The Give and Take of Mycorrhizae

This summer, I was lucky enough to get an internship that is National Science Foundation funded, to study plants in the desert environment. I’m living in Tucson, AZ for the summer, instead of New York. Last week, we decided that my project would be looking at the effects of mycorrhizal associated and levels of phosphorus on various aspects of plant growth. We will be measuring plant mass, root to shoot ratio, carbon to nitrogen ratio, and possibly the presence of heavy metals in leaf tissue.

Anyway, for those of you that don’t know what mycorrhizae are, since I’ll most likely be talking about them throughout the summer, I figured I’d give a brief background. Mycorrhizae are fungi which live in symbiotic relationships with roots. In exchange for providing plants with essential nutrients, fungi recieve carbohydrates and other byproducts of photosynthesis in order to survive. For the most part, mycorrhizal relationships are mutualisms – the relationship helps both parties.

The big problem for mycorrhizae though, is that the plants can kick them out if they’re not needed anymore. So nursery plants, for example, which caretakers are sure receive all of their nutrients, etc – never get the chance to make mycorrhizal connections, and they can suffer when they’re transplanted and suddenly on their own with no fungi to help them find nutrients where there are none.

So these fungi help plants to survive and grow. In the desert, there’s not really much known about how dependent plants are on ther mycorrhizal connections. The mycorrhizae are sort of hard to find, unless you go through a series of maneuvers that kind of draws them out. So we’re slowly figuring out which types of mycorrhizae can be found with desert plants, and now, I want to see how effective the relationship between the two is.

So that’s my experiment. Spiritually, I think that this experiment can reveal a lot of things. Mycorrhizae are obligate to their hosts – they can’t really survive without their hosts. And they can’t control the weather. So, in a way, the plants are sort of the deciders as to how far or how successful the relationship will be. If in making an analogy, we place plants::mycorrhizae as humans::magic, we can see a correlation in terms of magical success. If we need the magic to happen, and we give it our time and attention and energy(the plants’ photosynthetic byproducts) – we will grow faster, be more successful. If we have all the things that we need to do stuff on our own, the relationship won’t be as effective. Afterall, why give your time and energy to someone else when you can do it much easier yourself.

I think this concept of need is one that should be considered when working magic. The universe is a relatively good filter. If you’re praying to magically become thin, and praying, and praying, but you have opportunities for fitness or nutrition ALL the freaking time, chances are, it’s not going to work. At that point, the universe, your inner self, whatever – everyone knows that you can do it yourself.

Did you know that if mycorrhizae are attached and suddenly weather becomes good or nutrient levels grow, they almost become parasitic in nature? The mycorrhizae still want their energy – but they’re not really giving anything in return.

In the same light, by continually throwing your own energy at something you can do yourself…you’re allowing the magic to parasitize you, so to speak. You won’t have the energy to make the change yourself, because you keep throwing it away towards needless prayers.

Wow, that entire post was sort of depressing. Well, more like, it makes you want to smack yourself across the head if you’ve ever done anything like that. You know…”please help me get an A” instead of studying. “I need to do well on this presentation for work” without working on it at all…

Have a great day!


Collecting Knowledge – Old Books

Does anyone else have the underlying feeling that if they just collect the old books and the classics, the videos and the DVDs, and fill their surroundings with “intelligence,” it might rub off?  There has to be something in the idea, I know more people than myself do it.

I will occasionally pick up one of my “smart people” books – whether it’s a classic like John Milton’s Paradise Lost or a total nerd book like Neuroscience in Medicine – and read or skim my way through some parts.  I’m no better with pagan books – I love resource guides like Cunningham’s Magical Encyclopedia of Herbs(not sure on the name there).

It’s really cool to start using them though!  And being around someone else’s collection – whether you’re in a library or a church or someone’s house – is fascinating!  I’m housesitting right now, so I look up and I see all of these plant and math and business and classic books of literature.  It just makes me so happy that for these two weeks, I have the opportunity to surround myself with knowledge and learn something new every day.

