When the night and day go from perfect balance to an increase of night hours which we are all experiencing, this is considered the Fall Equinox. This period begins the Shadow season which lasts through the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, at which point the days become longer each night until we see Spring arrive.
Shadow season is a great time for reflection inward and working on personal growth. In fact, if we use this time wisely, we can successfully evaluate our own areas for growth opportunity and set up a plan of action for the Spring.
Whether you garden, have a farm, or simply have an end of Summer Season ritual, it usually involves putting away. Clearing fields, removing old crops, putting up pots that won’t survive the winter, or simply putting away the summer clothes and bringing out jackets, pants, and sweaters, we all go through preparations. To effectively begin Shadow season, you must understand your own Shadow.
What Is Your Shadow?
Our Shadow faces inward and often, it can be a side of us that remains hidden. Psychology refers to the shadow as the unknown dark side of our personality; this is where our Shadow’s began to get a bad reputation. Just think, you cannot have light without a shadow, as a shadow is light blocked by an object. Spiritually speaking, we are that object. Often, we find ourselves in various stages, trying to fit into the greater world or society. In doing so, we subconsciously harbor aspects of ourselves that we perceive “don’t fit in”. Here is where our Shadow is created.
If we learn to accept and support our Shadow, we find our own balance.
What is Shadow Work?
Shadow work is the process of inner reflections, allowing one to understand their Shadow, acknowledge its presence and achieve internal harmony. Using crystals, herbs, and light meditation can be useful in balancing the emotional, yet necessary tole of Shadow work. These tools are extremely beneficial during this process and below are tips to boost your Shadow work:
Become aware of your own Shadow. The more you hide your Shadow, the more it will show itself in uncontrollable ways. Reflect on yourself or areas about in your past that you don’t readily acknowledge. This is your Shadow. You have to recognize it and honor it. Journaling is a great way these thoughts and memories out of your head. You can also just speak the words aloud as our words have power and when we speak things into the Universe, we acknowledge them.
Process the emotions are you feeling. Shadow work brings up emotions, often because it is linked to things we don’t like to talk about or acknowledge. But when you acknowledge the fact that your Shadow is a part of you, then you can begin the process of acceptance and integration.
Release the negativity - You may find that some things you have kept hidden are helping you. Instinct or subconscious is where we tend to find our Shadow. We may have been conditioned to ignore our instinct, but trusting in our instinct allows us to learn to trust ourselves and continue to grow.
Shadow work isn’t something that you will finish in a week, maybe not a season. But begin the process- it isn’t just personal growth, it is your personal, spiritual, and mental health.