There is not one universal way how to create your Book of Shadows. Every witch or Wiccan should make their own Book of Shadows just the way they feel comfortable to. A Book of Shadows (commonly abbreviated as BoS or BOS) is a personal sacred tool containing texts relevant to the craft and do know that the following four ways presented are only suggestions (especially meant to help new witches, Wiccans or pagans) how to make one.
But before that, let us first talk about what should a witch have in her/his Book of Shadows. This completely up to you. Write in your Book of Shadows the texts your feel are important and will need during your practise of the craft. Decide, whether you will have a separate book as a Mirror Book (for your dreams, feelings, experience etc.) or just a seperate section for your dreams in your Book of Shadows. To give you a feeling what an average Book of Shadows ought to consist of, here is a table of contents:
♦ the first page: the title, e.g. Book of Shadows, «Your Magical Name»’s Grimoire or any other title you would find suitable, and the year of the Book’s creation (you can use Roman numerals, if you want; 2012 = MMXII).
♦ The Wiccan Rede or The Witches Creed
♦ the dedication of your Book of Shadows
♦ altar tools and layout
♦ circle-casting and releasing
♦ deities of your tradition
♦ spells, potions and rituals
♦ herbalism and herbal remedies & Chakras
♦ symbols, sigils and magical alphabets (e.g. Theban)
♦ crystals, stones and gems
♦ the moon cycle & Esbats with full moon rituals
♦ Sabbats with rituals
♦ divination (Tarot, pendulum, palm reading etc.)
♦ candle magic
1. Having an ‘eBook of Shadows’
We live in the Digital Age (from 1990s onwards). Almost everything is becoming digitalised. So why should not also we, Witches, become more modernised? If you are planning on keeping your Book of Shadows on your computer, it is good to know the following:
♦ While this is very a eco-friendly method (not using any paper), it is advisable to have a copy of all of your files. Should your computer get lost or infected with a virus, you may not be able to retrieve your valuable documents.
♦ If you are using a shared computer, you may not feel comfortable someone finding and reading your Book’s pages (especially if you are still ‘in the broom closet’). Secure your documents with a password that must be entered upon opening the document.
♦ While an ‘eBook of Shadows’ has lots of advantages — being able to edit your documents countless of times, use nice fonts and print your content —, having a computer while performing a ritual is rather impractical. However, if you are going to have a computer present during your rite, investing into a small laptop (a netbook) or a tablet would be a good idea — they are practical due to small size.
2. A Binder
Another popular way to keep your Book of Shadows, is to use a binder. A binder enables you to organise your pages in the exact order you want them to be. Here are some pros and cons of this method:
♦ Your pages can easily be torn out, so be careful when leafing through your Book of Shadows; use a sheet protector to secure your pages from tearing or getting smudges or candle wax.
♦ Keep organised. Divide your pages into sections, based on usage: spells, herbs, rituals, deities etc. — a binder really makes your organising much easier.
3. A Notebook
If you do not feel like having an ‘eBook of Shadows’ or a binder, use a notebook. Having a notebook is, indeed, very practical. The only disadvantage is that when your notebook if full, you will have to get another one. Plus, you cannot rearrange the Book’s pages as you can having a binder, so leave some extra blank sheets of paper for some future entries. The charm of using a notebook as your Book of Shadows is that, when it is full (and includes everything you wanted to write in it), it looks like a real book. Before you buy your notebook, choose carefully: make sure you like the cover and do not buy a cheap one (they usually have very thin paper that is easy to see through), so that in the middle of the process of making of your Book of Shadows, you will not regret you have not chosen another one.
4. A Handmade Book of Shadows
If you are very creative and have enough time, you can make a Book of Shadows that is completely handmade. There are hundreds of articles about how to handmade a book all over the internet. Here is a how-to for creating a book’s cover.