Pagan Blog Project week 3: B is for Book of Shadows

Let’s talk about this common, and somewhat confusing concept. Granted, I haven’t been a pagan for very long, and what with being so far back in the broom closet I can see Witch Narnia, my book is fairly ordinary. A three-ring binder, with a title page, a dedication, and some spells I wrote. I’m going to add some pages that include information on Amaterasu and Anpu, as well as notes on magick and herbs, but I’m rather lazy so it hasn’t been done yet.

As far as I can tell, a book of shadows is less of a super-secret-witch-handbook and more of a personal journal, where you keep important things that can be easily referenced later, in case you need it–spells, for instance, which are hard to memorize if you have more than three.

One of the challenges with living with a family that you’re trying to hide your religion from is trying to buy stuff. Let’s face it, you can only buy so many suspiciously pagan-like things before even the most ignorant of parents are clued in. Which is why mine is in a three-ring binder; it looks like it’s for school, and it’s inconspicuous. But I’m lacking a vital element: organization.

Right now my book is basically a mess of spells, notes, and devotions mixed together. That’s not going to fly when I’m in the middle of a spell and I lose my place. There’s also a problem of me remembering to write down everything. As much as it pains me to say it, I’m not the most organized in my brain either.

What’s your book like, if you have one? How do you keep it organized? What tips would you give a newbie?

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2 thoughts on “Pagan Blog Project week 3: B is for Book of Shadows

  1. Don’t worry what your BOS looks like it’s what’s in it or what’s going to be in it that counts. Besides, from what you say keeping things inconspicuous at the moment is what you want. Shame you have to do that, but we’re sure you have your reasons. Okay! We suggest keeping three books…yes, three! Firstly we’d recommend that you separate out your personal magickal journal from your spell book/grimoire, or things can get rather cluttered up. Your spell book.grimoire can contain spells (obviously!), correspondence tables (for herbs, incense, stones, etc,), rituals, seasonal observations, notes about your deities/archetypes as well as techniques for meditation, divination, astral projection, grounding, raising energy, psychic protection, etc. Basically it’s your own resource, something you are going to be making constant reference to in your work. Keep a spell book/grimoire on your computer, just have a folder for those aricles, posts, etc that you feel may be useful to you. As for your journal, well yes, you are quite right, it is just like a diary but a diary of your pagan/magickal work. Unless you are with a coven/school and on a set course of study, and are being requested to do so, then you don’t need to fill this in every day. On those days when you actively do something (i.e. divination, meditation, building a seasonal altar), then make note of the day/date, the time, where you were, what the weather was like, moon phase, your mood, what you did, why you did it, how you felt it went and what happened during. You don’t have to include all of these just the one’s you see as most relevant. A journal is great for looking back on as it gives you a way of charting your progress and seeing how you yourself change in the course of your work. If you don’t want two books then just divide up your ring binder into two sections. The third book we recommend is a dream diary, again it doesn’t need to be filled in every day and it can just make up a third section in your binder. This reply is long enough without going into our methods of dreamwork! We’re not suggesting this is the only way to do things and we’re sure you’ll find your own way of doing things, but keeping a journal/spell book is a good way in itself of improving discipline and organization! Blessings!

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