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bewilderbeast

Is secrecy still important to you?

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Still important? :thinking: I'd say it's my discretion that has helped keep me on the path at this point in time, otherwise don't know where I'd be, I'd just be nothing. Maybe not, but I like to think I can control some of my destiny or fate or whatever you wish to call it. Reading the  posts here has helped me rethink what I'd do under various circumstances and maybe the font thing would help after all I love language generally and my children will probably be too old now to change paths, if any, since they are older and grown ups already. They think I'm nutty anyways but I keep my workings to myself and try to hide in plain sight mostly. Candles and incense are one thing as are stones but anything more would be suspected as odd. I have no Grimoire, prefer to write poetry or make it up on the spot. Less evidence of Moms crazies, the better. :wink:

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Nothing has changed for me.  I am still a very private person, when it comes to my actual practice, though I enjoy engaging, intelligent conversation and a bit-of-fun chit chat about a variety of magical and otherwise topics, but . . .

 

I encountered a woman today at the local "Pagan" shop, who told me that she tells people that she is a Xtian.  Now, I can understand letting people draw their own conclusions or not correcting people who make assumptions, as they often do, but I would be uncomfortable with such a bald-faced, deliberate lie.  If asked, which is very rare, I will make vague statements, such as "I believe in a great many wonderful things", usually followed by a smile and change of subject.  Or, I just tell them that my "faith" is very personal, and I do not wish to discuss it. 

 

I suppose her proclamation is not more or less of a lie than my manipulation of conversations, but according to this person, she goes out of her way to tell people that she is a Xtian.  I mean, I can see when specific situations may warrant "pretending" for protection or to avoid issues, but the whole thing is a little strange to me.  I have no problem telling lies, generally, but to make such a claim, consistently and without provocation, seems silly.  According to the shopkeeper, the individual even informs people of her pseudo-Path, when they have not asked or really do not care.  Maybe, she thinks that she is throwing people off the scent or something, but I couldn't say such a thing, without feeling the urge to vomit, uncontrollably.

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Nothing has changed for me.  I am still a very private person, when it comes to my actual practice, though I enjoy engaging, intelligent conversation and a bit-of-fun chit chat about a variety of magical and otherwise topics, but . . .

 

I encountered a woman today at the local "Pagan" shop, who told me that she tells people that she is a Xtian.  Now, I can understand letting people draw their own conclusions or not correcting people who make assumptions, as they often do, but I would be uncomfortable with such a bald-faced, deliberate lie.  If asked, which is very rare, I will make vague statements, such as "I believe in a great many wonderful things", usually followed by a smile and change of subject.  Or, I just tell them that my "faith" is very personal, and I do not wish to discuss it. 

 

I suppose her proclamation is not more or less of a lie than my manipulation of conversations, but according to this person, she goes out of her way to tell people that she is a Xtian.  I mean, I can see when specific situations may warrant "pretending" for protection or to avoid issues, but the whole thing is a little strange to me.  I have no problem telling lies, generally, but to make such a claim, consistently and without provocation, seems silly.  According to the shopkeeper, the individual even informs people of her pseudo-Path, when they have not asked or really do not care.  Maybe, she thinks that she is throwing people off the scent or something, but I couldn't say such a thing, without feeling the urge to vomit, uncontrollably.

 

In a word "Yuck" or

 

Methinks she doth protest too much.

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People overestimate their own importance in the lives of others. 

 

Ain't that the truth, lol! But it's human nature, I suppose... Still, doesn't excuse it.

 

M

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I don't think "secret" best describes my approach to witchcraft.  "Discreet" is more like it.

 

I don't believe in proselytizing, on any subject for any purpose, so it's natural for me to not share my witchy lifestyle with friends and family.  Only two people know that I practice traditional witchcraft: my husband, and a Wiccan friend.  A handful of folks are aware that I committed to a set Life Path last year when I committed to TW, but the only information they know is some vague reference to paganism.  I've yet to be pressed for details, and I doubt I will since I associate mostly with people who share my belief of quietly respecting the privacy of others' beliefs and practices.  As far as witchy objects around the house, books and obviously witchy items are consolidated and stashed in the closet, but candles and things that could pass as decor are left out.

 

That being said, I have a sadistic hope that Jehovah's Witnesses will someday come knocking when I'm in the middle of conducting a ritual in the living room.  :roflhard:

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I've always been the type to hold my cards close to my chest. There's no reason to blab about anything, as far as I'm concerned.

 

There are only two people in my personal life who know of my path, and only one that knows .000000001 of what I do.  Both are sworn to protect my privacy. 

