I recently listened to this episode of the podcast New World Witchery. It’s all about grimoires or magical texts. I’ve been toying with the idea of making one again and the show inspired me to share some of my previous magical books with you. At left you’ll see a photo of my first “Book of Shadows,” (red), my second (black), and my third – which was really just a pink binder full of unorganized paper. 😛
The original was a birthday present from my first boyfriend. I asked him for a nice journal I could use as a book of shadows. This was when I was learning about Wicca. The page with the goofy illustrations includes a recipe for “Mabon Apple Crisp.”
Here’s a couple more pages in the Red Book of Shadows. I was examining some runes on one. I like the illustration of a cat behind a candle I did on the other. The Red Book of Shadows is really special to me. It was given out of love and I tenderly filled it with everything I was learning. I don’t often fill notebooks, but this treasure is pretty full. I look back on a lot of it now and laugh at my ignorance – but we all have to start somewhere. 🙂
Here we have the Black Book of Shadows. I was maturing into a more serious practitioner and was doing more regular magical work both alone and with others. This is about spell I performed with a friend using a poppet, candle, and mirror.
More of the Black Book. I was reflecting on Lughnasadh and the cycles of the moon. This book isn’t as colorful but is more thoughtful in my opinion. I also started to include snippets from magazines, ritual outlines, and chant sheets as you can tell from the photo.
Finally, a shot of the pink binder – the last time I would attempt to create a “book of shadows.” I’m now more drawn to the word “grimoire.” I don’t look down my nose at anyone who uses “book of shadows,” but for me personally, grimoire is more satisfying. I understand what “book of shadows” implies, but grimoire seems like a more widely used and understood term in magical history. Plus it just rolls off my tongue…
Anyway! The Pink Mess of Shadow Papers was meant to be organized… I just never got around to it. It was a collection of printed material (original and “borrowed”), hand written and illustrated pages, newspaper and magazine clippings, liturgical outlines, chant sheets, and pressed herbs preserved in contact paper. I kept collecting things and, eventually, I had too much! The binder is bulging. I was overwhelmed and growing away from Wicca and eclectic Paganism – which is mostly what this focused on. I lost interest. All three books have been sitting on my shelves. I don’t really use them now, but I keep them with me as memories. I’ve carried them with me to each new home as I consider them to be a part of my soul.
I’ve recently found myself wanting to make a Druidic Grimoire. I want to document this part of my life and have something more mature and representative of my beliefs to pass onto a child or apprentice. My problem with the first two magical texts was that I couldn’t organize things according to purpose. I tried to tape tabs onto the Black Book of Shadows but it was still obnoxious… The binder was supposed to help with that, but instead I ended up with a mess! I want to actually write and illustrate it with my hands, though, so I don’t intend to type it out. I have ideas, but more on that another day…
( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )