Installation Wizard: Setup

It’s the Spring Equinox and I’m finishing up a brisk sunrise ritual in honor of Baldr at the community wildlife sanctuary. I mutter my last prayer to Them before I pull my jacket out of my backpack and onto my body. Contentedly, I trek to the local library. Once I arrive, I log into my Facebook and Tumblr accounts. By way of my raucous clicking I connect to hundreds of other Pagans observing Sabbats and Blots on the very same day in a wealth of weird ways. I Like; I respond; I repost; I meme, and I celebrate. As the library-stipulated meter reaches two minutes, I hastily save spells of affinity and strategies for raising deadname-resistant wards to my USB drive. My backpack doesn’t slow me down as I flee the archives to return to my altar.

My practice pieces together the corporeal and the digital. I can’t even imagine how my devotion would work without the interactive platforms of social media, blogging, games, or the Internet overall. Judging by how many other people shared their merriments all over the Internet this first day of Spring, by just how many people choose to Pagan up digital realms every day, I’m definitely not the only one who rites online.

The Source

“Installation Wizard” (the cute pet name I thought up for my blog) is indeed a blog dedicated to reporting and thinking through technopaganisms as well as particular pop culture Pagan paths.

Interactivity is the prerequisite component for my scrutiny of pop culture practice. While books like the Harry Potter series or shows like Steven Universe influence some, I’m more interested in how platforms like video games or user-based media online blend with Paganisms. (For more on how Harry Potter books and other fandoms inspire modern pop Pagans, however, CreatrixTiara wrote this fantastic article that also incorporates creating magical tools based on these resources.) This means I’m looking into web-based zines, Tumblr posts, modern games, memes, and really anything that counts as “fan-based” or facilitated that bumps into Pagan communities and the dimensions of magic (or magic-like phenomena—I got you, naturalists!).

My examination of “technopaganisms” is trickier. While there are papers discussing digital spaces and cyberspirituality in circulation throughout the Internet, like the “Technopagans” piece from Wired published in 1995, many of these don’t accessibly question how interfaces influence worship. Being a witch on Facebook is completely different from being a witch on Twitter. Expressing Pagan identities through Internet magazines is just not the same as by digital artisanship. I’m going to explore these variances in mediums at the same time I provide discourses about technologies like herbs or the tools some genderqueer and therianthrope mages employ to aid in their witchery, for example. This is the place where media scholar Lisa Nakamura will meet Pagan writer Nevill Drury and proud artist Tygerwolfe.

A number of my posts will also look into the (literally) multidimensional politics of representation between online formats, magic circles, and RL (real life) bodies. This means I’m embracing queer magic and theylogy. This means I’m addressing visual logics as they pertain to race, ethnicity, gender, age, disabled peoples. This means I’m speaking about sexualities (from nonsexuality to aromanticism) and neuro-anticipation in ableist global and local cultures. This means I won’t delimit Paganisms to a “typical” body, or to any one body. This is how I will show electric dynamics.

These posts will come as reviews, introductions, essays, rituals, and creative pieces.

The Sorcerer

My name is Liz, pronouns he/his. (If recalling my pronouns based on my name is difficult, I also tolerate going by “Ulysses” or “guy.”) I’m a Minnesota resident and less than two months away from my nineteenth birthday. I enjoy licking the behinds of planar foes in Pathfinder and relish novelty soundtracks like “Yu-Gi-Oh: Music to Duel By.”

I’m a Pagan polytheist. Raised on the Norse pantheon and Wiccan ritual, I’ve come to include a fragment of Krishna consciousness to flesh out my magic compass. While I still follow a North/earth, East/air, South/fire, and West/water motif, I also involve the elements Northeast/ether, Southwest/intelligence, and Northwest/mind (with the intricate complex Southeast/self that is interchangeably the magician and a deity or avatar). Since a sizeable amount of this blog will focus on correspondences, this compass will show up frequently; however, I’ll put the greatest stress on the four cardinal directions. I’ll also read up on paths and practices I’m less familiar with to provide more well-rounded investigations and ritual options. That said: Expect to encounter the queer goxdexxes Freyr, Idunna, Freyja, Baldr, Ether, Ghost, and Map here from time to time!

I’m also a gamer, which really enhances my appreciation of technopaganisms. Even without Internet access at home, I’ve managed to total up hundreds of hours of gameplay with others (as well as by my lonesome) in my time. The systems I use the most are the PS4 and the Nintendo 2DS, and my favorite titles comprise of Dragon Age: Inquisition, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mario Party DS, and Samurai Warriors 4: Empires. Additionally, I play the TCGs (trading card games) Magic: The Gathering and earlier versions of Yu-Gi-Oh as well as the paper-and-pencil RPGs (role-playing games) Dungeons & Dragons Edition 3.5, Pathfinder, and Stars Without Numbers. My gaming spills in my social media, which I contribute to a lot despite the thirty minute walk to the nearest community hotspot (that library from my introduction). I mean, that’s also where I get most of my work.

Credentials-wise, “creative writer” is about the only work history I have. I’m an essayist, mostly for magazines and anthologies, and a gag comic artist, at least since 2012. Recently, I’ve been submitting poetry and poetic solitary ceremonial pieces to publications, although I have no idea how that’ll fruit. In the meantime, I find the clatter of my obnoxiously loud and fast typing rather soothing.

As I write, game, and Pagan, I attend Metropolitan State University to trail a four-year undergraduate degree in Creative Sexual Communication (with a minor in Violence Prevention and Intervention), combining traditional sex studies with media analyses and educational approaches. I’ll probably become a sex educator, sex advocate, or video game writer if I grow up.

And I’m not a sorcerer.

I do, however, have a thing for word play.

 

How’s my writing? I appreciate comments and recommendations for topics. I also love collecting stories and reading about people’s days!