The Shadow Life (Response to Inominandum)

Sometimes the brighter the light, the longer the shadow…

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Back in 2015 I registered for Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery course to further my magical studies. It was a one-year course that covered everything from meditation, to planetary and ancestral magick. Part of the perks of joining the course is being a part of the Strategerati community to which you are added when you sign up. Today, Miller cited Derek Sivers’s “Turning Pro” post about the shadow career, a profession or lifestyle of similarity to one’s more vibrant divine calling but without risk. He then poses the following questions:

…Sorceresses and Sorcerers:

What are you doing today that is a shadow metaphor of what you SHOULD be doing?
What is it that only YOU can offer the world?
What is your current life a metaphor for that you are NOT doing?

-Jason Miller
Strategic Sorcery Blog

Through Miller’s course, I had breakthrough after breakthrough, moving from the small town where I spent a good portion of my life to the capital where I’d be attending one of the best colleges in the state. However, even as I was doing magick to create the changes that I sought in my life, I found myself reflecting upon who I was and who I was in the process of becoming, and where am I heading.

Frankly, I’m uncertain of the destination of this journey, but I can certainly tell when something is distinctly off. I can tell that my shadow life involves helping people in some form or fashion. Beginning 2011 until just last month, I found myself shifting between tutoring and providing card readings. Although I do not know the heart of my purpose, everything that I have done has mentoring others as a major artery: tutoring, consulting, and cartomancy. However, I am uncertain as to whether or not this is per se a true shadow career or if it is simply the main trait that needs refining and upgrading. I will say that I do habitually revert back to doing this, and Sivers addresses this on his blog:

There’s not a big difference between an artist and an addict. What’s the difference? The addict is the amateur; the artist is the professional.

When I say “addiction,” web-surfing counts too. So do compulsive texting, twittering and Facebooking. Distractions. Displacement activities. When we’re living as amateurs, we’re running away from our calling – meaning our work, our destiny, the obligation to become our truest and highest selves.

To follow a calling requires work. It’s hard. It hurts. It demands entering the pain-zone of effort, risk, and exposure.

-Derek Sivers

I am already aware that what I do is very 6 of pentacles-esque with its charitable actions, but I have yet to fully figure out what my Heirophant or High Priestess state is (and I am not interested in teaching high school).  I know that putting in the time, space, and resources for those who would normally be hindered because of these things is likely the direction I should go. As I continue to work with Archangel Michael, angel of the sphere of the Sun, I believe this will probably become much more clear.

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