His Scorpio Moon And My 8th House: Placing Blame And Projecting Your Shadow In Relationships

lipstick-kiss.jpg“Just what do you mean when you say, project their shadow?” my husband asked. “Exactly what do you mean by that?”

“Well take these women, they have a falling out with their man. And they say blah, blah, blah he did all this crap to me. He’s this rotten guy.”

“Yeah, they do that.”

“Right. And it never occurs to them what they did to the man. They just don’t look at it at all. They’re this little flower in a skirt, I guess, but  9 times out of 10 it’s obvious to me why the man hit the road. And I’m not saying it’s the woman’s fault. I’m saying they cannot see they have any part in it at all. They just don’t want to say or think to themselves, I drove that guy straight up a wall. Hey! Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe he’s not the monster, maybe I am the monster. Me! The one in the lipstick.”

He laughed.

“Well it’s true. And as long as they do this they’re doomed. It is impossible to actually be happy with your shadow projected like that, it just takes all the energy in the world to delude yourself. The older you get the worse it becomes. But by God, they won’t look at it. No worms crawling on them. They look for people like me and people like you and we’re the creepy ones. Waste of a life if you ask me. It’s a lot more interesting to live it the other way, that’s all…”

When a relationship fails who are you most likely to blame? Yourself or the other?

skip to Part Two – Placing Blame and Projecting the Shadow in Relationships


46 thoughts on “His Scorpio Moon And My 8th House: Placing Blame And Projecting Your Shadow In Relationships”

  1. God Elsa, it’s so funny you wrote this, because the other day I was going to keep writing on the Libra/Codependence Blog, but figured, hey it’s your forum, not mine, so I didn’t…but i was going to keep writing, one of the reasons I have had such a hard time letting go of my last relationship and dipping my toes into the dating scene again, is the tough realization I’ve had about my role in the mess. And I would catalogue it here, except for the same reason above! Your point about the soldier and housecleaning said it all… yeah he can sure push your buttons, but he has a point of view. It’s his, not yours, and that’s where you work it out.

  2. At this point in my life I don’t see relationships that end as failures. I just see it as two people that didn’t really fit.

    That said, I do take responsibility for my part in creating something that may not have worked out the way I expected and have gotten much better at finding a good fit over the years as well as maintaining relationships that can work.

  3. I always have blamed myself until now. I’m watching my marriage crumble and as we had yet another discussion last night I pointed out that as long as I’m the only one talking…it’s all my fault. He said, “I’m in this for life, I’m not the one talking about leaving,” but sits there and does nothing about changing the situation. He’s not any happier than I am, but I get to be the shadow. I’m not saying I’m blameless…I have my definite faults, but you can bet that if it comes to me leaving, everyone will say what a hateful person I was to leave this poor man who had done nothing, when that right there is the problem.

  4. Me, me, me. It’s all my fault. Yes, I do admit to the guy being jerky, but I’d rather attribute the blame to my actions than my inability to pick men (though both are at fault, really).

  5. it’s been a long time since i’ve been there. and the guys were jerks, although i always felt like a failure because i thought if i loved them cleanly enough, it would make some kind of unstoppable magic.

    with little things/disagreements, i go back and forth. a lot of times, when i get the other perspective, i can certainly see it, but i can’t always produce it myself. i just don’t always think like my man, after all…

  6. Hmmm…maybe both? When both people project their shadows it can get mighty confusing what belongs to which person. Especially if their shadows have some things in common. I tend to think if something genuinely fails, it takes one to contribute the cause and the other to let it happen. But both have to happen at the same time. If either party changes then it disrupts the dynamic and failure doesn’t occur.

    Goddess – “a lot of times, when i get the other perspective, i can certainly see it, but i can’t always produce it myself” Same here. That’s why communicating with others is so important. Sometimes you just can’t figure out the other perspective no matter how you try because you are not them. They have to be willing to show/tell you. And I do think in a relationship it is both people’s responsibility to be willing to reveal this part of themself so the other person has a chance to understand it. I’m usually very willing to adapt to a partner, but I need to know what they want. I understand once I get the chance to step in their shoes and see what they see. Who else could afford a person such an opportunity but their partner 🙂

  7. I’m a big proponent of personal responsibility. Three years of therapy helped me open my eyes to that one. It makes it harder to slip into my prior typical Pisces heartache of ‘how come I only date terrible men!’ or alternately, ‘why doesn’t anyone love me?!’ (because it requires the other party to take responsibility, too!)

