© Ombra dell’Uragano, 2018. Used with permission.
Grey School of Wizardy apprentice Ombra dell’Uragano was kind enough to grant Grey Matters permission to reproduce this essay, originally submitted in partial fulfillment of the class requirements for “Uncommon Magickal Pests 301.”
In coming up with a methodology for a spell to protect technology, I felt that whatever I chose to do should itself be respectful to technology. Even though I regularly do things like light incense near computers, in all likelihood, if the computer were to express a preference, using something that emits particulate smoke would not be its first choice. The computer probably wouldn’t like anything involving candles or anything liquid (holy water, Florida water, etc.) either. So, I needed to come up with something that itself wouldn’t be threatening to the computer. What I thought of involved loading a symbolic screen background image that would function as a ward. This felt right. This felt like something that speaks the computer’s language. In fact, there are instructions installed on the computer itself for how to do this. The image would always be on display while the computer is in use, and even when not in use, the internal settings would still be set to the image. Even if you can’t see it, you know it’s there.
So I had to figure out what background to use and I’m thinking about the possible threats that technology can face. Considering that this is a lesson on gremlins, I decided that “gremlin” can be used to represent both physical and metaphysical threats to the computer. Now, when I think of “gremlin” I immediately think of the creature from the 1980s era movie “The Gremlins”. It’s kind of hard for me to picture a gremlin looking otherwise. In the movie, bright light is harmful to gremlins. They are allergic to it and will avoid it. Prolonged exposure can kill them. Is this the traditional way of dealing with a gremlin? Of course not, but creating a new paradigm feels right, especially in light of the fact that technology is constantly evolving even faster than we can change the rules. So the background ward I chose to use is the image of a bright sun. I explained to my curious husband that we were changing the background from random images of Canada to an image of the sun because “Random pictures of Canada won’t protect the laptop from gremlins.” And then we stopped to appreciate the fact that this sentence probably hasn’t been uttered before in the history of humankind.
But the image itself isn’t enough. There has to be a ritual, so I needed to come up with an incantation. Upon loading the new image, the following was recited: “May this light repel all negative forces from entering this machine, be they from gremlins, viruses, heat, moisture, dust, intentional human wrongdoing, unintentional human ineptitude, and threats unforeseen. May this light further make visible any remedy needed to promote this machine’s prolonged and efficient functionality. By my will, so mote it be.”
Next, I needed a way to raise the power to activate the intention. One method for raising energy that I like is using music. I find music so moving that I’ve been driving home from pagan rituals and have heard songs on the radio that I thought raised more power than we did in the ritual. (There’s a lesson to be learned there somewhere.) I decided that the best way to go about this was to play the music on the computer through Youtube. With the sound emitting from the computer’s own speakers, the vibrations and energy should permeate the machine and become an internal cleansing of sorts. The song that I chose was “Age of Aquarius,” by the Fifth Dimension. My reasoning on this was two-fold. The Age of Aquarius is the age of technology. Aquarius is the sign of “all things newly invented.” It is the sign associated with communication and information which are both important uses of technology. But the best part of the song is when they sing “Let the sunshine in,” and the song turns into a mantra that sends the intention of the sun image into the ethers.
I’m happy enough with this ritual that I’m interested in further exploring the idea of how modern technology can be used magickally. Most people don’t carry around candles and incense, but they do carry cell phones. There are lots of new avenues to consider.
“Mogwai Ownership Rules.” Fandom.Wikia.com http://rulebook.wikia.com/wiki/Mogwai_Ownership_Rules 19 Oct 2018.
“The 5th Dimension Age of Aquarius.” youtube https://youtu.be/kjxSCAalsBE 19 Oct 2018.