Shadow Work Insight

The two faces of Persephone by Corina Chirila

As those who subscribe to my blog know, I have been reading The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft and learning about shadow work.  The Four Queens channel on YouTube has also been a help in this process.  According to TOSW and other sources, shadow work is about searching for the things you have buried in the depth of your psyche, shining a light on them, and working with them to prevent them from taking over.  Yesterday I read an article by a woman discussing her struggles related to one particular issue she has had.  It dawned on me that I have been doing shadow work for a long time without knowing it by that name.  For me, the shadow has not been stored away in a mental closet.  The shadow was the house I lived in for many years.  It was home despite my struggles there.  Fanning a flame within that dark space was shadow work.  Now the figurative house I live in has two levels.  It has a basement where the shadow dwells, and a main floor resembling a sunroom.  The door to the basement is usually open and I tend to find myself hanging out in that in-between area.  The light shines upon me, illuminating half of me with a radiant glow.  The other half of me is cast in a silhouette down that basement staircase.  This should have been more obvious to me earlier due to my Persephone connection.  I still have plenty to learn, but I am well aware of myself.  Hopefully my studies will better equip me to deal with my issues.  I read that a common trait among healers is that they have went through an intense initiation of suffering.  This makes sense to me. How can a person help to heal others if that person does not know how to heal his or herself?  Perhaps I am on the path of a healer.  Perhaps the words I type throughout my many blog posts will help to heal at least one person.  Perhaps the wisdom I acquire will help loved ones if they decide to seek guidance from me.  I have long felt that I have a priestess soul.  The journey is the process of strengthening her.

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Selflessness

A major flaw in our society is the contradiction that exists between being told to love ourselves while being taught that being selfless is good.  Females are often taught that a good woman, and especially a good mother, is selfless.  I agree that selfless acts tend to be good.  I agree that the needs of children should be met first.  However, I do not recommend being a selfless person.  Think of yourself as the home in which your loved ones live.  If you always neglect home maintenance in favor of doing what you think will make your loved ones happy, that home is likely to collapse on them.  There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself.  No matter what anyone else tells you, it is not bad to want more out of your life than taking care of other people.  If you love to paint, make time to paint.  If you love to play video games, play video games.  If you love to meditate, meditate.  It may not be easy for some to make such an adjustment.  Selfless people may be more likely to attract very selfish people.  Overly selfish people will not be happy when their loved ones do not always put them first.  Balance is important though.  We must love ourselves as we love other people.  Remember that.

Dreams

I seemed to have two dreams of significance throughout my morning slumber.  The first dream was a nightmare.  I dreamed I was lying in bed with my cat and it was dark in the room except for the light from my electric fireplace.  I reached over and hugged my cat but I could tell he was frightened by something as he tried to wiggle out of my arms to run.  I realized something was not right in the room and got out of bed to go to my bedroom door.  I found that an unseen force had moved furniture to block access to the door from inside the room.  I was scared and quickly moved the furniture aside.  I hurried out of my room to go to my Dad’s room for refuge. The light was on and my older brother was also in my Dad’s room.  I sat on my dad’s bed and explained what just happened.  I looked down and saw bruises on my right forearm that were the size and shape of baby/child sized hands and possibly little footprint shaped bruises.  I freaked out and my brother got very concerned when he saw the bruises.  He scornfully told me that the first thing I needed to do was clean my room because Dad had told him it was a mess.  This statement pissed me off because I had been working on getting my room clean already and/or I didn’t see what relevance that had when I was terrified.  I snapped some short statement back at him and then woke up.  This dream effected me enough that I waited a couple of hours to go back to sleep in order to prevent going into a series of nightmares.  I interpret this dream as a message of the importance of making sure I have things in order when doing shadow work.  It warned how scary shadow work can be, and thus I need to be able to find my way to safety without being blocked or tripped by obstacles placed by my shadow selves.  It also warned that I need to be wise about how to deal with negative energies.

The other dream was more of an affirmation.  I appeared to be one of a group of people scattered about a little area around a highway.  There were also some bystanders outside of the group.  I was in an RV at the side of the road with a couple of bystanders when those in the group I was apart of were told that some money had been taken and we were tasked to find it.  It was as though we were in a contest.  As the others involved in the cash hunt hurried off frantically down the highway to find the money, I immediately looked at a nearby little cookie jar/canister on a shelf in the RV.  A couple of men watched as I opened the jar and pull out a substantial wad of money.  They laughed a little, seemingly amused at how easy it was for me to find it.  I gave them a little smirk, pocketed the money, and I calmly continued to participate in the search apparently thinking there might be more to find.  The other people involved in the search remained unaware of what I had found.   My interpretation of this dream is based around what money symbolizes; the means by which we achieve security and the things that bring us happiness.  I had the clarity and simplicity of thought to look right in front of me for what I needed.  I just opened a jar that was within reach and found much of what I was looking for.  It was that easy.  I suppose the bystanders represented others who know this truth.  The others in my group hectically journeyed to hunt down what they where searching for as if it were on the move to elude them.  This shows that we already have much of what we need within our grasp.  There is likely more we can gain somewhere along our paths, but we should make sure we don’t overlook what we already have access to.

