Witch Wednesdays Podcast Episode 9 - Books of Shadows and Grimoires

Witch Wednesdays Podcast Episode 9 - Books of Shadows and Grimoires

Episode 9 can be found here and on YouTube here.

S: you're listening to episode nine books of shadows in grimoires. Like we mentioned in last weeks podcast these two terms refer to journals of the practice of witchcraft and although they are often used interchangeably they actually do refer to two completely different things. so that is what we're going to talk to you about today tell you the difference between the two and then we're going to kind of dive into what we have and how we set them up and use them.

First of all, grimoire is a term that's been around for Hundreds of years while book of shadows is relatively modern. A grimoire is a premade book of general information. inside you to find things like we talked about on the podcast - how to cast a circle, correspondences of each crystal, or Sabbat, which herbs should be used when, lunar cycles and which spells to perform with each phrase. it would contain general spells that anyone could adapt and use. most of the books on witchcraft that you find today are actually technically grimoires. Our next two episodes actually are going to be on this topic. so next week we will talk all about the best books for beginners and then the week after that will be about books for different types of witches like more specifically for like advanced practitioners. and most of these would be considered grimoires.

Books of shadows then are slightly different. the term only became popular in the last part of the 20th century and became especially popular after the release of the TV show charmed. if you heard the term book of shadows, I would not be surprised if you heard of it because of the original Charmed. Books of shadows are Personal books so rather than being a premade book of correspondences and tutorials ,a book of shadows is more about witch's journal and it's filled with your own personal journey. it would contain your own spells that you've made, notes of things you've changed or added, a record of your own tarot spread, some people like to write those down to track over a year or your own recipes for incense or cider. it's basically a history of your practice as a witch, so therefore every single book of shadows will be completely unique even if you've made 10, even if they are all by the same witch, they are still going to be completely different. and most are hand written but since we are in the modern age you absolutely can type it if that's easier for you. we will have a podcast later this year about more modern tools for witchcraft we already talked about the traditional ones but we're going to talk about modern ones like apps and things, and there is an app to create a book of shadows if you want to do it that way instead.

So that is basically the difference between the two, so I am going to let Tara take it away and tell you about what she has and how she sets up hers.

T: So we'll talk a lot more about the grimoires, books that I've read for beginners and stuff like you said next weeks episode but for me personally when I started my own book of shadows, I started with a journal. Just like a teenage girl diary, but I set it up almost like a recipe book. I started with a section on rituals, and then I had a section on spells, and then I had a section on recipes. my first was very hodgepodge. I've since streamline that quite a bit. but the first one it has sprigs of herbs that I grew and dried, it has sketches of layouts in the cards that I wanted to lay out, or how I wanted to direct my energy. I actually drew drawings on how I wanted that to get work it. It worked pretty well for me, as you said no two books of shadows are the same, so I have changed myself quite a bit on that but I still like to write down I'm not super ...I like technology it's a good time don't give me wrong technology is fine, but I am not the type of person I can use it exclusively, so I still get just a blank journal and I start with that always when I start a new book of shadows. I find that the blank pages really help me organize my thoughts and I enjoy the organizing process of what is going to go into it and what isn't. one thing that I have found to be useful is there are Grimoires out there that are instructional and once in a while I'll just print off a page from there and I'll stick it in my book of shadows and then I will detail how I'm changing it to make it mine. I know quite a few beginner witches that they'll either print off certain pages or they'll just start with a pre-printed one and fill in the blanks, and that can really help direct your energy and your thought processes, but I always preferred the blank that I filled in. And I always do more than just writing. I don't just write things down there needs to be drawings and I'll like I said there's always great herbs in mine, herbs that I've grown, herbs that I want to use in the spell things of that nature, and I keep them pressed in the book. so that kind of a description on the set mine up. I use it for a lot of things. I use it for not only am I spellwork and rituals but sometimes it's just a journal on how I'm feeling and how I think things are going out of, anything I wanna refocus on. so it's really my book of shadows is not only like a recipe book of spells and actual recipes that I make, but also thoughts feelings, almost like a journal that I keep.

S: Now the theme of the last eight episodes that you've listened to are that Tara and I are completely different. I think that's part of the charm of having two people do a podcast together on one topic, because You're seeing things from two completely different points of view so it gives you a lot of different options about the way things that would work for you. and so not only being different from Tara, but also be who I am ,it shouldn't surprise anybody that mine are way more organized and methodical. so mine is actually set up in something that is, that I bought it's like a journal, but it is called the book of days from the threads of fate. it's a company online you can order from and I love that but it is a hefty book, I think it's like 400 freaking pages like it's really big, really long because it was intended originally to be a daily planner, so it's got you know 365 days of the year but it's undated, so it's got like monthly spreads and then on each day it has sections not only to plan your day but also mind and soul sections to you can write down things You know that you're feeling and it has like ways to track like the phase of the moon that you're in. so I originally got to use it as a planner but the thing is I don't really need a daily planner, I just don't have that much to track during the day, so I was thinking which is what I do you use it for, is to use it as sort of a mine is more of a book of shadows grimoire hybrid because I learn things better if I write them down myself rather than just read a book or listen to someone else talk about it, I have to write it out. so mine is partially grimoire in the way that I will write a list of like what the different lunar phases are and what they mean because I wouldn't remember if I hadn't written that on myself and like the same thing there's like a page like Crystal correspondence and what they like work for for me and like things that you would find a traditional grimoire all this like premade information I have to copied that into my own book. but then on the pages, I don't go day by day, I don't use it every day, but when I do use it, I do partially journal some things, I keep track of the if I pulled an Oracle card or Tarot card for that day. Or actually sat down and made a whole tarot spread I do keep track of those things. so I like that it's undated but it's definitely way more methodical and systematic then Tara's is and there's also notes pages so there is space for me to write down you know my particular spells anything that I think you know adapted like for me so I do have a place to like write those down to track those but that is my only one. because the last one I had was just a journal is a bullet journal style and I just couldn't stick with it, I couldn't do it because I just I need more guidance than that I'm a very organized person and to just have like a completely blank notebook in front of me just doesn't work for me, my mind is not that, I'm not that great of a person. so I like having it in this book of days because there's way more, it's not completely fill in the blank, it's just four big boxes on each page, but that give me more structure Structure when I like actually do go in to work with it. so I can just go and open to the next page even if the last one is dated December 2 and now we're in February like at least I can write the date at the top of the page fill in you know what the lunar cycle is that day, what my mood is that day, what the oracle card was that day, things like that. so just progresses along like that and there's so many pages gonna take me forever to get through.

T: well and one thing although they are slightly different,  everyone's book of shadows is also going to have be at least partially a grimoire because you can't adapt things to yourself until you understand so I think its completely normal is to have just almost instructional things that don't necessarily directly correspond to you that are just on the very basics, and then you adapt them from there. so don't be afraid to just put instructions like my first one has how to cast a circle. It's very general and I Do it very differently now but the beginning it was very helpful just to write down start at the north you know.

S: yes and especially for beginners because you, there's so many, especially with you if you're going to be working in the kitchen area, be working with different herbs and crystals, there a lot so when you're starting out you might get a lot of things thrown at you that if it would be good to make a list of what things mean and how they are supposed to work. because first of all it would be impossible to remember all of them. I mean eventually you will eventually certain things will just come to you, but as you practice more and more you're going to find which ones in particular work for you and really narrow it down you're not going to work with every herb or Crystal under the sun, it's just they won't all work for you. and they can work very differently for you so yeah. rose quartz for example is supposed to be you know for love and friendship, that color pink, it's everything you would associate with the color pink, but for some people it doesn't work for them. Rose quartz does not work for everybody, if you were going to do something that's related to like love relationships friendships like that, if rose quartz doesn't work for you you can use clear quartz or a number of other things but you have to start at the beginning to know that that's not going to work for you in that way.

T: yes always start in the beginning. like never be afraid to try something to see if it'll work for you but at the same time don't feel like you have to try everything. if you know somethings not gonna work for you then just go onto the next like there's so many different ways to practice as you can tell just listening to me and Steph talk about how we each practice very very differently, but that doesn't mean we're not both dedicated practitioners, it's just a matter of preference and our personal styles and it's gonna be true for any new witch are even older witch out there but things change over time you're not the same person you were 10 years ago you should be practicing the same.

Anyway, right but you're going to change over time don't be a afraid that your practice changes over time as well and that includes how do you set up your book of shadows or how do you use your book of shadows.

S: and I would also say that if you are like Tara and keep making new ones then and don't get rid of them because they're like I feel like they're very useful tools to go back to so...

T: well and it's kind of interesting just for me because I've been practicing so long that I do have multiple journals or even last year's I don't do I don't utilize them enough to use one per year, I think I've got five out of like more than two decades of practice, but it's just a matter of seeing how things change and then I also like to document why I change certain things. either it doesn't work for me any longer or I'm looking for a different result then I achieved the previous time and it's really good at least from my mind to go back and look and see how are used to do things if the new way doesn't work I need to be able to go back and what did working the past.

S: well and that is all we have for you this week so next week we are going to get started on books which we split into two episodes because that's how much we have to stay on books

T: there's a lot to say on books

S: but we both have a lot of books to recommend so tune in next week

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