Bringing Myself Out Of Shadow With SoulCollage®

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Where do those dark cards come from???

So, I’m going along . . . living my life. Things seem pretty okay . . . then, BAM . . . I come up with a super dark card at SoulCollage® class!

When gathering images for a collage that day, I’m being drawn to gray images for a change. Why not use an interesting gray background that looks like things packed in boxes? Then there’s that cool crystal skull . . . and, hey, look . . . a neat Mayan or Aztec piece of art that’s also gray. Oh . . . and the woman in black praying . . . and a mysterious eye. And that guy on a ladder with bright light coming from behind. He needs to be there, too, somehow.

I innocently collage away . . . then, it all comes together:



I Am One Who is beheading herself with fear and self-condemnation. I Am One Who prays to see beyond this and step into the light.

What is this card supposed to be telling me??? It must be my %&*#!! shadow knocking again.

Engaging With My Shadow

“Hey there, remember me?” it seems to say.

“Yeah . . . I thought I dealt with you already.”

“Oh . . . so you’re ready to die now? You don’t think there’s any more to learn . . . that I have nothing left to offer you?”

I see I might as well surrender. “Okay . . . got it.” (Sigh!) “What is it this time?”

And so, the dialogue begins. This card really needs me to “get” its truth. It’s trying to help me. I need to hear what it’s saying – digest it –- know that this is what is true for me at the subconscious level. Yes, it’s a shock to my conscious mind! (I thought I was doing so well!) But once I can respectfully KNOW what is actually true in my subconscious – once I can give it true listening without the “yes, but’s” — then, we will work our way out of the hole, together. Always — hearing and honoring the truth of my subconscious must come first. And this card is here to help!

Dare I Say It…

I guess what makes me willing (dare I say it: secretly excited) to engage with my shadow these days, is the fact that I’ve done it so many times before that I know its pattern:

  • There’s always a way out.
  • Some juicy nugget of knowledge “about me” is waiting impatiently to reveal itself.
  • I’m in for a nice surprise!

“Okay, I admit. So I’m self-critical. True! But this card shows a very creepy part of me cutting off my own head. Oooow! Why would I do that?”

“Because you are never good enough in your Critical Self’s eyes?”

“Okay. I can get that. But is it really that bad?”

“Yes! That’s what you’re being shown here. It’s really that bad.”

“And the way out?”

“Look at the card: It’s saying: Pray. Stand in the Light. See yourself as the All Knowing Eye sees you.”

“And how, exactly, does the All Knowing Eye see me?”

“Go find out! MAKE YOUR NEXT CARD!”

From Dark Card To Light

So I riffle through the images I’ve already collected and come up with a card I call “Standing in the Light.” It feels like an energetic representation of how the All Knowing sees me.


Standing In The Light

I Am On Who is standing in the light of my joy, who is reaching for what she desires with a full and open heart. I Am One Who lives in beauty and harmony, in health and joy.


Okay. Now I have my opposites – (see my book Craft Your Wholeness for more on this process) – but it seems like a very long way from the dark card to that light card. I’m thinking there must be a “transition card” in there some place!

My Transition Card

So I look through my collected images again and end up making a card that contains an energy that I CAN actually claim for myself right now. It shows me “Stepping Through” – and it’s a perfect card to hold the energy of my transition:


Stepping Through

I Am One Who steps through the frozen landscape of my past fears and judgments into a world of self-worth, beauty and riches beyond measure.


Now, all I have to do is LIVE it! But I have these SoulCollage® images to guide me. This series reminds me where I’m coming from, where I’m going to, and how to get there by “stepping through” every moment of my life.


Ann H. Hughes has been a SoulCollage® Facilitator since 2007. She presented a popular workshop at the 2013 International SoulCollage® Conference in Skamania, Washington, and is a member of the American Art Therapy Association. She is also the author of Craft Your Wholeness: How to Make & Use Intentional SoulCollage® Cards for Healing & Living (available from Hanford Mead and Amazon). Read Ann's articles at the SoulCollage® Blog and Craft Your Wholeness.

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