The New Moon is in Gemini today, the astro sign of the twins…
…and I want to riff on this concept of twins or mirror images by exploring how the world around us offers clues to our innermost, hidden self in the form of reflections.
Our psyche is like a tiny island of consciousness with the ego at its center, surrounded by the stupendously vast sea of the unconscious.
We have a sense of who we are–our identity–and it’s very easy to confuse this with the sum total of our I-ness, but there’s far, far more to you than meets the eye.
Who are you, really?
One way to expand our self-awareness is to look at the world around us (as within, so without), because certain experiences act as mirrors to the parts of ourselves we cannot otherwise see.
You might already be familiar with projection, which is where content existing within the unconscious is projected outward onto other people or circumstances.
When something is projected, we don’t recognize it as our own. It seems to exist firmly “out there.”
But when we know how to spot the telltale signs of projection…
…we can use these occurrences to peer within the secret reaches of our own unconscious, areas that would otherwise be barred from our knowing because they’re…well, unconscious.
What are we looking for?
Well, projected content tends to elicit an emotional reaction when we encounter it in the world.
Energetically, I think of it like a pair of magnets.
One magnet is the original content within our unconscious, while the other is the projected, matching content out in the world. When the two get close enough, we can feel a tug as they attempt to reunite.
In more practical terms…
…we often experience an aversion (hatred, dislike, jealousy, disgust) or fascination (love, lust, awe, enthrallment).
Let’s say you’re on Insta when you come across someone who catches your eye, and you immediately tap to see their profile.
As you scroll through photo after photo after photo, this person seems to have everything you want–the glowing skin, the sun-kissed lifestyle, the sexy partner, the cute pooch, you name it.
Soon, you’re eagerly awaiting new posts, hungry for more of their life.
What are they wearing today? What’s that book on their nightstand? Who are they hanging out with?
You’re fascinated by every single detail.
Now, when we’re in this place, it’s easy to think there’s nothing personal about it.
I mean, wouldn’t anyone be into this person?
Case in point: celeb crushes.
I cannot comprehend my friend’s fascination with Harry Styles. Just. Don’t. Get. It.
I mean, he seems cool and all, but… *shrug*
And she’s equally confused by my Timothée Chalamet obsession.
She couldn’t care less about him, whereas I’m tempted to redecorate my bedroom. Jk. (Kind of.)
The point is, we’re drawn to people and situations for reasons that say something about us.
The magnet, the draw that either pulls us in with aversion or fascination, is only partly existing in the externals.
Its twin resides in our unconscious, seeking its match.
And if we can detach enough from the externals, we can tease out the hidden meaning.
Going back to the Insta example, if I leave things on the surface, I won’t learn much.
I might think if I buy the same skincare products or get a cute dog, then I’ll feel the way I feel when I’m scrolling through their posts.
This surface-level take might deliver a few jolts of fleeting satisfaction…
…but the magnet in my unconscious is drawing me toward something deeper.
There are so many different things we could project onto this situation, but let’s pick one to illustrate.
Maybe what I’m really drawn to is how unself-conscious this person seems about displaying their successes and joy.
Perhaps, growing up, I was taught that it was shameful to enjoy your accomplishments, that doing so was self-absorbed, and someone would cut you back down to size, perhaps by judging, making fun of, or competing with you.
Better to just keep small than risk rejection and attack.
The energy of celebrating my own successes has been shoved into the unconscious, because I learned that it wasn’t safe to express this growing up.
And when I see this person on Insta who seems to be doing what feels disallowed to me–ding!
I’m drawn to them, thinking it’s about the skincare and the dog, when really it’s this unlived quality within myself.
This is one of the many reasons it’s useful to work with our projections…
…by learning how to recognize them in action, so we can get to the deeper messages.
Without this, we’re stuck spending a bunch of money on new face cream, wondering why it’s not making us feel whole.
Projection is how the world reminds us of our wholeness.
Through what we’re drawn to (either through aversion or fascination), we learn what is unlived within our own psyche.
So, on this New Moon, get curious.
What are you drawn to? Is there something, perhaps below the surface, that wants to be expressed through your own life?
If you want to go deeper with this process, I have a free course that shows you how, step by step.
Happy New Moon!