Shadow (7)

Halloween, Masks and Your Shadow: What’s Jung Got To Do With It?
 by Effie Heotis, M.S.

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious".

Like a haunted house in a good horror movie, shadow work can be scary. However, it holds a key which can unlock our unconscious minds, allowing us to become more at peace with ourselves and with others in the process. The shadow, if not called on, is that scary thing that...

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I saw it from a distance: lavender buds shimmering in the misty Seattle rain. My heart felt warm, and light. How eager we are to emerge from the grey! Our longing for Spring is as ancient as humankind.

The Greeks conceived a myth to explain the reunion of soul that comes with new life bursting out of the soil. Persephone, maiden goddess of the Spring, is abducted by Hades, Lord of the Underworld. He carries her down to his dark realm, a prisoner-bride. Her mother, Demeter, goddess of the earth, is thrown into the depths of mourning. So epic is her despair, all plants on earth die as she withdraws her nourishment from the land.  Famine takes the lives of thousands of mortals. Zeus, locked away in his sanctuary on Olympus, takes note of this suffering at last, and appeals to his brother, Hades, to release Persephone. Hades reluctantly agrees, but in his cunning, begs his reluctant bride to eat a pomegranite seed. She has been holding out, sensing the symbolism in taking the seed into her body, but the promise of freedom loosens her resolve. She eats the seed, consummating her marriage to the Dark Lord, and is fated to spend four months of each year with her husband in the Underworld.

The parallels to our modern day abound. One could argue that Georgetown law student, Susan Fluke, was “carried to the Underworld” by the slanderous comments of Rush Limbaugh. And we only have to glance at the photos of war-ravaged Africa,  to see the ancient violence against women in full horrific form. This time, it is not a grieving Demeter that brings starvation to the land, but the ancient tribal violence of a patriarcal lords.

We rage at what some have called, “The New Assault on Women”. We are hungry for meaning and wholeness in our relationships, and in or world.

The myth points the way. When Persephone is released from Hell, she rejoices to put her feet upon the earth, and run to her mother. But she is no longer a child. Her story echoes the journey we all must take, from the innocence and entitlement of youth, to the Underworld of loss, and, ultimately, a confrontation with the dark aspect of our nature. Hades is not only the Lord of the dead. He protects and honors the Unconscious, the part of us that lives in Shadow. We are called to descend the shallow perch of the unexamined ego, down into our fears, frailties, and the host of nasty qualities flesh is heir to. The question for every mother and daughter – indeed for every relationship – is whether or not each person can own, tend, and transform shadow into a new state of being. If not, the split off shadow will be projected into the other person.

What would this look like in a non-mythic scenario? Imagine a modern Demeter who is an alcoholic. Persephone goes off to college, struggles to adjust to all the new pressures, joins a support group, has a painful love affair, does some therapy: sees patterns universal to a child of an alcoholic. She returns home in the Spring, having confronted her demons.

What if her mom used these same precious months to enter treatment, join AA, embrace sobriety? She can now greet her daughter and explain how she has wronged her, abused her, and abandoned her emotionally.  Then Persephone can express her pain and anger, knowing how important this is for her own healing. She could also own the times when she withheld her love from her mom, the only way she knew to express her rage, as she watched her mother slip further into addiction.

Shadow exists in many subtle and devious forms. I can only speculate about Rush Limbaugh’s shadow. What must his mother be like, for him to attack Susan Fluke with such venom?  Mary Poppins might have been less wooden if she could have owned the down side of being “practically perfect in every way”. Shadow can emerge when a loved one is ill and you cannot summon the courage to visit or call. It can emerge when you unconsciously work too much, ignore your needs too much. It can emerge any time you act from a false self.

This Spring, the beauty of the earth is calling to each of us to descend into the rich soil of our own Underworld. Like Demeter and Persephone, we must return again and again to our psychological winters. Only then can we greet the Spring, seeing ourselves, and  all human creatures as fragile wonders in a world ever in need of transformation.

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9142463876?profile=originalThe psyche is primed with an innate, organic wish to connect with something spiritual, something beyond the ordinary—something “numinous,” suggests Dr. Lionel Corbett, who is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, and professor, as well as the author of “Psyche and the Sacred,” among other works.

Corbett’s interest in transpersonal, numinous experiences came from growing up with a strong personal sense of connection to something larger that he could never quite articulate. Our religious traditions have tried to channel that kind of instinctive wish to connect with the sacred through rituals and sacraments, he explains, but that is not the only valid way. Revelation is continuing all the time if we know how to look.

In fact, experiences of the sacred originate deeply in our own subjectivity, and not in some transcendent realm, according to Jung’s view. And these observations can take place for “ordinary, everyday people at any time. 

