On every journey, it’s a good idea to keep an accurate record of where you go and what you experience. Call it a journal, a book of days, or a diary, it is a valuable tool in tracking one’s progress across a continent or a spiritual plane. For my journey, I’ve created a book that I hope will help me keep track of my journey down the Ovate path.
A physical record
I’m the kind of person who always does better when I can see where I’ve been. Pictures, letters, and momentoes have special meaning for me because they are a physical, tangible record of my life. Because of this, I’ve made a book, a journal of sorts, for my Ovate studies. I call it The Book of the Ovate. In it I have several sections representing the different types of work I’m doing, much like a Wiccan’s Book of Shadows. It’s a combination of printed pages of reference material from the Internet and my own handwritten accounts of lessons, revelations, and meaningful experiences. I’m very happy with the way it turned out.
The process was pretty simple. I created a cover in an art program on the laptop and printed it on card stock. Then, I punched holes with a hole punch to add those little brass fasteners for paper. That makes it easy to add or remove sheets as I need. The shine is from wide shipping tape I used to protect and sort of laminate the front and the back. Inside is a mixture of written and printed material in four sections. The sections are separated by card stock with the section title and a nice picture to represent it. I have a section for my Ovate work, a place for my rituals and related recipes, a dream and meditation section, and a section for herbal information. It’s getting kind of fat by this time, but that also represents the amount of work I’ve done already.
One thing I did, and I’m very glad of, is I bought a special pen for use with my journal. It makes each entry a little more meaningful. I bought it from an Etsy shop called JDHomeGallery. This seller creates handcrafted pens and other beautiful items. I requested a custom pen made from white oak (top) and deer antler (bottom). Those materials have special meaning to me as a practicing Druid. Oak represents the sacred groves Druids used in training and teaching their craft. To me, it represents both sacredness and knowledge. The deer antler represents new beginnings and purification, as explained in the Druid Animal Oracle. Deer were also seen as a bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds, as Celtic mythology believed this animal could move easily between them. When put together, this pen represents all that Druidry means to me, sacredness, spirituality, knowledge, wisdom, and new beginnings.
My book and pen have become an important part of my practice, and I’m very grateful to have them both. Together, they help me remember a few things about this journey I’ve chosen to undertake. First, that what I’m doing is important enough to have a special and specific place to record it. Second, I’m exploring something not everyone has the ability or temperament to, the spiritual realm. And lastly, it’s my very own with my specific stamp on it. No one else has these things, and that makes me very unique. I’m happy with that.