Observations of the light and the dark of what is, was, and might be in the Pagan community's expansion and evolution.

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Ivo Dominguez Jr

Ivo Dominguez Jr

Ivo Domínguez, Jr. is a visionary, and a practitioner of a variety of esoteric disciplines who has been active in Wicca and the Pagan community since 1978. He serves as one of the Elders of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, a Wiccan syncretic tradition that draws inspiration from Astrology, Qabala, the Western Magickal Tradition and the folk religions of Europe. He is the author of Casting Sacred Space: The Core Of All Magickal Work; Spirit Speak: Knowing and Understanding Spirit Guides, Ancestors, Ghosts, Angels, and the Divine; Beneath the Skins with other books in the pipeline as well. He is also is one of the owners of Bell, Book, & Candle (www.bellbookandcandle.biz), Delaware's largest metaphysical shop.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Three Knots

 

Dear readers I hope you'll forgive me for not posting as frequently to this blog as I would like to. I'm in the midst of finishing my next book, and have a heavy teaching and ritual schedule for the next several months. The blog post after this one will return to the topic of the mechanics of how rituals can be done from a distance. I did feel moved by a third degree initiation that just occurred this past weekend to quickly share a few thoughts.

 

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At A Distance

 

I don't know how many of you have been in this scenario. After dinner and drinks with friends, the topic of discussion veers away from deep occult mysteries to all the things that you could do if you didn't have ethics. This is not a blog post about ethics and morals, though I may cover that topic in the near future. So during one of these less serious discussions, a friend pulled up a website on their laptop for distance Reiki attunements. One merely had to download a few PDFs and study them, schedule a Reiki attunement/initiation, and pay your money via PayPal. By the way the site in question offered these services up to the level of Reiki master. I have no way of knowing if the person who was offering these services was sincere or a charlatan, but for the purposes of this post it does not matter. After much fun was had with some of the cheesier elements of the website, it was solemnly declared that it seemed legit, and then we all cracked up. After the laughter, we proceeded with a real conversation about why this particular sort of long distance initiation doesn't work.

There's a fairly standard model in many esoteric systems that describes the human energy field as consisting of layers that go from the densest being the physical body up to some varying number of layers that end at the boundary between the individual's energy and that of the universe. Without giving away anything that is supposed to be kept secret or private, in a true Reiki attunement there are specific symbols that are implanted into the practitioner's energy field. It is also part of the standard model of ethereal anatomy that the lower, denser layers, are the ones that do the heavy lifting in magickal and energetic work. In order for the symbols to be implanted, the lower subtle bodies of the initiator have to be in close physical proximity to the person being initiated. Here's the catch, the denser the subtle body is, the more it resembles the physical form, and the less flexible it is. Therefore, the denser subtle bodies cannot stretch very far away from the physical body. So for an attunement/initiation that requires alterations to the lower subtle bodies, the initiator must be physically present.

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  • Michelle Simkins
    Michelle Simkins says #
    Thank you for articulating this. I've always felt that distance attunements and initiations seemed off somehow, but have never bee
  • Abbathoniah
    Abbathoniah says #
    You know I think I got ripped off on those "live" sea monkeys I ordered too.
  • Abbathoniah
    Abbathoniah says #
    You know I think I got ripped off on those "live" sea monkeys I ordered too.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Deep Sky

 

The vast and deep expanse of the sky has always been a source of wonder for me. I have the good fortune of living in a place that is still rural enough so that I can see the Milky Way, and many many stars simply by stepping outside into the night. Almost without fail, I find that gazing into the heavens awakens within me the grand presence of the sacred. What I have seen with simply my eyes is enough to inspire this blog, but what has been seen by the collective eye that we call the Hubble Space Telescope does more. I've included a photo that is called the Hubble Extreme Deep Field which shows a tiny portion of the sky, and yet within it there are over 5500 galaxies. Almost every speck of light in the photo is a galaxy and the average galaxy contains between 200 and 400 billion stars.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Paging Thoth & Athena

