Years ago, in the deep woods on another mountain, I played frequently with my shadow. I studied It’s nature. My shadow was on the ground in front of me…or behind me… I watched the patterns change throughout the day as the sun would slide into the horizon. Short silhouette shadows or long scrawny grey ones stretched across the ground the on long evenings of summer. I began to see outside the world of my own reality by sitting with shadows, as they presented in nature. To the mind of a child, with little else to amuse her on that contemplative level, it was Pure Magic! Especially as she contemplated that simplicity with the complexity of what she found in the actions around her, how they oriented to something other than how they were speaking. She observed here actions made words lie. Separateness didn’t just occurred outside of oneself, she learned. It happened inside too.
Some would say Shadows are full of drama. Others find shadow work a beautiful practice to behold. In my reality, Shadow work is only seen dramatic from the slightly smug (aka also still shadowed) spiritual side. It’s separateness colliding beautifully with Oneness. Either way you look at it, either as separateness joining back into Oneness or separateness splitting off until it’s been divested of all of its “notnesses”, the outcome is the same. Right now we have separation. Where we are heading is to Oneness.
We are peeling back the layers of our NOTness (conditioning and states of victimhood), to reveal our ISness. In doing so we begin to see how we got here, happenstance, coincidence, theft and victimhood are all vehicles that time uses interchangeably.
“Terrified of the dark; so the darkness I became
scared of my own demons, so I learned them all by name.
I was fearful of monsters; so I became one too.
I was frightened by ghosts until I realized…
I’m the Ghost who’s haunting Me.”
Artis: Megh Curry
Forgive the monster you’ve become and the monsters that taught you how. Forgiveness… from our perspective, is simply the result of the action of acceptance. It’s when your mind stops trying to find reasons why something is “WRONG” and just accepts what is “IS”. Acceptance is key here; forgiveness is a natural course of action once acceptance has been achieved. You don’t just achieve Forgiveness, you must CHOOSE acceptance, then forgiveness flows free. Forgiveness doesn’t take things personally. Forgiveness is seeing another’s reality bubble from within your Own, seeing its differences and its samenesses and seeing them as perfect. Forgiveness is stopping the blame game, because there’s Nothing Really Wrong, even if Better is Now a Necessity. Forgiveness is no longer judging or holding account of wrongdoings. Forgiveness is to stop the war cry of “Wrong” and replace it with a yearning and a cry for “Let’s do Better”. Better is not a judgment; it’s setting an intention of choosing a way that’s more in alignment or a Higher Frequency Response next time.
Remember the Ghost from the poem above? When we choose Not to Forgive, we Remain in our Shadow Frequency. We become ghosts over time, fearful of our own shadow, lacking in luster and life glow, depressed, lost, feeling wounded or deeply dependent on others to a detriment. That’s what the inside of THAT reality can feel like. The Outside… The outside is an altogether different matter
“The Monster I created to protect my inner child is difficult to manage” ~Marc Maron~
Artist: Sako Asko
This simple dramatic depiction of multiplicity within individuality profoundly speaks to the complexity AND simplicity involved in shadow work. How do I get past my beast, why suffering? THESE are the important questions. Though seeing it in this level of simplicity is merely the raft we have gotten on to lead us to the other shore. The shore of Oneness. This level of authenticity in our pain gives as a base understanding of Why Separation, so we can get to the place where Separation is no longer necessary, so thus we choose a different way
This is the crux point in our shift between Matter and Spirit. Our physical bodies, MUST matter, they are Matter. And. They are not the heart of the matter, they are not the end point, and yet, these bodies are how we are here to Experience, so that makes them sacred. Sacred tools for spirit to use to Experience this realm. These shifts in humanity I speak of occurs slowly and yet not. You can find it spread through history, folklore, society, and now most prevalently in our political system and communication in social media.
WE have to live to this life of separateness in these human bodies for the purpose of returning to Oneness, the Consciousness Collective. Which while a beautiful concept that Leads to deep understanding and many needed layers of acceptance, is frankly a thing that takes place over thousands of years as humanity shifts through its phases. It’s the living of it day to day that actually causes the shift over time. We each do our part and the whole collective changes, slowly, perhaps almost imperceptible so, but it Does Change!
Let’s Look At Shadows As They Exist Visibly
Shadow is formed when a solid object passes in front of a light source, casting a distorted illusion of separateness. Looking at that reality from a scientific observational perspective, we can make the following conclusions about shadows
- A shadow is ‘Root Sourced’ in origin, attached as it is to your feet. (Try it! Look down at your shadow, attached at your heel. Now play with the following…)
- A Shadow is a distorted illusion (separateness) of the real object. Wave your hand, it’s You, but it’s not you… Or so your brain thinks.
- Shadow Distortion is directly related to the angle at which the object is standing in relation to the light source. This becomes important when we begin talking about Being IN Alignment, later on
- Shadows are a natural occurrence in nature, they happen organically, and Everybody has one, so no shitting on your shadows
- Its very existence represents that light does indeed exist, in case you’re the pessimistic sort.
- You can’t cut it off, unless you shut off the light or your self
We are stitched together – our shadow and solid self! It IS a part of this human experience. Instead of ducking from it, or trying to cut it off from ourselves, let’s turn and embrace it. (Insert funny commentary regarding Peter Pan and his attempt at removing his shadow…snicker snicker)
The concept of Separateness is prevalent all through history, Jungian theory, Norse, Greeks, and even more recently, human design and gene keys, have all explored these concepts over the years. It just needs to take root in more minds to become a way we shift the world. A note on separating oneself from one’s shadows. Before we get to far, I can already hear the commentary,”well, I’ll just rid of it, or ignore it’s complexity, that will make it go away.” Well I’m here to tell you that just doesn’t quite work. Much like you can’t just cut off your shadow in the physical realm, you can’t cut off your internal shadow. Though if you try to, this is often where Soul Loss can happen. In abstract facts, there’s even author’s notes of immured (trapped) shadow being used in Bulgarian folklore* to increase the structural support of specific types of new building construction leading the consequent death of the human
This shadow in the physical gives us reference to understand the internal shadow, which is much harder to tangibly discuss, as in each person it represents so uniquely, though also quite predictably so, which we will continue to discuss at length in subsequent articles. Regardless of it’s complexity, the simplicity of it all, is that it is here to teach us the concepts of separateness. Before we can attain higher frequencies we MUST embrace just how Separate we have become! It’s not hard to do… Just look inside at your fantasies, your private yearnings, your dark secrets that you just don’t even think about yourself, or maybe you do, and they float around the inside of your brain haunting you. This Separateness is, in my belief, the WHY we are here, to understand it and then move beyond it, back into connection, Back into Oneness. You see None if this is religion based… You could be moving back into the arms of God, or good relations with your priests, back into the arms of your community, re-embracing your salvation, your commitments to ______. t’s not the thing that we’re returning to that matters, just that we Are Returning.
(If you have benefitted from or enjoyed this Series, please share this Medicine!))
Mountain Woman Medicinces, “Mountain Medicine Spoken in the Language of Science” is an experience based system of using scientific approaches to understand and convey concepts in its basic context, then That lay against individual human experience, gaining a dynamic understanding and a contextual language.
* “The Immuring of a Human Shadow is a well-known feature of Balkan folklore. It is done in the belief that a bridge, a church, or a public building will stand longer if a person’s shadow is built into the structure. Such a person languishes and soon dies. His spirit then turns into a talasŭm (hobgoblin). People avoid passing a new building whose masons are trying to measure the shadow of a human being and immure it into the foundation.” – Nicoloff, Bulgarian Folkore, pp. 61-2 (1983)
Softening The Delve Into The Unconscious Realm
Let’s have a conversation about Shadows.
There’s a lot of confusion concerning shadow work. My goal in this series of articles is to deeply explore and explain shadows, what they look like, where they come from and how to work with them.
In this first article we are going to discuss what the shadow is.
§ § § § §
I’m going to talk about some things to which we have few words for in English. Let’s frame ethereal concepts into spoken word, by which we can explore an often unseen world. For all its beauty and power, our world is often shunned and confined.
So What is This SHADOW I Speak Of?
We refer to “The Shadow” when we are discussing parts of us that leaves us breathless, yearning, or scared. Terrified. Ecstatic. Enraged. It is the parts of you that are unconscious to you, often the pieces you are ashamed of in secret. We each have a shadow side, it’s where all the pain and the wisdoms learned from that pain are held. And while it’s ‘normal’ cause everyone has one, unchecked, unseen, unaccepted, unforgiven and unsuspecting it is not a healthy state for thriving. No matter how positive you try to be in life, if you do not become fully aware of your own Shadow frequency ( your dark-side) you will never be able to understand stand and unfold the higher frequencies of your soul’s purpose and consequent peace.
Shadows are where your shame, guilt and blame live, and where the fear that leaves you paranoid blooms. It’s the places where you deny yourself or indulge too much. It’s the places where the core truths of chosen beliefs get twisted until you can “feel ok” again. It’s how the hatred and the immense pain in the world have remained hidden for so long. Everyone’s shadows are all hanging out, demanding to win, to be right. It’s where ‘what we Know to be true’ and ‘what we have come to Experience’, have all become too dichotomous to accept.
To Find YOUR shadow, go to the edges of what you know, to the very edge of what is “comfortable”. And then turn your awareness to what feels “uncomfortable”. To what feels like a Pain Point. During this time of mercury retrograde it’s not hard to fine. Feel into what is annoying, frustrating or causing bitterness or resentment in your life Right Now. This is a place that is steeped in transformative energy. Breathe into and through the uncomfortable space, it’s just showing you your truth. All that is required here is to Be Brave and Allow Willingness. A willingness to delve into one of the most scary places, Yourself..
A Shadow can be any place you can’t bare to look. In the psyche it’s that space under the rug where you swept all the stuff you didn’t want to deal with or couldn’t at the time. It’s the unconscious nature within all of us, often a mystery, even to ourselves. Or Not, as we choose. It’s a noun, a verb, it’s a state of being or a feeling and sometimes it’s its own entity that steps out and makes decisions for you. It is also there where you can find your true design in life, your internal mapping, your inner compass and your guide through life once you come clean with your shadow.
Sit with these Statements for a moment…
Shadow work is ALL ABOUT YOU! This is where you get to shine! Where it’s all about you Darlin.
TIME is its vehicle.
It has a purpose!
Your shadow has Deep Worth.
It IS Power
It is fuel waiting for you to use it.
If you don’t use it, others will.
It’s the Worth out of all the horrid feeling experiences you’ve encounter in life.
(These will all be expanded on it the coming articles)
You have to WANT to find your shadow. When there is a Willingness to truly See IT for What IT IS, IT Will emerge. (It wants to live too!)
This work is a deep process that takes patience, deep acceptance and most of all, COURAGE. Courage is fortified by having Faith that what you find has Power for you, if you can but find the diamond within the coal. (Hint:this is Not done by Thinking with your mind, rather feeling with your inner authority. The head has no authority, it has informational data only)
You aren’t meant to understand it all, The Point here is to remain open to the mystery. The Choice to Accept your Shadow comes at every point along the way where you find/feel resistance within yourself. “I’m not like that”, “That’s horrible”, “That makes me a terrible person”, “what were they thinking?!?”, “They made me feel..”.
Your Shadow is a frequency in your energy field, it resides at the lower end of the spectrum. The primary focus of shadows is on a individual survival instinct, and it’s based in fear. Wither that’s learned fear in the present or fear from our deep ancestral roots, heritage, karma, ect. Humanity as a group conscious is still powerfully influenced by ancient fear based codes. “No matter how positive or upbeat, spiritual or conservative you try to be in life, if you do not become fully aware of your own shadows frequency patterns — your “dark side”– you will never be able to unlock the higher frequencies. This is where the real work begins…
The goal here is to give you an inner language that allows you to see and feel the unconscious fear at work inside of you, how it it is made present in your actions, thoughts and words. Just by the nature of having been born, you came with inherited traits, unconsciousness responses, ancestral memories and fears that have no basis in your current life. It’s all been locked up safe and sound in the unconscious, both individually and the collective whole (tribal), until it’s unearthed and sought out. Contemplation of the shadows aspects stirs up ancient coding and realtime In-this-now fears. With intense delving on your part, you will begin to see how much of your life and the world around you is wrapped up in this patterning. In bringing awareness to these hidden aspects of your unconscious behaviors on a regular basis you can gradually and effectively disarm them. You begin to find, that hidden behind all that armor is gifts that far surpass the offerings that the hidden shadow can hold. Take heart from every insight or breakthrough you have along the way, for you are birthing the authentic you, that has treasure and worth untold. To the Shadow lands we go, seeking the language so we can change our stories, for our worth is far more than we now know.
References and further readings:
Gene Keys: Richard Rudd
The Laws of Spirit: Dan Millman
SoulCraft: Bill Plotkin
Meeting the Shadow: Various Arthors
Women Who Run With The Wolves: Clarissa Pinkola
Human Design Model: Various Authors
Some Suggested Music Listening Shadow Work.
MWM Next Topic: Exploring the Language & Science of Shadow.
It is important to understand as we move through these next few topics is that language is a thing that wakes the mind from its slumber.
Here’s the conundrum: we need to talk about the multitudes of things that can live inside of one body. The shadow being only one aspect that, even in its singularity, has a multitude of faces.
Before we can talk Multiplicity, we need to talk Singularity.
WE EACH HAVE ONE. Yours is not mine, and mine is not yours.
What about the notion that “We Are All One”?
Well, we are. Yet, we must understand our separateness if we are to come into healing wholeness and shift the global trending frequency to a higher level. We are here to experience and understand separateness (the shadow), then we can appreciate the connectedness and shift to “Oneness”. Too often I see folks who speak of Love & Light and then fake it while waiting for something magical to happen. I’m here to say we need to talk about these things openly to gain the most growth. Love, Light & Dark.
I am not describing the one you were told you had to live, nor the one you molded yourself into. Let’s talk about a unique reality that is all your own. A reality unique to your own brain, heart, mission, shadows and perceptions. When we OWN our own reality, a beautiful thing happens. We begin to honor our own unique experience of life. Within that single reality that is yours, a part of your birthright is being born into human skin. Here comes the relationships inside of Your personal Reality. Just the basics first.
It’s already a three-way relationship.
1) You – human skin bag you (your emotions, your Shadow Aspects, your Experince of Separateness, your DNA keys on the molecular level, Your ISness).
2) Spirit – YOURS (Gift/ Essence, the knowledge, consciously or unconsciously that you’ve brought forward, your a Experince of Oneness,.)
3) Human and spirit’s experience of skins environment – outside energies, relationships, interactions, all that is NOT you, but apart of your experience, because you are surrounded by it, thus influenced BY it, also your edge – between ISness and Notness. This brings us to the edge of Boundaries conversation. (A whole article on its own for another time)
Can you see why Shadows are so intricately important? We can’t truly see our gifts, let alone manifest them, without considering the shadow and working together with it.
Now Let’s /discuss “Mulitplicity withIN Singularity”.
Artist: Megh Curry. Visit Sundarta by Megh to view more of their art. *Concept of ‘multiplicity withIN singularity’ expressed in visual form.
Think of a diamond in relation to a person (you). Each has its slivers and facets that Time has had a hand in creating. Through which each aspect can be used to “see” the whole of the stone (being that it’s transparent) When we do in this kind of investigative self work, we are peering closely in through one facet to deeply understand what the insides contain, as there are often phantoms, shimmers or pockets of water or air that can only be seen from one perspective or facet. So we magnify the object of study (yourself) and choose for a moment to look through one lens, one facet, one perspective, accepting it as it is, to better understand the whole of the diamond. (You). Remember, what you find in that zoomed in perspective (no matter WHAT IT IS) is simply a part of the greater whole – You Must Zoom Back Out to fully understand how its Being is essential to the whole! Most get stuck in that “zoomed In” place, losing sight of how it affects the whole of a person and thus are perpetually in the place of feeling overwhelmed by their reality.
It takes a balancing act between science and art to fully understand and be able to work with/dance with our shadows. This Process is the “science” bit, the zoom in and out emotional mechanics along with the finesse, compassion and timing of how it flows for the individual is the Art aspect.
You could call this the Ethical Dealings with Shadows. You see, they are always gonna want something, the’re always going to ask just a little too much. You must zoom out the perspective to see how it will affect the whole and make your Choices There! Otherwise you’ll study your shadows till the end of time and make no headway with how life plays out for you. Because you are NOT just your shadow. The curse that shadow can sometimes bring into your world is a gift in disguise, a disguise that falls away when you step back, zoom out, and see how it can be of Service. Shadow work is Service Work, it is Heart PAth work. Those that delve with their shadows are Heart Path Warriors.
Let’s now take that perspective another step out. Looking at other realities Not our own. Looking at the collective of humanity. Remember, We are each individual beings on this “matter based level”. Each of us is a walking skin bag housing a spirit that is here to experience the Human Experience. We are not humans having a spiritual experience; rather, we are spirits having a human experience. Each has their own unique reality in which they experience life inside their head and emotions. And while we can often empathically understand what another is going through, we are really just looking through our own lens and understandings into another’s reality. Which is why connection matters SOO much, and can mess us up! Being that we exist in this bubble of reality that is own Beingness. Our ISness, it’s really the rest of the world that gives us reason to expand, to seek to understand something outside of ourselves.
