A Loving Abyss
& Other Depths of Discovery Found Through Shadow Alchemy
By AoH Creatrix: Ani Khēmeia
Now is the time to unite
and the world.
Now is the time to see the sunlight
dancing as one
with the Shadows.
Shadow integration is a cycle of Death + Rebirth, and in turn – a living manifestation of Soul Alchemy.
Coalescing with a long splintered slice of your Soul means accepting death to a piece of awareness that is intrinsic to the way you live + breathe in this world.
Intrinsic, but also inauthentic:
Shadows are fragmented powers, existing in the places we’ve been violated, silenced, wounded – or in any other way your abilities as a wild yet Knowing + divine being were completely + utterly trespassed, undermined, and humiliated.
Many simplify + misconstrue the Shadow to be the ‘dark parts‘ of our Hearts, and while they often manifest in darkness, there’s a lot of power, sexual energy, ancestral rage + wisdom found within the pools of Yin as well.
Shadows are manifestations of our natural energy – of our light + Yang energy, and of our darkness + moon energy. And though they manifest from our core essence, perceptions + experiences – those manifestations are dependent upon our capacity + ability to meet those situations within our power.
When we can’t protect ourselves, trust ourselves & our body to make decisions; or even when found in a cycle of desire: we leave space for the ‘protector’ Shadow to show up, and overrun the ship.
On meeting your Shadow:
I think a lot of Shadow explanations lead people to questions like “what are the parts of myself that I don’t like”, “what are the parts of myself that are hiding”.
Yet many Shadows – many of the deepest weeds – are those we have before boasted about, felt prided on; ideas living on the very foreground of our perceptions.
Instead, try attuning to the art of Shadow Alchemy with this self inquiry:
“Why do I feel this way?”
Giving space for bodily responses, rather than emotional reactions, is step one.
From there – we burn.
We are perceiving beings.
– through our intuition, our physical senses, through ancestral remembrances & divine downloads. We feign perceptions from dreams, from unreliable memories, even from the perceptions of others.
Through our perception our entire lives are lived – yet hardly we dive into what that perception is serving.
Hiding in that perception, the Shadow not only survives – but thrives: manifesting through your emotions where it plays in the perceptual-playground of your agreements.
I’ve agreed I don’t like public singing.
I’ve agreed I don’t need to be ‘beautiful’.
I’ve agreed this is enough to make me happy.
These agreements often seem like conscious decisions we’ve made, yet a closer eye on the machine will always reveal the mechanisms.
Some people slow burn, as emotions arise and new things beat down the hatchet of perception – one by one, they self inquire, search both within and without, and overtime begin to see aspects of True light & dark within their Shadows.
Others, take the cauldron approach –
To meet your feelings fully, one must start with feeling fully – and to no end, in every direction + without pause or second thought.
Allow these energies to flow as they see fit; whether into soothing lazy rivers, or daunting + swirling rapids: bring your vessel to the brink of understanding.
Drowning in conscious feeling leads to learning how to swim.
Rage + Reverence, Acceptance + Shame – suppressed in the monotony of daily life, of surviving instead of living, coping instead of confronting, hiding instead of opening out.
Noticing your Shadow (which is really just meeting your whole self, as the Shadow is all that’s unconscious) will do nothing if your first instinct is to shame it back into hiding.
Meeting your Shadow should be a grand love story.
Bare naked + without bounds.
With a full-body embrace of the immensity + magnitude of the parts you left for dead.
Falling for your Shadow is how you break down its walls.
Embracing fragments that shattered through trauma, comforting the broken glass: in these ways you remember the Self as the immeasurably capable, divine yet wholly human being that you are – without the protective mask of your Shadow to fog up your feelings.
And though we come to the graveyard with a smoke that once held our hand – just as a cycle never ends – we never leave palm-empty.
Like a new born baby birthed anew from their mother’s womb, so too are these parts of ourselves birthed into this world – with the Knowing that we never needed their grasp in the first place.
The bottom line? Integrating your shadows means shining a light on what was lost, with an unyielding desire to understand the responsibility your Shadow sustained when you were not able to protect yourself. [This can mean a lot of things, like childhood trauma where it wasn’t your responsibility to protect yourself.]
It also means convincing the Shadow self that you can and will protect Yourself now.
If you want guidance on this, on how to protect your authentic energy, stand in your innate and effortless divinity, Alchemize with raw expression, or even find more on Soul Photography:
Light leads to immanence. Light leads to immanence. Light leads.
About Ani Khēmeia
Ani here, founder/ lead photographer for Alchemy of Hearts, Creative Director, Coordinator and Dark Moon editor for 13Moons Magazine. Through workshops, writings, photography, & more – I’m here to facilitate the raw and intense awakening associated with Alchemy.
Whether we meet traversing Mother Earth, virtually, or in Spirit – know I am here to be – rather than heal, guide, support. My foundations are rooted in the Truth that there is no one, dead or alive, who requires anything outside the Self to be utterly complete, healed, & worthy.