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Book of Shadows

Updated on April 8, 2015

Book of shadows


The Book of shadows pretty much a staple for every modern day wicca, but has it always been that way? There are conflicting arguments concerning the origin of the book of shadows, some believe the first witches didn't know how to write and didn't have there own books, preferring instead to past down knowledge from word of mouth, some believe that once the book of shadows came into existence there were written in code to avoid possible prosecution, some believe that the book of shadows has only been used, and popularized with the Gardnerian tradition of the craft. Whatever your position on this matter, I'm sure you'll agreed having a book of shadows is now a must have. I don't know any wicca worth their salt who doesn't have a book of shadows.

Book of Shadows Page Summary:

  • What is a book of shadow?
  • Blessing and protecting your book.
  • Organizing is the key to managing sections.
  • Start out fresh every year with a new book.
  • What can I use has a book of Shadow?
  • Suggested sections for your book of shadow

What is a book of shadow?

A book of shadows is best described as a book used by wicca and neopagans alike. Various uses of this book includes spells, recipes, and also it acts as a journal for some. The many uses for these can be as vast has your imagination. It is not uncommon for wiccas to have one or more of books, each having its on separate category. The importance of book of shadows varies from wiccans to wiccans, some use it to have a written connection of our craft that can be pasted on from generation to generation, some like to keep a personal record of what we learned and accomplished. A book of shadows serves many uses to us all. Many would agree it is a great way to keep and store vital information at ones finger tips.

Blessing and protecting your book.

As you all know is is very important to have your book of shadows blessed, and protected prior to using it. You can easily find blessing and protection spells in books, the internet ,or can you come with your own. Most novice wiccans, prefer to make there own blessing and protection spells, just for that added personal touch. Adding your own blessing and protection spells to your book of shadows, really give it that personalized feeling you can't get from copying a generic blessing,or protection spell from elsewhere. Perhaps the most important thing to do when making a books of shadows is to bless it and protected it. Sometimes this may be overlooked by some of us wiccans.

Have your Books Organized in Sections


Organizing is the key to managing sections.

Organization of your book is also a key factor to consider. Many of us start out just writing in our books as we gather knowledge, soon to find out that everything is in disorder. This is a common mistake made by many beginners and novice alike. It is difficult to plan and organize your first book of shadows, you don't know how many pages your going to need for a certain subject, and you don't want leaves any blank pages between subjects. Most wiccans prefer having more than one book of shadows for different categories. I would recommend having one for rituals, one for spells,and one to use as a journal. Adding more as needed. Having an organized book of shadow is key to find things quickly. Most of you making your first book of shadows will see the difficulty in keeping things organized well.

Start out fresh every year with a new book.

Once you have made your first book and are happy and content with all the necessary things a beginners Wiccans should know. I would recommend making a new book a the beginning of every year. This book will act more as a journal than anything else. Having the knowledge of your craft is important. But also recording your thoughts, feelings, and progress of your path is just as important. Having a fresh book of shadows every year is good way to keep track of your progress, and also might be something you may want to share, if you are planning to have a son or daughter follow in your footsteps.

Make your Own Book Of Shadows


What can I use has a book of Shadow?

What can I use for a book of shadows? This is a question that plagues most beginner wiccans.there is the sense that when you are starting out every thing has got to be perfect, and all items have to be store bought. The fear of not having so, will make me look ridiculous, or that is that it might make you look less worthy in someone else eyes. This is not the case. So what can I use? There are a few options:

Option 1:

You can use store bought spiral books, binder, or even duo tangs. Pages inside can be hand writing copied or printed. While having everything hand written in my own humble opinion makes your book feel more personal, many of us don't have to time or penmanship to achieve this and prefer to have pages photocopied or printed. Some of us prefer to have important things in binders so that you can easily take out the rituals or pages that you are going to use for that day.

Option 2:

More and More wiccans are going digital. Meaning it is not uncommon to find book of shadows on computers, laptops, and even tablets. Having everything on file in a digital format make it easier to retrieve, as well as to organize. While not everyone will be in favor of doing this, I certain has its merrits. I would not be surprised if this becomes an accepted occurrence given the day and age we live in. Having your book of shadows on a tablet, to me can be a better approach than having to rummage through a binder looking for that piece of info you need.

Option 3:

While having spiral books, or binders for a book of shadow is fine for most of us in the beginning,we soon find ourselves wanting for something more authentic looking. There in comes the need to make our own realistic looking book of shadows. Luckily with a little bit of researching on youtube, this can possibly be done depending on our level of craftsmanship. I have included a video down below that gives an excellent tutorial on how to decorate the inside of your book of shadows. There is something rewarding for those of us who have made the effort to make a book of shadows look and feel as real, and as personal as we can make it.

Suggested sections for your book of shadow:

Here are a few suggested sections for your first book of shadows that you may want to included. This is by no means a complete or mandatory list of subjects you must have, with the exception of the first two. All subjects can be made to change as per your need and preferences.

Wiccan Rede

A staple in all book of shadows make sure yours is included.

Blessing and Protection

Also a staple in all books. Find one in books, online, or make on for that added personal touch.

Gods and Goddesses

a list of deities pertaining to your chosen path.

Spells and Incantations

This section can include spells, prayers, incantations, cantrips and the like.

Rituals and Ceremonies

may include self-initiation ceremony, all ceremonies from the wheel of the year, and full moon rituals.

Herbs and Potions

may include a list of herb and their functions as well as potions and powders.


a list of all symbols include wiccan and pagan symbols and their meanings.


a list of all crystals and their properties.


a list of candles their colors an attributes.


A list of recipes not just magical one, but ones for ceremonies as well.

This Video will Show You a Great Tutorial on How To Decorate Your Book of Shadows

Final Thoughs

These days having a book of shadows is almost a prerequisite to being a wiccan. Whether you chose to purchase, or decide to make your own book of shadows, the importance is that you have one and are using effectively. Keeping a well organize book of shadows will ensure less frustration when wanting to look up some important tidbit of information. Although there is no harm to adding a certain touch to your book of shadow. Having a book that you made for yourself certainly makes you feel more rooted in your path to witchcraft.

Book of Shadows

Is your Book of Shadow Store Bought or Hand Made?

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Blessed Be! Please Leave a Comment!

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    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      4 years ago

      Good article. I love my BOS, it's such a major part of my life. I don't start a new one every year, but I do remove journal entries and comments and transfer them to other folders-- after 25 years of keeping it, those kinds of things can make the book quite thick. But I like to keep it right on the altar when doing rituals to refer to it.


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