The Mirror Book is a term coined by Scott Cunningham, and refers to a Witch’s daily journal, in which you record anything pertaining to your spiritual life and Craft. This distinguishes it from the Witch’s grimoire or Book of Shadows, which is a more permanent record of recipes, spells, and the like. The Mirror Book is a valuable tool in assessing your progress in witchcraft, and life in general. Over time, as you read back over the book, you become your own teacher. As Cunningham says: “One of the goals of the Wicca is self-knowledge; the Mirror Book is a valuable tool in achieving this.”
So, what do you record in your Mirror Book? Here are a few suggestions:
-Menstruation cycle (if applicable)
-Significant astrology/planetary alignments
-Reflections on witchcraft/being a witch
-Reflections on your studies in witchcraft
-How you are feeling that day – physically, emotionally, energetically
-Successes and failures in magick spells
-Reflections on your rituals
-Mundane concerns that pertain to your spiritual life or Craft
-Repeating symbols or themes in your day-to-day life
-Significant interactions with others (humans, animals, plants, spirits, etc)
-Progress in your Craft, such as building a new altar, starting an apothecary garden, creating a Witch’s tool, etc.
These are just a few ideas to get you started – you can also check out these journal prompts on the blog for more ideas. What do you include in your witchcraft journal?
We read this for the Jan/Feb Book Coven, but in case you missed it and wanted to dive deeper into this fantastic book, here are a few journal prompts to consider when reading it:
Ch. 1 (The Howl: Resurrection of the Wild Woman), pg. 30*: “Each woman has potential access to Rio Abaja Rio, this river beneath the river. She arrives there through deep meditation, dance, writing, painting, prayer making, singing, drumming, active imagination, or any activity which requires an intense altered consciousness. A woman arrives in this world-between-worlds through yearning and by seeking something she can see just out of the corner of her eye.”
What are some of the ways you access this “river beneath the river”?
Is there an activity you can do on a daily basis to travel to this place?
What do you seek in this “river beneath the river”?
Ch. 3 (Nosing Out the Facts: The Retrieval of Intuition as Initiation), pg. 80: “Vasalisa turned to her doll as soon as the Yaga had gone. ‘What shall I do? Can I complete these tasks in time?’ The doll assured her she could, and to eat a little and go to sleep. Vasalisa fed the doll a little too, then she slept.”
Vasalisa’s doll can be seen as a talisman, an object imbued with life and magickal intent. If you are creating a talisman, how will you “feed” it? Some ideas are:
–passing it through sacred smoke
–making offerings to it
–bathing it in salt and/or water
–charging it with crystals
–anointing it with oils/herbs/flower essences
Ch. 5 (Hunting: When the Heart is a Lonely Hunter), pg. 159: “It is good to make a meditative and daily practice of untangling the Life/Death/Life nature over and over again…When we are untangling this nature, it would be good for us to sing something like this: What must I give more death to today, in order to generate more life? What do I know should die, but am hesitant to allow to do so? What must die in me in order for me to love? What not-beauty do I fear? Of what use is the power of the not-beautiful to me today? What should die today? What should live? What life am I afraid to give birth to? If not now, when?“
Ch. 9 (Homing: Returning to Oneself), pg. 306: “The exact answer to ‘Where is home?’ is more complex…but in some way it is an internal place, a place somewhere in time rather than space, where a woman feels of one piece. Home is where a thought or feeling can be sustained instead of being interrupted or torn away from us because something else is demanding our time and attention… Home is a sustained mood or sense that allows us to experience feeling not necessarily sustained in the mundane world: wonder, vision, peace, freedom from worry, freedom from demands, freedom from constant clacking. All these treasures from home are meant to be cached in the psyche for later use in the topside world…. Although there are many physical places one can go to ‘feel’ her way back to this special home, the physical place itself is not home; it is only the vehicle that rocks the ego to sleep so that we can go the rest of the way by ourselves. The vehicles through and by which women reach home are many: music, art, forest, ocean spume, sunrise, solitude. These take us home to a nutritive inner world that has ideas, order, and sustenance all of its own… In truth, home is holographic.”
-what physical space and/or actions bring you home?
-what does home feel like for you?
-how can you access home on a daily basis?
-how can you bring the treasures from home to the “topside world”?
Ch. 14 (La Selva Subterranea: Initiation in the Underground Forest), pg. 458: “How does one live in the topside world and the underworld at the same time and on a day-to-day basis? What does one have to do to come down into the underworld on one’s own? What circumstances in life help women with the descent? Do we have a choice about going or staying? What spontaneous help have you received from the instinctive nature during such a time?”
*Page numbers are from the 1st edition, paperback.
The object you see hanging around my neck is a flint striker, which I use along with my magickal knife to start fires for ritual, cooking, dye pots etc. What started out as a somewhat mundane novelty (starting fires with a flint striker is pretty fun) became, over time, a more significantly magickal practice for me. Building the foundation for the fire with paper, kindling, and then firewood – ensuring the structure has good airflow to catch, then creating a small nest of dryer lint at the very center, striking the flint to create sparks – getting the angle and pressure just right to do so, waiting patiently for the lint to catch.. it’s an incredibly meditative process. It has taught me about patience and the importance of good bones. It has taught me about energy exchange and transmutation. It has brought me to experiencing a stronger connection to my ancestors. And there is still more to learn from this humble skill. So now I adorn myself with this flint striker, and feel the true weight of it as a Tool of the Witch. ⚔