Review of The Blood of the Earth fresh off the press from Living Traditions magazine:
When I began studying magic in the late 1960’s the relationship between magic and ecology was nebulous, to say the least. While there was a discussion of the importance of respecting the earth the focus of ritual magic was on invocation and evocation (among other practises) and there was little room for real ecological considerations.
Even within the Wiccan movement of this period ecology seemed low on the scale compared to spiritual concerns with nature reduced to abstract concepts. As time progressed the importance of a non-dualistic approach to the world increased as the “theological” foundations of esotericism and paganism came under scrutiny. The significance of the earth as imbued with spirit and a living ecological worldview as part of magic became to become better known.
Greer is both a very well respected author on magic and a futurist, his work hence encapsulates the new generation of engaged magician. He decries both the escapist approach of much spirituality as
well as the reductionist tendencies of modern materialism. The focus on this work is on the issue of oil production and the way in which Western society lives in total denial about the severe limitation of this resource. This dangerous self-delusion occurs both on an individual and industry basis. The oil industry indulgences in magical thinking as it places Capital as the creator of oil and the greater salvation of the problems of man in obvious contradiction to the limited and finite nature of oil as a resource.We cannot consider the modern dilemma without considering the ethical ramifications of technology and progress. Greer also examines the nature of magic as an archaic use of the imagination not as seen as a variation of science as many modern magicians seem to express.
Greer offers an excellent discussion of philosophy, Neo-Platonism and Theurgy and its value in the past and now. Also discussed is the nature of initiation minus the hype and occur mystification, indeed Greer’s style overall while erudite is down to earth avoiding undue occult speak.
Greer likens the illusions of materialism and the peak oil industry to the wonders and sights of lesser magic as opposed to true Theurgy. He offers an insightful discussion of when our beliefs and psychological structures contradict the facts from the ecological crisis to strange tales of UFO cults and the danger such self-deception can hold.
His guide to practical magic is different from what most would expect and very challenging and thought provoking. Greer continues looking at the value of reading, knowledge and myth including modern myths such as that of the machine.
The Blood of the Earth is a very unusual book, it is not the type of title you would expect from a magician or futurist, yet one that really gets to the heart of modern ecological issues. At first it is difficult to get a handle on since Greer is taking such a new road in this field, yet if you persevere you will be richly rewarded.
And the book is of course here: http://www.scarletimprint.com/bloodoftheearth.html