Podcast 33 – Secrets and Silence


For our first regular episode after our summer lull, we’re looking at secrecy in magic. We also talk a bit about technology and Paganism, and we discuss initiations, too.


Download:  New World Witchery – Episode 33

The post that got this topic started: NWW Blog Post 132 – The Value of Silence

Don’t forget about the Second Annual Pagan Podkin Supermoot in Salem, MA, on the weekend of Sept. 17th, 2011.  Find out more details about the event and opportunities to come meet us in person at the PPSM2 Website. [Laine respectfully asks that she not be in any photographs, due to privacy concerns—Cory will be happy to wear a wig and pretend to be Laine, however].

During the Supermoot, NWW favorite Peter Paddon will be teaching a class on ritual trance and possession. Sign up here.

I’ll also be at the West KY Hoodoo Rootworker Heritage Festival teaching a course on “Biblical Magic & Sorcery.”

Promos & Music
Title music:  “Homebound,” by Jag, from Cypress Grove Blues.  From Magnatune.
Promo 1 – The Pagan Homesteader
Promo 2 – The Wigglian Way
Promo 3 – Standing Stone and Garden Gate

9 thoughts on “Podcast 33 – Secrets and Silence”

  1. I listened to your latest podcast and really enjoyed it, however I do disagree with you on two things in this episode. I believe everyone should tell their close friends and family who they are, believe in, etc. and not live a “double life”. I don’t understand why people who lead “double lives” are that way with family and close friends. Laine didn’t really explain why she is in the broom closet, unless I missed something. It’s like she didn’t want the hassle or something?

    I told my Jehovah’s Witnesses family at 17 I didn’t want to be a JW anymore. I wasn’t involved in any kind of other faith but I REFUSED to pretend to be something I’m not. I then started going to church. I wasn’t going to hide that either. And if you know about JW’s you know how strict and stubborn they are; my mother hated me for it but I wasn’t intimidated by her trying to scare me into staying a JW. But even when I was being a JW at a very early age, I wasn’t ashamed of it and I did not pretend to friends at school I wasn’t a JW. I just don’t understand the fear people have about hiding who they are, what they believe in to people in their personal lives. It seems to me if you can’t be honest with your loved ones, what kind of relationship do you really have?? It doesn’t seem like a healthy one to me….

    Now, I’m very controversial in my faith as I’m a Christian Wiccan of 2 years. I tend to say I’m a Christo-Pagan as I do also practice witchcraft so to encompass other beliefs I say Christian-Pagan. My boy friend knows this; he doesn’t like my faith as he’s a Catholic but he believes as long as I’m happy and not doing anything crazy–hahaha! He puts up with it.

    The other thing is who decided in the world to universally call talking about religion, politics and even sex too personal to discuss? It’s really up to the individual, as I know several people who have no problem discussing any of these subjects to even total strangers. Obviously if discussing a subject could get you literally killed if you discussed it would be a reason not to, but I’m talking about in a physically safe environment. Religion has been discussed many times amongst people without a cursing match or blood bath or even a heated debate; it all depends on how you approach it, how to say it and knowing when to end the conversation and not caring who has the last word (which doesn’t mean the person is a “winner” in the discussion).

    I always enjoy your shows. I’ll keep listening.

    Blessed Be,

    1. I’d like to clarify that I was being overdramatic when I said I lead a “double life.” I guess I was trying to find a little humor in the fact that I’m in the broom closet and yet I cohost a pagan podcast. I have talked about why I am in the broom closet, but it was in a very early episode (episode 2 or 3 I think?).
      It’s great that you were able to come out to your mother, but it’s absolutely not something that I’m willing to do. My mother and I have a great relationship, and what good would it do her to know about my personal beliefs? In my case (and this is just my case, I firmly believe everyone’s is different) it would do us no good for me to tell her. So, I just don’t.
      Paganism and witchcraft is simply an extremely personal thing to me, so I’m not going to tell just anybody in my life. However, that isn’t to say that I believe everyone should do this, it’s just how I’ve fit paganism into my life.
      I hope this doesn’t come off as harsh, because I certainly don’t mean it that way. I just feel very passionate that being in the broom closet IS a necessity in some people’s lives, and mine happens to be one of them.

      Thanks so much for writing in and giving me a chance to explain. 🙂
      Also, thanks for listening, we really appreciate it.


      1. Oh, no, you didn’t come off as being harsh. I just feel I guess the opposite of the way you handle your faith. My spiritual beliefs are extremely personal to me also, which is all the more reason I want to express it to others.

        If you love something or someone deeply–say you love your husband, don’t you feel the need to mention it to others? At least to close family that you love him, talk about him? That’s how I feel about my faith. I personally would absolutey hate to ‘hold it in’–squelch the joy and love I feel about being a witch.

        Plus, I really am thankful that there are witches who are out to the public in general about being a Pagan as I feel this is the main way we will get the respect we deserve in the world, lessening the chances of being persecuted because of what we believe. There is power in numbers, especially if the numbers are vocal and fearless about it.

