*~* Witchcraft and Wicca Forum *~* EUTM


Knowing & Embracing Your Shadow

Post meditations or discuss consciousness exploration here.

Re: Knowing & Embracing Your Shadow

Postby HopefulChild » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:08 am

Seraphin Murmur wrote:Spread layout:

-----------3
-----4-----1-----2
-----------5

1 - Current Attitude
2 - Thoughts/Feelings underlying that Attitude
3 - How the attitude is evolving
4 - How others perceive your Attitude
5 - What is hidden or non confronted.

So for example if we had:

1 - Justice
2 - King of Pentacles
3 - The Hanged Man
4 - Seven of Cups
5 - Queen of wands



I just did this spread. But honestly I'm confused a bit.

1- Page of Wands
2- King of Wands
3- The Hanged Man
4- Strength
5 - The Magician

In relation to current attitude, yes, Wands is my wheelhouse. I'm undertaking creative endeavors and there is a real chance to grab something I've dreamed about for a long time. So the Page and King of wands seem to really compliment each other and my situation. Also the 4 spot seems reasonable. What I'm doing must look as though it takes real confidence. It's the 3 and 5 position that seem confusing to me. Or maybe I don't grasp the connection.
The hanged man being part of how my attitude is changing, doesn't seem to fit. I'm optimistic and excited. I just got confirmation that what I am trying to do, is within my reach. And the magician would seem to support the idea that I have a chance to manifest my will in the real world.

Any interpretation is welcome.

Thanks.
User avatar
HopefulChild
 
Posts: 289
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:10 pm

Re: Knowing & Embracing Your Shadow

Postby Xiao Rong » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:31 am

Well, my guess is that the Hanged Man is your Shadow. A symbol of passivity, perhaps even victimhood, it stands out weirdly in a spread that seems to otherwise be all about strength of will, inner fire, and individual power.

I'd ask myself questions such as:

1. What do I fear about the Hanged Man?
2. Why do I not want to be the Hanged Man?
3. How would it feel to be the Hanged Man?
4. What does the Hanged Man represent to me?
5. Who do I know who represents the Hanged Man to me (and do I dislike them?)
6. Have there ever been times when I was the Hanged Man, and how did it feel then?

Right now you see the Hanged Man as the opposite of what you hope to be / what you see yourself as (the Magician). However, I will remind you of the story of Odin. He was a wise man, a wizard, a shaman, with knowledge of all sorts of runes and spells. But to achieve his knowledge, he hung himself from Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life for nine days and nine nights, pierced with his own spear, peering downward into the Well of Urd for wisdom. He just barely survived the ordeal, and he returned with the secret knowledge of the runes and many charms.

The truth revealed by the myth is that the Magician and the Hanged Man are inextricably linked. They seem opposed -- The Magician (powerful, active, the embodiment of conscious willpower) and the Hanged Man (weak, passive, at the mercy of the winds of fate). Yet, to gain the wisdom of the Magician, one must undergo the trials of the Hanged Man. And yet, Odin as the Hanged Man was not fully passive -- he chose to undergo the ordeal, which is also a magical act, leaving himself open to find wisdom and gain power. My interpretation is that you fear being anything less than the Magician, but by rejecting the Hanged Man you are also closing yourself off to the wisdom and the power gained from the ordeal of the Hanged Man. To truly achieve the Magician's full potential, you will need to accept that sometimes (whether voluntarily or involuntarily) you must be willing to become the Hanged Man, and open yourself to his wisdom.
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~
User avatar
Xiao Rong
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3458
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:58 am
Location: New England
Gender: Female

Re: Knowing & Embracing Your Shadow

Postby HopefulChild » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:14 pm

I can easily say that is a very spot on interpretation and thank you for that.

I do have fear of self sacrifice. I've sacrificed a lot for others in the past and it came back to bite me in the butt, in the form of being used, and discarded.
What I am currently undertaking has great potential for me sacrificing what I want or what is actually mine, so that others could benefit. It's not that I don't want others to benefit, I'm just trying to own the parts that are mine, and be accepting of the idea that I do deserve good things, and that my ideas are worthwhile.

So in the current situation, I am hanging, waiting for time to pass so that the resources I need can be collected before I can move on to what I assume to be the conquering stage of this endeavor.
I currently feel very much like the hanged man. Pinned and waiting. At the mercy of uncertain forces.

