I know who are thriving, and this is a sampling bias because of how I live, are the guys building their own system that can accomplish something outside the system. Like how squirrels accomplish so much outside the gaze of hawks.

    A buddy is going to get more than a year of jail for a crime that never happened to comfort the vanity of a judge. I know two more guys with a similar danger kind of hanging over their heads, its normal. I try not to dwell about it, for I cannot fathom a way to address the injustice of the institutions.

    The hope the opportunity I can offer is this. Do things under the table with friends, learn to sus out friends, who is solid and who is a flake. Back friends to the hilt, ghost those who don’t know how to do the same. You can work to do good things, but as a community it needs to be out for itself, and ready to evade the system, which will attempt to bleed it dry.

    The business owners I know in their 30’s and 40’s all started as drug dealers; but I learned how to be slick with out ever dropping to that level of illegality. Still, even if they are working as a community, it is going to be opposed and bleed by the old system, and needs a defense system as keen as any good drug system to survive. Maybe do some ministry to gangs to recruit some people who have a clue.

    I live in a rural area, all the jobs I take (and I am offered many more than I can make time for) are for friends, mostly working to make their places better at growing food, smithing tools, cleaning stuff, and generally being sovereign. Its a decade of under paid if paid at all work for me to reach the skills when I can now Hedge Wizard a fellowship of friends and allies successfully and with security enough to support things I care about; though I have far to go to protect my domain as I should like. Maybe the road will shorten with some support structure yet to be manifest.

  137. The Virginia governor’s race – commercials are all focused on vaccines (mandated or not) and law and order. Gun control versus parole boards. The sheriffs are battling the police officers for whether crime has risen or not. Sheriffs run the jails.

    McCauliffe tried running pro-abortion, pro-choice ads for awhile, and tried to tied Youngkin to Trump. He has stopped that and has decided to do the tried and true smear stuff. Youngkin made fun of that by having an ad screaming “Oh MY GOD, Youngkin leaves dirty dishes in the sink!”

    Just noting a trend going on between the PMC folks and everyone else.

  138. JMG & Anna, deep gratitude for your replies.
    Anna, “virtuous California”… Ha-ha! I work in the sick care industry. When the mandate came the corporate management was very practical. I’ve been refusing a flu shot for years, so they know me well. Nobody has tried to talk me into the jab. The talk was, “Please bring us a medical exemption.” I looked stumped as I have been blessed with a great health and the last family doctor who had me on books as his patient fired me years ago for poor attendance. The corporate was… er… creative in their thinking. “All we need is A letter from A doctor. THINK.”, so I did 🙂 Another sketch from “virtuous California”. I love to dance, Lately, the official policy at all dance venues, “No vax – no entry”. I just received a picture of a poster on my phone advertising a dance party. It said “Proof of vaccination is required upon entry”. The accompanied text from a party organizer read, “I would be glad to see you there. I will be the one checking the proof of vaccination, so don’t worry about that.” My vaccine opinion was partially formed by applying the general principal of a healthcare worker to this particular pickle. The general principal was best summed up by Biggie Smalls in his Ten Crack Commandments:

    “Number 4, I know you heard this before
    Never get high on your own supply”

    I am very concerned with flights, though. If they succeed in institutionalizing “No jab – no boarding a plane” that would be hard to overcome. We just lived through the 20th anniversary of 9/11. There are so many questions and so many lies… yet we still submissively take off the shoes before going through a body scanner…

  139. I recently came across a project that I thought might appeal to the folks here – Marginalia is an independent search engine favouring text-heavy, serendipetous results in response to one’s searches. I’ve used it a few times when looking for interesting, less well-known pieces on various subjects. thought I’d share:

  140. John G.
    I have a son in the group you are writing about. He works fulltime at a Goodyear Warehouse.

    What I have observed about his friends is that they do lack the skills to live on their own. Several do work at fulltime jobs, while others do not. I have spoken to most of them, who have no hope for the future (my son included). They just feel like they are all treading water. They have formed their own communities around various games such as Magic: The Gathering. That seems to sustain most of them – playing and interacting with those games.

  141. @Chris in VT I second Teresa’s advice: when I find a hole (check particularly around any place where plumbing goes through a wall), I cram it full of steel wool, and finish it off with spray foam.

    That keeps more from coming in, but you also have to deal with whatever’s already living in the house, so keep trapping. We had good luck finishing off both rats and mice using a bucket trap (5-gal bucket, water, roll-bar at the top, and some way for the critters to climb up), though if you’re using it indoors while at home, it can be distressing listening to them splashing about at night. It’s not the most humane solution, but it’s simple, cheap, very effective, and can dispatch multiple critters in the same night without having to re-set the trap.

    If you’ve been baiting traps with peanut butter, and you stop getting results, change up the bait. They can, and do, learn to associate your accustomed bait with danger. Switch it up now and then. We’ve used cheese, nuts, peanut butter, those beef snack stick things, dog food…

    If you’ve got any areas in your house where things have been in storage for a long time– like you get them out once a year or less– it’s probably time to drag everything out of there and look for nests. Been there, done that.

    Good luck!

  142. My Dear Dear Little Brother KYLE–
    i was so touched by your story, and while i don’t know what anything was, i DO think i know that those of us who’ve been feral since we can remember because of things done to us, i think we were turned into soldiers for times like NOW… that is, IF we make it through with our hearts souls and mind intact.

    and i wasn’t gonna write, but the fact that you later “got” that the dog was even acting as a.. i don’t know what you called it, but an angel, doing HIS form of “service,” i smiled because that’s what i finally got about EVERYTHING BAD that happened that the establishments DSM manual (which is for insurance purposes, to cut us and our maladies up into boxes to check off), i got that everything “BAD” was eventually GOOD. no quotes. truly empowering. for what is “good,” right?

    and it’s why i trust the homeless kids when they’re the ones calling out the Blessed Mother Mary as now being murderous Bloody Mary. they KNOW before anyone else what’s really going on and where it’s going.

    and i didn’t know or get this in my DNA until this covid stuff. oh, i’d had inklings that i was actually doing a lot better than your average bear in the world. but when everything hit the proverbial fan, i saw how shaky jittery and temporal people were.

    and WHY this existential crisis of ’em all. i GET it. they’d never had to fight for their lives in a real and constant way.

    so i felt like the sun smiled and broke through when even you got that the dog wasn’t “evil,” but acting as if in a play.

    i had a stalker who became my stalker i think, the moment i looked deep in his hateful eyes, and saw him being locked in a dark closet for hours as a child and hating himself and going around to school in filthy clothes. i don’t know if it was “true,” but i saw it.. i FELT it in his eyes.

    and when he saw that i knew him inside, i was a goner.

    he had power over me and re-tripled and quadrupled his efforts to take my theatrical production down and he did and he emailed profane screeds to my coworkers and myself. and he never got fired.

    he hounded me from nyc for the better part of a decade, and come to think of it, i think either he offed himself out of inevitability, or he was put away, it was so bad. i haven’t heard from him since the covids began.

    BUT as i came out of my decade of a Living Suicide, i realized he was a MOST NECESSARY gargoyle, almost doing me a “service” to get me out of the book biz and out of theatre and all that i was trying to do to start a business and all i was trying to SAY.

    i later realized i was just entertainment for priveleged women of the sort who’re dancing on men’s graves for more STUFF and POWER and playing victims for professional gain.

    i’m now eternally GRATEFUL to my own personal gargoyle, and i hope he hasn’t swan dived out of this life because he did me a service of FREEING me to trudge through agony, lose EVERYTHING i thought that’d saved me from my own demons and childhood reaction to constantly work work work and not live so that no one could have power over me ever again.

    all lies hopes childish dreams.

    now i’ve been through it and have a swagger even i cannot hide if i wanted to no matter how scared i may get. i’ve finally become the woman i always pretended to be!

    so i love that you see the slipperiness of what is evil what is holy because i can’t tell the difference most of the time.

    however, that said… THIS covids thing is pretty diabolical to me and will need soldiers who cannot be dissuaded by cons and dangles of anything because you KNOW what’s on the line now.

    and you can see things most people don’t even remember or know EXISTS.

    even your mother is an angel sent to torture you … for SHE was likely tortured even worse. they didn’t have words for what people would do back in the day. and others agreed to look away.

    i have some pretty ratchet neighbors down the street and we’ve saved each other’s bacon in the midst of all this gentrifying and neighbors turning ugly to evict them so their property values would go up even HIGHER. but even though i know the kids and the mom get it hard at times, i’ve wondered about calling the authorities like others have, but i KNOW it’ll only turn out waaaay worse with the authorities’ “fixes,” so i just try to be available as an over-flow and be kind and be there if they wanna talk.

    because sometimes we’ve gotta go what we’ve gotta go through. all i can do is try and set the place for them to see these things as challenges to learn from and transcend.

    i’ve learned from being a “liberal” and coming from professional/politcal liberal family that no one knows ANYTHING about truly being good and nice on the low. it’s all show and “let me tell you something!”

    it’s hard one-on-one when no one’s watching.

    but that’s why i can practically SMELL how people love up close and afar. it’s my superpower. and it’s saved me on my many runaway adventures as a little girl or grown woman– from having someone drill holes into my zombie skull and do things to me in their basement.

    this system teaches us to wallow in it all so they can be horrified at our stories and tell us how much we need them when we DON’T. they need US!

    who knew?

    especially now.

    that’s all i know.

    whatever you do with all this is now up to you. and there is no story in no book or DSM manual that wants you to prevail or overcome… because it upends the entire Victim shtick.

    you’ve got a warrior’s swagger now and heart of an angel if you can see the dog was either… just being “dog” or doing what he was also TRAINED to do by being tortured like your mom did and was done TO.

    i cannot believe they let the dog LIVE.

    it says more about the lady boss who blamed you for not shutting doors when you’re mauled and the dog’s person.

    people are messed up, Brother Kyle.

    good luck dear one. what a story!


  143. @ Chris (#41)

    Get a bunch of these:

    Put them in the ground all the way around the perimeter of your house on about a 30-foot spacing, and your mouse problem will be gone in a matter of hours. They’re a fast-easy-cheap-clean-effective solution. No poison, no traps, no exterminator, no muss, no fuss, and – best of all – no more mice.

  144. Our generous host has often said that the opposite to a bad idea is often an other bad idea, so depending on how you feel about vegetarianism, you might consider that I am testing that handy rule of thumb to destruction by switching my diet first to a very low carb diet in April, and then subsequently to a meat only diet in July. I’ve switched back to very low carb now, but the results of my experiment were encouraging and I expect to switch back to pure meat later on in the year if circumstances permit. Despite that fact, I’m not going to evangelise for this. It turns out that for a late middle aged overweight male with North European ancestry it works very well. Your mileage may vary.

    Weight was only one of the drivers for this change however. I’ve had trouble with weight and digestion since early childhood including acid reflux and IBS. At one point last year it seemed that I might be dealing with an undiagnosed gluten intolerance but although eliminating wheat seemed to improve matters slightly many problems remained. Especially weight. It was in April that I found the Norwood diet that has been used in the UK’s NHS to try and stem the flood of T2 Diabetes. I started with that and things sort of developed from there with the carnivorous period acting as a rather extreme elimination diet.

    So I ended up eating a lot of lamb, cheap steaks, brisket, 20% fat mince, fish, and so on. Also a great many eggs, mostly yolks – the whites just feel a bit pointless for some reason. And butter. After a few days my appetite had diminished so much that I started skipping breakfast and in fact skipping an evening meal would not be too difficult either. I’m usually just picking at a fraction of what the rest of my family are eating, but I’ve retained it for social reasons as its one of the few times of the day we are all together. I still drink wine, and an occasional gin (no tonic) or whisky. Also espresso, black coffee and lots of water. My food costs have gone up, but not impossibly so. It turns out that you can buy a 200g steak in a UK supermarket for the same cost as a pack of lunchtime sandwiches. I’ve cheated occasionally on social occasions, but largely stuck with this.

    The headline is that I’ve lost 32 lbs so far, and I think it’s reasonable to say that there’s been none of the usual suffering that ‘diets’ usually entail. There’s been one truely unexpected change in that I’ve noticed that my skin has developed a slightly more elastic, smoother texture. I’m not sure if that’s something I had as a younger person that I’ve recovered, or something that has simply developed. Nobody else has made any comments so perhaps I’m imagining it. Acid reflux has completely gone but although my IBS has diminished it has not entirely gone. But it’s once every 8 weeks rather than weekly. Energy and health in general except blood pressure seem good. It happened that a routine medical checkup a few weeks back revealed that my blood pressure had gone up. This could easily have happened at any time during the last 2 years when routine checkups went into abeyance but I’ve switched back to low carb keto until it’s sorted just in case.

    Is this sustainable? Well in the personal sense – absolutely. I went through a period of craving desserts and even dreaming about chocolate cake (odd – I don’t much like cake). That passed within a month and although I there are some foods I cannot resist if they are in the house – I’m largely past this. In theory I could keep it up indefinitely. In practice, given the world and UK situation I am certain that I will be eating the same rice and beans as everyone else shortly, and I am stocked up for when the moment arrives. I’m going to keep going for as long as possible because it’s working for me right now.

  145. John G.,

    Your posts seems to be the most stimulating one this month, a clear sign that you‘ve stumbled on an important issue.

    Let me add my 2 cents:
    Being of an oppositional character, and a creative-minded guy on top of that, I never could work in conventional employment, so I‘ve taken to carving out my own niches.
    The first one was the somewhat boring (if socially interesting) work of fixing people’s dreadlocks. That ended when I left the city two years ago.

    Since then, my hobby of building artisanal clay huts (call them pavilions or garden houses) has flowered into my new main source of income, and it has some remarkable qualities, that can surely be found in other endeavors as well:

    First off, everybody loves a beautiful clay house, I‘ve never done anything so universally admired! That is, of course, nice in and of itself, but it also means that people watching me work see someone making something meaningful – the sense of purpose in so practical and archaic a pursuit is undeniable. (See the success of YouTube channels like Primitive Technology)

    Second, the work is about reviving old tech that is directly applicable in the long decent – all my materials are raw, local, cheap, and/or recycled.

    Now, the most recent commission was for a school, and the teachers gave me a few 10th-graders as helping hands – the kind of boys who „aren’t good for much in a classroom anyway“.

    They loved it, and volunteered for weeks during the summer break! You could tell they had a severe deficiency of exactly this: demanding work with a clear purpose.

    Right now, that business isn‘t quite ready to properly employ people yet, but next year I might look into recruiting some young men as gig workers and see if some of them could become partners.

    Another example is a friend of mine, who, out of a free-floating lifestyle involving some freelance design work, lots of music, and drugs, worked his way into festival decorations (of the spectacular, Burning Man kind). His drive and vision pulled a whole group of guys into it, and within a few years, they became a well-respected and known outfit in the German festival scene.

    With the recent break with regards to events like that, they lost most gigs, but some of them could find projects of similar specs in other fields, and their experience made that possible.

    Both my friend and I have often heard others express their envy at our „privileged situation“, and we both agree that it was never a matter of privilege, but rather of personal standards and dignity: we wouldn’t work for the man, and for the time it took to find ourselves, happily accepted some poverty.

    Once we did find our callings, however, we‘ve had it a lot better than most (although not necessarily in terms of money), and neither of us would ever choose otherwise.

    The problem in our culture is: indoctrination in schools and the like programs people into believing that they have nothing to offer, that they can‘t lead or inspire. That’s nonsense.
    It’s mostly the artistic and contrarian people who shake off this programming, but I bet you, if someone more conscientious and level-headed than us artist guys were to acknowledge their own capacity for creation, they would set changes in motion they wouldn’t have thought possible.
    People just believe they‘re impotent – and who can blame them, it’s all they’re told.

    So, my advice to you is: Sit your guys down and ask them „what would you spend your time doing if money didn’t matter? If nothing mattered, actually? What has purpose for you?“
    Have them discuss, and see if there isn‘t one or the other among them who actually knows his passion. Encourage them to explore that, and actually spend time practicing whatever it is.
    With time, some of these activities will grow into something with economic value, and there will be opportunities for some of the guys to band together and provide themselves with work that has dignity and meaning!

    It‘s mostly about overcoming that crippling indoctrination. The world doesn’t need mindless robot-people, not even now. But the future sure needs men who know the value of their work!

  146. Good afternoon, JMG. I don’t have the book in front of me, but in Kraig’s thick tome is what I will call a “time travel” ritual to increase one’s magical powers. I believe you said you had success with it. It states to use the opening by Watchtower. I use CGD temple openings. Would the ritual still be effective using CGD methods, or is there something particular about the Enochian Watchtower opening that requires it’s use? Thanks, as always.

  147. John G

    I’m in my 50s and I’ve had that market nihilism my whole life. I’ve discovered a few key reasons why I have it, and ways to overcome it.

    The first reason is that a lot of X-ers were raised by the cynicism of the boomers. SNL was probably not a good place to learn your values. Working class people were dumb, inbred hillbillies. Unfortunately, we have passed on the torch to the millennials, with shows like “The Man Show” and Colbert.

    What we were taught is that hard work was for losers, and smart people became members of the PMC. I imagine those kids are all feeling like losers because they are not in the PMC.

    Mike Rowe is a great source to fight this attitude. He has some books, but he also has a YouTube channel with outstanding guests. I recommend that they watch his channel.

    Also, Matthew Crawford has an excellent book called, “Shop Class as Soulcraft” that gently decimates the notions of the PMC and shows how much of it is intellectual posing.

    Of course, JMG’s book, “The King in Orange” talks about who is behind denigrating working-class values.

    There are a ton of DIY videos on a number of trades that might get them excited doing manual labor.

    The key, for me at least, is for them to understand that they are not losers, that the ancient and noble trades were denigrated by a handful of rent seekers.

  148. John G, I have a couple thoughts on your question. First, I would agree with the general directionality of suggestions for projects to start – my own instantiation would be getting access to an empty lot, building a communal kitchen and bathhouse, and putting in garden spaces and parking spots for tiny homes, then using a lottery to assign these to the men who were most involved during the construction. But the actual project needs to be something that appeals to the young men in your church group, not the ones who frequent this blog. It’s their input you need. But I can give some pointers on navigating the generation difference you may be encountering.

    The first thing I’d point out is that young people for the most part want mentorship, but what is available for that is mostly PMC-types. Not surprising, it’s them society most values, but the absence of long term prospects in that direction is evident to young people. If you get a number of older members of the church who know how to lay a foundation or wire a building to help out with any large projects, they’ll get a chance to pass on their knowledge to a number of people who would very much like to have some useful knowledge. And building those kinds of relationships can reduce the isolation young people feel.

    A corollary to that – a lot of young men are actually under pressure from their PMC parents to aim for a PMC lifestyle themselves and to accept no substitutions. It’s natural in a sense, the established PMC don’t see elite overproduction because they already have jobs, and nearly everyone wants to justify their own lifestyle as being the right one. Just be aware that you might actually be turning son against father if they decide to take up manual labour, and treat it with the appropriate seriousness.

    Another thing to keep in mind – hard work probably actually was enough to ‘make it’ once upon a time, but it isn’t today. A lot of us feel we’ve been sold a false bill of goods in that regard, because working hard without working smart leads to indentured servitude. I graduated high school with two people who went on to do very well for themselves: One started a forestry business with his brother, the other went abroad and started a venture insulating houses for energy retrofit programs. Neither one was rocket science, but they clearly required thinking outside the box. And if there is hope for young people, it’s in this kind of out-of-the box thinking. Exhortations towards hard work are seen as a distraction from what must be done, at best a well-meaning but out of touch one.

    And speaking of hope, you should be aware of the different relationship younger and older generations have towards the concept. Older generations today were raised by the WW2 generation, which valued putting a cheerful face on bad situations. The reaction to that was a pervasive pessimism that billed itself as realism, and it’s just as grating to today’s young people as the forced optimism you may remember from your childhood. Our reaction in turn to that has been the kind of ‘it’s not too late to make a difference’ idealism that would have motivated the Grist editors. I remember my mother arguing against the idea that one has to believe one’s efforts can make a difference in order to continue them by quoting Luther, “And if the world ended tomorrow, I’d still plant an apple tree today”. Which is a lovely sentiment if taken seriously, but to the majority of people in her cohort, the saying is ‘The world really is ending tomorrow, so I’ll book a cruise today’. There’s an Aristotelian virtue between the laziness of believing nothing can be done and the laziness of believing nothing needs to be done – if you recognise you and your group are very likely coming at that virtue from opposite sides, you might achieve some real healing.

  149. Re why younger women are unwilling to have children, and the suggestion that this should be dealt with by removing the social safety net:

    I’m going to speak solely from my personal experience here, as a woman in her late thirties who has decided not to have kids or seek a relationship, and explain why removing social safety net would make me even less likely to have kids, although possibly a bit more likely to get married.

    I am on disability due to various physical and mental health issues. One of which is well-known for reducing fertility. However, I look healthy, and get told I’m pretty a fair bit.

    These health issues mean I usually can’t work more than a few hours a week, and even that is unreliable. I cannot support myself financially well enough to keep a roof over my head by my own efforts. Despite this, it took 5 years for the government to agree that I needed disability. I survived by a mix of being scary frugal, help from family members, odds and ends of work, odds and ends of welfare and a few months of medical EI. It was a nightmare, and getting put on disability assistance changed my life.

    During those five years, I had no interest in a relationship or kids. I was struggling really hard to look after myself, how could I possibly consider taking on a baby? Not no way, not no how. And looking for a partner didn’t just get relegated to the bottom of my priority list, it fell off the list entirely.

    Once I got disability and my life stabilized a little, I did try dating. I realized several things pretty quickly 1) maintaining a relationship takes a substantial amount of energy and I couldn’t do both that and maintain a 8 hours a week joblet. Or much of anything else I wanted to do with my life. 2) Getting married would lose me my disability pension if my spouse worked even a minimum-wage job full-time, leaving me completely financially dependent on my partner. This didn’t seem fair to any potential marriage partner when cost of living is so high. 3) I do not have sufficient physical energy to be confident I can parent without injuring myself and doing a really poor job for the kid. 4) The main medication I was on at the time have not been tested on pregnant women, so I’d be experimenting on myself or the baby unless I went off the medication, which would put me in significant physical pain and really mess me up if I went off it in less than a period of months. 5) Being in a sexual relationship without being married or at least the intention of it would conflict with my religious beliefs.

    So I stopped actively looking for a partner. And having a child would be a disaster for me, so no, I will not be having children, short of miraculous changes in my life situation. And taking away my disability will not make me have children. What it will do is wreck my life and quite likely put me on the street.

  150. Is there a such thing as “reverse karmic culmination”? I picked up occult practices a few months ago now, and since then a great many things in my life have suddenly fallen into place in such a way that my life has dramatically improved. Two examples:

    I wanted a sign other people were sane about vaccines, and stumbled upon a vaccine choice rally. I got contact information and so I’ll know when the next one will be as well.

    I was getting annoyed that the outside of the apartment building I live in is quite ugly, and one day walk outside and see someone setting up for gardening and desperate for assistance; which also addresses a desire to learn to garden and a desire to build a community.

  151. Re intersectionality and competitive oppression

    All this bruhaha in NY re the restaurant incident has the makings of an early circular firing squad phase:

    This, plus Nikki Manaj (which I was pleasantly surprised to read about), seems to be starting to break down the image of vax resistance as being a white “deplorable” thing.

    If we can get to the class issues, perhaps the right groups of people will start talking to one another.

  152. Hi JMG,
    I have been reading your book, “The Eco Technic Future. On page 75-76 you talk about “revitalization movements”, founded on the hope of miracle during times of severe cultural crisis. You write, “At the core of every revitalization movement is a faith that the troubles of the present will suddenly vanish, and a world of bright promise….appear, if only the faithful devote themselves….to moral, ritual or cultural purity. I am wondering if the push for vaccination by everyone, world-wide, is a form of a (warped) revitalization movement. The belief that the vaccine ( and perhaps more vaccines to come), ritually submitted to by the whole population, will eliminate the the pollution of disease, and we will all return to a thriving society? I wouldn’t say that this is something anyone is thinking of on a conscious level, and there are many other motivations for the vaccine madness, but do you think that on a subconscious level, this is a part of it?

  153. Skygazer #125 – Have you ever read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett? One of the main characters is a not-completely-evil demon named Crawley/Crowly (can’t remember his first name, if it’s mentioned). It’s probably not related to the Crowley on the evil page you saw, but it seemed like a peculiar coincidence so I thought I’d mention it.

    Phillip #138 – Thank you for the box-trap idea. I have most of my food that isn’t in glass or metal stored in thick plastic totes. But I bought extra food this past month that isn’t secured. I need to free up another tote. Thank you for the reminder. Your slugs are big enough to set off a mousetrap?? Holy crow!

    methylethyl #153 – I haven’t heard of the bucket trap. Cheap sounds good and that would probably work well in the basement. Thankfully I don’t have a lot of stuff. Small house, no shed or garage, and minimal storage space. Thank you for the good luck wishes and the tip on switching bait. That they’d learn to associate the PB with danger hadn’t occured to me.

    Steve #155 – Cool, thank you!

    Chris in VT

  154. @Martin Back

    This “direct to avatar” idea reminds me of Philip K Dick’s 1965 novel, (i)The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldtrich.

    People living in isolated colonies on nearby planets play an alternative reality game called Perky Pat as a form of escapism. The illegal drug Can-D allows people to share their experience of the Perky Pat “layouts.” This sharing has caused a pseudo-religious cult or series of cults to grow up around the layouts and the use of the drug.”

  155. @ Susan # 78

    That’s bizarre that the kids have to be masked. Bill and I were just at the Hershey RV show, followed a few days later by a local arts & crafts festival. Thousands, nay, tens of thousands of people jammed together and less than 5% were wearing masks. Granted we were outdoors (except when we went into the Giant Center) and your kids are inside classrooms, but even so. Weird.

  156. JMG and all the folks trying to be of service to the young in a hopeless time: there seems to be such tension between “follow your heart” and “well, your heart is telling you it’s bleak out there because it is, no wonder you’re in a funk.” I have young people in my life who seem to have great resistance to or are unsure how to listen to their hearts. They’re in college and have “hopes” (sorta) while simultaneously knowing that society is upside down. Question: for kids raised in the 2000s, in an environment that promoted the BAU-is-where-it’s-at narrative, even as they know things aren’t right, and whose hearts ARE telling them to listen but they can’t exactly hear the voice they’re supposed to listen to for all the training they’ve been hammered with through public school etc., what can you recommend for the very basic baby-steps of here’s how to find the voice within? I’m thinking here New Thought or some such line of thinking. I know each person has to take their first steps on their own, and in spite of my trying to be an oddball-example, they’re still rightfully scared to dive into the deep pool of “know thyself” that might help them weather it all more flexibly. I am following this conversation closely for its sage advice, but I wonder if you have other suggestions/resources/ideas/books, etc…

    JMG – will do! I look forward to a revived industry and local artisan uplifting!

    To all: One further point on my “stencil-paper livelihood” plug – in case my hyper-focus made the thought of “why would I want to make stencil paper for an industry currently in decline” cross your mind. My post is about the incredibly versatile, widely used (in far more than stencils), and treasured washi paper. So, if anyone has an interest in general papermaking, please come check it out. 🙂

    Chris in VT – do consider trying out the non-poison options mentioned here. The poisoned rodents are poisonous food to the beings that wish to consume them (while they’re dying or after they’re dead). It causes problems beyond the mice and rats (neighborhood pets, raptors, scavengers).

    Kyle – glad to hear you’re interested! I’ll keep folks posted when things become available. Also, that was some powerful testimony about your experience. Most of what I could say comes out sounding mealy, so I won’t say much more than – good on you for surviving all of that and for finding yourself worth saving.

    Ben – the book I mentioned in a previous ecosophia post (Brian Kagan’s The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization will be useful in your search for info on the Sumerians.

  157. Darkest Yorkshire – Your email on dental surgery reminded me of a story I heard from a buddy of mine. He is a bus driver and has an assortment of kids, young and older. One day one of the younger girls (kindergarten) came up and asked for a tissue (Buddy has a box on the dash). He gave her one, then she asked for another. “Sure’, he replied, “take as many as you want”. She took another tissue. Shortly there after, she comes back to the front and shows Buddy a blood stained tissue! “What happened?”, he asked. “Oh, so-and-so had a loose tooth, so I pulled it out for him”, she said, all proud. “Where’s the other tissue?”, Buddy asked. “So-and-so put his tooth in it, for the Tooth Fairy:, she replied. With that Can-Do attitude, she’s a leader in the making, I’m sure.
    As for the Tooth Fairy, you know what so-and-so got from the TF? $20! 20 freaking dollars!! I know inflation is crazy now, but that’s insane!

  158. Archdruid,

    When doing affirmations, is it a good idea to change the wording of the affirmation ever so often while maintaining its intention?

    I did a light scrying into the shift in energy current an earlier poster mentioned in an earlier post (I felt it too) and the scrying directed me to the south china sea. Didn’t really get anything else from the scrying, just the “south china sea.” not sure what to make of it.



  159. JMG and everybody else talking about the burden easing recently.

    I wish I could believe but I am wary of taking my desires for reality. If we look at what actually happened recently we notice even faster descent into tyranny (Australia) elections where the “good Germans” won (California, Canada) and continued pressure by Biden.

    I think the “new normal” has won at this point – that might feel like easing of a burden because the fight is over, but how is that a good thing?

    I mentioned before that it takes time for a new regime to change people’s habits. For example, everyone now knows that FB censors specific things and people obey or self censor themselves.
    Similarly, criticizing the results of an election is now terrorism so I won’t even bother about future elections.
    I am sorry to keep talking about these old problems but humans are very adaptable and we quickly forget that we used to be very different not so long ago.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do see some good signs. The consensual “reality” created by MSM and the security state is foolproof but not nature proof. All the news about the fossil fuel prices, product shortages etc – all those are reality intruding into our fantasy.

