We believe that integrating our shadow may be the fastest way to unfold spiritually, and reduce our suffering.
It’s important that we are clear and honest: by its very nature, shadow work is not fun or pretty. It takes courage and fortitude to see parts of our being that are not like we wish them to be, and to dedicate one’s energy to transforming that.
And once we decide to change, the shadow’s darkness moves towards greater and greater light. That is both beautiful and exciting.
How does the shadow show up?
Initially, our shadow typically manifests in the guise of other people … who we happen to find unbearable. Depending on the particular characteristic, our shadow could be manifested by people we magnetize in various relationship contexts: a colleague, a life partner, or a series of strangers.
“How come three different girlfriends of mine have all had the same hangup?”
“I have really bad karma with bosses, they are always tyrants.”
“My spouse has some terrible habits that I wish they’d stop.”
Do any of these sound familiar to you? These are all classic hallmarks of our own shadow.
Integrating the shadow: leaning into what repels us
The shadow has a deceptive quality: whatever its nature, we tend to want nothing to do with it. Somehow it’s repulsive. Couldn’t it just go away?
However, beneath that repugnant exterior, when we have the courage to lean into the shadow, tremendous amounts of positive energy become available to us. That quality that bothered us in others becomes integrated into our own personality, in a much healthier way.
It’s the ancient principle of alchemy, turning lead into gold. Or from a permaculture perspective: with time and care, from manure emerges nutrient-rich hummus that feeds amazing new growth that delights and nurtures us. Our human nature is the same.
Combining astrology with Dharma, what we call AstroDharma, is an optimal resource for identifying and integrating the shadow. Our online course, Intro to Astrodharma is a great way to clarify indicators in our natal astrological charts that shed light on the nature of our shadow. And how to transform it.