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Author Topic: Technology and Your Craft  (Read 593 times)

TheGreenWizard

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Technology and Your Craft
« on: April 23, 2018, 06:49:09 am »
This past weekend I bought a new phone (Google Pixel 2 for those interested) and I have noticed during my commutes that nearly every person has a piece of powerful technology in their pockets that can be used for different purposes: financial; musical; educational; medical; informational; and the list goes on.

These different purposes have me thinking as I was researching my different deities: how does one incorporate technology into one's practice? And how does one balance that technology use with off screen time?

I'll post my personal practices shortly.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 02:17:12 pm »
This past weekend I bought a new phone (Google Pixel 2 for those interested) and I have noticed during my commutes that nearly every person has a piece of powerful technology in their pockets that can be used for different purposes: financial; musical; educational; medical; informational; and the list goes on.

I am very much team 'this is a powerful tool' and I care a lot more about how I'm using it than the total amount of screentime. (Good thing, since between my work and my hobbies, I'm looking at a screen for mass amounts of my day.)

The trick for me is how much other people are controlling what I do - I have very few notifications on (basically, only things that actually need to be on for the thing to work - not even email. I will remember to go check email, I am very sure about this.) This helps me make my phone a device that is about what it does for me, not other people's (or apps) demands.

The actual sound on my phone is almost always turned off, and I tell people that it is a computer that lives in my pocket that only very occasionally makes phone calls (and people should not rely on my seeing texts in a timely manner unless I'm actively expecting to meet someone.)

Things I do explicitly that involve technology and my religious practice:
- Playlists for part of my daily practice (I listen to a song in the morning as a morning divination/reflection thing)
- Playlists for other purposes, whether that's specific focus, ritual, or other things.
- Pull a Tarot card (which I do on an app)
- A variety of note-taking and keeping track tools. (For example, I have astrology for the day notes in my todo app, so that I read them when I check the list in the morning.)
- Variety of files, books, and materials related to various spiritual practices. Some are print, but a lot are digital these days.

What I use in specific: Computer
Web browser:
- Todoist (reminders and specific tasks)
- Calendar (specific events/appointments/rituals)
- My spreadsheet of doom (tracking things, which includes some spiritual pieces)
- Feedly (RSS feeds, a chunk of which are Pagan or divination related.)

Applications:
- Ulysses (writing and notes)
- Scrivener (writing, larger structured pieces: my astrology notes are in here.)
- Spotify (most playlists)

I also use passwords on my work computer (which I have to change every couple of months) as a magical focus for particular goals. (I don't bother with others, because I use a password manager for most other things and don't have to actually type them as often, but I do type the work password a couple of times a workday.)

What I use in specific: Phone
It's probably easier to talk about what's on my first couple of screens of apps, and seeing how they play in, than any other structure.

First, the last couple of years I've done a background on my phone that is my word for the year and some sort of represenation that works for me. (This year, I don't even known how my brain works, it is very shiny gold, but it makes me happy.) That means every time I do something on the device, I get a bit of reinforcement.

Apps on mine: dock
- Spotify (much of my music, including playlists for ritual use and my daily practice)
- YNAB (budget app)
- Overcast (podcasts, some of which are spiritually relevant)
- Round (medication reminder app)

First page:
- Marvin (ebook reader of choice)
- Sleep Cycle (sleep tracking)
- Calm (meditation)
- Calendar 5 (calendar)
- Waze (navigation)
- Carrot (weather)
- Multitimer (timer app)
- Todoist (task list)

Second page:
- Intellilist (grocery list)
- Human (physical activity)
- Safari (browser for some things)
- Alfred Remote (in practice, used for 'make the computer go to sleep once I curl up in bed' but it does other things too.)
- Shadowscapes Tarot deck (daily reading)
- Time Passages (astrological info)
- Gourmet (recipes)
- AsthmaMd (lung function tracking)

Beyond that, I have a page of miscellanous things I use sometimes: health apps (Apple Health, Symple, Life, which is period tracking), a folder of my email apps, my knitting counter app, Ulysses (writing notes). The page after that is phone, texts, campera, settings, and Moovit, which is what I use when on public transit for directions. Then there's a page of games, and then things I use but less often, or only when travelling or whatever.

