I collect jars and bowls, but this witch LOVES boxes. I’ve got a stack of them on my wall unit in my living room, square, rectangle and round and I just love to put things in them to keep them safe and out of the way.
Today I am going to share something from my own book, something I call “The Shadow Box” and how it has helped me in my shadow work.
Sympathetic magick defined: It’s using objects or actions resembling or symbolically associated with the event or person over which influence is sought.
Like we use the eggshell for protection because it protects the yolk. We use herbs that associate with protection, divination, cleansing and banishing in the same manner.
They are used sympathetically for similarity.
I contain everything I have an affinity to or an aversion to for this work. I rely on the emotion that rises from my olefactory sense, emotion that rises with anything associated with my objective. We must have an objective so we connect with the work.
Why are we doing this?
There are things in my life that were so hard to work through, I hid them. Literally and figuratively.
I would put them in a box and shove it somewhere out of sight and try to forget. But here is the value – everything I put into that box is what I needed to work through what it represented. Once I went deeper and into myself and the work, I started using boxes differently and “The Shadow Box” was born.
What you will need:
- A box – I like to use cardboard so that I can burn later. Doesn’t matter what size or shape
- Any herb associated with this work, but also something to protect yourself. I like to make a loose incense blend for this
- Any object or personal concern related to the work. Remember, when we put our energies into candles or items, we are tethering the magick to them
- Any crystal you want to hold onto when doing the work
- Anything you have an affinity to related. Having an affinity is something you are drawn to and have an attraction for
- Anything you have an aversion to related to this work. You may not have anything related to the purpose of this box, and that is perfect
This box is a touchstone while you journey. It holds everything related so I’ll give you an example of one of mine.
I have a healing poppet that represents me and the healing that I want to create. I used rose quartz, chamomile, lavender and a blend I created using my touch and smell senses. I put a picture of my MRI results in the box. I put a witch ladder to be used like meditation beads and chose a candle.I have a few other little trinkets in there too. Things that make me think of the pain and where it is. My focal points.
This is how I use it:
I may decorate my box or paint it, but I always use an oil blend and paint a sigil on the inside of the lid. My personal sigil for the work. I like to use simple anointing oil. Then I forget it and I cannot really see it after a time. The oil soaks into the box – so don’t use too much or you’ll have a oily mess of a lid if you’re using a cardboard box.
I dress and bless a candle that is now for this box and this work only. If it doesn’t fit inside of the box for storage, I keep it on my altar where it’s safe.
When I want to face anything I have created a box for, I sit silently and hold it while I raise my circle and honor everything the box represents.
I light the candle I have chosen, then I open the box and take the incense and light it and go deeper into myself.
I will hold each item separately and meditate on the work I need to do to heal.
I take my ladder and say a mantra.
I cleanse each item with the incense.
I say prayers and connect with spirit or whoever I call for assistance. Dark Goddess, deity, whoever has agreed to assist.
I go into the dark and feel everything this box and what the items represent.
You may have only your faith and that is your perfection. There is no wrong way to do this work.
I focus my attention on each item, and the things representing my aversion are the last.
Why do they make this situation feel so negative?
I do this as long as I need to, whenever I need to.
When I am done, I thank spirit or whoever I have worked with, put everything back into the box and put the box up.
I do this whenever I feel that the situation inside of the box has influenced my reactions or thoughts.
I do this when I am ready for the work – I never force. I never rush.
I do this work when I am called. It’s complete flow.
I work through it until one day, I am finished.
I know this in my heart and I always confirm with a reading.
Then I simply dispose the herbs in running water, the incense with air, burn what I can safely and bury far away from me.
The work is done. I may work a box for months and I have one that I’ve worked for many years. When I am done with the work, it’s done. It’s unique to everyone.
These boxes hold pieces of my shadow and containing them and working purposely with them in this way has helped me, my hopes are that it helps you.
The physical action of taking a box out of the shadows is the act of me putting something into the light for acceptance and healing.