Ever wonder about shadows? You know, over there in the corner, the dark nook in the room. From the corner of your eye, admit it, you thought you saw something. It was quick, not a glimmer, not a refraction of light. You know what it was, or at least you’ve wondered during mind-tired, end-of-the-day times when your defenses are down. There could be something there, something unknown, mysterious, and dark.
It’s just a shadow, you say. Or it’s your mind playing tricks. And then there are the times it’s so real it gives a chill, and you shake your head to be sure. And poof. . . there’s nothing there. You think. As a psychologist who works with the unconscious mind, I’ll tell you there is something there. It’s not a mental artifact. It’s not some loony-tunes concoction from too much booze, eye strain, or toxic stress build-up.
There’s even a clinical term for such shadows. They are autonomous spiritual energies. C.G. Jung called them psychoid realities. They have a life of their own and live in a world bigger than your conscious or personal unconscious mind. They live in the shadows. Feel the chill up your arms and the back of your neck as I tag them and tell you where they live? Freud could tell the presence of the uncanny by the chills up his spine.
So, where I’m going with this is that stories, and metaphysical horror specifically, tap into shadow realms. They shine a spotlight on the corners of the room where things are dim and hidden. It’s there that the shadowy energies reside. It’s there, in the basements and locked closets of your mind, that they also hang out. They’re anywhere, inner or outer, that holds deposits of charged emotion. It can be good, bad, loaded with high-octane creativity, or red-hot with buried trauma. The shadow realms are emotional hotspots.
Read stories to nourish your mind, read stories to let go of stress, read stories to exorcise demons, and heal your fractured soul. Yup . . .. soul food, stress release, exorcisms, and healing are specialties of metaphysical horror. In Goddess of Everything, there’s a horrifying psychoid reality—thank you, C.G. Jung—hiding in the darkened corridors of a convent. In Goddess of the Wild Thing, the creepy crawlies fly up the spine and back of the neck as an old witch conjures black magic mojo to keep a man’s soul from his one true love.
The Unholy, my first award-winning metaphysical thriller, tears through the high desert of northern New Mexico (Aztlan in the story) with the evil antics of a possessed archbishop. Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing! This guy is a gospel-professing Dracula dressed in a man-of-the-cloth’s resplendent regalia. He’s a draconian wheeler-dealer of darkness. And, people flock his way, hang on his every word, kneel and kiss his bishop’s ring, and ever so slowly hand over their immortal souls. How’d he get away with it, you might ask? He did it by abiding in the shadows.
Come out, come out, wherever you are. That’s what we say to the shadows outside and inside our heads when we read metaphysical horror. Too scary, you say. Not scary enough, I counter. Better to face the shadows than be haunted by ghosts. Yeah. . . let’s get them out in the open for metaphysical playtime. Reading is playtime, settling time, healing time, and exorcism time.
So, hold not thyself back out of fear. Curl up into your favorite chair and dare to immerse yourself in the stories of The Unholy, Goddess of the Wild Thing, and Goddess of Everything. You’ll discover the surprises, shocks, and exorcisms you need to shake your mind loose of the shadows clogging your head with darkness and despair.
One last thing . . .. as you settle in and read, go deep into the words and characters. Let the story stream through your psychic veins. I’ll guarantee you’ll spot shadows hiding.
Live Deeply . . . Read Daily