Jesse Hathaway Diaz
Keynote Lecture & Workshop Host
KEYNOTE LECTURE: Green Blood and the Light Reflected- Herbals Metrics, Correspondences, and the Fixed Star
Much of the magical paradigm exists in a research-based building of correspondences, then an intuition or convenience chooses the specific materia for any working. Some lists colonize, adapting other systems to their metric. Some lists expand exponentially , building highways of connection sometimes only traceable by and to their original author. Building upon list after list, we see copy errors, mistranslations, and projections upon many such tables of correspondence. But much like the tidal waves of popular media, is a false association promulgated now slouching towards a Bethlehem of tradition? We have our metrics of phytochemistry, mythopoetic ascription, manner or location of growth, and appearances or sympathies. Perhaps we dive deeper into texture and smell, the reactions to each other’s touch and being. How do we measure the light flowing through the Green? Is there a way to explore this without projection, without colonization, without confirmation bias?
Distant in influence, yet simultaneously and notoriously shining down to us, the Fixed Stars do not have the same lengthy ascriptions as other celestials in most cases, in most canons. Certain stars have renown, ascriptions from myth and the historicity of grimoiric inclusion (Picatrix, De Quindecum Stellis, Agrippa, etc.), and we happily collect them for clues as to ways to build broader lists for operative working, for talisman, images, jewelry, and oils. How does a material gain its ascription, how does this green blood reflect the light of the most distant star? Drawing from plant and star traditions around the world with intertwined reverence and fascination, this is not a table of correspondence or a proposed system, it is a query, an exploration, and a rhizomatic scaffold of the joy of plants and stars, an exploration and nascent appreciation of the witchcraft of dirt and soil and sky and light.
WORKSHOP: Milking the Crown of Heaven, Drawing from the Well of Light: A Discussion and Workshop on Stellar Witchcraft
2 HOUR INTENSIVE– space is limited to 20 participants
This is a discussion and foray into stellar witchcraft, and how it is both similar yet quite different from astrological magic. Very often we are enveloped under the pervasive blanket of Astrology, the monolith whose effectiveness is celebrated world wide, through various permutations, techniques, and adaptations– rightly so. While astrological magicians are quite adept at elections and correspondence that allows the creation of effective talisman and enflames elected events in our lives, there is a world where the Stars themselves inspire worship and demand pacts, where god-demons and fae and Dead express themselves through certain stars, and do so in a very different manner than is embraced by the precepts of astrology. This is a witchcraft where the stars are not distant and cold, rather they move through and in this world with us, through influence, correspondence, alliance, and progeny, slithering and shedding–every light a potential god, ally, demon, tormentor, teacher.
Pulling from various folk astrolatries, we will explore the stars as observable during the days of this gathering, and explore the intimations of four stations of import- heliacal rising, heliacal setting, zenith, and nadir. After mythopoetic exploration and extrapolation of each station’s import that specific day, participants might choose to make a fetish bundle, given provided materials and pre-elected lustral waters to invite, entice, and ensoul a token of affinity. This allows both a stellar prominence observable and calculable, as well as a nascent womb of stellar pact and potential.
$45 workshop add on fee
$15 materials fee
BIO: Jesse Hathaway Diaz is a folklorist, artist, performer and independent scholar with a Masters in Performance Studies from NYU. With initiations in several forms of witchcraft from Europe and the Americas, he is also a lifelong student of Mexican curanderismo, an initiated priest of Obatalá in the Lucumí Orisha tradition, and a Tatá Quimbanda. He co-hosts an occult themed podcast called ‘Radio Free Golgotha’, and edits the ‘Folk Necromancy in Transmission’ imprint through Revelore Press. For the better part of two decades, he has been involved with Theatre Group Dzieci, a New York based experimental theatre ensemble which explores theatre and ritual as a way, blending service with self-exploration and performance. Dividing his time between the Bronx and a farm in the Hudson Valley, his artistic and written work navigate the world-as-magic through exploring orality and transmission, decolonialism, ritual theory and praxis, herbalism and healing modalities through private study, apprenticeship, and community involvement.
Tickets for the 8th Annual VGS are now Available!