The Witch’s Journal

This post is not only about the written private journal of a witch/wiccan/neo-pagan but also about the other options that one may choose.


The book of Shadows, or grimoire, is a popular item owned by witches to keep a record of what they do and how their spells and witch crafts are coming on. They are often decorated with pagan symbols or images and usually rather a large and hefty notebook. The most sought after are usually leather bound, parchment note books with pentacles on the front – as the pentacle is the single most popular symbol among wiccans. The pentacle can be used in protection wards. Some may also have the triple moon, triquetra or triskel- which are symbols of strength, feminine magic and/or witchcraft.


The things that go in to your Book of Shadows can be anything related to the craft. Not only do I put my spells in mine, but I have a map of my herb garden, a record of all experimental bits and bobs I do, every tarot or tea leaf reading I do, changes or progress is recorded et c. One thing people often put in is also a record of their dreams and interpretations. Some people however choose to put them in a separate book. My Dream Diary has a tree of life on the front and my sister’s had a Pegasus. Dreams can be recorded as a means of divination or just a record of thoughts. I’m rather sceptical of its uses as a divination tool but I do believe your dreams can tell you what’s bothering you at the moment – which can have implications to spells you make.


Other options for Books of Shadows are files or computer documents. Both of these allow more freedom for fitting pictures and extra pages in, as well as moving around or amending some entries. However files eventually become hard to manage and computer documents can be lost and it’s hard to have your computer/laptop there as you do a spell or divination… although some Books of Shadows can be much larger than a laptop!


The Book of Shadows is something usually kept to yourself or at least only shown to members of the coven, so it’s a very private diary. This is where it clearly differs from the Blog of Shadows (basically this here is a Blog of Shadows). In a Blog of Shadows you can post up information about what you do as well as the spells you’ve written and some of your experiences but your Book of Shadows, in whatever form it takes, holds the personal reasons as to why you did those spells and a deeper understanding of how some of your crafts effect you. For instance, if you did a spell that helped you get over some stuff that was holding you back you could put it up on your Blog and describe it as a ‘cutting all ties’ spell or a ‘letting go’ spell but only in your personal records should you really say that you were trying to let go of a deep unsettling trauma from your childhood or something. The same goes for tarot readings or divination, this blog may contain some ‘How to’s in divination but I won’t go ahead and say what my last reading told me. You should also respect other people’s privacy, and not share what you read in someone else’s.


Some Books of Shadows are considered such private matters that they are written in code or secret languages. Some historians think that this is where the ‘eye of newt’ idea came from, simply a witch’s code. I write many of my entries in Welsh (mostly because I’m ashamed of my dirty dreams!!! XD just kidding), knowing that members of my coven will one day take a look at a couple of things that aren’t too private and I still want to maintain some privacy regarding other things.


Things that may turn up in your Blog of Shadows but not necessarily in your Book of Shadows may include more in depth explanations of symbols and tools. You probably won’t go into much detail in your Book of Shadows, because you already know why you’re using a certain symbol in a certain spell – though a few words saying ‘Pentacle for protection’, ‘Rose quartz for love’ or ‘Chamomile for peace’ might be good. For instance I don’t have it written in my Book of shadows what I use a Book of Shadows for, or what a hedgewitch and high priestess is. 🙂


Anyway, that’s all I have to say about Books of Shadows, or the witch’s journal.


Blessed Be




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. witchingwildwood
    May 10, 2012 @ 18:50:41

    Well said! I agree, once I realized that my BoS needed to be for my eyes only it began to flow nicely and have more personal meaning for me so that if I simply opened up a page the energy needed would come on first glance.


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