As some of you know, I will be presenting the keynote speech and conducting a workshop at the Viridis Genii symposium beginning of June in Portland Oregon.
The premise of this gathering is dear to my heart and indicative of a growing Western culture that is actively weaving spirit and the sacred back into our relationship with nature.
Capitalism and industrialisation have brought us many gifts, but the price we have paid for our progress is a disconnection from nature and spirit. We wake each morning to a world focused on material goods, devoid of content, meaning, ethics or spirit. We look at our negative impact on the world, how we treat our food animals and forests, we see increasing global environmental degradation, loss of species, rampant new diseases and we wonder what we as individuals can do to change this.
There are facets of nature that we cannot understand through study or external sources. They represent knowledge that is esoteric, transmitted directly, purely experiential and deeply subjective. I believe the answers to our current disconnectedness are found here through deep, intimate and individual reconnecting with Nature. A path that is available to us all. Anytime. Anywhere.
Carefully veiled around us, is a world of ancestral knowledge and timeless wisdom. Within it we find ancient mysteries, lost sciences and arts, dormant magic and technology both forgotten and yet to be discovered. It is ours to draw from if we so choose.
One need not be a mystic, mage or super-spiritual person to dip into this well of mysteries, gifts and insights, to be initiated into a deeper understanding of nature, the cosmos and our place in it. There are no titles or certificates needed or given, no special invitations or secret handshakes. Entheogens are not mandatory and there is no age requirement. Come, open and willing as you are. Bring your passion. Nature turns no one away.
What awaits us on this path as plant people, herbalists, healers, apothecaries, alchemists, wizards, witches, wildcrafters and more, is a broadened understanding of cosmic and planetary intelligence and life, a sense of place and stewardship, a connectedness to nature and humanity as a whole and an ability to not only hear and understand the language of nature, plants and animals, but to communicate and forge mutually respectful relationships. Here we directly experience shamanism, animism, magic, mysticism and the healing arts of our collective ethnocultural pasts. Here we discover stewardship of our future.
When we connect deeply and intimately with nature and its plants, animals and minerals, align ourselves with its cycles and rhythms, we enter into the presence of the “other”, the genius, the intelligence, the spirit, that which speaks directly to us. With us. This is the Viridis Genii, the Spirit of the green, and we learn her secrets through Gnosis, experiential knowledge- Green Gnosis. She invites us each into deep intimacy with her in her world and her temple of mysteries, if we but ask.
Though radically personal and subjective, there is a commonality of experience that lends us a shared understanding and language. That shared language creates a community. A growing community . This growth could be deemed a movement. This movement can be discerned in other fields and human endeavours.
I believe when viewed from afar, this slow radical change in perception through individual personal experience can be seen as an evolution on a global scale.
The Viridis Genii Symposium is a call, a beacon to any and all who have experienced or seek to experience the mysteries, magic and medicine of nature beyond its physical form. All who have ever felt there was more in the forest than meets the eye.
This is your invitation. I hope to see you there.