Wanted: people who have used an online persona for self-transformation

Unio Mystico by H.Kopp-Delaney

Have you used an online persona to accomplish self-transformation? I’m doing research for my hypersigil project (currently thinking it will take the form of a free e-book, and then be extended into something else from there), and I’m looking for personal stories from people who have attempted to use online personas to make changes in their lives. Whether that meant taking up another gender identity in IRC or Second Life before taking transgenderism in real life, or crafting a different professional identity to make a career change, or using social media to get out of a rut in life, I’m interested in talking to you.

I especially want to talk to you if you’ve tried and failed. I’m interested in finding out how to make this work for people, so failures are even more important to study than successes.

If anyone can recommend any books, papers, or studies on the subject, I’d be much appreciative.

For some background, read my post hypersigils reconsidered.

(Photo: Unio Mystico by H.Kopp-Delaney / CC)


  1. I have a tale or two of online-persona transformation fail, if you’re interested.

  2. It’s actually a combination of offline and online identity changes, but if you’re interested, we can talk about it.

  3. Right – what I’m talking about is using your online identity to change your offline life.

  4. I’ve both succeeded and failed with this. And have stories to tell.

  5. I have a success story. I went from regular mom to sex goddess/model/consultant.

  6. I know of a french woman who was born with spina bifita on the 1950s and then got polio while undergoing a medical procedure (spinal stint implants) as a young girl. She has full use of only her right hand (tri-plegic) to mouse and type on the computer. For the past 8 or 9 years she has been confined to bed because of osteoporosis. She is 53 years.

    She has never walked or had anything other than friendship type relationships. A few years ago a family friend set up a computer for her and installed second life. Now she enjoys walking, running, dancing etc. through her avatar. She has met and fallen in love with a man, something she never dreamed could ever happen for her.

    While her offline physical life hasn’t really changed much, her emotional life and her life experience has changed immensely, and she has come to know the many joys that go along with having a loving relationship.

  7. You can contact me as well. I’d discuss this with you.

    alkemical23 at gmail com

  8. I have done quite a bit of self-work using virtual spaces as a focus over the years. How could I contact you privately?

  9. Stephen Baxendale

    April 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    aka sn00p.

    Hello Klint, long time no see, i’d just like to thank you so much for letting me guest blog here. I’m currently doing freelance journalism and i think it was your blog that sent me down that direction. You do great work here, keep it up.

    As i’ve got older i’ve completly come to reject the idea of hypersigils, sigils or any magick. I loved reading all the crazy ideas and doing the rituals… but in the end i regret it all.

    I re-watched that old Disnnformation lecture by Grant Morrison the other day and i don’t understand how i could of believed any of that.

    Cave men may have thought there was a connection between their drawing of a dead bison and their succesful hunt, i do not.

  10. Hey Stephen, glad to hear from you!

    Have you been following the site? I’ve abandoned magic and the occult myself. However, I think there’s something to the “hypersigil” idea, but not necessarily what Morrison said it was. I explain this in the “Hypersigils Reconsidered” post. I think Morrison’s media persona (the Disinfo talk is a great example) is as at least as important as the Invisibles comic in the success of that particular hypersigil – it’s a social feedback process. (That said, for those who DO believe in magick, it could still be a particularly useful tool).

    I may end up abandoning the hypersigil term altogether by the end of the project, but for right now I like the term.

  11. Stephen Baxendale

    April 20, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I always follow when i can. Poverty makes my internet exposure sporadic.

    Reading that other (rather excellent) post i can see what your saying. A sort of cybernetic loop with an idealised person?

    I’ve been working on an article about how the internet was the death of magick. Perhaps i could interview you for it sometime? If your not too busy.

  12. Stephen – a cybernetic loop, yes. I’m not sure about the idealized person, though.

    You can definitely interview me, but I’m not sure how much help I’d be on the subject. Do you still have my e-mail address?

  13. Thanks Konrad. There’s a lot of stuff out there on “personal branding” (and I know that’s at least some component to what I’m talking about here) I’m not even sure where to start.

  14. Thanks Danny, this is exactly the sort of thing I’m looking for.

    And thanks to everyone who’s replied who I haven’t gotten in touch with yet!

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