The Druid Journal
The Essentials of Practice
The Foundations of Druid Magic
All the practices in this book should be recorded in your Druid journal. What is a Druid journal? Simply a notebook in which you keep details of your practices, workings and magical experiences. A sample might run like this:
January 19th, 2008
6:30 AM, morning meditation, 10 minutes. Theme was the quote from Morris Berman in the first chapter. I tried to see the connection between disenchantment and the ecological crisis, and realized just how deeply the notion of the world as dead matter and raw material is woven into modern thought. Mental focus was shaky at first but I managed to get it under control after a little while.
7:08 AM, morning divination. Ngetal reversed, Koad, Beith. I feel stuck in my current situation, but with appropriate guidance and patience I can make a new beginning.
7:10 PM, Sphere of Protection. Fairly strong. For the first time I got a definite sense of standing at the center of the world—just a glimpse, probably, but it was pretty intense.
Many magical and Druid orders require their initiates to keep a journal as part of their training program, and AODA is among them. A journal is one good way to encourage people to do the course work regularly, and an order that requires students to pass an examination before they go on to the next degree, as AODA does, can have students go back into their journals and pull out details of their work for the examination. Too often, though, this comes to be seen as the entire point of keeping a magical journal, and the real value of the exercise gets lost.
The key to using a magical journal is that it allows you to check your memory against an objective record. This is partly a way of sidestepping problems with selective memory. In magical training, as in anything else, memory bends to suit the needs of the ego. For example, if you skip practices more often than not, selective memory can still convince you that you're hard at work on your magical training. Your Druid journal can tell you otherwise.
Your Druid journal also provides a record of magical experiences, and these eventually become one of the most important resources you have in magical training. It often happens that in magical states of consciousness, the mage receives occult symbols, teachings, and techniques. Most of the material that fills the pages of textbooks of magic today started out as entries in someone's journal. Your magical journal can serve the same purpose. This is why you should copy down the details of each practice while they're still fresh in your memory, before the details have slipped away, and why you should copy down everything, not just what seems important at the time. A week, a month, or a year later, the detail that didn't seem important at the time may turn out to be the key to new realms of magic.