ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
[personal profile] ecosophia
Alan LeoIt's almost midnight, so here we go with a new Magic Monday. The picture is of Alan Leo (real name William Frederick Allan), a prominent British Theosophist and one of the prime movers of the late 19th century revival of astrology. 

Ask me anything about occultism and I'll do my best to answer it. Any question received by midnight Monday Eastern time will get an answer, though it may be Tuesday sometime before I get to them all.

I've had several people ask about tipping me for answers here, and though I certainly don't require that I won't turn it down. You can use the button below to access my online tip jar.

With that said, have at it! 

***This Magic Monday is now closed to new questions. See you next week!***

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(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 05:06 am (UTC)
marcu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marcu
Dear Mr Greer,

I’m was busy cleaning out and packing up my apartment this weekend. As I was loading a bunch of items to take to the waste and recycling centre I suddenly experienced a sharp pain in my lower back.
Upon reflection later I could probably have tried to sell or give away some of the items but I was out of time and storage space and disposal was the simplest option for me. My question is was this some sort of punishment? And if so, how can I make amends?

If not it might just be an echo of my Christian upbringing combined with coincidence...

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 09:47 am (UTC)
marcu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marcu
Thanks for putting my mind at ease!

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 05:08 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

You recommended a good book for learning astrology some time ago but I can’t find that exchange. What was the book?

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 10:37 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think it was, it had A-Z in the title. Thanks!

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 04:13 pm (UTC)
jpc_w: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jpc_w
On that note, could you make a page on your site on early 20th Century astrology books, such as this one and the book you mentioned with the math to calculate horoscopes from scratch?

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 07:48 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Which moon phases and planetary hours are good for protective magic like assembling amulets and witch bottles?

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 07:51 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Dion fortune said individuals and nations do best when they live by cosmic law and go with the direction the universe is heading in. How do you determine what that is?

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 07:55 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
How do you find out your or another person's balance of humours?


Date: 2018-12-03 08:53 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I am reading your book on prayer beads, thanks for writing it... I was looking for something like that for a while...
Thanks to you and your wife!

Re: Rosary

Date: 2018-12-04 01:38 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That subject sounds interesting and useful. What is the title?

Re: Rosary

Date: 2018-12-04 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thanks anyway,
I found out that there are ways that suit me best, and MAKING things I can touch & /or see help me a lot to concentrate, and meditate... To realize that I could pray for and to my beloved ones that are gone with one of them was like opening a whole new world to me.
Thanks again!

Discursive vs mindfulness meditation

Date: 2018-12-03 09:06 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Greetings all

On several occasions you have discussed discursive and mindful meditation.

It appears that there are potential pitfalls with mindfulness.

Are there any with discursive meditation? (I practice the discursive mode.)


Re: Discursive vs mindfulness meditation

Date: 2018-12-03 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ritaer
"Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look,/ He thinks too much; such men are dangerous." Julius Caesar I.ii. 194-5.

Perhaps Cassius was doing discursive meditation.


Mundane Astrology

Date: 2018-12-03 09:18 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've followed your advice (to someone else) about learning mundane astrology and worked through Green's and Raphael's books on the subject. I found them extremely valuable for a thorough understanding of the principles, and for a wide variety of practical applications. However, I couldn't find answers to the following three questions. Your help with them would be much appreciated.

1. On mundane charts in general: I understand that the Moon and the ruler of the rising sign usually signify the people, and the Sun plus ruler of the tenth house the elites. But what about charts with Leo rising (making the Sun co-significator of the people) or Cancer on the MC (making the Moon co-significator of the elites)? Would you give both lights to the respective social group then, and leave the other group with only one significator?

2. On charts for great conjunctions: They should be set for the moment the conjunction turns exact, and for the capital of the country one is interested in. Beyond that, there are no instructions. I assume this means the result should be read as a stand-alone chart much like an Aries ingress, but on a larger scale (good for two decades instead of 3 to 12 months, and probably indicating more fundamental issues). Is this an approach you would recommend, or should the chart primarily be read in comparison to other charts, such as the country's foundation or subsequent ingresses?

3. On locating the national egregor in a mundane chart: The only possibly relevant information I could find is in Baigent, Campion and Harvey's somewhat psychologized Mundane Astrology (Wellingborough, 1984, chapter 8), which puts the overall "national myth" in the first house, beliefs, taboos and generally accepted morals in the ninth, and occult aspects of philosophy and religion in the twelfth. Also, I vaguely remember some remarks by Dane Rudhyar to the effect that the eight house contains collective psychic energies. Which of these houses, if any, would you say corresponds to the egregor in a strict sense?

Thank you very much!

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 11:14 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Last week, you told another commentor who lived next to a house whose last occupant had died of an overdose that said house would probably never be safe to live in again. Is this true of any house whose last occupant died? I am pretty sure the last person who lived in my current residence was a man who died of old age, and my life has gotten a lot worse since I moved here (I had fairly stable employment before then; in the two years here I've lost four jobs and have had what seems an incredible run of bad luck).

Alternatively, could what I'm going through be some prolonged form of Karmic culmination? I found ADR/WoG, which sparked my interest in occultism, a few months before I moved, and started dabbling in ceremonial magic a few months afterwards.

Also, is it better to do a banishing ritual at the beginning or the end of the day? I have been practicing the LBRP for about a week, generally before bed since thats when I have the most time. I am planning on adding the fourfold breath meditation exercise out of Paths of Wisdom (really interesting book by the way) this week-should I do that right after the LBRP?

To ask another question, last week a commentor posted an article by Frater Acher about the Qliphoth, in which he said (if I understood him correctly) that the Qliphoth contain fragments of the original light of Ain Soph Aur, but that light is cut off from its source and has to consume things around it to survive, thus becoming destructive. Is this a good way to think of the Qliphoth-as something that started out good but became destructive and harmful? (Without going into too many details, this line of thought made me reflect on some recent events in my own life.)

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 11:22 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hello and happy Monday,

I read this article about an artist who suffers from heavy metal poisoning due to working with mussel shells to make sculptures. They are quite stunning.

link: dailymail

It reminded me of the recent discussion on Ecosophia about how artists should seek to express something outside of themselves.

Relevant quote from the article:

"When you make art, you often feel diminished and small—you’re just a vessel for the creative energy to pass through. My body was carrying a painful message about the poisoning that Earth is experiencing."

Anyway, I just had to share it with JMG and everyone that comments.

Thank you for your time.


Date: 2018-12-03 11:29 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Just finished Weird of Hali: Innsmouth, enjoyed immensely, so now eagerly awaiting Dec 17! Not sure if you're familiar with this aspect of chan culture history, but long before (in interwebz years) Pepe, there was beloved Chthulhu. He would pop up as a gif or visual motif fairly regularly in the early work of the /b/ board derivative, Anonymous. An appropriate deity I think. Anon was also quite powerful initially, though not magically inclined like /pol afaik. It seemed to draw strength from a powerful group mind based in global Internet culture, and worked well until it split along sjw-lulz only binary lines. Forum essays on Deleuse's deterritorializing Nomad seemed to grab the gist of it's central motivating Idea. That forum is gone but this remains

Re: Cthulhu

Date: 2018-12-03 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"Western deity Cthulhu": (contains some nudity - I don't mean the Cthulhu image).

- S. T. Silva.

Re: Cthulhu

Date: 2018-12-03 07:54 pm (UTC)
packshaud: Photography of my cat. (Default)
From: [personal profile] packshaud
I think the protagonist most people remember is Charles Dexter Ward. Maybe because it is the only Lovecraft story that is over 50,000 words.

Re: Cthulhu

Date: 2018-12-03 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Really enjoyed it thoroughly and will definitely be getting Volumes II-VII and the associated stories. Do you think Lovecraft was an ecosophist? A harbinger of the new sensibility, or a "returning of the stars" you've mentioned? Guess I need to read some HPL for a fuller appreciation of that universe.

