My Ritual Books

So I originally posted this over on my Dreamwidth journal, just to get it all down, and now I’m posting it here, with a lot more formatting and organisation so it doesn’t just read like a rambly rambly mess about books with a bunch of pictures and videos in it. That, and I missed a couple, so. This is a better version of that post, so apologies if you’ve seen this before.

So. I have *counts* 13 books currently in use that I’m working on. This… seems excessive, I know. Even I’m shocked that it’s that many. But there you go. If I’m being honest, most of them are of the journal/notebook type, rather than Proper Witchy Grimoires or Books Of Shadows. A lot of it is just notes and meditation logs and other boring things. They’re not pretty. They’re not arty. They’re just my terrible handwriting and sometimes, I might use two different coloured pens. I know, right? Radical.

But then I am very practical when it comes to my books. I don’t care for fancy layouts or pretty pens or anything like that for my notebooks and journals. All I care about is getting the information down. Anything more gets in the way of that becoming habit.

Also, this post is going to get Very Long, and there are photos and videos involved, so. Bear with me. And I will post in a lot more detail about two of them over at the Grimoire, so keep an eye out for that. But for now, here are my thirteen ritual books!

The current list stands as:
– Dedicant’s Path journal
– Sanctuary of Hekate Kleidouchous books x2 (one for research, one for practice)
– Dice divination log book
– Hekate’s ritual book
– Hekate’s grimoire
– Covenant of Hekate journal
– Sobek’s Book of Shadows
– Kemetic ritual book
– Draft daybook journal
– Navigating the Marshes
– Sobek’s journal
– Witchy notebook

This video shows you eleven of them, excluding the last two, which I forgot about. They take up most of my bed, woo!

Don’t get too excited about the youtube stuff, it’s just a convenient place to dump videos that isn’t wordpress. I have no plans right now to do anything else with the channel.

So, now that you’ve seen (most of) the books, I’ll go through each of them and what they’re for.

Dedicant’s Path Journal

DP journal

The first book is my Dedicant’s Path journal. It is an 800 page notebook. Because I went all out and wanted it all in one place. That, and the 600 page art book I originally wanted wouldn’t ship to Australia, but this one would, so. I am all for more pages.

It’s not very pretty except for the outside, which I reinforced with cardboard (softcover notebooks whyyyyyyy) and some old wrapping paper. I finished with clear contact to protect it.

And yes, I have stuck so much extra paper in there I need a little strap to keep it together. But that’s okay. I think it makes it look more ~magical~. Or something.

Inside, it’s not very pretty. I use a black pen, and I write stuff, and I stick things in, and I scrawl my drafts and other thoughts in there. It’s a very practical book, and when I have 800 pages, I don’t feel like it’s a problem to just ramble on about stuff, or draft things three times, or write more than I needed to. The book also has a page-by-page index at the front, and all the pages are numbered, so this helps me keep track of what’s in there.

As far as my DP progress goes:
– I have done my eight high days and their writeups
– I have done my five months of meditation, though not done the writeup
– I have done my three books and drafted reviews
– I have drafted high day essays, but I’m not totally happy with them
– I have done a few other essay drafts – virtues, etc

Which is a pretty good achievement so far. It’s mostly the nature awareness stuff, and the essays to finish now. And to figure out how to write the High Day essays in a way that doesn’t suck. I think I’ve drafted mine three times now, and I’m still not happy with them. But anyway. That ramble is for the DP journal I keep neglecting.

CoH Sanctuary of Hekate Kleidouchos Notebooks

SoK journals

So the Sanctuary of Hekate Kleidouchos work is the revamped Pillar of the Naos stuff from a few years ago that I never finished. I got burnt out and couldn’t finish the work, but I’m fully willing to admit that I probably wasn’t ready for it. Still, I always wanted to have another go at it, and found my chance in July.

That work requires a whole separate entry all of its own that I still need to write, but suffice it to say, She took me under Her wing, and changed my path so completely from where it was that has meant a lot of thinking and reflection and figuring out what that means and what I need to start building now.

She’s responsible for the shift to Kemetic monasticism and my new witchy studies. Amongst other things I’m still trying to figure out. But, again, that’s for another time, and another post, once it’s a bit clearer in my head. We still have some work to finish off, so I’m unwilling to talk about it until that last little bit’s done, and I know where I’m going from there.

So, over the past six months or so, these are the two books I have used to record that work. One is for research and other assorted notes, while the other is for recording my meditation practice and a few other bits and pieces. I’ll have to go through them before I write up my post on all that, because I feel like I need to be careful what I say about it in terms of details and other things that either won’t make sense out of context, or probably shouldn’t be shared because woo.

They are pretty boring books, ngl. They are just 240 page exercise books I picked up at Officeworks for, like, $5, and covered with paper. IDEK. Nothing fancy. But they do the job.

