Befriending the Shadow

Last week I was walking along the South Wall pier by the sea in Dublin Bay. As I was walking along the pier, I noticed my shadow to my left hand side walking apace beside me. The North direction shamanism symbolises becoming the person we were sent here to be, and part of this emergence is to meet with observation and compassion the shadow parts of ourselves as they emerge in the moment… and they will.  As I walked, I connected to my higher self and listened freely to his deep spiritual wisdom. My shadow was informing me that a challenge or issue was emerging from my past that I needed to pay attention to and release so that I could engage with life and this event or challenge from a different perspective.  

As I walked further along the South Wall, facing East, this sacred inner knowing from my higher self-informed me that when the shadow is directly in front of me it signifies that the shadow, or issue needed to be confronted rather than fought with, for we can’t outrun the shadow or numb the shadow. No matter how hard we try, we have to observe it, to meet it and greet it before we defeat it. We must become aware that if we resist the learnings of the shadow the problems in our lives will persist. The important thing is not to act out of the shadow, trauma, the event, or the pain from the past.

This clear, pure communication between myself and my higher wisdom informed me that I should engage with the shadow from my present self. Seeing myself as the tree. The tree is solid, grounded, it can be touched, felt, experienced, connected with from my present awareness. Whereas, the shadow of the tree is illusory, we can’t feel it, hold it, smell it, or connect with it physically. It is a memory, an event from the past that can be triggered in the present at any time.

Whereas, if you notice the shadow, it shows up and comes forth in the light for healing, not in the dark. The light signifies awareness and healing. When we are aware of the shadow in our lives, we can then move on with life from a new vantage point and have a new perspective of this long outlived experience, from the past. Between the tree and the shadow there is a space, and in this space lies our freedom. The freedom on whether we react or respond from the shadow or the tree and this is where our power lies. We do not have to become attached to the way we habitually did in the past when the original event occurred.

A further insight that I received from my higher awareness was to observe, the shadow without getting entangled within it as it moves its way from the East to the South. In Shamanism the South signifies, the Sun, fire, transmutation, release, and when we release the old stories roles and ways, we connected with the shadow in the past we can live form our truth, our very essence and utilise strategies to bring healing to past wounds or triggers. 

When we face the West, the Shadow is behind us, but yest still apart of us, informing us to use our awareness and not become complacent in our lives and fall back into the traps of the past. The shadow is always and will always be a part of our lives, we can’t escape it, nor should we. Furthermore, the shadow is not all bad but rather as Jung postulated it is ninety percent gold. During earlier trauma and pain in our life, the shadow afforded us gifts to help us to grow, us to grow, to recognise our fortitude, strengths, talents, and the gifts that we developed in earlier times distress. By living from the space and the light that separates the tree from the shadow, ourselves from our pain We can choose to harness the gifts and our uniqueness whilst not getting emmeshed in the pain.

-Gerard McNevin

Published by The Shamanic and Psychotherapeutic Academy

Providing Shamanic courses based on Celtic Shamanism in Dublin, Ireland, Online and Abroad. Engage in our courses " An introductory Experiential day for Psychotherapist, Holistic Therapists and The Lay Person", The Emergence of the Inner Shaman", "Journey to becoming the Shaman - Self Development Course" & "Embodying the Shaman, Shamanic Practitioners Course".

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