Moderator’s Note to Readers: Amanda shared a dream with me on Wednesday morning, and I suggested that she develop it into today’s post — if she felt confident doing that, and here you have it. Please do not interpret this dream. You may add your own experiences, your own thoughts and ideas about yourself, but please do not interpret her dream in the blog comments. We will put all public attempts to interpret the dream into the Moderation Netherworld; i.e., they will be deleted. Thanks for your cooperation. — Eric Francis
By Amanda Painter
Every once in a while, I wake up from a dream and realize I have dreamed my astrology — generally a translation of how transiting planets are contacting my natal chart. This happened in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. When I sat down to write the dream in my journal, the first thing out of my pen was that the Mars-Nessus conjunction in Aquarius is trine my natal Nessus in Gemini, in my 12th house.
Nessus — and in fact, all of the centaur planets — are all about shadow material and baggage and healing. As such, they seem to have a special resonance with the 12 house: the house of dreams, blind spots that are difficult to pinpoint, and the self’s undoing. It occurred to me that in this week’s discussion of Nessus and the challenges of sorting though familial patterns of emotional or sexual abuse and collective patterns of the same (since Nessus is in Aquarius), a personal illustration might fit.
In the early part of this dream I had, I have tried to be kind and compassionate to a man I know, who has a crush on me — but he misinterprets, or simply wants and expects more. Something snaps in this normally harmless man, and he flies into a psychotic rage. He pursues me with the clear intent of causing me sexual violence, some sort of rape or forceful possession.
There are some transition scenes, but the core of the dream finds me in the house where I grew up, and where my mother and younger brother currently live (my father died more than three years ago). This man who is after me is trying to get in, but I have not been able to shut the front door quickly enough and tight enough that it will lock.
I am screaming at him (as I have been throughout the dream) to go away, screaming no, but he is wedged into the doorjamb in this only-possible-in-a-dream way, even though the door is almost closed. There are moments when I can see his face through the crack; other times I am just pushing with my shoulder into it; pushing and screaming. At one point he manages to slip his hand through the letter slot (the door does not have one in real life) and reach up to touch my arm. It makes me feel queasy, and I keep struggling. It feels like a matter of life and death. In the dream, I suppose, it is.
I realize my mother is in the room. I yell at her to call 9-11, in a plea for help. She says, with only the slightest hint of guiltiness, “No. I don’t want a bunch of police cars outside, making the neighbors wonder what’s going on.”
I am shocked, stunned that she will not help me in my obvious desperation against this man who is trying to break into her home to rape me, her daughter.
I see my brother – three years younger than I but much larger — sitting in an easy chair in the room. I scream at him that I need him to call 9-11.
He also says no, adding that he has helped out too many women that way already, and he is done.
Again, I am stunned — devastated — that neither of them will help me. The phone is on the other side of the room; if I try to get it, the man will get in and get me before I get anywhere near it. All I can do is put all my energy back into my desperate struggle, into my screams of “Go away,” trusting (hoping?) that my strength lasts longer than he does.
I am exhausted; I have been running away from this man and screaming at him and pushing the door against him for hours.
Out of nowhere, the dream shifts. I am in a professional kitchen. I see one of the chefs — a young man, larger than I with a beard and glasses — and ask him to stand between me and the entryway, which is around a corner. He does, near me, and the man who had been pursuing me is brought in. He is in custody of some sort, though he is not cuffed and I don’t really see or recognize who has him.
My current relationship partner comes in just behind them, visibly upset for me and angry at himself for not being there to protect me — though clearly none of this is his fault. He comes over to me; the dream dissolves, I think.
As I said, I immediately saw the dream’s relevance to a Mars-Nessus trine to my 12th house Nessus. The trine is a flowing aspect, and it was just like this vision of ‘potentially inappropriate sexual contact’ and violence and family pain had flowed right in out of nowhere; I rarely have such violent dreams. It’s been ages since I’ve been chased in a dream. And I don’t remember the last time I woke up feeling such desperation, panic and exhaustion in the pre-dawn darkness, like I did with this. For a moment, I wasn’t sure if someone wasn’t really trying to get at me energetically, and I said a little protection prayer just in case.
Or, as Eric asked, did I wake up or GROW up feeling such desperation? “You end[ed] up as a young adult with your body fending off all sex as if it were all an attack. That did not come out of nowhere,” he added.
I don’t have any rape in my personal history, and no sexual abuse in my immediate family. But what I do have is a mother whose views on sexuality and relationships is very different from my own — and it took a while to sort that out. She warned me when I went off to college never to be alone in a dorm room with a guy at school, for fear of date rape. She herself waited until she got married to have sex — and put forth the idea that when a young woman gives up her virginity thinking that the guy is going to marry her, and then he doesn’t, the heartbreak is devastating.
And of course, as in many families, there is much else around sex and relationships that slides under the radar into children’s psyches and senses of self. Ideas get assimilated as our own, until some sort of healing crisis puts it into sharp relief so it can be seen for what it is.
For me, as Eric’s comments suggested, this sticky, shadowy morass, passed along through my family and with roots going back however long, expressed itself in a decade of sexual dysfunction after my first serious college relationship broke up. That is its own long story; suffice to say, a normal (but unrecognized) infection led to painful sex, which contributed to a breakup. The next thing I knew, my body internalized it all — and I had no idea what was wrong for a very long time.
Now, every once in a while, my subconscious unlocks or illustrates a piece of the bigger gestalt, including the astrology. This one has it all: the group thing and group think, with my mother and brother refusing to help (Aquarius). The issues of rape, sexual violence and ‘passing the buck’ are present (Nessus). As Eric put it, “For Mom, the rape issue comes home — but SHE IS NOT GOING TO DEAL WITH IT.” I have to take action to fight for my own life (Mars) in the midst of it all.
Oh — and that part with the chef in the kitchen? Well, just as I was waking up from the dream, the transiting Gemini Moon had just conjoined the asteroid Ceres, represented by the goddess of agriculture and nourishment, which is presently conjunct my South lunar node — the one that’s about past life karma. And my current partner, angry at himself for not being able to take action and protect me, has his natal Mars right there.
As serious and meaningful as this dream was, at a certain point, I just have to laugh at the comic genius of the universe — and my own subconscious healing abilities. Then I try to figure out how to work with it all consciously.