Through small community groups and seminars, Corbett encourages people to explore their own spirituality through a depth psychological lens. Working on our personal shadow material can have a kind of redemptive effect on the collective shadow, he believes, and often individuals who have had a powerful numinous experience haven't realized how important it is to them, or what the implications are, so this exploration is in service to them as well as to the greater whole.

Watch or listen to the interview, “Psyche and the Sacred,” or read a detailed summary article with Dr. Lionel Corbett at

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Dr. Jeremy Taylor, known by many for his timeless book on dreams, Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, has written a recent article on the heels of the American election, 2016, and has offered it to the Depth Psychology Alliance community:


Reverend Dr. Jeremy Taylor, D.Min., S.Th.D. (hon.) is co-founder and Past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), Founder-Director of the Marin Institute for Projective Dream Work (MIPD), Founding Faculty at the Chaplaincy Institute for Interfaith and Arts Ministries (ChI), Member of the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Society for Community Ministries (UUSCM), and Founding Faculty at the Rowe Certificate Program in Spiritual Guidance (RCPSG)
Jeremy writes:

Here is a piece that I just wrote at the request of Rev. Cat Cox, the new President of the Unitarian Universalist Society for Community Ministries (UUSCM), on whose Board I continue to serve. Although it is addressed particularly to Unitarian Universalist community ministers, the point I am trying to make is much larger… 
I hope you find it interesting…

 The Shadow in America Right Now...


One of the great gifts Carl Jung has given to us in the 21st-century is his creation of new, "non-denominational" language for talking about our religious perspectives, "our deepest commitment to the truth as we intuit and experience it," These new terms free the conversation about our deepest religious motivations, understandings, and decisions from the previous limitations of exclusively sectarian discourse. 


In this new, "archetypal" lexicon, the word-and-concept of the "shadow" is among the most useful and important. Jung himself defined the shadow as, "the thing a person has no wish to be."


That much about the "shadow" is already fairly well-known. What is generally less known and understood is that without a more conscious relationship with, and acceptance of "our shadow" - (both personal and collective) - developing greater psycho-spiritual maturity is, alas, impossible


Another way of framing this insight is that the particular form and content the shadow manifests in our lives at any given moment always hides from our conscious view – (as a consequence of its totally horrifying, repulsive, and reprehensible appearance) – the very thing that we need to respond more adequately and effectively to our seemingly overwhelming external circumstances, and thus continue to move forward with our lives on the path of what Jung so aptly called "individuation." 


To put it yet another way, the unconscious projection of our own unacknowledged and consciously "unknown" shadow(s) outward onto others robs us of a deeper connection with our own deepest being. In that process of unconscious projection we fall victim to a crushing failure of imagination – we simply cannot imagine anything good coming from such a reprehensible and "unacceptable" source.


 Particularly within our movement, always with a grudgingly polite tip-of-the-hat to the distinct minority of Unitarian Universalists who actually voted for him, (or for any of the other "spoiler candidates" that siphoned off the vote for Hillary), our personal as well as our collective shadow has been given projected shape in the fascist rantings, repulsive behavior, and ultimate, illegitimate electoral college victory of our new President-elect, Donald J. Trump.


What could possibly be the "secret, hidden, unknown, ultimately important and immensely valuable gift" for us all in the reprehensible and revolting ideas and rhetoric of our President-elect?


The best answer to this very difficult and crucially important question that I have been able to put words around is that Trump is the "Shadow King of Uniquely American Creativity." The way he operates: "making it up as he goes along," with absolutely no regard for history or the experience and opinions of anyone else, flamboyantly giving expression to the ill-considered contents of his own unconscious psyche,  (hence his notorious inability to "stay on message"), pouring vast amounts of energy into his "vision," and willing to "change his story" whenever it seems convenient for him to do so – all of these are hallmarks of unfettered creativity... (imagine the work of your favorite author/artist...)


We may not like the direction of Trump's "creative flow," but the symbolic structure of his behavior is the same as the archetypal symbolic structure of all profoundly creative activity...


In this very important sense, "the hidden gift" in the colossal projected shadow of Donald Trump is potentially granting us all "permission" to explore and manifest our own deepest creative energies and responses to the world, without concern for the limitations of conventionality, "group-think," or premature, merely habitual unconscious moral restraint...


Not too surprisingly, when viewed in this light, the excitement and enthusiasm that he invokes and evokes in his followers is also a shadow parody of the liberating joy that always attends successful, transformative creative expression, wherever and whenever it manifests.


I know that within myself, and within everyone who reads these words, there is a similar potential of as-yet-unexpressed creative energy and possibility. Perhaps  "the greatest good" that can come from Trump's appalling victory in the electoral college – (this is the 2nd time in recent memory a progressive Democrat who won the overall popular vote has been denied the Presidency by the archaic conventions of the electoral college; it may be time to DO something about that...) – may be conferring "historical permission" on all of us to reach into our own unconscious depths and find the passion and the as-yet-unimagined creative ideas necessary to move us into a future that expresses and gives concrete shape to our deepest beliefs and experiences of the America that was created, (in part as a result of a Masonic conspiracy...), as "a new nation" - the 1st one founded with the avowed purpose of facilitating the evolution of greater conscious self-awareness in the entire human species. 


(If you don't believe me, take a look at any of the formal portraits of the founding fathers in their Masonic aprons, or better yet, at the back of any dollar bill. There, emblazoned on the back of the Great Seal of the United States, is the well-known Masonic image of the unfinished pyramid, a formal symbol representing the evolution of greater human self-awareness and psycho-spiritual maturity. The cap-stone of the as-yet-unfinished pyramid is the archetypal "All Seeing Eye," which not only takes in the light from everywhere to form perfectly focused and conscious images in the mind, but has evolved to the point where it also gives off the light of new conscious awareness like a navigational lighthouse beacon.)


The election of Donald Trump is a nightmare parody of the creative energy necessary to transform not only our country, but the world as a whole... (No wonder so many people voted for him in a fog of unconscious projection...) It is now up to us, (hopefully more conscious, responsible, and self-aware folk), to reawaken our own connection to that deep dream of loving, all embracing human possibility within ourselves, and give it concrete shape as we move together further into the 21st century.

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Body Wisdom Spain


III International Congress Body Wisdom Spain "Vital connections: the Essential Function of Fascia in Movement and Structure", June 6-7, in Benicassim, Spain

I will talk about

  • Towards a fuller understanding of the interaction between myofascial tone and water – Working with beliefs reflected in liquid cristal

Hypertonic tissues keep wide areas of human experience underneath the threshold of consciousness. When they acquire an optimal resting tone, possible with efficient alignment in the gravitational field, the flow of sensory information is recovered. It becomes possible then to examine it and to discern to what extent experience belongs to a remembered present or actually reflects the present moment, because to an educated eye it becomes clear like a reflection on the surface of coherently ordered water. From underneath the threshold of consciousness, on the other hand, highly charged contents are usually projected onto others and one remains caught in repetitive cycles of reactivity. Experiences that seem utterly personal and intimate often turn out to have a collective dimension, linking the individual to all other living beings across space and time. With structural integration and somatic pattern recognition it becomes possible to find support within oneself as well as in the material world we all are a part of, and take on the task of recognizing the parts of our experience we tend to hide from ourselves as parts and representatives of the shadow side of the whole human race. In this way, one by one, every individual has the power to bring mankind a step closer to truly ethical behavior or to move us farther away from it.

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'Dear Brave Souls: "The Sweet Shadow: Darkness as Signal of Sweetness Underneath..."

Many ways to understand shadow. In this image, there are shadows on the bananas, dark spots, not to mention shadows on the curled peels and between the fingers of the mother and child... and see the colors in the shadow to the right of the mother's hips? The shadows are not black, they are made of colors.

This past week, here, we have spoken of what I've learned about shadow and light while teaching myself to paint over these many decades. We touched on shadow cast around objects and features that are in light, even dim light. We spoke about the kind of shadow that occurs because no light reaches whatever is there, as in a crevice, a sink hole. Both being different kinds of shadow that can be extrapolated, that is compared to the way an individual's psyche is put together also. 

We talked about shadow not usually being dead black, but most often carrying color... and that one has to develop observation to see the color nuances. As in psyche too, consciousness means meditative practice of discernment, the development of being able to see in acute ways.

We have spoken about what I call 'the radiant shadow,' as in the moon, which is radiant reflected light... and this kind of shadow can be seen also in the individual psyche, compelling, and used beautifully or malignantly. I spoke of the Baba Yaga and Vasalisa and the fiery skull of consciousness, and the black cinders of self-destruction. I spoke of Bluebeard as an example of a radiant shadow lost of soul. For all those mythos and stories carry strong notations of shadow. 
Here is one more kind of shadow, then. The shadow of that indicates sweetening lies beneath.

In the image-- on this beautiful yellow fruit, the dark aemeboid shadows on the skins, do not indicate spoiled, they indicate ripe. 

Think of that... ripe where there might be dark as in a bit of deterioration... there is also underneath, succulent sweetness. 

I think of many examples of this I've seen in my lifetime... one deep memory from childhood: how children in hospital though so 'bruised' were yet so sweetened. There I lay in hospital for weeks... with other children with polio, cerebral palsy and other devastating injuries and illnesses. My leg had been cut across to the bone at the hip in a terrible night-sledding accident... 

