Magickal Record Keeping
23rd February, 1999
This may come as a disappointment for some people, but working magick can involve paperwork! Welcome to the fine art of magickal record keeping. This paperwork is a valuable record of your magickal workings both for you and those who come after you. It also allows you to see your skills developing over time.
There are a variety of activities that can be recorded, from spell and ritual preparation, to dream journals, to a personal journal, to the ultimate Witch record, the Book of Shadows (BOS).
When you are about to work a spell, it is important to have several elements straight in your head. The easiest way to do this (for me at least) is to write them down. You can rough the spell out on a scrap piece of paper and as you get it to the finished product, why not write it out neatly and put it in your BOS? Here are some things you might want to include in your spell sheet:
A Personal Journal
A personal journal is a great thing to keep, whether you are Pagan or not. These can be kept daily or weekly and can include a variety of things. What happened to you and your family, what was happening in the world, and how did you react or feel about those events. At the end of each year, you can make a list of goals for the coming year and revisit this list at the same time next year to see how you have done. Personal journals can also become a valuable recollection of family history.
I find it very hard to recall my dreams, even only a few days later, this is where a dream journal comes in handy. You can now buy lovely dream journals from bookstores, but another way to consider organising it is in a loose-leaf binder. This allows you to arrange your dream journal by a particular subject or symbol, if you desire. Record the date, moon phase, the general story line of your dream and anything else (symbol, person, event) in your dream that stands out. You may like to jot down notes of what particular symbols mean to you. Try reading your journal every few months to see if recent events throw light on your dreams.
The Book of Shadows
The Book of Shadows or Grimoire, is the magickal history of an individual witch or coven. The personal BOS should contain all your magickal research and working information. You could have research and working information on the following things:
There are no set physical requirements for the BOS. Some people love to acquire or make large, leather bound, parchment filled tomes. Others prefer a loose-leaf binder, with dividers. Personally, I have both types. My first BOS I made myself. I purchased several lovely, blank writing pads and had these bound at the local printers. I then covered this book with material, which had an astrological print on it. I then wrote on and decorated each page. This took a lot of work and didn't allow a lot of freedom in arranging the information. I now use a loose-leaf binder. I have an electronic BOS, which I print out and put the individual sheets in the binder. This allows me to move pages around and also have a back up copy of my BOS on disk. The loose-leaf method also allows you to split the book into sections if it becomes too large.
The aim of all this paperwork is to help you progress in your magickal and spiritual practice by being able to assess what worked and what didn't. It enables you to see how your views and tastes have changed and it also allows you to see how much progress you have made and any areas that may still need work. Now, go and do some paperwork!
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