Episode 7

Jung, The Shadow, and A Wizard of Earthsea


February 7th, 2024

1 hr 11 mins 53 secs

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About this Episode

The shadow— a concept developed by Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung— refers to the unconscious aspects of one’s personality that are repressed and thus, not integrated into the “conscious” aspect of the self. The confrontation with The Shadow is an important step in the process of Jungian “Individuation”, in which a person faces, integrates and balances different parts of the psyche.

In the Altered Mates family, we find that The Shadow is a useful model to bring to the Psychedelic Experience, to account for the sometimes confronting imagery and insights we often face in those realms.

In this episode we unpack Jung’s concept of The Shadow and consider its manifestation in the classic work of fantasy fiction “A Wizard of Earthsea”, written by Ursula Le Guin.

In a wonderful essay written by Konstantinos Salavatis, the protagonist’s confrontation with The Shadow is summarised as follows:

“In A Wizard of Earthsea, Ged’s enemy is his own shadow, the dark side of his character, born out of his youthful mistakes, pride and over-confidence in addition to his ignorance that evil resides inside one’s psyche. In true Jungian fashion, only when he acknowledges the shadow within himself does he attain true selfhood and maturity.”

We hope you enjoy this plunge into the depths...


Carl Jung —The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol 9. Part 1 and 2

  • Part 1: The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious
  • Part 2: Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self

Carl Jung — Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Maggie Hyde — Introducing Jung: A Graphic Guide

Scott J. Hill — Confrontation with the Unconscious: Jungian Depth Psychology and Psychedelic Experience

Ursula Le Guin — A Wizard of Earthsea

Konstantinos Salavatis — Wholeness of Self: Coming of Age in Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea and The Farthest Shore


Altered Mates Website

Altered Mates Instagram

Music for the show by Si Mulumby.