Today is the New Moon in Scorpio, and I don't think it's an accident that it's come around a time when shadow work is coming up in client readings and in conversations with other practitioners and business owners.
What is shadow work? Well, it depends on the discipline. For instance, Jungian psychology takes a clinical approach, while shamanism takes an energetic approach. In shamanism, shadow work is all about integrating various "shadowy" soul parts: those aspects of self that trigger feelings of shame, guilt, or self-doubt.
What does an out-of-balance shadow look like?
For instance, if you're an energy work practitioner that is uncomfortable with charging money for energy work, it's because asking for money for what you do feels bad or shameful. Maybe you think, in a perfect world, it should be free. Or maybe you have sacral chakra issues and resist asserting yourself or asking for your worth. Or, worse yet, you have sacral chakra trauma from sexual abuse or sustained childhood poverty and cannot receive material support without feeling dirty and uncomfortable.
But how do you continue to do your work if you can't pay your bills and there is not an equal exchange of energy? How do you grow as a practitioner, using the money you make to reinvest in ongoing learning and development, strengthening your skillset and honing your craft?
Well, typically, this practitioner archetype will inevitably become desperate in scarcity and ask others for money, ask for discounts/ free rent/ freebies, and/or will spin out and close their practice or worse- get desperate and become a part of something (like a multi-level marketing scheme) to survive- all while denying the existence and importance of their shadow aspect.
So see how that works? When we deny ourselves something fundamental- sex, money, power- it creeps back in, but in a destructive and imbalanced manifestation that becomes problematic when left unchecked.
Season of grief
This Scorpio New Moon, coming along right as we enter "grief season" in Chinese medicine, is a perfect time to face our shadow aspect and invite it in for a chat, instead of locking it out in the cold. Have you experienced a trauma that you haven't properly grieved? Has life changed such that your old life is 'dying' and you could benefit from really walking into that feeling to release the old and embrace the new? Does something in your life- like sex, money, power or assertiveness- make you feel out of control or bad or shameful? Why?
Shamanic soul part recollection
In shamanism, we focus on reintegrating soul parts that have split off, been damaged, or gone inert as a result of a traumatic experience. At TOTEM, I do this work through TOTEM Energy Sessions, a combination of Reiki, Mediumship, Channeling and Shamanic Energy Work. These sessions- offered remotely and in-person- work to identify lost soul parts and reconnect and reintegrate them into your whole self. For these sessions, I will pull cards from our TOTEM Tarot Deck for each chakra as a means of trying to zero in- via a diagnostic- on the approximate "location" of the lost soul parts, the nature of the original trauma, and the key to reintegrating them back in. Generally speaking, lost soul parts will require that you face them, acknowledge them, and grieve where appropriate before reintegrating....so this isn't for sissies;)
Personal shadow work
If you want to do this work on your own? It's absolutely possible. Here are a few easy suggestions:
1. Symbolic meditation. Leverage the TOTEM Tarot Deck Shadow card- and write up- as a meditation tool. Carl Jung LOVED Tarot Cards because he believed their symbolic, archetypal language communicated with our subconscious minds, shifting our energy bodies and accelerating our healing. Our Shadow tarot card is all about shadow work: getting honest about our shadow aspect, confronting our shadows and having a dialogue with them, working to bring them into the fold and, ultimately, into a structure in which they behave (instead of working in the darkness to sabatoge us). If you have an altar or similar area in your home, you can place the Shadow card there along with black crystals to absorb negative energies. You can also bring in various cut flowers and candles that evoke the vibe of your shadow aspect. This is a great place to visit several times a day or, if you're so inclined, sit or lay down facing it to amplify your meditation practice (I always suggest Shamanic Journeying!).
2. Write your shadow a love letter. Another item you can add to your altar- or not, depending on your preference- is a written letter to your shadow aspect. What are you denying yourself? What is out of balance for you? What do you want to say to this aspect of yourself? Given that today is a New Moon- and it's in Scorpio, the sign of death, rebirth, resurrection, sex, procreation, power and spycraft- it's a perfect day to use these love letters in a burning ritual. PLEASE BE SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE with fire- it's an elemental and unforgiving power! But, if you can do this safely, consider burning your love letter in a ritual of release, asking the fire and the New Moon to take the bad and integrate good. Rituals on New Moons assist us in releasing old patterns, habits and addictions that are unhealthy, out of balance, or self-destructive. If you don't want to burn the love letter, you can always place it on your altar and place a candle on top of it, asking the fire element to metaphorically purge and purify this energy on your behalf.
3. Honor the "yin" in your life. We've been digging into Goddess energy, yin energy, and abundance vs. scarcity in our Substack series HERE. Our first article is up, and we worked with Roger Oney of Bending River Energy on this particular take on how to "Give the Goddess Her Crown Back" in our lives and our energy bodies. Shadow work is inherently yin: it's dark, it's about receiving, and it faces the moon (vs. the sun). Getting in touch with your inner goddess and honoring that energy in your life- with boundaries, with slowing down, with taking a playful approach to work- you'll notice tremendous progress on your Shadow work. On this New Moon in Scorpio, it's also great to leverage certain crystals that run a particular variety of yin energy, including: moonstone, black tourmaline, and jade. Take it easy. Take a nap. Lay around. Sit in silence. You'll be surprised what comes up when there are no distractions. In short: let the yin do its healy magic on you!
If you're interested in learning more about TOTEM Energy Sessions- which work GREAT remotely- email me anytime at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Unlike straight forward Reiki, our work really is ideal for anyone looking to heal trauma via Soul Part Recollection and/or undertake Shadow Integration work.
Major shout outs to a few folks:
- Roger Oney, of Bending River Energy, for teaming with me on this first Substack article in our Goddess series. Please check it out and consider becoming a paid subscriber to support our more in-depth writing efforts, exploring all things Shamanism.
- Carolyn Cheblowski, of the Wild Psyche, for the BANGER of a photo featured at the top (featuring our very own TOTEM Tarot Deck), and for contributing to our next Substack article re: Goddess energy!
- Jen Dieas of Glowout and Babes Behind Brands, for including us in a weekly Instagram Live series every Wednesday at 7 PM CST. Follow Jen HERE and TOTEM HERE to get notifications when we go live. Just in time for Scorpio/ Shadow/ Grief season, we're going to be talking about Sacred Sexuality this coming Wednesday- it's likely going to be inappropriate and informative, so please tune in and ask questions!
Enjoy this New Moon and embrace your Shadow. Hell, the little guy (or gal) could probably use a hug. I'm about to go listen to some Eagles of Death Metal, put on a bunch of black clothes, and read people's tarot cards...so I'm not sweating this Scorpio season, either;)
Until next time!