[Ivy's Pentacles]


This Web site is essentially an electronic Book of Shadows. It is based heavily on my non-digital Book of Shadows, entitled The Wayside: Ivy's Book of Shadows and Crafts. Traditionally, Books of Shadows are mystical-looking handwritten tomes with protective, mystical herbs sewn into their covers, guarded by coven members from the prying eyes of outside. Well, this version is a Web site. Does this make it less effective? I should think not. I have so much information here that I think it would have been counterproductive to copy it all just to be able to say I was traditional. If you don't agree, by all means snub me . . . and try to take what you can from the site anyway.

I am a person of words, but in my practice of the Craft, I almost never speak unless I am with another person, which is rare. I am solitary in my pursuits, and though I love conversing with other Pagans and going to large Pagan gatherings and whatnot, there is nothing like pursuing your practice by yourself; undistracted by others; unashamed by any mistakes; unabashed silliness, merriment, and seriousness flourishing. Therefore, you might find that this site is more for the individual student rather than one who wishes to practice as part of a larger group. I just wanted to clarify that, and let you know that that is why my spells and rituals are notably low on words of power. I work best through the wordless impressions in my head, and if you prefer fashioning the blur in the brain into language, by all means, work how you are effective.

I'm not Wiccan, but you can still be Wiccan and get a lot out of this site; I simply don't have the specific takes on the rituals and the deities like Wicca does, and I don't believe in initiation as an exclusive method of legitimacy. You should know that I have never been initiated by a recognized Wiccan or Witch; I simply know I have knowledge I want to share, and I use it, without waiting for anything but the go-ahead from the universe for my approval. I am not a fan of the overly scripted and traditionalized ways of "traditional" Wicca like Gardnerian and Alexandrian types, and I have never been interested in performing many huge ceremonious steps just to make a spell. I no longer get much out of solitary ritual (though I did them for years), but I still know a lot about crafting rituals, and for that reason I offer my original procedures here for you. In short, I am eclectic, taking what I think sounds interesting and effective from any semblance of philosophy as I see it. You should know that is my worldview so that you can understand the lens I look through as I put this together.

I would like, above all, to encourage you to use this site as inspiration and to continue creating and seeking yourself. The Craft is a wonderful and joyous lifelong adventure to be had, and your journey may just be beginning or you may be a trailblazer in the Pagan wilderness, but once you start reading here, you and I are on the path together. Delve into it with caution but not fear; restraint but not passiveness; joy but not recklessness. Consider your options, but don't forget to have a good time! If life is a volleyball game, you can still have fun without much skill, but the Craft is one of many things in this world that can teach you to spike the ball and get your serves over every time—and if you're bothering to play, it is nice to win some of your games, isn't it? Here's hoping.


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