Who Are Your Shadow Selves?

I mention Shadow Selves a lot but have never done an actual post about them. What or, more correctly, who are they?

They’re vestiges of your former personae, reflecting stances you no longer hold. They are usually at power levels that you’ve ascended beyond. Shadow Selves are incognito and not officially ‘on the books.’  They’re not malign in intent. In fact, they most often pop up when you’re casting around for a coping mechanism. Eager to volunteer, they’re all like “I know! Buy something shiny.”

Or eat till you feel secure and out of faux danger. Sometimes, they emerge as irritability way out of proportion to the threat at hand.

Shadow Selves Are A Disaster To Go Shopping With

They can represent unresolved scenarios and unexpressed emotions. You fixed something and got away, but if something sets off a ‘this is oppressive’ or ‘not fair’ signal; bam – there, they are. You know when a Shadow Self influence is at large when someone’s voice sounds hollow. It is not even fake or affected; it just lacks resonance. Shadow Selves are a disaster to go shopping with.

Astrologically they’re 12th house residents. So, to address their presence and influence, wait for a 12th House transit. Then do something profound like Sound Healing, Kundalini Yoga, or Journaling with time to focus on what comes up.

Shadow Selves are big in relationships; we fall in love with one another’s projected ideal, but it’s these subliminal agents often making the choices. And they reliably show up when someone is on drugs.

How do you get rid of them? Shadows dissipate with light. Don’t dim yours for anyone. Turn up the illumination on current, real self.

And what about the emotions that often sustain Shadow Selves? Time turns grief to compassion. The power of logic alchemizes corrosive resentment into self-discipline and determination. Shame requires a Shaman.

Do you have any of these subliminal secret agents doing black ops in your psyche?

Image: Helmut Newton – Yves St Laurent

54 thoughts on “Who Are Your Shadow Selves?”

  1. “Time turns grief to compassion. The power of logic alchemizes corrosive resentment into self-discipline and determination.”
    Beautifully put and so precise. I second that.

  2. Wish Upon a Star

    “Even a positive thing casts a shadow…… its unique excellence is at the same time its tragic flaw.”
    – William Irwin Thompson

    Taken from the book I have just begun.

    The Alphabet Versus the Goddess.

  3. Oh, I am in a struggle with them on many fronts. Becoming self-aware has meant that I see how cleverly cloaked as “ME” these shadowy selves are. The energy of a wrecked nervous system, an abandoned self, a neglected baby-being-me, etc. claims THIS IS REAL. But it’s not. It’s definitely something that needs attended to and recognized, but it is not the thing that determines reality RIGHT NOW.

    I am not my thoughts has saved me a hundred times in the past year. My thoughts are often weird patchworks of past pain zipping along paths straight to a mouth that once upon a time was fully controlled by thoughts. Now there is the stiller, more silent, more watchful ME who knows some things just need to pass. And with that, I get to keep my friends, the beautiful family around me right now, and my colleagues. That’s productive and satisfying.

  4. And don’t forget the golden shadow – our unacknowledged strengths and capacities that get shoved down because they can’t find their place in the light for whatever reason ( familial, societal etc)

  5. Watch out that shadow selves aren’t just real bits of ourself that society/family would prefer we didn’t have. Find your quirks and embrace is my motto, then use them to their highest good. I’ve got a really strong quirk that doesn’t share food or in fact share much. If it’s mine it’s mine. I loath for instance a Spanish tapas bar where you all just dip in, drives me scatty. I prefer to eat prior to going out then not bother ! I think it shows in my own it nature. You need to own your own stuff, baggage and all. It’s bizarre but it’s me and I know it won’t go away nor neither do I need it to. Ps. I no longer own a house. SOLD !

    1. Wish Upon a Star

      Why do we laugh so loud when children just say what they mean?

      Because it is honest and effortless.

      Hooray about the house

      1. Thanks I’m elated and also need grounding at the same time. Being cancer stellium I do need a home but I’m currently determined to make that where ever I am. Currently spain!

