A Grimoire (also called a Book of Shadows) is a notebook and a journal where a witch writes anything and everything related to their craft; a spiritual journal. The term Book of Shadows is preferred by Wiccans specifically.
I encourage you to get a Grimoire early on because journaling can help you form your beliefs and stay organized about your practice. It can significantly help you see your own development over a longer period of time. You can reference the book during a ritual or a spell, or when you're making potions, for example. It's a witchy cookbook, encyclopedia, journal, sketchbook, and/or scrapbook all at the same time. A Grimoire can be almost anything that you can write in:
- leather notebook
- spiral notebook
- any other notebook or journal
- digital document
While the idea of a black leather book with a pentagram on the cover is fascinating, many of us are short on money and sometimes such things aren't available to us. This is why you should pick a type that you can afford and you're not afraid to make mistakes in. Your Grimoire won't be perfect; come to terms with that!
Many people copy information into their Grimoire by hand. This way they read it thoroughly and wholly understand it, and they learn it better. If this is not your thing, you can make a completely digital Grimoire, or write the information digitally, print it out, and put it in a binder.
So what do you put in your Grimoire? The list is endless! I'll give you some ideas below. You can pick the ones that best suit you and maybe add other things that I didn't list. For some things you'll need to do research, others come from your own experience.
- The Wiccan Rede (if you're Wiccan or you follow it)
- The Wheel of the Year
- Other holidays
- Information about gods/goddesses
- Moon phases
- The four Elements
- How to cast a circle or a spell
- How to perform a ritual
- Thirteen Goals of a Witch
- Spells you've found and you'd like to try
- Dream journal (record your dreams)
- Tarot or rune spreads and readings
- Sigils and symbols
- Ritual/spell journal (record everything you did during a ritual or spell, how you felt, what was interesting, what happened as a result)
- Dried plants or leaves
- Poetry or songs (your own or somebody else's)
- Quotes that inspired you
- Responses to articles, quotes, sayings, or passages
- Thoughts about spirituality, magic, gods, supernatural beings, etc.
- Pictures you cut out from magazines
- Crystals and their properties
- Color correspondences
- Information about herbs
- Notes you've taken during your research
- Divination techniques
- Different types of magic such as candle magic
- Information about mythical creatures such as unicorns and dragons
You can decorate your Grimoire in any way you want. There are zero rules on how it should look or be. A Grimoire is very personal, and you don't have to show it to anyone if you don't want to. And it doesn't have to be pretty and neat if that's not what you want!
If you don't want anyone else to read your book, you can use another alphabet. Many witches use the Theban alphabet:
You may also wish to create your own, personal alphabet. Create a symbol corresponding to each letter of the Latin alphabet, and make a reference key for yourself. It would be good to memorize the alternative alphabet so you can easily read it if you need help during a ritual or a spell. If you speak other languages you can also use them in your book.
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A Guide to WitchcraftSpiritual
This guide covers the basics of witchcraft: practices, rituals, beliefs, magic, items. It is mostly directed toward beginners but anyone can benefit from it. Everything is explained clearly and definitions of possibly confusing or unfamiliar words a...