“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole.”
― C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
Look at the moon, what do you see? I see a beautiful shimmering light reflecting to me and the Earth. The Moon is astonishing and intriguing to every living creature on the planet. Even though I can’t see the other side of the moon, I admire it as a whole celestial body. The other side of the moon is mysterious and hidden away from my sight.
Like the moon, we too have two sides: the bright and shimmering self which we wish to be seen by others and the hidden self which we wish to conceal or not ready to acknowledge yet.
While the shadow self is associated with damaging actions, malevolent inclinations, it is also a dwelling for your hidden talents, abilities and strengths, especially these which you were told not to embrace. Belief systems and passions, you talked yourself out may also reside in the shadow.
The following practice is adopted from a writer and tarot expert, Sasha Graham.
Items you will need to bring light to your shadow:
- Moon tarot card, XVIII
- Sun tarot card, XIX
- Silver candle*
- Gold candle*
- Coloring page
- Coloring pencils or gel pens or markers or watercolors
Begin by lighting gold and silver candles. First, light the silver candle with an intention to draw down the energy of the moon. Then, light the gold candle with an intention to draw down the energy of the sun. You may use an insense of your choice to bring in the spirit and raise the desired vibrations in the air. You may play relaxing music of your choice. Anything to inspire you and awaken your senses would be welcomed here.
Gaze into the Moon card. Feel the magnetic pull of the Moon. Close your eyes and listen to your body and your emotions. What wants to emerge? What did you once desire that someone talked you out of? Open your eyes and gaze at the Sun card. Visualize, envision or imagine golden light of the sun shining on what is ready to emerge from the shadow.
When ready, begin to color the center in the mandala. Continue coloring, moving out clockwise with the glow while mentally sifting through what you’ve hidden away from yourself. Feel what have been repressed. Trust yourself to open up and pull it out. Look at it, write down your thoughts and impressions. Embrace it.
Repeat this ritual as often as you like, but leave enough time in between to work on what you uncover. For the next several days, pay attention to your dreams and look for other signs during waking time which may guide you towards your goal and give you answers to your questions. Pay attention to synchronicities and continue journaling your experiences.
*If you do not have silver or gold candles, you may use gray or black instead of silver and yellow or orange instead of gold.
Here is a selection of mandalas I like: