What is Shadow Work? – Metaphysical and Occult Terms 101

The Shadow Self

“…is an archetype that forms part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, instincts, impulses, weaknesses, desires, perversions, and embarrassing fears. This archetype is often described as the darker side of the psyche, representing wildness, chaos, and the unknown.” – Loner Wolf

The shadow is an archetype formed in the unconscious or subconscious coined by clinical psychologist and mystic Carl G. Jung. Working with your shadow requires confronting and embracing repressed feelings. Confronting one’s shadow can be done through divination, meditation, creative projects, journaling, therapy/counseling, and many other ways. If you find that you’re able to honestly express yourself through writing and journaling, you will love the Shadow Work Journal on Loner Wolf, a spiritual mentorship site run by Mateo Sol and Aletheia Luna. This year, I’ve decided to combine divination techniques with their shadow journaling prompts and have found it to be a very thoughtful collection of prompts that help you address what needs confronting and what self-care needs require more attention. My previous shadow work sessions focused on confrontation and I rarely gave myself self-care time. I wanted to give the journal a try because I was very impressed by Loner Wolf’s breakdown of the shadow self and all its potential.

So What’s The Point?

The point of shadow work is to work on the part of yourself that you have labeled as “evil” or “shameful” and instead of turning away from it, you see the shadow for what it is, starting with the fact that you are the shadow. Rejecting any part of yourself often develops into subconscious defense mechanisms, losing your sense of self, robbing yourself of autonomy, and even losing touch with reality. Psychologically, the repression of an aspect of the self creates a dissonance between one’s personal reality and reality as it is. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Repression in itself is a defense mechanism and defending ourselves is innate. However, defense mechanisms can build into unhealthy and unwanted habits.

Those of us who need to work with our shadow see ourselves pushing our loved ones away, having trouble connecting with others, struggling to see ourselves in a realistic light, believing negative and inaccurate perceptions without challenging them, hurting ourselves and others more than we meant to… the list goes on. The point of shadow work is to take that step towards understanding ourselves. Additionally, don’t believe that this is just for the “spiritual” person. The aspects of shadow work has appeared through works of art, philosophical discussions, scientific studies on humanity, and even in our particular day-to-day events where we have these epiphanies about ourselves. Shadow work in itself is a reflective process and I strongly recommend reading Loner Wolf’s article on the Shadow Self and take that step towards self-actualization.


More on Metaphysics, Occult, and Spirituality

The Backwards Law and The Wheel of Fortune

6 Ways To Cleanse and Empower Yourself

Synchronicity Numbers – 11:11 and More

3 Questions You Should Ask While Researching The Occult


Mercury Retrograde Killed My Perfectionism (Sort of) – Just Me

I didn’t really notice the Mercury in Scorpio retrograde energy until yesterday and I could only express how the energy messed with me in a silly Tumblr post. Yeah, so that happened and the relief from perfectionism just from the academic aspect has bled into the music aspect as well. I’m so freaking close to … Continue reading Mercury Retrograde Killed My Perfectionism (Sort of) – Just Me

I’m Awake Again – [Poetry]

High standards bent my neck, forcing me to look at false mirrors; a blink is all it took. Then with closed my eyes, I breathed so deep my neck relaxed, insecurities fell asleep. I’m awake again.

Embracing Your Weird And Respecting You Art – The Creative Introvert Podcast

“The reason Harvey is so relevant I feel, is because I’m interested in the sense that many creative introverts I know have, which is that we’re somehow on the outside, that we don’t fit in, that we’re not approved of by society, that we’re somehow doing “it” wrong (whatever it is.) Just that sense of … Continue reading Embracing Your Weird And Respecting You Art – The Creative Introvert Podcast

IAO – A Mantra Of Rebirth

IAO is a Gnostic mantra I came across while studying alchemy today. Mark Stavish proposed it as a chant that can be used to charge water. I want to share 333Kephirhet666’s post on the mantra since it’s succinct.

See my previous post on Chnoubis (Yaldabaoth) and Gnosticism.

333kephirhet666

IAOIAO is first mentioned in the Pistis Sophia: The Gnostic Tradition of Mary Magdalene, Jesus, and His Disciples. It is a mantra very rich in symbolic meaning, and like most Gnostic texts a bit mysterious in origin. Among Gnostics it seemed to take not only the form of a mantra but also almost a shorthand version of the name of God also similar to the tetragrammaton which was the name of the biblical god.Tetragrammaton The text within the Pistis Sophia that mentions IAO reads as such:

And Jesus made invocation, turning himself towards the four corners of the world with his disciples, who were all clad in linen garments, and saying: “iaō iaō iaō.” This interpretation: iōta, because the universe hath gone forth; alpha, because it will turn itself back again; ōmega, because the completion of all the completeness will take place.

~ Pistis Sophia, translated by G.R.S. Mead

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Researching Divination – [Occult Study]

So I’m working on another/essay about the history of divination, its structure, and how it became stigmatized. I’ve been wanting to research this for a while because I have been scrutinized by the stigma by those who value science and those who value their religious practice. The motive to research isn’t necessarily to “prove” anything, but to understand how we comprehend something as having power and influence over our lives versus embracing what power we have over our own lives and the lives of others because it’s considered either “blasphemy” to embrace the power of god or just delusional; and yet, humanity’s use of symbolism to process the explainable and unexplainable things in life has been constant for so long.

When I started hunting for resources for my work, I was a bit underwhelmed. It was interesting to review how diviners were once revered advisors to rulers in the past. To this day, we still have people we call mystics, prophets, or readers who are depended on to interpret “the will of god” or the energy of the times. As someone who’s a mystic, I’m already aware of this and also aware of the more popular types of divination, and why divination is bastardized by those who value the scientific method and the domineering religious beliefs in specific areas of the world. All the research I found covered what I already knew so I’m hoping to actually breakdown the standard techniques of divination, the significance of symbolism, and how symbols/omens from divination practices may have made some symbols universal (one example being how we look at the four natural elements metaphorically).

It’s going to take some time, but I thoroughly enjoy it. A while ago, I was also researching past life regression and reincarnation. I still hope to write about that, but understanding of the language of symbolism is required because past life regression is often tapped in to through meditative or divinatory means. One step at a time.

I hope you guys have a great weekend.

The Ritman Library’s Occult Archive [Sources]

The Ritman Library is a masterpiece holding over 25,000 occult texts in its library and now most of those texts are open to the public. Thanks to The Hermetically Open Project initiated by Esther Ritman, founder Joost R. Ritman, and underwritten by Dan Brown, the author of Angles and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, and other titles, we have some awesome reading to do.

The texts can be found on Embassy of the Free Mind’s site. Enjoy! I know I will…