@ Loona Wynd:
Here are the results of your Shadow Work spread! Usual disclaimer that this is solely my interpretation, etc.
1. Your Light - What You Know and Embrace About Yourself: The Knight of Pentacles
The Knight of Pentacles is unwavering, thorough, and hardworking. This is an aspect of you that yourself that you are proud of; in your many pursuits, you tend to be a perfectionist and an achiever who knows what she wants and is diligent enough to achieve it (as can be seen through your many thorough studies of the many aspects of witchcraft).
2. Your Shadow - What You Don’t Know or Reject About Yourself: The Hierophant
The Hierophant represents tradition, culture, and institutions; it is emblematic of structure and conformity. In light of the rest of the reading and as it appears in juxtaposition to Your Light (the Knight of Pentacles), I think this is a fine line that you are struggling with consciously -- how much do you want to conform? How much do you want to be an independent free spirit? There is a great deal of security in adhering to the Hierophant, with its rigid structure, rules, and hierarchy, (and your Knight of Pentacles excels in that environment) but to some extent it is also stifling your natural creativity and independence. I also suspect that you feel like you don't feel like you don't totally belong to the Hierophant's world. In the Shadowscapes Tarot, the Hierophant is a tree with roots that extend deep into the earth, but you can't fully connect to your roots (in part because of your search for your biological mother). I think what this comes down to is that you don't feel like you can fully trust yourself and so you depend on the Hierophant's structure; in this way, your Knight of Pentacles is somewhat unguided, unsure of her footing. You can succeed, if only you could decide your path. But the Hierophant as your Shadow may be signifying that you have to do some inward journeying -- take a break from the outside world, to look within.
3. Why You Fear Your Shadow: 4 of Cups
The 4 of Cups is unaware, self-absorbed, isolated, and disengaged from the world. My instinct is that you are worried that if you disengaged from the Hierophant to do your solitary journey, you are going to entirely lose yourself in your tumultuous emotions, which is a Pandora's box that you're afraid to really open up and see what's inside. Without the Hierophant's structure, you won't have any direction at all.
4. Why You Should Embrace Your Shadow: Queen of Cups
However, another Water sign comes up to reassure you that an inward journey will be fruitful in the best way possible. The Queen of Cups is loving, tender-hearted, intuitive, psychic, and spiritual; her heart wins over her head. Like I mentioned before, you haven't trusted yourself enough to open that Pandora's box, but Pandora's box also brings gifts. I think if you trust yourself to do this inward journey, you will find that you have it in you to be the true Queen of Cups -- the mistress of her own emotions, calm and at peace, generous enough to share her wisdom with others.
5. How to Integrate the Shadow and the Light: 7 of Swords
The 7 of Swords, in this case, I think is an indication that you do need to make that solitary journey. It represents the lone wolf -- the desire to rune alone and free. That's something that you've always yearned for, but held back by the Hierophant. It's time to indulge that urge, to try your hand at an independent pursuit and see what you're capable of, and in the process go through that inner journey, to unlock the Queen of Cups' full potential.
6. The Outcome: 9 of Pentacles
I think this final card shows a really positive outcome for you if you do manage to reconcile your Shadow and your Light. The 9 of Pentacles shows someone who is self-assured, confident in her own abilities, in tune with her Authentic Self. In my imagination, the energy of the 9 of Pentacles can choose of her own free will when she wants to work with the Hierophant, and on her own terms, bringing her unique gifts of creativity (and in your case, the Knight of Pentacles' drive and ambition). The 9 of Pentacles also foretells material success, and more importantly, the ability to pursue greater things, such as creativity and spirituality, when one is freed of the constant distraction of financial concerns.
I always like to do a quick analysis of the elements that the cards invoke. First of all, you have 3 cards that represent the element of earth and material concerns (the Knight of Pentacles, the 9 of Pentacles, and the Hierophant -- which, as I mentioned before, has roots stretching deep into the earth). You mentioned that you're a water sign, but identify more with fire -- I also see a lot of the intellectual, "head-y" nature of air in you. The strong presence of water (when it comes to why you fear and why you should embrace your Shadow) represents that water may be your Shadow element, and you'll need to spend some time working with it ... and in doing so you'll be able to access the best parts of earth.
Anyways, I hope this reading shed some light on your Shadow (har, har). Let me know if you have questions!
P.S. I just noticed that Heartsong's reading for you also included a Queen of Cups and a 4 of Cups. Sounds like the universe is really trying to tell you something with those cards!
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~