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bewilderbeast

Is secrecy still important to you?

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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.

My parents would still love me and accept me, but due to their beliefs, they would worry about my soul, my spirit, the immortal part of me.  They would fret and worry and be anxious and frantic. My mom is prone to negative thoughts to begin with, something she consciously battles on a daily basis, and this would --can't think of a good word except damage her, damage both of them. It would literally make them sick.  And I have always been the "steady" one of my siblings, the one they don't have to worry about.

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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.

I wish it didn't have/had to be that way, for something as important as a parent-child relationship to go sour because of someones personal choice of path.  I 'm sorry it happened to you. 

 

I have to make the choice not to say anything to my parents often.  I reevaluate it because it is such a desire in me to share, and I then look at my motivations, which are selfish ones, and what would happen to them if I told them.  It helps that they can be a bit oblivious sometimes, see only what they want to or expect to, especially when they are in my home. 

 

Yeah I would like to second your entire last sentence.

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My parents would still love me and accept me, but due to their beliefs, they would worry about my soul, my spirit, the immortal part of me.  They would fret and worry and be anxious and frantic. My mom is prone to negative thoughts to begin with, something she consciously battles on a daily basis, and this would --can't think of a good word except damage her, damage both of them. It would literally make them sick.  And I have always been the "steady" one of my siblings, the one they don't have to worry about.

Well, I told my mother & father when I first started practicing, and they worry about mine, so I know what you mean...

I mentioned this in the Broom Closet thread briefly, but I really wish I hadn't said anything to my folks. We are a pretty close-knit family, but it definitely hurts them since they think I'm headed to hell. My mothers constant refrain is "at least you were baptized! Your soul is safe!" Ugh. I know she means well, but I know she struggles with it because her church community & faith are such a huge part of her daily life. My father & brother were both angry with me for awhile for upsetting the balance (sis didn't care tho...lol). I don't think they told anyone though because of the shame. We're still fairly close but I know I broke their hearts. I am glad that I lied & said "pagan", but it makes me sad too.

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Greetings All

 

Well I am quite a private person really though I definitely go through stages where I say what I damn well want and no man gainsay!

 

I have some books that are filled with various scripts and some that are without altogether.

 

I am a big believer in the fact that what should be hidden will be - even if you put it on the mantel. Have had many experiences of that either way!

 

These days when I am doing things it is a case of "listen to the whisper in my ear" ... sometimes it says speak and sometimes SHUT UP! Sometimes it says that there is something to be gained from a script use - to make em or me work harder or as a clue to point at something else ... and sometimes not.

 

So I guess I am six of one .... half dozen of the other!

 

Scott

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Well, I told my mother & father when I first started practicing, and they worry about mine, so I know what you mean...

I mentioned this in the Broom Closet thread briefly, but I really wish I hadn't said anything to my folks. We are a pretty close-knit family, but it definitely hurts them since they think I'm headed to hell. My mothers constant refrain is "at least you were baptized! Your soul is safe!" Ugh. I know she means well, but I know she struggles with it because her church community & faith are such a huge part of her daily life. My father & brother were both angry with me for awhile for upsetting the balance (sis didn't care tho...lol). I don't think they told anyone though because of the shame. We're still fairly close but I know I broke their hearts. I am glad that I lied & said "pagan", but it makes me sad too.

 Yeah . . .    Sorry Kupala. :(   I'm glad you didn't say it all too.

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Greetings All

 

Well I am quite a private person really though I definitely go through stages where I say what I damn well want and no man gainsay!

 

I have some books that are filled with various scripts and some that are without altogether.

 

I am a big believer in the fact that what should be hidden will be - even if you put it on the mantel. Have had many experiences of that either way!

 

These days when I am doing things it is a case of "listen to the whisper in my ear" ... sometimes it says speak and sometimes SHUT UP! Sometimes it says that there is something to be gained from a script use - to make em or me work harder or as a clue to point at something else ... and sometimes not.

 

So I guess I am six of one .... half dozen of the other!

 

Scott

Scott, I've seen you around the forum here and there, and I've wanted to tell you how much I love your tagline "irritatingly thoughtful". Makes me grin every time!

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I came into witchcraft long after I'd moved out of the family home, so it was never a broom closet issue. Psychism was an issue however, and not accepted, so I doubt I'd have ever shared WC with my folks. Dad even comes from a Pennsylvania Dutch immigrant line. He is familiar with the hex signs and told me he doesn't go for that. He dropped a hint about his great grandmother being a faith healer, but wouldn't say anything more, because he didn't believe in that. Very frustrating.

 

Something i observed amongst the very few traditional witches I have encountered, either online or personally, who claim family lineage is the power to confuse and to misdirect. I think it is when I've hit a nerve, they'll exhibit this behavior, to put down and belittle my ideas. It's like an energy dominance technique, a smoke screen. I assume it's a learned behavior, to misdirect attention and protect what they consider secret. It's a heads-up to me that I know I've crossed a line into their comfort zone. The more vitriol that is spewed, the closer to the no-enter zone I've come. I do back off, for a couple of reasons. I like to exchange info and concepts, and don't want to put the screws to anyone. They have a right to their beliefs as I have to mine.

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Secrecy is pretty important to me, though not so much the fact that I am a witch but the specifics of my practice. I mean I wear my pentacle all the time and can be seen reading occult literature in public parks when its a nice weather. However all my "witchy" items are located in my locked bedroom upstairs and my grimoire, while visible on its stand should the door be open for some reason, has a lock of its own and protections woven on every single page on the margins. Also no one but me is allowed upstairs without me accompanying them. Not many people really know how serious I am in my practice or even what that practice actually is anymore, as I refuse to discuss these matters at all with non-witches, and even with other witches I prefer to keep the stuff I personally created or inherited as vague as possible.

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Yeh, I can understand that. I keep my athame and my book in a cupboard. They are precious to me and irreplaceable. My decor is bohemian cottage-with-cats. The book cases are easily seen, and one is crammed haphazard with WC topics. The rock collection fills the china hutch, but it looks more over aged hippie than witchy.

 

And re. OP, said Book is in plain English, and my spells are written as poems, partly just to rhyme and partly for my own amusement.

Edited by Zombee

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Secrecy is important to me. First of all because I work in a scientific community, secondly because I personaly believe that the secrecy gives more power to my Craft. It's the nature of our Craft that is unspoken, silent....

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Secrecy is important to me. First of all because I work in a scientific community, secondly because I personaly believe that the secrecy gives more power to my Craft. It's the nature of our Craft that is unspoken, silent....

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

Yes I agree, I'm happy for my craft to be unspoken and silent. Silence is golden, in lots of ways. Secrecy is important to me too. A couple of my daughters seem to know a few things themselves anyway. 

 

I have spells hidden in plain sight; books on my kindle that no one else can see, or actual books that to the casual observer are just country recipe books, herbal lore, art & craft books and so on;  there are loads of books in this household anyway, and eclectic interests within my family.I have ribbon boxes and sewing boxes and odds & ends boxes which are just there. I work with very young children, and lots of my funny concoctions can be explained away as experiments to see what craft activities will work with the children. Always best to practice that homemade play-doh recipe at home first, in advance of doing it with the kids!

 

We all love candles anyway, and incense.

One of my altars is just the kitchen window sill, and the other more of an ancestor altar consisting of an art nouveau sideboard with a tree of life design on the doors, and grandparent related stuff on it that has always been there. Herbs are drying on there at the moment, but no one looks twice at them really. I don't use a specific atheme, cauldron or wand; I have kitchen utensils which are used both for crafting purposes by me and mundane purposes by others, although they know not to touch my silver teaspoons! I guess those around me who I live with just take it all in by osmosis and have never asked direct questions. But as far as going out of my way to alert outsiders to it, well, like I said, silence is golden.

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The importance of secrecy for me tends to depend on what, exactly, the question happens to be about.

 

Practice of witchcraft itself? Most people who know me also know that I'm a witch. I don't run around announcing it to everyone of course, but it's no secret either. Then again, to those who don't already have that knowledge it's not very obvious. There is nothing in my house or the way I look or behave that would scream "witch!" to anyone. Books, sure - that I admit. I've got my house full of books about various subject, witchcraft among them, but nothing else. I don't lie or hide, but I don't share either unless asked.

