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Modern Goetia

The Nature of Shadow

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For every object which raises itself into the light a shadow is cast, for every morality there is an evil...

But is it the fault of the shadows children that they live in darkness, or is it the fault of that which steals their light?

There are many beings of psyche and spirit whose will is malign indeed, but they are not born of the hatred they inhabit,

Injustice is their father, and their mother - love.

The Archetypal Shadow
When I talk about the shadow I do so in referrence to the concept of the unconscious archetypal construction of the shadow described in the works of Carl Jung.
Jung's genius was to extend the Freudian idea of the subconscious mind, containing repressed psychic content - things that we find distasteful about ourselves or our experience and block out from our conscious sense of self, to include also the idea of a collective unconscious containing psychic content that is commen to us all and which may never have been conscious.
He described the contents of the unconscious aspects of mind through the concept of 'archetypes', which are psychological structures about which psychic material of a certain kind is brought together. Thus there is an archetype of the father, containing all our knowledge and experience of our own father, of being a father, and of fatherhood in general, there is also a warrior archetype, a lover archetype and so on.
One of these structures which Jung described in detail is called the archetype of the shadow. In many ways this dark structure of the psyche is like unto Freuds definition of the subconscious - containing all those forbidden desires, repressed thoughts and memories, ideas which do not fit with out beleifs, and basically anything which may conflict with our conscious ego and sense of who we are, our morality and our ideals, our beliefs about the nature of the world and of our lives and so on. But still it is more than this; the shadow also contains all those possibilites of mind and all of those archaic psychological structures which conflict with the ideals, beliefs and conventions of society or which may be construed as 'taboo'. These things may never have been brought into the rational, conscious part of a persons mind but yet nervertheless they form the collective archetype of the shadow which we all share.
Perhaps the most important part of Jungs work for anyone wishing to embark upon the study nd practice of Goetia is his realisation that this the unconscious archetypes are able to exert a great influence upon us, and upon our thoughts and actions, whether we like it, whether we even realise it, or not. And in the case of the shadow this influence is universally malign and harmful. The solution, according Jung, is that the shadow must be integrated into the conscious psyche. And in doing so the contents of the shadow are brought under our conscious control. This is precisely the attitude of Goetia which, rather that trying to ignore the darker forces of our psyches and of the world around us, seeks to exert the dominion of Will upon them, and to use their power to strengthen our will, instead of allowing them to weaken or destroy it. The nature of demonic forces is inextricably linked to dominion. If left to their own devices they ensalve us to their will, when in actual fact their true place in the hierarchy of creation is to be slaves and servants themselves.
Anyone interested in Goetia would find a study of Jungs work useful, and to this end I have included links to relevant texts on the right hand side of this page.

Beyond Good and Evil
An introduction to the works of Freidrich Nietzche:
"The spiritualisation of sensuality is called love. It is a great triumph over Christianity."
Nietzche had many great ideas and teachings, but what stands out more than anything else in his work is his attempt to undertake 'a revaluation of all values'. To Nietzche the old conepts of morality that have prevailed for so long are doing more harm than good in many instances, and I tend to agree. It was this which led him to state:
"Let us consider what naivety it is to say 'man ought to be thus and thus!' Reality shows us an enchanting wealth of types, the luxuriance of a prodigal play and change of forms: and does some pitiful journeyman moralist say at the sight of it: 'No! man ought to be different'?... He even knows how man should be, this bigoted wretch; he paints himself on the wall and says 'behold the man'!
The fundamental peice of understanding at the heart of such equisite prose is that the majority of our morality is essentially relative. Different people and different cultures have different moralities and taboos; only a small minority of our moral codes contain any concept of good and bad that could be universally applied across the whole of humanity, and even these cannot be said to contain any objective right and wrong, despite the absolutist claims of religious bodies like the church.

The scapegoat complex: Toward a Mythology of Shadow:
The Shadow in Myth:


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