The Author's Corner
Ivo Dominguez Jr.
Spirits of Earth &
Of Spirits: The Book of Rowan
Castings: The Creation of Sacred Space
Beneath the Skins
Spirits of Earth
TWPT: Tell me about your initial discovery of Wicca and about the aspects of this path that drew you to it.
ID: As a child I had a number of undeniable psychic and spiritual experiences so that by the time I was in High School I was already seeking magickal knowledge. I read The Secret Lore of Magic by Idries Shah when I was a sophomore which was quickly followed by every book that I could find. My father was a professor at the University of Delaware so I had access to a real library. Nonetheless, the selection of books available to me were somewhat limited and tended towards the ceremonial magick end of things.
Not surprisingly I was a voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy as well. But I also had the good fortune of living next to woods so I spent many hours observing the seen and the unseen in nature which drew me towards paganism. I have no doubt that a magickal life was always slated to be part of the work of this incarnation, but there were two incidents that were the forks in the road that led me to choose Wicca.
When I was a junior in High School I started going to the fencing club at the University of Delaware. This was met with approval and encouragement by my parents who were pleased to see their bookworm son engaging in a sport. One day after fencing when we were changing in the locker room, one man's pentacle popped out of his t-shirt. He quickly put it back under his shirt but not before I had noticed it. I said "That's a pentacle isn't it?" He blanched and stammered yes. He was nervous because I was a minor, also folks were pretty much in the broom closet back in 1975, and he was only a part of the fencing club because he was an acquaintance of the coach and not officially connected to the university. In the end I won his trust and over time he told me about covens and events in nearby Maryland. He gave me a newsletter from the Keepers of the Ancient Mysteries which led to attending one of their events. I was a quiet shy young man when I attended one of KAM's picnics, a forerunner of the pagan gathering, but it was enough to convince me that I was a witch at heart. Decades later, I was quite tickled when Lady Alexandria Foxmoore, of blessed memory, realized that shy boy and I were one and the same.
TWPT: When was it that you first ventured out into the Wiccan/Pagan community and what were your impressions of this community as you made contact with it?
ID: Well my contacts with KAM were brief but significant to my development. Had I lived closer to their base in Maryland, I might have petitioned to join them. Occasionally, I found myself invited to potluck dinners for magickal folks in Delaware but these were very sporadic. My next formative contacts came through attending the Darkover Conventions that focused on Marion Zimmer Bradley's work. I attended the first one in Brooklyn and was a regular attendee when the event moved to Wilmington, Delaware. The Darkover science fiction conventions were attended by many pagans and there were often workshops related to psychic development, tarot, and similar topics interspersed with the standard fare of such events. In 1983, my lover and I opened an alternative bookstore in Wilmington called Hen's Teeth which became an unofficial community center for the local pagan, queer, and progressive community. Much of the local community flowed through our store. Around that time in addition to starting a study group we began to attend larger gatherings. One of our favorites back in the 80's was the Harvest Survival Festival sponsored by Silver Web/Earthsong Community. The death of this organization and festival was also my first real exposure to conflict and to toxicity in the pagan community. This did not alter my basic belief in the inherent soundness of the Wiccan/Pagan community. Evolution is not without hardship. Perhaps my involvement in queer politics (we called it Lesbian & Gay back then) had already thickened my skin enough so that I was not wounded by what I saw.
My initial impressions of our community and my current impressions have not really changed in a fundamental way. At the core, our community is serious about the evolution of people as individuals and as collectives.
Our community is also exuberant about the celebration of life and of earth our body. That said, we are also subject to the trials and pains of the developmental stages of both individuals and aggregations of individuals. We remain ourselves though the forms of outward expression continue to change. I do believe that the greatest issues of the day are the result of the pagan population explosion. The proportion of experienced, trained individuals, who have fully integrated the pagan ethos continues to shrink. For the sake of an example I'll pull arbitrary numbers out of the air. When I became active in the community, for every 10 newbies there was at least 1 old hand. Then it was 50 newbies for every 1 and now 100 newbies for every 1 that had been around long enough to know the way. To complicate matters, there are second and third waves of people who were enculturated and trained by people who themselves were trained by other newbies who had pieced things together as best they could. Our current situation is comparable to the troubles that come of teenagers becoming parents without the benefit of an extended family or a village.
TWPT: Did you work with groups as you began learning about your path? If so what are the advantages that you see to working with a group as opposed to finding your own way?