 

The only part where secrecy actually does come in is with the practical side of things. Some magical workings are necessary to keep secret and hidden - it's a vital part of those workings. Any physical items related to them are kept hidden, all the work is done in secret, and I don't speak of them to anyone, witch or not. Spells are another thing I keep secret - spoken spells, that is. I can share the details of the work that goes into performing them, but not the spells themselves. Just a quirk of my tradition, but I was taught to never share or give out the spells from my repertoire to anyone, so I keep them secret.

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Secrecy is of the upmost importance for me. Broken secrecy can interfere with true intent in my opinion a little like the saying "To many chefs in the kitchen can ruin the broth". Secrecy also teaches me discipline. My family are aware of the surface stuff but that is as far as it goes. x

Edited by Blossom

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Outside of my home, secrecy is important. I don't need other people knowing what I do (unless they are a witch themselves and can sense it in me, in which case it's just a nod from one witch to another). In my home, my husband knows. My children are too young, yet. My mother in law, who lives with us, is catholic, and I don't think she has any real idea of what I'm doing. But she travels, so when she's gone I don't care too much about hiding things.

 

My husband will ask questions. He'll see that I've done a spell or ritual, and he'll ask. I'll just say, "Oh, it's for this. Oh, it's for that." and he'll be like, "Oh, okay. Cool." But when he wants to know the specifics, like... The breaking down of the spell or ritual... That's when I'm like, "I can't really explain it to you..." because I know it will be lost on him, and I do feel that if I share that kind of knowledge with him that it somehow desecrates my workings. Maybe that's just me, though.

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Secrecy is still important to me for various reasons;

 

1.) My ex-husband, who is on record as a cult member tried to use my former, fleeting interest in Wicca as a reason to take my children away from me. He also used this to turn people against me, saying I worshipped the devil and was trying to poison him. Fucking idiot.

 

2.) I don't hide my feelings well and when I am full-on enraged with someone, bad things often start happening to them. I have more control over this these days but people do notice sometimes and I wouldn't want to lose my job or be ostracized in other ways. Especially if people thought I was deliberately hexing them. Although, I have found the mystery around this quite useful.

 

3.) My two oldest children are skiddish of all things occult. I am confident in who I am at my age but still find it painful to have loved ones invalidate my experiences and beliefs. It's easier to keep most things to myself.

Edited by Anubha

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Good thread! I am not 'out' as a witch as it would be really frowned upon in my work where I live. I have my own study at home with a big cabinet where I keep my stuff. As our littlie gets bigger and can read I will have to decide about encryption but tbh there's a witchling in there waiting to get out so in some ways I would rather she could see stuff and ask questions. I'm not doing anything terribly dark, just learning the ropes at the minute so most of my notes are on books I've read, shamanic practice, and incense blends.

 

I would like to have somewhere to write more private notes on sigils etc - not sure what my husband would make of it all ^_^

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privacy is and always have been very important to me. i don’t believe its because i have anything to hide but because i have always preferred be solitude. my craft is very much a part of me. it’s a intimate and pleasant part of my being. i don’t need anyone poking holes in that or praying for my salvation. 

 

 

at the same time, my practice isn’t really hidden. most of my items and journals sit on a bookshelf or in a trunk so i think the VERY few people i allow into my home and personal space understand that i don’t like snoops and are mature enough not to go around touching things or sticking their noses in my business 

Edited by kaenoir

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I prefer generally not to tell too many people about my beliefs, and especially not about the ins and outs of my practice. Except with my friend who is also trad, but even then, I don't get into specifics about spells, and neither does she. We talk about ingredients we like, or about the intentions of our spells, but not exactly how we did it. I'm sure if one of us was really stumped, we would probably brainstorm together the ins and outs, though. We also talk about how we figure out what the spell will be.

 

As for anyone else who doesn't know, I never lie about it, but I'm very good at talking 'around' it, if you know what I mean. I mentioned in another thread about my lovely Christian friend who's noticed a change and is trying to ask me what I am. There are lots of, 'what's changed?' questions. To which I ask, 'what do you mean?' which is a fair question, really! If I knew exactly which part she felt had changed, I could just talk around that bit :D

 

Most people see me as a nature lover, many would suspect I'm a pagan (which I class myself as, also), and I'm sure plenty would just dismiss some of my quirks as new-agey-ness. I'm more than happy to project a new age vibe if there's some aspect of myself that I couldn't hide, such as my incense in the house, or any crystals I might end up using or wearing. People know I'm a big fan of meditation, and I think they see that more as a health kick, again, I'm happy to let them, think that's as far as it goes. I mean, I did initially start meditation due to doctor's orders, and it does do wonders for my health. But anyone who doesn't know I'm on the trad path, doesn't need to know my meditation goes way beyond that.

