Depression/Shielding and Shadow Work

Eventually we all have to face our darkness. We can't avoid it forever because it sits in our deep selves and holds power and influences us when we're not aware of it... it can decide our fate, make turns in our pathways we didn't expect or ask for...
Most indigenous religions have ways of "appeasing the dark gods." They do rituals in their honor, make offerings, ask them for their teachings and wisdom. Good and evil are not so harshly defined... there are more shades of grey... more inbetweens. Elves, faeries and other magical spirit beings are often a combination of both. That hob on your hearth might scrub it clean for you one night and steal the cream off the top of your milkjug the next. People in such cultures leave cream out for them. :0) They are mellower and not so dichotomous. As a result obnoxious behaviour can happen and be a drag... but out and out evil is rare in such a world. For the most part life is peaceful. Meanwhile the Christians are slicing up enemies, burning witches, cutting the heads off goddess statues and crucifying saviours...!!!! hmmm.... don't you think there's something to be learned here?
It all gets back to polarized thinking. "Either/or" the old feminists call it.
the Great Diad. You get one or the other and if you choose one the other will fight for its right to exist...and back and forth it goes forever. Heaven vs hell... hell vs. heaven. White vs. black. winter vs. summer. depression vs joy. rich vs poor. master vs slave. boss vs underling. old vs. young. and of course the ultimate diad upon which all the others have their foundation: male vs. female. In a polarity one must choose one over the other, and forever be the gallant knight, sword ready to strike "the enemy." Each side thinks it's the good one and the "other" is evil. Like Iraqi and American footsoldiers aiming guns at each other.... or at each other's houses... or families.
In our culture we tend to practise avoidance, which can only work for so long before the shadow catches up with us. Or we do this dichotomous "good vs evil" thing we have been discussing of late. In Christian-based theology good is on one end and evil on the other and they are always in constant battle. Sometimes one "wins".... sometimes the "other." Or you could call it 'depression vs happiness" for that matter. This belief sysem is rampant and you can find it in all the fantasies and literature like Tolkien and Narnia. It sure makes for exciting drama huh? With lots of violence and bloodshed along the way. Christians have polarized good and evil to such an extent that they actually can justify unbelieveable horrors like burning people at the stake or torturing prisoners of war. After all, they are stomping out evil, right?
Some magic makers call this our "shadow work." If you are haunted by your shadow, Ayla sis, and find yourself unable to get past it, I strongly recommend you do some of this work. I have helped to create some rituals around this theme, if you are interested. Some of them are posted at our Dark Moon ritual site:
Ritual: Arianrhod's Web: Transforming the Shadow:
Actually in looking over the ritual above I realize I was thinking dichotomously myself when I wrote it, even in my efforts to integrate my bright and dark sides instead of just trying to cut part of myself off. Hipwitch pointed this out to me at the time - gee I miss her!- and I'm the one who had taught about it to her! LOL duh. So I came up with a third element so as to make a circle between my positive happy side, my shadow side, and a third side; a bridge between that could work to help me get from one to the other. All three of them, as you will see, I did in the form of Pentacles. In this way I could organize all the contents of all these different parts of myself and have a way to work with them without getting lost or confused.
So the Transformation Pentacle has now become part of this kind of Shadow Work for anyone who cares to try it. It's different from the other two because it's more uiniversal. It can be used to bridge between any of those other pairs. For instance, we've done Shadow work on healing Sisterhood....on creating Abundance...on transforming our government. You can do shadow work on just about anything. In the beginning I was cutting out one cardboard star and writing in their qualities on each side... the positive on one, the negative on the other. Dicchotomy! oh dear... dichotomies are troublesome forms...gotta do something about this. so I made the third Transformation Pentacle...which stands as a mediator and bridge beween the other two, and one travels through them in a circle... starting with the negative one, moving through the transformational one in order to get to the goal... the positive one. Eventually, after having several successes with such a ritual, you actually can get to a point where you can travel freely and safely through them all. But I wouldn't advise this at first. In the beginning the main thing is to get to that positive state and practise being able to stay there long enough for it to become a habit.
So here's the Transformation Pentacle:
In Air: Communication, Remembering, Focus, Cognition, Breath, Belief
In Fire: Choice, Letting Go and Drawing In
In Earth: Relax, Protect
In Water: Trust, Nurture
In Spirit: Faith, Holding the Vision
I hope these thoughts are a help to you sis... let us know, ok?
Beautiful Scar Woman wrote:
I battled my way from deep depression from abuse, and so to remain out
of more than mild sometimes depression I avoid going back into such
times in any way.
I understand this sister and brava to you for this victory! It is a good way to begin one's Shadow Work and obviously it has helped you enormously. But I think the time will come when you will be ready to go further... hug hug!
Ayla wrote:
> winterhawk_celt wrote:
> I found this at the perfect time....Looking back at my day, I realize
> that noone was being mean or nasty to me was me...I went
> through my day angry and depressed over what my family and ex are
> doing....I realize now that there were women at work who were telling
> me to smile and "trust the Lord" and so on...Well, how about if I
> trust my Goddess Mother instead? Anyway, the point is that I now
> realize that, just because of what certain people did to me, I allowed
> my day to be full of sadness and anger and hurt and despair. I will
> try my hardest to follow the above suggestions and will not allow
> anyone to "steal my joy" (as a christian woman at work said).
> But I do still seriously need deep shielding both from others who wish
> only negativity for me and from my own dark self (which reared its
> unsavory head today.)
Shekhinah: Good for you sis! No matter what, we ALWAYS have the right to detach from anyone or anything that means us harm... and to seize the Joy wherever it may be found... even if it's just a teensy bug on the sidewalk teeter-tottering under a load of nest material; and making it! <g>
Yes the more I think about it and look over your posts, the clearer it seems to me that you need to include shadow work in your shielding process. Ididn't expect to have to do this for my own shielding, but guess what? Surprize! That old Dark Goddess, she's a trickster, that one! That's one of the reasons I named my shield Shasta Shadow Walker. :0)

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