Viridis Genii 2023
2023 Lectures and Workshops:
JESSE HATHAWAY DIAZ
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
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.
Jesse Hathaway Diazis 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.
LECTURE: Plants of the Devil
There are certain plants and trees that have long been known to hold diabolical powers and harbor demons. This encompasses a dark branch of plant lore often overlooked or misunderstood. This lecture will shed light on the reasons why certain plants and trees were demonized and also how they were utilized by wise and common folk for magical purposes in Northern Europe.
The belief that evil beings were attracted to such plants and trees will also be addressed, looking at the historical understanding of plant spirits through a detailed lens based on an enchanted worldview. This is an important distinction to make when addressing this folklore and working with these plants and spirits. In this wise, plant spirits cannot be grouped into a common single category, but rather individual plants and trees must be understood as being the abode of evil supernatural or human spirits. Many of these plants and trees belonged to the Wild Adversary or the Devil in the tales of old, and this infernal agency is embedded in the traditions bestowed upon such flora. The tales, the spirits and the traditions all speak to those with ears to hear.
WORKSHOP: Painful and Baneful Charms
In this workshop, we will learn about historical charms that utilized painful or baneful plants. The examples will include uses in different applications of folk magic, often with additional animal or mineral ingredients. While some charms are simple and others are complex, the methods and details will be elaborated on and given context in order to further understand them. There will be a small plant charm display in order to see how the charms looked when made in the prescribed manner. We will also make a traditional charm with some of these ingredients and learn how to apply it. Inspiration will be given to facilitate a hands on approach and people will leave with a better understanding in applying spiny, prickly or poisonous plants in charms and amulets.
Corinne Boyer is a folk herbalist, teacher, and writer with a passion for traditions surrounding plants and folk magic. She has been studying and working with plants since 1998. Corinne teaches weekly classes out of her home with a focus on medicine making and the plant traditions of northern and western Europe and North America. She has been published in various journals with articles about plant lore, history and occult plant uses. Her books include Under the Witching Tree and Under the Bramble Arch published by Troy Books and Plants of the Devil, Dream Divination Plants in Northwestern European Traditions and The Witches Cabinet- Plant Lore, Sorcery and Folk Tradition, published by Three Hands Press. She lives with her family in the forests of the Pacific Northwest.
JENNIFER GERRITY & DAVID BACCO
LECTURE: The Occult & Alchemical Significance of The Grape: Vitis Vinifera
A broad overview of the Grape through occult related history as well as the fundamental source matter in laboratory alchemy. The significance of this plant is so great that it is singularly responsible for a major current of ritual and alchemical practice. The presentation will cover the history of ancient cultures use of the wild grape. Grapes’ introduction into cultivation and the development of wine and wine making. Deities associated with grapes, wine and ritual customs involving their worship. The Alchemical significance of the grape in the distillation of spirit for spagyric use, the working of grape stone for tartar path and the Mercurial use as an alkahest in extracting mineral and metal substances with tartar, vinegar and acetate all rendered from the Vine.
WORKSHOP: Alchemical use of the Grape in Practical Laboratory Alchemy
An overview will be given with physical samples to smell taste and touch of Spirit from grape juice, Vinegar, a Wine stone, Tartar – potassium bitartrate, Grape rendered alkahest, Stinking red oil, Glacial acetic acid – its preparation from homemade grape vinegar and Grape skin salts. Along with a laboratory demonstration will be given with glassware of the destructive distillation of tartar to create an alkahest to pull potable oil from metals. This lengthy process will be summed up with pre prepared critical steps where active distillation will be viewed. Attendees will walk away with a comprehensive understand of how laboratory alchemy is dependent of the Grape and an approachable way to work with this plant on the mineral path.
Jennifer Gerrity holds a 20-year career in medicinal and aromatic plants, specializing in the procurement of botanicals for the organic herbal industry on a global scale.
Farming, botany, and conservation through cultivation are lifelong pursuits of Jennifer’s who serves on the Board of Directors of United Plant Savers Center for Medicinal Plant Conservation. In her personal life, she manages an artesian grape vineyard in the Willamette Valley, pruning, harvest and crushing annually for farmhouse style wines and handmade vinegar for use in the Alchemical laboratory. This work has brought Jennifer to study and visit vineyards globally with a propensity for the old, scarce, and unusual. Alumni at the School of Spagyric and Alchemical Arts and practicing in the tradition of Paracelsus, Jean Dubois and the Philosophers of Nature. Jennifer is an esoteric arts practitioner and dealer in antiquities of an occult , vintner, and botanical origin.
David Bacco is artist & owner of Aurora Alchemical Arts creates spagyrics and alchemical living concentrated essences of the plant, animal, mineral &metal kingdoms for healing, daily living, dream exploration, and soulful inner work. David’s goal is to help each person connect to Mother Nature’s essence from her offerings, to unlock the key that resonates within each one of us, as taught by the ancient masters. A chocolatier by trade, David has worked with the finest substances on earth . He has trained in the Alchemical Arts vegetable, mineral and metal path . He resides in Eugene where he is dedicated to working his Arte philosophically in the laboratory and vineyard.
LECTURE: Not Even Elijah Can Strike My Nettle-Crown!: Traditions of Herbal Magic with Saints in the Serbian Orthodox Folk Context
The Balkan Peninsula is home to a remarkably rich, diverse, and well-preserved lineage of folk magics, beliefs, and traditions. Arising out of myriad cultural and historical influences, including Hellenic, Roman, Thracian, Illyrian, Slavic, and Ottoman-Turkish, the traditions of witchcraft, sorcery, folk magic—and naturally, herbalism—throughout this mountainous region have continued to endure across the centuries, adapting to newer religious frameworks and symbolic worldviews while ever-retaining their original principles and forms.
This lecture will explore a sampling of some of these traditions, specifically those in the Serbian Orthodox folk context. Drawing on anthropological and ethnological scholarship never before translated in English, as well as intimate oral lore and knowledge gained through a lifelong study of Serbian folk magic and mentorship, the presentation will explore ways in which Eastern Orthodox saint veneration and practical herbal cunning come together: from rituals for protection, fortune, love, and good weather, to folk necromantic expressions of saintly intercession for the dying and dead. Where there are the beloved tears of the saints, there are the burgeoning seeds of their herbal allies. We will consider a number of saints in their folk magical applications, as well as the herbs they are most associated with, oral charms for their conjuration, folklore surrounding their supplication and careful, assiduous approach, and the cult of the divine trees that link Slavic gods, Christian saints, and green familiars all upon the same great axis of ancestral memory.
WORKSHOP: In The Burning Hands of Saint Friday: A Communal Feast to Paraskeva of the Balkans, Weaver of Fate and Mother of the Forest
After the Theotokos, there is perhaps no holier woman or more beloved female saint in the Balkans than Paraskeva, affectionately known as St. Petka (Saint Friday) across the peninsula. A healer and ascetic in life, she is deeply respected and regarded as the premier women’s saint and protector, being a patron of embroiders, spinners, weavers, marriage, the house, and family. Her fame in the Orthodox Church, however, is matched only by the vast proliferation of her presence in Balkan folk magic. A mask for the Suđenice (Three Fates), the Slavic goddess Petka or Živa, and pan-Balkan and Mediterranean figures like the Šumska Majka (Forest Mother), Mokoš, Demeter, Cybele, and Hekate—she seamlessly connects old Slavic, Thracian, Illyrian, Hellenic, and Roman threads with her dexterous and capable loom. On Friday new moon nights, and during the “Unbaptized Days” between Eastern Orthodox Christmas and Epiphany, her name is invoked with the greatest trepidation and fear, for it is under these temporal shadows that she becomes recognized in her “demonic” guise, slaughtering children and disobedient women, and preying on even other sorcerers and witches as food and materia in league with the likes of Baba Yaga and Baba Roga.
While her Slava (Feast) in the Serbian Orthodox Calendar is celebrated on the 8th of August, for the purposes of this workshop, I will lead participants through a ritualized veneration of St. Petka in her guise as the Forest Mother, the foremost witch-mother of herbal cunning, borrowing greatly from Serbian Orthodox traditions of saint feasts. Having already explored some of the ritual importance of slavas as well as St. Petka herself in my lecture, here we will put much of what we have learned into practice: baking her bread, cooking her koljivo, performing a Balkan favomancy divination (known as “gledanje u pasulj”) to confirm omens, and consecrating a tree as the temporary “zapis” (inscription) on the property to receive Petka’s offerings. I will provide English translations of folk songs and prayers, assist participants in holding the communal feast, and finally close with the creation of protective charm bags that everyone will be invited to take home with them.
This workshop will borrow greatly from existing traditional practices surrounding the veneration of saint holidays, as well as from my own mentorship and training in Balkan folk magic. Ultimately, it is an adaptation born for the sake of this conference, allowing for modern syncretism when necessary, and delving deeply into traditional roots where possible. It is my hope to cultivate a greater awareness of this most holy and tremendous saint, with the deepest affection for her Christian context, as well as the folk and oral traditions of witchcraft and herbalism I have been raised and trained in
Katarina Pejovicis a PhD candidate at the Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto. Her SSHRC-funded research examines the legends and grimoires of the sorcerer saint Cyprian of Antioch, with a special focus on his presence in Eastern Orthodox traditions in the Balkans and Mediterranean. In addition to her work on St. Cyprian, she writes on various topics including grimoire history, folk Christianity, Western occultism, and traditions of divination, witchcraft, and magic in Eastern Europe. Her lifelong passion for the unique folklore, sorcery, and spirits of the Balkans forms the roots of both her academic studies and personal praxis; watered by ancestral veneration, enflamed by Quimbanda and dragon-fire, and nourished with an endless curiosity of mystery.
LECTURE: Untimely Ripped: The Ontology of Paper
Paper is born of blood, fire, soil, and water. It is a vessel of the plant spirit. It is product that absorbs the history of the Earth both in content and context. Paper is a pliant chameleon created to capture the essence of knowledge and document an evolving imagination. While the process of paper making is complex, it reveals much about visible culture, including our ecology, economy, and consumerism. What about non-visible culture? To err on the side of mystery, paper is the flesh of a book which has infused the properties of both plants and animals; the binding of a book is the skeleton. In those structures, we sometimes don’t see an embedded cultural formulary or the ritual process of saturation, separating, and sitting, even the ancestral trauma in plants. It is a volatile and resilient material; it retains an alchemical quality. Whether made of animal or plant, paper is a manifestation of composite chemistry and spirit, often overlooked in repertoire of esoteric bibliographic studies and uses in ritual practice.
WORKSHOP: From Plant to Paper
From plant to process to manifestation, workshop participants will collectively understand the process of papermaking from the deconstruction to the re-binding of the materials to form a single sheet of paper. The uses of the paper range from spellcraft, wrapping, sigil work, magical stationary, collecting and documenting plant craft to ritual use. Participants will have the opportunity to collectively add plant or other soluble material to the base pulp from which the sheets will form.
Kim Schwenk is a rare book cataloger at UC San Diego, Special Collections & Archives Library and an antiquarian bookseller with Lux Mentis, Booksellers with a specialization in American and European witchcraft history, history of early printed occult texts, and bibliographic studies of early magical curses using plants and objects. She operates Of Oak and Ash apothecary. Currently, she is writing a book on the materiality of books and magic, otherwise known as “h(ex) libris.”
PHOEBE HILDEGARD FINCH
LECTURE: From Carbuncles to Basilisks to Unicorns; On the “Fantastical” in Von Bingen
The 11th Century visionary mystic, musical composer, and herbalist Hildegard von Bingen has captured the hearts and minds of many in contemporary occulture, and rightly so. She was a fascinating polymath and a woman of deep tension, contradiction and obvious power in original thought. In her day she achieved international fame for the efficacy of her medicine despite many barriers such as a hostile patriarchal clerical structure and harsh personal upbringing. She is gaining attention in the present era of anthropology and religious studies as a source of earth honoring, plant-based mysticism from within early medieval Christendom. Similarly her name is growing in familiarity among the current magical revival and the culture of contemporary herbalism as a worker of curative folk magic with herbs, gemstones, animal parts, and of course prayer and song.
