Hello again all witches out there!
I have started my journey to discover real magic and believe me it hasn’t been easy. Last Sunday I wrote my first post and after that I have done some research. There’s so many different tips of how to start learning magic. Too much information and so much wrong information. (At one point I was accidentally reading role play website… ups!)
How to start when learning magic?
The best tip for learning magic I found was just to go with the flow. Start googling, searching and trying everything while keeping diary (book of shadows) of things you learn, feel are right for you or don’t understand. That’s where this blog comes in the picture. My book of shadows. To make this blog work as a guide for myself and others it has to include some more informative posts… Not just me rambling about everything.
Maybe I’m even hoping that other people can follow my journey and learn magic alongside of me through this blog and these writings. Who knows where it will end! Either I may become one of the most powerful witches of our time or come to the conclusion that magic isn’t even real. I can’t see to the future even if reading tarot cards is one of my special skills.
Where to start learning magic?
I’m totally a basic witch and so Wikipedia was my first stop as a new learner of magic. Isn’t that where everything starts nowadays? I even found a few witch-themed Wikipedias that gave me a good start to learn about different terminology, types of witches and whatever.
Googling about witch stuff is surprisingly complicated. Most times I felt like the results weren’t the most reliable ones. You can’t just go and Google “how to be a witch?” Won’t work out like you wanted. Finding information means diving in to article after article and googling about more specific things. And that’s how I found my way to witchcraft forums. Definitely the best thing I have done!
Now I will just continue doing my research even if it feels like there’s literally too much information. Modern witches, Wicca, paganism, witchcraft history, religions… How can I find time to research all that? One forum post I read said that it’s the best just do a little research everyday. Start from things that seem to attract you. Then keep writing things up to your book of shadows and most importantly don’t give up. Being a witch is a skill and skills take about 10 000 hours to perfect. Nothing will happen overnight!
Book of shadows sounds magical, scary, and maybe even satanic when you know it has something to do with witchcraft. Or at least so was for me when I first decided to get in to magic. Book of shadows, not quite what one could think.
Because this blog will be my journey to discover witchcraft what would be better way to start than explain the term “book of shadows”?
What is book of shadows?
Book of shadows (or sometimes BOS) is simply put witch’s diary and spell book. To be more exact and if you want to sound fancy – book of shadows is book with sacred instructions for Wiccans or other pagans.
Inside his/her book of shadows witch stores all the necessary information about magic and witchcraft. Traditionally book of shadows has been handwritten diary but new modern witch should do what feels the best for them. More and more blogs working as the substitute for the traditional ones. Most of the witchcraft guides sold in bookstores could be named as one kind of books of shadows.
How I make a book of shadows?
I won’t go too much into this because I haven’t done my own research yet. Apparently there isn’t clear rules and every witch should follow their intuition. I’m starting to feel like that’s the case with everything… Here’s list of somethings most witches include in their own books of shadows:
- Information of their coven
- Information of what they believe in (god/goddess/etc.)
- Sacred Texts (parts of bible or other religious texts)
- Correspondence Tables
- Rituals and how to make them
- Spells and how to make them
- Divination (how to & results)
- Info about herbs and tools you use
- Diary of you learning new things
- Calendar of moon phases, etc.
- Meditation diary
The history of book of shadows
During the history of human kind there has been books or sacred texts talking about rituals, beliefs, and magic. However, book of shadows is a newer creation that has its roots in the Wiccan paganism. To be exact book of shadows was first introduced to witches and Wiccans in the 1950s. The father of modern Wiccas Gerald Gardner has been said to be the writer of first book of shadows.
Gardner and his followers copied passages from each others to their own books of shadows changing, adding, and deleting. The practices of witches haven’t changed a lot even if we have adapted to the modern ages. Even now when you start your own book of shadows the norm is to copy from others the things that fit best for you. According to Gardner, the book of shadows is kind of like your personal cookbook for magic.
Like witches their books of shadows have been controversial topic for ages. At some point these pagan diaries were even forbidden. Some older books of shadows from mid 1900 have been preserved well and so even modern witches can learn from the first modern Wiccans if they so want!
Are you ready to make your own book of shadows? Because I am! This blog will be kind of like my book of shadows however I will also keep real handwritten book of shadows. As a writer handwriting has special place in my heart…
We all need something to believe in.
For some it’s religion, for others freewill. If you don’t believe in something what’s the reason to keep going? And maybe that’s where magic comes in for me. I want to believe. I want to believe that there is more to this world than just grey normal without miracles.
I haven’t believed in anything for long time. Religion isn’t something I like to talk about but I have to, don’t I… My relationship with God is not easy. I believe and then not. I was raised Christian but in Finland our religious practices differ a lot from other Christian countries. We go to church about once (on Christmas) every year and some of us not even then. In school we learn the basics but more about other religions. No one really talks about god or their beliefs.
Of course there’s some talks about it. At least when at the age of 14 years you have your confirmation school for about a week. Even if it’s more like a summer camp for teens you will go and hear the words of God. But at that age it’s lame to believe.
I know my mom believes in God. I have no idea about my dad. However, even my mom doesn’t believe in bible like it is. Regarding my mom there’s some bigger force taking care of us and nothing else really matters.
Unlike many other people I have had moments when God’s existence has been kind of proved to me. You could say that he has answered to my prayers. Someone would call them coincidences but if I’m going to believe in magic that’s not excuse I can use anymore. (If people want or if I seem it necessary, I will take time to tell these stories later on my book of shadows…)
So, maybe I believe. I believe there’s some bigger force who looks after us and makes our life worth of living.
I don’t know if it’s Christian God. I kind of doubt that.
God, magic, priestess, goddess. What do the witches believe in? Maybe that’s a topic I will research tomorrow.