Welcome Guest! Pagan Journeys is an online community primarily geared toward Pagan paths, but all paths and spiritualities are welcomed here. Pagan Journeys is a place of community, learning, and growth for all of its members. You must either login or register to view all boards and features of this forum.
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Starting Shadow Work?  (Read 497 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

thegeekwitch

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 242
  • Location: Tasmania, Australia
  • Mood: Melancholy
  • Spiritual Path: Eclectic Pagan with Wiccan and Druidic Leanings
  • Terri
    • Geek Witch
Starting Shadow Work?
« on: January 30, 2016, 06:05:36 PM »

Hi lovelies

So I have been intrigued by shadow work but having never really delved into it before (I guess I have but in less metaphysical or spiritual ways), I'm wondering how to begin? Any tips?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 01:57:13 AM by thegeekwitch »
Logged
Blessings,
Terri xx

earthmuffin

  • Mystical Woodland Sprite
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Karma: +9/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 3544
  • Location: Northern California
  • Mood:
  • Spiritual Path: hedge witch/earth bunny
  • A lunatic and proud of it
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2016, 08:45:48 PM »

I always seem to start endeavors like this by reading.  :rolleye:  Two books I have liked along those lines are Dark Moon Mysteries by Timothy Roderick and In the Shadow of 13 Moons by Kimberly Sherman Cook. I also liked a shamanic exercise of gazing into a mirror in the dark to see the shadow self. I don't know if this is described anywhere but it was a technique I learned when I took a class on shamanism. I'll see if I can find reference to it online.
Logged
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama

DragonsFriend

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 179
  • Location: SE Washington state
  • Spiritual Path: Arratu, evolved from the Sumerian myths & practice
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 01:00:42 PM »

You could begin by recognizing your fears and then work to overcome them. Once your fears are gone then you can work on personality traits that need to be improved followed by clearing your mind/memory of self doubt.
Logged
A mature witch's life should reflect the balance of the universe

thegeekwitch

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 242
  • Location: Tasmania, Australia
  • Mood: Melancholy
  • Spiritual Path: Eclectic Pagan with Wiccan and Druidic Leanings
  • Terri
    • Geek Witch
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 06:24:38 PM »

You could begin by recognizing your fears and then work to overcome them. Once your fears are gone then you can work on personality traits that need to be improved followed by clearing your mind/memory of self doubt.

How do you do that, though? How do you recognise your fears? Do you meditate on it, do you just make note during the day about them, other?  I'm talking about going right back, stripped back to the very beginning.
Logged
Blessings,
Terri xx

DragonsFriend

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 179
  • Location: SE Washington state
  • Spiritual Path: Arratu, evolved from the Sumerian myths & practice
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2016, 03:15:08 PM »

Knowing yourself is best done by pushing yourself to do what is uncomfortable. Why is it uncomfortable? Your fear will keep you from doing something or make it harder to do.
Here is a way to get to know yourself better:
Write a paper on who, what, when, where, why and how you are. This should be viewed from the absolute or "god" perspective as seen through your eyes. Ponder each question and use it to understand yourself honestly.
Logged
A mature witch's life should reflect the balance of the universe

earthmuffin

  • Mystical Woodland Sprite
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Karma: +9/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 3544
  • Location: Northern California
  • Mood:
  • Spiritual Path: hedge witch/earth bunny
  • A lunatic and proud of it
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2016, 04:05:00 PM »

I've done a similar exercise with the same aim in which you would draw a circle on a piece of paper and inside write everything that you are. One the outside write everything that you are not. Try to make an exhaustive list. Why do you categorize yourself the way you have?
Logged
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama

dragonspring

  • All Knowing Nymph
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Karma: +13/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 4345
  • Location: Knoxville, TN
  • Spiritual Path: Heathen Witch
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 10:22:14 PM »

If you do not journal, I would suggest that you start doing so.  I have always found writing to be a helpful tool for inner work.  I guess I started my own shadow work when I spent years in therapy dealing with childhood abuse issues.  It was then that I began the process of really trying to understand myself, my motivations and fears. 

