Web Changes (December 2000)
We aim to update this web-site every few weeks, so this is where we'll announce the most recent additions. If you've visited us before and want to know what's changed, take a look here first (though remember to Reload or Refresh the page in your browser, otherwise you'll probably just get the previous version from your cache!). And please do use the feedback area to tell us how we're doing - and about any information or links you'd like to see added to this site.
[21 Dec 2000] Essentially just a maintenance update this time, with very little new added. Most of the activity's happened on the TomGraves site, with another unpublished book-project - Intuitive Technology - on the relationships between skills, magic and technology; and on the separate and entirely new Yabbies site at http://www.yabbies.org , which explores the weirdness of society - an expansion of some of the themes in Tom Graves' Wyrd World project.
Stop press! Wyrd EBooks now available: Positively Wyrd and Wyrd Allies have now been published in Acrobat EBook form - they're available for download, at £3.00 each, from http://www.web-orama.com/ .
[31 Oct 2000] A whole new section added in this update, on the technology of wyrd, including guidelines for practical applications - magical-technologies - within the full range of the wyrd:
There's also been a fair bit of activity on the two companion web-sites, TomGraves and xio. The main items there are some sample chapters from Tom Graves' book The Dowser's Workbook; and a few more 'Xio tools', showing the application of wyrd in the business world. See the TomGraves News and Xio News pages for more details.
Linking magic and technology
Technology is ubiquitous, of course - otherwise you wouldn't be reading this! But so too is magic: and not only is it true, as Arthur C Clarke's famous dictum puts it, that any sufficiently advanced technology indistinguishable from magic, but as Tom Graves explains in his book Inventing Reality , any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology, for the simple reason that they're much the same anyway. To fully understand technology, we need to understand magic - what magic is and how it works; to fully understand magic, we need to understand technology - particularly its dependence on discipline; and to understand either of them, we need to understand how they interweave, and interchange between one form and another.
A magical technology is one in which the mind plays an active part in the process. Skill is the most obvious example: the development of observation, intuition, judgement and awareness - all of them functions of the mind - play an essential role in every one of those multitudinous skills on which our technologies depend. At the simplest of levels, we improve our technology by improving our understanding of the magic of skill.
But that's only the simplest of levels. It's becoming evident that there's a clear gradation of 'reality' from a basic and default level of a strict physics in which the mind can be ignored, and onward all the way through to layers that can only be explained in terms of "good question... next question?", and in which specific but ordinary people, though under often weird and often unrepeatable conditions, can bend spoons without touching them, run cars on air or water, create cold-fusion in the laboratory or in the field, learn to levitate tables and other objects, or locate minerals or missing people by waggling a little dowser's-pendulum over a map. Some of it is fraud, of course, or plain wishful thinking - but by no means all. In between these extremes there are weird oddities such as alchemy, in which specific circumstances create substances with significantly different chemical properties from their supposedly chemically-identical siblings; or 'self-evolved' computer-generated electronic circuits which use far too few logic-cells to make any sense, and about which their own designer said simply "Really, I don't have the faintest idea how it works." '[quote from Stewart and Cohen's 'The Descent of Darwin' in Pratchett, Stewart and Cohen, 'The Science of Discworld', p.193-196]' To quote Shakespeare, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy": and by accepting that as real, and accepting the weird magic behind all technology, we can create entirely new worlds of possibility. And magic, of course.
The key to that, though, is a deeper understanding of the weird - and wyrd - nature of reality. The wyrd interweaves through everything, everyone, everywhen: wherever we look, it provides us with new challenges, but also new, empowering opportunities. Over the next few months, in addition to the much-promised look at the way the wyrd works in the wider world in the sense of landscape and home, as described in content of Tom Graves' new book-project Geomancy: Beyond Feng Shui (to which we'll be adding links as it's developed on the TomGraves site), we'll be adding detailed descriptions, cross-references and even practical instructions on creating and experimenting with a wide variety of magical technologies. Watch this space, perhaps?
As a concept, a practical model of reality, wyrd works - here at Wyrdsmiths we know that, in everyday experience, and our aim is to help others learn how to use it. Over the past year or so, this Wyrdsmiths site and our more 'people-oriented' sister-site annwn.com have provided an information resource that has helped many people find and use that experience of wyrd in their own lives, in many different ways - and we'll continue to build on that for the future. So which aspects of the wyrd work best for you? What further information on wyrd would you like to find on this web-site? Use the feedback area to tell us, and to share your ideas and experiences with other users of this site!