Shadow self, what's that? You've heard the buzz around and are curious what it means and what to do with it. My simple interpretation of it, is learning to love all of you, both the good with the bad. None of us are perfect. Instead of being ashamed of those traits that we are less then fond of, learn to understand yourself, acknowledge those traits and embrace the fact that they are part of what makes you a unique person. By acknowledging our shadow side and offering ourself some love and understanding we can get our shadow self in check and learn to control it.
I am currently working with a book called Shadow Magick Compendium: Exploring Darker Aspects of Magickal Spirituality by Raven Digitalis. I must confess when I was told it was time to start working with my shadow self I was intimidated to say the least. I thought that by looking at my darker side I would encourage it to come out. The more I get into this the more I fully believe that it's important that somewhere along our paths we all take the time out to look at our shadow selves. For by doing this we learn to love ourselves unconditionally and become balanced. Then we may move forward in our journey to do more lightwork and be able to assist others to walk through the dark forest and come out into the sunny field with the waterfall that awaits us.
One of the first exercises I've done with this book a self-evaluation. It's not easy to look at, but I felt it was a very important exercise. Raven gives permission to use the exercise in our writings if we are teachers and I felt that this was an important exercise to pass along. Raven is a part of the OAO spiritual system and you can find his website here: http://www.ravendigitalis.com/priest. If you are interested in looking at your shadow self I would encourage you to take some time with the exercise below. This exercise helps you to look at your own self patterns so that you may better understand them and work to heal them. Grab a pen and paper and find somewhere quiet where you can relax. Light some incense and find a way to make your environment comfy, secure and loving.
Please don't feel that you are checking off too many items. It takes a strong person to look at themselves objectively. Any person who completes this exercise will be checking off several items. I personally had quite a few checked off in almost every category. You want to look at which category comes up the most. You will also want to keep this list handy and start working with it slowly. Try to remember the first time you felt that way. If something happened in your life that caused this trait see if you can try to resolve the pain that may have come with that action. If not in this lifetime for those of you who believe in reincarnation I would encourage you to look at past lives as well. Know that we all have some of these traits and there are typically reasons for them. Learn to acknowledge and accept them, then work to heal the pain that may be about some of them. For those of you who choose to participate I admire your courage and the love you have for yourself. It's not an easy journey but those of you whom accept yourself and your calling will be rewarded and will go on to help others. Love and Blessings to you all. - Jasmeine Moonsong
****Once you have completed the exercise please make sure that you ground yourself. ****
Internal Shadow Magick: A Self- Evaluation
Throughout this exercise we will be categorizing traits into corresponding elements.
Earth concerns structure: Stability, security, sustenance, materials, physical reality (plant, animal, and mineral)
Air concerns the mind: Perception, ideas, intellectuality, sexuality, sensuality, passion, confidence, and transformation.
Fire concerns activity: Motivation, invigoration, lust, sexuality, passion, confidence and transformation.
Water concerns intuition: Emotions, love, empathy, compassion, healing, psychic ability, astral travel, sleep and daydreaming.
On your paper write the following headings: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Below each category write down any of the following statements that you feel apply to you. If you think of others you may put those down as well. Go slow and try to really determine if they relate to you. No-one will see this but you. While you may consider what you have others say about you, look within yourself to find your truth in that if it truly applies to you.
Earth: Shadow Traits
- I am often unmotivated in life.
- I often forget the borderline between fantasy and reality.
- I often turn to certain vices, and I may be an escapist.
- I tend to be neglectful of other people's needs.
- I tend to give too much, being neglectful of my own needs.
- I feel that everyone always hurts me in the end.
- I may be addicted to role-playing games.
- I stress about the order and structure of things.
- I disallow anyone from getting too close to me, for fear of hurting or getting hurt.
- I could say that I live a double life.
- I only feel secure if I'm in a romantic relationship.
- I am very resentful toward my family and friends when I feel wronged by them.
- I sometimes think that people of a certain ethnicity, religion, orientation, age, class, gender, social identity, body type, culture, disability, and so on are inherently flawed.
- Money is always the first thing in my mind.
- I often imagine myself having supernatural powers.
- I rarely follow through with plans I make.
- I frequently hold grudges.
- I stress about my obligations and requirements more then I should.
- It's usually difficult for me to see other people's viewpoints.
