We are always being asked similar questions about starting a Book of Shadows, such as "What do I write in a Book of Shadows?", "Should it be hand written?" and "My writing is too messy for a Book of Shadows how do I make it neat?" etc. So I thought I'd write a little article to answer these questions...
Firstly, there are no right or wrong ways to create your own Book of Shadows so please never feel as though you are "doing it wrong" because quite frankly your Book of Shadows is YOUR Book of Shadows and you can write it however you wish.
Traditionally, a Book of Shadows is a book which contains religious texts, rituals, spells and herbal, crystal and other lore. In early Wicca there was only one Book of Shadows within a coven, which was kept safe by the High Priestess. Of course anyone can have their own Book of Shadows, especially nowadays as most of us are Solitary witches.
Modern day witches may like to keep a digital Book of Shadows, in a Word-type document on their computer or usb stick others, myself included prefer a handwritten book with sketches and drawings to help describe things such as plants or crystals and even for spells and rituals. It is completely up to you how you choose to write your own Book of Shadows.
Many people are worried that their writing isn't clear enough, too messy or they make errors and don't want to "ruin" their book. Personally I think it adds character and makes the Book even more special! Take this photograph below for example. This is a photograph of the pages of one of Gardners' first Book of Shadows' let's be honest, his writing isn't perfect and if you look closely you can see he has crossed out lines, yet he is still highly regarded today in Wicca and Paganism.
Some people also prefer to keep their Book of Shadows purely for Spells and Rituals and have separate Grimoires for Herbs, Crystals and other information. This too is completely up to you.
Our daughter, Saige is currently writing her very first Book of Shadows as well, she currently has drawings of her own crystals with their properties, her favourite rituals and the Sabbats and I'm not entirely sure what else she has written as that's all she has asked my help with so far ;)
At the moment I am in the process of transferring notes from my old Book of Shadows into a beautiful leather covered journal. My old Book of Shadows was started when I was 11 years old and I have added to it over the years. It consists of pieces of paper in 4 black folders and a box of loose notes I have made over the years. A big task but I can't wait until my beautiful book is "complete" - a Book of Shadows may never truly be "complete" as we are always learning and creating new spells etc. as we continue on our Pagan Paths!
So.... basically what I am trying to say, is that you can create your Book of Shadows however you like! It can be hand written, typed, kept in digital format, spread into several books or folders - which ever way you feel is right for you!
Blessings! Lyllith Xx
Main Photo: Me!!! This photo was taken during a photoshoot I did for the 2016 Kooralbyn Calendar. In our backyard, with my actual Book of Shadows! (the new one) Photo by Renee Barlow, edited with butterflies by me ;)
Gardners Book of Shadows, sourced from the Internet - Photos of Books/Journals, our stock available to purchase.