ID: I have always been drawn to working with groups as either a member or as a student of their methods. I see your question in a different light in that I think that whether you are a member of a group or working on your own that you always find your own way since spiritual development is internal and private. The value that I see in being connected to groups is that you have access to perspectives, critiques, and reality checks that are difficult to find in solitary work. Group work, where there is and emotional and cognitive commitment to being in the group, also fosters refinement and self exploration. This can be like cream rising to the top, or scum being skimmed from the boiling honey before the mead making, or like separating the grain from the chaff. When it comes to magickal development, which is distinctly different from spiritual development, I value of group work or at the very least real teachers is enormous. Of course, this is also a matter of what your goals may be.
Think of developing proficiency in magickal techniques as being like cooking. Many people can learn to cook well enough to please themselves on their own with the assistance of a few cookbooks. Others become renown in their circle of friends and family as someone you want to encourage into the kitchen. On the other hand culinary talents worthy of being featured at a fine restaurant usually come from training in an academy or through an apprenticeship with a chef.
TWPT: I'm sure that you had some books that you found helpful in clarifying and defining your path, could you tell me which titles aided you the most in building your foundation and why?
ID: It is hard to answer that question because I have read so many books.
I'll name a few that had meaning at different points in my life. My fencing friend introduced me to a book around 1976 called The Waxing Moon: A Gentle Guide to Magick by Helen Chappell that set a variety of paths in context for me. In my early days I would also include, Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki's First Steps in Ritual, Starhawk's Spiral Dance, and Dion Fortune's Mystical Qaballah, The Findhorn Garden by the Findhorn Garden Community, and various books by Janet & Stewart Farrar as having a big impact on my development. Later on I read everything I could find by Regardie, Ashcroft-Nowicki, Fortune, Crowley, and Murry Hope. Recently I found Ellen Cannon Reed's The Heart Of Wicca and Bone & Farrar's Progressive Witchcraft to be particularly meaningful.
In general, the reason that these books made an impression on me is that they address the question of "why things are" as much as "how to do it." Although I own many esoteric books that are the equivalent of cookbooks and technical manuals, these are not the ones that shape me.
TWPT: For those who may be unfamiliar with you, could you give me an idea as to the particular path that you follow and why this is the right path for you.
ID: My tradition is Wicca of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel flavor. Wicca as we practice it is the spiritual descendant of the indigenous religions and folkways of Europe, the ancient triumvirate of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and the Western Magickal Traditions. We draw heavily upon Qabala, Astrology, and Hermetic thought as frameworks to make sense of things and as inspiration for our rituals. We celebrate the Wheel of the Year and the cycles of the Moon as our holy days so that we may connect more fully to the life of the Earth. We also recognize the Great Year that is the turning of the Astrological Ages. Our rituals and methods run the full gamut from simple and primal to elaborate and ceremonial. This is the right path for me because it broad enough to include my interests and deep enough so that I feel rooted.
TWPT: Do you remember when it was that you first felt that writing was going to be something special in your life and what did you do to nurture this new found desire?
ID: I was reading books on my own when I was 5 years old. A love of words and literature was a part of my upbringing. I father was a lawyer in Cuba and then became a professor of Spanish literature in the United States. My mother was an avid reader as well. My childhood memories include many images of walls of bookshelves and dad eternally at the typewriter. I was 7 or 8 years old when I first started writing short stories and poems. My sense is that I never experienced it as special, reading and writing were just a part of my everyday life.
TWPT: You have been teaching since 1982. What is it that makes you a good teacher and how do you see teaching as an extension of your work as an author?
ID: My normal mode of thought is images, similies, and metaphors which makes it much easier to communicate the intricacies of metaphysical thought. My first language was Spanish, followed by fluency in English around age 4, exposures to some French and then 5 years of German classes in high school and college. I do believe that language has a powerful shaping effect on how we think. My knowledge of more than one language was given me a bit more mental flexibility to wrestle with ideas. My psychic skills and powers of observation also allow me to adapt my workshops on the fly as I teach. Although I almost always have an outline, a handout and many diagrams for my workshops, I never give the same workshop twice. When I teach I feel more like a musician or a dancer using the outline as a cue to performance.
