Decolonizing The Shadow – Shadow Medicine – Dr Angela Beers

Decolonizing The Shadow

What does this mean? What is it all about?

Decolonizing the shadow aspects of humanity requires not just working on the repressed and rejected aspects of one’s self but to also dismantle indoctrinated and adopted beliefs about one’s being and shadow that hold ethnocentric, predatory individualism and religiously dogmatic moral in highest regard. The process of decolonization helps to reflect on the phenomenon of colonial imperialism that creates and fosters systems and policies that shape the struggle of oppression within minority communities. This struggle continues to disrupt and attempt to erase rich cultures and the relations of Indigenous people to each other, as well as obstruct their connection to the land, while pirating and commodifying their ancient cosmological and spiritual world views. Decolonizing the shadow critically explores the underlying influence, values and assumptions about the particular unconscious happenings of individuals as well as societies at large. Symbols, mythology, groups and individuals that perpetuate both external and internal oppression are understood and deconstructed through emotional and psychological processing.

Many western concepts of psychology is rooted in ethnocentric assumptions, protocols and approaches to understanding and implementing shadow work. Therefore the process of decolonizing the shadow works towards the understanding of unaware aspects of th mind that are born of the struggles of survival from the imbalanced power structure that has affected Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). This work integrates client centered and culturally relevant methodologies that challenge colonized notions that indoctrinate both at the individual and collective levels, such as ethnocentric attitudes, ways of being, relationship and knowledge of the world. For Indigenous people an outcome of this work is rematriation, the reclaiming and preservation of ancestral spirituality, customs, wisdom, history, ancestor remains, sacred sites, and the return to the sacred connection to Mother Earth. This reclaiming is a way of life, a restoration to the original instructions given to Indigenous people.

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