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Secrecy and Magic


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I am curious how practitioners of magic here like to handle secrecy in regards to protecting or strengthening their magical workings.

 

What if you keep a record of your magical practice and someone finds it? What then happens to your magic? How responsible do you feel in keeping silent in your work?

 

Or maybe... you see no danger in failing to keep silent. Maybe you find that there is no need, or better yet, that openness and sharing strengthens your work.

 

I look forward to any thoughts, responses ☺️ Thank you!

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3 hours ago, vulprix said:

I am curious how practitioners of magic here like to handle secrecy in regards to protecting or strengthening their magical workings.

 

What if you keep a record of your magical practice and someone finds it? What then happens to your magic? How responsible do you feel in keeping silent in your work?

 

Or maybe... you see no danger in failing to keep silent. Maybe you find that there is no need, or better yet, that openness and sharing strengthens your work.

 

I look forward to any thoughts, responses ☺️ Thank you!

 

I have always done a sort of 'magic' all my life, as it was also a common practice in my family.  Some of the things most people would not even consider 'magic', tbh.  AS for keeping it secret or not...with me, it depends upon what I am doing.  Some things I share openly, some I do not and keep it to myself.  Never practice any magic that would bring on harm to anyone else though--as that can backfire and bring it back onto yourself.  So, its not that I am keeping 'bad magic' secret--just things that I don't feel like sharing openly.  

 

I am trying to keep a written record of all I do--sort of a way to pass on my doings/life to my grandchildren.  I have always wanted to make a grimore that I can pass along, and I sort of have it started.  Not a fancy grimoire like I dream of--but currently a binder that holds all my notes and pictures of things, etc.  But one day, I will make the grimoire of my dreams that will also hold all the magic I do, with the steps to carrying these magic things out and the results I've obtained with each of them.  

 

As for sharing the magic I do--yes, I do think it strengthens the work--and I've found the ones I shared this with have been happy to know about it, as sometimes its to help them in their lives--as well as help them to become interested in the various magic I do. 

 

 

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"To Know. To dare. To Will. To keep silent!"
That's basically just common sense. Let's say you're trying to get an unbearable person out of your work area. It doesn't matter if you're going through HR or hotfooting them - you just keep it quiet while you're working towards a result. People hold their mud about legal issues, personal matters, etc. That's just the way it IS. It doesn't matter if you're using attorneys or graveyard dirt.
I've said many, many times that card reading ethics are the same as regular ethics: https://fennario.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/on-ethics/

The same goes for magic. Can you post a photo of your honey jar? Of course. Can you divulge the details of who it's for, and why? Hell no!
Your business, and your clients' business, is strictly private. But you're not letting astral air out of astral tires if some little thing is exposed. That's just silly.
As far as records go, the same applies. If you've gotten results already, it's too late to undo them. But why would you keep a written record of things like that anyway? Just burn the candles and forget it. IME if you don't let this stuff go, it won't work.

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Are you talking about spells in particular, rituals in general, work you do for yourself, or for others?

I partake in certain rituals as part of my native faith, which I guess is a kind of magick. I keep no reference book or records of this, probably as the tradition has always been passed down orally. It hasn't ever occurred to me to write any of it down. But if I did, the specifics of the ritual is one thing, and my experience within the ritual and the outcomes would be another thing all together. That would be like someone reading a private journal or diary. I can't see how my personal journey would be of any interest to anyone else, unless they were genuinely interested in partaking themselves and even then some of that information would be very intimate. It isn't a practice that I casually speak about, and while I have mentioned it to a few very close friends in the appropriate context of specific discussion on faith based subjects - I have only divulged some detail to one friend who is like minded and appreciates that kind of thing. If a ritual that I acted out on the request of another person somehow were to become known to a third party, I do not believe that it diminishes the power of the ritual. However depending on the intentions of the third party, it may cause other problems. 

I know it is often suggested that tarot readers keep records of the readings done for their querents. I'm not sure I have an opinion on the rightness or wrongness of this. I don't keep a formal record of my querents readings but as much of it is sent electronically these days, I could probably go back and find something if I wanted to. It would make it difficult (though not impossible) for an outsider to find it, though I'm not sure how another's reading would be useful to them (unless they were being particularly unscrupulous). 

For me it isn't so much a point of 'secrecy' for the sake of exclusivity (though there is something to be said for knowledge being disseminated at the right time), as much as it is a respect for the idea of privacy (yours and others). There is a kind of discipline involved in any practice that I think is often underrated as a topic of discussion. The art of keeping silent, is also the art of knowing when not to keep silent - but that should be in the hands and power of the individual. You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice!

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17 minutes ago, Grace said:

Are you talking about spells in particular, rituals in general, work you do for yourself, or for others?

I partake in certain rituals as part of my native faith, which I guess is a kind of magick. I keep no reference book or records of this, probably as the tradition has always been passed down orally. It hasn't ever occurred to me to write any of it down. But if I did, the specifics of the ritual is one thing, and my experience within the ritual and the outcomes would be another thing all together. That would be like someone reading a private journal or diary. I can't see how my personal journey would be of any interest to anyone else, unless they were genuinely interested in partaking themselves and even then some of that information would be very intimate. It isn't a practice that I casually speak about, and while I have mentioned it to a few very close friends in the appropriate context of specific discussion on faith based subjects - I have only divulged some detail to one friend who is like minded and appreciates that kind of thing. If a ritual that I acted out on the request of another person somehow were to become known to a third party, I do not believe that it diminishes the power of the ritual. However depending on the intentions of the third party, it may cause other problems. 

I know it is often suggested that tarot readers keep records of the readings done for their querents. I'm not sure I have an opinion on the rightness or wrongness of this. I don't keep a formal record of my querents readings but as much of it is sent electronically these days, I could probably go back and find something if I wanted to. It would make it difficult (though not impossible) for an outsider to find it, though I'm not sure how another's reading would be useful to them (unless they were being particularly unscrupulous). 

For me it isn't so much a point of 'secrecy' for the sake of exclusivity (though there is something to be said for knowledge being disseminated at the right time), as much as it is a respect for the idea of privacy (yours and others). There is a kind of discipline involved in any practice that I think is often underrated as a topic of discussion. The art of keeping silent, is also the art of knowing when not to keep silent - but that should be in the hands and power of the individual. You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice!

 

mic drop GIF

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^^^ What @Grace and @katrinkasaid. 

 

I'm not one to keep records of anything, I personally dont feel the need to write anything down (I never have, even as a child I wasnt one to keep a journal). I do however like the idea of sharing our knowledge to those that are interested in it and building on our strengths together 

 

 

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I appreciate the input! Yes, obviously privacy is important when working with others. (As that is not something I personally practice, it wasn’t even on my radar when I decided to ask what others’ thoughts are on secrecy.) I am surprised to see that written record might not be as universal as I thought. I’m an astute note taker 🙂 For efficacy’s sake.

 

It is just interesting to me to see how people approach sharing v. not-sharing their practices; their goals. It seems to be a subject with a lot of varying thought, for different reasons. Totally down to hear more perspectives!

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I don’t keep records. I don’t use spells and my practice is very intuitive and spontaneous. So I don’t think it would be useful for someone to learn those details as they are 100% context based, and as far as I’m concerned, you won’t ever have the exact same situation ever again. I do believe in passing down beliefs and traditions to your kids. I do that in multiple ways. But I wouldn’t teach them specific ‘recipes’, the plan is rather to give them basic ‘cooking skills’ and telling them about ancestral gifts and family values.  

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If you keep a written record of anything, someone Will eventually read it. Why else keep a record? 

Grimoire's are now a product, marketed by book publishers like Llewellyn, and crafters found on Etsy. 

Chances are slim any of us are making it our life's work to turn trees into frogs and salt into gold. In those cases it might be practical to keep written records so we know the thousand of ways something didn't work. 

 

I work with the moon, and occasionally I'll write something down in order to burn it, but otherwise never.

As noted above, most things the average person would try are very specific, never needed or wanted again. 

 

Interesting question, thank you for bring it up vulprix. 

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2 hours ago, AJ-ish/Sharyn said:

If you keep a written record of anything, someone Will eventually read it.


Yep. I think a lot of us kept diaries when we were kids, and somebody inevitably snooped - those locks could be picked with a pin or needle.
Do you really want people laughing at your efforts? Or, if you're working on behalf of someone else, laughing at their situation?
Imagine if you're working for a client, and you shuffled off this mortal coil. Somebody will go through your things. Suppose they read this stuff and tell - maybe put it on the internet and name all parties involved? 
Nope, nope, and nope.

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I have a record of my favourite songs, chants, mantras, poems, sigils, runes etc. that I've read somewhere or been taught, - and summaries of the basic structure for a number of rituals. That's what my 'book of shadows' is - a collection of favourite templates for me to then elaborate on specifically for each occasion. 

 

I don't keep records of specific things I've done.

I may write down a plan for what I'm going to do before a specific working, and the spells for that working - which are then destroyed during or afterwards.

