Are you feeling the deep pull of autumn, an unexplainable longing in your soul?
I know I am. And I never understood it until recently.
Autumn is the season of transition, here in the Northern Hemisphere. So if you’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic, deep, dark and brooding, this may be why. Nature is encouraging us to go deeper, to turn within as Mother Earth gets ready for winter.
Autumn calls for a release. A release of what no longer serves us, of what is dead and brittle inside us, of pain and of fear. It calls for a union with our deepest, darkest self. Our shadow.
For me, the denial of my shadow self almost killed me. It led me to the darkest parts of my life and I almost didn’t make it out alive. Yet here I am, whole, healed and integrated. I’ve had to explore my darkness and grow to love and admire it. It wasn’t an easy task in the beginning. It took patience, courage and acceptance. Also a willingness to become an observer of myself through meditation. Early on, I found that using tools during meditation helped me focus while also bringing in other energies.
One of these tools I discovered were crystals. Crystals carry energy and we can harness this energy in our healing and grounding work. My crystals have journeyed with me to the deepest parts of my soul where no one else can accompany me. They serve as reminders of my divinity, my strength and my connection to all beings. And they can do the same for you.
I was once a doubter. I thought crystals were woo-woo and airy-fairy. And then I started understanding their energy. Now I am never without my stones—I wear them, meditate with them and place them strategically around my home.
They can guide us and help us heal, if we let them. The deeper we dig into our own depths of darkness, the more profound the connection we discover with the past and the Earth. Through this process, the past releases its hold on us. It no longer weighs heavily on us or feels like something to be avoided. For me, I’ve come to embrace my past with gratitude, for it made me who I am today.
We falsely tend to believe that life must be all light and rainbows. We try to avoid the darkness and the shadows even though they are naturally part of us. Light can’t exist without darkness, and both are needed inherently. It’s only in repressing the darkness that we cause ourselves misery and suffering. Our repressed shadow aspects are only powerful when they are denied. When we shine the light on them, we find they aren’t so scary after all. And we find that people will actually love us more for not being so perfect.
When we work to bring the shadow aspects to our conscious awareness, we can achieve wholeness, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness—otherwise know as integration. And if it’s possible for me, it is possible for every single one of us.
I encourage everyone to do some shadow work during this time of year. Spend time in thoughtful contemplation. Sit in meditation. Journal. Explore your feelings. You never know what will be revealed, but have faith because it will be exactly what you need to know.
As a seeker, I eventually came to a place where I had to try incorporating crystals into my meditation practice and my shadow work. These treasures connect us deeply—to Earth and to higher realms of spirit and consciousness. They can amplify our chakra work, aiding in opening and balancing of the chakra system. If it’s all new, that’s okay, start where you are. You may find that you already know it deep within.
Get your crystals, smudge with sage to clear energies, then sit with them in meditative posture, charging them with your intention. Ask them to guide you in your work. Hold them, feel them, and send your vibration and intention into them. Now they are programmed for you. Meditate with them, wear them, carry them.
These five crystals are potent allies in shadow work and soul integration.
This Root Chakra stone is a must for integration. It helped me when I was seeking to connect with a deeper acceptance of myself, especially my shadow aspects. With acceptance comes the ability to move on with life, to change or release parts of ourselves that don’t serve us. I worked with dravite as I explored my inner darkness, the parts where I felt most vulnerable. I held it, I wore it, and I still carry it with me as my ally in a judgmental world. I still meditate with my dravite on the days when I feel less then accepting of myself. Because it does still creep up from time to time. It just doesn’t overpower me anymore.
When we reach self-acceptance, it turns into self-love, and then we no longer fear exposing ourselves, because we know how special we are. When we stop judging ourselves we stop worrying about being judged. If you’re harsh on yourself, this is your gemstone companion. This stone is powerful for me because I was so harsh on myself. The incessant judgements in my mind almost drove me mad. And now it’s such a relief to be free of this.
This volcanic gemstone is amazing for integrating our shadow aspects because it helps draw emotions to the surface—so all the stuck or blocked emotions can flow free and be released. We will never be free of our wounds if we don’t bring them to the surface. Sure this can be scary, but whatever it is, you already lived through it. Do yourself a favor and let it go.
If you’re resisting it, here is a great place to journal. I wrote about everything I didn’t want to. Explore your resistance, it can be revealing. As I worked to bring my negative thought and behavior patterns to the surface (which greatly benefitted me on my journey) snowflake obsidian was my companion. Destructive behavior is often a manifestation of the repressed parts of our personality, and we can’t address a behavior if we aren’t aware of it. This is a stone which heals old karmic patterns as well. Snowflake obsidian also promotes a sense of deep calm and inner centering which readies you for a deep meditative state. It’s the perfect accomplice for accepting our shadow aspects.
This is a stone of soft, nurturing energies. It’s healing and protective as we walk through our past traumas. It provided strength as I walked through the repressed pain of broken-hearts, rejection and abandonment—it helped as I found my way out of emotional despair. This is important because emotional despair contributes to the shadow and the blocks within us. This stone gently nudges us to face the unresolved issues, which is a key aspect of shadow work and integration. Kambaba jasper is often used by shamanic journeyers as they travel within to heal their wounds.
Golden sheen obsidian
Another obsidian. This gorgeous form of volcanic glass helps us to uncover our unique skills and hidden talents. The ones we’ve buried deep within us, for fear of criticism. Perhaps someone criticized a skill when we were young and we felt rejected. It hurt. So we buried that skill. For me, it was writing—it opened me me up and made me feel way too vulnerable. So I buried my writing for a long time.
Sheen obsidian also guides us in releasing blockages to our spiritual and personal growth. We are often unaware of these blockages because they are so ingrained in us. They can be energetic, emotional, intellectual or physical. In consciously acknowledging them, we begin the process of release. This is also another great place to journal, one where we can explore our beliefs and fears that fuel these very blockages. It can give us insight into the core of problems and remove egotistical thinking, allowing us to find our spiritual path.
Astrophyllite-Nuumite (Not for the faint of heart.)
Nuumite, or astrophyllite, is a crystal for those who want to go deep and the serious work. I’m still working with this stone, as it’s perfect for this time of year. It is seriously hard to get this stone, and it’s meant for deep work. It’s such an amazing gem to work with because it has the ability to direct light into the darkest recesses of our being. It brings light into the darkness, which takes away the power the darkness has over us. This stone is my metaphysical flashlight in the darkest times.
Astrophyllite can help us perceive and understand our most buried and unacknowledged thoughts and feelings (the most buried shadow self). Astrophyllite is excellent for those who are really mired in shame and guilt (as I was), and who feel they are beyond redemption or salvation. This occurs when the ego is highly invested in the shadow self for its own survival purposes, which usually occurs in cases of extreme traumas and pain early in life. I currently work with this stone, as the inner work never ends. I also use nuumite when I revisit past traumas, as it gives me a clear perception about what occurred, so I can heal the past from a place of love and forgiveness of myself and others.
We all have work to do. Never assume that someone else has it all together. That’s just a perception. It’s not as easy as picking us a crystal and bam we’re healed (unfortunately).
Alongside meditation, journaling and being of service to others, these crystals can and will amplify your journey into the shadows.
Do you work with crystals? I would love to hear your favorites in the comments below.
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Image: courtesy of the author
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock