10 June 2019

Genius Loci - "The Spirit of a Place"

I try to mix things up by switching topics. Unfortunately, the game-related / Guild Wars 2 stuff takes more time than I have so let's go with another magick topic. I should also make a poll on what people wanna read to better cater to the audience and out of curiosity. Anyways you might find this topic interesting.

English Meaning

Genius Loci may or may not sound fancy depending on whether or not you like Latin. The dictionaries write:
"The general atmosphere of a place."
~ Collins Dictionary[1]
it is also literally translated as "the spirit of a place". Though as the dictionaries definition already shows it we're not talking about an actual spiritual entity. Even though I'm talking about a spiritual topic. Which throws up a certain question.

What Is This "Genius Loci" Then?

How does it work?

In my opinion, it's best described as the energy in a certain place. For non-spiritual people or uninterested people, you can go with the atmosphere here. :P

Let's assume that every place has neutral energy or atmosphere. Now assume we perform rituals related to a god, describe a place as holy, act like it's holy, decorate it accordingly, etc.. If we do this to a room or building the energy or atmosphere of this room or building will feel similar or equal to what it feels like to be in a church. If you've ever been in a church or a similar ritual place you may notice that it feels different than any other place. It's the same reason why haunted places feel off.
"Wait, but aren't haunted places not scary if you don't know about the haunting." It really depends but let me assure you there are more than just spiritual people who get the hint that somethings off. A shiver down a spine, some weird feeling, etc.. Why do we categorize a house's rooms into different themes, such as bedroom, living room, kitchen, etc.. Why do you not usually sleep in the kitchen? Why are you not supposed to sleep in the same room you work or play in? Because it badly affects your sleep. This is usually not the problem, but it's preferable to avoid this mismatch.

What's The Use?

Technically you can use this for literally anything. If you want people to feel welcome give a room a welcoming feel. Decorate it, add the words "Welcome" somewhere, add something that can get people cozy. Practice or welcome people in the room primarily and take care of them showing your guest friendliness. As crazy as it may sound it all rubs off.

A bedroom should have a bed and drawers and that's pretty much it. Basically, anything related to the wake-up and goes to bed routine as these remind and are part of waking up and sleeping. There shouldn't be a television, toys or books if these do not belong to your routine. Anything that distracts from sleeping in the room will - so to say - "taint" the energy or atmosphere of the room.

A workplace should only contain things related to work or needed to work. This will also allow you to easily switch to "work mode" thinking about work while in the room. It also helps not to have the "loss of your train of thought" when moving from one room to another (which is also an interesting topic itself). 

Now for the spiritualists and magick users. The genius loci may or may not be important it really depends on your goals. If you want to perform magick fast and successfully selecting a room or part of a room if not possible in another way to perform your rituals there. The goal is to make out of this part or room a magick room. If the room itself thinks it's a room for magick and rituals your chance of success on a ritual or spell is increased. Of course, you might not want your magick to be bound to one place in that case you have to work harder though.

The Conclusion

The conclusion is that every place has its own life. Lol, no. It is believed that every place in space has some atmosphere or energy that is determined by the use of this place and decoration of it. People shape places and every happening rub off a bit. Some people notice this and it can be used positively or negatively. 

Side Note:

Really fascinating is that it has been used in architecture and art as well. People use this concept to shape the building towards its purpose in building it respectively. Even the Romans did this supposedly.
Who would've thought!

[1] https://www.collinsdictionary.com/de/worterbuch/englisch/genius-loci
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I'm a B.Sc. Games Engineer and I created this blog to share my ideas, theorycrafting, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.