So, I've recently started Gathering materials to bind and design my own, A5, Parchment filled, leather covered journal, IDK why i said all the details, I'm just really excited to get started!!! And I was wondering if Anyone had any tips on what to put in the beginning after the cover page. In the main book Imma put spells and Info/Beliefs, but I wanna put the most important information on Witchcraft in the beginning And I am Really confused on what to do. So Please can someone help.
P.S I know beggars can't be choosers, but if anyone is kind enough to help me, please, all I ask is, Do not suggest wiccan Only info. I'm okay with items relating to wicca that are also in witchcraft, but as someone who is not wiccan in the religious sense (as I'm a catholic practitioner [of the craft] ) I don't want anyone wasting their own time trying to help me, when the details they're giving me are useless. It's a bit too much to be asking, but I don't want anyone else wasting theur time
I think that it is really great you are putting so much energy and thought into your Book of Shadows!
You could put many things after the cover page in the front of your Book of Shadows, such as a preface, which introduces the book and it's aim and the scope of what it will be about. That is what I have added to the beginning of my digital Book of Shadows, and it is often used in books regarding many mundane topics not just magickal books. You could have a peice of art, a poem, a personal statement, etc. But when it comes down to it, it is your book and you can add (or not add) anything you want and use any format you would like in it :)
Some people also like to put a Poem, Charlemagne, or personal saying on the first page. Something that should act as a personal reminder or that summarizes your personal philosophy at the time of starting the book. (And of course changing it from book to book as the original gets filled)
Something like "An it harm none", or "Wisdom is the use of knowledge through the eyes of the heart", or "One foot in the sea, One foot on land." basically put in something that is personally significant and/or inspiring, that you want to remind yourself of every time you open the book.
From there, it can be laid out however you want. Either page by page scribblings of whatever needs to be entered at the time, or a scrapbook style collection of pictures, spells, recipies, information on moon phases or runes etc, random ideas, and book references, or it can be a neatly organised, segmented book with specific sections. It is all up to you! ^_^
The thing with filling out your own personal Book of Shadows/Grimoire etc is that no one can truly dictate what you should put into it - there are a lot of helpful journalling/bos prompts - you can even look at the 2016 Grimoire Challenge on Tumblr and follow the monthly challenges to help structure it.
My advice to you is this, don't try and fill it straight away - you're still learning and there are some bits of information that whilst you can read it in a book - you're better to experience it to get a better understanding. Here are some little pointers
Record as you go, don't feel like you need to prelearn eveything you want to practice.
Figure out what is relevant to you, if you don't believe in the 'Wiccan Rede' or the '13 Goals of a Witch' then don't feel like it has to be there - if you don't like the sound of it, don't put it in.
Note taking, if you find out something interesting - don't write it word for word, because you'll just take up space - keep everything in short note form - when you study anything - notes act as a trigger to help jog the memory - where as our brains generally have a hard time trying to take in a lot of information at once.
When it comes to 'important info on witchcraft' that is down to the practitioner to deem what is important because in reality - we can't fit the complete all encompassing information on the history and development of witchcraft in 250 pages, because Witchcraft spans the globe, spans cultures etc.
Feel free to make mistakes when you're writing, it doesn't have to be this perfect heirloom to pass on - its supposed to be a working record of your life - and when you've filled it/think you've reached the end of the path and there isn't much else to learn then that would be the perfect time to start writing/planning your heirloom book.
I've found a lot of practitioners scrap their books after a while because they feel like the information is no longer relevant (For example I wrote about the 'God' and 'Goddess' - they now have no relevance in my practice for a good 10 years)
Your book should grow with you, and only encompass what you need.
I know you asked for non Wiccan only info, however there's a book out there that really helped me. Scott Cunningham's book 'Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner' has pretty much anything and most everything that you'd want to put into a BOS. I used it to form my own version of Witchcraft that separated from Wicca.
I know with me, I currently have a prayer and the 13 rules of a Witch at the beginning. I know someone who wrote a curse if anyone tried stealing the information from their BOS. I also have some artwork :) At this point, my BOS is so big I'm going to have to break it down into two camps, which means re-figuring out what goes and what won't be going into each version of my BOS.