Our Polarity/Duality and the Shadows We Project
Often times we live in our own reality long enough to realize that the shadows (the darker side of self in the personal unconscious) around us must have something to do with us, not belonging to the OTHER as a projection, but instead living within our peripheral vision as a perception of the OTHER. All we can experience is the amount of energy in our feelings and reactions toward the other person. Mostly our shadow side shows up in the same-sex projections, but not always. For example, when a woman is critical of another woman and has energetic reactions to that particular woman, the nature of the projection must be looked at in the inner psyche to discern what is really going on in our inner world to cause such a reaction. What we realize in astrological terms is that each sign has its polarized opposite, and that opposite is the ‘home’ of our shadows. For those who do not have a great deal of astrological experience, I have designed a simple interpretation for you to peruse regarding your Sun, Moon, and Ascendant/Rising signs. For those who are educated in ‘exoteric’ astrology, you can apply these signs and opposites to all of your planets and houses therein. Once our ‘soul’ decides to take on an earthly presence, we must deal with the dualities and polarities that exist, trying to find a balance and become more observant and aware of our ‘projections.’ Observing and becoming conscious of projections will always make one more aware and change/transform the energies in a positive way.
Aries – Aries’ polar opposite would be Libra. The initiative and manifestation has taken on by an Aries will often have the Libran shadow lurking in the background—dependency on relationships (not too willingly dependent due to the opposition, as in all shadows…repressed energies). An Aries may be annoyed with the need to always be called on to balance, to negotiate, to resolve conflict while claiming a hard stand on INDEPENDENCE. The independence of the Aries is always in conflict with the need to relate…to be committed…to find the other as a source for the targeted projection of neediness, dependency, and most of all conciliatory agreements. Aries can see their shadow at work when they cannot admit their own neediness, dependency or inability to survive without collaboration.
Taurus — This sign is dancing with its shadow Scorpio and has a grand time in its fixed two-step rendition of “I Own YOU!/YOU are too intense for me.” What does the Taurus do with his/her intensity of feeling? Usually, the Taurean energy is too busy making money, worrying about the material world, and grasping at fame and fortune, to be disturbed by the intense sexual energy and intimacy issues that arise in the inner world. Usually, the Taurus surrounds him/herself with those intense others so that ‘blame’ can be put on those possessions within the family circle. Possessiveness and ‘fixity’ are strong operations going on in the psyche of the Taurus. What would happen if the Taurus became more cognizant of the deeper meanings and feelings involved in more intimate interaction? Their lives would become more sexual and intense, instead of sensual and superficial. This is one of the hardest signs to work within the area of ‘shadow work.’
Gemini — The shadow of Gemini would be Sagittarius. Here we have a duality that operates at all times, changing faces to adapt to each situation and even coming up with a reasonable philosophy to justify the personas. Although very mutable (changeable and flexible), Gemini can often be very dogmatic and believe only in the constructs of the Gemini mind as that is his/her form of higher (Sagittarius) knowledge. Watch for conversations with this sign where nothing is being heard other than the sound of his/her own voice. So the question is, while the Gemini is involved in his/her shadow, can we have a conversation that is a two-way event? Geminis are addicted to communication especially with close friends and siblings so that they can make up their minds, however, the message is often lost because Gemini is not really listening. The shadow of the Gemini is often: “No one is listening to me.” And: “She/He does not really understand me.” (So you see the shadow can be quite elusive.)
Cancer– Cancer’s polarity is Capricorn, the paternal aspect of the matriarch as Cancer battles the shadow of the patriarch in all the subtleties of feelings and emotions and never out in the open as words would be useless at this time. Manipulation is the shadow of this Moon-ruled sign and learning to be open and loving rather than smothering and possessive, using children and loved ones to find joy and security in life. This sign will live out all of its shadows through the progeny if they allow it. There seems to be a lack of objectivity in the Cancer that drives the shadow projections. My suggestion is to be quite open with a Cancer and call it as you see it. This sign always gets their feelings hurt if the ‘shadow is active’, especially when telling them to get some objectivity around family and/or their careers. That takes the power of the shadow away from this otherwise loving and caring sign.
Leo’s polarity would be Aquarius…so Leo will hide the need for distance in an intimate relationship and jump into his/her mind so that he/she doesn’t have to deal with the emotion and fire of the relationship at the level of intimacy. Leos have a tremendous amount of energy, but often see others as their audience always entertaining. All along seemingly romantic (as most Leo’s are), he/she will hover near the flame of creativity, deep intimacy, etc., but keep himself/herself at a distance by figuring it all out. The quality of unreal and surreal is replete in an Aquarian and lives in the shadows of a Leo…opting to project onto the whole planet and the new age, the needs of relationships. Such drama of AVOID DANCE can only enhance the romantic detachment that brings this shadow to the forefront. This is a fixed sign and is hard to convince that shadows even exist.
Virgo — Virgo’s wonderfully discriminating energy is often sabotaged when the shadow of Pisces is not acknowledged. The Virgo takes on the bitchy, nitpicking negative qualities because of over-prioritizing issues and events instead of giving itself sacred space of silence to engage in a ‘timely manner.’ The shadow of a Virgo is usually only visible by another discerning Virgo as this is a crafty and often powerfully intelligent sign to process. Pisces gives vision to a Virgo in the golden gifts of the shadow, but the Virgo is not just satisfied with vision and dreaming—much too romantic and illusory for this process-oriented sign. It would pay well for Virgo to look within and find that dream, that illusion that would give depth and energy to the sterility of just staying with the PROGRAM. Oftentimes the Virgo cannot see the ‘forest for the trees.’ The beauty of Virgo is their attention to detail, especially as astrology students, very talented in that department. The shadow part cannot see the whole of the chart in the summary.
Libra – Libran’s greatest need is to join together as one as partners of equals and have a truly compatible relationship with a significant other, however, the shadow of Aries reminds the Libra of the opposition the independent and free-thinking soul who needs no one else in order to make decisions. Often, in the midst of wrestling with the shadow, a Libra will triangulate and find third parties to negotiate that freedom of thinking and in doing so sabotage the monogamous or one on one intimacy that he/she has so longed for. The Libran oftentimes is raised by quarreling parents and depends on the Libra for mediation. When the grown Libra sees themselves compromising, the ‘shadow’ is at work. The Libran needs to learn how to be direct and share in consensus reality, much less take responsibility for the need for resolution without giving up one’s freedom of choice. Most Libran will wait on the partner for decision making but will not take the initiative. As long as this continues the hiding of the shadow is the key and the unlocking of the shadow would help free this partnering sign.
Scorpio – Scorpio’s intensity and grounded sexuality will take on the negative aspects of Taurus when the shadow is lurking near. Possessiveness, jealousy, rage, and sensuality for the sake of the senses, holding no other meaning will all be prevalent in the Scorpio during these times of the shadow working. Scorpio is excellent at finding the deeper meanings of life and in helping all others transform as well as evolve past the more superficial behaviors. When the Scorpio is caught up in the Herculean angst of wresting with the labors of this Taurus’ shadow, it is best to stay clear of him/her so as not to be included in the abusive nature of the fight. Scorpio can assimilate this in a sort of a dance–tango– letting one sideshow, to be serviced by the other side…and so it goes on and on. Scorpio cannot tolerate the superficial sensory attitude of the Taurus and much less in his or herself.
Sagittarius – The knowledgeable and often dogmatic teacher within the Sagittarius is sabotaged by the Gemini counterpart and pretends to “not know” what is being contemplated, but instead acts as the perennial student, when all the while holding court as the Hierophant and knower of all things. So the secret side or the shadow of this fire sign will be in the fixity of the dogmatic beliefs. When the Sag is demanding to ‘prove the beliefs’, the shadow is at work, always wanting more information and proof of the dogma. To get this to the light of day, one must scratch the surface long enough with the Sag to see what he/she truly believes and not give him/her a chance to hide in his/her gypsy mentality. I consider this sign one of the hardest to get to know fully, as their communication is often muddled with contradictory statements and conflicting beliefs. There lies the shadow. Try pointing out the ‘shadow’ to a Sag and you will see what I mean!!!
Capricorn – Capricorns are very purposeful and pragmatic, looking to protect their future with an over vigilance in the present. They also have a need to be assured of stability regarding finances and conservativism in their environment. These creative mountain goats can find a way to create quality in their homes and in their lives so that they can be safe and secure within their own surroundings. When the shadow creeps into the psyche of a Capricorn, through his/her opposite in Cancer, we will see an overabundance of emotional angst and withholding of his/her needs and feelings are not met, so much so, that the intensity of feelings is acted out very sporadically and emotionally and often abusively due to the inability to handle his/her emotional lives around risk and lack of safety. Sensitivity and feelings are buried in the personal unconscious of the Capricorn, and they are often unaware of how they act this out!
Aquarius – Aquarians are humanitarians at heart and can become so detached from their own humanness, that they miss “living fully”. We find Aquarians harnessing a protective element in their psyches that keeps them from being too sensitive to the needs and dramas of others. This brings in the negative Leo qualities into their shadows, a superficial dramatic acting out of emotional angst, a refusal to go through the experience, but instead to live out experiences through a sort of voyeurism so as to remain untouched by the pain and suffering that comes in any of the our lives. When the shadow is lurking in the Aquarian, we will pick up a pompous and somewhat holier-than-thou attitude which is also holding his/her world together while he/she gets an understanding of how to live each moment fully, and authentically, even more to the point, how to stay in one’s own authority without giving way to pompous dogma. So the negative side of Leo is acted out quite dramatically in the Aquarian shadow life.
Pisces – Pisces is a sensitive and romantic sign and the people born under this sign are often artistic either in art, music, or theater, if not professionally then at least as a hobby. The Pisces is looking for the bigger picture in his/her life and is content to keep the vision of the whole in front of him/her. When the opposing Virgo shadow is present, there is confusion, bitchiness, and isolation that occur in the Piscean character. He/she is looking for the answer to all the confusion but seldom understands that it is of his/her own making. When stress is present in a Pisces life…either caused by too many relationships, work-a-holic behavior or simply an addictive lifestyle. It is very hard to catch these behaviors at work, so self-observation is greatly needed. We will see a rubber band effect where the Pisces will pull into hiding after being social and quite popular. The Pisces needs to reflect without analyzing every bit of minutiae in his/her life and use introspection as a tool of understanding…or even better…use meditation as a calming agent.