ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
[personal profile] ecosophia
 I'm delighted to report that two new anthologies are about to hit the bookshelves -- one of them with a contribution by me, the other entirely my work. 

Ascendant 1Ascendant is the first of a projected series of anthologies on the subject of polytheist theology and philosophy of religion, published by Neos Alexandria, one of the liveliest of the current polytheist religious organizations. It's got essays by some of the leading lights of today's polytheist revival, wrestling with an assortment of Big Questions from the standpoint of belief in many gods. My essay, "The One and the Many: An Essay on Pagan Neoplatonism," takes issue with the common but mistaken confusion that sees Neoplatonism as monotheist, on the one hand, or monist on the other. I think it came out well, but it's far from the best piece in the book. If you're interested in the philosophical and theological dimensions of polytheism, this is not a book you'll want to miss. 

A Magical EducationA Magical Education is the first of three anthologies of my talks and essays, published by Aeon Books. This volume includes nine of the talks I gave at a variety of Pagan and occult conferences  between 2001 and 2010 -- specifically, the nine most popular talks, the one I was asked to give again and again. As a taster, here are the titles of the talks: 

1 - A Magical Education
2 - Magical Ecology
3 - The Secret History of Neopaganism
4 - Victorian Sex Magic
5 - Understanding Renaissance Magic
6 - Magic, Metapolitics, and Reality
7 - Alchemical Initiation
8 - Healing Through the Elements
9 - Paganism and the Future

The two remaining volumes, The City of Hermes and Beyond the Narratives, include between them nearly all of the short pieces I published between 1993, when my first article saw print, and 2015. 

Ascendant will be in print within a matter of days, and I'll post something here as soon as it sees print. A Magical Education will be out in March, but is currently available for preorder here, with free shipping worldwide. 

A Magical Education

Date: 2019-01-16 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Is "A Magical Education" appropriate for someone with very limited knowledge of magic, or were the talks geared to a more knowledgeable audience? If it is not for someone new to magic, is there another book you recommend for someone interested in learning more?

The books look great, thank you!

Re: A Magical Education

Date: 2019-01-16 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Great, I've pre-ordered it! Now I'll probably start with talk 6 though.


Date: 2019-01-16 06:21 pm (UTC)
deansmith: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deansmith

Really looking forward to both of these! I read A World Full of Gods years ago when I started out in occultism and enjoyed it greatly. It sealed the deal so to speak in my emerging polytheistic viewpoint. The analogy of the cats has always stuck with me. Are the essays in Ascendant along similar lines? There's not a whole lot of stuff out there I know of like that, so I cant wait.
On another note, where did the publisher for A Magical Education get that snapshot of my desk? Heh heh!;)

Dean Smith

Re: Books

Date: 2019-01-17 02:37 am (UTC)
packshaud: Photography of my cat. (Default)
From: [personal profile] packshaud
Several entries in the bibliography are missing. From an Amazon review:

The thing that makes me give this only four stars is the incredibly poor editing. I don't know enough about the publishing industry to know who should share the blame besides the author--copy editor maybe?--but there are scores (literally) of errors in the bibliography and citations. Missing bibliography entries, typos in the citations and entries that aren't even in alphabetical order...(I mean come *on* people!) Examples of missing entries: in chapter 1 alone there are references to Simmons 1986, Nielsen 1982, Salisbury 1982 and Tooker 1979 which don't exist in the bibliography. Similarly for other chapters.

Re: Books

Date: 2019-01-18 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] barefootwisdom
Sadly, this is even a problem with the big-name academic publishers these days. Alas for the days when the typesetters at Oxford University Press would send notes along the lines of "While we don't even know the language, we've never seen these two letters occur together in a Sanskrit word before. Is this a mistake?"

Feel free to delete or ignore, but if you're ever in need of careful editing, JMG, please drop me a line. A friend of yours once described me as the most helpful editor she had worked with, and as a long-time reader of your work, it would be a delight to contribute in this capacity.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-16 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think A Magical Education is worth getting just for talk number 6.


Date: 2019-01-16 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ritaer
I'm pretty sure that the Bavarian Illuminati do not admit evil space lizards to their ranks. There have to be standards. Knowledge of who is or is not a member is, of course, on a 'go ahead and ask, but don't expect an answer' basis. The Discordians, on the other hand have much more liberal policies.


