slagcraft 1: How to turn your smart-phone into a river

Enough theory for now. Time to get to work.

I’m creating ritual excursions and exercises under the umbrella of something I’m calling “slagcraft.” These are provisional and I might be making tiny changes to them as I go on.


How to Turn Your Smartphone into a River

Face towards China, where most of the valuable components of your phone were likely mined, and where the phone was invariably assembled. Place the smartphone in both hands, cradling it. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Feel your breath going into the phone. Think through this phone. What does it mean to you?

Now let these meanings go. Say:

You are glass.


You are platinum.


You are gold.


You are copper.


You are silver.


You are light, bright, and loud.


Then feel your hands inside a river, feeling the current on your skin. Turn over the phone three times slowly, then set down the phone. Next pick up the cup of water. Say:

 As this has passed from mine to factory to ship, bless the tailings and corrosions. They are our tailings and corrosions, and our blessings. As this river flows from the earth to our hands, may its life run like our lives. And when it empties into the sea of un-use, as we will, may it prove to be without harm and purely put to rest, as we desire for our bodies. “The sea refuses no river.” (Townsend)

Splash water on your hands and rub them together.

Next is the invocation of the rare-earth elements present in the phone. These rare metals are not inherently benign, but it is important to acknowledge their presence in the material world.

Hail, yttrium, prince of synthetic garnets!

Hail, lanthanum, crux of the Prius!

Hail, cerium, spark of cigarette lighters!

Hail, praseodymium of the faux peridot!

Hail, neodymium, the magnet and the incandescence!

Hail, europium, red traveller of the phosphor!

Hail, gadolinium, cryptic salt of dialysis!

Hail, terbium, margrave of sonars!

Hail, dysprosium, chimera of the control rod!

Dry your hands with a towel and pick up the phone again. Close your eyes and acknowledge the elements, and then the river. Say:

In the river of matter, let us be naiad.

So shall we flow in our flaws.

With the camera, take a photo of your face. Keep this photo as a tiny digital relic of this transformation. Repeat:

So shall we flow in our flaws.

The ritual is complete. After the invocations, and throughout your days, if you have any twitchy desire to check it unnecessarily, repeat this invocation quietly to yourself:

River river I shan’t look down

Buttercup, buttercup drift and drown

(Optional: Let the stillness be your friend

Until you come to life again)

When properly transformed into a river, your smartphone can be your constant companion. Take care of it, as you would any river.

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3 Responses to slagcraft 1: How to turn your smart-phone into a river

  1. Jeremy Puma says:

    This is ingenious.

  2. dauphinesb says:

    Thank you Jeremy! Enjoy your blog too.

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