If you are anything like me, you have a hundred blank books, and some of them have been dedicated to be your personal grimoires or Books of Shadows. I have a spell grimoire, a divination grimoire, a collected ritual Book of Shadows, a note-taking one for randomness, and even one filled with post-its I designated as "Interim" - The In-Between Time.
In the coven I belong to, I am an elder and a teacher. My planner became as much of a grimoire as all the ones I had sitting on my book shelf. I started to transfer all the notes I had taken through the years, but as you well know, that doesn't always get done. So recently, after happening upon a group called the "Bullet Journal Community", I've decided not to stress over it anymore.
I had already been doing some of what I have seen in the BuJo community (BuJo - Bu-llet + Jo-urnal). Below is pictured my redecoration of January 2018's calendar. Below that is a lecture spread I made for a presentation I did on the Sun God in the Wiccan Mythos.
The first thing to catch my eye and drew me in was something called a collection. The idea that in your personal, everyday carry planner / journal (or PLOURNAL, if you will - my new favorite made-up word) you keep a collection. The collection is relegated to a section of your everyday carry book, instead of being scattered in the book all willy-nilly. It was so simple and yet AMAZING. Why didn't I think of that?!
My Wicca is an ever-evolving one and that includes how I learn and teach it, and this journey into this new, creative community has fully captured my imagination and heart. I will still have my ritual Book of Shadows, and my spell and Divination grimoires... but I'm going to expect them to be artistically amazing now and so, so, so much more organized.
Another thing the BuJo community introduced (re-introduced? re-defined?) to me was the INDEX. Yes, the simple, everyday, in the front of every book, INDEX. Who knew? So now, every personal book gets one and because my Wicca is integrated into my every day AND my everyday carry book, I think I will incorporate a MASTER INDEX (another excuse for another blank book.)
I belong to a few BuJo facebook groups and the members of Bullet Journaling Witches asked for a full picture of the Wheel of the Year I had teased them with.
"This is my record of our covens Wheel of the Year. I edited out the dates of the remaining sabbats (blue). The red up in the top right of each is the astronomical date and time. The small black writing is the wish candle we do for each (Yule and Samhain should be reversed.) The solar sabbats are marked with gold embellishments while the agricultural are marked with silver. The triangle blank space is to record who performed what parts and the exterior white space is used for extra notes about each."
Follow this link to the video by Ryder Carroll
who organized the Bullet Journal system in the first place
or visit the website here
A young witchling asked in a private forum:
[I was] using a pendulum to do a reading for myself. I asked the pendulum to show me yes and then to show me no. During the reading I asked a question. I did not get a yes, I did not get a no. The pendulum made an action that was different from both yes and no and it started to hit me. I assumed I had the pendulum to close and moved it further away from my body and asked the question again and I got the same response again; neither the yes or the no, but the pendulum hit me. So I moved it away from me again and once again the same response and the pendulum hit me. Has this ever happened to anyone else? I've never had the pendulum do this. Please advise.
Pendulums can take a while for you and it to sync so you understand one another intimately. You can't pick up a new pendulum every six months and have it react the way it's supposed to. As with any tool, you have to make the time to get to know it, allow it to get to know you.
When a pendulum reacts in a way contrary to what is expected, I have found that it is usually the questions that are the culprit. It is either:
1.) Worded incorrectly. Try different variations of the question or work up to the 'big' question with smaller questions.
2.) Not the question(s) you should be asking at the moment. Or in other words, "Why are you asking about that when you should be asking me about something else?"
When you are a first year student of the Inner Circle Sanctuary, it is required that you take on three types of divination. There are several reasons for this requirement but the two main reasons are that:
1. To learn to trust your intuition. Everyone has intuition but your signals can get lost in the day to day noise that surrounds us, especially if you are an urban witch. Divination tools serve as focus points and require you to take the time to focus solely on that point. Practice a divination with a tool long enough, and soon you'll find yourself just knowing things without the tools. (I want to emphasize that 'long enough' usually means years, btw.)
2. We believe that before any witchcraft is done, you need to ensure you're doing the right spell. Divination can help you make that determination. Imagine doing a love spell to find a mate when what you really needed was a self-confidence spell so that you're actually okay with being alone for a while.
The pendulum is usually always chosen by first year students. It's simple, inexpensive, and easy, easy, easy to learn. Questions are (usually) limited to 'yes' and 'no' and it can even help you 'dowse' to find lost objects.
The range of materials that go into making pendulums is as diverse as our planet itself. I've read that wood is the best and most accurate and that copper, bronze, or silver attune to the bearer of the tool faster and easier. Almost every book and website I read claims that crystal pendulums need to be cleansed right before and right after use because their 'programming' can easily be swayed.