 

I read a lot of blogs, go to a lot of conferences and festivals, teach a lot of workshops, and have lively discussions with friends related to all things Pagan and Magickal. Although I can say that ease of access to ideas through the internet, bookstores, and Pagan and Magickal events has increased awareness of many social issues, ideologies, religious and theological perspectives, and the vast amount of minutia related Pagan culture and fads, there is an increasing percentage of the Pagan community that is magickally illiterate and innumerate.  I’m not saying that people are less serious, less devoted, or less committed to their path. Nor am I saying that the level of discourse has dropped, in fact in many ways it is much more sophisticated in exploring the development of Pagan culture. What I have noticed is that the technical end of things, magick theory, sacred sciences, and the like, are less well known. I've also noticed a trend towards focusing more exclusively on the lore and mythology of a specific people or a specific time at the expense of a generalized understanding of how magickal paths manifest in a variety of cultures and communities.

 

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Ivo, this is well thought out and beautifully written. Thank you for this glimpse into your own processes.I hope you will consider
  • William Anthony Hood
    William Anthony Hood says #
    Mr. Dominguez, I am not able to reply to your specific comment, so I'll have to put up a new one, I hope that is ok. "I am not
  • William Anthony Hood
    William Anthony Hood says #
    This post is perfectly illustrative of why so many reject the term "Pagan" anymore. You're like an American architect bemoaning th

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Not Black, White, Or Gray

 

My friend Rebecca, asked me to write a blog about good and evil from a Pagan perspective. As the owner of the metaphysical shop, I have customers that come from a variety of belief systems, and often a part of their questions or discussions relate to good and evil. More often than not, these terms are used by people that follow one of the Abrahamic paths. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked if I believe in good and evil. What I can give you is one Pagan's perspective on good and evil and why I rarely use the terms.

 

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you, beautifully written. It's a discussion I have with folk all the time as well and your language and clarity are helpful.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Why Of Within

 

This is the fourth and last in my series on meditation and contemplative practices in Paganism.  If you have not read the previous parts, I encourage you to do so. 

 

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Lovely, clear yet poetic essay. Thank you sincerely.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Beginning & Continuing

 

This is the third in a series of blogs that will focus on meditation and contemplative practices in Paganism.  If you have not read the previous parts, I encourage you to do so. 

 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Within & Without

 

This is part two in a series of blogs that will focus on meditation and contemplative practices in Paganism.  If you have not read part one, I encourage you to do so. Let's start with some more ideas and definitions about meditation.

 

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  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    I think the difference lies more in that the goals of these systems are not the same. I do believe in the premise that as things r
  • jason miller
    jason miller says #
    Very interesting. This is the first time I have seen the division between contemplation and meditation viewed this way. I follow

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Starry Eye, Starry I

 

This will be the first in a series of blogs that will focus on contemplative practices in Paganism and their role in developing ourselves, our relationship to the universe, and our communities. I will also be exploring different ideas related to soul, spirit, evolution, and enlightenment. I will be presenting what I believe to be useful and/or true, but with the understanding that my truth need not be your truth. I will be sharing my perspectives and observations with the hope that it will encourage you to do some exploring. The material will be a bit chewy and dense, and will make the assumption that you are already knowledgeable about a variety of topics. I'm asking you to contemplate and to meditate upon these posts; they are not meant to be the quickly read fare that we snack upon as we peruse the internet and social media offerings.

