Jesse Hathaway Diaz 2023


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.

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