J R's Images & Ideas
home    images    ideas    words    websites    contact    resume    links    prices   Color Magic   SolstiCelebrations & Other Meta Pages

Personal Magic

Everybody has bits of personal magic in their homes, offices or out in the woods nearby. This, like all good web pages, is in the works. Expect it to writhe around a bit before it settles. I've shot many photos over the years of my own and other people's personal magicks. If I can work the magic to find them, they'll find their way here.

Burn Offerring - Photograph Copyright 2011 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Burn Offering

It's the photograph that's magic, although this bowl in it, too, was a personal gift, from a friend who had since died and was always magic herself, often leading rituals. The burning and smoke were for reasons uncomplicated and here unexplained. Like a visual prayer. The shadows on the wall it hangs on are those of late afternoon sun, possibly on a solstice or equinox.

 Feather Fetish - Photograph Copyright 2007 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Feather Fetish

Constructed as a Christmas Tree ornament, though rather large and comprising many species' feathers. I still think of birds as magic, and their feathers a concentration thereof. They can fly, after all.

Though this was supposed to be exhibited at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, it was instead bought by a staff member, who probably set the price for it herself, and she removed from sight before any public could behold. I have not contributed another fetish there.

I had written about its physical construction and decided to keep the next one. My newer feather fetish blesses my home now and comprises many more species, sizes and colors.

Anna's Nest Box - Photograph Copyright 2011 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Nest Box - Many people gather little things in one place in private or public
in their homes. So many symbols, so many personal meanings.

I got permission to photograph and may even have donated some objects. I don't know exact meanings of them or their juxtapositions, but some are fairly obvious while others remain obscurred. It is an artful combination of animal, mineral and personal spirit.

 Bowl of Rocks - Photograph Copyright 2011 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Bowl of Magic Rocks

I posted this or a similar photo of the lovely bowl (you'd probably have to see if from the side to determine if you agreed) full of what I called my "magic rocks." Collected from many places. Baubles or crystals or seeds or hearts and keys and melted marbles. Pretty things with personal meanings.

A Christian friend made fun of it, talking about his magic cereal and magic a bunch of other things, obviously making fun of, rather than fun with. Perhaps he didn't realize he was making fun of my religion. Perhaps he didn't care. It was very off-putting. I think everybody's religion is their own business, with few two alike.

Burning Prayers

Write your prayers, hopes and dreams on slips of paper,
then burn them into the future in the back yard on New Year's Eve.

This was a purposed ritual of fire and hope, photographed by candle-light as we burned the prayers into the new year.


It always feels like prayer when I look up to see a soaring bird,
even if it's Jonathan Livingston Turkey Vulture.

Casa Rinconada Meditation - photograph copyright 1999 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Me Meditating in Casa Rinconada in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, USA

Rinconada is one of the best churches I've ever been in, and people have been praying here for five centuries. I used to go for summer solstice, hoping to watch a sliver of light slide around the inside walls of the kiva, to rest at a certain square hole near dawn. Now it's Indians-only, so I had to find another spiritual center.


Personal Solstice - copyright 2003 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

spring equinox marker on my bath tub

Since then I have marked places on the walls and tub in my bathroom at noon on solstices and equinoxes. The joy at seeing the glint of light align with previous year's positions is the same as at Chaco, and it's hundreds of miles closer. Then, of course, there's the front porch for serious thunder storms.


Shoshonee Falls

A flock of birds enjoy the spray at Shoshone Falls in Wyoming

Water is symbol for emotion. Place a picture of a waterfall over your head in bed, and expect the waters to bring emotional fulfillment to your soul. The real rainbow in the falling water is just more color magic.


Thousands gather in Santa Fe's public park every autumn to yell their pains, sorrows and angers at the giant Zozobra, who takes them in. Then, when they set blaze to Old Zo, all those problems go up in showering sparks and spectacular smoke until he — and they — are gone.


Twig Circle

Twig Circle with the Shadow of the Photographer

Prayer is any contrivance to catch the spirits and spin them to purpose. I did not put the twigs into the circle. I only found and photographed them.


You might see this instance of Jonathan Livingston Seagull floating on one or other of my web pages symbolizing spirits flying free. It was scanned from the inner covers of that book, although from watching birds fly, I prefer Jonathan Livingston Turkey Vulture for sheer aerobatic fancy.

A cracked and broken bowl on a desk that looks like an altar, with precious memories of a faithful friend departed. Words on paper to be shuffled from time to time, and remembered with hope and prayers for our friend. Feathers lighten the journey.


I used to greatly enlarge this diagram of Doppler and use it as a background on my personal web page. I liked the vague techiness of it. Something there is so very odd about sending out many radar waves, having only a spare few bounce back, then calling that communications.


Friends found this gray (pewter or stainless steel) dragon in a garage sale for $5, then gifted it to me, because they knew my faith in these semi-mythological creatures who sometimes breath fire. This one, because of the flint lighter and fuel that usually resides in his head (removed for this photograph), actually does.


Something else there is in a faraway view through trees at more trees along a winding river that stirs the soul. This is a shot down into the meandering river forest from the top of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Trees and trees and trees forever.