Posts Tagged ‘shadowworkoctober’

This week for @mnomquah’s Cycles of Self ShadowWorkOctober challenge, we’re asked to do two reflections after having done the True Heart Spread. The second of our reflections is on the topic “What parts of myself do I struggle to integrate, accept, and transform?”

This is an interesting question, and I didn’t have an immediate answer for it. After thinking for a while, I’ve identified a few things.

  1. Need for company- I’m an introvert, a pretty strong one, but at the same time I very much need and like having one or maybe two other people around. I don’t even necessarily want to interact with them all the time, but I like the shared experience of having another person there to bounce ideas and thoughts off of, and to discuss whatever it is we’re doing. It took me a long time to recognize this, because I am so avidly an introvert in other ways: I need my alone time, I find “socializing” (ie: in groups, or at events) to be exhausting, etc. But I get lonely very easily, and I work best in teams. It’s hard, though, to find partners-in-crime or compatriots for everything.
  2. Mutability- I’m a triple earth Grand Trine as my Sun/Moon/Rising- no one craves a plan and stability more than I do. However, four of my outer planets are in Sagittarius, and my sun is in Virgo, so I have a whole lot of mutability going on, and it’s taken me a very long time to discover that I do better when I’m riding the flow rather than fighting it. This is a hard thing for me to internalize, though, because there’s the other part of me that so desperately wants to drive the cart at a steady speed, ticking off the miles to the destination, and marking them down on the topographical grid as we go. I do think the more that I can find the space where my calendars and to-do’s and bullet journal channel the flow, rather than try to dam it, the better I’ll be.
  3. Laziness- Most humans have a certain level of inherent laziness, because it’s evolutionarily beneficial to us; gather all your food, eat it, fuck, and then lay on the couch. Save your energy, and use it to either eat more or produce offspring. However, as someone who wants to Do Things, I often really hate myself for the amount of time I “waste”. Of course, this fails to recognize that most people have a real need for R&R, so I need to learn how to make time for laziness, and then have it be finished when that time is up, instead of being ambushed by it, and it then lingering in my way for a long time.



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This week for @mnomquah’s Cycles of Self ShadowWorkOctober challenge, we’re asked to do two reflections after having done the True Heart Spread. The first of our reflections is on the topic “What does maturity and adulthood mean to me?”

The first thing I would say is that those are not necessarily two connected concepts; it is very possible to be an immature adult, and just as possible to be a mature non-adult. Age and experience are no guarantee of physical or emotional responsibility, which I guess is what I associate with “maturity”- the ability to govern one’s self, to think ahead and to recognize potential outcomes and consequences, to evaluate them, to make an informed decision, and then to take action accordingly. I would call maturity a state of mind, and a way of being, where I would think of adulthood more as a set of actions, perhaps?

Adulthood, to me, is more of the physical realm. Having a job, or, if not having a job, having other means by which to support yourself. Paying any bills in a timely manner, or making alternate arrangements for them. Providing for yourself, and any who are dependent on you. Caring for yourself and your dependents, too- eating healthily, staying fit, sleeping enough. There’s certainly an element of age to it – a five year old cannot be an adult – but I think it’s more about independence than about being 18+. I’ve known plenty of 20 and 30 yr olds I would not call “adults”, in spite of their ability to drink and vote, and I’ve certainly known 15, 16, and 17 yr olds who I think would qualify for the label, in spite of their legal minor status.

I’ve never dreaded or resented adulthood in the way that some people do, and which is popular in our culture at times. I had a chaotic childhood, and becoming old enough and independent enough to take care of my own business was a great freedom to me. I didn’t have to worry about whether bills would get paid; I could make my own money, and I trusted myself to pay them. I didn’t have to wait for someone to remember to come and get me and take me somewhere; I could get there under my own power, whether by driving or paying for transit. I didn’t have to deal with emotional and physical abuse by virtue of having no control over who cohabited with me; I could pick my own roommates, or decide to have none. The power that I now have over all of those elements of my life far outweighs the annoyance and inconveniences involved in things like having to pay my bills, having to go to work, etc.

There’s also the element of “maturity” that speaks of older age, or at least late-middle age. I guess I think of that as beginning once one’s children (if one has them) are grown, or when one’s body truly begins to commit itself to no longer being young. I kind of look forward to this phase of my own life, to be honest. There’s so much uncertainty in early life (and I’m mid-thirties, I’m not all that young at this point), and it seems that, as I get older, things just get more and more solid, and I feel more and more myself. I enjoy growing in my own authority and power, and look forward to continuing to do it.

