Sunday, October 14, 2012

PBP 25: Un-learning, Unearthing, Undoing, and Deep Shadow Work

I am making progress on my calender.

Below you can see figures (the male one is finished, the female one is in progress) representing my Guide and his waifu/she is also more or less a Guide for me. (The suit one is K, the female one is S) Making these figures, finally, is a process part of my calender project. I one day stared at my altar and realized "I don't feel a goddamned thing for this whole set-up, besides it being pretty." It had become a shrine to stuff I didn't do, instead of a workspace.



So I re-arranged everything, as part of my personal calendar duties. I am ripping everything I had apart in an effort to re-learn everything I thought things should be. Holidays, elements, guide relationships, what an altar IS. I am actively re-working all of these things. But, as I have begun to actively consider and re-work with those things, my psychology is entering the process as well.


I am developing a personal mythology based on the two halves of my 'soul'. One is Unicorn, which is my 'core' soul, and the other half is the Shamanic part of me, my Wolf soul. I finally realized this is a perfect way to divide up my year because my energy cycles through both "parts" of my soul with the seasons. So first I had to un-learn what holidays meant. I had to let go of the idea of trying to create holidays that others would celebrate with me. I had to let go of that idea because those holidays don't resonate with me, so it would be false to try and work with them for the benefit of others. I am letting go of pressures I put on myself to work this way or that way because I should.

I had to un-learn the fact society loves to tell us we're selfish for focusing on ourselves. The past 2 weeks has been another giant cycle of trying to let go of people and things that are causing me pain and strife. (dating back to end of my relationship in August, which I will admit is still earnestly affecting me.) It has launched a series of significantly deep and painful shadow work that is bringing to light things that pre-date even my college experience by years. It's unearthing attitudes I had about always serving others before myself, of trying not to 'rock the boat', of keeping quiet so as not to cause conflict even though I should have spoken my truth, and of severe self-worth issues that tie my self-feelings to my perceived wordly achievements. There is no easy, quick way to 'fix' any of these things. But they are, at the core, attitudes most of us have to actively work at undoing.

I think as part of your own Calender/personal narrative project, should you take one on, you're eventually going to hit a point in which you have to actively un-learn and undo something you once never thought about, took as truth, or just assumed Was. For instance, if you began Wiccan and learned the elements a certain way and never really questioned it, and then you switch paths/strike out on your own and discover your own mythos for the elements, you're going to have to un-learn that original idea, like a habit. Sometimes that isn't easy. The same goes for preconceived notions of Gods and what they 'are' and aren't to humans, the purpose of your calendar, etc etc. It can be a long process to un-learn things you once thought were truth or once took for fact. It requires a lot of self-analysis and mind-breaking. But creating my personal calendar happened to fall at the same time as this long (more or less grieving) process for me, and so I think if you choose to take this on, don't take it lightly. It will bring up all sorts of shadow issues you didn't think about. If you choose to go down the rabbit hole of personal narrative, you really will be going down the rabbit hole.

I am digging, deeply, into my own psyche to understand the subtleties of both the Unicorn and the Wolf. This goes beyond psychology, beyond what I have known of the astral thus-far. I can't structure a calendar around me (another idea society will tell you is absurd, which you will have to un-learn) if I don't, at the base level, UNDERSTAND who or what I am. I have to approach myself again with no expectations or notions, because clearly I was wrong in...well...whatever I thought. The creation of this calendar, the shadow work, the introspection into my soul on a deep level, and my new Astral journey that has just began...I think all of these are linked. I think if you begin poking into one of these things, the others may very well follow, and one should be prepared. I can't promise the process won't be long or arduous, but if you come out on the other side with a solid foundation of your personality and your narrative, I think it will eventually be worth it. (Though I am personally far from doing this as I stand now, and I recognize this.)

My advice for those who look to pursue this path which is tied to deep-knowing on your own personal UPG level is to take time for yourself. Part of deep-seated shadow work is letting yourself process. If you suddenly have to weep because something just came up in your mind, (for instance, if your Personal Narrative involves your Ancestors, and you just discovered something in research that just...gets you, for some reason) if you can, do it. The process of self-discovery is naturally linked to constructing the self based on the past you didn't deal with, and the future you want. If you never realized you never had a grieving period, really, for a family member, and it suddenly comes up now, unwarranted, during your process, honestly go with it. I believe these things come up repeatedly for a reason until we honestly and truly deal with them. For instance, if your Personal Narrative involves some form of sexuality or fertility, and you had a history or an event somewhere that really harmed you on a deep level in either of those areas (perhaps infertility issues, miscarriage, or assault) you can expect those issues to come up in the process of your work with your Deitie(s) if you have them, and your calender.

No, not bury them. That is not dealing with them, though some think it is. Dealing with it means telling yourself 'It's okay. I recognize this is a process, and I will take all the time to cry or get angry or anything else that I need. Because this is healthy for me to experience. Because I need to do this right now, and that's okay. This won't happen overnight, and I will be gentle with myself while it happens.'  You might be surprised how hard it is to tell yourself the above phrase. You'll think 'Am I crying too much? Am I taking too long during this period to be sad/angry/how long am I going to be sad about this? Are other people going to think I'm ridiculous that this is still affecting me?' and a thousand other things that try to trivialize your mourning period, or tell yourself you don't deserve this time, it wasn't a big deal, etc etc. The next time you have shadow aspects come up, try and repeat the above to yourself. Really try. Repeat it often, if something comes up for you. And remind yourself eventually there is an end to this period, and that end is peace.

Don't be surprised if you come out on the other side of a Personal Calendar/Narrative project with completely different ideas of how everything is run/how everything is than when you began. This is a shifting, organic process that focuses on active radical re-creation of ideas from things YOU think and puzzle out. It's endlessly exciting but also demanding. You will doubt yourself and your ideas, you will despair because nobody has made YOUR calendar before, and so you have an uphill road to walk. You will be endlessly enthusiastic to work on it, because every day is a new discovery. You're going to get stuck and frustrated when you try to figure out what's important enough to you to keep, and what needs to go. But when you finally have at least the structure, the vague form, the shadow of what you want, the feeling of rightness will outweigh all of the process.

This is all I can tell you from my current process. But I wish you the best with your un-learning, friends. The process is hard, endlessly hard, but gratifying.

(Sorry for the lack of cursing in this article. I realized I got serious business. Here's a bunch of cursing for you if you missed it.

Shit, damn, motherfucker, shit, shitting, fucking, fucking shit, fuck.

Thank you <3)

2 comments:

  1. Amazing post...It takes so much courage and wisdom to face and then love our shadow selves as best we can. I really like balancing the male and female aspects and then how you identified them to match your own inner truths.

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  2. Wonderful post, it really hits home, I found myself in a similiar place a little while ago, I took everything off my altar and left the basics because it didn't mean anything anymore. Now I am just trying to figure out where and how to move forward.

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