Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Ending Sexism Isn't Just About Ending Discrimination Against Women

       As a female, I acknowledge sexism exists but not just because I'm a woman, because I'm a person. Simply taken as a word sexism is not allied with any gender. Sexism isn't defined as anti-woman or female suppressing and yet that is the first thing that comes to mind when the word is spoken or written. In a basic google search with the single keyword "sexism" approximately 80% of the page is about discrimination against women, the other 20% is gender neutral. In a world where we are striving for equality it just doesn't seem fair that not a single result came back that was about sexism that discriminated against men.

      Now, you might say that this is because men aren't discriminated against or that they are to a lesser degree then women. It is undeniable that women had a rough go of it, they only got the vote in the 20th century, less than 100 years ago in some countries, but the same can be said for many poor men (the majority of the male population in the last 200 years, defining poor as not being a lord), after all the franchise was first extended to "men of wealth" not the guy who lives next door (unless of course you lived next to a Lord). I'm not bashing feminism don't get me wrong, a lot of feminists have accurate statistics and have done excellent work, I am certainly not saying that it is wrong for women to fight to increase their rights. What is wrong is when this comes at the cost of boys and men.


       Lately the world has been taken by storm with a series of campaigns telling girls to feel good about themselves. This is awesome! Even if companies like Dove and Always are also essentially getting free advertisement by promoting self-esteem at least they're promoting self-esteem. On the flip side I can't say I've seen a single campaign promoting the self-esteem of young boys. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a commercial, an advertisement or a campaign that tried to make young men, the future generation of fathers, husbands, partners, friends, feel good about themselves? I've thought about it a lot tonight and I can't think of one. So yeah things are rough for girls, but they're also rough for boys heck they're rough for people because at the end of the day that's what we all are right, we're just people.

       If we're all just people and we're collectively striving for equality then why is the book by Todd Harris Goldman, Boys are Stupid Throw Rocks at Them still on shelves! If there was a book written like that about girls there would have been an immediate recall. Yet companies like Barnes and Nobles, Abe Books, Chapters & Indigo all sell this book. Although copies of this book should be saved for the studies of psychologists, sociologists, historians, anthropologists, doctors and other academics and individuals trying to unravel society, this should not under any circumstances be sold as a children's book. Its not okay to stone girls and its certainly not okay to stone boys or tell them that they're stupid.


      I took a Women's Studies course last year about how women are portrayed in popular culture and one of the discussions was about Barbie. In the Barbie lecture my professor told us that when the average young brothers who rip the heads of Barbie were asked why they did so, the overwhelming answer was that 'she had it coming to her'. I think that is quite possible that Goldman's book will have the same effect. How is a little boy supposed to be okay with himself if he thinks he's stupid, you might say well, he'll just deny it, but then think about how often (if you're a woman) you've ever even for a second compared yourself to a model, actress, or even book character and then felt self-conscious.

Its not okay to make yourself feel better at someone else's expense. This is bullying on a large scale.
      Even if we can as women assert that we are beautiful in ourselves without the make-up, high-heels, short skirts and push-up bras, it is untruthful to state that you've never felt even a slimmer of doubt about you appearance. I certainly can't say that I've never felt like I wasn't as pretty as an actress or model. So my question is, if women judge themselves by the material thrown at them, then how can society possibly expect that boys will not do the same?

     We are all just humans at the end of the day, whether its against boys or girls discrimination is not acceptable. Books (and all the associated merchandise with them) should not teach our children how to blindly judge others and discriminate against them. Any book, t-shirt, merchandise or person that uses the slogan "Boys are Stupid Throw Rocks at Them", is not telling a joke, it is not funny, what it is, is sexist. It is pure blatant discrimination and it is long overdue that we started including sexism against boys as part of the conversation.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Smudgy Cleaning A Second Look -Guest Post Written by my Aunt T

      Yesterday I wrote a post about my practices of smudgy cleaning called, Smudging without the Flame -'A How To' for Smudgy Cleaning and halfway through writing it hit me, most of my inspiration for smudgy cleaning comes from my Aunt T, who inspired me in a path changing conversation which I wrote about in My Spiritual Journey to Witchcraft. Without further ado let me hand it over to my Aunt T :)