    How long until the fantasy crumbles?

  160. Mary Bennett, elkriver, and mountainmoma,
    Thank you very much for your well thought advice! I have a lot to think about. I am staying for now. I am in peace with accepting the consequences. It is quite possible that there will be h**l to pay. However, if I move tomorrow my personal h**l will start tomorrow. I am working on mitigation for now.
    @mountainmoma: good for you to be removed from it a bit. I am smack in the middle of it all with a husband who is an engineer and a great believer in the religion of progress. We’ve been married for a long time and in all fairness I am the one who changed. He’s stayed the same.

  161. To anyone responding with advice,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I never expected so much input. I was able to read your comment and copy it over to a word doc along with all the others. I will use your advise to come up with a plan for the other leaders to consider. I wish I could address everyone but I don’t think I’ll have a chance. Thanks again to John Michael Greer for facilitating this discussion!

    John G

  162. I, too, feel lighter the past few days. I had seen some old friends and assumed it was related to that, but nice to know others are feeling it too.

    I’ve enjoyed not having more threats coming from DC in regards to Covid for the past two weeks and wonder how its related to the pleasant feelings. I feel like where I live each person has chosen how they want to go through things – masked, vaccinated, etc – and everyone is fine with each person’s choice. It’s only when the corporate media and/or politicians start “doing something” that things get tense again.

    I want to tune out and ignore the news completely but am afraid of missing some important warning sign. At the same time any response I would have to a new crisis would likely be the same – cash on hand, food storage, and other general preparation. Perhaps I can tune out and just enjoy the fall weather!

  163. @pygmycory

    I think I was the one who brought up the whole relationship social security net so I want to elaborate on that a bit as I didn’t mean to come off blaming females, nor am I trying to put words in your mouth about your intentions.

    I was actually concerned with the quality of my post afterwards. When I typed that out last night it was late and I was ready to go to bed and what I was feeling vs. what I was trying to put out was akin to putting your thumb on the end of a hose to focus the pressure where the thumb needs a bit of adjustment or else you get a watery mess.

    My comment on social safety nets was one that applies to both male and female relationships in that I believe that the safety nets are a good thing, they have also been a double edged sword in their social ramifications. Also when I mean safety nets it’s more a short hand for the way the economy is set up to where in the face of faceless corporations person is essentially a piece of paper with info on it.

    I threw that on my point of romantic relationships exclusively because I was both scrambling to make a coherent post as well as trying to avoid repeating myself to much. To give an example in another direction I had a friend who used to hang out with me all the time, one day through my uncle he got a good paying job and after that he made absolutely no effort in our friendship. He excused that by saying that he’s always at work and lives with his mother who is over an hour away, but every once in a while I talk to a mutual friend (whose roomate is a pot dealer) and he brings up that this friend comes by every weekend to buy pot and this friend is 10 minutes away from my house. You would think that he could take a little bit of time to visit his friend of 13 years, but no. Nor does he bother to text, it’s a relationship I had to put ll the effort in. Once his needs were met, it was as if those 13 years were meaningless and not worth the small effort to maintain.

    So when I refer to safety nets, it’s more a miss use of words on my part. Modern life has made it easy to focus on the self in isolation from the others which has caused a disturbance through all forms of interpersonal relationships, myself included in that I have been slothful in my own life in this. Or another way, the relationships we do form are surface level because that’s all that is required.

    Honestly I’m not quite sure I’ve been able to properly describe my intentions but I’m also the type of person that spends hours thinking about what to name a character in an rpg so I’d rather throw out what I’m thinking and through dialogue whittle down the meaning.

  164. Well, here’s new technology at its finest. I just talked to an EV owner who was visiting in my area. He and his wife have to get back home to move his car out of the garage. When I asked why, he said that his car has been recalled as it might explode. Until they can get the car in to replace the batteries, he has to be careful not to charge it up 100% or let it drop too low. This will limit the amount of miles they can drive it, which was why they replaced an older EV with a newer one containing more range capabilities. They also are advised to park at least 50 feet away from any other vehicle. I told him that’s near impossible if you drive to the store or downtown. His wife said they can’t get that far away from other cars even in their own neighborhood. He doesn’t seem too worried about it (“there’s only been a handful of explosions”), but who knows if it will put another chink in the armor of a big tech geek.

    Joy Marie

  165. Regarding alternating cell salts, does the literature mention the reasoning behind the alternation compared to taking them together? I am wondering if they made that choice based on some mechanism of how cell salts get integrated into the system or similar.

  166. AV, I’ve seen that. The interesting thing is that I’ve yet to see any significant solarpunk SF — lots of people talking about it, not so many writing it. Even the Grist contest, which I’d expected to be awash with solarpunk wet dreams, seems to have fielded a torrent of pessimistic visions.

    M, so noted. Please do post this and future Covid-related things to the open post on Dreamwidth — that’s what it’s there for.

    Anonymous, in your case I’d suggest the second option, but with a bit of a twist. Get comfortable with who and what you are, with your strengths but also with your limitations. Accept that there are things you don’t do well, along with things you can do well. Spend some journaling time on all this, and deal with your emotions over succeeding and failing — those can be very tangled. Above all else, don’t pretend to yourself that you can do things you can’t, or that you’ll always succeed when you won’t — that will just land you back in the same binary as before.

    Frequent, you’re most welcome. Thanks for expressing the same thing in language appropriate for this forum!

    Weilong, thanks for this! What’s the Japanese term you mentioned!

    Info, geothermal companies have been saying things like that to attract investment since I was in junior high school. I don’t tend to put much credence into it.

    John G, maybe we are in a new spiritual age, but telling young men that this means they need to commit themselves to a life path they already know ends in misery and failure is not going to convince them.

    Rob, you might find my book Dark Age America useful, as it discusses that. The broad brush version is that the coasts will flood at varying rates depending on topography — the Gulf of Mexico will be moving north fairly quickly, all things considered — and the mountain and dryland west will become uninhabitable due to extreme aridity. Meanwhile the northeastern quarter or so of the country will see longer growing seasons and a better climate.

    Sam, I’ve heard of it, but since I don’t play computer games I’ve never looked into it.

    Skygazer, I really doubt it was actually written by Crowley, although that’s possible. Yes, you acted appropriately, even to the point of showering — a cold shower would have done better. Since I don’t know what was on the document, or what spells might have been cast on it, I can’t tell you what would have happened or exactly what was intended by it. There are too many options.

    Martin, too funny! I’d say that it belongs in a satiric science fiction story, but Philip K. Dick went there decades ago in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.

    Daniel, also too funny. Thanks for this; it seems to be the Achilles’ heel of all the current technofantasies that nobody bothers to find out if the new technology can pay for itself.

    Jessica, thanks for this.

    Aziz, there are 360 energy centers in the body. Most magical traditions select certain of them — between 1 and 12 — to energize and activate, because doing so increases your ability to participate in the flow of magical force in the cosmos. The Middle Pillar exercise is the method of doing that in the Golden Dawn tradition. As for Eshelman’s claim, if he’s focusing on the front side of the body he’s doing it wrong — the centers of the Middle Pillar are along the midline of the body, about halfway back toward the spine.

    CS2, glad to hear it. You might consider, once your skills are up to it, doing some high-end bookbinding for profit and using that to pay for the things you want to do. Lots of creative artists and craftspeople do this — it’s certainly worked for me.

    Priya, you’re welcome. It doesn’t help your spiritual development if you’re exhausted and sick!

    Ben, is that even a hypothesis any more? I recall seeing it discussed as a simple fact of prehistory in books twenty or thirty years ago. As for the Amazon basin, here again, that’s not a theory — it’s been solidly documented by archeological digs during the last few decades. The entire Amazon watershed was settled and farmed by urban Native American societies; the jungle didn’t grow until after European diseases caused 95% dieoff — and the growth of trees sucked so much CO2 out of the atmosphere that the result was the Little Ice Age.

    Possum, I’ve been saying for decades that the back-to-the-land homesteading idea is not an option for most people. As for “investing in natural capital,” it seems to me that if you’re thinking in those terms, you’re still too deeply caught up in the contemporary mindset. More on this in a future post!

    Patricia M, thanks for this!

    Blue Sun, (1) that’s one of those questions astrologers can’t answer and philosophers go slowly crazy trying to grapple with. All I know is that that’s what the prediction said, and so far it seems to be playing out. (2) That’s a good question I can’t yet answer.

    David BTL, many thanks for this.

    Neptunesdolphins, well, of course they can’t figure it out. To be an economist you have to be wrong every time you open your mouth — I think it’s a job requirement or something. Go down to the corner bar in the grubby end of town and everybody there can tell you what’s going on, but the abstractions you have to absorb while getting an economics degree make it impossible to see what’s obvious.

    Christopher, thanks for this.

    Branderwydd, you can do it with any temple opening, including the CGD version. I did it back when I was still doing standard Golden Dawn, so I can’t tell you what the effects will be in a CGD context, but I know of no reason why it shouldn’t work.

    Anonymous, karmic culmination brings through whatever your karma happens to be; if you have a bunch of good karma, why, that’s going to show up as well.

    David BTL, time to break out the popcorn.

    Lydia, excellent! Yes, that’s very likely a large part of it.

    Temporaryreality, that’s a deep question, and one I’ll have to ponder.

    Varun, some people find that useful, others find it more effective to stick with the same wording. Do some divination and make the experiment if the omens concur.

    NomadicBeer, how long until the fantasy crumbles? It’s already cracking, depending on where you are and where you look. More on this in a later post.

    Joy Marie, I heard about that. Funny.

    Augusto, I think it was a matter of experiment rather than theory.

  167. Sky gazer, jmg, almost all of the officers when I was in the army were posh boys, privately educated with their family tree stretching back to the domsday book. Even Prince Harry served in the army. Some regiments like the household cavalry will only give you a commission if you come from the right family and went to the right school. As for a switch to feudalism and defending the country, it will take less than a day, I don’t even think our Muslim population will have a problem with it because its very similar to the country’s they have come from. And we already have some form of it with the way the 2 party system and the housing market works.
    Sean from Walsall

  168. MILLICENTLY LURKING, thank you for the cordial welcome and for sharing your own firsthand insights on this front.

  169. @Lakeland Repotluck #81 Double roofs are very common where I’m from, in the humid subtropics of the US Gulf Coast… if you know what you’re looking at and aren’t blinded by certain class prejudices 😉 They’re known as “roof-overs”. It is a common way to make trailers last longer (the roofs, particularly on older trailers, are notoriously flimsy and poorly insulated), make them less hot in the summer, and often to expand the usable living space. The basic setup is this: You buy your parcel of land, install your trailer, and then, once you’ve saved up enough money, you build a pole-barn over the trailer. If you have the budget, you make the pole-barn about three times as wide as the trailer, so that there’s a deep overhang on the front and back that acts like a wide porch, and keeps direct sun off of all parts of the trailer and goes a long way toward mitigating the trailer’s thin walls and poor insulation. It’s an investment that pays off later in reduced utility bills. It also effectively triples the usable living space, if you count the new outdoor “porch” areas as part of the house. I have seen these spaces very effectively set up as farm work-spaces: wood-shops, potting sheds, and animal-feed mixing stations. Some people will also close them in to add rooms to the house as needed– this can reduce the benefit of the roof-over, but doesn’t render it entirely useless.

  170. Dear JMG,

    I remember you mentioned once in an interview that you practice the invisibility spell, which admittedly does not make you physically invisible, but makes other people notice you less.

    I was wondering what you would suggest to people, like me, with the opposite problem: that of always being invisible to others even when desperately trying to get their attention.

  171. WB1c
    understood. I am in part reacting to a lot of outright blaming of women for not having children, and previous comments about removing social safety nets, that I have heard over the years. Your comment was an awful lot milder than some I’ve seen!

    If someone really wanted to convince me to get married, making it so I don’t lose my disability assistance if I marry would remove a major barrier. Still is unlikely to lead to me having kids.

    I think the younger generations are reacting to harder times than their parents, and there’s a certain amount of each gender assuming the other has it better. When I read a post blaming women for not having children, I start thinking things like ‘is the writer expecting his potential spouse to work fulltime and then come home and do all the housework and childcare?’ Because that requires superwoman, and most people aren’t.

    I think that a lot of women have thought about the costs of childcare, and education etc involved in raising a child, looked at their own income and that of any potential spouses, maybe remembered their mom doing insane amounts of work trying to single-parent and hold down a job, or do most of the house and childcare plus working, and decided against it. Because for a lot of women, raising a child is just too expensive and too hard when you have to work for a living as well.

    And others could have made it work, but wanted something else more, like the career they’ve poured tens of thousands of dollars and years of effort into. That happens plenty too, especially with university educated women.

    Or they’re deep in student loan debt, and never get it paid off.

    Out of five of my female friends I went to university with, none of us are married or have kids. Granted I’m not the only one with health issues, and not everyone is straight, but this isn’t normal. Things aren’t supposed to be this way. Something is very wrong. You’re right about that. And its hurting all of us.

  172. I always thought that if things got bad enough we’d dig up our landfills for whatever was in them. Metal. Plastics. Computer chips. Much like that guy who was cryogenically frozen until we could cure his cancer, anything broken in the past could surely be easily repaired with the repair systems of the future. More cheaply than building new stuff, especially if the USA returned to its (natural) isolationist tendencies.

    I thought living on top of a trash heap would be rather fun. Lots of rats and seagulls, and you’d get to see everyone else’s stuff. Very post-apocalyptic ’80s movie sort of thing. A perpetual treasure hunt for survival every day

    This is life for certain people in Asia, where US electronics have been shipped and dumped. The locals go through it looking for precious metals.

    I wasn’t allowed to pick up litter as a kid. My parents acted like touching trash would have that raspberry jam effect you keep talking about with curses. Touch it, and be forever tainted. So trash got that delicious air of, “You’re not supposed to!” You would not believe the fight I got into with them when I said I wanted to start recycling. They also yelled at me and asked if I would stay and pick up every piece of trash at the beach or at the park or wherever. Then they’d tell me that there would just be more trash tomorrow.

    At 40 (and who knew I would live this long!) I pick up litter. Occasionally I go out and pick up a LOT of litter. I give to charities that pick up litter. And I wonder what is wrong with me since most other people don’t do it. Is it OCD? Is it a death wish? Surely someday I’ll catch something nasty from picking up a piece of litter. To me it feels like if somebody left pornographic material around and I just don’t want kids to see it. Not that I have kids. Maybe it’s an inner child sort of thing. Maybe someday I’ll get my head shrunk and we’ll sort it all out.

  173. If anything is an example of hyper-progressivism, it’s a trans-humanist guy by the name of FM-2030. I saw him mentioned in an article and looked him up. A quote from his Wikipedia article: “The name 2030 reflects my conviction that the years around 2030 will be a magical time. In 2030 we will be ageless and everyone will have an excellent chance to live forever. 2030 is a dream and a goal.” I’ve started reading some info on him, and he was one weird dude.

    Another telling fact about him: “Among his theories, FM-2030 believed that marriage was an arcane convention of ownership, that nuclear families would transition to modular communities called “mobilia,” and that political distinctions like the left and right would be replaced by ideological “upwingers,” meaning those who looked to the sky (the future), and “downwingers,” or those who looked to the earth (the past).”

    So there is a word for us; downwingers!

    “No civilization of the past was great,” Esfandiary insisted. “They were all primitive and persecutory, founded on mass subjugation and mass murder.” Against a tide of books warning of global crisis, decline, and alienation, Esfandiary proclaimed the first Age of Optimism. Technology would universalize abundance; nations would disappear; identities would shift from cultural to personal. “The young modern is not losing his identity. He is gladly disencumbering himself of it,” he wrote. “In the 21st century, no one will say ‘I’m Egyptian, or Romanian, or American,’ but ‘I’m global,’ or ‘I’m moon-based,’ or ‘part Martian.’”

    I have a feeling that if FM-2030 is awakened from his frozen sleep (he didn’t make it to 2030, as he died in 2000), he’ll be immensely disappointed. 2030 definitely won’t be as he expected; we haven’t yet escaped from being human. Although he may have gotten one thing right; the years around 2030 will be a magical time, though not as he expected. I wonder if there’s been a biography written about him; it would be one good read (and I’m sure a lot of laughs).

    Joy Marie

  174. Kirsten #13
    Sorry I haven’t read the whole thread, so sorry if I am repeating what someone else said.
    Cooking is always a saleable skill.
    Did you ever read “Gone with the Wind”. After the fall of the South, amongst the destitution and chaos, one of the women makes pies and sells them on the street to passing men. She later gets a pie shop.
    If you can get the ingredients and a stove of some sort, even a camping stove, you can survive.

    Christine S

  175. JMG, well, then I reflected on my question and wondered if I wasn’t silly for asking it: was I really asking for “a book to guide the young” when really maybe what’s necessary is that each young person have in their life someone who says “look to and look after your heart and learn to hear it” – isn’t that what all the talk of mentorship points to? That our cultural “forms” – ossified in books and curricula and workshops and job-talks and resumes – is inappropriate for the times? Maybe it requires such a thing as John G is creating: fellowship and gathering in a safe place to just admit how trying it all is and then, maybe then, to just start considering that there might yet be something of value for each of us who are the grit in the gears of a machine that would slowly grind everything to indistinguishable dust.

    I try to do that in the course of my conversations with them, but I am the weight of one tiny bit of grit against the coroporate/gov’t/education/media-machinations. I guess this leaves me in the same position as John G when he asked his first question. To our bones we all know, all of us, in some way, that things are not right, I’m not sure saying “trust” and “look for hidden routes” and “read the secret signs of your oldest dreams” is the right thing to suggest to them. They still have to pay their way and the payment extracted is frequently composed of heart and soul.

    I don’t know what I’m looking for – except that it’s a way to help, a light to lift, and a path to point to.

  176. So one thing that’s struck me as I thought about my own issues is one concept I’ve distilled down, rightly or wrongly, is what I call a tyranny of abstractions in that modern society was built on mans ability to abstract concepts and act through them to the point where concepts such as economics and science, while effective, have in one sense or another become the new god of man where they were once useful tools. I remember one rock star had written a book talking about (and I may not be remembering exactly but it was a mental exercise for me), post Obama, that people were wrong for voting for Trump on economic issues because experts and other reports talked about how good the economy was under Obama (the two coasts) and that people were simply misinformed. I’d imagine this coming from how things like gdp and the like were high. This in spite of leftist insistance of talking about “lived experience” a concept I actually use when I think about day to day life. Taking the sum health of a nation for the individual health.

    When I think about this I can’t help but wonder if we’ve become so clever that it’s circled around to stupidity to where if what an individual says is happening conflicts with these averages, the individual experience is declared wrong and much like our schooling which focuses on grades as opposed to actual understanding, it’s more important to punish those whose answer is “wrong” as opposed to understanding how the student or individual got their answer and acting accordingly.

  177. On the ‘women just want to be fur parents debate’ – harsh much?

    The world absolutely sucks for us too. Perpetually insecure jobs, housing and so on. We’re miserable. Women have also been devalued – work at home is not seen as contributing to society and we’re told not to have children unless we can afford them. We’re constantly criticised for having kids or for not having them. Meanwhile older women who stayed home to raise kids are the fastest growing homeless population where I live.

    Many of us want to be parents. But we look around and think, why would we want to subject another human being to this? – if you’re miserable right now, imagine your kids life. Conditions are going to be much worse 20 years from now and you chose to have the kids knowing that. Women tend to be highly empathetic so would rather suffer in old age than watch their children suffer.

    We also look at the men in our lives and find them not up to the task of parenting during declining times. My husband wants to ‘live like collapse isn’t happening’ and wants a baby at the same time. Which one of us will be left picking up the pieces when SHTF because he wanted to live in denial?

  178. For what it’s worth, Sept 15 was the beginning of Yom Kippur. A lot of people noticed the atmosphere lightened then. May not be related, but since prayer and magic are basically different forms of the same thing, there could be a connection.

  179. Dearest Brother KYLE–

    an example of the THIRD WAY (“an unexpected response” as per Papa G’s definition), the third way with what we know:

    you know how you can see/read/feel things others don’t? whatever freaks others out, and gives you an unusual edge socially, well… you know how we’re taught to exploit that weakness? not only in our private intimate abusive moments (which are also incredibly INTIMATE. this is why i question the helplessness of abused wives – but not children. however children BECOME abused wives and others, right?)…

    i’m riffing here, but i felt moved to write after a moment in the sunshine just now:

    so not only are we taught to use these advantageous insights to save and BREAK people– whether it’s our intimate family members or other members in society we meet with throughout our days or the invisible others we don’t know—

    the THIRD WAY is:

    what if you didn’t need or want to manipulate or read people as we’re taught to use for later, what if we creatively had fun with using our insights to bring them to their more alive sweet passionate alive selves? for not only can it make our lives sweet, it often gets exploited by players hookers and gold diggers for ill.

    i’ve seen my own father turn all he knows into loving women up to themselves but then they shredded him mercilessly because they wanted to OWN him. they did not know how to love the same because we’re of this society.

    so i saw him make women blossom into swagger audacity and life, but they wanted MORE. what he couldn’t give because he’d been broken by worldly love.

    but i was his kid and saw. i saw him do both ill and good with all he could pull off. a papa Leo. wow.

    he could close his eyes off to me so i’d see nothing. you can only do that if you’ve been tortured before.

    so i learned by watching him and other healers, often sex workers who’re there because they’ve been abused BECAUSE people prey on us who see too much.

    abuse is INTIMATE.

    that’s why my stalker wouldn’t let me be. i’d seen his eyes into his soul, whether what i saw was literal or metaphorical he felt i SAW him. and his going mad trying to terrorize me made HIM go more mad because he wanted and craved that connection.

    get it?

    my question for myself with all knew about people’s agonies was: how can i flip this all that i see and all that i can and want to take and do, how can i use that to not break but help others break THROUGH?

    that’s why i play “devil” or “coyote” or “demon” role. and it IS holy work to me because IT COSTS me and my soul whether i get it wrong or right.

    James and i argue over whether true evil exists because it depends on your vantage point, right? as in Kali’s not bad if she’s on YOUR side fighting for YOU.

    i dig it.

    but still…

    so you GET the demon is also the angel and it’s up to US to wrangle and re-create all they give us and instead of letting them win with their sucky story, we twist it up into something that gives energy for love instead of the fetal position with sobs and wanting to die.

    and we’re all steeped in this evil / no one’s piously avoiding the karma of breaking our legs so we cannot crawl away and escape while they observe the sabbath. it’s with civilization.

    but you also have to protect yourself and test yourself on solidifying your connection to your true god so that it doesn’t get too out of hand and you end up in prison or the emergency room.

    so third way… when you’re with someone you feel contempt for because they’re weak or small or fearful, try and take all you know and could do to tear them down, and do the opposite and watch how DESPERATE and taken aback they are.

    that’s how you know what you’re dealing with… again and again. if they say happily THANK YOU! (mad rare) you are underlining what they already know.

    if they’re taken aback and stammer or deny the compliment or deflect it or cover it with their faults, you’ve interrupted a stream of self hatred in their mind and you see what you’re jumping in the middle of.

    most people cannot see beauty anymore.

    do it at random.

    see how you were a baby angel in all you took, and not a baby monster. as James would tell me in my lowest moments, “even monsters are not monsters because they have to love their babies to replace them or they would die out.”

    James jammed up my head a lot in my decade of face-down despair i’m only JUST NOW emerging out of.

    now all i see in the world are wailing babies. all the stuff. all the agonies. all the devastation waste torture of humanity and all animals and plant life.

    James is currently reading some book with a title like The Lucifer Principle, by Harold Bloom, and we seem just like one tick above rats tearing each other apart…

    but… and yet…. i shrug because i cannot quite give up the notion that before we completely render ourselves extinct, i think there’s new territory to try out regarding this “love” thing. it’s just TOO INTERESTING, this “third way” that isn’t … isn’t even articulated yet regarding what’s next on this planet.

    and with all you know, Dear Kyle… WHO KNOWS THIS? there is no university for this, it is not in the DSM manual, nor will it EVER be.

    but flipping the uses for this has made magic of childhood and all i saw before i tried to fit in and life went dead and flat, flipping all this with tricks to keep myself in it and vulnerable at all times with experimenting with my soul very much on the line (because it is)…

    i have to keep my love letters to each person fresh. figuratively and literally. the moment i repeat a good line that worked before, which is this world, then the magic dies.

    the moment i ask one too many deep uncomfortable questions, or press in where i see hesitation, and the more someone answers BACK… WOW…

    but know and remember always: you will not get so much response back other than closeness or avoidance, and vertigo from the other person… and if you’re doing it right, YOU TOO.

    jump. teach them to jump. you test so you can go first and know and tell them what to expect.

    i don’t believe we have to keep handing down mass and micro abuse.

    i believe we can THIRD WAY our way into something ELSE… something else that is THIRD WAY (unexpected)…

    it’s an approach. but it takes re-wiring your brain, as others have already said here before me. that’s why we’re all here at Papa G’s temple. we know it doesn’t have to be like this but we’re broken starving thirsty for a way out another idea.

    that’s why peak oil and the occult are the same to me. all that cheap energy WAS and IS magic. power is. so is yours. ours. we just don’t have schools for this. Papa G’s thing here is the closest thing to it.

    if someone started a library off his work, it’d be YEEEEARS of intense study and rigorous questioning. students would be taught to shred each other like they used to teach us in art school. DEFEND every line. waste nothing. finish the underside of your sculptures, lest someone ever see it.

    the regular normal world teaches us to wallow in what was done to us. the big secret obvious is: NO ONE CARES. at best you become emetic or diarhetic gossip.

    that’s how and why i did a Living Suicide. James wanted me to stay and i wanted to go and get in trouble and suicide myself off that way. i said i’d stay here if i didn’t have to behave ever again.

    James said, “okay.”

    and he just made sure i kept a flip phone in case i got in trouble, but it was ON. and all the magic of childhood came back in a snap. and i got to see how to be like this as a grown up in their world, and learned instantly why they tried to molest us, beat us, eradicate us in the first place.

    we’re mad powerful when we realize how necessary and interesting we can be. especially now.

    that’s why you don’t wanna waste Papa G while he’s here and available. i feel more ..SKILLED. and nothing makes him flinch. he knows the evil and good in himself and us and isn’t afraid of the …power. i don’t know why or how. but do the Octagon Society work, Kyle. no lie. make your own college university study and don’t waste all you know.

    for ALL OF US. you sin when hold back what can benefit humanity. but humbly. audaciously humble as i must remind myself.


  180. I’d like to add to the discussion about the overall feeling this week. I’ve had a horrible, heavy, full-of-dread feeling dragging me down all summer. But this past week I felt some moments of lightness and joy. Even if it’s temporary I am so grateful for the break. I don’t remember what day it started.

    Chris in VT

  181. @ JMG – As far as the proto-Sumerians are concerned, I think the circumstantial evidence is quite strong that they probably inhabited the, for lack of a better term, lower Tigris-Euphrates, in a settled culture with domestic plants, animals, and, probably, cities. I think the lack of a site we can point to (since any potential site is under the Persian Gulf now, and say “look, there’s Old(er) Uruk” keeps the field from accepting the hypothesis as a matter of documented fact.
    I had read multiple places that the die offs of native populations in North American had more to do with the little Ice Age, since long stem grasses found across North America, grow and trap CO2 much faster than trees. As for the Amazon basin, I thought the archaeological evidence was pretty new, and, sadly, discovered because of the catastrophic deforestation going on over the last decade or two?

    @ Temporary – thanks for that!

  182. Data point: Which maybe should go in the Dreamwidth COVID blog post, but which has nothing to do with the Vaxx/VaxxFree Wars except tangentially.

    The USA-Today chain of papers is running a long and extensive series on COVID long-haulers, people who had the illness and are suffering confusing and prolonged aftereffects of all sorts.

    Point One – and those old enough to remember polio have probably already noticed it – in this, the virus is acting, not like another flu, but a lot like polio only more so.

    The second point is that USA Today is pounding heavily on the fact that it’s hitting the wage class very hard; and that people of all classes with this are being handed astronomical medical bills which there is little or no hope of ever paying off. I note: attention, hospitals and the medical establishment: you can send out all the bill collectors you want, and garnish the pennies they find on the street, but you are S.O.L.

    The third point is, and here’s the tangential point and I’m no doctor or nurse and haven’t memorized the symptom list of the side effects of the vaccines, but I’m getting a distinct impression that they and the long-haul symptoms are related, the way a house kitten is to a saber-toothed tiger.

    Finally, as a side note, the usual dismissal of certain categories of sufferers – at the bottom of the privilege ladder – with “it’s all in your head.” Back in the day when polio was rampant, we had such things as WWII army nurses who’d been Japanese prisoners of war explicitly excluded from PTSD payments with “Those men (the soldiers) were heroes. You weren’t.” And “Women don’t suffer.” [Leading, per the article in The Smithsonian, to a mass exodus from the service after the war by these same nurses, and from the nursing profession in general by many of them. I wonder: to the postwar economy, was that a bug? Or a feature? A feature, I suspect.] In this case, white women were being seen for COVID, which a middle-class black woman was dismissed with “You have acid reflux and dry eye.”

    I didn’t think to save the back issues of the Gainesville Sun – since Sunday – in order to mail them to JMG, but they’re there. For what it’s worth.

    Nor do I know what percentage of people who’ve had COVID have had these long-haul symptoms, but only that they exist and are devastating. Of course, USA Today cherry-picked the worst, I’m sure, but it’s still a data point worth noticing.

    Pat, not advocating anything one way or the other, but just observing. Because, being in special circumstances and having shed a lot of blue-state convictions of having a monopoly on the truth in these past 2 years and 3 months, I consider myself not qualified to preach a single word.

