The Autumn Equinox is fast approaching; this is a time of balance and of descent. To some, it marks the tipping point of the dark half of the year, when the days are longer than the nights. We may feel melancholy at the end of another summer, but this provides a fitting opportunity to work with crone energy and delve inwards. One way to do this is to work with an archetypal dark Goddess such as Hekate. A Greek Goddess who holds the keys to the Underworld. The powerful, primordial energy of Hekate lends itself well to shadow work and introspection. Shadow work is the process of understanding the hidden parts of yourself and accepting them so that you can let go of shame or self-doubts. This can be done through journaling and meditation, as well as using an oracle or tarot deck. Hekate's Oracle is the latest addition to the Goddess Oracles I have created, and is intended to facilitate shadow work and inner healing. You can find out more about Hekate's Oracle here.
Autumn Equinox Shadow Work Meditation
If you are new to shadow work, then why not try this visualisation technique as part of a meditation. The Autumn Equinox falls on the 23rd of September 2023 in the northern hemisphere, but you are free to perform it anytime you wish. Grab yourself the following items:
- Journey to the Underworld soundtrack
- Black Candle & Lighter
- Journal & Pen
- Incense with a deep, earthly smell (Patchouli, Vetiver, Cedarwood, etc)
- Create a Sacred Space: Find a quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. Dim the lights, turn on the music and set up any items that make the space feel sacred and peaceful to you. Burn the incense of your choice, or diffuse it as an essential oil.
- Hold the candle in your hands for a few moments before lighting it. Visualise it as the beacon that will help you cast a light on your hidden facets. As you light it, say ‘may this candle be the torch that guides me in darkness’.
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. You can use a cushion or a chair if needed. Keep your back straight, and place your hands on your lap or by your sides.
- Begin by taking a few deep breaths. Inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Focus on the earthly incense aroma as you allow it to surround you in earthly energy. Take a moment to set your intention for this shadow work meditation. What aspect of your shadow self do you want to explore or heal? It could be a specific emotion, belief, or pattern.
- In your mind’s eye, picture yourself standing at the entrance of a dark cave. The cave entrance is surrounded by ancient rocks and lush vegetation. You feel a sense of anticipation and curiosity as you step inside. As you venture further into the cave, you notice rough steps descending downwards, lit by a faint, warm light ahead. Follow this gentle light downwards, allowing it to guide your way.
- You reach a spacious chamber within the cave, bathed in a soft, dim glow. Take a moment to observe your surroundings. In the centre of the room you come across a shadowy figure or a mirror. This represents your shadow self. Approach it with curiosity and an open heart. You may ask it questions, such as, “What do you have to teach me?” or “What emotions or beliefs have I been hiding from myself?”
- Spend some time in conversation with your shadow self. Allow it to express itself freely, and be open to the emotions or insights that arise. You may experience discomfort or resistance, but try to stay present with whatever comes up.
- When you feel ready, imagine embracing your shadow self. As you do this, visualize a merging of your conscious and unconscious selves. Feel a sense of wholeness and integration as you accept and love all parts of yourself.
- Express gratitude to your shadow self for the lessons and insights gained during this meditation. Slowly bring your awareness back to the physical space around you. Wiggle your fingers and toes, and take a few deep breaths.
- Now journal your experiences, insights, and any actions you plan to take as a result of this shadow work.