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Procel: the Demons of the Goetia

By MichaelBilottaPhotography    
Months ago I bought two large books, "the Lesser Key of Solomon" or "Goetia" and "the Dictionary of Demons" in the hope of finding a tome of material for imagery. Certainly there was a lot, in fact, it was a little overwhelming in scale and scope. Seventy-two demons were described with invocations for all, not to mention the Grimoire history from which all this was derived and translated.

So, not wanting to spend month reading about it, I shelved it, literally.

I have been spending the last few images working with water, a challenge to say the least, when you are trying to blend dry models with water shot on a different day and location. But we learn by doing, so the last few weeks have been a self-induced master class on working with water compositions.

I spent a day and a half this weekend working on a single image, and it was not this one. I am not sure if I will post it ever, but there was something wrong with it from the start, and thinking I could wrestle it into "good," I kept at it. I let it sit overnight, hoping that fresh eyes in the morning would make it all better. It didn't. I worked on it some more, as much as I could, until it was finished. I wanted to release it, to show anyone watching what I slaved over, but I just did not like it. So, nothing to show for hours and hours of work.

Having built up an image that had qualities and colors I liked, but not the overall result, I started coming through some recent shoots of various models until I settled on this one, and I liked it, but didn't know what to do with it. Certainly it was going to be dark one, given the expression of rage on the model's face. I popped the raw shot into my failed composition under all the layers, and sculptured those layers to fit the new shot. Bold, dramatic, painterly sky, a person emerging from water. I took those books of Demonology and looked for a water demon. Procel, the 49th demon in the Goetia, a Duke of Hell, with 48 Legions under his command, speaks with dark intensity, has command over water and imparts wisdom of geometry and the Occult.

I added the headpiece as a nod to geometry and the orbs, which were manipulated ping pong balls, as nods to the legions he has dominion over. I intended to add forty-eight, but that proved too many for the image. The seal on his chest and forehead is the Seal of Procel, and was created by a photo I took of it from the book itself.

As an atheist who takes a dim view of the Occult or anything religious or spiritual, I had to think on what this image and what it represents means to me personally. The word demon has become, well, "demonized" in the Judeo-Christian world, and they do not necessarily represent evil. They are often described as having a capacity for good and evil, much like us. And that's the point of these demons and the realms they occupy: there are beneficial and destructive potentials in these elemental beings. Water is life-giving but can also destroy.

It's not certain if I will continue mining the Goetia for ideas and develop a series out of it, but this was a fun diversion, and having done some reading on the subject, I am more certain than ever these demons were conjured by man in an attempt to assign logic and reason to the random and mysterious occurrences that grace and plague our world.

Model: Luis Gabriel Nunez

Tags: Specialist and abstract Digitally manipulated Digital art Portraits and people Flash and lighting

Voters: Ade_Osman, MattB1987, bluesandtwos and 8 more

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bluesandtwos 11 521 1 England
11 Jul 2013 8:19AM
I have to say this is not one of my favourites of yours, the skillful work is undeniable and the reasoning behind the image is, as usual, so interesting, but for me it is too tortured an image. Maybe it's just me this morning, Sad I'll have another look later in the day.

NDODS 10 5.2k 127 United Kingdom
11 Jul 2013 10:02AM
Interesting, informative, imaginative, and intriguing

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
11 Jul 2013 12:40PM
Awesome image. Strong. =)

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