Paganism is a pretty generic term. It was initially a derogatory label used primarily by Christians to describe the practice of the “old religions”. Pagans were considered unenlightened heathens and certainly doomed. Pagans’ religions were typically founded in polytheism and animism. Today, the negativity associated with the term is still present, but has waned as society becomes more secular.
There is no one “pagan” religion. I would define paganism as the practice of any religious or spiritual system that is not generally viewed as a “world religion”. Pagan ritual and beliefs are loosely organized, typically polytheistic and nature based.
Because of the term’s centuries-long association with nature religions, many in modern pagan communities have developed a negative relationship with technology. Often online pagan communities will reject techno-paganism as incompatible (which is ironic, because they are literally using technology to gather).
“The world and every layer of ‘reality’ are constructs that we choose to connect to at any given time.”
Technopagans embrace technology. Technology is our tool but we are connected to it just as we are connected to nature. It is both our child and our guide. It can be used to protect or to harm. Yet like nature, it is something that works with us and sometimes against us. At our core, we aren’t different from any other type of pagan. Shamans may sit in a drum circle and chant, techno-shamans may be streaming EDM to their bluetooth speakers while staring at patterns in flashing LED lights. Both seek to transition to the spirit, to connect with a reality beyond the physical senses.
Technopagans see things like the Internet, mobile devices and computers as new bridges of connectivity between ourselves and the world we seek to understand, with the desire to find our places within it. To us, deities do not have to be static beings. They represent concepts and are fluid like streams of wireless data. The world and every layer of “reality” are constructs that we choose to connect to at any given time. While this may seem nebulous, it is a foundational place to work from. We strive to master our own perceptions and influence our realities to suit our own will.
We see how everything we experience can be considered “virtual” and that understanding empowers us.