  8. daeshii that’s why i went into therapy back in the day, too. i kept having crappy relationships. logic told me the entire world isn’t screwed up, so it must have been something i was doing. 😯

  9. I always blame myself. Then I get angry at myself for blaming myself entirely, and find the ways that the guy was responsible for his behavior too.

  10. Why does the end of relationship have to be a failure? Honestly, I think all relationships have a purpose. Some of those purposes are accomplished in a short period. I don’t blame anyone.


  11. Well, often I blame the other person when a relationship fails…er, anyone else? LOL.
    Seriously though, this post is VERY timely. Elsa I spoke to you in consultation about a woman at work I was friends with who I’m not any longer.

    We haven’t spoke in 2 years. I was just at a funeral of a dear friend, she knew him casually and came as well. I made an attempt to approach and was (I thought) rebuffed.
    Another friend (my pal’s best friend) came to me…asked me to make amends for HER sake. I said ‘I tried to speak to her and she turned away.’ She asked me to try again, and I said ‘Okay.’

    Because hey, I was at her best friend’s funeral! What are you going to do? Say ‘No, she’s a bitch.’ ?? No.

    Anyways, I got a HUGE hate email today. Vitriol and accusations…on and on and delusions, most of it. I wrote back, maybe I shouldn’t have. But I wanted to refute her claim that I was smearing her all over town. The thing is, and I have spoken about this before in other posts–my MO was always to keep my mouth shut to keep my nose clean.
    I also reminded her that she betrayed me repeatedly and that while we were friends I was extremely loyal and loved her deeply. That I walk away from people who don’t respect me or love me back.

    ::::sigh:::: Bleh. Anyway. It’s true what you say. This person is 36 years old and is still blaming anyone and everyone for her pain.

    I don’t wish her pain, but I sure wish she’d valued my friendship when she had it. Here’s to letting people go and eliminating pain, and hoping they can work through theirs too.

  12. myself. sometimes for simply making a bad decision.
    sometimes for being an idiot and not paying enough attention.

  13. flip- that’s a good point. although i gotta say, my old relationships belonged dead! some of ’em were fairly horrendous. (we’re talking police and felony and involuntary commitment bad.)

    kashmiri- sorry you had to endure the tirade. yeck! you’re a kind person to respect the friend’s wishes, even when you knew they were in vain. :hug:

  14. I generally blame myself, although there have been times when I’ve suddenly had a thought hit me about what was going on, and take heart in the fact that it wasn’t all my fault.

    With the guy that suddenly went funny on me, earlier this year, I’d messed up in ways, and so had he… I thought we were finally on the same page, and then he flipped the page on me, just disappearing for a while; when we were in contact again (not nearly as much as we had been), he wasn’t fully acting like the guy I knew (or thought I did). I wanted answers, but he was being vague or dodging. I thought “I don’t need to read that book, ‘He’s Just Not That Into You'” to get the message, but I waited and gave him a chance to tell me the truth… brutal honesty worked for him, when it served him, but when I needed answers in April, his response was “What is truth, anyway?” (He’d been reading Eckhart Tolle’s books). I hit the roof, and he was briefly “into” me again, but has avoided me since I called him on a lie (in May).

    This evening, I remembered a big mistake that I made a couple of years ago, that deeply embarrasses me. It’s something that it seems can’t be fixed, and is a reminder of my own “shadow” when I go off the deep end… I’m well aware of my own mistakes, and that’s why I’m generally (not always, unfortunately) more patient with others than I am with myself (actually, I say unfortunately – I need to be more patient with *myself* – when I’m not, I make more mistakes).

  15. I blame me … I was going to say there was one exception, but even then I blame me. And then on thinking this more, I blame them too (but more deeply I know it’s still me). Typical Libra fashion.

    I don’t think I’m worth a man. Because when I look at myself like that in the mirror – like how would a man see me? I think, I wouldn’t take me either.

    And I think so long as that cloud is a shroud around me, none will.

    I am the woman no man can marry, because I wouldn’t marry myself:)

  16. Yes, I blame myself–for putting up with their crap. For not seeing the signs. For being delusional.

    That said, I always get something very positive out of my relationships, so once I heal it’s really not a bad deal. Then I don’t blame anyone at all and it “just turned out that way” and things are fine again, and the ex and I are friends.

    So far it works. 🙂

  17. Randal – I think the way around is the hard and long way. I have to learn to like myself. Or make myself into someone who I would want. And that’s a long path. Either way.

  18. Sorry for the third post… (one is still awaitng moderation, since it has a link in it, I guess).

    When I thought “I don’t need to read that book” I meant that it was obvious he was no longer interested, not that we were fine. (Just to clarify.)

    – – – – –
    Althera, I’ve been there, too. I can’t tell you what happened for me, but I suddenly started fighting for myself again/standing up for myself again, about five or six years ago… astrologically, I had Pluto trine Mercury, and Uranus moving back and forth over my Mars, squaring and trining other planets.

  19. mmarianna, I am not reading through this whole thing so may be off, but my immediate response is that it is not a projection but an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. To project something by definition, means there is another entity of some sort, involved.

  20. Both are at fault, but to a different degree. It took me a long time to get out of the habit of blaming myself for everything, including feeling guilty when it’s the other person who did something overtly unforgivable. I am responsible for the poor decision-making though.

    Now I realize it takes two, but at least now I can look at it more objectively instead of feeling like I deserved taking the crap. Sometimes, it’s a shadow projected, but sometimes the reality of what happened is as disgusting. Now I work on having better boundaries and standing up for myself to stop this from happening.

  21. It’s an interesting topic. When my marriage failed, I knew we both had a hand in its demise. Though it was tough to accept that, I did. My real problem came in through other women who just wanted me to talk about my ex as being the monster, to cast the blame on all men, etc. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t see the point. Yeah, my ex was abusive, but there were times when I got some good shots in there too. It was just that we were no longer able to sustain this marriage, and it was making us both nuts. I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to try, at least try, to look at the entire picture and not reduce it to one person being the devil and the other one being a saint.

  22. when I left my marriage at age 28-29 (saturn return) I blamed my husband He was very shut down and negating and I felt really angry.

    Flash forward to nearing my second Saturn Return and several half -elationships later, I have learned that I create my own reality…by attracting certain types or patterns or by reacting in certain ways based on unconscious core beliefs(men are all bastards for example…based on my abusive father, or no one could love me, I am so….)

    The latter sent me into a phase where it was all my fault. Ahhhh Totally over-responsible for everyone and everything.

    Therapy and self examination (including studying astrology) and lots of inward processing have shown me that I first have to love myself and all else follows.

  23. I (Scorpio Moon) see both, knowing that I am never blameless, but also (in the past more-so) have been overly accepting of my fault for things going wrong. My ex, 8th house Libra, played into this aspect. For years, I was treated with a certain level of distrust, but could never put my finger on what the problem was and blamed my issues. Eventually I gave a pointed reason for it. However, it took that misdeed to finally get HIS shadow off of me and for the REAL truth to emerge. At the end, he blames me (too painful to look at himself in the mirror I’m sure) and I blame me for being blind.

  24. I usually take my share of the blame and I never blame the other person. I figure it is my fault because I stayed when I knew I should not.

    I also believe that when a relationship falls apart then the blame for its failure is on both parties.

  25. “Projecting the shadow” is the truth but it’s one step behind the entirety of what’s going on. You really won’t get along with someone whose shadow you can’t, on a psychic level, express. Expressing the shadow through the other is not something only some people who are unaware of themselves do; we *all* do it because this is how we find energy that matches ours — we throw the ball, someone catches it — that’s the start of relationship.

    For example — I consider myself nonviolent and reasonable and cooperative and kind, so where did my mars go? Black moon lilith on the ascendant? A lot of it went into my soldier/police/fire semi-civilzed fighter jock husbands who got very very pissed off when I tried to leave them. It wasn’t me who was carrying a gun around, but *somebody* was.

    But I wouldn’t have picked anybody else. Actually — the way it appeared was that they picked me. What were they engaging with? Me and my shadow.

    The problem with Neptunian types though is that their boundaries are not very well maintained; they’re accidentally psychic and constantly either appearing as or frantically trying to match up to relational patterns that aren’t really theirs. Thats when I think people really get in trouble. It’s not when the shadows match up — it’s when they *appear to* and don’t.

  26. Well, I’m doing something right. When things fail between me and a person I ask myself what I could’ve possibly done to push them away. I usually dissect conversations, verbal and non-verbal cues and seek for a diagnose. If I can’t come up with anything, happens a lot because clearly I don’t go around hurting people on purpose, I ask straight up. It’s when I don’t get an honest and straightforward answer I realize it’s not just me, or maybe it’s not me at all.

    I’m open for improvement and constructive criticism. I’m willing to take blame for when I screw up and I apologize. And believe me, I mean every word of that apology. I don’t like hurting people.But if the other person is not willing to share with me,the only conclusion I can have is that they are here to complicate my life.

  27. In the past I would blame myself more than my boyfriend. Now, I see that a true partnership is made up of two people. We make our choices and we have to live with them and I could no longer blame either myself or my ex we both get to share in the outcome.

