How To Do Shadow Work Using Astrology

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At times, we all experience the shadow side of certain placements in our natal chart that translate into problems, blockages, negativity, bad relationships and fears. Shadow work originates from Jungian psychology, referring to the uncovering and acknowledgment of these elements within the personality that we often don’t want to acknowledge because they fail to fit in with our perception of ourselves. 

Shadow work can involve different exercises such as journaling and working with a mental health professional to access your unconscious self, but astrology can also provide clues to the parts of yourself that may need work. In fact, Jung himself used astrology as a diagnostic tool in his analytic practice and understood it in terms of his own psychology as a symbolic representation of the archetypes of the collective unconscious. He had a deep interest in "the shadow" and the process of discovering it as the thing no one wants to be.

We are meant not to live out our shadow, but to evolve into fully aware and proactive human beings in touch with who we really are. Sometimes this involves dealing with our shadows until we can evolve into our better and healthier selves.

As TikTok creator and Intuitive Astrologer Nichole West explains in a TikTok caption, there are some birth chart placements that can help you hone in on your shadow side. "They are karmic points in your chart and a huge part of your evolutionary journey," she writes.



RELATED: The Zodiac Sign That Represents Your 'Shadow Self,' According To Astrology

How to do shadow work using astrology

Look at the 4th house and the Moon placements in your chart.

The fourth house is an important placement in terms of looking at and dealing with shadow work. The fourth house represents the early life, shadows that exist in the family as well as the mother. It is a cardinal house, meaning it is extremely important in the natal chart and rules our basic foundation not only in early life but as an adult.

The fourth house is associated with our roots, foundation and ancestry. It is the side of your personality that is seen most often by the people you live with. It is ruled by Cancer, which is ruled by the Moon which represents the mother and biological family. The Moon also represents how we express our emotions and this is seen by anyone we share any type of intimate relationship with or who resides in the home where we are generally our true selves.

The Moon and the fourth house are all about the belief systems from early life. Some of us are forced to evolve into something better and completely different from what we experienced as a child. It often happens that we attract what we are comfortable with or what we grew up with even if it is negative and this is often what we must often evolve beyond to create a new foundation for ourselves where we can truly express who we really are.

If your Moon is conjunct, square or opposing any of the following planets, work may be needed in this area of your life:

RELATED: The 10 Most Challenging Zodiac Placements In Astrology

Look at the 8th house and Pluto placements in your chart.

Pluto is generational, which is people of roughly the same age are all born with Pluto in a certain sign which dictates the way we see and learn about the world as a young person.

For example, those born between 1938-1957 have their Pluto in Leo. They are from the World War II era and post-war generation who experienced the boom after WW11; hence they are called the baby boomers. Those born in this generation also witnessed the Vietnam War which many were profoundly against, which led to the 1960s when the theme became, freedom, liberation and individualism and kickstarted the boom in art, creativity and music. And so it goes for each generation depending on the sign Pluto is in.

That said, Pluto is also individualistic and falls somewhere in everyone’s chart. Pluto rules the eighth house which concerns sex, transformation, death, other people’s as well as our partner’s money, traumas and fears, taxes and debt. The natural ruler of the eighth house is Pluto, the planet that covers many of our most fundamental issues including death, secrets, all that is buried in our subconscious mind, our fears and nightmares and in some cases corruption.

Pluto shows us the area of our life where we may face destruction and/or creation. Where Pluto lies in your birth chart is where many eighth-house matters come to light. Pluto can show us where some of our greatest fears along with our greatest desires in life may lie.

In doing shadow work it is important to look at both where Pluto lies and the aspects it makes to other planets. At its worst, Pluto can be involved in sexual abuse and betrayal, domination, bullying and those who have held power over you at some point along with your own obsessions or drives to control other people or things.

You can be at the mercy of Pluto’s unrelenting provocation or you can make deep changes. The area of life, or the house that Pluto governs can show us where we feel powerless and sometimes at the mercy of the universe or others.

If Pluto is conjunct, square or opposing any of the following planets, work may be needed to release yourself from the many demons that Pluto can often represent:

  • Mars
  • Black Moon Lilith or Chiron
  • Saturn
  • Neptune
  • Venus
  • Moon

RELATED: 8 Zodiac Placements That Have The Hardest Time Finding Love

Look at the 12th house and Neptune placements in your birth chart.

The 12th house of the natal chart rules the subconscious mind, secrets, all things that are secret and hidden as well as endings, so of course we should look at the 12th house in doing shadow work.

The planetary ruler of the 12th house is Neptune, which rules our imagination, the subtle things that lie within our subconscious mind and it is considered the planet of illusion, delusion and confusion as well as outright lies, escapism, drugs and alcohol or any type of addiction. It also rules spirituality, dreams, psychic abilities and delusions. It represents the unformed anxieties deep within our minds as well as self-delusion that can affect any part of our lives.

Any planets in the 12th house, as well as Neptune, should be looked at in shadow work. Harsh aspects involving Neptune can often relate to self-delusion, confused images that occurred while young, along with alcohol, drugs or any other type of addiction that was present in the biological family or the self. Neptune in harsh aspect to the Sun or Moon can represent incorrect images formed as a result of an absent mother or father.

If Neptune is conjunct, square or opposing any of the following planets, work may be needed in this area of your life:

  • Sun
  • Lilith or Chiron
  • Moon
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Mars
  • Saturn

RELATED: Zodiac Placements Most Likely To Deal With Anxiety

Leslie Hale is a professional astrologer offering personal astrology readings worldwide by phone, WhatsApp, or Zoom.