September 2010

Ask ten {pagans, neopagans, Wiccans, Earth religionists, Druids, wizards, ceremonialists, etc.} for an opinion and you’re going to get at least eleven or twelve answers. That said, I feel fairly safe in saying, in reaction to Ms. O’Donnell’s statement that she “dabbled in witchcraft,” and on behalf of all of us, the following: thanks, but we don’t want her.

On the topic of neopaganism, I consider myself a technopagan and I believe technology and ritual serve very similar and sometimes interchangeable purposes: they are each an extension of human will, an opportunity to take refuge in comfortable and familiar sets of actions and ways of staying connected to the world around us. Given that in my view magic is a set of technologies we have yet to externally, objectively understand – that the mysteries are all just science waiting to happen – mixing them together is to me a no-brainer. Not every neopagan feels that way and I understand and respect that but I do not draw an arbitrary distinction between the traditional and the useful; nor am I particularly enamored of pseudo-archaism as a fashion statement. To me, magic is nothing if it isn’t useful and whatever gets the job done is as sacred as anything else – if one even wants to apply the term “sacred” to something like the tools of magic in the first place. I absolutely believe in the sacred, in forces and experiences and moments that are larger than ourselves and in the presence of which the greatest respect and dignity come from a quiet appreciation, but I don’t think I expand my own understanding of those moments by putting the vehicles that get me there on some metaphorical pedestal. If one can’t draw a circle with a laser pointer then there’s no way one can do it with a stick; if one can step into sacred space with a stick, one can do it with anything else at hand. Pretending that everything has to be handmade from fairy wings and unicorn toes would be, for my purposes, a failure to take off the training wheels. That isn’t to say I condemn someone whose ritual practices do celebrate the imagery and roleplay of historical fantasy or crafted arts or anything else! I’m saying that my preferred frame of reference is modern and technological; that the most effective tool is just that; and, maybe in my heart of hearts, that a given technology might be worth considering a little sacred for being the most effective or useful.

At any rate, my point: I’m nothing like alone in these views and I live in one of the white-hot centers of technology and cultural experimentation so why is it impossible to find other technopagans around? There are at least three neopagan groups in possession of or on the verge of purchasing permanent physical spaces in the Triangle but no amount of Googling has turned up anything like a technopagan group. Sheesh.

The Boyf thinks this means I need to start one, but good grief, I have enough to do.

Overheard as characters attempt to escape an ill-considered attack:

Red: “I could mount you, Yuri.”
Yuri: “Well, I’m Medium and you’re Small…”
Red: “See? I could totally mount you.”
Yuri: “You’d need an exotic saddle, though, because I’m a non-standard mount.”
Red: “Oh, I’d ride you bareback.”
The Boyf: “Jeez! Buy him dinner first!”