Hi, Tarot Lovelies,
Today we’re going to be diving into shadow work. In this video and blog post I’ll be sharing what shadow work is and the tools I use to work with my shadow side. This is one of my favourite topics to talk about so let’s dive in!
What is ‘the shadow’?
The shadow is those deep, dark, and maybe taboo thoughts and desires within ourselves that we try to hide or ignore. Often we will put on a mask to hide our true selves from others out of shame. Whatever it is, if it makes you feel uncomfortable, that is your shadow.
What is shadow work?
Shadow work is when you make the conscious decision to identify, explore, discover, acknowledge and integrate those parts of you into your being. This will put you back into the driver’s seat and stop you from making decisions based on fear.
Why is shadow work important?
Shadow work is important if you don’t want the shadow inside to grow and start taking control of your life. Through this fear and denial, the shadow grows bigger and takes up more space. You’re only feeding it by denying it’s there. A phrase that has resonated with me is “You do shadow work, so you don’t bleed onto the people who didn’t cut you.”. It’s a way to work through generational wounds and helps prevents the next generation from taking on the same trauma and bad habits.
Working through trauma and pain can be heavy, so I recommend you work with a counsellor, therapist, or coach specializing in shadow work.
What are the benefits of shadow work?
I’m not going to lie and say shadow work is easy. It’s painful, hard and a lifelong practice of healing. Integrating your shadow is important if you wish to live in harmony with a greater understanding and acceptance of yourself.
My shadow work process
Journalling is an incredible introspection tool in shadow work. I find it really helpful to get everything off my chest and down onto the paper, and after, I really feel like a weight has lifted. You aren’t limited to journaling; you can also write, doodle, paint or anything else that lets you express yourself. I use a physical journal, but you can create an online one too!
2. Tarot Reading
As a shock to no one, Tarot reading is on this list. The Tarot is another way to use the universal archetypes to identify ways that you are stuck or self-sabotaging. If I’m super stuck on something, I will go to a trusted Tarot reader or friend and have them read my cards, so I’m not getting in my way and being biased.
Therapy and lots of it. It’s been lifechanging for me, and I highly recommend it. I haven’t always gelled with my therapists, but once you find the right therapist for you, it’s amazing to have a safe space to talk through complex topics.
4. Accountability buddy
My Capricorn sister is my accountability buddy, she’s about as subtle as a sledgehammer, but I love that she calls me out on my shit. She recognizes when I’m acting out and mimicking a negative trait passed down through our family. I recommend getting a partner once you have a few tools in your toolbelt to work through your shadow side. You need to be in a place where you can positively accept being called out, unpack it, and separate yourself from the behaviour.
5. Breaking Ancestral Trauma
No one on this planet has left their childhood unscathed entirely; every child picks up unhealthy habits from their family. Everyone carries different trauma, but it’s still important to work through them. This is something that I recommend you do after you’ve worked with your shadow.
I love reading, and it’s been a great tool to help me integrate my shadow. I can’t recommend the book “Meeting the Shadow, the Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature” by Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams enough; it’s fabulous! Books like this help you to better understand trauma, human behaviour, attachment style, all that kind of stuff.
7. Muses of Tarot
The Muses of Tarot deck and book are meant to be used as a practical way of accessing light and shadow in different archetypes and aspects of our life. You can work with the muses to tackle hangups on money, health, love, grief & sadness, etc.
8. Benebell’s Shadow Work course
This is a fantastic course, and it’s so in-depth. Plus, you get a GIGANTIC workbook that you can use alongside the video lectures in the course.
Do you have regular shadow work practices to keep your spiritual basement swept? Let me know in the comments below!
I hope you’ve found this helpful, and if you’re curious to know my top 10 decks for shadow work then check back this Friday, I’ll have a brand new video and blog post to share with you. Thank you for your time and energy!