This is where I have to actually apply my inner strength, instead of just "hoping" it manifests.

Thank you!
User avatar
HopefulChild
 
Posts: 289
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:10 pm

Re: Knowing & Embracing Your Shadow

Postby Rathac » Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:53 am

Xiao Rong wrote:I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time; I hope you have found it helpful. I’d love to hear about ways in which you have worked with the Shadow, or any questions you might have!

This is a great OP. Thanks for posting it, Xiao Rong.

I have been involved with several programs over the past five years strictly dedicated to exploring my Shadow. From my experiences, and what I've learned from fellow seekers who were also undergoing the same exploration, this is--for the vast majority of us--an excellent way to come to terms with the parts of our consciousness we separate ourselves from.

Some of the methods we used were the same as in the OP. Other methods included guided meditations, spontaneous thought experiments, and role playing. We also underwent professional psychological screening, looking for individuals who may have signs of mental disorders, like bipolar disorder, autism, or ADHD, all of which contribute to how we view ourselves. The exploration of the Shadow using a structured system and employing the use of feedback from other people has the potential to be very emotionally trying for individuals who may have a mental disorder. But they certainly need not be excluded, only carefully guided.

In becoming aware of the traits about myself I dislike, I was forced to look at the idea of my being an "imperfect being." Something about that phrase never sat well with me. I did not like viewing myself as imperfect, or flawed... as if it implied I was broken, damaged, or somehow less of the person I should have been.

Being convinced there is something wrong with yourself at the outset is half the problem your Shadow is created to begin with, and why it might cause you problems. (Is anyone else hearing the phrase, "Born into sin..." in the back of their minds?) Fact is, there's nothing wrong with you as you are. There may be things about yourself that you want to change, and that's good. But that doesn't mean there was something inherently wrong about it beforehand--you were simply convinced it was wrong, or needed changing. Maybe someone else convinced you of this, or maybe you convinced yourself.

A misconception that I had initially, and others shared as well I found, was that we were striving to become closer to perfection. But this is really a false idea, because there's no such thing as perfection (just like there was nothing wrong with you before someone else made you think there was something wrong with you). In reality, we were striving to become what we thought we wanted to be, and this also had its consequences. Was what we wanted to become what we genuinely wanted, or was it what we'd been externally convinced of? Were we falsely projecting the idea of happiness onto a misunderstood façade which had all the beauty of a cheap veneer covering?

Learning more about the Shadow helped me to answer that.

In my opinion, it is worthy to note that some things found in the Shadow are better off only acknowledged, and not embraced.
Rathac
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:07 am

Re: Knowing & Embracing Your Shadow

Postby Xiao Rong » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:03 am

Rathac, thank you for your comment. I agree that exploring one's Shadow may be much harder with a mental illness, but not impossible. Indeed, one might argue that mental illness IS a Shadow (both on an individual level and on a societal level), which brings both blessings and obstacles -- but by treating it solely as a disease to be gotten rid of, we are excluding the possibility of really rich and valuable ways of seeing the world. By medicating away and suppressing mental conditions, we might also be stifling our healers, prophets, and artists. I know of some people with bipolar, for instance, who refuse medication because, as bad as their depressive episodes are, can't imagine themselves without their high episodes, when they are at their creative peak. I'm not saying that all psychiatric medication is wrong, but I do think that we lose some of the uniqueness and gifts of people with mental conditions in our blind haste to medicate them back to "normal" and escape the Shadow of mental illness.

And yes, I think you're right -- the greatest aspect of Shadow Work is about accepting ourselves as imperfect beings. I believe Carl Jung said that it is better to be whole than good.

Rathac wrote:In my opinion, it is worthy to note that some things found in the Shadow are better off only acknowledged, and not embraced.


Yes, I think I have come around to believing that as well ... There are absolutely some urges that I think need to be managed and maintained, and the best way to do that is to acknowledge them, thus taking away some of the power they have over your unconscious -- but still not to be indulged in. The goal of much Shadow work is self-mastery through self-knowledge. There is a difference between accepting your Shadow and acting on it unconditionally!

