tools for teachers

Lesson 9: Grimoire 101

By: Teacher Faye

Live class date and time: 1/10/2017 @ 9:00pm

Hey guys!

      So today we’re going to be exploring the Witches’ magic books. Or in other words, their grimoire or book of shadows. So a quick rundown of what this lesson is going to look like: we’ll talk about what exactly a grimoire is and how it’s different from a book of shadows, well talk about the history of them, different forms, what does and doesn’t go in it, ideas for broomcloset grimoires, and some other kinds of journals you could keep as well. Then we’ll get to questions and homework!

So what exactly is a grimoire or a book of shadows? 

This definitely depends on who you ask, so I’ll start with historical information and go from there. By definition, a grimoire is a book of magic spells and invocations. Historically, a grimoire has been used as a textbook of magick pretty much. It’s used to keep instructions on spells, how to create magic objects, summoning or invoking gods and spirit and so on. A grimoire was seen as less of a journal, and more as a instruction book. A book of shadows is a term coined by Gerald Gardner, the father of Wicca, in the 1950’s. Gardner used it as a sort of cook book of spells that have worked for the owner. According to Gardner, there was one book of shadows per coven and the initiation members could use it and add to is as they saw fit. He also believed that the book should be burned when the owner died. (this obviously isn’t very common anymore and a lot of witches like to pass down their books to family or friends, so I wouldn’t suggest burning it.)

Now a days, the difference between a grimoire and a bos is very small. 

        For a lot of people, a grimoire is a spell book, and a book of shadows is a witch’s journal where she keeps track of how spells go and such. So basically, the bos is a follow up of a grimoire. But still, most witches don’t go by these general uses at all. To most witches, their book contains any and all information they may want to remember with journal entries and they call it whatever they want. I personally call my book a Grimoire, but it has a lot of different things in it. If you want to use your book as a spell book and have a separate book for journaling, that’s great! A witch’s book is completely a personal preference.

        As for format, again, a grimoire can be anything you want it to be. A lot of witches like to use big, leather bound books with homemade paper and fancy ink. But a lot of us can’t afford fancy books. Some good things to think about when you’re thinking about what to use as a grimoire is how you want it to look inside. If you want a very organized book with sections for each topic like herbs, journal, correspondences, and so on, then something adjustable would be a really good idea for you. Binders are really cheap and you can add, take away, and move around the  information inside your book whenever you want. Binders are also a great way to personalize the cover of your book. It’s super easy to glue some fancy fabric or leather around that cheap cardboard cover and make it look old and witchy. To those who don’t really care much about organization, a simple journal will do. You can go all out and get pretty handmade ones off etsy or you can go as simple as a spiral notebook, it’s completely up to you and your preferences. If you do use a notebook instead of something adjustable, it may be a good idea to add in an index or tabs on the pages so you don’t have to flip through every page to find the spell or herb uses you are looking for. The same goes for if you do organize it. I use pretty scrapbook paper in between my sections so that I can easily spot it between my regular pages.

A question I see a lot online, is what does my grimoire need to look like.         Again, as most of the answers to these kinds of questions are, it’s all up to you! This is your personal book and it should resonate with you. A lot of people will say your book needs to be handwritten and you need to draw your own pictures and such. To me, that’s silly. If you want to handwrite and hand draw your book, great! Do it! It’ll add that extra energy you give into the work. However if you’re anything like me, and you are not an artistic person, there are other methods. I have terrible handwriting for example, and I have no drawing ability really whatsoever. So what I do is I get on a website called Canva and put together the page I want to work on. I add in images from tumblr or pinterest, and a title. However to add on a personal touch to it, I usually leave the information section blank and then handwrite it in. I’ll post an example. (post example of page) Other people type out their entire grimoire and that’s totally okay too! Having an online grimoire can also be a great format to use. As most of us are tumblr users, we know that tumblr or any sort of blog format can be great for gathering and sharing information for your practice. Using a website like Evernote, where you can create different notebooks and pages in the site can also be great because you can access it from any smart device and edit on the go. This means you can just carry around your phone instead of a big book and if you need to know what a certain crystal does, just whip out your phone and  the information is right there. Online grimoires can be a really great tool for witches in the broomcloset as well as they are much easier to hide.

Some tips for making it pretty or unique. 

