Shadow Work Session 12: 5 Of Wands

I still have a lot of work to do regarding The Devil card, but as I mentioned in a previous post, most of the work surrounding those shadow aspects that I want to focus on moving forward require direct action. I have decided to go ahead and move onto a new shadow aspect while I continue to apply the things that I have already learned to my day to day life.

Today I drew the 5 of wands as my shadow aspect card, the 5 of pentacles as my method of integration, and strength as the outcome of integration.

I can already tell that this weeks shadow work is going to be tough for me. The 5 of pentacles is all about the struggles and conflicts that can come up with working with others. It expresses the need for clear and honest communication rather than allowing frustrations and anger to run the show. This card encourages one to look at their own behaviors and communication styles that may be contributing to hardships when working with others. It asks the question, is your reaction and behavior and this situation making things better or worse? Is there an alternative to conflict in this situation? Is there anything that you can change about the way you are responding that could improve communication and understanding within this group or relationship? This card also reminds us that there is a time to stand up for your opinion and a time to back down. Are the things that I stand up for really worth the strife? Are there times that I should be using my voice but I have remained silent?

The 5 of pentacles, my method of integration card, is all about discovering a healthy balance of give and take with others. Perfect for tonight’s full moon in Libra, I feel that I am being asked to examine my relationships with others and determine if the current relationship dynamics are “fair” and “equal.” I need to think about how I can develop a healthy and fair exchange of give and take in my relationships while also examining how I may have personally contributed to any imbalances. Instead of putting all the blame and fault on others, is there a way that I can see my own wrongs in the situation and work to facilitate better communication?

Strength, my outcome card, tells me that by doing this work, I will come to a place of inner strength. When someone is strong within themselves, they don’t always have to engage in the drama of an argument. They know what is and isn’t worth fighting for. They also know their worth and therefore, know when it is time to engage in confrontation and when it is time to walk away. People with internal strength respect themselves and do not welcome relationships that take too much yet give too little. However, people that have cultivated internal strength have also developed a sense of self-reliance. Because they are strong within themselves, they will not allow them to be the negative party in a relationship that sucks the other person dry. They value their own worth and respect the worth of the people around them. The type of strength expressed in this card is cultivated by taming one’s own inner demons rather than trying to tame the demons in everyone else.

When it comes to confrontation in relationships, I never really speak my mind. If the relationship gets too stressful for me to deal with, I silently create distance rather than risk an argument by confronting the situation and expressing my feelings. I definitely do the typical Taurus thing and allow my frustrations to build up over time until I can’t take it anymore. I don’t deal with feelings of anger and frustration very well, I have said this almost all my life. These emotions aren’t emotions that feel natural to me. When the feelings bubble up it feels more like poison running through my body. I just want it to go away by creating distance rather than risk the feelings increasing through confrontation. Like most people, it can be difficult for me to see how I am wrong in a situation, because my feelings of anger and frustration are typically triggered by the other party. It really takes me some time to sort through a personal situation to see how I may have made things worse or better.

This is even more pronounced in my close relationships. I don’t allow a lot of people to get close to me, so I can have high expectations of those that I let into my close circle. I tend to become more irritated by the flaws in the people who are close to me…I don’t know why yet but I hope to figure it out. Within my home, I tend to get angry with the people that I live with over little things, like touching my things or not putting things back where they belong. My reaction in these situations can sometimes create tension in my home. I worry that I give off the impression that my family can’t be fully be comfortable in “open” living spaces of our home because I get upset with things are out of place.

In general, I would rather work alone than to work with others. Too many conflicting ideals causes stress and agitation that I would rather not deal with if possible. I don’t want to be around the drama, and if I’m being honest, I would rather just do things my way then to have to take into account the thoughts and opinions of someone else.

Admittedly, I know that there is an issue with the way that I work with others. Instead of trying to fix these issues, I have opted to hold myself back from many group activities and communities of people. I even choose to hold back my thoughts and opinions in controversial conversations because I just don’t want to get into a heated debate. Through my shadow work this week, I hope to learn to cultivate an inner strength that will help me in my relationships with others. I hope that this inner strength will help me to respond better to feelings of anger and frustration towards others, encouraging me not to shy away from healthy confrontation. I also hope to learn the areas of communication that I need to work on, so that I may strengthen/balance my current relationships while making way for me to make new friendships by improving the way I relate to others.

These shadow work posts are truly intended for my own self discovery and development, but I appreciate those of you who took the time to read this. I plan to work on my shadow aspects surrounding the 5 of wands for the rest of the week OR until I feel that it is time for me to move onto another card/shadow aspect.

Love Always, AnxiouslyM

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