I spent last Friday night in a bookstore, surrounded by stories of every genre. Surrounded by the voices of countless authors, and characters. Surrounded by creativity and the creation born of that creativity. As I always do in any bookstore, I read jacket after jacket, hard backed and paper backed alike, known authors and unknown. I flipped to the middle of stories so I could taste the language of the story, the voice of the characters, the creative energy of the author.
Some of the stories were exquisite. Some I began to get lost in even when I opened to a random page and began to read. Others I set down quickly, unable to find the thread, the voice, that would paint me the picture and transport me elsewhere.
Because story, really good story, is a teleportation machine. The words carrying the reader to another time and/or place.
I have been thinking about story a lot lately. When I was in late grade school (4th-6th grade), I attended a school with an emphasis on the world as a classroom. I took african dance and water polo for PE and studied architecture through field trips and design projects.
I also learned about storytelling as art.
A storyteller would come to our school and my class would file down to the library and sit around her as she told us fantastical tales from around the globe. Time has a way of warping the memory and I can’t be sure if she learned these during travel or from other storytellers. But I remember the way she told the stories. With movement and voice fluctuation and sometimes different voices for the characters. I cherished this. Always an avid reader the power of hearing a story told was delicious.
This is a memory that comes to me frequently when I think about story. This art of storytelling is one that has been utilized throughout time to transmit information both make believe and fact. To share history and wisdom. We remember story. We relate to it. We often make sense of our lives with it.
How many times have you gone to a gathering where someone shares a story about something that happened to them. (my husband, my uncle and my late father are all excellent story tellers so I’ve been privileged to quite few).
Last year as I was working on a divination course, I actually named it Re-story your life. Because story is how we relate to ourselves and our experience. (and divination is a tool to connect to information and story that runs through us)
It is also how we remember. I often ponder all the stories that have been lost with the passing of people. Those not recorded or remembered or retold. Story is sacred. And we each have one. Our lives are full of chapters and ever evolving characters, a myriad of plot lines tying our story to the stories of others.
Book Of Shadows
Keeping a book of Shadows is very much like keeping a story if your spiritual journey. This is a book where one can log their rituals, spells and reflections on their practices. Do you have a Book of Shadows (also sometimes called a grimoire)?
If not it’s a simple process to create one.
Choose a notebook. This can be as fancy or simple as you’d like, what’s most important is what is on the inside (you can’t judge a book by it’s cover after all).
You can use this book as is, or cleanse and charge it using smoke from dried herbs or incense or crystals. You may want to drum over it or tone into it to charge it up.
But again you don’t have to. This book is the story of YOUR spiritual practice and you get to create this in whatever way fits for you!
Within my Women’s Circle we track all our rituals for our celebrations that coincide with the Wheel of the Year holidays (holy days). Some groups keep a collective book of all rituals and spells.
Sometime ago I decided I wanted to create a Wise Woman Witchery Community Grimoire. The idea is that an actual notebook would be mailed out into the community and passed along from one women to the next with each adding a spell, ritual or meditation. I would love to get this started but I need your help.
If you choose to participate you will receive the book in the mail and have several days to add your contribution before you will be asked to send it to the next person. Your mailing address will only be given to the person who is to send it to you in order to keep your personal information private. Each person who participates will receive an e-copy of the Grimoire once it makes its way back to me. A hard copy will be available to you for the cost of printing and shipping as well.
To sign up to be a part of this creation you can fill out the FORM. Once I have ten people signed up I will send it to the first person.
Emily Morrison MA, MFT