If a Wicca coven meets on Zoom, where is it actually meeting? What dimension?
Now this isn’t a trick question, especially because I don’t have the answer. It is a genuine enquiry.
From one perspective, it is just a group communicating over the internet, like a telephone conversation.
From a mystical nerd-techie perspective, they are connecting energetically, facilitated by the internet. In this concept, the worldwide web is an intermediary, sending prana/chi down the broadband and wireless lines.
And there is a third possibility, which is that Zoom is just a touch point for the coven. They are connecting telepathically and might even be astral travelling out of their bodies on their broomsticks. The internet is just the way that their physical bodies stay conscious.
Many people I work with say that they really enjoy online meditations and courses. When I first started teaching online, technophobes grouched about it. There was a lot of tut-tutting about technology versus ‘real’ spirituality.
A few years on however and opinion has dramatically transformed. One reason for this shift is that people doing spiritual work online no longer have to deal with the coughing, shuffling and other irritations that happen in an in-person group. It is not easy to be serene and experience subtle dimensions when someone close by is breathing heavily, wheezing and ruffling their cough medicine lozenges packet which refuses to open.
Introverts and quiet types also love working online, because they are free from the social interactions of a real-life group. In fact, many people report that their meditations and inner work go much deeper when they work online. They remind us too that there are ages-old practices of distant healing, prayer work and magic. Being connected online helps to amplify the energies and the experience. (None of this, of course, is to underestimate the healing, enjoyment and encouragement that can come from real life communities.)
So, like many others, I truly value online courses and meditations. In a very real sense, the hopeful prophesies of a global brain, or global heart, have been realised. The electronic network covering planet Earth is now similar to all the connections in the human nervous system. This new interconnectivity and interdependence heralds, some people say, a great evolutionary step for humanity and Gaia. Certainly, when we look at the chaos and confusion in social networking (Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, etc), we can see the birth pangs of this new culture.
But what happens now to the meta-physical, magical and spiritual traditions that are rooted in particular geographies?
In my case, for example, I feel that my roots are deep in the Middle Eastern and European mystery schools that include ancient Egyptian, gnostic Christian, Qabalah and Sufism. I honour too the traditions of Tibetan sorcery, Berber magic and central African shamanism. Many of my close friends feel their roots in other geographies, particularly shamanism in north and south America, and Scandinavia.
To repeat my enquiry: What happens now to these regional jewels?
I found part of the answer recently when I interviewed Grandmother Flordemayo of the Mayan tradition and Puma Quispe Singona, an Andean medicine man, for a Shift Network Summit. Both of these teachers were born into and are rooted in their traditions. Both are also teaching online. And they had the same core message. We are one humanity, one people. We must learn to be still, to connect with Source and spread love and compassion.
There is a good, harmonic balance here. The old embraces the new. The local embraces the global. Remember the call to action: Think global. Act local. We might add to that inspiring call another mantra: Local roots. Global compassion.
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