Book of Shadows


The Book of Shadows is a Wiccan workbook containing invocations, ritual patterns, spells, runes, rules governing magic, and so on.  Some Books of Shadows are passed from one Wiccan to another, usually upon initiation, but the vast majority of Books today are composed by each individual Wiccan.

Don't believe the stories in most other Wiccan books that one single Book of Shadows has been handed down from antiquity, for each sect of Wicca seems to claim that their own is the original, and they're all different.  

Although until recently a Book of Shadows was usually handwritten, today typed or even photocopied versions are quite common.  Some Wiccans are even computerizing their books - to create, as friends of mine call it, the "Floppy Disc of Shadows."  (***Note from Athena ~ This is what I am doing at this time too, because I happen to like to do digital art and therefore I can "design" my page layout with greater flexibility.  Again, the choice is yours.***)

To make your own Book of Shadows, begin with any blank book - these are available in most art stores and book shops.  If you cannot find a bound blank book, any lines exercise book will do.  Simply write in this book any rituals, spells, invocations and magical information that you have either composed or found elsewhere and would like to preserve.

Remember - All Books of Shadows are suggestions as to ritual, not "holy writ."  Never feel tied down to these words.  In fact, many Witches use three-ring binders, shuffling around pages, adding or subtracting information from their Book of Shadow at will.

It is a good idea to copy your spells and rites by hand.  Not only does this ensure that you've read the work completely, it also allows easier reading by candlelight.  Ideally, all rites are memorized (there's nothing more distracting than having to read or glance at the book), or created spontaneously, but if you would read your rites, be sure your copies are legible by flickering firelight.

Taken from, "Wicca, A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham