Introduction to Technopaganism
What's a Technopagan? Like most Pagan terminology, people like to argue about its definition. A broad interpretation suggests that a Technopagan is just someone who isn't averse to including electronics or modern technology in their practices. A narrower interpretation might claim that someone calling themselves a Technopagan must actively make use of the Internet, or some other specific device, when doing magick. I consider myself to be a Technopagan and a Wiccan; personally, I prefer to say that a Technopagan is anyone who recognizes the importance and relevance of technology to our modern spirituality. To understand exactly what I mean by this requires a bit of an explanation.
The Spirit of Technology
The word 'technology' has been around for many centuries. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, 'technology' was used as early as 1610 to refer to a "discourse or treatise on an art or the arts." In the mid-eighteeen hundreds, the word came to refer specifically to scientific arts. Once, society used the word 'technology' to refer to the loom, the cotton gin, typewriters, the steam engines, and other exciting scientific advances which were current at the time. Today, when we think of technology, we think of microchips, high-definition screens, and the Internet.
Technology is now, and always has been, an unavoidable reality of daily life. To some modern Pagans, technology is viewed as a kind of enemy: it spoils nature, 'clogs up' the energy in a room, or destroys the ambiance of their rituals. But technology is still the same thing as it ever was; it is a daily tool in our lives which can be used for good or for ill. Those who disdain a computer in their ritual room but enjoy the use of indoor running water are therefore missing an important bit of perspective. Town wise-women used any and all materials around their home in order to craft their spells; they turned their daily lives into something magickal. The spells we have from them may still be valid, but if we are to turn our spellcasting into something personally meaningful in this day and age, we cannot afford to pretend that technology does not exist: it is entirely too pervasive and too present in our lives.
We like to romanticize old inventions: the horse and carriage, gaslight lamps, waterwheels, and others. Just remember that once upon a time, these golden age inventions were eyed suspiciously by people just like you. "I don't want some giant carriage and its horses trampling through town square" some would say, or "these gas lamps will be the death of us-- I bet they'll explode one of these nights and kill us all." Modern inventions are just as miraculous and mysterious as our romantic horse-drawn carriages... we just need to see them from the correct perspective.
What About Technopagan Magick?
I know what you're thinking: "This is all very interesting, I suppose, but where's the magick at?" That's a valid question, and I'm perfectly happy to answer it.
My magick involves a certain awareness of the energy and function of technology. When I do a ritual, I always make myself aware of the energy field and the consciousness of each piece of technology in the room. I believe that all objects, people, and areas have a consciousness of their own-- it may not be the sort of consciousness we're most used to, but something is there all the same, and it can have an effect on your magick. Some Pagans will handle having technology in the room by pretending it isn't there, but this is a flawed methodology which will only lead to irritations and interruptions in your spellwork. Mentally and spiritually recognize your technology, if only briefly, while creating your sacred space. Your technology does its best to be useful to you in your daily life: it's only fair that you recognize it for this importance, rather than sweeping it under the rug because it's not quite as 'natural' as your wand or your incense.
One thing most Technopagans can agree on is the idea that your computer has a spirit of its own, which can be either properly cultivated or else woefully neglected. If you use your computer extensively, and put large parts of your life on it, you should respect it enough to give it a name. This name can be serious or affectionate or even just a bit of a joke, as long as it is given in the right spirit. You can even sanctify your computer, or dedicate it to a particular God or Goddess, as long as your computer is all right with the idea.
In a similar vein, tell your computer how much you love it and how grateful you are that it does what it does for you so very tirelessly and efficiently. No, I'm not kidding. Ever since I started doing this, I've found that my computers work a lot harder for me, and have even developed their own personalities and energy 'flavors.' More than once, I've begged my computer to try just a little harder, or go just a little longer on a low battery during a critical moment: and it does. Now that's love.
Are there other Technopagan techniques I use in my spellwork? Absolutely! I'm a webmaster, a computer programmer, and a database security gal by trade. I take this stuff pretty seriously, and it bleeds over into my spiritual life as a natural consequence. I wouldn't recommend all my techniques for a non-techie, but I do find that a lot of my methodologies make a lot of sense to the modern Pagan-- even if they barely know how to check their email.
Want to know more? I'll be giving an in-depth workshop on some of the more interesting techniques I use in my practices; I'll elaborate on a lot of the basic concepts here, and even teach you a few easy ways to tighten up your traditional spellwork using techno-logic. Stop neglecting your technology, and give it the love it deserves!
Re-Programming Reality: Techno-Pagan Techniques for Beginners (Courtney)
Learn a few new spellcrafting techniques from a Techno-Pagan point of view! Courtney goes over some of the most basic techniques and thought-patterns which she uses in her spell work, from re-programming reality to ‘running’ a spell in the background. This class requires that participants have basic knowledge of how to cast a spell, but does not require any prior knowledge of computers.
Saturday, February 11th, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, $30