Secret Messages

Magick isn’t restricted to spells and the like, it can even exist in the mundane/physical world around you. Here are two examples of where science and magick co-exist.

Method A


  • Lemon juice or vinegar
  • Small dish or paper cup
  • Thin white paper
  • Toothpicks
  • Scrap paper
  • Pencil
  • A lamp with a 100 watt light bulb

What to Do:
Fill a cup with lemon juice or vinegar, dip the toothpick into the liquid and use the toothpick to write your message on the thin paper. Allow time for the message to dry completely. Write your message also on some scrap paper with pencil so you can see if this worked properly.

How to Make the Message Appear:
To do so, have someone hold the paper near the glowing bulb. (A 100 watt bulb is very hot and be sure to be careful when holding the paper near it.) They’ll be amazed at the mystery message appearing.

How It Works:
Lemon juice and vinegar are mildly acidic, and acid weakens paper. The acid remains in the paper even after the juice or vinegar dries. When the paper is held near a hot light bulb the treated portions of the paper burn, and turn brown, more readily than the untreated portions.

Method B


  • A small cup of vinegar
  • Chart paper
  • Cotton swabs
  • Spray bottle full of cabbage water

Prepare the Cabbage Water:
Use adult supervision when necessary!

Chop one large red cabbage into small pieces. (Note: Blackberries, red onions or even hibiscus flowers can be used as a substitute.) Simmer the cabbage pieces until the water turns a deep shade of purple. Allow the water to cool. Refrigerate when not in use.

What to Do:
Dip the cotton swab into the ink and use it to write your secret message on the soft porous paper. Allow the message to dry completely.

How to Make the Message Appear:
Read the “invisible ink” message by misting it lightly with the spray bottle filled with the red cabbage solution.

More Information:
Invisible inks are colorless solutions. In the case of “Secret Messages”, they are an acid (vinegar) and a base (ammonia). A Person sprays an indicator, in this case cabbage water, that can determine whether the ink is acidic, basic, or neutral by changing color.