Shadows are tricky beasts. They have a way of appearing in one form, and then, just as I manage to approach them, shapeshifting and slipping from my grasp. They dart to the corners, the peripherals, where they can gather their strength and reform in some other way that aims to baffle me anew as soon as I become content.
Their many complex and layered manifestations have a way of leaving me so beguiled I often either defend their existence or outright deny it. This is an expression of the immune system of the shadow. Both responses are a form of denial, and this denial is the very essence of a shadow. Once we see past the complexity, the shapeshifting, to this simple truth, we begin to bring the light.
“If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.”
All Shadows Are The Light Denied
No matter what form a shadow takes, there is no changing the naked fact that a shadow is the light denied. This brings us two vital pieces of information in our inquiry. First, we are dealing with the energy of denial, and second, that what is being denied is light. Of course, this makes one at first think that we just need to flood the shadow with light. Of course, such overkill is an alternate expression of denial, and instead of clarity brings only further blindness.
As well, shadow confronted is a shadow empowered. Sure, our righteous light may seem to wash out the shadow we can see, but it tends to not only blind us in our self-important certainty but also serves to only bring further contrast to the situation. This contrast deepens the shadows that lay further hidden within the folds, feeding them exactly what they are made of. To confront shadows in such a way is to deny the shadow, to feed it.
Becoming A Shadowmancer
To successfully work with shadows, we must become nothing less than demonologists or shadowmancers. This is a tricky affair, as are all things shadow, for we must learn from the shadows how to defeat them, all the while not becoming further tainted by our very undertaking. This requires the inner silence, the impeccability of a warrior, and the unbending intent of a sorcerer.
To explore the shadows without causing them to run, empowering them further, or becoming compromised ourselves in shadow justifications, we must be both confident in our light and, at the same time, hold it back in just the right ways in any given moment. We must learn to walk between the shadow and the light. We must learn to travel in the twilight, the liminal, which means we must become (or realize we are) liminal ourselves.
Communing With The Shadow
Once we understand that a shadow is an energy of denial, our approach becomes clear. We stop denying it. We talk to it. Sure, some shadows may take more time than others before they come around to a conversation. Their denial can run so deep that they need to see that we are serious about knowing them. They need to see that we are persistent and sincere, and powerful. Yet all shadows, being made of the stuff of denial, have a desperate, innate yearning to be heard, and this is how we get them to attend. We invite, and then we listen.
It helps to do this when the shadow is already present, already stirred. They can be very difficult to coax out of hiding, so we must meet them in the twilit lands where they roam. Yet when they are present, they are likely causing inner conflict, confusion, or some other such dispersion of our true luminance. It takes a fairly enlightened perspective to recognize in the moment when a shadow is running amok within us, as us, and it takes a truly heroic effort to stop the momentum, in the moment, without confrontation. It takes true power to pause within the storm and sit down, turn towards the madness and say, “Hey, I would love to talk with you. Will you join me in conversation?”
Out Riddling The Riddler
Whether or not a shadow turns to you and replies (which believe me they can!), you can know that just this effort on your part has their attention. If you can converse and discover at this point, great! Intelligence is a form of light, so the more the shadow shares with you, no matter how twisted or seemingly random, the more it is infusing itself with, allowing in, light. That said, there is a deeper place you can take the conversation. If you are up to the enigma.
Imagine that on a higher, cosmic level, a more ascended plane of existence, your fully empowered self is not just watching your whole life but is facilitating it. Understand that it can only send you blessings, it can only send you gifts. With this in mind, see that it has placed this shadow in your path, this obstacle to your unfolding, as such a gift. How we ask the next question is of the utmost importance. Why has my highest intelligence placed this barrier to my flowing forward on my path? What is it that this shadow is attempting to coax out of me? What heroic gesture does it require I summon up in order to move forward? What aspect of my being is my higher self calling me to step into, which would then be my path of victory?
When you answer this question, you will not have not merely defeated your shadow. You will have recruited it.
Suggested Divination Meanings
What aspect of truth am I veiling, wither from myself or others, that could be contributing to problems?
Is there something I am in denial about that would otherwise help the situation?
How am I objectifying something that is actually more nuanced and fluid?
In what ways are my attempts at confronting the problem strengthening it?
In what way am I holding a sense of self-certainty that is causing problematic contrast?
In what way may I approach conversing with the problem, rather than persecuting it?
In what way can I turn and listen rather than condemn?
What life lesson is being addressed by my current problems?
What would I need to learn in order to overcome this challenge?