Of those first 20...
- 4 are directly related to 'my body is annoying, tracking helps' (Round, Sleep Cycle, Human, AsthmaMD)
- 10 are 'these things help me function better and get everyday tasks done' (YNAB, Calendar 5, Waze, Carrot, Multitimer, Todoist, Intellilist, Gourmet) or general utilities (the browser, and Alfred Remote)
- 7 are things that have meaningful regular application to my spiritual and religious life (Spotify, Overcast, Marvin, Calm, Todoist, Tarot, Time Passages.)
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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 06:08:54 pm »
This past weekend I bought a new phone (Google Pixel 2 for those interested) and I have noticed during my commutes that nearly every person has a piece of powerful technology in their pockets that can be used for different purposes: financial; musical; educational; medical; informational; and the list goes on.

These different purposes have me thinking as I was researching my different deities: how does one incorporate technology into one's practice? And how does one balance that technology use with off screen time?

I'll post my personal practices shortly.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

I don't much. I'm very hard on technology anyway so I don't tempt fate by adding deliberate energy work into the mix... 

The only time I risk it is using the record function if I'm doing possession work as I'm often not aware of what I'm channelling through and I like to play it back afterwards. Being told what I said is not the same as actually hearing it. It doesn't always work - quite often the phone battery will discharge within seconds and it can take a couple of hours of charging to even get it to turn back on.

 I've had the same thing happen when photographing sacred/ritual sites even when just visiting as a tourist.

I have a couple of tarot apps which I don't use and a lunar calendar app which I do occasionally check.

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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 01:12:36 pm »


These different purposes have me thinking as I was researching my different deities: how does one incorporate technology into one's practice? And how does one balance that technology use with off screen time?
Not much. Of course online forums like this. I've a playlist for meditating, a moon phase up, and maybe if I'm at a festival in a picturesque setting of pagan significance take photos that I might post on social media. I don't really incorporate technology into my path, and get all mundane work done first before I start looking at a screen.

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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2018, 01:52:57 pm »
I don't much. I'm very hard on technology anyway so I don't tempt fate by adding deliberate energy work into the mix...

I explicitly name my technology and build it into magical workings to avoid this problem. I actually have way less than the norm of computer-type tech failure.

(That says, technology tends to like me.) 
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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2018, 02:32:02 pm »

These different purposes have me thinking as I was researching my different deities: how does one incorporate technology into one's practice? And how does one balance that technology use with off screen time?


Okay, so I'm a technophile in a lot of ways and a technophobe in others...I'm odd like that.  I am mostly solitary, though I do have some Pagan friends that live very close and I see them mostly weekly (unless someone's schedule prohibits), as well as other Pagan friends who live a bit further that I see a couple of times a year.  While I do work with my closer friends, I get my daily spiritual interaction online, both here and in the numerous spiritual groups I am a part of on Facebook.

I don't worry about screen time per say, what I worry about is mindless scrolling:  that is when I am feeling low energy, and find myself mindlessly doing stuff on the computer/tablet/phone for the sole purpose of killing time because I don't want to do the other things that I should be doing (or even more 'just for fun' stuff that involves more effort).  Sadly, I find myself scrolling way more than I'd like to.

But, I also use technology to have a voice and that voice speaks about my spiritual path.  I write a weekly blog, as well as posts for my Patreon, most of which are tied into my faith in some way. 

I am at the computer most of the day.  My other work is freelance captioning, so that requires me to be watching for jobs and then doing them...at my computer.  I can do other stuff while watching for jobs (which always temps me to scroll, so I have to stay mindful).

Besides my computer, I have two tablets (the newer one is a larger kindle fire, and the older one is a smaller nexus7) and a smart phone.  The small tablet lives at my desk, along with my phone, and those are the two I typically take if I am going away from the house for a shortish time.  For longer trips, I will take the bigger tablet, which lives by my chair in the living room (I don't like to 'just' watch tv, so I am often fiddling on the tablet while we watch shows).

I spend at least half of my week (probably closer to 2/3) at home, alone.  I often don't have a car, and we don't have any outdoor space to speak of (plus we have overly friendly neighbors, so if I go outside, I am likely to be swarmed by people who I don't want to get into discussions with about what I am doing and why).  I use my tech to keep me in touch with seasons (through wallpapers, lock screens and other cosmetic details).

