Principles of Open Source Witchcraft:emic perspectives on freedom of knowledge

Fitzpatrick, Joanne (2022) Principles of Open Source Witchcraft:emic perspectives on freedom of knowledge. In: Magickal Women Conference, 2022-10-15, Regent's University.

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The tightrope between saliency and secrecy is a complex one for practitioners of Contemporary Paganism and Western Esoteric traditions. Previously only concerned with doing a certain degree of public work to allow access points for new adherents: tradition, liturgy and knowledge are generally closed and protected by oaths. Borrowing the ‘open source’ term from software development, several groups are experimenting with more open practices, such as non-initiatory structures or online publishing of original liturgy, and this activity is increasing in pace. There is certainly appetite for open access material, evidenced in the prolific downloading of pirated eBooks in the discipline, grown out of the as yet unsubstantiated myth that the most commonly stolen items from libraries and archives are occult texts. There are perceived and actual implications of removing kept gates from occult knowledge, and applying information science and open research frameworks to work by Pagan and Occult practitioners provides insight and a method of doing this well. Conclusions are offered to support open source alternative religion and spirituality as a positive force. In many ways, avoidance or poor application of open working can cause problems with the resilience, visibility and respectability of Pagan and Occult traditions.

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Contribution to Conference (Paper)
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Magickal Women Conference
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01 Nov 2022 14:40
Last Modified:
18 Sep 2023 02:57