My 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!