I'm a mixed bag when it comes to productivity.  I need organization to get stuff done...without it I waste away my days and don't meet my regular goals.  I use todoist for big, regular stuff (blog posts, community building posts) but I use a paper BuJo inspired composition book for my daily/weekly/monthly tracking.  Though, thinking about it, I might benefit from working more with tech reminders, especially if I can get them to integrate well with my computer.

I do use apps that speak to me spiritually.  I have moon phase apps, and several divination ones.  Playing with a new 'learn tarot' app, for reinforcement of basic themes (I read very intuitively by imagery, so the 'standard' themes aren't always ones I work with).  I love having these things on my phone, but my morning daily draws (I do a rune, and a WomanRune card deck draw every day), as well as my moon cycle spreads and yearly planning spreads are all done with actual cards in hand.

I read books to feed my mind on both googlebooks and kindle, as well as using my devices to read pdf's that I've collected over the years.  Again, I also read a lot of paper books, but I always have one or two digital books I am reading (I am a HUGE multi-reader, typically I'm in the middle of half a dozen books) loaded into my phone so that if I have a minute or two, I can read for a bit.

I also use my phone to take pictures, which are often to share as part of a spiritual discussion.  I have quite a few groups that like to do inspiration picture threads or tune into the moment by taking a picture activities.  Plus, when I am traveling, I can keep pictures of my altars and tools if I need that connection.

I think that technology is one more tool that can be used for spiritual reasons, for personal reasons, for fun, or to numb yourself.  Some of these pursuits are good, some are good in moderation, and some aren't so good.  I think it is up to the individual to recognize what their limits are, and what they need from technology.  I find it very helpful, to have reminders (because my memory is not good), and to be able to take all of it with me, in my pocket. 
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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2018, 04:15:28 am »
These different purposes have me thinking as I was researching my different deities: how does one incorporate technology into one's practice? And how does one balance that technology use with off screen time?


Very little, the most important being what I'm doing right now--connecting with other pagans via the Internet, specifically the Cauldron. I'll also occasionally use my laptop to call up a big moving image of the mandala I sometimes use for meditation.

An indirect pagan use is the heavy deployment of my smartphone right now, for this week and the next five, during the spring songbird migration here in NYC. (Twitter has replaced word-of-mouth for quick notification of rare finds, field guide apps have replaced the ponderous book one used to lug around, and note-taking functions sometimes fill in for my hardcopy bird journal.) "Indirect" because any birder, regardless of religion or lack thereof, tends to use their phone in these same ways; but because I consider this time of year to be very much my equivalent of the holy month of Ramadan, when I'm spending hours each day connecting with nature, there's a religious dimension to what I'm doing, and therefore the smartphone use ties into that.
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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2018, 08:32:11 am »
I explicitly name my technology and build it into magical workings to avoid this problem. I actually have way less than the norm of computer-type tech failure.

(That says, technology tends to like me.)

Hmm you know that never occurred to me! I'll give it a try! Thanks  :)

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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2018, 01:03:00 pm »
These different purposes have me thinking as I was researching my different deities: how does one incorporate technology into one's practice? And how does one balance that technology use with off screen time?
Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

I'm loving all the responses I see here! Here's how I incorporate technology into my practice, and how I try to balance off-screen time.

As a science teacher, I utilize a lot of technology, and am constantly looking at some type of monitor - be it my computer(s), the iPad, or my own phone that I use for school. Unfortunately, it's a thing that I can't escape because a lot of stuff is now electronic, especially grading, and having my students create digital artifacts versus paper copies. Then, as I go through my 60+ min commute on the subway, I generally either listen to music, sleep, or read e-books (on my Kindle or my phone).

Before I got my new phone, I used my cell phone for the following things with my practice (I'll keep my personal life out of it). The last three items are devotional for me since I consider researching and discussing with others about my path and experiences a method of devotion to my faith.:
  • Playlists on Spotify or YouTube for meditation
  • Casting music or videos to my TV (well, that was before my rabbits chewed the damn cord)
  • Calm app and/or Relax melodies app for sleep and meditation
  • Reading/researching various aspects of my patron gods
  • Reading TC on my phone through Tapatalk
  • Chatting through Discord
  • Checking the moon phase through Wunderground

The new phone is doing all this, but now my wall paper reflects the current moon phase, which allows me to both be more aware of the moon (something I've been wanting to incorporate into my practice for some time now), and aware of when to get supplies for the rituals and spells. Hopefully this will help me in further developing my practice. I do find it interesting how some here (and elsewhere) have told me how they use Google Docs and the like for note keeping and a digital Book of Shadows. I'm a huge Google Apps and Android Fan, however, I don't use it for my practice because I want to do all the writing by hand, thus allowing me to reflect and retain more of that information. That isn't to say, though, that I reject the usefulness - It makes for a great system to keep everything in one place, easily accessible, and easily shareable with others.

