The first quarter moon in Scorpio has arrived, inspiring us to turn inward and focus on our thoughts, beliefs, and areas of our being that we’d like to transform, awaken, and hone. Never one to shy away from the depths, Scorpio encourages us to take a probing look at our shadow side. Instead of hiding the parts of yourself that you find less than ideal, try this week to appreciate those facets of yourself and recognize the gifts that they’ve given you. Self-care and self-love are about caring for and loving all aspects of ourselves, not just those that appear pretty and shiny on the outside.

What traits do you have that you don’t enjoy? What interests, reactions, or segments of yourself do you shy away from? Do you ultimately push them down or work on them? Do you share these things with others, or do you cover them entirely so that they aren’t visible? We’re often more sensitive than others around us to our perceived “faults,” so you may be surprised if you do discuss these aspects with your loved ones – you may discover that they’ve already noticed and that they love those parts just as much as the rest of you. Growth, transition, and transmutation may be necessary in some areas, but think how much more whole and satisfied you’ll feel once you’ve done the work and are no longer ashamed, self-conscious, or frustrated with any part of yourself.

Tomorrow brings the end of Mercury retrograde, which means that some of the stress and strain involving communication, transportation, and agreements will lessen. Be aware that the shadow period is still active until September 2, so the effects won’t fade entirely for a couple of weeks. With five other planets in retrograde, too, an intense period of personal discovery is bound to continue for awhile. This entire year is all about release, transformation, growth, and manifestation of your highest good, so continue to work with the planetary energies to achieve your overall goals in these areas.

Work with malachite, Smithsonite, labradorite, rhodochrosite, or rainbow sheen obsidian to access, uncover, analyze, shift, and integrate those shadow parts of your being that you’ve hidden from yourself or from others.