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- wood base, Montana;
- plaster cast of my face;
- dried lavender blossoms and straw flowers from my garden in Montana;
- cotton and silk fiber
The primary material for “Shadow Woman” is the dried lavender blossoms on the face and the stocks or “bracts” of lavender attached to the wood below the face. Lavender is a genus of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae, and is known for its medicinal, culinary, and olfactory (smells great!) uses. It one was one of the holy herbs used in the biblical Temple to prepare the holy essence. In Roman times, flowers were sold for 100 denari per pound (about the same as one farm laborer’s monthly wage.)
In Jungian psychology, “shadow” or “shadow aspect” may refer to an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself… the unknown dark side of the personality. As a practicing Shaman, I know the importance of embracing and honoring the unknown dark side of ourselves, as the exploration of our shadow side can lead to greater authenticity, creativity, energy, and personal awakening.
I combined the essence of shadow with the essence of lavender for “Shadow Woman” as a representation of the introspective process that cultivates emotional honesty and the self compassion and self awareness that occurs when we choose to work with, not against, our shadow emotions. It is then that we can bring them from the unconscious to the conscious forefront to be addressed and healed. The lavender of “Shadow Woman” serves as the supportive, encouraging and soothing, calming agent that works with us through that shadow exploration.