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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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.


Bones are the structures that give us form. Without them muscle and sinew would not be able to do their job. Bones are shaped by muscles which are in turn shaped by bones. Bone density and muscle strength increase and decrease in step with each other in a dance of push and pull.  Bones grow denser and thick when put under strain just like muscles do. The wisdom of the body is frugal and only builds or maintains what is needed, in use. What is not used diminishes to release its hold on nutrients and materials that are needed elsewhere in the body.


Over generations, the great carver, the sculptor, that we know as evolution carefully shapes and reshapes the bones of a species. Long, short, curved, straight, and thick and thin all change to match the needs of function and adaptation to changes in the world both large and small. Much can be learned from reading the bones whether you are a scientist or an oracle. 


As I looked at the crystal skull, I thought about what I know about the evolution of the human skull. How it changed to accommodate a larger brain. How it changed with the weather of the Ice Age. How the jaws and teeth changed with the availability of different foods and the advent of cooked food. Then I thought as a witch. There is a dance of mutual change between bones and muscles so there must be a dance between the skull and the brain. The skull houses brain, anchors mind, so the actions of thought, emotion, and spirit must also have an impact on the shape and elegant design of these bones as well. The skull has also evolved to be perfectly resonant to the patterns and energies of consciousness.


When we work with a skull, or an adequate representation of one, it is a resonant chamber that connects us with the stream of human consciousness, with the river of ancestral blood. If it is an actual skull, it has a closer connection to that individual and their relations, but it also reaches back to the whole. If the skull is made of crystal, wood, clay, and so on, it is still a human artifact made in the image of a real skull. It is still a point of connection.  Moreover, many systems of magick and spiritual traditions have venerated skulls and as such imbued them and their imagery with power.


You may just like skulls for their aesthetic, either year round or for seasonal decor. You may also put them on altars because something tells you they need to be there. Perhaps, you follow a path that has specific teachings about the use of skulls. I ask that you take a moment the next time you see a physical representation of a skull, and imagine it to be like an empty bottle. When the breath of spirit, of energy, blows through and across it, it sings with the tone that is born of its shape. Imagine the skull to be a temple, an adytum, a sanctum, with the perfect acoustics for sacred music. The music that rings in the skull is the flow of consciousness and spirit. When you engage your energy with that of a skull, you add to the song that connects us all. The skull holds the crown of creation.

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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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