Magically, does this have any influence?  I’d say it does.  A brand new book doesn’t have any sort of energy really attached to it, except the new book smell.  But handling a book creates an interaction – reading is projective(You’re speaking those words, either in your mind or aloud).  And as my high priest says, where attention goes, energy flows.  And so, we’re in essence, charging the book.  Used books come pre charged, if you will. And then you’ll be sleeping in the room with that book.  Or playing on your computer with that book.  Or at least, in the same house as that book.  Which is now reinforcing what you learned.

So, if you find old books that represent something you want in your life, think about purchasing them.  They might *actually* help your motivation towards learning new things.

Number One of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time

Well guys, today will be the last biking day: From Scotia, NY to Albany. Hopefully, I’ve biked the entire mileage and will come home proud and sore. Without further delay,

Number 1: Don’t Underestimate The Gods’ Sense Of Humor

That’s right. It’s called irony, and its god the will of the gods written all over it. You wonder why your friend prays to Odin, and suddenly, as you’re walking home, you swear you see someone hanging from a tree(You’re actually just blind during the night and see a guy standing on a swing that’s in a tree). You think about the fact that you haven’t had a physical in a few years, and suddenly you break your leg. You perform a spell to bring you a good night’s sleep, and suddenly you get knocked out by the baseball at your son’s baseball game.

It’s happened to us all. The first one – Odin and thinking someone has hung himself – happened to me not a month ago, in Florida one late night as I was returning to my dorm.

But to be honest, even being scared like that, or in the many other instances I’ve been privy to the gods’ amusement, I do enjoy their sense of humor, as it so closely matches my own. It is recognition of that quality of the divine that enables me to laugh even through the worst migraine, because I know that a few days, or weeks, or months from that point, I will look back and remember what spawned it, or why it made me stronger, or what irony there was in the event.

It gives me comfort. their sick and twisted (though usually not in bad taste) ways of working the worlds around us really does give me the hope that everything that happens has some lesson to be learned. And occasionally they do grant us the grace to allow things to work out in the way we intended. But, I always imagine exerting our will on the world as a dangerous thing, like dropping a ball through a vertical maze and hoping to get it to the right hole at the bottom. It may get there, but the path to that may be the oddest possible combination of events.

“Where attention goes, energy flows” is a useful adage in understanding this quirk of the world, as is the simple mechanics fact that an object will follow the path of least resistance. We put our thought, our will out into the world, and it is a projectile, trying to find its way through with using the least amount of energy. Sometimes, the easiest way to find a better job is to get fired from an old one. It may not be the easiest for you to deal with emotionally, but it is definitely the Universe’s way to show you how to appreciate your job (both the former and the new one!).

I hope you’ve enjoyed my top ten. It’s the first time I’ve done something like this, and maybe I’ll do something like it again soon.

Blessed Be!

Number One of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Two of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Three of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Four of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Five of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Six of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Seven of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Eight of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Number Nine of the Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Top Ten Things A Witch Learns Over Time « Pagan Pages.

Sacrifice, Blood, and Everything In Between

Using WordPress’s amazing stats features, I’ve been noticing that a lot of people have been coming to my site with search terms like “blood” and “sacrifice” along with some derivative of paganism.  I’ve decided to address the issue, perhaps to generate a little traffic, but also to explore the topic.  I realize that I spoke of the topic before.
If you’re not Wiccan, and perhaps are thinking about heading along the path, and you see this post and get kind of scared, you can put that fear to rest.  In one of our three pieces of classic literature, the Charge of the Goddess, our good lady tells us,

Nor do I demand sacrifice, for behold: I am the Mother of All Living, and My Love is poured out upon the Earth.

Yes, that’s right.  She is the Mother.  She doesn’t need anything from us except our existence.  She asks for nothing, and gives all in return.

Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t work like that.

With any decision, any action, there is always a sacrifice.  The way I was taught with tarot was a 10 card spread.  And the four cards outside of the six card cross were: Overview of the situation, Action required, Sacrifice required, New Outcome.

As a woman, my monthly blood flow is a sacrifice representative of our lady – if we just bleed for seven days, experience bloating and cramping…for maybe 10 or 12 measely children in the future – imagine what our Lady must go through!

Continuing on, with any spell or ritual where you set out specifically to accomplish something, there is a sacrifice.  No, it is not, most of the time, as romantic as a blood sacrifice – sometimes its time, or energy, or creating something, or destroying something.

