Working with shadows

There are a few things about those who follow pagan/witchcraft beliefs that I find confusing, or I don’t understand how they came to be correlated with the practice. Like…their insistence on gods and goddesses being real, considering a huge majority of them hold on tight to grudges, it seems weird they hang on to a purely Christian belief. Believing their intuition is a “power” and not something that can be trained, perfected and enlarged. Or that if something, or a few somethings bad happen, someone must have cursed them, instead of just the route of decisions having their cause and effect.

I think the oddest one is “shadow work”. Maybe it’s because it sounds all magical and that you are somehow willing shadows to do mystical things that could be construed as “evil”, instead of it just being mental health work that is recommended by psychologists when things in your mental life are holding you back from progressing in healthy, positive ways. I’m not sure what the attraction is for this process among pagans and witches, as it really has nothing to do with the beliefs and foundations of them. It is about self-awareness, self-accountability and self-improvement. Not that those things aren’t a part of pagan and witchcraft. It just seems most followers want to take care of those things through spells and “magic” without doing any real mental work. Or they want to do things that are against spirit and damaging to the self.

I also find it interesting that witches and pagans suddenly decide to do shadow work, instead of realizing the need to do it. As with anything that involves mental health, it often isn’t a decision you make, but a necessity you have to undertake to get to a better place. Maybe it’s because I have spent so much time dealing with my own mental health, understanding what has caused thing in my brain, how to work through it all, and realize my own triggers and those situations that cause a relapse, that I don’t find the concept of shadow work as something one does for fun, but because one has lost the ability to maintain their control over themselves.

That isn’t to say that I don’t have things that I need to process and work through. I absolutely do have shadow work to do. I just don’t call it shadow work. Lol I call it mental processing so I can understand my feelings and how to better use them for positive outcomes. I used to do that through blogging, back in the day. It is also what I occasionally intend to do here when the need arises.

I am currently letting go of some of the negative emotions, thoughts and feelings that the year has created. Those that linger into the new year, I will process through my own form of shadow work to understand why they affect me the way they do, such as:

  • Why do I let people who are inherently lazy piss me off so much and why do I care that they lack the dedication I put into things?
  • Why can’t I let go of the feelings of hurt and rage when someone hurts me right away and why does it take years for me to move on?
  • Why do I attract people who are not interested in being invested in me as a person worth caring and loving?

Those are a few things on my list of things to process. I’m sure more will come up during the next year. The biggest thing I need to learn to recognize is when something has become a mental roadblock so that I can work on it and process it much sooner. I am hoping to also create a sort of checklist so that I can easily determine if the situation is a temporary issue, or something deeper.

In my quest to start the path of the Wise Wild Woman, I realize these things are essential to finding inner peace and calm in a world that is quite literally turning into an emotional apocalypse. During these trying times, it is ever more important to be in control of ourselves, accountable and responsible, while working with integrity and ethics, because it becomes increasingly more apparent, no one else wants to or will.

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