Tag Archives: Shadows

Snapshot Saturday: Antelope Canyon, Part 2


Last year, I took a trip out to Arizona. I’ve been out there a couple of times, but I hadn’t had the opportunity or the funds to really go out and do some exploring beyond the town I was staying in. Last year, I had the opportunity to take a tour up to northern Arizona and see Antelope Canyon.

If you ever get the chance, do it. It’s absolutely worth it. The best time of day to tour is about 10:30am. That’s when the light is at its best. Although some of my shots didn’t turn out quite right because I wasn’t using the right settings on my camera in some instances, in others they became the best pictures I took during my trip.

I took a lot of pictures, and last week’s Snapshot Saturday was also Antelope Canyon. This is part two!

Shaped like a heart, from the ground looking up

Shaped like a heart, from the ground looking up

Light on the walls in one of the darkest parts of the canyon

Light on the walls in one of the darkest parts of the canyon

The view called "Monument Valley"

The view called “Monument Valley”

Just light and stone.

Just light and stone. No digital manipulation.

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Snapshot Saturday: Antelope Canyon


Last year, I took a trip out to Arizona. I’ve been out there a couple of times, but I hadn’t had the opportunity or the funds to really go out and do some exploring beyond the town I was staying in. Last year, I had the opportunity to take a tour up to northern Arizona and see Antelope Canyon.

If you ever get the chance, do it. It’s absolutely worth it. The best time of day to tour is about 10:30am. That’s when the light is at its best. Although some of my shots didn’t turn out quite right because I wasn’t using the right settings on my camera in some instances, in others they became the best pictures I took during my trip.

I took a lot of pictures, so next week’s Snapshot Saturday will be part two of Antelope Canyon.

Near the entrance, looking up from the ground.

Near the entrance, looking up from the ground.

For an idea of scale, even though it's kind of blurry

For an idea of scale, even though it’s kind of blurry

Just light on the walls

Just light on the walls

Sunlight coming in through the top while it's dark below

Sunlight coming in through the top while it’s dark below

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Book of Shadows, Part 2: Formats for a Book of Shadows


(This is part two of a three-part series)

There are many different formats to use for a Book of Shadows (BoS for short), and choosing a format is completely up to each person.  Find what works best for you–you may find that you try a few different methods before settling on one that works best.  Keep in mind what you’re likely to be good at, but also keep in mind that this kind of exercise is meant to be meaningful and worth taking time for–so, for example, writing something down rather than typing can be more meaningful to some.

Digital

A digital BoS could be something simple like a Word document or something like an online journal of sorts.  It can be public or private–though I generally say a BoS is something private and personal that shouldn’t necessarily be made an open book.  The point of the Book of Shadows is to find what works best for you and what doesn’t work, and a public BoS is perhaps a bit less personal.  Anyway, a digital BoS is kept on the computer.  You could print off pages if you wanted something tangible.  If you’re  not very good at writing or don’t really enjoy writing, a digital book could be the way to go.  If you’re a technology lover, then typing may come easier to you than writing, and you may prefer keeping a digital copy.

Pros: Easy to compile and move sections around; portable via Internet or flash drive; printable; easily changed; public or private.
Cons: Completely technological; no writing involved; can be lost if not backed up.

Spiral Notebook

A spiral notebook is pretty simple and easy to use as a Book of Shadows.  It will keep everything in one place and neatly together.  If you like to write, this could be a good option.  The spiral notebook doesn’t look like anything special however, so if you’re looking for something with a “witchy” feel to it, I’d say go with the journal.  It’s hard to turn a spiral notebook into a medieval-looking book.  However, if you want to insert pages or keep other materials with the book, there’s no way to keep things with it or insert pages or materials unless you glue it in, and that can be messy.  A spiral notebook could be used alone or with a three-ring binder to keep printed or extra materials together with the book.

spiral notebook Book of Shadows

Pros: Good for writers; keeps everything neatly together; decent for organization; could be used with a binder or alone; private unless shown to others.
Cons: Hard to move sections around and reorganize; can’t add papers or other materials unless gluing in; finite number of pages without being able to add more.

