|Halliwell Book of Shadows|
|Description:||A big tome with a green leather cover, two markers and the Triquetra symbol on the front|
|Usage:||Informing the owner(s) on demons and other magical beings, aiding them with spells and potions and other useful information about the craft|
The Halliwell Book of Shadows is the magical tome of the Warren Line. From all Book of Shadows around the whole world, this particular tome is the most powerful and coveted. It was created by Melinda Warren before her death in the 17th century, and has been passed down every generation until the Charmed Ones and the Blessed Ones.
Melinda Warren created the Book of Shadows before her death in 1692 and her daughter Prudence gave it continuity. Back them, it was a small book, but it grew because every generation added information onto it. Not only information about demons and how to vanquish them, but any kind of information they thought it was necessary to be write down.
In 1999, the Book was the first place the Charmed Ones would look when they got a magical situation on hands. They also wrote down any information they thought was important to register.
By 2015, the Book's place still remains in the attic of the Halliwell Manor, and each one of the Charmed Ones as well as the newly formed Blessed Ones are allowed to go and read every time they want or need to.
The Book of Shadows is very large, about the size of a dictionary or encyclopedia volume. It is bound in green leather, and the front cover has a symbol composed of an interlocking triquetra and circle on it, symbolizing the Power of Three and the Warren/Halliwell Family of Witches. Despite being three hundred years old, the book is actually in very good condition, although the pages have yellowed somewhat with age.
The book's pages are written in ink by hand. Each entry has their titles spelled out in elaborate multicolored calligraphy. The book is written by the whole Warren/Halliwell line, throughout the generations, and possibly by also very close friends. The book contains many illustrations, particularly drawings of demons and other magical creatures so they can be identified by those who have access to the book. Most of the book is in English, but some of the spells within it are written in Italian and Latin.
The book's organization is haphazard at best. The sisters have remarked on several occasions that they have searched "the entire book" when looking for specific information, which suggests that the book's previous owners simply filled in the pages sequentially rather than arranging the contents topically. However, given that the Book of Shadows is a collaborative work with contributions by over three centuries worth of Warren/Halliwell witches, topical organization was likely a practical impossibility.
Notable Entry Writers
- Penny Halliwell: Penny Halliwell often noted that she created most of the potion recipes in it (as Evil Witch Vanquishing Potion), though the only other entries we know for a fact that she wrote were the entries on the Necromancer, the Ice Cream Man, Gammill, The Collector and Eames. She also possibly wrote the Belthazor Vanquishing Spell, Upper Level Demon Vanquishing Potion and the spells To Increase Patience, To Unbind a Bond, To Bind, To Call the Halliwell Matriarchs and Nicholas Must Die.
- Patty Halliwell: Patty Halliwell added text on Barbas, the Demon of Fear, as well as the page on how to properly raise and nurture magical children.
- The Charmed Ones: The Charmed Ones themselves have also added a significant number of pages to the book, including information, spells and potions for future generations of good witches. Piper added notes on the Charm of Confidence after her first attempt at casting the spell on a nervous and insecure waiter at Quake, backfired as a result of her doubling the ingredients. The first spell they added themselves was "The Woogyman Spell", or how to banish the Shadow of the Nexus. Phoebe also added a page on Cole Turner, Belthazor's human half, including personal information like his favorite food and hobbies; "anything that could help future witches" after he'd broken her heart. This was reminiscent of the alterations Penny made to the Necromancer page, adding such things as "likes Clarke Gable movies" to aid in her getting over the end of their romantic relationship. Additionally, Phoebe wrote an entry on the warlock Anton. Prue added her own Animal Conjuring Spell before her untimely death. At the end of the series, Piper, Phoebe and Paige added their own entries regarding what they've been through in their years as the Charmed Ones in order to pass down the knowledge to future generations.
- Leo Wyatt: Leo added the entry titled, "Tips for Future Whitelighters," which detailed information about Whitelighters and how to properly use their powers in case he wasn't around to teach his sons Chris and Wyatt himself.
- The Blessed Ones: Each Blessed Ones themselves, haven't added information to the Book. Though considering they've just started their destiny, in given time Pip, Eddie and Bev will most likely add information to the Book.
The entries listed are ones that have been seen/used or referenced in Blessed. More will be listed as the series progresses.
- Dominus Trinus: The first entry in the Book of Shadows. This spell, Pip Muniz-Halliwell, forced by a demon to cast, gave Pip his powers and began his part of the Blessed legacy and destiny.
