Our Shadow side is the dumping ground for the aspects of ourselves we don’t want to accept….that part of us that accumulates more energy than our ego – sometimes erupting as an overpowering rage.
Jung believed that we are all born whole, but at some point, after “eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge” – we separate aspects of ourselves as “good” or “evil”. This is when our Shadow Creation Process begins.
During our Shadow Creation Process – we divide ourselves into what has been deemed acceptable by society’s standards (which includes the ego) – and hide the aspects of ourselves that are “unacceptable”.
Over time, these parts accumulate – collecting in the dark corners of our personality. When they hide too long – they take on a life of their own: The Shadow Life.
As humans, our “civilizing process”, includes hiding the darker aspects of ourselves. Not doing this, deems us “uncivilized”. In short – our culture demands that we only express a portion of our nature.
So – while we are all born “whole” – society/culture encourages our divide.
But here’s the thing:
Culture is an artificially imposed structure.
- In one country we drive on the right side of the road – in another the left.
- In the West, a man may hold hands with a woman on the street but not with another man; In India he may hold hands with a male friend but not with a woman.
- In the West one shows respect by wearing shoes in formal religious places; In the East it is a sign of disrespect to wear shoes when one is in a temple.
- In the Middle East one burps at the end of a meal to show pleasure; In the West this would be considered bad manners.
These contradictions are perfect examples that “fitting in” is simply a human survival mechanism.
What is often overlooked are the impressive characteristics that turn up in our Shadow.
Mundane characteristics are the norm, so – anything “less than” goes into the “Shadow” category.
However – anything “more than” is also tossed into the “Shadow” – simply because it is not the norm.
Some of the pure gold of our personality is hidden in our Shadow.
We generally resist the noble aspects of our shadow – even more than hiding our dark sides. Drawing skeletons out of our closets is relatively easy, but to own the gold in the shadow can be terrifying.
Think of this (edited) Marianne Williamson quote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…We ask ourselves“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”
In short – it is often more frightening to discover your “gold” than to discover that you are an ass.
We are all both – but rarely acknowledge that these two parts of us (or others) exist at the same time.
Know this: Our “Shadow Gold” is our power.
Often, people suffer a severe shock, loss or illness before the gold is “expressed”. The intensity of these types of experiences are sometimes necessary to reveal important parts of us lying dormant.
Answer these questions for yourself:
- Which traumas in your life still hold you hostage?
- What lessons did you learn?
- What opportunities came from it?
- What power did you gain?
- How/where have you expressed it this power?
We’ll continue to explore our Shadow in upcoming emails to determine if you are ready to embrace Shadow Magick.