But, sacrificing your own blood is a serious endeavor, and although not necessary by any means, is often a heavily symbolic gesture loaded with perhaps, enough power, to achieve your goal.  I’m assuming that, when blood is used, it is most often used as a way of binding yourself to something.  To another, to a concept, to an oath or promise, to an organization.  The theory behind blood oaths is that, we don’t break them.  Its sympathetic magic, representative of the idea that if we break this oath, this binding, we will die, or bleed, or something bad will happen.  Our life force is inherently tied into this act, this decision, this magic.

Now the question is  – should I, as a member of the ‘softer gender’, a woman, ever feel the need to take a blood oath?  After all, I can Draw Down The Moon.  Why should I, as an incarnate of our good lady, representative of the Goddess and life-giver in ritual, one who can speak with the power of the lady on a full moon or in my cycles – use my own blood as a binding?  I provide a blood sacrifice once a month.  A sacrifice to the existence of man, be what it may.  I, and my mother before I, and her mother before her, all providing for the sanctity of life.

I am not being sexist or even feminist by any means.  I am merely recognizing the roles that we must play in the cycles of life.  There are those who fall out of these roles – and that is fine, has happened for centuries, no problems – those who serve as go-betweens between the sexes – but in the end, in our religion, the woman is the embodiment of life, and man, her consort, not lesser or greater, but equal, and different.

Of course, other sacrifices can be just as symbolic.  In the end, it is not necessarily the sacrifice you make that is the catalyst – it is the preparation.  It is the action that you take after the sacrifice – your endeavors to accomplish your goal, complete your spell, follow through with your rituals – that will determine how successful you are.   The sacrifices, it seems, are for us to remind ourselves that something is important to us.  Always a good thing.
So, I’ve touched on blood oaths and sacrifice, and hope that will satisfy my Google browsers.   For the rest of you, I hope you keep coming back – I’ll probably be hitting some interesting topics with animals and exercise, as those seem to be the two things I’m focusing on at present.

Blessed Be!

Controlling the Crowd: Mass Hysteria

I’m not a psychologist, or by any means an expert, but anyone can learn and document the behaviors of others without going to college and earning a degree, or learning all of the ‘fancy’ terminology that goes with it.

Unfortunately for us, there exist times in the world where people tend to use the ‘supernatural’ as a means to gain control over others. I am not bashing experiences that you may have had, and I recognize that there is some truth in all experiences and perceptions. However, there is also powerful magic at play in group situations, and that powerful magic can wreak havoc on the spiritual, emotional, and physical grounds of play.

Mass hysteria is well documented in history – the Salem Witch Trials, the hunt for Communists, the “War on Terror”; as well as in pop media, culture, and everyday life. Here, I am defining this ‘mass hysteria’ as a group atmosphere, which upon the suggestions and actions by its group members creates a different atmosphere or different rules which is/are separate from an outsider’s perception. Please note that what I am talking about is relating specifically to ‘supernatural’ hysteria. Hauntings, things following you around, etc. I do recognize that there are things out there which will haunt and hurt us – but I also recognize that 99% of those astral creatures don’t care whether we live or die, and want nothing to do with us.

My first experience with mass hysteria was several years ago, with two friends of mine. One, slightly mentally unstable (as all teenagers are), began to slip in and out of trances. Eventually, she worked up to a full possession of her body by a man who wanted to have sex with me (No joke.). We spent the entire night, wrapped up in the idea that she was possessed and trying to fix her.

When I spoke to my high priest later that night (Who I don’t believe was my high priest at the time) he told me to get my head out of my own ass and go play cards – or something to that effect. He told me she was fine. He was right.

How did I find myself down that dangerous road of delusion? Simple. Breaking it down, we find that the instigators of mass hysteria follow a similar pattern.