 

My altar is set up next to my fireplace. When company arrives, a simple box is placed in front.  My more witchy books are placed inside the T.V. cabinet that is made of solid wood.  

 

My Grimoire is hidden, wrapped and tied and charged with a little extra ump for the would-be spying eye. 

 

I'd love to write it in a language other than plain ole English but I'm just too damn lazy. 

 

Although... I just might tell the next Jehovah Witness who knocks on my door that this house is protected by Witchcraft...just to see them run away;

never to return.

 

Hey, come to think of it.... they haven't been around in awhile ----  the protection worked rather well  :vhappywitch: 

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That being said, I have a sadistic hope that Jehovah's Witnesses will someday come knocking when I'm in the middle of conducting a ritual in the living room.  :roflhard:

 

One thing my foster family did when I was a teen was to take and old rug and spray paint it black with a pentagram on it for the front door.  Then the JWs came knocking.  They were told we witches and were invited in for tea.  They couldn't get out of there fast enough!  LOL! Apparently they aren't interesting in saving everyone!

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Most of our friends know of my family's path. Our workspace and materials are setup in a spare room with the door closed when we have people over. A few of our friends recently have expressed genuine interest in our craft and we have been sharing more details with them.

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Oh! White Rose, I had some Jehovah's Winesses around - I'm soo evil sometimes!:D I invited them in and let glance over my shelves of books on Witchcraft, the Black Mass, Crowley, even left the book I'm putting the sigils I use when doing magic in for them to see - Its tooled with a Pentagram and Passing of the River on the leather covers. The Jehovah's Witnesses wheren't there when i got back from turning off the kettle - they were half-way down the street walking as though they had to catch a bus real quick lol I got the same affect when the Mormons came calling - it was a shame they had it all worked out what they were going to say about wasting my life until they saw my bookshelf - then their eyes went round like saucers and they just couldn't get out of my home quick enough - especially when my black dog came in - most dogs have green eyes when the light reflects in them, but Shadow has red eyes like the Mauthe Dhoo! :vhappywitch: :nana:  I've never ever been troubled since by J.W's or Mormons - its Brill! foxman

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My immediate family, my mother in law, father-in law - he even said he studied magic :) once - he's a bemused catholic - his words not mine! No one else knows and if they do then they never broach the subject. We tend to hide the bookcase behind a velvet cloth curtain but when the Jehovah's or Mormons come we make sure they know we are well protected by their enemy...Its bad enough when the Salvation Army shove their 'War Cry' under your nose  in a pub or ask for a donation (and i'm thinking what kind of donation would they like...?:D) But yes, I'm private. I do work outside usually in a Stone Circle such as The Carles in Cumbria, or nearer home at the King's Stones. I admit, I prefer outside but in the winter when everything goes !Fipppp! and disappears in whatever orifices they can find - I prefer to work inside. The days of my crunching in bare feet and a robe, at Beltane over frost-covered grass are long gone. foxman

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I'm a teensy bit nervous about posting this as it contains some strong opinions I can't totally support with fact, but writing it was more an exercise in thinking than a statement of what I consider to be absolute reality, so here it is:

 

I read an interesting perspective by someone today. They said that our modern society has become a 'confessional culture', where sharing private information, secrets, flaws, and mistakes is applauded and rewarded with attention. This person gave an example:

 

 

TV has gone from sitcoms where everything is perfect, interrupted by some conflict, then happily resolved, to shows like 30 Rock and Seinfeld, where non-norm ideas and behaviours are revealed as secretly what we all really identify with.

 

I believe that there is a popular movement these days where people are encouraged to "just be yourself", and there seems to be a new cultural awareness that demands acceptance for all alternate beliefs and behaviors (of course, this is not universal, but it is common where I am). Being 'different' is very much mainstream, and people will go to great lengths to set themselves apart from those around them.

 

I'm considering that some Witches and pagans may feel a need to present their craft or path to the world because they feel they are owed acceptance by society. Or, revealing that they are leading a socially "unacceptable" life will garner them attention and praise. Of course I don't mean that every Witch who is 'out' has these reasons - far from it. But it seems to me that this could be the reason some Witches just starting their path want to be so bold and outspoken about it. They want recognition and validation for a new change in their lives.

