Does Everyone Have A Dark Side?

Hi Elsa,

Everyone has a dark side, right? I mean are there people who are just so full-blown sweet and adjusted and owning their stuff and never saying a mean word to anyone and fun and nice and kind and wonderful and just no shadow?

I can’t decide.

I’m curious. Really.

Everyone casts a shadow. Some are adept at hiding their shadow from themselves and/or others. Some are able to integrate their shadow to some degree.

As an example of the latter, I write openly about my intensely jealous and possessive feelings around my husband. Many people find this repulsive.  
My feelings may be repulsive, but they are real and they are mine.

What do you know about the shadow? His, hers, theirs or yours?

Have a question about astrology or life? Ask here!

51 thoughts on “Does Everyone Have A Dark Side?”

  1. Well, my shadow is around being possessive in love. Your comment Elsa helps me feel less repulsed by myself for that. I’ll work on trying to own it. I think that’s the way to go.

  2. When I wrote openly of my feelings on my facebook, the heat was so intense I took the update down. I just don’t have time to spend the day saying, how about you be you and I’ll be me, over and over and over again so I just smile and leave it go at that.

  3. Everyone has a dark side, because we are all different and limited in our tastes, opinions, culture.

    To me the dark side of Elsa is totally acceptable because, with all my personal planets in Scorpio, I adore getting in deep and purging through the depths of life. In fact, I need it. I am also jealous and possessive, but I like to try to confront it. It feels good to me, both the feelings and confronting.

    To someone else, it would be reprehensible. To yet another person, it simply wouldn’t be interesting.

    For another example, my ex-roommate’s dark side of non-forgiveness and torture is as reprehensible to me as my carelessness in treating his possessions was to him.

    So yes, I think as long as there are people, there will always be dark sides… some we can see (our own shadows – disowned parts of personality), some we cannot (what others see in us, or project).

  4. I must be weird then. Jealousy and posessiveness don’t constitute shadow for me , I think they are quite normal for certain character types. It’s when they get out of control they’re a problem, but then so is anything else.

    So surely the shadow is that which is denied…good or bad, high or low?

    Right, so then I guess that’s why people found your comments repulsive, they don’t recognise those things in themselves. Duh ::smacks head:: Time for bed said Zebedee.

  5. Learning I have a world of angry resentment that Pluto is digging up as it approaches natal mars…that’s new. During the next 25 years it will conjunct 7 of my planets. “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out”. from I Claudius.

    I knew about my insecurity based jealousy and handle w/variable results.

  6. Sometimes people come to my blog and tell me I am angry. If they can get me to hide my anger it might not trigger their own, see?

    They are angry that I am angry, LOL.

    It sounds like this (to my ear):

    “I have transcended my anger, you bitch.”

  7. There was one gal who told me I sucked and promised to torture me until the end of time… to needle me and bug me and to ultimately destroy me and I don’t know what all else because I pulled the plug on her while she was still talking but it was another example.

    I suck? I have never set an intention to hurt someone like that in my entire life.

    It’s like a rabid dog, probably doesn’t realize it’s got a disease.

  8. I am a person who has no jealousies whatsoever. I personally do not have time for them nor do I understand them. My shadow is my personal space do not tread on me or you could get a very ugly surprise. My kids say it is a switch and they think it is scary. It can be very scary even to my self. I also do not really get angry all that easily once I am angry then I can be dangerous, because I get angry to my core. Personal affronts or attacking me or my family will flip that switch quick. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

  9. My shadow…I’m working on it. It’s mostly to do with holding people to a standard I’m not %150 convinced I can uphold myself.

    (I have Pluto in the 10th House, so this makes sense to me).

    However, I try very hard to NOT be a hypocrite, so when I openly say I don’t like something, I openly (10th House) become aware that I’m up for scrutiny. I like to challenge myself this way. So, this is another aspect of my shadow: I appear to be challenging other people, but I’m really challenging myself–and VICE VERSA (I think the vice versa part is especially important in my case).

  10. I have a little jealousy, it takes quite a bit to rile it up.

    My problem is being a control freak. It can turn into stampeding and even bullying if I don’t keep a close eye on it.

    I understand where it came from, being young and having things happen to me I couldn’t escape or avoid or stop. The only thing I could try was to limit and control. But my distant misfortune doesn’t give me a right to step on other people.

  11. we all have a dark side…it is a given…there is no light without the dark…
    Just want to share something that did help me during my plutonic cleaning up, and owning up my own shadow…Steven Forrest is a very good writer and astrologer…I recommend the Book of Pluto…
    I leave you with a quote from that book that I reread once in a while not to forget what I went through to get there…
    “Once the deep plutonian work is done, Pluto cease to be the planet of darkness and hurt; instead it becomes the symbol of energy, passionate engagement, and fiery purpose…
    …The rest of the time, let your natural stars guide you, and if those stars move you towards trust, kindness, and a gentle-spirited attunement to those around you, I thank you.”

  12. Lisa, are you a Taurus?

    I know I have shadows, and they reside in everyone I meet that for whatever reason pushes my buttons. If I was at total peace with myself, then no one else’s behaviour/actions would affect me. I have worked thru some things and have noted the lat bub (Tom Wolfe) going off, when I can observe and distance myself from that which used to upset me.

