Soraya's Books Magickal Grains Rites and Rituals

Before the Rose - The Wooden Rose - After the Rose - Reiki Training Manual - Book of Shadows - Jump the Broomstick - Psychic Guidance - Best Names & Numerology - Magickal Rune Vibrations - The Witches Companion - The Kitchen Witch - Book of Spells - Psychic Powers - Book of Tarot - Book of Runes - Little Book of Spells - Little Book of Cord and Candle


Before the Rose

The Wooden Rose

After the Rose

The Mystery of
The Wooden Rose Trilogy
Reiki Training Manual
Book of Shadows, an Experiential Guide

Jump the Broomstick

Psychic Guidance

Best Names & Numerology

Magickal Rune Vibrations

The Witches Companion

The Kitchen Witch

Book of Spells

Psychic Powers

Book of Tarot

Book of Runes

Little Book of Spells

Little Book of Cord and Candle

Book of Shadows, an Experential Guide by Soraya

Book of Shadows, an experiential Guide for the Modern Witch
By Soraya
Kilmarnock South Ayrshire Tel 01292 540 740

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This is a Book of Shadows with a difference. In this book you will find not only blank pages but, references and suggestions for everything you need to start you on this path or help you to continue on your journey in the Craft of the Wise.
You will find the steps to take from:- Gathering your Tools to
Casting your Circle and Choosing your Magickal Name
Magickal associations are included to help you to choose items that will empower your rituals and spells and you will find some of the recipes taken from my Kitchen Witch Book to help you to break bread at your Cakes and Ale ceremony.
Blank pages are included after each section so that you can make notes and enjoy using this Experiential Book of Shadows.

A review Mel West 27 May - I absolutely love love love's very concise and I like the space to write own notes. It's concise without being TOO in some books I've seen that are so detailed they end up putting you off reading them. Oooh...and I love the recipes too! Xxxx

The Beginning of your Journey

Can you remember when your interest in the path of the Witch first peaked and you began to gather all the tools and accessories that you had heard of or read about? A Book of Shadows would probably be high on that list and when you get your first Book of Shadows you find that it is just full of blank pages. Yes, many of us had made that assumption, but there is a good reason. You are meant to fill the blank pages with your spells, rituals, verses, dreams, notions and experiences and then it becomes your Book of Shadows. To my way of thinking, you need more guidance when you first begin to follow this new path and I have put this “Book of Shadows” together with some suggestions that will help you, the modern Witch, to get started.
Yes there are blank pages so that you can record verses spells and rituals that you create and the pages that have text are there as suggestions only, not rules unless it is stated that they are. You do not have to follow my words or opinions; they are merely there to help you along your path. So let’s start at the beginning. The first thing that you will probably want to do is cast a circle and you will probably be drawn to this because you want to change your way of thinking, or your way of life, or because you want something specific. It may be that you want a better job or even a job if you are unemployed. You might want to help someone that you care about who is experiencing difficulties. Your desire might be to help with healing someone who is poorly.
The words ‘want and desire’ are strong words, but for magick to take effect it is your intention that matters, not your desires, or wants, and always, always, always, your intentions must be honourable, for the highest good, and never interfere with another’s destiny. I can almost hear you thinking, “If I perform a spell to heal another, does that not interfere with that person’s destiny?” The answer to that is of course it does and that is why we always say “And it harm none, so mote it be” If you always try to do the right thing then the right thing will occur.
In my first book, Book of Spells, I explained how it was easy to wish for something thoughtlessly. You might have your wish granted in a way that causes you or another pain and anguish. Think about that for a few minutes. What could you wish for that causes you or another pain or anguish? You might answer that you want a new house and you might get one through a substantial insurance claim because the house you had was burnt to the ground with all your irreplaceable memories and keepsakes lost. Yet another reason to finish with, “And it harm none so mote it be.”
This new path is not necessarily an easy one as it compels you to think about things, to think about what you say, what you do and how you act because every action creates a reaction, good or bad. If you hurt someone, someone will hurt you. If you are kind to someone, someone will be kind to you. Everything that you do will come back to you as witches say, “Three times over,” meaning it will be three times better or three times worse depending on what you have put out.
So how does this work if someone is trying to cause you harm and you are anxious to respond in like fashion. Don’t do it, because like a pendulum the consequences of your actions will keep returning to you, but you can send back negative energy simply by saying “I redirect your negative energy back to you.” The beauty of this is that you don’t have to say these words out loud. Just focus your mind, concentrate on the words and say them into yourself finishing with and it harm none so be it. Using this method you have sent back the spite preventing it from doing any harm to you or anyone else.
Rules to observe are, never try to influence another’s free will and never intent harm on or to another person and trust your instincts. Stick to these rules and you will avoid complications.

Your Notes

Gathering your Tools

Book of Shadows
In these modern times we have many resources available to us and the chances of you using only pen and paper are slim. I am not suggesting that you won’t use them, merely that you will probably come to use other things as well. I am at my PC every day and on my desk I have a notebook for doodling when I am on the phone, for jotting down things I want to remember and for quickly writing down spell verses that just pop into my head, but I always save my spell verses to a folder on my PC backed up on an external hard drive. You might use your phone, or tablet or laptop and that won’t make your words any less special. That’s what being a modern witch is.
To my mind a traditional Book of Shadows is a keepsake, words that are written on a really nice book with beautiful handwriting and you can have that too, but since my life revolves around writing and my time is spent in front of my PC, that is where I save my magickal works and words.
You may want to record dreams that you have had, or tarot reading that you have done for yourself. You can record recipes for spells, yes you can have a recipe for a spell and your ingredients may include specifically coloured ribbons, cords or candles and various herbs spices or flowers. You might want to use certain essential oils or incense. Each spell will have an incantation or verse that you will recite over and over again and you will want to date your spell or ritual and then date the results. Like I said before, my PC is my Go To but if you want to keep a written record then I hope you will enjoy using this book. Make a few notes on the following pages to get you started.
Your Notes

You can make your own broom often called a besom by using a stout branch for an Ash tree for the handle and birch or willow twigs for the brush or you can buy a manufactured one, bless or cleanse away any negative energies and personalize it by carving or painting the handle and adding feathers, crystals and symbols that are meaningful to you. My first broom, which I still have, was given to me by my children many years ago.
You will use your broom to sweep your circle space before you begin any ritual to rid your space of negative energy, but the broom is also symbolic of the male and female. The handle represents the God and the brush represents the Goddess. For that reason your broom should be treated with respect as any and all other magickal tools.
If you want to make your own broom you can choose a certain tree for its astrological association that matches your star sign or for a specific meaning. You will find the meanings and connections in the section “Magickal Associations.” It is always better to select the wood of your choice from a fallen branch or tree but if you must cut a branch please ask the tree for permission. Place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on the tree you have selected and spend a few moments thinking of how you will use the branch. You may feel a tingle running through you and that is the tree communicating with you. In your mind ask to be directed to a suitable branch and then follow your instincts. When you have cut the branch, leave a gift for the tree. You can plant some bulbs near the roots or throw down some wild flower seeds or leave a silver coin at the base of it. Finish by thanking the tree for its gift to you.
Your Notes

The list of wands that you can have is almost endless. You can use your index finger, a crystal point, an Athame (more about that later), a sword, a copper pipe filled with crystals with a crystal point at one end. You can use a curly branch that has fallen from a tree and decorate it with magickal symbols, crystals, and feathers. You can make a Priapic wand which will always be decorated with bells and coloured ribbons, and symbols. Your wand can be used to draw your circle line, to point, to draw magickal symbols on the ground or in the Air, for directing energy.
Making a Wand from a branch
Select either a branch that has fallen from a tree or choose one to cut. Before you remove a branch from a tree, stand quietly in front of it, and in your heart and mind, explain the purpose for which the branch is intended. When you have taken your small branch (about twelve inches long) leave a small offering gift of some fruit or a coin and give thanks before you leave the area. Some people prefer a branch which is curly others prefer their branch to be straight but choose what feels right for you. Decorate your branch by inscribing symbols on to it; adding feathers, ribbons or bells, anything that you feel is symbolically important to you. When it is finished leave it by a window for a complete cycle of the Moon to cleanse and empower the energies.
Making a Wand from a copper pipe
You can buy a length of copper pipe from any hardware store. Choose one with a diameter the thickness of a regular crystal tumble stone. Block the bottom end with a piece of cork and then begin to fill the pipe with crystals and when it is almost full, place a cork stopper at the top. In the past I have stripped aerial cable and used the wire to hold crystal points at either end of the pipe, the wire wound down and around added to the decoration of my copper wand. You can choose to do that or you can use cotton string or any other method. As with any wand or tool that you make or buy, it is a good idea to leave it by a window where it can be blessed and energized by the cycle of the Moon.

Your Notes

Athame (magickal knife)
An Athame, which represents the God, is a pointed ornamental dagger and can be bought from specialist Wiccan or Pagan suppliers, but when I first began on my path I found an antique bone handled paper opener and bought it instantly, I was so drawn to it. Strictly speaking since it had a white bone handle it should have been my Boline but for me it was my Athame. I use it daily for rituals directing my energy and when I am at my desk it is no more that an arm’s length away from me. I love it and when I glance at it, it reminds me of my path. I have drawn symbols in the Air and on the ground with it, I have inscribed candles for candle magick with it and I have used it to direct my energy. It was the least expensive item among the magickal tools that I have ever purchased and the one I use and love most. Nowadays I also have a very ornate silver gem encrusted Athame which I use occasionally.
Your Notes

Pentacle, the five pointed star
A Pentacle is an ancient symbol in the shape of a five-pointed star, which has one point at the top, one each to the left and right and two more at the bottom. The top point of the pentacle points to infinity above and moving clock wise the next point symbolises water, the next Fire, and the next Earth and lastly Air. The space in the middle is the space that mankind symbolically occupies.
A circle symbolising infinity and protection generally surround this five-pointed star. Most Wiccans' like to wear a pentacle around their neck, or on a ring. Some consider the symbol too sacred to be seen by the eyes of other people and always keep it covered. The choice is yours to do as you wish. The Pentacle is always used in circle work, drawn in the Air, on your body and placed on the altar reminding us of the ever-renewing cycles of balance, life, death and rebirth.
Pentacles can be purchased in most new age shops but can also be made. If you have a computer, the simplest way is to open a word document, click on ‘shapes’, and on the drop down window you will see stars among the shapes; click on the five-pointed star and your pointer on the screen will become a cross. Hold down the left mouse button, drag the mouse until the star appears in the size and proportion that you want. Print this out and use it as a template to draw or paint your own pentacle. If you are artistic, you could even make one from plaster, papier-mâché or wire or wood. Your pentacle should be placed on the centre of your altar.
Your Notes

Boline (Working knife)
The Boline generally has a white handle and the blade is sharp on one side and blunt on the other. It is a working tool for cutting carving and inscribing. You would use a Boline to cut a branch from a tree for your wand.
Your Notes

Ringing a bell will purify and clear the Air or the energy around you and as a feminine object the bell can be used to call the Goddess. Any bell can be used and I found my bell in a second hand shop. It is made of Caithness glass crystal and has a beautiful sound. You can also use a brass bell or Tingsha chimes.
Your Notes

Of all the accessories or tools that I have gathered my Cauldron is the one thing that I waited the longest period for. I searched high and low, looking in second hand and antique shops and finally I resorted to magick and performed a ritual asking for my Cauldron to come. I found it not much later at the Pagan Federation Annual Conference in Edinburgh. My cauldron’s lives in my garden these days and I use it during my rituals. During a full moon it can be filled with water and used for scrying (seeing) into the past or the future. Spells can also be created in the cauldron by writing down wishes or spells then setting alight to the paper and allowing the Fire and smoke to carry your wishes to the heavens above. The Cauldron is symbolic of the Goddess.
Your Notes