Autumn is a time for reflection, slowing down, and tending our inner landscape. This is the ideal time of the year to check in with our support systems (how is your journaling practice, therapy, or break baking going, babe?), and expand them.
If you're someone that feels overwhelmed at the idea of "shadow work", you are not alone. It takes so much courage to tackle our brain weasels, intrusive thoughts, trauma responses, and all the parts of ourselves society deems unpalatable. But here you are- a majestic and powerful babe, ready to integrate all parts of yourself as a complex, whole, and magical human! All parts of you deserve to be seen, loved, and appreciated. After all, who would you be without all the twists and turns it took to get you to this exact moment.
Our wounds, no matter how big or small affect us, and without integration can often take over our lives. Noticing, and tending to them with tenderness and compassion is an excellent way to make space for shadow work to be a healingpractice. When old wounds ask to be tended, there can be grief- a resentment that this wound still exists, but all we need to do is recognize that we still need gentleness and care around this particular trauma. When an old hurt bubbles up we can look at it as an opportunity to give ourselves the kind of care we should have had in the first place. Noticing patters in the way your hurt shows up can help make space for some deep, long lasting repair. Shadow work is about being in relationship with all parts of yourself.
In Autumn many plants die back, but in reality they are sending all of their energy to their root systems to fortify them for the following growing season. Plants are wise teachers, and we can look to them for guidance as we do our own versions of fortifying. Working cyclicly; noticing, staying curious, making adjustments, integrating, and noticing again allows us to recognize patterns and affect change. Plants are masters at this behavior, often adjusting to the climate, water supply, and environment in order to thrive. Plants have our backs when we're re-patterning and growing. They offer their own gentle medicine and wisdom, the relationship and evolution that has kept them going for billions of years. These allies can be called in to support heartbreak, grief, death, and everything in between to help us release, look bravely at what needs tending to, and mirror back to us what wounds need tending, and how.
Plant allies are here to remind us that it's not supposed to be this hard, that you deserve to be in your pleasure and joy- even as you're integrating all the bits and pieces of your whole self. When we lay our shadow at the feet of the plants and ask for help holding, accepting, and processing our wounds, we can move more freely in pursuit of our pleasures. Taking the leap to shine a light on, and look at your wounds is an opportunity to take up space, step out of perfectionism and be a whole being, worthy of magic, healing, and pleasure.
Herbal Allies for Mending Inner Wounds:
There are many plants that help protect and nourish us. These can be culturally significant to you, or magically informed. Plants are wise teachers, here to help connect us back to ourselves in steadfast and consistent ways. Choose a plant ally to work with throughout Autumn, to help support you through integrating the shadow work you're currently doing. Paint an image of it, include it in a tea, wear it in a locket as an amulet- whatever feels best to you!
Garlic- a plant with strong cultural and mythological ties, garlic can help ward you and your home if you feel like you've been under physiological attack, or like you have an energy vampire around you. Use garlic to move through shadow work around protection and boundaries.
Pomegranate- a fruit of the Underworld, this gem reminds us that there is hidden potential, beauty, sensuality, and abundance all around. Use it for shadow work around reclaiming your potential and sexuality.
Nettle- a Mars plant, Nettle is fiercely protective and great at moving old, stagnant energy. Use it to clear out the old, and re-integrate your passions.
Rose- a gentle ally for a broken or grieving heart. Rose reminds us to have self-compassion, softness, and love- even through the toughest times.
Motherwort- a gentle plant with ties to the heart, motherwort can help when strength and integration are needed for shadow work. Use it is shadow work is bringing up anxiety, fear, or feelings of uncertainty.
Spelled Shadow Work tea:
1 part rose
I part nettle
1/2 part tulsi
1 T of crushed pomegranate seeds
Steep a tablespoon of the mixture in 8-10oz of hot water for 5 minutes. Strain and add a little honey or sugar for magical sweetness and say "All parts of me a deserving of healing, kindness, and pleasure" while stirring. Allow this tea to be an elixir anytime you need extra support for shadow work.Show more