  183. Thank you for your answer, I tend to be theoretically inclined given my upbringing. It’s good to be reminded about empirical processes, which seem to be almost forgotten just now in modern medicine.

    Regarding your hypothesis on the reconstruction of the covid events I don’t know if you knew about this but I read this earlier today:

    “Among the scientific tasks the group described in its proposal, which was rejected by DARPA, was the creation of full-length infectious clones of bat SARS-related coronaviruses and the insertion of a tiny part of the virus known as a “proteolytic cleavage site” into bat coronaviruses. Of particular interest was a type of cleavage site able to interact with furin, an enzyme expressed in human cells.

    Since the genetic code of the coronavirus that caused the pandemic was first sequenced, scientists have puzzled over the “furin cleavage site.” This strange feature on the spike protein of the virus had never been seen in SARS-related betacoronaviruses, the class to which SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the respiratory illness Covid-19, belongs.

    The furin cleavage site enables the virus to more efficiently bind to and release its genetic material into a human cell and is one of the reasons that the virus is so easily transmissible and harmful. But scientists are divided over how this particular site wound up in the virus, and the cleavage site became a major focus of the heated debate over the origins of the pandemic.

    Many who believe that the virus that caused the pandemic emerged from a laboratory have pointed out that it is unlikely that the particular sequence of amino acids that make up the furin cleavage site would have occurred naturally.”

  184. @John G,

    Here’s another suggestion to toss onto the pile, if the young men in your group are local to the suburb where your church is.

    If so, consider a program to bring their parents along to a meeting, where you make a presentation on “Here’s why your sons aren’t going to move out of your house, and here’s why you don’t want them to.” Extended households have economic advantages that are going to be increasingly necessary in the future, and the sooner everyone gets over outdated guff about “living in their parents’ basement” the better. Those attitudes, the parents regarding the grown children as failures, the grown children treating the living arrangement as squatting that they can get away with, and both sides thinking it’s temporary until the child either meets a suitable life partner or gets a steady and well-paying enough job, guarantee that the shared household will be intolerably dysfunctional for everyone. The key is shared (not just delineated) roles and responsibilities, where the adult child is neither subject to every whim of the parents, nor free to do anything he wants; nor vice versa. It’s more difficult when the children have no experience (and in some cases have never been permitted to participate in any way) in operating a home, starting with the most basic things like property tax bills (better to share those details rather than sweep it under the rug as part of a “rent” payment agreement), but there’s time to learn if both generations are on board.

    Just something to consider. I won’t go on about details, because your men might not be in that kind of situation at all.

  185. I have started to entertain a thought based on the collective imagination of my generation as seen in hero movies and that is the common agreement that villains have started to look more interesting than heroes in the collective imagination of newer generations. This is within a very specific modern worldview –not for example in Greek sense of heroism– and I saw it represented in a comic as the “Horrible lil’ hero driven by spite” vs “The Villain with noble motives”, we can see this for example in the terrible new iteration of Star Wars movies were young people were fascinated by the villain.

    Here hero and villain in my interpretation just mean the establishment versus people against the establishment, people that defend the establishment with spite and people that go against the establishment with a perfectly defendable reason. I wonder, given that movies have a huge grip in the collective imagination, if that idea could be tapped by people looking into a shift in power now and in the coming decades. If it does, then the vilification of a segment of society would only help that process, because the notion of “evil” no longer means what it used to do in a generation brought up with the Christian concept of “evil”, evil in my generation and a few above mine basically means “not-boring” and less plastic with false ideas of righthood that push against in the other direction to that notion and upbringing of bad habits of virtue that stand only on dogmatism and power.

    Today, the “hero” side, no longer embodies virtues but rather manages appearances to pose as virtuous like virtue-signaling on the other side, the “evil” are working on building up skills that actually matter, and also on going through life rough, which builds character quite efficiently.

  186. @Ben search Ken Burns, Mohammad Ali documentary, podcast, The Hill.

    Also, I have a son that’s a senior in high school this year. He was lost in what he wanted to do, until he became interested in becoming a fire fighter, and he will start the fire academy at a near-by community college next year (AA degree is needed for entry level jobs). Since we’re in the West USA there seems to be job security, fire fighters retire by 55, and I haven’t heard any calls for “defund the fire fighters”. It’s also a job where you fell like you’re helping people, and you’re not looked down-on by PMC types or the media (especially when you’re helping them in a car wreck).

  187. @ womensatlasrc #186

    My husband and I pick up trash when we walk. We bring grocery bags just for the purpose of picking up litter.

    I think that many people litter because they don’t care and they’ve been brought up to do whatever’s most convenient and anyway, someone else will do it. What could be easier or more fun than tossing a beer can out the car window and seeing how far it goes? Someone else will clean up and if no one does, then who cares, and isn’t that why we have adopt-a-highway programs?

    When people aren’t connected to their environment in any way, they stop caring. Whizzing by at 25 miles an hour or faster is a darned good way to stop noticing trash. When you walk, you can’t help but notice litter.

    Many people believe that anything that isn’t caked in hand sanitizer is filthy. Touching anything that’s been outside for more than .01 second means it’s got germs!

    As for mining landfills, yeah, that’s going to happen. Too much metal is in them. In fact, it’s being considered now:

    It will be dirty, hazardous, expensive, toxic-waste generating, and time-consuming but yeah, it will happen eventually. Besides, what mining these days isn’t dirty, hazardous, expensive, toxic-waste generating, and time-consuming?

  188. I commented last week on examples of illth as per my local newspaper, The Sun.
    The power of the press has once again been proven.

    The Hershey Company suddenly decided (perhaps they were embarrassed) that they WOULD donate cases of mini chocolate bars, kisses, and Reese’s Cups to the Hershey annual Halloween parade as they have done for the last 73 years!


  189. Possum and JMG about homesteading:

    Why is it that almost everybody that tries homesteading in US fails or complains bitterly about it?

    The reason I am asking is because I could see homesteading work in Eastern Europe, on much less land with much less investment money.

    I can think of some hypotheses which do not exclude each other:
    – Americans really are more individualistic and as such do not work well together. As we all know, no single family can do homesteading – you need a village and those are mighty rare in US (I am not talking about the suburban style “villages” but the classic compact traditional village where people skills complement each other)
    – People go into homesteading with the expectations of living a middle class life (vacations, big cars, big house etc)
    – The government in US really sucks a lot of the profit through intermediation – in other words even as a homesteader you have to pay ridiculous prices on necessities.

    I hope someone that is close to the matter can answer the question – it would go a long way to provide some paths for the future of US.

    Based on my very limited experience, in US there is not yet a critical mass of people that can do the basics (gardening, orcharding, animal farming, light construction etc). With the exception of very limited locales, people that do homesteading have less support than the original homesteaders in 1800s, so they are faced with an impossible task – rediscover or recreate hundreds of years of appropriate technology.


  190. John,

    As a member of the privileged class (wage earner of $60k annually), I have often misunderstood your advice to “Collapse and avoid the rush” as a mental exercise to perform now so as to lower my expectation of what life will be like in the future. This mistake was discovered when my wife and I sold all our vehicles and replaced them with bikes and started sharing one phone. Our reality is starkly different. What we care about changed. What we value is suddenly different. It changes you, because fundamentally its a spiritual undertaking based in reality.

    We discovered that “collapsing” is not a future state or a present state but an adaptive lifestyle that is constantly scheming and strategizing. Many people ask you for specific advice here. I’m appreciating that the application of this principle is highly diverse in nature, meaning that it is virtually impossible for you to give advice to someone else on how to reduce dependence on high levels of energy consumption because you and I dont rely on exactly the same infrastructure to support our lives. As collapse progresses and infrastructure fragments, this will become evermore true. This principle of “collapse, avoid the rush”, when applied to a system, results in highly adaptive and responsive behavior that is not necessarily applicable to any other system!

    A few tips to those asking for investing advice, or any specific advice of any kind: Paying close attention to highly complex energy flows and how they change is costly. Observing overall trends is cheap. Efficiency is an antagonist to resilience. Pick your poison well. You will die by the weapon you wield.

    John, is “avoid the rush” really pertinent if collapse comes slowly? Or is it only advantageous if collapse comes quickly? It’s quite possible that collapse, or declines in energy concentrations will come at us slowly here, quickly there, and over here collapse might not come at all.

  191. Re: Value Wars. I just came from an old-folks’ -home sponsored trip to Hobby Lobby, which as you all probably know is aggressively evangelically run. I found a number of items I find useful at good prices, and they run to solid Americana with a heavy but unstated emphasis on natural materials as well as religious items everywhere. My old friend Robyn would never shop there because they’re evangelical. My friend Jean Lamb, from Klamath Falls (high desert Southern Oregon), a core Boomer, said she’s glad I found so many bargains, but she didn’t care to “support an an enterprise which worked so hard to deny their employees access to birth control.” Do I sense a whiff of scolding there?

    Now, I would have totally refused to carry out my purchases in one of their sturdy plastic bags which are also billboards for their beliefs, but since I carry my own canvas bags, that’s a non-issue. Just a wee note before I settle down to read the rapidly proliferating comments.

    Oh, and from the S. M. Stirling fan list, usually a hotbed of Progress & The Stars & High Tech —

    From: on behalf of Dan Daast
    Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2021 4:43 PM
    Subject: [stirling] 10 Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know

    Interesting (albeit an hour long) video. The takeaway that struck me especially:

    “Sophisticated economies … reached their peak usage of natural resources in 2000 and since then there has been a decoupling between
    economic growth and use of resources.”

    Wow! Surprise, surprise, paradoqz!

    I Replied “That is correct. Ask any petroleum geologist.”

    A little light dawning here, folks?

  192. @JMG re: Ken Burns … as I told a friend and fellow-historical trend-watcher, “Snickers…. so now he can spot a Fourth Turning at a millimeter’s distance from under his nose? “

  193. To LakelandRepotluck re: coolth

    In Japan, where it gets stinking hot in the summers, old buildings often had something like a wrap-around porch. You could also describe it as a sort of exterior hallway. The walkway ran around the outside of the building, and all the rooms were in the middle. This added a layer of insulation against the outside temperature. The walls/doors could all be removed as necessary to let the breeze in, too.

    Those old buildings also usually had very massive roofs – tiles bedded in sand – underneath which it remained fairly cool.

  194. Anne, Kimberly, Slithy & others: it is interesting that all of you picked up on Nicki Minaj – because I had a similar feeling… it was like a day or two before her defence of freedom of choice and her call to prayer there was a glimmering in the pre-dawn sky; and the day that Nicki defended herself it was like the disc of the sun breaking the horizon. I felt giddy. There may have been many other factors involved in the turning point (at least how some of us feel in North America) and Nicki’s antics just happened to occur at the right moment. If in the future history books say that Nicki Minaj saved the world from a global demonic authoritarian menace, I’ll be fine with that – it would certainly make history more colourful!

    Patricia O: sorry to hear that the spirit of oppression still has Japan in its grip; I hope for your sake and for the people of Japan that the malign spirit soon lifts. And for our members of the commentariat in Australia and New Zealand – I do hope that the feeling is turning in your corner of the world because the events ‘on the ground’ seem to be getting really ugly! My heart goes out to all of you.

    Ron M

  195. I didn’t hear the whole segment, but on NPR this morning they were talking about BigPharma being the largest lobby in Washington and some sort of pending legislation. I wonder how that will work out.

    @Slithy #18 – My mood has also shifted and I feel more like myself. This shift had been like the lifting of a gray fog, and the pervasive feeling of powerlessness dissipated. I’m still struggling yet now the struggling is toward clearing a path forward rather than fighting off ever-tightening vines of despair. A few of the neighbors have also noticed that the mood has shifted and that they are feeling more upbeat recently.

  196. JMG

    The term is 脱サラ (datsusara). Datsu means escape, and sara is taken from sarariman (“salary man” i.e. your PMC type). I have met a dozen or more 40-something guys who have applied that term to themselves.

  197. Thank you, JMG, for the links to the articles. This will be a fun history lesson!

    @Chris in VT – regarding your mouse problem, I can definitely sympathize. I had mice in my last house, and I learned that traps work better if you bait them in particular ways. I used the plastic traps that have a hole where you can put the bait, and I would fill it with sunflower seeds and birdseed – if you heap it in, they have to keep coming back to get it all, and they almost always get caught eventually. The other trick is to superglue a peanut or some other bait onto whatever trap you have. That way they can’t grab it and run. Hopefully these ideas will help – good luck!


  198. The fruit/veggie picking/packing circuit (“seasonal labour”) may be a ‘safety net’ for a person who contemplates food. I don’t know what to say to those of you who feel stuck, or abused, or at the cusp of a long career road going nowhere but I ask of myself why remain? I have feet, and hands, and sensory capacities. I may not be “allowed” to move freely, but I find I can put one foot in front of the other, my hands are the ultimate tool. I sense different things with eyes and ears as I experience different environments.

    Perhaps, like myself, you would find grading food a little jarring. Spending many hours a day contemplating the reasons for unblemished (“perfect”) fruit being worthy of the saliva of those who are wealthiest. Dealing with the heat and the noise of the packing shed.

    Both picking and packing are increasingly automated – has not that been the eternal efficiency aim of agriculture? – (see, perhaps, “vertical farming” for robotics) yet there is sufficient work to be found. You will hear how different farmers “think” about food, and wonder about things you hadn’t given more than a cursory glance to back in the suburbs, or in the cafe life. Yes, there is social drama to navigate, yet you can fill your boots with the knowledge that this is transient work. You will be moving on soon.

  199. @Leah Kiser – excellent point! A major Jewish holiday marks a turning point in the year as surely as an Equinox does for me. And some sort of Fall renewal is in the wind (sniffing slightly to catch the scent of what it is.)

  200. To John G (especially), Eike and others, regarding finding/building your own life niche,

    Although I am in my late 50s now, I was in exactly your same situation at your same age. I felt adrift in an empty and soulless world. I tried doing ‘the conventional thing’, getting a university degree (which I stopped one class short on), working for a largish company, and generally feeling more and more profoundly depressed, and then actively suicidal, as a result. The only thing, the ONLY thing, that I felt gave my life any meaning at all was getting out of the city and into the outdoors, and I became an avid (some would have said “rabid”) camper and backpacker. But even that could take me only so far.

    However, something ‘snapped’ in me after my father died, unexpectedly, when I was 30 years old. I decided to visit Alaska, a place where I had always dreamed of going, and although it took me four more years to accomplish, I ended up moving there (here), with no firm plans or job in place. And indeed, the first few years were rough, financially as well as emotionally. However, I did have some old family friends in Alaska, who graciously took me in and provided me at least some (summer) employment my first couple of years. Among other things, one of these friends taught me how to make jam, out of the abundant local wild raspberries that grew in the small town where I was spending the summers with them. I proceeded to make more and more wild berry jams over the next few years, just for myself and for Christmas gifts for friends and family back in the Lower 48.

    After another stint working for a large company, a mine in northern Alaska, the thought occurred to me to try making and offering these wild berry jams and jellies for sale. So I explored the possibility, obtained the (minor) necessary permits, had professional labels made for professional-looking jars, and started my own business — something I NEVER even imagined I would do up to that point — 20 years ago now. And I am still engaged in that business today.

    This business may sound small, and it is, but it provides me INFINITELY more satisfaction, and meaning, than any job for any company I had had prior to it —- none of which provided almost any satisfaction or meaning to me, in fact. This business is not a gold mine financially, but it keeps me afloat and comfortable, if at a rather low income level, with which I am fine, as I am not and never have been a very materialistic person. But the satisfaction of dealing with customers, most of whom are visiting Alaska for the first time and have never tasted most of our numerous Alaskan wild berries, is immensely fulfilling to me. As well, getting outdoors and gathering many hundreds of pounds of wild berries around the state each year, the majority of which I still gather myself, is another significantly satisfying aspect of this business as well. I even enjoy all the cooking and making of the jams and jellies, which I do primarily during the winter and early spring months, when I would be otherwise not much occupied.

    So, in a very unplanned and unexpected way, I have, like others here, carved out a niche for myself in a world that I found otherwise very empty, hostile, and devoid of meaning. Would I suggest this exact path for others? Almost certainly not; very, very few people would probably have the unique confluence of circumstances and interests that make this business work for me. But my point here is not to highlight my exact business and the path that led to it, but the fact that there are many thousands of OTHER such niches, businesses, and paths that one could explore and pursue, based on that particular person’s own combination of talents, interests and opportunities. In fact, I had read statements and even books to that effect before carving out my niche for myself, but I mostly disregarded them, as doing such a thing just did not “seem like me”. But here I am. So if I can do it, I honestly believe that many if not most other people could potentially do so as well. But it will likely take a good deal of reflection, research, risk and hard work to make it happen. However, all of that will pay almost infinite dividends, much more than most people in conventional jobs and lives can imagine. Do not disregard the idea!

    I hope that you might find my personal history here of at least a tiny bit of help. Again, I cannot stress enough that I do not advocate almost anyone trying to repeat what I did, but even in this crazy and messed-up world, I firmly believe that meaningful and self-sustaining positions can be found, or at least made, by those for whom conventional work and life simply do not fit the bill.

  201. “Neptunesdolphins, well, of course they can’t figure it out. To be an economist you have to be wrong every time you open your mouth — I think it’s a job requirement or something. Go down to the corner bar in the grubby end of town and everybody there can tell you what’s going on, but the abstractions you have to absorb while getting an economics degree make it impossible to see what’s obvious. ”

    I may have spoken about this before on this blog (or the old ADR). But I remember back at university (I was 19 at the time) I tried to do an economics paper. I lasted three days before dropping it. Basically, the first thing they tell you, more or less, is to completely ignore your experience of the real world and focus instead on these abstractions they place in front of you. Its like going to a sermon of some kind of hardcore religious cult or something….

  202. Hi JMG.

    You have said that the long descent will last for centuries, but I wonder if there is a country that right now would be the “champion of collapse”, could Venezuela or Somalia be that country?

  203. @Mary Bennett
    “I think Texans have been living so high on their oil wealth for so long that they have forgotten that other folks, like maybe entrepreneurs looking for startup locations, might have opinions which don’t agree with Texas think. In any case, I don’t have to live there.”

    This is one way they repel Blue Staters from voting in Blue Parties in their states I believe.

    They don’t want everywhere to become California given the way California is run they don’t want that.

  204. @John G,

    Gen X woman here, and I know I’m in the category of “unsolicited advice” here, so, sorry in advance, I do this to everyone, you don’t have to listen to me 🙂

    I was raised by hippies, so I was fortunate that the boomers in my life understood more of the changes happening around them (in spite of all the drugs lol), and I witnessed first hand the difference between men older than me and men younger than me (I’m 40, barely gen x almost milennial).

    I think consumer culture has twisted the idea of happiness to mean immediate gratification and hedonism. Neither of these things provide real happiness. Eventually, after you build relationships with and between these men, you might gradually work in the ideas of self actualization, purpose, meaning, personal integrity and core values, etc. as sources of meaningful happiness.

    Another important point, is even Gen X saw the economic deterioration, but the milennials definitely have it worse. Any time any boomer says anything along the lines of “well I succeeeded like this and it was easy, why can’t these kids…?” I always ask “What job were you doing?” And then “What was your housing situation?” And “What could you afford on that salary?” If I need to, I might talk about my own job and what I can afford, but usually I don’t have to. And, possibly because all the boomers in my life are hippies, they all immediately recognize what I’m getting at, that times are very different and it’s just not possible to make the same choices or experience the same achievements. So, I think if you show some solidarity and understanding on this point, you will earn some trust.

    And if you provide something that gives the emotion of success, especially by working together to achieve something, you will develop a very loyal group.

    I could be way off, of course.


    Jessi Thompson

  205. Sean, so noted!

    Discwrites, no, I said that I have practiced it in the past — I don’t do it on a regular basis, as I don’t want to be run down while crossing the street! As for the reverse, the fact that you’re desperately trying to get their attention makes them go out of their way to avoid noticing you. It’s a standard trick in singles bars to go out of your way to ignore the really attractive women; that makes them start trying to get your attention.

    Womensatlasrc, things haven’t gotten that bad yet…but they will. You’re just a little ahead of your time.

    Joy Marie, I have a soft spot for anyone that giddily eccentric. He’s fortunate that he died before 2030 came around and he had to face the total failure of his fantasies.

    Temporaryreality, so noted. I’ve been brooding over this whole issue for a while now.

    WB1c, excellent! That’s certainly what Giambattista Vico thought. He argued back in the late 17th century that civilizations follow a trajectory from too few abstractions to too many; in the latter stage, which he called the “barbarism of reflection,” people are so focused on abstractions that they literally don’t see their civilization falling apart around them. That’s where we are now.

    Leah, thanks for this. That’s a good point. Do I recall correctly that Yom Kippur is an occasion for repentance and atonement?

    Patricia M, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Augusto, yes, I read about that. It does tend to support my hypothesis…

    Ecosophian, funny! Thank you.

    Augusto, fascinating. Since I don’t follow modern media noise I’d missed this.

    NomadicBeer, all of the above are involved. My guess is that significant homesteading here is at least half a century of steep economic decline in the future.

    Jethro, good — you’ve learned some important lessons. As for when the rush comes, that depends on where you are and what your circumstances are. For a lot of people in the US, the rush hit in 2020 with the shutdowns.

    Patricia M, I wish. The term “decoupling” is used to argue that we used to be dependent on material resources in the past but now we’re not, and economic expansion can continue indefinitely even though our resource stocks are running out. I’d expect to see that kind of handwaving in Stirling’s circle, alas. As for Ken Burns, yeah, about that!

    Weilong, thanks for this! Datsusara it is.

    BB, you did indeed mention it, but it’s a story worth repeating!

    Quinshi, nope. The collapse I’m discussing affects civilizations, not countries. Ordinary political and economic dissolution is common in all historical periods — consider the formerly Soviet former Union after 1991, or central Europe after 1918. It’s all ripples and foam atop the long slow wave I’m tracking.

  206. Dear JMG,

    I have a puzzlement.

    I love the way you write. And the way you think. So, naturally, I want to introduce my friends to it, because I think they would like it, and because I’d enjoy talking with them about many of the topics discussed here.

    But some of them are just completely opposed, as in, “talk to the hand”, not willing to discuss it. The thing is, maybe I’m not a great salesman, but I’ve hardly told them anything yet. It’s like they made up their mind BEFORE the subject even came up.

    Is there some kind of entity trying to block you? I don’t know what to do other than just not talk about it, but that solution is really unsatisfying.


  207. I think this is a significant development, much more so than the practical effects would suggest:

    “Boris Johnson is to announce the return of imperial weights and measures, making it legal for market stalls, shops and supermarkets to sell their goods using only Britain’s traditional weighing system post-Brexit”

    Mind you, he’s not going to say that you have to measure only in imperial units. No doubt shops will continuing using whichever system of measurements their customers are used to, which means most will likely continue to use metric alongside imperial, like they do now. But of course the decision is fielding a lot of mockery for how this is just one more way Brexit is dragging the country “backwards.”

    I appreciate the metric system quite a bit, but I’ve come to see the emotional need some people seem to have to impose it on people by force of law as one of the shibboleths of Progress. In that light, Johnson’s government is about to tell Progress “No.”

  208. To All,

    I felt something shift but it is too complex to put any labels on it. Too many moving parts. I think the gods are involved at this point. That means if there are demons, it just got a lot harder for them to get what they want out of people. My Ogham divinations on this subject seem to be fairly on schedule.

    Sammy #191,

    I am 48. I saw the writing on the wall when I was very young and decided to get myself sterilized hell or high water by the time I was 31. Deciding not to have children remains one of the best decisions I have ever made.

    This is not a good era in which to raise children. That’s not to say that it cannot be done well. All I am saying is that there are a lot of factors that make it harder. One is that the world has so many humans on it right now. Humans are animals too and we all know what happens to animal species that become overpopulated monocultures — they exhaust their local environment and have to become more competitive for the dregs that are left. No thanks. There’s also the issue of not being able to keep them away from modern awfulness: perpetual mask mandates, internet pornography, Critical Race Theory and sexual extremism thrown at them well before second grade.

    There is the issue of men not being able to be men because their fathers either did not teach them how or simply weren’t there to do the job. I was watching a pet care video. There was a (human) couple being counseled by a pet expert that struck me as especially sad. The man was effeminate and wishy-washy. The woman was assertive and seemed disgusted at having to assume that role. I am married to a man who can wield a hammer and saw, paint a house, fix the plumbing, etc. and do a job that rivals any professional contractor. Except for painting, his father taught him nothing. He actually learned all of his contracting skills on his own. I don’t know of any other men who have those skills, not even my father, who is fairly handy. There is just something about men who can do butch and manly things. If I had wanted a woman, I would have married one.

    “Women have also been devalued – work at home is not seen as contributing to society and we’re told not to have children unless we can afford them.”

    Amen, sister! I’m currently writing a book called Sacred Homemaking that explains why the traditionally woman-centric art of keeping house is the key to all happiness and a solid pre-condition for spiritual growth.

    To Ron M. #209, to think a year ago the mainstream media was clamoring for all of the torn down monuments of dead presidents and various Confederates to be replaced with statues of Nicki Minaj!

  209. @Kirsten #174

    I live where engineers commute into work from . Lots of people commute into silicon valley from here, and I used to be an engineer too. Why the houses and taxes are high and likely going higher. I am removed a bit. sure — compared to when I used to live in the old part of Willow Glen, this other neighbor and myself both moved away the same time and with us went the last of the households with laundry lines and chickens in the backyard.

    I hope we dont regret too much this staying for too long, but for now I am at peace and work on collapsing in place

  210. One topic that comes through from time to time is how to store wealth with everything going wack in society. I’ve been thinking alot about that, and it seems to me that having more diverse ways of measuring wealth, worth more precisely is what I mean, is very useful. There is one particular way that I personally reckon my wealth I want to offer for folks to consider, inviting other odds measures from others.

    “How many properties are there in my community that I can show up at unannounced, and make myself at home with minimal risk of upsetting the owners?”

    This measure started to enter my mind back when I was full time homeless. I learnt to form relationships with folks so I could be trusted to use their places to crash out, cache stuff, use tools, make compost, plant seeds, cook, poop, use wifi, fill water bottles, and so on. Even though I was homeless I had several places where I was accepted to do these things. In exchange I was ready to help the folks with there project as a matter of course, do favors, and was very protective of their space; at the time about the only cause I ever had to snap at a person was when an acquaintance of mind was being disrespectful of a place I was entrusted to access, because that respect was my livelihood. Now I ain’t a wander so much but I still carry the habits of forming that kind of relationship. I have a number in mind of how many places there are where I can invite myself over, and make myself comfortable, because I’m ‘that guy’, but I’ll just say is a pretty big number. Similarly I play a game at farmer’s market of seeing how many booths I can watch the till for each season, which the merchant takes a break to wander around market; I’m at eleven at the moment. There are very high grades of wealth, because they measure how much members of the local productive economy trust me. It is a valuable asset, because I can get work if I need it, and if I am out on an adventure and some unexpected need comes up I can show up and address it, bearing in mind that I’ll have to reward the host with a boon next chance. Also if I have a project that needs certain resources, negotiating that extra detail is usually a small step. This is more valuable and resilient that cash or gold; and I often make deals where I loose modest amounts of cash or time to preserve and fortify these assets. I won’t say what value I place, in dollars, on the least of these connections, but I have a value in mind and can tell you it is quite large. You might as well ask Smaug to part with some of his hoard for dogecoin.

    Now I have ruined a few such connections, sadly, but humans are tricky even under the best of conditions, and I have been known to screw up by several means, sadly at times bad enough to ruin a relationship that would have been worth keeping. Other’s aren’t worth keeping, and gotta recognize that.

    Anyway, that’s a form of wealth I am much invested in. Please, anybody that reads this post, what’s an odd form of wealth you value?

  211. Some musings on young folks adrift…

    The word “meaning” is appearing in many of these posts, and it occurs to me that meaning is precisely what is missing from most modern life. The religion of Progress may have visions of (shiny future) heaven and (sordid past) hell, priests (scientists), sacraments (e.g. vaccination), values and beliefs, saints, and most of the other trappings of a religion, but as JMG pointed out to me in the last open post, it lacks any true connection to divinity or to a force greater than oneself. Even communism – as perhaps the most significant comparable secular religion of modern history – had within it a deep value of connection to the greater whole of humanity for the common good, but Progress has no comparable sources of meaning.

    So it is, perhaps, that “success” in the modern world so often seems hollow, and many folks with religious backgrounds seem to have traded out most of their traditional values and beliefs for those of Progress but retained some connection to their faith for the human community, the connection to divinity, the *meaning* that it provides.

    I was very lucky, I think, to grow up in a household that did not embrace Progress, and that had also abandoned traditional religion in search of a more immediately meaningful truth. So it was that I spent my days digging in the soil, planting seeds, climbing trees to watch sunsets, learning bird songs, and generally establishing for myself a sense of meaning and belonging based in the miraculous flourishing of life on planet Earth. And so it was that wherever I went in life I first planted a garden, learned the local plants and wildlife, studied the geology to get a sense of deep time, and generally cultivated a sense of connection to place. On top of that foundation money might be tight, or relationships might fail, or I might realize that my save-the-world alternative energy research was based on hope and hype and I might discover a particular archdruid and argue with him about why it might *really* be different this time and I might eventually stop arguing and begin accepting and ultimately embracing the impending age of decline. But beneath all of that the foundation remained: the ephemeral wildflowers of springtime, the cycles of sounds and scents, the solstice mountain sunrises, the potato harvests, the apple pressings.

    This makes me both deeply grateful and happy to be alive, and also deeply sad – because I do not know how to share this with others. I might teach others to garden, or to recognize the bird songs or the wild mushrooms, but I cannot make it *meaningful* to them. I see so many young folks adrift, and depressed, and hopeless – and I do not know how to give the gift of meaning.

