Sunday, November 13, 2011


I recently got a few questions (anon, so possibly from the same person) about why I do not post ritual photos here and on my blog - unlike other bloggers.

I do not post up photos of ritual work, detailed photos of my temple/tools, or much in the way of pictures of my Familiars, Allies, and Chamberlains because they don't want to be photographed and I respect them too much to display them for non-attribution, mis-tagged, reblogging. 
I could beg off, showing low-quality photos taken in bad lighting, so motion blurred that all you get is a vague sense of it - I could retire, satisfied that I made it look all very mystical without giving anything away... but instead I'll say "I don't want to show it, and the spirits don't want it to be shown."
I could simply re-construct a few ritual setups, a few things omitted, and take photos... But what purpose could anyone have in constructing a ritual just to photograph it? Staging shit for photos smacks of trying too hard for street cred.
I could show my tools, but they are given to me and empowered by the work between myself and the spirits. Why would I profane that gift by using it as a vehicle for self-aggrandizing?
I could show Famulus bones, or Homes, but showing the privies of an Attendant without permission is like putting a pic of your ex on one of those "Burned that bitch" websites. 

Hope that answers the questions.


  1. Right on! Sometimes you can and sometimes you can't. When you can't, you don't. Nuff said.

  2. Totally agree with you. While I do post some photos from time to time, they are ONLY pre- or post- ritual (never during, when my attention should be on the matters at-hand), and there are a ton of tools, altars, and rituals I will NEVER photograph or even share in text, for pretty much the same reasons you outlined.

    While I enjoy getting a glimpse of other folks' ritual spaces and goings-on, that shouldn't be expected of anyone. And certainly anyone really doing the Work would know why.

  3. Forestdoor - that's a huge part of the problem. I feel that a lot of the people reading blogs, and expecting homogenous output aren't doing the Work.

  4. @ forestdoor and Scylla, yes indeedy.

    Reading about some semblance of the Work is not doing the Work. Reading about herbs used in the Work is not the same as being invited to use those herbs, nor is it permission to bloviate about having used 'em.

    I am getting really tired of all such playing dress-up when there's no dang party everyone's invited to that requires such.

    I'm not a photo-snapper either. And it's not just because even with a digital camera I am hopeless.

    Besides, crafting is not a freaking spectator sport... If it was, we'd call it something else.

  5. I think this is a really interesting subject, one I had not thought about until recently I saw someone posting about it in their tumblr.

    I do post a lot of pictures of holidays and even altars. But I don't tend to take photos of spells or personal rituals. I guess that is what it comes down to, like you said, certain things call for no photographs and no sharing. Great topic.

    I also have been fine with taking photos of altars to the gods I honor.

    However, spell work, I not only do not talk about it (until it is completely done and then only in generalities), I do not take pictures of it. However, as always there are exceptions.

  6. When I see photos of other people's altars and whatnot, I always feel outclassed and a little amazed. Much as I like props, my own are minimalist. I like my magical things plain. Not much to see with plain things like an old stick or a black dishdasha or an ordinary wool tallis. I don't begrudge anyone their props or disdain their pics of same. It's just not me.

    As for rituals, I do take scans of every talisman I make, saving them for my own future reference. I don't show the ones that are custom, but I do put up scans of traditional talismans I have made. I consider they are part of our cultural wealth, and IMO, they are objects of beauty in themselves.

    It didn't occur to me that people would expect to see photos of altars and such on a blog about magic. I guess you are right about that.