• The Turtle Sage

Working With Shadow

Shamanic works aren’t always light and airy.  It is first and always a journey filled with twists and turns, insurmountable challenges that can also be described as cruel. It does not mean to be nor does it care but it simply is as we design. The journey is made of our choices; every choice has its consequence, every goal, a down side. These things aren’t always seen, but the things we can, are planned for. It is not always an easy task to accept, often they are far easier to ignore. It doesn’t change anything because the fact still remains that we are the people we choose to be… Which leads me into description of shadow work. The practice of facing your own reflection and seeing the person you chose to be. It is not an easy feat, to look into ourselves and face the shadow inside.


The Shadows are created by the downsides of our choices:
  • How we’ve reacted to the challenges that life throws at us.

  • The results of failure.

  • Not meeting expectations.

  • Choosing poorly.

  • Regret.

  • Loss.

  • Despair.

  • Loneliness.

  • Caring too much.

  • Caring Too Little.

  • Seeking perfection.

  • Wishing to be someone else.

  • Jealousy.

  • When we cheat ourselves by taking the easy way.

  • When we intentional hurt someone.

  • When we lie to others and when we lie to ourselves.

  • What we do and how we react to fear.

It is also born of how we are treated by the people in our world:
  • How we let them treat us.

  • When they take advantage.

  • Saying yes when you know how much they hurt you.

  • Being taken for granted.

  • When we are over looked and forgotten.

  • When others take credit for work we do.

  • When those we deem important ignore us and intentionally hurt us.

Shadows are born from all of it. Many would rather ignore it than face it because if it doesn’t embody positivity, beauty and light, it has no place in our life. Perhaps there are some that just aren’t ready yet.

Shadow changes how we see ourselves, in the mirror reflect the trails we faced and for some, it is too much to see, while it is invisible to everyone else. As much as we like to deny what we see reflected, that is who we are. We are not just our positive experiences. Shadow reflects how we became the people we are. When we are ready to face ourselves, to see and accept who we are, that is when shadow becomes our ultimate teacher.


Shadow gives perspective. Helping us be accountable for our choices. There are events that may not have happened as we planned. There may have been casualties we did not plan for, sacrifices that we did not intend to make in the pursuit of our goals. 


Shadow gives perspective on the trauma we’ve experienced. There are some experiences that were pushed upon us, that were out of our control. It may not be able to answer why the events unfolded as they did, but it can help us how to move forward from it. It shows us that we aren’t weak because of what horrors we have endured but a certain strength because we survived it.

Working with Shadow can be a difficult practice. Given the enough time and patience. It can help us face our fears and better understand the person, our past has shaped and the person we can be in the future.

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