Shadow integration and root work are important practices for anyone who is invested in their own personal development. These modalities are all about getting to the deeper cause of any problem or blockage. Astrology is the perfect tool for understanding your psychology and that of those around you, and getting to the root cause of the matter.
A few months ago, my husband came home from the grocery store with the “wrong” brand of cookies. Our toddler daughter has very selective preferences, so I had specifically written the brand she liked on the grocery list.
I was mad. I started making noise, and he was so taken aback that he literally walked out the door and drove all the way back to the store to get the proper cookies. I kind of felt bad after he left, but I didn’t stop him from making the trip. In that moment, I was really annoyed.
Thankfully, it wasn’t a fight and I’m appreciative that my partner fixed the mistake (he is a lovely-hearted, sweetheart Virgo), but on my end, I needed to look at why I had become so upset about a package of cookies.
This is where root work comes in.
The Source of Problems
Most disagreements between people are not really about the surface issue. Think about the average argument. Many times, things blow up because of supposedly minor issues, but it all goes much deeper. “I don’t know why they’re tripping!” someone might say about their partner. “This really shouldn’t be a big deal, but s/he’s overreacting!”
Complaints are merely a symptom of something much deeper. Emotional outbursts are simply a subconscious reaction to a previous wound (installed during childhood, usually) that is just being re-triggered in the moment.
We have to get back to the original wound.
I have the asteroid Chiron conjunct my Mercury and my Sun in Gemini. Chiron represents the deepest wound, and Mercury-ruled Gemini carries the archetype of self-expression, communication, and thought processes.
When planets are conjunct, they operate as one unit, so for me, these placements indicate a psychological tendency to doubt my expression.
As a child, this manifested in my life in the form of not being listened to by my parents; my mother primarily. I would declare something about myself or what I wanted to do, and was summarily blocked, discredited, or not supported in my own decisions. “I want to be an author when I grow up!” I said when I was all of nine years old and writing 100-page novels on the old school style typewriter.
“No,” my mother would counter. “You like to read, so you should be a lawyer or a doctor.”
As I grew up, I always made my own choices anyway, but it came at the expense of being ostracized for following my heart and what makes me happy.
Healing the Chirotic Wound
Our deep wounds and karmic ancestral baggage can be seen by looking at your Chiron, your Saturn placement and what’s going on in your 4th, 8th and 12th houses, which are the water houses corresponding with Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. You can learn more about my Shadow Integration hyperfocused chart decoding approach in my article Shadow Integration: How to use the Darkest Parts of your Natal Chart to Illuminate Your Greatest Strengths.
Chiron played out in my life by causing me to often feel crippled by anxiety, or loss of focus, or a failure to follow through. Gemini makes things super flaky. I was the “writer who couldn’t write.” In journalism school at university, I prepared a big presentation about how I wanted to be a superblogger, and completely blew the entire speech through subconscious self-sabotage in the form of an insomnia-induced panic attack in the front of the classroom. I dove deeper into astrology and truly studied the wounds, fears, and oppositions in my natal chart. Learning about my Chirotic wound around self-expression and decision-making has been invaluable in overcoming the blockages, and gives me real-world experience to apply when I provide astrological consultations to my clients.
By forcing myself to speak out, share my truth, and write through the nerves, I am constantly transmuting that wound into something powerful and effective.
It took me three decades, but I finally published my first book, The Yoni Egg Shadow Integration Workbook, which is a 28-day astrological guide through the womb wellness journey. It’s a major accomplishment in that I’ve actually come to complete a major project and use my gifts in service to others so that they, too, can become aware of and work through their own blockages.
Chiron indicates our deepest wound, and also how we can wound others: as a writer with both my Sun and Mercury in Gemini, I can certainly use my words as a weapon. Geminis can win any argument, talk good game, and use their wordsmith abilities to procure almost anything they desire. But the higher expression and shadow integration of Chiron is that where you are wounded, you can also heal others. Finally becoming a published author and sharing my own astrological knowledge so that people can understand themselves is invaluable.
Root work – getting to the core of the matter
Our altercation was not about cookies. I had asked for something specific and gotten something different. My subconscious translated it as “your desires don’t matter,” bringing up the same wounds I had experienced in my youth. That of course was not my husband’s intention, but that is what was set off in my psyche.
Next time you feel a flare of emotions, allow them to be and express (while taking care to not direct it all at another person so intensely). Then take a moment to ask yourself some questions and unpeel each layer until you get to the root cause. “What am I really angry about?” and keep going deeper and deeper.
So much of our disconnect comes from a lack of being able to listen to and actually hear other people. Parents especially need to listen to their children, who are capable of more complex thought and reasoning than we may give them credit for.
In many ways, each individual should always know and be the advocate for what is best for themselves. Honor that every person is doing the best they can with what they know, and work on being your own best expression.
And next time you become triggered, save yourself and your relationships by getting to the core of the matter and recognizing that other people are never our problem but showing us something about our own selves.
“When you know how to listen, everyone is the guru.” -Ram Dass