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herbal lore, color correspondences, process of evolution, magical workings

Building Shadows: A Witch

Author: SkyeWolf

Copyright © 2001 SkyeWolf Images

A witch's Book of Shadows. That mysterious Grimoire that holds all the information a witch will ever need, a volume of all the spells ever written, the magic of the ages bound together with paper and ink….

Poppycock. It is not some ancient arcane book that you will come across covered with dust and buried in the back room of your local antique store (and if you did, I'd steer clear). Yes a witch's Book of Shadows contains spells and information but it grows with the witch. When you begin, and possibly for some time after, your BoS will be almost empty. When and what you fill it with is, by and large, up to you.

I like to start off my BoS with a blessing of protection for the book as well as its contents. The nature of the spell or blessing is left up to you. I also like to follow with the Rede, to serve as a reminder. Traditionally, a BoS was the witch's spell book, and, while contemporary Books of Shadows do contain spells, they can also become a handy reference volume housing your astrological charts, color correspondences, herbal lore and crystal reference. A journal of your spell work is also useful to keep in your BoS. List your results, the weather, moon phase, spell reference and accessories, as well as your personal thoughts and feeling while performing the spell. This can be accessed later depending on whether or not the spell worked to discover why.

Keep things of interest to you in your BoS. Articles and bit of information, quotes, things that are pertinent to you magical life. Your Book of Shadows should be another of your tools of the Craft. Something you will be able to use in your magical workings. When you plan your BoS think about what you want to use it for. It will be a process of evolution. When I began all I thought about putting in by BoS were spells, now I realize that it should be a reference to be used, not a place to store things and collect dust. When you think about building your Book of Shadows, choose something large enough so that you will be able to read what you have written. I remember I began with this tiny hard bound journal from my local book store and I wrote in green ink. It was horrible to read by candle light! I have since switched to a 2 inch 3 ring binder that I covered with green cloth and decorated to my liking. What I have given you above are a few hints and tips, it is by no means the hard and fast rule. Below is a small list of things I believe should be included in your Book of Shadows but, please remember, this is your book and, in the end, you decide what goes in, what stays out and what it looks like.

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