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The Internet as a Magical Tool

     Ever consider the internet as a magical tool? Often the most magical of tools are not the ones we keep on our altar, but the ones that surround us every day, in places we never thought to look. The internet is one of the fastest growing "entities" in today’s culture. Is it magical? Try it and decide for yourself.



What is the Internet?

     If you’re new to this, here’s a simple explanation of the internet: via computers and telephone lines, just about anyone has the ability to store pictures and text for others to access. How does it all work? (Who knows. I say it’s magic!)

     The internet is no more complicated than a big ol’ magazine rack. It’s merely a way to find information on thousands of special interests, from bicycling, to beer, to Buddhism. But not only can we read this information — we can publish our own! For the first time in history, anyone can put their thoughts and ideas into the public domain. This creates many exchanges that otherwise would not occur, taking freedom of the press further than you could ever imagine! You don’t even need to own a computer, since internet access is available from many libraries, schools and shopping malls. Some trendy restaurants have even jumped on the bandwagon, offering internet service right at the dinner table! (Would you like fries with that?)

     The internet is linked together in what we call the World-Wide Web (www for short). What a wonderful analogy to the way all things link together in nature. Each "place" on the web (known as a website) has a unique address, similar to the way a phone number is unique. And just like making a phone call, you can reach places both domestic or international via the internet. You can get to a website by typing in its unique address. Don’t know the address? The internet has a variety of "search engines" that act like online directory assistance when you enter a topic or key word. For example, if you search under the word "Pagan" you will find hundreds of Pagan websites! (You will also find things like Pagano’s Deli or other non-related sites that just happen to have similar words. Asking for things on the web is like any other form of magic. Thoughtfully choose the words you use, and be careful what you ask for…)

     A wide variety of Pagan groups and personalities have created their own websites. Want to find out more about a specific Tradition, pantheon or holiday? Want to learn more about a specific author? Looking for a hard-to-find book or ritual item? Maybe you’d like to find other Pagans nearby, or around the globe? Go online. Touch the web, and let it touch you. You may be surprised with what you find. Don’t take this tool for granted. Communication is especially valuable in towns where there are no openly Pagan activities. The internet helps expand our community, similar to the good done by Pagan books, newsletters and other forms of communication.




The Nature of the Internet

     Following a nature-based religion provides lessons by seeing beauty in the world around us. We can learn much by looking at how seeds sprout or how rivers flow. It is equally important to remember that "human nature" is a part of nature, not something separate. And thus, so are the things we create. It is our nature to create things, like the way a forest makes trees and the way trees make leaves. This includes art, music, science — and even things like the internet. When you think about the internet — thousands of data networks all linked together — see it as an analogy to the way all things interconnect with one another. You may find it similar to other aspects of nature that branch out and flow. (As online, so offline?)



Is the Internet Magical?

     After the break-up of the Bell System in 1984, the federal government decided that new telecommunications technologies (like the internet) were valuable investments in society’s future. The government helped fledgling data communications providers companies grow by keeping them exempt from certain phone costs, known as access charges. Today, this is how internet companies can afford to provide you with "unlimited usage." The point is, something new was conceived, nurtured and helped to grow.

     As it grew, each person who used the internet helped shape it, whether by reading or writing or creating colorful artwork. Some say a basic definition of magic is the focusing of energy to cause change. The energies of government planning, personal creativity, and diverse interests oy millions of users all became focused in concert to make the internet happen. Is this any different than magic?

     When people can share new ideas, they find many new ways to grow. They find new friends, teachers and students; they share new types of union. They cause change. And if that’s not magic, what is?


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author bio:


Link (Anthony)

6538 Collins Avenue,

#255 Miami Beach, FL 33141

USA




[email protected]


People often ask me why I chose the name Link. One important lesson for me this time around is to understand how all things "interconnect" — like noodles in the same cosmic broth. (Okay, I also wanted a really simple name that would not raise eye-brows in a mundane setting. Something like RunningBuffaloMoonFeather just doesn’t fit me…)


Most of my writing focuses on how ordinary parts of everyday life can be sacred and magical. Being ordinary makes them no less special! I try to erase the lines that separate spirituality from the rest of life. I don’t spend too much time in elaborate ritual, but rather see nearly every action as a magical event, from slicing an apple to licking an envelope. I often encourage readers to not blindly follow traditional spoon-fed teachings, but to discover what feels right for themselves, and for the moment. The most important Book we could ever find is written deep within ourselves, and within nature — and every day we turn a new page!


I grew up in a small suburban NJ town, the youngest child of two hard-working parents. I survived 12 years of Catholic school, which helped shape my "everyday" spiritual views (With the nuns of Saint Mary’s School, everything was a religious experience – from lunch to recess to taking tests and doing homework.) While I shed much of what I learned there, I think a few things stuck.


I began learning about alternative religion, divination and magic in the mid-1970’s, but did not really become active in the Craft until 1993 (what I call reaching "Spiritual Puberty"). My first teacher was a dear friend and neighbor, a Gardnerian 3rd Degree, who was killed in a car accident in 1984. (Great guy, lousy driver…) In 1993 I became a member of a small Tradition with only a few members spread out around the US. This gave me the opportunity to spend time with/learn from elders well-recognized in the Community. I have also been a member of Covenant of the Goddess, Pagan Federation International, Earth Spirit, Circle Network, Free Spirit Alliance, Pagan Federation International and ADF. I am legally certified as clergy with both Covenant of the Goddess and ULC (for whatever that means). My work has been published in many places throughout the US, plus Canada, England, Ireland, Holland and Australia.


Jobwise, I have worked for/with large international telecommunications companies since 1984. (Again, a lesson in how things connect…) I hold a bachelors degree in Communications/Journalism, and a masters degree in business and government policy. I moved from New Jersey to Miami Beach, Florida on August 1, 2001 and enjoy Miami’s internationally diverse culture, with a Latin spice!


Fun? I enjoy good food and good wine, bad humor, camping, gardening, traveling, almost anything Brazilian, the Ocean, SciFi, and sleeping late at least once a week.