Shadow Work and Manifestation

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The Law of Correspondences— the doctrine upon which every spiritual or metaphysical art is based— states that the visible world is but a shadow thrown by the invisible. Underlying the ephemeral, transient experiences in the world that we perceive through the physical senses are spiritual actualities— the energetic factors which are the true source or catalyst of this experience.

The nature of the relationship between the seen and the unseen may, in this way, be counter-intuitive: matter is an emanation of spirit, rather than the reverse. Rather than your Soul being a product of your body, for instance, the Law of Correspondence maintains that your body is the product or emanation of your Soul. Your spirit comes first, followed by your human form.

Similarly, while you may believe that the external, material conditions of your life are static and “objective” as compared with the internal, subtle elements of thought and emotion, actually the reverse is true: the conditions of your life are the utterly mutable product of the determinative factors of your thoughts and emotions. Change the pattern of your thoughts and watch the circumstances of your life transform before your eyes.

The Art of Manifesting

The art of mastering one’s internal patterning to effect desired changes in the external world is known as Manifesting. In order to deliberately create the reality, one wishes to experience, one learns how to “build” it etherically on a vibrational plane first.

There are many techniques for laying the vibrational blueprint of the kingdom one wishes to materialize into being, including visualization, affirmation, meditation, ceremonial ritual, and hypnosis. In one way or another, one must conjure the feeling of the experience before it has physically materialized, living out the experience in the imagination like an actor playing a role.

This role-playing attracts elements of the physical world that mirror the energy being emanated. Real-world experiences which correspond to the spiritual factor one is activating within oneself begin to appear in one’s field of experience. If this spiritual actuality is activated consistently, everything in the individual’s life will transform to reflect it, since the physical world is only the shadow cast by energetic factors.

Put another way, everything in your life is an emanation of a belief or emotional complex. By holding certain beliefs, practicing certain perspectives, adopting certain attitudes, defaulting to certain emotional patterns, and practicing certain mindsets, you have summoned everything in your current life experience into your life.

This means that everything good that you have is a reflection of a belief complex that is beneficial to you, and everything that you don’t like about your life is a reflection of a belief complex that is at odds with what you want. 

The Tree Is Within the Seed

By way of the Law of Correspondences, we can examine our external situation and discover the internal spiritual factor which is the true source or generator of our experience. We may identify an aspect of our current situation and trace it back to its origins in the emotions and thoughts, ultimately ascertaining its spiritual “roots”. If we wish to change the circumstance, we can then balance this spiritual root by introducing an opposing, balancing or supplementary energy. We work to repair or amend the structures of our mindset so that they are facilitating the birth of the world we wish to bring into being.

This process of investigation is a necessary adjunct to Manifestation because the physical circumstances of your life are a reflection not only of what you consciously believe, desire, and act out— but also what you unconsciously believe, desire, and act out.

The Unconscious mind is the receptacle of all the aspects of the self that are unwanted or rejected. The contents of the Unconscious mind have not been integrated into the conscious personality, but have instead, for one reason or another, been deemed unacceptable, intolerable or unworthy of acknowledgment.

Aggression, jealousy, rage, lust, fear, shame, and selfishness are often banished into the Unconscious. But these feelings are still active within the psyche. Unconscious emotions guide and compel an individual’s behavior from below the threshold of consciousness without him being any the wiser.

We are not merely ignorant of what is in the Unconscious; we are extremely averse to seeing what is there. But we must be willing to discover what is in the Unconscious if we wish to uproot the sort of emotional patterning that leads to chronic self-undoing.

Working with the Shadow

Each of us has an area of life in which we feel “doomed to fail”— some area of dysfunction that we cannot seem to make any headway on fixing, no matter how much effort is expended. Just as one thinks oneself free of the problem, at last, it resurfaces again— perhaps dressed in a different costume and bearing a different nametag, but with the very same horns and tail underneath.

In such a case we can be sure that there is an unconscious belief complex that we are consistently activating, such that it is attracting unto itself corresponding life circumstances. We must then get to work figuring out exactly what this belief is. But we cannot approach the Unconscious straightforwardly, since, by definition, we are blind to what it hides. We cannot simply command it to reveal to us the buried wound that we have spent so long trying not to see. We must therefore find the back door to the Unconscious, gaining access by other means.

These other means are found in Shadow Work, which uses emotional and physical “triggers” as points of entry to the Unconscious mind. Shadow Work exercises start with a painful emotional experience or a somatic sensation and trace the manifestation of dis-ease to its origins. The layers of the painful experience are peeled back like an onion, as one discovers the web of associations and deductions that have been built up around a given memory or emotional dynamic. This is frequently due to a painful experience in childhood that has left an aspect of the self-frozen in time, as it were, at an early stage of development.

Shadow Work exercises help us discover what baggage comes along with the emotional dynamics, circumstances or experiences that “trigger” us. Through this work, we see that some factor has gained a particular meaning or significance to us that it might not innately carry.

We may, for instance, react to the loud noises that our children are making with ferocious rage, because there is an unconscious association of loud noise with danger due to a traumatic incident in the past. We react with rage to gleeful laughter, not because noise is bad, but because noise has come to mean something very different to the mind. A rapturous emotional experience is dragged along with any noise, and on some level, we are re-living something quite terrifying by way of the physical trigger.

Shadow Work helps us identify these webs of meaning and rehabilitate them. Through Shadow Work, we take responsibility and conscious ownership of our belief systems. When we choose productive mindsets, we may then create our worlds deliberately, thinking and dreaming our way into lives we love to live.

Mary West

Mary West is a metaphysician, writer, astrologer, and Magician. She teaches her students how to work with astral energy to enhance personal power, growth, productivity, and illumination.

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