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Shadow and Grace: What I had to Embrace in 2017

Mary El Tarot - my personal 2017 forecast

Shadow and Grace: What I had to Embrace in 2017

  |   Articles, Reflections

If you own a Tarot deck, or gotten readings before, you may agree that the three least liked cards in the deck are: Death, Devil and Tower. That’s what I hear from my clients, anyway.


My own approach is to fully embrace these archetypes, as no stage of the Major Arcana is a “bad” one. I even use Death and the Devil as guides in my group coaching program, JOURNEY.


But, when two out of three of these appeared in my 2017 personal forecast, I wasn’t exactly… pleased. I talked about Death in my last email and the first part of this series as my Spring focus. (If you haven’t read it yet, go here.)


The Devil came through as my primary challenge for the year. And this is what went through my head initially, “What?? More shadow work? How can I do more? Aren’t I done yet?”


Here We Go Again


Challenge + The Devil definitely = Shadow Work! I could almost hear the maniacal laugh of my most darkest self taunting me through the image of the card.


But next to the Devil, as my primary gift for the year was one of my favorite cards of the deck, Star, letting me know that all would be okay, that I would be supported and held by spirit when challenged by my darkest wounds and shadows.


I really had believed, initially, despite the fact that we had elected a sociopath into office, that 2017 would be a bit of a break for me. Sure, the world was being thrown into upheaval and chaos, but I was not going to let it get to me! In part because my guide for the year was the Sun. But here’s the thing about Sun—it illuminates everything. Nothing can remain in the shadows any longer.


I tell you this because just like you, my ego gets in the way of seeing the truth about myself sometimes. It always wishes for the easiest, comfiest route. This is why I draw daily cards for myself, and why I created a forecast for my year—I need reminders to remain true to my highest self and intentional in my choices just like everyone I serve.


Late Summer Healing


My shadows began to come forward with full clarity in the summer. As I dove deep to explore my core strengths and values for my business, a core shadow came forward, too. And then it made so much sense: I could not have one without the other. I needed to love and accept all of myself, and not only that, use my shadows to inform my purpose and my work.


The core wound that came forward was about separation and abandonment. A very young, small and vulnerable part of myself didn’t believe I was safe, couldn’t trust another or the earth itself, and always thought I would be left behind.


So, whenever a desire was expressed or a dream in sight, I would react with control, anxious expectation, and then pre-emptive disappointment. A part of me would give up and be defeated before I saw the moment and opportunity through.


I knew that if I didn’t take initiative to heal this wound at this moment, it would continue to haunt and hurt me. This was the moment, both Devil and Star told me. I also knew I couldn’t do it alone, so I joined Monica Martin’s healing circle and trusted spirit to guide me through the rest.


I released shame, I saw the innocence of my hunger and desire, and in a float tank (check out this article to find out that whole story), I came face to face and reckoned with my drive to destroy myself. The part of me that didn’t believe I even existed. The part of me that believed I was already dead.


I would need to be the earth, be the mother, be the life that this part of me so badly needed. Once the shadow is fully revealed in all its tentacles, all its mess, healing may begin through love. And it did.


A Lifelong Journey


What I came to know was that Shadow Work never ends—not for me, anyway. And not for anyone who is on a healer’s path. it is a lifelong journey to love and embrace the parts of ourselves that dare not be touched and seen. I realized that I wasn’t just healing for my sake, but because it was needed for the collective.


This was bigger than me! The world was in turmoil, going through a painful transformation of epic proportions. How could I distance or separate myself from that? Knowing this gave me the extra courage to surrender to and embrace my path.


I learned to know that a balance between my light and shadow would always be a spiritual priority for me, and by embracing my shadow, I would always receive the gift of grace and be divinely supported. I believe this is true for all my clients. And a major focus of my work is guiding my clients through that healing process.


This is why the Challenge and Gift are such important aspects of the 2018 forecast. They balance each other out: The challenge reveals to you how you will be asked to grow, and the Gift reveals what support you may already rely upon to embrace and meet the challenge.


If this post has inspired you, I invite you to be divinely guided and supported next year! Purchase a 2018 Personal Forecast at the early bird rate now, and save $90. Early bird pricing ends this Saturday. Learn more and purchase here.


(Cards featured in the image above are from the Mary-El Tarot.)