Many of us are busy in the spring and summer months, being with the kids, vacations, yard work, planting and tending gardens, beaches, BBQs, festivals, and just being active. As fall draws in and winter approaches, we stay inside more, and eventually, stay indoors with the warmth almost daily. This can cause us to begin to look at ourselves, and see who we are, mentally, physically, and spiritually. This time of "darkness" can draw out our shadow selves.
Our shadow selves are the darker parts of ourselves. Addictions, negative habits, sadness, grudges, anger, hatred, and a myriad of other negative or hindering emotions and being that haunt us, either overwhelmingly or just as a whisper. Working on the shadow self takes time, energy, effort, but, once we have grasped the smallest measure of it's existence we are lifted to a higher plain in our lives. It can be, and sometimes is, a scary journey to look within yourself. When I think of looking within myself, and comforting my shadow self, I often think of The Never Ending Story, when Atreyu comes to the Magic Mirror Gate and sees Bastian on the other side, looking at him. Atreyu came to know himself as a strong warrior but now sees himself as a scared, lonely child he really is. Atreyu had to push past that shocking realization, past that very human emotion, and carry on. What do you see when you stand in front of the magic mirror gate? Do you believe you could be like Atreyu and walk through that gate, knowing what you now know of yourself?
Mabon, the second harvest, the first day of fall, the beginning of the end is a great time to begin that work on the shadow self. The days grow shorter, nights grow longer, and we are pushed into a world of cold and darkness almost forced to look within ourselves for comfort. What do you see? What do you feel? How deep within yourself are you willing to go? As you winterize your home and garden, begin to see how you can winterize yourself. What cracks, holes, openings need cleaning and insulating within yourself? No, this is not a time to look within and punish yourself for things, nor is it a time to look within, see your shadow self, and try to rid it or suppress it, but, it's a time to see your shadow self and embrace it. Your shadow self is what makes you who you are, and is what gives you strength. If you see you have an addiction that is harming you, recognize it for what it is. Is there a lesson, a reason, an excuse for that addiction? Has it been a comfort in your life? What has it comforted you from? Where do you stand with that addiction now? Is that addiction still needed or is it time to replace that addiction and move on? You may always be an addict, but, coming to understand that particular addiction, you will no longer allow yourself to be harmed by that addiction, but instead, you will become the aid to those still allowing their addictions to harm them.
Have I lost you? Did you think this would be a step by step on getting rid of your shadow self? DOH! Maybe I should have put up a disclaimer.
No, you will never banish or rid your shadow self, it will always be there, and you will always, for the rest of your life, find more and more shadow selves. This is part of your life journey, sometimes it's quick and easy, sometimes, one shadow self can take a life time to accept. Everything is a lesson, mistakes, heartbreak, happiness, sadness, lose, and gain, it's a lesson. Sometimes that lesson is for you, sometimes you are the giver of that lesson, but, there is always a lesson. Always.
So, take time this Mabon to look within yourself, go to your magic mirror gate, see what shadow self pops up. Then, sit with it, talk to it, because it's you. Once you have spoken to your shadow self, and you understand why it's there, you can begin to learn and teach the lessons the shadow self has given you.
Good luck and many blessings on your journey.
Your Personal Magic Mirror Gate:
Cleansed water (adding a pinch of sea salt can clean your tab water)
Tapered Black candle (not to long)
Quiet, dark room
(It is always best to do this working at night, with all is still and sleeping)
Light the candle, and poor a few drops of wax into the bottom of the bowl.
Pour the water into the bowl
Turn off all the light, turn off all the sounds, no cell phones, no radio, complete silence and darkness
Sit in front of your bowl, arranging it to where you can see a bit of reflection in the water.
I walk to the gate of my inner self
Allow my soul to open
Allow my eyes to see
Say the chant 3 times, then pause a few minutes to listen to yourself. Repeat as often as needed, and journal what you feel.
This is your personal magic mirror gate, come to it as often as you need. Use it, let it be yours, and if you need to add more to the working, or less to the working. This is yours.