Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Book of Shadows

What is the Book of Shadows?

Essentially it is your magical diary. You can keep such things as lore and lessons, reference material (stones, herbs, and other correspondences), recipes for oils and other potions, spells, rituals, prayers and incantations, even dreams.

Dedicating a Book of Shadows is not complicated.
Start by either making your own book or personalizing one you have purchased. At your altar, you want to cast circle, call quarters, and invoke whichever divine you are comfortable working with. Purify the book with salt or purification incense (like sage or frankincense or rosemary). Bless the book by the four/five elements (earth, air, fire, water, and spirit). Consecrate it by blessing it in the name of your gods and with such things as holy water or blessing oil. Select a pen or quill of your choice and an ink (we recommend Dragon's Blood Ink or Ink of Jupiter). Write onto the first page a Book Blessing declaring the purpose and intent of this book. This is the actual Dedication part of the ritual. You complete the dedication by signing the book with your personal sigil or signature and then bind the book to you. Some will imprint it with a drop of their own blood or add a lock of their own hair. The last step is to add in some form of protection. Anoint a silk cloth with protection oil and wrap your book of shadows in it.

You might have more than one Book of Shadows or simply one that contains all that you do.

A coven will have one that is specific to the coven with all its unique traditions and practices. Initiates copy direct from this as they learn. This is often how a tradition is passed down in writing supplemented by the guidance and teaching of mentors in the coven.

Sometimes Books of Shadows vary according to theme: Spellcrafting, Rituals, Celtic lore, Healing, Dream work, Divination, Poetry, Insights from Asian Philosophies, Teaching of the Yogis, Norse lore, Voodoo & the Loas.

Whatever your theme or practice, there is a book out there for you to record all you learn and do.

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