Tag Archives: journal

Book of Shadows: Journaling tip

featherpenA Book of Shadows can often take form as a resource book but also journal or scrapbook. Today, we’ll discuss the benefits of using your BOS as a journal.

The first step is to consider what you want to keep track. Here are some ideas;

Dates, times, events, and holidays. I often make a note somewhere in my journal if the day is special in any way. I used to add if it was in ‘void-of-course’, but I realized that really didn’t affect me.

The weather. I’ve added the weather since this year seemed rife with storms. Living things often sense a storm at hand due to the change in pressure, so I will add a few notes in regards to that. For instance, my muscles tend to ache when a bad storm is around the corner. Allergies worsen before storms or through specific seasons, and the weather also may impact my mood, overall.

Health and mood. I have issues with depression and by keeping track of my moods lets me tie in things like diet, moon cycle, menstrual cycle, if events of the day affect it, if I’m coming down with something, or if something is seriously bothering me. I do not, however, dwell upon it. I simply take note, and move on.

Writing with a good attitude. Its also important to note that you need the proper attitude when writing in a journal, specifically a Book of Shadows. We are taught our thoughts and intentions manifest, so if you’re ranting and complaining about your life, what do you suppose that manifests?

You need to focus on ‘forward-thinking’. This means you must make plans, and not dwell on the past. You write with a positive attitude, not complaining or wallowing in that negative energy of regret or self-doubt. Be positive!

Consider journaling as a magical practice. In your Book of Shadows, consider writing with your own rules such as ‘I will never complain’. This seriously helped my depression as the practice lent to changing my attitude. Write with solutions in mind; what will you do to tackle the problem? Why does the problem bother you? Are you making more out of the issue? Should you let it go? Remember what you wish to manifest into your life.

Journaling through the rest of the BOS. You can easily add journal blocks, add notes, insert more information on any page through paper clips, envelopes, index cards, post it notes, or simply paste in a scrap sheet to write on.

Use pictures as much as words. “A pictures is worth a thousand words”… as the saying goes. Add your own artwork, or paste in photos, pictures, and other graphics to illustrate your words. Art is an expression of the soul and just as valid as the written word to express our thoughts and feelings. Whether you journal in the Book of Shadows, or prefer to journal separately in another book (or type on a computer), journaling provides a valuable tool to the Self. What are your thoughts? Do you journal regularly? Do you journal in the Book of Shadows or a separate book? (I journal separate). Post in comments.

BOS: Journaling stones

IMG_1507A friend of mine recently made me a lovely bracelet comprised of Aventurine. We also went to get more stones at a local pagan stores, but as I was thinking about it, how does one add this sort of thing to a Book of Shadows?

Add photos of your stones– This would simple enough to do, much like any scrapbook, smashbook, or journaling style. Then you need to add notes on what the stones represent to you, as well as their properties.

Add journal blocks on the page. The stones I bought the other day came with little scraps of paper that list the properties. Very handy. But its important to add some sort of graphic to show the color and characteristics of the stone as well.

Add uses of the stone. Here you’d want to add not just the recommended uses of a stone, but what you’ve used personally as well as your experiences. For instance, I add a Citrine to a spray bottle of water to ‘spritz’ my house from time to time to cleanse and purify.

CrystalWitch’s page of stones.

Gemstones: Meaning and powers

Feel free to leave comments on your own ideas on how to add crystals and stones to your Book of Shadows.

Hell, sin, and the pagan boogeyman

Most pagans I know do not believe in Hell, the devil, or even the concept of sin. They often say these are Christian concepts and have no place in pagan practices.

However, Wiccans have the Threefold Law of Return, that whatever you put out in the Universe returns threefold. They also have the Wiccan Rede of ‘An it harm none, do what thou wilt’.

As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, the Rede is not a law. Its not a rule. The word itself means ‘advice or counsel’. And its good advice. Harming none- including yourself- is a pretty good general idea to follow no matter who you are.

But what happens if you break the Rede?

What if you harm someone?

I present the idea that basically nothing will happen. You won’t see Hellfire, you won’t find punishment or go to a bad place after you die for harming someone. I do, however, believe that in many cases the idea of ‘sin’ is a personal one. Therefore, the punishment is often self inflected.

Take for instance you curse someone; this goes against the Rede by harming another.  The intention gets directed to someone else. Spells incorporate our wills, our intentions, and in essence, our souls into the magick. By cursing someone else, you bind yourself to that person in some form or other.

If this goes against your moral fiber, you might face repercussions such as bad luck, no flow to thoughts or energies, and possible other means caused by this ‘personal sin’. In a sense, you end up punishing yourself. You might not be conscious of it.

Morals do not hinge on the black and white simplicity of ‘right and wrong’, so defined in other faiths. In pagan faiths, we do not have a book to dictate judgment or rules to live by. We must decide for ourselves, even make mistakes to discover what works (or what doesn’t work) for us.

So what are your thoughts on repercussions of working against your own morals? Do you have a concept of sin or personal sin? Does the Rede or Threefold law reflect a more harrowing verdict than my thoughts here? Please share- I’d love to hear from others on this subject.

Book of Shadows Assignment: Write about your theories and thoughts on right and wrong. Where do morals lie? Did you learn from parents or do you feel that people follow a natural, inborn sense of good and evil? Have your morals changed over the years? Do you think they’ll continue to change?