Rituals and Spells - similar or different?

I’m often down a rabbit hole of either research or organization and today’s journey is a bit of both! I’m organizing my commonplace book and in particular my Magickal section. I was trying to figure out broad sections within Magickal and wondered should Rituals and Spells be different sections or in the same section?

What do y’all think? How do you organize your BoS or Grimoire?

:herb: :deer: :bow_and_arrow: :crescent_moon:


In a nutshell, I don’t :joy:, my hubby said if a bad spirit got in, we’d never get rid of it, cuz noone can find anything in my grim except me. :crazy_face: (I mean I find everything in it ok :grin:)

I’d say organize it how your brain works so that you can find stuff in it later. :person_shrugging::sparkling_heart:


Hi @Artemisia :smiling_face: I’ve come across the same type of organization thing when dealing with my BOS…

Now I do things a bit differently, but for what you’re mentioning… I’d say spells would be separate from a ritual… the only exception to that is if the ritual had a spell within it :green_salad: So like a two-fer, those I would put in a spell section so that I knew that these are spell related & these are rituals :green_salad:

I hope that helps a little bit… ultimately I’d do what is going to be most comfortable for you. So maybe see how you organize if that works or if after a little bit you feel like it would be easier another way because when you go looking for whichever it is, you find yourself looking in a particular place 1st then needing to either remember or think about where you may have put it… then adjust your BOS that way. :green_salad:


I see rituals and spells as different practices that (usually) have different goals. For me, a spell is something I cast for a specific outcome, e.g. a prosperity spell for wealth and abundance in my business. A ritual, on the other hand, is usually a time to honor a deity, season, or something similar. In a ritual, I may call on a deity for assistance with a spell and do both at the same time. In that regard, the ritual and spell are still separate, just done together. I hope that makes sense :joy: I know sometimes the words spell and ritual are used interchangeably - and for some practitioners, they might be the same!


It took me a bit to realize this part. A ritual to me is something different than a spell. I have done a ritual with or then a spell that went with it for like you said, a specific outcome. So I suppose they would go together… :green_salad: So I would separate them unless a specific ritual was for a specific spell with the same specific outcome :green_salad:

However, I don’t necessarily have a traditional BOS anymore… I have several kinds of journal books. One for each deity specifically containing anything that has to do with them, then a separate one with recipes for different things that aren’t to do with my deities… rituals, or other information that I regularly do or use within my practice.


Not to add too much echo, but I personally follow the sentiments of them being different practices. In part, doing so, just helps me break up the huge collection of data I have and make it more easily accessible and therefore useful. So even if they are used interchangeably, you could still use the terms as a means to help you organise. :black_heart:


Yeah, once I realized that the term seems to be used interchangeably… one is different from the other. Then I started separating… of course when I started separating things by my deities, recipes, & regular practices… my collection & information keeping changed quite a bit :laughing:

But @Artemisia absolutely see how it works best for you & the way you are going to remember to go to them when you are looking for it :two_hearts:


I still use them interchangeably sometimes :joy: I don’t know if they have specific definitions in specific traditions, but they are words that describe more personal practices. It’s alright for them to be as they are, however, that is for you.

As for organizing things… :sweat_smile: I don’t have anything organized, really. I’m slowly working on it, but it’s not really happening because of life right now so… yeah, I’m no help there!


I’d like to say that things are organized as they once were… but life or in my case 2023 & aren’t friends… so nothing is really organized right now. I know where things should or maybe need to be put… but right now everything is everywhere & none of that is close to organized :rofl:


I suppose I knew they were separate things but they are often related or more accurately you can perform a ritual that uses a spell. To be honest I’m not sure I could have given specific definitions of the two before I asked about this here.


  • Definition: Spells are specific, focused actions or incantations performed with the intent of bringing about a desired change, outcome, or manifestation.
  • Purpose: Spells are used to work magic and influence the world or one’s personal reality. They can be cast for various purposes, such as protection, healing, love, prosperity, divination, or any other desired result. The words, gestures, and tools used in a spell are believed to harness supernatural forces or energies to achieve the intended goal.
  • Individual or Small-Group Practice: Spells are typically cast by individuals or small groups of practitioners. They often involve personal beliefs, intuition, and creativity.


  • Definition: Rituals are ceremonial practices that involve a series of actions, words, or gestures performed in a specific order and with symbolic significance. They are conducted for a variety of reasons, including religious, cultural, spiritual, or social purposes.
  • Purpose: Rituals are often used to mark significant life events, transitions, or spiritual milestones. They can also serve as a means of connecting with the divine, the sacred, or the inner self. Rituals emphasize tradition, symbolism, and the creation of a sacred space.
  • Community and Tradition: Rituals are often communal and may involve a larger group of participants, such as a religious congregation or a cultural community. They foster a sense of belonging, shared values, and cultural continuity.

(from chat gpt)

:thinking: I was thinking maybe a bit more esoterically, given the broad scope of topics in Magick from astrology, tarot, palm reading, potion creation, sabbats, elementals - I’m trying to break things down into larger related blocks like Divine, Sun, Moon, Wisdom but when I got to spells and rituals, it felt like they fit into the same larger block (if that makes sense) I suppose I’ll put them under Magick and be done with it :laughing:

Thought exercises are fun! Thanks, y’all!


haha they are very fun! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: My brain automatically wants to sort spells & rituals into their corresponding categories. So like… spells for focus and concentration in one category, kitchen recipes into kitchen magic, etc. That’s why I like the way I can organize things in Notion with tags and categories :joy:


I wish I could be that organized. I start out with good intentions, then my grim just ends up messy, things everywhere. :person_shrugging:


Honestly, that’s what I’m doing right now. I have a toooooooooon of information digitally, photos, documents, PDFs, and books on Magick, and realize I keep downloading copies because I have no clue what I already have so I’ve started my digital information organization on Notion.


@tracyS – haha but I mean, if it works for you then it’s okay!

@Artemisia – That digital storage is a blessing and a curse, for sure! If it’s not organized, then it kind of gets everywhere… and as you said, things get forgotten so more information is added :joy: I hope your organization goes easily!


My brain does the same, but it will start with grouping them into this, then I wind up grouping them into another, then even further…

So like, I’ll start broad with like spells, correspondences, astrology, recipes, deities… etc.

Then it will be like okay so this spell is for protection & this recipe is for protection, now I have a section for protection which will eventually break down into protection for or from this & that now becomes a section. Then this correspondence of whatever is astrology related, & this recipe is too, so they go under astrology. Then it goes into this is for this astrology thing so now I have them under like… Mercury, Mercury Rx, Scorpio, Aries, it’s like continually fine tuning… my brain is very much like a filing :file_cabinet: system sort of, or sections then those sections have specific tabs… I’m saying all this & now I’m like… I basically micromanage the s**t out of how I learn & keep information… :rofl:

Which I suppose is kind of like over compartmentalizing myself :thinking:

Okay, anyway! That’s basically how I wound up with 5 binders then a file on my computer :computer: named BOS which now has sub-folders & those sub-folders also have their own sub- folders :open_file_folder:

Huh… may have to lock myself in my room & see of there’s anything I can do about that…

It’s also how I wound up with a Book of Mirrors, a Brighid book, the Morrigan book, & practice book. Each is handwritten but they have their own specific use. The practice book is the tnings I do daily if not multiple times in a day… depending on what it is.

Okay… pretty sure my train of thought ramblings have confused everyone :green_salad: So I’m going to make another coffee :coffee: & try to remember what it was I was working on in here originally :rofl:


I’m similar in this respect. I enjoy organizing and putting things in proper places and have more than once spent hours and hours searching for files, renaming things, creating folders, arranging the folders… yadda yadda yadda.:laughing: I don’t know why it’s something my brain enjoys (or needs?). Creating things and organizing makes me happy/fulfilled.

Over the past week, I’ve spent time scouring my computer in my download folder, magick folder, and other likely places consolidating files, deleting the multiple copies of items (I freed up over 5gigs of space just on duplicates:roll_eyes:) and have made an initial stab at yeah or nay for each file, admitting many weren’t things I wanted or needed.

I also decided on how I want to organize my Print Grimoire and my Digital Grimoire which will have more subcategories as it’s easier to do with folders/subfolders than it is in paper. I don’t know why I’m so opposed to using a 3 ring binder system but I really prefer a hardbound book which does make things harder to add or reorganize, hence the planning ahead of time.

I’m still organizing things in folders on my laptop but once I’ve got them all into their spots I’ll add them into my Digital Version - which is looking like this so far…

This one shows the Practical Magick section expanded to show subfolders.

I don’t know where to put the Meditations yet :thinking:

Ok did I ramble more confusedly than you? :wink: It’s just been that kind of week for me. Think my brain has ideas it wants to share but can’t quite get them filtered properly and making sense to anyone outside my head!


I mean… you’re not alone :sweat_smile: this is exactly how my brain functions with things like this! We just need to take the time to go through our things and sort them – in my case, I need to actually put the things in my Notion grimoire :joy:


The next struggle is keeping it organised. But at least the digital version has a search function? :grin:


@Artemisia oh I have done that too! Duplicate copies & myself are good friends… I have on more than one occasion spent quite some time organizing & reorganizing which often leads to removing duplicate files :laughing:

@MeganB… at this point I’m lucky if I get the files from downloaded or emails to my BOS folder at all & if I get them into the 1st subfolder it’s a good day :rofl:


This is very true! For me, the problem is actually putting things in it to begin with. I have so much information just… in my head… :laughing: I don’t usually use the same spell twice, and most of my spells are done on a whim anyway, only when I need one. It’s the different variables that inform my spells that need to go in my grimoire lol and I think that’s what holds me back. I already know all of this stuff so it’s hard for me to make the time to write it all out. Plus, it’s harder for me to find the words to explain things sometimes. For example, I might add jalapeno powder to a spell based on a feeling or intuitive hunch. I know what jalapeno and spicy ingredients are used for in spellwork in general, but describing why I felt like jalapeno powder was right for that spell would be difficult :sweat_smile:

I mean, that’s fair, too! It’s one of my drawbacks to Pinterest :joy: I pin something but then… it’s already there, so why do I need to organize it? :sweat_smile: