I have been wanting to write this as a blog or Facebook post for a long, long time; the urge has increased over the last few months, and finally I am sitting down to write after a long hiatus.
I feel like people don’t read blogs anymore. They want bite sized information, they want quick read memes with cute font, they want 30 second Reels and TikToks.
People don’t want to take the time to read anymore, or so it seems.
The thing is, that’s the only way you will learn anything, from me at least.
I am a writer. I bleed on the screen for the world to see and that will never change; I bleed on pages, too.
My pen is my sword, my words are my fire.
Back to the topic at hand, and I am just going to get right to it:
Shadow Work is dangerous, and I wish more people would talk about this.
Don’t take that statement and think I am suggesting avoiding it, no, no.
NO SPIRITUAL BYPASSING ON MY WATCH.
Shadow Work is 100% necessary. The integration of Shadow is 100% necessary.
Did you know that I consulted a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist when creating my Shadow Work Course for The House of Twigs? For reasons I learned from them I didn’t dive too deep when giving assignments because I do not know where someone is on their journey and real, irreparable damage can be done.
I had to be sure that I was not leading folks to danger, or worse to the or a space where they re-traumatize themselves.
I see the term Shadow Work thrown around like it means not a goddamn thing, and I am perplexed because it is NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY.
If you want me to be honest, like really honest: Shadow Work is more dangerous than Evoking Spirits.
Why is this conversation not being had more?!
First, let us define Shadow Work for folks who may not be familiar.
Shadow Work is a Jungian (Carl Jung) Psychological concept that our Persona is who we strive to be and show to the world, but our Shadow is who we are, or at least what makes up most of who we are.
Like the moon has a hidden side so do we.
That is the Shadow.
The hidden aspects of ourselves.
In Jungian Psychology it is our Persona first, our Ego is center, Anima/Animus and Shadow last.
The Spiritual World, not just the Witchcraft Community, have taken this concept and morphed it into their own thing.
Therein lies one of the main problems.
You can’t tweak the concept of Shadow Work.
Regardless of your opinions of Jung himself as a person, his work remains a masterpiece and masterpieces are not altered. They are especially not to be altered to fit some narrative the creator had no intention of it being used for.
Jung was a Psychoanalyst and he did nothing, NOTHING in the shallows; this is deep, deep, heavy work.
Then there is the whole issue that Shadow Work itself is an Egregore and taps into a Collective Unconscious that cannot be altered. There is also the Personal Unconscious.
Archetypes exist in the Shadow and they are: Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Ruler, Creator, Caregiver, Magician, Hero, Rebel, Lover, Jester and the Orphan.
Shadow Work is alive, it’s constant motion.
Ever changing and evolving as we add more experiences and information to the Collective Unconscious.
It’s not just your Shadows, it’s not just your work.
You are tapping into immense power, and immense emotion.
Then there is the end goal which is the integration process and that is a whirlwind.
Do not diminish these dangers.
Working with Shadow is extremely beneficial, but it brings up a lot of shit that you have buried, things you might not even be aware of (there’s that Unconscious part); it can bring up and stir up Collective emotions that are not even yours to unpack.
There are so many variables, so many potential outcomes.
Be mindful when suggesting Shadow Work as if it’s a walk in the park.
It is not.
Be mindful when venturing down the path to Shadow Work.
It is full of perils.
Know your limitations, find a support system of some kind, and do not push yourself.
Your psyche is powerful and it’s strong, but it is not unbreakable.
Be gentle and fierce. Be aware and alive.
And don’t take yourself too seriously, or your Shadows.
You can laugh, you can love, you can ease your way into the Work and don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Lux in Tenebris Lucet