Tuesday, August 20, 2019

What Is A Book of Shadows? How To Use A Book of Shadows

How To Use A Book of Shadows

I have gotten a lot a bit of email of late inquiring what is a Book of Shadows (BOS)? I will define what it is and how to use one. Yes, they are real and in use!

A Book of Shadows is used by Pagans of many Paths, including Wicca. It is a journal to record various things for personal use as well as coven or group use.

Preservation is the key aspect of a Book of Shadows. You want to record information for future use by yourself and/or others.

Journals have been kept for hundreds of years by witches and pagans throughout the world. These journals were referenced as A Book of Shadows starting with the publication of Gerald Gardner's book, in 1954, "Witchcraft Today." Now such journals are frequently referred to by many Pagans as a Book of Shadows.

Of course others may have their own ideas about the definition of a Book of Shadows, but I am sharing mine. The same as I share magical information along the lines of what I practice and our coven practices.

1. One main purpose for a Book of Shadows is to record details of spells and magic that you perform, or that your coven performs. Also, you can record other's work as well for reference and to build on. You can go into great detail as you record these events. Recording spells and magic performed also serve another purpose. Should anything every go "wrong" you will have the material readily available to take the spell or magic down. The way this is done by undoing actions taken, for example if you cast a spell using a pine cone you would break the spell by breaking the pine cone up and burying it on a moon cycle.

2. Research that you do also can be recorded in a Book of Shadows. This research can cover many areas including past lives, divination, as well as information gained from basic related works. This becomes a source of reference.

3. Again, I mention the preservation of records, which is what is very vital for the Book of Shadows. It is our responsibility to pass along information to others who follow us. A Book of Shadows can be added to when passed on to another "leader" or another generation. This way the recording continues on and on, leader after leader, and/or generation after generation.

4. You can add whatever you may feel led to add to your Book of Shadows! It could be songs, poems, pictures, sketches, etc. Things that are sacred to you.

When writing a spell or magic that you plan to use, make sure that it is clearly recorded so that you can read it in the sacred space that you are going to perform the spell or magic. You want it where you can see it in a not so bright atmosphere as most sacred circles and altar spaces are rather dim with only candlelight or dim lighting of other sources.

Modern day Book of Shadows may be kept on your computer hard disk, flash drive or CD. This is a great way to maintain one. However, whereas I would encourage using this method to record information, I would recommend that you actually copy the material to a handwritten Book of Shadows. By handwriting your spell or magic you are making a connection to it as well as it sticking in your memory. It is you interacting with the Gods and Goddesses through such actions. This is from my experience. There is always a Divine feeling when recording by hand in a Book of Shadows.

A Book of Shadows is a sacred tool, and should be treated as such. Keeping it on your altar is a great place as it will absorb altar energy as well as the altar and various altar tools will absorb the energies from the Book of Shadows.

Usually a Book of Shadows is personal, shared with none, or with a select group or coven. However, some have made their Book of Shadows open to all who would care to read it. The choice would be up to the individual practitioner based on what they feel within their own heart and spirituality.

Many people are familiar with the Book of Shadows from the TV series "Charmed." Also, it is a common tool among many who practice witchcraft.