  1. Gaining Trust. The instigator will gain trust of the others or will have already established trust with the other group members. This may be through close contact (hanging out together all day and acting sane) or verification of sanity through name/information dropping(Ex: my friend who’s a cop told me once that; the teacher said; my high priest/ess said; I read in a book that).
  2. Establishing Grounds and Baiting the Hook. The Verification of Sanity is actually part of the second step. The instigator will slowly lead into a topic which the others are “not informed of” yet. They may use the name dropping skill or, in the case of themselves being possessed, begin to lapse in and out of conversations, or do something dramatic, like changing voices or accents.
  3. Gaining Control. If the group – even one person – accepts the bait – its a downward slope. Once the instigator has the attention or partial attention, they will focus their efforts on maintaining the attention. How far can they string you along? If it is a “third party haunting” – a creature inhabiting the room – they will get chills, or a cough, or something will have moved – the lights outside of the room might have ‘shut themselves off’ according to the instigator. If it is the instigator’s haunting, then they may employ any and every trick. They may laugh or cry, or play with knives, or do something classified as creepy.
  4. Maintaining Control. The instigator will try to do everything in their power to keep the group on the subject at hand. As the group drifts from the topic, the claims or actions will get more outrageous. Following the instinctual rule, “Where attention goes, energy flows”, the instigator will get ridiculous in attempts to keep the focus on them.
  5. Losing Control. If the instigator loses control, they will either drop the subject and never speak about it again, or, becoming desperate, try to rally others to their cause, through telling the truth or confiding in them.

How does this relate to my trip? One of the places we stayed at was a family owned, remote and rustic lodge in the mountains of Costa Rica. We, for the most part, had ice cold water only. The door to our cabin wouldn’t shut. There were half-doors for crawlspaces and curtained windows leading to planks and nails because the building had been expanded. Our bathroom door was temperamental and locked itself. Because of high winds, our outside door was constantly opening and closing itself.

Prime territory for someone to come and play instigator with the group. Which, they did. There was myself and three other girls staying in this particular cabin. One of the girls began the process with a one-liner from a scary movie: “Did you hear that?”

Unfortunately, I was ill at the time, and had completely lost my voice. I kind of wheezed the entire time, and I couldn’t make out more than a word or two at a time. I was coughing every minute or so and my throat was on fire.

The door had slammed – the first of many times. Ensued a discussion about how creepy the place was. How they didn’t want to be in there alone. I tried to interject and explain that nothing was going to happen – I was a witch, etc. I was trying to disarm the situation quickly.

Two hours later, the entire group had entered our cabin to play a friendly card game of “Spoons”. When all had gathered, we played a round, and then the girl spoke up again.

“Guys, I have something to tell you, but I promised (Professor) I wouldn’t say anything.”

People vie for information. She refuses for a few minutes, then proceeds in a hushed voice.

“(Professor) said this place used to be a barn used to slaughter horses and cows.”

[[Collective opinion: Not so creepy. Instigator tries again.]]

“She said that the couple used to have a child before (child’s name). They had bought the place, even though the locals said it was haunted.”

[[The couple who owned the place were not Costa Rican. They have one daughter, an adorable two year old. Group takes the bait.]]

“I guess a bunch of weird stuff used to happen here. Doors would slam, and windows would break, things would go missing. And then their first daughter, she fell down a well and died.”

[[Group mutters. Someone asks why they stayed.]]

“Well they had this second daughter, (child’s name), and it was a really lucky day that she was born, and they did a bunch of things to be lucky, and they named the cabins and the place after her to keep away evil.”

[[Instigator’s boyfriend rises, and goes to shut the door which has slammed, loudly. He walks back in and leaves the door open. Someone notices that the lights are off outside of the room, and they should be on.]]

“I don’t know, they were off when I got there.” [[Instigator’s boyfriend]]

[[Instigator becomes freaked out, muttering and rambling about how she doesn’t want to stay there, practically screaming. Place calms down as I choke out, “Why don’t we play cards?”]]

This continued on until everyone left and the Instigator ‘confided’ in us that it had all been a ‘joke’ – the energies with which I had to deal with, silently, for four hours.


How can we as witches, or as concerned members, who recognize what’s about to happen, disarm the situation?

  • Change the subject. By focusing the attention on yourself – “Ow shit, does someone have a bandaid? …. So did anyone hear about the new regulations at…” – you take attention away from the to-be-instigator.
  • Silence. Not participating in the discussion – at all – can sometimes disarm the situation. Complete disinterest is not what the instigator wants. Its a fine line, though, between being interpreted as indifferent and being interpreted as fearful.
  • Self-validation. Not the best decision, but can work in some instances. Saying to them, “I’ve dealt with these situations before, just relax” takes power away from the instigator. However, depending on the group dynamics, you may be marked and filed as either crazy or not part of the conversation, or not ‘qualified’ enough.
  • Leave. If all else fails, the least you can do is remove yourself from the situation.

Keep in mind that staying does feed the unstable energy. And when enough of that unstable energy is around, things will start to happen in the group perception. This time, I chose self-validation and then silence, for lack of a voice and energy to do anything but let the issue run its course.

Got any fun stories?  Feel free to share!

Credentials in Religion?

We all do it. “Hi! I’m Wiccan!” pops up at some point, and if the person you’re speaking to is of like-minded religion, you start testing each other.

  • Who has more experience?
  • Who has a more verified path?
  • Who has read more books?
  • Whose books do they read?

Think about it. I know you do it. Even if you’re Christian, the debate changes slightly, but remains the same.

  • How long have they been Christian?
  • What church do they go to?
  • What version of the bible do they read?

Is this justified? I think so. Its hard for us not to discriminate, and it tends to be the case that, when speaking to others who claim to be along the path, they’re either on the path in this world, or on the path of some other world. The first thing a wiccan wants to do when they meet you is establish if you’re the real deal or not. Questions pop up like, “Who’s your favorite author?” To see if its Cunningham, or RavenWolf. Or somehow, you’re goaded into answering some version of, “Who taught you?”

The people who are just getting into our religion, but are doing a pretty damn good job of not being “Fluffy bunny” about it, will probably take the most shit from both people along the *real* path and the weekend witches.

“Oh, you’ve only been studying a year.” They’ll say smugly. “You don’t know about the super secret codex of Gardner.” (You may substitute “Super secret codex of Gardner” for some other bullshit.) Or, “No, I think I have more experience dealing with this infestation of fairies on my own.” After you, the newbie, offers the concept of meditation and centering and communing with the Gods.

I have to tell you, take a step back people! I’ve been pagan all of my life, and I grew up a lonely, contemplative only child, talking and singing to the winter wind as it blew softly through my southern window. I didn’t know it was a religion until I was somewhere between 10 and 12, and I dedicated somewhere in there. I began a coven with my friends who had somehow found the same path when I was 13, and we were together until just before I turned 16.

However, the length of time since I initiated tells you nothing of what I know. Those first four years, before I met my current high priest, I was probably fluffy bunny by way of understanding very little of how magick worked, how energy was used, and how ritual was conducted. Yet, in the first six months of my relationship with my high priest, I knew more than the majority of online communities had to offer me.

I try not to do it, but I’m just as guilty as you. As humans, we are always searching to play a role, and as Wiccans, witches, pagans, we are always trying to fall into either the teacher or the student role. Because information – real, sacred, information, is so sparsely found – we create a need for lessons from anyone, anything. This can be good, or bad.

So, before you take any more bits of wisdom, here’s my qualifications:

  • I first picked up “Teen Witch” by Silver RavenWolf at my local library. Yes, I, who bash all things Silver RavenWolf, learned originally from her.
  • The next books I picked up were “Celtic Magic” and “Norse Magic” by D.J. Conway, as well as one classic: Spiral Dance, by Starhawk.
  • I scoured the internet for resources on spells and associations. I never really performed too many spells, I was more interested in gathering the information.
  • I self initiated when I read Teen Witch.
  • I began a coven with my friends somewhere in 2002. We celebrated two years worth of rituals together, and grew close. It was here I learned about group dynamics, especially under the tutelage of my high priest, who was not a part of our coven. I was, for the most part, high priestess within.
  • I met my high priest in February of 2003. He became my high priest in September of 2003.
  • I initiated into my second degree in February, 2004.
  • My coven and I celebrated together until March of 2005, when our newfound differences in beliefs broke us apart.
  • I have been a solitary practitioner since then. I am still second degree, but it is mostly formality – we have not yet finished the process. We face a dilemma with my advancement, because he accepted my first and second degree as a solitary practitioner: should I self-initiate into the third?