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For @mnomquah’s Cycles of the Self Shadow Work October challenge this week, we’re looking at the idea of Individuation. This begins with a True Heart spread, shown below, and then two days of reflection. Per @mnomquah re: Individuation, and the True Heart Spread:

“In jungian psychology, individuation is a process of integrating all parts of ourselves (both conscious and subconscious) to become a fully grown, mature individual.”

1. Truth of the Heart: 4 of Cups – The truth of my heart, apparently, is that I am always striving, always looking to the next thing. That’s neither a good nor a bad thing; having goals and dreams is good, and seeking to grow and change and draw closer to success and enlightenment is fine. However, I will probably always need to be reminded of what is good and worth paying attention to in the Here and Now, or else I’m apt to ignore it all in favor of whatever pipe dream I’m chasing this week.

2. What patterns of behavior should I let go of to let the Truth of the Heart flourish: Five of Pentacles, Queen of Pentacles – In order to let my future visioning and my dreaming really flourish, I need to let go of my poverty mindset. I learned from an early age that most people are not “successful”, so you should never expect that you will be. Which is different than saying don’t try; it just says not to expect things to work out in your favor. But I need to learn to expect things to go well for me, and to act accordingly. And then if they don’t, fine, but if I don’t expect them to, I’m less likely to try hard, and more likely to self-sabotage. The Queen of Pentacles, I think, means I need to let go of the idea of perfection. I’m a triple-earth sign person, and I want my own little fiefdom to be Just Right; I want to have children, and make their Halloween costumes, and raise a garden, and have a glittering career, and the perfect Pinterest/Martha Stewart house in which to host holidays, and and and…. it’s not that those things are impossible, but I need to not let them govern all of my choices, unless it really is the most important thing among my goals. (Probably it’s not.)

3. Deep rooted bullishit / beliefs that are no longer serving me: Temperance, Wheel of Fortune – Well, the Wheel of Fortune kind of ties to the Five of Pentacles in the last question; I have some baggage around feeling like it’s really only luck of the draw that makes some people live their dreams and others not, and while fortune no doubt plays a role, that’s not likely all of it. Temperance, though, I’m not sure about- maybe I’m overly married to the idea that I need balance in all things? Maybe I need to learn to be more okay with living into the flow; if staying up five nights in a row writing is what I need to do (or whatever), maybe I need to just let myself do that, and then deal with the consequences as they come.

4. Shame and regret that I carry: The Sun, Ten of Swords – I’m not sure what to make of this pair, to be honest. They’re nearly as extreme ends of the spectrum as you can get. The Sun is illumination, truth, the light of warmth, but also that which exposes all the dark corners and the things which lurk in them. Ten of Swords is… well, defeat and horrible death. I mean, I know I carry my share of shame (probably more shame than regret), but I don’t really know what these cards have to say about it. Any thoughts?

5. Ways in which I betray my own trust: Four of Swords, The Lovers – This is another I’m not entirely sure how to read. I generally consider the Four of Swords to be a pretty positive card, all about rest and retreat and introspection (things which I like), but maybe in this context it’s saying I do it too much? Maybe I need to just spend more time out in the world doing things? And the Lovers… it’s true that I don’t generally consider myself worthy of love, and I often struggle to believe that people care for me, in spite of evidence to the contrary, but I’m also in a good, stable, long-term relationship, and have several friendships which are also good, stable, and long-lasting. Perhaps the message here is to indulge in more of that? I’m unclear.

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For the final spread in Week Two of @mnomquah’s Cycles of Self challenge, we’re looking at our inner child. The spread below is thus called the Inner Child spread, and mnomquah has the following to say about it:

“Our Inner Child is an internal sub-personality that often carries and takes upon itself the feelings of hurt, abandonment, humiliation, inferiority and much more deeply disheartening experiences. With this spread we can take a closer look at our Inner Child’s feelings.”


Inner Child Spread


Looking at these questions and cards, I think that the reading is actually not answering the questions directly; instead, I think it’s saying what does my Inner Child do in these situations, rather than what triggers them.

1. Fear: What is my Inner Child afraid of? The Fferyllt – This card takes the place of Temperance in this deck, but there are still elements of that card present. It’s possible that my Inner Child is afraid of, like the Lady of Shalott, being (metaphorically) locked in a tower and wasting my life in solitude. However, I think this makes more sense as, when my Inner Child is afraid, she retreats into a world of her own making, where her skills and talents are useful and comforting.

2. Neglect: When does my Inner Child feel neglected? The Star – When my Inner Child feels neglected, she focuses on hopes and dreams, and often on creative inspiration. As a kid, I spent a lot of time on my own, and living in and creating my own fantasy worlds is both entertainment and solace.

3. Hurt: When does my Inner Child feel hurt? The Hermit – I’m an introvert, and when my Inner Child is feeling hurt, my instinct is to go isolationist. My Inner Child would rather be alone than be with people or situations that cause pain.

4. Anger: What makes my Inner Child angry? The Lord – When angered, my Inner Child can become a bit of a tyrant. I never got in trouble much as a kid, but when I did, it was because I was trying to make someone do something they’d agreed to, and then reneged on, or else I was trying to institute “justice”. My Inner Child wants things to be fair, and clear, and dictated, and if those conditions aren’t met, she will put her foot (or fist) down.

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@mnomquah’s second week of the Cycles of Self Shadow Work October challenge is focused on Childhood, and today’s spread is the Monster Spread.

mnomquah says:

“When we were kids, we all had at least one scary monster that left us terrified and unable to sleep unless we were covered and tucked under our blanket from toes to nose. We have seen them in movies, heard a scary legend or met them in person. Now it’s time to take a closer look at these scary beings and hopefully learn a lesson about our fears and ourselves thanks to it. Think of the monster that used to scare you the most when you were a child. Then try to think of a motto, a keynote that represents the core of your monster’s being.”

For me, the thing that freaked me out the most was from those books, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. There was one story about a creature that would crawl from its grave and come in to… eat you? kill you? I don’t remember. In any case, there was a girl who was terrified of it, and to stay safe, she hid in her room and locked the door, but then of course the monster came to her window, and got her, because she was locked in. I had a bedroom with two windows and I lived in the country, so it was Dark, and there were Critters Out There, so this definitely kept me awake nights. The word that came to mind with this story was “trapped”, and it’s definitely a thing I still fear.

1. Core desire: The things that drive the monster: Seven of Pentacles – Stagnation. Sometimes this can be patience, or waiting for fruition, but in light of the idea of being trapped, I think this is about not progressing, not changing. Getting stuck in a place that maybe you put yourself, but which is not where you want to stay, or which is not safe for you in the long term.

2. Strategy: My monster’s ways of achieving goals: Seven of Cups – Distraction, or illusion. If you take your eyes off the prize, off the immediate goals, you can get yourself trapped in an unsustainable present while you are focused on other things.

3. Greatest fear of my monster: Five of Wands – Cooperation and competition. Striving together with peers or friends can bust you out of a rut, and can protect you from the things that prey on you when you have no escape.

4. Weakness: The Lovers/Cernunnos – This deck I have came with two lovers cards, and no “devil” card, which in this deck is called Cernunnos. When I got it, I arbitrarily marked one of the Lovers cards with horns, and read it as a hybrid of the two. In this case, I think it’s speaking to the ability of passion to both make unbearable situations more bearable, and/or to help you out of them. The weakness of the monster “Trapped” is that if you find something that drives you or your passions, you’re more likely to break down the door.

5. Strength / Talent: The Lady – This is super interesting. The strength of the monster is fertility, fecundity. I suppose there’s truth in that; you can be very productive when trying to distract yourself from how you can’t leave, or the danger you’re in. But you may tie yourself so closely to your situation that you can’t be uprooted, as it were, even if getting out would be the better option.

6. Me as a result: Summary of how my monster influenced who I am today: Queen of Pentacles – I think of the Queen of Pentacles as grounded, but cautious. Not necessarily as wary or mistrustful as the Queen of Blades can be, but certainly someone who looks before she leaps. I think this is definitely true of me; I always need to know my escape route, both literally and figuratively. I always have to know that I can quit, pack, and leave tomorrow if I need to.

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@mnomquah’s second week of the Cycles of Self Shadow Work October challenge is focused on Childhood: we’ll be doing an Idol Spread, a Monster Spread, and an Inner Child Spread.

Today’s spread is the Idol Spread, and mnomquah says:

“As kids, we all had our idols who inspired us and were our super heroes – it might have been a person you knew, a historical figure, a mythological hero, a god or goddess, a figure from legends, stories or movies etc. Before you start with this spread, think of your idol – it has to be specific. Then try to think of a motto, a keynote, something that represents the core of your idol’s being.”

For my idol, I picked Captain Janeway, from Star Trek: Voyager, which I’ve just recently finished watching. I didn’t actually see much Voyager as a kid, but I remember being absolutely fascinated by the idea of a woman starship captain. I had a Janeway bookmark I carried around everywhere, and I can only imagine how much more huge an influence she would have been on me if I’d been able to actually watch the show more often.

For those unfamiliar with the premise of Voyager, Captain Janeway is the captain of a ship that gets stranded 70,000 light years from space, and must make their way home. It’s projected to take upward of 70 years, so they’re motivated to find shortcuts, and of course they have many adventures along the way; natural phenomena, hostile aliens, friendly aliens, time travel, mutinies, etc.

1. Core desire: The things that drive my idol: Queen of Cups – Janeway’s core desire is to get her ship and her crew home, having lost as few people as possible. I think Queen of Cups makes a great deal of sense for her, because even though this is somewhat of a pragmatic goal, it becomes her religion, and she is a symbol of tremendous hope and faith and solace to her crew because of her dogged pursuance and insistence that they WILL get home.

2. Strategy: My idol’s ways of achieving goals: Queen of Wands – Janeway is a clever leader, and you cross her at your own risk. She’s very smart, very capable, and throws herself at things whole-heartedly. There is nothing she won’t do or try, and she very much leads by example. She’s a font of energy, and pushes every boundary, explores every possibility, and leads every charge.

3. Greatest fear of my idol: Three of Pentacles – This is an interesting one. I think this speaks to her fear of being not enough; she’s a relatively new captain, and it was supposed to be a short mission, but then they ended up in this terrible situation, at least in part because of a decision she makes. Three of Pentacles is a card I think of as the “apprentice” card, and I think she fears being too inexperienced, in spite of her incredible confidence in her decisions most of the time. She’s not generally one for self-doubt; she’s quick off the mark, and once she makes a decision, she sticks with it, but I think in the rare cases where she second-guesses, it’s along these lines.

4. Weakness: Page of Pentacles – Janeway is a scientist, and they could arguably get home faster if she didn’t want to stop and survey everything along the way. I’m not sure if that’s a weakness, per se, but there might also be something here about her willingness to put herself (and sometimes her crew) at risk in order to pursue The Journey. I think she’s also a little overly isolationist, feeling that she has to keep herself separate from the crew in order for them to continue to respect her. That’s hard on a trip like this that could feasibly take an entire lifetime.

5. Strength / Talent: The High Priest – Also known as The Hierophant, this is the card of organizational authority. And yes, it is Janeway’s strength- she is an incredible captain. She manages well in low times and in emergencies and in good times and in tough decisions. She respects and values her crew, and they revere and respect her. She is indominitable, and her word is law. She’s not just personally compelling, she excells at her job.

6. Me as a result: Summary of how my idol influenced who I am today: Two of Cups – I am more willing to form partnerships, to see teamwork as an important part of my life. I see beginnings, and like to undertake my work with others. I think this might actually be more about the effect Star Trek in general had on me (a crew! all living and working together! doing science! fighting aliens!) than Janeway herself, but yeah, there’s something here.


Captain Kathryn Janeway

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The last spread of the week, like the previous one, uses five cards: top, bottom, left, right, and the middle card last. This spread tells us about my male family line; my father, his father, my brother, and on back.

Wisdom: Ace of Wands – My father’s paternal line has been in the US since the early 1600s, and I think, like many old American families, one thing they’ve always clung to is the idea of potential. The American Dream, Manifest Destiny, etc. The flipside of this view, of course, is that if you’re not doing well, it’s probably because you’re not trying hard enough, but still, that sense of always having the power and ability to be/see/do the Ace of Wands is a good one.

Shadows: Eight of Cups – That said, they can be a restless bunch, at least in recent generations. And even before- moving from England, to the Netherlands, to the Colonies, then to New York, to the Midwest, to the West. There’s also a lot of emotional baggage that people don’t really like to talk about, naturally, and I think both of those we can see here. They like to move on; if something didn’t work out, if you’re having a rough time, even if you’ve just outgrown your current life or space, pack it up and move on. This is not a bad tactic in of itself, but it can strain relationships, and obviously doesn’t always solve the underlying problems.

Curses: Knight of Wands – I think this could tie into both of the previous cards- if something is not going well for you, if you don’t like it, then get up and change it or move on. But you can’t usually truly outrun your problems, and the emotional repression involved in just packing up and moving to the next town, the next spouse, the next life, is not insignificant.

Blessings: Knight of Blades – My father’s people are smart, clever, learned, and musical. We haven’t been a well-to-do family in at least 150 years, and I think it was pretty hit and miss before then, really; one generation might do well, but the folks after them then did not, etc. But learning has always been important, as has creativity. I know I find this a blessing in my life, anyway.

Life Lessons: The Chariot – The only constant is change. The only way is forward, the only way is through. Are you going to hide in the back and let the horses go where they will, or are you going to take the reins and try to steer?

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