C Y B E R M A N C Y . N E T

C R E A T I V I T Y   V I A   C O D E

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future

root:~/www# lynx -dump -nolist preface.html
Etymologically, the cybern- root is an alternate spelling of the word govern; cybernetics is the science of governance [of any system]. The slightly truncated prefixal form cyber- denoting just computer systems (not all systems) was introduced by author William Gibson when he combined the words cybernetic and space to create the word cyberspace, which was popularized by his 1984 science-fiction novel Neuromancer. The -mancy root originally meant just "divination", but fiction authors (such as Gibson) broadened the definition to more generally mean "magick" and/or "manipulation". Cybermancy then means "[magical] manipulation of computers" (see the Clarke quote above). The choice of the word Cybermancy in this site's domain name is simply meant to capture and convey the sense of raw "magick" one can experience when conjuring realities from imagination by assembling esoteric computer codes, graphics primitives, etc.

The Romulijana Labyrinth

damion:~/www$ lynx -dump -nolist lavirint.html
Though I could have designed my own hexagonal labyrinth, I preferred one with historicity if such could be found. At an excavation in Serbia of a Roman palace/temple complex, archaeologists uncovered a floor-tile mosaic depicting a hexagonal unicursal "labyrinth". Note the fortified walls surrounding the labyrinth in this mosaic; such fortifications visually emphasized the protective properties that these labyrinthine sigils held in the Roman mind. The palace/temple complex in what is now Serbia had been dedicated by Roman emperor Galerius to the Late Roman goddess Romula (his deified mother, who herself had been a priestess of older Dacian mountain deities such as Zamolxe). I wanted a rendition of this hexagonal Romulijana labyrinth with crisp straight lines and I wanted to be able to alter characteristics such as proportion on-the-fly; utilizing computer code (the Python programming language specifically) to render the labyrinth gave me the on-the-fly control I sought. In the spirit of "cybermancy" envisioned on this site, feel free to play with the code yourself. (GUI screenshot.)

[Image of the Romulijana labyrinth]

The Unicursus of Eternity

damion:~/www$ lynx -dump -nolist unicursus.html
With the hexagonal Romulijana labyrinth as a base, I then wanted to add Reims-style bastions to it. The esoteric and grandiose name Unicursus of Eternity comes from the fact that this labyrinth will be used as a mana-sigil in a fictional machinima that I am creating for my children. Further, with an eye toward teaching my children programming in the future, I rendered the Unicursus [and its surrounding circles] using the Python programming language, as I consider Python to be the ideal instructional language due to its designed ease of use combined with its real-world usefulness. The code to render the Unicursus is not just for my children though; anyone who desires to indulge in the exploratory spirit of "cybermancy" as envisioned on this site is free to download and play with the code for the Unicursus. (If you then produce a new labyrinth that we find particularly appealing, we may add it to this site.) Inspired by images of magical seals from medieval grimoires, I then used the GIMP image manipulator to add glyphs for one of the names of the Preservatrix goddess.

[Image of the Unicursus of Eternity]

Amulet of Shielding

damion:~/www$ lynx -dump -nolist amulet.html
My young children with their overactive imaginations fear monsters in unlit spaces; they were already familiar with the Unicursus of Eternity as a "wishing wheel", so I leveraged that to create the apotropaic Amulet of Shielding, the flavor text for which is that the amulet "utilizes a holy symbol of the Preservatrix goddess to erect a thaumaturgic shield around the wearer which renders the wearer invulnerable to harm from monsters". I used the potrace commandline software to convert a bitmap of the Unicursus into an SVG file, which I then uploaded to TinkerCAD.com so as to convert it into an STL file for 3D printing.

[Image of the Amulet of Shielding]