Book of Shadows: A Debate & A Template

Book of Shadows: A Debate and A Template by The Witch of Howling CreekMy Book of Shadows is a work in progress. When I first started out, I had a burgundy binder with hand-dyed pages and it was rather lovely but… I hated it. It was difficult to add to, my handwriting was too large and dying the pages was extremely time-consuming. So I switched to a digital version with parchment patterned pages and a slightly over the top font that I love.

This seems to be a longstanding, ongoing debate: should a Book of Shadows be digital or does it have to be handwritten? Obviously, I think both are acceptable as I’ve had both. That being said, I often read, especially on forums where brand new-bies are posting, that a plain word document or notepad page is being used as a Book of Shadows and somehow that doesn’t quite sit right with me. I think it should be something a little more heightened than that. Does that make me a hypocritical cottage witch? Maybe. Probably. But, then, that’s the beauty of a path that lets you make a different decision on every detail!

Another Book of Shadows-related question that’s come up lately has been whether or not it is acceptable to share your book with other people. Although certain covens and traditions forbid the sharing of books, I think books (excluding personal journaling, of course) should be shared. One of the biggest obstacles the pagan and witch communities routinely face is finding a sense of community. We need to be able to talk about our craft, bounce ideas off each other and bond over mutual beliefs, even if we find that we don’t believe exactly the same things. My book is a combination of spells and ideas written entirely by myself along with ideas I adapted from other witches who were willing to share; after all, how are new witches and pagans going to find their way if no one is willing to discuss anything with them in depth?

That’s why I’ve decided to share a template based on my personal book! Attached is a word document version and a PDF version. It includes the pages I use for the Sabbats as well as the correspondence lists I’ve collected. Feel free to download it and tweak it as much as you like!

Book of Shadows PDF Template

Book of Shadows .Doc Template

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15 thoughts on “Book of Shadows: A Debate & A Template

  1. Love the post, and the promoting community thing, is why I am a fan of using blogs as a ‘book of shadows’. 🙂

  2. Whether a box is handwritten, typed, or even in blog, is a matter of personal preference. I think its totally up to the person on how they wish to keep their box, as well as whether they want to share it… that’s my two cents 🙂 Speaking of sharing, thank you so much for the downloadable template, you rock!

    1. I agree completely. our BOS-Grimoire are our own preference. there are lots of benefits to modern witches digitizing there sacred texts. One or few little cards can be kept in fire safe box and can never be lost. Bless your computer and your book is blessed. Energy is energy and it all can be tapped into. “Powers of Technology bless and protect this virtual alter and texts. As I wilt, So mote it be!!! leoparda moonwater.flogSmib

    1. Actually, I bet a box BOS would be really fun. A little box of magickal treasures! 😀 My pleasure – all of you awesome readers rock too!

  3. Thank you so much for the template! I wake up and journal entry every morning on my computer. This will be a wonderful extension of that practice. I think that is mostly what it should be about, not an issue about which format you use. Whatever comes easiest for you and helps you to keep you focused and your intention and practice alive is most important….to me anyway.

  4. Thank you so very much for this template. I have been studying for almost three years now, and still very much consider myself a newbie. I cannot share what I am or believe with my family and friends. They are very much the traditional religious southern bred folks. So anyways, having my journal and bos on the computer is much easier for me – and a big plus is that I can access it from my smartphone, tablet or laptop whenever or wherever needed! Please keep the blogs a coming. I enjoy them very much!

  5. It is a personal preference, but I’m surprised how many people still give the eyebrow raise if you say that you have your BOS on your hard drive. I love the idea of a “Practical Magic” type spellbook, but very few of us have time for that. Mine is half on-line, and half in a handful of journals. One day I’ll get it all organized…I think…

  6. I do both. A digital BOS and a paper. I design each page with chosen font and graphics, pictures, and the print it to put in my BOS. This way if I need to add on to a specific spell, or recipe, I can do so and reprint the page, thus keeping the link to the original and the ability to she the progression to what works. Additionally, quite honestly, I have horrible handwriting!

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