You are a Witch; one who performs magick and rituals, and usually helps heal illnesses with simple home remedies. You have a plethora of recipes, magick spells, and rituals all in your head, but where else do you keep them to ensure you do not lose them? Your Book of Shadows, of course!
What is a Book of Shadows?
A Book of Shadows is a sacred tool used to keep the records and recipes of a Witch. A BOS is a very personal item and can contain whatever information you want to put in it. You could add special recipes, such as those for cakes and ale, home remedies, your beliefs, code of ethics, rituals, spells, or blessings. Additional information, such as magick correspondences, interesting magickal or spiritual articles, and various resources can be added. Many use their BOS as a journal as well, writing about how a well a spell worked or what their runes said about their situation or a wide variety of other topics. My BOS contains all of the previously mentioned topics, plus information on various Deities, healing and magickal properties of stones, plants, and essential oils, and information and rituals for the Sabbats and Esbats. You can add all of the above to your BOS, or none at all; that is the great thing about your BOS, it is whatever you want it to be!
Choosing your Book of Shadows
There are many different types of Books of Shadows. Your BOS could be as simple as a spiral notebook or binder, or as elaborate as a highly decorated, traditional bound book with a lock and key. Your BOS may not even be a book at all! You could choose to keep all of your information on a flash drive or a computer/laptop. Or, you could be like me and store your information in all three; I have a book that I made myself that is bound with ribbon (to allow me to rearrange and add pages), a BOS flash drive, and a BOS in Google Drive. Your BOS can be handmade or purchased; either way, as with all sacred tools, it should be blessed.
Blessing your Book of Shadows
Here are the steps I took to bless my own Book of Shadows. If you need more information on performing a ritual, you can read, Ritual for the Beginner Witch: Blessing Altar and Tools.
- Cleanse area of negative energies and remove clutter from your sacred space.
- Cast your circle
- Call the Quarters
- Call the God and Goddess (Or any Deity(ies) you desire)
- Bless and Consecrate your Book of Shadows
- Your blessing can be as simple as, “I bless this Book of Shadows in the name of my God and Goddess, and in the presence of the Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water,” or as elaborate as the one I wrote:
- O, to the God and Goddess, the Powers that be,
Please bless and protect this Book for all eternity.
Infuse it with Your Love and Your Light
So any negativity around it will take flight.,
Let it be filled with knowledge and wisdom,
And aid in embracing personal power and freedom.
May the Elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth,
Please protect this Book, wherever its hearth.
Let no evil seek this Book,
And no strange eye take a look,
For within are secrets entrusted to thee;
Thoughts and spells sacred to me.
May all within abide by the Rede,
Keeping in mind the Rule of Three.
With harm to none,
Under the Moon and Sun,
I now bless this Book, so sacred to me.
As I will it, So mote it be.
- Take a moment or two to infuse your energy into you BOS; make it yours!
- Cakes and Ale
- Thank your God and Goddess (Or other Deities)
- Thank the Quarters
- Open the Circle
Remember, your Book of Shadows is yours and is whatever you want it to be; there is no right or wrong way to create one. As long as it feels right for you, go with it!
Love and Light and Blessed Be!
About the Author:
My name is Emma Strawdinger and I am a Pagan Witch who was born in 1996. For most of my life, I never truly felt connected to any of the common religious or spiritual paths. I had my own set of beliefs, but I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I believed in a God, but also a Goddess, Mother Nature. I researched many Native American religions to try to find one that fit my beliefs. It was not until my God and Goddess brought a very special person into my life that I discovered Paganism and the Craft. She introduced me to this amazing path by confiding in me that she was a Witch and answered every question I had. I dedicated myself at the age of 15 and it was the most amazing thing I ever did for myself.
In my mundane life, I work for Silver Lining Riding, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that gives therapeutic horseback riding lessons to children and adults of all ages with a wide variety of disabilities and special needs. I also take care of my furry four-legged babies, including a Cat, Dogs, and the family Horses.
You can connect with me on facebook, on my page Witchy Writings.