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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_milky-way-and-haystack-rock.jpgI’ve felt a lot closer to Star Mother since moving to Oregon in 2013.  I've really felt closer to the Vanir in general since moving out here, but right now I will talk about connecting with Star Mother.

When I first moved to Portland I took a lot of walks at night to calm down (as my move had been under less than ideal circumstances and I had a lot to deal with in a very short amount of time, I was pretty stressed) and it became a meditative exercise.  When I moved to a semi-rural area in January of this year, there was a lot less light pollution and I could see the stars more clearly in the sky (though enough light pollution that I couldn’t see beyond a few handfuls); this past Imbolc, I went for a ride out to a more remote location, and for the first time in my life I saw the Milky Way, and the sky dotted with what seemed like millions of stars.  It was a sight that moved me to tears, and I couldn’t speak except to say, in Eshnesk (the language of the Eshnahai, or Vanic elves) Alekteya, Naiandu Adami.  (lit. “Blessings, Star Mother.”)  There was joy, but also what I can only describe as holy terror.  It was so beautiful, the sky seemed endless, and I felt very, very small.  I could feel the presence of Something much bigger than myself, and in her embrace, I felt like a child again.  As powerless as I felt, so tiny - a tiny pale dot on a tiny blue dot in the vastness of space - I felt held, at the same time.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Seasonal Protection Magick

Life is uncertain. If you turn on the news, you will be subjected to a constant barrage of All the Horrible Things. But even beyond that, there are always things that can harm us, whether they are acts of nature, acts of man, or just bad luck. There is no way we can keep bad stuff from happening once in a while, but it never hurts to do a little protection work to give yourself and your loved ones a bit of a boost in that direction.

I try to do serious protection work for my house and property at least once a year, in the fall as I am shutting things down and closing up the house for the winter. The coming week, leading up to Samhain on the 31st, is a perfect time for these kinds of rituals and spells (although they will work any time, of course). The darkness is closing in as the days grow shorter, and with the veil becoming thinner, it is always a good idea to reinforce your defenses.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Solitary

Alone

Alone within yourself

This is probably one of the most difficult places to be comfortably. Most people cannot understand why I want to be in my own head and my own thoughts. Yet I find this is one of the best (and sometimes worst) places for me to be. It doesn’t matter whether I’m using my imagination to write a story or thinking through a problem or exploring my inner landscape.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The other day a member of my coven offered to lead an upcoming ritual.  I was extremely pleased by this development. Though my wife and I often function as the "High Priestess" and "High Priest" of our group we didn't start this endeavor with the idea that we would run every ritual.  It's nice to just sit back sometimes and participate instead of having to stand forward and "lead."  

I know that our group is kind of set up in a such a way that it often looks like I'm in charge. My wife and I started our coven, we selected our initial circle-mates, and I organized our week to week gatherings.  As time went on we adopted a formal ritual structure, which I wrote.  

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PaganNewsBeagle Earthy Thursday Oct 23

In today's Earthy Thursday we have stories celebrating our amazing planet. Profile of an eco-conscious farm; Bolivian law gives legal rights to Mother Earth; reviving ancient Incan agriculture; a Pagan pilgrimage to the holy places of Somerset; tiny fox massage.

Farming is a major influence on eco-systems around the world. This story from Yes! magazine profiles a farm that's trying to bring sustainable practices to agriculture.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Soulburn

 

Almost everyone I know has at some time had a sunburn. Nowadays I am ridiculously careful with sunscreen every day having had a skin cancer scare a number of years ago. Before then, I often didn't realize that I had had too much Sun until a day later when my skin was inflamed and sensitive. I can recall times when just a fingertip running across my arm felt like someone dragging a rusty nail across my skin. There have been times when the sunburn was bad enough that even a cool soothing balm felt like an assault upon my skin. There was also, in those extreme cases, a sense of malaise as well. Nature often repeats certain patterns, and human nature perhaps even more often. I have often observed that what we experience in our physical bodies is also similar to what we experience in our souls, our psyches, and our spirits. I think that we can get a soulburn, and it is very much like a sunburn. By the way, a soulburn is not the same thing as burnout which is what happens when we do too much and burn the candle and both ends and the middle.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    PS: 1) so many good insights in your post! 2) the dark in which we sleep is blessed.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Ivo, this is so wise. I often talk to my students about not frying their circuits as magical practioners. If I understand you co
  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Thanks Francesca, I would agree that fried circuits and soulburn are not the same but they do overlap. I also am a believer in th
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks for this, Ivo. I can really, really, really relate. Of course, the other side is when one isn't often invited anywhere, o
  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Good luck on your foray into uncertain territory. Let me know when and I'll light a candle for you.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Why I write about my mistakes

I've noticed that the majority of books on magic and indeed even the online writing I come across is mysteriously devoid of the mistakes practitioners make when practicing magic. I'll admit I find this to be puzzling and less than useful for purposes of magical work, because in only presenting the successes a person has had with magic, what is missed out on is the process of trial and error, the refinement of technique and the recognition of the opportunity to learn. In both my books and blog articles, I share my mistakes in magical work because I find it useful to keep a record of what hasn't worked, as much for myself, as for the reader. A record of my mistakes helps me keep track of what hasn't worked, so that I can work on such processes further. It helps the reader see the process of evolution that a given technique undergoes as well see where mistakes were made. It also teaches the reader that mistakes are a natural part of the magical process and should be embraced as opportunities for learning.

No matter how skilled you are, inevitably you'll make a mistake. It's important to recognize the mistake and acknowledge it. This may be hard to do, especially if it brings up hard questions for you such as wondering if magic really works, but asking those questions are important and when you hit that moment of doubt, it actually is an indicator that your approach to magic is starting to deepen. A mistake challenges us to be honest with ourselves about our magical work and its relative meanings in our lives. If we only ever have success we don't really know what we can be capable of, because that success limits us from discovering what we really need to improve on.

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