Shadow – “problems in the Ark”

I tracked down some books to help me with the shadow work that I’m starting to engage on (so far I’ve discovered both an animalistic feral sexuality which surprised me as I didn’t I think I was capable of that… and in the same way, intense anger and rage).

One is called “A little book on the human shadow” by Robert Bly. I like it already. On the first page:

Problems in the Ark

We notice that when sunlight hits the body, the body turns bright, but it throws a shadow, which is dark. The brighter the light, the darker the shadow. Each of us has some part of our personality that is hidden from us. Parents, and teachers in general, urge us to develop the light side of the personality – move into well-lit subjects such as mathematics and geometry – and to become successful. The dark part then becomes starved. What do we do then? We send out a crow.

The dover returns : it found no resting place:
It was in flight all night above the shaken seas;
Beneath dark eaves
The dove shall magnify the tiger’s bed;
Give the dove peace.
The split-tailed swallow leaves the sill at dawn;
At dusk, blue swallows shall return.
On the third day the crow shall fly,
The crow, the crow, the spider-coloured crow,
The crow shall find new mud to walk upon.

The poem refers to the Noah story, though I drew the images from an earlier version composed by the Babylonians, in which three birds took part. The poem came two or three years after college, and it seems to say that if any help was going to arrive to lift me out of my misery, it would come from the dark side of my personality. I remember this as one of the first things I understood clearly for myself. ”


I ended up going to see an open air performance of Macbeth last night, with Jess-fox. It was amazing, especially the moments the rain came thundering down, a couple of times at just the right moments. The witches were created as twisted puppets with long twiggy arms and saggy boobs, two people to each witch, resulting in a strange harmonised speaking. To be honest shakespere, when you’ve not studied the play, can be a bit hard to follow in places, but in other places it reaches out in a rhythmic incantation. Powerful stuff.

In my dreams I’ve been angry, and raged and stood up and spoken out loud for myself. I feel I am edging slowly towards my inner witch but it will be a long and careful process. But I want to explore the darkness – it has a strange pull to it. Which I think comes from knowing that amongst that I will find my truth and power.

You can feel anger in your arms and legs. But it is connected I’ve found to strength in the same places. Allowing it to flow through, to kick, to push, is a liberating experience.

Woods and Art and Father anger dreams

I’m in a bit of an interesting place at the moment..feel not quite part of the surface world but pulled quite strongly towards something else, and the wilds and dark. I can’t or shouldn’t write about this because the words carry the power of it away and I can’t express it anyway. If I seem a bit quiet and withdrawn then don’t worry about it, I really need this time and the solitude, it’s not a depression.

I did spend most of saturday in my own company, found a blissfull quiet place at the end of a branch train line in cornwall — Tamar Valley, river, trees.. salmon, frogs, hawks and crows. Apparently even Raven. I also found a wonderful tiny art studio – you ring the doorbell and a bright grey haired intense artisty guy opens it with a smile and shows you his paintings. Mostly watercolour, the images that stuck out the most were those of lichen covered rusty doors or incredibly detailed minatures. I chatted to him a while, asking him about his work.

He made the point that he spends a long time just looking, really looking at the colours that are present. And putting all these in the mix of paint that goes on the paper.
“Whatever colour the eye picks up on is in there somewhere”.. the old cream electric heater stuck against the wall had oranges and hints of mauve in it, for example. “colour is made up by the brain and is illusionary anyway” he said, and then showed me his current work, a beautiful rendition of a rockpool. He works from photos, in the comfort of his den-like home, the smell of fresh coffee in the background.

I enjoyed my time out doors, recharged by nature. Finding raspberries and chatting to children making “sand mud” in a bucket. I still get shy and nervous talking to kids, for some reason, so it’s nice to get better at doing so. I feel worried that they won’t accept me or I don’t know how to relate to them? It’s an old lingering issue from my own childhood perhaps.

I danced, slowly, near the river. I sat with my back against a tree and lost track of the time, shifting my awareness to the woods around me. After a while I get the distinct sense of the presence of someone or something watching me..faerys? I find it a bit unnerving.

I’m getting more sensitive to sensation and the physical world. I can hear electric appliances and the buzzing from wires and this can really grate, so perhaps another reason to get out to the middle of nowhere at times.


my dreams have been deep an intense lately. A lot of shadow material, dark waves crashing over me, spiders, all sorts.

Friday night, after spending some time connecting into bodily sensation, I was awoken from a dream where dramatic kundalini-energy was awoken in me and pushing itself up through my body. I FELT each of my vertebrae, as they almost seemed to fuse together. It was pain-pleasure combined and in my dream I was screaming with it. I felt it get to my throat and hit the familiar wall/block there — I focused and got some of it through, felt as a buzzing in my throat.. I got some of it up to my forehead and then ‘awoke’ properly. Felt so very real. Reminds me of years back when I dreamt of being hit by lightening and waking into this sensual body orgasm.

I need to find my dance, or at least start my dance. My body is shouting to move.

Angry father dream last night

Solstice and Crow energy.

“I went to stonehenge again this summer – it was very different to the last time. I went out there for the night this time, and with a few friends. Although I went into the centre of the circle a bit, this time I spent more of it outside sitting or lying on one of the outer rights/mounds, watching and feeling the wonderful energy and vibe of the place and people there. One of my best memories was lying on the grass next to Mark, looking as the pre-dawn colours filled in the gaps between dark clouds. Feeling the energy in the ground — a sense of lying in waves, all pulling into towards the centre of the stone circle. It may be that there is an intrinsic energy in that place itself, but I also feel it’s as though the people and intent there kind of charge it up.

(some photos by mark)

So my memory of this solstice is primarily the night and the dark. By the time dawn came the sky had clouded over and there wasn’t much to see sunwise – plus I was tired. I also felt quite sad and strange and the start of a feeling I’ve been engaging with lately – a kind of loneliness that you feel even when surrounded by others. I spent some time alone amongst the crowd sitting against a stone, and my big intent for the day was to invite my own shadow to come into my life.

You’ve got to be careful with making intents it seems 🙂 Since basically that’s whats started to happen. I can’t really express it very well and I suspect it’s actually supposed to be a relatively private process. but the good thing is it feels good to be working with and also caught up in the shadow I feel a great amount of personal power available for me to reclaim. I felt some of this yesterday when I went to Dawlish coast, watched the sea and went up the cliff side. My fox-friend Jess who was with me said I was exuding quite a charisma/attractiveness, which I felt, and also I seemed very much “crow” which also felt right. ”


You can see some photos take from the evening here.

And I do feel quite crowy. I want more goth-like black clothes again, alongside my brighter coyote-ish hippy clothes.

Crow-Raven-corvid energy has been around in the background for years. Ever since a dream when I encountered one and he stood on my left shoulder, claiming me, filling me with a mix of fear and power. Ha – and now I have a crow tattooed in the same place. Crow is my masculine, contains my shadow as well. Intellect and magic too. I want to bring it out and acknowledge-incorporate it into me.

I feel akin to a flock of them at the moment – wheeling and soaring around the place, cawing loudly, or hop skip jumping along the floor. Tilting the head and looking at things from one eye then the other. It’s a very different feel to the fluffier wolfy energy. Yesterday evening I felt it really strongly and felt quite artemisy too – sexy but not interested in sex. My dreams have involved more flying and floating than usual. But it’s hard to know how to harness this and channel it and actually GET ON with stuff. I think I’m getting there though..


handy article
Listening to Raven : The Shadow as guide
..”The most common understanding of the shadow maintains that this aspect of the unconscious Self contains all the dark and unacceptable traits we have repressed because they are unpleasant. But this is only partly true. The shadow, specifically the personal shadow, contains all aspects of Self that have been repressed or not admitted to consciousness. This includes positive traits, aspects of ourselves–such as creativity in men or assertiveness in women–that are not socially accepted, as well as the more commonly labeled negative traits.“… hmm

Hope by Patience Strong

Found this that I’d copied from somewhere and shoved inside a book about a year ago.

by Patience Strong
“Hope against hope, when Hope itself seems hopeless and insane. Hope against hope – when every prayer seems futile and in vain… Hope goes far beyond the bounds of logic and sense – strengthening the fainting heart in anguish and suspense.
Hope against hope – when all around is fear and suffering. Sometimes at the zero hour a spark of hope may bring – a flash of light that sets the darkened future all ablaze – with the possibility of brighter, better days.
We are not defeated till we lose the power to hope. This is not a mental drug – or spiritual dope – but faith that faces facts and counts nothing incredible – that dares say ” I believe ” .. and then awaits the miracle.”

*hugs Mike*

I think that was written during first world war if I remember right, so puts things in perspective.

also I find that while I like the sentiment a lot, there is a new aspect on how I’m starting to see the world, this idea that its not always enough to just sit back and hope – sometimes you have to fight to give your hope the chance it needs.

fears and issues and broke

I’m in a strange space right now. Simultaneous worlds of light and dark almost – or perhaps more a case of when you turn the brightness up, the shadows deepen as much as the colours brighten.

It’s not stress because I feel too calm(?)
It’s not depression because I feel emotion, perhaps too much emotion.
It’s physical, or perhaps just I am becoming more physical, more aware of sensations in my body. right now I feel tightening around my jaws and face and eyes again. Earlier I felt my heart under attack after a manipulative text message, and then battered and sinking. It’s a little intense.