When witches practice magic regularly, and wish to keep records of what they have done, they keep a Grimoire or Book of Shadows. This book is a record of all activities a witch has completed, as well as her spiritual discoveries, personal spiritual diary, and sabbat and esbat celebrations. The Book can also be used to record divinations, such as rune or tarot readings and dreams.
There is no official format for a Book of Shadows. No one else can tell another witch how to set it out or what to put in it. However, it is commonly accepted that a Book of Shadows should be dedicated to the working of positive, creative magic and the perpetuation of positive, creative energy. Although many youngsters become interested in Witchcraft or Paganism because they are drawn to the mystery and the power of magic in all its forms, their perceptions are skewed by the media.
Knowledge in Witchcraft becomes a responsibility, and a witch does not have carte blanche to perform spells for every occasion, and particularly magic used on others without their consent is frowned upon. For that reason, witches are called on to make a conscious decision when creating a repository of magical knowledge, such as a Book of Shadows, to work only for those ideals which promote harmony and elevation.
Physically, a Book of Shadows can be anything. One witch may have an enormous tome, bound in leather and sitting on a lectern. Another witch may have her entire Book of Shadows in a small A6 pocket book. The appearance of the thing is not how it should be judged. Some witches keep all of their magical knowledge on their laptops.
What is important is the regard with which the Book of Shadows is held. The witch whose Book of Shadows is an A6 hardcover will keep it in her purse and it will remain with her at all times – possibly because she interacts with it regularly, and relies on it. This is a sign of the practical aspect of witchcraft. Although the enormous tome might look impressive, it may not be as practical to carry around. This is more for the witch who stays at home.
And lastly, the tiny pocket book crammed with information in the tiniest handwriting is worth much more than the ornate, massive leatherbound tome which has only been written in once. The information which is stored in the Book of Shadows is what gives the book its worth.