So, I’ve decided to turn Inspiration for Grimoires into a series. Once or twice a month, I’m going to hunt through Youtube for new or interesting videos on Books of Shadows, grimoires, and the making thereof. I don’t yet know how long I’ll post video links, but I will be posting select pages from my own magic books for as long as I use this blog. I’m also considering doing weekly posts about interesting bits and bobs I find on Tumblr, whether BOS related or not. But we’ll see, right now it’s all being planned, and I probably won’t make a final decision until after my camping trip next weekend.
I have several books that I work in. One started as a diary and became the repository for all the activities I do for The Grimoire Challenge; another is brand new, and is currently in used for notes as I read through Bound by Blood and The Complete Book of Demonolatry, both by S. Connolly. Finally, we’ve got my grimoire, a 11″ x 13″ sketchbook that has been through a lot with me. I suppose that my planner could also count, as that’s my default place for notes, dates, and anything else magical when I don’t have any of the above three readily at hand. Now, as the last in my planner, and contains a lot of personal information (And since I’m not a lifestyle blogger and am not doing bullet journal tutorials) I’m not going to show you anything in that. Don’t be upset, guys! I know just how badly you wanted a peek, but there are three more to keep you entertained!
I’m going to start with the sunflower journal, aka the notebook, since it’s the newest and therefor the least full. It’s also the least interesting, but I’m including it because I want to make a point. Some of you that are still in middle or high school may hate me for saying this, but: taking notes on what you read and the magic you work is important. I cannot stress this enough! When I was in high school, I hated it when people told me to take notes. In fact, I was a little snot about it:
“I have a college reading level and I always get A’s on my English tests. I don’t need to take notes.”
-Sara, circa 2012
Well, I certainly did get the A’s, but I also immediately forgot the contents of whatever book (probably The Hunger Games) we were being tested on as soon as the test was finished. In witchcraft, which is what I practice…this is not something I want to do. Like, at all, ever. And not just because I’m an utter whore for knowledge; see, when I go to lay a curse on somebody, I really don’t wanna forget how to undo it when I feel they’ve learned their lesson. Crap, I can’t remember that part! Where are my- shit! I didn’t take notes?! Well, fuck! Sorry buddy, can’t help ya’. Don’t be that dick bag.
The point is: learn your shit. Witchcraft, ceremonial magick, alchemy, whatever it is you do; you don’t just get up and do it. It requires some kind of effort, some practice, some learning. So take your damn notes.
The blue book, or the Grimoire Challenge book, is basically just that. Like I mentioned before, it began as a diary. I stopped writing in it though, and when GC came around and I needed a notebook, that was within reach. When I started writing in it is when I began to really take witchcraft seriously, so the beginning holds a lot of things that were important a few years ago.
The rest is just GC stuff. If you’re familiar with the challenge then you have an idea of what’s in there. Diagrams, lists, scribbles and some collages… All of which will be getting their own posts. I am still doing the Grimoire Challenge; updates on it are forthcoming.
And now we’ve come to my very large baby: the Big Black Book. The Grimoire. The Mack Daddy sketchbook…this big ass thing that I, for some reason, lug around frequently.
Meet the first draft of my grimoire, where I chuck anything that I find even remotely interesting and hope for the best. It’s a catchall for old artwork, magazine clippings, and good information I find around the internet. I’ve got potions, tarot spreads, spells and curses and little doodles. I’ve got pages stained by tea, water, and blood (Once from a paper cut, the other from blood magick that went hilariously wrong). It’s an interesting looking book, and I love it, but that’s just because it’s my baby.
I’ve been working on this thing for about two and half years now. At first, it sat on my bookshelf. Then I took it out, drafted a few pages, and put it away again. Then, late last year, I brought it out again, tore out those pages, and went to work in earnest, throwing myself into the creation of this book. I used every technique I came across, starting out with minimalist pages like these:
And ending up doing full on boarder decorations and collages and calligraphy…often all at once. I wish I hadn’t thrown out my humanities notes, so I can show you how I practiced using those. I’ll have to satisfy myself with this instead:
I’m just showing off now. I think it looks great, and I’m proud of it. I’m proud of all the work I’ve put into it, the many hours hunched over my desk writing and pasting and drawing. This isn’t about education, really, it’s about showing off something that you’re proud of.