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Is secrecy still important to you?


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#1 bewilderbeast

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 04:38 AM

I'm starting to get really organized with all of my witchy stuff... and I'm having a hard time deciding some things...
I have always felt that the craft should still stay somewhat of a secret to prying eyes, especially when it comes to personal books, grimoires, etc. I have always had a concept of creating these books with a handmade gesture, but furthermore, encoding them so that any fool who may stumble upon them cannot easily open to a page and indulge.
However, I realize, that whether I like it or not, I am a tech savvy gal, and I have more intention than I do time, most often.
Which leads me to the question,
Do you still feel it is important to use encryption with your books?
If so, what "language" do you prefer? Do you have your own codes?
I once planned to use a "modified" Theban.... but ugh...
I wish I could create a Theban font and just translate it all and print it out! lol!

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#2 LDG

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 06:37 AM

I feel the need to keep my workings secret. This is how things were done in my family and i keep the details within myself as well. I was thinking of using something similiar to theban but many of my wiccan friends do and i dont consider using it as they would likely read it if they caught a peek.

At this point i have yet to write anything down, i am unsure if there is another language i can use as i am not very good with my german yet so thats out. Maybe if i knew shorthand or brail (without the raised dots :P) or find some kind of code like binary (yeh im reachin here) then i would feel comfortable putting it down. But also i have large art books with hard covers that i think i will get locks for and attach them. I just cant trust some people around my things so better be safe and add that too!

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#3 Grimr

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 07:35 AM

Call me old fashioned but I still prefer secrecy, hiding in plain sight. While my Gramarye is not encoded with secret alphabets nothing is completely spelled out - I prefer to list things as a way of remembering and not as an actual "recipe book" per say, so often or not it is written within poetic myth and the bare minimum.

If magical alphabets is something that intrigues you, then I would recommend you take a look at Nigel Pennick's book "Magical Alphabets" - it covers the more classical letters of Hebrew, Runes, and Theban however also includes more obscure alphabets such as Alchemical and even Inquisitorial.

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 11:27 AM

I would tend to go along with Grimrs methods of hiding things in plain sight. For instance this could be in a short tale, poem, song etc. Saves having to learn a new alphabet which would more than likely be easier to crack than the way of hiding in plain sight which also would attract far less attention to the idly inquisitive that may stumble upon the grimoire.
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#5 Michele

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 12:39 PM

My home is my castle, and I hide nothing there (unless me mum is coming over, in which case I am at least polite enought to hide the dildos). I am openly out at work, put I don't go about scaring people or dressing weird or anything that would not be condusive to keeping my job, lol, and I don't wear anything that would be obvious to clients as not everyone is comfortable with it and I wouldn't want to cost the company a client. I have worked there long enough where most people trust me and are not intimidated by the thought of a witch amongst them, lol.

As I live alone, my whole house is really a study of the crooked path I have walked to get where I am today. My ritual room holds the bottles of potions and alters and tools, but my kitchen table is what usually holds the books I am currently working with, my papers and notes, the ashtray, the kittens, jars of pens and pencils and highlighters... I do love my kitchen table :-)

I have often wondered if it would be possible for me to live with someone else, lol, unless they were as totally weird as I am...

M

Edited by Michele, 11 December 2009 - 12:42 PM.

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#6 ValarieAnne

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:05 PM

I found the theban alphabet while reading something years and years ago and I really love it. I enjoy writing in it, mostly for decorative purposes. I use it sometimes in charms or the like. But for my own writings, I stick to plain english. You might try something where the pages are mixed with a formula known only to you. In other words you could start with page one then go to page 5 then on to page 10.. You can use any formula.. a birthdate or date of significance or just make something up that you can remeber. That way if anyone reads, they just get interested and then *poof* another topic comes up.



Here is a link I found to download the font, but I don't know how safe it is. The one I used is now gone.

http://www.bohemiana....com/theban.htm


As far as hiding who and what we are and our books etc., generally neither me nor my partner do. Our apt. is pretty obvious... Anyone who comes here either knows or has a good idea. Occasionally for business purposes we keep to ourselves, but ordinarily is some topic comes up that requires a "witches viewpoint" we don't mind putting our two cents worth in.

