I teach a class every Tuesday evening. It’s an ongoing drop-in class I have been teaching since 1976. Each week we discuss the important transits for the week, and people’s experiences of them. Then we discuss, in depth, a topic that the students want to learn about.
Recently the topic was “The Shadow Side of the Signs”. This is interesting because we normally tend to think of the nature of a sign in terms of its obvious characteristics. Such as Aries is direct and assertive. But what is part of the nature of Aries that we might overlook? As a result of not taking certain behaviors into consideration, we might be surprised when a person with a lot of Aries in their chart acts in a certain way. This month there will be four planets transiting through Libra and four, including the new Moon, in Scorpio. Let’s discuss these two signs in terms of their shadow.
In general, the shadow side of a sign is either reflected by its opposite sign or is expressed when a person is off-center. For example, we tend to think of Libra as the sign of harmony. It is very relational and prefers its social situations to be an equal sharing of an experience between itself and another person. When Libra is off-center and they feel disharmony in a relationship, or that their partner is not sharing in an equal way, they may project their anger about this onto the partner.
This could also manifest in a larger social context. Librans value social justice. If they perceive something inequitable occurring politically or sociologically they are liable to blame certain people for this situation. The off-center Libra who judges or blames others, individually or collectively, is taking no responsibility for their part in the disharmony or injustice. By dumping all their anger onto someone else, the off-center Libra is acting as the sign of open warfare. So much for harmony and fairness.
Sometimes the Libran justification for its hostility is having been attacked first. You hit me, I hit you back. That may be fair, but not very high-minded. Anger, of course, is more associated with Libra’s opposite sign Aries. Aries is also known for being opinionated. The shadow of Libra is its tendency to be judgmental, a form of being opinionated. Similarly, Aries is direct, but also at times can be overly simplistic or one-dimensional in its thinking or relating.
A part of the Libran shadow is that, although it is far more relational and less independent than Aries, it can be quite one-dimensional in its social interaction. Similarly, Libra may establish relationships that are equally one-dimensional. I’m nice to you, you’re nice to me. What a great relationship we have. Just keep smiling and everything will be fine. We’re not going to actually address any issues let alone work them through. This is pretty shallow, yet a shadow tendency of Libra.
We tend to think of Scorpio as secretive, manipulative and dangerous. Off-center, it can. With Libra we noted that it may not be as nice as we expect it to be. Scorpio may not be as mean or cold as we might assume. There is a part of the Scorpionic nature that is extremely nurturing, loyal and family oriented. These are qualities we usually associate with Scorpio’s opposite sign, Taurus.
Scorpio is sometimes referred to as “the sign of secrets”. This can pertain to the Scorpionic curiosity and or its orientation to the mysteries of life. Part of Scorpio’s shadow, however, is the fact that it is extremely sensitive. It can feel quite vulnerable in any social situation where they don’t know the other people or are at least unsure that the other people can be trusted to not take advantage of that vulnerability.
We may tend to think of Scorpio as deep and dark, which it certainly can be. But another aspect of its shadow is its potential to expand its consciousness to the point of being unconditionally loving and supportive to others. This purity that is part of the Scorpionic archetype is the result of many years of personal growth work leading to their consciousness transforming to a rarified spiritual degree. Clearly part of its nature but since it is not always known or recognized as Scorpionic, even by most Scorpios, it can be considered part of its shadow.
Awareness and understanding of the shadow side of any sign provides a broader spectrum of understanding of what that archetype is really about. If that sign is important in your chart, this awareness can enable you to have a deeper insight into yourself. From that point you can have a greater grasp of your tendencies as well as increasing your potential for personal growth.
Aries: The full Moon in Aries on the 11th could bring heightened sensitivity and more emotional awareness than you are used to. Growth comes from acting on or expressing what you are feeling. Late month could bring a tendency to be too abrupt in your communication, hurting others with your words when your intention may simply be to allow others to have deeper insight into you.
Taurus: Mid to late month could bring intense feelings and emotional exchanges with partner or family. The challenge is not to get too extreme in letting others know what’s going on with you. Focusing too much on your side of the situation could lead to unpleasant and unproductive consequences. Growth comes from striving to be emotionally clear rather than trying to control the situation.
Gemini: Creativity, fun and maybe even a little romance in early month gives way to focusing more on work and health from mid-month on. The key to early month is being methodical and disciplined even in your playtime activities. In the latter period faulty judgment could lead to impulsive decisions or actions that could create conflict or at least minimize productivity.
Cancer: Although often self-protective, this is a month for you to be more expressive, direct and self-affirming. The full Moon in Aries on the 11th suggests a time of new beginnings in your work. The new Moon in Scorpio on the 26th provides support to be more aware of your intuitive insights as well as connecting with others in deep, yet joyous interchange.
Leo: The transit of Mars through Leo (September 18 - November 10) brings an abundance of physical energy your way. Engaging in sports, working out or beginning a new creative project are all good ways to utilize your energy during this period. Growth comes from not allowing the Martian energy to impel you toward narcissistic behavior or into being so competitive that the experience in no fun for others.
Virgo: This is a good time for research or at least deep contemplation of an important or interesting topic. You may also notice that interacting with friends, relatives or neighbors is more intense than usual. Growth for you comes from allowing your natural reserve or sense of self-containment to fall away so that others can become aware of who you are at a deeper level.
Libra: Financial concerns could come up this month. Avoid worry by learning to be creative and strategic in planning a budget. Tendencies to be overly generous or excessive in expenditures could happen mid-month. Growth for you comes from being grounded in common sense about the big financial picture and not giving in to impulsive buying.
Scorpio: Heightened emotions could cause some volatile behavior in early month. This could lead to powerful feelings of possessiveness or jealousy by month’s end. Growth comes from using the tension you feel to help clarify values and priorities. It could be that the social difficulties stem from a difference in those qualities between you and someone else. Be yourself and allow others to do the same.
Sagittarius: This is a good time to develop perspective about how others perceive and experience your energy. The centered Sagittarius is generous, ethical and interested in learning and sharing knowledge. The off-center Sagittarius can be more self-absorbed and excessive in idealism or generosity. The way you treat or come across to others is likely how they, in turn, respond and relate to you.
Capricorn: Early month could bring increased, and pleasurable, social activity. You could also feel your artistic or creative juices flowing. Growth for you this month comes from lightening up. It’s OK to approach a relationship in a cautious or methodical way. It’s also OK to apply some self-discipline to improve your artistic endeavors. Just make sure that the processes are enjoyable.
Aquarius: This is a time to work on balancing two primary aspects of your nature. Your social energy runs strong all month. The desire to share in harmonious, egalitarian ways is strong. So, too, is your need for freedom and independence. Growth for you this month comes from handling the manifestation of those parts of your life with grace and clarity.
Pisces: This is a good time to socialize with people with whom you have similar spiritual or artistic interests. You probably know more about these topics than you realize so don’t be shy about sharing your knowledge and wisdom with others. This could also be a good time to reflect on your values and priorities, especially with regard to your social and financial realities.