[Author’s Note: This article is continued from the last post, A Vision from An Cailleach.]
Trying to articulate systemic change in my own psyche as a result of shadow work is like trying to describe Jackson Pollock by analysing where the paint rests on the canvas. I only have the ability to articulate the symptoms of systemic illumination in the mind.
While fleeting and subject to wave behaviors such as swells and dips in these symptoms, they fade over time slowly. For this reason I think regular psychic work and integration is required. I’m no perfect person and I don’t promise to be. So, while I have increases of these symptoms I also experience times when they wane.
I currently respond better when aggravated due to there being a space of thought wedged between impulse and action. I didn’t have this before. Fears I was afraid to challenge are now the keyholes through which I dive through, sometimes requiring me to depart from parts of myself which qualify as baggage that prevents me from entering the next oubliette of my growth. I’m still a violently emotional person, but that wedge helps me withhold action born of emotion.
That which I don’t like about myself, I take care to address, change, joke about, and preempt without anxiety. This occurred before I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. I can see people’s long bodies, in other words when I look at an older person I can see their younger self along with their present self. Younger people the opposite. It’s kind of strange, but I can’t be the only one who experiences this.
I no longer have as much trouble running from or toward blame, I don’t let insecurities dictate how I feel either. I dissect emotionless blame directed at me and reject what is unworthy or untrue, no matter how colossal or popular the accuser.
I now try to investigate all things, I feel like our projection of reality is often useless and that Schrodinger would approve, investigate everything, outside of matters of trust.
I’m no longer afraid to reach upward, thinking less about myself and more about the exalted things I yearn for. It’s easier to trust myself and cast off accusations from jelly bellies of arrogance y mas. I call this saddling your noble motives.
I know not to rest on any of this, my laurels, credentials, social currency. The magic of my involvement in the pagan community came from being a social pauper with no influence just having fun. I’ve fully reverted to this mode of existence.
Fully investigating things, collapsing mystery into manifestation, I feel things moving around me as if I am a weaver, a knot on the world tree, and it is through my lowliness such as getting dirty through service, I am exalting others.
Listening is easier, computing empathy and an understanding in such deep way, seemingly completely outside of my own perspective; this can only be a deepening of my emotional literacy.
Frantic obsessions with a virtuous path has been replaced by a comfort in juxtapositions, embracing contradiction, and a greater moderate level of thought on what is Right Action. This one I don’t understand much.
I am completely comfortable with criticism that has obvious merit.
The recognition of patterns has increased enabling me to express my will on the world and into manifestation effortless, like using the universe’s weight against it. It’s really a finesse thing.
I can experience doubts about myself, suspend them, and behave uninformed by them, all while choosing how they will inform my thinking.
I can mostly steer his outlook toward positive outcomes. Note that this has nothing at all to do with love and light, but rather, Plato’s allegory of the horses where the charioteer must control both the light and dark selves to move forward, that’s the kind of steering going on.
I clothe my persona, not my ego, in thoughts of my success and victories. I connect with whatever ignites my bright, innate fire and vibrate it outward in a magical field. The sidhe folk are said to have spears or rays from their heads; halos are Pagan thing. My energies reflect this more than ever.
I know and love myself more in an integrated way and I see how, more than ever, I cannot love others and not love myself at the same time. Hammering an outward flow back towards myself is a duty I have to others, and others have to me. All of the folks who have love for myself and our reciprocal relations are all invalidated by failing to recognize this. I’m encourage boasting practices in paganism more than ever as empowered examples for our folks to be inspired by.
Above all the speed with which I come to better conclusions emotionally, in feelings, in thought, and in behavior, is lightning fast. I started my Pagan journey in 1997 as an atheist and wrapped up these last few years as a theist, yet and I have never been disappointed in the power of the occult to change the world and the self.