That is my personal experience. It is now 2008, which makes me going on seven or eight years along the path officially. In terms of authenticating my high priest, he is a man of 31 years, a life long ancestral witch who learned from his mother, who was present at the American Council of Witches’ Witchmeet in 1974. His family tradition dates back before Gardner, several centuries long(Roma/Gypsy heritage), but much of what he teaches and we discuss is based on a mix of Alexandrian and Gardner formal methods, along with a significant amount of what he calls “Spiritual Mechanics” – how energy moves.

Sacred or Secret?

Well, that’s an interesting way to phrase it, and I saw it that way in a book I picked up at my local Barnes and Noble this evening.  The book, by Christopher Penczak, is called The Magick of Reiki.  I’m not really sure if I’d recommend it yet, as I’ve only gotten through the first little bit, but its definitely been an interesting read so far.  Within the book, Mr. Penczak makes a very good point: Does there have to be one way or the other?

I think, yes, to a point.  My high priest believes the same way.  The truth is, that if you speak of complicated astrophysics to a child of five, they will go, “oooh, pretty!”  but not have a damn clue what you’re talking about.  I believe some things which are sacred should be kept secret, and here’s why:

Energy and Spiritual Mechanics

Referring to my previous post, you’ll see that my general concept of energy is that it is used to cause change.  Now, of course, it follows, that the process is a two way street.  If energy is applied to something, then that energy will change that something.  If the energy of attention is applied to the concept of some spiritual theory, it follows that, however slight, the concept will undergo change.

Just like the gossip game, as something is passed on, it gets transformed.  You can see it with the Wiccan Rede.  Everyone adopts a concept and finds some way to make it special.  If you google “Wiccan Rede” you will find many, many different versions.  They may have one word changed, or perhaps a misplaced comma, or may be entirely different than the one I have posted.   Unfortunately, some of the meaning is lost in translation.

This is not to say that change is bad, it is necessary and natural.  However, being able to choose and control that change is an ability which we all have.  Concerning those things which are sacred to us and we offer our respect towards, it seems silly to tell just anyone who may go on to speak of the concept lightly or malformed to another.

Transfer of Karmic Responsibility

Each and every person that posts or types or writers or teaches someone anything has a karmic responsibility regarding how that student uses that knowledge.  “Knowledge is power” they all say.  If I teach a student the theory of basic energy, there is nothing to say that they can’t somehow use that theory and piss off the powers that be.  Ultimately, that responsibility does fall, to a certain extent, on me.

Fluffy Bunnies and Dumbasses

Who actually wants a thirteen year old going around with bread and wine proclaiming the body and blood of Christ?  Who wants someone else walking around yelling “an it harm none do what ye will!” as they run naked through the mall parking lot?  Similarly, you don’t want someone chanting the Lesser Summoning Ritual of your religion to see what pops up.  Coined fluffy bunnies and weekend witches by the general wiccan community, people like this are the ones that drive a religion or a tradition into the mainstream societies – in a bad sort of way.

Unfortunately, there tends to be an opening up of the door in this modern age.  In fact, that’s what pretty much every one is trying to do, along the way to peace and spiritual enlightenment: share what they know.

The Transition

So, I’ve determined that its best for some bits of knowledge to be sacred and secret.  Is there anything that can be sacred and NOT secret?  Absolutely.  Look at the bible, or the qu-ran, or the torah.  These are just as sacred AND exposed to the public.  I think Christianity really got into the whole distribution-of-knowledge thing, and everyone else had to rush to catch up.

The Wiccan Rede is sacred to Wiccans, and it is also the first thing that we point newcomers towards.  That or a Scott Cunningham book.

I guess I’m not really coming to a conclusion here.  In the end, its best if your tradition has standards.  I’m not going to bring out my Book of Shadows to show Christians for amusement.  Not that they could read it.  Due to the internet, perhaps unfortunately, things like the rede and the charge, theban and Gardner’s rites are all under public scrutiny.  For those of us who believe in the dogma of “Know and be silent”, we’re forced to create our own ceremonies, and rituals, and those of historic function are used as a basis, nothing more and nothing less.  But is it not time for improvement?

To know, to will, to dare, and to keep silent – these come to mind on this topic.  Yet, here I am, speaking to you, the general internet user, about magic.  Would I be making my spiritual ancestors proud?

I believe so.

Sacred or secret?  A little bit of both is best, I think.