I’ve already talked in length about secrecy in a couple other posts, found here, and here, but it seems to be coming up more and more these days, and I just want to reiterate the importance of keeping certain practices secret in order to protect them from abuse. For me this is of the utmost importance.
While I freely talk about folk medicine, remedies, beliefs, and traditions here, there is a lot of what I do that I keep secret. Protecting your work in this way ensures, at least to some degree, that what you are doing will remain sacred, free from the abuses we see all over internet-land. Talking about what you’re doing, or showing images of sacred items/practices, opens a doorway for people to work against you and your clients. Not only is showing the work you’re doing for someone highly unethical, but it also allows others to replicate and sometimes reverse whatever you are doing. And throwing around images of sacred spaces and items leaves you vulnerable to enemies and people who wish you ill.
Last year I had a bunch of sacred objects, several of which were ancestral objects, stolen from my home, and I’m still not 100% sure it wasn’t someone who might have seen these things photographed and posted on the internet. I learned my lesson, don’t make the same mistake. Mark my words, people will take and twist what you’re doing into something horrible then most likely start selling it to others.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “But if all this stuff is kept secret how will anybody learn it?” Rest assured that if it’s work knowing, and if you’re really meant to learn something, you can find someone willing to share. But the road is long and difficult, you might actually have to drive somewhere, or God forbid, talk to another human being, or worse, train for a long amount of time. Don’t be lazy. Don’t grab at things because they pop up on instagram or in your Tumblr feed. Do it the right way or don’t do it at all. It’ll mean a lot more in the long run, and you aren’t likely to get caught up in something dangerous or fake.
Protect your work! For yourself, for your ancestors, and for the real folks who one day might learn from it. Treasure what work you do, resist the temptation to share, to post, to photograph. It’s not worth it. So much has already been lost this way. Keep your sharing until that time when you find someone truly worth receiving what you have to offer.