Re: Illuminati

Date: 2019-01-17 07:11 am (UTC)
jpc_w: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jpc_w
Was it Icke himself that freaked out?
If it was, his quote would look good in a "praise for" section. :-)

Re: Illuminati

Date: 2019-01-18 06:03 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Which is fracking hilarious, because the 2009-2011 remake of V took an even more overtly Ickean tone. So Icke gets the idea for his evil space lizards theory because he mistook that gods-awful 1980's sci-fi miniseries for a documentary and the TV people come up with a rehash two decades later that was lifted straight out of his paranoid fantasies.

Re: Illuminati

Date: 2019-01-17 01:43 am (UTC)
jpc_w: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jpc_w
Wouldn't the Illuminati hire them as management consultants? ;-)


Date: 2019-01-16 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Perhaps this would be a good place to ask you:
Do you think there is any room or use for a book of pagan apologetics? I've been working on such a book for a little while now, though I began it as a personal project and am quite alright with it never seeing the light of day. I was quite influenced by AWFoG of course, back in the day, and I'm thrilled that you're expanding it. I know that your book has some apologetical aspects in it, but I'm trying to focus more exclusively on specific Christian and atheistic critiques. I am also conflicted whether such a book would be useful, or if apologetics takes theology in unhelpful directions. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Re: books of Pagan apologetics

Date: 2019-01-17 07:55 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] deborah_bender
While you are writing, you might want to have a look at two books which are, at least in part, contemporary Pagan apologetics: Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and a Christian in Dialogue, by Philip Johnson and Gus diZerega, and the earlier Pagans and Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience by Gus diZerega. (There is another book with the title Pagans and Christians by Robin Lane Fox; that one is a history of religion in the classical world.)

Gus has a doctorate in Political Science and is a Third Degree Gardnerian Witch. You will find flattering descriptions of these books on his website, at I haven't read either book, because they seem to be mostly directed toward Christian and formerly Christian readers, and as a Jew, some Christian issues are of little interest to me.

I read one of diZerega's other books, Fault Lines, which is about feminism and cultural ideas about women, and thought it was pretty solid, and I've heard him give a couple of talks to audiences primarily of Pagans on topics in the history of Pagan movements. Dr. diZerega will be presenting at the Claremont Conference on Contemporary Pagan Studies on 1/26-27/19.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-16 10:58 pm (UTC)
qos: (Belle Book Love)
From: [personal profile] qos

Books and Oracles

Date: 2019-01-17 01:39 am (UTC)
jpc_w: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jpc_w
The Aeon books site is taking pre-orders for City of Hermes as well.

The Sacred Geometry Oracle that is pre-ordering for next year, is that the revised version you talked about back on Well of Galabes/TAR, or a reissue of the first one?

A World Full of Gods

Date: 2019-01-17 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Though I value all of your works, I think A World Full of Gods is the one I value most, and so I am really excited that you revising and expanding it. Any chance it will be coming out in a deluxe, completely over the top beautiful hardback edition? ;)

-Dan Mollo

Re: A World Full of Gods

Date: 2019-01-18 12:49 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes, please.

World Full of Gods

Date: 2019-01-17 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Excited about these, but twice as excited to hear about a new edition of "A World Full of Gods"! That book laid much groundwork, so that when a god did speak to me, I understood what was happening. Saying yes to Her transformed my life, and a significant amount of credit for that is due to that book of yours. If I haven't said it before, thank you!--Sister Crow

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-17 06:16 pm (UTC)
deansmith: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deansmith

Yesterday I was searching for an Alchemy book on Amazon, and a new book translation by you and Mark Mikituk popped up. I'm not sure if you've already posted about it; Elemetary Treatise of Occult Science, by Papus. Do you have a link from the publisher so I can buy it there? I've never heard of this book besides, I read the description blurb and it sounds like something I would like to have! Apologies if you've written about or announced this previously.

Dean Smith

(no subject)

Date: 2019-01-18 05:55 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lainiep
I'm looking forward to reading some of these old talks, several of which I'm sure I heard at P-Con at various times!


ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)John Michael Greer

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