Bullet Journaling and the Gods

I started my current bullet journal on January 1, 2019. At the beginning of September, its pages will have run out.

Starting a new volume excites me a lot, and I’m brainstorming the types of collections I can incorporate into my new journal and identifying others that were not effective in my last book. I hadn’t expected to use the journal for 20 months, so my future log (definition: the place where you put things happening in the future, usually separated by month) was not robust enough to incorporate times beyond (ironically) April 2020.

First eleven days of the lunar calendar in my monthly spread.
This is part of my lunar spread in the January 2019 – August 2020 journal. I need to update this — I wrote this out long before I made a printable, and some of the stuff later on in the month has changed.

On the first page of my last journal, I wrote out a version of the lunar calendar that I still follow. I write out the Delphic Maxims and Greek Alphabet Oracle draw results in my weekly spreads, which I start on Mondays. I’m planning to structure my new bullet journal in the same way. Another spread I’m planning to do will contain formulas for short (<15m), medium (15-34m), and longer (>=35m) household rituals just to have something written down. During the future log, I want to include important lunar and solar holidays, which I haven’t done systematically before.

Over the weekend, I have done some research on religious bullet journaling inspiration, and most of what I uncovered focused on Christian and Muslim bullet journalers and how they incorporate religious contemplation into their spreads. In both cases, the spreads focused on a passage from a religious text — often writing it out verbatim — with key takeaway points. Sometimes, the quotations serve as pick-me-ups; sometimes, they are more related to study goals because someone is working ler way through a sacred text. (Outside of the bullet journal sphere, it sounds like what a lot of people do is maintain a commonplace book/commentary as an act of religious worship, so it makes sense that this is filtering into bujo-land.) A few months ago, I started adding quotations I wanted to think about to my monthly spreads; based on what I’m seeing, maybe I should expand on that.

I think Exhibit A for “maybe I’m a bit too hard on myself” could be that I choose quotations like this one, which is from Proclus’ Alcibiades commentary — like everyone, I come up with a lot of baseless excuses for why I’m doing a, b, or c, where a-c are actions/behaviors that I will probably regret in the long run, like going onto Twitter, buying books I know I don’t have time to read until 2021, not sticking to meal plans and/or my budget in general, or procrastinating. It takes a lot of effort to change bad habits, especially the ones that are rooted in unhealthy coping mechanisms. Quotations like this serve as a reminder that the hard work is for an important purpose.

In both religious and secular spreads, I have noticed an increased reliance on post-it notes; I have chosen to use those less because post-it notes are difficult to recycle. Many bullet journal collection spreads are impractical — more like art projects in a Leuchtturm1917, often with watercoloring and other special effects (hopefully alongside the actual to-do lists that are part of the bullet journaling method) — but there were a few useful things, too, that got me thinking about pages to integrate into my bujo.

My thoughts after doing this research are as follows:

  • Make a page spread with moon phases that mark the Noumenia (which is the day after the new moon) and other important dates for the next 18 months. Alternatively, incorporate this into the Future Log.
  • Incorporate religious self-study goals into my monthly reviews/planning.
  • Separate out my “books to read” spread from the spread I use for books that qualify as religious study; consider ways I can document the latter in a way that makes sense for analog reference purposes.
  • Pick short snippets of fragments of translated poetry about the Gods and do contemplation pages surrounding those fragments.
  • As stated above, spreads for different ritual length ideas based on what I do (or could do) at home, depending on my schedule. (I’m less good at doing short rituals because I really enjoy praying.)

At the beginning of a journal, I usually put phrases (in Greek) related to the Gods. I may make that more formal this year and ask for blessings/a fresh start in a ritual context next weekend when preparing the new one for first use on August 31.

I hope that this has been useful! If you’ve never heard of bullet journaling before, I recommend heading here.

📖

4 thoughts on “Bullet Journaling and the Gods

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