Living In Another Person’s Shadow

shadow on houseDo you live in another person’s shadow?  How about the shadow of your family or your parents?

There are a number of ways you can be trained to this but speaking from personal experience, it’s a common phenomena for younger siblings. I lived in my sister’s shadow for many years. I think I would still be living there, had I not broken contact with her, and separated myself for eight years.  During this time I became my own person, as opposed to being defined in relation to her.  This was not fault. She was just dominant; there is no other way to say it.

Astrologically, this can be seen in my chart in a number of ways.  I have a packed 8th house (shadow) and Venus square Neptune in my chart which just loves to sacrifice.  Neptune on the midheaven would blur the boundaries in my family life, making it almost unnatural to distinguish myself from my family.

I broaching this because I see my son living in the shadow of his best friend who fifteen months older than he is. Prior to this, he lived in his sister’s shadow, but I think this is the year he’s going to pull out.  Saturn will oppose his natal Sun Saturn conjunction so the timing is right.

Do you live in another person’s shadow?

32 thoughts on “Living In Another Person’s Shadow”

  1. Not any more and not for a long time – since I left home really.

    I lived in my mother’s shadow all that time since she was so domineering and controlling, and in my sister’s not because she was superior, but because she was considered to be superior and was the ‘preferred’ child

    I would have been happy to live in the shadow of a few of the men I loved had I ever got to partner and live with them, but I didn’t.

    My ex husband lived to a large extent in my shadow, and I feel that really got to him in the end, much as he’d loved me for six years. His Aqua Sun and Cap Moon couldn’t take it any longer and he turned to a very young and naive girl still in her teens…

  2. My mom. Packed eighth, moon conjunct neptune tenth. People saw my mom and not me. My sun/mercury was desperate to be seen by anyone at all and my mother and I fought pretty bitterly while I flailed to get out from under and define myself and she couldn’t let me ( or anyone) overshadow her.

    It was like this all her life for both me and my sibling, and we couldn’t really break out until she died.

    ” She was just dominant. There is no other way to say it.”

  3. As a Mother, after reading this I quickly went to my daughters chart to check out her chart!! She’s got Mars, Jupiter & Saturn in the 8th but I dont know who’s shadow she’s living behind or hopefully moving out of.

  4. Yes!! But I’m ready too move out. Also I see I’ll have to seperate myself physically. And I am planning to. Jupiter in my 8th house.It’s just very important to me if I want to progress, and live my own thoughts. Just glad uranus will be transitting some personal planets , to help me. Grateful for my last consult with Elsa, really gave be the belief I could, and I’m doing now instead of dreaming.

  5. Elsa, what would be other things to look for besides 8th house planets? I’m sure there must be numerous other indicators.

  6. Yes,this post is a conversation I’ve longed to have. You bring them up like a well-timed alarm! Thank you. I’m the older sister to my only sibling my brother, but he was(in my view) the one who attracted attention due his Sag signature of charm and athletic prowess. Living in the shadow became a way to survive, but I too left and even now my 8th House affects my comfort with being that mostly quiet, deep-thinking, imaginative writer of fancy.

    What I read in your post about your son Elsa, is frosting to an already satisfying piece. You said …”but I think this is the year he’s going to pull out. Saturn will oppose his natal Sun Saturn conjunction so the timing is right.” When Saturn moves into Scorpio in October it will sit upon my Scorpio stellium and oppose my 8th House Saturn and Mercury so that might just the break-away I need for the elder years.Sometimes it takes a very long time to move out of the shadows.

  7. I lived in my older sister’s shadow for many years.

    Growing up, I idolized her. She was 8 years older than me, and though she was controlling and often mean, I felt she could do no wrong. We lived with separate parents for most of my growing up years, and all I wanted for a long time was to be her.

    When I was in my early twenties and she in her late twenties, we lived together for a while, and spent every waking moment together. I did all her bidding, she controlled me like a puppet and I couldn’t see how there was any other way.

    At some point I realized I was not my own person. The only thing I was, was her sister. I have no idea how I found the courage, the strength, the everything. I eventually got out. It was hard. It was scary. Had to involve the cops.

    It broke our relationship badly, and we now go through great swaths of time not speaking, but we try and sometimes succeed to spend small amounts of time together – but she prefers to spend time with people she controls, and my boundaries are rock solid now.

  8. My father is seen as amazing by everyone in my family. He is a great man but it kinda puts a burden on me to shine just like him.
    My father has a 5th house Sun and I have a 5th house Saturn…….
    Since I still live with him, it can get depressive at times. It’s because I wasn’t responsible enough before that I’m paying the price now.
    I also have a lot of Neptune aspect to my personal planets and an 8th house Sun. I don’t resent him at all but I have to learn to shine with my own light and not just be a reflection.

  9. Elsa, I’m Virgo. 8th house is Aires, I have Chiron sitting there only. I have Neptune & Venus square in natal. My idea was I’m independent, your post making me rethink weather I’m living on anyone else shadow.. is that my husband?? He wants to dominate. I already have Sun conjuct Saturn 2007- 2009 time frame. I don’t know I’m still living in my husband’s sahdow or not. But I have seen I have tons of anger against him but in front of him, I remain nice. It comes naturally. In astrology, when are the planet situations I can get out from his shadow.

  10. Story of my life. Youngest of 4 children, mentally ill mother. I was trained to live in it. I’m better now. The future is bright.

    Chiron/IC square 8th House Saturn.

  11. Yes, in my family’s shadow. I left home as soon as I could, just so people wouldn’t judge me by my last name.

    And no matter how much I “shine” it never feels truly authentic to me. I have Neptune aspecting my MC, and Chiron on my descendant. I am deeply ambivalent about bringing attention to myself.

