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greetings!
i hope that you all are having a beautiful and blessed day!  i am just beginning my book of shadows, and as i am new to the path as far as this lifetime, i was just wondering what others may have included when they started their BOSs. any must haves?

i appreciate any input any of you would be willing to share.

blessed be!

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must haves in my BOS or grimoir are
blessings
how to bless something
how to obtain blessed water or other things that can be blessed
spells (duh!) lol
a lil background on how u became a wiccan/witch what kind of wiccan/witch you are
cleancing of sacerate space
how to make incents
shopping list for herbs resins and roots etc. etc. u'll need
casting cirlce ritual
herbs that are posionus to ingest
chakra colors and shapes and meanings
aura and color meanings
i always keep a book of demons that i've met and their powers and weaknesses
i have my books set up as lessions for future generations
There is a course here called 'your book of shadows' (WCA103) which says "Below is a list of possible chapters for your BOS. This list is not complete nor is it a list of topics that are required for your BOS."

Affirmations
Altar Diagrams
Animal Magick
Artwork
Astrology
Astral Projection
Candle Magick
Chakra Research
Chants
Charge of the God
Charge of the Goddess
Circle Casting
Color Magick
Book Blessing
Definitions/Jargon
Divination
Dowsing
Dream Work
Earth Magick
Elemental Magick
Esbat Ritual
Gem Magick
Ghost Work
God Research
Goddess Research
Graphology
Herb Magick
Invocations
Magickal Alphabets
Magickal Correspondence Tables
Meditations
Miscellaneous (Rules, things to remember)
Pantheon Research
Poetry
Prayers
Quotes
Ritual Work
Rune Research
Sabbats
Sabbat Corresponding Work
Songs
Spells
Spellwork
Tarot Research
Telepathy
Tools of the Craft
Vision Questing
Wiccan Rede

which should keep you busy until you think up some more things to add :)
WOW! This is awesome! Thank you so much!!!
What a great question, Jenna! I'm getting ready to start my own BOS, and this is a question I was going to ask!

Blessed Be!
What can I say that hasn't been said? My first BOS was a hard backed journal. I put a book blessing,original art work,stickers and a poem by shel silverstine on the inside covers. the best advice I can give other than filling it with facts and figures it should be unique to you and your experiences on this path. Things that might seem to mean little at the time tend to set off bells later. I have since gone digital with the BOSes. Databases are a life saver when it comes to correspondences. Good luck, and most of all have fun.Enjoy the journey.
When I started mine, I put in a BOS blessing, Wiccan Rede, Wiccan Alphabet, Candle color reference chart, Altar cloth reference chart, Herbal reference and Essential Oils reference.
Something that really helped me was this outline that I found:

Book of Shadows Outline

Astrology
A. Lunar Astrology
B. Solar Astrology
C. Other Planetary Correspondences

Basics of Ritual
A. Ritual Tools
1. Uses
2. Consecration
B. Daily Altar Devotion
C. Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
D. The Witches’ Rune
E. Setting up Altars and Sacred Space
F. Ritual Structure
1. Casting the Circle
2. Invoking the Elements
3. Calling Deity
4. Drawing down the Moon
5. Cakes and Ale Ceremony
6. Closing the Circle

Books
A. Personal Library
1. Inventory
2. Lending List
B. Recommended Reading for Pagans

Correspondences
A. Color Correspondences
1. Candle Colors
2. Colors for Spellwork
B. Elemental Correspondences
C. Lunar Correspondences for Spellwork
D. Solar Correspondences for Spellwork
E. Miscellaneous Correspondences

Deities
A. Legends and Lor
B. Rituals to Honor or Attune to Deity

Divination
A. Tarot
B. Runes
C. Miscellaneous

Esbats
A. Explanation
B. Rituals

The Fae
A. Legends and Lore of the Fae
B. Rituals and Spells Involving the Fae

Gemstones
A. Information on stones
B. Using Stones in Magick and Ritual

Health & Healing
A. Using Color to Heal
B. Using Gemstones to Heal
C. Using the Moon to Heal
D. Miscellaneous