I see myself as a teacher first and as an author out of necessity rather than love. I don't enjoy the process of writing and I always have misgivings about how my written words will be understood. I think that witchcraft, magick, and religion are best taught from mouth to ear. I think that some concepts are best communicated when the student and the teacher can be in each others energetic presence. Teachings are transmitted as much as they are spoken. However, I cannot travel constantly to teach nor will I live forever so writing is a tool to compensate for these realities. I can teach on a single topic from morning into the evening without being exhausted whereas an hour or two of writing is tiring. In part this is about energy flow and in part it is because when I write I must anticipate the mindset of an uncounted number of readers instead of the 30 students or so in a class.
TWPT: Tell me about writing your first book, why you wrote it and the experience you had in finding a publisher. What kind of feedback did you receive from readers and others when your book became available?
ID: My first book was not a metaphysical title though it did include spiritual perspectives and material gleaned from my experiences as a witch. It is entitled Beneath The Skins: The New Spirit And Politics Of The Kink Community and was published in 1994 by Daedalus publishing out of Los Angeles. I gave a talk at the National Lesbian & Gay Health Foundation's annual conference in 1993. After my talk I was approached by the owner of Daedalus at the time, Race Bannon (yes that is his name) who had been in the audience. He liked my ideas and how I presented them and asked if I did any writing. I said that I had written several essays on sexual identity and he asked if I would be willing to write a few more and submit them as a manuscript. I did and after several courteous and fair exchanges I had a contract and a published book. It was well received, is still selling, and has been reprinted.
My first book of a metaphysical nature was Castings: The Creation Of Sacred Space which was published in 1996. It began its life as a teaching tool and as a manual used by the covens within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. After it had proved its worth within the covens, I decided to submit the manuscript to Llwellyn Publications because they had a good distribution network. When they did respond it was in the negative and whoever read it must have been a rank amateur. The reviewers comments showed so little knowledge and understanding that I was appalled. At that point I decided to self-publish as SapFire Productions. Not to compare myself with her but Dion Fortune's books were originally self-published so I felt I wouldn't be in bad company in publishing my own books.
Castings has done well and has received nothing but excellent reviews both here in the US as well as in the UK.
Castings is actually the first book in my Wheel of Trees series. Each of the books I have written and those I will write stand alone but they build upon and relate to each other. The concept of the Wheel of Trees is based upon the 13 month Celtic tree calendar and is a framework to focus my ideas. When they are all written the 13 books will be an organic whole that will be a summation of my insights and perspectives on Wicca and Magick. I don't emphasize the idea that they are a series because I don't want to give the impression that they must be read together or in a specific sequence to have value.
After Castings I wrote Of Spirits: The Book Of Rowan which was published in 2001. This book is a guide to understanding the nature of discarnate spirits. I have gotten many positive emails and comments about this book. I was also heartened by the great review that the late Ellen Cannon Reed wrote for PanGaea.
Sometime this fall Spirits Of Earth & Faerie will hit the shelves. I am not adverse to going the route of a publishing house and may try again for the fourth book in my Wheel of Trees series which will be a book on designing and enacting rituals.
TWPT: You were/are involved with the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, why was this group formed and what were some of the goals of the Assembly and the covens that were formed through it?
ID: The first coven of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel was Keepers of the Holy Chalice which was formed in March of 1984 in Newark, Delaware.
Keepers had arisen from the study group that was started in 1983 out of Hen's Teeth, our bookstore in Wilmington. The initial group of people in Keepers had worked with, and/or attended workshops and rituals from a broad range of traditions including: Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, Keepers of the Ancient Mysteries, the Sabian Society, Sun Bear's teachings, Patricia Hayes' teachings, Masonry, and the Golden Dawn as described by Regardie system. A brief history of the Assembly is available at www.sacredwheel.org/bhistory.html . We are currently 5 covens, about 65 members, and another 2 covens in the pipeline for the near future.
We differ from most Wiccan traditions in that though the covens are fairly autonomous, the tradition as a whole is truly one organization. Moreover there is a carefully articulated plan for the growth of the tradition so that it remains a cohesive in effective in acting as a unit. Our decision making process varies according to the issue or the task at hand. Some things are taken to a vote. Some things are processed by consensus. Some things are handled by a judgment call on the part of the 3rd degrees or Elders.
The Assembly has many goals and purposes but there are two that are dearest to me. One is the re-enchantment of the world which, among other things, means lessening the perceptual difference between the various planes of being resulting in more magick and more beauty in the world.
