“Wicca is a unique religion in so many ways, not least of which is the absence of a central holy text or scripture to follow. There are guidelines, such as the Threefold Law and the importance of respecting other people’s free will, but there are no detailed rules about how to live one’s life as there are in other faiths. There’s no single “divine source” commanding its followers, nor is there a hierarchy of religious leaders who all adhere to the same doctrine. In short, Wicca doesn’t tell you exactly what you must think, believe, or do.
Nonetheless, there is an endless wealth of information that is integral to the practice of Wicca and Witchcraft—traditional myths, ritual protocols, incantations, magical lore, spells, correspondences, divination systems, and much more. And while the explosion of books and other resources related to Wicca has certainly made much of this information available, there’s still no one book that could ever contain all there is to know. So it falls upon practitioners themselves to discover and collect information as they see fit. This is where the Book of Shadows comes in.” – Book Description from Amazon
* $2.99 for Kindle Edition (available on Kindle Unlimited)
* $6.99 for Paperback
* 70 pages long
* Includes (in this order)
– Section One: History of the Book of Shadows
– Section Two: Creating your Book of Shadows
– Section Three: Using your Book of Shadows
This book is exactly what it says (I love it when books do that!). Lisa Chamberlain does a wonderful job of giving a general history of the Book of Shadows, what it is, what it can contain, how to use it, and how to create one. I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book and did not find a template for creating your own Book of Shadows. I do find issue with some statements made that could use sources for her information, but most of it seems valid.
“Since there is no one single text for Wiccans to follow, practitioners are left to themselves to discover and collect information as they see fit. This is where the Book of Shadows comes in.” (Page 10)
I really like the fact that Ms. Chamberlain was able to write this book and not include a template or how-to for what to put in your Book of Shadows. Instead, she describes things that can go in your own Book of Shadows rather than telling you exactly how to do it.
“One early influential text that came to serve as a sort of model for the modern grimoire was The Magus by Frank Barrett, published in 1801. The Magus was a collection of magical theory and practical instruction drawn from ancient and medieval sources that Barrett hoped would reignite the practice of magic in his day.” (Page 16)
This is one of those things that I would like a source for. That’s just the type of person I am, I guess. I have learned over the years to take everything I read, especially in terms of Wicca or religion, with a grain of salt and to always be skeptical of where the information is coming from. Now this isn’t to say that the statement made by Ms. Chamberlain is accurate and true, but I can’t know that for sure without a source to go back to.
“Regardless of the form it takes, modern-day Witches will use a Book of Shadows much like those who came before us. Their pages consist of magical correspondences, recipes, spells, journal entries, poetry and music, rituals, sigils, and general notes.” (Page 26)
You can see with this quote that Ms. Chamberlain gives a rundown of things that a typical Book of Shadows contains. Throughout the book, she goes on to state that you can include drawings, notes, recipes, spells, rituals, and much more in your Book of Shadows because it is your energy and your practice, and it should be relevant to you.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It wasn’t very long and took me maybe an hour and a half to read. For the price, it is okay. I don’t think I would pay the $6.99 for a paperback copy, since it is only 70 pages long, but reading it on Kindle or Kindle Unlimited would be okay with me.
Would I recommend this book? Sure, especially for newer Wiccans. If you’ve been practicing for a while, I don’t think this book would have anything to offer you. I would say, though, that the price may not be right for everyone, especially if you’re like me and like your facts to have sources.
If you’d like to check out the book for yourself, click the link below.
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