Why You Need A Book of Shadows

Why You Need A Book of Shadows

What is a book of shadows journal?  Learn what it is and why this spiritual journal is an essential tool for inner work and spiritual exploration.

Some words and terms carry many meanings.  Our popular culture drives the diversification of language.  In Western culture, this term has an association with Witchcraft and Wicca. This term came into the modern vernacular in the 1950s.  However, the term has a much richer and deeper meaning that transcends both popular culture and Western stereotypes. It has roots Pagan and indigenous cultures around the globe.

Why You Need a Book of Shadows

This is a document that is indispensable for spiritual exploration.  It can be used to document everything from dreams to rituals.  This tool can help you in your spiritual walk.  It shows patterns of thinking that can help you spot roadblocks on your path.

Is this document the same thing as a spiritual journal?   This is a good question.  The short answer is yes.  They are the same thing.  What you call it depends on how you use it.

In Witchcraft, its primary use is to record rituals and spells.  Because of this, some call it a book of ways.  The term shadows refer to the esoteric nature of the information.  However, even if you don’t have rituals or spells, confidentiality is also an important aspect.   The term Shadow has a more esoteric deeper meaning.

There are several reasons for calling it a spiritual journal and a book of shadows journal.

No matter what you call it, this is a handwritten document.  This is important.  Your handwriting is a connection to your subconscious mind.  So, any handwritten journal contains your most inner thoughts.  You document experiences about your spiritual practice, your dreams.  It could also contain personal rituals or spells.  Many use this for automatic writing and other creative writing. Your handwriting reflects many levels of awareness and emotion.

These thoughts and emotions are reflections of both your spiritual journey our inner or our shadow self.  Similarly, your Ego is your shadow self. This is because it is the shadow of your ego that you cast as you live, and walk the earth.  You are a living book of shadowsIt reflects your inner work.

what is a book of shadows journal

An Essential Tool For Spiritual Exploration

If you use it regularly, you will probably have several.  They are a way of documenting the significant events of your life.  It reflects the shadows of your thoughts and emotions.  It can be a valuable tool in the process of spiritual exploration and the development of your awareness.  It is the best life coach.  And, it is an honest and accurate reflection of your inner world.  Thus, a book of shadows journal is an indispensable tool.

We recommend that everyone involved in the spiritual quest create and use this type of spiritual journal.

Enlightenment is a Process

Everyone has their own way of awakening.  We have unique spiritual gifts and we are on different timetables. Awakening is a process. These gifts are sleeping in our DNA.  When we open them, it sets our spiritual walk into motion.  It opens our minds to new potentials. Accessing these gifts was the central goal of many ancient cultures.

We enjoy the benefits of generations of research.  The results are a set of powerful tools anyone can use. We call these tools spiritual technologies.  These are sound methods for expanding awareness and exploring consciousness. These tools stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable experiential phenomena. And, higher states of awareness also have unique measurable physiological signatures. They differ from waking, sleeping, and dreaming.

You do not need to follow a religion to use these tools. All you need to do is follow the process.  For the most part, these tools come from Eastern traditions.  Their focus is on exploring consciousness and developing human potential.

You will find this eclectic in other systems.  For example, Gurdjieff’s approach was to adopt what is already proven to be effective.  After all, human physiology hasn’t changed in thousands of years.  So, the work of the ancient pioneers stands the test of time.

Spiritual technologies are processes are the tools of consciousness.  They enable us to expand awareness and explore higher states of consciousness.

Spiritual Technologies

Spiritual technologies are methods for exploring consciousness.  They are processes that can change or expand our awareness.  Some of them are also doorways to higher states of consciousness.  In short, spiritual technologies are methods of change.  These processes result from eons of research by cultures around the world. Using these tools is what we call spiritual exploration.

Moreover, the tools stand up to the test of science.  That’s because they are repeatable.  Several produce measurable changes in our physiology.  It’s important to realize what spiritual exploration is not.

To emphasize, spiritual exploration is not a belief in religious dogma or doctrine.  So, anyone from any background can use them.  They do not require belief in any religion to use them. This means they are available to anyone that can follow a process.  It’s like baking a cake. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious.

There are many ways to list these methods. One simple way is to divide them into four main groups.  You could list some of these tools in more than one group.

    • Analytical Tools
    • Meditation
    • Awareness Expansion Tools
    • Healing Practices

Analytical Tools

The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools. However, analytical processes are vital to the spiritual quest.  This is because their use enhances our reasoning ability. This helps us to think more clearly.  In turn, this helps us avoid many of the common obstacles. The two tools in this group are Logical Reasoning and The Enneagram of Personality.

Logical Reasoning

The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice. It’s especially helpful for those new to the spiritual path. And, we also come back to review them regularly.  This keeps them fresh in our minds.

We use a set of three related tools.  The first tool is Logical reasoning.  This article summarizes logic.  It shows how people misuse logic to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next, is spotting logical fallacies.  This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies.   The last module, the logical axioms, ties everything together.

Comparative Analysis

Comparative Analysis is another valuable analytical tool. This is a systematic approach to research based on the scientific model.  It is a method that compares ideas and beliefs from different worldviews.

This process introduces the challenge of comparing their beliefs to other worldviews.  Here we also learn why it is so important to use emotional checks.  It helps us research with the least amount of bias and prejudice.

Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction.  So, these aren’t just for research.  You’ll find a use for these tools every day.  Besides their use with religion, politics the are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.

The Enneagram of Personality

The Enneagram of Personality is a tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct.  Modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others was and remains a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram with its nine processes of consciousness.

The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires.  If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate profile of our personality. Furthermore, the scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool.  The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs.  It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding.  It will lead you to an understanding of the source of your personal power.

Meditation

When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation.  Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration.  The practice of meditation is now common knowledge.  Both seated and moving meditation bring many health and wellness benefits.

Seated Meditation

Seated meditation is the heart of many spiritual practices.  This includes a range of tools from basic Mindfulness Meditation through Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM).  And, also includes more advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.  It also includes more contemporary processes for grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.

Moving Meditation

Moving meditation is action together with a heightened level of awareness. So, this includes a range of activities involving the mind-body connection.  Using these modalities helps improve our health and wellness.  This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi.  It also includes Forest Bathing.

Awareness Expansion Tools

This group is a mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception.  This group of processes starts with the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation. It also includes lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory.  Another important tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows.  This is your best coach.  It also includes exercises like automatic writing.  You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list separately because of their importance to awareness.

The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first spiritual technology.  This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures.  And, so, it serves as evidence to the historical importance of the inner quest.

There are many variations on this theme, but all use essentially the same formula.  Rhythm is a key element that regulates heart rate and breathing.  Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey. A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world.   However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.

This is one of the ancient technologies that people have tried to rename or rebrand.  They do this to make the Shamanic Journey more marketable.  So, some people know it as guided meditation or creative visualization.

Healing practices

The last group is healing practices.  This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet from Indonesia, or Reiki, and Shiatsu from Japan.  Vedic medicine is also available along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group.  Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.

Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest.  Then they find it is an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.

In Conclusion

What is a book of shadows?  It is a document or a set of several documents we use to record a variety of thoughts. You can use it as a tool no matter your path.

If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. To find out more about our organization, see our page FAQ.

Interested in spiritual exploration?  Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey.  Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions.  Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their own path.

References

Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
book of shadows, Wikipedia

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