Monday, September 1, 2014

Grimoire vs Book of Shadows


In passing conversation the other day, I was asked what the difference between a Grimoire and a Book of Shadows (BOS) is. Most witches keep a BOS, but not a Grimoire. A BOS is a witch's personal book of magic; a diary of magic if you will. It includes records of all magical workings, dreams and their meanings, rituals, etc. If the witch does not also keep a Grimoire, it can also include spells and other magical information needed to perform magic. Its always a good idea to keep records of your magical workings. This will not only help you progress as a witch by seeing your power grow, but will also allow you to see what works and what does not work for you.

A Grimoire is like a BOS, but not as personal. It holds information about rituals, spells, potions, and how to prepare magical tools. It also contains lists of correspondences and magical properties of herbs, gemstones, food, colors, etc. Basically, it contains all your magical research. It does not contain personal information or records of magical workings.

Most witches keep just a BOS. I am personally in the process of transferring to two separate books. I'd much rather keep all my research in one book and my thoughts and feelings in another book. In doing so I can keep my personal information from others while still sharing my research.

If you wish to start a Grimoire, I suggest using something with removable pages. This way you can add and remove pages as you need them instead of taking your entire book into a ritual where it may be damaged. This also allows you to easily move pages around if you decide to reorganize it. Some people keep their BOS and Grimoires on their computer. I find this cumbersome when I wish to perform magic, but it may work for you.

Remember, your BOS contains very personal information. It is a sacred object and should be treated as such. Honor it by giving it its own special hiding place where others will not be tempted to mess with it. Bless it and protect it. It is only for you and whoever you authorize to see it. You need to be sure that whoever does see it won't disclose its contents to others or harm you or the book. If someone makes you uncomfortable, do not show it to them. This is just another reason I suggest keeping two books. Others like to see your research, not so much your personal thoughts. Keeping a Grimoire and a Book of Shadows is the best way to do this.

I hope this clears up any confusion you may have. Do you keep just a BOS or a BOS and Grimoire?

14 comments:

  1. I get asked this question a lot. I really like how you addressed the differences and I'm going to send people to this post from now on.

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    1. Thank you! I hope others find it helpful as well.

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    2. Thanks for this post. I feel as you do that I want to keep my personal thoughts, dream journaling, etc...separate from the more "how to"/"when to" information. I'm in the process of creating a BOS to be used as my personal diary of sorts & a separate Grimoire for correspondences, rituals, spells, charts, etc...

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    3. Very cool Gail. I am currently outlining what I want to go where. I've been searching all over the internet to get ideas. I think I finally came across a really great example of a table of contents so I have begun planning and labeling which pages will be what. I'm excited to get started.

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  2. I found this quite helpful. I actually began writing my second B.o.S and I'm a solitary practitioner so the whole grimoire book is not a necessity however I do want to separate the two instead of having it all in my book. That way I can pass a long my research to someone else too. Thank you!!

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    1. I'm glad you found it useful! I am actually working on a series on creating a grimoire right now. Thank you for reading.

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  3. I do have them separared. I write my grimoire on my computer and carry it with me on my kindle. I'm constantly modifying and adding things, so that's what works best for me.

    My BoS is a physical journal where I write the tarot readings and spells I do. This has made me improve my grimoire a lot.

    I hope my experience helps you.

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    1. Carrying on your Kindle?! What an excellent idea! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Haha! Yes, it's very handy: all remains tidy and you can check it at any time. Books and notebooks have their charm, but as I'm still learning and modifying it, it's what suits me the best now

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    1. I really enjoy have a physical book. I own a Kindle, but after a while it lost its charm. I love the idea though.

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  5. Is it bad that I have my BoS and grimoire in the same book??

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    1. Not at all! It is whatever makes your comfortable. I prefer 2 or more books, but if 1 works for you then that is all that matters.

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  6. If you are looking for a book that can be customized and is truly expandable, I would suggest checking out www.projectfey.com. Perfect for grimoires and books of shadows and you can email support@projectfey.com with an image and she will give you a quote to create your very own custom book or check out the website for ideas.

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    1. Thanks for sharing. I'll look into it!

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