Book of Shadows
Book of Shadows or Grimoire
As you read and learn more of the Craft and of Wicca you will notice that many people talk about their Book of Shadows or BOS. You will hear the word Grimiore as well. Actually the original Grimoire is said to have been a collection of alchemist experiments which were conducted by the alchemist or more scientifically oriented, mainly men, of the Middle Ages, this is speculation, we honestly don’t know for sure! Somewhere along the line it is believed that the term also became linked and then even intertwined with Book of Shadows. Kind of like Witchcraft and Wicca, which remember, are not historically one and the same. However, the terms Book of Shadows (BOS) and Grimoire have been intertwined so much that the common person does not realize there ever was a difference in the two.
What is a Book of Shadows or a Grimoire?
Many try to make this all fancy or mysterious, or even spooky, when in truth it is quite simple. A Book of Shadows or Grimoire is truthfully nothing more than a Witches Work Book! But, at the same time, it truly is much more than just that. The distinction between Grimoire and Book of Shadows today is more of a personal one than a historical one if you want to know the truth. So whether you title your personal Witch Book a Book of Shadows or a Grimiore, or your Magical Diary or Journal, it all still breaks down to being the same thing. It is a sacred book to an individual Witch or Wiccan to place personal information about things dealing with Witchcraft and or Wicca and magic to document their lessons or findings.
What is the purpose of a Book of Shadows or Grimoire? What is it really for?
DOCUMENTATION! Your BOS is where you document things you feel are important to you dealing with your path as a Witch or Wiccan. Document things such as magical information, your own personal journey of self-discovery and growth on this path should be recorded. If this is your private BOS, then it should be kept for your eyes only. If it is a coven’s then it is a given it is for that coven’s practitioners alone. However, if it is your personal Witch Book, then I personally believe it should be just that, PERSONAL. If you keep it from prying eyes, odds are higher you’ll be more honest and more detailed in your documentation. Also, there are many of us that believe over time your personal Witch Book takes on your energies, I mean, you do put a lot of time and energy into it! Sharing it with others can cause your personal Witch Book to lose some of the energies it builds up.
How do you make a Book of Shadows?
Inevitably it will be your choice as to what you use your book of Shadows for, and how you use it will kind of dictate how you make it. My first was a neat and expensive little blank paged book that I would hand write all my stuff into. Well, over years, and tons of information, it became quiet impractical for me to have that little book. Eventually it turned into a three ring binder that I used sheet protectors on. That way I could move and organize my information. Put Journal entries with Journal entries and spells with spells and historical information and so on. So, might I suggest you resist the temptation of buying those amazingly gorgeous leather bound handcrafted ones and go for practical and useful! A three ring binder is a lot easier to organize! And if you are afraid of someone getting into it, you can punch a hole on the side and put a lock on it! However you can handcraft your own if you want. Hereis a BEAUTIFUL ONE!!!
What to put in your Witch Book or Book of Shadows?
Your choice, I would recommend to keep it personal and important to you! Some things I have put or recommend my students to put in the BOS follow:
- Gods and Goddesses – especially ones you feel connected too
- How you celebrated Sabbats
- Info on Moon and the Sun and other Planets
- Spells, yours and others, what worked and what didn’t
- Elemental and Elements info
- Astral Projection Or dreams – can keep this in a separate journal if you want.
- Put your FIRST in there, first circle casting and how it went, FIRST magical working and how it went, FIRST are important!
Whatever you put in YOUR personal BOS, just remember to keep it personal and important to you!
Hope this helps! I will make a note that for many years, I kept my BOS on my computer! This is all fine and dandy for a short while, but let me recommend you PRINT it out because computers crash and years of information can be lost!
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