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CASTINGS - The Creation of Sacred Space

By Ivo Dominguez Jr, published by SapFire Publications Inc, Georgetown, DE. 152pp. UK distribution by Counter Culture, BCM Inspire, London WC1N 3XX at £9.99 inc p+p. ISBN: 0-9654198-0-0

In contrast to the vast majority of US pagan and wiccan writers, Dominguez has chosen to explore in great depth a specific and vitally important area of magick - in this case the hows and whys of creating space in which to perform ritual and magick itself. This is no standard "wicca 101" book but a practical handbook and reference work for the serious and committed magickian of whatever path.

The core of the book is largely divided into three sections. The first contains an in depth discussion of such matters as the reasons for creating sacred space, the importance of proper inner preparation and of centring and grounding in the creation of sacred space, of understanding and dealing with energy and of understanding magickal reality. The second is a serious and concentrated discussion of the basic structure of the most familiar model sacred space, ie the wiccan/ceremonial magick circle, and how to cast it and why. Thirdly, the book presents a number of different models of sacred space which Dominguez suggests can be used for a variety of more specialised magickal purposes such as protection from unwanted influences and energies, the creation of inner stillness by the caster, a simple and quickly-erected sacred space or those which call upon specific magickal imagery such as that used by the cabala.

Although Dominguez says that one of his suggested models of sacred space is not really suitable for beginners, I feel that this entire book is not really a beginner's book. This is partly because there is so much information in it, and so many ideas, that a genuine beginner would be faced with a dauntingly steep learning curve in tackling it; and partly because the presentation of so many choices is, I suggest, likely to be a cause of confusion to the inexperienced reader who would perhaps be better off learning "standard" circle casting from another (more basic) source, and turn to this book when he or she has sufficient experience with that model from which to understand and appreciate the different energies manifested by the different models of sacred space which this book presents. The focus running through the book is very much on ideas, on understanding why we do things and what they mean, and on issues raised by the creation of sacred space.

In short then, a very useful book for those with some existing experience of creating and working with sacred space and very strongly recommended to those who already have at least some magickal and ritual experience.