As we move through Mabon and this Full Moon in Pisces, I feel the dark time of the year growing. To me, it feels like a dark comforting blanket swaddling me as I relax and prepare to go within. I adore this time of year, Mabon through Samhain, as the wheel turns and the earth prepares for rest.
I feel it too, the need to rest.
Going within might be categorized as one of my favorite hobbies at this point. I have come to learn that introspection is an important aspect of Witchcraft. We must know thyself if we are ever to know our Magick and our abilities. This is also an ideal time for Shadow Work but not as you might know it from your psychology class or as defined by Carl Jung. As the light fades and nature begins to rest, I turn to a form of Shadow Work that is nestled in deep inner work where mind, body, and spirit meet. This work is directed by the Goddess and guarded by the God. Together they grant me a vision of health, balance, peace, and deep inner knowing. To get to this place I am taken down dark tunnels, into putrid caverns, and through messy graveyards. I am led by the darkness as it transforms into a nurturing womb where I am reborn. Once the Wheel of the Year again turns, I will feel the contractions of labor as I am pushed through the birthing canal and greeted by shining starlight.
In honor of this transformative turn of the wheel, I chose to pull another card from my Dark Mirror deck. As I pulled the card I held in my mind the purpose behind Shadow Work and the next six weeks ahead. The card I pulled is Gilded Regret.
This is another stunning card illustrated by Laura Sava, in this deck by Riccardo Minetti. Gilded Regret speaks about our tendencies to live in the past. It speaks of the cage this pattern traps us in. We look back on the best days of our lives and want to linger for just a little while longer. We look back on our worst days and wish we could have done better. Either way, we create regrets as we look back. We are choosing to linger where we do not belong. Regrets then trap us in a counterproductive loop. The once high school jock longs for his glory days. Our grandparents long for the “Good ol’ Days. We look back at our traumas, arguments, and despair to rehash what we coulda, woulda, and should have done differently.
The crown we build around these memories becomes a cage gilded in fool’s gold. We lock ourselves within, asking for five more minutes to linger. We relish our victimhood and the blame we place on others. We play the role of the victim believing we are doomed or cursed. However positive or negative in nature, each moment is an addiction. They poison us from within and block us from moving forward. The truth is we can’t move on while this past is vilified and re-lived. To add to the pain we pour onto ourselves, we create similar patterns for our current and future self, believing we are destined to live in this loop of regret and torment.
Somehow we are led to believe there is wisdom in the wouldas, couldas, and shouldas. We taint relationships based on pensive falsehoods and beliefs found in these loops of memory. Instead of finding life in the here and now, we live in the past. We stop believing that we can create a new vibrant life that builds a productive and prosperous future. We lead ourselves to believe that somehow the opportunity was missed and it is now buried in these memories. Our gilded regrets drain our possibilities for the future. To break free we must remember that life is here and now, and there is nothing left for us in the past
Further Note: The word count on this article is 666, before this note. The meaning behind the triple number 666 is to be mindful of your thoughts- specifically, ones associated with worry, fear, anxiety. Be aware of being too focused on monetary issues like finances. Also, be wary of buying things with the intention of stimulating happiness in your life. Do you catch yourself thinking of worst-case scenarios? When we give in to fear and regret we let our ego take over. We are no longer living in our highest truth and we are out of alignment of the Universal flow and our authenticity.