April 15, 2020
If you found yourself here today, you are probably no stranger to hearing the term Shadow Work. Exploring the deep netherworld of our psyche means to acknowledge that not all is love and light in this world. For there to be a balance there must be aspects of self that are not visible for all to see. In the shadow, we can hide our wounds, our fears, and less than desirable characteristics. However, if we do not come to meet ourselves in this space we will surely meet her, him, or them in our interactions with others. Perfect mirror images will show up in our lives disguised as our competitor, enemy, nemesis, rival, etc. Until we find those parts of ourselves we deemed unworthy of being visible, we will likely keep encountering the same lesson via different circumstance over and over again. Shadow Work is not to be treaded upon lightly. Facing our bullshit can be harrowing. For our Shadow is the only worthy opponent I think deserving of our attention because it’s the only challenger that can provide true clarity and healing at a root level. For it is within the darkest parts of ourselves that we can be met with what terrorizes us most and simultaneously find our greatest strength.
In the last few weeks and in light of recent events, you have likely been visited by your Shadow. Once or twice, or perhaps they have become a permanent resident reminding you of all the things you’ve been afraid to look at. Whether it’s the resentments you have been harboring, addiction via escapism, the relationships you have outgrown, the wound or pain you’ve been avoiding, the purpose you are ignoring, or even envy you’ve been mislabeling as judgment. Without the distraction of daily life that was once routine, we are given an in-person appointment with ourselves, an opportunity to connect, and perhaps an all-out, knockdown, drag-out match with our hidden innermost self. In times of isolation, we can go mad (as in insane) with a fantasy of real or imagined hurt. We can try and escape our shadow and only find that it reappears the next time we try to do something we are told we cannot, get on a call with a colleague or friend, or even when we open our electronic devices to escape. Only to notice it standing there before you, as it hasn’t gone anywhere, no matter how far you’ve run from it. There is no way to defeat the shadow but to face it, own it, and reclaim it as an ally instead of a sworn enemy.
So while I think it is important to tend to our altars and magic during these difficult and confusing times with wishes for good health and setting our spells to ask for root healing of the poisoned structures that have been in place for so long. It is equally as important to address the healing of our shadows. We can continue to pray that humanity finds the courage within as a collective to address the wounded parts that keep us in separation and to set intentions that we report for duty to our unique divine missions. To release any distractions, or energies that deter us from our ascension. This all might feel like a big ask from the Universe. Do not be discouraged. You have a unique and special role here to fulfill. One that you can step into now.
Some ways you can begin to address and send some healing to your Shadow self are below. New ways to connect to it and embrace those fragile parts and give them some support. I hope you find comfort in them, as I found these practices very helpful during some very confusing times in my past and present life. They are not meant to be cure-alls, but tools to help you find some sincerity in your practice, and intimacy with your grievances. So you may continue to grow, evolve, and help others do the same.
Writing letters to my younger self, to let them know how very different life looks like today and sending love, healing, and support to them.
Writing out what hurts, my resentments, painful memories, or sadness on a piece of paper and then burning it and thanking them for their service.
Lighting candles to bring to light any hidden feelings, beliefs, or patterns that have been holding back or hindering me from healing or moving forward.
I also encourage you to connect with your spiritual teams or deities that you work with that help you traverse the invisible path. I work with Santa Muerte as she often has appeared to me during times of great transformational change, especially in matters of facing my Shadow. However, she is not for the faint of heart and commands a great deal of respect. Please do not call on her if you are not ready to give that to her. With that being said, there are many guides and figures throughout all pantheons that work in the realm of the shadow. I would advise seeking the one that can connect with you in the most natural way. One that will hold space for you to do the work, but also push you with compassion.
I hope you find these suggestions to be powerful tools to aid you on your journey. May all that you illuminate be exactly what you’ve been looking for. That the benefits of your practice benefit all those around you. While feeling nourished and replenished fully. From my altar to yours…