The magical arts are often associated with aging books of wisdom filled with spells, rituals, and arcane knowledge. Modern media sources like Charmed or BBC’s Merlin show big, chunky books of magic that house botanical prints and all sorts of magical incantations and crystals. It is no surprise that these ideas and images influence Pagans of all sorts to create their own books of magic to help support their practices or teach others the knowledge that they have gained. I myself have been inspired by myths with magical books, popular media, and the Book of Kells to create a book to house important parts of my practice.
I’ve decided to call my own book a Book of Awen. Many Pagans create a Book of Shadows, a Grimoire, or a Book of Mirrors. Names are, of course, important. So, I chose mine with care. While I practice a bit of magic, I don’t really do enough spell work to necessitate the need for a Grimoire. I already have a journal that includes writings about personal events or thoughts on my path mixed with the mundane aspects of my life leaving little need for a Book of Mirrors. Frankly, a Book of Shadows just sounds so very much like something from Wicca or a more Witch focused path of Paganism that it didn’t fit my needs. So, I settled on a Book of Awen. My hope is that this collection of rituals, spells, knowledge, and garden/plant know-how will inspire my path and perhaps inspire my children down the road. I want a book that flows with the magic of my practice and feels a bit alive with its own magic.
To create my Book of Awen I began researching the process of book binding which is a hobby I’ve been meaning to pick up for some time now. Yay for craft time! I stitched together many different types of paper and even the seasonal ritual books from the OBOD Bard course. For the cover I glued a fantastic piece of bright yellow leather onto book board. On the spine I made a separate piece of covered board with the Awen symbol. Under this symbol is a spiral of words that worked as a book blessing, imbuing the book with the magic and elements I hoped for. I think this was my favorite part of the whole process! Finally, I chose some mulberry paper that has leaves and herbs into it for the end paper. These really set the tone of the earthy element I’m hoping to create in my book.
Down the road I hope to do more videos and posts updating you on the process of filling the book. Youtube Pagan Challenge 2017 is mostly focused on questions as they relate to a practitioner’s magical books. Certainly check out the #YTPaganChallenge this year if you are looking for inspiration for your own magical book! Do you have a book of your own? What do you call yours? I don’t hear many other Druids talking about their own books.