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By Cliff Barry

There are lots of exciting developments brewing at Shadow Work®. In the next few months we will be announcing some new products and possibilities. So I thought I'd let you know ahead of time what's in the pipeline.


Okay, so by this time we all know that we have a shadow. But specifically which type of shadow do you have?

At Shadow Work®, we have been working on a way to type your shadow. In the coming months we will be unveiling a personality typing system for your shadow. Right now we are working with the idea that there are 12 most basic shadows — three in each of the four directions. So there are three Sovereign shadows, three Magician shadows, three Lover shadows and three Warrior shadows.


Each of these 12 Shadows works like a kind of Kryptonite. (If you remember the Superman story, Kryptonite was an element from Superman's home planet that robbed him of his power whenever the bad guys brought some anywhere near him). So your shadow is a kind of energy that saps your power because you have not yet been able to fully integrate it into your life. Obviously, the whole point of Shadow Work® is to get the power out of your shadow, so knowing your Kryptonite with some precision can be useful knowledge.

And your Kryptonite lies in one of the four quarters. It's an element of your Sovereign, Magician, Lover or Warrior energy that just makes your knees buckle whenever it's around. Probably you got wounded by this energy when you were little, and now you subconsciously avoid it at all costs.

In fact, we have discovered that everyone lives in one of the archetypes as if it were their home base. And they most avoid one of the other archetypes — the one with the Kryptonite hidden inside.


We have further discovered that there is a Deep Pathway for you to move from your home base archetype to your Kryptonite archetype.

I give you an example: Cliff Barry. I am a very Sovereign kind of a guy. I'm almost always happy. I think positive thoughts. I create very non-shaming, upbeat models. I often wake up with happy, beautiful thoughts in my head. My home base is in Sovereign.

But Warrior energy is hard for me. I was raised by a very Warrior Dad, who was just back from years of gruesome warfare in the trenches of World War II. My Dad's Warrior energy was hard for me to deal with, so I "got out of Dodge." I fled from Warrior energy to live up in my beautiful ideas. I still hate interpersonal conflict. So Warrior energy is my Kryptonite. It's my deepest shadow.

Fortunately for me there was the ManKind Project's Warrior Weekend, where I could learn Warrior energy from a number of wonderful male mentors. And I practiced my Warrior energy for years as a Leader of those weekends.

But it still isn't easy for me to jump right into an interpersonal conflict. It's a big jump from my home base all the way to my Kryptonite.

But there's a Pathway I can follow that really helps me. I start out in my Sovereign energy, and move next towards my Magician energy. That's not so hard. I love making models and thinking about balancing things, even balancing myself. And from my Magician I can work on making things safe for myself in the situation.

Next I move towards my Lover energy. This gets me in touch with my Inner Child and my vulnerable feelings. And once I'm in touch with my Lover energy, I soon realize that my Inner Child needs to be defended, or that someone is impinging on his safety or his freedom. Well, now I'm getting angry! So my Warrior energy comes on line to defend my Inner Child!

So I've found a predicable and safe way to get to my Kryptonite archetype when I need to. I move from Sovereign to Magician to Lover to Warrior. It works great.


Well, we have been developing 12 Deep Pathways like this, depending on where you might find your home base and where your Kryptonite might lie.

Right now this training is available to facilitators only in the Shadow Types Training, which is an advanced training which requires a re-requisite in our training system. But we're working to bring this knowledge out in more accessible ways.

Together with Joe and Julie Mandarino, we have been developing a personality inventory. And like the Enneagram or the Myers-Briggs, the "Shadow Types Inventory," will soon allow anyone to learn what energy makes up their home base, and what energy works as their Kryptonite. Look for this to be available on the web in 2011.


But there is an even more exciting possibility stemming from our work on the 12 Pathways.

We have come to realize that you can type an individual issue in just the same way that you can type a person. We are seeing that the issues people present to us for processing in Shadow Work® seminars can also be typed.

For example, a person who wants to work on "fear of commitment" is usually working the same Deep Pathway that I described for myself above. We have learned that this issue is actually a problem that comes from too much Sovereign energy as a home base, and too little Warrior energy, because a commitment is a Warrior commodity. So when someone wants to work on their "fear of commitment" we can use the same Pathway I described above for myself. We work from the Sovereign to the Magician, in order to make the whole process more safe and better understood. Then we move towards some Lover energy, and engage the person with their feelings, their vulnerabilities or their Inner Child. And finally we find that they become ready to move towards their Warrior energy and make a commitment, to defend or free their Inner Child.

And this works no matter what kind of personality the person has. It's the issue that can be typed in this way. And that is actually more useful, because it can help the person integrate whatever issue is up. After all, you only figure out your personality a few time in your life, but each issue you confront could have its own personality.


We are also developing this approach for working with organizations. Imagine that you could figure out the Deep Pathway for dealing with "the problem at work?" Just suppose that there were tools to lead organization, or teams within organizations, from one archetype to the next until you have integrated the energy of the shadow in that context. So far the results look promising.


Of course you may have noticed that I have a tendency to idealize the future. Well, that's my home base. The personality trait of Idealizing is one of the 12 Shadow Types, and its mine-all-mine!

So even as you take what I say with a grain of salt, you can appreciate, I think, some of the potential in what's upcoming in Shadow Work®.


Shadow Work® founder Cliff Barry is a Certified Trainer, Coach, and Group Facilitator living in Boulder, Colorado. Read more about Cliff.

This article originally appeared in our free email newsletter in October 2010. To subscribe, visit our subscription page.

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