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#1 Wexler

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:38 PM

I have had an impressive amount of coffee this morning, and I am trying to burn off some excess energy so I can work on a project without my eye twitching. So I thought I would try to channel some of that energy in to a post :biggrin:
 
I know there are a lot of new/curious/interested people who read TW, who don't have accounts. I know I lurked on TW for about two years I think before I made my account. (P.S., guys: making an account is really great. Give it a try, talking to these folks is a lot more fun than just reading what they have to say!) Anyway, since I am hardly in a position to speak to the experienced, I wanted to share my thoughts about record-keeping with folks like myself who are still in the beginning stages of their Path.
 

Here is my point of view: Record keeping is a vital aspect of witchcraft, especially for people who are starting on a traditional path. The rest of this giant post is going to try and explain my position.

 

The thing about witchcraft is that for many of us, it lacks the physical input we usually need to make decisions. Did I leave my bedroom door open? I just have to glance over my shoulder and I can tell you yes or no. Did I leave a doorway in my mind open? That may take a bit more work. That will especially take more work if I am not adept at "feeling" these kinds of things. Magic is often subtle, and sometimes you can't feel the water rising until you are almost drowning. Sometimes it isn't enough to say, "well I don't think anything is happening, so everything must be fine." Sometimes you don't realize you left a door open, or a spell unattended, until the undertow rips you off your feet and sucks you under. In hindsight it may seem obvious, but by then it will be too late. There has to be a way for us to keep track of all the taps we've turned on so we don't get flooded.

 

That way is positively mundane; you need to write down what you do.

 

As a side-note, it doesn't matter if you think you have power or not. It doesn't matter if you believe your spell can't possibly have that kind of effect. To be fair, if you are a beginner, you are not experienced enough to make those kinds of judgment calls. Nor does it matter if you are just messing around, or you aren't sure you want to be a witch. You need to keep track of your business.

 

I have learned a few lessons about magic in my recent adventures, and here are two important ones:

  • Every detail matters
  • By the time something happens, you will probably have forgotten what you did to cause it

Magic, being the fair mistress that she is, takes you at your word. When you say something, it is done. Your spell does not have a mind of it's own. It does not say, "well, Wexler told us to do A, but I think she intended for us to do B, so we'd better do B instead." This means that it is possible for you to think you are casting a spell for one thing, when in reality you are casting for another thing altogether. When your spell starts doing freaky stuff and you have no idea why, you need to be able to have a copy of the original spell so you can go back and say, "wow, the wording of this could actually make us drift apart for our greater happiness, not come closer together." If you don't have those notes to figure out exactly what the heck you actually set in to motion, you are going to be confused and upset in a bad way.
 
Keeping notes is especially important for us beginners, because it is how we learn. Suppose you are doing a spell to help your boss see the error of his ways, are you going to say "hit him with understanding like a bolt of lightening," or, "grace him with understanding like the dawning of the sun"? This stuff is metaphor, but it has real effect. Do you want to blast out someone's mind with an LSD-level epiphany, or do you want to gently grow the idea on them until it rises beautifully in to their conscious mind? If your boss starts freaking out and behaving really oddly, you are going to have to remember exactly what you put in his mind, and exactly how it was delivered. If it looks like your boss is having a psychotic break and going in to a tailspin, you may have walloped him just a little too hard. To fix that, you will need to know what happened in your original spell. And if you don't have your notes, you will have just stalled your learning process. "Why is my boss acting out? What did I do wrong?" You will never be able to figure that out unless you remember what happened. If you have your notes it is infinitely easier to say, "he's probably acting oddly because I just cleaved his mind in half, I should avoid doing that in the future."
 
If you have your original notes, it is also much easier to send clean-up spells after your original working to help reduce collateral damage. Now that we know why your boss is losing his mind, we can send gentle spells after him to reduce the damage we did and help bring his sanity back. If you know why you and your friend are drifting apart, you can work to end that spell and create a new one that will actually bring you together. If you do not understand what you originally did to mess things up, all you can do is blindly guess what the issue is and pile more and more magic on top, which may just make things worse. (If you didn't know your original spell was forcing you and your friend apart, for example, you may think you didn't cast it strongly enough and cast the same spell again with more power, assuming that will fix things.)
 
