A Books of Shadows is a "religious text and instructions for magic rituals found in Wicca." Since it's inception, somewhere around 1949... the definition of a Book of Shadows has changed in the public context.
With a myriad of published Books of Shadows starting in the sixties, ("The first attempt at a mass produced BoS appeared in pamphlet form in 1964.") to the scary, (albeit fabulous) movies of the seventies (one of my favorites is "The Curse of the Crimson Altar"), to shows like "Charmed"... a Book of Shadows today extends far beyond that of Gardner's Wicca. Any type of witch can have one, and usually do, if not several. There are online versions, download and print versions, beautiful handwritten versions, post-it note versions (hahaha) and so many more.
And then there are the Grimoires. There's even a more modern book called "A Grimoire of Shadows" by Ed Fitch. Hell, yeah!... just mash those two together. (It's a pretty good book, btw.)
The distinction is sometimes made that a grimoire just lists magic, spells, herbs, rituals and ALL the things you keep in your book of Shadows.... BUT.... your Book of Shadows also contains personal reflections, and notes, and thoughts, and feelings, and results of your magic.
I don't make the distinction. I will say "grimoire" if I'm feeling story-teller-y and history-ish, and I will type the heck out of BOS all day long. Technically, every magic book I have, even the printed ones I've purchased, would be considered a BOS since I have notes in almost every margin.
I've already written in my Book of Shadows without doing this... can I do it now?
You can consecrate anything you have at any time... just start with a cleansing first. After the first one, you can opt for gentler cleansers (like sage). I love consecrating (blessing) my magical tools. I do it often. The more you do, the more you use them, the more you handle them, the more you spiritually connect with your magical items, the stronger the bond you develop.
I don't have a blank page at the very beginning to add a pentagram.
Here's where my motto kicks in.... Improvise: Use the tiny little open space on your very first page to draw a small pentagram or use the cover itself or make a permanent cover. Adapt: Tape, sew, glue in a front page. Overcome: If you really want to do this, pick one of the previous suggestions or start anew.
My High Priestess use to make the most beautiful books of shadows. She included protection herbs within it's cover. Consider incorporating protection herbs in your books; either in your handmade cover or in a bookmark.
Here are a couple of links for other Book of Shadows related consecrations and blessings because seriously... mine is straight out of "Mastering Witchcraft."
Purification & Blessing of your Grimoire
Book of Shadows Blessing
Mastering Your Grimoire: My Grimoire's Book Blessing
Journals for Witches
If you are anything like me, you have a hundred blank books, and some of them have been dedicated to be your personal grimoires or Books of Shadows. I have a spell grimoire, a divination grimoire, a collected ritual Book of Shadows, a note-taking one for randomness, and even one filled with post-its I designated as "Interim" - The In-Between Time.
In the coven I belong to, I am an elder and a teacher. My planner became as much of a grimoire as all the ones I had sitting on my book shelf. I started to transfer all the notes I had taken through the years, but as you well know, that doesn't always get done. So recently, after happening upon a group called the "Bullet Journal Community", I've decided not to stress over it anymore.
I had already been doing some of what I have seen in the BuJo community (BuJo - Bu-llet + Jo-urnal). Below is pictured my redecoration of January 2018's calendar. Below that is a lecture spread I made for a presentation I did on the Sun God in the Wiccan Mythos.
The first thing to catch my eye and drew me in was something called a collection. The idea that in your personal, everyday carry planner / journal (or PLOURNAL, if you will - my new favorite made-up word) you keep a collection. The collection is relegated to a section of your everyday carry book, instead of being scattered in the book all willy-nilly. It was so simple and yet AMAZING. Why didn't I think of that?!
My Wicca is an ever-evolving one and that includes how I learn and teach it, and this journey into this new, creative community has fully captured my imagination and heart. I will still have my ritual Book of Shadows, and my spell and Divination grimoires... but I'm going to expect them to be artistically amazing now and so, so, so much more organized.
Another thing the BuJo community introduced (re-introduced? re-defined?) to me was the INDEX. Yes, the simple, everyday, in the front of every book, INDEX. Who knew? So now, every personal book gets one and because my Wicca is integrated into my every day AND my everyday carry book, I think I will incorporate a MASTER INDEX (another excuse for another blank book.)
I belong to a few BuJo facebook groups and the members of Bullet Journaling Witches asked for a full picture of the Wheel of the Year I had teased them with.
"This is my record of our covens Wheel of the Year. I edited out the dates of the remaining sabbats (blue). The red up in the top right of each is the astronomical date and time. The small black writing is the wish candle we do for each (Yule and Samhain should be reversed.) The solar sabbats are marked with gold embellishments while the agricultural are marked with silver. The triangle blank space is to record who performed what parts and the exterior white space is used for extra notes about each."
Follow this link to the video by Ryder Carroll
who organized the Bullet Journal system in the first place
or visit the website here