          1. Wish Upon a Star

            Oh emg you do live a charmed life.

            Spain, Italy, Monaco and France, Carribean WOW !

            I understand what you mean about home, I’ve got Venus and Mercury in Cancer. But it is good that your little crab claws get to scratch the sand and cool down in the water, no?

            I heard Spain gets really hot in the afternoon that’s why they have siesta.
            Do you do siesta?

            When you go to Italy please wave at my ancestors in Malta: the tiny country under Sicily.

            If you want grounding go to Malta. It is a rock island.

            Apparently Gozo the island my mum was born on holds a lot of ancient Goddess artefacts.

            About a year ago I had a dream where I was walking on Gozo ground. One little town was being used to host modern day weddings as the ground was auspicious for this. In my dream I saw Bride/Goddesses floating in veil and white.
            It was a special dream.

            Even though I don’t know the name of the town my mum was born on I know the dream was her town.

            Have lots of FUN ! emg

        1. Wish Upon a Star

          Hey I think I have a Cancer stellium.

          I have Venus and Mercury in Cancer.
          Also Gemini Sun in 4th house.

          Does that make a Stelliium peeps?

  6. True about shopping with shadow selves. Used to go out and buy skirt/dress suits/clothes when under stress at work, well tailored but not really useful as I promptly left the job and no longer needed it! gave away a couple of suits like that.

  7. “And what about the emotions that often sustain Shadow Selves? Time turns grief to compassion. The power of logic alchemizes corrosive resentment into self-discipline and determination.”

    Love this!

  8. I’ve been having really crazy dreams for the last couple weeks. Every night it gets more bizarre. I have attributed it to the reiki I’ve been having once a month to get me through a rough situation at work. Letting go of old crap. Right now I do have Mars in Virgo from the 10th house opposing my Chiron in Pisces in the 4th house. Seems like that could definitely stir up some shadow self stuff.

  9. Shadow selves, dream selves, future selves. I took a film photo selfie in the mid 1980’s and remember thinking while I was taking it “Future-self your are amazing and I love you.” I was doing spiritual classes and yoga at the time, pretty nuts for a naïve 19yo me. Who am I next year after Jan 2020 and onwards? (I still love you!)

  10. “Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.” Joseph Campbell I have 4 planets in my 12H,

  11. How do you deal with someone else’s Shadow Self that appears when drunk?
    I have a “friend” that gets really verbally abusive when drunk but doesn’t recall any of the stuff he says when “blacked out” drunk.
    So no apologies because after he takes a verbal dump leaving everyone else feeling low he feels relieved. I no longer drink heavily because this kind of behavior deeply disturbs me.
    My friends tell me to not take it seriously everyone says cruel shit when drunk. But when is it personal? It feels personal when he yells and threatens me calling me horrific names in front of other people.

    1. I have always thought people’s true feelings come out when they drunk. I guess this would be a perfect example of what shadow selves are.

      1. That’s what I fear…if that’s the case this person hates his life, his family and blames everyone for his failures.
        It’s really hard to forget the words. I’ve tried and he becomes a sadist when drunk.
        He’s gone so far to tell me I’m pointless being alive and should do the world a favor and kill myself.
        When I was younger I’d get into a drunk fight with my friends and say some dumb things that would hurt them and didn’t what to continue hurting people I loved so I only drink a beer or so now. Alcohol poisoning drinking til blacking out isn’t fun it’s extremely dangerous and toxic behavior.
        I didn’t like that side of myself so I actively worked on it.

            1. I tried. I asked what are your plans? and he erupted in a litany of reasons why I am one of the reasons for his lack of success which makes no sense. I gave him an opportunity for a touring gig and he tore into me saying I have no talent and should die.
              It’s really difficult to get him to be open and honest about anything, unfortunately.
              He blames his family for not being able to tour. He blames everyone except himself.

            2. I do want to know the Truth. He claims the Truth is he thinks I’m a loser, lack talent and in his way of fame.
              I just don’t speak to my friends like that he obviously has no issue verbally abusing others to get what he wants FAME.

