Book of Shadows
I don’t have one. I have been on this path for 25 years or more and I still don’t have a Book of Shadows.
Because indecision may be the basis of flexibility but it is also the bane of progress. In short, I can’t decide how to organize it, and my perfectionist streak wants it to be done right, not just done.
I do know that it is going to be in a three-ring binder instead of a journal-type book. (So why do I own so many journal type books, including ones that actually say “Book of Shadows” on them? Um… Good question. Probably for the same reason that I own enough spiral bound notebooks to stock my own office supply store.)
Why a three-ring binder? So that I can organize it and find what I’m looking for, and so it has room to grow and still stay organized.
Because my non-existent Book of Shadows has grown. When I first started it was a “Manilla Folder of Shadows.” Then it was “A File Cabinet Drawer of Shadows.” Then it became a “Box of Shadows” which at least had the right initials. That, however, quickly became an “Overflowing Box of Shadows,” which grew into an “Overflowing Box of Shadows with More Scraps of Paper Crammed in Along the Edges.” And so on.
I know what sort of sections I want, and three of them are spells, prayers, and rituals, but that’s where a large part of the problem comes in: what distinguishes between the three? When does a prayer become a spell and when does a spell become a ritual and when does a ritual become a prayer?
For instance, if I make an amulet of protection, and I do it inside a circle and I ask a deity for assistance… is that a spell, a ritual, or a prayer, or all three? Which section does it belong in?
Another thing that has held me back is the fact that I have lousy handwriting. (There’s that perfectionist streak again…) That has been more or less circumvented by the existence of computers, so it isn’t really an excuse anymore, although I do really love the idea of a hand written Book of Shadows.
And at this point, I’m wondering if it is worth it to create one. So much of what I do is informal and spontaneous, not to mention second nature to me, that I wonder if I would even use one.
And yet, I still love the idea of having one, although I don’t know why. Maybe just for the creativity of it? My current plan is to use scrapbooks and make a “Scrapbook of Shadows.” (Which, of course, gives me the excuse of finding the perfect paper for each page…)
I think I’m going to make making a BoS one of my goals for next year.
If anyone reading this has one, what is in it and how is it organized? I’m open for suggestions.