    It is helpful to acknowledge the economic hardships facing young folks, the lack of good jobs, the fears for an uncertain future. But under all of this is – I strongly feel – a crisis of meaning. So my question for myself and others this month is: how do we foster the development of meaning in an Ecosophian sense? How do we help young people to discover the living wonders of the natural world, to see themselves as a part of these wonders, and to find joy and meaning in the simple reality of being alive on this planet?

  212. In talk about young people today, their prospects and desires, etc. I am reminded that James Howard Kunstler is known to carp about the tattoos sported by many. Grumble, grumble, etc. But it occurred to me that a tattoo is one thing that no one can take away. A lover can leave, so can a spouse. A car can be repossessed as can a house. You can lose a job, have to sell off your stuff, etc. but no can can steal or repossess your tattoo or declare it community property and dispute custody. Of course the same is true of learning and skills, but those are different types of possessions.


  213. @Darkest Yorkshire

    Thanks for the list of RV resources. I’m regularly astonished by how many strange things we appear to be capable of.

  214. to @Gus #76 – on one hand Grist mentions “intersectionality” as a core element, one of the judging factors as quality of “crafts*man*ship”.
    I hear the chains of irony clanking as I seek to fathom
    “the depth of environmental, scientific, historical, and/or cultural background ”
    the people were expecting to plumb.

  215. We were a group of students living in a big old house with mice. Most of us were engineering students, and we figured we could devise a better mousetrap. What we came up with was a large bowl partly filled with water. Across it we laid a round rod, and in the middle of the rod we placed the bait. The idea was the mouse would start across the rod towards the bait, the rod would roll, and the mouse would fall in the water and drown because it was unable to climb the steep sides of the bowl.

    Each morning we would check the trap and find the bait was disturbed, the rod had rolled, but there was never a mouse in the water. So we kept watch one night. And discovered that the student whose room was nearest the mouse trap, a sweet and soft-hearted young female music student, could hear the mice peeping as they swam and would sneak out quietly and set them free.

    Eventually we decided to live with the mice. The music student also fed feral cats in the back yard, and they seemed to keep the mouse problem within tolerable limits.

  216. JMG,

    So, I’m assuming the Middle Pillar activate the parts related to the path of arrow on the Tree of Life?
    I actually did the ritual for a while few years ago and got some powerful (though bit chaotic) results, and I’m planning to get back to it after reading more and finding the proper space for it.

    Another question, what do you guys suggest for someone who want to evoke the sulfur quality in his being? First thing I thought of is doing a discursive meditation on its symbol. But I’m open to other suggestions or certain texts/mantras that can be used for this purpose.


  217. What are some of the most impressive books you’ve ever read? Whether because of the depth they went into, the position the author took, or something else. I could come up with examples all day but the first to come to mind for me is Jonathan Rose’s The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. It’s like an intellectual biography of an entire social class over more than two centuries. He dug up a huge number of autobiographical accounts and it’s an amazing view into a world I didn’t even know existed.

  218. @Ben on Sumerians, if I may:

    David Wengrow’s “What Makes Civilization” contains a brief and very readable account of what archaeology has to say about the flooding of the Gulf and the relations between Mesopotamians and the residents of the Gulf’s coast (probably the mythical Dilmun). His account focuses on the 5th millennium BC, and since archaeology has nothing to say about language and little about ethnicity, he doesn’t employ words like “Sumerian” in that part of his book.

    In spite of his being a scholar, he makes some interesting alternative history speculations at the end of that chapter! I am very much looking forward to David Wengrow and David Graeber’s (posthumous) forthcoming book, to see if they have expanded their treatment of prehistoric Mesopotamia…

  219. @pygymcory: Thank you for that moving description of your reasoning. I always enjoy your comments very much and wish you all the best!

    If I have one question, it is not in any way meant to prod you, but born out of our own sifting of the possible options. Have you considered moving into a less metropolitan and less expensive part of the province? I ask because it seems to us that when one can take one’s income source to a smaller place, it might last much further.

    Your thoughts would interest me because we have one factor in common: the lack of a car. (In my case due to a combination of clumsiness that has led to several accidents in the past, ecological and financial reasons.) I believe one is very severely restricted in one’s life without a car in the Canadian countryside, even more than in a Canadian city, but I don’t actually know that because, without a car, I have very little experience of that same countryside!

  220. @erikalopez – do you have news for us on your radio spot?

    As usual, your mad dancing in the streets and with words for Kyle reminds me of song lyrics,
    “So, desperately, I sing to thee of love
    Sure, but also of rage and hate and pain and fear of self”. Things no one wants to hear or see, but you force them to fight the good fight with for a higher purpose.

    Everyone says Biden’s vaccine pass smacks of desperation on the part of TPTB, and if that’s reminding me of the same song you’re singing, that seems good – because it means you’re reminding them to “make a desperate move or else you’ll win”.

  221. Hi John Michael,

    Happy equinox to you and your lovely lady! 🙂

    As I’d discussed with you before, I’d been holding out on the official response to the health subject which dare not be named. However, I finally got caught up in a mandatory industry (having a few clients in that industry). It’s a bit scary really.

    Anyway, there is something really weird about being able to choose which variety of vax you end up with. My lady and I chose the locally produced variety which is an older school technology and has greater risks in the short term, but lesser risks in the long term.

    Anyway, I tell ya something really weird. The local doctors wouldn’t provide that particular variety, despite it being locally made. The official advice was that we are too young for such things. Fancy that! But I still had to do something just to get the official paperwork, otherwise my business which is already getting crushed, gets crushed further. Economically things are brutal down here. Doing nothing is an option, but it also means abandoning a lot of things I’d worked towards for over a dozen years, and being crushed is not the same as being wiped out (my cost base is extraordinarily low and go lower easily).

    Bizarrely, the pharmacists (chemists or drug stores in US parlance I believe?) supplied the thing. I haven’t had much of a reaction to it, but then I’ve mentioned to you before that I reckon I already had the health subject which dares not be named. My wife on the other hand was wiped out today with fatigue and a headache – which are known side effects of which we were warned about. Tonight she is beginning to recover, and hopefully she’ll be better tomorrow.

    There is something monstrously evil in mandating technology upon a population.

    I lay awake last night and thought to mention that I owe you something of an apology too. Years and years ago, it may have been over a decade ago, I mentioned to you to be wary of a certain curse. You were a bit snarky in your reply (about the only time I’ve elicited such a response from you). I saw truly, but had no experience, and probably should have kept my mouth shut. Please accept my apologies.

    Proving that the universe is something of a trickster, the curse was visited upon my good self. Nice, and probably deserved. Mate, it was one heck of a trial, but I got through it and I’m at peace now. Thanks for doing the work that you do. And I get the impulse to run, but then get dragged back, kicking all the way. Genuine rewards it should be said, goes to those whom have diligently worked for them. 😉

    Speaking of which I’ve recently completed reading Geoffrey of Monmouth’s book ‘Vita Merlini’ – how appropriate hey? 😉 I noted your approval last week. He has a brilliant mind, and the text pretty much says all that needs saying (in parts for those with eyes to see) and he pushed along waves from the past into the future. I get a chuckle thinking of some toff back in the day reading the Vita Merlini book and thinking to himself: Not his best work! It’s kind of funny at how the author went about constructing a defence, whilst doing what needed to be done. He’s good.



  222. @ Kyle #50

    I can’t comment on any spiritual meaning to your dog attack, but you might be interested to hear about another animal attack on a young person that led to a big change in their life. It’s a British guy called Ollie Ollerton who as a 10-yr-old was wandering about a circus that being set up when he came upon a baby chimp. He was interacting with it and pretending to eat what it handed to him when the mother chimp charged from a distance and attacked him, pounding and biting. It was on a long chain and he managed to retreat far enough that it couldn’t reach him, but he was badly injured and needed hospitalization.

    Up to then he’d been a dutiful child, always busy with chores which his workaholic father saddled him with. After the attack he became a bit of a delinquent until finally a magistrate gave him a choice — join the military or go to jail. He joined the Marines, then Special Forces, and afterwards started a motivational company and was an instructor in a reality TV series putting people through Special Forces training. He wrote a book called “Battle Ready” which I’m reading at the moment. He describes the chimp attack in a YouTube video “OLLIE OLLERTON Becoming Battle Ready Modern Wisdom Podcast #169” at 9:50.

    On mothers: They aren’t all motherly, that’s for sure. My mother was always on my case, never missing an opportunity to belittle me or jeer at me or make as if what I had to say was unimportant. I have no idea why she did this, since I was an obedient child who did well at school. Possibly I was too much like my father who she hated, or it was to convince my stepfather that he was her main man, not me. Thank god they sent me to boarding school and I was able to get away from her. I don’t know what would have happened otherwise. She died of cancer when I was 17. Years later I was reading about academic bullying and realised she ticked all the boxes as a classic bully, using the power of her position to undermine me and my self-belief. Not surprisingly, I have always had difficult relationships with the opposite sex and have chosen to remain single.

  223. Back when you were still doing your mundane astrology predictions for Australia and India, I used to read them with interest as to how the interpretation changes around the world, but knowing so little about either nation’s politics I had no real idea whether what you were saying was appropriate or not.

    Now, with the frankly extraordinary scenes coming out of Melbourne and other cities down under, I find myself wondering whether the Libra Ingress will bring our suffering Aussie friends any relief. Looking at the chart for Canberra immediately brings up challenges for me, largely because I just don’t know enough about Aussie politics, as the Sun is in the first house and although badly afflicted by the applying conjunction with Mars in particular, is still normally so powerful in this position that the country should really be in good shape during this six month period. Yet that’s certainly not what it looks like at the moment!

    Would you mind sharing some of your own thoughts on this ingress and it’s impact on Australia?

  224. @JMG – yes, it is the Day of Atonement. It essentially lasts 48 hours, time zone by time zone around the globe. And pretty much everybody prayed for the end of covid for those hours, lol.

    @Patricia Matthews #214 I’m hoping that change is a strong level-up in the rise of the Feminine Divine, Shekinah returning to take a hand in the affairs of the world. It’s time predatory capitalism was retired, and nurturing community values reinstated. I think that’s part of the long descent – undercutting the warrior-king big corporate boards who plunder and exploit.

    Covid may or may not be part of that process, but it’s likely just Mother Nature’s warning shot across the bow. The more we encroach on wildlands and create biological turmoil with extinctions and habitat reduction and climate collapse, the more likely the next animal based plague will be 20% mortality instead of two-ish (depending on your locality).

  225. @ Karl – I wasn’t able to find a transcript, but I’ll try to get it as a podcast after work. The summary I did read said Burns thinks our current era is comparable to those previous three. Alas, he’s probably correct.

    As for becoming a fire fighter; I made the alternate-hire list twice for a county department in Maryland, back in the late 00s, and served for several years as a volunteer firefighter in Delaware. Setting the romanticism aside, I think it is one of the few ‘noble’ professions left, and your son will definitely have job security. I wish him luck and good health as he goes down that path.

  226. Quick questions about your astrology lessons and mundane ingress charts – When is the next astrology lesson? And the next chart would be before the lunar eclipse on November 18th?

  227. @BB re: academic economics: I distinctly remember the point in my econ101 course in college, where I threw up my hands and said “these people are idiots!” there was this example problem that asked: Where would you find the best peaches? and the supposed answer had to do with market prices and shipping costs, so that, theoretically, the best peaches would be found in, say NYC supermarkets, because in order to make up for shipping them from the deep south, you’d want to ship only the most perfect fruits, so as to get the highest prices for them, or somesuch nonsense. And every part of my mind and experience shouted: NO!! Because clearly, the best peaches ever eaten are consumed by the peach-pickers in Chilton County, GA, right there by the peach trees, having ripened on the tree and become too soft to pack and ship. Only someone who has never eaten a fresh, ripe peach could write such drivel! Peaches are very difficult to ship: you have to pick them when they’re hard as rocks, and hope they will ripen in transit, or on the windowsill, but they rarely do: instead they become mealy and start to rot from the inside out without ever becoming properly ripe. Peaches stubbornly refuse to do what grocery retailers want, and they still ripen best on the tree, as God and nature intended. And so, there will never, ever be a better peach than the one you just picked, and bit into, juice running down your chin and mingling with the sweat on your neck, in late summer, in Georgia. Never.

    And the second-best peaches, still too soft to ship to NYC, are picked in the morning, sold in bulk to small-time fruit-stand sellers, and trucked down to north FL, to be sold the same day by the roadside, where our parents made us eat them outdoors in our play-clothes and the juice dripped off our elbows and stained our shirts, our eyes rolled back in ecstasy, and we had to rinse at the hose before we were allowed in, lest we make the furniture sticky.

    But if you’re an economist and you’ve never been out of NYC, you wouldn’t know, I guess. They probably buy their peaches at the supermarket, admire how pretty they are, and eat them right in their apartments, where they have to cut them up in their yogurt and add sugar to them, because otherwise they’re crunchy, dry, and a bit astringent. And then they think peaches are overrated, and write econ textbook questions about them.

  228. Earlier this week, I was in Denver, CO, attending the American Public Power Association’s annual Business & Finance conference. Along with the accounting tracks, they also have sessions pertaining to power pricing & marketing, which relate to my job. The discussions this year included things like EV adoption, community solar, trends in generation, and impacts on rates & rate design.

    During one discussion on EVs, I raised a question regarding some of the more aggressive projects of adoption rates. (Now, to be sure, electric utilities *have* to do something to prepare for these things. Regardless of their long-term viability, electric vehicles *are* being purchased and people *are* installing chargers in their homes. Given the charging rates of some of the newer models–upwards of 20 kW–these things will require substantial upgrades in distribution infrastructure in order to prevent transformer overloading and other power quality issues.) I asked if anyone had looked at how limits in lithium production might constrain EV manufacturers, particularly in light of the fact that increases in wind and solar power production on the grid at larger will be requiring substantial investment in utility-scale storage, which will be competing for these same battery resources. The answer was, no, no one had looked into that.

    Sidebar conversations resulted in variations of the “they’ll think of something” response. I’m learning to keep my opinions to myself at these things.

    Most in the industry are looking at EV adoption as a big plus, as it will provide a boost to load growth which has been slack for the last decade or so. “Growth is good/inevitable/necessary.” I see little discussion of any real effort towards conservation–actually using *less* energy–despite all the promotion of energy efficiency. Doing more with less is okay, so long as one is actually doing *more*. The idea of doing less with less isn’t even on the table for discussion.

    The visit to Denver, while interesting, also cured me of any fantasies about the nature of urban living. I was very relieved to return to my small town of 11k souls, let me tell you.

  229. Sean, JMG

    Sean’s observation coincides with mine. It is important to remember that the armed forces are the only significant repository of weaponry in the UK. The only other armed groups are the criminal gangs in large towns and (some of) the police, and they are negligible in comparison to the army. It is not like the Middle Ages, when every village had a yew tree in the churchyard for making bows. Nor is it even remotely like the USA, where owning firearms is a legal right. Apart from a few people in the countryside with shotguns, people in the UK have not a clue about firearms. So if there is to be a war, it will have to be between different factions within the armed forces themselves.

    That is not impossible. At present the leadership of the army is intensely loyal to the Crown, but at some time in the future an ambitious general could try to break away and gain power. They would no doubt need a figurehead and might try to obtain the backing of a disaffected member or branch of the Royal Family (ahem!). Whether they would get it is a different matter. I doubt whether they would bother with parliament. That institution is already discredited, and will only become more so as the future unfolds. That will be one of the drivers towards the general acceptance of feudalism.

    I am discounting the possibility of invasion from outside, at least in the early stages of the Long Descent. Britain is surrounded by a sizeable moat, and the European countries will be too preoccupied with their own troubles to try to invade.

    My conclusion is that if there is a split within the armed forces, then anything can happen. If there is not, the way is open for a peaceful transition to feudalism. This may be unprecedented, but is not inconceivable. It would not, after all, be the creation of a new feudal system but the renewal of the old one, which, as I pointed out in my earlier post, is still there under the surface. The obvious way in which this could happen is by the restoration of power to the House of Lords. The wars, which JMG considers to be of the essence of feudalism, can come later.

    Of course, none of this will make any impact on the Long Descent itself, in which it will merely be a dramatic episode.

    Note that I am not advocating this, merely predicting it, and at the moment it is all fantasy – but then so is any prediction. If it has, say, a 5% chance of being true, that is to my mind better odds than any other comparable prediction I have come across.

  230. If any kind of vaccine related injuries really start showing themselves and add to the current situation in the UK, it could turn into a very messy Winter:

    ““We are seeing levels of demand usually seen at the height of winter: demand for ambulance services is rocketing and increasing numbers of patients are waiting longer than 12 hours to be admitted. No one should be under any illusions about the scale of the task we face in the months ahead.”

    In other news, it has been suggested that PM Johnson talked with Brazilian President Bolsonaro about an emergency deal to import turkeys to cover a now anticipated UK Christmas shortage. Not sure how effective this kind of top down micro-managing shortages is going to be in the longer term (and even the very short term!!!):

  231. Thanks for this Open Post. It usually takes me the whole week to get through all the comments but I do it without fail and relish all the outstanding commentary and discussion. I just finished reading a very fine post from Paul Kingsnorth echoing many themes explored here over the years. Folks here will appreciate it.

  232. Dear Archdruid,

    This question would probably better fit in the magic Q&A, but I was curious – what do you make of L. Ron Hubbard, especially with regard to the occult side of his character. I just read some things about his extensive occult background and he seems like the kind of guy you would get if you made a person out of all the worst aspects of Aleister Crowley (who had a lot of that to spare, as you have pointed out).

    Also as a follow-up to your answer on my WH40k question – if you ever want to know more about it, I would recommend looking into the WH40k wikipedia on It is true that the setting has several beloved video games made out of it, but it actually started out as a tabletop game followed by stacks upon stacks of books.

  233. “Collapse and avoid the rush” to me is a benefit primarily in that you do it on your own terms and not everybody else’s.

    “Live beneath your means” is probably a little more familiar, but doesn’t get taken far enough. It’s not just about spending less than you make. It’s about making less demands on the resources in this world than you could otherwise. Live a lifestyle a little lower than you could obtain.

    At the core of the delusion that these concepts are trying to overcome is the BAU “inevitable growth is good” philosophy. People are starting to question it on an environmental level, without recognizing that your environmental footprint is a function of your financial situation. So everybody wants degrees and high paying jobs and government stimulus but they also want less meat, less AC, less plastic straws, less CO2, etc. It’s a form of what I’ll call “tweakonomics” that seems to say (erroneously) that we can perpetuate BAU with some tweaks.

    The way to balance the desire to reduce your demands on earth resources with your desire to be well off is to consume consciously. Do you really need X, Y, and Z? Really start to demand high levels of value from the things you spend your money on, whether that’s cars, houses, trinkets, food, gas, whatever. When I say value I don’t just mean a good deal dollar-wise. I mean that thing’s impact on your daily life. Will it really enrich your life to a great degree? Will it enrich your life in excess of the money and environmental resources going into making item available to you?

    If everybody would do this together, maybe we could get off the wrong track while the getting is good. But not while everybody and their dog is getting sold dreams of “more” and “better”. You want to save the environment? Make all advertising illegal. Stop allowing an industry that exists solely to convince people they want more things.

  234. Yo JMG, is there some event, moment, or series of events and/or moments that you can point to in the the past say…decade or so that radically changed your outlook on the world or your position on some topic that you consider very important? If so, can you tell us about it?

  235. On the “Flesh Of Your Future Sticks Between My Teeth” contest announcement page, JMG wrote:

    If you set out to dream up an all-out parody of today’s woke ideologies, could you do better than a story in which humanity is saved by getting everyone to use different pronouns?

    How about this: A TV reality show that features activists from around the world and follows them as they compete in missions, media stunts, digital campaigns and community events. Contestants will be judged on how much social media engagement they receive, and the grand prize is an opportunity to attend the G20 Summit in Rome.

    Aww, dang, CBS already thought of this:

    In a hopeful sign, the merely deranged have pushed back against the totally insane, forcing the network to change the format to single-episode documentary.

  236. I’m one of your decade-long followers and sometime commenters and wanted to report that I had just completed a successful 1600 mile backpacking trip in the northern Rockies & have returned home, that is, back to my van. An observation I made towards the end of the journey was that despite experiencing a wide range of temperatures and conditions outdoors I have yet to get ill at all during any of the long hikes I’ve done the last five years and only had a few mild sicknesses in between as well (one of them probably being COVID!!!)

    My conclusion: Good health comes primarily from the sunshine and the dirt.

  237. @ Kimberly #223

    I’d be interested in your book. If you like, I’ll beta-read it.

    I’ve believed for a long time that denigrating traditional female work denigrates women as a whole. I’m reading The Golden Thread now (a history of textiles) and it’s bizarre how the author never misses a chance to get in a dig at how women were defined by their spinning.

    But who was supposed to do that work? Men who were already out in the fields all day?
    Men plowed fields because it’s heavy physical labor to force a plowshare into the soil and keep it straight. The horse isn’t doing all the work.

    So far, our author hasn’t addressed who was supposed to do the work that women traditionally do! I guess slaves because their needs don’t count.

  238. @ Ray Wharton #226

    Absolutely! You reminded me of a young man I was casually acquainted with decades ago. He wanted more freedom, moved out, and boarded with an assistant supermarket manager. The manager was a middle-aged woman, single, with a few kids. Her husband had abandoned her to find himself. She was, as you can imagine, strapped for time, energy, money, everything.

    The young man soon stopped paying rent. What’s worse is he refused to pick up the slack in the household as doing laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming, etc. was beneath him.

    She threw him out.

    I am positive that if he’d started doing all the household work, freeing up her time, she would have let him stay for free. But no, housekeeping and childcare didn’t let him self-actualize.

  239. “Anonymous, karmic culmination brings through whatever your karma happens to be; if you have a bunch of good karma, why, that’s going to show up as well.”

    So it’s possible that this is it, and I won’t need to worry about the kinds of crises and difficulties which typically occur during karmic culmination? If that’s the case, I really need to thank my past lives for whatever they did to ensure I don’t have much if any negative karma. Of course, I also figure it’s quite possible the negative karma will come later; but for now my karmic culmination has been really quite nice.

  240. @ Chris in VT you can make a bucket trap out of any five-gallon bucket. You can find instructions and videos online, and even buy pre-made roll bars (though they are not difficult to make). From our experience: this is a trap for mice. If you want to catch big rats you don’t need the roll bar (and it may even get in the way): just throw half a sandwich and some bacon grease in there to float on the water, and rats will catch themselves.

  241. Hi, JMG and commentariat. I’m a long time reader, but this is my first time commenting here.

    John Michael, are you familiar with Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer? If so, can you explain the difference between Hoffer’s “mass movement” and a revitalization movement?

    I’m asking because I find The True Believer painfully relevant right now.

  242. Andy #229, also an interesting history of remote viewing is ESP Wars: East and West. For one thing it’s the only source I’ve read that doesn’t just regard Ingo Swann as the patron saint of CRV, and shows his more controversial role.

  243. @JMG

    As a union member I saw the writing on the wall thanks to your advice, and have been figuring out my escape. The unions are so far behind the ball on this one due to their Democratic Party loyalty that they have no idea the people stabbing us in the back are doing way more damage than the Republicans who publicly push against us.

    Ironically enough I was told by my inner guide to upgrade my camera gear and start working on independent film again. This conflicted with the idea/budget of buying more homesteader tools, but one of the things I discovered is that I really like doing funeral videos. Weddings got depressing for me because they are mostly status symbol parties, and I started to be able to figure out which 60% were the ones most likely to fail. Funerals on the other hand are so full of genuine raw emotion and I regularly catch glimpses of humanity at it’s best.

    You wouldn’t think that people would watch funeral videos of a funeral they’ve already been to, but apparently it’s like a sad song on the radio that makes you feel better. My guess is like the sad song, it helps people step back and get a 3rd party perspective to see that they are part of a larger support community. Knowing someone out there is going/has gone through the same thing is extremely helpful during the breakdown phase of a hyper-individualistic culture of atomization when mental health services are scarce and often useless.

    [edited to remove reference to deleted comment — JMG]

  244. Dear JMG (and the commentariat),

    I need help with visualization. My wife is quite good at getting what she visualizes– frighteningly good, if she’s spreading negative energies. I understand the technical term for such women used to be “witch”. She has been trying to avoid that of late, however, and has had good success nursing orphaned houseplants back to health with positive visualizations. (She has no ritual training. It’s natural talent, and it works.)

    We have no idea what visualizations to apply to our current predicament. I am epileptic, and my medication has recently stopped working. It’s not exactly killing me, but I am getting pretty well into the “disabled” category of being. I am being force to take a (hopefully temporary) leave from work, for example. I’m lucky enough at least they have offered to have a job (if not my job) for me.

    That’s background. So here’s the question: we want to push energy towards me becoming seizure-free. What do we visualize? A heathy plant is easy. It’s vibrant and green. A healthy human brain? er… yeah. Not sure what that looks like.
    I had thought maybe to imagine me driving a car, as if I were seizure-free for long enough I could get a license again. But then I realized that’s not nearly specific enough– I could just be forced into a situation where I have to take the wheel, license or no.

    So. JMG, any ideas how to proceed? I’m also going to be doing an affirmation, but the classic “I’m getting better every day” doesn’t work when it’s so clearly untrue. I’m getting worse. Can I keep going with this one and hope to reverse the trend, or should I try a different affirmation?

    For the record I am not in the USA so the AMA has no jurisdiction over this question and I am seeing healthcare providers in my home country. (Also, does anyone have any suggestions for alternate healing modalities that might help?)

    Prayers and good vibes are also welcome from anyone who can send them.

  245. Your DW article on the pollution relation to the obesity epidemic was extremely useful to me, so I want to share some of my experience. Please someone correct me if I am wrong.

    After extensive expensive testing I was diagnosed with fatty liver, and did some research on my own about it. Apparently when the liver gets overwhelmed it starts storing poison in fat cells in itself. When the liver gets clogged up with fat and can no longer filter effectively it piles up the poisoned fat cells in the abdominal cavity. This puts pressure on the internal organs and sets of a chain reaction that slows down the metabolism. At some point hormones get thrown off and then no matter how much you diet and exercise it never seems to help, plus your brain is scrambled and you have no energy.

    My recovery has been slow going and at first it was miserable as the poisons from burned fat cells were released into my bloodstream, but now my metabolism has sped up and I’m getting good results.

    My three main techniques are organic/unprocessed food only, intermittent fasting, and waking up at 6am every day. Also I am far more careful when handling chemicals and have cut out the booze and internal cannabis products (used to help me cover up how crappy I felt).

    This is not medical advice and anyone battling obesity should consult with a doctor to do it safely, but maybe someone out there will find this useful and help them start asking the right questions.

  246. @ Frequent #116

    You said “Young people today believe what you own is what you can, you yourself, take care of. That’s how many people I know define ownership at this point. It makes sense. The watershed moment in the end of this empire will be when the elite realize they don’t own what they can’t maintain.”

    Thank you for putting into words what seems to me an eminently sensible limitation to the concept of ownership: the extent to which you can maintain a thing, place, resource.

    It is a concept I’ve been chewing on, and like all things the idea of there being a just and proper *limit* makes all the sense in the world.

    Best wishes to you and blessings on all your goings and doings!

  247. @Amanda #213

    Any tips or tricks for how to find seasonal farm-work?

    One place I have seen lots of farm jobs posted is on my state’s employment website.

    Currently, I am working for UPS. I like the work, but feel a bit of a pull to be a wanderer.

    I might wait until I pay off my debts before I take up the vagabond farm-worker life.

    Not long ago I attempted to start-up my own farm. A lot of the small farmers around here will not hire [seems like they run too lean] and will not even take on volunteers. The few bigger farms only hire seasonal laborers through some seasonal labor outfit.


  248. Joy Marie,

    Your story about FM-2030 reminded me of an interview with Ray Kurzweil, the evangelist for transhumanism. Glenn Beck interviewed him about 2013 and asked where the innovations were coming that would allow us to put our consciousness on a chip. (I later learned that our emotions would be put on another chip!)

    Kurzweil said that the progression was non-linear, so while we didn’t have the technology in 2013, by 2019 or so, the technologies would be in place which would allow a non-linear explosion in technologies and we’d be well on our way to living inside a computer chip sometime in the 2020s.

    Those who are chomping at the bit to put their consciousness on a chip must be a little worried right now. It is one of their assumptions that you need to record and study every bit of data in order to create true AI. Maybe that’s why they’re doubling down on the surveillance state? They need the data for AI in order to reach Utopia on a chip.

    Me? Utopia on a chip is some french onion dip.

  249. Hi JMG and All,

    With all the hype surrounding the upcoming release of the television version of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, I decided to re-read the original trilogy, as it’s been nearly 50 years since I read it the first time. So, I sat down last night with “Foundation.” By the time I put the book down at midnight, I’d come to the stunned conclusion that Asimov, in 1951, had outlined the situation that humanity finds itself in today and that “The Limits to Growth” (LtG) had predicted in 1972; complete with the Club of Rome as an erstwhile Foundation, system dynamics as psychohistory, Dennis Meadows as Hari Seldon, and the periodic pronouncements of Seldon from his vault being the periodic updates of the LtG over the decades. There’s even a place for those who wish to reduce the time of the upcoming dark age by preserving and passing along knowledge and skills, this being the encyclopedists of the book. I must admit to being left speechless by this revelation, which is highly unusual for me, and I have no idea what to make of it. Thoughts?

  250. Matthias Gralle,
    I am very lucky in my current housing situation, such that moving to a small town would not actually be any cheaper. This won’t last forever, as I am well aware, but I intend to hold onto it as long as I can. I’ll decide what to do when I lose my current housing.

