The Importance of Shadow Work on the Priestess Path and Practices to Support It

The Importance of Shadow Work on the Priestess Path and Practices to Support It

Painting by Priestess of Cerridwen Reti Toriella


As priestesses or priestesses in training we embrace shadow work, perhaps one of the toughest tasks walking the priestess path. It can feel very challenging and lonely to be transparent with oneself, and at the same time be patient and self loving. But Cerridwen provides us with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when doing the hard work. She always does.


Why shadow work? 

Why would facing my own shadows make me a better priestess? Well, Cerridwen Herself teaches us through Her transformation that change is essential if you want to grow. Cerridwen is the Goddess of magic, healing and transformation, so if change is to take place we need to go through the shadows to reach the light. You can’t have one without the other. From where I stand, facing your shadows is part of the healing process. And to have the courage to face your shadows, an invitation and a welcoming of Her, is of the highest necessity. Why? Well, if you are embracing Goddess into your life, there is a knowing that you will always be safe and loved. On that foundation I think we can all face our shadows safely. In the end maybe we can learn to welcome our shadows, forgive and love ourselves. According to a great healer I know here in Sweden, forgiveness of oneself is the most important and greatest of achievements if transformation is to take place.

I also believe that going through your shadows makes you more empathic and humble – both of which are necessary virtues of the priestess. Healing others, creating space and ceremonies – you need to be the sensitive you. A priestess who is empathic creates a safe space, you feel embraced and are more likely to open up for healing whatever process you are in. 

Every priestess/priest/priestix has their own tools to face their shadows, and I’d like to share some of mine. These tools make me see what is fear and what is true. I feel closer to Cerridwen when performing this practice and I hear Her more clearly. I really want to emphasise that these are tools that work well for me, and it is a priestess’s own exploration to find their way to do the shadow work. Shadow work can be performed anytime in the wheel but any threshold of a new season is perfect, or else just before the Dark Moon. Personally I like the transit from fire (Beltane) to water (Summer solstice) . The fire has extinguished whatever shadow has been holding me back and the water cleanses it all away.  



I learned this practice when training as a dancer in the late 90s. It was a part of our morning routine, and from a very young age movement has been a part of my identity. So, when learning this it wasn’t such a wow-moment. That came after I finished university majoring in dance and I used it to de-stress before a performance or anything else stirring the system. 

I think about a decade later, the western yoga society picked up on shaking and I would guess it has been  practiced in many ways and forms in the spiritual world, long before the dance world used it as a routine. 

I usually perform this alone or when holding yoga workshops. Lately my participants in my psychic circle want to ”shake off” before going into meditation and connect with the spirit world. I use music – usually drums – to assist me. You can find lovely shaman drum music on any streaming service. 

I start by slightly rocking my knees and swaying with my hips. My arms hang loosely and my jaw is relaxed. Then I let the movement ripple through my body and build up into whatever my body needs. I usually pray to Cerridwen to locate the dis-ease in my body and I picture it releasing through my out-breath. If the voice wants to express itself through sighs and hisses, I let it flow. I trust Cerridwen knows my body and knows what needs to be released. I do this vigorously for about 2-3 minutes. I let the movement slow itself down before coming to a stop. 

When doing this in a beginners group – be sure everyone’s eyes are closed. Shaking can put you in a vulnerable place and it is important to let the participants feel safe and not exposed. The goal is to let go and a room full of shakers can, from the outside, probably look a little ”cuckoo”, so a safe space is essential. This tool is also great when erasing the blocks to prepare for embodiment. 

After a shaking session, I feel strong yet relaxed and can watch my shadows from a safe distance before embracing them. Shaking can also feel great after a burning your shadow board ceremony. It manifests that whatever was clouding your vision in your body, is now released. 



There are many forms of yoga, and one needs to find what suits you and your body the best. Yoga also includes recitement, breathwork and meditation. Any of these practices I find effective to face my shadows. 

Any physical form of yoga (asana practice) helps me to ground and lean into my body trustfully. 

When doing yoga practice, I need to stay present with what is. Yoga teaches me acceptance, though at times it is very hard. You want to run, scream, hide, give up. Yoga shows you that the energy of resistance is taking more of your energy than actually facing what lies ahead. The body remembers old triggers and trauma. What if we could face them with gentleness, love and forgiveness?

Yoga also lets me see old patterns. Patterns in my movement that I do without thinking. I do what I once was taught to do. When being present in the yoga practice, you train your awareness and learn to trust it. If your breath is short and shallow, something is probably unbalanced. I always inhale Cerridwen to lead my own practice or when I am teaching yoga. 

Veronica yoga


Meditation and journeying

Meditation and journeying are common to most priestesses in training. Here is where you open up to the Annwfn, the spirit world or other dimensions. Here is where you can actually give your shadow a form and sit down with it to have a chat. It can also be a safe space to let Cerridwen show you the shadows you weren’t even aware of (that one really sucks to put it mildly!).

This space is for you and it is up to you to face it, because Cerridwen will not let you just sit and watch and forgive yourself. She needs us to transform. Forgiveness is a gentle push in the right direction, but once you embrace the shadow, it is also a one way ticket to transformation. No going back. 

Cerridwen is firm, yes, but She really isn’t about drama. The transformation can be a graceful releasing and a peaceful cleansing. It all comes down to what work we are ready to put into it. The works take place within and without, above and below. The energies shift and transformation happens. Magic. 

During the tough rides, I like to go into meditation and meet Cerridwen there, in my own journey or guided by another. There is always a gentle whisper from Her that she trusts in me and will always carry me whatever happens. She pushes me forward and kicks my butt. Really, the only thing you need when insecure and scared is that gentle touch and the knowing that you are guided and not alone. 

Blessed be




Veronica Naslund

Veronica Näslund Kwansa – sister of Cerridwen and priestess to be

Witch, Seer, Medium, Yogini and Reiki healer 

Facebook: Veronicasierska 

Instagram: @veronicasierska 



I was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden by a Czech mother and a father from Ghana.

I was raised to love and listen to animals and to pay attention to my dreams by my mother. I started my spiritual journey intentionally by studying as a medium. From there I studied astrology, Reiki healing and trance mediumship. Soon enough I was initiated as a witch in a coven. I incorporate my spirituality into my yoga practice but also when I teach yoga. 

One thought on “The Importance of Shadow Work on the Priestess Path and Practices to Support It

  1. You speak so much truth, here, dear Sister! And thank you for reminding me of the power of shaking-I forgot how helpful it can be! ❤️🙏🏻❤️

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