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Adapting the Craft for the modern world


Deguwitchrose

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I didn't want to boost the recent thread that inspired this because I agree that a lengthy discussion of Wicca has little bearing on the things any of us do here. But pushing Wicca entirely aside I'm interested in the idea of how we have adapted our craft to work in the modern world.  I was particularly interested in the comment that suggested as we now have the function to take images (cameras, scanners, copiers I suppose) these would work as well as using the items themselves (hair, blood) that witches of old would have used. 

 

The discussion as to whether an actual item or a representation of an item would work better is a different one. What I'm asking is more - do you embrace the technology of the modern world in your craft or do you shun technical progress in favour of working as closely as possible as the craft was practised in older times?

Do you feel closer to your power by following in the literal footsteps of those who have gone before?

 

(My own view is that I'll use everything and anything going in my workings. Blenders and microwaves have both played key parts in my spell work in the past. And although I own a besom I almost always use the hoover to get the cat hair up.)

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Just being here and using this forum, we embrace the modern world and incorporate it into our craft by discussing and sharing our experiences and ideas, gaining further insight into what we do by comparing with others or making suggestions to eachother  . Using computers to print off a picture of a target or focus of intent, we can research more ideas, source ingredients and items for use in the craft that witches and magical practitioners of old would not have had access to for the majority of the time if at all.

 

An example or two - Adders are the UK's only venomous snake, they are rare and protected, and found only in certain parts of the country in any kind of number. Years ago they were more common, and getting the shed skin or actual skin of one may have been somewhat easier for a witch who needed it.   If I want the shed skin of a venomous snake for a hex say, I cannot legally or practically go out and find one from an adder. But with the wonders of modern computing I can now order or buy shed skin from a wide variety of snakes, or trade for it on here. Better still, I could catch the bus or get mother to drive me in the car, go to the nearest zoo or safari park and at the very least enquire if they have some scraps of shed skin I could have ( and say it was for an art project to make the chances of obtaining easier ) No need for me to spend weeks hunting a snake down or looking in the undergrowth for shed skin ( though if I found some while on one of my frequent walks I would of course take it )

 

As you said, we can find photos of people online, facebook ect if they are a target and have done us wrong  ( or right ) . You can look up and print off pictures of occult symbols that have meaning to you if you find a site showing them, you could always trace over it with pen or blood or whatever to give it added oomph if you felt the need.

 

You can bake things into cakes or clay in a modern electric or gas oven, yes you can microwave things of course, you can burn with mini kitchen blowtorches ect....

 

In many way we are more fortunate than witches of old. We have so much more access to things we want to use, and more variety of things also. That's not to say we shouldn't follow or use old methods and ingredients. They were used not only because they were all that was available, but because they worked.

 

 

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There is a thread about "feeling out of time or place" in the starting a Trad Path part of the forum that directly correlates to this one. 

 

Honeythorn!  Excellent response . . . Mainly, because I seem to remember a time when all you would do is lament the fact that you didn't know anything.

 

Wow!  You certainly have come a very, long way, Baby!!!!!!!  :D :D :D

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I find it is like most things... "blessing and bane grows on the same stalk" ... 

 

It's wonderful and enjoyable that I have access to forums that do or have introduced me to ideas and people and practices I would never have found on my own. BUT... sometimes I can be having so much fun on the computer that I actually have to make a mental effort to go outside and speak to the land. It is easy to get so lost in reading and chatting about how to connect that one never gets off their duff and goes out and connects, lol... The same computer that introduced one to craft can become the excuse that keeps one from actually practicing it   :scared:

 

Being able to read about plants I don't know about is very helpful, but can also easily lead me to accept what I read rather than find out for myself.

 

For me, nothing replaces DNA although some other things can be settled for but are only "settlers" and leave room for error, to me.

 

Cell phone, computers, TVs, car radio... all this constant communication and noise and input is great but it is also incredibly stimulating. So stimulating that the mind keeps "pulsing" even after the devices are turned off. The mind becomes so used to this type of input that it makes it much harder to hear the less-obvious "other-worldly" communications. (I personally believe that it may actually block other-worldly communications until one has had the devices off long enough for the brain to quit pulsing.)

 

Being able to drive to work and back is GREAT and gives you a much wider job-market - and trust me, in no way do I regret having a reliable car, lol - but if one walked to work and back everyday one would be much more in touch and observing of the land around them. 

