Review of Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth

Due out in April 2012, this new opus from Arch-druid and Magus John Michael Greer is a philosophical framework, updated for 21st century culture and science, for the perennial mystery teachings. The author’s erudition and enlightenment shine out from every chapter, and the overall structure of the book is finely crafted.

Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth: an introduction to spiritual ecology is structured around seven principles, in conscious imitation of The Kybalion and other similar works. He explains that where the Pythagoreans and Plato structured everything in terms of mathematics, and later authors wrote in psychological terms, he believes that the best current structure is that of ecology. So the laws (of Wholeness, Flow, Balance, Limits, Cause and Effect, the Planes, and Evolution) are all explained in terms of ecology. The recurrent theme is how a sample environment, that of a meadow, developing and changing as it does, illustrates each of the laws.

This book is a very logical outgrowth of JMG’s life’s work, which started with a degree in the history of ideas and carried on through years of Hermetic and Druidic study (thus neatly conforming to his Law of Evolution).

Throughout the book, Greer correctly criticizes the pop-spiritual, watered-down teachings that are so common today, and leads the reader back to the much harder but more satisfying path of deep truth. Greer hints at more than he tells, generally, because he can’t preempt the reader’s journey.

There is a chapter for each of the Laws, and the final chapters considering how these laws apply to magical and spiritual practice.

Each chapter contains a meditation, an affirmation, and a question for contemplation to assist the reader in absorbing the material.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I’m going to be using it in the future, and working out how to integrate its insights into my own Work.


Mystery Teachings From the Living Earth
An Introduction to Spiritual Ecology
John Michael Greer
ISBN: 9781578634897
Book (Paperback)
Weiser Books
$16.95
6 x 9
160 pages
April 1, 2012

[Complimentary review copy from Red Wheel/Weiser gratefully acknowledged. Opinions my own, YMMV, etc.]

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About freemanpresson

Celto-Cherokee Pagan, Priest, Frater of the Church of the Hermetic Sciences, sometime writer, etc.
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3 Responses to Review of Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth

  1. You are so right — great review. I loved the poke at spiritualism for profit.

    • Jessica says:

      I will be reading this book. I am always looking for something that is a serious discussion of mystery traditions but within the framework of the natural world. It is hard to find anything earth or ecology based that has a competent discussion of magic(k).

  2. Pingback: Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth, by John Michael Greer « WiccanWeb

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