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bewilderbeast

Is secrecy still important to you?

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I have always preferred the secrecy aspect of the Craft as well. My husband's job would be at stake if I were ever public, as he works for a xtian institution. I also like hiding in plain sight, as many have previously stated. I practice herbalism at home and have a huge cupboard for the herbs in my kitchen. That alone has sparked some controversy with certain people who equate herbalism with witchcraft... :dry: The rest of my stuff either hides fine in plain sight or is kept in my ritual room, which doubles as a hookah-smoking room. I found a very nice cupboard at an antique market that we'll be moving to the ritual room to lock up the poisonous herbs, oils, and other general paraphernalia that I have kept hidden out of sight in my closet, behind curtains and blankets and in drawers. LOL This is for the safety of my children as well as prying eyes. And it will be very convenient to finally have those things in one place for once instead of scattered through the house.

 

As for my book, it's just a binder. It's very business-like and professional (like some kind of manual) in design and I think that this helps it to look inconspicuous. Every thing is in English - I don't think I'd want to go to all the work of leaning something like Theban fluently and then translating everything...

 

As far as people finding it and reading it... A *huge* pet-peeve of mine is people who like to pick up books off of my shelves without asking and I will generally stop them (politely) if they have not asked me first. I don't mind if people look - but don't touch. When people ask if they can pick up certain books and look through them I generally say no. LOL While I'm a big collector of books on all sorts of subjects, I'm not a damn library. :nono:

Edited by Lucea's Child

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Its a secret. hahaaaaaaaaaaa. sorry ,i just dont know what gets into me at times. Is rather funny tho (giggle)

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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.[snip]

 

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.

 

QFT. I ended a close friendship when my friend blurted out things I had confided to her about some issues back home...and she mainly did it to show off how much closer she was to me than the other person we were talking to. Yep, cut that tie. I don't trust easily, and thus far...it's been years since I've felt comfortable enough with *anyone* to clue them into the witchcraft.

 

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.

 

Sylvan, your entire post was super appropriate, and resonated a lot with me. I've never understood anyone's need to proclaim "I support 'xyz'" or "I believe 'xyz'." For certain occasions, that's entirely appropriate (any sort of pride day, cancer events where it's ALL about that cause/belief/right etc), but on a day to day basis, it's a source of needless friction at best and completely alienating at worst. Like people who get tattooed on their face and those horn piercings/bumps in their foreheads, and then complain about being 'judged' unfairly....well, if you're going to *present* yourself this way, you should expect to be perceived a certain way.

 

Re: privacy vs. secrecy - I was bewildered when I worked as a secretary at a law firm in NYC and every attorney that I addressed as 'Mister Lastname' or 'Ms. Lastname' looked gobsmacked and seriously uncomfortable as they quickly told me to call them by their first names, which to me seems awfully disrespectful. That's just weird to me...they earned a bunch of degrees, why shouldn't I be allowed to pay them respect for that?

 

Also love hiding in plain sight - I have 'pretty rocks' scattered across the top of a cheap bookshelf and people assume it's just another one of my collections of nicknacks rather than an altar with offerings. :D

 

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.

 

I have to agree with you there, Jevne. QFT.

 

Its a secret. hahaaaaaaaaaaa. sorry ,i just dont know what gets into me at times. Is rather funny tho (giggle)

 

Aurora....you made me smile. Frankly, I'm amazed it took this long for someone to make this joke! XD

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Both privacy and secrecy are important to me.

 

The problem I have with being open to people about what I do is that people are stupid and cannot be trusted. I told this story in the chat the other day, but I think it's relevant.

 

I was with a group of friends out at a restaurant. It was a really laid back place and we were all playing a card game (it was Apples to Apples, which is a game where one person chooses which of the other players has the funniest card). A new person was at our get-together, and she was an extremely proud pagan and witch. She didn't just have a pentacle on or talk about how the New Goddess Moon meant our gathering was destined for success and spiritual growth. She sat down, and as we were playing our game, she claimed she was using her magic to force the players to choose whichever cards she wanted. Every single time a player chose the funniest card, she would claim that it was her doing and that she was controlling the outcome of the game and who would win. It was the most bizarre thing I've ever seen (not to mention all the people she was pissing off). At the time, my friends all knew I occasionally read tarot. She learned I read tarot, and began telling people that I was a Wiccan (she and I had never spoken before, nor have I ever in my life claimed to be Wiccan or a member of any pagan religion). This is a person who doesn't even know me, but feels comfortable outing me. It was shocking to me. She had no idea who I was, my religious beliefs, or my needs for privacy - but she started purposely outing me to other people, because that was a fact of life for her. In her mind, if she didn't tell people I was Wiccan, she would be insinuating I was ashamed of my beliefs (which I didn't even have - can I stress that enough?).

