We’re taking a look at what are the essential tools for witchcraft. First up, we’ll be talking about journals. No, not your high school diary with the little lock and your secret crush/es, we’re talking magick journals. Still full of secrets, but of a much more fulfilling kind 😉
THE BOOK OF SHADOWS
The first thing on a new witch’s list should be a Book of Shadows (BOS) – your personal ‘spell book’.
This is a highly personal collection of everything relating to your practice and craft.
Physical Book of Shadows
You may want to keep a physical book, which you spend time decorating and writing in as a part of your practice. The benefit of the physical BOS is the personal energy imprinted into your records as you grow your knowledge. It also has the added power of being traditional. Traditions carry power in and of themselves, from the lineage of energetic vibrations accrued through repetition.
Digital Book of Shadows
You can also keep a digital Book of Shadows, which would be a collection of documents, images and files. The benefit of the digital BOS is that you can have it on your phone or laptop where ever you go. Its free and relatively less time consuming to add to. There are many modern witches out there nowadays who feel that digital is the way of the future, and there are urban witchery lines to explore if this appeals to you.
Printed Books Called “BOS”
Ok, so you might be wondering why you’ve seen books out there that call themselves a “Book of Shadows”, if a BOS is meant to be a *personal* collection of magick.
Well, some people are drawn to share their work, to help young witches coming up.
One would say in the old days that generally witches would be born to a lineage with a mother or grandmother who walked the path, or be taken in by the village/tribe wise woman for training.
In this way there was knowledge passed down from elder to younger. The younger, eventually taking over from the elder, would continue to learn and grow the knowledge, before she too become the elder to the younger coming in.
We don’t have that link anymore, and witches who volunteer their book of knowledge do so to share what they can in this spirit of legacy.
Purchasing a printed BOS can definitely help you grow your own knowledge, but in no way can it replace your personal BOS. Your BOS gets filled as you progress on your path. As you learn, as you practice, as you find what works for you and what doesn’t, what resonates and what doesn’t fit, etc.
As you follow your path, you’ll begin to fill out your spiritual beliefs, what you feel in your heart and how you see the world and beyond. You’ll write your own spells, make your own sigils, celebrate the turning of the wheel with customized rituals and personal traditions, and come up with unique herbal concoctions for flu or heartbreak. All of these things can be recorded in your Book of Shadows.
A Dream Book is another great tool for witchcraft.
Having a dedicated physical journal or notebook is super useful to make notes or jot down thoughts or images.
Reach for your Dream Book whenever you practice:
- Card readings
- Other forms of divination
- Vision quests
- Energy workings
- Or keep it next to the bed to record your dreams while they’re still fresh
Whenever we perform a practice which requires connection to Higher Self and/or activating the Third Eye chakra, we can receive information in the form of images, thoughts, colours, smells and so on. They might not make any sense in the moment, or they might come and go before we finish what we are busy with.
This is when the Dream Book is super useful! Always have it on you when you enter circle or sacred space, so that you can quickly flip it open and jot down whatever has come through before it flits back off into the ether – and then you can get on with whatever you’re doing.
You can choose to combine this with your Book of Shadows if you like (it’s really just personal preference). I prefer having a separate record in a book that I keep specifically with my card deck. That makes sense for me, since my card deck always comes with me when I do any kind of energy working.
A Mirror Book is like a witch’s diary.
It’s a way to chart your progress and process your experiences.
A Mirror Book can be used to document:
- Your experiences,
- Energy working / spell results,
- How you felt doing various rituals or ceremonies,
- How you called the Quarters for something specific
Again, a Mirror Book can be combined with your BOS. I generally combine mine.
SUMMARY: JOURNALS FOR WITCHCRAFT
- Book of Shadows (can be digital). The Book of Shadows is essentially a witch’s spell book. It contains your notes and saved energy workings, correspondences, rituals, ceremonies etc – everything relative to your practice & craft.
- Dream Book (recommended physical notebook). The Dream Book is a useful notebook to keep with you during meditations, dreams, vision quests, etc. Use to jot down thoughts, images and messages as they come through.
- Mirror Book (optional). The Mirror Book is a journal of your progress and experiences related to your practice & craft.