Your Book of Shadows is probably the most personal item in all the Wiccan supplies you have. It is also one of the most essential. There are no two witches that can find the exact same things in their Book of Shadows, that’s how personalized it is. And that’s why no other person should have access to someone’s Book of Shadows.
You might have a new blank Book of Shadows and you are not sure of what to write in it. Or maybe you’re just wondering if there is something else that you should write down in your Book of Shadows that you are missing.
Of course, as personal as it is, there are no absolutes and hard rules as to what you should write in your Book of Shadows. What I am giving you here are what you SHOULD CONSIDER writing in your Book of Shadows to enrich your experience in your chosen path, the Wiccan path.
I can’t count the number people who have said that their experience is more fulfilling after looking back at the old entries they have in their Book of Shadows. Looking back on how you have grown as a witch will make you see everything with fresh eyes.
Here are the basic things you should have in your BOS. Take note that after items 2 onwards, you can add your personal touches like reflections on a spell or a Sabbat.
I think this is a given. It is yours so you better put your name in it. You can write it any way you want.
Your Tradition, Wiccan Rede
Your Book of Shadows should also state your beliefs. Are you an eclectic Wiccan? Do you follow the Alexandrian path?
The Wiccan Rede
The Wiccan Rede is what binds together all traditions. Unlike other religions with their many laws and commandments, Wiccans adhere to the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law. The Wiccan Rede is “An It Harm None, Do As Ye Will.” The Threefold Law states than anything you do will come back to you threefold.
Your choice of deities is also very personal especially when you’re a solitary practitioner. Each witch has his or her own freedom to choose the god or goddess he or she wants to believe in and connect with. Write down your deity’s name, the pantheon he or she belongs to, and what that deity means to you, etc.
Your Spells and RItuals
This covers the spells you love doing and the spells you created to spells you are looking forward to trying. Also write down your favorite rituals, the rituals you yourself created, and the rituals you are looking forward to trying. Include the ingredients so you don’t have to refer to a scrap of paper or that heavy book the next time you wanna perform a spell or ritual.
Your Sabbats and Sabbat Rituals
Write down the Sabbats and what each season means to you. Write down the rituals you like to perform during each Sabbat you mentioned. Write down how you like to decorate your altar for each Sabbat.
In your Book of Shadows, write down your herbal correspondence chart, crystal chart, and candle color correspondence chart. See, your Book of Shadows also serves as your reference material. In case your house burns down (I hope not!) and you have to rush to save something, and you could only save one item, having everything you need in your Book of Shadows saves you time and eliminates the need to save a lot of other books and notebooks that you probably won’t be able to save anyway.
Reflections, Thoughts and Experiences
Your Book of Shadows also counts as your journal or diary. How else would you see how far you have gone in your spiritual journey when you don’t have anything that shows your previous mindset and realizations? Do not hold back on pouring your thoughts and feelings out since your Book of Shadows is private and absolutely no one should have access to it.
You can buy a substitute for your candles, for your smudging bowls, for your altar patens, etc. But your Book of Shadows is not replaceable. You cannot go and buy a new one to replace a lost one and replicate everything that’s in your old one. You also cannot replicate experiences that you wrote down in your Book of Shadows.