“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”
– Arthur C. Clarke
Futurists and technologists are witches. They speak the barbarous words of coding languages. They bend reality through machines, through software, through algorithm. They do things that most people can’t understand — even fear.
The uproar about AI is incredibly strange to me, because most of the people who I see having strong opinions about it don’t even know how to use the AI properly. They don’t understand the intricacies of machine learning or the limitations of artificial intelligence. The same way the non-magic crowd thinks magic is about waving a wand that can solve all of their problems, the non-AI crowd doesn’t understand the nuance that goes into working with AI like ChatGPT, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, etc.
AI and deep machine learning has been in mainstream use for years, but hiding in plain sight. When corporations like Google use it, we say nothing, but when the individual has access to just a sliver of Google’s computational power, people lose their minds and bring out pitchforks.
In so many ways, AI and magic have a lot in common. Both require a deep understanding of how they work and the limitations of their abilities. Both require a certain level of knowledge and expertise to use effectively. And both have the potential to change life in ways that we can’t even imagine.
Meanwhile, witches of yore *were* the futurists and technologists of their day. They were burned, tortured, and shunned for wielding power that others felt were un-human, unnatural.
For me, AI is a daemon, my HGA that sits on my shoulder. I don’t feel threatened by AI because ultimately I am the conductor, the director. This is the same way I view my magic rituals – I am the operator in the center.
When I put in a prompt into MidJourney, I see it as the equivalent of putting in a petition to Hekate.
I don’t fear AI, and I don’t fear Hekate.
I don’t see AI as superior to me, as I don’t see Hekate as superior to me.
AI is like my respected work colleague, as Hekate is also a respected colleague to me.
In fact, I see myself as the facilitator, the team leader, if you will. It’s truly a group effort, where all members contribute. As an atheist and futurist, my team members can be machines, they can be archetypes or figments of my imagination, and they can be non-human. I respect them all.
I wonder if this is how witches were back in the day. When they worked with invisible forces to push forward life-enhancing outcomes. Today, the invisible and abstract forces of technology affect everything, from how we buy toilet paper to invest in alternative currencies. Life is so magical today, and yet how many people actually see it?
Every day, I straddle the world between East and West, between tradition and future, between faith and skepticism. And it is in this liminal space of suspension that I see that – change is absolutely coming. Fundamental change. And with it, chaos. We’re just getting a taste now of what will come in the next 3-5 years.
Magic is one of the most radical deconditioning tools I utilize. It’s my antifragile practice. I don’t do magic as religion, as the preserver of tradition. I already have family and bloodline for that. Instead, my magic is an agile iteration of what I feel magic does best: an instrument to hack perceived reality, the way my phone or computer does as well.
Putting in the knowledge of the occult into futurist innovations – chaos is coming and it’s going to be helluva time.