Your Book of Shadows (BoS) is personal. You can make the entire book yourself or buy a book, decorate it and then begin creating the contents of your own Book of Shadows. However you start the physical, actual book and however you decorate it – it’s what’s inside that counts.
A Book of Shadows can be for a coven, keeping the rules, rituals and history of the coven. Members of the coven will use the coven’s BoS to copy the rituals into their own Books and keep a running history of changes and new ideas.
A Book of Shadows can be Hand-Written, Typed or on the Internet
You can find great examples of online BoS as blogs. Many of them are abandoned, left online as an archive, not active but not deleted. Most likely they are forgotten, some may have moved on to another site or their own domain. Some just lost interest or the passion waned or they finished high school and had less time to keep the Book of Shadows going.
If you keep your BoS on your computer you can easily arrange it and back it up to an external hard drive, or whatever works for you.
You might use a journal program which keeps a back up.
Some software will give you a password to keep it locked from any spying eyes or just make it feel private so you can write more of your thoughts without thinking about who might read them.
I like a paper/print Book of Shadows because it isn’t virtual.
A paper BoS is nice because you can keep all your scribbled notes and rough drafts. They are nice to look through at times. You see your first and original thoughts rather than only your polished version of each ritual, idea and thought.
Consider a binder for a paper/print Book of Shadows – you can move pages around and keep everything in order by topic. Or, stick with the more traditional journal where you write things as they happen and keep your thoughts as they occur to you. In that case you can create coloured tabs to stick to pages which are most important or referred to often. You might even put them in protective sleeves, but they are usually plastic so I’m not keen on them.
Add as many items from nature as you can. A few leaves in the Autumn, pressed flowers in the Spring and Summer. Squish a berry between pages and write around the resulting colour. Try a few ideas but watch out for the pages of your Book, keep them safe from harm too.
Your Book of Shadows style will depend on you and whether you see your BoS as a reflection of your personal journey or more like a text book of facts and information.
Extra Touches to Personalize Your Book of Shadows
Of course you can decorate your Book with clip art, your own art or drawings, things you’ve clipped out of magazines and apply like a collage. Add all the art you like to make the Book your own.
Use the title page to write your name, give the book a special title and write the date you started the book. Add details about the day: the weather, your mood, something good that happened, anything interesting.
As you begin to start your fresh Book of Shadows, write a Book Blessing. Make the blessing a dedication to your spiritual growth, your path of learning and protection for the information within the covers of your book.
If it suits you, write an invocation to the Goddess or Gods. (I don’t do this, my beliefs are different).
Write about your choice to follow the Pagan path. How did you get here and why did you choose Wicca or Witchcraft, Solitary, Eclectic, or Coven?
Write about your ethics and beliefs as they are now. (Expect these to change, grow and waiver as you learn and discover more).
Write your own initiation, or an initiation for your Book of Shadows.
Make it personal, for you.