What is Grimoire vs Book of Shadows? How to create an amazing Spell Book? Practical guide + 55 witchcraft topics to research!

Last Updated on July 11, 2023 by Eva Maria

Do you wonder what is the difference between a grimoire vs book of shadows? Have you just started your magical journey and feel overwhelmed by all the information on witchcraft that is available around? Or maybe you have some general knowledge but don’t know how to organize it?

This post definitely will come in handy if you are looking to start recording your solitary path, spells, correspondences, moon magic, rituals, etc. So without further ado, let me present the practical guide on how to create a fabulous Grimoire or Book of Shadows!

Pinterest pin how to create an exceptional grimoire and why it is different from the book of shadows?

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What is the Book of Shadows?

In simple words, the Book of Shadows is your Personal and Sacred script of magical knowledge.

Usually, it contains your private magical record of all the things that you put your energy into. It can have pages such as the book blessing, moon phases, wheel of the year, elements, herbs, crystals, candle magic, various spells, rituals… and so much more!

What differentiates Book of Shadow from Grimoire is that BOS is more personal and intimate, meaning that you can journal there your thoughts, feeling, unique ideas, results of your spells, etc.

Book of Shadows is more of a magical journal than a strict, knowledge-based book.

The good news is that the Book of Shadows can be anything in whatever shape and form you want!

photo of a magical grimoire

What is Grimoire?

Grimoire Meaning

Grimoire, sometimes referred to as a Spell Book or Book of Shadows is a record of general magical knowledge.

Grimoire includes topics such as herbs and crystal correspondences, moon magic, sabbats, elemental magic, spells, and rituals. The information presented in a grimoire is in the form of general knowledge, that you wouldn’t mind sharing with others.

Some covens have their own Grimoire which all the members can use and learn from it.

You could also have various journals to cover the different subjects. Grimoire can be a record of your learnings from countless books and websites, and the Book of Shadows can contain things like a dream journal, spell results, and Shadow Work.

photo of personal spell book

Book of Shadows vs Grimoire

The difference between the Book of Shadows and Grimoire is that BoS will represent a personal record of your path, while the grimoire contains general knowledge. 

Book of Shadows can be a record of your dreams, magical work results, tarot readings, or journaling of your spiritual and emotional state. It is something that I personally keep private and sometimes use code language to hide the real meaning.

Grimoire is any magical book that contains general knowledge of witchcraft. There would be for example these 10 books for Baby Witches, and any other spellbook available for the public.

Witch Journal Patreon membership is a great example of a digital Grimoire. You can download their plenty of grimoire pages that contain extensive studies on subjects such as Moon Magic, herbs, crystals, and sabbaths.

photo of encoded Book of Shadows

What do you need to start a Book of Shadows or Grimoire?

Notebook or a Journal

As simple or as fancy as you want it to be! You can get a beautiful handmade Grimoire on Etsy for example. I really like using sketchbooks as they have a good-quality of paper that allows me to be creative. 


Some people prefer using a three-ring binder instead of a notebook as it gives a more organized look.

You can for example get some free grimoire printables and put them in special sections of the binder.

This also gives you the advantage of having a huge volume of inspiration before you decide to commit to one big magical journal.

Writing Tools

The great idea is to enchant your magical writing pen. You can simply visualize how each time you write with that pen, your Higher Self or Diety helps you to get inspiration and make this activity sacred. 

Great Deities to work with when creating a Book of Shadows or Grimoire are:

Egyptian – Thoth, Isis, Seshat
Celtic – Ogma
Greek – Apollo, Athena, Metis, Hecate
Norse – Odin, Frigg
Roman – Minerva, Providentia
Slavic – Gamayun

photo of a quill, ink and old paper

Would you like to keep a Digital Book of Shadows?

Some people like to keep their magical writing on their computer/laptop or online. This gives the advantage of limitless editing, adding information, and sharing it with your witchy friends.

I created this website as an online grimoire, where everyone can learn for free and research the topics that interest them the most. If you find this article helpful, let me reach more people by simply sharing this post with someone that can benefit from it.

Extra Magical Option for creating a Grimoire or Book of Shadows

There are many ways to enhance your magical experience when writing your Book of Shadows or Grimoire.

First of all, you can make it from scratch. Prepare a beautiful cover, make your own scented pages with flower petals, add ribbons and sachets, and make your own ink…

Possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination and creativity.

You can also make it easier and get some witchy stickers, nice colorful pens or use these free grimoire pages as an inspiration.

What I love to do is to scent my paper with rosemary essential oil. This herb is good for memory and studying and I just love the smell of it!

You can try many different options and find what works best for you. I wouldn’t stress too much about the look but if you have some perfectionist tendencies you might consider making notes and then transferring them to your original Grimoire or Book of Shadows later.

photo of a leather journal in the forest

How to organize your Grimoire or Book of Shadows?

I know that this is a big topic in a witchcraft community. Imagine, you suddenly get some extra information on Full Moon magick, but you’ve already written that chapter 15 pages ago… What can you do?

A great option for a traditional journal is to add a table of content at the beginning or just leave some extra space for that reason.

You can also keep a few separate journals that will cover certain topics such as Herbs, Crystals, Spells, Candle and Color Magick, Tarot, Rituals, History of Witchcraft, etc.

At the end of this article, you can download a free pdf with more than 50 topics to cover in your Book of Shadows. This might give you a basic idea for your further studies and writing.

A great solution to organize your knowledge is a three-ring binder. I’ve seen some amazing customization to the cover that you can easily DIY at home. For example, you can wrap it in faux leather and decorate it with nice gold paint. A great addition to the cover is your magical symbol to seal and protect scripts inside. Some like to use a Pentacle or Tripple Moon Covers. Below you can find some inspiration.

My last idea for organizing the Book of Shadows is to digitalize it. You can always change and add new information and when you are happy with the overall look of the page and subject, you can print it out. It is a simple and easy method yet doesn’t have as much “power” as handwritten text.

photo of a leather grimoire

Book of Shadows Writing Ritual

As this is a part of your witchy practice it’s good to make a ritual from writing in your Book of Shadows. In this section, I will give you simple guidelines (not any strict rules) to enhance your energy while writing.

First of all, make sure you are in the mood to write. There is no need to stress or rush with anything. Wait for inspiration or ask your deity to work with you during that time. When you are ready, you should center your energy and get yourself comfortable in your body. I like to get a few deep breaths, empty my mind and open the energetical channel through all the Chakras.

Some witches like to cast a circle. My method is just to visualize one around me and shield myself from any outer influences that potentially might disturb my ritual. You can do whatever brings you into a place of safe and unbounded creative flow.

To bring extra energy into the process you can play some synchronized music in the background. Find tunes that make you feel focused and uplifting.

Other great tools to help you with creativity are crystals and scents. You can choose between Citrine, Carnelian, or Tiger’s Eye.

You can also program one of your Quartz crystals to work in your favor when scripting in your book.

Essential oils that are good for that purpose are Lavender, Rosemary, Orange, Jasmine, Frankincense, and Peppermint. 

What can I do when I have a creative block?

Do something different for instance.

Sketch, make a smoothie, take a shower, do some yoga, breathing exercises, or meditation.

Take your mind away for a while to give space for new ideas. Do whatever makes you relaxed and try coming back to writing.

Grimoire/Book of Shadows Ideas

Witchcraft Topics to Research

Below you can download for free my gift for you! It is a list of 55+ witchcraft topics that you can include in your Grimoire or Book of Shadows.

Eva Maria
Eva Maria

Eclectic Witch with tons of interests (Buddhism, Yoga, Ayurveda, Alchemy, Naturopathy, Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Climbing, Traveling, Jewelry making, Crocheting, Arts and Crafts and all sorts of readings).

Creator at @witchjournaling and host of the witchcommunity.com


  1. Thank you for your information just starting to create my own grimoire and the list will help . I use junk journals try #49dragonflies

  2. Putting my book together and as a “baby witch”, I’m looking for ideas and inspiration. This was insightful. Thank you.

    • As a baby witch, I’m finding I’m more crystal, candle, and kitchen inclined, but having this is so appreciated!!!!

  3. I can’t download the list of 55+ things to include in the Grimoire and was wondering if I could somehow get it

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