What's the difference between a Book of Shadows and a Grimoire? Serious answers only please…?





Okay, I’ve been browsing the internet due to boredom, and I came across some black “Book of Shadows” type books online and then another site that had Grimoires… I know they’re BASICALLY the same, but is there a difference? And if so, what is it?
Thanks! Personally I think these days the average writer just thinks “Which sounds cooler, Book of Shadows? Or Grimoire?” and they pick one and roll with it. 😛 I didn’t want to be like that, lol, so I asked. THANKS!


  1. Technically, a book of shadows is a collection of non-public rituals.
    The word grimoire comes from the same root as grammar and pertains to instruction and techniques.
    Grimoires sit on shelves, to be consulted when you need them to refresh your memory of stuff you should already know. Books of shadow sit on your altar.

  2. A book of shadows is basically a journal you keep regarding the spells and rituals, it can be passed down from a priest or priestess, started from scratch, or one can use one from the internet or purchased in a bookstore. A Grimoire is similar but it more of a textbook for spells.

  3. I’ve seen it described as a Grimoire is more like a recipe book about spells – ingredients, etc. A BOS can include that, but also includes broader spiritual aspects – rituals, observances, etc.

  4. A Book Of Shadows is a collection of magical and religious texts of Wicca and other Neopagan witchcraft traditions, containing the core rituals, magical practices, ethics and philosophy of a Wiccan or other tradition. In Wicca, it is normally copied by hand from the book of one’s initiating High Priestess or Priest, who copied theirs from their initiator. In modern Eclectic Wiccan terminology, however, a Book of Shadows is a personal magical journal rather than a traditional text.
    A Grimoire is a textbook of magick

  5. Grimoires are mainly used by ceremonial magicians, while BoS’s are used by regular witches and Wiccans.

  6. I think the greatest difference between the two is the type of author. A “Book of Shadows” is a Gardnerian term, relating to European witchcraft, while a grimoire tends to be written by Judeo-Christian ceremonial Magicians, often hundreds of years ago. In practice, I think they contain the same kinds of details.

  7. The Grimoire is the written legacy of the Magician. It contains the symbols, protocol and invocations of the Priest, Sorcerer, Necromancer, Healer or Witch.
    Book of Shadows: In modern Wicca, the standard title for a book of Wiccan rituals and teachings. Traditionally each Witch was required to copy out his or her own Book of Shadows by hand from the copy owned by his or her initiator.

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