Some years later, I went through a shamanic healing rite and the shaman gave me some homework.  Basically, my task was to move backward in my life a few years at a time, making sure to concentrate on those events that caused the largest emotional response.  For these critical events, the task was to evaluate why they impacted me, how I felt at the time, and what lesson I took away from the experience.  It took several months to do this exercise, but it was well worth it as I came away with new understanding and fewer demons.  I would recommend this exercise but it would be good to have a support system in place in case you find that you need help dealing with any unresolved issues from the past.

Bright blessings!  ()
Logged
Blessings,
dragon


"The word which shall come to save the world, shall be uttered by a woman." - Anna Kingsford

Athena

  • Pagan Women
  • **
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 79
  • Location: India
  • Mood: Observant
  • Spiritual Path: Eclectic, Nature Worshiping
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2016, 03:56:53 AM »

If you do not journal, I would suggest that you start doing so. 

That's one simple process that helps in multiple ways.

As for the shadow work, I am clearly reading more into it. Reading suggestions as well as looking into a mirror in dark by EM can be good beginning points for both of us, I guess.
Logged
A work in progress

Tinevisce

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 296
  • Location: India
  • Mood: excited
  • Spiritual Path: Hindu Shaktite, with Eclectic Occult Influences
  • As above, so below
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2016, 12:10:10 PM »

Wow, geekwitch, thanks for posting this- I got one of those "I was meant to read this" chills as I read your post.

I've been plagued off and on by irrational fears about witchcraft and energy work ever since June/July last year. I'm much. much better than that period now; but the fear's not completely gone away. Shadow work terrifies me because I have an inkling of what exactly I might have to unravel; but maybe-perhaps-could be what my subconscious has been trying to push me towards.

To folks here who have done shadow work of any sort- from what I can gather, shadow work is about unravelling the root of your fears, right? Now, how does one unravel a fear if not by facing/experiencing it?
At the same time, why would I want to invite whatever circumstances I'm afraid of into my life- isn't that a bit counterproductive?

I think that's the bit which has me wary of trying shadow work. Can you help me clear this bit up?
Logged
"Better not to send at all,
Then to pledge overmuch"

earthmuffin

  • Mystical Woodland Sprite
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Karma: +9/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 3544
  • Location: Northern California
  • Mood:
  • Spiritual Path: hedge witch/earth bunny
  • A lunatic and proud of it
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2016, 01:18:11 PM »

I think shadow work is more about knowing yourself fully-- bad parts as well as the good-- more so than just understanding or conquering fears.

You can understand what your fears are without facing or experiencing them. Understanding what they are and when they arise can be helpful in dealing with them. If a fear is irrational and recurring, you can replace the fear with positive messages you give yourself.

In my experience, when we put a lot of energy into a fear by repeatedly thinking about whatever it is  that makes us fearful, it makes it more likely that the thing or event feared will come to pass-- so if we don't address the fear, we end up having to experience the feared situation and face the fear head on. This is how the universe works.

But like I said, you don't have to jump right into the big fears with shadow work. Start with an exercise in which you define what you know about yourself.... challenge yourself to go deeper with it-- eventually you will get to the fear stuff but you can ease into it.

And, T, you might want to wait on the dark mirror exercise until you do some of the other work first-- it can generate a lot of fear as it is rather spooky to see your face morph into different figures that may be difficult for you to understand what they signify.




Logged
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama

Tinevisce

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 296
  • Location: India
  • Mood: excited
  • Spiritual Path: Hindu Shaktite, with Eclectic Occult Influences
  • As above, so below
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2016, 01:29:18 PM »

I think shadow work is more about knowing yourself fully-- bad parts as well as the good-- more so than just understanding or conquering fears.

You can understand what your fears are without facing or experiencing them. Understanding what they are and when they arise can be helpful in dealing with them. If a fear is irrational and recurring, you can replace the fear with positive messages you give yourself.

