Technopaganism is an umbrella term that characterizes several different beliefs and practices in Neopaganism (which includes faiths such as Wicca and Neo-druidry) in reference to the place of technology in Neopagan practice.
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.
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.
In popular culture
In the teen series Buffy the Vampire Slayer major character Jenny Calendar is a techno pagan.
- 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.