The secondary aspect of the shadow self, is what we hide within it. During times of great illness, distress, trauma, abuse and the like, in order to cope with what we have faced, and to allow us to endure, a part of our soul energy retreats into our subconscious. During this time, aspects from the shadow-self emerge to replace what has been lost.
Based on my own journey, it was the warrior, and healer aspects which stepped forward. A mask now protects the aspect which has retreated (for simplicity I will refer to this aspect as the ‘child’). This mask protects the child from further distress, but often, the warrior never leaves, remaining as guardian to forever protect the child, who in turn, realizes that the shadows are not where the hurt, or abuse lies, but where there is safety and protection. The child remains in the shadows of your subconscious, and in the process holds onto the soul energy it is comprised of. This overall, weakens you as a spiritual being, and in turn can have long-term consequences on your health.
Raised in an abusive environment, my warrior and healer were at the forefront all my life. The positive side to the situation was an ability to adjust and work with these two aspects of my shadow-self ‘traits’ and integrate them in a productive manner into my life as the Shakti-Shaman, in service to others. Unfortunately, while I continued to cultivate the warrior-healer by protect and healing others where ever the need arose, my own health was waning. I realized that I had to make myself whole, before I could truly and fully be in service to anyone else. And so my journey to the shadows began.
The song within the video I compiled for this article is one many know of. It’s from a movie we watched as kids with giggles and glee, and a belief in the type of magic only Disney can conjure. The context of the song within the movie and the song in general, is often termed ‘creepy’, but I never felt that. I always associated the lyrics with a safe heaven and a sense of calm when I heard it. Now, as an adult, having heard the full version of the song, I understand why. I realized it was the voice of the ‘nurturing’ aspect of my ‘shadow-self’ calling to me when the world around me was too great to deal with. It was the safe haven I could retreat to, and be forever safe.
Journeys to retrieve the aspects of your ‘child’ held in care by the shadow are essential to your overall spiritual, physical and mental well being. Over the years I have adapted and used ritual for shadow-work. My journey follows that of the earth, moon and sun. For all things retreat within, to find balance. My journey begins on the day after the Fall Equinox, and ends with a rebirth at the Winter Solstice.
I hope that these posts within the Shadow Journey’s will inspire you to go deep, and live, in balance,