Sleep is a large part of our life. On average it’s one third, but only if you truly get your ideal healthy 8 hours every single night (and many of us don’t). It is also a very important part, though in modern culture of over-achievers it is viewed as a period wasted out of your “productive time”.
Yet sleep is just as essential to our health and well-being as food and water. Multiple biological processes happen while we appear to do nothing but lay there and toss around, but I’m not getting into that, since this is not a biology blog. Unless you’ve been banned from Google I’m sure you can find the info on that if you wish to.
From the consciousness point of view, sleep is akin to trance. A daily state of trance that each of us enters out of physiological necessity but with a psychological pay off, if we care to collect it, since dreams are a direct communication channel between our conscious mind and both our personal subconsciousness and the collective unconscious.
All spiritual practices and cultures that focused on developing the potential of the human mind across space and time gave great importance to dreams and their meanings – from ancient philosophers to samurai, from Central American shamans to 20th century psychoanalysts.
The problem of difficulties in dream interpretation is a long standing one. Nowadays you can find a plethora of dream dictionaries with just a few clicks, but that doesn’t really solve it. The thing is – just like cookbook astrological interpretations, these dream symbol interpretations are so generalized that it is by a lucky coincidence the actual meaning of your particular dream is fully clear and explained by looking something up in a one-size-fits-all book (or website). Furthermore, sometimes we can’t look objectively at a situation in our life and define clearly what’s wrong – if we could, our subconscious probably wouldn’t be sending us the signals in the first place! But after we receive the signal, chances are the issue still remains quite sensitive and if we have been pushing it down and refusing to face it, we just might find it difficult to even identify the problem since we’re so used to suppressing it.
Astrological transits is a useful tool to identify the areas of life and issues in your individual life the dream is signaling about. It’s as customized as it can be – transits are happening to your personal unique natal chart and the areas of life (houses) affected also vary among people with similar birth chart placements.
There are several types of dreams, each one has its own astrological signature and I will list them in the order of both their frequency in one’s life and their informational value.
1. Reflective dreams
These are the most common and the least valuable. They are just a form of processing and organizing the information our brain has received during the previous day (or several days). Caused by a conversation, some news, a stirring experience and so on, these don’t need to be analysed as they are more of a physiological function of the brain – sorting through the inbox, logging the important things into memory and emptying out the trash folder.
Astrological signature of these dreams is actually the lack of one – there are no aspects with an orb of 2 degrees or less from fast planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, less often Venus or Mars) to the natal chart during the time of dreaming.
2. Compensatory dreams
These are the ones psychoanalysis is about – unrealized and suppressed desires. They are signals from your personal subconsciousness expressed in a symbolic form. The recurring ones and the ones that have a developing plot are of a special interest here. Checking the transits for the night or the time you saw the dream will help you define the dream as informationally valuable as well as point to the issue this signal is about.
First thing to look for astrologically is a major aspect (conjunction, opposition, square, trine or sextile) from a fast planet (Sun, Moon, Mercury, less often Venus or Mars) to a planet of the natal chart with an orb of 2 degrees or less. The natal planet that receives the aspect is the one you should look into for the meaning of the dream – the symbolic nature of the planet itself, the house it is placed in and the house(es) it rules.
It may happen that there are no fast transits to your natal chart during the night, but the transit Moon contacted another transit planet and you have a natal connection between the Moon and this same planet (for example, transit Moon made a trine to Mars and you have a natal Moon-Mars opposition). This kind of mimicking contact may also trigger dreams that bring up the issue described by the planet that is contacted by the Moon. Again, looking at the houses connected with that planet will show the area of life the issue is about.
This transit method is extremely valuable for decoding recurrent dreams and developing-story series of dreams. If you keep track of the dates and look at the transits, more often than not it will be the same houses that are activated during the fast transits for the nights when you see these dreams.
3. Archetypal dreams
This kind of dreams is a lot more rare than the first two and also carries more importance. Archetypal dreams plug us into the collective subconscious experience and connect us to our true spiritual needs. There are three categories here:
- archetypal objects (bridges, doors, roads, etc) – these are the ones you can get a good reading on with the help of a dream dictionary, as these objects have a universal common meaning for all people across all cultures
- archetypal stories (travelling, chasing, overcoming difficulties, studying, and so on) – these are similar to the previous category with a little more personal variation of the shared meaning
- archetypal entities – the least common category. Many people never experience this kind and the ones that do may not even realise if they’re not familiar with the archetypal entity they have seen. Since we’re all connected within the framework of the collective subconscious, it is no wonder that a person from one culture may see in a dream a mythological creature from a completely different culture and thus they have no knowledge of which archetype this entity might be connected to. They might come across this entity later on, if they start researching the subject. Some of the traits that can help you recognise this type of a dream are: the central figure of the dream is an entity that attracts your attention; it is perceived in detail with some attributes from this entity’s mythology that you might have no prior knowledge of (such as colors, elements of the dress or appearance, etc).
Either one of these categories of archetypal dreams allows us to get in touch with the primal source of the entire human culture without any intermediaries. In some cultures these kinds of dreams were considered a beneficial sign from the higher powers and their encouragement of things we are doing.
Astrological signatures for these dreams are the following:
- During the dream there was a transit from a fast planet (Sun, Moon, Mercury, less often Venus or Mars) to a higher planet, most often Uranus or Neptune. It is more common to happen during a conjunction rather than any other aspect. Remember, the orb is 2 degrees or less. The meaning is interpreted according to the higher natal planet that is receiving the aspect (house placement and house rulership).
- During a long term transit of a higher planet – Uranus or Neptune – to your natal Mercury, Sun, Moon or ASC you may also see such dreams. Usually when the long-term transit is activated by a fast planet (multiple transit). For example, Neptune is conjuncting your ASC with an orb of 2 degrees or less. Because it’s a slow planet, even with such small orb this transit will last for months, but it doesn’t mean you will have archetypal dreams each night. However, you’re more open energetically to connect with the collective unconscious and during a faster transit, like Mercury squaring your ASC, you may have this experience. Interpretation of the dream in this case will be also connected with the higher planet that is making a transit to your natal chart (the houses it is connected to). It will show the reason for having this dream. The receiving natal planet or ASC will describe the purpose of the dream and its advice.
4. Prophetic dreams
Another rare and valuable category. Just like the archetypal dreams, many people may never experience these in their life. Actually, this kind is more common among those, whose chart has certain placements indicating predisposition to prophetic dreams. There are various combinations, of course, but most typical is a tight aspect between Uranus or Neptune and Sun, Moon or Mercury in the natal chart. During the night this aspect is activated by a fast transit with an orb of 2 degrees or less.
5. Karmic memories (Past life memories)
These are even more rare than the previous ones and not everybody experiences them. Some of the characteristics are:
- A vivid and detailed picture of the events and life during a certain historical period
- There are no unrealistic elements such as sudden object transformations, flying, talking animals and other typical features of a normal dream.
- The plot is short but memorable and we are also left with the knowledge about the details of what we saw that seemingly comes out of nowhere, without these details being shown in the dream itself.
- The dream doesn’t seem or feel to be in any way connected to our current situation or activity, i.e. it could not have been inspired by a film or a book you have seen or read the day before.
Spontaneous karmic/past life memory activation is quite rare. If you have done some past life regression hypnosis, it is more likely to come up in your dreams in the days following the session. Otherwise, it may occasionally be activated by a transit and it happens more often to people who have a planet in the 12th house close to the ASC (so in the last ⅓ of the house). At the time of having a past life memory dream, a planet in the 12th house of the natal chart (less often – the 12th house ruler) is activated by a fast transit with an orb of 2 degrees or less.
The astrological signatures of transits to your natal chart described above are an extremely helpful tool in arriving at a more personalized and relevant interpretation of your dreams. If you’re not very familiar with astrology and its tools, there are multiple sites out there that allow you to create a transit chart and also provide information about planets and their symbolism as well as basic knowledge on the meanings of signs and houses. Using the transit method will help you to single out the main theme(s) and idea(s) of the message your own or the collective subconscious is trying to deliver to you during this large part of your life – sleeping.