As a witch, you will need to know how to make a book of shadows, this will be your constant magical companion, it is the closest friend a witch can have on their magical journey. There are many different ways to create your book of shadows and there are all kinds of versions
It is part of the Wicca tradition that each witch records their use of magic. It is important that a wich keeps this record to learn their craft and to keep a track of their energies, and what works best in their practice.
What Is a Book of Shadows?
The book of shadows is a witch’s personal journal, it is a book where a witch can confide all their secrets about their craft. It is a book that is so special to a witch that no one else will ever read it. This is no ordinary diary it is the diary of a witch who journals all their witchcraft practices and thoughts.
This book is kept by you throughout your magical Wiccan life.
A witch keeps this journal secret, unassailable by their enemies. Protected by the witch who makes it by a special spell that keeps it locked from all who would try to open and read it.
Different to a Grimoire!
The names Book of Shadows (BOS) and Grimoire are often used interchangeably but there is a difference between the two. Traditions will vary between coven’s but, in general, a Book of Shadows is a personal item specific to that witch. Often burned on their passing and rarely passed on. A Grimoire is less of a personal item and is closer to a textbook than a journal. Often passed down through a coven it’s no less important but less personal.
Our coven has a guide on what a Grimoire is and how to start a Grimoire if you haven’t already.
How To Start a Book Of Shadows
When you make a book of shadows you create a magical book full of magical and moon energies. The book will contain all the spells and rituals you have used, and unlike your Grimoire which is simply instructional, you will record how it worked.
The book of shadows is also where you will record all how you feel when casting any spell, what energies were around you, what worked well and what didn’t work so well. It is a very personal record of your use of Wiccan spells.
The most important thing is to keep a detailed account of everything you do. This starts from when you first start to use your magic.
How To Create Your Book Of Shadows
The Wiccan book of shadows is such a personal journal there is no way to get it wrong. If you deal with your book as a truthful account of your spells and rituals it will be the best tool you can have as a witch. There is simply no way to get this wrong.
There is some guidance I can give as I have kept my book for shadows since I started practicing and have supported many novice witches to start theirs. It is important to prepare before you start and to keep your intentions for your book honest and powerful.
Before creating your first book of shadows make sure you take our coven’s magick ability test and narrow down your own personal affinities.
Your book can be any size and in any shape you like, it is for you to treasure, small can work well because you will often use it when making new spells as rituals, it also needs to be portable and easily kept hidden.
It is always advisable to have it left out overnight under the moonlight to absorb the energies of the moon before you start writing in it. You will need to bind the book to you and cast a protection spell so that if found, it cannot be breached by anyone else.
The book is in part a spellbook for you as it will have lots of spells and rituals that you discover for yourself, and this may be the only place they are recorded. So this little spellbook won’t leave your side whilst you practice your witchcraft.
Keeping Your Book of Shadows Alive
Using your book of shadows to record your witchcraft is incredibly important. Wicca tradition tells us that the book itself has magical properties. It contains all the secrets of the witch that owns it, it becomes the witch’s companion.
The book itself will have a list of how you feel when the spells are cast and how they work. It will detail all the rituals you use, all the little changes you make, and any special herbs and crystals or skills you discover. it will also let you seen which moon phase is best for certain spells and what really doesn’t work for you too/
Honesty Is The Best Policy
One of the mistakes a novice witch will make is to record only those things that work for them. This comes from a fear of not having string enough witchcraft. In Wiccan history we have learned sometimes only by mistakes, we find out what works by trying new things, and only when we record this do we really learn.
It is just as important to write in detail when spells and rituals didn’t work for you as much as when they did. In this way, you will learn. You will learn
- What part of the moon cycle suits your magic
- What combination of herbs works best for you
- What makes for strong incantations
- Any particular strengths you have in your witchcraft
- What potions are successful
- What amulets are strongest
All witches make mistakes and have to learn their craft and the main learning comes from examining their own witchcraft honestly. So tell your book the truth and it will increase your powers as a witch as you begin to trust yourself and lose your fear of failure. this makes your magic stronger.
It is important that you write in your book as often as you can and that you are as honest as possible with your account of your witchcraft. The Wicca way is honesty to your craft, honoring each sabbat and esbat with writing your truths in your journal will give your book of shadows more weight and power.
What Makes an exceptional Book Of Shadows
The best books are those that witches feel connected to. There is more power in the pages of a boo that is most used. if it is simply a tidy organized book of spells, a statement of fact with no feelings and emotions and magic connection to the book it will not bring the witches more power.
if the book contains the deepest secrets of your rituals it will be all the stronger. it is also stronger if it can conjure up your magic quickly, this is easiest with images and smells. keeping herbs your find most powerful pressed in the book, drawing in it, all of this draws magic to the book and fuels your witchcraft.
A few golden rules for strengthening the power of your book:
- Write in it at esbats and sabbats
- Write the truth
- Add strong herbs to imbue it with power
- Create images or photographs of your rituals and store them
- Use it regularly make it part of your routine
- Cleanse it regularly in the moon
Wicca demands that we each keep our book of shadows safe, create your own incantation that makes it invisible to your enemies, and though you may share your leaning with other witches do not share your book of shadows with them.
Find Your Affinity
A Digital Book Of Shadows
Every witch keeps their book in very different ways.
A modern witch may feel more comfortable using a digital book of shadows. Buying one of these can make it easier to start, giving you a format and an easy way to learn how to get it right from the beginning.
It is quite ok to keep a Wiccan book digitally and in lots of ways easier to keep it safe from enemies and those who might pry.
The digital version is easy to replicate and keep safe in two places in case of any physical accident.