Shadow integration, or shadow work, as it’s sometimes called, is an important aspect to my Satanism. For those who have never heard of it, shadow integration is a theory of Jungian psychology. The general idea is that people have two sides of themselves: the light, or the side that they present to the world; and the shadow, the part of themselves that they hide. It is important to note that neither side is inherently “good” or “evil.” One side is what is presented to the world, and the other is hidden, either consciously or subconsciously. The idea of shadow integration is to join the two sides together as one.
Typically, people think of their light and shadow as bitter enemies. In order to become whole and healthy, one side needs to win. I, and others who practice shadow integration, prefer to think of it differently. To me, light and shadow aren’t fighting so much as they are fucking. In a person whose shadow is not integrated, the two lovers are having a major relationship crisis. One has moved back in with her mother, while the other is sulking in their shared apartment, still going about his every day business but not really enjoying it.
The point of shadow integration is to get the two back together. I like to think of my light and shadow as Aziraphale the angel and the demon Crowley from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet’s Good Omens. For those uninitiated, Aziraphale and Crowley are an angel and a demon with an Arrangement. They stay out of each other’s way as they go about their Heavenly and Hellish business, but there’s more to the relationship than that. They genuinely like each other, though they would never admit that to their superiors. There are some who like to think that the two are more than friends (and yes, I am one of them). That’s how I like my light and my shadow to be. To the casual observer they’re mere acquaintances or maybe even friends, but someone paying a little closer attention might notice just how often eat together, and wonder just what it really is between the two of them.