Now the tricky thing about magic is that it isn't always instantaneous. Like leaving the water tap on, sometimes it takes a while to see the effects of what you have done. Suppose I cast a money spell, and a month later I see fabulous returns. Well, excellent - I'd love to cast that spell again... if I could remember what it was. Or say I am trying to perfect a spell that makes people tell me the truth. I cast a different version on four people I know. And one of them works! Great, now, which version was that again? Was it the one where I said 'Let ye speak no untruth to me' [I don't actually cast spells with Olde English wording, but ye rhymes with me, okay] or the one where I said 'Speak no untruth to me; when you see me your heart is filled only with honesty'? By the time my magical truth serum starts working, I may have forgotten. Experiment ruined.

 

Lastly, I have noticed a pattern in my own life, where I do something and then I'm amazed that it actually had an effect. I can "feel" things a little better now, but before I would do something and not "feel" it, then assume it was a dud. Two weeks later when shit got crazy, I would have no idea what happened... until I looked back and said, "oh, duh, that was me." If you do stuff involving magic or your power, whether or not you think it 'took', make a note of it. The most incidental things can become pivotal down the road.

 

 

 

All that being said, how can you keep good and accurate notes? What do you need to write down? I think that as beginners, we need to write down more than the experienced. Specifically I would say, if you journal, do it often even when it seems like nothing is going on. Be brutally honest with yourself, and don't avoid writing things down because you don't want to admit what you have just done, what you really think, or what you have seen. Don't get bogged down with fancy inks and expensive journals when a fifty cent composition book and a ten cent Bic pen from Wal-Mart will do. When it comes to spellwork, being very detailed and specific may really help you out a lot, especially when you can look back and see where your strengths and abilities lay.

 

[A random note: If you buy bound paper journals, get one where the pages lay flat when the book is opened. I bought a cute paperback journal a while ago, but it doesn't lay flat and it is a pain in the ass to write in, because to keep it open you have to constantly hold one side down. Never again.]

 

 

 

Some people will agree or disagree with my opinions here. They are not fact, just my thoughts stemming from my experiences. I hope this post did not come off as too teachy or preachy, I know I kind of have a problem with that.

 

Some people don't need to take a lot of notes. The more experience we get, likely the less we will need to keep track of. I think sooner or later, people begin to develop a sense for what is important and what is not. Until then I think it is best to err on the side of caution.

 

They call it the Crooked Path for a reason. Keeping notes is like creating a map for yourself, so when you get lost you can find your way home. No matter how you get around to it, I think it is a very good idea to keep a record of where you have been and what you are doing.

 

Finally, do not underestimate the effects of a single spell. As they say, every gun is loaded; every action a witch takes has power. Don't get it in your head that the dabbling you do now will have little or no consequence. People are taught to respect the power of guns before they learn how to shoot. Respect your own power before you cast spells. Whether or not you can see or feel it, you will send invisible bullets flying. So make note of which direction you fire the damn gun.


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'Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.'

'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.'

 

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#2 bewitchingredhead

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 11:43 AM

 

 

That way is positively mundane; you need to write down what you do.  

 

YES YES YES!!! It seems so easy, so minuscule, so obvious, but it really fucking matters! Even for seasoned witches. At least for new spells, formulas, oils, etc. My mentor preaches this all the time and she practices what she preaches. Because she learned the hard way at some point just like all of us.  

 

As a side-note, it doesn't matter if you think you have power or not. It doesn't matter if you believe your spell can't possibly have that kind of effect. To be fair, if you are a beginner, you are not experienced enough to make those kinds of judgment calls. Nor does it matter if you are just messing around, or you aren't sure you want to be a witch. You need to keep track of your business.

