Selections from the 3rd Annual Viridis Genii Symposium.
Edited by Catamara Rosarium, Marcus McCoy,
and Jenn Zahrt, PhD
VERDANT GNOSIS is a poetic rendering of the Latin expression, Viridis Geniii, which refers to the collective spiritual intelligence of our botanical environment. Viridis means ‘green, verdant, growing’—all that is lush and nourishing; while genii is the origin of the words ‘genius’ and ‘genie’—the spirit, daemon, or guiding intelligence of an entity. Viridis Genii—the verdant gnosis—is thus the spiritual path of working with the intelligence of living nature.
Within this third volume you will find a selection of international authorities on the Green Way, ranging from professional plant alchemists, shamanic herb-masters, to bioregional animists. Herein you will learn the ways in which you can communicate deeply with the mysterious intelligence of the plant kingdom, breaking down the barriers of anthropocentric thinking that separate humanity from nature. Volume three presents a thread of material focusing on curses, roots, and the doctrine of signatures.
Verdant Gnosis: Cultivating the Green Path presents selected articles from the third annual Viridis Genii Symposium at the Still Meadow Retreat Center in Damascus, Oregon (Friday 9 June—Sunday 11 June, 2017). For more information on the symposium, its featured presenters, and workshops, please visit the Viridis Genii Symposium website.
“…In her second appearance in our series, Corinne Boyer takes us through myriad – oft taboo – workings using plants as a central materia magica to take justice into one’s own hands, should one so desire. This daring foray into realms less discussed is followed by an erudite and intoxicating celebration of black henbane (Hyoscyamus Niger) by Cody Dickerson. His writing lulls one into entering an alternate danger than Boyer’s – the perilous, timeless dance with black henbane.
Lest this rumination lull one too far off, Demetrius Lacroix Psychic Readings then calls in the three guises of High John the Conqueror to give us hope in dire times, laughter in the face of darkness, levity in the face of seemingly unalterable oppression. Lacroix roots us in the fascinating history of this powerful herb and generously shares a proprietary recipe for working with it. Lacroix’s piece begins to reveal an Applachian thread that runs through this year’s symposium and anthology, as Rebecca Beyer’s piece continues the discussion of roots indigenous to her birth region – Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), and Mayapple or American Mandrake (Podophyllum peltatum). Her tripartite celebration of these roots allows her to unfold detail that lead one to a reverence and affection for a long-prejudiced region of the North American continent, a reverence worth further cultivation.
Midway through this volume, Jeremy Bechelli provides a counterbalance to the workings shared at our volume’s outset by Boyer, when he discusses the topic of disease transference onto plants. Here he recounts folk-medicinal practices long forgotten, yet compelling in force, for curing by means of a synergistic relationship with the plant kingdom. His work blends lore from Appalachia with a discussion of what will become a major topic in the next few pieces – the doctrine of signatures. Key to many forms of magicomedical practice, the doctrine of signatures makes appearances throughout every volume in our series; however, Eric Purdueand Jason Scott both provide new material related to this fundamental facet of praxis. Purdue shares the underlying magical logic behind The Three Books of Occult Philosophy, the major work of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. Scott, in turn, applies the doctrine of signatures to the less commonly studied kingdom of fungi, providing new suggestions for ways to understand and work with these vital life forms.
Our volume concludes with a voice familiar from volume one of our series, master alchemist Robert Allen Bartlett. Here in his second appearance in these pages, Bartlett reveals a link between ancient Egyptian magic and modern herbalism that will change the way we think about formulary based on the image of the Eye of Horus.”
Table of Contents
—Catamara Rosarium, Marcus McCoy, and Jenn Zahrt, PhD
Plants Used in Cursing Magic: Northwestern Traditions in Folk Practices
Symphonica: Black Henbane and the Choirs of the Dead
Putting the Root Back into Rootwork
Appalachian Roots: The Folk Magical and Medicinal uses of Plant Roots in Appalachia
Disease Transference: Plants as Scapegoats in Folk Medicine
—Jeremy Bechelli, PhD
Beyond Correspondences: Unearthing the Philosophical and Theoretical Logic in Agrippa’s System of Magic
AlcheMycology: Applying Alchemical Principles to the Fungal Queendom
Compounding Herbs by Eye
—Robert Allen Bartlett
Volume 3 also features original artwork by Willow Davidson, Jason Scott, and Morgan Singer.