What is our ‘Shadow’
Our shadow is the part of ourselves that we hide. The part of ourselves that we keep secret from other, the part we are ashamed of or that we feel we would be judged for if others knew the truth.
Many of us have shadows that we refuse to see even ourselves. We hide our shame, secrets and traumas so deep that they become repressed and trapped within.
What is shadow work? Shadow work is when we look into our shadow. When we shine a light on all that darkness and truly dig deep into our emotional body. Shadow work is when we explore our past no matter how painful it might be. When we explore why we may have insecurities, fears, worries, anxieties, why we may have an eating disorder, or relationship issues. When we hide things in our shadows especially from ourselves we project these issues outwards either on our physical appearance or negatively project it onto others. This can include judging others, putting people down or treating them unfairly.
Shadow work can lead you far down the rabbit hole but it is so important to become your true and fullest self and to achieve true growth and spiritual development.
Not all things that come up during shadow work need to be shared openly with others but need to be looked at honestly with the self. For those of us with heavy childhood trauma for example it may not be something you want to talk about with a complete stranger, but to open up and look at the situation honestly with yourself and how this situation effects how you live or act now can bring you a long way. This openness with the self can allow a release, and hopefully bring forgiveness, at least to yourself.
Digging into the shadow can allow for great growth in a person. It can allow feelings of relief, joy, happiness, increased creativity and openness, it can improve your relationships, enhance your energy and even improve your physical, mental and spiritual health.
Even though shadow work isn't always easy or comfortable especially to those of us that have used blinders their entire life it is key to bringing understanding of self, and essential for growth in this life and for the next.
Our shadow or dark side has been something that we have honoured in the past. The Greeks were proud of their shadows and actually had Gods & Goddess that were related to these shadows. When someone ignored their shadow the God or Goddess related to that shadow would turn against you.
Why Do Shadow Work
Shadow work although hard can lead to a great change in your energy, your self and your life. It can be a hard and long journey to look inwards fully and honestly but can have great results.
Shadow work can bring a release of energy, joy, happiness, heightened creativity and understand. It can improve relationships, increase energy, physical and mental health and can bring clear sight and purpose.
How to start Shadow Work
Not many tools are needed to begin. I will suggest a few crystals, herbs and other tools you can use for support below but the only thing you really need is yourself.
Just relax and begin to dig. I find it very important to journal what comes up while doing shadow work. It can give you great insight and help you unearth more of your shadow. Sometimes starting can feel overwhelming so choosing a topic to focus on at first might be helpful. For example: you hurt someone in a car accident and you have been a nervous driver ever since. Maybe you have lost a loved one. Allow yourself a moment to think. What sticks out for you. Begin there and start to dig.
Tools I find helpful for Shadow Work
Scrying Mirror: I find my Scrying Mirror a very helpful tool when practicing shadow work. It allows you to really look deep into ones self.
Black Obsidian/ Rainbow Obsidian/ Gold Sheen Obsidian Spheres: Depending on my mood or what I am feeling that day I also use my Obsidian spheres for scrying purposes. I feel obsidian spheres have a very powerful energy and only find myself unclothing them for deep emotional work.
Black obsidian, black tourmaline, onyx: These are all stones for protection and sometimes it is nice when digging deep into something that you don’t have full control over to have a little extra protection. These stones can help.
Protective Circle: This is something I like to do when I feel as if there are outside energies that might be effecting my shadow work. For example an overpowering person or vampire in the situation you are exploring. In this situation I create an energy circle with salt sometimes adding dried rosemary, juniper berries and or protective crystals. This circle can also be helpful with keeping your work within a space, so that you can fully work on the issue but not necessarily bring it with you until you are ready. I will write another blog post soon on Salt Circles that will explain how to use these further.
Black Ritual Candles: For protection
White Ritual Candles: To keep the energy pure and to reset it.
Rosemary, Juniper Berries: For protection
White Sage, Cedar: To cleanse the space before and after, and sometimes to cleanse the self during.
Garnet: If you are exploring past lives that may be effecting your shadow in this life I find this is a great tool to use.
Wand: Sometimes when digging you may find a ‘dark spot’ in which you wish to remove. A wand can be a helpful here but is not needed.
Note: Those who are not experienced with moving energy from within the body, may need outside help here. Some may not understand exactly what this means, which is okay, as you explore energy further it may be something you eventually ‘see’. If you feel something has been brought up and you can’t quite release it, you may want to see a reiki healer, energy worker, shaman, vibrational healer, or other healers that work with this energy.
I hope for those of you that are new to shadow work do not find this too overwhelming. We all begin somewhere and as we explore ourselves, energy, and all the magic this world has to offer things begin to come easier and more naturally.
Please feel free to message Victoria any time with questions or guidance on the subject.