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Author Topic: Book of Shadows  (Read 1454 times)

Kraken

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Book of Shadows
« on: August 31, 2015, 08:08:50 pm »
What is it and why might I want one? What does yours look like?
"you have risen from the ashes, with outspread arms, face to the sun, eyes closed, full of radiance..."

Materialist

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 08:31:14 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;179410
What is it and why might I want one? What does yours look like?


It's a somewhat poetic term for a notebook usually referenced in the context of witchcraft, in which a witch records spells, rituals, results of divinations, and other stuff like that. Mine's just a sketchbook I scribble commentary in. The reason why you might want one is to journal about your explorations into Paganism: what you believe in, what sorts of rituals you like, what you've been reading and where it might be taking you.

Sarah

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 09:54:50 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;179410
What is it and why might I want one? What does yours look like?

 
I just call mine my "folder of stuff" and it contains: personal writings, card reading results, recipes, spells, rituals, and prayers that have worked for me
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Sophia C

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2015, 02:22:17 am »
Quote from: Kraken;179410
What is it and why might I want one? What does yours look like?

 
I'm not Wiccan, so I don't have a book of shadows, but I collect info in Evernote and on online journal app and in other places online. Proving what an urban technopagan I am :P The Evernote folders contain anything I come across online that might be useful - links to stories, news, articles, blog posts etc that reference things relevant to my spiritual path. My journal app is for saving photos, comments after rituals, pictures of readings, etc -personal notes, basically. I've tried replacing both of these with a paper journal but that just doesn't work for me.

Other useful things in this area include my Goodreads account (where I record all the Pagan books I've read and sometimes review them), my spiritual blogs, my blog reader where I collect all the bloggers I'm reading at the moment - things like that.
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
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Mountain Cat

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2015, 06:03:29 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;179410
What is it and why might I want one? What does yours look like?

 
I have two books. One is a journal that I write all my discoveries, practices, prayers and rituals in and the other is a book I used for my Druidry course. Simple as that. I think having a dedicated journal or Book of Shadows is really important, particularly to begin with. I know, as I go on, that one day I won't have to do as much journalling and will likely get a new book and refine a lot of my 'stuff' into that one. But not yet. I'm still in an early stage of learning. :)

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2015, 06:16:22 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;179410
What is it and why might I want one? What does yours look like?

Initially (i.e. the late 1940's) it was the title of a book of collected rituals used by covens of initiated Wiccans, and the personal copies of this book hand-written by those initiated into a Wiccan coven.

In the 1980's, it became the designation of a ritual notebook of non-initiated eclectic solitary Wiccans. Later, the title began to float around in the pagan community as the designation for ritual notebook or diary in general, even outside the two forms of Wicca.

Making a collection of ritual and keeping a spiritual diary are good ideas, but non-Wiccans  are not mandated to use the Wiccan title of these books.

Personally, I think we keep that particular title more informative if we non-Wiccans avoid the word, and use other titles for our Ceremonial Magic or Druid (or whatever we practice) notebooks. I style my folders with Ceremonial and Chaos magic my grimoires, for instance. I keep some notes and journals in electronic form on my computers.

If you perform outdoor rituals, a folder with plastic proetction for your papers are useful. It might rain.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 06:21:16 pm by RecycledBenedict »

TinyToad

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 12:35:15 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;179410
why might I want one? What does yours look like?


I am fairly new to trying spellwork, and my notebooks are a chaotic mess that I love.

I just write down or draw whatever comes to me, usually at seemingly random times, and I can already see in my past writings that slowly but surely things start to connect and form overall ideas for rituals, spells, my beliefs/philosophies, etc. I find that it's most handy because the little bits and pieces of ideas, thoughts and concepts tend to hit me out of nowhere, and it's very convenient to be able to quickly jot them down for later contemplation, without losing or forgetting anything. Plus sometimes writing things down helps the process move along even more.
 
The result is that what my notebooks look like, is a cycle of very chaotic looking notes and drawings, with arrows and things circled and whatnot, and as the pages go on it gets more organized and specific. Often times a concept will be re-written several times and more pieces come into play, as I'm gradually refining it. Then it ends with a final page once the concept is finished and polished. Then it starts over.

Daecon

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2015, 12:14:19 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;179447
Initially (i.e. the late 1940's) it was the title of a book of collected rituals used by covens of initiated Wiccans, and the personal copies of this book hand-written by those initiated into a Wiccan coven.

In the 1980's, it became the designation of a ritual notebook of non-initiated eclectic solitary Wiccans. Later, the title began to float around in the pagan community as the designation for ritual notebook or diary in general, even outside the two forms of Wicca.

 
I should note here, that some Traditions differentiate between the book of rituals belonging to the coven as a whole, and the magical journal owned by each individual member.  When there is a difference, the latter is often termed "The book of Moons."  (or alternatively, "Mirrors.")  Each member may or may not have a copy of the BoS but the contents do not vary.  The BoM, though, is more personal.

Kraken

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2015, 08:42:26 am »
Quote from: Daecon;179672
I should note here, that some Traditions differentiate between the book of rituals belonging to the coven as a whole, and the magical journal owned by each individual member.  When there is a difference, the latter is often termed "The book of Moons."  (or alternatively, "Mirrors.")  Each member may or may not have a copy of the BoS but the contents do not vary.  The BoM, though, is more personal.

 
Ooh, a Book of Moons sounds really interesting too...what's the difference?
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Emma Eldritch

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2015, 09:57:01 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;179410
What is it and why might I want one? What does yours look like?

 
I think others have already explained what one is quite well.

As for myself, I always keep a magical diary where I can record my experiments and their outcomes. For that I use regular notebooks, although I am partial to ones that are spiral bound.

I also have a fancy book that I'm (very) slowly recording the rituals I use most often in. It's leatherbound, and I write in it with better penmanship than my usual hideous scrawl. I'm dong this so that I can have all my favourite and most useful bits in one place, and I picked a fancy book simply because it looks cool. I'm a fan of things that look cool.

Daecon

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2015, 10:21:01 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;179715
Ooh, a Book of Moons sounds really interesting too...what's the difference?

 
Mostly one of emphasis.  When there is a difference, the BoS will detail the religious rituals of the coven, the specific liturgy, for example, or the quarter calling for each esbat.  The BoM, however, will contain spells that the individual has learned, results of experiments or research, tables of correspondences, symbols and their meanings, etc.  

The emphasis, then, is more on magick than religion. If the BoS is a Bible, the BoM is a notebook.  This is why the BoS is relatively stable.  It's part of the identity of the Coven.  It might be added to, but it evolves fairly slowly.  The BoM could change on a monthly or even daily basis, especially after its owner's attendance at some festival or conference.

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Re: Book of Shadows
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2015, 09:33:39 am »
Quote from: Kraken;179410
What is it and why might I want one? What does yours look like?

 
I have quite a lot of books I keep stuff in.  I started my (very eclectic) path in the 90's, and BOS was definitely the go-to term, and I have two main books that I consider to be BOS's (one is a 3ring binder with a cloth cover, the other a smaller leather bound book for traveling).  Both of these I consider more personal reference books:  they have information that I have collected over the years.

I also have a whole slew of notebooks, from nice and fancy to spiral bound or composition books.  I jot down anything and everything that I can get my hands on that is remotely interesting.  I tend to not have the greatest memory, and I used to always find something I thought neat and figure I'd remember it...then forgot half of the details and couldn't find the source, so now I just write everything down.  I also have a huge folder on my computer of things I've clipped from the net for the same purpose.

I also try to take notes when I do divination, so that I can refer back to it.  This year, I started jotting down my daily rune draw in a little planner:  using the 'year at a glance' part to write the rune, while using the month by month pages for other simple reflections and thoughts.  It's working out pretty well (I'm not always that great at my notations, I've managed pretty well with the runes, but not so well with writing something else down for every day).
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