    I have lived carless in small towns before. In the place I stayed longest, it was doable, but much harder than in Victoria. I turned down potential work because I had no way to get to them, the bus came so seldom it was really awkward to use, and because the town was long and thin and I have fibromyalgia that saps my energy, lots of things were too far away to walk to. So I just didn’t go to things. And bikes are too painful to use. I’ve since discovered I can use a kickscooter (at least on a good day), but I didn’t know that then. And the amount of up and down meant very few people used bikes and there was next to no infrastructure for them anyway.

    There are other small towns that are small enough I could have walked where I needed to go, which would be ideal, so long as there is a long-distance bus that goes to the town so that I could get to medical specialist appointments etc. that were located in a city.

    Of course, one has to be careful of tiny interior towns these days. If I’d been in Lytton with no car when it went up in flames… hopefully I’d have made arrangements with friend or neighbor for a space in their car well prior to that mess, but I’m leery of living in a little interior town with no car these days.

  251. Chris in VT,

    Sorry if I am repeating others’ feedback, just getting into the thread…

    Two ideas that have been useful for me:

    1. Superglue a peanut to the trap.
    2. Gather your cat’s shed fur and make piles of it where you think the mice are likely intruding. If your cat doesn’t shed, you may be able to brush him/her.

  252. Slithy Toves, oh yeah — sadly, there are a lot of snobby “progressives” around

    Amanda, I hear you. To be clear, I’m not a Grist-apologist 😉 Just don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath-water, and I reckon there’s merit in intersectionality even if it is regularly misused

  253. I’ve been catching up on Levi’s book club and I was wondering if the green square with four lines has anything to do with his “Philosophical Cross” in History of Magic. Are they related or do they just look alike? It also is remarkably similar to the Tibetan Buddhists Kalachakra.

  254. David by the Lake,
    that article made me blink, and debate whether this was a spoof or a joke, then say, ‘no, unfortunately, I think they’re serious…”

  255. Hello JMG,

    What do you think of the Foundation book series by Asimov, as a metaphor and description of our long descent, and the work to safeguard what can be transmitted to the next civilization?

  256. I noticed on my daily walk that a very old and sick apple tree is flowering and trying to bud out. Is there something appropriate to say or do when I see it next? And if there is a miracle fruit, what is appropriate to do with that?

  257. Oswald Spengler predicts the deep state.

    And for America, hitherto lying apart and self-contained, rather a region than a State, the parallelism of President and Congress which she derived from a theory of Montesquieu has, with her entry into world politics [this was written in 1922], become untenable, and must in times of real danger make way for formless powers such as those with which Mexico and South America have long been familiar.

    Earlier he characterizes the emergence of these “formless powers”.

    With the beginning of the twentieth century Parliamentarism (even English) is tending rapidly towards taking up itself the rôle that it once assigned to the kingship. It is becoming an impressive spectacle for the multitude of the Orthodox, while the centre of gravity of big policy, already de jure transferred from the Crown to the people’s representatives, is passing de facto from the latter to unofficial groups and the will of unofficial personages.

  258. Seeing some karmic culmination. A Z list celeb whose twitter was non stop TDS has now been dumped by her husband and may lose the kids too. Kathy Griffin gets cancer. Didn’t you forecast that something like that would happen or was it only going to affect those who did magic against Trump? Isn’t non-stop smearing of Trump and his family a form of cursing even if they are not magically informed?

  259. Another dream of Progress falls apart:

    Title: “Lab-grown meat is supposed to be inevitable. The science tells a different story.”

    Humbird likened the process of researching the report to encountering an impenetrable “Wall of No”—his term for the barriers in thermodynamics, cell metabolism, bioreactor design, ingredient costs, facility construction, and other factors that will need to be overcome before cultivated protein can be produced cheaply enough to displace traditional meat.

    “And it’s a fractal no,” he told me. “You see the big no, but every big no is made up of a hundred little nos.”

  260. David (#146):

    Thanks for the Solar Futures article.

    I was able to locate the actual “Solar Futures” study here:

    I wanted to tally up the total costs involved:

    current cost of utility scale battery $/kW-hr 350
    Storage requirement in study 4000GW-hr (my estimate based on the information in the study)
    total cost = $1.4 trillion

    solar deployment 1600GW
    Solar cost $1.5/W (at AC terminal, Lawrence Berkeley Livermore survey for 2019)
    cost = $2.4 trillion

    Wind deployment = not specified explicitly, but call it 1000GW, based on their graph
    wind cost = $1.6/kW (2016 EIA)
    cost = 1.6 trillion

    grid expansion of 129TW-miles
    cost = $1800/MW-mile (for HVDC based on WECC survey)
    cost = $232 Billion

    total cost = $5.6 trillion
    (I did use some engineering judgement about some of the above data, notably the GW-hr storage capacity and the wind total deployment, as it was not explicit in the report.)

    About the cost of the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, from at least one source I cannot remember. But those costs would be recoverable through rates. Even if the study is not quite correct, seems like we would have had at least something to show for our 6 trillion dollars. So I would say that those wars cost us a renewable power grid. As a transmission engineer, the lost opportunity just breaks my heart.

    I read the report and I cannot say it is definitavely wrong. I think some of the cost projections and societal assumptions could be reasonably questioned, but I think we could have significant renewable penetration. I also think if we have the price incentive to deploy 4000GW-hrs of storage, much of that will end up being in the form of pumped storage and maybe some emerging gravity storage. Anyway, I would not dismiss the study out of hand. There is a lot of modelling under the hood of this report. Without the details of the ReEDS model, it is hard to evaluate the base data that went into the model.

    Basic conclusion does seem to agree with this study from 2016:
    “Future cost-competitive electricity systems and their impact on US CO2 emissions”

    I will say we are in for life changes; I just think renewable power has a future, if we choose to invest in it.

  261. Hi John Michael,

    This comment is for your interest, but it is also directed towards the wider commentariat.

    In reading many of the comments, it fascinates me that collapse is treated as an abstract concern, when in fact it is very unevenly distributed. I’d posit a theory that the standard of living here in this state, down under, has dropped by at least 30% in the last two years. And that means things which were once considered normal, are not even an option. There are weird and ongoing supply issues. Overseas travel is a very rare occurrence now. Even travel interstate is no longer easy to do. And the city of Melbourne (5 million people) has a 9pm to 5am curfew, which is enforced. Many rural areas are locked down. Fuel prices are at record highs. Try purchasing a new car – I recently read that second hand Toyota Landcruisers (a very sought after vehicle) now sell for higher prices than the new items, because supply is so spotty. Things are very strange right now. The police are allegedly shooting protesters with rubber bullets. I mean, far out!

    For all intents and purposes – collapse is here, for us.

    But here is the thing, we had to take a hit, so that you guys can continue doing what you expect to do, as we are in the weaker of the positions. But if you recall the Limits to Growth standard run chart, it’ll come to a city near you sooner or later. That’s what the chart says. I’ve long since come to acceptance about this matter, but all around me are vast pools and eddies of grief at the loss.

    If I had to suggest to folks, it is probably better to come to terms with acceptance slowly over a long period of time, than let it hit you in the face all unprepared like.



  262. Jethro,
    If I may, my wife and I took our family of four all the way to ground in 2012, which is to say, we spent the last of our money on a couple of acres of forested land, erected a wall tent on a deck, and lived without electricity or indoor plumbing, for seven years. Though the tent did evolve into a 480 s.f. cabin two years in. The term “sawdust toilet” should be ringing in your ears right about now.

    These days we have a bigger house in town, within walking distance of my job, hardware store, grocery store, farmers market, etc. (on purpose of course), and make a lot more money – so life is a good bit easier than it was 8 years ago – but as a result of living that way, we feel like we could do it again at the drop of a hat, and often reiterate that to each other.

    It doesn’t scare us anymore. Poverty isn’t that frightening now. And, curiously enough, the willingness to accept it in the first place is probably the main reason we have any money or property to speak of at this point.


  263. On a comment on the “Gristle” post on the other blog, JMG wrote:

    Mind you, I find the serene indifference of the Great Old Ones as portrayed in my tentacle novels very comforting, but then I suppose I’m just weird. 😉

    I confess I haven’t gotten around to reading the Weird of Hali yet, but I have read some of Lovecraft’s short fiction, and you’ve expressed in previous posts that you found his god’s attitude toward humanity comforting, and that it inspired you to write your novels. And I must admit that I don’t understand how anything about Cthulhu could in any way be “comforting”.

    To slightly digress for a second, a few weeks ago I noticed a good sized paper wasp colony in one of my windows. My immediate instinct was to trot down to Wally-world, buy a can of bugspray, and put an end to them, but well, that window is difficult to open and on the second floor, so there’s no good way to get to the wasp nest without risking getting stung, and conversely the wasps are sealed off from the actual inside of my apartment. Besides, its going to start getting cold in a few weeks and then they’ll all die anyway. So I haven’t hit them with bugspray. Yet. Any day, I might change my mind, and if I did, well-I might get stung in the process, but they would surely be dead.

    The whole idea that we are being watched over by pitiless beings who regard us with the same sort of indifference and contempt with which I regard the wasps in my window is, frankly, horrifying. When compared with what Christianity tells us about the Divine-that He has empathy and compassion for us, and loves us and cares for us as a father to his children-well, I don’t mean any disrespect, but it utterly boggles the mind how somebody could actually find the first vision more pleasant than the latter.

  264. Slink, remember that belief in progress is the established religion of our time, and I’m an unbeliever. Of course people whose identity is caught up in blind faith in progress are going to turn their backs on any discussion of the subjects we talk about here.

    Slithy, thank you for this! That’s excellent news, and far from minor. The old measures are based on the human body and make it easier to produce things suited to human beings. The metric system is not, and doesn’t — it’s an important part of the march toward dehumanization that’s been so central an element of the ideology of progress in our time. Seeing its grip broken is a very good sign.

    Ray, excellent. Yes, that’s a very important measure of the kind of wealth that will actually matter as the future unfolds.

    Aziz, yes, that’s exactly what it does. As for stimulating the sulphur energy, discursive meditation followed by pathworking is how I’d do it.

    Yorkshire, I’ve actually talked about most of them here. Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West is one; The Golden Dawn edited by Israel Regardie is one; William Butler Yeats’ A Vision is one; Arthur Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation is one. One I haven’t discussed much is The Age of Arthur by John Morris, a very detailed study of the Arthurian period of dark age Britain.

    Chris, I hope it goes well for you and yours. As for the curse and your comment in response, no prob.

    Reloaded15, I’m going to pass — I don’t have the spare time right not to cast and interpret the ingress, and that’s what it would take. Sun conjunct Mars in the 1st house, with Mars strong by mutual reception, is however a sign of very serious civil unrest, and could herald revolution or civil war.

    Denis, when I get enough spare time to write one, and I’ve got an old political scandal or two to write about before we get to the eclipse.

    David BTL, fascinating. The tone of the Salon article strikes me as blustering over the top of panic. As for Denver, no arguments there!

    Skygazer, I hope you’re right about invasion. I expect to see mass migration into Europe in the decades ahead, and during the last era of völkerwanderung those moats of yours didn’t suffice…

    Jay, I suspect it’s going to be a very harsh winter indeed. Crude death rates are way above average in Britain right now, as they are in every country that has had a high rate of Covid vaccination, and they’re climbing steadily.

    Jim, so noted. I’ll be critiquing one of Kingsnorth’s other posts shortly.

    Sam, “Ron is Xenu” basically sums up my take on Hubbard. (For those who don’t speak Scientology, this can be translated “I’m profoundly unimpressed with the guy.”) As for WH40k, fair enough — thanks for the info.

    DT, I don’t have any great ambition to transform the world. My plan is simply to help see to it that some people get off the bus before it goes plunging through the guardrail and down the cliff.

    Jon, thanks for this. That’s really good news.

    Michael, I don’t change my outlook in response to specific events or moments. I change my outlook when, after much reflection and observation, it becomes clear to me that some opinion of mine is inaccurate. That’s happened several times in the last decade. For example, I realized over the course of the faux-recovery from the 2008-2009 crash that my ideas about the imminence of serious crisis in the decline of industrial civilization were inaccurate, and I adjusted them accordingly.

    DaHoj, as I noted in that post, being a satirist today is one of the most difficult jobs imaginable — how do you keep coming up with things more absurd than everyday life?

    Kassandra, hard to say, but it’s certainly possible.

    Nate, I ain’t arguing! Congrats on your adventure.

    Anonymous, the other thing you should do is make sure you behave in this life in such a way that you’ll have the same kind of good karma next time around!

    Other Anonymous, yes, that would be an excellent time.

    Darkwing, Hoffer’s category is the broader one. That is to say, revitalization movements are mass movements, but there are mass movements that aren’t revitalization movements. So you’re not wrong in noticing the parallels…

    Indy, I’m delighted to hear this. Homesteading isn’t the only game in town, and for a lot of people it’s not even remotely suitable; if you’ve found a niche, work it.

    Jim, brilliant indeed! Thanks for this.

    Dusk Shine, you’re asking for advice on spiritual healing, and that’s not forbidden by law here, so I can do so. First of all, affirmations are never true when you start — if they were, why would you use them? You’re not stating a fact, you’re formulating an intention. What I’d advise for you is an affirmation such as “The healing light of the Divine flows through me — and brings me recovery and health.” Repeat the first half on the inbreath, the second on the outbreath. While you do it, imagine golden light shining down on you from above and flowing through your entire body, concentrating on your nervous system.

    Your wife’s power of visualization can be used here, but she’ll need to know a fair amount about the specific kind of epilepsy you have. If she can visualize the parts of your brain that are affected, she can see them soothed, stable and healthy. Again, the imagery of golden light works well in such cases.

    Aloysius, thanks for this. I holpe everything continues to go well for you.

    Joan, thanks for this. Has anyone worked up a decent solarpunk novel yet?

    Chronojourner, Asimov was intensely aware of the transitory nature of civilization. He based the original Foundation stories on the decline of the Roman Empire, sometimes down to fine details — Bel Riose, for example, is the Byzantine general Belisarius with his name lightly scrambled. Asimov also thought that our civilization was headed for a major crisis, and wove that into some of his later fiction.

    Peter, ha! Thanks for this.

    Augusto, he didn’t explain. Have you meditated on the subject?

    Tony, I enjoyed the first two volumes, not so much the third. It’s certainly one source of useful metaphors.

    Jon, direct some affection and admiration to it. If there’s fruit, it’s trying to reproduce, so you might consider taking it on yourself to plant the seeds and tend them.

    Reader, yep. That’s normally what happens to democracies.

    Bridge, I hear John Lennon’s voice in the background: “Instant karma’s gonna get you…”

    Slithy, yep. It’s failing for the same reason we’re never going to have orbital colonies or fusion power: if something’s not economically viable, it doesn’t matter two farts in a Cat 5 hurricane if it’s technically feasible.

    Chris, collapse is happening here too. We’ve got bare spots on our store shelves, food prices are skyrocketing, and our political system is in the early stages of rigor mortis. Hang on for the ride!

    Tolkienguy, of course, and that’s why you’re a Christian. Do you believe in the doctrine of eternal damnation, by any chance?

  265. Thanks for your response, JMG-though I guess I should have expected you to bring that up. Eternal damnation is, honestly, the thing about theologically orthodox Christianity that I find most unpalitable-though in my case, C. S. Lewis’s book The Great Divorce really helped here. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but he presents a vision of Hell as a dreary, dull place whose main torment is the people there, and follows a group of residents of Hell who are offered a place in heaven-so long as they will commit to giving up the vice they were condemned for. A few do-but most find various excuses. (If you haven’t read it, JMG, I think you would really enjoy it even if you don’t end up agreeing with Lewis’s premise-there’s a whole lot of interesting symbolism the book to unpack and meditate on.)

    Personally, I tend to agree with Lewis in seeing Hell as a place whose torment derives from a rejection of God, and a choice to immerse oneself in one’s vices instead. Most people, ultimately, choose to align themselves with the divine (and from what I know of Occultism, any non-malefic-practicing Occultist most certainly does). Yes, I know all Christians don’t think this way, and I’ve met the kind of Christian who is quick to condemn people to hell and fantasize about Satan torturing them with a pitchfork or something for eternity-and frankly, those people creep me out.

    I hope that answers your question.

  266. @Tolkienguy

    “I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but he presents a vision of Hell as a dreary, dull place whose main torment is the people there, and follows a group of residents of Hell who are offered a place in heaven-so long as they will commit to giving up the vice they were condemned for.”

    I hope Hell isn’t eternal. But I cannot really choose. Actually the best I can hope for is that they cease to exist after being punished for a time.

  267. @JMG

    I have given some thought in regards to the notion of the Christian notion of the last judgment and the arguments for and against reincarnation at least in regards to whether it is fair or not.

    I have come across this passage when Paul was addressing the Greeks at the Areopagus:

    “24The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples made by human hands.

    25Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

    26From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands.

    27God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.

    28‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’

    29Therefore, being offspring of God, we should not think that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by man’s skill and imagination.

    30Although God overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, He now commands all people everywhere to repent.

    31For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”

    What’s your thoughts on his argument?

  268. Tolkienguy, I’ve read The Great Divorce, and enjoyed it. I don’t have to agree with Lewis to find his adult writing highly entertaining and thought-provoking. (The Narnia stories, on the other hand, I can’t stand — I disliked them intensely even as a child.) My problem with the notion of God presented by standard Christian theology is that it assigns him the personality of an abusive parent. He’s constantly talking about how much he loves you, but what that means in practice is that you have to do everything he says or he’ll beat the crap out of you, and if you don’t come running back to him to grovel in front of him, thank him for beating you, and beg him for forgiveness, you get the divine boot in the face forever. I can do without that kind of love, thank you very much!

    With that in mind, let’s look at the concept of divine indifference. Note first of all that your attitude toward the wasps is anything but indifferent. You dislike them and would exterminate them if it wasn’t such a problem, but you don’t want to get stung and they can’t get into the apartment, so you’re going to spare them. That’s not indifference! Consider instead the attitude you might have to ants on the sidewalk. You don’t love them, you don’t hate them, you have no particular emotional orientation to them at all, and so you don’t bother them. At most you might stoop down and consider their doings out of momentary curiosity, before going on to other things. That’s the kind of indifference the Great Old Ones of my tentacle novels have toward humanity. They don’t love us, they don’t hate us, they aren’t greatly concerned about us. If some of us go out of our way to annoy them, we get stomped; if some of us go out of our way to do something that, for whatever reason, they want us to do, it’s quite possible we get benefits thereby. But they don’t spend every moment fretting about whether some teenager is about to touch her genitalia, or what have you.

    Now the interesting thing about this vision of the gods is that it was standard in most human religions before the prophetic religions of the Piscean era arose. It wasn’t a relationship of equals by any means, but it was a relationship that provided something to humans that the Piscean religions by and large don’t permit: freedom. The gods are not your mommies and daddies. They don’t greatly care how you spend your time, provided that you don’t do any of the fairly short list of things that annoy them, and that means you have the freedom to choose the values that you affirm, the virtues that you embody, and the life you embrace. Combine that with a belief in reincarnation and in karma — the idea that what you get in each life is a product of how you’ve used your freedom in previous lives, not because some divine Daddy decides that, but as the product of simple cause and effect — and you’ve got a cosmology in which freedom is a central fact and you can aspire to whatever summit calls to you. To me, that’s vastly more inspiring than life under an abusive parent inflated to a cosmic scale.

    Will, thanks for this! What a vivid image.

    Info, I’m not sure how you see this as an argument. It looks to me like a set of unsupported assertions that make sense only if you already agree with the ideology behind them. The Roman world in the 1st century AD was full of people making such assertions; the day after Paul said his piece, no doubt somebody made the same claims for Mithras, or Attis, or the deity of any of the other new religious movements of the time, with exactly the same evidential force behind them. Since the listeners had no particular reason to think that Jesus of Nazareth really rose from the dead, or that Mithras really did slay the cosmic Bull, or that Attis really was born from a stone, or what have you, they chuckled and went on with their lives. Me, I tend to sympathize with them.

  269. A random thought I had:

    A thing that Ancient Kings used to do was used to do was engage in provokation against their neighbors, in order to develop a Casus Belli against them. In some texts the term for this behavior was called, “searching for an occassion against…”

    All this brings me to the Bible (again), in the book of Exodus. Searching for an occassion against the Pharaoh was pretty much what God was doing. That “I Am” was looking for an excuse was something “I Am” pretty much told Moses in Exodus 3: 19 – 20.

    Notice that, in spite of the fact that they aimed to liberate the Israelites, the first worded demand made of the Pharaoh wasn’t, “Let My People Go!”. But instead, “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” A relatively minor request that YHWH wasn’t actually interested in, and that everyone knew the Pharaoh wouldn’t conceed.

    So the funny little movie I get in my head goes like this —

    “Com’on, Pharaoh, its just a little feast. Just let our people be outside for a little bit and throw a little party. Just three days away. Nothing serious.”

    “What the Hell?! NO! NEVER! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!”

    “Wow, so hostile. You got that, guys? (Resigned shrug) Oh well, we tried asking nicely. See you at the Nile.”

    And why did I decide to picture this? I don’t know, the idea of God doing Ancient Diplomatic shenannigans, and looking for excuses to do what he was going to do anyways, just tickled my funny bone.

  270. Thought this article on the scientist who got us to stop using lead in everything was relevant, for some reason.

    ““There is absolutely no health justification for such a regulation,” [lead gasoline industry mouthpiece] railed. He argued that the government had conflated the dangers of lead paint with tetraethyl lead, in what he called a “lead herring.” Tetraethyl lead had saved the American economy billions. It made the modern automobile, the entire car-centric structure of American life, possible. A phase-down would emasculate car engines, cause octane numbers to plummet, and waste crude oil. They might as well burn the money of the American people.”

    The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of”

    And also he was the best kind of crank:

    “At Caltech, Clair Patterson developed the odd pastime of wandering campus in search of bird droppings. He’d collect excrement, bring it inside, and glue the droppings—of all different shades, shapes, and sizes—in artsy patterns to the side of his mass spectrometer. When Patterson’s assistants first noticed the machine mottled with dung, they scrambled to alert their boss, unaware that the graffiti was his.

    Patterson’s artwork had a clear message: If crappy samples go in, crappy numbers will come out. A spectrometer is a marvelous, but limited, machine. It’s only as wise as the person operating it. For decades, experts had treated machines as “oracles of wisdom” instead of trusting their own intuition, and, as a result, a fog of mediocrity had settled over the field of lead studies. So, as Patterson’s colleague Thomas Church recalls, his students spent each day “confronted with this most foul visual desecration of their sacred samples.” The art didn’t distort their results, but it did hammer home the lesson that, “Wisdom came, if and when it did, from humans.”

    “I’m a little child,” Patterson would say. “You know the emperor’s new clothes? I can see the naked emperor, just because I’m a little child-minded person. I’m not smart. I mean, good scientists are like that. They have the minds of children, to see through all this façade.”

  271. JMG,

    Greetings to you and everyone else who reads this amazing blog of yours.

    Since its an open post, I thought I would add a datapoint for your collapse tracking radar plot, file this one under war bands and domestic insurgency unfortunately.

    Apparently, the USN Seal teams are having the same reaction to the Vax mandates as the rest of us who value our medical privacy. The regime’s reaction is apparently to threaten dishonorable discharge, which is the vet world version of permanently canceled.

    Big Country has the details but are our elites really this stupid? This goes way beyond failing “Dictatorship for Dummies 101” at Harvard Law. If the info is true, hunting season is going to be quite interesting this year.

  272. JMG and others who’re well read on past economic crashes,

    Is there any reason to believe that money in paper might hold some of its value in the event that money in the bank does not?

    See, I’m rereading WoH as I wait for the RPG to come out. (Just finished the main 7–It was excellent again this time, BTW. But the kickstarter still has a lot of time left, so I guess I’ll have to take my time with the side stories . . . )

    One unexpectedly mundane thing that stuck out was the “Cash or Trade Only” signs in Providence. I’ve always assumed that the fiat behind bank insurance was just as good as the fiat behind paper cash, and that hyperinflation would make both silly at the same rate, but those signs made me wonder if there’s a scenario I’m missing, where paper stays valuable while the bank computers turn off. Any thoughts?

  273. A few thoughts in response to above comments, in no particular order…
    John from Virginia:
    Probably the best thing to say to the old sick blooming apple tree is “good bye”. You didn’t say if you are in the Northern hemisphere, but if you are, blooming in fall is a very bad sign. Plants that are near death will sometimes suddenly burst into bloom in a last, desperate attempt to reproduce before dying. If it is by some miracle able to bring fruit to maturity, I agree with our host: save the seeds and plant them somewhere.

    Dusk Shine:
    This isn’t medical advice, merely relaying some past experience in my family. First, a YUGE problem with epilepsy, is there are a whole bunch of different epilepsies, and they tend to get lumped together, without sorting out the cause. My family member, for instance. Generalized Tonic-Clonic seizures (that’s “Grand Mal” seizures in common parlance), gradually becoming more frequent. Medical establishment runs all kinds of tests, finds no explanation. CT scans, MRI, nothing (we joke: They looked inside his skull and found there was nothing there) They even strapped him in a chair with eeg on his head, flashing lights at him, trying to induce a seizure. No clue. Meanwhile, they’re up to one every 2-3 months or so. We started tracking EVERYTHING he did. Began to think it was a metabolic thing. Got him off processed foods, onto whole, natural, home-cooked foods. (Quite sure we know what his trigger was, but won’t say here, as it is a food flavoring with a powerful lobby and I’d rather leave those worms in their can). That dropped the seizures to every 5-6 months or so. Then I was reading about making home-made catfood. You have to make sure cats get enough taurine. Lack of taurine causes….seizures. More reading… (working at a university, have access to just about every medical journal ever published). In the 1980s, there was research on rats, seizures artificially triggered by the same thing that triggers my family member. Rats given taurine and/or magnesium to raise threshold. More work in the 1980s – on humans. Meta review paper (that is, a paper reviewing lots of studies) concludes: Taurine found to prevent or significantly reduce seizures in roughly 12% or the people given it, though in half of those, the effect is temporary. Obvious question: what’s different about the 6% for whom it worked? We will never know – taurine dropped as “ineffective” (in other words, no money to be made) research dwindles to nothing after the 80s. Family member starts taking taurine and magnesium. No seizures for two years. We crash a neuroscience conference. Chatting in lunch line with a scientist who had presented some stuff on amino acids earlier. He asks why we are so interested in taurine. “Well, I used to have these seizures…” says my family member. Scientist starts laughing. “I take it for the very same reason!” he says. Of course, medical establishment doesn’t like simple fixes like a cheap dietary supplement. They’d rather, say, slice your brain (family member had uncle who also had seizures. Uncle died on operating table – bled out when they made a wrong cut trying to cut out what they thought was causing the seizures).

    you talk about “the same sort of indifference and contempt” as you have for your wasps. Well, which is it? Indifference, or contempt? If you were actually indifferent, you would not be bothered to feel contempt. If you were indifferent, your immediate reaction would not be to trot off to WallyWorld for spray. you would be….indifferent. Not CARING if they live or die. Not debating whether to make an effort to deliberately kill them.

  274. @Kimberly Steele I had to look up about the statues of Nicki Minaj, thank you so much. I see they never made any, but last year she did get a Madame Tussaud wax figure in Vegas. So… Someone should let the pope know.

    @Slithy Toves. Wow. If I ever have a band, it will be named The Fractal No.

  275. JMG (no. 293) “But they don’t spend every moment fretting about whether some teenager is about to touch her genitalia, or what have you.”

    It would make a good story if they did, though. Maybe self-abuse is a form of magic, like Alan Moore says.

  276. JMG

    (I hope nothing here is offensive, certainly not my intention)

    I’ve recently been diagnosed as on the spectrum. It makes a lot of sense to me given my social and emotional issues and helps me to understand myself. I’m almost 30.

    Do you know if there are any karmic reasons for such a condition – perhaps familial or past life? Both my mum and brother are also on the spectrum (although not even we understand each other) – or is it purely happenstance?

    While you’ve clearly found strength in yours (and it may even reflect some well developed past life mental skills) it’s caused me (and my mum and brother) a lot of trouble and misery (and of course there are troubles we all share regardless of strengths we find).

    For me it has generated some extreme social anxiety and abandonment issues. I constantly feel on the outside, unable to ‘engage’ in life, unable to accept myself and unable to make friends. I was bullied as a kid and had a hard upbringing with little warmth or acceptance at home. My inability to process emotions also generated psychogenic illness and chronic pain which almost debilitated me for 15 years (misdiagnosed and mistreated by the medical profession from age 12) but which I’m almost healed from after proper self diagnosis and a couple of years work and development.

    I feel that my inability to make friends and my inability to trust is going to cause me even more trouble during the descent, where community, family and so on will be invaluable. While I’ve been able to make somewhat of an income (at least for now) the rest of my family resides in the unemployment class and has my whole life. I can’t shake my unbelievable loneliness and the feeling that I wasn’t made for ‘this time’. These times feel devoid of any meaning and everyone seems insane. I also can’t shake the feeling that some of this is karmic – else I’m stuck asking why me?

    Is familial karma possible? There have been a spout of suicides in my family since WW2 and I’m wondering the effect this might leave on subsequent generations and on future reincarnations?

  277. Will, Those have been happening for the past weeks too, they are called Red Sprites. There were a few in Oaxaca, Mexico and another one in the U.S on the same day.

  278. Greetings all!

    JMG wrote: “people are so focused on abstractions that they literally don’t see their civilization falling apart around them. That’s where we are now. ”

    It seems to me that the medical professions are well past that point right now with the COVID19 pandemic. I have seen doctors so obessed with vaccines and the weak statistical protection they give that they fail to notice people round them being sick after being vaccinated or even dying suspiciously.

    Furthermore NONE of them seem to question the accuracy of the widely used PCR tests which I suspect yield many false positives. Now there is a push to vaccinate children as from 15 years old in spite of the fact that young people are rarely affected by COVID19.