  2. I found this episode quite interesting. For me “secrets” in the Craft (being Wiccan) are important. We are similar to the group you mentioned in that we give hints about what is to come (so that someone can back out if they want to) but never expressly say what is going to happen in an Initiation. It wouldn’t have the same punch if you knew what was going to happen and a “rebirth” would be harder to find. All part of the Mystery.
    Also, YES, I will be at the PPSM in Salem. Just saying….
    It’s all about the Love.

  3. I have yet to listen to this show being that I am starting new from episode one. I just wanted to let you both know that I really, really love your shows!! Even my agnostic husband is listening for the history and the fun you two seem to have as hosts.

    I am a “new” witch so to speak. I was raised very new age as a child in the 70s, then found myself “saved” in a Messianic synagogue living a very strict Jewish life. I learned a lot from that experiance and am thankful for it, however I have come back to my roots and am loving it! I personally am very selective about who I tell. My in-laws are very devout Christians who would not take it well if they were to find out my true beliefs., nor would the entire family. I choose to keep it simple and not complicate, I also understand the fear they would have about it and their ‘efforts’ to counter act my “religion”. In Kabbalah you are told to keep your “works” secret being that other “observers” may have an effect on your work. This is even proven in quantum physics as the observer effect. So for me, I am selective about to whom and what I reveal.

    Thank you again so much for your shows and keep up the good work!!

    1. If others may have an effect on your work then that’s sad; I feel one should be strong enough not to let anything hinder them as people COULD find out. IF they did, what then??

      For me, my God and my strong faith would never let anybody or anything get in the way of my worship. I think of people like Joan of Arc…They faced horrendous hardships because of their beliefs–to death–but they never felt the need to squelch their beliefs.

      1. Hi Lorrie,
        I just wanted to throw my hat in the ring on this whole thread of thought. I think that it’s very beautiful and quite a lovely state of affairs that you are able to share your faith with those around you in such a loving way and receive love in return for it. I would say, though, that not everyone expresses love in that way. In Laine’s case, for example (and please correct me if I’m wrong here, Laine), she sees that sharing the faith and practice she loves with family members who do not approve of that faith and practice will cause needless amounts of hurt and heartbreak for them. It’s possible they will lose sleep, suffer horrendous fears, and constantly worry over the state of Laine’s soul. That mentality, even if I disagree with it on some level, is a valid mentality if we accept that her family has a right to a faith of their own–even one which believes in hellfire and damnation.

        What Laine is doing, then, is sparing them pain and suffering–her own act of love towards them, because what good would it do them to suffer over her needlessly? It’s possible that they might come to understand and even love her faith, too, but it’s equally possible they would go to their graves terrified that they will never see her again. I personally do not wish such thoughts on anyone, so I support Laine’s decision to love her family without revealing everything to them. If you choose to make openness and sharing your method of loving (even in situations where it might do harm to those who receive such love), I totally understand that, and think it’s wonderful.

        In my opinion, Laine is not squelching her beliefs; she’s just selective about sharing them. I think such an approach is fine, because I’ve known far too many Bible-thumpers who share their love by forcing the issue as a conversation point when no one else in the room wants to hear it or talk about it. A zealous believer, even one acting out of love, can be obnoxious.

        Also, and this is just a side-note, but the historical Joan d’Arc did, in fact, change her practices and was still killed anyway. When tried for heresy, her male attire was central to the charges, and she agreed to wear women’s clothing. Eventually she was basically forced to wear men’s clothing again, and that was what got her convicted and executed. But by agreeing to change her clothing, she was effectively ‘renouncing’ her ways. The political machinations around her ensured that she still went to the fire, though (some good documentation here: http://archive.joan-of-arc.org/joanofarc_male_clothing.html). I know that’s not really central to your point, and I totally get what you are saying about sticking by your guns in spiritual setting, so again, that’s just a side note.

        At any rate, I just wanted to say I understand your position and appreciate your openness with loved ones, but I also admire Laine’s willingness to be selfless in how she loves her family enough not to do them harm. And this has been an excellent discussion point, so thank you so much for bringing it up. We appreciate a good conversation here!

        Thanks, and all the best,

  4. Hello Cory & Laine,
    Ah, another new episode! I love listening to you guys.
    I’m pretty jealous that I won’t be able to take your class Cory. Have you thought about recording it and putting it up as an episode?

    1. Hi Sarah!

      As you’ve probably figured out, we did an episode after this one that covered biblical magic, and that was about 50-60% of the stuff I taught in the class. The actual class was outdoors and recording wouldn’t have been possible with the equipment I have, but if I ever start teaching regularly I’ll try to do some more recording and make that info available. Likewise, I’ll try to keep class topics connected to podcasts so that listeners can get some of that info, too.

      Thanks so much! All the best to you!

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