Technopaganism

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Technopaganism is an umbrella term that characterizes several different beliefs and practices in Neopaganism (which includes faiths such as Neo-druidry) in reference to the place of technology in Neopagan practice.

Definitions[edit]

Technopaganism has a number of distinct definitions found in various discourse:

  • The use of 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 practice, 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.
  • Modern tribal/urban primitive movements such as urban shamanism and rave culture. This is often used in association with electronic dance music.
  • An emergent trend in neopagan thought that deals with spiritual and magical facets of technology and technological society. Associated with this is the use of technological metaphors (most often computer and/or telecommunications metaphors) to describe spiritual phenomena, as well as the use of symbolism from popular culture in spiritual contexts.[1]

Beliefs[edit]

When used to describe belief systems, technopaganism 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 also extends to cities.

One belief that faces substantial objections is that the Internet itself is attaining a unique spirit. Indeed, it is the stated objective of the creator of VRML to bring about the merging of the spiritual world with the physical world.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

In the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the recurring character Jenny Calendar is a technopagan.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steven Vedro, "teleconsciousness"
  2. ^ Erik Davis (July 1995). "Technopagans". Wired. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2008. 
  3. ^ "I, Robot... You, Jane". Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season 1. Episode 8. I, Robot -- You, Jane - Buffy Episode 8 Transcript. April 28, 1997, the WB. Ms. Calendar: Mm. I don't have that kinda power. 'Technopagan' is the term. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Erik Davis. TechGnosis : Myth, Magic & Mysticism in the Age of Information. Harmony, 1998. ISBN 0-517-70415-3
  • Mark Dery. "Deus Ex Machina: Technopaganism," in Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century. Grove/Atlantic, 1996. ISBN 978-0-8021-3520-9.
  • Raven Kaldera and Tannin Schwartzstein. The Urban Primitive: Paganism in the Concrete Jungle. Llewellyn, 2002. ISBN 0-7387-0259-5
  • Christopher Penczak. City Magick: Urban rituals, spells and shamanism. Weiser, 2001. ISBN 1-57863-206-4
  • Steven Vedro. "Digital Dharma: Expanding Consciousness in the Infosphere". Quest, 2007. ISBN 978-0-8356-0859-6.

External links[edit]