For centuries now, whole healing and psychedelic mushrooms have been inextricably linked together. Healers are properly aware of the fact that psychedelic mushrooms possess incredible powers that can be of great help to the mind and the body. Recent research studies have also supported this fact.
Popular for their dark spores, psychedelic mushrooms thrive in the woods and meadows of the tropics and subtropics. Humans have always used them for different purposes since. The psilocybin and psilocin compounds found in these mushrooms make them extraordinary and powerful tools in shamanic healing and shadow work.
For thousands of years now, mushrooms containing psilocybin and psilocin have been used for sacred and rituals practices. In shamanism, psychedelic mushrooms play a pivotal role in divination, communion and most importantly, shadow work.
Shamanic healing with psychedelic mushrooms is a spiritual experience intended to help users increase their well-being while allowing them to become accepting of the world around them to have a more meaningful interaction with it.
To have a better understanding of the role psychedelic mushrooms can play in shadow work, there is a need to first understand what shadow work itself is all about and it has to start from learning about the term ‘shadow’.
What is the ‘shadow’ self?
According to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, the ‘shadow’ is the side of our personality that consists of all the parts of ourselves that we don’t want to admit to having. Initially, it is our unconscious side that we can only recognize through the effort towards self-awareness. To most people, the shadow is ‘negative’ because a person’s shadow may contain some classic elements such as rage, cruelty, laziness, sadness, selfishness, aggressive impulses, arrogance, fear or shameful experiences.
All these parts of humans are the elements that most people choose to hide or repress by pushing them down into their unconsciousness, which usually happens during childhood. However, the shadow is not really negative because shadow work can also help you discover other parts of yourself that you have hidden in your unconsciousness. These other parts may include your independence, personal power or your emotional sensitivity.
Rather, the Shadow is your own perception of what is weak and dark about yourself, which therefore needs to be denied or hidden. So, this has more to do with your own perspective on life and self-esteem levels.
Psychological Projection Of Our Shadow
Psychological projection involves attributing an unconscious talent, feeling and thought of our own onto another person. Our shadow tends to lead to certain behaviors in us like judging people, criticizing people that have the same flaws as ours or always being the victim.
The shadow appears to be acceptable attributes we see in others, which often result in blame. For example, while you may be busy labeling the people around you as selfish and lazy, it could be that all of them are too self-absorbed to render any form of assistance to you.
A closer examination at yourself could reveal that you have been too inactive and self-centered that you didn’t bother to care about what’s been going on in their lives as well. Keeping our shadows hidden or locked away can lead to the development of negative feelings that can affect our lives.
These can include addiction, self-absorption, narcissism, hypocrisy, depression, neuroticism, sexual deviancy, obsession, anger, social anxiety, mental and emotional manipulation of others. The first thing you will face when you attend therapy is usually your shadow.
What Exactly Is Shadow Work And Where Does Psychedelic Mushrooms Come In?
Shadow work involves the process of exploring the shadow or inner darkness in our unconscious mind that consists of the parts of us which we are ashamed of feeling and thinking. Most of the time, these unconsciously or consciously hidden fear, perversion, desire and repressed idea are humans’ ways of keeping ourselves tamed and likable because they make us appear ‘civilized’ in others’ eyes. Shadow work is an attempt to reveal all hidden things that have either been rejected or disowned within ourselves to get rid of the effects they are having on our lives.
Shadow work is traditionally a practice that is associated with shamanism, whereby shamans, priestesses, and priests of the archaic history period incorporate plant medicines into shamanic healing to heal their clients. The use of plant medicine such as psychedelic mushrooms in Shadow Work has played an incredible yet occult and mysterious role in helping us find out what is really causing physical dis-ease, mental illness, and even insanity in people, resulting in different kinds of crimes.
In shamanism, all these negative elements in humans are seen as the symptoms or effects of their wounded spirit which have been caused by soul loss, fear, and disharmony. The causes are believed to have originated from childhood and are products of natural ego, serious traumatic experience or societal conditioning. Traumatic experience goes beyond war, sexual or physical abuse. Being neglected, feeling unloved or unsafe are all traumas that people need to be healed of, this is what we call soul retrieval
These feelings can’t be fixed with medications but by correcting them from the internal realm that is invisible to the eyes, which is the spirit by journeying to the non-ordinary realms. This is why plant medicine such as psychedelic mushrooms has been a historically powerful tool in mending the root cause of any form of illness in shamanic healing. Psychedelic mushrooms are well respected, sacred plants that serve a vehicle through which a Shaman journey with their clients who suffers from emotional or mental illness.
The use of psychedelic mushrooms for shadow work is experienced in a psychedelic mushroom ceremony. The ceremony is performed by a trained shaman, who helps the client understand, interpret and integrate their experience. This usually happens in an all-night lower-world journey while incorporating a curing ritual into the process. The ceremony is done with clapping and the shaman’s chants.
For psychedelic mushrooms to work in Shadow Work, the user must first acknowledge his or her shadow, embrace and befriend it. Bringing these hidden elements of one’s life to the surface encourages authentic living and better discovery of life purpose and inner wisdom in order to gain access to the Higher Self.