Question re: Picatrix , best specifically Renaissance astrological text(s) to accompany its study?

Thank you!

Re: Cthulhu

Date: 2018-12-04 05:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you for the book recommendations. Just read The Shadow over Innsmouth. Lovely story meshing and viewpoint inversion in your story. To crawling chaos!

Business and Magic

Date: 2018-12-03 12:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

In one of my shop, business is a bit slow and we have experienced a significant drop in sales over the years.

At one point I thought that the shop was the target of some magical attack as one of our employees left a bit disgruntled.

Geomantic divination indicated that this was not the case as they were many factors involved affecting the shop.

I am also studying LRM. I was wondering whether I could make a spell within the Hermetic tradition to reverse the situation. I have done everything I could imagine to reverse the situation, like re-painting the shop, improved stock, advertisement, better customer relations and so on, but with modest effect.

Any advice?



Date: 2018-12-03 12:17 pm (UTC)
packshaud: Photography of my cat. (Default)
From: [personal profile] packshaud

After meditation, I write the results into a notebook. But while writing, it's rare that I do not get new insights; these go into the notebook too, with a "post-meditation" note.

Should I force myself to meditate for a longer period? It's strange that nothing more seems to be coming out of the meditation, so I stop, but when writing new ideas arise.

Re: Meditation

Date: 2018-12-03 08:11 pm (UTC)
packshaud: Photography of my cat. (Default)
From: [personal profile] packshaud
I feel you... these have a tendency to get longer than the actual meditation; but they would not be possible without the bootstrap from the meditation. Thanks for the reply, I was worried I might be doing something wrong (though I got a lot of things from these "notes").


Date: 2018-12-03 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi again JMG,

I was listening to this podcast and thought you may be interested:

The link has the audio and also the transcript if you would rather read than listen. Stan Grof seems to connect psychedelics with psychology and eastern religions. Being from Europe and growing up under a communist regime causes him to miss the possible value of western occult philosophy, but he is very connected with the work of Jung. Maybe he isn't too public with even considering western occultism either.

Hope you enjoy it.

Be well,


Date: 2018-12-03 12:32 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Happy Monday to you!

A couple experiences after the elemental cross and circulation of light. One time after I cross my arms at the end and tilted my head down with my eyes still closed I felt like I was looking down off a mountain. There wasn't anything overly visual, but just a sense that there was more below and in front of me than the floor.

Other times, I complete the ritual, open my eyes, and I am surprised at my height.

I am certain there is more to experience if I keep at it, but am I on the right track?

Thank you,


Date: 2018-12-03 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you for the response. So the intended feeling will be something more? I will keep at it and keep paying attention. "chop wood, carry water"


Date: 2018-12-03 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Good day, Sir!

One more set of questions, I'm trying to piece together your thoughts on how the universe works. You have discussed the planes that we can see as humans and reincarnation so that your higher self can form bodies on the ascending planes. What are the pieces to this puzzle? Have you set your extended thoughts down in a place you can point me to?

Thank you for this weekly opportunity,

unconscious change

Date: 2018-12-03 01:22 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
(From Myriam)

Your knowledge about all things occult being as vast as it is, you might have encountered something I am experiencing and I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on my question. Is it possible to do the work necessary to experience change in consciousness without being consciously aware of it? Both doing the work itself and the resulting change in consciousness, I mean.

Some background: You may recall that when I first began several years ago, I had a period of very intense dream teaching which I was aware of but mostly didn't remember very well other than a few very vivid experiences. The teacher was relentless, and pushed me harder than I could absorb, and although the teaching spilled over in waking life (books came my way, people said things, etc.) the teaching was through the dreams.

I spook really easily, and asked that nothing weird happened in waking life or I would bolt screaming for the exits. The teacher(s) obliged and other than a couple of encounters with other beings, was safe and fine. The SOP kept everything at bay.

