A Witch’s Grimoire: Create Your Own Book of Shadows by Judy Ann Nock, Adams Media Corporation 2005
This is the perfect book for a beginner to the Craft. Most Wicca 101 books are more theory than practical application. A Witch’s Grimoire breaks out of that mold with room to spare. Judy Ann Nock takes a novice Wiccan through the steps necessary to create a truly marvelous Book of Shadows from the paper to the entries.
Not only is the book written from a unique perspective, it is beautifully designed. A plain forest green cover with golden type and no picture wraps a rough cut edged book. The book’s almost square shape makes it easy to hold and carry along with you.
Ms. Nock starts us out in the first chapter with an explanation and the reasoning behind creating your own Book of Shadows. With the popularity of some TV shows, what a Book of Shadows really is has been glamorized to mythical proportions. Unfortunately, the success of these popular shows has given rise to confusion as to how one gets a Book of Shadows. Once the reader picks up this book, not only is the confusion alleviated but also the reader is given a practical step-by-step guide with lessons, meditations and thought provoking questions. Some of the meditations are so lovely and peaceful that even a more experienced witch will find something useful in the book’s pages.
Chapters are divided into “books” that are themed to the lessons and exercises they contain. There are sections devoted to the days of the week, the Sabbats and Esbats, charkas, candle magic and more.
The visual interruption caused by the question and answer sections with a place to write your answer bothered me. I think the book could have been successful without the few lines after each exercise. The areas provided weren’t long enough to do more than jot down a few notes. Perhaps if the book were in a larger, workbook type format, the rules would have made better sense. Another area that I disagreed with was the author’s use of the words “must” and “should” in describing rituals. That is a personal pet peeve and really doesn’t detract from what I feel is a very good book for a new seeker.