Moon Phase


Monday, February 14, 2011

What is a Book of Shadows (BOS)

A book of shadows, also known as a Grimoire, is a personal compilation of spells, thoughts and feelings gathered by wizards and witches. As a collection of knowledge, the book of shadows was passed down from generation to generation of witches and warlocks. In Wicca and Paganism, it's traditional to create a Book of Shadows, which is a notebook containing information regarding your tradition, gods and goddesses, correspondence tables, sabbat and esbat rites and rituals, magical recipes, and more. Making my book of shadows was one of the first magical projects I had ever done. It is one of the most important items you have in the craft and great care should be made when making yours.

The book is ideal for keeping secret notes, spells you have performed, deities, the sabots, or any other information you would like to record. There is no right or wrong way to fashion your book as it is highly subjective to your taste. You may decide to create more than one book; some make one for different subjects. You can collect your information in a leather bound book or in a simple three-ring binder from a local stationery store. On the inside cover, it is customary to inscribe a book dedication to someone or something. You can simply declare the book to whichever Deity inspires you in your search for truth. You can proclaim that your intentions are honorable and you will work against none. You can also inscribe a spell to protect your BOS. I used the witch’s alphabet to inscribe my books protection spell. One meaningful aspect about keeping a book of shadows is to write it by hand. It helps witches to better absorb the details of their spells. Some do keep their BOS in an electronic file, but if you do I would recommend keeping it stored on an external device in case your computer crashes.

The Content

To start you off and to get you into the mood, jot down the research and history of your journey. Give details of your adventure: why you started, who influenced you, what you noticed, and so on, so forth. Include your thoughts on color, moon phases, astrological signs, symbols, and describe the set-up of your altar.

Separate your book of shadows into sections if you wish. For example, a section can hold your spells, while another can be for your potions and recipes (for documenting the cakes and ale and other ingredients of your potions.) A third part could contain the historical information and studies of lore, or this is where some may make separate books instead.

When casting your spells, keep track of the ingredients in your potions, the phase of the moon, the time of day, and other factors that will affect your spell. Once the spell has been cast, write in the result and any improvements you might want to include.

Your book of shadows will flourish with you as you continue studying and learning about magick. Whether you decide to share it and pass it on to others, or choose to keep it for your eyes only, is entirely up to you.

To make your own BOS You will need:

A hard cover journal, diary or hard cover loose-leaf notebook (in which case you won’t need the baggie)

Baggie that will fit just the pages of your book

A large brown paper bag

Some ribbon

Decoupage or glue thinned down.

Black paint and a small paint brush

Old plastic bowel

Optional: Any special stones, jewelry pieces, pressed leaves or flowers

Step 1: rip up your brown paper bag into 2 inch pieces and crumple each piece up.

Step 2: gather an old bowl or plastic bowl that you can toss after the project and place decoupage or glue in it.

Step 3: place only the pages of your book inside the baggie. This is to protect the pages while you work on the cover.

Step 4: undo the crumpled pieces of paper and flatten, leaving it looking wrinkled.

Step 5: Cut 3 strands of ribbon 2 inches longer than the book and use some glue and glue these ribbons to the binder of the book. It’s ok that it is on the outside it will be covered over with the paper. Let dry.

Step 6: place the brown paper pieces into the bowl and cover both sides of paper with glue and place on your cover. Continue doing this, overlapping each piece until you cover the entire cover and wrap around to the inside of your cover. Let dry. Do the same thing to the back cover and side binder the same way covering the glued pieces of ribbon. Leave the rest of the ribbon away from the glued book until dry. (The ribbons will act as bookmarks when you’re finished.)

Step 7: In the witch’s alphabet write you can write “Book of Shadows” with your paint, Remove baggie from pages once the glue dries. You can glue stones and bits of jewelry to decorate the outside of the book or find a picture that is special to you and decoupage in the center of the book

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