Archetypal Shadow Work

The sun only show us one face ....... the sun's dark side is always in shadow, unseen.  So it is with our personal shadow -- it remains unseen by our conscious mind.  Only in the last few months has science found a way to see the other side of the sun; maybe it is time for us all to be able to see our shadow!  Only seeing one side is a very limited perspective.

As you will see, we can have many different levels involved in the shadow.  We can have experiences that were repressed in the body, (which can result in body symptoms and illness) or repressed emotional states, (which can result in relationship trouble or in feeling valuable, lovable and empowered)or repressed ways of thinking (which can result in narrow thinking and a lack of perspectives).   We can have lots of different imprinting from our culture, religion, schooling or family.  (this can cloak the natural Self and result in much confusion and questioning).  We can even have our soul repressed and unavailable to us (which can result in spiritual crisis or feeling a lack of meaning and purpose).

Your shadow is made up of aspects of you that are unknown to you.  The shadow is created in many different ways for many different reasons.  There is always treasure in the shadow--both negative feelings and ways of acting that we don't like and positive traits and abilities that we haven't developed.

Sometimes we have certain aspects that are unknown because our family didn't accept certain emotions or traits, so we just stopped having them.   (Anger and Joy are both examples)

Sometimes we are treated really badly and have no way out of the situation.  If we kept feeling the rejection, humiliation or hurt we feel we would die.  We put it in the shadow.

Sometimes we were bombarded with too much and had to screen it out.  Sometimes we received too little and had to screen that out.

Sometimes we create a shadow part by not being able to live with certain truths of our situation and we began to choose to only see the positive side, while the negative truth goes into our unconscious, saving us from unbearable pain and stress. 

Sometimes we are not prepared for our next developmental step that nature is pushing us towards and we have to leave parts of us behind.  

Sometimes we feel we can't belong if we are a certain way, so we give it up and put it away in the shadow. 

Sometimes what our culture, church or school ask of us makes us put important aspects of ourselves out of awareness.

 

In this work, we look at all these different possible levels and the clues that present the shadow.

Everything in your shadow wants to be known and will play tricks on you to express itself and be released.  We look at the situations in your life and your feelings about the different people in your life to see where the shadow is attempting to express itself most loudly.  When we are able to release the energy holding the shadow aspect out of awareness, you will feel renewed and lightened even if the aspect released is not what you aspire to be!

We hold aspects in the shadow through our alignments to certain archetypes. These alignments create specific patterns that attract certain situations and people into your life and repell other situations and people.  As we integrate your shadow,  your life changes!

 

Here is an easy way to work with your own shadow:

At night, think back on your day and pick out something - a situation or a person, who either excited you or that you felt disturbed by.   Give it a name.  Then begin to ask it questions in writing.

Who are you?   What do you want?   Why did you disturb me?  or excite me?

Switch over.   Feel into what you have chosen.   Write an answer to those 3 questions from it's perspective.

See if it has anything more that it wants to say to you.

Ask it "what kind of message do you have for me tonight?"

Listen, write and then switch back over to your perspective.

Thank it for it's help and release it.

 

Your exercise might go something like this:

What most upset me today was that people would build nuclear power plants so near the ocean and think a wall could hold out the ocean!  I'll call that "Unable to Comprehend Huge Forces".

I'm going to ask UCHF (unable to comperehend huge forces)

(me)     who are you?

(UCHF)  I am denial.  Whenever something is too much for you, you bring me in.  especially when you want something and there seems to be problems with getting it.

(me)       oh.       What do you want?

(UCHF)   I want you to stay in your desires and refuse to see the big picture.

(me)       oh.  No wonder I was so upset with you today - I don't even have to ask you about that!  I was so upset because I refuse to see the big picture all the time!

(me)       Do you have a message for me tonight?

(UCHF)   That stomach ache you got when you scheduled that trip today?  I was behind that.  I like that you aren't looking at the big picture in your decision to take this trip right now.

(me)       Ooooow!   I didn't want to hear that.     Thanks for your help!  I'll look at the bigger picture of this trip and now I know that it's you when I have that stomach ache.  You can go now.