Becomming your true self- shadow work in dreams and reality
Many years ago I would have frequent dreams of myself as characters in different stories that I read or watched. Most commonly was the anime Sailor Moon. In these dreams my character was both a child of the heroic lines (the Moon Kingdom) as well as a child of the enemy who was personified best in the second season of the show as “wise man or the death phantom”. My character was there to balance the forces of darkness and light. Yet it seemed her job was always to be in the shadow.
In many dreams this character would deal with several deaths. Most of the time it was in order to purge the darkness from her so she could be a true warrior of the light. In the end though her darkness was never purged. It was however transformed from a source of pain to a source of power. The deaths ended up being symbolic of he transition from the enemy to the light. The character in these dreams ended up using the pains of loneliness and separation from her original family to in turn protect them when she returned.
For years I had friends comment that they thought it was weird in all my dreams my fan charterers were the child of both the villain and the heroes. At the time I thought nothing of it. Villains are cool and so are Heroes. I just figured it was me trying to find a place in the universe. Going back to the Sailor Moon universe the best character analogy I can think of is Chibi-Usa who becomes Black Lady and then becomes Chibi Moon. She goes from being a child of the light to the enemy and back to being the light. In essence this is what happened to my characters. All of them.
When I was 16 they dreams started to change a bit. I had become more comfortable as a witch and I started to understand the need for the balance of the light and the dark. Here I became a celestial whose name changed depending on if she was in her full demonic form or a full angelic form. Many of the battles in those dreams ended up being about the battle we have with our own shadow self. The third name for this particular character was the one she received when she completed the battle for control over both the demon and the angelic half. She became a true celestial who embraced her shadow and her light. Her new name showed this being a combination of the demonic name and the angelic name.
15 years later it finally hit me. One of the most important things to learn as a witch and if you practice shamanic spirit work is to love your shadow self and make it part of who you are. These dreams were spirit trying to help me find the balance between my light and my shadow. Trying to become the true person that I am. These dreams were me exploring shadow work in a way that I could understand and deal with. They were not merely fantasy. They were me starting the work of embracing my shadow so I could become a whole person.
During the teen years I was dealing with a lot of issues from my past. The sexual abuse made it hard for me to relate to many of the jokes my friends would tell and I had problems with relationships. They could touch me and enjoy me but I couldn’t do anything for them sexually. I was alone and I had alot of anger and frustration build up over the years. The celestial character became part of my shield. I was and still am socially awkward.
During college I tried to be more open and tried to be more social. The social awkwardness remained. I was more open about things that I should have been. This caused more pain and more problems. I didn’t know how to deal with people or the public. This caused an eventual break down which ended up with me in the hospital and on some very strong medications for mental illness.
My ability to remember my dreams vanished. My ability to get into trances and talk to spirits was greatly diminished. I went into the hospital hoping that it would help me. While it did I ended up in the years after being dependent on my medications rather than my spirituality for healing. I stopped talking to the spirit friends I could see and I stopped seeing them. I could no longer readily see the Gods and spirits I was working with without a lot of extra work.
Lately after watching the new Sailor Moon series I began to feel that there was something missing. It became even more clear when Black Lady made her presence known. What was missing was and is that connection I had with my shadow self then. I was comfortable in the shadows and in the dark. Now I seek to reunite with that part of me. The other day I started to pray to the Gods of dreams and the underworld to reconnect me with that aspect of myself.
The last few days I have been able to remember my dreams again. I can look into the mirror now and I have started to see the shadow self I tried to bury with conventional meds and therapy. This is my second day off my medications and I feel good with this decision. Its time to get back to what worked for my mental health and my spirituality. Time to use meditation, trance work, and work with my herbal spirit guides.
I’ve learned some skills in therapy which will help me deal with more day to day social issues and interactions. There has been some useful things learned in therapy and on the meds. I believe that medication and therapy can help. I just believe that its not the only answer and that there are other methods as well. The last few years I have been ignoring the spirit methods that did me so well. I’ve been treating the physical chemical aspects of my mental health but not the spiritual.
I am a witch. I live equally in the darkness and in the light. I live in the physical world and in the spirit world. Its time to reclaim that part of my spirit again. Time to start traveling into the spirit realms again and using my shamanic tools. I can sense spirits again and I can feel energy. I just no longer see auras as easily as I could and now I must return to that state.
I know that I am an adult now and that things are going to be different. That doesn’t mean I can’t try and bring some of what I was back into my life. I just need to remember to call on the Gods and spirits again. I can turn my anger and frustrations into power to change my life. I can use that shadow self. I just need to bring her back to the surface to hug her and bring her into my daily life again.
Shadow work is never a one and done thing. It is on going. But if I can make myself comfortable with my fiery temper and befriend my anger again it will be a start. The journey of a witch is never done and we are always learning. Sometimes we just need to remember lessons we learned years ago.