Technowitchcraft / technopaganism

Open discussion about how our beliefs have been affected by popular culture.
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HexesAndDecimals
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Technowitchcraft / technopaganism

Post by HexesAndDecimals »

Do any of you practice in full or in part technowitchcraft or technopaganism? For the most part the extent of most "technowitches" online seems to only be storing their book of shadows on a flashdrive and drawing sigils with their computer. While those are both valid practices, I don't consider them alone "technowitchcraft". Neither is rave culture, it's its own valid and distinct belief sphere.

Computers, and the internet at large, offer a form of pure communication that our forefathers only dreamed about. It offers you the chance to speak to another human, unclouded by judgement of looks or mannerisms. You see them only for their ideas, rather than their physical form. Canada's University of Mantinoba has a great write up about it.
Here are some choice quotes:
Human evolution will follow the model of technology in terms of mass connectivity, and become a collective mind. Others believe that a collective mind will be enabled by the technology, and minds will be hooked up or wired into the Internet just as computers are. An aspect of this idea is omniscience, the ability of a person who is logged into the net to "know all" or even "be all" by virtue of the connections that it grants them. The mind becomes likened to a computer; thoughts and emotions as well as anything else are processed as "files." If this is true, then it is possible to take the contents of a person's biological brain and upload them into a form of digital brain that physically does not deteriorate: instant immortality. Cyberspace allows users to transcend their bodies, as many religions aim towards. To me, these qualities make the Internet into a place, which allows people to recreate themselves as a version of their own god. Omniscience, immortality, transcending the body-all these things are classic goals or qualities of spiritual enlightenment or spiritual control.
Wertheim (1999) has worked with the idea that cyberspace is a new version of Heaven, this time created by humans and not God. Part of her ideas rest in the basis that the tradition of the Western world to separate the mind and body has lead to the ideas that qualities that are not physical become equated with the mind (Wertheim 1999:149). Interestingly, the mind also includes spiritual qualities and beliefs. Thus, the Internet is largely a spiritual "space" somewhere in the ether. It becomes part of the Christian concept of Heaven through this link, but also holds a promise of the sacred to many people. One thing that is important to remember, though, is that this version of Heaven is under our direct control. There is no intermediary of the priest and other clergy, or barriers of divine beings that work for God. We are directly connected to technology that allows us divine creation. We can create our own utopic worlds online-the act of creating somehow becoming important once we realize we can have our own six days, and own a web page. But if you know how, creating the world can only take about six hours. Somehow, in a crucial way, the Internet has begun to allow democratic belief systems, or belief systems independent of control to exist as a large presence. To some extent, this is because cyberspace works with a form of power relations that render hierarchies of power and control in religion as unnecessary. There is no one person that must be accessed in order to attain spiritual enlightenment. There are multiple sources that allow each and every person who accesses them to work at their spirituality on their own level.
While the article was written in 2001, a lot of it is still very relevant to our current lives.
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Xiao Rong
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Re: Technowitchcraft / technopaganism

Post by Xiao Rong »

I'm surprised no one's posted on it yet -- what an interesting topic! I remember reading some very dated books (at this point, anyways) about "cyber witchcraft", which was mostly like, "Spells to enchant your floppy disks!" There really isn't much out there at the moment. Certainly electronics are prevalent in almost all Pagan rituals I've seen now -- you'd be hard-pressed to find out that didn't use cell phones or other media players. There's been some debate about what kind of energy electronics bring into a circle, but I have yet to see anyone use it consciously to enhance magical workings. That would be a really interesting avenue to explore.

A lot of modern Paganism is focused on direct experiences of the body, Earth, and Nature, which is extremely important, and I want to be careful of not getting so caught up by technopaganism that I lose sight of those. But the Internet is probably one of the most greatest egregores that I know of, possibly even its own deity. I think it has significantly changed from the pure, utopian vision of collective knowledge and understanding that people thought it could be (as recent events have shown), but it still has tremendous weight and is unthinkably vast. The things that end up becoming "viral" are incredibly fickle and undeniably powerful. I don't personally have experience with working with the Internet as an egregore, but that would be really interesting.
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Re: Technowitchcraft / technopaganism

Post by SnowCat »

Do you consider things like this forum to be part of technowitchcraft? I'm really not familiar with that concept, and I tend to be technochallenged, but I think we see some really good stuff exchanged here.
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Re: Technowitchcraft / technopaganism

Post by SpiritTalker »

Ive seen the Internet used to inflame an emotional chain reaction through spook-y stories that are meant to plant emotions and then the psychic energy of the emotional text replies is "channeled" or redirected for magical use. That's the only so called cyber magic I've come across. It's similar to directing a group prayer to sustain a group purpose...spreads the word fast & gets lots of minds involved in programming group-think. I can see cyber space as the overall group mind & hive minds are powerful in shaping mass consciousness etc.

