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Book of Shadows: Introduction

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:40 am
by ShadowOfLight
Book of Shadows you say? Great! What kind of Witch are you? Or, are you even a ‘Witch?’ You actually don’t haveto be. BOS, for simple term in case of novice (we all were once) is a keepsake book/journal. If you are spiritual and have a book of your journey, I consider it a BOS. The ‘S’ can even = spirituality, which I find more aptly named than Shadows. Though, Shadows has been adopted as tradition.

Dreams, spells, casts, poems, tales, pressings/rubbings, artwork, journal entries, notes of and on spirit, readings, dowsing work done or participated in, circles, herb lists; ingredient lists, these can all go in. Messages from guide(s), meditation, stone work, you name it. Every bit counts.

Personally, I’m n, as I put it, eclectic pagan. I got my start in spirit work and reading (tea, tarot, playing cards, Quija board) in grade school. Family tradition. My guides taught me—in turn—from then and through high school, where I met other fledgling (and not so fledgling) pagans. Druids mostly; some Wiccans and Witches. I had already begun to gravitate toward Druidity (or Druidry, this term has changed many times through the years), so, was a natural fit. But, it was not all I was.

Some of us are born to a singular path (and that’s awesome . . . you have a simpler, purer path). Some others, are set to walk two—or even many. As I’ve grown, so has my path, adapting to and adopting in the truths I find personally correct.

To each their own; there's truth in all.
This is the only absolute I’ve found. And is something I live by.

Now, when it comes to naming your book, you may slap on ‘Book of Shadowsand be done with it. That’s okay. If you are starting out, I encourage this. Not because you are learning, but because you are growing. You are planted and shadow is all you see—much like Tarot’s Fool living in the darkness of his cave until he emerges to begin his journey (and it’s a good one!). If you are looking for ideas of a more creative, personal title, HERE is a good listing.

As you grow, progress into a set direction, you may find yourself renaming, even reworking your book. Mine has become a binder (one standard and one travel size). Currently, and the reason I write this now, I am revamping it entirely. With more than twenty years of path, I’ll be at this (at least) a year and a day. I am willing to bet on the sacred three.

So! Where to begin?

Let’s try: foundation.
The Table of Contents.

Questions to consider:
1) What do you wish to chronical or include?
2) Where do you hope to grow? (in what aspect—one or many)
3) What interest(s) you most about the path you are choosing or starting (it may have chosen you)
*Do you welcome room for possibility?
This may dictate when and how often your book will require upkeep.
**I ignored this for years. I do not recommend you do the same**

Okay, cool. With the younglings brewing their aspirations, let’s look at what we (anyone with one or more years of practice) have gathered.
*You don’t get ‘Jedi’ status until you hit twenty-plus—and I took a few years off…so, yeah....

How many topics do you catalog/cover? Slap on a label and give it a section. I also think that is where you leave me—and that’s cool, too. Can also go back and update the TOC (Table of Contents) off the questions above.

For those who are new, or looking for a fun topic:
What path has shaped your BOS/Journal?
Are you a Hedge Witch with some of each faction of life adorning the cover and pages?
Perhaps you are similar to me and decorate with next to nothing at all. (You let the content speak for itself)?
How about sea-based path with sand, shells, pieces of foam; odes to the deep peppered throughout?
Kitchen-based with a recipe for everything? (I love this style of BOS!)
The options are endless!

As I stated, I’m a melded one. In addition to family rites of passage and reading, I am of the Oak. I am read in the cauldron and backed by Creator and my ancestors.

So, I’ve now come to the point of breaking the collection into volumes. As the Oak sheds its acorns, so my path comes to this.

Actually, is an accurate description. My son is now five years old. Within these volumes, I’m leaving hints, tips, and love (proud of) yous for him to follow; insights so that we may grow together.

When HE is ready, I’ll pass this version onto his.

As for I decorated my first (serious) BOS, I wrote a spell by Silver Ravenwolf in black permanent marker on the front of a small, black binder. After nearly twenty years of travel, moves, and some general abuse, it has never faded. It can only be read at an angle, but I’ve never had to touch it up.


Table Of Contents for my proposed volumized BOS (still a draft, not included sub-volumes)

Name: Pagan Shadows: an eclectic journey back to nature.
*Nothing in this world is unnatural, save our constriction of it.

Vol. List:
(Note to my son, a page long)
(Using Roman Numerals as is easier to type)
I) Reading, Divination, Meditation; Guides
II) Spirit Communication; Board work
III) Claires, Remote Location; Psychometry (and basics of investigations)
IV) Herbs, Oils, Remedies; Crystals & Gemstones
V) Dry Herb Bundles, Incense, Oil Blends; Soaps
VI) Dream work, Journals, Meanings; Déjà vu
VII) Times of Day, Days of the Year/Week, Sun/Moon Phases; Astronomy
VIII) Colours, Cord work, Candles—and making of
IX) Astrology
X) Numerology, Alphabets, Runes; Trees
XI) Animal Communication, Spirit/Animal Guides; Walking Softly
XII) Nature Journal, Tracks/Tracking; Elements & Seasons
XIII) Almanac; Survival Skills not attributed to Magic (is a short list)
XIV) Protection, Grounding; Cleansing
XV) Astral Projection; Otherworld Beings
XVI) Songs, Tales/Lore, Magical Crafts; Poems
XVII) Recipes; Holiday—and crafts per
XVIII) Advice and Aspirations; Writings
XIX) Spells, Casts, Karma; Energy Work (not the same as spellcraft)
XX) Rituals, Rites, Circles; Offerings
XXI) Clothing, Tools, Melding of Cultures; Pop-Culture Paganism (it has become a thing)


Pic of my current BOS (in progress)
Eventually, it will be bound into actual volumes, not notebooks or binders

Re: Book of Shadows: Introduction

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:41 am
by Samanthaj
Hi Shadow


I love this post, have been re-reading through it. I love this idea so much. You have some great ideas for chapters/ sections within it, some I never thought of
I love how you have one for ABT. That's a great idea to jot down things which inspire you, information on readings you've received, things like that

Whilst the internet is fab when you're looking for ? orb colour meanings or symbolism of trees/flowers it's nice to have a quick reference for all of these things

''Actually, is an accurate description. My son is now five years old. Within these volumes, I’m leaving hints, tips, and love (proud of) yous for him to follow; insights so that we may grow together.'' -- That's so precious, bless you both.

Thanks for sharing with us :o) i'm sure others will appreciate this as a reference

Hugs
Samj

Re: Book of Shadows: Introduction

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:26 am
by ShadowOfLight
Thank you, Sam.

Book of Shadows is just a term, and it can be a journal or notebook of anyone's who has thoughts in their mind for growth. No religion required. ;)

They are also editions to be prized and adored if you are lucky enough to have one passed on to you. They are the record of what another has learned and wishes to pass along--their heart, soul, and dreams are within those pages.

Also hoping this post can act like a springboard to any, all, and some I have not thought to name outright, topics listed to become conversation.

What better way to refuel a forum section than with a TOC?

* Used to keep a log of every board session. Family had a minute-taker for each reading, board sessions, and communication. I adopted that before I knew what a BOS was. An important point is that the idea is not Pagan by nature, but human in wanting to always remember.