        If you’re up for the task of making your own paper, I’ll post the recipe I have for that if you want, you can always add  in little pieces of flowers or herbs into the paper while it’s drying. This can be really great if you have planned out what you want to put on that page and can make the herbs correspond with that topic. I like to decorate my pages with stamps. Stamps can get pretty expensive, but if you go to hobby lobby, they usually have some cool ones in the clearance section and Michaels has halloween stamps on sale during the season. Adding in pretty ribbons to your spine can both add some color and help organize at the same time. A lot of people add on little charms at the bottom of bookmark ribbons as well, though depending on how long your ribbons are, those may get tangled as your using it. If your crafty, you can use scrapbook paper and supplies to jazz up your pages. If you have pretty bad handwriting like me, I get calligraphy pens that are made to make your handwriting look fancy when you don’t know how to write calligraphy. They’re pretty cheap at craft stores and they can come in a lot of different colors. You could also go all out and use a quill, even make your own magical ink if you like.

Jumping back a little bit, let’s talk about what goes in a grimoire and what doesn’t. 

        The short answer is: anything and nothing. Really you can put whatever  you want in a grimoire and there’s really nothing that shouldn’t go in there, but from experience, I will say there are something that may be better in their own books. This is mostly for people using bound books, because once you’re out of room, you have to start a new book, so usually I would keep important information like my gods and their associations, uses and meanings for herbs and crystals, spells and rituals, quick cheat sheets for tarot and rune meanings, and stuff like that. I know a lot of witches who like to do daily or weekly tarot readings and record them in their grimoires. For me, this wouldn’t work because it would fill up so quickly, so I’d suggest leaving readings and dream journaling to their own books as to not fill up your grimoire so fast. However this is dependent on how you want to use your book. If it’s meant to be a hand down, I want my kids to have this and their kids and their kids, then you don’t want to fill it up with random readings, maybe only important ones. But if you’re using it for keeping track of your practice through journaling and such, it may work for you to have one grimoire and once it’s filled you start a new one. Personally I keep all my important “textbook” information in my grimoire, with a section toward the back for prompt journaling, and then I have a separate journal for tarot readings.

Storing your grimoire will depend on how sacred you consider it and how you treat your other tools. 

        Historically, witches would keep their grimoires and sacred books wrapped in silk and hidden away in a dark place. The silk was meant to keep negative energies and prying eyes from getting into your book, and keeping it in a dark place was both for secrecy and to keep the book in a good condition as they usually used leather and skins. Where you keep it can also depend on how often you use your book or work in it. I work in my book pretty often, so I keep it on my desk in my office when I’m not using it during a spell or ritual. This way it’s close so I can work in it. But for those who don’t work in it that often, it could be a good idea to keep it on your altar, or maybe under it or wherever you keep your tools. Your grimoire or book of shadows is in essence a tool for you craft. You want to treat it as you would your tools, but it’s also your craft between covers. If you are a messy witch who likes tea, maybe it’s not a big deal that you accidentally left a tea ring on one of the pages. Maybe it’s okay that it’s just sitting out in the open with other books and papers stacked on top of it. If you are very organized and your book is incredibly sacred and special to you, keeping it in a safe and protected area would be best. For broomcloset witches, I would suggest keeping your book either in a bag somewhere or stacked with other books where it doesn’t look too out of place.

Does a grimoire need to be a secret or can I show it to others? 

        Most covens have a group grimoire that all of the members can add to or use, so I would say that it doesn’t necessarily need to be a secret. If you are using it as a spell book or a “textbook” then Letting others see it could be helpful to them, but you don’t have to. A lot of people who use their books for journaling their path will keep their books to themselves as it is a very personal tool for them. Keeping your book a secret or not is very dependent on your practice and how you plan on using the book. I don’t really care who looks at my book for the most part as long as they aren’t being negative or hateful towards it or me. I do however try and cleanse my book whenever someone else uses or looks at it just in case they leave left over energy behind that I don’t want.
         So that’s about all I have on grimoires. Some other cool ideas for books to keep for your practice are tarot journals, dream journals, a reference book for herbs or crystals. I also have a grimoire to go. It’s a smaller grimoire with basic information and cheat sheets that i keep with me so if I’m out and about and need to know what a specific herb does, I can just look it up.

