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Is secrecy still important to you?


bewilderbeast
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Voted up as well! Throughout history there have always been those that who hold themselves above others and try to impose control and religion has been the time honored and favored method of these types. There are those who conform and there are those who rebel. You can not heard wolves like you can sheep.

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Really gave me chills, J. +1 from me. Very well said and provokes much emotion. I could never have articulated that feeling/fear in me as well as you have. :applause:

 

I remain private for a variety of reasons and J's post has said my feelings more than I can. I am on my own path, learning the only way I know how and it's not for debate or argument or speculation for those who don't walk their own or that I don't choose to include in my life. So much has changed since I came to this forum, regarding my path and my open-nes and the choice I am afforded to speakfof, or not, my craft. I won't hijack this thread with examples that would perhaps be more appropriate in a thread of it's own.

 

So to the OP, yes, secrecy is very important to me but not for the same reasons they used to be. All I can say is that more has been revealed and I hide in plain sight because that's where I'm supposed to be. My immediate family supports me and puts up with me, lol. My things are out in my home for those with eyes to see and are spelled to appear harmless. It's the way of my grandmother and those before her and it's good enough for me. I would love to have my own workroom and my husband is currently trying to get me that space. My notes are in plain English and hidden but they are as wonky and hard to read as my posts, lol, so I don't think anyone is in danger of learning too much!

 

Edited for spelling and poor structure. :grin_witch:

Edited by Apryl
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My notes are in plain English and hidden but they are as wonky and hard to read as my posts, lol, so I don't think anyone is in danger of learning too much!

 

LOL! I actually learned a lot from that. :D

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Great Post j, im glad you went read about world religion day. I agree with alot of this, and im glad other people feel the same way. +1

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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.

 

I agree with Nightscent,

 

This is one way of passing information and knowleged thats used by oral Traditions; still used today by some.

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I resent any group or individual, who slaps the word "Traditional" on a book or website, dishonoring the Path that my Kin (here and IRL) and me have spent our entire lives learning and practicing. I enjoy sharing with and learning from others, reading and hearing about the different Paths and practices. That is why I am on the TW Forum, after all. :) I find the basic premises of World Religions Day appealing for the same reason, but I remain secretive and private for the most part, because I do not wish to be assimilated. The christians did it to the Pagans. The settlers did it to the Native Americans. Now, the wiccans are trying to do it to the Traditional Witches. It is hard to describe how angry that makes me, personally.

 

I agree with this Jevne.

Edited by atropa
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I find the basic premises of World Religions Day appealing for the same reason, but I remain secretive and private for the most part, because I do not wish to be assimilated. The christians did it to the Pagans. The settlers did it to the Native Americans. Now, the wiccans are trying to do it to the Traditional Witches. It is hard to describe how angry that makes me, personally.

 

I'm very private about my beliefs and practices, in part because I think it's so personal and possibly divisive that I want to make absolutely certain that those who are let in the know are both trustworthy and will also not be overly distressed for the state of my soul or whatever. So there's the self-protective reasoning - yes, the world is more understanding now, but we're not at the point where I can say something about hedgecrossing and have people respond as casually as if I'd been to Sunday church service. Bad enough that plenty of people in America give me odd looks when I talk about the ancestral offerings that are part of mainstream Taiwanese practices and religion; that is an open part of the culture that is hardly hidden or secretive, and it still makes people give me strange looks. So no, I'm keeping my witchiness to myself.

 

However, I'm also private because I know quite a few of the people in my social circles are exploring their own paths along magical lines, and I don't want to become an adverse influence on their own growth and development - to assimilate THEM into my developing path. I am all too aware that in the beginning stages, people often latch onto anyone with 'more experience' as an expert and will follow everything they do or say as holy writ. (And yes, I include my younger beginning self in this group of wide-eyed ducklings looking for a guide across the road.) And that's not fair to them or myself - I don't want to unfairly skew their perspectives down any path or other (or cause them shame if they're discovering something that makes them feel empowered for the first time in their lives) because all that I know right now is what is right for ME, and my experiences will likely not apply to anyone else.

 

My notes are in plain English and hidden but they are as wonky and hard to read as my posts, lol, so I don't think anyone is in danger of learning too much!

 

I keep meaning to write things down and I keep just dismissing it as unimportant. I wish I had more of a complete record of my explorations and failures and successes - but it never seems important to me to actually write anything down, and seems more of a security risk than it's worth. If it's true, real, and done, then I just want to move forward without reflection because sure, it's real and done and complete in my view, and no one else is going to have any use for my notes...I don't plan on having kids to pass things onto and no one else in my family is magically-inclined.

 

Still, sometimes I daydream about having a lovely grimoire with clear sections and awesome personal notes.

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. . . I am all too aware that in the beginning stages, people often latch onto anyone with 'more experience' as an expert and will follow everything they do or say as holy writ. (And yes, I include my younger beginning self in this group of wide-eyed ducklings looking for a guide across the road.) And that's not fair to them or myself - . . .

 

I agree with this assessment. There is a big difference between a knowledgable teacher of willing students and a charismatic shepherd of mindless sheep.

I respect that you recognize this and try to avoid insinuating yourself.

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It's not so much that I'm purposely secretive, I just know that 9 out of 10 people won't understand what I do or how I think, and why. And frankly I'm too lazy to explain. Besides, what I do tends to be really personal. As far as my 'grimoire' it's just notes and observances, advice for future workings, correspondences that I find appealing, herblore, etc. And I don't let anyone else just go through it. I plan to guide my children with the help of it but like someone else said this is stuff I researched on my own, things that I've learned through my own work. Why shouldn't they have to spend their time and energy learning like I did?

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Bumping this little tidbit, again, simply because it speaks to something that I was thinking on after reading a bit about World Religions Day, which I was previously unaware of. (Thanks, D.)While the premises of tolerance and peace deserve their rightful places in civilized society, I realized that I become indignant when those concepts cause any individual or group to cross the line from acknowledgement and respect to flagrant / unabashed assimilation.

 

I am not referring to the various individuals here, who have already said that they incorporate methods and symbolism of other Paths into their practice. I have talked with Aloe, Marabet, Sarasuperid, among others, about how they engage the energies of other Paths. I give a nod to each of them for showing that it is possible to honor something without taking it over and declaring it for your own.

 

For example, when I responded to Athena that I see Traditional Witchcraft and Native American Spirituality as different, I was demonstrating my profound respect for her heritage and belief system, not insinuating that one was better than the other, or that there were not recognizable similarities. I may ask Athena or others on different Paths about their ways, but I will never lay claim to their mysterious or imply that I am deserving of the full depth of knowledge that they have earned through joy and tragedy.

 

As we were discussing in Chat one evening, far too many new age types have taken to calling themselves "traditional", as if using the word to describe themselves somehow makes them Traditional Witches. OK, don't go all pissy on me here. I am well aware that there are many, legitimate and honorable ways to practice Traditional Witchcraft. (Not just regular, but profound, respect, after all.) I also recognize that everyone has to start somewhere, so I have no problem with those who are trying to explore the possibilities, but . . .

 

I resent any group or individual, who slaps the word "Traditional" on a book or website, dishonoring the Path that my Kin (here and IRL) and me have spent our entire lives learning and practicing. I enjoy sharing with and learning from others, reading and hearing about the different Paths and practices. That is why I am on the TW Forum, after all. :smile: I find the basic premises of World Religions Day appealing for the same reason, but I remain secretive and private for the most part, because I do not wish to be assimilated. The christians did it to the Pagans. The settlers did it to the Native Americans. Now, the wiccans are trying to do it to the Traditional Witches. It is hard to describe how angry that makes me, personally.

 

 

Maybe hard for you to describe? But I do understand.

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So much bumping around inside my mind from all that I've read here. And in my emotions as well.