These days, shadow work falls in the classification of spiritual guides, therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapy. Other media that have been proven to help facilitate the process involved in the use of Psychedelic Mushrooms for shadow work or healing from a traumatic experience include mindfulness meditation, cultivating self-awareness and self-compassion and journaling.
The most success that Western medicine has seen when it comes to doing shadow work or treating depression modernly has been with Prozac, which is not that better than a placebo. In contrast, the data from trials on psychedelic mushrooms is better than anything we have ever seen for treating shadow work-related issues.
To alleviate the misconception of people concerning psychedelic mushrooms, studies reveal that they are only helping the interpersonal healing process of the human, which is referred to as “psychotherapy”, due to their ability to
Psychedelic mushrooms practically adopt the concept of “catharsis” for the process of releasing and providing relief from repressed, strong feelings such as grief, disgust, shame, guilt or any other emotions locked away in one’s shadow self.
There are now people who are trained in psychedelic therapy. Stan Grof, a psychiatrist who was a friend of Albert Hoffman, the scientist who discovered LSD explained that the funeral pyre of any negative emotions stems from the full experience of such emotion.
This is very important when it comes to healing from one’s shadow. Psychedelic therapy enhances negative memories and emotions and follows every one of the feelings through to its death whereas the Western therapeutic approach focuses on suppressing them.
This is reflected in the common medication categories being used such as anti-anxiety and anti-depressants. However, the shadow self yearns to be known, explored, understood and integrated. It craves attention and will always find opportunities to reveal its existence.
A huge part of our shadows are formed by societal conditioning and giving in to them reveals us as being weak or something to be ashamed of. Psychedelic therapy evokes emotions, memories and physical symptoms by confronting and helping you to master your shadow, which is why an environment that is conducive for healing is important.
This is what the shamans who use plant medicine such as psychedelic mushrooms create for their clients for the safety of their souls during their journey to the non-ordinary realms for spiritual healing. This is emphasized in the term “set and setting” that was coined in 1961 by Timothy Leary. Elements such as where you are, who you are with and the atmosphere of your physical space are all important when it comes to using psychedelic mushrooms for shadow work.
Several research studies have been conducted for reveal the authenticity of psychedelic mushrooms to shadow work when it comes to the treatment of depression, Alzheimer and addiction. Also, MAPS Rick Doblin (in 1991, Johns Hopkins University study by Roland Griffiths in 2006 and 1962 Harvard Study by Walter Pahnke among other studies have supported the use of psychedelic mushroom for shadow work or effective treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in humans.
Government-funded researchers have started exploring psychedelic mushrooms for treatment of trauma-related mental illnesses. Also, a centre for psycehlic research has been launched for further research into using psychedelic mushroom for shadow-related conditions.
Psychedelic Mushrooms For Shadow Work
Why should anyone work with their shadow? The use of psychedelic mushrooms in Shadow Work involves a process whereby some aspects of your unconscious psyche are integrated into your conscious experience, thereby making the positive aspects of your shadow to express themselves.
Working with your shadow helps you to gradually deepen the interior aspects of your life so that you become kind and loving to the things you have previously rejected. Eventually, you will become more compassionate towards others and yourself.
Also, working with your shadow helps you to start reclaiming whatever projections you have put onto other people. With this, you will instead gently turn inward slowly listen to and heal that aspect within yourself. If you are able to maximize the use of psychedelic mushrooms with the proper use and channel, your shadow traits can help you further your personal development.
Other most commonly experienced benefits in the use of psychedelic mushrooms for shadow work include:
- A better understanding of your passions
- Improved mental and physical health
- More courage
- Access to your Higher Self
- A feeling of Wholeness
- Deeper acceptance of and love for yourself
- Better relationships with your partner, children, and others
- Enhanced creativity
- Discovery of hidden talents and gifts
- Deepened understanding of your most important life purpose
- More confidence
- More spiritual, emotional and mental clarity
- Increased understanding and compassion for others, especially those that aren’t your favorites
However, it is recommended that people suffering from low self-esteem shouldn’t undertake shadow work with psychedelic mushrooms or other means because exploring their dark side may make them feel bad about themselves and could lead to self-hatred. We emphatically and strongly encourage you to work on self-love before you doing shadow work.
Shadow work may sound mysterious to you, but it is just a code for the spiritual and emotional healing that takes you to the embodied experience of radical self-acceptance, unconditional love and relentless forgiveness for yourself and for others as well.
This is because the kind of love that is only divine, wild, healing and that can grip your soul to never let go can only come when you surrender to the burdens of what is right or wrong. The medicinal and therapeutically benefits of psychedelic mushrooms are massive to the success of shadow work.
However, shadow work is for the tenacious and brave seeker and to be clear, the use of psychedelic mushrooms for shadow work is not just any process anyone can google and understand. One shouldn’t see psychedelic mushrooms as a magical pill or quick fix.
The use of psychedelic mushrooms in a controlled environment or through shamanic healing can help anyone find their wholeness again and there are several studies backing up these facts.