Just pick one that reaches out to you. That calls to you.
There's not a lot I can tell you about the pendulum that won't contradict with something you read out there. Every book and website will be slightly different, as well as everyone's tradition.
I will tell you however that in my Wiccan tradition, I teach that we, as humans, are every bit a part of the Universe as the owl and the snake; as the tree and the oceans; as the planets and the galaxies. We are a part of the ALL; the Universal Cosmos and everything it knows and with that, we have the capability to tap into that Everything.
When you use your pendulum, be sure YOU are holding it, you piece of the Megacosm. Allow all of creation to speak through every sinew and nerve and pore and cell that is a part of ALL NATURE.
You can sit or stand, you can support your elbow or not... try it both ways (and keep notes). Listen to that inner voice. That inner voice that is not your guardian angel, but you can call it that if you like. It is not the gods, but you can call it them, too. It is the primal source of all things; ALL THINGS, including you. Call home.
Bifrons is Latin for "two-faced
Janus is the Roman god of beginnings, transitions, time, gates and doorways. His two faces look simultaneously back at the past and towards the future. He was given the dominion of January, the beginning of the new calendar as established by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. Romans believed that the beginning, the start of anything was an omen for the whole of the endeavor whether it was a new year, a new month, a war, or a time of peace. To ensure a positive outcome for a year, they would spend the first day exchanging words of good fortune, presenting gifts of dates, figs, honey, and coins (strenae). To Janus, they offered salt and cakes made of spelt; no animal sacrifices (according to Ovid.)
There is a superstition that says whatever you are doing at the stroke of midnight will foretell what you will be doing the whole of the year. The tradition of being with friends, kissing someone at
midnight, and toasting in cheer is a common motif because of this belief. The former two is to ensure a friend-filled year without loneliness and the latter is to be filled with cheer. I spent many a New Year's penning a calligraphy project. My traditions have since been modified to include the whole day.
I like the idea of making resolutions but I don't do them often. Making a resolution is making a commitment. It's making a promise. Decades ago, when I first started my training in the Craft, my Lady nurtured the concept of:
If you are a practicing witch or you want to be a practicing witch, this should be your first resolution; the first promise to make to yourself, to the universe, to the Gods. Without this concept lived every day, wholly, and fully realized throughout your life, any magic you try to create is doomed from the start. If you happen to have this one in the bag... here are a few others:
Actually keep a spell journal to better define which spells are working and what you did to make them work best; A SEPARATE book of shadows, a record, data from your spell operations. Here is a PDf of a page you can download and use if you'd like. SPELL JOURNAL WORKSHEET DOWNLOAD or scroll to the bottom of this post.
Learn your North, West, South, and East directions. Step out onto your porch with a compass and find north. Mark out the four quarters in your home. Learn that when you are turning right, that it's North or South, East, or West.
Celebrate the sabbats as best and as often as you can. Schedule the time to do something even if it is just to light a candle or make a toast. If you are a solitary witch and you already do this, try celebrating one of the sabbats this year with an established group or invite your closest friends to join you. If you already do this, try celebrating a sabbat with others of a different tradition. Expand your horizons. Ask a lot of questions. Learn something new.
Organize your herbs / oils / ritual gear. Make labels. Buy jars or vials. Purchase a cabinet from a goodwill store. Get a nice box to house a ritual-go kit for when you want to travel to a friend’s house or to the back yard.
At the Inner Circle Sanctuary group, we ask our first year students to do a spell every moon phase: a waxing moon spell and a waning moon spell. It's not required, but it gets them into the habit of doing magic regularly if they participate. Adopt something similar.
Improvise! Adapt! Overcome!
Samhain 2016 11/6/2016
There are many levels and layers to constructing a magical sabbat ring which means many hands. It is this working together for the festivities ahead that help to build our comradery and closeness. You can see the reflection of this bonding in the friendships that are forged.
That Which Is Remembered Lives 10/18/2016
Whatever you do, however you honor your loved ones and/or ancestors, just remember them.
Autumn Equinox 2016 10/12/2016
We gather with the Gods eight times a year at these celebrations and never know what to expect when they grace us with their company.
Lughnasadh 2016 10/12/2016
The sea of white robes of our first years and the pepper of black and greens robes of those well on their way to second year prepared for ritual, helping each other get dressed, get belted, and with chaplet straightening.
Litha 2016 6/26/2016
Individually, we take away the best memories for ourselves with everyone’s being different.
Bealtaine Sabbat 2016 5/14/2016
In such close quarters, the essence of family infuses the air and communion prevails.