A Procession of Dreams and the Unlived Lives

Night Dreams by Yuri Pysar

I completed my degree program earlier this year.  With this completion came the hard-hitting reality that I still have some serious ducks to get in a row before I can become a financially independent adult deemed successful by society.  There were roadblocks that I am still working on, and I knew this meant I was going to have quite a bit of free time.  I could have used this free time to wallow in a state of worry and guilt over not being a 9 to 5 contributing member of society.  I instead made the conscious decision that I would use this time at a rest stop along the highway of life to refocus on my spirituality.  I have been aware of my inner priestess/witch for so long, but she has so often taken a backseat to distractions.  Yet, whenever I have found myself drowning in negative emotions and being crippled by negative thought patterns, she finds a way to remind me that my peace is found by working with The Divine.  This decision to refocus on my spirituality has been met with messages of love, affirmation, and healing.  Some of these messages have come to me in the form of dreams.  Although they are quite personal, I will share details of these dreams.  Those who think in a closed-minded, mundane way would likely mock what I share.  However, I do not share this post for those people.  I share this post for those who walk a path similar to my own.  I hope that by sharing my messenger dreams and interpretations, I can inspire like-minded people to pay attention to their own messenger dreams that are delivered with an instinctive knowing of their importance.   Much love to my fellow seekers.  Now, in order, my messenger dreams so far this year:

  1. I believe it was quite soon after I made the decision to focus on my spirituality that I received the first dream in this sequence.  It was a dream of welcoming.  I was in a room that had glass french doors that separated the room from a balcony.  I could see that it was dim and misty outside, and one or two woodpeckers flew onto the balcony along with three owls.  I noticed the owls, especially one particular owl, was staring at me.  I became joyously excited.  My dad, who was also in the room, asked if I wanted the owl(s) and I said I did.  Interpretation:  Woodpeckers get our attention and teach about opportunity.  Owls bring wisdom and change.  The Divine expressed readiness to come to me when I am ready to receive Divine wisdom.
  2. The second dream I will call the Persephone dream.  I didn’t realize the dream’s message at the time.  I just knew it was significant enough that I had to record its details.  In this dream I traveled across a dark, magickal body of water.  I was among a group of people (we were co-workers in this dream), with 2-4 people in each little canoe-type boat.  We were traveling so that they could say goodbye to the deceased co-worker I had replaced (that means we were traveling to the spirit world).  I marveled at this strange, dark body of water and was in awe at the sight of a leaping water dragon. (This was not the first time I have dreamed of such a body of water.)  An unpleasant female commented that if I liked it too much the water and its beings would devour me.  We arrived to a large rock with doors that sat on what was basically a small island of rock.  After entering into a lobby in the structure and waiting in a hallway to be allowed past a door into the spirit world landscape, a man wearing armor opened the door from the other side to let us in.  I mentioned I was worried that I was not wearing shoes, which suggested I was afraid I would get hurt walking across the landscape.  That turned out to not be a problem because I discovered I could float in the air above the ground there.  My group mates, armed with daggers, soon had to face battle with random creatures.  I noticed I was now wearing a long, flowing, white dress, and the man who opened the door was embracing me from behind with his head over/on my shoulder.  He was floating along with me and speaking to me in a comforting way.  I expressed concern for a girl from the group I liked as I saw her fighting for her life, and me and my companion continued to float across the landscape toward a palace.  I did not have a weapon like the other group members, but I found that I could protect myself with magick/energy that flowed from my hands.  As we got to the peaceful area of the land, a woman’s voice announced through an intercom system that Queen Mary Magdelana (It seemed to be pronounced by that spelling, not Magdalena) had returned home.  Apparently that was my name in this place.  The people of the kingdom and the man holding me were gleeful about my return.  He told me that I was his wife as we arrived at the palace grounds.  He said he had been disappointed in me because my personal creation (meaning full personal development and enlightenment) was not finished like his and the others in the kingdom.  This previously caused him to feel like I was inferior, but then they realized that I had not brought the two sides of myself together yet because of a great plan.  He informed me that my creation/completion was tied to a change that was taking place in the world (presumably the physical world) and that when my creation/joining of sides was complete, it would mark the end of that period of change.  He smiled at me and complimented my beauty.  I could feel love emanating from him as he embraced me while I was trying to process all of this information.    Interpretation:  A symbolic message of my spiritual reawakening and hint at the Persephone archetype that I found a connection with a month or so later.
  3. I dreamed of a beautiful, purple butterfly with glittering wings.  Even when it was right on my face, I couldn’t get anybody (not even family members) to pay attention and share my excitement.  I got frustrated until awe was inspired in me again by the butterfly radiating and growing in the sunlight after moving to my forearm.  It then flew up to rest on one of my eyelids and I peacefully stood alone looking out at my surroundings with my open eye.  Then two little girls took notice of the butterfly and shared in my excitement.  Interpretation:  Even though my loved ones may not share my excitement and interest in spirituality, I will encounter people who see what I see and share my enthusiasm if I keep my eye on The Divine.
  4. I dreamed I was in my high school cafetorium (a cafeteria which also functions as an auditorium), seemingly there to help a small group of people prepare for a reunion.  The coordinator handed me a photo of me with some classmates.  I was surprised and baffled to discover all of the classmates sitting together in the photo looked like me wearing different outfits.  Interpretation:  The multiple self images represented my unlived lives (paths I had wanted to take but did not) and the different aspects of myself I had forgotten about.  It is important for me to recognize these aspects of self and incorporate their interests into the life I am living.
  5. I dreamed I was living in a house with some other random people and one particular female peer was getting on my last nerve.  I ended up looking out a large (like floor to ceiling) window to the back yard and noticed a cute little dog.  The dog looked like the same type of dog a friend of mine has.  She happened to be in the house also, so I called her over to look at the little dog.  When I looked back, a large dog was in that spot instead.  It got up and walked away, revealing a wounded tiger that had been underneath it.  The tiger pitifully limped its way over to go under the house.  I immediately wanted to contact a local zoo or animal control to come help the tiger.  The aggravating woman was quick to try to present herself as a friendly ally speaking in my best interest.  She tried to talk me out of getting the tiger help.  She was trying to tell me the authorities would blame me and I’d get in trouble.  I was still determined to help.  Interpretation:  The tiger is an animal that I have long imagined at my side in my meditations. Whenever I have went to my inner sanctuary, a tiger has sat beside me on a rock by a waterfall.  This dream was telling me that I must tend to my inner peace.  I must not let aggravators take away from my clarity of thought.

That is it for the dream procession at this time.  If you are interested in learning about the unlived lives, I recommend you watch this video that helped me:

A Muse

It seems a muse visited me last night.  I got the idea and desire to create a particular type of drawing but figured I was too tired to draw.  I ended up being compelled to draw anyway and was given enough energy to do so.  This is the portrait that was created. 

image

No reference picture was used.  It seems to me to be a representation of Goddess, at least in one form.  Blessed be y’all.

35 Witchy Questions Tag

I noticed a 77 Witchy Questions tag on YouTube.  I thought it would be fun to do if narrowed down.  So, here goes:

1. Do you feel you have natural gifts such as (premonitions, hearing spirits) and if so do you think this is what led you to this path?  I may be clairsentient, but I do not think that led me to my path.
2. What deity do you work with if any and why? I work with God and Goddess. I believe in Them and trust Them.
3. Have you always worked with this same deity? I grew up knowing about God and praying to Him, but Goddess came to my attention probably in my late teenage years.
4. Do you do past life readings and have you ever had one done? I have never done a past life reading or had one done.
5. What is/are your favorite magical tool(s)? Crystals and my journal.
6. Where is the most magical place you have ever been? For me, basically any places with moving bodies of water are super magickal. When I say moving bodies of water, I mean creeks, rivers, waterfalls, or the ocean.
7. What animal is your familiar if any? I do not have an animal familiar. I find it counterproductive to magickal workings to have to deal with the annoyances of a cat sniffing around my candle flame or trying to lie down on my tarot spread.  This has turned me away from the idea of an animal familiar.
8. If you have a familiar, did you choose them or did they choose you? Although not an animal, I lean toward a crystal being my familiar. I ordered it from eBay. When I took it out of the box it was in, the thought popped into my head that it could be/is my familiar and was the first crystal (after years of collecting) that I have ever felt the desire to name. I suppose we chose eachother. I have only ever really contemplated naming one other crystal, and that is the smokey herkimer (or quartz) that I recently got.
9. What in the craft are you best at? I do not know. I still have so much exploring and learning to do before I can answer that.
10. What in the craft would you say you are weaker at? Plenty. Although I have leaned torward the craft for probably at least half of my life, my spiritual path has not been particularly smooth or consistent. So much information is new to me.
11. What is your most favorite part of your craft? Feeling connected to God and Goddess, as well as nature. The comfort that comes along with that is wonderful beyond words.
12. What was the first purchased tool you ever got? A brass (or brass toned) incense holder with a pentacle on it. I got it from the first new age store I had ever visited when I was probably 15.
13. What was the first craft tool you ever made? A wand or a make-shift Ouija board/spirit board when I was a teen or preteen. I am yet to find a use for wands in my practice, and I don’t use a spirit board.
14. Do you use astrology in your practice?  I do not.  I found astrology interesting when I was growing up though. I particularly found the personality correspondences interesting.
15. What, if any, ways could you practice dark magic and still respect the beliefs of Wicca?  Magick in itself is not light or dark. Like a knife, it can be used as a tool to help a person or as a weapon to harm a person. It depends on the knowledge and the intention of the person using it. However, since the term “dark magick” refers to the use of magick to create something negative, I don’t think you can use it with respect to Wicca. Wiccans believe that magick should be used to “harm none”. Wiccans also believe in the rule of three. I do not consider myself Wiccan, but I also believe in this. A person using magick with ill will would have to be accepting of the fact that their ill intentions will come back to them amplified. Thus they would harm others and themselves.
16. Do you have any other witches in your family? Not that I am aware of.
17. What item can you not witch without? I don’t need any item to be witchy.
18. Do you have a favorite time of day to do spell work? If so, why?  Yes. I prefer to do spell work before it gets dark outside. I suppose I like having the illumination of the sun.
19. Are you solitary or do you work with a coven? I am solitary.
