Life Lessons from the Major Arcana: #18
This post is for you if you…
- want to know why shadow work is necessary
- are ready to take responsibility for your life
- are a healer, modern mystic, lightworker, witch, or someone who wants to make a difference
The Purpose of My Post
I want to change the world, create a shift in perspective and raise the collective consciousness. It is my utmost belief that every one of us has a gift to share with the world but we make it too hard and give up before we start. I want to help you overcome the hurdles in front of you so you can bring your gift to the world that so desperately needs it.
The Fool’s Journey
Who is the Fool?
Fearless and enthusiastic, the Fool is the faith-filled wild spirit in the tarot who excitedly embarks on adventures she is being called to by her soul. She has complete trust in the Universe and can be viewed as an innocent who is open to all she encounters.
How Does She Relate to You?
The Fool represents each of us on our hero’s journey to know ourselves and live our purpose. Every Major Arcana card in tarot represents its own lesson, so as the Fool visits each one she gains insight and guidance that keeps her on her path.
Stages of the Fool’s Journey
Who is The Moon?
Distressed, the woman runs into the water illuminated by the moonlight, desperate to wash the fear from her body. The heaviness she carries is too much, though, and she starts to sink, her dress billowing up around her. She must find a way to release the burden she has carried with her for so long. Panicking, the woman kicks and struggles, but finds no purchase in the water that slips through her fingers. This is it, she thinks. This is how I die. Finally resigned to her fate, she stops fighting and allows the water to cradle her on her slow descent to the bottom.
Yet instead of sinking, she realizes she is instead rising to the top. Joy envelops her and as she explodes out of the water gasping for air, the first thing she sees in the moon.
The Moon’s Lesson
So you want to make a difference in your lifetime. I hear you and I commend you for it. My question to you is how hard are you willing to work for it? Absolutely every single one of us possesses the capability to create real, impactful and lasting change. It doesn’t matter if others have come before us and there will be more that come after. What matters is that you have your own brand of magic to spread but you will never get the chance if you are not willing to go into the deepest and darkest corners of yourself.
The Moon disturbs our darkness and stirs up what we have left forgotten. If you truly want to make a difference, you have to face what scares you. Our shadows cover up what is really lurking in our darkness. Is it truly a monster under your bed or your sweet puppy wagging her tail? Unless you face and embrace the dark, you are giving up opportunities present for you to explode into the sunshine.
Main Lesson: Face Your Shadows to Find Your Magic
What is Shadow Work?
Carl Jung defines the shadow as the part of ourselves that we deny, hide and refuse to acknowledge. The side most often projected onto other people to take the blame off of ourselves, it is essential we not only acknowledge our shadow but also accept it if we want to move forward on our soul path.
Shadow work is the extremely important practice of acknowledging all parts of yourself, developing a relationship with them, feeling your emotional response completely and finally releasing the labels of good and bad.
Why is Shadow Work Important?
So many of us stunt our growth by keeping our head in the sand, refusing to stare our fear in the face. We celebrate distraction and look to whatever or whoever will keep us from feeling uncomfortable. The problem with this is that when we continuously move from one distraction to another, we remain stagnant. By hiding from parts of ourselves we aren’t proud of, we remain chained to tradition and will never be able to emerge in full expression of our true selves.
I don’t know about you, but doing things because “that’s the way they’ve always been done” is not okay with me. Not anymore.
You are needed right now more than ever. Even if you don’t believe you have anything to offer, I am here to help you walk into the darkness. While we each have to face the Moon on our own, we can do so with help from what we have already learned. This is where sisterhood and collaboration comes in – our fears are our fears for a reason. When we find the courage to face and embrace them, this is where our healing powers can help those around us. When you accept a part of yourself and learn to look for the lessons, you in turn help others who are behind you on the same path.
Okay, now let’s get to it. Besides what I mentioned above, here are even more reasons shadow work is essential to our collective growth:
If you read just about anything I put out, you will know that the main theme running through everything I do is being yourself. Hear me loud and clear: You cannot create the impact you wish to create if you are still hiding your true colors. Shadow work helps you not only face your fears but gives you the opportunity to transmute those fears into an authentic self-love. This is alchemy. Taking your unpolished self and uncovering the beauty inside.
When your energy is not going to hiding from parts of yourself you deem “unacceptable” (who made that determination, by the way?), it frees up space to step into your innate creative side. Creativity is essential to manifestation (see The Empress for more detail) and manifestation is how you create your dream life.
My favorite word, freedom elicits feelings of weightlessness, joy and flight. Unless you unchain yourself by accepting every part of you, you will never find your wings. Freedom comes when you live fully aligned with your soul purpose and alignment only happens when you do the hard work of truly knowing yourself.
I believe a key component in creating change in today’s world is through understanding. Understanding those who think differently than us as well as understanding for ourselves as we go through our own difficult journey. Understanding breeds compassion. Compassion and love is sorely needed as we navigate not only our inner lives but our outer ones as well. It eases the heavy load you feel when confronted by something you don’t like and makes the entire process a little bit easier to swallow.
There is no doubt in my mind that every one of us sees the world differently. You create your own reality and what you focus on, you attract. When you practice shadow work, you get into the habit of looking at the uncomfortable under a different lens than the fear based one you are used to. When you remove the fear, you can see that you have removed an illusion you have been operating behind for your entire life.
Probably the most important reason to practice shadow work is that it allows you to see yourself as whole for the first time. You will cease to look outside of yourself for validation as you will be able to validate yourself. No longer will you think you are faulty or not good enough because you now will recognize your shadows as mere lessons and stepping stones on your path.
I want you to learn how to use your fears as fuel. Shadow work aids you in surmounting your rational mind and opens up avenues of exploration that you would not recognize otherwise. This, beautiful soul, is how you change the world.
What You May Experience When Practicing Shadow Work
Shadow work is not for the faint of heart. It requires true dedication and crystal clear clarity as to why you are doing this in the first place. If you know your why, it helps to lift you up when you find yourself bogged down and drowning from the heavy burden that are your fears.
You most likely will experience a range of emotions from self-pity to being downright pissed off that you are doing this to yourself. This is okay. You are surfacing from years of firmly held beliefs and you will not shed them overnight.
This is an inner revolution. You will feel off kilter and uncomfortable. But the intensity will lessen as you continue to take one courageous step forward. I believe in you. I’ve been there. Embrace your inner Fool and find your untamed wild spirit to dance with you through the darkness.
Continue to follow the Fool on her journey through the Major Arcana and she will lead you to where you want to be: living the life of your dreams. Next stop: The Lovers.
▷ I am currently in the process of writing the Fool’s journey through each of the 22 Major Arcana cards. Rather than wait and release them at once, I decided to post them as I finished writing in the hopes that it would help inspire at least one beautiful soul. Keep checking back for the newest installment or sign up here to be notified when a new one is available.
Also, I am not writing these in order as I am relying on my intuition to tell me which lesson is most needed right now. Thank you so much for reading. I am honored you have invited me in.
Other posts in this series
Proud introvert, intuitive entrepreneur, and spiritual activist. On a mission to embolden my fellow introverts to quietly change the world.