For the longest time I didn’t really see the use of a personal grimoire. I’ve never been part of any established Tradition of Witchcraft or Wicca, so I never had to copy my teacher’s Book of Shadows as a starting-place for my own notebook of knowledge. I have a decent reference library of Pagan Texts, and of course, The Entire Internet right at my fingertips.
Another thing holding me back was that I felt intimidated by the whole enterprise. What would I even put in it? What was “supposed” to go into a grimoire? Where would I even start?
However, in recent years I’ve made magic and Witchcraft and Offertory rites and spell work and such a greater part of my everyday doings. A few months ago, I remembered a cool spell I’d read about somewhere…some kind of weather magic, I think it was… now where did I read that?*
And I realized that I needed to write all this stuff down. I’d reached the point where I couldn’t just keep all the bits and pieces I’d ever learned about everything under the Occult sun in a mental Rolodex.
I needed a grimoire.
I followed the advice laid out by Scylla over at her Root and Rock Tumblr about making one’s own Affordable Hand Illuminated Grimoire. A goldmine of useful tips.
I got a post-bound scrapbook album and re covered the cheap looking black binding with some snazzy faux-leather cloth. I got some ‘cool metal shit’ for the cover too, because – come on, I wanted this book to look Sorcerous. I ordered some nice parchment paper (one weight for text, a heavier one for illustrations) to slip into the rain- and candle-wax proof plastic sleeves. I sketched some illustration ideas, and started typing up (in an interesting but still readable by firelight font) the kinds of things I wanted to put in there.
I’ll have a section with praise-poems to those Deities and Spirits to whom I offer, and poems for my Ancestors as well. There will be chants and little songs. I’ll have a big miscellany of all the herbs and stones and things that I use, and a list of spells and charms I’ve tried that worked and that I found useful.
I’m not hand writing the book, which I know isn’t the Traditional Way. I am drawing my own illustrations and then scanning them so I can print them onto the parchment paper along with the text. I might even color the illustrations with watercolor pencils, but I haven’t decided for sure yet.
Some of this material will be standard stuff that it will be nice to have written down all in one place, and other stuff will be those tidbits that I’ve divined, been taught by the spirits or been told by Deities (or their representatives, it’s hard to tell) or puzzled out on my own. These two currents will intertwine and flow through my own sacred, secret book. I’m excited about this project – it will take a while to unfold, and I know I can always add more pages or re-arrange and revise.
One more project to do this year, along with so many others! Craftward Ho!