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By Cindy Vargas

Shadow Work Coach and Facilitator Cindy Vargas Phoenix Arizona "Your internal village sounds like it's in an uproar," said the counselor calmly.

"No kidding. Wait. My what?"

"If you could imagine all those voices as people in a village, that would be your internal village."

He listened a bit more and then said, "No, I take it back. It sounds like one member of your village is acting like a whirlwind and is so loud, no one can hear themselves think."

My internal village. How could I learn to see the quarters with this idea? It was alive with possibilities, limited only by the imagination.

For those of us who find connections between many schools of thought, it was the idea that story, metaphors, Voice Dialogue, Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram, StrengthsFinders and Shadow Types could all connect in some great internal insights that lit up my Ideation strength.

What if I could find out what was happening inside by telling it in a story? Create images that allow for Magician perspective, find out what was missing and what I wanted to have happen? And how would it work if I used the idea with people who don't know anything about personality/character studies and don't even want to know?


"Let's experiment," said my INFJ friend. She is High Magician/Low Lover. An Enneagram Five.

We took one of my fears of some sort of invisible threat hanging over me and created some imagery. It turned into a young woman, dressed in tattered, royal clothes, running barefoot in a cold, dark place. No protection from the castle. Big rocks. Somewhere an assailant waited.

"Let it happen," she said. "Play it all the way to the bitter end."

A man jumped out from behind a rock, wearing the face of the traitor in The Matrix and sank a dagger into her heart. She slumped to the ground.

"And now what do you feel?" she asked.

"A sense of relief and sadness."

"Look again, and what do you see?"

I started laughing. There was a glowing self standing there observing the scene. Untouched. Unharmed.

You have probably already seen the layers of understanding from this little exercise. I saw the expectation that masculine energy would betray. I saw my own self-betrayal. Dark Magician energy showed up, so I saw the predator/victim circuit run its full course. I saw the lack of Sovereign protection from brute Warrior. And other things.

And so, I have found it a fascinating experience that allows for lovely understanding to happen in a slightly less threatening way. I also felt my body respond to the imagery. My heart raced in fear. My muscles relaxed when I realized that nothing would touch that internal self.


"Tell me the story of this disease, this fear, this man/woman, this stress, this experience . . ."

"I see an old crone trying to put a magic spell on him."

"I see a clock that is working so fast that the gears are melting."

"It's like a castle with no doors."

"No children are allowed in the village. They are outcasts."

"She fell into an abyss, and I can't get her out."

I listen to the stories unfold and I can see that there are messages, missing Warriors, Sovereigns, Lovers and Magicians. The masculine and feminine wounds show up. It opens the door for lots of ways to work with people. They can put the dynamic out and do a piece of Shadow Work®. They can identify the missing energy themselves and begin to insert it into the story. They can play with it and change it as much as they wish. They make it safe. They add the needed elements in the images and words that ring true in their internal world.


"You have a great castle, Cindy," the (INFJ/ Hi Mag/Low Lov) counselor said. "But there doesn't seem to be any water in the moat. And some dragons might be helpful. People keep climbing the walls and taking stuff."

You might ask yourself, "Is she a bit low on Warrior?" And you would be right.

I've found the Red Queen and Joan of Arc living in my village. They don't get along. The real Queen living there has her work cut out for her getting the two of them to fight for the village and calming down the 11 year-old who is petrified. But right now, I am putting water in the moat and some very colorful, very dangerous dragons to guard the castle.

May your village, castle, internal playground be an endless source of insight and connection.

Cindy Vargas
High Connection Loop
Enneagram Two
Connectedness (StrengthsFinders 2.0)

Cindy Vargas is a Certified Shadow Work® Coach, a Certified Shadow Work® Group Facilitator and a Licensed Massage Therapist in Phoenix, Arizona. Read more about Cindy.

This article originally appeared in our free email newsletter in October 2012. To subscribe, visit our subscription page.

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