Book of Shadows. "Casting Spells"?

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I’m curious as to what a Book of Shadows is? My guess is that its a book that spells are written I right? If so, is it true that some spells are kept secret and protected like a Diary?
Why do people who come to these forums with their close minded views?If you don’t believe than why are you here..go somewhere else. Thanks to the rest of you that are taking my question seriously.

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Camille H

A book of shadows is a book that is supposed to hold all of a witch’s spells, notes, and anything of the like. It’s not supposed to be read by anyone else, unless it’s passed to them, I’m almost sure.

david scott m


Stephanie C

its fictional, from the show Charms featuring 3 witches who are sisters and who guard the book of shadows, in the show, the books contains spells as well as information about different demons, witches and warlocks collected from generations of the Halliwell family. Also includes ingredients to make potions to destroy evil and also fun spells


A BOS-Book of Shadows contains everything that a witch would like to keep for reference. It is much more than just a book of spells. Here is a sample of a BOS:
Although you can customize it however you like. Enjoy.

Sam B

dir ta dir


here we go again, ghosts, spirts , spell casting . this is such garbage.


Book of shadows could be considered a witch’s magical journal. If he/she has created any original spells, these would be written there. Notes about strange occurences, things considered to be omens, unusual activites of plants or animals, dreams, and visions. Pretty much anything that he/she might want to refer to later. I’ve written incense mixtures, herb garden lists, designs of gardens and altars. Most witches wouldn’t keep a spell a secret from a fellow practioner unless they felt one of two ways.
1. The spell was being cast for the wrong reason (usually by an inexperienced person).
2. The spell involved some working with higher beings that the spell-writer had experience with and the other witch didn’t.


A book of shadows is a book containing all a witch’s potions, spells, etc. Some people are very protective of their books, which in my tradition are called leabhars, but it’s the same idea.
I really don’t care if people see mine, I’ve been putting all of mine (albeit slowly) into a livejournal. It varies secrecy wise from person to person and belief system to system

Lady Nimue

The most basic definition of the Book of Shadows is, as others have said, simply a book in which people of neo-Pagan faiths (Wicca is the common example) write notes on spells and rituals performed. However, it’s usually used for much more.
Most times, the BoS won’t just contain spells. It will also contain information on the effectiveness of spells, when they were performed, rituals, supernatural occurences, and other things of that nature. For an example, I have a page in my BoS dedicated to lists of gemstones and their properties. It’s pretty much a book for recording anything to do with your faith.
Yes, some spells are kept secret. I know of some covens where the Book of Shadows has been passed down through generations. These covens tend to guard their BoS jealously, and don’t let anyone else see it. I also know people who share their boS freely, to share information and ideas. It really all depends on personal preference, but your basic assumptions are correct. Feel free to message me if you have other questions!


Another name often used (probably to get away from the negative connotations of “shadows”) is a Grimoire. But it’s still a book containing all manner of information pertinent to someone following a pagan/wiccan path. It’s more than a “journal” and not just a “recipe” book of spells either.
Mine’s full of all manner of interesting bits ‘n pieces I’ve picked up over the years. Including pressed flowers, pictures, and ideas (which haven’t quite been finalised yet).


You Know I really don’t pay much attention to the discussions on the “Book of Shadows,” but I got to asking myself as to when any or all of my Journals became known as “Book of Shadows.” So, I started working back through the years. I know the phrase was around in the late thirties and forties, because Gardner used it. However, when I went back to the twenties and Margret Murray’s book, “The Witch Cult in Western Europe” there is no mention of a Book of Shadows.” I then went back to my e-copy of the Malleus Maleficarum and Book of shadows didn’t show up in a search. You would think the Christian Inquisition would have grabbed at such a title for condemnation immediately.
I think I’ll stay with Journals. I’m not trying to mystify or impress anyone.
Librarian and Elder of The lore
(That means they retired me, but let me keep the library)

Cherokee Lady

A Book of Shadow’s contains pretty much a Witch’s life. His/Her spells, notes, all kinds of things. It is kind of like a diary, but it is at the Witch’s discretion if he/she is willing to let someone else see it.


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