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Shadow Work

Here’s How to do Shadow Work on Yourself [Step-By-Step]

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Written by: Tina Caro

Doing shadow work on yourself is one of the best practices you can perform to let yourself embrace your uniqueness and the wholeness of your soul while learning to acknowledge the different nuances of your soul. Doing shadow work on yourself can sound a bit overwhelming and hard to do, especially if you are new to personal growth processes and self-awareness, but with this step-by-step guide, everything will be easier for you!


Exploring your dark side is essential because it holds hidden powers, talents, and unresolved emotions that can enhance your magical practice.

Shadow work techniques involve finding moments of inner peace, selecting a focus, facing your shadow, engaging in a dialogue with it, and ultimately embracing and integrating it into your self.

To begin shadow work, start with a moment of tranquility, then choose a specific aspect to explore, confront it, initiate a conversation, and finally, accept it as a part of yourself.

Additional shadow work exercises, such as answering introspective questions and conducting a mirror ritual, can further deepen your understanding of your shadow self and enhance your witchcraft journey.

Why do I need to shadow work in my craft?

You need to do shadow work in your craft because you need to unveil your true desires, your true colors, and your true self in order to focus on a spell, a ritual, or whatever you want to perform by being very centered with your emotions, your visions, and your goals.

Often we hide behind masks and behind politically correct behaviors, but the truth is that we need to embrace our totality and let everything shine and show our colors, even if it’s something weird, unusual, or even dark.

Why our dark side is important?

I really think that most of our true self is hidden in what we try to shut down, so work with this side will bring your true self, your authenticity, to life.

Is it dangerous? Check out my article on this topic.

Shadow work techniques

JournalingWrite about your thoughts, emotions, and experiences related to your shadow aspects. Reflect on patterns and explore underlying beliefs.
MeditationPractice mindfulness and meditation to observe and explore your shadow aspects without judgment or attachment.
Inner Child WorkConnect with and heal your inner child, addressing unresolved childhood wounds and traumas that contribute to your shadow aspects.
Therapy or CounselingSeek the support of a therapist or counselor trained in shadow work to guide you through the process and provide a safe space for exploration.
Creative ExpressionExpress your shadow through art, music, dance, or other creative outlets to explore and release repressed emotions and energies.
Shadow Work RitualsDesign and perform personalized rituals to symbolize the acknowledgment, acceptance, and integration of your shadow aspects.
Energy Healing (e.g., Reiki)Engage in energy healing practices to clear energetic blockages associated with your shadow and promote balance and healing.

So How do you do shadow work on yourself? Here’s a guide

Let’s begin!

Find a moment of peace

You can do this at night or first thing in the morning. It really doesn’t matter as long as you have a moment of peace and relaxation to dedicate to this practice and to really commit. Turn your smartphone off. No distractions needed.

Choose your focus

What area of your life is causing you more trouble? What’s the goal of your craft? Are you dealing with heartbreak? Are you dealing with some cheating? Do you have issues with someone or something in particular? This is your time to focus on this.

We tend to shut these types of emotions and feelings out, but this is your time to keep them alive. To acknowledge them.

Face it

When you become aware of the thing or the person you need to focus on, it’s finally time to face it. Don’t be afraid of how this makes you feel but, on the contrary, turn all your senses on!

Do you feel angry? Hurt? Depressed? Envious? Give yourself permission to feel that way, to be that person you would like to suppress.

Imagine this person, this situation showing the qualities that make you mad and upset or those that you like the most.


If you want, you can write them down in a journal. It can be a wonderful way to analyze yourself with a brand-new perspective.

Create a dialogue

Imagine this person, situation, or feeling taking shape and create a dialogue with it. Don’t be scared and don’t feel silly in doing this. You will feel so much better once you are able to release all this.

Say things like:

  • I hate you.
  • You make me feel mad.
  • You upset me.

Or even ask a few questions to explore the reasons behind your connection and emotional response with them:

  • Why are you doing this to me?
  • What’s your hidden message for me?
  • Where this is going to lead me?

Imagine this person answering these questions for you, if you need to you can write them down.

Let emotions come out.

It’s finally time to let your emotions come out and become vibrant and alive. Even if they are negative emotions, painful feelings, or despicable behaviors, don’t hold yourself back.

Say out loud things like:

  • I am suffering.
  • I feel angry.
  • I feel obsessed.
  • I feel furious.
  • I feel broken-hearted.

You can write these down as well.

Now you can let yourself be that person.


Honor the pain, the emotions, the suffering, honor yourself at 360 degrees.

Embrace your shadow

This is the hardest part but it’s the most important step of them all. Once you shed some light on your shadow self you have to embrace it, forgive it (if you used it as a scapegoat for your boundaries, obstacles, and problems) and let it be part of yourself.

I usually do a little ritual to embrace my shadow and my darkest feelings and emotions.

After I go through all those steps I listed above, I go to a dark room or a simply pull my curtain down, light a white candle, and I write on a sheet of paper a sentence about my feelings, my connection with someone or something. I write as deep as I can with details to make it very clear.

I try to create a soothing atmosphere where I can see my shadow and I say these words:

My shadow
My dark side
I know you, I bless you, I embrace you
No need to hold it back
I want you to be bright
Without darkness there is no light

Embracing your shadow will give you the chance to really explore the realm of your wishes, your dreams, and the life you really want to live.

Remember to live this as a process, a journey of self-discovery and self-growth.

Repeat the practice to do shadow work on yourself as many times as you need to really connect with your shadow and let it come to life.

Additional shadow work exercises

Getting to know your shadow by answering these questions

These are the best questions to ask yourself to do shadow work and really get to know yourself from a unique, different perspective. Write them in your journal or on a sheet of paper, being honest and open.

  • What is the thing I fear most about finding out about myself?
  • What is the most mortifying lie I have told myself?
  • What’s the biggest lie I’ve ever told?
  • What is the thing I’m most ashamed of if others find out?
  • When did I start to reject this aspect of my true self?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Who did I inherit it from or do I think of?
  • Who made me ashamed of it?
  • Who have I seen ashamed of this?
  • What judgments do I feel thinking about this aspect of me?
  • Make a list of all the times you remember having put it into effect.

Shadow Work mirror ritual

Stand in front of the mirror, look into your eyes, and pronounce the adjectives you have chosen in the form:

“I am XXX” (eg. “I am a manipulator”)

Do it for all the adjectives you can find to describe yourself until you find the one to work on: you will know that you are working with the most activating aspect of your Shadow because you will have an intense emotional reaction.

At this point change the sentence to: “I am not XXX” (eg. “I am not a manipulator”)

It is normal to see your reactions and emotions change and go from guilt, shame, and sadness to anger and aggression.

When you feel that that phrase pushes you to a strong motivation for change and you start to see that it can be used as a power tool for activating change, stop repeating the phrase and leave the mirror, with a big smile.

The transmutation has begun.

Also read:
4 Best Shadow Work Books [Written by Professionals]


Are you intrigued by shadow work? Would you give this practice a try? Let me know! And remember that this practice is here to help you reconnect with yourself in heart, body, and soul as self-awareness is the main key to open up your intuition and let the magic happen!

Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

tina caro new about me photo

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