Today we’re going to talk about what’s in my Grimoire and how I view magical books in general. As always, topics like this are very personal and so what I say isn’t going to be the same as everyone else. You might view a Grimoire, a Book of Shadows, or Book of Mirrors in a completely different manner than I do. That’s okay! I’m just here to give a different perspective and give you my thoughts and how I do things.
Three Books – What’s the difference?
So for me, I used to be of the opinion that a Book of Shadows was a Wiccan-only thing. That’s sort of where the term originated I believe. It can be used either in a coven or for solitary practitioners. A coven’s Book of Shadows holds all coven-related information. These will be spells, tradition rituals, and any other information a coven deems pertinent. Then you have solitary practitioners who also keep a Book of Shadows for their personal information.
I used to think that they were separate, that I was not Wiccan so I could no longer have a Book of Shadows and instead, it needed to be a Grimoire. However, I don’t feel that way anymore and I feel like the terms can be synonymous depending on the person using the terms.
Now a Book of Mirrors on the other hand is different. A Book of Mirrors is used for reflection. In my case, this would be where I put any meditative experiences that I have, any dreams that really stand out to me that feel like they might be significant, any of my divination practices, and any readings that I do for myself. Those would all go into a Book of Mirrors. It is a reflection of your practices and your experiences, sort of like a journal.
What do I use? – Digital? Physical? Memorized?
For myself, I actually combine them all into one book, and it’s not even a book. Right now, my Grimoire is digital! Your Grimoire (I’ll just use this word from here on out) can be a physical book that you write in, a pretty journal you use, a composition notebook, a three-ring binder — hell, it can even be the notepad app on your smartphone! There is no set rule for what your personal book needs to be so use what you have available to you.
I do like the physical act of writing that information down. For me, it helps connect my brain with the information that I’m writing. It helps me remember and it’s just a closer connection. But for right now, everything is digital. I use Notion which Ari The Oak Witch actually recommended to me. It’s like a binder but digital. You can have different sections that have subsections. It’s an easy way for me to organize all of my information.
So what’s in a Grimoire?
The most common thing that’s going to be in most everyone’s Grimoire is their correspondences. Some people include the Wiccan Rede at the very beginning of their Grimoire. They may also include a Grimoire blessing or a curse depending on who they want to read it and what you want to happen if someone does read it that’s not supposed to.
But correspondences are going to be one of the main things that you will often find in someone’s Book of Shadows. These correspondences are going to be either personal or they’re going to fall in line with your specific tradition. So for me I, most of my correspondences are in my head. I have a couple of them in my Grimoire but I haven’t taken the time to really write any of them down because they’re personal for me and I just remember them I guess. You can include correspondences for colors and if you want to get deeper into it, journal about how those colors really make you feel rather than finding a correspondence list from Pinterest and just copying and pasting it from Pinterest to your own Book of Shadows.
Often Referenced Information
I find that it can help if you don’t have a very good memory or if you’re just starting out and you’re collecting information to include information that you are constantly referencing. So if there’s something that you’re always using in your spells or something that you’re always seeing or learning about, then include those first. For example, a lot of people include quartz and rosemary for some of their crystal and herb correspondences. These are very common stones and herbs and a lot of people use them on a regular basis.
Spells and Recipes
You also might want to include different spells and recipes especially if they are ones that you’re either going to continue using regularly and you know that they work or ones that you even want to try. These can be spells for home protection, self-protection, charming jewelry — I do a lot of that — charging your coffee, different food recipes if you do a lot of kitchen witchcraft. I know I have some bread recipes that I really like that I need to add to my Grimoire. There’s really no limit on the spells and recipes that you can include. If you make oils, put your recipes in your Grimoire. This way it’s easy for you to reference back to them.
My Book of Mirrors is at its core a magical journal. With the spells — if I create a new spell and I try it out, I journal about it. I write down how I did it, what I did, any correspondences that I used and I keep track of how that spell is working or if it’s not working. This allows you then to reflect on the spells that you have cast in the past to see what worked for you and what didn’t.
Maybe you cast one spell with a specific correspondence and then you cast a similar spell without the correspondence. One worked and one didn’t and then it gives you wiggle room to really figure out how to best go forward with casting your spells. I highly recommend keeping a spell journal if you cast spells at all or even if you are more of a New Age practitioner and you prefer to call it manifestation. Journaling about it, keeping track of everything that’s going on, how you’re feeling, what’s happening — it is extremely important when you go back to reflect on your growth.
Another thing that I keep in my Grimoire with my Book of Mirrors is my divination sessions. These are going to be sessions that I either read for myself just pulling cards for the day or for the week or for the month like I normally do or on holidays when I am seeking guidance from either my Gods or my ancestors. Those are really important for me to track in my Book of Mirrors because I have a really bad memory. Having it written down in a place that is easy for me to reference is important because then I can go back and look at it later. Maybe I pulled a card that didn’t make sense but then something happens — I have a reference point so that I can see all of the chess pieces sort of line up the way they’re supposed to.
I also keep track of any meditation sessions that I do that feel very important. Not every meditation session is going to reveal information from the gods or my higher self or my ancestors. Sometimes meditation is just to focus and practice keeping that focus on one thing. Sometimes it’s used in tandem with grounding and centering, but again going back to keeping track of everything — super important to push you forward in your spiritual practice.
Another thing that I find important to keep in my Grimoire is information about the deities that I’m researching or working with. This information is going to come from their mythology, their stories and their folklore, but also from my own experience. Having these two together really helps separate verified gnosis from unverified personal gnosis. aving information that is backed up by folklore next to information that is backed up by my experience is really important to me. For example, Brigid is a deity of poetry and inspiration, of the forge and of healing wells, but then it’s also going to include information on what I give for offerings, what She prefers from me, and how we work together. I do this for any deity that I’m either interested in or that I am working with or considering to work with.
A Last Note
I realize that my experiences and the way I do things aren’t going to work for everyone and that’s okay. I hope I was able to give you a new perspective (if you didn’t have one already), some ideas for your personal magickal books, and a way to push forward if you’re just figuring things out.
Be sure to watch the video below and catch my five extra tips for keeping a grimoire at the end!