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In order to be an effective shamanic healer, one must first heal him/herself. It is imperative that the shamanic healer begin by confronting his/her own Shadow-side.

Everything has a dark side and the sooner we accept this, the sooner we can love all of existence for what it is.

The character of the Shadow is negative and is all the traits we keep hidden from the world and, most often, from ourselves.

We hide these traits to avoid being criticized and ostracized by family, friends, and society at large.

 

 

The Shadow (which I affectionately call my 'demon') has been with us from birth and will remain with us until death. It feeds on our negative feelings; self-doubt, discouragement, rejection, and depression, just to name a few.

The Shadow gains power when we dwell on these negative feelings and/or when we deny its existence altogether. It becomes our antithesis; our personal opposition and if left unchecked, the Shadow can and will take over our lives.

Nobody, and especially not a Shaman, can afford the risk of living in denial of the Shadow's existence. Simply put; it is folly and irresponsible to even try to do so. We must take control of and be responsible for our own existence before we can be entrusted with the healing of others.

 
 

We must have the courage to go deep within and confront our shadow-self; to sit with it in pain. We must bring every negative quality out from the dark and into the light that the gifts of the Shadow may be used for good.

This is a minor example: If you have been the kind of person who is always 'walked on' because of an inability to say 'No' then the Shadow can give you the courage to just say 'No'.

By acknowledging and incorporating the Shadow into our being, we begin to accept our strengths, as well as, our limitations. We begin to understand that bad things happen to good people and that without the darkness of the Shadow, we can never fully appreciate the greatest of all of Creator's gifts; the gift of Life.

 
 

A Journey to the Shadow

Materials needed: Blanket & Rattle or Drum.

For this journey you should first make two lists; one listing your positive qualities, the other your negative qualities. Be honest.

Place a blanket on the floor of a dark room. Smudge your area and self. Lie on your back, breathe deeply and relax. When you are relaxed and comfortable begin to focus on your negative traits. Notice how they've weakened you or strengthened you.

Next, state your intentions; 'I seek my Shadow-Self' and begin to rattle or drum in a steady rhythm, until you begin to feel a shift in your consciousness.

 

 

Go to your entrance into the lower world. Your guides will be waiting for you already. Mentally state your intention to your guides. They will know the places to look for your Shadow.

Most likely your Shadow will not be easily found. It will run and it will hide because it does not want to be found. It may flee into the upper world, so you will have to climb the World Tree to get there. Your guides will continue to help you on your search.

Wherever it may be, when you do find it, approach it with the utmost respect and confidence. Some shadows can be aggressive, but you are in a place where you can manifest the things you may need, so manifest a weapon, such as a staff or sword for your defence. Do not wield your weapon with the intent to destroy or you will kill a vital part of yourself. Some shadows will simply flee again.

 
 

When you are able, coax your shadow to sit and talk with you. It will probably whine and place blame on everyone else for making it the way it is. Be firm, but gentle in letting it know that you created it and that you will not let it control you. Let it know that you are responsible for your own life.

Ask your shadow to help you on future journeys and thank it for talking with you. Say your farewell and return from your journey.

You may not find your shadow on the first journey, but do not give up, try again another time. It is afraid of being discovered.

Never take your Shadow's existence for granted and remember that it will take time to forge a trusting relationship. Work with your shadow and talk with it regularly. Your shadow's qualities will strengthen you and be a tool of usefulness on future journeys and in your life in general.

 

This page courtesy of EarthMagick
January 8, 2003 ShadoWoman

 
 
 
 
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