Astrology describes— can we call it “reality”?— using a small handful of symbols that each have various possible typical meanings and levels of manifestation. Although each symbol, or combination of symbols, could be read in a number of ways, it’s certainly not true that you can read any old thing into any astrological symbol. Saturn represents something very clearly distinct from the Moon or Venus, for example, and there’s no mistaking the differences. It is truly amazing to see this core set of archetypes manifesting in a myriad of ways consistent with their core attributes. If life is a bewildering movie in a foreign language, astrology is the subtitles!
The question is, where exactly is life happening? Is it really “out there”, as it seems to be, with things happening to us?
a sensuous snooze
Many years ago, I must have been in my early 20’s, I found myself pondering the question of what happens to those short-lived Lunar Transits, that can come and go in the space of an hour or two, when you’re asleep? Obviously one would speculate that the energy may manifest in and through your dreams, but I hadn’t yet experienced any impressive evidence of this. Well, it’s amazing how things happen, you wonder about something and the answer appears; “ask and it shall be given to you”.
I was visiting my mother around the time that I first posed myself this question, and I happened to notice one fine afternoon that the (Transiting) Moon would be forming a strong Aspect to my Natal Venus around 10:00pm that evening. It looked an opportune time to hit the town and socialize, and I decided there and then that I would do just that. As it happened, perhaps around 8:00pm that evening, I fell very comfortably asleep on my mother’s couch and didn’t make it to town. Although I couldn’t remember anything that I dreamt that night, I apparently didn’t miss out on much.
The next morning my mother, completely out of the blue, asked me, “what were you dreaming last night, because around 10:00pm you had such a broad smile on your face, you must have been experiencing something very enjoyable?”. She actually used slightly more explicit language which it would not be seemly to repeat here verbatim.
I was overjoyed! The time she mentioned and what she thought I must have been dreaming unambiguously affirmed that my Moon/Venus Transit was not lost to me just because I was asleep.
mars in dreamtime
Around 16-17 June 2010 Transiting Mars arrived within orb of a Square to my natal Neptune.
I was inspired on the evening of the 16th of June to paint an “Astrology Readings” sign on a square piece of board (for an upcoming arts festival where I do readings), and worked on it almost obsessively till after 2am. I woke up feeling quite exhausted, but pleased with the result.
It had been a while since I’d smeared colours around with a brush, and although it wasn’t intended to be a work of art, I think there was a hint of artistic sensibility involved in the process.
Mars is action, Neptune is imagination; combining the two often manifests as an alignment of physical action and an attunement to an ethereal, subtle or intangible world. Artistic self-expression is a natural outlet or result. However, this is not all. That night I had a bizarre dream. I was in some sort of vault or hall that seemed to be made of a yellowish stone surface, a bit like some ancient Egyptian temple, and there were snakes and strange salamander or lizard like creatures in various nooks and crannies. Then I found myself in a large open room with three or four men who all seemed to be similar in that they all possessed varying forms of magical weapons. Then one of these men, who may or may not have been me (I couldn’t differentiate between what I was doing and what I was observing) brandished something that sort of released energy, but I understood that he was controlling something invisible at a distance, and then I saw a blade suddenly slit the throats of the three other men. I also either heard this man say or think that it had to be done and couldn’t be delayed any longer, as if it was a case of slay or be slain. I awoke from this dream rather shaken and it took me a while to get back to sleep.
Mars and Neptune are very different. While they can manifest positively through artistic or “soulful” activities, they also seem prone to potentially “hazardous mystical experiences”, which my dream seemed to verge on.
For at least a week or so I’ve been aware that roundabout now Transiting Mars would be Conjunct my Natal Pluto and Square my Natal Saturn. That’s a hard core transit by any standards!
It didn’t surprise me to find myself, during the past two days or so, in a situation where I need to be quite forceful and assertive in a group project, but I think it’s been fairly constructive!
Last night, however, in dreamland, I found myself in a police station where some policemen were brutally beating someone, and I was one of a few people who were totally shocked and trying to get as far away from these people as possible, since there was no telling who they would be picking on next. I don’t remember much more, but it was very intense and unpleasant!! Very much the image of Mars, Pluto and Saturn in hard aspect in full force!!
Isn’t it intriguing that we dream our stars, pretty much exactly as we “live” them in the “real” waking world?! What’s the difference really between being awake and sleeping? Where is the “real” world really, and what is it??!
One thing seems certain: what we experience seems to be almost entirely subjective, and to a large extent our personal “dreams” (and that includes what we think is happening outside ourselves while we’re awake) are in fact manifestations of fluctuating tides of consciousness in the cosmos… how wonderfully mysterious, being a droplet in this cosmic ocean!