Another is the evolution of magickal systems and magickal culture which means involvement with many other communities and traditions. This means we are as interested in the development of other systems and other communities as we are of our own. Evolution, in this case, is seen in the context of a spiritual ecology with each system and tradition have its own niche and purpose.
TWPT: Another major project that you have been working on for a number of years is the New Alexandrian Library Project. What is this all about and how will this benefit the community at large once it has opened?
ID: Once, the Great Library of Alexandria in Egypt served as one of the major focal points for scholarship in the ancient world. Moreover it served as a spiritual crossroads for the exchange and advancement of esoteric knowledge. The New Alexandrian Library Project is working to create a library worthy of its namesake. The New Alexandrian Library will be a modern, state of the art facility, comparable to the quality of a university library. It will be a specialty library whose collections will center on spirituality, magick, and religion. This project was formally announced in May of 2000 at Between The Worlds: A Grand Magickal Congress. By no later than 2010 the New Alexandrian Library will open its doors. This will be a free library with no required membership fees.
It will be supported by donations, fundraising, and fees for services such as copying. The library will be located in Southern Delaware on land that has already been donated to the project.
The New Alexandrian Library will be primarily a research and reference library; there will be a small lending collection. The rare material won't leave the building, but there will be many duplicate copies of more common books and these we will lend out. We will also engage in interlibrary loan with other similar libraries. It will provide onsite workstations and other facilities. We are also planning housing options for people who will be spending a weekend or a week at the facility.
Books, periodicals, special collections, music, media, digital data, etc., will all be carefully cataloged and cross-referenced to ease the work of research. The Library will work to restore and to preserve rare and damaged documents. The history of our magickal communities will also be collected for the future. In addition to its physical presence, the New Alexandrian Library will have an internet component to maximize its utility. Over time, as much material as is possible, within the limits of logistics and legalities, will be available online.
The New Alexandrian Library's resources will act as a magnet that will draw together teachers, authors, and scholars from many paths. There is no other project working to create such a cultural focus and magnet. Like the original Great Library of Alexandria, the schools of Qabala in medieval Spain, and the flourishing of magick that occurred in renaissance Italy, the diverse confluence of minds and resources would result in great leaps forward in theory and practice. There will be many conversations between people of different traditions that will result in greater intellectual vitality and new awarenesses for all. No doubt people will gather in the meditation garden, go out to lunch together, etc. The benefits of these face to face encounters are incredible. In a way it is like an esoteric conference that never ends. The New Alexandrian Library will be one of the cornerstones of a new magickal renaissance. The benefits for future generations are incalculable.
Like many academic libraries, the New Alexandrian Library will have a museum/educational component to its programs. This means that it will make meeting space available for appropriate community activities. Moreover, The New Alexandrian Library will also host exhibits, talks by authors, lectures, etc. There will also be a garden that will be available for outdoor rituals and events such as handfastings. The New Alexandrian Library will to a certain degree, act as a center to build the community.
The New Alexandrian Library will be collecting materials from all spiritual traditions and faith communities. Like the original Alexandrian Library in Egypt, it will be an interfaith crossroads. This means we will also include books and media from mainstream religions. Additionally, books on history, the arts, and the sciences will also be a part of the collection. The principal interest of the New Alexandrian Library is esoteric material but in order to see things in context, exoteric knowledge is also needed.
One of the tasks that will be tackled by The New Alexandrian Library is the creation of extensions to the existing systems of cataloguing and cross-referencing books and media to make them useful to people doing esoteric research and study. Magickal folk have different sorts of knowledge and categorization schemes that are not a part of mainstream academic thought. By the way this is one of the areas that will generate, actually requires, extensive collaboration on the part of many traditions. This will be one of the most traveled bridges between communities. One of the great triumphs of the original Alexandrian Library was the creation of the first card catalog (actually clay and wood tablets). I hope that one of the New Alexandrian Library's great triumphs will be systematizing esoteric knowledge in a comparable manner.
It is now a clichéd complaint that most of the esoteric books available are basic and aimed at the mass-market. That is the nature of the publishing industry and we should expect little more. More advanced materials are usually published by university presses and by publishing houses owned by charitable institutions where profit is not the primary motive. The New Alexandrian Library will in time either directly publish such works or facilitate the bringing together of the people and groups to engage in such activities.
