Please share with love by Jennifer Moore
Ivo Dominguez, Jr. has been active in the Pagan Community since 1978 and teaching since 1982. He was one of the founding members of Keepers of the Holly Chalice, the first coven of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, a Wiccan syncretic Tradition. Ivo now serves as one of the elders of the Assembly.
Ivo's techniques are a blend of traditional metaphysical teachings, modern science, and past life memory. In addition to his metaphysical teaching and duties with regard to the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, Ivo is an astrologer, who has been studying since 1980 and offering readings since 1988.
Ivo runs Bell, Book, and Candle along with Jim Welch.
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Ivo and discuss his latest release, Casting Sacred Space, the New Alexandrian Library Project, and some future projects.
Is there anything you'd like to say about your background for people who may not be familiar with your work?
My family's background is Catholicism, but I was not brought up in an overtly religious way. I grew up in an intellectual environment. Both of my parents were college professors.
I initially believed I was an atheist, but I don't really feel I ultimately had a choice in becoming involved with magical religion. I feel I must have been predisposed to it, because I had too many experiences, over time, that couldn't be explained.
I understand that Casting Sacred Space is an update of your book, Castings. What changes have been made to the book? Have there been any significant changes to your approach?
Castings had been out of print, and it was both funny and sad to see what people were paying for copies of it. Weiser ended up taking it on.
It has been expanded. The chapters are longer, and another chapter was added, as were more diagrams. In total, 12,000 words were added to the manuscript. People with more magical background have commented that they are getting more out of it.
Casting Sacred Space is definitely a foundational book. It teaches
fundamental knowledge that any practitioner should have before they go on to do other things. That said, do you feel this is an appropriate book for 101-level study? Why or why not?
That is a yes and a no. What I mean is that someone can read the book when they are at a 101 level and it is valuable. Then they can read it again a year later and notice the 201 materials they glossed over the first time. Finally when they read it a third time, much later, they notice and know the 301 insights in the book that were always there.
Will there be a book tour?
The kind of books that we in our community write don't tend to get picked up for signings by the "big chain" bookstores, and there aren't a lot of metaphysical shops any more. Those that are still around don't tend to have the funding to support a book tour. I'm attending and teaching at a lot of gatherings this year. A lot of metaphysical authors are starting to do this. I alert people to where I will be teaching.
Will you be updating any of your other books?
I'm hoping to. I have a manuscript that's been sitting for about two years. The book is similar to Spirit Speak, but covers Nature spirits, the Fae, and other such spirits. I am anxious for this book to have a home in the real world.
Are there any other future projects you'd like to talk about?
There will be a book on ritual design. This is something that is really needed.
Why have you chosen to use the Celtic Tree Oracle as a theme for your books, as opposed to the Zodiac, the Tarot, etc.?
The Oracle is very significant to me. I was visited by each of these trees, one at a time. The series, done this way, came to me as a vision. The series is all outlined in my head, but not on paper. The books will go through design and possibly even title changes as they are published; however, the structure of what motivated me, the order, and all of that will stay the same.
Each of these trees has been physically planted at Seelie Court so that I can consult directly with them as I need to.
Do you want to comment on how the New Alexandrian Library Project construction process is coming along?
Construction is taking place more slowly than we'd hoped. There are more bureaucratic layers than expected. The building should be up by the end of this year.
We are drowning in the stuff we have in storage to go into the Library. The room at Bell, Book, and Candle that is supposed to be my office is full of boxes of books! I have also lost the use of a guest room. Once construction can be finished and the shelves go up, things will be able to be organized.
The Library is important, because we are preserving our culture as Pagans. Besides books, we are looking to expand to ephemera. People have been asking about leaving their tools when they pass on.
Do you have any other comments you would like to make?
Pay attention to where you put your financial resources. Make sure you support your specific community. Money is energy. Choose to support Pagan businesses when you have a choice. Other cultural groups do this, and we should be no different.
Thank you so much for your time, Ivo. We really appreciate that you could sit down with us to discuss your many and valuable projects!
You can keep up with all that Ivo is doing by going to his website. He can also be found on Facebook.
Photos used with the permission of Ivo Dominguez, Jr.