We generally think of sleep as something that should be
studied by psychologists and neuroscientists rather than
astrologers. But astrology has a universal quality, and
it can be used to understand almost anything, even those
experiences we consider to be unconscious, like sleep.
Reveals the Celestial Rhythm of Sleep
studies have revealed basic patterns in sleep behavior that
follow celestial rhythms set by the Sun and Moon. For example,
people evidently sleep longer and deeper in the fall and winter than they do in the summer. An exaggerated form of
this behavior is animal hibernation. Scientists attribute
these patterns to the seasonal changes in daylight and darkness;
astrologers recognize them as evidence that humans, like
other species on the planet, are profoundly affected by
modern lifestyles tend to hide or alter the influence of
these natural rhythms. Artificial light can change natural
sleep patterns that would otherwise be aligned with the
cycles of the Sun and Moon. Recent scientific studies have
shown that people without access to artificial light will
fall naturally into a pattern of sleeping in two shifts:
an early evening sleep of four hours or so, then a wakeful
or "watching" period in the middle of the night, followed
by another several-hour period of sleep preceding the dawn.
(See Slumber's Unexplored Landscape from Science News.)
it's hard to separate science from astrology. From an astrological
point of view, this middle period of wakefulness corresponds
to the period when the Sun crosses an important point in the
horoscope. In astrology, the Sun represents consciousness,
where attention is focused. Because there are 24 hours in
a day, the Sun spends about two hours in each of the twelve
houses of the astrological chart, and the quality of each
house it visits determines where attention will be focused.
to midnight, the Sun spends two hours in the Fourth House,
which is associated with the subconscious and deeply internal
experiences such as sleep. Around midnight, the Sun begins
a two-hour visit in the Third House, which rules mental
activity, learning and communication. This corresponds precisely
to what scientific researchers have confirmed about sleep,
that people will naturally become conscious around midnight,
awakening out of deep REM sleep for a few hours of thought,
reflection and self-communication about their dreams.
and the Creative Process
on dreams is not always a pleasant experience, for peaceful
slumber can be disturbed by nightmares. The effects of nightmares
are not all bad, however. There is strong evidence that
people with frequent nightmares have strong creative tendencies.
Mary Shelley based her best-known work, Frankenstein,
on one of her frequent nightmares. In a similar (jugular)
vein, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula,
suffered often from nightmares and used them in his writings.
does astrology have to say about sleep, nightmares and the
creative process? Because sleep is a daily, habitual requirement
for bio-psychic health, astrological tradition associates
sleep with the Moon, the planetary ruler of the Fourth House.
Because sleep is an unconscious activity, it is also associated
with the astrological indicators of the unconscious— Pisces,
Neptune, and the Twelfth House.
can look at a birth chart and observe correlations between
these astrological indicators and how a person experiences
sleep. For example, the birthchart for Robert Louis Stevenson,
born November 13, 1850, shows a Moon-Neptune conjunction
in Pisces. Dreams were important to Stevenson, who had frequent
nightmares and reported using them in his work. Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was based on a nightmare in
which Stevenson saw a man change from a handsome, upper-class
Englishman into a hideous monster.
Planet Pluto and Sleep
sleep is a mysterious and deeply internal state of being
that allows for rejuvenation and transformation, astrologers
find that Pluto is also a relevant factor. The relationship
between dream-life and creativity is indicated by Pluto,
who represents our capacity to deepen our experiences by
bringing them down into the depths or subconscious levels
of our being, where they can be transformed into creativity.
Edgar Allan Poe, another writer who suffered often from
nightmares, was born (January 19, 1809) with a Moon-Pluto
conjunction in Pisces.
we use science or astrology to examine human behavior, there
is an important factor to consider. Astrology has been used
to study various aspects of human consciousness for several
thousand years, while modern, scientific analysis has only
been "around" for the past few centuries. (Psychology, in
its official capacity as a science, was born little more than
one hundred years ago.)
scientists claim to have "discovered" patterns of celestial
correspondence to human behavior (like sleep) and they have
developed descriptive terms such as biological clocks, biorhythms,
circadian cycles, and lunar periodicities. These are not
simply new names for what astrology has known all along,
they are also "scientific proof" that astrology works.