 

Writing things down---I do it when I can because at this point in my life, my memory sucks and if I don't write it down, like ingredients for a spell that worked well, I'll forget them. Simple as that. Its funny, but the hiding in plain sight works well here, because I use a very bland plain looking binder for writing in, it is non descript and it's just there with nothing noticeable about it. A far cry from my first days of "wiccan" where my "BOS has fabric-paint drawn leaves and pentacle on it. Nothing wrong with that, I'm an artist and I seem to draw leaves and vines on everything, but not very inconspicuous either. Hmm, but thinking upon it, I do hide that in plain site as well. no one notices it or touches it.

 

Secrecy. Yes about that. Only a few people "know" in my "offline" life. Most do not. There are some, like my parents, that I wish with all my heart that I could share this part of me with them. But I feel it would harm them.

 

I keep hidden because I have kids. Someday, when they are older, that reason will not be necessary any longer.

 

Yes our country is safe-er than it used to be, but not safe by any means, true? When I was young, I used to be paranoid that if "they" found out I was psychic, that "they" would someday rise up and form groups and take people like me away. Not to bring "Charmed" into the discussion, but yes to use an ep as an example. One in which the girls go into a future where witch hunts had begun again. It was a good ep. A good reminder to watch ones step. I certainly don't slink around afraid to raise my voice, but I thinking painting a bullseye on oneself is dumb. That's how I feel, my opinion.

BUT there are times when I want to be more vocal about what I am. Not sure why. Just get annoyed with being hidden some days, tho I obviously prefer it. I think because it causes me pain and loneliness. Also I am an expressive type of person, with talking and writing and artwork and photo taking. So not expressing this side of myself to another can be a bit difficult, but hey thats why I come here!

 

Theres more I want to say, but it seems it's stuck somewhere in there. Maybe some other time.

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Secrecy is semi important to me now, more important at home I think than at work. I don't live in the bible belt anymore so its a little easier to be myself. I had a lady at work who knew me from before I left and she made a passing remark about Imbolc in front of the entire break room :dry:. She is hardcore wiccan, to the point that she brings her Llewellyn witch's calender to work to write down her schedule. I didn't have the heart to tell her I don't celebrate and that I'm just a witch because in that environment being wiccan is my cover as a few employees are wiccan. BUT, many of the ones who are not, are Roman Catholic and they all looked at me weird and asked "What is Imbolc?" I said " You know Candlemas.... celebrating the coming of spring.......otherwise known as ground hog's day" With the mention of ground hog's day they all went "ohhhhh!" and commenced talking about that instead. :sweat: I gave her a wtf look and she gave me a sheepish look and then came up to me later to apologize. I had to remind her that not everyone knows what I am and she had that look like a child being lectured. I know she is dying to talk to me about it further but I only ever see her in passing, and I try to keep it that way. As laid back of an environment as it is up here, I still like to be in the shadows, not in the limelight. :ninja:

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I gave her a wtf look and she gave me a sheepish look and then came up to me later to apologize. I had to remind her that not everyone knows what I am and she had that look like a child being lectured. I know she is dying to talk to me about it further but I only ever see her in passing, and I try to keep it that way. As laid back of an environment as it is up here, I still like to be in the shadows, not in the limelight. :ninja:

 

People, who can't seem to keep their fucking mouths shut, are one of my pet peeves, not just in terms of the Craft, but also in mundane life. I really don't want throngs of people, knowing and getting all up in my business. If I want others to know something, I will be the one to share it. Anyone who has been involved with Traditional Craft or any related Path for more than 5 minutes should understand that not everyone wants their practice to be a topic of conversation around the water cooler.

 

I don't know how others feel or practice, but among those I work with, revealing private / secret information about another Witch without their permission, especially to "muggles", is an unforgivable act of betrayal. Of course, everyone interprets that differently, but generally, one will ask about what is or is not acceptable to reveal, if they are uncertain. With acquaintances, I often take the road of "plausible deniability". They don't offer details, and I do not ask, because the less I know, the less likely I am to be accused of anything later. :)

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.

I don't know how others feel or practice, but among those I work with, revealing private / secret information about another Witch without their permission, especially to "muggles", is an unforgivable act of betrayal.

 

This I agree with absolutely. I am less secretive than some, in fact I'm quite open generally about what I am and what I do. But I would never ever make the assumption that just because speaking out on occasion is right for me, it is right for another witch. Another's practises, opinions, beliefs, whatever...... are completely their choice to be public or private as they see fit.

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I am out in the open in my own home, I even have a room that is for my witchy stuff, granted I still have things all over the house, my husband and son know what I am and what I do. If my son chooses this path I will teach him, if he does not I will not push. I will not however give him the sabbats off school unless he wants to actually do something related to it (he is 15 any excuse to not go to school works for him) As far as out in public...if the timing is right and the right people are there I will tell some things, never all.

I have outright refused to teach a cousin because we are on different paths, I can not totally relate to hers and therefor I could not be a teacher for many things aside from showing her doors she could explore for herself to see if the fit was right, partly right or totally off base of what is her path. I have sent her a couple of published books to look into and see if it works for her or not.

 

One issue I do have with "being out of the broom closet" is when people want me to do parlor tricks like Reiki just for the sake of feeling the energy move, like readings or spells for random people and reasoning. My aunt as a very big mouth I did a money spell for her years ago, she still talks about it and when I am in her home state she has people coming for readings or spells. I have refused for several years and also refuse to bring my tarot or runes.

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She is hardcore wiccan, to the point that she brings her Llewellyn witch's calender to work to write down her schedule.

 

This bit is the red flag to me WR. And sorry to hear this happened to you. I'm pretty sure I've whined about this in the Broom Closet thread, but the fact that she brings her Llewellyn witch's calendar to work is a terrific example of Americans' compulsive need to "express" themselves at every opportunity. It's not just Wiccans/neo-pagans but anything! Like puppies, Jesus, bacon, and Disneyland? There's a calendar, coffee mug, t-shirt, bumper sticker and tote bag for that! I am not against t-shirts with slogans (well actually for the most part I am) but I do find it curious that there is some notion that unless you are "out and proud" and constantly parading around displaying whatever it is you do or are that makes you unique (sexually, recreationally, politically, etc.) then you are ashamed and some lame non-representative of your cause, effectively de-legitimizing it.

 

There is a difference between privacy and secrecy and I think Americans suck at understanding privacy. They think calling someone "mister" or "miss" Lastname is stuffy but it actually creates a mental/emotional space between the private and public spheres, which is healthy in my opinion. At least the south still has ma'am and sir (somewhat).

 

Sorry for going kind of OT but that is my opinion.

 

And for the record, I remain one hundred percent committed to the secrecy of my craft. I have many good reasons for it. And at this point, the secrecy is a challenging, meaningful and even fun aspect of what I do. I love the subversive challenge of "hiding in plain sight," like when I used to have a "craft room" that people thought was just for making collages and hot glue gun projects, ha ha.

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...There is a difference between privacy and secrecy and I think Americans suck at understanding privacy. They think calling someone "mister" or "miss" Lastname is stuffy but it actually creates a mental/emotional space between the private and public spheres, which is healthy in my opinion...

 

This part I very much agree with. I dislike small children calling me by my first name like equals. Also, when I'm dealing with pissed-off cussing customers I find it often diffuses them a bit if I call them Mr. or Ms. So-and-so... It's a matter of respect and familiarity can often breed discontent (and disrespect).

 

M

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People, who can't seem to keep their fucking mouths shut, are one of my pet peeves, not just in terms of the Craft, but also in mundane life.

 

 

I even got mad at my mom-in-law when she told her oldest son that my husband and I got engaged before I did.

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but I do find it curious that there is some notion that unless you are "out and proud" and constantly parading around displaying whatever it is you do or are that makes you unique (sexually, recreationally, politically, etc.) then you are ashamed and some lame non-representative of your cause, effectively de-legitimizing it.

 

 

And a coward. Don't forget that!

 

The whole "get-out-of-the-broom-closet-NOW" crowd annoys the hell out of me. As opposed to the crowd who are out, but who also respect MY choice to stay in the shadows. "Oh but if you come out of the closet, it will help people be less afraid and they understand better!" Well maybe I don't want them to understand! I used to "run around" Youtube stopping mis information about wicca and witches in its tracks, but then I got to thinking. Maybe this misinformation isn't a bad thing afterall! Maybe it's to my benefit!

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The only people who know I am a witch (and not a white lighter! Since when does "pagan"=fluffy new ager? Grrr, rant for another time!)

 

... Probably just my husband & my best friend. I have small children and I prefer to be private about my practices for their sake. Lots of xtian whack jobs up here, I'd prefer not to draw negative attention to my family. I have a pentacle, but if I wear it it's beneath my shirt.

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The whole "get-out-of-the-broom-closet-NOW" crowd annoys the hell out of me. As opposed to the crowd who are out, but who also respect MY choice to stay in the shadows. "Oh but if you come out of the closet, it will help people be less afraid and they understand better!" Well maybe I don't want them to understand! I used to "run around" Youtube stopping mis information about wicca and witches in its tracks, but then I got to thinking. Maybe this misinformation isn't a bad thing afterall! Maybe it's to my benefit!

 

I agree. I don't want the general population knowing what I am up to or suspecting what I am up to. Plus, it doesn't bother me in the least if people are just a little afraid, or maybe a little uncertain of what I am actually capable of. I think Aurelian mentioned once about how much easier it is to manipulate people and situations, if they are blissfully unaware of what you are willing and able to do to them.

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"how much easier it is to manipulate people and situations, if they are blissfully unaware of what you are willing and able to do to them."

 

I completely agree and I rarely care what others misconceptions of me or what I do are. Not my problem and usually to my benefit. I'm not above using it to my advantage.

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I am a very private person in general. As confident and comfortable as I am with myself and my beliefs, I just have never felt the need to project that particular side of me outwards for others. Besides the general perception from people of what it means to be a Witch nowadays is rather lame and trivial indeed. I would die of embarrassment if someone thought I was a Wiccan! and then there are the thundering loonies running around with their illusions of grandiose superpowers. I mean thank the stars for em, who doesn't love a good nutter? I just choose to keep myself separate from the possibilities of being construed that way. In my life I deal with so many misconceptions of who I am and what I do, don't need to add to the list. Also generally what I do is not for others ears or eyes. It is a personal practice that needs no intervention from pretty much anybody.

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How can I find secrecy? I can't even find a place to practice that isn't public to all in this house! UGH! And unless I clear our my closet and leave clothes in piles in the middle of the floor I doubt I will. My book, on the other hand, is hidden in plain sight. Its so boring no one touches it- but me :-)

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This bit is the red flag to me WR. And sorry to hear this happened to you. I'm pretty sure I've whined about this in the Broom Closet thread, but the fact that she brings her Llewellyn witch's calendar to work is a terrific example of Americans' compulsive need to "express" themselves at every opportunity. It's not just Wiccans/neo-pagans but anything! Like puppies, Jesus, bacon, and Disneyland? There's a calendar, coffee mug, t-shirt, bumper sticker and tote bag for that! I am not against t-shirts with slogans (well actually for the most part I am) but I do find it curious that there is some notion that unless you are "out and proud" and constantly parading around displaying whatever it is you do or are that makes you unique (sexually, recreationally, politically, etc.) then you are ashamed and some lame non-representative of your cause, effectively de-legitimizing it.

 

There is a difference between privacy and secrecy and I think Americans suck at understanding privacy. They think calling someone "mister" or "miss" Lastname is stuffy but it actually creates a mental/emotional space between the private and public spheres, which is healthy in my opinion. At least the south still has ma'am and sir (somewhat).

 

Sorry for going kind of OT but that is my opinion.

 

And for the record, I remain one hundred percent committed to the secrecy of my craft. I have many good reasons for it. And at this point, the secrecy is a challenging, meaningful and even fun aspect of what I do. I love the subversive challenge of "hiding in plain sight," like when I used to have a "craft room" that people thought was just for making collages and hot glue gun projects, ha ha.

 

These are my sentiments exactly - but you are definitely capable of articulating it better than I ever could! I voted this up.

Edited by Lucea's Child
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