Psychoterica, Self-Development, Thoth

January Shadow Work (Day 7)

The Shadow & Shadow Work

Carl Jung introduced the concept of The Shadow as an element of human psyche.  He taught that The Shadow consists of those parts of ourselves we subconsciously choose to repress or hide. We begin this process of stashing them under our metaphorical bed in childhood but they aren’t gone, only condemned to an internal netherworld where they shapeshift and become what I call our inner demons.  Adversarial to our wellness, our inner demons- when left unacknowledged and untempered- surreptitiously turn us into own worst enemy.  I will be writing a lot more about inner demons and how to successfully temper them throughout 2021.

Shadow Work is a collection of psychoteric techniques to temper The Shadow into a form where all those inner demons are discovered and slowly infused into a more sustainable, authentic, realistic self-perception and personality.

One of the popular Shadow Work techniques is using self-analyzing writing prompts to write in a daily journal.   One of the people that I enjoy following on Twitter, Ashley N. Jackson @iamshwee published her own Shadow Work 31 Day Journal last month.  I told her that I would use it myself (I’m now at Day 120 of keeping an active Tarot Journal- my longest success at that) for all 31 days, starting on Sunday the 17th.  My weeks start on Sundays, end on Saturdays for completely personalized reasons 🙂

The 31 Days of Shadow Work Calendar

While the work itself is private, I’m going to list the Thoth tarot cards I drew each day in association with each of those prompts 🙂

Day One: Am I in love with illusions and fantasies or truths & realities? The High Priestess (Upright)

Day Two: Have I forgiven myself for my flaws, failures, and limitations? The Tower 

Day Three: Do I live mostly in the past, present or future? Page of Swords (Reversed)

Day Four: Am I afraid of being alone? If so, what am I avoiding in myself? 8 of Swords Interference

Day Five: Do I easily allow myself to be happy or does it take a lot to make me happy? The Magus

Day Six: When I make a mistake, do I accept it or do I heavily judge and criticize myself? Knight of Wands

Day Seven: Do I tend to overload myself with other people’s burdens/pain? Queen of Swords

Thoughts So Far

Incorporating a daily Shadow Work prompt into my morning journaling fit in smoothly. I liked the way it provided a topic for me to write about. It was a perfect format for me to incorporate my personal card for the day into (which is separate from the one I do on Twitter for the Twitch streamer community).

I found the choice of topics (Love, Self-Love, Mindful, Solitude, Happiness, etc.,) to be interesting. If/when I make a calendar of my own, I would probably create just seven that would be in association with the classic planets + days of the week. This is just the occultist geek in me; there’s nothing wrong with the broader range of them that Ashley picked.

The questions themselves were well-scripted to be useful for a wide audience. I think they’d be perfect for someone who was just getting their first taste in doing shadow work journaling. I found myself on certain days using them as a launch pad for a deeper, harder question. For example, I absolutely let myself be happy and it doesn’t take a lot to put me there- and if that was true in 2020 despite the pandemic and everything else? Then I expect 2021 to be even more so (it is so far). But I was able to take that question and write about my gratitude to the life circumstances and special people that have brought above average happiness into my life over the last 2-3 years.

So I can say that so far? This 31 Day Shadow Work Calendar has been a rewarding experience. Best of all, it gave me the opportunity to delve a little into something psychoteric and blissfully apolitical for this blog, which I’m thrilled about. The days since the Inauguration have been so wonderfully normalizing. I want this trend to continue.

Authors & Bloggers, Mind Magick, Occult Philosophy, Thoth

Today As A Magus (1-2-2021)


Harris-Crowley Thoth Tarot; image is © US Games Systems, Inc.

So today’s Medium article is “The Psychology of The Magus” by Jennifer Moore which I discovered when I was looking for a picture of Magus #3 for my collection.  That is the one I happened to draw for today, synchronicitly.  I wasn’t able to read as carefully as I would have liked, my brain was too racing to get my own thoughts out about The Inner Magus and True Will and Weight Loss.

I have given myself the resolution to not eat grain-based food, candy, or soda for 2021.  I started by giving them all up on December 26th.  Today is Day 2 of 2021.  I am not throwing myself at eating X number of calories, trying to balance my Protein-Carbs-Fats or any other food alchemy at this time.  The ~only~ things I’ve established for myself are:

1. No grain-based foods, no candy, no soda
2. Potatoes and Legumes are my primary starches
3. I eat as much fresh produce as I can; condiments are okay.  

I don’t know how much weight I will or won’t lose.  I would LOVE to drop an entire 100 lbs. by my 53rd birthday (tomorrow is my 52nd birthday) but you know what?  I have not, in all the years I’ve told myself “I will lose a hundred lbs. this year” come even close.  I’ve lost 20, 30, even 40 lbs. over a 12 month period but always gained at least half of it back.  Most years, keeping myself between 320-340 lbs. has been my biggest accomplishment. 

I’m not doing it that way this time.  My weight is currently 330 lbs.  I’m at my average.  But in 2021, I would ~like to~ lose at least 31 lbs. and I would ~like to~ feel what it’s like to be 299 lobs again.  I ~plan to~ to get off my ass at least 3 times a day and take three short walks to get in at least 5,000 steps even on bad days.   

But what I AM going to do, not simply hope for and plan for? I’m going to abstain and from grain-based foods (which include all cereals and baked goods and pasta), all candy, all soda.  

Because this is my Will.  This is my Directed Intention that I’m being and going to continue to be magickal about: I am stating to myself and the universe that I will not eat these foods with the self-understanding that what I really mean is that I will willfully and by intention not eat these foods and if I fuck up?  Then I will willfully and by intention smack myself in the head, laugh, and go right back to NOT eating these foods.  I will walk a set path with grit teeth, determination, and accept my human fallibility but not define myself by it.

