I’ve been practicing shadow work for roughly 4-5 years now, and it’s been…quite the ride. I’ve found out a lot about myself, which is always ultimately a good thing. There’s a lot that has been written about the subject from many different perspectives and with the uptick in interest I’ve noticed in the last two years or so, I figured, why not add my own views to the mix.
So whether you’re just starting to get into shadow work, or you’re looking for a way to shake things up, I hope this post is helpful to you.
What I remember most about starting off on my own shadow work journey was the overwhelming feeling of “Where do I even begin? How do you start something like this?”. My first ‘in’ was my dreams. I may write more on this at a later date. My second ‘in’, though, was astrology.
Full disclaimer, I am no astrology expert. I am still learning. But with the plethora of blogs dedicated to astrology on Tumblr, there’s no shortage of interesting insights into the topic that most of us can readily grasp onto. That is to say, this is in o way the end-all-be-all guide to using astrology to help you do your shadow work, and I encourage you to delve as deep as you want into this method briefly outlined here, do it your way, and draw your own conclusions.
Your Moon is the side of yourself you hide from most people. It’s who you are when you’re alone. And sometimes the aspects of ourselves we try to hide from others, we also try to hide from ourselves.
As an example, I did the thing most of us did in high school and majorly rebelled against my upbringing. I vehemently denied any desire at all to eventually marry, or even be in a long term relationship at all. I was staunchly a cold hard realist. I wanted no part of ‘romance’. I carried a more relaxed version of this attitude well into my early 20s.
I’m a Libra Moon. I can hear those of you who know what that entails laughing at me, and it’s okay–I’m laughing, too.
The first time I had my natal chart done, I was sure there was a mistake. Once I started really examining myself and picking everything apart did I realize…yeah. I want a long, monogamous, forever relationship. That’s not all I want for my life, but I definitely do want it. And that’s okay. Once more, you can be a realist and a romantic at the same time. Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive.
Where is your Moon? What sign does it fall under? What house is it in? How do you feel about the Cosmos’ interpretation of you? Really question yourself about it. What are your findings?
This is where things start getting a bit more advanced. Don’t panic! Again, let me remind you of the many, many Tumblr blogs and websites that will lay all this out to you. You’re bound to find at least one that phrases it all in a way that’s easily understandable for you.
And if you haven’t guessed, I’ll be using myself as a handy example for the whole of this post. So let’s talk about the retrogrades in my chart, shall we?
Saturn retrograde brings me feelings of inferiority and victimization. It also makes me hyper critical of myself and hold myself to standards even Beyonce would have trouble keeping up with.
Uranus retrograde means I view myself as the one I need to be rebelling against, which–if you’ve been following me on Tumblr long enough, you’ll be able to see in my constantly shifting ways of doing things re: spirituality.
Neptune retrograde makes me struggle with making plans become actions (I’ve been ‘planning’ this post for a week now), makes me self-sacrificial and oversensitive.
I told my Mom all this, and she basically said, “Yeah, no shit”. And to be honest, I also knew most of this stuff before I even begun learning about the more advanced aspects of my chart. But shadow work is all about confrontation, and if your natal chart can help you confront those aspects of yourself that you usually try to ignore, it will help you with your shadow work.
Chiron is an asteroid between Saturn and Uranus, and is known as the “wounded healer”. It shows us where we need the most healing.
My Chiron is in Cancer. I nurture others, but have a hard time allowing myself to be taken care of by others, and even end up neglecting myself. My Chiron placement is the aspect of my natal chart I work on the most consistently re: shadow work. If you’ve read my Taurus Moon post, you know that this is an aspect of myself that I keep finding in the strangest places, like feeling guilty over buying myself a tube of lipstick.
Where is your Chiron? How many ways can you find in which this aspect of your personality crops up in your life? Write these down. Work on them. Revisit them in six months time. How many of these still ring true? How many have you worked on? How many more new permutations of this aspect have you found?
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All of them. All of the houses. I tried to narrow it down to just a few houses to get started with, but all of them hold insights helpful to shadow work, and I have no way of knowing which of these aspects are going to be of import to you.
Which house has the most planets/asteroids? What do these heavenly bodies mean when stationed in that house? How do they manifest? How do they effect your daily life? Your inner life? Which house(s) don’t have any planets at all? Which sign rules these spaces? How do they manifest?
That should be efficient for a start. If you feel so inclined, give it a shot and see how it goes! And for those of you who don’t mind sharing, I’d love to know how it goes for you. There are probably as many ways to do shadow work as there are people on this planet, but I hope this method can help you.
If you’re not into astrology, or want an alternative, why not try my newest reading to tap into your subconscious?
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