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Beginning Wicca – Book of Shadows?

Hello everyone ^^ before I ask my question I just want to say thank you for looking it over and (possibly) answering. Anyways, YES I know that Wicca is not just “spell casting” but a religion and that not all Wicca’s are Witches and not all Pagan’s are Wiccans e.t.c. So PLEASE do not rip my head off for being “uneducated” (though I will admit I am not too good at memorizing and studying e.t.c)
So my main question is, when you first started writing in your Book of Shadows what exactly did you write? Also, for me, I don’t feel the need to write my own spells and rituals right away but I’m thinking of just starting out with tidbits I got from websites, books and maybe a few help full spells (from the previous sources). Is it okay to do this? I might add more “details/extra questions” later.
Thank you & Blessed Be ^^


  1. My thoughts on a Book of Shadows are that it is a personal documentary so write any and all bits of information, feelings, accomplishments, failures, blessings, rituals, etc. Mine began with a dedication to my spiritual path and a blessing upon the book itself.
    I hope you find the answer you seek and have a great time on the way!
    Blessed Be,my friend!

  2. Merry Meet,
    I hope the following helps you out.
    Blessed Be
    Book of Shadows
    From Patti Wigington, About.com
    Despite popular movies and television shows, there is no one single book of shadows. A book of shadows, or BOS, is a Wiccan’s or Pagan’s notebook of information. It usually contains spells, rituals, correspondence charts, information about the rules of magic, invocations, myths and legends of various pantheons, etc. Sometimes information in a BOS is passed along from one Wiccan to another (and in a coven setting, there may be a coven BOS as well as individual members’ books), but you can create your own with a little bit of effort. A BOS is a very personal thing, and should contain the information you find most important.
    The Book of Shadows (BOS) is used to store information you’ll need in your magical tradition. Many Pagans and Wiccans feel a BOS should be handwritten, but some use a computer to store information as well. Bear in mind that a BOS is considered a sacred tool, which means it is an item of power that should be consecrated with all of your other magical tools. Copy spells and rituals into your BOS by hand — this will not only transfer energy to the writer, but it also helps you to memorize the contents. Make sure you write legibly enough that you’ll be able to read your notes during a ritual!
    How to Make a Book of Shadows
    – To make your Book of Shadows, begin with a blank notebook. A popular method is to use a three-ring binder so items can be added and rearranged as needed. If you use this style of BOS, you can use sheet protectors as well, which is great for preventing candle wax and other ritual drippings from getting on the pages! Whatever you select, your title page should include your name. Make it fancy or simple, depending on your preference, but remember that the BOS is a magical object and should be treated accordingly. Many witches simply write, “The Book of Shadows of [your name]” on the front page.
    – What format should you use? Some witches are known to create elaborate Books of Shadows in secret, magical alphabets. Unless you’re fluent enough in one of these systems that you can read it without having to check notes or a chart, stick with your native language. While a spell looks beautiful written out in flowing Elvish script or Klingon lettering, the fact is that it’s just hard to read unless you’re an Elf or a Klingon. When it comes to the contents of your personal BOS, there are a few sections that are nearly universally included.
    – Laws of your coven or tradition: Believe it or not, magic has rules. While they may vary from group to group, it’s a really good idea to keep them at the front of your BOS as a reminder of what constitutes acceptable behavior and what doesn’t. If you’re part of an eclectic tradition that doesn’t have written rules, or if you’re a solitary witch, this is a good place to write down what YOU think are acceptable rules of magic. After all, if you don’t set yourself some guidelines, how will you know when you’ve crossed over them? This may include a variation on the Wiccan Rede, or some similar concept.
    – A dedication: If you’ve been initiated into a coven, you may want to include a copy of your initiation ceremony here. However, many Wiccans dedicate themselves to a God or Goddess long before they become part of a coven. This is a good place to write out who you are dedicating yourself to, and why. This can be a lengthy essay, or it can be as simple as saying, “I, Willow, dedicate myself to the Goddess today, June 21, 2007.”
    – Gods and Goddesses: Depending on what pantheon or tradition you follow, you may have a single God and Goddess, or a number of them. Your BOS is a good place to keep legends and myths and even artwork concerning your Deity. If your practice is an eclectic blend of different spiritual paths, it’s a good idea to include that here.
    – Correspondence tables: When it comes to spellcasting, correspondence tables are some of your most important tools. Phases of the moon, herbs, stones and crystals, colors — all have different meanings and purposes. Keeping a chart of some sort in your BOS guarantees that this information will be at the ready when you really need it. If you have access to a good almanac, it’s not a bad idea to record a years’ worth of moon phases by date in your BOS.
    – Sabbat rituals: The Wheel of the Year includes eight holidays for most Wiccans and Pagans, although some traditions do not celebrate all of them. Your BOS can include rituals for each of the Sabbats. For example, for Samhain you may wish to create a rite that honors your ancestors and celebrates the end of the harvest, while for Yule you may want to write down a celebration of the winter Solstice. A Sabbat celebration can be as simple or complex as you wish.
    – Other rituals: If you’ll be celebrating each full moon, you’ll want to include an Esbat rite in your BOS. You can use the same one each month, or create severa

