I personally keep several journals, all of which I write in runic, to record such things as, vacations, daily life, ( You would be surprised how important it can be to know when specific things happened ), and one of my most important for me is my ritual journals. Under my altar I keep these black journal books, ( I get them from Barnes and Noble for about five dollars ), in which I record as accurately as my memory can serve me, the events that took place during every ritual I perform. I record such things as distractions, ( which I then try to eliminate for the next ritual ); If the background music, or nature sounds, was appropriate for the ritual; what frame of mind I was in that day; and to me the most important of all, If I felt the presence of the Gods and Goddesses; which ones, and if anything transpired between us. I have held many rituals where the Gods and Goddesses did not " show up " and others where I have had a few rare surprises !
What I have learned from these journal notes I then incorporate into subsequent rituals to make them better, and hopefully more pleasing and acceptable to the Gods and Goddesses. Some things I have changed, or learned, over the years because of these observations include :
1. I will never use a scrying bowl again during a ritual. I am scared to death of what I might see in one the next time !
2. During seasonal rituals a CD with nature sounds seems to be the most appropriate when calling the Gods and Goddesses.
3. When calling Thor I always put on a CD of a thunder storm. He really seems to appreciate it !
4. The Gods and Goddesses may not stay if you make the ritual too long !
5. Disconnect or turn off all phones before starting a ritual. Also stop any clock that chimes.
6. Incense does not seem to do anything in my experience.
7. Have something new to say. The Gods and Goddesses do not want to hear the same ritual year after year after year !
8. Our minds must be clear of all of the days nonsense, and focused on the ritual at hand. The Gods demand our full attention !
Writing in these journals does not have to be some long drawn out process. You do not have to write down every single thing that you did, said, or that happened. Just write down what either worked well, or the things that didn't quite fit the ritual. Anything really out of the ordinary, you of course, will want to write down in great detail. The main purpose of these ritual journals is to better prepare the rituals so that your next meeting with the Gods and Goddesses will hopefully lead to a closer and more personal relationship with Them . All I can say is give it a try. It works for me !
P.S. Most of what I write in these journals is very personal and will never be read by anyone but me !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !