Remedy Toxic Energies : Summoning Circle
January 17, 2022 — made for Remediation Room, curatd by Alana Bartol
Remedy Toxic Energies: Summoning Circle considers how we might work collectively to remediate years past and imagine new ways for the future. Spreading out from Canada’s top polluting province (Alberta), on January 17, 2022, hosts will bring together summoning circles in an attempt to shift the extractive energies at the core of the region’s economic and cultural ethos into something new.
Imagine Better Futures
Hosts, agree to convene a summoning circle on January 17, 2022.
JANUARY 17th is the 1st FULL Moon of 2022 (also, MLK day).
Invite four others to join your summoning circle; the circle can take place at whatever time you collectively decide (expect it to take at least an hour).
Your guests can be located anywhere. Work with a co-host if you like.
Your summoning circle package will contain materials for 5 kits: 4 to pass on to members of your circle; along with enough postage to mail via Canada Post regular mail (within Canada, if you invite others living outside of the country, expect additional mailing costs).
Each summoning circle kit contains:
° one summoning circle zine/instruction set
° one REMEDY TOXIC ENERGIES postcard with individualized prompt*
° one IMAGINE BETTER FUTURES postcard with postage (each guest will later mail this on to another)
° one beeswax tea light candle (to burn during the summoning circle)
° one chamomile tea bag (to drink and smell during the summoning circle)
° one chamomile seed pack (to be planted in the spring)
Some things you might consider as you plan your summoning circle:
make sure to invite and mail out packages to your circle with plenty of lead time (I suggest at least 10-14 days).
You can plan your circle to unfold however you like, here’s a few things you might incorporate:
start with introductions; make sure everyone is clear on what to expect for the circle;
plan to take a break(s) (especially if you go beyond 1 hour).
Begin with a land acknowledgement, here are some resources:
During your summoning circle:
As you burn your candle and drink your tea, pay attention to the smells that surround you.
How might you remember these smells later in the spring when you plant your chamomile seeds?
Try to hold onto them as memories of conversations during your summoning circle.
Our collective summoning begins here, in the winter of 2022, carries over to spring when you plant your chamomile seeds, and on into the future as those chamomile grow, bloom, and reseed themselves.
Your host will lead you through a number of prompts and readings from EXERCISES IN TRUST, which I hope will serve as conversation starters for your circle.
Things to do during your circle:
along with your summoning circle, perform a series of prompts from EXERCISES IN TRUST together. Familiarize yourself with them before your circle comes together. Think of them as conversation starters:
during your circle, invite others to write a quote or thought after performing the exercises, on the IMAGINE BETTER FUTURES postcard to later mail to whomever they choose.
it’s up to you to shape your summoning circle on behalf of, and along with, your group however makes the most sense to you.
What does remediation look like in the face of mounting liabilities from fossil fuel industries or when sites of extraction have been “remediated” but continue to pollute, contaminate and destroy?
How can perspectives shift around remediation from something that occurs after the damage is done to one that prevents harm in the first place?
In the work of remediation, how is the labour of maintenance, care, and repair
valued and enacted?
Canada’s oil and gas sector received $18 billion in subsidies, public financing during pandemic: report.
Government of Canada ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions’.
Reducing oil and gas production is Canada’s ‘only possible lever’ to hit 2030 climate goals.
Zero Carbon: So not ready.
“The conditions we breathe in are collective and unequally distributed, with particular qualities and intensities that are felt differently through and across time.”
– [Kristen Simmons, Settler Atmospherics]
source: Canada’s Changing Climate Report.
"We are realizing that we must become the systems we need – no government, political party, or corporation is going to care for us, so we have to remember how to care for each other."
– adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
Chamomile, the great relaxer, will help us prepare for the summoning circle.
Your pack of chamomile seeds were saved across the summer of 2021 here in amiskwaciywâskahikan/Edmonton. These seeds are a mix of Roman and German chamomile, both introduced to North America.
You can grow chamomile in pots or in ground within plant hardiness zones 3 to 9. Flowers will grow best in cool conditions, dry soil, and in partial shade.
Once your chamomile is established, it will need very little care: it is drought tolerant and only needs to be watered in times of prolonged drought. Chamomile is often recommended as a companion plant alongside vegetables because its strong scent can help keep pests away.
Beeswax candles emit negative ions that are known to clean the air of pollution and other toxins.
Your beeswax candle will emit a bright, warm-toned flame similar to the light spectrum of sunlight; it will last longer than most other candles.
Additional Resources (in progress):
50 Years of Imagining Radical Feminist Futures with Dr. Angela Davis and adrienne maree brown (at UC Davis Women's Resources and Research Center)
Silvia Federici: State Violence and Witch-Hunting in the Colonization And Globalization Process (at the Witch Institute, 2021)
countermap.land (project by The Architecture Lobby: Tkaronto chapter)
seeds are meant to disperse (plant/seed resources + how to guides, etc)