    It’s so obvious to me, yet so difficult to accept responsibility for my own anger, jealousy, envy, feelings of rejection, so much easier to complain about other people’s behaviour.

    On the flip side, there is a light side for every shadow. This is not original, but to think about people we admire…well , what it is that we admire are also hidden aspects that can be developed..

  13. Yep, quite well aware of my shadow and not afraid to have someone else point it out either; might be painful but there’s an ultimate benefit for me in the long run. Like your post about blind spots Elsa, I have loved ones in my life who will point them out to me compassionately and vice versa.

    I may not like my dark shadow, but continually try to ‘marry’ the light and dark parts to live in harmony with myself in acceptance. 1st House Pluto with a couple of Neptune squares for good measure.

  14. “how about you be you and I’ll be me”

    I don’t know that its possible to never ever ‘use’ people as mirrors. I just wont point my finger over *there*. well, less then I use to do.
    My shadows neither want to be saved or chastised or forgiven (oh sh, can you tell I was raised as a catholic?!) only a dialogue.

    jinjan your loved ones are sooo special to point out to each other with compassion!

  15. Most people that know would never think I had a dark side. Libran (sun-moon-merc-uranus)
    I feel everyone has it – some more so than others. I hide it.

    I scored around 49 on Donna Cunningham Pluto quiz – I am jealous and I can strike or cut off people from contact(rarely on striking)

    But, being Libra and not wanting to ever offend or hurt another is not easy with so much shadow-sh##.

    So, with Pluto transiting 7th among others I’ve been searching for much on the ‘Shadow’.

  16. I don’t know about this shadow stuff. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with emotion. It’s all about how emotions come forth.

  17. The responses here are interesting to read. I can think about this stuff all night. Shadows are so interesting but seems like everyone has different definitions.

    Are our shadows just what we repress (or is the word suppress)? And what does an “integrated” shadow look like in a person?

    The trouble I have with shadows is like, for instance, my partner can push some buttons. He is sarcastic and it drives me crazy. I see his sarcasm as kind of a cover up to other stuff that is his shadow. But he makes a sarcastic jibe, and then I get pissed and angry and then I’m the bad guy! See. That pissed angry stuff is my shadow, but I’m framed, and he gets off still thinking he’s sweet and innocent and it was “just a joke.” What is that? Shadowdancing? Torchlighting? ??:)

  18. Cap, may I suggest — if something really really annoys you in someone, then look at that in yourself. (oh they are so… stingy, wasteful, self centered blah blah )
    If you really admire something in someone then look where that is in yourself. Typically as children we have talents, gifts, visions etc. that were not valued, so those go into the shadow as well.

    The shadow holds both shit and gold.

    Sometimes the shit really is shit but sometimes it is really gold.

    The fastest way to find them is to partner up because we usually pick partners who constellate our charts. Since you speak of anger, check out what your respective Marses are doing within yours and your partner’s chart (and the planet(s) which Mars disposes of if any.)

    Another way is to look up the sign on your 12th house cusp. Typically people with a cluster of personal planets in that sign will activate your shadow in either direction or both. For example triple Virgos can bring the worst or best in me because Virgo fills most of my 12th house.

    Anyone else please add your 2 cents to the list!

  19. Thanks, Grr…

    The shadow is still a confusing area for me, and I’ve been looking at my own for several years now (thanks to Elsa! :))

    I definitely have anger. I wouldn’t call it “anger issues” – although, its been a little bit lately due to hormones and sleep deprivation, but I am aware of it. I used to date men who were angry and point fingers at them, until Elsa P came along and said HELLO! 🙂

    (So I wonder how do you “integrate” an angry shadow?)

    But what I’m getting it is that my partner is also angry, but he doesn’t like to think of himself this way (it’s shadow stuff) so he is sarcastic (a veil for the anger). The energy of his sarcasm is low/brings me down. I end up getting pissed and then – voila! I get to be the one angry. Not him! So while I realize anger is my shadow – and it’s probably best if I don’t react – I’d like to see him own his more.

    IDK if that makes sense. And I don’t know what this is called; maybe just projection.

  20. That would be great Elsa for us all.

    Cap, At least you ARE angry and aware of it, so in my book you own some of it!

    my Mars is on the 7th cusp opposing my As, I’ve moped around depressed = repressed anger. cuz they were so mean to me.

    I forgot to add oppositions are projections too.

    Where’s the book of shadows?! lol

  21. wow I didn’t know people were repulsed by having jealousies/intense possessiveness for your SO. I have those feelings and if I hear/read someone being very jealous/possessive about their SO, I feel that they love deeply.
    for me, I am repulsed by people’s hedonistic lifestyles.

  22. Avatar

    I don’t understand why anyone would be repulsed by you writing about having possessive and jealous feelings towards someone you love. It’s primal reality, when you have something you don’t want to lose. I think maybe people are confusing you having these feelings with trying to control the person you feel that way about. Just because you feel it doesn’t mean you act on it.