 

Buying my food from the grocery store is easy, so is forgetting where it really came from and what has died so I might live, and what might be fed when I one day die and the interconnected of it all.

 

I guess what it comes down to is all this availability and communication are deterrents that keep us from the land. It is no longer a daily interaction but a some-weekends-when-I-get-a-chance interactions. Instead of the relationship coming naturally as a part of daily life, one really has to force themselves to develop it and other relationships must suffer if there are time constraints of lifestyle. 

 

Modern medicine has saved MANY lives and is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It has also prolonged many sufferings when there was no way to save the person.

 

Reading about how others work spells is great, but it is easy to forget to take all things on the internet with a grain of salt... this can lead to confusion and doubt.

 

So, Ultimately.....

 

I suppose the new modern advances in all of the above have the propensity to be great things, but they can easily become bad things when we are ruled by the technology and the decisions of those that wield them and we let technology control us and over-ride more meaningful relationships and more rational decisions.

 

M

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I didn't want to boost the recent thread that inspired this because I agree that a lengthy discussion of Wicca has little bearing on the things any of us do here. But pushing Wicca entirely aside I'm interested in the idea of how we have adapted our craft to work in the modern world.  I was particularly interested in the comment that suggested as we now have the function to take images (cameras, scanners, copiers I suppose) these would work as well as using the items themselves (hair, blood) that witches of old would have used. 

 

The discussion as to whether an actual item or a representation of an item would work better is a different one. What I'm asking is more - do you embrace the technology of the modern world in your craft or do you shun technical progress in favour of working as closely as possible as the craft was practised in older times?

Do you feel closer to your power by following in the literal footsteps of those who have gone before?

 

(My own view is that I'll use everything and anything going in my workings. Blenders and microwaves have both played key parts in my spell work in the past. And although I own a besom I almost always use the hoover to get the cat hair up.)

 

The implication that use of bodily fluids/parts was dirty or wrong was what got to me.  If I had reason to cast a spell on someone, and all I had was their name and Facebook picture, I'd use 'em!  One of the things I feel is closely related to my practice is being very resourceful..  There was a thread on here somewhere started a while back about whipping up spells on the fly with typically non-magickal items that I found very fun and interesting because being able to connect with the Powers (whatever those Powers may be) and perform magick on the fly is one of those things I feel every Witch should be able to do.  That being the case, I wouldn't shun the use of technology specifically...  But to say that the way "old spells" were done is gross or wrong is just...  Well, just as bad as shunning the other options. :smile:

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There are some lovely benefits to the modern world - like coffee grinders, so much easier to grind up resins with one of those!

 

I think I try to achieve a balance. I use modern technology to have a blog, online store etc, but at the same time I try to honour traditions and do working intuitively with just the simplest and most basic of supplies. But as Michele stated, sometimes you kind of end up on the tech all day and have to force yourself to actually go outside. Like me, I've been meaning to harvest some thorns from our boxthorn before it gets back into the 40C+ weather but I tend to end up on the computer and get a little sidetracked.

 

It's funny though. The internet and all of that is a wonderful convenience, but I also remember how it was before the internet (must be one of the last generations around my age (29) that does) and sometimes life seemed so much simpler. We may not have been always able to buy what we can now, but I also remember when I used to get pagan magazines there were a lot of pagan businesses in them, I suppose the downside of modern tech is that the bricks and mortar store has died out because of the convenience of the internet (but that is another topic for another day).

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How about adapting the modern world to the craft?

 

I had an emergency situation that came up one day and I had 4 hours to do something about it.

 

I wanted to use my favorite "go to" spell but I didn't have time to wait for one of the spell components to biodegrade as needed.

 

So, I decided to pop the item in the microwave to speed things up.

 

Well, it sped things up, all right.  I heard an explosion in the microwave and after recovering form a near cardiac arrest, I rushed to the kitchen to find the item had caught fire inside the microwave!  After extingushing the fire I found that the dish I had set the item on had exploded and the item was burned to a crisp.

 

I didn't know what to make of it; was it a good sign or a bad one?

 

It was a good one and the situation worked out in my favor and within the 4 hour time crunch.

 

From that point I decided that at least sometimes, new technology can work just as well if not better that primitive methods.  (Just be careful and keep a fire extinguisher handy.)