 

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Most excellent, Ivo! I, too, am looking forward to your next installment.
  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    I am looking forward to this series.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Fête, Revel, Role

 

Most of my friends and associates think of me as a serious person that is always up to their elbows in projects. I have a very full schedule with teaching workshops, writing, mentoring people within and outside of our tradition, organizing small, medium, and large educational events, and running a metaphysical shop. My days usually start at 5:00 or 5:30 AM and pretty much every hour is accounted for until around 9 PM when my off time begins. On May 4, 2013, my shop Bell, Book, & Candle sponsored an event called “The May Moon Revel”. It involved a live band, belly dancing, readers, book signings, food, drink, amazing costumes, and random merriment. It was a great deal of work and from my perspective well worth the hours required to plan it, and to pull it off.  By the way, it just barely, sometimes, breaks even so money is not its motivation. After the event, one of my friends (who did not attend) asked me why I used my time on a frivolous event when I have so many important things already on my docket? Before going further, I'd like to say that I believe that my friends and members of my community do have a right to question my choices. I would actually say that is one of the hallmarks of actually being in functional friendships or communities. So my answer was not “none of your business”, it was “let me tell you why”.

 

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Magickal Litter

 

I have always taken pride in observing that most Pagans tend to leave campgrounds, hotels, and other borrowed or rented spaces in better condition than how they found them. I actually look forward to the routine of walking around my tent or cabin and not only picking up the small debris that I or my friends have dropped but also digging up the bits I see left behind by previous campers. It helps me settle in for the transition homewards. Unfortunately, this custom of cleaning a space that you have used does not seem to extend to the leftovers of magick and workings. Over the years, I've attended so many gatherings, festivals, and conferences that I cannot even begin to guess how many that may be. By comparison, I can count on my two hands the events where there was an active effort on the part of the organizers to clean up the energy of the space where a ritual or a working took place before it was used by a different practitioner or group. I do know a significant number of groups or individuals that do clean up after themselves in shared space, but it is far from the norm, and not the majority from my experience. And by clean up, I mean clearing and the settling of the energy of the space not merely putting the chairs back in their places or picking up the leftovers from a ritual or working.

 

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  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    That's a really good point. I've been to a number of reasonably large (and sometimes unreasonably large) events where class after

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Starry Will

 

Do you listen to weather forecasts? Do you use that information to make choices about how you will do things? I certainly do, and it is much the way that I view astrological forecasts. For example, let's say that tomorrow you have a very important job interview and it is going to take place in a nearby city. The weather forecast calls for snow, winds, and icy roads. You could call and try to reschedule the interview. You could see if a friend with four-wheel-drive could drive you there. You could stay in bed and pull the covers over your head. There are wide array of possibilities of what you can do in response to awakening the next day and finding that the roads are covered in ice. The sacred science of Astrology can give us predictions about the parameters of the environment and the times that we will be moving through. What it cannot predict is which options or which choices we will make in response to the circumstances that manifest before us.

 

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Source Struggle

 

A number of years ago I was attending and presenting at a conference that was focused on physical and mental health concerns for queer people. I was in the audience listening to panel discussion on queer people, spirituality, and religion. At the beginning of the session they asked if there were any clergy present in the room. It turned out that I was the only person in the room that identified as clergy. They wanted someone to offer a prayer or a blessing of some sort to open session. I explained that I was pagan, and that I could do something that would be short and sweet and germane to topic at hand.

 

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Sacred Words

 


I am back to writing my blog after taking a break to take care of myself and the many lovely people in my life. My blog should be back on a weekly schedule, barring times when the priorities of my life are more pressing than an online presence. My heartfelt thanks to those that reached out to me and also to those who gave me space. I was also away at PantheaCon and will write about how it touched me next week.


 

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Heart Stories

 

This post falls outside of the normal boundaries for my blog, but I decided I wanted to share it nonetheless. I won’t burden you with the details, but I just experienced a three week stretch full of such a varied array of stresses and struggles the like of which compares with the worst I’ve experienced. This is saying quite a bit because I have clear memories back to about 18 months of age. Despite walking in the deep vale near the brink of my personal abyss, I still had to manage the mundane tasks of work, fulfill my ministerial duties as priest, offer counsel as a reader, and more. I have passed through this challenge and have gained insight through the experience. The pearl that was gained and my summary for this set of experiences is:

 

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  • Jae Sea
    Jae Sea says #
    Thank you, Ivo, for sharing your heart and the moments of clarity gleaned from your work. I give thanks and love.
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Holding you in love this Imbolc night, my wise friend.

