Shadow Speaks

Shadow Speaks

shadow dragon

Facing the Shadow

Though dreamwork, sandplay, therapy and expressive arts, I have learned to listen to and honor all aspects of the psyche, including the shadowy, scary ones. By honoring these inner ‘demons’ through art, we become more conscious of them and less prone to act them out in life.
This example is from a process for exploring the doorways to writing: image, movement, and sound, in a writer’s group led by Naomi Rose. The paintings emerged in various expressive painting sessions.


Dialog with an Inner Demon

Looking within, I see a burning ember of fear in the coalsack darkness of my stomach; turning the darkness a sullen red – outlining a dark hunched lump – two eyes open, gleaming pale yellow – a heavy-bodied black demon – an earth-crawler – too heavy to raise itself up off the ground – a snaky-lick tongue.

Stuck to the cave floor by its lead-heavy stomach, impotent limbs scrabble at the rock, as it rocks in frustration, rocks rhythmically to soothe itself.

Breathing on the ember of fear gives the demon a little energy.

Waaaugh!” it moans, showing yellow fangs. Despair hiding in the depths – ancient, lonely, strong, cold, empty, angry.

More breath on the ember. It stirs and raises its head.

“Finally, you see me.” Its eyes flash a stronger yellow, are turning red with anger. “Stop burying me down here,” it growls. “I can’t move!” it yells. “Let me up! Let me out!”

R: “Who are you? Speak, demon!”

Growling likes rocks grinding together, it begins to chant:

“Ho Ho
Down below
where no one goes,
I live.

Down beneath
the pretty surface
in the deep,
I hide my ugly face.
No one likes to hear the likes of me.

Ho Ho
Down below
where no one goes,
I dwell.

Eating the offal
cast off
by those who
dwell above
in the hateful light.

I am hatred.
I am fury.
I am greed.
I am vindictiveness.
I am poisonous despair.

I will get you.
I will sabotage you.

I hate you.
You hate me.

I am ancient,
long cast away
by you doer-goods.

Long ago,
you cut me off,
cut me out of you
with your nasty
ideas of nicety.

You wonder why
the world is full
of torment?

Cast your eyes
on me
and see why,
you blind prigs.

Think you can
make distinctions
of who is good
and who is not?

See what the lot
of you has done
with your damnable

I hate you.
I will get you.

As long as you
keep me buried
in the darkness,
you will suffer.”

Comment: This demon’s rant brought me relief and laughter. It feels good to face our shadows and shine the light of awareness upon them. The known is a lot less scary than the unknown. These “demons” mostly just want to be heard. It’s when we keep them buried and project them on others that they cause trouble.

Suggested Contemplations

What shadowy, angry, fearful or sad part of you is waiting to be heard?

What ‘demons’ have you faced? What was the result for you?

Continue to Death is a Gift

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