February 04, 2019 1 Comment
(Image: Our Celtic Pentacle Journal)
What is a Grimoire?
What exactly is a Grimoire? You’d be forgiven for thinking it sounds a bit...grim. In fiction, Grimoires have commonly been depicted as formidable magical tomes consulted by cackling witches on a stormy night. They seem to belong in cobwebbed mansions where strange things happen, rather than in your average household.
But don’t be intimidated. A Grimoire is, quite simply, a textbook you can create to record and instruct your magical practice. It's used most commonly in Wicca, but you can adopt the principles of a Grimoire for any kind of spiritual or esoteric practice. It will be your guide, your record and your inspiration.
A Grimoire can traditionally contain spells, recipes, diagrams, histories and more. There are a number of commercially published Grimoires available to purchase, such as Grimoire for the Green Witch or Llewellyn's Magical Sampler. But many people choose to create their own, in order to customise the information it contains.
The difference between a Grimoire and a Book of Shadows
You also might have heard of a 'Book of Shadows' in relation to a Grimoire and are wondering how they're different. A Book of Shadows is actually a more personal type of Grimoire that has elements of a diary or journal. While a Grimoire contains more universal information, a Book of Shadows would include intimate reflections on your own dreams, moods, and thoughts. You could share your general Grimoire with a friend or fellow practitioner, while you’d tend to hold your Book of Shadows close to your chest.
Depending on what you’re going to use them for, you might choose to have both a Grimoire and a Book of Shadows, or simply have one or the other. Like most elements of Wiccan practice, it all comes down to personal preference.
Choosing the right format for your Grimoire
It’s important that your Grimoire takes the right form. You’re going to be using and consulting this text a lot, so it has to have the right look and feel to it. In this day and age, some people choose to keep their Grimoire in a digital format for ease of traveling and gathering information online. But if you choose to have a physical Grimoire, it means that the book can become a work of art and a powerful object in itself, normally taking pride of place at your altar if you have one (you can read a previous post we wrote about magical altars here).
We've got a number of beautiful options in our Journals collection. If you want to go with a traditional feel to your Grimoire, a beautiful leather-bound journal or album is the perfect aesthetic. The ones we have in our collection contain thick recycled cotton paper, which has a parchment-like feel to it. Some are embedded with distinctive gemstones, which adds an extra touch of guiding power to the book.
Another good idea is a refillable leather journal cover—this means you can simply replace the interior notebook when you run out of pages. Our Oberon Design journals come in this format, which means you can use them for years and years. They’re embossed with a variety of colours and designs, so you can choose the one that feels right for you—from flowers to dragons to Celtic designs.
If you want something a little more funky and modern, you might like our Artistic Notebook collection. Perhaps you have a style of art that inspires you, or a favourite pattern that suits your practice, like floral or cosmic.
If you’re going more with a Book of Shadows approach, you might like the idea of our Creativity Journals. These are illustrated notebooks containing artwork, quotes, creative prompts and more. These would work well if you’ll be taking a more fluid creative approach to your Book.
Alternatively, some people like using a binder with refillable sheets and moveable sections, which helps to organise and categorise your Grimoire later on. This is a more modern approach, but is a good way to go if you’ve got an organised way of thinking.
There are no fixed rules as to what format your Grimoire has to take. What’s important is that it becomes a focused and inspiring place for you to retreat to when pursuing your spiritual path.
What to put in your Grimoire?
So once you've chosen the perfect format for your Grimoire, what should you start filling it with?
Again, there are no hard and fast rules. Your Grimoire is going to be your tailored guide to magic, so it depends what kind of magical practices and rituals you might be focusing on. But here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- Spells and rituals
- Potion recipes
- Herbal information
- Crystal information
- Lists of important deities
- The Wheel of the Year and important festivals
- Colour meanings
- Sacred symbols
- Divinatory study - runes, tarot, palmistry
- Relevant history and mythology
- Animal sightings
- Moon phase meanings and other planetary observations
- Mantras and quotes
- Meditation guides
- Chakra guides
We've got a number of reference books you might like to draw upon to add to your Grimoire, covering topics like herbology, divination, spellcraft and more. Here are some of our top recommendations:
Hopefully that's given you plenty of inspiration and advice for getting started on your own Grimoire or Book of Shadows. Enjoy using your own intuition, creativity and personal touch to make this special tome the perfect companion to your magical practice.
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July 23, 2018 1 Comment
We’ve still got over a month of summer ahead of us, so why not celebrate the warm weather by throwing a fairy garden party? Whether you’ve got a big backyard or a leafy balcony, you can definitely find ways to create a fantastic fairyland for guests of all ages.
A fairy garden party is a magical twist on a traditional garden party or barbecue get-together. You can ask your guests to dress up as their favourite fairyland characters, from fay queens to elegant elves and all in-between. Get creative with your garden decorations, serve up an enchanted feast, and host activities like tarot reading and crystal meditation. The possibilities are endless, but we’ve helped you out with a few of our favourite suggestions below:
This is your perfect chance to create a magical fairy garden in your outdoor space. All you really need to get started is some kind of greenery, whether that’s a few pot-plants or a huge flowering garden. What would your fairyland look like? If you like the whimsical woodland style fairyland, you’ll love our range of miniature fairy doors, woodland critters and flower fairy statues, perfect for creating a magical miniature world among the plants. Or if you’re going for a more grown-up fairy vibe, impress your guests with some of our larger fairy statues to greet them when they arrive. You can also let nature inspire you, making decorations from flowers, tree branches, vines and more. And don't forget fairy lights, of course.
FOOD AND DRINK
They say you have to be careful about what you eat and drink in fairyland, for fairy fruit is enchanted and can cause you to fall under mysterious spells! We think that makes it all the more fun. For fairy party food, try serving up flower lollipops, butterfly cupcakes, strawberry toadstools, or what Australians affectionately call fairy bread. For drinks, how about hibiscus rose tea, pink lemonade or even bubbling potions? For the final touch, serve up your creations in some of our magical drinking vessels, like our unicorn mugs, magical goblets and fun bottle holders.
It’s not really a fairy party unless everyone’s dressed up, right? When coming up with costume ideas for a fairy party, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. A pair of fairy wings will definitely do the trick, but the fay folk come in all shapes and sizes. At any good fairy party, you could expect to see elves and dryads, water sprites and gnomes, not to mention friends of the fairies, like centaurs, unicorns, dragons and more. You could even make your own creative twist on the traditional fairy image, by getting artistic with flowers, seashells, glitter and more. Or if you’re not really the dressing up type, you could always just settle for a good themed t-shirt - we’ve got plenty!
The world of fairy is all about magic and connecting with the natural world, so if you theme your party activities around this, you’re sure to entertain everyone! You could do something crafty, like getting everyone to make their own flower garlands, magic wands and fairy wings. Group art activities can also be a hit, like coloring in, or sketching and poetry. Going down the more esoteric route, you could also do tarot, oracle, pendulum or rune readings. Crystals could also play a big part in your fairy party, starting out as decorations, and then becoming tools for crystal healing sessions or even gifts to give your guests when they leave.
And speaking of party favors, it’s always a wonderful final touch to give your guests a small token to leave the party with! You could buy a few bouquets of flowers and gift one to each guest as a goodbye token, along with a little chocolate or candy. If you've got an older crowd, you could package up some incense sticks or cones to send your guests away with. Or, depending on your budget, our mini activity kits and Flower Fairies activity books and are all around $10 - $15 each. It doesn’t have to be huge - just something to keep the magic going, even after the party ends!
Whether you decide to throw a magical bash fit for faerie kings and queens, a fun garden party for the kids, or a whimsical get-together for a few friends, hopefully our suggestions have helped get the ideas flowing! Have a magical time in whatever fairyland you choose to create, and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.
January 14, 2018 1 Comment
To celebrate the arrival of our gorgeous new illustrated journals, we want to take a creative journey with you in 2018.
In our last post, we talked about the impending New Year and recommended some book titles to help you achieve your goals or keep your resolutions for 2018. Many of you might have set yourself a creative challenge - perhaps you want write a book, learn how to play the piano, paint every day or dance more!
Creativity is undoubtedly magical. Countless studies show that creative practice can make us happier and more mindful. Art, music and writing are considered a genuine form of psychotherapy in some thought circles. They're also powerful communication tools - many people are able to express a thought in a painting, or a feeling in a poem, that they’re unable to convey in regular speech.
If you want to make creativity a more prominent part of your life in 2018, we’ve come up with ten creative exercises below to help you expand your imagination and ability. Further activities and inspirations are included in the pages of our new journal range, created by spiritual icons like Alana Fairchild, Lucy Cavendish and Ravynne Phelan. Your creations will be in good company here!
1. Draw a mandala
A mandala is an important spiritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the cosmos in a metaphorical form. Mandala images generally have an identifiable centrepoint, from which radiate a circular pattern of symbols and shapes in symmetrical segments.
Some people believe mandalas are a reflection of your soul. Designing your own mandala can help you reflect your inner spirit in a colourful and creative form, and the act of drawing one can be deeply meditative. For more information about purposefully creating your own mandala, and the spiritual history of this symbol, see here.
2. Walk & create in nature
Many of the great artists and poets find inspiration in the natural world. Whether it’s a beautiful landscape or a unique tree, the natural world is full of stunning visuals.
Take a walk in nature - be it the local park or a sprawling forest - sit down somewhere with a striking view, and draw or paint what you see. You might be surprised what you notice.
3. Write a haiku based on last night’s dreams
Haikus are a popular Japanese poems with a three-line syllabic format: five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables again. This strict format helps you refine your thoughts and carefully select each individual word.
Using your dreams as an inspiration will help you understand the inner workings of your subconscious. It can be hard to document dreams because they’re so fluid and erratic, so the haiku can provide the perfect template.
4. Compose a musical melody from items in the bathroom
Bathrooms don't seem like an obvious setting for creative inspiration. But everyone loves singing in the shower, and the best ideas sometimes come in the bathtub. Head to your bathroom and try to make a unique musical melody from the objects you find there. Consider different materials and textures and how they can work together to create an auditory delight. You can even try recording it to see how it sounds after.
5. Make a mood-board of your own fantasy world
Middle-earth, Narnia, Earthsea...disappearing into a fantasy world for a while can be exhilarating. Why not try making your own? Mood boards are a great way to map out ideas, normally taking the form of a large piece of cardboard or corkboard plastered with cut-out images, scraps of material, mementos or even findings from nature. You could also go digital and try making a Pinterest board. What would the landscapes in your fantasy world look like? The inhabitants? The food? The fashion? The possibilities are endless.
6. Create an emotion wheel
An emotion wheel is a simple art exercise used to navigate your emotions. All you need is a piece of paper and some coloured pens or pencils. On the paper, draw a large circle and split the circle into eight ‘pie’ slices. Assign each of the segments with a separate emotion - use the first eight that come to you. Then draw, colour or decorate that segment with your visual interpretation of that emotion.
This exercise can help you figure out what emotions might be plaguing you, or which ones you might need to focus more on. It’s particularly interesting to repeat the exercise throughout the year to visually see how your emotions change. For more information, see here.
7. Build a terrarium
Terrariums are a great way to bring a unique splash of nature into your home. These miniature gardens are simple and therapeutic to make. Materials you’ll need include: a glass jar or round vase, various small plants, rocks and pebbles, potting soil, moss, a scoop or shovel, and any decorative items you might want to use. Most of these things can be found in your local garden store.
For a full step-by-step guide to making your own mini garden, see here.
8. Invent a hybrid animal
Many mythical beasts are a combination of two creatures, from the chimera to the griffin. Have a go at coming up with your own hybrid creature by combining two or three of your favourite animals. Try to draw, sketch or paint the creature you come up with, or write a description of it that might be found in a magical zoology textbook. What’s its name? Is it tame or fierce? What habitat can it be found in? You might just be creating a brand new legend.
9. Construct a fashion accessory from items in your garden
Some of the best creativity comes from being resourceful. Head out to your garden or backyard - if you don’t have one, try a nearby park or green space - and try making an item of jewelry or other fashion ornament from materials you find there. Grass, vines, leaves, tree barks, natural fibres, flowers, twigs or even bits of debris can all become components of a beautiful new accessory. And it’s always nice to have a bit of nature to carry around with you.
10. Design a Zentangle
Similar to creating a mandala, the Zentangle method is a mindful drawing exercise. The activity is inspired by art from numerous ancient cultures from the Mayans to the Celts. You can create your own Zentangle with nothing more than a square piece of paper and a pen, on which you create an abstract drawing based on structured patterns. This method can help you relax, focus and expand your imagination. For more information, see here.