 

I thought I might give examples of talking around the questions. Let's say if someone asked if I'm wiccan (that hasn't happened, but it's a good example). I would answer honestly, 'no, wicca is definitely not my thing'. But, because not everyone knows about trad craft yet, I would expect most people, if given that answer, would assume, 'oh, she's not a witch, then.' So, I haven't lied at all, but I have given the impression that I'm also not a witch. Also, as mentioned above, answering a question with another question has proved helpful, but I wouldn't think it'd be useful to ask question after question in return, ad nauseum, because then I think it draws suspicion and people start wondering what you're hiding!

 

Another thing I've found that helps, is I might mention that I have different beliefs to other people, but I like to keep them to myself, because I don't want to convert anyone, and I don't like it when people force their beliefs on others. It's not a lie, it's 100% true of me. People usually respect that, and leave it alone, but they don't seem to feel as though I've acted overly defensive or aggressive.

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My paganism is out in my home and I don't hide it when asked. Most would contribute my picking up rocks, bones and stuff to that. Especially since I'm Heathen. Even things like cards, runes, herbs and stuff they can contribute to that. I don't ever use the word witch except with my husband and two best friends. No one around here would get that and while most overlook what they might call pagan stuff I like they would not be friendly to that word. So I have my god and ancestor altars out in the open but my witch altar is in the bedroom and tucked away. I hope one day to be out of town and in a place and can have a witchy shed on the property and do all my workings there. 

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Overall I'm a really open person; I'll always answer any questions asked of me and make my feelings clear, but with my craft I feel so strongly in the opposite. And it's not from a moral/ethical standpoint... I've just always felt that talking about my craft may somehow weaken it, or me. I'm very secretive about my spells/rituals- what I use, how I do them, whether or not they're successful. I've just been taught that they can lose their power if you speak about them.

 

It's becoming something I've had to think about much more now because my husband is a witch and while I'm open with him in every way, it still makes me uncomfortable to talk about what I'm doing or working on or why I'm using a specific herb or tool.

 

This whole thread is fascinating and parts of the discussion ended up touching on mundane issues I'm currently confronting-  I am becoming very keenly aware of how we now live in a culture of "If it wasn't posted on social media, it didn't happen". My desire to not tear others down publicly is causing me hardship and I really resent it.

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I wanted to update my post. My friends know and my husband knows, but now I have to even hide it from my husband. He found some book I was trying to get rid of and freaked out, claiming I was being "brainwashed by some book telling me what to do"(hmm, didn't think I owned any bibles). So now I have to hide my practice from him too--and tbh it's very hard. But that's a rant for another time.

 

So yes -- secrecy is still very important to me. I do not enjoy people trying to convert me, constantly asking me to hex their enemies, wanting me to do work for them for free (that's another thread), conflating me with a dippy Wiccan or pagan they know, judging my personal choices or telling me I'm Evil and that if I choose witchcraft over a relationship with them I'm selfish and "deserve what's coming to me". End rant!

 

I don't want to come out of the broom closet. I did that when I was a pagan (to my family & friends) and all it does is have all the xtians constantly praying for your soul.

Edited by westofthemoon
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wow there are so many pages on this thread I can't get through it all and keep up with every point in here.

 

 

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.)

This I love. Its an excellent point your grandmother made. As our society changes, the urgency to pass down wisdoms becomes fogged. we head into uncharted territory and may be unsure of its usefulness to others, or its practicality, or its safety, or whatever. I have no daughters, but I am still building my family. If I have a girl, I will pass this to her if she wants it, but in case she doesn't, I will save it for future daughters of my clan. I feel that tradition and ancestral practice is a force greater than the evolution of society. My family before me lost touch, and people have suffered unfulfilling, empty, fruitless lives in turn. 

