Skryclad: Clothed In Visions

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 Keys to Perception: A Practical Guide to Psychic Development, Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans, 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.

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Fire Focus

 

The primary source of heat in our home is our wood stove, and is an important part of my spiritual practice during the cold months of the year. This winter about half of the wood that we are using comes from our land and the rest has been purchased from someone in our county. The fuel we use is local and from the soil of our bioregion. I have a good sense of how long it took for the trees to grow, and the weather and water that fed their growth.  Relying upon the wood stove focuses my awareness, gratitude, and mindfulness in many ways. We do have a modern heating system as a backup plan, but its biggest purpose is to keep the house warm when we are all away on a trip.

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Bone & Spirit

As Halloween and the Day of the Dead approach, I see more and more skulls both cheery and eerie decorating homes and businesses. This year I have seen them in greater abundance than in previous years. This may be true or it may be that I am taking better note of them. To be truthful, I have some skulls that are decor and some that are altar pieces that grace our home year round. Last night I took a crystal skull out of one of our cabinets and sat it on the table, and took a contemplative ramble.

 

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Journey Bread

 

There is a practice that has been repeated often enough by some of our covens that it has begun the process of crossing that nebulous line into the territory of something that we think of as one of our traditions. There are many people in our covens, and our extended community, who practice some healing modality. Whether it is a healing ritual, a hands-on energy healing method, herbal remedies, a shamanic intervention, or any of a number of other approaches, the actual healing work tends to occur once injury or illness has taken place.

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A Little Help

 

Help isn’t always helpful is a lesson I learned from Annie Lomax of blessed memory back in the 70s when she was training me to work on a hotline. Sometimes, help is offered as a sedative when someone else is having strong emotions that make you uncomfortable. Sometimes, help undermines another person’s sense of autonomy or sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, help makes it more comfortable for someone to stay stuck in a situation that is slowly but surely diminishing them. And yet despite all the potential pitfalls involved in the offering of help and support, Annie taught me that when help is offered with a clear mind and an open heart it has the potential to encourage not just comfort or healing but true growth. Let me reiterate the part about the criterion of having a clear mind and an open heart. The mind and the heart don’t always agree, but if both are in agreement you might be doing the right thing. My time on the hotline at the Wellspring program taught me many things that I still use to this day.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Wow! Ivo, I am moved beyond words by this post. Now that you are writing a regular column for W&P, I'd love to see this sort of ma
  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Thanks!

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Lessons From Work

 

I have been involved in occult and spiritual pursuits  since I was a child, performed rituals as a teenager, but my first attendance at a Pagan event was in 1978 so I count that as my start in the community. Next year will be my 40th year as a member of this community. In that time I have learned from peers, elders, students, spirits and God/des/es, and from close observation and contemplation of my experiences. I’ve owned and run a metaphysical shop twice in my time as a Pagan. The first time for 6 years and the second time for 10 years. Some of my most important lessons came to me from my role as a shop keeper.

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  • Mister Tea
    Mister Tea says #
    I enjoyed reading this article. Very interesting insights. Would like to read more about your experiences as a magical shopkeeper.

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Open The Door Softly

Over the last several years, I have noticed more people expressing that they are encountering a thinning of the veils, openings between the worlds, crossings to and from the neighboring realms, and so on. These reports have been increasing in number and the intervals between reports have been decreasing. Significantly, these encounters and observations are less linked to the times and places that are traditionally thought of as naturally liminal or during the times in the changes of the seasons of the Sun and Moon when these passages are expected. I have read and heard a variety of suggestions to explain this phenomenon, and many of them are reasonable and plausible. I’d like to propose that there is also a slow and steady shift in the Astrological tides that is also one of the root causes of this change. There will be just enough Astrology in this post to offer an explanation without bogging down in a lesson in Astrology.

 

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I'll Tell You

 

It is a fairly common custom for Traditions and Schools to have materials that are oathbound, teachings or practices that can only be shared with members or initiates. I have friends that are old school Witches, or Masons, or one of any number of systems that can eloquently explain why they have oathbound materials. I will not speak for them, and I honor their right to follow their ways. The Tradition of which I am a member, the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, does not have any teachings or practices that are oathbound, in fact it is more accurate to say that we are openbound. It is not my intention in this post to assert that oathbound, openbound, or any other approach is better than the other. What constitutes better is a matter of your perspectives, values, the purpose of your system, and the nature of your goals. What I’d like to offer here is information on how we manage boundaries for our lore and practices. The Assembly has been around since 1984 and we are 13 covens with a 14th in the process of formation.

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