Book of Shadows & Journals

The term “Book of Shadows” is quite new. Books of Shadows can be found in popular culture, such as in Charmed and Practical Magic. In a word, a Book of Shadows is similar to a journal in which you keep track of your spiritual practice. This can contain spells, rituals, herb correspondences, and anything else related to magic.

So, where did the phrase “book of shadows” originate? The first thing to realize about this type of journal is that it is a neo-pagan word that originally appeared when Gerald Gardner founded the religion of Wicca. As a result, it was not a term utilized by witches or magicians prior to the 1940s.

Each coven would have a shared book of shadows that contained the coven’s own spells and rituals back when Wicca was primarily organized through covens. Wicca has evolved and altered significantly throughout time, and there are now far more solo Wiccans than those who belong to a coven. Individual witches are now encouraged to build their own version of a Book of Shadows, with no specific guidelines as to what should and should not be included. It’s totally up to you what you want to include, though there’s plenty of advise available online if you’re stuck for ideas.

It contains knowledge on rituals, spells, potions, oil recipes, and magical tool preparation. There are additional lists of correspondences and magical powers of plants, jewels, food, colors, and other objects. Basically, it’s where you’ll save all of your magical studies, especially spells that worked well for you.

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