**REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION**
How to do a Book of Shadows Content Audit
September 30, 2008 at 3:34 pm (Book of Shadows, journal, written by Garnet)
While shopping at my local Border’s I found a great black journal on clearance. When I saw it the first thought that popped into my head was “this will be my new Book of Shadows”. While I’ve tried to maintain physical copies of my Book of Shadows, they’ve never turned out like I’d hoped. As I thought about all the stuff in my current physical BoS (a small 3 ring binder), I thought it was messy and included a lot of unnecessary stuff. Plus, I really like the idea of a lovely bound tome that I could pass down, not a haphazard collection of scrap pages, unintelligible writing and outdated stuff (which is totally cool if that works for you!)
What’s a Witch to do? Book of Shadows Audit!
1. Audit : Go through your current BoS and pick out the stuff that’s still timely to you. I went through my BoS binder of randomness and picked out all the stuff that I still use and find valuable. These entries will be reproduced into a permenant way into my bound BoS. The old binder BoS will still be used as a storehouse of witchy tidbits. Here they will remain for a time until I feel they deserve to be entered into my bound tome.
2. Research : Comb through resources (books, online) and see if there’s anything that should be added to your Book. Now with a collection of sheets with my favorite material, I’m now going through books and resources I’ve collected to see if a year or so out there’s any new info I can glean from them again to be included in my new BoS. If I find that a book no longer resonates, I’ll get rid of it. So far, I’ve returned to a few books and have read things as a more “experienced” witch and have gotten a new level of understanding from them - these are books worth holding onto and including parts of it in a BoS. Jot new insights down on sheets of paper.
3. Compile & Arrange : Add and rearrange your notes (either on note cards or on sheets of paper you’ve stacked up). Maybe you haven’t liked how your BoS was previously arranged or maybe it wasn’t arranged and you’d like to change that - here’s your opportunity! If you like your notes organized by date in a journal style, that’s cool too. You may be thinking “Hey Garnet once you put these items into a bound book, you won’t be able to re-arrange!” - True I won’t and I’m ok with that right now. If I ever feel the need to rearrange my Book in a few years I can do that by following these similar steps, though it might be more painful than just using a 3 ring binder. However, since I have this wonderful image of a lovely bound tome full of insights, pictures, herbs and goodies stuffed in it, then that’s what I shall have
4. Divvy : Separate your material into sections (or not). If you’d like to organize your massive amount of notes into sections for easy reference, here’s a good opportunity. If you prefer something more organic (perhaps based on date of discovery/use), then that works too. I’m going to divide mine up into sections, which tentatively include: Ritual Notes, Correspondences, Spells, Oils/Incense recipes, the Sabbats, God/dess notes. Blank pages will be left in-between sections for future additions. I also see myself adding or taping notes over stuff to create layered pages (lift the tab to read! lol).
5. Create : Begin putting your book together to house your collection of insights, ideas, correspondences, rituals, spells, whatever! This is the fun part! Though I’m still in the “Research” phase of this plan, I’ve already started collecting stamps, art, pictures, herbs, stickers etc to decorate the pages of my Book. Right now my book contains a book blessing and the Wiccan Rede (handcopied because I’m hardcore now lol). As I work thorough my collecting, compliling and sorting, I’ll add to my tome slowly but surely.
Have you ever needed to do a Book of Shadows audit? When’s the last time you did it? How do your organize your BoS - sections or randomly? Do you prefer a bound book or the freedom of loose leaf?
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