-----------------------------------------

In other news, I have also come across some articles on Pagan Patheos by Jenya T. Beachy about some techniques for Shadow work:

An Introduction to the Shadow House

Invocation to the Shadow Ally -- to summon a guide as you confront your Shadow.
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~
User avatar
Xiao Rong
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3458
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:58 am
Location: New England
Gender: Female

Re: Knowing & Embracing Your Shadow

Postby Rathac » Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:17 am

Xiao Rong wrote:And yes, I think you're right -- the greatest aspect of Shadow Work is about accepting ourselves as imperfect beings. I believe Carl Jung said that it is better to be whole than good.


Here is a little clarification about this part. While at the core, I do think Shadow work is about accepting ourselves, however, to accept that we are "imperfect" implies that perfection does exist when in reality there is no such thing as perfection.

We can have an idea of perfection, though it can only ever apply to a very ridged system of thought. (Usually what we end up defining as a perfect system of thought.) But there is no such thing as perfection. No such thing as a kwisatz haderach. And some people may argue that even a perfect being can be flawed (this critique mainly from those outside the perfect system that boasts the perfect being). For example, many people didn't view Muad'Dib as perfect. They saw him as a destroyer and a tyrant, descriptors often reserved for the least perfect of individuals.

I believe that by thinking such a thing as perfection exists (even if we cannot attain it, and its only theoretical) undermines Shadow work in all its aspects. Shadow work isn't about self depreciation, which is what you get if you genuinely think you are "imperfect."

While this argument is often just a matter of semantics, how the individual views concepts like perfection and imperfection has a significant effect on how they will progress with their own Shadow work.
Rathac
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:07 am

Re: Knowing & Embracing Your Shadow

Postby Xiao Rong » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:36 pm

Rathac, thanks for your comment.

I am a little torn about what you're saying. I agree that perfection does not exist, and attempting to be perfect is the source of a lot of toxicity and harm. However, the construct of perfection (especially the Platonic idea of "perfect") has had profound influence on Western thought, and is really unavoidable in our society, and really affects our words and our speech! When I say we have to accept ourselves as imperfect beings, I am not saying we have to think of ourselves in a self-deprecating way, but to let go of the pursuit of perfection in a world that seems to always ask that of us. (So I think we are mostly in agreement here.)

Funnily enough, just the other day I was at a workshop discussing hyperachievement and perfectionism and how it plays into mental health. The presenter was discussing how usually when we define "perfect" we are thinking about something so pure and so good that if anything were changed or added it would become imperfect. However, he also mentioned that the Greeks had an alternate meaning of "perfect" (teleiotes), which is "that which has attained its purpose". In this sense, perfection is a "process of becoming", to be ever-growing. He offered us a proverb explaining this paradox: "The greatest perfection is imperfection". I'm still mulling it over in my head, but so far I think this is a lens of perfection that I think is not incompatible with Shadow work.
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~
User avatar
Xiao Rong
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3458
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:58 am
Location: New England
Gender: Female

Re: Knowing & Embracing Your Shadow

Postby moonraingirl » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:57 pm

This is an older thread but anyways: Xiao, thank you for this topic! Shadow is such a thought-provoking idea. I will definitely spend time thinking about it, doing the exercises and reading the book you recommend.
User avatar
moonraingirl
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:23 am
Location: Slovakia
Gender: Female

Re: Knowing & Embracing Your Shadow

Postby birublackzoey » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:46 am

Understanding, acknowledging and accepting my shadow self has been monumental in my growth. i first heard of it in late 2018, as my meditation group was approaching the lunar eclipses. this was also how i learnt that the shadow nature is very much related to the moon sign. in that period, harnessing the illumination of self, highlighting parts of myself which is otherwise unknown or concealed, has helped me to better understand myself and my path.

since then, I was able to connect to both Divine Feminine, which I found and affirmed to be my main operating nature, and then discovering and acknowledging the Divine Masculine. their relation to each other, and how they work separately and apart has helped me today in achieving my full path has been a huge part of my getting true authentic power of myself. since then, i was even empowered enough to retire, and devote myself to my spiritual journey, with meditation, exploring my interests, spending time with family and volunteering.

My star sign is taurus, moon sign is Aquarius. since this shift, my characterisation and nature is more closely to Aries or Leo. A very different wielding and bearing of Power.

all i can say is that what a difference a year makes - never underestimate the power of our cycles, as we approach December.
User avatar
birublackzoey
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:03 am
Gender: Male

Previous

Return to Consciousness Work and Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests