Should You Have A Written Book of Shadows or Keep One On Your Computer?
In these modern times, it’s often more practical to keep information in an electronic format. Many modern Wiccans possess a spiritual journal in two formats. They type and store some of the work on a computer, and write out the rest. Perhaps you’ve heard others insist that you must keep your book “in your own hand of write,” and this has made you feel conflicted about keeping a computerized version of your spells and rituals.
There are several advantages to maintaining your book of shadows on a computer:
• Your material will be easy to find.
• It will be easy to read.
• It is easy to run off a copy of the text for use in ritual itself without having to handle your entire spiritual journal.
• You can keep a backup copy somewhere else, such as a safe-deposit box, in case of disaster. There are also drawbacks to having your spiritual journal on your computer:
• A computer file is cold, and has less personality or character than a handwritten book.
• You run the risk of accidentally erasing the file or having it corrupted by disk failure.
• A virus can destroy your entire machine if you are not properly protected.
• At times it can be inconvenient to print out the necessary pages.
The advantages to writing your book of shadows out by hand are numerous. Writing things out by hand is an excellent method by which we memorize material. A handwritten book of shadows possesses charm and character, and can be much more conducive to creating an atmosphere appropriate to ritual. It’s also deeply personal. Drawbacks include that handwriting can be hard to read by candlelight or moonlight, and if for some reason you lose your book, you’ve lost everything.
Ultimately, your spiritual journal is exactly what you make it. It is a blend of your choices, your personal style, and your practice. Many eclectic Wiccans use a combination of the computer and handwritten forms. Any spiritual record files on your computer should be backed up on CD or disc and stored in another location, just in case. You could choose to type up the text of a ritual or any information you’ve researched, print it out, and put it into your physical book of shadows for ease of reference, where it will provide a nice contrast to handwritten information.
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