- November 16, 2010 at 9:25 am#24021
- November 16, 2010 at 10:05 am #323483
A book of shadows is a term that’s usually associated with Wiccan witches, although it applies to anyone who needs to keep track of any kind of progress regarding magical workings.
Anyone practicing magic, doing meditations, invocation/evocation, etc… even at the smallest level, should have a book in which they track the progress and problems of their work.
A book of shadows, however, should *not* be confused with a dream diary. Dream diaries should also be used by anyone who does anything that would merit having a book of shadows, but should be a completely separate book.
- November 16, 2010 at 10:23 am #323480
No. Not all Witches have a book of shadows. Having a BoS is a personal choice, but it’s a good idea to keep one, as it keeps all your information in one place.
But some have been known to keep a DoS (Disk of Shadows), or even a file cabinet containing all their information.
EDIT: Gemma – Well, aren’t we just the little know it all (obviously note sarcasm). By the way, are you a deluded Christian, believing in a “Sky Daddy” or a boring Atheist living life relying on scientists to explain everything, while there are definetly things out there that defy explanation?
- November 16, 2010 at 10:50 am #323478
The belief structure that was the base of the crafts a millennium before the term Witch existed. The title Book of Shadows is less than 200 years old. Most of those in the older traditions have journals and specific binders.
Many “Book of Shadows” are sold blank or filled with writing completely for commercial profit. Anyway, today’s people in Wicca or calling themselves Witch can call their journal anything they please.
- November 16, 2010 at 11:22 am #323473
Lots of witches have one, although the term “Book of Shadows” is specifically Wiccan, and I might add, not all Wiccans consider themselves witches (although many do).
The solitary witch Marian Green uses the term “Book of Illumination”, but it is the same idea.
Whatever you call it, it is essentially a personal journal of experiences, thoughts, inspirations, incantations, spells (often with astronomical data like moon phases and planetary positions), divinations like tarot, dreams … it’s a kind of personal spiritual blog. In the case of Wiccans, there will also be a core of material common to the coven, copied out or supplied by the officers of the coven. Hereditary witches will have inherited material and supplemented it with their own.
Not all witches have one. I do not. But perhaps that is because I am too lazy.
- November 16, 2010 at 11:32 am #323471
Book of Shadows as a term does belong to wicca, but the actual thing has existed by many practitioners of magick. Druits, for instance, used scrolls, monks have tons of books and well the christians have their bibles to which they also keep books of classes taken so its the same thing. So most religions have a “book of shadows”
It’s not always pretty like the one from hocus pocus. My book of shadows exists in parts and in many locations. I have a “book of shadows” on my computer which is basically a folder with many sub folders that holds everything and it’s organized. Like spells, meditations, healings, clients, celebrations etc. I also have lots of work on physical paper, I guess for someone like me (as there are many who do it like I do lol) would consider this a Library of shadows since I turn to my many book collections as well.
Some traditions were and still are very strict. Santeria for instance requires you to remember EVERYTHING you are taught and not keep a book of shadows or anything like that. Druids were also asked to memorize everything and they did so by creating them into stories that rhymed. Of course they still kept some scroll as well to pass down and learn from.
Do you need one? I would say that is a personal choice. If you’re forgetful like me then YES you do need one. There are days that you ask me something and I’ll answer with complete elaboration and then you ask me the same question later on the same day and I’ll sometimes answer “I don’t know” and the person will just stare at me wondering what’s wrong. haha.
Knowledge isn’t always everything we know by memory but to know where to find the answers to the questions we have. A book of shadows or a room of shadows (of our secret recipes) can be just that.
- November 16, 2010 at 12:20 pm #323466
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