technology and magic

Posted on May 20, 2010
Filed Under Magic, Taylor Ellwood | 1 Comment

My apprentice recently told me that wanted to learn technomagic and I asked her to tell me what that is. Now before any of you leap in with an answer, I’ll tell you that I asked her because I wanted to find out what she thought technomagic was, and also what she thought technology itself was.

I’ve noticed that when most people think of technology, they usually think of computers or some other form of I. T., or perhaps mobile phones with mobile applications. In fact, it seems for something to qualify as technology it has to has operate on batteries or electrical power and do some kind of computational activity. Now I know that actually technology doesn’t have to be a computer or mobile phone or even need to have electrical power to qualify as technology, but it seems to me that when people about technology the focus is on the electronic as opposed to anything else.

My definition of technology is that technology is any tool that makes a task easier to do than would occur if a person was only utilizing his/her hands, or feet. For example, a shovel is technology according to my definition. I could dig at the Earth with my hands, but they would get sore quickly, and I probably wouldn’t be able to dig very far. A shovel, on the other hand, is technology that enables me to dig the Earth much more easily than just using my hands. The shovel is a tool, but its also technology.

Any tool that can be used to make a task easier is technology. And technology is important, if only because it makes our lives easier. And if we look at the process of magic, we will find that there is generally some kind of tool that is used to aid in the realization of that process. The tool could be a sigil, a staff, an athame, or it could be a form of contemporary technology, such as a computer or a mobile phone. But a tool is only effective when you actually know what you using it for. Just having technology doesn’t mean anything, unless you can actually meaningfully integrate it into your process.

Technology is an aide, but its not the magic itself. Technomagic, which could be argued to integrate the latest forms of technology into magic is only useful if you actually understand what you will use that technology for and how that technology will interact with the process you use to work your magic. In and of itself technology isn’t inherently magical. What makes it work as a magical tool is two things: 1. The meaning invested in utilizing it as a magical tool. 2. The understanding of how the tool will actually be used in your process to make the process work. These two factors need to be considered with any kind of technology, in order to make the technology an effective part of your magical process.



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