I use to model,
many of the photos on this site are from my modeling collections. and at times I genuinely miss it. Especially when it comes to series like the one above.
I need to remember to post the ones that invoke spiritual things here.
Photography by Jeff Mawer of Metakephoto
I feel compelled as of late....
Actually, compelled is not quite the right word. A better word is "Necessary". I feel it deeply Necessary to acknowledge a darker side of myself.
A side of myself that is not "bad" or "evil" but a part of me that is very real, and very raw. A part that may not be societies' idea of "right, moral or nice"
This part of me being my Shadow Self. In acknowledging those darker corners of my personality and soul, exposing them despite the prospect of pain, can I gain the wisdom to not shut away parts of me in fear of exposure only to explode out in uncontrolled bursts.
Learning, understanding, visiting, and learning to walk alongside my Shadow self, the Dark Goddess within, is one path to genuine understanding, wisdom, and above all personal strength.
I've thought of the Jungian Shadow Self concept a few times in my life but never more vividly as it came to me a couple weeks ago in a dream.
In the dream I was standing on a cliffside overlooking the ocean (as I often do in my dreamworld). The wind whipped my hair across my face and my eyes watered at the chill and strength of the wind. A gown whipped out from around my legs further enhancing the presence of the wind. Waves crashed against the rocks, and I looked out over the surf as if searching for something in the daylight along the shoreline. Searching, or just observing, it's never quite clear which one.
The sky was grey, and a clap of thunder boomed behind me causing me to turn to face the sound and there stood another version of me. A version of me that was dressed as I was, a mirror of wardrobe and accessory. I realized my gown was a dark forest green and although my Mirror-Self was me, she was covered in scars. I could see a deep scar across her/my right clavicle that circled around the base of my neck that was visible just above the neckline of my gown. A second smaller scar was placed across my brow, cleaving my left brow in two and a third scar marked my right cheekbone.
Looking at this mirror of myself, my hands instinctively moved to my own neck, but there was no scar there. Her eyes were darker, not full of sadness, but full of a strange blend of power that I still cant quite put into words, a weird form of directed adrenaline fell over me when meeting her gaze.
I couldn't speak, I couldn't see anything else, I just met her gaze and noticed her every detail. I noticed how she were identical, but "felt" different. It was very almost scientific as if I were trying to dissect her opposite me with only my mind.
Then, in a moment, I wasn't even in my own body anymore. I was to the side of both versions of myself. I watched them both stare at one another. Not breaking eye contact. I saw the curiosity in the version of me I once was, I saw the unmarred skin, I saw and felt an insecurity, a nervousness, a mask around the version me I had just been. The darker version had no mask as a shield in which she looked through, she stood there, raw, as if she had never a need for anything aside pure, unedited reality.
I noticed the wind again, and it whipped at both versions of myself and I became consciously aware that I was neither of the women in front of me, in that moment. I became aware I as dreaming and decided to wake up. (As I often do when I realize I am dreaming, that is generally the "dream is over" cue)
Before I did, the Darker version of me broke gaze with the other and turned to look at me with intensity and said.
"I am you"
"We are you"
And they both were looking right at me.
I woke up
but not before noticing that the Dark version of me had a 4th scar, a deep, jagged, vertical scar that ran from the palm of her hand halfway to her elbow.
This entire dream was likely part of a much longer dream but this is the only part I remember vividly. I woke up pretty shaken up. It's also not the first time I have had dreams like this, but her words and that last image of her arm had burned itself into my brain.
A bit of disclosure, while I HAVE been suicidal in my past (It's a truth I refuse to lock away and choose to try and learn from. I am who I am today because I have fought that battle) I have never tried to cut my wrists. But the message was there. A reminder of a darker part of me that I will carry with me forever.
The message in this dream was clear to me. Since Lughnasadh I have had emotional dreams like this, darker but not pointlessly dark, they are always simple but have meaning and always involve powerful reminders and messages of strength.
I believe more than anything in this world, more than anything outside this world, more than I have ever truly felt from any deity or spiritual encounter/journey, this is one of the ways The Morrigan have been speaking to me.
It sparked me to look back into the concept of the Shadow Self. I have seen a Psychiatrist regularly for 3 years now and I am familiar with facing my "demons" but the idea of the Shadow Self is not to acknowledge these parts of me as Demons, but as legitimate parts of me. Parts of my very being, my soul.
This followers a rather earth shattering event for me as well. In December I was diagnosed within the DID (Disassociate Identity Disorder) spectrum, I discovered that my rage/impulse "black outs" that I have had since I were 18 years old were not actual black outs, but rather a primal part of my personality that is unpredictable, unapologetic, and impulsive, triggered by environments that invoke a PTSD preservation/defense response.
With this diagnosis (and it messed me up for a while when the gravity of it hit me), I realized in a heartbeat why I have a draw to Nemain in particular as one of The Morrigan. I believe she speaks to that other part of me, the frenzy, uninhibited most primal parts of me, but I have no idea how long I have been conversing with her. Nemain feels like that person at a party that you just KNOW you have met before but you cant remember where, when or if you are just crazy.
I also think that all of this, the parts of me I am only starting to understand, the parts of me that actually legitimately terrify me at times, my past (things Ive done, and things Ive experienced at the hands of others) are completely why I was avoiding a relationship with The Morrigan to begin with.
If I had any idea what would happen after that invocation to The Morrigan at Lughnasadh last year....I would have done it sooner.
And so I have decided to take on a path/journey of personal Shadow Work, a path I will not share details with on this blog but it is worth mentioning here. It wont be easy, in fact it will feel downright painful at times and feel as if I am ripping my own heart out with red hot steal forged by Brighid's calloused hands, but it is a necessary for me.
When I vowed this year as the year of the Warrior I had no idea what I was in for, but I am not about to back down....its not who I am. There will be heavy prices to pay, sacrifices made, tears shed, blood spilt, and sleep lost, but I believe the rewards will outweigh all and that is worth fighting for. Strength. Courage. Perseverance. Growth. Wisdom.
I've been doing a lot of reading lately and more than anything I have been feeling The Morrigan everywhere. It can often be rather overwhelming and I am actually starting to feel like there is tension over maintaining a regular practice with both The Morrigan and Brighid at the same time. While there are triple aspects of Brighid, there are several goddesses represented as The Morrigan and each one of those goddess's are unique in their own ways. The more I learn about each Morrigan goddess the more I realize that calling out to them as one deity is not acceptable for me. They are not one deity, they are an army, and as Brighid is not one in their army but she has a massive connection with me I feel its necessary to split my altar into 3.
I need a sacred devotional space to The Morrigan, to all of the goddesses that fall under that army.
I need a sacred devotional space to Brighid, for all her attributes and complexity.
and I need an altar/shrine to the kindred for regular devotional and ritual work.
This seems like a bit of work, but I am actually quite excited for it.
I am simply not a one altar/shrine girl when it comes to deity work.
I was going to try two different subscriptions this month but I completely forgot to start a new one. I did, however, keep my favorite from last month, The Wicce Witch Box, and was certainly not disappointed!
This month's Theme was Element of Earth and included:
Overall, this subscription was great and I am very glad I kept it. I was slightly sad that there were no herbs included (aside from the oak moss) but its a very small let down for me as I really liked the other items.
Next month (ok, this month now) March's theme is 50 Shades of Fae and I am SO excited. Faeries!