TechnoPagan! What? Well, if you are reading this post, you are using one, whether it's a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone. If it weren't for computers, I would still be struggling with finding Pagan gatherings and communities. When I meditate, I sometimes play music via iPod. And there are tons of Pagan blogs, Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, podcasts, etc.
Techno-Paganism is an umbrella term that characterizes several different beliefs and practices in Neopaganism, in reference to the place of technology in Neopagan practice. A Pagan Spiritualist who believes that mechanical and electronic devices, such as cars and computers, have a spirit or soul of their own. They use modern-day devices in magical ritual.
This can include the substitution of technology for traditional magical tools, such as using their oven for a hearth, keeping a 'Disk of Shadows' instead of a 'Book of Shadows', and using a laser pointer as a wand. In other practices, technology is the target of the magical work, such as the use of stones and other charms to help improve the performance of mundane items or online role-playing avatars.
When used to describe belief systems, Techno Paganism focuses on the spiritual side of technology. This can include the belief that technological items and artifacts of modern living - such as buildings, roads, parks, cars, and other such items - have pseudo-spirits, or totem spirits, of their own. This can also extend into cities with Urban Pagans.
Computers are magic. Created from bits of carbon, nitrogen, copper and sand. Merged together with fire and water to form chips, wires, shells and more. And magically you can talk to grandma across the globe. Our ancestors use to have to walk two days to talk to grandma. But today, quickly and marvelously, you can message, text, talk, research and more because of technology.
Use the power of the internet to contact other tech-savvy Pagans. You could trade spells, join forums and form/join online covens websites such as Witchvox and Spells of Magic. Think about the many ways you can substitute electronics for older equipment, for example laser pointer for a wand or a word processor for a Book of Shadows. TechnoPaganism doesn't just involve electronic objects, a lighter to substitute fire, a crock-pot for a cauldron, or an oven for a hearth are still options.
TechnoWitches have eBooks of Shadows that they may share online at their website or save it via USB drive for personal use. Yes, I know our ancestors did not have access to the internet and many traditions then and now are still oral. But I see no problem with using the technology that we have today to further our spirituality. Do you use a CD for circle music? Do you have an email list for your coven members? Do you drive a car to the local Pagan conference? I use an app to track the moon phase. And for those of us who are really into magic, there is an app that tracks the planetary hours.
Ok, I know this may be a thorny subject for some. I struggle with this too sometimes, how can I not use any technology to stay pure to the ancestors? But then I remember some Viking history. They were explorers and traders, using their own technology. The nautical achievements of the Vikings were exceptional. Their ships were like nothing else seen on the seas before: riveted wood, keel design, side rudder - all top technology at the time. They made distance tables for sea voyages that were remarkably precise. They have been found to differ only 2–4% from modern satellite measurements, even on long distances across the Atlantic Ocean.
They were masters of the art of weapon forging and weapon embellishment who were able to create swords, spears, javelins, battle-axes, knives, bows, arrows, shields, and body armor with intricate designs. The extent of their metalworking skills is clearly demonstrated in the excavation of Lagoda where the remains of a forge yielded tools for many different purposes. They were also technologically advanced in construction techniques for their time. And recent evidence suggests that the Vikings also made use of an optical compass as a navigation aid, using the light-splitting and polarization-filtering properties of Iceland spar to find the location of the sun when it was not directly visible.
I believe that my ancestors were very innovative and used whatever helped - new or old. During their travels, Viking often mixed their culture with the local customs. Updating and downloading the latest technology.
As much as I love computers and technology, there is a need to unplug every once in a while. After all, being Pagan is about nature and connecting with the natural rhythms. Find a balance between your technology and the natural world around you. Take some time away from all screens and read a book or go outside - or read a book outside. Being a TechnoPagan means using technology for us and not letting technology use us.
Zeus of roaring, rumbling thunder;
Thor of lightning, Fiery Wonder;
Loki, Murphy - tricksters, dear;
Keep your mischief far from here!
Protect, oh Mercury, this device
And keep its uploads clear and nice.
Its downloads send with greastest ease,
And put them where they ougth to be.
From bit bucket heaven, please protect
All bytes and pixels I elect
To zip and send across the land -
Carry them safely in Your hand!