Monday, August 20, 2012

With BoS in Hand.

I started recopying my Book of Shadows (BoS) this past weekend. As is traditional, I hand copied it from the BoS of my teacher. Normally this is something that is done over a span of time. I, however, did not have that luxury. I had to drive nine hours to their house during a four day weekend from work. Less than a few weeks later, they would be moving to the West coast, whereas I am literally 20-30 minutes from the Atlantic. So the only chance I had, without flying to the opposite coast, would be to marathon transcribe it in entirety.

I am an eighth generation Initiate and so with the traditional proclamation of being able to add to the BoS so long as nothing is subtracted in place, let’s just say there was quite a bit to copy. I did it too, in a hand numbing rushed 12 hour write-athon. The experience was very memorable and I learned a lot. Copying a BoS in the traditional manner is an initiatory experience in of itself, participating in the same process with the same material with nothing but pin, paper, and one’s thoughts, just like every initiate before. It cracks open the egregore and the bond is strengthened.

It is due to this hurry-up-and-copy that has led me to recopying. First I’d like everything to be in a slightly nicer journal that I bought a couple of years ago. When I first started training, I ran across it one day and knew it would be my BoS, the calling was answered, and so I have held it in the ready since. Secondly, after five or six hours of writing and thinking, the reflection bit is down played significantly and the writing becomes an automatic exercise of discipline. I say discipline because it takes effort to force one to keep going at that point, but one’s thoughts are mostly not on the material. The mind was in a haze, taking several days to recover.

With this in mind, I started the much slower and deliberate process of transcribing everything into what will be my working BoS. I’ll save the other as a backup. The experience has been very similar to the first and vastly different. Many of the same feelings and ideas have cropped up, especially as they are stirred up by familiar passages or wording. At the same time, I have time to pause if I so choose and think about what I am writing. I have had several important realizations as a result. It is an experience that I am grateful for.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

1 comment:

Lee Shawnus said...

Great and important work in this day of "here's your BOS on a thumb drive". I let my students decide for themselves what they want to do, and surprisingly most decide to hand copy. I also had to drive a couple hours, hand copy 2 BOSs into my notebook, then come home to copy them legibly into my 3 BOSs of about 300 pages total. Later when my teacher died her nephew just threw hers into the dumpster, so thank the gods i got our copy from the originals.