With Pluto stationing direct on September 30th, it’s time to meet your shadow self—and you can use your birth chart to come face-to-face with the skeletons in your own closet, say Ruby Warrington and Bess Matassa …
Ruler of Scorpio, the planet Pluto urges us to dive deep into the more Numinous realms of being—which can feel downright scary, depending on how comfortable we are with our more primal urges and shadowy desires.
Pluto governs the parts of ourselves we tend to keep buried under layers of social conditioning, but which are aching to be witnessed in all their gory glory.
But there’s no need to be afraid of these less fragrant parts of ourselves. And in fact, the more time we can spend acknowledging, loving, and socializing them, the less likely they are to leap out of the shadows and bite somebody’s head off. And our birth charts are a great place to begin.
There are several key placements in each and every chart that give clues to the more shadowy parts of our beings, giving us the opportunity to unlock our own secret basement rooms and hidden passages. Read on for 7 ways to use your birth chart to go behind the veil …
*If you don’t have your birth chart, you can do yours for free HERE.
The 7th House: Hello, shadow self
Known as the house of relationships and sitting opposite the 1st House of self and personal expression, the 7th House can also represent the parts of our nature where we’re in denial. Planets here can show aspects of ourselves that we’d rather not “see,” and which we project onto our life partners (in marriage, friendship, and business) instead. We may also seek relationships with people who embody these traits in order to “complete” us. For example, Mars in the 7th House could represent suppressed or unacknowledged anger, meaning we seek partners who either express their anger easily—or know how to push the right buttons to help us to express ours!
The 8th House: How we dance with our demons
Ruled by Scorpio herself, the wicked witch of the zodiac, the 8th House is where we walk the tightrope between the two worlds. In our earthly lives, planets in the 8th House can show how we access our psychic powers (for example, the Moon here suggests strong gut feelings, while an 8th House Mercury may mean we actually “hear” voices from the other side). The sign ruling the 8th House meanwhile (look for the sign it intersects at the bottom), shows our relationship to our shadow self. For example, Leo ruling the 8th House has no problem expressing its demons—while Cancer here may need to find a safe place to let it all hang out.
The 12th House: Let go and let God
Representing the most profound depths of the chart, this house is often described in vague terms such as “the house of self-undoing,” or “secret enemies,” and you can think of this zone as the underground cellar of your chart. Any planets living down there are sometimes kept under lock and key—while they may rise up and “possess” you from time to time. For example, Pluto or Mars here can lead to repressed anger and control impulses that suddenly break out of the cellar and threaten to smash all the china. Meanwhile, Venus here marks an invitation to notice where you deny yourself pleasure. If you’re a 12 house astro babe, your work is to embrace whatever planets hang in this basement, and invite them into the main house for a midnight snack.
Neptune: Your inner spiritual guru
Neptune is the planet ruling mystical Pisces, representing our spirituality and our connection to the higher realms of existence. The sign and house containing Neptune in our birth charts shows how and in what areas of life we experience this connection most strongly, and also where we may seek to “merge” with the Universal oneness—or lose our sense of “self.” The biggest emo of the zodiac, Neptune also shows our sensitivity, and where we may try to escape from the “real” world in search of something altogether softer and more forgiving. Any kind of mystical or dreamlike experience, from being guided into a Shamanic trance, to losing ourselves in music at a concert, will have Neptune at its helm.
South Node: Your soul’s old clothing
Have you ever slipped into some threads that feel oh so comfortable but just a little bit stretched out? Think of your South Node placement as your house clothes. Whatever sign and house its in represents an old way of being from another lifetime. This time around, channel your North Node placement for a soul upgrade. The North Node may feel itchy and challenging and take some breaking in. At first, you may not even recognize yourself when you embrace this behavioral pattern. But you’ve got to risk slipping into this new party frock and and heading out on the town to really fulfill your mission.
Chiron: Your secret superpower
Often called the “wounded healer,” you can think about this placement in your chart as a deeply painful spot that needs you to apply the energy of allowing. Dress that wound, love up on it, and let it break you open towards the human experience of tenderized acceptance. Along with Saturn, Chiron is all about something we think we never received and/or don’t deserve. By element it shows us what we perceive as our weakness (ex/Chiron in Earth, connection to the pragmatic, material realm; Chiron in water, fears around surrendering to our emotional tides). But unlike Saturn’s hard work energy, which compels us to apply effort to overcome this placement, Chiron doesn’t respond to “work.” Instead, we must move alongside and with this energy, and use it as a gateway to connecting with others. Sweetly attending to this touchy-feely place lets us tap into our empathetic superpowers.
Pluto: Where you glow in the dark
This planet of hardcore soul collisions and amped-up intensity, which rules the badass energy of Scorpio, shows us where we can practice grip and release. It gives the house it inhabits a glow-in-the-dark kind of light, where we illuminate our life and death battles, and what we’re willing to protect at all costs. Its gift is to reveal to us where we’re most carnal, and to help us mine this intensity for juicy gemstones. Can we learn to live with what lives inside of us, even the inkiest dark matter we’d rather discard? Harness this energy to fight for exactly what you desire, while noticing when your primal beasties can be slightly softened.