Thursday, 19 November 2020

The Genius Loci

When we think of spirits what do we think of? The spirits of people, and perhaps animals, will most likely spring to mind, especially if you’re not a witch. But what about spirits of the land? The Genius Loci?

It was the Romans who brought the idea of genius loci into our minds and hearts, the idea that each place has a guardian spirit; an essence, almost tangible, that can be felt and understood.

Each home has a genius loci. I referred to ours earlier in my post about Copernicus, one of our House guardians, but of course each place has one, too.

The depth of the connection to the genius loci of the land I live upon came something as a surprise to me this summer. I have only been here two years this month and yet the land wights - the unique spirits that reside in each plant, rock, stone, tree, animal, crystal and mineral - spoke to me by imparting some herbal and local knowledge to me, which upon later research turned out to be true. I can only describe this experience as a sudden and intense “knowing”, like someone had whispered this information in my ear, or the resurrection of information that had somehow been buried deep within me, many years ago, waiting for the right key to unlock it. That day I had definitely immersed myself in the energy and essence of the land, I felt connected to it even before these magical moments.

You can work with genius loci, as it’s a guardian spirit, however you must come to know it first. That means exploring and forming a connection with your local area, be it local or urban. Creating an altar in dedication to the genius loci is a great way to honour it. You can call upon the genius loci in your magical workings, and you can call upon the energy and feeling that the genius loci of a place gives you if you are away from that place.

I am still exploring this subject and look forward to learning more. Do you work with genius loci?

© Original content; repost with clear, written credits. @the_cemetery_witch

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