I am sure you have seen folks use the standard black vinyl
bound, blank Book of Shadows that you can purchase at just about any bookstore. I am sure you have seen others use a standard
blank journal. Have you ever wanted more out of your BOS but you had not idea how to “spice it up?” In this article
I am going to briefly cover a few scrapbooking techniques that you can incorporate into your BOS to bring it a little life.
Start with color! Your typical BOS probably has lots of thoughts
and words scribbled throughout the pages. Why not try and use colored ink to write in your pages. You can reserve one color
for spells, another for useful information, and a third color for your thoughts. Color conveys energy and movement on your
pages and after all, what is a Pagan without energy, right? Ultimately the colors you choose will define the spirit of the
pages within your BOS. Choose them based on the purpose of the information on the pages.
Images tell 1,000 words. So why not include a picture of
you or a coven member performing an act that you have written in a ritual? Perhaps you have an entire page written about a
particular place where you go to meditate. Capturing your sacred spot on film will preserve it for years to come no matter
what the future holds for that spot of land. Some of us depend on herbs for our magickal rites. Hand sketching an image of
herb leaves add a much more lasting impression than a wordy description.
Add the unexpected! Remember those herbs I mentioned. Well
I do not know about you but I am not a talented sketch artist. So in my case I would take a sprig of the actual herb and press
it. After it was dried and pressed I would laminate it and add it to my BOS as a reminder of what the herb actually looks
like! Have you ever made your own ritual robe that you were so proud of that you wanted to remember it forever? Why not include
a photograph and a swatch of the fabric in your BOS?
Cover it! The first thing people see when they glance at
a BOS is the cover. So instead of leaving your BOS in it’s plain cover, why not embellish it? Craft stores all over
the area carry all sorts of buttons, ribbons, fabrics, lace and much more that can be easily added to the cover of your BOS
with a little thread or glue. Check the charms and ribbons section for some really unique things you could add to the cover.
Even those rather flat wooden cutouts can be affixed to the cover after being painted with any number of techniques.
If you still believe that you do not posses the creative
juices needed to apply these tips to your own BOS then you probably need to use something called a layout template. Layout
templates are simply laser cut plastic templates that helps you decide what things go where, without needing an once of creativity
because a craft designer has already done the hard part for you! They can be purchased in two sizes: 8 1/2” x 11”
or 12” x 12”. and you can buy them at any scrapbook store or directly from the manufacturer for a reasonable price.
Recently, I began teaching a scrapbooking technique called
color blocking, using the Deluxe Cut Color Blocking Templates (www.deluxecuts.com). Every Sunday from 12-6pm Federation (www.focasmi.org)
members gathered in my home for a short workshop on the basics of scrapbooking and how to use the templates. In exchange for
no class fee, Federation members used their new skills to help assemble the Federation scrapbook, just in time for Convocation
(www.convocation.org)! Both men and women came to the workshop and succeeded in making the scrapbook a reality not to mention
they were able to take their new skills and apply them at home. Teri enjoyed herself so much she invested in her own templates
and started work on her own “Scrapbook of Shadows!” When I asked her what she liked most about the color blocking
system she said that it gave her BOS a uniform look that allowed her to use pictures, journaling and embellishments to really
make her BOS have life. She especially enjoyed the fact that each template, when turned or flipped, will give you four layouts.
She also said, “The templates make me a creative person, and when I am working on my BOS, which the written one has
been a work-in-progress for the last 10 years, this method, really spoke to me. I am putting more and more into it, than any
written journal. When I first started my old BOS (the one before the scrapbook) I hardly ever wrote in it, I think I have
a total of 4 pages, in 10 years of being in the Craft. With this one, I knocked out 6 pages in 2 days, and have ideas for
about 12 more.”
So next time you are thumbing through your BOS and you realize
that your pages lack something “special”, why not consider applying a new craft to your Craft?