  28. Eva – I liked what you said. I often say that the reason I’ve been able to maintain my current relationship is that we have interlocking neurosis. I understand his baggage because it’s similar to mine – trust issues, rejection of authority figures, etc.

    At the same time, he is very different in that he’s an ex-paratrooper, very self-sufficient, confident. He’s my shadow in that regaurd- the parts of myself that I haven’t fully owned but would like to.

    We’re both heavily Air signs so we can discuss and analyze the problems that come up. Such a relief after dealing with a lot Piscean energy in other relationships for me.

    One of my ex’s is a Pisces who has recently cut off all relationship with me. This is truly wounding because my Aquarian self likes to remain good friends with all past lovers. I would like to apologize but I am getting the silent treatment.

    Solaire’s insight that when one is prevented from apologizing or even discussing the problem, then maybe the problem is connected to the other person was very therapeutic for me to hear.

  29. At first I may blame the other person, but sooner or later I come to realize my part in the situation.

    I think this comes with wisdom and age. Now I know to look for my part in the problem and not avoid/deny it. I have not always been mature enough to do that, and only come to some realizations in hindsight.

  30. This is complex because “the other” benefits — often is compelled by — the visible personality and subconsciously knows that they can’t have an exchange with that personality without also engaging the shadow. Remember it’s not just you projecting your shadow, it’s them projecting theirs. And you literally can’t have one without the other.

    This is a central consideration in vedic astrology, where additional divisional charts are examined for karma, wealth, and especially the marriage partner — this is special chart called the D-9 Navamsha. If you read the Navamsha it will describe your spouse in detail. However the other *also* has a navamsha chart and in most cases for long term associations of love and/or emnity — the placements match or are in polarity.

    This is how I found out, for example, that my true energy match was actually one of the most thorny, demonic nakshatras of the zodiac. I honest-to-God *do* attract assholes on an astral level.

    And? They’re attracted to me.

    Once you realize something is part of your personality pattern, you wonder if it’s worth changing even when it’s not particularly healthy. I could pull myself out of that pattern through awareness but in doing so I would no longer have access to the sense of “energy match” on the lower planes.

    “Your part” in these situations is always equal to “their part” and there is really no accessible resolution. Usually, though, the next relationship will heal what broke in the last one; according to Jyotish the mirror repairs itself where it was broken by relationship — through another relationship.

  31. Avatar

    Eva, so interesting. I enjoy your posts on the vedic system, I think I feel more comfortable with it philosophically. I could never undertake study of the vedic system in the same presumptuous way that I have western astrology. Love to read of it nonetheless.

    Speaking to the topic – I tend to blame myself for everything that happens but that is arrogant and…controlling.

    I’ve come to terms with the knowledge that I’m not any good at hetero/romantic relationships. I can openly blame them for their faults but have not yet met anyone that wanted to fight with me or for me to gain understanding of any kind.
    I think I haven’t been been worthy or maybe as a friend says, I have a “very bad picker”.
    My head has been shoved up my ass and I didn’t think about men seriously for years.

    I have never been afraid of honesty or confrontation (depending on its delivery). I tend to think that fault shakes out evenly at the end. I’ve been in love twice, both times I felt at fault for the demise. I have my favorite planet Uranus ruling my desc from the 3rd with zero good aspects. I don’t know how one resolves that from an astrological stand point.

    My parents were a terrible example to me as far as coping mechanisms go and though I am older, I have not resolved their dynamic within me so, a kind of fatedness plays out through me.

    My fate has been to fall in love with a Bugs Bunny/ Ernie type when I’m like Grover on the inside. They just don’t see a point with me. I’m definitely done feigning interest in relationships for the foreseeable future.

    Seems appropriate to add that I think women have been fed a lot of bullshit about having creative or spiritual authority superior to men for far too long. Boys are taken for granted and called out for natural behaviors in a way that should make everyone angry. (Saturn has spoken)

  32. blame? I don’t date assholes, I date nice men with whom things just didn’t work out. I figure what you see is what you get, and I don’t think it’s my place to ask them to change. I just leave at that point.

    For instance, my last relationship my b/f son drove me batshit. The kid was 22 and messed up college and got kicked out of housing and ended up back home. He’d wrecked a couple cars and had to get that special insurance. He had a decent factory job yet his father was still paying for his car, his gas and his insurance.

    Now I can’t exactly ask him to dump his son, you know? When he came back home from school (which just blew the settlement money he received from an accident in which a boy was killed) I saw how it was going to go for several more years, and I just couldn’t….

