- Book Of Magik, or Magikal Grimoire
- What Is A "Book Of Shadows"
- Whether it's called a "Book Of Magik", a "Magikal
Grimoire", or a "Book Of Shadows", it's important
for every witch to create a book of records. These are your personal
notes, a diary of your spiritual or magikal experiences. A book
to record your dreams, interpretations, aspirations and affirmations.
- In a simplified definition, it is a book kept and used by
a witch to record research, thoughts, experiences and spiritual
information, such as spells, incantations, potions and so on.
- The Shadow's History
- As with all spiritual texts, there is large debate about
where and how magikal grimoires came into use. Some say they
were prevalent during the middle ages, written only in Runic alphabets to hide their magikal meanings.
Some say the witches during the middle ages were illiterate and
the books did not come into practice until the 14th or 15th centuries.
Even then, Runic alphabets were used to protect the owner from
persecution and death if it were found by a witch hunter.
- Regardless of where they started, they've had just as many
varying names. The Golden Grimoire is one of the more famous
mythological versions of a magikal book. It's said to be the
Book Of Shadows of Merlin the Magician.
- The Great Grimoire is another legendary book, reportedly
it contains the spells and incantations of the world's first
witch, who received this magikal information from Lucifer (the
Angel, not the devil). The Great Grimoire supposedly contained
all the secret information about God, including his name of creation.
When this name is said backwards, the world becomes undone. Riding
the universe of the creature called man and returning the heavens
to the Archangels. Unfortunately, many educated scholars believe
this legend to be a creation of the Catholic Church during the
early 12th century. A mythological tale designed to cast doom
and gloom upon those who practiced paganism during that time
- The "Book of Light and Shadows" is a term that
found popular use during the mid-to-late 1800s in Europe. Just
about the same time Alester Crowley began to publicize his many
works on the Craft. This title is meant to reflect the spiritual
information contained within, as well as, the spells and rituals
that are performed at night beneath the moon.
- "Grimoire" became a popular label for these personal
books during the Victorian era. Many a young woman could be found
resting in a park, or flower garden writing thoughts, poems and
wishes inside a diary. Upon closer review, you might also find
remedies passed down from grand mother to child for various ailments.
Elixirs and salves for poison ivy, fevers and more serious ailments
such as heart problems or arthritis were often shared amongst
family members as well as within tight knit communities. It is
from these family recipes and remedies that the term "Kitchen
- Today the most common label for these personal diaries is
a "Book Of Shadows", presumably containing spiritual
information and energy that is kept hidden until a witch opens
the book and springs forth the words into the light.
- It doesn't matter what you chose to call your personal magikal
diary. It's just important that you start keeping a record of
your research, experiences and magikal information.
- Starting Your Book Of Shadows
- Start by deciding what kind of book you want to use. A spiral
notebook is one favorite method. A three hole binder is another,
making it easy to maintain sections for organization. Some people
purchase hard cover stationary books at their local book store,
making various volumes or collections of magikal information.
- Which ever you choose, label the book and set it's purpose
and energy from the start. You can record the title on the outside
or on the page inside the cover. But it's the first thing you
should do. After the title, date the book. Some witches create
a new book at the beginning of each magikal year during Samhain.
While others use the same book over a period of time until it's
full and then they start a new volume. It's up to you which way
to date your book, but you should enter a date and if possible
a volume reference. This will help keep your books organized
over the years.
- Next, take some time and think of a personal blessing to
record on the first page (or after the title page). The book
blessing is done as a dedication to your spiritual growth, you
path of learning and protection for the information you'll gain
and record within the covers of your book. You might write out
the blessing on scrap paper until you get just right and then
transfer the blessing to your Book of Shadows.
- If you find that the book you've chosen loses it's appeal,
or isn't adequate for your needs, don't hesitate in finding a
new one. You must feel comfortable and well, attached to your
book. This gives the book energy and meaning within your spiritual
life. Another example of setting it's intent and importance in
- What To Keep In A "Book Of Shadows"
- You can record as much information as you want, or stick
with a bare minimum. Chose to use it as a daily diary, where
all your information is kept. Or you can maintain a couple of
different books, separating your daily thoughts into one, research
and magikal information into an other, with spells and incantations
into a third. It's entirely up to you. But keep in mind, you
want your book to be well organized. You want to be able to quickly
turn to a particular section and page to find some particular
information when needed.
- Here's a general list and suggested organization for your
- Book Title and Date
- Book Blessing
- General Index (make a few sections to help organize your
- The Sections:
- Magikal Rules and Principles
Write down your personal principles, beliefs, and/or magikal
rules that you chose to follow and believe in. These are your
values of life and spiritual path. They should be created from
scratch each time you begin a new book. This way you'll be able
to review past volumes and see how much you've grown.
- Goals and Aspirations
Write down what your short term goals are. Include a date to
achieve the goal and outline a few steps you plan to take in
order to reach it. Then write down your long term spiritual aspirations,
what you feel you need to work on and how you plan on succeeding.
What you would like to achieve and by when.
- Dream and Divination Records
This section is for messages you receive through dreams, or some
type of divination. Either a reading you've given to yourself,
or received from someone else. This is the section where you
want to record your personal introspection and interpretations.
Here you can record all the research and particular information
you receive along your path. You might consider organizing this
into sub-sections in alphabetical order. Astrology, candles,
crystals, Gods/Goddess, tarot and timeliness research could be
- Classes & Experiences
Every witch should take a few classes or workshops on topics
or subjects that you feel most interested in. Within all classes
and workshops, you should receive some type of exercise or "how
to" instruction. Record your experiences with these. What
you liked, what didn't work and what you'd like to do differently
- Spells, Incantations & Prayers
Record the spells, incantations and prayers you find along your
spiritual path. Those you like and even those you really dislike.
There is a message hidden within words you feel very strongly
against, write them down and note that you "dislike this
one". Later when you have time, re-read the words and try
to find the message hidden within for you.
- Rituals & Ceremonies
Plan out your rituals and ceremonies. Record your experiences
during or after conducting the event. Include your thoughts about
what you liked, what worked well and what you'd like to change
- Herbal Remedies and Potions
These are your personal recopies. They can cover various herbology
information and recopies to specific potions which are to be
used in conjunction with a spell or incantation.
- Closing Thoughts
At the end of the year, or once the book is filled, save a few
pages for a review and reflection of your book of shadows. Note
the goals and aspirations you achieved, the reflections of what
you learned during the research and practices you made. End this
section with a blessing of thanks and gratitude to all those
forces, seen and unseen that helped you along this journey and
with the lessons contained within this volume.
- Selecting A Book
- Today there are many items that you can use as your own Book
Of Shadows. From the simple spiral notebook to an beautifully
crafted leather bound journal. You can do a search at Amazon.com
for blank journals, or purchase journals specifically designed
to be a Book of Shadows. If you'd like specific suggestions,
I can give you two.
Source: 1, c3,