It’s week 12 and time to answer the regular question posed throughout the YouTube Pagan Challenge about what the current time of year means to me. But I’m not crazy about that question – for whatever reason. There’s something about that it I find obnoxious… Maybe I’ll get around to answering it at some point, but for now I’d rather focus on a previous week’s question that I missed.
The question for Week 9 is:
Do you keep a journal/diary of your experiences?
Not really. I have a book that some people might call a Book of Shadows, some people might call a Grimoire, and this is actually the term I’m preferred in the past. I started using the term Grimoire when I moved away from Wicca, which was a long, long time ago. At the time that I dedicated it for it’s purpose, I referred to it as a Book of Illumination. That was over 12 years ago, according to the date written on the inside, and I haven’t really used that term since. The “Book of…” title sounds sort of … hokey, to me.
Anyway, it’s a mix of things, whatever it is. I have recipes, spells, rituals, folk remedies, lists, meditations, reference material like the wheel of the year that I painted into the book, as well as personal accounts of experiences and reflections on rituals or meditations I’ve done. I’ve recorded some short texts that I like, too. I only have 1 book. Long ago I decided I was not going to keep multiple books – a dream journal, a ‘working’ book for references, and a ‘journal’ for reflection. I don’t do enough writing to merit trying to keep track of multiple books, so I went out a purchased a rather large sketch book that’s bound and covered with a black cloth cover. I braided a red cord and attached it to the inside of the binding, and that works as my bookmark. I record most of the rituals I write and then perform in it, as well as rituals that I perform that were written by others.
As far as spiritual journaling goes, I don’t do much of it. My spiritual journaling is done here, I guess, and at my private blog. I don’t worry too much about keeping up with it. I add to it as my practice calls me to. For a couple of years, I didn’t add anything to the book. Then I added a few things when I was doing some meditations and working out some personal stuff with the elements in 2015, then last year I recorded my formal Panthiest Ritual in it, which is shared somewhere here on this website. Most recently I was recording information about the Aztec pantheon and Aztec religious beliefs and practices in there. Who knows what I’ll put next.
In reality, the last time I recorded a personal ‘experience’ in this book was … Wow! In 2008, after a Samhain ritual with a group. I know I’ve written about some other experiences, but they were in my regular journal. For me, I see no reason to create a boundary between the two. I’ve spent much more time writing about my religious and spiritual experiences in my regular journal than I have in my Grimoire. I guess in part that’s not a great thing because now if I wanted to look back on those experiences, I have to really dig to find them, rather than knowing right where to go. But I don’t spend much time looking back on them… so, it doesn’t really matter much in the end. I guess it’ll matter when that day comes when I do want to look back, though.
I’ve thought about creating a color key and marking pages of my journal with colors/symbols based on what the subject matter is. That might be a smart thing to begin doing, since I really don’t feel it necessary to separate my spiritual writing into a different book altogether. I’m a journaler. I have been since like… 4th grade. I write EVERYTHING. So you might think I’d separate the two … but it’s actually this fact that makes me want to simplify and just write in one book at a time. I already have a sizable box packed FULL of old journals, and the idea of making that pile exponentially larger by keeping multiple journals… is too overwhelming. But, like I said – most of my spiritual/religious musings are done at the computer, anyway. I’ve kept online blogs since 2003, so there’s those to look back on, too.
The next two questions are about the Moon and the Sun. I’m not sure I’ll spend much time with these, as much as I’ll spend time answering why that’s the case.