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Patti Wigington

Make Your Book of Shadows

By May 31, 2012

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One of the most popular articles on About Pagan/Wiccan answers one of the most common emails I get: "How do I make a Book of Shadows?"

If you've never created your own Book of Shadows, now is a good time to start one. The BOS is where you keep all your important information -- rituals, workings, correspondences, etc. In some trads, there may be a coven Book of Shadows which is shared with initiates, but usually each individual members maintains their own BOS as well.

Because there are so many different branches of Wicca, and no central governing body, there's no one singular Book of Shadows. Be skeptical of anyone who claimes, "I have the ORIGINAL Super Secret Mystery Book of Shadows!!!" There's just no such animal.

A Book of Shadows is a great way to keep all your information at your fingertips. If you don't have one yet, you can put one together with a few basic supplies and a small investment of your time. It's worth it, if it means that you can find what you need later on without having to dig through piles of books.

  • Make Your Book of Shadows

  • It's not hard to stay organized once you get started. Remember to always cite your sources, so that if you need to backtrack later and find out where exactly you read something, you can find it easily. Even if your source is another person rather than a book or website, you can just include a footnote that says, "This section from Lady Ravenfire" or something similar. Keep in mind that your BOS is a magical tool, and should be treated accordingly.

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    November 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm
    (1) Nicole says:

    I’m working on my BOS right now, and I’m using a post-bound scrapbook album. Not only am I able to make the pages unique and fit my personality, but the style of scrapbook makes it very easy to move things around and add pages. I love it!

    November 19, 2008 at 1:19 pm
    (2) paganwiccan says:

    I have a journal-style book that I use only for rituals, but everything else I keep in a giant blue Trapper Keeper, in plastic sleeves. It’s organized, and I can move stuff around as much as I need to. My biggest problem is that after all this time, I really need a second Trapper Keeper.


    November 26, 2008 at 12:25 am
    (3) Claudine says:

    If you do use a post-bound album or a binder, using paper of varied color makes organization incredibly easy. For instance, use green for herbal information, red for spell records, yellow or gold for notes about God and silver or white for the Goddess. With all the scrapbooking paper available now, the choices are almost limitless, and your BOS will be lovely.

    January 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm
    (4) Dee says:

    this is a great help im only a teen and new to wicca so any info i can get is great you blogs are a great help to me :)

    February 18, 2009 at 1:27 am
    (5) Nearaz says:

    I am old but new at this and I am at a lost for paganism. I have been one for over 4 years now but do none of the rituals or the many other things. I need assistance with them I am going with the Greek/Egyptian goddess’s but I haven’t figured much else out. If any one can help me please email me at [email deleted]

    February 18, 2009 at 10:19 am
    (6) paganwiccan says:

    Nearaz, I’m deleting your email addy out of your post for safety reasons. Rather than just posting on the blog and asking for general help, why not put together a list of specific questions, and stop by the discussion forums?


    July 5, 2009 at 1:58 am
    (7) john says:

    i am new at this but i decided to make my book of shadows in a diary form as i go along with my everyday life…in the event that i will completely fill up the bounded book then i will write a second volume…one reason i did not organize my book is to help me memorize the spells and materials of the book or books…is this ok?

    February 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm
    (8) cassandra says:

    hay i am new and i would like a traditional bos like the leather type of bokking i would like it unque bit i dont know ho to start

    March 19, 2010 at 7:17 pm
    (9) Aquariona says:

    I just started setting up my BoS. I use a black three ring binder and put all my notes in it, separated into sections (i.e. one section for rituals, one section for spells, another section for correspondences, etc.)

    June 2, 2010 at 9:02 pm
    (10) thenecromancer246 says:

    im also using an old leather type bos,i like old fashion spells and rituals,so i figured it would go better with a leather journal(and i like the looks of them)and to kind of answer your question cassandra i would suggest going to barnes and nobles,they have alot of neat journals and diarys,even some specially made for magick reasons.anyway,with my bos’s,i almost made mine into actual books,starting off with simpler more common spells that anyone can do,a.k.a mainly chants,and no im not speaking of anything like harry potter,and other beginner things,and as i move on with each one i make them a bit more complicated.that way,not only can I look back if i have to,but i can also hang on to them for when and if i get an apprentice(i have almost 20 nephews and neices,so i figured at least one of them would be interested)and if your wondering,the reason why i put this name instead of my name or my witches name is because this is the name of my youtube account,and i may be posting videos to help out new witches and what-not

    September 10, 2010 at 8:53 am
    (11) Kronalie says:

    Thanks for the all the help!!! ;)

    September 10, 2012 at 12:24 am
    (12) sky says:

    I am just a bigginer wiccan but i have made my book of shadows out of an old 5 subject notebook. But i was wondering if any one cantell me if the book of shadows can leave the house?

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