Why do people have a shadow side?
Let us imagine that there is only light and no darkness in the universe. Then how does the shadow form? The answer lies again in the presence of matter through which light cannot pass and which accordingly leaves a shadow behind. Isn’t everything on our planet Earth some kind of matter? Our bodies are made of dense matter, the things we want to possess are made of matter. While in the unity of the universe there is no division of subject and object, there is no longing to possess something outside of us, because everything is one and the external does not exist.
If we look at this in more detail, we will see that the very functioning of our consciousness is polar – the state of awakening changes with the one of sleeping, the day changes with the night. The human psyche is unable to stay awake for too long, so every day, it needs to fall into a state of sleep or unconsciousness in order to re-emerge into consciousness, and so on. You can read more about the shadow and polarity of human consciousness in Тhe Path of Self-Knowledge.
The polarity of the human brain
The human body is made up of two mirror halves with two limbs, just as the human brain is made up of two mirror hemispheres that are responsible for the opposite part of the body. Each of the cerebral hemispheres, as they are also called, has different functions – the right is responsible for creativity, emotions and intuition, and the left for logical and linear thinking, handling facts and mathematics. If the right is more connected with the unconscious, then the left is responsible for the consciousness. Numerous studies prove that these two parts of the brain can function completely independently of each other. Thus, in relation to human activity, one hemisphere performs a leading function compared to the other one.
For centuries, humanity has purposefully used and developed the functions of the left hemisphere, focusing on handling of facts, rational thought, and the scientific approach. Thus, entering the bipolar model, the ability to fantasize, create, work with emotions and intuition remains underdeveloped, and the consequences of this become increasingly visible. For example, recent studies in the treatment of children suffering from so-called modern diseases such as autism and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) show that symptoms decrease significantly after practicing activities aimed at developing the less developed hemisphere of the brain, leading to balancing both. This is a wonderful illustration of how balancing opposites can lead to inner healing.
The principle of polarity in astrology
The balancing of opposites in astrology works in a similar way. It uses a wide range of ideas, which separately and interrelatedly represent the different faces of the Oneness of Life. It applies as a basic principle the contrast contained in these ideas. Every sign of the zodiac, every planet, home, in short, every element of the astrological framework, is a bilateral or bipolar unit. For example, in order to understand in depth the qualities of a sign, it is necessary to get acquainted with its opposite, thus looking at both sides of one unit.
For this reason, the twelve zodiac signs are reckoned to form the six axes of pairs of opposites. In order to understand in depth a particular sign, it is necessary to study the sign, which plays the role of its shadow and mirrors it on the opposite side of the zodiacal wheel. In this way, by realizing and integrating their unconscious qualities, the two polarities become one single Whole.
The six pairs of opposite signs in astrology
The first axis Aries – Libra is called the axis of Identity and represents the most pronounced polarity I – the Other. The main emphasis in these two characters is on relationships and partnerships. The opposition is formed between asserting the ego to the point of isolation and the need for connection, which in its extreme can lead to a loss of identity. Aries most often consciously perceives himself as impulsive, selfish, upholding himself and his own desires, no matter how it would affect the Other. He has a strong sense of identity and does not hesitate to enter into conflicts to achieve his goals. On the other hand, its opposite sign Libra contains and manifests the qualities that form the shadow of Aries and therefore remain unconscious of him. These include the pursuit of excellence and equal partnerships, objective mind and resourcefulness, as well as the constant pursuit of balance and aesthetics in everything around them. The conscious and unconscious features of Libra are considered in the same way. The meeting between these two archetypal energies is usually experienced as manifestations of two radically different worlds, but in the end, they are the two manifestations of the sense of identity and connection. If Aries needs to learn to accept different points of view without changing them by going into battle with the other, then Libra is important to learn to have a personal position that they stand up, thus through their desires and opinions that one builds a stable sense of their own identity.
Following is Taurus – Scorpio or the axis of Possession, which is responsible for building a more stable and dense Ego through the development of senses and feelings. Here Taurus sets the beginning of matter or our physical essence, and Scorpio is responsible for the themes of the disintegration of what has already been built, the transformation as liberation from the old and death, after which the new is born. If Taurus consciously wants to possess things, skills, people and likes to stay in its comfort zone unwilling to take risks for fear of losing all this, then unconsciously he carries in himself the qualities of Scorpio. These include the constant impulse for change, going to extremes, and the very desire to possess, in its low manifestation, becomes a desire to control someone emotionally and mentally. If Scorpio needs to rest just to be more human, because no one else can keep up that long at his level of intensity, then Taurus must learn to make changes, stepping out of his own zone of comfort and pleasures. Both signs are responsible for sex and money, but while in Taurus they have more material dimensions, in Scorpio they are responsible for the content that is hidden under the external form, namely the deep world of feelings. Everything with which Taurus is associated as possessions and qualities in Scorpio it passes through the fire of inner transformation and burns the old and unnecessary so that only the true and renewed essence remains. You can read more about the Taurus-Scorpio axis through the prism of the Persephone Abduction Myth here.
The axis of Information contains the pair Gemini – Sagittarius and as the furthest from the first axis, represents the least pronounced conflict between two entities. The polarity between these two signs describes the ultimate manifestations of the theme of education, mental development and travel. If Gemini is the student and is responsible for the fast-combinatorial mind, which is focused on the details, but often lacks depth, then Sagittarius develops the intellect from a more philosophical and spiritual perspective. He is the teacher who is able to observe from above every situation and to touch the highest truths and ideals, that stand beyond the limitations of the individual human mind. Pure knowledge and the tendency to observe and analyze in Gemini, in Sagittarius turns into ethics, intuition and faith in what cannot be perceived with the five human senses. In this axis, the two signs are not so much opposed as complementary as a natural continuation to each other. So, on the Gemini side we have school education and short journeys and on the Sagittarius one it develops into higher education and long journeys to lands with different cultures and perceptions. If Gemini needs to learn to go deeper in handling information, refracting it through their personal gaze, Sagittarius needs to learn not to believe in everything that seems distant and unattainable, and turn more attention to observable facts, thus relating to individual human truths.
The continuation for the other three opposite signs Cancer – Capricorn, Leo – Aquarius and Virgo – Pisces in The Polarity of Human Consciousness in the Six Astrological Axes, Part II.
If you want to get acquainted with your astrological portrait of opposites, you could contact me.