Lecture & Workshop Host
LECTURE: Genii Loci: Plant Communities and Wisdom in Place
A genius loci, the “spirit of a place,” classically refers to a patron or protective supernatural spirit of a location or building. In modern usage, this phrase also references a place’s distinctive atmosphere and numinous power. The genius loci of sacred natural places share the gifts of their elemental power with humans who seek to meet such landscapes. Water, Fire, and Air landscapes are dramatic and outsized powers, with gifts to match. In the Earth landscapes of wood and green growing things, questing humans meet their wisdom in sacred groves and magical gardens.
The animist traditions that inform mythology and folklore recognize intelligence in nature, expressed in the logics of landforms and the sentient spirits of plants. Plant spirits are recognized as ancestors and teachers; accessible intelligences eager to ally with human seekers. Expanding upon these ideas, this presentation will explore the notion of the Genii loci, or community of spirits coexisting in an intact landscape; the many voices speaking the wisdom of a single sacred place. By learning to intentionally converse with plant spirit communities, could humans more deeply draw in the intelligence and interconnected power of Earth? Such a modern animism, grounded in listening to plant and place spirit, could correct toxic anthropocentrism. This presentation will discuss how plant spirits and plant spirit communities inform landscapes, and how the spirits of landscape can be a resource and ally in magical practice.
WORKSHOP: Conversing With Genii Loci
1.5 HOUR INTENSIVE– space is limited to 30 participants
We will explore plant spirit communication and landscape connection through the practices of trance and sensory intuition. As we will be working at a distance from each other and the land, we will focus on imaginal journeying. This workshop will offer several short excursions into guided meditation and light-trance inducing drumming, time to integrate with art journaling. These practice exercises will aim to strengthen imagination in service of nourishing our personal relationships with plant and landscape spirits. We will discuss using the symbolism of plant signatures, and the practice of intuitive listening to more clearly hear plant spirit teachings.
Participants are encouraged to bring: a representation of a plant species (such as a leaf, potted plant or art piece), a memory of a specific landscape place (perhaps a photograph), and any art supplies desired for jourmaling. Headphones are encouraged for best audio.
$35 add on fee
$0 materials fee
Add Day’s immersive virtual workshop to your registration here.
BIO:Day Host-Jablonski is an EMT, health care educator, and aromatherapist/herbalist from the marshes and forests of the Upper Midwest. She attended Antioch College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Systems and became adept at moving through an interdisciplinary world. Day’s formal studies into Western herbalism, aromatherapy, and wilderness and urban emergency medicine, have been influenced by teachers such as Jeanne Rose, Phyllis Light, David Crow, Stephen Harrod Buhner, Sam Coffman, and Kathy Eich. Her current focus on aromatic herbal medicine-making revolves around field distillation and lab-alchemy preparations. She forages for wild foods and wildcrafts medicinal herbs and fungi as a practice of connection with homeland. She has been apprenticing with the School of Lost Borders, a wilderness rite-of-passage school, since 2009. She teaches practical self-care workshops and hosts ritual bathing excursions through her company, Bright Edge Explorations. Day has been organizing the Madison Psychedelic Society since 2018; this community discussion group focuses on psychedelic experience, and psychoactive plant medicines. Through hosting public conversation about altered states of consciousness, Day hopes to increase cultural agency and ceremonial literacy. Day has spent the pandemic working in emergency medical transport, and hiking in the Wisconsin Northwoods. Looking to the land for stress relief and spiritual nourishment to stay focused for her service, she began to see resonances between her community’s quarantine stories, psychedelic therapy protocols, and the key elements in rite-of-passage ceremonies. The aromatic hydrosols, medicines, and cordials she pulled out of the forest in 2020-21 are the most potent and beautiful she has ever made.
Tickets for the 7th Annual VGS are now AVAILABLE!