              1. The truth is he is an absolute assh*le who will spew vile things at anyone willing to stand there and take it. He is not your friend. Best wishes removing yourself from his area of acidity.

              2. The truth is he’s got vast amounts of work to do in order that he can find the person in there who has yet to arrive. Those who blame or shame others are not yet strong enough to see or accept themselves. Personally I would walk away telling him you wish him well and then end that chapter. It’s not up to you to rescue him. Walk away and find your own truths too.

        1. I am trying to remember that what he says speaks more about his anger issues than about me, but damn…it’s ugly.
          I wish he’d seek therapy.
          I am limiting contact with him esp when drinking from now on.

    2. Your friend that is black out drunk when drinking ….needs a meeting …ie to get sober …don’t enable his behaviour by making it ok when he is sober and forgets the vile behaviour …it’s not ok ….speaking here as someone that is a long time sober …tough love with this guy ..walk away from the friendship as everyone does not say cruel shit when drunk …only folks that have repressed unexamined shit in their own lives they numb by using booze ……and project this onto others …AA and rehab for him so he can see himself more clearly …..

    3. I would audio record him when he’s like this and play it back to him when he’s sober. He needs a wake up call.

    4. Best way to deal with this is say goodbye. There are better people out there who are/will be friends who respect you ….of course no one is perfect but make the decision- your beautiful self deserves better. Refuse to give these people your precious self xxx

    5. I don’t know if you are close enough for you to say this to them or if it is just a situation you need to isolate yourself from BUT this person needs to address alcohol issues asap. It is not so much that they are hateful when “blackout drunk” and I don’t even think that it necessarily is what they ‘really think’ – a blackout is when the brain goes into emergency power mode to try and save itself – or to divert energy to stop vital organs like the heart being affected by the alcohol. Sarah Hepola wrote a really good book/sobriety memoir called Blackout that explains it really well. It used to be thought of as some sort of truth emerging but these days it is seen more as neurons misfiring, inflammation etc. Having said all that, a friend once threatened to kill me when drunk and I never spoke to them again; I feel sad about it and wish I had it in me to confront them but every instinct was saying flee. Esoterically, there is a theory that drugs/alcohol make you more etherically porous so random entities and stray shitty energy can jump on and take you for a ride.

      1. I 100% believe this
        drugs/alcohol make you more etherically porous so random entities and stray shitty energy can jump on and take you for a ride.

      2. Yep, chronic abusers, whether under the influence of alcohol and other substances or a fiery moon deserve a cold shoulder.

      3. Thanks, I’ll check out that book. Spirits entering and speaking freely…well, his whole demeanor changed, eyes got dark, in a well-lit room. Pupils dilated quickly and lounged at me. I do think he needs help asap for his alcoholism and deeply seated rage and hatred towards women. I feel bad for his wife. If she has to live with this every day. ugh…

    6. Your friend is wrong, not everyone says cruel shit when drunk. In fact hardly anyone does. This person has some major issues and I would avoid exposing myself to this extremely shitty and destructive behaviour

      1. I did learn something from watching his behavior, never do random shots, drink from a bottle on an empty stomach and then proceed to verbally abuse everyone in the room. So I’ve cut way back on my own drinking because I do not want to ever hurt my friends or loved ones again.

  12. Always think shadow is about whether we use our powers for good or not. How we are (inward) and what we reflect (outward)

    Saturn is in my twelfth. I always wondered why family trigger my shadow responses so much. I have sought detachment at all costs but the stranger aspects of my chart really amp the push_me_pull_you influences of the neptunian my chart includes. I simply do not sit well with convention and boy do they want me to be conventional.. at all costs. Anyone tell me how saturn may help/hinder the 12th house?

    I oughta learn not to tell them anything (including my light and shade) but then, it wouldnt be shadow if it wasnt compulsive would it?

    Context: I just got accepted onto a creative Masters degree. It will hone my magic. ‘The Family’ *said with Godfather influence, hate this already.

