Guest Author - Veda King Blanchard
People cast shadows when they stand or move within the light source available. Our shadows are then reflections of the choice to stand in the light, to move with it. A book of shadows is the tracking of these choices, a journal of each personís journey within the light.
Each book of shadows is completely individual, based on what notes or memories help each practitioner grow. In general it is good to write as much as you can in as much detail as you can. Tracking rituals, prayers, meditations, spells, exercises, etc in detail and noting any effects they may or may not have both short and long term can provide a huge amount of clarification for each witch to figure out what works best for her.
As Iíve explored in other articles, success with magical endeavors relies heavily on setting and maintaining clear intentions. A book of shadows is a great place for you to see where you might be faltering in holding an intention, or what successes were easier to come by. An example of this can be the use of tools or herbs.
Some tool, herb, candle, blade, or setting works best for each of us, helping us to stay calm, focused, and present with and within our pursued intentions. Keeping careful track of what you have used within each ceremony, on which day, with what mindset, and at what time of day and year will clarify over time what is important for your practice. Perhaps you work better with white candles, holding only the flames themselves, a blank slate for you to dedicate. Perhaps you work best, instead, with candles colored for the energy you are looking to draw into your casting circle. Perhaps you require a candle of a specific color, blessed by a specific energy, burned for a specific length of time.
With pure love in your heart, there is no wrong way to practice. You simply must find what works best for you, and invite room for your practice to be what it is. It may be the same as other practices youíre familiar with, it may be completely different. Allowing your practice to grow into its own strength through your record keeping, and become something very much your own brings peace, security, and increased success.