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How to Create Your Own Book of Shadows

Learn how to document your spiritual journey like a proper witch

What is a Book of Shadows?

A book of shadows, also known as a grimoire, is a personal compilation of spells, thoughts and feelings gathered by wizards and witches. As a collection of knowledge, the book of shadows was passed down from generation to generation of witches and warlocks. Sometimes, the book was burnt after the death of its owner to protect its secrets.

Today, the book of shadows has become a personal diary for magic interests. Invocations, rituals, dreams and recipes for various potions are included in the book. It is just the perfect place to store your love spells.

The book is ideal for keeping secret notes. There is no right or wrong way to fashion your book, as it is highly subjective to your taste. However, there are a few traditional guidelines to help start you out. If you feel an urge to add or ignore a certain feature in order to make it more personal, then follow your instincts.

You can collect your spells in a leather-bound book or in a simple three-ring binder from a local stationery store. Some diehard traditionalists get creative and use scrolls or calf skin journals to hold their etchings or writings. It may be more practical to use a binder so that written spells can be removed from the binder to perform them, and some can be added or deleted in time.

Floating book and smoke
You can collect your spells in a leather-bound book or in a simple three-ring binder from a local stationery store | Getty Images

On the inside cover, it is customary to inscribe a book dedication to someone or something. You can simply declare the book to whichever Deity inspires you in your search for truth. You can proclaim that your intentions are honorable, and you will work against none.

One meaningful aspect about keeping a book of shadows is to write it by hand. It helps witches to better absorb the details of their spells. Some traditional books of shadows were actually written in code.

The content

To start you off and to get you into the mood, write down the research and history of your journey. Give details of your adventure: why you started, who influenced you, what you noticed, and so on. Include your thoughts on color, moon phases, astrological signs, symbols, and describe the set-up of your altar.

Partition your book of shadows into sections if you wish. For example, a section can hold your spells, while another can be for your potions and recipes (for documenting the cakes and ale and other ingredients of your potions). A third part could contain the historical information and studies of lore.

When casting your spells, keep track of the ingredients in your potions, the phase of the moon, the time of day, and other factors that will affect your spell. Once the spell has been cast, write in the result and any improvements you might want to include.

The chapter on spells

It is important to cast your spells with the best intentions in mind. Spells to improve your beauty or to find your true love are the most common and the least interfering. Casting a spell with the intention of making someone you hardly know fall in love with you, or eliminating barriers that currently exist between the two of you, can result in bad karma.

Witch casting a love spell with a red heart in her hands
Love spells should be cast with care and their purpose chosen wisely | Getty Images

Love spells should be cast with care and their purpose chosen wisely. They work best when you cast them yourself, and not through another witch. The power is stronger coming from the conjurer.

Love spells are intricate and difficult to comprehend, but can be best described as phenomena associated with a certain part of the brain ‘related to love’. It triggers chemicals and networks the energy. The comprehension of why love spells can work for people is so elaborate, that it could be a paper in itself. The network of energy is all connected. The energy around your body is the world you live in and what you picked a "love spell" to change.

Your book of shadows will flourish with you as you continue studying and learning about magic. Whether you decide to share it and pass it on to others, or choose to keep it for your eyes only, is entirely up to you.