The Satanic Bible is an Awful Prop, Okay?
The first time I heard of a “Book of Brimstone” was in Satanists Amino (Amino is a social media platform for bloggers that includes chat rooms and a few other things. SA is not endorsed by any organization and you can think of it like a forum community), and at that forehead slapping moment I realized that yup, this was going to be my solution. Just like with other things, individual practitioners have looked to other creations of mankind and incorporated it into their inspiration for a solution that works for them. What does this mean? In Wicca you have something called a “Book of Shadows,” where a witch will write down their favorite spells, lunar phases, notes about the deities they attempt to work with, and so on. It has a fancy name, but it’s more or less a dedicated field journal: that’s what a Book of Brimstone is. It’s a field journal used by Satanists (unofficially, this is all personal preferences and prop making here!) where they can keep anything they want within it that relate to their practice. A Satanist may include something like: a poem that evokes a passionate reaction within them, almanac information about the weather, information or dates that they find significant for whatever reason they deem, lists of recommended song tracks for ritual, or any other such thing that they want.
How to Do It RIGHT!
It was apparent to me that the number one issue I have with the Satanic Bible during ritual revolves around its aesthetic. I knew that the journal that I chose for this prop was going to have to fit a certain requirement… I personally wanted something significant enough in size that it’s comfortable to hold, something that makes a statement in itself. Within it I decided that I would write my own invocations in calligraphy (some sort of blackletter script), but I would first have to learn how to do that—and so from scratch I began, and I am now a proud self-taught calligrapher (Just a few months into my studies, but I’m satisfied with the product thus far). I know that I’m going to want the BOB to be organized in a logical fashion: no Book of Fire or Book of Air to skip before I get to my ritual process, and I want to make sure that the notes I make for myself about what to say in what situation is logically laid out as well. My next step is to plan out my layouts, and once I’m done I can begin to bring my prop to fruition.
Don't Mess This Up
I haven’t even brushed on the concept that by putting my own sweat and tears into this, I will have an emotional connection with the prop that I wouldn’t have had if I had run on down to Barnes and Noble to pick something up off the shelf which is mass-produced. It will become a much more intimate and more arcane-feeling tool to me, and it’ll help me slip into that headspace that I’m shooting for when I’m conducting my rituals. I think that in itself is a win, and it’s one that I hadn’t considered before (I’d only considered the purpose of the prop, not the implied emotion around it).
I’ll share some photos with you once I have more of it completed. I’ve already run into a few problems that I was able to solve—such as, for example: the ink from my quill ‘ghosts’ onto the backside of the page. I didn’t want to see blemishes, nor did I only want to write on one side of the page, so I decided to glue the pages together. Now I have thicker pages, and it feels more authentic this way since paper used to be pressed and a bit stiffer. Anyway, yes, this is quite the experience and much like other things, I recommend that you give it a shot for yourself. It’s a fun way to exercise your creativity in a way that celebrates you, and it feels nice to do a physical craft every once in a while (remember those paintings you’d make in school that your folks would oogle over and, much to your chagrin, hang on the wall for one too many years to come?). I’ll keep you posted! In the meanwhile, why not share with me what ideas you have for your own BOB? I’d love to hear them!