It’s been a buzzword in the spiritual community for a little while now. And while it’s a great place to start looking deeply inward and healing, it might not be for everyone.
What is shadow work?
Shadow work is the process of looking at our “shadow-selves,” and analyzing this behavior to make changes. In other words, it’s about looking at our dark sides, or the sides of ourselves we hide or dislike, and asking ourselves why we act that way or why we don’t like that certain thing.
It can yield powerful transformation and healing, and also just be plain interesting. I myself found that perhaps my shadow side had been running the show for years, and my “light” side needed some love and attention.
Note: Shadow / dark and light sides are terms used loosely. Nothing is inherently all good, all bad, all shadow, or all light.
However, because of how deeply one looks at themselves during shadow work, it may bring up lots of unresolved trauma, pain, and memories we’ve buried away. And honestly, sometimes we are not in a place in our practice or lives where it’s safe, productive, or healing to look at those parts of ourselves.
So just because it’s a trend in witchcraft and spirituality doesn’t mean you have to partake or try it yourself.
How to know if it’s not the time to practice shadow work
1. You’re currently experiencing what you personally consider a low in your mental health Whatever your symptoms are, they’re at high. Anxiety, throwing yourself into work, dissociation. If you’re currently in this state, it’s time to focus on taking care of yourself.
2. You are not currently in a “safe” space
Whether you’re closeted, currently in a place with negative roommates or family members, or simply don’t have supportive friends or access to support like therapy, it may be time to focus on creating a sacred space right now.
How to know if it is time to practice shadow work.
1. Your intuition has been calling you to do so You aren’t scrolling past the posts; you’re reading and researching about shadow work. It may feel like the right step deep inside.
2. You are currently in therapy, or have another safe space Witchcraft isn’t a replacement for professional help. Working with a therapist may be beneficial on your journey – and honestly, therapy is a form of shadow work! Either that, or you’ve got great, supportive friends to talk it out with, who are honest with you, and love you unconditionally.
3. You notice your “bad” habits already, and want to work on them You notice when you snap, apologize to friends, and want to work on the root of the issue Or, when your head is in the clouds, when you come down you wonder why or how to help your symptoms.
But, as I’ve already said, don’t feel bad if now is not the right time for shadow work! Everyone goes at their own pace. Still, if you’re ready to get working on shadow work, head to our Instagram @CosmicCornerSavannah, where you’ll find a shadow work starter and care kit!