Just who do you think you are? Although who we think we really is infinitely debatable and existentially ripe for debate in a meditation retreat, in our day to day life someone is getting out of bed in the morning, making decisions, from what to wear, to what to eat for breakfast - it is not. We at least know enough about who we are to make tens of hundreds of these seemingly minor decisions, daily. Who is making those decisions about how I will dress, my point of view, and how I will approach/meet the world? The Ascendant, that’s who. Some astrologers say we develop our Ascendant or social mask, out of necessity as a child, and we give those ways of being we are most definitely not to unsuspecting others’ -- described by your Descendant (Seventh House Cusp) sign.
Our Descendant sign models behaviors we encounter from others. These ways of being can antagonize us -- as we forever call their tomato our tomahto-- or, if we learn to value them, can make our life richer, and our partnerships less riddled with conflict and blame. By knowing your Descendant sign, you can identify what you tend to reject in others’, and find more effective ways of responding to them.
My Ascendant is in Aries: Positively, I am known as A Pioneer, Warrior, Challenger, Brave-hearted. Negatively I am a Daredevil, Fighter, Troublemaker.
My Descendant is in Libra: Positively, I appreciate the diplomacy, artistry and beauty in others’. Negatively others can be weak, shy, passive, wishy-washy.
I see myself as...fearless, initiating, confident.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my 'Not Me')...overly compromising, focused on the opinions of others, fearful, shy, indirect, wishy-washy.
Ways I can integrate my Shadow... I excel at getting what I want, but when I’m inconsiderate of others’ wants, my partnerships lose. When I make decisions I can include my partner so they don’t feel left out- or are forced to compromise their own desires. I recognize that through asking others’ opinions, I validate their importance in my life. They model a healthy give and take and reciprocity.
My Ascendant is in Taurus: Positively I am known as A Nature Lover, Traditionalist, a Hierophant (Upholder of Family & Tradition), a Sensualist. Negatively I can be Materialistic, Security Conscious, Earthbound, Conservative, Bullish.
My Descendant is in Scorpio: I appreciate emotional honesty and intensity in partners. Negatively, they can be emotionally intrusive, confrontational, scary.
I see myself as...easygoing, loyal, deliberate.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my 'Not Me')... complex, psychologically intense, sexually extreme, hard to figure out, secretive.
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Ways I can work with my Shadow... adept at keeping things running smoothly, I tend to avoid complexity. When I’m not emotionally honest, when I choose to stay comfortable instead of facing my discomfort, insecurity and fears I attract confrontational situations and people into my life. My partners model psychological honesty. They are intense and probing, which helps me to deeply examine my self.
My Ascendant is in Gemini: Positively I am known as A Storyteller or Communicator. Negatively I can be a Chatterbox, a Trickster, a Peter Pan or Wendy (childlike)
My Descendant is in Sagittarius: I appreciate others’ far-reaching vision and wisdom. Negatively, they can be preachy, lofty or too abstract, hard to follow.
I see myself as...curious, lively, youthful and engaged.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my ‘Not Me’)...biased, closed-minded, stuck on one note, pontificating, a know it all, abstract, dogmatic, inflexible.
Ways I can integrate my Shadow... I can tell stories, talk and explore the facts, to the point where my partner(s) don’t know where I stand, or are overwhelmed with TMI and don’t understand how to meaningfully relate to me. My partners help me to arrive... to the point. Being scattered can slow my effectiveness, so partners help me organize my thoughts into a cohesive big picture. Through them, I recognize the value in taking a stand, having an angle, and a strategic point of view.
My Ascendant is in Cancer: Positively I am seen as The Healer, Therapist, Sensitive. Negatively I can be Overly Emotional, Smothering, Reclusive.
My Descendant is in Capricorn: I appreciate others’ practical know-how, realism and strategic advice. Negatively, they can be emotionally cold, rejecting, fearful.
I see myself as...sensitive, open-hearted, excruciatingly vulnerable.
Therefore I don’t see myself as (my ‘Not Me’)...authoritative, unfeeling, calculating, curmudgeonly, withholding, difficult, demanding, harsh, emotionally cool.
Ways I can integrate my Shadow... the world can be a harsh place, sometimes making it hard for me to feel at home. When I get moody or withdrawn, my partners are stabilizing, helping me to see my problems clearly, and find value in meeting reality clearly and adversity head on. They model adult relationship. I can fall into the trap of not care-taking my own needs, becoming invisible to my self; their cool ability to strategize the life they want, to work toward accomplishment, inspires me.
Sherene Schostak is a Jungian psychotherapist, author and metaphysician who specializes in helping creative artists transform their addictions and blocks. She has been in private practice in New York City for the past 13 years consulting, writing and... read more