- I only feel secure when surrounded by material abundance.
- I depend on others to carry me through life.
- I tend to consider people's social labels more then their character.
- I overwork myself.
- I sometimes starve myself or purge what I've just eaten.
- I'm never really satisfied with anything.
- I am often apathetic and disinterested.
- I am often quite fearful and have many phobias.
- I almost never leave my home.
- I become fanatical and extremist about new ideas.
- I usually feel responsible for other people.
Air: Shadow Traits
- I have the habit of lying, exaggerating, and creating tall talkes.
- I have a bad memory and am usually forgetful.
- I am often spacey, flighty, and ungrounded.
- I always need to have the last word.
- It's difficult for me to embrace new beginnings.
- I am obsessed with my image and public presentation.
- I almost always see people's negative qualities first.
- I feel unattractive without makeup or when naked.
- I feel I'm more aware and knowledgeable then almost everyone I know.
- I believe I never know enough and feel shame when others know more than I.
- I present myself as having more knowledge than I really may.
- I look down on others when I feel more informed.
- My attitude changes at the drop of a hat.
- I tend to manipulate other people.
- I often perceive myself as being nonhuman.
- I often get lost in my thoughts.
- I always doubt myself or my ideas.
- It's frequently difficult for me to communicate or to comprehend certain things.
- I try to appear differently to other people.
- I approach things from an extremely academic standpoint.
- I tend to eavesdrop on other people.
- I usually believe everything that people say.
- I have a tendency to overanalyze.
- I am easily distracted.
- I place personal worth in what others say about me.
- I believe I should be like others.
Fire: Shadow Traits
- I am usually nervous and anxious.
- I often regret being liberal with my sexual behavior.
- I have insecurities about sex and sexuality.
- I often violate other people's boundaries.
- I tend to lack self-confidence.
- I am fascinated by death and destruction.
- I feel the need to dominate conversations and draw attention to myself.
- I tend to cut myself or otherwise harm my body.
- I often have uncontrollable outbursts of anger.
- I have been known to destroy people's social identities.
- I have an erratic and spontaneous personality.
- I often steal things instead of paying for them.
- My personality is frequently bitter and critical.
- I often force people to see things my way.
- I sometimes have traumatic panic attacks.
- I get pleasure in seeing others suffer.
- I have an addictive personality.
- I often put others down to make myself feel better.
- I constantly seek attention from others.
- It would be very difficult for me to detach from technology.
- I am almost always overexcited and extroverted.
- I get overwhelmed and frustrated at even the smallest things.
- I am extremely rebellious.
Water: Shadow Traits
- I usually just don't want to wake up in the morning.
- I have difficulty escaping from certain memories.
- I find myself being unable to stop crying.
- I find myself unable to cry.
- I tend to overuse mind-altering substances.
- I am almost always introverted.
- I feel that I do not deserve to experience true love, joy, and happiness.
- I usually just "go with the flow" and am passive in life.
- I have a shy personality because I'm overly sensitive.
- I always go with my feelings instead of logic.
- I often make big deals over small occurrences.
- I can usually sense other people's emotional states to an uncomfortable degree.
- It's difficult for me to tell other people's emotions from my own.
- I often misread other's emotions.
- I always take any insult to heart.
- I have a hard time being alone.
- I have difficulty "letting go."
- I often feel sorry for myself.
- The past never really seems to heal.
- I find myself reverting to childhood behavior frequentlly.
- I may be emotionally codependent in my relationships.
- I feel empty without other's sympathy.
- I often feel a rush to change.
How did you do? Gives you a big hug. Take a deep breath. If you have come this far I'm proud of you. :)))
I can tell you this is not an easy exercise. I learned a couple things while going through this. One thing that jumped out at me is that I have been doing some intense shadow work since I officially started on my journey three years ago. I recognized a lot of traits on this list that are no longer a part of me. I have quite a few I still need to work on. Looking at our shadow can be scary but it can be rewarding. I'm learning to love who I am in life and I can only hope to inspire someone else to do the same. I will tell you how many I got in each category in an effort to put myself out there for you and let you know that you are not alone on your path or in your work. May you always be blessed with light and love.
Earth - 8 traits
Air - 8 traits
Fire - 5 traits
Water - 6 traits
Love and Blessings to you all,