In my experience, when we put a lot of energy into a fear by repeatedly thinking about whatever it is  that makes us fearful, it makes it more likely that the thing or event feared will come to pass-- so if we don't address the fear, we end up having to experience the feared situation and face the fear head on. This is how the universe works.

But like I said, you don't have to jump right into the big fears with shadow work. Start with an exercise in which you define what you know about yourself.... challenge yourself to go deeper with it-- eventually you will get to the fear stuff but you can ease into it.

And, T, you might want to wait on the dark mirror exercise until you do some of the other work first-- it can generate a lot of fear as it is rather spooky to see your face morph into different figures that may be difficult for you to understand what they signify.

Those are good points, EM! Don't worry, the moment I read about the exercise my mind went batshit nope-nope-nope crazy. :) I'm not doing anything remotely similar for a very long time.
Logged
"Better not to send at all,
Then to pledge overmuch"

Tinevisce

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 296
  • Location: India
  • Mood: excited
  • Spiritual Path: Hindu Shaktite, with Eclectic Occult Influences
  • As above, so below
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2016, 07:29:11 AM »

I always seem to start endeavors like this by reading.  :rolleye:  Two books I have liked along those lines are Dark Moon Mysteries by Timothy Roderick and In the Shadow of 13 Moons by Kimberly Sherman Cook. I also liked a shamanic exercise of gazing into a mirror in the dark to see the shadow self. I don't know if this is described anywhere but it was a technique I learned when I took a class on shamanism. I'll see if I can find reference to it online.

As always, thank you for the book recommends, EM! I'm going to get Dark Moon Mysteries once my credit card bill gets generated for this cycle (another 5 days for that) because it's about $10 cheaper than 13 Moons here.

Interestingly enough, my best friend from school has been on my case for a while now about taking up journalling as an exercise for self awareness at a very minute level. It occurs to me now that he was talking about shadow work with just slightly different vocab.

And- I apologise, geekwitch for hijacking your thread, hope you don't mind :)- I've also been looking into the shamanic practices of contacting power animals for support. In my head, I find that a little bit safer than reaching out directly for a spirit guide because I don't feel confident enough in my abilities to be able to accurately gauge the intentions of any spirits who might respond to those efforts- what if something unsavoury decided to trick me?  :omg:

Would you say that's really jusified, EM, insofar as contacting/getting in touch with a power animal being any safer than trying to contact a spirit guide?
Logged
"Better not to send at all,
Then to pledge overmuch"

earthmuffin

  • Mystical Woodland Sprite
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Karma: +9/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 3544
  • Location: Northern California
  • Mood:
  • Spiritual Path: hedge witch/earth bunny
  • A lunatic and proud of it
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2016, 08:52:37 AM »

Hmmm, not sure, T. I would say contacting a power animal and contacting a spirit guide are the same thing except that a power animal is sure to be an animal. ;)
Logged
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama

Tinevisce

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 296
  • Location: India
  • Mood: excited
  • Spiritual Path: Hindu Shaktite, with Eclectic Occult Influences
  • As above, so below
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2016, 12:22:16 AM »

Hmmm, not sure, T. I would say contacting a power animal and contacting a spirit guide are the same thing except that a power animal is sure to be an animal. ;)

Oh, wow, forgot I hadn't replied to this. I always thought that spirit guides were external entities whereas power animals were metaphorical manifestation of your higher consciousness, i.e a part of you. Maybe I got that bit wrong?
 :confused:

An update on Dark Moon Mysteries, my copy came in a week back and so far it looks good. I had a question regarding the guided meditation exercises...the first exercise is about identifying a shadow mask; and what's got me confused is...am I supposed to be puppeting? That is to say, I have something of an idea of what my shadow mask is...am I supposed to be thinking of it consciously while doing the meditation...or do I just lay back and let the images come?

