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.

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~Video Recordings from the 2022 online VGS are accessible for 30 days from purchase date~