I occasionally peruse my bookshelves and look for “new” old books that I haven’t thought about in a while. “Soul Vows,” by Jannet Conner is a gem of a book that I did a lot of work with about six or seven years ago, and it’s struck me recently that this is a great book to read if you’re doing shadow work even though it’s technically not about shadow work at all.

Subtitled “Gathering the Presence of the Divine In You, Through You, and As You,” it comes across as a thoroughly spiritual book, not one with a psychological bent. The back of the book says “If you long to know your soul’s purpose, Soul Vows is an ideal place to begin. Your soul vows describe how you choose to walk this earth, in every moment of every day. They are how you receive and spread grace. As you live your soul vows, you become a fertile container in which your purpose can take root and prosper.”

The way that this relates to shadow work is that one of the first steps is to “recognize the false unconscious vows that have kept you fragmented.” We all have stories in our shadows that we don’t even know we live by, and the goal is to understand these and transmute them into gold.

I loved this book so much, and I still have the card I made with my own soul vows taped up behind my desk so I can look at it every day. While the book talks about the divine, I didn’t find it troublesome or restrictive in case you’re not the religious type (I still enjoyed it as a pagany type, or more precisely a postmodern shamanic hermeticist).