 

But, why not use what we have?  Our ancestors used what was available to them at the time and most likely used items and methods that worked better than what ttheir ancestors used.

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I adapt my craft for this world and adapt this world for my craft all the time. Ever thought of using the power/electricity cable network for magic? The modern world is full of already made connections that can speed things up for us.
I've also used facebook for my craft since many people feel like it's very personal.

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Technology is definitely a time waster for many people today. Just look at all the cat videos there are online lol. I sometimes find myself realizing I've spent hours online (many times on this site reading as much as I can), and needing to force myself to do something else. It is a bit difficult to spend much time outside right now as it is -25C, but I can do short walks or at least some workings indoors.

 

Don't get me wrong, I think technology is great. I use it for information gathering, for both the mundane and magical. I've also adapted my craft to include non-traditional taglocks, such as pictures and emails. I would love some hair or nail clippings, but I doubt someone I'm planning on hexing will be likely to let me into their house to look for these items, so I use what I can.  :smile:

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I would love some hair or nail clippings, but I doubt someone I'm planning on hexing will be likely to let me into their house to look for these items, so I use what I can.  :smile:

 

I remember sneaking around, "bumping" into, and otherwise manipulating situations just to get a strand of hair off my "target."  No doubt, a snapshot is tons less work!

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Don't get me wrong, I think technology is great. I use it for information gathering, for both the mundane and magical. I've also adapted my craft to include non-traditional taglocks, such as pictures and emails. I would love some hair or nail clippings, but I doubt someone I'm planning on hexing will be likely to let me into their house to look for these items, so I use what I can.  :smile:

 

I remember sneaking around, "bumping" into, and otherwise manipulating situations just to get a strand of hair off my "target."  No doubt, a snapshot is tons less work!

 

These ideas have got me curious- does anyone have theories on the efficacy of a spell/hex/what-have-you when a witch uses convenient, but relatively impersonal taglocks?  Does the amount of focus and intent expended on arranging the opportunity to harvest a "target's" tangible essence (i.e.- hairs) create a more powerful outcome than merely printing off their photo from Facebook?  Or is the method of procuring taglocks meaningless in the grand scheme of the final spellwork?

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To me, the principles of magic are timeless the only thing that has changed are the details of mundane life.  If you've got the power you use what you have the same way witches of older times used what they had. I don't really see much of a difference in the way I practice and the "old ways".  

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How about adapting the modern world to the craft?

 

I saw this thread on my phone. Even though I've seen it dozens of times before, when I read the title I thought of this, but you beat me to it :D

 

These ideas have got me curious- does anyone have theories on the efficacy of a spell/hex/what-have-you when a witch uses convenient, but relatively impersonal taglocks?  Does the amount of focus and intent expended on arranging the opportunity to harvest a "target's" tangible essence (i.e.- hairs) create a more powerful outcome than merely printing off their photo from Facebook?  Or is the method of procuring taglocks meaningless in the grand scheme of the final spellwork?

I would guess that the method is not meaningless, but the significance varies from person to person.

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To me, the principles of magic are timeless the only thing that has changed are the details of mundane life.  If you've got the power you use what you have the same way witches of older times used what they had. I don't really see much of a difference in the way I practice and the "old ways".  

 

What she said . . .

 

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 . . .  So, I decided to pop the item in the microwave to speed things up. . . .

 

LOL!  Sorry, but had to vote you up, only because I have been there, exploded that. 

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These ideas have got me curious- does anyone have theories on the efficacy of a spell/hex/what-have-you when a witch uses convenient, but relatively impersonal taglocks?  Does the amount of focus and intent expended on arranging the opportunity to harvest a "target's" tangible essence (i.e.- hairs) create a more powerful outcome than merely printing off their photo from Facebook?  Or is the method of procuring taglocks meaningless in the grand scheme of the final spellwork?

 

 

I think that would depend on how the individual witch works and interacts with these things.  Some have great success with pictures.  Others work on a more energetic/empathic level and don't really need a taglock or a picture.  Then there's everything in between.

 

Speaking only for myself, how I acquire a taglock is immaterial to the final spell work.  However, f I'm that determined to get one - you can be sure that the spell will be made with the same level of determination.

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To me, the principles of magic are timeless the only thing that has changed are the details of mundane life.  If you've got the power you use what you have the same way witches of older times used what they had. I don't really see much of a difference in the way I practice and the "old ways".  

yes

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