- Soul Swapping Spell: An entry in the Book that allows a parent and child to switch souls and inhabit the other's body, bringing their memories with them. The parent and child can boost their own powers with the body as well. Both the parent and child will speak in the voice of the body they inhabit and their appearance will not change.
Powers and Abilities
The Book of Shadows is also notable because evil cannot touch it, thanks to the shielding and sensing powers with which it is blessed. As a result of this blessing, the book cannot be taken out of the Halliwell Manor unless it is in the possession of the Charmed Ones, the Blessed Ones, other Warren/Halliwell witches, good magical beings, or non-magical mortals. This is particularly important to note, as many evil beings covet the book, both because of the power it holds and because taking it would make the Charmed Ones and most possibly the Blessed Ones much weaker and more vulnerable. However, despite the fact that it is protected by good magic, evil has still managed to find ways around this and have captured the book several times.
The book is tied very closely to the Charmed Ones' and most possibly the Blessed Ones' powers. For example, when Rex Buckland blackmailed them into giving up their Wiccan powers, the Book turned blank immediately after they cast the Relinquishment Spell. However, when Leo healed and restored the Book, their powers were restored as well. This bond between the Charmed Ones and the Book of Shadows is not infallible, though, as evidenced when the Angel of Destiny offered to take away their powers in the Charmed Season 4 finale-- he said the book would not be harmed, and would pass down to a future descendant. The bond the Blessed Ones will form with the Book of Shadows will most likely be this way too.
It can be presumed that the book's magic varies as it is passed on from one generation to the next, depending on its new master's magical state.
Also, if one of the Charmed Ones turns evil through a dark wedding to a warlock, the other two will become evil as well, and the evil will flow through the book. Dantalian, a high-level demon priestess, realized this loophole and tricked Prudence into marrying a warlock, Zile, to try to hijack their power for her own gain. This successfully turned the three sisters evil as expected, which enabled Dantalian to briefly steal the book. In addition, the book's original pages also transformed to those for evil-doings. The plan backfired when evil Piper and Phoebe vanquished Zile, breaking the evil bond and restoring the Book to normal. Its most possible that this will be the same way with the Blessed Ones.
Paige Matthews had once tried to copy the book on a photocopier, but because of its protective magic, every page came out blank.
The book has a different protection mechanism against evil. Various effects have resulted from an evil magical being trying to take the book for themselves, including: jumping off the stand, repelling the being away from the book, projecting a spherical shield around the Book, burning the user's hands, and so on.
Once in Charmed, an evil shapeshifter was once able to touch the book and take it as far as the front door before it repels itself from his grasp, preventing him from walking out the front door with it in his grasp. In future episodes of Charmed, however, it would be established that it is impossible for evil to even touch the book; however, since the Charmed Ones had just recently received their powers at that time, their magic wasn't strong enough to allow the book access to the full extent of its protective magic.
For a demon or half-demon to be able to touch it without triggering its defensive properties, the being must have pure good intentions in his/her heart. The magic the book possesses came from the deceased family ancestors who then become part of the book, which is presumably how it became so powerful throughout the centuries.
Notes and Trivia
- Brad Kern once stated that when a Warren/Halliwell witch dies, their magic is ingrained within the Book of Shadows. He said that when the sisters die, they, like their ancestors, will essentially become a part of the book, so to speak. He went on to say that he believed the book to be a living entity within itself.
- According to Rose McGowan (Paige Matthews in the series of Charmed and Blessed), the Book of Shadows is worth 4 million dollars.
- There was an original pitch that a spirit would be contained in the Book that would assist the sisters causing spells and information about demons to appear.
- It is possible that the book is able to add pages itself.
- The book is a crucial part of Charmed, which is why in the series premiere, the trunk where the book was stored lit up, the thunderstorm became more intense, and the chandelier in the foyer rattled when Phoebe invoked the Dominus Trinus.
- The directors of Charmed once stated that the Halliwell Manor was the "womb" for the sisters and the Book of Shadows was the heart and soul of their powers.
- There are several pages completely in Latin, though the pages on Nell shows signs of being the most recent, possibly being written by one of the three cousins from the 1920s; it seems odd that entries meant to advise would be in a language the reader would not likely know.
- The book's place in the attic is exactly above the Nexus.
- The Book of Shadows is 324 years old as of 2017.
- According to Prue, Phoebe knows the Book better than herself and Piper.
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