Light Work vs. Shadow Work

Light Work vs. Shadow Work

Reposted from the Spiritual Sunflower's wordpress blog, originally posted on October 11th, 2021


There is good and bad, love and hate, feminine and masculine, light and dark, etc. in ALL beings and things.

It’s important to give time and space for all parts of yourself to be expressed. Yes, both the dark, and the light.


Light work is often practiced through shining a healing light of presence upon the world. It’s about shedding the darkness, and allowing the light of consciousness to be expressed.

Shadow work helps explore your subconscious or “darkness”, and allows those parts of you to be embraced and accepted, so you can shine your light. This is an energetic process of turning the darkness of your unconscious, into the light of consciousness.

I put quotes around darkness in this circumstance, because the shadow is not just parts of yourself that you dislike or feel are negative. A lot of our passions and childhood dreams are suppressed in our shadow selves, and these are golden opportunities for growth when you reconnect with them.

As always, the intention behind your practice is extremely valuable. The connection between light work and shadow work is very strong. They might as well be the same thing, if you aren’t being intentional about it.

In order to shine your light, darkness must be honored and explored.


The intention behind light work is to add more light into the world. This might be through methods like artistic expression, taking action towards new visions, contributing to your community, and allowing your intuition to guide you.

Light work is empowering. It’s uplifting. It helps you reframe your perspective of your current reality to be more loving and positive.

Some other common ways to dive into light work is using positive affirmations, listening to podcasts and reading books that expand your mind, and getting involved in retreats and community events that resonate with you.


Shadow work practices help form a more positive relationship with parts of your past and subconscious.

It takes an honest look at where you come from, what is holding you back, why things happened for you in life how they did, what triggers you, what hurts you, and even what biases you have.

Recognizing these things helps free you from perceived limitations or expectations that have prevented you from being your brightest self.

This is often perceived as more difficult than light work, because these are not parts of our being that we normally give such conscious attention to. It takes a certain sense of awareness and introspection to work with your shadows to evolve.

Shadow work is a strong questioning of WHY, and allowing the delicate system of standards, norms, identities, and structures that have been built around you to crumble.

Often times, experiencing trauma or going through difficult situations leads us to a space where shadow work is necessary. It’s natural to seek a deeper understanding of how you’ve gotten to where you are and how to heal and grow from what’s happened.

Shadow work is uncomfortable. It’s about taking ownership and responsibility of the darkness within you, rather than blaming it on something externally.


The balance of light work and shadow work is very valuable. Doing only “light work” can lead to ignorance of the digging and shifting that is necessary for growth. So you must explore the depths of your subconscious to obtain your light.

Light work will always be a part of shadow work, and shadow work will always be a part of light work.

Both are an important part of everyone’s spiritual journey. They provide us with opportunities to be more aware of our lives and the world around us.

Wishing you the best of luck in ALL of your self work.

Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.


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