If you're new to witchy/pagan circles or watch youtube videos about tarot or manifesting or witchery, you've probably heard people mention Shadow Work in passing. It sounds so dark and mysterious and everyone talks about how essential it was to manifesting/spellwork. But WTF even is it?????

Hello me from 2 years ago, lol. I will admit, it's a little easier to find information on Shadow Work now, but let me make it even simpler for you. The concept of the shadow self was coined by Carl Jung. It was an answer to Freuds Id, Ego, and Super Ego. Jung argued that there is an accepted self and a shadow self. The shadow is the bits of us that were rejected and repressed in answer to socialization. (Now the concept of hidden repressed aspects was not actually begun by Jung, but the terminology we use comes from him and his studies.)
I mentioned socialization, let's talk about it. We don't repress things for the fun of it. We repress things that are rejected by our family, group, circle, and society. Factors that can determine what gets accepted and rejected include things like assigned gender at birth, race, family dynamics, religion, friend dynamics/social dynamics, morality, and much more. We as people internalize ideas of what we "should" be whether stated explicitly or implicitly in order to fit in, because fitting in means survival. 
As we get older, fitting in becomes a little less important. We become fairly self sufficient as long as we can bring in money or grow our own food. As this need lessens, the natural progression would be to break down some of the walls keeping that shadow self hidden, however, our brains aren't built to suddenly shift tracks on it's own. It takes conscious effort to uncover what's hiding, how, why, and how to bring it forward again as an integrated part of the self. 
When you join my patreon for as little as $1/month, you get access to a community of people doing just that and more information like this. There's even a free, public worksheet to get you started on your own

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