You’d be surprised to find that many pagans, Wiccans, and witches do not have a Book of Shadows, or they admit to having one that doesn’t really work too well for the. Others admit to having several, since the years will pass and more and more things get added to the tome.
So here are some tips to consider when you start a Book of Shadows:
Record your spiritual events. This includes rituals, spells, meditations, and other magical practices that you can keep as a journal. I add dates, comments about the moon and weather, and results from spells or the events later in the month.
Add resources. I include only the things I need such as references for spell components, the year’s dates for esbats and sabbats, my crystals, oils, herbs, and anything else I might need for reference. Don’t include what someone else might suggest unless it ‘clicks’ for you. A BOS, above all, reflects YOUR journey; no one else’s.
The BOS evolves with you. Just as people are not static, neither should the BOS. It should change and evolve as you do, and never seen as a ‘finished product’.
The BOS takes on many shapes and forms. Whether you prefer an electronic version to a bind or blank book, or scrapbook, or other medium, the BOS should meet whatever needs you require. Size and dimension play a part in this, since a bulky 3-ring binder might prove a bit cumbersome if you travel with it. However, a 3 ring binder that includes a strap to carry might prove useful.
You can have more than one. There’s no rule that you must stick with just the one BOS. Your spiritual journal will be long and eventful, and you’ll have a number of books that should reflect this. I break up things into a BOS, a spiritual journal, and a spell book. I also keep a BOS for my meetup group that includes all past rituals and workshops we’ve done, so it helps with planning for future events.
Electronic BOS are perfectly ok. Even an e-BOS can end up getting unorganized and messy. My tip is to label files and organize folders into a single folder to store everything. Instead of section of a BOS, you have folders. One gets dedicated to all spells, another for rituals. I also set pages up to be printed as needed. Also remember to BACK UP YOUR FOLDERS! As a computer geek, and consultant, I regularly find people lose their date to viruses or computer crashes. A cloud drive or Flash Drive can offer you some peace of mind.
I’ll add some more tips in future posts.