First, what is a "Book of Shadows"?
A Book of Shadows is a book that contains all the magickal info, spells, rites, herb info, and herbal recipes of a Witch. It is sometimes known as a "Grimoire". It is very personal and scared to each individual.
What type of materials will you need to create a book of Shadows?
First off, you will need something to write in. This can be anything from a leather-boud journal to a three ring binder to an e-book.
The leather-bound journal will look very nice, but there are some disadvantages to it. You will not be able to move things around, take pages out to examine them, or add new pages. That's why many witches prefer a three ring binder. It is easy to organize and you can add or take away as many pages as you like. Some like to go digital and use E-books. There is an advantage to be gained if you are one who has hard-to-read hand writting and tends to misplace things, but it is often difficult to take with you wherever you go. whatever you use will have to be your choice and your choice alone because you will be the one who uses it.
You will of course also need things to write with, I personally prefer to use a pencil because mistakes are easily corrected this way. But if you use pen, make sure it is a high quality pen and that you have white-out handy just to be safe.
2. The First Pages
I highly recommend giving your Book of Shadows a name, this will add a more personal touch to it. It can be as simple as "Book of Shadows of [Your Name Here]". Some witches also call it a "Book of Light" But it can really be anything you desire, after all, it is yours and no one else's.
It may also be wise to include a table of contents, this will make finding certain pages much more easier.
Another thing that I recommend is blessing your Book of Shadows... I will give you two blessings that can be used in another section.
3. What to Put in You Book of Shadows
The answer to this is simple.... ANYTHING! Like I keep saying, this is your book and yours alone.
You may place the Wiccan Rede in it, practices that you and/or your coven partake in, Sabbat celebrations, Spells, Stories, information about Spirits/Entities, research, information about Gods and Goddesses, and the list goes on and on... There is no end to what you can put in it!
4. Blessing your You Book of Shadows
As I said before, I highly recommend blessing your Book of Shadows. This will protect it from wandering eyes and prevent it from being "just another book".
There are two types of blessings that I recommend. The first one is an Elemental Blessing.
In this blessing, you will use the power of the four elements to protect and bless your Book of Shadows.
You will need:
*Blue Candle, (water)
*White Candle, (air)
*Red Candle, (fire)
*Brown or Green Candle, (earth)
*Your new Book of Shadows
*Be sure that all four candles are the same size so that they burn out in the same length of time.
*I recommend having a compass or a map so that you will be able to identify the different directions.
1. Set the candles by each corner of the book, with the Green/Brown one in the North, the Red one in the South corner, the Blue one in the west, and the White candle in the East corner.
*Be careful to leave some space between your Book of Shadows and the candles to avoid having your book covered in wax
2. Now light each candle, and after each one, say the corresponding line. The lines are as follows:
By the north, bless this book with the power of the Earth
By the south, bless this book with the power of fire
By the west, bless this book with the power of water
By the east, bless this book with the power of air
3. Now leave the book to sit with the candle light until all four candles are burned out. Your new book is now blessed by the elementals and is ready for you to use.
Now, there is a written blessing that can also be used.
You will need:
*Your new book
*High Quality Pen
1. Just before midnight, turn off all of your lights and light your white candle.
2. Set your Book of Shadows so that you can see it by candle light.
3. Write the following:
Goddess please protect this book
From wondering eyes and prying look,
And fill it with your ancient power
At this nightly witching hour.
4. As you write the words out be sure to read them out-loud as well.
5. Once the words are written, read them to yourself a few times and make sure you fully understand them.
6. You may put the candle out now. Your Book of Shadows is now blessed and ready for your use.
* Always keep your Book of Shadows in a safe place.
* It is often wise to use sheet protectors to keep pages safe during rituals/spells in which candle wax may end up on them.
* Make it personal: add pictures, drawings, favorite short stories, or fond memories to certain pages.
Always remember, a Book of Shadows is a personal and sacred tool that you will use often so be sure to take good care of it!