    This cannot be explained by graft or corruption. I simply can’t understand what has happened to the minds of doctors. To a man, they seem to have catapulted ethics out of the field of patient care and submitted willingly and enthusiatistically to the dictates of a democratic government who is imposing a sanitary dictatorship.

    If ever the current narrative about vaccines were to fail badly worldwide, the whiplash against the medical profession could well be catastrophically severe.

    What strange times we live in…

  279. @pygmycory, Sammy, Kimberly, and others, on having children.

    All very good points made, and I am one among the ranks who won’t be having kids, though most of my friends have them. I’m reminded of the Jewish children that got shipped to the UK from the continent during WW2, and whose original parents subsequently died. My friends know they could ship me their kids if things ever went really south.

  280. I’m sure this has been addressed before and I’m terribly behind, but does anyone foresee a renaissance for train travel? And more particularly, for communities that were historically rail hubs but were lain waste by the automobile?

  281. Thanks, JMG, for hosting these monthly open posts – they are always very stimulating and informative (big thanks to the commentariat for that!)

    Those who are interested in astrology/astronomy are aware that Mercury will soon (as of Sep 27) be going retrograde. Those who are looking for signs of hope or beneficial change in world affairs may be interested to find out that according to Vedic astrology this will be a good retrograde for the following 3 reasons:
    1 – Mercury is in its house of exaltation (Virgo), meaning that it will give us a direct and clear path of what and how things should be done rather than the delays, miscommunications, or confusion that are typically associated with retrograde Mercury
    2 – Mercury is in a trine relation with both Jupiter and Saturn, which portents interesting news or revelation and is a strong call to change strategies and plans
    3 – Mercury is conjunct both Sun and Mars, meaning that stability, foundation, plans, strategy, and dreams might be changed drastically and a new path will take place after realizing that we have been going in the wrong direction. However, people can be quite harsh, straightforward, and very practical in their speech and actions.

    During the retrograde period (to Oct 18), there is a good chance that people who have been working and doing things behind the scenes will get exposed and a new set of people will replace them. Government, powerful personalities, large organizations and companies will be the most affected.

    I am not sure how this Mercury retrograde will be interpreted in Western astrology, but I thought that I should share this information with the group in case some people may be interested and/or are looking for potential omens of beneficial changes from the toxic global situation that we all have been caught up in for a long time.


    Not sure if the above is true, but it´s interesting. The article suggests that the Communist Party may be the largest party in Russia, had it not been for Putin´s election fraud.

    In other words: the good Western liberals who complain about election fraud in Russia don´t know what they are asking for!

    The crisis in Russia is (of course) connected to the COVID pandemic, and so on. We live in interesting times…

  283. Lakeland Repotluck,

    In the wall tent we just spent our days outside working and playing. I remember seeing 106 degrees inside once. But it aired out and cooled off in a hurry after the sun was off of it, so it was generally fairly pleasant for sleeping. It was amazing how in touch we were with changing air masses – the canvas walls didn’t put up much of a fight. And we knew our local owls pretty well too…

    With the cabin we were just very careful to leave plenty of shade on the NE and NW sides, where Summer sun really gets you. (I laugh every time I see people leaving their shade on the South side…that’s where the WINTER sun comes from! Backwards.) Beyond that, we insulated the bejesus out of the roof, used silver galv-alum roofing to reflect the sun (and collect rainwater), and did the loft ceiling in 3/4″ beadboard. Pretty sweet setup. We also minimized windows on the North and West sides, and opened them all at night, closed them up tight and drew the curtains in the morning.

    There were relatively short stretches of heat inside that were uncomfortable, for sure, and the humidity in a North Georgia forest can be pretty killer, but the first cool morning of Fall we happily cleaned all of our books with an essential oil wipe-down, washed all the clothes and shoes at the laundry mat and dried them thoroughly, and lit a fire in the woodstove to dry out the cabin. Good for the next year!

    As an aside, I don’t recommend living in a tent, even a nice big airy one like ours was. It only lasted 2 years in our humidity before falling apart from mildew, and one could build a simple wood cabin at a fairly modest markup in cost, finish it along the way. Also, for the cost of the deck we put it on one could probably hire a bulldozer and level a building site, gain that earth connection. We were trying to insert ourselves very gently into the forest, but in a whole systems analysis I’m not sure it pencils out.


  284. Something I’ve noticed recently, which I figure to be a signal of instability, is that opportunities have been pouring into my life at a rate I cannot keep up with.

    In fact most to guys I know who do opportunistic gig work are fried because there keep being lucrative gigs coming up, they take them and by the time a chance to rest in on the horizon there are more people clamoring for you to please come out and help with this.

    I’ve been feeling made squirrel energy about this, going nuts to get them nuts because of some ancestral memory of winter.

    I’ve been making a point to get some down time, but things are quickening, with more for opportunists to do, and fewer of the usual suspects are in form to jump on that work.

    Don’t go thinking this means there is money for the taking, only a minority of the opportunities I am on about come with more than marginal cash rewards. But, in terms of salvage, and access to natural resources that are tangibly valuable, if you have the skills to flip it, the world is nuts, be a squirrel.

    CASE IN POINT: HAM RADIO stuff, I have potential access to cleaning out an abandoned collection of HAM RADIO equipment, like a big room packed with the stuff, from many decades… but I only have the dimmest knowlege of HAM RADIO stuff. PLEASE private message my Dreamwidth if you know about HAM RADIO stuff. If I had more time I’d figure out how to post pictures of it this morning… maybe later. Its most likely fate is the salvage yard. If somebody is prepared to use the kit, I’ll try to secure it to sendd it to you and you can have it for the cost to get that happened.

  285. @Will re #290

    Since this is located over Puerto Rico in the Caribbean the local divinity Guabancex (or Juracan) the Taino god of chaos and disorder, often associated with hurricanes would most likely be associated with that. And since there’s a growing tropical storm churning around now in the Atlantic, bearing down on that general region, it’s possible this is an omen. We’ll have to wait and see. If you’re curious, the Taino name roughly translates as ‘one whose fury destroys everything’.

  286. I was thinking about the procession of the equinoxes and about Chapter 4 of the Doctrine of High magic, and the following came to me. The elemental attributions of the Tetragrammaton as I learned it are:

    Yod– Fire
    Heh– Water
    Vav– Air
    Heh– Earth

    Yod is the active principle; Heh is the passive principle. Vav is the product of their union. Heh is the “product of the product”; the creation which results from the form brought into being. JMG gave the example of a farm– Yod is the farmers who come to the land; Heh is the land that receives them; Vav is the farm they create; Heh is the harvest, the product of the farm.

    Now Aries is a Fire sign, Pisces is Water, Aquarius is Air, and Capricorn is Earth.

    This suggests that, even as we’re at the beginning of a new age– the Age of Aquarius– we’re actually at the beginning of the third stage of a four-part cycle. We can learn something about what is coming by looking at the forms which existed in the ages of Aries and Pisces.

    Religion in the Arian age seems to have been focused on burnt offerings made to particular deities and the cultivation of particular excellences (“virtues”) in individuals. Piscean religion focuses, instead, on the salvation of the world by its dissolution into a particular vision of divinity, with one set of virtues upheld as a universal ideal. Arian religion focuses on this life; Piscean religion on the next.

    If that’s the case, we can expect Aquarian religion to look like a synthesis of Arian and Piscean religion in such a way that Arian religion will provide the form, Piscean religion the receptacle. So it very well may be that the outward structure of Piscean religion will endure. But rather than world-saving universal churches, it will look much more like individual, family, and small-group saving mini-churches. The Independent Sacramental Movement, with all its chaos and complexity, and its inclusion of everything from ultra-traditionalist Catholicism to Neo-Gnosticism, may provide a model of what this will look like. And it’s worth noting that the Apostolic root of the ISM is in the churches that broke with the Roman see after the First Vatican Council in the late 1800s– right at the beginning of the Aquarian age.

    If this theory holds, we should be able to say similar things about politics, philosophy, science, and so on.

    And then, the age of Capricorn will gather up the fruits of all these manifold ways of doing things, and produce a final synthesis– which should fall apart just in time for the beginning of the Age of Sagittarius.

  287. For #265 Dusk Shine,
    Have you tried a Ketogenic diet? I once worked with a group of young adults, many of whom had epilepsy. This was years ago before Keto became a fad, and this diet was considered a last resort when seizures couldn’t be controlled with medication. I remember one young man in particular whose life was completely changed by this diet, going from frequent unpredictable grand mal seizures to a remission that lasted for the duration of the time I knew him. It was quite remarkable. I was told the diet wasn’t often used on adults, not because it didn’t work, but because it was considered too difficult to follow. I suspect it’s easier now with people “going Keto” for other conditions as well. There was evidence that the diet could be slowly transitioned into something less strict after about two years.

    This is not at all to say that visualization, affirmation, and other modes of healing won’t work. Both could work and support each other. I wish you a timely and deep healing.

  288. @methylethyl #243 Wonderful post, brought back memories of when my wife and I, in our 20’s back in the 70’s, picked fruit in eastern WA. Apples, peaches, cherries and pears. We got to experience fruit the way it was meant to be enjoyed eating that which was too ripe for shipping.

    My wife would go up the cherry tree, gorge on ripe cherries, lay on the ground holding her belly, run to the outhouse, then back up the tree, rinse and repeat. Never made much money but those summers were priceless.

  289. @JMG

    If weeds can evolve and become resistant to herbicides, could it be possible that humans too will evolve in a somewhat similar fashion during the deindustrial age as well as the far future to the legacy of industrial pollution we’re leaving for ourselves as well as future generations? I mean, all of the the ecological crises caused by industrial civilization and its waste products will be undone by Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, but that will take possibly hundreds of thousands of years, so who knows how humans will biologically change (in a gradual fashion over the course of several generations) to adapt to the changing situation? If the answer is yes, then one thing I guess we can be sure about is this: the new ‘normal’ even after the recovery process is finished will be different from that of the pre-industrial age, as also the genetic makeup of humans at that time. They will certainly not be more ‘evolved’ the way believers in sci-fi and Progress insist they will be, nor will they be some ‘Supermen’ the way Nietzsche envisaged. After all, isn’t evolution somewhat like multivariable nonlinear optimization, wherein you get a bunch of solutions, all of them equally valid when you take an overall assessment, but some more ‘desirable’ than others when specific parameters are considered (like, for example, if you design a chemical reactor and optimize it, you’ll get a bunch of solutions, which are ‘overall’ equal, but if you consider cost alone, one will be superior to the others, if you take reaction rate, yet another will be the winner, and so on)? Possibly, our descendants 250,000 years from now might be less intelligent but more disease-resistant than we are on average, or vice versa, or some other combination we don’t know about.

  290. Ray Wharton, perhaps your best bet is to figure out where you would get training to be a HAM operator, and talk to the person that teaches classes on HAM in your area.

  291. JMG, I have a question I’d like to sound you out on. I am currently reading Rod Dreher’s “The Benedict Option” for what you could call professional reasons, and there is an interesting tension in it that I’d like to hear your take on.

    Dreher posits the necessity for righteous christians (like himself, no doubt) to retreat from society and form small communities of the faithful, and he draws upon St. Benedict of Nusria himself as the first example of this. But there’s an obvious problem here: Benedict’s Rule is not meant for families, or people with their feet firmly planted in this world; put plainly, the monastic life is for autists and weirdos who live in very rigid ways in order to maximize the time they can spent in their service to God. It’s not a model that supports child rearing, erotic love, sexual jealousy, and so on, nor is it intended to.

    As an outside observer, I get the sense that Dreher’s model is just a form of what you would call “bargaining”. It seems to appeal to people who used to be some sort of minor gentry; respectable local people with some wealth and some local authority, who have now been kicked out from the american elite as its base has shifted over the years. So the hurt and anger at being driven from their rightful place on the american ladder then leads to these ideas of recreating these old societies in miniature, even though St. Benedict never did this nor intended to do so.

    I find this topic interesting because I suspect I agree with you in that we’re probably heading for some sort of “new religiosity” in the coming decades, as these things follow a cycle. Interestingly, Dreher is notoriously hostile to outbursts of what you could America’s “proletarian” christianity; baptist preachers talking about the trumpets of jericho at Trump rallies and so on. But if christianity is to return as a real force in society, it probably is going to look a lot more like that, more uncouth and concerned with the needs and anxieties of people stocking the shelves at Walmart, rather with a bunch of people in spectacles reading old tomes on some vatican conclave from four hundred years ago.

  292. Dear PIXELATED-

    i don’t have any idea when i’ll be on the air. i usually wait until something’s already done before telling most folks, BUT in the spirit of the creativity around here and the ideas that’re being kicked up about different ways to be heard in this totalitarian time.

    i’d rejected the innerwebs as even more irrelevant than books for what i’m pitching, and hadn’t even considered radio, as i was becoming my own art in real life. i just figured i’d have to win people back to Real Life one at a time.

    but that voice said to do it for the third, loud time, and now that i see them wanting to turn us into lampshades, i have to do whatever might work to stop that.

    i wanted to give others ideas about getting offline and using old, or seemingly archaic technologies.

    the station manager said he’d get in touch at the end of september to tell me how it’s going trying to find me a space, but he’s been in touch a few times already just to check in. i sorta’ think he’s checking me out regarding what i’d be like to work with because i’ve been writing them crazy love letters and critical screaming letters for the past decade that i quit trying to “be” an artist or writer and just WAS one in real life.

    i chose one man to woo over there and met him without seeing his picture and we instantly went into that 5D and i thought he was the only DJ to have that power, but turns out it didn’t take too much to get others to play along and argue with me over the air or do an hour of music over the air for me to dance to at 24th/potrero.

    i told people as they stopped at the light to turn on the station and they got excited and looked like baby children all fresh forgetting to be hard bitchy cold suspicious like everyone is nowadays.

    one DJ i’d danced for at carnaval, here in the mission, was driving around that late saturday morning, in his tricked out low rider truck and must’ve had the radio on and saw how my moves lined up with the music and even though he was waaaay too cool to look up when i was dancing before him in the real, his head was being BLOWN by what he was catching by accident.

    so i’m using all the tricks my best friend and i used when we were young girls, to get a guy’s attention. we weren’t passively waiting to be approached. well, LATER. but first we’d create THEATRE over months and months sometimes. it’s FUN. and we’d help each other out, she and i. it’s easier to go all out when it’s for your friend to get attention and you don’t have to worry about liking the guy yourself.

    but now it’s an old habit i’m bringing back now that i don’t have to try and be “respectable” or fit in or …?

    and YES… i cannot hope to necessarily change or wake people who wanna stay dead, but i can help the Kyles who are jittery and ready to bust out of their skin to be themselves and try new things and powers no one has shown them how to use in new and different “third” ways.

    i try to show the stories possible. love stories platonic familial romantic.

    i’m speaking in slivers and pieces now, not making much sense. that’s because i’m thinking of how to do radio MY way. it will be progressive conversations and thought. meaning that i hope not to repeat myself for the audience anew each time. i want to search out what i’m even looking for.

    at first i wanted to get on the radio as soon as possible to fight ALL THIS. but then i realized we’ve got a much deeper problem that is existential and just like Kyle knows when he pulled the gun out and finally said “no more,” he might’ve gone back home to stay but it was never the same again.

    same with the world.

    all of this madness is only the BEGINNING. and we’ve yet to have the courage to rise up collectively and say “no more” and …how do we land that globally?

    i don’t know. this is when you most need Third Way Thinking but with all this censorship and one-think, my job is to muddy their waters. that’s always been my job. but to try and keep the reaction from simplistic binary expected reactions.

    so the radio show is … well, i have to an artist but naked. i am re-pitching our own humanity back to ourselves and i hope not to get ravaged in the meantime. that’s why i’m fine with waiting to get on the air. this is a long ass game. a direction.

    i’ve got a lot of schooling to do regarding basics.

    for example… one of the questions i’ve wanted to ask Papa G is “why would Jesus’ dying on the cross be saving us?” it just seems to turn us into ungrateful MONSTERS. yes, i said monsters.

    but i know that as with the tarot cards, if you can “get” why Jesus’ dying on the cross for our sins saved, then you get something ELSE. you understand something in your marrow about how to love, yourself.

    i’ve had glimpses, then they go away and i forget.

    BUT i do get how pain and torture can be used to get to love and empathy of epic proportions. and i wonder if that’s a clue about torture for love?…

    messy thoughts here. but i wonder if there’s a clue because these are what Levi seemed to pitch to me directly.

    and so i’ll tell you all here, as well as on Wolfstreet, when i’m actually sure WHEN i’m on the air.

    for now i’m wondering… “what do they need? what can i give or show or tell?” i will share how i make things adventures. and how even i need time to catch my breath because i get scared of MYSELF.. i get vertigo, too. i’ll show what it is to be embarrassed wrong and allow another to ravage my arguments because they are not precious. we cannot get anywhere interesting if we are not rigorous with each other our statements intentions and what we’re actually doing.

    so i’m taking the cue that radio DJs brought me back to romance and life and i’m gonna figure out how to do this radio thing in a more naked intimate way while standing up for ourselves each other and fight with the founding principles of this nation.

    there’ll be many different layers if we pull it off. some will see what i told you and i told you all this because this is a workshop here and i hope to give others ideas on ways of playing with their skills in the third way.



  293. JMG, Thanks for the reply.

    I don’t think it’s belief in progress. I’m not sure how close of friends I could be with someone who doesn’t agree with the basic tenets of The Limits to Growth.

    It’s something to do with you. Maybe it’s the Druid thing. But that doesn’t seem like a good fit either. This is why I’m perplexed.

  294. I just grabbed my copy of David Wengrow’s “What Makes Civilization”. At the end of the chapter “The (First) Global Village”, which describes the Ubaid culture, he writes:

    “To summarize, the fifth millennium BC was a period of remarkable cultural symbiosis in the absence of marked urbanization or political centralization. The disruption of this pattern of development may have begun to the south of Mesopotamia, in the distinctive setting of the Persian Gulf, where current reconstructions suggest a significant – but localized – change in environmental conditions around this time. The Gulf is only 35 metres deep in most places, and much of it could be crossed on foot just 12,000 years ago. Since that time, its shallow basin – once no doubt densely inhabited by fishers, hunters and foragers – had been gradually filling with waters from the Arabian Sea, pushing these groups into ever closer contact with the occupants of the Mesopotamian alluvium. Ubaid serving vessels and their local imitations are found as far south as the Straits fo Hormuz. Trading activity along these routes (in search of timber, metals, and precious stone) would surely have continued to expand eastwards towards the Indus, were it not for an episode of climatic deterioration which commenced around 4000 BC.
    Archaeologists working in the Gulf refer to this episode as the ‘dark millennium’: a localized period of high aridity and site abandonment along the eastern Arabian coastline, which coincides suggestively with the Urban Revolution in Mesopotamia, and with the reorientation of Sumerian trade towards the north and east. Maritime links between Sumer and the Gulf of Oman, temporarily severed, would only be fully restored towards the onset of the Early Bronze Age (c. 3000 BC). By that time, the aggressive northward expansion of Mesopotamian trading contacts along the Euphrates had decisively altered the fate of societies from Egypt to the deserts of Central Asia.”

    I actually wrote to him around 2010 to ask him about the alternative history scenario alluded to here, where continued trade along the Gulf would have sustained the village-based cultural melting pot of the fifth millennium for a longer time and put off centralization, but he demurred. The books gives two scholarly references for the pages I have transcribed here:
    – Parker & Goudie, Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 18 (2007)132-138 (dark millennium)
    – Lambeck, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 142 (1996) 43-57 (shorelines of the Gulf)

    I also asked David Wengrow about these other somewhat evasive passages in the next chapter: “Little is known about systems of government in these very earliest cities [4th millennium BC]… Archaeological evidence for the existence of palaces – in the sense of royal households distinct from the temples of the Gods – has not been conclusively identified in Mesopotamia prior to the third millennium BC. In considering the nature of earlier forms of urban government, we can look, with due circumspection, to other types of institutions, which formed part of the fabric of city life in later periods. These included the major temples…; the assemblies of city elders; wards…organized on traditional family lines; and also mercantile associations… In both cases [Uruk and Harappan] evidence for hereditary inequities between different sectors of the population (e.g. in the form of rich dynastic burials) is conspicuous by its absence”.

    Again he demurred – I hope this will be fleshed out in his forthcoming book with David Graeber, “The Dawn of Everything”.

  295. I didn’t mean to imply I was tapping my foot over here waiting on those astrology lessons. I’m been so busy doing home projects that I’m actually thrilled you haven’t been posting them the last two months. Sounds like they will pick back up about when I am done.

  296. @Pixelated:
    Ethanol also raises octane and would have been a healthier if more expensive solution than TEL. The ethanol content of gasoline should have always been at least 50%. 50/50 ethanol/straight run gasoline would have an octane rating of 87. (Ethanol gas a rating of 105 and straight run gas from the cracker is 70.) More than the octane boost provided by ethanol, a 50/50 blend provides an optimal balance between the cleaning power of ethanol and the lubricating properties of gasoline. Ethanol also increases engine HP.
    Modern gasoline is refined to 84 and then has ethanol added to bring it up to 87. Before ethanol mandates, gasoline was refined to 87 but when you have to add ethanol you have to start out with suboctane gas (<87) or the octane is too high. (Gasoline can be refined up to 90 but most refineries I think are going to standardize on a single production process of 84 for cost reasons and add stuff as needed, anyone in the business please correct me if I'm wrong.)
    Ethanol can only currently be up to 10% of gasoline so to get past 87 with a 10% ethanol blend with suboctane gas you have to add anti knock additives called aromatics. Even if you refine the gas to 87, 10% ethanol will only get you to 89.
    I know ethanol is a terrible energy source from an environmental/EROEI perspective but just talking about vehicle performance, it has a lot going for it. It's why it's often used in racing.

    Speaking of lead, did you know the Romans used lead sugar? It's an interesting story. Each great civilization seems to have their unfortunate affairs with this stuff.

  297. @John G, @JMG

    @WB1c #190 said:
    I remember one rock star had written a book talking about (and I may not be remembering exactly but it was a mental exercise for me), post Obama, that people were wrong for voting for Trump on economic issues because experts and other reports talked about how good the economy was under Obama (the two coasts) and that people were simply misinformed.

    @Leah Kiser #240 said:
    I’m hoping that change is a strong level-up in the rise of the Feminine Divine, Shekinah returning to take a hand in the affairs of the world. It’s time predatory capitalism was retired, and nurturing community values reinstated. I think that’s part of the long descent – undercutting the warrior-king big corporate boards who plunder and exploit.

    Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev says for many decades – at least 60 -75 years – people’s primary concern has all been about economics to the point it’s become the barometer of all things good for many people. Economics, he says, for all it’s fancy talk, is still ultimately talk about survival when looked at from a yogi’s perspective. The Divine Masculine provides the base for survival. It’s a bedrock. In yogic terms most societies institutions and thus the cultures they’ve forced to adapt around them are all hyper focused of the Divine Masculine.

    But what’s been driven out of institutions of all kinds (gov, corp, non-profit, etc) is the Divine Feminine. It’s a myopic focus. Sadhguru said, “That’s like saying a mountain’s rocks are more important than the grasses, blossoms and trees. The rock of the Divine Masculine will always be there but the Divine Feminine needs to be nurtured in order to thrive.”

    The Divine Feminine (ie Devi/Shekinah)*, however, has been drowned out of the public sphere in most countries. These days She is in retreat from the constant onslaught of being measured according to the dictates of institutionalized Divine Masculine concerns. Many women these days feel they have to constantly cultivate a certain deliberate inner masculinity in order to stay competitive in a collapsing economy. I wouldn’t be surprised if many men find this global Institutional hyper focus on all things Divine Masculine exhausting too.

    It’s my belief that this is what is crushing the souls of John G’s young men (and many young women too) beyond just their own awareness of a long term collapsing society that’s thrown them to the wolves. People need more to their lives than the Divine Masculine to feel the vibrancy of a life lived fulfillingly. Devi/Shekinah, the Divine Feminine, is the other half of being a fully lived human too and She brings the fruits, leaves and blossoms upon the ground of the Divine Masculine’s steadfast rock. The blossoming creativity She brings forth from a soul has to be nurtured daily says Sadhguru and everywhere – for many decades according to him – She has and still is being trampled, despoiled and neglected in too many countries (literally and figuratively) – and one of the most common ways this is done is via pitifully paid, high-illth, soul-crushing jobs. But this is all that’s on offer for most young people these days and it leads to mental and emotional illnesses. Society keeps telling them ‘manning up’ to endless, (illth-inducing), hard work is enough for a fulfilling life. The yogic traditions have always known it isn’t.

    Wealthy societies, especially their topmost 10% has forgotten everybody needs to express and benefit from the Divine Feminine too. Not just the top-most 10% only.

    IMO, It’s Devi/Shekinah – the Divine Feminine – that provides the comfort to the ‘comfortable classes’. Apparently unconsciously, they recognize Her value enough that they’re increasingly, desperately trying to horde Her for themselves. The Divine Masculine is perfectly happy for even the top 1% to merely scrape by. After all, it’s very Masculine to subsist with just a bed of rocks upholding you.

    Anyway, I think this is one reason why Sadhguru says in every country he’s visited (over 100+ countries) he sees mental and emotional illnesses metastasizing everywhere.

    Sri Aurobindo also spoke of this. He says several hundred years ago Yogis everywhere began to sense that the shakti of work and money specifically was becoming much more ‘asuric’ (ie demonic) in nature and so yogis everywhere began to withdraw their own skakti-energy from it so as to not inadvertently support something that was detrimental to themselves and to other people.

    Sri Aurobindo also says the result was that this handed the work-and-money shakti energy over to the asuric completely uncontested and everywhere the world is (how much more so now!) drowning in terrible, ill-producing, low-pay jobs that are life punishing for the people that have to do them simply to stay alive. When seen from a yogis’ perspective it can be Divine-Feminine-affirming to become a Job Market Nihilist.

    *Devi = Divine Feminine in dharma traditions. Shekinah = Jewish traditions. I’m fairly certain Druid traditions have a name for the Divine Feminine too but sadly don’t know it or I would have included it.

  298. @JMG, thank you! That is a definite possibility once I have the chops.

    I am a worker bee, which is why self-employment is great, because in all my wage and salary jobs, I always worked harder than everyone else, but received the same pay. At least working for myself, I reap the benefits of my own labor. I can work as hard as I want, which is no burden when you love what you do.

    My current problem? I can’t make a living at it, haha! At the moment, my amalgamation of jobs under my small business (tutoring, translating, fiction writing, and one day, book-binding) just barely stays in the black each year, once expenses are tallied. My problem this month is that I ran out of money to produce my next novel, and I am overflowing with muse. I’d planned to publish at least one more this year, and the usual four or so next year.

  299. @ BCV #284

    Thanks for that link. My issue isn’t with renewable energy per se, but rather the notion that we can have something like 70% penetration while still using the levels of energy we currently (ha!) are. It’s not just about dollars, but also about availability of the raw materials (materials which are most certainly*not* being mined, processed, etc.) using renewable energy and which are coming from beyond our borders. Moreover, we’re talking about replacing assets with 50-60 year useful lives with assets that have 10-20 year useful lives, so there’s replacement cost involved as well. And we’re also talking here about a significant increased in fixed costs versus variable, which is going to have a massive impact on rates once we head into sustained declines in usage–which we will eventually. We’d be far better off working to redevelop our society to operate on less non-somatic energy, but that likely won’t happen until we’re compelled to by circumstances.

    I will take a look at that study, however. I’ll be interested to see what assumptions the authors make. (Having done several long-term power supply plans myself, I know that assumptions are *always* involved.)

    @ Bofur #308

    In addition to trains, I’ve also wondered about a possible renaissance of airships.

  300. Ray Wharton,

    If you have spare ham radio equipment, drop me a line at delete spaces jrc 95 96 at g mail. Reference this blog in the subject so I don’t think it’s spam. I have a stepson who is just getting into ham and could use some vintage kit. I’m an extra but can help you out. Prices on some of this stuff are rapidly increasing, working vintage rigs are at a premium now.

  301. JMG,
    More bad news for the FBI, last week six USA Olympic gymnastics testified to Congress about the sexual abuse they and dozens of other girls faced at the hands of Dr. Nassar for years even after the FBI had been notified of the abuse by many girls/parents. It appears the FBI field office ignored the complaints after a lead investigator was offered a high paying job at USA Gymnastics (no FBI official has gone to jail for this and another is now retired with full benefits).

    Today, I just read that two members of Proud Boys were also working for the FBI when they got caught trespassing in the Capitol on Jan 6th (likely more of these cases to follow).

    Two weeks ago there was a story of how they were instrumental in paying $80,000 to the leader of a fake Neo-nazi group called Autowaffen that was only being run to entrap young men. The group is still operating in Eastern Europe and supports murder, torture and satanic worship.

    They seem to be trying to build back good PR in the disappearance / killing of Gabby in Wyoming, but so far they haven’t been able to find her missing boyfriend in FL.

    Even The Babylon Bee ran a hilarious piece on how the FBI is getting frustrated by all the new cases they have to try to solve that they didn’t fabricate themselves.

    More and more people are seeing the FBI as America’s Stasi, and as an unchecked power that supports the elites agenda at any cost or price.

  302. @Happy Panda

    Regarding: your comment about Sri Aurobindo

    That was interesting. If you think about it, then Sri Aurobindo and the Mother could be considered as a good example of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine working together.

    As for goddesses, I belong to an ethnic community whose patron deity (is that the right term?) is Goddess Saraswati. In India, there is a festival called ‘Dussehra/Vijayadashmi’ and the traditional way for us to celebrate it is to perform a simple puja to Goddess Saraswati, and as part of the puja, we worship books and pens (people hailing from martial communities like the Rajputs worship actual weapons instead of books). Bengalis too are devout worshippers of Goddess Saraswati, which could in part explain their huge contributions to culture, literature, STEM, etc. I guess worship of the Goddess Guan Yin in China follows a similar trajectory, or does it have some significant differences?

