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Book or loose leaf system?

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Book or loose leaf system?

PostAuthor: Morwenn » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:33 pm

Hello everybody, I really need some advice on this dilemma of mine. Please share your thoughts and feelings on it with me.

Over the years I had several Books of Shadows. I am (unfortunately) a perfectionist and none of them (as you might have guessed) ever pleased me for the full 100 %. Instead of meandering along with my path and enjoying it, I kept re-modeling my notes and still wasn't pleased with it in the end!

And the problem got even more complex: In the summer of 2009 we finally found ourselves in our dream location, a beautiful small town amidst the soft rolling hills of Flanders. It really was where I wanted to be. I felt hugely inspired and began to delve in the local folklore, history, herbs, woods, and so on and recorded everything (about 40 handwritten pages) in a sturdy A4 book. For the first time in years I was pleased with the way things were progressing.

About three years later we had - due to circumstances - to leave this beautiful place which made me feel very sad. And when I look at the book I made back then, it all seems a waste of energy...

But we moved to a new area, a fresh start so to say, and several events rekindled the flame. I began to re-read 'a witch alone' and decided to work through it all over again, starting with the first chapter: mapping your locality.

I could continue with my old book, which contains a lot of energy, and my work from back then wouldn't be so pointless after all. I've only moved about 13 kms away from the town I used to live in so it's still pretty much in the same area.
Now, a book might have the right 'feeling' to it, but it has one big disadvantage too: it's pretty static. I never can re-arrange things of insert pages as I learn along the path.

Or I could start over again, and finally do what Marian Green has been suggesting all the time and choose a loose leafed system (in a binder). The idea of a loose leafed system however has put me off for a long time. I never actually get the same 'feeling' as with a book. But there are of course also many benefits: you can always add/insert more material as you go along...

So, what to choose? And does anyone of you have or ever made a 'book of illumination', as suggested by Marian Green?

Hope you can shed some light on this for me. Thanks for listening to me anyway :) .

Last edited by Morwenn on Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.


Re: Book or loose leafed system?

PostAuthor: Wildwood » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:57 pm

Hi Morwenn,

I went for a loose leaf "binder". Not the ring binder from Tesco, I tried to put a little bit of craftsmanship into it. The covers are wooden boards made from a special tree and held together with fine leather, the pages are made from a rather fancy, heavy paper (vellum would be nice!) and the pages are held together by leather thongs. If I am honest it sometimes looks a bit of a shambles but it has a personality to it, and it is mine.

It has the functionality of my being able to edit it - and it is "dynamic".


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Re: Book or loose leafed system?

PostAuthor: Aelfgifu » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:44 pm

Over the years I've had various "Witch Books", journals and what have you, and have often wished I could develop my "one true way" and thus "one true book"! :D I was always trying to capture a sort of "ye olde book of arte" feel, with beautiful script, captivating diagrams and well-thumbed pages. What I ended up with was books with bits scribbled out, pages torn out and new ones sellotaped in, folded up pages of magazines with spells, meditations etc on them stuffed into the pack flap, plus loads of superfluous stuff I ended up never actually using. I've still got an idea that one day the "precious book" will actually exist, but for now I have started to put all my notes on an online notepad website, where I can sort everything into sections using a tag system, and can edit stuff as and when I please. The stuff which makes it to being "regular practice" will end up in some future incarnation of a hard copy book (I've already seen one with a triquetra on the front that I'd like as my "Wicceboc" or whatever I eventually end up calling it!) That's my plan anyway...


Re: Book or loose leafed system?

PostAuthor: Morwenn » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:59 pm

I love the description of your 'book' Wildwood. Do you have a picture of it?

I suppose that crafting a 'book' is always a work in progress, impossible to be contained in something as static as a book. After all, in magic changement, or being dynamic, is considered as 'life', while stagnation always means 'death'.


I know exactly what you mean Aelfgifu, I also ended up with a variety of books, notes, loose papers, and I constantly waste time with searching for this or that bit of paper. It's really frustrating. I've thought about an online book as well but, oldfashioned as I am, I prefer to have my notes always at hand, even when my computer is off.

Anyway, thanks for your input. I'm off for one week and I'll give it some thoughts then & decide afterwards. If I decide to use a binder (I'm not as handy as you Wildwood :| ) it must at least have some ecological, organic touch to it. Natural colours and materials and so on. I have a picture in my files somewhere which kind of shows what I mean.


Re: Book or loose leafed system?

PostAuthor: Morgan » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:50 pm

Sorry for coming late to this and I know that you're probably on holiday anyway, Morwenn, but I have a book, a loose-leaf system and notes on my computer.

Everything I see online gets saved into my BOS on my computer and it's backed up in about 3 different places, on different hard-drives.

The things that I find really interesting get printed off and put into my loose-leaf binder. This was one that I bought that was as "green" as I could find and I have personalised it by putting in pictures etc of things to do with me.

Then, finally, the things ~ whether spells, poems, rituals, meditations ~ that I keep coming back and use again and again, I transfer into my hardback book.

Yep, it's long-winded but it suits me :D
Morgan )O(

May your summers and winters be short, springs be mild and autumn reaping plentiful.

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Re: Book or loose leafed system?

PostAuthor: Morwenn » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:10 pm

Thank you Tylluan, your suggestion is maybe the best solution for me. That way I can still keep my book and include the things that really matter to me, and the ones I frequently use like recipes and such. The rest - documentation on various subjects - can go into a binder. :D


Re: Book or loose leafed system?

PostAuthor: Hazel » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:33 am

Hi Morwenn
Sorry I missed this earlier,
I too have a few Book of Shadows, One on the computer, three note books, and one hard cover which has been carefuly decorated, I write in all the others when and if, the hard copy is for all the tried and trusted and favorite information. I like Wildwoods idea sounds good,
I have been upset with my hard copy as I had carefully set it out in sections Spells, herbs, meditation etc, then found that my healing section has ended up split into three seperate parts as I recorded more and more. so I think that I will borrow Wildwoods idea. buy some wood and decorate the front and back with Pyrography and use loose leaf.

thank you for bringing this up it has helped me.

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Re: Book or loose leafed system?

PostAuthor: Morwenn » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:57 pm

quote: the hard copy is for all the tried and trusted and favorite information. I have been upset with my hard copy as I had carefully set it out in sections Spells, herbs, meditation etc, then found that my healing section has ended up split into three seperate parts as I recorded more and more.

I know what you mean Hazel, it's inevitable when you use a book. When you record a lot of information, a loose leaf system is a much better idea. Keep us posted on the progress of your handiwork ;)


Re: Book or loose leafed system?

PostAuthor: Hazel » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:28 am

Oh boy I have taken on a bigger task than I at first realised.

I have yet to actually burn the decoration on the wood I intend to do that last, for the last two months I have been copying every thing to my loose leaf book. I have not even managed to complete one book yet, let alone the computer info i have amassed. and there where five books with info in and four reporters book what a mess, I am so glad that this has been brought to my notice I can not believe how disorganised my books are. and there was me feeling pleased with my self. at this rate it will probably be a whole year of rewriting it all.
When completed I will take a photo.
B.B. Hazel
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Re: Book or loose leafed system?

PostAuthor: Skywalker (Deceased) » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:56 am

I'm so glad this thread was brought back up again. Thank you, Hazel. :D

I am an information pack rat, a true Childe of the Digital Age.

My experience (with a tip of the hat to Tylluan): I have never saved anything solely on a computer that I did not eventually lose, including all the material on that big external hard drive, written under XP, that will not read into Windows 7. :( :(

I have waist high piles of papers, sheets, booklets and brochures here that I swore at the time were vital information which I would need, go back and look at, somehow rehabilitate in the future. They are nothing more than door stops. Even favorite sites on the web, thought brilliant at the time, are not looked at again. I will do a brand new Google search before I go back to someplace I have already been. :shock:

If you are going to make a binder or notebook, Bravo, Wildwood, and Brava to you all! Put all your Skill and Craftiness and Art and Love into it. But if I were to make a Book of Shadows again, it would only contain those rituals, those prayers, those truths that I wanted regularly. Every day, every month, whatever was meaningful for me. Everything else can be looked up on the 'net. It's out there, waiting for me to reach for it in the "cloud". The stuff that makes me feel good and safe and true, the stuff that makes up my Life, that's what would be treasured there in the Book of Shadows, the stuff that makes me "Me".

Apologies for the rant. Touched a nerve there. :oops:

Brightest Blessings,

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