Posted in Witchy Tips

Inner Darkness: The Basics of Shadow Work

What is Shadow Work?

Shadow work is a type of intrinsic magic where one confronts and conquers ‘shadows’ from their past, and then uses them later to invoke specific strong, passionate emotions. Please note that this is only how I, personally, do Shadow Work. Lots of people practice it and it varies from person to person since it is such an intensely intimate practice.

What is a Shadow?

A Shadow is the spiritual/emotional/physical embodiment of an important memory. They can be traumatic memories, vivid memories, or even memories that make you smile. But typically Shadow Workers tend to engage and control painful memories, since they can be the ones that effect how we behave in the present more than others.

How do I practice Shadow Work?

It can be a painful process. You must recall moments you regret, mistakes you made, bad memories, fierce emotions. Once you have a memory in mind, you must relive it as vividly as possible. Then, confront it as if it is an actual separate being, and not just a memory. Overpower it, scream at it, put it in chains, forgive yourself for it, embrace it, do whatever you have to do to gain control over the Shadow. Once you have conquered it and accepted it as a part of you, you can move on from the emotional degradation it has caused you over the years, and begin to heal. That Shadow then becomes an entity that you can summon whenever you need it’s specific emotion. Please note that some Shadows may take years to confront and accept, so be patient with yourself.

How do I summon a Shadow?

Summoning a shadow is when you invoke that particular ‘shadow’, the specific aspect, personality, or emotion within you that you have confronted and accepted about yourself, and use its emotion and power in a situation. For example, if I am performing a curse, and I want to summon the Shadow of a memory from my childhood when I was experiencing an extremely passionate emotion, I would call forth that Shadow and use it’s energy to help fuel the spell. It helps if you give your Shadows names, too. I have a really cool Cardcaptor Sakura Shadow Summon spell here. 

Tools for the Shadow Worker

  • Shadow Water: Magical water that has not seen any light for at least three days. Can be used for purification, meditation and healing.
  • Shadow Earth: Mud, clay or dirt with magical properties that is removed from 2-6 feet below the surface. Best if collected at night. Can be used for contemplation, silence, rest, healing and meditation.
  • Shadow Cards: Tarot-styled cards inscribed with either a sigil or an artistic depiction of a worker’s different Shadows. Can be used to easily or meditate on specific Shadows.
  • Shadow Sigils: A symbolic depiction of a specific memory’s Shadow. Can be used to invoke or summon a specific Shadow.
  • Book of Shadows: A written record of your magical practice, including every shadow you have confronted and befriended, and which emotion or ability it possesses.




24 year old Mvskoke Creek Two Spirit Artist and Author.

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