  3. Suggested Reading List Good luck!
    Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
    This book is 1/2 a how to guide and 1/2 a book of Shadows. You can really see how Rituals are arranged and use that as a primer to write your own!
    Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
    Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews by Scott Cunningham
    Book of Shadows: A Modern Woman’s Journey into the Wisdom of Witchcraft and the Magic of the Goddess by Phyllis Curott
    Green Witchcraft by Aoumiel (Ann Moura)
    True Magick by Amber K
    Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development by Christopher Penczak
    Heart of Wicca: Wise Words from a Crone on the Path by Ellen Cannon Reed
    The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
    Natural Magic by Marian Green
    Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life by Pauline Campanelli
    The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan
    Witchcraft by Ronald Hutton

  4. First thing I wrote in my BoS was ethics and (*blush*) spells, as when I first started Wicca I was young, naive and focusing on spells…now that I have grown, and studied for a few more years, I have a broader understanding.
    If you do start spells, yes it’s ok to use pre-written spells…just try to put as much of yourself into them (perhaps add a little something extra…that’s just you to it, like a prayer or chant). Start with something easy (though spells are not easy unless you’re proficient). A simpler spell would be, say, Healing a Headache (this goes against my beliefs against providing spells, but this uses nothing more than yourself…and no materials required, and this is something ANYONE can do). When you have a headache, you put your hands on or slightly above your head and visualize your head as being filled with a red liquid…from your hands stream a cool blue light or liquid forcing the red out and the blue in, soothing your headache. I can’t remember where I got this from, but this has sometimes worked for me…sometimes I get really strong headaches so sometimes it doesnt work. But then again, there are times when spells just wont work and we must accept that.

  5. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) this is my anscestor and he wrote the book of shadows….. I am not really sure why I am writing this.. but I have just done a headache transfer from my husband and right now I am trying to shake it off… I need to get rid of this…

  6. I will say that I have several of what would now be called a Book of Shadows, My first , started when I was about 10 is the books of “recipes” from my Grandmother, mostly herbals but there are some food recipes as well.
    The Second is from my time with the Italian Grandmother, and are the teachings of her Mother, and her Mothers, Mothers and is a copy if material including letters that date back to the 1600 and are from Northern Italy. How they came to the US, I never asked
    The Third is from what I call my Hippie Period and is a collection of stories, experiences and spells.
    The fourth is from my time with the Wicca, and people like
    Stewart Farrer, and Raymond Buckland.
    The last on is a combination of my own, It contains spells -that worked; lessons on correspondences,; stories of the olden times; Herbal information. My Family pedigree that shows the inherited line of descent from the Salem Trials in the US as well as the ancestry of Italy, France, England, Wales and Scotland.
    I suppose my point is that if your are not being formally trained by some one of the Krafte, there is no set way to create your Books of Shadows. There are however, Goals that I was taught by my Grandmother that interestingly enough are the same as those of Scott Cunningham.
    I believe that your Book should reflect you experience and you knowledge. It shouldn’t just be copies of what others have said of done. It is YOUR BOOK, and if not in formal training should reflect you.


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