Intro: How to Create a Book of Shadows
The typical, must have for any aspiring wytch, practitioner of the craft, or any other Wiccan. The term originally coined by Gardner.
NOTE: This is a religious based craft, so if you do not believe in this, do not view, do not slander, and do not hate. We respect your right to worship who/what you worship, as you see fit, please return the same respect. Blessed be.
Step 1: Materials
The materials you'll need for this are:
Your voice (No special trips for this one)
A notebook, journal, three-ring binder, et cetera
A pen or pencil (or whatever you choose to write with... avoid human parts)
A belief in Wiccanism
Step 2: Create Your Title Page
This will contain some general information. Usually starts off with a claim of ownership. You can make this a fancy, or as basic, as you'd like. Just as long as you have your name in it, as well as "Book of Shadows". A common way to do this is to just write: "Book of Shadows of *insert legal or craft name here*" (Remember: Your Book of Shadows [BoS] is a very personal item.) You may also wish to include any dedications and/or your coven membership (if you are in one) on this page as well.
Step 3: Begin Filling Out Your Information
When a beginning Wiccan hears about the BoS, they usually hear about rituals, spells, chants, incantations, and the like. That is far from all that is in one. A BoS is your "encyclopedia" of all things Wiccan. You put any research, traditions, rules of the coven (if applicable), maybe moon phases for the month (or for the next year!), maybe the Four Major and Four Minor Sabbats, and yes the spells, rites, and chants. So, go do research! If your in a coven (and if you're initiated), you may be required to hand copy all of the information from the coven's BoS into your own. If you're not initiated (or not in a coven!), fret not! There is a wonderfully expansive array of knowledge just waiting to be collected. Go to a library, use the ever omniscient search engine, Google, go to the nearest book store, go to the closest Wicca shop (GREAT resource for all things Wicca)
Step 4: Make Sure to Include the Necessities!
Magick, Wicca, and the Craft have rules. I know you may be thinking "Well, why should I even listen/follow them? Whose going to stop me? The Wicca police?" No... and yes. The universal force of "Karma" is shown through the "Three-fold Return Law." There is controversy on if this is merely advice, or an actual cosmic law (I personally believe in the latter). But in short, whatever you do comes back to you three fold. So, you curse someone, you get cursed three times over. Then, there is the Wiccan Rede. It is a lovely, poetic piece of art. It should be a guiding principle in every Wiccan's life. There are other things, but I'll leave that up to you to research.
Step 5: Tips, Warnings, and Advice
Try to stay away from the pre-made BoS's. They tend to be overpriced (if you can even find any), and they also lack the same kinda of magickal potency as a hand made one.
Remember to bless your BoS, or else it will be an empty vessel of written words.
A three-ring binder helps, in case you need to re-arrange, add, or remove sections to your BoS.
And as a very VERY good prinicple: NO BLACK MAGICK. Very bad idea. If you use black magick, you're discarding the Goddess (and the God if you worship the polarity), you're abusing your gifts, and you're harming others. Let's surmise it to say this: If you use black magick, you're going to have a bad time.
Follow the eight word guide to Wicca: "An it harm none, do as you will"