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Author Topic: Must you be Wiccan to have a Book Of Shadows?  (Read 5184 times)
Elicia
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« Topic Start: July 23, 2009, 04:28:16 am »

I am learning to become an eclectic, non-religious witch. I use magick only to attempt to use my psychic energy to create good for myself and those around me. I do not worship Gods, Godesses, or even walk a spiritual path. I am simply trying to harness energies of the mind for doing good.

I would like to have a journal to keep my spells in, and where I can write new spells.

I was just wondering if having a Book Of Shadows is strictly something that Wiccans do, or if other types of witches do as well.

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« Reply #1: July 23, 2009, 07:15:11 am »

I was just wondering if having a Book Of Shadows is strictly something that Wiccans do, or if other types of witches do as well.

When I first began studying Wicca, I created a BoS.  I'm now on a more eclectic pagan path, and still use it, but not strictly as a BoS(I've maintained all the information from my studies).  I don't see why you couldn't create one, maybe calling it a Grimoire instead.

There are a few other topic threads here, on the BoS.  Have you tried the search button?
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« Reply #2: July 23, 2009, 07:19:11 am »

I am learning to become an eclectic, non-religious witch. I use magick only to attempt to use my psychic energy to create good for myself and those around me. I do not worship Gods, Godesses, or even walk a spiritual path. I am simply trying to harness energies of the mind for doing good.

I would like to have a journal to keep my spells in, and where I can write new spells.

I was just wondering if having a Book Of Shadows is strictly something that Wiccans do, or if other types of witches do as well.



I'm an Eclectic Pagan Witch and I keep a BOS. I think what you have to remember is its basically a journal, I dont think that the actual name "Book of Shadows" is strictly a Wiccan concept anyway.

The path that your on is your own, choose to walk along it how you wish, if you want to keep a BOS, then keep one, its your decision to make. If your not comfortable calling it a BOS for whatever reason, just call it your journal or whatever you choose.
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« Reply #3: July 23, 2009, 07:21:25 am »

I am learning to become an eclectic, non-religious witch. I use magick only to attempt to use my psychic energy to create good for myself and those around me. I do not worship Gods, Godesses, or even walk a spiritual path. I am simply trying to harness energies of the mind for doing good.

I would like to have a journal to keep my spells in, and where I can write new spells.

I was just wondering if having a Book Of Shadows is strictly something that Wiccans do, or if other types of witches do as well.



The spellbook is a personal matter..... each witch or group keeps...... and is not confined to any one path.  The Book of Shadows is a way to record the work that you do, spells and rituals that have worked well for you, certain energies felt or seen.... tis as you hinted, a journal to help you on and record your path.

I have found that within the vast realm of paganism..... and as an ecclectic, there is so much that is interchangable, you take what sparks with you, and run with it.  You say you are "learning" to become ecclectic, so in my mind..... what you should learn is exactly what you believe and feel in your heart, mind, and soul.  I found that when it comes to my faith, there is no one way to describe it.... and tis honestly a mix of so many other views and paths mixed together, that I can debate with anyone.....lol....

I would say that it is quite imperative to keep a journal, spellbook, Book of Shadows, Grimoire, ie........ for me it has been a wonderful companion through the years
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« Reply #4: July 23, 2009, 09:20:49 am »

I am learning to become an eclectic, non-religious witch. I use magick only to attempt to use my psychic energy to create good for myself and those around me. I do not worship Gods, Godesses, or even walk a spiritual path. I am simply trying to harness energies of the mind for doing good.

I would like to have a journal to keep my spells in, and where I can write new spells.

I was just wondering if having a Book Of Shadows is strictly something that Wiccans do, or if other types of witches do as well.




It's not something specific to Wiccans.  Or any other religion for that matter.  When it comes right down to it, a BOS is really just a journal.  Sure, what it contains is what's most important, but to me, it's more a journal of your own journey.  Point is, if you want to keep a BOS, keep one.  There is no law anywhere that states they are the strict and exclusive property to one particular group. 
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« Reply #5: July 23, 2009, 06:32:24 pm »



For the record, I'm not one of the people who thinks that we can call ourselves what ever we like. Words have meanings and redefining them will ye nil ye waters down their power and usefulness IMHO. As far as I have been able to find out the term Book of Shadows has its origin as a Wiccan term and has only recently been used outside of that context. It seems to have had no relevant history before its use in Wicca.

Given what you've said about your beliefs and practice, I'd suggest using a more generic term. Grimoire is probably accurate if you like the sound of it, or you could go for something descriptive like Craft Journal.
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« Reply #6: July 23, 2009, 06:51:01 pm »

As far as I have been able to find out the term Book of Shadows has its origin as a Wiccan term and has only recently been used outside of that context. It seems to have had no relevant history before its use in Wicca.
I was going to dispute that, but then I realized, no, you're quite right:  no relevant history.

As far as the recentness of usage outside a Wiccan context:  it's been used in Wiccish neoPaganism, and in neoPagan religious Witchcraft of various flavors, for about as long as there's been Wiccishness.  My guess is that you were including that as in-context, and using "Wiccan" in its broader meaning, but I think it's a good idea to explicitly note when the broader sense is being used.

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« Reply #7: July 23, 2009, 08:24:12 pm »

I was going to dispute that, but then I realized, no, you're quite right:  no relevant history.

As far as the recentness of usage outside a Wiccan context:  it's been used in Wiccish neoPaganism, and in neoPagan religious Witchcraft of various flavors, for about as long as there's been Wiccishness.  My guess is that you were including that as in-context, and using "Wiccan" in its broader meaning, but I think it's a good idea to explicitly note when the broader sense is being used.

A good point well made Smiley

What I meant by no relevant history is that Doreen Valiente has claimed that Gardner's naming of his personal grimoire as a Book of Shadows resulted from seeing an advertisement for a book of his, displayed opposite and advertisement for a book of purported esoteric wisdom of that name. I haven't been able to find any earlier reference to a grimoire (or craft journal) being called by that name (although its simple utility suggests an undocumented history).

I agree that it is important to draw the distinction between different usages of the word Wicca, including identifying when it is being used as a casual descriptor (in much the way people talk about 'Christians' without specifying denomination), as was the case here. Words have power and using them casually and without due consideration dilutes that power IMHO.

Apart from anything else, I am firmly in the camp that adds 'neo-' to anything not BTW, so it behooves me to strengthen that use of the name by making other usages clear Smiley
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« Reply #8: July 23, 2009, 09:00:24 pm »


I'm liking the grimoire suggestion, but...

To be practical, you could just call it a journal.
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« Reply #9: July 23, 2009, 10:04:25 pm »

I am learning to become an eclectic, non-religious witch. I use magick only to attempt to use my psychic energy to create good for myself and those around me. I do not worship Gods, Godesses, or even walk a spiritual path. I am simply trying to harness energies of the mind for doing good.

I would like to have a journal to keep my spells in, and where I can write new spells.

I was just wondering if having a Book Of Shadows is strictly something that Wiccans do, or if other types of witches do as well.



I think that the others have covered this topic very well.  You can call your book whatever you like, and you don't have to be Wiccan to keep a grimoire/etc.  I keep one and it's a mixture of a reference book and a spell/ritual record. 
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« Reply #10: August 07, 2009, 12:09:49 pm »

I am learning to become an eclectic, non-religious witch. I use magick only to attempt to use my psychic energy to create good for myself and those around me. I do not worship Gods, Godesses, or even walk a spiritual path. I am simply trying to harness energies of the mind for doing good.

I would like to have a journal to keep my spells in, and where I can write new spells.

I was just wondering if having a Book Of Shadows is strictly something that Wiccans do, or if other types of witches do as well.


I'm Kemetic, and I have a BoS. Granted, I started it when I was learning Wicca, but I still add to it on occasion. The BoS is for storing your information in a handy dandy source, and isn't religion specific. So I'd say to go for it.
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