Also known as a Book of Shadows, a grimoire is a magician’s secret journal of spells and rituals. Here’s where you keep a record of the magic you perform, the ingredients and tools you use, and your results. It’s a bit like a cook’s personal collection of favorite recipes. You may wish to write your spells in a large, elegant book bound in leather or in a simple loose-leaf notebook. What’s inside is more important than what’s outside. If you like, decorate the pages with symbols and designs you find appealing. Within covens, an initiate will copy the Coven’s Book of Shadows by hand, but if you’re a solitary practitioner, it’s good to keep a main book for core information.
There are different types of Books of Shadows and Magickal Journals:
- Your Core Book of Shadows: This has lore, pantheons, and information on the types of magick you intend to practice. Essentially, you will be writing the book you will live by. Can also include information on angels, faeries, elementals, astral beings, ghosts, mythology and anything else that interests you.
- Your Spell Book: Everyone needs one. This will only have your spells, correspondences and kitchen witchery recipes (oil blends, poppet recipes). Anything directly related to your spell work.
- Your Dream Journal: Dreams are important and should be recorded. You should include date and time and moon phase.
- Your Spell Journal: You need to keep a record of the spells you perform and the way they manifest. It is vital for growth and development, especially if you’re a solitary practitioner. You will need to record dates, times and moon phases, intention of the spell, the place the spell was performed and any other relevant information. You will need to record your results and reactions too. And when you do a spell more than once (and trust me, you will!) you should comment on what happened each time.
Remember, your grimoire is a very private and secret record. Don’t let anyone else look at it, except perhaps a trusted magical partner with whom you work regularly. Store it in a safe place, so that your information won’t accidentally fall into the wrong hands.
You can make it out of any type of book, from a beautiful handmade leather bound book with aged pages, to a High School Spiral Notebook. What’s on the inside is important. You can also write on pages, then place them into a ring binder with plastic sheets. This way, you can rearrange as much as you want and the plastic covers will protect it from oil and candle wax (which you will get a lot of).
In this age of technology, many are turning to the Electronic Book of Shadows. Creating one is even more simple than the handwritten one, especially since most of your research will be done on the web. This way is no less personal than a traditional BoS. If you are going this route, it’s good to make note of the sources, so if you like something from them, you can always go back and find more things you may like from a particular author. It’s also easier to search for information as you can use categories and have a neat search bar on your EBoS. Remember however, that everything that goes on the internet is in some way, public, no matter how private you make it, but if it’s password protected, only a really persistent, bored witch will try to ‘hack’ in, and even then, they also need the know-how.
The great thing about an EBoS is that you can access it from anywhere at any time, but so can everyone (unless it’s a password protected Blog). I like having information accessible to me at all times.
If however you’re like me and wish to share your experiences, you’re most welcome to do so, with caution. You may have the best intentions out there, but you’re not alone and there are those who are just out to harm others. NEVER say when you’re going to do a spell, and never give any personal details that can be used against you. Also, your Wiccan or Power name is YOURS and no one besides your chosen deity should know this.
If you’re going the road of Electronic Book of Shadows, WordPress is a good place to start. They offer free blogs that are very easily customisable and can be made as personal as you desire. (www.wordpress.com)
In the front of your BoS you should put in a Book of Shadows Blessing and a short spell to protect from prying eyes. The way you separate it is up to you.
There is no wrong or right way to a Book of Shadows. It’s all entirely up to preference.