  33. Brizo, in my opinion this is essentially an expression of unmatched energy in navamsha. If you had needed the experience of that relationship to illuminate your own development, you would not have cared about the kid, the car, the job. None of it would have made any difference; the potential for growth in that relationship would have been a spiritual hunger that found priority.

    But it didn’t. Because? Regardless of the external manifestation of difficulty, your heart said no.

  34. Avatar

    I had this problem with my ex. I have mars in Pisces in 7th and have to check myself on projecting blame onto my most recent ex for not wanting to speak with me. I broke up with him trying to get a reaction then when I got none I freaked out. I’m living with my stupid decision now… I am usually good at admitting where things go wrong but this time the lines were blurry we both messed up badly and I started lashing out.

  35. Hi Eva,
    I can totally relate to what you say, since I attract pretty intricate people too, but although there is a deep suffering (every time the ego gets smashed) there is this blazing light emerging from the shadow, and that’s the only reason I engage in a relationship at all. The good thing is that no matter how it turns out, there is no blame but a deep gratitude instead (Sun-Pluto in house 7).

  36. @brizo:) Right on….”I don’t date assholes, I date nice men with whom things just didn’t work out.”
    This is so true for me. I’ve been in 3 relationships since 2004.
    ..(my husband died in 95 and I was too busy raising my son to date)
    The man I’ve been seeing for the past year is a good person but we have less in common than I thought at the beginning. And he has a lot of problems with his ex and kids. I think it’s pretty much over and hope I we stay friends.

    I am still friends with the other 2. But maybe I’m weird? My 1st love and I (1st kiss Halloween l972) stayed friends until his death in November of 2011.

  37. (every time the ego gets smashed) there is this blazing light emerging from the shadow, and that’s the only reason I engage in a relationship at all.

    Yep, that is the only reason anybody does it. The blazing light comes from a matched expression of destiny — a person outside of yourself who is willing to see you.

    For most people, well…look. Somebody saw you; all of you, wanted to. If you drop all the other shit this ultimately the real nutrient we’re aiming for.

    Gratitude though.

    I can’t be grateful to that asshole for anything. I literally can not do it. I can’t even mock some thing up where I see the *point* of being grateful to that motherfucker. I wake up in the morning every single day of my life and hope this:

    “I pray that whatever happened to me, in equal measure, happens *exactly to you*. ”

    I wake up and hope this, every single day of my life. Like a prayer without ceasing.

    I am grateful I guess for the higher intelligence that tells me that this is a very safe bet.

  38. I can only speak for myself. When I look for validation in speaking -in trust- with someone (a third party) about my personal life problems, I will usually say what he did, not what I did, to end the relationship. Only people who know me well can jump onto conclusions about whether I project or not. God knows, I often blame myself for things I didn’t even do; I stay awake at night in fear that I caused this or that. It is not appropriate for a third party, who might not know me at all or very little or only know the surface of me, to conclude from my momentary venting that I project.

    As a trained counselor, I wouldn’t dare accuse a client of mine that they project. Accusations of this type of people who come to you for comfort rarely help. It’s a delicate thing and you have to be trained to approach it right and with sensitivity in order to make someone see all sides of a problem without project or self-flagellation.
    Some times tough love is required but you need to truly know the person to risk such approach or you are responsible for the consequences when this approach backfires. There is a reason not everyone can offer counseling and this is a good example of the possible complications of untrained help.

  39. This is such a fascinating thread. Eva I am really enjoying your comments.I will look up that term you used…. navamsha. Sounds like a thing to know about

    I dated someone who I knew carried my shadow and I did own it and faced it and went through it. I had many reasons to walk away yet was compelled to stay. It was hard and I went through a lot but…

    Once I ‘got’ the mirror it slowly ended … and I am still grateful for the light it shone on my own darkness… addictive side etc.He was my demon lover.

    Some friends would tell me to walk away but then I would never had got the gift of the whole thing. That was the silver lining. I needed to go there to face pars of myself.

    The only way this didn’t become an addictive downward spiral and a way to self harm was to be completely ruthlessly honest with myself and stay as present as possible(took a lot of processing EFT etc)

    Yet it was so worth it and despite the tough stuff there was a lot of learning and love and we are still friends because I chose not to make him the bad guy…

    I wouldn’t go there again but I dont need to.

    There is a huge gift in owning the shadow.

    p.s. Ruthless self honesty is only possible with radical SELF LOVE and forgiveness. Otherwise it just spirals down into shame and blame.

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