Neopagan Technology

August 11, 2009 - magic / neopagan / wicca

My research this summer has been focused on NRMs. Most recently, I’ve been looking at Neopaganism. This includes the general new age-isms, the 2012 movement, some UFO religions, Druids, Ásatrú, Ceremonial Magick and Wicca (in no particular order).

Many of these NRMs reside at an intersection of religion and technology. Witchvox, a “neopagan news/networking” web site, lists “Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham as the “Top Choice” book on Wicca for all age groups based on member voting. One of Cunningham’s follow up books discusses how Wiccan magic is a kind of technology, comparing magic to an operation on a calculator:

“Disbelief also isn’t a satisfactory reason for magical secrecy. The disbelief of others has as much effect on magic as does an unschooled person’s doubt that a calculator can add 2 and 2 to equal 4. The calculator will work, regardless of the observer’s doubt. So, too, will magic.

There are other possible reasons why the calculator won’t perform this simple operation: faulty microchips; low battery power or a lack of batteries; an operator who pushes the incorrect buttons, or a button turned off. Still, observer’s disbelief alone can’t be the case. The same is true of magic. Properly performed, magic will be effective. If energy is raised within the body, programmed with intent, and projected toward its goal with the proper force and visualization, it will be effective.”

From “Living Wicca,” Scott Cunningham