Welcome to our October Illumina class! Last month we explored the nature of Pluto and our shadow, and dove into the deep depths of our dreams. Clearly you all loved it, because I received an overwhelming amount of requests to continue this theme into the dark and mysterious month of October. So this month we will continue our exploration of light and dark, and its inevitable result, the shadow.
In astrology, the planet Pluto represents our shadow. In your natal chart, the house Pluto is in reflects the nature of your personal shadow. In the charts of groups and nations, Pluto represents the collective shadow. Our shadow is a natural part of us. It is often perceived as “darkness”, because we are inclined towards responding in fear to what we don’t know or understand. Pluto, as significator of our shadow, is a key to true empowerment and wholeness.
Our “shadow” is where (and how) we hide and repress aspects of ourselves, both positive and negative, depending upon our perspective. Certain desires, urges, and compulsions may frighten or disgust us on one hand, and then entice and excite us on the other. This is the nature of Pluto and our shadow; attraction and repulsion. Using astrology, and Pluto, gives us direct access to the often taboo aspects of ourselves we’ve kept buried and secret. When we are ready to confront these parts of ourselves, we are supported in taking the deep dive.
Dreams are a powerful portal into our shadow. The longer the shadow is repressed, the denser it will appear in a dream. When we dream, our mind pulls images that our subconscious has absorbed in waking life, and tells a story based on symbols and Universal archetypes. Every symbol represents an emotion or an action. But whatever is stored in our conscious mind is only a fragment of who we really are. Most importantly, dreams are also the gateway to the Divine, because the Divine truly lives in the Self, and the only road to access that connection is through the portal of our dreams.
With light comes the dark, and through that process of self-discovery, we inevitably encounter the shadow. Shadow can harm us when it goes unacknowledged and hidden. Once acknowledged, it comes into the light, uniting us into greater wholeness. Even if we use the symbols of our dreams to understand the messages our brain is trying is trying to connect with us, it is still important to muster the courage to understand their meaning, so we may move that much closer to fulfillment. A great deal of magical work is about integrating our shadow with our light.
Simply because we have the tools to access the “skeletons in our closets” and our motivations for actions and behavior, does not mean we are ready to face them.Shadow work requires kindness, patience and compassion. When we release something we’ve repressed, ignored, or manipulated, we experience a rush of emotion and intensity. To unleash too much, too soon, can be akin to opening Pandora’s Box. We label, categorize, and judge our shadow to keep ourselves protected. The process of transforming our most intimate relationship with ourselves is some of the most vital work in our evolutionary process.We need to go slow, to avoid overwhelming ourselves, and give ourselves time and space to integrate and develop new relationships between the parts of our psyche.
Learning more about the astrological house your natal Pluto falls in will initiate a new period of self-discovery in you. Oftentimes, the very things we believe are “bad”, “wrong” or “ugly” about ourselves emerge as our strengths, innate talents, and truest beauty. Pluto is not concerned with the surface or “face” of anything. It penetrates into the guts, the very soul, to expose the truth. When we stand and act from our truth, we experience our vulnerability as our power. And beyond this, we inspire those around us to embrace their shadows, along with the depth of character and intimacy that results from the courage to descend into the dark, and trust in the Light. Ultimately, shadow work is one of the greatest forms of self-love.
Correspondences for October