Updated: Apr 30, 2020
The Moon, XVIII. Carl Jung used the term “Shadow” to speak of the aspects of the Subconscious that we must face and integrate if we are to evolve on our path of connection with higher consciousness.
We all have “blindspots”, aspects of ourselves that for whatever reason, we have not yet clearly met. They remain in the shadows until we are ready to bring the light of conscious awareness to investigate them.
These “unmet” aspects of the self are the ones we tend to project onto others and into external circumstances. It’s our way of trying to work with those submerged pieces. We try and see them more clearly by taking them up from the depths and casting them as players in our reality.
Here is where the association of The Moon with illusion and even deception come in. Truly, from this place of projection, we are not seeing things clearly. Things are not as they would appear to be. There is potential for much confusion here.
When we are able to catch ourselves in the act, pull back and examine our projections with conscious awareness, we have an opportunity to question the veracity of some of the distortions that the Shadow may be casting.
These are the first steps away from victimhood and the prison of shame, self-sabotage, fear, and habitual patterns of negative self-judgement. When we see the part we are playing in our own imprisonment, we may move towards consciousness awareness and liberation.
Too often, we take the approach of using aggressive self-judgement in the service of “fixing“ ourselves. We become aware of the shadow and try to amputate, purify, yoga it away.
We take a strict parent or drill sargent-esque corrective attitude. We may conflate this harshness with self-discipline. We may even get quite far, and on the surface, accomplish much with this approach.
However, facing and exploring our shadow with compassion for ourselves, with curiosity and as much loving kindness as we can muster is the path to true integration of the shadow. Only then do we cease the self-infliction and perpetuation our original wounds.
There is a peace that’s made. Our demons no longer get to drive while we ride shotgun, asleep.
They are not, however, rejected, cast off, or banished. We find that indeed, they have served us well, in many cases. Brought us through, given us many strengths, helped us to survive. And for that we can have much gratitude.
Just as the moon is cyclical in her path, so are we, in this process of integration of the Shadow. We do not look at the face of the new moon and say that something is wrong for her darkness. We know that she is in her perfect place, in her rhythm, and that all is well.
And so, we must also trust in the deep inner workings of the subconscious mind. All things in their time. Even in places of darkness, where there is little illumination or clarity, where there is much confusion, we are not irrevocably lost.
See what happens when you stop judging the feelings that are arising, and experiment with being kind and compassionate to the one who is having them.