Yeah, yeah, I know it’s been quiet here lately. I’ve been working on a few other projects in the meantime and haven’t had anything that immediately screams “post me!” for the topics, but then, this is also my own Hell Season (from mid-August to mid-October), so perhaps it’s for the best I take a step back for a bit so I can focus on basically everything else going on. Besides, there’s always my Twitter and Curious Cat for my more short-form antics and answers! However, even while I’m over here being quiet for a bit, there is something I wanted to bring up and clarify.
In some of the online communities I’m in, it’s come as a major shock and disappointment that the blog Voces Magicae has recently gone offline. Granted, it hadn’t seen a good update in a while (since like mid-2017), but what was up there has been such a valuable treasure trove for so many researchers, occultists, and magicians in the Greco-Egyptian/PGM crowds for so long. And now it’s…just, well, gone. Sure, the Internet Archive Wayback Machine can help a bit, since some of the posts were automatically archived there, but it’s a far cry from the whole thing. I know I’ve read Leonardo’s work before in amazement and astonishment at how damn good he was, and he’s even been an inspiration and challenge for my own writing. Whether he’s simply decided to let his Voces Magicae blog-project come to a quiet end on its own or not, what is true is that it’s a loss for us all who didn’t keep good enough notes.
To be honest, this is one of the problems with ephemeral information media, including the vast majority of things on the Internet. Websites come, websites go; blogs get started, blogs get deleted; forums start up, forums die down. Heck, even simple website reorganization can be disastrous for some information; I know I’ve had some links on my own blog go bad from taking down old pages that people still periodically ask me about. As opposed to a book or stele, websites are inherently ephemeral, to the point where some rabbis have argued that it’s okay for the Tetragrammaton to be written fully on digital monitors since they’re not permanently “written” in the same way as it would be with ink on paper or by chisel on stone.
It’s this very same ephemerality, the transitory nature of so much digital media, that really should encourage us how we think about archiving and saving what we write and read. Heck, it’s not just about the Internet, either; think of how much data is stored on old floppy disks, Zip disks, and other now-obsolete formats of storage media. And when it comes to formats, think about how many different codecs, compression methods, and other file formats there are that are now so obscure that you’d have to really dig deep to find any modern application to make use of it. And there’s also the fact that hard drives just sometimes fail, taking all our data on it with it, whether we could access it just fine moments ago or not—and whether it’s our own hard drives we control at home, or networked ones that we simply make use of hosted elsewhere.
I know a lot of people make use of my website and the posts here; it’s a point of pride for me, not gonna lie, that I’ve been able to start something here that helps at least a few people out in addition to myself. I see links shared to my blog here and there, and it’s always amusing to me to see linkbacks and click-throughs to my blog from WordPress’ analytics utilities. While I have no concerns about the long-term viability of keeping this website active (I’m on WordPress’ $80/yr plan plus domain name fees, all of which is funded by both my client work, donations from charitable readers, and out of my own pocket if/as necessary) and though I’m certainly not planning on taking this thing down anytime soon (I’d be more worried about WordPress getting sold out or the Internet itself going offline), I do fear the possibility that so much of what I’ve written will eventually be lost to the world in one way or another. Yes, I take my own backups of my website to make sure I can export it back to another WordPress platform if I need to, but my worries are a bit more than that.
Someone recently asked me if they could use some of my content in a project of theirs, sourcing me appropriately by name and links, and I wholeheartedly agreed to it; they did everything right, and their project looked great. I’ve been contacted by others before about translating bits and pieces or whole posts of mine into other languages, and I know there are others who have used my stuff before in many other ways on other blogs or in their own projects. I find this to be a high honor, to be honest, and while I’m not out to ask others to augment such honor or seek to aggrandize myself or my own usefulness, I do want to make something clear in light of Voces Magicae going offline:
I am absolutely, positively, 100% okay, fine, and dandy with you printing out my blog posts or articles that are up on this website for your own use, and I am just as totally okay with you sharing, reposting, or otherwise disseminating the content of this website in your own projects, rituals, research websites, and social media, so long as you give proper accreditation.
So, so long as you tack on a “This content/image/ritual/etc. was made and originally posted at The Digital Ambler (https://digitalambler.com/)” along with a link to the original post or page you got the information from, I’m basically okay with that. It would be nice if you contacted me about doing so, if only to let me know (and maybe to spread the word about it myself!), but so long as you include a brief statement that sources where you got something from, that’s all I really ask. As far as I see it, this is more about security in redundancy to make sure it can survive on the Internet for as long as you like. And, of course, that’s all in addition to your own private print-outs, too! Lord knows I have multiple bookshelves filled with binders of printouts of blogs, articles, journals, and the like just in case things go down or if I can’t easily find things again.
Of course, the same doesn’t apply with the images out of context (in other words, please don’t share my designs, lamens, templates, etc. without also crediting them back to me), nor any of my PDFs/ebooks I produce, nor using any content of mine commercially (unless you want to start a formal conversation with me about doing so). But if you’re reading this on my website where it’s already publicly and freely available as it is, then have at in resharing it freely as well. If you’re a neurotic legalist, you can also check out the full terms and services of my website over at the bottom of my Services page,