Now, I very rarely remember my dreams, though every once in a while wake up in the middle of a dream I'm not aware of, saying some version of “Oh, I understand now, yes, I get it.” and I fleetingly know what it's about, go back to sleep and don't remember anything in the morning other than that I had experienced another teaching moment and some part of me understood but it was beyond me to know what it was about.

I stopped the SOP and everything but divination a few months ago because there is simply too much going on in my life right now (including not having the space to walk in a circle -long story) and I was going to crack. However, I get the impression that the work continues in my sleep life, beyond my awareness, and think I am changing, like a caterpillar in a chrysalis, except that I am not aware of what or how I'm changing. I get glimpses of it in situations, and surprise myself at how well I handle it, and wonder where the grace and wisdom comes from, because it's not from me. It's as though something other than the old Myriam came through at that point, which has me wondering.

It's as though the conscious Myriam part was by-passed in the teachings, and something inside is growing in (I'm not sure what the word is...power? Knowledge? Wisdom? Not quite that, something else. A being? A will?) When I do the SOP if I get a chance, I experience a sudden surge of power that is much stronger than when I do it daily, and it feels like an ecstatic meeting again of something I fiercely love, and there is a rush of something or someone meeting me back. Like a coming home. And I haven't even gotten to the point where I can do the complete SOP. The pace has been glacial and constantly interrupted.

Is it possible that the work continues despite the conscious Myriam part not putting in the daily work but another part pursuing this anyway, at a level beyond the conscious, beyond the astral even? Is there another way of pursuing the work that is not the usual ritual-meditation-divination combo, that you have experienced or heard of? I will begin again as life permits to do the SOP and meditation, and will continue where I left off, but I know it won't be in the same place I was. I'm wondering also if you know of cases where something like this happened and finally did break through to the conscious part, with a sudden and drastic change happening at once in the life of the person who experienced it. I can say that I feel as though the core of me is not the same as it was, or perhaps, my experiencing of the core that is me has changed.

Your thoughts, as always, are much appreciated.

Re: unconscious change

Date: 2018-12-03 08:18 pm (UTC)
packshaud: Photography of my cat. (Default)
From: [personal profile] packshaud
I read in a horrible place--4chan--that people overcomplicate communication with the Higher Self. In a thread somewhere, someone said that it is quite simple--all those things you are postponing, and you know you should be doing, are your Higher Self screaming at you to do them.

Of course, as advice, it is useful.

Is Anon into something with this answer?

Re: unconscious change

Date: 2018-12-03 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So, part of the purpose of magical training is learning to hear your higher self without it needing to start yelling at you? That seems like a very useful skill to have. What are some of the other modes of communication?

Tarot interpretations

Date: 2018-12-03 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Aron Blue here. How do you feel about tarot illustrations? Continuing with last week's discussion about the too-maligned swords suit, it seems as if a good way to balance out one's personal interpretations might be to use a deck that only provides illustrations for the major arcana. Maybe not for a beginner ... What do you think?

Re: Tarot interpretations

Date: 2018-12-03 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes, it varies and I think depends on how you interpret the cards. If you have decided to learn tarot divination by a strictly empirical, 1:1 relationship between a card and a meaning, then suite cards with just a number and suite indicator may work for you.

But I find my best, most specific interpretations come to me from images on the cards that may or may not have to do with the usual/traditional meaning of the card. It's kind of the same mindset you would use for scrying. You have to be aware of ideas that come into your head that seem significant and not dismiss them...for example, I once noticed that a leaf on a card reminded me of an old logo of a business. It was on the card next to the King of Cups reversed. Lo and behold, later in the day someone tried to scam me using a confidence scheme (King of Cups reversed) that hinged on a supposedly "official" website that used that old, incorrect logo.

If one of your goals of divination is to learn to notice signs, serendipity, etc. in every day life and correctly interpret such signs and use the knowledge to your advantage, then you may find illustrated tarot cards to be helpful.

-Ms. Krieger

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi JMG, thank you for providing this forum for questions.

