Sunday, January 13, 2013

My 2013 Spiritual Goals

In advance, excuse the terrible pictures for this post.  I'm attempting to use my phone and it doesn't take the best photos.

As I stated a few weeks ago, I started a new side-project blog called The Progressive Planner.  Because Witchy Words is focused on my Craft, I don't tend to discuss my personal matters here.  The truth is that 2012 wasn't so great.  The Progressive Planner documents my attempt to turn 2013 into a great year by giving my life a good 180.

While I'm very excited about all of that, I've run into some obstacles.  If I have one foot in the broom closet, how do I discuss my 2013 spiritual goals?  My solution has been to change up my goals for the prying eye of some friends and family members.

For that blog, I moved my personal goals of volunteering and meditating often into my Spiritual goals - because they are spiritual in the long run.  The truth is that I have other things in mind.

My first spiritual goal for 2013 is to study my religion more closely.

While I consider myself to have average knowledge for someone 11 years practicing, I could definitely be better versed.  This involves reading and memorization.  My memorization goal for this month is to re-memorize the Futhark runes and their meanings.  I can remember a time five years ago when I could rattle off anything you wanted to know about a rune.  Then college cracked down and I replaced that information with things I needed to know immediately for tests.  I still tend to know a decent amount about runes that come up commonly in readings, but I'd like to have a solid foundation of all runes like I used to.

How am I going to do that?

Flash cards!
I also plan on reading one religion-related book a month.  In this month's queue?

This book is particularly appropriate because my second spiritual goal for 2013 is...

Recreating my Book of Shadows.

To the left: my original BOS.  To the right? What will be my new one!
On my Call for Topics post, Stacey asked for a how-to when writing a Book of Shadows.  This led perfectly into me sharing my journey on recreating my BOS this year.  Over the years, our beliefs are shaped by our experiences.  It's not uncommon for a Book of Shadows to fit us one year but not the next.  It's not that I don't truly love my current one, but I strongly believe in redoing your BOS every few years as you change.

What to Use as Your BOS
There are a variety of ways to keep your BOS.  Many people keep a 3-ring-binder.  As a proponent of modern beliefs, I'm all for that.  It helps keep everything in order when you need to pull or rearrange pages.  It also lets you add in print-outs from the web.  I really can't stress how fantastic I think the 3-ring-binder method is, and I encourage everyone to use it.

Another method is to bind your own book.  There are a million tutorials out there on how to do this.  The best part is that you can pull the book apart so you don't lose good pages when it comes time to change things up.  I love this method, but it's never worked very well for me.

Of course, I tend to make things harder on myself.

Because I'm an illustrator, I have a connection to sketchbooks.  All of my previous Books have been sketchbooks, and this time will be no different.

What Goes in Your BOS
There are many out there that believe a BOS is only for rituals and spells - that correspondence sheets and other informational material goes in a grimoire.  I'm definitely not saying that this is wrong; if that's what you believe, then certainly stick to it!  However, in my beliefs, a Book of Shadows is a personal experience.  You should put in your BOS what you see fit.

Personally, I feel like my Book of Shadows should be my go-to resource for everything I believe about the Craft, including informational charts and even a lengthy list of specifically what it is that I believe.  It should also contain rituals and spells, as well as self-improving measures.

My previous BOS is very to the point - no flares or drawings, but chocked full of information.

But I have much more elaborate plans for my new Book of Shadows.

First and foremost, I would like my BOS to be a better reflection of myself and my beliefs.  Thus I've planned to add drawings as well as elaborate page designs.  In addition, I would like it to be somewhat like a workbook.  By adding large envelopes on some pages, I can insert schedules and written notes without interrupting the flow of my book.  This will be particularly useful for full moon esbats, as I use these as monthly self-check-ins and goal planning rituals.  

I've went through the pages and put a small Post-It tab noting what each page should be used for.  I already have a clear vision of how my BOS will be arranged and what it will look like when I'm done.

Overall, recreating my Book should take over a year.  However, all that work should be worth it in the end and I shouldn't need to redo my BOS for some time.  I'm expecting a good five years of use out of this big guy once completed.

What are your 2013 spiritual goals?

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