Smudgy Cleaning -Guest Post written by my Aunt and Traditional Witch, Aunt T

       Smudgy cleaning...yes indeed, do it all the time, or rather, cleaning with intention. I could be wrong but I think its simply the way “we” do things.  Magically.  With Awareness. With Intention.  We charge our cleaning herbs, oils, and soaps with joy, peace, love, abundance etc. and when we clean we are spreading that love.  I am always “brewing” my cleaning vinegar with herbs, flowers or rinds (i.e. orange peels). I shake them everyday putting a bit of love in the jars. After 6 weeks or so, I have vinegars filled with the essences of lavender, citrus or herbs and the energies I personally put into every jar. When I clean, all that energy is released, filling my home with soothing scents (aromatherapy) and generally good vibes.
Spaghetti Strainers Work Perfect for straining tinctures! 
       As for smudging with smoke, I surely do. I do not however use a smudge stick, I think in all honesty they are kind of wasteful. Why use a stick when a leaf or two will do? I burn incense quite often on bits of charcoal discs in a fire-proof dish. For the love of Pete people - use a fire-proof dish!!!!! I too have seen videos of people just waving sage bundles around like sparklers with not a thought of dropping ash or burning bits onto people or clothing!
     Ah yes, where was I?...Right, smudging with smoke. My space is small and if I used a whole charcoal disc, the word “overkill” comes to mind; a whole disc is just too much in a small space.  My solution is simple, I cut my charcoal discs with a scissors into small wedges, just enough for a wee piece or three of resin to smolder, quite literally one at a time.  I choose and mix my incense ingredients to try and get an equal balance of cleansing negative energies and pulling in of positive, to ensure that protective energies fill any void left. When I crush and blend my ingredients I put my intentions into each one as I prep them, and then into the whole when it’s blended together. I believe the smoke is carrying my wishes and intentions as it meanders its way through the nooks and crannies out into the universe. 
My Current Personal Favourite Incense is:
2 parts Frankincense
2 parts Pine Needles (that the tree has thrown away and doesn't want anymore :p)
1 part Sandalwood
1 part Juniper Berries

We like Three Kings Incense here too, and white sage as well. 

Usually as the smoke starts to make its way up, I will say:
Smoke of Air,
Fire of Earth,
Cleanse and Bless this Home and Hearth.
Drive away all harm and fear,
Only good shall enter here.

     However, it isn't always convenient or practical to be lighting a piece of charcoal disc, so what does one do then? We spray smudge! I keep a bottle at home and a wee one in my purse (makes a super on the go hand sanitizer!).  I use the spray to cleanse around my apartment door, inside the car, or to spray on furniture and in the air when someone has dropped negative baggage in my space. Man does it ever work!  I can cite two occasions where I used it and both times, Negative Nelly and the space were noticeably calmer after. How does one make this elixir you ask? Super easy, just requires a bit of patience.
Tincture Brewing Away
    First make a tincture. I use the folk method which is basically fill a mason jar half with dry herbs and then fill to top with alcohol (vinegar is fine, but booze is better and makes a stronger tincture), let this sit for 6 weeks (this is the part where the patience comes in). I shook it or held it pretty much every day as I do with all my potions. 

     For my last batch of Smudge Spray I first made a tincture of sage (a mix of regular garden sage (Air) with a wee bit of white sage (Earth) thrown in), lavender flowers and stalk (Air) , and finally Rosemary (Fire) in 40% vodka (that's 80 proof US).

Equal parts:
Sage tincture (Air, Earth, Fire)
Witch hazel extract (Fire)
Distilled water

Witch Hazel Flowering
    I added to this a crystal chip each of citrine, amethyst and rose quartz.  Bottle and label clearly.  One day, I'd like to try living water from a spring or something instead of the distilled, but I don't know how it would hold up over time.

I use pretty much the same words as for smoke smudging, with a bit of jiggling:
Mist of Fire, Water, Air and Earth,
Cleanse and Bless this Home and Hearth.
Drive away all harm and fear,
Only good shall enter here.

The really wonderful thing about making a spray like this is you can adjust to your specific needs and availability of ingredients. That's what its all about too isn't it? Making magic that works for you.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Smudging without the Flame -'A How To' for Smudgy Cleaning

      Correct me if I'm wrong here but it seems like lately smudging has become the popular thing to do. Now I'm not just talking about the Pagan, Witchy and Wiccan community here, I'm talking about Hipster, Indie, and gasp... even popular culture. About a month ago when I discovered BuzzFeed on youtube (I'm always late to catching on to popular culture) I kind of went through a massive amount of their youtube videos all at once (they're about 3-5 mins) and while I was procrastinating away watching endless amount of BuzzFeed I came across a video called,  Life Hacks Every Hippie Should Know (click on the title to watch it). About 3/4's of the way through I woman suddenly appeared holding a lit sage smudge stick and began smudging the room to get rid of bad energy. And well I was like....


       I'm not against people integrating smudging into their lives, as a witch who would like to not be seen as a satanist I'm all for aspects of the craft becoming popular knowledge in a positive way. That being said there was zero mention of the history of smudging in the video. I know its BuzzFeed but I'm a history major and that ain't cool! Also I find it slightly alarming that they didn't mention any fire safety things in case things went up in flames, pun intended. Its great that you want to get rid of negative energy but please, pretty please be careful to smudging involves a flame and flames create smoke and yes things can get smokey and no you don't want to die of smoke inhalation or set the apartment building on fire.....

      Ok I took a breath, back to calm Cloud of Sanity again.... so smudging. From what I understand smudging is the conscious desire and action to remove negative energy by burning a smudge stick, traditionally made from dried sage or lavender. The action of burning the herb releases the energy from inside the herbs, while the flame purifies ultimately cleansing the house/room/apartment of negative energy. 

       Although fire is the cleansing element traditionally used in a smudging ritual, I tend to use water when I smudge. I'm not talking about dipping the sage stick into a bucket of water and sprinkling it around the house (though I'm sure that could work too), when I cleanse the house of negative energy I mop. Incase you're making the owl "whaaat" face about right now I've included the process below for clarity. Just think of it like sweeping out the negativity with your broom or besom, its the same concept just with water and herbs.. 


Smudgy Cleaning

Note the ratios of essential oils I use aren't particularly significant just kinda what worked.

1. Add 2 drops of lavender & 2 drops of sage essential oil to 3 candles (4 drops/ candle)
- Light a candle in each room that you feel needs to be cleansed i.e. bedroom, bathroom, common room
*I used 3 candles to correspond with the Celtic power of 3* 

2. Add 2 drops of sage essential oil to your besom or broom and sweep away the negativity (If you're legitimately cleaning the house I recommend just using a regular broom). As you sweep say "I sweep out all negativity" or whatever phrase seems to fit best for you.

3. Once you've swept out all the negativity its time to do in the germs (and remaining bad energy). Add 2 drops of lavender & 2 drops of sage essential oil to your mop bucket and mop it all up. 

4. Pour yourself a beer and relax that was a lot of cleaning!



Smudging - Quick Historical Facts:

  • The use of herbs and smoke i.e. incense can be traced back to approximately 1350 B.C.
  • Smudging was initially a Native American practice and was later adopted by New Age Religions such as Wicca 
  • While there is some association between witches, disobedient Israelites and incense in the Bible there is little early information about witches and smudging
  • There is no mention of the term "smudge" in Cornell University's Division of Rare Materials and Manuscripts in the Witchcraft Collection.


Read More About Smudging Here:

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Late Night Itty Bitty Celtic Witch Etsy Things -My First Etsy Sale!

       Yesterday, or rather the day before, I sold my first two items from Etsy. Both were witch bottles one was for attracting the faefolk and was a touch on the floral side, while the other was designed to draw in prosperity financial or otherwise. Let me tell you that first sale had my a jumping for joy :) Its not even about the money its about hey, this person wants to spend their hard earned money on something that I've created, its a pretty awesome sauce feeling!

