After writing several books encompassing aspects of my family heritage of Green Witchcraft, I felt the time was right to offer people their own copy of my personal Book of Shadows and Grimoire. As part of the source of inspiration for the previous explanatory books, I consider this volume ideal for rounding out the presentation of my Craft. I was delighted that Llewellyn Publications was willing to reproduce this manuscript in its entirety, for this is not your usual reading book but a tool meant to be picked up and used—much like a cookbook—without lengthy discussions, reminiscences, explanations, or even formal sentences. I like the term Grimoire, so deliciously medieval (being derived from “grammar” in the sense of a primer covering a field of knowledge), and so this combination of my Book of Rituals and Book of Spells is titled Grimoire for the Green Witch: A Complete Book of Shadows. There is only the merest hint of a beginning point with a short introduction, but the rest of the Grimoire is designed to be used just as I use mine—as a working guide and reference for ritual, spell casting, crafting, divination, and other information.
My own Grimoire began as bound, lined journals in which I wrote down tidbits from the oral tradition passed to me and added embellishments selectively collected over the past forty years. Early on I found translations of medieval Grimoires and after perusing them, added to my practice only those symbols and items that I felt blended well with the Nature focus of my family path, while discarding what I considered to be the trappings and supplications of excessive religiosity so characteristic of the medieval mindset. The use of sigils and seals relating to the planets seemed a natural inclusion as these have been a magical practice since ancient times, and I was already accustomed to the concept of energy influence from planets and their movements in magical work.
Certainly, there are many ways to conduct magic and to connect with the Divine, be it through thought, spoken word, prayer, ritual, spell casting, divination, or other means. I enjoy the cheerful anarchy of the eclectic elements I have blended together to supplement my family heritage, but we each follow our own individual paths. This is my path, and anyone who desires may use it, add to it, subtract from it, or personalize it in any other way to fit his or her own path. It is this ability to adopt, adapt, and update that makes the Craft a living spirituality, growing and changing just as the Goddess changes everything She touches. Without growth, there is stagnation, which is the death knell for any spiritual path.
Handwritten and much used, the pages of my original journals were falling out by the time my mother passed on. I felt a sudden sense of urgency to preserve the knowledge, as well as to offer it to others, and thus I began writing about my family heritage. I transcribed my journals using my computer, and I created illustrations in the Paint program. The results I printed out on parchment and secured the pages in two soft leather covers for my use in ritual and spell casting. I love handling these flexible volumes, and after many years of constant use, the leather has become comfortably wrinkled and pliable, while some of the pages have developed minor discolorations from stray drops of essential oils, blessed water, and candle wax.
Part of the joy of Crafting is holding a treasure that feels as worn and familiar as a good cookbook, complete with the stains and smudges whose very thumb and passing forefinger elicit fond memories and a sense of warm contentment. This sensation is what I want to pass along to those who would like a ready-made Grimoire. Sitting with Grimoire for the Green Witch on one’s lap and pouring over the profusion of information contained within will draw around the person an ethos of magic and Witchcraft—the Old Religion—like a cozy knitted shawl draped over the shoulders on a cold night, and quicken the desire to get up and start working the magic. With extra pages for additional information to be entered by the individual in each section, it is my hope that the published Grimoire is something a person will set on the Altar, use in conducting ritual and spell crafting, and pass along to future generations.