One thing I love about exploring natal charts is the beautiful geometry exposing something about yourself you never realized, like how your shadow might show up in ways you’ve never noticed. Using your natal chart to explore shadow work is a powerful way to see yourself and understand how you interact with the world and others. You can use shadow work to become more self-accepting and grow personally. Interceptions are a fascinating aspect of geometrical alignment in charts that, if you have them, can give deep insight into where your shadow tends to express itself and which Signs may be more challenging for you to express.
What Is Your Shadow?
Your shadow is the darker side of you that exhibits unhealthy behaviors. It’s the part of you that you reject because you don’t like them about yourself. The shadow self develops in childhood as you interpret how to receive love or praise for survival. You’ll notice your shadow self most when you explore topics or parts of your life that make your fearful or shameful. These are the parts of your personality that you aren’t proud of and would rather ignore, but they always surface nonetheless.
Until you become aware of it, your shadow acts out unconsciously to protect you from being hurt and ultimately dying, which is the ego’s greatest fear. Shadow work is the practice of self-exploration to shed light on and accept your shadow. Then, you can experience more inner peace.
Interceptions occur when one House fully encompasses a Sign. Since there are 12 signs evenly spaced around the circle, each one contains 30 degrees of the full 360 degrees. Houses, however, can be any size as long as the sum of the 12 Houses adds up to 360 degrees. If a House starts in one sign, includes the next sign, and then ends in the 3rd sign, then that House is intercepted. Interceptions will always appear in pairs since the House sizes are symmetrical and reflect across the circle.
If a Planet falls into the intercepted sign, then the Planet is intercepted as well. Each Planet, Sign, and House carries meaning when it is involved in an interception.
Take this chart for example. It has two pairs of interceptions. The 2nd and 8th Houses are intercepted. The intercepted signs are Capricorn and Cancer, respectively. Uranus and Neptune are both found in Capricorn in the 2nd House. The Sun and Venus are located in Cancer in the 8th House. Therefore, Uranus, Neptune, Sun, and Venus are intercepted Planets.
Also, the 3rd and 9th House are intercepted. The intercepted signs are Pisces and Virgo, respectively. Saturn is located in Pisces in the 3rd House. Mars and Chiron are in Virgo in the 9th House. Therefore, Saturn, Mars, and Chiron are also intercepted Planets.
Not every natal chart will have interceptions. You can have a natal chart where every sign has a House change. My husband’s chart is like this.
Interceptions expose your shadow in your natal chart. You may express intercepted Signs more readily in shadow form. The energy associated with an intercepted sign may be repressed, show up inappropriately, or feel dissociated. You may feel frustration or contrast in that part of your life.
Interceptions are not inherently bad. Just because you can see your shadow peeking through from an interception does not mean that you are incapable of healthy behaviors or will always express those features in a negative way. The natal chart exposes our tendencies for self-awareness and personal growth.
Because interceptions show up in pairs, it is best to interpret them as such. The opposing signs work together for creating balance and harmony in your personality.
Intercepted Sign Example: Gemini/Sagittarius
For example, Gemini can be very creative and intellectual. As an Air Sign, Gemini can seem very head in the clouds and detached. Sagittarius can be very focused and truth-seeking. As a Fire Sign, it can express with action and passion to counter Gemini’s flightiness.
An intercepted Gemini may come across as indecisive, flakey, or moody in the part of their life defined by that House. Gemini has a focus in communication, so perhaps as a child, you weren’t allowed to speak up or felt like you didn’t get to have a voice. Now, when you try to use your voice, you’re wishy-washy.
Opposite of Gemini is Sagittarius which when intercepted may express in that House as too intense or obsessed, seeing things as black-and-white only. Sagittarius has an element of taking action. If a child with an intercepted Sagittarius didn’t feel like they got to carve their own path or have input into what the “right” choices were for them, they may be truth-seeking and overly dichotomous as an adult about defining their way.
If a Planet is intercepted, then you might notice you struggle to connect with the aspects of your personality that the Planet represents.
For example, Mercury related to the way you think, communicate, and process information. If Mercury is intercepted, then you may struggle to believe in yourself or your ideas. Perhaps in your childhood, you were told that you were stupid or taught not to think critically. The Moon represents your emotions and inner world, so if your Moon is intercepted, you may struggle to connect with your own emotions. Perhaps as a child, you felt like your emotional expressions were invalidated or denied.
Intercepted Houses work in pairs like the Signs do. For example, if the 3rd and 9th Houses are intercepted, then you may have difficulty with communication (3rd House) and notice struggles related to learning, belief systems, or religion (9th House). To discover how problems in the Houses might manifest, you look to the qualities of the intercepted Sign.
To use the example above, if Gemini in the 3rd House is intercepted, you might struggle with speaking up and finding your voice. With Sagittarius in the 9th House intercepted, you might attach yourself to your belief systems in a very black-and-white manner, which can be to your detriment.
Healing Your Natal Chart Shadow
The benefit to awakening to the shadow in your natal chart is that you now have the opportunity to heal it.
For the hypothetical individual with an intercepted Gemini in the 3rd House and Sagittarius on the 9th House, there are many opportunities for self-discovery and redefining yourself. Perhaps it’s time to discover your voice and practice using it to heal the intercepted 3rd House Gemini. Now would also be a good opportunity to re-evaluate your belief systems and how you relate to your beliefs. Maybe you’ve defined yourself by beliefs that no longer (or never did) serve you, but clung to them in an effort to make your own path.
Delving into the shadow in your natal chart can be extremely rewarding. Enjoy the process of self-discovery and healing that’s to come from seeing yourself as you are and deciding who you want to be instead!