Dice Divination Log Book

dice divination journal

The dice divination book is also an Officeworks book, might’ve been $10? But it’s just a nice journal, and in there, I record all my dice divination sessions. I have the “standard” number meanings in the front, but I don’t always adhere to that system, and it was designed for three dice, not two, so it goes up to eighteen.

Dice are my go-to method for simple yes/no type of questions that I can’t be bothered pulling runes or cards for. I’ve also recorded a couple of pendulum things in here, too, but it’s mostly dice.

I’ve been interested in dice divination for a while now, but it’s only been something I’ve played with in the past year or so. I decided that if I’m going to have a collection of dice, the least I could do is actually have a go at using them in this way and see what happens. That, and they belong to Hermes, and I might have got a nudge about it idek.

So, I throw my dice a little differently to the more common ways of throwing dice. I believe in repetition, and maths, and numbers, so my way of using dice consists of using two d6s, and I roll them together 5 times in a row. I list them like this:

1   2
2   4
5   5
1   6
2   3

Usually, they are recorded left to right in terms of which column they go in, but sometimes, intuition tells me not to do this, usually when they fall in a vertical line, or I read them in the opposite way. I usually go with the way I immediately read the numbers and go from there. I have also done readings with 3, 6, or 8 repetitions, but 5 is my standard. That’s usually enough to get a good reading.

Once I have my data, I add up the columns, and rows, and from there, I use those numbers to tell me what the result is, though I tend to generalise to ‘good/bad’. I generally reduce these totals to single figures, though any numbers under 18 I might also consider if I feel the question requires it. I tend to be more intuitive with the meanings and that seems to work well enough for me.

I also have specific number vibes that are separate from the meanings I wrote in the front. Generally, even is no, and odd is yes. Any 4s or multiples of 4 are good (because 4 is a good number in Egyptian thought). 3 9s are an emphatic (and sometimes urgent) YES, 2 slightly less emphatic, but still sharing that energy. I also look for primes, the ratio of odd v even, how pretty they look, the relationships between them, all that good nerdy stuff.

So this is an example from my book with the three nines at the bottom, just to give you a sense of how I record them. This was a question to Set, and it was clear He approved by the three nines at the bottom of the table. And also the perfect 18 + 18 split.

D1    D2    Total
5       5        10
6       6         9
2       2         4
3       4         7
2       4         6
18    18      36       Total
9       9               (as single figure)

Anyway. This is about books! Not divination! On we go!

Hekate’s Ritual Book

Hekate's ritual book

Okay, so this next one is Hekate’s ritual book. It’s just an A5 notebook from Officeworks (cut me some slack, my op shop is across the road from one), and I’ve reinforced the covers to make them sturdier and easier to hold during ritual. It’s a working book, so it has all my current rituals for Her in it, including the SoK work, and my Deipnon ritual, and a few other bits and pieces.

It’s nothing fancy. It’s a practical book, it does what I need it to do, it is indexed, and yeah. I have rituals in it. It stays on the shrine (middle shelf) with the Kemetic ritual book, as I use them both daily for ritual and want them close to hand.

The symbol on the front is … I don’t know. It’s something that feels right to symbolise my work with Her. Part key, part name, part crossroad, part CoH symbol. It makes enough sense to me that I keep drawing it all over Her things, so whatever. Maybe one day I’ll sit down and figure out the whys of it and go deeper into what it means.

I don’t know why I feel the need to keep two ritual books, except that neither feel like they are a good fit together. They serve different purposes, so it feels better to keep them apart, for now. I’m definitely not against a single ritual book, though, and that may come when I have a more solid idea of what my practice is going to look like, and have solidified my ritual choices so I know what to include, and I don’t need to mess around with anything else.

Hekate’s Grimoire

Hekate's grimoire

This is Hekate’s grimoire. The book was (oh gods another softcover) bought on a whim as I was looking for something for my fledgling witchy things, and the sense that Hekate wanted something more than just working ritual books and journals for my experiences. So I looked around for the fattest book I could find that wouldn’t cost me ridiculous dollars, and found this one. It’s got 500 pages, and it’s US Letter sized. I cardboarded the covers and prettied it with scrapbook paper and tape.

It wasn’t originally planned to be just for Hekate, but that became clear once Sobek got His book. So there’s a lot in there right now that feels very much like it was written for Them both, and it was. But that’s okay. Now I know it’s Hekate’s book, it helps me decide what I want to put in there.

She’s very protective of this book, and you can only see these two pages of artwork that mark the beginning of Sobek and Hekate’s sections in the book, brief sections about each god, and what They like, and what to offer Them, etc.

Hekate’s title page

Hekate's title page

I glued a bit of dried wormwood on the page at the bottom. There is more dried wormwood glued throughout the rest of the book.

Sobek’s title page

Sobek's title page

This grimoire, being more than just a journal, is a bit fancier, though. Black pen, and my calligraphy markers (I don’t trust myself with actual ink, nor do I think this paper could stand it if I did). And I try not to write with my terrible writing. You can see the writing board under Sobek’s title page there, which I use to keep my lines as straight as reasonably possible. Also, I am actually remembering to date everything omg, and the paper does take my watercolour pencils very well, better than I thought it would. I am also guilty of using gel pens and glitter pens.

CoH Journal

 

CoH journal

This is my Covenant of Hekate journal. I started this when I first joined back in 2013, and it’s about half-full now. It’s still a current journal, even though I haven’t used it for six months, but I do use it to record deipnon meditations, and other things I feel don’t belong in the SoK journals.

Mostly, it’s a few CoH-specific rituals, the hymn I wrote when I joined, and a whole lot of journalling and meditation logs. Plus, a few sketches, and some musings about things, and other bits and pieces. It’s not a book I use every day, and I have only rarely used it as an actual ritual book for rites I can’t be bothered printing out when they are written in there. My Pillars of the Naos meditations are logged in there as well.

It is what it is. I like it, and it does the job well enough. I think, theoretically, you’re always meant to write Hekate’s name in red in that journal though I have somewhat slacked on that front over the last fifty pages or so. Oops. Anyway. It is filled with boring things that only I would find interesting, so there’s that.

Sobek’s Book of Shadows

Sobek's book

This is my newest book. I made it over the weekend. It’s A4 sized (though the covers are a bit larger), it has 400 pages in 10 signatures, and I attempted to age the pages a bit with my Inktense pencils, rather than tea/coffee dye them. I am impatient and lazy, and I didn’t want to get the whole sheet wet. So I used them instead, and I think they worked pretty well.

The aesthetic vibe I was getting from Sobek was to make it look really old, like the original binding had long ago come apart, and it had been re-covered. I used coptic stitch rather than case binding because I … just can’t bring myself to do Kemetic things in anything other than coptic stitch. It feels wrong. XD That, and it lies flat, which is important to me and how I use my books. It’s also so much easier to write in them when they lie flat, negl.

Anyway. The image on the front is one Sobek gave me in meditation as I was trying to figure out what to put on the front. He’s sort of claimed ‘Lord of the Sacred Waters’ for the monastic stuff I’m figuring out, so. But more on that when I know what it is I’m doing. He seems to think this is something that will eventually include more than just me, which is a bit weird to think about, but I guess He knows what He’s doing.

So. Since Sobek wants this book to be seen, I did a quick flipthrough for you so you can see what I’ve done in an afternoon’s work. Summer is good for this sort of work, when it’s too hot to do computer work.

Obviously, there is a lot more to do, but it’s not a bad start. I have to sit down and figure out whether this is a book with A Specific Order, or if Sobek’s just happy to have the pages filled out in whatever order they get filled out in. My guess is the latter, since He seems to want all the hymns I currently have to go first. I think there might end up being an order, but a rather loose one, rather than one done with specific pages and sections and bookmarks and indexes. It will be what it is.

Kemetic Ritual Book

Kemetic ritual book

And now that Sobek’s book is out of the way, we can move on to the new Kemetic ritual book. There’s nothing much in here at the moment, just the morning and evening rites I came up with, but I only do the morning one for the moment. The rest of my daily office is in flux, probably until my work with Hekate comes to some sort of natural conclusion, to the point where an end is reached, and a beginning presents itself.

My idea for the evening rite was to make it a more contemplative one, to counter the more straight-forward Temple-style morning rite. I had this idea for a bunch of prayers and hymns that could be used, to be said slowly and meditatively that were appropriate for that time of night, and the selection could depend on the day, like whether there are festivals or particular gods that need to be honoured, that sort of thing. I like it as an idea, though I am also pondering whether it is timed for right before bed, or for the sunset/early evening. Sunset, arguably, makes more sense in a cosmological framework, but whether it’s practical for me to do rites at that time, well. I don’t know. That, and I’m still pondering the hymn selection at the moment. The rite is sound, and I probably won’t change that. I just need to finalise the selection of other hymns to list after that, then I can work on the rest of the daily office. I have plans for a noon and night thing too, but again, those are still to be settled. Though I suspect Hekate will get one of them, one way or another, since that seems to be A Thing now.

The Draft Shedety Daybook

Sobek daybook draft book

And speaking of the draft daybook, it is currently being drafted in this book here. It is green, and fuzzy on the front, and only one side of the page has lines on it wtf. But that’s the draft book, if only so I can see how much room it’ll all take up, and how best to record it, and to do any final edits before it goes in the main ritual book.

