Shadows are cast in the opposite direction of the light. And so when we shine a light the shadow falls behind it. In the natal chart the Sun is the light source and the shadow falls opposite the sun sign. In Western astrology the sun sign has assumed extraordinary importance. When someone says: “what’s your sign?” this is generally what they’re asking. What sign was the sun in the moment you were born? While I see it only as one of many important aspects of the chart it does show us where are shadows lay and allows us to unpack them. Also important is the house in which our shadow exists (also opposite the sun sign).
The Sun sign is our inner star and central power source. It fuels, energizes, and shows us where and how we shine. It is the paternal inheritance, which speaks to the ancestral imprint of our father’s line. As such it is a gateway to our power and how it is expressed through our lives. Most people have a cursory understanding of the sun sign significance. To find the shadow of the sun look to the sign in opposition of your sun. For example my sun sign is Virgo in the 12th house. Therefore my opposing sign is Pisces in the 6th house.
Aries is opposite Libra
Taurus is opposite Scorpio
Gemini is opposite Sagittarius
Cancer is opposite Capricorn
Leo is opposite Aquarius
Virgo is opposite Pisces
Below are Sun sign descriptions, just for fun, before we look at the shadows!
Aries – Aries, ruled by Mars, is the first sign of the zodiac and the fiery initiator. A cardinal sign, it is fire in gaseous form. Amazingly authentic, when Aries appears something (anything!) is about to begin. Aries, mythologically the god of war, is the classic archetype of the hero and warrior. Aries is filled with energy, extremely active, spontaneous, and temperamental. Anger burns hot and fast and is occasionally explosive. So does passion. Aries will fight for a cause to the death and is protective of those he loves and of the things that matter.
Taurus– Taurus, ruled by Venus, earths the Arian energy into solid earth. Taurus is slow and steady, will not rush, and solidly holds space until the proverbial meteorite strikes. The Venusian sensuality lives deep in Taurus along with an appreciation of things earthy. Taurus is the earth mother with an impulse towards the joys of incarnation and the finer things of life. Taurus values security, stability, and is tenacious in achieving these qualities in herself.
Gemini – Gemini, ruled by the messenger god Mercury, is liquid air, quicksilver and transformative. Gemini processes quickly, almost magically, and shifts from face to face with a blink of the eye. Gemini are the twins and as such holds all possibility within its whole. Both male and female, dark and bright, Gemini is undifferentiated possibility. Because of this innate wholeness Gemini can process all options quickly and move before the more methodical signs have even begun.
Cancer – Cancer, ruled by the feminine Moon, is cardinal water. She is the tides and the ruler of tides. Cancer is the mystical mother who holds sacred spaces within her, carrying her home on her back. She is the collective unconscious and keeper of memory. She is empathic and dreamy yet protects her soft underbelly with a hard protective shell. She ebbs and flows on the waves and makes her home among the creatures of the sea. Cancer is supremely vulnerable yet holds her space with the fierceness of a queen.
Leo – Leo, the lion, is ruled by the Sun. He is fixed fire, burning bright and steady as the star after which he is named. Leo is the inner star, vibrant and confident. He shines unapologetically thus allowing everyone else around him to bask in his generous light. He is so supremely confident that he is humble in himself and lives to give. He is the energy giving battery of the zodiac, fueling the fires of all those around him and radiating with the warmth of ego elevated.
Virgo – Virgo is the healer priestess, ruled by wounded healer Chiron. She is mutable earth, liquid stability. She is refinement, compassion, and precision. Virgo’s domain is the diagnostic terrain of maps, whether they be geographical, theoretical, or philosophical. She sees the trees of the forest and loves each one for their uniqueness and listens for the individual voice of everyone she meets. She sees through the clutter, clears the spaces around her, and offers wisdom born from generous observation.
Libra – Libra, the scales, is ruled by Venus. Libra seeks balance, beauty, and refinement in all things. The diplomatic, artistic, and supremely fair Libra must create harmony in his spaces. He is aware of his place in the world and seeks to make it one of importance and balance. He will not abide imbalance and seeks to hold the teeter totter still. He holds an elegant space between Virgo’s keen observation and Scorpio’s deep exploration.
Scorpio – Scorpio, the dragon, is ruled by the King Pluto, guardian of the underworld. Scorpio is the darkness. She is the queen of the Underworld and Mistress Death. She holds the hand of those who dare to look into the shadows and face the dark in themselves. Scorpio is untimely and challenging and forces us to look at death in our own faces. She rules the kind of sex that scorches the soul (rather than Taurus’ physical sensuality), the power wealth brings, and the transformative that comes from dying while still alive.
Sagittarius – After emerging from Scorpio’s depths Sagittarius looks up into the sky and shoots for the stars. He points his arrows up to all the places he will some day travel and charts a map to the heavens. He navigates the heavens in his brilliant mind and follows the pathways of philosophy, thought, and explores them through every kind of travel he can imagine. He pushes the edges of understanding, charting new territory, and pushing the edges of possibility.
Capricorn – Capricorn, ruled by taskmaster Saturn, pulls the Centaur’s possibilities back into the cardinal Earth’s probabilities. Capricorn says: “Yes, interesting idea! Now how do we make it work!” Capricorn creates in the concrete, the practical, the manifestation of dreams. She is the builder, the maker, the craftsperson who turns everything she touches into gold. Mistress of manifestation, she builds not for the moment but for posterity.
Aquarius – The mysterious Uranus ruled Aquarian is the weaver of the webs of the group mind. Aquarius takes the craft of Capricorn and weaves it towards the higher good of the All. Aquarius is the prophet, visionary, internet developer, astrologer, and visionary. To Aquarius nothing is good until it profits humanity as a whole. No one exists in isolation and the Aquarian mind is intricately aware of the highways and byways of shared space.
Pisces – Pisces, the fish, lives in Neptune’s deep water seas. Pisces is the mystic, the dreamer, the madwoman, who only lives when she dies in the Oneness. She knows that death is an illusion and that dreams are closer to reality than the daily life so many others find themselves grinding through. She is the psychic, the sacrifice, and the communion blood seeping into the ocean’s accepting waters. She is suffering and joy in the same grail.