The Shadow, or, The Guardian of the Threshold

Do you know what a shadow is? Sometimes it is called the shadow-side, that part of us that is ugly, dark, maimed, and terrifying. Some people believe it is an expression of the dark side of humanity, that we are stuck with and must learn to deal with, that all the ugliness we see in the world is the result of our shadow.

I see our shadow a little differently. I see it as the guardian of the threshold between us and the world of spirit from whence we came. If we catch a glimpse of it, itʼs face is way too terrifying to look at, because it is made up of all of our ugliness, our immaturity, our shame, fear, blame, all that disease which we still harbor in our souls that we havenʼt yet learnt to give up. The shadow is the guardian which protects us from the light that we are not yet ready to look upon. The shadow is our teacher, made up of the contents of our unhealed soul.

There is a very precise, exquisite wisdom, a cunning and canny mind, in our shadow. It will reveal itself in the moments when we are unaware, when our repressed dysfunctional habits press up out of the sub-conscious, when we are not strong, when we least expect anything. The shadow is very lean and efficient in its self-revealing. Just enough to wake you up but not to be wantonly destructive. To gaze upon your shadow too much before you are ready would destroy you; it is too much information about your own darkness.

The shadow is you. And the work is to cook and eat your shadow, transforming it through the fire of your digestion into nourishment for yourself, and also for others.

Cooking and eating your shadow means to face the ugliness, the wounds, the untransformed parts of you and do the work of healing, of integrating, of releasing the repressed, the oppressed, the suppressed parts of you. This is represented in the image of the Raven, who eats the dead concepts (facts that are only understood with the mind, not the heart) littered about on the battlefield of life, transforming them into the potential for spiritual capacity through inner work.

Now you know why I named my coaching practice after the Raven!

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