In the first half of the program scholar and author of over twelve books on witchcraft, Wicca, and neopaganism, Raven Grimassi, spoke about the various forms of witchcraft, as well as spells, and ghosts. Rooted in an ancient system, witchcraft is used to understand the natural and supernatural, and taps into energies and natural cycles, he said. Dressing for rituals, he wears a black-hooded robe, as black is the symbol for procreation and represents how everything arises from darkness, he shared. Magick and spellcraft is not unlike prayer-- "it's the idea of forming a thought or desire, and putting some energy or emotion or passion behind it" in order make it manifest, he explained, adding that different symbolic tools are often incorporated such as candles.
Spellcraft is a way to get things moving-- for instance, "you could charge your resume with a magickal intent," which might make it stand out more from the pack, he offered. "By aligning yourself with the forces of nature," he continued, "you can come to a better understanding of what the divine is and how you connect with it." Historically, witches have been associated with the ability to summon the dead. Grimassi divides ghosts into two categories-- those that have a kind of sentience and can interact with the living, and loops or imprints of energy that just repeat the same actions over and over.
In the latter half, author Matt Ridley talked about how new trends and patterns emerge, and affect the state of evolution. Human culture doesn't particularly change because of the innovations of certain geniuses-- these innovations are often appearing simultaneously to a variety of people, he explained. Technology leads to further technology, but with incremental progress-- such as the improvement of computing power cited in Moore's Law, he noted. The Internet is an amazing example of an evolutionary system that has developed in a decentralized, and largely unregulated fashion, he added.
Among future trends, Ridley sees "blockchain" (the technology behind Bitcoin) evolving and potentially changing society. It creates a kind of "self-verification" that cuts out the middlemen like bankers, and could have a big impact on currency and transactions, he remarked. Young people are often at the vanguard of societal changes, he reported, and have developed some specific skills based on their habit of playing video games. For instance, some are particularly good at laparoscopic surgery (operations conducted through small incisions) which involve precise hand movements.