October 30, 2015

Unleash your “Shadow Self” this Halloween.


“Play with me,” the night whispers—and the night’s voice is mine, and I do.

It’s not only the ghosts, goblins and witches set loose on Halloween—shadows tend to make a break for it too. (At least mine does.) Every Halloween, the parts of me that often sit in the backdrop of my social personality decide it’s their turn to seize the night—usually the parts named mischief and trouble-making. They’ve got a whip for a tongue and bounce far more than they walk.

Over the last years, I’ve been a dark angel, a pirate, a gypsy, a wood sprite and a pirate—again. (Pirate is a big one for me—more of an alter-ego, really.)

I don’t want to be culturally “sexified,” don frills or heed any sense of gender. Give me a stride, a reckless mouth and a glint in my eye—and I’ll ride them until midnight and beyond. I want to be earthy and preposterous—and dance until the soles of my boots melt thin. I want to tilt hats with the court jester and channel my inner Johnny Depp.

Halloween isn’t just a time to dress-up. It’s a time to be reminded of a pulsing part of me that cries to live and breathe, not once a year, but daily—if I’m to be an animated woman. It’s a time to court a playfulness that a mentor once called “my high spiritual energy,” in which my expression outruns my censor. Truth is, I think my costume tends to choose me.

“Play with me,” the night whispers—and the night’s voice is mine, and I do.

When we dress up for Halloween, are we just trying on different identities, or are we calling some part of our spirit back to life? Are we putting on a costume? Or are we taking off our inhibitions?

Halloween is an orange and black permission slip to shed our narrow identities, and dance with our shadows for a night. Part of the journey to wholeness is finding what qualities of our true selves we have detached from or put away, so we can mourn, acknowledge and reclaim them. Dressing up can be a fun and spiritual practice for inviting back the parts of ourselves that we have banished or betrayed—for resurrecting the buried alive within each of us.

Get down with your “shadow self” on Halloween.

“Spiritual up” the night by seizing it as a catalyst for fuller self-expression. Let out whatever is knocking to stake a claim. What do you want to feel or embody for a night—or more? What wants to be seen or heard? What do you crave to call back?

Maybe you want more softness, so you grab the feathers or become a teddy bear. Maybe you want to own your strength, so you throw a cape around your neck and squeeze into blue Spandex. Maybe you want to recover your sense of wonder or magic, so you become a wizard or a fairy or a magician. Maybe you feel stuck and need to conjure your inner butterfly to remember your gorgeous and colorful wings. Maybe you’ve spent too many days painted in a smile, and you want to reclaim your moodiness as Morticia Addams or Severus Snape.

If your costume chose you—you can entertain why.

Did your subconscious dress you? What did it feel like putting on that costume? What did it allow you to bring out or accentuate or even indulge? How did you act, think and feel differently? Did you forget yourself for a moment, in the best way—or perhaps reveal yourself? Halloween is about fantasy, so I say be fascinated!

If it hurts no one, why not find a way to invite your “shadow self” back for a night out? Once you court your abandoned self, you may find it soon begins to make appearances, sans costume. Sometimes, an invitation for a night, sparks a relationship for a lifetime.

I hope so! This year, you’ll catch my silhouette in the moon—howling and hungry like the wolf.



Halloween & the Haunted House of Our Mind.

Halloween—a time for me & my shadow.


Author: Aimee Hansen

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/(gems)


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