Question of the Week #16 – Magic vs Technology

cellphoneHere we are reading a site about paganism on the internet exchanging information and ideas.  While at the exact same time the majority of us slave over hand written Book’s of Shadow.  I’ve known people to move major electronics out of the rooms before doing circle. I take my watch off and try and make sure my cell phone stay out of the circle.  It is as if we are scared that our magic and the energy we raise can affect or somehow damage these types of things. Have you ever damaged something electronic in circle?

What about turning things around?  Have you ever tried to use electronics in circle?  I don’t just mean have something in the room, or wearing something, but actively using it as a focus, a talisman, or some other major part of ritual.  These items now are as much a part of our lives as a pendent and or tool that we might have used in some past life some past incarnation (We’ll look at Reincarnation next week). For whatever reason it seems to be more acceptable to use these old tools in ritual but at the same time these newer tools are looked at differently.  As if they were somehow dirty or unable to receive that kind of energy.

Think about things for a moment you are getting up in the morning, preparing for the day, you head out the door for work, school, whatever else.  If you compare the things people are carrying I would wage that the majority of people have Cell Phones. These phones come in all shapes, sizes, and capability.  You might have a simple cell phone or maybe a powerful blackberry that connects you to the internet and beyond.  In many ways it has become a symbol of its own as well as a powerful tool.  Have you ever done magic on or with your cell phone?  It connects you so many different aspects of your life.  In a separation ritual you could delete the contact information of the person you separating from. The same thing could be done through other means of electronic contact, Facebook,  Myspace, Paganspace what your social networking site of choice. Electronic tools are a part of our life on so many levels that we might not be able to afford to ignore their potential as a valuable tool or target for magic. Yet so many of us do ignore it, are you one of them? If so why?

Back to the original point made in the first paragraph we slave over these hand written book’s of shadow. Is there some reason not to move to the next logical step of note taking?  You answer my questions by typing so clearly you know how and you all have computers or at least access to them so that can’t be the reason either.  Despite the easy with which we could switch from one style to the other so few of have, is it a matter tradition? Or is there some other reason that keeps us working with paper.

8 comments for “Question of the Week #16 – Magic vs Technology

  1. January 26, 2010 at 1:56 am

    I have started keeping my book of shadows electronically. This does limit my illustrations for the time being, but I plan to get better at digital art so hopefully that will change at some point. I find that I am more likely to write things down when using the computer and that I include more detail.

    Have not gone so far as to do magic on or with my cell phone — not sure how that would work exactly. Must think on it a bit, but it sounds intriguing.

  2. January 26, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I think everything has energy of some kind.

    While I love the simple energy that comes from meditating under a tree in autumn, when it comes to writing I prefer modern technology.

    Maybe its because I can’t read my own handwriting?

    But when I write a novel I find using the laptop allows my fingers to keep up with my brain and I am able to later read what I wrote. And there is something magical that happens when I am sitting with my fingertips on the keyboard and the characters and story transfer from the world in my mind to the document in the computer. I don’t even feel as though I am thinking … the characters just make my fingers move … magic happens.

  3. January 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    The reason why I, personally, take off any electronic items and turn off my cell phone when I enter circle is because I am trying to change my mind set, and these items are connected to the mundane world. Circle is supposed to be a “time between time, and a space between space”, having my cell phone go off yanks me right back into the real world.

    That being said, anything you can connect to emotionally can be an anchor or aid in spell work. If when you think of communication and the first thing that comes to mind is your phone, then it’s a powerful symbol and should be used.

    I also have no issue with an electronic BoS. Some people have made a transition from say, a pen and paper, to the keyboard, and magick flows either way. It’s all there if one does the work…it takes as much time to set up a Publisher file as it does to write out a page long hand.

    This was a good question, thank you for posting it.
    Be well,
    .-= Bhen Rudha´s last blog ..Helping out. =-.

  4. January 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I spend so much time at the computer, being an Etsy seller, that I really need to keep all electronics away when doing magick work, which I do in a room without any electronic device. But, on the other hand, when I write a reading for an online customer and send it through email, the magick wouldn’t be possible without the computer. I think we shouldn’t stay in the past, but we shouldn’t forget it either; balance between “e-life” and real life must be kept.
    .-= Carolina Gonzalez´s last blog ..New Handpainted Items Listed =-.

  5. Max
    February 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I tend to use or not use technology depending entirely if it’s a solo exercise, or a group one. If it’s something like a group journal or record or something along that line, I still like to write it all out by hand. Seems more real somehow. And it also gives my brain time to process what I am writing and reflect on what I am taking away from the occasion I am writing about.

    If it’s just me, though, I keep everything electronic. My original “book” of shadows was more accurately a floppy-disk of shadows. And that’s morphed and is now my sub-folder of shadows on my laptop and that folder is nothing more than a collection of random articles, poetry, and ritual attempts, with no organisation at all. It literally looks like Lady Chaos herself is a quasi-permanent resident. And yet, it seems to work that way somehow. And my greatest tool in my private practice (when it choose to work that is) by far is my MP3 player. I enjoy trancing to the rhythmic sounds of drums and didgeridoos. But as much as I would love to have an Australian aboriginal band at my beck and call, let’s face it – at 2 am the cops would still be called. So a working MP3 player and a good set of earphones is not a bad replacement.

    As for my cell-phone – I can honestly say I avoid it in ritual. I tend to ignore it outside of ritual actually. But I can think of nothing more irksome than to be in the middle of asking the divine to join you, only to be interrupted by the phone ringing.

    – M

  6. Staci
    March 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    I feel that For some reason unless I am lookind down, I can not think. Its weird. Like when i look down onto a paper notebook, and pick up the pencil and start writing i am putting the words there, and seeing myself do this. I cant even explain right now, what it is im trying to say… hahah computer. My brain understands that I am typing and writing but i feel like im only pressing buttons, and as a result of that, the paper is being written. rather then me actually writing out every word, which allows me to focus and realize what im writing. See this was all very confusing, and thats because I decided to do an experament, and not pre write my thoughts down on paper, and then type from my notes onto the computer. This is raw brain thought. So i wonder, How well did you understand this? haha

    And if you couldnt, then that right there is my reason for not using the computer. Ha ha

  7. Tara
    June 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    This is such a great question…something that always comes up when talking about personal and coven book of shadows is that it should be hand written. I have a friend who types everything prints it and then hand copies it into her book of shadows. I have only recently started looking for spiritual and magickal information on the internet, I have always been one for sticking to the way we have always done them. It is interesting to think if the energy is really that different when we use technology compaired to when we do it without. I feel in being more connected with and trying to connect with earth and nature, technology just seems to be in the way…but is that really just a state of mind???

  8. Mojavi
    August 2, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Idk, I have be researching into combining my rituals with the technology in my life. Just like how one uses a broom to clean the house but also to involve magick by sweeping out negitivity, I use, for example, my iphone, not only to mundanely communicate with the world but to magickly communicate with the world. If ritual calls for a picture that must be carried on me, what better way than to save a pic to my phone and also have it with me always. The pic is also attached to an antenna, that sends out a signal into the digital ether. No different that our rituals sending out our will/intent into the magickal ether. Every time I look at my man’s pic (on my phone), the phone’s antenna just amplifies my intend.

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