 

I have also been considering the long-term ramifications of being publicly known as a Witch. Witchcraft has been treated with fear since the start of history, and I do not really see the past few decades of increased tolerance as a sign things will permanently change for the better. For those of us who have never experienced intolerance or discrimination it may be hard to understand, but I do not think it is necessarily wise to publicly associate yourself with a group of people that have been historically feared and hated. Many of us have long lives ahead of us, and the political and social climate may yet reverse and return to persecution. I heard second-hand of an article (I'm afraid I don't have the link) that says parts of American culture are slowly reverting to tribal paganism. As more people become involved with pagan spiritualities, more people will again begin to believe in the power of Witchcraft and revile those who use it. Many pagans already preach against traditional Witches who use their powers for personal gain instead of serving the greater will of a god or goddess. I know that if I share some aspects of my craft with local Witches or even friends I am regarded with some level of distrust or disdain, and I anticipate this will only get worse as reconstructed pagan religions become more dogmatic.

 

It's not my intent to try and reprimand people who have decided to be open about their path, I'm just mulling over the possible dangers of it. As young Witches find their path and feel compelled to share it with the world, I believe they may end up finding that they are neither owned nor given acceptance by their communities. Many people seem to enjoy persecution because it validates their choices, but even in 'enlightened' communities there may again come a time when that persecution becomes real and dangerous. When humans see a threat, we will always try to eliminate it.

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. . .

I read an interesting perspective by someone today. They said that our modern society has become a 'confessional culture', where sharing private information, secrets, flaws, and mistakes is applauded and rewarded with attention.

. . .

I believe that there is a popular movement these days where people are encouraged to "just be yourself", and there seems to be a new cultural awareness that demands acceptance for all alternate beliefs and behaviors (of course, this is not universal, but it is common where I am). Being 'different' is very much mainstream, and people will go to great lengths to set themselves apart from those around them.

 

I'm considering that some Witches and pagans may feel a need to present their craft or path to the world because they feel they are owed acceptance by society. Or, revealing that they are leading a socially "unacceptable" life will garner them attention and praise.

. . .

Many people seem to enjoy persecution because it validates their choices, but even in 'enlightened' communities there may again come a time when that persecution becomes real and dangerous. When humans see a threat, we will always try to eliminate it.

 

Several of my colleagues are attempting to blame this tendency toward the over-share on generational differences, including the "me, me, me" mentality perceived in the Generation Y, but I am professionally toying with the idea that the behavior is a manifestation of a personality trait, which thanks to the Internet and popular media, people have more of an opportunity to express, than they would have had in the past. 

 

In other words, regardless of age, gender, etc. there are people who like to share their private info for whatever reason.  These same folks would, theoretically, also be more likely to want to make a special point of parading around their differences, but that is purely conjecture.  This behavior does appear to be a personal preference, however, which just happens to be encouraged within some aspect of modern society. 

 

But, is it a characteristic commonly associated with Traditional Witchcraft? 

. . . To know, To will, To dare, To keep silent.

 

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. . .

I believe that there is a popular movement these days where people are encouraged to "just be yourself", and there seems to be a new cultural awareness that demands acceptance for all alternate beliefs and behaviors (of course, this is not universal, but it is common where I am). Being 'different' is very much mainstream, and people will go to great lengths to set themselves apart from those around them.

. . .

 

Hey, Wexler:

 

The "Broom Closet" thread touches on this subject, too, if you care to look it up.

 

Best Wishes.

Jevne

 

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Wexler, I think you brought up a lot of good points.

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Several of my colleagues are attempting to blame this tendency toward the over-share on generational differences, including the "me, me, me" mentality perceived in the Generation Y, but I am professionally toying with the idea that the behavior is a manifestation of a personality trait, which thanks to the Internet and popular media, people have more of an opportunity to express, than they would have had in the past. 

 

In other words, regardless of age, gender, etc. there are people who like to share their private info for whatever reason.  These same folks would, theoretically, also be more likely to want to make a special point of parading around their differences, but that is purely conjecture.  This behavior does appear to be a personal preference, however, which just happens to be encouraged within some aspect of modern society. 

 

But, is it a characteristic commonly associated with Traditional Witchcraft? 

. . . To know, To will, To dare, To keep silent.

 

----------------

 

Fucking hell Miss Jevne.. Your talking my language girl!

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

Lynn, I really appreciate this part of your post.  (The rest too,  but especially this part.)  So many craft-people upon realizing that I'm not respond to my statement that it's because of my family with "Oh, so you respect them too much to do this to them."  No, that's not it at all.  I don't respect their beliefs, I think their beliefs are bulshit that's the result of generations of brainwashing that I managed to escape from.  But, I believe that they are so far beyond repair with these harmful beliefs that to really understand what I am and what I do would harm them in a very dramatic and significant way.  The damage would by emotional and spiritual and manifest in the physical. 