I've lived in the same house since I was seven -- a family home built by my family on my father's family's land. Since those golden days, though, a lot has happened -- in my teens, my father was found to be cheating on my mother, there were many stormy years and then a rather ugly divorce. My older brother left and married and never really returned; my dad remarried and went to another state, and passed away from dementia several years ago. Both of my grandparents passed away and the land around us was all sold. My mom had two very short (under a year) marriages, but since then (2001) no one but she and I have lived in this house. We have struggled at times, emotionally, financially, and just with keeping the house up, but in the past ten years or so have done everything we could to make a happy, peaceful, comfortable home.

I give the background because the thing is, despite renovations and constant upkeep/improvements, the house has a way of... being uneasy. Leaky plumbing, major appliance failures, the kinds of things that make me have nightmares about disasters and get panic attacks every time some new issue is discovered. We love this house and property, but we went through some very dark days here and I can't help but wonder if the place itself is still unhappy somehow.

I've been reading here for about a month now, trying to pick up helpful things, and have started reading the Celtic Golden Dawn, though I haven't yet started practicing (waiting for the new moon.) Is there anything in particular I could incorporate into my practice to "make friends" with the house and property? Will the banishing LRP help get rid of some of the old negative "energy"? I know houses will always need upkeep, but it's the feeling around it that troubles me.

Thank you for your time and patience with my understanding - I am new at this!

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thank you -- it's interesting, but just a few days ago I found myself talking to what I just called "house spirits" out of the blue (not knowing if there would be one or more; I had never thought of such a thing before) so maybe that door had cracked open a little already. All I could think of to say, though, is "Please make things all right," but I don't know what to do in return. A quiet chat in the kitchen might be just the thing.

I've always been very animist, had a habit of talking to everything throughout my childhood that continued into adulthood some (we had a coal stove forever and I'd talk to the fire all winter as I tended it - I'm just beginning to get to know the new gas fireplace), but my surrounding family was rather materialist, which lead me to being very torn between my senses about things and how I was expected to handle my surroundings. I am very much hoping that the path I've found on your pages will help me turn the way I've always wanted to go.
A promising start, at least.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Does sandalwood incense have any specific magic effects?

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Do you think you'll ever read any of your work in a future incarnation?

Retroactive Divination

Date: 2018-12-03 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Do you get any clear answers by asking an Oracle: “What do I need to know about the day just passed?” If I miss a morning divination, is this a viable option or does it defeat the purpose of the excercise. I’m working with Ogham. Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hello, JMG.

Is divination a sort of communication with a spirit or do the answers come from some unconscious part of the querent's psyche? If it involves an external spirit, is it a different one depending on which divination system is used?


Paulo B


Date: 2018-12-04 05:26 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I find it annoying how accurate divination is. I have fragile health and am constantly cautioned about it. I am sometimes told I am very ill and don't feel ill at all. I think the cards, (ogham) are finally wrong. I found I was wrong and was indeed coming down with flu!

Karma, Reincarnation, Disability

Date: 2018-12-03 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dudeknowsbest

As always, much thanks for the Magic Monday.

A bit of a loaded question here, but what is your perspective of karma and reincarnation?

In addition to the general karma and reincarnation topics, I'm specifically interested in how a disability manifests in the karmic/reincarnation process, and what does said disability indicate for the karmic/reincarnation process for those close to the disabled - parents, siblings, etc.


Re: Karma, Reincarnation, Disability

Date: 2018-12-04 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dudeknowsbest
Thanks JMG. A couple follow-ups...

1. Is there a good resource you recommend to understand reincarnation better? Perhaps the CGD? (That's my planned next path.)

2. How does one learn about their previous lives - divination, prayer, discursive meditation?

2A. Am I able to learn about my kids' past lives/reincarnation?


(no subject)

Date: 2018-12-03 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
what are, broadly, the benefits of systematic study of the Cabala versus systematic study of astrological magic? How do these two magical tools differ?
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