Who are you? Do you really know? Once you strip away all of your worldly titles- what’s left? Let go of labels such as a parent, sibling, coach or nurse, and ponder who and what has shaped you to hold the ideas, the characteristics which you possess. While some of what you have learned up to this point has served you well—there are other things; whether they’re due to childhood trauma, abuse, or bullying– that you have collected from everyone that you’re connected to that has left less than positive imprints upon you. But you are not alone. Everyone has a number of darker emotions which they have stored within themselves and cling to (both consciously and unconsciously) that do not serve their higher purpose. These darker emotions are referred to as your shadow self. It is this shadow that you must lovingly get into contact with in order to make the necessary changes that will bring peace to you and aid you in both your mundane and magickal experiences.
For the novice practitioner, you must realize that we all have a light and a dark side. According to Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, “To become conscious of it (the shadow) involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is an essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.”* While you may have been advised by family or friends to deny or even to suppress your darker self; this actually does far more harm than good. It’s essential that you face who you truly are, a being that is both light and dark and instead of burying or denying half of yourself; embrace who you are and work to heal those parts of you that have spent too long in the dark.
There is no better way to appreciate the light than to spend a little time in the dark. Doing so will bring more positive experiences in many facets of your life- including your spiritual practice.
As a new witch, you may have noticed that you are not seeing the results which you’re hoping for once you’ve performed a spell (or at least, certain spells). You know that you’ve used the proper tools, said the spell just right, you’ve waited for the right moon phase then waited and waited to see your spell come to fruition. And for all your efforts—you’ve got nothing. Are you a so-called bad witch? Of course not. It’s important for you to remember all the tools that you have at your disposal, YOU are the greatest tool that you have! If your spell was for a little extra money to come to you to help with your bills and you have yet to see the extra funds, ask yourself: how do I really feel about money? Think back to your childhood. Was money the source of many of the arguments that your parents had when you were growing up? Did your mother often worry there wouldn’t be enough money for you all to make it through the month? Your mind is a wonderful machine. It records everything! But, the problem with that is, your subconscious believes everything that it’s told—by you and others. So, whether you realize it or not, you may have a genuine fear of money. While you’re working spells to draw money to you, on a subconscious level, you could actually be repelling money. When you are giving off conflicting vibrations (what your brain wants versus what your heart wants) you essentially cancel out that which you’re hoping for. But by taking the time to do some shadow work, by setting undisturbed alone time to meditate and get to know yourself on a deeper level, you can tap into those darker feelings. Find them. Greet them. Accept them and then work on transforming them to their opposite, more positive feelings.
Maybe fear of money isn’t the problem. What if the issue is with confidence? If you’re suffering from low self-esteem- no matter how much you say that you believe your spells will be effective- if subconsciously you’re dealing with the ghosts of your parents telling you that you can’t do anything right, then deep down, you really may believe that. This is why shadow work comes in so handy. It allows you to dig deep and repair your inner self and afterward, you will begin your journey towards personal growth and start to see just how much more powerful you are when it comes to manifestation as well as your everyday life.
“When we do the self-work that helps us understand our shadow, its hold on us is lessened,” says Moontoadie, a witch who has been practicing for years. She added that shadow work is “a lifelong practice… but it may lead to life-changing growth.” For those darker emotions that have been long buried, should you find that some of those emotions are too painful to face at the time, then by no means push yourself to deal with them. “For those who can afford it, going to therapy” would be ideal, says Moontoadie. She also recommended that when it comes to shadow work “a good place to start is picking up a book” and added, “there are loads of excellent online resources as well.” A good place to start would be YouTube if you’re serious about really getting in touch with your dark half. There, you’ll find a number of videos about the concept of the shadow self, as it was described decades ago by Carl Jung. Journaling your shadow work experiences will also be helpful in tracking your progress as you set out on the journey of self-discovery, which will lead to a more meaningful, healthy and productive life.
When it comes to magick, one of the most powerful things anyone can manifest, is a transformation of themselves into a happier, healthier person.
Sources: Carl Jung, Aion 1951 (highexistence.com).