According to Your Zodiac Sign, Shadow Work and Healing Your Dark Side

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There are distinguishing characteristics shared by all zodiac signs. Capricorn’s authoritative leadership, Gemini’s adaptability, and Aries’ initiative are just a few examples. Signs like Aquarius are detached and Libra is too people-pleasing, but like with other things, these characteristics are just one side of the coin. These negative characteristics (which you may subconsciously try to keep hidden) are known as your “shadow self” in astrology and psychology.
The characteristics of our shadow selves, which we have a tendency to repress rather than accept, might prevent us from reaching our full potential. That’s where introspection and shadow work come in; they’re helpful methods for getting to know and accept your shadow self. The most prevalent dark side of your zodiac sign might be a great jumping-off place for your first venture into shadow work, however you can do this for any shadow side you might find inside yourself.

Just what is a “dark side” or “shadow self,” anyway?

The good and the bad, the light and the dark, have all been the subject of mythicization. Evidently, people enjoy a healthy dose of polarity. Do you have a buddy who often criticizes you for not being perfect? Or perhaps you have a history of power struggles that always seem to escalate to a crisis. Carl Jung, the psychologist who first proposed the concept of the shadow self in the 1940s, may refer to these annoying traits as your “shadow qualities.”

“The shadow self represents the part of our personal psyche that often remains just outside of consciousness, especially without intentional work,” writes therapist and author Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC in The Shadow effort Workbook. To paraphrase, “if the persona represents the face that we like to show the world—aka our outward personality—then the shadow represents the parts that we hide and repress from others and even ourselves.”

As author Carl Jung put it, “the shadow self represents the part of our personal psyche that often remains just outside of consciousness, especially without intentional work.” Certified therapist Jor-El Caraballo

The idea of “shadow” is not dissimilar in astrology. Each zodiac sign has a set of positive and negative traits associated with it, with the former often becoming the latter if pushed too far or misunderstood. For instance, a Leo’s confidence, although admirable in situations that call for it, may quickly escalate into an ego battle if it’s not reined in. In addition, Aquarius has a hard time being emotionally aware in personal relationships while being a humanitarian and community builder at heart.

Explain the concept of “shadow work” to me.

Shadow work, or essentially bringing your shadow self into the light, is recommended by mental-health professionals like Caraballo for discovering your dark side since we are all inherently complicated and have a number of features that frequently disguise our shadows. To reduce psychological stress and conflict, “Jung believed that working to accept the shadow parts [of ourselves] allows us to integrate them and live alongside the shadow,” explains Caraballo.

Journaling, mirror work, or dream journaling are all examples of shadow work that may help you recognize your shadow self and get insight into the less desirable traits that go along with it. However, balancing your light and dark sides can also be aided by working with your energy centers, or chakras.

“Within our chakras, experiences we [have] in this life and previous lifetimes before accumulate,” said Gaia Chinniah, a psychic and past-lives development therapist. She explains that our shadow identities get further buried under the accumulation of these formative events: “These opposing forces cause us to act, behave, emote, react, respond, and even recreate past experiences.”

The only way to know for sure why you act the way you do now is to peel back the layers of your past that have created and informed your shadow sides. However, while doing shadow work, the point isn’t to eliminate these less-appreciated qualities so much as it is to become conscious of them. Caraballo argues that “shadow work” is beneficial because it teaches us to “accept ourselves more fully,” allowing us to make decisions that bring us closer to our goals of self-actualization and a more compassionate way of life.

It might be helpful to face the darker aspects of your personality if you have an understanding of the shadows that are characteristic for your zodiac sign. In the following, astrologers describe the shadow aspect of each zodiac sign and offer advice on how to effectively engage in shadow work.

How every zodiac sign can practice shadow work, according to astrologers


A quick-witted Aries may act before fully considering the consequences. Mindfulness meditation might help them realize that they have a hidden propensity for acting too quickly. “Setting the intention to examine the shadow part of the self without judgment and ego can be a powerful counter to their naturally impulsive side,” explains astrologer Angel Dawn.


If something is important to a Taurus, they will not budge from their position, no matter how much resistance they receive. They may need to work on their active listening and empathy skills to address and counter these aggressive behaviors. Astrologer Pix Wilder advises that people “open themselves up to different perspectives” in order to become more flexible and empathetic.


Truth be told, a gregarious Gemini is never at a loss for words, and that’s only one of their many endearing qualities. Wilder and Dawn recommend journaling as a method of shadow work for Aquarians because of the sign’s tendency to prioritize reasoning over emotions (sometimes to a fault). In order to better comprehend and integrate their many facets, Wilder suggests that Gemini keep a diary in which they may record their ideas and feelings.


Although Cancers are known for their kindness and generosity, taking care of others may be taxing on their emotional well-being and sense of identity. Cancer, adds Chinniah, “your reliable nature requires you to occasionally turn some attention toward yourself.”

How does Dawn recommend you effectively incorporate your tendency to please others? Raw, primitive yelling. “Becoming more aware of repressed feelings and releasing them can be profoundly helpful,” she explains.

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