Archive for the Books Category

Why Bother Writing a Grimoire?

Posted in Books, Grimoire, Ritual on September 17, 2013 by theredlass

This is something I have asked myself multiple times through out the past few months. I am sure I am not alone in this process. After all, who among us does not have a few shelves lines with a multitude of books regarding witchcraft, paganism, druidry, spell, stones, herbs… So with all that information out there, why bothering writing your own book? Why not just flip back through the pages and use the ones others have written? Isn’t that easier and less time consuming?

Well yes it is. And for that fact there is nothing wrong at all with just using what is already out there. I’ve done it. A lot of us do it. And for many traditions there is most certainly right way and a wrong way to do things. So I can’t argue that it is likely easier and not necessarily any more or less sufficient to the craft than any other methodology applied.

So why bother writing your own grimoire?

Well I can’t speak for others. But I can tell you why I have begun work on mine.

I have been keeping this journal for a little over two years now. My posts are sporadic, but then again I don’t do witchery every single day so I don’t always have anything significant to post! I have spent most of my time doing everything from studying, to trying to get a group together, to growling in frustration and wanting to throw all this hocus pocus stuff out the window. And something I have come to realize is that I am less of a pagan and more of a witch than I first considered. I still use the term pagan to refer to myself with those who don’t really know, mostly because the term pagan is for many innocuous enough that they need to have it explained to them rather than draw their own misinformed conclusions. But during that time I have toyed with the idea of writing my own grimoire. Not for publication really, gods knows there is enough of those on the market.

So, why am I writing a grimoire?

1) None of the books out there singularly serves my needs.
When it comes down to it I am very much a D.I.Y, use what works sort of person. Everyone has to start somewhere, so I won’t say a word against the Silver Ravenwolfs’ and Raymond Bucklands’ of the community. But you do sooner or later reach a point where you feel you’ve gone beyond the basics and that you need to stretch your wings and fly. The best way to do this is to draw from what you have been working with and build on it. I often feel that rituals feel a bit too much like a children’s play recital. You stand there, repeating the words on the page because this is what you were told to do and personal inflection doesn’t enter into it. I did this for a few years with a druidic grove and frankly it bored me to the point of exhaustion. Creativity is a part of what we do. So embrace the creative impulse and build your own rituals.

2) Too many reference books means more time researching and less time doing!
This statement is almost going to counter my last one. If you have dozens upon dozens of reference books regarding witchcraft, then in all likelihood you are going to use them. Unfortunately, ometimes one book contradicts the other, and you end up spending a lot of time worrying about the “correct” uses of lavender & amber in a spell satchel as oppose to using what you know has worked for you before. In a grimoire, you are as much recording your own experience as you are the knowledge you have comprised over time. If you have it recorded that your results from a ritual were “such & such”, then you will probably feel more confident in repeating the process than if you take it from Guildercravens Book of Spells for Everything.

3) Writing helps with memorization.
I don’t care how long you have been studying, nobody friggin knows every crystal, stone, rock tree, bush, flower herb, god, goddess pantheon, etc in existence. Things slip from your mind now and again and especially things you have not made a habit of using. We don’t always need wormwood for a ritual, so sometimes you forget what it’s used for. Sometimes you just can’t remember if it’s better to use sandalwood oil or patchouli for your red candle if you are trying to work a spell. But if you wrote it, or typed it in my case, chances are you will retain the knowledge for just a bit longer. Not to mention it will be easier to locate.

4) Sometimes it’s better to talk to yourself.
We all have strong opinions when it comes to our practices. And the strange thing about our craft is that none of us are really wrong about any of it. Our methodology may differ, our thought process is not always a direct one, but if you look at it logically
Example:
2+2=4
Does this mean that 3+1 does not or can not =4?
Or that 5-1 does not =4?
How about 2×2?
Or 4×1?
Sometimes you need to question your own perceptions and have conversations with yourself about your practices. While it can be beneficial to have these conversations with a fellow, sometimes it’s too personal or it’s just something you need to work through for yourself. And that’s okay too.

5) I think of a grimoire differently than most people seem to.
For the most, the grimoires’ that are on the market today are all along the same vein. They are mini instruction booklets akin to how to program your VCR…or more accurately how to assemble IKEA furniture. While this is not really a problem, I see a grimoire as a combination journal, study guide, documentation, instruction, reference encyclopedia compendium. It isn’t meant to just sit there and be read! It’s meant to be expanded upon! That which does not grow, dies. And as such, while writing mine, I intend to leave plenty of room for notes at the end of each section so that I can continue to add things as the years pass.

6) I don’t practice the way a lot of people do.
Really this is true for everyone. But for the most part I have my own views as to how the universe works and the nature of…well…nature. I’d prefer to have my own pathway lit by a lantern in my hand than to have someone who isn’t from the area guiding me. Yes this can make things harder, but ultimately more rewarding.

7) You tend to appreciate something more when it’s your effort that’s gone into it.
You don’t pop out a grimoire in a bloody week or two, not unless you are just copying everything over from somewhere else. It takes time, effort and a lot of consideration. So hopefully you will see the finished product as an achievement and recognize the value of what you have to contribute to the craft at large. I know a lot of us (myself included)still feel like we don’t know what we’re doing, even though we’ve been involved for years. Well you’d be surprised to find out how much you know, how much you don’t know, and how much fun it is to discover both when you bring all that knowledge together.

Now what I would like to know is, from my followers, would you like for me to give you progress updates on how the grimoire is coming along? Would you like to see what I’m including in there or does it not particularly interest you?

Advertisements

Expanding Concepts-Honor

Posted in Books, Ritual, Theory with tags , , on May 15, 2012 by theredlass

A few months back when i first started this blog, I wrote a brief, generalized article on virtues which I think the pagan community and modern society in general need to pay more attention to. I have for some time now considered expanding each of the virtues to create a more in depth concept for both my own and others consideration. Obviously this will take a long time, a lot of research, and effort, all of which I am willing to put it. That being said, I don’t want this book to be based strictly on my own opinions. I want to hear what others, especially other pagans, wiccans, witches and druids, have to say on the subject. I want you to be detailed and really give me the in’s and out’s of why you feel the way you do on the virtue under discussion.You will of course be given credit for your input and, while I can not promise any monetary compensation, I am more than happy to include blogs and books by participants in my related reading section as long as they apply to the subject at hand.

To give a bit of context, a chapter outline would go as follows:
Definition-the literal definition as well as layman terms and concepts relating to the virtue.
Cultural Significance-how different cultures view the virtue and how it has been upheld or ensured.
Examples in Mythology-what myths, as well as mythological characters, exhibit this virtue and in what manner.
Examples in Modern Literaturewhat modern characters could be described as exhibiting this virtue and how.
Examples in Media-are there any characters in movies and tv that held define this virtue for a modern audience.
Symbolism-are there any signs, symbols or attributes which relate to this virtue.
Rituals-rituals of either ancient or modern invention which help a person become imbued with the virtue.

I am looking for any and all input as well as lengthy discussion to help flesh out ideas. Remember that this work is still in it’s infancy and because of time constraints it may take a while to finish. When the parts are completed I intend to offer them on my website. If you give input that I use either by quoting you or by which helped me develop my writing, you will get a free PDF copy.

The first virtue I would like to put up for discussion is one of the most important: Honor. What does honor mean to you? How does one define it? Is it different for a man than for a woman? How does one gain honor? How does one loose it? What examples can you think of? Feel free to include anything you can think of.

Children’s Book Reviews

Posted in Book Review, Books, Fun and interesting with tags on February 27, 2012 by theredlass

I’ve been looking for a project for some time, something both to keep busy, fill out my WP a bit more, and attract some attention to my blog and my shop. This in tandem with my current classes in Children’s Literature lead to only one inevitable conclusion.

I’m going to do a book review once a week. But instead of looking at adult literature, I’m going to be focusing primarily children’s lit. I am still working on all the criteria & formatting, but the books will be those which specifically lend themselves to paganism and witchcraft either intentionally or unintentionally and would be excellent additions to any home library of children’s bookshelf. I will give a preview of what the review will include below, but I also want to get some feedback as to what I could include and any books out there people would like me to review to start out with.

IF YOU WANT TO SUBMIT A BOOK FOR REVIEW:
*Children’s Literature is primarily anything written for someone under the age of 12. Anything for an older age group could be considered adult literature as more mature content is included and thus the content becomes more subjective to interpretation. The books I will be reviewing will be for those 12 and under.
*While I will be including books which are intentionally written by and for the pagan community, I also want to include those with paganism and witchcraft subtext which may or may not be on purpose.
*I will give points for plot, how well it engages it’s audience , artwork, how accurate it’s information is and how well it conveys it. These will be as unbiased as I can make it regardless of the books intentions. After all, a crappy book is a crappy book.

BASIC FORMAT FOR REVIEW
-Cover Art-
Title:
Author:
Illustrator:
ISBN:
Publishing Company:
Year:

Genera:

Format:

Theme:

Brief Plot Summary:

Review:

Points:
PLOT
ENGAGEMENT
ARTWORK
ACCURACY
CONVEYANCE
CREATIVITY