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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Blood, Black Dog, & Boardroom

 

It is common in many traditions to ask for guidance from the unseen realms, from the spirits. Sometimes the requests are answered in signs, omens, visions, and the like. I have three short vignettes to share that illustrate some of the reactions that can occur when the guidance is very clear.

Recently I was preparing for a ritual to induct two people into an Order of guardians within our Tradition. There are several stages in this process, with more than one ritual, and new members are rare so it has been done somewhat differently each time. I was collecting all the ritual objects and I asked the two other senior members if they felt that we should do the blooding of the stone that day. As we were speaking, I opened the box that held the stone since it would be on the altar regardless of the decision. As soon as I opened the box, bright red blood covered about a third of my thumb. We were all surprised, and had received a clear answer to the question. It was blood; the smell and the color were unmistakeable. I placed some of my blood on the stone. We cleaned up my thumb and could find no wound and no further bleeding. The ritual that afternoon went well and the stone was blooded again.

 

The next day, I found a small cut on my thumb. I showed it to the other senior members, and one of them suggested that it was a paper cut from the scroll that wraps the stone. There was a tinge of disappointment in their voice at this suggestion. Perhaps the message though clear and timely, was less than miraculous. There was still a mystery in my mind. The stone was still wrapped and in the box when the blood sprang forth. Perhaps the mystery is in the message and not how it was delivered. 

 

 

A number of years ago friends were sharing stories about someone we knew who was gifted in many ways. As is the case with all bright people, sooner or later there is a crisis or several in their confidence in the realities beyond the physical senses. This person was in an initiate of a group that worked with the Egyptian Pantheon, and they were demanding a sign, definitive proof. In particular, they asked Anubis to make themselves known to them. This demand was made with great energy and emotional vigor. A few days afterwards, they heard loud barks outside their window. None of the neighbors had dogs. They ignored the barking, which got louder and closer, until they were forced to their door to see what was going on. They opened their front door, and on the doorstep was a large black dog. The dog stopped barking, looked them in the eye, then departed. After that, they never saw that black dog again. I would have taken that as a message from Anubis. They did not. In fact, they told others in their group that they expected something more, and they were not convinced nor satisfied. They drifted away from the group and spiritual pursuits. I would have taken the dog as a message and a confirmation, but then I don't expect Hollywood level special effects all the time in my dealings with the other worlds.

 

In the early 1990s, I was on the board of directors of what was at the time the one of the most prominent Lesbian and Gay civil rights organizations (we had not yet added other sexual minorities to the list). The organization was in the midst of a search for a new executive director and had narrowed the field to two candidates. This was an organization to which I had given time and money for many years, and this was a turning point for the organization. The final interviews and discussions were finished and it was time for the vote. Time seemed to stop for me. I heard a deep thrumming sound and the walls in the boardroom seemed to separate and pull away. The walls moved back and back until they could be barely seen in the distance. What was revealed was a cold landscape of blasted trees and I was still seated but my chair was in a fork in a dirt road. One road led to the table and the other chairs. The other road led far away, and in the distance I saw green hills as the destination. I heard the co-chairs calling for the vote and I was snapped back into the boardroom. The vote was taken and the candidate that I did not trust, but interviewed well, was given the position. The next day, I tendered my resignation from the board and wished them good fortune. Several board and staff members tried to change my mind as I was one of the better peacemakers and proposal mavens. I warned them that I saw troubles ahead.

 

A few months later, staff members started to resign. One of the staffers that knew I was a witch asked me how I’d known. I told them I’d had a vision during the meeting. They shrugged and wished things were different. In addition to bad policies and strategies, the new executive director did not treat the staff well. The organization never recovered, even after that executive director was replaced. 

 

Once in a while, the message comes complete with special effects. I pay attention, whether or not the message is subtle or spectacular.

 

 

 

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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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