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Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Book of Shadows

DEFINITION:
In modern Wicca, the standard title for a book of Wiccan rituals and teachings. Traditionally each Witch was required to copy out his or her own Book of Shadows by hand from the copy owned by his or her initiator. This is still commonly done in the more traditional covens, although many modern Wiccans and other Pagans use published books for the bulk of their ritual and instructional work…

The term “Book of Shadows” does not occur in Western occult lore or the literature of Witchcraft before Gardner introduced it sometime around 1950. The title may have been borrowed from a 1949 article in the Occult Observer, “The Book of Shadows” by Mir Bahir, about a supposed system of Hindu divination by the measurement of the querent’s shadow.
SOURCE:  The New Encyclopedia of Occult, by John Michael Greer
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