I’ve got a secret.
Are you ready?
I fucking love Shadow work.
Ok, maybe it’s not all that big of a secret. I have two programs built around it. But I could seriously talk about it all day.
I love digging in and finding the pain so I can heal it. I love doing that for myself, and I love teaching and guiding others to do it for themselves.
It makes me so happy I could shout about it. But I don’t think the neighbors would appreciate that too much.
I love reading what others have written about it. I love hearing others talk about it. I love that there are so many witches and pagans out there helping each other do this vital work.
I FUCKING LOVE IT!
I guess it’s a good thing it brings me so much satisfaction, because our collective shadow is heavy AF right now.
There are days when my social media feeds make it feel like the world is collapsing around me. I’m writing this the day after a wholly unqualified, semi cult member who defers to her husband in all things was rammed down our throats and into the highest court in my country.
I would make a much better supreme court justice.
People are rightfully afraid right now. LGBTQI+ couples are worried their marriages are going to be rendered illegitimate. People with uteruses are worried about our rights to abortions. Anyone with a “pre-existing health condition” (read: medical history of any sort) is terrified they’ll be losing their healthcare in the middle of the worst pandemic of our lifetime.
And let’s not forget we have a person in the White House who’s made it clear he wants to be a dictator, and that if he doesn’t win *cough*steal*cough* the election again, he’s ready to allow this country to devolve into civil war. And then he’ll jet off to Russia in the middle of the night so he can never be held accountable for his crimes while in office.
This shit is scary.
This is our collective tower moment. It’s been slowly falling since the results of our last Presidential election, and lately the stones have been falling hard and fast.
That’s enough political talk for now I think.
Suffice it to say, things feel dark and heavy right now. That’s because collectively, we’ve been ignoring our Shadow.
Just like with everything else unpleasant, ignoring it doesn’t make it go away – it makes it worse.
Our collective Shadow is demanding to be seen. It will no longer allow us to relegate it to a corner and pretend we’ll get to it later.
It wants to heal. It needs to heal.
So how do we do that? It all starts with ourselves.
We begin by starting to heal our own Shadow. Facing our own fears. Our own pain. Stepping into our own darkness.
Once we start healing ourselves? We begin to feel more compassion for others. We start fighting for all of us, not just our own interests (and the interests of those most like us in our communities).
The hate these people feel is actually toxic fear. Fear of loss. Fear of the unknown. And that fear has been weaponized by those who seek to take advantage of that fear so they can gain power.
And they’ve been really fucking effective with their messaging.
Our “side”? While we’re not as bad at othering and dehumanizing they are, we still do it. We call them stupid and ignorant (and so much worse) instead of acknowledging the educational system they came up through is an absolute travesty. We make fun of them for never stepping foot out of their hometown instead of acknowledging the economic reality that many of them can’t afford to. We stereotype them, and then bristle when they do the same to us. We talk down to them. We patronize them.
We act this way because of our own Shadow. We need to feel superior because we ourselves feel insignificant. We need to feel more intelligent because someone at some point in our lives told us we’re stupid, and we never healed from that harm.
When we behave this way, we prove the lies they’ve been fed their whole lives to be true. We perpetuate the cycle of us vs them.
So what do we need to do?
We’re going to have to love the bullshit out of existence.
I’m serious. We’re going to give them healthcare (including mental health care), living wages, social services, and a damn education.
Because that’s what’s missing in their lives. They’ve been short changed on all of these things.
We’re going to drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. And if we do all this with love, compassion, and understanding, they’ll see that where we’ve brought them to is a better place.
Now, I’m not saying to give an inch to a Nazi. The tolerance paradox is something I fully subscribe to. We cannot tolerate intolerance or we allow it to grow.
But I also don’t want you to go around punching Nazis just because. The old internet adage “don’t feed the troll” applies. The Nazis are the puppet masters. They’re the ones feeding people the lies. They’ve made their choice. Don’t waste time on them at all.
Talk to the people who are being fed the lies instead. And talk to them as equals. Because, fuck, THEY ARE!
Show those people compassion. They won’t know what to do with it. They may become reactionary. That’s their Shadow responding. Love them anyway.
There are more of us. There is more love. There is more compassion.
The more we heal ourselves, the more we can help heal them.
Like a few things I’ve sat down to write lately, this went in an entirely different direction than planned. I honestly love it when that happens. It means these are the messages you need to hear right now.
This post? It was going to be about how helpful tarot can be for Shadow work. Guess that’ll be for another day.