Note: The following is an extract from the book Towards The Wiccan Circle by Sorita D’Este (Avalonia, 2008) adapted from the notes of the homestudy course by the same name facilitated by the author before it was published as a book in 2008. It is reproduced here with kind permission of the author and publishers. (c) 2001-2008 Sorita d’Este, all rights reserved.
One of the most important things to do when you first start practising magick is to create and keep a record of the work you do. This will provide you with a valuable record of your own progress and learning, as well as providing you with a record of what worked best for you. You should preferably keep a handwritten record, some people prefer to keep an electronic record in this day and age, though this has its problems as too often records can get lost due to computer problems! By handwriting your records you will better remember what you are writing about and you will also spend more time thinking about what you are writing, which adds to the learning process.
If you decide to keep your diary electronically consider printing it on a regular basis and keep your records in a file, to ensure that you have a hardcopy of it, should something happen to your computer. If you decide to keep your magickal journal the old fashioned way as a handwritten record we would recommend an A4 or A5 size hardcover notebook. It is worth investing in a larger, rather than smaller notebook, as you will not be limited for space and creative expression as you work through this course. If you prefer you can use a lever arch file, inserting loose sheets of paper and any other material you wish to add as you progress. Using a file has the benefit of providing you with a more flexible system as you will easily be able to add additional material to an earlier section if you decide to do so at a later date. You will also not face the problem of having to remove sheets of paper from a notebook if you make mistakes you want to correct.
The colour, design and type of paper you use are all matters of personal taste, for you to decide on, according to your own personal preferences. It is a good idea to use paper that is easy to write on (especially if you purchase a notebook) as this will make your work a great deal easier!
For each entry you make you should include the following basic information, which may provide you with insights at a later date:
« The date
« Phase of the Moon (ie. Full Moon; Dark Moon, or Full Moon + 3 days; Dark Moon – 5 days; etc)
« Details of your ritual(s), meditations, or summary of material studied
« Results (if appropriate) of any workings you did
Women may also want to include details of their menstrual cycles (if appropriate); likewise students who find that the weather affects their moods and sensitivities should also include details of the weather.
Your Magickal Journals are personal and should be treated with care, just like you would do with a personal diary which may contain your innermost secrets and feelings. It is something which should not be shared with others, unless they are trusted friends (or significant others) and also share your interest in magick
Details of magickal workings are likewise never discussed outside the magick circle, except in circumstances where you need help or advice with something. In such circumstances, you should speak to someone who you know to be sensitive and understanding to your views and practices, who also have a good level of experience of the subject you are needing help with.