Have you felt stirred up in yourself and in your life lately, as if all your issues have come to the surface? You’re not alone. The powerful archetype of the recent eclipse has brought what is ready to heal and transform out of hiding and into the light for all of us.
Last month was the first time I had ever seen even a partial eclipse here in California. This juxtaposition of the moon in front of the sun shows us how our unresolved issues and blocks to our growth – represented by the moon – can conceal the light of our True Self.
An eclipse casts a shadow, and our own personal shadow is a collection of the parts of ourselves that we don’t like to acknowledge or to be seen. When we are met by this great archetype, or powerful symbol, of the inner shadow through such a potent example as an eclipse, it’s common for our own shadow material to rise out of the darkness for us to recognize, embrace, and heal.
What lies in the shadow? Images, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions about who we fear we might be and what we don’t want to look at. All of the self-critical thoughts emerge from the shadow. The fears about what others might think? The shame from mistakes we’ve made? The part of ourselves that we think is ugly, mean, or unlovable? Yep, they’re all in there. We prefer to just keep the closet shut and locked, and not let the boogie man out. Pretend that everything is just fine. Or at least keep up a good image, so no one can see what we secretly feel are fatal flaws.
Identifying with Thoughts and Emotions
However, everything in the Shadow is a thought. Thoughts are forms of energy. When we think of a particular thought, we take our mental energy and mold it into a form. The Shadow contains the forms of negative energy that we’ve created from our thoughts about ourselves.
We may have fear or anger that arises in us. Perhaps an event at work or in your family has triggered old pain from your past. Or an off the cuff remark sparked anxious, self-critical thoughts. The problem isn’t the thoughts or emotions – the problem is identifying ourselves with them.
The True Self
The Sun, however, is a symbol of our True Self, ever shining. When night comes, the sun doesn’t stop shining – it’s simply not seen because the Earth has rotated. This is like sleep – our True Self doesn’t cease to exist; we just don’t perceive it when we’re deep in slumber.
An eclipse reveals a different hindrance to the shining of the True Self than sleep does. The moon’s blockage of the Sun’s light represents the identification with our thoughts and emotions that lie in the Shadow Self.
For example, when we say, “I’m angry” or “I am hurt”, we’re implying that we identify ourselves with the anger or hurt by saying “I am”. We believe, on a subconscious level, that we are insecure about money or we identify ourselves with the belief that things will never change, rather than recognize these are thoughts and emotions.
The Light of Awareness
Thoughts and emotions change all the time, and can be consciously changed. The True Self, like the metaphor of the sun, remains the same, always shining.
The eclipse brings to our awareness that we have all this stuff in our Shadow Self, and it’s time to take it out of hiding. It’s time to recognize that those places in us can heal. We don’t need to continue to identify ourselves with what we fear. Many of the perceptions of ourselves aren’t accurate and need to be aired out, cleaned up, and let go of.
The work after the eclipse is to shine our light of awareness on the Shadow material. To be willing to dig in and say, hey, I don’t need to live like this anymore. I don’t need to continue to beat myself, or let this fear get the best of me. There is something precious deeper within me that is ready to shine, and it’s time I give it a chance.
You can do this “shadow work”. The moon has moved aside, and your light is ready to glow. I’m happy to assist you in becoming more of your True Self – feel free to contact me for a conversation about what’s possible. And in the meantime, here are some great resources to get you started that have helped me over the years:
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
a classic! lots of great exercises, and a great resource for physical ailments and possible corresponding shadow issues)
There’s Nothing Wrong With You by Cheri Huber
a light hearted, easy read. Refreshing!
Making a Change for Good by Cheri Huber
another easy read by Huber, and an awesome 30 day practice to explore
The Marriage of Spirit by Leslie Temple-Thurston
the most powerful, in-depth synthesis of psychology and spirituality I have found, with potent practices for healing and releasing shadow stuff. This is a serious read.