Crafting Your Own Grimoire
May 28, 2024 16 min read

Crafting Your Own Grimoire

By Lady Saoirse

Most mentors instruct their magic students to create their own Book of Shadows, spell collection, or just do magical journals. The importance of writing down what you learn is stressed so that in the future, you can measure success, and keeping notes will ensure you don’t forget any magical truths you learn. Some people have a photographic memory, and their magical knowledge is compiled in their minds to pass down to other people who want to learn, and they write little, if anything down. All of these different sacred magical writings can be called one thing- grimoires. This article will explore grimoires, and how to make your own, their lore and history, and some things to include. 

What Are Grimoires?

Grimoires, most simply stated, are textbooks of magic. There are a number of things that can go into them, and each grimoire is different. The first grimoires known to us were written on clay tablets in cuneiform. The Greeks believed the Persians wrote the first magical books, but we will probably never know who created the very first book of magical knowledge. This is because books and tablets and scrolls can disappear or disintegrate, and they can also be buried for many centuries before they are discovered. In the ancient world, many magical writings were created that survive today, with perhaps the most popular one being The Bible. Three Books of Occult Philosophy was another influential grimoire and it was written by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and was published in the 1500’s. In the 1970’s several authors likely came together to publish the Necronomicon which was said to be a translation of an older grimoire.

Not all grimoires are published and released to the public, however. Many are written by people for themselves. Grimoires can contain many different things. Some are compilations of folklore, superstitions and magical history and others have lists of beliefs regarding taboos and then personal experiences. They can contain spells, how to celebrate sacred days, and different potions. Creating magical tools and various spiritual topics can be contained in grimoires as well. There are no set rules for exactly what must go into a grimoire, and you can put anything that is related to your magical practice into your own grimoire that you wish. Some people just collect information and bundle it together in folders, but other people write their own grimoires, hand copying every bit of knowledge they include.

You can buy or create a beautiful book to use for your grimoire, or you can stuff individual sheets of paper into folders, binders, and notebooks. You can keep a daily magical journal, setting aside time every day to write, or you can add things that you feel are appropriate. You can call yours a spiritual journal, a magical journal, or even your own Book of Shadows as the Wiccans do. Keep in mind that originally, there was only one Book of Shadows that an entire Wiccan group, called a Coven, would share and contribute to, but a lot of people today prefer to create their own. Before we explore different things that you can put in your grimoire, let’s read about the Bible, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, and the Necronomicon. Read about protective magic: Magic for Self-Defense

The Bible

Some people believe the Bible is the word of the god of the Jews and Christians, and that their god spoke directly to the men who wrote each individual book. The Bible is an anthology of different books that were written in different languages including Aramaic, Hebrew, and Hellenistic Greek. Today there are up to 7,000 different versions of the Bible and it has been translated into hundreds of different languages. The Old Testament is mostly 24 books of the Hebrew Bible called the Tanakh and the Protestant version has 39 books while the Catholic version has 49 and Orthodox traditions have 49 books in their Old Testament. The Old Testament of the Bible contains books of things that were said to take place before the birth of Jesus Christ, and the New Testament was about his birth, life, death, and then there are some writings by his followers after his death.

The Old Testament has laws, history, folklore, taboos, cultural information, and instructions for the people in how to follow their god whose name YHVH was also known as Jehovah and Yahweh. The New Testament is all about the life of Jesus and some early writings by his followers. The oldest copies of the earliest books of the Bible do not survive, but The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 and are believed to have been written between 250 BCE and 100 CE. These scrolls are the oldest known complete copies of books of the Hebrew Bible. Although rumor has it that Catholics compiled the Bible during The Council of Nicea, that’s not true. The books in the Bible were all written over a period of more than 1,000 years from 1200 BCE to the 1st century CE and it is accepted that much of the editing and additions were done by 300 CE and debate by different religious groups continued until the 16th century.

While King James added passages forbidding all practice of magic, including divination, the Bible is full of ways to do magic but what magic is in the Bible? The Seven laws of Noah are an example. These were given to human beings by their god when he made a covenant with them in the Talmud. It was believed that by following these laws, the people would make it possible for their god to be close with them, and by breaking them, it automatically distanced them from him. The laws were:

1) Not to worship idols.

2) Not to curse God.

3) Not to commit murder.

4) Not to commit adultery or sexual immorality.

5) Not to steal.

