Dreaming astrology, in shades of Nessus and Mars

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.

Bedroom in strange weather; photo by Amanda Painter.

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.

26 thoughts on “Dreaming astrology, in shades of Nessus and Mars”

  1. Haha, thanks Sarah. My first thought is my work place. I love the photo, Amanda. Makes me feel comfy and safe. Also brings to mind the Sun of Aquarius group mind shining on my Leo Natal Sun of self helping define it and feel it through the Moon.

  2. Amanda, wow. Thank you sooo much for sharing your dream here. I wanted to save time to read it properly at home and honour your article with more quiet attention. I haven’t read any comments yet but will after I write this. I have had similar dreams. Mine were about my father and projections of him trying to “get my attention” in the dream. And the part where no one comes to help was in there too. Lately though, I’ve been dreaming about nourishing dogs and cats from fledgling pieces of roadkill to luxurious affectionate animals. I too have Nessus in Gemini (at 26 Rx) but in my 9th. It’s in my solar 8th though and it’s prob there that I’ve been doing some of my most intense work since Jupiter went into Gemini.

    Bravo Amanda.

  3. I would like to add my thanks to the mix, Amanda. Thank you for sharing this with us today. It did indeed and without a doubt, take courage to do so.

    Your photo is affecting me deeply, neither positive or negative per se, but definitely has the word “yearning” in the feeling. There is something there about home that I crave but have never recognized and something there about home that I have tried to give to my children but it is not there; only a mirage. I thank you also for this and the moment of contemplation it has given me.

    Natal Nessus at 21 Taurus…..recently squared by transiting Nessus which is currently smak dab on natal Merc. Thanks for bringing up “the stuff”.

  4. I don’t know the difference between my Nessus and my Natal show thank’s for clearing that up Sarah.

    And to Amanda, as so many have already said, what a beautiful, thought provoking, and heartfelt shared experience you gave us all today.

    The photo, as Eric suggests, is hauntingly lovely and perfect.

    And finally, your ability to laugh at the Universe’s trick is indeed courageous, if not truly inspiring.

    Thank you

  5. Not sure where my natal Nessus is but Gemini rules my 12th HS and I woke up Wednesday with a debilitating muscle spasm in my right buttock that brought me to tears and I had to stay home from work it was so bad. I wonder what I’m clenched against?

  6. thank you, all — it’s very gratifying to know how much this piece is resonating with people today. and i am glad to know some of you are engaging in your own active dream worlds as we experience this astrology and sort through our “stuff.”

    and wandering yeti — the unlocking of your voice sounds like an amazing and wonderfully healing process. keep going!

  7. I want to add something else to my previous post. I did have a dream last night, about someone stealing my identity. I didn’t put the two together, but starting to make more sense to me now!!

  8. Thanks Amanda and also carecare7! When I read your post i thought, OMG is she reading my mail. I am fairly new to learning more bout Astrology and how it is guiding my journey. Thank you Eric as I have signed into your work and it has truly changed my life and how i view it now! The 2013 horoscope audibles, jaw openers, ah ha moment, clearly shows me the great truth in our charts and what is happening around us! Still doing intense studying to how it all comes together, but Eric and his staff are the ones helping me!!

    Being said, coming in this all as a “newbie” i must share how it has opened my eyes. I have not had any dreams as such, yet in the past few weeks I have been seeking answers to why is my sexuality so stifled? Being newly married to a man just two years ago, after being single for 12 years from a previous divorce of 23 years of marriage, I thought this was going to be the best time to be open in my sexuality! My new husband being 13 years younger, I felt was a gift from the universe to be open and sexual. As I read your post carecare it was as if some of my questions had been answered.

    I was raped by my step brother at a young age, somewhere around 7 or 8. My older sister being 5 years older than I stood outside the door knowing quite well what was going on. She did nothing and accused me of enjoying and asking for it. Good God I was 7!! Later in life as I started to put things together, I sensed they had been doing this for some time and there was jealousy on her part! My mother I didn’t dare tell as I already felt shame and guilt for “wanting” it after all! There was so much dysfunction in our family already so being the youngest one just learned to keep mouth shut to keep peace. Later in time my other step brother threw me to the ground doing a “dry hump” on me, again I took it as I must have wanted it, so I again buried this in me!! Being young my step father would allow me to lay on the sofa and watch tv with him, rubbing my back then reaching around to the front. I had NO buds so what he was after I am not sure!! Runs in the blood I guess!

    Later in life after my sister had moved out. I was staying with her babysitting my niece and a dark figure came into the door of the bedroom I was sleeping in. It was her boyfriend, naked, and he jumped into bed with me. I screamed and ran out fighting to get away. Nothing happened but it scard the shit out of me!! I told my mother about it, and she asked me what I had done to provoke him to do this. Was I running around naked or something in front of him. Later in life after I married and had kids of my own, this stuff started to surface in me. I eventually told my mother what had happened to me as a child, again she asked what I had done to provoke it. Causing so much up roar as she used it as a tool to get back at her now divorced husband. ( My step father). I was accused of making it up for some kind of attention! I buried it again! There is much more but going to thumbnail it.

    After I divorced, again guilt and shame comes to play. I got hooked up with the penecostal church in trying to find some kind of refuge. They told me to be single one must never have sex until married, if I did, I would surely go to hell!! So I vowed to never have sex until I ever married again. Giving up the best sexual years of my life for this lie! But of course I was pure in “their” eyes, while still pointing fingers at the “divorcee” single woman in the church. I finally got wise and left that bullshit and had a journey down the rabbit hole. Found my “spirituality” or self in that time, but a time of feeling insane during it. It was un winding the old tapes that had been doctrinated into me for the years while there. Now as I’m searching to understand my sexuality more, and listening to all that Eric has been teaching I am starting to figure it out more. My new husband also grew up in a home where sex was NEVER to be done unless you are pro-creating! He was 37 before he ever had sex and that was with me!! The church also drilled that into him, with his parents hand of approval all over it. So we both are in a place to “touch” that part of our lives that have been taken from us, from the “old fucks” ( as Eric stated it in my horoscope reading) in what ever ways they did. I sense such a deep healing coming if more people can become more aware of this, and what has happened in our pasts. To let the past go can be painful cause often it brings back all those painful memories we as kids buried to protect ourselves, not even knowing what we were protecting ourselves from! My daughter was also raped when she was 18, date rape as her drink had been tainted with the date rape drug. It has taken her a long time to forgive herself and a few trips down the rabbit hole to understand things also. it’s so important now to understand what is happening in the world as planets come into our houses and open up those doors we don’t want to open!! I thank everyone for sharing their feelings, dreams and willingness to open up. I was just setting here, meditating on this subject, asking for something to come to me for more understanding. After i read the dream, the posts it was like a bolt of lightning hit me, when i sat down to write these words. Healing comes in groups, awareness is key!!

    I am speaking it out, my husband and I are going to have the best sexual years of our lives. Recognizing the things that have blocked us, and still processing and working through them. Releasing the blocks that no longer work for us. I am in hopes of then bringing this message out to others in any way I can to help them release the past and start to live the lives we all are in tended to live here on planet earth. The experiences teach us lessons, but the lessons we take, grow through, to make better experiences!!

  9. Thanking everyone here for open sharing and trust. Amanda, beautiful dream, astrology, and a story of archetypes that have played out in this culture and in so many of our lives. The photograph is perfect for it. I sense the light making a cross: the window bright and lucid (present) and the past or the below world reflecting more light in this moment that the above world, (ceiling).

    Taking note of all the attention Nessus is getting now. It’s significant in my chart, sitting right on my my descendent in Taurus, opposite Asc, Juno, and Saturn. Perfect square to Mercury, which is square Saturn. Not quite squared Venus, Chiron, and QB1, which make a puppy pile in Aquarius, my solar 12th. By Solar houses Nessus is 3rd house, which supports my conviction that religious repression and suppression of sexual information and expression is abuse, and we do well to treat ourselves gently and get healing, every single one of us. All together, here. And so we are.

    Time for me to get back to my own nether world with the hairdryer. Cold water pipes frozen, along with my fingers and toes.

  10. I lingered in bed (not just because it was freeeeeezzzzing) so as to try to assemble the fragments of the dream I had last night. It had been such a while since I had any dreams and this was a series of very juicy stuff. My first thought after writing it down was to perhaps email or blog the PW people as I’ve noted some very great insightful replies to dreams … and then here’s Amanda’s own dream featured up front. … I will not go into anything other than my dream and the presence of men, so not around for most of my life. I cannot quite bring myself to share at this time but I am happy for a place to share. Thank you Amanda and Eric .. .ps: that is a spectacular shot on the front

  11. Oh and to clarify; I was not signed into the state mental hospital; she threatened but I became compliant and later went back to my young husband only to be beat up by him over and over again. I was used to that; my older brother had routinely beat up on me as a kid.

    I credit therapy and things I learned for my sanity (and stability) today.

  12. Amanda,

    Thanks for sharing your dream and the astrology to go with it.

    I have Nessus in my 9th house in Taurus (using equal houses because that usually works better for me with emotional or spiritual issues whereas Koch houses work for me when timing is important). Nessus is forming a yod because it is at the intersection of two inconjuncts (150 deg) with Ixion in Libra in the 2nd house and Vesta in Sag in the 4th house. Nessus is also trine my Mars in Cap in the 5th house by 4 degrees (and Ceres is 2 deg away from Mars and Venus is 2 degrees away from Ceres) and trine my North Node in Virgo in the 1st house. Nessus also squares my Chiron in Aquarius in the 6th house. Without having taken the time to think what all that means, I have to say your dream resonated with me because of what your mother and brother didn’t do.

    When I was 19 and newly married to my first husband, my mother and older brother did something to me that devastated me. My brother forced (at gun point) my young, immigrant husband to get on a plane and fly back to New York because he (my brother) felt my husband was a bad influence on me. While they were gone, my mother told me my brother wanted to have me committed to the state hospital; that it only takes 2 signatures to get that done, and that he would make her sign with him to put me away so they could move forward with forcing my father to sell the house in the divorce settlement. At that moment I realized my mother was willing to throw my life away for her own gain. Now I know it is because she has NPD.

