Tuesday 8 January 2019

Books of Shadows and the Magical Art of Journaling

As William Wordsworth once said, “fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

Keeping a personal journal might sound reminiscent of our childhood or teenage days, but it’s something that adults alike are increasingly enjoying. And for pagans and witches it can also be a useful part of a magical practice.

Studies have found that keeping a journal can offer numerous health benefits too; aiding with anxiety and stress and helping to achieve personal targets or goals*. The Open University states that reflecting on one’s experiences is part of everyday learning and therefore can contribute to an individual’s development or personal growth**, an essential tool to master if studying.

Like writing a blog – but without the need for technology – journals, scrapbooks and personal diaries are a wonderful way to articulate oneself and preserve memories. They also hold a permanence and nostalgic quality that web blogs may not, due to their physicality. And even if you don’t feel yourself to be much of a writer, expressing yourself through sketching, mind-mapping or list-making can be just as creative a way to document day-to-day life, preserve memories or note special experiences.

You could keep a dream diary, jot down the details of oracle or tarot cards drawn for each day, record the signs of nature in the changing seasons, or start a daily magical practice and keep a note of it in a suitable book. Some witches like to call their personal magical journal their Book of Shadows.

Whatever your reason for journaling, having a special notebook for the purpose can help inspire you.Whether you choose to fill yours with a daily record, note down thoughts an observation, or even pen a fictional memoire, choose your journal to reflect you best.

The picture at the top comes from high street retailer Ryman Stationery, which has a big range of traditional-style journals to encase a daily record, scrapbooks for keeping special memories and jottings safe, and regular diaries. The photo to the left shows a notebook I was given in the past that is blank and intended for writing your own spells in.

Do you have a special journal, scrapbook or personal Book of Shadows, or are you thinking of starting one? Do leave a comment.

*Source – Cambridge University Press: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/advances-in-psychiatric-treatment/article/emotional-and-physical-health-benefits-of-expressive-writing/ED2976A61F5DE56B46F07A1CE9EA9F9F
** Open University http://www2.open.ac.uk/students/skillsforstudy/be-aware-of-your-habits.php

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