Submitted questions covered in this blog:
"Can you describe what Shadow Work looks like in your practice?"
Shadow work can look different for each practitioner. As also described in my Tarot website www.staffordtarot.com, I use shadow work regularly as a way for me to better know my inner self, strengths, weaknesses, ego, etc. In recognizing my own energy, I am able to then separate myself from the energy of my surroundings, during readings or energy from others.
This allows for a strong objective-ness during intuitive readings, or not too have my own ego to interfere with my intention.
It's called Shadow work because it involves getting to know every part of ourselves that can not be seen by others and sometimes not even realized by ourselves. It can be difficult to explore darker sides of our personalities, or parts of ourselves that we try to hide from the world. But, learning to face all emotions regarding past experiences or feelings that are kept deep within can be empowering in itself building confidence and inner strength. One way to get started that I recommend is by keeping a journal or diary where the entries are meant to create little reflections of yourself over time. Given this purpose, I like to call this a book of mirrors. In it, entries can include written stories, activities or exercises, or whatever you can use to personally analyse thoughts or feelings on a particular topic. A good example of one of these activities is the creation of what's commonly known as a bucket list. Generally speaking, a bucket list is a sort of checklist of things to which one wants to accomplish or experience in their life before they die. Looking at how many of those items remain unchecked can help to create a plan of action before opportunities are missed. Another example would be writing all the things that you do not prefer about yourself, or wanting to change. Whether it's laziness, or lack of passion, or other vices. This can help to understand the alterations or changes needed from our own behaviour in order to make ourselves healthier or happier. There are so many ways to which this can be applied. Exploring and understanding the hidden truths of ourselves allows us to know our true and pure intentions. This is powerful when working with energy. In my opinion, this makes Shadow work an important place to get started for any practitioner of magick.
-- Taken from my website staffordtarot.com
Creating a self awareness during meditations or some psychic exercises, I strengthen my focusing abilities. I do alot of journaling, keep a diary of events, track progress of my workings and practices, and I also keep a Grimoire for future planning of spells. I would consider all of these as shadow work involved activities.
Shadow work has also been instrumental in my mediumship journey. The more clearly that I can sense my own energy compared to others' the more accurately I can sense the energy of spirits "reaching out" to me. The better that I know my inner shadow self the better I am able to sense the presences of energy of and within my surroundings. Hense, why I very often say how important Shadow work has been to my own practice.
Before and after strong magickal workings are other times that I use shadow work regularly. Especially planning and designing workings and rituals in advance. Being that it is intention that energetically powers spellwork, I beleive that knowing the true intentions of my inner shadow self has been key in many successful manifestations in my life. It has allowed me to sense when balance of energies is acheivable which shaped my path as a witch that I was/am in fact a grey witch influencing all kinds of energies.
Even within the mundane there's nothing wrong with planning ahead to be sure to acheive specific goals or outcomes. In my opinion shadow work is done by everyone in some way or form at any time that we analyse ourselves or work through our own feelings and thoughts. Even counseling, such as therapy is a form of shadow work in my view.
If interested, please feel free to check out https://www.askagreywitch.com/shadowwork for more ideas for shadow work journaling exercises.
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Update:. I expanded further on the topic of shadow work in a more recent blog entry: https://www.askagreywitch.com/post/shadow-work-expanded