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Old 11-09-2013, 08:01 PM   #1
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Default Organizing your Book of Shadows (grimoire/whatever)?

I know we've done a couple BOS threads in the past, but I'm curious as to how people are actually organizing their information. I'm curious about both the general method of organization used, and the specifics of how you do it... Like, to give a few examples...

Do you keep your information in more of a 'diary' format, where information is added/sorted from oldest to newest? (Or maybe newest to oldest?)

Do you divide your book into different sections (maybe one for herbs, one for spells, one for deity information, and so on)? If you do this, what topics have you divided your book into?

Do you keep separate books dedicated to different subjects? What subjects do you keep in those?

Do you subdivide? For example, if you have a book or section of a book dedicated to spells, do you then divide the spells by goal - or do you simply add them in chronological order?

Do you have strictly divided sections, or do you work more with loose groupings?

I know many might have a mix of methods - I'm really interested in hearing the specifics of your particular way of doing things, and how it works for you.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:40 PM   #2
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I don't have a book yet, but if I did, and when I do, I guess, my plan was to make a book with a binding so that pages can be added and removed with ease. That way, I can arrange and re-arrange as I go. I'd probably fill up a few volumes, like one for each part (spells, diety, lore, what have you), and then they'd be able to be passed down through generations, as I hope to establish a family tradition.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:25 AM   #3
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I currently have a three ring binder with sections marked by labeled tabs for different topics:

Basics (101 type stuff)

I really don't love this system though, I'd love to have separate books for each topic, eventually maybe I'll have the time to redo my system.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Amarna View Post
I really don't love this system though, I'd love to have separate books for each topic, eventually maybe I'll have the time to redo my system.
I'm in a similar boat, which is part of why I'm asking. Hoping that seeing how others do things might give me some better inspiration for my own system.

Right now I have a big hardbound book which only has the very tried and true essentials to my path. It's mainly just in chronological order, and I'm very picky about what goes into it - and that's actually working well for me.

However, I also have a binder which contains a copy of everything from my hardbound book, as well as basically everything that might ever be of use. I first kept the binder several years back, then ditched it and kept everything on the computer (with backups), but that wasn't working the best it could so I've gone back to the binder. Since there's such a variety of topics covered in it, I've found it hard to really keep it organized.

I've just recently rearranged the binder subjects again into...
Core Tenants (Beliefs, Cosmology, Ethics, and other Essentials)
Hellenic Pantheon and Religion
Proto-Indo-European Pantheon and Religion
The Wheel of the Year (Basics, Solar, Lunar, Other Holidays)
Spirit-work (Soul Flight, Spirits, Ancestors)
Plant Lore / Herbalism
Animal Lore
Recipes (Food, Incense, Oils, Other)
Correspondence and Miscellanea

The problem is, tons of stuff seems to end up going into that last section, so I'm wondering it maybe I ought to split it off into another binder and try to break it down more... :/
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:02 AM   #5
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I'm currently writing and organizing my Book of Shadows on my computer. I do own a book I'm planning to use, but I haven't written anything in it yet. I'm afraid of ruining it, because I absolutely love it and I want it to be organized and beautifully written.

For now, I'm just writing down all the basic information, and I reckon that by the time I'm done writing, it'll be more than enough to cover the entire book. I won't be using it as a diary; I'll categorize it and use it only as a source of information. I won't be as "strict" with my other upcoming books, however.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
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I had one BOS for years but as I've gathered information over the years it grew into three separate books.

First one is like a diary and plots my year. I have seasonal information each month such as what I'm trying to grow, what is growing in the hedgerows, herbs etc. Also how I'm feeling, what the weather is like, what I've done, what I want to do and when.

Second book is my Magikal Cooking book. I have so many recipes that they needed their own space. I do a lot of cooking in my workings and I bake my offerings. I want to feed my body only good nourishing foods and its important to me where and how my food has been grown. I have recipes for all different times of the year and love tracing my fingers through the pages of this book.

Third book is spells and magikal information such as herbology, bathing recipes, divination, moon phases, cleaning routines etc etc. Normally I have all three out when I'm working. I find the three elements contained in each book is powerful especially when they are brought together.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:37 PM   #7
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Hi everyone. My BOS is a binder. I don't have tabs in it, but that sounds like a good idea. It's organized with everything similar clumped together. I've a section for rituals, spells, general info, and a diary in the second half of the book.
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:21 PM   #8
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I actually have 5 books. One is my most personal BOS that's made out of a hardcover bound sketchbook. The cover of the book is actually a paintable canvas so I painted a scene with a sunset and an orange and red skyline. In front of it is a haunted black tree with no leaves and ravens perched on the branches. That's all done in black like a silhouette. I also added some ribbon to the binding and created a ribbon tie on the inside so I can tie the book together when not in use, and there's a string of red & orange crystals hanging from the outside binding as well. That book is done like a scrapbook and only the most tried & true spells that I use all the time go in there as well as guides & charts I often reference. There is no indexing system for that book, things just get added to wherever there's room.

My second book is a binder like what most of you have with everything that my prized BOS has inside of it but, in that book I also add everything else. Spells I've never tried but feel the need to keep on hand, herb work, etc. That's divided into sections. I got a pack of tabbed dividers and I drew images on each one to represent what that section is about. Sections are: Spells, Herbal work, meditation & psychic exercise, crystals & gems, recipes for incense & oils, symbols & meanings, divination (runes, tarot, pendulum), and guides (for basic 101 stuff, correspondences). Some pages are handwritten on paper and some are printed pages that I hole punched.

I also have a dream diary, a book for notes-only about methods that work or need improvement and just things I want to try out (notes about everything I do in my BOS's), and a 5th book I am working on which is a book just for incense and oil recipes. I made that book from scratch and bound it together and am currently working on transferring my recipes from my BOS's into that book. I guess you could say I over complicate things but, it works well for me.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:42 PM   #9
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I've done some revising to my books, but this is how it is currently.

Grimoire (A small leather book with a triquetra on the cover) - This I use to hold complex rituals and spells, things with a lot of ingredients or components. I call this my grimoire because it's my reservoir of my most potent work.

Book of Shadows (A 1" binder) - I use this to hold reference. Just reference. No writing happens inside there. The pages are in paper protectors.

Spell Book (A small black notebook) - This is for spells. Just simple, ordinary spells. Nothing too complex, just quick incantations or short lists of components. Also includes some of my artwork on each page.

The BoS is open to anyone - it's just reference. The black book isn't all that secret but I'm a little more cagey with it. And the grimoire I keep to myself entirely because it's my serious stuff.

I am considering adding a 4th medium. I think I need separate space for spells, rituals, reference, diary, lore, tenants, etc.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:56 AM   #10
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Seems quite organized, Bright Wolf. I'm jealous. I have one 3 ring binder that I haven't updated for a few months now. Usually what I do is update by purging things that repeat in books. Things that I printed when I was very ambitious in the beginning of my journey. Now I just print out rituals or spells that I do.

Most everything can be found in a book and there are lots of books out there, and I was just taking up space in my book. Now it's a bit more organized and I can find things easier... Mab
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