At the end of the day (or in this case, at the end of the year)?  The point should not be “Laurel weighs less than 300 lbs for the first time in 30 years!”.  That is just the pay-off I hope for.  The point will be “Laurel honed her True Will and mind magick to stop eating grain-based food, candy, and soda… and as a result of that and moderate daily exercise?  She lost weight.”

The point will be that I established a sandbox for shaping and strengthening my True Will in 2021.  It’s that I’m making a resolution that regardless of circumstances, regardless of what events happen and how I feel-think afterward?  I am not going to eat grain-based food, candy, or drink soda.  Not when I’m happy and celebrating, not when I’m sad/bad/mad.  I can drink juice, coffee, tea, water, milk, seltzer…anything else.  I can nom on potatoes with ketchup, I can stick a spoonful of peanut butter in my mouth.  I can let someone buy me a bunless hamburger with fries and ice tea when we go pick up fast food.  

Because I have stated my intention and created a resolution and now I do the magick of creating the reality I want.  I made this resolution and initiated this working with full knowledge that my Inner Demons will gleefully look at ways to sabotage my Inner Magus because that’s their job as my psyche-as-Adversary?  (There’s some psychoteric writing for the future).  The point is to Be The Magus who, like Solomon, masters the demons rather than being mastered by the demons.  2021 is going to be a Solomonic story, not a Faustian story, I have decided.  I get to triumph.  All it takes is me, via praxis, keeping to my resolution via True Will which I believe I can do.  

My BELIEF that I. Can. Do. This. Thing and my embracing of “This is gonna be so hard some days but totally worth it and I will say this and believe this and make this my reality” is the Mind MagickUsing affirmations, rituals, tarot card readings, every tool I draw on to program my brain into consistent follow-through day by day (hour by hour on the rough days)? That’s the Craft. Because if I can say and mean and follow through on something as challenging as “no grains, no candy, no soda” for the next 364 days?

Everything else I want to accomplish is possible and probable too.  But this is the sandbox and canvas for the microcosm of my Great Work for 2021.  It is something I do have control over, and only I have control over, which is what makes it so useful as a sandbox.  You, my readers, will get to watch as you please.  While I’m doing this mental alchemical Magnum Opus (a year of abstinence from grain foods, candy and soda) for me?  I am also sure that using my blog as one of the ways I hold myself accountable for thinking through and typing through this working will really, really help it happen. 

Typing about my inner demons when they manifest and start cavorting about to try and sabotage my work will really help me snap my fingers and say “no” with confidence and prove that my Inner Magus is stronger.

There is most ~definitely~  some very deep delving into The Magus vs. The Devil coming in not too distant writing.  Remember that I believe the entire Major Arcana is there in our psyche all the time. We are never just one card, one archetype when it comes to the zodiacal or tarot archetypes. We simply draw on certain archetypal forces and play them out in what we say-do-feel differently at different times. Educating ourselves about the archetypes and then developing the True Will and magickal prowess to intentionally manifest a specific archetype in a specific way as part of our communication-actions-feeling is the endgame. Perfection in it is an illusion. Doing it most of the time and accomplishing most of what we hope for, getting better with practice? That’s being a good magician.   

Astrology, Hermetic Qabalah, Minor Arcana, Thoth

Card For Today: 6 of Wands (Thoth)

image  © US Games, Inc

I am going to draw a card each morning from one of my 2021 decks and briefly talk about it. For over 80 days, I’ve just been doing daily cards for myself in a tarot journal.

In the RWS tradition, the 6 of Wands depicts a victorious leader and being lauded by a crowd. I’ve always liked that RWS motif but the Thoth card gives me a greater thrill and makes a sense of achievement (present and potential) really hit home.

Astrologically, this card is attributed what happens with Jupiter (The Benefactor) in the sign of Leo. Well-aspected Jupiter- and it is very well-aspected in Leo- is associated with prosperity, abundance, good fortune, benevolence. Leo rules the House of Pleasure (the 5th House) where our passions, self-expressions, creativity, romances and hobbies are to found. So from an astrological perspective, the Thoth 6 of Wands symbolizes a time-place where we have a lot to celebrate and shamelessly indulge in.

The geometric shape of the wands on this card always catches my eye. I love the way the six wands create those diamond shapes and how the flames are arrayed. My beloved friend Michael Osiris Snuffin attributes the nine flames via numerology to the sefira Yesod; he describes this as being there to give yinyang harmony to this card and it certainly feels surprisingly balanced and harmonizing for a card with so many yang associations (fire, Jupiter, Leo) going for it. Numerologically, sixes associated with idealism, family, love, and harmony.

Looking at it through the lens of Qabalistic tarot? All of the sixes in the Minor Arcana are associated with Tiferet, the sphere of the Higher Self associated with The Sun. Wands as a suit are associated with Olam Azilut, the world of Emanation (energies and archetypes). So this card expresses the qualities of Tiferet in Atzilut the same say as it expresses the qualities of Jupiter in Leo.


In a tarot reading, this card upright is generally very auspicious. It suggests that someone really invested themselves into something and is either receiving the outcome they desired or they will soon. Its a powerful, dynamic card.

Reversed? Instead of all this powerful yang energy flowing harmoniously, there is blockage because of hubris or ego. Elemental fire, planetary Jupiter and zodiacal Leo, Tiferet and Atzilut are ~all~ very Yang and when they pile together this way it is hard to have advantageous balance. Reversed, the Yang elements are taken to an extreme which easily leads to hubris and extreme narcissism and selfishness. So if the Thoth 6 of Wands Reversed appears in a personal reading for yourself? Chances are you need to take a deep breath and do some fearless self-inventory and start being more more kind, more compassionate, and especially more humble and charitable.

The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.” – Marcus Aurelius