Maybe cell phone links can make a chain to carry a ritual but that seems redundant...so I'm pretty sure I don't "get it" or intuit the usefulness.

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Re: Technowitchcraft / technopaganism

Post by Xiao Rong »

I've seen some people use memes as a form of magic. Not always for good intents. Some Internet-created egregores have (arguably) come to life. And, like Spirit said, some emotional chain reactions have impact on the real world. The Internet is a hive mind, but of a very fickle sort.
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Re: Technowitchcraft / technopaganism

Post by HopefulChild »

Not to toot my horn, but I've been working in this area.

The magic amplifier is still in-process.

Using technology to assist in ritual is still conceptual.

And right now I'm working on an APP that "should" in theory allow people to share energy using the finger print scanner on their phones, to assist in ritual. (At current there are no protocols in firmware to allow sending a specific amount of electricity BACK to the fingerprint scanner. Safety issue so it doesn't overheat).

Here are a couple links to other threads on this forum I've posted with ideas that promote this line of thinking.

http://everythingunderthemoon.net/forum ... ilit=robot

http://everythingunderthemoon.net/forum ... ilit=spark

Please feel free to chime in on any subject I've posted about along these lines. New ideas are sought after always.

Thanks.

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Re: Technowitchcraft / technopaganism

Post by HexesAndDecimals »

Both those threads are fascinating. I commented on the four elements one because my response was too long to post here. And I feel like using a robot within a spell would be fine, as long as you consecrate it (as another commenter said). I see no reason why a robot should be any different from any other technology; we use ink because it's easier than drawing with dirt, and they're both technologies.

I like the idea of the app, as long as you don't shock your users or fry their phones. Electricity is such a fickle thing. I do like the idea of using phones, as touch screens already work by using the natural electrical charge of the human body. What would you do with the electricity gathered from users, though? Would it be transmitted as small vibrations spread out through all the users, or would the phone connect through a wire or bluetooth to a battery or some form of electrical arc, where you could see the manifestation of the users' energy?
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Re: Technowitchcraft / technopaganism

Post by HopefulChild »

I don't have answers at present for those questions.

That's one of the issues I'm facing right now. We know how to harness electricity for work. Just like we harness fire for work. But how do you harness fire for spirit? How do you harness electricity for spirit?
We harness wind, water, and earth for spirit by touching them and attempting to attach our energy to their natural state, or to draw their energy into our natural state.

Attempting to do that with even small amount of fire or electricity gets kind of dangerous really fast.

The magical amplifier idea is passing electricity through your body to complete a circuit, and then the end of that circuit is an amplifier connected to a Jacob's Ladder, or a plasmic discharge arc. In that case you can pass much smaller amount of electricity through your body from a simple dynamo pushing only about 12 volts at about 0.1 amp, and then pass that through your body using your hands as the contact points and then it goes to a 70,000 volt amplifier to the plasmic discharge arc. In that case what happens to the energy YOU added to the voltage by concentrating while the electricity moved through you, to the amplifier?

I'll let you know what happens when I test it. :-)

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Re: Technowitchcraft / technopaganism

Post by HexesAndDecimals »

You could try to harness the natural electrical pulses in the body; every heartbeat, muscle twitch, breath, etc is controlled by a small pulse of electricity. Thoughts are detectable as electrical waves. If you want to track brainwaves, it's an EEG (Electroencephalography) machine, and if you want to detect muscle contractions it's an EMG (Electromyography) machine. As far as I remember, brain waves are electrical synapses between neurons, and muscle contractions are stimulated by an electrical potential difference in your nerves. You could also use a Heart Rate Variability Monitor to measure your heartrate. Only problem with all of the aforementioned machines is that they're very, very expensive. The cheapest EEG machine I could find is $300. You could, however, adapt Mattel's $80 EEG Game to your uses, if you want. I owned it a couple years ago and it does work, even if it's a bit confusing. It's probably your cheapest EEG option.

Essentially, I'd argue that the electricity of your body is the safest and closest you'll get to harnessing plasma for spirit.

That test does sound super cool though, Jacob's Ladders are wild. I look forward to hearing about it!
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