Three-Ring Binder

This is the option I originally started out with.  I typed up pages and printed them out to keep in the binder.  That way I could write notes in the margins and reorganize whenever I wanted, or combine with notes in a spiral notebook.  In my opinion, this option has the most freedom in terms of organization and combines technology and writing, both of which I like.  You can always add more pages, especially if the binder is large.  Typing is one option, but you can also write on notebook paper and keep it in the binder, which also allows for easier reorganization.  However, a binder doesn’t look very special, even with some decoration–but if you’re in the closet or desiring to keep your BoS looking innocuous, this could be a good option for you.  If you want your binder to look good but aren’t handy with decorations yourself, there are binders you could buy like this one that are pretty nice:

three-ring binder Book of Shadows

Pros: Good for organization and reorganization; can print out and use with writing; private unless shared; can combine with a spiral notebook; add many more pages; neat and orderly; can include other print-outs or materials in the binder.
Cons: Bulky; not very portable; doesn’t look like anything special.

Journal

The binder may be the most freeing option, but the journal is my favorite option.  This is because I’m a huge sucker for the pretty journals, and I tend to collect journals as well.  However, the journal format can be somewhat inconvenient for your Book of Shadows if you decide halfway through that a different organization of the entries would work better–there’s no way to change things around!  But if you enjoy writing, and appreciate the magical act of writing, a journal could be a good way to go.

journal Book of Shadows

Pros: Pretty; good for writers; everything in one place.
Cons: Difficult to reorganize; finite number of pages.

Part One: What is a Book of Shadows?
Part Three: Books of Shadows, Then and Now  Coming Soon!

Book of Shadows, Part 1: What is a Book of Shadows?


(This is part one of a three-part series)

The topic of a Book of Shadows seems to come up fairly frequently among Pagans, especially Wiccans.  But the majority of people don’t know what a Book of Shadows (or BoS for short) really is or how to use it.  I recently had a friend (general Pagan with Wiccan leanings) ask me what a BoS is, how to use it, and how it’s different from a Book of Mirrors, and I found myself explaining all of these things in general terms–so let’s go more in depth!

What is a Book of Shadows?

A BoS is a book of some type that a person can use to record spells they have used, the outcome of spells, what worked and what did not work, different rituals, etc.  In general, a BoS is used predominantly by Wiccans, as the concept of a Book of Shadows originated with Gardner and Gardnerian Wicca.  However, this does not mean that those outside of Wicca can’t use a BoS.  Nor do you have to be in a coven.  You can be a solitary general Pagan like my friend and still use a BoS.

How Do I Use a Book of Shadows?

It’s really up to you how you wish to use this book.  The most common use and form seems to be like a journal.  You update it whenever you want, or whenever you have something to add, but you don’t need to do it every day.  When you do a spell, write it down in the BoS exactly as you said it.  Leave room at the end of the page or on the following page to write up what happens after the spell is cast.  After about a week, or however long if you specified a time period in the spell, then write if the spell worked, if it worked well or kind of or not at all, whether it’s something you would use again or not, etc.  This can apply to meditations or chants as well as spells and rituals.

Say you just got a new guided meditation cd and you want to record how effectively it works for you so you won’t forget, or you want to record what happened during the meditation.  You can put that in a BoS.  Use the cd, see if anything changes or if it’s effective, and record the outcome in your BoS.  I used a guided meditation that could take the listener to meet spirit guides.  I wrote down what I saw, what I felt, and how effective the meditation and cd were for me and if I would use them again.

This differs from a Book of Mirrors (BoM) in that a BoS is not generally used for reflection.  It is used to record actions taken in terms of spells, rituals, prayers, meditations, chants, etc., or actions you would like to take, such as writing down a meditation for future use to try out later.  But generally, you don’t reflect upon life or your actions; you record whether a spell worked, didn’t work, and leave it at that.  Reflections on how these things then affect your life and what changes are effected go into a BoM.  That being said–like much else in Paganism–these books are highly personal, and you can make them into whatever you want.  My friend, for example, found that she was actually writing a Book of Mirrors after I explained it to her, but her’s is probably going to end up being a combination of a BoM and a BoS.  Nothing wrong with that!

Now, if you’re a part of a coven, they will probably have guidelines and such on how to format and use both of these books, but if you’re in a coven, you probably already know that anyway.

Part Two: Formats for a Book of Shadows
Part Three: Books of Shadows, Then and Now  Coming Soon!