Shadow Work, Journalling & Enneagrams

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned shadow worker, the Enneagram test can help enlighten parts of your shadow self, giving you a jumping-off point for shadow journaling, shadow tarot/oracle readings and more.

The Enneagram is a personality typing system consisting of nine different types. Additionally, your personality type has a ‘wing’ which shows whether you’re most like the type before or after yours, kind of like a cusp in astrology.

The most useful part of this typing system is that it lists variations of the personality type based on nine levels of mental health. Additionally, it lists strengths and weaknesses of your additional type which can be used in shadow work. Even positives can be hidden in the shadow self if you refuse to believe it, or don’t associate with it much.

You can take the Enneagram test here.

Once you’ve figured out your type and wing, I highly recommend using this website to further your knowledge about what your type means to you:

The description of your type lists your basic fear and basic desire. These are great points to start your journaling.

  • How do you feel about the basic fear your type assigns you? Do you relate to it? How and why?
  • How do you feel about the basic desire? Do you relate to it? How and why?

Then it lists key motivations. These are what motivate you to reach your goals.

  • How do the ‘key motivations’ align with your current lifestyle?

Next, it goes into a lengthy overview about your type. Since this is packed with so much information, I like to go over it with a fine-toothed comb and, either by hand or digitally, go through each statement and write the first gut-reaction that pops into your head, or that you feel.

Pay most attention to the things that resonate deeply with you or do not resonate with you at all. These will be your most important takeaways.

Then, take some time looking into the levels of development to identify where you fall now.

  • Which level of development do you most relate to? Is it healthy, average or unhealthy? Why do you think?
  • Identify a time in your life when you related to a more negative level of development, if applicable. What was going on then?
  • Ask yourself what you can change to ascend to a healthier level of development.

Finally, the website lists personal growth recommendations that are basically little pieces of advice based on your type. There’s usually only a few, so I would take each one and use it as a journal prompt.

  • Do you already follow some of these guidelines?
  • How do you think you can follow them more closely?
  • Which ones resonate with you most? Which ones resonate least?

This is a lot of information to digest. I also recommend taking the Enneagram test at least once a year, to see if your type changes. If you decide to do this, bookmark this post (or just the website I linked above to take the test) to ensure there is consistency and you are using the same test each time. Lots of websites offer free Enneagram tests but the one I linked above has been the best and most thorough I have found thus far.

Have you taken the Enneagram test? What is your personality type? Have you found the information it provides you helpful with shadow work? Leave a comment below!

What is “Shadow Work”?

If you’ve been relatively active in the tarot community, there’s no doubt you’ve come across the term ‘shadow work’. It’s not as magical and mysterious as it sounds, but it can be dark.

The term ‘shadow’ refers to the dark or hidden sides of who we are. It refers to parts of ourselves that we deny.

Shadow work refers to the work we do to bring light to these parts of ourselves. It is a solitary journey, one in which we ask ourselves important questions and answer them honestly.

I like to think of shadow work as self-therapy.

A popular way to begin shadow work is simply journaling. You can search the internet for prompts relating to shadow work and you’ll likely come across prompts like these:

  • Which emotion do you tend to deal with in unhelpful/destructive ways? Write about the way you usually deal with this troublesome emotion. Then write about what your life might be like if you dealt with it differently.
  • What qualities irritate you about others? Do you see any of these characteristics in yourself?
  • When you silence or suppress one part of yourself, how does it feel?

Answering questions like these can bring parts of your personality out of the shadow and into the light.

Tarot is also a great way to do shadow work. Many practitioners have a deck or decks that they specifically use only for shadow work. These decks can be (but don’t need to be!) darker or harsher in imagery to better reflect our shadow.

An important part of shadow work, many will agree, is setting aside a time and specific intention to practice. It’s not necessary, but it helps us build focus to have a ritualistic and intentional approach.

Below are some resources I’ve found if you’re interested in delving in to your shadow. It can be difficult to just jump in without some direction, so I’ve included some websites with overviews about shadow work as well as journal prompt lists to aid you on your journey ahead.

Shadow Work Resources: