ChatGPT for Witchcraft? Yes, I Think So!
Oh boy, the Internet is certainly boiling over with divisive opinions about ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence in general. Like it or not, I think it’s all here to stay. You should know that I was a never-adopter. Nope. Not me. AI is evil, and that's all there is to it. There are no redeeming qualities, said I. Zip. Zilch. And zero. That was until tonight.
When you’re part of a large community of writers like I am, everyone seems to be up in arms about all of this kind of tech stuff. Nobody wants to have their work stolen by a program. Nobody wants to read something that was written by a program, either. It goes against my grain and the grain of every writer I know.
But hey, here’s a gonzo thought. What if you used ChatGPT for witchcraft? Bear with me, because I think it’s possible. It might even be wonderful and completely guilt free!
To be clear, I don’t believe that a book, a student’s essay, or even a blog post should be written by AI and passed off as a person’s work. That’s cheating in the worst way. It’s gross. Likewise, I have many issues with AI visual art.
First, AI draws from other people’s work and talent. The product is not created out of aether; it’s a conglomeration of real-world work from lots of different people. Yes, people. Creative and talented people who probably did not agree to have their work thrown into Ye Olde AI Blender to make something else. And second, the product is not the unique thoughts, inspiration, or talent of the person who types in the prompt, either. But I think that might be the beauty of AI in spiritual practice.
I get it. I really do. Spirituality, magick, the craft, and whatever it is that you do is probably the polar opposite of tech. Magick is nature and earthiness and even the cosmos. It's not ones and zeroes.
But tonight while sitting down to write another blog post, I was stuck. I wanted to find something new. I can write about the same tired old topics like anyone else, and I can do it all day long. But I wanted something different. And then I wondered . . .
What might ChatGPT have to say? I didn’t want the program to write a blog post for me. Remember, that’s cringey and gross. But I did wonder if it might spark some creativity. It blew me away.
First, I asked the program to recommend potential topics for a pagan blog. It generated a list of about 10 topics. Meh. I wasn’t impressed. You wouldn’t have been impressed either, not if I had chosen any of them to write about. But one of the recommended topics reminded me of something else. And so I refined my prompt. Those results reminded me of something else. I refined my prompt again.
That’s when the deep-dive magic happened. If, like me, you were the kid who read encyclopedias for fun, you know where this is going.
Although I started my ChatGPT discussion with a question about blog topics, I found myself in a sea of information. Not the scary kind of sea where something big and chompy might swim up and bite you on the leg and then spit you out because you taste bad. This was the awesome kind of sea where you’re splashing around in everything you wanted to know, and then some.
I asked for links to authoritative sources on the history of the Ouroboros. Boom: just like that, I had three links. I asked for links to authoritative sources on candle flame interpretation. To the extent that there can be an authoritative source for candle flame interpretation, I got those, too.
Then I started playing around with it. Although I know that basil is a sweet herb that’s used in a sweet ritual bath and rue is a bitter herb for a bitter bath, I asked why. I’ve known those things for ages, but I’ve never asked anyone what makes an herb bitter or sweet, metaphysically speaking. As with so many other things, I memorized it 20 years ago or longer because I trusted the person who told me. AI provided answers and links to sources so that I could go read that material in full. Mind blown, y’all.
No matter what your spiritual practice is, knowledge is always-always-always power. It’s been mentioned a lot lately, but your intuition is power, too. I think intuition might be the strongest and most versatile power that you have. When your knowledge base grows, you can rely on your intuition more, especially if you tend to question yourself like I do. (Do I ever.)
Although AI doesn’t create its own knowledge, it does have access to knowledge that’s everywhere. I’m beginning to think of it as a freaky little search engine that’s better at its job than Google.
I don’t recommend asking ChatGPT to spit out a spell. It would certainly give you one. But the product of your query would be a combination of spells from all over the place. Although it's got access to smart stuff written by smart people, it's got access to a lot of dumb stuff, too. Pay attention to your sources. But if you’re planning a spell for, say, personal power, I do believe AI could be a huge help.
Think about prompts that ask which herbs are related to personal power (and why). That could give you a good idea about what you have on hand, what you might harvest, or what you need to order. With the “why” question, you could also learn about substitutes. Ask which candle colors, which moon phases, which days of the week, which time of day, and which spirits or entities or goddesses help with personal power. There seems to be no end to what you can ask.
Above all, be discerning. AI can be a nifty tool, but it comes with big risks if you trust what it generates without also going to the sources. Always ask for links. It’s so much better, and it’s a lot more respectful, to read answers from the people who wrote the source materials.
Who would have thought that technology could help make you a better practitioner on your path? Not me, that’s for sure. I was a never-ever-ever kinda chick. Then again, I do seem to learn something new every single day. I hope I always do.