I think one of my J's should be a mandatory post of journaling. This is a shame, really, because I don't like keeping a journal of any kind. It was a sort of must in my Neo-Pagan and Eclectic practices and even then, I didn't do it. As far as I can tell, it's not a (big) part of Hellenic practice to keep a journal, so the irony of starting a blog the second I give into my need for Hellenic practice is not lost on me.

I could show you some valiant attempts at keeping a magickal diary. I still have them. Books with a few pages written on, a few scrolls, some loose notes. I gave up on an ordinary diary a long, long time ago but a magickal one has always seemed like a must to me. So I tried. And failed. I never read anything of it back besides dates, certain binding runes I had made for the occasion or some other basic fact I knew I had written down in one of my journaling attempts and simply could not find in the many books I possess.

I do keep a Book of Shadows (as the term goes), but it's nothing like a regular diary. What's in there are things that are important to my path, indexed neatly. A few examples:
  • UGP's
  • Binding Runes
  • Delphic Maxims
  • Healing properties of the Runes, logged per rune
  • My views on the origins of Divinity
  • A description of my initiation into Eclectic Religious Witchcraft
  • etc.
It's an extended reference guide for things I don't want to forget or simply hold so dear, I want to have them close. My book is a leather bound volume which smells divine and is never too far away from my altar. Keeping this journal is easy. But it's not a real journal.

My 'Book of Shadows'

I have never really felt the internal need to keep a diary. I prefer to process things in my head. I don't want to record every small thing. I want to add them to my growing fount of knowledge and experience and move on.  Perhaps I will regret this in later years. Perhaps I would like to look back, eventually, on every interaction I have had with a certain Deity and gain some divine insight from it. Even now, many rituals I have done are lost to me. I can recall certain smells or a certain way of feeling but that's it. I have never found this harmful or sad.

I do ritual for the Gods. I gain something from the experience but in the end, it's for Them. The memory is Theirs to keep. I take a fragment of it and add it to my fount. It strengthens me, even if the memory is eventually lost. Besides, I tend to feel that what I write down is final. If I write something down, I stop thinking about it for a while, until something related to it comes up and I resume thinking about it. I don't want to stop and look back at every turn. I want my memories to fade into a collective memory of devotion.

So, I have given myself permission to not journal. I can look back if I want, write down something if I want, but there is no pressure. If I ever feel the need to start journaling, I will and if it never happens, that is fine as well. 

For those of you who do keep a journal, my hat off to you. I think it's a beautiful practice. I have seen exquisite and exquisitely kept journals I truly wish I had the ability to create. But I don't and the practice... well... It's just not for me.