Putting the daybook together is being made a lot easier since Hemet (AUS) released her daybook. I finally have an up-to-date Kemetic calendar to reference, and not just 10+ year old KO stuff I was playing around with years ago. It’s something I’ve been playing around with for a few years, but now with the daybook available, I can make some real progress on that at last.

It’s narrowing down just how many gods and their festivals I want to include, without overwhelming myself, and finding the right balance of gods and ritual and festivals. It’s not an easy task. And there are SO MANY HOLIDAYS OMG.

But that’s a long way off for now. I am, for now, trawling through the ebook and my notes and cutting and pasting and writing and deciding. I am nowhere near finished even the first month of Akhet, let alone the entire thing. But at least I’ll have a proper list, and this will help with my Sobek books, too, in getting a more complete festival list.

Navigating The Marshes

Navigating The Marshes

This next one was made from part of an old box that had calligraphy stuff in it, I think? I don’t really remember, but it had a flap and some magnets, and I cut it down to book size, and covered it, and longstitched a whole bunch of pages into it. I had this plan for what I wanted to include in it. It was my first attempt at a Book of Shadows-type of book for my path, and I had an outline written down and everything.

And then I forgot the plan – I thought I’d lost it! – but I kept writing, and then I stopped because I remembered there was a plan, but not what it was, and then I found the plan at last, tucked away IN THE BACK OF THE BOOK OMG, and now it’s way more full than it was before. Everything is currently set in stone up to the section on all the gods, but the daily/monthly/yearly ritual stuff after that, I’m going to wait until that’s more certain in my mind before I commit that to paper. But once that’s done, then the rest of it will be easier to wrangle. It’s about figuring out how much space I need for the remaining sections so I can put the title pages in.

I decided to do a flipthrough of this one, too. I almost didn’t, but the whole point of this book was to share my practices with others. Sobek’s book, and this book, are probably the only two I’d ever share publicly. My ritual books I might share with people I trust, but not publicly. My journals are, of course, not for sharing. Not because they hold some sort of super-sekrit okkult sekrits, but mostly because they are boring and most people will not find them interesting, so.

Sobek’s Journal

Sobek's journal

So this is a leather journal thing I picked up a few years ago, and I turned it into a journal for Sobek. It actually lives under my pillow, for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent to me, but there you go.

It’s not necessarily a personal journal type of thing, though there is some of that in there. It’s also a workbook, a drafting book, it’s whatever it needs to be for my work with Sobek. My first draft of my list of Sobek epithets was written in here.

I’ve also drafted out Sabbat/High Days, as well as circle-casting things, meditation logs, magical things, boring things, My Thoughts On stuff, and whatever else comes to mind. I don’t use it super-often, but it’s nice that it’s there, because sometimes, I just need a book to scrawl in about my Sobek things, and this does a good enough job of that for my uses.

The cover is actually removable, so I could, theoretically, make a new book and put it in there, once the current one is used up. So that’s nice. The three leather strips on the side are the only things keeping the book in. If you untie them, the book will be free. And I seem to have found a tightness that is loose enough to let the pages turn well, but tight enough to make it easy to write in on a relatively flat surface.

The Witchy Notebook

witchy BoS notebook

This was a journal I picked up at Officeworks for about $20. I didn’t intend to use it for this purpose, but it just looked witchy enough that using it for my witchy studies seemed to be a natural thing to do with it.

It’s not particularly organised, in the sense that it’s a collection of notes, correspondences, and exercises, and experience logs. It’s probably the closest thing to a ‘witchy’ Book of Shadows I will ever have.

I don’t know what its fate will be once it is full, and I am done with the studying. It may just become a handy reference book, or all the useful stuff with go into Hekate’s grimoire.

At the very least, it’s not a bad little book to write in while I figure out what my witchy style is going to be, and discover what’s important to keep, and what doesn’t work for me. Because there’s a lot of stuff I have no time for, mostly because it’s not interesting, or not useful, or just not relevant to how I work. Plus, I know there are some kinds of magic that I am either a) not skilled at, b) not interested in, or c) not relevant, so.

But yeah. That’s what that’s used for at the moment. I keep it under my bedside table, so I can easily get access to it when I do some more exercises, along with the books I’m working with. I find I don’t tend to work on my books if they aren’t readily accessible. If I can’t quickly pull them out, they get forgotten.

But anyway. This seems to be in the ‘longer than strictly necessary’ territory, and I have, finally, covered all the ritual books I am currently working on. This has taken me three hours to do, which seems very odd, but there you go. I’ll type up an extended post on my two grimoires for the other site, and leave this post for now. I hope it is interesting to you, and doesn’t make you feel inadequate. I have this many books because it makes it easier for me to work this way. If you can do it all in one or two books, I hereby congratulate you.

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One comment on “My Ritual Books

  1. […] is an extended post from the one I posted over at Per Sebek about my ritual books, just focusing on the two books I use for this part of my practice. I wanted to do a post like this […]

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