Challenge Entry-Your Sacred Book
So I have a physical Book of Shadows, it’s a non-descript journal showing the moon on the cover, something easy to hide in a drawer. I have a similar looking Book of Mirrors.
I use it primarily for note taking, writing down spells, etc. It helps my practice as there’s no way I can keep everything in my head. The Book of Mirrors, I do intend to do the Book of Mirrors course, but I use it more as a journal for recording tarot practice, how a given spell went, meditation results, etc.
Challenge Entry-Your Sacred Book
I have a Book of Shadows/Grimoire and a Book of Mirrors.
I started my Book of Shadows with help from Spells8, and I’ve been adding to it from some apps that I’ve found for my phone, and things that I’ve Googled.
I have the different sections tabbed so I can find spells, prayers and blessings easily, and I can remove them from the binder while doing my rituals, then return them after. I have a tarot reference/cheat sheets in plastic in the back for easy access.
In my book of Mirrors, I journal as frequently as I can. I started off well, but then stepped away for a while. I’m trying to do it at least 4 times a week.
I started off writing by hand, in different coloured inks, depending on correspondences or simply my mood.
But now that I’ve returned to it, I journal on my laptop and print it off - sort of old school/new school blended. I just figured whatever works best for me, IS best for me.
In my Book of Mirrors, I reflect on my meditations and my rituals, as well as my feelings and concerns, and gratitude.
@Cosmic_Curiosity Okay…where can I insert the “Wow” meme. I love your scrapbook! More especially are the mini-pop up altars - how creative, good use of that yellow candle
I totally love yours I just started a new one more focused than my last book. It was more like a notepad lol
I just started an official one. I’m still translating everything and organizing it in this one but here we go….
#Weekly Witchy Challenge - Sacred Book. I know my book is supposed to be special to me, but right now, it appears as though Loki is handling it - by its haphazard condition! Not the compilation to “WOW” anyone yet, and there are some really wonderful examples of BoS, et al posted here already. I have to say that @Cosmic_Curiosity - the scrapbook with the mini pop-ups reacts to me like a cat with a sparkly bobble! I am still new to my practice so I have notes, books, photos, illustrations all over and in manila folders right now. I can see that this will be a task that I could take to hand and include my sisters in, and put together a family BoS or Grimoire - whatever we decide. The photos do not do the library I have justice, nor show what I have on my Kindle. I am “one of those” that like paper so I can highlight and scribble. @MeganB, I sure would like to learn some tips on keeping a digital book!
As shown, under my Correspondence book, I have downloaded some pds for sectioning off a BoS. I have always been interested in Astrology, plants, and natural wellness so most of my studies are in this area so I can already predict that much of my BoS will contain green witch references, spells, et al.
This part of my bookshelf, above, has more folded papers than I know what to do with all relating to practices and spells
And this one, above, has a BoS that I started three years back with dates, drawings, illustrations, loose papers, calendars, a spell or two - I should likely take it down and put more items in it. The baskets on the left contain our alter tools, candles and herbs that we use for Sabbats and Esbats, and whatever should strike my fancy.
I dare not show anything more lest I look like a hoarder. I can freely assume that I am not the only one that will grab a writing pad to jot things down, and end up with several notebooks with information written all over it, along with “To do” lists, grocery lists, etc
I find it necessary to have a sense of humor with putting a book together, otherwise I would feel completely overwhelmed. Thank you for all the information and resources for putting a BoS, or Grimoire, or BoM together - I am so grateful!!
@Jessica_Zee Thankyou. I love your cover. It’s so colourful. And the sketches on your pages are great. You’re very arty.
@lisa67 You have a great collection. Loki handles all my stuff, so a little chaos is great for the soul. You can never have too many books, spells, references etc. Fabulous
@amandakay I’ve put your book Witch school in my Amazon basket, it looks good.
@Nixi I love your book covers, is that the tree of life? They’re gorgeous, you’re folder is so organized
@Jeannie1 Your BOS looks like the ones that have in my favourite film Practical Magic. Love them.
@christina4 ooh your books look interesting, especially Soul Discovery. Going to have to add that to my reading list
@Phoenix_Fire That looks like a great app. The good thing about tech I find is you can store so much and it’s with you wherever you go. Digital copies are great. I use my phone to save loads of stuff, it seems less chaotic on a phone
@Kasandra It’s going to be so cool looking back in those BOS and seeing all the different moon phases and what was done. Your books sound so detailed.
@Susurrus Can’t wait to see the books
@Cosmic_Curiosity Your artwork is fabulous. You have a great collection too.
@catherine11 Journalling is great to keep track of everything. You’ll look back on it and think wow, look what I did. Nice memories
@isobel.tuliptree You’re so organized. It’s a gift!
This has been fabulous, to see everyone’s books. My reading list has quadrupled in size now. Blessed be
Yes, I stumbled across them looking for something else after having been unable to find anything with it
It was until I misplaced my 3 hole punch. There are tabs and overview and detailed index pages for each in there somewhere
I love everyone’s entries! I knew this was going to be a fun one. I have never met a witch who didn’t love books!
@Cosmic_Curiosity your scrapbook is amazing! I have little nooks and crannies in my 600 page BOS, but it’s getting so big, it’s hard to close, so I can’t add anymore to it.
Thank you everyone for sharing your beautiful Sacred Books!
Long time, no see, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well! I’ve been busy, but I’ve decided that I needed a task to get me to slow down and get back in touch with my spiritual side and this week’s challenge is a perfect one for me!
For my entry for this week’s challenge, I decided it was a great time for me to reflect on my sources of inspiration.
TLDR: My experience with "traditional" sacred books of Christianity and Judaism.
When I think back about sacred books in the context of my life, the first thing I think about is the Bible. I was raised “Christian” (TLDR: Christian-ish, but we didn’t go to church after I was old enough for Confirmation). Growing up, my grandma pushed me to find wisdom and life advice in the Bible. I never really connected with the Bible until I was in college and took a class called “Great Books of the Western World: The Bible.”
The class was eye-opening to me because, as someone who grew up super sheltered, I assumed that the Bible was 100% original to itself, but academically (I’m not here to argue with your beliefs or refute them), it has its roots in the deeper history and context of the Middle East. This was the turning point in my spiritual life. Seeing that there was a much deeper root in the Bible made me feel more connected to it, and, ironically, observing the Bible from a purely academic perspective made me believe in its stories more.
While I was in college, I started exploring other religions and spiritual beliefs, and found a new home within Judaism – hence my username on here. There was this… je ne sais quoi about Judaism that resonated with me more than anything I’ve ever felt.
The climax of my decision to dive deeper into Judaism was when I was taking an Intro to Jewish Studies class and had to go to a Jewish religious service to observe it. I went to a synagogue of the Conservative branch of Judaism where the entire service was done in Hebrew. The service I went to was a kabbalat shabbat service, a short prayer service to welcome the Shabbat, the Jewish holy day (Saturday). There was one point where everyone turned to the doorway of the chapel and bowed. At that moment, I felt this Presence and warmth unlike any I had ever felt before – it was such a strong feeling that I began crying with pure happiness.
Despite having absolutely no clue what was going on, I later found out that the portion of the prayers where they turned to the doorway and bowed was the moment they were welcoming “The Bride of Shabbat” into their presence. That was the moment that I knew that I had found a new home. From that moment, I began including the Tahakh, the Jewish sacred books, (i.e., the Hebrew Bible, a.k.a. the Old Testament) and incorporating teachings from various Jewish texts into my personal practice. These elements of “traditional” and “conventional” religion/spirituality continue to color my personal spiritual gnosis. I also pull from other writings that inspire me, such as poetry. If I had to choose one single poem that sums up my personal spiritual beliefs, it’s “If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking” by Emily Dickinson.
Perhaps due to my strong animist beliefs, I believe any book that one considers sacred is a sacred book. Whether it’s the Bible, Qur’an, the Vedic texts, or even a cookbook, any item is sacred, especially when the energies of reverence and respect are directed into it. What makes something sacred isn’t necessarily the item having been created by or chosen by The Divine or any variant of the sentiment, but rather the energy with which we interact with the object. Therefore, in my personal belief, any book can become sacred if one so wills it.
Now onto the part I’m sure you all were looking for: my personal sacred books!
My main method of keeping a Book of Shadows is what I refer to as my “Omnibook”: it serves as my main Book of Shadows, my Book of Mirrors, my materia medica, materia magica, etc. It is a mash-up of everything related to my practice. I add new entries to the notebook as the need arises, and I use the Bullet Journal method of making sure I can find the information I need quickly and easily.
I also keep print-outs organized in a binder as well as saved to my Google Drive. This allows me to have a print version of any resource I need, and I also have the ability to access it on-the-go.
I copy all of my most-used resources into a main grimoire. It is very minimalist and the only decorations are things that I’ve printed out on sticker paper and stuck onto the pages. There is no index or order to my main grimoire. Because of this, I have yet another notebook that serves as a companion to the main grimoire. In this companion notebook, each page corresponds to a single page (or group of pages) in the main grimoire. It is in this companion notebook that I write the sources of the information in the main grimoire, as well as notes about the entries and other resources related to that grimoire entry. That way, I can have a clean, simple grimoire without having to stress about how it’s organized (which has been my main block to putting the energy I’ve wanted to into my grimoire/BoS/Omnibook), and still have an organized way of linking all my other notebooks/resources together in one place.
To further elaborate on the (very boring) aesthetics of my notebooks, they are all just plain notebooks: my Omnibooks are just hardcover journals with lined or square grid pages, my main grimoire is an A4 size softcover notebook with lined pages, and the most “decorative” notebook is my companion notebook, which is a softcover composition book with simple drawings of cactuses on the front cover.
To summarize my personal beliefs on sacred books, any book can become sacred if you treat it as such. Any word can be imbued with power and used to inform your personal spiritual gnosis. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to create a beautifully illustrated Book of Shadows if you’re like me and can’t even draw a stick person – just put your reverence, respect, and love into your collection of writings and they are sacred.
This is beautiful.
@tracyS Thank you
Weekly Witchy CHALLENGE ENTRY - Sacred Book
I can’t wait to get home and take time to read through this whole Challenge about everyone’s sacred books!!! I am in Florida, so I cannot show pictures of mine, but I do write a lot when I travel so I took a picture of the books I bring while I travel.
- The Well journal - for health/wellness/food
- Stay in your magic - journal that guides through a more mindful day to day life, which is great on vacation!!
- Burn after writing - it’s touted as the book of you. Very private personal schtuff!!!
- Letters to the universe - it helps you manifest your life goals and can help change present/future, and some say the past! (Long entry for that story).
- Brown leather commonplace book - I journal and write in it and will transfer anything necessary over to my other books when I get home.
Picture of my travel books:
Interestingly, I have already written all about my sacred books in detail here in the forum, and since I am one of the older witches here and been practicing for decades, it’s quite long, and unique to me, so here’s the link, back in Aug ‘22.
Sharing my BOS.
Light and love, witches!
That link above did not work, so I cut and pasted it here - Admins, feel free to correct however you’d like
For my own ‘personal use’ grimoire type of book which I call my Personal book of spells, I do use a scrapbook from Creative Memories typically with either the beige or black pages. Creative Memories Bookcloth Album Covers - Creative Memories - I have 3 now completed, one per witchy decade of mine - 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and now I’m working on making the 4th one - my 50’s - I turn 57 on 8/8! I will add and remove pages as I go, organize and move them around as it is appropriate and it works perfect for me. They are all 12x12 inches.
I have many decades of magikal journals that I call my Muse Library and are numbered 1 - 247 right now and counting (they are all 5x8) which are chronological. I call them my muse journals because they are what I write in when I am absorbed in thought and inspired or wish to be inspired - it’s where I brain dump my magickal journey day to day and if that’s not a muse, I don’t know what is! I don’t move around pages but use it as an actual magickal journey and put everything in it, literally - a true scrapbook/junk journal - and as long as it pertains to my practice, it goes in. Since I am an herbalist, I do keep separate my herbalist journals and recipes for things that heal and to eat from my magickal journal/library. If something suits magic in my apothecary, then I will make an entry for how to use it magickally in my Muse Journal.
Sometimes I will refer within my Muse journals to an entry in my Book of shadows which I named for books I use to do my shadow work (I know that’s not common in our witchy culture, but it’s what I’ve always done and what makes sense to me) and I will journal away about everything I’ve learned, how I feel, what changes I want to make and what I’m thinking any healing work I’ve done emotionally and ancestoral guidance. Both of these (Muse Library-ML and Book of Shadows-BoS) are chronological. My BoS however, comes in many shapes and sizes and I have close to 50 of these over the decades and they are focused on subjects mostly - like relationship with my mother; work life; each child; herbal apothecary to magick as examples. I do have a bunch of other journals from childhood up, and some online I use for other things, but these are dedicated to my practice.
Since I’ve been a solitary practitioner for 30+ years until I joined this forum last month, I just did what I felt was right - which is right for me!! I am still moving through my journey of sharing what I do magickally with others and I like it! Learning a lot from everyone too.
Typically I have had one year per Personal book of spells books with exceptions for dedicated books for occasions. The OCD organization is this: When i keep going back to something over and over again, and I believe it is something I’ve culled and honed over time that works well for me, I will then designate it as something to consecrate into my Personal book of spells and I will create a page to look lovely into my book of spells and insert it where it makes the most sense.
In turn, if something in my Personal book of spells is something that I think is beneficial for others in my family or in generations to come, or for posterity sake, I will take this entry from my Personal book of spells and transcribe it into my Family Grimoire, intended to pass down - although not to say that some of my journals or books of spells would not get passed down, but they are very informal compared to the Family Grimoire. (Which I am merging now the historical grimoire from my family that is over a hundred years old, into that big leather grimoire you just showed @Amaris_Bane so that now I intend to have 2 Family Grimoires to pass down to my kids - and since I have 5 kids, I know at least 2 of them will want one. Again - NOT TIL I’M GONE!!
Also @MeganB I want you to be aware of many apps out there that transcribe written pages and notes into electronic form. There a many free ones too - I use a .pdf type of one and a few others, but also Google Keep is excellent, Google Drive can do it in Google Docs also! I could go down a rabbit hole here but I won’t since this is already too long.
Picture is of the new Family Grimoire I’m creating for the 2nd generational Grimoire. Dog are Joey Belle (facing) and Beau (lying down).
Book of Shadows - I do my shadow work - journal per subject matter and use whatever calls to me for that subject. Some I have for decades and are still active, some come into and out of being active.
Muse Journal Library - comprised of a notebook 5x8 once a quarter and they usually sync with seasons, and are a day to day dump of EVERYTHING I think and do magickally.
Personal Book of Spells - I transcribe some of the most active and relevant working spells, anecdotes, rituals, mantras, chants, charm bags, etc into it from my Muse Journals - usually less than a handful every year or so. They need to really be used and proven to get into my Personal Book of Spells for reference.
Family Grimoire - I have a grimoire passed down from 3 generations of witches in my family dating back to early 1800s and I am taking relevant items from it and creating a new Family Grimoire along with items from my own Personal Book of Spells to pass down to my own children.
WHEW! That was cathartic to actually write out!!! Apologize for my lack of brevity.
Weekly Witchy Challenge - Your Sacred Book - ENTRY
I am so excited to do this Challenge! I just got my materials to start my BOS and I also just got my first set of Tarot cards…
They are beautiful, I just had to have them.
Anyway, Blessed Be to All,
Are you serious, you have “things” so organized and the way you want your grimoire/BoS/Omnibook to be!
"I’ve wanted to into my grimoire/BoS/Omnibook), and still have an organized way of linking all my other notebooks/resources together in one place." (Jewitch, Spells 8, 2023)
Wait…Stick people are my “thing”. I can draw them like a professional and when I get rich from them, I’ll let you know. LOL
I love the cover of your book of shadows it’s really neat your dogs are so cute and from what I can see it looks like you have a really lovely room
@jan_TheGreenWitch Gorgeous. How lovely to have all that family history. Mum and I lost ours in Iran when we had to flee, must be beautiful to look over all that history. Gorgeous
@Medea That first set is so special.
@tracyS What a horrible thing to have to do, however we are all blessed that you made it even without your Grimoire. I’ve lost everything I had in my townhouse in a fire before which was so traumatic, and what you must have gone through is so much more in comparison. I’m just happy for me that I didn’t have everything I owned (including said grimoire) in that place yet. Light and love to you sweet friend.
When you get famous for your stick figure drawings, let me know so I can support a new artist!