This is a discussion about how to prevent the dreaded electronic gremlins from invading your phone, TV, and computer.
Magick and electronics do not mix, as many Witches, Pagans, and Ceremonial Magicians have discovered. Always, I have had trouble with batteries going dead, cars refusing to start, and phones which freeze. And don’t even get me started on computers.
Recently, I was honored and privileged to be a presenter at WitchCon online, a virtual conference featuring classes and demonstrations with over a hundred prominent Witches. Many of them were famous, revered elders, wise in their craft. Most had written books. Several, like event promoter Christian Day, had electronic equipment that could “launch the Space Shuttle”, as he put it. Others, like myself, struggled along with rural satellite wifi, older equipment, and little computer knowledge. Still, it went pretty well. Mostly. In fact, it was amazing, when we consider that nothing like this event had ever been attempted before.
So, to level the playing field for me, my dear husband Dave bought me a new camera and microphone. I practiced with my tech-savvy son Bran, and attended the online instructional session with Kevin Wright, the patient and knowledgeable computer-meister at Hex Education Network, the company which facilitates WitchCon and other wonderful events. Everything worked fine, prior to the actual broadcast. There were tech support people standing by to help presenters go live. Then came the time for my vendor commercial, and the class itself, and the gremlins came out to play. The mic was buzzing, then quit altogether. The computer did not recognize the camera. Ten excruciating minutes went by… and finally, we hit the airwaves. The annoying hum was still present, but at least I could be seen and (mostly) heard.
Other people had issues as well – mostly folk magick practitioners, and older Witches who were not as used to using the new technology. Video was lost while sound still functioned, and vice-versa. There were funny noises, slow broadcasts, and some classes even went totally dark. Others had to be postponed. A few viewers could not see the classes they wanted. Afterwards, we all agreed that the tech staff, supervised by Kevin, were superb. It wasn’t even necessarily glitchy equipment. It was likely our magick, interfering with the electronics.
My son’s laptop died around the same time, with the fan going dead and the inner workings overheating. This amounted to $125 worth of repairs. While the computer was not around when I was doing my presentation, Bran helped me with the tech. He’s also a magickal practitioner. I was starting to see a pattern, here.
When watching others’ classes, I noticed some incredible magickal artefacts in the background. We actually had some antique ritual tools and elder objects used for spellwork in the same room with the computer equipment. This interaction between the eldritch artes and newfangled technology may have caused all the problems. So, on the WitchCon presenters’ group page on FB, I asked for some practical advice. I also asked Chris the High Tech Redneck at Tri-County Computers in Watervliet MI, and Paul Barbary of the huge metaphysical shop, Artes and Crafts of Hartford, MI for suggestions. Here is what people said:
Anna Meadows suggested wearing a “grounding cord” around one’s ankle or wrist, which can go out a window and connect with the ground. Using a “grounding pad” to sit on, put one’s feet on, and under the computer was another idea. Fill the pad with rock salt, and crystals such as shungite and tourmaline, to ground out any excess energies. Anna speculated that magickal energies which normally stay in the subtle realms can flow into the electromagnetic – which might be a form of psychokinesis. Jana Nieves suggested putting grounding pads beneath the keyboard, and also on the armrests of the chair, and underneath the computer operator on the floor. The pads should contain hematite and black tourmaline. Ah, this might be why my test-run went smoothly – I was wearing my black tourmaline amulet for the instruction but NOT for the actual broadcast.
Several other people recommended shungite crystals, as well. Author Diana Rajchel suggested grounding with hematite, rather than the quartz crystals I had previously placed on my computer tower. She said that computers have enough silica – and also, clear quartz boosts energies. Diana advised putting shungite near the CPU or on the laptop. Paul Barbary said that shungite is not just a “woo-woo” thing, as the crystal is used by professionals to ground out static electricity. Sandra Mariah Wright, author and owner of Gallows Hill Witchery, also suggested orgonite pyramids and shungite to reduce EMF and negative waves. Sandra said she’d used a carnelian for author Laurie Cabot, who had no trouble with her broadcast.
Other holistic practitioners agree with these ideas. Bess O’Connor, who writes a holistic healing blog called Sivana Spirit East, posted an article called “Four Crystals to Protect You From EMFs”. This is short for electric and magnetic fields / frequencies. Those really are a thing, according to electric company Southern California Edison. Ms. O’Connor states that the energies emitted by light sockets, tablets, cell phones and computers can have a detrimental result on the body, mind and spirit. They can cause headaches, anxiety, nausea and fatigue, amongst other physical and mental symptoms. She also recommends hematite, orgonite, black tourmaline and shungite. How had I never heard of this before?
On the more techy side of the table, Christian Day, who offers the “HEX Offenders” You-Tube show, as well as facilitating WitchCon and numerous other events, suggested getting a power-conditioning power strip, which can eliminate buzzing and static sounds in audio. He recommends a Furman SS6B Power Conditioner. Plain surge protectors do not cut it. Author and presenter Elohim Leafar suggested using the phone to watch an online broadcast, as most phones are newer. Computers older than 2020 might not be up to the task of working with Zoom or Crowdcast, which uses more juice than either FaceBook or YouTube. And while Chris the Redneck Geek from Tri-County Computers scoffs at grounding pads (he is not familiar with magick), he suggested making sure that computers, cords, microphones and cameras are designed for web broadcasts, and that all of them work together. Turns out, the innards of my camera were fried, and one of the USB sockets was destroyed. I believe this was caused by doing magickal workings close to it. However, Chris blamed the wiring in my house lacking proper grounds – rather than ME lacking grounding. Oh well, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.
Kevin Wright recommends ensuring that we test all equipment, and all devices used together before going live with an online broadcast. “The day before the conference is not a good time for an upgrade,” he cautioned. Kevin told us to make sure that all permissions for auxiliary devices are assured within the system, and that security programs recognize the software for the device (I *think* I’m saying that correctly…) While Kevin says that taking measures to ground oneself is a great idea, he thinks that variances in wifi speeds and static electricity are to blame more often than magickal energies or problems with electronic devices. Next year, a tech check will be mandatory for each presenter before WitchCon is broadcast. Since Kevin is the wizard behind HEX Education Network, we really must take his advice seriously.
With all of these good suggestions, I bought a new web camera specifically for the purpose of presenting a live class or ritual. New cords were also a must. Chris the High-Tech Redneck tested everything, including the computer tower and the external devices. I went to Artes and Crafts and bought a hematite bead bracelet, and a handful each of shungite, hematite, and black tourmaline crystals. These magickal stones are currently taped to our monitors, keyboards, laptops and perched on top of the tower. Some of them are in velvet bags, tied to power cords. So far, everything is working much better. And as more Witchcraft and Pagan festivals are broadcast online, more of the bugs will be worked out with the technology. WitchCon has opened the door for an amazing new form of communication between esoteric teachers and seekers. Yay!