Herbs & Herbalism
A. Gardening Hints and Tips
B. Using Herbs for Health and Beauty
C. Using Herbs for Magick

Important Life Ceremonies
A. Wiccanings
B. Menarche Celebration
C. Handfastings
D. Dedications
E. Cronings
F. Funeral Rites

Journals
A. Divination
B. Spellwork
C. Personal

Magickal Systems
A. Wicca and Witchcraft Traditions
B. Cultural Traditions

Miscellaneous
A. Kitchen Witchery
B. Handicrafts
C. Meditations and Affirmations
D. Auras
E. Feng Shui
F. Magickal Creatures
G. Chakras
H. Craft Doctrine

Poetry, Prayers, & Song
A. Pagan Chants
B. Pagan Prayer
C. Pagan Poems
D. Pagan Song
E. Pagan Prose
1. Fiction
2. Informational

Recipes
A. Food
B. Drinks
C. Bath Salts
D. Incense
E. Bath Oils

Sabbats
A. Information
B. Rituals

Spells
A. Binding Spells
B. Banishing Spells
C. Spells Dealing with Emotions
D. Employment Spells
E. Prosperity Spells
F. Healing Spells
G. Spells to Find Lost Items
H. Health and Beauty Spells
I. Home and Hearth Spells
J. Love Spells
K. Relationship Spells
L. Pet Spells
M. Miscellaneous Spells
N. Protection Spells
O. Travel Spells
P. Seasonal Spells
Q. Self-Improvement Spells
R. Weather Spells

Good Luck! Blessed Be!

Morgan
Thank you so much for sharing this outline. My first attempt was a notebook binder, as I am very much into organization, with a binder you can add to the sections when needed. Though now I am working on compiling it in my Magick Library on my computer, then save it as a pdf and print it out.

This list you provided will help greatly with organization.

Blessings.
Great Info!
I am also very new and started very enthusiastic with my BOS (which was a plain hadcover A4 book) Oh how I enjoyed to write in it! I wrote every cahnce I had. I started off by writing how and why I chose my path. Then I continued every day to write down what I felt, learned, what happened and so on.
What I found to be VERY VERY WEIRD is that whenever I write in my BOS I had this "funny handwriting" which does not QUITE belong and looked like my usual HW , as if my normal handwriting is a bit changed to a more Ghotic Font with a lot of curls in the letters! Looking back as I wrote a section it looks so nice with all these cute curls on the letters...
Did anyone else experienced something like this?

I must say now that I have read this discussion I realized how many things I have not put in there that really SHOULD be in there.... Uh how stupid of me! The blessing and the Rede especially SHOULD be in there, and I did not even thought of that. Ai jai jai.
The suggestion to make different sections also appeals to me in a great way -
I feel like starting all over but I guess it will not be same. So I will just "tell" my BOS that I am starting again on the next page where I will put in the REde and a blessing, and then just carry on from there?
Love the topic as I have question too and some of them are being answered as I read through the posts.

I sort of started mine, but never felt I liked what I had or what I was doing was right. I can see that I'm missing a few things, like a blessing. Oops.

I use a three ring binder, but find it not big enough and that I can't really decorate it. It is plastic. Is it uncommon to have more than one BOS?

I was also thinking about putting it on my computer. Considering I spend most of my life on it. LOL

I am taking the class for the BOS, I got my first lesson a couple of days ago.

Blessings
I have mine on my computer. I use Microsoft Office OneNote for mine. I love it! It is structured like a notebook, with dividers, subsections, etc. I can paste things I like from the internet or my own personal files into it, including text, images, movies, and music, and it automatically cites the source so I always know where I got it from. I can customize the stationery I use, create my own, use whichever font, etc. just like I can in a Works/Word document. Then I can print my pages in several different formats including PDF.

I know it's not as personal as the hand written page. But for me, it works. I have arthritis in my hands and cannot write well. Also, this keeps it all in one place, and I must admit, I am an info hoarder. If I had my BOS on paper, it would be many volumes and very difficult to keep organized.

Bright Blessings!
Thats really a good idea, I want to re do mine and might try that...

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