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awildekkem

On keeping and creating a Grimoire

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What are your methods? I tend to have several notebooks in my general surroundings at any given time. These are my running books of actual practice, much like the lab notebooks one keeps to record their experiments as they perform them. Historically I have not been so great of keeping up with or keeping track of these things. These are full of learning, crossing stuff out, redos, recants, and oopsies, and eventually something I deem worthy of the Grimoire. That way, instead of my Grimoire being partially (if not mostly) full of the sigil sketches that I didn't accept, that love brew that backfired (I wanted to attract suitors, NOT STALKERS...), and stuff of the like... Do you all have a similar system? Or does it all just go in a book and you flip through as needed, disregarding all of your perfectly imperfect mistakes? I see nothing wrong with including the rejects, but I am in the process of making an heirloom Grimoire to pass down, I want it to be intuitive in its order. I absolutely cherish my notebooks full of the process it took to get the final product, though. I never get rid of them. This is going to end in having a LOT of written material, but it is what works for me.

 

Now, more about that Grimoire...

I tend to make things in pages. I am obsessed with things having order and flow. The Grimoire will be divided into volumes.

Possible ideas are specific volumes for (and these are not necessarily the titles, just content):

Natural Ingredients (non-toxic)--woods, herbs, flowers, types of charged waters, etc.

Natural Ingredients (toxic, psychoactive, entheogenic, mind altering)--alcohols, alkaloid plants, baneful herbs, etc.

Other Ingredients--blood, nails (of the finger or pounding variety), hair, animal parts, bugs, metals, wax, etc.

Stones--gems, stones, etc.

Spells/Rituals--with subsections for purpose or type.

Ceromonial Traditions--how my family will celebrate sabbats and things of the like.

History--basically a giant sourcebook with added anecdotes for why I use a green candle when I do, and the significance of other such things.

The Most Badass Index of All Time--you'll need it what with all the information I hope to amass over this life.

 

I think I have a few more sections, but my notes are in another notebook, and the cat is napping on my foot.

 

If you are comfortable with sharing, I'd love to hear and discuss how you have yours set up, and what your process is for creating one! Thank you!

 

Keep it weird.

awildekkem

 

(Also, if this is better suited in another board, I am sorry, I used my best judgement, and this is my first post other than my intro, so I am super new. FORGIVE MEH.)

(Damn, I use a lot of parentheses and dashes.)

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I'm really bad with keeping everything in one place. I have one that's purely a reference tome, filled with definitions of things (amulets-talismans-planetary signs-etc). I have to say I don't use it much, but it's really great for lists of things like stones, definitions, etc. It's basically a "Grimoire 101" that I created back in my brand new witch days. These days I have one that is magical journal, dream journal & I talk about what I did and what worked and what didn't work, musings and lists of things I want to accomplish magically. I also have my personal tarot spreads in there. But I don't have big lists of spells or an index. I may add some in later, but I don't plan on passing it along after I die unless one of my kids or a grandchild is a witch and wants it.

Edited by westofthemoon

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Your methods are very similar to my slew of notebooks, it is a beautiful chaos that probably only I can navigate, and up until now, that is exactly the way I wanted it. Now I feel this calling to make an actual tradition out of the family craft. It's been pretty interesting so far. Making this Grimoire has consumed me, it's basically the Family Trad Craft 101, and I hope my future generations use it as a reference with a little slew of notebooks of their own that tell what worked for them, and how they applied some of my information to their own unique experiences and situations. :D

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You might find this thread started by Wexler to be helpful:

 

http://www.traditionalwitch.net/forums/topic/11288-keeping-records/

 

 

I think if I kept track of EVERYTHING I'd be crazier than a shithouse rat, but there are many things that make it into my documents, and there are even some documents I found recently that I had thought to have been destroyed.

 

I spared no expense on my dream/visions/travel journal, I use an Italian leatherbound journal for that. I used to keep track of such things in regular notebooks but as I'm getting older I prefer to have some sort of authentic look to my history. I don't typically write my spells in English.

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You might find this thread started by Wexler to be helpful:

 

http://www.traditionalwitch.net/forums/topic/11288-keeping-records/

 

 

I think if I kept track of EVERYTHING I'd be crazier than a shithouse rat, but there are many things that make it into my documents, and there are even some documents I found recently that I had thought to have been destroyed.

 

I spared no expense on my dream/visions/travel journal, I use an Italian leatherbound journal for that. I used to keep track of such things in regular notebooks but as I'm getting older I prefer to have some sort of authentic look to my history. I don't typically write my spells in English.

