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   Home arrow Content arrow Articles arrow Faq about Wicca, Paganism and Witchcraft   
Faq about Wicca, Paganism and Witchcraft   E-mail 
Written by Atheneris  
Tuesday, 07 September 2004
Page 7 of 15

What is the Book of Shadows? (BOS)

Traditionally, Book of Shadows is the name given to the magick and ritual journal that belongs to a tradition or coven.  It’s been protected by the high-priestess or priest and can be copied by handwriting by initiate/dedicant.  Belonging to a specific tradition, its rules, practices, ethics, informative materials, ritual forms are written on the Book of Shadows. Today, practitioners give that name to their journal and name the book they write their experiences, notes, practices and rituals, as the Book of Shadows. In Wicca, initiate is allowed to add her/his personal writings only after the copying process of the main book in handwriting. Sometimes, that part is named as “Grimoire”, and separate from the BOS.

Even though its name has interesting associations related to popular culture, these books are nothing but journals belonging to a group or a person. Their main value lies in the fact that, enriched by experience, they are unique texts documenting a person’s maturation and transformation through the teaching. In this respect they aren’t of much value to an outsider-and it is almost impossible for them to see a true copy.  There’s a belief that it should be burned with the owner when she/he is dead. (However there are exceptions. For instance Gardner’s BOS had passed on to Doreen Valiente. It has been restructured between 1954-1957 by Gardner and Valiente and has been used by Alexander Sanders who had initiated the Alexandrian tradition. In our day many traditions are based on this type of interaction. )

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 November 2004 )

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