Now that the “multiplicity within singularity” is a bit deeper understood, let’s move into a few languaging tools. For once we can find a common language about a thing we can begin to talk about it, discuss it, develop shorthand and delve deeper quicker. Languages and labels are only helpful until they’re not, right now they are, so let’s go there.
ISness: Active State of Being.
(It was necessary to have a simple multi use word, so that deep subjects could be explored with ease.)
ISness can be used as a noun, verb or adjective. The state of, and sum total of all the things that you ARE, your choices, your reactions, your YOUness, your YES’s. It’s a place that we are often defensive of, preparing for others to question the validity of our ISness, as though they somehow know better then we do about a reality that is not theirs. When you find an ISness in your reality, accept it, love it and watch it grow. Your shadow is a reflection of your Isness. Though if it came down to it, your truest self is your shadow… You’ll see what I mean if you stand with your back to a light and look at the shadow at your feet. In that moment your shadow is a simply a reflection of you, and a possibly distorted one at that, depending on the angle of the light source behind you. This shadow is more apart of you (ISness), then not you (Notness), even though it’s outside of you. You couldn’t’ cut off the shadows hand and effect yourself. Where as if you cut your own hand off, suddenly the shadow is now handless.
Isness is essentially the meat of the territory of the map that is each of our own realities. Core ISness being the centerpoint of that map.
NOTness: The denoted quality and state of denial or refusal
and sum total of all the things that you are NOT, the things you have said NO to, where you didn’t react, didn’t make a choice. Where you chose to put no energy; the only place you truly have no control, because you gave it up by NOT going there. Notness is flexible. It is constantly being redefined, explored and reshaped. Notness It is essentially the edges of our map of who we are. All the unexplored territory, or the territory that we Choose to not utilize. (Notness and ISness will be deeper explored in the next 2 sections, this is just the intro)
Owning: Accepting the result of an outcome as a choice of your own making.Ok, we good? If that bit didn’t make sense go back through and reread it until it does, the rest builds upon it. Queries, quandaries and inner-quarrels are welcome.
Next article: Language of Shadow (Part ⅔)
Reveling in the glory of winter. Where the trees speak, the mountain groans, water trickles beneath ice and life is curled up, nourishing itsSelf, waiting to be re-born.
At Nemeton 2 more spaces were revealed & co-created with nature this fall (2016)!!! The Mad Hatters Tea Parlor (social fire, feasting & muttering) and the Rose Zen Garden (listening, contemplation & connection). These spaces were neigh on impassible earlier in the year, due to shear volume of brush, brambles and trees. More details and shared journey coming soon… #Nemet0n https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-0/p180x540/15032227_10157770464295252_9018228876721969235_n.jpg?oh=bbc634ae9d7f8d423098816d68d24070&oe=58CD4B6F
On Nemeton as the myst settles over the mountain, blanketing us in its chilly damp embrace, I watch the leaves fall from the trees, to rest its growth for yet another season and I am reminded as I remove the tear soaked leaves from my sacred spaces that IT IS Time. That precise balance step across the slippery bridge from Here to Then, that spring comes only after The Fall and this time too is to Be Relished. Revealing in the deep root growth, the Returning to The Cave, To The Mother, To Self. Each year I die back to rest, like the plants and trees I love so, their medicines and language a gift that rides with me through the deep dark swirly months. And Each spring I emerge like the first leaves of spring, eagerly bursting towards the suns warmth. These cycles, these patterns, a thing to Be Embraced, treasured. Love yourself, deeply, relentlessly, pursuing the You that IS Divine. ~Fall of 2016 on Nemeton~ (From the pages of ‘The Memoirs of a Wild Mountain Woman’) #nemet0n http://ift.tt/2eKiEJL
Nemeton Mental Mind Food: When the framework of your fear gives way from the force of your rage, the Truth will be revealed. The question is: Are you willing to allow the energy of love (of Fire) shatter the barriers to reveal The Wholeness, that already exists. The absolute perfection in the design, no matter the unconventionality of the construct. #Nemet0n http://ift.tt/2dYBtar
Mental Mind Food: When fear grips you, you know that feeling… That tight clench in your gut. Just breathe, hand to your heart, and step through. This too shall pass. #Rainique13