I am often asked what is a grimoire and the answer is very straightforward. A grimoire is a book of spells and magic. Grimoires have been around since the dawn of writing. There are some ancient magical texts in existence and new ones are created by every day by covens and witches all over the world.
The grimoire is something every witch will own. It is a collection of all the information and knowledge the witch will need on how to perform spells and rituals. A grimoire is a textbook of magic.
Sharing A Grimoire
Having a grimoire is an amazing way of having all the knowledge of your craft in one book. Whenever I’m asked how to get into witchcraft or we have a new initiate in the coven, one of the first things I do is introduce them to our coven’s grimoire. You can share the knowledge with your coven. Some covens share the same Grimoire, all witches in the coven add their knowledge to the one book so that each witch grows in power.
Witches down through the ages have helped and protected each other. Witches in your coven will share their knowledge with you through their grimoires as well as teaching you their rituals hands on.
Every coven of witches will use a grimoire as their reference book, their sourcebook.
Grimoire vs Book of Shadows
There is a bit of a difference between a grimoire and a book of shadows, the grimoire is where you gather all your knowledge on how to perform spells and rituals and magical workings. It is somewhere information is kept on the moon phases, and what they mean, what herbs and amulets are used for which ritual. It is a resource, like a fantastic manual created by witches with deep knowledge of their craft.
Grimoires are created to be shared and to increase magic in the world to spread the learning grow the powers of witches as a collective, like a coven. They can be ancient texts added to overtime or something started at the beginning of your witchcraft journey and kept throughout your lifetime.
Book of shadows are entirely personal, these are kept within the sacred hold of each witch, they are journals through their experiences as a witch. These are burnt on the death of the witch as a symbol of their light passing from this life.
In a witch’s personal book of shadows, a witch will record how they have used their spells, their personal experiences of various rituals, often there is a crossover in the information in the grimoire but it is a personal record rather than something to be shared.
Creating the two books is a great way of making space for all the information you learn about your craft as you develop as a Wiccan and a way of allowing you to share some of our knowledge within your coven.
Protecting Your Grimoire
The book must be protected less it falls into the wrong hands. The best way to protect your grimoire is to cast a protective spell upon it. If the book is one shared in your coven, then the protection spell should be cast by the full coven, if it is your personal book then you must cast a strong spell to protect it from being used by someone for the wrong purposes.
If your grimoire is compromised you must use a cleansing spell before you use it again.
Improving Your Spellcasting
How To Start a Grimoire
If you haven’t started your own yet we do have a more complete guide on how to start a grimoire which you should read.
You can do this in a number of ways you can create one on your own, or work with your coven to build one or to add to the one you already have.
Often a coven will have an amazing amount of spells and powers built up over years of witchcraft, putting all this knowledge into one grimoire is an amazing way of sharing all of that information. It speeds up the learning of new witches and none of us can remember all the spells we have cast, and there are so many ingredients herbs spices potions amulets etc to remember the grimoire is the perfect sourcebook.
What Do You Write in the Grimoire?
The grimoire is not like the books of shadows that individual witches keep. It is not a journal of your actions, it doesn’t have any record of what you have used and worked or didn’t work for you. It is simply a book with all the spells, castings, ingredients, a reference book you put together so you can dip into it when you need to. It’s a great big collection of things you need to know to use your magic well.
You can put it together in a number of ways you have headings for
- Moon Phases
- Coven shares
You can use whatever headings you like, just as long as you can find information when you need it.
My coven’s grimoires break all the different intentions down, so we have a book just for love spells, one for protection spells, a great section on cleansing spells, and one for dealing with enemies. You might want to do the same, or keep yours just as spells.
It is likely that you will build these up over time, mine is an ancient coven hundreds of years of spells passed down, and still the young withces bring more to the book every time we meet.
Creating your Grimoire From The Beginning
When starting from the beginning, you can decide what chapter headings you want, you might want all candle spells to a chapter, or all your incantations in one place.
You will almost certainly want a chapter just for the uses of herbs, as your craft develops you will be adding more and more to this so don’t underestimate the space you will need for this. Pictures work well in many sections, and many witches have the drawing skills passed down so they recreate the herbs from memory.
I use a book bound by leather, and with pages blessed by a new moon, when the energies absorbed by the moon bring life to the writing, so your pen dances as it commits new magic to the ancient listings.
Simply bring your new book out into the new moon as ask for the book to be blessed by the energies of change and magic. You will fill it quickly as you start to gather learning from other witches in your coven and elsewhere, even before you cast your first spell you can create a whole reference book to work from. Filling your grimoire will increase your powers well before you cast your first spell.
Using Your Grimoire
I also ask my grimoire to guide me before each use with a simple thankful incantation.
Yield me your secrets
Show me whats writ
Guide my hand to the wisdom of the ages
Guide me as I peruse your pages
I use my book all the time, just to remind myself of the uses for all my magical tools and so that I keep up to date with new spells that other witches in my coven bring to the book, and to use as a teaching aid for new initiates into magical ways.
Book Of Shadows
Alongside your grimoire you will create your book of shadows, this will have all the ways in which you have used your magic and which magical approaches work for you and which don’t you will fill your book of shadows with a lot more personal information.
It is important that this is kept very secret as this makes you both powerful and vulnerable, it must be safe from enemies, and safe from any possible misuse.