 

I have learned a few lessons about magic in my recent adventures, and here are two important ones:

  • Every detail matters

Super yes to this one as well- We may not think it matters, but it's kind of like cooking a new dish from scratch that maybe you perhaps altered in some way bc you preferred a certain taste or your experience with baking tells you that if certain parts of the recipe are followed to a "T", the cake will be dry, so you make alterations. Only you forget what they were bc you didn't write them down. So the next time you go to bake it again, it doesn't turn out quite as good as the first time. What did you do wrong?! You're still an experienced cook and know what to swap out, change and/or alter to make it better than the original recipe, BUT that extra 1/4tsp of vanilla or 1/4c.less flour, or exactly what temp you lowered the oven to and for how long are the missing pieces you forgot to write down. This is why I say even an experienced witch might have the need to write down things, particularly if they deviate from a specific formula for an herbal mixture, etc. Or maybe a veteran witch uses a specific company to order his/her herbs, seeds, plants, etc. and they go out of business or change something. Even something as minute as that type of detail could be important depending on your craft. And honestly the older you get the more you tend to forget, so that's also why it's a good idea for everyone regardless of experience and/or age. Also, if you have kids or plan on having a family and you want to pass along your BOS to them one day, I think it's a nice thing to have a life long legacy written down for them to see the transformations, struggles, happiness, etc. you experienced throughout your entire life. 

 

If you don't have those notes to figure out exactly what the heck you actually set in to motion, you are going to be confused and upset in a bad way.

 

I cannot tell you how many times I've apparently forgotten to write something down and wind up needing to refer to it again! Well mostly I do write everything down, BUT bc I don't necessarily write it down in my BOS/Journal when I do it, so then I can't fucking figure out where the hell it is to save my life when I actually need it!  :wallbash: Honestly I have like 5 different mini note pads and one smaller journal on my dresser (for dreams) and I'd write something down on one of them, then spend half my time looking for it but not being able to locate which notepad. I finally started sticking every single note I took inside my book of shadows to be written down in an orderly fashion at some later point (my BOS is a fairly large three ring binder w/several large pockets). Sometimes it takes me a while to transfer the smaller notes into my BOS (I swear to god someone should call me the "post-it" witch bc they're all over the fucking place :rofl: ). But yes, the point is that this really is hard lesson to learn- especially when your spell turned out fabulously and you didn't write everything down. 
 
Keeping notes is especially important for us beginners, because it is how we learn.

Again, I completely agree- even for seasoned witches. At the very least, seasoned witches can look back on their workings from a few years ago and reflect on how things are compared to then. Sometimes the things that are important to us at one point in our life aren't so important a few years down the road. So many things can happen within even just a year's time. It's never a bad idea to keep track of things craft related (or even just life in general).

Now the tricky thing about magic is that it isn't always instantaneous. Like leaving the water tap on, sometimes it takes a while to see the effects of what you have done. Suppose I cast a money spell, and a month later I see fabulous returns. Well, excellent - I'd love to cast that spell again... if I could remember what it was. Or say I am trying to perfect a spell that makes people tell me the truth. I cast a different version on four people I know. And one of them works! Great, now, which version was that again?

 

Another fabulous point Wexler. Seriously. So many people (especially in our culture today) expect instantaneous results for everything. It's so easy now for even the best of well-intentioned people to fall victim to this mentality. I mean look, we're all here on an online forum chatting and exchanging information at record speeds when 25 years ago some of us would be lucky to even find a decent book on witchcraft, let alone another witch (at least one that's "out of the closet" so to speak). However, that doesn't mean that all of our spell work is going to be as instantaneous. If you lack the patience to wait for your results, you're not only likely to miss them, but you probably shouldn't be practicing magic anyway. 

 

Also I'd like to add something to this point if you don't mind. When new to the craft another very helpful tip when writing down all of your info is to look for places/areas where your spell is likely working, but you aren't really able to tell bc you're only looking for a free check in the mail after you cast that money spell and not the other areas in which you may be gaining money. For example, last year around this time we were a little tight on money and I cast a spell to increase our income. We're both students (yeah we did it backwards and waited until after we were married and had a kid  :geek: ). Within several days my hubby got extra hours at work, which was vital bc he needs a lot of summer work to help make up for expenses since he doesn't work fall or spring semesters. He also found out that he was supposed to be receiving an extra dollar an hour (he was working through a temp agency, but the person he was actually working for/with said he was supposed to be making "x" amount of money). Long story short, he got an extra dollar an hour, plus several weeks backpay from the temp agency for giving him the wrong amount. Not even a week or two after that, I found out that you could get your prescriptions filled at Costco even if you don't have a Costco membership. That saved me over $300/month. There are at least a few more results from that spell, but those are the ones I remember off the top of my head; but at least they're in my BOS for reference. Don't overlook those types of details. If you cast a money spell and your washing machine doesn't work, but someone gives you a free washing machine or sells a good one to you for dirt cheap, write that down too! If something you need and/or have been needing suddenly goes on sale or gives it to you, or even offers it to you in exchange for a service you can provide, then all that should be written down as well! If your chiropractor suddenly decreases the amount he charges, write that down too!

 

Don't get bogged down with fancy inks and expensive journals when a fifty cent composition book and a ten cent Bic pen from Wal-Mart will do. When it comes to spellwork, being very detailed and specific may really help you out a lot, especially when you can look back and see where your strengths and abilities lay.

 

This!! That is also something else my mentor could not stress enough. She would (and still does w/other people or classes she teaches) say, "I don't know why everyone always gets so freaked out over getting their BOS- IT'S JUST A FUCKING BOOK!!" *caps used bc she'll literally yell it like that verbatim* She said, "go to Wal-Mart and get a journal or a three ring binder; it's that fucking simple". I initially started with a large note pad like the ones you use in school and can tear the paper out of if need be, like to transfer it. Currently I use an enormous three-ring binder I ordered from Zazzle for about $20. It still looks "pretty" on the outside bc someone makes them using their artwork and sticks it on the binder itself. So now I have tabbed sections- one for the actual spells, one for potions (like condition oils, bath washes, powders, herbal mixes for anything, etc.), one for the "basics" (tools, correspondences, candle colors/types, deities- not something I personally use, but you get the idea, altar set ups for people who use them, etc.), one for Pagan holidays, traditions, and mythology, and one for my results. 

 

[A random note: If you buy bound paper journals, get one where the pages lay flat when the book is opened. I bought a cute paperback journal a while ago, but it doesn't lay flat and it is a pain in the ass to write in, because to keep it open you have to constantly hold one side down. Never again.]

 

 

 

Some people will agree or disagree with my opinions here. They are not fact, just my thoughts stemming from my experiences. I hope this post did not come off as too teachy or preachy, I know I kind of have a problem with that.

 

Some people don't need to take a lot of notes. The more experience we get, likely the less we will need to keep track of. I think sooner or later, people begin to develop a sense for what is important and what is not. Until then I think it is best to err on the side of caution.

 

They call it the Crooked Path for a reason. Keeping notes is like creating a map for yourself, so when you get lost you can find your way home. No matter how you get around to it, I think it is a very good idea to keep a record of where you have been and what you are doing.

 

Finally, do not underestimate the effects of a single spell. As they say, every gun is loaded; every action a witch takes has power. Don't get it in your head that the dabbling you do now will have little or no consequence. People are taught to respect the power of guns before they learn how to shoot. Respect your own power before you cast spells. Whether or not you can see or feel it, you will send invisible bullets flying. So make note of which direction you fire the damn gun.

 

 

I voted you up btw- excellent advice in my opinion!  :clap:


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I see you're getting your degree in art of the obvious~myself
Without music life would be a mistake~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time~ H.L. Mencken
When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves~ Galileo

#3 RoseRed

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 04:51 PM

I am sooooo proud of you!  You are just blossoming!

 

It's a beautiful thing to see.

 

I voted you up, too.


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#4 Wexler

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 07:23 PM

Thank you Redhead and Rose :biggrin: You guys are too kind.

 

Redhead:

 

I bet the reason everybody freaks the fuck out about having a Book is because every Witch 101 book puts a huge amount of emphasis on it. Like, "you need a special, private, custom book that only you ever touch, and it must have specific sigils written on it, and instructions in Theban writing, and you may only write in it with home-made magical ink. And every single spell and magical experience you have must be written down in your ~special book~, and it will become your most powerful tool that you keep with you forever."

 

I am pretty damn sure that there is no historical precedence for witches keeping all of their path work like this. Hell, the entire concept of the BOS is a modern construct that started with Gardner. I have a hard time believing that the common folk witches of old told their apprentices, "you only get one book that functions as a combination journal/spellbook/resource manual, and god help you if you write so much as a sentence down anywhere else. And most importantly, it must be very, very fancy."

 

Anyway, I am not against fancy books. If someone gave me a $1000 giftcard on Etsy to buy hand-made journals I would probably spontaneously orgasm. But I also have to identify when my desire for theatrical, 'witchy' stuff is stopping me from actually being a witch. When I don't want to scribble notes in a journal because it is too beautiful to mess up, I know I am approaching my path in the wrong way.

 

Witchcraft isn't polished and pretty. It is gritty, wild, thrilling, amazing, ugly, and breathtakingly beautiful. But it ain't pretty! :tongue: Or at least, I haven't seen that side of it yet. My journal is ugly because I take it around with me and scribble it, cry on it, dog-ear the pages, throw it in my bags, toss it on the floor, draw things in it when I'm in a floaty crazed magical high, and leave my mugs of coffee and tea on it when I can't find a coaster. And I love that stupid thing. We have been through a lot together. I have made it powerful and special because of what I put in it, not because of how it looks or how many times I smudged it. If you are a witch, you do not need leatherbound tomes wrapped in scarlet silk to make your writing special. You can put your power anywhere, so choose a medium that is tough enough to survive the ride with you.


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'Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.'

'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.'

 

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#5 Gyreleaf

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 07:54 PM

Voted up as well, great posts wexler.

I prefer to use a basic non fancy book simply because I find it hard to be free to write in a fancy one. I wouldn't want to spoil it and in the past that has hindered me from using one.

A diary can be extremely useful, although I do use my journal as a diary as well. Especially if you have several projects going on at once. It can get hard to remember what needs to be done when you have got several concoctions brewing, a working or two going, spirits to keep fed, promises of offerings for spirits when there work is done and if these require action on specific days of the week, it can get really confusing.

The another benefit of a journal is it provides an honest report of your past without the editing you get with memories.

Edited by Gyreleaf, 19 July 2014 - 07:56 PM.

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#6 uncertainfuture

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 10:47 PM

This makes perfect sense to me. I'm a notetaker by nature and I have a journal for everything as it is: one for finances (everything I spend is notated every single day), one for car and household repairs,one for my gardening schedules (when I plant something, where I plant it, weekly weather and presip, pruning, mulching, etc) one for menus for home (yep, I'm that girl) and when I'm dieting I even keep a journal of everything I eat. In the end it all leads to accountability. By writing everything down you hold yourself accountable to your actions, yet are able to account for variables.

 

Even my personal journal of my thoughts and actions is about accountability. My personal journal makes me account for what I feel, whether I want to be that in touch or not.

 

This is a great idea. I could definitely see myself keeping a journal of this nature, not just for spellwork and craftwork but even about things I've read and how they resonate with me or things that have just "happened" without me really trying.


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#7 Wexler

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 04:09 AM

[A random note: If you buy bound paper journals, get one where the pages lay flat when the book is opened. I bought a cute paperback journal a while ago, but it doesn't lay flat and it is a pain in the ass to write in, because to keep it open you have to constantly hold one side down. Never again.]

 

I think my journal heard me; for the first time ever today, it laid totally flat when I opened it up.


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'Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.'

'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.'

 

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#8 bewitchingredhead

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 07:14 AM

Thank you Redhead and Rose :biggrin: You guys are too kind.

 

Redhead:

 

I bet the reason everybody freaks the fuck out about having a Book is because every Witch 101 book puts a huge amount of emphasis on it. Like, "you need a special, private, custom book that only you ever touch, and it must have specific sigils written on it, and instructions in Theban writing, and you may only write in it with home-made magical ink. And every single spell and magical experience you have must be written down in your ~special book~, and it will become your most powerful tool that you keep with you forever."

 

I am pretty damn sure that there is no historical precedence for witches keeping all of their path work like this. Hell, the entire concept of the BOS is a modern construct that started with Gardner. I have a hard time believing that the common folk witches of old told their apprentices, "you only get one book that functions as a combination journal/spellbook/resource manual, and god help you if you write so much as a sentence down anywhere else. And most importantly, it must be very, very fancy."

 

Anyway, I am not against fancy books. If someone gave me a $1000 giftcard on Etsy to buy hand-made journals I would probably spontaneously orgasm. But I also have to identify when my desire for theatrical, 'witchy' stuff is stopping me from actually being a witch. When I don't want to scribble notes in a journal because it is too beautiful to mess up, I know I am approaching my path in the wrong way.

 

Witchcraft isn't polished and pretty. It is gritty, wild, thrilling, amazing, ugly, and breathtakingly beautiful. But it ain't pretty! :tongue: Or at least, I haven't seen that side of it yet. My journal is ugly because I take it around with me and scribble it, cry on it, dog-ear the pages, throw it in my bags, toss it on the floor, draw things in it when I'm in a floaty crazed magical high, and leave my mugs of coffee and tea on it when I can't find a coaster. And I love that stupid thing. We have been through a lot together. I have made it powerful and special because of what I put in it, not because of how it looks or how many times I smudged it. If you are a witch, you do not need leatherbound tomes wrapped in scarlet silk to make your writing special. You can put your power anywhere, so choose a medium that is tough enough to survive the ride with you.

 

 

Not to mention the fact that many people who've practiced witchcraft before the advent of Wicca hundreds and hundreds of years ago were most likely illiterate.

 

Me too! Not gonna lie, I wouldn't cry or be super disappointed if someone decided to buy me a fancy, pretty one, BUT given the fact that I'm exactly the same as you described w/nice things- yeah that's a sign alright. It's taken me years to get out of the habit of not using my things bc I'm "saving them for a special occasion"! My husband would always be like, "why don't you wear your perfume, or your *insert designer* shoes, or use your *insert designer* purse, or this *very nice* jewelry"? And I'm always like, bc "I'm saving it for a special occasion", or "I don't want to get it dirty", etc. and he'd be so baffled like, what's the fucking point then?! :roflhard:  :roflhard: 

 

I will say I've gotten better about it over the 13yrs we've been together, but I still have about half a bottle of my all time fav perfume on my dresser from about 12yrs ago. It still retains it's scent after all these years!!! You know, what if they ever discontinue it? There I go again...


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I see you're getting your degree in art of the obvious~myself
Without music life would be a mistake~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time~ H.L. Mencken
When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves~ Galileo

#9 Nikki

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:24 PM

Here's a template that might be useful to glance at when working a spell or magical recipe ... whenever, however you choose to record them.

 

I'm a firm believer in recording procedures -- memory fades over time. It's nice to look back and see everything you did. 

 

This template started off much shorter at first, but some very bright witches added great suggestions. 

 

 

Worksheet for Spells and Formulars:

 

Prior Divinations:

 

Specific Purpose:

Date & Time

Day of the week

Location

 

Targets:

Taglocks:

 

 

List of Materials Used

Procedure

References

Deities Evoked

Moon Phase

Astrological phase

Weather conditions

 

Physical Notes: (Your health, state-of-mind, emotional temp)

 

Spell Duration: (how long the spell took to complete)

 

Spell Remains (where is it placed or how remains were disposed of)

 

Signs & Omens:

 

Spell Progress:

 

Additional Notes:

 

Results:

Unforeseen Outcomes:

 

Date

Final Thoughts


Edited by Nikki, 20 July 2014 - 10:29 PM.

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#10 bewitchingredhead

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:32 PM

I think that's a great list Niki! I would only add how you're feeling at the time you cast the spell. Emotion can have an enormous effect on spell work and sometimes it will be the last think a person would think of as a reason a spell did/didn't work as well. 


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I see you're getting your degree in art of the obvious~myself
Without music life would be a mistake~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time~ H.L. Mencken
When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves~ Galileo

#11 Nikki

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:34 PM

I think that's a great list Niki! I would only add how you're feeling at the time you cast the spell. Emotion can have an enormous effect on spell work and sometimes it will be the last think a person would think of as a reason a spell did/didn't work as well. 

 

 

Physical Notes: (Your health, state-of-mind, emotional temp)


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I Love you as certain Dark Things are to be Loved,
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#12 Wexler

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:01 PM

Lovely list, Nikki! You included some things I hadn't thought of.

 

If 'spell duration' is how long it took you to cast the spell, I would personally include 'time to manifestation', which would be however long it took me to see the specific result(s) I cast for. (Unless, that is the Date category!)

 

'Physical notes' could also include how you feel after you cast. Some people feel very unusual after they cast spells so it is good to get a record going to know what is normal for you.


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'Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.'

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#13 bewitchingredhead

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:52 PM

 

Physical Notes: (Your health, state-of-mind, emotional temp)

 

 

 

:rofl:  :blondmoment: 

 

This is why I shouldn't do more than one thing at a time. Btw, do you happen to have a link to a template to download? 


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I see you're getting your degree in art of the obvious~myself
Without music life would be a mistake~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time~ H.L. Mencken
When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves~ Galileo

#14 Wexler

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 12:14 AM

I am handy with formatting. I could create a nice printable PDF of this list if that is okay with Nikki.


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'Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.'

'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.'

 

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#15 bewitchingredhead

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:28 AM

I am handy with formatting. I could create a nice printable PDF of this list if that is okay with Nikki.

 

 

You guys are the best! That would be totally awesome!  :thankyou: 


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I see you're getting your degree in art of the obvious~myself
Without music life would be a mistake~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time~ H.L. Mencken
When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves~ Galileo

#16 ArcticWitch

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 05:50 PM

I think that's a great list Niki! I would only add how you're feeling at the time you cast the spell. Emotion can have an enormous effect on spell work and sometimes it will be the last think a person would think of as a reason a spell did/didn't work as well. 

 

I concur with this, as well as the assertion that physical well-being at the time can be a factor as well.

 

I've intentionally shied away from taking detailed notes of my workings.  I'll usually record most of the components, but never all- and this thread has prompted me to figure out why.  A lot of my workings, and typically my most successful ones, happen when it feels like my intuition is getting hit by a truck..."Do THIS now".  Sometimes I have a few hours to gather things I feel are most appropriate, have time to mull over the wording of the spell, etc.  But more often than not, I ponder on the intuitive feedback for a few moments, then just do what feels must be done.  The latter type of scenario are the ones I do not record in detail.  I guess I'm paranoid that the working is so "in the moment", that if I were to try to recreate it in every aspect later on, it wouldn't work.  That concern is not steeped in experience, though, because I've never tried it (and hence never had the chance to succeed or fail).  I guess I need to witch up and at least give it a try one of these days.


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#17 Wexler

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:20 PM

AW, I think I get where you are coming from. Sometimes I have thoughts of, "well I'd better not write this down, because then there will be proof." Proof that my spell failed if it didn't manifest, maybe. Or, if I try the same spell again and it failed, maybe that would be proof that the first time was a fluke. Proof that I couldn't get what I wanted. Writing everything down can be, I think, a brutally honest reflection of our own abilities.

 

At the same time, think about how nifty it would be if you did have all that data! For example, maybe in a year you go back and say, "in all my premeditated spells I tend to use method A and ingredients X, Y, and Z. But in all my spur-of-the-moment spells I tend to use method B and ingredients R, S, and T." Wouldn't it be badass to see that difference and be able to use it to improve your spellwork? And if a spell did fall flat, I would really want to have all that info to understand why. If I could point to a reason, like "I didn't really access the energies I needed," or, "the fucking wind stole my words as I spoke them," that would probably make me feel better than just assuming "that spell must have failed because I suck as a witch and I can't do magic good."

 

Also, even if we can remember the generalities or what we experienced, it may be a lot harder to remember the details and the environment in which we cast. If I always cast inside my room I may never notice that during my strongest spells, it was sunny outside. If I worked one wildly successful spell, I may not realize I cast it during a strongly auspicious astrological time. Even if I know what that powerful shockwave feeling feels like when I cast a really successful spell, I may not ever be sure exactly what causes it, you know?

 

(I think it is no secret that I am a data nerd... I love my numbers!)


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'Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.'

'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.'

 

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#18 Nikki

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:39 PM

Hey Guys,

 

I don't have a link or PDF...lol

 

I started this list on my own.. When I  posted it in the Seeker's section, other witches (just like y'all have) added some great suggestions.

 

It's easy enough to copy by hand.

 

Add/omit/skip based on what works for you.  Not every spell requires each category to be filled in. 