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Lynn, I really appreciate this part of your post.  (The rest too,  but especially this part.)  So many craft-people upon realizing that I'm not respond to my statement that it's because of my family with "Oh, so you respect them too much to do this to them."  No, that's not it at all.  I don't respect their beliefs, I think their beliefs are bulshit that's the result of generations of brainwashing that I managed to escape from.  But, I believe that they are so far beyond repair with these harmful beliefs that to really understand what I am and what I do would harm them in a very dramatic and significant way.  The damage would by emotional and spiritual and manifest in the physical. 

 

That so resonates with me....

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Lynn, I really appreciate this part of your post.  (The rest too,  but especially this part.)  So many craft-people upon realizing that I'm not respond to my statement that it's because of my family with "Oh, so you respect them too much to do this to them."  No, that's not it at all.  I don't respect their beliefs, I think their beliefs are bulshit that's the result of generations of brainwashing that I managed to escape from.  But, I believe that they are so far beyond repair with these harmful beliefs that to really understand what I am and what I do would harm them in a very dramatic and significant way.  The damage would by emotional and spiritual and manifest in the physical. 

It resonates with me as well. It makes me very sad sometimes.

 

Jevne, I will look up that thread. RedRose, thank you :)

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[...]  the idea that the behavior is a manifestation of a personality trait, which thanks to the Internet and popular media, people have more of an opportunity to express, than they would have had in the past. 

 

In other words, regardless of age, gender, etc. there are people who like to share their private info for whatever reason. [...]

 

THIS. There are people my age who have always over-shared. There's just a larger forum for it now on the Internet. :rolleyes:

 

It goes without saying that I am out of the broom closet - to the wider world. If someone asks, I will not lie but if they don't, I won't volunteer. (Discretion being the better part of valor, dontchaknow.) I'm sure I've said it in other threads but my house appears rather mundane to the uneducated eye. Take a closer look and you'll know a witch lives here but if a visitor has a problem with that, they'll immediately be shown the door. It's my house & I refuse to hide.

 

Do I discuss specifics of my path? Nope. It's mine to walk and no one else's. I will happily put a nose out of joint if it's stuck in where it has no business and have done so on more than one occasion.

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My house is me and it looks like me, lol. But then again, I don't live with other humans so I don't have to worry about in-laws or family members...

 

Come to think of it... I have several obviously different things hanging up in my cubicle at work. I was talking about this to mu supervisor the other day and he was like "what are you talking about?" and I pointed them out and he said he'd never noticed them before. But I also have a tone of funky shit hanging up in my cubicle that is mundane but I like the colours, lol... so go figure... I have a garden hose hanging up in my kitchen because it is lime green and crinkly and I thought it added a nice splash of colour (eat your heart out, David Bromstadt...)

 

M

Edited by Michele

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Lynn, I really appreciate this part of your post.  (The rest too,  but especially this part.)  So many craft-people upon realizing that I'm not respond to my statement that it's because of my family with "Oh, so you respect them too much to do this to them."  No, that's not it at all.  I don't respect their beliefs, I think their beliefs are bulshit that's the result of generations of brainwashing that I managed to escape from.  But, I believe that they are so far beyond repair with these harmful beliefs that to really understand what I am and what I do would harm them in a very dramatic and significant way.  The damage would by emotional and spiritual and manifest in the physical. 

 

Thank you so much Aloe.  Rereading this sentence actually brought tears to my eyes. Its been on the forefront of my mind again lately  I have always been able to share important thoughts and who I am with my parents, especially my mom, and it hurts not being able to with this.  But they are in their 80's, their faith and beliefs very important to them. etc (don't want to repeat my post by mistake here.) 

Yes, I agree so much with what you wrote.  Simply; I love them.

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I have that with my Dad.  He would never understand.  Fortunately, I don't have to hide it from my Mom.  I don't tell her all that I do, of course, but she accepts me for who I am.

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I have that with my Dad.  He would never understand.  . . .

 

I get this . . . My father tried for a short time, when I was younger, to convince me to be more like him and his side of the family, but I had already made up my mind to actively practice the Craft long before he got around to trying to change me.  My choice was clear, and I wouldn't change it, but it did cost me my relationship with my father.  He knew of the possibility ahead of time.  He just couldn't accept it or deal with it.  If there is no immediate reason to make it into an "issue", I would lean toward keeping it quiet, but people should, of course, do what seems best for them and their situation.

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