It's halfway between eclipses and for Self-Care Sunday today we're sharing this timeless wisdom around Shadow Work from our archives. With this article, Suzie Kerr Wright was our very first cover writer appearing in Volume 1, Issue 1 of NEA launched on Summer Solstice 2021.

Imagine you’ve been working in your beautifully decorated, peaceful artist’s space in your garage or outbuilding for years. It’s your domain. You have all your precious brushes, canvases, or wood carving tools or pottery (whatever you love to create) and unbeknownst to you, an ugly, nocturnal creature has been invading your space and foraging for food—insects, crumbs, whatever it eats. It’s been getting fatter and fatter as the insects hatch, and you are out there more often, dropping crumbs of food, causing more insects to join the party for the creature to eat. 

Then one day, it gets too confident. It begins to feel like it owns your space. This is its territory now. And the moment comes when you walk into your space and see it in broad daylight. You suspected something may have been there, but you were never sure. Now you’re face-to-face with the beast. You have a moment of shock—you stare into its eyes, not sure what to do. Do you attack it? Why? It’s not doing anything wrong. But you’re afraid, and your instinct is to lash out. Then it dawns on you. YOU may be the interloper. And the pause you take gives you just enough time to realize that this is a creature of the universe as well, just like you, and has as much of a right to be there. So you’re in a standoff with this wild animal and begin to process your options. It’s hard to believe that it’s been living in here without your knowledge (or permission). You have the option to find a way to scoot it out of your space, but how? What if it turns and bites you? Fear again. 

But as you soften your gaze, you realize this creature is frightened just as you are. You two have been living together all this time in blissful ignorance of each other. So why now do you have to know it’s here? Why couldn’t it just live stealthily, sneaking in at night when you’re not there? After all, it’s only eating things you don’t want or need—at least for now. But would it begin to destroy other things you do need? Would it gnaw through your canvases or chew through your electrical wires? And why now? Perhaps it’s gotten so fat it can’t run anymore, you figure. Or is it trying to take control of your space? That’s not going to happen. You’ve worked so hard to create this outer cocoon you don’t let anyone into. Maybe there’s another way. Perhaps a compromise. You’ve acknowledged it is there. Now you can’t pretend it’s not there. You’ve decided chasing it out is a dangerous option, having remembered a not-so-successful attempt with another creature in the past. Do you feed it? Well, that might just make it dependent. So maybe you coax it out, work with it. It’s there, you can’t pretend it’s not. You start to talk to it. “What do you want?” you ask. “Can we work together here?” This is not an animal you can tame, but you can learn to respect it. Animals read energy, and if your energy is not threatening, hateful or angry, this creature will understand that. Maybe there is a way to coexist compassionately. At some point, it will move on. But for now, there’s a way to make this work. That creature represents your shadow side. In this Solstice time, we see things that we sometimes wish we hadn’t seen. They are gifts. When our shadow is illuminated, it can be terrifying. Our impulse is to lash out—destroy it. But if we remain open and teachable, we can learn to work with the vicious beast that lives in all of us. That part of us we hide so deeply and never want anyone to see. Honoring the secret beast and not trying to chase it out, overfeed it or ignore it, we can see its worthiness—the worthiness of our whole being. Because it lives in us but does not have to be all we are. Respect what it’s showing you. Let it exist with acknowledgment, not fear or shame. And eventually, it will wander off into the woods on its own. And you will almost miss it as you clean up and reclaim your sacred space.

Now in the realm of spirit, our beloved Suzie Kerr Wright was an Astrologer, Psychic Medium, Reiki Master and Spiritual Life Coach. Her experience in the metaphysical world spanned over 40 years. Suzie had a passion for Astrology, which taught her how to understand and connect with others deeply. Her abilities as a medium were a powerful tool for connecting people with their loved ones and helping them heal their grief. Suzie’s mission was to bring “Cosmic Common Sense” to the world, to help as many people as she could find their personal connection to their intuition and remove the fear and stigma of accessing the unknown and unseen. Suzie trained and worked with the most influential psychics and mediums in the world at the Arthur Findlay College in England, Lily Dale, and Cassadaga. She was a regular guest on the “Today in Nashville” show, wrote Astrology columns and blogs for various publications including Brides MagazineChewy.comGood HousekeepingCosmopolitanBustle, and Elle, hosted a radio show on Hippie Radio, “The Cosmic Coach Show,” and was the on-air Astrologer for WSCA-FM. Suzie taught Mediumship, Astrology, Tarot, Psychic Development, Law of Attraction and Reiki. She entertained audiences around the country with demonstrations of evidential mediumship and psychic predictions. She also shared much more of her magic with us in the pages of the New Earth Almanac