 

I do not tell even trusted people the extent of what I do because, even if they do not have malicious intent, some people really believe that secrecy = shame and privacy = poor self esteem, and the only way anyone can be serious about what they do is to make sure that every person they ever come in to contact with knows the entirety of their beliefs. I can very easily imagine a friend or aquaintance purposely outing me because they just don't believe in that "secrecy" nonsense, or that they think they know better than me and it will be "okay" if other people know what I'm up to. It sometimes feels to me that people are on a purposeful quest to make paganism or witchcraft mundane and devoid of meaning just so it will be more commonly accepted.

 

I have a few friends that I craft with and do rituals with, and even though we are all extremely close, I don't share with them the ways which I craft in private (which are vastly different), or even hint that I do things differently on my own. While I currently do not fear ostracization or government retribution for what I do, it's honestly just no one's business, and I do not want people to know about this part of me. If flat-out asked if I was a witch, I would probably deny it. Related to that, I wear no pentacles, witchy clothes or jewelry, or other identifying marks. To the average person on the street, I likely look like a vapid self-absorbed valley girl, which is just fine by me.

 

As far as my grimoire goes, I write it specifically to be easily understandable and easy to read, so there are no codes, secret alphabets, et cetera. I take notes by hand and then transcribe them on to the computer. I'm not really worried about people reading what I write because A] it's not as if reading a book gives anyone power or even understanding, and B] a great many people in the world aptly keep private journals, and I can't imagine it would be too much of a challenge for me to keep one binder in my life private.

 

So I suppose I am very much a "shhhh" person when it comes to my craft, secrecy and privacy are paramount to me. However, that doesn't extend to keeping my grimoire in code. I see myself sharing things with people verbally to be a much greater risk to privacy than someone digging up my notes and reading them.

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oh goodness, i have met people like that before. It's always easy to claim you made something manifest right after it happens in front of a bunch of mun's, gives them the willies.

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oh goodness, i have met people like that before. It's always easy to claim you made something manifest right after it happens in front of a bunch of mun's, gives them the willies.

I'm not sure anyone had the willies as much as they all thought they were in the presence of an irritating girl who wouldn't shut up. Due to the nature of the game, she was claiming that everyone's success was owed to her, and she flat-out told the winners that she was the one who won "for them". This young lady did not, I believe, possess a large amount of social intelligence.

 

Also, what's a mun?

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oh goodness, i have met people like that before. It's always easy to claim you made something manifest right after it happens in front of a bunch of mun's, gives them the willies.

 

I agree, I've obviously been doing it the wrong way round, putting the effort into predicting things before they happen. Didn't realise REAL witches predict after the event......

 

Wexler, you have my full admiration for not slapping her!

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She certainly is a control freak and party pooper.

 

I also want to know what a mun is?

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I do not tell even trusted people the extent of what I do because, even if they do not have malicious intent, some people really believe that secrecy = shame and privacy = poor self esteem, and the only way anyone can be serious about what they do is to make sure that every person they ever come in to contact with knows the entirety of their beliefs. I can very easily imagine a friend or aquaintance purposely outing me because they just don't believe in that "secrecy" nonsense, or that they think they know better than me and it will be "okay" if other people know what I'm up to.

I hear ya, i myself am surrounded by unnerving, simple minded, privacy spoiling people... that would rather try shock therapy for self esteem issues than enjoy the advantages of keeping a damn secret.

Even if secrecy is some sort of sickness in psychology, in common logic, a secret kept is a truth that one can reveal anytime it feels convenient.

Not to say as well that a secretive can learn of everyone's inclinations better, see - even if someone shows some sort of disgust for witches, if he doesn't know enough... he won't act biased towards you. Then you can choose to cut your ties with him... veeeeery carefully.

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Some days I really wish I had more privacy although I don't tell non natives what I do those who pay attention at powwows figure it out although they usually can be scared off with a scowl. I agree that youth today should use surnames its becoming distressingly common here as well and it has actually been discussed at council because we absolutely think its a sign of respect. I get onto my kids about it but its hard when all their friends are doing it and no one stops them or worse those instructors/ teacher types that insist on being called by first names or worse some silly nickname. We do have some difficult last names here but MR.D is not appropriate for a principal IMO .

 

 

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Some days I really wish I had more privacy although I don't tell non natives what I do those who pay attention at powwows figure it out although they usually can be scared off with a scowl. I agree that youth today should use surnames its becoming distressingly common here as well and it has actually been discussed at council because we absolutely think its a sign of respect. I get onto my kids about it but its hard when all their friends are doing it and no one stops them or worse those instructors/ teacher types that insist on being called by first names or worse some silly nickname. We do have some difficult last names here but MR.D is not appropriate for a principal IMO .

