Shadow Work... definition ?

Calcifer

Ok, I have to wave the flag of ignorance here... I've seen the term "Shadow Work" quite a few times over the years here, and I have to admit that I really don't know what it is. I once followed a link to a tarot shadow work site - and all I saw was a template for reading that looked to be aimed at self improvement..
"What do I need to change about myself ?"
"What are my worst faults ?" ... etc, and more of similar questions.
Is this what it's all about ? Or am I missing something ? I could use a bit of enlightenment here...anyone care to try to sum it up for me ?
Thanks !
Michael
 

The Happy Squirrel

What I gathered is that it refers to working on the aspects of the self that is unpleasant to face. Our 'Demons'.
 

Padma

I had the same idea - that is was working with the subconscious aspects of self, that lay hidden beneath the surface...?
 

RiverRunsDeep

I think of Shadow Work as a way to shine a light into the darker parts of my personality. For me, these readings are more emotionally intense. The cards reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly, and rather than asking for a glimpse into the "good" (love life, career, health), Shadow Work asks for a glimpse into the "bad and the ugly" (bad habits, dark personality traits, things you keep hidden). Personally, I use Shadow Work as a psychology/self-help tool to find the areas of my life in which I am blocked, acknowledge them, and find ideas for how to move forward.
 

Calcifer

Interesting... Thanks everyone.
Still at a loss as to how all of that would be put into practice; but I guess it is kind of how I saw it at first glance...
Michael
 

queenxofxwands

Interesting... Thanks everyone.
Still at a loss as to how all of that would be put into practice; but I guess it is kind of how I saw it at first glance...
Michael
What do you mean by "how all of that would be put into practice"? Do you mean using cards to do it or just doing it in general? Because there are a lot of different ways.
 

queenxofxwands

Shadow work can be about reintegration and acceptance of those parts of us we hide, for one reason or another basically.
 

Padma

Personally, I use Shadow Work as a psychology/self-help tool to find the areas of my life in which I am blocked, acknowledge them, and find ideas for how to move forward.

Interesting... Thanks everyone.
Still at a loss as to how all of that would be put into practice; but I guess it is kind of how I saw it at first glance...
Michael

Pretty sure that RiverRunsDeep answered your question, Calcifer!
 

Citrin

Wikipedia has quite a meaty article on the "shadow side". Here's a quote that sums it up quite well in my opinion: "According to Carl Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognised as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. Jung writes that if these projections remain hidden, "The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object--if it has one--or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power." [4] These projections insulate and harm individuals by acting as a constantly thickening veil of illusion between the ego and the real world."

Shadow work is basically (from what I understand and how I do it) wanting to find out about your shadow aspects, shedding light on them, and find ways so that they don't affect you negatively in life. I find that tarot and oracle cards are really useful when a person wants to do shadow work, since they're tools that allow us to dig deep into the unconscious. Sometimes we don't know why we act the way we do, and tarot can tap into that from my experience.

Sometimes people seem to recommend "dark" tarot decks for shadow work, but that's something I really don't understand at all... A deck does not have to contain scary, bloody or creepy images to show shadow sides of the personality. Shadow work doesn't have to be scary, it can be very enlightening and feel like a relief.

I find that videos by Kelly-Ann Maddox on YouTube are a great source of information when it comes to shadow work. :)
 

Calcifer

Hmmm, Ok....
Sooo... it seems that if I were to try my hand at this, I might ask the cards something like:

What horrors is my psyche hiding from me...?
What is my "inner reptile" telling me that I'd be better off without ?
What is my TRUE motivation for doing the things I do and consider ?

Am I maybe on the right track here ?

Thanks !
Michael