  303. Are there any Druid clergy out there willing to write religious exemptions for vaccine mandates? I have a friend whose employer is breathing down her neck. She’s not Christian and doesn’t feel comfortable with using a Christian clergy member to attain the exemption.

  304. Also, Dear PIXELATED:

    Kyle’s story is EXACTLY what i’m talking about regarding where we’re at globally. we are at the point where many are about to, or are, playing chicken. and my horror would be that at the point where his father’s face turns white and he doesn’t beat him, that Kyle left and returns and things go back to the way they were.

    also, Kyle was no longer afraid of the dog he FOUGHT. he knew his “moves,” i believe he’d said.

    that’s what just now happened with the liberal elite and their melt down. you know their “moves” and they’re unimpressively unimaginative and trite.

    but dangerous.

    this is all related to the idea that we make our jim joneses. WE do.

    so that’s why i aim to undermine the story however i can.

    because as Papa G said, they WANT you to despair. the moment you feel your power as Kyle did, it’s over.

    and what is in its place? …ah… that is precisely why we all are here. we who don’t fit in their system. Papa G is trying to get our heads right because if we get our souls right, and we jump in?…


    we don’t have to stab them with screwdrivers as Kyle decided not to do… all this is indicative of someone who THINKS first but can handle this kinda stuff.

    and you don’t have to just not stab people with screwdrivers in this realm. the DJ that i wrote love letters to, for the longest time before we met, he’d play me hours of songs on one of his shows, well on a few of his shows– but in the middle of friday night, after 10pm when you can air dirty words, he’d play HOURS of love songs and dirty songs for me and i’d have at myself for HOURS in the early days.

    he wasn’t a big talker and this is why i avoid magic phones and texting… because having a DJ you have yet to meet (and even when i had), play dirty nasty good love songs and drive you insane.

    things like that.

    i’ve got more where that came from! the imagination. when you stay in the magic phone world, you COURT like the magic phone world and meet your beloved on all fours and wonder how many she fellated on her way over to you.

    i’ve been called nasty dirty fresh inappropriate slutty, even by myself, because that’s what the Regular World told me. hell, i haven’t had a man inside me for a decade and before that it might’ve been years in between each time because it’s mad sacred to me.

    so i like how i’m dirty and nasty if i get to have secrets that make me and another person, do things we’d never even thought of.

    that’s what i mean by using the intimacies i know from having things go bad, use ’em for GOOD.

    good means i don’t end up in the emergency room, in jail, or end up with nightmares. good means i have energy. NOT DESPAIR.

    this is why they want us to feel crappy.

    and now we’re at that inflection point where we can turn their face white and make ’em back off or we collude so’s not to unduly “upset” them, and we go back to how things were. which as we see, is all charade.

    if i can wake all the Kyles up, they KNOW THEIR MOVES. they will push, as i do, when i wear the Star of David with gritted teeth and fear a beat down but get PROTECTED instead.

    it’s how i scream and find others like me. we cannot afford to be docile quiet and take anything on the chin anymore.

    i used to be about leading people into the creative life so’s they’d understand me and others like me. it just became co-opted. a way to release steam.

    so i’m not necessarily about escorted these dangerously frightened masses past their own graveyards, for we ourselves will be the ones who end up there sooner than later.

    i’m about skillfully landing this or channeling it into something besides us all becoming lampshades.


  305. Lain, that makes a great deal of sense to me. The god of the Old Testament generally seems to be portrayed as a Middle Eastern monarch of the time, after all.

    Pixelated, thanks for this.

    BobinOK, I think what’s going on is that the ruling class of our society has completely lost track of the fact that the rest of us have our own opinions and make our own decisions. It’s the downside of the line of cant that Edward Bernays et al. sold them — they really do believe that all they have to do is proclaim something via advertising and everyone will automatically accept it. It has never entered their darkest dreams that people won’t just do as they’re told. It’s the same mentality I described back in 2016 while discussing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign: they’ve put in a quarter at the vending machine and can’t understand why it won’t cough up the goodie they think they’re owed. Pretty soon they’ll be screaming and pounding the machine in blind rage because they can’t get it to work…and yes, hunting season may get unusually colorful this year.

    Rohan, the currency wasn’t worth much — note the rate of inflation at the restaurant in the story — but during an extended bank shutdown, shopkeepers very often accept currency at a substantial discount, on the assumption that they’ll be able to get something in exchange for it once the banks open again. Meanwhile debit and credit cards don’t work at all. That was the situation as I envisioned it.

    Bei, no doubt.

    Stuck, no offense at all. I’ve made the most of the upside of my Aspergers syndrome but it’s unquestionably a disability; it’s caused me a lot of trouble and misery too, not to mention long bouts of loneliness and the feeling that I’ve been born into a world and a time that doesn’t really work for me. As for karma, of course that’s an issue; you won’t have been born into a family with autistic genes by accident, after all, and your family members also had karmic reasons for being born with that kind of nervous system. As for community and family, those aren’t for everybody, and there are other options in hard times. One piece of potentially useful advice: find other people who are on the spectrum. You’ll find them much easier to deal with, and you might just end up marrying one — that’s what happened to me.

    Karim, the current virus panic is a great example of the flight into abstraction. The grubby realities on the ground — a virus that isn’t especially dangerous unless you’ve got significant comorbidities, a test which is very inaccurate (and has been gimmicked to make it even more so), vaccines that don’t provide any noticeable protection against bad outcomes, and the rest of it — are never allowed into the discussion; instead, it’s all abstractions: “a deadly disease,” “positive tests,” “safe and effective vaccines,” and so on. You’re right that if this fails badly enough the medical industry may well be one of the casualties.

    J.L.Mc12, yes, I heard about that! Thank you.

    Bofur, only if the rebuilding of the rail system starts in time, before resource availability drops too far to sustain it.

    Ron, thanks for this! In traditional Western astrology, Mercury retrogrades aren’t a big deal — they’ve been inflated by pop-culture astrology into one of the Three Big Bugaboos, but in the old texts retrogradation is simply an ordinary debility, to be taken into account along with everything else. I’ll be interested to see how your prediction works out; one of the things I’ve learned over time is that each of the four great astrological traditions we’ve got (Western/Arabic, Vedic, Chinese, and Mesoamerican) tends to catch subtly different markers of time.

    Tidlösa, surely you jest. A very large number of good Western liberals would love to see a Communist regime in their own countries, provided that they could be the Politburo and decide who gets sent to the prison camps.

    Ray, this doesn’t surprise me at all, but thank you for the heads up! That’s an important data point.

    Steve, fascinating! You’re quite correct that the symbolism would imply that.

    Viduraawakened, yes, that would make a great deal of sense. Selection for resistance to the effect of chemical poisons is already going on among humans, of course…

    Malcom/Tinkzorg, excellent! Do you by any chance recall the poem by Catullus where he talks about the rich Roman moneylender he knows who spends his spare time talking and daydreaming about a farm in the Tuscan countryside, where he could live a simple life? Dreher’s book made me think of that. Dreher’s a well-paid professional journalist, always jet-setting off to a tour of Russia or a conference in Italy; his Benedict option serves the same role for him that the Tuscan farm served Catullus’s acquaintance, a place to park fantasies of a life he couldn’t stand living for two weeks together.

    You’re dead right that the Benedictine rule is not made for people who are comfortable in society. It’s also not made for people who have a society to be comfortable in. It’s not accidental that Benedict flourished in sixth-century Italy when the Pax Romana was a distant memory and wars between barbarian kings and Byzantine armies were busy wrecking most of what remained of civilized life in the peninsula. People turned to monastic life because it was the best option they had, and they accepted the rule because if you want to run a successful commune, long hours of hard work and a strict renunciation of all the usual causes of human competition are essential. (That’s why monasteries thrive while most other kinds of communes implode after a couple of years.)

    Here in North America, certainly, we’re more than a century shy of our Benedictine era — I put today’s date at the equivalent of 380 AD or so, with Afghanistan as our Adrianople, and so our Western Empire still has a little time left to stumble toward self-inflicted catastrophe. Spengler’s Second Religiosity is above all a phenomenon of the comfortable classes, who go back to traditional religion once their society’s Age of Reason has collapsed in intellectual and moral bankruptcy; Dreher is at the leading edge of that process, and his focus on the tome-reading end of religion is par for the course. Meanwhile the new religions of the age to come are taking shape precisely among the people you mention who are stocking the shelves at Mall*Wart, not leaast because people like Dreher have nothing meaningful to say to them.

    Slink, fascinating. If you ever get them to tell you, I’d be interested to hear what it is.

    Denis, so noted! I didn’t feel especially hassled, for what it’s worth.

    Panda, many thanks for this. Do you recall where that discussion by Sri Aurobindo can be found? I’ve been reading (and greatly enjoying) The Life Divine and would be interested in trackiing that down. (As for Druid traditions, we have a lot of names for divine feminine energies; one of the typical oddities of Druidry is that it tends to divide things up more than other traditions…)

    CS2, that was why I set fiction aside for a good many years and wrote nonfiction to make a living. It was an immense relief to be able to start writing fiction again!

    Karl, yeah, I’ve been watching that trend as well. Ugh.

    Kimberly, unfortunately most Druid denominations — mine included — have a “you get to make up your own mind” rule on such things, which won’t help your friend. Sorry.

  306. I’ve personally been going around thinking of what pieces of fiction to listen to next, I finished the audio book version of the first book of Wierd of Hali, but I’ll talk about my impression later.

    My mind honed in on a few series; The Neuromancer, Wizard for Hire, or Leven Thumps. Neuromancer won out because I didn’t finish listening to it for whatever reason and it was recommended to me by the owner of Hasturs, a local game store here in Salt Lake City. The other two series of books, written by an author under the pseudonym of Obert Skye, make me wonder about the reserved but personable author, or I’m just noticing smaller, less noticable, but important tropes in stories and books I was familiar with growing up.

    Onto Wierd of Hali: Innsmouth. Slowish in the beginning but gets better, the audio book narration could use some work. Didnt expect the “Aww that’s so wholesome! What? Wait a minute…” moment. I knew it was going to be a thing, just not that way, and not that soon. Overall, I highly enjoyed the first book and the series may be something that will convince me to read Lovecraft and motivate me to study more.

  307. On the subject of gigs that pay in non-monetary coin… this is my first year owning a fruit picker. I bought it to get at the apples on the tree in the backyard no one could reach so I could eat them. I have used it, so far, on a plum tree at the church, the apple tree at home, and some street trees that were crabapples. With permission on the owned trees, obviously! And some sharing of fruit around. It’s been fun, and I think I’ve nearly paid for the fruit picker already in fruit that would have gone to waste.

    But I am very pleased with it. The crabapples were a bit of a disappointment. They’re the small ones, and the picker more knocks them down than carries them down. So you end up with tiny bruised sour fruit all over the ground. I added a regular apple and some raisins, and made pie, but I don’t think I’m going to pick more of those this year.

  308. @ JMG, BobInOk

    Re military personnel, dishonorable discharges, and vaccine mandates

    Cue the roving warbands just waiting for the appearance of a charismatic leader…

    I’ll just say it. Boy, this administration is dumb. Like clueless, box-of-rocks level dumb.

  309. 333 comments and I saw a car registration ending in Kek this evening – currently reading the King in Orange. :-0

  310. @slink and @jmg I wonder if its also the fact there is no easy stereotype to fit you into as people are v black and white thinking at present ( not racially just in terms of what people do think etc) they like someone easily defined to preunderstand their relationship or ideas they should have

  311. This is a bit of trivial topic given the heaviness of the last couple years, but I went for a much needed walk at the beach today, and I noticed a group of kite surfers out in the waves. I didn’t know this until then, but it seems that a skilled kite surfer can stay above the waves, such that they all looked like they were zipping around on hoverboards while I stood watching them for a few minutes.

    It actually made me interested in trying kite surfing. Of course, being able to afford the time and money to go kite surfing is quite an extravagance, not to mention the resource-hungry nature of all the materials used in its equipment.

    But it got me thinking: what does recreation look like in the long descent? I can imagine that games like soccer, which require very little equipment, will stick around. And, if in medieval times people worked less, what did they do with their ‘free time’?

  312. JMG, you wrote, “I expect to see mass migration into Europe in the decades ahead, and during the last era of völkerwanderung those moats of yours didn’t suffice.”

    As you know, völkerwanderung from the Middle East and Northern Africa (i.e. migration into Europe including the UK) is already happening on an informal level. That sort of völkerwanderung is not going to affect the British constitution. Any formal völkerwanderung (i.e. armed invasion of other countries by nation states coupled with population movement) is likely to take a lot longer, and even when it happens there are many countries to be invaded before anybody reaches Britain. Then the invaders will not only have to cross the “moat” but deal with the navy, which did not exist in any previous völkerwanderung. Much more profitable to concentrate on the rich pickings in Eastern and Western Europe before trying to cross the “moat”. That’s what the Romans felt, anyway, and that was before Britain even had a navy – though of course the Romans were just creating a standard empire, not actually migrating.

    The upshot is that, because Britain is so far from the origin of any völkerwanderung, I do not expect any invasion during the next hundred years, so although I agree that it may occur at some point, it does not affect the scenario I was depicting.

    In any case I am not clear why you think the migration will be directed towards Western Europe. I would have thought Eastern Europe and Russia would be a more promising direction. Indeed, the migrating population, without the government that goes with it, might even be welcomed by Russia, given its declining population, and that might undermine any plans for an armed invasion.

  313. @JMG on being on the spectrum, re: advice to “Stuck.” Marry an M.D. whose specialty is odd minds, because her mother is also on the spectrum. My son-in-law’s entire family is, well, his oldest son is just a typical Silicon Valley geek; his older brother I spotted right off the bat; it would explain their father’s extraordinary cluelessness in dealing with people in the various countries he took refuge in, in a spectacular escape from Communist Eastern Europe; their mother, one of my best friends in The VIllage, has her own neurological differences. And my daughter has more Badger genes than I do, so she runs the place.

    And I think she’s starting to discover that she doesn’t have a monopoly on the truth. Although the beliefs of people in her walk of life are just simply The Truth, of course. ()

    Funny data point: I passed their recycling bins and absently dished out a crumpled napkin in the papers bin. She said “I wish you wouldn’t to that. I don’t pick at you for using single-serve water bottles.”
    “But, dear, I don’t buy them. When I’m at an event where the drinks offered are either that or soda pop…and I reuse them until they fall apart.”

    Well, even so, it bothered her ecologically conscious soul. But the purchase, new, of an all-plastic water bottle with an elaborate sucking mechanism for the unweaned and those running a race, was quite acceptable. So was buying and handing out plastic water bottles for everybody at Christmas. I’ve decided to be indulgent about it.

  314. Kind Sir

    Just ordered a package containing tentacles. Unfortunately amazon was the only way to get it here in oz.
    On another note, Melbourne was hit by an earthquake on the very day they became the world’s most locked down city.
    Australia is seismically stable. Earthquakes here are about as rare as hen’s teeth, so the event in itself is very unusual . To call the timing remarkable would be like calling the core of the sun “a bit on the warm side”.
    Are the gods telling us to pull up our socks?

  315. All this talk of Aurobindo brings back memories of my alma mater, which was founded by his disciples. I found Sri Ackroyd nearly unreadable, though, and wickedly regarded him as a warmed-over Theosophist, frustrated at being forced to play Kailash Satyarthi to Gandhi’s Malala. Here’s a piece of doggerel I composed honor of The Mistress:

    I once got kicked out of a Zendo
    For sticking my butt out the window
    But the sins that I’ve dared
    Are as nothing compared
    To the Mother of Sri Aurobindo

    I vaguely recall an evangelical Christian expose of Sai Baba (the one that reveals him to have been hermaphroditic, and seducing disciples with his secret vagina),which compares The Mother appearing at her window and raising her arms in blessing, to a vulture lifting its wings.

  316. Hi John Michael,

    Dropbear isn’t over stating the case. The 6.0 earthquake shook my house up, and sent my lady and I scurrying outside. For some reason the dogs didn’t seem even remotely concerned by the event, which was interesting. Certainly it was the most violent earthquake I’d ever experienced. The house is an unusual design and proved to be very flexible and has suffered no damage that I’m aware of. The walls, floor and ceiling were all deflecting by maybe half a foot – which is an unnerving experience.

    If you’d told me two years ago that I’d be at the epicentre of what appears to be the harshest response to the current health subject which dares not be named on the planet, I would have questioned your sanity. And yet, here we are.

    What’s worse is that my mates and I recently discussed the matter, and despite the crushing conditions, we tend to believe that just from conversations with the wide range of people that we speak with, that it has popular support. And yet, to my mind the official response hints at an underlying extraordinarily weak hand. What do you reckon about that perspective?

    Rest assured that I am highly annoyed that I was forced to choose, and if it ends up badly… The old grand master Sun Tzu advised never to back an opponent into a corner, and he was right.

    I’ll write about the background to my decision, and you’ll get a sense as to just how weird it is down here.



  317. @ erika, thank you.

    I was planning to give Claire Lehmann over at Quillette the 2021 Justin Timberlake* SexyBack Award (for best essays, undergraduate teaching and book title), but I think you’ll need to share it. Which seems appropriate, really.

    Ordinarily, I wouldn’t link to a song with so much autotune – it’s obscene, really, fake. But that’s what THEY would want you to think, isn’t it?

    Besides, you’ve convinced me, it’s exactly what Jesus would do.

    And if anyone still can’t stand the original, well, I once spent several long weeks alone on remote mine sites with a man who would sing his own lyrics to pop songs to entertain himself. This one became SaladBack:

    “I’m bringing salad back! (yeah!)
    Prevents heart attack –
    It’s full of veggies a nutritious snack (yeah!)”

    Considered a brilliant scientist in his field, well respected, a bright star, a hard worker and innovator. Just goes to show we all have dirty secrets.

    @DT, ah, ethanol, fuel of the gods.

    I did know about the leaded sugar – though mostly because they talk about it in that article 😉. That, and the fact the Roman scientists knew they shouldn’t be using lead pipes, either, but the government did it anyway.

    *Mr. Timberlake in no way endorses or is even aware of this award, which was made up and judged entirely by me, myself and I.

  318. @Happy Panda #325

    I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you for your interesting explanation from the Yogi point of view.

  319. David btl,

    The charismatic leader is already on scene, he was elected in 2016 and lost with a huge assist from the Bar association and lawfare in 2020. While the Don may be lacking in a great many ways, anyone with open eyes can readily see the affection for the military and working class..probably from years on construction sites. Contrast him with a former mayor of NYC who runs a TV network and note the difference in how they relate to people. Bloomie is despised by anyone not in his payroll.

    Don got there first, so it’s his spot to lose. If he isn’t able or wlling to, then Don jr or a certain Lt Col who recently resigned his commission may carry the torch. Nikki Haley doesn’t stand a chance, even if we get to 2024.

    Both groups have suffered tremendously under the Bush/Clinton/W/O agenda and are understandably POed. 4th gen warfare doesn’t require a leader just an objective as the Taliban proved.

    Pinochet is an optimistic case as this point but I don’t see things stopping once the party gets started. I’ve been the veteran on campus, the lack of basic empathy and respect from professors and other students is quite eye opening and I missed the GWOT. Add in 3 bad tours in Affy or Iraq or a missing limb or two….not a good combination for domestic harmony. Stalin used to bring in miners to beat up college students just for fun, doubt he even had to pay them.

    God(s) help us, our elites are dummer than a post turtle.

  320. Hey I have a question, has anyone else here heard the creditors of the Evergrande company, that’s defaulting in China, are saying “it’s ok you don’t have to pay us.” Pay us whenever….

    If this is the case, it seems to me the elite know that the game is over it they let the thing play out.

    Also, regarding the shipping crisis. The store I work for is not going to be getting fake artificial Christmas trees in this year. We have five bare aisles they we’ve faked using canvasses from the painting aisle. If there is anything you need, I think now is the time to get it.

  321. David BTL @ 327 re: airships. Wups, an oddball area I have direct experience with. Summary: ain’t gonna happen.

    Here’s where my experience was gained:

    Sure, that’s a tiny one-person airship, but I talked to several ex-Navy airship pilots who flew much larger airships (think ZPG class; see: ) and they all said the same thing: airships are very VERY impacted by weather conditions that even small airplanes shrug at.

    Thermal activity over land on even a fairly stable day means lots and lots of altitude excursions. My record flight with “White Dwarf” was mostly done over the Salton Sea for just that reason. One ex-Navy airship pilot said that on takeoff, he would make a beeline for water to fly over, with the excuse “Well, after all, I’m Navy and this is a Naval aircraft.”

    Even the fastest airships seem to be limited to about 70 MPH airspeed. This means that on most days, your cruise speed over land will likely be below 50 MPH and on some flight paths (depending on winds) substantially less than that. When one runs optimistic calculations, it’s difficult to even in theory design an airship that will go 100 MPH.

    Flying in some ways is the easy part! When your airship approaches the ground, you really appreciate the clumsiness of such a beast. For all but the tiniest, a mooring mast is mandatory and a hangar is about the only way in the long term to avoid destruction due to weather. Even relatively-small airships (Goodyear Blimp sized, 6-8 passengers) have been ruptured due to weather events.

    Oh, and then there’s the lifting gas. Helium is becoming quite scarce, thus quite expensive. A fill of helium for White Dwarf cost $600-$1000 in the mid-1980s; now the cost of helium is several times higher. Hydrogen provides a few percent more lift per volume, but has one noteworthy drawback. 😀 💥

    So, sorry to deflate (!) your hopes.

  322. @skygazer:

    Völkerwanderungen are not necessarily the work of nation-states. Historically, many of them have been composed of people who were not organized into nation-states, and were even somewhat disorganized, with only small-scale governance. The Slavic Völkerwanderungen southwards into the Balkans and Greece are a good example.

    The idea that the world naturally consists of nation-states as such is a relatively recent idea, probably not a whole lot older than the famous Treaties of Westphalia in 1648. Nation-states are not the sole natural way for populations to organize themselves, but simply an epiphenomenon on other, deeper historical currents.

    The next hundred years will, I think, see a major conflict between nation-states and very large supra-national corporations for control of the planet, with the victory going to the side that can gain the advantage in economic power and in control of shrinking natural resources, rather than the advantage in military power. (Armies cannot function without food, and the biggest corporations are already quite well positioned to challenge and even thwart nation-state power over stable food supplies.)

    That winning side, I think, will eventually be the side of the biggest corporations. And in that struggle, those megacorporations could (if they are smart enough to think of it) even weaponize natural Völkerwanderungen to their good advantage against any governments that resist their emergent power.

  323. Hi JMG,

    There’s something I’ve been thinking about lately that I think you would like as a data point, but I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before. So, here it is and if I’ve already mentioned it, then sorry for the repeat.

    I had a cousin-in-law several times removed (it’s a southern thing) who was one of two doctors in the small southern town of Kingston, Georgia, from the late 1910s to the mid-1960s. Before the second world war, few people in the rural south had any money to speak of, which made the region at least as much a barter economy as a money one and there were established sets of exchanges for various products and services. For medical services, there was a fairly complete set of exchanges ranging from a dozen eggs to treat a cold up to a cow for major surgery.

    Now, this raises the question of what a doctor was to do with a cow if given one in exchange for services rendered, which goes back to the economics example of the Jewish dentist and the pig farmer that you have dealt with in some of your writings. In Kingston, it could be handled in several ways. First, many rural doctors had farms of their own, so they might keep the cow for their own uses, breeding it or keeping it alive on the hoof until butchering time. Second, practically every town of any size in that day had a butcher, so the doctor could send the cow to the local butcher and have it killed and cut into usable pieces either fresh or salted to preserve it for a time. Alternatively, the doctor might simply sell the cow to the butcher and obtain cash, or exchange it for a certain amount of credit that could be redeemed in the future, as the doctor and his family needed meat in the months ahead. Finally, there were at least a few animal auctions in the area at the time, this being a farming community, where the doctor could have the cow sent to be auctioned off to wealthier farmers who did have money.

    Anyway, growing up I received all but one piece of the above information from older people in the area who were alive at the time, so I know it’s factual. The only item I haven’t confirmed is the butcher giving the doctor credit for future use, but I think this is highly likely as I know they did that for other people, so why not for the doctor?

    Regardless, I hope you find this useful.


  324. JMG, I found the conversation between you and Stuck Millenial to be very interesting. I too have struggled all my life with Aspergers from childhood bullying to difficulties connecting socially as an adult. I’m of the opinion that my actions in past lives earned me the life I have now.

    Sometimes I look back at my life with profound sadness yet also feel there is an upside to Aspergers. I think my struggles made me a better and more caring parent to my two children. Aspergers has also allowed me to see beauty in things that others never even notice.

  325. So I got the sense it was time to get the hell out of Dodge and made the move to the Nelson in Canada’s interior. It’sa counterculture mecca so the situation is interesting in the larger BC and Canadian context. About a third of the town shows up to the protests against mandatory digital ID and jabs and existing rules except for masks seem to be largely ignored. Any readers in the area?

  326. @jbucks “But it got me thinking: what does recreation look like in the long descent? I can imagine that games like soccer, which require very little equipment, will stick around. And, if in medieval times people worked less, what did they do with their ‘free time’?”

    I have a theory that something like a Magic Lantern show might come back at some point. For some reason, whenever I have that thought, the phrase “Imagination Box,” pops into my head. I feel like there’s a story buried in there somewhere, but I’m not sure what it is.

  327. JMG,

    Thank you for the Edward Bernays reference, I was completely unaware of his work until today. This ignorance is something I will remedy at once so I can identify it better or perhaps use this power for decent purposes.

    I assumed this “reality is what we say” attitude orginated from Gobbels or perhaps Woodrow Wilson, but its much deeper than that isn’t it? Our leaders actually believe the nonsense they spout, instead of just lying to cover their backsides. I guess its impossible for us normies to understand how isolated from reality these people really are. A trip down the nearest highway or to the nearest public school in the southwest would be too much apparently. Guess we’ll all have to eat cake.

  328. @NomadicBeer re homesteading in modern America

    I’ve pondered that question a lot. Back in 2011, my husband and I started a homesteading nonprofit in Central Pennsylvania, in a heavily-PMC college town. Our plan at the beginning was to host monthly potlucks for likeminded people to build community, organize workshops hosted by a local church, on homesteading skills like baking, canning, gardening, drying food, making sauerkraut, yogurt, raising chickens and the like. And we would also try to set up new community gardens at schools and churches.

    For the first few years, some of those things were very popular. The workshops were well-attended, and the potlucks too. One of the potlucks was a brainstorming session to find out what bigger projects people might be interested in, and the result was interest in a food cooperative to help match up local farmers with local shoppers interested in helping strengthen the local food economy. We did manage to set up or renovate/revive some community gardens, and managed a few of them for a few year – doing maintenance on the shared spaces, repairing tools, recuiting new gardeners and so forth.

    But after two or three years, attendance at the workshops and potlucks dropped off.

    That made it harder for organizers to stay motivated.

    And we ran into the problem – very normal I think – of having a very few core volunteers trying to do too much organizing work and funding, and getting burned out and resentful.

    The spinoff co-op got going long enough to get a pretty thriving online market, which successfully connected farmers to shoppers, but the PMC-heavy board of directors had their heart set on making a brick and mortar store that would look like Trader Joe’s, despite lots of information from banks and from other grocery consultants that it would require way too much start-up capital, and the margins wouldn’t be big enough to sustain it without using major corporate food suppliers in the “organic” and “natural” market.

    So the board didn’t invest in the online market that was a good scale business for a small startup, it fell apart, and the co-op disbanded.

    However, at least one existing farm participated in the online market and when the co-op disbanded, they picked up the idea and ran with it, doing especially well when they added delivery services at the start of lockdowns. And another woman also saw the idea work well, and started her own aggregator online market, which she now runs successfully as an individual, without having the political mess that PMC-heavy governing boards so often devolve into.

    Also, another person started a Facebook homesteaders group, which now has thousands of local members who share posts daily about their gardening, canning, chicken-keeping adventures. I’m not on Facebook, but as far as I know it’s a thriving online mutual support community. And another person started a community kitchen and catering business to help young adults with learning disabilities learn skills and run a business. She’s since sold her building to a different community organization to provide housing and jobs programs for the homeless.

    So, this year (2021) we dissolved the homesteading nonprofit at about the 10-year mark. We learned a lot. I, at least, have been left with a feeling of discouragement, even though I can see that our organization planted some seeds or connected some people or started some momentum that grew in other ways as many, many other people picked up various threads and developed them in their own directions with their own energies and resources.

    Maybe American individualism has something to do with it. Maybe as JMG says, it was just too soon, or in the wrong social-economic/geographical location. I wish it had worked better; I crave the community of mutual support that was part of my initial drive to start the organization, thought it was forming for a few years, but now feel it’s out of reach again. Of course, that’s also related to the splintering of communities around all the lockdowns, vaccines, elections and so forth.

    It makes me all the more grateful for this community JMG has built.

  329. jbucks – How to spend your “post-collapse” free time? I’ve now played two games of chess while hanging out at our Saturday-morning farmer’s market. In last week’s game, two very young women were introduced to the game, as their mother coached the younger and I coached the older. I suspect that the things one must think about while playing chess can turn out to be useful in life, if not taken to excess. This morning, I was challenged to a game by a man perhaps a few years older than myself, and I was startled to feel the adrenaline surge as the game got under way. A chess set can be improvised from very simple materials, cast from precious metals, carved from decorative stone,… whatever suits your needs for entertainment.