  12. Yes, I see the ones you have listed from your chart. Perhaps I should have said “are there any others besides the ones you have l

  13. ‘nuthin in the 8th but Neptune conjuncts my descendant in the 7th and opposes my ascendant/moon/sun/venus mash-up in the 1st. I feel like I live in everyones shadow.

  14. Grr, stupid button :-p ::continuing:: “…besides the ones you have listed in the post”? I have nothing in my 8th. (I mentioned 8th in my original question because so many other replies were mentioning theirs I guess) How about sun in 7th? Or moon/Neptune? I was just looking for more than you had originally listed to see if anything fit. 🙂

  15. I actually think this is pretty common, rcuhsitcyks,and hard to isolate. A lot of people have an older sib for one thing, but that’s not definitive.

    For example, you could be older brother to one of those Toddler and Tiera little girls and your job is to carry her dresses in, or line up her shoes.

    Also the 8th house / Scorpio / Pluto on the Sun. We’re talking about a lot of folks here.

  16. I have Moon Pluto conj. My mother tried to make me live in her shadow all her life. I had to leave too to seal my own identity. She always was giving me unsolicited advice about what I should to for a career. Here I was a receptionist for fashion designers and she would send me a book with some old fart on the cover “How to Become a CEO”. Oh brother!

  17. I have 9th house Venus square Neptune.

    My sister and I grew up in each other’s shadow, if that makes sense. She was the pretty, popular cheerleader and I was the smart, well-behaved child. It wasn’t til adulthood that we talked, and realized that BOTH of us envied each other!! We get along now.

    As far as the Venus/Neptune sacrifice and 9th house matters….would this have something to do with me feeling invisible in groups at church? I was part of a singles’ group there years ago and I always felt like I didn’t quite fit in. I had a spot at the table, for sure, but never really felt part of the gang.

  18. I feel like I do, but I don’t have any of the aspects mentioned above. I feel like I’ve lived under the shadow of the success of my but I don’t live up to the expectations :(. Wonder what aspects are responsible for that.

  19. Pssst…over here…

    I love the image you used for this post.

    Back to the shadows to ponder this question, and how it applies to my life/how to shine.

    I live with a Leo now, so…yes.

    I never left home for the longest time, because my family nEeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeded me…

    Imma go find a nice cave to hide in. *poof*

  20. I was used to living in the shadows, now I realise that is where I gained most of my strength. There was many a time where i can say i was treat like something to be disgusted with (8th house stellium – others projected taboos). Its been a blessing to be ignored and left out over the years, because I have more strength than I ever imagined all because I was forced to go it alone.

  21. Daam it happened to me. One person for her personal gain told me shit and I believed it and lived with it for over a year. F*****g scum bag.

    She could have had some civilised humanity in her and at least considered the impact on my personality of having to be in a immersed delusion of her thoughts.

  22. Big time.

    I am easily influenced by people’s action or words. Sometimes it could be taken as I am good at mingling with people from different walks, sometimes it’s just plain lame. I could not figure out if I was trying to be the Miss Nice or I just don’t care. Many times I believe it’s because I wanted to be nice to everyone. There’s no need to make people upset so a little sacrifice is worthy it.

    I have Mars in Pisces in the 8th house.

    Does it have to do with it?

  23. lived in my super scorpio friend’s shadow. i was her innocence. so to speak. not a great job, really. she kept trying to “protect” me from reality, in some really unhelpful (and sometimes dangerous) ways. and played heavy duty guilt trips and gaslighting about how i needed her to take care of me (that i couldn’t take care of myself.) don’t know why it took me so long to move from “this is BS” to “I need to do something about this.”
    maybe because i thought i could reason with her about it.

    i was the eldest. i made a shadow for my sibs. but, also, i had a similar dynamic with my mother as with the friend, above. probably why i picked her as a friend, i guess. substitute for trying to “save” my mom. they had the same ascendant- (conjunct my neptune/scorpio on the IC)

  24. I lived in my mother’s shadow until her death when I was 41. I get what you say about it being unnatural to try to separate myself from the family. That would have been unthinkable. I was consciously aware for probably 10 years prior to her death that I would not be able to break away and be my own person until she was gone-gone. Moving around the world, which I did for many years, did not even help.

    I also have Neptune in Scorpio conjunct less than a degree to my MC with Capricorn rising and Saturn in the first house and Pluto in the 8th, with her Pluto directly opposing my sun. Life is really really good now. My father has long passed and a few years after my mother died, I worked up the courage to break off contact with my abusive alcoholic brother. The only immediate ‘family’ I have left is my awesome step dad! Funny how things turn out.

    The inability to see oneself with Neptune at the top of the chart is remarkable. The things my brother told me that he thought about me, and the things he claimed others believed about me were simply mind-boggling. Good thing I didn’t know ;)Brand new to this website. Thanks for the lovely place to come and learn and fraternize!

  25. OMG!!!! Watched movie White Oleander today. Frightening. What is up with that Ingrid character played by Michelle Pfeifer?

  26. Avatar
    Kelly Thompson

    I believe one of my daughters feels she’s living in my shadow and resents it deeply. She’s a Virgo moon and rising Sag. I think she believes I’m a narcissist too because she grey rocks me. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever experienced and I can’t fix it. She may actually be NPD herself. My other daughter is larger than life like me. Doesn’t feel in shadow at all. I am who I am and can’t shut my light off to please the one daughter. She wants a superficial relationship only. I’m Pluto moon Leo in 8 Jupiter ruled. I’m intense. Her sister is double Scorpio. 🥲

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll to Top