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Defining the Path

a1sx2_Original1_ThreePathIvo.jpgThis is my first post in this blog and it is actually the first time I am blogging. Although I am generally an early adopter of many technologies and cultural trends, I do resist certain things. As an example, I did not have a cell phone until 3 years ago though I have had email since 1979. Part of my resistance to blogging was that I needed to choose a focus for the blog because I am blessed with so many interests. I am passionate about the growth and development of the various intertwining streams of inspiration that form the pagan community. I also feel a great sense of duty to this community, this marvel of diversity that so often overflows its banks and cuts new stream beds. The name of my blog is "Skryclad" a play on skry and skyclad as I intend to offer my bare personal truths clothed in my visions, dreams, and observations. It is my intention for passion and duty to equally inform my work on this blog.

To get things rolling, I'll be doing a three blog arc on the use of terms to describe personal and collective identity in my community, which may also be your community as well. Names, labels and categories have power and power can be used for good or ill. It may be that you wish to reframe the existing schemes of description or that you just wish to replace a few key words. It may be your choice to reject all notation and that the tradeoffs are equitable from your vantage point. It is my premise that the outright rejection of these containers is also a loss of their powers. I am sharing my work in progress on these matters with the hope that it will enliven your process. Here are a few observations to get us started.

Spirituality is your intimate and internal relationship and communication with whatever form or concept of the Divine you hold as valid. This understanding of the Divine may be singular, plural, or some combination thereof. Spirituality is deeply personal and though it is shaped by culture and teachings, it is a unique experience for each individual. I believe that for some people acknowledging their spirituality is more comfortable because it manifests inside and is thus outside the explicit reach of rules. Spirituality is also the place where immanence and transcendence meet and mediate the bounds of your spark and the brilliance that is the whole.

Religion is the external expression of your spirituality and is set within a cultural context of work with other humans. I happily call myself a religious person though I have found many in my community who are less comfortable with the idea of religion. It is not hard to understand why there is a heavy burden of negative connotations attached to the concept of religion. I reject being ruled by connotations. Much good and ill has been done in the name of love. Should we do away with love because of the damage it has caused? To me, religion is the way that your spirituality incarnates in the world and becomes visible and manifest to others. This definition is inclusive of a wide range actions beyond what occurs in a temple, grove, or circle. Religion, as I define it, is also how spiritual forces express themselves through collective actions in the world.

Magick is the use of the subtle powers of the universe to bring about change that serves your spiritual, religious, and/or mundane desires. Magick is enriched by but does not require religion or spirituality to be effective. In turn, both religion and spirituality can be enriched by the art and the science of magick. It is my belief that most pagan people engage in all three of the categories I've listed but that magick is the most dependent upon aptitude. I do strive for restraint in judging or evaluating a person's spirituality or religion, but I tend not to have a problem with commenting on the efficacy of a magickal technique or practice. Real magick, like art and science, is well served by healthy criticism and analysis.

I often hear people make references to their "path". Sometimes the term is used to mean specific traditions or systems but more often it is applied to their personal approach to the journey of life. My working definition for the term path, in this sense, is that a path is the synthesis and the summation of a person's spiritual, religious, and magickal undertakings. I am using the three categories of spirituality, religion, and magick as having equivalent qualities to the three primary colors. They may be mixed in various proportions to produce the colors that we experience.

In the next blog I'll bring in ideas about esoteric and exoteric religion, the role of devotion, and the flavors of magick. In the third part of this idea arc, I'll be talking about the use of names and labels such as Pagan, Wiccan, etc.

Thank you for joining me on my first leap into the realm of blogging.

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Tagged in: esoteric exoteric path
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.
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Comments

  • Patricia
    Patricia Wednesday, 01 August 2012

    Extremely ensightful post. Look forward to learning from your blogs.

  • Diotima
    Diotima Wednesday, 01 August 2012

    Yay! Finally. About time you showed up in the somewhere in the blogosphere. Glad it's here. Welcome!

  • Peter Beckley
    Peter Beckley Wednesday, 01 August 2012

    Fantastic post, Ivo! Welcome to the blogosphere!

  • Maggi Setti
    Maggi Setti Wednesday, 01 August 2012

    seeing this is long anticipated and much appreciated. Thank you!

  • Adrianna
    Adrianna Wednesday, 01 August 2012

    Looking forward to reading more Ivo. Perfect timing. BB

  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance Wednesday, 01 August 2012

    Welcome to the blogosphere as well as PaganSquare!

  • Jae Sea
    Jae Sea Thursday, 02 August 2012

    Hi Ivo, I look forward to reading more of your insights - they always inspire. I'm sharing the link! :D

  • Leanne Pemburn
    Leanne Pemburn Thursday, 02 August 2012

    So glad you made this leap. Having these bite-size concepts will be extremely useful. Thank you!

  • Ealasaid
    Ealasaid Thursday, 02 August 2012

    Huzzah! So excited to see where you go with your upcoming posts. Loved this one, too - the word nerd in me is always excited when writers start off by defining their usage of complex terms. :)

  • craig.setti@gmail.com
    craig.setti@gmail.com Wednesday, 15 August 2012

    Excellent first post. Quality blogs are rare, so I am looking forward to learning from and following yours for a long time. Thank you for the service and teachings!

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