20. If you could pick a certain witchcraft tradition that fits your practice most what would it be? I am eclectic, but I seem to be going more and more toward shamanic witchcraft.
21. What was the most creative spell you have ever done, and what did you use?  I will be honest, my spells are really simple. I just write them on a sheet of paper and then either burn them, fold them around a crystal, or place them under a crystal. If I want nature spirits involved, I might leave the paper open and place it on a windowsill. I am also likely to read aloud what I have written before leaving it wherever I am going to place it.
22. What do you prefer to use for divination? Tarot cards. This is only going to work for me though if I really like the specific deck I am using. I also have been taking note of the messages related to different animals.
23. What do you do to ground yourself? The primary way I ground myself is to eat and/or drink something. I also might hold a grounding crystal, go into child’s pose, or visualize that I have roots going into the earth.
24. Have you ever had a spell go horribly wrong? Considering that I abide by the rule of 3 (essentially karma), no.
25. What are your opinions on initiation rituals? I do not know much about them.
26. How do you handle rejection from a fellow witch that refuses to do a reading or spell for you? I don’t ask other witches to do spells for me. I don’t feel that they can apply the emotional charge that I can for a spell that serves me or one of my loved ones. My spells are personal and I wouldn’t ask a witch for help with one unless we were close friends. I have only ever had another person do a reading for me once. She was paid to give me a tarot reading (before I learned how to use tarot), so there was no rejection.
27. Do you think it is necessary to cast a circle when you do spell work or any magickal working? I think it is necessary to have some type of ritual for protection before doing spell work. I don’t think it has to be a circle casting ritual. One could simply pray. Smudging could also be used. I personally use prayer, but have used smudging in tandem.
28. What is your general practice for meditation? Guided meditation and active meditation seem to be what work best for me.  I have made a habit of sitting by an open window or on a porch and observing nature.  When something in particular stands out for me, I take note of it and contemplate its message.
29. When and how did you know you wanted to be on this path? I probably knew in my young teen years. I was, and still am, drawn to the paranormal, mystical, and magickal. It probably doesn’t hurt that most of the witches I have seen (even misrepresented witches in works of fiction) are empowered women.
30. What candle color do you use most? As far as magick goes, I currently only use a working candle. It happens to be the sort of yellow color of an antique book page.
31. What area would you like to see your craft grow in? Shamanism.
32. What is your preference, to buy or make your tools? That depends on what it is. I think finding tools in nature should also be an option. I don’t have the skill set to make a cauldron, so I bought one. Most of my crystals were purchased because it is easier to buy them than to find them out in nature. My wands have been made out of sticks that were found around the property I live on. I just go with whatever is practical.
33. What is your favorite candle and/or incense scent for magical purposes? I think I prefer unscented candles for magick. The only incense I use is my Primo brand yellow rose incense. I’d like to try some of Primo’s other scents eventually. I use this kind because it has an amazing sweet smell that is not overbearing and the smoke does not give me a headache or cause breathing problems for me.  Also, it helps create a peaceful energy in the room.
34. Would you ever teach the craft? Yes. I have blog posts that serve that purpose.
35. What are your totem animals? Frankly, this is tricky for me. I am trying to learn the difference between the types of animal allies in shamanic practice. I used to think my totem was the cougar and/or panther. However, according to Gerry Starnes, your totem is the animal that represents who you are. This leads me to believe that cougar and panther might actually be my journey or protector animal spirits.  The spider seems to be the animal most representative of me.

Now that you have read my answers, I hope some of you other witches will respond with your own answers.  You can share them on your blog and let me know about it with a comment on here.  Another option is to comment on this blog with your answers if you prefer.   🙂  Blessed be, y’all.