READ / Shadow Play

By Headmistress Shahrazad

Psychologist Carl Jung suggested that we all have a part of our personality that is in the shadows. It is the part of ourselves that we deny is present in ourselves, but can often spot a hundred miles away in someone else. Have you ever complained about a particular characteristic that annoys you in others, only to have your significant other turn around and accuse you of the very same thing (while you adamantly deny it)? What they are pointing out is a part of your shadow self.

Kinky, or less socially acceptable sexual desires and fantasies, are very often cast into our shadow selves. We rarely want to acknowledge in our everyday lives how "slutty" or "horny" we actually are, how "twisted and bizarre" our fantasies are, how much we want to feel "sexually vulnerable" or "exposed" or "exhibited". And the more we try to deny that this energy is not a part of us, the more it rules us from the background, influencing our choices and decisions for better or for worse without our being aware of the extent of its actual impact.

Early shamanic cultures and societies had rituals and ceremonies whereby they would access the "shadow" parts of their personalities, as they believed that in facing them, they would no longer be at the effect of the shadow's power over their lives. The same occurs today in modern psychotherapy, whereby we are encouraged to delve into and expose the parts of ourselves that we are uncomfortable with, with the intention of growing and ultimately becoming a "better person".

A common misconception that people have when presented with these ideas is that addressing the "shadow" makes it disappear once and for all. This is incorrect. What we are doing is bringing the "unacceptable" from the dark unconscious backgrounds of our psyches into the bright spotlight of our conscious awareness. We cannot control what we are not aware exists, so in discovering what lies in our shadow we are attempting to achieve a degree of mastery over it. The shadow is no longer an annoying backseat driver, but an interesting travelling companion sitting next to you in the front seat. And then YOU get to decide what kind of relationship you want to have to it.

If you are one of the many who have forced your fantasies of erotic power exchange deep down into the shadows because you believed that they were too scary to look at, I invite you to join us for an exploratory session. By submitting, you become master of the domain of yourself.

The Ritual Chamber