  330. DT – Gasoline was used for auto racing until the clouds of black sooty smoke the resulted from crashes were avoided by switching to a clean-burning alcohol-based fuel. Just coincidence, I’m sure, but John D. Rockefeller (noted supplied of hydrocarbons) lobbied for Prohibition, which prevented farmers from brewing their own alcohol-based fuels.

  331. Slithy – One of the beauties of the Imperial system of weights and measures is that it is derived from dividing by half, or doubling. Doubling and duplicating are accomplished with a classic “scales of justice” two-pan balance. Weight and volume are connected by “a pint is a pound” of water. Weight and nutrition are connected by “one pound of wheat feeds a man for a day” (calorically speaking).

  332. Copper, thanks for this. Yes, “wholesome, with tentacles” is one of the themes I had fun with all through the series.

    David BTL, I’ve known boxes of rocks that were smarter than our current elite. The problem, I think, is that we don’t have a Deep State, we have a Derp State…

    Priya, ah, synchronicities! As for the stereotype, you may well be right.

    Jbucks, in the Middle Ages ordinary people played a lot of games that have mostly been forgotten now. They also did a lot of martial arts competitions — boxing, quarterstaff fighting, archery contests, et al. — since the skills in question were so necessary to them. They sang a lot, and they listened to professional musicians — bards and minstrels — who spent all summer touring on foot. I imagine things won’t be too different in the Long Descent.

    Skygazer, I’m not talking about organized national movements. I’m talking about mass migrations of the late Roman variety — think Huns and Goths and Saxons: masses of people armed with whatever weapons they’ve been able to find (including the arms of precollapse armies), heading across the landscape in any direction that seems like it offers good pickings. That’s typically what happens in an era of civilizational collapse, especially when the collapse is amplified by drought and climate change — as it was in the Roman era, and will be this time as well. As for the lack of a navy the last time around, not so; Roman Britain had one of those — look up the Classis Britannica sometime — and, er, the language in which we’re having this conversation is neither Latin nor Welsh.

    Patricia, well, there you are — no advice is one size fits all…

    DropBear, I read about the earthquake. Yes, I’d consider that a warning.

    Bei, it’s always been a source of wry amusement to me to watch how fast a certain class of Christian forgets about that very wise parable about a mote in one eye and a beam in another, the moment they start talking about people who belong to other religions. Tolerably often a certain commandment about bearing false witness gets chucked just as enthusiastically — but we’ll leave that for now.

    Chris, glad to hear that you and your lady got through the quake safe and sound. My guess is that your government knows perfectly well that the whole thing could go pear-shaped in a hurry if enough people realize how little actual support their edicts have.

    Austin, I hadn’t heard that, but it’s not impossible. With better than $300 billion in unpayable debt, Evergrande could sink the global economy all by itself — and let’s not talk about all the other Chinese real estate firms just as far over their heads in debt…

    Chronojourner, that’s the kind of strategy people take up when money is being used too obviously as a tool for control and exploitation. I’d expect to see much more along the same lines soon.

    Peter, oh, it has its advantages. I think of those as being like the acute hearing that many blind people develop.

    BobinOK, I routinely field questions about Bernays and the miniseries “The Century of the Self,” which takes his sales pitches literally and insists that advertising really is omnipotent. I encourage them to recall all the things that have been pitched at them by big corporations with big ad budgets, and never caught on. (Hillary Clinton and Beyond Meat are the two that come instantly to mind — I’ll leave questions about similarities between those for future reference.) As for the mindset of the elite, oh, it’s much older than Goebbels or Wilson. Ruling classes fall victim to that sort of thinking all the time — it’s how they end up in tumbrils on their way to an unwelcome fate.

  333. I had a thought today, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this whole Covid debacle has been nothing but a LARP for the PMC.

    Covid is real, of course, but survivable. But who wants a survivable pandemic? Where’s the fun in that? The reaction to it has been nothing more than a grand display of self-indulgence by anyone with even a fraction of power. The past 1-1/2 years has been just an elaborate Ren Fair (though saying that is an insult to Ren Fairs everywhere.)

    Since the PMC is entitled, they get to have all the fun of pretending what it’s like to live in ”difficult times” without a single repercussion. They still get to take vacations and still get paid while pretending to suffer under the Black Plague. They get to pretend that they’re true leaders on a Crusade of Justice (or something) and boss people around. But the only suffering they really have is wearing masks on airplanes and being on zoom calls. They take a fictitious vaccine (because it’s not technically a vaccine) and then pretend it doesn’t work so they get to play longer.

    It’s almost as if the entire management elite was able to act out its most depraved dreams that were conjured up over years of staring at meaningless spreadsheets. A million personifications of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” vomited up for the PMC to play with.

    Meanwhile, the game they created has destroyed over half the population’s lives for good.

  334. @viduraawakened

    That was interesting. If you think about it, then Sri Aurobindo and the Mother could be considered as a good example of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine working together.

    I agree that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were living examples of how both are important. Sri Rohit Arya said one of the most fascinating things he’d read about the Mother among Aurobindo’s voluminous writings was the story of when she first met him. (I’m going off of what Sri Rohit Arya was lecturing about in several of his Youtube videos. Alas, I have not read a lot of Aurobindo myself. (Note to self: read a lot of Aurobindo in 2022).

    Apparently the Mother had done so many spiritual practices in both her current and former lives prior to meeting Aurobindo that he was able to immediately detect that even the trillions of her individual body cells (!!!) were in complete submission to her Will. Sri Aurobindo said he had never met anyone who had that kind of instantaneous submission to one’s Conscious Will such that the trillions of cells themselves ‘bowed down’ with zero resistance to the Mother’s Will. Plenty of yogis and yoginis have the capability of acting in accordance with their Higher Will. But it is exceedingly rare, even today according to Sri Rohit Arya, to find a spiritual person who’s trillions of BODY CELLS are also each individually in complete submission to one’s Higher Spiritual Plane Will.

    It blew Aurobindo away the moment he met her. He was quite in awe of it judging from what Sri Rohit Arya said. That’s why Aurobindo thereafter adamantly maintained she was The Mother. She really was a living embodiment of THE Divine Feminine.

    Only later did I find out (from other sources – not from Sri Rohit Arya) how incredibly rare an achievement it is that The Mother had. Apparently there are a tiny handful of lineages around the world – some Nath yogis in India being one example – that use the dying process itself to shock one’s individual bodycells awake to superconsciousness.

    Read that again – you are practicing a kriya yoga discipline of a specific kind while you’re dying to shock the body’s cells themselves awake into superconsciousness (full Objective Consciousness in Cosmic Doctrine terms)! The dying process is crucial for it to work.

    That’s what The Mother had achieved assuming I understand Sri Rohit Arya correctly – trillions of fully-awakened Superconscious body cells (!!!) before she ever met Aurobindo – and Sri Aurobindo was able to detect it upon meeting her. This is rare. Very, very, VERY rare. Very few yogis or yoginis ever bother or feel the need to go this far.

    FYI, this is not necessary if all you want is Mukti/Liberation/Mahasamadhi/Mahaparinirvana.


    Apologies. I got most of my information directly from Sri Rohit Arya’s youtube videos. He has some videos where he lecturs on Sri Aurobindo’s writings on work-and-money shakti directly. I do have several Aurobindo books. I have a large TBR pile but I’ll dig through the Aurobindo works I have and see if any of them mention the bit about asuric work-and-money shakt that Sri Arya lectured on.

    I do have one Aurobindo ebook that I’m quite eager to read.

    Savitri and The Yoga of the Cells.

    I’m curious to see if there will be any mention of the things Sri Rohit Arya talked about of the Mother and what she achieved regarding her body’s cells submission to her Will.

  335. I just read a BBC article that admits that the vaccine doesn’t keep you from catching Covid:

    Vaccines, while helping protect many of us from serious illness, do not stop us catching Covid.

    I was tearing my hair out once again, asking why the push to vaccinate everyone when it doesn’t prevent Covid, when the thought struck me:

    Is this a revitalization movement? Is the Covid vaccine like the Ghost Dance shirts – a desperate attempt to stop bullets/viruses, and bring back the world that was lost?

  336. @JMG

    “Since the listeners had no particular reason to think that Jesus of Nazareth really rose from the dead, or that Mithras really did slay the cosmic Bull, or that Attis really was born from a stone, or what have you, they chuckled and went on with their lives. Me, I tend to sympathize with them.”

    Agreed. Although in that regard the claim of resurrection is falsifiable. Since the Tomb should be able to be found and the body too if it is false.

    But in regards to Mithras and other claims that claim of theirs cannot be confirmed as far as I know from the historical record.

    As for the unfairness of the lack of reincarnation. The argument that Saint Paul puts forward seem to be that this God has placed everyone who would respond to him with the right circumstances in said circumstances.

    And those who wouldn’t respond no matter the circumstances in their particular incarnations.

    It does look to be similar to God’s Answer to Job in the Book of Job. “Trust the Plan”.

  337. Pygmycory, I have a tip for using a fruit picker on small fruits, though I don’t know if that would work on your crab apples or not! Take a disposable plastic grocery bag and use it to line the basket! You can poke holes through it with the tines to anchor it pretty easily, and it’ll keep fruits from sliding through the basket. We use it for wild plums that way.

    On the shift in mood topic, the morning of the twentieth I woke up absolutly certain I had finally made a decision, and was satisfied with it. Now I haven’t yet figured out what that decision was, or even what it was about, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out in time.

    On the what to do in the long decline topic, I took two of my boys to spend the day playing at a Society for Creative Anachronism event, and thus reccomend such activities as lace making, axe throwing, and possibly even bashing each other with mock weapons. A good time was had by all attending. If one wishes to learn an old school way to do a thing, and doesn’t mind going medievally old school, then, at least, I can reccomend my local kingdom, Artemisia, as being some quite welcoming and very enthusiastic geeks on their varied subjects. Did you know that Celtic knotwork originated as a way to notate music?

  338. @Dusk Shine:
    Oh, dear; I’m sorry to hear about your health difficulties. It looks like you’ve already gotten some good advice here, though, about which I’m glad; about the only thing I was thinking of was visualizing calm, non-thunderstorm weather conditions, and I’ve no idea how well that would’ve worked. Good luck!

  339. Regarding the new religiosity, take a look at this:

    “Young more likely to pray than over-55s – survey”

    Admittedly there is no analysis in the article, the questions seem to presuppose Abrahamic religions and both the examples of religious faith are Muslims. Nevertheless, the fact that it is in the news at all is interesting.

  340. Hi John Michael,

    If it means anything, I also took the earthquake as a sign. And it wasn’t a good sign for me personally that day.

    I’d be very curious as to your opinion, but what surprises me is that the medical folks don’t quite understand that they appear to me to being used as plausible deniability by the politicians who are most likely setting the agenda. I dunno, it just seems somehow naive to me. There is a difficult to pinpoint middle ground between letting grandma pass away and that of economically crushing young folks, and it is being largely ignored. The crazy thing is that there are plenty of other ailments which take down people all the time, and need I remind other people reading this comment that a very old friend of mine passed away late last year because his medical appointments were cancelled due to fears that he would get the health subject which dares not be named. It’s utterly bonkers.

    I’m watching the Evergrande situation closely, however a good mate yesterday provided a solid and convincing argument that the land of stuff is not in as strong a position as the media would make them out to be. In fact their ability to project force is not all that great, which quite surprised me. And here’s little old us down here, about to embark on a sub technology that can take the big stick to them in a most decisive way. Who knew? No wonder that they’ve snubbed our exports of late.

    In darker moments I have wondered whether the impacts in this particular state are a result of the gobarmint having signed off on the belt and road project apparently without consulting the federal gobarmint. It seems like a bit of a rogue act if you’d ask me.



  341. @Skygazer – interesting comments about the persistent influence of the British aristocracy behind the scene (ownership of the land etc). Do you have any sources or analyses that go into it a bit more?

    I was under the impression that they are basically irrelevant at this stage, especially after the 20th century when so many of the old homes and castles were lost/sold because of tax etc.

    I know there are exceptions – the Duke of Westminster owns half of central London, the Percy family have been the Dukes of Northumberland for 700 years and the family is still going strong and they still live in Alnwick Castle (setting for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies) and so on.

    But in general, as a class? Really?

  342. JMG – Re: Benedictine organization of life… I’ve read part of “Benedict’s Way” (Lonni Collins Pratt and Fr. Daniel Roman), and (as a non-Catholic) one part of the system strikes me as quite dangerous. A member of a Benedictine community pledges “obedience”. Well, we’ve seen what the obedience of priests to Bishops, to Cardinals, to the Pope leads to: decades of criminal behavior ignored, denied, and concealed. Obedience to a hierarchy of authority, like obedience to The Party, allows the worst parts of human nature to go unchecked.

    So, what’s the alternative? Let’s call it “Robert’s Way”: obedience to a participatory parliamentary procedure (Robert’s Rules of Order). Do you know of any “secular monastery” which was run that way?

  343. Apologies – this is a little bit lengthy.

    I would like to spin the mental wheels a little, riffing on Ray Wharton’s comment on different concepts of wealth or worth, as well as on the thread running through the comments of WB1c and others, on the current “thin-ness” of relationships. (And in passing, perhaps a roundabout comment on what economists are most mistaken about).

    Ray, you are essentially describing the inner workings of the gift economy. The major way in which the gift economy differs both from the money economy and the barter economy is the element of time, and how that element is what builds relationships.

    So, the economic transactions that we are mostly accustomed to engaging in – using money – are spot trades. That is to say, the money stands in for a way of reckoning the trade as being EXACTLY even, with no unfinished business to be concluded at any future time. This allows one to walk into a shop full of strangers, select a set of goods, have their EXACT price reckoned at the counter, pay for their EXACT price, and walk away from each other AS STRANGERS.

    Barter (as David Graeber detailed at length in his major work on debt) does not precede money transactions, but instead arises after it, in situations where strangers are gathered together, but lack money (eg a prison) and have to use some other way to engage with each other in the kind of EXACT spot trade which allows them to walk away from one another as strangers, which the money economy made possible. So many cigarettes for a smuggled tin of sardines or whatever. The price is known, or agreed, and the purpose of setting an agreed price is to allow the trade to be exact, and be completed, and leave no unfinished business to be concluded at any future time.

    A gift economy, on the other hand, functions pretty exactly as Ray Wharton’s post describes. Relationships are built around exchanges of gifts, but these are never exact nor exactly reckoned. Instead the allowance that there might be a future to this relationship, and therefore plenty of time in which to balance things up (Ray calls this “trust”) is one of the keys that actually helps to knit strength into a relationship. One way you could think of this (if you really must use economist speak) is that all economic surplusses in the exchanges that take place in a gift-built relationship add to the strength of that relationship, rather than accruing to either individual player.

    I will give two examples of how we are all still practising various aspects of the gift economy, and actually have pretty good instincts about how it is supposed to work, even if it has receded to the background of most of our awarenesses and is certainly nowhere to be found in regular discourse on what is considered to be the proper delineated sphere of the “economy”.

    1) There are times when a gift, offered inappropriately, can fill us with unease and discomfort. For example, being offered a drink or a meal at a bar by a complete stranger. This is a person unknown to us, who we have, as yet, no reason to trust, who is unaccountably offering a benefit to us that lacks an immediately obvious way to reciprocate with the exactness required to leave the exchange complete and finished. What makes us uncomfortable is the sense that a stranger is pushing us to reciprocate the unfinished business of this transaction into some future, but unspecified time – ie – to enter into a relationship, which, we may be unwilling, or at least unready, to enter.

    2) There are times when an offer of exact payment, offered inappropriately, can fill us with unease and discomfort. For example, if your adult child sits down at your table and eats the dinner you cooked, and on finishing the meal, stands up, takes out the wallet, and says: “how much do I owe you?” In this case, the unease is because you cooked and shared a meal in the context of a relationship that you thought contains a great deal of that kind of trust that enlarges the “future” in which all unfinished exchanges between you will balance, and your beloved child is threatening to cut it short by “finishing” this transaction, here now, so that, instead, you can part as strangers.

    In other words, we all know how gift economies work, but given some cultural and social realities, we have not necessarily had sufficient mentorships in the subtleties of their art and practice. Also, the money economy has its reasons to try to render us strangers to one another as completely as possible, and thereby more dependent upon its products and services to make up for it. However, the more we engage in gift economies, the more we permit the “surplusses” so produced to accrue to the strength of our relationships (lengthening their potential “future” space – what Ray calls “trust”), the stronger will be the relationships themselves that WB1c – and all of us – need more of in our lives will be. And this can snowball, as the people we begin “gifting” with catch on.

    The path to knitting ourselves a more resilient world may lie here, in our untapped potential for strengthening relationships through taking the time to build trust in there being enough of a “future” with this specific person and that specific person and the other specific person, to permit of a growing “thickness” of trading opportunities that our money economy has made almost impossible for us to dream of.

    Thank you Ray for describing the actuality. Thank you WB1c for highlighting the dearth. And may anyone who has ears, let them hear.

  344. @ bryan #350

    Re airships


    Thanks for the insight.

    @ JMG, all

    Re a certain soon-to-released rpg

    My gaming group got together for the first time last night in something like 18 months. Old-school D&D adventure with second/third level characters trying to escape a magicked valley and inadvertently releasing a vampiress from her prison in the process. Great fun had by all.

    As we were wrapping up the evening, I mentioned that I’d be getting a new game shortly and briefly described the premise. The group was *very* interested in running an intro adventure at one of our future sessions. Looking forward to getting my copy!

  345. JMG (no 361): Not a Christian, but I’m pretty sure Jesus would approve of me talking smack about Aurobindo. I went to their school, I paid my dues.

  346. To yves vetter# 345.

    Thanks for the article. It’s very scary. This goes way beyond incompetence, greed and right into the realm of malevolence from very powerful persons, organisations and governments. If the article is half correct, are we not effectively dealing with very very sinister forces with agendas that are bizarre in the extreme?

    To paraphrase JMG from the dreamwidth blog: I dont want to insist that the current situation is the result of a deliberate plot by some villainous group of people or other, but it seems we are inching in that direction.

    Today Sunday afternoon on the 26th of September I have just returned from a workshop about the consequences of lock downs and school closures on children in my country, Mauritius. A teacher there reported that some teachers are pushing 14 – 15 years old kids to have the vaccines, notably the F one especially ordered for school kids.

    I was aghast. I don’t understand. This is rampant, universal madness raised to a degree I have never seen in my lifetime.

  347. @ BobInOk

    Re the Don

    No doubt, he’s a candidate. FWIW, I voted for him in ’20, though not in ’16 (went 3rd party, instead). Part of me would like to vote for him in ’24, but as a strong believer in our Constitution and its processes, Jan 6th really sticks in my craw. I’ll just have to see how things develop and make up my mind later if that situation arises.

  348. @JMG, Robert Mathiesen

    Evidently I did not express myself clearly. I am well aware that Völkerwanderungen are not necessarily the work of nation-states. After all, the ones we deduce from the archaeological record took place millennia before anything even remotely resembling a nation existed, and, as I pointed out myself, an informal Völkerwanderung into the UK is already taking place at this moment without any nation-state being involved.

    However, the current Völkerwanderung is on a small scale only. The Völkerwanderung JMG envisages wll have to be on a much larger scale if it is to upset the British constitution (which is the context of this discussion). That probably means it will have to be organised by one or more nation states because that is how human beings are organised on a large scale nowadays. The nation-states of South-Eastern Europe are already preparing their resistance in the form of walls against invasion, and it will probably take an army to break through them, in which case it will have to be a nation-state that supplies the army.

    But perhap I am wrong in that. Perhaps sufficiently well-equipped war bands will be able to break through the walls. That does not really alter my argument. My main point is that it will take a long time for the invaders to conquer and settle Sourthern Europe and reach the English Channel, and they will then need sufficient incentive to cross it in the face of a heavily armed navy when they themselves have no maritime expertise.

    The case of Classis Britannica actually supports my case, not yours. I stated that the ancient Britons did not have a fleet to withstand the Romans, when they eventually decided to invade. So that lack of maritime resistance was an additional incentive for the Romans. In contrast, the Romans created their own fleet (Classis Britannica) which successfully kept the Saxons and the Norsemen at bay until the Romans had left. So a navy does repel invaders, even when they are experienced mariners like the Saxons and Norsemen, which the proposed invaders of the Völkerwanderung will not be.

    The eventual invasion of Britain by Saxons is not really relevant. The Saxons arrived when Britain was in complete chaos after the departure of the Romans. Unless you envisage Britain to be in a similar chaotic state after the breakdown of the American empire, there is no comparison. Personally, I doubt if it will be. After all, the Americans may have stationed a few airforce personnel here, but they did not occupy and re-organise the country in the way the Romans did.

    And of course, both the Norsemen and the Anglo-Saxons were easily able to invade because they were maritime cultures. Any invasion from across Europe will not be by a maritime culture, so it will take them time to build up the necessary expertise. In the long run they may be able to do so. That is why I did not exlude the possibility of an invasion at some point. But they will also need an incentive when they have the whole of Europe to plunder without having to face such difficulties. Building up both incentive and expertise will take time, which is why I do not think it will happen within the next century.

    (Incidentally, I am writing on the assumption that JMG is suggesting a Völkerwanderung from the Middle East and/or North Africa, and I believe he has written about that at some point. Please correct me if I am wrong.)

    @Robert Mathiesen

    Regarding the possibilty of a conflict between nation states and very large supra-national corporations, any such conflict would certainly be won by the nation states. Supra-national corporations do not control armies. Nor, in reality, do they even control money. Ultimately, control is decided by the use of force. Large supra-national corporations are very rich and can apparently buy whatever they want, but that will get them nowhere. JMG once gave the example of a man with bags of money and a man with a gun encountering each other on a dark night. Guess what happens! And despite your suggestion, a gun will get you food more reliably tham money will, if the food is available.

  349. JMG, we’re obviously in agreement here. I would just quibble *slightly* with one thing here, which is that the Benedictine way of life is meant for people who live in chaotic ages without any real rule of law. To a great extent, that is obviously true, but as you know, St. Benedict’s Rule was in fact an adaptation of earlier rules that were hundreds of years older, and significantly more strict. Benedict “mainstreamed” monastic life to make it more appealing to a broader base, but before that you had people who were simply real fanatics – who were, in the parlance of our times, simply very “hardcore” about their christian faith.

    The catholic church’s role here is interesting and pretty counterintuitive to a lot of folks who don’t know the somewhat obscure history, because the church has always had to deal with these crazies who for some reason or other think the ideal way of life should be to starve, lick the pus out of plague victims’ wounds, and then die in a ditch somewhere to become food for the crows, in an imitation of the suffering of Christ. The church then has to step in before things go completely out of hand and say stuff like “No, you have to sleep in a bed. It can be a very uncomfortable bed, but you can’t sleep on the floor, you’ll get sick.” Not to belabor the point, but monasteries also serve a function for *autists*, no matter the time or the age. 😉

    (It also quite telling that the abbot at the Benedictine monastery in Italy that Dreher stays at is actually a fellow american who is 15 years his junior. Rod never seemed to pick up on the implications of that!)

    I have a friend who – like a lot of people in his (upper) middle class, academic peer group – converted to greek orthodoxy. Not exactly a mainstream faith here in Sweden, nor one he has any real connection to. He actually tried to join a monastery at one point. The abbot looked at him skeptically when he said he wanted his way of life, but eventually gave him a broom and told him to sweep the floor. The guy comes to him the next day and says that while sweeping the floor, he came up with two more theological proofs of the existence of God. The abbot just shrugged and indicated he should shut up and keep sweeping the floor. He managed a couple of days before realizing that he really, really didn’t want to live the life of a monk.

    In some ways, these overly pretentious middle class people are my people (though I no longer really live like them), but man. They never really seem to be able to shake their own false consciousness about who they actually are, and what it is they actually want. Ordinary Joes don’t make their living off making up more abstractions, and to aristocrats and rulers, power isn’t very abstract at all, but it’s for the people somewhere in the middle that the tyranny of abstraction really becomes an inescapable force.

  350. KW, if I may say so, it seems to me that your non profit endeavor was a success. You provided the spark for the various people you described to go forth and do what they were good at, the the benefit of themselves and others. As for the PMC types, they always do show up with their own various agendas. That is why I think any non profit organization should seriously consider imposing an upper limit for donations accepted from any one person or organization.

    I am of the opinion that may, if not most, corporations, whether for profit or non, have a natural lifespan and need to be dissolved in timely fashion.

  351. Pygmycory –

    Just an FYI, I don’t think pie is the intended usage for crab apples – they’re too sour to use that way.

    In my experience they are usually made into either jelly or apple butter (applications that use sufficient sugar to counteract the sourness), and apparently they are also good for making wine, liqueurs, cider vinegar, and pickles.

    I’ve only ever had them as jelly, but can attest that crab apple jelly is quite tasty!

    Just food for thought (pun intended) in case you ever want to revisit crab apples.

  352. @David by the Lake – you were once wondering how we would train people for governance – actual effective governance. I found a partial answer the other day, talking to a colleague. It wouldn’t be how to do it in a functional society, but it appears to be how to do it to train people to take over from the dysfunctional one.

    My colleague works for many First Nations in BC on their treaty negotiations with the Province. One he was telling me about was an absolute work of performance art on their part: they already have a treaty, but it was, like many, signed under a deliberate misrepresentation of what it said by the Crown representatives at the time. They were under the reasonable assumption that it was a peace treaty, that it merely sorted out the boundaries between their settlements, and both groups would be allowed to carry on with their business unmolested. They did not know it was actually a treaty of surrender and transfer of lands, and specified what now constituted aboriginal rights.

    So, in court, they are arguing both sides simultaneously, depending on which one they think might get them traction. It’s glorious – there is no treaty, we were lied to, the Crown broke faith, how are you going to fix this, with your Reconciliation promises? Also, you signed this treaty, you gave us these rights, you have a fiduciary duty to provide them, how will you honour your contract?

    And they’re right both ways, and there are substantial legal precedents throughout the province both ways. Not to mention the politics of it. Much of the remote western coast of BC is now governed by various First Nations as a distinct and autonomous government, but this group would be doing it in an urban area, so it will be fascinating to see.

    I absolutely cackled when I realised how good they’d gotten at Treaty law. Canada and the Provinces have spent two hundred years teaching the First Nations how to play Calvinball, and then invited them to a baseball game. Then, they filled the stands with their own people in orange shirts (seriously, they gave them to all government workers for free, we have to wear them for political reasons) and got them cheering for the home team, forgetting apparently, that they were the away team. They better have memorized the Very Sorry Song.

    Then, checking the components of Calvinball gameplay – masks, the opposite pole, vortex zones – I think it’s possible the Calvinball game has metastasized to everyone, now…

  353. Pixelated,

    i know you meant it as a compliment but no thank you, i don’t want any trophy from you because that you even joke about this and can switch and answer someone back so fast means you’re a smart white guy but you will never go closer because you wrap in up in jest instead of awe.

    but you’re alpha enough, or think you are in the online realm, to move in first and joke and poke to see if i’m for real. i know you’re white and probably middle to upper middle class because you’re too comfortable rushing in where you don’t know what’s going on. like how white guys test their manliness by going into the hood to play a game of pick up.

    it’s only a layer of testing and scaring yourself.

    to be alive and in awe is beyond mad sexy. all you’ve gotta do is pay attention and dare to not know, ask one and then more too many questions…

    everything and anything else is threadbare theatre where everyone in the world is a movie star now.

    the only stage left is in real life .. one-on-one.

    all my love affairs of this sort last maybe many lifetimes. they never end. my loves are in awe, as am i.

    but when you’re here you don’t speak in terms of “sharing” and “trophies” and grade anything. you’re stuck in the shtick.

    Kyle’s not. he’s in awe because i SAW him. he’s not alone. he’s feeling it.

    you’re trying to fly above all this. you can’t. it’s actually quite simple and this is how i know where to spend my time in life. i write this out because the quietest ones are paying attention.

    you’re an example.


    and this is how i and we can and will hide in plain sight.

    see, i shouldn’t even be WRITING about this stuff because doing so invites belittling because it’s uncomfortable.. it’s another world that can and does make us insane. James doesn’t even know all this. he doesn’t wanna know. but these are not times for vague ambiguity and “nudge nudge wink wink say no more say no more.”

    and i can’t do this to “get” anything. not sex, love, ego hits, distraction, or stuff. i’ve been offered san francisco property 3X and passed the tests each time.

    i tend to give myself to black men because they can still go there in mere seconds. then after that is anyone who’s died can see me. i am particularly empathetic to men, masculine men be they gay or straight, because their energy is being squashed now and they have made me and the world is out of balance without their defiant life force.

    and even the guy i was dating who got me, i didn’t wanna have sex with him, but even HE didn’t know how to handle me as a friend, and i was gonna be his friend and love him solid. but he didn’t know what to do with that so he got vertigo. we’re all out of practice. even us freaks.

    but he’ll be back. they always come back in some way, some how. i kiss them like baby birds and set them back aflight to kiss others the way they kissed me.

    this really is to you, baby brother KYLE. you’ve already died. don’t be afraid of me. (you’re not)


  354. EI,
    I’d kind of picked up on that before I started, but I had seen some people reccommend them for pie, and I don’t really have the skill to be confident with the other applications. The crumble I made turned out well. I just added some a regular apple and a lot of raisins and spices, and it tastes great with ice cream. No sugar at all in the filling.

  355. Mr. Greer,

    Ilargi Meijer, proprietor of the Automatic Earth, has posted a rather lengthy anonymous ‘letter’ by some person(s)? going by the nom de plume ‘Spartacus’ re. all things, um ..’viral’.

    Wondering if perhaps you’ve had a chance to read it, and .. if so, a bead, a farthing ..or even a worn sand dollar.. for your thoughts thereof. It appears legit* …

    *some of the minutiae, in terms of biocelluar/genetic/chemical relationships contained within, are a bit above my paygrade..