At some point I can already tell I’m going to rant that the so-called “medieval witches of yore” were technopagans. Brooms? Knives? Those were modern inventions in 1250, yo. So they were totally using the tech they had, just like I am when I use an LED candle or put up an energy radiating mandala on my desktop background. Today, I speak of the latest of such brooms and besoms: my phone, R2D2.
I have recently come into possession of a Droid phone. I’ve named it R2D2. I am sad that it makes my friends jealous, because I would prefer them to respond with, “Hey, that’s helpful! I can’t wait until these are affordable to all!” This, alas, is not the general reaction. Even when we use the GPS. ((I do not have an Iphone because AT&T coverage sucks in the Cities. I got stuck with it for four years. I also never finished an entire phone conversation in that four years.))
But for now, in answer to a discussion I had ((I’m a very loose forum visitor because I have a hard time finding forums that merit repeat visits)) about Droids on some forum somewhere, I’m going to point out a few apps that are useful to neopagan mystical types. Someone had bemoaned there being “no pagan apps.” While nothing comes up when I search for Wicca and Pagan, I’m not bothered by the fact that it’s not labeled as such. English-speaking Droid users and app commenters tend to be very by the book – either atheist, Muslim or Christian – and the sheer amount of vitriol that gets spewed on magical thinkers makes it a bad idea to express openly that you take some of the divination tools, etc. seriously. Especially when you download them off Droid marketplace.
There are a lot of decent features already built into the phone: you can add some programs from your computer directly, and there’s already an mp3 player, camera (video and still) and speakerphone built in. It also has GPS and bluetooth capability; the bluetooth you have to order ((and I’m scared to use much because I watch a lot of Doctor Who.)) The other thing that makes this phone interesting is how Amiga -like it is in its upgrades. Yes, you can install all sorts of updates with programs on your computer until the OS changes, but the Droid has something so far beyond it that the camera itself – formerly a mechanical only invention – can be upgraded by a remote update. It’s fascinating.
So, having figured out how to make maximum use of my Droid before I started downloading new toys, I’ve found the following apps downloaded most useful when you’re a mystical type:
All this does is show a fire roaring away. While it seemingly has only novelty value, I’ve found that just having the visual set out in the middle of a table helps people get relaxed and chatty.
This surfs flickr for select background images. I’ve gotten very into art and its effect on consciousness in the past few years, and I do believe that images you look at repeatedly have a profound psychological impact, much more than typically considered. So if you see someone looking sad or violent you begin to associate a default mood/position of sad or violent. If you choose images that you look at that are positive/zen, you gradually create a zen outlook. Since I have to handle my droid a lot when I go out, I’d rather program my brain frequently with happy/zen things. The energy is the image, the image is the energy. It’s an intriguing experience.
FlipSilent and Mute
If you’re at a ritual but you need the phone to use as a flashlight (there’s an app for that) you still don’t want the sound to go off. You can turn out down manually, but that manual bar makes a persistent and awkward beeping sound. So these apps are very useful when you still need to access your phone but don’t want the priestess at the ritual to smack you around with her staff.
This is my current favorite “mystic friendly” application and possibly the one the most people find confusing. Essentially it’s a white noise generator that allows you to pick a scene (that barely shows up on your screen) and add layers of noise: crickets, rain, bells, lightning. From within the program you can set an alarm – it’s meant to work as a sleep aid, but I’ve found it great for meditation. My only complaint is that I have to go through default ring tones on the Droid for the end meditation alarm; I’d really like to add a gentle chime like you get on a Zen Alarm.
Surprisingly accurate and you can add custom responses. Also, unlike real 8 balls that have crossed my path the fluid never leaks and the dice never breaks. You still have to shake it, though.
Gives a simple graphic of the moon and a count down to the next new or full moon. I would like to see some improvements, like what sign the moon is in and more specific moon rise moon set times, but it’s useful in a scheduling pinch.
A sort of horoscope for your moon sign. Sadly, the free is only a demo.
Intended to sort out health issues affecting sleep. It’s very usable – walks you through a few basic queries daily, has you record the time you went to bed and the time you got up, and after you’ve gathered enough data it generates a little chart that may point out patterns to you. This combined with a dream journal/general journal can be very handy.
Great for drawing and releasing sigils.
Slightly more informative than MoonPhase. This gives sunrise and moonrise times, but does not predict exact dates and times of full moon, void of course, etc.
I’m probably going to use this is someone really bugs me for a reading at a gathering where I don’t want to be bothered. It’s a very pretty deck used, though I’m not sure what it is. It only does one and three card readings, but the interpretations if you use them are pretty accessible.
Useful for self-guided meditations and trancework, or when you need to catch details you might not process all at once.
I still fish around in the Marketplace once a week or so; I may update every time I find a particularly interesting application. Right now I’d really like a comprehensible astrology app, because the ones I’m finding are either too fluffy or literally in mathematical code.