Thursday, December 27, 2012
Wanna Do Real Magic? Why You Need a Book of Shadows
#1 Record Spell Details
A Book of Shadows is used to record all the details of spells cast. This includes any divinations prior to the spell, the directors and limiters, methods used, results of divinations to check spell progress, and any results of the spell. Having all these details recorded is especially important if you need to take a spell down because of something going wrong. The way a spell is taken down depends on the way it was cast. For example, if the spell was cast using a carved candle then to take it down the practitioner could break the candle used in the spell and bury the pieces in a garden for a moon cycle.
#2 Track Magical and Shamanic Research
Magical and shamanic practitioners often engage in research such as discovering facts about past lives, divining future events, trying out new techniques or traveling to different planes. In the traditions of the Esoteric School of Shamanism and Magic, we record the results of walks in the black mirror, a portal to other planes of existence or half-worlds. When we do these walks we use a litany or chant to direct the walk and keep from getting lost. Recording details about the walk upon returning adds to our body of magical knowledge and also records the effectiveness of the chant so it can be used again or fine tuned for future use.
#3 Preserve Magic and Shamanism for the Future
Preserving magical and shamanic knowledge for future practitioners is one of the most important purposes of a Book of Shadows. Most traditions recognize the importance of information and practices passed on from past practitioners. A real Book of Shadows can contain the research and results of multiple generations of practitioners handed down through the years. Each generation of practitioners, not necessarily related, adds their experience to the book.
A real Book of Shadows is a record of magical and shamanic experience that is preserved either for a practitioner's own use or for future use. Some keep individual books and never hand them down because they either have no one to pass them down to or because they are secretive. Whatever your reason, if you are practicing magical arts, you should definitely start a Book of Shadows of your own. It will help you remember what you have done, track your magical experiments and possibly be an asset for the future.
Many traditions use symbols on the front and back of the Book of Shadows either for decoration or more likely for its protection. These can range from very simple to very intricate. If you have a Book of Shadows, we'd love you to share a picture of your cover with our magical communities (Facebook or blog) or to know how you use your book. If you don't have a Book of Shadows already, check out some of the ones we have in our school store. To learn more about magical techniques to include in your Book of Shadows, check out our How to Do Voodoo or Psychic Development ebooks.
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