Book of Shadows, Apparently I Have One

 little red book of doom

This is my Book of Shadows, except I call it The Little Red Book of Doom.  It is nothing like the Book of Shadows that you see on the TV, and written about in many Wicca 101 books.  It doesn’t have fancy boarders, with exotic looking script.  Nor is it just spells, workings, rituals or rites. Instead it is full of my writing, well this one is,  most of it is somewhat magically themed, but a bunch of it is not.

It contains thoughts, drawings of wall hangings and trance pillows, spelling mistakes, shopping lists, and appointments for job interviews, as well as questions that I wanted to ask during said job interviews.  There are doodles, clothing designs, phone numbers, emails and to do lists.  It’s a little like a diary and not all at the same time.  It is a mix of mundane and magical, but then, so is life no?


The Little Red Book of Doom lives in my bag along with a few pens and a mechanical pencil.  I carry it with me everywhere I go.  I have had similar books for years, sometimes they started off with drawings, doodles really of things I wanted to make, things I was thinking about and other random type stuff.  This last year’s one has more writing in it as I wanted to become comfortable with the idea that I could actually write.

This cover, of the now Little Red Book of Doom, I picked up in Canada so it is a little difficult to find new lined books that fit inside but I have managed ok.

And it has only been this year that I have realise that all of these books that I have filled over the years with drawings, todo lists, magical thoughts, book reviews, job interviews and shopping lists is actually for me a Book of Shadows.  But then sometime I am a little slow on the uptake.

I am sure that some people are able to keep a book of Shadows like you see on the TV  and that are written about in the Pagan 101 books, but I am not that person, and I am coming to realise that and in so many ways.  So often what I have read in books is vastly different from how I practice, but then it is the same to.  It’s all a matter of perspective.


So do you have a collection of various diaries, and journal type books that you have used over the years?


13 thoughts on “Book of Shadows, Apparently I Have One

  1. I do Polly…. I have Moleskines, homemade recycled journals…. all sorts, colours, shapes and sizes, and like yours they are a mish mash of life…. the magic I create 🙂 I will post a photo or two for you later 🙂 May 2013 bring you much magic and spiritual riches x


  2. Me too, Polly – and it’s several boxes of varying kinds of appointment diaries and journals, spanning decades since my Nana gave me my first diary at age nine – those first few years are pretty sparse, but I got up to speed by my teens!

    I rather like your concept of a book-cover that journals migrate through – mine are a miss-match of purposed journals, re-purposed art books (mostly A5, self-covered) and odd writing exercise books when I’ve been travelling & found something to write about. It’s all part of my love of reading others, and writing for my own amusement, along with an academic interest in biography of various kinds.

    I’m starting to separate what I write by ‘publishable’ (drafts & edits, mostly digital, mostly Mac files on my computer), from ‘personal’, complete with retraction statements and disclaimers for anyone trying to publish my personal papers without my express, willed consent.
    I haven’t quite got around to formalising a curse for anyone who defies me and publishes stuff I don’t want ‘public’, but maybe that’ll happen as crone-hood deepens!!!


  3. I too have many of these journals and diaries, some handmade, other store bought, simple composition books to sketch books. And like you there is a collection of sketches, writings, list and even a spell or two. Over the past decade I have crafted covers for plain note books and binders to make them my own and as a Witch I have infused my own magic into them with every stitch I make and every stroke of my pen or pencil.
    Happy New Year to you.


    1. that infusing magic into thing with every stitch.. its how i sew, *grins*.. haven’t done it so much with what i write… *ponders this* maybe i should give it a go and see what happens..



      1. Have you checked out some of the old tales about knot magic, particular in the weavers trade, before the mechanised looms. There’s some famous historical accounts, that should have made it online by now. If you’re interested and can’t find them, I’ll see if I can dig up some links.


  4. I have so many that my husband has made me promise not to buy any more until I have filled these ones up!

    Just found your blog, pleased to meet another witch from my corner of the world! Greetings from the Manawatu!


  5. I have so many my husband has made me promise not to get anymore until I have filled these ones up!

    On another note, pleased to see another witch from my corner of the world, greetings from the Manawatu!


  6. *popping in from Jeff Lilly’s Twitter link here!* I’ve always done that kind of “everything in one book” kind of deal, too. I was going through stuff at my mom’s house recently and found one from when I was a kid that she kept, and ohhh my it was hilariously amusing.

    Related: If you haven’t heard of it before, I highly recommend Effy Wild’s Book of Days program. is the group home, but if you want to check it out before joining the group, you can check out some of her videos on YouTube at (big link direct to the uploads). Anyway, she kinda takes all that BoS/lists/ideas/mish mash and adds art journaling into the mix. I’ve found that it can be a deeply spiritual process to just sit down and art on the page, and while the program is not necessarily religious (you can adapt the techniques if you want it to apply to your own), it definitely inspires a connection with the divine to open myself creatively in that manner. At first we worked in altered books, and this year she gave a bookbinding workshop for people who want to use paper more suited for mixed media art. ANYWAY I’m writing a dang book here but I just love it and it feels relevant so yeah. 🙂



    1. Thank you for your reply and thoughts. i have looked at the art journalling thing, and boy are there some excellent artists out there, i’m a seamstress by nature but kind not so with the drawing.. however that alternative state when writing in my little red book of doom i suspect is a similar space to the spiritual art journaling *ponders this*

      will check out the links when i get home!!



  7. Hi Polly, yes that’s what the personal book of shadows tends to be, and not as I thought when I was younger, a book of ones’ own shadows, brought out and to deal with as if they were demons spewing arcane philosophies and random associations but I suppose we have to start some where.
    Another type of book of shadows, is the group book. Sometimes it lists the groups members use-names (a combination phonelist and past student memory jog). It usually has the rules of the group, and the official rituals and other items of interest. Having copied the relevant rules and ceremonies out, and made your own notes and reminders, it becomes hard to claim you weren’t told or informed about what’s supposed to happen. In Freemasonry and other clubs the equivalent is to give a new member a copy of the local clubs by-laws and recommend they familiarise themselves promptly to save everyone embarrassment.

    I find it funny looking at some of the big Grimoire Tomes that you see on TV, and the admonishment in the craft that any written materials should be easily destroyed lest they are seized and used as proof against the witch and to find other coveners.


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