However, many more arcane aspects of her work remain underexplored. Her use of a constructed language, the “Lingua Ignota”, has hardly been touched by the magical culture at large, despite obvious magical applications and its resonance with the cipher-craft of later magical writers like Johannes Trithemius. Additionally, and even more controversially, the presence of so-called “legendary” or “fantastical” creatures in her medical work cannot be ignored. Her book Physica is a primary source of practical information on her herbal and natural cures. Physica contains 9 volumes exploring the powers of a wide range of natural materials: plants, elements, trees, stones, fish, birds, animals, reptiles, and metals.
Hildegard was known to be an avid and discerning scholar, a woman of severe intellect who held rationality in high esteem even as she practiced fully visionary oracular trance in her vocation as a writer and abbess. On the one hand she was a mystic, but on the other she was, in so many ways, a true scientist in a time before our current ideas of scientific method and practice had taken shape. She demanded proof of her cures and their efficacy in a time when the threats of disease and blight facing the human race were far more brutal than anything we deal with today.
How then are we to explain the appearance of creatures such as the Dragon, the Unicorn, the Basilisk, and the legendary Carbuncle, a ruby-like gemstone said to glow mysteriously from within, in what is otherwise a rigorously road-tested and practical materia medica?
A common hand-waving technique is usually employed when these questions are raised. The presence of these creatures and beings are often explained away, even by practicing occultists, as superstition, or worse as ignorance. Hildegard’s knowledge and credentials are self-evident, given her acclaim during life, her embrace by an opportunistic Church structure that was powerless to suppress the efficacy of her work and instead elected to profit off it (or, for more orthodox believers, a papacy that recognized her visions as divine) and the widespread present-day interest in her work in herbal and alternative medicine circles as well as among magical practitioners. Von Bingen was clearly not ignorant and in fact had better access to scholarly materials than virtually any other woman in her time.
Another explanation often heard for the presence of unicorns and dragons in the Physica is that such creatures were interacted with then as they are today, as sympathetic creatures accessed through trance, as denizens of an intangible “spirit world”. This fails to satisfy, because these creatures and their remains are clearly being worked with physically in Physica, as when Hildegard encourages the reader to make a belt of the unicorn’s hide or to place the carbuncle on a sick person’s belly button to affect cure.
Physica itself is a fascinating work containing several spell-like cures and expressing ideas about vital life force and energy theories more often associated with the esoterica of Asia or South America than with Latin Christendom. In this class we will tease out a few of these workings and highlight Hildegard’s magical uses of several underrated herbs, with an eye toward exorcism and some exploration of the dynamic balance of life energies and the unique take on the humors pervading Von Bingen’s work.
Yet my focus, as an herbalist, researcher, medium, and magical practitioner, is on pushing the boundaries of our culture’s magical knowledge – on reviving and accessing greater magical potency and wisdom. I’m so glad we all know this is real, and many of us are initiating into traditional lineages, reviving traditional crafts, receiving spirit tutelage. This makes my soul soar but I still have questions:Simply put, if there be dragons, where are they and how can we access them?
I do not claim to have the answers at this time, but I have a good lead on who to ask for more information (hint: she was a profoundly gifted rhineland mystic during life, and seems ever more active centuries after death). Additionally, I can boast a good few years’ experience in the asking, and in this lecture and especially in the workshop to follow, it is my pleasure, delight, and holy writ to share some of these keys with you. I would hope that they might empower your herbal craft, your magic, and your search for truth. What are the limits of our vision in the current magical revival? What sorts of spiritual and magical creatures were accessible to our distant ancestors? How might we work with a text like Physica in contemporary herbal practice and an esoteric saint like Hildegard to open our eyes to a greater and clearer vision of the possibilities of the art magical?
WORKSHOP: Working the Living Light: Devotional Charms from Hildegard’s Herbs and Script Talismans in her Lingua Ignota (her constructed language)
Participants in this workshop will be invited to create and bless a small and simple stained glass charm for communication with Hildegard Von Bingen, for the purpose of seeking her tutelage and expansion of our collective magical knowledge. NO CUTTING OF GLASS REQUIRED. A small amount of soldering will be performed by me (a trained glass artist) to finish and seal the edges of the piece (and the spell). Participants will leave with a charm suitable to be worn as a pendant or used as a focus for altar work with St Hildegard Von Bingen, the Sibyl of the Rhine. Ingredients are chosen for their resonance with the saint and their properties of clarity of vision and wisdom, as stated in her book Physica. All participants will also leave with a handout explaining the Lingua Ignota and offering suggestions for working with Hildegard’s mystical alphabet.
Phoebe Hildegard Finch is a writer, herbalist, and surrealist occultist. She combines direct spirit work and necromancy with poetic logic as she works to reanimate the traditions embedded in folklore and the grimoires in new ways. Her work with plants is the loamy heart of her craft, anchoring the arcane in the physical.
LECTURE: Invisible Missiles: Herb Magic to Cure Elf Shot
Throughout the world there is a folk magical belief that unseen beings can fire wounding magical darts into an unsuspecting person, invisible to the naked eye. Strange pains and unexplained medical maladies are the result of an attack by these unseen darts. Plant charms were often just the thing to cure these strange and mysterious wounds. Through examining the Leechbooks of Anglo Saxon England and the later witchballs of the Appalachians mountains, practitioners of folk magic can find ways to utilize and guard against invisible attack in a modern folk magical context using often humble plants from just outside their doorstep.
WORKSHOP: Invisible Missile: Witch Bullets
Witchbullets or witchballs are an Appalachian survival and adaptation of Anglo Saxon elf shot. Crafted from materia magica such as black horse hair, wax and plants with strong magical histories such as Henbane and ginseng, these hair balls or witchballs were used to both curse and counter curse in Appalachian folk magic. Using the traditional materials, craft your own witchball or protect your home, undo evils cast against you and learn the history of this delightfully strange practice.
Rebecca Beyer is the woman behind the Blood and Spicebush School of Old Craft. She lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she manages a homestead and teaches traditional witchcraft, foraging, and Appalachian folk medicine. She has a BS in Plant and Soil science from the University of Vermont and a Masters in Appalachian Studies and Sustainability, concentrating in Appalachian Ethnobotany at Appalachian State University. She is also a member of the Association of Foragers. She spends her days trying to learn what her ancestors did and finding ways to share traditional skills by living in line the Old Ways.
LECTURE: The Medicinal Qualities of the Mother of Poison: Magical Uses of Tobacco
Tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) is a much maligned plant in the modern world, considered an addictive scourge, stinking and cancerous. Many people all over the world ingest this plant daily, but often with a sense of shame and a lack of intention, which does often lead to negative health outcomes. People are moving more and more towards divorcing the main addictive/desired alkaloid, nicotine, from the plant matrix in which they live so that it can be more easily consumed in bubblegum flavored vegetable glycerine vape juice and etc.
Many people are unaware that Tobacco is considered a teacher plant and a medicine by many different spiritual traditions, the plant is held in the same level of esteem as some of the better known plant teachers such as Ayahuasca. People turn into jaguars and divine the sources of illness through working with Tobacco.
Tobacco also has their place as a practical addition to any herbalist’s toolkit, they can reduce pain and swelling and have a profound influence upon the vagus nerve.
This presentation will look at historical and current methods of working with Tobacco as a medicinal herb and teacher plant while also trying to understand how this sacred herb has come to be so disrespected in the modern world.
WORKSHOP: Working with Tobacco
In this workshop we will be delving into some more specifics about how and why to work with Tobacco as a physiological and spiritual medicine as well as as a teacher/friend. We will delve deep into a variety of methods of employing Tobacco for pain relief, as a divinatory tool, for mental health support, etc.
Cultivation of various species of Tobacco will be covered, with discussion around which species are best suited to which purposes. We will also cover the curing of raw tobacco and further processing into various forms such as cigarette/cigar/pipe tobaccos, snuffs and snus, liquid preparations, and external preparations.
Finally we will sample some non smoke based forms of tobacco with a focus on communicating with the spirit of the plant.
Sean Croke is a wildcrafter, gardener, practitioner, medicine maker, and teacher. He lives on a 25 acre plot of land with his family and a bunch of other humans, animals, and plants on occupied Chehalis tribal territory, but he works and moves extensively within Skokomish, Squaxin, Nisqually, and Lummi lands in the area often called “Washington State”.
He is a father and loves to take care of living things of all sorts. He is the head teacher and founder of The Hawthorn School of Plant Medicine, a nine month program that connects plants to people by visiting the many different landscapes that exist within the Pacific Northwest and the plants that live upon them, while also learning cultivation, medicine making, and clinical skills.
Sean runs a small herbal medicine company called Understory Apothecary that produces small batches of extracts and fresh plant material from either the farm or the wilds. He also works with Cascadia Terroir, a small essential oil company that he picks and distills for. He does his best to provide medicines to the Canoe Journey Herbalists every year. Sean graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2012 with a BA/BS in Ethnobotany and Organic Chemistry and maintains a deep love of phytochemistry. He was a practitioner and the main medicine maker for the now defunct Olympia Free Herbal Clinic for five years, and continues to see clients on a sliding scale down to zero in the name of keeping herbs accessible to everyone. Sean is currently really excited about planting alders and camus, and hopes that the salmon will run thicker than ever in the centuries to come.
Catamara Rosarium – Co-Creator & Symposium Organizer
Catamara Rosarium is a Master Herbalist, Ritual Artist, and botanical alchemist. She is the sole proprietor of Rosarium Blends, a business dedicated to concocting various alchemical and talismanic creations to enliven the senses. Her extensive herbal experience is motivated by a deep attraction to plants, scents, and how they impact the senses. She has undertaken numerous unique trainings, apprenticeships and teachings in various esoteric herbalism currents which the culmination has become the foundation and framework of her praxis and work.
Catamara is co-founder, organizer and convener of the Viridis Genii Symposium and co-organized the Esoteric Book Conference (Seattle, WA) for the first seven years after its inception. She has articles published in Sorita D’Este’s Hekate anthology, Her Sacred Fires (2010) , Verdant Gnosis Volume 1 (2015), Clavis, ‘The Green Key Edition”, published by Three Hands Press (2016). She is founder of Viridis Press, a subsidiary of The Viridis Genii Symposium that is now publishing the events ongoing annual printed anthology series which features articles by those who present at each years event. The new series is called ‘Viridis Genii: Explorations of the Green Arte’.
Her continuous passions lie in esoteric arts, with an emphasis on cross diversification, working to cultivate networking and community based events wherein diverse belief systems and traditional practices may be shared and to offer deeper understanding and education through these communal experiences.
Marcus McCoy Co –Creator & Symposium Organizer
A student of plants since he was a child, Marcus R. McCoy holds a A student of plants since he was a child, Marcus R. McCoy holds a degree in Transpersonal Anthropology with a focus on the ethnobotany of magical plants. He is the progenitor of Bioregional Animism, and has published his works on the subject of plant teacher shamanry in Reality Sandwich. Marcus has also been published in Verdant Gnosis Volume 1, and is one of three editors of the book series. Marcus studied south american vegetalismo for many years, which is where he started his focus on perfumerismo. He is a professional perfumer and proprietor of House of Orpheus and alchemical practitioner, studying with Robert Bartlett. Marcus is also an established blacksmith and metal artist with special interest focusing on the occult art of herbal quenches working within the context of alchemical philosophy and folk magic. His smithy is called Troll Cunning Forge, and he produces custom made occult iron work for the occult community. Marcus is also a teacher of folk magic and has ongoing classes on the Botany of the Dead as well as the folklore of the magical projectile. He lives in the forests of the Olympic Mountain range in Washington with his lovely partner in the cunning crafts, Catamara Rosarium.
Tickets for the 9th Annual VGS are now Available!