FOREWORD in The Shadowdance Workbook
From a Feminine Point of View
- by Terri Barnes -
Knowing Rebeca for over two decades, I have heard countless discourses on “the Shadow.” I can honestly say I’ve been trained to look at things quite introspectively now, whether someone appears to cause an upset in me, or the opposite, when someone has my awe. It brings home the philosophy that there is just one of us here; we are all reflections of some aspect of ourselves waiting to be owned and integrated. It’s a beautiful way to live your life, for there’s no space for victimhood. As we accept our wholeness, through the courage to look at all parts of ourselves that seem out there, but are really within. For years Rebeca has counseled hundreds (thousands?) through her comprehensive study of astrology, Jungian psychology, and metaphysics, searching for answers and insights, supporting others to create healthy and conscious relationships. I have no doubt that from the first chapter a healing journey will commence for the reader, who will be awed at what will be uncovered in the light of Shadow work.
What Rebeca teaches takes discipline and is often uncomfortable. Who wants to tell the truth about the nasty thoughts and feelings we harbor but deny? And by the same token, who of us are willing to proclaim our divine heritage without a shred of guilt that we’re worthy? I’ve often remarked to Rebeca that I think her life path in teaching is quite challenging, as it takes great courage to face our demons and encourage others to do the same. The beautiful thing is, if we are daring enough, the demons are revealed to be the illusions they always were, and the love that was always there becomes apparent. That’s the miracle and healing that comes from doing Shadow work.
This book is filled with personal examples of Shadow work, and Rebeca is so graciously allowing me to go first. Not long ago, I had my 50th birthday. I knew it was going to be a difficult one, as it was my first birthday after my husband John’s death. I left town to be with my son Andrew in Boston, and family in New York. I woke up missing John a lot that morning, but was also mindful of my many blessings, particularly, my son. As Andrew was driving us back to Boston that afternoon, I noticed feelings of disappointment, sadness, and anger stirring in me, directed at my son. He had not given me a present, not even a card. Just a “Happy Birthday, Mem!”,* which left my heart unfulfilled. I had helped him out considerably financially the last few months when it was challenging for me to do so, allowing him time to compose and complete his master’s degree. Surely he could have set a little aside for a card or a token gift when he knew this would be a tough birthday. I depended on him! I saw him as selfish, uncaring, and not as conscious as I expected him to be. As I was having these thoughts, I was feeling increasingly guilty for having them. After all, he was still struggling financially, and I should have been grateful just for him being with me, driving me to and from Boston and New York, and not expecting more.
As I went back and forth between being angry with Andrew, and guilty for feeling so, my upset grew, but so did my determination not to start this new decade without healing it. I owned that yes, I was the one being selfish and ungrateful and unconscious and projected that unto Andrew. At the same time, I value my relationship with my son dearly; we’ve been through a lot together and I owe our relationship the honesty it deserves. I told him I felt disappointed that I received no card or gift, and that I did not like having these angry upset feelings toward him.
He apologized for not giving me his card sooner, but waited until we were back in Boston. His card included a letter proclaiming how much our relationship meant to him, how much it made him evolve. In the letter he said he was composing something for me, but he was not complete with it yet, and to please be patient. The love I felt through his words was immense. No gift from a store would have the value of his music for me, and he knew that. He was giving me the greatest gift he could, the gift of his love, through his music. All feelings of anger, sadness, selfishness and guilt either blamed or owned were replaced by a gratitude that filled my heart to overflow.
By being willing to tell Andrew the truth and risking more upset, I received a healing of something wounded within me, and allowed him to be the instrument of that healing. I was also a teacher for him that it’s alright to express your feelings, especially to those who matter the most. He has always been pretty good at that, but I think as we get older we get more conditioned to respond in ways that are not authentic. I went to bed that night with a heart full of gratitude on a challenging day, even more mindful of my blessings, and even closer to Andrew. Months later Andrew summoned me back to Boston for the debut performance of a string quartet he composed in dedication to the journey of love, passion, grief, and surrender he witnessed with John and me.
There is a quote from A Course In Miracles that says, “In my vulnerability, my safety lies.”
This is what Rebeca’s life’s work is all about. Having the courage to be vulnerable, to tell the truth, and to own our part of what we’re perceiving. And in so doing, healing happens and the presence of love is what we know. I love you, Rebeca, for the awesome role you have played for me and countless others. It is holy work, indeed.
From a Masculine Point of View
- by Austin Cater -
A Hindu walks up to a hotdog vender and the vender asks him, “What would you like?” The Hindu answers, “Make me one with everything.” We are one with everything. Let me say that again, “We are one with everything.” Our free will, or the concept of it, along with a healthy dose of individuality and self determination give us the ability to turn a blind eye to everything around us and our part in this universe. That perception of reality leaves us living in blissful ignorance, being a mere victim of the calamity that happens to us. The perception Astrology can give you will show you the clockwork of the universe and how you are a part of it. Science is the observation, description and explanation of natural phenomena as they relate to the human existence. Again, that’s HUMAN existence. What human being cares about Martian algebra? That doesn’t affect us, we know nothing about it, and it’s not our problem. Astrology is arguably the first Science.
Long ago when man (and woman) first started gazing at the stars at night, they noticed that not all the stars were moving across the sky in the same manner. They gave names to these celestial objects and began plotting their courses. With their scientific minds, humans noticed that there was a correlation between the position of these objects and their effects on mankind. People born on certain dates, in certain places, with certain planets present would have certain characteristics, good, bad, or both — mostly both. In understanding this, generations of humans have come closer to understanding who we are, and why we are the way we are. It is a scientific glimpse into the “clockwork of the universe” and where we fit in it. We are stardust, and so is everything else and everyone else. (So why is it so hard to get along with one another? We are all connected, right?) Astrological knowledge is our human understanding, our science.
Rebeca Eigen is an astrologer who specializes in relationships. Rebeca incorporates astrology with “Jungian Theory” (i.e. the duality of man, the Shadow self, projections, etc.). She will introduce you to your Shadow. Getting to know your “Shadow Self” will open your eyes to the things that you don’t like about yourself. Those things are reflected back to you in your disdain for that certain person whom you loathe. We all know those people, right?
This workbook will help you to recognize your characteristic traits when it comes to relationships with others, through your understanding of astrology. As you know yourself better, you will better understand what it is you need to learn to share with a significant “other” to form or improve your relationships. If you are in a relationship, it can help you to better know your partner as well. It will become clearer to you what it is that they need in their relationships. Astrology gives you a tool to better understand one another. Wouldn’t that be nice?
The workbook exercises at the end of each chapter will help you to gain further clarity and understanding into your total self. Don’t skip these; they are not only very helpful but also fun.
And remember, we are one with everything.