 

I missed the comment about surnames; must be above in someone's really long post, which I probably didn't read. LOL!

 

I don't think it has anything to do with Witchcraft, but I actually prefer that people call me by my first name in most situations. Respect is conveyed in action and tone. You can say Mr. D with admiration and treat the person with clear respect, and you can say Mr. Dabblepooengleberghinesteiner with a sneer and a vomit sound at the end. It is all in the delivery and a matter of personal preference. If the person in question wants to be called by their first name, those around them should respect that. If they want to be called Mr. or Ms. or whatever, people should respect that, too. When interacting with people, I usually assume a more formal tone at first and let the person tell me different or not.

 

But, like I said, not Craft. Secrecy, yes, absolutely, positively. It is no one's fucking business what I do or don't do. I don't owe anyone anything.

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Funny reading this because I have not long come back from the woods.My neighbor, who I haven't seen over the hedge for about 3 yrs,saw my basket. I am sure she saw me heading up to the woods and kept herself amused till I made my way back lol. We exchanged pleasant banter,then with a smile and a nod we parted. She knows!! As so do I!! Nothing needed saying, not mine or her business. Made me smile tho.

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Privacy is important to me, but more for that which I hold prescious than for anything else. I find few understand what I do and what I believe in. Not because I know any big secrets (don't even believe there are any, really), but because my relationships are personal and intimate and prescious to me and to have them examined and bandied about and ridiculed is hurtful.

 

M

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Secrecy. I'm a secret person by nature and wouldn't share a lot about myself anyways. Although there are times where I wish I had a close friend that shared the same interests as I do, but they are limited people here on this earth that are as weird as me. lol Seriously...other than my husband knowing I keep what I do to myself for the same reason that has been already mention. Trust.

Edited by Tamara

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 You can say Mr. D with admiration and treat the person with clear respect, and you can say Mr. Dabblepooengleberghinesteiner with a sneer and a vomit sound at the end.

 

 

:roflhard: I just spent three minutes trying to pronounce that.

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Yes it is important to me.I don't think its a wise move to let on. Of course my family know but that's it. To me it feels dangerous to be outer.I don't really understand why I feel that but its strong so I'll go with my guts.As I have said before when their was a post on witches in the news its not a game or cool or funny.Humanity has a way of turning on its own at any given reason I will not ever put my family at risk or ridicule. Thsts just me tho and has no reflection on others who don't mind kudos to them. I like to sculk in the dark.

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I believe it should be secret as well. I feel it is a sacred connection between you and the universe that should not be shared with those who have not been so enlightened, so to speak. My family knows I practice, but they don't really get it which is fine by me because its my connection and my sole beliefs. I believe also that if you start blabbing and going on about you're practice , you will loose your connection, almost like the magic will stop working. I don't know, it would make me feel like  some sort of sell out or charleton. It's kind of like that saying, the people who are always talking about how much money they have are usually the ones that don't. I'm a pretty private person anyway, I don't like to draw attention to myself.

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Privacy is important to me, but more for that which I hold prescious than for anything else. I find few understand what I do and what I believe in. Not because I know any big secrets (don't even believe there are any, really), but because my relationships are personal and intimate and prescious to me and to have them examined and bandied about and ridiculed is hurtful.

 

M

Amen Sister! You should write greeting cards Michelle, you always know what to say!

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Where I lived for most of my life, secrecy about the craft was an exercise in preserving your life, job and children. I lived in an area where even the color of your skin or your sexual orientation could get you killed. Hell, even Catholics and Jews were considered satanic.

 

I started homeschooling my child back in the late 90s and even then people thought I was strange for going against traditional schooling. If those people had known I was a witch, in addition to homeschooling my child they might have turned me in to child welfare to have him removed from my home. Additionally my husband and I owed our own business and our customers were local residents. If they had even suspected I was a witch it would have meant financial ruin.

 

Where I lived, the very first question someone asked you (in an effort to be “friendly”) was, “What church do you attend?” And woe unto the poor, unsuspecting person who claimed not to attend a church. They would be forever harassed and invited to church, because not attending a church equaled devil worship.

 

I even got the “stink eye” from a clerk at the local Barnes and Noble for buying my child the Harry Potter books. She handled the books like they were covered in maggots or something.

 

So, yeah, secrecy for me, where I lived was necessary.

 

There were also certain relatives with no boundaries, who loved to snoop through my house, drawers, closets, cupboards and even medicine chest, so anything witchy had to be hidden in a closet with a deadbolt lock on the door. If any one of them had even suspected I was a witch they would have organized and intervention for me.

 

It's ironic how things like illegal dog fighting or cock fighting, or cheating on your spouse or even beating your children in the name of the lord were all considered acceptable, but witchcraft? Forget it!

 

It has always irritated me how some people post on boards about coming out of the broom closet and how we shouldn't hide our witchy ways, but they obviously have never lived in a area where that could ruin your life and the lives of your loved ones.

 

And besides, witchcraft is very personal to me. I don't feel the need to even mention it to anyone. (Except on this board, of course.) To me it feels like talking about it to someone, personally, makes it lose its power.

 

However, I do admire anyone who is comfortable enough to be openly witchy, as long as they don't criticize me for not being “out” or outing me in some way (not that anyone who knows me personally would know about me being a witch).

 

I do have a problem with people who use the “Look at me! I'm a witch!” as a shock factor or to be popular in some way. I think those people, intentionally or not, cheapen the craft. To me, the craft is very serious business and not something I take lightly and I don't like to see anyone making a mockery of it. And I don't want anyone to judge witchcraft based on me and what I do or don't do. I'm not perfect by any means. So, I'll just stay right here in my little closet and keep my craft secret.

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I discussed the 'staying in the broom closet' in the Should Christians Celebrate Halloween thread.  I had no idea how downright scary living in the back country woods could be or how fanatical the people here are.

 

Secrecy was instilled in me in my youth regarding gifts and abilities.  I jumped on the out of the closet bandwagon for a while before I moved here.  It was a 'this is who I am - take it or leave it' kind of thing.  In the decade since, I've learned to appreciate the secrecy that was instilled in my childhood. 

 

I don't think I'll ever go back to being all the way out of the broom closet again.  What I do is no one's business but my own and if I choose to share it with others - that's my choice.  It's not open for public consumption.

 

 

I do have a problem with people who use the “Look at me! I'm a witch!” as a shock factor or to be popular in some way.

 

I hear that.  My little cousin is like that - dinner plate sized pentacle necklaces and all.  It's so embarrassing but she's young yet.  There's still hope.

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Yes it is important to me.I don't think its a wise move to let on. Of course my family know but that's it. To me it feels dangerous to be outer.I don't really understand why I feel that but its strong so I'll go with my guts.As I have said before when their was a post on witches in the news its not a game or cool or funny.Humanity has a way of turning on its own at any given reason I will not ever put my family at risk or ridicule. Thsts just me tho and has no reflection on others who don't mind kudos to them. I like to sculk in the dark.

Yes! And yes!  I feel the same way.  I'm not about to paint a bullseye on my children's chests.  Not many people know.  My husband, his best friend and wife, my kids, one of my brothers and my best friend. That's it. 

These ones who post things like like "Post this if you're not ashamed to be a witch!!"     as if privacy and secrecy were due to shame, and they tell EVERYONE!" They make me growl. Yeah, well hopefully you don't have kids and hopefully you live in NYC!

 

(NOT saying everyone who is "out" is this type, hope you guys know what I mean)

Edited by Lynn

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Secrecy is very important to me, and for different reasons.

 

My spirituality and my craft are dear to me. I don't mind discussing superficial aspects of what I do with the few people who know about it and are curious. However, I could never openly talk about the deeper, more personal, aspects of it. My spirituality is very sacred to me and to share it with others feels like it would somehow cheapen that part of me.

 

Another reason secrecy is so important to me is because my father's side of the family is very mean-spirited. They are the kind of people who like to gossip and delight in putting others down to make themselves feel better.

 

When I first began my work with witchcraft I was very proud and glad I had finally found something which seemed to be missing from my life. Because of this, I wasn't as quiet about it as I should have been and when certain family members found out they were quick to pounce. Long story short, my spirituality was treated like a joke and I was made to feel like trash. But that was many years ago and thankfully (since I no longer openly talk about my craft) these family members have since brushed it all off as a childhood faze and no longer believe I'm still involved in witchcraft.

 

The only family members who still know are my brothers and sister, who are very respectful of it and non-judging (especially my sister who has experienced a few "supernatural" events of her own). They also know how the rest of the family can be so they understand the importance of keeping my secrets without needing to be asked to do so.

Edited by CatBones

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Within my family & close friends, I have never had a need for "coming out". I have always different from most, but I am who I am.

 

Those in my closest family circle, may be of a different religious following,but have never dissed me for who I am.

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It's all situational, I suppose. I am very private about my craft at work because I'm a public school teacher and it's an inappropriate context for any adult to discuss their personal life IMO. I keep it from my mother and most of my family members because they wouldn't really understand. Beyond that, I don't really hide anything, but like many have said, I don't shout it from the rooftops either. It is what it is. 

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