A Woman’s Book of Shadows: A Grimoire for Soul Keeping, Secret Telling, and Self-Enchantment

Creating a book of Ancient Memory utilizing the Extreme Journalism techniques created by Juliana Coles (no prior art or writing experience necessary. A certain amount of self awareness or the openness and willingness to venture inward will be expected as well as a playful spirit.)

Come closer, women: As summer edges into fall, shadows grow longer and the veil between this world and the other is thinnest. It is time to make the sacred journey we all knowingly wish for, but put off time and time again … Let us gather our memories, words, and art around us for this magical and mystical journey of initiation where light and dark converge in the pages of our Book of Shadows to reveal the true self. Awaken as you discover your own guide into unknown territory where you will be called upon to develop intuition, intention, self dialogue, and self expression. Inspired by those who have gone before us, you will uncover personal signs and symbols in a precious journal where peacock feathers, rose petals, and the smoke from sacred fires speak knowingly from between its pages.

With each day of this retreat we deepen and enrich the mystery within as we begin our Book of Shadows through gentle guidance and creative visual journaling techniques for insight, healing, and self-bewitching. Words and thoughts, combined with unique imagery and intention, will create good spells, charms, cures; this is ancient medicine and will reveal a powerful force. Your grimoire, a personal instructional manual, handed down through the ages, woman to woman, is a record of your spiritual growth, and will unveil to you all you desire. You have chosen a unique and difficult path; the way of the wise woman, full of ancient ritual, secrets, and blessings. Welcome to this sisterhood. You are the wisdom that you seek. Call upon the spirits and powerful energies that surround you.

This is more than a workshop, it is an event. Step out of the shadows. Come forward. Reveal your true self. It begins now for you in choosing your book, creating your altar, and gathering your supplies. I encourage you to do anything that sets the mood for you – or do absolutely nothing. You can decorate supplies to make them seem old. You can even come dressed in a witchly enchantress costume, complete with magic wand and chalice – but remember, we are working in paint, so anything you wear please be willing to mess it up. You could even decorate your apron or create a magical cloak to work in. We are setting the stage for self expression, and creating a character and a world that is different from our own helps us to see ourselves from a different perspective, one we may be unfamiliar with. This other voice has much to teach us. Dressing up is an act of devotion and can create intention and focus. This is how we become that which we seek. This is how we let our child play. I’ll be there in character and I hope my coven will be too. Our assignments will combine words with images to access our inner voices will revolve around this theme of creating the grimoire. We will play with astrology, the tarot, power animals and familiars, and many other magick arts. So come out and play little ones. You are creating your first book of shadows.

What is a grimoire: A grimoire is defined as a book of spells and incantations used for calling forth spirits. It was meant as a purely instructional tool with practical applications: a “how to” manual for spells, secrets, and enchantments. Today’s grimoire is often handwritten by individuals for their own personal use and not meant for display or for sharing with others. The term grimoire is generic and may be used instead of the title of the actual book, which is often kept secret. The “Book of Shadows” is a Wiccan tradition. A sort of recipe book that included spells and incantations, but much more. A Book of Shadows may also contain dreams, poems, revelations, art, inspiration, mythology or anything else that can be considered a personal record of a spiritual journey, which is every woman’s path of initiation. A Book of Shadows, a unique book of self reflection, can resemble a diary or Visual Journal. And much like the visual journal, the grimoire, or Book of Shadows will be our container for safe keeping – a soul house to protect our visions. This initiatory journey focuses on process and self expression, and will begin by preparing the book that will become our grimoire.