Ideas, Information and Inspiration for your own Grimoire
What is a Grimoire?
A Grimoire is different to a Book Of Shadows, like a textbook is different to a workbook. The Grimoire is the reference guide for magical workings and the Book of Shadows is where we record the magical workings. Of course, there are no rules when it comes to how you’d like to organize your research and rituals, so it’s up to you how you’d like to record your magical endeavors.
How to Create a Grimoire
For me, when I started my journey along the Pagan path, I used a composition book to record all the research I gleaned about Witchcraft and Spirituality, including clippings from magazines, sketches and notes. This became my initial Grimoire and my Book of Shadows was a large, thick tome that was a beautifully crafted blank, lined book from Whites Law Bindery in Melbourne, Australia.
You can use any journal or notebook for both your Grimoire and Book of Shadows, but if you want something unique and special, try contacting a bindery near you to create your own. It will cost a bit, but I think it’s worth it, especially if you want a large book that will last more than a lifetime. Quality pages are needed for pasting things like dried flowers and herbs, feathers and other items to illustrate your research and magical works. While it’s convenient to have a digital Grimoire, there’s nothing like the visceral sensation of opening a magical tome!
How to Treat your Grimoire
Your Grimoire (and Book of Shadows) should be kept in a safe, secret and sacred place. I like to think of my books as living beings, who deserve respect and consideration – like my plants and apothecary cabinet. Mind you, I don’t mind if my cats come to explore my magical tools, since they impart their own feline magic and every once in a while, I try not to cringe when a splash of oil, a dusting of powdered herbs or a random insect crawls across the pages.
A Hedgewitch understands that magic comes from all sources, considering that everything happens for a reason, even if we are not yet aware of the what’s, why’s and how’s.
What should be included in a Grimoire?
As stated previously, the Grimoire is your reference guide for your magical workings and can include:
Your Personal Magical Profile Research Spells Incantations Sigils and Symbols Sketches/Images of Talismans and Amulets Profiles of Deities Animal or Totem Magic Plant Profiles Correspondences
And anything else you feel is relevant to inform your rituals.
The Hedgewitch Herbarium Grimoire
While this Grimoire is a digital representation of some of the information I have in my own magical book, it’s by no means exhaustive and I urge you to supplement your knowledge by researching what feels right for you. What I find laborious is wading through information found either on the internet or in publications, that range from the arcane and virtually indecipherable to the watered down and almost infantile ramblings from so-called “New Age” adherents, who are usually obsessed with Fairies, Dolphins and Angels.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with exploring all facets of Witchcraft and I myself have enjoyed toying with things like Fairy magic and other spiritual offerings that border on the lighter side of life. For example: I have a keen interest in crystal/gem work, aromatherapy and everything in between, but I tend to shy away from things that seem to be overly simplified or deliberately obscure.
Magic works when it resonates with you. Far be it for me to dictate what you should research or focus on, but while it’s nice to stumble upon a spell or invocation written by someone else, I think it’s more personal and relevant when you’ve created it yourself. There are many old grimoires and books out there with arcane or ancient information, which can be a great starting point, but if the meaning is lost to you, then the magic will be incoherent and ineffective.
Refer to my list of books and links if you need a starting point, but one thing remains true when walking the path of the Hedgewitch: all you need is what you already have. A natural witch doesn’t need accoutrements or all the Wiccan bells and whistles to connect with nature.
It took a long time for me to arrive at the above, since I’m a research junkie and avid book lover. It wasn’t until I grew fed up and overwhelmed with all the information I acquired, when I discovered that the magic I made while standing alone in a grove of trees, a field of flowers or at the water’s edge was the most powerful magic of all.
I realized that I felt stifled when preparing for a ritual, including all the relevant symbols, tools and researching the right time of day, deities to invoke and herbs to include. While I enjoy herbal magic and all the “bells and whistles”, I find that once I’m set up and ready to cast the circle, I am panicking on the inside – wondering if I forgot anything.
I prefer the simpler ritual of grabbing an herb or stone that I’m resonating with at the time and using my mind (sometimes incorporating hand magic) to achieve the results I desire. The information I’m sharing here can be used verbatim or as a backdrop for simple rituals, once you’ve decided what works best for you.