___

 

I read all of it, although most of that pertains to my note taking, not so much my Grimoire making, except that a lot of those tips might end up in how I write down spells and such! It's a great thread.

 

I spare no expense on any notebook, like ever... Also, I am lucky in that my family often gives me new journals for gift-giving holidays, because it is a sure-fire way to please me. Calligraphy, hand lettering and typography are some of my favorite things in this earth and have been since I learned to write. Writing and writing beautifully are such sacred things to me, and having a beautiful book to record all of my things in has definitely been a priority for me, always. I have several beautiful leather journal covers, and I have learned to bind books so that I can continue refilling the journals I am most attached to. I've also dabbled in paper making, and in my dreams the final draft of my Grimoire will be hand-bound, with hand-made paper. (I have yet to bind a journal with solely handmade paper, but a girl can dream...) Which really all emphasizes the core of my Craft, the Craft I will teach my children. If your hands are capable, they should make it. To me, hand-made, hand-written, hand-grown, etc items are the most powerful of all.

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There are quite a few members/former members who are familiar with handbound books, I'm sure digging in the Show Your Art forum might give you some inspiration. Leatherwork is one of my 9 million hobbies but has fallen to the wayside recently. I do have several deer skins ready to be used from this past season but haven't decided what to do with them yet. I remember recently someone talking about making paper, I have done it when I was a kid but haven't tried it recently. I would think maybe even more of a cloth type paper would work better depending on what the aim is, like money is printed on, for example. I did learn how to bind books using machinery when I was in high school, we had a decent technical arts program there.

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There are quite a few members/former members who are familiar with handbound books, I'm sure digging in the Show Your Art forum might give you some inspiration. Leatherwork is one of my 9 million hobbies but has fallen to the wayside recently. I do have several deer skins ready to be used from this past season but haven't decided what to do with them yet. I remember recently someone talking about making paper, I have done it when I was a kid but haven't tried it recently. I would think maybe even more of a cloth type paper would work better depending on what the aim is, like money is printed on, for example. I did learn how to bind books using machinery when I was in high school, we had a decent technical arts program there.

___

 

Oh, please excuse me while I kill a few more hours on here looking at that forum. :D (I just haven't made it down that far, yet!)

 

I haven't been so lucky to use machines for the binding process, I bet it is so much more efficient! Probably something I'll look more into as I go.

I have several experiments for what type of paper I will be using... I have to decide on an ink as well, and the two have to work together nicely. No bleeding, no running, not too thick, not too thin. It's an admittedly self-inflicted tedious process, but all in all it is layered with intent and purpose, and I think all the attention to detail will really show through.

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Planning a hand-written, totally homemade series of grimoires is quite a herculean task!

 

Are you much of a typist? There's nothing like writing by hand for me when I'm being creative or journaling, but when it's time for me to record information for later use I'm all about digital.

 

I would be devastated if I lost my work to an accident and it couldn't be restored. Have you considered any back-ups in case something happens to your projects?

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I'm devastated to think that I did just that and then threw it all in a bonfire during my last Xtian phase. My daughter wants me to write it all down again so I can pass it onto her someday.

 

Sometimes, I think that oral tradition is better.

  • Upvote 1

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Your method sounds similar to my own. I wanted so badly to have a badass looking book (ala Charmed or something) with lots of handwritten pages, etc. When I started keeping track of things and writing them down, I did it in a random order which I eventually found too confusing for reference. I wrote when inspiration hit me, and inspiration is chaotic - but if I wanted to be able to refer back to something I needed a way to organize the chaos. I eventually did so with three-ring binders. I started with Dollar Store type binders (which majorly suck, but work in a pinch) and once I figured out my system I began replacing them with Avery Framed View Binders, purchased from a local office supply store. Since they are so pricey I just bought one every couple of weeks (I'm still working on buying them to replace shabby $1 ones). They are nice, heavy duty and somewhat customizable on the front and the side - which for this OCD witch was a very good thing. They look nice and tidy where I store them. :)

 

Anyway - what I wound up doing is splitting my grimoire into sections. I have one binder for every lesson I had in my coven and then one for various interests such as tarot, palmistry, scrying, spells, one which contains a little about several other forms of divination which I don't create detailed information lists about, one that holds short bio's and interviews with witches that I admire, one for crystals, one for flying ointments (articles about them and then my own written experiences with them), incense and kyphi making, etc. You get the idea. Any topic which I'd like to include in my grimoire winds up getting turned into it's own binder, and all of those binders together (20+ so far) equal the written sum of my studies. I even went so far as to include a binder that detailed all the books I've read and my general thoughts on the said book. Did I say I was OCD? But I'm getting to the teaching phase of my journey now and all of this hard work will pay off because it makes it easier to say, "Wait a minute - here were my thoughts on ....". Plus, journaling is growth - and my opinions change, so when they do it's simply a matter of typing up the difference, printing it and sticking it into the right binder. And I can remove anything at will. All this I simply couldn't do with a grand old book.

