Sometimes when we want to search in the shadow side of our being all we may in fact want to do is unpack the big box that holds all our darkest thoughts, feelings and fears which we secretly know are there – yet deny to ourselves out of shame, pain, or perhaps regret.

The true shadow self is much more than what we have hidden and forgotten or ignored in this big heavy box. Shadow work involves much. Beginning to unpack our dark box might be a major priority even before we consider venturing into the deeper darker unknown recesses of the cavern of our shadow self. To me there are varying degrees of our shadow side. I truly believe that there are parts of the human self that are best left unknown to us. But there are parts of the shadow that lie on the outskirts – in which we have piled up years and years of forgotten or misunderstood aspects that make us darkness and light that we need to sift through to indeed be rounded and whole.

Where and how do we begin? That is the hardest part – figuring out the safest, most supported way in which we can carefully unwrap all that’s layered in that dusty old box pushed back into a shadowy corner.

A great starting point is through the reflection our moon side casts on others in the form of projection. Projection is an aspect of our shadowy side that all of us exhibit to a degree through seeing aspects of our self we loathe or are uncomfortable with through other people – by displacing this part of self from us on to them.

It comes off very strong from narcissistic humans and the like, to more subtle forms from normal well adjusted people like you and I. Think of someone who really pushes your buttons just by being in the same space as you – someone who in reality does nothing in particular to warrant your disdain, what is it about them that makes you cringe? Sometimes it might take a bit of work to get to the heart of exactly what that aspect is. Often when you pinpoint the characteristics of that person that grinds your gears – then bam! That is your projection! This of course is a very simplified explanation, but for our purpose here should be sufficient. 

It is a hard pill to swallow, and one that many may continue to deny. The road to consciousness is never total rainbows and butterflies. It is fraught with dark ravines and big rocks and windy round and round twists and spirals, yet always when you look up – you can always see the sun, the stars,the clouds or the moon in the sky. It is imperative that we hold sight of the bigger picture – the full landscape so to speak, in order to maintain balance and direction. 🙂 

How can we move forward through these projections from our shady side with the tarot? Often the simple spreads are the goldmines. We want to know more about our projected self – so that would be our first port of call. Perhaps next we want to know where it stems from. Next is why. Following on is how can we work through it best? What will we need to overcome? What is our key challenge or denial? And finally what will we achieve by doing this work?


Once the cards are laid out it is time to put the story together and then dissect it, probe and think about what parts of the layout rings true. How can it be implemented. Study it, absorb it, mull over and ponder; grow in both self knowledge and move forward in your journey.

As we move through the beginning stages of our shadowy ventures we begin to learn so much about ourselves and our reactions and actions to those around us. We start to see others in a more loving and clear light – and see ourselves as the eclectic mix of being that makes us who we are. It is daunting yet exciting and requires honesty and self trust. The tarot becomes the catalyst  in our journey to integration, it is the support and aide through this rocky and windy terrain on our path to wholeness. 


May your journeys always be blessed with mindfulness and gratitude. Much love, Tess x


Projection – Looking in the ‘mirror’….

Tarot Thoughts

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