So how can we embrace this technology? I mean, in addition to using it to meet new people and learn new things, there's got to be a way to incorporate it into our spiritual practice, right? If magic is a tool that can be used in tandem with the mundane, then surely the mundane is a tool that can be used in tandem with magical practice.
How many of you have ever done a working on or for someone using only a screen name, email address, or ISP?
Years ago, I was having problems with an online stalker who had targeted me in a chat room. This wasn’t someone I had ever met in real life, but somehow she had latched on to me, and literally followed me around the internet. Wherever I went, there she was. Eventually things came to a head when she started making reference to things in my Real Life World that I had never mentioned online -- that was when I knew I needed to do something.
I never did find out her real name, but I had a screen name and an ISP, and that was good enough for me. I created a "Smoke the Trolls" working that was very industrial in nature -- it involved duct tape, a floppy disc, a packet of Kool Aid, some magnets, and a hammer. The entire focus of the working was to remove her presence from the Internet entirely -- basically erase her from existing on the worldwide web, or at the very least in my little corner of it.
It worked, and I never had a problem with her again . But the point is, if you're going to use the Internet for mundane stuff like communication and knowledge, why not use it for spell work as well? Why not use it for ritual work?
I've participated in online rituals, I've sent out calls for healing to people I've never met except online, and I've wished untold blessings upon those who were really nothing more than a name on a screen. I did it because I was able to, and because even though in theory, we know Paganism is "old", the fact is that if we don't evolve along with our technology, we're going to shortchange ourselves.
There are entire traditions of people who consider themselves Techno-Pagans. They're the folks who know it's okay to use a cell phone, a Blackberry, an iPod in ritual workings. This is the age of information, so why not make that information and that technology work for us, rather than be a hindrance?
Consider, for a moment, how many Pagans work in the field of information and technology. If you're a at Pagan convention or event, you can't swing a cat without hitting at least one computer programmer or IT specialist. If cyberspace and the magical world are both virtual realities, both places that are constructed and maintained by our thoughts and our belief systems, why can't we blend the two?
Let's not turn into a generation of Luddites. Let's not say that new technology has no place in the world of an ancient spirituality that embraces the natural world. Of course it does -- it's a tool, and if we use it to our advantage, then there's no reason that magic and science can't walk hand in hand as we navigate our way along our spiritual paths, whatever those may be.