 

I'm thinking that perhaps, when I'm quite old, I'll be able to determine what I ultimately want in one book - and *then* I'll get a beautiful hand-made grimoire. Until then, I've personally found that the binder method works wonders and in the end it will most likely be the binders that are worth so much more as far as information and personal growth and experience.

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I had a couple large 3 ring binders. One was a resource book - moons, stones, herbs, coorespondences, etc. The other one was a working book. I had a separate one for tarot. I put a lot of work into them.

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There is a method of book binding called 'screw post binding', which allows a person to create a fully bound book where pages can easily be added and removed. I figured if I ever launched a similar project, that is what I would use.

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ROFL, Wex. Spoken like a true accountant. Before the days of personal computers, we used a "post binder" system. (I just googled it and apparently it's not quite as antiquated as I thought. The supplies still exist.) Except I think you'd have to fudge the papers - all I can ever find have accounting columns.

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Guest monsnoleedra

Lots of topical stamp album pages can be used with the circular or squared posts / rods. Many of the generic stamp albums also are easy to work with as you undo the back of the album to add new pages. though I'd suggest you use paper enforcements around each post hole so they don't tear out regardless of what type of binding you use.

 

While I use a computer and hard drive now when I first started it all had to be hand written due to charging your book and your works with your own energy while copying word for word from an elder's book. Though we didn't hang on the idea of a Grimore as that was High or ceremonial magics. Yet we often did hide things in plain site such as kitchen witch things hidden in cookbooks for instance and ingredients listings. then the whole was a series of magical tomes that were united yet often separated into smaller volumes.

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I hand write everything, and in my day-to-day work I often have a dozen or so notepads on the go at once - for me, writing is how I think.

 

So for witchy stuff, I have a beautiful Italian leather journal cover (hand painted no less - it was a gift from Venice) and I can change over the book inserts - this has been brilliant as I can write to my heart's content and just start a new volume each time I finish a book :)

 

It's chronological, but it suits me... I'm ocd organized normally, but for craft stuff... Organic growth feels like the way to go :)

 

Good to see another newbie too Awildekkem!

 

Willow.

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I actually keep most of mine on the computer. My handwriting is not the best so it is easier to go back and read it this way. Also, I put a lot of articles from around the web in there along with me journaling my practices. I need to print them out for physical copies, now that I think about it.

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You might find this thread started by Wexler to be helpful:

 

http://www.traditionalwitch.net/forums/topic/11288-keeping-records/

 

 

I think if I kept track of EVERYTHING I'd be crazier than a shithouse rat, but there are many things that make it into my documents, and there are even some documents I found recently that I had thought to have been destroyed.

 

I spared no expense on my dream/visions/travel journal, I use an Italian leatherbound journal for that. I used to keep track of such things in regular notebooks but as I'm getting older I prefer to have some sort of authentic look to my history. I don't typically write my spells in English.

LOL. That's the very first thing I thought of when I read the first post (Wexler's thread)!

How/what things to you do to help you remember your dreams? What about those crazy fucked up dreams that you can't even begin to explain and/or write, but can still recall? You know which ones I'm talking about right? Those happen to me a lot and it's frustrating! I also feel like I lose so much info/details that I recalled perfectly until I attempt to transfer them (verbally or written). I can't get up in the middle of the night and write them down bc I'm blind as a bat and don't wear contacts to bed. I did actually try this once just in case, and I should take a pic of it bc that's how awful it was! Can't make out a word of it!

 

Do you do things to purposefully assist you w/the dreaming process?

 

Also, what language do you write them in (that's just for my curiosity).

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LOL. That's the very first thing I thought of when I read the first post (Wexler's thread)!

How/what things to you do to help you remember your dreams? What about those crazy fucked up dreams that you can't even begin to explain and/or write, but can still recall? You know which ones I'm talking about right? Those happen to me a lot and it's frustrating! I also feel like I lose so much info/details that I recalled perfectly until I attempt to transfer them (verbally or written). I can't get up in the middle of the night and write them down bc I'm blind as a bat and don't wear contacts to bed. I did actually try this once just in case, and I should take a pic of it bc that's how awful it was! Can't make out a word of it!

 

Do you do things to purposefully assist you w/the dreaming process?

 

Also, what language do you write them in (that's just for my curiosity).

 

 

I think the most important thing for me when it comes to remembering dreams is not having to wake up to an alarm. Afternoon naps are usually the best time for me to collect them. I don't think anyone actually likes having to wake up early to a loud machine screaming at you; generally I forget them in a split second when it happens, especially if I was in the middle of it. I haven't had a dream that I couldn't really describe on paper, I usually just do the best I can with it and later when I read it my brain will do the work for me. They aren't for other people to read they're for my own recollection.

 

I don't think anything I've tried has made a direct impact on the lucidity of dreams, they come and go as they want. I've never noticed anything in particular that aided/hindered it at all other than certain chemicals. For example, I didn't remember shit on the nights I was passed out from drinking. Some chemicals cause crazy dreams, others might aid lucid dreams. Others might be better suited for astral work. Even still, chemicals aren't necessary in any of the cases. I don't think this is the place for that discussion though.

 

I write them in English because it's fastest for me to do. The longer I have to stay awake and spend mental power to translate it then it's longer that I'll have to forget details.

Edited by Caps

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Some of us use no book....and yes, that can be trad, too. I used to crossindex and write everything down...meh, my memory is pretty damn good, and I know how to write a spell.

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I amin the middle of rewriting my grimoire. It goes really slow since I must be in the right mood and not be disturbed. Anyway...my old grimoire is a mix of sigills, symbol lexicon, journal, spellwork, notes, future projects and so on. Its confusing (and a bit naive in some cases) and when the pages was full i glued in new pages where i thought it fitted...adding to the confusion.

 

So recently i got a new book. And has started to copy over the good parts from my old grimoire (wich i will burn later on). The new one has the parts tools (the meaning of symbols, alphabets, moonphases and so on), spellwork (spells and rituals), entities (entities i have been in contact with or i think will be usefull some day), technices and recepies (how to sigilize, cross, stuff like that) book list (books that i either have picked information and inspiration from or books thats good).

 

Unfortenatly...in the ruch to get my new grimoire started I used a ballpointed pen. And every time i read those text it annoys me. So i have realized that I need to do yet another one. *sigh* so i guess I copy everything from grimoire nr 1 to grimoire nr 2 and them start over in nr 3.

 

In nr 3 I plan an another approach. Since it feels like every spell/ritual need different types of paper I plan to write everything down on lose sheats and later on bind it to a book.

 

(Unfortenatly is my autocorrect set on Swedish...so if there are some odd words here and there its because of that)

Edited by Ogga

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When I started out, I wrote down everything. Then I couldn't find it ever again... :-) I've had several volumes of this type over the years in varying shapes and sizes. None were expensive, leather bound tomes. Now a days I keep a cheap spiral notebook as a "lab book" and at the end of the book when it's full, I review. Anything really good then gets recopied to my modest bound book,with blank space for additional notes. It's working much better.

 

Things I keep:

spells by purpose, with notes of the method & results, and follow up

Favorite herbs that work well with me, growing conditions

Ordinary Stones that work well with me, where I found them & circumstances (li.e., seagull dropped it on me, found on grave)

Crystals & grid work

Chants, prayers

Meditation techniques, center breathing, OOB

Spiritual lessons

Memorable events on my path & meaning to me

Spirits & guides and any connections

Edited by Zombee

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I used to have several books when I first started out. Especially, during my time with BTW. But, in about 2005, they were all damaged in a flood situation we had and I've just never been able to recreate them.

 

At this point, I am not sure I would actually start another one. I have my recipe books and they're all hand written. But, as far as spell work, etc., I just really don't want other people finding and handling them. Most of the necessary stuff has already been committed to memory and also relayed to my sons for their own use. New stuff will be done the same way. I've got some random papers hanging around with "recipes" on them and stuff like that, but once they're memorized they get burned or shredded. I live in the Bible belt, people in my rural community do not take kindly to anything related to witchcraft, so I'm paranoid about stuff like that.

 

I have always wanted to bind my own big, giant book though. The post method mentioned earlier in the thread....maybe someday I'll do it. I just don't know what I'll put in it. Craft workings is probably a definite "no".

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I plan on starting soon. I'm going to start with reference guides that are particularly relevant to me (plants I grow/have access to; animals I regularly encounter; etc). I'll probably take notes in a plain cheap notebook, then I plan to lay everything out scrapbook style. I have a great vision in my head of pages including notes and drawings and raw materials. 

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