    As for Nessus and old life material: When I was growing up and after my parents divorced the first time (when I was 7), my mother always said my dad was a sex maniac; always wanting sex from her at inappropriate times. She pretended not to like sex. I was a highly sensual kid; masturbating to orgasm as early as 3 and 4 years old to my mother’s horror. She told me I did it because my father would rub my vulva when he changed my diaper. So I grew up thinking there was something wrong with me (that I got from my father) because I was very kinesthetic, sensual, and later, sexual. Mom also told me (when I was 9) that she didn’t trust my father around me; that ruined my relationship with him and I feared hugging him or any closeness because I was afraid he was thinking of me sexually. That was almost as bad as actually experiencing being molested.

    Dispersed in all this sexual mess was my dad’s religious ferver. He was Pentecostal and both he and my grandmother said God had healed him of his sexual issues. I grew up thinking I was a dirty person because I liked sensual things, liked orgasms, liked masturbating. Then, when my parents divorced the second time (when I was 18) my mom started sleeping around and talking openly about it. She would tell me how good anal sex was, how much she liked giving head, and my younger brother and I could hear her and her boyfriend having noisy sex (“Oh, oh, you are so big, oh that feels so good”) in the bedroom just off the livingroom. That messed with my head too.

    I also grew up with weight issues from puberty onward and my mother giving me food with one hand and taking it away with the other.

    I later found out my mother was molested by both her uncle and her lesbian cousin. I also found out that my mother’s father molested and raped a young 15 year old girl the family took in to give her a home. I found out that my father’s mother was a foster kid in a sherriff’s home when the man began molesting her when she was 9. By the time she was 15, she was pregnant and his wife had died so he married her and she had my dad but lived in shame in the neighborhood. She’s the one who turned to strict Pentecostalism and raised my dad with all the shame that has packed into it. So there’s a lot of sexual shame, abuse, and denial in both sides of my family.

    Nessus and family and sexual issues indeed. Transiting Sedna is about to touch off my Nessus in the 9th and the yod. Transiting Quaoar is already sitting on my vesta in the 4th house. Transiting Nessus is almost on Chiron in my 6th house.

    Very busy time for “family and sexual issues.”

    Thanks for sharing, Amanda.

  13. Thank you for bravely and articulately sharing your dream Amanda. I don’t usually remember my dreams as an adult, but this morning I awoke from a scary and confusing one. Your recollection and explanation helped me understand my frightening and confounding sleep experience a little better.
    Very much appreciated.

  14. Thank you for sharing this, Amanda.

    My natal Nessus is also in Gemini in my 12th house.

    I have dreams of being pursued by men often; I had one three nights ago. Sometimes they want to destroy me, at others it feels more like a confrontation with a part of myself that scares the shit out of me. I’m aware that these two types might be connected, but the quality of the dream is different, and I know in some instances who the interloper represents. Sex and sexuality are the ‘biggies’ I’m working through. I understand where much of the wounding has come from, but what remains is the desire for a full encounter with myself with another (an Other).

  15. Amanda: Thank you for your exemplary courage. Thanks also for your inspirational artistry as astrologer, writer and photographer.

  16. My Nessus is in the same spot, but for me it lands in the 9th house. I think for me I mostly got the Nessus vibe from violent media and verbal abuse. I grew up Catholic so I think my Nessus house placement also speaks to the skeletons in the Catholic closet. During this trine I’ve been re training my voice by learning David Bowie songs. I never got into his music much before but for some reason he’s risen bright and loud in my search for new inspirations. I looked at his chart and his Mercury is in the exact same degree of Cap as mine. These songs in my throat slip into the cracks in my throat armor and every day since I started practicing again (only the last 3 or 4) my voice becomes more free and fluid. I’ve been dissolving the muscular patterns corresponding to the verbal abuse I experienced when young for awhile now, but these vocal experiments have pushed it into high gear. Nessus isn’t only about the abuse. Nessus provided the poison that killed Hercules, the abuser who coerced the Centaurs into injuring and killing each other because of his appetite for wine. I think of Hercules as the hero of dominator culture, and an anti-hero of a sane and healthy society. This trine has the potential to unleash abuse, but it also has the potential to end it. Didn’t one astrologer give “the buck stops here” as a key phrase of Nessus?

  17. Have been feeling weirded out and exhausted these last days. Anyone else? Wonder if it’s all the planetary activity or maybe solar flares? (hope you don’t mind me asking this here, Amanda).

  18. Hello Amanda (I never liked this interpretation overmuch either in scary dreams, but) the pursuing man can also be your animus trying to get your attention.

    love pam

  19. Gosh Amanda, something about your dream and photo has unblocked my centuries’ old ‘writers’ block!’ It’s got me writing again. If I ever get this story written I’ll dedicate it to you!

  20. Amazing dream, dear Amanda. Thank you for sharing it. It helps me to confront some deep and painful sexual stuff that’s coming up right now, in the realization that this is a time for more stuff to come up and be healed. And yes, the photo is magnificent, Vermeer meets David Lynch!

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