 

I never made copies. I just look at it when I sit to record a spell I'm working on, then add info when the spell sent and as manifests.  

 

I add how I feel after casting in the Physical Notes section -- Before and After.  To each his/her own. 

 

As far as failure goes... looking back and seeing EVERYTHING you did helps you become more effective in the future... imho.  

 

It can show you patterns, as well. 

 

I've found that Unforeseen Outcomes include: 

How fast the spell worked...

How long after the effects are still manifesting...

Impacts stronger than I imagined. (like an FBI investigation -- I didn't see that one coming !!! )  gotta love that one :)


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The difference between Medicine and Poison is the Dose. :oil-bottle:
I Love you as certain Dark Things are to be Loved,
In Secret, Between the Shadow and the Soul.
- Pablo Neruda


#19 bewitchingredhead

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:15 AM

Hey Guys,

 

I don't have a link or PDF...lol

 

I started this list on my own.. When I  posted it in the Seeker's section, other witches (just like y'all have) added some great suggestions.

 

It's easy enough to copy by hand.

 

Add/omit/skip based on what works for you.  Not every spell requires each category to be filled in. 

 

I never made copies. I just look at it when I sit to record a spell I'm working on, then add info when the spell sent and as manifests.  

 

I add how I feel after casting in the Physical Notes section -- Before and After.  To each his/her own. 

 

As far as failure goes... looking back and seeing EVERYTHING you did helps you become more effective in the future... imho.  

 

It can show you patterns, as well. 

 

I've found that Unforeseen Outcomes include: 

How fast the spell worked...

How long after the effects are still manifesting...

Impacts stronger than I imagined. (like an FBI investigation -- I didn't see that one coming !!! )  gotta love that one :smile:

 

:omg:

Omg you're not going to seriously leave us hanging w/that one are you?!!! :popcorn:


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I see you're getting your degree in art of the obvious~myself
Without music life would be a mistake~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time~ H.L. Mencken
When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves~ Galileo

#20 bewitchingredhead

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:35 AM

I concur with this, as well as the assertion that physical well-being at the time can be a factor as well.

 

I've intentionally shied away from taking detailed notes of my workings.  I'll usually record most of the components, but never all- and this thread has prompted me to figure out why.  A lot of my workings, and typically my most successful ones, happen when it feels like my intuition is getting hit by a truck..."Do THIS now".  Sometimes I have a few hours to gather things I feel are most appropriate, have time to mull over the wording of the spell, etc.  But more often than not, I ponder on the intuitive feedback for a few moments, then just do what feels must be done.  The latter type of scenario are the ones I do not record in detail.  I guess I'm paranoid that the working is so "in the moment", that if I were to try to recreate it in every aspect later on, it wouldn't work.  That concern is not steeped in experience, though, because I've never tried it (and hence never had the chance to succeed or fail).  I guess I need to witch up and at least give it a try one of these days.

 

 

A thousand times yes regarding physical well being too!! Good lord sometimes that might be the single most important factor to a successful spell imo. I can certainly see your point of view. I've had several of those myself. I don't usually literally write down everything while I'm doing the spell. I'll write down the info like date, time, phase of the moon, ephemeris of the moon and items used before I start the spell. Then I'll write down the rest afterwards (although sometimes I'll note mental state of mind/physical well being before and after if I noticed a change during or after the spell). Many times I've used intuition regarding what I say or maybe something I change when I cast and have regretted at least not knowing what I said- bc what if it wasn't specific enough or too specific and then the outcome isn't ideal. Or I regret not knowing what I said bc it was ideal, even if I didn't intend to ever go about it the exact same way again. 

 

However, I also have a lot of my own simple chants and incantations I say to charge herbs, crystals, candles, etc. and since I know them by heart, I just write down the abbreviations for those in my notes. If I intuitively work within a spell that's not "spelled out" for me, I don't think I've ever remembered it verbatim. But, I'll still try to write down the gist of what I said or did that was done intuitively, which is fairly frequent for me lately bc I'm terrible at the whole ritual planning thing. My notes highly suggest this is obvious- :laugh:


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I see you're getting your degree in art of the obvious~myself
Without music life would be a mistake~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time~ H.L. Mencken
When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves~ Galileo