6) Not to eat flesh torn from a living animal.

7) To establish courts of justice.

Another example of magic in the Bible is found in the book of Joshua. The Hebrews were ordered by their god to march around the city walls once a day for six days, and then seven times on the seventh day. They were then to blow horns, and the book of Hebrews wrote that once this was done, the walls collapsed, and the Hebrews took control of the city. In another Bible story in the book of Judges, a man named Sampson was allowed superhuman strength because he took a vow to the god of the Old Testament that he would never cut his hair. He was betrayed by his girlfriend, Delilah, who revealed his secret, and cutting his hair in his sleep, she stripped him of his strength. He was captured, and was forgiven by his god, who allowed him to have his strength again as his hair grew while in captivity. The magical hair allowed him to have the strength to topple the support beams to the building he and his enemies were in, killing both himself and his enemies.

Three Books of Occult Philosophy

This publication is considered to be one of the most important publications about Western magic by some, and although the first draft of it was offered by the author, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, to Abbot Johannes Trithemius in 1510, the final version was published in 1533. Interestingly, although this book is considered so important, Agrippa would be condemned by prior Jean Catilinet as a heretic and forced to leave the city of Dole for his views. Trithemius actually recommended that Agrippa keep his views set forth in Three Books of Occult Philosophy secret, and the Inquisition tried to stop him from publishing his book. His views were not widely accepted at the time, and he died a short few years after their first publication.

The book explored the four elements, the names of god, Kabbalah, astrology, numerology, angels, alchemy, ceremonial magic, and he advocated for combining magic with science and medicine. He believed herbalism could heal things like malaria and he offended people with his view that ritual magic blended well with religion. In chapter 28, he wrote about what things are under the influence of the planet Venus. He wrote, “ These things are under Venus, amongst elements, Air and Water; amongst humors, phlegm, with blood, spirit and seed: amongst tastes, those which are sweet, unctuous, and delectable; amongst metals, silver and brass, both yellow and red; amongst stones, the beryl, chrysolite, emerald, sapphire, green jasper, the corneola, the stone aetites, he lazul stone, coral, and all of a fair, various, whit, and green color.” You can read the entire publication for free on PDF here: Three Books Of Occult Philosophy : Henry Cornelius Agrippa : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive


This book was published in the 1970’s and some say it was a translation of an ancient text, while others say it was written in modern times and was a hoax. It was first written about in the short stories of horror and occult author H.P. Lovecraft, and it was also called The Book of the Dead and Al Azif. Lovecraft wrote that the book was authored by an Arabian man named Alhazredwho was said to be “half crazed” and to have written the book before his death in 738. It was said to have been suppressed, banned, lost and to have resurfaced and that five copies were held in safekeeping worldwide. Nobody has ever been able to substantiate this, so it is widely accepted that this was one of Lovecraft’s imaginative additions to his fiction.

Multiple people have published different books they claimed were the fabled Necronomicon, and the Simon Necronomicon was one of them. Magical symbols called seals are revealed in this book as well as spells and incantations. Some of the magic wards off evil and other spells curse enemies. The seals are sacred symbols to gods and demons who can be called upon for aid and instructions to make amulets with these seals are given, including what materials should be used to make them. The book’s introduction warns readers of the powers of the book, and that banishing rituals from the Golden Dawn will not ward off creatures the book teaches how to summon. Interestingly, there are parallels to Lovecraft’s fictional stories, and multiple occult and metaphysical experts claim the book is a hoax, one going so far as to say the book was written by the occult writer Peter Levenda. Rad about the magic of black cats: The Magic and Superstitions of Black Cats

Lore and History

Lore and History

When creating your own grimoire, yours can have anything and everything you feel belongs. Magic is defined in different ways by different people, but if you are like the people who wrote the books of the Bible, you will want some history and folklore in your grimoire. Your personal folklore might be what you have grown up with, or it might be lore that appeals to you, but for some people, folklore is a kind of history. That is, it is a magical way of looking at history. Some say certain ethnocentric groups populated Ireland, and others say one of those was a group of ancient gods. Some people say the sun rises and sets on its own, and others say the god Ra guides the sun across the sky during the day and carries it safely through the underworld at night before he guides it to rise again the next day.

Besides folklore, the history of your personal magical tradition can be kept in your grimoire so the people who you teach your tradition to can learn it. Some traditions that initiate their members trace their lineage and keep the names of their members in a central document, so everybody knows who the members are. The founding and early days of your magical tradition up to the present day and any major events that have unfolded in that time can also be written in your grimoire. Anytime somebody splits off from your tradition, that can be recorded in your grimoire, and you can keep track of any progress students and members make. If nobody else has joined your magical tradition, you can keep a record of when you found your own magic and list personal epiphanies and moments of enlightenment on your path.

What stories of myth and magic resonate with you? Those are the stories to include in your lore and history section of your grimoire. To discover what lore feels best, which pantheon of goddesses and gods are your personal gods? The ancient stories about them might form your folklore. Other lore you can include is the lore of flowers, birthstones, and other magical correspondences that make sense to you. Superstitions that speak to your soul about things like the moon, the sun, black cats, birds, and other forces of nature belong in your personal folklore collection as well. Read about Spirit Animals: Which Animal is My Spirit Animal?


Taboos are things that are forbidden to us. While some people may think taboos are excessive, they are intended to protect people from harm, and spiritual taboos are things we avoid so that we may be spiritually pure. Some people shun certain foods, believing them to be immoral for some reason, or unhealthy for the body. Abstaining from eating before ritual, or fasting is one way to observe taboos, believing the body needs to be empty of food before sacred practices. Another taboo that is widely practiced is regulation of sexual activity. Not uttering certain words is another taboo that entire generations of people embrace. Another taboo lies in association with or not associating with certain people.

Each individual is heavily influenced by both their society as a whole and their close group of family and friends. Within magical groups, certain things may be forbidden like circling with other magical groups without the permission of elders or sleeping when a certain astronomical event occurs, lest you miss the magic it promises. Something else to consider is what you feel must be done as well as what you don’t do in order to be spiritually healthy. You can make sure to do your daily practices and record what those are in your grimoire as well as listing the foods and drinks that are helpful to your magic. Taboos may change as your magical practices change, and the changes can be noted in your grimoire.


Any special magical or spiritual experience you have can be recorded in your grimoire. When did you first feel drawn to magic and what things happened to make you aware that magic is real? How do you feel when the seasons change and how can you tell what the weather will be? Are there any experiences your elders or other spiritual family members have told you about that you have learned from? Was there an especially difficult lesson you learned, and you want to remember the details? All of these things and more can be recorded in your magical grimoire.

Our personal experiences provide learning while we walk our magical path and as we learn, we change. It has been said that we are spiritual beings, but we are having a physical experience. Some experiences in life are mundane day to day experiences, and other experiences provide great magical and spiritual wisdom. Some people write about their experiences with spirits and other people write about their experiences with other people. Any experience you have, no matter what the nature of it, if you feel it belongs in your grimoire, put it in there. Read about protecting your energy: Protecting Your Spiritual Energy

High Days

High Days

Each of us has our own special holy days, and when those are and how you celebrate them should go into your grimoire. A famous grimoire, The Gardnerian Book of Shadows was written by Gerald Gardner for his Coven, and published without his permission by historian and scribe Aidan Kelly. The reason Kelly did this was because he was educated about lore and ancient religions and knew that the content of Gardner’s book was not as ancient as Gardner claimed it was, and he wanted to prove it. Gardner pulled from poetry, occult writings, and his own creativity to compile his Book of Shadows and because of Kelly everybody knows that today.

Within the book are over 40 different chapters with a lot of magic, lore, instructions for rituals, and eight high holy day rituals are listed. For example, the Spring Equinox Sabbat Ritual is as follows: The symbol of the wheel should be placed on the altar upright, decked with flowers, flanked with burning candles. The Cauldron, containing spirits, is in the east. Magus in west, High Priestess in east with Phallic wand or pinecone-tipped wand, or broomstick, or riding pole, broom upwards. High Priestess lights Cauldron, saying,"We kindle fire this day! In the presence of the Holy Ones:Without malice, without jealousy, without envy. Without fear of aught beneath the sun.But the High Gods.Thee we invoke: O light of life:Be thou a bright flame before us: Be thou a guiding star above us:Be thou a smooth path beneath us;Kindle thou in our hearts within,A flame of love for our neighbor, To our foes, to our friends, to our kindred all:To all men on this broad Earth.O merciful son of Cerridwen, From the lowest thing that liveth To the name that is highest of all."High Priestess draw pentacle upon Magus with wand, kiss, gives it to him. He does likewise. They lead the dance round the circle, all couples leaping burning fire. The last couple as the fire goes out should be well-purified three times, and each should give Fivefold Kiss to all of opposite sex. Cakes and wine.If the people will, the Cauldron dance can be done again, many times, or other games can be played.” Gardnerian Book of Shadows Index (

Your own high days can be more detailed or simpler, and you can write everything, word for word in your grimoire. Some people have multiple versions of high day celebrations included if they want to change from year to year how they celebrate, and others have one high day ritual structure, but will make notes about memorable things that happen every year and who attended. The longer you celebrate a high day, the more you learn and the more you change it. Your grimoire can be a record of each year as well as new things you add, or just your thoughts after the celebrations.

Spell Writing

If you practice magic, a collection of all your spells should be included in your grimoire. Magical meanings and correspondences can go with the lore, but detailed spells should be kept together. You can separate your spells by categories, like “love spells” and “prosperity magic”, or you can keep all the spells alphabetized. You can also keep things like detailed instructions for how to mix potions and tinctures separate from things like invocations. Whenever you do a spell, keep a record of what you did and how you did it, and document how successful you feel it was. Over time, your list of spells will grow, and you will have quite a collection of spells you have worked. If you decide a spell is not good, you can always remove it from your grimoire, but keep a copy of it first, while you decide whether it works or not.

To write your own spells, you don’t need any particular structure, but here is a simple one to keep in mind. First, write out the spell’s intent. Then write out the list of materials and ingredients you need to use. Then write out the steps of the spell in order, one at a time. Consider whether you want to cast a circle or not and consider whether you will need to bless or banish afterwards. Put the spell aside for a day or two, then take it out and read over it again, and edit as needed. Perform the spell and make any necessary changes. Over time, the spell might evolve and change, and you can take notes that you keep in your grimoire each time you do the spell. Read about the mysterious number 666: What is the Angel Number Six and 666 Meaning?

Magical Tools

There was a time when there were not a lot of magical shops, but today’s magic workers enjoy a variety of shops both in their hometowns and online where they can order their personal magical supplies. Athames, cauldrons, amulets, herbs, books, wands, capes and robes, and anything you can imagine you would need to do magic with can be found in these shops. There was a time when people had to make almost everything they used to work their magic with, however, and some of today’s magical practitioners still make some, if not all of their own tools. When you make your own tools, make sure to document how you made them, providing explicit instructions in case you decide to do it again or you want to pass the knowledge along to somebody else.

Spiritual Things

What does magic have to do with spirituality? For some people, nothing, but for other people, everything. Not everybody who uses magic is spiritual, after all. There are atheists who believe in magic and magicians who keep their magic separate from their religion. It really depends on what makes the most sense to each individual, but spiritual things can go in your grimoire if you want them to. If you draw magic from your personal deities, you can put information about that into your book.

The essence of your goddesses or gods can be included, how to invoke them and what offerings to give to them can as well. Special instructions for how to talk and pray to them can be included and you can even write your own prayers. Folklore beliefs about them can be added and you can include hymns of praise as well. Some people don’t necessarily focus on worship in their spirituality but prefer to focus on their own personal spiritual development and improvement instead. You can include your own progress, emotional healing, and list what methods you used to grow. Anything you feel that relates to spirituality that belongs in your personal grimoire can be included.

Your grimoire, whether you call it a Book of Shadows, spell book, magical journal, or just a personal magical diary, will start with a single word on a single page, and one day, it will be too big to read in a day. It will include things you learn, things you create, and the wisdom of the people who you meet who share their magic with you. Your grimoire can be something you pass on to people who you mentor, or it can stay with you, hidden from all eyes but your own. No matter what you decide to add to your grimoire, it will be sacred because it is your personal magical and spiritual book. While you experience life and all the magic it holds, take the time to craft your own grimoire. May your magical journey be powerful, and may you capture every bit of it in the pages of your grimoire. So Be It.

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About the Author: Lady Saoirse has studied magic and lore for most of her life but started walking her own Magical Path after being spiritually reborn in the desert. Today she is a High Priestess for The Temple of the Goddess, she is a psychic advisor and spiritual counselor, she shares her gifts as a Psychic and Content Writer for Spiritual Blossom, has written for Mysticsense, and she writes for PaganPages.Org emag and Green Egg Magazine.