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Intro to Shadow Work Exercise

Page history last edited by Grian/Lee 16 years, 9 months ago

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Intro to Shadow Work Exercise


Doing Shadow Work is a private and intense process. Below is a short introduction into Shadow Work and a ritual/exercise that can help you start to reveal your own shadows.



What is Shadow Work?

Source: http://www.shadowwork.com/about.html#what


“Shadow Work® is a personal growth process which brings your hidden powers out of the shadow and into the light. We all have these hidden powers within us. But we don't always allow ourselves to use them. We have all been hurt, and we have learned to hide parts of ourselves so we don't get hurt again.


Shadow Work® is a way to explore the inner landscape and discover the gold that is hiding in the shadows. It is a way to become more and more who we really are. Shadow Work® is a way to face the hurt, the fear, the anger, and learn how to live more fully. Most of all, it is a way to love ourselves for the journeys we have chosen.”


Modern Pagans and Shadow Work

“Carl Jung was a theoretical psychologist and practicing clinician for most of his life.” (http://sociologyindex.com/karl_jung.htm)


Modern Pagans have adopted much of Carl Jung’s ideas and philosophies, one of the most popular being Shadow Work. As you may have already seen within your community or in books, the ideas behind Shadow Work basically stay true to how Jung intended them. Pagans, however, make Shadow Work a more spiritual (as opposed to a clinical psychological) process.


Through the research of ancient societies and myths it is possible to see that Shadow Work (by whatever name it might have been called) has been being employed for centuries among spiritual people. Shamanism is one of the most common systems to employ this technique, therefore Shadow Work may be considered a Shamanic practice. Many (if not all) of the beliefs and practices within Goddess Religion can be seen as Shamanic in nature.


The Maiden aspect of the Goddess is also called “The Revealer”. She is the vehicle through which shadows are revealed and “light” and/or “freedom” can be reintroduced. Below is a short ritual you can perform at your altar to ask the Maiden to help you begin a journey of revealing your shadows.



Revealing Your Shadows Ritual


Gather items that symbolize the Maiden to you. These can be herbs, stones, statues, etc. Set a white candle in the center of your altar and place your items around it. Also, draw a picture or write words that represent “the old you” or the you that is taken over by shadows. Have a bowl of water or some fire proof container nearby. You can choose to light incense as well. Get all of your materials set up, light candles and incense, and ground yourself in your usual way.


When you are ready recite the following:


“Holy Maiden, be with me now

and infuse me with your desire to be free.

Reveal my shadow self

And give me the strength to accept it;

Love it, transform it,

And finally to destroy it by consuming it back into myself.

Now and always I choose to be free and balanced;

I choose to be happy.

So mote it be.”


Burn your picture or words in the candle flame. Let it burn as long as you can without burning yourself or anything else before putting it out in the bowl of water.


Meditate for a time if you choose. Spend time reflecting, praying, chanting, etc. Revisit this little ritual as often as you need to. Be sure to record your reflections and experiences in your journal.


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