A child’s Book of Shadows is like the pagan equivalent of a baby book. It’s a record of your children’s growth and development into strong, creative, and psychic individuals. It is also a wonderful way to teach your kids about Wicca and paganism, while keeping it fun!
A binder is ideal for a child’s Book of Shadows, as you can add pages where needed, and keep sections organised according to topic.
Treat the book as if it were your child’s journal for the world of Spirit. You can write in it if they are too young to do so, but try to keep it in their own words, and act as their secretary.
Have your child decorate the book or binder. It will create a sense of ownership from the very beginning. The book can contain stories, crafts, pressed plants, spells, drawings, chants, and so on. Include your kid’s favourite folk stories and faerie tales and her illustrations.
Put in all the stories your child creates, preferably dictated and transcribed in his own words. Read these together, from the Book of Shadows, adding to them and making changes where you feel the need, but keep the originals intact. Date everything. The beauty of this is in watching the changes take place.
Learning how to create poetry is especially important. Poetry turns into spells and chants. Rhyming words have a great deal of power. A person who can think in rhyme can harness their Will efficiently. Start with simple rhyming words. Progress to couplets and limericks. Use a drum to teach rhythm.
If you’ve taught your child about the deities and the Sabbats, ask them to explain it to you and transcribe what your child tells you.
Take pictures at all the Sabbats. Take pictures of your child dressed as Gods and Goddesses. Take pictures of all altars. Have your child describe ritual robes, items on the altars, and the purpose of the ritual as she sees it. Write it down. DATE IT! It’s hard to brag about what an amazing Witchlet your child is if you can’t remember whether he drew the picture when he was three or nine years old (but if you can’t remember, say three – it sounds better).
Keep a separate section on herb lore and healing. You can get plastic covers to protect pages of glued on, pressed plants. Otherwise, you’re likely to find a fine powder and some fat silverfish instead of a plant sample in a few years. It’s a good idea to have only one or two plants on each page.
Note down the names (Latin and common) of the plant, where it was found, what it is used for and any myths or folk lore attached to the plant. On the back of the page, you can write down recipes, cautions, and the results of personal use. Does it taste good? Does it sting? Did it work? What’s the best way to use it: tea, tincture, salve, or poultice?
It’s also interesting to have samples of the same plant taken at different times of the year. Note when it flowers, fruits, and goes dormant. Plants can look remarkably different from location to location, and in different seasons. It’s a good idea to learn to identify plants from one or two consistent characteristics. Write these down and keep track of the usefulness of the information.
Learning to look at plants gives a real sense of how the wheel of the year turns, the Goddess Changes, and the Green Man is born, grows old, seeds and dies and is once again born in the spring.
You can make similar entries for feathers, noting the bird it came from, when you found it, and what it represents. Owl feathers are striped and denote wisdom. Raven feathers are longer and more blade shaped than Crow feathers. The Red Breasted Flicker has bright orange feathers. Find special rocks. Try to identify them and enter the information along with the date and circumstances under which you found them.
This is a good place to start teaching your child the runes and other secret alphabets. Children who start learning to read and write before four absorb the ability as a language rather than a skill. They stash it in a different part of the brain, a deeper part, and never remember not knowing how to do these things.
Children with several languages, including American Sign Language and the scribing languages, perceive the world in a broader and more varied manner. They don’t just think in terms of sound, but with their eyes and bodies as well. When you have added the non-spoken languages to their repertoire, you have people who think and communicate in many different dimensions. This increases psychic abilities.
Treasure the pages you’ve copied. You can share it until the day the book’s owner tells you that it is private. At that time, go in your bathroom and have a good cry. Your baby just took another snip out of the umbilical cord.