Shadow

Ever come face-to-face with your shadow side?

In psychological terms, the shadow side refers to repressed feelings, inhibited desires and unacknowledged traits and yearning. Basically, the “undesired” stuff. Letting it loose in public was thought to have negative consequences, and Jekyll and Hyde is an example in extremis, of what you can do when the lights are out. Precise becomes emotional, kindness becomes cruelty and innocence turns into naïveté. We’re all aware of these things, but usually they stay nicely hidden beneath the radar. Until events like an eclipse, or what have you. Like the tidal forces the moon brings to bear on waves of the ocean, celestial events can pull deep-seated tendencies to the surface.

What’s the connection? The thing is, while psychology deals with the deepest reaches of the mind, the scope of spirituality is much vaster: things from different lifetimes and dimensions can meet in an intersection point. I didn’t pay particular attention, while wading through a living nightmare of worst fears and darkest thoughts, of the timing. On both occasions, the goddess Hecate, said to be a primordial being of light and dark, offered me a chance to meet her. I declined, thinking of the practical constraints: “Too much is going on,” “How do I know it’s relevant?” “Surely not now,” and so on. After all, one symptom can have potentially many causes and sometimes things change as you evolve; frustration can mean karmic release, or it can be everyday things, for instance. You slowly learn to identify the innate tendencies and visceral feelings associated with internal events; it’s a bit like prying interweaved strands apart. I watched, also, as many people were brought into direct contact with their worst side, thinking it wasn’t all that unusual for the intense energy.

But now I realize this was a call to connect.

The purpose? Left unexamined, the shadow side is a dormant thing, safe but unutilized, and certainly not understood. Left unchecked, it is possibly a destructive force. But, properly integrated, it is a powerful tool that can help to overcome obstacles. Another thing is once you are awakened, things happen anyway. Whether you choose to take the hands offered to you—though they won’t clear the way—or go it alone, doesn’t change the fact. A bit like the chicken and the egg, but in reverse. I used to think that connecting with these deities, although genuine, was what was causing the events, but instead, there is a “hardware cost” to delaying things in the interest of prudence or awaiting a better time. It does not always mean the situation will be more favorable next time around, and you will have to wait in the interim. Sometimes counterintuitiveness is just the nature of the event.

So next time everything is up in the air, it feels totally wrong and worse than the last? I’ll know it’s Hecate. And on the third strike, I’ll probably find the courage. After all, that’s a pattern, right?

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4 responses to “Shadow

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