For example, while trying to do a guided meditation years ago to find...kinda sorta a power animal...I kept seeing a sparrow when I just let the images come, even though I have no conscious attachment/attraction to sparrows; like I do with dogs (say). I could visualise a dog quite clearly when I tried or wanted to, of course, but it kept turning to a sparrow when I wasn't paying attention- does that make sense?
Logged
"Better not to send at all,
Then to pledge overmuch"

Crystal Dragon

  • Resident herbalist and ninja healer extraordinaire
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Karma: +9/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 5107
  • Location: Southern California
  • Mood: :bluedragon:
  • Spiritual Path: Pagan with Celtic/Native American influences
  • Crystal Whisperer
    • Crystal's Page
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2016, 04:56:53 AM »

T, spirit guides tend to stay with us long term (they are guides and mentors) where power animals can change and may only stay for a relatively short time.  You'd asked specifically about contacting though, and the process for contacting either is the same.  My guess is that's why EM responded the way she did.  ;)

If you're being told that sparrow is a current power animal (and from what you've described I'd certainly say that sparrow is telling you he's there) then perhaps you should look into what sparrow represents and contemplate what that might mean for you.
Logged
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. 
Albert Einstein




    

Tinevisce

  • Apprentice
  • **
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 296
  • Location: India
  • Mood: excited
  • Spiritual Path: Hindu Shaktite, with Eclectic Occult Influences
  • As above, so below
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2016, 06:31:27 AM »

T, spirit guides tend to stay with us long term (they are guides and mentors) where power animals can change and may only stay for a relatively short time.  You'd asked specifically about contacting though, and the process for contacting either is the same.  My guess is that's why EM responded the way she did.  ;)

If you're being told that sparrow is a current power animal (and from what you've described I'd certainly say that sparrow is telling you he's there) then perhaps you should look into what sparrow represents and contemplate what that might mean for you.

Hi there! Well, sparrow showed up in an entirely non-witchy context back in the day when I wasn't even very into mysticism. This would be like 2004-ish when I'd just read Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials and very enamoured with the concept of daemons (physical manifestation of someone's soul as an animal). On one of the related fora, they described a meditation exercise to get your own daemon to appear. :)

It wasn't until years and years later that I realised the exercise was very similar to shamanic journeying to find your power animals- I have to say that I think sparrow is still around, although isn't as present as he was in '04. Then again, I had been actively trying to visualise him then.

Funny how life works like that.
Logged
"Better not to send at all,
Then to pledge overmuch"

earthmuffin

  • Mystical Woodland Sprite
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Karma: +9/-0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 3544
  • Location: Northern California
  • Mood:
  • Spiritual Path: hedge witch/earth bunny
  • A lunatic and proud of it
Re: Starting Shadow Work?
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2016, 09:05:52 AM »

Hmmm, not sure, T. I would say contacting a power animal and contacting a spirit guide are the same thing except that a power animal is sure to be an animal. ;)

Oh, wow, forgot I hadn't replied to this. I always thought that spirit guides were external entities whereas power animals were metaphorical manifestation of your higher consciousness, i.e a part of you. Maybe I got that bit wrong?
 :confused:

An update on Dark Moon Mysteries, my copy came in a week back and so far it looks good. I had a question regarding the guided meditation exercises...the first exercise is about identifying a shadow mask; and what's got me confused is...am I supposed to be puppeting? That is to say, I have something of an idea of what my shadow mask is...am I supposed to be thinking of it consciously while doing the meditation...or do I just lay back and let the images come?

For example, while trying to do a guided meditation years ago to find...kinda sorta a power animal...I kept seeing a sparrow when I just let the images come, even though I have no conscious attachment/attraction to sparrows; like I do with dogs (say). I could visualise a dog quite clearly when I tried or wanted to, of course, but it kept turning to a sparrow when I wasn't paying attention- does that make sense?

Re. spirit guide vs power animal, yes, what CD said. :)  And yes, power animals are external entities that are a type of spirit guide AND also part of you.

Re. the book meditation, start with what you think your mask is and let images come. When you try to force an image  that is not the image you should be getting as in your dog/sparrow example, it will keep being overridden until you get the correct message.   
Logged
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

Page created in 0.045 seconds with 27 queries.