Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Kate Freuler, author of the new Of Blood and Bones.
Doing shadow work in witchcraft is often thought of as examining your “dark side,” which makes it sound far more sinister than it actually is. In truth, shadow work is a natural and integral part of the craft, allowing us to find balance by looking inward at ourselves and honestly assessing what we find. Introspection and self reflection, which make up the bulk of shadow work, help us hone our practice and grow spiritually. In terms of spells and rituals, shadow work can range from dream work and meditation to banishing, binding, or even cursing in order to free ourselves of unwanted influences. All of these acts can be difficult, but all of them are liberating.
Sometimes people are hesitant to embark on this journey, because the truth is that shadow work can be hard; honestly facing yourself often forces you to make uncomfortable but necessary changes like severing ties, facing loss, and accepting endings.
Here are some tips for getting through your own shadow work.
- Be honest. Shadow work involves looking truthfully at yourself and your own role in difficult situations. Sometimes, the shadow reveals aspects of ourselves we don’t really like. Understand that this realization is an opportunity to change and improve.
- Stay strong. Shadow work often occurs in conjunction with some kind of cataclysmic change in your personal life, whether that’s a relationship ending, leaving a job, or some other upsetting, difficult transition. Be courageous in facing these changes because you will victor over these challenges, becoming stronger and wiser.
- Listen to yourself. Contemplate your own feelings and deeply consider what you really want during this time of transition. Set aside a little time every day to be alone and meditate on what you’re feeling so that your decisions don’t become skewed by outside influences or buried under the detritus of mundane life.
- Let go. As you grow there may be people who you’ll have to leave behind for your own good. Certain people will try to hold you back because watching you reach for your light makes them uncomfortable. If they don’t support your growth, let them go.
- Face facts. While doing shadow work, difficult things can come to the surface. It’s imperative to face and accept these feelings with a clear mind. Try to avoid the temptation to numb yourself with alcohol, drugs, or other unhealthy distractions, as this will only postpone the work you’re trying to do.
Shadow work can be a rough experience, but remember that just like the cycle of the moon and the seasons, after darkness there is always light. You will overcome your current battles and emerge stronger and brighter than ever before.
Our thanks to Kate for her guest post! For more from Kate Freuler, read her article “Working with Bones and Skulls in Witchcraft