The plan is for the New Alexandrian Library to be a world-class facility. This does not mean that you need to be a world-class scholar or a student working on an advanced degree to use it, just a desire to do more in-depth study. There are many types of people who use university libraries or institutions like the Library of Congress who are not members of the academic elite but who derive great benefit from their studies. Perhaps it is a question of empowerment, or the lack thereof, that makes phrases like "doing research" seem daunting. In truth just about anyone who stays on their spiritual/magickal path is or becomes a seeker of deeper knowledge.
TWPT: How far are you along on this project and how much further do you have to go to get it finished? How can someone be involved with this project in a large or in a small way?
ID: In addition to the donated land (worth about $250,000) we have raised a bit over $50,000 in cash. You can play an important part in bringing this dream into reality. Although donations of books and other materials will be welcome, the immediate need is for the funds to build the library.
Until we are closer to opening the library, donations of books are really more of a burden than a help. There will be a sculpture of a tree in the library that will bear the names of those that make sponsoring donations.
The names will be engraved on small plaques in the shapes of leaves, flowers, fruits, and stars mounted on the tree. See our website for details on making larger donations. Once we break ground, donations of labor and building materials will be welcome.
The New Alexandrian Library Project is also raising funds by sponsoring workshops, conferences such as Between The Worlds: A Grand Magickal Congress (www.sacredwheel.org/btw), and through the sale of a chant CD.
The entire project is about furthering esoteric knowledge and it is fitting that the fundraising efforts serve this purpose as well. The audio CD is entitled "A Dream Whose Time Is Coming" and consists of 21 chants for rituals and devotional ceremonies.
TWPT: In one of your other answers you talked briefly about your new book coming out this Winter called Spirits Of Earth & Faerie. Could you give the readers of TWPT an idea as to what the book is about and who will find the information the most useful.
ID: In writing Spirits Of Earth & Faerie my main goal was to encourage the process of reuniting the different realms that have been parted. Just as the work of spiritual development on the individual level is about integrating the various parts of self so is the reconnection and balancing of the greater life of the Earth, both seen and unseen, our collective work. This book also approaches nature spirits, elementals, and the fae from a very different perspective than other books that are in market. Spirits Of Earth & Faerie is not driven by the lore or mythology that surrounds these beings or by the teachings of particular traditions. Like its companion volume, Of Spirits: The Book Of Rowan, it is informed by the desire to understand the nature of these associated phenomena through the lens of the sacred sciences. This means that if you have a specific tradition or group of techniques that you use to access these beings and these realms, the material presented will expand what you have instead of offering a replacement to what you practice. For those that are new to this sort of work, then this book will provide a framework that will assist them in making sense of experiences and systems as they go about their explorations. The book had a bit of a delay in printing but will be available in January 2005.
TWPT: As a teacher what is it that you find satisfying about going to the many conferences and festivals and teaching those things that you have learned along your path? What is it that you would like for those who attend your classes to take with them when they go back to their individual lives?
ID: The single greatest gift that I get from going to conferences and festivals is the opportunity to observe and to participate in the life of various communities. This stimulates and enlivens me in countless ways.
Barely second to that is the joy of watching the process of growth and the unfolding of selfhood that happens during workshops, rituals, and in follow-up discussions. I hope that people come away from my classes with the knowledge that there is more and the desire to become that more. One of the greatest obstacles to all magickal folks is the slumber and the inertia of complacency, satisfaction, and low expectations. If I can stir them, even a little, I am happy.
TWPT: I was reading a description of your teaching methods and it said that your techniques are rooted in a synthesis of traditional metaphysical teachings, modern science, and memories from past lives. How is it that you blend all of these facets harmoniously into a cohesive whole style?
ID: There is a great teaching in the Western Mystery traditions that says that everything that rises must converge. Well the process of synthesis is in part about raising consciousness to the point that the commonalities, or ideally the root sources, of things become evident. I also believe that things must be tested and prove themselves as safe and worthy before they should be shared with others. There are many things that look plausible and seem to have the ring of truth that fail when tested in the field of life. This is especially true of information gleaned from past life memories or in conversations with spirits. Another thing to consider is that the development of a cohesive teaching style is directly related to the amount and the quality of effort applied in doing your own work. In the arena of magickal and metaphysical teaching, those that can do it can teach it. If you can't do it, you can't teach it.
TWPT: Tell me about Between the Worlds and what this conference stands for in the Pagan community and why you have decided to be involved with it each time it occurs.
ID: Between The Worlds: A Grand Magickal Congress is sponsored by the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel and as such it is my duty and my pleasure to work for this event. This particular conference happens roughly every 3-6 years whenever there are astrological aspects that support the work of an interfaith esoteric conference. I believe that it is very important to encourage the cross-pollination, the exchange of ideas, that is one of the benefits of interfaith esoteric work. Between The Worlds strives for diversity and high quality in its workshops and rituals. It is easier to achieve this with a conference that occurs every several years. This conference also is an opportunity for powerful large group rituals. It has been my experience that many festivals and gatherings have almost given up on their main rituals being anything more than non-participatory ritual theatre or watered down celebratory ceremonies. What a wonderful gift it is to the community to offer a ritual that pushes the boundaries of their experience into new territory.
We also use this conference is an opportunity to raise issues and to support community projects. We have raised funds for the New Alexandrian Library at this conference. At the Between The Worlds we just held, there was quite a bit of healing that occurred around the issue of the presidential election. At our plenary sessions, panel discussions that have nothing scheduled against them so that the majority of the participants attend, we hear articulate discourse on many of the core issues in our community.
We also have a lot of fun at this event which is also a worthy thing indeed.
There is an excellent review of the last Between The Worlds at: http://www.witchvox.com/festivals/fest_btw04.html
TWPT: You have quite a few creative outlets at your disposal, tell me more about how music and art help you to express different aspects of your spiritual nature.
ID: You have probably heard the idea that there are some phrases or words in one language that have no direct translation into another language. That is the way that I feel about painting, drawing, chant writing, carving, sewing, and all the other forms of creative expression that I so enjoy.
Living a magickal life means an increase in your creative powers because the Great Ones are creative and we are their children.
TWPT: From an author and teacher's perspective what do you see happening within the Pagan community in the here and now and where is it that you would like to see it go over the next ten years?
ID: I think that I have in part answered this question in several other questions, but there is a bit more I'd like to add. I would like to see a deepening of our community to match and to balance the wild expansion that we have seen in the last few years. A tree whose roots do not delve as deep as its branches reach high will fall. I would like to see more brick and mortar presence in the physical world to anchor our huge cyber presence. I would like to see more academic programs, more real training, and higher standards for our priestesses and priests. I want us to take seriously what it means to be a religious movement.
TWPT: What is it that you would like to see your books accomplish as they are sent forth by you into the world?
ID: I want my books to be part of the magick that helps to manifest the world that I and my fellow seekers are visioning. My public magickal name is Panpipe and I am often correcting people who turn it into Panpipes. It is singular because I am one reed that plays one note. It is my hope that my books add one note to a greater melody.
TWPT: Your partner Jim and you have been together for quite a long time. How does that kind of security and support in a relationship translate into helping you focus your creative energies in your art, your music and your books?
ID: Jim and I will be celebrating 26 years together in February. A good lover is like a good editor, they bring out the best in you and point out the worst. I can tell you that Jim does more than support my work. He inspires me and I would not be alive, let alone sane without him. I also take pride in his work as a Wiccan Priest in the Assembly and in his work in HIV/AIDS work nationally and internationally where he is a name to conjure with. We also have the strength of a well grounded open/poly relationship. Our beloved Adam has been in our lives for 7 years and we teach and are taught by him. We also have the joy of continuing deep friendships with our past lovers.
TWPT: Looking towards the future a little, what other books do you have inside of you that are just dying to get out and do you have an idea as to when you might let them out?
ID: The next one after Spirits Of Earth & Faerie is a book on ritual design. After that probably a book on the Elements or the Tree of Life. I have more books in me than I have time. I also put my work as an Elder first, which means that my work as a writer comes after teaching, mentoring, and organizing in my priority list.
TWPT: To close out this interview do you have any thoughts or encouraging words you would like to share with those who are fellow travelers along this spiritual path?
ID: A Zen Master and a discouraged student are walking together along the shore of a lake. The Master asks the student to pick up a pebble and throw it in the lake. The student does so, and is asked to observe the lake. The Master then asks him if it has changed. The puzzled student finally answers that there is no difference. The Master explains that though they cannot see it, be assured that the level of the lake has risen. Trust in the weight of the pebble.
The New Alexandrian Library Project: This project is working to create a library worthy of its namesake. By no later than 2010 the New Alexandrian Library will open its doors.
TWPT: Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us especially with all the activity that you've been involved with lately concerning the Between the Worlds event just past. I wish you the best of luck with your latest book due out in January and success in your efforts to complete the New Alexandrian Library Project.