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#7 ValarieAnne

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:07 PM


I have often wondered if it would be possible for me to live with someone else, lol, unless they were as totally weird as I am...

M


Tried it a few times and it seems to me that only matching levels of weirdness work! :-)

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#8 LDG

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 05:53 PM

I agree Michele, finding someone who is weird matching you would be nice, hell i would love to find someone with my weirdness!

I like all of the ideas listed here, problem is i am very forgetful and would have too much of a hard time remembering my formula :P. I think maybe with more research into old code would be nice, i may do that between school semesters!

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#9 Morgana

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 06:51 PM

:bolt:I tend to hide in plain site. I have my own room to keep my stuff and can lock myself away with no one, well almost no one, bothering me!!!! My one dog loves to be with me when I'm in there!!!!
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#10 bewilderbeast

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 08:33 PM

Wow, thanks everyone!

Learning a new language is no big deal for me, I am blessed with an understanding of the tongues!
Thank you everyone, I will check into the book and the font download...

And as far as hiding in plain sight, yes I understand that, and like Michele said, my house, were you to walk into it, is filled with curious things- I don't hide my beliefs as far as my dwelling goes, but I'm thinking of further down the line, when I pass my books onto my girls... and also maybe for my girls eyes as well before I decide to teach them certain things. The idea of power in an untrained teenager's hands is scary! lol Oh, and I'm definately looking into locks for my armoire and book casings! I've got some very potentially hazardous stuff all around!

Great ideas guys...

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#11 bewilderbeast

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 08:42 PM

BTW Val, that link was dead, but I'm putting up a new one for everyone- you might be able to search that site and find all sorts of fonts-

Here's a direct link for Theban:

http://www.searchfre...free/theban.htm

Just downloaded it, but I haven't tried it yet... If anyone does first, let us know how it is!

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#12 Marion

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 11:43 PM

Years ago I knew someone, or thought I did, had NO clue she was a witch until months after I met her. She reached across to her bookshelf and pulled down her "Holy Bible" (so it said on the spine) and opened it to reveal her Book of Shadows (yep, she was one of 'them':jawdrop:), and then went to a trunk, opened it to reveal sheets and linen but lifted it up to reveal the tray shelf, and about three quarters of the rest of the trunk was her witchy stuff. She wore amber and jet instead or pentacles. Like her style!!! I don't have to hide stuff now I live on my own. My grimoire is in English but no-one will see in it but me, most likely. I'd do talismans and spells in encoded script if I thought it would help the outcome but apart from that...I'm out and proud. Still looking for amber and jet rings though ;)
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#13 LDG

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 05:02 AM

I am out and proud as well, but with a side of caution thrown in. My room resembles an adirondack theme with pocket closets. Open up the smaller side closet and theres an eye full of things that scream my personality. But this closet has a lock and acts as a weapons holding as well so all my witchy items and weapons have safe keeping.

The cautionary part is being able to have my self completely whole without advertising. I have a small unnoticeable penticle on a necklace i wear almost everyday. Only a small few who understand it notice it, the others look at the dog tags i bought. I am a very proud person, just have motions set in place to protect me and my own if someone less understand come around. Probably what your friend had in mind, ive always loved the idea behind concealing items, kind of like james bond style. Now i have good ideas for when i build my desk of adding hiding spots!

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#14 WaterWolf83

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 04:02 PM

I cannot write my own alphabet. It would take too long to come up with, and then too long to explain to my son when it is time for him to learn.

I do not wear pentacles, but I do wear witchy charms. I have described in other posts the anklets I make. I also wear a tiger's eye ring on my left hand, and my pendulum. It is red jasper and I strung it from a hemp cord. It appears like a regular necklace, and the chain used for pendulum work is a bracelet. So if you were to look at me you would probably have no idea I was a wtich. This makes my husband laugh when we are at his families house. They have crosses everywhere, and go to church regularly. They are unaware that I am a witch.

I plan on teaching my son when he gets a little older. So on that note it would be easier to have everything where he can understand. Worst case scenerio I do not live to teach him, and he will have plenty to read. If I were to pass before teaching him some secret wording I created it would be useless to him.

Just my take on it I guess..