Poetry is Food For the Soul Art Printables listing
       Inspired by my first sale I spent the majority of today social networking and such for Itty Bitty Celtic Witch. I've been rewarded by quite a few new favourites of my items (essentially the Etsy version of a FB like) and more views to my little shop. I also spent quite a bit of time posting on my Facebook page, so I thought I'd share it with you, I mostly post inspirational things floating about the internet and a bit of witchy (well a lot of witchy... sometimes) and funny things with the occasional here's what I'm working on in the Etsy land post. Kind of similar to here but the FB page has more pictures and less writing :p Anywho if you want inspirational, witchy, nature things & Little Cloud of Sanity updates to appear in your newsfeed then either hit like, on the little Itty Bitty Celtic Witch FB icon in the sidebar or click here: IttyBittyCelticWitch on FB.


If you're interested in any of the items shown on this page feel free to visit my Etsy Shop: Itty Bitty Celtic Witch, if not, window shop and enjoy the photos here!!!










Faerie Witch Bottle
Prosperity Witch Bottle

Happy Long Weekend Everybody!!!!!!




Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Musings on the Flower or Bright Moon -May Full Moon Esbat

      Tonight, according to my little widget (and the calendar) is the night of May's full moon or esbat. If you're new to witchcraft, an esbat is a celebration of the full moon whereas a sabbat is a celebration of the season. Anywho so tonight is May's esbat which, means a lot of different things for a lot of different people. For me as someone who is orienting their path towards the Celtic tradition May's full moon is called the Bright Moon. Try as I might I haven't found much information on why exactly the Celts chose to call this moon the bright moon or how for that matter they chose to celebrate it. I have a feeling that figuring out how the Celts celebrated their full moons is going to require quite a bit of book reading, however as at the moment I don't have access to said books, for the present I'm afraid I can't provide much clarity on the why or how of the Celtic Bright Moon.


      In addition to the Bright Moon, May's full moon is also called the Flower Moon according to the Algonquin and Native American traditions. For the Algonquin and Native American peoples, May's full moon was logically called the Flower Moon to emphasize the new life of spring that rose from the ground following April's rainy season in the western world. It is said that on the eve of the Flower Moon, flowers grow in the moonlight and dance in celebration.


      According to the Medieval English and more recent Wiccan traditions this full moon is also heralded as the Hare Moon. Julie from the Celtic Lady Blog described summarized that, "Pagans believed moon-gazing hares would bring growth, re-birth, abundance, new beginnings and fortune."


      I personally don't feel avery strong relation with the hare at this point in the season, for me the celebration of the hare and other rabbity creatures passed with Eostra. Even though I do relate very strong with the Celtic path I also find that certain aspects of Native American mythology resonate with my belief system and so I've decided to combine both Celtic and Algonquin beliefs to call the May's Full Moon, the Bright Flower Full Moon.

      To celebrate the Bright Flower Moon, I'm planning on having a simple energy renewal meditation at home. I'll probably incorporate some flowers into a circle around what ever candle I choose to meditate with tonight, just to add a bit of the floral nature of this esbat into my practice. Nothing to complicated though, I'm fighting a sore throat so the whole complicated ritual thing is not in the stars for me (also because after leaving Christianity intense rituals are just not my thing). So that's it a simple floral energy renewal meditation, simplicity is where its at for me.


Whether you are celebrating, a Bright Moon, Flower Moon, Hare Moon, Bright Flower Moon ;) or another name I haven't mentioned, I wish you a wonderful esbat!

For more reading on May's full moon visit these lovely pages:
ctvnews.ca
Julie- Celtic Lady
Celtic Myth Moon
Pagans Path- Moon Names
Angel Fire

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Early Dewy Mornings

      This morning was an early one for me, normally I'm used to waking up around 9 am but today was a 7:30 kind of day. With a bad sleep and a bit of head cold I can't say I was all too pleased to crawl out of my bed this morning and trek across my campus to catch a greyhound bus so that I could make a 12:00 appointment in Toronto for my braces.

