A book of shadow can become your best friend! It can help you improve yourself as both a person and as a witch. Let’s see what you should put in a book of shadows!
- A list of ideas for your book of shadows
A list of ideas for your book of shadows
Something about you
This will be the basis of everything you write from now on. You must talk about your beliefs and every detail of its history so that you can have a better understanding of it. In general, this part of the book is intended to be an introduction for those people who have no knowledge about this lifestyle.
If you are at an advanced level and are thinking of creating your own coven, then writing down what you practice will ensure a form of permanence in your magic as well as pique curiosity. This is especially true when your magic is based on your lifestyle, learning, and experiences.
What makes you feel connected with magic? With what kind of magic? And why? Share it all! Share your family’s history as well! The more the better!
Making it unique and secret with the witches alphabet
The Theban alphabet is the so-called “witches” alphabet.
The letters are much more cursive than runic, contain a lot of curves, and are not very suitable for engraving on hard materials like real runic alphabets, such as Ogham. The Theban alphabet is also often called “Theban Runes”.
The first information we have on the Theban alphabet is in the book by Cornelio Agrippa “Three books of Occult Philosophy” dating back to 1521. The lack of the letters U/J/W suggests that the Theban alphabet originated similarly to a Latin numeral before the 11th century. The W was introduced and it was long before the 15th century when the U and J develop.
The Theban alphabet appears to have passed to the Wiccans from successive orders to Gardner as a reinvention of the same. Today it is primarily associated with Wicca and is often referred to as “The Witches Alphabet.” The Theban alphabet has always had talismanic inscriptions and magic formulas. Many witches use it to write their names in the book of shadows.
Using another alphabet or another language in spell writing is an additional tool to concentrate, focus the objective and make the drafting of energies less tiring. We associate certain acts (such as writing with a particular alphabet) to magic, making us fall in the consonant state more easily.
When I started I learned the Theban alphabet, but today I only use it for objects that I use in spells or within the circle. Medieval witches used it to protect their writings, but today we don’t need it anymore and we can write whatever we want in our native languages.
I personally prefer not to use the Futhark alphabet. The runes are symbols of many particular power, each one contains a lot of strength and a great load of meanings, using them as an alphabet makes me feel like I’m wasting energy and trivializing these symbols.
Principles or laws
Although it is not created, magic has rules. Each group of witches has their own ruleset and it should generally go after the introductory story to serve as a reminder about what must and should not be fulfilled.
You must make clear everything that must be considered before, during, and after practicing, through what you write here will be based on the lifestyle you want to lead and the future actions that incite your initiates to join your coven. Here, you can even share lunar phases and more stuff about the right timing to cast certain spells or perform certain rituals.
In this section, you should refer to your belief in order to make others understand the meaning and differences of your gods, so that they can learn from them and from the history that each one has. This will help you to initiate new members of the coven.
Wiccan practitioners have duotheism in their origins. This means that they worship a God and a Goddess. Usually, these are called the Goddess of the Moon and the horned God. Within their beliefs, these two deities are usually those that are in the hierarchical top, attributing it to other lower ranks. But in general, there are many different deities. Once you choose your own Gods, you can dedicate some time to work on that connection you have, invoking it and writing down some important stuff for you.
This is the most useful part of the book. In this segment, we are going to establish the different relationships that exist between the magical elements that are of high priority for the user.
Knowledge of the lunar phases is essential as their eight characteristic positions have different benefits for our spells or rituals. When we refer to herbs, we must study the magical properties that each one has and what differentiates them from the others.
Stones and crystals are used as amulets and empowering objects that we can always carry in our pockets to attract a multitude of positive energies. Each crystal and stone has a specific essence; delving deeply into them will allow you to know their purposes and spiritual meanings.
The colors also have different meanings and purposes. If you keep a record of all these elements, you will have this information at your disposal quickly in the future. It is helpful for both you and anyone else who will come across your book in the future.
Herbal Remedies and Potions
An herbarium is an important part of the book of shadows. Wiccans and Wiccans have always given great importance to the use of natural remedies for any type of problem, physical or spiritual.
The rituals you decide to carry out will depend on your beliefs. You may decide to use the Sabbath Rituals; these are celebrations that are related to the solar cycles and they can indicate when a season ends or when a new one begins. There are also the Esbat Rituals that are related to the full moons of the year.
Songs and Poems
Songs and poems that you find enjoyable are great for your book of shadows. Even your poems and works will be a fantastic addition to the book.
Sabbath indicates when the new seasons and semi-seasons begin. In total there are eight important dates per year, each of which has its own name and they are the following: Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh, and Mabon. The dates are different for each of the hemispheres, so you should consult appropriate sources before celebrating them.
Esbat rituals, or openings, initiations, or closings of any degree, are rituals that will depend exclusively on you if you want to celebrate them or not, there is nothing that prevents you, but you must keep a very good schedule to make the necessary preparations. Each celebration can be as simple or complex as you wish.
If you are a prayer person, you can write prayers down in your book of shadows. You may want to talk about when you say certain prayers and if any equipment is involved, such as candles. You can write down preexistent prayers you like or you can use your book of shadows to create your own!
You can expose the secrets that you have found in the continuous practice of your magic. These are only known by the writer of the book or the members with a higher rank within the coven, mainly the priests or leaders of the group. Such secrets can only be revealed if you have the necessary level of understanding.
Using Magickal Inks
Making inks at home to empower magical spells or pentacles is easier than you think.
First, you need to get berries (even frozen), herbs, or resins of the desired color. The color of the ink will be determined by the quantity and quality (very ripe berries = very colored ink) of the plant material used.
- Red inks: strawberry, currant, laurel berries, cherries, beetroot extract
- Inks Dark red, Bordeaux: blackberries, blueberries
- Green inks: herbs, plantain
- Brown inks: coffee, licorice, paprika
- Yellow inks: saffron (yellow and orange), turmeric powder, yellow pepper
- Blue inks: elderberry
How to make them?
As for berries and herbs, they must be pounded well in a mortar and then put to macerate in small dark bottles (such as medicines). You can add a little white vinegar, alcohol for liquors, (taking care that the liquid covers the fruits or herbs, so that rot or mold does not form.) While for powders such as saffron or turmeric, it is sufficient to emulsify them well in the preservative liquid.
For at least 20 days, remember to shake the contents of each bottle daily. All the pigment will be transferred into the liquid.
At the end of the 20 days, filter or add other berries or herbs if the ink is not very intense.
If you have used alcohol at 90° to make the ink, it will keep for a long time. On the other hand, if you have used vinegar, the bottles should be kept in a cool place like the fridge.
Remember that wooden pens or goose feathers are recommended.
As you already know how to make a book of shadows, you should also write down your experience of doing so. This should be the last section of your book. Here you must make sure to place all the information, steps, results, tips, and improvements that you have made in rituals or spells.
This allows those who read your Book of Shadows to advance quickly and master this art as soon as possible. You can use this part to add your divinatory practice as well, but also your dreams and other personal experiences that connect to your magic and motivations on a deeper level.