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Your Book of Shadows

 The Book of Shadows [also called a BOS] is your personal record book of spells and other information you acquire to help you with the Craft.  Most practitioners also include a special section for other writings, such as a Dream Journal, and an Herbal or Crystal Grimoire. 

  The preferred writing style for your Book of Shadows is Theban.  Theban is an ancient, magickal alphabet, which is used by Witches to write their special records.  "Back in the day", those who followed the Craft were persecuted for their beliefs, and having a BOS was more evidence against them.  Even more so if the person who was confinscating this Book could actually READ what it said! 

  Nowadays, we are fortunate that the general population no longer persecutes people for their Spiritual paths.  However, it is still a good idea to use the Theban alphabet in your Book of Shadows. The information contained therein could lead to disastrous things if it fell into the wrong hands!  Imagine, the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, or others who have lead/assisted with mass genocide having their hands on such rituals that would call the Spirit World to aid them in their ways!  Horrific!

What To Put In Your Book Of Shadows

If you are keeping a Book Of Shadows and a Grimoire, put all your spells and rituals in the Grimoire, this way if you want to share a spell with a friend, you don't have to worry about them reading your scribblings about an erotic dream you had the night before, and the meaning of that dream. Keep your personal information - your thoughts, plans, ideas, dreams and feelings in your book of shadows. If you have just one book, then everything goes into it, in this case you will need a lot of space so make sure you have a big book.  Some common things that I include in a BoS are:

A Book Blessing

The Wiccan Rede

The Witches Creed

Information on the Pentagram

A Copy of the Theban and Runic Alphabet

The Thirteen Goals of Wicca

Element Correspondances

Information on the Different Phases of the Moon

Color Correspondances

Stone/Crystal Correspondances

Herb Correspondances

A Brief Description of each Sabbat and their Correspondances: like what herbs, incence, colors, decorations, foods, etc. to use on each Sabbat

A Description of each of the Runes

Chants, Poems, Prayers

How you cast your Magick Circle

Rituals and Spells

How To Choose Your Book Of Shadows And Organize It

You'll need to have lots of room in your Book Of Shadows, if you are keeping two books (which is probably the best thing to do), you'll want a loose leaf notebook for your Grimoire so you can remove and add pages, and a nice hardbound book for your Book Of Shadows, or you can write your Book Of Shadows and Grimoire on your computer as long as you know that it is secure there.

The old thought was that if you didn't handwrite your Book Of Shadows and Grimoire yourself you weren't really putting your energy into it. Now witches see the issue somewhat differently. What does a computer do but translate the actual energy you use in typing into words on the screen? There are many advantages to using a computer to write your book these mainly being: you can choose the font, you don't have to worry about mistakes, you can add clip art, you can add borders, choose the text colour, you can do whatever you want to make your Book Of Shadows special to you.

Whatever you decide - to keep one book or two, to write by hand or by machine - you want to keep your information organized. Put dividers in your book and arrange everything alphabetically. Its no use having the information if you can't find it. Keep all your ritual notes in one section and facts about the Gods and Goddesses from the various pantheons you have been researching in another section.

Where To Keep Your Book Of Shadows And Who Should See It

Because your Book Of Shadows contains information about your magickal workings, it is a special and sacred object. Give it a place of honour, the way you would for a family bible. Most people keep their Book Of Shadows hidden in the cabinet with their magickal tools. You want to be sure that your book is safe, that no one will make fun of it, play with it, deface it, or destroy it. Your book is private, and only you or another witch whom you have authorized should see it. You want to be sure that whoever does see your book won't disclose its contents or reveal your identity as a witch to anyone or do anything to harm the book or yourself.

What Happens To Your Book Of Shadows When You Die?

If you are a member of a coven and you die, usually your High Priestess and High Priest get to decide what will happen to your Book Of Shadows. It may become a part of the covens Book Of Shadows, or they may decide to give it to another coven member. In some covens, each member has a copy of the covens Book Of Shadows and that, because it is coven property, goes back to the High Priest and Priestess.

Often a witch (especially a Solitary) will leave his / her Book Of Shadows to another witch who they are close to. Some people have their books burned, others have their Book Of Shadows buried with them. Sometimes Witches who teach leave their books to their first student or to a student of who they were particularly fond.


*Note: All Wiccans are Witches, however, not all Witches are Wiccan.  Same principal goes for Pagans.  All Wiccans AND Witches are Pagan, however, not all Pagans are Wiccans OR Witches.  I.e.. some are Druids, some are occultists, etc.*