Written By Francine Weagle
I’ve had my book of shadows for over ten years and, until recently, have written a mere thirteen (seriously, I counted) pages in the book. Recently, artist, author and founder of the Savannah Pagan Magickal Alliance, Abigail Wildes, started a book of shadows inspiration stationery box subscription. My friend Katia went bonkers for the subscription.
I didn’t think much of it until one night she wanted to have a crafting night via Skype. She worked on her book of shadows, and I worked on my bullet journal. We shared YouTube video inspiration from Molly Roberts to Srushti Patil. She would ask my advice on page ideas and show me her supplies arranged how she wanted to use them. Well, her enthusiasm gave me the bug, and now I am finally inspired to create my book of shadows.
It’s not that I didn’t know what to put into it. I didn’t like the idea of writing all those boring pages of text. I’m a writer and a full-time student. I don’t need another writing project. My life is chock full of writing projects. I need fun.
Until I saw what Molly Roberts and Katia do with their book of shadows, I didn’t realize how fun and inspiring creating a book of shadows is. Your book does not have to be a textbook. There’s quite a bit of magick and a ton of fun when you get creatively crafty and artistic when you create your pages. Here are some of my favorite ideas.
From Molly Roberts to Abigail Wildes, I have seen a page after page of interest created by using more than one form of crafting or art on your pages. Molly’s pages are like chaos embraced with painting and collage over text. Abigail has cleaner pages that include stamping, paint, cutouts, gorgeous calligraphy and unique inserts. There’s a sense of uniqueness in what each person uses to create interest in their pages.
In the above image, Abigail used paint, stationery, calligraphy, doodles and a folded paper pullout to add interest to her page. Pages like this are snowflakes. No two will ever be the same. It is exclusively yours.
In Molly’s book of shadows, she paints or glues paper over her writing. My friend Katia uses ink that blends into the paper’s background. I like this because it’s reminiscent of when witches were careful to not get caught. It was important to hide their practice in order to survive. It’s a tip of the hat to practitioners of old to create hidden messages and spells. The writer will know what they’ve written, but it will be difficult for others to read.
I am by no means an artist, and you don’t need to be one either. There are plenty of YouTube videos and drawing tutorials you can find on Google Image. These pops of art can add interest to pages that are text heavy.
If you love an image but aren’t sure you can recreate it, print it out, cut it out and paste it in your book. It’s your book if this is what you want, do it. You can also cut pages out of the Witches Almanac or use old tarot or oracle cards. These items already have magickal purposes, so they’re a brilliant idea.
You have a lot to write, but you don’t want to overwhelm your page with text. Put pockets on your page. Pockets enable you to write your words on a separate paper, fold the paper and store a lot of information on a visually attractive page.
The one thing I love about having a stationery box is having paper choices. Different colors, textures and designs produce interest and a desire to touch the page. Cut, paste and juxtapose different papers over each other or place them around the page.
If you can’t find a paper you like, consider making one. I’m not talking about recycling and remaking your own paper (unless that is what you’re into). I hate crooked lines when I write. When making my moon oil recipe pages I wanted clean lines without wasting time lightly drawing lines with a ruler only to erase the lines when I was done writing my recipes. Instead, I used paper from a to do list pad and burned the edges. My friend, Katia, bakes her own tea-stained paper. There are plenty of ideas you can come up with to create paper finishes you love.
Further interest is added by using crafting accent items such as washi, ribbon, stickers and other accent pieces. I have seen fabric flowers, gold leaf and buttons sewed or glued onto the page. Whether you add them for creative or practical purposes, or as part of your spell or ritual they add beauty and appeal.
My friend, Katia, showed me a video by scrapbook and card creator Srushti Patil. She creates boxes, cards and books with flip-ups, mini-books and many other unique storing ideas. Srushti’s videos gave me a great idea on how to save space and still have all the text necessary without losing the beauty of a page. I created a layer of paper, with a phrase cutout pasted on top of it. When you lift the pages, they reveal the information like a hidden secret.
Much like when witches do their candle magick, color is intention. It’s also beautiful. Don’t be afraid to use color in your book of shadows. Not only does it fill your pages with purpose, it will make them more appealing. I ordered the Star Box for dark witches. It’s advertised with darker, neutral colored supplies, but I use color to make my pages pop and infuse them with purpose.
The most important thing that you do is create a book of shadows that is all about you and your path. If something doesn’t feel right to you, use your intuition. Change it to something that has purpose to you. This is your book. The only person who has to be satisfied with it is you.
I spent ten years letting my book of shadows collect dust. Don’t let this happen to you. Get inspired and create your magick. You don’t need expensive tools. Use what is lying around your house. Check your magickal storage to see if you have left over parchment paper, feathers or ribbons from your last spell. Use your children’s art supplies. It doesn’t matter. Just start.
Great Post...art above all...
Here's something I've done in my Book of Shadows: Incorporate a different orthography. This is one I often use as in this example of a binding spell to help those trying to stop smoking:
The main body of my BOS is in this script, called "Eurynian" (Greek for "broad") and I've used it since the 1970's. It's a phonetic script with 30 consonants and 12 standard vowels. The script not only flows artistically, it also lends well to the tradition of representing letters as numbers as in Hebrew or Greek and is most readily applicable to number systems in base 10, base 12, the Babylonian sexagesimal system, and on up to base 360. The 12 vowels work with zodiacal attributions in an ecliptic of 30 degrees to each sign (the 30 consonants). As such, it puts a different spin on gematria. Though the script appears like a syllabary, it's actually an alphabetic script. It's written from right to left as in the Semitic languages.
For most, cracking the Eurynian Script would be a chore, even when using the key I wrote out with the Theban Script. Most wouldn't even bother trying, even if they had already learned Theban. But that's okay. The current social climate of division is warning enough that times of persecution could easily rise again, and for investigators, Theban is often old hat.
This is truly a genius work , I like to know more about it...
About the spell or about the script?