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Silence Then Sharing

 

This past weekend I shared the details of a new magickal technique that I've been working on for some time. I have always been a tinkerer and an experimenter and have developed many formulas, workings, castings, spells, and such. Most of the serious magickal practitioners that I know are always adapting and expanding tried and true patterns, and/or creating new rituals and techniques from scratch. There is a lot of perfectly good material available that can simply be followed step-by-step and produce great results. We must not place novelty and innovation above what is known to be efficacious. However, the ancients did not know everything, and we do not have a complete record of their written or oral magickal technology, and there are needs today that they could never have imagined. Moreover if you are in a living tradition, then there must be room for innovation and the incorporation of new material.

 

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  • Jae Sea
    Jae Sea says #
    Sage advice from a source I trust and a good reminder to ask questions before jumping in and attempting something unfamiliar. Stud

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A Living Legacy

 

The sacred legacy of the past is important, but the legacy that we gift to the future is a more loyal way to honor those that came before us. We are here because many of our ancestors did whatever they could in the name of hope for those that were the family they knew and hope for those that would be born past their dying day. I would honor their hope and their forward looking perspective by taking the torch of legacy and carrying the light forwards. 

 

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  • Apuleius Platonicus
    Apuleius Platonicus says #
    This "cultural" part of our spiritual ancestry, as modern Pagans, is extremely important. A lot of this cultural legacy gets subsu

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The Blessed Place

 

 

I was recently asked by a Christian friend about the Pagan version of Paradise. This question was posed in the context of an ongoing series of conversations and questions as a genuine effort on their part to understand my path. I joked with my friend that often their questions are hard to answer because they are so far afield from my sense of being Pagan, and I told them that this question was a prime example of this difficulty. 

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  • Jae Sea
    Jae Sea says #
    I'd be interested in hearing more about your comment "the place where force-evolves-a-form-that-becomes-a-function" and would you

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Warrior & Queer

 

 

 This is an update on something that I wrote for Green Man back in 1995 (Thank you Diane Conn Darling wherever you are). Surprisingly I had to change very little although 18 years have passed since I first wrote on this topic. Though framed through the lens of being Queer, this post has much to say about being a warrior and acting with honor. This is my way of saying give it a read — this is not a political rant and may be applicable to your life whoever you may be. I could have actually deleted the word Queer from this post and said virtually the same things. I could have justified that deletion on the grounds of making my post more accessible and perhaps more widely read and shared. However that would not have honored the root and the impetus for my ideas and observations, and moreover it would not be a warrior’s choice.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Brilliant. Thanks for this, my queer and warrior friend.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
A Cup Of Kindness

Earlier this month the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel hosted the Between The Worlds Conference in Wilmington, Delaware. It was a tremendous amount of hard work on the part of many and was successful in all the ways that we had hoped. I am thankful and grateful for all those things that were planned and achieved, but I'm particularly grateful for something that was not planned but simply emerged from our stay at the hotel. Literally dozens of the staff members of the hotel thanked me and the other organizers for the kindness of our attendees. The staff was personable, professional, and cooperative with all our requests. All the conference organizers made an effort to thank the staff and several of us have written letters thanking individual staff members. And I will repeat it again, the staff went out of the way to say what a wonderful group we were. These words were not simply the words of courtesy offered as a matter of good business practice.

 

As a piece of background information, I should explain that the DoubleTree in downtown Wilmington is in the legal district and primarily caters to lawyers and bankers and various corporate sorts that are there on business. Staff turnover in the hotel industry is swift, so very few people were still working at the hotel that remembered us from our previous conferences because it is not an annual event. Those that did remember us had vouched to the rest of the staff that we were a good group. They had of course been warned that we were a wee bit eccentric but good people.

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  • Jae Sea
    Jae Sea says #
    Having competent energy workers to handle the inevitable fluctuations is definitely a necessity with any group working and especia

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