Facing Your Shadow
We will experience a lunar eclipse this weekend as the Earth casts its shadow upon the moon. Millions of people around the world will stop and look up at the night sky to watch the cosmic dance of alignment as the Sun’s illuminating light is blocked.
Ya know how I mentioned before that there were three lessons I learned on my spiritual journey that were particularly profound? Letting go, non-attachment….and the third was the power and magic found within the Darkness and Shadows.
We all want to avoid the darkness and the spooky, unknown shadows that lurk there. We have built many defenses against these very real aspects of life. Ego, denial, distraction, detachment, addictions, just to name a few.
In my moment of hopelessness, and ultimate transformation, there was an aspect of myself that I knew was there but I didn’t want to look at. I was afraid of the monster hiding there, and out of shame, I wanted to keep it hidden. I cried out to God for help amidst my pain. Spirit told me to take a peek. I took a quick glimpse through squinted eyes.
“Observe without judgment“.
Through the eyes of your soul, anything has the opportunity to become illuminated, and thus, liberated. We have the ability to shine our light in the deep recesses of our mind and see clearly that which frightens us. When we have the courage to view ourselves from this higher perspective, love, compassion, understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, healing, and freedom are the manifestation.
In my case, I was awakening to the fact that I had never felt accepted, and the painful issues that accompanied that. I had never heard of “Shadow” work before but it’s very similar to “Inner Child” work, where, you, as the adult, or your Higher Self, “parents” your inner child, or Self. You visit moments where you have been hurt or traumatized, listen, and speak love, compassion, understanding, acceptance, support, encouragement, forgiveness, or whatever else is needed to heal those wounds.
The Devil card signifies the “Scapegoat”, the person or thing upon which people project the inferior side of themselves in order to make themselves feel better. The Devil is the Scapegoat we blame for our troubles. The card portrays a man and a woman who appear to be in bondage to the Devil. But if you look closely, the chains are loose around their necks and could easily be removed. This suggests that bondage to the Devil is entirely voluntary and can be released through consciousness.
Both the man and the woman have tiny horns and tails, suggesting that the longer they stay with the Devil, the more they become like him. In other words, whatever we resist becomes stronger. Whatever is forbidden becomes enticing and kept secret.
The dark and doorless cave symbolizes that the Devil resides in the most inaccessible realms of the unconscious and only crisis can break through those walls.
The Devil card represents the hidden forces of negativity that constrain you and trick you into believing you are imprisoned by external forces beyond your control. However, the figures in this image have freely given any power the Devil has over them. It implies the necessity of a confrontation with the Shadow aspects of ourselves. This is the heart of the labyrinth, where we find enlightenment.
While Christians celebrate this holiday as the physical event of the Lord Jesus necessary for the forgiveness of sin and attainment of salvation, as a mystic, I see the spiritual significance that we can all be Christ-like through the death of our ego, conquering the Devil through our descent into hell, and our ascension through the Kingdom of Heaven within us.
As we enter into this Holy weekend where we observe the death and resurrection of the Christ, let us all be willing to do the spiritual work necessary for rebirth.