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Review: Astrology of the Shadow Self

Astrology of the Shadow Self: Working with Oppositions in Your Natal Chart

By Maja D’Aoust

Publisher:  Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, 2024

As an astrologer, I expected this book to be something a little different than it turned out to be.  I expected that it would be a delineation of the oppositions in one’s natal chart.  An opposition is one of those angles between planets—known as “aspects”—in this case, planets that are 180 degrees apart on the birth chart. 

Instead, this is a different form of delineation.  Instead of comparing “aspects” between planets, author Maja D’Aoust proposes using oppositional points on the chart to reveal the hidden, or shadow self, implied by the locations of the visible planets.  D’Aoust suggests that these shadow points will reveal the hidden, or subconscious, self and the potential for that shadow self to confound, confuse, and otherwise work against our conscious intentions.  Here is where one can find that hidden hostility, those unspoken malevolent desires that all humans have and many pretend they don’t. They are the points where is hidden violence, perversion, selfishness and cruelty.

“This book,” she writes in the Introduction, “will probably be uncomfortable, if I am doing it correctly.” And uncomfortable because nobody wants to think about their shadow selves, the ways in which they may unconsciously manipulate others or how we lie to ourselves and obfuscate our own inner thinking and self-talk.

The technique consists of taking the birth chart and examining the exact opposition point to the natal planets.  The interpretations of these locations are delineated by the sign in which they appear—if you have a natal Sun in Aries, as I do, then you will have a shadow sun in Libra. Do this for each major planet of the chart to find its hidden dangers and pitfalls.

The author warns not to take the shadow self too personally—this is only to recognize the potential chaos.  She continually points out that shadow and light are necessary parts of the whole—male and female, yin and yang, day and night. By gaining a greater understanding of our shadow parts, we are able to create a system of checks and balances to keep those shadows from running amok.

Perhaps a better subtitle for this work should be “Uncovering the Hidden Shadow Self,” because we aren’t just looking at simple oppositions, but seeking out the positions on the chart opposite of the visible placements—their shadows on the other side of the wheel.

In addition to detailed analyses of each shadow placement by sign, D’Aoust also delves into the history of shadow work, astrology, and the interconnectedness of all with alchemy and other mystical understanding. 

By uncovering our shadow selves, we give ourselves an opportunity to recognize our own pitfalls and stop any self-defeating behaviors.  We can learn to build better relationships with ourselves and others, to have a better relationship with our own lives.

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Catt Foy has been a professional psychic and astrologer since 1978 and a freelance writer and photographer since 1981.  She is the author of Psycards: An Oracle of Archetypes, Rune Stones & Their Interpretations, and the novel Bartleby:  A Scrivener's Tale.  She holds an MA from Western Illinois University and an MFA in Fiction from Spalding University, and is currently Queen (CEO) of Psycards USA.  Catt likes to garden, paint, and make jewelry, and is currently working on several other novels.  Catt is also an ordained minister and certified hypnotherapist specializing in past-life regression.


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