Laurel’s Guide to Grimoires
A while back I made a post about how I organize my Grimoire/Book of Shadows and for a long time since then I’ve wanted to a sort of 101 for creating a Grimoire/Book of Shadows. Be warned, this will be a long post! As always, this is merely my opinion, my word is not law.
(UPDATED 4/24/17; All updates are marked)
-The Grimoire Basics-
What is a Grimoire?
As my own personal definition, a Grimoire is simply any book used by a witch in his/her/their own personal practice. There is no limit as to what a Grimoire can or cannot be, as each one is as unique as the witch who wrote it.
How do I use a Grimoire?
A grimoire is used to document, or keep track of, any magickal information that is relevant to the practitioner.It serves to log everything you need to know in your own personal craft.
-Types of Grimoires-
These are my own personal “styles” of grimoires that I have made over the years. These are not the only “kinds” of grimoires, merely suggestions.
- “Textbook” Grimoire: This is a grimoire that is set up to serve as a reference book, a book strictly for spiritual or magickal information.
- “Practical” Grimoire: This is a grimoire that can serve a practical purpose, such as a recipe or spell book. Often more portable than a standard grimoire.
- “Inspirational” Grimoire: These are often called inspiration journals. They are filled with spiritual images, quotes and writings to serve as a sort of “bible.”
- “Memory Keeping” or “Journal” Grimoire: This is a grimoire that serves to be a personal record of thoughts and feelings pertaining to spiritual activity in your life.
-Grimoire Keeping Methods-
- Blank bound or spiral bound Notebooks
- I’ve actually seen someone tape composition notebooks together to get a “thick” book.
- Recycled or used hard/soft cover books
- Computer Folder/Flash Drive/Memory Card
-How to make a Grimoire-
I recommend that if you are starting a grimoire or are a relatively new witch, don’t even bother buying a nice, expensive, fancy journal. Most of the time (unless you’ve already done one or two grimoires before and you know exactly what you’ll be putting in this grimoire), that book will sit on a shelf and collect dust. Many new witches get excited to have a “fancy” grimoire and then become terrified of “messing up” in it which results in that book never being used. We’ve all been there, done that.
That being said, here are the basic steps I followed when making my “permanent” grimoire.
- Decide on your Grimoire Keeping Method
- Gather the information that you would like to put into your grimoire (this can sometimes take a very long time, it took me years), although if the “write as you go” method is more comfortable for you, then go ahead.
- Organize your information. If you’re a perfectionist like me, this might take a bit. It’s also completely natural to change up your organization style later on.
- Protect/Consecrate your Grimoire. This is completely optional, but it can also be a fun “witchy” way to bond with your grimoire.
- Put all your information in your book in anyway that you desire. I found it useful to “plan” out the book before I started writing in all the information. This way I knew exactly what pages were going where.
- Decorate your Grimoire. Also, completely optional. Some people like decorating with flowers and ribbons and pictures and stickers. Other people prefer straight to the point text. Either way works perfectly fine.
A quick note for those who suffer from the perfectionist complex: don’t sweat it. We all want our books to be “perfect” but after writing about six grimoires I’ve learned that grimoires really don’t ever become “permanent” because our preferences change as we grow. If you’re worried about it being perfect, starting “planning” pages in a cheap journal. Take note of any mistakes or things you want to change. You can always create another grimoire later. Don’t let that pesky perfectionism hold you back. And if you make mistakes, try to work with them and turn them into something else instead of scrapping your book to start over.
I used to dream of having a huge, Charmed-like Grimoire, and now I prefer the small, sloppy, scrap book, messy-writing kind of grimoire. Don’t sweat it.
Things to put in your Grimoire
- Sabbats, Esbats and any Holidays you celebrate
- How to cast spells
- Spells and Rituals
- Herbs and Recipes
- Topics you’d like to learn about later.
How to organize your Grimoire
This post details my own personal Grimoire Index. However the best way to organize your grimoire would be whatever works best for you. I personally like having everything divided into matching sections. However, if you write spells a lot, you may want spell writing notes in the front, while correspondences would be better in the back. It’s all up to personal preference.
Other Grimoire Tips
- Intention Cheat Sheets. When you want to write a spell, nothing sucks more than having to flip back and forth all over your grimoire to find the information you need. My advice is to make “cheat sheets” for each of your intentions. Pick an intention, such as Money, and write down anything that corresponds to that (colors, herbs, moon phases or zodiac signs, crystals, incense, etc) this way the next time you want to do a spell for Money, you can just flip to your cheat sheet and be done. (UPDATED 4/24/17)
- Incognito Grimoire: Find a generic book that you like at a Goodwill or second hand shop. Write your witchcraft notes/correspondences in the margins and spacing. Use markers or crayons to draw pictures and symbols. You can also glue blank pages into the book so you have more space to write anything you want. This way your Grimoire can sit in plain sight on your bookshelf when you have company over and no one will be the wiser.
- So You Don’t Think You Can Grimoire: Tips and ideas for witches who struggle with the “My handwriting is terrible and I can’t draw” complex. (UPDATED 4/24/17)
This post will probably be a “masterpost” of sorts that I’ll continue to add to as the inspiration strikes. If anyone has any ideas or grimoire-related topics they’d like to see, feel free to share!