I came across the astronomical term path of totality just before Lughnasadh when preparing for my ritual work, and the revelations have stuck with me throughout Lammas celebrations, meditations, and divination work. For this Sabbat, my spiritual work has been focused on exploring the shadow I may be casting because of the shadow I may be denying.
The path of totality refers to the area of land darkened during a total solar eclipse. During the eclipse, the moon will cover the sun, effectively casting a shadow. Those of us in the Los Angeles area will be able to see it as a partial eclipse (about 61.38%), starting at 9:05 am to the maximum eclipse at 10:21 am.
At that moment, the sun’s atmosphere is visible, including its corona. And, at that moment, the moon confiscates the sun’s light, hiding it from us and encouraging us to stand within the shadow.
If we were honest with ourselves, most of us would admit to being uncomfortable with our shadow selves, as C.G. Jung refers to the repository part of the human psyche and personality in which we relegate what we label as negative psychological elements. In essence, Jung articulates this as the aggregate of the things we define as inferior or unacceptable within ourselves and each other—what he refers to as the “personal shadow.”
This is where all of our denied expressions of emotions and unexplored pain go, for example. Regardless of what we’d like to believe, denying and avoiding healthy expressions of anger, disappointment, sadness, loss, etc. does not mean it goes away. Often, that unexplored fear, for example, festers and manifests as unconscious habits and behaviors that rip ourselves and each other apart. These bits of nasty baggage sabotage our relationships and keep us feeling isolated and unhappy.
At its most horrific form, our collective unexplored shadow—our cultural, religious, political, and social shadows—surface as what Jung might categorize as en masse manifestations of the archetypal shadow, such as the historic epidemic of rape and violence against women, hatred toward certain groups, and the ferocious devastations caused by greed.
Full on heavy shit to think about….Blessed Be!
When the eclipse is cast on August 21, what will your shadow reveal?