In 2012 I worked on a growing collection of masks I call "NUMINA: Masks for the Elemental Powers". It was my pleasure to see them used in a new play, The Awakening - Our Changing Earth created by Ann Waters, in collaboration with Mana Youngbear and the Muse in Willits and performed in March of 2013. As with "The Masks of the Goddess" they will be held in trust for communities that may wish to use them.
The early Romans believed nature was inhabited and maintained by elemental forces they called the "Numina". The mysterious forests, the generous orchards, the fields of grain, the healing springs each had an intelligent spirit, a Numen. Every Roman farm had a shrine dedicated to the "spirit of place" that lived there. Being in good relationship with the Numina was necessary for the health, prosperity, and spiritual well being of all who lived on the land. As Rome grew storytellers gave the Numina names, and weavers of myth gave them faces, and eventually temples were built for them as they became the early Gods and Goddesses of Rome. But their ancient origins were never forgotten, their primal grace always sought. Indeed - these"Spirits of Place", what the Romans called Genious Loci, call to us still, urgently. We hear them call from the troubled depths of the ocean, from the loss of wild habitat, the loss of the bees, unprecedented hurricanes, summer heat and wild fires, drought and flood. Once the world was Conversant, a conversation our ancestors participated in. It's time to learn again to listen.