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#15 LadyHawk

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 04:21 PM

I don't keep a grimoire....like Sandy, it's all in my head and mostly comes 'off the cuff'. I don't spend hours deliberating on spells or potions or whatever, I usually know what I want to do and use what I have accordingly. The only exceptions are recipes for healing eg cough mix, headaches etc which are usually scribbled on bits of paper then transferred to a notebook....eventually (sometimes) ending up on a storage hard drive
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#16 Redd

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 05:50 PM

I'm not one to go overboard with hiding things. I let the people I trust know that I'm Witch. Like Michelle said her house is her castle, the same goes for my room. Despite it being in my parent's house (can't wait to graduate Uni and move out), all of my stuff is locked away in two trunks and the whole room is spelled for secrecy and protection. And I renew all those spells every time I come home.

This is just another thing that separates one path from another. We all practice our own way and we all do what we feel is necessary.

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#17 Marion

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 06:33 PM

It's cool comparing notes though, isn't it? :)
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#18 Patrima

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 02:35 AM

I have a push-me pull-you sort of approach to secrecy and my own craft. As far as I am concerned, I feel like it is obvious that I am a witch and my home does not hide this. You walk in my front door and my hearth is full of candles, incense burners, my horseshoe, my stang (and that's 4 feet tall, you can't miss it) my birch whisk, spirit houses, various bits and pieces of things I have left 'cooking'- rat skulls and acorns...so how anyone couldn't 'get it' I have no idea. So so much for that secrecy.

That said, however, I do put away my books when I know company is coming and that is a self-protective move, not just cleaning up. And if I someone shows up unannounced, I will move those books to a basket in a corner of my livingroom instead of putting them away. I store my books and notebooks in a cabinet without glass doors, so no-one can see them. Of course, this cabinet also functions as a workspace for me, so again it's covered in stuff- cauldrons and candles, boxes and sticks, feathers...the works. Somehow people still seem to be surprised if they find out. I don't tell anyone what I do unless they ask me directly, and I guess the hearth contents are less likely to provoke questions than my books - so the books go.

My notes are all in plain old English, and like Grimr they are notes and not so much recipes. You'd have to know what I was doing to know the significance of the things in there. I am of the opinion that every witch would do things their own way anyway, so I have nothing to hide- nobody would ever look at what's there and use it wholesale - I know I couldn't if it wasn't mine. Geez, I can't even follow a food recipe exactly without adding my own twist, so I cannot image how anyone could want to follow another's spells without the itching to change them to suit themselves! :) I think that my notes would be of no interest to a non-witch.

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#19 Grymdycche

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 03:19 AM

Anyone who was to poke their head into my bedroom would get a bit of a shock, probably.. but no other signs in the house exist. (Okay, well, maybe the two dozen herb bottles and herbs in the kitchen)

I wear a pentacle all the time, I got it up in Salem, but I keep it "hidden" underneath a gold guitar pick I also wear on the same neckband. The dang thing has a mind of it's own though and very frequently "peeks" from behind, trying to get up front, sometimes it even mysteriously flips up over my collar! :)
In many many places, for me -like work, or at the in-laws- that would be umm... awkward. So I have to keep an eye out on it constantly, but I refuse to stop wearing it. And I've made new, longer, neckbands to help, but the damn things always shrink or something.

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#20 Penny on the Ground

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 06:35 PM

Hey, this thread has been quite interesting to me because recently, my Grandmother asked me to transcribe our teachings and traditions to paper (the tradition so far has always been passed down by word and workings).

Her reasoning was that times have changed. Women are in a different position than they were back in her day. There is little necessity to get married and have a family and with women having children later due to careers etc, there is no guarentee of daughters to pass the old ways onto.

Secrecy is not something we worry over. We tend to keep our practices to ourselves as there are still some people who fear what they don't understand and act upon their ignorance but if we are ever 'found out' we don't deny it. (Though it can have unexpected results. One of my Irish cousins is pestered for potions and love spells)

As for the teachings themselves, I don't think any of us is concerned about them being discovered and misused. Simply for the fact that the majority of the time, in the hands of a novice they're not going to work. (we very much treat our tradition as a craft that is learned as opposed to an inherent ability.)

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