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Phytognomonica Translation

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Hi, Thank you for taking the time to find out more about this project! I am seeking support to be able to work with a Latin scholar to translate into English an overlooked Latin text called Phytognomonica from 1588 that has never been translated before. This book was written by Renaissance-era natural scientist, polymath & mystic Giambattista Della Porta. This project is solely for the public good of exposing the frequent de-legitimization of earth-based wisdom & to boost awareness of the often socially invalidated practices of herbalism which include methods of perceiving plant language. It is my hope that herbalists, artists & scientists alike will be as excited as I am for the dialogue & inspiration that will ensue from having public access to this truly amazing text.

The total cost of the 338 pg translation is $9000 at 30/hr. This GoFundMe only pays to get this work underway with the remaining being supported by grant funding. I will not be absorbing any of this money for myself. My goal is to provide this text as an open-access resource.

My name is Alyssa Dennis & I'm an interdisciplinary artist & clinical herbalist (of Eclipta Herbal), who is passionate about rediscovering some very important forms of forgotten knowledge as a form of reconnecting to our sentient natural world.

More about the book:
Phytognomonica is an illustrated herbal book first published in Naples by Orazio Salvianus which is an outstanding account of earth-based wisdom practices of plant language & medical herbalism which exposes the lost connections between art & science. More importantly, this book is a forgotten link within the very important recognition that plant intelligence, as seen through the lens of medical herbalism, is a necessary step in the reversal of environmental destruction caused by the disassociation & disconnection of the Descartian notion that only humans are endowed with "mind," & that all other matter is inert, lifeless & passive. This thinking is still pervasive--a pillar in fact of the materialist scientific perspective that has led us down a dark path of Earthly destruction.

A sample of the English translation, & more information can be found here.

Thank you for your support!
-Alyssa (artist & herbalist)


Alyssa Dennis
Baltimore, MD

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