I have had the opportunity within the last five years to learn about the true Shadow that lies within the Self. This has not only been a lesson regarding my Shadow Self and my flaws, but also others’ darkness. It has not been pretty, and in fact has been extremely painful as I realized that people are not like me. Nor should they be, but I have realized our differences in Shadows requires the same struggle of breaking our own illusions, and occasionally needing help of others. I have worked hard with my Shadow Self to learn and gain the traits of honesty, integrity, and compassion. I had to temper those qualities with the foresight to know when to it’s merciful to cut ties, and how to set appropriate boundaries then carry out consequences. It has been a long journey, and I still have a way to go. Life is a never ending series of lessons.

Since beginning down the journey of Self and learning to connect my consciousness fully with my Higher Self, I have run into several reoccurring obstacles and lessons. The biggest is a social obstacle; one that I never imagined I would run into. Most of my life, when I physically interact with a group of people, I am very well liked. This could be because I genuinely like people and feel warm towards them. I also love to help others. However, in the last few years, I have had a startling wake up call regarding networking with those that claim to be witches or energy workers.

For the last couple of years the phenomenon of projection has been especially noticeable when reaching out to make friends with people that I felt were like myself. Many would be friendly at first, along with being thankful for any help they received, and would actively seek for advice regarding relationships and magic. Usually within a couple of weeks they would unexpectedly decide, based on little or no evidence, that they disliked me, and that I was going to punish them magically. These people accused me of the nastiest traits – those that other observers noticed the accuser carried, not me. I could not figure out why people thought so poorly of me, after talking with me, even though I would help them if they asked. I had several people call me a chameleon after I helped them, even if we both seemed genuinely interested in creating a friendship in the beginning. It was astonishing to me, and others that truly know me, that these people would project their Shadow on me, not realizing it was a true reflection of their Self. My actions and words were the opposite of what they expected to experience, and I think this threw them off.

I realized what was going on a few days ago, thanks to my roommate and a friend, who have recently been caught up in some drama that none of us instigated. In fact, I tried to diffuse the problem several times, with the backlash becoming steadily worse each time I interacted with this particular group of people. It was the same problem I have been encountering for years, that is to say, a person/group originally asks for friendship and perhaps needs help with mundane or magical things, then the person/group turns around accusing me of negative traits they possessed. As usual these actions were soon followed by actively causing trouble within our community to prove how “evil” and “deluded” I am – while every accusation was a signature Shadow projection others had observed in the accusers.

Let me start from the beginning. When I was a first degree priestess in a Wiccan temple, my High Priestess would frequently call me and tell me strange, dramatic stories of being attacked. She would then warn me to watch out, because I was her friend. She claimed I may be attacked just because we associated with each other. This went on several times, leading me to foolish, fear based protection spells. One personal shield she taught me during one of her “emergency situations” is one that many New Age energy workers use – the Mirror Shield.

A shield of mirrors is relatively easy to construct for those with a great imagination and who pay attention to detail. It is essentially a giant one-way mirror; a shield that can be used to reflected back negative energy to its source, but allows for you to still send energy out. This seems like a very good idea at first, since it returns negative energy and spells back to the sender. I didn’t question the consequences, as I felt my High Priestess was my friend, and had my best interests in mind.

Here is the dark side to this shield – some people see their own reflection, and think it’s a true representation of you. I have worked with mirrors, and my mirror work consists not only communicating with beings on different layers and traveling, but Self work and destruction of illusions. I have been working on myself and testing techniques so I can help others discover their True Will. The best way to do Shadow work, I have found, is mirrors. The danger in mirror work is that it can be constructive or destructive, depending if the practitioner is ready for Self work. The problem with my mirror shield is that while it did return to sender, those on the path of self empowerment were able to glimpse a picture of their True Self. This shield would activate if they tried to use spells, or seer seeing, to spy at my soul. I have programmed my mirror shield to do one of two things when someone spies; either diffuse the ‘attack’ (which means the observer will see me with no power as it hits the black ‘Teflon’ behind the mirror shield), or the mirror turns back on them as a reflection of their current Self, so they can’t discern my True Self (they only see a projection of their Self in that moment of time).

It also explained why when I let my guard and shields down to allow soul emanation, many people thought I created an illusion. I hid everything that only a true seer, or those that have worked through their Shadow Self, can see on first glimpse. It can be a very useful tool in seeing where people are at in their spiritual development, but I am finding a dangerous one.

All of this trouble came out of a simple mirror shield that a scared woman created at the suggestion of another frightened woman. This is a lesson for all – do research, experiment, and keep notes. Most importantly, question everything before attempting energy and ritual magick! Allow others to give constructive criticism without getting angry, and listen. Remember, other people are also mirrors to our Shadow Self, and can give us great insight.

If you can take anything away from today’s tale, I would hope that it is to not blindly follow others, work with your Shadow Self, and use critical thinking. Even the most benign of spells and magic techniques can be quite dangerous and cause unexpected negative results.

Keep it genuine, and Hail Self.

-Arachnia Stoneskull

Photo Credit: “For Simple Vanity by NightsongWS” ( http://nightsongws.deviantart.com/art/For-Simple-Vanity-373593615 )