|There is a bond that builds
between scribe and scroll. A deep and abiding bond. As the scribe lays out
inner most feelings, personal accomplishments and losses and all the gray
areas in between, energy is passed from the scribe's hand or fingertips to
the page or screen. Very much like any form of magic. Energy transferred in
order that a particular task be accomplished.
Never is that link more prevalent than
when a witch writes of her/his experiences. Seeing the words on paper
causes a resurfacing of the energy that was originally gathered. Shadows
are not diaries, nor are they journals. They are an extension of the power
of the witch. They are a living source of energy. They "Become".
There is a process by which you should
begin a Book Of Shadows. Each process is, to a degree, personalized.
However, just as you consecrate or bless each of your altar items, or
perform ablutions for your rites, or decorate your temple in a particular
way specific to your path, you must also perform certain magical processes
for your book. It is a show of respect for what the book will become. It is
a sacrifice to the Lord and Lady for the opportunity to chronicle. And it
is a wondrous reminder to yourself to enhance the beginning of your time
with the book.
When you choose your Book of Shadows, do
so with three things in mind. First, do you want it small enough to hold or
place on the altar during ritual? There is nothing more annoying than
having a lovely big book with no where to put it at a vital moment. Think
about how the book will be handled and choose accordingly.
Second, make sure that you are entirely
comfortable with the look and feel of the book. If there is something about
it that bothers you, it won't go away. Wait and choose another time. Or
Third, consider the design you want the
cover to take on. The more you put into the decoration or appearance of
your book, the more of your Self resides deep within its pages. One's Book
Of Shadows should reflect the tastes and path of its scribe. Always
personalize the book. Find a way to alter its look and make it yours.
Once the book you chose has been made
yours through personalization and design, you hold a consecration and
Opening ceremony. This ritual "opens" the path between you and the book.
Between your third eye and the energy which currently resides within the
actual pulp of the tree within the pages of the book. Once this opening has
taken place, your book has become MORE than the sum of its parts. The
unseen in your book becomes a potent and tangible energy
with the scribe as the pages fill is a part of the blessed web of the
Your Opening ritual can consist of
something as simple as a meditation of gratitude, a small token of thanks
or a detailed celebration with friends and a feast. The choice is entirely
yours. It is the intent of acknowledgement to this new addition in your
magical life. Cleanse it with the four elements and offer it to the gods
for blessing. The Book of Shadows is now fully and completely a part of
If a book of shadows is begun without an
opening, it does not make the power of that book any less a source. But the
access or tapping of the source may not be as strong or clear as it could
be. The opening serves to embed deep within you a respect for the pages you
will write. A clear and complete gratitude for the ability to chronicle.
Finally, there are three things that, by
tradition, are written into your book first. In what order is again up to
your personal taste. Your craft name, a symbol of the Lord and Lady (or
single deity) as a token benediction to them, and a piece written by you.
Short or longer, this work will charge your new Book of Shadows with what
will become the guardian of your work. Word it as you would any protection
spell that comes from pure intent. Inscribe it into your book and charge it
to its task. It places a permanent "watcher" on the book.
Enjoy your Shadows and don't be afraid to
write in it. It does not have to be catalogued, subdivided or any other
organization forced on it. It can be what you want it to be. It will always
be your record of successes and questions, knowledge and feelings. It is a
part of you. It has no restrictions save those you put upon it. In essence,
it is a “tabla rosa” or blank slate where your path marks its way through
Copyright - J. Thompson