Jesse Hathaway – Diaz
Lecture & Workshop Host
LECTURE: The Garden of Death: The Herbal Lore of la Santisima Muerte.
Within the traditions surrounding the Mexican Folk Saint, La Santísima Muerte, certain herbs have become increasingly associated with her worship and medicines made under her patronage. The cult of the Holiest Death reflects Mexico herself, rooted in indigenous concepts and practices, and mixed with and dressed with colonial Spanish overlays of culture and religion, now mitigated by globalism and modern trends and personal innovation. As such we must ask the question what makes an herb “of la Santa”? Her herbs are an extension of larger traditions of herbalism and magical theory spanning the oceans of colonialism and time, brought into relevance through historicity, nostalgia, inspiration, and magical politic. What then can these herbs teach us of the saint, and what in their use might put them specifically specifically under the gaze of her hollow eyes? This lecture will seek to explore not only herbs held sacred by her followers, but explore the use of psychotropics and intoxicants in Mexican history and their contemporary use within the cult, and to give a broader contextualized understanding of what may grows in the Garden of Death.
Workshop: Death in my Pocket: Crafting an ‘Amuleto’ and a Service for the Bony Lady.
3 HOUR INTENSIVE – space limited to 30 participants
Continuing in the exploration of plants and other materia sacred to Santisima Muerte, this workshop will guide participants through the crafting of an amulet under her patronage. These cloth bundles can be made for love, money, sex, knowledge or to foster a closer relationship with the dead or to the Saint. Stories and folklore surrounding the ingredients and their uses will be explored and explained. The workshop will conclude in a virtual service and rosary for la Muerte to bless the amulets.**The virtual service will be open to all regardless of workshop participation details of service forthcoming.
$10 materials fee and shipping (optional)
***Must be registered by July 5th to received materials in time of workshop. Materials are not mandatory to attend the workshop.
“Truly, do we live upon the earth? Not forever on the earth; we are only here a little while!” -Nezahualcóyotl
In complement to the lecture and workshop dedicated to Her, there will be a chaplet and service offered to la Santa Muerte that all conference attendees are invited to attend. Any rosary may be used, although it is not in any way required. The workshop participants will have just finished crafting amuletos and we will ask the Bony Lady to bless the charms made, and to graciously hear the petitions of those attending. Her reputation as a ‘miracle saint’ is well known, and yet also she is a most profound ‘saint of the everyday’, and service and prayer to Her can bring us closer to ourselves and help us to make the most of our precious time in this life.
This service follows a traditional Catholic chaplet: familiarity with the prayers of the rosary are encouraged, but the prayers will be also provided to read along. Come adore la Flakita, godmother of all: may She help us to truly live!
The service will run approx. 30-40 minutes and is open to all attendees!
BIO:Jesse Hathaway Diaz is a folklorist, artist and performer living in New York City. With initiations in several forms of witchcraft from Europe and the Americas, he is also a lifelong student of Mexican curanderismo, an initiated olosha in Lucumí, and a Tatá Quimbanda.
For the last decade he has been a member of Theatre Group Dzieci, an experimental ensemble based in NY dedicated to the search for the sacred through the medium of theatre. He is half of Wolf & Goat, a store specializing in both Traditional Craft and Quimbanda materia magica and magical art, a co-host on the Radio Free Golgotha podcast, and a co-editor on the Folk Necromancy in Transmission Series through Revelore Press.
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