Shadow work and astrologyThe psychological practice of shadow work is used to identify and reintegrate the aspects and traits of ourselves which receded deep into the subconscious. This often occurs in childhood, in order for our ego to protect itself from trauma, pain, or embarrassment. But these rejected shadow traits live in us nonetheless, and unless they are brought into our awareness, can manifest negatively in our lives. These manifestations often appear in the form of unidentified blockages. They keep us from what we wish to achieve, and they stand in the way of happiness and reaching our potential. An easy place to spot these shadows is when we suddenly feel triggered or very judgemental towards a situation or a person. In these instances, we are looking at the projection of our own shadow. But because we don't have full access to it, we only catch glimpses once in a while. The work of reintegrating this fractured energy into our whole being is to first identify it, make peace with it, and sit with the pain and discomfort.
Astrology too can be a great access point to our shadow. One way of using it is by looking at the big 3 (your sun, moon, and rising signs) and identifying the negative aspects of these signs. For example, sun in Taurus can be stubborn, judgmental, materialistic, while moon is Pisces can be delusional when it comes to emotions. If you read the negative qualities and feel neutral, maybe it doesn't apply, or maybe you have already made peace with these aspects of yourself, but if you start to feel uneasy and quick to reject the negative traits, dig deeper and sit with the discomfort. Just like a tree, you can't grow and expand without growing deep roots first. So can you pinpoint why a description is making you uneasy? Why do you feel the urge to dismiss it right away?
Any sign or planet, be it benefic or malefic by nature, has a positive and a negative manifestation. Looking at the negative descriptions offers us a way to identify the shadows within us, but that's just the beginning. The real work is the daily practice of continuing to integrate these rejected shadows into the whole, while not falling back on overdeveloped traits and habits which obscured them in the first place.