All of this inspired by the fabulous Molly Roberts (HerSpeak) – if you haven’t seen her famous “Rock Your Grimoire” video, follow the link and go get inspired now!!
I am not an artist. My father is an artist, a whiz with a pencil and rubber eraser, and I spent the first decade of my life living in a room plastered with his artwork, his desk & all his supplies pushed into the corner. He drew my favorite characters, pets that I couldn’t have in our apartment, places I would never go, people I’d never meet… Like everyone else, I was raised by Disney, and the art that had a life of its own. Then, as I got older and discovered my love of History, Research, & Schooling, I submerged myself in classic art like a salt-water pool; teeming with treasures.
Art matters to me. Art is Magic. Art is Holy and Sacred. The most beloved and awesome pieces of visual art across human time have been done in the glory of some god or another. Many cultures hold the belief that it is that piety, that divine quality, that lends true art its greatness. My ancestors tapped ancient symbols full of mana in ink all over their bodies, in honor and reverence to both their progenitors and themselves.
This is intimidating.
I know I’m in the same boat as oh, so many witches. I want my Grimoire to be perfect. My Book of Shadows, my Holy Tome, the Keeper & Protector of my rituals, calendars, spells, and secrets that will hopefully last on this earth much longer than I… that’s the dream. And it’s held me back from putting absolutely anything in my book. The pressure was simply too real.
So the first thing I did was forget about the fancy journals. I hate the blank page – give me lines or don’t even hand me the paper. I know nothing I could do would improve the perfection of a blank page, especially once the power of words have been taken from me. And so, I took an old copy of The Iliad, one of my most beloved texts, with the absolute worst translation, and decided to do a HerSpeak and paint right in it. (Seriously, this translation is abysmal. It’s not even in verse…)
This decision saved me & my grimoire. Suddenly I was painting over holy (though badly translated) words, and nothing I could ever paint can tarnish their power. I’m inspired by the words on the pages, the cover itself. Simply the act of holding my book and flipping through what I’ve done so far fills me with new ideas and the desire to just work in the book.
My next big project will be adding a section devoted to the Athenian Lunar Calendar, complete with holy days, festivals, and notes. This is a huge undertaking for me, once I’ve complained about in length on this blog already. But my book has set me free. I’m no longer afraid to rip out pages, paste them together, cover mistakes in scrapbook paper and paint, and allow my path to show on the page.
I think that has been the most important lesson of all: A witch’s path is never straight & perfect, neither are our grimoire.