For your homework, I have a few things:

  • For those of you who don’t yet have a book of shadows or grimoire, I encourage you to make one! Go out and buy a really cheap notebook to start with and draw out a cover page for it! Look on tumblr or pinterest or youtube for inspiration!
  • For those of you with one already who use it as a journal, I want you to write out a journal entry about how you use your book and how it’s special to you and shows who you are and what your craft is.
  • And for those of you who have a book and use it more as a textbook style, go research something completely new that you have been putting off or just haven’t gotten to yet and make a page for it. Find some cool pictures to put on the page or draw some.

Soo, that’s about it. :)
I’m going to open it up to questions now for those who have any!


Some Youtubers with awesome Grimoires!

Skye Alexanders’ Books

  • The Modern Witchraft Grimoire
  • The Modern Witchcraft Spellbook

madhousepan  asked:

Listen, my favorite zukaang headcannon is zuko is seeing aang with hair for the first time and if you can do something with this headcannon I'll be so grateful.

It was early morning when Zuko reached the village and it was already swelteringly hot.  It only took a moment for Druk to curl himself around a tree and patch of shade. Zuko found himself wishing he could join him as he wiped at the layer of sweat at his hairline. He found himself wishing he was bald again; when did hair get so hot?

The town was every bit as tiny and shabby as Aang had described it in his letters, and the people just as kind. They needed new buildings, new tools, new teachers, Aang has said, to finally start to blend in their rapidly modernizing new world. And they needed moral, which is why Aang had recommended he, Fire Lord Zuko, visit them personally, to show they were important to the Fire Nation. So Zuko came.

He wished he had come in the winter.

The townsfolk were very helpful, if not overly so, after a few dozen bows, and offerings of food, and swallowing unpleasantly hot tea, Zuko was told Aang was at the local lake, helping repair a dock.

The dock, Zuko found, was just as shabby and small as the rest of the town, but he was able to walk out safely on it just far enough to look into the water. And there was Aang, a golden-blue-looking blur hoovering just under the wood. Zuko waited, and when he figured Aang was using some sort of water bending technique to breathe down there and could be a while, he kicked a loose rock into the water right over Aang’s head.

He could have sworn Aang smiled up at him from under the water.

“Zuko!” Aang said brightly when he broke the surface, “you made it!”

An unexpected, vaguely unnerving shock tremble rattled through Zuko’s stomach as he watched Aang pull himself out of the water. In the many months apart, Aang had grown hair, quite a bit of it, Zuko saw, as it dripped water into Aang’s face, which was also cut with a scratching of stubble.

A lot about Aang looked different. His cheeks more hallow and body more steady, like he had grown into himself. He looked taller than Zuko remembered, and Zuko was very, alarmingly aware of Aang’s tattoo’s, stretched over his muscles—that didn’t look as lean as Zuko remembered—and skin that looked tanner than Zuko remembered. Zuko calculated quickly in his head. How old was Aang now? Seventeen? Eighteen? How long had it really been?

When Aang had to catch and tighten his pants after they, heavy with water, had sagged down his hip, Zuko noticed a patch of a prominent tan line. Zuko coughed. 

“Yes,” Zuko answered. He cleared his throat. “Hi—Hello. I’m here—You’re here. I just got here—you have hair now.”

Zuko felt Aang’s smile in his gut like a punch.

“Yeah.” Aang said, give his wet hair a shake with his hand. “My scalp kept getting burned here, it’s so hot. I finally just gave up and thought hair might help. It’s just for while I’m here. Your hair’s gotten long, too—“

Aang took a step closer and brought his hand up to touch Zuko’s hair. Water dripped from his bare arm and Zuko pulled away, a little surprised.

“Ha, sorry.” Aang was still smiling; he clearly thought Zuko’s reaction had to do with the water. He brought up his hands in a motions before his chest and, with a quick, slapping gust of wind, the water was blown of Aang and he was dry.

His hair was fluffed and untidy and Zuko felt his mouth dry.

“I’m glad you’re here,” Aang said, closing the distance between them again for a hug, one hand grasping at Zuko.

The sensation in Zuko’s stomach seemed to have exploded.

anonymous asked:

maya your fashion institute class sounds like a dream! do you know what you'll be doing in it?

its basically what i do at home, so i’ll make my own patterns and sew my original designs but i’ll have a teacher to help me! and i’ll have a lot more equipment instead of just my sewing machine + tools bc my teacher has like 4 sergers and mannequins and everything :—-) i’m so freaking excited 

Of all the tools I have as a teacher, I’m most grateful for the time I spent in my house, alone on my mat practicing #warrior2 & and #downdog. I started my #yoga practice with the #Bikram sequence, which doesn’t include any official warrior poses or even downward facing dog. These are key poses in Vinyasa yoga and I found these poses unbelievably arduous in the beginning- I couldn’t believe that even after surviving Bikram’s nightmarish #awkwardpose holds in a 105 degree room I could still be brought to my knees by a foundation standing pose…WITHOUT ANY EXTRA HEAT INVOLVED.

In my moments of struggle, when I thought “I JUST DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS YOGA BULLSHIT WHY AM I DOING THIS”, I would remind myself of how awesome it is to try. Even if you fall down- just give it a shot. Day after day, showing up for the honor of falling on my face. Because falling on my face or sinking to my knees felt SO MUCH BETTER when I actually gave myself the opportunity to TRY. I mean, how often do you stop short of a goal because you fear failure? Or because you think something will be “hard”? Honestly, who cares if it’s hard- doesn’t it feel good to just give yourself a chance?

So many of you have asked for help with starting a #yoga practice from scratch, especially if you’re self-conscious about practicing in a room full of people. There are people who will continue to push you into a physical studio, but I’ve seen/experienced too much unintentional yet ubiquitous judgement at the hands of students and instructors to seriously expect a different outcome for all of you. I’m a big fan of online yoga classes- I think they are an awesome way to solidify a practice without the distractions of a group class.

If you’ve never practiced yoga before, check out my beginner yoga classes on @streamyoga- There are definitely moments which will challenge you, both physically and mentally. That’s good- challenges are good. FALLING DOWN is good. I believe in you, and I believe in your ability to find a strong practice for yourself. Trust me- if I can do it, so can you. If you want $5 off any class plan through the weekend, use ’#streamyoga’ at checkout!

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How would a Polar Bear do if you put it in the desert? Not well. But why? Why can’t anything live anywhere? Well, this has to do with Habitats and how animals (including humans) are suited for living in one place over another. In this episode, Sabrina talks about how these Habitats form Food Webs and how those Food Webs help us understand a lot about the world.

Most beginners don’t have “writer’s block” in the sense of being unable to write. Often these people have been writing. The problem is that the writing they produce isn’t good, and they know it’s not good, but they don’t have the tools or the teachers to understand why their writing isn’t working.

They struggle to get words down that never seem to come together into a story, and they keep getting negative reinforcement. The cycle produces anxiety, depression, and reluctance to continue. Then they decide that their reluctance must be this “writer’s block” thing they’ve heard about. When they seek help, they’re told all they have to do is to “just write,” so they feel ashamed. Clearly that wasn’t working for them, so they must not have what it takes to be a writer. Right?

Wrong. “Just write” is a lie, people. Would this work for any other discipline? Do mechanical engineers “just build stuff”? Do programmers “just code”? Do martial artists “just fight”? To master any skill you have to understand the technical aspects of it and have a plan to get better.

To be a better writer, you do need to write, but you also need to deepen your understanding of the craft of writing. If you just write without knowing what you’re making, you might eventually stumble into a decent level of craft (the same way you might learn to play piano by ear if you have a lot of natural musical talent), but it’s going to be a lot easier for you and a lot faster with the basics of craft down and a strong technical idea of what this thing is that you’re trying to create.

Children Learn Cursive by Teaching Robots

by Peter Gwynne, Inside Science

A team of Swiss and Portuguese scientists has developed a “learning by teaching” program intended to help children improve their handwriting skills by teaching robots to write letters of the alphabet.

In preliminary studies of the prototype system, elementary school children starting to learn cursive script successfully engaged with a small humanoid robot and improved the robot’s handwriting to a level that satisfied the children.

The next step will quantify the impact of those interactions on the children’s handwriting.

Séverin Lemaignan, a member of Computer-Human Interaction in Learning and Instruction Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (abbreviated in French as EPFL) outlined the group’s philosophy at the Conference on Human-Robot Interaction in Portland, Oregon this month.

“Get a child-proof robot to write badly,” he explained. “Then make it able to learn with the help of children.”

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