And I pick my silence - or not - as appropriate.  If the querent is interested and we're leading on to an animated sharing of ideas - yes. If the person is going to laugh or likely bad mouth behind my back - no.

 

Alla Katrinka - I think things should be completely let go of once performed, (if you keep coming back to the same thing over and over - you're wearing it out! 🙃)  - and one is not likely to be using the exact same thing again anyway.

Edited by Tanga
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If we are referring to a record of spells, potion ingredients, rituals and so on I have never kept records. In fact, doing so would never have occurred  to me until ten years ago. The reason is that I have no formal rituals or rites. Anything I do will be situation specific and based around readings.
 

There were things told to me growing up; however, these were often in passing or in the context of family history. None of this was written down; they were illiterate. So I would never feel the need to put pen to paper. Why would someone want to know what my aunt drank to get rid of rash on her face? Or that my grandmother recalled it because of my brother’s acne? Would they be interested in how she did laundry? No.  Most people get told these little nuggets. It is not special. 

 

Over time I have kept journals — from around 1995 to 2017. These do often contain readings, but often summarisations or key combinations. Some of these were how I developed the medical associations and timing systems I use. So they were for my praxis. 
 

I never keep clients readings. They get deleted after 28 days of sending or on confirmation. I tell them if they want to send it back that is okay — and that is a requirement for subsequent solar returns. 
 

Silence for me is not about exclusivity, but respect for context and privacy. We seem to over share these days. 
 


 


 

Edited by timtoldrum
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The early Grimoirs and books on magic were created from the 14th and 15th C onwards, few if any common folk could read and write and I guess it was somewhat frowned upon for monks and nuns to create magical texts!  Those educated few such as John Dee, were seeking to establish the facts, rather like the science of today but the general public handed things down through the generations by doing and showing etc.  Some of the old folk songs hint at such practices in a hidden and roundabout way so that you have to understand the hidden meaning in order to decipher the code so to speak. 

 

There are many reasons for hiding such knowledge so I guess it's up to the practitioner to decide what should be hidden and what is revealed.  🙂

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1 hour ago, katrinka said:


Yep. I think a lot of us kept diaries when we were kids, and somebody inevitably snooped - those locks could be picked with a pin or needle.
Do you really want people laughing at your efforts? Or, if you're working on behalf of someone else, laughing at their situation?
Imagine if you're working for a client, and you shuffled off this mortal coil. Somebody will go through your things. Suppose they read this stuff and tell - maybe put it on the internet and name all parties involved? 
Nope, nope, and nope.

 

Yeah. Terry Pratchett didn't want ANYONE to be able to see the unfinished work on his hard drive after he died, and had it crushed by a steamroller.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/30/terry-pratchett-unfinished-novels-destroyed-streamroller

 

He had the right idea. So much should die with us when we go.

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I keep journals “in my own hand of write” about my witchery and I keep records of my readings for me, but not those for clients.
My memory isn’t good enough not to. It's in the context of reviewing and developing my magical practice. No one else is identified in the journals, apart from by their magical names sometimes.

Arrangements are in hand for disposal and dispersal of all my writings and kit on my death.

We discuss some of our individual practices in my coven, but again, not identifying anyone, and it is all oathbound.

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I believe if you join a magical order or coven which has you swear an oath to keep secret their teachings/practices (very old school stuff), then you definitely should respect that.  

Being not a member of any magical order or coven like that?  I readily share every part of my personal practices with anyone who is interested.  I don't discuss readings I do for anyone but myself except with the querent.  But when it comes to what I think and do as a ceremonial magician with magick?

I'm completely open.  I just kept myself off social media about being a ceremonial magician (and a lot of other things) for the six years my daughter worked in the non-partisan IT department at the White House.  Now she works at Microsoft and neither of us care what her employers or co-workers stumble across.  XD

  Secrecy has never made my workings stronger.  The opposite in fact.  I think because inside my psyche, I associate secrecy with fear and belief empowers True Will.  

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I keep silent mostly.

Most of the time it is from a "don't throw pearls for swine" attitude.

It does me more harm to speak in vain that not to speak.

 

Some people however are actually genuinely interested occationally.

But I usually keep silent anyway these days, it is not my responsibility to teach others.

If people really want to learn, they will find their own way, either that or they will jump through whatever hoops I put up until satisfied.

Very few people will do that though, because so far I've not focused on building much of a reputation.

So people don't respect me enough to put up with my ****.

That is fine with me, so I just keep silent...

I'm sure that when I get really old, I will be some difficult master on a mountain mocking wannabe students.

 

ZigzagFantasticKittiwake-small.gif

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