Other devices that I use - as I have mentioned - include my Kindle, and my computers. The former I use mostly for eBooks, especially those ebooks that don't come with the option of a paperback version to order. It's a bit annoying to use, because I love writing in my physical books and later on finding them and reflecting on the notes I made. Then again, there's the cost of the paperback vs eBook and I'm pinching pennies now to save up for a new apartment. My computers are used mostly for research and being on TC amongst other sites.

Now how do I balance all that screentime with off-time?

I try to spend as much time as possible outside, I have my phone on airplane mode while at work (bad reception makes for a dead battery), and when I'm home, I try to spend time with my pet rabbits and snakes. In addition, I try to get into reading physical books and my knitting so that I can focus more on the real world than the digital life. This, however, I haven't done as much of as of late because of work demands, and personal health issues.
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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2018, 10:50:03 pm »

These different purposes have me thinking as I was researching my different deities: how does one incorporate technology into one's practice?

I use my iPad quite a lot, it's useful as a reference tool.  It's handy to have you can set it up and refer to it as needed, but it doesn't take over.
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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2018, 05:13:18 pm »
These different purposes have me thinking as I was researching my different deities: how does one incorporate technology into one's practice? And how does one balance that technology use with off screen time?

Technology is vital for my practice--I have to listen to a lot of music and do a lot of writing, and while I can do some of the writing in a paper journal, I can't do all of it that way, and I can't exactly listen to music on vinyl these days. (I mean, I could probably listen to some, I do have a few records, but it's not very portable.)

I used to have a small MP3 player which kept me sane in my terrible job; I named it Soteira and considered it a magical item and protective talisman. It started breaking down a few months after I left that job, though. These days I mostly use my phone for musical purposes--I signed up for Spotify. I tried using a few digital Tarot programs, but they didn't do much for me. Instead, as far as divination goes, I use an app called Story Dice, which generates three random images per roll. It's been remarkably on-point.

As far as balancing screen-time with offline-time, it helps that I'm in a walking-friendly location and can go wandering in the city often. There's a lot to see there.
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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2018, 06:47:51 pm »
These different purposes have me thinking as I was researching my different deities: how does one incorporate technology into one's practice? And how does one balance that technology use with off screen time?

Not much, myself. I do listen to chants on the computer, and often use it for research, but my actual rituals have very little technology involved. I'm traditional like that; just my mantras, my Yantra, my implements, my holy books, and my Ista Devata, and whatever other Gods I am working with. I usually chant without background recordings, in s completely silent space.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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Re: Technology and Your Craft
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2018, 01:58:19 pm »
These different purposes have me thinking as I was researching my different deities: how does one incorporate technology into one's practice? And how does one balance that technology use with off screen time?

I'm a very healthy skeptic of technology. My brain doesn't like the digital variety, my gods are ambivalent towards digital tools at best and have taboos against my using it for certain things at worst; other times they recognize the ubiquity of it and know that there are just certain things I cannot get done without it. Except for one, the non-divine spirits I work with are uninterested entirely. And that's only because that particular spirit is a car!

Personally? I hate digital technology. It scatters my thinking, distracts me into oblivion, dampens my ability to multitask and remember things, and time just passes faster when I sit in front of a screen and I have less to show for it. It makes me feel disconnected from my environment, from my body, and sometimes from my own emotions. In general I prefer to do things manually or mechanically. From a practical standpoint, using that approach is usually cheaper in the long-run. Environmentally, it's less damaging. Spiritually, it encourages flow, it strengthens awareness, intuition, and the subtle senses. I've experienced practically zero negative side effects from taking the steps that I have to remove digital distractions from my life.

As an aside: it raises my hackles when people use the term "technology" to refer solely to gadgets and ephemeral media made possible by computers and the internet. Are plows and pulleys not technology? Please be specific, if only to be conscious of what you're doing linguistically.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 02:02:48 pm by keen »
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