     But its all okay because I got to walk through the park near my house in the dewy air after the thundershowers early this morning. Although my head isn't feeling all that appreciative of the early morning, lack of coffee and persistent weather changes (gives my headaches), my spirit was overjoyed to be around all the dewy trees this morning. Each tree, bush and blade of grass seemed to be thanking mother earth for the blessing of early morning showers upon their leaves and roots.

    I think I'm going to catch a bit of shut eye (as best I can on a bus)




Saturday, 10 May 2014

Witchy Youtube & Wicca -Witchcraft on the Internet

      This evening as I sipped my beer and edited a photo of a fairy hidey house for my etsy shop, IttyBittyCelticWitch, I stumbled across a trilogy of youtube videos on one woman's experiences with Wicca. Normally I quite honestly don't have the patience for youtube videos about Wicca, I find they become almost to obsessive with being the right and only way to practice witchcraft. Wiccans also continuously tend to portray traditional witchcraft as the wrong way of doing things (even though it was around centuries before Wicca) due to the fact that traditional witches don't all follow the same moral code unlike Wiccans who all follow the Wiccan Rede: 'Do what you will but harm none and so mote it be'. If I got the wording of the rede wrong I do apologize but that is the general gist of it.

To Receive a download of this Fairy house without a watermark click here

     So anyways, I was wandering the land of youtube and came across this video called: Wicca Would You Believe? and remembering the good experiences I had when I watched another witchy video on youtube about a village witch, I decided to go for it. I mean the beauty of youtube is that if the video sucks you can just look up another one. So I watched Part 1 and then Part 2 and then Part 3, it was just that good. Never once was there any slur against traditional witches (not that there was really any reference to them but thats okay too), nor was there any time when the witch said, well this is how it is and you can't do it any other way. Rather, the witch in video focused on what drew her to Wicca, how she practiced her faith through a devotion to Isis and as a High Priestess and how it all tied into her family life.

      Even though I'm a traditional witch and I don't follow Wicca, I felt that this video tied in aspects which are nearly universal to individuals exploring witchcraft, like, if you're a parent do you teach your kids the craft or what every one else is doing? Watch the video for yourself and let me know what you think? Does this video touch on aspects that all witches encounter or does it stay within Wicca?


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A Bit Mental Health, A Bit Witchy, A Bit of Grounding, & My Overall Take On Meditating

    Excepting the last two weeks or so, I've gotten myself into the consistent habit of meditating a couple times of a week. Even though I have been diagnosed as clinically depressed, see a councillor, take anti-depressants and all that jazz, mental health wasn't the primary reason I began meditating. It wasn't so much that I doubted meditation would be beneficial for mental health, I just didn't have the motivation or calm space that I felt would allow me to meditate. I also didn't think that I'd be able to concentrate long enough to meditate, I figured my brain with its ten million different thoughts would simply overwhelm any inner peace I sought.

     Long (really just a few months) before I was able to see a councillor, I picked up Thea Sabin's book, Wicca For Beginners which taught me how to ground. In short grounding is the action of centring your soul or balancing your energies by rooting them to the earth. Though you don't have to be in a meditative state to ground (its possible to ground when its hectic at work and you need a breath of witchy before you start shooting lasers out of your eyes), I find that the act of grounding nonetheless brings on a meditative state. When I ground I can feel all of my energies connect with the earth through a network of roots (in my mind they sort of feel & look like tree roots), I am then able to release my negative energy so the ground can neutralize it, while I also take up what I call green energy (the earth's energy). By learning how to neutralize my negative energy and take in the earth's renewing energy I essentially began meditating without even realizing it.


      At first I was only able to ground for a few minutes let's say five but as I kept up my practice  this slowly lengthened to about ten minutes at which point I started to realize that what I was doing was bringing myself into a meditation. Despite my progress I didn't meditate that frequently, my 10 hour work days last summer simply didn't permit it, and besides I wasn't in a stable enough environment to truly be able to relax myself enough to meditate for any length of time.


     By last fall I was meditating about once a week, seeing my councillor every three weeks and suddenly it clicked, this meditation thing is not just a way for me to connect with my spirituality but also a way to settle my mind and take control of my depression! When my Fall term exams approached this got washed aside in all the busyness, I stopped making time to meditate, slightly apprehensive that my boyfriend would judge my witchy habits, as for me meditation is deeply rooted in my craft. However as time passed I was able to feel more comfortable in my own skin once again, and over the past few months, drawing courage from my boyfriend's lack of judgement about my spirituality, I picked up my meditating once again. Now I meditate at least two times a week, with him sitting next to me, sometimes he joins in, sometimes he plays DayZ at his computer I'm comfortable either way :)


     The majority of us, whether you're in the maiden, mother or crone stage of your journey, live with others which can, if you let it, prevent you from being able to meditate. To help combat the noisiness of my roommates I generally listen to soothing music during my meditations, usually enya or Celtic music because of my spiritual path. You can listen to just about anything when you meditate, its okay if it has lyrics so long as they fit into the rhythm of your meditation. Candles are optional but very much a favourite of mine as they bring the element of fire into my circle, a powerful cleansing and energizing element. I also find that holding my hands around the candle and feeling its energy helps me to concentrate. Sometimes, like today (I added Lavender) I'll add a bit of essential oil to my candle for a bit of aromatherapy but the addition of essential oils and scents really depends on my mood.


     Aside from a bit of noise blocking music, and maybe a candle or whatever helps calm you there is not a whole lot you need to meditate. I tend to incorporate symbols of my totem, hence the owls in the picture below, crystals, or witchbottles for their energies, but additions to you're meditation circle (or whether you make a meditation circle at all) are purely up to you! Also, you shouldn't worry about how long you meditate for, I aim for at least 15 minutes but sometimes my meditations can be an hour it really depends on the day, and how long you're attention span lasts. Just remember that in the end every little bit counts!

At Home Meditation Circle

      As someone who is diagnosed with depression I find that meditating on a semi-regular basis, or a couple times a week helps to regulate my moods. I fall into spells of depression far less, and have a generally calmer state of mind. For those of you who suffer from depression I would definitely recommend meditation as a way to calm your mind.

     What are your thoughts on meditation? Do you meditate? What do you use, is a candle part of your meditation
practice?
   

Saturday, 3 May 2014

What is a Book of Shadows or Grimoire?

      If you've seen Charmed, Googled spell book or read a book about Wicca you have probably seen a replica or actual Book of Shadows (BoS). Its quite possible that you may have even read a BoS, if you haven't written out your own considering that one of the most popular beginner Wicca books on the market, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by: Scott Cunningham, includes the author's BoS. But really what is a BoS, is it a journal? A recipe book? or a Grimoire? And what's a Grimoire?

Buy a copy here

     Essentially a BoS is a Wiccan book, or is it? According to Wiccan practices, the BoS is a compilation of spells, enchantments, meditations and well recipes for magic.

       Fun fact: Wiccans spell magic with a k (magick) to separate it from the hocus pocus, rabbit pops out of a hat stuff; me I spell it without the k because I don't feel the need to validate my practice by adding an extra letter, also I'm not a Wiccan witch...

Based on the fact that Wiccans use their BoS to keep track of all the magical practices, a BoS doesn't actually have to be a bound book. A BoS can be a bunch of sheets hole punched and placed in a binder, a pdf file on your computer or really a folder of bookmarks on your browser. As long as you're Wiccan and you're accumulating Wiccan facts, spells and magical information together in one place you have a BoS. Fundamentally a BoS is a recipe book, or digital file containing a Wiccan's personal collection of magickal information. 

Printable Book of Shadows (or Grimoire) Sabbat Pages from: 

    Whether you decide to write out your BoS by hand or type it up on the computer is entirely your choice, there is really no wrong way of doing it. If you are Wiccan and seeking to create your own BoS, it is important to note that the BoS is generally consecrated following certain Wiccan guidelines. I borrowed the passage at the end of the page from a Wiccan website on consecrating a BoS (As I'm a traditional witch I don't have a specific ritual for this but I felt that I ought to offer a resource for new Wiccans seeking information). 


Blank Printable Full Moon/Moonrise Grimoire or BoS pages from:

         In addition to magical recipes a BoS can also serve as a journal for a practitioner's experiences during the ritual i.e. thoughts, feelings, visions etc. For some Wiccan witches, the BoS remains purely a recipe book while feelings and experience are recorded in the Book of Mirrors, a Wiccan journal without the recipes. However, this is purely an optional decision and from my research I've gathered that the majority of Wiccans compile all of their magickal information thoughts and recipes in their BoS. If you're a Wiccan reading this feel free to clarify further in the comments :)


Book of Shadows & Grimoire Cover Page form

      That leaves us with the Grimoire. While the BoS was established in the 1960s & 1970s by Gerald Gardener, the founder of Wicca, the Grimoire dates back to approximately the  16th-17th centuries. It is possible that Grimoires predate this timeframe, however more research needs to be undertaken to affirm this. In contrast to the more modern Wiccan BoS, a Grimoire is non-Wiccan or traditional witch's collection of spells. While a BoS is based upon the Wiccan understanding of magic, deities and spells, a Grimoire may contain anthropological, scientific, herbal, and historical information that in some cases predates Wicca. A Grimoire also does not need to be consecrated using the specific ritual tools or methods of Wiccans and quite frankly does not need to be consecrated at all, the decision is entirely up to the witch.

The Key of Solomon is One of the Oldest & Most Historically Popular Grimoires

        Overall, the main difference between a BoS and a Grimoire is that a Grimoire (unless written by a Wiccan) remains entirely outside the practice of Wicca (although a witch can include Wiccan information if she/he feels it pertains to her/him). A grimoire is then, the spell book, recipe book and journal of a traditional non-Wiccan witch who follows the ancient traditions of witchcraft as opposed to the more modern Wiccan practices.


Leather Tree of Life BoS From:

        What do I use? As a traditional witch I use a Grimoire as a personal preference. The tradition of the Grimoire is far older and speaks to me in a way that Gardener's Wiccan Book of Shadows simply cannot. My current Grimoire is a combination of a hand written journal type book and an extensive bookmark folder on my browser for all the witchy information that I think might be useful. 

Printable Book of Shadows (or Grimoire) Sabbat Pages from:


Consecration of a new Book of Shadows
Borrowed from Joelles Sacred Grove

Materials: 4 votive candles, 1 taper candle, a chalice with salt-water, a
bowl of sand, a cone of sandalwood incense, matches.
Place the object in the middle of your alter. Create a Pentacle around it
with the corresponding votive candles, Yellow-East-Air, Red-South-Fire,
Blue-West-Water, Green-North-Earth. Then at the top of the Pentacle place
on taper candle of Purple or Black-Akasha-Spirit. Off to the right center
of alter place the bowl of sand, the chalice, and the incense.

Light the taper candle saying:
"I place before you my Book of Shadows and
ask the elements to assist my consecration."
Remove the taper candle from its holder and light the green votive, from
its flame, saying,
"I consecrate with the element of Earth."
Place the bowl of sand atop your BOS.
Light the blue votive, saying,
"I consecrate thee with the element of water."
With your fingers sprinkle a little salt-water on the BOS, and then
add some to the bowl of sand.
Light the red votive, saying,
"I consecrate thee with the element of fire."
Wave the flame of the taper candle close to the BOS, but not close
enough to burn it.
Light the yellow votive, saying,
"I consecrate thee with the element of air."
Place the cone of sandalwood incense in the middle of the sand, and
light it.
Place the taper candle back in its holder. With your right hand pick up the
bowl now containing the elements. Now with your left hand pick up the BOS.
Blow out the flame on the incense, (it should burn sufficiently now), and
wave the BOS over the bowl, making sure that it passes through the incense
smoke, saying,
"Consecrate and bless this Book of Shadows, that it may contain my personal
records, be my personal reference, and exude my personal devotion."
Place the BOS back in the center of the candle created Pentacle. Place the
bowl back on top of it, saying,
"By the powers of Earth, Sky, Star, and Sea, This is my will, So mote it be!"
You may either end the ritual by allowing the candles to burn until the
incense goes out, and then snuffing the candles, or you may want to go
forward with your Dedication of your BOS. Remember, rituals should be as
personal as possible.


More reading on BoS:

More Grimoire Reading:



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