Though the 'child psychology' of the time dictated that children were self-interested creatures ever needing reining in, I found the opposite true. Our little darkened children's hospital ward was like a busy little beehive ... because of the children wheelchairing back and forth to the bedridden, to comfort and cheer one another.

The injured child, was often there, the most cherishing of others. Bruised, and yet the sweetness within-- vast.

This is true, I believe for most of any age of person. The harshness of matters cannot be erased. But one can decide one's attitude and actions, to stay, whenever one can, to the center, to the soul and to its inextinguishable love for so so very much and so very many. 

Though dark can indicate rot, as in gangrene, and there is in psyche of some... a gangrenous state that is darkened... meaning circulation of new ideas, of innocent love, of kind regard --are tourniqueted or frozen by some other force of psyche...

but, here, the darker notations on the fruit mean it is sweet and good to the taste. There are aspects of personal and cultural shadow that are like this also, bruised atop, sweet underneath. 

Regarding this image of the parent and child too, I would wish for all souls to remember they are both the child-- and the one who watches and shelters. Not one without the other. No matter one's age. This is a natural balance set into the psyche and for sake of balance is best made conscious, tendered and tended to, mended where need be, taken in account in all matters.

The vulnerable spirit [the innocent animating force] is ever to be bound to the greater [Soul]... and these held in even the larger sacred hoop of the Greater, throughout life. 

This triumvirate, creates its own kind of harmony and peace at center... and its own kind of ongoing sweetening in gratitude and in comfort and 'teachinglearning.'

To each her own. To each his own. 

*To see the sweetening, look to the shadow left by the bruise. It is often there, right there.* 

Progress: Each in her own most useful ways, each in his own most useful ways... but/and in consult with the radiant-- and sweet-- soul. 

This comes with love,

"The Sweet Shadow: Darkness as Signal of Sweetness Underlying", from manuscript on The Little Book of The Shadow and the Light, ©1989, 2013, by cp estés, all rights reserved.

One of my cousins sent to me, this image of mother and child,. It made me smile that "being in the shelter of...." for in psyche, soul and soma, we are both the littleling and the giant, in the shelter of each other.'

[content from the official Facebook page of Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes]

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Shadow makes us attracted to a certain job and organisation. We utilise our talents in a job and also a piece of our shadow.

Shadow is what you don't want to be or what you admire. Unconsciously we are attracted to a job and organisation because of our shadow. Something inside us, attracts us to exactly the place where we can grow. We prefer to show a mask to hide our shadow. In Jungian terms this is our persona.

Shadow influences our relationships. We are attracted to other persons because of our shadow. We like a partner for instance because he/she is so caring and sweet. After a few years we might prefer to stop this relationship because of the other is too soft. If you can embrace your shadow, you can lift your relationship to the next level. You can find literature about this, but not how shadow influences us in work.



My statement is that you are attracted to a job to develop your shadow. That's also what can cause problems. An example is a reasonable trader I was coaching. Actually he was trading to attract the love and attention of his father. He learned these skills and adapted his behavior at home. This became clear because I am using an archetype measurement CADT. With CADT you can detect talents and adapted behavior. This trader can only become a good trader if he detects why he chose this job and of course he has to live his talents enough. Developing through accepting your shadow is tiring, so you need all the energy you can get.


Not everything you are good in, is a talent

You are good in something, but you don't get the energy you expect. If this becomes worse you can even get a burnout. So it can be very important to detect this in order to avoid it. CADT makes talents and adapted behavior clear. And the qualities you are not getting energy from are very often adapted competences. CADT works with images/archetypes and texts of competences.

I was coaching a business analyst who reacted: I am different to other analysts. With his CADT measurement I noticed he was not a analyst at all. Now he is a team leader where he can develop his excellent strategic skills. With these strategic skills he managed as an analyst, but he would never have become a good one.

I tested quite a big amount of people working for an airline company. I was not surprised they fight for freedom if they don't get it. The desire for freedom was in the shadow of many employees. No wonder they join an airline company. Also there was a lot of undeveloped serving leadership, also still shadow. So I also call shadow the human capital of a company. It is the gold of people, if you are prepared to develop it. Because embracing your shadow is a tiring process.


Also leadership becomes quickly clear with CADT. If you want to be a leader to others, you have to lead yourself. So inside, so outside! With CADT you can also give clients a key for development. Very often this is a shadow quality.

How many people do expect their company will become their new mother? The company will take care for them for the rest of their life. Insurance, comfort and help in development are expected. Erich Neumann's the Great Mother describes how a mother nourishes, smother,devour and even destroys. If you are of no value for a company, the door will be wide open for leaving.

You can find more information on and feel free to ask for more information. A CADT archetype measurement will reveal your shadow, your gold and the next step in your development.


Please do react on my statement: shadow attracts us to certain jobs and organisations. I am curious what you think about this!

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