I did a series of small character portraits illustrating ritual magic, inspired by a friend of mine who actually practiced it. She belonged to a Western Esoteric group called "Builders of the Adytum," which I found totally fascinating if a bit scary. The rich image and mythic resources provided by the Builders could be made into theatrical rituals which members created and enacted. The Builders were never really scary; their magick was in the service of the Light. This image is a concept sketch for a potential ritual involving the symbolic "sacrifice" of a red rose bloom which is floated on holy water in a silver dish. The ritualist is a concept sketch as well, since he is an ideal, beautiful character and didn't exist in real life.
I never joined "Builders of the Adytum" but in other less formal groups I was able to participate in a number of rituals which were not at all scary, being very "white" and harmless magick. I'm not much of an esotericist any more but if called upon I could rise (or make art for) the occasion.
"The Sacrifice of the Rose" is ink and watercolor on paper, 5" x 7", January 1984.