  13. Yes, yes I do. Lol. And I was literally thinking about this yesterday. I assumed shadows were 8th house (I think because Samhain/Scorpio season is associated with shadow work?) but with so much energy shifting into Virgo, which Rules my 12th, that timing makes a lot of sense. I feel like I can do something abt it now…thanks for the explanation and ideas as to how to go about it!

  14. Wish Upon a Star

    So the last full moon in Aquarius was in my 12th house. It also corresponded when I spontaneously came off antidepressants. Started a detox with herbs, massage and sauna.

    Beautiful things make me cry easily. Shadow selves, yes they have come out but I realise the futility of them, then I cry more, then I feel better.

    Songs play in my head like sweet medicine. I keep hearing Fleetwood Mac. Been down one time. Waking life is a dream.
    Babies pop up all around me in shopping centres like Bodhisattvas.

    I will do a Tarot card reading now.

  15. Make your shadow self an asset not an opponent have always thought.
    ANYWAYS so delighted with Astral DNA report as gave the number 3 instead of 8 as b-day, for Mystic’s Birth Chart download. YES stronger glasses needed. This DNA report shows some sweet trines and challenging squares that were never understood and strong conjunctions. The interp was so accurate and amusing to boot, If only it was available decades ago in this style and format. This information is crucial for peoples to understand themselves and give to close friends you trust with the intimacy of it.
    In the 80’s gave the first astro computer generated chart to each employee to read and swap as there was friction between them. At the time there was software called ‘Mind Probe’, asking many questions for the printout and the similarities between the astro and MP of a person were astounding. Thought every business should both have it for their personnel to know each other’s personas,lights and shadows

    DREAMS: looking forward to the rave as remember 3 dreams a night due to nocturia, guess it’s one way of remembering them no need for diary.
    Thank you for such brilliance Myst. To think i almost didn’t get it as had trouble cancelling an order made for 2 by mistake.
    Absolute value and of course it shows you where your shadow’s lie in wait to ambush you.
    Blessings & Bouquets.

  16. The special shadier self- the shadow self. Bad times
    are confused, and usually odd or off feeling..

    I’m 12th house moon with Jupiter there too. The vibe can be super warm and appealing- can be spooky and off. I could go on but this placement natally is unique and I still don’t know how to manage it.

    It’s very open, and closed, labrythin like, and sometimes
    I am sure I can see fields of gold or maybe it’s just the biggest snakepit. So strategy up.

    Be loving but aware – this will break your heart and fill it – and you will have so many stories and love and still wonder and still suffer

  17. Well, it’s gonna be an interesting time. Something like 2015 with a plot twist that will make “Miracle on 34th St.”, Look like a B rated flop. Why? because I am walking my talk more than ever. I have Virgo in the 12th with beauties like Black Moon Lilith, north node and of course Saturn. It wouldn’t be a party without him right. Ha, ha, ha.. Let’s do this with guns blazing guys💪🏼

  18. any personal experience where i can apply the word “rage”, “contempt”, “can’t”, or i am becoming overly wierd and finger-point-y with “but they said X” … that’s a time to take a look in the mirror, what am i really afraid of here. s p a c e from the thing.

    i have a particularly strange relationship with contempt – my moon in cap goes kind of psycho at a particular type of dependendence and vulnerability. It’s part of my rabidly independent emotional makeup and i am learning to take a step back when i feel this coming on, and accept that there are some kinds of care that i am simply not designed to offer.

    I think personal responsibility and breathing through choking emotions into awareness, gigantic amounts of self-acceptance and self-compassion, recognising that some people are best kept at a safe distance even if that’s just for now while we’re vulnerable (as a boundaries thing),

    Still working on the spendthrift saturn in leo shadow though. At least i can recognise now when i am feeling low when i have the urge to blow large amounts of cash shopping. I can’t eliminate this entirely, but i can become better at re-directing the energy in more productive ways.

    thanks mystic

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