As a shaman & tarot reader reaching into peoples hidden unconscious & working with their shadow is a fundamental part of what I do.
I see our shadow as that part of our unconscious mind which our conscious mind will not acknowledge. It is like a large black box, anything that we do not want to face up to, or can not deal with right now is shoved into this box to be dealt with "later"
And life carries on, with this large box of unacknowledged thoughts, beliefs, parts of ourselves, dragged around. The problem is they do have an affect on our lives.
Our shadow can cause us to be "triggered"- when some one says, or does something, and we react out of all proportion.
I have abandonment issues, during a busy day my husband moaned loudly "God I've had enough, I'm going"
"Oh, how will I cope?" I stuttered?.
My husband replied "I'm going upstairs".
My shadow had blown his statement out of all proportion. Luckily we are both aware of my abandonment issue and how it can cause me to be triggered. So I can express my fears out-loud, and they can be dealt with quickly.
When we are triggered it can lead us to create the very problems we are actually scared of, it is a nasty, self limiting circle of behavior.
Most often I find the shadow is creating blind spots in a person's life- limiting choices, hiding opportunities & creating blocks for my clients. Blocks that seem very much to come from the outside world, because that is the point of shadow work. It is something you are not consciously aware of right now, and will often put the blame (or source) on someone, or something, else.
As a Tarot reader I use a version of a Celtic cross spread to look at this;
Card 1; My client right now.
Card 2; Something they need to overcome.
Card 3; Unconscious (something they are not aware of)
Card 4; They need to let go of this
Card 5; Conscious mind
Card 6; Embrace this as a new opportunity.
Card at the bottom of the pack; Advice.
I am looking for the picture that builds up between what my client is thinking (card 5), with what their unconscious is saying about this matter (3), and the other cards in the spread.
You can see several of my key trigger cards in this reading (an older one of mine) Where my unconscious is confused about my path (5 wands), I need to let go of giving my power & authority to others (Devil) with the advice being that I really listen to my own inner critic (8 of swords) because I am trapping myself with self limiting words.
The presence of the Hierophant in the conscious mind reflects my working with shaman's (teachers) to resolve this issue.
Perhaps you don't believe that shadow work can actually change your life?
My husband went to a job interview several years ago, for a job he was very qualified & experienced to do- but he felt he was too old for what they wanted.
When he came home he chucked some papers on the table saying "that was a complete waste of my time" .
I quietly checked the papers to find they were police check forms, usually only given to people when a job is offered. I felt confused and rang the place to confirm start dates.
It turned out they had offered my husband the job, even congratulated him and told him he was exactly what they were looking for. This was so against what he believed could happen that he must have some how completely blanked this- leaving believing he had failed to get the job.
How many small ways is your unconscious blocking your life?
If you want to try this spread my best advice is to read with a friend, or someone else. Because your conscious brain does not want to acknowledge what this spread is telling you! So you are very likely to not get to the real truth of the matter. That is why it is called shadow work- it is hidden to you.
As another example- I have been working on my abandonment issues as part of my shaman training. I really thought I had mostly got it- until my shaman teacher quietly mentioned the word "shame" . In my mind I was screaming "NOOOO" at him. I have seen flashes of anger so many times with clients when I hit that "shadow sweet spot" so I decided to investigate when I got home.
Going through my psychology books there were many chapters about shame, I had obviously read them as there was my underling & notes in the margin. Yet I had retained not one jot of information. I must have read it whilst humming in my mind!
This is why I think shadow work is work that is best shared, because you have chosen to turn your back on this issue. And it often needs some one else to gently show the way.
If you are local to me (East Sussex) I am running a Tarot, and then Shaman workshop (come to either, or both) exploring shadow work on Sunday November 19th.
Email to let me know you are interested. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If would like to learn more then sign up to my newsletter here (totally free, no obligations) as I will be running an free online course exploring Shadow Work very soon. I will announce details through my newsletter & offer the course free for a short while.
Give the spread a go, it really can be life changing to shine a light on shadow work. If you find you are constantly blocked in life there is a good chance it is your own unconscious blocking your path to success.
If you would like to book a reading with me then all the details are on my website www.maddyelruna.co.uk