One of the things a lot of people new to witchcraft want to know about is the Book of Shadows. On the television show the Charmed, they show the witches always referring to their book of shadows for spells and potions. Please keep in mind this is only a television show.
The book of shadows is a personal journal of sorts that a witch uses to write down spells and rituals that she/he has learned. This is a personal account of the spells that a witch has learned and notes on what is needed and how the spell is to be performed.
It is very individualize to the person that writes it and no two journals are exactly the same. Unlike the tv show, you don’t just read some words, mix a potion and then the magic happens. There are preparations that need to be made if you expect a spell to work.
Some believe that in order for magic to work you must believe in the spell. That this belief is a conscious effort. There are others that believe that if you perform the spell correctly that it will work whether you believe it or not.
I have found that neither of these two paths gives you the total picture. That it is a combination of ritual and repetition that gives the spell it’s power. Like hypnosis, or meditation the more times you do cast a particular spell the easier and faster it will be to cast any spell.
This is the power of the book of shadows, it spells out the details on any spell that you cast. This way you perform the spell ritual exactly the same every time which increases it’s power and the speed that it works.