[Indicates notes by Lady Beltane. The website and the opinoin of the author of this article are not the opinons of myself, this website or Witches of The Craft website and its contributors.]
Witches have taken to computers like ducks to water because the technology is incredibly useful. But are you applying your witchcraft to your computer?
Fro example, do you use magic to protect your computer? To physically protect your computer, use a guardian figure, like a small dragon statue or a small protective goddess or god image. Set this on top of your CPU or monitor [Double sided tape works well to keep it where you put it]. Invoke the spirit or deity and ask it to protect your computer and other equipment. Do not burn incense or sage around your computer, however. Smoke of any sort contains particles than clog up moving parts, which can reduce air circulation and cause overheating. If you must use incenses, do it when computer is off. If you have a laptop with no place to put such a guardian, you can find a picture to put somewhere on your laptop or carry a small figurine in your laptop case. You could even have your wallpaper display a protective image. [You can also get covers for laptops, netbooks, tablets, etc with dragons and other symbols on them to use. ]
If you are keeping your Book of Shadows or other materials related to your Craft practices on your computer, you should consider either password protecting or encrypting those files. This is especially important if you share your computer, but useful even if you have your own. Computers may get stolen, and eventually you will upgrade or recycle your old computer. Check the help files for your word processing program for details on how to password protect your special files. Many programs that compress files so that you must have a password to read them.
Your passwords can provide magical as well as mundane protection. Mix numbers and letters, and, if application is case sensitive, mix upper and lower case. To avoid words found in an ordinary dictinary, go to an old grimoire or other book of magic the uses unusual words. Pick a few names that are associated with communication or protection. Associations with Mercury or Mars are good, but avoid evil or chaotic names, Change passwords on a regular basis, at least every holiday if not every New Moon. If you use numberology, the numbers may also be chosen according to your intent.
Of course you do regular backups. Wednesday, the day of Mercury, is connected to communication, so it’s a good day if you do weekly backups. Do an extra set of backups a day or two before Mercury goes retrograde, when communication will be more difficult and more likely to get quirky.
Defragmenting the hard drive, of just called defragging, gets rid of the extra dead space, allowing you to store more information on your hard drive and enabling your computer to find that information more quickly and easily. Because this is a form of banishing, I would recommend that you defrag your hard drive during the waning Moon.
My favorite thing about computers is e-mail, I can e-mail my coven about as idea I’ve had for a ritual, or ask who left behind a baking dish, even though it’s nearly midnight. I don’t have to worry about who is awake, and I can tell everyone the same thing at the same time. (There are also file-sharing programs that can enable your group to share the writing and revisiting of rituals online.) One etiquette note: if you are sending e-mails to a larger group then your coven or other small group of friends, ise”:bcc,” blind carbon copy so the e-mail addresses of the recipients aren’t displayed. It keeps people’s e-mail address private, which is very important to some people in the Craft. It also keeps the display smaller.
Since e-mail is all about communication, during Mercury retrograde be sure to reread everything before you send it to ensure it says exactly what you mean. Also, be sure to pause before responding to any e-mail sent. As you follow up, even if a message seems somewhat alarming, be prepared to cut other people more slack about what they intended to say during this time because Mercury retrograde affects everyone, whether they know about astrology or not.
If you are online, you have to decide how much you want other people to know about you and your practices. Would you prefer that people like your employer or your landlord not know you are a Witch? Pick a pseudonym that resembles neither your legal name nor your Craft name. Get a separate e-mail account from a free service such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail [There is also Aol and many other free email services on the web.] Give as little information as you can, such as giving only the city you live in, or the general area. Since online site want your name and e-mail address use it only for suffering, to keep your main e-mail address from attracting so much spam as to make it unusable.
Other things you can do to protect yourself online, besides the usual mundane warnings, including spells to keep away viruses and other malware, and against spam. Make a talisman in the shape of your cursor icon, an arrow for example. Color it bright red, or make it out of red paper. In bleack letters, write the word “advert.” Chant “avert. virus, advert spam, advert harm,” several times, ending with “Advert!” shouted as loudly as you cas to the upper right corner of your monitor, with the arrow pointing toward the center of the acreen.
If you want to attract people to your Web site, come up with a short phrase that sums up your desires: “Buy my magaical herbs,” or “Join my group.” Reduce th ephrase to one “word” made up of nonduplicate letter, for example, “readmyblog.” Place those letters in the html or other code for the page in such a way that it doesn’t display. Another way is to come up with a sigil of attraction, and place it in the background of your Web page nearly–but not quite the same–color as the background. As an added bonus, doing this will also enable you to find out if someone is copying your Web pages and using them without your name.
There are many Web sites for Witches, Pagans, and other magical folks. Like eveything else on the web, you have to use common sense when reading them. It helps to know what lind of site you are viewing. For example, the suffix of a site tells you what kind of site you are viewing. For example, the suffix of a site tells you what sort of organization runs the site. Dot com, “.com” means it’s a commercial site. If it is suppose to be a commercial site, for example http://www.Llewellyn.com that makes sense because it’s a business. SOme large nonprofit organizations are also .com. A smaller nonprofit will be .org or .net for example, hhtp//paganpride.org, which is organizing site for Pagan Pride nationwide. Here are a few sites I have found useful.
The Witch’s voice, http://www.wicthvox.com, is the best networking site for Witches and Pagans on the Web. The content consists of news stories, srticles, editorials, and book reviews, as well as extensive database of networking contacts. This is the place to start when looking for resources, such as covens to join and events to attenf. The site has been up for more then ten years and has an amasing amount of information.
This event happens every fall all over the United States and Canada, in Europe, and at facilitees for military personnel. Some local groups also sponsor fall equinox rituals and other events. These are free and open to the public. Most also sponsor charitable work such as food shelf drives. The main site, http//paganpride.org/, can help you find an event in your area.
Lleweylln’s Web site, http://www.llewellyn.com, has an abundance of free information, as well as the opportunity to order the latest books, get a tarot reading, check the Moon’s sign, and many other useful features.
The Covenant of the Goddess
Information about The COvenant of the Goddess, one of the largest and oldest Wiccan religious organizations, can be found at http://www.cog.org. The Covenant is an umbrella organization of cooperating autonomous Witchcraft covens, groups, and individual practitioners, and has the power to confer credentials on qualified clergy, It fosters cooperation and mutual support among Witches and provides legal recognition as a religion.
The author of Real Magic, has an excellent informativie site with lots of links at http://www.neopagan.net His Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (ABCDEF) is very useful in determining if a group is potentially harmful.
There are also a number of Pagan magazines available both in print and online. Check out http://www.pangaia.com for Pangaia and links to New Witch and Sage Woman.
Blogging is very popular in the Pagan community as elsewhere, If you are practicing alone, it can give you a sense of community, sharing with other Witches whether they are nearby or across the country. It’s a great way to share rituals with the rest of your coven; somecovens keep a group blog, each member adding to it as they will. Blogsd are a way to get feeddback from a wide audience as was as to keep many people up to date on your activites with one post. There are so many blogs and they change so quickly that there is no point in listing them here.
Copyright Maganeta Griffith Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2010 Pages 14-18