    1. Oh yeah, I hate it when I am emotionally driven to act. Not wise. Like when I am locked in a space and I feel like I am being hammered. I am working on meditating in that space when I just want to scream. Can’t let the craziness make me insane too. I guess if I screamed then I would be the bad person, right? That’s not allowed. I would be punished. Ouch!

  23. Everyone has a shadow- no one can “transcend” anything if they are still looking at the next guy saying they’ve got it wrong. I can’t “transcend” anger and tell someone “you’re an angry bastard”. This is projection and a way to hide what we really are from ourselves. We’re all one after all. Compassion and acceptance are everything.

    1. @PS, that’s interesting, projecting what we hide from ourselves. gosh, I hope not on my repulsion of hedonism. lol I mean I do love reading juicy love romances, so maybe that’s where the virgin mary/whore dichotomy comes from. I’d like a healthy balance. lol

      1. This isn’t like black and white: like because you say someone is a pedophile you’re a pedophile. It’s the emotion behind your reactions to things- what you feel about what you see in others. Like I am *disgusted* by pedophiles. Disgust is the shadow. If someone is angry at someone because they perceive someone else is an angry person then that’s more simple to understand- they’re an angry person lol. The feeling we’re projecting would be the shadow. Negative reaction is the clue to what your shadow is. We don’t have to react to anything. But none of us are going to stop doing this any time soon at least.

        1. @PS, thanks! that makes more sense.yeah I don’t believe many of us are transcendent that far above. lol

    2. Yeah, I’m thinking anytime I point a finger, it’s some form of the shadow. So what pisses me off, yes there is a message there from my weird.

  24. Avatar

    My dark side is based around schadenfreude. I feel a deep joy whenever I hear that someone who was cruel to me in the past has gotten kicked in the ass good and hard by life. Sag sun with Scorpio moon.

  25. As a 10th houser, I own my shadow completely. I’m aware of my jealousy, emotional meltdowns, and need to exert my authority/dominance in some way. When I disowned that and hid under a guise of niceties, I found that people hated me because my shadow was still obvious to them. Now that I have integrate it without apology, not only do they better relate to me but it grants them license to own their shadow.

    1. @Primrose, that’s interesting too! I have the opposite effect. maybe cause i’m a 4th/ 1st houser and if I don’t make nice-nice, people get on me to be polite and nice. i’m thinking the shadow sides of other people are repulsed by my not so politeness in the way I speak, approach to things in life. like I have to be all under the guise of niceties too. 1st house isn’t about that, but their opposite is.

  26. I try my best to put all the cards, open, on the table. Those who truly like me, see it. I expect those people to know me, “warts/shadow & all,” aka, imperfect, yet lovable as I am: a real human being.
    I have Neptune in my first house, and yet, presently, there are a few people seeing me, as I am (Pluto turbocharging my natal Mars-conjunction-MC may be helping. I strive to do my best to maintain politeness. Currently, no misunderstandings. ::phewf::)

  27. PS: by “all the cards,” I mean, me as I am, and my perspective on what’s happening, between me and that person. Anything that might be useful. That’s not what any cardplayer does, but, I don’t actually, ever play cards (unless with very young children, that’s all).

  28. Avatar
    Bored Neptune Person

    I think guilt can make a person get rid of their shadow. I met such a man: he did something very wrong and unjust, and he was feeling so guilty that he almost turned into an angel. That’s how he tried to compensate for the evil he did, and for the guilt he felt.

    A decided Neptune is capable of such things. When you swim in certain feelings, you just go beyond being human. That’s what Neptune is about, after all.

  29. I don’t like it when people act like they have no dark side or foibles or vulnerability. I always see myself as the potential baddie. I don’t always see people in sides, but I see a lot of evil and moral lassitude in myself. I don’t like that I accept vulnerability but don’t try for moral excellence or self control or work on character. I think that in the post Freudian age we’ve become soft on human moral lassitude and negative emotion.

  30. I may have some serious problems with empathy or empathic concern and the inability to love but psych websites act like that’s OK or my parents fault. It’s not OK

    1. With the crap I’ve been through in my lifetime, if I did not have that strong empathetic water trine, I probably would have become a mass murderer. I also can be a lazy lush that swims easily in Neptunian waters and can submerge myself in pleasure which is another saving grace escape from that other stuff. It makes life worthwhile. I just get irritated when the sharky things appear again. Hey sharky, I am not your mother, or your sister, or your father, that you think I remind you of. Exercising your control issues on me isn’t going to win you your war. It just screws up my life. Competition to take me out just screws up my life.

  31. And about the writer’s original observation of sweet nice and kind. I do carry some angst about ‘being held to a higher standard.’ That’s a very dark pain that screams ‘it just isn’t fair’ at times. It’s a cruel fate. I’ll spare you the stories.

  32. JEALOUSY hahaha The emotion that everyone denies having. It’s ok to feel love anger pain etc, but say that you are jealous and people raise their eyebrows and poo poo at you. As you can see I admit to it. Why is it so bad to admit to feeling jealous. Why is it seen as a weakness. I see jealousy as an emotion which makes us stand up for ourselves be it in anger or cold blood. We are saying I won’t take this any longer.

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