 

During my beginning stages of learning the Craft, I was taught through the method of Poetic myth, when inquiring about why we learned that way the answer I was presented was interesting and pertains to the post. We learned through poetic myth for a number of reasons, a small one being secrecy - those without the eyes to see and the ears to hear would make neither yay nor nay of the teachings. However the biggest reasons where for lack of a better word protective of the individuals. They pertained to a certain level of practical application, they where just stories without the practical understanding of the forces and nature they present. Another is to allow the seeker to experience them within their own field of understanding, to create an archetypal personal extension to the mysteries themselves.

As far as my personal life and secrecy - I do not advertise my beliefs, and while I am not "out of the broom closet" as they say, my house is the exception. I enjoy the nature of the Witches cottage and my "castle" certainly expresses this. My original post was directed at the nature of Grimoires and their contents.

 

I absolutely love the use of poetry in a grimoire. as a descendant of Gaelic Celts, aesthetic and lingual beauty is tantamount to physical prowess on the field or in the bed. I usually just let the words spill onto the paper, often fluidly and mildly poetic, but hardly veiled. I think I will now make a note of using more poetic haze when keeping records.

 

 

I do have a question, and I haven't so far noticed anything about it:

 

Does anyone lock or "lock" their grimoire? and I don't mean to put it in something like a chest or armoire that locks. sometimes I worry my husband might think me crazy, like I've gone flaky on him or something, if he were to find some of my... journey notes. Perhaps I should find another way to channel my reflections?

Edited by BeanSiFiain

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(Kinda cool that an 8 yr old topic is still relevant today.)

 

Secrecy is important to me. More for the aspect of privacy and just not dealing with too many people's questions than anything else. I'm not in an area where it's explicitly frowned upon, but people aren't as open as you'd like them to be, not to mention that while I've eschewed my old beliefs, the rest of my family hasn't. My mother took it pretty hard when I was excommunicated from our old group, and that was before I started practicing any craft in my home. My father is also pretty old school, and while he did come across some of my cards before I moved out, he never asked about them. Methinks the language barrier also kept him from realizing what he was looking at.

 

My fiance is aware and supportive (by supportive, I mean "stays out of my way about it"), but beyond that, I don't advertise it. I don't have any obvious jewelry, I don't talk about it randomly. I nod at other witches in passing and occasionally strike up conversations. 

 

Someday, when I have a child, I want to make this available to them. I saw some people mention encrypting or locking their books. Personally, my computers are incredibly close to me. All of them are easily identifiable as my own, and many times I've misplaced my laptops, only to have the mobiles find their way back to me (I'm not recommending losing your computers though, folks! I've lost them like, at work and such). I've found that I'm more inclined to work with/on my BoS when it's on a computer than when it's on paper. And keeping it in such a way allows me to access it from wherever I want. But because I have everything password protected, I'm not afraid that people will inadvertently come across it and read to their heart's content. But I also get to customize and add to it in ways that would be too cumbersome or almost impossible with a physical binder.

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wow there are so many pages on this thread I can't get through it all and keep up with every point in here.

 

 

This I love. Its an excellent point your grandmother made. As our society changes, the urgency to pass down wisdoms becomes fogged. we head into uncharted territory and may be unsure of its usefulness to others, or its practicality, or its safety, or whatever. I have no daughters, but I am still building my family. If I have a girl, I will pass this to her if she wants it, but in case she doesn't, I will save it for future daughters of my clan. I feel that tradition and ancestral practice is a force greater than the evolution of society. My family before me lost touch, and people have suffered unfulfilling, empty, fruitless lives in turn. 

 

 

I absolutely love the use of poetry in a grimoire. as a descendant of Gaelic Celts, aesthetic and lingual beauty is tantamount to physical prowess on the field or in the bed. I usually just let the words spill onto the paper, often fluidly and mildly poetic, but hardly veiled. I think I will now make a note of using more poetic haze when keeping records.

 

 

I do have a question, and I haven't so far noticed anything about it:

 

Does anyone lock or "lock" their grimoire? and I don't mean to put it in something like a chest or armoire that locks. sometimes I worry my husband might think me crazy, like I've gone flaky on him or something, if he were to find some of my... journey notes. Perhaps I should find another way to channel my reflections?

 

If you're looking for something that's visually appealing, maybe moving into a bound journal with a lock on it may be a good idea. Otherwise, maybe just getting a small lockbox would be good enough. I have a wooden one (no lock on it in my case), painted black that I picked up on a trip to South America once. Something like that could work to be your safe place to deposit your notebooks.

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